Drama Recaps
Dal Ja’s Spring: Episode 22 (FINAL)
by | March 16, 2007 | 90 Comments

Episode 22: “Spring Comes Again, Flowers Bloom Again!”

If I had to sum up Dal Ja’s Spring’s last episode in one word, it would be “lovely.” So many sweet, funny, lovely moments! It made me laugh and cry, but did so without exaggerating any overly wrought drama, which I appreciated.

As we see a montage of all the scenes that have brought us thus far with Dal Ja and Tae Bong, Tae Bong narrates:

“That’s how we met… At first, I thought she was just an old maid clinging stubbornly to her pride. But… being together became more and more fun. And she’d get mad easily, too. She might come flying at you with her fists, but in actuality, she was more warmhearted than anyone. And as time passed, I kept wanting to see her… to be with her… “

And we see that it’s two years later, 2009, and Tae Bong is telling his mat-seon date about Dal Ja. (If you’ve seen a lot of kdramas, you’ll already know this, but a mat-seon is a formal blind date, usually arranged by parents, introducing two people with the hopes that they will marry.)

The date wonders, did Tae Bong just let her go? Didn’t he ask her not to leave?

And we’re back where we left off at the end of episode 21:

Tae Bong: “I love you. Don’t you understand?”
Dal Ja: “Thank you for saying that. So once in my life, I was loved. I’m so glad that it was with you… I won’t tell you to wait. And I won’t say that I’ll return to you either.”
Tae Bong: “Dal Ja.”
Dal Ja: “Let’s not make any promises, or any guarantees. And let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that our feelings right now won’t change in two years. If I tied you down with those promises, it would be my selfish greed… That one phrase you just told me is plenty for me. Those were the greatest words of my life… I love you, Tae Bong.”

Back in the present (2009), Tae Bong tells his date that he only came to the mat-seon because his mother pressured him, but he felt it was only polite to tell her why he’s not interested in meeting anyone. She asks him if he’s had any contact with Dal Ja, and he says he only received one postcard in two years. The woman wonders if he’s been waiting all this time for Dal Ja, and Tae Bong says, “I want to try believing in what she believes in.”

As we wonder what he means by that, we see the postcard Dal Ja sent him. You can’t read it well here, but it says: “If it’s fate… maybe?”

Meanwhile, we catch up with everyone else:

Seon Joo arrives, as glamorous as ever, for her first day back at work with her and Sae Do’s baby, Dong Hee. She’s fiercely overprotective but dotes on the baby… and snaps at the office workers when they say what a cute boy he is. Because Dong Hee’s a girl. Ha!

 
Tae Bong’s father and grandfather have a great relationship…

 
Tae Bong’s mother frequently goes to play Go-Stop with Dal Ja’s mom and grandmother…

And Dal Ja’s mother and grandmother have a lovely conversation when Grandma tries to set up Mom on a blind date herself. Mom’s not that interested, but understands that Grandma wants someone to look after her, instead of being stuck taking care of her old mother-in-law forever.

Gran: “Aren’t you tired, taking care of such an old woman?”
Mom: “Aren’t you tired, looking after such a unsociable person like me?”
Gran: “Why would I be tired? With a daughter-in-law like you.”
Mom: “Same with me. Why do you say that to me when I’ve got a mother-in-law like you? Enough with that. If you continue, I’ll really be disappointed.”
Gran: “It’s because I feel shameless.” (i.e., sense of honor has gone)
Mom: “Rather than any man, you’re much more reliable and comfortable to me. To me, mother, you mean more than a husband, a friend, or a lover. Don’t you know?”

 
And with that, Dal Ja returns.

Tae Bong is out on the Seoul streets when he sees Dal Ja off in the distance. He goes through the busy traffic trying to catch up to her, but keeps missing her. Finally, he has to give up, dejected, and goes into work. (I’ll have more theme-related stuff to say on this later.)

At work, Tae Bong is what appears to be an assistant chef at a fancy restaurant. The workers gossip about the “Wednesday Man” who’s on yet another mat-seon date. He comes in every Wednesday with a different woman (therefore he’s always unsuccessful — the guys think he’s completely sleazy), and the chef jokes that he’s thinking of providing the guy’s 50th meal for free.

