The Netflix Kdrama, ‘Gyeongseong Creature,’ charts a riveting tale of love, oppression, and camaraderie, immersing the viewers in a time during Korea’s history when the country— then known as Joseon— stood on the precipice of rebellion under Japan’s colonial rule. In Gyeongseong, during the spring of 1945, Jang Tae-sang, a Joseon-born wealthy pawnshop owner, is forced to undertake an investigation into a missing person case. Simultaneously, a Manchurian Sleuth, Yoon Chae-ok, arrives in town on her decade-long search for something precious. Thus, the reluctant duo and their companions find themselves catapulted into a dangerous quest when their missions point them toward the mysterious Ongseong Hospital and its basement, with many deadly secrets to hide.
As Tae-sang and Chae-ok embark on this action-filled journey, they learn about the horrors of Japan’s occupation in Gyeongseong, unraveling secrets and moralities. Therefore, viewers must be curious to learn more about how this seemingly impossible battle comes to an end. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Gyeongseong Creature Recap
While the Japanese police work towards tampering down rebellious sentiments in the streets of Gyeongseong, their commissioner, Ishikawa, tortures Tae-sang, who is the master of the lucrative House of Golden Treasure. He wants Tae-sang to use his resources to find his mistress, Myeong-ja, who has recently gone missing. For the same reason, the commissioner threatens to ruin all of Tae-sang’s life’s work if he doesn’t bring back the woman until the end of spring.
Meanwhile, Chae-ok and her father, Jung-won, enter the town in search of Sachimoto, a Japanese artist. The locals point the father-daughter toward Tae-sang’s pawn shop, given his king of information title. Consequently, while Tae-sang and his staff contemplate their next move, Chae-ok tails him to learn more about the man. As a result, the duo’s first meeting goes less-than-stellar, with each pointing their weapons at the other.
Eventually, Jung-won meets Tae-sang officially and strikes a deal with him, much to Chae-ok’s chagrin. While the sleuths will gather information about Myeong-ja, Tae-sang will use his high-level connection to track Sachimoto. Even though Chae-ok is irked about working with Tae-sang, she is desperate to find the artist who was the last person to see her missing mother. Therefore, she investigates Myeong-ja’s footsteps and learns that Lady Maeda, Ishikawa’s wife, was responsible for the disappearance of her husband’s mistress, who is currently being held in the Ongseong hospital.
As such, Jae-sang and the Sleuths scheme a plan to infiltrate the hospital. Chae-ok runs into an undercover rebel during the mission and learns about the mysterious basement inside the military ward behind the general hospital. Suspecting the basement to be a prison, Chae-ok and her father decide to stay the night to investigate. However, the same day, a malfunction in the hospital’s basement sent the establishment into lockdown.
Unknown to the outside world, Lieutenant Kato and Doctor Ichiro have been experimenting with a parasitic being, Najin, in an effort to develop a monster. Although their brutal human experiments have been unsuccessful so far, one candidate reacts well to the parasite and turns into a monster. The lockdown is a result of the same since Kato needs to keep the development under wraps while also retaining the space to experiment further.
In Chae-ok’s absence, Tae-sang grows worried. Soon, news comes that Chae-ok was able to find Myeong-ja in the hospital. However, the army has barricaded the premises, preventing the Sleuths’ escape. Therefore, Tae-sang uncharacteristically decides to put his life at risk and sneak into the hospital with a rescue plan for four. His friend, Jun-taek, a rebel, goes with him to retrieve one of his comrades whom the military arrested with time-sensitive information.
Although Tae-sang and Jun-taek manage to infiltrate the military ward with much effort, their plans are derailed upon reunion with the Sleuths. During their time in the hospital, Chae-ok learned that the Japanese were using Joseon prisoners as human experimentation test subjects. The scene reminds her of a similar massacre in Manchuria. As such, she refuses to leave behind the handful of kids she managed to free.
