There is a mental checklist I go through when I decide to pick up a drama and recap it live. When this first aired – truth be told a lot of those boxes were checked with question marks. To this day, I am grateful I didn’t have to translate their appearance on that talk show cuz that scene just went right over my head. I thought the language was too fast paced for me to recap live at first so I questioned my ability to do it justice. I remained pretty ambivalent and on the fence about this drama until the scene in the rain when HS had to endure what Choi had to say to her. That was the game changer moment when I realized I was no longer just a casual viewer and I actually cared about what happened to these characters. By then I was starting to become invested, but then in that last scene on E4 when we learned KW was a figment of JY’s imagination, I was hooked. It’s not often when a show comes around and questions what you thought about love, relationships, and illnesses and make you reevaluate some of your opinions. Love is the most trite and basic concept for all kdrama plots, but this one was different. Just like the writer did in her own real life, she mirrored some of the anguish she went through and projected those experiences onto these fictional individuals. Each character’s evolution stemmed from pain and suffering, but they eventually found the courage to face and admit their fallacies. Having so many characters be so raw and vulnerable gave us more to digest each episode. I have followed two of this writer’s dramas so far and each time she has proven that her contribution to kdrama is something that should be valued and appreciated long after the last scene unfolds. This show might have taken its time to capture my full interest and heart, but its effects will be lasting.
Written before it aired:
I wish her mom knew that JY made an effort and tried to leave HS behind. Walking out of her life was the most painful thing he ever endured but he did it cuz it’s what’s best for her. Just like her mom, he didn’t want HS to be saddled with the burden of taking care of him and suffering through anymore painful times with him and his illness. But the one thing her mom never took into consideration was the extent of their love -how it began and how it progressed to this point. JY helped HS overcome her fear of intimacy issues and now it’s her turn to help him. Abandoning him never crossed her mind. HS’s mom needs to realize the difference in her husband and JY’s conditions. JY’s is manageable and treatable with medication so it’s far from being the same thing as having an invalid husband. What kept her mom going all these years taking care of her husband and staying married to him was because they had two daughters together and memories of better days. What HS has before her with JY is the chance to create those kind of memories that will give her strength in her darkest hours so that they can build a life that will sustain them no matter how many more hardships come their way. Robbing her daughter of that chance isn’t fair to anyone, especially to JY cuz he didn’t get to prove her mom wrong. That he is the right man for HS and that she was right to give him her heart. She entrusted him and there was no way he would ever let her down. All it comes down to is her mom needing to accept a basic fact -her daughter takes after her. No matter how many times JY tries to walk away from HS, she will always remain the one who doesn’t want to be left behind.
I can’t believe the end is here. I swear there were nights and episodes where I thought I wouldn’t make it till the end – the medical jargon and law terms in Korean were driving me crazy, but I hung on and didn’t stop recapping live for one main reason: the faithful group of readers who stayed by my side each night I recapped. Thank you for all your kind words of encouragement and support -even the silent ones. It made all the difference in keeping me motivated and inspired.
Starts from JY washing KW’s feet. JY puts on socks and sneakers for KW as he watches with tears welling up. JY ties his shoelace and says my girlfriend chose presents really well. He stands and looks down at him. KW looks up and smiles and says “writernim – should I not come anymore?” JY: my girlfriend told me to tell you she said thank you. she said if I didn’t meet you I wouldn’t have been able to live till now due to my guilt. while comforting you that truthfully I comforted myself – thank you for that KW- I knew after meeting you that even though I acted strong my stepfather’s abuse and my hyung’s abuse was really scary. even when I saw my mom beaten, I couldn’t do anything – I really hated myself for being powerless. when I ran away barefoot -even though I didn’t cry – I was so scared. He cries and KW says it’s all in the past. JY: yes. back then I was young. those things passed. now I think I became a really decent adult. KW: now even if I come don’t act like you know me. still -when you miss me – look in the mirror. cuz you are me. JY nods yes. KW gets up and says now I am going. they hug as JY pats his back and pets his head. KW: annyeong Han KW. JY: annyeong Jang JY. JY lets go. JY is standing there looking at his own reflection. the sneakers are on the ground.
