It’s the final chapter for Team Crazy Dogs and a lengthy one at that—there’s so much information crammed into this 86-minute finale, it makes you wonder how much more story the show wanted to tell. Evidently then answer is, a lot, and it can certainly tell a lot more, if given the opportunity.
We get all the answers to Jung-moon’s past and Goo-tak’s source of resentment, as well as others coming clean but not necessarily looking to be forgiven. Bad Guys makes sure to keep us on our toes and our eyes glued to the screen until the very end. And for our last ratings check-in, Bad Guys ended on a high-note of 4.1%.
FINAL EPISODE RECAP: “Back to the World”
We backtrack a little to Commissioner Nam at the lake, where he’s approached by Prosecutor Oh. Uncomfortable with his visit, Commissioner Nam tells him to get right to the point. So Prosecutor Oh shares how his late wife was murdered four years ago, the last victim of a serial killer named Jo Man-shik.
Commissioner Nam knows of the case as well, and the prosecutor takes a shot at commiseration of how they both share the same pain of losing a loved one. But the police commissioner can read between the lines—while Prosecutor Oh put his wife’s murderer behind bars through the law, Commissioner Nam formed Team Crazy Dogs. If he doesn’t abandon them, then there’s no way Prosecutor Oh will overlook this underhanded means of justice.
Prosecutor Oh admits that that’s half-right—he did catch Jo and made sure the killer would serve a life sentence. Removing his glasses, he says what follows is where it gets interesting. Shall he go on?
Like Commissioner Nam, Prosecutor Oh had paid Jo a prison visit three months after the latter was imprisoned. The one thing he had hoped for was that Jo would look like himself: broken, hopeless, and a shadow of a man for the remainder of his life. Only in that state would Prosecutor Oh forgive his wife’s murderer.
“But do you know what his face looked like that day?” he continues. Smug and haughty, and Prosecutor Oh was so taken aback that he had said nothing. It was then he’d realized that the punishment he had learned in his legal textbooks didn’t reflect reality. Why should he be the one to live out punishment when Jo was the one at fault?
If true punishment was for the victims and not the offender, then fine—he would serve justice himself. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, Prosecutor Oh had vowed to bring Jo down to feel the same misery and pain he was going through.
Commissioner Nam asks if he killed Jo then, to which Prosecutor Oh shakes his head. No, death would be too easy—living each day in despair would be considerably worse. So Prosecutor Oh had returned the favor in kind: “I killed that bastard’s wife.”
It’s chilling how Prosecutor Oh confesses that in a wide smile and a dry laugh. And it was then Prosecutor Oh had found Jo a defeated man and realized that this was what true punishment was—leaving one alive but not living and left in misery.
When Commissioner Nam asks why he’s telling him this story, Prosecutor Oh notes how Team Crazy Dogs would be lost without the police commissioner around. He’d like to know the reason why they hold him in such high esteem before he kills Commissioner Nam.
Commissioner Nam rises from his seat, but that gives Prosecutor Oh the perfect angle to literally go in for the kill. Stabbed twice, Commissioner Nam falls into his chair again, and Prosecutor Oh offers his half-apology: “I’m sorry, but this was the only way.”
Then we cut back to Team Crazy Dogs, as Woong-chul swings his knife… which stops mere inches from Jung-moon’s chest. As for Tae-soo, he removes the gun from Goo-tak’s head and casts it aside, deciding that the truth will come to reveal itself.
Goo-tak’s voice cuts through the awkward tension in the van, telling Jung-moon that he’ll die by his hands. Then Goo-tak receives a call from Commissioner Nam, whose injured state leaves his voice ragged and breathless. “Goo-tak… are we people or beasts?”
Goo-tak knows something’s wrong, but Commissioner Nam downplays the situation. Struggling, the police commissioner says, “Violence is the law of beasts, and non-violence is the law of people. That’s what’s right… but what law do you and I uphold? Of people or of beasts?”
Goo-tak demands to know where Commissioner Nam is, but the latter simply answers that he’s fine with dying as a beast, thus Goo-tak must live like a person. Citing that he’s tired now, Commissioner Nam closes his eyes and passes.
