Drama Recaps
Miss Ripley: Episode 16 (Final)
by | July 19, 2011 | 119 Comments

Last episode! I wasn’t sure whether Miss Ripley would wrap up in a surge of melodrama or in unearned happy endings, but it delivers a dose of peace and resolution, with a smattering of bittersweetness. It’s somewhat satisfying, though a little pat for my tastes, but most importantly it gives each of our characters an ending that I think is fitting. (Ish.)

This started out a drama about one desperate woman’s lie to save herself from a miserable fate, and became an interesting study on the power of love (and the devastation wrought by a lack thereof). The mother-daughter conflict was a late entry, but emerges as the core of Miri’s conflict, both internal and external.

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FINAL EPISODE RECAP

Yoo-hyun jumps into the water to save Miri after she falls from the dock, and the accident renders her unconscious with a head injury.

Lee Hwa makes a recovery and returns home in time to hear of Miri’s trip to the hospital, but she can’t bring herself to see the daughter she abandoned.

Yoo-hyun explains to the prosecutor that Miri had been resisting Hirayama when she’d sustained the injury, which mitigates the situation, since she wasn’t running away of her own will.

As with Lee Hwa’s bout with unconsciousness, Miri conjures the same dream of meeting her mother in the park. She starts out as an adult, but the image of Adult Miri blends with Young Miri racing toward her mother, which is a little heartbreaking — after all this trauma and angst, these two women really want the same thing. And yet, because of the lives they’ve lived in the interim, they can’t have this simple, pure reunion.

Yoo-hyun sits at Miri’s bedside, and entreats:

Yoo-hyun: “Wake up. I still have so many things I haven’t said to you. I haven’t told you I hated you for lying to me, or asked why you had to be Mother’s daughter. There are things I haven’t done, too. I wanted to go to the movie theater with you and fight over popcorn, and walk down the street and argue about why you were looking at another man. I haven’t been able to do those things yet, or go to those places — so how can you be like this? This is going too far, Miri-sshi.”

He hadn’t been able to express his feelings before, being as conflicted and confused as he was, but now with Miri’s health hovering in the balance, he finds the words. He tells Myung-hoon that he doesn’t know what he’ll do about the future, and that all he can think of right now is wishing Miri would wake up.

Miri continues to dream of her mother, in a mix of past and present. She imagines herself as a child, but her mother’s return after a long absence corresponds to their real-life, 20-year rift. Miri worries that she’ll disappear again, but Mom promises that she won’t go away, and that she missed her like crazy.

There’s something so tragic about these dreams, which is the only state in which both Miri and Lee Hwa can show their love for each other without the bitterness and hate getting in the way. At least on Miri’s end, because now Lee Hwa is wracked with regrets, particularly upon recalling her cruel treatment of the adult Miri.

Yoo-hyun maintains a constant presence by Miri’s bedside, not letting go of his conviction that she’ll wake up despite her worsening condition.

While Yoo-hyun is out, Hirayama makes his own visit, noting ruefully that Miri’s insistence on staying in Korea to pay for her crimes is proof of her feelings for Yoo-hyun. He tells her in a resigned tone that it wasn’t the day she asked him to let her sell cigarettes that they ought to lament, but the day he’d first heard her playing the flute. It’s then that he was first captivated with her, and as he tells her not to remember him too horribly, Hirayama pulls out the wooden flute to play one last song.

His words have a note of finality to them, and sure enough, he tells her he’ll let her go now, so she should wake up now and live as she likes. Nothing like a near-death experience to knock some sense into everybody, huh?

Yoo-hyun hears the sound of the flute from the hallway and sees Hirayama leaving, and races to catch up with him. Offended and upset to see him here, Yoo-hyun demands that Hirayama save Miri, as though it’s a thing he could do.

Hirayama tells to convey a message for him upon Miri’s revival: that he’s letting go of her. That eases some tension from Yoo-hyun’s expression, especially when Hirayama assures him that he means it, and that he’s giving up the idea that Miri is his woman: “I envy you.” Hirayama hands over the flute in a literal baton pass, which I suppose might be more romantic if it didn’t suggest that Miri’s significance is as an object to be passed from man to man…

Lee Hwa musters the courage to visit Miri’s room, tearfully telling her daughter she ought to return to the world so she can take her revenge on her mother. It’s interesting to note that these people appeal to Miri’s hate and bitterness, preferring to have that rather than losing her to death, which is a backwards way of expressing their love.

Lee Hwa:: “If you hate me, wake up. As much as you resent me, as much as you hate me — use that strength to wake up. Wake up and fight with me, dummy, and ask why I left you. Why I left you to live as you did. Argue and swear at me. If you don’t, I’m going to disappear. So wake up. Miri-ya.”

Myung-hoon is arrested, while Miri’s is pending, to be drawn up after she recovers consciousness.

Yoo-hyun asks his father what is to be done, loath leave Miri all alone and damaged. President Song says that there’s no way for her to escape prison time, and advises his son to go his own way and give up on his feelings for her. Dad philosophizes that there’s such a thing as fate between people, and that if it’s not meant to be, you can’t force someone to be that fate: “I don’t think she’s your fate.”

