‘Frankly Speaking’ Ending Explained & Finale Recap: What Happens To Ki-Baek And Woo-Joo?

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Netflix original Frankly Speaking has finally come to an end after 12 fun and occasionally tedious episodes. The show, starring Ko Kyoung-Pyo and Kang Han-Na in leading roles, tells the story of a dejected announcer who suddenly develops a case of compulsive truth-telling. It’s a show that depicts the feeling of being oppressed by compulsion and turning into someone you’re not because of societal pressure. The message of the series is lovely, especially with some cultural context for a country that thrives on work pressure; however, the delivery is a bit lacking. Especially towards the last couple of episodes, the show attempts to add a lot of unnecessary plot points to give us shocking revelations when they’re completely not required. Technically, Frankly Speaking is meant to be a healing show, but in the end, it tries to give us major shock treatment, completely detracting from that healing feeling. Anyway, with all that said, let’s see if Ki-Baek and Woo-Joo get a happy ending in Frankly Speaking.

Spoiler Alert


Does Ki-Baek’s mom survive the accident?

Episode 11 is all about how the four boys of the Song family deal with the car accident and Ki-Baek’s mom in the hospital. We see how tirelessly she’s worked for the family all these years and how Ki-Baek has always wanted to do good by her. Ever since he became friends with Woo-Joo, with Ki-Baek’s changed demeanor, he was able to show his mother some of his love by offering her help and agreeing to go to a gathering of elderly women because he’s now famous, and it would help his mom sell some products. In the present day, Ki-Baek puts on a brave face for his family. His younger brothers rely on him to be strong for them both. In the meantime, his dad struggles with his own insecurities and figures he’s to blame for the situation. In the meantime, Ki-Baek meets the good doctor who helped him with his speaking frankly issue. He reveals to the doctor that he can now tell lies, and it seems the situation has set things in motion. 

When Ki-Baek was forced to speak the truth all the time, it came from his holding all his feelings inside. Now, Ki-Baek is able to lie again because of how sincere he is about his family and how much he cares for them. The whole situation has basically allowed Ki-Baek to go back to normal. So, when Woo-Joo wonders if he’s doing okay, Ki-Baek simply smiles and tells her he’s doing fine. At home, Ki-Baek tells his brothers to get their acts together so that they can make money. He too tries to get as much work as possible and asks for an advance to help out with his mom’s bills. On the other hand, Jeong-Heon runs away to his hometown and volunteers at a hospital for the elderly. It’s then revealed that Jeong-Heon’s father is a patient there, and though Jeong-Heon worked hard to make his family proud, there’s nobody around to actually see his success. So it seems like it was all for nothing. This is probably why he feels so empty on the inside. 

In the meantime, Ki-Baek’s father gives his mother’s inventory to a man who offers to sell it for him. It’s obviously a shady operation, and soon, he stops picking up Ki-Baek’s father’s calls. We then learn that when Ki-Baek was in high school, his father started a business that failed, leaving the family broke. Ki-Baek wanted to be selfish at the time and told off his father for ruining their lives. He was always a good student, and he had to transfer schools at the most important time of his life. Ki-Baek’s father tried to explain himself, but while Ki-Baek ran across the street, his father got hit by a car, leaving him burdened by the fact that his father almost died because of him. In the present day, Ki-Baek and his brothers show up at the warehouse with his father, and Ki-Baek tells his father not to do anything to mess things up further. His brothers yell at him for being a terrible brother and considering the family a burden, but before the argument can actually go somewhere, the sellers show up. Frankly Speaking then becomes an action drama, because the father beats up the con artists and ends up saving the day. The police also arrive, and everyone hides until the goons are picked up. Finally, Ki-Baek bursts into tears, seeing how his family protected him from getting shamed. They have a sweet moment where Ki-Baek and his father finally apologize for being terrible to each other. They’ve only been smiling through the pain this whole time. 


Does Ki-Baek Get His Happy Ending? 

Frankly Speaking episode 12 begins with news of Ki-Baek’s mom returning to full health. As it is the final episode, we have to get answers for all the little plotholes in the show. Woo-Joo also finally speaks to her biological mother and tells her that she’s doing well and will continue to do so, so she doesn’t have to worry and she should live a happy life, too. At work, she gets started on a new project, and her old rookie writers want to join her, but she learns that they’re doing small errands to make petty cash so they can be by her side, so she fires them. However, it’s later revealed that her friends, the director of “Couple’s Paradise” and the main writer, have both quit the show to work with Woo-Joo on her new project instead (all’s well that ends well, no?). 

In the meantime, Ki-Baek gets offered a role to host a news show, but it’s more of a casual thing. He agrees to do it because he has finally realized that nothing is really beneath him; everything is work, and he’s going to be happy doing it, which is the most important thing. Jeong-Heon returns home and removes all the locks from his house. The room that was hidden is actually an empty room, so basically, he was afraid to show people that he has nothing to hide. He then goes off on a trip after making the decision to put it out there that he suffers from panic disorder and anxiety, something many Korean celebrities face. Ki-Baek goes to the event his mother had asked him to join before the accident, and everyone is thrilled to see him. Un-Baek and the director’s son become close, and he gives his blessings to Un-Baek. 

Frankly Speaking ends with an adorable little play put up in the kid’s school. It’s Ki-Baek and Woo-Joo’s story retold in the form of a friendship between a lion who fakes having a fancy mane until one day it falls off in front of people, and the rabbit helps him realize that he’s great as he is, without the mane. The great revelation of Frankly Speaking is that nobody should hide their true feelings, and people should always lean on each other to feel better. Hiding your true feelings is most harmful to oneself, and that’s what Ki-Baek and Woo-Joo learned from being together. Woo-Joo means universe, and Ki-Baek finally proposes to Woo-Joo at the end of the show with a ring that reads “My Universe” on the outside, asking her to be his vast universe for a long time. So, yes, Ki-Baek and Woo-Joo get their happy ending, and so does everybody else on the show. 


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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