Drama Recaps
That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 16 (Final)
by | April 4, 2013 | 303 Comments

There’s a light at the end of every drama tunnel, but sometimes it’s how we get there that matters more than how bright that light turns out to be. I wish I wasn’t so conflicted over this finale or the last few episodes, because I truly did love this show in the early stages, and wish that love could have carried all the way through. By no means does that make the show terrible or the journey not worth taking, but there’s that feeling of What Could Have Been, even though that feeling got tempered by all the pretty people and all the pretty cinematography.

If nothing else, this was an insanely beautiful show, well-scored and well-acted. If we add the ‘something else,’ then this was an insanely beautiful if not sometimes-frustrating exercise in understanding people who looked like people, but had some moments where they didn’t really act like people. But it’s time to let bygones be bygones and say farewell to Winter. I’ll try to remember the good times, and I’ll be sure to remember that through you, I discovered Jo In-sung.


Oooh, a twist! Turns out Moo-chul wasn’t stabbed, because he’s too legit to quit. Instead he grabs Gangster Wannabe’s knife by the blade and gives him the smack down, even going so far as to dislocate his would-be murderer’s shoulder.

Gangster Wannabe goes scurrying off with his tail between his legs just as Moo-chul collapses, spitting up blood from his stomach cancer. Jin-sung spots him while on his way to the hospital and starts to piggyback him the rest of the way, even though Moo-chul’s already got one foot in the other world as he mumbles, “Just leave me be…”

Jin-sung doesn’t give up, until he feels Moo-chul go limp on his back. Is he dead, for real this time? Jin-sung seems to think so as he stops running and starts crying, with Moo-chul’s minion nearby to share in the grief. (Dude, where were you when your boss was driving on pain killers?)

Doctor Sun-hee treats Young at home, with Lawyer Jang and her closest friends watching nervously even as Sun-hee declares that Young will be fine when she wakes up. Good to know a little wrist-slitting never hurt anybody.

Outside the room, Sun-hee tells Soo that Moo-chul died after being sick for far too long. She got the call from Jin-sung while she was on her way to treat Young.

“He lived like a dog, and died like a dog,” she laments, though she’s not willing to let Soo comfort her as she tells him that he won’t be needed at Moo-chul’s cremation.

After she’s gone, Soo lets this news sink in. Poor guy’s had better days.

Hee-sun cries at the sight of Moo-chul’s body in the morgue, while Jin-sung stays to comfort her.

Soo stays vigilant at Young’s bedside until she wakes and realizes he’s there with her. He looks relieved as he shakes his bracelet to let her know it’s him.

Lawyer Jang finds Secretary Wang in the countryside, where she watches her elderly parents from afar. She tells him that she even got to eat with her mother the night before, though they had to hide the fact from her father.

But he’s not there to hear about her family life, and instead asks her to return to Young’s side. Secretary Wang wants to know why, considering how she made Young, you know, blind.

Back with Jin-sung, we see Moo-chul’s minion helping him out in revealing Boss Man’s plan to screw him over, since the money he borrowed for the game came from the devil himself. Now he knows, and knowing is half the battle.

Young wakes up to find Soo asleep at her bedside, and as she brushes her fingers across his face she remembers his desperate plea for her to watch his video. Soo should win an award for being the worst person to put on someone’s suicide watch, since Young manages to make it up and out of the room without waking him up.

Despite the fact that she threw the keys blindly into the greenhouse shrubbery the night before, Young emerges into the secret room without a speck of dirt on her. So… is she over the suicide thing? Talk about a quick recovery time.

She finds the Braille letter Soo left her directing her to watch the video. She listens, as in it, Soo tells her what we’ve heard him say before about how his outlook on life changed when he met her. And how, for the first time, the world seemed fair.

Young’s eyes begin to fill with tears as Soo pours his heart out in the video, saying how much he wanted to tell her when he first fell in love with her and how beautiful she was, and how much her real brother loved her. “And… I want to pay for what I’ve done,” he chokes out.

Her tears finally spill over as she stops the video, even though Video Soo seemed to have more to say.

Soo nearly drops in relief when he finds Young, even as she emotionlessly tells him she’s hungry. He offers to make her the same potato soup he did on their trip, but adds, “I want to stay with you. I need you next to me. I’m going to carry you.”

Zombie Young says okay, and he carries her three steps to the kitchen.

Soo does all the talking during dinner and even after, until Young cuts him off by telling him to leave once Lawyer Jang comes back.

“I can’t forgive you,” she says. “I can’t understand how you couldn’t even make an excuse. I don’t want to admit it, but I can’t be a better person. Even if you didn’t take the money, it won’t bring everything back to the way it was.”

Soo nods, understanding even though it hurts. But then she adds that if she lives through her surgery, they’ll meet again, and finally talk out their issues. Because now just isn’t a good time?

“When that time comes, you will answer all of my questions without hiding anything. Whether you really loved me. How guilty you felt while you loved me. Whether it really hurt you as much as it hurt me when you were lying. And… where you buried my brother, or which river you spread his ashes at. You will answer all my questions honestly.” How about NOW, since you’re already asking the questions?

(Seriously though. I don’t understand why this conversation can’t happen now. Is this another instance of Drama Syndrome, where characters would rather undergo pain and irreparable harm than do something logical?)

Young gets out what she wants to say as she fights back tears, but as she speaks, Soo lets his flow freely. “When you were gone and I couldn’t see you, the hardest part was that I still missed you. I guess it wasn’t over for me either when I let you go. Even at the moment when I wanted to end it, a part of me still wanted you to run back to me. When I slit my wrist, I looked forward to you opening my door instead of feeling scared. As if I never wanted to die.”

So… let me get this straight. She didn’t really want to commit suicide, it was just a cry for attention? I can’t even.

She takes Soo’s face in her hands as she adds that she has more to tell him, but it’ll wait until after her surgery. “It’s not over between us,” she says, echoing his line from the video. Now she’s looking toward the future, to when they’ll meet again. Ah, so maybe she’s making plans for the future since she wants to have a future now.

As if to answer her request for them to be able to talk once she wakes up, Soo kisses her.

After they each pull away, Young comforts him: “Don’t cry. I love you, very much.” Soo pulls her into an embrace even as he can’t help but crying, and he repeats over and over again, “I love you. I love you.”

Later that night, Soo affixes the bell string to her wrist again. She rings it with a smile.

He’s leaving, but not before he kisses her on the forehead, eyelid, and cheek. “I hope you like me when you see me after the surgery,” he jokes lightly. Since when did they promise to remove her brain tumor and restore her sight, considering that the two are unrelated?

He’s clearly reluctant to go, and holds onto Young’s hand for as long as he can. Only when he’s out does he call Secretary Wang to ask her to return, because he’ll feel more at ease if she’s there to take care of Young.

Lawyer Jang tries to get Soo to take the money on Young’s behalf, since it would make her feel better. Soo lies(?) that he doesn’t need it anymore, all while Young stands at her open window, ringing the glass bell as he leaves.

He turns back to her with a smile, and rings the bell bracelet.

Young notices that her pre-surgery breakfast smells better than usual, only to find that Secretary Wang returned to cook it for her. As Wang recites Young’s table setting like the old days, Young’s eyes brim with tears. She’s happy to have Wang back.

And the good times keep going as Soo helps Jin-sung and his family pack for their move to the countryside. Hee-sun looks like she’ll be joining them.

Young finally prepares for surgery, as she tells Sun-hee that she’s prepared for any eventuality – though it would be nice to live through the surgery. “I think I was really happy while I was alive,” Young remarks, which doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

Sun-hee, after a dose of Newfound Optimism, smiles as she claims that Young’s chances are over 50% with that kind of preparedness.

Secretary Wang and Young have a heart to heart as Wang tells her that even after the surgery, Young won’t be able to live alone – not because she’s handicapped, but because no one can do anything alone. (She’s implying that people need people, and that they need each other.)

She doesn’t want blindness to haunt Young any longer and cries that she’s sorry, which I’m guessing is finally an apology for causing her blindness in the first place. Young not only forgives her, but understands that Wang loved her all this time and just couldn’t express it properly.

Hee-sun sees Soo off for his big gamble, after which he plans to go to the hospital to see Young. He tightens the bell bracelet on his wrist in preparation, since it’s his life on the line.

Jin-sung is the one to actually drop Soo off, but methinks that Soo is unaware of Jin-sung’s involvement. At least Moo-chul’s minion seems to have Jin-sung’s back.

Boss Man is hosting the game, and announces the grand prize – seven million dollars. (Just enough to pay Soo’s debt.) And with that, all the players get gambling, while Young spends a restless night at the hospital window with the winter wind blowing.

Soo is on a timeline to make it back to the hospital, and he can’t help but think of Young’s promise of all the things she plans to tell him in the future.

Jin-sung arrives in the meantime so Boss Man can declare him Soo’s gambling partner, and all of Soo’s huffing and puffing can’t reverse the situation now. They’re in it to win it – or else.

The game amps up as Jin-sung’s family loads the truck to move… though they’re being watched by a shady-lookin’ dude. But it could be Minion’s shady-lookin’ dude guarding them, which means it’s a good thing. If not, it’s a bad thing.

Soo makes Jin-sung and Boss Man nervous when he keeps folding, but Soo reveals his tactic during a time out – he wanted to come this close to losing so Boss Man would have no option but to buy in. Because a dead Soo won’t give him any money, Boss Man has no choice but to try and win the pot to save himself from bankruptcy.

Which means Soo can play against him and take all he has left. Good play, Soo. Good play.

In an even better play orchestrated by Jin-sung, Minion comes to the rescue as he and his men take over Boss Man’s CCTV room so that they can keep watch over the game, ensuring that Boss Man can’t cheat his way out AND to assure Jin-sung and Soo’s safe escape if they win. If not, they’ll call the cops.

In the meantime, Young gets wheeled in for surgery. Soo keeps an eye on his watch, knowing time is of the essence.

Things aren’t looking good for Soo in the game, as Boss Man starts laughing as he turns over his cards. But in true drama fashion, we know Soo’s cards must be the winning ones, and Jin-sung knows as well since Soo just leaves him there.

Boss Man turns over Soo’s cards, revealing that Soo did have a flush, and thus the winning hand. Since everyone went all in, he won the game, and all of Boss Man’s money.

Soo calls Mi-ra to say he’s on his way, but still, shouldn’t he stay to make sure Jin-sung gets out of there? Didn’t things turn out badly the last time he left someone for Young?

Jin-sung tells Boss Man that all the winnings are his in order to pay Soo’s debt, but Boss Man has another plan – he knows where Jin-sung’s family is, which is already a threat in and of itself. DUDE. You got your money, what’s wrong with you?

A call to Hee-sun affirms that Boss Man isn’t lying, and Jin-sung looks devastated as the mean old geezer slides him a knife. Jin-sung, WHY did you hang up on Hee-sun?! WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT.

