Death’s Game Part 2 Full Review: Seo In Guk, Park So Dam starrer comes full circle with touching message

Seo In Guk, the Park So Dam starrer, has finally completed the release of Part 2 and the remaining four episodes. Here’s what we think of the series. Read on!

Updated on Jan 06, 2024  |  11:13 PM IST |  398.9K
Death's Game (Image Credits- TVING)
Death's Game (Image Credits- TVING)

Based on the webtoon with the same title, Death's Game narrates the tale of a man who receives multiple opportunities in life after confronting death. Park So Dam takes on the role of Death, who condemns Choi Yi Jae (Seo In Guk) to undergo 12 cycles of life and death. Amidst this, Yi Jae must navigate each life, strategically avoiding death to ensure his survival. Only by successfully overcoming death can he continue to live out his lifetime in the body of the current incarnation.

Death's Game Part 2 quick recap

In Part 1, we witnessed Yi Jae incarnated as Geon U (Lee Do Hyun), along with Ji Su (Go Yoon Jung), both being killed by Park Tae Woo, the first son of Taekang Group. Heartbroken by Ji Su's death, Yi Jae vows revenge. Viewing his remaining reincarnations as opportunities to get revenge against Tae Woo for Ji Su's murder, he becomes determined to carry out his plan despite Death's interference.

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In his next incarnation as Jung Gyu Chul (Kim Jae Wook), a psychopathic painter, Yi Jae strategically fails in his revenge attempt. However, this time, he cleverly leaves behind evidence that captures Tae Woo's deeds and confessions. In his subsequent life as Ahn Ji Hyung (Oh Jung Se), a detective, Yi Jae finally succeeds in bringing Tae Woo to justice. Following this victory, he inhabits Ji Hyung's body for a period but meets his end during a case while protecting his partner. Through his ongoing reincarnations, Yi Jae begins to comprehend the profound meanings each life holds.

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He experiences life as a homeless man, realizing that after death, nothing remains of one's existence. In another reincarnation, he embodies the man Yi Jae witnessed dying in a car accident in the first episode, recognizing the interconnectedness of everything. Even after attaining everything he had ever dreamed of, the man still met his death. Lastly, Yi Jae incarnates as his own mother. Yi Jae, now living as his own mother, manages to evade death and experiences a long life. 

Ensuring that his mother dies naturally in old age, he eventually encounters Death after this extended period. Filled with remorse for ending his own life and causing his mother immense pain, Yi Jae kneels before Death, pleading for a final opportunity to live his life as Yi Jae. Death places one last bullet in her gun and entrusts it to Yi Jae. If the gun fires, he will receive the chance, but if not, his fate will be left in the hands of God. Fortunately, the gun works and Yi Jae is transported back to the moment before he jumped off the building. This time, however, he receives a call from his mother, altering the course of events.


Death's Game Part 2 review

The thrilling tale that started as a fight for Yi Jae's survival took an unexpected turn, transforming into a poignant and heartfelt message. At its core, the story encourages the choice of life over death, highlighting the endless possibilities life holds for those who embrace it. In the final episode of the K-drama, Yi Jae is reborn as his own mother, gaining profound insights into the consequences of his past actions.

Through his mother's perspective, he grasps the profound lesson Death taught him about the pain caused by his own suicide. Witnessing his mother's struggles since her husband's demise, Yi Jae comprehends the sacrifices she made to keep going for the sake of her son. The show's essence revolves around the idea that Death is contagious, passing on unbearable sadness to those left behind.

Yi Jae's demise becomes a catalyst for him to realize the magnitude of the pain he inflicted on others. It's not until he witnesses the heartbreaking moment of Geon U, his reincarnation, dying alongside his love Ji Su, that the true gravity of his mistakes dawns on him. The story prompts viewers to embrace life as Death grants Yi Jae the opportunity to fix his past, offering him one more shot at a better future.

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Death's Game: The Goods

Death's Game transforms a bone-chilling thriller into a poetic exploration of life, leaving a profound message awaiting discovery. In the first part of the K-drama, Seo In Guk's character, Yi Jae, faces the consequences of Park So Dam's Death for taking his own life. As Part 2 unfolds, Yi Jae's realization behind Death's actions takes center stage, leading to a heartfelt plea for a second chance at life. 