Tracing Commissioner Nam’s phone brings Team Crazy Dogs to the lake, and it’s heart-breaking to hear Goo-tak’s cries for his close hyung. His grief is interrupted by sirens, and that stun baton lovin’ gangster s accompanied by the rest of his men… who are all under the leadership of Prosecutor Oh.
Korean OCN Drama Bad Guys Episode 11 (final) Recap
Quickly surveying the scene, the prosecutor chides Goo-tak for committing murder like his fellow team members. But Goo-tak is quick to see the cuts on Prosecutor Oh’s hands—wounds that can only come from someone using excessive force when stabbing someone.
Prosecutor Oh smirks at the insinuating remark, and doesn’t answer the question of whether he killed Commissioner Nam, letting his men take care of Team Crazy Dogs instead. As expected, Tae-soo swiftly pushes off the right-hand gangster’s attacks.
When the others start to close in, Goo-tak asks human calculator Jung-moon to assess the situation. Jung-moon: “Not good.” Well yeah, tell us something we don’t know.
While Tae-soo takes on Prosecutor Oh’s right-hand man, Woong-chul beats down the others and Goo-tak puts a bullet in a few of the thugs’ legs before climbing into the car with Jung-moon. Picking up Tae-soo and Woong-chul, the four make their getaway.
Prosecutor Oh is more amused than anything, telling his right-hand man Cha that it’s up to him now. Tracking Tae-soo’s and Woong-chul’s ankle monitors leads them to a dead end, and it’s then that Mi-young learns of Commissioner Nam’s death.
Mi-young sits in the morgue by the body, tears streaming down her face, emotions welling up inside of how they can never be reconciled now and of how she failed to keep her vow to protect Commissioner Nam to the end. She’s determined to find his murderer and Prosecutor Oh promises to find the culprit.
I guess Prosecutor Oh’s character turn means those glasses stay off now, as he presents Commission Nam’s murder case to the other detectives. He names Goo-tak and the rest of Team Crazy Dogs as suspects, explaining how Goo-tak sprung the three criminals out of jail.
As per Prosecutor Oh’s fashion, he states half-truths as certain fact, noting that these four have been working together and killed the police commissioner.
At the same time, Mi-young surveys the crime scene and catches Commissioner Nam’s car facing the fishing spot… which means the black box camera must have recorded everything. Smart thinking.
Korean OCN Drama Bad Guys Episode 11 (final) screenshots
Unfortunately for her, she’s told that Prosecutor Oh has taken the memory card already. Damn, the man knows how to cover his tracks. He works fast, too, because Team Crazy Dogs’ pictures are plastered all over the city.
Prosecutor Oh believes that capture should take no longer than four days, and when he’s told that this group won’t be taken in easily, he addresses the elephant in the room—yes, they can use live ammunition. They’re free to treat Team Crazy Dogs like beasts, so it matters little whether the criminals are found dead or alive.
Mi-young is affronted to hear that the memory card has already been destroyed, not buying Prosecutor Oh’s excuse that it was worthless. Grabbing his arm, she tells him that Tae-soo and Woong-chul’s ankle monitors indicated that they were in a different part of the city at the time of Commissioner Nam’s death, effectively crossing them off of the list.
Someone else murdered Commissioner Nam, she claims, and then Prosecutor Oh drops all pretenses—baring his teeth, he tells her in banmal to stand down. If she wants to advance in her career, then she’ll shut up and follow him. But if that’s not what she wanted, then she shouldn’t have joined hands with him in the first place.
Mi-young has served her use, Prosecutor Oh says. Once this case is over, he’ll go and give her the promotion she’s wanted.
Elsewhere, Tae-soo summarizes what happened to Jung-moon from being kidnapped and drugged by Doctor Kim to waking up and finding his hands covered in blood and that Boss Lee died in that time. Jung-moon nods.
Tae-soo asks Jung-moon whether he thinks Doctor Kim, Prosecutor Oh, and his right-hand man are all connected somehow to Jung-moon’s previous case or not. Those three men know the truth, Jung-moon replies, and once the truth comes to light, they’ll know who killed Boss Lee and who issued the order on his head.
