‘The Atypical Family’ Ending Explained & Finale Recap: Is Gwi-Ju Dead Or Alive?


I’ve got to admit that The Atypical Family‘s ending episode is quite a healing escape. Despite the high-stakes situation, I found the episode quite soothing, and we get to see both Gwi-Ju and Da-Hae’s families enjoying themselves for once rather than being at each other’s throats or worse. The show tells the story of a family with superpowers that have lost their special powers thanks to the problems of modern life—the collateral damage of living in the present world, I suppose. One day, a woman enters their lives and changes them for the better. For Da-Hae, too, this is a unique experience, one that makes her realize that life isn’t what she thought it was supposed to be. The series takes us on a rollercoaster of a journey that delivers many emotional blows. However, the final episode might be the most poignant of them all, at least in moments, while still also being the most joyful of the lot. So, I won’t waste any more time expressing my appreciation for The Atypical Family and will dive straight into its final episode.

Spoiler Alert

Who Starts the Fire at the Dance Event? 

The Atypical Family‘s final episode begins with Gwi-Ju getting the wound on his neck examined. The pharmacist tells him that the wound could fade within a day, or it may take up to a week. This means that his days are numbered. When he gets out of the pharmacy, Da-Hae is waiting for him in the rain with an umbrella. It seems his mom saw a dream of him leaving the pharmacy while it was pouring, so Da-Hae told her that meant they’d have a date in the rain. At school, In-Ha asks Hae-Rim to join the dance group again because they couldn’t win the competition without her. In the meantime, Grace introduces her uncle to Dong-Hee, who thinks it’s for him to be a potential partner, but it’s actually for him to be another instructor at a gym. However, sparks fly immediately (no, Grace deserves Dong-Hee’s love; come on!). Ji-Han overhears the conversation and promises himself that he’s going to ruin all their lives. He tries to threaten Dong-Hee with the video he took of her flying, but she knows it’s not going to work and ignores him. 

In the meantime, things are great at home, and everyone is getting along really well; however, Da-Hae notices Gwi-Ju’s only wearing turtlenecks and takes a peek at his neck when he’s sleeping. She notices the mark and immediately realizes what this means; however, Gwi-Ju tells her to keep it a secret from the rest of the family just until In-Ha’s competition is done. In the meantime, his mom has a dream of Dong-Hee flying at the dance competition in front of a crowd without worry, but instead of shying away from the competition, Dong-Hee decides to go anyway. The next day, Gwi-Ju asks one of his ex-colleagues to find some documents regarding the fire back in Da-Hae’s school. The man calls him up when he’s about to go to see In-Ha perform, so he takes a detour. In-Ha notices Da-Hae is alone and wonders if her father’s already left them for good, but Da-Hae reassures her that that’s not the case. Though Gwi-Ju makes it to the competition after we see both Da-Hae’s and his family show up with excitement and fervor to cheer on the young girl, Dong-Hee leaves the auditorium for a bit. 

It turns out Ji-Han wants to propose to her properly, and he regrets ever breaking her heart. I’m not sure if it’s desperation for money or if he actually thought she’d forgive him after all this time, but he calls her to one of the green rooms after decorating it thoroughly with candles, flower petals, and all. Dong-Hee is not impressed, and when the man gets on his knees and tries to hold onto Dong-Hee, she tries to kick him off. He then threatens to light the whole place on fire, all while In-Ha kills it on stage after her little boyfriend calms her nerves by taking off her glasses and telling her to look only at him and no one else (they’re cute). Gwi-Ju is a super proud father, but the moment’s cut short when Da-Hae realizes that the outfit Gwi-Ju is wearing is the same one he wore when he told her that In-Ha was locked up in the gym. This makes her realize that the moment of his death is today, and they both share a poignant moment before he goes to the past to tell her about the gym. In that moment in the past, we see Gwi-Ju tell Da-Hae to look after In-Ha well. 

