Ooh, I love this ending. Since most of us have found the final reveal regarding the big bad somewhat expected, I’m thrilled to realize it wasn’t actually the final reveal — hello, twist!
This finale managed to do a tricky thing: Tie up the loose ends to satisfy the seasonal mystery, while leaving room open for that Season 2 the PD once again affirmed is on the table. And why not? The story supports it, as do the ratings — the final episode also brought in a series high, with a 3.34% ratings average that included a 4.3% high.
SONG OF THE DAY
Dynamic Duo – “사선에서 (In The Line Of Fire)” [ Download ]
EPISODE 12: “Finale, Part 2″
Vampire on the run. Tae-yeon drives, weakened from lack of sustenance and fighting visions of blood. Mm, yum. Then it’s visions of the recent past, being framed by Prosecutor Jang.
Prosecutor Jang is now in charge of the case, and a new victim has turned up. Soon-bum argues that this proves Tae-yeon couldn’t have been the guy, but Prosecutor Jang says it could be a copycat, or an accomplice. Dammit, why couldn’t Tae-yeon argue that last night?
Soon-bum says that Prosecutor Jang sure talks like he wants Tae-yeon to be guilty, which gets turned around on him: Does Soon-bum want Prosecutor Jang to be guilty? Ooh, can I answer that? Pick me, pick me!
Prosecutor Jang asks sarcastically if they really think he’s a vampire who drank all the blood from those bodies, and when you put it like that, the only sane response is to say no, of course not. He assures the team that he’s here to find the real killer and the truth. And this is the point when he gets the call that Tae-yeon has escaped. That calls…for the whole goddamned SWAT team, apparently. Yeesh.
Even Jung-in thinks her boss is being excessive with Tae-yeon, while Soon-bum can only clench his jaw with frustration. It gets worse for him, with the young-faced SWAT team leader talking down to him and calling him by one of Soon-bum’s old nicknames, Mapo Wacko.
Prosecutor Jang is feeling pretty smug because Tae-yeon grabbed some case files on his way out, among them a CD he’d planted for the express purposes of tracking him down. Dayum. He must’ve been plotting this entrapment for a while to think that far ahead.
Tae-yeon sneaks into the latest crime scene, where the others were earlier today, and takes a taste of the victim’s blood. In the vision: A hand holding a bloody business card — Tae-yeon’s — with the handwritten note he himself had scrawled on it: “Please give me a call.” It’s the card he’d stuck in the Bread Lawyer’s door when she’d gone missing.
At Manhunt Central, Dong-man looks wistfully at that group photo they’d taken a couple weeks ago (at Love Village, appropriately), then starts when his computer screen beeps. It’s the tracker finding a signal from the CD, and he hurriedly covers his reaction from Prosecutor Jang, who is, alas, too eagle-eyed to miss it. Dong-man blusters that it’s nothing, that he was just exercising his eyeballs, but there’s no fooling the boss.
How much do I love that Tae-yeon’s team is loyal to him, despite attempts to make him into the big bad vamp? Further proving that point is how Jung-in and Soon-bum jump into their car to find Tae-yeon before the SWAT team can.
Tae-yeon sits in a PC room reading through the info on the file, taking in the info on him, his sister, and the blood doc. As he scrolls through the info, the SWAT team bursts into the PC room where the CD is transmitting and apprehend their quarry… who turns out to be some kid. Tae-yeon had given him the CD and asked him to email the info on it, HA!
What makes it funnier is that Tae-yeon’s actually just around the corner, in a different PC room. He walks off in broad daylight while pissy SWAT leader kicks over some garbage. The only person to catch a fleeting glimpse of him is Jung-in, who keeps her reaction contained as Prosecutor Jang arrives on the scene. SWAT leader reports that they lost him, and Soon-bum smugly corrects him — he didn’t lose him ’cause he never had him in the first place.
That leaves only one place for Tae-yeon to turn: blood bar. Ha, it’s actually named Club Blood? Why are we only seeing this now? We could’ve had eleven episodes of punny goodness. Tae-yeon staggers in, seriously weakened, and drags himself to the bar — where Dr. Blood gasps in pain, stabbed in the gut.
