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Bad Guy: Episode 17 (Final)

Here we are, the finale! I thought it was better than Episode 16, but frankly that isn’t saying much. At least 16 was entertaining and off-the-wall. This episode, as the wrap-up, was more puzzling.

I know there was a three-episode cut-down and all that scheduling madness. HOWEVER, the drama finished filming two weeks before the last episodes aired. In the world of the live-shoot production system, that is a luxurious timespan with which to work some post-production magic. Or, you know, throw up your hands in defeat and give up.

SONG OF THE DAY

Bad Guy OST – “웃지마 울지마” (Don’t laugh, don’t cry) by 4Men, Jang Hye-jin
[ Download ]

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FINAL EPISODE RECAP

At the psych ward, Jae-in and Tae-sung find Gun-wook’s room empty, so they split up and scour the grounds for him — where, we must note, every single psych-ward extra plays up the I’M CRAZY act like they’re auditioning for a Park Chan-wook movie. Or maybe they were just trying to one-up Gun-wook. Cringes all around.

In Madam Shin’s office, a perfectly sane-looking Gun-wook sits in her chair, his back to her. Rain pounds the windows and lightning gives an eerie strobe effect to the room, which is lit in a blood-washed tint. But when she whirls the chair around to confront the seated figure, he disappears. Poof.

She whirls around — he’s walking away from her. Then he flickers into nonbeing again. Her voice recording starts playing — the one where she gives the veiled kill order — and she is seriously spooked. Is she going mad, or is somebody in possession of a super-elaborate hologram projector? She screams at her invisible tormentor to come out and confront her.

After their unfruitful search at the hospital, Tae-sung drops Jae-in off. He has seemingly come to grips with her choice, assuring her that he won’t come looking for her anymore so she can go and be happy with Gun-wook. I appreciate the maturity, but the writers keep jerking Tae-sung from one extreme to another and it’s jarring. Emotional whiplash.

Jae-in thanks him for his understanding, then hurries away to see Gun-wook. It isn’t until he’s alone that Tae-sung allows himself to drop the smile and feel the blow of losing her.

Assuming Gun-wook has returned home, Jae-in rushes into his apartment excitedly… only to find Tae-ra instead, staring at his Wall of Revenge. For a brief moment we get that “back off from my man” glare so beknownst to the denizens of Jerry Springer, but Tae-ra drops the hauteur when Jae-in reveals that Gun-wook is alive.

Tae-ra registers Jae-in’s disappointment that Gun-wook didn’t recognize her, and guesses that they were closer than she thought. She also makes a few mental connections and asks if she and Gun-wook were in it together to ensnare members of the Hong family. (No, alas, that was PURE COINCIDENCE.) [Just like my hatred of these last two episodes. Pure coincidence. -GF]

Tae-ra accuses Jae-in of breaking up with Tae-sung because he’s no longer the president’s blood son, but that’s news to Jae-in, who hadn’t known this latest development. She answers that it doesn’t matter to her — what matters is that she wants the person for himself, which is why she can’t be with Tae-sung.

Can we take a moment to mourn for Tae-sung, who eats alone at home that evening? Solitary eating can be such a powerfully sad image in dramas (it comes in just below the crying-into-food imagery on the Pathetic-o-Meter — which, we might note, Tae-sung has also done). After Jae-in leaves, all Tae-sung has left of her is the packed food she had made for Gun-wook.

Always a step behind everybody else, the two cops arrive at the mental ward recently vacated by Gun-wook. At least they make up for it with one discovery: a small gadget is affixed to a wall-mounted speaker, which appears to be a video camera in disguise.

Gun-wook has reportedly been transferred to another hospital, and the nurse hands over an envelope left behind by Gun-wook’s guarantor for the cops. Opening it, they find a voice recording device. Lucky for these two that the clues keep falling into their laps, eh?

We don’t hear the contents, but the evidence is strong enough to arrest Madam Shin for ordering Gun-wook’s murder.

Unsurprisingly, she is hardly cooperative during the interrogation and answers questions with “Ask my lawyer.” This leads to the unintentionally hilarious exchange whereby she scoffs that he’s asking questions he knows the answers to, and he demands that she answer them anyway, growling, “Shin Myung-hwa-sshi! Give me your name!” Oh, lulz.

Tae-ra watches anxiously as her mother, joined by her lawyer, is questioned by the police. Super pet peeve: Upon the lawyer’s exit from the room, Tae-ra asks for a status update and the lawyer says, IN FRONT OF A COP, “The evidence is pretty clear so she doesn’t have much room to make excuses.” WTF, lawyer? [Thankfully, the cops are equally stupid, so it’s a wash. -GF]

As Gun-wook is alive, Madam Shin won’t be facing the worst-case legal scenario, though it wasn’t for want of trying on her part. It strikes me that for such a rich and powerful woman, Madam Shin sure has trouble hiring minions who can do their jobs properly.

Tae-sung enters, in shock at the news that Madam Shin tried to kill Gun-wook. He learns that Gun-wook presented proof against her and grows angry, growling that he’ll have to meet him. (So confused at all the weird emotions. So… Gun-wook was just supposed to let her get away with trying to killing him?)

Gun-wook’s partner meets with Secretary Kim. The two speak frankly about Gun-wook’s Ultimate Plan, indicating that they are in cahoots. We aren’t told how long Secretary Kim has been working with them, but it appears to be a recent partnership.

The partner says how Gun-wook had been surprised to find that Tae-sung was as much a victim in this as he was, and says that “one person” has caused quite a lot of grief for everyone. It has the ominous ring of a Madam Shin takedown, or so we can hope.

Infuriated that Gun-wook is responsible for Madam Shin’s arrest (though I’d put the blame on the one who committed the crime, myself…), Tae-sung arrives at Gun-wook’s apartment and bangs on the door. Inside, guess who’s perfectly healthy and sane? So much for the insanity act being real. [Aaaaaaaaaargh! -GF]

Gun-wook ignores Tae-sung’s shouts and looks enigmatically at his lighter, then burns more stuff. Wait, did he steal this lighter back from Madam Shin? How… and when?

Gun-wook narrates resolutely as though addressing Tae-sung: “Even if the life you hated till now is a lie, it changes nothing. The hurt you caused someone while living recklessly doesn’t get erased. Is that unfair? It can’t be helped. That’s you, and that’s me.”

Madam Shin is tried for her crime, and here’s the gist of her cross-examination::

Prosecutor: “Did you order Gun-wook killed?”
Madam Shin: “Nope. Never.”
Prosecutor: “Really? For sure?”
Madam Shin: “Yup.”
Defense lawyer: “The defendant didn’t order a hit.”
Madam Shin: “Why would I? My life is great. He could have been my son. I deny everything.”

(Worst trial ever.)

Next, the recording sent to the cops is submitted as evidence. Now we hear its contents — it’s taken from the scene where she ordered Secretary Kim to take care of Gun-wook, who should have been offed twenty years, and threatens that she is not a patient woman.

Madam Shin is unruffled because the tape isn’t actually that damning — I mean, it implies things, but it’s not conclusive proof. She calmly identifies the voice as hers, but says she never ordered Gun-wook killed. She spoke out of anger, and points out that people say “I’m gonna die” all the time and don’t actually mean to drop dead. You know the prosecution sucks when Madam Shin is the one making the most sense in the courtroom.

She even keeps her cool when Secretary Kim testifies against her and reveals that after getting the order, he had instead warned Gun-wook of what she was planning. (Ah, this explains how he was able to ride with him in the ambulance to the hospital, then act as his guarantor.)

