Drama Recaps
History of the Salaryman: Episode 22 (Final)
by | March 14, 2012 | 104 Comments

It’s been one wild and unforgettable ride, and one I’m loathe to send off into the wide blue yonder out of fear that we’ll never see something quite so spectacular and hilarious again. But all good things must come to an end – and even though nothing in the finale really came as a surprise, it was still a worthy bookend to a great drama (with an epilogue that could not have been funnier if it tried.) Thanks for always being high on laughs and low on tears, Salaryman. You will be missed.


Gabi has a quiet moment with Bum-jeung where she asks him to return to the company. He tells her that would only be possible if Gabi returned to the person she once was, the secretary that he fell in love with. When she asks him what she was like back then, he tells her: “You were a wise woman. You knew how to restrain yourself and you were considerate of others. A good woman who couldn’t even imagine hurting others.”

Here’s where the fundamental problem with Gabi becomes evidently clear, as her honest reply is that she still thinks she’s the person she used to be. Bum-jeung doesn’t say anything to that – because honestly, what can you say to that?

She gets a call from her minion that Woo-hee has been “disposed of,” by throwing her and her car into a reservoir. Corpse retrieval is unlikely. (Nooo! I’ll believe it when I see it!)

And when she drinks red wine in celebration after, a drop runs from her mouth down to her chin. Can’t miss that sort of symbolism.

Bang finds Moon-soo properly wasted over having his job on the line, but he’s not there for comfort – he’s there to turn himself in. He produces the dual contract from the Golden Brothers that he obtained by impersonating a prosecutor. Moon-soo’s not even mad, he’s impressed.

Gabi literally screams to find out that the prosecution now has their hands on the dual contract. She worries that all is lost for her, but Hang-woo is there to assuage her fears. There’s still time before the final trial, though what his plan is, we’ve yet to know.

The subject of Woo-hee finally comes up as we find out that Hang-woo has been looking for her, and is sparing no expense. Right now she’s simply listed as missing.

Bang and Moon-soo trade barbs over the extent of their legal knowledge as they discuss how long Bang might end up in prison. The tone of the conversation stays light, since Bang is fully ready to serve whatever time he must to atone for his crimes.

Their conversation is interrupted by a phone call from Woo-hee’s lab friend, who calls Bang to meet in order to pass over the evidence Woo-hee obtained on Gabi. Upon receiving the fingerprint and the insulin analysis, Yeo-chi is sure that they can nab Gabi for murder if they also use Chairman Jin’s Doctor’s testimony. Bang finally asks why he’s being given this information.

Woo-hee’s lab friend tells Bang that Woo-hee instructed her to hand over the evidence to Bang should something happen to her… and this takes both Bang and Yeo-chi completely by surprise. They had no idea Woo-hee was missing, and are immediately on the case. Their first idea to put a newspaper ad out won’t work, because one’s already there. Who put it out, then?

Cut to Hang-woo looking through Woo-hee’s apartment. She’s collected pictures of him along with adorable drawings she made of him (I love that she even included his forehead wrinkles), and the sight of them causes tears to fall from Hang-woo’s eyes.

Gabi displays only arrogance as she’s mobbed by the press over the embezzlement charges and Chun Ha’s plummeting stocks. Bang and Yeo-chi confront her in the lobby, and Gabi has the gall to laugh at Yeo-chi as though she’s already won.

Little does she know that Bang was merely buying time for Moon-soo and his entourage to arrive. He’s come to arrest Gabi on the charge of murdering Chairman Jin, and reads her her rights even as she screams her innocence. Finally!

But even this arrest isn’t enough for Yeo-chi – she won’t be satisfied until Gabi is completely destroyed.

Gabi finds herself back in the interrogation room opposite Moon-soo, who questions her on the switched insulin. Gabi uses her right to remain silent, giving ample time for her lawyer to come with a bogus letter from her doctor claiming that she can’t remain in the interrogation room due to some cardiac disorder. She even fakes heart trouble as she smiles at Moon-soo, who knows very well what game she’s playing.

Bang is righteously angry at the injustice of it all and the possibility that Gabi’s heart condition could get her out of a murder charge. They need decisive evidence to bring her down, and that means finding Woo-hee.

Gabi’s lawyer knows that Woo-hee is the key to the big mystery, though Gabi claims that even if Woo-hee were around, it wouldn’t change the fact that she’s innocent. I’m sure she’s saying that because she’s sure Woo-hee won’t ever be around again.

What’s more unsettling is that Bum-jeung seems like he might be aware that Gabi had something to do with Woo-hee’s disappearance, but acts as though nothing is amiss. (Or he just plain doesn’t suspect her. He’s hard to read.)

Hang-woo has a dream where Woo-hee is waking him up for his usual morning call, only to wake up amidst a sea of beer cans and wine bottles. Seeing as how she was just in his dream, he wanders his apartment calling her name, as if he’s truly hoping she’ll just appear in front of him.

For the good news, Woo-hee is alive and being cared for by some kind nuns. (Yea!) For the bad news, she’s still unconscious and there aren’t any clues to help her saviors find out her true identity. (Nay!)

Team Bang has taken to the streets in order to find Woo-hee, handing out a picture of her to everyone they possibly can. Their attention wavers when they see a newsflash on a jumbotron that Chun Ha has fallen into the first stage of bankruptcy. Bang tells Yeo-chi that now is the time to make her move.

Bum-jeung has returned to his post at Chun Ha, though it seems like he’s helping to man the helm of a sinking ship. Chun Ha in certainly in crisis mode, and if they don’t come up with ten million dollars by the end of the week they’ll enter the second stage of bankruptcy.

They see a light at the end of the tunnel when they hear of a possible investor’s interest – and though they don’t know who it is, the meeting is set for tonight.

Gabi prepares for the meeting with a smile on her face, glad to be rid of that stifling hospital gown for more suitable designer duds. She even chides Hang-woo for bothering to look for Woo-hee, citing that it will only take his attention away from his job. (I’m sure that her supposed heart condition is probably due to the fact that she does not, in fact, possess a heart.)

We’re in for a treat as Bang and Yeo-chi reveal themselves as the possible investors, much to Gabi’s dismay. Gabi tells Yeo-chi to get lost, to which Yeo-chi replies that fine, Gabi can go ahead and try to refuse her perfectly good money. And this time, instead of being hospitalized for a cardiac disorder, maybe she can be hospitalized for being a lunatic.

Hang-woo wonders if Yeo-chi even has the money. Yeo-chi says she’s got investors of her own, but their money comes with the condition that Gabi resign as chairwoman and give up all her stocks.

This is a worthy prospect to Hang-woo and Bum-jeung, if they have any desire to save the company. Bum-jeung rightfully calls Bang out as Yeo-chi’s picky investor, which Bang doesn’t answer directly. Instead he offers his hand to Yeo-chi and calls her “Chun Ha Group’s Chairwoman, Baek Yeo-chi” as they leave. Gabi crumples to the floor in rage.

Hang-woo stops Bang before he leaves the hotel and asks him what he talked about with Woo-hee, since he was the last person she called. Bang says he didn’t get to talk to her, but doesn’t shy away from adding that if anything happened to her, it’s all Hang-woo’s fault. He should have protected her.

With that, he leaves – but not before instructing Bun-kwae to track down where Woo-hee was when she made the call.

Our boys get to play detective as they reach the spot where Woo-hee’s car crashed, and find evidence in the form of scratched paint from her car. Nearby, Gabi’s minion watches and frets, assuring himself that he’ll be fine as long as they don’t find Woo-hee’s corpse.

Cue Woo-hee’s living body, with the caveat that she’s in a coma and akin to a vegetative state (according to one of the nuns). A nearby TV screen delivers the news that Gabi’s back in prison, with the prosecution having come to the conclusion that her health is not at risk.

Bum-jeung visits Gabi in prison with the news that they’ve entered stage two of bankruptcy. Their only way out is for Gabi to give up her management rights to Yeo-chi, which sends Gabi into a fit of hysteria. “Even if I die biting my tongue, I can’t give up.” She tells Bum-jeung that even if he has to sell his own blood, he must stop Chun Ha from falling into another stage of bankruptcy.

