Alice: Episode 12
Our hero’s desire for revenge is at an all-time high after another tragedy hits close to home. Barely giving himself time to process what has happened, he begins his search for the one thing that can end time travel. Meanwhile, our professor begins to learn more about the truth of her identity.
“I can’t go back to tomorrow. That’s because I’m a different person from then.” – Alice in Wonderland
Captain Go takes a call from Cheol-am, who’s aware that he’s protecting Jin-gyum and hands the phone to the real Teacher…Oh-won. Oh-won informs Captain Go that his decision will cost him In-sook and Jin-gyum. As he hangs up, we see that he has the time travelers’ mark on his wrist.
Rushing out of the church, Captain Go explains that this isn’t the same Oh-won that Tae-yi knows. He’s a time traveler who’s killing those who try to end time travel. This Oh-won’s goal is to destroy the final page of the book.
As the sole person who can close the door of time, Jin-gyum has a huge target on his back. The captain tells Tae-yi that they need to find the missing page before Oh-won does, so Jin-gyum can end everything. It was written in the prophecy that she’s fated to find it.
Captain Go tosses Jin-gyum’s phone at her and drives off alone after promising to do everything he can. She follows closely behind.
As Jin-gyum struggles against the handcuffs, Oh-won appears in front of him. Quick-witted, Jin-gyum asks how long he’s been lying to them. Oh-won says, “Your mother asked the same question,” confirming Jin-gyum’s suspicion that he killed her.
Oh-won goes on about how there are alternate versions of everyone in the various parallel dimensions. Time travel creates a world in which death means nothing – a world where Jin-gyum is able to meet his late mother again. To Jin-gyum, having alternate versions of Mom doesn’t change the fact that Oh-won killed her.
Because Jin-gyum is bitter that time travel caused innocent lives to be lost, Oh-won reveals that his mother was the scientist solely responsible for making time travel possible.
While this confrontation is happening, Tae-yi urges Dong-ho to find out Jin-gyum’s exact location and the captain is on his way there. Captain Go recalls warning Sun-young back in 2010 about Teacher. He’d apologized for not being able to help.
Oh-won blames Jin-gyum’s mother for “betraying” the time travelers by trying to destroy the ability she created. He calmly points his gun at Jin-gyum, whose lack of reaction prompts the director to ask if he’s not afraid of dying. Jin-gyum steadily answers that he is afraid…of dying before getting to arrest him.
They’re interrupted by Captain Go’s arrival. As he draws nearer, Jin-gyum grows frantic and warns him to stay away. His futile attempts at escaping from his handcuffs have created a huge gash on his wrist. Pleased about the situation, Oh-won steps into the darkness and allows Captain Go to rush to Jin-gyum’s aid. As he fiddles with the handcuff keys, Oh-won shoots the captain in the back.
Captain Go shields Jin-gyum with his body and fires a couple of shots himself before taking another bullet to the chest. Oh-won flees when Jin-gyum frees himself, and the captain declines going to the hospital. Having lived two tiring lives, he’s ready to leave but apologizes for not catching the culprit as promised.
He considered his life over the moment he traveled back in time and advises Jin-gyum not to cling onto the past. What’s precious is the present and the people who are around him.
Captain Go was happy to have met him here and between sobs, Jin-gyum manages to eke out, “I was also very happy…father.” The captain’s face lights up at this before passing moments later. Tae-yi arrives just as Jin-gyum lets out grief-stricken wails.
The police arrive the next morning and the rest of the team processes their beloved captain’s death. Dong-ho somberly reports that Oh-won has fled and when Do-yeon gets there, he quickly covers up the body. She’s in denial that anything has happened and looks to Jin-gyum for reassurance that the captain’s okay.
His silence sends her into tears and she runs to the body to confirm it for herself, but Dong-ho holds her back. Do-yeon collapses and sobs in despair. Jin-gyum gets up to leave, telling Tae-yi that there’s something he has to do for the captain.
Later on, Do-yeon stays by In-sook’s side at the funeral, but Tae-yi notices that Jin-gyum’s nowhere to be seen. He doesn’t answer her calls and is still in his bloodied clothes, searching Oh-won’s office.
