Drama Recaps
Thousand Day Promise: Episode 18
by | December 13, 2011 | 75 Comments

There are several celebrations in this episode, and yet they feel like mournful last goodbyes as Seo-yeon comes a few steps closer to motherhood, and also retreats a few steps further into her mind. There’s an approaching feeling of finality to come, in the mood and the interactions between Seo-yeon and her family. *whimper* Hold me.

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EPISODE 18 RECAP

Ji-hyung and Seo-yeon arrive at his parents’ home for the big meeting with Dad. Before coming out to greet the kids, Dad breathes in and out, in and out, preparing for the encounter — directed by Mom, who tells him to take another breath and remember to play nice. I find this interaction so cute, the idea that the parents are just as wound up in nerves as the kids are.

Dad wonders what to say, and turns to Mom for advice, asking her to give him some pointers. He’s disappointed in her reply, though (“Thanks for coming. I missed you”), sniffing since that would be, you know, too honest or something. Or maybe weak. Or maybe both, in his mind.

That’s why I find it doubly amusing when Dad comes out with his stern face on, like an actor stepping onstage to play the part of Grim Patriarch. Seo-yeon introduces herself with bowed head, saying, “I have come, shamelessly, to see you. I am the source of trouble who has disappointed you. I’m sorry. I have nothing to say.”

Hahaha. It’s not said to be mocking, but I find her excessive self-deprecation hilarious, for some reason. Dad’s mollified, and starts in on a calm lecture about how he disapproves of the childrens’ choices. Mom cuts him off a few times when the lecturing gets pointed and steers him away, and he throws her a disgruntled look, like I was just getting to that, let me finish. Heh.

He does finally get to the point, which is tacked on to the back of all those statements of “I don’t agree with your marriage, and I think you’ve made a foolish mistake, and I don’t think it’s wise to have a baby on top of all that…” He ends, “…buuuuuut I have decided not to burden you by arguing about it anymore.”

Immediately, Mom pipes up, “Thank you.” Why is this so funny? It must be the staged nature of this exchange; Mom’s thanks aren’t false, necessarily, but they’re amusingly insincere in the moment, because she’s basically directing the conversation. Dad knows it too, and can tell he’s being managed. But it speaks to his willingness to forgive anyway that he’s going along with this pretty readily — it’s just that pesky pride that makes him front like he’s still grudging.

Dad asks after Seo-yeon’s health, and Ji-hyung speaks up to say that she’s fine, that the tests show no further deterioration, that she’s managing day to day without particular trouble. Seo-yeon corrects him, though, speaking plainly about feeling herself getting worse, and that she’s making more mistakes.

Dad’s doctor persona comes to the fore as he asks how she plans to handle her illness. He surprises everyone by stating that he spoke with Seo-yeon’s doctor, and advises her to listen carefully to her doctor’s instructions and to resume her medication as soon as she’s given birth. Okay, I like this version of him much better, the good doctor looking after a patient. A little patient confidentiality would be nice, although maybe he feels it falls under his purview as hospital director.

Over dinner, Dad asks if they’re managing with living expenses, gives some fatherly advice (helpful for once) about not burdening his business partner too much, and offering up monetary support if they need it. He adds words of encouragement for Seo-yeon, in response to her earlier admission that some days she’s just barely hanging in there with the will to continue; he urges her to make the most of every moment, and not to give up.

So….Dad got a lobotomy offscreen, did he? Or did the actor suddenly swap places with his twin brother, who was mistakenly told to play the Dad gentle and kind, rather than small-minded and proud? He even asks for a smile from Seo-yeon, although she’s overcome with tears and can only apologize.

Mom gates a phone call as she watches the exchange, which is from Hyang-gi’s mother. She picks up, and Hyang-gi’s mother actually exclaims in surprise that she picked up. Haha. She grumbles that she’s lost weight because of Ji-hyung’s mother, who must’ve been her child in a previous life to cause her so much grief in this one. She’s expecting a bit of a bite, so when Ji-hyung’s mother just says she’ll call her back tomorrow, she accepts it and hangs up.

Mom thanks Dad for accepting Seo-yeon graciously, pleased with his response to the couple. He tells her to convey the message to Ji-hyung about not growing cowardly in the end, since this is the decision he made.

After dinner, the couple drives home and Seo-yeon asks whether she did a good job making her first acquaintance with Dad. It’s sad how in most cases that question would be a request for reassurance, but for her she genuinely isn’t certain because she may not be remembering it properly. Ji-hyung tells her she was proper, respectful, and precise, like she usually is. He repeats some of Dad’s words of advice, and she asks him to write it down for her when they get home.

Now she confides that she met her mother earlier — or rather, as she corrects, “the person called Mother.” She tells him that her mother had said she found the idea of raising two kids alone scary, then brushes aside the topic. Enough of that.

At home, Seo-yeon tells Moon-kwon about meeting their mother, and starts to tell him that if he wants to see her too, he can. He cuts her off to say no — that he’s lived well without her all these years, and there’s no reason to complicate matters now. Seo-yeon gently adds that maybe in the future, way off in the future, he might have reason to see her, and in that case he should — after all, she’s the woman who gave birth to them.

Oy, this scene is killing me already and they’re not even crying. It’s particularly poignant that Moon-kwon is reacting just as she first did, and that she’s giving him the okay to want to see Mom anyway, like Aunt did for her. Just as Seo-yeon hadn’t wanted to hurt Aunt-Mom’s feelings, Moon-kwon is loyal to his Noona-Mom.

Seo-yeon tells him this is her last wish and, having delivered the message, says, “Now it’s okay for me to forget.” Aw.

It’s a new day, and a revitalized Seo-yeon who sends Ji-hyung off to work with cheer. He narrates that since meeting with Dad, Seo-yeon’s mood has lightened considerably. No more waking up in the middle of the night crying, scrupulous attention to exercise and diet, no mention of Hyang-gi. She’s made mention of plans for the future, of things to do in spring, and he’s grateful for the change.

Ji-hyung’s firm wins a big contest exhibition, and the employees exult while Ji-hyung calls the wife to share the good news. His mother congratulates him too, on her way to meet Hyang-gi’s mother.