Hang-woo and Bum-jeung go out for some casual drinking, and Hang-woo casually asks if Bum-jeung still has Chairman Jin’s will. Bum-jeung is shocked that Hang-woo knows – and Hang-woo tells him that two other people knew. Woo-hee and Gabi. And now, only now, is he beginning to suspect that Gabi had something to do with Woo-hee’s disappearance.

Bum-jeung takes affront at the thought, claiming that Gabi wouldn’t go to such extremes. I can’t tell if he’s really blinded by love and believes that, or if he’s aware and simply covering up the truth.

Hang-woo finds the location where Woo-hee made her last call and sees that a huge banner with her picture and a phone number has been erected at the same spot. At the same time, the two nuns taking care of her happen by the banner, happy that they’ve finally found a lead. With tears in his eyes, Hang-woo asks if they know Woo-hee.

He’s taken to the small hospital where Woo-hee’s being cared for. One of the nuns tells him that they found her draped over a reservoir floodgate, and that it’s a miracle she’s even alive.

His hand shakes as he opens her door, his face devastated when he sees her lying comatose in a hospital bed. Her singing voice fills his head as he breaks down at her bedside, grasping her hand like a lifeline. “Woo-hee, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Woo-hee. I was wrong. I was wrong,” he cries. Hang-woo, you are breaking my heart here.

It’s time for another trial, and Gabi looks like she’s seen a million better days. Jang Ryang takes the stand on Chairman Jin’s feigned blindness, and when he’s asked why Chairman Jin would have fooled Gabi, he replies that Chairman Jin once told him that he was not afraid of other people betraying him… but he was afraid of Gabi’s betrayal. Ergo, the Blind Loyalty Test.

Gabi’s lawyer is good, since he even manages to make the direct testimony from Chairman Jin’s doctor seem like mere supposition. Things aren’t looking good for the prosecution case.

Hang-woo has decided to withhold Woo-hee’s living status from her real friends, so Team Bang uses a court recess to go back on the hunt. They end up at a nearby shoe store since Bang has correctly deduced that they might have had a security camera pointed toward the street – and he’s right. He takes the footage to Moon-soo, where they can see Woo-hee right after her initial car accident but not what happened to her after. The remaining footage only shows Gabi’s minion getting into Woo-hee’s car.

He’s recognized immediately, and Yeo-chi lets out a string of curses that cause Moon-soo’s jaw to drop. Haha, his poor misconceived notions. But it’s only a matter of time before Moon-soo hunts down Gabi’s minion and arrests him for the possible murder of Woo-hee.

Gabi, meanwhile, is living in her usual delusional world. She’s sure that an acquittal is in the cards for her, but Bum-jeung swiftly cuts her off. “What did you do to Cha Woo-hee?” he asks. “Did you kill her? Why in the world did you?”

She feigns innocence even when she finds out that her minion has been taken into custody. Bum-jeung can’t believe Gabi would have used Hang-woo while taking away the most precious person to him at the same time, allaying my fears that he knew everything from the start and condoned Gabi’s behavior.

Gabi sticks to her guns, and claims that she never made the order to kill Woo-hee and that it can’t be proven. But there’s an interesting moment where a tear slips from her eye as she laughs, saying that her lawyer is going to help her get cleared of all her crimes. Bum-jeung then asks what we’ve all known: “Are you crazy?”

Gabi: “Look at me, Park Bum-jeung. Look at me, I said. No one can mess with me. Who can touch me? See? I’m still alive and well. I definitely won’t die, I said!”
Bum-jeung: “Please, wake up. Please!”
Gabi: [in hysterics] “I’m not going to die! I’m not going to die! I’m not going to die!”

This scene is crazy, literally. Bum-jeung has seen these sorts of outbursts from her before, but girl done lost her ever lovin’ mind now, and he knows it.

Moon-soo can’t get a confession out of Gabi’s minion, and Jang Ryang notes that without it, they can’t prove anything. Bang refuses to believe that she’s dead and treats her like she’s missing. Luckily, Shin bursts into the room with the news that someone spotted Woo-hee at a Catholic sanatorium not long ago, but she was taken somewhere else.

We find her under Hang-woo’s care, hooked up to IVs in his apartment. Bum-jeung calls him and apologizes, saying that he’ll plead for forgiveness on Gabi’s behalf. “You were right. Cha Woo-hee… Mo Gabi killed her. That woman is already not in her right mind. I’m sorry, Choi Hang-woo.”

Hang-woo’s face contorts in sorrow and rage as he hangs up the phone. If there’s any good news to be had, it’s that Woo-hee is still at his side. He wraps his arms around her and tells her that he’ll never leave her side again. “I won’t ever leave you to be by yourself again, Woo-hee.” (Seriously. Breaking. My. Heart.)

The doorbell rings, and it’s Bang. He’s come to see Woo-hee, having found out that Hang-woo is the one who took her. Hang-woo tries to send him away but Bang knows everything – that Woo-hee might never wake up, for instance. Has Hang-woo thought about what Woo-hee would want? “If you love her sincerely… If I were you, I would do what my woman wants the most,” Bang says. But does Hang-woo really not know what that is?

It’s time for Gabi’s minion to be tried, and Moon-soo shows the court the video footage that damns him as having a hand in Woo-hee’s disappearance. Up until the end, the minion denies everything. Even when asked directly whether Gabi ordered him to kill Woo-hee, he says no.

Moon-soo drops the bomb – that at this moment, Woo-hee is here to act as a witness. The court doors open…

HA. Nice throwback, Salaryman. Woo-hee(?) is covered from head to toe and wheeled into the courtroom in much the same way that Gabi once employed to masquerade Chairman Jin’s dead body. It’s sad and funny all at once, just like it was with Chairman Jin. (It’s nice to see their brand of dark humor make such a strong comeback, even this late in the game.)

Hang-woo is the one to wheel her in and is declared her proxy, explaining away all the bandages by saying that she was severely wounded during the attempted murder. But her mind is declared sound enough for trial, so Moon-soo asks her if the person who tried to kill her is in the courtroom right now. She nods. (Ah, that’s Yeo-chi in there, isn’t it?)

When Moon-soo asks who it is, Woo-hee(?) turns toward Gabi… and slowly extends her hand, finger pointed, at Gabi’s minion. Moon-soo asks if she’s certain about Gabi’s minion being the one, and Woo-hee(?) nods.

Gabi’s minion finally breaks, and exclaims that he only did it because he was following Gabi’s orders. He’s then asked if he killed Chairman Jin as well, and he says no. “Chairwoman Mo Gabi committed that murder personally.” He then proceeds to explain exactly how she did it, and that all he did was help to move the corpse.

He even stands, and points to Gabi as he proclaims her the killer. Gabi just starts to laugh hysterically, quietly at first, before devolving into full-blown absolute mental-hospital madness. Her laughter turns into blood-curdling screams that are honestly frightening to behold as she fully descends into madness, and fully commands the screen while doing so. (Seriously, this scene was excellent.)

Outside the courtroom, Hang-woo wheels Woo-hee(?) out, and Bang takes over wheelchair duty. Once they’re out of sight, Yeo-chi reveals herself to have been the one in the wheelchair as she sheds all the bandages.

Bang commends her on a job well done, and they… hug. (Really?!) But Yeo-chi cries some righteous tears, since justice has finally been done to her deceased Grandpa.

Bum-jeung finally meets with Bang and hands over that all-encompassing manilla envelope with Chairman Jin’s will. All Gabi’s shares will go to Yeo-chi and justice will prevail, as Bum-jeung says.

And with that, he effectively relinquishes control of the company to Bang and Yeo-chi.

Gabi’s fate lies in a mental hospital, since it looks as though her sanity isn’t returning to her any time soon. She still think she’s head of the company and orders a visiting Bum-jeung around as such, and it’s actually heartbreaking when Bum-jeung calls her Chairwoman, as if he’s playing out the fantasy in her mind. He pulls her into an embrace, which is surprisingly sad.

