Having just thrown Bam into the watery abyss last episode in an act of unforeseen betrayal, Rachel breathes a sigh of relief. Slumping against her wheelchair, Rachel begins to reflect on her experience climbing the tower, offering viewers an alternate view of the events of the past season.
What follows in the first season’s self-titled finale episode, ‘Tower of God,’ is the revelation that Rachel is not only far from the innocent and loving girl that Bam believed her to be, but that almost all of the season’s events have been the result of her manipulations.
Viewers discover that, like Bam, Rachel was also met by the rabbit-like Headon upon her arrival in the Tower. However, Headon informs Rachel that her appearance was a mistake, and that the true target of the Tower’s summons was Bam.
When presented with the opportunity to prove herself worthy of climbing the Tower, being confronted with the same Ball Test that Bam conquered upon his arrival, Rachel instead complains that the test is rigged, demanding a weapon similar to Bam’s before being silenced by Headon’s Shinsu.
Headon notes that Rachel’s ugly personality is the reason she was not chosen to climb the Tower. Though she claims to her aspiration to climb is born out of a wish to see the stars, Headon states that her true desire is to be a star, seeking personal fame and glory in the hopes of being ‘special.’
Deciding to conduct a special test, the Guardian offers Rachel an opportunity to proceed up the Tower, asking her to kill Bam in exchange for this final chance.
Explaining many of the mysteries presented in the last twelve episodes, Rachel is seen to have been involved in manipulating many of the important moments throughout the season, alongside Yu Han Sung and Hwa Ryun to eliminate Bam. From acting as bait in the Crown Game to lure Bam into a vulnerable state to intentionally causing Hoh to drive his blade into her back, Rachel confesses that everything she has done thus far in the Tower was done out of jealousy towards Bam, whose newfound power, budding friendships, and ‘special’ existence, she believed she truly deserved instead.
In the present, Rachel is spat upon the surface, informing the rest of the Regulars that Bam has perished. Leero confirms that the administrative team was unable to find Bam’s body and presumes that Bam has indeed perished.
Upon learning that the entirety of the remaining Regulars have passed the test, his friends vow to climb the Tower alongside Rachel as a way to honor their fallen ally, as the manipulative Rachel cackles in delight and continues to play the role of the wounded doe to obtain her goals.
At the bottom of the sea, Bam is discovered to be alive by Hwa Ryun, his body encased in a bubble of Shinsu. Taking pity on Bam’s constant targeting by unbeknownst forces, Ryun offers to train Bam, presenting him with a chance to become stronger, climb the Tower, and get to the truth of why Rachel threw him from the platform.
Struggling to find the words as his world collapses around him, Bam accepts Ryun’s training, and reaffirms his determination to reach the top of the mysterious Tower of God.
With the final look of determination in Bam’s eyes and a stinger appearance by a mysterious, pony-tailed man, the first season of Tower of God comes to a close with, essentially, a recap episode.
Compared to the action and excitement offered in last week’s ‘Underwater Hunt (Part Two),’ the quiet resolution of loose plot ends feels more like an epilogue rather than a main entry into the storyline. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the very basic structure of storytelling ends with a quieter ‘falling action’ and ‘resolution’ following an exciting climax, but it offers little in any true advancement of the plot going into the second season.
Though the reveal of Rachel’s true, self-centered personality is meant to come as a massive shock to audiences, one can’t help but feel as if it’s impact is lessened by the fact that little time has been spent throughout the season on Rachel and Bam’s relationship.
While Bam is seen regularly reminiscing fondly over their time together, viewers end the season knowing little more about their relationship other than the fact that Rachel served as a sort of mentor to Bam before they entered the Tower.
Had the season featured more scenes of Rachel treating Bam kindly whilst slowly suppressing her jealousy would have given her frustrated, angry explosion towards Headon more weight, but as it stands, it feels like an out-of-left-field, twist-for-the-sake-of-a-twist.
Despite the small narrative flaw that is the rather sudden revelation of Rachel’s intentions, ‘Tower of God’ is a solid episode to close out the season on. The episode wraps up lingering mysteries from throughout the season by elaborating on the clever ways in which Rachel was involved in the events of the first two floors whilst setting up small plot threads that will be answered, hopefully, in a second season. Though not exciting or particularly eventful, this final episode does its job, serving as the closing page to the first chapter of Bam’s perilous adventure and the lead-in to the next entry in his journey to the top of the Tower.
- Rachel's selfish personality is expertly displayed
- Bam's moment of resolution
- Rachel's heel-turn could have been more impactful had viewers spent more time with her and Bam outside the Tower
- Not much happens, serving more as an Epilogue.