Class Act (2023) summary and ending explained

Class Act follows Bernard Tapie, a highly ambitious man who succeeds in making a name for himself. The series is now streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Bernard Tapie is a man whose father sets up heating systems in people’s houses, but Bernard refuses to follow in his footsteps. Bernard dreams big, and he wishes to be known all over France one day. 

He takes a loan and records an album, but it does not give him the recognition he wants. In 1970, his failed music career and debt do not discourage him. Bernard has a wife, Michelle, and a daughter, Stéphanie, but no money. Even when others around him do not believe in his vision, he does not give up on being successful.

Bernard meets a rich man named Mr. Loiseau and convinces him to invest in his business. With his help, Bernard opens a subscription-based electronics store where people get to buy household appliances at a much cheaper rate.

Bernard’s store is a success, and it makes him a lot of money. However, Bernard falls in love with Dominique, Mr. Loiseau’s secretary, despite Mr. Loiseau’s warnings. This leads to Mr. Loiseau taking Bernard to court and accusing him of mismanagement. 

Mr. Loiseau gets to keep the business, while Bernard is paid a small sum and is forced to leave the store that was his brainchild. The court also prohibits him from owning a business. On top of that, Mr. Loiseau tells Bernard’s family about his affair, and Michelle leaves Bernard.

Bernard can no longer see his daughter without either Michelle or his own parents being present. He moves in with Dominique and plans to start a new business, Heart Assistance, with her and a doctor named Serge.  

Bernard’s new business aims to respond to and provide timely assistance to people having a heart attack, as most people who die of a heart attack in Paris die because they fail to get help in time. However, Bernard’s recklessness and his drive to become successful at any cost almost lead to a man’s death, resulting in Serge leaving Heart Assistance.

Heart Assistance becomes yet another failure in Bernard’s life. Bernard then starts working with his father and mends his relationship with Michelle, who is no longer angry with him and allows him to see his daughter more frequently.

When Dominique tries to end her relationship with Bernard, he realizes that he has given up on his dreams. He consults Mr. Loiseau’s lawyer, and after some more research, he decides to buy Diguet-Deny, a paper company that Bernard buys with one franc.

By 1976, Bernard and Dominique turn Diguet-Deny into a profitable company. Apart from being rich, Dominique and Bernard are also pregnant. They then wish to buy Wonder, a big company that Dominique’s friend’s boyfriend, Alexis, has his eyes on.

Although Alexis is offering a huge sum of money to buy Wonder, Bernard and Dominique manage to get the deal by promising to not fire any employee, which would have happened if Alexis had bought the company.

However, they soon find out that they are in debt. They are then forced to sell Diguet-Deny, and all the employees at Diguet-Deny lose their jobs. In 1986, Bernard is a rich man and starts his own live TV show.

This is also the time when Wonder employees are protesting against Bernard’s redundancy plan, which has put their jobs at stake. On the day of the show’s first episode, the employees take Bernard’s father hostage to get Bernard to talk to them.

Bernard comes to an agreement with the workers, and they let his father go, allowing Bernard to successfully launch his show. Bernard’s TV show gets the attention of the President of France, who asks Bernard to join politics.

Bernard, who now owns Adidas and has become a symbol of success, goes on to become the Minister of Urban Affairs. Bernard does not pay heed to Dominique’s warnings about the losses they are facing and refuses to sell Adidas.

At the same time, an old associate of Bernard, Charles Coupant, sues Bernard, resulting in a scandal. The president calls Bernard to discuss a defense strategy against Coupant, and as Bernard lets the reporters present there hear the conversation, the news breaks that the president asked Bernard to put pressure on the judiciary.

Bernard is then asked to resign after being the Minister of Urban Affairs for less than two months. At a time like this, Bernard chooses to trust Dominique, who sells Adidas and settles the case without taking it to court. 

Bernard then turns his attention to Olympique de Marseille, the football team that he owns, leaving Dominique to take care of their business. When Bernard comes to know that he can be the mayor of Marseille if his team wins the Champions League, he decides to make it happen in any way possible.

As a result, Dominique decides to leave him. Bernard tries to earn Dominique’s forgiveness, and his efforts bear fruit. She returns to be with him again and agrees to marry him when he proposes.

Bernard had earlier asked the team’s general manager, Jean-Pierre Bernès, to fix a match against Valenciennes. Jacques Glassmann, one of the players who were bribed to lose the match, files a complaint against Jean-Pierre after his team loses.

Olympique de Marseille wins the Champions League, and Bernard joins the left radicals to become the next mayor of Marseille and later the president of the country. On the other hand, when his complaint is not taken seriously, Jacques Glassmann takes legal action against Jean-Pierre Bernès.

Class Act ending explained in detail:

Does Montgolfier find proof against Bernard? 

Prosecutor Éric de Montgolfier meets Jacques regarding the match-fixing case and warns him that Olympique de Marseille will try to discredit him and he will be the one who will end up paying the price, but Glassmann does not back out.

Jean-Pierre Bernès is then summoned by the prosecutor, who investigates and finds 250,000 francs in Christophe Robert’s aunt’s garden. 

As Glassmann had told Montgolfier that Christophe Robert was one of the players who were bribed by Jean-Pierre, the money that was found buried in Robert’s aunt’s garden proves that Glassmann has been telling the truth.

Does Bernard confess?

When Bernard finds out that Jean-Pierre has been summoned by Montgolfier, he pays Montgolfier a visit to bribe him. Bernard does not know that Montgolfier has found the money.

Montgolfier acts like he does not know anything, and Bernard makes up stories to prove Jean-Pierre’s innocence, not knowing that Montgolfier is aware of his intentions.

Finally, Montgolfier reveals that he knows that Bernard was also involved in the scandal, and this visit further proves that. He asks Bernard to confess to his crime to get a lenient punishment or be proven guilty later and be sent to prison.

Bernard still claims innocence, but Montgolfier believes that somewhere in his heart, Bernard wants justice. He also reminds Bernard that if he goes to prison, the public will see Tapie, the man who inspires others to dream, going to prison, but he still fails to get Bernard to confess.

Is Bernard found guilty?

In 1997, Bernard’s father drives him to prison. It turns out that after a months-long trial, Bernard was found guilty and sentenced to 8 months in prison, a sentence that Montgolfier had requested.

Bernard’s father thinks that he failed him. Furthermore, Bernard had told Dominique the whole truth about the scandal on the day of the wedding, and she continued to stand by his side. Bernard now wants to give up politics, business, and TV.

He wants to cash out whatever is left and go away with his wife, children, and his parents. He believes that it is one’s life that defines one’s name. He became the man everyone knows as Bernard Tapie, and he counts that as an achievement.

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