Tae Bong looks out into the restaurant and sees the man’s date… she with the curly hair and dark nail polish… But rather than rush out, he just smiles as he watches from a distance.

Meanwhile, Dal Ja’s barely paying attention to her date in favor of her food. She asks the guy if he knows her age, and he assures her he does — she’s 33. Dal Ja corrects him; that was her age two years ago. The guy breaks out into a sweat realizing she’s actually 35, and retreats to the bathroom, where he complains to his mother that she got the age wrong. She’s a whole year older than him! How can this be??

Tae Bong overhears the conversation, and when the guy comes out to wash his hands (thank god; it’s a pet peeve when they skip that part in dramas. Or in real life, for that matter), Tae Bong poses a rhetorical question:

Tae Bong: “There are two women. One’s 28 but looks 35. The other is 35, but looks 28. Which would you choose?”
Sleaze, with furrowed brow: “Hmm…. That’s a difficult question.”
Tae Bong: “So I see, that’s a difficult question to you?”
Sleaze: “What’s the answer?”
Tae Bong: “Whichever woman you choose, age is unimportant. What’s important are your feelings. That’s the answer.”

Booyah!

Dal Ja, sitting alone while her date’s off in a tizzy over her age, receives a free cake from the server. The server tells her that the cook said Dal Ja looks like someone who’d enjoy cake. Accompanying the cake is a card.


“If it’s fate… Maybe!!”

 
Dal Ja tears up reading the note, and looks around, but no Tae Bong in sight. When her date comes back to the table, Dal ja’s gone. He grumbles to the server that it’s shallow of her, just coming for a free meal. The (female) server tells him, with an edge to her voice (hee), that the lady already took care of the bill. (So stick that in your pipe and smoke it, sexist pig. You know she was thinking that.)

Dal Ja is welcomed back to Handa Home Shopping. It’s all very lovely, to see her greeted with such open arms by everyone, who’s glad to have her back. Everyone’s also been promoted a level, so now Dal Ja’s the section head, and her former title is now held by one of her juniors.

They’re working with Eom Ki Joong on a new brand launch. She reunites with Soon Ae, too, who’s now pregnant with her third baby. She’s also looking really lovely herself.

Dal Ja talks with her mother, who asks carefully if she isn’t going to contact Tae Bong now that she’s back. Dal Ja says that if they’re meant to end up together, they’ll find each other eventually. Everyone has their time.

Dal Ja: “If Tae Bong and I are meant to meet, then someday, without even trying, we’ll meet. I believe that, mom.”
Mom: “Aren’t you worried about your age?”
Dal Ja: “Am I aging alone? If I age a year, so will he.”

And I think this ties back thematically into Tae Bong frantically trying to find Dal Ja on the Seoul streets. He worked himself up, anxious at the thought of not finding her, and wound up completely dejected… And then he walked into work and there she was. Simple and easy. I like to think that’s why Tae Bong didn’t run right to her immediately, too, because he said he wanted to try believing what Dal Ja believed. That if they are meant to meet again, it’ll happen, and when it does it’ll be simple and natural. (I don’t know how much I believe that in real life, but for drama purposes, it’s a lovely sentiment.)

Meanwhile, Tae Bong’s working hard — he found new space for lease, and is busy getting it in order to set up his own restaurant.

While he’s working, his chef friend brings by a card for him. Dal Ja had dropped by and asked for the cook who’d given her the cake, only to hear he’d quit two weeks ago. The card Dal Ja sends is an invitation to the launch of Handa’s new line. It says, “I invite you to spring!” (Meaning the spring collection, but it also carries, of course, the double meaning with the concept of life’s “spring.”)

The senior asks who the woman is, and Tae Bong answers, “She’s my fate.” The guy can’t believe Tae Bong believes in stuff like fate, and Tae Bong hardly can believe it himself.

As for Sae Do and Seon Joo, for the most part, they’re happy together, but Sae Do still wants to marry her. Seon Joo remains resolute in her intention not to marry. She doesn’t see much difference in how they’re living now, but marriage means something special to Sae Do, and he wants to share in it with her because he loves her. Seon Joo overhears him talking about it to Dal Ja, and perhaps realizes for the first time just how much it means to him.

