Drama Recaps
Cinderella’s Sister: Episode 20 (Final)
by | June 7, 2010 | 180 Comments

I don’t know if it’s me, but I’m just not hitting it off with finales this time around. [It is SO NOT just you. –javabeans] It’s just, when you think about it…you’ve spent sixteen, or TWENTY friggin episodes in the will-they-or-won’t-they-oh-god-they-won’t-even-get-close, and speak!-please-for-the-love-of-all-that-is-holy-speak! So it’s not asking for too much to be rewarded at the end with a satisfying conclusion. It’s actually the cardinal rule of episodic storytelling. Otherwise why on earth would we submit ourselves to such torture? (I mean this generally, in terms of enduring all lengthy plots of all dramas.)

I wanted to love this finale. Hell, I even wanted to hate this finale. Either would have been awesome. But it just sort of fell flat, without kicking up the tension, the chemistry, or even the cuteness, which I would have accepted in exchange. Maybe. What makes me extra crazy is that it has a pre-ordained ending in the Cinderella framework—all you’d have to do is turn it on its head, and add a touch of whimsy, and you’re golden. It’s a classic fairytale for a reason. I would have forgiven all your sins for a great finale, but you missed your shot, Show. And for that, I am truly sad. [And I’m pissed. –jb]


Eun-jo and Ki-hoon pick up their minute-year game, this time stepping into the future. Eun-jo adorably draws out their little home in the woods, and muses that once Hyo-sun gets married, they’ll have to take her mother in because she’ll miss having someone to drive crazy. And you’re volunteering for the position? Have you learned nothing?

Ki-hoon seems subdued and pensive, which Eun-jo notes, knowing that he can only think about his father right now. And not big bro? I’ve often wondered why this story takes such pains to make despicable Daddy Hong redeemable, but not Ki-jung. [Requires too much thought. Trying to cram resolution into one hour after wasting twelve. –jb]

Ki-hoon tells her that the drawing and the trip down future bliss lane has helped, and that she can’t change her tune later, or else. What, or you’re going to smile at her to death? He tells her that the stuff he’s about to endure seemed unbearable before, but now none of it matters. They go to tell Hyo-sun the truth. And that right there is Mistake #1: waiting till now to tell Hyo-sun the truth only deflates the dramatic possibilities. Telling someone in the finale is like announcing that they’re going to fold right away anyway, so why worry?

At the winery, Mom hands out gifts to the workers to thank them for a job well done. She promises more to come, as long as they continue to work faithfully in the future. Mom asks to see Hyo-sun’s uncle, and when he hems and haws out of fear, Hyo-sun reassures and sends him in.

Hyo-sun’s face lights up when Ki-hoon and Eun-jo arrive, but alas, Ki-hoon is thwarted again by the presence of investigators who take him away. Will you not let anyone tell the truth out of his own mouth, Show? The investigators tell him that they’ve discovered off-book Hong Ju bank accounts in his name. Oh, crap. Ki-hoon says that it’s going to be okay, and asks Eun-jo to tell Hyo-sun everything. He gets carted off by the men in black, as the girls watch in fear. Eun-jo runs after the car, asking them to stop so she can say something, but they drive on.

Mom sits Hyo-sun’s uncle down for a talk, where she states bald-faced that neither of them wants to see the other. But kicking him to the curb (again) would incite the wrath of Hyo-sun (not to be taken lightly, as she has witnessed firsthand), as well as the ire of the elders. So she’s settled upon a solution: she’s going to marry him off, and she’s even prepared to set him up financially and got a prospective girl lined up. She shows him the picture and he falls for her instantly. Ha. This scene is as much to show the change in Kang-sook as it is to send the uncle off. It illustrates her taking Dae-sung’s place as the caretaker of the winery and the household; she finds a happy medium between staying true to herself, while mellowing out and adopting Dae-sung’s nurturing style. [I like soft and cuddly Kang-sook — er, less-abrasive and less-wintry Kang-sook? — and could have used a lot more of this kind of development in the last few episodes rather than hurried Hong Ju plots. –jb]

Meanwhile Eun-jo has filled her sister in on Ki-hoon’s deep dark secrets. This is really the most anticlimactic way to do it, Show. Hyo-sun doesn’t believe it at first, thinking that maybe Eun-jo is making it up to get revenge because of The Letter. I know you’re not very bright, but that makes no kind of sense. She decides that Eun-jo is the bad guy, spitting out that she can’t suffer a girl like her anymore, and that she regrets trying to hold onto her for the past eight years.

Hyo-sun: “Ever since you appeared, do you know how my life has changed? Dad’s gaze started to shift towards you, then permanently landed there. I had to share my Dad. Then, without my knowledge, I became unable to see him at all. I learned that Mom’s love was all a lie, and I found out that Mom had betrayed Dad. And I had to cry because I was the pathetic girl who couldn’t let her go. Because I’m only a stepdaughter…I had to be happy just to be considered a stepdaughter. But now…it’s Ki-hoon oppa?”

It is really sad when you consider it from Hyo-sun’s perspective, and there’s a logical reason she could blame Eun-jo, or the fact of having a stepsister, for all of her major turmoil. But I feel like if we’re adding Ki-hoon into the blame bucket, this is a conversation they should be having after she’s told about their relationship. ‘Cause then it makes a little more sense, and has more oomph behind it. Needless to say, it makes Eun-jo feel so guilty that she can’t even bring up the relationship part.

Hyo-sun makes a run for it, flashing back to all her sweet memories of Ki-hoon oppa. Again, would’ve had more impact if she were already told about him choosing Eun-jo, forcing her to confront the loss. At this point, we know she’s going to have to go through this AGAIN. She falls and Eun-jo rushes to her side. She doesn’t want to be comforted by her, but Eun-jo embraces her, holding her sweetly like a big sister, as Hyo-sun cries.

