‘Vigilante’ K-Drama Episode 8 Recap & Ending Explained: Does Jo Heon Side With Jiyong?

Nam Joo-Hyuk’s first action drama has proved that he is capable of it all. The actor does a fantastic job of being a broody young man with a purpose. On the other hand, the show doesn’t quite bring in anything new to the world of action-thriller K-dramas, which we’ve seen too many of, especially recently. Vigilante is one of those that can be watched in the background, and even if you skip a few seconds, you won’t be missing a lot. There’s no disappointment when it comes to action, and the hand-to-hand combat is impressive, as always. But the problem with this story is that it comes across as unfinished and half-baked. In Vigilante episode 7, Jiyong asks Jo Heon to show him the justice he told him about. What will Jo Heon’s final decision be?

Spoilers Ahead


How does Jiyong rescue Miryeo?

Jiyong is somehow always at an advantage in the show and knows exactly what the bad guys are plotting. He knows that Miryeo is actually in the custody of Mr. Bang, but he gets Sam-Doo to bring her to his desired location—the World Cup Stadium Concert Hall. Sam-Doo now knows that Bang has Miryeo, so this is the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. He agrees to bring Miryeo to the stadium with the plan of killing everyone involved in the Vigilante story at once to survive himself, but Jiyong is way ahead of him already. He has Sam-Doo’s crypto wallet, which means he can do anything he likes with QQ coin, using the private key. Sam-Doo assumes Jiyong will bring it to the stadium with him (funny guy).

Jiyong has chosen the stadium because there’s an electronic dance music festival where everyone attending must wear black. It was easy for him to blend in. Sam-Doo gets all his men ready for the fight, placing them all around the stadium. He even gets them to check the security cameras to make sure they don’t miss Miryeo and, in turn, the Vigilante. Miryeo and Seodol show up and go into the stadium. They’re given black hoodies to wear as well, so Sam-Doo can’t catch them either. Within the crowd, Jiyong finally shows his face to Miryeo, who is seeing the real deal for the first time. Seodol ends up beating up some random guys, thinking they’re Jiyong, and ends up losing Miryeo to him.

On the other hand, Gang-Ok is at the stadium, too, and he goes up to Sam-Doo and his men to distract them from Miryeo and Jiyong. Jiyong’s big plan is to have Miryeo broadcast everything that’s happening at the stadium to the country so that Jo Heon can show up in time to save them (or at least, some of the truth will be out in the open). He hands Miryeo a phone and heads out to help Gang-Ok fight Sam-Doo’s men. There’s chaos everywhere, and there are too many men on Sam-Doo’s side. At the same time, Mr. Bang and Seodol also find their way to the battlefield. At this time, the Vole is enjoying a luxurious meal with Chief Secretary Seungcheol because he believes Miryeo has been dealt with thanks to Mr. Bang, whom he is paying heftily to have the job done. But what he doesn’t know is that Bang is being paid triple that amount by Sam-Doo, thanks to Jiyong. Hearing the news about Miryeo, Seungcheol sends Eom to the scene immediately. To add to the chaos, Jo Heon joins the crowd too, and he brings his two loyal friends, Mr. Bang’s previous sidekicks, who are now working for him.


How Does Seon-Wook Die?

Jiyong puts Miryeo in one of the buses to keep her safe from the many men who are trying to catch her, but Sam-Doo makes it inside, too. He is onto Jiyong when another hooded man comes to his rescue. This time, Sam-Doo stabs the other guy in the stomach, a deadly blow. When Jiyong lifts the hoodie, he is shocked to see his dear friend from the police academy, Seon-Wook, sitting in front of him. Jiyong asks Miryeo to take him to the hospital as more police arrive at the scene. Jo Heon, Jiyong, and Bang head inside a building that looks like a storage space.


Who wins the fight?

Jiyong finds himself facing the two great evils, Sam-Doo and Mr. Bang, in the same room. He tells them that they’re both going to die by his hand right then, but he’s interrupted by Jo Heon. He’s ready to arrest all three of them, but there’s another interruption, and this time, it’s the Vole who shuts the place down in order to take care of their business privately. The space they’re in is meant to store water, and Eom lets in a deluge to drown the guys if he can’t shoot them all dead. Sam-Doo is the first to die in the water, and nobody really cares. Jo Heon helps Jiyong get to the bridge-like space where Eom is standing, and he immediately begins to thrash him with his fists. Before he goes too far, Jo Heon stops Jiyong and tells Eom that he’s been arrested. Eom tells Jo Heon to arrest Jiyong the Vigilante instead to receive great compensation for saving his life.

Mr. Bang shows up too, and he stabs Jiyong hard, pushing him to the floor. Jiyong tries to fight back with all his strength, but Eom finds his gun at this point and shoots all three men. Jo Heon has had enough at this point, and he punches Eom to death. Bang wakes up by then, trying to attack Jo Heon from the back, but Jiyong uses the little strength he has left to make Bang stab himself in the heart. Jiyong falls to the floor next to Jo Heon, who caresses his face like a loving father (sweet!).


Is Jiyong’s wish fulfilled?

 In the end, Miryeo tells the police that Seon-Wook was the vigilante. The sweet boy died after being stabbed by Sam-Doo, and Miryeo painted a picture for the police to save Jiyong from interrogation. With the chief secretary around, there’s no way Miryeo can put out the full truth, but she makes sure to tell the country that Soen-Wook was a hero, not a criminal. Gang-Ok wakes up in his cozy bed and worries for Jiyong. His secretary tells him that Jiyong is fine and has been sent to the hospital. He tells Gang-Ok to take a break from vigilantism because it’s difficult to keep dodging the board members with things like “car accidents.” Gang-Ok talks about the chairman of his own company getting away this time around. The secretary just tells him that there will be other chances to get him.

Miryeo tells Jo Heon that she had a similar experience to Jiyong when she was young and that her father was wronged. The media never reported the truth, which is why she decided to take on that job as a grown-up. Jo Heon doesn’t have anything to say at this point. He made a promise to Jiyong before letting him go that justice would be served and the truth about Eom would be revealed. Unfortunately, the chief secretary makes Eom look like a hero instead, promoting him posthumously. At the end of Vigilante Episode 8, Jiyong’s batch is taking the oath on their graduation day at the academy. He stands still and doesn’t say the words that speak about protecting the law and keeping order in the country. His professor, too, sits in dismay, knowing the truth about the system.


Final thoughts

Vigilante has a rather open ending with an opportunity for another season, with Jiyong wanting revenge for the friend he lost. At the same time, it will be interesting to see Jiyong and Jo Heon’s bond grow after they make plans to get rid of the chief secretary, if that’s even possible. The show ends on a rather cryptic note, showing us how sometimes hard work doesn’t pay off, and the people you trust may not be able to keep their word.


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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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