However, one more witness is brought in, and this ruffles her composure. He’s the hit man ordered to kill Gun-wook the third time (or is it fourth?), and he confesses under pressure. After the previous attempt failed, he was ordered to kill Gun-wook.

Clearly she hadn’t anticipated yet another trusted employee turning on her, and she loses it. She shrieks, in her nails-on-a-chalkboard screech, “When did I say that?!” She starts babbling about a setup, insisting that this is a trap and that she has no idea who the guy is.

However, that’s not all: More evidence is submitted, this time a video. Now we see what the hidden devices were for (keen eyes will have noticed a glimpse of this device in Madam Shin’s office as well). The clip shows Madam Shin’s paranoid rant from the top of the episode, where she screams at an invisible Gun-wook about how she should have had him taken out twenty years ago.

Madam Shin shrills at the court that she didn’t kill anyone, but her desperate reaction is pretty damning. After she has regained her composure, she gives her last statement, taking the martyr’s stance that she’ll endure all this to get to the bottom of the mess. You and OJ both.

Now it’s Jae-in’s turn to lose her mind. Just as Madam Shin says she had no reason to kill the boy she once treated as a son, Jae-in stands up IN THE MIDDLE OF COURT and starts screaming that Madam Shin is a lying horrible murderer who ruined Gun-wook’s life and stole away his family. She’s dragged away by the bailiff.

Outside, Old Cop comes up to Jae-in to give her the recorder containing the evidence, explaining that there was additional material on it. Gun-wook’s message says, “Moon Jae-in, are you listening? This is the truth of the world you longed for. What will you do now? You choose. I’ll always be in the same place.”

Having lost her case in this alternate universe where conspiracy-to-commit-murder crimes are tried in a single day, Madam Shin is loaded onto the prison bus. She turns to address Gun-wook, who is watching nearby, and asks how he feels after messing with his father and sister — and reveals that yes, he’s the real Tae-sung.

Explaining that she’d kicked out the true child and brought in the fake, she taunts him with the truth that he lost everything for himself. She smirks, “I won.”

This delivers a huge blow to Gun-wook, as well as Tae-ra, who has overheard. The housekeeper now turns to face him, addressing him as “Young Master,” apologizing for not telling him earlier.

Tae-ra has such a shock at this news that I wondered if she was somehow unaware of her own paternity and thought she and Gun-wook were full siblings. (Gah, this drama has too many birth secrets.) It turns out she does know they’re not related, but her reaction makes me think wistfully of the awesomely dark drama we might have had if they’d actually gone there and made them blood siblings. Oh, Bad Guy, you leave me with so many what-ifs.

With this revelation comes the knowledge that Gun-wook destroyed his own family, and he finds his father. President Hong is conscious and aware, but still recovering and unable to speak as Gun-wook breaks down clutching his hand. Although he’s mostly reacting in remorse, I have to believe there’s a tiny bit of relief mixed in at finally reuniting with his father. [Such a waste of a potentially interesting relationship. -GF]

The two longtime servants muse over the grievous sin they’ve committed against Gun-wook. Secretary Kim explains the reason for his defection from Madam Shin’s ranks, relating how he lost his wife to illness during the time he was serving prison time after taking the fall for the president. When he was released, the president expressed no interest or care about the wife.

That had shattered Kim’s illusions and his unwavering loyalty to Haeshin, and afterward he sought out Gun-wook’s dead parents (and cared for their graves) in an attempt to ease his guilty conscience.

Tae-sung submits his resignation letter to Tae-ra, who tries to talk him out of it. He answers that he wants to live on his own now: “And if I come to work for Haeshin, I’ll come on my own merit. I want to live not because I’m somebody’s son but just as myself.”

He’s come a long way, hasn’t he? Now he acts the part of concerned brother, explaining that at least she and Gun-wook aren’t related. Therefore, he advises her not to agonize too much about it.

With a smile, Tae-ra asks for a hug, and I wonder if it’s a first for them. He’s always been the troublemaking rebel, and she’s always been the censuring older sister who took her parents’ side. Funny how Tae-sung is acting the part of son and brother now, after realizing he’s not their blood relation.

Tae-sung guesses that Tae-ra still cares for Gun-wook and urges her to protect her relationship with him. That prodding is enough to send her to Gun-wook’s apartment, where she finds him on the ground, lost in a daze.

She tells him that she’ll call him by the name Shim Gun-wook for the last time today, as they still have some things to settle. First of all, she doesn’t regret meeting him — she felt thrilled and excited for the first time in a long time. Even though she knew he wasn’t being honest about his interest in Mo-nae, she couldn’t help falling for him.

He falls over, and she rushes to his side. Seeing that he was clutching an old family photo — back when he was part of the Hong family — Tae-ra makes a keen insight, that this all (the revenge plan) was his way of returning to the family. Did he miss it so much?

She confesses that she had a tough time after he was kicked out of the family, and even though she knew it wasn’t his fault, she had felt betrayed by the young Gun-wook. She apologizes for that, and adds that perhaps that thought might be a comfort to him now. Tae-ra’s voice starts wavering with emotion as she says she’ll try to call him Tae-sung.

Tae-ra returns to the auditorium, where she imagines the spirit of the young Tae-sung greeting her enthusiastically. She kneels down and hugs him, and says sorry. The boy cheerily tells her it’s okay.

(Is this whole family prone to hallucinating now? These fantasy bits can be quite evocative when used sparingly… but Little Tae-sung has made an appearance in multiple people’s imaginations now, which would be more apropos were he a paranormal specter and not a metaphorical device.)

Tae-sung interrupts Jae-in’s lunch to tell her to be with Gun-wook now, because he’s bound to be in a lot of pain with the discovery that he was the real Tae-sung all along.

Shocked, Jae-in heads to Gun-wook’s apartment right away, just as Gun-wook takes out a gun. He contemplates it for long moments before lifting it to his temple… which is when Jae-in bursts in.

Quickly, he tosses the gun aside. She approaches silently and puts her arms around him. She speaks consolingly, saying that she understands that he must be feeling upset after harboring his revenge plans for so long.

Gun-wook starts to protest, but emotion wracks his voice and he can barely get the words out. Jae-in says that the family can forgive him, then takes his hand to turn him around to face her. She introduces herself as though this is their first meeting and they’re starting afresh, and prods him to introduce himself as Hong Tae-sung. He struggles, but gets the words out.

Jae-in holds him, and they share a moment as the embrace turns into a kiss. Which is when Mo-nae, back from the States and wearing a peeved expression on her face, arrives at the apartment.

Mo-nae lets herself in, further incensed at the sight of YET another woman making out with Gun-wook. Quickly, she turns and goes without being seen.

(Does nobody in this drama lock their doors, either? Have they been watching Personal Taste? ‘Twould save everyone a lot of grief, is all I’m sayin’.)

Mo-nae waits outside in the shadows, biding her time until the opening presents itself. Jae-in invites her sister over and leaves the apartment to meet her in the street, which is when Mo-nae lets herself in. Gun-wook isn’t in sight so she looks around, further pissed off to see that photo of Jae-in and Gun-wook. So much pain hath that Polaroid wrought.

And then, she sees the gun on the ground and picks it up.

When Gun-wook enters the room, Mo-nae points the gun at Gun-wook and blames him for wrecking her family. All her earlier bitterness of being passed up for her sister is multiplied by her fury at hearing about her family’s misfortunes and the knowledge that Gun-wook was behind it all.