Eun-jo tends to Hyo-sun’s scraped knee, and then they sit side by side. Eun-jo tells her that she has more to say, and that while she wondered if it was the right thing to do, she thinks it’s best to just hurt all at once. I totally agree. She starts, “Me…and that person…” But Hyo-sun doesn’t let her finish. Aaaargh! Seriously, Show? It’s the final episode. You’re still not letting people speak when they want to? This? Makes me crazy. [Nobody learns in this drama, hardly ever, and I think I am half-insane because of it. They fall into misery and then luck rescues them years later, because finally even IT figures that if it didn’t step in, we’d never get our finale. These people would still be stumbling and failing to make any progress for years to come. –jb]

Hyo-sun says that she feels bad for Ki-hoon oppa; that she wants to hug him. Oh boy. Just put her out of her misery! Do it! But Eun-jo clams up. Hyo-sun tells her that Dad wanted to take care of Ki-hoon, and she wonders if he hadn’t left for eight years, he might not have ended up so broken. Ain’t that the truth. She wonders if she offered to put him back together, he’d let her. Um…this might be a good time to tell her you already did that, Eun-jo. Hyo-sun asks her to tell Ki-hoon not to run away. This is painful to watch her be so hopeful. Eun-jo thinks to herself, “In the end, do fairytales not suit me? The sweet, beautiful fairytale world…is that something I’m not allowed to have? I’m not trying to conquer space. I’m not trying to save the planet. Not even trying to save the country…”

Ki-hoon stays calm during the investigation, answering honestly that he never even considered that such an account could exist, and that he has no knowledge of the millions funneled through it.

Eun-jo’s narration continues: “I haven’t ever been able to call him by name. So I’m just asking to live calling his name. Is that really something that can’t be?”

Jung-woo packs his bags and plays one last game of baseball with Jun-su. He hits the ball so hard it disappears into the sun, and then he throws the bat into the river, as he lets go of his love. Aw, bye bye, Eun-jo-is-my-woman bat.

Ki-hoon gets to see his father, who looks impeccably dressed and normal, for someone who’s having such a hard time of it in interrogation. Ki-hoon says that he wants them to live together, bringing tears to Daddy Hong’s eyes. He says that there have been many times he’s wanted Dad to just be a father to him, and nothing more. Ki-hoon says he knows that asking his father to just be honest is probably sentencing him to jail time for god knows how long.

Ki-hoon: “I’ll wait for you. Together with a pretty girl, we’ll get a house for you to live in, and we’ll wait for you. That girl promised to do so. Other than me…don’t hold onto anything else, Father.” And he walks over, holding his father’s hand as both men cry. Daddy Hong looks really tiny for the first time, and he finally opens up to Ki-hoon, putting his own hand on his son’s, grateful for his love. I’m not sure you deserve it, but I’m happy for Ki-hoon nonetheless.

Eun-jo’s a ball of nerves, waiting for word from Ki-hoon. Hyo-sun comes in to tell her that all the elders have reneged on selling their shares to Hong Ju, which is no surprise to Eun-jo since she knows the score. But she doesn’t tell Hyo-sun why. Hyo-sun wants to tell Ki-hoon, so she asks Eun-jo to go to Seoul with her in the morning to try and see him. Eun-jo starts to tell her, but then stops. Again. She thinks to herself: “I wanted to say, what if I only thought about myself? If I just did as I wanted, what would you do? But, this kid who said I stole everything from her, who says she has nothing left of her own…I couldn’t open my mouth in front of her.” You’re killing me. Just put her out of her misery! I know you think you’re sparing her some kind of pain but this is getting really hard to watch. You’re making a fool out of her. Eun-jo agrees to go, making Hyo-sun smile, grateful that Eun-jo’s doing her some huge favor. Augh.

Eun-jo goes outside, and Hyo-sun’s uncle hands her a note from Jung-woo. Another letter? Jung-woo: “No matter where I am, no matter where you are, the only woman in my heart is you. No matter what you do, I’ll always be rooting for you. If you ever need me, I’ll come running. Remember that.” All the “you”s are “noona”s, making it all the cuter. Seriously, how can you pass up this adorable boy and his undying love? Will no one marry this kid? It’s breaking my heart!

She runs out, murmuring “Jung-woo ya,” making my heart flutter in hopes that she might realize at the last moment that she loves him….yeah, I know. Doomed. But this whole sequence coming up is the most dramatic and emotionally charged of the entire episode, so explain that one to me, Show.

Eun-jo runs all the way to the bus stop, calling out his name, and when he sees her coming, he runs to her. You’re tugging at my heartstrings for a couple that will never happen, and I really hate you for that, Show.

Eun-jo asks him where he’s going, if he has anywhere to go. Jung-woo reassures her he has lots of places he can go. She tells him to stop acting rashly and grabs his wrist. Except she’s so small he doesn’t budge an inch (heh) and instead he pulls her in for a hug. Jung-woo: “I wanted to hold you like this, just once. If I let go of you now, you’re going to hit me, right?” Haha. Quippy while being heartbreaking? I may have to marry you myself.

He says it’s okay, he’ll just get hit before he leaves. He assures her he won’t starve, so she doesn’t have to worry about him. “If you don’t live well, I’ll know right away. If you think you might need me, I’ll know right away. If you don’t want me to come running…live well.” Ack! Stop him!

Eun-jo tries, telling him he can’t go when she hasn’t done anything for him. She pleads with him to wait, but he’s insistent that he has to go. How can you expect a guy who loves you that much to sit around and watch you be with another man? He smiles, saying, “No matter where you go, I’ll be with you. You know that, right?” And he gets on the bus, leaving her with one last smile.

I’m going to need a moment to peel myself off the floor. That right there was a stellar send-off and the way all character interactions in the finale should be. Sadly, it’s kind of the highlight of the episode, which is strange. It irks me because I know the drama is capable of it—see, above. So why is it not firing on all cylinders for the rest of the characters? I have no idea. It’s frustrating, mostly because I know it’s attainable.