So, after their big spring launch event, Seon Joo goes to Sae Do and, in her customary forward style, tells him: “I hate grand, showy things. Let’s just call both sets of parents and a few of our closest friends. I won’t wear a wedding dress either, I’ll wear what I want. That’s okay, right?” Sae Do’s speechless, so she continues: “Yes, I’m proposing. Let’s get married.”

Sae Do’s in disbelief, so Seon Joo tells him, “I love you.”
Sae Do: “What?”
Seon Joo: “I love you.”
Sae Do: “Can you say it… just one more time?”
Seon Joo: “I love you. I love you. I love you… I love you.”

And under those same fireworks, Dal Ja thinks to herself, “At one time, I thought that when my twenties ended, my youth [the springtime of my life] would be over. But even at 35, my youth hasn’t ended yet, and spring has come back and found me. And also… He once again drew near to me.”

He takes her to his shop, and treats her to his very first lunchbox. He waits nervously as she tries it, and she deliberately takes her time tasting. Finally, she tells him it’s good, and Tae Bong, relieved and happy, kisses her on the forehead.

Dal Ja looks at him in surprise, then after a moment, grabs his shirtfront and pulls him in for a kiss.

“There was nothing like an end, or conclusion. And so, there was no ‘happily ever after’ either. There was only, ‘Every day, we start today together again’….”

And Tae Bong’s revised postcard says: “If it’s fate… It must be!!”

 

And we get a final rundown of many of our recurring characters, like Eom Ki Joong’s ex-wife, who has her own pie business…

 
Tae Bong’s pretty-man friend, still working his clothing shop…

 
Announcer chick, whose name I’ve already forgotten, who appears to be auditioning for a film…

 
Hee Yeon, who starts a new job (perhaps her first ever)….

 
Even Soo Jin, who gets asked out by a co-worker who isn’t deterred by her lack of interest… which of course sparks her interest… (haha)….

 
And Dal Ja’s co-workers goof off with a song (and dance!) about the return of Dal Ja’s spring……

 
And there we have it! Dal Ja’s Spring.

This was such a great show… It was funny, heartwarming, meaningful, subtle… and without being heavy-handed or overly dramatic. It was realistic but still fulfilled our romantic fantasies, and gave us a satisfying, lovely send-off — even if there is no “Happily Ever After”!

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90 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. thunderbolt

    I was teary reading your Episode 22 summary. Thank you for highlighting and translating all the key moments for us. I’m going to miss this drama so much.

    thunder
    WITH S2

  2. aceyyy

    I’ve been enjoying reading all your summaries – I loved it that you managed not only to convey the sequences that unfold on screen, but also the underlying tone and emotion and your responses to it make for such an engaging read! And with the screencaps too – thanks for the hard work, it’s appreciated =)

    Acey

  3. babymarzy07

    thanks for the final summary! it was a good read, it made me understand what was going on and of course it was subtle too. i truly loved this drama, for its meaning and its characters. the story was not like any other and of course the humor too. ^^ looking forward to more of these.

  4. javabeans

    Thanks to everyone for reading along with my Dal Ja summaries! They’re the main reason I started posting at this blog and now I’m addicted to blogging. :D This was such a good show to follow and think about on a deeper level, because it gave us so much to contemplate! It’s modern, fresh, and funny — some of my mostest favoritest things in a kdrama.

  5. shrimpzaa

    I haven’t see this drama yet coz it’s the same time as GoongS haha…but it’s also interesting I will watch it someday

    Thanks for nice song

  6. Kiongna aka teileen

    Javabeans, you have such a way with words… it’s like reading a Jeffrey Archer…so simple and yet so articulately beautiful and perceptive in a wide context of things.

    See you around..

  7. yonheet

    thanks for all your summaries for all dramas ever! i finally finished watching dal ja’s spring. i must say that this episode left me… giddy :D it was a happy ending and much worth the wait. thanks again, i’m sure i’ll be around again!

