Rating:
Average user rating 4.6
162

Marriage Contract: Episode 16 (Final)

Some stories are best told quietly, and Marriage Contract stays true to itself as we follow our little family into the last chapter of our journey beside them. No matter what happens, Hye-soo’s decided to live like a living person, not a dying person — fabulously, stylishly, and kicking ass — and that makes all the difference.

 
FINAL EPISODE RECAP

Ji-hoon lights the candles on his proposal-cake, and Eun-sung sings the bear song with Ho-joon while they all wait for Hye-soo, who’s late. A balloon touches the candles and bursts with a portentous bang, shocking them out of their merriment.

Eun-sung (calling Ji-hoon “Daddy” now) asks where her mom is, and Ji-hoon reassures her she’s on the way. He steps out to call her, but can’t get through. Instead, he gets a tearful call from Joo-yeon: Hye-soo’s collapsed and she’s in hospital.

Ji-hoon goes straight there, where the doctor needs him to sign off on an emergency surgery. She also warns him that it’s possible Hye-soo won’t make it through, provoking a sharp sob from Joo-yeon. In shock, Ji-hoon hesitatingly signs the form and Hye-soo is wheeled into surgery.

Ho-joon brings Eun-sung to join their vigil. Joo-yeon explains that she thought Hye-soo should see her daughter’s face at least one more time, in case…

Night falls. The surgery-in-progress lights go off and Joo-yeon looks to Ji-hoon in alarm. He suggests she take Eun-sung home: Hye-soo will be fine, he says, probably as much as to convince himself.

Just as she’s about to go, the doctors come out, tired but smiling. They deliver the good news that she’s no longer critical. However, since the tumor’s still there, this kind of thing could happen again. In gratitude and relief, Ji-hoon thanks her with a deep bow, far too shaken to smile or laugh.

He visits Hye-soo’s bedside (where she’s still unconscious), eyes full. Now he smiles, and clasping her hand, he thanks her over and over, in a voice so thick with emotion I barely recognize it.

Through the viewing window, Joo-yeon sees his devoted attention. She smiles, too, and the scene fades to black. All these heartbroken little smiles. Why are we watching this.

Ji-hoon puts the Promise kitties into a carrier to take to the new house, since Hye-soo’s getting discharged today. Ho-joon gets a little teary (with a kitty in his lap, no less), and Ji-hoon gently pokes fun at him. He’s in good spirits today. Ho-joon asks about his new job, which is part-timing as an investment analyst. He’s once again impressed by his friend’s capability.

On the way out, Ji-hoon bumps into Na-yoon. Sunnier and lighter today, she tells him she came to say goodbye. She’s taking up a teaching post abroad, and he congratulates her. Noticing the kitty-carrier, she remembers that he wasn’t an animal person. He laughs that she must be remembering someone else. Ne’er a truer word. In parting, she congratulates him on his marriage, and he smiles the biggest, crinkliest smile you’ve ever seen.

Joo-yeon gently exposes Hye-soo to her reflection. They must have had to shave off her hair for the surgery, as she now wears a wig. Hye-soo jokes that she just makes everything look good. Aww, yeah.

Joo-yeon tells her that her hubby moved all her things to the new house, and that he and Eun-sung are inseparable. She’s impressed and a teeny bit envious of how devoted he is, and charges Hye-soo to live well.

Ji-hoon passes Hye-soo’s doctor on his way in. She tells him that if Hye-soo’s tumor compresses a nerve, she could lose her eyesight, as well as other sensations. She advises him to take good care of her and be strong.

He reaches Hye-soo’s room, and she eagerly awaits his reaction to her new look, half fearful, half hopeful. He jokes that it’s a bit old-fashioned, which Joo-yeon takes exception to — her Ho-joon recommended the place! The couple tease her for the slip: Her Ho-joon, is it? Haha.

They bring her home to the new house, still full of balloons. Eun-sung (dressed as a fairy…kitten!) and Ho-joon (a clown) sing her a congratulatory welcome. Hye-soo scoops her daughter up into a hug, reunited at last. Since it’s the (sorta-) newlyweds’ first night in the new house, Joo-yeon smartly makes that her cue to leave, dragging an oblivious Ho-joon along with her.

Hye-soo is touched by the balloon reception, and Ji-hoon releases the kitties into their new home. Her tears spill over as she watches him play with Eun-sung. She later puts Eun-sung to bed, smoothing her hair as she sleeps.

She comes out to find Ji-hoon organizing her medicines. For a moment, he looks disheartened at the sheer number of them, but turns a luminous smile on her as soon as she appears, and tells her he’ll bring them to her whenever it’s time. It’s such a big change for her to simply thank him.

He asks if she likes his proposal — a banner saying, “Hye-soo-ya, marry me!” She’s not so impressed and says she has to think about it, and even tells him that he can go now, which he pooh-poohs. The whole point of this house, he says with his hand creeping up her leg, is so he could be with her aaaalll the time. And then to her dismay, he gets up to leave.

And comes right back, picks her up, and deposits her in the master bedroom. Where they’re going to have “tea”. Laying her on the bed, he leans over her, their faces inches apart…and gets up. To make tea. Hye-soo sighs to herself.

But although he goes to the door, he just closes it and comes right back. And smothers her in little kisses. Right! Real wedding night! But he draws back, and his face is sad as he tells her how pretty she is to him, no matter how she looks.

“You thought I was going to die, didn’t you?” she asks him seriously. He replies that he almost died himself, to follow her. That was the reason she couldn’t die, she tells him. With tears in his eyes, he smiles down at her. They roll over until Hye-soo is the one looking down at him. They kiss.

In the morning, Hye-soo wakes up to an empty bed — and an empty house. She finds a note from Ji-hoon saying he and Eun-sung have gone for a run, along with her morning pills, and it makes her smile.

On their run, Ji-hoon hoists Eun-sung onto his shoulders and tells her they’re going to work super-hard to make Mom happy — she really needs it right now. “So then she won’t be in pain anymore?” Eun-sung asks. She tells him that Mom is happy just seeing her, and he tells her to smile lots and lots for Mom every day. They decide to go buy her a present right now.

At home, Hye-soo happily cooks breakfast. But her vision begins to dim and she trembles. Nooooo. She struggles to focus on the now-blurred note, until at last — to her relief — it comes into focus.

On their way home, Ji-hoon gets a call from his mother. She’s been discharged from hospital and pllans to go back to her hometown. Ji-hoon wants to see her before she goes.

They finally get home and Ji-hoon presents Hye-soo with her favorite ddukbokki (whose name he still can’t get right, haha), which they confess they woke the owner up to get this early. Hye-soo teases them about ddukbokki for breakfast, and in a united daddy-daughter front, Eun-sung and Ji-hoon tease her right back.

Hye-soo hustles them to the breakfast table. Ji-hoon looks like he can’t quite believe it’s all real, and Eun-sung adorably instructs him in his table manners. Eun-sung brags to Ji-hoon about what a good cook her mom is. “Mmm! Your mom’s the best,” he agrees, chuckling that she’s too perfect to be human. Eun-sung high-fives him for that, and he turns his grin on Hye-soo and high-fives her.

It’s a very different scene at Chairman Han’s, where he sits bitter and alone at the huge table.

Ji-hoon gets the news that his father collapsed and was in hospital, although he insisted on returning to work. He visits his father right away. The Chairman’s in dull spirits — he should have died already the last time he collapsed, he says bitterly. No one understands him and everything is pointless, and even Ji-hoon betrayed him. Ji-hoon tucks a blanket around his father and urges him to take care of himself.

