Sweet Home: Is Lee Eun-hyeok Dead Or Alive?

The ‘Sweet Home’ season one finale left fans with a few surprises, but none quite so emotionally draining as Lee Eun-Hyeok’s ultimate sacrifice. As the unambiguous leader of the Green Home resident survivors and big brother to Eun-yu, Eun-Hyeok occupied a crucial role within the show’s narrative, and his character became synonymous with the title of protector. Thus, perhaps his decision to stay behind and spare the others the torment of his monsterization as they try to escape a rapidly collapsing building remains incredibly authentic for his character. Yet, considering he’s proven to be a fan favorite, it’s impossible to make peace with Eun-hyeok’s alleged death, not only for the audience but his sister, Eun-yu, as well. As a result, in season two, much of Eun-yu’s storyline continues to revolve around her quest to find the answer to her brother’s demise. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Lee Eun-hyeok’s Ambiguous Fate

As the show’s second season picks up, Eun-yu finds herself a husk of her former self, unable to accept her brother’s passing. After Eun-hyeok started leading the Green Home residents, he followed a few crucial rules to ensure everyone’s survival. The most significant of these rules remained the survivors’ need to quarantine any symptomatic individuals who may have started showcasing signs of a looming transformation into their monstrous forms.

As a result, Eun-hyeok decided to follow his own advice and wordlessly isolated himself from the rest of his group once he realized his transformation was imminent. However, since Eun-yu and the others were steadily on their way to escape from the building, there was no place for Eun-hyeok to hide and wait it out. Instead, all he could do was surrender himself to a cruel fate and confine himself to the control room. The last we see of the man, he’s sat alone with his memorabilia as his nosebleed begins, signifying the start of his transformation.

While the viewers are privy to this information, Eun-yu never comes to know of her brother’s fate. During their last interaction, Eun-hyeok had simply made his sister an empty promise of return before disappearing into the fragile building. Therefore, now that she’s out under the military’s dubious safety, she only has one thing on her mind. Eun-yu wants hard proof of her brother’s death. Until she can find it, she won’t believe Eun-hyeok is actually dead.

On the military’s way to the safety shelter, a particularly nasty monster attack affords Eun-yu the chance to return to the Green Home Apartments Complex. In her home’s previous ruins, the girl looks for her brother. Although she finds his glasses, CD player, and other possessions marred in blood and rubble, she finds no trace of the man himself. As such, she continues to believe he might still be alive.

Months later, Eun-yu is living in another safe haven, a stadium this time, under the martial law of Sergent Tak and his Crow Platoon. The place is also governed by Cheif Ji, who allows Eun-yu to sneak out of the stadium into the wilderness regularly. Although Ji’s help is solely motivated by her desire to have the other woman dead, Eun-yu takes the opportunity for what it is.

Ever since her arrival at the stadium, Eun-yu can tell she has been under the watchful guard of someone lurking in the shadows. Some time ago, Ji’s husband attacked Eun-yu in the subway tunnels during his monsterization process. During that time, some faceless monster had saved her life. Thus, Eun-yu believes that Eun-hyeok is alive and looking out for her. However, he doesn’t want her to see him because he’s turned into a monster.

Eventually, Eun-yu’s theory disproves itself once Hyun-su reveals himself to be the monster who acts as the angel on Eun-yu’s shoulder. Yet, in another storyline unfolding across the town, some crucial information presents itself. Some of the Crow Platoon’s soldiers traverse into an abandoned building under the leadership of Sergeant Kim in search of one of their missing soldiers. The stadium’s resident Doctor, Lim, vehemently interested in researching the monster’s evolving nature, accompanies them.

While the soldiers continue their search for Yeon-seok, Lim stays behind in a room infested with several monster cocoons/pods. In the end, Sergeant Kim discovers that the building belongs to an underground organization of neo-humans, or special infectees, like Hyun-su. These people are the ones who have managed to contain their monsterizations and now exist as half-humans, half-monsters. However, unlike Hyun-su, this group, consisting of Jung Ui-myeong, is hostile toward humans.

In fact, the organization is actively experimenting on humans in an attempt to breed more neo-humans. Near the season’s end, one cocoon hatches, giving birth to a new neo-human, covered in the slime of rebirth. The human is none other than Lee Eun-hyeok. Since the neo-human organization includes Ui-myeong, who likely helped form it, he probably sought Eun-hyeok out, whom he knew about from his time at the Green Home.

Ultimately, Eun-hyeok stands alive as a special infectee. The effects of his rebirth are yet to be discovered. As a result, no one can say how much of his original personality and characterization the man retains. Nevertheless, his return promises new trouble and emotional complications for Eun-yu and Hyun-su.

Read More: Thrilling Korean Shows Like Sweet Home You Must See