“Alchemy Of Souls” Part 1 Ending Explained: Episode 20 Recap And Review

Published Categorized as Kdrama Recaps

Alchemy of Souls” part 1 is officially over, here is a recap of the final episode [episode 20] as well as the ending explained.

Note: this episode is being recapped live, so stay tuned for more updates!

“Alchemy of Souls” episode 20 recap

Jang Uk lets Maidservant Kim Do-Joo know that he is getting married to Mu Deok. Meanwhile, Jin Mu secretly meets with the prince Go Won and tells him he’s the only one who can protect him from Jang Uk and get rid of the king’s star. He is not 100% convinced and tells him to turn himself in.

Jang Uk and Mu Deok go to pick out rings and it ends with a cute fight because of all the other rings he has had. Mu Deok also meets Seo Yul and says goodbye to him. Jang Uk later plays the right-hand man between Maidservant Kim Do-Joo and Park Jin. He makes them reconcile and he asks her to be with him.

In the meantime, Jin Mu gets his hands on a bell that was owned by Shaman Choi. It could cast divination curses on all soul ejectors and make them run wild and eventually petrify. The person who uses the bell can control the soul shifter. He uses that to achieve his goal. When he finds out that Jang Uk is leaving and he might lose his grip on the prince, he recalls Mu Deok and comes to the conclusion that she’s Naksu.

He goes to check for himself and confirms she’s naksu indeed.

Jang Uk catches fish with Master Lee Cheol who tells him the reason why she hasn’t run wild is the fact that the body she’s in holds divine powers. He asks him whether the ice stone is within him, Jang uk says it doesn’t matter and he will leave, he wants nothing with this.

Jin Ho-Gyeong meets So Yi who was sneaking in to retrive medicine to reduce Yul pain and finds out her daughter is alive. Jin Ho-Gyeong wanted to kill her but when she says she knows her daughter is alive, she spares her.

Mu Deok sees the prince and they talk about Jang Uk powers, he tells her that he doesn’t like the flattery because it makes him feel he’s being made fun of, he asks her to go far away from him because if his anger boils over, she won’t be able to escape him or his punishment. He says he despises seeing them together.

Later, the prince meets Jin Mu and tells him Jang uk will be cast away and won’t be a problem, he also doesn’t have the ice stone. Jin Mu convinces him they’re lying to him to protect Jang Uk by bringing up the fact that master lee and Park Jin know who truly owns that. He is furious.

On the wedding day, Naksu is awakened by Jin Mu who tells her to kill who actually is her father and run wild. She goes to kill him and is met with Park Dang-Gu and Jin Cho-Yeon who are there to greet him. He dies and they fight her but she escapes when more men come.

The rumors spread that an assassin is here. Naksu is here.

Jin Mu shows up and says Naksu is here and he will get rid of her. So they all go to the woods and fight her. Jang Uk interferes and blocks them from killing her but she then stabs him killing him instantly.

She runs away.

The aftermath of Jang uk’s death

Jin Ho-Gyeong tells her daughter to bring back Mu Deok at all cost. Seo Yul says he also knew but is now barred from leaving his place.

Jin Mu goes to the palace and claims Naksu practiced the alchemy of souls with the choi siblings and he wanted to catch her just to clear his name. He says she came to avenge her father and convinces the royal family with his lies.

Jang uk is given a burial and his body is burned, he’s been suspected of having known naksu was inside Mu deok and did nothing about it so he’s shunned. His friends and family gather while watching his body burn.

However, he emerges from the dead using the ice stone and comes out from the fire alive.

Mu Deok goes to the soul shifters grave and commits suicide, however, two girls follow her and attempt to save her.

“Alchemy of Souls” ending explained

Did Jin Ho-Gyeong know that Mu Deok is Bo Yeon?

It appears so, after the situation goes down and Jang Uk dies, she tells her daughter not to kill Mu Deok but bring her body before her, she must find out whom it belongs to, she suspects she’s her daughter.

Did Park Jin and Maidservant Kim Do-Joo end up together?

Yes, they did. He proposed to her after she confessed to him she liked him. He didn’t catch onto it at first but managed to save it and proposed to her using seeds of flowers.

Does Jang uk die? Who kills him?

When Mu Deok runs wild after Jin Mu causes it through the bell, she begins killing people left and right with no regard or recollection.

She is surrounded by Songrim men in the forest and Jang uk interferes to protect her but she stabs him with the sword, when he calls her name, she awakens for a moment and calls for his name too. But when he realizes that, he pushes the sword inside. When she is still awake, she cries by his body but the bell rings again and the spell takes over

He dies right then and there and she escapes.

Did Mu Deok die?

Mu Deok went to the soul shifters grave to commit suicide as she realized she was beginning to petrify. But when she jumps off, two women follow after her and save her. Its unknown whether this means she survived or died.

We will find out in part two.

How does Jang Uk awaken?

During his burial and when his body is burned. Since he uses the ice stone thats within him, he holds it in his hands and emerges from the fire a new man. He was saved by the ice stone.

He doesn’t die.

Did Naksu come back to life?

