Kokdu: Season of Deity (2023)
Title: Kokdu: Season of Deity
Hangul: 꼭두의 계절
Writer: Baek Soo-chan, Kim Ji-hoon
Director: Heo Joon-woo, Kang Yi-hun
Kokdu: Season of Deity Cast and Characters
Kokdu: Season of Deity Plot
The god of the underworld, Kokdu, visits the mortal world every 99 years for 99 days to punish the worst of humanity. During his latest trip to the mortal world, Kokdu encounters Han Gye-jeol, who has the mysterious ability to control his actions using her words.
Kokdu: Season of Deity Ending Explained
Does Kokdu: Season of Deity have a Happy Ending?
Kokdu: Season of Deity wraps up all of its storylines and gives everyone their happy ending. The drama ends with all the main characters alive and all the couples end up together.
What Happened to Kokdu?
After Kokdu’s 99 days on Earth are up, he decides to stay with Gye-jeol instead of returning to the underworld like he’s supposed to.
The Creator is displeased with this decision and Kokdu begins to feel the ill effects of his rebellion. His wound won’t heal, the voices in his head are relentless, etc.
The pain soon becomes unbearable and Kokdu begs Gye-jeol to free him from his punishment. With just three words, she can relieve him of his misery but she refuses because she doesn’t want to lose him and be left alone.
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Does Kokdu Break His Curse?
Yes, Kokdu’s curse is broken.
At the end of episode 15, Gye-jeol relents and tells Kokdu she loves him and breaks his curse, freeing him from his suffering.
How does Kokdu return to the mortal world?
Thanks to Gye-jeol and Kokdu’s relationship contract, Kokdu returns on the day of Cheol and Jung-won’s wedding.
One of the terms in the relationship contract Kokdu and Gye-jeol signed was Kokdu needed to meet all her family members. Cheol and Jung-won got married making Jung Won Gye-jeol’s sister-in-law. She is a new family member Kokdu needs to “meet”, opening the door for his return to the mortal world at the end of Kokdu: Season of Deity.
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What Happened to Gye-jeol?
After Kokdu’s curse is lifted and he leaves for the afterlife, Gye-jeol has trouble moving on. She goes through denial, depression, and the other stages of grief.
Gye-jeol decides to use Kokdu’s money to start her own practice. She helps out those who are poor and less fortunate. All she asks in return is for her patients to pray for Kokdu.
5 years later, Gye-jeol has not dated anyone since Kokdu but not for lack of trying. She has tried going on dates but is always getting stood up.
She shows Gak-shin the relationship contract she and Kokdu drew up years ago. One of the terms is she is not allowed to meet other men without him present.
Gye-jeol tries to cross off the term in red pen but the ink dissolves every time.
Does Gye-jeol break her curse?
In all of Gye-jeol’s previous lives, she committed suicide after losing someone she loved. Gye-jeol successfully breaks her curse as she successfully moves past her grief to live a healthy and fulfilling life without Kokdu.
How Did Kokdu Return from the Underworld?
Kokdu returns to the land of the living after 5 years because of the relationship contract he and Gye-jeol signed. One of the conditions is Kokdu must be introduced to all her family members.
Since Cheol and Jung-won got married, Jung-won is now part of the Han family and must be introduced to Kokdu, allowing him to return to the mortal world and reunite with Gye-jeol at the end of Kokdu: Season of Deity.
Do Kokdu and Gye-jeol End Up Together?
Yes, Kokdu and Gye-jeol end up together at the end of Kokdu: Season of Deity.
After the 5-year time jump, Kokdu returns and resumes his relationship with Gye-jeol.
Since the curse is broken, Kokdu is no longer tormented by voices screaming in his head and he no longer has to kill to quiet them.
However, he struck a deal with the Creator.
Kokdu will remain the god of the underworld guiding the recently deceased into the afterlife.
In exchange, he gets to be with Gye-jeol every time she is reincarnated and spend their lives together until she dies.
Rinse and repeat for eternity. Kokdu and Gye-jeol forever.
Do Cheol and Jung-won End Up Together?
Cheol and Jung-won end up together…eventually.
But first, they go through the obligatory kdrama last-minute breakup.
After Jung-won’s father (Kim Pil-soo’s trusty minion) is arrested, Jung-won breaks up with Cheol because of her guilt over her father’s actions. She can’t bring herself to be with Cheol after her own father kidnapped Cheol and tried to kill Gye-jeol.
Of course, Cheol is a stand-up guy and does not hold Jung-won’s father’s actions against her. But Jung-won refuses to budge and breaks up with him.