Jung-woo’s departure stirs something in Eun-jo. She thinks to herself that it’s easier to leave than she thought—you just do it like that, simply and with a smile, like Jung-woo. [I take it back — these characters occasionally learn things. Only they’re all the WRONG THINGS. –jb] She goes to her room and takes out her old rucksack, remembering Dae-sung’s words that she could rely on him. Ki-hoon calls, on his way home to her. He tells her that he’s coming to her, that he misses her, and that he did well, thinking of her. She cries, not letting on what’s going through her head, as she tells him he did well. Ki-hoon: “Eun-jo ya, I’m hungry. I’m coming to you now…to my rotten girl.”

And then? She packs her bags anyway and leaves. Whaa? Why? [Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. –jb] Forced separation twenty minutes from the end? Really, Show? So the man you love is finally done with everything and coming to you, and you pack your bags and leave? Because you’re afraid to tell Hyo-sun that you’ve stolen yet another thing from her? Even though he was never hers to begin with? This is beyond stupid. We’ve spent twenty episodes watching you excruciatingly peel off each of a thousand layers of your onion heart, making you, everyone else, and us cry in the process, and now you’re regressing to your teenage runaway days? Way to reward your viewers. I feel like I just got kicked in the groin.

The other reason this is ineffectual is that when you force a separation this far along into the final episode, it saps all the dramatic tension right out of it. She’s just going to be found fifteen minutes later. Or what, do you really think you’re scaring us into believing that it’s going to end this way? In the end it just makes Eun-jo a coward at precisely the wrong moment. Why not have her show growth by standing upright and facing her sister? She could accept what’s coming and be the bigger person, the titular unni, as it were. But no. You made her run.

Ki-hoon returns to find yet another letter: “Please take care of Hyo-sun,” and Eun-jo gone. Hyo-sun quakes at the realization: “Unni abandoned me and left.” Ki-hoon entreats Mom to tell him where she went, but Mom refuses to tell him, lying badly that she doesn’t know where Eun-jo went.

A few months pass, and the winery is doing well. Hyo-sun’s uncle is still there, so maybe the wedding didn’t go as planned? Hyo-sun gets word from a friend that someone knows a Gu Eun-jo at a lab, so she rushes over to check it out. She asks if it’s real this time, implying that she’s been looking tirelessly for months. Ki-hoon’s car is parked outside, raising her hopes. But alas, this Gu Eun-jo is a man, so they both leave dejected.

Outside, Hyo-sun asks Ki-hoon if he and Eun-jo made any promises before she left. She means ‘promise’ specifically here, as a euphemism for marriage or engagement. Ki-hoon answers that they did. She lets go of his arm, asking why he didn’t say anything before, when she asked that they start over. He replies that he needed time to think, because Eun-jo had asked him to take care of Hyo-sun in her letter, but he didn’t know what it meant. He thought until Eun-jo came back he’d take care of Hyo-sun…and Hyo-sun finally gets it now. She tells him to stop. My heart breaks for her a little here, that they’ve reduced her down to this, loving him for this long without knowing. But she takes it in stride, and tells him that they should join forces to find Eun-jo.

As he walks away, she calls after him that he’s just been rejected by her. It’s adorable and plucky of her to turn it around like this and make him smile about it, instead of feeling guilty. And she picks herself up quite well on her own. She asks, smiling with tears, that when Eun-jo returns, if he could go away for a little while. That way, when he comes back, she’ll be able to regard him as her brother-in-law. Aw, what a long way you’ve come, little girl. Ki-hoon says he will. Hyo-sun lets a tear fall as she says that she misses Eun-jo.

It turns out that guy wasn’t Gu Eun-jo, of course, but just Eun-jo’s officemate, who she asked to lie for her. Ki-hoon happens to overhear the guy on the street, introducing himself by his real name over the phone. It gives him pause, but he doesn’t think anything else of it. Do we have to spell it out for you?

Hyo-sun calls him later that day, saying that she ran across a short article about yeast in a magazine, which doesn’t have Eun-jo’s byline, but sounds totally like she wrote it. It names that same lab as the place of research, which reminds Ki-hoon of the guy using his real name. He rushes over. [Worst. Logic. Ever. You read a scientific article that SOUNDS like it was written in your sister’s “voice”? Who does this show think Eun-jo is, David Foster Wallace? –jb]

Eun-jo leaves work, and when she comes out, Ki-hoon is standing across the street, staring at her. He looks mad. Who wouldn’t be? She bolts down the street, and he chases her down his side, calling out to her. She keeps running, and he makes a run for it, crossing the street in the middle of traffic. We hear horns honking and tires screeching, as Eun-jo turns in slow motion.

Come on, really, Show? You’re going THERE? This is going to be such a cheap fakeout. If Ki-hoon were going to die, you’d have been allowed true bliss and togetherness, in order for it to be stripped from you oh so sadly. But you guys have barely had a moment to be happy in the present, what with spending your precious few happy minutes reliving the past or dreaming of the future. Not to mention the stupid past fifteen minutes when you ran away for no good reason.

She zombie walks toward the street amidst the honking horns, but Ki-hoon appears and puts his hand on her shoulder to stop her. He takes her by the hand (The hand! Success!) and leads her to…where else? More picturesque surroundings.

Ki-hoon yells at her (as well he should) for the supreme idiocy of her ways. She just asks, “Number Four…what was it? In ‘The Things to tell MMM’…what was number four?” Ki-hoon: “Do you want to hear it?” Eun-jo: “I might never have been able to hear it, and you could have died!” We’ve come this far and you STILL can’t address him by name? Ki-hoon: “I love you. You rotten girl. I love you!” Haha. I have to say, it’s the least romantic-sounding love confession I’ve heard, but it’s adorable and SO befitting the two of them.

