Drama Recaps
Triple: Episode 16 (Final)
by | December 27, 2009 | 37 Comments

Done! Finally!

I’m pretty conflicted about Triple‘s end — part of that has to do with the plot, but it’s more to do with the drama as a whole. More on that below.

SONG OF THE DAY

Triple OST – “짙은 바람” by Sub [ Download ]

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EPISODE 16: “Ice”

Haru performs a strong short program despite her knee, which starts to pain her mid-program. She grits her teeth and works through it, landing all her jumps and finishing clean. As soon as she’s done, however, the pain is overwhelming and she can no longer stand.

The hospital delivers an unhappy diagnosis: her condition has worsened so she needs surgery right away. Tomorrow, if possible. Hwal wants her to do the surgery, but Haru resists. Tomorrow is her long program, and after her strong short, she’s in third place. They don’t know what will happen after the surgery, and she may never get this chance again.

Haru pleads with Su-in, who, as a former athlete, understands her fears more than Hwal. She says that if she had been in that position, she would have competed too, and they decide that Haru will do the long program, and then get the surgery.

On long program day, everyone shows up to cheer her on. As she takes her position, she looks at Poong-ho’s bracelet and begins. It soon becomes apparent that the knee is hurting her even more than before, and it takes more effort to recover from the jumps that put pressure on it.

Unlike yesterday, the pain is too great to ignore and she falls on a jump, unable to rise to her feet, struggling for an extended beat. The crowd starts to clap for her, and Poong-ho shouts out in encouragement.

With great effort, Haru gets up and continues her program — at this point the music has stopped, and she is skating not to compete, but just to finish. Poong-ho calls out, “You’re the best, Haru!” Sobbing, she takes her bow.

Haru is admitted to the hospital for her surgery. Her father and Coach Nam come to visit her, and her father decides that he wants Haru to come back home with them after her discharge. Haru doesn’t argue, and says that she’ll head down after wrapping up some loose ends.

Poong-ho whisks Haru off to cheer her up, getting her ice cream in the cafeteria. She doesn’t want to talk about her skating future, so with a show of enthusiasm, he takes out brochures of his university to get her excited about the prospect of going to his school. Haru knows that he’s trying to tell her to focus on school rather than skating, and his diversionary tactic isn’t working.

She fights her disappointment over the injury — she had been so determined to take her skating as far as she could go, and it’s a hard thing to be forced to prematurely give up because of an injury. Bitterly, Haru says, “You must be happy about me not skating. You’re always smiling.” I doubt she really means that (it’s the frustration talking), and Poong-ho protests. He says that he was always happy when he watched her skate: “Thank you, skating, for making our Haru happy.”

Later, Haru tells Hwal of her father’s wishes for her to return home after the surgery. She sighs over her sad skating career and wonders, “What do I do without you or skating?”

Hwal tells her she can stay if she wants — she can continue living at his house while going to school. He assures her, “If you want to do something, just tell me. I’ll do it.”

But Haru declines the offer: “This time when I go back home, I want to stay out of contact with you. I want to try that. If I miss you, even if I can’t hold back, I’ll still have to hold back, won’t I?”

As for the others…

The Bond Factory has grown, now employing a team of interns to help out. Hae-yoon’s parents want to meet with him and Sang-hee since he told them they’re living together, which makes her nervous. She even toils over a batch of kimchi to bring along to look more acceptable to his family — she isn’t very good with parents and is afraid of embarrassing herself and Hae-yoon.

On the day of the meeting, she’s a bundle of nerves, and freaks out when she leaves the kimchi behind in the taxi. Hae-yoon tries to calm her down, saying his mother already knows her from high school, speaking reassuringly.

When Hyun-tae drops by to spend another night sleeping in Su-in’s yard, she surprises him by suggesting, “Let’s sleep together.” She means that they’ll both sleep in the yard, which takes Hyun-tae aback. He watches, pleased and surprised, as she brings out her own bedding to join him outside.

And then, Haru says her goodbyes. First she heads to the rink to thank Hye-jin for training with her, and Su-in for being her coach.

Through this all, Haru keeps her emotions fairly calm, but she starts to tear up as she leaves the house, telling the guys (and Sang-hee) goodbye. She tells them, “I really loved living here. I won’t forget it. Thank you.”

