‘Death’s Game’ Ending Explained & Part 2 Summary: Is Yi-Jae Dead Or Alive?


In the first part of Death’s Game, we saw the deal that Choi Yi-jae made with Death and how it panned out for him. At the end of the first part, we saw that Ji-su had met her fateful end, and it was the CEO of Taekang, Park Tae-woo, who had rammed his car into her. At that point in time, we didn’t know if it was an accident or if he had some vendetta with Ji-Su and had done it on purpose. That doubt was cleared at the beginning of the second part of Death’s Game, and we realized that Tae-woo was driving under the influence of drugs. Though it was an accident, Tae-woo got a great deal of pleasure from killing people, and this was a new hobby he had developed after he hit a man with his car and saw him dying in front of his eyes. He said that he felt like a god and that he was immensely powerful. So, let’s find out what Yi-jae does with the rest of his life and if he is ever able to get the better of death.

Spoiler Alert

How did Yi-jae collect evidence against Park Tae-woo?

Yi-jae was born as a painter named Jeong Gyu-cheol, who had crooked ideologies and ways of thinking like the CEO of Taekong Industries, Park Tae-woo. This man was an exceptional artist, but the world didn’t acknowledge it, and that led to him being a rebel with a cause. Gyu-cheol used to paint dead things because the entire idea of it allured him for some unknown reason, and obviously, that kind of pallid color palette and grim sketches were not appreciated by anybody. One day Gyu-cheol was walking on the road when suddenly a woman fell on a car from a high-rise building and died on the spot. His eyes didn’t see a person lying dead, but he saw art in it. He painted that woman just like that, and he sold that painting on the international market for a huge amount of money. Now, obviously, he knew that he was not going to find dying humans every other day. To solve this problem, he started killing people and then using their blood as paint. His art gallery was a huge success, but no one knew that the paint he was using was real human blood or that the subjects of the paintings were actually his victims. The similarity between Gyu-cheol and Park Tae-woo was that they were both lunatics who taught that they were gods. When Yi-jae took over the painter’s body, he knew that he could use his insanity for his purpose and take revenge on Park Tae-woo for killing the love of his life, Ji-su, in front of his own eyes.

Luckily, it was Tae-woo who contacted Gyu-cheol, as he wanted to buy one of his paintings. Gyu-cheol, after an intimidating and awkward conversation, told Tae-woo that he would personally come to his house to deliver his painting and even paint one for him. Tae-woo didn’t have any clue that this man wanted to rip him apart. Gyu-cheol assaulted Tae-woo and took him to his den. But the painter fainted all of a sudden, and Tae-woo thought of seizing the opportunity and saving his life. Tae-woo unchained himself and tied Gyu-cheol to the stretcher where he used to massacre his victims. Tae-woo got an adrenaline rush when he heard how Gyu-cheol killed his victims. He wanted to experience that for himself. So, he started severing Gyu-cheol’s body parts with a chainsaw, not knowing that everything was being recorded on the hidden CCTV camera. Gyu-cheol died, but not in vain. The crime was recorded, and now Yi-jae just had to be reborn again in someone else’s body, retrieve that evidence, and hand it over to the authorities.

Is Park Tae-woo Dead Or Alive?

Choi Yi-jae was born as a detective who was infamously known for being a coward and abandoning his teammates at the first sign of danger. We had seen at the end of the 5th episode of Death’s Game that a detective named Woo Ji-hun issued a speeding ticket to Tae-woo, and the business tycoon not only got his charges removed by directly calling the commissioner of police, but he also slapped Woo Ji-hun to teach him a lesson. Woo Ji-hun’s colleague, An Ji-hyeong, just stood there and didn’t even lift a finger. But now Yi-jae was reborn as Ji-hyeong, and he changed the outlook of the entire police force towards him. Suddenly, Ji-hyeong started catching criminals and putting his life at risk without any fear. Yi-jae remembered everything from his past reincarnation, and so he made Ji-hyeong go directly to the painter’s hideout and retrieve all the CCTV camera footage from there. It came out in the media that Ji-hyeong proved that Gyu-cheol was responsible for 15 murders, but he gave the footage where Tae-woo was killing the painter to a news channel so that they could play it in front of the whole world. When Park Tae-woo got to know that Ji-hyeong had evidence against him, he tried to make a deal with him and offer him everything that money could buy. When Ji-Hyeong rejected the proposal, Tae-woo created a fake narrative where, though he accepted that he killed the painter, he said that he had done it with bona fide intentions. He said that he was kidnapped, which was partly true, and he also had footage to prove his claims. Obviously, he made sure that the news channels were paid enough to not show the part where, like a predator, he was massaging the painter.