Yoo-hyun says no matter what others do, he and Dad really don’t have the right to cast stones at her: “You should never have let her be abandoned — no, even if she was, you should have taken responsibility for it.” He says that they have to find a solution and give her life back to her.

And then, Miri awakens. She appears to be fine, although the doctor cautions that the extent of her injury requires monitoring and checkups.

Hee-joo tends to Miri while Lee Hwa stands by, both afraid to approach and afraid not to. She tries to tend to Miri as well, but Miri shoves away her hand: “You don’t have that right.” She uses the word dangshin, a thoroughly distancing word she’d use on a stranger — and one she doesn’t like, to boot.

Mom gets down on her knees in that ultimate gesture of supplication, sobbing as she admits that she behaved wrongly, and asks, “What would you like me to do?”

Yoo-hyun and his father arrive at the doorway, and overhear Miri telling her mother she doesn’t want her to do a thing, and that it’s been twenty years that she’s lived as an abandoned orphan.

To get across just how deep the betrayal runs, Miri describes her childhood self looking for her mother every day, and when Mom’s face and voice grew hazy in her memory, she would draw pictures and sing songs. Miri starts to sing now, a folk song Mom used to sing (Island Baby) about a baby left in the house with the sound of the waves while Mom dives for oysters in the sea. We get a lovely chilling effect as Miri’s glaring eyes clash with the lullaby that goes, “The baby is left in the house, alone…” which is when Lee Hwa begs her to stop.

Mom says she’s sorry again, which angers Miri anew. She asks if Lee Hwa enjoyed the riches and nice new house she’d gained while her abandoned child was suffering at the hands of drunk adopted parents, filling her belly with tap water.

Lee Hwa pleads, “Can’t you understand me just a little bit?” She hadn’t known the extent of Miri’s misery, and says, “If I’d known it would be like that—”

Miri cuts her off, ruthlessly laying bare her whole wretched youth, longing for one lousy taste of a dumpling, and why she chose to work in the bars. And then to know that it was Mom who spread those photos of her shameful past far and wide.

Yoo-hyun steps in and tells Miri to stop, but Miri continues, screaming, “How can I forgive you?!”

Yoo-hyun reminds her that this is her mother, and that can’t change just because you want it to. Miri declares that it’s because she’s her mother that she can’t forgive her.

Mom wearily admits she was only thinking of herself and gets up with difficulty, leaving the room. Miri asks Yoo-hyun how she’s supposed to forgive the mother who went on to live happily without her, and breaks down. Aw, I’m actually shedding tears for Miri. It’s hard not to, until you remember how nasty she was to other people, but in this raw, unvarnished state, picking at that rather feels like kicking someone when they’re down.

Now it’s Miri’s turn to face arrest. Dully, she acknowledges everything, telling the prosecutor that she did it all: She forged the diploma and sent the confirmation fax, and her entire persona was a forgery.

He asks why she did it, incredulous at the extent of her actions, saying that she didn’t have to go as far as she did. She answers, “I didn’t know of any other way.” Under her own identity, nobody wanted anything to do with her. All her life, she’d found that being an orphan brought her mistreatment, and being a single woman got her sexually harassed. So she learned that being honest only got her hurt.

Even as she worked in bars, she posed as a university student, created a mother she didn’t have, and fabricated lies of an elegant family background: “But the world is funny that way. When I did that, people approached me more — I got more regular customers, and the tips they gave me increased.”

That’s why she created her fake school credentials: “That one thing is all I needed. With that one thing, the world changed, and I changed.” People started treating her differently, and even love came to her.

Next, Yoo-hyun visits her in the interrogation room, at a loss for words. He starts by apologizing, now that he knows that he’s connected to the source of all her unhappiness. True, he’s done nothing to her to be sorry for, but it’s the whole issue of transferred sins, from father to son. Or at least shared culpability.

When he asks if she had to do what she did, if she couldn’t think of any other methods, she answers that she hadn’t known at the start what a good person he was:

Miri: “But the more time we spent together, I understood, ‘Ah, this is a really good man. When people speak of good people, they must mean someone like him.’ And I started to dream, ‘If I’m with this person, perhaps my shameful and terrible past could be erased. If this person were with me, maybe my crimes would be forgiven and I could be protected.'”

Yoo-hyun says that she should have still come clean with the truth. Miri: “I wanted to, but I couldn’t. I was afraid I’d lose you.”

Yoo-hyun: Yoo-hyun: “That’s not love, that’s greed.”
Miri: Miri: “Yes. I must really have lived not knowing what love is.”
Yoo-hyun: “If we hadn’t met like this, could things have been different?”

A moot question. Miri is transported to prison, and as Yoo-hyun thinks back on all their happier times, the memories bring him to tears.

Then, we jump: One year later.

Myung-hoon is back to practicing medicine, working at a small clinic in the countryside, which sort of cracks me up: He’s discredited from the business world for forgery and fraud, but able to practice medicine? Oh well, I want him to have a happy life, so let’s go with it.