Tae-yeon rushes to stanch the wound, and Doc gasps, “All the blood got stolen.” Geez, so Jang’s playing hardball, is that it? Outside, SWAT officers surround the club, guns drawn.
Tae-yeon wants to get him emergency medical treatment, but Doc tells him it’s too late. He knows he’s not long for the world and warns that Tae-yeon’s in danger. He insists: “Drink my blood. Drink it, and catch that bastard.” Damn, that’s touching. Tae-yeon refuses but the doc pleads, like it it’s a favor to him in his last moments, and with the SWAT team storming the building, Doc grabs Tae-yeon and begs.
With a tear running down his face, Tae-yeon vamps out. When the SWAT leader comes upon the bar, the doc is dead. But Tae-yeon’s still in the club, and two officers corner him. Tae-yeon wipes blood from his mouth and easily fights them off, strong again. The club’s the perfect place for this kind of closed-quarters fighting that favors Tae-yeon, since the officers trickle in one by one and get immediately neutralized.
He grabs the leader, hand to throat, and gives him a warning to convey to Jang: “Stop chasing me down. When the time comes, I’ll find him.”
He leaves the club, only to find one more person waiting for him: Jung-in, who levels a gun at his back and asks him to stop this. She urges him to handle this a different (legal) way: “We’ve done well together all this time.”
He turns back and approaches her, then places a hand over hers — a moment of connection, bringing tears to her eyes — and lowers the gun. With a wry smile, he tells her to carry around a real gun rather than a gas one, then walks away.
Jang loses his temper at the news, and SWAT leader promises to get Tae-yeon for sure next time. But he adds that Tae-yeon is no average opponent, and asks for permission to fire. Jang gives it — just don’t kill him.
That night, Jang gets a call on Tae-yeon’s cell phone, which was surrendered as evidence. He picks up and asks, “Where are you?” We don’t hear any more to the exchange.
Another dead body turns up near the river, his throat bearing vampy fang marks. The call to Tae-yeon’s cell came from the dead man’s phone, which is one more tick against him. But we know — because we saw in the moments before the dead guy was attacked — that this is the work of our elusive vampire, not Tae-yeon. The attacker was holding the same bloody business card last seen by the previous victim.
Tae-yeon sneaks in a call to Soon-bum, which isn’t all that sneaky because it’s being tapped by the prosecutor. Oh, please tell me you know this, Tae-yeon. He asks for a favor and Soon-bum gets blood samples from the most recent victims from the coroner, whom he swears to secrecy. Soon-bum then makes the most obvious exit from Manhunt Central ever, trying to play off his rendezvous as work-related research.
Jang lets him go easily — never a good sign — and the moment Soon-bum leaves, he mobilizes his team. Cameras monitor the crowded shopping center, with men in plainclothes on the ground. Jung-in’s shocked at the level to which Jang is pursuing Tae-yeon, but he tells her a good prosecutor has to be sharp enough to think this far ahead.
Soon-bum’s dense enough to think he’s safe, as he assures Tae-yeon when he gets the call. Tae-yeon, on the other hand, replies: “Me? I’m someplace else, naturally.” Haha. And phew! He directs Soon-bum to give the package to a man nearby who knows where to find Tae-yeon, which doesn’t seem like that much more clever an evasion — but for now Jang orders his team to wait, wanting to know where the man leads them.
Soon-bum approaches that stranger, who says he was just following somebody’s instructions, and surprises Soon-bum by clocking him in the face. The SWAT agents descend on the stranger, ignoring Jang’s insistence to stand by, and Soon-bum spots the cell phone that gets dropped in the scuffle. He answers the incoming call — and to Manhunt Central’s extreme frustration, they can’t hear it. Because it’s not Soon-bum’s bugged phone. Booyah! Okay, now that IS clever. I knew my hot vampire would come through.
Turns out Tae-yeon is in the mall after all, watching all this unfold. He chides Soon-bum (“I told you to be careful!”) and then triggers a switch — which knocks out the cameras covering Soon-bum’s location. It takes a few moments for the SWAT guys to restore functionality. Tae-yeon directs Soon-bum into a store, which gets him immediately tailed by agents. Tae-yeon jokes, “You’ve got nine tails on you — what are you, a gumiho?” Now for him to cut each tail, one by one.