Bum-jeung: “Now, together with me, let’s live our lives atoning.”

Some lucidity seems to come into Gabi’s gaze as she cries.

Hang-woo is keeping vigil at Woo-hee’s side, when suddenly, her hand moves. He wakes to find her hand holding his, and looks up to find that she’s awake and looking right back at him. They both smile.

It’s been one year, and we cut to Bang and his full entourage (So Ha’s been included) entering Chun Ha to the tune of all the employees wishing him long life as Chairman. Yeo-chi is looking happily pregnant as she and Bang enter holding hands, all smiles and cheer.

They turn around at the last moment and break the fourth wall, as everyone on screen wishes everyone on our side of the screen long life instead. Aww, that’s nice of them.

As for the epilogue, it shows Bang, Bun-kwae, Jang Ryang, and So Ha gathering for a company picture. Snap!

Fifteen years later we see Bang getting ready for another company picture, looking just as cute as always. It looks like he really is staying eternally youthful, thanks to Eternal Youth. Everyone else is starting to show their age, though – especially So Ha, who was already much older to start with.

And thirty years later we see Bang getting ready for yet another company picture, looking exactly the same as he did thirty years ago. Bun-kwae, Jang Ryang, and Shin hobble and wheeze their way into the frame as old men. The most hilarious part? Shin is holding a picture of So Ha, who’s died of old age by this point. (Cannot. Stop. Laughing.)

Bang and Yeo-chi’s daughter joins in for the next picture, and she’s a spitting image of Yeo-chi (helped, in part, because she’s played by Jung Ryeo-won). When the photographer declares that he’s out of battery to take the picture, she starts cursing up a storm, just like her mother.


I don’t know if it’s almost passΓ© at this point to lament unsatisfactory endings, and I wouldn’t even necessarily say that Salaryman’s finale episode was a letdown just because of time constraints. The problem can be traced back to Gabi’s first maniacal laugh, the very moment where she clued us into the fact that she was going to become the main villain.

From that moment, the focus began to shift off Bang and his personal journey to Bang and his journey to take down Gabi. Which isn’t to mean that Bang was incapable of having a personal journey once he started down that road, but there was a point where he just stopped developing and just started doing, leaving me curiously detached. I knew that Bang’s thirst for justice and his love for Yeo-chi led him to persevere, but I never really got a sense for his emotional stake in Gabi’s downfall, other than that he was the hero, and heroes right wrongs.

It’s as if they seemed to lose sight of the big picture, instead focusing all of our characters’ efforts into overthrowing Gabi and effectively cheating us of main character development in its wake, since everyone remained focused on the same objective for so long. I’m trying not to harp on the extension point but it is a serious bother that even with two extra episodes, Gabi’s plot line was just dragged out further, giving her story a well-executed (if not entirely predictable) resolution while the rest of our characters’ resolutions seemed like an afterthought. Did I miss the part where Kim Seo-hyung became top billed over Lee Beom-soo?

Of course, there’s always going to be the argument for open-ended finales, but there’s a difference between an open-ended finale borne of writer’s choice and one borne of time constraints. Salaryman might be a mixture of both. (And I’ll freely admit that this is just wish-fulfillment on my part, but going straight from Gabi’s sentencing to the time skip where Yeo-chi was pregnant got a big sigh out of me. Not even one kiss for Bang and Yeo-chi? Was that child conceived through a firm handshake?)

I guess we’re to assume that Bang was hopefully able to provide care for his mother, tell her that he became the president of a corporation and that he had achieved his father’s wishes along with his own personal desires, and that he hopefully hired back all his misplaced Paeng Seong employees. I don’t know what we’re to make of Hang-woo and Woo-hee, and what became of her friendship with Bang, if anything became of it. And, for that matter, what became of Bang’s relationship with Hang-woo, if anything became of it.

It’s fun to think about how Salaryman began, so quirky and hilarious, always ready to subvert our expectations with an unpredictable hero and a foul-mouthed heroine. Bang always retained that inherent Bang Essence, but he lost some of that mojo and classic uniqueness when he gained all his smarts, and suddenly the world was his oyster. So Bang, instead of representing a relatable everyman, became a symbol for unattainable good fortune because of the intelligence he gained through an experimental drug. Sure, there’s a chance that he could have done it all on his own, even though he failed corporate tests year after year. I just wish we could have seen more of that early Bang, rather than a completely capable hero who remained funny, but lacked the element of surprise halfway through the series.

The emotional focus eventually shifted to Hang-woo, if only for the reason that he was put into situations that required more emoting (Bang, erstwhile, was focused on climbing the corporate ladder.) The polarizing views on his character, to me at least, are either a testament to excellent writing or bad writing wearing a mask of complexity to fool us into thinking it’s good. I’m of the mind of the former, and would like to believe that Hang-woo was a well thought-out character who was, above all, a very flawed and naive human being. He certainly committed wrongs in his life, which makes me wonder if that’s the reason why he didn’t receive even a few seconds of an after story – it’s almost as if the show didn’t even want to tackle the subject of whether Hang-woo’s good deeds cancelled out his bad ones, or whether justice ignores those who are handsome.

And that would have been a perfectly rich conflict to explore, if we had kept the story just a little more focused on our four perfectly good leads. I can say that I always enjoyed the time Hang-woo was on screen, even if he confused me at times. Whether playing comedic or dramatic he was always dynamic, and normally elicited my pity rather than scorn. No character was without their complexities in this show, and even Gabi’s reign of terror managed to stay fairly grounded, all things considered. I just wish we’d seen a little less of her, and a little more of everyone else.

But if you take everything that didn’t work in the grand scheme of everything that did work, we’re still left with one phenomenal drama. It started out funnier and wackier than it finished, but it was different from the usual fare in all the right places, with a unique and memorable ensemble cast and an infectious fighting spirit. The sense of humor and self-awareness that existed in this show was unparalleled, making it seem like every day spent filming was a complete blast for everyone on set – which then made it a blast for us to watch here at home. These were some of the funniest performances I’ve ever seen, and if my only gripe is that I wish we had more Bang, more Yeo-chi, more Hang-woo, and more Woo-hee, then we’re in a good place.



104 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. danielkim90

    and also, at least, yay for a happy ending!

  2. nomu nomu nomu

    Now that History of the Salaryman is over, I would like to give three big thank you.

    1. Thank you to ‘Show’ for providing an entertaining and addicting show for us viewers, with good acting,directing, and writing. you Weren’t flawless but did a very good job in my books. Main Characters were well developed and had depth (with the exception of the caricature that is Gabi in the later half of show) I loved some of the characters and hated some of the characters, Of course that means they all did a wonderful jobs. Kudos to all actor/actress

    2. Thank you to ‘HeadsNo2’ for the awesome recaps. It was very enjoyable to read well written recaps. More than the actual recap themselves (as I always watch the show before reading any recap), I enjoy the additional perspective and comments a recap brings, some I agree and some I don’t but regardless I sincerely appreciates all.

    3. Thank you to ‘Dramabeans’ for providing a place to rant and rave for commenters. So many different viewpoint and opinion and that is what I LOVE about this site. My main reason I also read recap after already literally watching the show is it feels like I’m re’watching the show with a bunch of people with similar taste in shows and where everybody feels free to share their thoughts. again, I don’t agree with all viewpoint, but that is not a bad thing. Wouldn’t life be boring if everybody had the exact same thoughts and opinions.

    and ‘History of the Salaryman’, I won’t say goodbye, instead I’ll say see you later. You are on my external hard drive and I’ll definitely come to visit again sometime.

    • 2.1 Mystisith

      Copy and paste. πŸ™‚
      Signed Mysti.
      Except i don’t have an external HD yet.

      I will let everyone stuff themselves at the Bang/Yeo Chi party. I will crash into the Woo couple’s wedding instead.(YESS!! Everyone’s alive!)
      I will miss you drama, but dramaland never stops!
      Kudos and hugs to everyone !

      • 2.1.1 Ivoire

        I loved the first 3 lines of your response, LOL and although I didn’t watch HoTS, I came to this page because I was surprised to see that it stopped at episode 22 when I thought it was 24 episodes long. Hum… Oh well… I was just curious, that’s all, so I visited the page.