Just as he’s about to leave, Dad asks him what resentment he harbors to reject him like this. Ji-hoon turns back, and tells him sincerely that he’s grateful, not resentful, for the life and upbringing his father’s given him. He can’t come back to the company, but he’ll always be his son. So why can’t he come back, Dad urges.

“Father. Right now, I’m satisfied and happy with my life,” he replies. Dad sneers at his words, but Ji-hoon just smiles and tells him to be well, promising to visit again.

Dad shouts angrily at his departing back — can’t he even eat the cake that’s given to him? He hurls things at him, panting with rage and frustration, but Ji-hoon just closes the door behind him without turning around.

Mi-ran stops by to get a glimpse of Hye-soo and Eun-sung, although she doesn’t show herself. She meets Ji-hoon, who’s thrilled to see her so well. She slides him an envelope — it’s his wedding gift. She changed her mind about meeting Hye-soo, because she thought it could make her feel uncomfortable. She tells him that she supports his decision to be with her, and instructs him to take good care of her — and go fabulously forth. Laughing, he hugs her and tells her to do the same.

Eun-sung shows her mom a drawing she made of their family. It blurs in Hye-soo’s vision. She attempts to draw on the crown Eun-sung wants her to add for herself, but it’s too hard to hit the right spot. Putting down the pencil, she tells Eun-sung that because her eyes have gotten bad, she won’t be able to do it. In her child’s way, Eun-sung tells her she has to wear glasses.

Young-hee comes to visit Hye-soo at her new place, laden with tons of food. She squishes Eun-sung with hugs, and after commissioning a portrait of herself from her (“Make grandma pretty!”), she sits Hye-soo down for a chat.

Clasping her hands across the table, she tells her to think of her as her real mom from now on, and regrets not saying that sooner. Since Hye-soo’s always been so determined not to burden others, this happened so she can unburden herself a bit: “Forget Eun-sung a little, and from now on, just think of yourself.” Understanding and grateful, Hye-soo nods. Young-hee strokes her hair and tells her it’s okay, it’s going to be okay.

The Promise gang prepare a congratulatory dinner-party for Ji-hoon and Hye-soo, now that their secret’s out. Chef laments not having the pleasure of cursing out Ji-hoon anymore, and concedes that maybe he’s not a bad guy.

Hye-soo puts makeup on for the party, and Ji-hoon tells her she’s pretty without. She worries that they’ll find out she’s sick, and makes him promise to hide it no matter what.

As they come out of the car, she’s unsteady and asks if they can hold hands, “Then we’ll look like a married couple.” He leads her in, gazing at her the whole time.

It’s a merry party and when it’s speech-time, Ji-hoon admits he feels a bit guilty for turning out like a nice guy after being such a jerk of a boss. He reveals that he and Hye-soo got married — for real — and the staff cheer. Well, apart from Chef. Luckily, Joo-yeon’s arrival saves Ji-hoon from his interrogation, and Hye-soo ducks shyly when he tells them how hard it was for him to win her heart.

They all clamor for the couple to give them a song but Hye-soo shakes her head, so they chant for them to kiss instead. This Ji-hoon can oblige. He pulls her to her feet and kisses her, to the group’s applause. But as he holds her, she collapses against him.

Quietly, he asks if she’s okay, and Joo-yeon deflects attention by calling for the food. Hye-soo leaves the table for a bit to let the pain pass.

She returns in time for soup. Everyone makes faces because it’s too salty, but Ara catches Hye-soo adding more — it tastes bland, Hye-soo insists. Chef tastes hers and spits it out — is she having him on? Those in the know clearly understand what’s happening, and Ji-hoon quietly swaps out her bowl for another.

While Joo-yeon covers for her, Hye-soo stealthily dips her finger in some salt and tastes it. Or rather, doesn’t. Eyes wide, she turns to Ji-hoon and finds him watching her. I think he’s all that’s keeping her together right now.

Chef is convinced that it means she’s expecting, and raises a congratulatory toast. She struggles to hide her distress and manages a pained smile.

After the party, Ji-hoon asks Hye-soo if she wants to go for a drive, but she’d rather just pick up Eun-sung. She raises her hand to her face several times, testing her…vision? Or smell? Ji-hoon mirrors the gesture, also not quite sure what it means.

“I’m going to cry just a bit. Don’t look,” she says to him, closing her eyes and leaning back. “I’m going to cry first. Don’t look,” he returns. It makes her laugh (although he really is almost crying), and they end up putting the smile back on each other’s faces. Although I think Hye-soo does have her cry.

That night, Hye-soo puts Eun-sung to bed with a story about “a little girl called Hye-soo.” Eun-sung giggles that that’s Mom. That’s right, Hye-soo says. When she was a little girl, her parents passed away and her grandma raised her. And Grandma gave her so, so much love that she didn’t have a hard time of it.

Lovingly, she tells Eun-sung that people suffer hardship not because they don’t have something, but because they want to be loved. She wants Eun-sung to be someone who shows people love.

Eun-sung slips into sleep, and the picture of her dims before Hye-soo’s eyes. “My pretty Eun-sung. Even if I can’t see you…I can see all of you. Because I love you, I see it all.” Eun-sung’s eyes open, and she asks if Mom’s eyesight is really bad. It is, Hye-soo says, tears slipping down her cheeks, and she’ll need Eun-sung’s help a lot in the future.

Eun-sung declares she’ll help her lots and lots, and urges her to wear glasses. She wipes away her mom’s tears, and they promise each other to love each other even more.

Hye-soo comes out and finds Ji-hoon fixing handrails to the walls of the house. That’s…so thoughtful that…I think my heart just broke? Hye-soo tells him she has a wish, and asks him to slow dance with her. He groans, but that helpless-in-love expression means he’s totally going to do it. Aaand 0.2 seconds later, he gives in.

In a hat matching the music, Hye-soo steps out of her slippers and approaches her husband barefoot. From now on, she wants to listen to music and dance with him every day, she says, taking his hand in hers.

He discards his own slippers and agrees, spinning her around. More wishes: to sing songs, get rained on, take Eun-sung cycling, go to the amusement park. With a kiss, he accedes to everything. They’ll live like this, doing the things they want every day, she says: Everyone dies, so it’s nothing to be sad about. Better to live awesomely, she tells him with sparkling eyes.

She invites the world to throw what it wants at her — she’s got Eun-sung, and she’s got him. Her last words bring her into the circle of his arms, where she tells him not to cry anymore, only smile. He laughs at her bungled dance-steps, and says Oppa will teach her. Lol, still trying.

But the next second, Ji-hoon’s face distorts with tears. She reaches out to touch it, wanting to memorize his face, and he tries to joke that he’s too expensive for her to just paw. Nobody believes you, Ji-hoon. He starts to cry in earnest. Hye-soo cups his face in her hands and cajoles him for crying when he promised just now not to.

“But…can you just say the words “I love you” to me?” she asks. She wants to just hear it once, but ever the troll, even when he’s crying his heart out, he tells her to go hear it from some other man. She tiptoes up to kiss him on his forehead. Wrapping him in a hug, she says, “Thank you, Ji-hoon oppa.” He cries even more.

In the morning, Hye-soo and Eun-sung make sandwiches for their day out at the amusement park. They giggle about how it didn’t go so well the last time they tried it — all because of naughty Ji-hoon, who arrives right on cue.

On the car-trip, Hye-soo and Eun-sung sing songs in the back. In voiceover, Ji-hoon says that if anyone were to ask him when the happiest moment of his life was, the answer would always be the same: this moment right now.

