Netflix’s ‘Behind The Touch,’ is a South Korean crime-comedy show with a serial killer investigation at its center. After following Detective Moon Jang-yeol and his crime-fighting partner, Bong Ye-bun, a veterinarian with psychometric powers, for weeks, the show finally reaches its climax with the pair catching Mujin’s serial killer, Shaman Park Jong-bae. The Shaman has been an integral part of the show since the pilot, with the narrative often employing him as a comedic relief.
As Ye-bun’s neighbor and Seon-woo’s tenant, the Shaman built a good rapport with multiple central characters and even helped out with Jang-yeol’s investigation on various occasions. As such, the viewers are bound to be taken aback by the final reveal of Jong-Bae’s apparent bloodthirst. Therefore, if you’d like to know more about the drive behind Shaman Jong-bae’s actions to understand his character better, here is everything you need to know. SPOILERS AHEAD!
What Is Shaman Jong-bae’s Motive?
Although the Shaman’s reveal as a serial killer only came with the season’s penultimate episode, the built-up behind it has been in the making since the first episode. On the night of a meteor shower that only occurs once every century, Ye-bun receives her psychic powers on Gwangsik’s farm. As the astronomical phenomenon unfolds, some energy binds itself to Gwang-sik’s cow, Geumsil, bestowing psychometric powers upon anyone in contact with the cow.
Ye-bun, who is touching Geumsil’s behind at the time, gains the power to see other people’s memories by touching their backsides. Likewise, Gwang-sik, the farmer, also gains the same ability triggered through a leg touch. Although the two learn about each other’s similar powers soon, a third psychometric remains in the background, unknown. The same night, Jong-bae was walking back home. After taking a wrong shortcut, the man ended up at Gwang-sik’s farm.
As such, when the shower happened, Shaman Jong-bae made eye contact with Geumsil and gained abilities akin to Ye-bun and Gwang-sik. Eventually, the Shaman visits Australia to see his son and wife, Hong Mi-yeon, who has separated from him. During the visit, Jong-bae learns about his wife’s renewed dating life through his powers and chokes her to death. While the Shaman kills his wife, he realizes that he enjoys watching a person’s life flash before their eyes as they meet their end.
Furthermore, according to Jong-bae, a dying person’s last memory is always the best. Consequently, the Shaman gets hooked on this feeling and continues killing people after returning to Mujin. His first victim is Si-a, an influencer, who he runs into outside a convenience store. The night, Jong-bae dons a green raincoat, perfectly blendable in Mujin, and arms himself with a white and blue floral knife, another Mujin staple.
The raincoat ensures that the Shaman’s killings leave no bloodstains behind on his clothes and stabs his victim in the dead of the night. Although he manages to stay unnoticed for a while, his second victim puts him on Jang-yeol’s radar. Thus begins Ye-bun and Jang-yeol’s investigation.
Since Jong-bae kills purely for his own self-satisfaction, gaining a twisted delight in watching the light go out from people’s eyes, Jong-bae doesn’t let his pesky neighbors’ involvement stop him. Jong-bae quickly realizes that Ye-bun is helping Jang-yeol look for the killer and takes preventative measures against getting caught. Since he has the same powers, Jong-bae likely knows that psychometrics can only see what their subjects can.
Therefore, the Shaman comes up with the plan to kill his victims while wearing thick black sunglasses that form black screens in his memories due to lack of proper visibility. Consequently, anytime Ye-bun touches him, she doesn’t see him committing the murders. Nonetheless, a trace of evidence remains in his memories of Dr. Jung and Cha’s murder. While Jong-bae kills Cha, Jung walks in on him and turns the lights on, blocking the Shaman’s vision due to his sunglasses.
Therefore, a glimpse of Cha’s murder remains clear in his mind before he turns the light snack off and kills Jung. Prior to Jung’s murder, Jong-bae only kills people at random on his whim. Yet, Jung’s murder marks the start of Jong-bae killing people to maintain his secret. Still, Jong-bae refuses to give up on killing people for the sake of it until Jang-yeol and Ye-bun finally catch up to him with Seon-woo’s help.
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