      • 2.1.2 kbap

        HAHA. You never cease you make me laugh, Mystisith πŸ™‚ Yeah though, Thank you thank you for recapping Salaryman! It was a fun ride, though I did wish we had more of the main character (How about a kiss from Bang/Yeo-chi?) Loved the epilogue though. Sigh…I’ll miss this. On another note, glad it didn’t get draggy and annoying, and my memories of this drama will always be awesome! Thanks once again for the wonderful recaps! (They make my life happier. Really.)

    • 2.2 KDrama Fan

      I totally agree. And I love your handle nomu nomu nomu. I wonder if you were influenced by ‘puppy’:


  3. Cinderella

    Loved this drama, loved every minute of it! Definitely one of the best dramas of 2012….

  4. Holli

    Thank you HeadsNo2 for the great series re-caps! I loved this show from the first note of the OST to the last cussing of Bang’s and Yeo-chi’s “daughter”. Forever one of my favorites. “Ra-Cha-Cha”!!!!

  5. Ace

    *sigh* Was disappointed that they didn’t kill off Woo-hee. But overall, it was a good series. Unforgettable, funny and quirky characters.

    • 5.1 Ace

      It’s not that I don’t like Woo-hee (I love her!), it’s just that I really dislike Hang-woo that’s why I wanted Woo-hee to die or not wake up from the coma. That would’ve been justice for all Hang-woo did in the past. Yes, he did get off easy and that’s unfair.

      • 5.1.1 mskololia

        If he were half the man YB is, he would’ve turned himself in. YB is thinking of WH’s feelings and not pressing any charges are my thoughts…

      • 5.1.2 nomu nomu nomu

        So, in order to punish someone that is guilty, you want to punish someone that is innocent???

        He who does the crime pays for the crime.

        p.s. @HeadsNo2, I don’t see Hang woo as a victim. thus don’t elicit my pity and all the ‘you’re breaking my heart’ comments. My pity was to the actual victim such as Woo Hee

        • NewKDramaAddict

          Agree. I cried simply because of his ignorance got Woo Hee in that position in the first place by that manipulative (in the words of Yeo Chi) @*#@*#@#&!

  6. desdemona

    i will never forget yoo bang and yeo chi <3

    was disappointed that they didnt pin anything on hang woo (he got off way too easy)

  7. IHeartKimchi

    Salaryman, Salaryman….

    I loved this drama so very, very, very much and will still regard it as one of the BEST dramas that I have seen in a long time. It had the chutzpah to go where few K-dramas have gone before. It had some of the greatest moments of the year and if this is an example of the drama quality this year, then I’m super excited.

    I really wish that this drama had been made into a 50 episode series, a la Giant. Seeing how long the writers keep Chairman Jin alive, I got the feeling they lost track of how much ground needed to be covered. The last few episodes felt more like some of the middle episodes in Giant rather than the final ones. If this had been, say, episode 22 in a 50 episode drama, I would have been OVER THE MOON. Then we could finally have a Hang-woo vs Bang battle, in all of its corporate glory.

    Still, this was one awesome drama that I don’t regret spending any time on, and that more than I can say for most of the dramas I watched last year. So, thank you HotS. You promised a “cathartic” and funny drama, and you delivered.

    • 7.1 diorama

      Yes, please! Like you said, I think the writers lost track of of their episode constraint, and the drama could easily have been 30+ episodes.

      Counting the historical timeline, we have:

      a) the death of the Emperor (Jin Shi Hwang) and the rise of Liu Bang

      b) the ascension of the mad eunuch who terrorized the court and fragmented the empire(Mo Gabi – and yes, there was a real eunuch who went crazy)

      and the drama’s missing third act:

      c) Liu Bang and Xiang Yu’s fight to regain control of the empire.

      So…2 out of 3 ain’t bad, but I want to kill the broadcaster who scheduled only 22 episodes.

      In any case, this drama was devilishly smart, funny as hell, and full of heart. I’ve never seen a drama that re-imagines historical events in modern context, and this one did it really well. Dammit, I won’t ever forget Bang and Yeo Chi and their Dream Team turning the corporate world upside down.

      • 7.1.1 diorama

        And of course, much thanks to HeadsNo2 for recapping! I loved your recaps so much that I’d wait to read them even after watching the episode.

  8. Birdie

    Thanks,HeadNo2 for all the recaps of this drama. Agree with most of your comments at the end. For me, it was awesome until Gabi, the evil witch took over and after that it became cliche and predictable and Bang stopped being a “salaryman”. Hang Woo did a lot of bad things but it seems he got away with it , and no real remorse. Yes he was sorry Woo Hee suffered. Overall it is still a good drama, though not an awesome one. Just my opinion.

  9. mskololia

    Thanks HeadsNo2. This was an enjoyable ride and a LOL-filled drama with good actors/actresses.

    β€œAnd when she drinks red wine in celebration after, a drop runs from her mouth down to her chin.”

    Like slobber from a lunatic…Her madness was exposing itself to us. I did not trust her in the end though….LOL

    I was glad YB talked HW into taking WH back to a medical facility. He stayed by her side for months it seems, and was the first person she saw when awakened so who knows. The point I wonder about is if she can follow someone who disregarded her thoughts, opinions and feelings. He kept telling her to not get involved with or she’s wrong about Mo Gabi and to take his side against YB. She should always be on the “right” side of things and not compromise because of him. In that sense, I’m happy they left their relationship open-ended because he was a jackass until YB came knocking on his door….

    In the epilogue, everyone aged exc for YB. πŸ™‚

  10. 10 Banu

    LOL..I LOVED the pregnancy thing.. I can’t imagine an other little BANG..XD also so that was her daughter..hahah same behavior hahaha

    • 10.1 KDrama Fan

      Oh, now you mention it, I would have loved to have seen a Bang Junior Banu!

  11. 11 Daniella

    Wah!! I can’t believe it’s really over ): Words cannot express the joy I felt while watching this amazing cast and drama itself. It’s been a really long time since I’ve finished a drama and has moved to my second favorite drama list.

    There’s so much to be said about the last episode.I feel like there weren’t enough questions answered and too much conflict was forced at the the end. I think when they decided to let Hang Woo stay and become her minion they were trying to add more tension for the last two episodes. I’m honestly curious as to how it would have ended had it not been for the extension.

    This drama never dragged. I loved all the characters and the actors as well. The woman who played Mo Gabi was phenomenal when she finally loses it. She literally scared me and I had goosebumps all over. It was amazing. Jung Gyu Woon also did a phenomenal job but most especially when he started crying and calling out for Woo Hee. That was probably my favorite part.

    Yes, Hang Woo got away with everything. I wasn’t satisfied with the end of his story but now that I think about it, I think the fact that they didn’t mention him and Woo Hee is to bring up a feeling of a new beginning/person. I doubt it though seeing he was a stubborn character till the very end which I’m still shocked about but I love the fact that he was never a predictable character. Aside from that, even though I hated the general manager, I admire how much he loved Gabi though it was getting on my nerves.

    Still so much more to add and talk about, but I’ll leave it there for now. I’m going to miss the HOTsm recap commenters, Viki (The subbers were also phenomenal), Yoo Bangie~! Yeo Chi!! The Woo couple and everything.

    I will look for these actors and their upcoming work so I can cheer for them. These upcoming dramas have A LOT to live up to. This drama has set the bar very high.I refuse to be disappointed by the new dramas.

    • 11.1 Daniella

      And of course (silly me!) Thank you HeadsNo2 for recapping this drama. I didn’t come to read the recap itself most of the time but to see your comments and what you thought about the drama. I very much appreciate all of your hard work! Hope to see you soon!

    • 11.2 Daniella

      I’ve been on this website a few times today…I always feel sad when I see this as a featured story ):

  12. 12 Lovely~

    Haha, great series, loved it.

    Thanks HeadsNo2 for recapping!

