I really loved Soo’s unstitched coats. Each time he was wearing one, I noticed the details -in this case, the lack of stitches. I always wondered if it was intentional. The collars and lapels were left free and loose. It’s like his choice of clothing is speaking for him – that he values his freedom and doesn’t like to be restrained and controlled. It reflects his personality too – free spirited, unpredictable, and impulsive. He wore one on the first episode when he went to visit where Oh Soo’s ashes were scattered -maybe to show how lost and unglued he felt. He also wore one when he beat up that corrupt doctor who allowed Young to go blind cuz he was unleashing his pent up anger. Then he wore one on the trip to the cabin with Young cuz this was the point in their relationship where the truth was going to be laid on the table and neither one knew what would unfold. Sometimes stylists like to contribute to a scene by what they choose for the characters to wear. It worked like a charm in this drama cuz every time I see him wearing those coats, I’m reminded again of the kind of person Soo was. It’s like every stitch that was left to stand alone meant something. His life was coming undone until he met Young. She put the unraveled pieces in place and made him find reasons to live. Being able to read into a character by his choice of clothing was pure sartorial genius.
Should you believe what you see or go by what you feel in your heart? That pretty much sums up how some viewers might perceive the ending. I would rather believe in following my heart. Not just cuz it’s easier, but because it’s what’s going to keep this drama a cherished, loving memory for me for quite some time. Everything that has come to pass in the last 16 episodes should speak for itself and attest to the validity of calling this drama a winner in its own right. I might not have seen that many melodramas in my life, but if they were anything like this then I have been missing out. Something tells me that this one was particularly exceptional cuz bringing these two actors together to play the lead was something that was long overdue. It just goes to show that some actors were meant to play opposite each other to bring out their best work yet. Not just them, but this whole cast, crew, writer, and director have a lot to feel proud of and deserve to walk around feeling pretty complacent for a while. What they created was a cinematic masterpiece for the small screen and it’s going to be really hard to find another melodrama this good for some time to come. I have a feeling every time I hear a chime or bell sound, a smile will spread across my face. It’s funny how a sound I would normally have overlooked now holds such significant meaning. With that last shot of the gorgeous scenery, you can add the scent of cherry blossoms to that list as well.
starts from Soo running into the house calling out Young’s name. he finds her bleeding in the bathroom and holds her in his arms calling out her name.
MC was about to be stabbed but he grabbed the knife with his bare hand to stop the blade. He twists the kid’s arm and breaks it. he tells the kid – with that arm you wont be able to live in this area forever. happy now. go home. the kid staggers away as JS comes over and sees MC cough up blood and collapses
*MC broke his arm on purpose so the kid cant go around beating up anyone or killing them anymore – he will be useless to Kim and cant live as a thug anymore. MC saved the kid’s life even while dying.
dr cho runs down the hospital hallway with a nurse
JS is carrying MC on his back and running. JS:what are you. MC mumbles about wanting to walk so JS tells him to shut up – do you think I am you? just hold on a little longer cuz it’s the hospital. hold on a little longer. MC’s hand falls limp and JS realizes he is dead. he stops and cries. he whispers: MC hyung. JS yells what is this. Kamja – MC’s sidekick comes over and sees them. he starts to cry.
Soo is waiting outside the home
in Soo’s room, young is in bed. dr cho tells jang, mira, and the others that Young will be better after she sleeps deeply. the nurse will stay behind.
Soo comes in as dr cho is leaving. she tells soo: I will be going. young will be ok. dont come out. before she leaves she says MC is gone (he died). Soo just stares at her. she says how MC had been sick for a long time. on the way over here JS called. he lived like a dog and went like a dog. soo goes over and takes her hand. she pulls away and says there will be a cremation tm – that means there is no need for a burial/funeral. she leaves. Soo just stands there looking down – stunned
HS is crying and JS looks away as they are shown MC’s corpse at the morgue
next morning Young is asleep but Soo checks for a fever and holds her hand and kisses it. without opening her eyes, she says you are in this room. he shakes his wrist so she can hear the bell sound. he touches her face and calls out her name and tells her to sleep more.
wang tells jang how she met her mom yesterday and had dinner with her -meeting secretly like a 007 mission. she stares at her parents and says they came out for a walk. jang says I came to ask if you couldn’t come back to young. she says I am the one who made young that way so how dare I.
