Hell Is Other People: Episode 10 (Final)
A murder story full of madness and mayhem finally comes to a close. The time has come for our hero to face off against the leader in a final showdown and with all the blood spilled up until now, it’s hard to say whether anyone will make out out alive.
EPISODE 10: “Gaslighting”
Responding to Moon-jo’s taunt that he’d kidnapped Ji-eun, Jong-woo arrives back at Eden Goshiwon. His army buddy Chang-hyun takes one look at the eerie building and grabs a nearby piece of scrap metal as a makeshift weapon. Before entering the building, Jong-woo calls Jung-hwa and she tries to convince him to wait for her, but he hangs up and walks inside.
Jung-hwa tells rookie Hyun-ho she’s heading to Eden. He informs her that the detectives found Hee-joong’s knife next to Reporter Jo’s body and are now looking for him as a suspect rather than a missing person. She sighs that it wouldn’t be that easy and orders Hyun-ho to call her if anything develops… and come after her if she doesn’t respond.
As Jong-woo leads the way upstairs, he warns Chang-hyun to run at the first sign of trouble. The reach the 3rd floor and it’s the opening footage to the drama as they creep down the hall to Jong-woo’s room. He finds the message on his laptop : “I’ve been waiting for you.” Jong-woo goes back into the hall and checks Nam-bok’s room, finding it literally stripped clean — pornographic wallpaper and all.
Returning to his own room, Jong-woo finds Chang-hyun passed out on his bed. He urges Chang-hyun to get up and realizes with horror that his friend had drank one of the health tonics left on Jong-woo’s desk. Chang-hyun mumbles sleepily that he can’t move his body just as the sound of a bouncing tennis ball echoes down the hallway.
Jong-woo quickly shuts his door and readies his knife as the sound nears. A shadow passes under the doorway… and moves past, down the hallway. Unfortunately, a book falls off Jong-woo’s bed and the footsteps turn back, stopping outside the door. Jong-woo holds his breath for a tense beat and then leaps back with a shout as a hatchet breaks through the door.
He continues screaming as Deuk-jeong hacks a hole into the door under Nam-bok’s supervision. Peeking through the gap, Deuk-jeong asks why Jong-woo is scared. He reaches inside and unlocks the door. Cowering by the desk, Jong-woo asks where Ji-eun is. Nam-bok and Deuk-jeong just giggle. Brandishing his knife, Jong-woo orders them to fetch Moon-jo.
The other two point to their right and Moon-jo pops his head in the doorway. “I knew you’d come back,” Moon-jo smiles. Jong-woo demands again to know where Ji-eun is, threatening to kill Moon-jo. Moon-jo nods and promises to release Ji-eun if Jong-woo kills Chang-hyun. Jong-woo is taken aback and Moon-jo tosses over the doll Jong-woo had given Ji-eun.
His eyes tear up as he turns to Chang-hyun, who’s regained enough faculties to ask what’s happening. He looks fearfully at Jong-woo and nervously asks if he’s really going to do it. Jong-woo holds up the knife and lets out a battlecry… before charging the men in the hallway. He’s easily apprehended and Moon-jo drags him into his own room, shutting them inside.
Deuk-jeong giggles and then advances on Chang-hyun with Nam-bok. He sits on the bed and teases Chang-hyun with the hatchet as Nam-bok chuckles. In the next room, Moon-jo throws Jong-woo around like a ragdoll, easily dodging all of Jong-woo’s counterattacks. He grabs a syringe, but Moon-jo deftly snatches it back and jabs it into Jong-woo’s shoulder.
They fight a bit more and then Jong-woo goes flying through the door. Once again we return to the opening footage as Moon-jo drags Jong-woo’s limp body down the hallway and Jong-woo’s voiceover plays: “This is the story I’ve been writing since I moved in here.” Passing his own room, we see Chang-hyun lying on the floor covered in blood as Deuk-jeong pulls back to swing the hatchet again.
