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[Alternate Endings] Hello? Signal 2016? I’m from 2017 here to fix your ending

By @earthna

Signal is the kind of drama that only comes around once in a blue moon. It shook my world and probably a lot of K-drama fans also felt the same. It was great through and through. Sadly, the last episode was the weakest and it left me deflated by the end of it. I usually enjoy open-ended dramas, but was disappointed at how Signal left things unresolved.

I mean, Jae-han and Hae-young never meet?! Are you kidding me?! How dare you, show! I’m also not hopeful for a Season 2 (or more like, I don’t think it can surpass this one) so I’m more bitter that it ended just like that. So here’s my fanfic version of an alternate ending. I’m not good with brainy stuff so I’m going with emotional closure here.

Hae-young saw her coming from a distance. From the way her lips curved down, he knew that there was still no news about Jae-han. It’d been a while since the transmissions stopped. Everyone seemed to go about their lives like normal. It wasn’t surprising, although a whole timeline just got changed. But it wasn’t the same for him and Soo-hyun. They knew and they never forgot.

“Hey,” was her greeting. On closer look, her eyes were red as if she had cried before coming here. They just sat there, afraid that they would break into tears once they voiced what they had in their minds. Should we stop? Maybe he did die— He stopped the thought.

“Jae-han sunbae…” Soo-hyun broke the silence. Trying hard not to break down, Hae-young looked up. “Do you think he’s still…”

Just then, Soo-hyun’s phone started ringing. She wiped a teardrop that unknowingly escaped her eyes. “Hello?” Her eyes widened. “When was the body found?” The person on the other line must have relayed shocking information because Soo-hyun shot up from her seat. “I’ll be there.” She hanged up and looked straight at Hae-young. “Let’s go.”

In the car, Soo-hyun couldn’t help but replay the phone conversation. It was Gye-chul. “Doctor Oh was looking for you today. She found someone who has the same description as the person you’ve been looking for. Height, age, and even the metal pin in the shoulder. The thing is… It’s not a corpse. This person is alive.”

She knew she wasn’t supposed to hope for anything but her heart did anyway. Her foot pressed harder on the accelerator.

Soo-hyun and Hae-young sped through the corridors of the hospital, the latter not knowing what was going on except that he had to follow his superior. She looked desperate yet strangely hopeful. What did she find out through that phone call?

They both stopped in front of a room. Soo-hyun rushed inside, breathing heavily from running. Unsure of whether he should go in or not, Hae-young stood outside. He heard Soo-hyun’s voice, like she was crying. Curious, he checked the name beside the door. The name hit him so hard he had to step back. He couldn’t believe his eyes. It said: Lee Jae-han.

Soo-hyun stared at the man sitting on the bed. He was dressed in a hospital gown staring back at her. She noticed a few wrinkles had formed on his face and more than a few strands of his hair had turned white. He looked older than what she remembered, yet it was the same warm and welcoming face she’d always imagined in her head. It was him. Recognition came to Jae-han and he smiled at Soo-hyun. The tears that she’d been holding in for years escaped her eyes. She stood there crying, unable to put her words together.

He slowly got up from the bed and made his way towards her. Pausing only to glance at her face, Jae-han pulled her into an embrace. Sounds finally came out of her mouth. She was sobbing. “Jae-han sunbae.”

Jae-han smirked. “I see our 0.5 is still a crybaby even after so many years.” Soo-hyun hugged him tighter as if trying to hold on to a dream. “I’m sorry it took me this long.”

“I really thought you died,” she said in between sobs. “I thought I did too.” It was that familiar laugh. Soo-hyun let go and looked up to his face. “But how? How did you…” she began to ask. “Through a radio transmission and a young man,” he said.

The door opened and in came the exact young man he was talking about. “Detective Lee Jae-han…”

Hae-young couldn’t believe that the man he’d only talked to through the radio was now standing in front of him, alive and well. Memories of the past year went through his head. The cold cases, the victims, the timeline change, the deaths, the justice. However, one memory was clearer than the others. It was him eating omurice thinking he was alone. Now, he knew he’d never been. Jae-han was there for him and it seemed that this time, he was here to stay.

The three of them filled each other in on the years they’d lost. There were tears and laughter. Jae-han finally managed to confess his feelings for Soo-hyun and they got married. It took a while to convince her mom that Soo-hyun was not going to wear a pink wedding dress. Hae-young came to the wedding with his girlfriend Song Ma-rin (What? Oh, wrong drama.) They went on picnics from time to time. And this is how the final episode of Signal ends with the credits rolling…

 
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"I'm also not hopeful for a Season 2 (or more like, I don’t think it can surpass this one) so I’m more bitter that it ended just like that." Precisely.

This show definitely shook my world, and I was left feeling so unhappy at that ending. This kind of emotional closer is just what I needed (though in the ending in my head, Jae Han is dead. Yes. Even though I loved him, he died in my version) Thanks for writing.

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LOVE your ending!

