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Discovery of Romance: Episode 15

All of the secrets are out in the open and everyone has to get real with themselves, and admit their own responsibility in how things have all turned to shambles. It’s a hard episode to watch, because realizing that you’re (at least partly) to blame is never an easy thing to do. But hopefully Tae-ha, Yeo-reum, and Ha-jin can learn from their mistakes and come out stronger and smarter next time, even if things don’t quite work out as they wanted this time around.

 
EPISODE 15: “Will they be able to love again?”

Joon-ho has a beer after witnessing Yeo-reum break off her engagement to Ha-jin, and Sol pumps him for information. Joon-ho goes on and on about how dating shouldn’t be so complicated — just date the person you like and let go of the one you don’t like. Sol points out that this is why Joon-ho has never dated longer than a few months, because he’s never cared enough to cry over anyone.

A numb Yeo-reum walks past them, and Joon-ho wastes no time saying that he’s not speaking to her. He immediately gripes at her for making two guys end up in the police station, earning a smack from Sol. Yeo-reum just tells him that Ha-jin is still outside and goes to her room.

Joon-ho finds Ha-jin outside staring at Yeo-reum’s ring, and even after all the mean things she said to him, he’s mostly worried about whether she’s okay. He tells Joon-ho how he saw her crying at Tae-ha’s office, and how he and Tae-ha fought about it later, but Yeo-reum wouldn’t tell him why she was crying. He knows the answer will be painful, because he knows that Yeo-reum likes Tae-ha.

At the same time, Tae-ha bleakly reminds Director Yoon about his claim that with time, that special woman will become just another person in the world. He says that that’s wrong, because for him there’s only one woman, no matter how much time passes. He cries and says that now that he knows how Yeo-reum feels about him, he can’t just give up. Yoon asks what he’s going to do, but Tae-ha doesn’t have a plan.

In her room, Yeo-reum tries again to look in the box of keepsakes from her time with Tae-ha, but she still can’t bring herself to open it. She takes the box to Joon-ho and asks him to burn it, and he says he will but only if this means things are over with Tae-ha and that she’ll get back together with Ha-jin.

Sol asks to sleep with Yeo-reum, and tells her bluntly that if she wants Tae-ha, she should go to him and she’ll support her no matter what. Awww. She says that since Yeo-reum told her she was falling for him again, she’s wondered if it only seems complicated because she was fighting it.

Yeo-reum says no, that it’s over with both Tae-ha and Ha-jin — when she saw them in the police station, she realized it was time to end this. She thinks that if Tae-ha hadn’t found her camera with the photos of him, he never would have asked her to come to him, and it wouldn’t have led to his fight with Ha-jin.

Sol says it won’t be easy to end it because she has to see Tae-ha at work, but Yeo-reum thinks he’ll understand and that it will be Ha-jin who can’t let go. Sol asks if Yeo-reum will be okay if she ends it with both men, and Yeo-reum jokes that since she’s such a bitch, she deserves to have a harder time. I love how Sol is all, “At least you know.”

Ha-jin makes it home and lies in bed, thinking about Tae-ha’s claim that Yeo-reum will never be satisfied with him and that he has no idea what she gives up to be with him. The next morning Ah-rim returns the bike he bought her since she’s leaving to study abroad soon, and he takes her shopping for things she’ll need over her protests, knowing she won’t spend money on herself.

Producer Bae saunters in while Yeo-reum’s mom is working, pleased as punch to present her with the couple phones he bought for them. Mom tries to feign innocence, but her assistant doesn’t let her get away with it.

Yeo-reum tries to work on her furniture designs, thinking about Tae-ha’s admonishments that the ones she turned in were repeats of her older work and she can do better. She tells Sol that she wants to design something that’s her best work, but she can’t figure out how to balance the set. Later Yoon tells Tae-ha that the girls are working on making some improvements, and Tae-ha smiles to himself, knowing that Yeo-reum took his words to heart.

They meet to go over the final designs, pretending everything is normal while carefully not looking at each other. Yeo-reum curtly takes her leave, and Yoon complains that the two of them are alike, acting like nothing is wrong between them.

Tae-ha goes after Yeo-reum to return her camera, and he asks why she won’t look at him. She remains silent, so he gently takes her face in his hands to tilt it up to his, and he tells her that he knows the answer to his question from the night before.

Tae-ha says that she can live however she wants. He still wants his birthday wish (to be her so he’ll know what she’s thinking), and he wants to be with her, and he hopes she feels the same. He falters a little when she still doesn’t respond, but bravely adds that she shouldn’t worry about his feelings, because this is what he chooses. He’s happy with his choice, and he hopes she’ll be happy with hers.

Yoon and Tae-ha look into some furniture design competitions that Yeo-reum could enter, and Yoon asks if this will make Tae-ha feel better. Later, Tae-ha takes the information about the competitions to Sol and asks her to discuss it with Yeo-reum.