MC’s sidekick kamja is with JS and some guys brought over mandoo the guy working for Kim. the sidekick says the money mandoo gave JS was a bait. if you win money at the game with Kim’s money then it means you didnt win it so even if you guys won the money, in the end… JS doesnt hear the rest and hits mandoo. they hold JS back cuz he says let go I am going to kill this bastard. MC’s sidekick tells JS to be careful of Kim. he goes back to MC’s brother who is playing basketball. it’s like the sidekick is going to be a hyung to MC’s brother now and hang out with him
the nurse tells Young: I will be going now. cuz your brother is sleeping I wont be able to say goodbye and go. Soo is asleep next to Young’s bed. she asks are you sleeping? he doesnt answer. she reaches out to touch his face. she remembers how Soo told her “did you see the video? go to the greenhouse – even if you have nothing to hear, I have something to say
she goes to the secret room alone and reads his note in braille: you already know who I am dont you. but still- will you hear what I have to say on the recorded video? the video starts. he says at the time when you see this video I probably wont be by your side. leaving you – even if it’s difficult I can endure it – but a person not being able to do anything for another person – it hurts my heart. now you….Young -for the first time after meeting you I thought the world was fair. my life that was thrown away like trash too-for the first time I didnt feel sad about it – cuz of you. I hope you have a good surgery. young – if it’s the end for us please be well. if it isnt the end, at some time – just once let’s meet for sure. at that time I want to say the things I didn’t get to say to you. starting from what your first impression was when we first met (meaning “what I first thought of you when we met”). when I first started to love you. how pretty you were – also what I didn’t get to say in words all of my wrongdoings –also how much your real brother loved you. also….he cries and cant continue as she cries and turns off the video
she goes back and soo comes down asking where she is. he sits on the stairs in relief when he sees her. she says I am hungry. he asks how about the potato soup I made last time. young: ok. he goes over and asks will you be my side. I feel easier when I can see you in front of my eyes. she says ok so he says “I will take you in my arms” and picks her up and carries her
she is eating and watches her. he asks how it tastes. is it better than when I made it at the pension. I should be a chef for real. I cook simple dishes for JS and HS sometimes and they say it tastes good. and I have fun too. you are eating well
after her meal he puts her tea in her hand and says jang is on his way to seoul. JS and HS are going to the countryside. when they go there they are probably going to get married. if the two of them have a baby…but Young interrupts and says when jang comes you can go. I cant forgive you. what you said about not being able to explain – I dont understand. dont want to admit it but this is my level. even though you didn’t take the money everything doesn’t go back to the way it was. he says I know. she says “like what you said in the video. if today is not the end for us– after my surgery is over – if I am still breathing and alive then– we can meet then and talk again. at that time everything I ask – you cant hide even one and answer all of it truthfully. if you really loved me. if you loved me – while loving me –how big your feeling of guilt was – if your heart hurt as much as mine compared with the pain/scar I received. also which mountain or which river you scattered my brother’s ash. you have to answer all those questions I ask. he says ok. Young: but all your explanations/excuses – even if I push it off till later -just in case cuz you never know- there is one thing now I have to say to you that I want. after you left, I couldn’t see you – missing you was very hard. like you – when I sent you – it wasn’t the end for me. even at that moment when I was going to end it – I was expecting you to come running to me. he sobs into his hands. she continues: when I was cutting my wrist – instead of being afraid – I was hoping you would open my door – like I didn’t want to die at all. she takes his hand away and holds his face and tells him to look at her. I still have a lot I cant say to you, but today this doesn’t seem like it’s the end with you. after the surgery ends well – later on – like now – we can talk right? you and me. he takes her face and kisses her as his answer. when they stop, he is still shaking from his emotions so she tells him not to cry – I love you a lot. he holds her close and cries more saying over and over “I love you”
later on he puts the wind chime string on her wrist when she is in bed. she rings the bell. he says I am going – see you again. she says see you again. he kisses her forehead, eye, and then her cheek. he holds her hand and says after the surgery if you open your eyes and see me – I hope you like what you see. she says “is that so. go – you said you had urgent business.” he musses her hair. he holds her hand one more time before he goes.
