Drama Recaps
Can’t Lose: Episode 18 (Final)
by | October 20, 2011 | 49 Comments

What a heartwarming, funny, adorable finale for a heartwarming, funny, adorable series. You know what I love about this show? It’s just simple, steadfast, and best of all, it’s earnest. No fancy tricks, not even many surprises. But I walk away from it feeling like every character was worth meeting, and that love – real, everyday kind of love – is worth the risk.


Eun-jae listens to Hyung-woo’s voice recorder, where he catalogues their marriage, from their earlier days of tears and bloody battles. But past that, Hyung-woo confesses that he’d be nothing without Eun-jae, and wants to ask her to marry him again. She takes off running.

She bounds up to him with a giant smile, for a big yes and some hugs and kisses. He urges her to think about it carefully, but clearly, he’s forgotten the part where she technically asked him to remarry her first. Though to be fair, that was said with a mouth full of ramyun, but still.

Hyung-woo: It’s going to be really difficult.
Eun-jae: I suppose it will.
Hyung-woo: But I won’t let go of your hand this time.
Eun-jae: I’ll talk honestly about everything.
Hyung-woo: I won’t force anything.
Eun-jae: Let’s see each other just as we are.
Hyung-woo: I’ll always be the first… to give you the world’s warmest comfort.
Eun-jae: Remember, no matter what, I’m always on your side.

Aw. So sweet to see how much they’ve learned from the divorce. Heh. They walk hand-in-hand, finally at the same place in their relationship, at the same time.

They come in to announce the big news to Mom and Little Bro. Mom is ecstatic to hear it, while Tae-young asks warily if they’ve thought it through carefully. I love it when he’s in protect-my-noona mode.

Hyung-woo insists they’ve thought it through, and so Tae-young agrees to give them his blessing, as long as it means he won’t have to listen to Eun-jae’s problems anymore. Aw, is that your annoying little brother way of saying you don’t want to see her hurt?

Eun-jae chides him for calling her by name like he always does, and Mom thinks it’s her fault for setting the bad example, calling her husband “hey you” all the time. She coaches them on how to use the words yeobo and jagi, and Eun-jae cringes.

Hyung-woo tries it out, calling her “yeobo,” and she makes a face, but replies in kind. He then follows her into the bedroom, ignoring her protests that he could just wait one more day. He whines and gets all handsy, just in time for Tae-young to walk in on them really awkwardly.

But to Hyung-woo’s delight, it’s to say that he and Mom are leaving. Hyung-woo follows him out to drop Mom off, and tells Eun-jae not to fall asleep. Rawr. He stops to add, “Yeobo… I have this tiny hope that you’d be wearing something soft and thin…”

She kicks him out in embarrassment, but once she’s alone, she flips her hair wondering if it’s time to bring out the goddess. Ha.

Hyung-woo stops by the bachelor pad to quickly pack a bag, and tell Woo-shik and Professor Jo that he’s reuniting with Eun-jae. Professor Jo wonders why he’s in such a hurry, and Woo-shik has to wink-wink-nudge him till he’s like, “OHHHH.”

Hyung-woo races home, and finds Eun-jae coming out of the shower. She asks if he stopped to buy condoms, which he forgot, but doesn’t think is a big deal. He decides that a bathrobe is even better than a slip, but she tells him that she’s got one all picked out, so he should shower and come to bed.

But of course by the time he gets out, she’s asleep. In her sweats. Heh. He sighs the big sigh and gets into bed, but when she turns over to snuggle in his arms, he breaks into a giant smile, like all is right with the world again.

He tries to reignite the mood again in the morning, but she tells him that she can’t get pregnant until Hope stabilizes. He starts to protest and then stops to wonder if she went to bed last night on purpose.

She tries to deny it but he can read it all over her face, so she does the only thing she can do: “OPPAAAA~~~”

Hyung-woo: “If you do that, I can’t fight you!” And that sir, is why it’s the ultimate weapon.

They go to work and tell the Hope staff that they’re back together, but Gogi’s too distracted by his own troubles to offer congratulations. He tells them that he’s quitting, to stay at home and take care of the kid.

Hyung-woo insists that they’ll raise his salary, which earns him a death glare from Eun-jae. Uh-oh. They go up to the roof, and suddenly it’s back to square one, with her arguing that their first day at the fresh start seems awfully familiar.

