Secret Garden: Episode 18
I’m glad this show comes with its own shrink. It should be a new requirement in all k-dramas. I mean, if you’re going to start making such sharp turns, it’s only fair that you provide your own medical care for those of us who suffer from the whiplash. I’d like to dedicate this recap to my 21-year old self: If anyone comes by insisting that you loved this drama in the future, run. Run away.
EPISODE 18 RECAP
Joo-won drives off into the Storm of Magical Soul Swapping, breaking my heart into a million little pieces.
Oska paces back and forth at home, the box of coveted goodies giving him enough pause to think that something’s up. He gets a strange anxious feeling he can’t shake off, and when Joo-won doesn’t pick up his phone, it finally dawns on him that he might just be that crazy…
Meanwhile Jong-soo is yelling at the hospital attendants for letting a coma patient disappear. Yeah, it’s not the soundest of plot points, is it? Oska runs in, yelling at them to check the CCTV, but he already knows where Ra-im is. He tells Jong-soo that Joo-won’s gone too, and he’s pretty sure they’re headed towards the nearest rainfall, to swap bodies.
He’s called the cops on the way over, and they report that they’ve found them. Oska rushes over as they’re unloaded at the nearest hospital, and has them transported to the original hospital in Seoul. What’s with all the trucking back and forth of coma patients? Anyway, they’re both unconscious, and Oska calls Ji-hyun to do what she can.
Each family waits by their bedsides, Joo-won’s mother in hysterics and Oska and Jong-soo keeping watch, waiting for any indication of a swap. Finally, Joo-won wakes up, and Oska stands over him, calling his name.
But it isn’t Joo-won; it’s Ra-Him, waking up in Joo-won’s body. When Oska keeps calling her “Joo-won,” she touches her face and realizes that she’s been swapped. Shaking, she asks what happened, and if it rained in Seoul.
Crying, Oska says, “What about my little brother?” Oof. Heartbreaking.
He tells her that it didn’t rain; Joo-won took her into the rain on purpose, to switch their bodies. She cries, “No, no it can’t be. It can’t be. It can’t be!”
She cries uncontrollably, just as Mom and Ji-hyun run in. She cries, “Where is Kim Joo-won? Where is he?” as Mom and Ji-hyun try to make sense of what’s going on, and Oska cries.
She gets up and runs into Joo-wonda’s room, where Jong-soo jumps up, asking who she is. He realizes that it’s Ra-Him, and hugs her. Ra-Him cries, saying that Joo-won swapped them, ready to die to save her. She looks at her body lying there, and cries for Joo-won, not knowing what to do.
Mom chases her in there, freaking out about her precious son being hugged by riffraff, and orders her henchmen (since when does she have henchmen?) to take Ra-Him away. Jong-soo tries to stop her, shouting that this isn’t Kim Joo-won, but Ra-Him calls her “Mom” and says that she’ll go. She tells Jong-soo that she can handle it, and leaves with Joo-won’s mom.
Back at Joo-won’s house, Ra-Him gets a clean bill of health from the family doctor, and she manages to send Mom away, but not without a dig at “that girl,” of course. She parks a whole army of henchmen at Joo-won’s door, ordering them to keep him away from the hospital, knowing that he’s bound to try and go back to see Ra-im.
Inside, Ra-Him gets up to rush back to the hospital, but Oska stops her. She cries, “I have to go to him. He’s waiting for me.” Oska: “I get that your damn love is grand and all that, but you have to wait.” Ha. It’s both funny and heartbreaking, because he knows it’s not her fault, and yet he’s so frustrated with Joo-won, and still grieving over his crazy actions, driven by such a grandiose love. Because to him, it just means he’s lost his little brother.
He asks her to wait a day, so that Mom doesn’t freak out, and she apologizes that she didn’t think of it that way. Oska goes back to the hospital, and stands by Joo-wonda’s bedside.
Oska: You crazy. How could you? How, how could you do such a thing, you crazy fool? Is this woman the only thing that matters to you? Is your family nothing? You throw a pair of shoes at me…is that it? It’s going to rain eventually. So what am I supposed to do, lock up Ra-im every time it rains? Is that what you want? I can’t. I don’t care how much you hate me. I can’t protect your love. Even if you cry and shout and go crazy, I’m going to live seeing my little brother that way!