5 years later, Cheol is still working as a police detective. He is also still single, refusing to move on from Jung-won.
Cheol and Jung-won reunite at a drama production meeting where they both serve as consultants.
Jung-won treats Cheol coldly and makes it clear she wants nothing to do with him.
But Jung-won is won over when she finds out about Cheol’s act of devotion: cooking her omelettes and selling them to her favourite side dish store for the past 5 years.
Jung-won visits Cheol at his home to rekindle their romance and the two get back together. After a short time jump, the two get married.
Did Yi-deun Survive?
Yi-deun was stabbed on the way to the courtroom where he was about to serve as a witness in the case against Pilseong/Chairman Kim. He slipped into a coma and was still unconscious when Kokdu says goodbye to him before leaving for the afterlife.
5 years later, Yi-deun has recovered from the stabbing and also appears cancer-free. He has resumed his career as a famous golf star.
Sadly, he remains in the dark about Kokdu and believes his absence from the wedding is because he’s studying abroad. No one tells him the truth about who/what Kokdu truly is.
Kokdu: Season of Deity ends without the brothers reuniting after Kokdu’s return from the afterlife.
Do Ok-shin and Gak-shin End Up Together?
Yes! Kokdu’s long-suffering companions officially become a couple after Kokdu returns to the mortal world.
Kokdu: Season of Deity Ending Review
Kokdu: Season of Deity episode 16 does a serviceable job tying up storylines and giving characters happy endings. But I’m disappointed by the ending the writers chose for Kokdu.
I’m not a fan of Kokdu and Gye-jeol as a couple so my ideal ending was always for Kokdu to die and rest peacefully, freed from all his pain.
So the Kokdu: Season of Deity ending was pretty much my worst nightmare.
Kokdu choosing to remain the god of the underworld instead of moving on so he can be with Gye-jeol every time she is reborn?
Kokdu and Gye-jeol together forever? No thank you.
I find it sad that Kokdu willingly chose to remain immortal, forever waiting for Gye-jeol so he can fall in love and lose her over and over for the rest of eternity.
And while he waits, he has to guide the dead to the afterlife, a job that took its toll on him as the dead took out their pain and resentment on him.
If I was invested in Kokdu and Gye-jeol’s love story, maybe I would be happier about the ending. There is something romantic about Kokdu choosing to literally love Gye-jeol forever.
But I’m not a fan of Kokdu and Gye-jeol as a couple and this happy ending just made me really really sad for Kokdu.
Kokdu: Season of Deity Review
Is Kokdu: Season of Deity Worth Watching?
Kokdu: Season of Deity is a huge disappointment and not worth watching.
The Main Leads
Kim Jung-hyun as Kokdu
Kim Jung-hyun is without question one of the most dynamic and versatile leading men in kdrama. Kokdu: Season of Deity has him playing 3 different characters but Kokdu is the one that’s most interesting (I might even argue he’s the only interesting one). Kokdu is a great showcase of both Jung-hyun’s comedic and dramatic chops.
I absolutely loved Jung-hyun as Kokdu.
In kdrama, supernatural beings are often portrayed as serious and stoic and it gets boring after a while.
Kokdu is the complete opposite of what I’ve come to expect from supernatural creatures in kdrama. Chaotic, unhinged, funny, petty, and larger than life. He’s a lot of things but he is never boring.
Kim Jung-hyun’s mannerisms as Kokdu are so bizarre and really sell how decidedly unhuman Kokdu is.
Kokdu is a god and doesn’t really make an effort to blend in as a human. And why should he? He’s a powerful god.
Kokdu’s antics are hilarious and play to Jung-hyun’s strengths as a comedic actor. His physical comedy is especially great.
Kokdu’s funny moments are the most memorable but he is also given plenty of serious and emotional moments throughout the drama.
His quiet heartbreak and quiet resentment at being the one to shoulder the painful memories of the past.
His embarrassment at still loving the woman responsible for damnation despite having his memories burned away.
His pain at having to say goodbye to Gye-jeol at the end.
Jung-hyun portrays Kokdu’s pain beautifully and of the two leads, Kokdu is by far the more sympathetic one. You want him to find peace after suffering so much.
I love both funny Kokdu AND sad Kokdu but my favourite Kokdu was definitely murderous Kokdu.
Watching him dish out punishment to abusers and murderers really made me wish Kokdu: Season of Deity were a murder thriller.
The Kokdu’s divine punishment side plot felt out of place tonally in the drama but I really enjoyed it. Hopefully, Jung-hyun will be cast in a villain role soon because he did great and was genuinely chilling in Kokdu’s darker moments.
