A Killer Paradox Ending, Explained: Does Lee Tang Get Caught For The Murders?

‘A Killer Paradox,’ the Netflix crime-driven Kdrama, takes the viewers on a captivating journey of murder and morality told through a tug-of-war between a young vigilante and a tenacious cop. College student Lee Tang moves through life aimlessly until life throws him a curveball after circumstances lead him to commit a violent murder. However, Lee’s ethical crisis gets interrupted when the student realizes that his victim is actually a serial killer. Consequently, Lee discovers that he has the ability to recognize outlaws and deliver retribution to them, compelling him to leave a string of bodies in his wake.

Nevertheless, it isn’t long before Lee’s actions catch the suspicions of Detective Jang Nan-gam. With cosmic responsibilities on his shoulders and the law out to get him, Lee must find a way to punish the bad guys for their crimes without getting caught for his own. SPOILERS AHEAD!

A Killer Paradox Recap

As far as moral failings go, Lee Tang doesn’t necessarily have a stainless record. From cheating on his high school girlfriend to getting classmates in trouble, the boy has many things to carry guilt around for. Furthermore, his life after military service remains dreadfully monotonous, filled with dead-end college classes and shifts at the convenience store. However, one night, everything changes after Lee Tang finds one of his previous customers passed out on the ground on his way home. Lee also spots the guy’s friend nearby, but the latter rebukes him when approached.

Worse yet, when Lee attempts to push the stranger, he lashes out and begins beating the younger man up in a dark alleyway. Therefore, years of repressed anger come rushing out, leading Lee to brutally murder the man with a hammer and flee from the scene in horror. At home, guilt torments Lee’s conscience. Nevertheless, all evidence of his involvement in the crime eludes the authorities once the cops, under Detective Jang Nan-gam, investigate the murder. In fact, through forensics and an eyewitness, the police learn that the man and his friend killed each other.

Still, Nan-gam remains suspicious about the easy solution, with Lee’s on-edge behavior ticking him off. Nonetheless, the case fades away once the cops realize the victim was actually a serial killer who went off the grid a while ago. The revelation also helps Lee clear his conscience, unable to feel guilty about killing a murderer and a rapist. Over the following days, the instance returns to haunt Lee when a partially blind woman emerges as a witness to Lee’s actions and attempts to extort him, demanding money for her silence.

Even though Lee complies at first, the woman’s sour blackmail pushes him to the edge, inciting another burst wherein he kills the woman. Yet, another conscience-clearing revelation arrives, with Nan-gam discovering the woman was a selfish monster who killed her parents for insurance money. As such, later, Lee realizes his urge to kill delinquent young men likely has an explanation behind it and commits the murders in cold blood. However, things take a turn when someone anonymously approaches the boy on an online message board, “Only For Heroes.”

After a series of thrilling events, Lee finds himself leaving his life behind to meet up with the man behind Only For Heroes, an anonymous well-wisher who seems to know everything about his crimes. Following a premeditated, elaborate meet-up, Lee meets Roh-bin, a tech whiz with expert hacking skills and a burning passion for justice. Roh-bin hypothesizes that a higher power has bestowed the ability on Lee to single out villains and deliver them to their fates. For the same reason, despite the man’s sloppy killings, Lee has been too lucky to get caught yet.

Thus, with Roh-bin’s help, Lee takes up the responsibility to clean up trashy people whenever his intuition leads him to do so. In the meantime, Nan-gam becomes convinced that Lee was behind the murders all those months ago. Nonetheless, Lee effortlessly evades the cops in his new life while simultaneously dropping new bodies frequently. Eventually, Nan-gam finds a way to go after the man right when another burly man, Song Chon, begins asking around for Lee.

As it would turn out, Nan-gam, Song Chon, and Roh-bin have an extensive history, going back decades when Song attacked Nan-gam’s father, sending him into a paralyzed coma. As such, once Nan-gam and Roh-bin, past contentious acquaintances, realize Song has returned, their priorities shift to include his arrest. Meanwhile, after a nasty interaction with Song, Lee realizes he’s been over his head and attempts to hide with Roh-bin’s help.

Nevertheless, Roh-bin, who used to work with Song in the past, ditches self-preservation to protect Lee, teaming up with Nan-gam to face Song. Yet, Lee doesn’t allow his friend to face the fight alone. Thus, the end finds all four men gathered in an abandoned factory for an explosive confrontation.

A Killer Paradox Ending: Why Did Song Chon Kill Jang Nan-Gam’s Father? Does Nan-gam Get Revenge?

Although Song Chon’s character makes a physical entry into the show’s narrative in the later episodes, his presence haunts the storyline early on. His involvement in Nan-gam’s father’s predicament and position as Roh-bin’s previous crime-fighting partner allows the viewers some insight into his character. Nevertheless, the man remains shrouded in mystery. During the police’s hunt for him, while Roh-bin and Lee attempt to flee to the South to hide, Song attacks Nan-gam’s father, Detective Kang, at the hospital and kills him.

Since the man was already on life support, the action comes across as even more callous, further cementing Nan-gam’s resolve to kill him. For the same reason, he agrees to work with Roh-bin when the latter reveals he knows Song’s location due to an earlier correspondence. Song has a precious book that holds elusive evidence that could prove Lee’s crimes. Therefore, Roh-bin is desperate to retrieve it from the man to clear his friend’s name. Nonetheless, Lee catches on to his self-sacrificial plan and tracks him down to the meet-up spot.

Consequently, everyone collides together at the factory, where a fight leaves Song injured, stabbed through the torso by Lee’s blade. During this time, the man reveals the truth behind his past with Kang. Song used to be a police officer working under Song’s leadership. Although the man attempted to impress his superior, the latter continued ignoring his efforts. Eventually, Song discovered that Kang was involved in a drug trafficking scheme wherein he used an innocent old lady as his unwitting mule.