Inmates are released from prison, many of them greeted by family members. Miri steps out of the gates, having served her time, and looks up at the sky a free woman.

President Song wants to send Lee Hwa and Miri to the States together, thinking it may be the most they can do for both women. The tricky part is convincing Miri along with it, but Dad wants them to both work to re-create that family tie, of making Miri into Lee Hwa’s daughter again. To that end, President has agreed to correct the family registry, to make their familial relationship official, which would take her out of theirs. But that, he says, is just a formality — he won’t consider them any less connected than they were.

A bit of jumpy editing takes us to the airport, where Lee Hwa waits for Miri, who has (apparently, in the intervening time) agreed to go with her to the States. Mom waits nervously, while Dad assures her to wait, that Miri is probably just running late.

But no, she’s not. Miri boards a train to the countryside, while Lee Hwa reads a letter left for her:

Miri’s letter: “Mom…It’s taken twenty years to call you that. I still don’t believe it — that I can call you Mom at any time, and that you’ll come quickly if I call you. I’m sorry for not keeping my promise. But I want to stay here. I want to stand up from the start. I want to overcome the painful, shameful days of the past when I’d felt longing but endured it. I’m really sorry I can’t go with you. And I thank you. Because…just as you’d said you’d come if I played with your necklace, just like those words, you did really come. I love you. I love you, Mom.”

It’s with a bittersweet smile that Lee Hwa boards her plan alone.

Meanwhile, Miri travels to her old orphanage, where Hee-joo greets her with a wide smile.

Mondo Group establishes a child welfare center, and Yoo-hyun gives the opening speech. Chul-jin worries that Yoo-hyun’s overworking, and wonders if he’s busying himself because of Miri.

Walking along that night, Yoo-hyun pauses at the sight of a lit sign, which reads, “Knowing how to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” A short distance away, Miri also stops to read the sign, not seeing Yoo-hyun standing just on the other side of the tree that separates them, looking up at the same sign.

She continues on her way, passing behind him, and he walks along. Missed connection. Perhaps for the best, if this is a relationship best left unkindled, so as not to controvert Fate.

Meanwhile, life putters along for our characters, each of them healing in their own ways, some together and some apart. Lee Hwa works at a food bank, with President Song by her side again. Perhaps there was no reason for her to remain abroad, with Miri’s simultaneous acceptance and declining of her mother (acceptance of her identity and relationship, but declining her presence).

Miri and Hee-joo seem to be on the road to a proper friendship this time, which makes me happy for Hee-joo’s benefit at least — perhaps she’ll finally get the friend in Miri that she deserves, unclouded by all that bitter jealousy and resentment.

And Yoo-hyun lives on, though we can’t quite say he’s over Miri, or recovered from the heartbreak. As he runs, he thinks those words that opened the series back in Episode 1:

Yoo-hyun: “On one spring day, I met her. I recognized it at first sight — the woman with eyes like my long departed mother. Her smiling face was beautiful. I’d grown weary of the world, and she taught me the joy of life. She was like my heart. I loved her. I really…loved her.”

 
COMMENTS

What, no Myung-hoon counterpart to the ending? That really says a lot about how the drama changed direction, didn’t it? I suppose you might call this one of the more favorable examples of live-shoot drama production, in that the writing clearly catered to aspects that were resonating with audiences (Hirayama, Lee Hwa), and ditching those that weren’t quite landing as well. Well, favorable for the audiences, though not for the actors who got shunted off to the sidelines, like the wonderful Kim Seung-woo and Kang Hye-jung.

Meanwhile, Lee Da-hae finally has a solid, passionate performance after a few years of seeming half-asleep. I knew she had this in her, and part of what frustrated me so much about her in recent years was the fact that she didn’t seem to be trying. She does have a tendency to overact (gasping, glaring, shuddering), but for the most part she was intense and dialed in to her character, to a degree that was surely exhausting.

Yoochun actually was a pleasant surprise for me, because while I liked him in Sungkyunkwan Scandal, I wasn’t moved by his acting in it. It was cute, he was fine, but he didn’t stir me. In Miss Ripley, he had a few really nice moments where he felt in the moment, wracked with pain and conflict. I don’t just mean the crying (it’s easy to point to crying as an example of emotion), but also those conflicted scenes of him struggling with his conscience in the latter few episodes. His scene with Young Miri in Episode 14, when he realizes his role in Miri’s fate, remains one of my favorites.

I will say in defense of the drama, though, that I don’t think its direction changes were necessarily bad moves, even if it keeps the ending from having quite the thematic resonance that I feel it was set up to have in the first half of the drama. Myung-hoon, for instance, became a non-entity and plot device, while the mirroring image with Hee-joo in the end seemed just to highlight how much they totally dropped that ball, and how great that conflict could have been. I think they pulled waaaay back on Hirayama, because no matter how awesome the actor, it’s a bit much to give the sleazy, sexually harassing pimp/abuser a semi-hero edit in the end. On the Lee Hwa front, though, I am perfectly satisfied, because the tormented mother-daughter relationship is where I really felt this drama emotionally, particularly once the birth secret was out in the open. While it was still a secret, I was afraid it would just be another makjang cliche brought out to wring some melodrama, but it was written in nicely.