At the park, they visit the pandas and then watch a performance, Eun-sung happily sandwiched between each parent. They embrace the day, not a patchwork family any longer, but a real one. In voiceover, Ji-hoon finishes:

“I don’t know how much time is given to us. It could be a year, it could be a month. I don’t know if it might even be tomorrow, but right now, I’m living without regret and its like. So now, there’s only one thing I can do: I love you, Hye-soo-ya. I love you. I love you. Without a minute or second’s rest, I love you.”

COMMENTS

Is there a dry eye here, anyone?

I’m relieved, if I’m honest, that we didn’t have to see Hye-soo getting worse. That’s the perfection of an open ending in a sad show: You don’t have to face the end. You can just stop right here, in this moment.

This episode really highlighted how hard it is to be left behind, , and how hard the waiting is, in the vigils held by those who love her. It says so much about Hye-soo that there are so many people who are unconditionally there for her, and her bedtime story to Eun-sung really lays it open. I thought her story was going to be about how important it was to receive love. But no, she tells Eun-sung to be someone who gives it. But then I realized that this is who she’s been all along. She has a deep well inside her from which her love flows abundantly, and it gives her the capacity to love generously, fiercely, and against all opposition.

However, she’s also a person unused — and unwilling — to being on the receiving end. The loss of her first husband made her close up tight, but like the Anaïs Nin quote, her day came, “when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Taking Ji-hoon into her heart didn’t change her as much as return her to her original nature, I think. She’s a person who became hard to survive in a hard world, and it’s part of what makes her so much more interesting than a stock candy heroine. She is unbelievably sweet, in the way you can only be if you’ve both loved and suffered — like molasses rather than saccharin.

Until recently, that sweetness only trickled into the world through the narrow funnel of her relationship with her daughter and with Joo-yeon. With the funnel removed, she’s a wellspring, overflowing. It’s this that makes me choke up a little. She has every reason to be depressed, but she decides not to be. Just as she sees the good in people, she can choose to see the good in life, to live well and happily without resenting the time she won’t have. That’s not to say she’s inhumanly angelic — far from it. It’s still agony, she still has periods when she breaks and gives in to the pain, anger and sorrow. But the important thing is that after she’s cried it out (with heartbreaking abandon), she picks up again. And again. And again. That’s strength.

And so is accepting help. It’s been so different to see Hye-soo accepting help and even asking for it — from Ji-hoon, from Young-hee, from Eun-sung. It no longer costs her the way it used to, she’s made her peace with it. More than that, she’s finally allowed herself to need Ji-hoon. Joo-yeon is priceless as a friend and has always been there for her, but Ji-hoon is different. Whenever Hye-soo’s struggled these last couple of episodes, watch how her world contracts to a single point — Ji-hoon — as he becomes all that keeps her together. With that steady gaze and unwavering heart, he’s her lynch-pin.

The handrails he fixed really got me right in the heart, silly though it sounds. I think it encompasses everything that’s important about how he thinks of her. These actions are all about Hye-soo, and he protects her pride in the quiet, everyday way he goes about such things. It makes their little intimacies feel so private that I want to look away, and every word and smile has some hidden weight of sadness in it. I’ve also noticed how he always gives her the room to decide how to face each situation, and then takes his cue from her, which is a lovely, subtle way of protecting her agency, particularly when it comes to how her illness affects how she’s able to interact with the wider world.

In reality, however, it’s also the only barometer that makes sense, because her resources, emotional and otherwise, aren’t always going to be the same (think spoons). Sometimes she’ll want help, sometimes she won’t; sometimes she’ll need to cry, and other times she’ll smile. It might sound like it’s a cop-out on Ji-hoon’s part to let her lead, but it’s actually the complete opposite. It takes a great deal of restraint and considerate attention to do what he does both in anticipating her needs, and at the same time, never making her feel like she’s burdensome to him. That, too, is strength. The fact is, he doesn’t see her as an invalid: She is his wife, and he is her husband.

Dramas always have this challenge to make the old feel new — or if not new, then at least authentic. And Marriage Contract does that. With its astute, thoughtful directing, and sensitive writing, everything about these characters felt so natural and organic. But its beating heart lay in its inspired acting, especially when you consider how so much of the storytelling is conveyed without words. UEE produced a heartrending performance that seems to have been extracted from the depths of her soul, but the whole central cast were so good. The joy of Lee Seo-jin as a mature actor, bringing a complex, layered character to life can’t be overstated, and it was all tied together in an intuitive and lovely performance from little Shin Rina as Eun-sung.

Despite a fairly open ending, I don’t think we’re left in doubt about the eventual ending of Hye-soo’s story, and while it’s difficult to watch, I was glad that the difficulties didn’t get watered down. Of course, there’s a certain amount of softening the edges (it’s dramaland, after all), but it always retained a raw emotion which it played with touching subtlety. Delivering consistently on all fronts, it gave our folks fitting ends, whether we despised them or loved them.

And so, I am ready to say goodbye.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , ,

162

Required fields are marked *

This comment on soompi I think sums up my feelings on the ending pretty well, "Well I'm confident that HS dies, be it in a week, a month, a year, a decade or four. Being human, she like all of us will die. The point I took away from the story is that dying will come, but what is important is that we live until it does."
There are very few open endings that I like in dramas, but this is one of them. :) I love that this drama can teach us about loving another. I love how this drama has taught us how to appreciate life. I'm grateful that this drama didn't show HS's death, but just gave us this beautiful ending. Thank you, staff. Thank you, writer. Thank you, PD. Thank you, actors/actresses.

2
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes! Everybody will get there but what matters is what we do with our life before that. Marriage Contract reminded me so much of Flowers for My Life. They gave off the same feel, tackling death as a normal thing and encourages the viewers to live their lives to the fullest.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes! It reminded me more of the manga Love so Life (for the characters and the abundance of pure love) or the movie Return to Me, but the basic lesson is the same--bad things will happen no matter what. Accept that and choose to live well--not rashly, YOLOing 'til death, but well. Fully.

@Lorilei I'm also glad they didn't show Hye-soo's death. 1. It would've broken my heart, and 2. It makes the 'waiting' Saya mentioned feel all the more real--we don't know how things will end in real life and that creates a new kind of pain. Bravo, show!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I haven't bawled so much at a drama since I watched Scent of a Woman years ago. Same premise and basically the same open ending. Come to think of it Kim Kwang Kyu (Ho Joon) was also in it as comic relief.

I officially acknowledge UEE as an actress and not just an idol-actress. She owned her role as Hye Soo. It was a complete and total immersion into the role. It was really an award worthy performance. I hope she rakes em in come award season.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

At first, all I wanted was an open ending. But when I saw JH breaks down, I was thinking how is he going to mend his broken heart after? How is going to pick up the pieces and put his life together? I am pretty sure he is going to bring up ES as his own. She is going to remind him of her mom. My heart is breaking thinking about these two. Sometimes life is much scarier than death itself. I may sound not caring about HS. But the ones who are alive carry the burden of the ones passed away too. Now I want some kind of closure. Life goes on, but how?

The actors made this drama wonderful. I never doubted LSJ and he was awesome as usual, thought UEE was too young. She was very good, this is her best work so far. Great Job!