As it would turn out, Kang was a corrupt cop with no intentions to right his immoral ways. Moreover, he looked down on Song since he was the son of a killer. Despite Kang’s own shortcomings, he had decided that Song was bound to be wicked and constantly turned him away from promotions. Once Song confronts Kang about his own wrongdoings, the man beats him up and verbally abuses him, pushing Song to assault his superior officer.

As a result, Kang ended up in a coma, and Song lost his career as a law enforcement officer. The latter’s path inevitably crossed with Roh-bin, who attempted to pitch him the same vigilante spiel that he shares with Lee. Only the power gets to Song’s head. The man began punishing people for the smallest crimes— a habit he continued with on his hunt for Lee. After Roh-bin witnessed his villainy, he reached out to Nan-gam to stop the other man.

However, Nan-gam was unable to kill the man and let him slip from his hands. Therefore, years later, after Song realizes Roh-bin has found someone else to take his heroic spot, he comes out of the woodwork, picking up the past where he left it. For the same reason, he targets Kang and finally kills him. Nevertheless, in doing so, he increases Nan-gam’s hatred toward the man. Nan-gam has never killed anyone— a fact that stops him from killing Song numerous times.

Yet, after Song has revealed the entire past to Nan-gam, including his mother’s affair with Kang’s friend, he continues to taunt him about Kang’s corrupt nature. As such, Nan-gam, who never had a particularly good relationship with his bullying father, snaps. Even though Lee, who has killed numerous people, offers to finish the job for Nan-gam, the cop chooses to finish his story on his own. In the end, Nan-gam kills Song, alerting Lee’s senses and signifying the former’s tampered morality.

Does Roh-Bin Die?

Roh-bin’s involvement in criminal activities remains precarious from the start. When he was a child, a robber broke into his house, murdering his parents. The kid discovered the bodies the next morning, effectively finding himself alone in the world. Worse yet, the authorities never found the killer, leading Roh-bin to realize that justice can only be served with power. Still, despite his best efforts, he could never find power of his own. As a result, he began seeking it elsewhere.

Roh-bin had the resources and the wit to conduct a vigilante operation. Even so, he didn’t have the fighting strength. Thus, he became the perpetual sidekick, seeking heroes. His first attempt went sideways after Song showed his true brutish colors. Nevertheless, Lee proved to be different. Unlike Song, Lee’s intuition came from a higher power— or so the duo believed. Since something supernatural was clearly afoot with the man, Roh-bin realized he was different from people who dole out justice based on their vendettas.

Instead, Lee only ever killed the people who deserved it, acting as some sort of cosmic comeuppance. For the same reason, Roh-bin decided to defend the man, even if at the cost of his own life. In the end, during the altercation at the factory, wherein Lee and Roh-bin try to subdue Song while Nan-gam fires at him, the man’s bullet catches Roh-bin. Thus, Lee’s beloved sidekick bleeds to his death, satisfied to have saved his friend.

Furthermore, Roh-bin also leaves behind several failsafes to ensure that the recent events and crimes don’t end up falling on Lee’s shoulders. Despite the moral ambiguity of Lee’s actions, Roh-bin recognized them as heroism and ultimately sacrificed his life to protect Lee.

Does Lee Tang Get Away With His Crimes?

Throughout the show, Lee’s luck consistently protects him from getting caught by the law. Since his actions seem to be universe-mandated, the same invisible force protects his retributive murders from the law’s repercussions. In fact, the one time Lee attempts to confess his crimes to the cops, fate intervenes and gets rid of all the evidence that could incriminate him of his crimes. Likewise, his meeting with Roh-bin seems too good to be true, suggesting his powers had pulled them together to become a crime-fighting duo.

In the end, whatever force bestows Lee’s powers of intuition and luck on him saves him from legal repercussions. At the moment after Song and Roh-bin’s death, Lee is left alone with Nan-gam. At first, the former tries to end his life at the detective’s hands, only for the latter’s gun to run out, signaling another masterful stroke of luck. Similarly, although Nan-gam wanted to prosecute Lee for his crimes, something stopped him from following through.

Due to Roh-bin, Nan-gam knows that everyone that Lee killed deserves their fate. Furthermore, the latter personally begged Nan-gam to spare his friend before he walked into his death. Lastly, Nan-gam hesitates to condemn Lee to a cruel fate after witnessing his guilty conscience. For the same reasons, he decides to let the man go, consoling himself with the idea that someone else is bound to catch him down the road.

From there, Roh-bin’s pre-made plans take care of everything. While the man was setting up Lee’s grand escape, he also installed evidence that would lead the police to conclude that the recent string of murders were all committed by Roh-bin and his accomplice, Song Chon. Therefore, once the police carried forward their investigation following the factory’s explosion, they came to Roh-bin’s manipulated conclusion.

The last piece of the puzzle comes from Nan-gam, whose testimony could change everything about the law’s modified perception of Lee’s innocence. Yet, the man lies for Roh-bin and Lee’s sake, absolving the latter of his blame. In the end, Lee moves away to the South, as Roh-bin suggested, to get away from the crime-driven cities and get a hold of his murderous intuition.

Nevertheless, a few months later, Lee gets caught for his illegal passport and ships back to South Korea. Eventually, his path crosses with another villainous man in the city’s crowd. Soon, Nan-gam notices Lee’s re-emergence after news breaks of a serial killer’s mysterious murder. Lee manages to get away with his crimes as the season comes to an end. Yet, his continued killings leave room for consequences to catch up to his actions— however just they may be.

Read More: Is Netflix’s A Killer Paradox Inspired by a True Story?