They throw each other’s words back at each other, reminding the other that they were supposed to accept each other as they were, or not force the issue. Eun-jae: “Will you offer me that world’s warmest comfort right now? Because I think I met the wrong husband!” Pfffft.

At the same time, Gogi and Young-joo duke it out too, with him insisting that it saves them money if he quits and stays at home. But she refuses to accept that her husband’s going to be the homemaker. Lady, gift horse! Mouth!

Hyung-woo tries to engage Eun-jae in another Gogi discussion, but she avoids him by taking the rest of the staff out for drinks. They go to see HotBar, and she introduces him as her brother.

Deuk-hee is immediately taken with him and his voice, and tells him so, confessing that her unrequited love for Soju taught her to speak her mind.

Eun-jae complains about her husband troubles, and HotBar reminds her of the sickeningly saccharine exchange he witnessed just yesterday. “Aren’t you embarrassed?” Eun-jae corrects him – she’s not complaining about remarrying him, but she didn’t think they’d fight again so soon.

She comes home to find Hyung-woo meditating in the living room. He blurts, “Do you know how much I love you? So listen to me this time!” Eun-jae: “I really really love you too! But I don’t think so!” Hahaha. I love this new method of arguing. It’s got the assurance of I’m-not-going-anywhere, but ends with you’re-still-wrong!

Hyung-woo: “How could you possibly love me as much as I love you?!” Eun-jae: “My love is WAY deeper and wider!” She stops to wonder if this isn’t silly. It is, but it’s also adorable.

They end up still angry when they go to bed, taking it out on the covers in a round of tug-of-war. Eventually it turns playful though, and they end up staying up all night to talk it through, finally living out Eun-jae’s fantasy of the perfect night.

The next day at the office, Hyung-woo searches for a book that Eun-jae has. He flips it open, and what should he find, but their marriage registration, tucked inside. Whoops. He figures if he hadn’t needed the book, she’d have forgotten about it for another year.

She apologizes profusely and he offers to register it himself, with a sigh. Gee, it only took you till the second marriage to figure out that maybe when it comes to registering legal documents, you should maybe go ahead and take it in yourself?

They eat lunch with that issue resolved, only to have the tables turned the other way, when Eun-jae asks about their credit card bill for this month. Looks like he’s back to his make-no-money, spend-all-money routine.

That night they both end up sitting across from HotBar, talking at him but to each other, until he finally refuses to be the conduit and removes himself. They’re forced to turn to each other, with no one else to talk to.

They both go to see Young-joo, and Gogi arrives with their daughter in tow. The air is icy, but the little girl insists that her parents kiss, and they follow her instructions. She tells Mom that she likes it when Dad is at home, which softens Young-joo’s resolve.

As they walk out, Hyung-woo marvels that the little girl solved her parent’s problems for them, and wishes for a daughter like Eun-jae. She reminds him that they’re still fighting, and he holds his hands up in the air, “I lose.”

He’s finally learned that winning the argument isn’t really winning, and also sees that this is what Gogi wants for himself, and for his family. That night, Eun-jae surprises him with the sudden declaration, “Should we make a baby?”

She realizes that she’s been waiting for some magical perfect time, but doesn’t really know what that would be, and has come to see that by giving something up, she’d gain something else in the process.

He answers her with a kiss.

Some time later…

Woo-shik eats out with his daughter and her husband, while Deuk-hee goes out on a first date with HotBar. Aw, cute.

Hyung-woo eats lunch with Gogi, but then he gets a panicked call from Eun-jae that she’s eating lunch with Young-joo, but she thinks the baby’s coming…

The boys rush to the hospital and see the baby, all googly and wide-eyed wonder. Hyung-woo swoons that it’s the cutest baby that ever lived, and that women should really be respected.

They bring the baby home and start off the very picture of sweetness, but that soon devolves into a sleepless night of endless crying. I love their routine – wake up, play rock-paper-scissors, loser gets milk.

I love that it paints parenthood somewhat realistically – that Eun-jae’s biggest fear is dropping the baby, and that she refers to herself as “unni” (big sister) without realizing it.