  13. 13 Liam_H

    I am sad to see this drama end because I have enjoyed it immensely. No more looking forward to Mondays/Tuesdays. I hardly ever watch k-dramas (this is my third one) but I fell in love with this one. So thanks to HeadsNo2 for all the work in the recaps.

    I totally agree that 22 episodes was far too short and led to many pacing issues and just rushed story at points. We needed at least 30 to tell this story. Disagree about Hang Woo, no pity for him whatsoever since he brought this all on himself. Woo Hee was just the victim of his actions.

    Will forever love Yoo Bang and Yeo Chi.

  14. 14 halaure

    For all that Salaryman was witty, and dark, and farcical, I never fell completely in love. But it was a crazy ride to say the least. I think the Mo Gabi plot line would have worked better as a smaller arc, like the drug mix-up. It would have given her time to go completely bonkers, but then the conflict could have shifted back to our heroes/antiheroes for the final showdown. But it is what it is.

    HeadsNo2, your recaps are brilliant. While I’m reading, I often confuse your writing with Javabeans, and have to do a double take at the author. You’ve got a great style and wry sense of humor. I can’t wait to see which drama you recap next.

  15. 15 Fasiris Fay

    Thanks so much for recapping this drama! You rock! πŸ˜€

    I’m sad that more people didn’t discover this drama, but am glad that it did receive the love it did.

    I feel exactly the same way as you in terms of the ending. Everything was wrapped up perfectly, but we definitely deviated from what the conflict was presented as in the beginning/middle of the drama.

    I was also a big fan of Hang Woo and am sad that we didn’t get to see a resolution for him and Woo Hee. I was so geared up for the fight between Bang and Hang Woo…its disappointing that we were cheated on one.

    I really do commend the actress who played Gabi…man, that was an EXCELLENT performance. I just wasn’t expecting her to become the main villain.

    All in all, a really great show πŸ™‚

  16. 16 Noelle

    Thank you for recapping!

  17. 17 pop.

    i love reading the recaps that i spent most of my free time waiting for the recaps.
    I love Bang and Yeochi, who are going to be missed dearly. I love the part Bang & Yeochi’s daughter has Yeochi’s personality.

  18. 18 kopytko

    It was such a fun ride! How thankful can I be for such a funny, off-the-wall drama, without a single wimpy heroine (alhtough there was one in distress)? I wasn’t really going to watch it, I just gave it a try and that was it.
    I was delighted with Yeo-Chi’s character and with JRW performance. She’s officially off my black list.
    JGW did also a decent job, being more than a cute guy with ABS. A complicated guy with abs is deffinitely more, isn’t it?
    Last but not least, HeadsNo2 – thank you so much for your recaps. They were such a nice pastime to read while commuting home after a tiring day.

  19. 19 Gab

    A huge thank you to you, HeadsNo2, for bringing HotS to more people and being SO SO speedy with the recaps!!

    Overall, most brilliant, unique, and crazy entertaining drama of all time… I’m going to miss HotS πŸ™ But let it inspire other writers & directors to make more works like this…

  20. 20 Jules

    Honestly, happy as I am that Bang got to climb to the top of pile, what about Yeo-chi? I think she worked pretty hard and deserved to be chairman. Er, chairwoman. Chairperson? *g*

    I thought that the resolution of Hang-woo and Woo-hee’s storyline was too pat – in my mind, after she opens her eyes, she dies. He’s sad. Then he goes to jail.

    I’m glad that Bang and Yeo-chi got together, although I cannot believe we didn’t get a Bang/Yeo-chi kiss even in the finale! πŸ™

    Anyway, it’s been a great show to watch and to read (recaps), and I’d not have started either if it weren’t for you, HeadsNo2, so thank you. πŸ™‚

  21. 21 Sabah

    Thank you HeadsNo2 for recapping this wonderful series. Subtitles are sufficient for most K-dramas that I watch but this one was different, it needed a little more which you so effectively provided. I am indebted. Thank you.

    I loved this drama, it contained so many themes and brimmed over with larger than life characters that could actually be your neighbours. They were silly through their own idiosyncrasies yet they were imbued with feelings that suffuse through our souls too.

    For me it shone a light on something that adversely affects most of us; injustice. How is it that the greedy, the wicked and the unfeeling seemingly get away with ‘murder’ whilst the worthy, the truthful and the steadfast remain the underdog? As many a person has lamented to me, where is the fairness in this world?

    This drama was a manifestation of the answer that I give people. Ill deeds are their own undoing. That you cannot do wicked things without it hardening your heart. So that you may gain the whole world, wealth and fame and even honour BUT you fail to protect your heart to appreciate and enjoy it.

    I know many people have their grievances against Hang-Woo but for me, this was the important distinction between him and Gabi. His motivation never kept him beyond redemption. His motivation, though in the most twisted form was love. Love for his brother and a need for justice, in his own warped way, were his intentions, so that even though his heart hardened with each iniquitous act, that fleck of love for his brother, his striving to back some kind of harmony back into an unjust world was his salvation. His end goal was not wealth and position alone unlike Gabi. His goal was justice and once found he would have left alone with it, heart unburdened, a heart in movement.

    Gabi on the other hand sought wealth and position over all else, for nothing other than power. Even when she gained everything she had wished for it came without a heart to enjoy it. Always paranoid, always looking out for another ‘Gabi.’ Even if Bang, Yeo-Chi and Woo-Hee were out of her life, she would never have been able to find peace because she lost her heart in reaching her goal. No movement to soothe, guide or motivate her, just a rock in her side to pinch her evermore.

    Who knows why Gabi became the way she did, and I always wondered if Chairman Jin had some portion of blame. Grooming her to be so ruthless and ‘business like.’ All I know is that this drama heeds us all to be more like Bang and Yeo-Chi, not to lose ourselves in our quest to find happiness; not to lose our hearts, where ever they may lie.

    Thank you to everyone for a wholly satisfying drama. It has been a blast!

    • 21.1 Carrie

      Hang-Woo was out for revenge, not justice. If he was out for justice for his “brother” then he would have turned his brother in. He has no reason to hold a grudge against Bang for his brother’s death. He was the one who put his brother and himself in this position by going out to destroy everyone and everything that comes in his way even if it means eliminating them by wrongful framings.

      • 21.1.1 Sabah

        Yes, I didn’t say righteous justice, I stated that it was a warped justice, the root of which was love.

        I mean, with the same brush, I could have just as easily have said the same for Gabi, that in her own warped way she was seeking justice, seeking that prize that she felt she deserved after so many years, but for me, the distinction was that the root of her struggle unlike Hang-Woo was greed. She sought wealth for wealth’s sake. Bang, Yeo-chi and so forth sort it for a new and better chapter in their lives. Hang woo to restore a sense of justice in his own way.

        I am not asking you to forgive Hang-Woo, this is just my own personal take on this drama. Feel free to white wash and tinge it with your own colours.

        • Liam_H

          I see your argument but I never believed that HW would actually fall for Gabi’s lie that his brother and her were lovers. He was scheming with her for awhile and he knew how manipulative she can be. How could he not see through this when she would all of a sudden appear to be a lovesick woman out of nowhere.

          He chose to continue his wrong ways because of that. He was all set on leaving to America and moving on with his life. Even wanted to propose to WH and bring her along with him.

          • Sabah

            Yes, but this is my point. With each iniquitous act of his, his heart hardened, so that it was easier and easier for him to commit the most heinous of acts, to collude, conspire and contrive. The rock like heart unable to move so that very vessel you use for guidance loses its perspicacity, its ability to guide you. Yet those tiniest of movements, for love and justice (or revenge as you may call it) when he thought of his brother, his brother’s ‘plight’ and then for love eventually for Woo-Hee where his saving grace.

            He was on the same path as Gabi, but for these movements of his heart.

            Yes, I agree the means doesn’t justify the ends, something that Bang stood for. I am not saying I agree with Hang-Woo’s actions, I am saying that I liked the manner the writers juxtaposed his development along side Gabi’s and the way they distinguished both, (though I may be the only one who sees it like this.) Then the manner they contrasted him against Bang. I like details, and maybe I read too much into things, but I like viewing the drama in this way and have laid it to rest here, you of course are more the welcome to lead it elsewhere and I would be interested in your views too.

