‘A Time Called You’ Ending Explained & Series Summary: Did Si-Heon And Jun-Hee Cross Paths?

Published

A Time Called You is a Netflix original K-drama series that tries to embed science fiction elements in its narrative. Time travel plays a crucial role in this drama, and that leads to endless confusion. One character transporting into another character’s body is quite common in the A Time Called You world. Two opposite characters, Han Jun-hee and Kwon Min-ju, are connected by destiny. Even though their realities are far apart, the fact that they looked alike led to infinite possibilities. In 2023, Han Jun-hee was a 36-year-old woman whose partner, Koo Yeon-jun, had recently passed away in a plane crash. Jun-hee struggled to accept his death, and even after a year of the incident, she could not move on with her life. She was all the more devastated to find out that Yeon-jun intended to propose to her and had planned the perfect surprise for her. 

Things started to get weird in Jun-Hee’s life when she was sent an old picture of two boys and a girl who looked like her. Jun-Hee had no recollection of the picture. After digging on the internet, she found out that the person who owned the record store where the picture was taken owned a cafe in Seoul. After meeting the owner and showing him the picture, Jun-Hee learned that the girl in the picture was his niece, Min-Ju, who had died in 1998. Jun-Hee struggled to understand why she received the text, and strangely enough, she was sent a tape recorder and a cassette from a stranger. While returning home, she decided to listen to the track. As soon as she played the album “Tears,” she was transported to 1998.

Spoiler Alert


What Is The Series About? 

Jun-Hee was shocked when she woke up as Min-ju in a hospital bed in 1998. She was all the more surprised to see a teenage Yeon-jun waiting by the side of the bed. Yeon-jun did not recognize her, and he clarified that he was Si-heon. So, Si-heon did look like Yeon-jun, but they were not the same person. Technically, Yeon-jun was 11 years old in 1998, and we later find out in A Time Called You that he was not really involved in the entire story. When Jun-hee woke up as Min-ju, she tried to connect the dots. She was certain that Si-heon and Yeon-jun were somehow linked, but she could not understand how.

Min-ju was a timid high schooler who was extremely lonely and was mistreated by her classmates and even her own family. But after Jun-hee started to live as Min-ju, everything changed. Jun-hee was an extrovert who excelled in sports and was much better than Min-ju in academics. The sudden change in Min-ju’s personality struck her friends, Si-heon and In-gyu, as odd. In-gyu had a crush on Min-ju; he was also an introvert and could relate to Min-ju’s struggle. Si-heon helped In-gyu befriend Min-ju, but he was unaware of the fact that Min-ju liked him and not his introverted friend. Before Jun-hee took over Min-ju’s body, Min-ju had confessed her romantic feelings for Si-heon, but he rejected her proposal. He did not feel the same way, and moreover, he did not intend to betray his best friend. In-gyu had overheard the conversation, and even though he was heartbroken, he tried to maintain his friendship with both Si-heon and Min-ju.

That night, when Min-ju returned home, her entire family was gone. Min-ju assumed that her mother abandoned her and took her brother with her. In a state of frenzy, she decided to find her mother. While running through the streets in search of a cab, she met with an accident. When she woke up, she was no longer herself since Jun-Hee had entered her body through time travel. The police informed her that she did not have an accident but was hit behind the head with a blunt object. People assumed that after the incident, Min-ju became a completely different person. Si-heon was attracted to the new Min-ju, and after questioning her about the reason behind her sudden shift in behavior, Jun-hee explained how she came from the future and was living in Min-ju’s body.

Initially, Si-heon did not believe her at all, but he gradually started to accept her. Time travel was the only way to explain the significant change in Minju. Jun-hee realized that her purpose in living Min-ju’s life was to find a way to stop her from getting murdered on October 13th, 1998 (as informed in the future by Min-ju’s uncle, the cafe owner). She realized that the person who attacked Min-ju must have been the one who eventually murdered her. She concluded that the person was someone from school since she vaguely remembered a boy in his school uniform attacking her.

