The Devil Judge Finale: Recap, Review & Ending Explained

The Final Judgment

How does The Devil Judge finale begin?

Episode 16 of The Devil Judge starts this finale with a shell-shocked Ga-On speaking to Elijah about what’s happened. He apologizes for being fooled and promises to fix this. He’s going to bring Yo-Han back, even if it means sacrificing himself to do it.

Ga-On attempts to get himself arrested to begin with, telling the detectives that he tampered with evidence. Well, given Korea is under a state of national emergency, the press cant report anything without the government’s approval first.

Where has Yo-Han been taken?

Yo-Han is arrested and thrown in prison, locked up with no warrant. The new paints him as a murderer, claiming he’s responsible for what happened to Soo-Hyun. Well, Yo-Han finds himself attacked by a number of inmates, including Juk-Chang. Yo-Han gets the upper-hand though in the first skirmish but how long can he keep this up?

What is Jung-Ho hiding?

Ga-On continues on the war path and waits for Jung-Ho in his office, sneering at the Chief Justice and questioning just how far he’s fallen. Jung-Ho is na├»ve and claims he didn’t know how far the Foundation would go.

Even worse though, Jung-Ho actually used Ga-On from the very beginning. Sun-A tasked him with bringing someone close to stick with Yo-Han and question his motives, essentially debunking his work and reporting back what he’s up to.

As Jung-Ho continues, he confirms he was well aware the Foundation killed Soo-Hyun but play-acted while sitting in hospital, claiming it was Yo-Han to coerce Ga-On into thinking his way.

Meanwhile, the Foundation continue to pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Sun-A though believes there’s something else going on here, and specifically that they’re being played. She tasks her lackey with checking out the Dream Home Medical Center to see if anyone is being moved or anything is untoward.

Ga-On intends to visit the same place but before he goes, he leaves a note for Elijah. Within this, Ga-On blames the switchboard wiring for the church fire and sticks up for Yo-Han, excusing his actions as him caring and reinforcing that she’s done nothing wrong.

What’s going on with the Dream House Project?

Well, the reality of Dream Homes is anything but a dream. In fact, it’s closer to a nightmare. People lay in beds, sick and in pain. These are the guys and gals snatched up from the “virus” district earlier in the season.

Only, when the President shows up, Ga-On hides round the corner. He’s snuck in as a nurse and overhears the grim reality of what’s going on.

It turns out Heo and his cronies are using this facility to test a new vaccine. 182 people have died but Heo is not bothered by this. The Foundation call the deceased “human resources” and intend to profit from their deaths by selling organs. The one person not there is Sun-A, and in her absence the Foundation scheme and decide they should get rid of the girl for their own benefit.

That’s not all though, they’ve taken all the nurses’ phones and kept them in the dark. However, some of the workers help break Ms Han and Ga-On out of the facility. However, Ga-On also seems to have a video camera on him – has he recorded what we saw earlier?

Is Yo-Han really dead?

With the inauguration of the Chief Justice coming up, Ga-On prepares to hit back against the evil Foundation. However, a news report comes in confirming he’s been stabbed and killed in prison. When Sun-A sees the news, she’s shocked and completely rattled. The rest of the Foundation however, decide they should use the court to celebrate his death.

Ga-On’s revenge begins by tying down Jung-Ho and keeping him in his office. With a bomb strapped to his chest, Ga-On decides to see him in another life instead. Once this bomb goes off, the media companies will have no choice but to report this news.

When they do, Ga-On is going to send an email across to the companies exposing the truth about the Dream Homes project. Just before the bomb blows, Yo-Han comes bounding in through the front door. He’s alive!

It turns out he managed to bribe the warden in charge of the prison, with lots of incriminating details about him. Yo-Han convinced the man to switch prisoners and keep everything a secret for 24 hours.

In exchange, Yo-Han will keep his secret and give his money back. In essence, Yo-Han faked his own death to escape. On top of that, Lawyer Ko has been working with Yo-Han all this time to help bust him out.

What is Yo-Han’s plan?

Next up, Yo-Han broadcasts himself live to the court. With all the media outlets blocked, he tells the others that he’s starting a live broadcast on the DIKE app.

The final trial will start in 24 hours. Those on trial? Yep, you guessed it! Hyang-Mi, Sang-Sook, Yong-Shik, Yeon-Jung and President Heo. And their crimes? The Dream Home Project. Yo-Han has video footage up of the entire scandal and Sun-A is not far behind on the list of incriminated figures.

While the citizens vote, Yo-Han has bombs wired around the building so the Foundation can’t escape. The nation speaks up and they vote in their millions.

What happens in court?

Yo-Han however, shows up at the court and prepares to let the entire place blow – with him joining them in the afterlife. It turns out Yong-Sik was actually coerced by Yo-Han to bring everyone together into the courtroom. And just like 10 years back, Yo-Han tells the Foundation that only the quickest will survive and make it out.

Sun-A though has a handgun. As the Foundation completely implode in the wake of this, Sun-A suddenly turns and shoots President Heo in the head. She next turns the gun on herself and blows her brains out, taking the easy way out.

Yo-Han meanwhile, throws Ga-On out the room when he shows up and turns his attention back to the remaining members of the Foundation. He presses a button and lets the entire place blow. Bits of the roof falls, engulfing the entire place in smoke as the explosion rocks the building to its core.

Does Yo-Han survive?

Ga-On returns to the mansion, believing that Yo-Han has died. Only, he finds blueprints left on the chair and finally starts to understand what’s happened.

Yo-Han has been studying the room to find a way out, including a place he can save himself. And just like that, Yo-Han comes galivanting into the room a new person. With the Foundation gone and buried, it’s time for a new chapter.

We then skip forward in time. Jin-Joo is heading off to volunteer at the department in charge of juvenile cases. After saying her goodbyes, Ga-On shows up to oversee the public hearing for Yo-Han’s actions.

Ga-On tells them all that Yo-Han isn’t a criminal but he’s not a hero either. Ga-On does his best to talk to them all but it’s all the same – old men squabbling over the same issues.

Well, Yo-Han has faith in Ga-On’s abilities and after giving him a knowing nod outside the courtroom, he walks away. The pair have patched up their differences and it leaves Ga-On free to try and reform the justice system.


The Episode Review

The Devil Judge bows out with a pretty decent final episode, even if there are a few hiccups when it comes to logic and moral ambiguity. I mean, Yo-Ha is technically a terrorist by the time this final episode finishes. He murdered a whole bunch of people in the court, regardless of if they deserved it or not.

He destroyed the building and could have injured the officers outside. The fact that he’s just walking around without anyone paying much attention to him is a bit contrived.

However, the ending does leave with things on a suitable high. The Foundation are gone and although the justice system is still the same as it was before, there’s at least a glimmer of hope that Ga-on could help reform this from the inside.

Either way, The Devil Judge has been a really enjoyable watch and the ending does leave the possibility of a second season on the table.

Given most k-dramas aren’t renewed for a second season, I can’t see this one following suit. Personally, it would have been nice to see more of the court cases and individual episodes tackling ordinary people and their issues.

We never really saw a case that was split 50/50 or 49/51 on the public vote and this could have raised an interesting moral dilemma about whether to do the right thing or not.

Still, the way this has tied into current world issues has been a nice inclusion and it certainly hasn’t been shoehorned in like some shows in the west have done. The Devil Punisher has been a decent watch though and while perhaps not perfect and with its own issues, the show has been an enjoyable watch nonetheless.

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