  8. wandergirl

    *sniff*
    I enjoyed reading your summary. I’m going to miss DJS too.

  9. neezha

    this was a nice review helps me alot in the waiting of the episode 21 and 22 waiting to be publish hahaha…so it doesnt makes me too curious and checking every hour…but i will still watch it its a very nice drama…..love kang tae bong coolneess hehehe

  10. 10 hi!!!

    Just discovered your blog!!!! I ADORE IT! Such a treat for k-drama fans! Thank you!

    *bookmarks!

  11. 11 Mauwy

    Hi there! Thanks as always for your wonderful DJS summaries, Loved the ending, am soo glad and satisfied with it. Miss DJS btw T.T

    great blog, btw, Added you in my links if its ok ^^

  12. 12 artemisd

    Hey there! I just discovered your blog, and I think its really awesome. Thanks for all the DJS stuff here, especially the music! I simply love this drama as well. I didn’t read the review above, haven’t been able to watch the two last episode and I can’t wait.

  13. 13 Keyti

    Wonderful. :) I just finished this last night.
    I won’t forget this drama.
    NEVER.
    Thank you. That made me teary-eyed.

  14. 14 Cheryl

    cool.. is there gonna be a wedding?
    anyways.. i can’t wait to watch the ending!

  15. 15 kristen

    hi where can i see the last 2 episodes?

  16. 16 Philippa

    Thank you so much! I love then ending! It just sucks that she’s like 35 years old. Not that it really matters. I really like the 2 years later part. Which is really typical in a KD sometimes it’s even 5 years. lol.
    Thanks a lot for writing the summary!

  17. 17 doozy

    I, too, love the ending. I’m glad that Dal Ja left to do her own thing in America instead of staying when Tae Bong asked her not do. And the theme of fate is lovely for hopeless romantics. If they’re meant to be together, they will be!

  18. 18 Christine

    Reading your blog makes me remember da every detail of the series. thank u soo much! everytime i want to remember it – i’ll just read ur blog.

    -TiNe

  19. 19 gail

    i enjoyed DJS too. reading this summary brought back all the things I loved about that series. (incidentally, i enjoyed subtitles provided by WITH S2.)

    keep on blogging… i’ve bookmarked your site, now.

  20. 20 dal ja's spring fan

    aww…!! what a great story! you’re right, it was beautifully acted by the cast. I followed the story with anxiousness, laughter, tears, and anger because it was portrayed very well. I’m a sucker for romantic dramas/comedy like this, it just warms your heart up. It makes me skip out of my life a little while and join someone else’s. You need that once in a while.

    Of course, I couldn’t have had this experience without your help, your summaries, your time, and your dedication to your readers. THANKS a bunch. Now, I know where to go to get my tv drama series addiction satisfied. It’s precious to have the knowledge to understand two cultures and two languages, but it is extraordinary and inspirational that one shares their knowledge & joy with others.

    keep on writing,
    from a fan of yours too!

  21. 21 andrea

    i love daljas spring especially minki

  22. 22 andrea

    hey java beans—ur doin great with this summaries—i hope u can contact me through my email add—i really hope to talk to someone with the same interest and enthusiasm as i do—daljs’s spring inspired me sooo much

    hope to hear from u soon

    kendy_mahal18@yahoo.com

  23. 23 shinku

    oh my gosh, tears! reading this summary brought tears to my eyes…thanks so much.^__^.

  24. 24 AnNeGaRe06

    I’m thankful to your recaps.. actually i didn’t try watching this but i accidentally read the Dal Ja’s Spring posts and found that it was interesting.. so i finished this drama just by reading this posts… now, i’m looking for some missing episode.. 7 to 12 i think.. ??? Javabeans.. help and FAVOR… can you post the missing episodes?… i find Tae Bong sweet and very MANLY.. i hope i can also find a guy like him.. CONSIDERATE and very LOVING.. =)

  25. 25 AnNeGaRe06

    I’m thankful to your recaps.. actually i didn’t try watching this but i accidentally read the Dal Ja’s Spring posts and found that it was interesting.. so i finished this drama just by reading this posts now, i’m looking for some missing episode.. 7 to 12 i think.. ??? Javabeans.. help and FAVOR can you post the missing episodes? i find Tae Bong sweet and very MANLY.. i hope i can also find a guy like him.. CONSIDERATE and very LOVING.. =)

  26. 26 norma

    well im still watching it and i love it 2 well thanks for letting me know what happens at the end i just had to know.