Thanks for the recaps.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

+1000 to your comment.
In almost 100 dramas that I have watched till now, this is the first one that I have watched without a moment of fast forwarding. Cant describe, how desperately I waited for it every weekend and was not disappointed by any episode. Its a gem of a show with stellar performances by all actors. The finale made me tear up like crazy, especially the dance scene. And the ending was so overflowing with love that I wanted to be a nice person for ever. Oh show, I won't watch you again and you shall be sorely missed. Goodbye Hye-soo and family.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree with you SJ. The story was written so perfectly and the actors emotions were truly heartfelt. Since the first episode I knew that this drama would become something that I know I would cry buckets of tears from. Like you, I always look forward to the weekend so that I can continue with the story. Uee did a superb job, she was at her best! I cried and smiled with her. I had hoped that they wouldn't end the show with her dying and I was not disappointed, kudos to the writer. I will miss Eun Sung, JH and Hye Soo but I will say goodbye to them thinking they lived their lives happily ever after, it's Kdramaland after all.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Well done show.. Love you so much, show.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It was indeed a gem. It was a delightful wait every weekend.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This show had me crying from start to finish - literally, on most episodes - and I LOVED every single second. This drama has no chill. It's either I'm stupidly crying, or I'm stupidly smiling. Its strength and beauty was in its subtlety and simplicity. So, so good. And oh so natural. I gush about this drama to everyone every time i finish watching episodes.

I never thought I would love this drama because of its cliched premise, but I found myself looking forward to weekends to watch it. Thank kdrama gods that Viki subbers were no joke when it comes to subbing. I have never seen a drama subbed so fast :)

And I have never adored a kdrama kid as much as I adore Eun Sung. I. Can't. Even. I want to buy a yellow backpack and panda headband like hers :)

I also never thought I would be a fan of Uee, but I was in awe of her portrayal of Hye Soo. And for someone who isn't a mother yet, her interactions with the child are so natural, they just tug at the heartstrings and hit the right spots.

I love that the women in this drama are all strong. Even Na Yoon who didn't make much sense before was able to gather as much dignity as she can before she left.

Ji Hoon's mom is a favorite of mine. She was selfish - agreeing (with reservations) to do the operation with Hye Soo as the donor - and I appreciate how they wrote that in because i think i would've been that selfish, too, wanting to live not only for myself but for my son as well. I love that it's a given, no explanations necessary that Ji Hoon just loves her so much to risk a lot to save her even when she wasn't the primary mommy figure in his life.

I kept waiting for Madam Yoon to do something that would put her in the ranks of that jackass of a chairman, but she didn't. I think she was mostly hurt that her child was being neglected. She was torn between being the brat's mom, the jackass' wife, and dimples' stepmom.

I am thankful that she came out dignified. She could have been sinister. She could have done or said something to make life harder for our dimples, but she came out classy. Very much like all the women in this drama. They all redeemed themselves. And I am really glad that Hye Soo's MIL was able to heal. She was really spiteful in the beginning.

And Hye Soo's best friend? We all need someone like that in our lives.

And chef. Chef is the sweetest :) we need him in our lives, too :)

I also never thought I would love anyone's dimples as much as I love Lee Seo Jin's. Omo. Seriously. If by some miracle I ever get the chance to see him, I would probably risk getting arrested for putting my fingers in his dimples to see how deep they are. The tenderness in which he played Ji Hoon is perfect, and I am now a huge fan who wishes she didn't have to work so she can watch his entire filmography in one day. Or two ?

Aaaaand remember the day Hye Soo got discharged after her operation? After she tucked Eun Sung...

0
11
reply

Required fields are marked *

Aaaaand remember the day Hye Soo got discharged after her operation? After she tucked Eun Sung in bed and was talking to Ji Hoon ... I wasn't the only one who blushed (and replayed 3x just to be sure) when he put his hand where he put his hand, right? ??? Hihihih * blushing again * I wanted tea after that ?

Gosh, I'm going to miss this lovely, lovely drama. The actors (and writers) all knocked it out of the park.

P.S.

What was it about age difference and chemistry that people were worried about before???!!!!

P.P.S.

Hye Soo's totally alive, right, guys? Like, after they held hands amongst the tulips, they got a call from the doctor saying she's okay to go for an operation, right? And then everything worked perfectly, and she's now all healthy and having lots of tea with Ji Hoon, right?

Right?

What? My eyes are puffy? No. Yours are!!!!!

0
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

hah, nope, definitely not the only one blushing... it only took me until he was lighting candles and she slipped off her shoes to determine this is the sexiest drama ever. ;)

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes.. the whole scenes between Ji Hoon and Hye Soo in this episode are sexy! The "tea", the stares in the restaurant, the jokes in the car, the dance, and the very last scene where his hand is over her hand. Gaaaaahhhh! I also repeated over and over again, and *blushed* haahhahaaha

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

One question popped in my head...."Are they falling in love for real?" Because their chemistry is literally exploding in this final episode. too natural and sweet.

0

So I happen to now how it really ends, I even googled to see if it's possible, and it is: there is something in the "pregnancy hormones" of a woman that can make tumours disappear. So, she gets pregnant soon and her tumour shrinks and it is either possible to operate on it or it completely disappears! And they lived happily ever after!

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Amen!!!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I LOVE YOU!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Amen

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

So it means that all they have to do is have lots and lots of tea right???? Right????
That'll definitly do for me

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes! They did go on having lots and lots of teas! I already miss this little family, especially this weekend.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love the Chef too. He's still sweet to HS since the 1st day they met. I thought there would be more scenes of him comforting HS outside of the restaurant or sth. But, I'm still glad with what we got from this show.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Is my lower lip bleeding? I think I've bitten on it so much trying to suppress the tears.

What a beautiful ending! I never wanted to see her in any more pain although to make it more believable, I knew she will die. I knew we'll eventually get there but I'm happy and grateful that they ended it this way. I, for one, do not like open endings but this was done so beautifully and poignant that I didn't mind at all.

I like where everyone ended up in. Hyesoo, Jihoon, and Eunsung became a family. Jihoon's mom reconciled with her brother and went back to her hometown living her newly found life. Jooyeon and Hojeong ended up with each other. Nayoon and Jihoon got their closure and she has chosen to live for herself *claps*. And the Chairman is alone! I've always liked that kind of ending for villains. I know I wouldn't be happy to see him die but seeing him suffering alone is so fitting. That sounds sadistic but whatever. HAHA. In the end, family and loved ones (emotional support) will always win over money.

Thank you to the whole production team and actors for bringing us a beautiful drama like this. Nothing new but surely reminded me of what made me love kdramas to begin with. Thank you to our lovely recappers! See you in the next drama.

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm the same--I love it when the villain ends up alone (probably because it's one of my biggest fears, so it's the worst punishment I can think of). I thought this case was particularly fulfilling as a foil for their takeaway lessons from illness/death and family.

I wonder what the writer/PD will make next, I'll be looking. :)

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love that ending for the villain, too! The fact that the villain didn't suddenly become nice or something is also fitting. I really like the writing in this drama! (and everything else, of course!)

