“Alice” Episode 16 Recap- Why “Alice” Ending Can’t EVER Be Logically Explained

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SBS time-travel “Alice” drama has ended its run last night on October 24. We’re here to quickly recap “Alice” episode 16.

Note: this recap is of the episodes pivotal highlighted moments, it is not a recap of every scene.




1The Recap

Young Jin Gyeom talks to old Jin Gyeom saying he’ll stop him after saving every soul he’s killed and then kill him. ‘you started it, I am going to end it.’ When the older version pulls out a gun and as he’s about to shoot, young Jin Gyeom is transported back in time to 2010, the day his mother died.

In 2010, 2010- Jin Gyeom is talking to Do Yeon about his mother’s birthday. she suggests he buys her a present and cake. Sun Young finds that someone has called her phone (Her son from 2020), she goes to Seok O Won to let him know that she doesn’t want to proceed with their agreement and that he should disregard their research. Her reasoning, she doesn’t want to cause pain and damage, she thought time travel would help people out but she was wrong.

Meanwhile her son from 2020 is searching for her, after failing to find her at her home, he goes to visit detective Hyeon Seok hoping he can help. They have a chat, the detective says he won’t kill his mother and Jin Gyeom says he understands, he asks about the teacher, but the detective says he knows nothing about who that man is. 2020- Jin Gyeom hugs him and leaves empty handed.

Night comes and the same scenario is repeated. This time, Jin Gyeom is tailing his mom, he sees Seok O Won and is stopped by him, Seok O Won claims at first that he’s here to stop him from stopping the murder of his mom. He eventually slips up and talks about the people who’ll die in the future, he raises his gun towards him after he’s exposed. Then detective Hyeon Seok appears with his own gun, he tells Jin Gyeom from 2020 to go after his mom.

He arrives at the house to find that she’s already conversing with the older version of himself. The older one talks about how he’s become a monster because of his mom.




Apparently, when Sun Young read the book of prophecy in 1992, she learned that her son would have the ability to close the door of time if he died. Back then in 1992, she met Jin Gyeom as the oldest version of himself. Back then, he tried to stop her and asked her to abort the baby and save all the people from the future, she refused and when he held a knife to her face, she shot him. He says ‘mom,’ she utters back the words ‘no way, that’s impossible’ before running away.

2020- Jin Gyeom refuses to believe the story old Jin Gyeom is saying, however, the mother understands and sheds tears talking about why he’s right and how she should die here and now. She ends up shooting herself while asking for 2020- Jin Gyeom to forgive her and stop.

After she dies, Jin Gyeom shoots his older self. The Alice begins to shake and eventually disappear, past events up until the day 2010- Jin Gyeom sees a student fall to his death are erased.

After this scene ends, time goes back again to the moment when 2010- Jin Gyeom sings a happy birthday to his mom while 2020- Jin Gyeom watches from afar, she doesn’t die that day and he watches her from afar as she goes to the supermarket to get alcohol. He talks about keeping his promise to protect her, he disappears while she watches from afar. She hugs the 2010- Jin Gyeom and thanks him, they go to the supermarket together.

2020

In 2020, Professor Tae Yi wakes up from what appears to be a dream with the memories intact (somehow), she goes out looking for 2020- Jin Gyeom but fails to find him, apparently, he didn’t become a detective.

After looking all over for him and going many places such as the police station and his house, she goes back to her office to find the professor whom she dearly loves is alive and well. She remembers that Jin Gyeom’s mom told her,

‘Once time travel is stopped, everything is reset. All time travelers disappear from this world.’

She then moves on remembering the detective who is probably okay doing his thing. One day, she gets an inquiry from reporter Do Yeon who’s alive, she wants to interview her about time travel.

They end up meeting and talking about it. Professor Tae Yi says time travel is possible, but she doesn’t think it should ever happen. Do Yeon comments that this reminds her of what an architect whom she interviewed once said to her.

She asks her about his information and goes to find him. Jin Gyeom had said something she told him during the time they spent together while working on the cases from the time travel period.

It turns out that Jin Gyeom from this world has become an architect. After going to meet him, he fails to recognize her.

Later, he recalls drawing a woman’s face and a voiceover telling him not to sell his house cause she’ll come find him there. He runs over to the place he used to live and finds her there.

The end.

2The review and “Alice” Ending Explained

If you’re here looking for a logical more thorough “Alice” ending explanation, you’ve come to the wrong place and I highly doubt you’ll find a satisfactory answer ever since I highly doubt the writer even knows what’s up.

In my early reviews of “Alice,” I talked about how skeptic I was of the entire premise and how time travel themed dramas are always extremely difficult to pull off. I have yet to meet a kdrama writer that wouldn’t screw this up. Please stop making time travel dramas if you’re going to write and film at the same time, why go through the trouble and be remembered as an illogical and incoherent drama?