Part of me is a bit disappointed that the finale seems a little soft for a drama that was played with such fierceness all throughout its run. Everyone gets their bittersweet-but-uplifting ending, and wounds are on the road to recovery. It’s almost like Hurricane Miri has made their lives better for the revelations she’s left uncovered in her wake, even though she’s also the one who caused so much of that damage. I’m a little disappointed with how neat it all seems, but I do really like that the drama leaves everybody sort of open-ended in their own paths.

I wouldn’t have been happy if Yoo-hyun and Miri ended up together, for instance, no matter how sincere their love was, and if she’d been able to accept Lee Hwa after that traumatic abandonment, I would have felt it too easy a solution to their angst. But I didn’t necessarily want Miri to die, either. For one thing, death tends to put that weird sheen of glory onto a person’s existence, and that would have taught Miri nothing. Her acceptance of her sins, payment of penalty, and subsequent second chance at an honest life seem fitting.

Hopefully Miri’s new start will be a happier, more successful one, because although she embarks on this life without her mother, she has at least acknowledged her love. And I think that’s the crux of her complicated, twisted, anti-heroine characteristics — that she never knew love, as she tells Yoo-hyun even in this last episode. I don’t like Miri as a person, but I can sympathize with her plight. It’s the difference between living a life with the understanding of what unconditional love is, and living without awareness that such a concept even exists. How is anybody supposed to have a healthy idea of what romantic or even friendly love is when the one person who was supposed to be your wellspring of love burned you? It’s like a chick that imprints on an inanimate object instead of its mother; you can’t undo that action once it’s done, and it’ll affect you forever. Now that Miri understands, though, there’s hope.

 
GIRLFRIDAY’S COMMENTS

What really kills me about this drama is that nobody actually went to the dark side. People flirted with it, took little vacations there, but even Miri, who was supposed to be this hardcore unscrupulous anti-heroine, ended up totally watered down.

What’s it take for a show to just take a character down into hell and bring forth some horrifying consequences? By the time she chooses to turn herself in, the jail time isn’t really meaningful anymore, beyond just being her price to pay to society. She’s already learned her lesson, (which by the way, what’s with the conscience out of nowhere?) so it’s resolution, but there’s no drama there.

I did like Miri’s mother angst, and the fallout and resolution of that thread was definitely the most, if not only, satisfying thing. Basically I wanted the overall story to be darker, more tragic, more… something. I feel like it went too soft on everyone, because I guess I’m sadistic like that. I wanted suffering.

If Miri does get a second chance at life, I think this is the only way to do it in a satisfying way — to give her a fresh start without Yoo-hyun and without her mother, despite both those relationships being the core of what she wanted for her entire life. Because they’re also the source of what drove her close to the brink, and part of the version of herself she needed to let go.

Based on where they did choose to take Miri’s character (toward redemption), I’m good with the resolution that they gave her in the sense that what she’s found is peace, not necessarily happiness. Her character was all turmoil, no rest, and in that sense, I do feel relief for her to have finally found some peace.

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119 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ashii

    i love this drama

  2. Linda

    Thank you for recapping this drama. I haven’t been watching it so my weekly intake of your recaps is like reading a novel.

  3. Jacq

    I dropped this drama midway through but still read your recaps. Thanks for all your hard work.

    • 3.1 diorama

      I dropped it too, because it just seemed like the Yoo Hyun romance kinda sapped the tension of the series. Like the earlier episodes, I was all, “Is she going to get away with it? Is she going to get caught?” And then they introduced the romance and it was all familiar from then on; kind of dampened a very brave and unusual storyline for me.

      I did really enjoy Hirayama as the Dark Knight though. Totally twisted guy, but he’s got this intensity that matches Miri’s. Yoo Hyun wasn’t quite up to her, I think.

    • 3.2 Dalena

      I dropped it to and also keep reading the recaps I tried to catch up but I’m still in the middle of episode 2 :\

  4. Mia

    “Hey hun, let’s go for a stroll and fight over you looking at other men.”

    “Yay!”

    This is one of the things he wants to do as she lays potentially dying? How…fun.

    • 4.1 Mia

      P.S.

      Thanks JB and GF! I did not watch this drama (except for some scenes to see Kim Jung Tae’s acting). But I loved reading your recaps! Thank you very much!

    • 4.2 Jo

      Its kind of a flirtatious banter thing in Korea. Literally translated in English, I suppose, sounds weird. You should probably be more culturally sensitive to translations -_-

      • 4.2.1 Mia

        I understand that. It was written quite late at night, perhaps I could have worded it in a way that suggested I understood it being a bit “lost in translation.” Thanks for pointing it out though!

  5. imoan.naomi

    Thanks so much for all your hard work. I tend to get waaaay to frustrated/engrossed/invested in melos, but thanks to you guys I was able to get the story without too much pain. My dosage of “angst” was lowered from 100cc’s to 10cc’s, so to speak.