Meanwhile, Hee-sun sees a big truck headed their way on an empty street and warns Jin-sung’s father, but he can only look in shock as the truck keeps barreling toward them. We don’t hear or see it, but the look on Jin-sung’s face seems to tell us that the truck plowed into his family’s car.

I’m not sure where Soo is (Dramatic Rooftop?), but he stays on the phone with Mi-ra to get updates on Young’s surgery.

And when he turns around… he gets stabbed. Sigh. Even though I love Soo, the constant surprise-knifing is becoming its own parody at this point. Can’t we get some blunt force trauma up in here to change things up?

Soo falls to the ground with his hand holding his bleeding gut. He struggles to his knees as we pan to the shoes of the man who stabbed him, the trembling man holding the knife, and up…

It’s Jin-sung. We knew it would be, but it hurts to see the crazed look in Jin-sung’s eyes as Soo hauls himself up to eye level. Jin-sung readies to stab his best friend again, but he can’t bring himself to do it and drops the knife.

Soo holds Jin-sung’s face for as long as he can, and the two stare wordlessly at each other until Soo can’t hold himself up any longer. Jin-sung falls to his knees beside his hyung.

“Jin-sung… Why?” Soo ekes out, but his next words go to Young: “Wait for me.” Then he struggles to get up in order to go to her, though he can barely stand.

Jin-sung just kneels there, shaking and sobbing.

Soo drags his feet, futilely trying to make it to the hospital as blood streams from his wound and tears stream from his face. Eventually he collapses as the bell bracelet chimes, beginning to spasm in his death throes.

One year later. Spring.

We find Lawyer Jang, Secretary Wang, and even Myung-ho with Young and the kids from the visually-impaired center on an outing, where all the guardians have to wear blindfolds in order to experience a day in the life of the blind.

Young has a surprisingly full head of long hair a year after brain surgery, and everyone seems to be having a good time.

However, when she speaks to one of the kids next to her she reaches out to hold his hand… and seems to look him in the face when she speaks. Can she see?

As she takes a taxi home, she opens the window to feel the wind. There’s new focus to her eyes – she can definitely see.

The focus is oddly blurry as she gets out of the taxi, and the sound of Soo’s bell charm reaches her ears as a man wearing it passes her on a bicycle. Is this a dream? Why is everything so blurry?

The man with the bracelet stops ahead of her, but doesn’t turn back. He continues on, and Young smiles.

Hee-sun’s alive and living in the countryside with Jin-sung, and Jin-sung effectively scares away a possible suitor by telling him that he’s already slept with Hee-sun. Aka, back off.

Hee-sun mentions that they’re going to see Soo tomorrow, but it doesn’t seem like they’re seeing him alive when they talk about what flowers to take. They eventually decide on lamb’s ear, because that was the plant special to him and Young.

Young goes to a cafe to wait, and we see Soo’s tree painting hanging on the wall, completed. Instead of looking so desolate, it’s now been painted with blooming flowers on the branches.

At the cafe, Young is served tea by a waiter wearing Soo’s bell bracelet. “The weather’s nice today, isn’t it?” she asks, and the man clearly responds with Soo’s voice even though his figure remains blurred.

Not Soo asks her if she can’t see, and she responds by asking if he’s ever met a blind person. He has, because he loved a girl who was blind.

“Isn’t it hard when you can’t look into the eyes of someone you love?” Young asks.

“No, it wasn’t ever hard,” Blurry Figure responds. “I always felt as if she was always looking at me with all her body and heart. Can you see nothing at all?”

“No,” she responds, and we see through Young’s eyes – first it’s a blur of color, then light.

Then… the shape of a man starts to form. Soo. She can see him, even if the picture isn’t too clear, and smiles brightly. “I can see just enough to see that you’re very good looking,” she adds.

Now the shot focuses, and we see that it’s definitely Soo dressed as a waiter. But through her eyes, the focus is still so-so.

“How long have you known?” Soo asks.

Young says that she’s known his whereabouts for twenty days, since Secretary Wang waited to tell her until she finished her chemotherapy. Apparently she’s been a regular at his restaurant and picked up on the sound of his bracelet, and though he’d always bring her tea he never showed his face to her.

According to Secretary Wang, Soo started there six months ago. He’d told Wang not to tell Young.

“I waited for you for a long time,” Young says. “I waited until you would talk to me.”

“I couldn’t bring myself to do it,” Soo says with a sheepish smile. “I thought that you may not like me when you see me.” When Young scoffs at this, he asks, “Does that mean you like me?”

A tiny moment passes before he asks if they can see each other again. Young gives a coy smile, causing them both to break out in grins before Soo takes her face in his hands and kisses her.

…And then the scene changes, so that they’re suddenly kissing on on the same path where Young just walked, with Soo wearing the clothes she saw on him when he passed her on the bike.

Cherry blossom petals rain down as they kiss in soft-focus surroundings.

And when Soo pulls back, they both look into each other’s eyes, smiling.


So for a hot second there, I thought that the ending sequence was a dream, in part because of the blurriness of it all and the inherent implausibility of… well, everything. I decided not to count Young’s full head of hair as part of the equation since I considered it a vanity issue, despite the fact that brain surgery and long-term chemotherapy should produce some visible, physical effects. But then I’d be asking for realism, and that is not what this show was selling.

I’m going to backtrack a bit to the attempted suicide, frankly because it still doesn’t make any godforsaken sense on my end. I was waiting to see if the aftermath changed how I felt about the whole ordeal, since there was a chance for the show to treat the attempt in a thoughtful and meaningful way. I wanted to see if, just maybe, the idea was to have Young hit such a low that she reached a moment of pivotal self-realization in order to decide that she wanted to live after all, in a change we could see and understand.

If anything, the aftermath made the attempt seem like a cry for attention at best, and a test of Soo’s loyalty at worst. Really, there are other ways to say you miss someone. I don’t buy that this show was making a statement about clinical depression through Young, but I do buy that she had Drama Depression, with all its requisite symptoms of plot convenience.

In the end, the suicide attempt didn’t even put her out for a night, and she was completely fine by morning. She re-thought all her previous decisions from the night before and decided to watch the video Soo so wanted her to see, which told her nothing she didn’t already realize internally. Sans a passing mention of the attempt in a confusing conversation where she simultaneously told Soo that she couldn’t forgive him yet she still loved him and wanted to be with him, I failed to see the step between “I want to die” and “I want to try living because now I’m extra sure you love me.” His love couldn’t cure her desire to die just one night earlier, but then by the morning after, his love cures all? When his love hadn’t changed one bit, giving her no other assurance than that he’d save her from herself if she slit her wrists?

That’s where Young fails as a character, even though earlier episodes showed her growing and changing from the cold and prickly person she once was, which was mostly due to Secretary Wang’s heavy hand in keeping her in a child-like state, into a woman who realized that the world wasn’t always out to get her. (Wang’s actions to put her in that initial state got a pass from the magical script fairy too, since the drama made sense of her behavior toward Young the way an abusive person justifies their actions: “I hurt you because I love you!” And that’s somehow okay, enough for everyone to realize that they were sooo wrong about Wang, and that she was really the best caretaker Young could ask for? No thanks.)

Young’s self-realizations weren’t dependent on her as an individual, and her decision to live didn’t come from a place of autonomous empowerment or anything befitting the idea of character growth, because her change in tempo was dependent on Soo’s reactions. But fine, let’s say I’ll buy that love cures all, and that she just needed to know that Soo cared. Then that means she’s still the same old Young, still capable of putting those around her through unspeakable misery because she can’t see past herself and her feelings. She’s had it rough, but so did Soo. Who, out of the two of them, showed more human compassion?

I guess I can’t begrudge a character for not being selfless, so I’ll boil it down simply: No matter her deep-seated issues, Young didn’t make for an enjoyable heroine. There was a time when I liked watching her because I expected things to change, and when they didn’t, I couldn’t understand why we would be expected to be on her journey no matter how much I wanted to be. (Seriously! Why wouldn’t I want to love her when I started out that way?) We shouldn’t have to go through what a character is feeling in order to understand them – if that were the case, how could I understand the plight of second generation chaebol princes or cross-dressing nuns joining an idol group if I’ve never been in those shoes? We have to understand where a character is coming from and why on a basic human level, regardless of circumstance. And if somehow the show fails to root a character’s emotions and reactions in some form of universal logic, then in the words of Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

That problem didn’t exist as much with Soo, though these past few episodes didn’t do him a ton of favors. I’m glad he grew as a person, but since when did Growth = Passivity? I missed the Soo who’d scold Young in front of a mall crowd for not accepting help, or the one who’d return a punch thrown at him. I understand why he wouldn’t take Young’s freely-offered money, but it made the entire con seem moot when he could have done this sort of one-gamble-to-rule-them-all from the beginning anyway. Even then it wouldn’t matter, since Boss Man wanted him dead, but why? Really, why?

I won’t even get into how robbed I felt of FINALLY seeing Jin-sung break away from his astounding sense of loyalty, because it would have been an amazing character moment to see exactly how the wheels turned in his head when he chose his family over his best friend. (I’m guessing the car crash was a vision of what would happen if Jin-sung disobeyed Boss Man, otherwise there would be no reason to obey if his family had already been taken from him.) Instead we only saw the aftermath in order to preserve the cheap surprise of finding out that Jin-sung’s hand was the one holding the knife, but was anyone truly surprised? And even if you were, wouldn’t it have been cooler to see that moment of decision instead?

As for the actual epilogue to all this coordinated madness, I found the actual stabbing inconsequential and the final scenes bizarre. It’s no surprise that Soo lived, since every character in this show (aside from poor Moo-chul), displayed a knack for healing without a scratch. But time skips are not a panacea, and it’s a universal truth I really wish dramaland would accept, especially when the end result isn’t anything we couldn’t have reached without it. Sure, we can theorize that Soo’s stabbing somehow put the kibosh on his burning desire to be there for Young during her surgery and chemotherapy, because it’s totally fine to let a suicidal person depending on you assume you’re dead. We can theorize that he had to heal and hide for a bit from Boss Man, and that he was fine as long as he could keep a distant eye on Young. Or that he was dead and the ending was a dream.

Instead of theorizing, there’s another option, in that the obligatory happy ending could have just made sense without requiring leaps in logic. I know what you’re saying: “Heads, that’s crazy talk!” Trust me, I know. But a girl can dream.


303 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ivoire


    • 1.1 pabo ceo reom

      *tilts head*

      I don’t get the ending.

      *so confused*

      Sad panda. ๐Ÿ™

      • 1.1.1 pabo ceo reom


        If you get it, please explain it to me…

        • Ivoire

          LOL Pabo ceo reom, poor sad panda :-).

          You know, I don’t know if I can do a good job explaining it. I am confused about a number of things in this episode (trust me on that one) and I am still writing (what looks like it will be my somewhat long) response. So many times I said “but why?” while watching this episode, as in “I really want to understand, but honestly, I don’t. Could you please make sense? (futile question, I know).” So I read Heads’ recap and some of the responses to see if I could understand a few more things before I started writing.
          To be honest, I am glad I read her commentary and her recap, however I still have questions. Could you tell me exactly what it is about the ending that eluded you? I am just curious…

          • Ivoire

            Thank you so much Heads for your recaps. I was anticipating this one especially, because I was curious about what you thought of this episode. To be honest, I was relieved when you wrote that you felt conflicted about the finale and the last few episodes. “I must not be crazy, it is not all in my head” I thought.

