Gyeongseong Creature was one of the most highly anticipated Korean series of the year. The show, which stars Park Seo-Joon and Han Seo-Hee in lead roles, has garnered a lot of attention for its horror-thriller-drama plotline and leading couple. Although the overall messaging of the show is quite on the nose, it’s littered with many gripping subplots to keep us entertained. One of them is the story of the courtesan Myeong-Ja. The show is set in 1945, when Japan occupied Korea. Set in the capital city of Gyeongseong, the show follows Tae-Sang, one of the wealthiest men in the city, who is tasked by Police Commissioner Ishikawa to find Myeong-Ja, his concubine. She’s pregnant with his child, and he wants her back alive and well. If Tae-Sang is unable to find her, he loses all his assets, everything that made him the reliable man that everyone in Gyeongseong adores.
Ishikawa’s wife is an important Japanese woman named Yukkiko Maeda. We learn by the end of the series that she is the reason the Onseong Hospital exists. Powerful as she is, she’s the reason Myeong-Ja gets taken away and put in the hospital, amidst the prisoners who are fuel for the creature. It’s never made clear why Ichiro (Doctor Experiment) keeps her with the other patients or leaves her in such a vulnerable place where she could easily become creature fodder because of the other soldiers. I suppose she’s meant to feel afraid, but simply putting her in a dungeon-like room would be enough for that. There’s a moment in the show when she almost gets taken away to be fed to the monster, but she’s ultimately saved by the bell. Obviously, the only reason Ishikawa wants her around is because of his heir. Maeda and Ishikawa don’t have children, and this might be his way of asserting his power over Maeda. What’s confusing is that Maeda wants Ichiro to look after Myeong-Ja until the baby is out; would she ultimately kill the baby or not? We can’t really know. If that were the case anyway, I suppose a pregnant Myeong-Ja dying in the hospital would be just fine too. Myeong-Ja is simply a pawn in the ego game between Ishikawa and Maeda.
Of course, Maeda doesn’t actually know that there’s a creature in the hospital; she just knows that people are getting experimented on. Specifically, Korean people. Myeong-Ja is a Korean, which would essentially taint Maeda’s image. In the cell, when the creature releases the spores that cause anthrax, Myeong-Ja is smart enough not to touch it. In front of her eyes, a dozen prisoners die from simply having one spore touch their skin. The Korean soldier helps her out, seeing how she’s pregnant, and tells her to stay away from the spores. Technically, Myeong-Ja is the root cause of the whole mess that follows. Never mind the fact that Ishikawa is desperate to have her back, but it’s also Tae-Sang who is trying so hard, even risking his life to bring her back to Ishikawa. That’s really the messed up bit. It’s also revealed that Maeda had something to do with Chae-Ok’s mother’s disappearance too. Who is she, and could she possibly be related to Chae-Ok in some way?
Myeong-Ja’s only means of survival is by being beside Ishikawa. She could easily be lying about the baby being his, but as a Korean person, having a Japanese heir will ensure her safety, at least for a little bit. In a conversation with Maeda early in the show, Tae-Sang asks her to help him get into the hospital. She says if it’s in search of Myeong-Ja, then he might as well turn away immediately. She also tells him he should ignore the empty threats from her husband, to which Tae-Sang says that this time it feels real and that on the line is his entire life’s work. Tae-Sang even risks his own life when he goes into the hospital to get her out rather than leaving it up to the two strangers. Ultimately, Myeong-Ja is saved by Soma, a Korean soldier, who helps her escape the cells and takes her to Tae-Sang.
How Did Myeong-Ja turn into a Monster?
Myeong-Ja ingested the Najin through the water in the room that was kept aside for Chae-Ok (how irresponsible of Kato!). At the end of Part 1, we see that it’s about to take over her mind. We know the next symptom is violent headaches and then conversion into a monster. There’s a step in between, i.e., the serum, but Myeong-Ja is nowhere near the hospital, and there’s no way Ishikawa would take her there, whatever the cause of her headache may be. The anthrax serum is the part that turns humans into monsters. In Part 2, Myeong-Ja turns into a bloodthirsty human, but she does not take the monstrous form because she hasn’t been given the serum. Myeong-Ja goes on a 3-day rampage, killing people. When the corpses are found, they’re all missing their brains. Myeong-Ja almost kills Mori, the spy, however, Chae-Ok and Tae-Sang arrive just in time to save him. He does lose his eye though, because that’s where she attacks them (Gregor, who? We only know Myeong-Ja).
How Did Myeong-Ja Die?
Myeong-Ja is reminded of who she is when Tae-Sang says her name, bringing her back to her senses. This implies that even the Najin can be controlled by the person with the parasite in them. This is when Myeong-Ja realizes that she needs to save her baby and tries to escape into the forest. Unfortunately, all of Ishikawa’s officers are after her, so she doesn’t make it too far. When Ishikawa sees her blood smeared face and hands that look like claws, he abandons her and the child. Of course, these are Ishikawa’s true colors, but Myeong-Ja is taken over by shame and spite as she attacks him viciously, clawing at his face and chest like an animal. Ultimately, she’s captured, however, Ishikawa is left for the dead by Maeda (he totally deserved that) along with Myeong-Ja and her baby. Myeong-Ja is kept in a tiny cage as she awaits her child’s birth. It is Kato who finds her at the end of the series and leaves her for the dead, only saving her baby for experimental purposes.
What Will Happen To Myeong-Ja’s Child?
We know that Kato has some Najin left and offers one to Maeda when Joseon is independent. Many years into the future, we see a young man who looks like Tae-Sang with a scar on the back of his neck. He looks like he could be Chae-Ok and Tae-Sang’s son, and maybe he’s the one who fought Myeong-Ja’s baby to save the world from the disastrous Najin bio-weapon. I suppose we can only know what really happened when we get another season. Ahh!