Are monsters born or made?
Finding an answer to that question has been Yo-han’s purpose since the first episode, and the show finally tackles it in earnest during these last two. Watching the kids begin to fracture under physical and emotional threats was a harrowing experience. Several of them came right up to the brink of the abyss in episode seven, only to pull back at the last moment.
The first time around, I was absolutely certain that Jae-kyu was going to kill Young-jae. After all, Young-jae had sold everyone else out to save himself, while Jae-kyu—the real letter-sender—had remained silent. Jae-kyu screaming that he wasn’t like Young-jae while beating the hell out of him was terrifying. Luckily, Jae-kyu caught sight of his bloody self and realized what, exactly, he had been about to do.
Moo-yul also had his brush with almost-murder. I love that he was tempted to leave Chi-hoon to die (and rush back to try to save everyone else) because Moo-yul constantly tried to do the right thing only for it to backfire on him the majority of the show or for him to be upstaged by Chi-hoon. And for a moment, Moo-yul thought about it. No one would ever know what really happened to Chi-hoon except for him. But Moo-yul still made the heroic choice to save him and was rewarded with finally being able to understand Chi-hoon’s significant looks.
If I had one regret besides the utterly incompetent police force about the final episode, it would be that we only had time for three therapy sessions with the parents. Still, the three were well-chosen, considering we had to sort out the final mysteries of Yoon-su’s background, finish Eun-sung’s character arc, and give Moo-yul the push he needed to take action in the finale. It still leaves me wondering about all the other kids and their parents—or were those three, plus Young-jae, the only ones who had parental issues?
I’m always a little sad about Jung-hye’s ending. While I get that this wasn’t really a show where the villains could get away with a happy ending, there’s something just…horribly sad about the way Jung-hye dies. (It is gorgeous, of course, with the sweeping in-universe operatic music, the striking colors, the blood on the dress, etc.) I can’t help but wonder if she would have been able to cope with her childhood trauma better if she hadn’t had the unfortunate luck of ending up with a serial killer as her psychologist. Is there another universe where she ends up under the care of someone that actually wants to help her? One that doesn’t think of her as a “born” monster? That would be nice.
The end of White Christmas is one of my favorite endings of any tv show. After spending so much of the show hating and distrusting each other, the kids finally unite in order to stop Yo-han because all the other adults are made of fail. I loved that Eun-sung got to have the grand speech on top of the roof that shook Yo-han to his core. It was a great way for her to reclaim control.
And yes, I love that they all lied about it afterward. I love that they’re going to get away with premeditated murder. Whether or not you agree with the drama’s decision that Yo-han won in the end, I’m excited by what this will mean for the kids in the future. Will they ever be able to trust adults again? Or the system that consistently failed them? Where do they go from this?
While the final episode has some significant weaknesses, many of which are made more apparent on repeated watches, I still adore the show. It was fun to spend yet another holiday season with White Christmas. Many thanks to everyone who joined in on the (re)watch! It was lot of fun to see what everyone produced.