“The Devil Judge” Ending Explained- Episode 16 Recap And Review

Published Categorized as Kdrama Recaps

“The Devil Judge” has concluded its run a couple of hours ago, airing its final episode on tvN.

The hit tvN drama went out with a bang. So what exactly happened? Today, I am here to quickly recap “The Devil Judge” episode 16 and share my thoughts on it, plus, explain whatever needs to be explained.

Let’s go!

Note: the below recap goes over the highlights of the episode, it is not a detailed recap of every single scene in the episode.

Note: this is a subjective review. I will share my personal opinion while keeping in mind how others might perceive it. This is a spoiler review

“The Devil Judge” episode 16 recap


Ga On goes to calm Elijah down, he says he’ll do his best to get back Yohan. He goes to the police to admit he’s made a mistake, but they’re all bought and despite his threats, it doesn’t work. No one does anything to get Yohan out.

The next day, Ga On goes to confront Professor Min who says he didn’t know Ms. Jung would ever go that far. She manipulated him and had him implant Ga On under the pretense of ‘justice.’ He was fooled by her words and couldn’t back down. Ga On beats up Professor Min and is escorted outside.


Meanwhile, after meeting the men in a private party to celebrate sending Yohan to prison. Ms. Jung senses the president caved down faster than she thought so she asks for the men to be tailed.

Running out of options, Ga On asks for the attorney’s help who hesitates at first after what he’s done. He asks him to help him get inside the dream home village, he senses something is hiding there and wants to take people’s eyes off of Yohan and onto exposing the foundation. The lawyer reluctantly agrees to get him inside despite it being a dangerous job. He goes inside the hospital section of the village.


Ga On also writes Elijah a letter lying to her saying an accident caused the fire but Yohan didn’t explain it because he wanted her to live even if it was to blame him.


The next day, Ga On gets inside the facility. He finds out the people are being experimented on for vaccines and stuff, its been organized by the president who lets in the two other leading men on the plan to win back their favor.

Ga On records the president making terrible remarks about the human experiments. He also finds the missing So Yoon and gets caught by some of the staff at the hospital. The staff is being held against their will, they promise to help him get out safely and expose them.


Meanwhile, Ms. Jung also visits the place but breaks down after seeing some of the girls she’s been mentoring are being experimented on, she cries and apologizes.

On the inauguration day of Professor Min to his new position, Ga On asks Judge Oh for help. Meanwhile, Yohan is being escorted around the prison when a man attacks him, this man was sent by the president’s men to finish him.

Later, the news says Yohan has been murdered in prison. Ga On utterly collapses and so does Ms. Jung.


At night, the three men have a meeting and Chairman Min suggests they hold a party to commemorate Yohan’s legacy and praise the foundation at the same place of the live court, he also invites Ms. Jung.

Professor Min opts for a press conference following Yohan’s death. After it ends, Judge Oh tells him to go see Ms. Jung at his old office. There, he’s attacked by Ga On and duct-taped. Ga On is planning on committing suicide with the professor in order to draw people’s attention to the mess. He’s wearing a ticking time bomb.


As its about to go off, Yohan shows up and stops him, he turns it off. Turns out, Yohan faked his death by forcing the prison commissioner to help him swap bodies, he uses his offshore bank account that he stored money in, he took that money [somehow] and will only give it back if he cooperates.


The man promises to help but then allows Yohan to be attacked by the president’s man [the previous scene] who was sent to kill him. However, Yohan kills that man in self-defense and confronts the prison commissioner again. He manages to fool the nation for 24 hours as he escapes to do the one final plan.

Ga On is happy and hugs Yohan, the attorney was in on it too but didn’t tell Ga On. Yohan then goes to a room to broadcast the crimes of the three men, their wives, and Ms. Jung.

He broadcasts that on the live court show app to pass censorship. He shows footage of the president talking about the human experiments and exposes each one for what they did, the entire room is furious. Yohan asks the people to vote on whether the room is guilty, as the votes pour in, he suggests a proper punishment. The live courtroom is filled with bombs, if they try to escape, they will die. Yohan says if the votes reach 10 million [the number of votes the president received], they will see fireworks.

