“A Killer Paradox” is a story about a college student named Lee Tang who, unfortunately, one day accidentally kills a man. However, the days go by, but he does not get caught. A detective named Nam-gam, who has a strong instinct, feels something is fishy with Lee Tang and keeps an eye on him. Lee Tang has a superpower he doesn’t know he has until he meets Roh Bin, the mastermind, yet a side character to Lee Tang’s story. Lee Tang can learn if someone has committed a crime by touching them, and Roh Bin uses him to bring justice to the world. However, one thing leads to another and puts Lee Tang and Roh Bin in a problematic situation with the cops.
This article contains spoilers.
A Killer Paradox (Season 1) Recap:
A Killer Paradox (Season 1) Episode 1
The episode begins with Lee Tang in his house. He has recently been discharged from the military and is a college-going student with a part-time job at a store. His sister is getting married soon. He follows a girl on social media who posts videos of Canada’s mountains. It is his dream to visit Canada and be amidst the mountains. In college, his friends Gyeong-hwan and Mi-yeong tease him because he is uninterested in doing anything. He has ordered a picture frame of the rocky mountain. He wants to hang it up the wall but needs tools to hit the nail. As usual, Tang comes for his shift at the convenience store. Even in the store, he is watching videos of Canada.
A drunk man enters the store and creates a commotion. The drunken man’s friend apologizes, and they drink and leave the store. His manager comes back to the store, and Tang borrows a hammer from the store to frame the picture at home. On his way back, he sees the drunk man lying down and his friend walking, not bothered. Tang stops him, but the man starts hitting him.
Tang is reminded of all the times he was bullied but never could strike back. This time, he fights back, takes the hammer, and attacks the man. Tang is scared because he sees two men walking in his direction, but luckily, they turn around. A blind woman with her dog walks past him, and he is quiet. He gets scared, picks up his bag, goes home, and takes a shower.
Gyeong-hwan arrives at Tang’s house late at night, and Tang wonders if the bullies from high school are suffering, but Gyeong-hwan tells him they are all living an extraordinary life. Suddenly, Tang remembered he had left the hammer at the crime scene. He also recalls that every time he has done something wrong, he has got away with it, and he hopes the same happens this time as well.
Detective Jan Nan-gam is on the case and is investigating the crime scene. His colleague Yong-jae tells him that there are two dead bodies: one of the drunk man and the other of the man (Kim Myeong-jin) Tang has killed. Tang’s manager calls him early to work. Nan-gam takes CCTV footage from the store. Tang arrives, and Nam-gam asks him about what happened at night.
He asks Tang if he had killed the man because he was drunk and created havoc at the store. Tang gets nervous. Nam-gam tells Tang he is joking. Yong-jae interrupts the conversation and says there is a witness to the fight, and they have likely killed each other. Nam-gam is watching the store’s CCTV footage, and a fly blocks the view when Tang picks up the hammer.
The drunk man’s wife is questioned, and she admits to having an affair with Myeong-jin. Nam-gam visits the convenience store and apologizes to Tang for scaring him before. Gyeong-hwan visits the store and tells Tang that the detectives are asking questions about him. Gyeong-hwan and Tang go out for drinks. The investigation further reveals that Myeong-jin’s real name is Yeo Bu-il, who has a previous criminal record. The blind woman is in her house playing with her dog, and the hammer that was used to kill Yeo Bu-il is on the table in her home.
A Killer Paradox (Season 1), Episode 2
The episode begins with Tang at his parents’ house. He joins his mother in the church. Nam-gam visits his father in the hospital. His mother is angry with him as he has come empty-handed and does not say much. His father was a police officer as well, but now he is hospitalized. Tang’s mother asks Tang to work hard and not worry about her or her father. She tells him they will live off the pension his father gets, but he needs to attend school and earn money.
Meanwhile, Nam-gam is obsessing over an old case. He has been chasing an ex-cop who had committed a crime. Tang goes to work, and the blind woman from before visits the store. Turns out she isn’t wholly blind and knows he is the one who has killed Bu-il. The hammer he used to kill is in her house. Subsequently, she asks him to keep 2 million won ready by the next day to buy her silence.