Hyang-gi’s mom is prickly as usual, griping about how hard it is to get some face time with her. Ji-hyung’s mother cuts to the chase, saying that taking the offensive right now will make this meeting a fruitless endeavor, and asks for an apology and some understanding of how they’d act if the situation were reversed. Hyang-gi’s mother points out, “You’re the elegant Kang Soo-jung, and I’m the snobby gangster Oh Hyun-ah.” Ha. Well, that’s definitely accurate.

Hyang-gi’s mom tries to get out of a verbal apology by saying she sent over multiple flower baskets, only to get the cool response, “You don’t want to say it? Then I don’t need to be here.” That gets her to apologize, and both mothers acknowledge that there were wrongs on both sides. With that, the husbands join the wives for dinner, with the former friendly mood mostly restored. Was that really so hard, people?

Seo-yeon writes another message to her baby while waiting for Ji-hyung to come home from his celebration party. Looks like it’s a late night, and Aunt nods off while preparing food in the kitchen.

Jae-min oppa drops by to take his mother home, having gotten the call that Ji-hyung’s on his way home. Seo-yeon greets him happily, but then with a serious face she asks Jae-min to take Aunt home now. It’s a request to be left alone, something that this family seems to have agreed is not a good idea.

They don’t want to leave her, but she’s also insistent to the point where it seems the tension may escalate — she tells them she’s no baby to need round-the-clock care, and you get the sense that the next line of argument would be to accuse them of seeing her as an infant. Thus they back down from this one and agree to go home.

So it is that she happens to be alone when washing up for bed, accidentally hitting her head when she stoops to pick up a dropped towel. It causes a deep gash and scares the hell out of her. Ji-hyung arrives home just moments later, in time to hear Seo-yeon sobbing in the bathroom, her hands and head covered in blood.

He calls Jae-min and Aunt, who are still in the car heading home, and they turn right around and rush back. Seo-yeon is calmer now but still sporting a massive bloody head bandage as she tells them she’s okay.

At the hospital, she gets stitches in her forehead, and as Ji-hyung watches, he accuses Jae-min of leaving her alone when he said he’d be right home. Aw. I get his worry, but you’ve seen Seo-yeon when she wants things her way, right? She’s like a volcano threatening to explode at any moment, and you can’t blame Jae-min for thinking it would be better not to upset her further by refusing to go.

Aunt sobs that Seo-yeon could’ve died if Ji-hyung hadn’t come home, while Jae-min stands by in stoic regret. Ji-hyung holds it together enough to take Seo-yeon home and put her to bed, then seeks out the dark to let his sobs out — just barely, his hands clapped over his mouth to muffle the sound.

Hyang-gi returns to Korea, not thrilled at the prospect of coming home to more constant criticism. Her brother picks her up at the airport, so she’s surprised when the car pulls up and Mom’s sitting there to welcome her back.

But it’s not just for the warm fuzzies that Mom has made the trip, and she directs the chauffeur to a beauty salon post-haste… because Hyang-gi’s got a blind date set up for dinner tonight. Haha. Wastes no time, does she? The guy has a similar history to Hyang-gi: Three years ago he’d gone through with a wedding, but they broke up before the marriage was made officially registered because the bride hadn’t broken things off with the guy she’d dated before him.

I love that this is Mom’s idea of a good thing, that two failed almost-marriages somehow make them suitable for each other. Mom’s reason for the rush is that the guy’s on his way to a business trip, so it was either today, or a month from now.

Some time has passed, as evidenced by Seo-yeon’s now-very-extended belly, and she and Ji-hyung have been making lots of preparations for the birth. Already the house is babyland central.

She’s in a gloomy mood today, distant and withdrawn. Maybe it’s because today’s her birthday, as we can see from the flowers and gifts around the house. She muses that she used to go out with her office-mates on her birthday, and has to be reminded that they sent her a flower arrangement.

Ji-hyung’s narration continues — it’s as though he’s taken over narration duties from Seo-yeon, who is now often locked in her own head. He watches her silently, with that mix of heartbreak and vigilance, narrating that the baby’s expected delivery date is now just over a week away.

As the day draws nearer, Seo-yeon has become more ill-tempered, alternately snapping at questions and ignoring them. Yesterday he’d been out of the house for four hours, only to find that she spent the entire time crying in one place. It’s in moments like those that he feels like she’s left her body behind to go off somewhere else mentally.

Two of the junior employees from Seo-yeon’s old office drop by with birthday gifts, and Seo-yeon has to be told who they are. She gives them detached greetings, like she’s completely blank on their identities. When one of them slips in mention of “Jae-min-sshi,” the other outs her as chasing after him, although he’s not returning her calls or encourating her. Seo-yeon’s completely bewildered, while Aunt takes a second look at the woman fawning over her son.

But then, out of the blue, Seo-yeon announces to her aunt that she’s not right for Jae-min, judging her coolly like a stranger: “This young lady is too sharp, critical, and selfish.” She says it blandly, matter-of-factly, but it’s not without bite and it creates the most awkward silence ever.

Her colleagues look at her with shock and her aunt tries to hush her, but Seo-yeon continues, adding that the woman advanced professionally using her wiles, not skill. Offended now, the target of the attack bites out that Seo-yeon’s disease must’ve ruined her personality as well, and leaves.

Aunt tries to smooth it over, saying that Jae-min doesn’t seem interested anyway, and asks if that woman had given Seo-yeon a lot of grief at the office. Seo-yeon answers that she didn’t act that way for herself, but for oppa’s sake.

Ji-hyung apologetically sends the guests away, then rejoins Seo-yeon and asks her why she lashed out, but she ignores the question.

That night, the family gathers for a birthday party and requests a statement from the guest of honor. Seo-yeon goes around the table thanking everybody (accidentally leaving out Moon-kwon and her nephew), and says in her now-usual voice of fatigue that this may be her last birthday.

That makes everyone object, but she says that next year, she may not know when it’s her birthday, so she wants to use this time to say some last words, while she can still recognize everyone and think straight.

She thanks her aunt and uncle, and apologizes for upsetting Myung-hee. She thanks oppa for being oppa, and says that even after she’s left her empty shell behind and finds herself wandering around somewhere, she’ll still carry her gratitude.

