The ending of Bad probably doesn’t come much of a surprise given that the story has been strongly hinting that Prosecutor Oh is or is related to the shadowy mastermind out to kill Jung-moon. However, the reason behind Prosecutor Oh’s murderous spree is kinda unexpected. Plus, he shares too much similarities with our Mad Dogs’ team leader — Goo-tak.
Both of them fall into severe depression after a death of a loved one. In Prosecutor Oh’s case, his wife. Both also manage to capture the baddie behind the senseless murders — or at least, Goo-tak thinks he has caught the correct murderer. Both continue to be depressed even after they apprehended the culprit.
However, their later actions differ. Prosecutor Oh chooses to return the favour eye for an eye, by killing the innocent wife of the murderer who killed his wife. On the other hand, Goo-tak’s subconscious starts to develop doubts over Jung-moon, who he has locked up in jail. I am assuming that the assassination orders Mi-young claims Goo-tak has issued are all parts of her assumptions.
Which is ironic, given that Goo-tak’s rhetoric is always bestial. As mentioned, his dialogue is peppered with feral imagery — most common is of a predator tearing apart and chewing out its prey. Kinda similar to his hyung’s (Commissioner Nam) dialogues too — his is always about baiting a fish or river monster. Goo-tak’s slanty eyed, lopsided grin bears resemblance to a rabid hound too. In contrast, Prosecutor Oh comes across as clean, sleek, refined, and “human”. His rhetoric is always that of a “higher order”. For example, the reasons he give for disbanding Goo-tak’s team have to do with societal repurcussions, with using correct police force. He has never use animal imagery in his dialogues.
But lo and behold, the beast is the one that behaves like a human. Prosecutor Oh is the proverbial wolf hiding under a woolley sheepskin. And Goo-tak’s Mad Dogs team, who are hardcore criminals and more vicious, are actually morally upright. Which is why even when Woong-cheol and Tae-soo rough up Jung-moon and Goo-tak respectively in ep11, we are pretty much assured that they won’t kill blindly.
Interestingly, Bad shows that criminals can right themselves and re-walk the path of humanity, but good people who step past the edge of the cliff can also free fall into evil. Prosecutor Oh is a classic example of the latter. I believe he is initially an upright and good prosecutor, and he committed his first murder cos he is tormented by grief and an insane need for revenge. But he develops a scary thirst for bloodshed after that, and excuses his subsequent kills as a form of ultimate “punishment” for the murderers he throw into jail. I don’t think the victims of the murderers he put behind bars “appreciate” his help.
In contrast, Woong-cheol and Tae-soo have shown themselves to be capable of compassion, and thus, redemption. Jung-moon too, the “clinically” proven psychopath, tries to learn about guilt, grief, and contentment from his new friends and Goo-tak.
I hope Bad can give us a season 2, now that we have more or less solidify the team: Goo-tak sheds his police uniform and officially joins the Mad Dog team as a convict, Mi-young replaces Goo-tak, having opened her eyes to the shades of gray in her world. Can season 2 then concentrate on the team’s case solving prowess? (prays hard)