Alice – K-Drama Episode 16 (Finale/Ending) Recap & Review

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff

Much like Vagabond and Memories Of The Alhambra, the finale to Alice delivers an underwhelming and disappointing finish in episode 16.

Before we get there though, the episode begins with Jin-Gyeom standing before the old man and promising to kill his older self. And just like that Jin-Gyeom disappears and awakens in a tunnel with a gun.

We’re back in 2010 and Jin-Gyeom hurries up to a phone booth in order to phone home and warn Sun-Young. Only, Sun-Young is outside watching her son heading off to school with Do-Yeon. Eventually she does head in and answer a call though… but from the Professor.

Sun-Young receives some sound advice from him about what the future holds but decides she needs to tackle this head-on herself. Jin-Gyeom meanwhile heads back to the police station where he finds Mr Ko still very much alive. He promises not to kill his Mother and knows Jin-Gyeom’s from the future.

Jin-Gyeom admits that Sun-Young and many others will die and needs his help to stop this from happening. After lying and telling the man he survives, Jin-Gyeom hugs the confused officer and promises to stand by Sun-Young’s side and try to protect her.

The fateful night of Sun-Young’s death begins and the Professor runs into Jin-Gyeom outside. Seok tells Sun-Young she can’t stop what’s to pass and that his Mother always dies. And just like that, he holds a gun up to him… until Mr Ko arrives and helps Jin-Gyeom go free.

Charging down the stairs, Jin-Gyeom heads into his house again where the older Jin-Gyeom happens to be standing. Sun-Young pleads with our Jin-Gyeom not to kill his older self. After all, if he does then both of them will die.

It turns out Sun-Young stayed in 1992 as she believed she could stop the door of time from being opened. The older Jin-Gyeom visited her back then and revealed that the baby she carried should never be born and both should die. Sun-Young brandished a gun – Alice-grade from the looks of it – and told him that it won’t happen.

Back in the present (or, well, the 2010 present featuring the two versions of Jin-Gyeom and Sun-Young), Sun-Young agrees that both of these men before her are her son. She did know what Jin-Gyeom would become in the future and asks him to kill her.

When he refuses, Sun-Young decides to shoot herself in the stomach. It turns out this always happened and Jin-Gyeom didn’t kill her after all.

Laying his Mother down, Jin-Gyeom picks up the gun and points it at his older-self, eventually firing and killing the man in cold blood. As he disappears, so too does Alice headquarters. Time reverses all the way back to the night of Sun-Young’s birthday but this time our version of Jin-Gyeom disappears and a new timeline plays out instead.

We then jump forward to 2020. Tae-Yi is living with her family but no one there has heard of Jin-Gyeom. Everyone that died across the drama (minus the Alice representives) are still alive, including Seo-Jin.

Sun-Young’s promise that all the time travelers would disappear and reverse time rings true (apart from Tae-Yi for some reason). Jin-Gyeom is also now an architect, which is why no one in Tae-Yi’s world knows him very well. He doesn’t recognize Tae-Yi when she passes and is currently living an ordinary life.

Only, fragments of the past continue to bleed through for him as he sees Tae-Yi’s face and finds himself sketching her.

Eventually he heads back up to his family home and finds Tae-Yi waiting outside for him. “I’m sorry I made you wait so long,” He says, as the show ends.

The Episode Review

Time travel is an incredibly tricky subject to get right and Alice is a perfect example of how not to write it into a show. Despite starting well and throwing a couple of curve-balls along the way, Alice is a series riddled with problems.

I could be here all day writing out questions but even just from this episode, there’s numerous plot holes raised. If any of you dear readers have the answers to these though, please do comment below!

So if Sun-Young shot herself in this dimension, what about the younger Jin-Gyeom with the bloodied knife and Sun-Young’s knife wounds? There’s apparently a Jin-Gyeom going through time killing people but it appears to be the older Jin-Gyeom. But yet that doesn’t make sense. We’ve seen this old man embracing his actual face so what’s up with the younger version?

Why did Jin-Gyeom’s gun freeze up before-hand but this time fire perfectly? What was Shi-Young’s connection to Tae-Yi on the train? And why was there a drone buzzing around outside Sun-Young’s house the night of her death? At what point does Tae-Yi and Sun-Young become the same person?

That’s to say nothing of the cop-out ending which shows Jin-Gyeom alive and well along with everyone else. It appears as if Tae-Yi skipped across to a perfect dimension where everyone lost along the way is still alive. Only, this complete negates the sacrifices made and feels like a contrived happily ever after for the sake of it.

