‘A Shop For Killers’ Episode 1 Recap & Ending Explained: Is Jeong Jian’s Life In Danger?

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Lee Dong Wook is continuing his commitment to action and mystery thrillers, and A Shop For Killers is his latest offering. The first episode looks rather good, though it is too soon to say anything. The premise of the show is laid out, as seen in the recap of Episode 1.

Spoiler Alert


How does Jian protect herself?

A Shop For Killers opens in a lawless land where a sniper is trying to find his target, Jeong Jian, and kill her. The way he talks makes us think that he personally knows her or has worked with her before. Nobody is going to help Jian, who is trapped in the house with two other people, because the town has been told that the armed forces will be undergoing live firearm training and that there will be the sound of bullets all day long. Either the sniper’s timing was well-chosen or this was a cover so that he could do his work in peace.

Jeong Jian is scared, but she is certainly not an ordinary person. She remembers when she was watching a movie with her uncle, Jeong Jinman, and she commented on how unrealistic it was that the main lead was easily escaping all the bullets flying in the air. But Jinman believes that it is possible, as the hero must be taking advantage of the attackers’ blind spots. That conversation gives Jian the idea to try and find out the sniper’s blind spots. She holds up a broom with a mobile phone on it, and when the sniper sees that, he thinks that she is trying to get a picture of where he is. He shoots at the phone, but Jian had already anticipated that. She keeps moving the broom, and the sniper keeps shooting at it. By the angle of the bullets and the level of the sound, Jian calculates that the sniper must be far away, and she figures out a way to escape him. When Jian jumped from the cupboard, it was a calculated move to escape his bullets and get her hands on a gun nearby. By the time she has the weapon in her hand, she also knows where the sniper is, and she easily shoots her target. This is definitely not Jian’s first kill.


Who is Jinman?

There are differing opinions about who Jinman might be. Jian remembers seeing him for the first time when she was seven years old. He had come home after seven or eight years of no contact with his family and wasn’t giving an answer as to where he was or what he was doing. Jian came to live with him when she was ten years old, and she is currently twenty years old, meaning that she has known him for a decade. But Jian says that even after all this time, she knows nothing about him.

In the last conversation that Jian had with Jinman, he had brought an old-fashioned cupboard for her that he claimed was bulletproof. Additionally, he insisted that she memorize her school ID number at any cost, as it would stay with her throughout her life. It could also have been a hint to something, like a password. Jinman also told Jian that he had beaten up the man who had stolen money from part-time workers like Jian, and since then, the man had returned the money to everyone he owed. Jian doesn’t take that seriously but remarks that if anyone else heard that, they would believe Jinman because the scars on his face make him look scary enough for such a thing to be true.

At Jinman’s funeral, there are quite a few people, including his friends and neighbors, but there are also some strangers who refuse to talk and sit there silently. Nobody knows who they are, and they refuse to answer, but they are there to pay their respects. One of Jinman’s older friends remarks that Jinman had saved them all from bankruptcy by fighting the gambling house, where their fathers had lost all their money and savings. There are rumors regarding what Jinman did for a living. While he was known to sell agricultural hoses online, there were rumors that he was part of a gang or that he could be working undercover for the NIS. Basically, nobody thinks he led a lawful life.


Is Jeong Jian’s Life In Danger?

Jian came to know that her uncle had passed away when she called him from the police station, where she had been called because she beat up a man who had entered the women’s washroom. It was said that Jinman committed suicide, but Jian found that hard to believe. When she saw his body, there was a cut on his neck, and Jinman pointed out that people usually slit their wrists, not their necks. The officer tells her that they had considered that this could be a homicide, but no one had been seen near Jinman’s house for a week before he died. He was alone in the house when this happened, which is why it was concluded as a suicide. As Jian struggles to accept this, she wonders what her strong and nonchalant uncle must be going through for him to take such a step. Back home, she runs into her childhood friend, Bae Jeongmin, who used to work part-time for her uncle. He was the first person to know about Jinman’s death, and he offered to clean up the bathroom where Jinman had been found to save Jian the labor.

While Jian is dealing with the funeral and trying to understand how she knew so little about her only family, Jeongmin finds a stain on the bathroom cupboard, the kind that is far from a blood splatter. When he opens the cupboard, he finds an old phone inside.

At the end of A Shop For Killers episode 1, Jian and Jeongmin find messages on the phone about someone making some very large transactions. They check the website and realize that it is a front for something else. A man texts about some job, and Jian replies that she will return the money to him. The man immediately says that Jinman must be dead, and it is now Jian’s turn. He asks her to stay safe since he wants to be the one to kill her. At that moment, a woman, Minhye, knocks on Jian’s door and enters her house without being let in. She is clearly there to kill Jian, and the girl is surrounded by danger from all sides. But the main question is whether Jinman is actually dead. A dialogue at the beginning of the series says that a story is over if the main character dies. It could either be a hint that Jinman is alive or an indication that this series is going to break some rules.


Final Thoughts

It is clear to the audience that Jinman was a gangster, so the only thing we are curious about is “Murthehelp” and who Lee Yonghan is. We need to know more to be curious about it.


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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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