Drama Recaps
The Last Scandal of My Life: Episode 16 (Final)
by | June 8, 2008 | 33 Comments

There’s something to be said for a drama that ends just the way you expected but manages to be satisfying just the same. Which doesn’t mean it was flawless (and I’ll discuss that later) but for the most part, I ended this series with a satisfied sigh. Despite having a second season planned for later this year, we get a nice wrap-up for the characters and a general sense of well-being for their future.


Sweet Sorrow – “예뻐요” (You’re beautiful) [ Download ]

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After Jae Bin convinces Sun Hee to come outside, reporters swarm around and photograph the emotional moment between the couple. They barrage them with questions about Sun Hee’s identity (Who is she? Is she really a divorcee with a child?) but they ignore everyone else, focusing on each other.

In the car, mother and daughter express concern for each other, effectively mending their rift. Now that Jimin’s no longer angry at her mother, she’s curious about her relationship to Jae Bin, and is surprised when Sun Hee admits they were former classmates. Never one to leave a good thing alone, Jae Bin interjects (to Sun Hee’s dismay) that not only were they classmates, they were first loves. He goes on to describe their dramatic rooftop moment, which appeals to Jimin’s youthful love of romance.

Naturally, the story hits all the papers and causes a stir. Dong Hwa’s handling of the issue is to remain quiet until it dies down on its own.

Jae Bin gives up his room that night to Sun Hee and Jimin, the latter expressing ruefully that not long ago, she would have been thrilled to spend the night in Jae Bin’s room. Jae Bin wonders at her use of the past tense, and Jimin explains that now that she knows he’s her mother’s age, he seems different. She asks her mother what to call Jae Bin, and Sun Hee suggests “ajusshi,” to which Jae Bin balks — he’d rather Jimin continue calling him “oppa,” but Jimin scoffs that it’s ridiculous to call someone of his age oppa.

I love this conversation between Jimin and Jae Bin, which is both cute and funny — Jimin tries to fish around and gauge Jae Bin’s feelings towards her mother, thinking she’s being sly, but her intentions are obvious. She asks if there’s any particular person in his life who makes him smile for no reason, whom he misses when they’re gone. Jae Bin answers yes — there are four. Wide-eyed, Jimin assumes he means women.

Jae Bin identifies them: “Hoon, my brother, you, and your mother. That’s four. We’re family.” He goes on to explain that he likes her mother, and that he hopes Jimin will approve so that he can like her even more. He also promises to stick around and always be with them.

Wanting more of Sun Hee’s attention, Jae Bin invents an errand to call Sun Hee down to the basement room that night. When she arrives, he presents her with a box containing a gift: bank account records, insurance papers. She asks why he’s giving them to her, and Jae Bin answers, “When we’re married, you’ll handle those matters anyway. Apparently wives manage these things.”

Sun Hee starts to protest, but Jae Bin tells her, “I don’t want a lot from you — just your heart. Is that asking too much?” He then affects a tone of mock seriousness — he bares a shoulder and mimics her line from Episode 3 (when she’d offered one night in exchange for his help). Ever the jokester, he repeats her “Buy me” line, poking fun at her embarrassment.

Sun Hee doth protest too much, so Jae Bin confronts her with incontrovertible evidence of her feelings for him: her message on the wall, which reads, “19-year-old Sun Hee was Jang Dong Chul’s first love. 39-year-old Sun Hee wants to be Song Jae Bin’s first love.”

Sitting down to talk about their future, Jae Bin confides that he’d like to continue acting, although he knows he probably can’t go back to it right away. Sun Hee considers her skills, and muses that she’s pretty good at cooking and laundry. She explains (perhaps connecting with ajummas the world over) that doing those chores day in and day out might seem tedious, “But when Jimin comes to me because she’s hungry, or because she needs socks, I feel needed, and it makes me feel great.”

Jae Bin agrees that she’s a great housekeeper (whose etymology derives from the word “helper”) and asks her to be his helpmate for the rest of her life (“Your pay will be whatever I make”). He slings her arm around his neck, then presents her with a ring.


