‘Mask Girl’ Ending Explained: Is Mo-Mi Dead? What Happens To Kyung-Ja?


From a young age, Kim Mo-mi realized she did not fit the definition of beauty. As a little girl, she enjoyed dancing and singing on stage, but as she grew up, she understood one could only perform if they were beautiful. Mask Girl revolves around Kim Mo-mi and how she unleashes her true desires from behind a mask. The Korean beauty standard is quite harsh, and with access to plastic surgery, many dream of earning enough to completely change the way they look. The constant ridicule and judgmental stares often get to people, and Kim Mo-mi was no exception. She was envious of those who were considered beautiful, and she spent most of her days sulking in her office chamber. She grew up to become an accountant and lived an ordinary life. While she was just another person in the crowd, she desperately yearned for attention. The only time Kim Mo-mi felt alive was when she had her mask on and performed for her online audience. Their constant cheers and appreciation helped her get through the day. She called herself the Mask Girl, and she had built quite a reputation online.

Spoiler Alert

What Is The Series About? 

Kim Mo-mi had a crush on her boss, Mr. Park. Even though he was married and completely self-absorbed, Mo-mi could not keep her eyes off of him. She noticed the growing proximity between Mr. Park and her colleague, A-reum. She was consumed by jealousy when, one evening, she watched Mr. Park and A-reum share a moment of intimacy in the conference room. She tried to drink her sorrows away, and she performed in front of her audience to feel better. When she woke up, she realized she had removed her clothes on camera and that her account had been suspended. With the best part of her life taken away from her, all Kim Mo-mi wanted was revenge. She discussed the affair with her colleagues, knowing how the rumors traveled. Mr. Park ended up quitting his job, while A-reum was transferred. Mo-mi found a drunk Mr. Park loitering on the road that evening, and they ended up spending the night together at a motel. While nothing happened between them, Mo-mi felt a sense of victory by sleeping next to him. She never heard from Mr. Park after that day, and she tried to find comfort in her online friends.

Ju Oh-nam (online name: Once Upon a Prince) was one of the Mask Girl’s ardent fans. Kim Mo-mi noticed that he was the only person who kept visiting her profile, and she struck up a conversation. Oh-nam’s happiness knew no bounds; he had spent many sleepless nights thinking about the Mask girl, and here she was finally talking to him. For Mo-mi, “once upon a prince” was just another online fan. She did not know that Oh-nam was also her colleague. Oh-nam came across the Mask Girl’s profile and was instantly enchanted by her. He initially did not know who the woman behind the mask was, but one day, he noticed Mo-mi’s hands carefully and was shocked to realize that the Mask Girl had the same spots that Mo-mi had. When he found out that Mo-mi was the Mask Girl, he started to be more hopeful about possessing her. Oh-nam had been bullied all his life. To stay out of trouble, he preferred being invisible. He was afraid of talking to women or even making eye contact, and that was why he chose to observe their hands. He also developed several fetishes, and a blow-up doll was one of them. He treated her like his girlfriend, but she was soon replaced by Mo-mi. He was obsessed with the Mask Girl, and he was certain that he was the only person she was meant to be with. Oh-nam tried to gather up his courage and profess his love for Mo-mi, but he never succeeded. When Mo-mi, as Mask Girl, requested that he meet her, he was left confused. Oh-nam wanted to be there for her, but he was also afraid of rejection. Within a few seconds, she informed him that another follower (Handsome Monk) had agreed to go out with her.

Through the fan’s Twitter account, Oh-nam learned that his intention was to reveal Mo-mi’s face. Oh-nam called Mo-mi `to warn her, but his calls went unanswered. Meanwhile, Handsome Monk tried to force himself on Mo-mi, and when she hesitated, he passed comments on her appearance. Mo-mi was triggered, and she was ready to fight him. The fight led to an accident, and Handsome Monk started to bleed from his head. Mo-mi received messages from Oh-nam, warning her that the man she was with was evil. She sent him her location and sought help to figure out the mess she was in. While Mo-mi wanted to inform the police, Oh-nam stopped her. He promised to handle the situation all by himself and asked her to return home. As Oh-nam prepared to dismember the body, Handsome Monk regained his senses. The Mask Girl takes an ominous turn. Oh-nam was so startled that he repeatedly stabbed the man and made sure that he was dead. The next day, upon reaching the office, he found out that Mo-mi had quit her job.