  6. jane088

    thank god i finished watching the drama without any heart attack!!

    the drama was so intense!! one of my favorite dramas!! MIRI YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN !! at least by me :D

    expecting LDH to win an award!!!

  7. Doki

    WHAT???!!!!! They read the same sign and doesnt see each other?! what type of cruel fate is that?!!
    But thanks for the recap love it

  8. sb

    Thanks JB and GF for the always great recap and comments!

    Earlier, I unfortunately stumbled on someone’s blog, who blaringly gave away the ending as being a “happy” one, and thus my hopes for watching the finale were promptly deflated.

    So instead, I decided to read your summary and thoughts. Only maybe will I actually watch it. Though it does bug me to leave it unwatched, being as I loved the first 14 episodes, and watched through the 15th.

  9. Camille

    I just read the summaries for this drama and teared up while reading the part in the hospital with Lee Hwa and Miri. :'( But at least it’s over. I haven’t really watched this, but I think it’s still a good ending (even if not the best), especially with closing lose ends.

  10. 10 drama-mama

    Thank you so much for all the recap. I thoroughly enjoyed this drama and I agreed totally with you that it’s a good thing they didn’t extend another 4 episodes, that would have killed the momentum. While the ending is a little flat, after all that build up, I am at peace with it. Some times in life, what you love, you never can get, and what you can’t love actually turned out better for you!

    Great job ladies!

  11. 11 crazedlu

    hmm.. i’m not really satisfied, but i do like. cheerio, miss ripley.

  12. 12 teetee

    thanks to both of you for working so hard to give such a wonderful joys you girls are the best
    Until next time.Thank you,thank you thankyou

  13. 13 nixxochick

    thanks for all the hard work both of you have done with the recaps, i really enjoyed reading them :)

    sadly, i watched this drama on and off because it frustrated me halfway through..i did not like this ending, one year does not seem like punishment enough for Miri’s character but i was never a fan of hers from the start..what truly frustrated me was that the drama did nothing with Hee Joo, this character seemed like a waste when the actress playing her is amazing

  14. 14 Chewy

    I wanted a ending like this from way in the beginning knowing that Miri is going to cheat on both guys.

  15. 15 Rita (Tarits)

    One of the best dramas for me in 2011! I like the way it ended with the characters going separate ways. After all, it is a drama and not a fairy tale! Micky, you deserve another award in this drama. And the baddie here, he acted so well he almost became the hero!

  16. 16 Laurana1

    I’ve only watched the 1st episode, but will see them all now! I have been following and reading all of your recaps like a madwoman. =D

    I must admit that I am more of a Yoochun fangirl than a kdrama fangirl (though there is hope for me yet!), and I started reading to see how he was doing. I was worried that his acting and/or the drama would not go well, as many idols have trouble making the crossover to being a good actor. But I was very pleasantly surprised! This sounds like JUST the type of drama I could absolutely love. I am very proud of him for picking one with such an interesting storyline and such a fabulous writer. And for the fact that he seemed to hold his own in this drama. I’m hoping the next drama he chooses is equally appealing to me!

    But of course, there is much more to the drama than that. Even though I haven’t seen it, LDH as Miri positively BLEW ME AWAY. I am very excited to see her acting! Furthermore, the writing and plot just took it in such interesting directions. I loved that Miri did such horrible, unforgivable things, I loved that she felt justified in those actions. I loved that her background was understandably horrible, and that I could understand her desperation and even pity her. I loved that up until the end, she couldn’t completely forgive her mother, despite what everyone said. I love that Yoohyun didn’t save her but let her take the fall for her actions, even as it clearly saddened him to do so. And strangely enough, I think it’s perfect that they didn’t end up together.

    Really, just thank you so much for all of your hard work. It means so much to me!

    • 16.1 kevin woo

      i love this korean drama specially to park yu chun working with lee da hee its amazing really daebak…….

  17. 17 daisy

    Thank you for the recaps :) I really liked this drama and I’m mostly satisfied with the ending. I also enjoyed the mother-daughter drama that the show focused on in the last episodes. It’s a pity that the two of the 4 main actors got less and less screen time as the time went on, but instead we got more of LDH and Yoochun, who both did great. I will miss this drama a lot.

  18. 18 Noelle

    It is here! Thanks for the recap. Gonna read.

  19. 19 berdecinismo

    Yay, it’s over!

    Thanks for the recaps ~

  20. 20 LingLing

    So I have been reading all the recaps for this drama, haven’t even watched it yet. XD (Because I’m in China, can’t access to english subtitle videos…) But I’m glad dramabeans recapped this drama! The final episode was… hmm I don’t know how to feel about it to be honest, I like it yet I don’t. Haha

    • 20.1 jane088

      same here!! some things are missing i dont why!!

      glad it ended well :D

  21. 21 tinaungcho

    love dahae~~`

  22. 22 Mimi

    Thanks! A little disappointed with the ending but it’s all good!