            This final episode left me confused and with a sense of “this was it?” (the way to end the show?) I was definitely perplexed, after having watched this episode. Though I was happy to see OS alive, I was not jumping up and down, I was not clapping (meaning I was not overly excited), and I couldn’t help but wonder if MC dying (though maybe we had that coming) and the other characters being alive (I am assuming) was a way of doing fanservice, the main characters got to live and all.

            I do agree with you that how we got to that light at the end of the tunnel was more important than the light itself. As you said, this show was well acted, well scored (and the editing was well done for the acting and for how the music was placed in the show). The show was very beautiful to look at.

            I did share and understood your (and others’) frustrations of the characters. At times, I couldn’t understand OY and I found her irritating sometimes. Like you, I didn’t understand why she couldn’t have that conversation with OS when she was having her tea and he was there (right there), and she had already shared her questions with him. I wished they would have saved time there, and showed us what happened after OS was stabbed, instead of letting us speculate on what happened. Even if OY couldn’t forgive OS at that moment, they could have still talked, I thought. It really did feel very Kdrama-like to separate the characters… for the sake of separating them? That was what it felt like to me, just so we could have the reunion scene in the very end and tie a neat bow).

            When you said this, “(Seriously though. I donโ€™t understand why this conversation canโ€™t happen now. Is this another instance of Drama Syndrome, where characters would rather undergo pain and irreparable harm than do something logical?) It made me wonder if because this was a melodrama, the writer had the characters inflict (more) pain to each other for the sake of the nature of the drama fitting the bill (of a melodrama) till the end. I am just speculating of course, however, that was what went through my mind.

            Also, when OY did that (push back when she would ask questions to OS), it reminded me some of Faith, when CY told the doctor that he would ask her later to stay with him and get her answer then. Well, he already knew he wanted her to stay with him (forever), so why not have her answer then and there?

            Thank you for pointing out the many holes and for doing it with some humor at times. I sometimes miss some of those, and I appreciate when those are pointed out to me.

            I also had a hard time with Sec. Wang walking back in so easily into OY’s life. It was almost as if there were no real repercussions to her actions, except for some of the company’s stocks she lost (I think) and the fact that she was homeless for a few weeks (I am assuming…)?

            Question: I know Heads explained it, however I am still confused, did OS kept folding because if he didn’t win he would be dead (being killed by Boss Man) and Boss Man wouldn’t be able to get his money back (and OS of course didn’t know that Boss Man wanted him dead anyway, regardless of the results)? And I read and understood the part about OS wanting Boss Man to join in the game so OS can gamble against him and win his money.
            Which brings another question: what happened then to the money OS won (since he left it there and he was knifed/left for dead later)?

            I was also wondering, why shouldn’t have JS hanged up on HS? What else could he have done? (I am just curious about that part).

            I didn’t understand the scene where JS knifed OS. It was so slow and we were made to think that OS died, because JS didn’t seem to do anything to help him and yet, he didn’t gut him a 2nd time, which seems like he wanted him to live. In that case then, why stab him in the first place? Were Boss Man’s minions watching to make sure OS had been killed? (And we don’t know because we don’t see anything alluding to that). That scene left me really perplexed because I would have liked to have known what happened (considering how long OS seemed to have been on the ground and he seemed dead. I guess that is what fake-outs are for). I didn’t understand why JS didn’t react right away and tried to save him.

            Also, when OS passes by OY by the cherry blossoms, is that real OS or imaginary OS? (maybe the real one, since they were going in the same direction?)

            Some of my questions might seem superficial, however I wish things had been made clear for us :-(. Oh well, the drama is over. The ending just seemed so fanservice (and I know I have already said that, however, that feeling kept staying with me).

            On a shallow note, I loved most of OS’s wardrobe, especially the orange coat he wore at the beginning of this episode, it looked good on him.

            Thank you again Heads for being on this journey with us and for helping us make sense of it. I sooooooo appreciate that.

          • pogo

            Ivoire, I am late to this but what is it with will-he-die melos of late and their nonsensical endings?

            I don’t need my heroines to be people I’d like in real life to consider them interesting and watchable, but the second half of this devolved in a very, very similar way to Nice Guy – the nonsensical last-minute stabbing of the hero (well, at least Soo, unlike Maru, does not hang out having conversations on a park bench with his girl AFTER being stabbed), the time skip and the reunion of the couple after a long time.

            It’s by no means the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but it was a letdown – I can live with Young’s suicide attempt, but the sudden Drama Fairy handwaving of it is too much.

          • heaven

            I think soo is alive:) eith regards to yhe “blurred” background.. i noticed that too yet i understand it this way :)… young can’t see clearly.. shes not totally blind, the background is actually her vision … (that’s my take) the first time she saw soo after a year when he was on his bike i noticed it’s blurred so i thought maybe it was young’s vision… and i confirmed it when young visited yhe restaurant… she cant see him that clear but she can see him ๐Ÿ™‚

        • pandah

          The ending was real in my opinion. It was blurry because it was trying to show it in Young’s perspective. She was slowly recovering her vision. I thought it was a nice touch. It seemed like the restaurant was Soo’s because he told her he actually wanted to cook because Jin Sung and Hee Sun both like his cooking. Furthermore, they focused on the flowers, which looked like the lamb’s ear and freesias they were talking about. I think they were talking about actually bringing flowers for his restaurant. I also think that they wouldn’t have shown the “Next Spring” title if it was meant to be a dream or heaven.

          • YL

            I also think it’s real because Jin Sung and Hee Sung can’t possibly be so cheerful had Jin Sung killed his hyung.

          • marie


          • mysterious

            The ending was definitely real. It looked blurry because Young’s sight wasn’t perfect, but just enough for her to make things out. When Hee-Sun and Jin-Sung were talking about visiting Soo and bringing Lamb’s ear flowers, they were talking about real brother Soo; visiting the river where his ashes were spread. If the ending wasn’t real then that was s a very elaborate dream with the cafe, watress, the fact that Soo had been for 6 months. I don’t see how the ending could be just a dream. And as was mentioned, there is no way Hee-Sun and Jin-Sung could be happy is Soo were really dead. Sure the show wasn’t perfect but it did give us a happy ending which both characters deserved.

          • Erika

            I agree with you on the ending.The blurriness of the scene was to depict Young’s perspective.After surgery her vision is most likely not going to be perfect thus there is a blurriness in her vision.Furthermore, Song Hye Kyo and Jo In Sung stated in their interviews that it was indeed a happy ending.They actually knew from the start that it would be happy ending since Writer Noh that it would be one.So hopefully everyone is no longer confused about the ending being sad or an open one. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Terry

          I thought Soo died. Otherwise, he would not have let her go through the pain and suffering alone again as she explained that fear to him several times throughout the drama…especially after they had finally connected without any charades. Secondly, the blurriness, the bike, the cafe, and the final cherry blossom scene is played in Young’s mind. Was this technique not used by both Soo and Young more than a few times throughout the drama? This technique was also used in “Secret Garden” What I am saying is Soo lived daily in Young’s heart and mind and isolated world. Third, I agree with Ashely above in that Sung’s relationship had soured (three suiters?) because she had not truly forgiven Sung’s betrayal. They seemed to have resorted back to their just friends status although Sung was still very much in love with her still. Flowers were for the grave. I can accept this ending though I wished for a happier one. Finally, as to Wang coming back…truly platonic relationship. She needed her since Soo was not in her daily life. Her joy now was in helping others with similar disabilities and experiencing her love for Soo in her mind. This is how she matured and transformed.

      • 1.1.2 Alpha Beta

        It looks like the writer got tired after a few episodes and, especially in the end, realized there were things to be told, so they had to be smashed to fit into the general picture. I am not sure I can bothered to understand anything from the last episode. I just enjoy the cinematography.
        Oh, Heads, if you have just discovered Jo In-sung through this show, I would recommend you The Frozen Flower. He acted very well there, too.

        • kaye

          Just discovered him, and while I do agree he did well in A frozen flower, his movie that I loved him the most is A dirty carnival. He is forever amazing there!

          • Alpha Beta

            How can such a fine man do so many bad boy roles and be believable in them? Thank you for the recommendation – watched it, like it!

        • altair

          To me it looks like the last 3 episodes were written by a different person. Soo chaotic and rushed and nonsensical. I loved the ending, but I don’t know what to make of it. Are they still alive? The flowers conversation between JS and HS says no. The blurry images say no. Soo mention od secretary Wang and the scene with the blind folded Wang, M and Jang say yes. I think that is what the writer ment. Make it confuse and let us choose the ending we want.
          I made the mistake to watch Frozen flower since everybody was talking about it. Too many very explicit sex scenes without enough justification. They could have done the movie with only half of them. Now, I just can’t watch JIS without thinking “he did a porn movie” Cause that’s what it is. The art part is just an excuse for porn.

          • kaye

            it’s out of topic but I have to disagree that it’s a porn movie, it is sexually graphic yes, but those are used to show how they become lustfully needing each other and to INCREASE TENSION as we go to the part when the deception was caught in the act (we can see their progress of being indifferent to each other up to the point that they’re comfortable to do all the positions they want). Sex is a natural part of our life and that is artistically shot and they are just depicting a natural human behavior to get aroused and be lustful, because if you don’t then you are not normal . I applaud his professionalism, knowing that this is his first time to have sex scenes. His being a gentleman is one thing I admire too as seen in the bts.

          • canxi

            Completely agree, Kaye. I always see this movie labeled as “porn”, but this is the perfect example of explaining that it isn’t. Sex isn’t a shameful thing. It’s alright if you’re uncomfortable watching others be intimate at the moment, buuut “porn” is not the correct label for such a film.

          • ilikemangos

            If it was a “porn” movie it wouldn’t get nearly as much critical acclaim as it did.
            I don’t think it was an excuse to put in alot of sex scenes. There was realism to that. And yes, like mentioned above, to show lust and passion.

          • pogo

            If the fact that AFF is a story about a sexual relationship between two people growing into something else isn’t enough justification for it having sex scenes, I don’t know what is.

            Anyway, I thought it was clear enough that the ending was real, the blurry perspective was Young’s post-surgery sight as Kaye says.

      • 1.1.3 lekritic

        I think they are dead. And Jinsung and Hee Sung were talking about the memorial for Soo. Or they could be alive and the memorial was for brother Soo.

        The ending was open ended. But it doesn’t make sense. How will Gangster Kim overlook a non dead Soo. Or maybe Soo went into hiding until gangster Kim was arrested?

        These last few episodes were off and did not match up to the earlier episodes. Frankly, I am glad it ended at 16, unlike most dramas these days that stretch the episodes to 20, 24, and even 50, when there is hardly enough plot for 16.

