A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 20 (Final)
FINAL EPISODE RECAP
javabeans: Cold open! Ha, I love that these actors play themselves at half their ages, like in this scene where they’re all decked out in school uniforms and totally playing blind to the fact that they’re acting with, like, 17-year-olds.
girlfriday: This is my favorite, just for the ridiculous factor of these guys in those uniforms.
javabeans: Aw, is this from before they were even all friends?
girlfriday: Okay, I love this. Do we finally get to see how they got to be friends?
javabeans: So Tae-san calls out Do-jin from class, and Jung-rok calls out Yoon, both for different grievances. Only to find they both head to the same bit of lawn for their confrontations, leading to a bigger confrontation between the two twosomes. So now everyone’s insulting everyone in turn, and everyone has beef with everyone else. It’s a musical chairs of adolescent aggro posturing. I love it.
girlfriday: You’d think Yoon doesn’t fit here, ‘cause he’s the smart nerdy kid, but then when he says he’s first place, Do-jin gets up in his face, all, “Are you why I’m second?” Tae-san’s just interested in being the best fighter, and Jung-rok is mostly just a punk. It ends in a four-way brawl dogpile, and then they’re lying the grass together, looking up at the sky.
javabeans: It’s a sweet sentiment that closes the sequence, that they became friends for really no particular reason, but that it grows into something special anyway. Then we open the episode proper with an extension on that theme — the high school boys of the present day. The bullied classmate has called Dong-hyub, Colin, and Third Amigo to the roof, and surprises them by flat-out thanking them and also apologizing for the run-in with his mom.
girlfriday: Aw, is he gonna be their Yoon?
javabeans: This is so cute. I get that there’s some kind of past history here, and clearly Dong-hyub thinks he’s a punk, but No. 4 is so pleased to be talking to this trio, like he’s wanted to be friends with them awhile: “I really wanted to come up to the roof, ‘cause you guys come up here.”
girlfriday: Yeah Sung-jae was a punk and his mom is even worse. But it’s adorable that they end up friends. A teacher comes up, so they scramble and lie down, as Do-jin narrates that somewhere, other boys are turning into them.
javabeans: We move on to the scene that ended Episode 19 at the club, rewound a few minutes. The guys wonder how to locate their ladies, but Do-jin sees a waiter entering a private room with a pricey bottle. Bingo. Hilariously, a waiter comes to that very room pulling a quartet of guys along (by the wrist) to be booked to this uber-rich lady and her beautiful friends. Ha, they’re like F44 clones, minus about ten years.
girlfriday: Their reactions are hysterical. They walk up and Do-jin says actually the women in there are “His, his, and my woman,” and Jung-rok asks why he doesn’t get one. “You’re divorced.”
javabeans: The guys enter and growl their “introductions” and then level their girlfriends with accusations, like how you’re getting married in a few days and you’re doing what? Then Jung-rok caps it all off with, “I know we’re divorced, but… should I sing a song?” The other guys shoot him WTF looks, and he shrugs, like, I didn’t know what else to say.
girlfriday: Hilariously, Min-sook gets on the service phone to complain that the men they sent in are sub-par.
javabeans: Sera gets up and says, “Well, since we’ve been caught… I wanna go dance.” The others follow her out to the main floor, and the boys watch sulkily from the balcony. The guys claim their girlfriends one by one, and Jung-rok joins Min-sook on the dance floor. When she informs him that her ex-husband has no place butting in, he tells her he’s here as a divorcé, out looking for a divorcée to romance. And then he puts earbuds in her ear to play her… the Macarena? Dude needs serious romancing tips.
girlfriday: Haha. Maybe that’s how he lured her the first time?
javabeans: Or his strategy is to shock her so much that logic flies out the window? So then they dance there in the middle of the club floor to the Macarena, while everyone else laughs and stares. Admittedly, when you’re bopping along to Kangnam Style, it’s not like you’ve got a leg to stand on, is there?
girlfriday: They are adorable, dancing together to their own music in the middle of the floor, no matter how ridiculous.
javabeans: We resume with Do-jin and Yi-soo out the club, where he basically tells she’s pretty and that she’d better not to come to places like this ever again. Bleh. And then they make out. The less said about this whole exchange, the better, I figure.
girlfriday: They kiss; that’s all that’s important. Do-jin and Tae-san score a new contract, and then Do-jin tells Jung-rok about Yoon getting blasted by Meahri’s parents. Jung-rok wonders if they opposed the marriage, but no, it was mostly the timing because they didn’t want her to marry before Tae-san. So she… told them she was pregnant.
javabeans: Sigh. This is what happens when you learn life lessons from dramas.
girlfriday: Seriously. I’m just thankful this part is offscreen and we’re just getting the play-by-play from Do-jin.
