Detective Jang In ‘A Killer Paradox,’ Explained: Why Didn’t Jang Kill Lee Tang?


Directed by Chang-hee Lee, A Killer Paradox made us privy to the character of Jang Nan-gam, an honest police officer who was overseeing Tang’s case. Jang carried a lot of baggage from his past, and he couldn’t seem to get rid of it. Jang had a lot of issues with his father, and the biggest regret he had was that his old man never understood him and never gave him the love that he craved. So, let’s find out what conflicts Detective Jang had to face in his professional and personal life and if he was able to resolve them till the end.

Spoiler Alert

Why didn’t Jang like his father?

From the very beginning of A Killer Paradox, we saw that there was something not right between Jang and his father. His father was on the life support system after he was assaulted by somebody in the past. Detective Jang used to visit the hospital, but his mother told him that if he was coming with that attitude, it was better he didn’t come only because it looked like he was doing a favor by gracing his mother with his presence. Jang had joined the police force not because he wanted to follow his father’s footsteps but because he wanted to prove to him that things could be done differently. In a flashback sequence, we saw how Jang’s father treated him when he was a child. Whenever there was a bad day at work, he took out all his anger on the poor kid. Jang always wanted to make his father proud, but no matter what he did or how hard he tried, he never used to get happy. At times on our journey, while fighting the people whom we hate, we tend to become like them only. All the hatred and anger that was inside Jang made him pretty similar to his father. Jang had stopped being happy, and apart from work, he didn’t have anything to look forward to. Jang knew Roh Bin from before, and once again, they crossed paths in A Killer Paradox season 1 when the former got to know that Roh Bin had hacked into the police system for some unknown reason. Very soon, Jang figured out that Roh Bin was working together with Tang and giving him intel about the criminals. At that juncture, Jang had no clue that he had very strong intuitions, and somehow, miraculously, he got to know whether an individual was a criminal or not.

Detective Jang wanted to interrogate Roh Bin, and he knew that he would be able to make him confess, but the kid was a step ahead of him. Roh Bin live-streamed the entire thing, and the police force was criticized for resorting to violence. After that, Jang didn’t meet Roh Bin for a long time. He was removed from the investigation, and around that time, his father’s health worsened, and the doctors asked him if he wanted to remove him from the life support system. Jang felt conflicted from within, and he didn’t know what to do. He shared a very different kind of bond with his father. He had a lot of affection for him, but he also hated how he treated him and the impact his behavior had on his subconscious.

Was Jang’s father an honest man?

Detective Jang always believed that, though Jang Gap-su might not have been a very good father, he was a good policeman. But his delusions were shattered when Song Chon came and told him how Gap-su was involved in drug trafficking and how he had destroyed so many lives for his own vested interests. Jang also got to know that his mother had an extramarital affair with his father’s colleague, and she very unabashedly cheated on her husband for the longest time. Jang felt as if he didn’t know his parents. Seeing his parents’ marriage fail was probably one of the reasons why he didn’t get married. He felt that nobody could be happy if they stayed with him. He didn’t even want to take responsibility for the dog, as he was scared of any living beings being dependent on him. At the end of A Killer Paradox, Jang’s father was killed by Song Chon, and Jang went to take revenge on him. Jang had a loaded gun in his hand, and he could have killed Song Chon when he found him the first time, but he couldn’t pull the trigger, and the latter escaped, taking advantage of the situation. Jang’s inaction proved that he was not like his father. He couldn’t even kill the man who had murdered his father, and on the other hand, Gap-su was ready to throw any person under the bus to fulfill his own agenda. At the end of A Killer Paradox season 1, Jag witnessed how people choose to be delusional even when they knew what the truth was. His father got a posthumous award for his exemplary service in the police, and Jang sat there thinking how ironic it was.

Why didn’t Jang kill Lee Tang?

Detective Jang killed Song Chon, though he knew that the latter was not the demon that he thought him to be, but his circumstances had made him make some choices, and he had now become unfit to live in a civil society. Jang could have killed Tang because he saw how both Tang and Roh Bin took the law into their own hands and did things that they shouldn’t have. Jang very firmly believed that this was not the way things should have been done, but he still left Tang. Tang was not a bad person, and he also didn’t know why he started killing in the first place. Tang’s earnestness and honesty somehow had an impact on Jang. Tang could have stayed away and never come back. He knew the consequences of him returning to help his friend, but still, he came, as his conscience didn’t allow him to leave Roh Bin alone on the battlefield. At the end of A Killer Paradox, Jang saw in the news that a prime suspect in a recent case had been found dead, and he immediately realized that Jang had probably gone back to killing people. This would mean that the case against him would reopen once again, and probably this time, the police officers would find some evidence against him. In A Killer Paradox Season 2, we might see Detective Jang once again going after Tang, and if he is able to catch him this time, I personally believe he would make sure that he is put behind bars.

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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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