Kokdu: Season of Deity may not be a good drama but it’s a great showcase for Kim Jung-hyun. He is given every opportunity to shine and delivers.
Im Soo-hyang as Han Gye-jeol
I’m a fan of Im Soo-hyang so I really wanted to like Gye-jeol. I really tried.
But she is one of the most frustrating female leads I’ve ever watched in a kdrama.
I actually thought the drama did a good job setting Gye-jeol up as a plucky underdog.
I was expecting to watch Gye-jeol change and mature over the course of the drama.
Instead, the more we got to know Gye-jeol, the more immature, desperate, and selfish she became, and the less I liked her.
For most of the drama, she is completely clueless. Gye-jeol sees strange things happening she doesn’t put two and two together. She just accepts things without question. Zero curiosity.
When she finally finds out about Kokdu, Gye-jeol makes it all about herself and her pain not taking into consideration how Kokdu feels. It’s all about how Kokdu being a god disrupts her life.
Im Soo-hyang’s cutesy acting and baby voice became cringey to watch after a while. Gye-jeol was so childish, clueless, and selfish.
One of the worst female leads I’ve watched in a long time.
Kokdu and Gye-jeol’s Love Story
I can forgive a lot of things in a drama if the main couple has chemistry and the love story is written well.
Sadly, Kokdu’s main couple have bad chemistry AND their love story is written terribly. From start to finish, the main romance between the leads in Kokdu: Season of Deity is a trainwreck.
I’m a fan of both Kim Jung-hyun and Im Soo-hyang but they just don’t have chemistry. The only time there’s any sort of spark between them is when Kokdu and Gye-jeol are bickering.
They cannot pull off the epic love story Kokdu: Season of Deity was going for.
The romance might have been salvageable if the writing was good. Unfortunately, Kokdu and Gye-jeol’s love story is also terribly written and I could never buy into their love story.
Kokdu’s love for Gye-jeol feels forced from the start. It feels like Kokdu loves her because he loved her in his past life. He needs Gye-jeol to love him to break his curse. His love for her never comes across as him loving Gye-jeol for who she is.
Honestly, I really struggled to see why Kokdu was so in love with her. There is nothing impressive about Gye-jeol and she doesn’t treat Kokdu particularly well. Take away Gye-jeol’s power over him, their past connection, and her being the key to his salvation and there’s nothing there.
I don’t buy Gye-jeol’s feelings for Kokdu either.
Gye-jeol spends most of the first half of the drama “in love” with Jin-woo, believing Kokdu is just a symptom of his amnesia/multiple personality disorder.
Gye-jeol always wants Kokdu to be something he’s not and gets upset at him whenever she doesn’t get her way.
I never got the impression she loves Kokdu for who he truly is – obnoxious personality and all.
By the end, I was rooting for Gye-jeol to fall in love with Kokdu not because I wanted them together but to put Kokdu out of his misery.
The love story between Oh Hyun and Seol Hui, Kokdu and Gye-jeol’s past selves, is no better. Oh Hyun and Seol Hui are woefully underdeveloped and lack any discernible personality.
They’re completely dull to watch in the few scenes we get of them.
It’s hard to believe Oh Hyun and Seol Hui’s love transcends time and endures through several lifetimes. That Oh Hyun’s love remains even after the memories are long gone. The passion is just not there to make it all believable.
This is a huge problem because Kokdu: Season of Deity hinges on their ill-fated relationship. It’s the foundation the entire drama is built on.
And I don’t care.
Past and present, their love story just doesn’t work.
The Second Leads
Ahn Woo-yeon as Han Cheol
Han Cheol is the most consistent character in the entire drama and the only one whose actions and decisions didn’t frustrate me. He’s calm, rational, and smart despite Gye-jeol poking fun at his intelligence.
He loves his sister, genuinely cares about her well-being, and looks out for her without being obnoxious or overbearing.
He’s a very capable police detective and while I usually fast-forward police storylines, I liked Cheol’s character enough to sit through them without complaining.
Han Cheol isn’t a flashy character but he’s my Co-MVP of the drama alongside Kokdu. I really enjoyed his chemistry with Im Soo-hyang, Kim Da-som, and Kim Jung-hyun.
Ahn Woo-yeon infused a lot of charm into a character that could’ve easily been boring.
Kim Da-som as Tae Jung-won
Jung-won has one of the most unfortunate character set-ups I’ve seen in a kdrama in recent memory. The writers really made her unlikable and hard to root for.
She is introduced as Do Jin-woo’s pushy ex-girlfriend and an antagonist for Gye-jeol. She was friends with Gye-jeol until she hooked up with Gye-jeol’s boyfriend, Yi-deun. Years later, she shows no remorse and constantly belittles Gye-jeol.