javabeans: Aw, so it turns out both Colin and Dong-hyub got that fast-food job after all. That’s so cute. And because they’re cute, they of course have the schoolgirls hanging all around, drooling over oppas. Meahri pops in to ask Colin to sing her a song at her wedding, and he grimaces, telling her flat-out that he liked her. She’s all, “So? If you liked me, you should do something to congratulate me.”
javabeans: Is that funny? ‘cause without context, it seems like Big Ole Brat.
girlfriday: Oh, she’s totally a brat. I’m laughing at her, along with Dong-hyub, whose side-eye is cracking me up. Like what planet did she come from?
javabeans: Yoon visits the memorial vault to tell his deceased wife he’s letting her go now, asking for her permission and forgiveness to marry and be happy with Meahri.
girlfriday: Is it that Yoon is the only one who got a deeper storyline, or that Kim Min-jong was the only one acting in this drama?
javabeans: I think A precipitated B. Then Yoon goes wedding planning with the bride, who says she’s so nervous that her parents will rescind their approval that she wants to register the marriage in advance, and have babies — ‘cause the parents reaaaaaaally want grandkids. Then we’re at the ceremony, reading vows… and are they seriously really vowing not to get fat and keep up a skincare regimen? I get that this is all in lighthearted fun… but they’re also YOUR WEDDING VOWS.
javabeans: On a shallower note, I think she looks adorable. Love the short froofy wedding dresses.
girlfriday: And it totally fits her character. It’s weird to have Colin singing at them given his very recent confession, but it’s a nice song.
javabeans: Yeah, I think I much prefer this acoustic version to the studio one, though it’s also that he has a nice voice. So Meahri primps that night, emerging from her room excitedly… to see Yoon drinking with the buddies. Oh noes. Trouble from Night 1?
girlfriday: Haha. You don’t marry just one; you marry them all.
javabeans: Um, do you want to rephrase that, given one of them is her brother?
girlfriday: Right, yunno, something not incestuous. I love drunk Yoon’s just a little longer gesture. So Meahri comes back a little later… to find them all asleep.
javabeans: So much for a romantic wedding night. Next up: A baseball game day for the boys, which starts off with an interview of Yi-soo. She talks a little bit about being an ump, then for reasons that elude me, the interviewer asks if she has a boyfriend.
girlfriday: Yeah, it makes no sense.
javabeans: I get WHY the writer did it, since Do-jin has arrived to overhear the interview, but it’s just the clunkiest thing ever. Yi-soo says that her boyfriend is the most jealous guy ever, who’d pick a fight with the wind for blowing right by his girlfriend, but that she likes that about him. Sigh. I’m… trying not to take any of this to heart since it’s such a fluff drama to begin with…. but let’s just say that I’m remembering all too clearly why I can’t stand to watch this writer’s dramas through.
girlfriday: This is only the second drama of hers I’ve finished, but yeah, she doesn’t change it up much. So the game starts and Do-jin pitches in Yoon’s place, which is predictably a disaster. I really love the moment when Tae-san approaches the mound to coach Do-jin and Jung-rok runs up, “Pretend we’re saying something important!” Tae-san: “WE ARE!”
javabeans: Do-jin nearly beans a bunch of batters, which leads to a fight between the teams, and while the others push each other around Jung-rok just shoots hearts up at Min-sook in the stands. Cute. They end up losing 21 to 2, HAHA.
girlfriday: Yi-soo yells at him for being a terrible pitcher, and decides she’ll have to teach him how to bat at least. It’s extra humiliating that she does it with a toy bat, but that seems about right for his skill level. He goes home to finish up his red yarn house design project, and then the next time they meet, he says they should get married, and gives her a present. A… lollipop bouquet? And then on their next date, he asks her again to marry him and gives her a tiara. Okay, I’m confused by her reaction. Does she not want to marry him, or is she not getting what he’s saying?
javabeans: Is she just leaving him hanging each time? Or playing coy? His proposals, while not said in a heavy tone, seem straightforward and serious.
girlfriday: Knowing this character, I think she’s not understanding that he’s asking her to marry him, which is just weird.
javabeans: So then she’s stupid? She doesn’t understand words?
girlfriday: When someone says the words, “Will you marry me” over and over and over…. I think it means Will you marry me.
javabeans: He gives her another present on another date, a big box, and her response is literally, “Will you cut it out now?”
girlfriday: To me that says, I don’t want to marry you. No?
javabeans: She assumes he’s joking — and okay, I sort of see that if you thought it was a joke, it would be mean. But he’s proposed five times by her count, and I’m pretty sure that’s not a thing people do just for kicks.