  23. 23 ija6002

    Thank you DB… I truly love your recap and you insight on every character in the drama. I personally feel bad for YUhyun cos it seem like he is the only 1 that does not look happy at the end. Miri (even if she really love Yuhyun and letting go of him cos he is better of w/out her) found peace with Heejoo. MY found peace by going back to practice medicine. YH stepmom n dad mb found peace by doing charity but Yuhyun is still trying to forget all his pain by overworking himself to the bones. I feel like he cant even stand his parent now knowing the wrong they did toward Miri

    It is a sad ending but in actual fact an acceptable one…

    • 23.1 rilanna

      QUOTE: feel like he[yoohyun] cant even stand his parent now knowing the wrong they did toward Miri

      oh, i didnt think of it this way about yoohyun…
      i guess that drama leaves it open but i believe that he got over that cause he did talk to his dad and seem like they maintained the same relationship
      i feel he was disappointed in his dad and stepmom during the drama and before miri went to jail
      maybe within the one year that was jumped! he has forgiven the errors of their ways; tis the unconditional love for ones parents…?

  24. 24 Grecia

    The end T____T
    I will miss it..
    sigh~

    I’m still sad bcoz Miri and Yoo-hyun didnt end up together…

    Thans for the recaps ^^

  25. 25 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap and commentaries!!

    Thought the ending was pretty good, though I’m really surprised that Miri only got 1 year in jail!

    I’m still sad that Kim Seung-woo and Kang Hye-jung got shoved to the side, though some of the best and most riveting parts were Hirayama and Lee Hwa in the recent episodes. I wish kdramas would stop with the the requisite love square (often with the heroine, two worthy guys, and an unworthy girl) and stop writing around it. Is it so bad to put an almost 50 year old woman as one of the top leads?

    • 25.1 Maho

      I know right? I’d love to see Choi Myung Gil duke it out with another actress like Kim Mi Sook, Chae Si Ra, Lee Mi Sook or Go Doo Shim in a drama.

  26. 26 Maho

    Well the drama didn’t go the way I expected but at least their was a pretty reasonable ending. My biggest issue was character development, like Girlfriday I anxiously waited for at moment when the characters would head toward a dark path and all hell would break loose however we never got to see that.

    As cliche as I though the birth storyline was I can say I enjoyed that part and perhaps that was the highlight of the drama for me. Had Kang Hye Jung and Kim Seung Woo been utlized better I think we could have gotten a better story.

    As for Miri, I can say that this is the first time i’ve liked Lee Da Hae. I had expected more from the drama and ultimately I didnt like the direction that they choose to take the character, I was enjoyed the fact she would be a heroine but rather a villainist protagonist so I expected a darker more ambitions character but towards the end it started to lag for me.

    The end left me kind of dumbfounded because I hadnt expected that conflict between the characters would be resolved. I had figured one of the possible outcomes would be her starting anew someplace else but rather than laughing with Hee Joo or think of Lee Hwa I though she would find penance by leaving by herself and working in solitude. But in the end having Miri and Yoo Hyun not end up back together was the dramas saving grace.

    • 26.1 Maho

      edit *”wouldn’t be a heroine but….”

  27. 27 Ani

    I too prefer people to live out their lives instead of taking the easy way out and dying after causing so much hurt and suffering. There are so many things worse than death, but I also fill living gives people a chance to either see the error of their ways, or to, um, suffer for what they had done. I didn’t care so much for this drama once I realized that Heejoo was no longer part of the big picture, but whatever, there will be other days and other characters to root for. For now, whatever Miri.

    P.S. Hey girlfriday, you haven’t been hanging out with Na PD have you? Paying him with alcohol while you’re getting your lessons in the arts of sadism? XP

    • 27.1 Ani

      *I also feel… Yeesh, typo.

  28. 28 Bluefyre

    Fitting ending for the drama I think.
    (though I did wish KSW had his counterpart ending before PYC ended it as well)

    I still like it despite all its faults just because it’s different from the others.

    I agree with both JB & GFs comments. Bravo, girls! Thank you so much for all your hard work!

  29. 29 rilanna

    in my disappointment, i dont think a year is a worthy length of time to spend in jail. i recognize she tried to repent but i dont believe she got a good enough punishment…
    i feel miri got more leniency than she deserved!
    i sympathize with miri at the end of this drama but i feel she got off easy and i guess the melodrama just fell short of my expectations; i had hoped for a little more?

    im okay with the ending. typical kdrama ending that always leaves me somewhat empty and wanting a better… snip?
    none of the main characters ends with one another, that was fine (even though i was originally for yoohyun and heejoo; writer made heejoo kinda flat in the end that it was for the better they didnt end up together; they seemed compatible in the beginning but near the end, the heejoo character was lacking so the appeal of a yoohyun+heejoo pairing was lost to me =\)

    i appreciate that miri and yoohyun were given an almost near run-in with one another, but it was kinda too close for my taste…
    a tree!? really?! i prefer a little more distance apart

    after reading this recap did i notice that myunghoons future could have been given more detail
    i was fine with it when i watched it earlier though…