In the preview For part two of the drama, a still reveals that Naksu is alive and well but her body was burned so we don’t know how she got there. It could be that they burned a different body or Jang uk might have used the ice stone to bring her back to life or to her original body.

But what is sure is the fact that Naksu is alive and well, we’re not sure if the body she used is still alive or now dead.

“Alchemy of Souls” part 2: release date and plot, will Jung So Min return or not?

“Alchemy of Souls” will have two parts as stated by the director of the drama previously. Recently, it was reported that the cast is currently filming for the second season and the filming is scheduled to end some time this fall.

Soon after that, a source from the drama confirmed the news. “Alchemy of Souls” Part 2 [season two] will air in December.

“Alchemy of Souls” part 2 is 10 episodes long and all the other cast members will reprise their own roles. Previously, it was reported that the second season will change leads but the source from the drama refused to comment on the matter as it would be a spoiler. Now we know from the preview that Naksu comes back to her body so it might mean that Jung So Min is not returning for season two.

tvN has yet to confirm or deny this in fear of spoiling the second part, if an update is available we will put it here.

“Alchemy of Souls” episode 20 review

wows….. that was some ending, I was face-palming thinking they killed Jang uk…. This ending is very annoying…. On one hand, I am happy no one died truly and on the other hand, I don’t see the big picture yet. I wonder whether this means Mu Deok died or not but I have a feeling she didn’t fully because she was saved by two women.

The ending was so sweet at first I was waiting for sh*t to hit the fan and when it did, it did.

“Alchemy of Souls” has been an interesting watch, on one hand, I admire the dedication put into it and on the other hand, I feel it needed way better planning despite realizing they must have already done a lot of planning.

I don’t believe “Alchemy of Souls” part 1 needed more than 16 episodes, preferably 14, you could see the drama sort of started to fumble towards the second half of its run.

Can you delete about 6 episodes worth of content from the drama? and If yes, how much would it have an effect on the overall story? Thats up to each one to draw their own conclusion.

It felt at times that the Hong sisters wanted to pad the run time as much as possible with challenges or obstacles they create for the character to grow. On one hand, it is important for such types of projects, on the other, over-doing it can ruin it.

Hong sisters have the habit of creating convoluted universes and by that, I mean complicating them to the point that you just sort of tune out of the specifics and only tune in for the sake of the amazing chemistry and the main love triangles that take shape. Would this drama have been this successful if the cast was unknown? And I mean completely unknown… would it? The answer to this question will determine if its truly a good well-written story or not. And my answer is… [I don’t know- yet]

I am not saying this drama has had the same effect on everyone but its been the case for me. At the same time, I also contradict myself by saying I understand why they did this. I understand the writing choices but I don’t agree with them, is that too much of a contradiction?

We’ll only know when part two airs and we can compare. I know money is a huge drive here but it doesn’t mean I won’t complain if it feels like a total cash grab in my opinion. I can’t tell yet but I do have some more thoughts I shall store until part 2 airs. I could be completely wrong.

What did you think of “Alchemy Of Souls” Part 1 Ending? did you like it?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. the founder of Jazminemedia, in this site, I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas, and if you have any requests for a kdrama review, please let me know in the comment section of any article.


  1. HORRIBLE ENDING!!!! WHAT A TOTAL DIS APPOINTMENT!!!!! They could have ended it in more positive way and not kill Mu-Deok!!!! I feel like the finale took all away the pleasure of watching the l9 episodes so don’t even bother showing Season 2!!!!!

    1. Thank you I feel the same way. What a big disappointment. After all they went through in season one, for nothing. That was a terrible ending. She wasn’t supposed to get petrified. Or even receive anything that would hurt her since she had Bo Yeon Body and soul. They should not had a cliffhanger with those two ladies retrieving Mu-Deok from the lake if she’s not returning for season 2. I won’t watch season 2. It’s going to be another disaster. Netflix let me down, this types of cliffhanger are why I stop watching Viki app.

  2. I am always curious about Jin Buyeon and I’m still puzzled why the spell of the bell has successfully called Naksu’s soul while Buyeon, the strongest priestess is the owner of the body. She always save the day when they’re in trouble and I am not happy about what they did in her character. It’s much better if Jang Uk would get to meet her without Naksu in her body.

  3. Wow, they had to go there! After finally making a clean break & atoning for her (really Jin Mu’s) sins & finding love, she kills him! What?? She who has been able to control all that power suddenly becomes crazy & goes on a murderous campaign because of hearing a bell?? Once Jin Mu controls her & sways the Crown Prince who up to now was so likable & seemed to have his shit together though his father has been a totally useless king, none of it makes sense. So, I get the money part & rushing to figure out how to end it on cliffhangers for a part 2. I was loving every second till the end! But now it doesn’t work or make sense! They cannot possibly go for part 2 without mu doek (So Min) playing her. They already burned Noksu’s body a while back so if that stone can bring that back I can’t buy it. Been too long plus it ruins the whole love story plot of the drama. That’s not who he loves. If they have mu deok live & remove Naksu’s soul, then they have to write a new love story again because BuYeons character doesn’t love UK. They made it more complicated, turned the crown prince into a greedy guy, left mu deok no way out & tho now probably extremely powerful what can UK do to save the real mu doek he loves? I honestly don’t think I could enjoy it as much as I have without So Min! & I definitely need to see Jin Mu punished. Hmmm, good luck with all that! I’m an avid watcher who is hoping these writers can fix or save what I believe was could be a fantastic drama!!!

