Here’s How That Post-Credits Scene In ‘Hierarchy’ Sets Up Season 2

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: June 9, 2024
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How The Post-Credits Scene Sets Up Hierarchy Season 2
Hierarchy | Image via Netflix


Hierarchy was billed as a limited series, which is common among Netflix binge-drop K-Dramas, especially these days. But don’t trust the label. Season 1 ends with a clear tease for Season 2 in the form of a post-credits scene that reveals another Jooshin High School Student has been murdered.

Since Hierarchy is clearly intended to be a Korean equivalent to Elite, which will blessedly have its final season soon, it’s easy to deduce that — depending on popularity — it will buck the trend of one-and-done K-Dramas and aim at multiple seasons. While there’s a relatively conclusive end to the first season, it suggests a new mystery, several returning characters, and a new puppet principal at the head of Jooshin. So, there’s plenty of meat on the story’s bones just yet.

Hierarchy Post-Credits Scene Explained: Who is the Dead Student?

The post-credits epilogue of Hierarchy Season 1 reveals that another student has been murdered in the middle of the school day. He-ra discovers the body, and Ri-an and other students soon arrive to confirm. The scene does not reveal who the murdered student is, but we can take a guess.

The likeliest outcome here is that the kid is Ju-won, the son of the former principal. However, this could be a bait-and-switch, but most of the other key characters are present and alive in the scene, so we’re leaning towards Ju-won.

Is Kang Ha Threatening Ri-an?

In the same epilogue, Ri-an receives an anonymous message: “You look shaken up, Kim Ri-an.”

It is strongly implied that it is Kang Ha who sent this message, but this might be misdirection too. Kang Ha spent the entirety of the first season getting revenge for the death of his brother, and he mostly accomplished this. Hierarchy buys into the idea of the school’s rich students being redeemed for their involvement in In-ha’s death, and with the school’s board and the police being made aware of what happened, Kang Ha’s quest for vengeance is over.

Or is it?

Things Haven’t Changed At Jooshin High School

As mentioned above, Hierarchy posits the idea that Ri-an, Jae-i, He-ra, and Woo-jin have all been fundamentally changed by their experiences that they are now better people. There’s even a new principal at the school. But does that everything will be hunky-dory?

I find this very unlikely. Kids will be kids, and classist institutions will forever be classist institutions. There’s virtually no chance that the kids won’t go back to their old ways after a while, and even if they don’t, other kids will take their place. The new principal will likely be in the pocket of the parents and other wealthy donors, implying that there won’t be any meaningful systemic change in time for a second season.

Will there be a Hierarchy Season 2?

At the time of writing, there has been no official confirmation from Netflix regarding Hierarchy Season 2. In fact, it was explicitly billed as a limited series, which implies that the story is not intended to be continued.

However, the post-credits scene clearly suggests that the showrunners intend to return to this universe, and given the popularity of the genre and Korean TV in general, it is very likely that Netflix will be into the idea.

Of course, it’ll depend on performance, but Hierarchy is almost guaranteed to do well for the reasons above. It has a great good-looking cast, it’s salacious, it’s Korean — this is a recipe for success if I’ve ever heard one. I would not be remotely surprised to see a second season greenlit sooner rather than later.

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