Memories of the Alhambra episode 16 gives us a useful conclusion with a forgiving twist at the end, to sign off a successful series overall.
This recap of Memories of the Alhambra Season 1, Episode 16, the finale, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
After many weeks of submerging ourselves into the quirky Korean TV series, Memories of the Alhambra Episode 16, the finale, is here. I have to conclude that my experience with this Netflix series has had its ups and downs, but overall, I have enjoyed the story and the many twists and turns (there were many). The one aspect I truly appreciated is that the plot reflected our near-future, where gaming will steer away from our high-definition screens and move to the streets. Pokemon Go! was a start and the number of VR headset products now on our shelves shows the concept is in its infancy. One day, it will be contact lenses.
As for Memories of the Alhambra Episode 16, Yoo Jin-woo (Hyun Bin) is determined to delete all the bugs in the game. The bugs that he created himself. By using the key from heaven, he removes each virus: Cha Hyung-seok (Park Hoon), his loyal assistant and the manipulative Mr. Cha. Mr. Park, the new CEO of J One makes a last ditch effort to find Yoo Jin-woo and visits the church where he was rumored to have been seen last. As he walks around the building he sees small mounds of sands, representing each bug deleted.
As Mr. Park walks around the church, it shows a clip of Yoo Jin-woo deleting each bug, emotionally consoling himself to removing them from the game for good. For Yoo Jin-woo, this meant a lot. These people were his friends, and he is ridding them from the game, the only thing he can hold onto is their memory. As Mr. Park sees each little mound, he finds the fourth one. Yoo Jin-woo realizes that he is also a bug, and gives the key to Emma, so he is also deleted.
Jung Hee-joo (Shin-Hye Park) arrives at the church and realizes what has happened, and as it translates in her head, the game resets as we expected, reverting to the beginning where all users are new, and there are no bugs. It is strange because, at this point of the finale, you realize that there is not much more to be debated and it moves into a more care-free second phase.
A year later, after Jung Hee-joo visiting the church on various occasions to find answers regarding Yoo Jin-woo and grieving at the possibility he is dead, the game has been released officially to the public. In the end, J One successfully launched the virtual reality game; causing some accidents and refinements from the developers. Mr Park is still emailing Yoo Jin-woo in hope that he gets a response, but none come. Jung Hee-joo continues with her guitar-building business, with an air of sadness surrounding her.
Memories of the Alhambra Episode 16 sees M.r Park offering the genius game programmer Jung Se-joo (Chan-Yeol Park) a leading role for a subsidiary company where he can advise on future games. On his first day, he speaks to one of the leading developers of the current game. Jung Se-joo explains that when he was missing it was because he was the master and was able to create an alternative universe for safety and no-one else could see him and theorizes that the same could have happened to Yoo Jin-woo when he handed Emma the bug-deletion key.
As Jung Hee-joo innocently enters a cafe, she overhears two gamers excitedly discuss a user they found who had guns, which at this point is impossible because no-one could have leveled up this quickly; in a state of shock, she asks where they found this user, and she runs to the location. The final scene of the series is a group of gamers struggling against NPCs and a Yoo Jin-woo in the shadows shooting the enemies; his weapon in a split second went out of sync and then the episode ends, giving us a painful twist to the entire season.
So the question we’ve got to ask ourselves is, was the version of Yoo Jin-woo an NPC, or the physical self? And what does it mean for the story if it ever did continue? Comment below your theory.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.