        • sojuboy

          They are most probably dead and in heaven somewhere. This ambiguous ending reminds me of “Ironweed” by William Kennedy. Well done.

          • Baobei

            I think they are dead. Several hints: the sad look on Jingsung’s face even though he was with his family safe and sound; Young’s long hair-there is no way a woman who just finished chemo could still have such long hair just six months out; there was this sadness through out the last few scenes-the falling flowers from the trees, the blurry and white-out treatment of the shots-some contributed to the theory she must have regained partial eyesight and that is why you see the blurry shots. I beg to differ . I see that as a sign that they are now in heaven-finally away from all the pain and suffering that tormented both while they were alive. Had Soo survived, there was no way, the gangster boss, Kim, would have let Jingsung lived happily. Had he survived, there would be no talk of bringing flowers to see Soo. One can argue it was a reference of Young’s brother but I feel it was a reference they are bringing lamb’s ears for both Soo and Young as she most likely died the same day as Soo in surgery and the flowers would be a way to remember them both…

        • Anon

          Soo is alive. In an interview Jo In Sung (Oh Soo) said it himself haha…

    • 1.2 alice

      I dunno ! Srsly the ending confused me i wanted to see wt happened next when Soo got staped i mean when he healed and stuff XD hmph oky i was happy that they ended together & happy ending but not like this lol .
      Wah anywhy was a great drama plus the acting was awesome X3

  2. Roggy

    THANK YOU!!!

    Now that i know there’s a happy ending… TIME TO WATCH!!


    Beside all the beautiful faces and cinematography, noise marketing, media play, exaggerated praise help the popularity of this drama also.

    • 3.1 Dominique

      Or the colossal pretension.

      The vaunted cinematography of this drama may appear genuinely impressive at first, but it dawns upon you sooner or later that, however it wants to emulate it, this is not a Merchant-Ivory film. Nor are the ladies & gentlemen of the castle as aristocratic as they believe they are. And Oh Soo and Jin Seong ain’t Robert Redford and Paul Newman.

      • 3.1.1 canxi

        No, I actually think it is genuinely impressive. It’s lovely and I don’t think you can blow it off as just pretension. Someone put a lot of hard thought into that and it showed and was amazing.

        The drama in it’s entirety may not have been as solid as it’s looks, but I for sure will not deny them. I like that about this director/writer pair. Beautiful settings and looks, characters with deep scars and flaws. It’s a really nice juxtaposition, imo. It never felt like the characters were tying to be perfect or anything.

        • Fidelity

          I was also impressed by the consistent beauty of the cinematography; perfect contrasts, appropriately warm tone, gorgeous scenery, etc. It may have lost itself in its own mesmerizing cinematography at times, but I thoroughly enjoyed the visual experience. Acting was stellar too.

          • Jina

            The cinematography was distracting.

          • Fidelity

            Not really.

          • montaban

            this drama reminds me of eating cotton candy, while eating it, it is sweet and seems tangible, but when you are done you realize all that puff was mostly air.

            I enjoyed this drama and was mesmerized by it, but at the end of the day, it won’t go on my masterpiece or rewatch list. There really wasn’t that much plot, when you come to think of it and it makes sense, why it was a 2 hour movie versus a 16 hour drama.

            I can’t get over, how everyone just overlooked the fact that the secretary caused her to go BLIND!!! That is permanent and altered the scope of her life, but yet even at the end they are asking her to come back into Young’s life.

            The bad friends, the conniving fiancee all forgiven and even rewarded, what a message to send to the public.

            my final analysis – Pretty but Dull.

  4. Ann

    I agree with you all the way! I am not wedded to reality, because, hey, it’s TV. But the entire last episode did not flow at all from the previous ones. It was like a bad fairy tale that had a happy ending tacked on to please the audience.

    I watched the last episode of Queen of Ambition yesterday. Now that was a great ending. I cried like a baby.

    I did not feel a thing at the end of this show.

    • 4.1 Dominique

      I did feel one thing at the end of the final episode: Thank God it is finally over! (And not a moment too soon!)

  5. Hannah

    I totally agree with all your comments, except, I rather liked how they twisted the Jin Sung – Oh Soo loyalty in the end. I was surprised. I think if they showed the process of Jin Sung contemplating whether to stab Oh Soo or not, then we wouldn’t get that element of surprise.

    You’re right, everyone in this show seems to heal rather quick. I normally question these things in my head, but this time, I prefer that everyone heals for no apparent reason to get my happy ending. I too felt a bit confused about these show towards the last few episodes, but I’m pretty happy with my ending. I think it was the best one we could get.

  6. Miss D

    That was a roller coaster ride…

    This was my reaction seven minutes before the ending: WHAT!? WHY WOULD YOU KILL HIM!? Nooooooooo!!!! …..Show you have less than 10 minutes to make him reincarnate. Oh and Kim Bum, I don’t think I can forgive you.

    Five minutes before the ending: WHAT!? Is she dreaming? Is he alive or just a figment of her memories? Can she see? Show! Stop playing with my emotions!

    Almost the ending: Yay! Neither of them died! It’s a happy ending!

    Except then…what was all that deal with Jin-sun about? So the truck didn’t run over everyone? Why did he have to go stab Soo? Am I suppose to just forget all that?ย 

    Oh well. TWTWB was one of the few melodramas I actually completed so kudos to that. I really liked the beginning (episode 8 was definitely the climax of happiness for me) but then we dove into melo land which culminated in a LOT of crying in the last episode.

    But at least they didn’t die right.

  7. KTC

    I so needed this recap to make sense of the ending…are they both alive and getting a chance at love? Are they both dead and finally meeting in the afterlife? After the book reading at the cafe, was it only Young’s wishful thinking and imagination while she was walking and reminiscing about a dead Soo?

    Perhaps like the movie, viewers are left to decide for themselves how to interpret the ending. But I’m leaning toward a happy-ever-after both are alive and living and loving ending, because hey, this is K-drama land, and if Young can survive a wrist-slitting, then Soo can survive a fatal knife wound…twice.

    Overall a beautiful drama with beautiful people. Bravo to the whole cast, and especially to the dreamy Zo in Sung.

  8. Hannah

    Oh, and yes, thanks to TWTB, I also discovered Jo In Sung!! JIS, who I will forgive for just about anything! Even for wearing that maroon suit and pants at ep16! This is my first melo and I endured it all for JIS, hahaha! Seriously, I can’t wait for his next drama! A romcom, please!!!

    • 8.1 ilikemangos

      Agreed. If there’s one thing that i loved coming out of this show, it’s my new love for jo in sung.

    • 8.2 Briggy(@subin70)

      Me too Jo In Sung forever.I’m like Lee Min Who?hahaha

  9. snow_white

    was it a dream?? or not??

    thanks for the recap…..haven’t seen the show, and I guess I don’t plan to either….

  10. 10 qiu

    i just read your recap fastly, and i think the ending just so so……… yeah from 10 drama that i think is good at the beginning, just 2 that give me satisfied till the end…

    TWTWB just yeah a classic mellow drama,, with a beautiful scene… that’s all…

  11. 11 Ashley

    I guess its up to intrepretation but it may be that those two are actually alive and everything went well OR they both died…Soo died first bc he got stabbed which is why he is at the restaurant “6 months before” waiting for her. and then she comes and “finds” him meaning her surgery must not have worked out and she died. Either way I guess its a happy ending that they are together! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 11.1 Ashley

      Personally, I feel that they died and met in the afterlife…only because the whole Jinsung stabbing Soo scene hinted that he had killed him…just the way it was executed and by the end he fell to the ground like a dying person. Also when heesun and jinsung said they would bring flowers to soo…the way it sounded in korean was like they were visiting his grave as hes not around longer rather than visiting a live person to give him flowers.

      • 11.1.1 Hannah

        I think the whole flower thing is to amend for stabbing Oh Soo. The scenes are blurry because that’s how Young sees the world now.

        • tiny

          hmmm i thought the flowers were for the real brother Soo…?

          • canxi

            Oh shit! Never even thought of that!

          • tiny

            i had the same reaction when a friend told me, man! hahaha

          • pogo

            I can’t believe more people didn’t think of that, poor forgotten oppa Oh Soo ๐Ÿ™

        • Llona

          The flowers were present at the cafe table where Young was seated too.

        • ilikemangos

          At first I thought it was some kind of alternate reality where they both died and created it so they (and us viewers) can come into terms with moving on. (Like Lost!, And especially because all the scenes were blurry. Like what were they trying to achieve with that effect? And then i realized, she was only recuperating possibly and thus through her eyes, things are still blurry. I didn’t think about it that way when watching the final scene so i believed they both died.

      • 11.1.2 Betsy Hp

        Well, Young must be alive. Otherwise she’s hanging out in the afterlife with her ex-fiance. And there’s no way the afterlife’s that cruel. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Which means Soo must be alive, too. Because she chatted and interacted with him. (I could buy him being dead if they’d left it at the bicycle scene — but the restaurant was too real.)

        I agree with Hannah — the flowers were a continual peace offering and the weirdly beautiful blurriness was Young’s pov.

  12. 12 DayDreamer

    HeadsNo2, I wish I could meet you in person during the Dramabeans Meetup and personally say how you’re one heck of a great writer and thinker but I’ll have to be content with this. I absolutely love your comments and totally agree word for word with your analysis. This show started out great but slowly became distant with the sudden implausibilities and uncertainty of what Young was thinking as well as glossing over Sec. Wang’s crimes. I was also unhappy that Soo didn’t take the money, making his con a moot point but whatever.

    As for the ending, I still kinda feel in some way that Soo is actually dead and whatever was happening was happening in some parallel universe, lol. But I can still accept your interpretation of the ending as it makes way more sense than mine.

    Anyways, thanks for such wonderful recaps. It was a pleasure reading them. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope to read more of your future takes on future dramas.

    • 12.1 kh

      right. i’m a great fan of head’s writing superpowers.

      she’s insanely insightful and funny.

      • 12.1.1 DayDreamer

        Seriously. I crack up at times while reading her recaps ’cause she’s writing about serious moments in such a dry, humorous way. I love it.

        • Kiara

          I’m in agreement. Heads you are one hell of a writer. I love reading your insightful, witty and humorous recaps. I didn’t watch this show but I read every recaps on it.
          Thank you so much <33333333.

    • 12.2 Ivoire

      I will join you guys in saying that I am also quite impressed with Heads’ writing and her sense of humor. I do find myself chuckling at times when reading her recaps. I also like how she explains things, we get to see her thought process and I am grateful for that.

      • 12.2.1 me2

        Ditto, more (super)power to Heads!!!

    • 12.3 cheekbones

      I did chuckle many times reading this recap. Thanks for recapping !

  13. 13 tarquinthetiny

    Thank you, Heads, for pointing out all the illogical additions and omissions that left me feeling confused and nonplussed during the last three or more episodes. I’m with you– this would have been a wonderful drama if the writers hadn’t given up on the characters towards the end: I felt that we were just coasting, or worse, slipping and sliding, as the show labored its way into the finale, and there wasn’t even a good “save” in the closing moments. Still, I’m glad that none of the main characters died.

