‘The Aces’ Ending Explained & Series Recap: Did Faisal Let Dharma Win The Match?

The director Bambang “Ipoenk” K.M. deserves special appreciation for creating the series The Aces. The Indonesian series, currently streaming on Amazon Prime, revolves around the oncoming billiard conflict between two talented young men. The very different backgrounds of the gentlemen set their worlds in stark contrast to each other. Both Dharma and Kiu’s passion for the sport will make them face each other despite belonging to different worlds. What were Faisal Triasmana’s intentions? Why did Dharma feel so pressured to win the tournament? Why did Kiu want to participate? Let’s find the answers to these questions!

Spoilers Ahead


What Were Faisal’s Expectations From His Sons?

Faisal, a board member of the Jakarta Billiard Society (JBS), is passionate about the sport and is a genius billiard player himself. He expected his sons to be exceptional billiard players like him who could beat anyone. He trained his elder son, Darius, to play at the JBS tournament, as he believed him to be an exceptional player and believed that he would surely win. Faisal imposes all his dreams on his elder son. He pressurized Darius to such an extent that he suddenly had a minor stroke. Upon being examined, Faisal was told that Darius’ left side had been temporarily paralyzed and that he could not play billiards anymore. Instead of being worried about his son’s health, he was more concerned about his prestige in the billiards society. Later, as their sister Danira arrived, she also showed a coldness toward their father, stating that he was only looking out for his own selfish interests and had always used his children. A history of the feud between the father-daughter duo is yet to be revealed in the long run! When it was declared that Darius was not eligible for the tournament, Faisal’s younger son, Dharma, tried filling in the void. He told his father that he would play the match instead of his elder brother. Faisal did not have as much confidence in him, yet he decided to give him a chance, provided that he followed all his instructions.


What Does Dharma Do To Prove Himself?

Dharma puts in all his efforts to prove to his father that he is a worthy candidate, fit to play in the tournament. He invited Ricky Baja, a renowned billiard player, to his birthday party so that he could play a match and defeat him to impress his father and win his confidence. When Faisal saw that Ricky was almost on the verge of winning, he cut the game short to ensure that Dharma did not bring him shame in front of his guests. In a fit of rage, Dharma went to Kiu’s billiard club, Taurus, and tried his hands at the board with Kiu himself. Kiu managed to take him down easily, making the video of his victory go viral. This further crushes Dharma’s confidence, as he was a perfectionist, and a commoner had been able to defeat him so easily. He undergoes special training under a coach to ensure his victory at the tournament. The trainer tells him that his brother, Darius, was a much better player at his age, heightening his frustration. Despite all the taunts, he does not give up on his dreams of making his father feel proud of him someday. Dharma chose to stand in the public line rather than the recommendation line because he wanted to fight as a commoner and not as a privileged prince.


What Were Mukti’s Ideals?

Kiu’s father, Mukti Wibawa, received a first-place certificate in the JBS tournament many years ago. Despite being a tournament champion, the abject poverty that Mukti was living in is proof of the state of forgotten sportsmen all across the world. Mukti was under a huge debt, and while his children told him to sell off his shop, he never agreed to it. His only dream was to see his eldest son, Kiu, play the billiard tournament one day, as he had noticed his inner talent as a sportsman from a very young age. Unlike Faisal, he was supportive of his son and never demeaned his talent. He encouraged him to play matches and trained him from a very early age to play the game. He was well aware that he needed money for his cataract surgery and to pay off his debts, but he did not support Kiu when he opened billiard tables at his shop for betting. He did not want his son to use the sport as an illegal means to earn money, as he had immense respect for billiards.


How Did Rania Support Her Family?

Rania came to meet her family after her mother passed away. She told her father, Mukti, how her mother forbade her from meeting the rest of her family. She felt a sense of responsibility when she saw their financial condition and decided to help sell off their shophouse so that they could pay off their debt. Later, when she developed a better bond with her other half-siblings, she decided that she would help raise money for her father’s operation and debt clearance rather than selling off the shop that meant so much to them. She also resented Kiu’s illegal gambling business, as she respected her father’s ideals and wanted her brother to walk on the same path. She decided to find the best mentor for Kiu, who could train him for the tournament. She wanted him to attain the prize money so that all their financial issues could be resolved. Along with Kiu, she manages to find Yunus’ house, whom she thought would be the perfect trainer for him. She also struggled day in and day out to make sure that she could earn enough to support her family. She started working at JBS as a videographer. It is possible that she took the job at JBS to gain more information on the tournament so that she could help Kiu prepare better for it.