As Hwal drives her, Haru muses that they’ll probably return her room to a storage area, like it was when she first arrived. Hwal says that they’ll keep it clean, so she can drop by anytime she wants.

Haru: “No, I don’t want to do that. I won’t see your face or call you anymore. I’ll forget you.”
Hwal: “You’ll forget?”
Haru: “Yeah. But I’ll call you just once every year. On your birthday.”

When Hwal returns home, he sees Haru’s room all packed up. On her bed, she has left him her last note, which he opens to read. It’s the sheet of paper with her footprint on it, from back when Hwal had measured her feet in her sleep in order to surprise her with skates. On the paper, she has written, “I had fun, Oppa.”

Lee Jung-jae gives us a lovely mixed expression, as his face half-smiles, half-twists sadly. Back in her hometown, Haru takes out her skates, crying as though saying her last goodbye.

And then… TWO YEARS LATER.

Bond Factory has grown so large that it now has its own office space. Hwal is the CEO, while Hae-yoon and Hyun-tae have senior positions as directors.

The office is bustling, and the three friends discuss their new project. They’ll be conducting a shoot near Haru’s home, and the other two suggest that Hwal drop by to see her. Hyun-tae and Hae-yoon have kept in occasional touch with her, but Hwal hasn’t spoken with her at all, and his hesitant expression shows us that he’s not really keen on their suggestion.

Sang-hee still has her own business and is busily raising her twin babies. (She and Hae-yoon split up kid duty during work hours.) All her prior fears are now a distant memory, and she has embraced motherhood with gusto. Jae-wook marvels at how much she has changed, but she’s unfazed at being called an ajumma.

Hwal receives a package in the mail, which is the promised yearly gift from Haru. This box contains frozen seaweed soup (the traditional birthday food), which he heats up and eats. He smiles to read her note:

Haru: “Hi, Oppa. Are you doing well? It’s that once-a-year time again when I contact you. This is the second year now, your second birthday. I wonder how many birthdays later it’ll be when I can say happy birthday in person. In… ten years? Twenty years? You can just heat the seaweed soup I sent, so eat up. This is your birthday gift this year. I heard from the other oppas that you’re really busy. Be strong! Haru.”

Haru is now a university student, and sees Poong-ho regularly. Today, he drops by before her class begins, and with his usual charming boldness, he announces himself to the class, “Haru, your boyfriend’s here!” He kicks out her deskmate and earns a few quelling looks from the professor for not paying attention, and she looks at him in a mix of amusement and exasperation.

Poong-ho, who is still skating, is also a frequent fixture at her home, and continues to click along well with her father and Coach Nam. In fact, Haru complains that they treat him better than they do her, buying him particularly nice things to eat. He trains at Taereung, the athletic compound for national and Olympic athletes, and prefers staying at Haru’s place in his off hours since his parents live abroad. That casual comment makes Haru look up in surprise, since she never knew that about him. She asks Poong-ho, “In two years I’ve hardly done anything for you — why do you like me so much?”

Poong-ho asks whether she still thinks about Hwal, figuring that she isn’t over him yet. She answers that she doesn’t know that herself, so there’s no way he can know. He remarks, “Even when we’re together like this, sometimes it feels like you’re somewhere else.”

When Haru wonders who he lives with if not his parents, he marvels in an exaggerated tone, “Wow, this is the first time in two and a half years that you’ve asked about me.” She hadn’t realized that and feels abashed, saying that she’s sorry.

Poong-ho answers that he was raised by his older brother, who is married with children. He feels sorry for being a burden, so now he wants to hurry up and marry so he can set up his own household. (A little leadingly, he asks when she’s planning to marry, but she hasn’t thought it over yet.)

As they eat watermelon, he suggests making a game of spitting the seeds (the goal being to spit a seed and get it to land on their own faces).

He catches her cheating and finds her playfulness cute — Poong-ho leans in forward and surprises her with a kiss. This catches her completely off-guard, and Haru mumbles incoherently before running off to her room — and her flustered expression indicates that perhaps she’s finally starting to see Poong-ho in a romantic light.

Outside, Poong-ho exults, “I did it!”