I really did not like her character at all.
But Jung-won turned out to be a more complex and nuanced character than I expected. Jung-won’s sad backstory with her abusive father and dead mother made me a lot more sympathetic and understanding towards her.
And I really enjoyed watching her character evolve and thaw out as she and Han Cheol grew closer.
After a rocky start, I ended up liking her quite a bit in the end.
Cheol and Jung-won’s Love Story
Jung-won’s cruel treatment of Gye-jeol both in the past and present had me rooting against this couple from the start.
I didn’t want Han Cheol end up with a woman that unapologetically hurt his sister.
I couldn’t help thinking “Han Cheol can do better” every time they had a scene together early on.
But they eventually won me over.
I liked the slow development of Jung-won and Cheol’s relationship as they go from sort of enemies to lovers.
We got to see them spend time together and get to know each other. Ahn Woo-yeon and Kim Da-som have good chemistry together and their loveline doesn’t feel forced.
I loved seeing Jung-won struggle with how much she liked Cheol. It made me laugh watching her little horrified expressions every time she realized she was down bad for him.
The Other Relationships
The Siblings: Cheol and Gye-jeol
Hands down, my favourite dynamic to watch in Kokdu: Season of Deity was Gye-jeol and Cheol.
Gye-jeol and Cheol grew up only having each other after the death of their mother and it comes across well on-screen. The relationship feels very lived in. I really wish they had more scenes together.
They bicker and tease but deeply care about each other. They look out for the other’s happiness.
Most of the drama’s big emotional moments left me cold but every time Cheol or Gye-jeol are faced with the possibility of losing their sibling, my heart ached for them.
Im Soo-hyang and Ahn Woo-yeon worked together previously in Five Enough and their chemistry is very natural. Ahn Woo-yeon is Im Soo-hyang’s best scene partner in the drama by far.
The Han siblings have the best relationship and an absolute joy to watch in Kokdu: Season of Deity.
The Brothers-in-Law: Han Cheol and Kokdu
Sadly, my two favourite characters didn’t get many scenes together but every interaction they had was great.
I especially loved Cheol’s reaction to Kokdu being a supernatural being and how he acknowledged he was way out of his depth dealing with Kokdu’s murders.
Cheol only knows South Korean law, not Divine law. He’s completely unqualified to deal with Kokdu’s bullshit!
I was really happy when the two decided to join forces to take down Pilseong. But I was unimpressed their teamwork happened mainly off-screen.
Not giving the drama’s two strongest actors more screen time together was a missed opportunity and a big mistake by the writers.
The Past Brothers: Kokdu and Jung Yi-deun
Jung Yi-deun (Lee Jung-jun) is introduced as Gye-jeol’s ex-boyfriend and I loved watching Kokdu be petty and jealous over him.
I really didn’t expect much from him apart from being Kokdu’s rival in a half-assed love triangle. Or a minor villain after catching a glimpse of Yi-deun’s past self in a flashback with Oh Hyun and Seol Hui.
Kokdu: Season of Deity subverted my expectations by making Yi-deun not a rival or villain but Kokdu’s brother, Oh Young, from his past life.
Kokdu’s joy and excitement at having a brother was incredibly sweet to watch. It was cute watching Kokdu be an overprotective brother to Yi-deun and how proud he was of Oh Young’s accomplishments.
I really wish the family connection between Kokdu and Yi-deun was revealed sooner and the relationship had gotten more focus and development.
Team Kokdu: Kokdu, Gakshin & Okshin
But despite many funny moments, the reunion was pretty underwhelming for me.
I found Gakshin and Okshin amusing but they lacked depth and never really evolved past being Kokdu’s minions.
Despite some lovely moments and Kokdu calling Gakshin and Okshin his family in the finale, Team Kokdu never really felt like a found family to me.
I was really frustrated by the lack of compelling villains in Kokdu: Season of Deity.
The first two episodes spent so much time setting up the hospital corruption/conspiracy plot with the hospital chairman Kim Pil-soo as the drama’s Big Bad and it just did not work. He never feels like a legitimate threat to Kokdu.
The star of the show is a powerful god of the underworld and I’m expected to care about business, hospital politics, clinical trials, and corruption?
Should you watch Kokdu: Season of Deity?
There are a couple of bright spots but I don’t recommend watching Kokdu: Season of Deity. Not in its entirety anyway.
If you’re a fan of any of the actors, just watch their scenes, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. You’ll thank me later.
What did you all think of Kokdu: Season of Deity?
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