Soon-bum doesn’t have the nerves for this and wants to just hand over the package to Tae-yeon directly, which is why he is not the head of his unit. Tae-yeon argues that Soon-bum can’t hand Jang proof of his abetting a fugitive, which earns him a gushy, “Tae-yeon-ah, I like you so much!”
So Tae-yeon directs Soon-bum round and round the shopping mall, then sneaks up behind his tails to knock them out, then disable their cameras. Jang stews in his control room, knowing Tae-yeon’s there but watching each camera go out in turn.
Jung-in realizes that the men have been given permission to use live ammo, and challenges Jang on the call, who ignores her. Tae-yeon disarms the men, then disables their guns, smooth as you please. Jang’s blood pressure goes up a few notches.
This leads everyone to the parking garage. Soon-bum huddles, agents prowl with guns out, and Tae-yeon literally walks up to one and taps him on the shoulder. Haha. Down he goes.
One more agent downed, one more camera line cut. And then, the last agent comes up behind Tae-yeon. Caught.
Tae-yeon lifts his arms in surrender, but the agent is either dumb or doesn’t realize Tae-yeon’s more dangerous up close because he lets him back up toward him — at which point it’s an easy thing to knock him out.
Tae-yeon finds Soon-bum and they make the hand-off. Soon-bum gives him one interesting clue the coroner lady picked up on. Upon examining all the bodies unearthed at that mass grave, there were two types of fang indentations: one set large, one set smaller. They conclude what we already know, that two vamps are on the loose.
Soon-bum adorably asks what he can do to help, and Tae-yeon tells him not to die. Soon-bum adds that if he needs blood to drink, let him know — he’ll be happy to draw some of his own. Omg, that’s so cute.
Soon-bum leaves him with words of confidence: “We’re always on your side.” That stops him — the use of that word “we,” which Jung-in had also used outside the club. Huh. So the Lone Ranger isn’t so alone. Tae-yeon says, “Those are great words to hear.” They split up, and Tae-yeon heads out…and gets a gun to his back. One last SWAT agent after all, this time the leader.
Tae-yeon whirls, just as the gun fires. Bullet lands in his shoulder. Enough to hurt, but not to stop him.
Soon-bum finds the defeated team at their car, all wearing a matching set of bruises, and can’t help chuckling. He gets a slap for his cheek (hur hur), but I’m thinking it was worth it.
Tae-yeon steals into a medical office for bullet removal, then turns to the blood samples. First vial: Victim’s dying eyes saw a sign for Hana Gosiwon. Second vial: Nambu Gosi-hagwon and a student’s nametag.
Prosecutor Jang takes a literal bloodbath at home — what, is this the equivalent of rich people bathing in Perrier? Ha. He flashes back to recent killings, and for the first time we see the face behind the vampire’s hood. As we suspected, it’s Jang who sank his teeth into Tae-yeon’s sire (lawyer Park Hoon) years ago and killed him, and also who kidnapped Bread Lawyer.
By now Tae-yeon’s doubled over in pain, dealing with the blood-vision side effects, but he moves on to vial three: Another dying victim gives him a glimpse at the same nametag, and then her face. Tae-yeon’s sister, alive. Wait, what? How can this be? What does this mean? The vamp is going around killing people, who saw her in her last moments? Oh crap. Is this what I think it is? Smaller fangs, oh shit.
Jang emerges from his bath and dresses. Turns. Freezes to see Tae-yeon in his home, glaring. Both men vamp out as they fight hard, and as we know, Mr. Hoody’s just as strong, if not stronger.
Tae-yeon demands to know what he’s done with Yeon-ji. Jang argues that they have to join forces to track her down — if not, they risk the world finding out about vampire existence. Tae-yeon argues that he saw his sister’s corpse, but Jang says it disappeared. Tae-yeon asks if Jang turned his sister, and gets back an explanation for two ways of vampire turning: Either you receive vampire blood (as Jang did), or you become a vampire’s first victim. Like what happened when newly turned Jang escaped the hospital, stumbled across a young girl outside, and turned her.
(Side note: Is there hope for Doctor Vampy after all? Season 2, here we come?)