Capturing Doctor Kim is the safest for now, but Goo-tak isn’t inclined to believe anything coming out of Jung-moon’s mouth right now. It doesn’t matter to Jung-moon whether Goo-tak believes him or not, but if he doesn’t, Jung-moon could end up dead and no one would know the truth.
Goo-tak raises a chair to attack with, but Tae-soo stops him, adding that he’s not the only one who’s got beef with someone else here. They’re all wanted men right now, so they should find a way to survive and not betray each other before then.
On their way to Doctor Kim’s place, Jung-moon sees Doctor Kim being escorted away by car. They follow silently, knowing causing a scene will only bring attention to them. They watch as Doctor Kim is placed under hiding and think to themselves that if they can’t go in, they’ll just draw him out.
Suddenly the power goes out in the building and a frightened Doctor Kim picks up a call. It’s Mi-young, who tells him that Jung-moon is inside the building thanks to an accomplice. (Could it be you, Mi-young?) She urges the shrink to escape immediately.
Doctor Kim follows her instructions to an emergency elevator, and she tells him not to seek anyone’s help aside from hers. He heads down to the basement parking lot and sees the silver van as instructed, although he’s stopped by Cha.
Ah, so it turns out that Jung-moon had called up Mi-young after all, telling her that Prosecutor Oh had killed Commissioner Nam. It matters little to him who she believes, but if she wants to find the truth, then she’ll help them.
So Mi-young decided to help, claiming that she wants to know the truth, too. Back in the present, Doctor Kim runs towards the van. By the time the door opens, it’s already too late—the doc gets dragged inside and they drive off.
Back at their hideout, Woong-chul is unable to get Doctor Kim to fess up. Doctor Kim claims that he’ll die if he spills the beans, and plus, there’s no way they can beat “that person.” Then it’s Tae-soo’s turn, and he’s ready to hammer through Doctor Kim’s head.
That gets the doc to start blubbering, crying that he’ll talk. He confesses that Prosecutor Oh was in charge of his wife’s murder case five years ago, and the culprit received a life sentence. His life spiraled downward afterwards, turning to alcohol and drugs to sedate his rage.
Three years ago, Prosecutor Oh came by with a profile of a psychopath and they struck a deal. That psychopath was none other than Jung-moon, who was brought in by Prosecutor Oh himself. That certainly explains the other mysterious presence.
When Jung-moon asks what that deal was, Doctor Kim answers that he drugged Jung-moon with the same medication he gave him at the clinic. Side effects included loss of consciousness and memory loss, and then he performed hypnosis on Jung-moon. The drug’s effects were the reason why Jung-moon doesn’t remember killing.
He would give Jung-moon the pill during their sessions together, then proceed to hypnosis, where he’d feed Jung-moon information about the victim and their addresses as Prosecutor Oh instructed. The order was always, “kill.”
Shaken by this revelation, Jung-moon silently picks up a shard of glass. Jung-moon asks if he killed those people then, and a long moment passes before Doctor Kim gives his answer. He and Prosecutor Oh had hoped that Jung-moon would kill, but Jung-moon didn’t carry out the order.
So Prosecutor Oh and Cha murdered those victims and framed Jung-moon for all fifteen of the Hwayeondong murders. This also includes Boss Lee (whom Cha killed), and Jung-moon balls up a fist around the glass, causing his hand to bleed. “So I didn’t kill them? You just manipulated the fact I was a psychopath?”
“Why?” Jung-moon asks softly. “Why did it have to be me? Because I was diagnosed as a psychopath?” Doctor Kim apologizes, but those words are too little, too late now.
Jung-moon charges forward, but Woong-chul holds him back and drags him away. Once Goo-tak is left alone with Doctor Kim, he asks what criteria Prosecutor Oh followed in hand-picking his victims.
The answer is in line with Prosecutor Oh’s reasoning for killing at all: to take the lives of those criminals’ loved ones so that those offenders feel the same pain he felt; that delivering true punishment is to make sure that they all lead a shadow of an existence—alive but not living.