Mo-nae makes her accusations, which are all fairly on the mark, her voice shaking with rage as Gun-wook tries to calm her down. He takes a few steps toward her, but she shrilly yells for him to stay away. How dare he even use her name?

She blames him for making her this way — she’d been happy before — and shrieks, “I wish you were dead!”

She fires the gun.

Out in the street, unaware of any trouble, Jae-in greets her sister. As they chat, Won-in expresses her approval of the match, saying how much better this is than Gun-wook and his rope.

In a bit of dramatic irony, she points out that his rope would have taken him to heaven, which would imply death. Little does she know how prescient that sentiment actually is.

Gun-wook’s not dead, though, and when we return to the scene at the apartment, both parties are still standing in their original positions. Mo-nae looks startled with herself at the gunshot, but when Gun-wook starts to approach her again, she gets all worked up again and keeps the gun fixed on him.

Gun-wook speaks to her gently with a hint of a smile and says, “I’m sorry.” He asks her to call him oppa just once, like old times, but she refuses — he’s nothing to her now.

Finally, Mo-nae lowers the gun and drops it on the ground, the fight sapped out of her. She leaves quickly…

And it’s only now that the camera pans down and reveals to us that he’s been shot. Ahhh!

He falls to the ground and holds his bleeding side, but for some reason he doesn’t call for help. He’s fixated on the gun and grabs a towel to wrap it in, intent on getting rid of the evidence.

Staggering to his feet, Gun-wook leaves the apartment, headed for god knows where, doing his best to stay upright while keeping the gun hidden. He attracts some curious stares but nobody intervenes.

Jae-in goes grocery shopping with her sister, intending to make Gun-wook that home cooking he loves so much. They figure that he must have stepped out on an errand and wait for him to return, but the night grows long.

Finally, Jae-in spots a hand-written note, which says that his adoptive parents from the U.S. called him about an urgent matter, which she interprets to mean that he dashed out on a last-minute trip to the States.

All the while, Gun-wook continues to stagger in the streets until the camera blurs and fades out, denying us confirmation of his whereabouts.

When we fade back in, it’s some unspecified time later. President Hong sits with his daughter, able to speak now, and asks about Tae-sung. She answers that both are doing well, assuring him that “that child” will return someday. He muses that he’d like to bring the whole family together for a nice meal when that happens.

Tae-ra receives a box in the mail, which she opens to find a care package. The note is addressed to So-dam, but the contents are meant for Tae-ra — a DVD of Dirty Dancing, for example, recalls her memory of her long-ago day of playing hooky. The note tells So-dam to smile a lot in front of her mother and is signed from “So-dam’s loving uncle.”

In Jae-in’s apartment, a crane falls as she walks by — it’s the one she found that day in Jeju, upon which Gun-wook had written the names of the Hongs and described them as “family.” Underneath that he’s added “Jae-in, Won-in” and a non-word that seems like he was about to write “family” but cut out one character short.

Won-in brings in a care package from the mail, and this one contains a glass mask, similar to the one Ryu-sensei had made. [One-of-a-kind my ASS! -GF] A note reads:

“How would the world look out of the eyes of the one you loved? Jae-in-ah… I’ve had that thought. If I look at the world through a different gaze, how would it be? Jae-in… how are you? You have to be happy no matter what. If you look at my world through those eyes… I’ll be able to laugh, too. Now, won’t you look at my world instead of me?”

Excited at this indication that Gun-wook is back (clearly she read the note without actually READING the note), Jae-in rushes to his apartment — but it’s empty.

Apparently justice is swift but short in this universe, because Madam Shin is let out and resumes her place in Haeshin Group. Tae-ra takes over, while Tae-sung appears to be traveling on his own, and Mo-nae continues her dilettante lifestyle of yoga lessons and spa treatments.

Meanwhile, Jae-in thinks over Gun-wook’s note, which ends with the words that began this journey: “In the complete darkness of night, it’s hard to tell which is the sky and which is land, and whether the light is fire or stars. Where is it I’m going? Is it heaven? Or is it hell?”

And then! A body is found by the water: Gun-wook.

As Jae-in wanders by the police station, she misses the notice posted directly behind her, which is an announcement of a dead body bearing Gun-wook’s resemblance, replete with back scar, asking for people to help them identify it.

Jae-in wonders, “Gun-wook, where are you? Is the world you’re looking at happy now?”

THE END

 
Bad Guy OST – “어디에” (Where) by Mi (美) [ Download ]

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JAVABEANS’ COMMENTS

WTF, finale?

First, the things that don’t make sense (and there are many):

For instance, the lighter. Gun-wook got that back how? I’m sure there are ways to fanwank this so that it’s technically possible for him to have gotten the lighter back from Madam Shin’s possession, but it doesn’t fit with what we’re shown. It’s a tiny detail, but when you take lots of little details and add them up, the plot logic of everything starts teetering.

Let’s even say we forget the lighter. What about that crane? Jae-in has had it in her possession since the day she found it in Jeju Island, only now it bears her name and Won-in with “famil–” written on it? When did Gun-wook steal the crane, open it up, add to the note, fold it back up, and return it to its place? I don’t doubt that there’s a way to fit this into the technical timeline, but it was clearly done for dramatic impact without considering all the pieces fitting into the overall logic.

What about Madam Shin’s hallucinations? Was she really just suffering from guilty conscience? I don’t buy that she HAS one, so while her mental breakdown is greatly satisfying to watch, I find it out of character. I read a Korean blog that was greatly disgruntled with this point, having thought (and hoped) that perhaps Gun-wook was medicating Madam Shin’s water or some such with the aid of the maid, which would have been great.

Also, it’s ridiculous how she keeps killing people to clean up after herself, which requires more killing, which turns into this whole mad cycle. There’s a Mad TV sketch where a character kills a pet by accident, but is seen by the postman at the door, so he kills the postman to keep him quiet, and then a neighbor comes by and sees the dead postman so he kills the neighbor too, until there’s a ridiculous pile of bodies heaped at the front door.

One murder, chilling. Two murders, probably still chilling. But when murder becomes her go-to solution for managing a problem, it becomes laughable.

Watching Bad Guy is like looking at a piece of lace. At a distance, you’re not quite sure what the pattern is but it looks pretty enough. But then you get up close and realize those are huge honkin’ (plot) HOLES, not lacework.

All that aside, however, my biggest beef is that NOBODY GOT WHAT THEY DESERVED.

I guess Gun-wook let himself die because it was more important to clear his little sister of the shooting, but why didn’t he go for help? The fact that he doesn’t try — and it must have been a survivable wound if he was able to walk all the way to the river — suggests that he was ready to go. Maybe this is the punishment he said he would accept “later,” after his revenge was meted out.

Only, I’ll contend that Gun-wook hasn’t actually done anything deserving karmic retribution. In fact, I recall griping that he’s hardly a bad guy at all, because he didn’t do anything that illegal. He uncovered the Haeshin Group’s corruption and Tae-kyun ended up dying, but it was Tae-kyun’s own behavior that got himself killed — he was the one conducting shady deals, and he was the one drunk driving.

Even if we were arguing karmic retribution, the drama is woefully inconsistent on this score, because Madam Shin gets out of prison in a matter of days. (Perhaps weeks, but if Gun-wook mailed his care packages before dying and they were delivered after Madam Shin was released, we’re talking a very short time.) And Mo-nae must have seen that Gun-wook was shot — so she just gets away with murder? She ends the drama blithely indulging in luxurious activities while Gun-wook’s body lays unclaimed and moldering?

HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE. WHAT IN THE HELL. WHY DID I WATCH YOU.

