I Am Legend: Episode 16 (Final)
Thanks so much to javabeans and girlfriday for letting me write up the recaps to I Am Legend. It was a fun ride – and I hope you all enjoyed it too! I apologize for the lateness of this recap, so, on to the final episode!
After the song ends, Seol Hee stares at Ji Wook, whose expression says it all: pride in his ex-wife, happiness at watching her perform, sadness at not having realized her talents, and acceptance of Seol Hee being who she is. She chases after him as he leaves, thinking he had something to say.
They relocate to a cafe (really – what is up with the cafe as the setting for every talk? It’s like the river-side-talk, except this one is indoors.) Ji Wook admits that watching her perform was a nice feeling – it reminds him of the first time he met her, and he’s ashamed to have forgotten that feeling. (Uh – a little too late to be waxing poetic?)
Seol Hee is thankful that he had those emotions; during their marriage she had been afraid that she was the only one in love. But now, he’s acknowledged her completely by watching her perform. She gets up to leave, and Ji Wook apologizes:
Ji Wook:I’m sorry – for making you cry by yourself, for not letting you leave as you are but making you go through that miserable fight. I’m sorry – for letting the words you really wanted to hear from me be my sincere apology. I’m really sorry.
Kaedejun: AAAAAAAGHHHH! THE RAT BASTARD HAS EVOLVED!!!!!… into a kitty?
Seol Hee: Thank you. Live well.
They shake hands, their eyes glazed. Sighh*
Tae Hyun is sitting with Min Kyu, who can’t stop eating the fried chicken that he serves at the restaurant. With his mouth full, he notes that Seol Hee seems to be interested in him. (!!! Ah you smart boy! I knew you were like Noo Ri!) His only evidence is the radio broadcast, but what’s more important is what Tae Hyun thinks of her. Tae Hyun: “Stop talking about useless stuff and eat your chicken.”
But he has that same look of uncomfortable excitement that Soo In had when told that Tae Hyun might like her. He lets out a small smile and then drinks his beer to cover it up.
The next day at the studio, Ah Reum stumbles upon a news article with the headline “Comeback Madonna’s lead singer Jun Seol Hee confesses her surprise love for Jang Tae Hyun on a radio show.” WHAAT?! Soo In is all, “She just thanked him! It doesn’t make any sense!” Seol Hee is okay with it, but mentions that Tae Hyun may be surprised. Hwa Ja picks up on her expression and suggests, “Why don’t you have a passionate romance with Tae Hyun?” They’re perfect for each other anyways – both are divorcees. Ah Reum nods eagerly, while Soo In is…really quiet.
Seol Hee gets uncomfortable and runs to get water. Hwa Ja won’t let go of the subject, so Seol Hee remembers that she has an appointment to go to – yeah, one with… JANG TAE HYUN!!! OOOOH – the girls are not above teasing.
Hwa Ja asks for their opinion, and Soo In has none. Ah Reum gushes that Min Kyu thinks Tae Hyun likes Seol Hee too, and I am so disappointed we don’t see Soo In’s reaction for that statement.
Tae Hyun saw the same article, and he smiles – clearly he’s OK with it too! Noo Ri sneaks up behind him to read the article and says, “Are you having a relationship with Seol Hee Ahjumma?!” Guilty, Tae Hyun quickly closes the laptop, but it’s too late – Noo Ri saw his dad smiling as he read the article. Tae Hyun insists nothing is going on – and then Seol Hee calls!
Tae Hyun: “Dad has an important call, so you play with grandma.”
HEHEHE – Can I just say that I CANNOT stop smiling and giggling? Ah drama writers, thank you for answering my prayers….
Seol Hee has “something to discuss” so she goes over to his apartment and plays the melody of the song she composed on his keyboard. He asks about the lyrics, but Seol Hee is a little embarrassed to reveal it, since it’s personal. She brings up the article and apologizes for the reporter’s exaggerations. But Tae Hyun replies, “Not at all. I’m thankful to that reporter for writing it like that. I would like for things to turn out like that article.”
!!!!!!! Seol Hee smiles – it’s not one of rejection, but not one of complete acceptance either.
Seung Hye has an announcement to make – she’s leaving for the States to finish her law studies. Say what? 1) The “States-card” must always be pulled out when the character finds she has no future in Korea and 2) how the hell are you a lawyer if you didn’t finish your studies? But OK – maybe she wants to study something else. She tells Ji Wook to think of this time as their separation period; if they really can’t be together after her absence then they can officially break up.
