Explanation of the Korean Drama Hierarchy’s Ending: An Open-Ended Finale?

The Hierarchy finale leaves us guessing: Who killed Kang In Han? What happens to Jung Jae I and Kang Ha? A thrilling end that hints at more to come.
Explanation Of The Korean Drama Hierarchy’S Ending: An Open-Ended Finale?

Hierarchy, a long-anticipated Korean drama, finally made its debut on Netflix, releasing seven episodes on June 7, 2024. The series takes us into the tumultuous world of Jooshin High School, where the elite chaebol offspring are groomed for their future roles in society. The arrival of Kang Ha, a scholarship student, disrupts the established social order, leading to a series of events that culminate in a complex and gripping finale.

Warning: This article contains spoilers!

Hierarchy Still Cut Still cut from Korean drama Hierarchy (doc. Netflix/Hierarchy)

The Mystery of Kang In Han’s Death

The drama intricately weaves a murder mystery, inviting viewers to speculate about the true culprit behind Kang In Han’s (Kim Min Chul) death. Initially, several characters come under suspicion. Kim Ri An (Kim Jae Won), driven by jealousy, had bullied Kang In Han, making her a likely suspect. Lee Woo Jin (Lee Won Jung) also seems guilty as he was driving a blue car that hit Kang In Han, and he was seen securing Kang’s cell phone and camera pen.

However, the plot thickens when it is revealed that Han Ji Soo (Byeon Seo Yun), the homeroom teacher, was actually driving the car. Kang In Han had inadvertently witnessed Mrs. Han and Lee Woo Jin in a compromising situation, leading to his demise. Lee Woo Jin covered up the incident to protect his father, who was running for president, as the car was registered under his father’s name. This revelation adds a layer of political intrigue and personal betrayal to the storyline, enriching the narrative complexity.

Hierarchy Still Cut Still cut from Korean drama Hierarchy (doc. Netflix/Hierarchy)

Interwoven Relationships and Emotional Turmoil

The relationships between the characters are as tangled as the central mystery. Kim Ri An and Jung Jae I (Roh Jung Eui) rekindle their romance but break up again in the final episode, with Jae I expressing hope for a more meaningful relationship if they meet again as adults. Meanwhile, Lee Woo Jin breaks off his relationship with Mrs. Han, choosing Yoon He Ra (Ji Hye Won) instead. However, their future together remains uncertain.

The friendship between Jung Jae I and Yoon He Ra blossoms, as they begin to open up to each other. Yoon He Ra also lets go of her feelings for Kim Ri An, who remains fixated on Jung Jae I. These evolving dynamics reflect the characters’ growth and the shifting nature of their relationships, adding depth to their development.

Hierarchy Still Cut Still cut from Korean drama Hierarchy (doc. Netflix/Hierarchy)

A Love Triangle’s Unresolved Tension

Kang Ha (Lee Chae Min) initially approaches Jung Jae I to provoke Kim Ri An but ends up falling for her. Despite his growing feelings, Jung Jae I insists that his affections for Kim Ri An haven’t wavered. In a poignant moment in episode 7, Kang Ha confronts Jung Jae I about her feelings, and though Jae I denies any romantic interest, she later admits that this was a lie. This confession reveals a complicated emotional landscape where love and loyalty are intertwined, leaving viewers to ponder the true nature of Jae I’s feelings.

Hierarchy Still Cut Still cut from Korean drama Hierarchy (doc. Netflix/Hierarchy)

The Unexpected Journey

Jung Jae I’s plan to move to New York is thwarted by Kim Ri An, and due to a misunderstanding, Lee Woo Jin strikes a deal with Jae I’s father to send his friend to New York instead. Ultimately, Jung Jae I ends up visiting his mother in a remote seaside town. The episode closes with a touching scene where Jae I smiles at the sight of a woman watering flowers, calling her “Mother.” This scene provides a moment of closure for Jae I’s character, hinting at a possible reconciliation with his past.

Hierarchy Still Cut Still cut from Korean drama Hierarchy (doc. Netflix/Hierarchy)

Open-Ended Finale: A Prelude to More?

The drama leaves several questions unanswered in a post-credits scene, suggesting that the story is far from over. Kang Ha is seen walking through a busy school hallway, and Yoon He Ra enters a classroom to find a student covered in blood. Kim Ri An receives a mysterious message on her phone, “Are you surprised, Kim Ri An?” as Kang Ha smiles at his phone. This cliffhanger raises numerous questions: Is Kang Ha behind the message? What happened to the student?

Even though Kim Ri An has apologized, Kang Ha hasn’t forgiven her, unlike his apparent forgiveness of Jung Jae I and Yoon He Ra. This unresolved tension and the open-ended nature of the finale hint at the possibility of future seasons, leaving fans eagerly speculating about what’s to come.

My Opinion

The finale of Hierarchy leaves viewers with more questions than answers, embodying the essence of an open-ended conclusion. The intricate web of relationships and the unresolved mystery provide a rich ground for speculation and anticipation for future episodes. The series masterfully blends personal drama with broader societal themes, making it a compelling watch. Personally, I find the unresolved nature of the ending both frustrating and exciting, as it keeps the conversation about the show alive and thriving. Could this be a prelude to another season? Only time will tell, but for now, Hierarchy has certainly left its mark.

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