‘The Atypical Family’ Episode 1 Recap & Ending Explained: Is Da-Hee The Bok Family Savior?


Jang Ki-Young’s first role after his military service is that of a depressed man who used to have the power to go back in time; however, he’s now lost it all thanks to “modern-day living.” What does this mean, you wonder? Well, apparently, having depression or any kind of modern-day psychological condition leads to collateral damage, i.e., losing one’s powers. The Atypical Family tells the story of the Bok family, who have had special powers for as long as they can remember. However, after the younger son’s wife dies in an accident, the family loses all their powers. A few years later, the Bok family meets Do Da-Hae. They think she’s their savior; however, she has her own plans brewing. The Atypical Family stars is a fantasy drama that is, at the moment, not very intriguing. However, I’m willing to give it a couple more episodes to see what it’s really about.

Spoiler Alert

How did Da-Hae Save Gwi-Ju? 

The Atypical Family episode 1 begins with the Bok family gathering at the top of a cliff and the matriarch of the family telling them that it’s time to give up their lives and go back to the past, where they had it better. Where they had their superpowers. Gwi-Ju ends up missing from the scene when the woman tries to jump off the cliff a couple of times before giving up. However, to the family’s shock, Gwi-Ju is in the water by the time they realize he’s missing. However, a woman saves Gwi-Ju from the high tide while the family comes down to see what’s happened. When Gwi-Ju is conscious again, thanks to the CPR performed by this woman, he thinks she’s his dead wife and gives him a tight hug. She’s, of course, not Se-Yeon, and he eventually faints again. Gwi-Ju also has an adolescent daughter who saw him commit suicide or almost drown. But nobody knows just yet. 

Later, Da-Hae, who is a rookie at a massage center, offers to give a cantankerous old woman a massage when nobody wants to do it. It turns out this client is Gwi-Ju’s mother. Da-Hae gives her special herbal tea to help with her insomnia, and Bok Man-Heum actually ends up falling asleep for once. She’s impressed and invites Da-Hae home for a personal session. She also recognizes Da-Hae from the beach day and is extra happy to see that it is she who could help her sleep. 

At the house, Da-Hae notices some interesting decor and also the fact that it is a massive place. Mrs. Bok takes her in, and Da-Hae offers her a cup of tea before getting started. When she heads to the kitchen, Gwi-Ju is there, trying to open a wine bottle with a pair of scissors. It’s obviously not working for him, and she offers to help, but he makes a big mess in the room and decides to leave instead, throwing a tantrum like a little child. Da-Hae tells him that leaving the bottle that way could be dangerous, but he doesn’t seem to care about any of it. Finally, when they’re both near the bottle, she pushes it to the floor on purpose, unbeknownst to him, of course. She pretends to clean up the mess and stops Gwi-Ju from stepping on any of the glass when Mrs. Bok arrives in the room. Gwi-Ju is unimpressed, but Mrs. Bok is taken aback by Da-Hae’s kindness. 

Da-Hae then pours something into the cup of tea she’s preparing for Mrs. Bok, and when her husband, Mr. Bok, comes home, he’s shocked to see her fast asleep. Da-Hae then returns to a shady sauna and asks her mother for food. We also learn that she’s been divorced twice, once because her husband was cheating and again because he abused her while drinking. Her mother tells her to eat ramyeon because she’s got too many clients at the sauna. It seems Da-Hae has a trauma related to fire because she’s really afraid of the flame of the stove. Ultimately, she ends up eating the ramyeon raw. 

What Is Da-Hae Really Doing? 

The Bok family runs a gym, and a new gym instructor hopes to join the team. Gwi-Ju doesn’t even bother reading her resume and just tells her she can start the next day. His older sister, Dong-Hee, though, wants to know more about this woman named Grace. Dong-Hee’s overweight and she’s kicked out of the clinic she works at because it’s a liposuction clinic, and clients who have a look at her feel like it doesn’t work because she looks the way she does. 

On the other hand, Mrs. Bok invites Da-Hae home for Gwi-Ju’s daughter In-A’s birthday celebration. In-A is quiet and a recluse who doesn’t even come down to acknowledge it’s her birthday. However, her grandma wants to use this opportunity to set her father up. Gwi-Ju and Dong-Hee make it clear that they don’t want Da-Hae anywhere near their family, but Mrs. Bok is really keen. Also, there’s no hiding the fact that Da-Hae has literally been called over to be set up, and nobody seems to actually care. However, inside the house, they have a massive fight, and Gwi-Ju reminds Mrs. Bok that it’s In-A’s birthday, and she’s trying to replace her mother on that day. Da-Hae hears all of this, but so does In-A. Mrs. Bok even says that she had warned Gwi-Ju not to marry that woman, and she knew their family would be doomed if he did, but he still did. That makes it seem like In-A is a mistake. 

Mrs. Bok feels sick, and it starts to rain profusely. Mr. Bok and Dong-Hee decide to take her to the hospital, but Mr. Bok asks Da-Hae to turn off the Seawood soup (a Korean birthday tradition) he’d left on the stove. Da-Hae tries to use tweezers to turn off the flame, but she’s too afraid, and finally, In-A ends up doing it. Da-Hae gives In-A some food, but she’s reluctant at first because she sees her put something in her grandma’s tea. Da-Hae ends up eating a meal with In-A.

At the columbarium, Gwi-Ju ends up meeting his in-laws. His mother-in-law, Gwi-Ju, survived that accident without a scratch. We learn later that he had gone back into the past to save somebody. His power allowed him to do that, but it seems his wife didn’t like it very much and tried to do a suicide mission with their daughter. We’ll obviously find out more about this in later episodes. When Gwi-Ju returns home, he’s surprised to hear that In-A actually ate a full meal. Da-Hae tells him something about how he was trying to help somebody and didn’t actually try to kill himself, so he’s also a savior of sorts. Gwi-Ju clearly tells her he can’t save her, but we’ll get to that in a bit. 

When Da-Hae returns home, we see that the gym instructor woman is actually her sister, and basically, this family puts on acts to mooch off of gullible rich men. Da-Hae decided to prey on the Bok family, but her family obviously didn’t believe anything about the magic. Of course, it’s a delusion the Bok family is living in together. 

At the end of The Atypical Family episode 1, Gwi-Ju gifts his daughter a toy bunny. In-A has way too many bunnies in her drawer now, and this leads to a flashback of when his wife died. Gwi-Ju had given In-A a similar bunny that day in the car and told her that the bunny would save her if anything were to go wrong. He then disappeared from the car until the car crashed. We see that his wife wanted to crash the car and noticed her daughter had some sort of blue glint in her eye. Which I’m assuming means In-A has some sort of power too. 

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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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