Seo-yeon excuses herself with Ji-hyung’s assistance, then tells him, “I think the baby wants to come out now.” She’s been having contractions for a while now, since back at the house. Quickly, the party disperses and the family mobilizes to send her to the hospital.

Hyang-gi meets her blind date, who can tell right away that she’s been forced into this by her parents. He’s understanding when she says she she’s not ready yet, agreeing that being less than a year out of her broken engagement is pretty soon. He asks point-blank if she’s interested in seeing where this goes, and Hyang-gi bows her head and says no. He’s fine with that answer, and suggests they not waste time, letting her off the hook and bringing a smile to her face for the first time tonight. She’s even more relieved when he tells her there’s a woman he’s interested in, smiling even wider.

Hyang-gi comes home to a happy reunion with Dad, while Mom pesters her for details about her date. She says they agreed not to waste each other’s time, and that he’s already got a girlfriend. Mom grabs her phone muttering, “I’m going to kill her!” and proceeds to rip that guy’s mother a new one for sending out a son who was already attached. Ha. Who wants to bet that the other mom didn’t know, and that Hyang-gi’s mother just stirred another pot?

Hyang-gi calls Ji-hyung’s mother to say hello, and they’ve obviously been on regular talking terms because Mom tells her there are still a few days left till the due date.

Speaking of which, back to the hospital we go, where Seo-yeon is mid-labor. She’s tamping down her cries of pain, which makes Aunt worriedly yell at her to feel free to yell. Seo-yeon asks, “What if the baby hates me? What if it blames me for giving it this life?” Oof. Who felt that, right in the gut? Ji-hyung assures her that won’t happen, scared out of his mind, while Seo-yeon tells him, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

 
COMMENTS

The drama’s crowning jewel, by far, is Su Ae giving an impressive performance, with all of Seo-yeon’s rapid mood changes and wild range of emotion. It’s painful watching her loved ones tiptoeing around her, trying not to set off her volatile temper, which is only getting more capricious with her advancing pregnancy and illness. But from an acting standpoint, Su Ae is marvelous, bringing us along with Seo-yeon’s gradual decline.

More than any other, this episode showed the biggest progression in her advancing memory loss, thanks to that time jump that took us to the end of her pregnancy. I was a bit surprised at how… mean she seemed, and wondered if there was more to that that just her Alzheimer’s making her cranky. There was a sharp undercurrent to it, more than can be explained by her decision, post-diagnosis, to speak what’s on her mind in the moment lest she forget it. Perhaps along with her memory, she’s stripping down that filter of politeness that most people use in daily interaction. It’s hard to watch, though, and speaks to how convincing Su Ae is in the little beats of uncertainty, as well as the grand emotions.

Now that Seo-yeon’s retreating further into her mind, it’s Ji-hyung’s turn to take over the narrating, which is a nicely subtle method of driving home the loss of Seo-yeon. Now we’re seeing her through other’s eyes more than through her own, which adds another layer of sadness to the proceedings. Hm, maybe that’s why she seemed meaner, come to think of it — because we’ve lost the window into her thoughts, and no longer have the inner monologue explaining the reasons for her defensiveness, her prickliness, her sparks of temper. I’m curious to know how things are going to wrap up next week, but also dreading what’s to come now that we’ve seen a bit of the empty shell version, because it’s sure to break my heart. Not that I didn’t know that coming into this drama in the first place.

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75 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. minhe

    thank you so much for the awesome awesome recap! :)

  2. mary

    Everyone must still be busy reading the Ramyun recaps! :D

    • 2.1 mary

      Finished reading now, is this drama more heartbreaking when watched? :((

      Speaking for the baby, I honestly don’t know if I’d be glad to be born and grow up hearing from other people that I’m the reason my mother got (too) sick.

      This drama’s cast is sooo small but the relationships seemed so real. I can totally buy a next installment where they explore how the child grows up and accepts the circumstances of his birth, reassured (or not, in Myung-hee’s case) by the family that his birth WAS a gift and should not be regretted.

  3. Angel

    BABYYYYYYYYYYYY~

  4. Linda

    thank-you!

  5. Jinny

    Thank you! I read these amazing recaps because if I actually watched this I’d be sobbing my eyes out….
    A bit off topic, but when I first saw the last picture I thought Ji-hyung was biting Seo-yeon’s hands heh.

  6. sangay

    the sibling love between seo yeon and moon kwon has always tugged at my heart. sigh, poor moon kwon, what a way to see his sister’s memories and old self slipping by.

    ah jae min, so guilt grieved that he gave in to seo yeon’s insistence that he brings his mom home immediately. urgh !

    that birthday party … ya, it really seems like seo yeon saying farewell to her family who love her so much.

    lol, i really do love ji hyung’s mom, especially the way she handles the dad :p

    • 6.1 sangay

      forgot to add something earlier.

      i feel that seo yeon’s colleague definitely deserve those comments. oh well, probably ‘cos i never did like her much, n it was so damn obvious how she was trying to get his attention during last episode’s gathering at seo yeon’s place.

      seo yeon’s right, she’s not right for jae min. ha, seo yeon’s definitely still clear on that :D

      sharks, just saw next episode’s preview and i think i’ll go buy tissue boxes first !

  7. funnibee

    Thank you!
    I reckon so far, the best thing about this drama is probably Moon kwon. Love him!

  8. fungus

    thank you for the marvelous recaps. I look forward to reading them every Tuesday and Wednesday.

  9. asianromance

    Thank you so much for the recap! I dread next week’s episodes, just because I know her Alzheimer’s will progress ever further. =*( And Ji-hyung, never thought I’d say this, but I like him now. I hated him in the beginning for his wavering, but now he is such a rock!

  10. 10 MadDino

    Thank you for the recaps. They are wonderful. I gave up when my internet stopped working in the middle of an episode and I found myself unwilling to keep watching once it returned. You make the characters so interesting!

  11. 11 Cynthia

    Thank you for the insightful recap, JB,

    Su Ae is doing a kick-ass job of showing someone caught in the throes of Alzheimer’s. Her precise portrayal is absolutely on-point, from the vague, emotionless expressions to the sudden, biting criticism, to the non-responsive reactions to questions.