She hugs him, and they kiss, with the sun streaming down on them. She asks what MMM stands for, and he tells her, “Mi malo muchacha. My bad girl.” (I think the gender on that is wrong, Spanish tutor. But I suppose you never really knew Spanish, just learned it to get close to Eun-jo, so that’s okay. Also, we’ve been translating “my bad girl” as “my rotten girl” throughout, because frankly, “my bad girl” sounds, um, wrong in English.)

The whole family picks up an award for the winery, and Ki-hoon shows up, presumably months later, having gone away like Hyo-sun requested.

The sisters come into Dad’s office, offering up their prize and flowers to Dad in silence. Hyo-sun turns to Eun-jo: “Don’t you have anything to confess, in front of Dad? Do you not know what I mean? I…missed you.” She looks at her sister with hopeful eyes. Eun-jo: “I…missed you too.” Breakthrough!

Hyo-sun tenderly takes Eun-jo’s hand, with Dae-sung’s picture in the background. They hug, finally able to love each other as sisters. Dae-sung literally shows up to envelope them in a hug, making each of them feel his presence. It’s a little ham-handed and slightly creepy, but their reactions are sweet.

I think the picture of Dad was anvils a plenty—we get it. Dad’s love brought them together in the end. We didn’t really need the cameo at the end. What I wanted, though, was an actual confrontation between these two. If Eun-jo had been given a chance to say her piece in the beginning of the episode, if she’d just ripped off the band-aid, then we could have actually gotten a dramatic scene between them, causing a rift, maybe giving Eun-jo a real reason for the forced separation (other than stupid, boring noble angst). Then the reunion between the sisters could’ve been the climax. Instead we skip over their reunion (what the?) and instead get this in the epilogue.

If you’re setting up the main conflict in the finale to be not will-Eun-jo-and-Ki-hoon-or-won’t-they, but will-sisters-be-able-to-overcome-loving-one-man, then you have to SHOW THE CONFLICT. I feel…let down. Not because things didn’t end the way I wanted, because in essence, everyone got their happy ending like they should. But because I feel like I was robbed of the good stuff that I wanted to see. Even Mom, who got the brush-off this episode, didn’t get a single satisfying conversation with Eun-jo, after ALL of that to-Hell-and-back drama we’ve endured between them for twenty episodes.

I thought, if there’s one thing this drama knows how to do, it’s the angst and histrionics, so I was really looking forward to a dramatic finish with a happy send-off at the end. But sadly, I feel like I got all dressed up for the prom…and Show stood me up.

That’s not to say there weren’t things I didn’t love about this drama. It had all the makings of a hit, what with a stellar cast and some really poetic moments, most of which involved people running from each other. It was lush, and beautiful, and at times very moving, and sometimes darkly funny in the most poignant ways. But it never went anywhere interesting, plotwise, and took forever to get there, and in the end, it didn’t even deliver on the most basic interactions that I wanted, nay needed, to see in the finale. I’ll choose to remember this one by the highlight reel, and my own dreams of what it could have been.


I debated not writing a commentary section for this episode, because I feel like the only people still watching at this point are people who actually enjoyed the angst and slow pacing and therefore did not share my intense frustrations with the show. If this sort of thing WORKS for you, I can see how jeering from someone for whom it did not work at all can make for some unpleasant reading material.

But for the sake of frankness and because these twenty hours would have felt too much of a shame to cop out at the last minute, I’ll proceed, but I promise to keep it short and to the point.

That said, I haaaaaaated this finale. Like, hated with the burning fire of a million venereal diseases. As you may have gleaned from my recap of Episode 19, I was going into this episode with upbeat spirits, feeling optimistic about the upswing of the last few episodes. I didn’t need everything to be airtight and perfect; it just needed to be a reasonably satisfactory finale and I would have been happy to let it go with one eye (okay, almost both eyes) closed.

But Episode 20 served up such a platter of whatthefuckery that I felt like it insulted my intelligence as a viewer. A slow, plodding, meandering finale that was true to the plot and spirit of the show would have been preferable to what we got, which was a really weird, last-minute attempt to throw in every cliche in the book, with no thought to how it made sense in the story (because it didn’t). The resolutions of the big angsty conflicts were so long overdue that they were anticlimactic, not moving. Eun-jo’s running away was a giant bowl of ridiculousness served up way too late to have any narrative impact and resolved too quickly to even have the drama of that Finale Episode Separation and Reunion.

What’s most unfortunate is that a weak, lame finale diminishes the memory of the drama in our minds, and replaces some of the more shining moments earlier on — and this drama did have plenty of those. I just wish they weren’t all in the first half.


180 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. mookie

    I’ll forever be in DENIAL this episode existED!!!!

    I <3 CU enough that I'm happy and will stop ranting on anything ep 1-19 if I can have this episode incinerated (and while I’m at it, I’ll certainly throw in writer)!

  2. loren


  3. K.

    The ONLY good part about the finale was Eunjo and Junwoo’s goodbye. I have to give it to Taecyeon, he did pretty good for his first drama. I felt so much more chemistry between Jungwoo and Eunjo than Eunjo and Kihoon. Ugh.

  4. ernie

    Lmao I started feeling like that a couple of episodes back. I think from 17 it got super painful to watch for me. I skipped over every part that featured Ki Hoon, Hyo Sun crying, Eun Jo crying, blah blah blah. I actually stopped watching it and just read these recaps.

    I’m furious that they formed this gorgeous storyline and then ripped it apart and stomped on the pieces. This drama had a lot of potential to go far, and then it went ahead and screwed it up. DS appeared at the end? What was the point of that?