Why Does Faisal Let Dharma Win The Match?

Dharma challenged Faisal to a match and told him that if he won, he would have to be let into JBS. Later, Dharma won the match, and Faisal welcomed him into JBS. It was, however, later revealed that Faisal had pretended to be defeated so that his dream of his son winning the tournament could be fulfilled. Dharma and Darius overheard him talking to someone and telling them that he had also planned to fix the match so that Dharma would win. Later, Dharma went to the JBS officer, Mr. Tanto, and paid him money to ensure that the match was kept clean. Meanwhile, Darius trains Dharma to master the trilogy, just like their father. Their willingness to finally stand up against their father was appreciated by Danira.

Later, Dharma is informed by Mr. Tanto that he could not help in keeping the match clean as Faisal had also approached the referee association. After this incident, Dharma confronted his father, and he told him that if the match was not fixed, there would be drops in the campaign money, and Giri, the minister, would not come to power. If Giri didn’t become the mayor, then he would not be able to help the Triasmanas with their failing business. Faisal further explained to Dharma that the Triasmana mining business had to be discontinued because of the severe losses. A smooth transition into a new business would need one billion dollars. He hinted at the fact that the money that would be raised from the betting at the JBS tournament would help them out financially. When Faisal sees that Dharma is bothered by his father’s fraudulent ideas to earn money, he is taken to an orphanage. Faisal tells Dharma that the orphanage was run by Mr. Useng, a former security officer in their mining office who met with a work accident and lost a hand. Faisal was the sole donor for the facility and told him that if their business did not work properly, they would not be able to support so many lives. When the emotional angle comes into play, Dharma is faced with a major dilemma.


How Does Yunus Train Kiu?

Yunus tries training Kiu the hard way and does not give him prince-like treatment. He makes him craft his own stick for the game, carefully carving it out from the wood. The ecstatic Yunus also made Kiu buy alcohol for him and do all the other odd chores. Later, he talks about the black money circulation in JBS and how he was kicked out of the institution in 2006, despite being a champion. Money really does prevail over talent in the modern world. While in training, some of Yunus’ frenzy had been passed on to Kiu, as he was randomly seen challenging a foreigner at his bar. Yunus realizes that the boy has immense talent when he notices him during the match. Later, Kiu tells Yunus that he has a leg condition that prevents him from standing for prolonged hours, making it difficult for him to play. Yunus told him that he needed a special stick whose weight could be changed as per the angle of the cue ball. The two are seen quickly getting to work, making the stick, and realizing that the tournament was to be held the very next day.


What Will Happen In The Next Season?

We are likely to witness a zesty match between Dharma and Kiu in season 2! The question of whether Dharma would choose the righteous path or pick the wrong one for easy fame is yet to be explored. It is most likely that the emotional angle of the orphanage and the donations were made up by Faisal, so that Dharma would not be able to stand against him anymore. Faisal had set his expectations so high that he did not fear trampling the dreams and emotions of his own children. His greed for fame and power had blinded him to the extent of using unfair means to win the game. On the other hand, Kiu had chosen the path of righteousness. His father’s support and trainer’s dedication are sure to be beneficial for him in the long run! His desperation to win the tournament so that he could support his father is so noble. Despite having immense talent, he is not thirsty for the fame that Faisal craves! It would be a sin for Dharma to crush Kiu’s expectations with his unfair advantage. We are yet to see if Dharma uses his moral sportsman spirit to win the game or just goes by his father’s whims. There is, however, a maximum possibility for the streetside genius, Kiu, to overpower Dharma in the game in the next season.


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Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti’s obsession with creativity and travel fervor has helped her branch out into the entertainment genre. Her love for psychological thrillers helps her get a daily dose of adrenaline. A regular caricature of the films and its characters is what keeps her going!

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