Jong-woo continues to narrate that prior to Eden, he’d thought his world was hell. Now, he realizes this is the true hell as Moon-jo drags him upstairs and past the bloodied corpse of Seok-yoon. “Horrendous hell…” Jong-woo finishes, “created by strangers.”
Cut to Jong-woo’s family as his brother picks at kimbap while their mother cooks. She calls for Jong-woo and he bursts into the living room, muttering that he’s late. He rushes out the door with his suitcase and Mom is forced to chase him down to give him the kimbap she’d made for him. Mom nags him to eat regularly and then grows serious as she warns him against other people. “People are the scariest creatures,” she calls and in the present Jong-woo snaps awake.
He’s strapped to a chair on the 4th floor and he turns to see Ji-eun unconscious on the operating chair nearby. He desperately calls her name, but she doesn’t respond. Moon-jo plops down in front of him and Jong-woo screams at him, demanding to know what happened. Proudly holding up his charm bracelet of teeth, Moon-jo explains he was just trying to finish it and points to a tooth, identifying it as Ji-eun’s.
Moon-jo calmly tells a distraught Jong-woo that Ji-eun is alive, merely sedated. He clasps the tooth bracelet around Jong-woo’s wrist and says that he’ll spare him. A wicked smile spreads across Moon-jo’s face while outside, Jung-hwa arrives at Eden in the pouring rain. She immediately notices the blood on the floor and arms herself with her taser.
Bok-soon hears her calling for Jong-woo and steps out to greet her. Jung-hwa demands to see Jong-woo and Bok-soon snorts that he isn’t there. Keeping her taser pointed at Bok-soon, Jung-what shouts for Jong-woo to scream if he can hear her. Bok-soon tuts that Jung-hwa shouldn’t behave his way just as Deuk-jeong appears behind Jung-hwa.
Her phone rings and Jung-hwa turns just in time to tase Deuk-jeong as he lunges at her, answering a call from Hyun-ho as she does. Bok-soon charges her and slams Jung-hwa’s head into the wall, knocking her out cold as Hyun-ho frantically begs Jung-hwa to respond. Bok-soon hangs up the call and chides Deuk-jeong for messing up.
Deuk-jeong laughs that they’re leaving anyway. Bok-soon orders him to lock Jung-hwa up in the basement with Hee-joong. Deuk-jeong thinks the police will arrive soon and Bok-soon waves it off, saying she’ll handle it. He guesses she plans to act up again and she chuckles that she’d wanted to be an actress.
After leaving Jung-hwa in the basement, Deuk-jeong returns to the patrol car and he and Nam-bok drive it away. Meanwhile, Jung-hwa wakes up in the basement and panics. Soon her partner and Hyun-ho arrive and Bok-soon shows them her head is bleeding and claims Jung-hwa attacked her. Both men are skeptical and Hyun-ho takes particular offense to Bok-soon badmouthing Jung-hwa.
Hyun-ho insists on making sure Jung-hwa isn’t there, but his superior quickly ushers him out when Bok-soon starts crying about a headache. As they descend the stairs, the other officer warns Hyun-ho that they can’t do anything without a warrant and dismisses Hyun-ho’s protests that Jung-hwa isn’t answering her phone.
After the police have left, Deuk-jeong coats the halls in gasoline. He pauses, remembering Reporter Jo’s promise to have an article on Moon-jo ready that evening and excitedly punches his name into his search bar. His face falls when instead of an exposé, the feed is filled with articles on Reporter Jo’s death. Deuk-jeong realizes in horror that Moon-jo figured out his plan and took care or Reporter Jo before damage could be done.
Down int he basement, Jung-hwa manages to use a piece of shattered glass on the floor to begin sawing through the tape binding her hands. She hears Nam-bok coming down the stairs and saws more frantically. Nam-bok is surprised to find Jung-hwa passed out on the floor and as he lies down next to her, giggles that Bok-soon left her alive.
