SPOILERS AHEAD FOR BOTH NOW YOU SEE ME & NOW YOU SEE ME 2
Ever since Thaddeus Bradley was a little kid, he’s loved magic. In his teens, he became a magician and was taken in to train with a man named Lionel Shrike, a world class magician. Lionel was obsessed with this idea of a secret cabal of magicians called the Eye and Thaddeus became enthralled in getting into the organization as well. Lionel betrays Thaddeus in order to enter this group, opening Thaddeus’s eyes to the corruption of the magician and that industry. Thaddeus begins to clean up the industry by exposing the tricks of these eye agents who have overrun and are stealing from the world. He even exposes Lionel, resulting in Lionel’s death by the eye attempting to prove himself and stay within the Eye. Thaddeus discovers the Eye is actually an illuminati that has been controlling basically everything. Thaddeus continues cleaning the industry until the Eye sends their “four horsemen” group to win over audiences and destroy Thaddeus as he is ruining everything the Eye has planned for total global control, by using mass media “magicians” to enchant the audience and world into thinking there’s nothing wrong. As the horseman J. Daniel Atlas says and Thaddeus discovers, “Look closer, because the more you think you see, the easier it will be to fool you.” Thaddeus begins working with Dylan Rhodes, an FBI agent who is hunting the horsemen for the crimes they’re committing for the Eye (bank robberies, fraud, etc.) Thaddeus discovers the plan and begins trying to stop them. Just as Thaddeus is about to stop the horsemen, he is betrayed by Rhodes, Lionel’s son and member of the Eye, and they frame him. Rhodes blames Braddley for his father’s death. The Eye has silenced Thaddeus Bradley and the world is theirs for the taking.. or is it?
18 months later, the Eye reinitiates the Horsemen and sets them up with a new show and plot. Thaddeus has been searching up on them and gaining as much information as he possibly can to be able to clear his name and stop the Eye. He receives a call from Arthur Tressler, a businessman screwed over by the Horsemen and a former cohort of Bradley. Arthur recruits Bradley to join him, his son, and the twin brother of one of the Horsemen in getting revenge and taking a computer chip that has the ability to expose not just the Horsemen, but the Eye. The Horsemen, however, are already trying to steal it. Bradley works with their plan, which is to disrupt their act and expose Dylan Rhodes, who has been controlling the FBI’s Horsemen manhunt, as the fifth horsemen & that Jack Wilder is alive. The FBI are now on the hunt to catch Rhodes, and Bradley’s team separate Rhodes from the horsemen. The Horsemen hear about Walter Tressler’s plan to get the chip before them and proceed to steal the chip. Rhodes breaks Bradley, after he unveils he was involved,out of jail in the hopes that Bradley will reveal who took the Horsemen and where are they. Bradley proceeds to take him to Macau, where the chip is and the plan falls into apparent place. Bradley has captured Rhodes, blinded by his emotions, and sends him to Tressler, who attempts to kill him in the same way his father died. Bradley, however, saves Rhodes by supplying him with a watch that is actually a lock pick. Bradley has become a wild card, diverting the FBI and helping the Horsemen in the darkest hour. Why? Because the truth is that Bradley and Lionel Shrike were partners, best friends, and it was all an act gone wrong. Both were members of the Eye, and Bradley would separate possible agents from the fakes. Thaddeus Bradley had goated Lionel in order to make him bigger and the competition smaller. After Shrike’s death, he’s been exposing magicians in both guilt & to find the truly worthy agents. Braddley betrays Tressler and reveals everything to Rhodes, who is Lionel Shrike’s son. Braddley has been the leader of the Eye for decades and now, after helping the horsemen take down Tressler, and keeping the chip, which was already in the possession of the Eye. Braddley reveals all to the Horsemen and gives them the keys to all they need in the Eye. He also make Rhodes the new head of the Eye and quietly retires.