This kills me. It was the most heartbreaking part of the last episode for me as well, when Joo-won spent the night with his hyung, knowing what he was about to do. Their relationship is the most heart-rending for me because it keeps Joo-won’s grand mythic gesture tethered to reality and the tragic consequences of his actions.
Despite Oska’s warnings, Ra-Him heads out anyway, unable to leave Joo-wonda alone. She handily beats the guards who try to stop her, but then gets stopped by the housekeeper who brings her the mail. In the stack is the letter that Joo-won wrote.
With the Magic Veil of Un-switchiness, Ra-im sits in Joo-won’s car, and cries as she reads the letter:
Joo-won: Now I think that this magic spell we’re under is a gift from the gods. So, just like a person who’s received a surprise gift, smile with happiness. If you laugh with your heart, I’ll hear it. Because I’m a much more powerful person than you think. Shave my face nicely, and dress me in the clothes that I like. If we could be together even in that way… then that’s enough — let’s think of it as being together. That’s enough for us to consider ourselves as happy as other lovers.
She holds the letter to her heart as she cries. The veil comes back as Ra-Him drives back to the hospital.
She runs in to find Jong-soo still sitting there, outside Joo-wonda’s room. She asks why he’s still here, and he answers that Joo-won might be scared all alone, and that if someone were outside waiting for him, he might return. Aw, is everybody trying to break my heart all at once?
Ra-Him’s eyes fill with tears at the gesture, and she bows before going inside. The veil returns, as Ra-im comes into the room.
She cries as she tells Joo-won that it must be their fate, that one of them has to disappear into bubbles. She says that she’ll be the one to do it. (What, are we really going to do this, Show? If we keep going back and forth on the See-Saw of Love Sacrifice, I’m getting the hell off this ride.)
She says that as soon as the Little Mermaid fell in love with the prince, her fate was sealed. But he’s supposed to be the Little Mermaid, remember? Now all of a sudden, everyone’s clamoring to be the friggin’ mermaid.
She says that she’s going to make everything right again when it rains, and begs him to stay in his rightful place once they switch.
At home Oska drinks as he thinks back to how strange Joo-won was the other night, laughing at his stories. He realizes now that it was his last goodbye. Seul sits with him, trying to help, but confused since Oska isn’t really explaining things to her so that she’ll understand.
He says that he’s always lost to Joo-won because he was the hyung and the adult. But he wonders how much of a hyung and an adult you have to be, to die in someone’s place.
As Ra-Him sleeps holding Joo-wonda’s hand, her father appears in magical dreamland and watches them together with a heavy heart. And then, through some magical maneuvering on his part, Ra-im and Joo-won start to hear each other in their dreams, as they imagine meeting each other in a field, at a lavish table set for two.
In dreamworld, they sit across from each other and smile, and then they wait for the one who invited them…Ra-im’s father. He shows up and holds up a new bottle of flower liquor, saying that this wine is the beginning and the end of the magic.
As he pours a glass for each of them, he tells Joo-won to forget him now, and his promise, since he’s fulfilled it beyond the call of duty. He tells Ra-im to be loved, and that as much as she has kept her head bowed, to now live the rest of her days being loved. He tells them that the magic is over now, and to consider it like a handshake between people who’ve just met; the real magic begins now. Blech. Sorry, I choked on the cheese.
Listen Show, this benevolent magic from daddy dearest is really taking all the air out of my tires. I thought it was fine when his choice to do the spell was driven by selfish motivations to save his daughter, but now, if his intention was to put everything back anyway, it just drips of plot contrivance. Why couldn’t he have stayed a flawed, selfish father with some hoodoo up his sleeve? What’s wrong with that?
Daddy disappears, and as Joo-won and Ra-im drink the magic wine, it starts to rain rose petals, just like in Ah-young’s dream.
And then, just like that, they wake up…in their own bodies. Yep, Just. Like. That. RA&*%^$! Goddamnit. Now I’m pissed off about the last episode and a half. All that angst, and this is the resolution? So lame.
They each wake up to discover that they’re in their own bodies, and as they get out of bed, the camera pulls back to show their floors covered in rose petals. Ra-im wakes up in the hospital the same, relieved to be back, and runs out to find Joo-won.