In the morning they wonder how a baby could wake up six times in one night, but still smile at how cute she is. The doorbell rings, and it’s Young-joo and Gogi, here to pick up… their daughter?

Fakeout! It turns out they were just babysitting Gogi’s baby for the night. After they leave, Eun-jae sighs that she’s jealous, and insists they go make their baby, RIGHT NOW. Heh.

Some more time passes, and it’s Christmas. Eun-jae watches Hyung-woo stress over a big case that he’s nervous about. It’s nice to see a reversal, with her looking at him lovingly, or stealing glances, like he’s always done.

They have a Christmas party at the office, but when Eun-jae arrives, she finds that Hyung-woo already left, after getting the court’s verdict on his big case. She rushes off, assuming that he’s wallowing somewhere.

She finds him sitting at the swings, his head hanging low. She does her best to be perky and give him a pep talk, and he laughs at her. She looks up, confused. He didn’t lose the case – he just didn’t want to spend Christmas with the rest of the office. Well then why’d you have an office Christmas party, people who RUN the office? Sheesh.

He hands her a little book as a present. She opens up the notebook, and finds journal entries inside. He tells her he started it when they got back together. Aw. Could you be any cuter?

She says that since she received a present, she ought to give one too. She tells him to come close. He scootches over in his swing, and she whispers something into his ear. Judging from the way his face lights up, it’s something to the effect of Operation Baby Making: Success.

She giggles and gets up, but he stays frozen like that. She has to snap him out of it, and then he grabs her in a hug. “For just one thousand years… live with me.” Eeeeee! She thinks it ought to be more – a thousand and one years.

They walk along with their arms around each other, stealing kisses.

Hyung-woo: Lee Eun-jae, what do you like the most about living with me?
Eun-jae: The way you look when you smile. Your smile is so handsome.
Hyung-woo: You make me smile often.
Eun-jae: What’s Yeon Hyung-woo’s favorite thing about living with me?
Hyung-woo: I can’t choose. There’s so many.
Eun-jae: After this, we’ll probably fight again tomorrow, huh?
Hyung-woo: Of course. That’s what it is to be husband and wife.
Eun-jae: You’re right. That’s what it is to be husband and wife.


What a great finale. So often, dramas waste their last episode being something other than the show that it was for all the other episodes. But this show goes out the same way it started, just with more heart, more happiness, and most importantly, more growth for all the characters.

It’s the perfect way to end such a turbulent relationship – with callbacks to every single fight they ever had, and all their major longstanding issues, except this time with a twist. We watch them tackle all the same problems that they’ve encountered over the entire series, but this time they handle each old problem in a new way, and despite their frustration that nothing’s changed, it has, in fact, changed a lot.

It’s how real problems and real relationships are – at the core, we are who we are. Of course they’ll encounter the same minefields in their second marriage that they had in their first. But what changes is their perspective, and their desire to hold onto each other first, no matter what it is they’re fighting about.

We knew from Day 1 that they’d end up back together. But I’m relieved to see that the resolution isn’t that they magically became new people or just stopped fighting about the things that were important to them. Sometimes it’s as simple as embracing the fact that they will ALWAYS fight, for as long as they live together. And that winning isn’t the point. It’s the living together part that counts, for whatever time they have, whether it’s a thousand years or a thousand and one.


49 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Yer Vang

    I need to watch this 🙂

    • 1.1 meilady

      lol, I know right. Must find the time though :< …Will find the time 🙂

  2. Lisa

    First to comment. yeayy

    *sob*sob* This drama gives me hope that love can last forever. Eun Jae & Hyung Woo forever!!

    very good episode. heartwarming drama. amazing cast. Always love my Ji Woo, appreciate Sang Hyun more.


  3. Little One

    Great drama 🙂

  4. myweithisway

    This love doesn’t necessarily make me giddy or breathless but I sure am envious!

  5. Silvergirl

    Awww…it ended…But I’m glad they have a happy ending!They both can’t lose so they both win!

    Thanks so much javabeans and girlfriday! You girls rock!