girlfriday: He throws in a joke about his amnesia, which makes her angrier. So was that whole short-term memory loss thing just like a fakeout plot threat, like we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop all drama long but it never does? I never understood the point of that character trait, other than to give him a reason to record everything.
javabeans: Now he gets this sad look on his face and apologizes, saying that he likes things to be entertaining — a serious meaning at the core, but wrapped up in a fun package. Yi-soo goes home and finds a white dress in the box, which makes her take out the other gifts and put them together. Oh, so NOW you get it? It’s a wedding dress, a tiara, a bouquet.
girlfriday: If the purpose of that was for some kind of narrative surprise, it short-changes the heroine, and um, we’re not surprised.
javabeans: I actually think the writer did it all backward. She blew her wad. It would’ve been cuter if Yi-soo figured it out and he HADN’T been saying “Will you marry me” the whole time.
girlfriday: Yeah just random gift boxes left on her doorstep or something, right?
javabeans: Or he could have said he had a really important question to ask her, given her the boxes, and left her scratching her head, like, Where’s the question? Then she’d finally put them together and get it.
girlfriday: Totally. Cute proposal wasted. Yoon and Meahri come back from their honeymoon, and it’s cute that now Tae-san is all Choi suhbang this and Our Choi suhbang that.
javabeans: His attentiveness has Jung-rok and Do-jin pouting, which is cute. Tae-san gives him all the chicken legs and spoons food onto his plate like an overzealous mother-in-law. Then he offers a wing to Yi-soo, saying she should fly away while she’s got the chance. She jokingly takes it, but Do-jin doesn’t even respond. Well, you asked for serious and non-jokey.
girlfriday: The first thing that happens to Yoon after getting married is discovering that his eyesight is failing, due to old age. I just find it funny that it’s Tae-san who holds his hand and takes him to the doctor.
javabeans: Jung-rok tells Min-sook about it, sighing that aging sucks. She’s like, duh, I get it. He’s confused about where they stand given recent events, and asks for clarification. She replies that they’re like a couple who’s on the verge of divorce — you’ve signed papers and are ready to go forward, “like all married couples in the world.” Uh, I’m not sure that’s really an apt analogy. I see what it’s supposed to mean, that you’re really only ever one decision away from being together or apart, but… I sorta feel like her way is the antithesis of marriage, no? It’s one foot out the door, staying together ‘cause for now it’s easier than splitting up, or something.
girlfriday: Perhaps for them it’s more like marriage made them complacent, but being on the verge of divorce is what sparked them to find a way to be happy together.
javabeans: Then I wish she’d just said that. Because the other thing just rubs me the wrong way.
girlfriday: She says she’s giving up on having kids, but hands over a brochure of kids to sponsor, saying that he’s a dad now and this is what they’ll do with that alimony he didn’t want.
javabeans: Yi-soo drops in to see Meahri and asks if being married is so wonderful, and gets an emphatic yes. Meahri hands her the yearbooks she stole from Do-jin at Yi-soo’s request, ha. Although why doesn’t she just ask him to see them? Yi-soo recalls Do-jin saying he had the same passwords to everything, and asks what they are. Um. Uh. I hope she’s not planning on doing anything with that info.
girlfriday: Yeah that’d be weird. I don’t think so, because it seems like mostly a character note — Meahri says their lock codes are all 1233 because they’re all too lazy to even make it down to the next row of numbers. Yi-soo crosses off the last thing on her list of one-sided love things to do and then sends Do-jin the picture she took while wearing all his presents. This time she asks him if he’s not going to ask her to marry him anymore, and he reacts coldly, saying it’s clear she likes him but not enough to live with him.
javabeans: Sera comes back after her competition, and while talking with Tae-san on the phone, she collapses. He rushes to the hospital, and is informed she’s pregnant. He’s excited, she’s decidedly not. She pouts that she won’t be rushed into marriage, nor will she wear a wedding gown with a pregnant belly — so she’ll have the baby, get her figure back, and THEN marry him. He’s all, sure sure whatever yes. Which is cute. But as I understand it, she never wanted to marry… so the pregnancy-automatically-results-in-marriage turn seems sort of tacked-on.
girlfriday: She was coming around to the idea of marrying him, since getting back together pretty much meant they’d compromise at some point. At least she gets to marry him on her terms without the baby forcing their hand? She seems more upset by having to retire her golfing career than anything.
javabeans: Do-jin and Yi-soo go walking down the street where they first met, and today Yi-soo’s subdued and a little snippy — he’s back to his normal mood, but she’s all, You want me to take a picture with your buddies? Why? They’re bringing their wives and future wives, but we’re not in that kind of relationship are we? It seems to be deliberately provoking, given their recent exchanges, but I guess Yi-soo’s just one of those characters I’ll never understand. She calls him out for always confusing her — she never knows whether to take hims seriously or not. To which he says he’s told her repeatedly he’s serious, and if she can’t trust him, then he’ll have to convince her.