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah! I felt like it was all just so naturally done. He hadn't had any gradual change of heart throughout the drama, so no last episode repentance for him. His growth was downward and selfish, and it showed. So good!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

How i love this drama, i can't explain. The end is satisfying, it tugged at my heartstrings. So much love to go round, tears flowed, the end is so full of happiness, I'm definitely going to miss eun-sung, ji-hoon's adorable smile and dimples and hye-soo's cherry personality, it's been quite a ride with marriage contract

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you Saya for summing up the show beautifully. I cried again reading your recap and I thought I shed it all when I watched the finale. I felt very satisfied with the way the show ended. Honestly, I don't know if I can take it if they showed us Hyesoo dead so I'm grateful that we were shown they are happy as a family. I will surely miss them. UEE and LSJ was amazing in this.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I started this drama after episode 14 was aired so that the agony of waiting is not too long. That certainly helped as I marathon through the drama just is time for the final weekend. Beautiful drama and yes although it started only because of the talented UEE, I ended up being very impressed with Lee Seo Jin and everyone else in the drama. And thank you for the lovely recap too ?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's only good or beautiful in dramas......and that too not for all

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

So, um... I feel like your comments perfectly summed up everything I want to say about this drama, Saya, and anything of substance I add will really just detract from it. Really, it was a real joy to read the recaps and your and Lollypip's comments. If you do want to read all my thoughts about it I did post part 1/3 drama rant on my own blog here: https://cozybooks.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/drama-rant-marriage-contract-pt-13/

And yes, the hand railing was what got me too. I loved it all the more because he never said anything to her or pressured her to tell him more, just saw something he could do to help her and went to work. The directing managed the moment perfectly, too--just understated enough to kick you right in the gut. Thank you, Marriage Contract, for everything!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The scene in the car, where he says, "If someone where to ask me what the happiest moment in my life was, I would say this moment, right here and now" struck home with me. My husband died of cancer almost 13 years ago. He had Hodgkins Lymphoma, and after going through a stem cell transplant he was doing well. We went to a street fair one Sunday, and as I walked behind him with our 2 year old daughter on his shoulders, I thought to myself that it was the happiest moment in my life. That very same night he started getting pain on his knees, and two weeks later he was diagnosed with leukemia. This story was so similar to mine, because my husband never acted sick or defeated. He went to work, he played soccer with our daughter (with a chemo pump attached to his side), and never took a single day for granted. We talked a lot, we had hope, but when there was no hope I stayed quietly by his side. I remember just lying next to him in the hospital, just holding hands. Too many cancer dramas never resonate with me because of all the screaming and crying, and all the sadness that surrounds them. Yes, I was sad when he died, but I had to keep on living for our daughter's sake. As a matter of fact I took our daughter to Disney World two months later. A lot of people judged me, but I didn't care, because it was what he would have wanted. He didn't want us to stay home, curled up in sadness. So yes, Marriage Contract was special because it showed the importance of living life to its fullest, no matter what. It's something I learned a long time ago.

1
11
reply

Required fields are marked *

Keep being strong!!!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

As Appy said, Keep being strong~!! *hugs*

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for sharing your story :) It touched my heart.

I agree with you. Marriage Contract showed the power of love and living life to its fullness by overcoming the struggle of sickness and accepting the outcomes. As a nurse, I experience death and dying on a regular basis. I understand life can be short. I value living by taking the time to enjoy the love and relationships around me. I take action on my goals now. I do stuff I enjoy at the moment. If I live in the present, there will not be any regrets ;)

"Live as you were to die tomorrow, Learn as you were to live forever" - Mahatma Gandhi

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I forgot to mention Marriage Contract is the most beautiful ending I have seen so far :)

Thank you for the recaps Saya and the rest of dramabeans team!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Sue, your story made me teary eyed...thank you for sharing. As much as this was a drama, this happens in real life with real people...you're an inspiration =)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes Sue, I also like the scenes and it got me as well. My mom died 3 years ago after long-battle with Lupus. I just got back from US after 4 years living abroad. I got to spend time with my mom over a year and we lived our lives for the fullest. She did not go in agony as well. There's a bittersweet saying good bye to someone terminally ill. I am so grateful that we ever witness such a great drama like this.
I too went to Bali after 100th day of my mom's death. I chose Bali because it was her favorite place, and I reminisced everything there not in sadness, but with a joyful heart. Some people have a hard time to understand this, but at least you can understand me :)
Fighting!!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

One of my closest friends lost her husband, though not due to cancer....and what you said about keep on living, she did it also, fiercely. I have really huge admiration for what you guys are able to do. Thank you for sharing your story, Sue! *hugs*

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for your support guys! Beanies are awesome.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you. Bless you for living so well! Just... thank you. :)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Your story really make me teary eyes sue...
Keep strong...

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the story, Sue...
Actually I also lost my family because of cancer; my father passed away due to colon and liver cancer... The doctor's prognosis was that my father could only survive for the next three months (if he didn't received any chemo or other treatment, but even if he received the treatment, the rate of survival was very low) as it was already at the final stage (stadium 4). At the beginning, my father told us, he accepted this result and rejected any treatment, he knew that chemo and treatment would be costly while three of us (my mom, sis and i) must go on with our lives; he didn't want our savings gone only to prolong his age which was absolutely an uncertain gambling. But after our encouragement, he agreed to receive a chemo (which too bad only can successfully be done once as along the way his condition dropped and the second chemo was not effective). My mom took care of him herself, bathing him, cleaning his poop, etc; starting from he still could walk by his own until he couldn't and even my mom had to change his shirt every one hour as my father sweat a lot the whole day. My father passed away five months after the doctor's diagnosis. One day before he passed away, four of us slept unintentionally together at our living room: my father was on his bed, my mom and sis were on the extra bed and i was on the sofa (as my father couldn't walk, we had to form the living room into his room, as all of our bedrooms are on the second floor). We were deeply sad when he left us, but we also felt that this was the best way as he no longer had to feel the severe pain. And we were so grateful that we took care of him ourselves at our home so we were attached together until the end.

This drama is truly beautifully shot and all of the actors delivered it sooooo natural... The scenes that really got me were 1) when Ji Hoon kept eyeing on Hye Soo during the meal in Promise and once he held Hye Soo's hand after she tasted the salt and his eyes seemed say "it's ok, it's ok, i'll be there for you no matter what" 2) the dance scene where the pict slo-mo Hye Soo's feet were on Ji Hoon's and they stepped together, my goodnessssss and 3) where Ji Hoon narrated his happy moment and his hand held Hye Soo's hand walking on the tulips... Really really beautiful scenes... Kudos to all of the drama crew. This drama really set the bar high...
I started the drama only because i love LSJ and at the end so i'm so satisfied with everything and enjoy all of the epsiodes. I still can't move on from this drama and already rewatched the drama back from eps 1 since two days ago and now on eps 6, hahaha...

So Saya, are you sure you're ready to say goodbye? Hahaha...

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

*sniff* ?? this drama literally had me in tears *sniff* excuse me... ???

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I look away at any tea related scenes..
*blush*

0
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

You're not alone, glad they ended the scene the way they did. :)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It was so natural and real and make me blush. Duh, they do know how to portray people in love so naturally in front of camera. The giddiness, simple touches, pecks and nuzzles here and there.. They made me feel their feelings of falling in love.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Right? I thought I was the only one who looked away and covered my eyes, literally.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm married for 13 years but their tea scenes related still made me blushed and giggles lol......Their chemistry is no joke. Just too natural, like they are really falling for each other.
Their gesture, gaze and simple peck already made you feel it, not mention about the passionate kiss on ep 9 and that tea kisses LOL

I'm satisfied with the closure. The writer captured and frozen the happiest time of their life for us to survive from heart broken and swollen eyes....

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hahaha... I repeat it for more 3 times. I like that tea time scene.?

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hello Saya,

I rarely post a comment, as most of my impressions and thoughts about an episode or drama will have been already "voiced" by another.

However, I am posting one now... after having read your recap and concluding comments...

Thank you for your detailed recap of the final episode of this amazing drama!

Your final comments are thoughtful and heartfelt. While tearfully reading them, I'm nodding in complete agreement with you on your observations regarding each member of the cast.