  6. daisy

    many THANKS GF and JB

    YES. It’s how real problems and real relationships are.
    So warm ,sweet and realistic Final^^

  7. Jude

    Aw. I dont know why but I got teary reading this finale recap. This drama is heartwarming and makes me believe that love does exist in daily, ordinary life. You know, even without meeting the rich guy or having a terminal disease :p

  8. Lisa

    The title “Can’t Lose” can be interpreted in two ways:
    1) Can’t Lose because I am selfish and want to always win
    2) Can’t Lose because what we value “marriage” is so precious that I won’t let anything breaks us up. (I) Can’t Lose my love wife/husband, (I) Can’t Lose our bond.

  9. Ann

    Dear GF and JB… Million thanks for all Great Recap you’ve done for this Drama. I really love your idea your though and the way both of you interpret EunJae and Hyongwoo…it’s like you look into the script writer brain. Its my routine since drama start in AUG to check your recap day after drama on air…Your recap such a big resource for non Korean to understand the story big big Thanks to that !!!! … I’m really really happy watching Can’t Lose even it’s not high rating but it’s really sweet and heart warming… As a big fan of Choi Ji Woo… This one will be one of her masterpiece for me… Jiwoo and SangHyun Oppa portrait such a loviest couple. Their chemistry superb…spark so very much.. Oh I love them !!! It’s not easy to get over EunJae and Hyongwoo… Hee Hee.. Hyuniwoo Fighting !!!!
    Keep up your excellent work Dramabeans …I salute you …Big Thanks !!!

  10. 10 YBisTOP

    Do people really think this drama was good? :/

    • 10.1 faricsyung

      i enjoyed it a lot. it’s closer to reality than most of (popular) k-dramas out there. 🙂

      on a side note: thanks for the recap! been following diligently and it’s awesome. <3

    • 10.2 OLI

      ‘LOVE THIS DRAMA!!!!

    • 10.3 tudor castle

      At least the genre is not. Actors acted well because it is their job and got the praise for themselves only but not on the drama. The theme is a divorce case. Divorce makes a person a divorcee in public eyes. A divorcee does not want to watch the other divorce case that brings up again the pain and bitterness. It can’t be a comedy out of acting as comedy. In reality it is about breaking up the house/home into pieces that they and the children live in. The director aims for the pending cases to learn something out of it to reconcile , but sure it won’t happen. It is dreadful to watch the drama with guilt and anger. Singles have nothing to learn, not funny to know the divorce, old mothers don’t like it, the divorcees won’t want to recall who is the culprit. That is why the ratings are low. Over all it ends up at 6.8%.

      • 10.3.1 9to5

        or.. just maybe the ratings were low because of other dramas contending in the same timeslot… just a thought..

        culprit? lol Divorce is a tragedy in real life, no doubt about it. though, it’s a crime, where one person of the two is the victim and the other the “culprit”.

        and single people have nothing to learn? plz read the comments section above ^ 🙂

        • 9to5

          whoops… typo.. meant to say it’s NOT like a crime..

      • 10.3.2 Jaiden

        Singles have nothing to learn? aaahhh..that’s why you are still single.
        One big draw of this drama that is different than others is that this drama sends a strong message about love and relationships. There are lessons to learn from this drama, whether you are single or married, or in the brink of a divorce. I think this is the strength of this drama. Can’t Lose is realistic and inspiring.

      • 10.3.3 asianromance

        Like some else said, the ratings were due to other dramas and probably due to the fact that it wasn’t really as dramatic and fast-paced as some other kdrama rom-coms. I think the drama is an interesting commentary on relationships (rather than marriage) and a good reminder to keep good communication.

        Because this is a drama about a couple who invested very little time in getting to know each other before getting married in the first place, have only invested a year(?) into the marriage, and don’t have children involved – i don’t find it too heartbreaking to watch. Not all divorces in real life are the same. I think Eunjae and Hyung-woo’s represent a small subset – a subset that is given a second chance at love with each other.

    • 10.4 KDaddict

      I love YoonSH and CJW. If anyone told me 2 months ago, that there’d be a KD featuring these 2 that I wouldn’t enjoy, I’d have said, Impossible. But it happened.
      The writer/PD spent 11 eps to show that our OTP didn’t get along. Viewers had to see them bicker, mistrust, mishandle each other for 11 eps. There were some small funny moments, but hardly enough. Mostly it felt petty n unnecessary.
      Most ppl who have been married for a while know that marriage is hard work. You don’t mention the D word until u have worked, worked n worked on your differences. EJ didn’t give HW that much of a chance b4 calling it quits. That didn’t make her a sympathetic char. With ep 12, they were headed towards reconciliation, but the tone of the drama had already been set, n viewer patience ran low. EJ was such a flawed individual with so much baggage fr her family history. It might be closer to reality than most KDs, but it wasn’t funny, which was what they led us to believe fr the start.

