'Hierarchy' Season 2: Everything We Know

Netflix's teen K-drama mixes the high-class drama of 'Gossip Girl' with a chilling murder mystery.

three students in private school uniforms enter a school, with a Rolls Royce sitting behind them and chauffeurs bowing, in Netflix k-drama 'Hierarchy'
(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Netflix has been on a roll with its thrilling, original Korean dramas this year, but its latest must-watch K-drama Hierarchy combines the life-or-death stakes of shows like The 8 Show and The Glory with the rich-kids-behaving-badly vibe of Gossip Girl. The seven-episode drama, which landed on Netflix on June 7, follows the drama that fills the halls of Jooshin Academy, an ultra-elite high school that educates Korea’s 1 percent. Of course, prestigious schools like these always include a selection of scholarship students—what is Constance Billard-St. Jude's without a Little J or Dan Humphrey? But at Jooshin, scholarship kids who get on the bad side of the most popular students could face deadly consequences.

Hierarchy season 1 focuses on the arrival of Kang Ha (Crash Course in Romance actor Lee Chae-min), a confident brainiac who enters Jooshin on a mission to identify the killer of his fraternal twin brother, In-han (Kim Min-chul). By the end of the show, In-han's killer has been revealed, but there are still some shocking mysteries for the students of Jooshin to contend with in the future. Below, read on for everything to know about Hierarchy's chances for a second season.

a high school boy (Lee Chae-min as Kang Ha) gives a speech on a stage, surrounded by banners reading "1936, Jooshin High School" in Netflix k-drama Hierarchy

Kang Ha (Lee Chae-min) gives a speech on his first day at Jooshin in Hierarchy season 1.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

What happens at the end of 'Hierarchy' season 1?

When Kang Ha first arrives at Jooshin Academy, his prime suspect is Kim Ri-an (King the Land's Kim Jae-won), the most popular kid in school and the heir to the Jooshin Group (a.k.a. the chaebol conglomerate that also owns the school). Before his death, Kang Ha's brother In-han had been relentlessly bullied by the popular kids for daring to become friends with Ri-an's girlfriend Jae-i (Our Beloved Summer’s Roh Jeong-eui), and upsetting the school's social hierarchy. In-ha was eventually killed in the hit-and-run that opens the series. However, though Ri-an publicly takes responsibility for his role in the bullying, it turns out that bullying wasn't the cause of In-han's death.

On the night he died, In-han was running through Jooshin's halls, fleeing from bullies, when he catches Ri-an's best friend Woo-jin (Lee Won-jung) making out with Ji-soo (Byeon Seo-yoon), one of the teachers at Jooshin(!). Ji-soo was desperate to keep her sexual relationship with Woo-jin (a.k.a. one of her students) a secret, but a severely beaten and traumatized In-han continued to run away. After In-ha stumbled in front of Ji-soo's car, the teacher grabbed In-ha's phone and camera pen, which recorded the entire night up to the accident. Instead of calling an ambulance, Ji-soo left her student to die.

jung Jae-i (Roh Jeong-eui) looks at her phone as she sits in a full classroom, in Netflix k-drama 'Hierarchy'

Jae-i (Roh Jeong-eui, center) receives a troubling text message in class in Hierarchy season 1.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Woo-jin later finds the phone and camera pen in his car, which Ji-soo drove when she hit In-han. By the end of the series, Woo-jin has been inspired by Jae-i's attempts to take accountability for the school's violent system that led to In-han’s death and its subsequent cover-up. Woo-jin gives In-ha’s pen and phone to Jae-i, who passes them to Kang Ha, and he submits them as evidence to the police. Ji-soo and the students who beat up In-han on the night of his death are promptly arrested, so technically the people involved in his death receive justice.

However, nothing changes at Jooshin; sure, there's a new principal, but the administration is likely still at the mercy of Ri-an's parents. Nothing has changed, which is proven by the shocking final scene of Hierarchy.

Lee Won-jung as Woo-jin and Ji Hye-won as He-ra, in 'Hierarchy'

Woo-jin (Lee Won-jung) and He-ra) Ji Hye-won) stand on the sidelines of a fight between Ri-an and Jae-i in Hierarchy season 1.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Is there a post-credits scene in 'Hierarchy' season 1?

After the credits roll on the Hierarchy finale, a post-credits scene shows a typical day at the school, where Kang Ha walks through the crowded halls and He-ra (Ji Hye-won) dances through a classroom. However, the lighthearted girl stops when she finds a body lying in a pool of blood; another student has been killed. We then see Kang Ha slightly smile as he types out a message on his phone; seconds later, Ri-an, having entered the classroom with the dead body; gets an alert on his phone. A new anonymous text reads, "You look shaken up, Kim Ri-an," before Ri-an stares straight into the camera and the screen cuts out on a major cliffhanger for the (possible) future of the series.

a group of students in private school uniforms look scared while standing in a classroom

In the Hierarchy post-credits scene, Jooshin students are shocked by a murder—but could the killer be among them?

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Has 'Hierarchy' been renewed for season 2?

It's yet to be announced whether Hierarchy will be renewed and return for season 2. It has only been a few days since the teen drama arrived on Netflix, and the streaming giant often waits for at least a month of ratings before deciding to greenlight more episodes.

There are a couple of good signs that Hierarchy season 2 could happen. First, the existence of a post-credits cliffhanger means the possibility of extending the story is at least on director Bae Hyun-jin and screenwriter Chu Hye-mi's minds when they made season 1. Plus, Hierarchy wouldn't be the first Netflix K-drama to get a renewal even though it was originally planned for just one season. (See Love Alarm, Sweet Home, D.P., All of Us Are Dead, and, of course, Squid Game.)

On the ratings front, Hierarchy seems to be a hit in its early days. The teen thriller is currently sitting on Netflix's U.S. Top 10, and it's already doing numbers on TikTok (so! many! fancams!). We'll be on the lookout for any news about the K-drama's fate over the next few weeks.

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.