The Atypical Family – K-drama Episode 12 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Episode 12

Episode 12 of The Atypical Family begins with Gwi-ju learning that his scar will heal in a week, making him realize how little time he has left. He meets Da-hae outside the pharmacy, and they go on a date together.

Meanwhile, I-na tries to persuade Hye-rim to re-join the dance club by sitting with her at lunch. Hye-rim, now an outcast, is uninterested. Grace introduces Hyung-tae as an additional gym trainer, needing a proper job after their plan falls apart. Dong-hee remembers him as a food delivery person who never spilled her food and feels attracted to him, even though Hyung-tae only did that job to spy on her.

Later, while on her run, Ji-han approaches Dong-hee and tries to threaten her into marrying him, but she rejects him. As she leaves, Hyung-tae drops his phone in a pond, destroying the recording of Dong-hee and Grace.

Man-heum has recurring dreams about a fire and students flailing in the air. She shares this with Gwi-ju, who visits his former colleagues at the fire station and requests the files from the fire incident 13 years ago.

At home, Gwi-ju behaves oddly at the dinner table, prompting Da-hae to check the scar on his neck while he sleeps. Gwi-ju reassures her that the scar will take ages to fade, implying they have more time.

Elsewhere, Man-heum predicts that Dong-hee will fly at I-na’s dance competition, prompting Dong-hee to resolve to change the future.

The Bok family and Da-hae’s family gather at the venue to support I-na and her dance crew. Gwi-ju rushes to the fire station after receiving a call about the files he requested. Meanwhile, Da-hae visits I-na and reassures her about Gwi-ju’s presence for her team’s performance.

The competition begins, and Ji-han sends a picture to Dong-hee, threatening her with I-na’s picture to meet him in the green room. When Dong-hee visits, Ji-han makes another pathetic confession and threatens to set fire to the place using petroleum he brought, but she remains unfazed.

As Gwi-ju rushes back to the venue, Hye-rim finally joins the dance team. I-na overcomes her nervousness, and her team performs successfully to cheers and smiles. After the performance, I-na sees Hye-rim leave and follows her. I-na explains how hard she tried to be Hye-rim’s friend, while Hye-rim confesses she wanted I-na to be more open. It becomes clear that Hye-rim liked I-na as much as I-na liked her.

While seated in the audience, Da-hae recognizes Gwi-ju’s attire and tells him he was wearing the same outfit when he told her about I-na’s disappearance. Gwi-ju leaves suddenly, while Man-heum recognizes an acrobatic performance from her dreams and realizes the fire she saw will happen at the competition venue.

Gwi-ju and Da-hae embrace before Gwi-ju travels to the past. Soon-gu hurries to ring the fire alarm as Ji-han accidentally starts a fire in the green room. Da-hae’s family and the Bok family help clear the auditorium, but as the fire reaches the backstage, Dong-hee uses her powers to keep the stage curtain away from the flames.

Meanwhile, Gwi-ju visits the past looking forlorn, and when he returns, he sees the place in chaos with a blaring fire alarm. While Da-hae searches for I-na, Gwi-ju looks for Da-hae. I-na and Hye-rim find themselves trapped as the fire shutters close their only exit. I-na heads backstage to find a way out. Gwi-ju finds Hye-rim, helps her out, and follows I-na’s path.

Da-hae finds I-na backstage, but I-na collapses from the smoke. Just as they are about to be crushed by a wooden board, Gwi-ju arrives. They realize it’s time for their goodbyes. Da-hae reluctantly leaves with I-na, and Gwi-ju transports to the past just as the wooden board smashes to the floor

He travels back to the time of I-na’s birth and thanks Se-yeon, who somehow sees his future form. When Gwi-ju leaves the hospital room, colors fill his surroundings. After reaching Da-hae’s school, he briefly meets Chief Jung, his firefighter friend, before Jung dies in a building collapse. Gwi-ju grabs firefighter gear, finds Da-hae in the storeroom, and gets her out. As the school building crumbles, he says his goodbye to Da-hae before helping her onto the safety net, seemingly perishing in the fire.

Back in the present, the Bok family holds a funeral for Gwi-ju, who has been missing since the fire incident. Ji-han is sent to prison. Five years later, Da-hae lives with the Bok family with her and Gwi-ju’s son, Nu-ri. I-na is now a high schooler. Dong-hee owns a gym building and spends her time playing with Hyung-tae. Grace still hasn’t succeeded in her auditions. Man-heum often visits Il-hong’s sauna and helps her with her dreams.

Elsewhere, while playing with Nu-ri, Da-hae realizes that Nu-ri has the power to bring things from the past. She asks him if he could bring his father back from 18 years ago. Nu-ri soon loses attention, but as Da-hae leaves, she turns around to find Gwi-ju with Nu-ri, right after he saved her high-school self.

The Episode Review

The episode ended abruptly, reflecting its erratic course. While it was amusing at times, it was also underwhelming. The suspense around Gwi-ju’s death and its execution was far from ideal, as the show attempted to pack everything into a single finale episode.

Though the finale could be argued as “open-ended,” it lacked the overarching logic typical of well-written and executed open endings. For instance, to avoid disturbing Da-hae’s past, Nu-ri could only have brought Gwi-ju back to the future after Gwi-ju had saved Da-hae. However, a blast occurred right after Gwi-ju helped Da-hae onto the safety net.

How could a five-year-old child safely survive such an incident? Assuming Nu-ri has powers similar to Gwi-ju, allowing him to travel to the past unaffected by his surroundings, only further exaggerates the plot holes, like when Gwi-ju once gave Da-hae flowers from the past.

Speaking of plot holes, remember the future Gwi-ju wearing a cream-colored coat who visited Da-hae and Gwi-ju while they were on a date? We have no clue what happened to him other than assuming he was from five years ahead. Couldn’t he have warned the couple about what was to come?

In the end, the series bid us goodbye with more questions than answers. It had its amusing moments, but overall, it was an ambitious idea that went off track and ultimately crashed.

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