Jae Bin and Sun Hee are called in to the hot seat in Dong Hwa’s office under the guise of discussing Jae Bin’s career. Dong Hwa explains the difficult position he’s in — there are people demanding money in compensation for damages following Jae Bin’s scandal. Dong Hwa concludes that with things in this state, they should tie up loose ends and get married, giving them his roundabout approval.

Sun Hee is flustered by the suggestion — she sincerely didn’t intend to remarry — but you can tell the idea starts to grow on her.

Na Yoon calls Sun Hee for one last talk, having come to terms with the situation. She gives Sun Hee some advice about her demeanor — the last time they’d met, Sun Hee was strong and forthright, but today she’s meek, as though apologetic for the way things have turned out. Na Yoon advises her not to weaken — life will become harder for her, with her actions viewed through a lens of jealousy and criticism: “You’re in a position that will invite insults more than praise.”

Sun Hee asks what Na Yoon means to do about Hoon. With tears in her eyes, Na Yoon asks Sun Hee to take care of him, just until Na Yoon is able to be like Jae Bin and be willing to give up her stardom to be a parent.

Byun Jung Soo isn’t a good cryer (she falls into the category of actresses who try really hard to cry, but come off looking like they’re trying really hard to cry), but she does her best to act like the mother who knows she’s selfish but still loves her child, which I think is a relatable enough character. So it’s with surprise that she arrives at the airport to leave for the States and finds Dong Hwa waiting for her at the terminal with Hoon.

Dong Hwa gives Na Yoon a moment with Hoon and steps aside. For once, Na Yoon’s unsure how to act, but Hoon breaks the ice first. He takes the initiative and hugs Na Yoon goodbye, which causes her to break down into tears and tell him, “I’m sorry.”


Next it’s Jimin’s turn to meet with her father, who wastes no time blaming her mother for putting Jimin through hardship. Jimin asks him point-blank, “Dad, what if I live with you?” — which makes Yoo Shik immediately nervous, because he wants to be thought of as a good dad without actually having to be one. Jimin wants to know how he really feels, and says she’ll consider living with him if he wants.

Yoo Shik tries to come up with alternatives — he can send her abroad, or whatever else she wants other than living together: “If it bothers you that much, stop your mother from seeing that Dong Chul guy. She listens to what you say. Honestly, what is she thinking, dating at her age? Tell her you’re embarrassed, that you don’t like it.”

But Jimin defends her mother: “What did she do wrong? Why would I say that? Mom’s a person too, and a woman. Why can’t she like somebody?” Understanding her father for who he is, Jimin tells him levelly, “I’m never going to marry a man like you.”

Dong Hwa visits Sun Hee to thank her for everything, crediting her for helping everyone find their rightful places in the family. He also lets her know that he’s moving out of the house — she’ll move in after the wedding, and he wants to try living on his own.


And then it’s wedding day. (Small beef: I didn’t love how this sequence was filmed with soft focus and bright lights, because it gives the wedding a dreamy, unreal quality. I suppose that’s the point, but for most of the scene I was wondering if it was a dream, or a fantasy, or a metaphor. Lol. But the song — an a cappella version of the series theme — was a nice touch.)

In any case, as the poster indicates, fans have come to embrace Jae Bin as Dong Chul, and the response to the marriage is overwhelmingly positive.

As the kids precede them down the aisle, Dong Hwa walks with Sun Hee and thanks her for taking responsibility for Jae Bin. He congratulates her, and gives her away to Jae Bin. Fans cheer, flashbulbs go off, and everyone practically swoons at the wedding of the year. Or decade, perhaps.

Sun Hee’s voiceover: “Dong Chul, the reason I fell for you was because of your childlike honesty. If you missed me, you’d say so. If I called, you’d come running. At 39, I put up with so much merely because I felt the weight of my age, but through you, I could return to 19, and love. Because of your love for me, I’ve found my confidence. Like you said, I like 39-year-old Sun Hee better than 19-year-old Sun Hee too. Thank you for enabling me to live my own life.”

Jung Sook watches the event on television, practically melting at the romance of the occasion. She wistfully tells (an irritated) Yoo Shik, “That’s the kind of romance I’ve been dreaming of.”