Gyeong-hwan and Mi-young both receive a message from Tang asking if he can borrow some money. Tang needs a lot of money to sum up to 2 million won. His boss initially refuses to pay the next month’s salary but eventually gives him. He gives up on the house to get some money out of it. Tang ignores messages and calls from his friends.
Tang’s boss tells Tang about the blind woman, and he rushes out and finds a note on a cigarette box. It has details on her house address. Nam-gam is chasing a man who had put his father in the hospital. Tang visits the blind woman’s house, and she makes coffee for him. Tang shows her the cash and asks if she will not rat him out. She agrees but says he has to give her 2 million won every month.
Hence, Tang gets angry and kills her. He takes the money, bag, and also the hammer and leaves her house. The milkman realizes the blind woman is not taking the milk and calls the police. The blind woman’s dog has feasted on her, and the body is damaged. Moreover, the forensics also see nothing significant as the entire scene was filled with dog drool. Inside her house, they find skeletons, and the lady is not innocent after all. Tang tries to kill himself but fails.
The troublesome boys from the first episode make an appearance again. This time, to caress their ego, one of them attacks a cop. They have dropped their cigarettes and see Tang wandering. They decide to loot him, but Tang realizes one of them has hurt somebody. In the next scene, we see two bodies dumped somewhere. Tang wakes up and sees a bloodied brick and a note that says he should reach out if he needs help with a Telegram URL.
A Killer Paradox (Season 1), Episode 3
The episode begins with a flashback. We learn about Yeo-ok (Blind Woman) and her past. In the flashback, we see she is with her friends, and she lights a cigarette, and because of that, there is an explosion. This causes her to lose eyesight in one eye and has burn marks on one side of the face. Later, we see Yeo-ok releasing gas into her parents’ room, but her mother wakes up and ruins her plans.
Meanwhile, Nam-gam reads a post online that Yeo-ok’s death should not be mourned as she did not repent for her actions when she was alive. Yong-jae and Nam-gam visit the woman who had written the post. She is Yeo-ok’s cousin who tells her that in grade school, Yeo-ok had poured boiling water on her and enjoyed her suffering. The duo then attend the boy’s funeral, but the boy’s mother is furious as the cops did not catch the killer. She even slaps Nam-gam. Yong-jae is sympathetic toward the mother, and Nam-gam tells him about another case relating to the boys and the mother.
The same boys had raped a girl named Kang Yeon-seo, and she had killed herself. In fact, the same mother had created havoc during the funeral claiming that maybe she wasn’t raped, but it was consensual. Nam-gam visits Tang’s workplace and learns he hasn’t been coming to work. Meanwhile, Yong-jae visits Yeon-seo’s house, and her father, Sang-muk, says he is the one who killed the boys. Nam-gam listens to the statement, realizes that he is lying, and is released. As he gets out of the police station, the boy’s mother hits him, and he is hospitalized.
Tang decides to turn himself in but gets notice that his boss has filed a complaint. Tang joins the telegram link, and the person knows his name. He gets scared, and he logs out. In a flashback, Sang-muk receives a parcel with a knife in it. He is also part of the same telegram link. Sang-muk decides to kill the boys and follows them, but he sees Tang has done the job for him.
Tang deposits money into his mother’s account and gets out of the ATM, but two people on the bike snatch his bag. The robbers realize there isn’t much in the bag and throw the bag in the river. The bag contains the hammer that has killed many people. Tang is in the hospital getting treated for injuries. Tang and Sang-muk cross paths in the hospital. Sang-muk recognized him and asked Tang to run away as cops were everywhere. He also promises to explain everything.
Tang leaves, but Nam-gam spots him and starts to follow. Tang deletes the telegram account. Nam-gam gets a call from the hospital as Sang-muk has decided to consume pills and kill himself. Tang runs away from the cops. In a flashback, we see Sang-muk describe how he feels about the rapists, and a man with a hoodie tells him he can do something about how he feels. Tang’s mother and sister visit his apartment and find a letter to his mother and father.
A Killer Paradox (Season 1), Episode 4
The episode begins with a prosecutor giving money to his team to enjoy the rest of their night. He is slightly drunk, misunderstands someone to be his driver, and lets him in the car. The man is wearing an OnlyforHeroes jacket. Midway, he gets a call from the driver and realizes the man is taking him in the wrong direction. In the next scene, there is a dead body floating on a river.