Perhaps one could argue that that was the point, that revenge plots will result in your own downfall. (And murder plots won’t?) So then Bad Guy becomes this exercise in futility, because Gun-wook’s life served no purpose and the ones who created so much misery and stomped on people like bugs are just going to keep on keepin’ on.

A brief note on the acting. Kim Nam-gil was good. Not brilliant — he unfortunately did not live up to his performance in Queen Seon-deok for me, because his Gun-wook was just so damn enigmatic and impassive all the damn time that I couldn’t connect with him or understand him. Han Ga-in reminds me a lot of Han Ye-seul in Will It Snow For Christmas — that is to say, serviceable at times but really nothing worth particular mention. Jung So-min was a lovely surprise and I’ll look forward to seeing her portray a (hopefully) more enjoyable character in Playful Kiss.

Oh Yeon-soo was the shining star in terms of acting technique, and I’m sorry I haven’t mentioned her before. However, as much as I appreciated her performance, I felt absolutely nothing for her character, so my admiration remains on a purely technical level for her restrained, repressed performance. In contrast, even though she was better than Kim Jae-wook, his character was much better written, and therefore his performance had greater impact for me than hers did, because I felt for Tae-sung. That was a trait missing from everyone else, which may explain why there was so much praise directed his way. Is he a better actor than Kim Nam-gil? I wouldn’t say yes or no — but the alchemy of his performance and his character was stronger, for me.

On the direction, music, and cinematography score, this drama gets an A. Maybe A+. On the story score, I don’t even feel able to score it properly because right now there are not enough letters to do it justice.

 
GIRLFRIDAY’S COMMENTS

This whole final episode was one big steaming pile of crap. I hated it with the fire of a thousand suns. With a cherry on top.

Dear writer: you took seventeen episodes to tell us that the rich stay rich and the struggling middle class DIE, people who have money can get away with murder, and that blood purity somehow washes away all sins. Yeah. Hitler thought that too. If you wanted me to be bitter and angry about the human condition, you should have set up your drama to, oh, I don’t know…BE a dark and insightful commentary on the human condition. If I hadn’t donated my heart to science to pay for my overpriced education, I’d have shed a tear.

For the sake of my fragile sanity, I’m going with: Gun-wook died twenty years ago that rainy night along with his dog, and Ghost of Gun-wook has been haunting us ever since. Think about it. It totally works. Yeah. I’m done.

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If KNG didn't have to go to the army, would this have ended better? I really hope so because this is the worst ending in any kdrama that I have ever seen. I would have been okay if he died but everyone else paid for their crime. But nooo, that didn't even happen. Why in the hell is it okay for Madam Shin to be released and get back to her original position? How is it okay for Monae to get a massage after killing her own brother? She should have a least suffered a little even if she didn't go to jail. THIS ENTIRE ENDING MADE NO SENSE WHATSOEVER!!!! I feel so cheated especially considering how much I loved this drama!

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Agree with Francesca. KNG's acting, though really good, could not save this drama.

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I feel bad for KNG the most. He was supposed to come back with a BANG after being revealed in the drama QSD. Too bad he has a DISASTER (storywise and ratingwise) in his belt.

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i'm holding onto the thought that this drama would've been better if it hadn't been rushed. i mean, the storyline must've been changed...and with extra episodes the story would've probably been tighter, less plot holes, and who knows maybe a different ending.

but the things that bothered me the most was how quickly mme shin got out of jail... SHE ORDERED SOMEBODY TO DIE. i mean, even if it wasn't successful, how does that only warrant a few weeks??? and also, really, those police guys... why... ugh. sooo asinine!!!

thirdly, idk about jung so min being so great in bad guy... i thought she was better in the beginning but then her character became so banal. and at the end, i felt she was more of a plot device and i didn't buy her whole killing gunwook. she's not that kind of person - and even after all that she's gone through - i don't really think that a person can SHOOT someone and then just dash out and feel totally NOT guilty weeks afterwards. YOGA? what is that. seriously.

and as for kim jae wook... i felt like his character was getting so strong but then in the end, all his actions felt so rushed. he said he wasn't going to bother han ga in in anymore but runs back to her like five minutes later (albeit it was to tell her to be with gunwook but still). and i just feel like he took everything so easily... i know a person can want to change, but i mean.... !!!

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"i don’t really think that a person can SHOOT someone and then just dash out and feel totally NOT guilty weeks afterwards."

It completes Monet's transformation into becoming, truly, her mom's daughter.

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@98 and @99

I am not shocked at the ending. In fact, JB or GF gave us that spoiler very early on in the series regarding KNG dying.

As I remember it was suppose to be 20 episode series and KNG was to die in episode 17. But we all know what happened regarding the military. Regardless, the series started out great, but ended so badly. Plain and simple, it was not cohesive, there was too much unanswered questions, the plot turned into a strainer and a really good story fell apart.

Gun Wook gave clues to the end such as when you are born you are born alone and you leave this world alone too (not a direct quote), he always said it would end badly for him, and we all knew it was a melodrama.

One thing I can say is that the looney tooney stuff was weird. If there were 10 questions I was asking myself during the series, by the end, it was up to 100 questions.... loophole city I'd say. Bad Guy ended with a bad ending, and I was very sad. It's still my favorite so far because it captured my attention and I loved the OST, casting, cinematography, etc, but as I say Kdramas are notorious for their not so great endings. A great example is Stars Falling from the Sky; I LOVED the series, and I really mean that I LOVED it, but the end (last few episodes)...... well that fell apart too.

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I think Gun Wook can be read as a practical incarnation of "the grudge." In that sense, he -- and not the mother -- is the antagonist of the show. When he is eliminated, peace is mostly restored.

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This may not sound believable but this was my prediction when I started watching it... My sister was with me and I tolf her that I had a feeling that gun wook was the real taesung and madam shin kicked ou the real one and brought in a fake!!! Geez I'm glad I guessed correctly cause I gave myself a heads up. But at the same time I hate that I always have to guess..oh well its still sad that jaein didn't stay with gunwook ..looing forward to my girlfriend is a gumiho :)

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ok! I couldn't wait even though I'm still ep 8 and wanted to say something. everyone must feel the same about KNG's charm which can make someone melt but till now, I still couldn't see any good matching with the lead actress or couldn't feel a real bounding between them. it seemed to me too unnatural. however, I get very excited whenever I see kim nam gil with both sisters. especially, with older sister. the tense sexiness is incredible.
when it comes to general view, I really liked all the developments. it's rare for me to love sub-actors so much...

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Y'all are really upset, but you didn't notice one main thing: this was Korea's attempt at the Southern Gothic genre.

I swear, if they had thrown in Ms. Shin nippin' here and there at some moonshine, gotten themselves a pig or some sort of livestock, dealt with the issue of racism, and been real proud of Mr. Hong as the first person in the family to have made it to college, this would have been a real good story. If y'all just write that into the script inside your head, the last three episodes are absolutely wonderful. Especially the little flight of fancy i took with Tae-ra ridin' around on a razorback, hootin' and hollerin'.

For a first attempt, Korea did a pretty good job. 'Course, they should have had a few more cousins thrown into the mix, and referred a little more to Billy Shakespeare, and had a country song or two. But other than that, I could appreciate where they were comin' from.

