A Killer Paradox summary and ending explained (2024)

A Killer Paradox follows Lee Tang, who gets pulled into a life of crime after accidentally killing a man. The series is now streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Lee Tang, a college student, lives an ordinary life. He works at a convenience store and dreams of going to Canada.

One night, on his way home from work, he encounters a man sleeping on the street. The man had visited the convenience store earlier with a coworker.

Tang also runs into the man’s coworker, and when he informs him about the man sleeping on the street, the coworker asks Tang to leave him alone.

Tang hesitates to leave immediately, which leads to the man beating him up. In the heat of the moment, Tang defends himself by hitting the man with a hammer.

The man dies then and there. No one but a blind woman, Seon Yeo-ok, who is out walking her dog, passes by while Tang is still standing near the body.

Panicking, Tang runs away from the scene, leaving behind the hammer that has his fingerprints on it.

Tang had earlier taken the hammer from the convenience store. He even asked the manager if he could borrow it, but fortunately, the manager did not hear his request.

Tang considers himself lucky; whenever he did something he should not have, he always managed to get away with it. This time is no different.

When Tang took the hammer from the store, a bug crawled on the camera, so the police did not find anything when they reviewed the footage.

Additionally, the hammer is not found at the crime scene. Detective Jang Nan-gam questions Tang, but the case gets solved before he can ask further questions.

It turns out that the person who was killed by Tang had murdered his coworker before Tang ran into him. The police come to believe that the two men killed each other.

On top of that, Tang’s victim is identified as Yeo Bu-il, a serial killer whom the police had failed to apprehend. This absolves Tang of his guilt.

However, Tang’s troubles are far from over. Seon Yeo-ok can see with one eye, and she saw Tang with the murder weapon that night.

Seon Yeo-ok took the hammer with her, which she then uses to blackmail Tang. She asks him to pay her 2 million won every month in exchange for her silence.

There is no way Tang can afford to pay her that much money every month, so he ends up killing her at her house. Her murder is not discovered for days.

During those days, her dog licks every surface, removing every trace of Tang’s fingerprints. When the police search her house, they find bones buried in her garden.

Similar to Tang’s previous victim, Seon Yeo-ok was also a murderer. She was a cruel woman who killed her own parents for insurance money.

Aware that Seon Yeo-ok’s murder was not self-defense or involuntary manslaughter, Tang, consumed by guilt, tries to take his own life but fails.

He gets drunk that night and runs into two boys, Kang Jae-jun and Lee Jin-seong, who try to rob him after stabbing a police officer named Chung-jin.

Tang sees their hands covered in blood and kills them. The next morning, he wakes up at his house and finds a note from someone called OnlyForHeroes, asking him to reach out for help.

Apart from stabbing Chung-jin, Kang Jae-jun and Lee Jin-seong, among other things, had sexually assaulted a girl, which led to the girl taking her own life.

The girl’s father, Sang-muk, had planned to kill the two boys, but he could not bring himself to do it. On the same night, he witnessed Tang doing what he could not.

To save Tang, Sang-muk confesses to Kang Jae-jun and Lee Jin-seong’s murders. However, Nan-gam figures out that he is lying.

Meanwhile, Tang plans to turn himself in, but on his way to the police station, his bag, which has all the evidence, is stolen. The thieves throw it into the river.

Tang is taken to the hospital, where he meets Sang-muk, who thanks him and tells him that OnlyForHeroes will help him. Sang-muk then takes his own life.

Nan-gam has been growing suspicious of Tang, who had stopped going to work after Seon Yeo-ok’s murder. Nan-gam also sees him leaving the hospital shortly before Sang-muk’s death.

Tang moves out of his house and leaves behind a note for his family, informing them that he is going to Canada.

He is then approached by Roh Bin, who has been contacting Tang under the alias OnlyForHeroes.

Bin knows all about Tang’s crimes, and he wants Tang to work with him to bring wrongdoers to justice.

As Tang only kills evil people and the evidence always disappears on its own, Bin believes that Tang has a superpower. He wishes to be Tang’s sidekick.

Tang eventually starts working with Bin, who is quite resourceful. For the next four months, Tang keeps killing people, whom he accurately identifies as evil, without leaving behind any evidence.

Nan-gam suspects Bin, with whom he has a history, to be involved with Tang. However, Bin outsmarts Nan-gam and gets him suspended.

The murders also catch the attention of Bin’s ex-partner, Song Chon. Like Tang, Song Chon murdered people with Bin’s support, but Song Chon himself turned out to be evil.

As Nan-gam knows about Tang and Bin’s partnership, Tang moves to Busan for a while and gets a job at a supermarket. There, he meets a girl named Gyeong-a, who is later killed.

Nan-gam discovers that Tang is in Busan, so he follows him there with his junior, Yong-jae, but not before convincing Tang’s parents to file a missing persons report.

Along with Nan-gam, Song Chon also goes to Busan to meet Tang. As soon as he arrives, he kills the man who murdered Gyeong-a.

The police come to know that Song Chon, not Tang, is the murderer, as Yong-jae had seen Song Chon leaving the crime scene.

It is then revealed that Song Chon injured Nan-gam’s father, who was also a police officer, years ago. The injury left his father brain-dead.

