‘Vigilante’ Episode 3 Recap & Ending Explained: Did Jiyong Meet The Copycat?


Vigilante, while still being quite entertaining, took a turn that the audience was perhaps not ready for. The meaning is that there wasn’t enough of a proper discussion on the philosophy and need for vigilante justice, which is the crux of the story. Instead, it was hastily replaced by the copycat subplot, which is interesting but happened a little too soon. Coming to the police officer, who is supposed to be Jiyong’s major enemy, has not really shown how smart he is till now. Is it possible that this drama is rushing through its narrative without properly developing crucial aspects of itself? Let us determine that through the recap.

Spoiler Alert

Why has there been a rise in copycat vigilantes?

Vigilante was never someone who had superpowers or any defining quality that would make him the ideal candidate to fight crime in the city. He was simply someone who was annoyed at injustice and had decided that he would not depend on unreliable laws for the right things to happen in society. But this cocktail of qualities is not specific to Jiyong. Literally, anyone can adopt them and start acting as per their sense of justice, which is what happens. People sporting black hoodies start attacking everyone they deem was given a light sentence by the law. The violence increased in the city once again, yet the question never changed: why were deliverers of justice punished when the person committing the actual crime was let go?

Jiyong is watching all this from his police academy, and he can feel himself losing control of the situation. At a time like this, he turns to his trusted advisors, which are the books in the library where he tries to understand the psychology of copycats. It is at that time that a new channel broadcasts a message by Vigilante, in which he announces that they are not going to stop until the laws are rectified. Jiyong immediately says that this person is not Vigilante because he was clearly referring to himself in the plural as if he is working with an entire copycat organization instead of acting alone.

Elsewhere, Jo Heon is looking at a dead body that is considered to be the work of Vigilante. Two officers remark that this must be a copycat since the pattern of the targets is different. Vigilante has never attacked women or minors before. Jo Heon agrees, but he wonders whether the amount of praise that Vigilante initially got turned his head to expand his target group. There are disagreements regarding this, but overall, the problem has become a much greater menace than it was initially. Also, the purpose of the copycat Vigilante, the one who came on TV, was to provoke the real guy. That is what copycats want—to meet their hero and inspiration.

What is Choi Miryeo doing?

While Jo Heon still hasn’t exhibited any superior understanding of Vigilante, Miryeo already seems to have her pulse on the matter. However, as a reporter, she is in trouble since it was a rival channel that broadcast Vigilante’s message and also showed the photographs of the people who were recently killed. Miryeo understands that this is not the work of Vigilante, but her boss doesn’t understand her confidence. He doesn’t understand what the basis is for Miryeo’s deductions, and instead of explaining that to him, Miryeo asks him to organize a debate on their next show.

In the debate, there is a panelist who is absolutely against vigilante justice. But Miryeo is laying a trap. She talks about the rights of the victims and their families and goes on to say how the crime doesn’t end with one incident but lingers throughout one’s life. Miryeo has gotten the hang of what Vigilante is, and she wants their channel to be the place where he gets his leads. The bait is taken by Jiyong. Jiyong frequently meets a grandma, who gives him candy in return for his help. He has known her all his life; therefore, when he hears that she is the victim of a violent crime and the perpetrator is likely to go unpunished, Jiyong cannot sit back quietly.

Does Jiyong meet the copycat?

The difference between Miryeo and the copycat’s understanding of Vigilante is that the former has understood how Vigilante considers remorse. She has taken the time to study him through her miscalculations, and that is why she is able to bait him successfully. But the copycat simply wants Jiyong’s attention.

The brother of the man who hit the grandma is ready to compensate the family. He has no remorse, but he is willing to dish out the money. He was killed by the copycat. Meanwhile, Jang Soondo (the culprit) is in the hospital. He had claimed temporary insanity as his reason for the accident, and he was getting treated for it right now. The police were already guarding the gate, as they expected Vigilante to target him. Jo Heon can lift a car with his bare hands, but he cannot understand Vigilante or even the simple tricks that can be used to get rid of a guard. The guard is fooled into going down to the parking lot, which is when Jiyong takes his chance and holds down Soondo. He doesn’t kill him but tells him that unless he begs for maximum punishment, he will return. The principle here is that the law should have failed the victim first. That hasn’t happened yet, so Vigilante did not need to take a life. But the copycat has no such principles, and at the end of Vigilante episode 3, he pushes Soondo down the window once Vigilante leaves. There is chaos outside the hospital, but perhaps it will be clear to the police that this was not Vigilante’s work since he had already left and Soondo was alive when they reached his room. It may also prompt Jo Heon to try to study Vigilante’s methods. In the meantime, Jiyong spots the copycat and rushes to get into his van, where the copycat addresses him by his name, indicating that he knew him all along.

Final Thoughts

Our speculations about the rest of the show based on this episode would be proven by what is coming next. Nam Joo Hyuk is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that he is remembered during his military service, but we are yet to know if he made the right choice.

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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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