Tang’s family pays Tang’s boss the money, and he withdraws the complaint. Nam-gam visits Roh Bin and asks if a series of murders were serial killings or not. Roh Bin gives his opinion. Roh-Bin gets a delivery, and it turns out it is Tang. He is dragged into the police station as he is believed to have hacked the police computers. Nam-gam pulled this stunt to get permission to deal with the cases.
In the car, Yam-gam tells Yong-jae that Roh Bin used to care for the murderer he was after, and he is meticulous. The other cop talks to Tang without knowing who it is and asks about Roh Bin, but he says he hasn’t seen his face because he always wears his helmet. Nam-gam asks the others to catch Tang, and he revisits Roh Bin. He starts beating him, and suddenly, he gets a call from his senior asking him to stop what he is doing as his violence is all over the internet.
As a precaution, Roh Bin has set up cameras, and Nam-gam beating him is broadcast live. The other cops bring another man from the same delivery service and miss catching Tang. In a flashback, we see Tang writes a letter to his family stating he is leaving for Canada but will be back soon. He goes without saying goodbye, but he is wandering around in Korea.
Roh Bin finds Tang and takes him home. He tells him he has powers, and they are destined to meet. He also introduces himself as Only for Heroes. Furthermore, he asks Tang to be his partner and serve justice. Roh Bin also tells him he can give him money and leads him to a secret door with all the money and tools to punish society’s wrongdoers. Tang takes a tool, wears the Only For Heroes Jacket, and ventures out.
He bumps into the prosecutor we saw in the first scene, and he feels the urge to kill him. Roh Bin meets Tang in the location where he had tied the man up, and they realize this man sexually harasses women, and this is a good reason for Tang to kill him. Tang starts working out and does justice to the world in his own way. Nam-gam is kicked out of the station. Song Chon visits Tang’s delivery place and asks his co-worker about Tang.
A Killer Paradox (Season 1), Episode 5
The episode begins with Gyeong-a responding to people on a forum who are looking for her because of a leaked sex tape. Roh Bin is busy making a new ID card for Tang with a different identity. Tang is now Gyeong-su. Gyeong-su has gone to Busan and works in a fish section supermarket. A woman picks a fight with Gyeong-a, who is also working in the same supermarket. A customer is rude to her, and Gyeong-su teaches her a lesson.
Gyeong-a tells Gyeong-su that she thinks they both are similar. Gyeong-a meets her mother and brings her home. We learn she has had plastic surgery, as nobody can recognize her. Nam-gam has been given a restraining order from Roh Bin. Yong-jae visits Nam-gam and shows him a video of Tang in Busan. They reach out to Tang’s parents and convince them to report him as missing and eventually start working with Busan police to catch Tang.
Gyeong-a is having a meal with her mother and notices someone staring at her. She approaches him and asks if he is turned on because of seeing her on a sex tape. He tells her he knows her from school, and they catch up. She tells him about the sex tape. He walks her home and asks for her phone number, but she does not give it to him.
Tang gets the feeling someone near him needs to be punished when he is in an elevator but tries to ignore it and gets out. Gyeong-a receives a call from Sang-min, her school friend, who tells her he is in a similar situation. They meet, and she lets him stay over. He tells her that his girlfriend broke up with him. Sang-min lies about the girlfriend because the next day, he is talking to his fiancée, and Tang hears this but has come to meet Gyeong-a.
Gyeong-a and Sang-min are in a relationship, but Gyeong-a checks his phone and sees a video invite he has sent to his friends. She confronts him, and he kills her. Tang considers the news of a fire and realizes that Gyeong-a is dead. Nam-gam and Busan police come to the supermarket, but Song Chon approaches him before that. Tang manages to escape and informs Roh Bin about the situation. He asks Tang to stay low and not contact him for a while.
Song Chon meets Sang-min and makes him confess to killing Gyeong-a. It turns out Song Chon is an ex-cop and has gone rogue. He kills Sang-min. Yam-gam and Busan cops go to meet Tang, and he forcefully opens the door and sees smoke. Yam-gam sees Song Chon leave. Yong-jae and others visit Sang-min. Yong-jae hears a buzz and places his ear on the door, and it explodes.