Ultimately though Alice is another show to add to the disappointing pile. In fact, this could actually be one of the biggest disappointments of the year. Despite some initial promise and a couple of decent episodes and twists along the way, Alice writes itself into a disappointing and lacklustre finish for this drama to forget.


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20 thoughts on “Alice – K-Drama Episode 16 (Finale/Ending) Recap & Review”

  1. Why are you complaining about the old man make up? I think it’s completely logical. He spent his whole life trying to find a way to save his mother and he saw his mother die a countless times in different dimensions. Do you think he’ll look dashing after that?
    And for the questions relating 2010, I think jin gyeom going to buy soju with his mom was just an intermediate time of resetting. At that time old version was vanished and there’s no one to kill the mom. Then jin gyeom vanishes and reset the whole timeline back to it’s original version without time travellers.
    Jin gyeom living in the resetted timeline doesn’t mean he’s the son of tae i (park seon young). He cannot be her son bcz if he were he would’ve recognized tae i when they run into each other as the mom and tae i looks alike. He grew up as someone else’s son in a different neighbourhood.
    I saw a comment saying maybe it’s because he’s a paradox. That’s a possibility too. For him to exist in this timeline time travel should be possible. But to end time travel that has been already started he had to kill his future self in this timeline. So the only way is him existing here as another person.
    Tae I remembering except for everyone would’ve been an after effect of getting tae i’s (mom) memories completely and when she died that omega mark appeared fully behind her neck whatever that mark means or simply it’s fate.
    Jin gyeom having parts of memories would be deja vu of experiencing the same thing over and over again or bcz he’s the master of time.
    Tae i said she might forget those memories one day. I think the necklace is just a remenant in time which may vanish one day too.
    I also do not get the past story though. As mom said “I invented time travel at your age” to tae i, does that mean she was in her 30’s in 2050? Then how is it possible to meet her younger self in 1992? The younger version is the tae i that jin gyeom met in 2020 as a detective. Then too she was in her 30’s. Or do they have some anti aging technique in 2050?
    And why Tae I’s mother ran away with the prophecy? That is what started the tragedy right? If not for the book Tae I wouldn’t have time travelled to 1992 and have her baby there.
    I think her mother was the one who wanted the time travel to exist even if it means her daughter dying at her son’s hand according to the prophecy.
    And lastly even though there are plot holes which could’ve filled, I want to say that writers, directors, cast and osts are just great. Specially CGI in this series are just amazing.
    I saw many saying it’s a disappointment but not for me. I loved the series. It kept me guessing and plot twists are great too.

  2. This drama gave me enough of a headache and some of the comments here are making it all worse….

    First of all, I personally enjoyed this drama. Did it have some plot holes and unclear stuff left unexplained? Sure…but I don’t think it was all that bad. I think I understand why they ended it the way they did (or maybe I just try to understand).

    Here’s what I don’t understand, if Sun Yeong is future Tae Yi from 2050, how come she’s still a young woman and not old? Because Tae Yi should have been born in, or somewhere after 1986 (which was the year they said her mom had returned to). In episode 1 future Tae Yi (Sun Yeong) herself says that Alice only first succeeded with time travel in 2050, but at some point she tells Tae Yi, the 2020 professor, that she created time travel when she was her age, in 2050? How could she possibly be Tae Yi’s age of 2020 in 2050 if she’s future Take Yi? Again, she also tells Tae Yi that she too had been an orphan and that the obsession to find her parents had been what had driven her to create time travel. We know how Tae Yi became an orphan, but how did ‘she’ become one? Not forgetting that she’s supposedly future Tae Yi. Did she loose her parents the way Tae Yi did? Does that mean these events had been happening over and over? But how and when did they start?

    I understand why the ending was the way it was. Of course Tae Yi would not disappear with the reset since she wasn’t a time traveler. Only Sun Yeong and Jin Gyeom would. But they probably left Jin Gyeom in as a different person… probably born from a different mother. That’s why Do Yeon and the others did not know him, since he had lived a different life in the new timeline. Even his childhood home was no longer his childhood home. But Tae Yi’s memories of Jin Gyeom and what happened in the old timeline had to remain, since she was still the same person she had been before the reset. They also gave Jin Gyeom the memories back (or at least clues) because if he was to forget, this whole drama would be totally in vain and totally unnecessary.

    But then in the new timeline Mr Ko is also present. How is it possible? Had he not died and was then replaced by his future self before? Obviously his future self would have to disappear with the reset because he was a time traveler, but then his old self had died meaning he should no longer exist since the death of his old self had had nothing to do with time and time travel.