    You’re correct, JB – Alzheimer’s not only strips the memory, it also peels away the learned social cues that we have instilled in us.
    A dementia patient swings radically in moods as the disease progresses. It’s rather like a brick wall – the top begins to crumble and causes more stress and less underpinnings to support the whole structure, the bricks fall faster and faster until it all crashes at the end – the wall is destroyed and so is the patient.

    Only two episodes are left, and if the preview is accurate, it’s going to be a doozy. An awful one.

  12. 12 Laya

    Thanks for the recap!

  13. 13 Ashley

    My sister’s father-in-law has FTD (Frontotemporal Dementia), which is similar to Alzheimer’s, but more rapid in it’s progression, and the behavior changes come way before the memory loss. I was shocked at how cruel he could be. I imagine it is something of a mercy to Seo-yeon and her family that her memory is going before she realizes she is turning into someone else. At least now she has had the baby, so they can try to slow the progress.

    The baby is not going to hate her. Her child will probably just be overwhelmed by the extent his/her mother was willing to sacrifice for him/her before he/she was even born.

  14. 14 cv

    Thanks for the recap. I think this will be the first drama I’ve want to read the recaps but not watch the show because it’s just so sad. (sigh)
    maybe someday i’ll make myself watch it…….

  15. 15 imChildish

    thx for the recap, 2 more episode to go, next week preview so heartbreaking :(

  16. 16 nuri

    thank you for the recaps JB!

    I agree that she is meaner, but maybe because she is more insecure, more scared? i mean, just from reading the recap, its the feeling that i get.

    cant wait for the subs.

  17. 17 Ani

    I love how her family is trying their damnest to keep her safe yet trying to be considerate of her, especially Oppa. I really do wonder how the writer will finish this off, and at the same time, I don’t really want to know. I can just see her family dying on the inside while her memories continue to fade. X(

  18. 18 jhowy1981

    thank you for a quick recap (impressive, as it is only lunch, i already expecting it by night, somehow, i had the feeling of checking this site, hehehe)…expect the unexpected twist of turn in this drama…soo ae is so great as she carries the character…so real…haist!!!…i cant wait for the next episode but i dont want to see the ending yet…millions, millions, millions of thumbs up…award for soo ae…acting should be recognized not because of popularity nor number of fans, it should be based on how well/realistic the character is portrayed. thank you so much!!! i love this drama. one of my favorite already.

  19. 19 via

    Su Ae is amazing… Thanks for the recap JB..

  20. 20 crazedlu

    aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. :’(

  21. 21 ajbny

    I really expected this to be kim rae won’s comeback but this is the soo ae show!

    • 21.1 imChildish

      agreeee this is soo ae show !!!

  22. 22 Lexy Cheng

    Awesome, insightful, beautiful, impressive, etc. recap every week is what made this drama wonderful. My gratitude overflows! Thousand Day Promise has the best of the best talents but I’m totally with you that this drama’s crowning jewel is SOO AE.

  23. 23 tb

    Damn… I can’t read this one now… my tears is filling can’t see properly… later..

  24. 24 MJP

    Hmmm, *thinks about recap*

    Thanks!

  25. 25 ainossd2

    I better get tissues stocked to watch this drama!!!

  26. 26 Fidelity

    I loved that during the labour process, SY seemed to have control of her mind.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the last two episodes… but I’m also scared of the increasingly detrimental changes for SY. Although a happy ending is out of the question for this drama, I hope to see a peaceful one!

    PS: Please no HG & JH at the end. I’m growing bit weary of HG’s character and her lingering attachment to JH.

    • 26.1 tb

      Still cannot control my tears when I’m looking at JiHyung and Seoyeon picture… will read later on.

      But can we hope for a miracle? Giving birth is like life changing, some women turn to depression or something else …. Can Seoyeon turns to get better? It doesn’t make sense does it? I just don’t want Seoyeon to go to the dead end, not now.

      And a NO to HG and JH too! Please don’t destroy the love of Jihyung and Seoyeon we’ve been witnessing!

  27. 27 jossy

    ugh. my heart is slowly breaking as I descend into this pool of melo-sadness…
    I’ve been religiously following these recaps and have not seen a single ep, I’m saving it to marathon over my Xmas holidays because it’s bound to go all makjang by if rumours ring true in this family… oh boy
    Su Ae, why so awesome?.

  28. 28 tb

    I forgot to add….

    Soo Ae is great and so is Rae Won, he deserves the award too… can you imagine Song Seung Hun be in his shoes? no offend to the fans but this role is for Rae Won!

  29. 29 rita

    this is so sad….yet at the same time so beautiful….the love of a family for the patient…..my mom just died in October she had alzheimers and at times could be unbearably cruel and vicious,,,,the memory loss, which is what most people speak of is really not the heart breaking part of this disease but the personality change and the verbal cruelty is ….my mom was on 2 bi=polar medications and she still was barely manageable…family love is the only thing that can make one survive this

    • 29.1 Cynthia

      Condolences and peace to you and your family.

  30. 30 olsen

    whoa! Thank u for the recap JB

    My Gosh, how pretty is Su-Ae?
    So feminine, so loveley at the same time not so-in-your-face pretty that can be intimidating

    I’m such a fan now

  31. 31 Mia

    i can’t handle the heart break but i will hold on, like everyone
    thanks jb

  32. 32 mnstpdu08

    Moon-Kwon is as awesome as Jae Min. Love their relationships with Seo Yeon.

  33. 33 CutieJamaican

    My take on this drama is a little different. This drama is more complex than it seems and there is a good deal of audience manipulation going on.

    Based on your recap I think SeoYoung is extremely jealous of her Oppa and that she is secretly in love with him. He may be in love with her too but she is his first cousin so any romance is taboo. I never ever believed that she was in love with her husband or him with her and that’s what came out when she could use her illness as cover. She is a phony.

    If you recall there was a scene in an earlier episode where she brushed Ji Hung aside and hugged her Oppa crying. She called Oppa on her honeymoon to complain about her husband behind his back. I despise her character and she does not have my sympathy.

    Ji Hung is not my favorite either. He is also so fake. Her younger brother and her aunt are among the most sincere people in this drama. I feel it for them.

    • 33.1 Korazy Lady

      Wow, I’m kind of speechless….

