A Shop for Killers – K-Drama Episode 6 Recap & Review

Jeong Jin-man

A Shop for Killers Episode 6 starts with a flashback to fourteen years ago. Jin-man and a bunch of other men are all mercenaries on a mission to extract a Korean man from a foreign country. But they’re caught under heavy gunfire from their opponents. A little way away from Jin-man, Seong-jo and his colleague are about to be killed but Bale arrives in time to save them.

They then take their positions as snipers on the roof while Bale protects the building’s entrance below. The tide turns and Jin-man and the others finally win. Pasin is there too! Someone tells Jin-man that they haven’t heard from Bale and Seong-jo in an hour so he heads out to look for them.

Seong-jo and his colleague are resting on the rooftop where they were perched. The rookie then goes down to look for Bale and finds that he has killed innocent civilians. Seong-jo arrives but doesn’t seem surprised. When the new guy refuses to let it go, the other two kill him. Jin-man arrives on the scene. Then, a little boy shows up and Bale kills him too. The scene shifts to the court case where Bale is being prosecuted for the murder of those civilians.

A flashback to a locker room shows Seong-jo defending Bale to Jin-man. He says Jin-man always prioritises the mission but Bale prioritises their lives. Pasin and the twin mercenaries are also in the room. Jin-man also speaks to Yong-han about his suspicions about Bale. Yong-han says that Bale has no soul in his eyes. He’s a killing machine and Jin-man should let this go. He also says that Jin-man and Bale are not so different.

In the courtroom, Jin-man says he didn’t see Bale commit murder and the latter is found not guilty. Back to the scene with Yong-han, he tells Jin-man that he’s the only one who can control Bale. Jin-man agrees but asks Yong-han to not put Bale in any of his operations.

The team is now in an aeroplane but the atmosphere is tense. Seong-jo taunts Jin-man for being a stickler for rules and Pasin, standing up for him, gets into a fight with Seong-jo. The twins stand up for Seong-jo. The three of them only back down when Bale tells them to.

Jin-man’s next assignment deals with a huge drug dealer. Yong-han promises that this is the last operation Jin-man has to work with Bale on. He then shows Jin-man a photograph of a man and tells him to capture the guy alive.

As the captain, Jin-man gives Bale orders before they leave but Bale has picked up on the fact that Jin-man doesn’t want him here. During the mission, Bale and a colleague come across two unarmed men. Jin-man’s orders were to hand them to the police but Bale throws them a knife, making them officially ‘armed’. He then kills them.

Meanwhile, Jin-man and Pasin chase and catch the man named Tao, their target. Back at the other building, Seong-jo searches for loot and comes across four civilian women. They seem to be victims of trafficking and beg for help. Instead, Bale throws a hand grenade inside the room, killing them all. The sound brings Jin-man over, who is livid when he finds out what happened.

Guns are pulled out but Seong-jo convinces everyone to calm down. Jin-man tells them to blast the place and head back home. But he plans to report Bale’s actions to the company. While setting up explosives, Jin-man comes across another woman, a victim of trafficking. It’s Min-hye!

Outside the building, everybody piles into cars and Jin-man tells them to go ahead. He then goes back to get Min-hye but unfortunately, Bale is back. Min-hye runs and Jin-man and Bale face off each other. A fight ensues and Bale is about to fatally strike Jin-man when Min-hye shoots him.

Bale tells Jin-man that if he doesn’t kill him now, Bale will kill everyone Jin-man knows and loves. Jin-man tries to shoot him but the explosives reach the end of the countdown, forcing Jin-man and Min-hye to leave. He assumes Bale is dead anyway.

Back home, Jin-man lies and says that rebels cornered him and Bale which led to Bale’s death. He then quits work, telling Yong-han he wants a break. After Jin-man leaves, Yong-han makes a call and tells someone to put a tail on Jin-man.

While clearing out Bale’s locker, Seong-jo finds a luxury wristwatch. He and the team burn the rest of Bale’s belongings as a send off. Later, Jin-man is waiting by a bus station when he notices a man watching him from afar. Another man shows up, smiling at Jin-man, but Jin-man makes a gesture to convey that he’s being watched.

The man walks past Jin-man and throws a set of car keys down as he does so. Jin-man then calls his older brother and visits the family after eight long years. Elsewhere, Seong-jo is practising his shooting skills when a man walks up behind him. It’s none other than Bale, with new burn scars to boast at the end of A Shop for Killers Episode 6.

The Episode Review

A Shop for Killers Episode 6 is the first episode to avoid the two-part storytelling format and instead stick to an entire flashback from Jin-man’s point of view. This has a considerable effect on the viewer’s experience as the split structure of the episodes is what made them so interesting.

Jumping from high-octane scenes in the present to slower but more insightful scenes from the past created a great balance of energies that complemented the story and served to keep us hooked. While it is important for us to know what went down with Bale, the full spotlight on Jin-man’s story slows the show down and takes its crisp writing a notch down.

It would have been worth it if the backstory had a little more meat or complexity. Personally, Bale is too monotonous of a villain for me. It is plausible for him to be a psychopath who enjoys killing, but the characterization is a bit too exaggerated for me. Additionally, the story entwining him and Jin-man is, similarly, a bit too simplistic. The build-up to the reason why everybody is attacking Ji-an was incredible but the reveal isn’t able to fit those high expectations.

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Read our season 1 review of A Shop for Killers here!

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