‘Jirisan’ Episode 16 Finale: What Was the Killer’s Motives for the Murders on Mount Jirisan?

Jirisan released its finale, episode 16, on Dec. 12. The iQiyi Korean drama captured audiences’ attention, with park rangers risking their lives to save hikers on the mountain no matter the dangerous terrain. Jirisan added a level of fantasy and intrigue with a riveting murder mystery.

The finale brought together all the loose ends of the mystery as Seo Yi-kang (Jun Ji-hyun) and the rest of the characters uncover the killer. Audiences finally understand his motives as the accidental deaths were anything but coincidence.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Jirisan.]

Kim Sol character from 'Jirisan' Episode 16 finale wearing hiking jacket and gear.
Kim Sol character from ‘Jirisan’ Episode 16 finale | via tvN

Deaths on Mount Jirisan were made to look like freak accidents

Many deaths looked like everyday hiking accidents like losing balance and hiking equipment failure throughout the K-drama. Over time, Yi-kang and Kang Hyun-Jo (Ju Ji-hoon) become suspicious. Hyun-jo became a park ranger after the death of his comrade in the army. Ever since that day, he received visions of hikers’ deaths in the mountains.

He slowly convinces Yi-kang there is a serial killer. Fans witness as they uncover clues and suspect a park ranger to be the main suspect. But they also find the killer’s accomplice, Lee Se-Wook(Yun Ji-on). All the clues tie back to Black Bridge Village.

The village was abandoned after several accidents pertaining to plans to construct a cable car line. Jirisan Episode 16 fully reveals the killer’s true motives for killing specific hikers.

Kim Sol is revealed to be the killer in ‘Jirisan’ Episode 16

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The heinous murderer in the mountains was there all along. Kim Sol (Lee Ga-sub) was a former park ranger turned natural habitat researcher. In previous episodes, fans learned his family lived in Black Bridge Village before being abandoned. His story goes far deeper than what he initially tells Yi-kang and Hyun-jo. Yi-kang confronts him about the past murders, and she learns the truth.

The villagers banded together against Kim Sol’s father and signed the consent forms to build the cable car tracks. They did so to receive the payout money to leave the village. That is not all. The villagers were upset that Kim Sol’s father received government aid as a beekeeper.

Three villagers try to convince Kim Sol’s mother to have her husband sign the form but unintentionally kill her. To drive Kim Sol’s father out of town, they murder his bees and drive him crazy. To save his father, Kim Sol signs the consent form using his father’s seal.

But when he gives it to the villagers, he hears them talking about covering up a hit-and-run committed by another villager and how they killed his mother. Kim Sol’s father later dies by suicide.

The hikers were members of the Black Bridge Village or related to them in ‘Jirisan’

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Kim Sol’s reasoning for the murders was a way of seeking revenge against the villagers who took his parents away. In Jirisan Episode 16, Kim Sol explains he never intended to kill anyone. He ventured into the mountains to die by suicide with a poisoned yogurt drink.

But Kim Sol meets the soldier who knew Hyun-jo. He was one of the children he grew up with. When the soldier asks how his father is, he realizes the villagers went on with their lives, ignorant of the death they caused. Kim Sol decides to give the soldier the poisoned yogurt.

The first death pushes Kim Sol to kill the remaining villagers, their children and have Se-wook as an accomplice. Yi-kang and Hyun-jo’s investigation into the case and getting closer to uncovering the killer is what led Kim Sol almost to kill Hyun-jo.

Jirisan is available to stream on iQiyi.