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The Ending Of Money Heist: Korea Season 1 Part 1 Explained

The Spanish crime show "Money Heist" and South Korean survival drama "Squid Game" are among Netflix's best-known international fare, so it's not exctly a surprise that a Korean remake of the former has found its way in the streaming giant's arsenal. The tongue-twistingly titled "Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area" is a fairly faithful remake of the original "Money Heist," right down to the criminals' nicknames. However, as is the case in the original show, the Korean version's universe is somewhat different from the real one. North and South Korea are slowly drawing back together by establishing the titular Joint Economic Area, and a well-protected mint prints money for the brand new economy. Unfortunately, things aren't going particularly well, and it seems that the riches from the reunion are disappearing into the pockets of the few.

The mint, of course, is the Korean show's version of the Royal Mint of Spain, and the first six episodes of the show focus on the heist the Professor's (Yoo Ji-tae) crew pulls in and around the place. But how, exactly, does it all end, and what does it mean? Here's a look at the ending of "Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area" Season 1 Part 1. 

Berlin's story may be heading toward death or glory

The volatile Berlin (Park Hae-soo) is one of the show's biggest departures from the original "Money Heist." Where Pedro Alonso's version of the character is the Professor's (Álvaro Morte) terminally ill brother and dies early in the series, the Korean character's true identity is Song Jung-ho, a fugitive labor camp survivor from North Korea. 

Berlin has one of the most important roles in the Season 1 finale of "Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area," as he plays a prominent part in convincing the public that the heist crew never intended to harm the hostages, while the police is fully prepared to actively endangered everyone except the U.S. Ambassador's daughter, Anne Kim (Lee Si-woo). He also undermines the police's plans to publicly prove that they killed an officer posing as a hostage — since he hadn't actually killed the guy at all. 

Alonso's Berlin is a fan-favorite "Money Heist" character, to the point that he'll get his own spinoff show in 2023. The Korean version of the character may be pushing toward a similar legacy, and judging by the fact that he's played by Hae-soo — whom you might remember as the ruthless, calculating Sang-woo in "Squid Game" — the makers of the show might just have some pretty big plans for him, as well. 

Of course, there's also the possibility that this Berlin is heading toward a gritty, shocking end. Fan-favorite as he may be, the Spanish version of the character still famously dies in Season 2. While the Korean Berlin is noticeably different from the original, he's still the gang's field leader and a wanted fugitive, so his chances for a happy ending seem pretty slim. 

Domestic trouble ahead for Woo-jin and the Professor

Early in the series, the Professor is revealed to be none other than Park Sun-ho, the unassuming cafe manager who also happens to date Seon Woo-jin (Kim Yun-jin), the South Korean cop working on the hostage crisis. This creates a neat extra tension, as the couple work on their relationship while Sun-ho maintains a secret double identity as Woo-jin's arch enemy. 

This goes double because he's not actually a mild-mannered cafe guy at all. The first part of "Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area" reveals that the Professor's nickname is more than it seems. He's actually a very real learned man, who apparently played a huge part in the unification of the Korea behind the scenes. It's still unknown whether the whole clumsily executed unification plan is a hugely clever and manipulative long con for him to get his hands on the 40 trillion won, or if he's out to correct his mistakes in some way. Some thing are perfectly clear, though: the Professor is never quite what he seems to be, and always has an ace up his sleeve.

Still, toward the tail end of Season 1 Part 1, Woo-jin finally reads the message Anne apparently managed to slip her after all. Depending on how much of the original message remained intact, the Professor might have a whole lot of crisis control to do when the show returns.

Feelings and hunches might feature heavily into the show's future

Woo-jin has a pretty tough time in the Part 1 finale, since Berlin thoroughly upends her plans to prove that the gang has harmed hostages. When he sees how miserable she is, the Professor does something extremely uncharacteristic. He asks her to consider leaving the stressful task force, which makes no sense for his plan — but all the sense when you consider that he seems to be truly falling in love with Woo-jin, who was initially just a target. This might turn out to be a costly mistake, since a criminal mastermind in the middle of a highly delicate operation can't really afford emotions. If the Professor does slip, Woo-jin likely won't approve of his shady antics, regardless of what his true motivations ultimately turn out to be. In other words, the stakes are now higher than ever for him. 

Speaking of sloppiness, the Professor may already have made a crucial mistake by revealing himself as the only non-official who can access the task force tent. This has made the now-disgraced North Korean officer Cha Moo-hyuk (Kim Sung-oh) highly suspicious of him, and indeed, Episode 6 ends when Moo-Hyuk confronts Sun-ho. 

Then again, the clumsy way Sun-ho drew the suspicions of Moo-hyuk in the first place seems like a pretty strange move for the meticulous Professor. Could this cliffhanger simply morph into yet another unexpected plot twist when Part 2 of the season arrives?