      • 33.1.1 CutieJamaican

        Hipployta.. I am with you but I see a twist.

        The marriage he doesn’t really want is the one with SeoYoung. Bear with me a moment. If he didn’t really want marriage to Cutie Princess and he has the fortitude to defy his parents he would have done so long ago.

        Typically K Drama style: Reversal: The marriage we think he wants isn’t and the one we think he doesn’t want is

        Major audience manipulation but they give a million nuanced clues that reveal the truth. Some we miss because of culture but I see many clues in Camera shots, Mis-en-scene, actor placement, numbers and wardrobe that tell the truth.

        By the way, numbers have specific meanings in their culture that is not the same as those of us in the west. For example, the number 2 means son, the number 7 means wife and the number 4 means death or suffering.
        So a set of numbers can be transformed into a sentence .. so 724 can mean wife and son dies. These writers and PDs are tricky and things are never what they seem. You have to peel away the layers like onions to find the truth.

        • 33.1.1.1 tb

          But I thought the synopsis of the story is the pure love of a man devoted to the woman he loved with Alzheimer? Was it not? I’m confused!

          • 33.1.1.1.1 CutieJamaican

            @jb…..always take synopses with a grain of salt and watch the story for your self because they can be very misleading. Examples are the dramas Please Marry Me and Three Brothers.

    • 33.2 Combray

      That would be such a crazy twist lol, she doesn’t really have Alzheimer’s, she’s just in love with her cousin!

      • 33.2.1 CutieJamaican

        K Dramas are all about twists and sometimes they are not obvious and I think this is why their stories are so addictive…. they manipulate the hell outta ya. But they will give you many clues as to the truth. This story is full of clues. I’ll tell you one. Look carefully at their wedding photo in the bedroom and check the body language. A picture speaks a thousand words.

        She does have the disease but that doesn’t prevent her from faking. I care for an 86 yr old Dementia patient and he will tell lies and fake to get what he wants from his kids.

        It all depends on how advanced the disease is and in the story she can still recognize people and know whats going on so she is quite capable of deception.

        Remember….. she was hiding and fucking another woman’s man so she is already tainted with dishonesty and deception. That’s part of who she is. And by the way, she knew he married her out of pity. She actually said so. Pity is not love. She knows he doesn’t love her.

        She married for the power and pride she gained by “stealing” ( her word) the cute rich girl’s man and he married out of guilt and to self inflict punishment for being a dishonorable man.

        Honor is very important in their culture and some men will even commit suicide if their honor as men are compromised.

        • 33.2.1.1 tb

          I thought she was in love with him since she was young?

          • 33.2.1.1.1 Korazy Lady

            Exactly. She knew her situation in life wouldn’t really allow the relationship with him, which is why I think she was brusque when he would call while he was away (self-defense mechanism.) I don’t think he really felt the same way for her until he saw her again at the museum.

        • 33.2.1.2 rjyuggy

          you are over analyzing CutieJamaican. if those twists that you say would be true then the whole drama would be all in vain. I don’t believe what you said that Ji Hyung and Seo Yun doesnt really love each other. Over analyzing is the keyword man.

          • 33.2.1.2.1 CutieJamaican

            @rjyuggy…….I don’t think the drama is in vain at all. It just shows that people and their motivations are complex and as we say in my country, “yuh see a man’s face yuh don’t see his heart.”

            The PD team is trying to show both face and heart using the tools that are available to them. Sometimes face and heart are the same and other times they are not. In this case, in my view, they are showing that they are not the same for both SeoYoung and Ji Hung. I have seen other dramas where heart and face are are shown to be the same using the same tools.

            When we consume a piece of art we all have our own interpretations of what we are seeing and hearing. I am a consumer who watches and listens and interprets based on ALL of what is presented to me.

            If I see an apple in a close up camera shot that is black, for example, when most apples are red, my question is why? Why did the set designer choose this color and how does this fit the story. Its placed on the set to tell me something that dialogue or facial expression is not telling me…and I want to know. Its that simple. Jah know. Rastafari…!

    • 33.3 ahjummabunny

      so funny! you must be watching this drama under the influence of low oxygenated blood going to your brain! OR you are starting a fan fiction story combining dynasty/dallas and 1000 day promise.
      I don’t think there’s any reason to sympathize with so yon, she’s not that kind of person. She’s independent and proud she wouldn’t want your sympathy. People like her are very possessive of people they are close with because it is hard for us to trust others and allow them to be close to us.
      Your statements also remind me of this time when I used to say strange things to naive people and laugh myself into exhaustion when they actually believe me.

      • 33.3.1 CutieJamaican

        @ ajummabunny with all due respect:

        If she were independent and proud she would NOT fuck another woman’ fiancee. She would DEMAND that he come to her as a free man of kick him to the curb and find a free man for herself. Independent women with pride do not debase themselves by having sleazy affairs because the same man who is fucking you when he is committed to someone else will look down on you and it is just a matter of time before he treats you like shit and throw the affair in your face. This is the male double standard.

        In one scene, Ji hung had a Freudian slip and referred to his relationship with SeoYoung as an “affair” and this was after the marriage. You talk about trust. Why would she trust him when he cheated with her. He would do the same to her and another woman when he gets tired of her. He cannot trust her either. She sneaked around with him in hotel rooms even though she knew he had a fiancee. She even said that she would cheat on him FIRST. You cannot ignore this intrinsic FACT!

        Their relationship is not based on love or trust. Its based on guilt, inflated egos, infidelity, arrogance, self indulgence and lust.

        Ji Hung even admitted to her Oppa that he is marrying her out of GUILT. What do you think he is guilty about? I am not making this up. Its all there in the dialogue.

        This relationship was doomed from the start and I predict that she will probably commit suicide and that would bring his self inflicted punishment to an end….and he will be relieved! Who would want a man whose wife committed suicide! Only the pathetic Air Head Cutie Princess would want him now. You wanna bet? Aigoo!

