“Youth Of May” has concluded its run last night and what fans feared became a reality, the ending was truly heartbreaking and a tear-jerker.




The KBS series ended on a somber note. So today, I’ll recap “Youth Of May” episode 12 and discuss my thoughts on the ending as I’ve finally stopped crying.

Below is the summary recap of “Youth Of May” episode 12, it is not a detailed recap. It only recaps the highlights of the episode.

1“Youth Of May” Episode 12 Recap

It begins with the year 2021, an older Soo Ryeong and Soo Chan get notified they’ve finally found her.

Back to 1980

Myung Soo is found by the rebels the next day. Meanwhile, Myung Hee and Hee Tae are discussing their vows and what to write before getting married at the church. The couple then meet at the church and say their vows, however, they’re interrupted by the priest who informs Myung Hee that her dad was killed.

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Hee Tae’s father is getting investigated by his leaders after they receive a tip that his son is closely connected to the main suspect of the incident they had.

When Myung Hee goes to see her dad’s body she’s in utter denial. She cries by his side.




Meanwhile, Soo chan tells a worried family he saw their son and he’s not dead, when they ask how was he able to escape, he hesitates, he’s riddled with guilt. Later, he tells Soo Ryeong he feels guilty but also deeply ashamed to death for having been able to escape that.

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Hee Tae tells Myung Hee to stay by her dad’s side as he sees to prepare for the funeral. She opens a letter written by her dad with the savings account he’s opened in her name. She finds out he’s been saving the money she sent so he could help her and has been trying to restrict her for her own good, when he saw she was to fly, he let her go.

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Hee Tae’s dad is talking to one of his men who tells him where his son is, he asks that he sends one of their milita and kill her right in front of her son, and says to kill the little brother too if the timing was right. Jung Tae happens to hear them, he acts cool at first, but then runs away to save Myung Hee.

Meanwhile, at the place where dead bodies are gathered waiting for burial, Myung Hee receives a note that tells her to go meet Hee Tae somewhere. She goes there and when Hee Tae arrives and finds out, he runs after her.

She meets a man in an ally who tells her to go meet Hee Tae and then prepares to shoot her from behind, Jung Tae interrupts and tackles him, he gets shot in his legs.

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Hee Tae’s dad finds out his son went missing as he’s served the divorce papers by his wife who says she’s taking the child with her. When she calls for his name, he doesn’t come and the maid says he’s gone out. The dad immediately figures out where he is.

When they arrive at the scene, Hee Tae takes his little brother, the mother also arrives and attends to her son. Hee Tae’s dad is shocked and in near tears, the mother screams at him telling him not to come any closer. When he tries to check if his son’s okay, Jung Tae pushes his hands away. He recalls what his son told him about being the orphan.

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At the factory

Soo Ryeong and Soo chan are taking medical supplies and loading them, their dad catches them but tells them to use the supplies and the storeroom.

Myung Soo wakes up from his father’s side, and overhears an older couple talking about cremating a body before the family can get to see their loved ones one last time, he mutters to himself ‘mother, grandma,’ and asks the girl to give him the map, she does so and is busy attending to other people.

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Jung Tae goes into surgery and is doing ok, Myung Hee and Hee Tae find out that Myung Soo took a map and went out, they go after him and then split. They promise to meet at the crossover in five minutes, Hee Tae gives Myung Hee her dad’s watch.

Myung Soo finds her brother narrowly, she tells him to run away at her count and says the soldiers won’t kill her cause she’s a nurse. They capture her but one soldier sees the kid running away and as he aims to shoot him, Myung Hee blocks it and gets shot herself. Another soldier goes after the kid but he spares him and shoots to the sky.

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Later, the solider who shot Myung Hee tells the other kinder soldier to search through her body and find anything that might identify her, he gives back the watch and puts a piece of paper she had in her pocket in her arms. He assures her her younger brother is okay. She passes away after her body was dumped in an unknown place in the forest.

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Meanwhile, Hee Tae also gets captured. He was about to be shot but he narrowly escapes when his friend the soldier interferes and saves his life.

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Some time has passed

Hee Tae hands in fliers and is still searching for Myung Hee, he hears a song on the TV at a restaurant and breaks down in tears remembering their time together.

