A Netflix Korean thriller, A Killer Paradox is an eight-part series that introduced to us a twisting and intriguing storyline with a stellar cast who play some really twisted characters. Choi Woo-shik as the show’s central protagonist, Lee Tang, and Son Suk-ku as the lead detective Nam-gam are the most stunning actors who delivered a powerful performance in this series, but we must not forget the other supporting characters, who brought multiple dimensions to the story. Let’s talk about these intriguing characters and their journey and learn how they became an integral part of the story.
Portrayed by Choi Woo-shik, Lee Tang was an ordinary student with dreams of going to Australia for higher studies, but his dream ended when he found himself on a violent killing rampage. Lee Tang could have never imagined that he would kill someone, but when a passerby acted violently and began to beat him up without any reason, Lee Tang couldn’t help but grab his hammer and beat him to death. After the first murder he committed, Lee Tang began to drown in despair because he couldn’t forgive himself for what he had done. However, when he realized that he had killed a serial killer, he felt a sense of relief. Initially, he thought that it was an act of self-defense, and he would just move on from it since there was no evidence for the police to arrest him, but he started committing murders one after another. All his victims were evil people, psychopathic murderers, or sex offenders, so he just rationalized it as his superpower to spot the killers and kill them without getting caught by the authorities. He went on killing evil people until one day he had to confront Detective Nam-gam, who told him that he was no god to decide someone’s fate. So, will Lee Tang just stop killing people? Let’s see.
Played by one of the most talented actors in the K-film industry, Son Suk-ku, Detective Jang Nam-gam was a tortured persona who was also an honest and hardworking investigator. He had a pretty rough childhood because of his cheating mother and his corrupt father, who was an officer. However, Nam-gam never got to know the truth about his father and learned that a guy named Song-Chon was responsible for his father being paralyzed and bedridden for the rest of his life. Throughout his career, Nam-gam wanted to capture Chon and take his revenge, but when he finally confronted his nemesis and learned the truth about his father being nothing but a drug dealer, it crushed his heart. However, the question remains if Nam-gam would still take his revenge or if he would just let Chon go.
Roh-Bin is one of the most important characters in the series, working as a vigilante to bring justice to innocent people by removing the dirt from society. Roh-Bin, a die-hard Batman fan, met with Lee Tang through an online chatting group called “Only for Heroes,” and together they started committing murders one after another. But by the end of the series, when the two of them decided to run away from the country to evade justice, Roh-Bin decided to stay. He wanted Tang to run away so that he could remain unharmed, but he chose to take a different path for himself. He wanted to redeem himself for the killings he had committed, no matter what his reasons were, so he turned himself in and wanted to help Nam-gam in his pursuit to kill Song-Chon. He asked the detective not to go after Tang in exchange for his help, and he chose to risk his own life for Tang’s sake.
Played by Lee Hee-joon, Song-Chon hadn’t always been a stone-cold murderer, just like Tang. His father was a criminal who died when he was a child, but Song-Chon managed to move on from the trauma and decided to join the police force to become an honest and determined officer, just like his idol, Detective Jang (Nam-gam’s father), but when he found out that Jang was a corrupt detective who had ties with some powerful drug-dealing gangs, he was gravely disappointed. Especially when an innocent woman had to suffer for Jang’s evil plans, Song-Chon couldn’t just sit by quietly, and had to speak up against them. But instead of getting any answers, he was severely beaten up by Jang. Unable to control his anger, Song-Chon stood up for himself and attacked Jang. He beat Jang up and gravely injured him, which left Jang’s whole body paralyzed. Since the day he had wounded Jang, he knew that Nam-gam would one day come for him, so he was already prepared for the big battle, which eventually took place at the end of the series.
Yeo-ok was a psychopath who lost one eye in a massive explosion. Yeo-ok just wanted to become rich at any cost, for which she always pretended to be blind while she was very much able to see. She was the one who had witnessed Lee Tang killing the passerby on the road, and ever since, she started blackmailing him for money, However, when her demands increased, Lee Tang lost his cool and ended up killing her.
Sang-muk is one of those characters who didn’t get much screen time during the show but played an integral part in the story. When the two punk kids from the street stabbed one of the investigators and ran away, it was Lee Tang who spotted them with the help of his superpower and put an end to them. Those two guys were not just some random thugs roaming around the city, they were sex offenders as well. When they were young, they sexually assaulted one of their classmates and easily got away with the crime, claiming that it was consensual. However, the victim couldn’t handle the trauma she had to go through and committed suicide by jumping off the building. Sang-muk, the father of the victim, could never forgive those two punks who ruined his and his daughter’s lives. So, Sang-muk also joined the vigilante online group and talked to Roh-Bin about the tragedy that had left him shattered. Roh-Bin wasn’t yet associated with Tang, but he was following him throughout. Sang-muk, who had also spotted those two thugs on the street, chose to follow them and witnessed that a guy had been severely beating the two up. Sang-muk ran away from the place later, but when the police started investigating the murders of the two men, Sang-muk decided to turn himself in to save the vigilante who provided him with the justice he deserved. As Sang-muk’s confession raised suspicions in Nam-gam’s mind, he wanted to interrogate the man further, but before he could do so, Sang-muk committed suicide to close the investigation.
Season 1 of A Killer Paradox has given us some really unconventional and captivating characters with an interesting arc to follow and discuss. Hopefully Netflix will renew the season, and in the upcoming season we’ll get even more compelling developments in the story with some eccentric yet fascinating characters who will have the potential to blow our minds.