          • Liam_H

            So if I’m to understand you fully. You understood Hang-Woo’s action as man who was blinded by his own sense of justice. The deeper he went the easier it was for him to do illegal things. I never saw it this way and I can buy that as the driving force for his actions from episodes 1-14.

            When Chairman Jin had died, his primary goal was accomplished. He was ready to move on, leave this life of revenge behind. So if we apply the same motivation here, he genuinely believed Mo Gabi’s lie and felt an obligation to help her because his brother ‘loved’ her. Also it was a chance to destroy Yoo Bang. This I can all accept. However, my major gripe is that I find it difficult to believe Hang-Woo as smart as he is would fall for Mo Gabi’s lie. Unless he was blinded by his love for his brother, that he thought this would be one last thing to do to honor his memory. Save Mo Gabi for him and he can move on.
            However, he knows Mo Gabi murder the Chairman and took away what was suppose to be Yeo-Chi’s. He even sympathized with her but how can he not see that her grandfather being unfairly murdered was the same as him losing his father. Its analogous to his situation but he continues to help keep Mo Gabi in power.

            Another reason is that I just dislike Hang-Woo as a person outside of the corporate setting. He always allows his pride and vanity to come into play. One was when he ditched Woo-Hee on the side of the road when she tried to defend her friend. He expected her to come running to him. This really irritated me.
            Also he did it again when Woo-Hee didn’t pick up his phone call in Episode 21 and he decides not to check up on her because he has his own pride. Did not even think that something might’ve happened to her. Maybe this stems from his never give-up attitude in his quest for ‘justice’ but this is the woman he loves so that doesn’t work for me. When you love someone you treat them the same no matter the situation, you don’t start to worry for them just when they go missing. So its these reasons I just don’t like him, so any crying or redemption in this final episode barely phased me.

          • Sabah

            Thank you for replying and sharing your views. I love hearing other people’s views because I already know what I think. : )

            I understand your issues, I truly do, for I almost always have a few of my own in any drama that I watch, which I always try to interpret away, trying to fit odd shaped puzzle pieces into my finished jigsaw. I will try to ‘fit’ these pieces you have found for me, into my own puzzle, but as always you are free to point out that they don’t ‘slot in perfectly’ AND I truly hope you find some way of making sense of it all AND if you do, please do share.

            “Unless he was blinded by his love for his brother, that he thought this would be one last thing to do to honor his memory.” I think the final scene of Gabi’s undoing was wonderful. It showed what happens when you follow this path to its end destination. Modern medicine is only now recognizing what Eastern philosophy has known for a while, that heart is the centre of a person. What modern Western science calls, ‘The brain in the heart’ Eastern knowledge has stated a long time ago, that heart is the primary organ responsible for influencing and directing our emotions and our decision-making ability; it is a source not only of virtue and love, but also of intelligence.

            If you lose your heart through wicked ways, then you will lose your mind too (like Gabi) Maybe he believed Gabi, and maybe he didn’t but for me the reason why he stayed instead of returning was more to do with his own soul’s state. It also answers why he could not understand that as you say, “Its analogous to his situation but he continues to help keep Mo Gabi in power.” That is, he was still carrying the weight of his ill deeds. That darkness in his heart that at any moment could lead him to a point of corruption beyond help, like Gabi.

            You state that why wasn’t he intelligent enough to outwit Gabi’s machinations, but did he ever use his intelligence for righteousness? He only ever used his intelligence for contrivances. His motivations were always a little warped and towards darker sentiments. I didn’t see it as a big leap that he progressed further towards being complete psychopath. Yet, I didn’t give up on him either because of those flecks of love I found in him. He redeemed himself, by not becoming engulfed in what he had become. He took a long hard look at himself, where he used to stand, and where he was heading (those moments with Woo-Hee in the aftermath of the accident) and despite knowing that people might be unforgiving, (Woo-Hee, Yeo-Chi) and might even look down upon him (Bang) where he wouldn’t be able to look them in the eye anymore, he still decided to come back, return to something better. He broke that very arrogance, that as you say, ‘He always allows his pride and vanity to come into play.’ In those very tears that did not move you, I found his redemption. That pain of healing a hardened heart, as difficult as getting blood from a stone. To forgive him would be a tremendous thing BUT for him to seek forgiveness is no small feat either. He had to break his ego to do so, and not many are willing to do that in this age. They justify their actions, as Hang Woo once did instead of seeking to make amends. (Look at Gabi’s and Bum-jeung, she couldn’t ever break her ego)

            It isn’t easy coming back from the dark side. Ask Frodo. You can either be Sam (Woo-Hee (even Bum-jeung)) and never give up hope that they will regain their heart and sanity OR you can watch as they lose their heart, their minds and be the end of themselves like Gollum (Gabi)

            OK, that enough rambling from my side, I realized I hit a low with those LoftheR references, so I shall just thank you for your patience and end it here. With love, Sabah

          • Liam_H

            I see your points and I will give you this. My dislike for Hang-Woo has lessened due to this conversation, because of the comparisons you made of his journey and Mo Gabi’s. I had never given much thought to that aspect until now. But I still dislike the guy and his redemption in this final episode did not effect me in the same way he did you.

            It might be due to the fact of how rushed everything felt, this truly could have easily been a 30 episode series with how much content there is. If there was a more gradual progression it might’ve been more effective but I have problems with the pacing. In general this whole series could’ve been a lot greater if there was more time.

            I’m actually glad you used the LotR references because I understand it instead of choosing some k-drama I’ve never watched before. My pop culture interest/knowledge consists nearly 0% k-drama, this is only the 2nd series I’ve watched in full and its by far the most enjoyable one so far. Thanks for replying, this was time well spent.

          • Sabah

            I am much obliged for your thoughts too. For me conversations are like sea-saws, it is much more fun with two people. Although I have yet to learn the art of conciseness, I much prefer listening than to talking. By viewing things through the heart’s lens of another person, I am a more rounded person. Without your points I would have never come up with the LoftheR reference, which if anything at least gave me a laugh.

            I am truly glad that I was able to interpret Hang-Woo a little more deeply for you. However I do understand the animosity he garners. Some people are truly difficult to like yet alone love.

            I agree about lengths of dramas. It is one of the reasons I prefer them to movies. They take the time to develop characters in an organic and wholesome way. However sometimes I feel that stories are shaped towards ratings causing damage. I feel that viewers’ feelings are taken into too much consideration. What I mean is that the Cast, crew and writers must begin with a message, an aim for their story, which if tailored again and again at the whim of thousands of people can end up looking shabby.

            Once again thank you.

        • Ivoire

          Hi Sabah,
          just out of curiosity, what does LoftheR mean/stand for? What is it in reference to? Thank you for answer, hopefully…

          • mskololia


            Lord of the Rings.

          • Ivoire

            Thanks mskololia, I didn’t watch Lord of the Rings so I didn’t think of those movies/book.

          • Sabah

            Yes that is correct. I was thinking of using Star Wars, but then I thought that most people here are probably a lot younger than me.

          • Sabah

            * I meant the original Star Wars. For of course, people associated with the Newer franchise would be a lot younger than me. : )

          • Sabah

            **I realized I didn’t fully answer your question. If you are still interested.

            It is about a protagonist, like Hang-Woo or Frodo (in LoftheR) taking a darker path. It may begin as something noble, but along the way lines get crossed, and so hearts get corrupted so that the original good intention rusts also. A good reason why the ends can never justify the means because the price paid, ( a soul lost) adversely affects the ends too.

            Yet there is always hope, no matter how far those people go down that dark path, that they will see the error of their ways and makes amends, especially if they have people pulling them towards a better way, (Woo-Hee/Sam) It is rare that such a person would change, for both stories show that such a corrupting path will inevitably engulf the person (Gabi/Gollum) [I especially loved the scene between Gabi and BumJeung when he asks her to return to who she was, and whilst plotting murder thinks of herself as the heroine, she is so enveloped by the darkness, that she is veiled to her own stated] and even a person who pities/loves them can not always save them (Bum-jeung/Bilbo) Both stories give us hope, that such people are capable of changing, it is a matter of hope.