Jun-Hee eventually figured out that she could time travel if she listened to the “Tears” album using the tape recorder that she was sent. She assumed that maybe Yeon-jun survived the crash and was trying to send her a message, but even after living as Min-ju, she struggled to draw a connection between Min-ju and Yeon-jun. After days of trying to solve the puzzle, Jun-Hee went back to the cafe for answers, and she finally met Yeon-jun (Si-heon).


Who Had Sent The Tape Recorder To Jun-Hee?

In A Time Called You, we find out that Si-heon suffered from a bus accident in 2002, which left him severely injured and permanently damaged his legs. Si-heon was at the cafe when Jun-hee demanded answers. He returned from the United States in 2002, and after arriving in South Korea, he tried to meet In-gyu in prison. In-gyu had confessed to murdering Min-ju, and he was serving his sentence in prison. Even though In-gyu was proven guilty, Si-heon never lost trust in his friend. After In-gyu refused to meet Si-heon, he got on a bus to return to his hotel. He pulled out the tape recorder that he and In-gyu had gifted to Min-ju and played the cassette that Min-ju had once given him. The bus he was traveling in met with an accident, but the recorder continued to play, and Si-heon was transported to 2007, where he woke up as Yeon-jun. He soon learned that Yeon-jun suffered a car accident while driving with his crush, Tae-ha. Tae-ha did not survive the crash, and even though Yeon-jun survived, Si-heon had started to live in his body. After waking up in Yeon-jun’s body, all Si-heon wanted to do was meet Jun-hee. After Min-ju’s death, he never got to meet Jun-hee, and he wanted to make sure to confess his true feelings for her this time.

Since Si-heon had already heard of Koo Yeon-jun from Han Jun-hee (as Min-ju), he was determined to develop a relationship with Jun-hee since that was how the story was destined to go. Not to forget, Jun-hee was unaware of her connection with Min-ju. Jun-hee initially freaked out when Si-heon (as Yeon-jun) professed his love for her the first time they met. Si-heon remembered Jun-hee (as Min-ju) mentioning how her boyfriend, Yeon-jun, always supported her and never forced her to get into a relationship with him, and his constant presence was what eventually led to the beginning of their relationship. Si-heon did the same, and ultimately, Jun-hee fell in love with him. So, this explains that the guy Jun-hee fell in love with was not Yeon-jun but Si-heon since he was the one living in Yeon-jun’s body. That was how Si-heon and Jun-hee were connected. Si-heon decided to marry Jun-hee, but she left to work in New York. Si-heon (as Yeon-jun) wanted to surprise her in New York, but he died in a plane crash. So, the body of Yeon-jun dies, and Si-heon (his soul) travels back to his body in 2002.

Si-heon was hospitalized and in a coma after the bus accident. After living in Yeon-jun’s body, Si-heon learned from Min-ju’s uncle that Jung In-gyu died a few days after being released from prison. So, after returning to his reality, he decided to make sure that In-gyu survived. But even though he tried to be there for his best friend after his release from prison, In-gyu committed suicide. He took his life at the same spot where Min-ju’s body was found. He could not live with the lie, and losing his grandmother had left him completely shattered. Si-heon traveled to the airport to find the version of himself who was living in Yeon-jun’s body and warn him of the flight crash. Si-heon asked him to take the next flight so that he could continue to live. But Si-heon (as Yeon-jun) decided to take the same flight since, if he had chosen otherwise, it would have led to a completely different chain of events.

Si-heon would not return to his body, which implied that Jun-hee would not receive the tape and cassette and, therefore, would not travel to the past. If she had not traveled to the past, then Si-heon would never have gotten to know Jun-hee in the first place, and the story would have remained incomplete. After returning to his body and waiting until the year 2023, Si-heon made contact with Jun-hee. He knew how devastated she was after the death of Yeon-jun, but he could not reveal himself yet. Si-heon mailed her the tape to help her travel to the past and live her life as Min-ju. That was the only way that they could solve the mystery behind Min-ju’s murder and also change the outcome of the future. Jun-hee (as Min-ju) could prevent the murder, and if the murder did not take place, then In-gyu would also lead a normal life. It was important for Jun-hee to time travel since she was the only one who could change the course of events.


