Goodbye Earth Ending, Explained: Does The Asteroid Hit The Earth?

‘Goodbye Earth,’ a Netflix K-drama, charts a uniquely hopeful story set at the world’s end. As an asteroid hurls across space in a collision course with Earth, the citizens of Woongchun City witness the lawlessness and hopelessness that accompanies humanity’s last few months of existence. Even so, a middle-school teacher, Jin Se-kyung, continues to fight for her young students’ safety as the world around them attempts to target them as human trafficking victims. Meanwhile, her friend, priest Woo Sung-jaeg, and Military Captain Kang In-a uncover some corrupt conspiracies within the local congregation and government as the elite class exploits the regular citizens in a hail-married attempt to save their own skins from inevitable doom.

The narrative unfolds in an undeniably bleak setting, with a countdown to Earth’s end constantly looming over the character’s fate. Consequently, throughout the show, fans are left to speculate about the fruit of Se-kyung and her friends’ labor and whether or not it saves them from damnation. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Goodbye Earth Recap

After scientists discover an Asteroid, Dina, steadily progressing towards Earth— with the Korean peninsula as one of the most direct points of impact— regular life dissolves, entering an apocalyptic state. With barely half a year left before doomsday, Woongchun City goes under martial law, with Captain Kang and her troops assigned to watch over the city. Meanwhile, as per government plans, evacuation plans are set up to migrate Korean citizens to faraway countries with hopes of their survival away from the point of impact. Nevertheless, Woongchun residents believe the system to be rigged, leading to some peaceful protests.

However, as the residents gather in the city hall, a group of criminals orchestrate a jailbreak, attacking the big crowd. Even though Jin Se-kyung attempts to save her students, gang leader Bae Jong-su and his fellow criminals kidnap truckfuls of the young kids participating in the protests and drive away with them. The authorities eventually go on to rescue the trafficked children who managed to survive under Jong-su’s brutish abduction. Still, numerous kids die, including Min-ho, one of Se-kyung’s treasured students. As a result, Woongchun remains deeply traumatized by the events, with individuals like Ha-yul, one of the kids who survived the trafficking, forever changed.

For the same reason, the kid becomes vulnerable after Ha-yul’s plans of evacuating to America fail due to the shortcomings of her father, Su-Geun, an infamous internet celebrity. A few weeks ago, troublemaking men moved into the town, and Ha-yul recognized one as her tormentor, Jong-su. As a result, after the girl tells Se-kyung about the same, the teacher decides to hunt down the gangster herself. Nevertheless, after arriving at his lair, Se-kyung realizes someone else has already murdered the man.

Although Se-kyung leaves the lair with her conscience clear, someone notices her presence at the lair, marking her as a target for Jong-su’s gang. While In-a, the other woman’s close friend, attempts to derail Se-kyung from a dangerous path, the teacher continues to put herself in trouble’s path to save Ha-yul and her friends from falling prey to shady adults. As a result, the two women uncover a brothel in the city’s disreputable area, withholding several victims of child trafficking. Simultaneously, their other friend, Father Sung-jaeg, learns a dark truth about his church’s past primary priest, Baek, who has been missing for a while.

As these conspiracies unfold with the world’s end nearing, Se-kyung finds it harder and harder to hide her darker, vengeful side from her fiancé, Yun-sang, a scientist who returned from America to be with the woman. Nevertheless, despite Yun-sang’s wishes for Se-kyung’s safety, the man begins helping her in her quest to reveal the truth about Wooyang Training Center. Thus, through their joint effort, the town residents discover a secret organization that has scammed people out of their money to have them join their cult. The Training Center houses kids in harmful circumstances and exports a few of them to human trafficking rings.

The organization is also in cahoots with Father Baek, who stole his congregation’s donation money to book him passage out of Korea alongside the other higher-ups. Ultimately, although Se-kyung and her friends fail to stop the organization from escaping, karma strikes as their aircraft ends up diving into the Pacific Ocean. Eventually, with only 20 days left until doomsday, Woongchun citizens must decide how to face their demise.

Goodbye Earth Ending: Does Se-kyung Save The Kids?

Throughout the show, even as the world is coming to an end, Se-kyung’s narrative revolves around her constant need to protect her students. From throwing herself in front of a criminal’s truck to sneaking into Jong-su’s lair with the intention of committing homicide— the teacher remains perpetually protective of her students. The same causes some friction between her and Yun-sang, who returned to Korea with plans to take Se-kyung away with him. Several countries and governments have doomsday survival plans, wherein they attempt to equip bunkers to ride out the worst of the Asteriod’s impact. Due to Yun-sang’s scientific research within genetics, man is considered a valuable asset and receives a spot among Woongchun’s officials and elites.

