We’re finally at the end of our long, long (long) journey. The process of chasing and taking Woo-hye down has been hard and challenging, but our characters have finally reign victorious. Of course, there were many deaths in the process and difficult sacrifices that had to be made, but the end results will save many more lives.
Note: I just want to thank everyone for joining me in this recap journey of ‘The Ghost Detective.’ Just yesterday, we bid farewell with ‘100 Days My Prince’ and today we’re saying goodbye to ‘The Ghost Detective.’ Though the drama was far from perfect and left me frustrated many times, the cast and our team was what ultimately made me stay. In the mean time, you can join me in my other recap for ‘Dae Jang-geum is Watching.’ If you have any other suggestions of dramas I can recap, feel free to comment down below and let me know your recommendations~
The Ghost Detective: Episode 16 & Final Recap
Moments before Da-il trapped Woo-hye inside of his physical body, he and Chae-won discussed their plans as to how they were going to capture her. Da-il feels like this is the only way he’ll be able to protect Yeo-wool. So the two carry out their plan as established and successfully trap Woo-hye inside of Da-il’s body right when it hits 1AM. Chae-won pulls the respirator off Da-il’s mouth afterwards signaling his body to shut down and die.
In his room, Sang-seob can sense that something went wrong and he pulls his blanket over his face as he sheds a few tears. Meanwhile, Yeo-wool enters the room with Da-il’s body to check up on him. Chae-won comments that everything’s ended and that Da-il had to make the sacrifice in order to kill Woo-hye. Chae-won and Woo-hye embrace each other over Da-il’s death.
Woo-hye and Da-il return to the spot in the grass field where Da-il’s physical body was first discovered. Though Woo-hye claims that killing her won’t make a difference as there are many more evil spirits out there, Da-il responds that he’s glad he was able to at least protect his loved ones. The 12-year old version of Woo-hye appears in front of Da-il and withers away into small bits after a few seconds. Da-il is left alone and hears Yeo-wool commending him for his efforts in killing Woo-hye. Of course, they’re in two separate worlds and Yeo-wool hugs the physical Da-il laying on the hospital bed.
Time passes and Yeo-wool learns to live her life without Da-il. She concludes that he wanted to find Woo-hye’s motives for killing people not so she could be excused, but so that he could stop her from killing more people. He felt guilty for not being able to protect innocent lives so he wanted to stop Woo-hye before he killed his loved ones and many more. And maybe this is the reason why Da-il was only able to kill Woo-hye and no one else.
Yeo-wool takes Sang-seob to the park near the Han River that Da-il enjoyed the most. The rest of our team – Chae-won, Jung-dae, Lawyer Baek, and Reporter Kang – join Yeo-wool and Sang-seob in remembering Da-il at the park. After the small trip to the park, Yeo-wool drops Sang-seob back at the agency office. They bid farewell in the mean time. Yeo-wool plans on leaving for a bit to take some time to herself. Before leaving, Sang-seob hands Yeo-wool Da-il’s military necklace with his name engraved on it. It’ll help her cope with his absence for a while.
Looking at the hearing aid reminds Yeo-wool of Yi-rang. She’s reminded of the time when she checked up on Yi-rang while she was asleep. Yi-rang refused to cover her feet with her blanket and there was a reason for that: when a dead person’s soul returns to it loved one, it touches their feet. Yi-rang was hoping to feel their parents’s presence that night and the only way to tell was through her feet. In the present, Yeo-wool suddenly feels a tingle on her feet as she sleeps.
The myth is true as Yi-rang appears in front of Yeo-wool after touching her feet. Yi-rang encourages Yeo-wool to live her life and to stop feeling guilty for her death. It wasn’t Yeo-wool’s fault. Yeo-wool and Yi-rang give each other a hug until Yi-rang disappears and Yeo-wool is all left by herself in her apartment. Though Yi-rang is gone, Yeo-wool is forever grateful that they were sisters. She still misses and loves her sister dearly.
Though Da-il and Yi-rang are gone, the world hasn’t changed. However, everyone who’s met Da-il has changed a little bit including Yeo-wool. She prepares for her backpacking trip and remembers to wear the boots her sister gave her as a gift. As for our characters, Sang-seob resumes with the business, but he does things a little differently now. Just as his wife had wished, Sang-seob is now helping those suffering unjust situations and bringing their issues to light. Meanwhile, Chae-won is now a real medical examiner who listens to the last words of the dead through autopsy.
