High School: Return of a Gangster – Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Second Chances

High School: Return of a Gangster episode finale starts with Chil-sung surprisingly visiting Yi-heon’s mom at the hospital. He finds Yi-heon asleep but has a few words with his mom. She is shocked to hear what her son has been going through trying to hold the forte together.

Chil-sung is also curious whether Yi-heon is Deuk Pal’s son and she denies even knowing a man with that name. Before leaving, Chil-sung asks Yi-heon’s mom to get her things in order and protect her son before she loses him.

What happens at the hearing?

Jae-min walks in and changes everything by betraying his friends. He steals the boys’ tablet, which contains all the videos they took while bullying students. A fight ensues, and  Myung-hyun is surprised that Se-kyung joins in the fight, too. With Jae-min’s confession and the digital evidence, the prosecution arrests the boys. Yi-heon is angry that Jae-min refused to take the chance he gave him to walk away.

On the other hand, Jae-min explains that he couldn’t leave with himself if Yi-heon went to Juvie. As they are escorted to Juvie, the other boys refuse to apologise, but Jae-min sincerely does. He even sees the real Yi-heon’s ghost and tearfully apologises.

What happens after the hearing?

Yi-heon rushes to the hospital to find Chil-sung, Dong-soo and Jon-cheol waiting for him. As his mom is being discharged, Chil-sung asks to speak privately to him. Within a few seconds, the old wise man puts all the pieces together and recognises Deuk Pal. He starts crying as he realises that he will lose his man again.

Yi-heon also admits who he really is and is glad that Chil-sung praises him and understands why he stayed behind to protect the boy. After a tearful reunion and goodbye, Chils-ung asks his men to stay behind and help Deuk Pal.

Dong-soo starts to have suspicions about Yi-heon’s real identity. However, soon after discharging his mom, Yi-heon gets an epiphany about where to find his dad and Mi-kyung. He asks  Dong-soo and Jong-cheol to join him in tracking them down.

What happens to Mi-kyung?

Yi-heon and his men find Chairman Bae and Mi-kyung as they arrive in the country from an international convention. Mi-kyung tries to run, but Yi-heon drags her back. He asks for a private meeting and reveals everything Mi-kyung did to him and his mom.

The Chairman is not impressed with Mi-kyung’s side activities and worries about how it would affect the company if the press revealed her actions. He is, however, impressed by Yi-heon’s courage to fight back and punish Mi-kyung. He offers to officially recognise him as a son, but Yi-heon turns him down. He tells his dad that he doesn’t know anything about parenting and raising a child, so he is not suitable enough to be a father. As for Mi-kyung, she is abandoned by the Chairman. 

What happens between Se-kyung and  Yi-heon? 

After things calm down, Yi-heon starts quietly setting things in order. He realises that the real Yi-heon’s spirit is back and promises to leave everything settled before leaving. (Moving forward, we will address the spirit as Yi-heon and the person as Deuk Pal).

Deuk Pal starts by making sure Jae-hoon apologises to Se-kyung. He also makes sure that Yi-heon’s mom is on the right track and recovering well. He encourages her to find a good man and live her life. She suggests going back into acting, and he says that is a good idea and promises to support her. 

As for Se-kyung, Deuk Pal finds it hard to tell him the truth and say goodbye. Se-kyung is already suspicious that an old man’s spirit has possessed Yiheon. Deuk Pal tells Yi-heon that perhaps it is a good idea for Se-kyung never to find out the truth. 

Fortunately, after Jae-hoon apologises, he mentions that Yi-heon said he was leaving soon. Se-kyung quickly tracks Deuk Pal down and asks him for the truth. Deuk Pal takes him to the mausoleum and explains everything. Se-kyung finally gets to apologise to the real Yi-heon’s spirit. He explains that he never should have abandoned him when he desperately asked for help or blamed him for getting bullied. He also talks about how he felt helpless because he couldn’t save himself. Yi-heon listens and expresses his forgiveness. 

Does Deuk Pal say goodbye to his friends?

After Dong-soo figures everything out, he confronts Deuk Pla while they are drinking and Jong-cheol is sleeping. He thanks his former master for being a good leader. In turn, Deuk Pal thanks him for his loyalty, love and support. They say their goodbyes and Deuk Pal starts coming to terms with his death.

How does Return of High School Gangster end?

After a week of settling everything and ensuring Yi-heon will come back to a safe environment, Deuk Pal gets ready to say goodbye. However, Yi-heon opts to transition to the next life, saying he is too tired to live his life.

Deuk Pal tries to convince him otherwise, but the boy insists he has suffered enough and is happy to leave after seeing how Deuk Pal did his best to save him. He says no one deserves to live in his body more than Deuk Pal and walks into the bright light, ultimately dying. Deuk Pal returns to life as Yi-heon and graduates high school. The show ends with Se-kyung and Deuk Pal attending university together. 

The Episode Review

Unfortunately, it is time to say goodbye to the beloved characters who captured our hearts these past four weeks. The show has done more than deliver a good spot and impeccable acting; it has also given us important life lessons. It was nice to see Jae-min own up to his mistake and humbly accept the consequences. It goes to show how much he has grown since we first met him. Deuk Pal was a good influence on him and proved that adults can make things easier for kids. 

Throughout this show, we see how Deuk Pal tries his best to help Se-kyung, the gang, and Yi-heon’s mom and prove the real duty of an adult. He has been inspiring, and we will miss him. I am glad that he got a chance at life again, but I also feel sad for the real Yi-hyeon.

Life hit him with too many lemons at once, and he got too tired of fighting to survive. The scene where he chose to walk into the bright light was touching and sad at the same time. He felt he had gone through enough at such a young age. I  hope he can find happiness in his life beyond; he deserves it.

We are also happy that Se-kyung was able to stand up for himself and what was right. If Myung-hyun was not so blinded by his misplaced rage, he ought to be proud of the young, exceptional man that Se-kyung grew up to be.

Well, there you have it guys; let us know your favorite moments from the show. Did you enjoy the show? What was your favourite scene, and more importantly, did you like the ending?

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2 thoughts on “High School: Return of a Gangster – Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. CH. I feel the ending didnot do justice as well. I wanted yiheon the teen boy to have rebirth and see his mother and mother reuniting with him. The mother doesn’t know or will never know her child died

  2. probably one of the most heartbreaking endings i have ever seen…
    the irony is that is so lowkey, specially for a kdrama, no dramatic over the top scene
    just a short intimate dialogue
    it is so bittersweet because yes the gangster survives but how broken inside must a kid have been after being bullied by literally almost everyone around him to surrender on life not once but twice
    i am still shocked
    and well, i wonder how the fans of the original novel must have felt

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