This turning point distinguishes the K-drama, with each reincarnation navigating its individual stories, offering a deeper understanding of life's complexities. Part 1 follows a somewhat bleak pursuit of Yi Jae's dream of a comfortable life. In contrast, Part 2 introduces a transformative shift as he steps into the shoes of a man who had it all and still decided to die, revealing the nuanced reality behind his once-idealized aspirations through Death's lens. 

The show's cinematography and screenplay significantly enhance the binge-watching experience of this fantasy thriller. It maintains a consistently engaging pace, leaving little room for dull moments. The anticipation of each character's next move keeps viewers deeply invested in the unfolding story.

Moreover, the heavy-budgeted and unique VFX and production design contribute to the show's visual appeal. The depiction of Death's den, adorned with monstrous artwork, is particularly striking and captures the audience's imagination. The show's overall vibe seamlessly transitions between high-action sequences and emotionally charged moments, with each character undergoing a well-defined arc.

The show's resonant message, "There's only one you," becomes evident as we witness Yi Jae's profound realization while being reincarnated into his mother's body. Despite facing hardships that made him contemplate ending his life, he discovers the extensive support system around him. In a heartwarming conclusion, Yi Jae expresses that life is a  blend of experiences, encompassing both challenges and joys.

His poignant reflection reminds viewers that life is a diverse journey, featuring rainy days, springs of hope, windy challenges, and sunny moments of happiness. This enduring message lingers even after the show concludes, prompting viewers to reflect on their lives and the relationships surrounding them with love and care.


Death's Game: The Bads

Unlike most shows addressing mental health with a neutral stance, Death's Game takes a distinctive approach by emphasizing the best-case scenario rather than delving into the mental health conditions of its characters. However, despite its well-meaning intentions, the show may come across as somewhat harsh towards individuals who contemplate ending their lives, overlooking the societal pressures that might contribute to such decisions. This narrative choice stands out for its boldness, especially given the prevalent issue of reported suicide cases in South Korea.

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The show's average runtime of 40 minutes per episode across eight episodes proves effective. However, a potential disappointment lies in its oversight of external factors and the missed opportunity to emphasize the importance of additional mental health guidance in preventing suicides. While the show stands out with its anticipated message, effectively delivered overall, there's room for improvement in addressing reality more effectively. The emphasis on making the best of one's circumstances feels somewhat out of touch, as the show could have delved deeper into addressing the real problems at hand.


Death's Game acting performances and final review

Seo In Guk assumes the lead role of Yi Jae, accompanied by a talented ensemble cast including Lee Do Hyun, Lee Jae Wook, Sung Hoon, Oh Jung Se, Choi Si Won, Jang Seung Jo, Kim Kang Hoon, and others in various roles. It wouldn't be an understatement to say that the strength of Death's Game lies in its ensemble cast. What stands out is the balanced approach, as none of the actors attempt to overshadow the plot; instead, they deliver performances that precisely align with the narrative requirements. 

Seo In Guk demonstrates a seamless transition as he skillfully delves into the emotions of each reincarnated character while adeptly navigating through 12 distinct personas. The show's intrigue is heightened by the diverse selection of characters and their backgrounds, ranging from a baby to a homeless person, a thug, a prisoner, a psychopath to an influencer. Yi Jae undergoes the cycle of life and death in various forms, with the unexpected twist being that the choice to survive in any of these bodies lies with him.

Park So Dam, portraying Death, is spot-on with her portrayal. She effortlessly captures the cold personality, adding a cherry on top with a sarcastic undertone that makes her character intriguing. Her delivery of dry humor adds both a scary and exciting dimension to Death. Go Yoon Jung, portraying Ji Su, Yi Jae's girlfriend, and a writer, is a voice of reason for Yi Jae. Yoon Jung brings a delightful presence to the screen.

Kim Ji Hoon, portraying antagonist Tae Wook, a psychopathic billionaire, delivers a noteworthy performance. Kim Mi Kyung, as Yi Jae's mother, consistently impresses, bringing heart-wrenching emotional scenes to life. The overall storyline is engaging, with each moment maintaining a captivating hold, devoid of any dull moments. The lingering impact of the story, even after the show concludes, makes it a remarkable and must-watch experience.

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ALSO READ: 4 Key points to look out for in Seo In Guk, Park So Dam, Go Yoon Jung’s Death's Game Part 2

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About The Author

Pratyusha Dash is an English Literature Graduate from Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies with a deep passion for Korean

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Credits: TVING, Prime Video
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