Jung-dae still works as a detective, but he’s a changed man. He now believes in those who come forth to him for help and empathizes with those who lost a loved one. Lawyer Baek clears up the truth about the case she took on 5 years ago involving Da-il when he was still in the military. Reporter Kang admits his faults and mistakes with the same military case and shares the great work that Yeo-wool, Sang-seob, and the rest of the team did in taking Woo-hye down.
Yeo-wool is still on her backpacking trip, but doesn’t forget to send the rest of the team sweet and loving messages. Sang-seob, Chae-won, and Jung-dae are all reunited thanks to Yeo-wool who writes each of them a message on a single postcard. And just like that, a year passes by and Yeo-wool finally returns from her travel plans. When she returns to Korea, she immediately thinks about Da-il.
However, her rest is short-lived as a stabbing incident occurs on a bus near her bus stop. Yeo-wool immediately enters the bus alone to find the bus driver stabbed and a woman sitting on the bus floor in shock. The woman explains that she was angry so she stabbed the bus driver. However, she was held back by a tall man who stopped her from stabbing the bus driver once more. Jung-dae and his colleague arrive at the scene and are reunited with Yeo-wool. Little details are exchanged between the two as Yeo-wool exits the bus to find the tall man who she thinks stopped the woman from killing the bus driver: Da-il.
Yeo-wool hurries to Da-il’s favorite park near the Han River in hopes of finding him there. Indeed, she finds him there and the two quickly notice each other. Yeo-wool runs to Da-il upon seeing him and gives him a big hug. No one else knows about Da-il’s return, but Da-il didn’t visit them on purpose. He also didn’t want Yeo-wool to know about him because he wants her to live a normal life and to forget about everything that happened in the past.
Yeo-wool reasons that she has been living a normal life and has been able to do most that she’s wanted to do. She wants to still be with Da-il. When she’s ready to move forward with her life and to live without Da-il, she’ll let him know. But for now, she wants Da-il to stay with her (OMGG I’M CRYINGGG).
So the two catch up with each other while holding hands and taking a walk around the park (AHHH THEY’RE SO CUTE). Yeo-wool describes her backpacking experience to Da-il and confesses that she now has a new dream she wants to achieve. However, she refuses to tell Da-il and wants him to stay with her until she feels ready to tell him. Gaaaah, they’re so cute!
Yeo-wool reunites with Sang-seob and Chae-won at his office. However, she’s not the only one there to visit them. Da-il too makes his grand appearance (in a new outfit I might add) which surprises Sang-seob and Chae-won. They never expected to see him again. The two shed some tears upon seeing their old friend.
Je-yoon interrogates the woman on the bus who had stabbed the bus driver. He discusses about the case with his colleague and chief and concludes that it’s another case involving ghosts again. However, this time Lawyer Baek will be helping them solve the case and the police station has created their own special ghost detective unit to deal with similar types of cases again in the future: Ghost Case, Code G.
Jung-dae too is reunited with Da-il. After processing his appearance, Jung-dae returns to discussing with Yeo-wool and Da-il about the bus driver case. It turns out that the bus driver himself is being controlled by an evil spirit and is thinking of killing all the passengers on his bus. Thankfully, our team gets to him first before he can execute his plan. They find a will hidden in his pocket as evidence and arrest him afterwards.
With the bus driver down, all the team has to worry about left is finding the ghost. Our group splits into teams and search for the dangerous ghost. While driving, Da-il comments in a voiceover saying,
In this world, there are beings you don’t know of. Some of them will provoke your anger and some will blow up your guilt. However, before you make a bad choice, I hope you can remember this one thing. Even if it feels like there’s no one around you, a kind of being that you do not know of may be protecting you at all times.
For the frustrating and confusing drama that this was, the ending was at least satisfying and executed pretty much perfectly on every level so I was content with the ending. The last five minutes of the episode where our team worked together to take down the bus driver was so so nice and I wished THAT was what we watched the entire drama: procedural cases and investigations involving our team in chasing after ghosts, criminals, and more. I’m just ultimately glad that we got to witness each of our characters receive closure in their own ways somehow and that we witnessed the aftermath to this long-lived journey.