soo calls wang and says It’s Oh soo. wang: I know. Soo: I was immature. I shouldn’t have made you leave young’s side. please stay by young’s side. there is no one else but you I can safely entrust young to- I am asking as a favor. he hangs up. she smiles
jang says how much it bothered young that soo didn’t take the money – she said to make you take it. soo says I really don’t need it. jang says I read in the paper that cho MC died cuz of his illness – does it really mean everything ends with that. soo: yes. he looks up at young at the window and says young will be cold. I have to hurry and go. jang says I will call when young goes to the hospital to have surgery. soo: yes. young rings her bell chime for soo. he smiles and shakes his wrist so she can hear the bell. he walks away as she stands there smiling as he leaves
next morning jang calls out to young to eat breakfast cuz they have to hurry if they are going to the hospital today (as in she will check into the hospital). she sits down to eat and says it smells delicious. the maid says our miss is like a ghost (cuz she sensed what’s going on). Young doesnt get it until she hears wang’s voice telling young where the side dishes are and how she prepared the soup. she puts her hand on young’s shoulder and young holds her hand. wang says let’s eat. she sits down too and jang looks pleased.
soo is helping JS and his family pack up the restaurant. the dad tells them to pack well. JS tells his dad to help too but the dad says today this is the last alcohol I get to drink so dont bother me. soo asks what that means. the mom says if the dad goes to the countryside and drinks he will become her child. they all laugh. HS says to the dad – if you become mom’s kid then I can speak banmal to you. dad: what? HS: father you know my personality – if I say I will do it I do – should I do it once? dad you (she said “you” informally so they all laugh). soo asks if HS told her parents that she is going to the countryside. she says I wanted to surprise them so I didnt yet. he worries her parents will faint. JS tells them to hurry and pack. cuz they have to pack here and at the house so they might have to do this all night and still not finish. Soo tells them to hurry and move
young is at the hospital. dr cho says you look comfortable. Young: I am comfortable. even if this really is the end. while living – it makes me think how happy I was but of course it would better to wake up (from the surgery). wang holds young’s hand. dr cho says having that kind of heart makes it over 50% for success (raising her chances of surviving) why? cuz the doctor doesnt have any burden/pressure. the surgery is tm night at 8pm. see you then. she leaves. jang says I will go to the nurses station and come back.
wang tells young: before you go into surgery there is something you must know. you cant live alone. not cuz you are blind. all of us – whoever we are – we cant do anything alone. like I was able to live till now cuz I had you. even if you cant see after surgery – I hope your heart wont hurt anymore cuz you cant see. she hugs her and says – still – I am sorry. I am sorry a lot. young says you arent good at hugging – if I knew sooner how bad you were at expressing your love for me in your way then I wouldn’t have been that lonely. they smile at each other as wang holds her hands
soo says the game will take a long time and after the game ends I will go to young’s hospital right away. you guys go to the countryside home and I will call. HS holds out her arms and says hug me. Soo: can you be like this in front of your boyfriend. JS grins. Soo hugs HS and she says see you at the countryside. she leaves and JS tells soo to wait a second and goes after her. Soo puts on his bracelet.