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"Y’all are really upset, but you didn’t notice one main thing: this was Korea’s attempt at the Southern Gothic genre. "

Well, see, most Korean melodramas are loosely like that. As us Asian Americans can testify, filial piety messes you up real good;)

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The ending was sad and wrong because of many reasons, but I still think that this drama is worth watching. I wasn't waiting for a happy ending anyway. But the actors have done a great job in this drama and even though there are loopholes in the plot, I recommend it to all (:

I also agree with #95! - I would like to think that Gun Wook did not actually die. Who sent all the packages? anyway, it was a great drama :D

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Once again the lead character grows up and goes to school in America, doesn't speak Konglish but perfect Korean, dresses in Korean style clothes, has perfect Korean manners, including bowing, and has a gun in his possession. (Guns are a no-no in Korea.) In this drama they showed the gun after they remind us of his adoptive parents in the US. I am sorry but that gun came out of left field. Gun-Wook was all about using his smarts.

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I would so have had liked to cry for him in the final episode, I mean, I was expecting to - but I was left kind of numb. It wasn't a terrible finale but it wasn't a good one either.
But I'll miss KNG all the same. Hey, at least Mo Nae got herself a meatier role in the end. Murdererrr!

Will miss Kim Nam-gil, truly will.

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Oh, did I say I'll miss KNG? Well, I'll miss him, I will miss KNG.

Anyways, thanks for recapping this show Girlfriday and Javabeans, you girls were fantastic. Woooh!

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I thought the Coffee House ending left a BAD taste (pun intended) in my mouth, but Bad Guy's ending was the worst total mess. It was sad that they had to rush the ending of this drama. What a waste! It's a real STINKO!
KNG gave an excellent performance in Queen Seon Duk. I was so excited that he would get a starring role however I think this character, Gun Wook, was an disappointing, incomprehensible mess. Was he the real Tae Sung, etc. It kept yo-yoing back and forth that , I got so disgusted I could care less anymore.
I didn't feel much chemistry between KNG and Jae In. Her acting was very wooden and not very good. Too many wide eye stares.I think a better actress should had been cast for such an important role as the golddigger.
You can tell there was a more experienced actress and there was chemistry with Taera and KNG. Scenes were HOT! But the ending got nasty with the realization in the finale when KNG had romanced his step-sister and destroyed his real family. Yuck!
Anyway, I hope the actress who played Monae is better in her next drama, Playful Kiss.She didn't do much except look good. I have seen both the cute Japanese and Taiwanese versions. She barely had any scenes except for her knocking off her step brother. She is hardly in any episodes, and the writers bring her back at the end. Left me scratching my head! Makes no sense that there is no consequence for her actions. Does she ever realize that she has killed her step brother? No, She goes a spa to get a massage. Duh????
This drama is totally depressing. The Bitch- witch gets out of prison and goes back to job at the Haeshin Corporation as if nothing happened.There are plenty of scenes where she is going full blown, screaming, crazy nutcase, but it stops when she is arrested. Must be a instant cure for insanity.What about the two people who were murdered? Where is the justice?She gets away with murder. Like Mother and daughter. Is Monae going to grow up to be another MOM?
I have seen several dramas that Kim Kae Wook has been in. I was not impressed by his acting. Most of the time he was just window dressing. In this drama, I think he stole the show from KNG. I hope he is given more roles like this and gets a chance to become the main actor in a future drama.
Sorry to see KNG to go into the army, but I hope when he comes out that he will star in a better drama. He has the charisma and the star quality that he showed in Queen Seun Duk, but its unfortunate that this storyline was below par for his acting talent.

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My favorite part of this recap...and there were many...

"Does nobody in this drama lock their doors, either? Have they been watching Personal Taste? ‘Twould save everyone a lot of grief, is all I’m sayin’."

I only watched the first 4 episodes for bad guy so i'm not emotionally invested in the finale. But i have seen personal taste and would totally agree about locking the doors...

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i rly liked this story up until the last 3 episodes...
i thought for sure jae in and gun wook would end up together
but nooooo
HE JUST HADDD TO DIE...
WTF!!!!

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Sighs. I guess this what happens when you rush filming a drama, and it was all bad timing with the main character enlisted for military service and all. I think it would have been a lot better if he hadn't been enlisted in military service. They wouldn't have rushed it and would have thought very carefully about the ending.

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I was really sad and disappointed with the ending, as well, but then I happened upon belleza's comments on OT and they really changed my view on it. So I wanted to say thanks for that :)
Now the feeling is kind of bittersweet, sad in a good way. I do like that it's not a cliché, feel-good nicely-wrapped-in-a-bow ending.. where everyone gets closure, justice is served etc. It left a kind of eerie intended discontent. The romantic in me does weep for the waiting Jae-in, but alas, this is not a drama for a couple living happily ever after. Also, I think it's kind of awesome that Mo-nae, whom his revenge plan started with, was the one who ended GW. And proceeded as a stony bitch just like her mother. I sure wouldn't have guessed she'd end up like that.
The overall worth of the drama is what makes my heart really bleed for the eventual forced hurriedness of filming and shortened length, which made the final episodes visibly sloppy and off. It's a damn pity.
I guess this goes into my favourites. I loved the first 15 episodes to death.. the actors, soundtrack, directing..all wonderful. Oh, and I totally liked Jae-in's character and HGI's portrayal of it. A realistic, selfish, ambitious(, relatable) woman who got pulled into the dirty life of a shiny chaebol family and came out ruffled, but jaded.
Bad Guy. Kind of like a Greek tragedy: a man with a miserable fate.

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I hate the ending because GW had to die in such a way that leaves us wondering...and sure there are many of what is so called plot holes and illogical sequences in this drama.But it does give me an impression, a strong feeling,I guess it is better than feeling nothing after a drama ends.
And Kim Nam Gil truly showed his excellent acting here.
He is a very good and versatile actor indeed.

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Yea, I was confused by the ending. I got the feeling that a year or so had passed when they did the fade out, fade back in part.
President Hong had recovered his speech and some of his paralysis. You can't do that in a couple of weeks.
Madam Shin had to have served some time and she was in a wheelchair when she was being bought back to the company. So, something had to happen there.
In my mind, I think Gun-Wook went somewhere and hid out until he couldn't take it anymore and committed suicide. He was wearing the same suit and by the look of the dirt on his hands, fingernails and clothes, he was out on the streets for a while.
The subs I watched didn't translate the police notice the way JB did. It described the body, but said it was suicide by gunshot. Did not say anything about the back scar either. Since JB didn't say anything about suicide by gunshot, this also leads me to believe that he was still alive for quite a while after being shot.
To me, this episode had a lot of fragmented moments and left me wondering.

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Since there are already so many comments about the storyline etc...I just want to joint those who have posted comments regarding JB's question about KNG's and KJW's acting......I have to tell the truth that I don't really like KJW to begin with, to me he is somewhat weird,perhaps it's because of his not so ordinary face and hairstyle......But I tried to keep my dislike aside while watching the drama,hoping that he will capture my heart because his character seems promising. But he failed to do so...as some previous comments have stated, I just couldn't feel for him. As for KNG, he really has nailed his part, brilliantly.
So for me KNG is better...way better than KJW

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Upon arriving at the bottom part of the recap, my mouth was just hanging open & I was temporarily caught in a daze due to the utter shock of why Bad Guy ended like in such crappy way!!! I tried processing everything, seeking sense in what I've just read.. Oh well, I'll be able to move on.. I still love KNG very much.. tnx GF & JV for all the hardwork!:D

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I am SO glad I didn't continue watching this. There were plenty of logic holes in the beginning to make me lose interest. And I CAN'T BELIEVE THE ENDING. the biggest wtf final everrr. Maybe they are trying to say the rich always win in the end? I don't know...but dang, it sucked. Thank you for the recaps GF an JB. Saved me a lot of time and your recaps are much more interesting then the dramas.