A Killer Paradox (Season 1), Episode 6
The episode begins with a flashback to when Tang gets a hunch about someone in the elevator and gets away from him. The same man blows the fire extinguisher in Tang’s apartment, destroying evidence. Song Chon removes his glove, and his fingers are black. Yong-jae is annoyed as he is in the hospital and is unaware of things happening. He takes an executive decision and leaves the hospital to catch Roh Bin and Tang.
Yam-gam and his mother need to decide if they will continue keeping Yam-gam’s father on life support. Tang notices a man in a cyber café and gets a hunch about him. Roh Bin comes home to find Song Chon waiting for him. He asks to set up a meeting with Tang, and Roh Bin refuses. Song Chon bullies him, takes a book, and leaves. Outside, he bumps into Yong-jae and fights him. He throws him out the window.
Roh Bin visits the cops and tells Yam-gam more details about Song Chon. He also tells him the fire in Busan was caused by Song Chon. There is a new police Captain, and he asks Yam-gam to get back to work and help him get a promotion by catching Song Chon, as the information given by Roh Bin seems credible. Song Chon has also killed a couple, and the girl is the granddaughter of Buyeon Construction.
Roh Bin also takes help from Buyeon Construction’s Chairman’s help to catch Song Chon. Tang reaches out to Roh Bin and asks to set up a meeting with Song Chon. Tang and Song Chon meet. Roh Bin, with men from Buyeon Construction, reaches the new location. The men tie Roh Bin. Song Chon asks Tang not to trust Roh Bin and join forces to eliminate the world of filth. He gives him time, but Tang tries to attack him from behind.
Song Chon deflects the attack and tries to kill Tang. He is interrupted by some men with baseball bats. Tang escapes and saves Roh Bin. Roh Bin tells him he had kept his book not because he didn’t trust him but because he had some plan, but Song Chon took it. Roh Bin asks Tang to give him another chance. Tang breaks down and says he is scared, and they both hear a gunshot.
A Killer Paradox (Season 1), Episode 7
The episode begins with Song Chon using a gun on the thugs. He tells them they are blanks, and they continue to fight each other. In the end, Song Chon kills everyone except one. He makes him call his boss and inform him that they lost Song Chon. Someone from the shelter comes to take Rex for an aggression test, and this will determine if Rex will be killed or not.
The cops find CCTV footage of Tang, Roh Bin, and Song Chon. They arrive at the location and see all the thugs are dead. From nearby, Song Chon sees cops looking for him. The cops find the confession notes from his victims in Song Chon’s room. Roh Bin and Tang drive south to lie low. Nam-gam knows Song Chon will look for the Chairman of Buyeon Construction. Song Chon has tied the Chairman, and the cops walk in.
Song Chon recognizes Nam-gam, and Nam-gam almost shoots Song Chon. Subsequently, Song Chon kills the Chairman, and the cops stop Nam-gam from shooting Song Chon. They arrest Song Chon. Myeong-jun tells Nam-gam that as gratitude, he has asked to transfer his father to the police hospital, and Song Chon overhears this. Song Chon is taken away, but he creates a fit about his hands being tied up, and he shows the cops his hand. They try to help by loosening the cuffs, but he ends up killing two cops and escapes.
The news shows that Song Chon, Roh Bin, and Tang are accomplices. Song Chon calls Roh Bin and asks him to meet him at a factory as he knows where he is headed. Roh Bin asks Tang to split up and meet so they can get on a boat and leave. Tang reaches his location and receives a passport with a new identity. Song Chon turns his phone on and drops it inside a random truck to confuse the cops. Song Chon is in the hospital where Nam-gam’s father is.
Roh Bin meets Nam-gam and asks him to cooperate with him, and he will reveal Song Chon’s location. At the hospital, Nam-gam’s mother is given some pills, and she is lying on the sofa. Nam-gam gets a call that gives him a shock and makes him shake. He rushes out of the house. We then see Rex mistaking a girl from the shelter for Yeo-ok and starts getting aggressive.