    It’s super maddening that this drama could’ve been so much more…

  5. jandoe

    i admit this episode is… weird (my term, anyway). but yeah, having invested frikkin’ 20 hours (and slightly more, what’s with spoilers etc) and being somewhat of a passive viewer, i guess i’ll just taken what’s given. although honestly, whenever i think back to that first 4 (EPIC) episodes, i feel like “ohh gee, did that 4 episodes and all the ones after from the same show?” ….but it’s done, wrapped up. i got my (predictably and yes gf, flat) “happy ending”.

    but oh, was i the only one who felt that the sudden “What’s number 4?” response SO out of place? kinda like an “out of all the things to say!” moment.

    jb, reading your feedback is kinda painful (cos i guess for the most part, i still stand by the show) by thinking it over, i definitely get your frustration. not to your extent, but enough to personally feel that frustration is kinda justified. i think my thoughts about this show is closer to gf though, but all’s good.

    to completing the recaps for this show, both of you – thank you and… well done! 🙂

    (like i said before, i’ll join you for Bad Guy soon oh yay!)

  6. Sanny

    And the whole show I kept wishing she went to Ushuaia…. sigh..

  7. minamika

    it’s over at last….. thanks for the recaps..
    yeah, this should have been a hit drama…but along the way…it did not hit the main point.. but , well..
    Anyways, I love episodes 1 to 4, then 16 to 20. The rest gave lots of headache..and aaaaargh!!!

  8. KH

    Yeah, in the end this drama was really disappointing…SIGH!

  9. Biscuit

    You guys, thank you for finishing the recaps! MUAH.


    Ahem. Party over. I hated this ending! There were a few cute scenes, but SO many frustrating ones. It’s like… it was so simple? I mean, I don’t want an angsty, over exaggerated than it already it dramatic ending. But the story has been building up for THIS!? As in… it was like a super quick solution to everything and that all the angst and frustration was pointless.

    I also felt sorry for Jung-woo. He had no big role and then left. He would have been a better tool to use to create disruption between KH and EJ than the business problems and family problems. Ki-Hoon’s family problems wasn’t THAT big… considering how it seemed like it was a big deal since the second episode.

    Reminds me of My Fair Lady (Gosh, can’t believe in 2 months it will be 1 year ago!).

    Had good potential, then got crazy towards the end. Last few episodes sort of revived it… then it fell flat.

    With CS, it originally had a nice balance of comedy mixed with darkness. Than the dark side took over. I know there was a change of directors and the feeling of the drama changed. But if they could have only fastened the pace and kept most of the light, comedy in CS might have been more entertaining to watch.

  10. 10 xiaoSxin

    So sad.. I loved this drama until the second half.. I thought this drama is golden and in the bag by ep 10..

  11. 11 dannaluk

    so true!…i was disappointed with the way they ended things too…it could have been a lot better…and i thought it would be considering how the last episode went..but overall i dont think this was the worst drama of 2010…but it did have the potential to be the best…..o well

  12. 12 meh

    girlfriday and javabeans,

    I’ve been looking forward to this recap for the past week, after much headdesking and facepalming while watching this on viikii.



    I feel your pain, and I really appreciate the commentary at the end. If us readers don’t want witty and insightful (and sometimes delightfully negative, complete with facepalming) commentary, we can choose not to read the recaps. Speaking for myself, I thrive on your recaps and I had a huge smile on my face while reading this one. I watched this episode with a face of disbelief, swearing at my screen (the few months time-skip was *totally* necessary, uh huhhhh) and I found reading this soothing, rejuvenating, and delicious.

    Thank you for continuing with this and finishing it off! I’m already looking forward to your collab again in Bad Guy ^^

  13. 13 Nina

    I preferred episode 19 waaaaaaaaaay more. I’m tempted to just reedit this drama and cram it into 16 episodes geez.

  14. 14 Cat

    I think this drama had so much potential in the beginning, but they made it really heavy in the middle and dragged it out so much. Then at the end Eun Jo finally becomes nice. But I still like this drama!!! Remember the people who produced this are humans too so don’t expect too much. Hooray~ it’s over!

  15. 15 tobymac

    I hate the finale as well. If I were EunJo, I would’ve chosen JungWoo. The part where he said good bye at the bus stop was heartbreaking…

  16. 16 nuttycracker

    Yea, I am pissed too…it showed a lot of promise from the start but alas not even the ending can save it! It became too predictable and somehow the magic disappeared 🙁

  17. 17 asianromance

    Thank you for the recap, even though it was such a painful ending to have to go through and rehash .

    this last episode was pretty much a “wtf?! O_o” to me. There were a few nice moments, but most of it was just either wrong or defied logic. It’s like the writer was drunk or something when she wrote this. Maybe she was body-snatched! This finale’s screwups was worst than all the screwups this potentially amazing drama had made. Did the writer jump ship and the production had some random person finish up the script? I think any watcher of this drama could have written a better ending than this writer.

    the script’s a bust but at least the ratings were decent enough to placate the production/actors/actresses.

  18. 18 jons

    oh wow, chasing PT and CS. i gave up on CS, and followed recaps to only watch the scenes that were intresting. and all i have to say is, god damn, these last two episodes saved the entire drama for me! i was completely rolling my eyes at everything in that drama, until the last two episodes. it was just getting really draggy. honestly, as it’s over now, it still has no plot reallly, just a bratty step sister who won’t accept the love of her new family. but the ending just made me smile, it was not a good drama at all, but i enjoyed the beginning, when her dad died, and the end, that’s it. haha. i think the ending was touching. just the very last scene, it made me smile. but no, i don’t think CS was a good drama, it was just kinda, bleh for me.

  19. 19 peony

    I totally agree with all the comments. I hated the ending, not because it was good and not because it was bad but because I felt cheated. So much drama and then nothing but a slapped together let’s make everyone happy ending. No satisfaction what so ever.

  20. 20 apple a day

    this is one of the worst endings ever! I hate it!

    The only reason I continued watching this series is because of Taecyeon/Jungwoo.
    Since Eun-Jo won’t take him , then I WILL!!! I’ll choose Jung-woo over Ki-hoon any day!

  21. 21 shirley

    the writer didnt deliver what she was setting up in the last 19 esp~ the runaway was like huh?` to me also
    anyway there is one edited scene of the eun jo and her mother after she run away it was included in the rerun of the esp 20 but not on the actual boardcast version . i seriously have no idea why they cut out this ~

  22. 22 pinksoysauce

    Aww, it pains me that a drama with such potential wasn’t able to follow through. Poor Jung-woo!