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Thank you, @earthna! Yes, this is the kind of emotional closure I needed, too. After all that hard-boiled non-romance, I'm glad you got them to see the light and tie the knot.

LOL at Hae-young's girlfriend from another show with a wacky timeline. Just don't let any of them get near a subway. ;-)

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This drama made me eat omurice for weeks! Signal literally shook my world.
I was actually quite satisfied with the original ending. However I will not refuse to see park hae-young bring song ma-rin as his plus one to so-hyun and jae-han wedding.

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"Hae-young came to the wedding with his girlfriend Song Ma-rin (What? Oh, wrong drama.)"

This gave me LOL. When Signal meets Tomorrow With You through the wonderful creature called Lee Je Hoon, wow, that is very interesting to see.

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Ha ha.. that made me laugh too!

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Thanks @earthna ... made me laugh out loud.

Not only do we re-write endings of time-warp/time-travel dramas here, we also character-merge and teleport in dramaspace-slip across show portals... and we don't even need a train or a phone! 😆

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Loved this! hahahaha I kept imagining LJH to pull out a walkie talkie out of nowhere while watching TMWY kkkk

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Love this ending. It's beautiful 💜 and lol at the Song Ma Rin part 😝

like the dramas that have been chosen so far. Hope to see School 2015, Ssongsungmin(AgeOfYouth2), Cheese in the trap, Missing 9 as well.

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I think they are saving the best for last :) I am also waiting for cheese in the trap. I was waiting for Signal, I got it today *happy dance*

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Your alternate endin makes me wanna rewatch signal ! But I totally agree with you there that season 2 may not surpass season 1

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THANK YOU! I adored Signal so much, It still gives me goosebumps whenever i think about it. It doesn't really matter to me wether Jae Han lived or died, I just need a closure. What you wrote was pretty similar to what I imagined, though I have 2 versions, one where he died, one where he lived.

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Very nicely written @earthna! I didn't like signal's ending that much, it kind of lessened my awe of the rest of the show. But, this was a really good ending!

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Well that's a fairy tale ending, for sure... Haha
I actually don't like the final execution, They basically change everyone memory, make what already happen actually didn't occured in the past, and change the future to fit Jae Han is still alive narrative.It's such a let down final for me, abit a faiy tale ending. But it's still acceptable.

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I loved Signal so much that I was practically either crying or infuriated every week during its broadcast. I became and certified Cha Soo Hyun and Lee Ji Han fangirl after the show. I still follow Cho Jin Wong and Kim Hye Soo movie projects. Loved the both of them, Thank you for the alternate ending. But I just hoped for the three detectives to meet and share a soju together that alone is a good ending for me:)

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Ok when I read that someone wanted to rewrite the ending of Signal,my gut reaction was BLASPHEMY! How could I want to change an ending that had me yelping in happiness and craving for more in frustration. Doesn’t that equate to happiness?! But I decided there might be another path to happiness so, i will 🛑 now to actually read what you’ve laid out.

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Oh that was emotional closure and the Ma-rin mention heee ! I would tweak it slightly to say Soo-hyun wore pink heels if there was a wedding scene. She has to have something pink! But alas i love the idea/desire of a Season 2 with the understanding it may never come. I’m the person who enjoys Thursdays more than Fridays because it’s the hope of a great weekend to come versus it arriving and falling short of expectations.

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👏👏👏👏👏
Signal is that drama that is so good but the ending lack that 2%. I thought I find peace and happy enough that it was from start to finish but after reading your altenate ending... man... this.is.good.

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Gosh, that made me tear up. Because that's exactly what i had hoped for to see in the last Episode. Signal was just totally undeniably great and will stay with me for a long long time. Thank you for this version <3

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I love that Hae Young went with Ma Rin hahahaha

Good job!!!

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So maybe I'm in a minority but I absolutely loved Signal's ending. There were two majority opinions on this drama: that it was a work of genius and the ending was ambiguous and unsatisfying. I had completely the other reaction.

I thought the first 12 episodes were very good but then 13, 14 and 15 were slow, meandering and almost tiresome. The show lost all focus and treaded over the same narrative ground repeatedly. There was at max an episode's worth of plot spread out over three. I spent most of 15 yelling "yes it's a closed time loop, we get it, just get on with it".

I was in no hurry to watch the finale after that but finally settled down one afternoon and absolutely loved it. Finally the show got to the point! And it was a great point. Overall, this was definitely one of the best dramas of 2016 and that's because of this episode.

Like Forest of Secrets, this drama understands and accepts that corruption is eternal and repeats constantly. Also eternal is the passing of the guard from honest, determined cops to new cops in the future. For that reason, it was more important that Jae Han and Hae Young NOT meet. They're different generations of the same man bridged by a person one trained and the other was mentored by. The walkie-talkie represented the link between the past and the future of the omnipresence of corruption and those who fight it.

Hae Young and Soo Hyun aren't driving to meet Jae Han; they're driving into the future of law enforcement, into a new story.

So I can't say I'm thrilled with your ending. But I guess people get their emotional fulfilment in different ways and mileage, as always, varies.

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