    • 29.1 kk

      lol kdrama will always be k drama so the near run in with the tree was kind of expected. mi ri remaining in korea does seem to say they will cross path again in the future.
      I gave up on ripley long time ago. i also prefered YH with HJ but the writers never gave HJ a chance – mid way i knew it wasnt going the direction. I kind of felt MH was more suitable to her to begin with- and to me he shd have been part of her future.
      In my perfect world MR’s lies and imitation of HJ’s real life was found out by YH earlier on- so it’s infatuation and not deep love. Then he discovers the traits and things he love about MR are actually HJ. He also came to realise how much HJ did for him so that he wouldnt get hurt. MR discovers real love isnt money or status – that she loves MH and not YH. Both of them do however have to face the consequences for the lies, fraud and forgery they commited. -the end-

    • 29.2 Soua

      Jail… anytime in jail is scary enough. If jails in korea are anything like jails here in the US… 1 year is long enough for forgery. O_o What did you guys want? Ten years?

      A punishment that fits the crime. Sounds right.

      Eh… I’m glad Miri learned… but started losing interest in the drama by 14. :D I just wish in reality, people really did learn that easily. But sadly, reality and tv are way different.

  30. 30 Birdie

    Thank you for all your efforts on the recaps. I have to agree with GF that it would have taken the drama to a new level if it had gone darker. The way it was going in the earlier episodes, I did not expect it to be watered down so much. The sugared coated ending was okay, but missed the opportunity to make this drama memorable and one that will be debated for a long time.

  31. 31 Marlene

    Thank you so much javabeans for a great recap and summary . I love everything you wrote and they make perfect sense with all the characters and the turn o this melodrama!!

  32. 32 cris

    thanks dramabeans for all the recaps. i’ve enjoyed the drama even though i did not watch it. this is one of the kdramas i’m following through your site. maraming salamat (thank you very much)

  33. 33 me

    hhhmm…
    i don’t really like the ending..
    as girlfriday said, i was expecting something more dark in the ending..
    maybe not miri’s death but at least the thing that makes her suffer a little bit more, since she made a lot of people suffer for her ambition..
    but overall it was a great drama..different from all dramas i’ve watched..

    thanks javabeans n girlfriday… ^^

  34. 34 laya

    Oh, it’s over? :( Thanks for the recap!

  35. 35 Yer Vang

    Awwh, its the end already :(

  36. 36 minheeboo

    i like the ending. Fitting for everything. Everything seems to fall into place. Maybe i’d hate it if yoohyun ended up with miri. This is better. ill watch this when all the english subs are up.

    Still Yoochun FTW!!!

  37. 37 angryparsnip

    Guess I am the only one who is disappointed at the ending.
    In fact the last two episodes.
    The writers started her off as unscrupulous with no redeeming qualities except her beauty and the fact she had his mothers eyes… creepy !
    Them magically she finds a concience after all she has done to these people. Makes an about turn after destroying people and hopes and dreams all they worked for ?
    Lied, cheated and stole and everyone says oh it’s ok ? That just fine ? I love you ? I will clean up your path of destruction.
    The writers really dropped the ball for me.
    but….
    Thanks for the great recaps as always ! even if I don’t always agree I look forward to reading them.

    cheers, parsnip

  38. 38 Amg1

    **********Miri***********

    I am perfectly satisfied with the ending, Miri found redemption at the end, and even when it could have been better I think this time around it work!!!!!

    I really like dark, cold, tragedy’s, and I am of the mind that if the writer and PD, had decided to take Miri, to the darkest side, I would have prefer that they would have kill Miri. I agree that with the “live shoot,” audience dictates the story line, not for the better at times, but I feel that at the end, it did work for me.

    Over all Miri as a character, has become my #1 K-drama anti-heroine, Lee Da-hae, with her portrayal of Miri has prove than indeed she has what it takes to play such a complicated characters…..

    My Love for Miri will live for a long time!!!!
    LDH..FTW!!!!!!!!!

  39. 39 lily

    I don”t like how it lag in the latter episode and didnt make it to the fullest of this drama potential and character development. I really dislike this drama latter cliche.

    1) Mother & daughter angst. Have been there before. TOO much drama already.

    2) How MIRI been portrayed as a victim. By her mother. By Yoo Hyun’s father. THAT has brought a new chapter to this drama and kills the direction of this potential storyline. Suddenly she become victim and Yoo Hyun has to feel sorry for her. Ishhh. Cliche. Mother leaving child, abandonment. secret child etc.

    I agreed with GF on this.

  40. 40 jyyjc

    Ok so..someone elaborate for me please. Miri acknowledges her mother’s love and forgives her now, but she doesn’t and won’t ever want to see her mother again?

  41. 41 malta

    Goodbye Miss Ripley!… haha, just couldn’t help it.

  42. 42 AuntieMame

    Interesting that the electronic message that stopped both Miri and Yoon Hyun was Michael Masser’s lyrics to “Greatest Love of All”. Specifically the line:

    “Learning to love yourself
    It is the greatest love of all.”