Hae-yoon and Sang-hee take some time to drink wine together while the babies sleep. They think of how they’ve changed, recalling how they grew up bickering, and promise to stick it out together when they’re both old and gray. The couple enjoys a brief quiet moment before a baby wakes and cries.

Su-in and Hyun-tae are now dating, and when he has to cancel a date because he has to work late, she drops by unannounced to bring the team some dinner. Insisting she’s comfortable, she sits back and waits for Hyun-tae to wrap up his meeting.

It’s nearly dawn when he’s finished, and they take an early-morning walk outside.

Hyun-tae: “Why don’t you propose to me?”
Su-in: “Why would I do that?”
Hyun-tae: “Then, if I did it, would you accept?”
Su-in: “We’d have to try to find out.”
Hyun-tae: “Ah, I see. Let’s get married.”

Hwal surprises Haru by showing up at her school — he stopped by after their shoot and took his friends’ advice after all. They catch up a bit — she wants to become a good coach like Su-in. He asks, “Are you still thinking of being a skating coach? I thought you would find a new dream.” She answers that she’s not sure; she’s just going to study for the time being.

Hesitantly, she asks if Hwal is dating anyone. He hedges (the implication is no, though he doesn’t say that outright), and asks if she is still seeing Poong-ho. Likewise, Haru hedges, saying only, “He’s… just…”

The tone of their conversation is casual and light as she thanks him for coming to see her, and he tells her to give him a call if she ever needs anything. However, the emotion breaks through to the surface when he turns to leave. Haru stops him, tearing up: “I thought that when I saw you, my heart would really ache.” She waves goodbye.

Hwal’s poignant, rueful smile in response just reinforces my belief that Lee Jung-jae was tragically wasted in this drama. He accepts Haru’s goodbye with a wonderful look on his face, all a-jumble with mixed emotions.

Hwal drives away, and Haru rides her bike, thinking:

Haru: “The ice has disappeared. Where have the passion and efforts I poured onto it, and my dreams and love, all gone? Have they melted and disappeared, along with the ice? I’m twenty years old. I’m racing on another ice rink now.”

The screen fades in on Haru, standing on a colorfully lit rink. The above reference to her age indicates that she is celebrating her 20th birthday — the Korean age of adulthood.

She skates playfully to a pop song, and Poong-ho joins her on the ice. All her friends — Hwal, Hyun-tae, Hae-yoon, Su-in — cheer her on from the sidelines, and then join in.

 
COMMENTS

At first I wasn’t entirely sure about the implication behind Hwal and Haru’s last scene together, but now I think Haru’s parting comment means that she’s actually over him. Hence his rueful expression. She says, “I thought that when I saw you, my heart would really ache,” but there’s an implication that adds the unspoken, “But actually…”

Her tears are therefore as much a goodbye to her old feelings for him as they are to Hwal himself. I don’t want to belittle Haru’s feelings for Hwal by calling them a schoolgirl crush, because I really think her love was earnest. Certainly it was a strong, significant presence in her teenage life. But with Poong-ho’s kiss awakening new feelings and her stepping into adulthood with her twentieth birthday, she’s moving onward and the goodbye applies to her old self, too. It was a really nice, understated scene.

I was okay with the ending, although there were little things that I could pick at. Awful, cheesy dialogue, for one. The horrible dialogue really stood out in the last two episodes, because they were filled with scenes that had the characters sitting around musing things in really stilted conversations. You actually had people saying things like, “You know, thinking about it, it’s really interesting how I grew up bickering with you, as we studied together, played together, and fought together.” I had a writing teacher once who pointed out this kind of dialogue as akin to saying, “Son, as you know, I’m your father.” Stuff that the scriptwriter wants to get out and forces her characters to say, but which real people would never utter. It’s a testament to the skill of the actors that they carried off poor dialogue relatively well.

The finale was full of pleasant beats, but as with much of the drama, these moments were strung together loosely — it’s more a series of events than a finale that pulled together a drama’s worth of story and conflict. This drama was never about a central storyline; it was more about six people who live with (or near) each other and go through some tribulations, both individual and shared. This is an aspect that may endear Triple to some, but it’s also one of its biggest failings, in my opinion.