    • 13.1 skelly

      SAME HERE! Thank you so much, Heads, for verbalizing all of my frustration and crankiness over the ending of this show, especially the illogical, disjointed mess of the final episode. When I watched the ending, I was really angry at first, because I felt that I had been totally manipulated to create some sort of artsy-fartsy ambiguous ending, logic, story flow, and characterization be damned.
      Then I realized that this drama is just like the character Young: beautiful to look at, given to half-disclosures or sideways feints that make you go into hours of analysis to try and figure it all out. Just like Young, this show grew and developed until about halfway, when it started losing its momentum, getting more secretive, and reverting to bad old habits. I really wanted to like this show, just like I wanted to like Young, and I find them both frustrating and prickly and immensely illogical. The plot holes – oy! You could drive a truck through them. I tried to write down all of the questions I still had at the end, but my fingers got tired.

      • 13.1.1 Gidget

        This is exactly how I felt too.

    • 13.2 hyunjee

      “I felt that we were just coasting, or worse, slipping and sliding, as the show labored its way into the finale, and there wasnโ€™t even a good โ€œsaveโ€ in the closing moments.”

      This is the perfect way to describe how I was feeling about the show in its final eps. It was so much surer earlier on. As soon as the suicide twist happened, I think I started to check out, and fast.

      From what I understand, a feeble attempt at killing yourself like Young did is not a suicide attempt, but a cry for help/attention. I mean, if you want to commit suicide, don’t you really slit your wrists (BOTH of them) and get in the water for maximum bleeding? I’ll bet Young cut the short way across her arm too, rather than the long way, which would again be what you would do if you actually wanted to die. When I heard her speech in this ep about how she wanted Soo to come and save her I was really disgusted. Like Heads said, there are other ways to say you miss someone.

      A final note: the KISSING! SHK, you are being kissed by JIS! More importantly, Young, you are being kissed by Soo! The love of your life, the one you defied death for (whether you died and are meeting in the afterlife or here on earth)! Open your mouth when you kiss such a hot man who obviously loves you so much!

      • 13.2.1 Betsy Hp

        She did do the across-wrist cut. Which is why I thought her admission that she wasn’t really looking to die made sense and was happy she realized and admitted that. (For the other reasons you said as well.)

        It didn’t disgust me though. It’s not like she’s an emotionally stable person thinking through exactly how this will effect the people around her. But I thought her extreme trust issues were well shown so I bought her character as a whole.

  14. 14 canxi

    I really REALLY hated how everyone let Secretary Wang just waltz back into Young’s life. And with just an “I’m sorry”. BOO-mother-frikkin-HOO. You kept a poor young child BLIND so you could in turn create some meaning to your life. Which is crappy and yes, obsessive and crazy!

    I was hoping for a more straight-forward ending, but I’ll take this too. I don’t buy that Young is done with her suicidal tendencies, but she seems a lot happier probably because before she was so untrustworthy and felt like everyone was out to kill her anyway, but now she’s starting to trust people and she’s more at ease. Who knows. Young is not a character I will pretend to understand through and through, lol. Which might be realistic. Over all, I do think rather than a “happy ending” it was more like a “believe what you want” ending. Because, it was so sweet but then it was so BLURRY! Then, again I don’t believe Young would make up such an elaborate story for herself (even in a dream) to “blind” herself from his death.

    I didn’t have a problem with Soo not taking the $$ though! Maybe because I felt like whether or not he gave it in, Kim still was going to find some excuse to kill him.

    Either way, I did really love this drama. I think Jo In Sung really out did himself here and would watch it again.

    • 14.1 canxi

      Also, Heads! Maybe you can pretend her long hair is a wig, LOL. Honestly, after having long hair for so long and not being able to see it, probably one of the first things I would do is buy a wig…if only just to see how I looked all that time. But, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t thinking about her hair at all this episode, haha.

      • 14.1.1 Jenn

        Not all chemo causes you to loose your hair – my dad takes oral chemo and doesn’t loose his. However, I really think her brain cancer would be treated with gamma knife radiation – had a friend’s mother die from a brain tumor and they didn’t treat with chemo but radiation. So, you never know right!

        • nasus

          well probably what heads meant was that since she underwent a brain surgery, at least part of her hair had to be completely shaved prior to it being performed..

        • canxi


          I see. I guess there are so many probabilities with this, it’s kind of crazy. Depending on a viewer’s experience the way the drama is seen will be different.

        • donna

          @ jenn, you’re right. my friend too had a cancer and took chemo therapy but didn’t loose his hair. and it’s a year ago so i think the part that had the scar of the brain surgery will not show anymore, it will be covered by hair by now.

    • 14.2 Betsy Hp

      The bit with Secretary Wang is so, so weird. I don’t count it as a story fail because it’s well supported (Wang was always shown to love and support Young) but… it’s so weird! Like you say, she made Young blind! How is that brushed away?

      It’s almost like the story is saying that sometimes people really, really hurt the ones they love but… we forgive them? Or something? I don’t know. Maybe there’s no message. But this was seriously a group of really scarred people.

      • 14.2.1 canxi

        It really was. At one point or the other, I kept viewing as some kind of Stockholm Syndrome on Young’s end, the way she just also seemed to care for Wang even though what she did was horrible. Forgiving her, I guess, is all right but I felt letting her back into the house was another thing.

  15. 15 kh

    heads, i remember u commenting on SHK casted in a melodrama (TWTWB) which makes me think u don’t like her acting abilities?

    how about now?


  16. 16 sunshower

    Thank you so much for the recap. For taking the time to actually write it out or type it out in this case.

    After watching the last ep, even though we got the happy ending, I felt that it was a frustrating journey. It was also hard to express it as clearly and well-argued as you have done here. Kudos to you.

  17. 17 Vix

    Thanks Heads! Wow, now that “winter” has past, I can finally breathe. I’m probably more content with the ending than I should be but drama I love you so much <3 So I finally understand why Young committed suicide last episode, with faith that Soo would save her from death. Oh, btw about the cherry blossom painting we saw in this episode…..there was another painting shown in the first episode of TWTWB, but it depicted a barren tree instead of flowers in full blossom (what lovely symbolism). Thanks for everything, drama!

  18. 18 Rashell

    I have such love/hate for this drama. It’s so dang pretty to look at that I almost forget that it doesn’t make sense. The beginning was wonderful, but it definitely lost steam and direction toward the end. I’m glad I watched, but I wish it had held the awesome all the way through.

    • 18.1 nikki

      A big DITTO to what you said. I love this show for all its prettiness and as much as I try to make myself truly love it, I can’t help but leave feeling empty and cold towards the latter part of the show. There were a lot of “wth” moments in the last few episodes that were left unresolved. Sad how it happens to many of the dramas I follow. ๐Ÿ™

      Regardless, though, I still can’t help but feel lightheaded and drunk from all the prettiness between SHK and JIS in the “1 year later” scenes. They’re both crazy beautiful, I want to cry!! D:

  19. 19 Mish

    It Could Have Been Worse.

    I checked my brain at the door before watching this episode and was perfectly happy with the ending. This drama ranks highest on my melo-meter since the only others I’ve seen are Nice Guy and I Miss You.

    Thanks for the recaps!

    • 19.1 picklemonster

      Same here. Out of all the melos I’ve seen, this one is definitely the most satisfying.

      Granted, some things started to not make sense towards the end, but NOTHING about this show makes me think the director or writer became lazy and gave up along the way. So much attention has been put into every character’s emotions, and perhaps it was that which made the last couple of episodes lacking in spunk.

      Unlike some people, I absolutely loved the happy ending. At first I was so upset because I wasn’t sure whether Soo was dead or alive, and thought the writer ripped us off with an open-ended ending. But after actually watching it, I’m 100% sure they’re both alive. I know, hard to believe. Many viewers will say that a happy ending does not excuse a drama from obvious plot holes, but I’ll give TWTWB a pass. This happy ending is what sealed this drama into my heart. If either Jin Sung, Soo, or Young died, TWTWB would’ve just left a bitter taste in my mouth and a whole summer of heartache. So, THANK YOU NOH HEE KYUNG.

    • 19.2 Betsy Hp

      I’d rate this above “Nice Guy” but below “I Miss You”.

      Though IMY is a drama I’d only recommend with warnings attached (it’s definitely not for everyone) there was no story-logic fail.

      But “Nice Guy” completely forgot about its main female lead, leaving her propped up in the corner while they finished out the main guy’s story.

      With TWtWB’s both leads had their stories wrapped up fairly well and the story-fail was in a secondary line that, in the end, didn’t actually affect much.

      @picklemonster: I was happy with the happy ending, too. Especially since Soo’s death would have been dependent on a storyline I found illogical and kind of out of place.

      • 19.2.1 ilikemangos

        Really? I thought Missing You was running amuck with epic logic fails that just reading recaps confused the heck out of me..But to each their own i guess.

        • Betsy Hp

          I found some recaps confusing but not the show itself. (There were some recaps that got things factually wrong and so of course they didn’t make sense.)

  20. 20 Wendilynn

    I loved this drama. Everything made its own logical point UNTIL the last episode. The suicide, totally understandable for a person as emotionally damaged as she was who thinks she’s been abandoned and betrayed by everything AND thinks she’s going to die painfully anyway. What did NOT make sense was Jin-sung’s betrayal. I still can’t figure out how Mr. Kim killing his family meant that he needed to stab Soo. If that had been me, I’d have taken the knife and gone after Kim. They talked about making Jin-sung betray his friend, but the way they chose to do it didn’t make any sense whatsoever. You have to make Jin-sung want to blame Soo and they just didn’t do that at all.

    I really think they needed another episode to really work the ending right. It was really rushed and that’s why I think the logic breaks down.

    There were some really amazing nuances to this drama that I just loved. I loved the emotional humility of Soo’s character. Just like the one guy says, “Soo was willing to forget pride”. I loved that. I liked that Young’s character stayed true to form for someone in her precarious situation. She would have been very selfish and unchanging because she wouldn’t know who could be trusted, especially when you know your step mom has sabotaged your eyes.

    • 20.1 canxi

      “If that had been me, Iโ€™d have taken the knife and gone after Kim.”

      This is exactly what I said. We’ve all seen Jin Sung take a beating and give one and I have no doubt he would have caused some serious damage. But then again, I never felt like Jin Sung was a quick thinker in difficult times. It always took some time with him.

      I think Soo is gonna be on my list of favorite characters. I really love him.

      • 20.1.1 skelly

        I honestly couldn’t watch Jin Sung in that final scene on the tractor, I was so angry with him still. Really, the only way out was to stab Soo? Really? Here’s the guy who warned you again and again that Kim was bad news, to get out of Dodge ASAP and don’t look back, who was always trying to get you out of the gangster life – and so you take the knife and leave the only true villain in the entire melo and go all the way out to the rooftop to stab your friend. And then sit there and cry about it while he dies in front of you. It is so illogical and stupid, it is almost a sort of evil in itself.
        I’m not a Kim Bum fan anyway, so when he’s still acting adolescent in the tractor scene I just wanted to smack him upside the head.