There are so many plot holes in “Alice,” it’d probably take days to go over them. The plot gets especially messy after episode 8 and starts to show cracks in episode 6. Introducing multiple universes and dimensions was the first red flag because it only confuses everyone even more. To justify certain plot points and make sense of the disgusting possible love scenario between Jin Gyeom and his mother look-alike, the writer ended up ruining whatever chance “Alice” ever had to make sense.

I don’t understand why the screenwriter added this particular point to begin with, just work with one dimension. Time travel themes are difficult to pull off already, when you mix so much together in an already messy illogical plot, it just ends up a pot of stew that mixes everything from clay, to chairs and carrots and cakes, why?

I don’t understand how killing the mother in the year 2010 solves anything and how killing his older self is supposed to eradicate him, isn’t it the other way around only? If you kill your younger self then you’re killing the older self not the other way around…. This is so confusing.

Also, the older Jin Gyeon could’ve just come to 1992 and stabbed his mom in the stomach killing himself instantly and saved us all the trouble instead of all of this nonsense.

No matter how hard I try to make sense of “Alice” I always go back to point zero because nothing made sense from the get go and that’s considering the rules the writer has supposedly given us regarding time travel. Do you know why “Alice” ending doesn’t make sense? its because the writer never intended for it to make sense, it wasn’t written in a way that is supposed to make sense.

Aside from that, I don’t understand why the writer kept two versions of the same character in the same verse and why the professor somehow recalls her time with him even though it should’ve never existed. If the time travel had never been initiated, how can these characters have any memory recalling anything even as déjà vu?. Jin Gyeom then shouldn’t have existed because his mother from 1992 couldn’t have come to the past because the time travel thing doesn’t exist. Jin Gyeom can only exist in the future if Min Hyuk and the professor meet and somehow get to know each other in the future under perfect circumstances.

Seriously, it is so easy to pick “Alice” apart. If anyone can provide answers to any of the questions I asked, I’d highly appreciate it.

“Alice” ending is as confusing as the entire plot, and is hardly fulfilling as a drama. It started out fun but quickly became messy and illogical,you keep watching hoping to eventually come to a logical conclusion but deep down inside you knew you were never going to get it.

I was so happy Joo Won was back but honestly, “Alice” turned out to be one of the most disappointed kdramas of 2020 hands down. I had high expectations and the way everything turned out simply turned me off.

I hope Joo Won picks a better written project next time.

14 COMMENTS

  1. If all time travellers dis appear after closing the door, then his mother and his teen age self should not existed, then Tae yi will meet his father then Jin gyeom will be born, unless detective has the power to control time that he manipulates it in that order, that is the most sensible explanation i could ever think off, after seeing the ending, i was like, what just happened?

  2. i think events were reset starting at the timw when jin gyeom witnessed his classmate fall from the building. Events prior to that were not reset as Tae Yi was still with her adoptive sister. You’re right though… Alice is one-confusing-illogical-time-travel series. Like you, i kept watching to see how the writer will end the story.

  3. Jin Gyeom exists as a response to the time line correcting itself. Time travel was a exists across all timelines and parallel universes, an effect to a cause. For time travel to cease to exist, a new cause need to exist that explains the reason time travel was remove from existence aka the events of the drama. It helps to think backward and not forward because what Jin Gyeom did was basically took white out and changed the script of reality. Time travel exists only up to the point on the day of the red moon because Jin Gyeom killed “teacher” aka corrupted Jin Gyeom, who was the physical manifestation of time travel, “the ruler of time.”

    The memories of the overwritten timeline are the cause that give the new timeline permanence and existence. Both leads were active causes of the new time line, hence they retain memories of the events. Tae Yi’s life events was not overwritten as much as Jin Gyeom’s so her memories were more intact.

  4. I’m here right after watching the ending as i,too,can’t find the ending logical at all.

    Unlike you, i find the plots are quite fulfilling.
    Introduction the multiverse concept opens up lots of possible ending plot ,but i really didn’t see this one coming. Why on earth would this particular two people remember each other when time were suppose to be reset?

    There are LOTS of possible ending. But why this particular ending? Doesn’t make sense at all. The ending makes me feel like the writer us pushing for a not-so-mother-son-bonding between Tae Yi & Jin Gyeom. The ending just seems so wrong.
    How can Jin Gyeom doesn’t seems surprise to see Tae Yi at the end when she looks exactly like her mother when she was younger?