The first victim was the wife of his wife’s murderer, Doctor Kim explains. Prosecutor Oh had justified his actions by saying he’d be correcting the mistakes he’s made in his career and that the current legal system holds no meaning.
“Then… why did [you all] kill my daughter Ji-yeon?” Goo-tak asks. They needed someone to capture Jung-moon again, Doctor Kim replies, or else they’d inevitably be caught. “So why… why did you have to kill Ji-yeon?” Goo-tak repeats.
“Because you were certain that Jung-moon was the culprit,” Doctor Kim answers. Prosecutor Oh had realized that all they needed to do was fuel Goo-tak’s rage with his pre-existing great desire. So they (well, Cha to be exact) killed Ji-yeon and hoped that Goo-tak, he would hunt down and kill Jung-moon, essentially taking out their own problem for them.
Doctor Kim cries that he was against the idea, and he’s been living in regret ever since. There are tears welling up in Goo-tak’s eyes, but he’s finally figured it out. Prosecutor Oh had thought that Goo-tak would kill Jung-moon and that would be the end of it, but then Goo-tak formed Team Crazy Dogs, so he ordered the hit on Jung-moon through Boss Lee and Kim Do-shik.
Doctor Kim nods, and a tear rolls down Goo-tak’s cheek.
Then Goo-tak joins Jung-moon out on the rooftop, where he explains how he shifted all the blame on Jung-moon for his wrong decision that led to Ji-yeon’s death (read: taking Boss Lee’s money).
He knows Jung-moon doesn’t want to hear these words nor is prepared for them right now, but he sincerely apologizes for everything he’s done and asks for Jung-moon’s forgiveness. Handing over his gun, Goo-tak tells him to do as he likes now.
Jung-moon takes it, then levels it at Goo-tak’s temple. “The emotion you feel… I can’t feel it. The ‘psychopath’ you all speak of, like other people’s emotions… I can’t feel them. So that thing called ‘emotion’… since I can’t feel it, I plan to learn.”
“I plan to learn it from you in these few months, be it resentment, sadness, or happiness. So I understand why you’re sorry to me. I understand well-enough, but… don’t hope to be forgiven,” Jung-moon finishes.
He keeps the gun trained on Goo-tak, who waits for the bullet. But then Jung-moon sets the gun down, and starts walking. But he turns back towards Goo-tak and says they have to catch the bastard that killed Goo-tak’s daughter and framed him for it.
A little while later, Goo-tak regales the guys with a story of a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, only to wake up as a human. The man wondered whether he was dreaming of being a butterfly or if the butterfly was dreaming of being him (a reference to the philosopher Zhuang Zhou’s butterfly dream).
So this Operation: Butterfly Dream is to rouse Prosecutor Oh so he can see his true self as the horrible human being he is. The plan is to use Doctor Kim as bait, but Tae-soo doesn’t think Prosecutor Oh will bite if they tell him that they know the truth.
But Goo-tak says they can stir Prosecutor Oh’s interest if he hears something second-hand, say, through Mi-young. And that’s exactly what happens, as Prosecutor Oh taps into Mi-young’s conversation with Goo-tak. It’s vague, but it’s enough for Prosecutor Oh to know that Mi-young was involved in Doctor Kim’s escape. He’ll be taking this one on his own.
Tae-soo supposes this operation will be dangerous, which has Goo-tak asking if he’s worried about Sun-jung. Tae-soo asks for some time to see her.
So when Sun-jung arrives home, Tae-soo doesn’t respond to the usual “detective” address, but gets down on his knees, “The one who killed your husband… was me.” He lists the details of Sun-jung’s last husband death—he was the one who caused it and made it look like an accident.
The specifics are gruesome, and Sun-jung can barely bear to hear them. She falls to the ground in shock, but Tae-soo lists every action he committed and why. “There’s just one reason why I’m telling you all of this,” Tae-soo says—she had once told him that she wanted to know why her husband’s killer took his life, and he wanted to provide her with an answer.