A Killer Paradox (Season 1), Episode 8
The episode begins with Tang reading Roh Bin’s letter. In the letter, Roh Bin states he will not be able to join him in escaping the country and should always trust his instinct and act accordingly. Tang makes a choice and rushes to find and help Roh Bin. Nam-gam comes to the hospital and finds his father dead. He is angry and upset. His mother is doing okay, and she is coming back to consciousness. The other cops ask him to go rest, and Nam-gam leaves.
He enters the car, and Roh Bin is in the backseat. He asks him where he can find Song Chon. Another cop in the hospital suspects that things will go haywire as Nam-gam has not given away his weapon yet, and he is probably going to chase Song Chon. Nam-gam escapes from the hospital even though the other detectives run after him. Song Chon is waiting for Roh Bin in the factory. He sees Roh Bin alone and is disappointed.
Nam-gam emerges from hiding and reveals himself, and Song Chon is excited. Suddenly, Tang shows up, and Song Chon shoots at him. They fight each other, and Song Chon accidentally kills Roh Bin amidst the fight. Tang is curious why Song Chon showed up out of the blue, and Song Chon says he wanted to see what powers Tang had for himself. Tang stabs Song Chon, and he is hurt. Song Chon tells Nam-gam that his mother did not have an affair with him but with his Captain and his father’s friend. In a flashback, Song Chon tries to win over Gap-su (Nam-gam’s father) to join the crime division but fails. One day, a lady who works in the cafeteria is leaving for China, and Gap-su asks Song Chon to give her a box.
In the next day’s news, the lady is caught trying to smuggle drugs. Song Chon realizes it is Gap-su’s doing and confronts him. Gap-su insults Song Chon by calling him the son of a murderer. Song Chon hits Gap-su with a baseball bat multiple times. In the present, after listening to this story, Nam-gam kills Song Chon. Nam-gam also saves Rex by adopting him.
The profiler asks for Nam-gam’s statements, and it is concluded that Song Chon and Roh Bin committed the murders. However, the profiler asks Nam-gam if Tang was there with them on the day of the shootings, as there isn’t any solid evidence against him. In a flashback, we see Roh Bin choosing to take the blame for everything, and he even went so far as to change his molars to match the evidence so Tang does not get caught. In another flashback, Tang tries to make Nam-gam shoot him, but there is no bullet.
Tang breaks down. Nam-gam asks him to make a choice either to run away or turn himself in. However, he warns him, saying that even if he doesn’t catch him, he will be caught someday. Tang has left the country, and Chung-jin, on vacation, sees him but makes no move or say anything. Tang is hard working and living a quiet life until one day, he is imprisoned for having a fake passport. The officer asks him why he needed to do something like that because he had no prior criminal records.
A Killer Paradox (Season 1) Ending, Explained
Will Nam-gam kill Lee Tang?
In a flashback, Nam-gam does not answer the profiler’s question about Tang’s involvement, but Tang’s case is dismissed because of the lack of evidence. Tang comes back to Korea. He is walking down the road, and someone bumps into him, and he feels the urge again. Nam-gam is on a walk with Rex, and he hears a news story about a murder victim who is a criminal.
The season ends with giving closure to most of the story. Tang has a superpower that he knows if someone is a criminal when he touches them, and the urge to do so just does not die until the end. However, in the last few episodes, Tang and his story are sidetracked by other stories, which could have been better for the season. Song Chon’s character from the beginning is shown as a monster, but at the end, with the real story of Gap-su coming to light, it is easy to understand him.
Nam-gam gets his revenge, but he also lets Tang go as he also feels the cops are not capable of catching all the criminals as the law ties their hands. Throughout the season, Roh Bin is the real hero, as he makes many sacrifices to prove his ideals of justice. In the end, he died for justice, and he knew he would probably die, but he had to do what he did.
A Killer Paradox (Season 1), On Netflix, Information
External Link: Rotten Tomatoes
Starring: Choi Woo-sik, Son Suk-ku, Lee Hee-joon, Hyeon Bong-sik, Kim Yo-han
TV Network: Netflix
Premiere Date: Feb 9, 2024
Executive producers: Kim Sunho, Lee Je-yong