You are a talent! :)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank You for the recap Saya :)

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Well you made me cry it just beautiful the way you put it and I agree.
My Grandpa's brother had a brain tumor, it was detected and two years later he passed away. It was hard for everyone in the family. Since he lived in another place he would come and visit only once in a while, but I had known him since I was a little girl. I saw him the year before his diagnosis, he was a very joyful but also a very proud, independent person. Then a year later I learned that he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor that sadly was located in a place that he wouldn't have survived the surgery, the chances were very slim. Because my mom would call them often I would always get an update on his condition, he slowly started forgetting about his family, you would call him and he wouldn't recognize you, he would tell you he didn't know who you were. The he started losing his ability to walk and speak. He started wearing diapers and wasn't independent anymore. His wife stayed by his side throughout this whole ordeal, she took care of him to the very end. He was only 56 years old.
I am glad the drama writers keep it realistic, sadly in life you can't always win against nature. We are not indestructible and untouchable as humans and like my mom tells me "the only guaranteed thing we have in life that we are going to die" We don't know for how long we are going to live, so it is best to live life to the fullest.
I give props to the actors they did an amazing job and I even read in an article that the director had to tell UEE to not let the character consume her, she would apparently cry between scenes just by looking at LSJ and SR, I don't blame her for it though, I would have most likely done the same.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I guess we all know how it will end deep down in our hearts, even as heartbreaking as it will be when time comes for HS to leave, HS has already touched so many hearts and managed to change them to be better.

Classic story but done well - well done to the writer, PD, staff, and actors. I was particularly impressed by UEE's portrayal of HS. Coming into this project, I bet a lot people were wary of her performance, but she deserved all the praise, well done.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, I rarely like open endings but this one was perfect. A non open ending I would've been really worked up as to where Eun-Sung goes and how it should be with Ji-hoon.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Back in 2011, javabeans rated the years' dramas according to their "stickiness" factor, based on how enduring the impression would be that each drama left. I'm pretty sure that Marriage Contract will be one of the stickiest dramas of all time for me. Them feels, they be deeeeep. Who would have thought that this super-cliched, makjangy set-up would result in something so restrained, authentic, and exquisitely beautiful?

I gotta go, but I'll be back to sing more praises later. Thanks a million for the superb recap, Saya. The Anais Nin quote and your referencing of the spoons analogy made it extra special for me. ?

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I seriously never thought Marriage Contract would be this kind of drama for me. I just wanted something to watch and I like UEE and Lee Seojin but wow, this drama took my heart with it.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh me too, at first i just see it to killing time. But i got hooked in the early episode. And falling love so hard for this character...
OMO this drama is just beautiful

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

me too...I love LSJ but never watch his drama.
i just want to kill time, then i get hooked..
beside SFD, this is the drama that I watch without subtitle..

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Same, I think it's made my short list for "best drama of 2016".

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think almost all comment sums up my feeling,
so thank for Marriage Contract, I enjoyed my time spends with you and I think I'll still enjoying it every time I think about you. ^^

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Marriage contract 2 anyone
i dont know what other kdramas to see now.?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was impressed with UEE, she got better and better as the drama progressed. A lot of the time she out shone the rest of the cast. I feel like she can graduate out of the idol actor category into serious actress with this project.

Yay go UEE!!

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Same thought here. I have no problem with UEE's acting. I do wonder if she can pull off a single mother character. With terminal illness some more. But she nailed it. I will remember Hye Soo forever and she will be in my list of KDrama angels.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

...and sigh. What a beautiful open ending that spare us from wailing out loud.

Yes, sadly, death is inevitable to not only HS but everyone. I think that's the other message of this drama. So, live lovingly and love sincerely-wholeheartedly and love all the people who are in your life too.

Salute to the casts, production team, writer and Director, what a wonderful and touching story you've given us! Cheers to life and love~!

Thanx LollyPip and Saya for the recaps, and all Beanies who's been witnessing the trio's journey to become a happy family.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The way JH was looking at HS at the restaurant, when she failed to taste anything... I felt it was a mixture of shock, fear, sadness and desperation. I think JH understood the meaning of the loss of the sense.

And the dance scene. Gosh. I lost it there. It was beautifully setup and acted. My heart truly hurt for HS , JH and ES.

Thank you, Show, for sharing this sad but beautiful story with us. Definitely one of my favorites kdrama ever.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think this was the best kdrama ending I've seen. It was perfect.

I started the drama thinking it would have fun fake-marriage hijinks, but they never materialized. After crying each episode, I kept saying I wouldn't watch the next one, but I'm glad I did. It was a stellar drama.

Thanks to Saya and LollyPip for the recaps, to make us cry again after watching each episode! This drama should have had a tissue PPL instead of those silly sunglasses. :-)

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I had to laugh at the tissue PPL. How true! Even just reading recaps, we need tissues!

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

+1

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm still having lump in my throat after like watching the last episode twice. And now reading your recap make my heart aching all over again.

What a wonderful ride for us viewer. Even the story is as cliche as it is. I never watch LSJ in any drama. I just heard about he's reputation as grumpy ahjussi. Damn. Why didnt I discover him sooner. Those dimples. And Uee is really amazing in this too. And eun sung. And everyone. I can go on and on and on.

Thanks Saya and Lollypip for your recap, your insight, your words always sum up what i really feel about this drama.

Now back re-watch the whole episode again.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh my. How were you able to watch it twice? I had to change my eyes after crying from watching it ONCE.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Earthna,

I had to. The scene is so beautiful. It hurts so much. But i wanna keep watching because i dont want to let go yet. LoL. ????

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I've been reading the recaps for Marriage Contract out of curiosity because everyone's praising it but I didn't want to watch such a depressing show. This recap alone made me cry, but I think I'm gonna start watching it.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh you should. I cried in almost every episode but to me this isn't a depressing drama. There were some dramas that I could feel that they intentionally making us cry by shoving tragedies and pitiful crying scenes down our throats. This drama though, made cried for I earnestly feel and cared for Hye soo and Ji hoon.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes Kaylie, you should watch it.. I agree with Damianna, this drama is not a depressing one... We cry because of the sadness and even the happiness they felt, coz the drama really makes you feel as they feel, the drama has excellent plot and was beautifully shot... Highly recommended..

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the wonderful recap and comment, Saya. It's rich and thoughtful. I enjoyed this drama so much. The storytelling was great and so were the actors. I will rewatch if I need a good cry in the future.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

thank you so much for the recap Saya
i keep crying while reading your recap.. i remember my feeling when i watch the final episode and how i cry so much.
it's my first time watching Lee Seo Jin in a drama and i love him so much. while Uee i think it's her best performance so far. Wishing they could act together in another drama and have a happy ending like this one

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I dislike open endings (I was actually secretly hoping Ji Hoon's dad hid the fact that the surgeon in the USA could save Hye Soo)...but I was fine with this, and it was actually done rather beautifully.....the whole drama has been one beautiful picturesque ride...yes there's cancer, but it's so much more than just "she's sick, he loves her"....there's so many quiet but strong moments with side characters...like her best friend and her mother in law .... oh man, the feels...

That dancing scene was probably my favorite out of the whole drama...Ji Hoon breaking down in her arms...man I don't think a box of kleenex was enough....

Beautifully done! Thank you for the recaps Saya!

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I teared up again reading your comment. *sniff*

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love, love, LOVE this show. The portrayal of romantic love between Ji Hoon and Hye soo, love of a friend between Joo Yeon and Hye Soo, and familial love between Ji Hoon & his mom, Hye Soo & Eun Sung......just LOVE.

Ji Hoon is the ultimate boyfriend/husband/significant other that I want. Like OUT with all the other male leads from the recent hallyu hits (YFAS, DOTS, Heirs...) like. Ji Hoon and his outpouring love. The little gestures. And I guess his dimples.

