Part of me thinks Y didnt die cuz she had too much to hold onto – there was so much happiness in her life – I dont think even her body wanted to say goodbye and turn away from life to face death. There is no such thing as willing yourself to believe something to make it happen – but just like in the real world – when you want something bad enough – you hope and pray with all your might and if luck and fate are on your side- sometimes what you wish happens. In Y’s case, I think all the love that surrounded her pulled her towards life and wouldnt let her take a step towards death. With so many people wanting to hold onto her, maybe fate wanted to reward all their prayers and extend her life by a few more years or months. Even though their happily ever after is still up in the air, in my mind at least, their lives continued for a while longer – just long enough for J to feel that he had a great deal of wonderful memories stored up to be able to carry on without her. Who knows, maybe the time he spent with Y was so fulfilling that it ached a little less each day after she was gone till one day he could remember her smile without the burden of the pain. I have a feeling that is what she would want and if I was in her position, that would be number 21 on my bucket list.
Watching this scene unfold, I felt like she came full circle. Back in Okinawa, she got to spend some time and start to fall in love with the man of her dreams for a few days till reality brought her back down. At that moment when she felt more lost and alone than before she met J, she found solace in the arms of a kind old man who gave her some peace and comfort. Now after two months, she is where she belongs – in the arms of the only man she will ever love in her short lifetime. That’s why I think it’s so fitting that he requested that tango music cuz he knows how special this moment will be for her. It kills me that he knows it’s one of the memories she will treasure in her last days. More than that, I love how she tells him at this moment that she loves him and he replies with a kiss as the perfect answer. We knew this time would come – when all our heartache and dread would have to come face to face with the finale episode tm. The past 15 episodes have been amazing and I did not regret even one single night for choosing to recap this. As much as it pains me to say goodbye to yet another great drama, I wouldnt trade this moment for anything despite all the tears. Why should anyone want to watch such a tragic love story? For this scene alone-because this is the kind of love you wish for yourself, the kind of dance that should go on forever, and the kind of love story that resonates for years to come that you wish would never end.
This drama has a cruel streak – it makes you giddy with happiness then it tears you down again leaving you vulnerable. Just when you think you can handle everything, it stomps all over your hopes. Then through your tears, you feel strengthened by watching how well these characters cope and endure. But when you finally think things are looking up, it punches you in the gut again. Our main couple is hanging on by a thread and it’s only a matter of time when we will all be free falling with them. Next week is going to be rough people – I can sense it already. You guys are going to need a lot of kleenex for this episode.
When you first hear about this drama, you expect tears and heartache – it comes with the drama description like it’s built in. You can’t share all their joy without sharing their pain as well. You can’t root for a miracle without expecting reality to let you down. But what I didn’t count on were side characters like E and HJ leaving such a lasting impression too. Up to now, HJ was the young vivacious girl who put up such a brave face that I was praying she would live as much as I wanted Y to survive. When HJ actually said those words that she wanted to see her mom before she died, her vulnerability and desperation finally peeked out from the facade of her bravado. Then we have E who has long given up his dream for his unrequited love to be reciprocated. Watching him say his goodbye to Y without her even realizing he was letting her go makes me cry again each time. His kind of love gets to me cuz it’s the one you can count on forever- the one that never falters even till the last moment. As for our couple tonight – everything I was hoping for actually happened and those scenes tonight more than made up for last week’s cry fest. There are times when I don’t feel that words are needed to explain every emotion that is coming thru the screen and tonight that happened over and over with these two. It’s like every individual action they take is just to bring them one step closer to each other. The fact that J is helping her go thru her bucket list and fulfilling each one makes me dread the last one that is coming up. At the same time, I have no doubt that it will be just as beautiful and memorable as all the previous ones. Why? Cuz these two keep giving us more wonderful memories to hold onto for that last moment when we will need it the most.
A few weeks ago, I was reminded of a movie I used to love called “Shadowlands.” It was loosely based on the true story about C.S. Lewis and his wife Joy. She had cancer and didn’t live that long after they were married. In a poignant scene, she laid out the bare truth for her husband: “The pain then is part of the happiness now. That’s the deal.” I think this rings true for Yeon-jae and Ji-wook as well. All the happy times they had up to now will be intermingled with the sadness later. You can’t have one without the other. Ji-wook will only feel the sense of loss and despair as a direct result of having shared so much joy and happiness with Yeon-jae while she was alive. As viewers it’s hard for us to watch this play out since we’ve come to care for this couple so much that we go through the gamut of emotions with them. The optimist in me wants to keep believing there will be happy moments again before the drama ends. That I won’t have to do any more screencaps like this one that depict how miserable these two feel living apart. But then the realist side keeps reminding me this is a melodrama so I should have anticipated all this anguish. All I can say at this point is – keeping the faith has never been so hard.
Do you know why I cried so much during this scene when she was reading J’s text? No matter what roller coaster of emotions he must be going through right now -he is only holding onto one certitude – that she is the only one he will ever love. Like a little kid, he fixated on that ring. He went and buried it cuz he knows there is only one love for him. If she wont accept the ring, he doesn’t want anyone else to have it. It doesn’t matter what he said in the preview to S – those are just words. His heart is in that box and it’s buried away. Hearing his words while Y read his text, I couldn’t help but think this was one of the most meaningful scenes out of the show so far. Here she was pushing him away to spare him, but all they are doing is feeling all that pain separately. For him it’s like reliving what happened to his mom only this time he still gets to say goodbye and wants to, but Y won’t let him. Just look how lost he is without Y. It breaks your heart a little more each time you watch it.