Even though Tae-sang tries to act in self-preservation, he ends up giving in and agrees to help the kids. After some sneaking around and avoiding close calls, Tae-sang and Chae-ok help the kids flee, even if at the cost of their own exit strategies. Meanwhile, Ichiro’s attempts to tame Kato’s beast work in varying effects but mostly lead to an uncontainable monster wreaking havoc in the building’s lower levels.
As a result, Tae-sang and Chae-ok, who are still searching for Myeong-ja, cross paths with the dreadful monster, barely escaping and landing in the enemy soldiers’ lap. Consequently, they’re separated and imprisoned, during which Chae-ok comes across a written message from her mother, revealing that she was in the same cell.
Eventually, Tae-sang manages to escape and rescue Chae-ok, who decides to find the truth about her mother. Meanwhile, Tae-sang attempts to contact his pawnshop family to set up an escape plan. Each embarks on their own mission, with Chae-ok learning that the hospital’s monster is actually her mother, Seong-Sim, a.k.a. Seishin, who became Kato’s test subject.
Although the future seems bleak, Tae-sang’s elaborate escape plan falls into place. In the eleventh hour, however, as the Sleuths, Jun-taek’s rebel friends, Myeong-ja, and numerous other prisoners escape the hospital, Tae-sang decides to stay behind to distract Kato’s army. Their stunt brings more trouble for the townspeople, who all helped in their grand escape in some way. Furthermore, Tae-sang’s disappearance remains a heavy weight upon everyone, especially Chae-ok.
Yet, four days later, Tae-sang returns, having escaped the hospital with Lady Maeda’s help, who nursed him back to health. However, Myeong-ja seems to have brought back a deadly condition with her from the Ongseong Hospital. As a new host to a Najin parasite, the woman starts unwittingly hunting people. As a result, Ishikawa’s men imprison her, and the sight remains Chae-ok of the wrongdoings against her mother. As a result, Chae-ok pockets a gun from Tae-sang’s collection and shoots Ichiro point blank at a public event. Soon, Maeda cruelly delivers the news of Chae-ok’s death to Tae-sang at his pawnshop.
Gyeongseong Creature Ending: What Happens to the Onseong Hospital And Its Monster?
After Ichiro’s blatant assassination, Chae-ok goes missing, with even the police remaining oblivious to her whereabouts. Thus, Tae-sang continues searching for her even when Maeda brings news of the woman’s death but refuses to provide evidence. In fact, Tae-sang declares his enmity with Maeda despite the repercussions it promises. Maeda wields immense power, a fact Tae-sang is starting to understand upon realizing that she’s been pulling the strings behind the Ongseong Hospital all along through her funding. Therefore, by falling out of her favor, Tae-sang is accepting a fatal target on his back.
Nonetheless, after witnessing the Japanese army’s monstrous treatment of their prisoners, Tae-sang realizes he can’t be a silent bystander. Afterward, Tae-sang learns that Maeda has taken Chae-ok back to the hospital and decides to return to the building as well. With Jun-taek’s help, he also convinces the rebels to hand over their dynamite bombs to him so that he can blow up the hospital.
Even if some of the rebel leaders may not like Tae-sang due to his earlier negligence of the movement, they want to bring the Onseong Hospital down just as badly after learning of its horrifying human experiments. Furthermore, since their previous plans to use the dynamite against Japanese officials falls through, they strike a deal with Tae-sang. As such, the man sneaks into the hospital, armed with deadly explosives, and embarks on his search for Chae-ok.
Meanwhile, Chae-ok arrives at Kato’s lab as a gift from Maeda, and the Lieutenant attempts to use her, alongside her father, who surrendered to the military earlier in an attempt to see his wife, against Seishin. Nevertheless, the man actually loses control over the monster, who frees herself from her cell and attacks the soldiers. Simultaneously, Jung-won, another escapee, crosses paths with Tae-sang. Upon learning of the other man’s plans to blow up the hospital, Jung-won convinces him to shift the responsibility onto him.