*the Korean word for annyeong can mean both hello and goodbye.
HS watches through the door window as JY cries alone. she smiles proudly and goes in. she goes over to him and holds his head. she kisses the top of his head as he holds onto her and sobs.
Jo is on the phone with HS and says our HS did it – she will be a great doctor. be careful coming home. SK asks if that was HS. Jo says yes and reports that JY came back to reality. now he can be properly treated. SK has a spell and hits his head in frustration so S hits him and yells why hit what’s mine. Jo yells at him too for hitting himself instead of praising himself for not having an episode all these weeks. why hit yourself? do you want to be hit – should I hit you. he hits SK so she pinches Jo. so Jo says what is she. SK says she is my girlfriend. they act lovey dovey so Jo stops it
JY is out walking and sees a student going by but it’s not KW. JY passes by HS and they hold hands lightly without anyone seeing
two patients are fighting over the tv and remote so JY tells them to take turns and be fair and not decide who watches what according to age. HS comes over and greets them. she asks if a patient slept well and the man says yes but JY tells her the man didnt sleep well so he has to get treatments
Lee talks about reducing JY’s meds and asks what HS thinks. she agrees. Lee asks aren’t you going to thank me cuz I went to the disciplinary committee and got on my knees for you. HS informs her how close they are and don’t need to make a fuss. HS gets a call from her mom and ignores it. Lee tells her how much her mom was patient – don’t avoid her and meet. her mom suddenly shows up and tells HS the restaurant is doing too well to sell and HS’s sister will give HS the money she saved to buy her own home. quit the hospital today and go study abroad. HS says let’s go home and talk about it. her mom follows her out.
as HS leaves with her mom HJ and her husband show up and calls out to HS but she was in the cab already and drove off. YC says HS’s face looked gloomy. HJ agrees. they are here to meet JY today. JY watches HS leave
JY notes how they are holding hands. HJ shares about how she still feels sorry to YC as always. what will I do if I ruin this person’s life. if I relapse how hard will it be on this person. JY: whenever that happens, don’t you want to leave YC behind and run off somewhere? HJ: running away is so easy. YC: I told her if you feel sorry to me – even if you are mad hold it in and treat me well a lot (show a lot of affection and attention). YC tells JY – dont just think of HS. you have a right to be happy too. JY nods and smiles.
JY goes back to his room and takes out his phone and sits to make a call.
JY is on the phone with HS’s mom. she just sits and listens while staring at HS with her dad. JY says mother – I will convince HS to leave. I will ask this favor. don’t say anything to HS and tell her to come and meet me. I will ask this favor mother. I will convince HS – just trust me once. HS tells her mom to talk. what is it you want to say? JY says “mother – mother” but the mom hangs up. HS: if you aren’t going to talk – I will speak first. I am sorry to you but even if you and onyi say you will never see me again…(HS was about to say even if they never see her she cant break up with JY) but her mom cuts in and says JY said to come to the hospital now. go meet him and then speak with me again.
