‘Hierarchy’ Ending Explained: What Happens In The Post-Credit Scene?


The Netflix original Hierarchy falls quite short in comparison to its predecessors in school dramas. I’m not sure why the “Makjang” drama’s narrative is handled the way it is, but it truly fails to impress. We’ve had a dozen school K-dramas before this about the same topic of high school bullying. Some are incredibly harrowing, some are terrifying, and others are more on the fun side of things. However, Hierarchy seems to not know what it’s really going for. Anyway, the series tells the story of a boy named Kang-Ha who’s recently lost his twin brother, In-han to an accident. He decides to join the same fancy school his brother went to as a scholarship student so he can figure out why the school buried the case and who really killed his brother. Rather than the “eat the rich” approach, this Korean drama classically wants you to believe that rich kids must be pitied and that they’re innocent; it’s only their rich parents that bully them into being terrible people. Somehow, we’re meant to be blind to the vicious cycle. What’s worse is that the final reveal of the series is quite the letdown and really makes the whole show feel like a big waste of time. Having said that, though, I’ll get straight into everything that happens in Hierarchy‘s ending.

Spoiler Alert

Who killed In-Han? 

The final episode of Hierarchy reveals how Kang-Ha’s twin brother In-Han was killed, and it’s quite an unfortunate turn of events. While being miserably bullied by the kids of the school, In-Han tries to run into the stairway only to find his beloved teacher, Miss Han, going at it with one of the rich students, Woo-Jin. Terrified by the situation, In-Han runs out of the building and onto the road where Miss Han follows him, hoping to get him to keep quiet about what he saw. She quickly decides to take Woo-Jin’s BMW and chases after In-Han (this chase is so stupid, I can’t) while In-Han frantically tries to call his brother to come get him or at least help him feel better mentally. Ultimately, though, as we know, the boy’s hit by the car and ends up dead in minutes. However, he’s got a pen on his person with a camera on it and it’s recorded the whole thing.  Miss Han takes it away and puts it in the car, leaving the poor boy behind.  Woo-Jin is the one who finds the pen in the car much later, and by the end of the series, everyone knows what really happened, including Miss Han gets caught.

On the other hand, Jae-Yi convinces Ri-An to apologize to Kang-Ha, and he does so much later. Kang-Ha, of course, doesn’t forgive him, reminding him that his brother actually died, and he can’t simply say sorry and be done with it. At the same time, the other kids, basically Ri-An’s lap dogs, get arrested for bullying In-Han, but they’re also let go soon enough because we see them in the post-credit scene (don’t even get me started on that). What’s ironic is that the principal knew everything that went down, and that Miss Han was the one who killed In-Han, but she covered it up like a sweet subordinate to save the school’s reputation. She even says she’ll hide her relationship with Woo-Jin, but ultimately, Miss Han is caught, as we know, and since everything is revealed, Ri-An’s mom fires the principal, too, leaving her son’s plan a complete waste. 

Where does Jae-Yi go? 

Woo-Jin decides to give Jae-Yi’s father information about her being pregnant with Ri-An’s child and promises to keep it out of the media if he sends Jae-Yi away. He thinks he’s helping He-Ra (the girl he’s been in love with for what seems like his whole life), but this is actually bad because He-Ra and Jae-Yi are actually friends (you know, in the mean girls kind of way?). Jae-Yi tells Ri-An to look after himself and spends an entire day with him. We know that she likes him very much, and he’s the only person she actually considers someone she loves and cherishes. On the other hand, Kang-Ha has also apparently fallen in love with Jae-Yi and wants to protect her, too. He runs for miles to get in front of her slow-moving car on the other side of the city (or so it seems) to tell her all these things and ask her to look after herself. He tells her he’s sorry for having a crush on her, but he only wants what’s best for her (why is she letting this sweaty boy hug her for so long?). 

In Hierarchy‘s ending, Jae-Yi finally reveals to Kang-Ha that she’s not moving to New York and has decided to lead a new life on her own two feet. At the end of the series, we see her walk up to a cozy beachside house in what we can assume is a remote town in South Korea, and when she opens the gates, she says hi to her mother (very nice; if she had done this earlier, none of this would’ve happened). Hierarchy isn’t like The Glory or Sky Castle, which get your cogs turning. Instead, it makes you feel like the situation is terrible and it’s never going to improve. See, we do get a happy ending, at least sort of. Kang-Ha gets his revenge, but the bullies will continue to remain bullies, and people like Ri-An’s family will continue to exploit those beneath them. That’s why the series is called Hierarchy, a social order that never changes. Now, with a new principal and Ri-An having apologized to Kang-Ha, it appears as if that order has changed, but we know the rich have the power to get away with anything, and that’s proven in the post-credit scene. 

What Happens in the Post Credit Scene? 

After it’s revealed that Jae-Yi moved into her mom’s home, we get a post-credit scene back in the school. He-Ra finds a body drowned in blood at school and screams. When the class arrives, we see all the main cast of the series there, so we know it’s none of them. The dead kid could be Jae-Yi’s brother or the ex-principal’s son. However, what’s more interesting is that we see Kang-Ha walking down the corridor, looking all different with his sleeves rolled up and sending a message. At the same time, Ri-An, who is standing in front of the corpse, receives a message telling him that he looks a bit worried. He then looks directly into the camera before the closing credits. I suppose Kang-Ha’s not satisfied with his revenge and wants to see his brother’s bullies suffer. To teach the uber-rich a real lesson. But we know that it’s a setup for season 2, and let’s see how things unfold in the next season of Hierarchy.

See More: ‘Hierarchy’ End-Credits Scene, Explained

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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