Caressing her face, he comments that his knife will glide easily through her smooth skin… just as Jung-hwa’s eyes snap open and she slashes at his face with the glass shard. She tries to run, but he drags her back by her ankles and strikes her across the face, knocking her out once more. Bok-soon takes dinner down to the prisoners and giggles at the sight of the gash across Nam-bok’s eye.
She cackles that he deserved it for touching her property and Nam-bok retorts that they’re family, so there’s no such thing as private property. “Family?” Bok-soon asks,”We’re family?” She suddenly throws the boiling pot she’d been carrying on Nam-bok and strikes his other eye. He lunges for her blindly, and she strikes him twice more in the head. Nam-bok crumples and Bok-soon scoffs that she’d warned him not to touch her property.
Nam-bok reaches out weakly and Bok-soon strikes him multiple times, killing him. She leaves the basement and meets Moon-jo waiting for her on the stairs. She laughs that they should leave soon and he tells her to wait a little longer. She tuts that she can’t wait for long and Moon-jo questions her trust in him. She argues that she dislikes him talking back to her and he smiles that she raised him.
He asks her to check on 303. Bok-soon starts to climb the stairs to the 4th floor, but Moon-jo stops her. He tells her they’re in the kitchen and she heads over only to find the kitchen empty. Realizing she’s been duped, she screeches, “Are you trying to stab me in the back?” Marching inside, she grabs a knife off the rack and storms back into the hallway, catching site of a shifting shadow.
Bok-soon taunts the shadow as she walks down the hall but when she gets to the office, Moon-jo plants the hatchet in her head. She gurgles that had she known this would happen, she would’ve killed Jung-hwa. Moon-jo laughs and thrusts her body through the business window.
Downstairs, Jung-hwa comes to while Deuk-jeong returns to discover Bok-soon’s corpse. Enraged at having the last of his family cut down by Moon-jo, he approaches him on the roof. Moon-jo asks if he plans to kill him and Deuk-jeong throws the umbrella away to reveal a knife. He charges Moon-jo, who buckles and wheezes. Deuk-jeong’s triumph is short lived as Moon-jo coughs that he’s too stupid to kill him.
Standing, he slashes Deuk-jeong’s throat, revealing that he’d stopped the other knife with his hand. Moon-jo laughs that in this world, there are many like himself and then plunges the knife repeatedly into Deuk-jeong before leaving his body on the roof. Meanwhile, Jong-woo struggles out of his bindings as Jung-hwa tries to wake Hee-joong.
Hee-joong is unresponsive so Jung-hwa moves to the cell door, but it’s chain-locked. Looking down, she spots Nam-bok’s body and has an idea. Reaching through the bars, she grabs the wrench Bok-soon had murdered him with and heaves his body over so she can smash his ankle tracker. Soon a call comes through to the station and Hyun-ho leaps up when he hears it’s for Eden Goshiwon.
Moon-jo stumbles back to the fourth floor with his hatchet and meets Jong-woo in the hallway. He asks if Jong-woo isn’t happy. “You can kill anyone you want. Or keep them alive if you want,” Moon-jo muses, “Doesn’t it feel like you’ve become a deity?” He continues that he and Jong-woo can do whatever they please and asks if it doesn’t excite him.
Jong-woo agrees, “I’m excited that I can now kill you.” Moon-jo suggests they end Jong-woo’s novel and the two rush each other. They grapple, but Moon-jo has the upper hand and Jong-woo struggles to fight back. Moon-jo knocks Jong-woo to the floor and smashes his ribs repeatedly before Jung-woo manages to regain his footing. They grapple a little more and Moon-jo launches Jong-woo through the door to the operating room.
Moo-jo once again starts throwing Jong-woo around like a ragdoll. When thrown into the table, Jong-woo snatches up a scalpel and while Moon-jo continues to dominate the fight, Jong-woo finally manages to slice Moon-jo’s throat. He collapses, clutching the gash as Jong-woo asks why Moon-jo does what he does.
“There has to be a reason?” Moon-jo rasps He says that it’s human instinct to attack the weak and watch them suffer. Jong-woo argues but Moon-jo points out Jong-woo liked when the other residents died. “Honey, now you and I…” Moon-jo gurgles, “Will be together forever.” Jong-woo snaps at him to stop spewing nonsense and promises to make his death the most painful of all.