HS gets up as her sister asks where are you going. she doesn’t answer
HS asks if his books really are selling well. JY shows HS the article about him – how all his books/projects have hot best sellers online and offline after news broke that he has schizophrenia. HS: how do you feel now. JY: T called and I was invited as a guest on the radio show I did. what do you think? she tells him to go on it and shatter people’s ignorance for not being able to differentiate between shameless criminals with no sense of guilt and schizophrenic patients suffering from heartaches. JY: I will think it over. also you should do as you originally planned. HS: did you call me to say that? for me to leave? JY: yes. HS: what is this. we have to break up again? JY: keep your loyalty to your mom. HS: I earned a lot of money for her during all this time. JY: to a mom you weren’t good to even once – if you do this you will be punished. HS: my life is mine. JY: even when I get discharged, I will get treatments well. love means you don’t give up something for the sake of the other person- you achieve something for them. don’t give up the important plan in your life cuz of me. on your own feet – leave as planned. he takes her hand. she asks are you for real. JY: try your best to forget me for a year. if you do that and still cant forget me, then let’s meet again when you return. don’t contact me. you know my personality but even if you call me I wont answer. starting from today I wont take your visits. if you come as a doctor then I will move hospitals. she cries and asks is it easy for you to send me away? he says it’s hard. but we have to go through something hard so later on to your family I can confidently say I did what I could. HS: what are you going to do if I meet another guy on my trip. JY: I am exactly your style but if that happens I will think I was mistaken and wish you to live well. I wont give in. thanks to you -like I was able to realize what KW was. cuz of me I want you to go and succeed big and return. go now. HS: you arent going to lose to me huh. he says no, wipes her tear, and kisses her for the last time. JY: go. HS: do you know how awful you are. JY: I know. HS: I’m going. she walks out. he sits there then looks out the window as she leaves
HS goes and kisses her dad’s forehead and meets with her mom. her mom asks so tm you are going to give your leave of absence and leave right away? HS: yes. her mom asks: you aren’t both going to deceive me, contact each other behind my back, meet, and do something else right? HS: if we both were that conniving, we would have already abandoned our families and left this country. you know my personality. when I leave I wont ever contact JY. cuz I love you a lot-I can do that much. the mom says ok that’s good – then leave. HS takes her hand and says like you trusted me all this time. trust me once more. that I am a good doctor who can treat patients and fix them well. also no matter what terrible moment happens that I will be able to turn that terrible moment back into happiness. her mom wonders if that means HS will meet him again once she returns. but HS interrupts and says I love you mom. I call often. take care of your health. I will go. her mom cries and mutters how she is such a stubborn girl.
HS goes home. SK lights her candle and says even if you go i wont let JY’s candle go out. they high five
SK brings out her bags and hands them to choi telling him to put them in the car and wait. choi takes her bags down for her so HS asks what’s up with Choi. SK says I called him to use him for all the bad things he did cuz he is better than a taxi and you can save on travel expenses. she laughs and says I like really it. He says call often and be careful. Jo tells her to go well. she tells Jo to live happily after his wife comes from America. Jo tells her to hurry and go- we both love you and we might cry sending you off. she mutters he always says he loves her only with words. so he yells back – of course we have to love with words then would we love with our bodies you brat? she says I am going. they tell her to be careful and they all wave
in the car HS says the wind feels good and it got cooler
T and his editor are with JY. she is helping JY into his jacket. she calls him sexy and good looking so T frowns as JY grins. Lee comes over and says I heard you are going out for today. T says yes he has a radio show tonight. I heard HS left today. do you know? JY says yes.
his fans make a fuss over JY at the station. a male student asks for his autograph. as JY walks away he can hear the fans saying how cool he is (handsome) and doesn’t seem like a mentally ill patient. what if he is just pretending to mentally ill to sell books
on the radio show JY is answering well about his inspirations for his writing -ideas that pop up while he is eating or walking on the street – do they make it into his novels so JY says it’s not always that case – sometimes when the ideas connect he thinks it would be good to write in a novel. when that happens it makes my heart pound. the PD says how well he is doing. his editor says how good looking he is. JY is questioned about staying in the hospital. it’s so good to see you so well and healthy after such a long time. JY: I’m glad to see you too. then he is told his fans want to hear the way he said his closing line in the past when he did the show. couldn’t you do it once for us? JY agrees to it. HS listens and views the show on her plane, his family listens at his home. JY: hello I am Jang JY. many of you know but I have a mental condition. doctors say that it is common – out of 100 – one will get my illness and that it’s not terminable and it is treatable. I believe that and do my best. cuz I believe – for the sake of the person I love – what I can do is – no matter what the moment – to never throw away hope. for tonight’s goodnight greeting – not for all of you – I want you to say it to myself. all that time – I used to ask others – are you okay -and said a lot of sleep well goodnights but I never once said it to myself. all of you too -tonight – not for someone else but say it to yourselves – are you really okay? and say a warm goodnight greeting. then tonight too – goodnight Jang JY.