JS drops Soo off at the place where all the men are gathering to gamble. soo says I am going and gets out of the car. so does JS. he looks over at MC’s sidekick in the car and the guy nods to JS
Kim goes over the rules of the game to the men about the cards, shuffling, and the game is a tournament. he talks about the stake- how much money they can win-70 uk. let’s have some fun. the men go off into rooms and start playing
wang is sleeping on the cot by young’s bed as young stands facing the window feeling the wind blowing on her face
soo is still playing with a frown on his face.
jang told him how young is having surgery at 8pm tm night so I hope you will come before then. soo looks at his watch and continues playing
kim goes over to soo and says if you keep this up when will you win 70 uk. soo goes out and leans against the wall. he remembers how young said I still have a lot I haven’t said to you but today this doesn’t seem like the end with you. he turns and JS says I came hyung. soo is shocked. kim comes over and tells soo to play with JS to win that 70 uk. Soo says wait a minute to Kim but Kim already walked off. JS holds Soo back so he yells at JS and says are you crazy. JS says starting from now they have to play together to have a chance to win. come inside. he goes in. another guy says he will end up playing against soo – let’s meet again.
soo goes and sits next to JS. JS says after we win the game and go out, I will let you beat me till I am half dead. Soo: be prepared. they start to play
when they go out MC’s sidekick meets with some of the players
HS and JS’s family are moving their stuff onto a truck. HS tells them to hurry cuz it’s already 2pm. some guy watches them and makes a call
soo loses one hand after another and JS looks worried cuz Soo is lying about his cards and losing on purpose. he keeps doing that so JS tells him to come outside. Kim looks mad
JS asks are you crazy – why are you like that. kim comes over and soo says to him : how is that – how about coming in now. if I lose to Shin – as prepared I can be ended by you –but not you – you cant get your money from me and you already lost your club so all that is left now is just this one club. he threatened Kim so JS is proud of soo. JS says you are Oh Soo. JS asks what Kim is going to to do – take their useless necks or get involved in the hand (card game). Soo shoves him away and asks Kim to decide. Kim calls for chips to be brought. soo and JS go back into the game
they go back in and play. JS asks how about “all in” this hand (game) without any “call.” the guys agree. JS asks Kim – how about you. kim throws in his chips. JS calls kamja (MC’s sidekick) and says this is our last game/hand. Kim asks what is this. JS looks at the security cameras. kamja says we have control of the CCTV. JS: look well. he hangs up and says to kim: do you get what’s going on? if we win and cant leave here safely the guys watching this now will call the police and report it right away. we never used your money but you insist we used it. you fabricated files and called it in to the police. so it’s cuz we cant trust you. should we start the game now?
soo looks at his watch and it’s 7:52.
young goes into surgery as mira, wang, and jang wait outside.
Soo is still playing
dr cho goes into surgery
kim laughs and shows his cards. the other guy lost and gets up and leaves. soo closes his eyes and opens them. he takes JS’s hand and gets up. JS calls out see you later hyung. kim sees Soo’s card and JS says straight flush. Kim is angry and knocks away the chips
soo goes out and calls mira. he asks if young went into surgery. me? I am on my way to young now -yes I am on my way
kim is laughing and JS tells him to keep all this trash. kim makes a call and asks where are you – kaejong intersection? JS looks over and calls HS.he asks where are you now. she says we are almost there -kaejong intersection. Kim throws down his phone and JS looks at the photo of his sister on kim’s phone. kim throws down a knife for JS. (Kim is making JS choose between his family and soo)
HS sees a truck headed towards them and so does JS’s dad. JS starts to cry as he looks down
Soo is still on the phone with mira – asking “did young not cry when she went into the operating room. she smiled as she went in? so that’s what happened. sec wang came. that’s good. he turns and gets stabbed. he looks at the blood. JS is standing there so Soo uses him to stand up. soo looks him in the eye. soo calls out his name. JS is about to stab again but he drops the knife. he looks at soo as soo drops to his knees. JS does too. soo asks -JS – why. young is waiting. soo tries to walk but he is bleeding from his stab wound on his ribs. he remembers kissing young and falls on his knees. his bracelet bell rings as he collapses. JS sits there and cries
Spring – next year
a bus full of blind kids are getting off and jang is blindfolded along with MH and wang–people who can see are blindfolded. mira welcomes them. MH stumbles and holds onto Young. they all meet at the café. someone reads from a book about waiting and trusting. MH says to young – it feels like new cuz I cant see. I can hear people breathing and even my breathing too. young says you finally met a new world. the kid tells Young – I like it cuz I am helping people. young can sort of see now cuz she puts her hand on top of his and says “me too” while looking right at him.