It’s a little pat as a resolution, but I suppose there’s satisfaction in showing Yoo Shik’s wine bar continuing to post losses, as well as the irony that in attempting to re-create Jung Sook’s perfect romance, Yoo Shik has enabled his ex-wife’s. Plus, there’s also the fact that Yoo Shik is now stuck with the consequences of his bad choices — he doesn’t love Jung Sook but he’s locked into his role, perpetually jumping to do her bidding and living in fear of her ire. But I don’t reserve much sympathy for gilded cages, so just deserts indeed.

The couple have their blissful wedding night, but the comedy comes in the morning when Hoon accidentally walks in. The scene is totally PG and everyone is clothed, but it’s his reaction that makes the scene — his eyes widen in shock, and he immediately turns and leaves without missing a beat.

At breakfast, Jae Bin takes issue with the way Hoon still calls Sun Hee “ajumma” and Jimin calls him “Jae Bin oppa.” I suppose it IS a pretty funny-sounding combination, and Jae Bin (ever impatient to change things overnight) is ready to jump headfirst into typical family life. Sun Hee reasons that they need time to get adjusted to their new roles.

Later that day, Jae Bin appears at his first press conference as Jang Dong Chul, and addresses the press while Sun Hee slips in quietly. She hadn’t wanted to come to the event because she wanted to avoid the attention, a decision which upset Jae Bin. So he’s happy to spot Sun Hee in the back of the room and (of course) perversely points her out to the press. He introduces her as his wife, drawing her into the spotlight.

Since we need to give Dong Hwa his potential happy ending, we bring in Choi Jung Yoon (Bad Couple, That Woman Is Scary) for a cameo. He reads alone at an outdoor café and notices a woman sitting nearby staring at him, who smiles politely when she notices him noticing her.

She then answers a phone call from her mother, and it’s obviously one of those “Mom, stop nagging me” phone calls. Dong Hwa is amused to see her fake an excuse to hang up, and resumes his reading.

It’s with surprise that Dong Hwa meets with a writer, Kim Min Hee, to discuss business, and recognizes her as the woman from the café. He’d been forewarned that she’d be difficult — she’s resistant to licensing her novels because she’s seen too many books ruined in their drama and film adaptations, and has rejected several of the agency’s attempts to win her over.

Min Hee boldly asks if he liked her novel. He answers (prettily, I might add) that her story was fresh, her plot engaging, and the content well-suited for adaptation — isn’t it a waste to limit the enjoyment of the story to the book when they could bring it to the screen? Thinking she’s caught him in a lie, Min Hee counters that if it was so entertaining, how is it he yawned three times while reading it? (She’d spotted him reading her book at their first encounter and took offense.) Dong Hwa answers that he hadn’t been reading her book for work, but had chosen it as leisure reading while taking a break. Min Hee apologizes for overreacting and agrees to work together.

That weekend, Jae Bin insists on a family outing (already, they’ve assumed a family dynamic — the kids grumble that they’re busy and Jae Bin acts as insistent father dragging his family along for mandatory bonding time). They have a picnic in the park, and Jae Bin tosses around a football with the kids while Sun Hee watches. She finds another cute note tucked in the lunch box, and looks up at Jae Bin, who mouths to her, “I… love…you!”

Jae Bin recruits the kids to drag Sun Hee out to join them, and the four family members play, happily ignoring the curious onlookers on the sidelines. Jae Bin wonders to himself, in a reversal of the question he’d asked Sun Hee previously: “Hong Sun Hee, if I hadn’t met you, what would’ve become of me?”


If I’m going to be perfectly honest, I have to admit I was disappointed that the two weakest episodes (in my opinion) were the last two. I think the series knew where it was headed all the way through so it’s not the content that bothered me, but the tone. Series that are well-received and popular through their broadcast runs tend to elicit heightened expectations for good endings, so I think producers try their best to meet those expectations. That does, however, increase the likelihood of going too far, and I think they overdid the dramatic moments at times.

