All of Us Are Dead limps to a decent but mostly mundane conclusion, tying up most loose ends but also failing to really justify the lengthy investment to get there.
This recap of All of Us Are Dead season 1, episode 12 contains spoilers, including for the ending of All of Us Are Dead.
There’s an eerie quiet in the aftermath of the bombs being dropped on Hyosan. Most of the zombies are ash. Those few left alive have been irrevocably changed by what they have witnessed, and this becomes starkly clear when Su-hyeok, Nam-ra, and On-jo return to the building site to look for Cheong-san and find the place deserted. It’s time to say goodbye. It’s time to go. It’s time, I think, for this show to end.
All of Us Are Dead season 1, episode 12 recap
But the kids still have a way to go. Remember, the stakes we’re playing with here are that if a single infected person breaches Hyosan’s boundary, all of Korea will fall, so the military has moved in to clean up anyone who survived the bombings. In the woods, the kids find a trail of ribbons leading them through the woods, put there by So-ju (On-jo finds his flashlight, which he dropped when he fell.) They lead to Yangdong, which is also deserted, though no blood on the streets or broken windows suggests that the zombies never reached here. Nam-ra, though, smells something suspicious — zombies running rapidly towards them, coming from every direction. They attempt to flee at first, but eventually, they decide to take up arms and make their last stand. This, to be fair, is a solid action set-piece, reminiscent of the first half of the season, but Wu-jin gets himself bitten saving Ha-ri. They give him time to turn, though, so Nam-ra is forced to snap his neck in front of everyone.
Ha-ri confronts Nam-ra after this, and Nam-ra can feel her impulses getting the better of her. Her internal monologue is telling her to eat them all, and in the previous action scene, she seemed more monstrous, less human than ever, Recognizing what’s happening, she begins to beat her head against a wall and chew on her own arm again, but there’s only so long she can stave off these urges. When Su-hyeok notices she has been left behind he goes back for her, and On-jo follows. They find her feasting on one of the corpses. She tells them to stay back, but then runs at On-jo, trying to eat her. Interestingly, On-jo succumbs, allowing Nam-ra to bite her rather than force Su-hyeok into hitting her with a shovel, but Nam-ra is just about able to restrain herself. Su-hyeok and On-jo chase after her once again.
Meanwhile, the others reach a military blockade. As they approach the soldiers with their hands up, we see snippets of all the characters who have sacrificed themselves along the way. They’re taken to the quarantine zone, where On-jo tells U-sin about So-ju’s death. The kids are all interrogated individually, but none of them really cooperate. As On-jo says, she’ll never ask adults for anything again as long as they live. These kids have been betrayed and abandoned consistently by those who were supposed to care for and protect them.
All of Us Are Dead ending
More than four months after the outbreak began, martial law is lifted in Hyosan. The residents are still ostensibly under quarantine, but On-jo hops the wall with a knotted bedsheet and heads to a nearby tree fluttering with ribbons left for the dead and missing. She lays gifts at the base of the tree, though not Cheong-san’s name tag, which she keeps, and from the mountain, she sees a campfire that seems to have been lit on the school’s roof. At the Korean Red Cross camp, she finds Su-hyeok and tells him this. Since Nam-ra said they should have a campfire if they were to ever meet again, both On-jo and Su-hyeok decide to go that night — but just the two of them.
When she goes to meet Su-hyeok that night, though, everyone’s there. With the gang back together, they all head out, lay gifts and cards and candy wrappers at the remembrance tree and head towards the ruins of Hyosan High School. The place is a mess, almost falling in on itself, littered with human-shaped piles of ash. The students make their way to the roof. Up there, they do indeed find the campfire, and then Nam-ra. She’s still in her uniform. Most of her wounds are healed or are getting there. She seems quite well, actually. She has found a purpose in helping the few others like her who managed to survive, and she’s happy being halfway between human and monster, the same way they’re halfway between adults and children. She assures everyone that they’ll always be friends, and then jumps right off the roof. The episode, and indeed the show, ends with the other students looking a mix of surprised and contented by her departure. I know how they feel.
You can stream All of Us Are Dead season 1, episode 12 exclusively on Netflix. Do you have any thoughts on the All of Us Are Dead ending? Let us know in the comments.