Like Flowers in Sand – K-drama Episode 12 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Episode 12

Episode 12 of Like Flowers in Sand opens with all five friends – Baek-du, Du-shik, Mi-ran, Jin-su and Seok-hui – gathered near the beach in a flashback. Except for Mi-ran, the four are writing what they want to become in 20 years as a school assignment. Seok-hui writes that he wants to live long, Jin-su writes that he wants to become the greatest ssireum fighter, Du-shik wants to become a police officer like Mi-suk and before we know what Baek-du writes, we are hurled into the present. 

Who is the real culprit? 

The culprit turns out to be Lee Kyung-moon, one of the non-ssireum residents of the town who owns a rice cake shop. He chokes Mi-ran before unravelling the mystery behind the two deaths in town. When Mi-ran’s father refused to continue with match-fixing, Kyung-moon killed him 20 years ago.

Years later, he killed Choi when the latter refused to get back into the match-fixing world. Unfortunately, Choi was recording Kyung-moon’s confession on his phone secretly and Snowball happened to pick up the phone and hid it. Kyung-moon is completely remorseless about the murders and nonchalantly claims that they are just “mistakes”.  

When Kyung-moon asks Mi-ran for the phone, she says that the police have it and he proceeds to choke her. Simultaneously, Yu-gyeong remembered that Kyung-moon was the one who clicked their photograph, the day Choi and Mi-ran’s father had a meeting. She and Hyeon-wook rush to Mi-ran’s cafe, Baek-du joins in the middle and Jin-su claims he cannot reach Mi-ran. They enter the cafe and find Mi-ran on the floor. 

Why does Yu-gyeong return to Seoul? 

Mi-ran tells them about the real culprit while Kyung-moon hides from the group and manages to sneak away unnoticed. The next day, the news about the real culprits shakes the town. Yu-gyeong returns to Seoul. Yu-gyeong and Mi-suk’s team also catch the match-fixing ring. Everybody in town finds out the real identity of Yu-gyeong. She texts Mi-ran that she’ll keep her promise and catch Kyung-moon soon. 

Meanwhile, Baek-du feels Yu-gyeong’s absence massively. He misses having her around and spends time alone at her house. That day, when he returns home, he finds Yu-gyeong visiting his family for lunch. While walking together, Baek-du reluctantly tells her to follow her dream and live in Seoul but asks her to visit his championship match and give him a reply upon his confession. 

Does Baek-du win the championship title? 

A day before the match, Tae-Baek tells Baek-du that even though his mother didn’t want him to pursue ssireum, Tae-baek fought for it because out of all his sons, he believed that Baek-du was the most talented. Later, Jin-su calls Baek-du to the arena and challenges him to complete the third round of their match. After a little struggle, Baek-du wins leading to the two friends grinning while Jin-su exclaims that Baek-du never lets him win. 

The next day, Baek-du reaches the arena with the team. At the same time, the bus that the townsfolk are on, including Baek-du’s family gets stuck in traffic. Yu-gyeong is unable to get half a day off as she planned and has to attend to an urgent case. Both Yu-gyeong and Hyeon-wook, along with the townsfolk in the stranded bus, listen to the radio in anticipation as Baek-du makes it to the semi-finals.

He further makes it to the finals where his opponent is now Lim Dong-seok, who is in the best shape ever and ready to be promoted to a higher class. Elsewhere, Yu-gyeong and Hyeon-wook enter the hotel, where Choi was staying before his death, to find Kyung-moon. 

Both the rivals have a friendly exchange and the match begins. The final has 5 rounds instead of 3. Baek-du easily wins the first with his speed but Dong-seok gets the upper hand in the next two. Jin-su tells Baek-du to fight like himself instead of trying to overpower Dong-seok. Baek-du remembers Yu-gyeong telling him to be himself in the arena and compete like Kim Baek-du would. Motivated, he falls back on his ingenious techniques and wins the fourth round.

After much struggle and increasing anticipation, the two fighters lock and fall on the ground with a simultaneous throw. The referee takes time to evaluate and proclaims Baek-du as the final winner. 

Do Baek-du and Yu-gyeong end up together? 

Later at Mi-ran’s cafe, Jin-su and Mi-ran greet Hyeon-wook while they watch Baek-du’s embarrassing TV interview about Du-shik as he fulfils his promise to tell the world about her when he becomes a champion. Hyeon-wook tells Mi-ran that Yu-gyeong fulfilled her promise and they have caught Kyung-min.

Baek-du, however, is sad about Yu-gyeong’s absence and visits her house alone. He later finds her sitting outside the gate with a bleeding lip. She apologises to him for missing his match. Baek-du asks for her answer and she finally reluctantly confesses to him. They share a kiss later. 

At the cafe, Seok-hui discusses how the friends have achieved their dreams with Mi-ran wanting to open a cafe. He cannot remember Baek-du’s dream. Just then, Baek-du and Yu-gyeong enter and Seok-hui teases them about the kiss, noticing lipstick on Baek-du’s lips. He cannot read the room before Yu-gyeong loses her temper and chases after him.

The friends walk alongside the beach when Baek-du remembers his wish – he wants to spend time with all his friends 20 years later as well. And his dream has come true. The episode ends with the friends playing by the beachside at night. 

The Episode Review

Like Flowers in Sand ends beautifully with its focus on the relationships between the characters. Although the murder mystery was quite mediocre, the show made it up with its characterisation and its theme of growth amidst hardships. The light romance between the Baek-du and Yu-gyeong was unlike the typical k-drama rom-com which enhanced the show’s themes in the end. 

Their relationship as best-friends is so well portrayed by Jang Dong-yoon and Lee Joo-myung, that for the viewers, it feels wrong and awkward but heart-warming at the same time to watch them begin their relationship. 

The cinematography and aesthetics of the finale with its ssireum matches were absolutely  impeccable. The fight scenes were so well done, not only through cinematography but Baek-du and Dong-seok’s showdown looked as real as it could get. Both the actors and the editing team did a phenomenal job at those scenes. At the same time, the championship scenes are extremely immersive and one couldn’t stop oneself from strongly cheering for Baek-du and shed some tears at his well earned victory. 

All in all, Like Flowers in Sand had been true to its themes of portraying reunions and relationships especially in the finale. It has been a fun and heart-warming watch at time, despite certain hiccups along the way. How did you like the finale? Let us know in the comments! 

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