But she has one caveat, and it’s for Tae Hyun: She wants to bring Noo Ri with her. She thinks that it would be good for Noo Ri to go to elementary school in the States, and if Tae Hyun is going to be in a relationship with Seol Hee, she doesn’t want Noo Ri to end up lonely. (I think the real lonely person here is Seung Hye, but she can’t admit that.)
Tae Hyun is resistant, but Seung Hye once again uses the “I’ll bring you to court if you don’t agree” excuse to make him think carefully about not letting Noo Ri go.
Back to the gals – Kwang Yul and Soo In had urgently called all the girls to meet at the studio early in the morning for BIG NEWS: the band was asked last minute to perform at the Pentaport Music Festival! Even though they were last minute substitutes for another band, they would be performing live on the big stage! The girls scream with happiness.
Plenty of fans go wild at their presence, and soon enough the Comeback Madonna Band is making its rounds in the music entertainment world. Fans mob them as they come out of buildings and Kwang Yul must hold them back so the girls can load into the van safely. They start doing interviews and booking more shows. Each time the girls get back on the van they’re fast asleep.
The life on the road is tiring them out more than being enjoyable.
When Hwa Ja returns home after an extremely tiring day, she finds Tae Sung sleeping on the sofa, Duk Soo on the floor, and the table scattered with pizza boxes, ramen bowls, and soda cups. She berates Duk Soo for eating such unhealthy foods; he has high cholesterol and should take better care of his health. He could also help clean up the house once in a while as she’s busy with her schedule.
Duk Soo gives her one of those small sheepish laughs and says he’ll try to do better. He asks if she has time off tomorrow for a family dinner, but she says (a little grumpily) that she has more bookings the next day and has no time.
Seol Hee sleepwalks into her apartment, dumps her guitar on a lounge chair, and collapses onto her sofa. (She cutely kicks off the slippers from her feet too, sending them flying all over the place.) Her phone rings – it’s Jang Tae Hyun. She doesn’t pick up. In a nice touch, the phone continues to ring as night turns to day. This time, Seol Hee wakes up to the phone and picks up: it’s Soo In. (Naw… Tae Hyun wouldn’t have possibly been calling all night…) Soo In is wondering where she is – she’s late.
Seol Hee turns around to see Tae Hyun’s plant. It’s the plant that should re-energize her when she’s feeling down… and it’s not working.
She rushes to the studio and finds Soo In and Hwa Ja already curled up in their seats, asleep. Ah Reum rushes up to her on the phone with Min Kyu. Gun has an upset stomach and needs to go to the hospital. Ah Reum asks if they can leave a little later, but Kwang Yul irritably says they’re already running late.
I’ve never been more annoyed with the greedy Kwang Yul until this episode.
They go off to their next event, which has them greeting all their Korean (and Japanese) fans and signing autographs and albums. Tae Hyun calls Seol Hee in the middle of it, and she has to apologize and hang up on him.
She meets with him when she gets back to Seoul and tells him all about her recently crazy schedule. Tae Hyun gives her a knowing smile – he had to do that during his days with Firebird. At first it was all nice, but after a while the activities became meaningless. But on to the purpose of this meeting – he confesses that Seung Hye’s threat has been troubling him. He doesn’t want to let Noo Ri go, but if he gets involved with someone else (*ahem* Seol Hee) then she will use it as a reason to take Noo Ri away.
Seol Hee takes action in the only way she knows how – she calls up Seung Hye to meet her in a local barbecue place. Seung Hye is unsettled at having to meet Seol Hee for any reason outside of a case. Seol Hee remains friendly though, and tells her that she never had any hard feelings towards her after the divorce. They may not be friends, but they also have no real reason to be enemies towards each other. But the real reason why Seol Hee wanted to meet her was to say this:
“For the rest of my life, I’m not going to live dependent on a man. I’m going to live the way I want to. So Jang Tae Hyun is only my music teacher…and my friend.”
Seung Hye asks why she’s telling her this, but Seol Hee shrugs and says, “I just…thought it needed to be said.” It definitely gives Seung Hye some food for thought as she walks home that night.
Inside the SBS (or SBC as they sometimes want to call it) building, Min Kyu surprises Ah Reum with a bouquet of flowers. It’s for their 1000 day anniversary. Ah Reum snorts with laughter; they have no business with anniversaries since Min Kyu didn’t even want to get married. He clears his throat and then says (loudly), “Miss Ah Reum, will you be the mother of my second child?”
Ah Reum says forget it – she’s busy enough with Gun. But she takes the bouquet and walks away with a huge grin.
Suddenly she hears a few chords being strummed and turns to see that Min Kyu is playing a few notes with a portable amp in the hallway! She’s surprised that he can play and asks when he practiced it, and Min Kyu replies (seriously), “I’m really thankful that you’ve lived with me.”
