‘Death’s Game’ Part 1 Ending Explained & K-Drama Summary: Who Killed Yee-jae And Ji-soo?


Death’s Game, directed by Byung Hoon-ha, started as a fantasy drama, but in the end, it became a hard-hitting love story. It is a story about how one takes their life for granted, how they act selfishly, and how they often fail to look beyond their own struggles and problems. The strength of Amazon Prime’s Death’s Game K-Drama is that it creates gut-wrenching conflicts where, even though you know what is going to happen, you cannot help but get impacted by it. So, let’s find out what our protagonist was up to and what happened after he decided to take his own life.

Spoiler Alert

Why did Yee-Jae Commit suicide?

Choi Yee-jae had big aspirations in life, and he knew that if he kept doing the hard work, he would realize his dreams. Yee-jae came from an underprivileged background, and though his mother worked as a cleaner, she made sure that he had the best education. Yee-jae also didn’t disappoint, and he put his heart and soul into getting good grades. He got an interview at a very reputed firm called Taekang, and he was hopeful of getting a job there and finally living the life he had always dreamed of. He was on his way when someone died by suicide in front of his own eyes. The man died in his arms, and after that, Yee-Jae was not able to concentrate on anything. He had a terrible interview, and as expected, they didn’t hire him.

Yee-jae was heartbroken, but he didn’t give up. He did all sorts of odd jobs and waited for seven long years to finally get an interview at the same place once again. This time, his interview went well, and Park Tae-woo, the CEO, even told him that he really liked him as a person. It felt like everything was coming back on track, but fate had something else planned for Yee-jae. He had invested his money through one of his friends, and he came to know that his friend was involved in some financial scam and that he had lost the entire amount. After that, Yee-jae received an email informing him that he had been rejected for the job too. He was going back home when he stopped at his girlfriend’s house and saw that some guy had come to drop her off.

An insecure mind could only think negatively, and he perceived that even Jung Ji-soo, his girlfriend, was fed up with dealing with him. He knew deep down that Ji-soo was the best human being he had ever met in his life, but he let his insecurities, and his fears take over. He broke up with her, and the poor girl just stood there, not knowing what she should do to stop him. Yee-jae decided that there was nothing to look forward to in his life and that he would never be able to come out of that mess. He stood on the edge of the terrace of a multi-story building, and he jumped from there. Yee-jae died, and both his girlfriend and his mother were devastated. They didn’t know how to deal with the loss, and their lives completely changed after that incident.

What deal did Yee-jae make with Death?

Yee-jae’s eyes opened in what seemed like another realm. He couldn’t understand what was happening to him, and he saw a lady clad in black from head to toe standing in front of him. That lady was the personification of death, and she told Yee-jae that he would have to pay as he found her before she did, which, in a way, broke the natural order of things. Yee-jae had acted selfishly, and not even once before jumping from that terrace did he realize what would happen to those who loved him more than anything else in the world.

At that moment, he just cared about his own struggle, and he believed that he would rather go to hell than deal with his miserable existence. But Death told him that the people only ask to go to hell until they have seen exactly what it is like to be there. Death told him that she would play a game with him and that he would get a fair chance to defy the odds. The Game was that Yee-jae would be reincarnated as 12 different people who stood in the face of death, and all he had to do was find a way to save himself from that imminent danger. Death told him that if he was able to survive, then he would be allowed to live in that particular person’s body, but if he didn’t, then the cycle would keep repeating itself until he finished his quota of 12 lives. The catch was that if he wasn’t able to survive, then after 12 lives, he would be sent to hell. Yee-jae caught a glimpse of hell from Death’s fortress, and he realized that it was not the kind of place he wanted to end up in. He was petrified by the screams that came from down under, and he made up his mind to fight the odds and win Death’s Game.

Did Yee-Jae tell Ji-Su the truth?

In Death’s Game Part 1, Yee-jae was reincarnated a total of seven times, and in each life, he learned something new that brought about a change in his perception. The best thing that happened was that he could see the actions of his own body or vessel as a third person, and he could be critical about it since his mind and body were not in sync, as he was still Yee-jae trapped inside a stranger’s body. As Kwon Hyeok-su, he experienced what it felt like to be bullied and not be able to do anything about it. He saw how unpredictable life was when Lee Jun-hun, the fixer, got killed by that one girl for whom he fought with the whole world. When he was born as an infant, he saw how the baby was not even given an opportunity to experience how beautiful life could be. In his seventh incarnation, Yee-jae was born as a model named Jang Geon-u, whose elder brother ran a cafe in the city. Now, call it fate or anything else, but Ji-soo came to that cafe almost regularly. When Yee-jae saw Ji-soo for the first time entering the cafe, he couldn’t realize if he was dreaming or if it was happening in reality. Obviously, Ji-soo didn’t recognize him since he was in Geon-u’s body, but Yee-jae decided that he had to find a way to have a conversation with her. So he went up to her, told her that he was a big fan of her work, and asked her permission to narrate a story that he had in mind. Yee-jae narrated whatever happened after he died, obviously making it look like fiction. He told her about Death’s Game, and he also told her whatever he experienced in those six lives.

He read the novel that Ji-soo published, and he realized that he probably wasn’t ever able to understand what a gem of a human being she was. Jin-soo was the greenest of all the green flags, and that girl was never able to move on in life. When Yee-jae was alive, he always believed that Ji-soo must have felt trapped in the relationship since he was not doing great in his career, and she had all the options in the world if she wanted to go with someone else. But what he didn’t realize was that Ji-soo didn’t even see anyone apart from her boyfriend. She was proud of the fact that he was hardworking and more than him, she trusted his abilities. Ji-soo’s eyes reflected her sadness and how, after Yee-jae’s death, there hadn’t been one single day when she was happy. Yee-jae decided that he should tell Ji-soo the truth even if she wouldn’t believe him. Yee-jae started telling her about the moments that they spent together, and slowly, Ji-soo realized that some mysterious forces were at play, and somehow Geon-u was Yee-jae. It was a gut-wrenching moment, and I have to say here that the background score elevated the emotions even more. You cannot help but feel for a man who was repenting his actions and who realized what he had lost. That realization was like a bitter pill, but Yee-jae knew that he had to tell her everything as he could die any moment.

Who killed Yee-jae and Ji-soo?

During Death’s Game‘s ending, Yee-jae and Ji-soo were in between their conversations when a vehicle ran into them. Ji-soo died on the spot, but Yee-jae was still breathing somehow. He saw that it was Park Tae-woo who was driving the car. He was the same man who was running Taekang, and Yee-jae realized how he had plotted the death of his younger brother to take over the company. As of now, we don’t know if Park Tae-woo did it on purpose or if it was merely an accident, but after he realized that Yee-jae was still alive, he killed him because he didn’t want to leave any evidence. Yee-jae once again went back to Death’s realm, and this time, he was infuriated more than ever. The love of his life died in the most horrendous manner in front of his eyes, and so he took a gun and attacked Death. 

Death’s Game Part 1 ended on a cliffhanger, but it is implied that Yee-jae will be reincarnated once again as he still has five lives left. It would be interesting to see in which direction the narrative heads from this point and, apart from perspective, what Yee-jae is able to achieve when it all ends.

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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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