Jin-gyum eventually ends up at the precinct to look over the case files and pulls out Captain Go’s flip phone. He makes a call with it and Oh-won picks up. After a moment of silence, Jin-gyum warns, “It doesn’t matter where you are. Whether you escape to the future or another dimension, I’ll definitely find you and kill you with my own hands.”
After hanging up, Oh-won thinks back to the day he got his glasses. Flanked by Cheol-am and Captain Go, he’d taken them from the Good Oh-won who was kidnapped. They bounded and gagged him, then placed him in a huge ditch. Oh-won/Teacher noted the irony in how one of them wanted to destroy time travel, while the other wished to protect it. Good Oh-won was horrified realizing that he was being replaced.
Tae-yi finds Jin-gyum studying the case file at the precinct. He’s all business, asking her if she found out why Captain Go traveled to this time. Tae-yi softly says that there’s no right or wrong way of coping, but running away isn’t ideal.
She tells him to go to the funeral and stay by Captain Go’s side to fulfil his duties as a son. Her words set off the waterworks and Tae-yi comforts him as he cries, assuring him that she’ll be next to him.
With that, Tae-yi watches from afar as Jin-gyum leads a group of uniformed officers in a final salute towards the captain. Do-yeon supports In-sook who’s wracked with grief, and Jin-gyum holds back his tears.
That night, Tae-yi confides in Jin-gyum that she thought people would become happier because of time travel. They’d theoretically be able to fix mistakes and reunite with those they’ve separated from. She figures his mother had the same thought.
Time travel has only brought upon innocent deaths around Jin-gyum. He decides to do something about it so that it never happens again, telling Tae-yi to keep her distance and avoid putting herself in danger.
She blurts out that Captain Go planned to search for the missing page of the Book of Prophecy. However, she personally doesn’t believe in prophecies and trusts the facts of science – as a scientist, his mother would’ve been the same. She asks to search Mom’s computer for any clues.
Jin-gyum doesn’t agree at first but relents when Tae-yi says that she wants to help catch the people who are abusing their time traveling abilities. She removes the hard drives the next day and notices Jin-gyum’s blood-stained wallet. Tae-yi helps him re-bandage his wrist and he agrees that they shouldn’t get hurt while catching the criminal.
The team discusses the case and Lieutenant Ha shares that Oh-won’s car moved during the time that he was kidnapped. It wasn’t stolen nor driven by family. Jin-gyum gets Dong-ho to check whether the flip phone was used on the day the car moved, near the underground warehouse where Oh-won was held captive. There was a call made on a nearby mountain.
This leads them to discover Oh-won’s body, which indicates that he has been dead for a couple of days. The Oh-won that replaced him is now at Sun-young’s ossuary. “I wonder if you’ll be able to protect your son this time, too,” he says.
Back at Jin-gyum’s apartment, Dong-ho says that they won’t be able to search for Oh-won now that the real one has turned up dead. He suggests revealing what they know about time travelers so that they can investigate at a larger scale.
Jin-gyum knows nobody will believe them anyway, so their new plan is to look for the missing page before Oh-won finds it.
Shi-young reports to Cheol-am that the security footage near the inn has been restored, but lies that she didn’t find anything suspicious despite seeing him in the footage. Meanwhile at the lake, Seung-pyo confirms that Teacher’s side is after Jin-gyum. Min-hyuk is certain that they’re associated with Alice, and gets Seung-pyo to look into Captain Go’s whereabouts prior to arriving at the fishing spot.
Tae-yi gets Jin-gyum a new wallet as a present. Too impatient to wait for him to come out of the washroom, she begins to migrate his cards from his old wallet to the new one. She stops short when she sees the photo of him with Sun-young. She looks exactly the same as Tae-yi. She finally understands Jin-gyum’s reaction to her when they’d first met, recalling all the tears and impulsive hugs.
When Jin-gyum finds her lost in thought, she comments that she was a fool for not catching on sooner given everything she knows about time travelers. She excuses herself, declining his offer to take her home.