Just. *SWOONS*

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agree!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The most powerful is his eyes!! Look the way he sees HS. Very intent..and his little gestures say it all. The restaurant scenes prove it. JH and HS didn't talk, they just stare each other, they talked with their eyes

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

yes, its so beautiful...
Those scene in the restaurant, the acting is so good. Those gaze, ia so powerful reassuring...
Oh Lee seo jin, you are such a good actor

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes! He's so quietly considerate of Hye-soo. Not asking about why she wants to hold hands, covering for her when she collapses on him, screwing in the hand railings, sorting medicine... I just love it.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm just glad the writers didn't go for the miraculous recovery after the hero and heroine declare their love for each other.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for a great recap Saya!

" “I’m going to cry just a bit. Don’t look,” she says to him, closing her eyes and leaning back. “I’m going to cry first. Don’t look,” he returns. ... and they end up putting the smile back on each other’s faces. " - yes, I cried and it felt good!!! This is the dream relationship that I believe many of us want to have. To have that soulmate and partner in both good times and bad... And this drama gives us the lovely ins and outs of how two people on opposite sides, with misunderstandings and starting from using each other, ... grew to respect and love each other completely, ... unconditionally. It was a wonderful, heart tugging journey that I know gives me hope. In a world with so much that appears hopeless, what a wonderful show this was!

"Hye-soo says. When she was a little girl, her parents passed away and her grandma raised her. And Grandma gave her so, so much love that she didn’t have a hard time of it." - I felt that it was so right that Hye Soo prepares Eun Sung for when people pass away. And that instead of teaching ES to selfishly seek to be loved, she says to give love to others. In fact that is exactly right. It is in the giving of love that it comes back to us.

When I compare the beginning of this show with the ending... the contrast is great indeed. From people out to get, we have so many who have grown to become people who want to give. It's been quite a journey for the heart: so plausible and sincere, so natural and so well done.

Thanks to all the Production Team for one of the warmest, most comforting and inspiring shows I've seen in a long while. And thanks to this community for journeying the great feels and analyzing the characters with me.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I confess to feeling vaguely dissatisfied by the ending of the drama. I may be one of the rare people who would have preferred a closed ending with resolution, instead of an open ending with sunshine and flowers, the typical way the death of a lead actor/actress is handled in a kdrama rom com. I guess since Marriage Contract handled everything else in such a beautifully authentic manner, I was hoping that they'd handle Hye soo's death in an authentic manner as well. I would have liked to have seen the characters move on from the death of such a beloved, loving person instead of leaving on the note of waiting for Hye soo to die. It feels unfinished and bothers me a lot, like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Regardless of how I feel about the ending, I will say it's genuinely a beautiful drama from start to finish. My admiration and gratitude to the cast and crew for this jewel of a drama. Thank you LollyPip and Saya for recapping this gem.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

From MC, we got a beautiful ending, a meaningful message about life & death, amazing characters, good OST, and the sweetest and saddest story.

This is by far one of the rare dramas which is getting better on each episode, and leaves the best impression when it's ended. It touches our deepest feeling and gives all the points we love.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

" Through the viewing window, Joo-yeon sees his devoted attention. She smiles, too, and the scene fades to black. All these heartbroken little smiles. Why are we watching this."
I chuckled and cried at the same time while reading this part.
Your recap brings back all the feels I got when I watched the finale, it's even better. Thanks Saya!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

First of all, thank you recappers! You're the best.
All I did was cry for the final two episodes. I watch the final scene in the theme park in my car, crying, while being late for work. Gosh this drama! It broke my heart in many places. It's their silence and small normal everyday gesture that do the breaking the most. The said "tea" scene was sweet. It's intimate that make you want to look away, but it's not something that make you cringe, in the same time pretty as a picture. JH speech of how she's beautiful and that he almost die with her killed me. I love how JH just quietly hold HS's hand during the gathering. Their eyes! Oh their eyes is full of unspoken words that hold them together. And the scene in the car, where JH said he would cry first. And HS's bedtime story to ES was the best life lesson, ever. People are unhappy not because their life is hard, or that they don't have what they want.. they simply want to be loved. Thus be *that* one who give love. And of course, the dancing part. I feel the need to hold on to myself, I fear I might explode or something. Yes, everybody will eventually die. So live, live the fullest.
My late mother had lung cancer. She was a fighter. So we stayed strong together. Her fighting spirit makes me stronger, make me want to be stronger. I was in JH's place, so I understand what make him do what he did. You'd be surprise of how fighters like my mother and HS's character inspire other people to be a better person.
I am satisfied with the ending. Thank you production team!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love it that at least the tone of the last episode is so calm and accepting instead of forcefully tearjerking. And it's especially nice that they are all able to find the happiest moment in their life since that's all matters in the end. It's never about how much time left for them, but how they are going to live it to the fullest.

That being said, many many thanks to Saya and Lollypip for recapping this awesome and heartfelt show. Without you, guys, I wouldn't be able to jump to the train. Glad that I did. It definitely worth every tears.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks to DB for recapping this gem of a drama. Lollypip and Saya - you both did an awesome job capturing the tone and essence of the drama. It was great to have people who love it recapping coz the love is evident.

I am happy with the ending. We didn't need to see her descend further into her illness but we needed to know that she has chosen to live well while she can. And we are comforted that good people are there for her.

It reminded me of a cartoon with Charlie Brown and snoopy ( a meme)

Charlie Brown "some day, we are all going to die, snoopy."
Snoopy "true, but on all other days, we will not."

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

oh love that meme!!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Damn it. Teary again as I read the recaps.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Such a beautiful drama.

I loved JH's speech to ES about how her mother showed that he could be a good person, and then to see HS's this episode to ES .... they were written in such a natural way, it didn't sound as if they were talking 'down' to a child, or that it was just an easy way out for the audience.

The idea of giving love is especially powerful because of that shot of JH's father all alone - all alone in his study, in the dining room. And I have so much respect for JH, for doing his duty to his father, but nothing more. I know the story of the brother seemed to fizz, but I personally loved that - because he was never courageous or smart enough to be a proper villain; his mother didn't go out of the way to ruin everybody else's life; in the end, she loved her son even knowing he wasn't half the man JH was; and she decided to remove herself from the toxic environment she was in.

And in the end, he's all alone. And yes, there is a twisted sense of 'I did this for you', but in the end, he chased his ambition and gave up on his family. The moment he tried to pay off JH's mum, chased her brother down, seemed to smile after HS apologised (I still thought maybe he realised her worth, but n o p e, he just thought that she was even wilier than expected), all disgusting. But hitting his son when he's got a cast on the stairs so he slips? Yeah, that's the lowest of the low.

And the scariest thing, of course, is as JH's mother said, he wasn't always like that. That's why it's such a blessing JH found HS, and found meaning in what could be considered the mundane, the average.

I loved the characterisations in this drama. I was angry in Ep 15 because HS's best friend, mother in law, and boyfriend/husband all ignored her asking about 'just in cases' at her death, and quite forcefully told her that she should fight and not talk about such things. And I still do think there was a better way to say it. But humans do get frustrated and angry, and seeing someone you love say things that make you feel as if they've given up ........... yeah, I can easily understand their reactions. It also is quite a Korean thing to do in that sense, in comparison to the Western way of acceptance. And with all cancers, they do say that your will to live is often most important.

Thanks to the recappers!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This drama’s a masterpiece.

The storyline is so common, but they made it work and everything came alive. I’ve not felt so invested in drama characters in a while, the main characters are souls we can empathise with. The chemistry, emotions, and love in this is just EXPLODING. There is sadness but at the same time there is always hope and also love. So no matter how torturing or sad the story goes I’m willing to endure more! I can see myself rewatching this after 10 years or so and still feel emotionally charged. And hopefully by then the actors (who’ve been so so so great in their respective roles) have gone on to equally great productions which I can binge on then. hehe. Ahh I love this.

