Heejoo goes off the grid and Haewon’s story finally begins.
This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series Reflection of You season 1, episode 16 — the finale/ending explained — contains spoilers.
Reflection of You is finally over, the drama that took us on a spin for eight weeks has come to a somewhat satisfying end. We know that Woojae was murdered (unintentionally) by Lisa as predicted a few episodes back but the finale didn’t center his death but instead the stories of Heejoo and Haewon. Heejoo’s story finally ended and Haewon’s began for the first time, after everything she’s been through.
Reflection of You season 1, episode 16 recap – the finale and ending explained
The final episode picked up from last night’s cliffhanger and we see the build-up to Woojae and Heejoo’s altercation. He’s in his art studio furious about the video being shared to the curator. He was unaware that she was recording the video and realized how it could easily be misconstrued. Fast forward, Woojae is seething at the mouth, he’s hurt and disappointed that Heejoo went to those levels. “You should’ve been straightforward with me from the beginning. Make the video public. Let the people be the judge,” he tells her. He’s frustrated because the clip could have ruined his reputation as an artist. He questions why she was so adamant about pulling out of the project and she explains that it’s for her own good, to stop making mistakes with him. He goes as far as mentioning how he was hurt by her and Hyungseong — who intentionally hit him and staged it as an accident. I’m not a fan of Woojae in the slightest but he says, “did you think I was going to let you both live happily ever after?” and he was right! He was in a coma for years and had his heart broken (his own doing, of course) but it would be delusional for Heejoo to act like everything is just fine.
Next, he realizes that Heejoo is scared of him and uses that fear to scare her further by strangling her. At this point, Lisa sees what happens and of course, wants to protect her mother. She stabs him in the neck until he bleeds out and runs out of the studio. It’s important to highlight that Haewon was in their midst but nobody knew. Lisa’s panicking and Heejoo’s cleaning everything up. She quickly drugs her husband who is upstairs so he doesn’t notice that a murder took place under his roof. Once he’s settled, she goes back to the studio to get rid of the painting, scrub the studio, her outfits and any ounce of evidence left. She goes as far as dropping Woojae’s body in the lake, officially ending his story.
Heejoo being Heejoo acts as if absolutely nothing happened. She reassured Lisa the following day that Woojae is alright, not letting her know that she is a murderer. In essence, it was in defense of her mother because Woojae could have killed her. Heejoo even has the audacity to show up at Woojae’s house to pack his stuff, to make it seem like he was on a holiday. As always Haewon is two steps ahead and comes out to see her packing his stuff. She lies to Haewon about his belongings until Haewon spills the beans, about her knowing that Woojae is dead. She even shows the murder weapon — the one and arguably most important thing Heejoo failed to dispose of. “You may have dodged cameras, got rid of his body but the blood and fingerprints on the pen will point to Lisa,” the moment she said that she stupidly tries to snatch the pen as if Haewon would ever let her off that easy.
For the first time, she’s at the mercy of Haewon, begging her not to report Lisa. She goes as far as mentioning that she shouldn’t even blame her because her husband would do everything in his power to get her off the hook. Instead, she presents Haewon with another ultimatum and vows to never come back, leave painting, tell the truth and expose everything as long as Lisa isn’t affected. “You’re willing to live in the prison you made for yourself until the day you die is what you’re saying,” Haewon clarifies. And she did just that. She puts Hosu in an international boarding school, Lisa goes abroad and she even gives her friend her car.
Before she officially leaves, she meets up with Haewon and tells her how she felt. She tells her about how she shined bright and how she was jealous of her back then. Haewon isn’t the only one to get things off her chest. She tells her that she, too, had the chance to be a mother in response to Heejoo mentioning how she would never know how a mother feels. Upon the final meeting with Haewon, she spends a final night with her children who don’t know she’s leaving. She hugs her son to sleep and watches Lisa sleep.
The video finally gets out and her mother-in-law is irate. Her feelings have always been centered but Hyungseong shut it down quickly, highlighting how he has the right to be mad more than anyone — after all, his wife cheated and left him. The grandmother is only upset because she never liked her in the first place.
We also see Haewon break down and cry for the first time! It’s upsetting but it’s bittersweet to know that she finally let her emotions out and can hopefully move on. She has a minor setback from being stabbed with a pen by Juyeong’s dad on the road but is redeemed, she didn’t die. Instead, we learn that she grew as an artist and has her first exhibition. As for Heejoo, she hasn’t been in contact with her family for years and works as a support worker at a care home.
The ending was unexpected but it was great to see that Haewon finally got her own story from the suffering she went through.
What did you think of Reflection of You season 1, episode 16 (finale), and the ending? Comment below.