I had expressed in my last recap for ‘The Ghost Detective’ that I hoped we at least got to see how each of our characters moved on after Woo-hye’s death. This episode gave us that and much more so I was really satisfied to see how things ended for everyone. We watched how our characters were able to cope and move forward after Da-il’s “death” so even though it was bitter seeing them go about their own lives without a reason to be together anymore, it was also sweet witnessing them still remember Da-il and the impact that he made in their lives. I also liked that each of our characters got some time to themselves and to do the things they each wanted to do. The chase after Woo-hye was long and strenuous and stripped our characters of their time, safety, and dreams. However, they were able to accomplish all that they wanted to do after everything ended which made for a great reward. I also liked that our team ultimately grew and developed as individuals after everything ended. Jung-dae was no longer the aloof and reserved person that he used to be; he believes in people now and wants to help them. Yeo-wool and Sang-seob no longer feel guilty for the death of their loved ones and have received closure on that part. Chae-won no longer possesses the same powers and abilities that she had in the past, but she’s accepted that and is learning to start over with her new life. Each of our characters changed in ways that they probably wouldn’t have if they weren’t working together as a team and it was nice to witness that.
I’m just glad that we got a satisfying ending for a drama that had so much potential to be better. I’m not sure if y’all caught on in my recaps, but I was constantly frustrated with the show and the direction that it took throughout. There were many aspects about the drama that could have been better: all the random rules about the ghost and supernatural world, Woo-hye’s constant victories over our team, Woo-hye’s never-ending powers and abilities, the death of so many innocent lives, the inability to understand Woo-hye’s motives and reasons for killing people, and much much more. The writing to this drama was what held the drama back from improving and it’s such a shame because everything else about the drama was pretty much solid.
However, our team was essentially was what caused me to stay. It wasn’t so much the end results and how Woo-hye died that I kept watching, but it was more of observing our team work together so effortlessly to catch Woo-hye that I stayed. They worked so well together and utilized each of their strengths to catch the evil spirit. It’s just sad that the police didn’t join our team until much much later (not that they were of much help anyways but still) and that our team suffered so much throughout the journey. Our characters each lost a loved one because of Woo-hye and so they had their own personal reasons for wanting to catch her. They also knew that Woo-hye killed many innocent lives so they didn’t want any more people to get hurt. Our team was risking their lives to capture Woo-hye, not for the recognition or praise or acknowledgement, but because it was the right thing to do. Indeed, they saved many more lives since eliminating Woo-hye including their own.
It’s ironic that the majority of this drama was not the greatest, but that the ending wrapped things up in such a gratifying and nice way. I guess the ending made up for some of the hair-pulling and frowns I suffered the last fifteen episodes. While I didn’t really care about how exactly Woo-hye died (I was just glad that she finally died), I’m just glad that Da-il returned. I had a feeling he was going to return; I mean, he is our main character so the drama couldn’t have just left him out in the very last episode. I usually don’t vouch for second seasons with dramas as I think a first season is enough, but ‘The Ghost Detective’ is a drama where I wouldn’t mind a second season. With the second season, I would love to watch our team take on procedural case-by-case investigations and just basically go after a bunch of bad guys and evil spirits. The last five minutes of this episode where they basically did that was so fun and interesting, I wouldn’t mind another 16-episode drama and watch them do that again. What I would mind though is a new writer or maybe a co-writer who can help the current writer make sense of her writing a little bit more. Lol.
Just because Woo-hye is gone doesn’t mean that evil no longer exists in the world. As we saw with the bus driver, there will still be people who get controlled and tempted to do dangerous things. However, just knowing that our team is back together and intact (with additional support by the police) brings me peace because they’re not alone. Now they have a whole team behind them and it’ll be much easier for them to capture other evil spirits out there since they’ve done it before with Woo-hye. Catching Woo-hye might have been difficult, challenging, hectic, and messy, but it was just merely the beginning of our team’s journey. They will go through many more days together and save many more lives in the process.
Bonus: Extra screenshots from our final episode 🙂