Episode 11 of Navillera begins with Deok-Chool returning home, ready to break the news about his condition to Hae-Nam. Just before he does, Hae-Nam changes the subject and brings up a day from their past. Specifically, Deok-Chook’s retirement where she arrived to pick him up. Using this as fuel, Hae-Nam tells him to stay strong and keep striving for his dreams no matter what.
The rest of the family gather together and learn the truth about Deok-Chool’s Alzheimer’s. All of them try to work out what’s best for Deok-Chool, arguing over whether to put him in a nursing home or look after him themselves. Eventually it sees the group agree to ask Deok-Chool and Hae-Nam what they want.
Seong-San is obviously torn up over what to do and tries to work his way through the different options. In doing so, he winds up staying up all night. At work, things take a turn for the worst when Seong-San is brought into a meeting with his boss. He claims Seong San has been misselling and hints toward firing him. This is, of course, on top of the stress caused by the previous episode’s financial situation.
In the morning, Deok-Chool goes for his usual run but finds Ho-Beom out stretching and heads over to say hey. He gives the boy some words of encouragement, telling Ho-beom to strike while the iron is hot.
At work, Eun-Ho decides to exchange Deok-Chool’s favour and sends a message back directly to him. Through the host, she confirms she’ll be waiting to see him perform on stage, brightening up our old man’s day.
Deok-Chool eventually heads into the ballet studio and speaks to Chae-Rok, who promises to remember him no matter what.
For now, Deok-Chool is being given the stage at a different ballet studio, where he’ll be able to dance and hone his skills. As Chae-Rok tells him to practice every day, Deok-Chool realizes his memory is continuing to worsen.
Deok-Chool takes the opportunity to visit Seong-San’s work after realizing the trouble his son is in. He waits outside and eventually catches up with him. He hands over a brand new baseball glove; a throwback to a moment they shared together in the past.
This is significant in their relationship as it happens to be the moment Deok-Chool stuck up for his son in front of his teacher. Back then, Deok-Chool gave the analogy of batting and pitching, reminding Seong-San never to give up as he’ll always be his fielder.
It’s a really touching moment, and one that reminds him that no matter how bad things get, Deok-Chool will always have his back.
With this in mind, Seong-San decides to quit his job. He owns up to the mismanaged funds but gives a warning to the boss that he’s going to tell the truth about everything that’s happened.
Meeting Seong-San delays Deok-Chool for his audition. Thankfully the judges agree to delay his performance for 30 minutes. It’s enough time for Deok-Chool to show up and dance his heart out for the judges. Out of all the other dancers, Deok-Chool manages to get through his audition. He messages Hae-Nam and immediately lets her know he’s passed.
Ho-Beom returns to football practice, which Chae-Rok finds out too when he speaks to Shin-Sang. With his Father apologizing to the different players, it seems they’re all ready to move on. Chae-Rok however, is confronted by Seong-San at the ballet studio, who thanks Chae-Rok for helping to find Deok-Chool.
Later that day, Mr Ki approaches Deok-Chool and Chae-Rok, encouraging the pair to dance together as a duo. This eventually sees them agree, as they continue to dance and train for the big event.
The gala event is upcoming – aptly titled Navillera – which is where they’re intending to dance Swan Lake. Deok-Chool’s whole family is invited along to do ballet, while Chae-Rok invites his Father.
Afterwards, Chae-Rok meets Ho-Beom and hands over a gift from his Father. He tells him he hopes he does well at the tryouts and walks away. When he does, Ho-Beom checks inside the bag and finds some football boots and an invitation to watch Navillera.
Deok-Chool has another unfortunate episode outside his house though, confused and unsure where be lives. Thankfully Hae-Nam arrives to help, encouraging the officers to leave after taking her husband inside.
As they sit together, Deok-Chool tells Hae-Nam the truth, finally, and apologizes for keeping it from her all this time. As they turn in for the night, Deok-Chool awakens after sleeping through his alarm and looks puzzled. “Who are you?” He says, as Hae-Nam staggers back in shock.
The Episode Review
After some dramatic and emotional episodes preceding this, Navillera delivers its proverbial deep breath before tomorrow’s dramatic and heart-wrenching ending.
The entire show has done really well to portray a very grounded and realistic depiction of a family brought together to support their Father. There’s a beautiful message in this about following your dreams, but also the strength of family too. This has obviously been tinged with poignancy because of Deok-Chool’s condition.
The characters have all had quite the journey so far and Navillera has really excelled when it comes to the characterization and development of key players along the way. Ho-Beom, for example, has had a real transformation across these episodes and hopefully he’ll realize his potential and make it as a football star.
It looks like we’re marching toward an ending that sees Deok-Chool and Chae-Rok dancing on stage together before the former ends up in a nursing home. At the moment it’s unclear whether we’re going to get a happy or sad ending, but with less than 24 hours until the finale, we haven’t got long to find out!