Yeo-reum finds Ha-jin at her studio, who’s bought a book on furniture design and is claiming to suddenly be interested in woodworking. He’s proud of himself that he can identify all the tools, but he’s trying so hard it just comes across as pathetic. He invites Yeo-reum to dinner, and Tae-ha pulls up just as they’re getting into Ha-jin’s car. He doesn’t stop them, still unaware that they broke off their engagement.

At dinner Yeo-reum notices that Ha-jin is still wearing his couple ring, and tells him that pretending that nothing has happened is hard for her. Ha-jin says he’s just trying to understand her, and he honestly admits that he’s mad, but he still missed her. They sit in miserable silence, and Yeo-reum thinks to herself that it took them three minutes to fall in love, but wonders how long will it take them to break up.

Taking Tae-ha’s words to heart that he doesn’t know Yeo-reum’s dreams, Ha-jin asks if she always wanted to design furniture. He admits he doesn’t know much about her, but he wants to change that. Yeo-reum says that their problems aren’t his fault, but refuses to tell him any more because it would be cruel. Ha-jin tells her that they may be at rock bottom like she said, but he’s not afraid of the bottom, and if this is the worst then he can bear it.

He says that he wants to get through this together and his words sound positive, but his face looks so desperate and hopeless, it’s heartbreaking. After dinner Ha-jin takes Yeo-reum to her mother’s, and he holds her hand but neither of them has a single thing to say.

Eun-gyu visits Sol to ask if she’s given some thought to his request to give him another chance, but Joon-ho skips in carrying shopping bags before she can answer. The awkwardness intensifies when Director Yoon shows up, and the four of them sit around the table to talk.

Sol asks Joon-ho why he’s even here — Because I like you, too, he thinks, though he says he’s there as her oppa to help her make a good decision (and I’m dying at the three sets of “get out, idiot” glares from around the table). Sol says she’ll answer both men’s questions tonight since dragging things out is awkward, and starts with Eun-gyu.

She tells him that she’s liked him for a long time, and became a better person because of his influence. We can hear his heart pounding as he smiles, but she says their timing is off and she has someone else in mind, and he flatlines. HAHA.

Sol addresses a beaming Yoon next, saying what a good man he is, and we also hear his heart start to beat with happiness. But she says that’s not enough for her heart to flutter, and asks him if his heart can’t flutter for someone else. Flatline. Awww, poor, sweet Yoon.

Joon-ho’s heart starts to race a mile a minute as he realizes he’s the only guy left at the table. But when both of the other men take Sol’s hands to declare their undying devotion and willingness to wait for her, he slaps their hands away and tells them to back off. Yeah, “oppa” my butt.

Yeo-reum visits with her mom, and asks her if she understood her father. Mom says you never understand others, you only accept them, which is actually pretty dang wise. Yeo-reum tells her mom that she ran into Tae-ha recently and everything’s been a mess since, asking what her mother would do and worrying that her mom thinks she’s like her father.

Mom says that what she didn’t understand about Yeo-reum’s father was this — why didn’t he leave? Maybe if he had, he and the other woman would have lived, and even Mom would have had a happy life. She tells Yeo-reum not to worry about her father when she’s making her own life choices. Mom says that Yeo-reum doesn’t have to always be right, or to please others, and she tells her daughter to think more about what she wants without considering what others might think.

After the other guys leave, Joon-ho excitedly presents Sol with a gift of new sneakers. He makes a big show of telling her that in these shoes she can go anywhere she likes — to Eun-gyu or to Yoon, or to someone even better.

With a flourish he shows her a matching set of men’s sneakers and says she can even come to him if she wants. OMG they’re couple sneakers, he’s so adorkable. Sol (probably) pretends to miss his broad hints and asks where he’s going. Joon-ho deflates but says he’s going jogging in the morning, and she agrees to go with him. At this point, I’m about 98% sure she’s just messing with his head for the fun of it.

It’s Yeo-reum’s turn to brood over the pictures of Tae-ha in her camera, and she slowly deletes them one by one. Sol brings Yeo-reum the information on the design competitions and tells her they were Tae-ha’s idea. Yeo-reum remembers a time when they were dating when he also encouraged her to enter a competition, presenting her with workspace borrowed from his company so she would have a place to design.

In the morning, Joon-ho fidgets in the park as he waits for Sol to show up, and yells at her for being late when she does. He takes her hand to jog but she pulls him back, and they end up nose-to-nose when she pulls him a bit too hard. Okay, she did that on purpose.

Joon-ho gallantly backs off, so Sol asks him bluntly why he likes her, asking him to list three reasons and teasing him that he can’t just stop with shoes. Joon-ho says that first, she’s got more guts and charisma than most guys and that he fell head over heels for that. Second, her emotions are not too cold or too hot, but just perfectly warm. And third, that she knows these things about herself and he likes that.

Thoroughly charmed, Sol gives Joon-ho a kiss on the cheek, chirps “Let’s date!” and starts to run off, but Joon-ho grabs her. He goes in for a really thorough kiss right there in the park, making Sol giggle, go weak in the knees, and take off running. He follows her, leaping and whooping — and that was pretty much the cutest confession I’ve ever seen in my life.

