‘Gyeongseong Creature,’ the historical Netflix Kdrama, charts the story of a horrifying adventure that a wealthy Joseon businessman and a Manchurian Sleuth unwittingly undertakes. Jang Tae-sang and Yoon Chae-ok enter the Ongseong Hospital in their investigation to find Myeong-ja, the Japanese Commisioner’s mistress. However, as they explore the establishment’s military wards, new horrors come to the surface, including caged civilians-turned-test-subjects, ruthless military men, and a bloodthirsty monster. The monster within Ongseong is a creation of Colonel Kato and his dogged human experiments.
After acquiring a unique parasitical being, Najin, Kato has been running experiments to incorporate the parasite into humans in pursuit of creating a weapon of mass destruction. After numerous trials, the man finally succeeds. Yet, he continues to strive for future replications of the experiment. As a result, the Colonel attempts to trick Chae-ok into consuming the Najin by mixing it into a cup of water. Although his attempts are futile at the moment, the military man learns someone has emptied the same cup of water in his office, compelling him and the viewers to wonder about the drinker’s identity. SPOILERS AHEAD!
The Najin Parasite
The Najin Parasite is one of the earliest elements that the show introduces into its narrative. Kato and his military research group own a slithery thread-like parasite that seems insignificant at first glance. However, through his research, Kato has discovered that when ingested by humans, the being can take over the human brain, leading to mutation. As such, the Najin can effectively turn any human into a bloodthirsty monster intent on its survival and more than willing to kill for it.
The resulting creature’s survival instincts are so strong that even upon subjugation through nitrogen gas, which knocks the being unconscious, its body naturally expels anthrax molecules to ensure no harm befalls it in its sleep. Consequently, the monster has the potential to be the strongest weapon in the Japanese army’s arsenal. Still, so far, Kato has only succeeded once in his experiment.
Aside from Seishin, Chae-ok’s mother, all other human test subjects have died after Najin consumption. Therefore, when Kato realizes that Chae-ok is related to Seishin/Choi Seong-Sim, he immediately tries to trick her into consuming the Najin as well. For whatever reason, the Najin has only successfully taken hold of Chae-ok’s mother so far. Thus, the military Colonel thinks a similar genetic environment will likely help create another monster.
Nevertheless, Chae-ok knows better than to accept a drink from the enemy. As such, her glass of Najin-infested water remains untouched inside Kato’s office as the night’s bloodied events unfold.
Eventually, Chae-ok managed to escape from the establishment alongside a handful of prisoners. Nevertheless, shortly after her escape, Kato realizes that the cup inside his office is empty. As a result, Kato concludes that someone must have entered his office while he was gone and consumed the cup’s content, effectively falling victim to the Najin.
Fortunately, within the office is a tied-up soldier who witnessed every individual who entered and left the room. Firstly, there’s Chae-ok, who divested the soldier of his uniform to be able to walk through the base with Kato without suspicion. Tae-sang followed after the woman’s trail and predictably crossed through the office. Lastly, one of the army officials, Soma, came by the office with Myeong-ja to use the woman as a chip to bargain escape with Tae-sang and his group.
Therefore, all four of these individuals had the opportunity to come across the Najin and accidentally consume it. However, since Chae-ok knew about the parasite’s existence and Kato’s plans, it’s unlikely that she would have drunk from the cup, even on accident. Yet, the possibility remains that she willfully drank the Najin, perhaps in a desperate attempt to save her mother by sharing in her fate.
While the same would lead to intriguing future plot progressions, Tae-sang’s possible conversion into a monster also proposes equally riveting possibilities. If the pawnshop owner were to transform into a monster, it would affect a multitude of characters, especially Chae-ok, who would have lost two of her loved ones to the Najin. Fortunately, the narrative doesn’t leave the fans to wonder about the mystery for long and reveals the identity of whoever drank from the cup as Season One Part One’s final reveal.
Who Got Infected By The Najin?
The first part of season one concludes with our protagonists safe if in unfavorable circumstances. While Tae-sang’s sacrifice allows Chae-ok and the others to escape from the hospital, it also leaves him trapped in enemy territory with no one to watch his back. Furthermore, the Imperial army remains unrelenting in their pursuit of the escaped prisoners and takes to the city, brutalizing citizens to find Chae-ok and the others.
Meanwhile, Chae-ok remains distraught about Tae-sang’s predicament even as she’s helpless to aid him. For all she knows, the man is likely dead. Nonetheless, despite the Japanese soldiers’ best attempts, Tae-sang manages to escape from within the establishment through a garbage chute. Yet, he finds himself facing off against Soma in the end.
As these three potential Najin infectees deal with their demises, the fourth suspect, Myeong-ja, returns to the Commissioner, Ishikawa. The woman is pregnant with his child and still remains in his good graces. As such, the couple spend a night together. However, at the end of the night, while the woman sleeps, a slithery parasite can be seen crawling below her skin as it makes its way to her brain.
Thus, the narrative ends with confirmation that Myeong-ja, occasionally known by her Japanese name Akiko, drank from the cup and now remains unwittingly infected by the Najin. The reveal promises dark things for the character’s future, including the unknown fate of her unborn baby, who will definitely be affected by the parasite’s bodily takeover. Perhaps it might even mutate into a monster while inside the womb, paving the way for an entirely new trouble. Still, until the season’s second part comes out, all can only be left up for speculation.