    One wonders how Miri’s life might have been different if she had focused on loving herself.

    The ending was satisfaction because the truth set them free.

    To both girlfriday and Javabeans: Thank you so for the recaps.

  43. 43 WeWe

    what’s the new drama after miss ripley?

  44. 44 malta

    The finale was a little too happy ending for me considering the story, but I’m happy Miri is not dead or suffering from brain damage from her fall.

    I’m sad for Muyng hoon because he really got a raw deal and Hee joo was just an unfinished character. Technically they wrote Hee joo like she never fully registered how she had been wronged.

    I wonder what Miri is going to do now. I guess she’s being supported by President Song now, but really she still has to deal with some of the issues she had before. No education and a problematic past now with jail time and notoriety…Will she go to school or try to get a job? I think that sums up my feeling about the finale. There’s a lot more story to be told, but we’re at ep. 16. They could really have a 2nd season.

    • 44.1 jane088

      me too i want a second season or maybe a movie version of this!! too many things left unsaid…

  45. 45 TigerButterfly

    Overall , a fairytale ending of sorts. Good that, for all her cheating & scheming ( which really reveals her innermost dark character ,her excuses aside ) , Miri didn’t up wt the d good guys or d bad . But , hey , she got a great ‘consolation ‘ if u can call , having a wonderful , long-suffering,sacrificial & then forgiving BFF , as a consolation prize. What a Blessing !

    Myung Hoon , after d Biz Fraud is allowed as a doc , even in d ctyside? Err, my thought resonate wt DB. But , no matter! I like him too dang much that , it actually , made me glad to read this ending for MY ! I guess, wt d clout KSW has, you can’t really resign him to the boondocks scooping animal waste as a farm hand! Its KSW , man!

    I’d love to see a Rom Com or just Rom Drama , wt KSW , Cha Seung Won & some lovely 40 yr old actress as leads.
    Then maybe , they’ll play by some same ‘age’ rules.
    Why not ,there’s enuf , ahjummas watching -kdramas to appreciate d sexy ,charismatic mature stars to make it viable!

  46. 46 b1

    soooo they didn’t end up together …
    i can still have yoo(c)yhun for me ..:sway:

  47. 47 b

    Meh is Ripley. The show wasn’t bad. It was actually good in most places, most notably Lee Da-hae’s portrayal of Jang Miri. But it kept me wanting more because it ended too easily, and tied up too neatly. Perhaps late in the game, there came this idea of redemption and atonement in the part of the writers. I didn’t think this was necessary for the resolution of the conflicts in this drama. A person can start out bad, and end up still bad or worse. That would’ve made a more compelling conclusion. I was hoping Miri would just keep upping the ante with her badness and ultimately she resorts to something like murder to cover up her tracks, or to achieve some goal (Yes, the non-killings in City Hunter made me bloodthirsty as well.) And then in the end, she still gets away with it, like The Talented Mr. Ripley. And that also opens up a possibility for a sequel.

    Since the creators of the show took the trouble to lift the name Ripley from the book and the movie, you’d think it would be in the same vein. I agree with javabeans about the fierceness that was present near the beginning but somehow disappeared. I think the show took that trajectory initially, but deviated somehow due to external pressures, for ratings perhaps or fan clamor or both. I remember someone commented that after Kim Jung-tae’s appearance on 1D2N, his fans demanded more air time for their hero. The producers listened, I guess. And that perhaps led to Kim Seung-woo’s and Kang Hye-jung’s diminished roles, to Show’s detriment.

    That’s just speculation, of course. What do i know? :D

    To javabeans and girlfriday, thanks once again for the awesome and insightful recaps and commentary. You made this drama more fun and entertaining.

  48. 48 Birdvoice

    little bit disapointed with the ending, but this was the most logically ending..she did something wrong and she deserve get those punishment. but their love too sincere to be separated…

    finally, what I guess is right!miri with no anyone…really happen~ “goodbye miss ripley”

  49. 49 letmeeatcake

    Sigh. It finally ended…
    I quite liked the ending. I don’t think Miri or anyone else for that matter, should have died. And they didn’t. Which was good. The ending was satisfactory in the way that Miri had to go to prison and do something as punishment for what she did. And she came out of prison in the end a better person.
    I wouldn’t have minded if she did end up with yoohyun though.
    However, I’m quite confused by what Myung-hoon was arrested for. I thought he just confessed to Miri’s crime in the beginning to get Miri off the hook. But now Miri’s confessed herself, what is Myung-hoon’s crime?

  50. 50 Nicole

    I liked the ending & liked the drama. I was teary eyed throughout so much of the latter half.

    I do feel like there was something missing that could have made it perfect.

    All in all.. I think the drama’s a solid 8/10. The story is great, acting is great. There’s just negligence in the usage of some characters and story direction (teasing audience).. which is a main reason I feel people may be upset. lol.

    I also think that the actor’s PR was afraid of their actor getting too much negativity from netizens so they made Miri’s character forgivable/pitiful and didn’t make others too dark.

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