On the other hand, Mrs. Bok realizes that the auditorium is going to be on fire, like her vision said, and Mr. Bok turns on the fire alarms. Ji-Han pretends that he’s going to light everything on fire by throwing some oil out in the room; however, Dong-Hee knows he’s not capable of doing such a thing because he’s quite the coward. She says that’s what she liked about him, but now they’re over for good. Ji-Han attempts to clean up the mess he’s made, but that’s when the room catches fire thanks to his candles. The Bok family tries to evacuate the auditorium; however, In-Ha and Hae-Rim are stuck behind the fire shutter. Gwi-Ju returns to the chaos and saves Hae-Rim. In the meantime, Da-Hae has been running through the place to find In-Ha. When she does find her, the fire is much worse, and a massive chunk of a broken wall is about to collapse on them, but Gwi-Ju holds the wall up for the girls to escape. 

What Happens in the School Fire? 

Gwi-Ju tells Da-Hae to escape with an unconscious In-Ha, letting her know that this is the moment for him to go back to save her. She cries profoundly, telling him not to go, but he yells at her to leave through the door. On the other hand, Dong-Hee flies up in the auditorium on her own accord to pull down a massive curtain that’s stuck because of the fire. Gwi-Ju goes back to the moment In-Ha was born when the wall collapsed completely. When he opens the door of the ward this time, the whole place becomes colored, meaning that he can be seen by everybody. Just before leaving the room, he also shares a sad moment with his dead wife, who seems to look at him. Maybe she’s just looking off into the distance, or maybe she can actually see him, knowing that he will come back to that happy moment in the future. Gwi-Ju runs out and makes it to Da-Hae’s school. He sees his old friend, who died in that fire, and calls out to him; this time, he’s able to turn back and look at Gwi-Ju. Gwi-Ju is crying hard, but he simply smiles through the tears at his old friend, who then walks into his death. Gwi-Ju then picks up some equipment and enters the fire himself. He knows exactly where to find Da-Hae and doesn’t waste any time. When he finds her, he tells Da-Hae that everything is going to be alright, and he figured out how to get her out of the place. When he notices an inflatable rescue mat, he decides to take Da-Hae to jump on it. 

Gwi-Ju tells Da-Hae that despite things looking rough for her, she must pull through, because every moment that she thought she was alone, he was beside her. Additionally, he tells her that she has family waiting for her in the future, so it’s only a matter of time before she meets them. He then hands her the ring, just as promised in the future, telling her to hold onto it until the moment’s right. Gwi-Ju tells Da-Hae she’s never alone and then gently lets her out of the window as he disappears into the fire. 

In the present timeline, Ji-Han gets arrested for the fire situation. On the other hand, Dong-Hee and Da-Hae’s uncle are a proper couple now, and Grace is super jealous that she doesn’t get free air rides from Dong-Hee. It’s now five years into the future, and there’s a little boy named Nu-Ri playing with Da-Hae, his mom. Nobody was harmed back at the competition, but Gwi-Ju has been missing ever since. But, hey, the two families are now besties. In-Ha is all grown up and returning home from boarding school. 

In The Atypical Family‘s ending, Da-Hae asks her son where she found the ball that he lost the previous day. He tells her that he got it yesterday, meaning that he can travel back to the past and bring things back with him. Da-Hae then has a sudden idea, asking her son if he can go back to 5 years ago and bring back his father. She’s not sure if it’s five years ago or 18 years ago at this point, and Nu-Ri continues to play after thinking about it for just a few seconds. Da-Hae then puts the photograph of Gwi-Ju back and tells her son that she’ll be back in a few moments. When she turned around to leave the room, she noticed an odd feeling. Even Mrs. Bok told her to lay extra cutlery on the table. When she turns around, Gwi-Ju is standing right behind her, holding their son’s hand. Nu-Ri was able to fulfill Da-Hae’s wish and bring back his father to the future. Now, it makes sense that Gwi-Ju was missing rather than found dead in that timeline. Now, of course, we don’t know the extent of the kid’s powers, but apparently, he can even bring back that which is unknown to him, so yay, Nu-Ri. 

The Atypical Family ends with a happy ending, with Gwi-Ju reunited with his family. He always told Da-Hae that “this is only the beginning,” and I suppose that’s true since now they’ll finally be able to be together for real as a happy and thriving family. I’m not quite sure how there were two of those rings when Gwi-Ju gave the one he had to Da-Hae, but hey, it’s a fictional show, so let’s not dig deep into the details. At the end of the day, we got a really cute K-drama with Jang Ki-Young and Chun Woo-Hee.

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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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