      • 10.4.1 sarah

        I personally reaaly enjoyed the first 10 episodes than the latter episodes except ep 18 which I liked. I find petty fights to be funny & entertaining, totally made the drama more watchable and light. surrisingly I find JW to have a knack for comedy because she was hilarious!

        ep 11-17 -> it changed the tone, although it’s necessary I found it less entertaining & more serious. got frustrated a couple of times in ep 15-17.
        overall, it’s still a very good drama and enjoyed it throughout.
        I am married and still find the drama relevant.
        most of my friends who are divorced or considered divorce are like EJ-HW although not necessarily because they had a short courtship, but because of personality differences , unreconciled differences. In fact, statistically most divorce cases in my country are due to unreconciled differences, and not infidelity like most movies often portray it.

  11. 11 via

    Thanks for the last recap.. I love this drama so much.. there is no prince or chaebol falling in love with poor or ordinary girl. Its such a realistic story, about love and pride for a married couple, we are all learn a lot from this drama, which is as long as you love each other you can defeat all the obstacle ahead you and not to get into your ego too much that makes you want to win every single fight you had with your couple, because winning the fight isnt important.

  12. 12 Hope

    Eun-jae: After this, we’ll probably fight again tomorrow, huh?
    Hyung-woo: Of course. That’s what it is to be husband and wife.
    Eun-jae: You’re right. That’s what it is to be husband and wife.

    Best definition of a happy marriage. I hope all of us realise this and that winning is not the point when we quarrel or fight.

    Many thanks JB and GF for your wonderful, thoughtful and insightful recaps. Watching the drama is not the point; reading your recaps is.

  13. 13 bishbash

    ladies, and all readers here,

    ain’t this drama like Love, Actually? heartwarming, funny, adorable.

    thanks javabeans and girlfriday! 😀

  14. 14 Ace

    Wow! Loved the recaps…I really have to make time to watch this before the winter dramas plus cable madness comes. I watched only a few cute scenes (the bromance parts with dr. poopy). That baby is so cute!

    Thanks jb & gf for the recaps!

  15. 15 MadDino

    Oh, this makes me smile! Thank you!

  16. 16 Ani

    A THOUSAND AND ONE! A THOUSAND AND ONE! So cute and adorable that it breaks my heart just a little. They’ll never be bored in their marriage me thinks. It made me really think love is real. Not the grand, sweeping, tragic kind of love, but the one that keeps you going. The down side is that they will always fight, and I’m someone who’s fought my whole life and if I ever get married – if I ever choose to live a life not my own and to be hitched/shackled forever (wow, boy do I have a bad/unhealthy view of marriage) – I’d want to rarely if ever fight. It’s tiring, always fighting. Sometimes even the things worth fighting for lose their worth in the end because even when we win, we lose. But this little drama was cute and was a nice way of seeing marriage life. I sure hope to see most of the cast in this drama in another one real soon.

    • 16.1 Lulu

      Ani, I hope one day you’ll find your soulmate as I have found mine. It’s totally possible to have a peaceful, healthy marriage that the couple doesn’t fight all the time. I’ve been married for almost 12 years dated him 4 years and have 2 little bitty ones. We do fight but not often and not a big kind like the old EJ & HW. Respect is KEY, no matter how different we are we can always talk it out in love and respect. Pick your battle, let go of things that aren’t important. Marriage is a hardwork but is so worth it!

  17. 17 laya

    Awwwwwwwwww. That was lovely. Thanks for the recap!

    /puts on list of comfort dramas.

  18. 18 Noelle

    They would make a cute couple in life. I liked this show and how it showed that divorce isn’t always the end or a bad thing. Thanks for the recaps.

  19. 19 JD

    im going to miss looking at mr. hotbar

    • 19.1 Alvina

      I concour! He’s in many dramas but waaay underrated haha

  20. 20 kd101

    What a relief!!! A perfect finale for an adorable drama. I guess CL deserves such a heartwarming, feel-good ending.

