‘Sweet Home’ Season 1 Ending Explained & K-Drama Summary: Has Ui-myeong Possessed Sang-wook’s Body?

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Late to the party, but I’ve finally managed to watch the South Korean hit drama Sweet Home, which became a massive hit among fans during the lockdown. The K-drama had an uncanny resemblance to the reality that we witnessed in late 2020, with a rabid pandemic giving us serious nightmares. And at the risk of sounding obvious, Sweet Home’s depiction of people living in isolation without a proper supply of essentials reminded me of everything we went through during those times. Nevertheless, the major conflict in the series revolves around an unidentified virus that is turning people into violent monsters, and only a few are able to resist. One such special individual is Cha Hyun-Su, who is the main protagonist of the series and whose storyline will be carried forward to the second and third seasons of Sweet Home, which will be out on Netflix soon. As the second season is about to be released, let’s look back at the events of the first season through our detailed recap and ending analysis.

Spoiler Alert


Meet Cha Hyun-Su

Sweet Home Season 1 begins in August 2020, with Hyun-Su arriving at Green Home apartments with a sad and gloomy look on his face. It is later revealed that Hyun-Su had lost his entire family, i.e., father, mother, and sister, in a car accident where a driver lost control of the vehicle due to an unknown infection. In the present timeline, Hyun-Su decides to leave his family house and rents room No. 1410 with the intention of jumping off the building and ending his life. Through a flashback, we find out that Hyun-Su was bullied in school, because of which the kid lost his will to live. Neither his family nor his friends were able to help him, and what was worse was that he never really found out why he was being bullied. To make matters worse, he once decided to stand up for another victim, a friend, Park Ju-yeong, whose mother was in the hospital. However, Ju-yeong ended up blaming Hyun-Su for his mother’s death, after which Hyun-Su decided not to interfere in people’s affairs anymore and isolated himself from society forever. He spent most of his time playing video games and had also joined the community as a gaming tester.

As Hyun-Su steps into his new apartment, the watchman of the building suffers from an abnormal nosebleed that suggests the spread of an unidentified virus in the environment. Later, the watchman starts acting strangely, along with a few other members of the Green Home building. The same night, Hyun-Su witnesses his neighbor turn into a monster and eat her own cat, which shocks Hyun-Su to the core, who quickly locks himself in the room. As the show progresses, we find out that it is not an airborne infection or a contagious disease, but people are falling prey to their desires and turning into monsters. Their monster avatar is a manifestation of their selfishness, i.e., they turn into things they desire the most and for which they are going to cross all boundaries.


Green Home Survival Group

Sweet Home quickly establishes the fact that the unknown virus had taken over the entire country, probably the entire world, though it is hard to confirm. The ones who are not infected are killed by the monsters in their vicinity, thereby slowly pushing humanity towards mass extinction. The people of the Green Home community, on the other hand, have closed down all the shutters to protect themselves from the monsters outside. However, the ones locked inside the building are still hunting them down, and therefore, they need to assemble on the ground floor to plan a strategy to “survive,” as they still haven’t figured out a way to kill these monsters. In the midst of such chaos, Hyun-Su comes across an amputated military official, Han Du-sik, who forges some lethal weapons to fight back. With some means of resistance, a Korean language teacher, Jung Jae-heon, a guitarist, Yoon Ji-su, and Hyun-Su finally regroup with the survivors of the building to plan the next step.

Lee Eun-hyuk, the cold and calculative leader of the survival group, finds out that Hyun-Su is infected but is able to resist monsterization as the young boy has no desire at all. He wanted to kill himself in the first place, unlike others, who still harbored selfish desires even in the midst of an apocalypse. Eun-hyuk uses Hyun-Su’s super-strength and self-healing powers to gather resources so that the community can survive the odds as long as it could.


The Hunt for Special Infectees

Seo Yi-kyung has been one of the most memorable characters in the series. In Sweet Home Season 1, she finds out that her fiance, Nam Sang-won, a chief physician, was infected by the unknown virus before the outbreak. He had written a blog about the same, calling the disease “crucru,” or a curse on humanity. In his medical report, Sang-won mentions that any person or subject who can resist the monsterization for 15 days will enter a stable period and become a special infectee who may have the ability to control their transformation at will. However, Sang-won could only fight back against the phenomenon for 10 days, after which he probably turned into a monster whose whereabouts were known only to the military. The military had also found Sang-won’s medical reports that informed them about the special cases that could be the key to developing a vaccine.

