Navillera episode 12 recap – the finale/ending explained

By Daniel Hart
Published: April 27, 2021
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Netflix k-drama series Navillera season 1, episode 12 - the finale ending explained


There’s little to say about a finale that speaks for itself — this was beautiful.

This recap of the Netflix k-drama series Navillera season 1, episode 12 — the finale/ending explained — contains spoilers.

What an emotionally exhausting finale — if you’ve had time to recover and reflect, you may be wondering how a single episode of television had you in complete bits. Credit has to go to the cast and crew for making the story convincing; it was delivered well.

The finale begins with that heartbreaking moment hinted at in the penultimate episode — Deok-chul wakes up and does not remember his wife, Hae-nam. In the tragic exchange, Seong-gwan overhears the situation and runs into the room. They immediately call a taxi and bring him to the hospital — the doctor tells them not to worry too much and arranges a check-up and an increase in medication dosage. Seong-gwan privately asks the doctor if Deok-chul can perform in front of an audience — her facial expression says it all — no. Navillera episode 12 was attempting to break our hearts from here.

Jogging Deok-chul’s memory

Remember how Hae-nam was against her husband doing ballet — the ending of Navillera sees a loving wife supporting her husband’s dreams. The recognition that this is Deok-chul’s last chance in life to do something is beautiful.

Hae-nam refuses to give up and believes taking Deok-chul to the ballet studio will be a good idea to jog his memory. When they enter the studio, Deok-chul remembers that he performed ballet, but he cannot remember absolutely everything. However, when he touches the ballet bar, he remembers Chae-rok teaching him ballet. Seong-gwan shows him footage from the camera, and suddenly he remembers his wife and son. But, in a sad state of affairs, Deok-chul doesn’t remember the moves for the Ballet Gala. There’s so much anxiety ingrained in the dialogue.

Breaking the news to Ki Seung-joo/Chae-rok fights for Deok-chul

Deok-chul, Seong-gwan and Hae-nam head to the Ballet Gala. Deok-chul tells Ki Seung-joo that he’s sick and has been all this time. He apologizes for being a nuisance and states he has forgotten parts of the choreography — he didn’t expect this to happen soon. He breaks down into sobs.

There are only a few hours left before the show to rehearse. Ki Seung-joo is sympathetic but tells Deok-chul that Chae-rok will have to perform alone. Chae-rok heads over and says he cannot perform on his own — he believes Deok-chul can still do this and remembers his promise — to teach the older man as much as he can. He believes they can split the choreography into parts and that muscle memory will help Deok-chul. Privately, Ki Seung-joo is furious, but Chae-rok fights backs, stating they should give Deok-chul the one opportunity in his life to perform.

This was a defining moment — seeing Chae-rok fight for Deok-chul’s dream solidified this heartwarming relationship that we have adored since episode 1.

Pre-performance nerves

The Gala audience starts to fill the auditorium; Deok-chul’s family shows up, and surprisingly, Ho-beom takes a seat. Chae-rok’s father also joins. Deok-chul prepares himself in the dressing room. Chae-rok gives him a gift — some ballet pumps; he claims they are magic. They can hear the audience clap, and as the audience wait, we wait with bated breath and wonder if there was enough time in rehearsals. Ki Seung-joo asks Deok-chul directly if he can do this. Deok-chul states he can — there’s a nervousness in the room.

It’s time for Deok-chul to soar

And this is where the tears stream and the writers earn their salaries — we could not have been prepared for how eleven chapters brought the audience to this moment. Maybe it’s because we didn’t feel it was going to happen, but for some reason, Navillera episode 12 hits an emotional chord in a way that’s difficult to describe.