            I know that people find it difficult to forgive people for their crimes, as they say how can they ever redeem themselves? A question asked in LoftheR too, and I would like to answer with a favourite quote of mine from there.

            Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
            Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
            Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”

  22. 22 ahjummabunny

    Dear, dear, headsno2!
    This is my second time going all the way through with your wonderful recaps! I hope to spend more time with you soon. Rest up and come back fighting!

  23. 23 Carrie

    Ah, at last, we’ve come to the conclusion of HOTS. The finale wasn’t what I’ve hoped for but it is pretty satisfying regardless because we finally got to see Bang as Chairman with YC next to him. πŸ™‚

    Headsno2, it has been a great pleasure reading your well thought out witty recaps. πŸ™‚ I always look for your recaps first thing before I watch the episodes. Thank-you for devoting so much time to this for your readers.

  24. 24 ingridine



  25. 25 Rica

    Well said HeadsNo2

  26. 26 Taber

    I love this drama but the only thing I kept thinking about was why Woo-Hee still had on her clothes…it was killing me.

  27. 27 Brenda

    Aww, it’s finally over.

    I’m really glad Woo Hee didn’t die. Hang Woo is an idiot but he’s already lost everyone he had, if he lost Woo Hee too it would be too much pain for him to have to bear.

    I’ll miss seeing all of them =(

  28. 28 Moxie

    The best k-drama ever!!! I love the ending (ala The Greatest Love style) to this wonderful comical, suspenseful, riveting k-drama masterpiece. Congratulations to the actors and the staff for such excellent work. πŸ™‚

  29. 29 subject

    I’ll start with huge thanks to HeadsNo2 for choosing such great drama to recap. you definitely proof how big your contribution was for us, the reader/viewer of HOTsm. so, thanks once again, I’ll surly look for your future recaps (Well, let’s be honest. As long as it doesn’t cover youth dramas, first kisses and first obsessions of the main lead have since age 4 and not yet got over it).

    This is the FIRST k-drama I’ve watched with my BF. he always prevented and I never found something that actually can catch his judgmental eyes. until salaryman. only for that – I must give BIG credit to the writers, director and actors – they made GREAT drama, which they must be proud for taking part in something that makes so many people exiting for Monday to come. YAY!

    We watched the final episode few minutes after dramaok finished to translate it. both of us tried to guess few hours before, how it’s gonna end. I keep insist that based on their previous work together (aka Giant), I have a feeling they won’t disappoint us. Oh, only now I realize how much I was wrong! at first, I couldn’t be clear if I love or hate the ending, but now I can. I HATE IT! (actually, we both hate).

    Sorry, to push all the gang (Yoo Bang and co) jumping with a huge smile and then an amusing epilogue, it is not called to sign Drama. all the last episode looked like unfinished road. SBS gave them 20 episode and than 2 more, but the original request was for 24 episodes, so I couldn’t avoid the thoughts of “What if…” cause, I truly believe that IF they get what they wanted from the start, Mo GaBi’s issue probably done till episode 20 and then we could get what most of us wanted – Yoo Bang VS. Hang Woo.

    Criminals must be punish. If I was Yoo Bang or Yeo Chi I surly demand the system to punish Hang Woo, Park Beom Jeung and Chil Bok. Mo Ga Bi is not the only vicious scumbag! I’m not naive, I know the facts. lots of criminals are free cause the law system failed, cause they have developed survival instinct and cause they are smart enough to make a crime without get catch.

    The writers wanted to give happy ending to everyone (even Mo Ga Bi kinda done without really getting punished with a man – who is also scumbag – standing by her side, in a mental institution that looks much better than jail). and sorry, Hang Woo didn’t punished at all. He suffered a little and get Woo Hee back. The pain Hang Woo experiences are nothing compared to the suffering and pain he caused to Yoo Bang and Yeo Chi. and Yes, crying Hand Woo didn’t move me also, BUT I was super upset to see Woo Hee in a coma, cause she end-up loving the wrong guy.

    I have crazy journey for 21 wonderful episodes with HOTsm, filled with love, jealousy, revenge, greed, murder, false accusations, mystery, action and above all hysterical laughter interspersed all over with moments to remember for years to come. I REALLY wanted to give them the first place in my all time favorite K-drama, but the last episode ruined everything! never mind, it’s only me, who cares about mine lists? πŸ™‚

    • 29.1 Fabmari

      Totally agree! After 21 episodes of crazy ride, the finale is so tame!

      It was like “HUh?!? That’s it?”
      Woo Hee works so hard but she only gets few seconds of screen time, Show? You don’t even let her confront her big enemy?
      Of course Yeochi making the entrance is great, but she is protecting someone who died. Woohee, on the other hand, is protecting her man. I really wish she is the one calling the shot.

      Plus, how about the recording she saw. Didn’t see make a copy or something? To say all rely on the admission of the minion is so simplistic.

      Hang Woo does not have to pay for his mistakes? So all are now blamed on a crazy woman? And Hang Woo says he is sorry, exactly for what? For not supporting Woohee’s righteous principle? For his mistake to be blinded by Gabi? What has he actually learned other than the painful possibility that she dies? His help for Bang is just following Woohee’s wish, but does he finally know that revenge does not get you anywhere?

      The finale is good if we are using normal kdrama standard, but for Salaryman’s standard it is like going out without the big firework bang. Perhaps it is really because of time constraint that the last episode is so rush. Luckily the funny epilogue really ease a little pain.

      Nonetheless, it is great drama. Thank you HeadNo2 for such great recaps.

    • 29.2 ahjummabunny

      criminals should only be punished in fiction if their punishment would serve to better the society of the fictional world they live in or move the story along. while the salary man ended, the story they were telling definitely didn’t end so there isn’t a true happy ending.

      • 29.2.1 subject

        Maybe you and me living in different world. Hang Woo is criminal, no matter what excuse you use to adjust his actions. he MUST be punish!

        But if you explain it in language that I understand if
        Attempted murder,
        Setup/framed in the murder
        Documents forgery,
        deception lawyer and witnesses.
        Defamation/Intentionally harm a person’s reputation

        If all that are not crimes but my deranged imagination, so I can start pray for your soul.

        • subject

          By the way, you could just say that you love Hang Woo no matter what he did, cause you think he had great chemistry with Woo Hee and they are your favorite couple. With that, YOUR personal taste I can’t argue. it’s your choice and your personal preference so who am I to judge you? but from here to say that Hang Woo shouldn’t be punish because it’s doesn’t serve the interests of the society the way is TOO LONG!

          And another thing. is HOTsm is Science Fiction and if so from when and how did you determine that?

          • ahjummabunny

            ehm, I definitely didn’t mention hang woo. I only said that criminals in fiction should be punished if it will help the story. also, I don’t love hang woo no matter what he does. I realized I haven’t been taking the show as seriously as some of you have, I’m not sure if that’s because of the show itself or because I don’t take tv that seriously in general. I’m sorry if I gave you heartache subject, I’m definitely not seeing the big picture since I only think of it is a story versus an allegory.

  30. 30 mihinikki

    Thank you so much HeadsNo2 for your thoughtful, funny, and show-enhancing recaps. I felt pretty much the same way you do. I spent a lot of time pouting over not enough Bang-Yeo Chi time both as a couple and then just as individuals. HOTS had wonderful characters and then didn’t showcase THEM enough. I’m sad, but I still love Bang, Yeo Chi, and Team Bang so much. I’ll be jumping to watch whatever Lee Bum Soo and Jung Ryu Won star in next. Also, shout to Grandpa! I love you Haraboji!

  31. 31 katniss


    i just wish that hangwoo and woohee were also included in the epilogue :))

  32. 32 lenrasoon

    HeadsNo2 thank you so much for your recaps!

  33. 33 hamsandwich

    “Bang commends her on a job well done, and they… hug. (Really?!)” I FRICKIN KNOW!!!!!! ha ha but really, this show was epic, even with the lack luster ending. Thank you for writing recaps I rushed to read seconds after finishing an episode!