After the outbreak, the Korean prime minister got infected too, and martial law was imposed on the entire country. The military started developing a special branch to research special infectees so that they could quickly create an antidote. In the present time, Seo Yi-kyung visits her fiance’s office to gather more information about his ominous blog post, where she is finally arrested by the military. In exchange for her own freedom, Seo Yi-kyung informs them about Hyun-Su, a special infectee who has been able to resist the monsterization for more than 15 days. The military, which is eager to conduct an experiment on Hyun-Su, offers a deal to Yi-kyung. They give a tracker to Yi-kyung, which will help them find Hyun-Su in exchange for Sang-won’s location. Yes, the man is still alive somewhere, maybe in a monstrous form, and we might see in Sweet Home Season 2 if the military keeps their end of the bargain.


The bandit arrives

In the penultimate episode of Sweet Home Season 1, a group of mercenaries arrive at the Green Home apartment and are carrying a mysterious suitcase that they probably stole from the military. As soon as the leader of the pack, Shin Jung-seop, finds out about Hyun-Su and his special powers, he tries to bully Hyun-Su and treats him like a guinea pig. However, at this juncture, we find out about a “hound” hiding among the wolves, who is none other than Ui-myeong. To give a little bit of background, Ui-myeong is the first known special infected person that the Korean military came across. They quickly gathered a team to start experimenting on the subject in order to find out the probable cause of the infection and create an antidote for it. However, while going through a tremendous amount of pain, Ui-myeong realized that there isn’t any cure for the phenomenon, as it is not a disease but an evolution. In the post-apocalyptic world, he represents the new breed of survivors who will walk on the face of the earth along with other monsters. As for normal humans, their time of extinction has finally arrived, and there is no help coming for them.

Ui-myeong met Jung-seop when his gang raided an isolated church and joined him, only to find more infected people like him. When he comes across Hyun-Su, he kills Ui-myeong in front of him so as to gain the boy’s trust so that he can convince Hyun-Su to join the hunt. However, Hyun-Su quickly recognizes Ui-myeong’s real face, who has been manipulating him since the beginning. Hyun-Su unleashes his true powers and transforms one of his arms into a piercing eagle-like wing. Anyone who has played Activision’s “Prototype” video game may find a resemblance to this kind of special transformation in the series’ main character.


The Military Raids The Green Home

In the final battle, Hyun-Su not only burns Ui-myeong’s body with his burning feathers but also kills his first friend in the building, i.e., Du-sik. The old man had found out that he was infected and that his days were numbered, which is why he sacrificed his own life so that Hyun-Su could come back to his senses. However, in the midst of such chaos, one of the survivors pushes the military tracking signal that reveals their location to them. They quickly arrive outside Green Home apartments and order the survivors to hand over the special infected individual, Hyun-Su, to them. In return, the military will move them to safe camps, where they will have an abundant supply of food and water. Yi-kyung, Eun-hyuk, and other important members of the group decide not to betray their friend and therefore leave the building through a hidden underground chamber. But Hyun-Su realizes that he needs to make a sacrifice for the safety of his new-found family and therefore walks out of the building and surrenders to the military.

In the meantime, we find out that Ui-myeong is not yet dead. He has the power to transform himself into a liquid form and can enter any human body so as to use it as a vessel. At the end of Sweet Home Season 1, Ui-myeong possesses the body of Pyeon Sang-wook, who has been the most mysterious character since the beginning. The end sequence of the series reveals that Ui-myeong in Sang-wook’s body has hijacked the military vehicle that is carrying Hyun-Su, which suggests that his obsession with Hyun-Su has come to an end, and he will probably blackmail Hyun-Su in the next season to join his side so that they can together kill the surviving humans and rule the post-apocalyptic world.

The other survivors, on the other hand, find a way out of the underground tunnel only to find themselves surrounded by the military. Before the men with guns kill more innocent survivors, Yi-kyung intervenes and makes a deal with the military woman. The military sends the remaining survivors to the military camps while Yi-kyung embarks on a journey of her own, probably to track down her fiancé and find out what exactly happened to him so that she can get closure for the same.


What Can We Expect Next?

As the trailer for Sweet Home Season 2 suggests, some important characters from the first season are going to make an appearance in the next season. Eun-hyuk’s adoptive sister, Lee Eun-yoo, is one of them. She developed a soft spot for Hyun-Su in the first season, and it’s possible that their romantic arc will develop further in the next one. Except for these major characters, Ji-su can make an appearance too, though we are not sure about it. Ui-myeong in Sang-wook’s body is going to be the antagonist of the second season, along with a military head who will go to any extreme to capture Hyun-Su and bring him to the military lab to experiment on him. Yi-kyung may act as the savior of the lot and will have an important role to play in the entire scheme of things. However, it is Hyun-Su on whom the fate of humanity depends, and it is his decision that will either save the world or end it forever.


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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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