But Yi-jae, in Ji-Hyeong’s body, already knew that, so he had a backup plan in place. Yi-jae had access to the memories of each and every person he had been reincarnated as. Using that, he collected evidence against Park Tae-woo and made him jump from a plane. Park Tae-woo’s real face was out in the open, and the media channels were given all the evidence that Yi-jae had provided against him. Yi-jae would have killed Tae-woo with his own hands, but at the last moment, Ji-soo’s pen fell from his pocket, and it made him calm down. Tae-woo’s got hit by a sledding truck in Death’s Game, and though he was in a miserable state, he was still alive.

Did Death give Yi-jae a fair chance?

Yi-jae lived in Ji-Hyoeng’s body, and he tried to redeem his own sins and live a life that he could be proud of. Ji-Hyeong, in the end, gave his life to save his partner, and Yi-jae felt that he had actually achieved something that he could be proud of. But death made sure that he knew that he was still living in someone else’s body, so that pride and that honor didn’t belong to him. He was still a nobody to the people for whom he had done so much. That’s when Yi-jae understood that there was no point in living unless and until one had the freedom to be themselves. He was reincarnated as a beggar next and tested, when it all dawned on him that the entire exercise of being born 12 times was futile because he was never going to get anything out of it. Yi-jae was fatigued, and he just wanted to get done with things and embrace whatever was planned for him according to the rules of Death’s Game. But there came a twist when Yi-jae least expected it. He was born as the man who, at the beginning of Death’s Game, got hit by a car and died in front of his eyes. This was the same instance that kicked off the entire cycle. This was the death of the same man. Yi-jae hadn’t been able to crack his interview. But Yi-jae couldn’t seize this opportunity, and when he was taking his last breaths in the body of this man, he realized what a blunder he had committed. Death told Yi-jae that every human is given an opportunity, but they always fail to recognize it.

What did Yi-jae realize in the end?

At the beginning of Death’s Game, Yi-jae has assured one thing: with every consecutive reincarnation, things would get difficult for him. Death told him that the pain would keep on increasing until the point where he would no longer be able to take it. In his 12th and last reincarnation, Yi-jae was born as his mother. He realized what a mother would have felt standing in front of the corpse of her own son. He felt that heaviness in her heart, the choked feeling, the hopelessness, the anguish—everything that she would have when she got the news that his son had given his life because he wasn’t able to deal with his struggles. Yi-jae realized how wrong he was to think that he was doing the world and his loved ones’ a favor by ending his own life. He realized that he was selfish at that moment, and he didn’t even once think about what Ji-su and his mother would have to live with. He took away their happiness and snatched their purpose in life. Yi-jae decided that no matter how excruciating the pain was in his mother’s heart, he would make sure that he lived a complete life in remembrance of those who loved him more than anything in the world. Yi-jae lived as his mother for 32 years, and he realized that life was a gift he shouldn’t have ever wasted.

How Did Yi-jae Survive?

During Death’s Game’s ending, Yi-jae begged Death with all his heart to give him one last chance and let him be reincarnated, this time as his own self. He said that he knew that there were rules but requested that she make an exception this time. Surprisingly, Death agreed to his request and told him that it was now up to the gods to decide what happened to him. She gave him one last bullet and told him that if it fired, he would be reincarnated as his own self, but if it didn’t, he would be sent to hell. Yi-jae took a deep breath and fired the gun. In the next scene, we saw the same terrace from where he had jumped and given his life. There was his suicide note, and the phone rang when his mother called him. There was silence for a couple of seconds, and then suddenly, a hand came and picked up the call. Yi-jae was alive. He got his chance. Death granted him this impossible wish and made him alive again. 

Death’s Game Season 1 left us on that cliffhanger, and I believe that season 2 is definitely on the charts. There is a lot that Choi Yi-jae has to figure out for himself, and it would be interesting to see what he does with his second chance and if he is able to lead a fulfilling life.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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