Tears stream down his cheek, but Tae-soo continues his confession that he’s the reason why her husband died. He couldn’t forget about Sun-jung and had feelings for her, and that’s why her husband was killed. Tae-soo apologizes profusely, saying that he isn’t looking to be forgiven. “But… but… I am sorry. I’m truly sorry.”
It’s daylight by the time Tae-soo rejoins the group, and then it’s time to go chew Prosecutor Oh out. They head over to the docks and Goo-tak picks Tae-soo and Jung-moon’s brains about how Prosecutor Oh would prepare for a rendezvous like this.
Jung-moon looks to a nearby rooftop he’d likely use for a lookout. That’s exactly where Prosecutor Oh and Cha wait later that evening, Listening in again, Prosecutor Oh sends Cha and his men to where Doctor Kim is presumably held captive.
So the men are directed to another part of the docks where they’ll use the bottleneck effect to their advantage, plucking off each gangster one by one. Tae-soo requests to take care of Cha since they’ve got unfinished business, but Goo-tak says he will if luck is on his side.
And it certainly is. Upon seeing each other, the two men go punch for punch, their skills on par with each other. And while Tae-soo and Woong-chul are busy, Jung-moon transports Doctor Kim. Prosecutor Oh bites the bait and runs, taking any shot he can get.
Meanwhile, Tae-soo tries to block the knife, which falls into Cha’s other hand. Cha starts swinging, but then Tae-soo headbutts him. The two assassin flip over, and despite locking Tae-soo’s head in a choke hold, Tae-soo gets a few more punches in and slams Cha’s back against a bar.
Just when Woong-chul’s wave of attackers seems endless, Tae-soo arrives to help. Woong-chul teases him for his beaten and bloody state, and Tae-soo tosses back that he doesn’t look much better. Hee, these two.
Prosecutor Oh finally discovers Jung-moon and Doctor Kim with his head covered. Pointing his gun at the latter, Prosecutor smugly says he knew the shrink would crack, and he’s sorry-but-not-really-sorry.
“Killing a killer’s loved ones—that’s what your law is?” Jung-moon asks. “Do you know of this saying? ‘Committing sin is the work of man, but justifying one’s sin is the work of the devil.'”
Prosecutor Oh smirks because two can apparently play at this Tolstoy quote game: “‘Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.'” He plans on changing himself in order to change the world, and those criminals should receive just punishment so that the victims feel less aggrieved.
Jung-moon cuts through the prosecutor’s falsified legal system—he’s still a murderer at the end of the day. Prosecutor Oh firmly believes that what he’s doing is slowly undoing his mistakes and setting things back in balance.
Jung-moon smirks at that, “I’m supposed to be the psychopath, but why do you look more like a psycho in my eyes?” ‘S what I’m sayin’.
Prosecutor Oh is fit to do away with Jung-moon now, because a psychopath is bound to kill someone eventually. Little does he know that the cloth over what should be Doctor Kim reveals Goo-tak instead.
Goo-tak takes Prosecutor Oh down and starts punching the living daylights out of him, demanding to know why Ji-yeon had to die. Jung-moon stops him, and before stepping out the door, Goo-tak points to the camera up in the corner…
…and Mi-young has seen every minute of this exchange. She walks in moments later and says people have the tendency to try and justify their wrongs. “You fed your own greed under the pretext of justice.”
The world will judge whether he was right or wrong, Prosecutor Oh says. Mi-young tells him that he might deceive people, but he can’t fool the world. There will be a day when he’ll face judgment for his actions. And with that, Prosecutor Oh is taken away.
We flashback to earlier that day when Mi-young had told Goo-tak that his past actions two years ago and recent events will make it difficult to clear the four men’s names. She believes the four men should run once the case is over, but Goo-tak asks her, “Are we people or beasts?”
“We’ve decided to live like people, even if we only get to live for one more day and die. If there’s a crime we’ve committed, we’ll boldly accept punishment, reflect, and receive forgiveness. That’s how we live a new life. Isn’t that what it is to be nice? Heaven will acknowledge us if we’re not bad guys.”