    And if we look back, time travel were supposedly started in 2050 but at that time the Tae Yi(the one that gives birth to Jin Gyeom) must be in her 40s at most. But the current Tae Yi (the professor) were already in her 30s in 2020. 2050 – 2020 = 30, so the “mother” Tae Yi should be in her 60s already. Also, if I’m not mistaken Tae Yi’s mother were supposed to be her colleague during her year at Alice in 2050. If TIME truly reset, even Tae Yi should not exist.

    I’m rambling too much here till it makes no sense. I’m questioning the ending too much that I started to see lotssssss of holes in the entire drama. Just because the unexplainable ending, the whole fun storyline seems funny.

  5. Very well said. This review must be read by the people who made Alice. To SBS, please stop making time travel/parallel universe series for now. Not until you find writers who can justify their scripts. Alice did not add luster to Joo Won’s career. Hope he will get better projects in the coming months.

  6. I got really angry after watching the last 2 episode. All the scene in Alice headquarters doesn’t make sense with how empty it is, all the killing is lame and just happen, and the story that makes me wanna scream. I’ve almost quit in ep 10 but I convince myself, now I regret it. SBS really trying to make us hate them with The King Eternal Monarch and now this.

  7. I’ve got so angry watching the last 2 episode. The dead scene is lame and not impactful, wondering why Min Hyuk is so foolish giving him sleep pills and said going to alice is suicide and then he came looking all fine, and I don’t even wanna remember that ending. I almost quit after ep 10 but I force myself cause I love Joo Won, now I regret that. I just wanna give props to Kim Hee Sun face expression that doesn’t change the entire series, that shock helpless face. You are a genius woman but I dunno with all that I need help face all the time. I watch her in faith and although she’s doing the same in that, at least she kinda brave sometimes, in this is omg…

  8. Too many loopholes.
    * If time travel never happened and all time travelers disappeared then Tae-Yi’s father should also be alive.
    * And if time travel never happened then how does Tae-Yi even exist as her mother traveled back in time and married in the past.
    * Never mind that how does Do-Yeon not remember him…he used to go to school with her.
    * How does the detective not remember arresting him as that also happened at an earlier time. So even if time only reset from the point his mother was supposed to die, that happened before that time.
    * And how does he not get shocked to see Tae-Yi as she still resembles his mother.
    * And even if they claim his mother was from a parallen universe and the younger one is not his mother … ummm same DNA … kind of makes her the same person…so yah borders on incest.

    And the list goes on and on.

    It started out so good and has the worst possible ending which makes zero sense.

  9. if the time being reset

    why prof.tae yi still with her adoptive parents in 2020? his real father should never dead (being killed by that time traveller ahjussi)in 1992

    this really confusing

  10. This story is a big gigantic “Time loop”:

    Jin Gyeom – JG 1 born in 1992 -> JG 2 (the second him when JG 1 first time traveled) -> JG 3 (who became the evil “teacher”) ->
    JG 3 is the boss who built “Alice” and started the whole time travel business -> Tae Yi became Alice’s agent -> found book in 1992 ->
    JG 1 born in 1992 (which goes back to the beginning of the loop)

    JG 1, 2, 3…n is the production of time travel, he would not have existed in any timeline or dimension, if time travel had never been invented.
    But he himself invented Alice the time travel agent. Therefore he himself became the time travel paradox itself.

    Remember the prophecy book talks about killing the son would let the time running again.
    They were all in this loop for God knows how many years (I just generalized the timelines…there should be more timelines and dimensions)

    Killing any JG in any timeline (of this loop) would stop the loop. That’s why when the old man died, Alice and time travel are destroyed.

    That’s the loop for JG.

    As for why JG still exists at the end, remember Tae Yi 1 (the mom) told Tae Yi 2 (the professor) her mother was also a time traveler.
    She was the one who found the book and married her father and give birth to Tae Yi.

    Tae Yi (the mom) thought that if time travel vanished, her son JG would also cease to exist (reset, because of the paradox).
    But she was wrong and couldn’t have come to a conclusion that because her mom was also a time traveler, she and her son JG was to be born regardless of JG loop.

    So at the end. After JG killed the old JG, JG time loop exited. But Tae Yi time loop (unsure if it is a loop or not) still remains. TY was born and she gave birth to JG (0) at the end.

    Yup, the ending is somewhat a hard-sale, I personally think so. But Kdrama fans are always looking out for happy ending.

    (For anyone who knows programming, this story is a “for loop” within another “for loop”. If that’s easier to explain. But the outer loop is not our concern, the inner loop is what the “Alice” is all about)

    Hank – Computer programmer who loves Kdrama (or any interesting drama) 🙂

  11. I stopped watching when there started to be those awkward quasi romantic scenes between JG and his mom. I waited until the end to read a review to see if I should go back and watch it all and I am now glad I gave up when I did. I really enjoyed the show in the beginning, but I’m glad I didn’t waste my time on the rest of the series

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