Yeo-reum and Tae-ha supervise the delivery of the furniture for the wine bar, and Yeo-reum says that she’s done designing the townhouse furniture and that Sol will take over production. They won’t have reason to see each other again after today. She thanks Tae-ha for the information about the competition, but says it’s too large a scale for what they can do, and she doesn’t want to have to ask for his help again.

Sad but resigned, Tae-ha says they’ll say their goodbyes here, and they shake hands one last time. Yeo-reum thinks that she finally got to hold the hand she wanted so badly to hold, and Tae-ha thinks that he will probably never hold this hand again. They both say they were happy to see each other again, as memories of the emotional moments they’ve shared run through their heads.

Yeo-reum thinks that she was able to see the scar she got from her father because of Tae-ha, and to dream again. Tae-ha thinks to himself that he’s gone as far as he can in his heart by loving a woman, and he has no regrets because he did everything he could. They wish each other well, and Tae-ha watches as Yeo-reum walks away.

Ha-jin sees Ah-rim off at the bus to the airport, where he makes her promise to use the money he gave her so she can spend her time studying instead of working part-time jobs. She gives him an envelope, asking him to open it after she’s gone. She gets on the bus, thinking to herself that some people are born to go it alone, and if that’s her life then she has no choice.

After she’s gone, Ha-jin opens the envelope to find her copy of their childhood photo and a letter addressed to “Jin-soo oppa.” It says that she’s leaving without ever getting to call him by his real name, and she believes that she’ll get to see the person she misses someday, so she’s going with a smile. She asks him not to feel guilty anymore — her only disappointment was that he left her without saying goodbye when he was adopted.

She goes on to say that while she doesn’t know why he’s sending her away now, without telling her the reason he doesn’t want her near him, she hopes that if they ever meet again and have to separate, that they get to say a proper goodbye. Finally realizing that he’s basically abandoned her again, and that she knows it, Ha-jin’s legs collapse under him and he sits on the curb sobbing with grief.

That night he sits in his car outside Yeo-reum’s studio, and narrates that he knew then why Yeo-reum broke off their engagement. He knows why she said those mean things, and why he stupidly held back his own emotions: “Because I don’t know how to say goodbye.” He understands now that he doesn’t know how to properly say goodbye to anyone, so instead he has headaches and can’t sleep, and that Yeo-reum knew this about him and said the hard words for him, and waited for him to catch up.

Yeo-reum goes outside to find Ha-jin waiting, and he just wordlessly approaches and hugs her. He finally says the words, “Let’s break up.” He tells her that the moment he opened that box in her room, he hated her, and that they’ve both changed. He says with a smile and a sob that she was really bad to him, and that it’s time to break up, and he hugs her one last time as they both cry.

Tae-ha takes the rings he bought for himself and Yeo-reum all those years ago, and throws them in a fountain, finally letting go.

Sometime later, an unidentified writer types:

Among the many loves in this world…
Two ended that night,
And that night among the three of them not one said that he/she could sleep.

Will they be able to love again?

 
COMMENTS

Wow, this was definitely a difficult episode to watch, because everyone has pretty much had to give up on their hopes and dreams of love and their futures. But I have to give them all kudos for being finally honest, with themselves and each other, in spite of the pain and sadness they had to face. And I have to say how much I’m impressed by the writing on this show, because these characters were so full and rich, and I care about them so much, which is a rare thing for me. I usually find a way to enjoy the dramas I watch on some level, but to get so emotionally invested is unusual for me, and I’ve loved every minute of this show for taking me to such an emotional place. And for me, it was all about the characters and what they’ve gone through to learn about themselves, and about what love really is.

Ha-jin’s journey, I think, was the hardest for me to watch. I think he always thought of himself as a happy, successful, easygoing person who just happened to have a secret past, but that he thought he’d moved on from it. Meeting Ah-rim and having to face that guilt and fear again, I think, was unexpected to him. I don’t think it was ever his conscious intent to hide his identity from her and send her away, but he let that guilt and fear convince him that he was doing it for her benefit. That final letter from her, gently reminding him that from her point of view it looked as if he was ashamed of her and wanted to be rid of her, was a hard blow. I think he really did realize in that moment that all his life, he justified his actions with positive motives that weren’t necessarily true. I’m impressed that he didn’t try to use that realization to get Yeo-reum back… he finally understood that it was too late, and he’d lost her.

It’s interesting how my feelings towards Yeo-reum have changed in the course of the show, because in the beginning I thought she was spoiled and selfish and yeah, quite frankly, a bitch. But I’ve realized that she’s not really, she’s just a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to speak it out loud. She doesn’t want, or try, to hurt others in the process, but neither does she let that possibility stop her from doing what she thinks is right. And really she’s a very caring person under that hard exterior… even Ha-jin admitted that her mean words to him when she broke off their engagement, were a kindness in disguise. She knew he would, or could, never say the words himself even if he knew it was the right thing to do. So she fell on the sword and said them herself, to save him from having to agonize over it. It’s clear that she would rather not have had to do it, because she said to him many times, “I don’t want to have to be cruel,” but when it was needed, she was willing to do the hard thing in order to do the right thing. In the end, I still may not think of her as someone I’d want to be friends with, but I admire her for her conviction and strength of will.

