Stealer: The Treasure keeper – K-drama Episode 12 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Episode 12

In the final episode of Stealer: The Treasure Keeper, all of the Team Karma members except for Skunk are in Ms. Lee’s tech van, ready for their mission.

Does Skunk survive an encounter with two psychopathic killers?

Skunk is visiting a temple that his father had visited before he died. The team calls and they agree to meet at Cheomseongdae (an ancient observatory).

Viper pulls out a photo of his sister and remembers when they were kids. He brings her bread and medicine and tells her that a “nice man” (Mr. Kim) will take care of them now.

Skunk is driving when another car violently crashes into him. Skunk loses consciousness from the impact. Shota steps out of the car, knife in hand, and walks toward Skunk’s car, but Viper comes out of nowhere and fights with Shota until he hears approaching sirens.

Shota runs away as Skunk wakes up. Unfortunately, his seatbelt traps him. Viper breaks the car window and drops a knife on the seat before getting away.

Despite having a ringing headache, Skunk somehow makes it to the van and asks Ms. Lee for his suit.

How will Team Karma find out the Bead of Eternal Life’s Location?

Having told the public that the reason for the security at Cheomseongdae is due to a bomb threat, Mr. Kim, Shota, and some goons wear bomb protective suits, approaching the ancient observatory without suspicion.

While trying to sneak in, Min-woo and Dr. Ko are seen by one of Mr. Kim’s men. The man attempts to stab Min-woo, but Dr. Ko jumps in front of her, taking a knife to the back. Min-woo knocks out the attacker while Dr. Ko leans against a tree and tells her to get away before losing consciousness. But their fight isn’t over yet—more men are fast approaching.

Ms. Lee alerts the rest of the team to Min-woo’s and Dr. Ko’s predicament, and Captian goes to help them.

Unable to go inside and potentially disturb the ancient observatory, Mr. Kim and some of his guys fly a drone to obtain the proper height to see the constellation. They spot the constellation that the coins mapped out. It gives away the location of the bead of eternal life, which is over a mountain peak. Mr. Kim and his men leave triumphant.

Chang-hoon, dressed in a stolen bomb suit, stands in the foreground, witnessing Mr. Kim and his men when he is attacked and carried away by police. Using Chang-hoon’s capture as a distraction, Skunk quickly gets his drone out and finds the same constellation that Mr. Kim did. 

Captain comes to Min-woo and Dr. Ko’s aid, as Min-woo and Captain fight off their attackers. Captain stays with Dr. Ko while Min-woo runs to the van, meeting Skunk, Ae-ri, and Ms. Lee there. Captain gets arrested and Dr. Ko is put into an ambulance.

Skunk recalls his meeting with the monk at the temple, who told him that everyone who sought eternal life died and that the bead of eternal life is actually a rock. If the rock is exposed to light and heat, everyone close to it dies.

The team follows Mr. Kim to the nearby mountain that the constellation is appearing over. When they arrive, Skunk tells the others that he needs to continue his dad’s mission, and wishes to go after Mr. Kim alone.

Will Mr. Kim and Viper get what they deserve?

Mr. Kim walks into the mountain’s cave to find that the entrance is sealed. He instructs his men to destroy it using explosives and continues on. Past the entrance lies a room of treasures and a skeleton.

Mr. Kim locates the rock of eternal life just as Viper comes into the cave, killing Mr. Kim’s men, including Shota. Mr. Kim tries to bargain with Viper and apologizes for his sister’s death, but Viper takes the rock from him and smashes him in the head with it, killing him.

Viper turns to one of Mr. Kim’s men lying on the cave floor, picks up the man’s gun, and holds it to his own head. Skunk walks in, and Viper apologizes for everything he did to Skunk. Skunks asks him not to die but to instead live with the pain and guilt of killing all the people that he did. In silent assent, Viper moves the gun away from his head.

How does Stealer: The Treasure Keeper end?

