WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Link Click Episode 11, "Pinnacle of Light," now streaming on Funimation. It also contains discussion of suicide and self-harm.
The final episode of Link Click leaves viewers absolutely reeling by the end. The donghua is notorious for its cliffhangers and Episode 11 is no exception: A new enemy appears, and in terms of ability, they appear to be on a similar playing field to Cheng Xiaoshi and Lu Guang. And while the duo thought they had the upper hand, as it turns out, their dangerous new foe has a few tricks up their sleeve.
Link Click's Time-Travelling Creates an Alternate Timeline
Cheng Xiaoshi deduces that the duo's time-traveling has created an alternate timeline -- one where he received the killer's message about attaining a clue in Link Click Episode 8. He also realizes he himself is the one who gave said clue to the killer. This murderer does not like being provoked -- he'll be more likely to make mistakes in anger, so Cheng Xiaoshi wants to capitalize on that weakness. Using the 'clue,' he'll lure the killer to their photo studio and then force a confession out of him.
Fast forward to now: Cheng Xiaoshi materializes directly in front of the killer, who's armed with a knife, in the locked darkroom. They fight but Cheng Xiaoshi soon disappears. Link Click then shows photos all around the darkroom that Cheng Xiaoshi had taped up earlier in the day -- they were taken by the various murder victims, and now he uses them to flit in and out of the killer's range. Not the least bit deterred, the killer starts laughing, delighted at finding a true friend. He soon figures out that Cheng Xiaoshi's trick is activated through clapping.
Lui Min Is Unmasked as the Serial Killer
Going into the photos and watching the victims' lives being cruelly cut short infuriates Cheng Xiaoshi, whose hits grow stronger. Ripping off the mask reveals Liu Min, who flips Cheng Xiaoshi over and claims he's not the one who killed those people -- he's merely an agent. But then he admits that he was the one who killed them. There was no motive -- Liu Min just did it for his own entertainment and the thrill of knowing no one would ever catch him.
After receiving Lu Guang's tip-off, the police arrive to arrest Liu Min. Despite getting caught, he promises he'll meet Cheng Xiaoshi again and warns him not to cheat -- most likely referring to his shuffling between photos. In the interrogation room, Liu Min offers an alternative explanation: his friend was the one who killed all those people.
Emma Meets a Tragic End
Although Liu Min confesses to killing a lot of people, he still has an alibi in Emma's case. A guilt-ridden Cheng Xiaoshi asks Lu Guang to allow him to return to the day Emma died, and he agrees. After Liu Min tried to choke Emma and heard Cheng Xiaoshi's scream, he had returned to the car to take Emma to the hospital. Emma wakes up with her throat bruised, and when she tries to escape in the scuffle, the car crashes. Liu Min is severely injured but Emma manages to crawl out, broken phone in hand.
Emma was a victim of circumstance. After landing a job as the CFO's assistant in the city, she was an unwilling accomplice in her new boss's plans to pilfer money from Liu Min's account -- and had also been molested by the CFO. All she wanted was to take care of her parents... how did she end up like this?
Standing on a bridge's ledge, she hears a voice scream her name. Cheng Xiaoshi apologizes to her, explaining he's a time-traveler and wants to atone for his mistakes. Emma begs him to find a way to allow her to start over from the beginning and have a new life.
Cheng Xiaoshi says he has tried on multiple occasions to change the past -- only to fail -- but has learned that although there's nothing anyone can do about the past, it doesn't mean they can't have a better future. "Even though there are times when we find ourselves in the darkness," he tells her, "eventually, we will meet people who will shine their light on us." Just as it looks like she's been saved, however, at the last second, her eyes flash red -- the same red that appeared in Liu Min's eyes and allowed him to stand up again despite being paralyzed.
Possessed, Emma throws herself off the bridge. As she's falling, the red fades from her eyes, returning back to normal, but it's too late. At the same time, an also-possessed Liu Min strangles himself with his handcuffs. Cheng Xiaoshi is pulled back to the present where Qiao Ling, eyes also turned red, is standing over Lu Guang whom she's just stabbed. She tells Cheng Xiaoshi that this is his punishment for breaking the game's rules, a game that has now been reset.
Link Click started off as a fantasy-mystery donghua, but its last few episodes shift genre into horror and then, in Episode 11, a psychological thriller. The finale's spate of plot twists, meanwhile, leaves viewers with plenty of questions, and frankly, some confusion due to how fast-paced everything is. However, it's crystal clear that we haven't seen the last of Cheng Xiaoshi, Lu Guang (who hopefully is still alive) and their 'new friend.'
For more information on the warning signs and prevention of suicide, click here. If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you live outside the U.S., click here for a list of international hotlines.