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@ snow white
Ha ha ha.....I thought I was the only one who think that KJW is like...as you put it....weird. In my opinion he doesn't fall into the category of handsome, but he can look good in a different,hard to describe way.
Now, about the acting, KJW is not bad but not as captivating and gripping as KNG. I especially love KNG's crying scene.It was so moving.
I have to watch QSD for more of him then,since they said he was also really good in it. But it has so many episodes.....sigh...I'm just not into long dramas.
Anyway, Bravo Kim Nam Gil

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Gun Wook dies and no one gets punish. What a terrible end. I really like this drama at the beginning and then it seems like the writers when on vacation and they did not know where they were going with this drama. I only seen another drama in which the main character is seeking revenge and at least there everyone got some punishment. Here Monae and Madam Shin continue living their rich lives. Thanks for the recaps.

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reading all the recaps and the comments, the conclusion i've come to is this :

belleza =\= girlfriday

'cos i really really thought they were the same person...

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thanks javabeans for the recap!

Taking a step away, I can sort of see his death as being sort of poetic - for a guy who has lived 20 years of his life for revenge- things are more likely than not to end badly. He would have probably ended up with depression from a now meaningless life, etc... And it's not like his relationship with Jae-In was that deep and awesome. (And yay! with Gunwook gone, maybe Jae-In and Taesung will have a chance!!)

*sigh* if it wasn't for all the clumsy writing that led up to the ending..... and the scene where Monae shoots him (I feel like she's more of a knife person than a gun person....)

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As annoying as this ending was, I'm kinda glad they avoided what cliches they could have throw at us.

Personally, I think Gun Wook knew that in the end, Madame Shin would get away with it. They're ridiculously rich and even in the real world, the rich manage to avoid a lot of things. It wouldn't be too hard to toss doubt as the only real, conclusive evidence is the voice recording and even that can be falsified. The video shows Madame Shin yelling at no one and the only thing you can get from that 100% is that she may need some psychiatric help. So Gun Wook's plan may have been to bring this all to light and let them suffer the eternal consequences of the damage to their reputation as opposed to her physically being in jail.

I have one question. If Tae Ra is keep track of both Tae Sung's, shouldn't she have some sort of...inkling that Gun Wook is you know, DEAD?? Cause if not, she might want to consider hiring new minions for Haeshin cause their current ones are pretty bad at doing their jobs.

On a side note, if there was one way I got through the timeline problems, it was because I resigned myself to believing they had a time machine that let them mess with logic. There is no way President Hong got well enough to be able to talk that efficiently unless it's been a few weeks (months more likely). So I'm going with time machine (or Gun Wook had already planned the care packages and was going to have them sent by his accomplices after his suicide). I'm only with option one because I really need a time machine and would really like it if the crew of Bad Guy loaned me the specs so I can make my own.

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i was thinking about watching this. good thing i didnt tune in!

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to my dearest JB, I guess I have to disagree with you about some little thing on the note about the acting.
" his Gun wook was just so damn enigmatic and impassive all the damn time that I couldn't connect with hin or understand him"
Gun wook is enigmatic,very true, but impassive all the damn time....I don't think so....If you look back, even in the beginning episodes he had showed his feelings,he got teary eyed while remember his parents, when he met pres Hong for the first time, when he got to revisit Hong's residence for the first time....and the list goes on.
I think you wrote it in your recap that Gun wook crying at his parents is heartbreaking.and how about the crying while eating scene.So..how can you call that impassive ?
It's true that he needs to conceal his feeling a lot of the times,for the revenge sake, but I personally think that GW showed every emotions, be it sadness, anger, frustration and even depressed.
Sorry to have a different perception, but KNG through Gun wook have connected to me really well. And I adore him for that.
Thanks for the recap anyway JB. Still love you and GF.

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I do not have much to rant on, but I had an entertaining watch, I laughed till I cried last couple eps. I threw out pondering whether this will be a 'good' drama very early on, that helps.

I was not impressed with the writing all along, it was juvenile as a thriller/mystery, after I've learnt it didnt even attempt down that path, I'm back on board. But I do like the female characters very much fr the get go, even as far as evilb8tch Macbethy Kdrama Mom goes, she's evil and crazy in a very amusing, entertaining way...and she did outsmart our hero/antagonist!

I'm slightly disappointed w/ KNG. I do not think his character is given any less attention than others. He's fine most of the time, but there's a hint of greenness still w/ his acting in transitional scenes. I would put it as a lack of confidence in his own leading man aura. He has it, he was terrific in a couple memorable scenes, but he is still unsure of himself, not in complete control of it and it shows esp in tighter shots.

KRW is my breakout star. I'm unwillingly drawn to him and cant take my eyes off him. He's firing the cylinders in closeups (whereas KNG is doing the opposite?!) and that's my style.

I have to fangirl the ladies. OYS is in a league of her own, no surprise there. But I'm more impressed w/ HGI than JSM. Here I would totally argue JaeIn was written more out of the box, where as JSM is, basically, any faceless girl2 in Kmelo (for both the GW/JI, GW/TR ships).

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I don't know how I really feel about the ending. It has left me feeling lost,for sure. I ended up feeling sad,and yet there are lots of unanswered questions and confusion....like not having a closure. But having read the comments, I shared the same feeling with those who feels that at least the drama doesn't end with a cliche thing.
I do like several thing in the final episode though, especially Kim Nam Gil's scenes after GW found out his true identity.His scene with taera was just awesome and heartbreaking.Even though KNG didn't say a thing, his expression was just so deep and moving, and with all that grand music, makes me chill. For me it's the best scene in the whole drama.
At last the drama had me fallen in love with Kim Nam Gil.He is a brilliant actor.Can't wait till he comes back.

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Halfway through the drama I decided not to care about the storyline and plot holes that many people have mentioned. Just try to enjoy the ride, like when you are on a roller coaster. because the drama got so much,incredible acting performance, great music, wonderful cinematography etc, I just couldn't waste it.
And it turns out to be the best way of enjoying this drama.
Like many of you out there, I found myself to have been drawn by the magic of Kim Nam Gil's charismatic aura.
He is really an amazing actor.

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Thanks for the 17 recaps Javabeans and girlfriday. I enjoyed all of them....but like everyone else...am so miffed with the finale. It was the crappiest finale I've ever seen. I want my 17 hours back!!!

But then I still love Kim Nam Gil. I solely blamed the writers for the finale. To make myself better...I just made my own finale in my mind....Gunwook realized that he doesn't want all that drama and called me instead to get away from them all....hahahaha....now I sound like Mrs Shin..delusional..lol

Looking forward to Playful Kiss now...

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*BAD GUY Summary*

The story of “Bad Guy” is one of “Pain, despair, hatred, and longing for that which we have lost”.

The one thing that the writer stole from us,“Our Innocence”, is the same thing that the character “Gun-wook” lost many years ago at the hands of his adoptive family, thus setting him in a path that at the end will prove to be his own demised.

The genius of the “Writer” is that he sets the audience as the silent witness for the tragic injustice perpetrated upon one “Man/Child , Gun-wook/Tae-sung”, and we are taken willingly and unwillingly to a ride where at the end we witness the “Reality of how Futile Life really is” when the hands of the “Gods” are set against this one man who seems to be cursed from the moment he was conceived, and destine to a life of much sorrow and pain.

We are set to believe that maybe in this life we can attain justice for the wrongs that destiny and people perpetrate against us but the “Gun-wook” character present us with a dilemma, one in which at the end of the day “We are not meant to be redeem in this life, nor in the one to come”.