        • canxi

          True. His stern expression did make me think he matured a bit. I’m mad he had to stab his best friend for that to happen, though.

        • Betsy Hp

          I honestly handwave the whole stabbing scene away. Because it just does not make sense. I can’t buy Jin-sung doing it, I don’t see the logic of the threat (did his family get hit by that truck? if so… what are you doing? if not… it’s a freaking truck not an attack ninja — your family can flee so… what the hell are you doing?) and… yeah. I just erase it.

          Which is why I’m so happy Soo lived. If he didn’t I’d have to wrestle with that scene. But since it didn’t really do anything anyway I just push it from my mind and enjoy what’s left. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • visitor

          I think the idea of ”the best friend as a traitor” does make sense in this plot. It was, however, executed very poorly imo. Theoretically, you have a beautiful setup with Jin Sung regarding Soo as his brother, as a part of his family, as the object of his loyalty and on the other side his commitment to his blood-related family and Hee Sun and Boss Kim in the background, pulling evil strings and digging his grave. I still think this would have made for a interesting -if somehow predictable- conflict. But they crammed it into like a freaking two-minutes-reaction…if that. Why show, whyyy?? Isn’t that what melos are (partially) made of- gut-wrenching decisions? Well, there was no wrenching of the guts here. I guess I understood his decision ‘against’ Soo (“the needs of the many blablabla blood is thicker bla”) but it was so rushed that I totally did not connect on an emotional level.
          Also, I have to agree that the pace of the finale felt waaaay off. The first eight episodes were executed close to perfection imo but I didn’t really mind the change in pace afterwards. It’s what sets this drama apart from the movie version which was a neat package in itself but i felt the drama extended and explored and fleshed out the characters on a deeper level that made me – with the exception of Sec Wang (whatthehell show- she made her blind, i don’t care how well she can cook)- connect with the narration as a whole. As with Sec Wang, I totally get the wholw”so despereate to be a mom that she goes batshit crazy and blinds the child” BUT come on- how does that make her the best-suited person to care for Young??? Then again, that just adds to the brokenness of Young’s character- having to depend on the person whho crippled you and over time accepting that person’s …love?

          I swear I had a point when I started this… it got lost on the way…much like the show…
          But seriously, despite its at times heavy flaws- I still love the show. The cinematography was imo not distracting but rather very well intergrated and instrumetalized, the music was good (this is where i usually loose my patience first) and Jo In Sung and Song Hye Gyo just clicked for me…like massively, hugely, “pleaaase work together again”.

    • 20.2 blabla100

      Same here. I love this drama, its been an amazing ride and regardless the ending, i still think its one of the best drama out there, but the last episode was…weird. Jin-sungโ€™s betrayal was so out of character. If i have to nominate 2 things i dislike about this drama was jin sung stabbing oh soo (really bad move) and oh young not knowing or not even suspecting that oh soo might not be his real brother. These 2 things really disappointed me, there were definetely some things who could have been done better, but on the other hand, im sure not many directors/writers could have succeded in making it better or at least as good as these producers did. Im a huge fan of love me not – the movie, and for me, twtwb was the perfect adaptation, im sure no other producer could have made it better.

      About the ending, while watching the last episode, i really had the impression oh soo died. I still think he did die, so im kinda surprise how many people think he lived. The camera clearly focused on him, when he was on the ground, stabbed, after the flashabck he had his eyes were wide open for like seconds.
      For me was obvious oh young didnt regain her sight, she basically could see only soo. While she was in the taxi she felt the wind rushing throught the trees, thats why she told the taxi driver to stop the car, she wanted to walk because she wanted to feel the breeze. That made me think about the episode when they were up in the mountains, i recall oh soo told her that even when he’s not around, every time the wind will blow will always be with her or something in this direction.
      Another obvious thing was the discussion between jin sung and jung eun, they were obviously reffering to his grave… (why didnt they get married as they planned if things settle down?)
      About the wang discussion, i think wang told her that soo died 20 days ago, after her chimio was over, because she didnt want to give up on her chimio because of the sad news… (im assuming wang found out oh soo died 6 months ago)

      The whole premise of this drama was about a woman who wanted to die and a man who wanted to live, so im guessing this outcome makes sense.

      But more than anything, i belive the writers left an open ending on pourpose, they wanted to allow the viewers to come up with their own interpretation of the ending.

      Nevertheless, was a great drama and im plan on re-watching it anytime soon. Ill miss it so much ๐Ÿ˜€

      • 20.2.1 picklemonster

        Hi blabla100!

        I wanted to clear some things up for you, because I also had my doubts about whether Soo died or not at first. For me, it’s because I only read the recap, and I really thought Young was only imagining it. But after watching the episode for myself and listening to the dialogue, it’s obvious that Soo is alive.

        When Hee Sun and Jin Sung were debating which flowers to give “Soo”, they either meant to give flowers to Young’s real brother Oh Soo’s grave, or they wanted to bring flowers to Soo’s new shop because they feel bad for Jin Sung’s betrayal. Also, Jin Sung was actually about to stab Soo a second time, but couldn’t bring himself to do it, so he dropped the knife. Therefore, I think that one stab wasn’t enough to kill Soo. Another BIG factor as to why the last scene is not a depiction of heaven, or Young’s imagination, is because the conversation between Soo and Young in that cafe is waaay too elaborate to be fake. If it was Young’s imagination, why did she have to make it so that Soo only shows himself to her after a year? What would be the point of having that conversation of how Soo told Wang to not tell Young about his whereabouts until she was done chemo? It can’t be heaven either, because they would’ve just MET each other. But no, Young frequently visited Soo’s cafe, hears the bell on his bracelet and yet Soo doesn’t reveal to her that it’s him until much later. Also, if they were both in the afterlife, I’m sure Young would get 100% of her sight back. But she didn’t, her vision is only recovering, thus the blurry images. I don’t blame people for being suspicious though. This happy ending is actually way too perfect to be realistic, and these characters definitely lucked out to be able to survive in a melodrama. But I’m just so thankful. I’m one of those people who would rather have a happy ending than a realistic one. :3

        Anyway, if that isn’t enough to convince you, in an interview with Song Hye Gyo, she confirmed that it was a happy ending and both characters were alive. =)

        • Betsy Hp

          We actually see the flowers Hee-sun talked about on the table, so they were for our Soo. ๐Ÿ™‚

          But I definitely agree that first, Young is alive. Her scene at the coffee shop was too prosaic. And we see her see the boy’s hand and pat it.

          And second, Soo is alive because, as you say, picklemonster, they have too prosaic a conversation. If it’d been left with Soo on a bicycle, then I’d have leaned towards him being dead. But he interacts with too many people and objects to be a ghost or a memory.

          • picklemonster

            Yep! Oh and I forgot to add. Song Hye Gyo also said in the interview that the ending scene filmed in Young’s perspective was blurry because they didn’t want to give RP patients false hope, since those diagnosed with RP will not ever regain back their sight fully. So in a sense, this ending was a miracle painted in the most idealistic way possible. Love it!

          • Betsy Hp

            @picklemonster: That’s actually pretty cool — the not wanting to give false hope thing. One thing the show did really, really right I thought was its depiction of blindness. They didn’t treat it as a “melodrama disease” with over exaggerated helplessness or what have you.

        • Briggy(@subin70)

          Thanks for your input on what was said by the actors about the finale coz I was confused and I wanna be happy.Yep,if she was in heaven her vision would be 100%!!!good point haha

  21. 21 MEalways

    I hate mellow, I always hate mellow.
    I hate unreasonable story, because it messes my head.

    But, no matter what flaws this drama has, I have to admit that I do LOVE this drama. I wait patiently for the show and the recap for every episode. Heck… I even watched the rerun on the weekends.

    Because I could relate to Oh Young’s character. I understand almost perfectly the desperation to trust / love someone, feel that if I can end this life – maybe I’ll find peace, feel that selfishness because I always have to do and settle things all by myself.

    And I like how SHG played OY. It did difficult to play blind person who has to display lots of deep scars and emotion. I think she managed them well on most of the episodes, so kudos to her.

    The ending seems to be pushed/could be better, yes.
    It is only 16 episodes. But, on the other hand, how many times did we complain that some dramas never need extension and they just dragged toooooooooo damn long?

    Sometimes you can’t explain your heart.
    And this is what happening to me now.
    I have all the reasons to have this drama, yet I love it and I enjoy it.

    Thank you all, and thank you HeadsNo2 for your recaps.
    I will miss this drama….. hiks….

    • 21.1 henrietta kangleon

      wow! we have the same sentiments ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. 22 Fun-Lugha

    One of the least enjoyable finales av ever watched! Seriously I kept fast forwarding cuz there was nothing intriguing. And I know kdramas are all about redemption and forgiveness but pls not Secretary Wang, r u kidding me?! It’s even weirder cuz 2 eps ago lawyer ahjussi was angrily throwing her out asking her if she’s human and all and then hey! 2 eps later, all’s forgiven! Drama pls! Nothing made sense in this ending, i dare say a couple more deaths would have made it more believable, Oh Soo included! But thanks for the pretty and until the end am still team KKB, boy’s way too fine! And thanks for the recaps, u DB ladies are gold!

  23. 23 Ts

    Yippee, a happy ending! And the wind finally stopped blowing!

  24. 24 Francis

    To be honest, I felt Nice Guy/Innocent Man was more engaging than That Winter, the Wind Blows.

    There are a bit of similarities between both shows which leads me to wonder what is it with the all the melodrama cliches?

    Stabbing…this seems to be used a lot. Nice Guy and TWTWB, both the male protagonists were stabbed, but they survived, right?

    The endings were like so similar too.

    They had this loyal best friend.

    There’s a gangster figure who seemed really mean, but who is actually a bit of a softie.

    The male protagonist is a con-man in some sorts.

    Are the writers devoid of ideas?

    • 24.1 laura

      I had watched NG but do not remember how the drama ended but I will remember every details about TWTWB.

      • 24.1.1 Jina

        They definitely have similar vibes.

    • 24.2 kaye

      NHK stay true to the japanese drama, so the stabbing scene is actually in the jdrma version too, so I don’t think they just copied nice guy, maybe it’s the other way around. It’s a remake so obviously the framework will be the same as the original

    • 24.3 Betsy Hp

      As far as stabbing goes… guns are really hard to get in Korea so stabbing’s the best way to kill someone. I mean, there’s blunt force trauma, but it’s not exactly subtle. So any drama that shows someone trying to kill someone will probably involve a knife.

      I don’t recall Nice Guy’s best friend betraying him, though. And the “softy” villain wasn’t so much a softy as an audience fave. When he was taking MCW’s character to sell her into sex slavery… he was really taking her to sell into sex slavery. But he had some charisma so that got brushed away at the end. (I frowny-faced at that, honestly. Though I did see the charm the actor brought to the role that was a little too fan-servicey for me.)

