The Kdrama “Heartbeat” Open Ending Explained: Did Sun Woo-Hyeol Die Or Come Back To Life?

Published Categorized as Kdrama Recaps

The Kdrama “Heartbeat” has ended its run earlier today, here is a recap of its finale and its open ending explained.

The Kdrama “Heartbeat” episode 16 recap

The episode begins with In-Hae catching Do-Sik speaking to Woo-Hyeol, Woo-Hyeol lies and says nothing is wrong but Do-Sik says otherwise. In-Hae tells Do-Sik he’s got it all wrong and he should leave.

At the guesthouse, the other vampires ask Woo-Hyeol if he’s fine. He’s not doing great and he’ll die soon.

Ri Man-Hwi calls Hae-Won and tells her Woo-Hyeol is dying soon. She’s shocked. Meanwhile, Do-Sik’s health is not doing good either.

At the butcher shop, Woo-Hyeol admits to the couple he’s a vampire and thanks them for taking care of this neighborhood. After hearing the truth, Hae-Won rushes to see Woo-Hyeol in the mansion, on her way out she talks to him. In-Hae asks her to leave and says she’ll protect him and even die for him at all cost. She’s unable to understand how one can love in death too.

At her office, Hae-Won meets with Do-Sik who is upset to learn she’s spread rumors about him being a vampire to get the mansion and everything. Man-Hwi also shows up and spills his secrets, he tells both of them the other’s truth. Then, he gets confrontational as they tell him to leave, Do-Sik ends up stabbing him with that special blade and he dies. Hae-Won is traumatized by this and changes course.

She meets Woo-Hyeol the next day to say she’s leaving to the U.S. he wishes her the best and hopes she finds love worth dying for. She tells him Do-Sik is after his blood as he must kill him and drink from his blood to remain alive and be freed from that curse he’s under.

In-Hae’s father also meets the butcher’s couple and tells them Woo-Hyeol is an amazing vampire who helped him out and saved his life.

At the mansion, Woo-Hyeol prepares to say goodbye and hands his two friends his clothes, they refuse it and are crying knowing he’s leaving soon.

Woo-Hyeol then pays a visit to Do-Sik to talk him after finding out the truth.

At night, Woo-Hyeol meets the cat and thanks him, he hugs him and they tell each other how much they learned from each other.

After that, Woo-Hyeol tells In-Hae he wants to take her on a trip. So they go to one, at the beach they play around and even take a photo despite him not showing up in them. They both exchange I love you and around the night time, Woo-Hyeol is not doing well, so they go back to their hotel room.

Seeing him in bed not doing great, she injures herself to give him blood but that does not work. He ends up tucking her in bed and then leaves her behind shedding tears.

He meets with Do-Sik, turns out they agreed he’d stab him and drink from his blood to free himself from that curse, as he’s about to do it, In-Hae sees them. Do Sik panics but Woo-Hyeol stabs himself, he dies.

At his funeral, all of his friends say goodbye including In Hae and her father. He’s laid to rest.

The cat comes to the mansion and hands In Hae the gold telling her he had hid it for their safety. She’s now able to use that money well along with the rest of his friends.

Park Dong-Seob opens his restaurant and its doing well. Lee Sang-Hae is still toying around, and Rose is looking after them.

Do-Sik also seems to be doing well and he’s interviewed after his donation to children with heart problems. The mansion and guest house is doing great in business. In Hae made a place for people who love night more than day and they’re all gathered having a good time.

Towards the end, she says in voiceover she’s still waiting for him. then after visiting his former place of resting, she goes back up and as she gazes up, she sees him in flesh, she smiles. Next to her, the photo she’d taken with him at the beach finally shows him too.

The end.

“Heartbeat” open ending explained

Did Woo-Hyeol die?

Yes, he did. He stabbed himself with that special dagger as he was approaching him end anyways.

Is Woo-Hyeol dead or alive?

Not specified. The drama has an open ending and invites viewers to guess what they want. You could interpret it as In Hae imagining him or that he actually came back to life after his death. The more plausible ending is that Woo-Hyeol is still very much dead and its only In Hae’s imagination as she misses him dearly.

Does “Heartbeat” have a happy ending?

No, it was a bittersweet ending. The drama ends with Woo-Hyeol’s death but also the death of the villain Ri Man-Hwi who caused them so much trouble.

Who killed Ri Man-Hwi?

Do Sik killed him using that special dagger he was going to use on Woo-Hyeol too. Apparently, it works on full vampires too.

How does “Heartbeat” end?

Towards the end of the episode, she says in voiceover she’s still waiting for him. Then, after visiting his former place of resting, she goes back up and as she gazes up, she sees him in flesh, she smiles. Next to her, the photo she’d taken with him at the beach finally shows him too. Is back alive or is it her imagination? You decide for yourself as its an open ending.

Did Do Sik get rid of the curse and his heart issue?

Its implied that he did considering how he appears to be doing much better, but its not confirmed 100%. in an interview he gives after Woo Hyeol’s death he says he doesn’t know when he’ll die and is trying to live day by day loving the people who matter to him the most.

Did you like Heartbeat ending?

Heartbeat ending- review

Well… I don’t like that ending, and not because it’s a sad ending but an open one.

I generally don’t vibe with concepts where one lead has to die at the end for their lover to live because generally speaking, the screenwriters opt to end it horribly written majority of the time. Its like they can’t decide on how to escape the route they created so they instead opt for an ‘open ending’ to somewhat leave fans on a good note. So, you neither get a satisfactory ending or a happy ending, its just ambiguous and somewhere in between.

I don’t like the said ambiguity, I like clean cuts most of the time, unless the script is very specific and requires such an ending. D.P. 2 for example is an exception to what I just said, but in case where a drama script specifically explains all the details and what can or cannot be done only to end it like Heartbeat did, I don’t like such approach.

You can end a romantic comedy on a sad note, that’s fine. That’s how you decided the drama would progress from the get-go and its fine to end it on a sad note, why not own up to it instead?

I think that last scene was unnecessary. It would have been fine if the photo at least didn’t show his face because then we’d be sure she was imagining him because she misses him so much.

Regardless, not the best ending in my opinion.

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. From the remake he had to drink her warm blood turned in suck her dry that was the turnstone of this drama because just the simple drinking of a few drops would made thd end so much easier to write. The writers had a new concept with a new view on the mythology but if you do that you can basically add more to that to escape the hole they started to dig somewhere around episode 10 when her love for him started to grow. Dissapointed because mrs. Na was poorly used and why could In-Hae open coffin(ok in episode 16 5 minutes before he died he suddenly found out In-Hae was the reïncarnation of his love) how an 8 idea can turn in a 4 drama but using new look on vampiers but never work it out and ending was her imagining so clearly bad end too.

  2. I’m heartbroken over the ending of HeartBeat. I wanted to see them together with all their friends and family. I loved the show, hated it had to end.

  3. It wasn’t the best ending for me as well. I don’t like sad endings, but I still prefer it more than the ending that’ll left me hanging. I really hoped for a happy ending with this one. Sadly, it ends just like that.

  4. It ended as one would expect based on the story line. It could have had a Twilight Zone style ending where it was a test if he’d drain her to become human, in which case he stayed a vampire, and if he didn’t, he’d wake up from a short “death”. I didn’t like the ending as it was, had to look online to see what it meant. He’s dead, it’s her imagination.

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