Don’t worry, that’s just the first scene of the episode. I’d have picked a more cheerful one, but I didn’t want to spoil anything. Even if it is the last episode so there’s not a whole lot I can spoil at this point.
(Random) SONG OF THE DAY
Sol Flower – “Kiss the Kids,” a 25-year-old singer whose real name is Min Hana. She may be described as R&B, but that (to me) suggests a pop sensibiilty, and this is more… indie-soul? [ zShare download ]
EPISODE 16 SUMMARY
Gi Chan rushes Dang Ja to the hospital, where once again Yoon Seok pressures her to go into surgery immediately, and Dang Ja once again refuses. Two more weeks is all she needs.
Yoon Seok tells Gi Chan that although her cancer hasn’t spread (yet), her pains will be increasing because she can’t receive any treatment while pregnant.
Gi Chan’s parents arrive in Seoul, having consented to the marriage. Gi Chan tells them of the situation, and they arrive at the hospital, concerned. His father tells Dang Ja to take care of herself — now that she’s marrying Gi Chan, she’s like his child too. No child of his is going to die like this, so she should have the surgery.
Gi Chan’s mother tries to persuade her, saying it’s meaningless if she does all this to save the baby but dies herself. Dang Ja tells her they’ll both live: “Now that you’ve accepted me as your daughter-in-law, it would be too unfair if I just died like this.” She tells her future mother-in-law that she can’t give up on her baby — if the baby dies, she’d die too.
Seeing how Dang Ja resolutely refuses to reconcile with her father, Gi Chan takes it upon himself to look him up. Unfortunately, he’s already passed away, and Gi Chan visits his grave. He tells Dang Ja’s father to rest easily now; he’ll do everything to make Dang Ja happy. He asks for a favor, to help cure Dang Ja, so he can keep loving her for a long, long time. By living a long, happy life, he thinks Dang Ja will eventually be able to forgive her father, and they’ll return to the grave someday to pay their respects as a family.
With one condition — he wants to raise Chan. Young bursts out that his condition is the same as refusing to divorce, knowing she can’t give up her son, but Yoon Seok can’t stand by and watch another man take his place, to have Chan call Joon Soo “father.” Young argues that that’s not the case, but Yoon Seok says that’s how it’ll turn out in the end: “I’m sorry I can’t do everything the way you want, but I have no choice either.”
Young tells Joon Soo the situation, how she can’t give up her son. Joon Soo asks her if she truly wants the divorce, and she answers yes. He continues: “If you divorce, would you consider marrying me?” Young tells him she really does care for him, and thanks him for everything he’s done for her: “But right now, I have no thoughts of marrying. You’ve seen how much I’ve been hurt.” She wants to live on her own and raise Chan well. He asks her one last question: “If you divorce your husband, do you have confidence that you wouldn’t regret it?” Young says yes.
With this answer, Joon Soo goes to see Yoon Seok, but this time his purpose is different — he asks Yoon Seok not to take Chan away from Young. If he insisted on custody because he didn’t want to see Joon Soo raising his son, Yoon Seok needn’t worry; Joon Soo is leaving soon, and Young has no intentions of marrying.
And so, Joon readies to go to the States, where he’ll be starting (expanding) his business. At the airport for a rather upbeat farewell (odd acting/scene choice, I thought), Young thanks him for everything, and says she even fell in love because of him. He asks if it really was love, and she tells him a secret — he was her first love (when she met her husband, she didn’t really know what love was). Joon Soo tells her to call if she needs anything, but she tells him she won’t — if she keeps calling, she’ll keep relying on him: “From now on, I want to live well on my own.”
They hug, and with that, Joon Soo leaves. (I think it’s partly an acting thing, and partly a writing thing, but this farewell scene — between two people who supposedly love each other — felt rather unsentimental. I feel like there could’ve been a way to act with more subtext — to show that they’re doing the right thing for the relationship, but feeling torn about it anyway.)
Gi Chan admits that he looked for Dang Ja’s father (which angers her), but he explains that her father had already passed away. With a mix of anger, hurt, and surprise, Dang Ja bitterly says that after all the pain he inflicted, it’s unfair that he died so early.
Gi Chan also comes up with the idea for surprising Dang Ja with wedding plans. She told him she wanted to wait till after the baby was born to get married, but seeing her looking wistfully at a couple taking their wedding photos, he could tell she wanted that too. So he enlists everyone’s help in getting Dang Ja ready for a wedding about which she’s unaware.
When Gi Chan takes her to a beauty salon, she finds all her friends gathered there to help her prepare for the big day. Although she’d said she wanted to wait to have their wedding, she’s excited when she realizes his plans, and they have their traditional-style ceremony.
(Those kids are so adorable.)
Dang Ja and Gi Chan settle happily into married life, but unfortunately, Dang Ja’s pains are increasing, and after a particularly bad spell, Gi Chan rushes her to the hospital. Sae Yeon arrives back from the States particularly for Dang Ja’s surgery — she’s learned a new technique for operation that doesn�t require removal of the uterus. It’s laser-based, and uses the rays rather than a conventional hysterectomy to rid the cancer. (And hello there, deus ex machina!)
After a few days in the hospital, feeling the frustration of being cooped up inside all the time, Dang Ja wishes they could go outdoors to a grassy field, or maybe their uninhabited island. So Gi Chan does the next best thing: he sneaks her out to the rooftop, so she can get some air.
She asks him to sing her a lullabye, and Gi Chan her sings a song in a rather nice, even if it’s not professional-level, voice. The song is called “???? ???” (Because I love you) by Yoo Jae Ha (???). It’s a well-known ’80s ballad, and I haven’t been able to find a decent mp3 of the original, but it’s been covered a bunch by other artists, and I think the remakes often sound better. Here’s Sung Shi Kyung singing it live.
And then, it’s time for Dang Ja’s surgery.
…but our curiosity about the outcome is not so quickly appeased, as we flash-forward six years and reaquaint ourselves with everyone.
Yong Gu’s opening his own photography show with supportive Dol Soon sporting an unflattering ajumma hairstyle, and an older Yeon Doo who’s still as cheeky as ever.
Young (driving on her own now) takes Chan to see his father, with whom I’m assuming she shares joint custody — she says “today is Chan’s day to meet with his father.” Young gets a phone call from Joon Soo, and it’s clearly been a while since the two have spoken. Joon Soo tells her he’s coming back to Korea, and after she hangs up the phone, she answers Chan’s question about who it was by saying lightly, “My boyfriend.”
Young and Yoon Seok are on decent terms, though Young still finds him exasperating. He still calls her “yobo,” a term used between spouses, which I find curious because it seems clear they’re not married. (I wasn’t sure if they were divorced at first, but I’m pretty sure they are. Neither one wears a wedding ring; Chan has a separate “day” designated for seeing his father; and Yoon Seok accepts the fact that Young has a boyfriend without too much fuss.)
Anyway, finally we get to our main couple, who are happy and healthy and now a family of four, to prove that Dang Ja’s surgery from that new-fangled laser technology did its job and saved both her and the baby. (I’m all for science saving the day, but I wish we had a more graceful explanation for how she went from imminent death to hearty and hale. It’s the ending I wanted, definitely, but it doesn’t feel like we got there on a natural, logically sound path.)
But whatever. They’re a cute family! And I suppose I much prefer tolerating a few loose threads in the ending I wanted, rather than having an airtight, sealed ending I hated.