      We did have two con-men though, that’s true. Which begs the question: who was the better at conning? (I’ll vote for SJK’s character in Nice Guy. He kept his con going for a lot, lot longer. Also, the ladies he played never landed him in jail.)

  25. 25 ks

    Some people reasoned that the blurry scenes are from Young’s perspective, but these blurry scenes seem to occur only around Oh Soo. When she was with Secretary Wang, Lawyer Jang, and her ex-fiance with those blind kids, those scenes were not blurry. So, it makes me think that perhaps those scenes with Oh Soo were not real – maybe they respresent Young’s imagination or their “afterlife” together. That scene jump from cafe to that path lined with cherry blossom trees was so abrupt and strange, kind of like how it would happen in dreams. But I guess in the end, what’s important is that they both reconciled and expressed their love to each other and whether they really lived or died didn’t matter to me.

    The beginning of this drama was so so so good!!! I’m disappointed though that it didn’t keep up toward the end. But I can’t deny how much I enjoyed looking at these ridiculously good-looking couple.

    • 25.1 JunJae

      But the scenes with Lawyer Jang and all of them wasn’t from her perspective. It’s at a drama’s standpoint.
      They shift into her perspective when she was in the cab and saw the cherry blossoms, that’s when the scene actually changed.

  26. 26 doctordrama

    Thank you for your recap and I totally agree with your comments! I really wanted to completely love this show and I did especially the the first third of the drama but the show just started going downhill for me in the last three episodes. Yes, we do get a happy ending but it felt completely unsatisfying and made me feel so disappointed. Yes, my eyes feasted with those beautiful cherry blossom ending but I still felt robbed. Did the show sacrifice its potential just for fan service? Since it is a melo, I get that they don’t need to have everything tied into a neat happy ending. When I started watching I already accepted the fact that someone or even all of the lead characters might die. That “happy” ending felt so contrived for me. As folks already pointed out, I just don’t get why Sec. Wang was forgiven so easily. Is that really the type of mommy dearest love we are supposed to buy into? And Soo saying that he made a mistake in ousting her?! I felt that the plot and the characterizations started to fall apart in the last episodes. I enjoyed the feisty and whiplash smart Young in the beginning of the show and then her character just went downhill with the suicide attempt. Also, I don’t know what it is but there are those moment in the last episode where I know the show wants me to cry and be emotionally touched but it just didn’t do it for me, specifically when Jin Sung stabbed Soo. I think part of the problem lies with how the show quickly glossed over Jin Sung’s dilemma and there were also no explanations on how Soo all of a sudden is alive in the end. Also, it’s not completely out of the blue, but I still don’t buy how all a sudden the show just turned Soo into a chef at the end?! It was only in the last episode where the drama hinted at how he likes to cook. Is he a chef and a painter at the end of the show?! The painter Soo was completely left off from the first episode. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the show but I just feel disappointed because it could have been a great drama.

    • 26.1 skelly

      Yes, so many dangling threads, holes where we just don’t know – drama is pretty but tattered.

    • 26.2 canxi

      I don’t think he’s a chef, but I do think he owns some kind of restaurant. He might cook too, but I didn’t strike me as anything fancy. As for Soo, I mean, dude got stabbed not shot. We have to keep in mind you can survive these things and it’s not completely out there. He looked dead, but it’s possible he just went into shock (I mean his best friend just stabbed him–I would be shocked as hell!)

      I said above, that I hoped for a more straightforward ending bu that I’ll take this, too. I like that the characters are happy. The thing is, I really don’t think it was done for fanservice. This is my third drama with this writer and it looks like she enjoys getting her characters to the lowest they can go (sickness, almost dying) and then having then come out unscathed and fine. Maybe this is how she sees redemption or growth. It’s not an explanation for anything, but it’s a thought.

      As for suicidal Young, it didn’t come as a shock to me. I guess people thought she was really making headway but I felt like it was bound to happen. Maybe it was the timing in which it happened. If it was sooner rather than so close to the end, it would have sat in place better, narratively. But sometimes! Nothing tells you, you want to live more than nearly dying. I’ve come to that after thinking a bit more but, she’s still not a character I will pretend to understand through and through, lol. I think she is still smart, just that depression–or drama depression, even–doesn’t care about smartness.

      As for Secretary Wang, I wished she had stayed gone. I won’t try to understand that, just feel like many dramas have this thing with making even some of the foulest people redeemable or sympathetic in cases in which the person has a child or takes care of a child. I’ve watched it happen in quite a few dramas. Having Soo say he made a mistake is kind of the show telling everyone to forgive her. And I’m just sitting around like “LOL, nah”.

      I didn’t think there were many loose ends or plot holes, but the last episode sure makes it seem like there was just because it was like fitting a bunch of things haphazardly in a suitcase in way. It’ll fit, but it’s not exactly neat. The only thing I was actually left wondering was what happened to President Kim? Did the CCTV goons end up getting him because his promise, in a sense, broke (to let Soo & Jin Sung go unscathed)? I wonder, I wonder. But that’s really the only thing I wonder.

      • 26.2.1 Betsy Hp

        I agree with you Canxi. For the most part, the drama did follow its story logic and the characters it created. (Even Wang’s redemption arc, though not something I agree with, was well supported within the story — it didn’t come out of nowhere.)

        The one glaring weakness, for me, was the whole Jin-sung stabs Soo scene. That broke from story-logic and build up for me. And is of a piece with the whole, what about Boss Kim? questions.

        But, because Soo lived so the scene didn’t actually impact the storyline much, I just stick my fingers in my ears and lalala my way through that scene and… the drama works! ๐Ÿ˜€

        I’ll add, I also agree that this wasn’t the writer pulling out a happy ending to please fans or because she couldn’t think of anything else. Everything was so carefully built to that ending (except for the stabbing scene) that it felt planned to me.

        • canxi

          Indeed, I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees it this way. I don’t think anyone will be able to wrap their head around why Jin Sung did that. Maybe he felt like a cornered mouse or panicked. But, bite the cat that corners you, don’t run and bite your mouse friend D’:

          Maybe, he pulled a Moo Chul and was helping him in a way? Make Kim think Oh Soo, died like Moo Chul had everyone thinking he was threatening Soo instead of just warning him? But there was nothing to support that theory so it’s just Jin Sung doing something weird, lol.

  27. 27 Ria

    According to me oh yongi and oh so dead, and it is a utopian ending oh so.karena previously said that if atthe time he died he would recall memories of her time with youngi, and yongi died after 6 months of treatment. Hmm .. Superb for the writer can make the viewer confused and determine their own opinion about the end of the drama, Daebak!!and more importantly they are both happy

  28. 28 liera

    Something that I disagree with Heads here is about the suicidal tendency of OY, in some of her recaps she said that she thinks OY has already get over it. Well , some missing point that we need to understand OY is not only blind but psychologically is not stable. She lost her mom, brother and though secretary wang is there, she is controlling OY. So, the suicidal attitude has always been there and it takes months of treatment, so I can totally relate to OY each time she is going back and forth with the suicidal attempt or negativity towards life.

    And why can’t she has a beautiful long hair after the brain surgery and chemo?. I did have a much more beautiful hair after my chemo and it takes me only 2 months to grow my hair.

    I don’t care what others may feel about this drama, but from any dramas so far in 2013, this is the only drama that artistically the best, directed the best and acted the best. Through this drama my love for SHK is firm now and not much to JIS. He acted well but he still not converting me as one of his fans.

    • 28.1 loveprevail

      Hello Leira,

      I like it that some of you are sharing your personal experiences to help us better understand the characters in the drama. I guess they do look like people and act like people then.

      And I do wonder if everyone really takes the time to read all comments or just stay firm in their opinions no matter what?

      • 28.1.1 canxi

        I took the time to read Liera’s but I didn’t know how to respond. I wanted to say “Congrats on getting past that time in your life!” but I wondered if it would be rude in a way or something.

        But, since I am here. Congrats, Liera! since you’re here, it seems you are doing well. And I guess we underestimate the rate at which human hair can grow.

  29. 29 bernie

    so… that ending was………………………………… weird, to say the least.

    thanks for all the recaps ^_^

  30. 30 Annie

    I still don’t get this drama. I was so in love with it until that forced kiss and then it basically took a giant swing downhill. None of the motivations made sense after that.

  31. 31 tiny

    COP OUT!

    this reminds me why I’m not a fan of the genre.

    Retinitis pigmentosa is not curable a disease. In fact, it’s degenerative. So if we get a time leap, then we’re also fast forwarding the course of the disease… but why is Young’s vision clearer? So, being the med geek that I am, I am consoling myself with the thought that she had Stem Cell treatment that Noh Hee Kyung-nim didn’t have time to incorporate.

    This doesn’t change the fact though that this show was sooooo purttty. SHK and JIS are really good looking. Like it’s sometimes distracting. I’m glad that this was my first.

  32. 32 Jo

    The ending was so confusing.
    I loved how Kim Bum’s character broke out of his loyalty and had that crazed, red rimmed look after he stabbed Oh Soo…but then..wha….?
    That ending just confused me.
    Also, um. . . Moo Chul? I felt like he was significant but…I guess…not.
    I don’t know. This drama was beautiful and I no doubt loved it but the ending didn’t exactly get stupid, it just never explained itself..

  33. 33 KDrama Fan

    Thanks Heads for the recap.

    Interesting to read your p.o.v.

    I for one liked the ending. It had some surprises the biggest one that there was a happy ending. I glossed over a lot of the things a lot of people struggled with eg. Young’s hair, everyone’s fantastic health etc. The most important thing being that Soo was still standing at the end-would have hated that he died Young was still alive.

  34. 34 Mar

    It was a visually lovely show to watch. That said I think it lost me in episode 12 or 13 with Young’s funky character development and the insane troll logic medical stuff. The promise of sizzle from early on in the show fizzled out too. There was never ever enough Kim Bum. I will have to agree to disagree on the ending. There is absolutely no reason to vague up a happy ending so yeah that was not a happy ever after ending. It was LOST season six. To me it appeared a cop out or a compromise how ever you want to go. The writer likely originally wrote a typical melo ending. Some power that be wanted a happy to make viewers happy. This vagued up messy ending was the compromise. My take: Soo died. Old bad guy was not going to let him or JS walk away. Period. If Soo survived the knifing old baddie would had everyone killed. Young made it thru surgery. No one told her Soo was dead. Eventually they did and she gave up and died. She’s in her version of the LOST holding pattern universe and she had to find her way to Soo, thus the center scene surrounded by people that she loves and makes her happy. He was not quite ready hence she couldn’t see him until he was. Regarding Jin sung. No surprise there especially after MC was redeemed, shown to be running interference all along and Wang was let off the hook which was crud. JS to me was a consistent character. He was always morally flexible as were most of these characters. But to me what he did made sense for the character. He would have lived with it and never told hee Sun. However that hee Sun would not figure it out would not be consistent. So that combined with JS having to suffer watching hee Sun run thru flirtations equals he’s paying his betrayal dues so hello they are dead too. Maybe they are all waiting for Moo chul to show up. News flash he’s out in his tight pants and leather doing redemption deeds and looking for hee Sun’s sister. my two cents anyway. It is what it is. It was a pretty ride that just got weird and choppy and bumpy the last four episodes. Note to self don’t do this on my kindle again it auto correct is a bitch.