  4. Very disappointing ending! And I agree with Paddi and Mary… If Jung So-Min is not in season 2, I will not watch either. She is an awesome actress, and the chemistry between her and the lead actor is great!

    1. Everyone and everything is so out of character! They ruined everything they built-
      Crown prince: he developed from an egotistical guy to someone who was more humble and worked together with Uk. Suddenly they turned him into a petty person
      Seo Ul – this was the whole point of his arc!! He regretted not saving naksu earlier and learned that always being obedient is not good. I can’t believe he is obediently sitting and crying while naksu is being hunted.
      And so-i : are you telling me the leader of Jin family had to let her leave their house. She can do anything to find her daughter, I can’t believe she won’t find better ways to interrogate so-i.
      Also, why is everyone just letting jin mu move around?
      And what’s with the bells? Suddenly there is this new thing that was naksu s weakness all along? Also, agreed with the point that if the preistess is in the body, why didn’t she help.

      I feel like they had a one season story, realized it’s making money and decided to add last minute conflict. Pretty disappointed as a viewer….

  5. I am DISAPPOINTED!!!!
    I was in loved with this drama. I was hoping for a happy ending since Naksu’s life story was entirely sad. She saw her dad dying in front of her, after that she was raised and trained by the worst man ever who only used her and threw her away after her death… And in the end he used her again (against her will) and made her kill again so many men…. She is the most unhappy person in this drama. She deserved to be happy in the end (at least)…
    The end of first season is a very big DISAPPOINTMENT!!!
    From what I heard, in season 2 there will be no Bu Yeon (since the actress didn’t sign the contract for the second season)…
    So, how will the producers redeem themselves?
    A pour soul who were tormented all her life… to end like this…. even if they will rescue Naksu, Bu Yeon will die? Bu Yeon was also a victim…. so what were in the producers’ minds when they decided to end season 1 like this????
    I repeat: The end of first season is a very big DISAPPOINTMENT!!!

    1. I agree, season 2 isnt needed as the last ep of s1 was enough to wrap it up and give the characters their deserved happy endings, rly hate this, was hoping bu yeon would reunite with her mother and naksu and uk stays together, they just ruined it by dragging it down into this crazy rabbit hole. idk why they always do this to perfectly good dramas.

  6. This is a text book example of lack of work integrity the screen writter exchange quality for quantity ($$); of all the possible endings that they could have written they decide to do a poor job in order to have a second season; they sacrifice the posibility of a job well done (example of this the ending of Extraordinary attorney Woo) for a second season because they think that we the audience are so domb as to keep watching even if it has no sense; the main character should have had the possibility of returned; with this ending they are only trying to justify that the female lead does no have to be a part of the second season, what a dissapointment; well what could we expect in a society where money is the key

  7. But, Jang Uk fell in love with Naksu – not Mudeok. This had to be reconciled. ‘Will just have to wait and hope for a happy ending; although it’s difficult to see.

    1. I felt like Naksu had become Mudeok under the influence of Uk. He changed her and she had become Mudeok to him. I love her reaction when Maidservant Kim says “He absolutely adores you”. It was subtle yet spoke volumes about how at peace she was with who she had become.
      Agree though about a happy ending being difficult to see at this point. I’d love for the producers to create an alternate Ep.20 happy ending for the fans (something for bluray), but that’ll never happen.

  8. It was the perfect drama from beginning to end. AThe BEST kdrama ever!!!! I was hooked from everything inside 1 to 20 and every minute was so good !!!! The ending is just unbelievably coolest!! Wow I can’t believe just how good this drama was ! Amazing job! Can’t wait for December

  9. I am happy with the ending, because now they have a chance to make a better second season. I profoundly disliked Jang So Min in this role. In the beginning it was okey, but “dialect” became so super annoying that I dropped the drama in the middle of the run. I also believe that there was little chemistry between her and Lee Jae Wook. She was wooden most of the time and I could feel they were afraid of completely committing to that romance because of the difference in age.
    She won’t be in the second part and we will now have a possibility of more committed romance between Naksu which will now be played by Go Yoon Jung who is 26 years old and much better in fighting scenes and either Jang Uk or Seo Jul. Look forward to the Part II.

  10. Thanks for your recap. Me too watching towards sweet ending and needed a “turn” from it. I also thought that this series would ended well in 16 episodes as some parts I have to fast forward.

  11. Absolutely disappointing ending! I was on a business trip and didnt get to watch the final on time. When I got back I rushed and got this bitter-sweet taste. To consider Jung So Min absent in Season 2 takes out more than half the drive to watch it. And I agree that some side stories were squeezed in without added value – and were very painstakingly slow (e.g. maidservant Kim and Park’s love story)

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