    I suppose, at least Eun-jo and Hyo-sun are together, right? That was the primary conflict, in my opinion, and much more significant than Eun-jo and Ki-hoon.

    I’m going to remember this for the intriguing family dynamics in the first half (when I watched a few clips here and there) and the deep emotions shown by the actors…and the potential it had!

  23. 23 mimi

    Girlfriday, you’re so funny as always.

    I was glad they finally got together but there were definitely loose holes:

    –Why did they even bring up Hyo-Sun losing her taste buds, using a lot of salt, blah blah? It led to nowhere land.
    –Why make us think Eun-Jo had some terminal illness with her nosebleed, fainting spells, and unexplained falls? This also led to nowhere land.
    –Why bring up the paternity of the little brother if it’s not going anywhere?
    –What’s the point of Ki-Hoon buying the glass hair (stick?) if Eun-Jo was never, ever going to see it??? They should’ve had her find it in the end, with him there, of course.

    Moral from this drama: When someone you like vanishes and you see them again some time later, ask him / her if he wrote you a letter, by chance. It’ll save you 20 hrs at least!

  24. 24 Precious

    I almost broke my laptop in rage. I mean, are you serious? Are we in kindergarten? Dear writers did all your brains leave for vacation at the same time? You drag us through HELL, without the courtesy of giving us a mask to at least protect our faces, and when we finally make it back to earth you sprinkle us with a drop of water for our efforts? REALLY?! Do you know how much potential this show had writers? Do you know how many ends you didn’t even consider or how loosely tied up they are? A two year old could do better! 20 episodes for this? I didn’t even swoon not once! Me! How incredulous is that?! The next drama better make me swoon or I swear I’m going to korea to kick some writer’s a**!

  25. 25 'cille

    GF, thank you for recapping the finale.. and JB, thank you for your honest comments…

    how true that the first half of this drama delivered well on all accounts.. however i think it started to miss its timing and weird storyline with the father’s death.. i had such high hopes for the ending, seeing that episodes 17-19 slowly did a climb.. but ep 20 truly disappointed even a novice drama addict like me.. too bad, it had a really good cast.. and yes even taec had played his role well for his first.

    i wished for better “rounding” up between:
    eun jo and mom
    eun jo and ki hoon
    eun jo and hyo sun

    arghhhh! going to take a little break before plunging into another drama..

  26. 26 Freehee

    Well that’s that, then.

    I can’t think of anything more to say.

  27. 27 J

    We got the happy ending in the end, but I don’t feel happy at all!! What kind of finale was that?! It’s really one of the most ridiculous and crappiest finales I’ve ever watched. The only scene that moved me was the one where Jung-woo left. I felt so sorry for this sweet boy and was thanking him for all the warmth that he had brought into this drama (though not enough to balance out all the angst). The scene which made me cursed out loud was when Eun-jo left. It was clichéd and stupid and unfortunately did not cause much emotional impact. The ending was also extremely creepy with Dae-sung appearing suddenly out of nowhere.

    I really really love this drama, which makes me even more frustrated knowing that it could have been much better. The 10+ episodes of slow development have made me hoped for a good ending but in the end, the screenwriter chose to take the easy way out with clichéd and/or illogical closures after all the angst that he/she had been brewing. There were many loose ends untied, which I’m still trying to ignore, because the screenwriter simply had no time to address all the loose ends.

    “I feel like the only people still watching at this point are people who actually enjoyed the angst and slow pacing and therefore did not share my intense frustrations with the show.” — JB. Haha this is not very true. I didn’t enjoy the angst and slow pacing but I still continued to watch because I’ve invested a lot of my emotions into this drama and the acting really was fabulous. I have to admit that I’m quite shallow because when I got so frustrated while watching, I usually just ended up admiring CJM’s gorgeous face xP

    Thanks Javabeans and Girlfriday for all the hard work these past two and a half months! Thanks for the humour, the comments and the determination to finish recapping!

  28. 28 Married2ahero

    It’s sad but, watching this last episode made me feel like an idiot for staying around for so long. I just kept hoping, and praying that things would be better to no avail it would seem. It just had so much potential! I can’t even describe the affection and zeal I had for this drama in the beginning. I thought these characters were so unique and engaging. I feel they got ripped off from doing great things and were forced to settle with a lukewarm resolution. (It is probably no secret, but I think the writer fell too much in love with their characters and didn’t want them to go off the deep end. Seriously, though they should have just pushed them off the cliff, like any good lion.)

  29. 29 Kathy

    I know you guys mean. I hated all the angst and agony in this drama, even though these are the elements that I like so much about k-dramas. But they were just sooo overplayed in this drama!!! I literally stopped watching 10 episodes ago, and read your commentaries (for which I have to thank so much) just to see if it’s worth finishing this drama. So far, not really and I am not so up for it. This drama has so much potential to be exceptional, but too little plot to make a story. Truly feels like a 5 episode drama that gradually stretched and contracted and then stretched again repeatedly into 20 episodes.

  30. 30 nycgrl

    I already ranted enough about this episode in OT. Verdict? HATED IT. If I ever rewatch this drama it will only be for the OTP and the early KS and DS scenes, I’m going to be heavyhanded with the fast forward button and stop at ep 19 like thats the last episode.

    Reading the recap and now understanding the conversations between the sisters in more detail (and not my 80% understanding of the raw) I don’t like those scenes as much as I thought I did so ep 20 has no redeeming qualities for me at all. I didn’t enjoy any of it. If anyone asks me how many episodes CU is, I’m going to say 19 episodes with a straight face.

    JB and Girlfriday thanks for sticking through this. I know its been painful at times and god knows I’ve been tempted to abandon ship several times and I’ve been a fan for the most part. I enjoyed your recaps even if you didn’t swoon over the OTP like I did. I loved the snark even while I feel protective of some elements of the show. Humor trumps all! Viva humor.