girlfriday: Yeah she’s the character I understand the least. She’s just riddled with inconsistencies. I also feel like she’s made to be slow on the uptake when it’s convenient for the plot. Because it’d seem more romantic if she were unaware. But mostly it’s confusing.
javabeans: It makes it seem like she’s the girl who just wants the big showy gesture, the flashy ring, the whole song and dance — and I don’t actually think that’s true. But her actions are more of what you’d see of that material girl, the one who doesn’t believe you mean it unless your ring is a rock and you plan a big event with the public as witnesses.
girlfriday: Right, which isn’t at all what Yi-soo is like. But because the plot requires it, she’s suddenly really dense and needing this kind of affirmation.
javabeans: But since she needs the external confirmation, Do-jin takes his voice recorder, enters a shop, and hooks it up to their PA. What ensues is a string of “Marry me”s. That leads into a literal flash mob as all their friends show up to dance along to a proposal song. Do-jin approaches as the song cuts out, and presents her with the yarn-house drawing: “I’ll build you a house like this. Live here with me.”
girlfriday: I feel like showing us that sketch before Yi-soo sees it is another wad blown too early. It would’ve made for a really touching reveal. Especially because he says it’ll be a house that no one leaves, something she had told him she always wanted.
javabeans: Yeah, it would’ve poured all the emotion into HER moment.
girlfriday: Also, it cracks me up that Do-jin got everyone else to do the silly dance but he shows up all suited up and not having to do anything embarrassing.
javabeans: They did all the work! He just showed up and looked cool.
girlfriday: I like the little cut to Dong-hyub, who tells Colin that he can top his my-dad’s-friend-stole-my-would-be-first-love, with my-friend’s-dad-just-stole-my-first-love, and they both sigh.
javabeans: We zip ahead to the big photo shoot, the one the boys take every decade, and Do-jin narrates about the button hole on a man’s suit that’s for a boutonniere. It’s a cute little point, to show each lady smoothing out her man’s lapel now, which is adorned with a different flower. Do-jin says how men don’t really “grow up,” they just get older, which I think is pretty much the whole point of this show.
girlfriday: Yup. That’s it in a nutshell. And then we get an epilogue with Do-jin and Yi-soo lying in bed. She says that she’s still surprised sometimes to find him lying next to her, and he smiles, “Me too.” Yi-soo: “I love you.” The end.
javabeans: I’m… trying to think up thoughts to wrap up the drama. But this show is like teflon on the brain. You sizzle on its surface for a moment, then whoosh! Off everything slides and you have to strain yourself to remember anything about it.
girlfriday: I can’t say it did much of anything (say, have a story) but I suppose we got the four actors being cute together. I kind of had more fun watching the bloopers ‘cause they’re just so darned cute saying these lines that they know are ridiculous. I guess the drama pretty much starts and stops with that: F44, and rest, like you said, evaporates.
javabeans: I do understand why it was popular, and why people enjoyed watching it. It was very simple and fun, with enough lightness to keep you popping the episodes like popcorn in a movie. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that if I find nothing to connect with at all — if it’s all gloss with nowhere to find purchase — then I’m going to have zero attachment or level of caring about it. People watch dramas for different reasons and I pretty much think they’re all valid (reasons, I mean). Based on mine, this drama didn’t really do anything for me — I suppose I had a few moments of laughter, so there’s that. I didn’t love anyone, but I didn’t hate anyone either. I would have liked to care, though.
girlfriday: It was a fun, breezy watch for me. I wasn’t invested enough to tear my hair out about anything, and mostly just watched for the amusing foursome. I didn’t much expect to care though, because the way this show was plotted had no narrative drive. It was so very thinly strung together, like a series of vignettes.
javabeans: What’s too bad is that I got nothing out of the show, in that I could’ve watched it, or not watched it, and it made no difference. I don’t have to necessarily love a drama to get something out of it, but it’s rare that one will make no blip on the radar at all. I think I’m just really not the audience for this kind of storytelling.
girlfriday: Oh it’s not like negative space for me. I found it enjoyable as a passive thing, though clearly recapping it and trying to make sense of characters would have made me feel very differently about it all. And Kim Min-jong and Jang Dong-gun in a drama together is like a sentimental thing for me. I can’t not watch that.
javabeans: Eh, I think I’d rather rewatch The Last Match and Feelings. Where they actually acted and had feelings.
girlfriday: Well DUH.
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 19
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 18
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 17
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 16
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 15
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 14
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 13
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 12
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 11
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 10
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 9
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 8
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 7
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 6
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 5
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 4
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 3
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 2
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 1
- Thing vs. Thing: Foursomes 4eva