Tae-ha may as well be a different man than the one we first met at the beginning of the show. He was so arrogant and confident, thinking that all he had to do was say the word and he could have Yeo-reum back. As well as he knows her now, I think he just thought he knew her back then, but he never really listened to her until he couldn’t have her and was forced to try to understand her. It changed him so much, for the better mostly. Even though he’s sadder and more resigned now, he really has learned what it truly means to love someone. Love isn’t about possession or just being with that person — it’s about caring about them more than yourself, and being willing to help them have what makes them happy even if that means having you out of their life. Tae-ha learned that lesson the hard way, but he learned it well, and he sent Yeo-reum away genuinely wishing her happiness without him. I don’t know what the finale holds, but I hope that he gets some reward for loving Yeo-reum enough to let her go.

I’m going to miss these characters a lot when they’re gone, and I do hope they all find happiness one way or the other.

 
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Thank you so much LollyP.

Your thoughts and reflections have made this drama even more fun and interesting. Wonderful writing, balanced and fun. Thank you!

Isn't this how this love triangle was inevitably going to end?

Relationships are hard work! If you don't want to be just a taker or just a giver, you have to understand yourself and understand your partner. You have to be able to give and receive, forgive when necessary, learn when necessary too.

None of these three really got it throughout the series, and so they struggled against the wind. And each of them both gave and felt pain.

Everything that has been said over the last few months, at least for me, need not be repeated, except maybe that HYR may be now one of my favorite characters in k-drama lore. She may not be the nicest person, but she is loyal to her own heart first. People might call it selfish, but the opposite would be the so-called "noble idiocy" that tends to aggravate people more. And in the end, shouldn't we be loyal to our heart first?

That's the ending message I think - to be happy. And how can we be happy if we aren't true to ourselves? Each of us has the responsibility to ourselves first, and for NHJ especially to make presumptions about who HYR should be with, and what she should be doing, and where her place should be, all of that is just immaturity talking.

Thanks to LP and DL! You guys gave Discovery of Romance a home for us, and I am certainly grateful to have shared it with everyone here.

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You exactly articulated what I love about Han Yeo-reum - she's the opposite of the noble idiot!

I know this drama's given me a hard time sometimes, I found it difficult to understand her, Tae-ha and Ha-jin (I admit I stuck with it mainly for Sol/Joon-ho) but I do appreciate that Discovery of Romance took such a modern -and highly unusual, for kdramas! - approach to relationships and dating, and to characters themselves. I definitely don't regret my time spent on this one, and clearly the online audience likes it too!

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thanks for the recap!

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Am I the only one who finds this show incredibly tedious and dull? There's really not much excitement and I hate all the characters except for Sol and Joon-Ho.

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You are not alone. I also find it contrived and unrealistic. Not that I haven't liked contrived and unrealistic in the past, but in those cases I didn't hate the leads.

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Funny, I find the motivations in this drama the most realistic I have seen in a long time.

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true..For ME, this is one of the most 'real-life really' realistic stories i've seen in a kdrama. i guess it just goes to show that we have different experiences and perspectives in life. must be why we look at 'realistic' in different ways. but, personally, i know how real this scenario can be, and the emotions and thoughts and dilemmas the characters are having.. true to Life to the core.

if some of us haven't experienced those dilemmas, i'm relieved for them :)

tho at the same time, i'm happy and thankful i have Live-lived My life :)

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Most other K-romcoms are dull and filled w/ 1-dimensional characters, cliche-filled subplots, bad/cheesy dialogue and forced emotional scenes.

This one hit it in all the right spots due to the excellent writing.

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+1
"incredibly tedious, dull" ... and indulgent.

I care about Ah Rim, who no one else seems to care about, including the writer.

This show is not my cup of tea. Unfortunately by the time I found out what it was like, it was more than half way over.

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Me too. Only here for Sol and JunHo.

I love sol, because SHE knows what she wants and when she doesn't, she's able to go all "SHUT UPPPP!! Let me think!" and then lay down the law without dragging anyone.

Also, Ah Rim, anyone? Why so little attention?

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I agree with Sol, she is the best female character in the series. And really don't understand why Ah Rim character just becoming flat. She's strong girl after all. She deserves more love. However I like Tae Ha character too. He's my favorite lead character so far.

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because Ahrim character is so flat, flatter than the parents. No character development for her other than to move things around for Hajin & Yoerum and for Hajin to realize his actions hurt people regardless how it's sugar coated

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This is the largest role yet for Kim Seul Gi as Sol. She was great in Flower Boy Next Door (I'll never forget her wild eyes), and this is so much better. (not so much in Surplus Princess) She did a great job here. Nice to see her moving out of SNL into more serious roles. Sol and Tae Ha were my favorite characters of this drama by far. The rest.......meh.