SK looks in the mirror and says goodnight Park SK. he kisses the mirror then makes out with it. Jo looks in the mirror and tells himself goodnight. HS does too and closes her eyes as tears fall
back at the hospital JT takes his meds and writes. Lee watches him through the door as he stretches when his alarm goes off.
Jo watches the interview with JY and Lee. Lee asked him how do you feel today? JY: not really great but I am okay. Lee: how is your writing going? JY: 60% of how it was in the past. Jo says he got a lot better. Lee thinks it’s ok to let him be discharged. Jo agrees. they high five each other
Jo and SK visit JY. SK and Jo look at photos of HS on her trips and comment on her hat and how excited she looks. Jo says she should have stayed comfortably in Europe-why go around in the wilderness of Mongolia. JY says it’s probably cuz of money cuz she is frugal. Jo and SK say at the same time – he knows that she is frugal. SK asks if JY really isnt going to look at her pics. he wont. Jo asks if the two of them really didnt contact each other all that time. JY says let’s go now. he walks ahead. SK brings up JY being discharged the day after tm. wont he still need to get treatments? Jo: all illnesses are like that. like a cancer patient who needs follow up checkups
back at home a year later JB has black hair again and they all joke around as they eat watermelon together. JY tells JB not to lie. JB says why would I lie? he spits on his shirt by yelling so his mom wipes his mouth and says he has to change his dress shirt again. JB asks JY: do you really think what I am saying is a lie? JT: of course it’s a lie how could a female guard like you-in an all male prison-does it make sense for there to be a female guard. T jokes that JB lies as soon as he opens his mouth. like the way Lee stared at him last time during the consult was strange so JB pretends to hit T. his mom brings over a shirt for him to change into but JB complains “what is up with this color – my JY shi likes white.” They all laugh.
SK and S walk around acting like a couple. SK narrates a letter to HS. Hi noona. you have been well all this time right? DM hyung and I are well. JY hyung started writing a novel again and started his radio show. He got so much better that he only needs to take his meds once a week. KW hasnt shown up even once in six months. While SK narrates scenes of JY driving with T, his mom, and JB laughing in the car. Then JY in a group therapy led by Jo
during his group therapy JB was about to mention how he was a former prisoner imprisoned for the past 14 years but Lee cuts in and tells him to start over. JB: I am Jang JB and help my mother and grow peppers on a farm. SK narrates that JB is learning to talk to people and getting treatments from YJ noona. I think he likes YJ noona.
SK narrates that his dad and JY’s mom are getting therapy (for parents whose children suffer from conditions) isn’t that good. JY’s mom says I think everything is my fault.
SK narrates that YC and HJ had their cute baby
at home, Jo is with his wife, Lee is with some new guy, SK and S, and choi and M. Jo is showing them footage of the students he helps to rehabilitate. Lee wants to stop watching it cuz he gathered them to watch soccer but Jo argues it won an award and they haven’t all gathered and saw this before. his wife asks to stop watching it too. Lee says watch soccer and turns it on. Jo asks for the remote when the team scores. they all cheer
SK narrates – like always we miss you but we are living well. cuz I only told you just a little bit of news about JY hyung and more news of others – you are mad and upset huh? if you are upset then hurry and come and confirm. be well. your younger brother forever Park SK.