And so, Goo-tak, Woong-chul, Tae-soo, and Jung-moon all step out together to face the authorities.
Some time later, Mi-young informs the new police commissioner that Jung-moon is the midst of a retrial. At present, she says one of the serial killers is involved with this current case. Handing over a picture of the victim the locksmith killer said he didn’t kill, she says former Prosecutor Oh hasn’t killed again since Jung-moon was arrested again two years ago.
When the police commissioner asks if there’s a way to handle this case, Mi-young says there is. That takes her to the prison, where she peers inside a cell to declare, “Crazy Dog is being released again.”
And then Goo-tak turns to face her with a smile.
Bad Guys, how you continue to be a tease until the end with your “And…” cliffhanger!! Not that you’d ever see me complaining about a second season for this show. Given the buzz factor in Korea (I often see this title among the top 3 drama keywords in the search engines over the weekend), I’m not surprised that the production crew may be considering one. But they better be serious about it, lest we’re forced to wait years on end, like for the next Vampire Prosecutor chapter.
In fact, I could see it happen… if our core group of characters remain the same. We may have dug through their backstories, but I can see how Team Crazy Dogs could solve a crime each week like they did here and build upon smaller narrative arcs towards a larger murder or crime at-hand. Even the teensiest details weren’t left out, which is great for mysteries, but terrible for recapping. A throwaway line could easily be the one phrase that comes back to haunt a few episodes later as a key piece of a puzzle. For instance, I loved it when Pawnbroker Im and Hyun-woo’s true intentions were discovered back in Episode 7 all because of one cleverly-worded sentence.
What I didn’t appreciate, however, was the show’s use of visual cues to mislead us later on down the road. It’s one thing to use a shot to keep us guessing and allow context in writing to fill in the blanks, but another to use a completely different shot to tell us the truth after leading us viewers down the road of the “truth” earlier. Such was the case for ultimately revealing Prosecutor Oh as the one trying to dismantle Team Crazy Dogs all along by issuing hit orders in a shot that looked different than the one we’ve seen all series long. Like the past few episodes, we keep being told a version of the truth as seen through someone’s biased perspective, but presented in a way to illustrate that whatever we see is actually what happened.
So I wish the show didn’t wait until the final 90 minutes to show its hand in Prosecutor Oh and his intentions. It doesn’t diminish the chilling factor of a man who takes justice into his own hands, and yet I found myself wondering what it could have been if the reveal came earlier, forcing Team Crazy Dogs to work as a team for longer. That’s one of the things I’m sad we didn’t get to explore enough, because while we fleshed out each of our characters, we barely skimmed the surface of their skills. At one point, I’d forgotten that Jung-moon had studied both math and philosophy.
Speaking of Jung-moon, a part of me had hoped that he would be partly responsible for the Hwayeondong serial murders, as Prosecutor Oh’s involvement practically removed the metaphorical knife out of Jung-moon’s hands. And granted, Jung-moon did still commit murder (the burglars who killed his parents), although they didn’t quite haunt him like the Hwayeondong ones did. But perhaps the fact that he didn’t kill this time speaks to the notion that even someone that has a propensity in something doesn’t always mean that they’ll choose to complete that action. In Jung-moon’s case, he had a high psychopathy score, and yet, he still had an inner moral compass, and it’s the other moral pillar that went on a murder spree.
It would be rare for someone in the real world that possesses Jung-moon’s traits to be that moral and loyal, I still do like the idea that it is a possibility that one can judge a book by its cover. The same could be said for all three of our criminals and Goo-tak as well, the last of whom demonstrated that even he could be driven by the rawest of emotions.
As for Team Crazy Dogs itself, I feel like we exchanged a lot of the possible teamwork for the growing pains within the group. I understood why these guys would misunderstand and suspect one another, and yet I would’ve enjoyed seeing more of the playful bickering and competition between them. Still, I love that Woong-chul, Tae-soo, and Jung-moon each had a story to tell and that their paths were more intertwined than they thought. This is all supported by a stellar cast, who all brought their A-game to the table, and ultimately showed us that being bad can be really, really good.