Predominantly set in Seoul, South Korea, ‘A Model Family’ is a Netflix crime thriller series that has elements such as money laundering, drug trade, organised crime, and assassinations as part of its narrative. And yet, at the core of it all is the complex relationship between Park Dong-ha (Woo Jung) and his wife, Eun-ju (Yoon Jin-seo). They both were literature students at the university, though Eun-ju never graduated. She became pregnant with her and Dong-ha’s daughter and had to leave school. Now, Eun-ju works as a translator, whereas Donh-ha is an assistant professor, and neither is particularly happy with how things have turned out. If you are wondering whether Dong-ha and Eun-ju stay together at the end of ‘A Model Family,’ we got you covered. SPOILER AHEAD.
Do Dong-ha and Eun-ju Remain Together?
The relationship between Dong-ha and Eun-ju is not necessarily romantic; rather, it perfectly depicts what happens after the romance is gone. Dong-ha and Eun-ju were happy once, but those days are in the past. As the series begins, Eun-ju seeks divorce, and she doesn’t know yet that Dong-ha has lost all the money they have accumulated for their son’s heart-transplant surgery while trying to secure a full-time professor position. When Dog-ha finds the van with two dead bodies and a large amount of money inside, Eun-ji and her children have gone to stay with her mother. This makes it easier for him to bury the bodies and hide the money.
However, Dong-ha isn’t a career criminal, and he inevitably makes mistakes, multiple of them, drawing both the criminals and police to their doorsteps and putting the lives of their children in jeopardy. At the same time, the viciousness that Dong-ha faces at home from his wife is unrelenting and horrendous. It can be argued that the desperation he demonstrates stems from the toxic environment at his home.
Dong-ha and Eun-ju’s children recognize this and point it out in their own ways. Quite early in the series, Dong-ha discovers that Eun-ju was having an affair with one of the dead men in the van. That man is later revealed to be Han-cheol, an undercover police officer. As the series progresses, Eun-ju makes it apparent that she doesn’t consider her husband a part of her family any longer, especially after discovering what happened to the money they saved.
However, beyond that viciousness and anger, she inadvertently shows that she still cares for her husband. When Dong-ha goes to drop off the money, she accompanies him. They later realize that they have been used as bait. Ultimately, when the season ends, they haven’t necessarily reconciled. But Eun-ju now once again regards Dong-ha as part of her family. When Dong-ha asks her why she wants to end their marriage, Eun-ju reveals that she feels that she has turned into a nobody since they married. one of the final scenes of the season involves Donbg-ha watching a videotape from their happier days. He knows that they can never go back to that. Those tears mark his acceptance. But, they can at least be civil around each other.