    Still overall this drama was a good watch for me…

  3. Before I go into the details about my review, I should say that the artistes should be commended on their outstanding acting. Their excellence should not be ignored on account of the flaws in the plot and story.

    Let me now get to the specifics. Episode 16 especially has, particularly, been rather confounding: I don’t quite understand how and why time-travel ended with the death of the protagonist’s mother in 2010. If so, she had been killed so many times in 2010, why it didn’t end? And, what is most disturbing is, the protagonist’s meeting the professor in 2020 — if time-travel had ended, then, the protagonist should have ended with it. How is it that he gets to meet the professor and seems to say “sorry to have kept you waiting”. Is his return with hazy memories a case of reincarnation or time-travel?

  4. A little confused in the beginning. Pace slowly picked up each episode. Beautiful ending. I would recommend this drama

  5. I thought this story started with Professor Yoon travelling from 2050 to 1992 on a mission to retrieve a book.

    How is it possible for her to have been 8 years old in 1992 and also a young woman in 2050 who invented time travel (same person mind you because the narrative would have us believe she went back and saved herself from the attack, then raised herself before sending herself to an orphanage… this trip is making me dizzy)??? If that was the starting point of the journey, how did she end up in 2050 (2020 as a “young” Professor who invented time traveling, she would have to project herself to 2050 to get pregnant then come back or she would be 66 years old in 2050 following a natural timeline. We can forget about Mom Tae I inventing time travel because she died in 2010 and time traveling wasn’t invented during her shift) travel back to 1992 to retrieve the book and decided to stay in 1992 to have the baby.

    Given all that happened from 1992 and how the narrative played out up to 2020, she didn’t develop the scar on the back of her neck to mark her as “the mom” until she travelled into the future (2050) but she only went there and got herself killed before she got pregnant. Sorry for being daft, did she travel to 2050 and trained in martial arts to become a kickass Alice agent sometime between 2020 to 2050? I think they left that chunk out of the storyline. If she was born after 2020 and grew up in the future to meet her partner in Alice, then the Prof Yoon in 2020 who died in 2050 before traveling back to give birth isn’t the same person who travelled back to 1992, right? I get they are trying to tie time traveling and all but damn, this plot has more holes in it than a god damn sieve.

    I thought they would explain how she ended up in 2050 and met the father of her son but no, Prof Yoon and son only arrived in 2050 in time to get the father and herself killed.

    Ok… so when in all that messy time traveling did she manage meet her future partner (long enough to get pregnant) so she can travel back with him to start this whole drama?

    You know what got me recoiling in distaste and a bit of yuck? The fact that she was “supposed” to be in 2050 so she can come back to give birth to her son (otherwise the time travel thing can’t happen right???) but she was in 2020 and at the end of the final episode, about to start a relationship with a man who is supposed to be her son (future and past tense applies to their mother son relationship) which yikes….suggests borderline incest? Wtf did I just watch????

  6. Simple answer rather than going through paradoxes.
    Reincarnation, Jin Gyum doesn’t recognise her because she isn’t his mother, he has visions of the house and Sun Young but didn’t know from where, his memories of a past life aren’t complete. Sun Young wakes up with past memories also but more complete.
    Do Yuen doesn’t know anyone because Jin Gyun never lived in that house.
    Fate – both lives are intertwined through parallel universe.
    End of story, happy ending!