HS narrates her letter to JY -hi -yesterday for the last leg of my travels – I came back to Okinawa. also at the beach we went to – I stared at the ocean all day. tm I go back to seoul – even though I think it would never happen but you didnt forget me did you. I will go and call. she visits the other sites they went to together reminiscing about their past
HS comes home and yells I came – surprise but Jo and SK ignore her and continue working on their puzzle. she asks what is up with the expressions on their faces. I said I am here – dont you see me. Jo: so what? SK yells that piece doesn’t go there. they argue about the puzzle piece and she acts annoyed. what are you guys doing now? Jo downplays her coming back and says just go eat if you are hungry. we have cold rice. SK mutters she has a princess complex
She throws her bag down and complains about the messy home. do you still live not doing dishes. she gets herself some water. Jo says my wife went back to America yesterday- don’t mess with me. SK says dont mess with me too. JY comes over and takes her water to drink it saying you are here. you got a lot prettier during the time we didnt see each other. he walks away. SK hits Jo telling him not to do that. Jo says you braggart and shoves the almost complete puzzle off the table.
HS goes up to JY’s door- doesn’t knock- turns away to leave but goes in. she walks over and repeats what he just said. “you are here. you got a lot prettier during that time” what does that mean. JY: just what I said. HS: did you forget about me? JY: no. HS: then what is up with that greeting like nothing happened. you didn’t forget me but you don’t like me much? JY: maybe it’s cuz I thought of you every day -it felt like I saw you yesterday and just a little while ago. he walks over to her and smiles and says I really missed you. she smiles. JY: can I kiss you. she smiles and nods and tells him to go ahead. they kiss
Jo and SK run in holding a sign -made from the puzzle they were working on – it reads “our beloved HS, JY has been waiting for you” but when they see the make out session going on they sit and watch. JY tells them to hurry and leave. HS resumes kissing. Jo and SK go out walking backwards so they can continue watching.
time jump one year
The camel painting has changed. it’s just a lone camel walking during the day. HS checks the pregnancy test and it’s positive. she goes out of the bathroom to the bed where JY is sleeping. the bathroom door doesn’t have the automatic locking system anymore. she lies in bed as he stretches and says I slept well. he puts his head on her tummy. she mutters “you must have slept well. lift your head from my tummy.” he asks what is the problem again. she says to get up. he asks am I getting in trouble again this early in the morning. should I raise my arms (in punishment). she says lower them. JY: what is the problem today? she shows the test and says this is the problem. JY: what is this? HS: five weeks ago, I told you we couldn’t do it without the condom but you persisted in convincing me to do it. he looks at the test and walks away without a word. she calls out where are you going? where are you going – you have to talk to me. she yells out”dear” like you would to a husband. there are wedding photos everywhere
JY strolls out to the lawn where Jo and SK are. SK says to drink coffee. Jo asks what’s wrong with him as JY puts the test on the table. SK asks what is this. JY tells them – I am going to be a father. they all laugh. HS comes out and asks what are all of you so happy about. dont you see that I am angry. Jo pretends to yell at JY for not using a condom and causing this. JY defends himself and says HS was so pretty that night. I lost my mind. you don’t know. HS was so pretty. Jo says how JY is so cute with the things he does. SK hugs JY saying thank you for letting me become an uncle. HS says I am going crazy and sprays everyone with hose.
JY takes care of her dad. he gave him a bath and asks doesn’t it feel good? I will make father more happy. he whispers the news into her dad’s ears and her dad is happy. JY says you like it huh? he puts lotion on the dad as her mom calls out for JY to come out and eat.