  34. 34 KDrama Fan

    Thank you Heads for the recaps and your comments which I totally second. Look forward to what you recap next:)

    Thank you HOTS writers and production staff for doing something different. I didn’t get it at pre-airing but once I’d read the first recap you got me. I thought the ending should have been different-it was a bit too simple-but hey you you can’t win them all. Hats off to all the actors.

    I was so glad to see Jung Ryeo-won play a character I could really get into. (I’d only seen her in MNIKSS and her character wasn’t endearing though JR acted it well.)

    Really glad to see Jung Kyeo-woon in such an entertaining show.

    Perhaps will see some other ‘different’ dramas in the future rather than everyone jumping on the same genre.

  35. 35 Dhila

    Thank you sooo much HeadsNo2! What a wonderful ending for both couple. I’m glad to see Woo-hee alive:)

  36. 36 Brenda

    Thanks so much for recaps! Loved this drama even though the last couple of episodes made me feeling rather detatched (seriously everytime mo gabi came on screen with her RIDICULOUS laugh, i rolled my eyes and impatiently waited for her scene(s) to be over), other than that, for the majority of the drama i was enjoying the humour and the cast, it was a fun ride πŸ˜€

    P.S. OMG i was waiting for a kiss as well -_- i mean hang woo and woo hee got two kisses (sadly it was at a point where i didn’t care about their relationship anymore), bang yeochi deserve one too!

  37. 37 pinkpia

    thanks HeadsNo2 for the awesome recaps & thank god Woo Hee lived!!! πŸ™‚ this is going to be all time favorite K-drama of mine along with Coffee Prince

  38. 38 cath

    What i’m going to say is…I love HW and WH parts so much…

  39. 39 purpleZ

    First of all, thank you HeadsNo2 for your fast recaps on this wonderful drama! I’ve enjoyed this drama immensely and this is the first drama that I fall in love with again after a long time. It has been a wacky and fun ride and I’ve enjoyed laughing and squeeing watching this drama except…

    The last 2 episodes gave me the feeling that they’ve run out of plots but to drag Mo Ga Bi’s evilness to the limit (at some points it felt like Kim Soo Hyung had become the main lead because she got so many air time like at least the last 6 episodes. She is fabulous though in playing out MBG). I have the same feeling as you, HeadsNo2. I’ve expressed this in Soompi but I have to say something about it here too.

    I’m re-watching Salary Man again just because I love it. The wackiness and catchiness in the earlier episodes somehow lost their tracks nearing the end. Just like you, I’m disappointed not to see YB-HW battle at the end. MGB’s plot was dragged too much. You can feel them stretching it from the same cliffhangers in 2 episodes (my heart almost stopped seeing WH almost got run over again and again). I was like AGAIN?? BUT I am RELIEVED that she’s not dead.

    Apart from YB-YC’s great ending, others are either overdone or underdeveloped. MGB’s overdone. YB-HW’s disappears in thin air, HW-WH’s underdevoped, HW’s deed forgotten (although I know he’ll listen to and treat WH right from now on!). It’s really too bad because if they would’ve toned down MGB, we would’ve got more of our main 4 leads. It’s like they mislead us with the starting plot of YB-HW’s battle to EVERYBODY-MGB battle. I know I’m glad that everyone at least has a happy ending (I really am) but it’s the execution I’m not satisfied with.

    Anyone not disappointed that WH didn’t have any lines in the last episode (except for WH in HW’s dream)? I AM. She’s one of the most interesting and lovable characters in k-drama land.

    Love the last epilogue. Frickin’ hillarious! Bye Salary Man πŸ™

  40. 40 Sugarpunch

    I was really sad when this ended:) which is really rare hahaha. This drama is one gem I’m gonna keep watching! Thanks for the recaps:)

  41. 41 skinnymocha

    Whoop! THIS is how a k-drama should be done (save for the last few episodes, but only because it paled in comparison to the awesome beginning).

    To be quite honest, I’m perfectly fine with the lack of kissing between Bang and Yeo-chi – they’re like the cute bickering couple juxtaposed against the more romantic and emotionally wrought coupling of Hang Woo and Woo Hee. It somehow reminds me of ‘Legend of the Condor Heroes”:

    Bang+Yeo-chi = Guo Jing+Huang Rong
    HangWoo+WooHee = Yang Kang+Mu Nianci

    Anyone know of this novel/drama and can see the resemblance? Or is it just me?

  42. 42 Mello

    What I understand, in the end, is that no matter how wrong you were/are, how mean you were/are, you still can have a lover by your side. Mo Ga Bi didn’t end up alone, even if she went crazy. (I think she didn’t act in order to have a lighter punishment, right? she already displayed this behaviour before the tribunal sentence so I think she’s really crazy)

    Hang Woo didn’t end up alone as well, he’s an orphan who has no family so he has a girlfriend by his side now.
    Yeo Chi, she used to be mean, selfish and immature, now she became a responsible woman, married and a mother.

    Now…Hang Woo I still dislike him and his redemption at the end did nothing to me, he’s a macho, believes his woman has to listen to him but he can’t do the same for her, he didn’t even seduce her properly lol He used his higher status in the company to order her around (she ha to call him everyday early in the morning!) and asking for hugs with so-called incantations…childish. Seeking revenge no matter what for his father’s death, when he could have moved on and seek therapy instead…and then getting into another revenge against Yoo Bang just because of his ego. Oh yeah, he also looked immature with his coleague of another company who had a crush on her. He’s also naive for having believed Mo Ga Bi till the end.
    Why did he ridicule Yeo Chi’s Korean spelling when he was partly raised and lived in the US and was adopted there? Couldn’t he understand? Why doesn’t he speak English? This has nothing to do with him, I know, it’s the drama, they tell us the guy is an adoptee but he has no American influences and acts like a typical Korean (piggybacking…). Same thing with Bad Guy drama.

    So…I think I’m done πŸ™‚ Thanks for the recaps and the reviews.

  43. 43 loligar

    Director Mo Ga Ji ain’t got nothing on Versailles Yoo and Agassi πŸ˜€

  44. 44 wol

    I’ll miss this drama, but I won’t miss Yeo Chi red hair.

  45. 45 sy

    Thank you HeadsNo2 & HiStM drama for taking us on a truly fun-filled & entertaining ride! Keep up the good work! Cheerios πŸ™‚

  46. 46 poshong1227

    Maybe unrelated but the electric guitar instrumental riff (played in the courtroom and in the last scene) is totally badass and i love it! Anyone knows whether SBS is releasing the soundtracks for all these instrumental tracks??

    • 46.1 Mystisith

      I battled to find that track too, but unsuccessfully!

      • 46.1.1 poshong1227

        help, anyone?

  47. 47 xnopex

    so wait, you can take a comatose woman out of a hospital (without being her family or anything) and just set her up in your living room like a piece of furniture?

    i’m sad to see this drama go and i loved it but that part had me going “uhhhhhhhhhhh”

  48. 48 mud

    Thank you Heads for recapping this series. I agree with all your points. The turning point for me was when Chairman Jin died. Gabi’s maniacal scenes felt overused so I was not the least bit amused by the ending… But episode 20 was really good so I did hold out that maybe the show still had a few tricks up its sleeve and would surprise us. Sadly that was not the case, but nonetheless the show was a fun one. I kind of wish there was another show with such an awesome hero and heroine. Well, now it’s exam season, so I guess it’s a good thing the show ended.

  49. 49 elle loves kdrama

    Thanks again for the recaps, Heads! You will be missed HOtS! Now back to real life…sigh…

  50. 50 NewKDramaAddict

    I’ve obviously not watched enough dramas because I was thoroughly satisfied with the ending except for Gabi to the loony bin; hanging from the rafters would have been more satisfying. I still contend this to be the funniest comedy I have seen. If there are others as funny, please let me know. I thought Wild Romance was funny, this actually topped it!

    • 50.1 NewKDramaAddict

      And I was remiss in thanking HeadsNo2 for the great recaps!

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