But Joo-won seems a little more than confused, even by his own face. Oska comes in, thinking that it’s still Ra-im in there, and Joo-won calls him hyung and asks why they both look like this. He asks where this is, and why he’s not at the hospital…and if his friends made it out of the fire okay…
Oska looks at him in shock, as he realizes that Joo-won came back all right, but as his 21-year old self, right after his big accident.
WHAT. THE. FUCK. Dude, somebody send Daddy back to Hogwarts. Your magic is all screwy!
Oska asks Ji-hyun to meet with Joo-won, and she comes back to report that Joo-won is okay, but is probably suffering from shock. He’s regained his memories from the accident, but in exchange has lost all his memories since. He also can’t remember the fireman who rescued him.
She says that he’s taking it all pretty well, and is happy to find out that he’s the president of LOEL (over his hyung, neener) and he’s excited to wake up an adult. Haha. Despite the rampant whatthefuckery of bringing in the mother of all exasperating tropes (that would be AMNESIA), it is kind of hilarious to meet the 21-year old Joo-won. He praises his own taste as he looks around his house, and Oska confirms that Joo-won is now 34, while he’s 36. Joo-won: “You look it. But me…” Ha.
He catches up with the basics, and also fills us in on his past with Ji-hyun, as he says that she dumped him three months ago. She corrects him: that would be thirteen years and three months ago. He’s surprised that they’re still friends, but she says it’s because she’s so good-natured. Heh.
Meanwhile, Ra-im rushes over, and starts crying at the sight of Joo-won back in his own body. She rushes over and hugs him, calling him a jerk for pulling that stunt, and that she was scared she’d never see him again.
Joo-won just stares at her, wondering who she is. He has a vague memory of seeing her at the hospital, and Oska thinks that maybe his memory is coming back after all. Ra-im looks at him in shock, and Oska tells her that he’ll explain, but that Joo-won is 21 right now.
He asks who Gil Ra-im is, asking if it’s someone he knows. It was the first thought he had when he woke up, but he doesn’t know why. Ra-im starts to cry, and he looks curiously at her, “Are you…Gil Ra-im? You?”
She nods and Oska and Ji-hyun leave, thinking that maybe Ra-im will be the best trigger for his memory. He looks her up and down, asking her how old she is, and what she does for a living, shocked that he knew a stuntwoman, of all things. He asks what they were to each other.
Ra-im: “You loved me. And I loved you.” Joo-won reels at that, not believing it for a second. He wonders if there’s perhaps another Gil Ra-im. She says there probably is, but she’s the one that Kim Joo-won loved.
He accepts it for now and says that he’s got to clear some things up, so to leave her number and go. Ra-im: “You were a jerk even when you were young, huh?” Pwahahaha! Hilarity.
He’s like, what the…but she just smiles at him. She tells him to check his cell phone for her number, where he’ll also find pictures of her. Ra-im: “Now, no matter what you do, I like you. Now, no matter what you do, I can forgive you. For the sole reason…that you’re alive.”
He puts on his sparkly tracksuit (Amazing…that’s the thing you pull out of your closet when all of the clothes are new to you?) and goes for a walk. Ra-im appears next to him, walking alongside him like she used to, and he wonders to himself why he’s thinking of her.
Ra-im is back at the hospital, and Ah-young yells at her for giving her the scare of her life, as the girls have a happy reunion. Joo-won shows up and tells Ah-young to send in the man out in the hall. She goes out to find Secretary Kim, who wheels in a cart with a grand lunch by candlelight. Ra-im laughs and so does Secretary Kim, who notes with a smirk that the stuff Joo-won does is exactly the same. They have a good laugh over it and Joo-won gets pissy, asking if they’re friends. Ha.
She does the same thing she did the first time he set a lavish table for her, and puts the candles out. He can’t believe that he ever liked someone like her, and asks the typical Kim-Joo-won questions, like who her father is and what family she’s from. She just tells him that he does know her father, but doesn’t say anything beyond that.
She surprises him by calling out the fact that he can’t stop thinking about her, and that it’s the reason why he’s here. Ra-im: “Do you want to know why? Because you love me.” She tells him that he followed her around like crazy and that he’ll be back tomorrow, so she gives him an excuse to come. She tells him that eventually he’ll tell her that she’s strange and curious to him, and he just covers his ears and walks out, not wanting to hear it. Heh. I sort of like the idea of her dating the 21-year old version of Joo-won. Can he just stay this way, and not get his memory back?
I love the way she looks at him, like you’ll see just how crazy in love with me you’re going to be, kid.