JY told her mom the good news. as JY eats her mom says really? did she go to the hospital? he nods yes. she is thrilled and keeps saying I’m so proud of you my baby. she treats JY like a son
everyone is gathered at the house. Jo and Lee are yelling at each other over her current boyfriend. Lee mutters how Jo said the last guy she dated was good looking like he would cheat, but this time Jo doesn’t like how he conducts business. Jo argues the guy isn’t stable and goes into this business and that business and they fail. HS says what difference is that to you as long as YJ sunbae likes him. JY comes in and sits. Lee asks if JY got his shots. he says yes. Jo asks if Lee will lend money to her boyfriend for business if he asks. she screams yes so he yells at her to come to her senses. HS yells at them to stop fighting. Jo tells Lee I am holding it in cuz of HS who is pregnant. Lee tells him not to hold back -who is scared? HS says I am pregnant and it’s too noisy now. JY rubs her tummy. Lee tells her not to be a baby. HS suggests that they all meet tm and have it out. don’t make it hard and fight with words – have it out with their bodies. Jo agrees and suggests a stress program for everyone here. HS wants the ones who have no complaints to stay out of the program. each couple speaks about their complaints in their relationships. choi says M checks out other guys. SK says that S is too clingy/obsessed over him. why must I have to follow her to the library during her midterms. S calls him “ya” so HS tells her – I told you if you don’t call him oppa not to come to this home. JY tells HS – I have no complaints about you. she blames him for making her delay her doctorate program another two years so JY says “call” and wants to go out and compete and so does HS. choi and M get up and tell each other not to cry tm. HS stands and tells JY to clean the mess and go sleep in SK’s room today. before she goes up she tells JY to come up. JY tells SK to clean alone and calls out dear to her and follows HS up. SK calls him a well trained puppy
3 couples are gathered wearing white shirts and blue jeans holding baskets of tomatoes. Jo tells everyone today’s program only has one rule- for everyone to release their feelings of resentment/grudges and not bring it up again outside. what happens here will end here. the couples make “you are dead” gestures at each other. Lee yells he is talking too much and to take his glasses off and start. Jo yells start and hits Lee with a tomato. everyone starts tossing tomatoes on each other.
HS lights the candle and JY and her both pray over it
JY narrates about the candle on his radio talk show- through many people’s effort – there is a candle that is lit 24hrs – 365 days of the year and it doesn’t go out. the reason why the candle is lit is just one – for the sake of all the lonely people in the world- those of you who feel lonely cuz you are alone – know there is someone praying 24 hrs for you. remember. you were never alone even for a moment. tonight too – goodnight Jang JY. HS watches him and claps when he is done. he goes over and hugs and kisses her. they leave as he says see you next week to the staff
they walk outside holding hands with ice cream. she says the weather is nice. some girls recognize JY. the girl runs over calling out his name and saying she likes his latest book and likes his romance novels better than his thrillers. she pushes HS aside asking for an autograph so he says dont do that to my wife. she is pregnant now so you cant do that. also it’s our time just for the two of us right now so I will give an autograph later. HS says sorry to them. HS worries the girl is peeved as they leave
they continue walking together and she asks what to do if you lose your fans. JY: as long as you don’t leave I’m okay. HS: where did you learn to say such a cute thing. JY: if you know you will be surprised. she got ice cream on her lips so he calls her cute and wipes it off for her. they say “you are exactly my style” to each other. he asks how about having another baby after this one. HS: do you want to fight again? they walk off laughing and she says “3” so they both agree to having 3 kids
As finales go, this was painless. I only cried once as JY said goodbye to KW. KW was never meant to stay so I was prepared to watch him be sent off. Even when JY let HS go away for a year, I thought that decision was smart. She needed to have that time to herself to realize what she will be giving up and gaining by sticking with JY and loving him. More importantly, I think JY planned to take that year to slowly change her mom’s mind about him by being productive and successful in his career to prove his mental health to her mom to ease her concerns. That’s why it didn’t seem to abrupt to me that her mom went back to loving him like a son. It was killing her to hate him and she was doing a very poor job of it anyway. I just hope most people don’t think this drama made recovering from schizophrenia look too easy since it differs between people and their cases. HJ’s condition made her relapse a few times, but JY’s situation was different. It only began three years ago and once he realized KW wasn’t real and accepted it, that’s what helped him recover. What’s more important was the message this writer wanted to convey in her writing – that everyone has their hardships and difficulties, but what helps them overcome them is love and support. The message JY gave on the radio show seemed to fit the show so well -to have hope and never forget that even when you are feeling lonely – you are not alone. Wouldn’t this world be a better place if everyone not only believed that, but also felt it during the moments they needed it the most.