Was Kim Mo-Mi Arrested?

Oh-nam was frantic with worry after he realized that Mo-mi had left her job. Oh-nam felt a little hopeful when Mo-mi came online one last time. He ran to her house and begged her to open the door. She allowed him in, and he realized that she had packed up her belongings and was ready to leave. She could not continue living her life as usual after the incident at the motel. While Oh-nam tried to comfort her, she seemed suspicious of him. Mo-mi figured out that Oh-nam was the one who had sent her a threatening email with a snapshot of her video. Oh-nam confessed that he acted out of jealousy and that his love for her was pure. It did not take Mo-mi much time to figure out that Oh-nam was just like Handsome Monk. While she tried to walk away from him, Oh-nam grabbed her and forced himself on her. He soon noticed that Mo-mi had gone through plastic surgery. She not only planned on skipping town, but she also wanted to change her identity. Oh-nam was startled by the revelation, and Mo-mi took control of the situation. She was on top of him, and she got hold of the ice pick and stabbed him multiple times. And that was the end of Oh-nam. Half way through Mask Girl, Mo-mi traveled to a different town and started her new career as a karaoke singer. She named herself A-reum. She had no connections with her previous life, and she tried to make the most of her new beginning. She befriended another performer, Kim Chun-ae, and they became inseparable. As she was settling into her new identity, her past came back to haunt her. Oh-nam’s mother, Kim Kyung-ja, had followed several leads and found her way to the town where Mo-mi lived.

As a single mother who had to make ends meet, Kyung-ja never got to know her son. She made great assumptions about him without realizing that his reality was way worse. Even after the police found a dismembered body in his house and a blow-up doll on his bed, Kyung-ja refused to believe that Oh-nam was a murderer and a pervert. When Oh-nam’s body was discovered by the police, Kyung-ja made up her mind to find Mo-mi and punish her. She learned to operate computers to find her son’s killer, and she connected with the other fans of Mask Girl. After spending days following various leads, she came to the conclusion that Chun-ae was Mo-mi after plastic surgery. She kidnapped Chun-ae and was about to blow her brains out when Chun-ae confessed that she was not the person who killed her son. She promised to keep Kyung-ja updated about Mo-mi’s whereabouts, and she somehow managed to win Kyung-ja’s trust. Chun-ae told Mo-mi the entire truth, and the two planned to leave the city. After murdering Chun-ae’s abusive partner, the two best friends hopped in their car in the hopes of a fresh start. Unbeknownst to them, Kyung-ja was following. When they got off the car to dispose of the body, Kyung-ja threatened to shoot them both dead. She managed to shoot Chun-ae, but the best friends ultimately knocked Kyung-ja unconscious. Mo-mi was once again left all alone to figure out her life. She drowned Chun-ae and Kyung-ja’s bodies. The police managed to trace Mo-mi and arrested her in 2011 for the homicide cases. Mo-mi was famous at last, though for all the wrong reasons. She soaked in the pleasure she derived from the flickering flashes and the sound of camera clicks.

How Did Kyung-Ja Seek Revenge?

Surprisingly, Kyung-Ja survived. After being drowned in her car, she managed to swim to the surface. She was disappointed that Mo-mi was arrested by the police since she wanted to be the one to kill her. Kyung-Ja tried to get over her obsession with Mo-mi, but she could not. She needed a purpose for her existence, and when she came across Mo-mi’s daughter, Kim Mi-mo, she knew she had found a way to get back at her son’s murderer. Mo-mi was pregnant with Oh-nam’s child when she planned to skip town. She delivered her baby and left her at her mother’s doorstep, knowing that she would not be able to look after her child while attempting to flee the country. Mi-mo had always lived with her grandmother and was unaware of her mother’s real identity. As a little girl, she realized that her mother was a disappointment to her grandmother, and she was afraid of becoming like her.