Another of my small complaints: I understand that Sun Hee’s character is a bit of an old-fashioned type. She’s a regular ajumma, and in this regard I have to say she’s a very realistic character because I recognize her in dozens of ajummas I know. But sometimes I wish she had more spine. It’s a double-edged sword, though, because if she reacted the way I wanted her to, that would contradict the point of the drama, which is the story of an ordinary ajumma’s second chance at love. I actually didn’t have much of a problem with the way she tried to preserve her marriage — if she hadn’t tried so hard, she wouldn’t be the meek, self-sacrificing wife who then comes into her own. (If she’d already been completely self-possessed at the outset, her character wouldn’t undergo much development — and that reclamation of her sense of Self is a big point of the series.) For instance, I suppose if she were super-sharp and strong and confident, she’d be more like Na Yoon — and then Sun Hee would cease to be the everywoman that so many identify with.

But still, despite that I wanted her to be more expressive of her feelings, especially since Jae Bin has been so forthcoming with his own. Plus, a married woman with a kid being so bashful in The Morning After just seems so odd. I think part of that may stem from the show being a family-friendly program, but I would’ve liked to see Sun Hee being more outwardly affectionate and less embarrassed with PDA.

That said, The Last Scandal of My Life was a ton of fun, and a refreshing surprise for me. I’m approaching the second season with a little hesitation, but if it’s anything like the original season, it’ll be a cheery, fun watch. Till October (or November, or December)!



33 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. canyayasis

    Thank you.
    This series came as a complete surprise to me!
    I’m having the same reaction to My Sweet Seoul!

    Anytime in a busy hectic day – I can watch something in a language that
    I only half understand and still “Laugh Out Loud” – it’s worth mentioning..

    Last Scandal should be enjoyed by more viewers and your summaries and help with the subtitles will make that possible!

    Thanks dramabeans!!

  2. Margaret

    thank u!! Just by reading your posts I feel as if I actually watched the whole series! Thank u very much!

  3. li

    thanks. the ending is kind of corny, but i like corny. also since so many dramas this year have ended with disappointment, this was refreshing. i wonder how the 2nd season will be, will Donghwa be there? hopefully the writers and pds won’t screw this up.

  4. Su

    Thank you for your summaries. I enjoyed this series very much. This is the only series that I watch without subs. I love every episode. I wanted to say I didn’t find it odd that Sun Hee was so shy the morning after. She only been with one guy. She also has stretch marks. That is enough to deal with . I can’t imagine being married to a star . She probably can’t help but think about all the bodies he seen.

  5. aya

    Thanks a lot. I love the ending 🙂

  6. Liv

    I had to scroll very quickly so as not to read anything – Im still on episode 10, although I’ll be on episode 12 in 2 hours, after downloading your subs. Glad to hear you liked it (at least, I think you did – the first sentence of this post, which is the only one I read, seemed to imply that you did). Oh, and thanks for the new subs – I was about to take a nap, but now I have more important things to do 🙂

  7. Angela

    I’m totally with you on the wedding!! I spent half the time hating it/fearing it, because I was afraid it wasn’t real because of the way it was shot and the accompanying voice-over. And with no real translation at the time, I couldn’t even enjoy it fully until they showed it on tv and I realized it really happened!! I thought it was a great ending though, considering how many bad endings I’ve seen for dramas–but I completely agree with you–I wish Sun Hee’s character wouldn’t have always been so bashful and shy. Though I can understand her whole morning-after behavior, since she’s only ever been with her husband, and she has been shy and embarrassed throughout most of the series… I can’t imagine that changing so quickly, just because they’re married now. Though I wish it would, lol.

  8. D

    wow! thank u so much, just by reading your recap of the series was almost like actually watching it, tho now i m catching up when its shown on sat/sun-evenings
    but i gain alot of enthusiasm of what series are worthy of my time-thru your colorful comments,,,,thank you ! Last Scandal was/is very worthy, i love Jae Bins/Dong Chuls personality, he was delightful to watch………..

  9. Iranian Espresso

    Thank you dear Javabeans for your beautiful efforts.

  10. 10 giddygirl108

    Yay! I’m definitely going to watch this drama now after all of your insightful and entertaining synopses (did I spell that right?). Thank you thank you!

    P.S. Totally agree with you on the wedding scene. I would’ve thought they would have had a nice, small wedding or something to that effect.