She finds Min-hyuk waiting outside her place. He had heard that she was the last to see Captain Go, and was looking for information to protect Jin-gyum from getting killed. Tae-yi is skeptical of his intentions and asks why he cares about Jin-gyum and treats her nicely. “Is it your personality, or is it because you’re confusing me for the lieutenant’s mother?” she asks.
Tae-yi emotionally says that her biggest fear is that someone is physically with her, but is thinking about someone else who looks like her. Understanding what she means, Min-hyuk admits that he was reminded of someone when they’d first met, but each interaction with Tae-yi solidified the fact that she isn’t the person he once knew. “A person is built by the time they experienced,” he says.
He turns to leave after apologizing for bringing chaos into her life, but Tae-yi demands to know who he is. “I’m Yoo Min-hyuk from Alice,” he answers. This triggers a memory from Tae-yi’s subconscious – she’d heard him introduce himself to Se-hoon the night her father was murdered.
Memories of that incident come flooding back, including the fact that she was saved by someone who looked exactly like her grown up self. Traumatized, Tae-yi collapses and regains consciousness at the hospital with Min-hyuk by her side.
When she mentions that he was present when her father died, Min-hyuk genuinely has no idea what she means. He leaves when Jin-gyum arrives at the hospital (Min-hyuk called him there) and Tae-yi tells the lieutenant that she met his mother before. Shi-young is parked outside the hospital, unhappy with how worried Min-hyuk looks.
When Tae-yi gets home, she tells Jin-gyum that she’s only alive because his mom traveled through time and saved her. However, her father’s dead because of the time travel she created. Tae-yi dismisses Jin-gyum’s apologies, as it’s not his fault.
Tae-yi had only ever thought about reuniting with those she wanted to meet through time travel and never considered that she may meet people she should never meet – like Jin-gyum. She wonders about the relationship between them, as well between her and his mother.
She ultimately decides that she would’ve been better off if she hadn’t met Jin-gyum or found out about her past, retreating into her room to cry alone. Jin-gyum agrees through the door that they shouldn’t have met, but he was still happy to have gotten to know her.
At Alice, Min-hyuk confronts Cheol-am about the mission that sent him and Tae-yi to Dr. Jang. Cheol-am claims that it was an order from HQ, prompting Min-hyuk to question whether they had a hand in her death. Cheol-am freezes at the mention of Tae-yi being Dr. Jang’s daughter and claims that having two of the same people meet was bound to happen in their line of work.
Min-hyuk fumes that their time traveling has caused the current Tae-yi’s life to become a mess, vowing to put a stop to it. Cheol-am calls Teacher to report that Tae-yi has regained their memories, meaning they can look for the final page now.
Shi-young is wary of the security cameras and tries to pull Min-hyuk aside, but he rejects her help. He will never forgive her for lying because it led to Tae-yi’s death. She spitefully says that she should’ve killed Tae-yi herself if she knew this is how things would turn out, and Cheol-am watches this exchange from his tablet.
Do-yeon attempts to enter Jin-gyum’s apartment, but he has changed his code. When Dong-ho arrives, he reluctantly lets her in and unsuccessfully attempts to hide the investigation board. One look is all it takes for her to realize that this is related to time travelers.
Later, Cheol-am visits Shi-young in the control room. Despite her feigning ignorance, the director knows that Shi-young’s aware of his involvement in Se-hoon’s death. He tells her that he’ll have to take care of Min-hyuk himself if he continues to investigate and inevitably finds out about him.
He wants Shi-young to cover things up so the agent never finds out. He uses her feelings for Min-hyuk to his advantage and insinuates that once he gets what he needs from Tae-yi, it doesn’t matter what happens to her. He convinces Shi-young that Tae-yi’s disappearance is how they’ll both achieve their goals – as long as she lives, Min-hyuk will have lingering feelings.
After conducting some research on Dr. Jang, Tae-yi calls the university that he used to teach at, hoping to get in touch with someone who might have known him. Shi-young deletes the footage of Cheol-am and sits in on Tae-yi’s lesson.
Dong-ho has been in touch with Dr. Jang’s university as well, and tells Jin-gyum that Tae-yi seems to be looking into her father. Remembering Captain Go’s final words about how precious the people who are by his side are, Jin-gyum decides to meet up with Tae-yi since she’s been ignoring his calls.