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Year 2021

Hee Tae is now a doctor who is forgetful but very kind. He gets a phone call and goes to meet who turns out to be Myung Soo, he is told they’ve finally found her body. Myung Soo has become a priest while Soo Ryeong has become a lawyer.

At the police station, he is handed her belongings which are the watch and the piece of paper. He meets the solider who is the informant who identified her body too, they exchange looks but he cries and walks out of the police station.

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Hee Tae reads the piece of paper and it says, ‘Myung Hee refuses to be buried next to Hee Tae.’ The piece of paper includes her wishes as her vows for their marriage. Hee Tae breaks down in tears.

In voice-over, Hee Tae recalls his struggles to find purpose after her disappearance and his regrets. He visits her grave with flowers, then he leaves and says, ‘2021, The first May from Hwang Hee Tae” as he concludes his last letter to her.

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So, what do you think of “Youth Of May” ending? do you like it or not? Let us discuss in the comment section below!

2“Youth Of May” episode 12 review

It would be a lie if I said I didn’t see that coming, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t cry buckets of tears. We knew the drama was going to end with one of them dead and it happened.

I honestly didn’t expect Myung Hee to die, I honestly up until recently thought Hee Tae was going to die defending her in a situation of some sort.

“Youth Of May” was a very heartbreaking drama but one that is worthwhile and truly captivating. Even if it did drag a bit here and there, it delivered amazing messages about humans and the cost of governments ruining their youth lives.

So many messages here and there, some subtle, some not so much. I am glad Hee Tae didn’t kill himself and instead dedicated his life to become a doctor and save lives, this would’ve been what Myung Hee wanted.

I know many of you hate the little brother but I don’t know if I wouldn’t have done the same if my dad died and I desperately wanted to bring the rest of my family to say goodbye to him one last time. He’s a kid, he was bound to make mistakes in this situation. I would’ve liked it had Myung Hee died at Hee Tae’s dad order but I don’t mind this scenario either.

I also liked how it appears that Hee Tae’s dad is shaken after his son is shot by the same man he ordered to kill.

I’ve seen many comments of people happy they dropped this, I am of the mindset that doesn’t mind sad ending if they’re justified and this time, I feel like it is. The death of her sends a message about the horrible things that happened during that period and how many innocent lives were lost due to such orders made by terrible people.

I’d still recommend this drama and I like that it never leads on or try to trick the audience into thinking it wasn’t going to end sadly. To those who are glad they didn’t watch it because it was sad, I get it, but you’ve missed a great gem. Even if its sad, it was beautiful.

Huge shout out to the production team and the actors for their hard work, thank you for this amazing drama. Everyone has done so well, thank you so much for this amazing drama.

7 COMMENTS

  1. The stupid kid running away is the dumbest part. He knew army was everywhere and where could he go? This plot has lost this drama all credibility. The last episode became so troublesome and it seemed the director was just trying to make story out of nothing. It is OK to have a sad ending but not something that does not make sense.

  2. I’m actually really sad to see this drama end. This drama really opened my eyes and made me watch other dramas related to the Gwangju Uprising, such as “A Taxi Driver”. I even started researching about why this had happened and how crazy it must’ve been during that time. I’m glad this drama opened up more of the history that South Korea had faced, and to never forget.

  3. I just don’t understand why it took 41 years to find her body if the soldier knew where she died and Hwang Hee Tae saw her in the forest for the last time, he could come back to see her after being released.

  4. As I watched this, I wondered why this was not listed on the top K-drama romance/love story lists. The entire production and cast were outstanding and Go Min-Si and Lee Do-Hyun were award worthy in portraying true, unconditional love, I could feel their deep, very painful hearts whenever they were being cruelly prevented from being together. The Gwangju uprising was a tragic, true story of South Korean history that never should be forgotten. I understand. But Myunghee and Heetae is a fictional, beautiful love story told in the setting of the turmoil of the uprising…I believe the writer and director made a wrong decision to kill-off the sweet but brave Myunghee and judging by all the google-ing lists of the top Korean drama romance love stories of all time and not seeing Youth of May on it tells me that most people who watched this otherwise wonderful love story agree. I was disappointed, I had hoped fast forward to present day that we would’ve seen Myunghee and Heetae together and their painful pasts finally buried.

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