‘Twenty-Five Twenty-One’ Finale: Every Theory Was Wrong – Here’s What Really Happened

The finale of Netflix’s Twenty-Five Twenty-One Korean drama lefts fans heartbroken over the reality between Baek Yi-jin and Na Hee-do. Since the start of the K-drama, fans have been theorizing and speculating who Min-chae’s father could be and whether the lead couple stays together. Every Yi-jin theory was incorrect and instead taught fans a life lesson about love.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Twenty-Five Twenty-One finale. ]

Characters Yi-jin and Hee-do in 'Twenty-Five Twenty-One' finale buying red suitcases.
Characters Yi-jin and Hee-do in ‘Twenty-Five Twenty-One’ finale | via tvN

Fans theorized how Yi-jin could be Min-chae’s father in ‘Twenty-Five Twenty-One’

The main reason why fans were worried Yi-jin and Hee-do do not end up together is because of present-day Min-chae. She is Hee-do’s daughter who reads her mother’s diary about her youth and meeting Yi-jin. Since the start, Min-chae had no idea who he was or anything about him. This led fans to believe something happened along the way that made them drift apart.

As the K-drama progressed, Yi-jin and Hee-do fell in love, and fans started to develop theories on how Min-chae could be their daughter. Theories included Yi-jin originally being adopted and changing his name back to his original for his and Hee-do’s careers and privacy.

Another theory was that Min-chae is not Hee-do’s biological daughter. Some fans theorized that a main character dies, and Hee-do is given custody of Min-chae. Others hoped Yi-jin and Hee-do remeet in adulthood and rekindle their love. The finale of Twenty-Five Twenty-One left fans surprised by its outcome.

Yi-jin and Hee-do drift apart due to their careers in ‘Twenty-Five Twenty-One’ finale

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There was hope that Hee-do and Yi-jin were Endgame before the finale two episodes. Fans saw how Hee-do was supportive of Yi-jin’s career, despite its constant demands. They always found a way to be with each other even if Yi-jin ran late. Like most K-drama storylines, there is a major promise that gets broken. On their first New Year’s together, they promise to spend it together in the same location every year.

In Twenty-Five Twenty-One Episode 15, the tragedy of 9/11 occurs, and Yi-jin urgently travels to New York to cover it and look for Korean survivors and interviews. The prolonged search for the deceased and news coverage force Yi-jin to spend months away from Hee-do. While Hee-do is still supportive of him, she starts to feel lonely and unable to express her love.

Yi-jin is appointed to a permanent position in the New York office. During his last visit to Korea, Hee-do can no longer be with Yi-jin. Seeing each other and being by each other sides proves to be too difficult due to their careers. In Twenty-Five Twenty-One Episode 16 finale, they have a rough breakup in the tunnel.

Hee-do is tired of feeling disappointed despite knowing it is not Yi-jin’s fault. Yi-jin is upset knowing Hee-do is disappointed in him. They have a blow-up out of anger. Sometime later, Yi-jin is set to leave for New York when they realize they cannot leave each other in an angry state. They meet up and reconcile but ultimately decide to drift apart.

Yi-jin returns and fans learn the final outcome of their relationship

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Part of the frenzy concerning the K-drama storyline is when Yi-jin is interviewing Hee-do and congratulates her on her marriage. Years after their breakup at ages 21 and 25, they moved on, and Yi-jin returned to Korea to take over as news anchor from Hee-do’s mother.

Hee-do also decides to retire from fencing after a long and successful career. In the present time, Min-chae never found her mother’s last journal. But fans learn it was given to Yi-jin after Hee-do lost it on the bus. After realizing how Hee-do really felt, he wrote her a departing letter about how much she meant to him.

He had given the diary to the comic shop owner to give back to Hee-do. The owner never did and finds it years later and gives it to Min-chae. Realizing what her mother went through, she decides not to read it and gives it back to her mother while at her woodshop.

Twenty-Five Twenty-One finale ends with present-day Hee-do reading her diary and reminiscing about her first love with Yi-jin. She returns to their tunnel in her red car. The final scenes are of her happy memories with her friends and Yi-jin. In a post-credit scene, Yi-jin tries to log in to his old computer at work. He cannot remember his password and uses the security questions. The question asks who his first love was, and he types, “Na Hee-do.”

Twenty-Five Twenty-One is available to stream on Netflix.

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