  11. 11 spunah

    lol, i LOVE this drama! i just finished watching the finale. i would have normally passed over this drama as one of those “ahjumma” dramas, although i did consider it as a filler drama after watching “who are you?” i saw your recap of the first couple of episodes of last scandal and i’m so glad i followed up! i loved choi jin shil in “star in my heart”, but just never really kept up with her work after that. i’m happy to see her again and i’ve now added both jung jun ho and jung woong in to my favorites in my list of kdrama actors. the kids were so darn cute too – perfect for their roles.

    anyway, here’s an old xman clip i came across in my search for jung jun ho. he does the “dangyunhaji” clip with park myung soo first and then jung woong in. such a surprise and delight to see how funny jung woong in really is!

  12. 12 spunah

    ah! where did my comment go?? i commented on how much i loved jung jun ho and jung woong in – i’m new fans of theirs since this is the first time seeing them. i looked them up on youtube and i came across old xman episodes of the both of them promoting “my boss my hero” – they are so hilarious!!! i just wanted to share. thanks for your recaps!!

    Xman #52: Part One ep. 114
    links 1-8 on sidebar

    Xman #52: Part Two ep.115
    links 1-8 on sidebar

  13. 13 michi

    WaahhH! this drama is my fave rom-com for this year!!

    i literally ROFL when Jae Bin mimicked Sun Hee’s “buy me” line…that part is one of my favorite Jae Bin scenes in the drama (together with the imitation of Dong Hwa) hehehe..

    since i am a big Bad Couple fan, I was so happy to see Choi Jung Yoon in this episode…too bad, she did not act with Byun Jung Soo 😉

    ah…the dream wedding is really romantic. i love Sun Hee’s narration too…

    thanks for the summary, javabeans!!

  14. 14 kvy

    so sweet and romantic.great

  15. 15 Suzy

    Ah, I just finished this drama and although I loved it, I was a little disappointed too with the last 2 episodes. I absolutely hate it that the wedding took place at a fan meeting. That seemed incredibly contradictory and contrived to me.
    Oh but I loved the characters, especially Jang Dong Chul, and the SUPER chemistry of the leads. So I’m looking forward to season 2! Thanks for turning me on the this drama…and for all the subbing you did!

  16. 16 sugarpunch

    thanks for being the main translator for this drama series! saw ur name in the credits:D this show was sweet, but not as good as who are you… 😀

  17. 17 serendipity

    Thanks for introducing me to this series, which I wouldn’t have picked up on my own. I particularly appreciate how it avoids the tired old K-drama cliches. The blackmail by the ex-partner (scoffed at and swiftly disposed of), the Mega Miscommunications, the Missed Meetings, the inexplicable coincidences (what a handy plot device “fate” is). I also like how believable the characters are. And how the heroine is not loveable for no more than being pretty and pitiable – though Sun Hee is both, she is also honest, faithful, kind, brave, patient, and smart (certainly EQ-smart if not quite book-smart) — For once I don’t find the Redeemed-by-a-Good-Woman romantic plot laughable.

    I was on the verge of giving up on K-dramas altogether, but this series has resuscitated my faith in the genre.

    Still, I have a horrible feeling that nothing good can come out of a reincarnation…

  18. 18 persy

    I agree with you on the wedding part. They tried to make it sooo romantic that it looked like it wasn’t real at all – like a dream, as you said.

    Besides from being uber-romantic, the wedding looked chaotic. Isn’t it supposed to be a solemn ceremony? The fans were so many, it looked liked they trashed the wedding or something.

    Still happy with the ending though.

    Thanks soooo much for the recaps.

  19. 19 Herbert

    Rest in Peace, Choi Jin Shil…

  20. 20 sw

    Thank you very much for the wonderful recaps. I like this drama very much and watched it more than three times. … and expect for the sequel. It’s a shame that Choi Jin-shil ended her life so sad and abruptly. If only there were a Jang Dong-chul (or Song Jen-bin) in her real life …. I couldn’t but think that she might have thought of her real (ex)marriage when she cried in the drama. I appreciate the last episode. It’s a happy ending, even only in drama.

  21. 21 Joanna-

    I like this show man! haha, though there will nt have the second season, but i still like it 😀

    Thanks for uur summary !

    I miss CJS forever 😀

  22. 22 HyeIn

    RIP Choi Jin Shil. Such a sad loss T___T
    this is actually my first drama that had Choi Jin Shil in it.
    Does anyone else think that she kind of looks like Jung Da Bin?(which would be.. a strange coincidence…)
    because… RIP Jung Da Bin as well.
    So sad… TT_TT

  23. 23 ohgeeze.