Smiling, Moon-jo says Jong-woo is the best masterpiece he’s ever created before Jong-woo hacks away with the scalpel. The police arrive and find Jung-hwa in the basement and load Jung-woo and Ji-eun into ambulances.
Sometime later, Eden Goshiwon is cordoned off by the police and Moon-jo’s dental office is shut down. Jae-ho’s company is also closed and the remaining three employees go their separate ways. Jung-woo watches a news report on Eden from his hospital bed. Ji-eun’s boss watches the same report with a client and they gossip that the internet also suspects Jong-woo of being a murderer.
Detective Lee pays a visit to Hee-joong in the hospital and is disappointed that Hee-joong can’t speak. He sets out a series of photos and asks Hee-joong to identify the man that he’d told Detective Cha was trying to kill him. He selects everyone from the pile but Jong-woo. They then question Jong-woo’s coworkers who say he didn’t want to go home and was scary when he drank.
The coworkers mention his attack on Byung-min and Byung-min shouts that Jong-woo is a total psychopath. He asserts that Jong-woo probably conspired with Moon-jo to kill Jae-ho and urges them to lock Jong-woo up forever. Next is Jung-hwa and she recounts that Ji-eun had been kidnapped by Moon-jo and Jong-woo had called Jung-hwa just before going in to rescue her.
She asks what will happen to Jong-woo and the detectives say that while they investigated him for the deaths of Jae-ho and Reporter Jo, there was nothing tying him to either murder. Jong-woo did admit to killing Moon-jo, but they’ll chalk it up as self-defense. Detective Lee asks about Nam-bok’s death and Jung-hwa says that she was unconscious but heard his murder and Detective Lee says something is strange.
Jung-hwa visits Ji-eun and asks if she remembers anything of Moon-jo’s murder since she’d been on the 4th floor when it happened. Ji-eun says her memories are unclear but flashes back to that night and we see Jong-woo choking himself and begging to be saved before suddenly pointing and screaming that it wasn’t him. She shakes off the memory and repeats that she doesn’t remember.
Jung-hwa visits Jong-woo next and tells him that with all the blood from missing persons at the studio and Hee-joong’s testimony, Jong-woo will be cleared for self-defense. He suddenly asks what will happen to the children playing nearby and what defines good and bad. She admits she doesn’t know and Jong-woo says he should return to his novel.
Before parting, Jung-hwa asks what really happened that night and we see that the discrepancy Detective Lee found was that the vacation house murders — of which Moon-jo and co. were also assumed guilty — the killer there was a pro. Alternatively, the person that murdered everyone at Eden was an amateur, who continued to stab and bludgeon the dead. Rather than a series of domino murders, it seems like one person did it.
In the present, Jung-hwa asked if Moon-jo really killed everyone but Jong-woo cuts her off, saying he needs to go. He walks away and Jung-hwa belatedly realizes she still has his book — the one Moon-jo had stolen from his room. She goes back to the hospital to return it and freezes when she sees Moon-jo on an elevator before the doors close. Shaking off the apparition, she goes to Jong-woo’s room and hands him the book.
As he accepts it, the tooth bracelet on his wrist tinkles and Jung-hwa’s face falls as she realizes she’d heard that sound when Nam-bok was murdered. The murders replay and we see Jong-woo as the perpetrator. He’d sneered at Nam-bok they weren’t worthy of living and Nam-bok had spat back they should’ve killed him sooner.
He’d also axed Bok-soon and she had told him to kill them all. Deuk-jeong had chuckled Jong-woo caught on too fast as he bled out through the slash in his neck and Jong-woo had sneered that Deuk-jeong was just stupid. Finally, Moon-jo’s death scene replays — the only one that had been true the first time.