After Tae-yi’s lecture, Shi-young introduces herself, lying that her father was Dr. Jang’s friend. When Jin-gyum pulls into the university, he drives past Shi-young and spots Tae-yi in the passenger seat. When the agent realizes that she’s being chased, she pulls out her gun and seethes, “Yoon Tae-yi, you were always the problem.”
Shi-young’s unable to shake Jin-gyum off their tail so Tae-yi reaches over and steers them into a pile of bricks at the corner of an intersection. The impact of the crash knocks her out, so Shi-young escapes and locks Tae-yi in the car. Jin-gyum smashes a window and attempts to pull Tae-yi out, but the vehicle ignites in flames and explodes before he can do so.
2010. Tae-yi wakes up completely fine inside Jin-gyum’s house. She has traveled to the period of time right after Jin-gyum has been cleared of his false charges. The high schooler gets home and scares off some boys who are in the midst of spray painting hateful words about him.
Tae-yi doesn’t realize that she’s in the past until she spots Jin-gyum through the window in his school uniform. She hides in the kitchen while he greets her, thinking that she’s his mother, Sun-young. Luckily, he doesn’t attempt to engage in further conversation so she locks herself in Sun-young’s bedroom
A photo of her younger self catches her eye and upon further digging, Tae-yi finds a picture of her and Sun-young in front of Hope Orphanage. She remembers waking up at the hospital and mistakenly thinking that Sun-young was her mother. Ah, so she was able to keep her real name, Yoon Tae-yi, because Sun-young knew who she was.
When Sun-young gets home after grocery shopping, she beelines for Jin-gyum’s room and is confused when he claims that he already greeted her when he got home. She senses that something’s off and gasps when she unlocks her room to find the grown Tae-yi staring back at her. Elsewhere, Jin-gyum’s covered in radiation rashes and smirks coldly.
Aghh! Firstly, I just want to point out that Jin-gyum has now held two dying parents in his arms as the life left their bodies. That’s an immensely traumatic experience, even for someone who has difficulty processing emotions and feelings. Similar to when Sun-young died, Jin-gyum became hyper focused on doing whatever he can to catch the culprit. It makes it so much worse knowing that the same man killed both his mother and the captain. Tae-yi aptly pointed out that Jin-gyum was running away, and that was simply because he didn’t know how to feel or react. I’m glad she was there looking out for him and making sure that he had an outlet for his grief, and pushed him to fulfil his duties as the captain’s son.
Not only did Captain Go and In-sook have Jin-gyum as a son, they also had Do-yeon as a daughter. It was heartbreaking seeing her break down at the scene of the crime, and you can really tell how close-knit this makeshift family became over the past decade. Captain Go’s biggest regret when In-sook died in his own timeline was that she was lonely and didn’t have him around. During the last ten years, their days were filled with laughter because of Do-yeon, and the couple had two people to dote on. Although the captain is gone now, he can rest assured knowing that his two “children” will continue to be there for his wife.
With Tae-yi’s memories resurfacing and the fact that she is now in the 2010 timeline, I’m hopeful that we’ll start to get some answers and insight on Sun-young’s thoughts, as well as what might have transpired that resulted in her death. So far, we haven’t gotten the chance to know what Sun-young has been thinking and have only heard about her through the lens of others. I’m really excited for Tae-yi to interact with herself from an alternate dimension. I’m glad that Tae-yi has finally found out about who Jin-gyum’s mother is. I’ll cut her some slack since she called herself out for it, but she definitely should have realized that an alternate version of her was Jin-gyum’s mom, with what she knows about time travel and how multiple people have commented on their striking resemblance.
I’d also like to have a moment of silence for Oh-won – the good guy. He carried on Sun-young’s legacy for ten whole years, working hard to stop time travel and prevent tragedies. It unknowingly put himself in the line of danger and very ironically, he was the person he should’ve been afraid of. I’m sad that he has been replaced by the evil Oh-won/Teacher, but I’m also very curious what led this version of Oh-won to become so drastically different from the one from the present timeline.