Jung-won has been searching for Seishin for ten years and feels guilty about roping her daughter into such a life due to his obsession. Moreover, he feels a sense of duty as Seishin’s husband to remain by her side and help her even in death. Thus, Jung-won asks Tae-sang to escape the hospital with Chae-ok and keep her safe while the former sacrifices his life to ensure the Onseong Hospital and its monster dies.
In the end, Chae-ok escapes her captors’ hold with Tae-sang’s help. However, the woman is devastated to learn about her father’s decision. Meanwhile, Jung-won lures Seishin toward him, and as the spouses reunite, the dynamite goes off, sending tendrils of fire through the hospital.
Yet, as Chae-ok, dragged to safety by Tae-sang, remains devastated over the loss of her parents, the guards realize the monster has left a path of destruction in her wake and actually managed to survive the bombing. Even though the monster’s fatality to fire should have promised a fatal demise for Seishin, she manages to escape into the town. Still, the bombs’ positioning in the lower levels at least ensures that most of the research material gets destroyed.
Is Chae-ok Dead or Alive?
The initial news of Chae-ok’s death is jarring and renders Tae-sang heartbroken. There had been a spark between the pair since their first meeting, and the duo bonded in meaningful ways after surviving the traumatic experience at the hospital together. Therefore, Tae-sang doesn’t wish to believe that the woman he’s grown to love, who conveyed her reciprocation just hours earlier to him through a kiss and a promise, is dead. Thus, he’s elated to be reunited with her after the hospital’s destruction.
Although Tae-sang arranged tickets to Shanghai for Chae-ok and her father, he’s the one who prepares to leave with her in the wake of her father’s decision. Still, Chae-ok is reluctant to allow the man to throw his life away since she will remain a fugitive, hunted by the Japanese army forever. Despite the instability and the threat of such a life, Tae-sang wants to spend his days beside Chae-ok and do everything in his power to keep them safe.
As such, after leaving the Onseong hospital, Tae-sang and Chae-ok wait by an isolated field for their associates to send some resources for them. However, Maeda’s men, trained Yakuza warriors, end up tailing the covert delivery boy, Beom-o. As a result, Tae-sang and Chae-ok find themselves outnumbered against armed, deathly enemies. Still, they put up a fight, giving as good as they get. During the fatal confrontation, each sustains numerous injuries but continues to defend themselves and the other.
Meanwhile, Seishin, perhaps sensing her daughter’s turmoil, makes way for the clearing. Upon the monster’s arrival, she cuts through swaths of Yakuza warriors, whom Chae-ok and Tae-sang couldn’t defeat. As the monster fights, Tae-sang attempts to flee with a severely wounded Chae-ok. Nevertheless, once the Yakuza are gone, the monster turns to Tae-sang, making him her next target. Yet, just as the monster is about to pierce him with her limbs, Chae-ok throws herself over the man.
Impaled by her own mother, albeit a monstrous version of her, Chae-ok attempts to talk Seishin out of hunting Tae-sang, pleading with her to spare the man her daughter loves. Even though Seishin listens to her daughter’s pleas and leaves, Tae-sang is left to hold Chae-ok’s dying body. The sight devastates the man as he begs for the woman to return to him. Nonetheless, his cries are in vain, and Chae-ok dies in his arms as spring bleeds into fall.
As time passes, Tae-sang returns to his life eventually, reopening the House of Golden Treasures and allowing himself to enjoy his country’s recent independence. Still, he can’t get over Chae-ok, as if waiting for her return. Although the same shouldn’t be possible, it doesn’t remain entirely impossible either.
Sometime after Chae-ok’s death, Seishin took her daughter’s body with her into the sea. Underneath the water, the monster engulfed her daughter and transferred her Najin parasite from her mutated body into Chae-ok’s. In the end, Chae-ok’s dead body, infiltrated by the Najin parasite, comes back to life. The consequences of Chae-ok’s resurrection remain unclear since her survival depends on the Najin, a known mind-controlling parasite. Still, Seishin manages to control this particular parasite, which suggests good things for Chae-ok. Ultimately, the woman doesn’t die but will face a tough journey ahead.