  7. EM, I think you summarised the most critical loopholes very well (of course there are many) so let me take a stab at how I think the writer might have intended those to be resolved. Let me say first that I really liked the time quotes at the start of each episode and that the blackboards whenever Prof Yoon was teaching always showed believable equations and diagrams both when she was teaching Relativity first time and later when she was teaching quantum mechanics. Which it to say there was level of attention to the science beyond anything in most time travel movies or shows (by which I don’t mean the non-existent science of time travel but the science relevant to it if we were to speculate). Obviously the K drama had to have a feel-good happy ending so how did the writer(s) get there? I think they gave them selves two get out of jail cards both critical to the final episode. (1) the Prophecy. It is never explained who wrote the book and what forces are at work to make it come true, this is meant to be beyond even the science of the time travellers so we are expected to take it as a premise. Without the prophecy or rather what the mother Tae-yi said was in the prophecy about a reset it makes no sense that killing the old man Park would unwind all the terrible things he had done prior to that point in his time-line. It is not clear why the reset was to the point of going out to get the beer before the mother Tae-i shot herself, logically it should have been when the old man Park dies so she would still be dead but maybe its because the son Park is special and it became about resetting his life at that nearby juncture. Thats why the mother Tae-i and the son Park are still there in spite of her being a time traveller. The prophecy did say that the son would kill her so it was also changed a bit there but in the ball park. It is still puzzling to me why the mother Tai-yi shot herself since she would have known that all that would do is repeat the narrative where she is shot and all those terrible things happened, i.e. achieve nothing desirable. I can see why she wanted to stop one shooting the other but shooting herself did not block that either. Maybe it was something in the prophecy that made her believe that killing herself was the answer but I didn’t see it explained. (2) the parallel dimensions. Until episode 16 people in the different dimensions are meant to die at the same time by the same hand but here at the big reset we can imagine that the bifurcation is much more extreme. What’s intended is that in the dimension where the old Park is shot, the reset ends up with the son and mother living happily every after. I think it was mentioned that he can still go to police uni which makes no sense as his mother was not murdered so he never decided to be a detective, architect could be just as likely, but this is a detail. Meanwhile Prof Yoon `wakes up’ in a different dimension at the reset and ten years later in the present. Since the physics of the reset is not explained we have to assume it entails the detective Park being sent into nonexistence and Prof Yoon being sent back to around the time where she entered the events of the drama from her point of view. Critically, in this dimension architect Park is not the son of a time traveller who looks identical to Prof Yoon — he does not recognise her as his own mother- but has a different back story with vague memories of a `past life’ bleeding through. There is also presumably a different back story as to why she was adopted. As to architect Park, since belief in reincarnation is part of Korean culture this is perhaps less jarring in that context. Of course (1) and (2) are huge leaps but personally when it comes to sci-fi I would rather have clearly laid out big leaps of faith and then within that some attention to detail. So, not happy about cop-outs (1) and (2) and still some bugs but lets just say I liked Alice rather more than Sisyphus.

  8. I enjoyed it. I don’t know why people keep mixing Yoon Tae-yi and Jin-gyeom’s mom? aside from the same facial features which the writer did a lazy/lousy job in trying to throw in confusion just to link the characters. Throughout the story, we know that characters with the same face are totally different people in different universes, let alone the fact Yoon Tae-yi was the small girl that Jin-gyeom’s mom saved in the beginning and was the daughter of that dude with the book from the same universe. That said, I always treated the characters from different universes separately, and that helped made the story make more sense. The writer again dropped the ball at the end and didn’t explain anything, but using what I know from Stein’s Gate, things made more sense (aka. look up reading Steiner which Yoon Tae-yi had at the end). For those who don’t know what this is, Steins gate is an exceptional time travel / parallel universe anime from 2011 with much less plot holes unlike this series. Alot of people mentioned Ki Cheol-am altho I’m not sure what the big deal with him is, I feel he has the right amount of air time overall, and really had no interest in knowing more of his side story. I do like to see more of Do-yeon and side stories from the police station though. Overall; it’s not as good as some other time travel series like Train/Tunnel/Life on Mars; but the show wasn’t bad, leads were great and the supporting casts were interesting. I still enjoyed the show and would recommend it despite the loopholes.

  9. I think Tae I should never exist as time travel is destroyed as Park jang gyeom dead. Because her mother is time traveller, so when the time travel never exist so does Tae I. MAYBE SHE STILL EXIST, but as someone that not related to Tae I. Like Park Jang Gyeom, he still exist but as differenf person.

  10. I agree with the above. He should not exist. Period.

    The ending was terrible. It doesn’t make any sense. As mentioned in previous posts it avoids a lot of logical theory to come to a happy ending.

    In the end the architect version of the detective would never have existed. His parents were time travelers. If time travelers all disappear and never exist, then that human being is never born.

    I may have confused this part but – let’s not forget the professor, who turns out to be a younger version of the detectives mom when killed at Alice, finally wakes up to being biologically unrelated to the architect version of the detective. Then they meet through fragmented memories and fall in love? What!

  11. Park Jim was the master of time and space, maybe this is the reason why he still exists. He was special because he was a born paradox.