        • 33.3.1.1 Korazy Lady

          I’m sorry but to me there are so many things that defy logic in your interpretation that I don’t know where to start. SY jealous of Oppa? The marriage JH really doesn’t want is the marriage to SY? And SY doesn’t love JH, but they’re both using her illness as a cover? (Cover for what? A marriage neither wants?) All SY wanted to do was win? (I guess that’s why she let him go and was adamant about not seeing or talking to him at first.) And a wedding picture with hidden clues? At the fast pace that is needed to film 2 episodes a week, do you really think they have time to sit around and say “hey, let’s do a wedding picture with body language that reveals a hidden clue?” Can’t even comment on the numbers……

          Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and opinion comes from personal experience. To me, this is extremely well written and rings very true. Possibly you’ve had some really bad experiences with relationships that influence your opinion, because it seems a little hostile towards characters that to me seem deeply in love.

          This does not feel like the kind of drama that uses audience manipulation (no hidden birth secrets, amnesia or car accidents). I’d say, as the writer says, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it!
          http://asian-drama.org/kim-soo-hyun-if-you-dont-like-dont-watch-a-thousand-days-promise/

          • 33.3.1.1.1 CutieJamaican

            On the contrary I like the drama and I think its very well written and well acted. But there are many elements to story telling and whatever you see on the screen is part of that. The set design is a critical element to the story. Placement of objects, colors and wardrobe are essential elements along with sound and camera angles. The Dutch angle is used in situations of high anxiety. Close ups long shots etc. all have subliminal effects on the audience and are used skillfully by good directors.

            What the actors are saying and doing is only one aspect of the story telling. The Korean PDs and writers are particularly skilled at nuances and audience manipulation. The wedding photo in the bedroom is important and it deliberately placed strategically on the set to support or undermine various plot elements….subliminally. The fact that he was standing rigidly with his two hands by his side and not holding or touching the woman he deeply loves is a subliminal attempt to contradict some of the actors dialogue and to support some of the statements and actions that leads one to believe that this is not true love. The wedding photo is symbolic of the marriage itself and is used commonly in kdramas.

            Whenever you watch a movie production you ARE being manipulated whether you want to accept it or not. What you see and hear are placed to elicit certain responses. Some of it is bold others are subliminal. My analysis is non personal but I actually enjoy breaking down what I see to get the full story and the mis-en-scene NEVER lies so don’t dismiss what I am saying. Learn from it and you will be surprised how much more you will gain from a production. And remember we are dealing with a culture where things that are meaningless to us are important to them.

            Numbers have such great significance that people will pay thousands of dollars for certain numbers in their cell phone and license plates because of what these numbers mean. The number 8 means prosperity and the number 4 means death and suffering.

            I agree that the story rings true but statically most men do not marry for love and I do not think this one did. I saw a Korean drama where the husband attempted suicide because he “thought” about cheating on his wife. He did not sleep with the other woman as this guy did. So pride and honor are important to Korean men and I think that was his motivation..to inflict punishment on himself for his weakness as a man.

          • 33.3.1.1.2 CutieJamaican

            Sorry I am so long winded but if SeoYoung truly loved Ji Hung she would NOT have married him and inflict the pain and suffering she knew would come his way. She would have let him go. She could have persuaded him to go to his fiancee. He would not have married her if he didn’t know about her illness. She is great with words. She could have convinced him. She could have refused to marry him. Now she is making him a widow? She does not love him.

            And why is this couple’s betrayal being given a free pass? Since when is infidelity OK? In fact his fiance could have sued him for breach of promise and emotional suffering. Infidelity is illegal in Korea by the way.

            He knew the fiancee for years. He could have called off the marriage a long time ago and the families would have understood. Very weak man.

            I have to say this…..Ji Hung’s initial reaction to SeoYoung’s pregnancy is another major red flag. She commented on his reaction and she once told him she could feel his guilt ridden insincerity and this is what the photo shows but she is insincere too. Oh well, it takes one to know one……!

          • 33.3.1.1.3 tb

            I thought he was truly happy at the news of her being pregnant?!… For sure JiHyung loves her… I have a feeling if he didn’t break up with the marriage two days before, he might just freak out on the wedding day and not turning up? I’m sure he loves her too… and I don’t think Seoyeon is in love with her cousin JaeMin, no way! She cares for him like siblings do, like she cares for her little brother, and want the best for him. Obviously her co-worker is not good enough for JaeMin. and she said so. That’s it. Am I wrong?

        • 33.3.1.2 ahjummabunny

          hmm even with this response I can’t tell if it’s too little oxygenated blood going to your brain or the thing where you have a laugh at the expense of naive people.

          • 33.3.1.2.1 CutieJamaican

            Not at all ahjummabunny. But how a man reacts to a woman’s pregnancy, even if it is his wife, says a lot about how he truly feels about her. In this story the writer gives SeoYoung dialogue where she picks up on his insincerity on more than one occasion. Watch carefully. Its all there for you to see.

    • 33.4 71e

      u do make a comment here ???
      http://www.koreandrama.org/?p=10816&cp=5#comments

      • 33.4.1 CutieJamaican

        Yes. That’s me. I am consistent aren’t I.

  34. 34 MJ

    A Thousand Days’ Promise Criticized for Repetitive Bed Scenes

    http://asian-drama.org/a-thousand-days-promise-criticized-for-repetitive-bed-scenes/

    After the episode finished broadcast, various complaints poured in from family viewers. Some viewers expressed that they were watching with family at that time, leading to embarrassment of children asking. Some other viewers criticized that although it’s romantic drama but it’s broadcast on normal timing, why there is such a need to show bed scenes again and again. Some of the viewers said it’s completely unnecessary, instead it procrastinates the plot, and ruins the innocent image of two actors.

    The rating of the episode broadcast on December 12th, 2011 was 14.7%. The ratings for the drama which used to closing to 20% is worrying, but the ratings of powerful competitors KBS2 “Brain” has rose to 13.8%.

  35. 35 ahjummabunny

    I have to keep saying to myself this writer is dae dan hae, she’s revered but I don’t think this drama works. As a stage play it would be interesting- most of the scenes seem like a stage play and the story isn’t really interesting. It’s about something that I’m interested in, but it isn’t about what it should be about. I think the writer forgot what she intended the show to be about and now all we get are scenes from a life and there’s no art to them.

