My Perfect Stranger – K-drama Episode 16 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

My Perfect Stranger

Episode 16 of My Perfect Stranger starts this finale with Hae-joon and Yoon-young realizing they’re stuck in 1987. The former  tries to remain positive, as the pair reverse back through the tunnel and come back the way they came.

How did Hae-joon get the time machine?

On the way, Yoon-young quizzes Hae-joon about how he came to be in possession of the time machine, but he nonchalantly retorts that he just “picked it up”, which amuses Yoon-young.

Director Yoon heads over to see Soon-ae’s parents and apologizes on behalf of Yeon-woo. He promises to live in atonement for the rest of his life following what his son has done. As he trudges out, Yoon-young and Hae-joon head out for drinks. Hae-joon admits he doesn’t really have that much money left so they can’t really linger in this time period for too long. Yoon-young suggests they play and win the lottery, given their obvious advantage, but he refuses to do so.

Instead, the pair get talking about the circumstances that brought them together. Specifically, the note for the time machine about going through the tunnel “in front of him” and the weird call he got while driving. Something doesn’t add up here and I’m sure we’re going to find out what that is this episode!

Do Yoon-young and Soon-ae say goodbye?

Back in town, Soon-ae hands over a published version of her new book to Yoon-young, which is even signed to her. The pair hug it out, while Baek suggests Hae-joon go back to see his grandfather. There are nasty notes scrawled all over the front gates from angry village residents, while he happens to be at home drinking himself into a stupor.

Yoon-young believes this is an opportunity for Hae-joon to spend time with his grandfather, something he was unable to do before. This time, he can make memories with Hae-joon that the latter can carry into the future. And as a result, the pair head out fishing together. Whilst there, Hae-joon urges his grandfather to stop drinking so much and take him out fishing once in a while.

Soon-ae and Hae-seob take Yoon-young out for a bike ride…but there’s a problem. Yoon-young can’t actually ride a bike as her father never helped teach her, owing to his bad legs. Now that this isn’t the case, it seems that that the future is all on course to change. As they sit together and eat, partly thanks to Yoon-young falling off her bike, Yoon-young contemplates whether life is going to be like this now with her parents.

Who sent the message to Hae-joon originally?

After fishing, Hae-joon heads back to Yoon’s place, where a familiar face rocks up out the front gates. It’s the guy from the phone call! He points out the call and retorts the “beginning to end” speech. It turns out this is actually Hae-joon’s son, who’s all grown up and living in this time period.

It turns out Hae-joon didn’t actually die on that ice lake like he thought. Despite being basically dead, he was faintly clinging to death. In fact, he eventually recovered. Hae-joon overlooked the hidden future because of this, which happens to include him fathering a son. The latter wanted to give Hae-joon another opportunity in his life to make a different choice, which is why he dropped off the time travel car.

Hae-joon heads off to visit his mum before they eventually head back to the present day period for real. It seems to work and the future has definitely changed.

Yoon-young receives a call from her mum, while Hae-joon receives one from his grandfather. This time, the present has changed to see Yoon-young living in a big house, and living out the future Yoon-young always envisioned for her mother. This time, Soon-ae is back with Hae-seob and the pair are living happily together.

How has the future changed?

As for Hae-joon, he heads back to see Director Yoon, who has been marking off the dates for his grandson’s return. There are numerous pictures up on the mantlepiece too, where the pair have been fishing together for years. Not only that, but Hae-joon has been getting back into working on the news.

This is one of Yoon-young’s highlights and the pair eventually spend time together, holding hands outside work as they walk down by the river together. Oh yeah, and these two are apparently falling in love now and that’s who mothers Hae-joon’s son.

Yoon-young happens to bump into Mi-sook of all people in the library but she doesn’t answer her. In fact, she picks up Soon-ae’s book and walks away. Yoon-young hopes that Mi-sook is going to be a bit more honest now in this life. Speaking of honest, Hae-joon and Yoon-young decide they should go back just one more time, with Hae-joon commenting that they were destined to meet together. And as a result, they decide to travel back to 1987.

The Episode Review

My Perfect Stranger delivers a nice ending but I’m never a big fan of these “suddenly a random character arrives and explains a mystery” plot angles. It reeks of deus ex machina and feels like a bit of a crowbarred way of explaining the time machine car. You’re telling me that Hae-joon had a time machine, saw himself on that lake and didn’t once think: “Maybe I’ll jump forward another 20 years and see if the killer continues to kill/is caught past my death.”

Personally, I think a neater ending to this would have been future Yoon-young coming back, complete with a ring on her finger (a hint at Yoon-young and Hae-joon together), and revealing that she made the time machine. She found the manual, maybe a bunch of documents from Yeon-woo about fixing it, then went back to give Hae-joon the machine in the hopes of him changing a desolate future. Obviously there would still be holes in the plot but it would have been a nice little twist.

It was nice to see almost everyone get a solid ending though, although the final scene with Yoon-young and Hae-joon heading back in time again does open up the prospects of a possible second season.

There’s no denying that the mystery has been excellent and that aspect of this show has really stood out as the defining part. It’s not perfect, and the ending isn’t as strong as it could have been, but it’s still been a solid K-drama all the same.

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You can read our full season review for My Perfect Stranger here!

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2 thoughts on “My Perfect Stranger – K-drama Episode 16 Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. Oftentimes viewers’ comments forget to acknowledge the fact that a story/drama is fictional & is the creative work of a writer(s). Such is the case for this drama. I found this story & drama to be extremely well-written. Unlike comments made, I believe the ending was strong & highly satisfactory. A creative story does NOT require every minute detail spelled out & answered. THAT would be too commonplace & expected. A good creative work should answer the major questions & at the same time leave other none pressing questions to the reviewers’ imagination. This drama did just that resulting in an exceptionally satisfactory & conclusive ending, yet at the same time leaving a little opening for the possibility of a season 2. As for the new character popping up in the last episode, I found that surprise to be enjoyable. I also personally enjoyed seeing Jung Jin Young in the cameo role of the son, a very creative addition to the ending.

  2. My problem is, if it is a time machine, they could go back again much earlier and prevent anyone from being murdered since they already know who the murderer is. Or they could go further back and find out what started his father to become a murderer. I don’t know if it was even explained why the father became a murderer.

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