However, while Yun-sang wants Se-kyung to leave with him, the woman almost urges him to leave without her and take Ha-yul and the kids with him to ensure they have the best shot at safety. Ever since her students died under Jong-su’s abduction, Se-kyung hasn’t been the same. Therefore, even if she somehow survives the Asteroid in the dubious survival bunkers, the teacher won’t be able to live with herself for abandoning whatever is left of her students. In the end, the authorities arrest Se-kyung in an effort to encourage Yun-sang to leave with them. Nonetheless, the man ends up trading his research for his fiance’s freedom, surrendering the possibility of their escape.

Even so, as the community begins to accept their fates, a few residents try to secure their survival by collaborating with criminal circles that possess a craft for escape. However, even after the loss of their leader, Jong-su, his gang continues to kidnap children as a future labor population post-Doomsday. As a result, Ha-yul and her friends become their targets. Furthermore, Ha-yul’s father makes an unbelievable trade with the gang to secure passage for himself in exchange for his daughter. Even though the decision ultimately leads the man to commit suicide, it effectively puts Ha-yul in danger as criminals come looking for her.

Still, Ha-yul’s community manages to save her— with Se-kyung even killing a man with a gun stolen from Jong-su’s lair. The event makes In-a realize that Se-kyung would take any measure necessary to keep her kids safe— even if it means putting her own life in danger. Likewise, she’s also aware of the target the murder put on her friend’s back. For the same reason, the military Captain sneaks a few gun magazines from the base and hands them to Yun-sang to ensure Se-kyung’s safety. Eventually, the gun ends up being put to a much different use when the teacher learns that a discharged soldier is harassing Ha-yul to convince her and her friends to come with him to the escape craft.

Consequently, once Se-kyung learns about the same, she can no longer allow such corrupt men to operate and abuse children. Therefore, armed with the stolen gun and ammunition provided by In-a, Se-kyung crashes the criminals’ lair to kill their leaders. Meanwhile, Yun-sang, who only ever wanted to be safe and happy with his partner, realizes Se-kyung’s fierce protectiveness is perpetual and travels to the lair with fire molotovs to help his fiance-turned-wife. Even though the viewers never get to see the conclusion of Se-kyung’s attack— with the show ending with an ominous gunshot sound— the teacher’s undying efforts to keep her kids safe speak for themselves. Even when the world is ending, Se-kyung prioritizes Ha-yul and her friend’s safety and comfort, even at the cost of her own innocence.

What Happens to Earth? Does Everyone Die?

While Se-kyung’s secondary plot of saving Ha-yul and her friends remains the show’s nucleus in many ways— by showcasing the bond between the woman and her kids— an overarching plot about the world’s end persists. While the characters spend a significant amount of time thinking about their possible survival in the last few days, everyone comes to terms with the end of their lives. Se-kyung and Yun-sang finally get married without any grand wedding and only a private, spontaneous, ring-exchanging ceremony. Meanwhile, Sung-jaeg and In-a both leave their professions, realizing they would rather do some soul-searching in their final days.

Likewise, many residents part ways, traveling to their hometowns or on simple trips to achieve some satisfaction. Still, the community showcases an act of unity by coming together and lodging their stories at city hall, under Yun-sang’s supervision, to leave behind a time capsule of their existence. The show ends with a symbolic shot of Se-kyung and the other adults saying goodbye to the younger generation as the latter floats away on a hot air balloon into a whimsical sky. As the sequence collides with Se-kyung’s murderous rampage, it signifies her farewell to her past life as humanity dashes towards its oblivion.

The show doesn’t explicitly depict the Asteroid’s collision with the Earth. Yet, as it ends on a cliffhanger, with montages of the Woongchun residents’ lives as Se-kyung bids it farewell, the narrative highlights the significance of humanity’s persistent effort. Se-kyung may not have been able to save the children from the celestial body’s attack on Earth, but she still did everything in her power to keep them safe for the remainder of their days. Even if the audience doesn’t see the destruction of the Earth, the scene from Se-kyung’s imagination confirms the inevitable death of her community.

Read More: Goodbye Earth: All Locations Where the Netflix Show is Shot