  31. 31 asarako

    i love the drama from the start but from the last episode well i felt there’s something i’m expecting….All the episode are heartbreaking but the moment i saw the finale it become very light as if they’re in a hurry to finish it….

    i love the eunjo and jungwoo’s farewell part and also the last part when the sisters finally hug and the dad on the background, brought them together to live happily ever after just like cinderella…. 🙂

  32. 32 fjoajoaa

    I seriously gave up on this drama. When I watched the mv, it looked good. I was stupid to think that what happened in the mv, would happen in the drama. MEH.
    I loved the first 4 episodes, quit after 12 but continued to read your recaps.
    This drama was just too much. I wish it followed the mv, if anything because the mv looked interesting.

  33. 33 Jennifer

    That they focus at the end was the sisters’ love. I think that their love relationship was not even the main thing in the drama to begin with. They just threw it because that is what people wanted. If you notice, everything revolved around both of the girls and how their love for the dad united them. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I liked it, I actually hated it. I haven’t hated an final episode in a long time.
    Too bad they when that road.
    BTW, that a bad ending for Taecyeon. There was no point in his character. =(

  34. 34 nattacatta

    “Who does this show think Eun-jo is, David Foster Wallace? –jb”
    LOL! I raised my eyebrows at that too.
    I (as I have said before) have been very forgiving of this drama and choose to remember it positively
    However, I agree that the finale was really stupid
    When Eun Jo ran away I was actually so so so angry, I was basically close to punching my laptop screen
    It was so stupid for her to run away in the freaking final
    And it got rid of any chance of character growth
    Who is Eun Jo?
    She’s the girl that ran away/ wanted to run away then came back.
    Thats who she was in the first episode.
    And the last episode.
    There is so much that could have been done that wasnt
    And so many things that should’ve been resolved better but weren’t
    There was some things I liked but overwhelmingly it was underwhelming
    God, the first 4 episodes of this show were SO good it is ridiculous, I would have been totally happy and willing to forget the slow pace (I will anyway, though) if the last 4, or even the last 2 were that amazing
    Other than that, I basically agree with what you guys said about this episode
    And Jung Woo broke my heart a little bit
    Somehow I feel lighter now this show has finished
    I think I will choose to remember this show based on the first 4 episodes and the amazing acting, and pretty location

    Anyway, thank you both for recapping this all the way through, even if you didnt enjoy it the entire time.
    I am not watching Bad Guy but heres hoping that turns out better as a recapping project for you two
    Thank you!

  35. 35 aida

    i don’t feel like watch this drama, cause i saw lots of angst there.. which i hate it… kekeke… cause i’m easily cry and that’s my weak..:D

  36. 36 Chuck

    Are JB and GF sisters? Their writing is so similar, with the same sarcastic style that bites, but is also fun to read! Great job guys — mmm…. girls!

  37. 37 Rainalai

    I stood by the show through thick and thin, and honestly at the end, i still maintain that it’s one of the best dramas I’ve seen in terms of how much it portrays reality. If I wanted to watch for another happy ending that tied loose ends up together nicely, I would have picked the other ten million dramas that are already out there. In real life, loose ends aren’t always tied up so neatly – relationships like EJ and her mother’s, constant running away and never learning (yes, even with twenty minutes of the finale to go), and “missing” plot points like the hair pin and the pen that were never bought up again.

    I personally LOVED the fact that EJ ran away yet again at the end of the finale, because I know, beyond a doubt, that part of her will always be running away, if not from KH then from other situations that cross her path in the future. An individual’s personality and innate qualities don’t change over the course of 20 episodes, 8 years, or other measurable times. It takes decades for people to make progress. From personal experience, there are people who I know who are still running away from their childhood demons, and they’ve been running away for more than three decades. All I’m saying is that all of the characters in this drama were thrown together and put in situations that were mind-boggling painful and hard to deal with. To want a NEAT, happy ending is like trying to fix a dam that’s still gushing from a recent flood.

    In real life, there’s no neatness, and all of these little things that make us so frustrated showcase exactly why this drama tugs on our heartstrings. Tons of us watch dramas because of the romance, the fluff, the happiness, but how many of us really appreciate it when a drama highlights the darker sides of everyday life and humanity as a whole? One can argue, well that’s not really why I choose to watch a Korean drama, and at that point, i agree, CS is frustrating, terrible, but I argue that the discontinuity, the loose ends, the possibilities that are full of uncertainties for these characters in the future – THAT”s what makes the drama timeless.

    I saw character growth, I saw relationships form and break loose, I saw characters cut their ties and leave with bright smiles, I saw characters make compromises that I wouldn’t have dreamed possible in Episode 1. My god, I want something of the original characters left over to remind me of who they had been, because they were the ones that I fell in love with in the beginning, the ones in which I saw, and still see, so much possibility and hope. So screw the happy ending, give me a dose of hopeful reality and dreams with wings.

    Just my (long) two cents 😉

    • 37.1 Samantha

      Well said! For the first time i didnt felt any cheesiness while watching a K show Finale for once.. Im glad they left Many points here and there like the glass hair pin not making a come back into the story, and all lots of how and when and Whys… like its been said that not everything is done So neatly in real life.. they stayed true to reality .. which im glad they did.. i agree the shw had so much angst , but thats what made the show beautiful for me… tieing up all loose ends is not something Everyone achieves in life… all that matters is we got the most important things and people in our lives… and this drama did that so well… all relationships despite being complicated, get a chance to live a life with a new beginning…

      I loved this show for all these… or May be i was just tried of watching the same old same old “Ya-all- loose- ends- Tied = Happy Ending = Perfect show “formulas… as it was something i wasnt expecting from the show and it got fulfilled in a nicer manner…

  38. 38 jiyeon

    I’m not even gonna lie, I totally bawled at the jungwoo farewell scene.
    It wasnt even that sad, but something about his expression just tugged at my heart

    It’s kinda funny, cuz I like kihoon a lot more than jungwoo (mostly because of my CJM obsession)

    Oooh & Moon Geun Young, you rock! x)

    All my love to the CS cast 🙂
    I’ll miss the all the angst and the tears x)

  39. 39 Kgrl

    Oh Lord, I waited until it almost finished airing to pick it up again and now you’re telling me it’s like My Fair Lady 2?!! *shivers*

    I should just give up now. Overdramatics and cliches never worked well with me – not even for my love for the actors in this drama. And on top of that, a despicable ending?