  35. 35 bebeswtz

    OMGAI thanks so much for recapping this, HeadsNo2 n.n I’ve literally been coming back to Dramabeans every other hour to see if the recap has been posted yet lol (and all my other hours, I’ve been watching and re-watching, then rewinding and re-rewatching the same 1 scene from episode 8 of “You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin”) haha n.n

  36. 36 cheekbones

    It seems to me that the writer changes her mind many times regarding many aspects as she wrote the drama. The result is confused audience. ๐Ÿ™

  37. 37 CrazilyAddicted

    what the. this ending makes no sense.

  38. 38 ah Man

    Thank you so much for the recap! Ur comments cracked me up!!!
    My first reaction to the ending was Soo is dead and all is in Young’s head (because I’m a sucker for apparently, the traditional melodrama ending – I’ve been so out of it, I didn’t know open ending or happy ending is an option!). and because JIS’s acting is so AMAZING – Soo looks so dead there to me! (and really, if it’s a happy ending, is it so hard to just give us a straight forward ending but why also a stabby scene? argh~)

    but the ‘open’ ending is so well done, that whenever, however I feel, I could say, ok, Soo is dead or ok, this is a happy ending.

    and the kiss at the beginning is (for me) the best kiss of this year in dramaland!

  39. 39 deducing opera

    One thing I’m going to disagree with you on Heads is the sentiment of Young’s suicide attempt being “merely” a cry for attention, because that’s what all suicide attempts are. Young believes that the only option left for her at this point is to die, but as we’ve seen before she doesn’t really want to (and a lot of people who attempt suicide don’t) and is very scared of death. Her secretly hoping that Oh Soo would burst in and save her makes sense (the only thing that made sense in this episode). It being a cry for help doesn’t make her suicide attempt less legitimate or fake in any way.

    • 39.1 Jina

      All suicide attempts are a cry for attention? Really?

      • 39.1.1 Mar

        I will agree with deducing opera, that in general, barring sacrificing yourself in a suicide ‘mission’ to save others, suicide is a big o’ hey look at me. It is also in the mind of the person a VIABLE solution to their problem. I will not claim expertise on this but I will say that I lost a family member to suicide. That said, I’ve never had a brain tumor killing me.

  40. 40 htet lay

    i can’t believe that is finished now.best best drama i have ever seem and it’s the best drama of 2013.

  41. 41 topper

    Very pretty to look at like a picture, but barely engaging and forgettable in the end. Blurry happy ending scenes are so cliche.

  42. 42 craig

    Has anyone watched the japanese version? Really interested to check it out after watching ‘That winter’.

  43. 43 belle

    I Think the drama ended in happy ending. Why?

    1. We really don’t know what happened when Oh soo was stubbed by Jin Sung.

    2. The flowers suggested by MC are the favorite flowers of Oh young and her brother same with Oh soo. These flowers symbolize happines, wedding, and love. JS looked very sad at the point when he agreed to what Hee-sun suggested but the the face of JS was a type of confused or something that the director suggested for him to do to make us bewildered of what really had happened to Oh soo.

    3. Blurry. Oh young underwent surgery right? it took 6 months for chemo and recovery. It doesn’t mean that after the surgery, she will immediately have an eyesight. It will probably take how many months before the eyesight will go back to normal condition. This explains that Oh young has the ability to see but not really clear. Meaning, the surgery was successful and Oh young survived. The scenario with the child and sec wang of course was only a part of the scne that it should be clear. Do you think it is good to see a blurry drama scenes only because the main character is blind?

    4. Oh soo waited for Oh young to recover (6 months). And if we could all remember the statement of the too “โ€œItโ€™s not over between us””if we meet again” bla, bla ….Oh young said. They promised that they will be seeing each other again.

    5. The cafe, the talking people, Soo dressed as a waiter. do they look unreal? i don’t think dreaming would be like that. Dreaming should be kissing already or running while laughing, no real people will talk and if everything was all a dream then why not the director chose to have that scene be with Oh young and Oh soo only and no other people will be part of it and no other thing will included.

    6. The flowers of MS and JS was at the table. If that was for Oh soo’s grave then why it is on the table? is the table a grave? If Oh soo died, the flowers would be placed to a location where he died or to his favorite place or maybe where Oh young and Oh first met. (hahah)

    7. The kissing under the cherry tree was really true not a dream nor an imagination (if it was an imagination, how cruel the mind of Oh youn was, it doesn’t make sense). If the story is fast forward, then it is possible that the end will be like that. Kiss symbolizes love and forgiveness.

    – I really praised the writer for having this kind of story. It was amazing because it is not really easy to write an open ended story and with so much twists. I salute the writer as well as Ju in sung and Oh young very well-acted characters. I concluded. This is a happy ending. Just read and look where Song was interviewed, she also concluded TWTWB was a happy ending story.

    • 43.1 pandah

      2,5, & 6 were my thoughts exactly. You brought up an interesting point for 1. And yeah, if you compare the movie ending, there were no people around. It was just the two of them, but in this ending, there were several others.

  44. 44 MAC

    I’ve caught myself saying, “WHAT???”, so many times during the last 2 episodes. There were just moments that I wanted to backtrack to check if I missed out anything, but just didn’t have the patience to go through the frustrations again.

    Yes, the picture at the end was pretty. But it wasn’t clear how our characters survived the stabbing, surgery, and road accidents.

    Sigh! This is one drama that defies logic.

  45. 45 Solair

    This is going to be in my all time fav list. endings were perfectly done. I love happy ending!

  46. 46 merry

    Great work, Heads. Thank you. Thank you to the commenters, too. You made viewing this beautiful drama (scenes, actors and soundtracks) even more memorable. There never is a straight ending in Kdramaland. It always leaves room for your interpretation, as shown here by the comments. I’m in dramaland and i want the happy ending of course. I wouldn’t be here if it always follows my logic. that would be too much. Happy waiting for the next trip everyone. I wonder what it will be?

  47. 47 kakashi

    “Young has a surprisingly full head of long hair a year after brain surgery, and everyone seems to be having a good time.”
    hahaha, priceless. Thank you, Heads. You’re the best.

    • 47.1 Cid


  48. 48 anotheraddict

    *sighs* I need the ํ• ๋จธ๋‹ˆ(halmeoni) from Goodbye Solo to comfort me right now, so disappointed am I in the finale and in the drama as a whole. I would’ve found them to be highly problematic in any case, but the fact that that this was a Noh Hee Kyung drama deepened my disappointment exponentially. I’m certainly not an expert on NHK’s work– I’ve only seen a handful of her dramas. But, as much as I hate to say it, having seen dramas of hers like Goodbye Solo or More Beautiful Than a Flower, I can’t help but feel that she’s sold a part of her soul to write TWTWB (which was far more commercially successful). It’s as if she got fed up with pouring her heart and soul into writing dramas that weren’t very popular, and she watched a bunch of more conventional dramas like Nice Guy and said, “Hey– you want a slick, uber-intense, OTP-centric, not-necessarily-sensical melodrama full of PPL? I can write one of those, too.”

    I remember reading an interview with NHK from several years ago in which she said that her aim was to write characters whom viewers could understand (and empathize with). So it kinda kills me to read HeadsNo2’s criticisms (that I agree with, btw) about often not being able to understand Young and other characters in this drama. Because more than any other k-drama writer I can think of, NHK is gifted at writing highly relatable, complex characters whom I understand. And not just one or two per drama, but a whole cast full of them. When I first started watching More Beautiful Than a Flower, I didn’t know that it was written by NHK. At first, I thought it might be too boring (it’s the opposite of TWTWB in terms of its lack of slickness and heightened intensity), and frankly, I couldn’t imagine myself getting terribly invested in most of the characters. But gradually, the characters grew on me, and their relationships touched me. By the end, I was amazed at how, for virtually every character, NHK had managed to show the good, the bad, the ugly… and the more beautiful than a flower. Watching that drama made me want to be sure not to take any of my loved ones for granted, to look for the good in each person, and to sing Kumbaya (just kidding).

    Similarly, in Goodbye Solo, NHK gradually gets you into the head and the heart of each character– you may not like some of the characters or their actions, but you’ll understand where they’re coming from. (And you’ll realize how much we need one another in order to overcome our internal obstacles.) So my expectation was that in TWTWB, we would end up at least being able to understand all of the main characters. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. Sec. Wang stands out for me because Bae Jong Ok was in a bunch of other NHK dramas, always as a fleshed-out character you could empathize with– but in TWTWB, she was a complex character who did something heinous which she was basically let off the hook for, yet the “why” of it all was never adequately explained to us. Also, most of the other NHK dramas I’ve watched have all felt remarkably real– but in a way that evokes an appreciation of the human experience. TWTWB, with its muted colors, its intensity 24/7 (made even more intense by all of the close-up shots), its one-dimensional side characters like batshit-crazy So Ra, its hard-to-read heroine, and its contrived plot full of holes, made TWTWB feel quite unreal… which would’ve been fine had it come together as an inspired mythic tale. I was hopeful in the beginning, because it started with NHK doing her empathy-building magic with Soo’s character, and to a lesser extent with Young’s character through the video diaries. But in the end, it became just another k-melo that lost its footing, yet garnered tons of attention anyway. *cries*

    Writer-nim, you are SO much better than this– please don’t squander your gift. And HeadsNo2, thank you, once again, for not squandering your gift and for so generously sharing it with us.

    • 48.1 Mystisith

      “NHK lost her soul to the devil”. I totally agree. She can write characters with extremely logical and complex psyche, even the baddies. Here it just doesn’t compute.
      My hope: This drama was a commissioned one and in exchange of this ratings success SBS will let her write her own personal project. That or she’d better return on jtbc.

      • 48.1.1 icareay

        Sad that it’s not really a ratings success even if โ€œNHK lost her soul to the devilโ€. What a waste!

    • 48.2 SH

      Excellent post.

      I haven’t seen NHK’s previous works, so thanks for sharing your insightful thoughts. To me, this drama fizzled out around episode 8. I got tired of the cons, of the directing, of the music. My biggest gripe is the directing of this show. The use of soft-focus lens didn’t seem to mesh well with the story-telling part. Sad.

  49. 49 BT

    I Love This end, HAPPY ENDING

  50. 50 Cid

    I’m confused with the ending. What’s with Jin sung and Hee sun talking ’bout bringing flowers to Oh Soo?

    If i were Jin Sung, i would twist the situation turning the knife closer to the Boss Man’s neck asking for his Family’s safety in return!!! GRRRR!!

    • 50.1 Li

      They could be referring to the REAL Oh Soo.

      As far as I’m concerned I”m happy with the ending, the viewer can choose.

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