And that’s when the problems started, because Yeon-ji had a thirst for feeding. Tae-yeon is horrified: “So you locked her up in a warehouse, like a dog?” But Jang argues that that’s the best he could do, feeding her society’s “bad blood” that had slipped through the cracks of the justice system, and that letting evildoers go corrupts society.
Tae-yeon argues, “That’s why there’s the law! And we’re prosecutors who protect that law!” Jang: “We’re also vampires who need human blood to survive.”
More fighting. Both sides fall, exhausted. Jang says that the complication arose with the abduction of Bread Lawyer, whom he’d kidnapped to take for Yeon-ji’s feeding. But the girl had found Tae-yeon’s card in the woman’s wallet and recognized her brother’s name. After seven years of never attempting to leave the warehouse, Yeon-ji bolted, looking for oppa. Oh, why is this so sad?
Jang reminds him of the significance of the recent murder sites, like Hana Gosiwon — it’s the boardinghouse where they lived while Tae-yeon was studying for the bar. Nambu Gosi-hagwon is the law cram school where Yeon-ji had gone daily to find oppa. Then an apartment building — which was where their former orphanage was located.
And the fourth location? The Han River, a place Yeon-ji had never been to, where Tae-yeon had promised to take her on a day off.
Jang says he wasn’t trying to track him down to arrest him — he was trying to find him so they could track down the girl as soon as possible. Arguing that it’s safer for Jang to bring her to his home than for Tae-yeon, he asks for more places where Yeon-ji would go.
Tae-yeon sheds silent tears throughout Jang’s explanation, and tells him the name of a pier. It’s the site of the peaceful flashbacks we’ve seen scattered throughout the drama, with Yeon-ji and Tae-yeon smiling happily, where they’d gone the day before she died. That also explains why Jang couldn’t find her, because that’s not something that would’ve turned up in his research.
Jang thanks him and staggers off to find her, promising to let him know when he finds Yeon-ji. He leaves Tae-yeon sitting in shock inside, then heads out to give the sign to the SWAT agents outside — no need to keep him alive anymore, eh?
Agents surround Tae-yeon and apprehend him, leading him out in handcuffs. Soon-bum and Jung-in arrive and are told by Prosecutor Jang that the law has to be upheld, the smarmy bastard. Jung-in looks Tae-yeon in the eye and tells him that if he says he’s telling the truth, she’ll help him. He doesn’t say anything.
Then Soon-bum takes an angry swing at Tae-yeon, knocking him down and accusing him of betrayal, yadda yadda, all while surreptitiously slipping a key into his hand and flashing him a huge smile. So cute, these two.
It only takes seconds for Tae-yeon to undo the cuffs and Soon-bum helps knock down the agents, while even Dong-man jumps in and tries to secure Tae-yeon’s escape. That’s ridiculously cute — he’s totally ineffectual, of course, but it’s the thought that counts.
While the two manchildren distract the SWAT agents, Jung-in darts off after Tae-yeon.
Jang gets the call while he’s driving, and since the agents got a read on the escape vehicle’s plates, Jang orders them tracked. Just as he does, he spots that very car in his mirrors — Tae-yeon’s on his tail. And on Tae-yeon’s tail is Jung-in. Oh god, I don’t have happy vibes about this three-way chase, which is how we started off this series — the vamp, chased by the vamp, chased by the righteous prosecutor… They’re not going for total parallelism, right? ‘Cause, um, that would just be lazy, yeah. Or something.
Jung-in pulls up next to his car and yells to Tae-yeon, which sends him into a flashback of the opening scene. Aw, crap.
The high-speed threeway takes them through highways and intersections, until finally Jang jackknifes his car, screeching to a halt in the road. Tae-yeon slams on the brakes and rams the body… and in another creepy echo of the first scene, Jung-in also brakes, her car pops a wheelie, and flips upside down.
It starts raining. Jung-in’s bloody and groggy, trying to peer out of her smashed seat. Jang staggers out of his car and grabs Tae-yeon, shoving him against the open door.
They grapple at each other’s throats, and then Jang pulls out a silver knife — the same way he killed that law firm CEO. Tae-yeon tries to keep the blade away, but it’s a close one and sooner or later one of them has got to tire first.
