The Atypical Family Ending Explained: What Really Happens at the End of the KDrama

By Klein Felt Posted:
The Atypical Family main characters

Some may still be scratching their heads after that mind-bending ending to The Atypical Family

The South Korean drama, which was made available on Netflix outside South Korea, spent six weeks starting in May telling the story of a super-powered family mysteriously losing their abilities and how crossing paths with a young woman named Do Da-hae could save them. 

The series ended on June 9. The finale aired on JTBC in its home territory before coming to Netflix shortly after. 

The Atypical Family Ending Explained: Did Gwi-ju Die?

Jang Ki-yong as Bok Gwi-ju holding a body in a fire

After 12 episodes of super-powered drama, The Atypical Family seemingly ended with the death of its main character, Bok Gwi-ju (played by Jang Ki-yong).

Gwi-ju is the patriarch of the series' central family, with the ability to travel back in time to happy memories.

However, after the death of his wife, his powers mysteriously start to disappear - that is until the mysterious Do Da-hae comes into his life. 

In Episode 12 of the Netflix K-drama, it seems the series is setting up an ending that will include Gwi-ju's death. 

The series finale involved a classroom being set on fire by accident, with Gwi-ju jumping in to save people trapped inside.

This includes Chun Woo-hee's Do Da-hae, a woman who has shown a deep and curious interest in Gwi-ju and his family throughout the series. 

Gwi-ju then uses his powers to travel back in time to when Da-hae was involved in another school-based fire. 

It turns out that Da-hae's high school was set ablaze at one point, and she was mysteriously saved. 

As revealed in this superpower-induced flashback, Gwi-ju saved Da-hae all those years ago. 

In the past, he saves the young girl, telling her they will see her again before being consumed by the fire and seemingly dying. 

The series then cuts to a funeral for Gwi-ju, implying he is dead and fell victim to the explosion from Da-hae's past. 

And, aside from a brief epilogue, that is where the series leaves fans. It is assumed that Gwi-ju is dead and never coming back. 

How Did Gwi-ju Come Back?

Chun Woo-hee as Do Da-hae smiling with tears in her eyes in The Atypical Family

While The Atypical Family looked as though it was going to have a fairly macabre ending with its main character now dead, a brief epilogue shows that there may be hope for Gwi-ju after all.

The finale moments of Episode 12 see the series jump five years into the future. 

Da-hae's son in a green sweater holding Gwi-ju's hand in The Atypical Family

It centers on Da-hae, a single mother raising a son with the same mysterious memory-navigating powers as his father, Gwi-ju.

These mysterious abilities allow the young boy to travel back in time by capturing the memory of a person or place. 

Da-hae uses these powers to hopefully bring the boy's father back to life by sending her son into the past to save her dearly departed after showing him a picture of Gwi-ju.

Jang Ki-yong as Bok Gwi-ju looking at Da-hae with the light hitting him in The Atypical Family

Luckily, her plan miraculously works, as Gwi-ju appears in the present alive and well. 

As the show fades to black, Da-hae looks upon her son holding the hand of Gwi-ju, and tears well up in her eyes. 

Despite him seemingly being seen dead earlier in the episode, this confirms the familial unit will live on, and Gwi-ju will get to meet/raise his son. 

The Atypical Family is streaming now on Netflix. 

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- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.