  36. 36 Korazy Lady

    @cutieJamaican,

    I love figuring out twists and turns also, but this isn’t The Sixth Sense. Emotions aren’t black and white, they’re very complex, especially love. Love, guilt, fear, sadness, anger–these characters are feeling all of these emotions at once, and I think the writer is doing a brilliant job of giving us a fly on the wall view into this tragic love story.

    I’ve had personal experience with this kind of situation, and I can tell you that even while your heart is breaking, it’s normal at times to just want to be selfish or angry and walk away (and guilt does play a big part). I know how hard it can be, especially with a long, slowly debilitating disease, which reinforces why I think the characters are displaying true love between them. At least that’s what I’m clinging to!

    If after the final episode I’m wrong, I would love to have you explain to me all the clues I’ve missed!

    • 36.1 CutieJamaican

      You are right and emotions are not black and white. People can mistake compassion and lust for love. Ji Hung’s mother warned him about this.

      I like the complexity of this story and both characters alluded to the fact they were in this for selfish reasons. In Episode 10, for example, Ji Hun told his mother he is “doing this for himself”, not SeoYoung but contradicted himself saying how much he loved and needed her. The wedding photo supports that contradiction. I think he feels lust but not romantic love. He is trying really hard but the fact that he has to try hard is telling.

      He tries to convince himself that its love but he knows deep in his heart that is not what he is feeling….hence the stiff, hands at the side, not holding her, body language.

      True romantic love is selfless, guiltless and free.

      The kdrama, GOOD JOB GOOD JOB has a lead couple where the husband experiences true romantic love. Watch that and you will see what I mean.

      Current research demonstrates that romantic love is NOT an EMOTION, it is a drive. There are actual chemical changes in the brain when this occurs. Look up Helen Fisher and her research.

      Cudoes to the writers, PD, set designers and the camera crew for their outstanding work to show the complexity of human emotions and how they work according to the mores of the Korean culture.

      Final Note: Everything I have said about the lead characters is supported by dialogue in the story and the mis-en-scene and camera shots reveal the inherent contradictions.

      I’ll give you this about the placement of the actors vis a vis something fixed on the set. If there is an image over the actors right shoulder, usually a photograph or poster that is to the right of the screen that you are looking at then the object and what it represents is NOT DESIRED. If it is to the left side it is desired.

      Happy looking!

      • 36.1.1 Korazy Lady

        It’s funny, then, that everything I’ve read from the writer or the actors discussing their roles with the writer tell how it’s a story of a man’s deep LOVE for his woman (especially on asian.drama.org). I would love to have someone who is fluent in Hangul translate the book that they have written based on this story. http://asian-drama.org/a-thousand-days-promise-drama-novel-released/ (Any takers?) That would undoubtably support a theory more than left shoulder/right shoulder/number stuff.

        We’ll see, but I think this is definitely a case of you say potato, I say potahto….

      • 36.1.2 tb

        Just wondering by chance you are in the profession? If you were right all along, then what a bummer this is… geez…

        • 36.1.2.1 CutieJamaican

          @tb… I don’t feel that way at all. Looking at episode 17 at about 30 minutes in. Watch the dialogue carefully and everything you see for the next five minutes. Check out the interaction between SeoYoung and Ji Hung re. the text from Cutie Princess. He is clearly holding back his anger at her distrust and she is concerned that he is now missing the “healthy” Cutie Lovable.

          But they cannot escape the fact that their relationship began with the stench of infidelity, deception and disloyalty. They do not trust each other and there is much doubt. Note that when she asked him to take pictures of her and her brother, who she definitely loves and KNOWS he LOVES HER, hubby HAD to ASK if she wasn’t going to take pictures with him. She complied but clearly he WAS NOT FEELING the love!

          Pay attention to the camera work and that wedding photo in the kitchen. Notice how it looms between the two actors when they were at the sink and the photo was over his right shoulder. In each wedding photo shot and there are three, he remains rigid with his hands by his side but her position changes and in this one she turns towards him but he is still looking straight ahead. The wedding photo is shown prominently in this scene. It is not accidental. It is also telling the story. Thank you Mr. Director. Just to let you know: sometimes the director will alter the screen writer’s work….pissing the writer off! The directors usually win that fight.

          One more before I go: in this same scene next to hubby’s head, when Cutie Princess returned the text that wifey sent, there are three ceramic apples of differing sizes on a shelf. They are all black. Apples are symbols of love. But isn’t red a color of love. Why aren’t the apples red? Well we could argue that its love but, a sad love, a love of despair or we could say black is the absence of color, its void, its emptiness.

          This is why I love this drama. It is so deliciously complex and layered. Great job PD. Team

  37. 37 CutieJamaican

    @Jb… look again at the scene. His face froze and she picked up on his negative reaction and commented on it. Not a sweet moment!

    He then complained in another scene that a dementia patient should not get pregnant. Duh! He thought she was using protection. Alas…she forgot.

    She had to fight to have the baby after she heard its heart beat. He wanted an abortion because if its lust, then pregnancy may kill the vibes.

    Now, to be fair, we could say he was concerned because of her illness. But I am not buying it. The initial look on his face and the wife’s response nailed it.

    Re. the wedding…if he knew nothing of her illness he would have married Lovable, Kind, Boring Goodie Two Shoes,Cutie Princess (he said so) and when he gets really horny he would go begging SeoYoung for some side dish fun.

    And oh, SeoYoung is fuckable but not lovable and Cutie Princess is lovable but not fuckable. My oh my. The yin and yang of it all….! I am sorry. I had to say it.

  38. 38 Overwhelmingly Disappointed

    Gosh, your comments really blew my mind. Wow, everyone is an expert when it comes to analyzing how the plot, and what have you on this drama. Come on people, it’s just a drama, don’t read too much of it. Besides, typical kdrama is sooooooooooooooooooo monotous, (same ole, same ole) or others say it better of same old sh-t…..same of everything, someone is terminally ill, triangle love, and all that B.S. Got so fed up with it decided not to watch anymore kdrama until this one. It’s totally different from the kdrama hype, which is getting real flat nowadays. What I like about this drama, is the lovers “ACT” like lovers. Really kissing and holding or returning hugs. Not like the other characters, the guy hugs and the girl is so stiff like a board, not doing anything. Come on man, it’s human nature, you’re going to return the hug, and all that. Can’t say it’s because your culture you don’t do it , everyone does it. And I believe all cultures do it. What do you think we have population problems? My point is at “least” this kdrama comes close to reality. And mind you the lead characters really portrayed it well. Kudos for them. Enough said.