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Awww. Joon ho and sol finally confessed to each other ! :D it's weird that I always anticipating these two rather than the leads. Hahahaha XD

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Love this drama but Ha Jin is my bias.... Dun like the ending...

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Love this series. Sometimes you can't tell the truth because you don't wanna hurting someone. But when you keep lying, it hurts them even more…

This episode we could see Ha Jin and Yeo Reum's character development as they started to realize what they try to keep is more hurting someone that they supposed to love.

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For me, this show was over the moment Sol and Joon Ho confessed, wore couple shoes, and kissed beautifully - I could not care less what happens to the Tedious Trio.

Yay, happy ending for the reason I was watching this drama in the first place! :)

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The couple shoes and kiss were worth the wait! Sol and Joon Ho are adorable and their relationship development is satisfying. Which is more than I can say for the leads.

Good for Ha-jin for facing what he hadn't faced because he didn't like where it would/could lead. He realized that ignoring his own uncertainty and Yeo-reum's aloofness and selfishness did not make for a relationship that could exist and definitely could not move forward in a positive way. This trait of ignoring true feelings (both his and the other person's) is also how he handled his relationship with Ah-rim. It clicked in his head. I look forward to how he changes because he realizes and acknowledges it.

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Whoa seul gi is getting a lot of kisses these days.

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Joon ho and Sol... Awwww... Also, my heart might break for Ha Jin if it wasn't already broken for Tae Ha. Am I the only person who disappear to a puddle of tears whenever Tae Ha's upset? Eric does me in like nothing. Although I loooove Sung Jun since SUFBB and INR3, when Eric is in a drama with him, I immediately go for Eric. He has this charm that is so full of expressions. And added factor is that these leads have worked together previously. Gosh, I love this drama. I love Eric. And I hope Tae Ha will discover love again with Yeoreum.

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Don't know, just read from someone posted in this blog before that Eric is kind of guy who really difficult to cry in real life. Somehow I understand how his eyes and nose suddenly becoming so red even though his tears didn't fell yet XD. But I like his emotion during sad moments. I think his eyes can talk. Even without tears, he can express those moments deeply and unexpectedly it makes more painful to watch.

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I like how the writers are wrapping up the show nicely ? I like that

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I enjoy the drama and all of its characters. While it's cute with other supporting cast, I'm drawn to the main leads. Hajin comes off way too perfect, or rather too submissive that he comes off as a man child. Yeorum frustrates me at time with her mixed "signals" to both men. I didn't like Taeha at first but he has grown a lot on me as the drama goes. I don't hate any of the 3 characters, just different level of liking for them.

I like the polished lines & clever metaphors in this drama. It definitely stands out from the usual Kdramas for sure. I'm glad I watch.

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"Tedious Trio" is right on target as a description of our leads, IMO. But I'm not bitter about the time I've wasted, because I learned from the experience (ha!).

Moral of the story is that if one gets emotionally invested in the stories they are viewing, they should avoid dramas with a female lead who can't decide between the two male leads, and waffles back and forth between them for the entire show. Either way, at least one set of viewers is going to be disappointed. I say "at least" because, yes, there are even worse options for endings, like the open ending of Mi Rae's Choice, the non-choice choice of The Woman Who Married Three Times, and the out of nowhere violent death in Fashion King.

I don't understand why these drams have become so popular in Korea. But...perhaps, for one thing, it's wish fulfillment. What woman wouldn't be flattered by two handsome men with great qualities fighting over her?

At least, with Yeo-reum, we are given her with warts and all. We see the damage that she and her unresolved issues inflict on the men in her life, especially Ha Jin.

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The pain of The Women Who Got Married Three Times and Fashion King will never leave me...

This drama is such a mess too

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@ LizJ and Hippoloyta

Although I did not watch Fashion King nor do I plan to either, I understand and empathize with the both of you. My initial aversion about the way TWWMTT ended has since mellowed. Still, as for 2014 kdramas that were real clunkers (duds - turkeys - crap-fests that veered into WTF territory), Doctor Stranger and Temptation take the cake.

As for Mirae's Choice what can I say...I’m a Park Se-Joo and Na Mi-Rae shipper and OTP believer till the end.

Speaking for myself, I don't regret sticking with and watching all 16 episodes. Nor am I bitter about the experience, because I really enjoyed DOR (aka DOL).

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Another show that I hated. I grew to despise the three leads. The female lead because she arrogant, selfish and undeserving of a happy ending. The two male leads were interchangeably cartoonish and quite unrealistic. Unbelievably sucessful and yet chasing a completely neurotic woman who yanked them back and forth. Aargh, this has been a bad drama year for me. I curse you Dr. Stranger and now Discovery of Love.

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I'm cleansing my palate with History of a Salaryman. Black comedy, tart exchanges, and quirky chemistry works for me as an antidote to the bad taste left by this drama.