  27. 27 Jasneeta

    Thanks for all the lovely written updates you have provided. I really liked Dalja’s Spring it had such a nice concept. I really like Gang Teabong him & Dalja really make a nice couple. Sae Do is really funny in some scenes & Seon Joo compliments him really well.

    I really miss this show now that it ended.

  28. 28 linh

    i just started watching this show, its better than many american shows. i missed the first few episodes, but think i have the gist. does dalja & taebong get married? thanks for the summary & pics. can you post some video clips or fan videos?

  29. 29 Amyable

    Sarah,

    Once again, based on your recommendations, I decided to watch DalJa. I just finished today and you were right again. I loved this one. There were so many ways this could have been a cliched kdrama but it wasn’t! I absolutely adored this one. Thank you. I’m such a groupie of yours!

    My favorites are MNIKSS, Que Sera Sera, and DalJa – in no particular order other than the order I watched them in.

    Amy

  30. 30 Anonymous

    Lovely drama! Thanks for your recommendation; otherwise, I wouldn’t have watched it! I’m glad I did. I like Tae Bong’s character a lot, and I generally liked Dal Ja. I gave her major kudos when she didn’t go running the other way in tears when the parents first found out that she and Tae Bong were living together and went nuts. Typical k-drama characters would have dissolved into tears, all full of loyalty and a sense of obligation to her elders, and decided to end the relationship right there. I imagined that maybe, in typical k-drama heroine fashion, she might’ve even decided to go into hiding (from Tae Bong)! And at that point I would have rolled my eyes and stopped watching. But Dal Ja’s Spring didn’t go into such self-sacrificing-martyr-female theatrics, and I’m glad.

    I have to say, though, Seon Joo was the one that really made the drama for me. She is one of the few k-drama characters I absolutely love. She doesn’t ask for your sympathy; she doesn’t –ever, ever– let herself get walked on; she’s not perfect; she’s not one for petty coyness–she lets you know exactly what she wants and doesn’t want up-front; she’s a bitch and she KNOWS it. I think she’s actually the only k-drama character (other than Sam Soon) that k-drama writers actually managed to succeeded in portraying as smart and strong. I’ve seen several dramas where writers try to portray a female character as strong, only to end up making her seem half-brained and utterly incapable of coping with relationship hardships in a strong, take-no-crap manner. One of my favorite quotes came from the scene when Dal Ja asks Seon Joo what she’d have done about Tae Bong’s ex if she was in Dal Ja’s shoes, and Seon Joo answers, “Me? I’d have stepped all over her.” Because that’s exactly what she would’ve done. Sometimes there are moments when one language can capture what you’re trying to communicate much better than another, and regarding to Seon Joo’s character, I can only say– shiwonhae XD. Anyways, I think Seon Joo and Sae Do were meant to be together, because as far as I can see, Seon Joo’s the only one that can keep Sae Do’s player side firmly in check, hehe.

  31. 31 Bebe

    “This was such a great show� It was funny, heartwarming, meaningful, subtle� and without being heavy-handed or overly dramatic. It was realistic but still fulfilled our romantic fantasies, and gave us a satisfying, lovely send-off ?” even if there is no �Happily Ever After�!

    why i love da ja spring!!!!!!!!

  32. 32 goonggong

    javabeans, great job on the summaries… I’m advocating Dalja’s spring to my officemates thru your blogs, I so loved the series… I’m right now on my fourth run of the entire thing, and my infatuation with it still shows no signs of abating. Great acting, great story… the formulaic Korean drama elements are still there, yet they made it so refreshing…

  33. 33 michi

    dalja spring is one of my faves! thanks for your summaries and opinions! well-done!

  34. 34 Jessica

    The ending is happy, but still… I really, really, really, really, REALLY hate those X years later stuff.

    It’s like, what happened during those years? Did they date other people? Did they ONLY focus on their jobs?

