‘Mine’ Ending Explained – Who killed Ji-Yong? And why?

Mine Season 1 Plot Synopsis

Mine is the latest makjang sensation from Korea, centering on a rich family living their best lives. At least on the surface. As the episodes tick by, it soon becomes clear that secrets are being kept and all is not what it seems. If that wasn’t enough, a murder inside the villa shakes things up, turning this series into a whodunit murder mystery.

Why does Jin-Ho give up the lottery tickets?

Throughout the season we’ve seen Jin-Ho frantically scratching lottery tickets and doing everything he can to be liked and find purpose in life. Unlike Ji-Yong, charisma doesn’t come naturally to him and he’s not the favoured man at Hyowon. At least not by the employees anyway.

After Seo-Hyun’s confession about being a lesbian in episode 15, something changes in Jin-Ho. He’s much calmer and more accepting of his life now. That’s reflected with the lottery tickets. It’s never been about the money for him. For Jin-Ho, it’s been about that sense of worth.

He hands the winning ticket over to the security guard and asks him to come and visit later on. Jin-Ho eventually ends up as a selfless individual, doing all he can to help those around him.

Is Jin-Ho homosexual?

During episode 15, Jin-Ho covered for his friend and villa helper Seong-Tae by telling the police that he’s romantically linked with him – hence the nervousness. This is, of course, a lie but is there some truth to it? Jin-Ho obviously enjoys the company of men – especially in the bath too.

He spent a lot of time with Seong-Tae throughout the show and by the end of the episode, he’s clearly torn about his old friend not being there. While Jin-Ho may not be shown as gay within the episode, it’s a nice tidbit that certainly leaves food for thought.

What happened on the night of Ji-Yong’s death?

Most of the final episode is understandably taken up by the events with Ji-Yong’s death.

During dinner on that night, Jin-Ho receives a call from Jung-Do. He heads off to answer while Seong-Tae lets Ji-Yong know where Jin-Ho has gone. Everyone watches as Ji-Yong gets up and leaves the table.

Seong-Tae shuts up and locks the bunker door, leaving Ji-Yong inside. He heads down to the basement with the bottles of acid and pours them into the air supply. With Ji-Yong inside the bunker, he poisons him. Joo realizes what’s happening as her buzzer starts going off repeatedly.

Ji-Yong rings Hi-Soo while he’s stuck inside the bunker, choking and gasping for air. Seong-Tae has a sudden change of heart, turning the oxygen back on again and grabbing Ji-Yong, pulling him out the vault to safety. He apologizes repeatedly and hurries away.

Believing Hi-Soo is responsible, Ji-Yong grabs her by the throat and looks set to push her over the balcony. The commotion is loud – loud enough to bring Seo-Hyun out of her office. But she’s not the one to smack Ji-Yong in the head.

The ensuing blow from our killer sends Ji-Yong tumbling over the balcony and straight to the floor. He smacks his head hard on the way down, which kills him instantly. It also seems to have given Hi-Soo amnesia too.

Does Hi-Soo really have amnesia?

No, Hi-Soo faked the whole thing. The reason for this actually stems from Ha-Joon. Ji-Yong tried to kill Hi-Soo and she didn’t want Ha-Joon to have his final memory of his Father tarnished from the loving persona he portrayed.

It’s a final act of kindness toward a very conflicted and damaged individual. Hi-Soo done all of this for her son. This is also the moment Hye-Jin and Hi-Soo patch up their differences, with the former realizing just how far Hi-Soo will go to protect her child.

Who killed Ji-Yong? And why?

The real killer is Butler Joo! After the deed, Joo plays her part well, feigning shock while Seo-Hyun tasks Joo and Seong-Tae with cleaning up the blood, being careful to make sure it only looks like one person has fallen rather than two.

There’s some commotion in all this with the fire extinguisher being moved by Seo-Hyun. Numerous people see her cut hand but all of this proves to be a red herring.

Joo never actually meant to kill Ji-Yong and the result of this caused her to slump into a depressive state. This also explains her crazy eating and erratic behaviour these past few episodes.

Her final redemptive act before leaving the villa is leaving the diamond behind. Despite being given this by Seong-Tae, she chooses the noble option instead.

What happens to everyone inside the villa?

After the case is wrapped up, we jump forward six months later. Soon-Hye gorges herself with food while Jin-Ho is a changed man. He’s selfless and does everything he can for those around him, including Jin-Hee’s ex boyfriend.

Yu-Yeon and Soo-Hyuk are together, with their subplot excluded from large chunks of this second half of the season. Seo-Hyun meanwhile is now the chairwoman of Hyowon Group. Hi-Soo also makes her comeback with a drama series called Mine. Talk about meta!

Hi-Soo and Hye-Jin have patched up their differences too and decided to raise Ha-Joon together.

Emma is also out farming, now at peace with herself as all our characters receive a compelling end.

mine episode 16 screen 3

Is there any more symbolism in the show?

There are all sorts of intriguing images and ideas in Mine but the most interesting by far is that of Seo-Hyun’s pink elephant painting back in episode 7. This serves as a bit of foreshadowing for where her character ends up by the finale.

This whole painting is a reflection of Seo-Hyun’s own sexuality; the idea of an elephant being trapped in a doorway and unable to get through to the other side. This is, in essence, Seo-Hyun’s mental blocks and feelings about being a lesbian. She’s frozen and unwilling to accept who she truly is.

And yet, the elephant can just freely walk through without thinking about the wall if it wants to. “It was never confined in the first place. The wall was never there.” Seo-Hyun mutters at this time, smiling to herself. She also utters “I was…” and trails off.

It’s a beautifully artistic notion and one that demonstrates a lot of foresight into Seo-Hyun’s sexuality.

How does Mine Season 1 end?

That leads nicely to the way this episode – and season – closes out. Seo-Hyun manages to secure herself as the chairwoman of Hyowon Group. She’s at the top now and never been happier. In fact, she’s embracing her true-self as well and not living in fear any more. She rings Suzy Choi and tells her she’s going to come and visit her in a week’s time.


Thanks for reading our Ending Explained article! What did you think of the ending? Did you guess who killed Ji-Yong? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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