Disney+ captivated K-drama fans with A Shop For Killers, whose thrilling plot culminated in a finale that left many questions unanswered. And the cliffhanger suggests a possible season 2.
At the end of the K-drama, Ji-an realizes the extent of the secret life her uncle led. Babylon and a series of mercenaries attack their home to take over the weapons store, putting Ji-an in serious trouble.
She must then decide on her future: flee and start over, or stay and fight? A Shop For Killers ends with the young woman becoming the new manager and putting an end to Babylon’s attack, but a surprising twist changes the situation.
The K-drama indeed reveals the return of Jin-man, who was believed to be dead and who was at the origin of this whole affair. A Shop For Killers then opens the door wide for new intrigues in season 2. We explain everything we know.
Warning: the rest of the article contains spoilers from the K-drama A Shop For Killers.
Jin-Man is not dead in A Shop For Killers
The K-drama ends with Jin-man bruised and beaten, but alive and returning home after the ordeal with Babylon: so he never died.
The main plot of A Shop For Killers begins because of Jin-man’s supposed suicide. Which forces Ji-an to return to identify the body, organize the funeral, and discover the truth about the weapons store. The death of his uncle is therefore the trigger for the entire series.
But viewers will certainly have noticed that the K-drama insinuates throughout the plot that Jin-man’s story is far from over. When she learns of his death, Ji-an doesn’t want to believe it. She knows that her uncle, more than anyone, is not the type of person to end his life. And just to add more, the circumstances of his death are also special.
According to Jung-min’s story, he used an AI to make Jin-man believe that Ji-an was in danger. Jin-man then called Pasin to tell him that he didn’t have to repay his debt. The next scene shows Jin-man dead in his bathtub, after using his knife to slit his throat. One strange detail, however: the number of times Jin-man listened to Ji-an’s recording, as if he was analyzing it.
How did Jin-man manage to still be alive in A Shop For Killers?
When Ji-an goes to see the body, she wonders why her uncle slit his throat when most people prefer wrists. All these little details make sense when the finale of A Shop For Killers reveals that Jin-man is alive, but in a bad state.
How did he survive? And where was he? If he was alive, you would think he would go and save Ji-an. But given his state as he gets out of the taxi, we understand that he has faced his own adversaries on his side.
A fan on X/Twitter pointed out that the detective who helped Jin-man out of the car was also the person who passed the autopsy report to Ji-an:
— a✶༉ (@ohohdaegi) February 7, 2024
“THE DETECTIVE WHO INFORMED JIAN OF THE AUTOPSY RESULTS IS LITERALLY HIS FRIEND I’M CRYING”
So it could be that Jin-man made his death look like a suicide to alert Babylon. He probably knew that the house would be attacked, but also that Ji-an and her allies could prevail. But why act like this?
What happened to Bale?
Bale has his own reasons for going after Jin-man, and swears to be the one to kill him: yet, he never appears in the finale of the K-drama A Shop For Killers.
In the Korean series, flashbacks help explain Jin-man’s past as a mercenary and his ties to Bale. Jin-man was led to believe he died in a building explosion but returned home to protect his family. Later, he learns the truth: Bale was alive and had turned his old team against him. Plans were made to assassinate Jin-man’s family in order to bring him out of hiding.
So the villains killed his mother, brother and sister-in-law, and tried to do the same to Ji-an. But when Jin-man visits his former superior, he makes a call to Bale. The latter learns that Jin-man will stop killing their former comrades in exchange for a ceasefire. In agreement, Bale steps aside, leaving the way open for Jin-man to set up the store.
When Jin-man dies, one would also expect Bale to take the opportunity to infiltrate the house to go after Ji-an. But he never shows up. Our theory? It was all part of Jin-man’s plan.
The uncle faked his death to alert Babylon and allow Ji-an to discover the truth. He knew that all the mercenaries would attack, leaving Bale alone. Knowing that he had trained Ji-an and the others to defend themselves, he trusted them to fend for themselves. Jin-man would then instead take the opportunity to attack Bale himself, ending the ancient vendetta for good.
This would also be the reason behind his injuries: he would reappear after his fight against Bale. However, the K-drama never explores this plot. A season 2 of A Shop For Killers could therefore look more into Jin-man’s perspective, and show how his plan was set up and executed.
A season 2 of A Shop For Killers would also explain where Pasin and Min-hye are, since they disappeared after the fight ended.
The K-drama A Shop For Killers is available on Disney+.