For example, many scenes are enjoyable to watch but don’t further the plot. They establish tone, which is not insignificant, but ultimately that’s not enough — tone is not satisfying on its own, no matter how light and breezy.

It isn’t to say that this style of drama cannot work. My Sweet Seoul took a stab at this kind of looser plotting and did a better job of it (even if I liked Triple better). Even Coffee Prince had its side stories and loose ends, but Coffee Prince‘s side stories felt like an enhancement of the drama’s world, because they had a strong central focus anchoring the drama. In Triple, there’s no narrative anchor so everything feels hazy and vague. Haru is the closest thing to a central figure, but even she didn’t have much of a focal story. She grew up, okay. I appreciate the theme of growth, and Haru’s birthday and skating metaphors support that idea. But a theme is not a plot.

Another key problem with Triple was that the writer painted a picture on the surface, but didn’t think of these characters beyond their most basic use to the story. Maybe that’s giving her too little credit; I’ll amend that to say that if she had created rich interior lives for these characters, she failed to bring those to the surface and left us with very hollow shells. Part of the work of bringing a character to life falls to the actor, but s/he’s got to have something to work with.

For instance, Hwal is an example of a character who is written only on the most barebones level, but Lee Jung-jae totally breathes life into him. Hyun-tae, on the other hand, is a failure of the writer and (I’m sorry) Yoon Kye-sang, who needed to do more than the minimum of reciting his lines and looking sad. I don’t think this assessment is blinded by actor-love (if you’ll recall, both Lee Jung-jae and Yoon Kye-sang are on my shortlist of favorites), and I’ll explain what I mean.

Hyun-tae’s inner conflict is just as strong as Hwal’s; while one has untoward feelings toward his ex-stepsister, the other has untoward feelings for his best friend’s wife. Both men have hinted at some sort of familial discontent which ostensibly explains how they have become who they are now. In fact, I think Hyun-tae even has the edge on this one, because he has mentioned several times how his strict father is disappointed in him, compared to his much more competent older brother, which is probably why Hyun-tae is such a clown. It’s a defense mechanism and an act of rebellion. But do we care about his inner turmoil? Hardly, because it’s barely drawn upon. The whole backstory is thrown away.

Su-in’s even worse, and I think she’s the only character who was truly miscast. Lee Hana is a decent actress so it’s not her ability I’m questioning — but she felt wrong for this role, and her scenes actively annoyed me. She has tons of stuff to work with here — she knows what Hye-jin is going through with her skating, because she was once a champ who hated skating because of the pressure. Does that come through? Not at all. The girl playing Hye-jin is not even an actress by trade and she did a better job showing that dual bitterness-happiness than Lee Hana. (Choi Sun-young (Hye-jin) is actually a former skater who was contacted by producers for a skating consultation; she was given a part but doesn’t plan to continue acting after Triple.)

Furthermore, Su-in cheated on her husband — where did that emotional thread go? Hardly anywhere. She wins him back, and loses him again. She falls for his best friend against her better judgment. Her mother DIES. Given all this stuff, Su-in should have been a fantastically complex character, and instead we got a pile of mopey, mumbly mush. Sorry, Lee Hana, you have been better than this. I expected better than this. To be fair, I don’t blame you, I blame the producers.

These character issues are not only problematic, they’re also symptomatic of a larger problem: the drama lacks verisimilitude. As I watched this drama, I kept feeling like the writer was just making stuff up as she went along. It didn’t feel like she did a lot of character work or world-building — she just plunked down some characters in a setting and played house with them.

Example: Poong-ho has two Olympic gold medals. Yet the drama never plays with that in a realistic way. Yes, a few ten-year-olds squeal over him, but ten-year-old girls would squeal over any oppa as cute as Poong-ho, gold medals or no. A two-time Olympian in South Korea would be a household name — at least at Park Tae-hwan levels. That means his every move would be noted and reported, especially when that involves a girlfriend who is also a national athlete. I’m not saying the drama should have focused on Poong-ho’s celebrity, but if you’re going to create a celebrity, you’d better support that. There’s no depth of truth. The writer could have made Poong-ho a national athlete with no Olympic medals, and that would have worked. Why throw around random buzzwords like Taereung and Olympics and gold medalist? Why create stuff that isn’t supported by the narrative and doesn’t ring true?