I believe that is the main reason why most people view the ending of this drama as a “Utter Failure”, is because our “Tragic Hero” dies in a manner befitting to a “common criminal”, not that kinda of tragic death for a man that all he has known in his life is but “Sorrow and Pain”. Why, why?

1- I believe is much simpler than “yelling” at the computer screen and swearing in a moment of sheer anger. The “Gun-wook” characters was created with the purpose of “dying a Tragic Death” from the beginning, and if we play close attention to the way the writer develop the “Gun-wook” character we will see that they gave us a lot of hints all along concerning his ultimate fate.

2- K-Dramas are not known for the “Dark Tragic Hero Death” but (Mainland, TW, and J-Doramas, British, American, Greek ) abound in those context, we always see the hero being rescued by “LOVE” etc,etc,etc.

3- Bad Guy, “Is Not A Love Story”, is the story about the “Cruel Fate” that befalls a single man, and only death can put a stop to his suffering, (So in this context “ Mo-nae” actually becomes “Gun-wook's Savior).

4- Bad Guy, is not a story about “Revenge”, but its about finding that which one has lost, even if it means to loose ones life in the process of finding that which we deem the most precious to us. For “Gun-wook, the most precious thing that he lost as a kid was his “Two Family’s” and even tough at the end he found for better or worst the family he had lost, the price he paid was that of his own life.

5- In closing, I truly enjoy the end, the reason being that the “Gun-wook” character had a “Proper Tragic Hero's Death”, I am reminded of the “ Greek Tragic Heroes”, and feel that our “Gun-wook” will feel right at home in their company.

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Amg 1,
Unlike most of people,I've been thinking that even if the drama wasn't cut back to only 17 the ending would still be the same. There must be something behind all the seemingly chaotic crappy ending. What if he writers had intentionally made us feel the way we feel.
I kept coming back to this site to seek some answer, and here you have put it so beautifully.
You're a genius and my savior.

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I am glad that my post can make you feel if not better, at least more at peace with the tragedy of his life, I know is hard when many question will remain unanswered, and the reason being is that “Gun-wook”, himself knew that the only way to redeem himself was by dying at the end so in a lot of ways he was "Burning" all his "Bridges" as he was crossing them, fully knowing that for him was no turning back, and the chances of loosing his life where greater the closer he got to his ultimate goal, which was to "Completely" destroy the "Hong Family", I think that the reason he did not seek help after he got shoot, we need to remember that he was a "Stunt" man and knew how to take care of himself in a medical emergency, was because he was trying to protect his "Baby Sister", and because the injury provided a way out, so he did not have to commit suicide at the end, but
“Mo-nae”, provided his "way out" at the end, not that that exempts her from doing wrong, but “Gun-wook” was a very calculating man, and even at the end he took advantage of the situation for his own benefit, even if it meant his own death!

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Dear fangirl,

Yes, I agreed Amg 1 is a genius and is the writer too (but lack a bit at the end). However, there more hidden meanings to BG drama in addition to Amy1 list. If you’re interested to explore more, you should read the commenter- Baduy's meaningful analysis/summary of BG drama in Soompi BG thread page 77 http://www.soompi.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=333274&st=1520

Also, on BG Viikii in spoiler thread, I enjoyed reading gossipgirl2122 (page2), JaneJ theories too, very meaningful.

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Amg 1,
I forget to say thank you for your wonderful insight.
Need to clear my head of the haze this drama left me before school starts next week.
I've watched BG to catch the last images of KNG before enlistment.I guess this kind of drama was never meant to be for viewers like me who just want some entertainment and some good acting.
Be sure to be around when they recap a different kind of drama like this again,okay.We might need your insight.

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Also, BG theme and this sort of ‘Tragic Hero Death’ was already staged if ones have read producer Lee early interview.

Part of Interview on 25/5/2010 (Source: http://www.soompi.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=333274&st=200
Page11
, Lee Hyeongmin Producer, An intense story about desire and humiliation

Your previous project was the movie, , so it was thought that your next project would be another movie as well. The idea for came from the classic, . How did it come about?
To be honest, wouldn’t you say that the dramas I’ve worked on had pretty stories? But this is different. It’s a really gritty story about desire. Korean society is serious but I’ve always wanted to do a drama like this. You could say that it’s a similar story like . I’m planning to tell a story about people’s desires, about people’s humiliation.

It appears that unlike from your previous works, this drama will be one that will leave a rather different impression. You, yourself, must feel some pressure. What is the reason for working with that kind of pressure and telling this kind of theme at this time?
I think of this story as being immensely real. People don’t say it, but people already know it is that kind of theme. Possibly, depending how far I go with it, I would even get criticized for it. That’s because it’s an intense thing to provoke people’s desires and humiliations. It can be thought of as being dirty, or they can see it as their own stories. The people who have enjoyed my works up until now may even get surprised. The anticipation is great because I’ve always wanted to do this kind of story.

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Thanks Joy.
So, even the PD have foreseen that he would be criticized if he go along with the story line,but he did it anyway.
I wish people who are just being mad at the show would read what you and amg 1 have posted.
But this is a difficult message to convey to viewers, isn't it. It's like you have to read between the line, and most of us are watching drama just to be entertained, not to be provoked or anything like that.
But it's amazing that there are still people,although only minority,who are willing to open up their mind and understand it.
This turns out to be a learning experience for me.

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dear Joy, I have been feeling strangely uneasy, sad, even a little bit depressed because of this drama. Like fangirl, I'm also looking for some answers and also some consolations. Thanks to you, the link you've put here have given me some of what I'm looking for, especially like Baduy's comment on Soompi. I want to get it over and done with.but oddly, the images and thoughts about the ending of this drama lingers on.What kind of sickness is this ?

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Amg1, I had to stop at paragraph 3 and write to thank you for your post. Also to stop sobbing! I was moved by the impending tragedy of GW's life from the first few episodes and KNG's depiction of it. Thank you for putting my feelings about this kdrama tragedy into the words I lack. Saludos desde Puerto Rico.

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About the drama : I like it enough to watch it until the final episode.
About the ending : make me so sad and confuse that I'm still thinking about it till now.I should have just let it go and move on.
About the KNG and KJW issue : vote for KNG for sure
KNG has showed wide range of emotions and delivered it brilliantly,as for KJW, he is just another pretty face in a gorgeous suit.

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Random Rant
Who would'nt tell Monae he was her brother all this time?

Since we figured he'd die in the end didn't we expect him to do something awful first?

He should have had a scene with the father,

TS should have had a scene with his real mother at the end or been JI's friend or plotted to get even! not just drift off all well behaved (out of character).

The police losing GW's unidentifiable (scar and all ) body is
not believable.

(I was hoping the housekeeper would be his real mom)

He could have died in the apt if that's what he wanted.
Why the tragic journey to the river?Angst for its own sake.
blah!
If you create a fictional universe
take responsibility for ALL THE DETAILS or you get CRAP
(and we would not feel the need to fix it in our heads)

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Thanks for the recaps, I stop watching this drama at episode 4 enjoyed your viewpoint .

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Although it has some holes, there were some aspects of these series that has great potential. I really love revenge based plots especially ones that have ridiculous character boards (like Rebirth w/Uhm Tae Woong) and awesome co-conspirators like Story of a Man (one of the best revenge based plots).

I really like the lighter aspects of this drama like the bromance between Tae Sung and Gun Wook especially the ice cream scene. Also, the conversations between Gun Wook and Won, super cute. Like most, I didn't buy the relationship between Gun Wook and Jae In. I really wished they just remain good friends who helped each other out.