Yohan then leaves his room and goes to the live courtroom, he traps himself inside with them holding a button, if he presses it, they will die. Chairman Min protests saying he helped him out but Yohan doesn’t allow them to.


Ms. Jung takes out the pistol she asked for and shoots the president at point-blank as he was trying to make the point that he deserves to be saved.


Ms. Jung points the gun at Yohan but eventually, she shoots herself.


Yohan says that Ga On will testify for their crimes, Ga On senses he will kill himself too, he goes there and tries to stop him, but he locks him outside. Yohan says once the play is over, the main character has to disappear.

The votes count reaches 10 million and it explodes killing everyone. Ga On is utterly broken, he goes home to see Elijah but can’t find her. He sees the housekeeper and finds the blueprint to Yohan’s escape plan after blowing up the place. the housekeeper explains Yohan is alive and he took Elijah with him to a place in Switzerland to fix her legs, he has also fired the housekeeper.


After some time has passed, Judge Oh tells Ga On she will go down to the countryside to help juveniles. They part ways.

Ga On attends a meeting with the top heads to discuss the fiasco that is Yohan’s plan. Ga On pleads to help out the people but then says in voiceover ‘nothing has changed’ as the entire room fights over what should be done.


A man shows up next to Ga On and tells him to do well or he’ll come back.

Ga On rushes after Yohan and eventually yells out his name in front of everybody, the two look at each other with teary eyes, and Yohan then walks away.


The end.

“The Devil Judge” ending explained


What happened to Yohan? Did he die?

No, Yohan managed to escape through the cracks in the building as it collapsed, he had been planning to trap the foundation members and publicly put them on trial the entire time.

Yohan took Elijah with him overseas to a safe place so she could possibly find a cure for her legs.

It is unknown and unexplained whether the public thinks Yohan is dead or not, but Yohan walks among people as if it was nothing hinting that he either faked his death

or ran away

or somehow was trialed and things were fixed enough that he could show his face in public like this again.

What happens to Ga On?

Ga On is hailed as the hero in this entire mess, he testifies later before everyone to make sure the truth is revealed.

Did Ms. Jung Sun Ah die?

Yes, she died after shooting herself, she killed the president because she was disgusted by his actions in regards to the human farm. She shot herself dead after completing what she believed to be her final job.

What happened to the South Korean President and his group?

They’re all dead, he was shot and the rest died in the explosion, presumably.

“The Devil Judge” review


wow…. “The Devil Judge” screenwriter has outdone himself in terms of ridiculous, this is astonishing.

I don’t exactly know where to begin… how to begin to even judge this episode from an analytical POV. It is not easy to do so, guys.

“The Devil Judge” episode 16 was SO SO FUN. I was screaming a lot and I had so much fun watching this drama. Regardless of what I am about to say below which will naturally trigger some of you, I want to just say thank you to everyone who worked on this drama, the staff and the actors have done their best with the material they had.

“The Devil Judge” is hands down one of my personal favorite kdramas of 2021 and probably one of the messiest kdramas I’ve seen in a while, it will make my list for the best of 2021 but it will likely be the weakest on the list in terms of writing.

My full review of the series will be out in the coming days but in this article, I will tackle the explosive ending.

I can’t even be mad at the ending because honestly, despite how ridiculous it is, it is still a happy ending. I didn’t expect a happy ending but I am glad it ended that way.

It was one hour and a half, the screenwriter had to do his best to wrap up everything and he didn’t really do that terrible of a job. Many say the way they died was meh but I think it was intentional on the screenwriter side. It is better they were killed that way.

What I personally loved about the ending was the scene Ga On said ‘nothing has changed.’ Despite the screenwriter’s obviously flawed approach, he remains somewhat realistic in his approach to the fact that things can’t always have a happy conclusion the way we’re used to in kdramaland. Sometimes, people take the easy way out [suicide] and sometimes, there is no proper conclusion. This is reality.

I didn’t expect anything to change, I even suspect they would have gotten away with it had they not been killed by Yohan, Yohan is a mass murderer by all means but he’s done the devil’s work. The title suits the drama so darn well.