Same with Su-in — she’s a former world champion, painted rather like “Kim Yuna in a dozen years.” But as with Poong-ho, these character traits are tossed on like an afterthought, and given no purpose.

Call me old-fashioned, but I want my dramas to say something. It doesn’t have to hammer in an overbearing message, but I want there to be more to a drama than its surface. I want there to be an emotional significance, some sort of point.

Despite my complaints, I quite liked a lot of its elements. Triple introduced me to Min Hyo-rin, whom I’d been tempted to write off as another lame singer-turned-actress. Instead, I got a bubbly, adorable, engaging young actress who may have more charisma as an actor than she did as a singer. It also gave us Song Joong-ki, who is shrewdly building up his career with small but notable supporting roles — one can only look forward to what he does when he finally gets his first leading role. And Lee Jung-jae shows that it IS possible to rise above bad material and still act the hell out of a problematic script. He created a real, wonderful, understated character and even if Triple will do nothing for his already strong resumé, at least I appreciated getting to see him for sixteen hours.

Triple was a pleasant, forgettable watch. It had some nice bits, but still ranks as my biggest disappointment of the year.

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37 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. M&M

    i totally agree – the relationships..were just weird.
    One thing I never got was WHY did Poong ho even LIKE Haru?
    My god – I get puppy love n all, but Haru never ever even fed him fuel to make his fire burn that brightly.
    For a few episodes, i thought Poong ho was a bit mentally deranged; sorry, but it was true =/
    It’s just that the actings really good, but the story doesnt give much meaning behind their actions!
    Overall, it was eeehhh. needs more character development .

     (0)


  2. Z

    I thought the last episode or two redeemed Triple just a bit from the (I’ll go ahead and say it) boringness of the the middle 70%. Just the fact something was actually happening to progress the story rather than everyone just meandering through the scenery. I’ll be honest, by the end of it, Poong-ho was the only character I still cared about and I was just watching to see what happened to him. I didn’t like the ambiguity of the last episode though (I pretty much detest ambiguity in all forms, it’s the scientist in me) I had to watch the ending a few times and I still couldn’t decide on what note we were going out. I got t hat Haru was warming up to Poong-ho and I took him doing that dance number at the end to mean that he eventually “won.” But I was so conflicted about what the whole exchange with the “I thought my heart would hurt…” and the smile not-so-telling smile from Hwal really meant. I’ve actually been waiting for months to read this recap just to hear someone else’s opinion on it.

    Really though, I remember liking the way they wrapped things up. At least, I don’t remember being very mad at the writers for the way they wrapped things up. It seemed pretty realistic. Haru moves home and makes a concerted effort to move on with her life, and does it. Some plot holes I couldn’t deal with… two years and she’s never bothered to ask Poong-ho anything about his life??? How self-centered is that?? Who in their right mind would stick around for that? And why do those babies look like they are not even a year old? That one might be a little nitpicky but I tend to think about things like that.

     (0)


  3. prncssptri

    the ONLY unforgettable thing in Triple for me is Song Joong Ki! He’s too adorable! but yeah, i agree with you, this is one of the most disappointing series i’ve watched.. it started really good and it goes downhill each episodes.. best of luck to all cast and crew :)

    thanks for finishing the recaps! much appreciated!

     (1)


  4. Mara

    forgettable… a LOT of talent wasted

     (0)


  5. Biscuit

    “I’ll be honest, by the end of it, Poong-ho was the only character I still cared about and I was just watching to see what happened to him.”

    Agreed. Haaaaa~ How my heart tingled to know that Poong-Ho got the girl he wanted~

    Finally, the boy that was seemingly not destined to get the girl gets the girl!
    I thought was going to suffer “that” miserable fate…..

    And that was my most memorable memory of the episode.

    Thanks for sticking with Triple, JB!

    It must have been hard, but I’m sure you felt the feeling of completion and getting something off your chest.