Did Oh Chang-Hui murder Min-Ju?

Jun-hee and Si-heon decided to gather as much information as they could about the double murder that took place in 1998. Si-heon went to the school where they studied, while Jun-hee conducted a thorough search on the internet. Si-heon spoke to his school teacher and found out that after the murder of Byeon Da-hyeon and Min-ju, a student, Oh Chan-hui, dropped out of the school and was admitted to a psychiatric facility. What struck Si-heon as odd was that O Chan-hui’s brother was Oh Chan-yeong, his best friend from college (when he lived in Yeon-jun’s body). We eventually find out in A Time Called You, that even though O Chan-hui was the one sent to the psychiatric facility, his brother was the pervert. O Chan-yeong had a strange fascination with killing and preserving everything that he found beautiful. When he saw Min-ju’s pictures on his brother’s desk, he took an interest in her. Chan-hui was not vicious like his brother and tried to instill a sense in him, but it proved ineffective.

When Si-heon was traveling back to Jun-hee’s apartment from the school archives, Chan-yeong paid Jun-hee a visit. He had become a trusting friend of Jun-hee’s after Yeon-jun’s death, and she explained the entire time-travel story to him in detail. Chan-yeong recognized Min-ju from the pictures on the websites Jun-hee was browsing. When Jun-hee was busy in the kitchen, he plugged in the earphones and listened to the tape. Since Chan-yeong looked exactly like his brother, he was transported to the past (1998) and into his brother’s body. Chan-Yeong, as Chan-hui, forced himself on Min-ju and attacked her with a blunt object, but before he could kill her, Jun-Hee in 2023 interrupted him, and he returned to reality. He immediately choked Jun-hee and expressed how disappointed he was when he found out that Jun-hee was not Min-ju from the pictures he had seen years ago. Chan-yeong hid in a room when he heard the main door open.

Si-heon immediately called the ambulance when he saw Jun-hee lying on the floor. Chan-yeong walked out of the room and pretended to be innocent, but he got caught up in his lies. As soon as he realized there was no point in lying to Si-heon, he attacked him with a knife and stabbed him to death. Chan-yeong fled from the scene, but Jun-hee regained her senses. She realized that she was, in a way, responsible for the murder of Min-ju since she was the one who had shown Chan-yeong the technique of time travel, and he used the power to commit the murders. Chan-yeong had stolen the recorder before fleeing the scene, and he used it to travel back in time and live Chan-hui’s life. When Chan-yeong was arrested by the police, he was found listening to the recorder. During his arrest, he broke the recorder to make it impossible for Jun-hee to time travel and fix the past. The police handed Jun-hee the tape recorder, and she somehow managed to get it fixed and travel back to 1998.


Why did Min-Ju want to end her life?

Surprisingly, when Jun-hee traveled to the past to rescue Min-ju from Chan-yeong, she was not the one in control. Instead, Min-ju had taken over, and Jun-hee was trapped in a dormant state where she could only watch whatever was unfolding in Min-ju’s life. For days, Min-ju watched Jun-hee take over her life, and she was envious of the attention Jun-hee received from everyone around her. She waited patiently to take back her life, and she finally had the chance to do so. She decided to emulate Jun-hee so that she, too, could experience the love that Jun-hee (as Min-ju) received. Min-ju tried her best to act cheerful and enthusiastic, but it did not take much time for people to point out that she had once again changed. While she did not care about the rest, the sudden shift in Si-heon’s behavior affected her. Min-ju had waited for days to feel his affection and to hold him close, but he started to move away from her. Si-heon was the only one who believed in Jun-hee’s time travel story, and he was convinced that Jun-hee was no longer living in Min-ju’s body. When he demanded to know the truth, Min-ju lied to him, stating that the entire Jun-hee story was fake, something that she made up to get close to him. Min-ju wanted Si-heon to suffer like she did.