    • 38.1 CutieJamaican

      @overwhelminglyDissapointed…..culture aside, the population problems we have these days is a global decline in birthrates and in some countries, eg. Russia, women are paid by the government to have kids and they are still not breeding. Even the WHO has gotten into the act and has expressed concern about the decline. In Japan for example, a large number of young people are not even interested in dating much less having kids. But that discussion is for another place and another time.

      These dramas are shown during “family time” and I guess some parents will become uncomfortable if little Sam Soon or little Joon Hyuk start asking for explanations………!

      This drama to me follows the usual kdrama template and I see snippets of other dramas woven into this one……same dialogue, same sets, same wardrobe, same characters and actors and actress that are casted to look similar to characters from a previous drama.

      This SeoYoung looks and acts similarly to the SeoYoung in the drama Please Marry Me and Ji Hung is similar to the Professor’s character. SeoYoung’s oppa is also similar in looks and character to Jae Min and they had a similar relationship but were not blood relatives and she was in love with him. Even the sets, wardrobe and dialogue are very similar.

      What I have on this drama is “I have seen it all before.” Even the kissing and hugging and petting and even more raunchy stuff. Que Sera is one such drama that comes to mind. I have seen the fake “I love yous” the fake tears, the leaving the one you really love to marry the one you don’t, the cheater that is not cheating and so on ad nauseum.

      I still enjoy the dramas and because they all follow a basic template and script, its fun for me to do the analysis to see what kind of manipulation and tricks the PD is up to this time.

      • 38.1.1 Korazy Lady

        Sorry, Cutie Jamacian, but now I know you are drinking the Koolaid! They are not even remotely like those two characters in Please Marry Me (which was so poorly written and overacted.) You are hilarious!

        • 38.1.1.1 CutieJamaican

          @Korazy Lady….OK lets examine the characters and the dramas a little. it would take too many pages to do it all.

          Please Marry Me

          The Professor….. strong sexual attraction to SeoYoung but in a committed relationship
          professional degree
          very gentle and supportive mother
          weak relationship with father
          Wedding Photo in bedroom: military stance both hands by his side looking straight ahead not holding wife
          told wife he didn’t like her wearing high heels
          met wife in high school
          made a thousand year promise to wife
          design of wedding dress similar
          wife realized he didn’t love her and left him

          SeoYoung…independent and educated woman in broadcast media
          Stylish and well dressed (actually wearing an out fit with the same design) Wears very high heels.
          Similar hairstyle and length of hair
          Similar height and size and facial features
          met and knew Choi “oppa” since high school
          knew his family
          knew professor in college
          broke up his relationship with his wife
          realized he didn’t love her

          TDP

          Ji Hung……..strong sexual attraction to SeoYoung but in a committed relationship
          professional degree
          very gentle and supportive mother
          weak relationship with father
          Wedding Photo in bedroom: military stance both hands by his side looking straight ahead not holding wife
          told wife he didn’t like her wearing high heels
          met wife in high school
          made a thousand day promise to wife

          SeoYoung…independent and educated woman in the publishing media
          Stylish and well dressed (actually wearing an out fit with the same design) Wears very high heels.
          Similar hairstyle and length of hair
          Similar height and size and facial features
          met and knew ji Hung since high school
          knew his family
          broke up his relationship with his fiancee
          design of wedding dress similar
          realized he didn’t love her (wife) and she will leave him

          On set for both Dramas: trees with lights wrapped around, ceramic birds, the Eiffel tower, SYs both lived in high rise apartments

          Reversals: Ji Hung rich family, professor poor family..there are more

          Ji Hung had similar lines to Kim Isang in Three Brothers
          Wedding had snow fall like in Isang’s wedding
          Isang said he loved his wife unconditionally and wedding photo showed a full head to toe touching and connecting with wife
          He and wife also fought over text message from “other woman” So did a couple in Terms of Endearment. Its all mix and match and repetition.

          I could go on forever…but you get my drift. Its like each writer gets the templated script and has to tweak it. Some writers do it better than others. This drama only stands out because of the poetry from SY and great acting and camera work. Its not much different from all the others I have seen. But I am still a K Drama fan.

        • 38.1.1.2 CutieJamaican

          @ Korazy Lady..I almost forgot: The professor’s response to his wife’s pregnancy announcement and her reaction is almost identical to Ji Hung’s response and his wife’s reaction.

          Do you still think I am hilarious?

  39. 39 CutieJamaican

    Don’t get mad Ji Hung supporters but I have to ask you this one:

    Just before his wedding, he was so thrilled to be marrying SY, he was dressed in full black from head to toe. Now in every K Drama I have seen the male lead wears full black when he is going through severe emotional distress and despair…usually resulting from separation from his girlfriend/wife or a divorce. But he was getting married to a woman he deeply loved……..? This does not compute.

  40. 40 CutieJamaican

    Watched Episode 19 raw and the husband is really suffering and its the first time since watching this drama I am moved to tears. Kleenex please!

    Cutie Lovable Princess really lives up to her name. Poor poor Ji Hung. His tortured soul is wallowing in regret and self pity. I actually feel sorry for him . But if you make your bed hard you have to lie in it hard. Who is crying now?

    And please, do NOT bring your ex to the matrimonial home under any circumstance. Your wife will be pissed especially when the ex is so bright and pretty and healthy and the wife is already doubting you….she freaked over a mere text message…. now you bring her live and looking hot. Sorry. I can’t like this guy. Grrrr.

    Why was the ending changed?

  41. 41 Bluez

    Heartbreaking series, beautifully done recaps. So many of us have to deal with this issue, but thankfully not generally in someone so young. My father-in-law’s memory loss at 85 while sad, doesn’t bring the tears to my eyes that this story does.

  42. 42 Lilian

    For me, this is the episode that confirms that Kim Rae Won is a great actor. I loved his expressions of fear, shock when he first reached home and heard Seo Yeon screaming. I could see heartbreak in his eyes! T_T

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