“Alice” Time Travel Theories: Park Jin Gyeom, Yoon Tae Yi, and Park Sun Young’s TIMELINE EXPLAINED

𝑊𝐴𝑅𝑁𝐼𝑁𝐺: 𝐶𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑝𝑜𝑖𝑙𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑒𝑝𝑖𝑠𝑜𝑑𝑒𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝑡𝑤𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝐴𝑢𝑔𝑢𝑠𝑡 28 – 𝑆𝑒𝑝𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 19.

Korean drama “Alice” (앨리스) is a time travel series starring “Good Doctor” actor Joo Won as detective Park Jin Gyeom and “Angry Mom” actress Kim Hee Sun as Yoon Tae Yi and Park Sun Young.

In the drama, Kim Hee Sun first played Joo Won’s mom, Park Sun Young.

Park Sun Young is actually a time traveler named Yoon Tae Yi “based in” the year 2050, and is working in a time travel agency called Alice. When she traveled to 1992, she found out that she’s pregnant with a son; that son was Park Jin Gyeom. For her child’s safety, she decided to stay in 1992 to avoid further endangering her son’s life with the radiation caused by time travel.

Fast forward to 2010, Park Sun Young was killed; and some her last words for Park Jin Gyeom were “in the future, when you seem me again… you can’t act like you know me.”

Ten years later, in 2020, Park Jin Gyeom became a detective who now dedicates his life to find his mother’s killer. He then eventually does meet his mother’s “doppelganger,” Yoon Tae Yi. But, is she the same person as 2050 Yoon Tae Yi?

Are Yoon Tae Yi and Park Sun Young the same person?

The simple answer, according to the rules of time travel in “Alice,” is no. Yoon Tae Yi from 2020 and Park Sun Young (previously known as 2050 Yoon Tae Yi) are not the same person. This is because 2050 Yoon Tae Yi not only traveled back in time, but also to another parallel universe.

See graph for timeline reference:

I referred to Yoon Tae Yi in 2020 as 1989 Yoon Tae Yi here to show her starting point. Throughout the article, 1989 Yoon Tae Yi will be referred as 2020 Yoon Tae Yi. This is because 2050 Yoon Tae Yi and 2020 Yoon Tae Yi could both be born in 1989. I just didn’t add 2050 Yoon Tae Yi’s birth date since this is not confirmed yet. Either way, Park Sun Young’s starting point is still in 2050 as a time traveler. So, these years are actually their starting points: 1989 (birth year for 2020 Yoon Tae Yi) and 2050 (time travel year for Park Sun Young).

Thus, in the timeline 2050 Yoon Tae Yi traveled to, there was already an existing Yoon Tae Yi who is different from her.

This is further explained by Oh Si Young, when she reminded Yoo Min Hyuk that the Yoon Tae Yi he saw is not his lover, but another person from a parallel universe or different dimension who is living in the past.

Additionally, since the Yoon Tae Yi from 2020 that we know had her past disrupted by the 2050 Yoon Tae Yi and Yoo Min Hyuk, her past experience also differ from the 2050 version of Yoon Tae Yi. Thus, altering her background and personality. However, her core personality (likes and dislikes, etc.) still remain and what she is meant to do in her lifetime (plus, some additional major life events) could still happen.

To explain this, the time travel and parallel universe in “Alice” work in a way that whatever is meant to happen will happen, and every same individual — even if they live in different dimensions — already have a set path to follow. Their destinies will only differ and somewhat change when a certain variable that wasn’t supposed to happen in their lifetime happens and disrupts their lives; thus, changing some parts of their pre-determined destiny.

This is the case for the two Yoon Tae Yi’s. The 2050 Yoon Tae Yi’s father is presumed to have not passed away, like what happened to the father of 2020 Yoon Tae Yi in 1992. This changed 2020 Yoon Tae Yi’s life, as she suffered PTSD as a child and also grew up in an orphanage.

The effect of this is that 2020 Yoon Tae Yi never met Yoo Min Hyuk. Thus, she didn’t carry Min Hyuk and 2050 Yoon Tae Yi’s child, Park Jin Gyeom. 2020 Yoon Tae Yi is also in her 30’s but is currently single and a university professor, while 2050 Yoon Tae Yi worked in Alice and had a child in her 20’s.

To sum this up, 2050 Yoon Tae Yi not only traveled back in time but also to a different dimension. So, the 2020 version of Yoon Tae Yi is not the past self of 2050 Yoon Tae Yi. She’s simply a different Yoon Tae Yi living in a parallel universe.

