Can’t Lose: Episode 18 (Final)
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.
FINAL EPISODE RECAP
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.
- Can’t Lose: Episode 17
- Can’t Lose: Episode 16
- Can’t Lose: Episode 15
- Can’t Lose: Episode 14
- Can’t Lose: Episode 13
- Can’t Lose bargains its way to extension
- Can’t Lose: Episode 12
- Can’t Lose: Episode 11
- Can’t Lose can’t agree on extension
- Can’t Lose: Episode 10
- Can’t Lose: Episode 9
- Can’t Lose: Episode 8
- Can’t Lose: Episode 7
- Can’t Lose: Episode 6
- Can’t Lose: Episode 5
- Can’t Lose: Episode 4
- Can’t Lose: Episode 3
- Can’t Lose: Episode 2
- Can’t Lose: Episode 1