A Time Called You Timeline & Ending Explained
Netflix‘s A Time Called You has gained attention for its complex yet riveting storyline of time travel and timelines that need a bit of explaining to fully understand its tearful ending.
The K-drama story centers on Jun-hee (Jeon Yeo-bin) in our present time unable to move on from the death of her boyfriend, Yeon-jun (Ahn Hyeo-seop) a year prior. Sooner rather than later, she starts to receive flowers and a photo of three teens. One of which looks exactly like her deceased love, but in the year 1998. The girl in the photo also oddly looks like her but isn’t.
When she receives a tape recorder with a specific song, she falls asleep on the bus and is transported into the year 1998. But the twist is that she is not Jun-hee, but a girl named Min-ju. She soon meets Si-heon (Ahn) and his best friend In-gyu (Kang Hoon). She learns the man she thought was her dead boyfriend isn’t at all.
But A Time Called You is far more complex than it seems as Jun-hee changes Min-ju’s life unknowingly and begins a knotted tie of different timelines and time travel to try and save Min-ju’s life. Get ready for a detailed and somewhat bewildering breakdown of the K-drama’s events and how everything is tied together.
A Time Called You has Jun-hee trying to find Min-ju’s killer
Jun-hee’s real timeline occurs in 2023 but is transported to the year 1998 with the help of a tape recorder from that time and becomes Min-ju.
To start, audiences have to understand that when Jun-hee is transported to 1998 everyone thinks she is Min-ju. She wakes up as her in a hospital bed after someone hit her over the head. Everyone soon realizes that something is different. The once timid Min-ju is now outspoken and fearless. It’s because Jun-hee is in control, while Min-ju is stuck watching everything unfold in a room or subconsciously.
A Time Called You also gives some backstory to how Min-ju was a loner in school. But In-hyu has had a crush on her for a while and with the help of Si-heon talks to her at her uncle’s record shop. The three soon start a friendship with Min-ju developing feelings for Si-heon instead. It helps explain why they were in the photo together.
Back in 1998, Jun-hee tries hard to convince everyone that she’s not Min-ju. After some time, she wakes up back in 2023 at the bus terminal. Thanks to her coworker, she had already met the owner of the record shop in the photo who now owns a cafe. Through him, Jun-hee learned that Min-ju was murdered in October 1998. As Min-ju’s uncle, he recounts how Min-ju suddenly woke up talking about Jun-hee and 2023. He convinces Jun-hee that their fates are intertwined and meant to save Min-ju.
Wanting to see a version of Yeon-jun again and save Min-ju, she travels back in time to figure out who the killer is. Jun-hee realizes the person who attacked her must be the killer. The problem is Si-heon and In-gyu don’t believe her. They soon do when another female student is murdered, proving that someone in the school is after Min-ju.
A Time Called You revealed Si-heon also time-traveled
The Netflix K-drama gets even more complicated when it’s revealed that Si-heon also time-traveled and started the chain reaction of events from the get-go.
A Time Called You teased that maybe Yeon-jun didn’t die in the plane crash from Korea to New York as originally believed. But the sequence of events is not what they seem. Amid Jun-hee uncovering the truth in 1998 as Min-ju, Si-heon begins to fall in love with her. Only because he is falling for Jun-hee’s personality. Fast forward, and audiences learn that Si-heon is leaving to study in America.
Years later in 2002, he returns to Korea and gets into a bus accident. He wakes up in 2007, but not as himself. A Time Called You’s timeline revealed that Si-heon time traveled into Yeon-jun’s body, who was in a coma due to a car accident with his friend. Yeon-jun’s timeline was happening at the same time as Jun-hee’s in real life.
Knowing everything about Jun-hee traveling back in time and her love story with Yeon-jun, Si-heon decides to recreate their grand love story. He meets Min-ju’s uncle, who believes him. A Time Called You threw in the biggest timeline curveball when realized that Jun-hee fell in love with Si-heon from 1998 from the start. In reality, the real Yeon-jun was teased to have been gay before the car crash.
But even more complex timelines intersect. On the fateful day of Yeon-jun’s supposed death, Si-heon is visited by a man who looks like him, but with a limp and scar. It’s revealed that he is Si-heon, the real Si-heon who lived out his timeline as it was meant to be. He was in a bus accident that wounded his leg and In-gyu confessed to Min-ju’s murder. But the real Si-heon knows everything about Jun-hee and time travel for a specific reason.
