D.P. Season 1 Finale: Recap, Review & Ending Explained


What happens with Suk-Bong?

Episode 6 of D.P. starts this finale with Suk-Bong’s angry outburst causing the car to crash in the tunnel. Suk-Bong manages to free himself and stumbles away, while Beom-Gu is bleeding from the head and Jun-Ho is knocked unconscious.

Suk-Bong heads straight back to see Hwang. He blindsides the man, kidnapping him and turning this whole ordeal into a hostage situation.

When the commander finds out, her mobilizes his forces and decides to launch a special duty team to go in all guns blazing. The officers are armed with live ammunition too, bundled on the back of trucks and ready to move out.

Ji-Seop exhibits concerns over the commander’s plan, believing this is wildly disproportionate for what they’re dealing with. So much so in fact, he decides to team up with Beom-Gu (who’s recovered from his injuries and is absolutely fine) when the commander leaves.

It’s a pretty big moment for their characters, given how much they’ve been butting heads and disagreeing, although tragedy is what brings them together.

With Jun-Ho and Han both agreeing to tag along and take Suk-Bong in safely (preferably not in a body-bag if it can be helped) they set out to track the boy down. But time is very much against them.

Where has Hwang been taken?

Hwang awakens down in the tunnels to find Suk-Bong standing over him. Suk-Bong intends to make Hwang  suffer, but that’s soon interrupted by Detective Na and his colleague arriving and sniffing around. He beats down Suk-Bong but Jun-Ho steps in to stop him.

Outside, Beom-Gu and the commander come to blows, with the former pleading with him to see reason. Although Beom-Gu manages to get the men to stand down, back inside the tunnels things take an uncomfortable turn. Suk-Bong grabs the detective’s gun, taking off with a crimson mess of a face, to finish what he started with Hwang.

Does Suk-Bong kill Hwang Jang-Soo?

Inevitably there’s a big stand-off that ensues not long after, as a bloodied Hwang drops to his knees begging for forgiveness from Suk-Bong. With Suk-Bong looking close to firing, it takes Han interrupting to try and stop this. He mentions how the military police are on the way and pleads with Suk-Bong to stop.

Han offers up a full scale investigation of the unit too, suggesting they look seriously into the accusations against Jang-Soo. As Suk-Bong fires the gun at the roof of the tunnel in frustration, the military police rush into the tunnels and try to stop him.

Jun-Ho shows up first though and reveals to Suk-Bong that Seon-A got into college and tries to bring him back from the brink with news of the outside. Unfortunately armed guards show and surround Suk-Bong with guns.

Is Suk-Bong killed?

With no way out, Suk-Bong decides the only way to change something is to kill himself. He believes he’s a martyr of sorts, shooting himself in the head. Only, the devastating reality is that he’s shot through his throat, and slowly bleeds out. Choking on his own blood, Suk-Bong calls out for his Mother with his dying breath.

In the wake of this boy’s death, Beom-Gu is disciplined and Captain Lim is transferred from the unit. Jun-Ho, still rattled by what’s happened to his colleague, walks away from his commanding officer in the opposite direction to the other soldiers.

That walk soon picks up to a run as Jun-Ho defiantly walks away from his mandatory military service, despite having over 500 days left to serve.

What does the ending of D.P. mean?

The final shot of Jun-Ho standing out of line and away from the other soldiers is incredibly telling in regards to his frame of mind. Nothing has changed in the military; they’re all still round pegs but Jun-Ho is now a changed man.

His experience in the D.P. department, seeing how this hierarchical system of abuse has gone unpunished, makes him defiant and determined to walk away. Regardless of the consequences, he’s going home.

Speaking to the sister of the first deserter who committed suicide, Jun-Ho hears her give an impassioned plea, asking just why he didn’t do anything to help. This seems to change something in Jun-Ho. We’ve seen him affected by incidents and reach out to his family before. This time though it seems like he’s running back home to see his Mother and potentially become a deserter himself. Still, there’s deeper meaning here surrounding bullying and abuse.