Chae-rok and Deok-chul get to the stage — Chae-rok reminds him he’s doing something he loves. Before they head on, Deok-chul smiles. Swan Lake plays, and they perform together. However, Deok-chul has a lapse, and he freezes. Chae-rok continues anyway, realizing he’s fulfilling the older man’s dream — knowing his dancing helps him — knowing this is Deok-chul’s last opportunity to feel fulfilled and not live the rest of his life with regret. Deok-chul remembers his moments with Chae-rok, and the episode shows the audience their flashbacks — he knew he wanted to take a chance at ballet when he saw Chae-rok. In the present, Deok-chul begins to move again as he remembers the moves.

With his young companion by his side, Deok-chul soars.

Relive the moment when Deok-chul’s words help Chae-rok get back on his feet:

Deok-chul wants to admit himself in a nursing home

Navillera episode 12 does not give the audience time to breathe — by the time you have contained yourself, hard-hitting moments keep on arriving.

The finale flits away from one of the most beautiful moments of the series. Deok-chul wakes up and gets himself a glass of water. He finds the ballet pumps that Chae-rok gave him. There’s writing inside that says, “the man who will soar. Sim Deok-chul”. Deok-chul feels like it was all a dream — he made his dreams come true. Later on, his family tells him how deeply moved they were. But to bring back the emotional rollercoaster, Deok-chul tells his family it’s time for him to go to a nursing home as he’s eventually going to forget them. He asks them not to go against his will and that he’s already chosen where to live — he doesn’t want to get admitted when it’s too late.

Privately, Seong-suk tells her father that she wants to repay the favor and take care of him; she offers to help him speak, read, anything he wants — she begs him not to leave and to stay. Deok-chul hugs his daughter as she sobs. And with that, Deok-chul decides to accept his family’s wishes and allow them to help.

The power of a supporting family shines through in the finale.

Chae-rok’s manager

The next day, Chae-rok receives a call from Deok-chul. He’s in a sprightly mood and wants to see him. Chae-rok is confused. Deok-chul tells him he’s still his manager and that it’s his turn to soar. He asks why he was late and wants him an hour earlier next time for practice. Deok-chul continues writing in his diary with updates on Chae-rok’s progress. Every moment in this episode either makes you smile or cry.

The documentary

To the whole family, Seong-gwan plays his documentary that shows Deok-chul’s journey with ballet. The family is warmed by it, and Deok-chul watches it with tears in his eyes. Afterward, Seong-gwan tells his father that he wished he had more time, but he can see his father also wanted time after editing the video. He’s decided to return to the hospital to be a doctor — time has healed.

Chae-rok leaves Korea

At this point, audiences will be floored by everything the finale is throwing at them.

Chae-rok is ready to go on his travels to further his ballet career. His father joins him at the airport. When he gets to the airport, Deok-chul is there to send him off with his family and Ki Seung-joo. Chae-rok says bye to everyone and then walks alone. He looks back at Deok-chul who’s eyes fill up with tears. Deok-chul chases after him — he doesn’t want to forget his face. The pair hug each other. Both characters cry, and then Chae-rok keeps on walking to get to his plane.

The ending

With another emotional moment passing, Navillera episode 12 moves into the future; in a sad but almost funny moment, Deok-chul thinks he’s a mailman, and Hae-nam tells him to stop delivering post to neighbors. She gets him ice cream and tells him that Chae-rok is going to visit. His condition has clearly gotten worse. He keeps asking, “when will it snow?”. One day, it does snow for Deok-chul, and he’s elated. He walks the street as the flakes fall, and he sees Chae-rok, who has returned.

Chae-rok tells him he is back and starts performing ballet for him. Deok-chul asks him, “did you soar?” — he remembers him. Chae-rok nods and they smile at each other. Deok-chul starts performing ballet moves back. Just beautiful.

There’s little to say about a finale that speaks for itself — this was beautiful.

Additional points
  • Ki Seung-joo proposes to his partner and acquaintance, who doesn’t seem too impressed.
  • Seong-san tells his daughter Eun-ho to follow what she loves and be happy.
  • Ho-beom pursues his career in soccer.
  • Chae-rok visits his mother’s memorial with his father and tells her he wishes she was there.

Ending Explained, Netflix, TV - Ending Explained, Weekly TV
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