Aw… They’re going to grow up to be Hwa Ja and Duk Soo… 🙂
Kwang Yul has (more) big news for the band – he managed to snag them a guest appearance on the show Orange that features big stars and performers. The girls are excited – this means they’re big stars! However, a meeting with the writers shows that they’re not really there yet. The writers want the band to do an impersonation, since they’re not big name enough on their own. Perhaps something like the “Genie” video except on TV?
Seol Hee and Soo In aren’t too comfortable with the idea and try to offer other suggestions for the show, but Kwang Yul jumps in and says that the girls will practice hard for the performance. What the hell man?! Why are you ruining the band’s concept!?
The girls try to practice SNSD’s dance but honestly have no idea what they are doing. They try to imitate what they did in the elevator, but that just ends up being a chaotic mess. The last straw for the girls is when the show’s producer tells them at the last minute that they’re going to be lip syncing. It’s supposed to be more convenient for the show and for the singers, even though the whole show will be pre-taped. Seol Hee is insistent that they’re totally fine with singing live, but before they can get into a bigger argument with the producer, Kwang Yul says that they’ll practice with the lip-syncing for a bit.
Outside, Seol Hee announces that if the gig is going to go like this, then she refuses to do it. The other girls agree – it’s embarrassing for them to dance like SNSD and on top of that, they’re getting insulted with the lip sync issue. Kwang Yul says that they’re almost there at the top, but the girls refuse to budge. They leave him behind to worry about the show, and go drink beers in the studio.
It’s clear that they’re all pretty unhappy with the way their lives are going, as their schedules are pulling them away from their old selves. Seol Hee suggests that the band fold – stop all their activities. They may love to sing and play, but they’re starting to become something that they are not. They won’t disband, but they just won’t continue to try and “make it.” She points out that Hwa Ja is suffering because she can’t take care of her husband and son. She appeals to Soo In’s pride and says that they didn’t perform just to make fools of themselves on TV. She apologizes to Ah Reum for having exhausted her, but Ah Reum says she’s fine with it. Yeah – she’s the only one.
Seol Hee is afraid that she may lose the joy she had in playing music if she continues on. Hwa Ja breaks down into tears and agrees. It’s true she’s no longer happy with participating in the band’s activities because she really wants to be with her family. Soo In’s voice trembles as she notes that she no longer has been paying attention to her job, and is concentrating too much on the band. (Although, I don’t think Kwang Yul minds that too much.)
The good thing is, they’re not disbanding. Otherwise, I would have had a heart attack and been pissed off with the writers.
Tae Hyun hears that they’re going to stop working as a band and visits Seol Hee, who is practicing her first composed piece. He happily tells her that Noo Ri will stay with him, because Seung Hye had a change of heart, and suggests that Comeback Madonna Band at least do a farewell concert for their fans.
Hwa Ja is in tears as they sit in the van before their last performance. She’s so scared of what will happen because the unspoken thought in everyone’s minds is, will the band stop playing together? But they promise each other that that will not happen, and they go onstage.
They perform their entire repertoire in the rain – from “Love Love Love” to “Dance with Me” to their rock version of “Genie.” There’s something about them always performing in the rain and their fans dressed in ponchos, jumping up and down to the beat. I get this feeling that the ponchos could have become the band’s signature item and even in the sun, die-hard fans would wear the ponchos.
Seol Hee gives a shout out to her band mates and all the people who made her dreams possible, and they break into “We Will Comeback.” Everyone is there – Tae Hyun in the sidelines; Kwang Yul, Min Kyu, Tae Sung and Duk Soo in the audience. Even Ji Wook shows up to this performance, standing all the way in the back.
The fans go crazy for an encore, and so Seol Hee introduces her next piece of music – the new song that she composed herself – “To You (Dear Music)”. It’s the song that she said was very personal to her. At first, I thought it was going to be a song about heartbreak and her time with Ji Wook, but it ended up being a love letter to music for helping her through all her hardships. [download]
This moment when I’m singing as if it’s breathing…
I can’t stop.
You, that lead me almost bursting,
Always at my side.
It always flows and flows, and it flows from my heart.
Always calls and calls, my heart at this moment calls you.
All the days I live and breathe in you.
Thank you, life.
In infinite solitude, you touched me
At times, weary, I ignore you but
Always at my side…
Ji Wook watches her, entranced at this beautiful Seol Hee who sings from her heart and can show her true self only here. Tae Hyun watches on, proudly and clearly falling deeper in love with her.