He tells himself that he will die in a plane crash and tries to get him on a different flight. But the Si-heon, posing as Yeon-jun, realizes that he was meant to die. Without his death, the time travel chain reaction wouldn’t have been started. The real Si-heon reveals that when he dies, he will wake up in his real body in 2002, which is the scarred Si-heon fans are seeing. Si-heon has time-traveled to the future, lived as Yeon-jun with Jun-hee, dies, and then wakes up retaining all his memories as his real self to send the recorder to Jun-hee.
A Time Called You has a complex timeline for the real killer
A Time Called You has two different versions of Min-ju’s death depending on who’s time travelling.
To further complicate the storyline, the K-drama entangles the truth behind Min-ju’s murder. The real Si-heon had revealed himself to Jun-hee in 2023 and told her the truth. Together, they look for clues about the killer to save Min-ju. Si-heon visits his old teacher who remembers a student having gone away on sick leave after her death. He later learned he wasn’t sick, but admitted to a mental hospital.
Si-heon is stunned to learn its Chan-hui (Min Jin-woong), a student from another class who had a crush on her. But this is where it gets more complicated. Si-heon realizes he has a younger brother, who happens to be friends with Jun-hee and works as a carpenter in Si-heon’s old wood workshop.
Flashbacks reveal that Chan-yeong (Min) grew obsessed with Min-ju after seeing his brother’s photos of her. Back in 2023, Chan-yeong is in Jun-hee’s apartment and sees her researching Min-ju’s murder. Trusting him, she tells him the truth about time travel and 1998. Realizing the truth, he uses the recorder to go back in time and audiences see that he had initially murdered Min-ju, but as his older brother.
But his time is cut short when Jun-hee wakes him up. He knocks her out as Si-heon arrives leading to a fight and Si-heon’s death. In a motel, he uses the recorder again but goes much further back in time when Jun-hee has already been Min-ju for some time. He ends up stalking her.
Jun-hee makes a sacrifice in A Time Called You
After a series of chain reactions, Jun-hee realizes that she has to save Mi-jun and In-gyu once and for all, even if it means losing Si-heon.
Audiences are to remember that in Si-heon’s real timeline following the events of 1998 and Min-ju’s death, In-gyu confesses to the murder having been found with the body. After prison, he is still guilt-ridden and dies by suicide. Si-heon tells Jun-hee what happened, but she doesn’t believe it’s true. She goes back in time once again but finds a problem. She’s not in control and is stuck in Min-ju’s subconscious.
In reality, Min-ju learned how to take over after watching the entire time. Si-heon soon realizes that Min-ju is acting like her old self and not Jun-hee. He confronts In-gyu who revealed he never believed her in the first place and played along.
Later confronting Min-ju, Jun-hee tells her to tell him the truth about the killer and his death in 2023. But she lies saying the time travel and Jun-hee were a fabrication to get close to them. But later on, Min-ju realizes people like Jun-hee and not her. Giving up, she tells Jun-hee she wants to be remembered and will take her own life.
It just so happens that In-gyu saw her and read her lips. He goes to warn Si-heon. Meanwhile, Min-ju knows Chan-hui is really Chan-yeong at this point in time and asks for his help to kill her. At an abandoned building, he tries but his brother takes control when in 2023 Chan-yeong is caught by police. In response, Min-ju dies by suicide and In-gyu finds her body. He confessed because he felt inadvertently guilty for her death.
Back in 2023, Jun-hee realizes Min-ju and In-gyu were victims of Si-heon and her’s actions. It’s only because of her that Chan-yeong murdered Mu-jin and later pushed her to suicide. With one final trip, Jun-hee goes back in time, gives In-gyu the tape recorder, and tells him to destroy it. She spends her final day with Si-heon and tells him to find her again in any timeline. With the recorder broken, the time travel events never happen and Si-heol’s memories of Jun-hee disappear and so do hers.
A Time Called You ending gives some hope
The final scene of A Time Called You shows Si-heon meeting Jun-hee and feeling an inexplicable connection.
Because of Jun-hee’s actions, she never falls in love with Si-heon, he never meets Jun-hee or time travels. Mi-jun wakes up from a car crash accident. A scene in 1998 shows her admitting her feelings for In-gyu. Si-heon goes on to live his life returns to Korea and becomes the boss of a webtoon company. On the bus home one night, he hears a woman singing a song that sounds familiar playing in the bus. It’s the song from the tape recorder.
Not knowing why he feels a connection, he calls her Mi-jun, but the woman says it’s not her. She gets off the bus, and Si-heon chases after her. They look at each other and feel something between them.