JTBC’s “Mystic Pop Up Bar” has finished its run, it aired its final episode (episode 12) tonight. I am here to recap the final episode of “Mystic Pop Up Bar” and share my thoughts on the ending.
Note: this recap will contain the highlights of the 12th episode of “Mystic Pop Up Bar.” Heavy spoilers.
When Manager Gwi finds out that Kim Won Hyung wasn’t captured, he rushes back to the living realm to rescue his wife and son.
After Kang Bae gets hit by Kim Won Hyung, something awakens within him and the sacred tree bad luck consumes him, he kicks out Kim Won Hyung from his father’s body before passing out.
Later, Weolju realizes that he was her son all along; she also tells Manager Gwi that Kang Bae has their son’s spirit revealing the secret she’s been hiding from him.
The next day, Weolju checks up on Kang Bae before he leaves to work. While he’s on his way, he begins to have flashbacks of his previous life and the moments leading up to Weolju’s suicide. Kang Bae’s condition also worsens and now meeting eyes with anyone is enough to make them spill their secrets to him.
Weolju and Manager Gwi attempt to find a soul to settle their grudge but they fail miserably. When they return to the bar, Kang bae is there surrounded by people who are spilling their secrets. Kang Bae’s body temperature rises, and he leaves home to rest.
Later, Weolju and Manager Gwi visit Yeombujang to check up on him. After finding out they failed to find their final soul to settle their grudge, he offers to be that person. He wants them to bring his son before him so he can beg for forgiveness; he thinks his son is taking revenge because he failed to pay attention to him. If they solve his grudge, they will finally fulfill their target.
At night, Weolju and Manager Gwi check up on Kang Bae to have one last meal with him, they insist he doesn’t come with them because it nearly killed him last time.
The next day, a man comes to them with information about Kim Won Hyung, Manager Gwi heads to the location while Weolju stays behind. She’s later confronted with Kim Won Hyung who tells her he’ll harm her son and that will be his revenge.
A fake Weolju appears before Kang Bae to tell him that Manager Gwi was hurt and they must hurry up to save him. He’s later kidnapped and winds up in a warehouse.
Yeo Rin goes to check up on Kang Bae but doesn’t find him; she goes to the bar and finds Weolju unconscious. Manager Gwi later shows up and they all hurry to save Kang Bae.
Kim Won Hyung tells Kang Bae that he will end his life and as he tries to explain why, Mystic Pop Up Bar tells him that he knows they’re his parents. Both Manager Gwi and Weolju overhear the conversation.
After Kang Bae drinks the potion, he falls asleep. Manager Gwi attacks Kim Won Hyung and in their fight, he ends up taking a hit for Weolju saving her life before disappearing (dead).
Kim Won Hyung enters Kang Bae’s subconscious and Weolju follows him, after a fight with words and superpowers, Weolju doesn’t kill him but instead keeps him a semi-frozen state, Kim Won Hyung attempts to hit Weolju and they both fall into the pit.
Kang Bae holds on to Weolju’s hand, she says her goodbyes and tells him to be a nice kid like he has always been, he calls her ‘mom’ and cries as she let go.
After a while
Kang Bae wears sunglasses to work now because of his eyes’s condition and is always reminded of his parents.
Meanwhile, it turns out that Weolju is not dead, she’s still making people pay for their sins by holding them accountable.
Later, Yeo Rin takes off Kang Bae’s glasses and sees that his eyes are fine.
Weolju then confronts Yeomradaewang to answer for her work for the past 500 years; she has completed her job…. the final case being the fact that she sacrificed herself to save her son’s life thereby fulfilling her long wish.
When asked to what she’d like to be reborn, Weolju ask Yeomradaewang to keep her in the living realm to listen to people’s worries, to which she agrees. She also gives her an accomplice, her lover, Manager Gwi.
As Kang Bae walks on the streets at night thinking about how proud Weolju and Manager Gwi would be of him since he no longer struggles with that curse, he sees their pop-up bar and when he goes inside, he finds them both.
What did you guys think of “Mystic Pop Up Bar” ending? Did you like it?
My Thoughts On The Ending
“Mystic Pop Up Bar” ending lines up with how its been since it aired its first episode, the ending is cute, overly-simplified and safe. I was surprised when the two main characters were killed off but then they were brought back to life, I would’ve been fine if they had died while protecting their son, it would’ve been a sad ending but still in line with what they’ve been fighting for.
It would’ve made a bigger impact and left an impression on me but that didn’t happen.
I don’t dislike happy endings but I felt that this ending was too simple, and in the end everything went back to its place and they were all given what they want which defeats the purpose of why they rushed to relief so many people’s grudges.
There is one thing I’d like to point out, actor Na In-Woo’s performance as Kim Won Hyung was weak, very weak and probably one of the weakest performances I’ve seen from an actor in 2020.
I am not saying its all his fault because the lines he had to utter were corny and very cringy at times like when he explains why he’s gonna kill someone, that typical villain vibe stripped of all originality. I didn’t fear him, didn’t like him and honestly didn’t care.
Na In-Woo was stiff and his eyes stuck out weirdly, every time he tries to be scary he opens his eyes wider like he has no idea how to be scary otherwise, he looked and sounded very comical. Like a cartoon villain. He needs to take acting lessons for he’s been around since 2015.
Overall, “Mystic Pop Up Bar” has been a cute fun ride. I wouldn’t call it an amazingly well-written kdrama or anything too special but it was a nice watch. Will I remember it some time from now? highly unlikely, but I still enjoyed my time. I think it would’ve been a lot better if the writer took chances, it felt as if they tried to play it as safely as they possibly could without trying to come out with anything thats slightly intriguing or thought-provoking.
I stuck around for the main cast despite the poor execution of some of its episodes, at times, it felt like a watered-down version of “Hotel Del Luna” and I say that in the most positive way possible, but if you watched both dramas you’ll understand what I mean.
The chemistry between the three actors was amazing and although it was pretty predictable, it was still nice to see them interact with each other.
12 episodes were more than enough for “Mystic Pop Up Bar,” and I am glad JTBC doesn’t feel the need to make every kdrama 16 episodes without justification. For something like “Mystic Pop Up Bar,” 12 episodes are enough, I would’ve also been fine with 10 episodes.
If you haven’t watched many kdramas you probably find me pretty ridiculous and picky right now, and to that, I agree. I don’t think a lot of people will agree with me on this one. But my review comes from past kdramas I’ve also seen, so in the broader spectra, I didn’t find “Mystic Pop Up Bar” special.