And then, a shot. Jang is hit in the arm. Jung-in has taken Tae-yeon’s advice after all and gotten a real gun. Ooh, I love this. Jang staggers, then grabs a lighter out of his pocket — Tae-yeon’s, taken from that Lawyer Vamp — and flings it out toward Jung-in’s car.
Tae-yeon shouts, “No!” but it ignites the pooled gasoline and gives Jang time to stagger off. Tae-yeon flashes back to his memory of being turned — will he be tempted? But it seems the temptation is more about letting one person go, and he screams at the indignity of letting Jang escape, because of course he’s going to save Jung-in.
He makes it to Jung-in’s side and drags her out of the car, carrying her to safety. He thanks her and they share a smile over the prescience of his live ammo advice, and he advises her to head straight to the hospital. With that, he heads off to take care of his unfinished business.
Tae-yeon catches up to Prosecutor Jang at the pier. No sign of Yeon-ji. Tae-yeon asks what Jang plans to do after catching her, and he replies that he has to set the course straight. Tae-yeon bites out, “And who are you to do that?”
Jang fires back that Tae-yeon may be the non-blood-related oppa, “But I’m like her father! If not for me, she wouldn’t exist! I watched her for seven years. I’m the one who should look for her, and I’m the one who should punish her.” Meaning: She has to die.
There’s a twisted logic to Jang’s reasoning, and he hasn’t abandoned his principles entirely; he argues that what must be excised must be excised, “Because the law is the law.”
Tae-yeon tells him he has no right, and they fight. It’s brutal, and Tae-yeon doesn’t hold back. He grabs him and reminds him, “I told you before — if you want to live, turn yourself in. If not, I’d kill you.”
He pulls his arm back for a blow, but stops. Off in the distance, he sees someone — only what he sees is superimposed with the image of the healthy, human Yeon-ji as she races into his arms.
We see Tae-yeon in the present as he holds his sister, but our view of Yeon-ji’s face is the bygone one. Even when she then bites Tae-yeon’s neck, sending eyes flaring in pain.
Tae-yeon collapses, holding his neck. He looks up at Yeon-ji, still seeing the smiling-faced girl from before.
And then, a shot.
Vampire Yeon-ji is shot in the chest, by Jang. She falls, calling, “Oppa. I’m hurt.” She asks him to take her to the hospital (her last words to him seven years ago), saying he has to come for her this time. He promises to go with her, saying, “I won’t send you away alone.”
Jang picks up the girl to take her away, but before he can move a step, the pier is swarmed by SWAT agents, Jung-in, and Soon-bum. They order Jang to let the girl go. He can’t give her over, so he steps back and gets shot in the leg.
Tae-yeon reaches for her, pleading. He knows what Jang means to do and wants more time with his sister, but Jang jumps off the pier and splashes into the water. No sign of either body.
SWAT leader tries to stop Tae-yeon from leaving, saying he was a suspect too. Our team balks, and Soon-bum warns him with a slap to the face that’s pretty damn satisfying.
In the car ride away, Tae-yeon rests against Jung-in’s shoulder. She starts to reach for his hand but pulls back.
Time passes. In the middle of a busy Seoul street, Tae-yeon stands as the crowd moves on past him. He thinks, “Sometimes I imagine that perhaps they might still be alive. Or maybe another vampire exists.” And then a face in the crowd we recognize — it’s Dr. Blood, alive after all!
He continues, “Whether vampire or human, in this city full of people with their own desires and dreams, today I live one more day as a prosecutor. Pushing aside my own desires, judging others who’ve given in to their bad desires, I’m the vampire prosecutor.”
And with a sexy smirk, he’s off into the crowd.
Oh, so good. While the Prosecutor Jang angle was hardly a surprise, I loved that they gave us a couple twists upon that — like his hunt for Tae-yeon being about finding the rogue vampire, and also letting him take the fall. All series long I was expecting a fairly clear-cut villain’s psychology for the Hooded Vampire, so to see his tortured predicament play out on the pier was a nice, complex bonus. Jang is definitely villain material, but he’s also a victim, and like he says, he feels he’s taken on fatherhood to the girl. It’s both his fault she’s this way, but not his fault at all, thanks to Dr. Blood’s reckless experimenting.