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Great drama choice...I'm watching Queen In Hyun's Man again for the cute. Thinking about rewatching Dal Ja's Spring too. I'm watching my next crazy drama in the form of The Greatest Marriage

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My great fondness for Queen In Hyun's Man helped me over numerous bumps on the Trot Lover's road to nowhere.

It's seems like a pretty dry season in dramaland right now, so I am rapidly becoming obsessed with finding the subbed version of Bad Guys -- which looks like it's coming to myasiantv any minute now -- raw version went up today ... not that I've been checking every hour or anything.

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I'm watching "Panda and Hedgehog" as a light-and-frothy palate cleanser, and the difference is staggering. That one has a love triangle, too, but even though I find Pan Da Yang annoyingly clueless, she dithered very little between the two men, and when she did make up her mind, she made herself clear in short order (politely, cleanly, and with no drawn-out emotional drama. She even chided her choice to be aware of the other man's feelings and treat him kindly.)

Contrast that with Yeo Reum, who spent sixteen episodes dithering and caused many hours of tedious emotional havoc among her friends and lovers. (Note to drama producers: Why would I want to spend 16 hours with that emotionally-stunted woman? Make your leads more likeable!)

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Speaking my heart...LOL

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Well, if the flawed characters and relationships in Discovery of Love (aka Discovery of Romance) turned you off so much - to the point of wanting to curse the drama, then I guess you haven't watched Temptation.

If not, then don't. :)

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Thanks for the recaps :) Always love your insights.

Yes, please don't watch Temptation. It's not worth the aggravation.

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I really like Sol and Joon Ho but honestly, if the drama was only on them, it will be really annoying to me because they are a "typical" couple of Kdrama, nothing new under the sun, they are cute, they are very well played by the actor, but not interesting enough to have a drama all over them.
But I am eager to see the actors in other roles!

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What I fail to understand time and time again about some of the viewers is why they feel it necessary for the writers to FOCUS on supporting cast characters???!

Ah Rim is not a lead and was never meant to be a lead. She is not interesting or a focal point BECAUSE AGAIN, SHE WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE A LEAD! For those that keep stressing they'd prefer to watch such an uninteresting character (as dull and undeveloped as she was) makes me dumbfounded? Watching Ah Rim and Ha Jin is like watching paint dry. They are fillers that I was too happy to fast forward through; and it's conclusion just makes my feelings all the more clear. Their situation was just that! A FILLER!

**whew! Glad I got that out. Cheers!

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I feel the same that is why I'm grateful for the recaps (thanks LP and DL) and also the fast forward button. I really enjoyed the drama as a whole though and Yeo
reum might be my next favorite k-drama character after Sam soon. sure Eric is hot now that he is older but ill always remember him as the slacker manhwa addict kang ho in Super Rookie singing "Syu-peo-maen" which is my first drama of him...which huh? almost ten years ago.

(how i wish there was a different comments section for the outright haters of the show because im getting cross-eyed skipping through their comments)

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i think you forgot to put in a cut? im on my phone but in the mobile version and mobile desktop version i can see the entire recap on the main page

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LOL xD I thought that I'm the only one

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1) I love joon-ho!! and sol they are awesome friends and a cute couple.
2) I love this show, finally the heroine is a human not a bubbly and cute part time worker who struggles through life bla bla bla, she is a women who wants to be happy and sometimes she is kinda of bitchy but I love it.
I'm really gonna miss this show and eric's acting is awesome! really surprised

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i enjoyed the drama a lot. I had no problem with the leads because for once they felt real and like people that I may not want to hang out with or be friends with in real life but they exist. I like that they weren't always nice, sweet, could get through any and everything that life threw at them with a smile and saying "the sun will come out tomorrow.." like some candy, orphan, BS.

These people were at times selfish, idiotic, two-timeing, lying, pretending, hiding, etc, etc all in the name love (?) but I loved them for it. I could feel for, understand, and relate to all these characters. I may not have always liked their choices and actions, or agree with the things they said and how they treated themselves and each other, but boy could I understand it. Yeo Reum is one of my favorite kdrama heroines because she makes no apologies for who she is, the mistakes she made, and things she learned from it all. She herself says it in the end "she's she's selfish and a b**ch" but hey she's a happy selfish b**ch. She got the career, the man, the house, the car, and friends...those who are mad can just stay mad...she'll dry your tears in the arms of her man. I don't know, I wouldn't be friends with someone like her (well nothing more than acquaintances) but I like (and wish in some ways wish I had) her me first, my happiness, and making choices that I can live with come before what others may think or say because the only one who has to standby/live by these choices is ME. It's like her mom's advice "make yourself the center of you own life. do what will make YOU happy and deal with whatever outcome comes." I can't be mad at her about that because Tae Ha could have just stopped pursuing her and Ha-Jin could have just broken up with her. All these characters made their beds and in the end had to lie in them.