Gradually, rumors started to spread in school, and she found out that her mother was Mask Girl, a notorious criminal. She became violent over time and got into fights. Even though she did not know her mother personally, she hated Mo-mi for making her life difficult. She had to constantly switch schools as a result of her behavior. Mi-mo tried to keep to herself in the new school, but Ye-chun took an interest in her. She was equally lonely and cornered in school, and she wanted to become friends with Mi-mo. She lied to Mi-mo about her father being a drunkard and abuser so that they could relate more to each other. Mi-mo and Ye-chun eventually became the best of friends, but that was before Mi-mo discovered that the students at the new school had found out who her mother was. She was certain that Ye-chun had spread the rumors because she was the only one who knew the truth. Mi-mo was unaware that her “tteok-bokki grandma” was the actual culprit.

Kyung-Ja made friends with Mi-mo by offering her a free tteok-bokki that she used to sell in front of her school. Over the years, Mi-mo grew close to her and relied on her for advice. Since she could not share secrets with her grandma, she poured her heart out to Kyung-ja. Little Mi-mo was unaware that Kyung-ja had manipulated her to become violent and had destroyed her childhood. Kyung-ja was extremely proud of her success, and she visited Mo-mi in prison to inform her personally how she planned to destroy her daughter’s future. Mo-mi was shocked to see Kyung-ja alive, and she was desperate to stop her.  

What Happened To Mo-Mi And Kyung-Ja?

Mi-mo left her house to live with her tteok-bokki grandma. She believed Kyung-ja was the only person who truly cared for her. Kyung-Ja poisoned the food she served Mi-mo and tied her to a chair when she was unconscious. Meanwhile, Mo-Mi was desperately trying to ensure that her daughter was unharmed. She had offered her kidney to her prison mate’s daughter as a selfless gesture, but when she realized that Mi-mo was in danger, she decided to bail on the transplant to protect Mi-mo. Mo-mi managed to escape from the hospital and get into a stranger’s car. She called her mother to warn her about the looming danger. Luckily, Ye-chun connected the dots and contacted Mi-mo’s grandmother. She figured out that the rumor about the Mask Girl was started by Tteok-bokki Grandma, and she deduced that she had an ulterior motive behind it.

As Kyung-ja prepared to kill Mi-mo, Mo-mi and her mother arrived at the scene. Mo-mi’s mother handled Kyung-Ja while Ye-chun attempted to untie Mi-mo. Ye-chun realized her mistake and apologized to Mi-mo. She had proven herself a true friend by risking her life to rescue Mi-mo. While Mo-mi and Kyung-ja were busy tackling one another, the kids safely left the basement. Mi-mo’s grandmother succumbed to her injuries and apologized to Mi-mo for not being an ideal grandparent. Kyung-ja and Mo-mi continued to fight, and ultimately, the Mask Girl dominated. While it appeared to be a success story, it was not yet the end of it. Kyung-ja survived once again. She held a gun in her hand and pointed it at Mi-mo; she wanted Mo-mi to live through the experience of losing one’s child. The moment Kyung-ja pulled the trigger, Mo-mi leapt to protect her daughter. Mo-mi was shot dead, and so was Kyung-ja. The police had arrived at the scene and shot Kyung-ja when she used her weapon.

During Mask Girl‘s ending, Mo-mi proved her unwavering love for her daughter, Mi-mo. She had been an absent mother throughout the series, but in the end, she became a better version of herself. Perhaps Mo-mi was afraid of negatively impacting her daughter’s life, so she chose to stay away. She was possibly ashamed of her identity and preferred to keep it a secret from Mi-mo. But as fate would have it, Mi-mo met her mother in the most unexpected way. Mi-mo’s hatred towards her mother dissolved, and she took an interest in getting to know her better. The Mask Girl’s ill reputation preceded her, and no one cared to find out the reason behind the murders. As a little girl, Mo-mi dreamed of being loved by everyone, and while that never became a reality, in the end, she won the heart of the one person who mattered the most in her life.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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