The Final Smile
Episode 16 of Beyond Evil begins with Chang-Jin arriving at Ki-Hwan’s house and confronting him. In fact, it’s here Ki-Hwan comes clean and admits that their conversation was recorded. In order to bait Joo-Won, they decide to use Jung as their tool.
Now we skip forward and see it was Chang-Jin who killed Jung. He stabbed the man in the neck and left him in a bloody heap by the bath. Joo-Won head in alone and found the Superintendent bleeding out. In his dying breath he tried to say something…but failed to do so.
With blood staining his hands, Joo-Won also noticed the knife on the ground along with a phone, blinking with a message asking Dong-Sik to show up. Now it becomes clear that Dong-Sik was the intended target here.
Now we skip forward to the police station during present time. Dong-Sik questions just why Joo-Won head in the house instead of waiting for. Well, it turns out he didn’t want to get framed so took a bullet for Dong-Sik. When Dong-Sik finds out, he tells Joo-Won he’s going to do everything he can to make sure he doesn’t go down for this.
Outside in the hallway, Ji-Hwa confronts Dong-Sik, knowing it was him who placed Min-Jung’s fingers outside the shop. Asking just what he’s hiding, Dong-Sik comes clean and reveals that Ki-Hwan was the one who killed Yu-Yeon all those years ago.
After talking, Dong-Sik shows up at Joo-Won’s place, cracking a joke about showing unannounced. This is, of course, a running gag across the show about bursting into houses without consent. Anyway, Dong-Sik wants his help for their upcoming hunt.
This hunt is clearly designed to take down both Chang-Jin and K-Hwan, who continue to scheme and work out how to deal with Jung’s death. Ki-Hwan wants to spin this as a suicide, especially if there’s no evidence to back the claims up.
Suddenly, Ji-Hwa shows up to bring Chang-Jin down to the station. He refuses to answer her questions, including who he was on the phone to and whether he killed Jung. Well, the video footage from the lake shows that he clearly wanted to kill Jung, save for Dong-Sik’s interjection.
In fact, Dong-Sik heads down to see Councilwoman Do, talking to her about Chang-Jin and their changing fates. Specifically, he mentions how Yu-Yeon’s death has changed everything.
Dong-Sik blows the lid wide open on this, admitting to her that there was someone else involved that hit Yu-Yeon before her son did. This is enough to spark the flames of doubt, as she hurriedly phones Secretary Jang.
Meanwhile, Joo-Won arrives at the hospital to help Jung-Je. In fact, Jae-Yi happens to be in the ambulance at the time and they speed away from the hospital before Do’s helpers can get to him. Out in the open, he asks Jung-Je to do the right thing and turn himself in. Instead, he asks Joo-Won to arrest him for concealing evidence relating to Yu-Yeon’s death.
As everything starts to spiral out of control, Joo-Won tells Prosecutor Kwon to let go of the rotten rope he’s clinging to. If he’s not careful, this is going to snap.
With Do in custody, she decides to plead the fifth and remain silent. While she does, Dong-Sik chimes in and mentions how Chang- Jin and Ki-Hwan have both been playing her all this time. He mentions the burner phone, with corroborated evidence from Gil-Goo to throw her into the firing line for the incident involving the fake report.
Eventually Dong-Sik brings the situation round to Jin-Mook, who apparently asked for the key to the deer farm and blackmailed her over the guitar pick. He was the one who put the pick at the crime scene in a bid to frame Jung-Je.
In fact, Do knew all about Jin-Mook’s killings but was forced to keep quiet all this time. Jung-Je however doesn’t seem to be part of this blackmailed web, save for being the one who ran over Yu-Yeon.
When he figures out his own Mother covered all this up, he’s overcome with grief. Approaching the glass at the station, he apologizes profusely to Dong-Sik but asks for a favour
That favour happens to be Do telling them the truth about Jin-Mook and Chief Nam. If the truth is revealed that she’s been covering all this up, he promises to slit his own throat. This is enough for Do to crack and open up, admitting that she showed the text message to Chang-Jin. She also gives Ki-Hwan’s name too.