    That’s the one thing about kdramas that bother me the most.

    Oh well, I’ll end up watching this for sure, but just wanted to vent a little on this :)

    Thanks for the recaps! Made my waiting to finish the downloads much less painful!

  35. 35 Molly

    Oh my god!! Thankyou so much!! I watched every second of the show from the first episode, and only half of the last episode taped…so you are my hero :)

  36. 36 cocoa

    Maybe? Must be.

    Isn’t that line from Pride (the one from Kimura Takuya?)?

    Either way, this drama was a lot of fun :D

  37. 37 all4movies

    Hmm. I’ll think about checking this series out after cheating and reading the first and last summary recaps. Thing is, I’m not a fan of the lead actor, but the story sounds interesting for me, as I’m one of those “older” women.

  38. 38 adeothers

    Javabeans, great blog. I watched each episode and then came over to read your review – love your insight.

    Maybe? Must Be is from Pride one of my fav JDramas

  39. 39 tigerlilly

    Great series. The theme is like Ally Mcbeal but Asian setting or style. One thing for sure i can relate to the story.

  40. 40 miggywiggy

    Hi Javabeans

    I was watching ep 15 last night and actually slept till 2am. Soo romantic and it really got into me that i was contemplating whether to stop, as it was already dawn, or to resume watching as it unfolds more scenes which would surely rob off my time to sleep. I chose to halt. Couldn’t contain my excitement, I’ve loaded your page early this morning and went to your recaps. Satisfaction guaranteed really I found your summaries till the last episode so substantial, eloquent and your scene recollections were mesmerizing and heartwarming.
    I appreciate this series a lot :) and u for a job well done :) Thank you so much!

  41. 41 Jo

    you know that coworker who asked that buissness girl out?? Well that guy always comes out as an extra in practically all the kdramas I watched.
    I dont remember the names of most of them but I do remember one, HELLO!MISS.
    Yep he was in that one.
    It gets kind of annoying.

  42. 42 Sephia

    Does it mean Mr. Eom end up getting back with his crazy but interesting wife? I have an unexplainable love-hate feeling for her.

  43. 43 Coffee Maniac

    I’ve watched this drama in dvd, about a month ago, and it was nice!! Chae Rim looks like a doll :-) I have a full collection of its soundtrack, those who wants a copy, just send me a message: francel_19@yahoo.com. I love to share it! I enjoy listening to “Sweet Lover” and “To You Mine”. I also like this song “Gi Juk Gat Eun Sarang” but I don’t know what it means. Can anyone tell me. I will appreciate it! Kamsahamnida!!

  44. 44 Blake

    i finally finished the drama. so many sleepless nights, undone hw but all worth it. i love the story. i love dal ja’s style. i love this drama to death… i want my own spare tire dammit.

  45. 45 allmykoreanz

    i really luv the show, with many unexpected twists and turns, and the ending is just right, not too cheesy !

  46. 46 Mics

    Thanks for the great recaps! Even though I’ve watched this series for the 3rd time I still love reading your comments =) Honestly I’m getting goosebumps the entire time I’m reading your final recap! Maybe it’s also because I was listening to the great theme song while reading =D Thanks so much!!!

  47. 47 alrightee

    Hi, many thanks for your wonderful posts, love it, esp the summaries.. In fact, I’m almost finished reading all of it, except for DAL JA”s SPRING. I’m not quite sure but I couldn’t find the links for Dal ja’s Spring Episodes 7-12? Could it be hidden somewhere? Thanks again.

  48. 48 wow

    i so mad.. i bought the dvd set of this drama and the ending was wayyyy different ….it just ended w/ them kissing and that it.. it didnt even show anything about the baby…

  49. 49 amee vang

    this drama was awesome and like you said, ” lovely” :D

  50. 50 jessy

    love love love this drama…sweet n romantic..but the end just like that..what happen to the ring that kang tae bong want to give to dalja’s?hmm i taught tae bong would propose dalja’s..but its not..hope there will be the 2nd dalja’s spring..anyway tq dramabeans 4 the recaps..i’ve already buy the dvd..love watching it again and again..sarangeyo…^___^

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