Seol Hee reminisces back to all the times that they performed and silently, thanks music for always being there to help her through her boring, everyday life. Any of her tears are washed away in the rain.
And we skip ahead to the near future. Hwa Ja is celebrating because she was just awarded for being one of the best salespeople for her company. Duk Soo is on hand to record the entire event, and in front of everyone they declare how much they love each other. She even embarrasses him by insisting that he kiss her in front of everyone.
As for Soo In – she’s managing a new group this time. It’s a co-ed band with…Ah Reum! The band is already making headlines as paparazzi grab some photos of the group walking in to a studio to film for a show. Soo In critiques everyone’s performance, including Ah Reum. She also reminds them that they have to work together harmoniously to be a good band – “A band needs to have one heart and mind.” That was Comeback Madonna Band’s motto.
The team puts their hands together and say “Angel! Angel! Fighting!”
(Don’t tell me they were trying to poke fun at A.N.Jell…)
And as for Seol Hee… she arrives at an open space where workers are chanting about their jobs, and hands them each a sandwich. They stop chanting – who the hell is she? Seol Hee asks why they were all fired, and the workers start complaining that they don’t know either, and that no one has an idea on how to fight back against the company. Seol Hee introduces herself as Go Jin Bae’s secretary, where the lawyer specializes in group lawsuits. She tells them that if they can prove that they were fired unfairly, they can file a lawsuit for compensation of losses.
The group becomes excited – it looks like Seol Hee’s found herself another case!
The band gathers one more time at the studio, all excited about their own successes, and play “We Will Comeback” once again.
What!? You’re gonna end the series like that!?
OK – looking back, I don’t really have a problem with it. After all, how else could you end a series that’s all about four women who enjoy playing music for the sake of playing music? However, it was a bit abrupt and just… blah. I wanted MOOOAAAAARRRR. Especially a little more Noo Ri.
Anyways – I know there was some annoyance with how the events of episode 15 should have happened a lot earlier, especially in regards to Ji Wook’s character turn-around. However, I’m kind of happy that Ji Wook’s change happened when it did. Though the market case should have been wrapped up sooner, it also provided the time for Ji Wook to believably change and grow as a person. Once Ji Wook came to terms with himself, his family, and Seol Hee, there was not much left to him. He would have been rejected by Seol Hee no matter what, and there wasn’t much further that he could have gone. So, I think it was a good thing he changed right at the end of the series.
A note about the performance in the rain: it’s a nice touch that every time a watershed moment occurs, it rains. When the girls’ performance was canceled because of the rain, but their fans insisted they perform anyways, right afterward the Comeback Madonna Band became really famous. It was the start of their new life as an active girl band. Then their final performance was in the rain, and it was again a start of a new phase – they weren’t really going back to their old lives, but they were improving it and making progress without the pressures and stress of becoming famous. Each of these girls were becoming famous in their own lives, with Hwa Ja being a successful saleswoman, Seol Hee becoming a successful secretary for a law firm (and giving Jin Bae a certain reputation), Soo In becoming a successful manager, and Ah Reum – well, she really became famous.
This dramas had plenty of ups and downs, and its biggest draw was the music. The story lagged a bit, and there were times when I wanted to kill the writers for how they portrayed the whole Seol Hee-Ji Wook-Seung Hye dynamic. But at the sake of a good, fast-paced story, the drama did succeed with the characters. The slow pace provided great character development for Seol Hee (in the earlier part of the drama) and Ji Wook (in the latter half). Though Tae Hyun is kind of like a minor character with little depth, I did enjoy the side of him whenever he was with Noo Ri. And the drama never forgot that it was about the four girls who made up Comeback Madonna Band. The four women had to continually break free from the influence of the men in their lives: Seol Hee from Ji Wook, Hwa Ja from her husband who started feeling like she wasn’t acting as the proper wife, Ah Reum from Min Kyu pressuring her to join Red Punch, and Soo In – well, at least she didn’t end up getting entangled with Tae Hyun. They contrast from Seung Hye, who ends up doing things for the man she loves and ends up losing him anyways.
I won’t go so far as to say this drama was under-whelming, but it was definitely my brain candy for the past 8 weeks.
- I Am Legend: Episode 15
- I Am Legend: Episode 14
- I Am Legend: Episode 13
- I Am Legend: Episode 12
- I Am Legend: Episode 11
- I Am Legend: Episode 10
- I Am Legend: Episode 9
- I Am Legend: Episode 8
- I Am Legend: Episode 7
- I Am Legend: Episode 6
- I Am Legend: Episode 5
- I Am Legend: Episode 4
- I Am Legend: Episode 3
- I Am Legend: Episodes 1-2