Do Myeong-ja And Her Baby Survive?
In a way, Myeong-ja’s disappearance jumpstarted the show’s events since it compelled Tae-sang to involve himself with the Onseong Hospital. The commissioner, Ishikawa, was desperate to have his mistress back, partly because she was carrying his child. However, after her return from the hospital, she turns into a killer in moments of Najin’s influence. Consequently, she could only hide her condition for so long.
Eventually, one of her attacks attracts the police’s attention, leading to an entire army leading a hunt against her. Ishikawa already had his doubts about Myeong-ja’s involvement in the murders. As such, during their confrontation, the man isn’t as surprised as he’s angry. Ishikawa refuses to see Myeong-ja as a victim even though her actions were a result of her time in the hospital, wherein she accidentally consumed a Najin. Instead, the man only cares about the dishonor she has brought to his name.
Consequently, Ishikawa refuses to claim Myeong-ja’s unborn child and demands she shut herself in a cage to be delivered to the Onseong Hospital, where Ichiro and Kato will continue experimenting on her. Even though the woman mauls him in a fit of rage, she can’t stand against the horde of armed soldiers, who open fire at her and take her to the hospital.
At Onseong, the guards keep Myeong-ja in a cellar, isolated and alone. Soon, everyone becomes preoccupied with the havoc Tae-sang and Chae-ok wreck upon the institution. However, in one of the moments, Kato, attempting to escape Seishin’s clutches, stumbles upon the pregnant woman. Kato’s experiment has sharply gone sideways, with even his serum and Najin vials falling victim to the chaos.
Thus, when Kato spots the Myeong-ja on the verge of giving birth to her baby, he snatches the opportunity. The Lieutenant is desperate to create a superior lifeform and a weapon out of the Najin, deeming it a scientific breakthrough. Therefore, he has no qualms about taking as many lives to achieve the same as possible. For the same reason, he delivers Myeong-ja’s baby in the safety of the secluded cellar, which remains untouched by Jung-won’s bombs. In the end, the procedure kills Myeong-ja but saves the baby, who is born with a Najin inside of them. Worse yet, the baby is entirely at the mercy of Kato, who will likely use Myeong-ja’s innocent child and turn them into a monster.
Is Lady Maeda Dead?
In the end, the narrative reveals Lady Maeda as the real puppeteer behind the Onseong Hospital’s monstrosities. Hailing from a wealthy Japanese family, Maeda has been funding the Kato and his experiments all this time. Furthermore, she was the one who delivered Seishin as a prisoner after she felt betrayed by the woman, who was once her childhood friend. Likewise, she’s also responsible for Myeong-ja’s predicament since she imprisoned her in the hospital due to her pregnancy.
Nevertheless, with Maeda’s evil out in the open, her character almost manages to get away without any consequences for her actions. That is until Tae-sang decides to exact revenge upon her for all her wrongdoings. While the military pays respects to her husband, Ishikawa, Jun-taek, the son of an official, attends the event to deliver a message to the woman.
The message is from Tae-sang and conveys a simple farewell. However, Maeda notices that Jun-taek, along with a few of his accomplices, exits the building in a hurry after putting up posters of the names of her victims, including Chae-ok. Although she understands the building is about to be under attack, Maeda isn’t fast enough and fails to flee the funeral home before it blows up into smithereens.
Nevertheless, Maeda manages to survive. Yet, the blast left her severely injured, unable to move properly, with half of her body covered in burn marks. Eventually, after Joseon’s freedom, Japanese officials prepared to retreat to their own land. Thus, Kato visits her one final team to offer her a place with him as he continues his research. In her immobilized and injured state, Maeda can do little but sit still and deliver her answer through her perpetual silence. Ultimately, although the woman survives, the life she leads will likely be short and full of pain.
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