Recap: ‘The Atypical Family’ Episodes 9 & 10 Are the Best Yet

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: June 3, 2024 (Last updated: 2 weeks ago)
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The Atypical Family Episodes 9 & 10 Recap
The Atypical Family | Image via Netflix

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS

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Summary

In its best pair of episodes yet, The Atypical Family ponders some big questions and provides some very strong character moments.

The Atypical Family has been improving every week, and that trend continues with Episodes 9 & 10. The K-Drama is finding a real love story at its core now, with more cliched considerations of superpowers and such only working to underscore the human drama.

Since we’re also getting closer and closer to the end, the stakes are heightening. After Episodes 7 & 8 raised and answered a lot of questions, there’s more focus now on what those answers might mean for the characters going forward.

Progress

This progress is exemplified in multiple ways in Episode 9. Of course, we see the romantic relationship between Da-hae and Gwi-joo continue to develop, but we also see how their relationship is having a positive knock-on effect for Gwi-joo and Yi-na, who he’s able to bond with after she has spent so much time focusing on her social hardships and staying out of her dad’s way.

It’s also significant that Gwi-joo is able to decipher the meaning of Man-huem’s dreams and explain it to her; this is a small touch, but the matriarch’s prognostications have been a consistent source of ambiguity and mystery throughout the season, so this is a worthwhile way of highlighting how far we’ve come.

Drama Persists

This isn’t to say that everything is going swimmingly, though. There’s still a pretty clear antagonist in Il-hong, and the Bok family are still at risk of being ripped off and torn apart. On a personal level, Mr. and Mrs. Bok are struggling after it comes to light that the former stole the winning lottery ticket from the latter in the previous episode.

And then there’s Yi-na’s bullying issues coalescing into her running away and going missing, which leads to by far the most emotional scene in the series thus far when Gwi-joo catches up with her. This moment of understanding between the two is extremely powerful, with Gwi-joo finally realizing that he has been neglecting his daughter.

An Ominous Warning

Episode 9 also has the best cliffhanger yet, with Gwi-joo confessing his feelings for Da-hae, and the two of them sharing a kiss, right before Man-huem has a dream about Gwi-joo dying. This informs everything in The Atypical Family Episode 10, probably the best outing of the season thus far with a sprinkling of all the essential dramatic elements.

Man-huem is convinced that Gwi-joo’s death is inevitable, and since she hasn’t really been wrong before that means something for the audience. This gives Da-hae the responsibility of helping him to create some happy memories in his final days, which is quite a lot of pressure!

Da-hae Fakes Her Death

Episode 10 employs a framing device, with an early car accident that seems to have killed Da-hae functioning as the inevitable destination. We wind back in time to the lead-up to the event, with the specter of Gwi-joo’s demise hanging over everything.

In this predicament, Da-hae comes to the realization that removing herself from the situation could avert fate and save him. It’s a logical assumption, but it’s never that easy, is it?

Still, it becomes clear that Da-hae faked her own death and absconded to a remote village where she couldn’t be found, which does technically seem to have saved Gwi-joo.

This won’t do, though, not when Gwi-joo has fallen for Da-hae so deeply, and Yi-na is quite clearly beginning to see her as a parental or at least sisterly figure. Both are adamant about reuniting, and reunite they do.

The big question is how this will determine their destinies. Will Gwi-joo and Da-hae being together put Gwi-joo’s life at risk again? Can fate be swerved and destinies changed? These are big questions and The Atypical Family Episodes 9 & 10 do a good job of pondering them. There are only a few episodes left for the show to come up with satisfactory answers.


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