     (0)


  6. Ariyanarai

    Triple is too boring…

     (0)


  7. Ariyanarai

    Triple is too boring…

     (0)


  8. Lisa

    I have to agree that Triple was the biggest disappointment. I stopped watching around episode 9 or 10 but kept reading the recaps to see if it would be worth watching…and needless to say it didn’t seem like it. The script was a mess, the characters never learned from their mistakes, the whole show was pointless. ugh

    And there were so many likable actors in Triple too! How did it manage to suck so much?! haha

     (0)


  9. more

    “Lee Jung-jae was tragically wasted in this drama.”

    Why?
    when correct me if im wrong but you hated the step brother sister relationship i thought you did not want them to end up together?

     (0)


    • 9.1 hanadia

      i don’t know if what you said is actually what the writer meant,

      but what I get from that line is that LJJ’s skill acting was wasted on such a bad drama

       (0)


  10. 10 Icarusfalls

    This was a big disappointment to me. I stopped watching it after 6-7 episodes. I’m thankful for the recaps, JB. They are always fun to regardless of how illogical and dry the show is.. ^_^

     (0)


  11. 11 Quaggy

    I was pretty dissatisfied with the end and I think it because everyone but Hwal and Haru have their futures tied up in pretty bows. Sang-hee has put her fears aside and is happily raising her twins with Hae-yoon. Su-in and Hyun-tae are getting married. It’s all too perfect and pat while Haru and Hwal’s futures are so ambiguous. (Do they still have feelings for each other? Are they actually moving on? Does Hwal have anything at all going on in his life besides work?)

    I think part of the problem is the writers tried to shoehorn everything into the two year flash-forward. It probably would have made more sense if they had spread out the scenes over the two years, in a sort of “time is passing” montage. The scene Haru realizes she’s never asked Poong-ho any questions about himself would have worked better if it wasn’t supposed to come after two years of friendship.

    The other part of the problem is Su-in and Hyun-tae’s happy ending. Now granted, I didn’t like the pairing, but that’s mostly because I didn’t really buy them as a couple. We spent the entire series watching Hae-yoon and Sang-hee’s relationship develop. They earned their happy ending. In contrast, it’s hard to buy that Su-in and Hyun-tae’a relationship would go smoothly, just because the writer’s said so. I think it would have been far more interesting if it turned out that after two years Su-in and Hyun-tae had moved on to other people, but had remained friends. As the ending stands now, poor Hwal seems to be the only one without anything in his life. It seems a sad place to leave the main character.

     (0)


  12. 12 deannadsc

    …Triple was a bitter pill to swallow, but I harbored to watch it to the end (most of the time,to get myself to sleep!!!)…only because of YKS & LSG!!! It wasn’t just a big disappointment..but honestly… a waste of time..

     (0)


  13. 13 snow

    i gave Triple up after episode 8 thereabouts, but have continued following your recaps, so thank you for persevering with finishing both the drama and recaps! much appreciated! i agree lee jung jae was pretty wasted in Triple, but he and song joong ki were the only good things about the drama. min hyo rin was all right and i quite liked lee seon kyun’s performance.

    and i got so frustrated with hyun-tae that i almost wished he didn’t have a good ending. i agree with Quaggy (post 11) that su-in and hyun-tae’s relationship seems illogical – she tried so hard to patch up with hwal, only to turn to his stalkerish best friend because he paid her a lot more attention? it was just too weird.

    i’m glad hwal didn’t get with anyone. i didn’t think he was a good fit with haru, and getting back with su-in wasn’t really on the cards for him anyway. so it was just as well.

     (0)


  14. 14 birdscout

    When I finished watching the last episode a few months ago, all I could think was “WTH?!?” But after reading your recap, things are more clear and I can “clean up my feelings” (as they say in kdrama break-ups) for this drama without any bitterness. Thank you, javabeans!

     (0)


  15. 15 moineau2907

    I was soooo disappointed in this drama…

    It’s one of the most disappointing and boring drama I’ve ever watched…

    I put a lot of expectations in the show since it’s the same director as for Coffee Prince, my fav’ drama ever…

    But no…We can find the same kind of ambiance (music, images,…) but no more.