Furthermore, Jang was definitely the right person — the only person — to end this chain of murders (even though he was also the facilitator), because it was clear that Tae-yeon wouldn’t be able to kill his sister. And as sad as her story is, as a vamp unable to control her blood urges, there was no way for this to end for her but sadly, was there? I loved the directorial decision to show Yeon-ji to us through Tae-yeon’s eyes, as an innocent girl, until it becomes clear she’s past the point of no return. Lovely choice.
So I’m completely satisfied with the close to this story arc, enough that if we don’t get another season, I’ll be happy with this as the ending. But if they could make this a multiple-season show? Hello, bliss.
That isn’t to say that the show was perfect, and there were a few early episodes that I thought were shaky. (Gorgeously shot, well-acted, and stylish as hell, but shaky in the plot development.) But the show found its legs and improved with every episode, whether it was dark and gripping, or drily hilarious. If every episode had a bit more vampiness — like these last two — I’d be thrilled, because even though this show is a damn stylin’ procedural without the paranormal element, it definitely gives it an edge.
It’ll be Season 2′s challenge (you know, if there is one) to be able to rustle up more mystery, now that this one’s been solved. Not that I worry that it can’t be done, because this wrap-up positions us nicely for another arc, with our Scooby Investigative Gang assembled — having actually proven loyalty to Tae-yeon, rather than just falling in line without challenging that group integrity first.
I’m not convinced that Dong-man was quick enough on the uptake to catch onto Tae-yeon’s vampy identity, but Jung-in is definitely almost there in connecting all the dots. I think she still has some disbelief-overcoming to do, but the pieces are in plain sight, and she’s shown that she’s sticking with him anyway. And I love that while the series has flirted with a potential romantic vibe there, that statement stands just as true without one. They’re a Bones-Booth couple for me, where the fun is in watching them dance around the pink elephant in the room and gradually building up the chemistry, rather than going all You’re My One and Only on us. I could watch this for seasons.
I love this ending! I expected a good one, but this was so badass and awesome, and… cute! What a satisfying conclusion to the season-long mystery and a great launchpad for future seasons. The finale provided some nice last-minute twists, wrapped up the big questions, put our hero through the wringer (bringing out a fantastic performance as a result) and even brought our team back together, stronger than ever. Sending Tae-yeon on the run for the finale was the perfect thing to ramp up the tension and separate him from his team, which had the awesome effect of making them all aware of how much they mean to each other.
His run-in with Jung-in and her dinky gas gun and the electrifying hand-touch? That killed me. I love that his advice to carry a real gun from now on ends up being the thing to save his life. Her big heroic moment in coming to his rescue had me jumping out of my seat in glee. I’m really happy with the amount of romantic advancing that we got in the finale – too much would’ve felt entirely too rushed and not in keeping with the characters. Them saving each other back and forth, and that sweet moment in the car when she can’t quite bring herself to touch his hand made squeal in delight for how far they’ve come, and their prospects for the future.
Tae-yeon’s friendship with Soon-bum continued to be the heart of the show right through to the end, providing a surprising amount of levity and adorableness that I wasn’t expecting for the action-packed finale. But boy, was I ever happy to have it. Their cuteness knows no bounds. And when Tae-yeon is extra badass in contrast to Soon-bum’s half-hero-worship, half-best-friend-love, I just want to squeeze them to death.
And to go out on a shallow note, Yeon Jung-hoon has never looked hotter. I may have missed entire plot points in this episode because I was gobsmacked, staring at the pretty. I’ve always liked him as an actor, but as the Vampire Prosecutor he was pitch-perfect all season long – stoic, then cheeky, then back to tortured, bursting with badassery, and then quietly vulnerable when alone. He was completely committed to his character, showing new range and dimension, and looking damn fine while doing it, too.
Season 2, are you here yet?
- Vampire Prosecutor: Episode 11
- Vampire Prosecutor: Episode 10
- Vampire Prosecutor: Episode 9
- Vampire Prosecutor: Episode 8
- Vampire Prosecutor: Episode 7
- Vampire Prosecutor: Episode 6
- Vampire Prosecutor: Episode 5
- Vampire Prosecutor: Episode 4
- Vampire Prosecutor: Episode 3
- Vampire Prosecutor: Episode 2
- Vampire Prosecutor: Episode 1