Additionally, Song Chon had an affair with Nan-gam’s mother. Nan-gam has been trying to catch Song Chon for years, but he has not been successful yet.

He is also aware of the past partnership between Song Chon and Bin because it was Bin who reported Song Chon’s crimes to Nan-gam after realizing that he had placed his trust in a dangerous and evil man.

Bin asks Nan-gam to join forces with him to catch Song Chon after Yong-jae falls into a coma because of him, but Nan-gam declines the offer.

Both Bin and the new police captain believe that Nan-gam is the only one capable of capturing Song Chon, leading to his reinstatement.

Eventually, Tang decides to meet Song Chon. After refusing to become Song Chon’s partner, Tang tries to kill him but fails.

Song Chon attacks Tang then, but Tang manages to escape when Bin brings the goons of a rich man, Chairman Hyeong, who wants to get revenge on Song Chon.

Bin had a book that could have served as evidence against Tang, but it was stolen by Song Chon.

Bin asks Tang to trust him once again, and Tang admits that he is scared. Bin believes Tang is not like Song Chon and is determined to protect him from Song Chon and the police.

Meanwhile, Nan-gam predicts that Song Chon is going to kill Chairman Hyeong. He finds Song Chon but fails to rescue Chairman Hyeong, as he is unable to kill Song Chon.

Song Chon is then arrested, but just when everyone thinks that he will not be causing any more trouble, he manages to escape from police custody.

In a desperate attempt to capture him, the captain issues an APB, implicating Bin and Tang as his accomplices. Due to this, Bin and Tang are forced to flee the country.

Ending explained:

The final confrontation

Song Chon learns of Bin and Tang’s plan to escape the country illegally. He threatens Bin and asks him to meet him.

Bin keeps this from Tang and decides to sacrifice himself to protect Tang. He assures Tang that he will meet him at the port, and they part ways.

It is only when Tang reaches the port, gets his fake passport, and finds a letter from Bin that he realizes Bin is not joining him.

Tang had earlier suspected that Bin was lying to him, so he made sure to use Bin’s phone to share his location with himself.

Instead of leaving and saving himself, Tang chooses to risk his life by going to aid Bin, who has gone to meet Nan-gam.

Bin asks Nan-gam for help, but Nan-gam refuses to get involved with him because Bin wants Nan-gam to stop pursuing Tang once Song Chon is caught.

However, when Song Chon kills Nan-gam’s father, an angry Nan-gam goes after him, despite the other detectives trying to stop him.

Nan-gam eventually agrees to follow Bin’s plan, and they confront Song Chon together. Tang joins them soon after.

In the ensuing fight, Tang tries to disarm Song Chon, and Bin helps him. While Tang stabs Song Chon, Song Chon also manages to shoot, killing Bin.

The incident that changed Song Chon

Song Chon’s father was a murderer, and he never wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. He wanted to be a Violent Crimes detective like Nan-gam’s father, Gap-su.

Song Chon’s efforts did not bear fruit, and he failed the exam every single time, despite working hard.

One day, he discovered that Gap-su, the man he admired so much, was a corrupt officer who had no qualms about sacrificing innocent people to smuggle drugs.

Apart from smuggling massive amounts of drugs for five years, Gap-su also made sure that Song Chon never became a Violent Crimes detective.

When Song Chon confronted him, Gap-su started beating him up, and Song Chon retaliated. This led to Gap-su ending up brain-dead and on life-support.

Years later, after getting shot by Nan-gam, Song Chon tells Nan-gam his reason for killing Gap-su.

He also reveals that he never had an affair with Nan-gam’s mother; it was Park Gwang-su, Gap-su’s friend, who did.

Nan-gam is enraged and shocked when he finds out the truth. To prevent him from killing a person, Tang asks him to let him kill Song Chon.

However, when an injured Song Chon tries to attack Tang, Nan-gam shoots him and kills him.

Tang’s second chance

When questioned by Nan-gam, Tang claims he came to put an end to everything and asks Nan-gam to take his life.

Tang finally realizes that the murders he committed cannot be justified as justice and breaks down in tears.

As discussed with Bin, Nan-gam lets Tang go. Tang can either flee or surrender himself. He opts to leave the country.

Tang is unable to retrieve Bin’s body, as a fire breaks out, burning Bin and Song Chon’s bodies as well as the incriminating book.

Nan-gam is suspended once more for pursuing Song Chon without following protocol. When he is questioned about Song Chon’s death, he lies that Tang was not present.

Bin had intended to take responsibility for all of Tang’s murders, meticulously planning every detail, including changing the shape of his teeth to incriminate himself.

The police believe Bin to be Song Chon’s accomplice, and all the charges against Tang are dismissed.

With time, Yong-jae recovers. Meanwhile, Tang is seen living in another country. However, when Tang is caught, he is deported to Korea.

He then learns that his criminal record is clean. Despite this, he chooses not to visit his parents but quietly supports them from afar.

Later, Tang crosses paths with a man and senses that he is evil. Nan-gam learns of the man’s death on TV, which suggests that Tang has started killing again.

Also Read: Kang Hyun-Mo: Marry My Husband character explained

A Killer Paradox summary and ending explained (2024)

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