    I like the last scene best, with EJ and HW walking arm in arm stealing kisses in their opposite color coats, EJ red and HW white. For me it sweetly summarizes the message of the drama: people are naturally different, but as long as they are willing to shed their pride that live together and love are really not about winning and to hold onto each other no matter what, marriage works pleasantly .

    JB and GF, I cannot thank you enough for all of these wonderful recaps. Keep up the first-rate work, girls. God bless you.

  21. 21 K.Phone

    Thanks for your recap… I really enjoy reading your recap about Can’t lose 🙂

  22. 22 ava

    Agree. This drama is simply heartwarming and more.

  23. 23 pinkpia

    thanks for the recaps. loved the ending!!! esp the new way of bickering/fighting, silly but cute 🙂

  24. 24 Chris

    Thanks for all the recap.

    I’ve followed the show for the past few weeks and though sad that it has ended but I am relieved that “Can’t Lose” came out to be great show to watch and for once in a drama, there isn’t any episode that I dislike! The chemistry of all main and supporting casts (of course especially that of EJ and HW) were really wonderful.

  25. 25 ck1Oz

    Thank you it was such a pleasant watch.Lovely drama.

    Wished more people have noticed it. It’s way better than expected.The ending was so fitting.

    It’s an adult drama and had no theatrical dramatic angst.Loved the chemistry between everyone.

    Thanks for doing the recaps.

  26. 26 princess16

    love Hyeong woo and Eun jae… i also love this tv series ^^

  27. 27 Venus

    I need to Marathon this Baby … 😀 thanks JB & GF for the awesome recaps, evernthough I wasn’t able to watch it, life got in the damn way, It was awesome to come in and bam recaps!!…

    CL to me was such a change of pace from all the romcoms of late and its writer and Director were able to keep the pace and still give us some good old laughs. I was afraid of the extension, cause we all know how that tends to drag a drama, but CL did a beautiful job with the extra episodes by bringing our fave Doctor 😀 and it was a treat to watch.

  28. 28 hana

    thank you sooo much for the recaps! ^^

  29. 29 Giddygirl108

    Simple and sweet ending! Love it 🙂

  30. 30 manshan

    thank you! really enjoy your write ups 🙂 finishing the show feels incomplete without reading your take on it! im most pleased with the finale. indeed it’s hard for people to change their core, but its how they stay together and overcome every argument that counts. 🙂 finally, i understand the title of this drama! haha!

  31. 31 asianromance

    Thank you, javabeans and girlfriday, for the Can’t Lose recaps! I haven’t been invested in watching it, but this is definitely something I am marathoning one day when I get the chance. The 2-episode extension felt really natural, too!

  32. 32 Mirror

    The comments sound a lot more sensible than those in soompi. bwahaha….soompi bunch is forever doing matchmaking job!!!! never once successful, always betting on the wrong horse. Come on, CJW is a lot smarter than you all think!!!

  33. 33 Mirror

    This drama is the most illogical. You have 1000 years vs 1001 years love unchanged?

    If they can live for another 60 years, we can absolutely certain that every passing day is a day less for them to love each other.

    That’s why they are destined to suffer and quarrel forever if they think of 1000 year love-love affair? They should change their mindset to count down on their love, then they can cherish each other more!! Logical?

  34. 34 Cas

    That was excellent. The post episode comments were particularly great here. I love it!

  35. 35 Abbie

    I really enjoyed this series! It’s probably one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. I loved all the characters and all the plotlines. It was really refreshing. The ending was great, because it gives a little life lesson and shows that marriage is full of ups and downs. It also gives hope for the future for Hyung-woo and Eun-jae and that I really appreciated and liked.

    Thanks for the recap, Girlfriday!

  36. 36 Fiona Chan

    Thanks for the recap posts, they’re really great!

    I actually saw a little bit of an episode on TV but am too lazy to actually watch the whole thing, so here I am reading all your recap posts.

    I feel like I was watching the drama too, albeit in fast-forward mode I guess. There were a few instances when my eyes got teary. I think your screencaps helped a lot too haha.


  37. 37 Lizzie

    aw this drama was adorable! :)))

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.