At the end of A Time Called You, we find out that Min-ju was the one who wrote that Si-heon was Yeon-jun in her diary so that Jun-hee would travel back in time and make her life better. Min-ju realized that she could never be like Jun-hee, and she was, in a way, thankful to the woman from the future for making her famous for a few days. She wanted to be remembered as a popular, smart kid in school and not the shy, introverted girl that she was. Min-ju had learned from Jun-hee that she would die on October 13th, 1998. She had already given up hope in life and wanted to commit suicide, but she realized that by doing so, she would forever be known as the pitiful Min-ju, but if she were murdered, no one would ever forget her.

Since Jun-hee had warned Min-ju to steer clear of Chan-hui, she already knew who her murderer was. Min-ju walked into an abandoned building with Chan-hui (Chan-yeong was controlling his body). Chan-yeong (as Chan-hui) showed Min-ju the injection that would kill her, and she readily accepted her fate. Chan-yeong was just about to inject the chemical into her body when suddenly he was forced to leave his brother’s body. We learn that when Chan-yeong was about to murder Min-ju, the police arrested him in his reality, and he was transported to 2023. The moment Chan-hui saw the needle in his hands, he freaked out and ran away from the scene. Min-ju decided to end her own life, and she picked up a piece of glass lying on the floor. In-gyu arrived at the scene and tried to reason with Min-ju, but she was not ready to listen to anyone. She was tired of living a sad life where no one liked her for who she was. Min-ju jumped off the building and died on the spot. In-gyu knew that Min-ju desperately wanted to be remembered, so he took the blame for her death and turned it into a murder case.


Did Jun-Hee change Min-Ju’s fate?

For the first time, Jun-hee realized how Min-ju had to suffer all her life. But Jun-hee was not ready to accept this ending. She begged Si-heon to give her another chance to travel back in time, and magically, during the ending of A Time Called You, that did happen. Just when Min-ju was jumping off the building, Jun-hee entered her body. She grabbed hold of In-gyu’s hand and saved Min-ju’s life. She bid her final goodbyes to everyone she met as Min-ju, and she handed the tape recorder to In-gyu, asking him to destroy it completely. Jun-hee realized that time travel had caused more harm than good. Even if destroying the recorder and cassette meant that she would never get to meet Si-heon, she accepted it. That was the only way she could make sure that Min-ju’s life was not affected in any way. She talked to Min-ju through the mirror and advised her to prioritize herself and not have unrealistic expectations from the people around her. This advice acted like magic in Min-ju’s life later on.

Jun-hee (as Min-ju) spent her last moments with Si-heon at the beach, and when the recorder was destroyed, every memory they made was erased from time and space. Min-ju woke up in the hospital bed once again, but this time as herself, and she was told that she had suffered an accident. Because the tape recorder was destroyed, Chan-yeong never got the chance to commit the crimes that he had previously committed through time travel. Min-ju’s life was back to normal, and she learned to be more kind to herself. She also realized that In-gyu was there by her side through thick and thin, and that was the kind of support that she needed in life.


Did Si-Heon And Jun-Hee Cross Paths In The End?

In A Time Called You’s ending, we find out that Si-heon and Jun-hee remained strangers, or so it seemed. Si-heon ended up starting a webcomic company. On his bus ride home, he came across Jun-hee. The song that connected all their timelines was playing on the bus stereo, and Jun-hee knew the lyrics to it. When Jun-hee got off the bus, Si-heon followed her. He did not know what was pulling him towards her, but he realized that there was some unexplainable connection between them that he could not afford to let go of. The two stood in the middle of the road, facing each other, indicating the possible future that they had together. They did not remember their past, yet they experienced a myriad of emotions. Destiny had brought them together, proving that no matter what choices they made in life, they would end up with each other.


Subscribe
Notify of
guest

8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

Must Read

DMT Guide

More Like This