Captain Han Yunjae (Gong Yoo) is one of the main characters in the South Korean sci-fi thriller series ‘The Silent Sea.’ He is the head of the crew of Nuri 11 and the one in charge of the entire mission. We are introduced to him at the same time as Dr. Song (Bae Doona), in front of the memorial to the 117 people who died at the Balhae Lunar Research Station. Initially, Captain Han comes off as an archetypical military character, for whom the mission’s success is the topmost priority. But as the series progresses and the nuances of his personality are revealed, we learn that he is complex and honorable, a man who puts his own life at risk to save his crew members. If you are wondering whether he survives at the end of ‘The Silent Sea’ season 1, we got you covered.
Does Captain Han Die in The Silent Sea?
Yes, Captain Han dies in ‘The Silent Sea.’ That moment doesn’t come until the final episode, and it has a profound impact on both the audience and the remaining characters. The show goes to a great length in depicting Captain Han’s circumstances to explain to us why he has agreed to lead such a dangerous mission, during which, as Dr. Song says, the crew members have less than 10% chance of survival.
Captain Han’s daughter is sick, and he needs a higher water classification to mitigate the effects of her condition. The world in which ‘The Silent Sea’ is set is nearly barren, and water is the most priced commodity. So, predictably, the system that the government has established to distribute water among people is rife with inequality and corruption. Like every other crew member except Dr. Song, Captain Han has been promised that he will be promoted to Class A water grade after the mission is completed.
The said mission involves traveling to Balhae and bringing back something only referred to as the “Sample.” It is later revealed that the Sample is actually water discovered on the moon. It has certain properties that drastically distinguish it from regular water. For instance, when it comes into contact with organic material, it starts to multiply at an alarming speed. If even a molecule of it goes inside a human, they die from being drowned within.
Captain Han and his crew learn that the staff at Balhae used cloning and conducted human experimentation to make lunar water consumable. They later died after being exposed to the volatile substance. Captain Han also loses several members of his crew to the effects of lunar water. He later forms a bond with Luna, the test subject they find at the station. As the sole survivor of the atrocious experiments, Luna holds the key to humanity’s future. Ultimately, as Balhae starts to get flooded, Captain Han sacrifices his own life to save the remaining members of his crew and Luna.
After getting error messages from the sensors in the chamber where they are supposed to hide from the torrential water, Captain Han steps out, locking the door behind him and initiating airlock depressurization. The force of the water throws him outside of the station. In his last few moments, Luna comes to him and tries to give him his badge back, which has a sticker placed by his daughter. This is an important moment in the show. Although Captain Han will not be able to keep his promise to his daughter and return to her, by saving Luna, he has ensured that his daughter will have a long life in a better world.
Read More: The Silent Sea Ending, Explained