I am also happy Ga On was kept in the dark in all of this, the dude is seriously flawed and annoying, he was stuck at a position so bad that he could have never been able to do anything besides killing himself.

Jinyoung truly does his best at humanizing his character and preventing it from becoming intolerable, he is such a talented actor, I can’t believe he is an idol. There are only a couple of idols who are this good at acting that I can think of, I am skeptical of idols acting but Jinyoung is truly a star in the making.

If I were to analyze “The Devil Judge” ending, we will be up here all night just going through the improbabilities and plot-holes. I won’t be doing that, because, above all, I think its commendable that the screenwriter was able to truly escape the hole he dug for himself with his script.

It’s almost as ridiculous as the penthouse but, again, so so fun. The beauty of “The Devil Judge” is that it doesn’t become stupid, it is still ridiculous, but not stupid. Ridiculous is fun and tolerable, stupid is not. I am glad it didn’t quite cross that invisible line like what happened with the penthouse.

This doesn’t mean the ‘plot-twist’ to enact revenge was a ‘clever’ idea because it isn’t, but honestly, I am still in awe of how the screenwriter managed to calm me down with this ending. You guys know I am super critical and I like it when things make sense, almost nothing made sense in the ending, but… I am happy with how it ended. I am surprised people say this is good writing, its not. From just a realistic point of view, a lot of the steps that were taken to ultimately bring down the foundation was either improbable, dumb or crazy.

The screenwriter scared us so much with Yohan’s death that when the final moments arrived, we were simply just fine with him being alive. If Yohan was killed, no one would have liked the ending and many would have been more critical.

So these are my thoughts on “The Devil Judge” ending, so what about you guys? did you like the episodes? let me know what you thought in the comment section below.

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. I agree with your review! OMG I was sitting upright and couldn’t lean back at all watching the last episode. I know Jisung never disappoint me in his dramas. Especially these past few years. He always gives his 200 percents to his role. And Jinyoung…ohmy…that boy is breaking my heart left and right. Somehow I couldn’t hate his character though I feel like slapping him silly almost everytime. Episode 15 was almost unbearable to watch. My heart goes out for Elijah and Yohan, and yes, I know he was being downright annoying, but I couldn’t help but to feel despair towards Ga On.

    I read your reviews on ep 15 and your prediction for ep 16. And I thought the same. I was ready for all the deaths and preparing some tissues and honey lemon to somehow ease my broken heart if anything like you predicted would happened. I still hoped for a happy ending…even if it means Ga On has to die. I never want Yohan to die, for he still has Elijah.

    There are so many flaws in the writing definitely. But I take it as they don’t have enough time to insert everything. All in all, I had sp much fun watching Devil Judge. This will be one of my best dramas of all time, despite all the flaws. This one will linger for a very long time in my heart 🙂



  4. I’m really glad it was a happy ending. I love the way it ended. I thought early on in the episode, they will all die even Kim Ga On, so I was really happy with this ending. I actually cried a bit because of the emotion of the characters. My heart was breaking for Kim and than Kang and I was just like at the end when they were standing there, I was still crying. Really loved it. Another great show for the year along but not my number 1. Close, but not quite.