It seems like Jun-Ho maybe desperate to stop his Mother from suffering the same fate Suk-Bong did.

Is there a post-credit scene?

Yes, during the post-credit sequence, the news report the woes regarding Suk-Bong. As the camera pans out, an overweight soldier is the victim of bullying in his dormitory but he snaps as well. Holding a machine gun, he sprays a devastating volley of bullets across the room and kills them all

The Episode Review

What a stunning ending to a really special show. D.P. may have started a little slowly but it’s certainly ended with a bang. The entire series has done such a good job at portraying the harrowing effects of bullying and the long-term effects of mental health. And that’s to say nothing of the ideas around loneliness and social anxiety.

The different characters across this season have all embodied this and even the small moments – like Hwang being berated by a shop manager – play a larger part in this story.

Seeing those bullies hit back at the end definitely hits hard. As someone who was bullied relentlessly – both physically and mentally – for 5 years straight I may be a little biased but D.P. does so well to show how those mental barriers and walls can slowly dissolve to leave behind a shell of what you once were. Others going through bouts of bullying will undoubtedly find some similarities here too.

Whether this show actually has any bearings to what happens in the Korean military is unclear, given I’m not actually Korean, but I’d imagine this sort of sort of bullying is rampant all over the place across the globe.

In the end though, D.P. bows out with a stunning final episode, one that captures the mood and tone of the show perfectly and ends things on a suitably grim and reflective note. Will this one be in contention for Baeksang awards next year? It absolutely should be.

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Feel free to check out our full season review for D.P. here!

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7 thoughts on “D.P. Season 1 Finale: Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. Yeah, that’s not what happens in the post-credits scene. He doesn’t “kill them all.” We don’t know that. Learn a bit about weapons before spouting off. And it’s the friend of Suk-Bong.

  2. I just finished the season finale of DP and I find myself speechless. It was incredibly gut-wrenching to watch the abuse that the soldiers had to endure, but I’m hopeful that the show spawns open dialogue about conditions in the army that lead to meaningful change. The ending is all too familiar, though. Suk-Bong doesn’t die from his injuries, but instead falls into a coma (as a new story in the post-credit scene reveals). The media paints a picture of him being a troubled individual with a history of depression. We know that to be untrue from the glowing commentary his students and friends gave about him when they were interviewed. This massive coverup of the truth is, unfortunately, the status quo in these types of situations. Rather than acknowledge and address the need for change, those in authority use their power to retell the story in whatever way suits them. That, I think, is what is most haunting about the show’s conclusion: Nothing will change.

  3. I just watched the end of DP and i must say its was so incredibly sad how can people treat others like that there seems to be such a high rate of suicide in Korea that is so traumatic honestly the end both times overwhelmed me i really can’t even know how to explain it so upsetting to see theres so much bullying and negativity to there peers i hope these guys serving there country will get this fixed it too much to have to deal with

  4. Actually, this show show does a good job exposing how corrupt the Korean military is.

    Bullying and abuse like shown in the show is very accurate to what most soldiers experienced. Being korean I’ve heard many stories and discussionsfrom family and peers as well as the Korean news has talked about these things before. I’m pretty sure not long after this show came out, I believe a couple more soldiers have committed suicide and has caused some uproar and controversy due to its plot or message(however you want to call it).

    Though I’m not a male, I can’t say more about the suffering of some of these men for i have never experienced it, but because in the country it is mandatory for men to get enlisted and join for at least 2 years, it’s absolutely required unless you’re extremely ill or have complications physically.

    (srry my English isn’t as good haha, not my first language)

  5. Hey there RV, at around 37 minutes (unless thee subtitle translation is incorrect of course) we’re told through expository text that Jun-Ho has “514 days left until discharge.”

    @Okky – Ah good spot! I’ve just gone in and corrected that on the recap.

    Thanks so much for commenting guys!

    -Greg W

  6. i don’t think at the end it’s sukbong’s sister, it’s the sister from first case where junho borrowing him his lighter

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