Gyeongseong Creature: Does Chae-ok Become a Monster?

The titular monster in ‘Gyeongseong Creature,’ Netflix’s horror sci-fi Kdrama, is a result of Lieutenant Kato and his covert human experiments conducted in Manchuria and Joseon under Japanese occupation. After their respective fates bring Jang Tae-sang, a wealthy businessman, and Yoon Chae-ok, a Manchurian Sleuth, to Onseong Hospital’s doorsteps, the duo learns about Kato and his inhuman imprisonment of countless Joseon citizens. Furthermore, they also encounter the hospital’s deadly monster, who turns out to be Seong-Sim, or Seishin, Chae-ok’s mother, under a lethal parasite’s control.

As such, Chae-ok’s involvement in destroying Onseong Hospital and the inhuman experiment conducted within its walls comes with a personal vendetta. However, as the show’s season one nears its end with the Sleuth’s predicament up in the air, viewers can’t help but wonder if the woman might fall victim to the same dehumanization as her mother. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Chae-ok’s Close Call With The Najin

As per Kato’s experiment, an individual must consume the Najin parasite as the first step in their transformation into a monster. The Najin is a thin, thread-like being that attaches itself to its host’s brain upon consumption. However, the process can leave the host weakened and lead to death if their bodies aren’t strong enough. Inversely, if the body can survive the initial takeover, the Najin steadily takes over the individual completely until they lose their senses and become a tool for the parasite. From there, the Najin, a born predator, hunts humans viciously as a part of its heightened survival instinct.

However, Kato wanted to create an even more lethal weapon. The Lieutenant was hell-bent on bringing about the evolution of humanity and wanted to create a mutation that would allow the Najin to turn its host into a deadlier life form. As such, after Seishin’s body accepted the Najin parasite, Kato injected her with a serum containing Anthrax. As a result, Seishin’s body mutated and turned her into a monstrous being.

Chae-ok infiltrates the hospital’s military wards shortly after Seishin’s transformation. Consequently, it’s only a matter of time before the woman runs into Kato, who recognizes the similarities between Chae-ok and her mother. For the same reason, he attempts to trick her into consuming the Najin parasite in an effort to replicate his successful experiment. Nevertheless, even though Chae-ok comes close to falling prey to the same fate as her mother, she evades Kato’s attempts.

Ultimately, Chae-ok manages to escape relatively unscathed from the hospital, if with a heavier heart due to the discovery of her mother’s predicament and Tae-sang’s sacrifice. Still, since she didn’t drink the cup of water offered by Kato, which was secretly housing a Najin parasite, Chae-ok remains a human. That is until her second involuntary visit to the hospital, which changes everything for the young woman.

Chae-ok’s Brush with Death and Her Cursed Salvation

Even though Chae-ok escapes from the hospital thanks to Tae-sang’s exit plan, the experience changes something intrinsic inside her. The woman has been looking for her mother, Seishin, for a decade. Thus, upon discovering that she can never have her mother back, a cause she has dedicated most of her life to, Chae-ok can’t help but feel broken. Furthermore, the wound of Tae-sang’s sacrifice still sits fresh upon the woman’s heart.

Therefore, even after Tae-sang manages to return to her after carrying out a bold, if subdued, escape from the hospital, half of Chae-ok’s heart still remains broken due to her mother’s condition. For the same reason, after witnessing even more of the Japanese military’s injustice upon others, Chae-ok decides to take grave measures. She knows she can’t save her mother anymore. Consequently, all that’s left for her now is revenge.

As such, irrespective of the consequences, Chae-ok marches to Doctor Ichiro, the head of Onseong Hospital’s more menacing medical operations, and shoots him point blank while surrounded by Japanese officials. Even though the blatant crime lands her back inside Kato’s hospital, the woman can’t bring herself to regret her actions.

Furthermore, Chae-ok’s stay at the hospital remains shorter this time around since Tae-sang quickly arrives at her rescue. In the aftermath, the duo manage to escape, with the horror-filled hospital blowing up to smithereens behind them as per Tae-sang’s plan. Yet, in the end, as the man and the woman attempt to run away from Gyeongseong to Shanghai together, one final adversary stands in their way: Lady Maeda and her Yakuza-trained warriors.

The altercation leaves Chae-ok and Tae-sang severely injured. Still, it isn’t until Seishin, who managed to escape the hospital’s destruction, arrives that a real danger looms over the pair. While Seishin destroys the Yakuza warriors in order to keep her daughter safe, she doesn’t have enough wherewithal as a monster to realize Tae-sang isn’t a threat. Furthermore, her daughter may tamper down her bloodthirst, but even she can’t dissipate it.

As a result, Seishin attacks Tae-sang. Nonetheless, Chae-ok ends up taking the blow to protect the man she’s grown to love. Thus, in her dying moments, the woman convinces her mother to leave Tae-sang alone before dying in the devastated man’s arms. Yet, the same doesn’t mark the end for her character.

Even though Seishin leaves the couple alone to let Tae-sang mourn the death of his beloved and the future he could’ve had with her, the monster returns for Chae-ok’s body eventually. Taking Chae-ok to the sea and submerging her below the surface, Seishin transfers her Najin parasite into her dead daughter’s body. Despite her monstrous disposition, Seishin has showcased remarkable control when it comes to her daughter. Therefore, she likely understood how her actions killed the person she loves the most in the world.

Thus, Seishin, the monster bred for survival, sacrifices her life to give Chae-ok another chance at hers. The Najin parasite infiltrates the woman’s body and makes her its host. As a result, Chae-ok returns to life, even if forever changed. The Najin is known for its vicious ways and has turned every host into a monster so far. Yet, this specific Najin, Chae-ok’s mother’s parasite, was unique. Even though it was controlling Seishin, the woman was able to change that hierarchy of power and exert some control over the Najin.

As such, perhaps Chae-ok can also learn to control the Najin and lower its vicious influence over her. Furthermore, since she wasn’t administered the Anthrax serum, her body won’t mutate into the hulking monster that her mother was. Instead, she would likely turn into a lethal individual with bloodthirsty impulses. Yet, even though Chae-ok will definitely undergo grave, violent changes in the show’s potential continuation, it’s too early to label her a monster.

Given her strong conviction and Tae-sang’s dedication toward her, perhaps the woman can learn to use love to overpower Najin’s influence over her even better than her mother had. Ultimately, Chae-ok is heading down a path that can make her a monster due to the Najin’s infestation. Still, there’s a chance she can fight her doomed demise.

Read More: Gyeongseong Creature Ending, Explained