Episode 12 of Navillera begins with Deok-Chool struggling to recognize his family. Hae-Nam tells Seong-Gwan to phone the doctor, who confirms that they’re going to up his dosage in the future. However, he could experience side effects. One of these includes the doctor telling Deok-Chool he shouldn’t perform on stage.
Determined to help jog his memory, Hae-Nam takes her husband to the ballet studio. As Deok-Chool steps up to the bar, he starts to remember crucial moments from his past. He remembers Chae-Rok, and this is enough for the memories of his family to come back too.
Only, Deok-Chool doesn’t seem to have remembered all the moves, which are tangled up in his mind.
Deok-Chool eventually shows up at the gala and reveals the truth about his condition to Mr Ki. He calls himself a nuisance and apologizes but Chae-Rok refuses to dance alone. He wants to at least try and help Deok-Chool soar just once. Besides, his muscle memory should hopefully kick in.
Deok-Chool gets dressed up ready to perform. While they prepare to dance, Chae-Rok hands over a gift. A brand new pair of shoes. Mr Ki arrives and offers words of encouragement too, telling the old man that he has faith that he can do this.
As Deok-Chool and Chae-Rok head up to the curtain, waiting in the back, Deok-Chool watches Sang-Su perform.
The pair eventually head out on stage, where they begin their dance. Deok-Chool freezes up from the bright lights though, eventually remembering Chae-Rok’s teachings and letting his body and memory do the talking. It’s a beautiful show, and one that sees Deok-Chool give it his all and remember his moves.
The next day, Deok-Chool awakens but claims that it all felt like a dream. After performing on stage, he’s decided that he’s going to go to a nursing home. The same one that Gyo-Seok was admitted to, no less. He’s decided to go sooner rather than later, so he can make friends and settle in.
While the family are against this, he tells them not to go against his wishes. However, it’s Seong-Suk who eventually convinces him to stay.
Meanwhile, Chae-Rok patches up his differences with his Father and heads off to visit their Mother. They symbolically drop off the gala ticket for Navillera and seem to be on the same page now.
In the morning, Deok-Chool turns his attention to Chae-Rok, remaining determined to help him soar. He’s going to be his manager now and also help with his ballet. Seung-Joo is there too, and he helps Chae-Rok’s form.
Seung-Joo eventually speaks to So-Ri up on the rooftop and tentatively hands over a ring box. He tells her he’s proposing but she’s pretty nonchalant about the whole affair.
Elsewhere, Seung-San watching Deok-Chool on stage has acted as a sort of wake-up call for him. It has reminded him of Eun-Ho and he wants her to do what she loves. With the family on the same page, they all gather together to watch Seong-Gwan’s documentary.
Afterwards, Seong-Gwan and Deok-Chool talk outside alone. Seong-Gwan admits he wished for more time but while editing the video, realized Deok-Chool felt the exact same way. On the back of this, he’s going to become a doctor.
The next day, Eun-Ho meets Chae-Rok and hands over a USB stick he left. He tells Chae-Rok to do his best and admits that she’s found her passion. Eun-Ho’s future dreams include her job at the radio station. She’s excited for each day and feels happy in the studio.
Later on, Deok-Chool meets Chae-Rok’s father for the first time, as all our characters see Chae-Rok off. He’s ready to ignite his career now. Deok-Chool follows though and holds Chae-Rok’s hands. He leans in and hugs the boy, telling him he doesn’t want to forget his face. It’s a sad moment and one that sees the pair part ways.
Three years pass and Deok-Chool is still ticking along but out posting letters. However, those letters happen to be to other residents apologizing for Deok-Chool’s behaviour. He’s losing his memories now, and doesn’t remember who Hae-Nam is. However, he learns that Chae-Rok is heading back soon for his homecoming tour.
Meanwhile, Mr Ki’s studio has mellowed out with him allowing rookies in to train now. Eun-Ho is also doing well at the studio while Ae-Ran is the Head Consultant at her job. Seong-San is working at an office too but is a lot more chilled, with his baseball glove and ball on full display. Ho-Beom is excelling as a football player and also friends with Shin Sang.
When it starts to snow, Deok-Chool heads out for a walk, marveling at the snowflakes. He looks across the train tracks and lo and behold, there’s Chae-Rok. The two lock eyes, as Chae-Rok holds his hand out.
Deok-Chool remembers Chae-Rok, asking “did you soar?” before raising his hands up to show he still knows the ballet moves. As the camera pans out, the episode comes to a close…
But wait, there’s more! Deok-Chool leaves himself a video message. “Don’t forget that you used to do ballet and that you had a dream.” He says, before hurrying off to practice with Chae-Rok.
The Episode Review
Navillera bows out its final episode with an emotional and poignant farewell, one that rounds out all of our characters with a satisfying send off. Deok-Chool has now lost most of his memories and it seems the family are looking after him.
The other characters all get a good send-off for their sub-plots though, while that airport scene typified what a heartbreaking conclusion this was for our two lead stars. Both characters knew in some way that this passing would cause Deok-Chool’s memory to deteriorate further.
This has been a really heartfelt, raw and realistic depiction of Alzheimer’s and we were obviously told a few episodes back that this horrible disease can suddenly and rapidly deteriorate.
It seems that this is exactly what’s happened with Deok-Chool but the family are more together than ever because of this. Silver linings and all that of course, but it seems Deok-Chool’s family are now determined to make sure he has as comfortable a life as possible.
The fitting conclusion to this beautiful K-drama bows out in the best way possible, delivering a concise, emotional and well written conclusion to this ballet piece.
Looking for more Navillera content? Check out our Ending Explained article for a more in-depth break-down of this show! You can find that HERE!