    Greatly boring…

     (0)


  16. 16 hmi4

    Again, I’d have to say, there *is* a plot. A plot is simply the composition of characters+circumstances+events. Whether it is interesting or not, whether you feel the events were significant or not, it’s still a plot. Take You’re Beautiful for example. Boiling it down, it’s basically a boy meets girl story. How they met, fall in love, came upon obstacles, and tackled the obstacles were the entire plot. Triple in a sense was also a boy meets girl story. There are definite conflicts and a climax present. They met, they developed feelings, couldn’t go forward with their feelings due to circumstances, yada yada. Only it neither ended happily or tragically. They didn’t end up together; love didn’t prevail – so umm, what was the point? No one died; it wasn’t a heartbroken story – so umm, what was the point? I think people tend to think there was no plot because they felt everything was for nothing – like what Haru said of her efforts in the end. Like… “what were you trying to tell me through those 16 hours?!?!?!”
    IMO, the ending of the drama was for that chapter of her life, but not a concrete once-and-for-all ending we normally expect. Whether it made the rest of the events feel pointless or not, things did happen to move the story to the ending point and therefore we’ve got a plot. It may sucks in some of our opinions, but there it is.

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  17. 17 Vecchio

    I guess I’m one of the few people who thought Triple was absolutely brilliant. It’s akin to reading a Maugham book. I can feel for these characters, they seem like actual people to me. Like I can imagine myself bumping into Haru and we’d have a nice little chat like we were old friends. I’d ask about how Nam-saem is doing and if she occasionally talks to Hwal, stuff like that. I really can’t explain it. When I’m watching Triple, it feels like I’m reliving a long forgotten memory. Which is funny, because my life was never as eventful as theirs. It’s wonderful and sad at the same time because these are memories I’ll probably never get to experience myself. But that’s okay. It’s cliche to say it, but this drama really touched me.

    And I cried at the end too.

    I’m hoping audiences in Korea had a more favorable view of Triple as opposed to the reception outside of Korea. It’d really break my heart if shows like Triple were abandoned for rating-chasers.

     (0)


    • 17.1 hanadia

      true. i like this drama too. wish the story was longer thought. wanna see more of hwal and maru. too bad the rating didn’t help.

       (0)


  18. 18 nanner

    theres no doubting that this drama is different.
    i don’t think the writer/ director/ producer was entirely sucessful in this experimental bit of tv drama, but you can’t chalk it up as an absolute failure, either.
    i found it kind of nice, relaxing even; like a hot cup of tea when it snowing outside. nothing big or momentous, but still enjoyable and warm. its full of wonderful “little moments” but the problem is there’s not enough sotryline to link those little moments into something that transends the everyday humdrum.
    it feels incomplete in some way.

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  19. 19 cate

    thanks for finishing the reviews! i gave up on triple about half-way when other dramas popped up…but ive kept reading ur reviews and i am thankful that someone has kept going! i must agree with lisa(no.8) that there were so many likeable actors!!

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  20. 20 jandoe

    thanks for finishing the recap! since i didn’t watch it myself, i’ve got no arguments. but your afterthoughts about the drama seems to ring true. thanks jb!

    and oh, happy new year!

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  21. 21 celestialorigin

    He catches her cheating and finds her playfulness cute — Poong-ho leans in forward and surprises her with a kiss. This catches her completely off-guard, and Haru mumbles incoherently before running off to her room — and her flustered expression indicates that perhaps she’s finally starting to see Poong-ho in a romantic light.

    Thank you JB, your last line finally helped me out on figuruing out what was going on in Haru’s heart.

    I got really frustrated with this drama midway. Somehow I ended up watching it through when there was noting else to watch and felt like being cheated!? since it felt that certain things were left unspoken. All I needed was your re cap!

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  22. 22 Suzy

    Thanks for the recaps javabeans! i was waiting to hear ur opinion of Triple, yea i would have to agree that the writer and director did indeed not develop the character to depth, there are still a few loopholes that i just cant seem to piece them together….but the actors and actress did a fantastic job! exp lee jung jae and min hyo- rin. The story development at times were boring, but yea i like how the actors are able to salvage it though. Honestly the ending really confused me, but thank you for sharing your views and this has cause me to understand the ending better….although im more inclined to think of it as one where Haru will wait till shes older to deal with her oppa feelings, cos im sure she knows what he’s feeling now…no need to ask whether he has a GF, if shes sure that there is no feeling left…but then again….its pretty subjective -_-, lol, im a hawl and haru shipper…so i tend to go the other way…hahaha, anyway to me this drama was alright, was a bit dissapointed with the ending though…to me it is kinda ambiguous….maybe there will be a part 2….lol…

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  23. 23 isabelh

    Thank you for the recap, but you didn’t address my over-riding question at the end: was that little ice dance REAL or just a representation of her emotional state? I actually liked the drama (still fairly newbie), but it did seem a lot like an expanded Taerung National Village, and maybe that story was meant to stay at 4 episodes, not stretched out into more than it was.