I really wished that Tae Sung and Jae In ended up with each other just because it would of been different and interesting. The happy and light hearted Tae Sung was endearing to witness and observe over time.

Honestly, the ending was kind of insane. I really hated the fact that Madame Shin was allowed of prison. I was just so annoyed, I really wanted her to rot in prison and have her ending scene of getting beat up or something.

No one really got their punishment-only Gun Wook. I grew to love his character when he was being silly/ice cream-eating Gun Wook.

All in all, I'm really glad this series was recapped. Thanks Javabeans/Girlfriday!

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Thanks for the recap. I was waiting for this because I felt so confused after finishing the last episode. Like, what is it this drama is trying to say/make me feel? I won't repeat what other people said that I agree with, but I have a few things I would like to add.

1. As soon as I saw the gun (and that Gun Wook didn't kill himself with it) and the creepy look on Monae's face when she showed up at his apartment, I knew what would happen. A general rule in theater/film is that once the audience sees a gun, it will be used at some point. So, I was just waiting for her to shoot him the whole time. Ugh.

2. What's up with the cops and forensics teams in this drama?! How can Gun Wook's death be ruled a suicide? You can't shoot yourself in the gut at that angle. You also can't shoot yourself at that range without it going out the back. Who shoots themselves in the stomach to commit suicide? And how can he not be IDed - you've been watching him! So WTF, writers? You're making Korean cops look bad.

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What an epic letdown. Robbing me of my 17+ hours of life is what makes a bad guy.

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I didn't like the ending either. I felt it was rushed and everything wonderful that had been planned for it fell apart the moment they were certain KNG was leaving. It made me feel tremendously disappointed.

Even so, I still believe the overall drama was a good drama. It wasn't awesome, but it was good. The ending sucked, but I know there was some kind of moral to the story. Maybe the moral is to not be so hell bent on revenge, to put your past behind you and just live.

Whatever it is, it doesn't matter all too much to me anymore because I'm just glad to have seen KNG in a leading role before his enlistment.

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gosh! that bad guy last 2 episodes leave you so wrecking & too confusing. . doesn't make sense why Gunwook has to die when he has all the opportunity to be alive and reunite with his family and Jai In! ahhhh. . isnt it love for goodness sake will find its way for a happy ending to those who deserve it and misfortune for the evil ones! many lapses and scraps as it enfolds to the end. . .well it has to end the shortest possible ways (cutting the scenes to 17 instead of 20 episodes). . leaving the viewers confused and sad! heartbreaking. . . please and i pray that KNG after his military service will have movies with good, realistic and happy ending for once!

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all the while, it (Bad Gauy) made me missed so much of KNG! thankful and so glad to have watched him in his last ditch drama before he joined the military . . .KNG leaves something imprinted in our minds whatever it is . . in our hearts that we will be missing him! wish i can have a time machine roll fast to see KNG back! grrrrhh, 2 years is something agonizing!

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I just wanted to say I love reading your recaps and agree completely with your assessment of the ending.

I absolutely adored the cinematography and directing, and I even liked a majority of the characters.

I have to say I am impressed that the writers managed to turn my infatuation with this drama and it's characters into a pungent, steaming pile of apathy and regret in a mere span of three episodes.

Look forward to the next series you guys cover.

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A lot has been said, would just like to add my 10 cents worth. True, some noticeable loopholes defying logic are definitely there -- the lighter, the conveniently unlocked doors, the impossible time gaps. But the drama is not all that worthless, i think. It does have moral & philosophical value, too. I agree w/ amg1, yoonina & belleza (i hope i got your names right, am writing from memory).
Re Monae -- the revenge plot started w/ her, thus it was only right that it had to end at her hands -- coming full circle, so to speak. Yes, that's how bitch-witches are made (they're not born that way, but "made") -- in this instance by GW's cruel manipulation.
But i wud have preferred Mdm Shin's last footage to be one w/ her cringing at her prison cell corner, shielding herself from an imaginary young GW. And KJW's last shot to be of him walking towards his birth mother's eatery, bag in hand.
But i enjoyed the drama, warts and all. KNG & OYS were great, Mdm Shin too. KJW & HGI need more lessons.
JB & GF, i enjoyed your recaps too but sometimes you need to go see beyond "the logical".

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Even if the story ended on a tragic note it should have been done in a dramatic and logical way like in Queen Seondeok.

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BLAHH. this SUCKED.
bad drama. -___- was not worth the HYPE.
thank GOD i didn't get far enough into it to feel obligated to finish it.
honestly just started watching because of han ga-in but she was so blahh..

@chong yes you are right.
but dramas are not watched to be realistic... at least that's not why i watch them. i'm not into wtf endings *cough cough HIGHKICK!!!!!

thankfully didn't waste time on the actual drama. but thanks for the recapsss <3

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I don't think the ending is as hideous as everyone is making it out to be; the execution is shoddy and rushed but I think the overall message is still appropriate - that this justice is not always served accordingly and that, despite what Dramaland says, happy endings don't exist for everybody. (Remember King Lear? The ending was at one point manip'd into a happy one because the original one was considered too upsetting.) I mean, Gunwook himself mentioned several times that he'll "receive his punishment" in the end - he never intended to ride into the sunset with Jaein/Taera/Taesung (lol) on the back of his motorbike and live happily ever after. I'm going to give the writers the benefit of the doubt and say that, had they been allowed 20 episodes and Gunwook hadn't left early, the ending would have been more effective.

But something tells me that even if the last few episodes had retained some of the drama's elegance and mystique, there would still be fans out there complaining about the bleakness of the ending. It's not meant to be satisfying - it's supposed to shock the audience, and it did just that.

On the other hand, the plot holes really do irk me and I think the writers had to sacrifice a LOT to get their message across in time. I feel bad for Mo nae - her character was used to further the plot development which basically ruined our impression of her. Tae sung, too, was given approximately half an episode to "let go" of Jae in because the ending had to be compressed. Despite all, I still love this drama and I hope at least a minority of fans out there still agree with me ._. ...

P.S. My theory on Madam Shin is that her hallucinations are caused by paranoia and fear of retribution rather than a guilty conscience. Or else she's just completely loopy.

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b4 anything else, thank you jb and gf for your wonderful recaps! Your humor and insightful comments help me enjoy kdramas that much more!
First, I'd like to say that Jae-In's character would have been the most pivotal role, if only they had a better actress portray her. She not only allowed KNG to plumb into his inner feelings of love and caring, but she also allowed KJW to change into a better man. Had a more passionate actress tackled her role, she would have emerged as the catalyst who gives the outsiders' POV while being at the center of the Hong family's dramas. She could have given so much to the story. Such a waste!
I guess the writers had to scramble to give a shorter script after deciding to cut the drama by 3 episodes. Believe me, it's no small matter to have to squeeze everything into a few episodes. Add to that the fact that KNG had to shoot his scenes in advance. Can you imagine how difficult it is to edit the whole storyline around this?
Yes, the ending was that much more puzzling because of the gazillion loopholes. But my main beef is the lack of resolution for the "good guys" - why did the Hongs have to carry on like nothing happened after everything while JaeIn et al will have to suffer through the loss of Gunwook/Taesung?
I guess the real lesson here is: thou shalt not believe in cinderella, for there is no such thing!

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Bad Guy was just plain BAD! Total waste of time watching! =( The storyline was boring and the ending was a cop out. =(

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No words to describe the insanity of that episode...wow...I think this one wins for worst.finale.of.all.time.

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