If you are like me, you have probably been following A Shop for Killers for the past four weeks and might be puzzled by yesterday’s finale, which raised a lot of questions.
My intense hyperfixation means that I have spent an awful amount of time watching this drama and thinking about it. Here are my thoughts on the finale and its possible meaning.
Up until this point, we have seen Ji An grow from a brash, somewhat unfeeling young adult into a young woman who takes initiative and isn’t above violence when pushed into a corner.
She was introduced to us as a silent, mischievous child who learned about loss at a young age. It was sad to see her grow into a mostly stoic college student who had to grapple with loss again when her only guardian was killed.
The series takes place over the course of a day, but every episode has lots of flashbacks, which provide context on what is happening.
I appreciated these flashbacks because they gave us context from different characters’ points of view, making it a more immersive experience.
The plot of the drama is essentially about a scorned murderous leech who mobilizes the men under his control to wage war on a person who put him in his place – This person is Jung Ji Man (played by Lee Dong Wook).
When they’re successful in killing her uncle and her parents, they decide to also kill her. Then, word gets out, and everyone wants a piece of the pie, including his former employers and sworn enemy, who lead the band of antagonists.
Ji An, unaware of her uncle’s real identity, must struggle for her life while learning to differentiate between friends and foes.
In the final episode, Ji An is able to dissuade the mercenaries from continuing their attack by offering them incentives. As expected, they take the offer and disembark.
While still reeling from the events of the past 24 hours, Ji An sees a bus heading towards her house. Angry and defeated, she starts running towards it with a single weapon, but the passengers reveal they are part of the cleanup crew.
As the cleanup is underway, Ji An sees another vehicle heading towards the house. It turns out to be her uncle’s friend who had initially dropped her off at home when she learned her uncle was dead. Another passenger steps out and then we see it’s Jung Ji Man, who was believed to be dead, bruised but clearly alive.
I was initially confused by this twist, but it makes sense that her uncle would still be alive, given the primary theme of the drama. It feels fitting that he should be the one to end Bale’s life, the main antagonist.
The drama might be renewed for a second season, as her uncle being alive indicates there’s more to the story. If not, my theory is that her uncle might have planned the incident as a test for her, although this theory is shaky given the losses incurred.
What do you think? Have you watched A Shop for Killers? Are you excited for a possible Season 2? Let me know in the comments.
And don’t forget to check out the related post for even more recommendations that will keep you glued to your screen for hours.