Young is in a cab and looks out the window at the cherry blossoms. she asks to be let off here.he says she hasnt arrived yet but she tells the cab driver the wind is nice so I want to walk. she gets out and uses her walking stick but then she folds it up and starts to walk. she hears a bell sound. soo is riding by on a bike. he stops and looks back at her. he keeps going
HS meets up with JS. she came with another guy and asks where JS is going. so JS asks the guy – do you know HS slept with me. the guy asks her if that’s for real. she says yes so the guy says get off the bike. she calls him crazy and gives back his helmet. the guy leaves. JS tells her this is the third guy already. stop it now. she say I only rode his motorbike. she points and says you are sulking – when you are like this you are really cute. You know tm is the day we go to Soo right? this time when we go to Soo – what flowers should we take him? last time we took him roses. what should we take him this time? JS says lamb’s ears that resembles young. HS: that will be good. lamb’s ears and freesia.
at some cafe some customers are asked to come at dinner cuz it’s their break time now. Young goes over and the server says you are late today. young: it’s breaktime isnt it? the woman looks over at someone and nods at that person. she tells Young – it’s always like that but we have yours left. will you wait a short time at a table under the sunlight. young walks by soo’s painting of a tree with cherry blossoms
young touches the flower petals. a hand with soo’s bracelet puts down her tea. she is told it’s herb tea by the woman and to wait while drinking it. young thanks her. (Starting from here soo and young are speaking in jondae) Young says how nice the weather is today. Soo says yes it is nice. but it seems you cant see – you have a walking stick. she says is it your first time seeing a blind person. he says no there was a woman I loved a lot before (who was blind) Young: it must have been uncomfortable. if you cant see each other’s eyes with the person you love -it’s uncomfortable. he says no it was never uncomfortable even once– it always felt like she saw me –with her entire body and heart. can you not see at all. she says no. and looks over at him. his face sort of comes into focus and she smiles at him. young: to note that you are very handsome, I can see just enough. he smiles at her and they both start speaking in banmal now. he asks when did you start to know. young: about 20 days ago. after I finished chemo sec wang told me -before then when I came here -I sensed the familiar bell sound on your wrist. you never showed me your face and only got me my drink. wang told me -to tell the truth that you were here from 6 months ago but you told her not to tell me so she wasnt able to. I waited a long time wondering when you would talk to me. Soo: I didn’t have the courage. what if you saw me and didnt like me. (as in didnt like what you see) so young says: no way. he goes over and asks does that mean you like me. she drinks her tea. he asks can we meet again? she smiles and says maybe. he smiles and leans down and kisses her.
they are standing under the cherry blossoms kissing. he pulls away and they smile at each other looking into each other’s eyes.