    Thanks for the heads up – serves as good warning – need to sever ties while its still early. *sigh*

  40. 40 kfan13

    “Worst. Logic. Ever. You read a scientific article that SOUNDS like it was written in your sister’s “voice”? Who does this show think Eun-jo is, David Foster Wallace? –jb]”

    Loved your quibble here. It’s hard to tell what scientific journals want to say in the literal sense -never mind, a person’s voice……

  41. 41 jiyeon

    *all the

    AHA!!! i knew all the craziness of this drama have rubbed onto me and turned me insane!!! I can’t even write properly!

  42. 42 miss unknown

    I have to agree with you guys about the fact that the last episode was a total badddd finale! Seriously, I was hoping for so much…I feel like the reason being is because of the fact that they were tight on schedule….filming on the day it airs! LOL…, so the script was also rushed in writing, so the scriptwriter was not able to fully developed the characters and up to our expectations.

    Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the drama though. Luv the chemistry between CJM and MGY! And everybody’s acting was good especially MGY! I was so suprised at her acting eventhough hearing her name as “nation little sister”, I have never watch any movies and series from her…I’ll definitely watch it now!….I’m not too sure about Tae’s acting yet since his character was so undeveloped and left (blank?)…But I personally think that it would’ve been a perfect drama if it was only 16 episodes.

  43. 43 animedork101

    The only good thing about this finale is that the final scene focused on Eun-jo and Hyo-sun. I know we didn’t get the scene we wanted of the sisters laying it all “bare”, but at least it all still came down to them (no Cinderella equals no stepsister… No stepsister equals no drama). So yeah, that last scene was the highlight for me.

    Things I didn’t like about this finale… HELLO! Jung-woo didn’t need to leave you know!!! Geez, okay, I can understand, but where’s his happy ending? Huh? HUH??? And man, right when I was starting to really love Kang-sook’s character, they deny us her presence. And, they could have at least given us a proper send off for Ki-jung – I refuse to turn a blind eye to the absence of this hotty, especially in the end.

    Man, I didn’t even want to watch this drama at first, but then I got hooked… And somewhere in the middle? I got UN-hooked BIG time. But whatever, in 50 years, let’s rally together and have a better remake… Yeaaah, just kidding.

    Other than that, thanks for the recaps ladies. Maybe next time will be better….

  44. 44 Sweet

    This episode was SOOO A DISAPPOINTMENT to me!
    All that me and CS been through,
    this episode disappointed the series with other episode,
    quite sadd.
    But overall one word-OMG!

  45. 45 Sweet

    Also adding,
    there need to be a REMAKE OUR STYLE!

  46. 46 tin

    There are some good insights about the last episode at soompi by blueyellowred.
    It made me understand and appreciate more the final episode after reading her comments.

    This is not a perfect drama but I still consider this a good drama.
    Lessons learned like forgiveness and acceptance made this a worthwhile watch for me – all 20 episodes

    Anyway, thank you JB and GF for recapping this drama.
    I know it’s a big let down for you, but still, you continued recapping this show.
    Thanks again.

  47. 47 gala

    like most ppl i’ve talked with, we’ll just think of ep20 similar to an SP in japanese drama. ep19, for me, is the real finale.

    btw, why is MY BAD GIRL a wrong translation in english?

  48. 48 brookeeve

    okay, there’s some things i want to say.

    normally, i hang on every word that javabeans and girlfriday write. i love to read everything that is written by these two individuals. Their humor and knowledge base is so broad that even if i don’t like a series i’m drawn to it just so i can hear their voices in my head as the episodes progress.

    this series drove me nuts. i love korean drama, but i couldn’t even get into the recaps. i couldn’t even bring myself to watch the drama beyond the first 10 minutes. this is horrible! what is going on in korea? why don’t the korean producers read these recaps to know where they are screwing up? i mean, jb and gf have spelled out exactly what’s going wrong in these productions, why can’t these people buy a clue? i mean, to wish CANCER on a series is horrible enough, but even a scientific journal critique? really?

    whatever drugs these producers are taking, they are surely cruel enough to not share them with the rest of the populace. at least then, maybe we could understand where they were coming from.

  49. 49 lenrasoon

    i was really patient with this drama, but this ending was awful i’m so disappointed.

    also DS appearing was so creepy :/

  50. 50 Ri

    Thanks for the recaps, all 20 of it! 🙂

    The scene that made me tear up a bit had to be the one where JW left. When he looked back at her from the back of the bus with that little smile, I felt my heart break into a bajillion pieces *drama* Haha. But other than tht, I agree with you – we really didn’t get to many conclusions in this finale. EJ and KS never had that final mother-daughter talk to really show how KS has changed. For the most part, EJ and KS didn’t have much mother-daughter time! I also really hate the whole EJ running away thing because it’s such an overused plotline!! Like they threw it in just for the sake of it! Those precious should-i-should’t-i screentime could’ve so been put to better use! Gah!

    But, having said that, I am sad CS is over. This is the first kdrama in manyyy yrs that i’ve followed religiously. I only discovered dramabeans.com because of this show (I googled for CS recaps) 🙂 So meh, the ending left much to be desired but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy following it. Great acting all round and a seriously addictive theme song. Plus it rekindled my love for all things Korean 🙂 So all in all, I can honestly say I enjoyed it all! 🙂

    Am thinking of following Baker Kim Tak Gu now.. 🙂

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