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From Son Ho-jun to Park Hae-jin? Close call with viewer ratings for SBS dramas killing the protagonist

As the ‘The Killing Vote [Literal Title]’ implied the death of Park Hae-jin, the topic of the death of Son Ho-jun from ‘The First Responders [Literal Title]’ has once again come into focus. The viewer ratings for the consecutive SBS dramas, both involving the killing of protagonists, are also in a tense situation.

In the 2nd episode of SBS’s ‘The Killing Vote’ that aired on the 17th (Thursday), a scene depicted Kim Moo-chan (played by Park Hae-jin) visiting Kwon Suk-joo (played by Park Sung-woong), who is imprisoned in anticipation of the 2nd round of the national execution vote. Although Kwon Suk-joo initially refused to meet Kim Moo-chan, he later encounters Joo Hyun (played by Lim Ji-yeon). Kwon Suk-joo cryptically advises to find out who the next target will be, prompting Joo Hyun to begin speculating.

As the target for the 2nd round of the execution vote is determined, Kim Moo-chan accompanies the target’s vehicle with a bomb onboard. Kim Moo-chan provocatively questions the criminal “Gae-tal” who is listening to everything, even daring to challenge if sacrificing himself as a police officer will truly be a just act. At that moment, Kim Moo-chan’s car explodes, leading to a shocking ending.

After the conclusion of the 2nd episode of ‘The Killing Vote,’ people showed a somewhat bewildered expression. The ending, hinting at the death of the male protagonist, was difficult to believe.

In the preview for the 3rd episode, it is mentioned, “I heard that Team Leader Kim Moo-chan died,” raising viewers’ curiosity.

As ‘The Killing Vote’ is broadcast weekly, it seems the drama aims to provide strong and captivating endings for the audience.

However, such hints of the protagonist’s death bring to mind SBS’s ‘The First Responders’. In the broadcast on the 11th, Bong Do-jin (played by Son Ho-jun) died while trapped in a fire scene. Upon learning of Bong Do-jin’s death, Song Seol (played by Kong Seung-yeon) was devastated, and subsequently, Bong Do-jin’s will was discovered, revealing the autopsy results and confirming the lead actor’s death.

As Bong Do-jin was a central figure in ‘The First Responders’, his death greatly shocked the viewers. Perhaps due to this impact, the drama recorded a viewer rating of 6% (nationwide Nielsen Korea), showing a 0.5% decrease from the previous episode.

‘The Killing Vote’ recorded a viewer rating of 3.8% in its last broadcast, which was a disappointing result as it decreased by 0.3% from the 1st episode.

As ‘The Killing Vote’ hints at Park Hae-jin’s death and a significant change involving the ‘death of the protagonist,’ it remains to be seen whether it can maintain its position as the top Thursday drama in terms of viewer ratings.

Author Nat.O
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