Netflix’s Togo (2022) follows the titular fearless old-timer who stands against the rising drug mafia to defend his turf and his livelihood.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Togo kicks off with a homeless old man hitting the bed under a tree on a cardboard sheet, covering himself with a shabby blanket.
Moments later, two men on a motorcycle stop by, shoot multiple rounds and set aflame the place where the man just lay down to sleep.
Cut to two weeks earlier and the story of how the homeless man arrived at his seemingly brutal end begins. Togo is a gruff-looking, no-nonsense homeless guy whose livelihood is run by attending to the cars in the parking lot.
It’s a relatively peaceful and quiet neighbourhood, with the residents all very familiar and trusting of Togo, who is not only quite independent but able-bodied despite his old age and a limping leg.
Milton is Togo’s acquaintance and despite being in a wheelchair, he also survives off his car attending and parking work in the block adjacent to Togo’s.
Recently, the neighbourhood is being increasingly raided by a new drug dealing gang and Togo’s block also stands at risk with each passing day.
The drug mafia uses young homeless men to act as their local dealers. After a young homeless guy is shanked to death by the top brass of the drug mafia — a scene Togo witnesses himself — stakes get even higher.
Meanwhile, a young girl who has fled from her rich household insists that she’ll stay homeless, near Togo, helping him out and learning tricks of the trade.
An initially reluctant Togo eventually agrees to have her as an assistant but the conditions for a sheltered and young girl like her are not ideal in a place rife with violence.
Togo is aware of the fact and with the mafia increasingly closing in on his and Milton’s block. First, the lackeys try to convince Togo to either join them or give up the block, and then the boss himself arrives and proposes an offer himself.
Togo refuses all the offers. He has a livelihood to maintain and a daughter, about the same age as the girl that now lives the occasionally homeless life with him.
His daughter is recovering in rehab and soon the gang also track her down, albeit being unable to inflict any harm on her.
The levy breaks for Togo when his friend Milton stops coming to work and when he checks up on him at his home, he sees that Milton was roughed up by the gang members.
The former boxer and an all-time badass Togo decides to step up and beats two homeless youngins trying to scare him away from his own turf.
The struggle between the gang and the homeless old man intensifies and the latter, meanwhile, tells Mercedes to stay at her house for a while.
Cut to the opening scene of the film, it’s revealed that Togo survived the shooting and the arson by climbing up the tree. Togo disappears for a couple of days and later returns to disfigure the young gang members first.
Then he heads off to the location of the boss and finally confronts him, decking him with his cane, punching him, and knocking his teeth out before he tells him to stay away from his block.
Mercedez returns to check up on the old man, who has now bought a home for his daughter and himself.
The perils that come with Togo’s livelihood are seemingly not over yet as he’s still as vigilant as ever and the risks of a new foe or returning foes linger on.
Togo ending explained in detail:
Is Togo able to defend his block?
Against pretty unbelievable odds, Togo does succeed in earning his block back from the drug dealing gang, despite his disability and old age.
The titular hero was a boxer before his accident and his subsequent homelessness. However, that alone isn’t enough of an explanation behind his sheer bravado against the brutal and dangerous gang.
Despite a daughter who’s recently recovered from her fatal drug addiction; a friend who quit working because he got roughed up by the gang; a vulnerable young girl who seeks a parental figure in him also being unsafe from the gang; Togo takes the perilous route and defies all odds.
The car attendant also succeeds in making the gang retreat without any help and with nothing but his brawling skills against young blood and even firepower.
Togo does defend his block but what is the power that’s driving him to defend it so fiercely and so stubbornly? The answer might simply be survival.
Togo leads a homeless life while working hard day and night to earn a living. A considerable part of his earnings probably goes towards his daughter’s rehab while he’s also looking to buy a new home when she fully recovers.
Amidst a lot of struggles, he has to keep up with the challenges that present themselves on a daily basis. It’s evident that the old man wants to start anew and ensure his and his daughter’s survival.
This desperate need for survival is what drives Togo, pushing him to stand, even if with a limp, against those trying to impede his livelihood
What happens to Mercedez in the end?
Mercedez belongs to a rather opulent family, hailing from conditions that can’t be more in contrast with those of her homeless guardian/tutor/colleague.
She’s a troubled teen, estranged from her parents who are old and not entirely capable of understanding her struggles and caring for her. Mercedez is also on medication for depression, which she quits when she flees from home.
Togo looks after her, teaches her the car parking and attending work, and eventually safeguards her against the narcos. He also learns of his depression problem and later on tells her to go back to her house.
At the end of the film, Mercedez returns to check up on her car attendant mentor and resume her work. She looks visibly better and healthier than before, revealing that she is now seeing a therapist as well.
Are the Narcos off the block by the end?
The titular protagonist of this Netflix feature does manage to heroically stand up against the Narcos trying to take over his block.
Despite their numbers and weapons, for an aged and experienced Togo, they’re just dumb rookies pestering him and his livelihood.
The narcos and their boss all taste a bloody defeat and seem to have left the turf belonging to the old man they took so lightly.
However, drug dealing is not restricted to one or two or a few blocks, it’s an epidemic and narcos are always on a hunt for new territories to conquer.
It’s possible that Togo might have to defend his turf from new players again. It’s also possible that the narcos he defeated return to exact their revenge and take over the block.
From the cautious manner in which Togo looks on at passing cars at the end of the film, it’s clear that the dangers never cease when you’re fighting to survive in such harsh conditions.