There is an exact Korean word for how I am feeling now. It’s hard to write out in English, but it means “feeling unsettled.” I’m almost positive we got the ending we all hoped and prayed for, but the path to get there sure was messy and bloody. It’s like we had to wade through some murky areas on this last stretch of the road to get to the clearing and enjoy the flowers and the view. This has been a long journey for TWTWB viewers. We had to go through a lot of ups and downs to reach this point. I wonder why it felt like we went through more happy times than bad ones. Could it be cuz we got to indulge in so many wonderful scenes thanks to this writer, director, and cast that it overshadowed any of the gloomy parts. I feel like I’ve taken part in a tiny bit of Kdrama history cuz there will never be another show this well made and so beautifully acted out to the very last detail in how they speak, love, and gaze at each other. Breathtaking memorable scenes aside, I think I will hold onto one memory the most from tonight’s finale. Young might have said she didn’t forgive him, but everything she said right after negated it. It’s like all this time – every step they took away from each other, every word and loving look brought them right back. Just in time too. Even when there seemed like there was no hope for a happy ending we hung on. At first we weren’t certain if our faith had been rewarded or not, but leave it to this writer to make even the finale a nail biter that was both perplexing and enlightening at the same time. As much as I love this drama, I am still going to remain wary of melodramas from here on. This is probably not the lesson to take away here, but I realized investing so much of your heart in a drama drains you emotionally so it’s nice when you know happy endings are built in and guaranteed from the onset. That’s what romantic comedies promise so I will be sticking with those for the time being. This melo was so outstanding that I think this experience will last for quite some time. Plus I am going to need some time to recuperate from the mini heart attacks the last two episodes gave me anyway.
The rest of this was written before it aired:
Living in Seoul has its benefits when I can recognize a street at first glance. It makes me appreciate the director’s slight irony in showing Soo on the same street at different times with two very disparate emotions. Towards the end of the very first episode, when Soo was dropped off in a van and dumped on this street after being beaten severely by Moo Chul and his men, he had to stagger to his feet and could barely walk. Back then he was a physically broken man – one without hope, full of desperation, and lost with no purpose. When he hailed a cab on this same street at the end of E14 and beginning of E15, this time Soo was physically intact, but he was emotionally battered. How poetic is it that he broke down again at the same place in the evening, but this time he had trouble even breathing just from missing Young so much. It reminded me of what director Kim said in his recent interview about how he shoots scenes. Bringing alive the details through TWTWB, he is getting points for being a director who lets his characters “speak” with their eyes and hands. He wants to express the emotions more so if he thinks with just one look of the eyes it’s not enough, he wants to show the hands too. That is why we had so many scenes where the camera goes to the eyes and then goes down to the hands. Like in this scene when Soo allows himself to cry, the camera panned down again to his bracelet to show how much of an emotional wreck Soo is at this point. For that scene when Mira is standing at the bustling intersection trying desperately to catch a cab cuz she is in an urgent situation where she is worried something might have happened to Young after she got that call from Jang, the director wanted to elicit that image of a sense of overwhelming urgency with chaos from the passing cars. All this time I thought his directing was genius, but now that I know a little bit about the behind the camera stories of how he filmed this drama, it makes me appreciate it even more. This director elevated what we see on the screen to a new height of greatness and I really hope he realizes he deserves every word of accolade just as much as the writer and cast.
I want to thank all of you for your support and participation in following along with these recaps over the weeks – you made this drama come alive each episode and it wouldnt have been this much fun without you. 🙂
The other day I saw this tree pendant and fell in love with it so I turned it into a bracelet and named it “Soo” cuz it means “tree” on the drama. There was a cute silver bell pendant as well – way prettier than the one on the drama, but one thought kept me from adding a bell to it. Instead of reminding me of the drama, I was afraid if I went around Seoul with a bell ringing on my wrist every five seconds, strangers would keep turning their heads looking for a puppy or a cow so I opted for the quiet “tree.” No regrets yet cuz lots of people love it so far.
We’ve reached the point of the story where it can only go one direction or the other. When writer Noh was working on the finale, I bet she came to a crossroad herself. Which direction should she lead the viewers – towards realistic for a melodrama or be brave and sacrifice that for appeasement. I’m not sure what I would have done in her position, but I know one thing, she would have followed her heart. If she loved this story and characters as much as we did, she would have given them a worthy ending. Even though some of us had a bit of a hiccup in our faith last week, we trusted her for the most part and come this far so what is one more step. I say we put all our faith that tonight’s finale will resolve everything nicely. We don’t need all the bells and whistles of a beautifully wrapped package if what we get inside is a gem like this. Even though I shouldn’t, I’m going to hope for one simple bow on top and pray for that elusive happy ending.