I was happy with the drama and was sad to see the characters go. I enjoyed the story (no matter how frustrating it got at times) from beginning (took a few episodes) and really liked the end. Thank you all for the great discussions and debates related to this drama and especially thank you lolly and dllama for the great recaps that were always a joy to read (and helped give insight) week after week.

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Thanks Lollypip. The richness in the character, their subtlety coming through each episode, agree its one of the most interesting in a rom com. Even then, i cldnt sympathise w Yeorum totally. I felt for Ha Jin and Taeha but not her. Somehow this rom com didnt stop me from skipping some episodes.

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I'm surprised to see so many negative comments about this drama. I thought it was one of the most realistic narrative in terms of capturing the essence of dating and falling in love - it's not always sunshine, rainbows, a terrorising mother trying to break you up and tada a happy ending.

It's actually everything depicted in this drama : a person trying to seek fulfilment, the balance between someone you think is safe and give you a comfortable and fuss-free life or the other who is passionate and drives you crazy half the time.

Like it or not, when we put ourselves in Yeo Reum's position, we would make selfish decisions as well (although she is one step further - vindictive). I find all drama heroines tend to stretch towards being the "perfect girl" who makes all these dramatic sacrifices but at the end, Yeo Reum is someone people can relate to. She's been naive and got hurt as a result but she bounced back stronger, meaner and she's not afraid to get what she wants.

Although there were times I hated YR as well, I do appreciate the writer baring out the strengths and weakness of all three characters. We've seen their highs, their lows and the best yet, their growth.

I suppose the best part about this drama is this : no one is perfect. If you want to watch a drama full of perfect people, there is The Heirs?

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I'm sure the viewers enjoying the drama are much more than the viewers aren't. But the few viewers who aren't enjoying the dramas gave comments like anything. They kept complaining or cursing yet still watching till the end of episode….LOL...

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I agree with everything you said and nope on The Heirs. I watched that drama for my bb Kim Woo Bin and lawd those are hours of my life I wish I had never wasted. Talk about annoying characters that are selfish, abusive, mean, vindictive, and rich....that drama and all it's oppa apologist just left a really bad taste in my mouth.

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I think there's a huge difference between this and Heirs because at least DOR acknowledges that its characters are imperfect, they themselves admit it straight up!

While all the horrible and tiresome characters in Heirs were presented as actually being misunderstood nice guys. I had more respect for the bullying asshole Young-do by the end because at least he admitted he was one and repented sincerely instead of being like Kim Tan, who was an asshole to everyone including his mother and gf but it was somehow justified because "waaah, my brother doesn't love me!"

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Thanks for the recap LollyPip.

I completely agree with your comments:
"I’m impressed by the writing on this show, because these characters were so full and rich..."
"And for me, it was all about the characters and what they’ve gone through to learn about themselves, and about what love really is."

CHOICES
The choices we make, sooner or later have to live with, and ultimately abide by. That was the central theme on my mind the whole time I watched episode 15.

"Life is the sum of all your choices." ― Albert Camus

“We are our choices.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre

“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.” ― Dallin H. Oaks

"People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.” ― James Baldwin

"Sometimes, Good PEOPLE make BAD CHOICES. It doesn't mean they're bad... It means THEY'RE HUMAN." ―Unknown

“In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn't matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.” ― Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn." ―David Russell

"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them." ―Denis Waitley

"Yes, I could have made some different choices in life but I did what I did, both good and bad and I am not who I was, I have moved on, It's all part of growing up." ―Unknown

“But until a person can say deeply and honestly, "I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday," that person cannot say, "I choose otherwise.” ― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

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Fond memories alone were not enough to sustain and carry on Yeo-Reum & Ha-Jin's Relationship. Attracting love and giving your heart to someone is not easy.

"No one falls in love by choice, it is by chance. No one stays in love by chance, it is by work. And no one falls out of love by chance it is by choice." ~Unknown

The breakup of Yeo-Reum & Ha-Jin's was painful. Despite the fact that it's hard moving on after such a difficult experience; hopefully the both of them can honestly make sense of what happened.

How to let go of the person whom you love and who loves you?
How to reconcile oneself with the fact that you have to let go of the person you envision as the one you will marry?
How to let go once you realize/recognize that the person you are in love with is not the right person/good for you?
How to come to terms with the fact that the person you are in love with is not as fully invested in the relationship as you?

"I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them..." ~Unknown

"Without Communication, there is no relationship; Without Respect, there is no Love; Without Trust, there is no reason to continue...!" ~Unknown

"If someone makes you miserable more than they make you happy, it doesn't matter how much you love them,
you need to let them go." ~Unknown

"Sometimes your heart needs more time to accept what your mind already knows." ~Unknown

"When you fully trust someone without any doubt, you finally get one of two results: A person for life or A lesson for life..." ~Unknown

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” ~Shannon L. Alder

"Sometimes you have to do whats best for you and your life, not whats best for everybody else." ~Unknown

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LOL what happen to the home page. the recap of this drama was full. I'm using my phone now. Please fix it juseyo!!!