Will Park Jin Gyeom be able to save his mother?

This is both a yes and a no. Park Jin Gyeom might be able to save Park Sun Young from another dimension, but not his mother from his dimension. This could also mean that the mother who saw him all grown up is actually a different Park Sun Young from a different dimension.

This is again explained by Oh Si Young when she stated that the people the time travelers from Alice meet in the past are not their real loved ones.

This could also explain why the future Han Sun Hee is still alive even after she killed her past self, meaning Han Sun Hee from the future did not change but her past self’s fate did. Whatever effect this has to Han Sun Hee’s family, will only affect the people around the past Han Sun Hee, not the Han Sun Hee who traveled back in time.

This rule is very different from how time travel works in “The King: Eternal Monarch,” as in Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun’s series their memories “updates” when their past changes. Also, Lee Gon is able to travel to different a parallel universe and various dimensions. To explain this, he could pretty much easily travel between both space and time. When he travels in a different space, he is faced with a completely different world from his own world. But when he travels through time in the same space, the people he meets in that space — even if it’s a different time — are all the same people he already knows. This means when he met the young Jeong Tae Eul, that child is the same Jeong Tae Eul he knows. This is confirmed when Jeong Tae Eul said that he remembers seeing Lee Gon in the past. Thus, her memory updated and included the things Lee Gon did during his time travel.

In “Alice,” traveling through time is almost the same as traveling through space with one constant variable. When a person travels through time, they not only go back to the past but also travel to a parallel universe. This is somewhat similar to the time travel theory in Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Avengers: End Game,” but was further explained in “Alice” using detailed situations. The constant variable is that even if they do travel in time, they are all still able to go back to the timeline and dimensions they belong to. This is seen when Park Jin Gyeom went back to 2010, but eventually got back to his life in 2020.

Will Yoon Tae Yi be able to save Park Jin Gyeom?

Again, the answer is yes and no. Yoon Tae Yi might be able to save the Park Jin Gyeom from her dimension, but not the Park Jin Gyeom that died in the other dimension.

This answers Professor Seok Oh Won’s question: “If the past changes, will the future really change as well?” In his lecture, he explained a theory where even if his present self warns or gives advice to his past self, his past self’s future self will be the only one who will change. He, the one who gave the warning or advice, will still have the same life, despite traveling back in time in an attempt to change his present self’s future.

To summarize everything, here are the rules of time travel in “Alice” so far:
• Going back to the past doesn’t change the future.
• Your past self and present self are not the same person, as the past is actually a parallel universe. It’s a different space, not just a different time.
• When you travel to a different parallel universe, you can still travel back to your present time and the universe you are living in.

UPDATES

• UPDATE: As of episodes 9-10, it seems like the members of Alice can time travel to a particular dimension. This is because Min Hyuk seems to be convinced that Park Jin Gyeom in 2020 is his child from 1992. Also, since he did say that he can go back in time to meet Yoon Tae Yi, the exact Yoon Tae Yi who was in a relationship with him. With this said, his dimension probably overlaps with Yoon Tae Yi since he has Alice as his backup.

THEORIES

There are still a lot of unexplained theories and unanswered questions, such as who really opened the possibility to time travel, and the bigger picture as to why Seok Oh Won and his researches are targeted. What we do know is that Seok Oh Won and the 5 researchers are involved in stopping time travel.

Additionally, 2020 Yoon Tae Yi is said to be the key to stop time travel. So, it could be possible that 2050 Yoon Tae Yi is the one (or one of the people) who opened the possibility to travel through time and different dimensions. This could mean that the parallel worlds and dimensions were only disrupted after time travel was invented.

The question remaining is: what is the variable that allowed the people from the future to travel through time, and why is it that only people from their dimension were able to unlock this discovery? What changed and what was the variable that wasn’t present in other dimensions that led them to be able to travel through time? Or are there other dimensions that were able to find the secrets to time travel, as it seems like the people of Alice are unaware of the illegal time travelers’ teacher’s identity.

However, it does makes sense that 2020 Yoon Tae Yi is the key to close ALL the dimensions and STOP time travel, since the one variable that changed in her life is that she was able to look through the Book Of Prophecy during her younger years. It’s also plausible since she is a scientist after all, and is qualified enough to join Alice.

“Alice” is available via Viu Philippines.

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