    I loved the show, as it gave us the 12 monkeys tv show ending

  12. Some of these comments are like pretty dumb ngl. Tae I was existing in 1992 when her parents died and she became an orphan. She created time travel when she was 32 which started off the whole drama. So it means even if time travel is destroyed it will reset to her becoming an orphan and just living a normal life because that was her chosen fate even before she created time travel. For Jin gyeom it’s different as he wouldn’t have been born as Tae I son as he was only born as her son because of time travel, so as time travel is destroyed, His fate that entangled him to Tae I disappears and creates a completely new timeline where he is born to another mother and becomes an architect, because no matter what universe or time people exist everyone will exist including Jin gyeom or Tae I etc. That also explains min Hyuk and the other characters that are involved in Alice. They are people from the future so they don’t exist in 2020 but will exist in the future. So minhyuk will exist in 2050 but won’t be fated with Tae I or Jin gyeom. I do agree the suggested romance between tae I and Jin gyeom was weird and the old man disguise was awful. But I do believe the reason at the end they made tae I remember everything and they gave artitect Jin gyeom fragments of his memories, this was to symbolise the significance of a once existing fate and timelines that possesses the memories and events of their once existing destiny. I think they just wanted to show a happy conclusion but also show that everything is intertwined. I think the real question is out of everything, who is tae I mother? Why did she run away with the prophercy? Is no one questioning that? How did tae I mother know about the prophercy and run away with it? Why didn’t she stop her daughter or why did she give birth to her daughter if she knew she was going to create such chaos? But other than that I think the drama was amazing, I just wish they did the sfx makeup on the old man better lol.

  13. This is just my personal interpretation.
    Overall, Alice is an entertaining movie based on the characters performance. There were several twists of events that confused me that made me watched again. For me Alice is like Tae-i’s dream where the events were all over the place. As a scientist she internalized her research about time travel through her dream it manifested the value of the past, present and the future. Several times Tae-i was killed with a gun then a knife and lastly a gun. Her omega tattoo was visible as a Tae-I (mom) but not as Tae-I (Professor) then it was visible when she was shot as its ending for the last time. Meeting Jin-Gyeum in her dream wanted her more time to spent with him as her protector. When Tae-I woke-up, everything was in place, yet she felt empty, for she knew that she will never meet Jin-gyeum in her real world again. Tae-I also mentioned that she felt that she lived a different life from her long trip (dream) and finally she is back from her own self. Destiny brought Tae-I and Jin-gyeum together at the end. Nobody remembers Jin-gyeum not even Do-Yeon because Jin-Gyeum is only in Tae-I’s dream. There are things we cannot explain when we currently experience has already been experienced in the past, DeJa’Vu, and that past was in our dream. The only memorabilia that Tae-I brought from her long dream is the necklace which was a kind of question mark. Anyways, I like the ending where both will have the chance to pick-up the pieces, what they both left…in both their dreams.

  14. I enjoyed watching it. When old Jin Gyeom died things was reset from the time of the suicide incident of Jin Gyeom’s club mate. Hence, anything before that remains as it is including how Tae Yi, became an orphan. This also explains that Jin Gyeom was not arrested as suspect for the murder that’s why Captain Ko don’t know him.

    If I were to rate it, it’s still 5-stars. The ending explains how old Jin Gyeom turns to be evil. Twists of the story is also very interesting!

  15. And also, I thought Jin Geom likes Do Yeon and not Tae Yi! So is Tae Yi his mother or not? This show is soo confusing on a whole extraordinary level. I regretted wasting my time on it.

  16. Apart from all questions with no answers, what was with the old male lead’s makeup?!? It was so bad i couldn’t believe they actually released that episode, and even more unbelievable that it was released in SBS, one of the best channels! For a kdrama in that channel and that actors and actresses it was really bad!

  17. There’s also the fact that after everything is reset all time travelers disappear but his mom is a time traveler so where is she? And how’d she not disappear as well? So it’s left to assume she’s an exception….. And all those in Alice, Jim Gyeom was given basically a second chance so why couldn’t the other time travelers get that too? I agree with u it was…. All over the place but it was still entertaining to watch. Just uggggh the ending SLAUGHTERED me. I’m so upset.😂😭

  18. Thanks for those…I still couldn’t stop watching, even once things got too irrational. The actors were pretty amazing in this show… most played multiple characters, folded. The show never figured out house to deal with the relationship between jin geom and Tae yi… the edging up to a possible romance was a little past where I thought I could watch, they tried to tie it up by making him suddenly want to rescue Do Yeon at all costs. The minute Joo Won appeared in old man makeup it was all over for me. I had grown to really love these characters, but that just killed it for me.

  19. Too many loopholes. If time travel never happened and all time travelers disappeared then Tae-Yi’s father should also be alive. And if time travel never happened then how does she even exist as her mother traveled back in time. Never mind that how does Do-Yeon not remember him…he used to go to school with her. How does the detective not remember arresting him as that also happened at an earlier time. And how does he not get shocked to see Tae-Yi as she still resembles his mother. It started out so good and has the worst possible ending which makes zero sense.

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