  5. so where do i start? first of all, i do not throw out the baby with the bath water. i look at the whole picture, script, directing, acting, photography, music, costumes, jewelry, set ups, stage designs…etc. it’s art, and each aspect has to support the whole – that’s a good piece of art. this was this kind of drama. did the drama have problems? hell, yes. but i am yet to see a chinese or korean drama that is perfect. can you? this particular drama – the acting was through the roof, of course i am talking about Ji Sund – what a trip! i also enjoyed Kim Min-Jung – i think she gave it her all, very special. and i must mention the young actress Jeon Chaeeun who played Elijah, she impressed me with her arsenal of emotions at such a young age and the ability to express them on screen. Jin Young is a story apart from the others, in my opinion. i believe that he was wrongly cast. his looks are childish and he was too “pretty” for this role, like a decoration or lollypop. but may be that was intentional, to introduce a juxtaposition to Kang Yo-Han, who is all macho in the most beautiful sense, but has a soft inside. i actually never believed that he killed his brother or caused the fire, or killed Kim Gaon’s childhood friend. i just didn’t feel it was in him. but back to Kim Gaon. again, opposite Ji Sund, who is the top of the best in this industry, Jim Young appeared to be very weak, in character as well as in acting. so many times, i looked at his eyes, beautiful – yes, but somehow empty, looking for a way to express a certain emotion, idea, or whatever… kind of looking through the “files in his brain”, but couldn’t find any. Ji Sund, every movement of a finger, slightly raised eyebrow, twitch of the mouth, tilt of his head, posture, thunder in his eyes… i can go on and on, everything is at play. not a single detail missed. you could sense his reach emotional intelligence that he relies on in his work and it totally draws you into his world. i must admit, he somehow remedied himself in the last episode, but that’s hardly enough. Gaon’s friend, Yoon Soo-Hyun, could have been even better than Gaon, she had the potential, but wasn’t given a chance, i felt. so that’s a missed opportunity. the rest of the cast was mostly good, but i am not going to go into details.
    the script, that many complained, but truly, all or most say they enjoyed, were glued to the screen, participated in the journey, got invested in the storyline… so how can you just dismiss the script? it did something to you, didn’t it? was it all realism, of course not. but i already accepted that Asian dramas suffer from lack or realism, logic, even common sense. part of the “charm” if you will. like when Jeon Seon-a goes to the hospital, she suddenly melts, feels sorry for these girls, but i did not believe for a moment that she actually has the capacity to feel compassion. none. or when she kills herself in the last episode. from what we saw from her, she would first kill the president, yes, but then she would kill Yo-han and then probably all the rest. that would be more in line with her character.
    all in all, “the devil judge” drama – spectacular, intoxicating, thought provoking, mesmerizing, instantly addictive, insanely engaging and most of all RELEVANT. RELEVANT WHY? the most important to me was the message that this story tries to convey, a kind of moral and ethical directive. if you think that this is a dystopia, think again and look at politics in general. do you remember what the president said about a clean korean race, about emigrants, about a new republic, about his own power… i had goose bumps, i wanted to throw up… did you hear some of the speeches of our own previous american president – that was eerily familiar, and he is not the only one. the attacks on the american congress on January 6 this year was not much different than Jukchang (the bamboo stick group – self proclaimed patriots). and in general, there are different democracies now that are simply crashing and burning. if humanity can not gather it’s wits and put a stop to it, if they allow these forces to manipulate them, then we are not that far from the dystopia depicted in this drama. and it seems like this is a call for action. a message like this is much more than a flaw in a script.

  6. The chemistry between the two male leads made it seem they are in love with each other and if yes, than writer should have had more courage and very least have them kiss at the end. Then the ending would have made more sense. However, the way it ended, was a cheap attempt to let the viewers decide on their own. Am I wrong?

    1. Haha, no you are not wrong. The internet is full of video edits of Yohan and Ga On moments, people are fantasizing of them as a couple. Writers disguised their relationship as a bromance, but did a shitty job (on purpose?:) because it is clearly more than just a bromance. What a pity, it would have been such an amazing love story, delivered by amazing actors and people would have watched and rewatched it zillion times.. But to show a BL in such a drama would be an impossible power move to which Kdramas are not ready and nobody knows when they will be ready. Had it been Taiwanese or Thai production, it would not be a problem but here it is different. Well, at least we have got a glimpse 🙂

  7. you really summed up my feelings! usually, my critical switch is always switched on, i’m usually very aware of plotholes and weak writing but i was just so immersed in this drama that even when an alarm rang in my head i couldn’t really hear it. this drama’s been a hell of a ride and might really be one of my favourite dramas of 2021 but for reasons that have nothing to do with the way i usually evaluate dramas. the cast’s delivery was fantastic. i am impressed with jinyoung’s continuous improvement as an actor, his delivery in this drama has been phenomenal. he has a lot of nuance and weight in his acting and i cannot wait to see more of him.

    as for a rational analysis, i suppose i’ll get to that when the fever of this drama dies down and i can see it for what it is. i doubt it’ll hold up in several aspects though, but this could’ve been a very, very well crafted drama had just some things been given due elaboration and tweaking.

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