    I just finished this like an hour ago and wow, it’s now in my top favorites of dramas. Along with Soulmate. This is the first time they’ve actually said “saranghae” to each other correct? I have a horrible memory so I can’t recall any other time than at the park when he mouths it to her–which was adorable btw– anwyays. I loved the drama. Thanks.

  24. 24 moniiica

    Thanks for the recaps Javabeans! They are greatly appreciated.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this series, it was really refreshing although a tad corny and random in the end. It was really L-O-L funny, even more than Samsoon which I thought was overrated. I didn’t think much of Jung Junho acting as a movie star in the series at first.. but he won me over with his uber charisma and charm, I too was fangirling over Song Jebin throughtout the series, and now Jung Junho. That smirk and wink made me giggle everytime! Choi Jinshil was endearing and she looked beautiful in that wedding dress. I totally agree with you on the wedding scene because I too was confused, I thought it was a dream and it was random for them to kiss without having a ceremony first but oh well, it’s just a drama! It’s really sad that Choi Jinshil is gone and we don’t be able to see any new dramas from her..

    I can’t express how much I loved this ajummarella story. I was watching this while watching Brilliant Legacy which I am also enjoying and have concluded that I am a sucker for Cinderella stories! I think it’s my favourite Disney princess story now!

  25. 25 tinyviolin

    wow…do I love your blog. Seriously, I got turned onto it last year–my first in Korea–and followed your F4 recaps religiously. That drama was such a mess, but oh so fun!

    This is the first drama I’ve watched on your rating alone, and I hadn’t read your recaps until I finished it, which was yesterday. I swear it’s not hindsight, haha…but, reading my internal thoughts about the characters in your posts only encourages me to watch more dramas you’ve listed, since we agree already about so much!

    I thought Jae Bin was really adorable, too, and the actor plays both childish impulsiveness and manly maturity with skill. Na Yoon was indeed not up to par on the acting, but she’s minor, anyway.

    And I was also disappointed in the last episodes…but, actually, that happens with quite a few dramas I watch…the middle part always seems to be the juiciest. Still, it really was a fun, hilarious drama with just enough “drama” in it. This’ll be one I’ll rewatch with pleasure in a year or two.

    hmmm…now I might watch “Que Sera Sera” next….

  26. 26 yihee

    oh my gosh!!! i do really love jae bin. hahaha!

  27. 27 nansoi

    i really loved Chuck’s (Jae Bin) character here. when i got to watch the trailer of the drama i got hooked up not because of the story but because i was interested at Jae Bin’s character.

    i was not able to google and watch for the 15th and last episode but i was glad to see and read this post. super duper enx ^-^

    this drama was really funny. and i really really REALLY love Jae Bin ’till the last episode (though i wasn’t able to watch it).

    was really sad to have read about Choi Jin Shil’s loss, she was good.

    ” if I hadn’t met you, what would’ve become of me? ” <3

    nansoi (o^_^o)

  28. 28 le meera

    I can’t help but feel sad though – I mean, Dong Hwa and Hoon just part? I mean… Dong Hwa raised that kid by himself!

  29. 29 all4movies

    Yes, it is bittersweet to have discovered this funny and endearing series only after the passing of Choi Jin Shil. May she rest in peace.

    It would have been interesting to see how the family dynamics would have developed as there was a lot of room left for a second series. However, it would not have been the same without Choi in it.

    • 29.1 SisterB

      After reading that she committed suicide, I can not bring myself to watch anything else she is in. I thought it was entertaining, ending episode threw me a little but overall fun to watch.

  30. 30 Annie

    This TV series is now showing in Fiji and it is currently showing Episode 10. I am so addicted to it and couldn’t wait for next weeks’s episode so I searched on Google and found your site- thank goodness. So now I know what happened at the end- a happy ending after all.

    Thank you very much for your detailed site. It’s just like watching the movie.

    Great work

  31. 31 Dramabird

    I’m going voting crazy!

  32. 32 petmink

    I heard time understanding why I did not enjoy the last 2 episodes. Thanks for putting it in words.

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