Dazed, Jung-hwa walks out of the room and it flashes back again to her interview with the detectives as they wonder why Moon-jo would kill the family he’d been with for 2 decades… deciding he must’ve held a deep resentment. She makes it out to her car and jumps to look in the backseat, but it’s empty and she drives away from the hospital.
Flashing back once more to when Moon-jo had told Jong-woo he’d spare him, we now learn his condition had been that Jong-woo had to kill everyone else in the building. He’d agreed, and Moon-jo had grinned wickedly as Jong-woo kept repeating, “I’ll kill you all.”
In the present, Jong-woo types “die” repeatedly on his laptop. Now when we see Moon-jo had actually told Jong-woo, “You enjoyed it. Killing everyone here.” That’s when Jong-woo had finally snapped out of his murderous haze, horrified at what he’d done. “You are the best masterpiece I’ve created,” Moon-jo smiled. Except this was the moment Ji-eun had witnessed where he was talking to himself.
Moon-jo’s promise to be together forever takes on a new meaning. Afterwards, as he was loaded into the ambulance, Jong-woo saw Moon-jo smiling in the crowd, and now he smiles to himself as he types away at the computer, his face briefly overlayed with Moon-jo’s as Moon-jo’s voice whispers “Honey.”
This show was absolute insanity from start to finish and honestly, I would’ve been satisfied if it had stopped right after the police arrived to save Jung-hwa. It’s not a fantastic ending, it was about what we’d been trained to expect. All the killers turning on each other and nobody making it out alive seemed fitting. But that twist!!! Ohhh that twist. That twist made it all worth it.
From the start, I’ve found something unsettling about Jong-woo. Because he never fully seemed like a victim. He had that wild streak that left him unpredictable and a nasty inner monologue that spit on everyone he didn’t get along with. It was frustrating how they’d treat him so terribly when he seemed to do nothing to incur their wrath. But now I can’t help but wonder if other people sensed it. That deep down they were terrified of what was lurking behind Jong-woo’s complacent smile and lashed out in fear. I’m not saying that excuses the behavior of Jae-ho and Byung-min, who are disgusting individuals, but that perhaps explains why they were so awful from seemingly no prompting.
Because Jong-woo is extremely warped and as unfounded as Byung-min’s account of him seemed, it was surprisingly spot on. Jong-woo holds a lot of contempt for the world around him and when he lets it out, he’s no better than the rest of them. The only thing that set him apart was there is still a part of him that is horrified. When he snapped out of his trance after murdering everyone he was genuinely freaked out… and yet, that part of him was quickly trampled by his darker side, which ultimately won out in the end.
The revelation that Jong-woo killed everyone was so creepy! And only mildly comforting that he’d been prompted by Moon-jo and a will to survive and not just pure bloodlust. I’d been wondering what could be left when Moon-jo died halfway through the episode and the second half definitely delivered. Thank goodness Hee-joong survived, the poor guy has more than paid for whatever crimes he committed prior to Eden. And I’ve always been rooting for Jung-hwa.
I love that she’s the one that figured it out. Detective Lee picked up on some odd things, but he’s already jaded to their work and doesn’t see much point pursuing leads once a case is closed. It breaks my heart to think that this case might’ve done just that to Jung-hwa. She was so spunky and gung-ho for bringing the bad guys to justice. To find that the person she’d risked her life to save was the same one that had murdered all the others (even if they were all serial killers themselves) is enough to rattle anyone.
So many senseless deaths (I am so bummed over Seok-yoon and Chang-hyun) but that’s the point. Moon-jo didn’t kill with much purpose, nor did he have a reason for being the way he was. Being raised by Bok-soon probably didn’t help, but none of the others were on his level either. In terms of nature vs nurture here, it was likely a sick combination of both. For Jong-woo, he’d resented his mother and his brother, he’d struggled with college and had a traumatizing experience in the army… and yet there was something dark there from the start as well. That twisted bit that Moon-jo had recognized immediately and now resides within. Hell Is Other People was horrific and fantastic trip and holy damn did Lee Dong-wook really knock it out of the park. Kudos to the entire team for making such a nightmare-inducing drama!
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