Chae-Ok In ‘Gyeongseong Creature’ Part 1 Explained: Was Chae-Ok’s Mother Spreading Anthrax?

In Gyeongseong Creature, Chae-Ok and her father, Jung-Won, are sleuths from Manchuria in search of Chae-Ok’s mother. She’s been missing for 10 years after an experiment went horribly wrong in Manchuria, and she was taken away to Gyeongseong. Chae-Ok is in search of a man named Sachimoto, who once sketched her mother. This is when she asks Tae-Sang, the pawnshop owner, to help her find him. At first, they don’t quite get along because their lifestyles are so entirely different, but soon, they become fond of each other when they see how they’re both obsessed with keeping their word. Chae-Ok has faced a lot over the years, and her life’s mission has been to find her mother. Chae-Ok finds herself in Gyeongseong in search of Sachimoto and hears that Tae-Sang is the guy with all the answers. Their first encounter is a fight on the street, where she very obviously defeats him. After a lot of consideration, Jung-Won chooses to help Tae-Sang, simply because he may be the only one who can find Sachimoto.

If Chae-Ok’s mother were dead, it would have been a better result for her. Instead, her mother became the gigantic monster that only destroys and kills, leaving Chae-Ok with no option but to think of a way to kill her and end her misery. In episode 6, Chae-Ok realizes that it’s her mother who is the creature, and she is locked up in the basement by the soldiers as bait for the creature as they wait to kill her. Just as the creature is about to kill Chae-Ok, she screams for her mother to stop. This brings back all their memories together, and even though it’s been 10 years, the creature realizes who Chae-Ok is and protects her instead of hurting her. This means there’s some humanity left in the creature, but at the same time, this makes things much worse for Chae-Ok, who can’t protect her mother from herself.

Chae-Ok has been through so much herself, so she’d never let another human suffer. She’s always reminded of what happened in Manchuria, so when she finds the kids that the army is experimenting on, she gives them a lift up and sends them to safety. Here are more prisoners and innocent citizens; sure, let’s help them. Although Tae-Sang and she are quite different, in this sense, they’re almost the same. The only difference is that Tae-Sang wouldn’t have put himself in such dangerous situations before meeting Chae-Ok. He’d simply help people as he could with money, information, and a good time.

When the Korean soldier that Chae-Ok had promised to help is about to die, she’s desperate to save him. Even one death is a big burden on her, especially since she’s the reason they tried to save so many people. She’s also very self-reliant and is always fighting Tae-Sang, who wants her to be safe. Chae-Ok is offered the Najin water by Kato, who tells her that she could reunite with her mother as a monster. This makes her feel absolutely disgusted, despite how much she’s longed to be with her mother again. To find her like this after 10 years must’ve been really hurtful, yet Chae-Ok doesn’t fall for Kato’s tricks. She’s seen the devastation of the monster and would choose to kill her mother. 

It’s possible that the creature can be tamed, especially after we see her reaction to Chae-Ok’s one shout. When the creature hears “mother,” the memories of her and her daughter flood back into her mind. This could imply that if Chae-Ok were to rescue the creature, she could somehow manage to tame her and keep her safely away from people, but at what cost? How will the creature survive? What will she eat? Additionally, she would spread anthrax through her spores if they make her unconscious. In a previous article, I spoke about an antidote; if this exists, then that would be amazing for Chae-Ok. Her family would be reunited, but if it doesn’t exist, then I can’t see how she can keep her alive.

At the end of Gyeongseong Creature Part 1, we see Chae-Ok and Jung-Won escape and head in a direction away from the city. This is to get them to safety after escaping the hospital, but knowing that Tae-Sang is still there, she’s definitely going to be making her way back to the city soon enough. At the same time, she hasn’t yet told her father that the creature is actually her mother. Additionally, the man hasn’t even seen the creature, so she wouldn’t even know where to start. This would be devastating news for him. At the beginning of episode 7 of Gyeongseong Creature, Chae-Ok has a dream where Tae-Sang is a monster like her mother and kills her. When she wakes up from it all, startled, she’s in a clean house and sleeping by herself in clean clothes. A little later, there’s a voice from outside that calls to her. It’s Tae-Sang’s voice, and she looks unsettled when she hears it. This could mean two things. One is that she’s been startled awake, so she is confused between reality and the dream, and for a second, she’s afraid the real Tae-Sang is a monster. On the other hand, she could simply be hearing his voice when he’s not actually there, because the memory of the previous day starts to play out at that moment. This could mean she was simply thinking about it and willing his safety into the universe.

Ultimately, Chae-Ok will definitely go back to find Tae-Sang and her mother. She may not be able to save her mother, but she may want to kill her for closure. This would set her and her father free from the burden of searching for her mother and everything they’ve been through together in order to search for her. It would also help to see the suffering end. Chae-Ok will be sure to reunite with Tae-Sang eventually, and if the first scene of episode 7 is the way to go, then he’s already escaped and made his way to her, possibly with some new information on the Najin. Myeong-Ja is still free and turning, so there’s a chance they will be reunited very soon. We expect more fighting and excitement from Chae-Ok in Part 2 of Gyeongseong Creature.

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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