Mere months after Squid Game, Netflix has another K-drama at the top of its Top 10 chart. This time, it's the fast-paced, high-stress zombie series All of Us Are Dead, set in a suburban high school that becomes ground zero for a deadly virus. In the vein of South Korean hits like Train to Busan and Kingdom, this new series takes the zombie genre to new places, following a group of students who have to fend for themselves through the outbreak.
All of Us Are Dead makes it very clear early on that not all of the students will make it out of Hyosan alive. With such a wide-ranging cast, including the students' parents and other town residents, the show had plenty of room to sacrifice our fave characters. Here's our guide to the ending of season 1 of All of Us Are Dead, and who survived the zombie outbreak. Spoilers ahead for All of Us Are Dead.
The students survive the bombing of Hyosan.
The finale opens on the ashes of Hyosan, after the last of the students stuck in Hyosan High escaped the bombing with the help of Cheong-san's sacrifice. After resting in the forest, On-jo, Su-hyeok, and Nam-ra go back to look for Cheong-san in the wreckage, and On-jo gets a hug from Nam-ra as they both grieve their friend.
The kids then have to make their way by foot to the quarantine zone. They get lost briefly in the woods, before discovering that some of the trees have ribbons tied around them to mark a path. At the base of one tree, On-jo finds her dad's flashlight, and realizes he marked the path to the safe zone. Even after turning into a zombie and dying in the explosion, her dad is still helping her. (Brb, crying with On-jo.)
Ha-ri's brother Wu-jin dies after a zombie attack.
The group still has a way to go once they cross the mountain, later making their way through the neighboring city Yangdong. It turns out the bombings didn't get all of the zombies. The kids are soon attacked by a group of zombies as they travel through the smoky town. While they're fighting off the attack, Archer Ha-ri's brother Wu-jin gets bitten.
While the group is shaken, Nam-ra is emotionless and her eyes are red, since she's been using her zombie strength to fight off the other zombies. Nam-ra ends up killing Wu-jin right in front of his sister after he turns, showing a side of herself that's more zombie than human. It also becomes harder for her to surppress the urge to bite humans, and she almost bites On-jo. Instead she snaps out of it, and runs away from her friends to keep them safe.
The group makes it to the quarantine camp.
Six students make it to the quarantine camp alive: On-jo, Su-hyeok, Hae-ri, Mi-jin, Dae-su, Hyo-Ryeong. They've all lost people they loved, and they deal with their grief in different ways: Mi-jin complains about college, Su-hyeok asks why they were left behind, after seeing her dad's friend. On-jo says she'll never ask adults for anything again, refusing to cooperate with the military who left them for dead.
Months later, the military ends martial law but Hyosan residents have to stay in quarantine since the virus hasn't been wiped out yet. On-jo has been sneaking out of the camp to a memorial she made on a mountain tree for her fallen friends, including I-sak, Cheong-san, and Nam-ra. While there, she notices a fire is burning on the roof of the school.
The group reunites with Nam-ra.
On-jo finds Su-hyeok and tells him about the fire, reminding him about something Nam-ra said to the group on the school roof, that they should light a campfire if they ever meet again. She invites him to go to the school with her, to see if Nam-ra's there, and warns him not to tell the others. Of course, that night everyone shows up, and they stop at the memorial along the way, where they see another fire at the school.
When they get to the roof, Nam-ra is there, looking almost human again and happy. She says that she's found other evolved zombies like her, not human but not a monster. She tells the group that they're still friends even if they're apart, and that she'll be back, before jumping off the roof to her new friends. We don't see where she goes, but the students look off after her in shock, as Su-hyeok slowly smiles.
This open ending sets up a lot of anticipation for a possible season 2, following Nam-ra as she leads the new group of evolved zombies. Since the military doesn't know what to do with them, even if they can suppress the urge for blood, Nam-ra and her group would probably be imprisoned if not killed. Seeing the former class president lead the evolved zombies to safety, with the help of the rest of the students, could be a fun plot to continue her story. In the end, it's up to Netflix whether we'll see more of the Hyosan High students.
Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.
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