This is enough for Joo-Won to issue a warrant against her and Chang-Jin. Both of these will obviously incriminate Ki-Hwan given his intimate ties with them both. Based on this, and Ki-Hwan’s constant bickering, Prosecutor Kwon decides to sever ties with Ki-Hwan.
With the arrest warrants in place, Chang-Jin is kept in the same cell that Jin-Mook died in. Only, in the middle of the night Dong-Sik sneaks in and grabs Chang-Jin round the neck.
Chang-Jin immediately claims that Ki-Hwan was the real ringleader in everything that’s happened. These confessions, coupled with Joo-Won’s recording, are enough for him to put a gun to his head and contemplate suicide. This in itself is ironic given Ki-Hwan’s insistence that suicide is the cowardly way out.
Dong-Sik shows up too, setting up a tense stand-off between these three characters. Eventually this sees Ki-Hwan arrested, kept in handcuffs for his role in all this. With Ki-Hwan’s face covered, he’s escorted out by Ji-Hwan.
While he leaves, Joo-Won decides to quit the force and accept his punishment. Dong-Sik refuses to allow this though and tells him the guilty should be the ones who are punished.
Dong-Sik turns the tables and decides that Joo-Won should arrest him for obstructing the crime scene. If Joo-Won doesn’t arrest him, Dong-Sik will never turn himself in. This is the moment. The moment Joo-Won has been waiting for since the first episode.
As he puts the handcuffs on, you can see the regret and pain in Joo-Won’s face. He even bows to his colleague in this really emotional moment.
Ki-Hwan is given 20 years imprisonment while Councilwoman Do receives 9 years. Jung-Je meanwhile, is given 3 years in jail. Dong-Sik has a year in prison with 2 years on probation after. Joo-Won however, is acquitted thanks to his role in stopping the serial murders.
We then cut forward to February 2022. Joo-Won pays his respects to Yu-Yeon by her grave and promises to visit her again. Joo-Won returns to town where he finds Jae-Yi out with a carton of eggs. She invites him in for food after a quick joke about throwing eggs.
Joo-Won happens to be working in a juvenile center now but he’s back to pay a visit to everyone. There, he inevitably runs into Dong-Sik who invites Joo-Won inside for food.
As they say their goodbyes, Dong-Sik and Joo-Won both exchange smiles. Genuine smiles that hint at a newfound respect from the pair.
The Episode Review
Wow, what an incredible drama – and an incredible finale too. Beyond Evil bows out with a nigh-on perfect final episode that wraps everything up and solidifies this Korean drama as one of the best shows of 2021. There are so many stand out moments here that it’s hard to pick out a few.
The show has twisted and turned through this murder mystery in a really gripping and compelling way but backed that up with some incredible character development too.
Both Dong-Sik and Joo-Won have gone through quite the ride over these 16 episodes, with the end shots of this chapter mirroring that seen in episode 1. The only difference here is in the emotion conveyed.
This evolving emotion and respect these two detectives have for one another is ultimately what’s made the ride up until this point so satisfying.
Seeing Joo-Won really struggling to arrest Dong-Sik, especially given it is exactly what’s been driving this character forward all this time, was really heart-wrenching. In fact, this entire scene is enveloped in so much emotion that it’s hard not to have tears in your eyes.
That’s to say nothing of the final shot too, which finally sees Dong-Sik and Joo-Won at peace regarding what’s happened and finally ready to move forward with their lives.
The actual case itself has been just as interesting though and seeing the final pieces all come together in the police station was incredibly satisfying. Ki-Hwan, Chang-Jin and Do all get what they deserve in the end, with Jung-Je’s lesson ultimately being not to drink and drive.
Overall, Beyond Evil has been an amazing drama and easily one of the best small screen efforts of 2021. For all those who reached out and recommended I cover this one – thank you. This show has been an incredible watch and will undoubtedly be a tough one to beat for best drama of 2021.