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yeah every time I try to click on the recap from my phone, it redirects to another page without the recap! weird.

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For me this is also one of the most REALISTIC drama ever made. I like the fact that the Yeo Reum needs not to be a damsel in distress that needs to be saved by her knight in shining armor Chaebol boyfriend and the typical you-and-me-against-the-world.

This kind of story can happen to anyone of us. Maybe majority of us have that "One true Love" that will never be forgotten for the rest of our lives, even you are married with someone else. Yeo reum has been single for 4 long years before meeting Ha Jin, thats how deep her love to Tae Ha is.

Ha Jin & Yeo Reum's relationship is still in the honeymoon stage thats why its shallow. It is almost impossible to know someone fully for just over a year and just by meeting them during weekend or lunch or dinner or just by occasionally sleeping over. IN THE REAL WORLD WE KNOW THATS IMPOSSIBLE! There is no foundation in this relationship they did nit even consider themselves as friends. Thats why they failed.

Yeo Reum's last word to Tae ha is " When I'm with you I feel like I am myself." When you can be the worst in front of the one you love and he still loves you and accepts you wholeheartedly then there is no doubt that this person is the only one for you and you should never let them go.

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+1

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Totally agree with you! As the song goes "are you gonna stay with the one who loves you, or are you going back to the one you love?" Means the 2 choice you will have is between security and happiness. You can be secured but it does not necessarily mean that you will be happy or you can be happy at the moment but you dont know until when it can last.

You can call Yeo Reum a b*tch for hurting Hurting Ha Jin and being selfish, spoiled, arrogant etc. But remember thats Human nature, she has alot of flaws and imperfections but that makes her more human. GO YEo REUM!

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I think it's extremely rare for characters in any drama to be able to admit that they are responsible for their choices. And that they are alone are accountable for their feelings and the consequences thereof. I feel like that's something that's often ignored in most dramas-- because there are so many outside, interfering factors (the second romantic leads, crazy kdrama mothers, never-ending moments of noble idiocy), the free-will of the characters is often subsumed by the circumstances. We're constantly told that those characters are not responsible for their actions, because their actions were dictated by a larger guiding force (cruel to be kind scenarios for example; terminal illnesses, birth secrets or class differences, parental opposition, etc.) That they were helpless in the face of circumstances and therefore even their worst actions should be forgiven because it was understandable in context. The implication seems to be that anyone would have done the same in the situation.

But here, the show never implied that anyone would have done what these characters did in different situations. They were fully fleshed out people who did things that weren’t always easy to accept or understand, because maybe we wouldn't have done the same. Yet that's testimony to their characterization, they couldn't just be "anyone", they're contained by who they are as individuals, as people with their own unique history and environment and situations. This show took three characters, presented them in their worst and best lights and all the other ranges in the spectrum and did not try to dictate its audiences' opinion of the characters by exonerating them of responsibility; it didn't make them any less mean or petty or insecure or more palatable to be liked. But again, they were never terrible, irredeemable people either. For me, they were fairly ordinary; too easily guided by emotions, sometimes trying to do the right thing, sometimes screwing up spectacularly, sometimes unable to give up when they should, and sometimes giving in even when they didn't have to, sometimes unable to let go, sometimes too proud to hold on.

But here, each and every lead by the end ultimately said that they reached where they were because of the decisions they took, because of decisions they made, and that no one was responsible for their choices but them. And for me, that is powerful storytelling.

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@ Zoe

I was waiting to read your thoughts and boy did you deliver again. :)

Thank you for posting and sharing your thoughts on the Discovery of Romance (aka Discovery of Love) recap threads. You definitely expand the discourse taking place here. What's more, your perspective never fails to give us something deeper to mull over.

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Thank you. The big lesson or themes I saw in this drama was choice and consequences of said choices. In the end all three leads acknowledged the choices they had made that lead them to wherever they ended up. It wasn't "fate", circumstances, the cosmos; it was human choice and behaviors and I loved that all of them acknowledged that and took responsibility for it.

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agree. I might sound like a broken record but this drama is truly well planned and written. the second they reveal how YR's father pass away, I know we are only going up with the writer and the drama is really in good hands. I started looking forward to watching the drama more.

on the other hand, I get why this might not be some people's cup of tea and they might find it a bit dull, but to each his/her own. the drama has only ONE love story it focuses on with some minor love stories but its main focus is on the triangle. no drama, just like what @ Zoe said, only people who made choices and suffer from the consequences, be it bad or good ones.

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I may be late, but this is exactly what I would have expressed about this drama if I had caught up with it in time for discussion :) Really happy to see some of the comments here capture exactly what I loved about this drama. This comment, in particular, is spot on!

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if u think this drama is bad......tell me what u think abt fashion king,,,stairway to heaven and 49days...i really appreciate the concept of this drama...its for matured minds.

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I saw few scenes of this drama in you tube, ive searched for review &found yours...you have a very extensive review, keep it up,thanks,
your recaps are the best, and we both love this drama!!

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