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  24. 24 javabeans

    @isabelh, it’s real. It looks like the other guys have birthday gifts and accessories, which corresponds to Haru’s narration about being 20 years old (the Korean age of adult maturity) and standing on the ice for a new beginning.

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  25. 25 isabelh

    @24 Thank you JavaBeans, for the answer and ALL that you do with your blog.

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  26. 26 pabo ceo reom

    I’m left with so many “if only’s”…..!

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  27. 27 Momo

    Thank you Javabeans for all the hard work!!

    I think you were right about the lack of characters development in this series. And I’m not surprise – K-dramas are often shot while the writer’s still writing the scripts!! it looked like as if the series was given to be 16 episodes and they ran out of ideas so it dragged and just wrapped up towards the end. Overall – watchable because the Atsuushis were great and the way the series set out was relaxing and breezy, but plot – just the growing up of a girl – was very unorganise, and rendered the series not memorable at all!

    But glad to see there’s a different genre/feel of K-drama and I have to say, Lee Jung Jae (my fav actor/Atsuushi!!) had done a great job by giving dimensions to a character with probably nothing much given!!!

    And about the ending, I think I won’t agree with you. I saw the ending a couple of times, I really think it’s emotionally still more Hawl and Haru, but realistically neither the young or the old…. She grew up and ready to tackle the next stage – which is like a lot of other girls out there.

    Although, the ending is truely not clear-cut, but the director had dropped hints here and there – e.g.

    (1) Hawl broke the ice to see Haru, Haru asked about Hawl’s relationship status, she cried towards him still – which means she still feel for him and so did he for her.

    (2) On Ice ring, even Poong-ho got himself onto the ice, she’d given him a good-buddy-sort of hi5 only (’cause I would hold out my hand but not hi5) when she first saw him there. However, when the group went onto the ice, she first went to Hwal.

    (3) When Hawl left Haru’s Uni, in his 4WD, he stuck his left hand out while he’s driving and gestured a let-go hand movement – may indicate he also moved on

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  28. 28 Anhstein

    Too bad the story was such a disappointment because Lee Jung-jae and Min Hyo-rin were excellent with their roles. I just loved how well they each portrayed their characters, and I loved their interaction. I wouldn’t call it chemistry, but you know, there’s definitely something there whenever they’re together. A bit of attraction, a bit of awkwardness, a bit of this and that, you know. I just loved how I could feel all that.

    To be honest, watching those two was enough for me to enjoy this show. That’s how great I think they were!

    Thank you for sticking with the show JB, love your recaps as always!

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  29. 29 Lis

    So disappointed… I should have just read the recap…It was more enjoyable than the drama itself. Thanks.

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  30. 30 JOJO

    only watch the song joong ki cuts lol

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  31. 31 avocado

    waw..different from other opinion, after reading the recaps make me wanna to try this one just because YKS character get the girl in the end..although maybe in absurd ways..because already painful enough that he didn’t get the girl in Road No.1 and maybe in the currently airing drama BEst Love

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  32. 32 ct

    I dont get the ending? Who with who? Is it Haru with Poong Ho ? or with Hwal? But I’m hoping she’s with Poong Ho!!!

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  33. 33 Reyes

    I stopped at episode two and just read the recaps. The show was okay, i totally loved hyun-tae he was super cute. I was dissapointed she didnt end up with Hwal or either Hae-yoon.

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  34. 34 Aaron

    when you mean 10 year old girls squealing at Poong-Ho, did you mean he’s popular because he’s popular or because he’s being played by Song Joong Ki?

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  35. 35 San

    For me, I hate the ending. It is better if Haru and Hwal is together. Their love is simple but incredible.

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