Fast forward, and the captain is speaking to the press about the recent events. He reveals all of Mr. Kim’s crimes, and says that they are still recovering the ancient artifacts from the cave and that Viper turned himself in.

Captain, Min-woo, and Chang-hoon arrest several VIPs, including the police commissioner, Mr. Baek, and the orphanage director who sold him children for organ transplants.

Min-woo goes to visit Dr. Ko at the hospital, but he has already left. A nurse gives her a letter that he left for her.

Team Karma meets at Ms. Lee’s one last time. Captain tells them that they all need to fall off the grid for a while and will only reunite when there is another urgency. They all leave, and only Captain is left. Captain asks Ms. Lee if she will go dancing with him. She agrees, to both of their delight.

Min-woo returns one of the Joseon coins to the two kids it belongs to and hosts them at her house. She reads the letter that Dr. Ko left her. Dr. Ko writes that Min-woo’s father died saving his life and that her father loved her dearly.

Team Karma, dressed in solemn shades of black, meet at the temple Skunk visited before and places the rock of eternal life in a box in the monk’s care.

Three months later, Ae-ri gets a promotion, and Min-woo, Captain, and Chang-hoon celebrate with her. But they’re interrupted when they get an emergency message from Skunk.

Some men in suits have broken into a building containing numerous artifacts. Skunk comes in, ready to face them.

In the epilogue scene, Captain opens a package containing some old cassette tapes. One of them is a video meant for thieves. Within this is a video of Skunk saying, “If you have obtained illegally obtained treasures… then I’ll come after you.”

The Episode Review

Well, just as predicted, Mr. Kim dies. However, there are still a lot of unexpected elements, some good, some bad.

Viper’s survival is a bit of a surprise. When he picked up that gun, it seemed like a sure and fitting way for him to meet his end. And when Dr. Ko takes that selfless hit for Min-woo, it seems like another indication that he might be Min-woo’s biological dad. But when you remember his ex, Vivian, and her lack of appearance, it seems unlikely.

It is also kind of strange that Skunk and Min-woo wouldn’t have any flirtation in the last episode, instead, they left that for Ms. Lee and Captain.

The fact that they used a real historical site, Cheomseongdae, is a pretty cool aspect of the drama. Besides artifacts, there are few other real-life connections like this. So, considering all of the build-up for Cheomsseongdae throughout the latter half of the series, to see so little of its involvement was pretty disappointing.

What did you think of Stealer: The Treasure Keeper’s wrap-up? Let us know in the comments.

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You can read our full season review for Stealer: The Treasure Keeper here!


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2 thoughts on “Stealer: The Treasure keeper – K-drama Episode 12 Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. If there was a good storyline for season 2, then I would love to see another season as well. Team Karma is a favorite, for sure!

  2. tvN absolutely should do a season 2 of “Stealer: The Treasure Keeper”. Am saddened & disappointed it lasted only 12 episodes before it was “killed-off” due to low ratings. As always, the almighty dollar always all but matters to all production companies. They don’t listen to or care about pleas of fans & viewers for a season 2. Just when Team Karma members’ synergy, teamwork, friendship bond, trust & as Min-Woo said to Skunk on episode 11 “we are now a family” plus on-the-field dynamics on all 4 missions are getting better & better with each mission. Those comedy moments between Skunk & Min-Woo were awesome. Skunk & Min-Woo unfortunately never become a couple even on last episode 12. Instead it was Ms Lee & Captain Jang. Seems tvN was in such a rush to “kill-off” my (now) favourite drama series that I find the last episode a let-down. No Sunk / Shota showdown fight. No Sunk / Viper climax fight. Skunk & Min-Woo’s amusingly sweet & funny but sadly brief relationship never deepen or fully explored, remained just as team members to each other to the very end of series. If tvN had given this awesome series at least 10 more episodes, am sure fans of this series especially Skunk fans like me would be totally thrilled. Hope tvN reads my comments. Skunk & Team Karma, fighting! Hope to see u all on Season 2, if it ever happens in future.

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