Ra-im returns to the action school where she’s greeted with confetti and party hats. Jong-soo hugs her, which is right when Joo-won walks in, telling them to separate. Joo-won: “Were you a two-timer? Were you two-timing me?” Heh. He pompously tells everyone to leave the room, and Ra-im tells the guys she’ll explain later, and takes him upstairs. He looks at them agape, “Do I know you guys too?”
She can tell that his memory hasn’t returned, but when she makes a move to kick him in the shin, he involuntarily moves back in step. He looks at her accusingly, asking why his leg just did that: did she used to hit him? She looks up at him slyly, not denying it. Ra-im: “Your body remembers me.” Rawr.
She calls him Kim Ddol-choo, her nickname for him (basically short for Loser Tracksuit), and he realizes that she’s making fun of his outfit. He laughs, saying that this is no ordinary tracksuit…and he unzips it and shows her the label. HA.
Ra-im swoops in for a hug, thanking him for coming by like this. She sighs, “I guess I’m going to end up loving the 21-year old you too.” He’s taken aback at first, but then can’t help himself, and totally melts into her hug. OMG, 34-year old Joo-won drove me batty, but I frickin’ love the 21-year old version. So cute.
He leans his head in and puts his hands around her, saying sweetly, “Will you?” I love how awkward he is.
Ra-im then goes to see Joo-won’s mother, and stands up to her for the first time. She tells her that they won’t break up, for whatever reason, because they’ve been to death’s door and back, and now every second of their lives is precious. She refuses to back down, and tells Mother matter-of-factly that she isn’t scared of her anymore.
And then, with a big breath, she blurts out, “Please give me your son! I’ll take responsibility for him and make him happy.” Pwahaha. Love it. What a great reversal for her to ask for Joo-won’s hand.
Joo-won sends Secretary Kim over to Ra-im’s to fetch her over to his house (which they also laugh at). She walks in and he tells her to move into the house (whoa, movin’ fast there, little buddy) so that he can figure out why he liked her so much.
She just laughs, telling him that it’s not the first time he’s said those words. She tells him that he’s done a lot to try and convince her, to move in, to share a bed, to shower together…
He perks up at that, smiling that they must be closer than he thought. He moves closer to her, “So, were we close enough to kiss? Like this…?”
He gets up and leans over her, going in for the kill.
Hahaha. It’s kinda wrong if you think about it, but I totally want 21-year old Joo-won to go for it! He’s so much more adorable and less weighed down by darkness than his older self. I kind of want them to stay this way, and for him to never get his memory back. Would that be so bad?
At least Ra-im finally stood up to Mom, though it sure did take her long enough. I just can’t believe that of ALL the possible mystical and life-threatening barriers that they get past, she is the one that’s still standing. I mean, what? I find it odd that we still have two episodes left, but she’s really the only obstacle left, and she’s just harping on the same old stuff. Yawn.
I really hated the resolution to the life-sacrificing-body-swapping mess of a plot, which sucked all the dramatic weight out of that storyline. And I yelled obscenities when the amnesia followed suit, like Show was trying to kill me or something. But then the result of the amnesia was surprisingly light and funny and cute, so that was really this episode’s saving grace. I definitely have a bit of emotional whiplash from the melodrama-turned-makjang-turned-comedy, but at this point I’m not really that surprised. This show jerks me around so much it’s sadistic.
Just when I thought that the drama had finally validated itself and found a reason for the body swap, AND the mystical veil (I know!), it totally did a 180 and shot itself in the proverbial foot. That rose-petal magic dreamland hoodoo crap made me wanna barf all over the pure white snow. But lo and behold, barely post-pubescent Joo-won appeared out of nowhere and saved me from driving a spork through my heart.
- Secret Garden: Episode 17
- Secret Garden: Episode 16
- Secret Garden: Episode 15
- Secret Garden: Episode 14
- Secret Garden: Episode 13
- Secret Garden: Episode 12
- Secret Garden: Episode 11
- Secret Garden: Episode 10
- Secret Garden: Episode 9
- Secret Garden: Episode 8
- Secret Garden: Episode 7
- Secret Garden: Episode 6
- Secret Garden: Episode 5
- Secret Garden: Episode 4
- Secret Garden: Episode 3
- Secret Garden: Episode 2
- Secret Garden: Episode 1