Into the Ring (2020)
Title: Into the Ring
Writer: Moon Hyun-kyung
Director: Hwang Seung-gi, Choi Yeon-soo
Into the Ring Cast and Characters
Into the Ring Ending Explained
Does Into the Ring Have A Happy Ending?
What Happened to Goo Se-ra?
In 2022, the impact of Se-ra’s brief political career is shown. She receives a letter from Assemblyman Si telling her that she inspired him to run for Seoul City Council. Her best friend, Woo Young, is similarly inspired and decides to run for office.
In 2023, Se-ra is working as a freelancer. She is approached by a new political party, the Polar Bear Party, that focuses on protecting the environment. The PBP want to recruit her but Se-ra initially refuses, showing them her no-politics pledge.
Se-ra changes her mind after a phone call with a Labor Administration employee in which her complaints about her unpaid outsourcing fees are not addressed. The employee tells Se-ra that if she thinks the law is unfair, she should change it herself and you can practically see the light bulb turn on in Se-ra’s brain.
Into the Ring ends with Se-ra deciding to break her promise to stay out of politics forever and join the Polar Bear Party.
What Happened to Gong-myung?
Gong-myung meets with Min-jae who tells him that he already has what he needs to take down Chairman Jo. Later that evening, Gong-myung reflects and realizes that in order to take down his father he must “sell himself”.
Gong-myung releases a public statement, revealing he is Chairman Jo’s son. His statement is the final nail in the coffin of Chairman Jo’s campaign.
In 2023, Gong-myung is the chief of the (Hyuksin) Dong Office.
Do Se-ra and Gong-myung End Up Together?
Yes, Se-ra and Gong-myung end up together.
After they get together, their relationship remains steady with the two supporting each other.
Into the Ring ends with the two still in a committed relationship.
What Happened to Hee Soo?
Hee Soo, initially siding with Chairman Jo, has a change of heart, swayed by Gong-myung and Se-ra’s dedication to the people of Mawon. She helps Se-ra by giving her the environmental report which Eun-sil uses as part of her winning campaign against Chairman Jo.
In 2023, Hee-soo is nominated for the National Assembly and her opponent is a five-term National Assemblyman. She is sent by the party to campaign in the rough area and her co-workers speculate that her nomination is just to fulfill the women’s quota.
The passerbys’ response to Hee-soo’s campaigning is lackluster but a young boy tells Hee Soo he will vote for her in 8 years which lifts her spirits.
What Happened to Min-jae?
Min-jae turns down Chairman Jo’s job offer and leaves politics to return to his family.
He gives both Se-ra and Gong-myung a file on Chairman Jo detailing all his indiscretions. But he tells Gong-myung that even without the file, Gong-myung already has everything he needs to potentially bring him down.
Min-jae is not shown in Into the Ring’s multiple-time jumps.
What Happened to Seo Eun-sil?
Eun-sil is convinced to run for Chief of Mawon office by Se-ra.
She wins the election handily after Chairman Jo’s awfulness is exposed by Gong-myung in his open letter.
What Happened to Chairman Jo?
Chairman Jo (Gong-myung’s father) loses the election to become chief of Mawon District office to Eun Sil. His defeat comes at the hands of his son, Gong-myung, who posts an open letter exposing what a horrible person he is.
His relationship with Gong-myung looks beyond repair with Gong-myung refusing to reconcile with him after his election defeat.
Chairman Jo is not shown in the finale’s multiple time jumps indicating that he and Gong-myung remain estranged.
Why does Gong-myung Hate His Father So Much?
The fraught relationship between father and son is never really explained in full.
Chairman Jo leveraged his sons’ as part of his political strategy but Into the Ring never goes into specifics of what he actually did.
What Happened to Assemblyman Bong?
Se-ra’s mentor resigns in disgrace after Chairman Jo reveals that he was involved in Assemblyman Yang’s hit-and-run accident.
What Happened to Han-bi?
In 2023, Han-bi has found her way back to her passion: judo.
She works as an assistant judo instructor for kids.
What Happened to Woo-young?
Woo-young, inspired by Se-ra, decided to step into the political arena.
In 2022, she decides to run in the by-election to take the district assembly seat vacated by Assemblyman Si.
In 2023, Woo-young is an Assemblywoman and working mom, walking into work with her baby in the stroller.
What Happened to Ja-ryong?
Ja-ryong posts his webtoon called “Into the Ring” which tells Se-ra and Gong-myung’s story. His webtoon is read by the members of the Polar Bear Party, prompting them to contact Se-ra to recruit her to their party.
What Happened to the Sarsang Resort Fire Memorial?
The memorial stone for the victims of the Sarang Resort Fire is relocated to the Mawon Elementary School grounds and taken care of by the golf grandma.
Into the Ring Ending Review
Overall, I was pleased with the ending of Into the Ring. I’m glad Se-ra and Gong-myung got their happy ending and there were no last-minute break-ups or drama between them.
Se-ra Inspires the People
Se-ra walking away from politics made me sad but I love that Into the Ring spent time showing the huge impact she had on the other characters.
Earlier, Assemblyman Bong told Sera that he wished she would become “someone who keeps someone else’s beliefs alive” and his wish came true. Although many of the changes Se-ra wished to enact while in office were unsuccessful, Se-ra inspired people to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams.
But as great as Se-ra being the spark for other people is, I was a bit sad that her brief political career didn’t really do anything for her career prospects. 2 years later and Se-ra is still a struggling freelancer. I was hoping her political career would lead to bigger and better things for Se-ra career-wise but that wasn’t the case.
Gong-myung Refuses to Forgive
I liked Gong-myung’s decision not to forgive his father and cut him out of his life. Chairman Jo only apologized to Gong-myung only after he had lost everything so it’s hard to take his apology seriously. The relationship between father and son felt underdeveloped and the drama didn’t expand on why they weren’t on good terms. So we don’t know what exactly Chairman Jo was apologizing for. Park Sung Hoon’s portrayal of Gong-myung’s pain and anger toward his father carries these scenes and I wish the drama had provided more insight into the particulars of their relationship.
I love Se-ra and Gong-myung’s relationship and I was surprised at him asking Se-ra to stay out of politics forever. He’s been very supportive of her so that felt a bit jarring and out of character. Gong-myung may not be a fan of politics (especially with his relationship with his father) but his asking Se-ra to step away from politics felt odd. It was also sad seeing the small disappointed look on Se-ra’s face when she agrees to the promise.
I’m glad that after a few years away from politics Se-ra does find her way back into the political game at the end of Into the Ring. I wish we had gotten Gong-myung’s reaction though considering the promise she made. From what we’ve seen of his character after 16 episodes, I’d guess that Gong-myung would let out a deep sigh of resignation and staunchly support Se-ra in her goals and dreams.
What did you think of Into the Ring?