LSJ and Uee are stellar in their roles, that’s an understatement. I don’t see them anymore when watching the show, it’s jst Jihoon and Hyesoo, the warm little family. Eunsung is great, Jooyeon is great too. Ooh she is such a lively soul, how she stood by Hyesoo all these times. I found tht scene where she jokingly snarked at Jihoon due to jealousy to be so sweet. And so real!

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

cont- Nayoon didn’t leave much impact either way but glad they tied her up nicely in the end. Her bitterness and desperate moves towards Jihoon was probably due to…desperation, one last try to get him back by throwing aside her dignity. If Hyesoo had not come about she wld probably have had her way but the jihoon she wld have gotten wld still be the cowardly one in the shell. Though her pointy ears sticking out of her hair is pretty cute I mst say hehe.

The dad is one character I cannot fathom, how he is so utterly ruthlessly mean to others, cursing people to go die left and right. He is just such an unhappy person that he has to make others suffer worse than him to feel good, that, and also being an extreme control freak. Well I guess he represents that category of people in our lives where you just can’t understand how they think or why they do what they do when the good and bad is so plain to see. One thing in common they always reiterate lies to convince themselves of the truth they believe in, perhaps that explains his shouting.

Hyesoo and jihoon, omg the screen comes alive just by having the both of them in the same frame! I could literally watch them talking about life and the dinner table for hours on end, with eunsung coming in to interrupt time to time hehe.

I noticed the director likes to film sequences focused on their hands, reminds me of Joe Wright who directed Pride and Prejudice. The shots in this drama are just so aesthetically pleasing and with nuance of emotions. The monologue by hyesoo where they danced and how jihoon broke down to tears is so touching, so glad hyesoo finally accepts him as a pillar of support, to have another reason to cement her will to survive. Oh, and jihoon’s mom was glowing this episode! Love how she too overcome the regrets that have gripped her so tight, and to be able to start over at an age where she’s not young anymore. It’s not easy to look forward when there’s so much you wish to undo in your life. Love how she’s always sharp and smart about things too.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I’m not sure if this is allowed here at DB, for anyone who hasn’t heard the OSTs yet here’s the link http://music.naver.com/album/index.nhn?albumId=632987. It contains all the background music etc which are so beautiful? Like how all good music tells a story, it’s good to relive the moments through the tracks. Helps ease the withdrawal syndrome by a bit!

And for anyone who wants to purchase the DVD can check this info out, they are conducting a survey for it  https://twitter.com/zjnzjn2304/status/724527776359837696

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for the link!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the link, exactly what I was looking for!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

at that beautiful and sad dance scene when Ji Hoon said "oppa will teach you", never failed me to LOLéd at his effort to make Hye Soo call him oppa.
keep trying ji hoon :D and it's worth it cos finally Hye Soo call him Ji Hoon oppa :')

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

A beautiful drama.

I am one who normally hates open endings - but I loved the ending here.

This was a celebration of life. How you live it and impact those around you by the way you live it. Hye Soo's story to Eun Sang says just this. You can either be the one who just receives - or you could choose to be the one who gives, as you have received.

I'm glad we did not get a regressing Hye Soo episode - that was a given - but the beauty of this drama was - that it had already set up how the people around her would handle it. You just know that Ji Hoon would be her rock and more importantly Eun Sang's rock. As much as he grieves, he is also the constant anchor for their little family.

You just know that they will survive Hye Soo's passing. You know that father and daughter will be fine. You know that together they will remember Hye Soo and will live life as she has influenced them.
And the end of the drama just highlights this - that this moment - the happiest moment in Ji Hoon's life is how he will continue to live with Eun Sang - be it with Hye Soo being physically there or not.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

p/s

If I had a handsome husband who regularly twinkled his dimples at me and looked at me so adoringly and to top it off loved making tea and was all handsy and kissy and nuzzly - I'd have a hard time not being handsy myself!!!

Just saying.

[Fans self from all that imagination!!]

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It was a very beutiful drama i am happy and satisfied with the smart ending as long as we didn't have to see HS die, it was hard enough to watch her illness progress and her pain. So thank you writer-nim

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I usually hate melo. Included the melo that only came started i ep.10 (read: that first half of the story is fun and comedic then problem comes and full of tears afterwards till the end of the story in ep. 20) like rooftop prince.

But. This one is super nice. Its warm and sort of close to the reality (tho i don't know the reality about a chaebol).
And the tears! Uee and LSJ successfully made the tears come out not looking like on cue, but looks genuinely from broken heart.
The puffy red eyes uee sports makes it more believable then the tears rolling down the cheek usually an actor(tress) use to show "im crying" scene.

Anyway, thankyou for the recaps db crews, and please pardon my grammar.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

One of the things I find so compelling about this show was the use and importance of silences. So many of the key relationships are structured around silences about certain topics. What makes this so interesting is that they are not silences of misunderstanding or assumptions or things that make me yell at the screen for people to just talk to eachother already (ok, there were a few moments like that, but not in the last few episodes), but of understanding and acceptance. They couldn't have pulled this off without such strong performances from our little family. Kudos to the writer and director for having the guts to rely on both the actor's abilities and audience's intelligence to comprehend the content and value of the silences.

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agree!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree, that was one of the (many) things I enjoyed of this drama.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

+1

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I rarely post, but this is a special occasion. The cast and crew of Marriage Contract created something extraordinary -- a drama that reflected our most profound hopes and captured our deepest fears. And then, they made us want to watch every week knowing that there would be painful times ahead.

I appreciate the emotional journey I was able to travel with Hye Soo, Ji Hoon, and Eun Sung. I'll miss these characters who seem just as real as people from my real life. No doubt I will revisit them again and again when I need to be reminded of how precious it is to spend time with family and friends.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks, Saya, for the recap and for riding along with us in this beautiful journey of life, love, and meaning that boiled down to one drama and one man and one woman's journey of discovery <3

The gem of this beautiful drama was it's subtleties, quietness, gentleness, and softness; never had it felt intrusive or forceful in trying to get a reaction from the viewer. I felt so, so invested in ALL the characters but evermore so with our OTP. The chemistry between all the cast was off the charts (What is that you say? WHAT AGE GAP?!?!). I'm most likely going to marathon this again a couple more times before I can put it down, and them come back to it near the Year-End Awards-- where we will be able to see our Dimple Family sitting together again, and which, MC better get ALL THE AWARDS, I'm telling you MBC!
Now, onto some thoughts and feels:
- The Han Household: no surprises there, although, Ji Hoon, bless his heart (and Hye Soo for changing him <3) for sticking around, yet, not let Chairman Han take his happiness away from him; I do, but I don't, feel sorry for Chairman Han's ending in being left all alone, yet, I would never wish this ending on anyone, even the most evil of baddies
- Na Yoon: I cry for you and your choice of characters, Kim Yuri T.T
- the Promise Crew: I honestly thought that SJ had a thing for HS all this time... Anyone else feel that? Miss Ara, you were able to keep your job, now let's work on keeping your mouth as well. Chef-Nim, I luff you!!
- the 2 mothers, Young Hee + Mi Ran: such parallels, but in the end, have 1 thing in common: they only want the best for their children; albeit, it took some work... okay, well A LOT of work, and a lot of crying from HS, and have discovered that, sometimes, letting go is the best way of holding on
- the 2 besties, Ho Joon & Joo Yeon: Ho Joon, BLESS YOUR AHJUSSHI LOOKIN' HEART <3 Joo Yeon, where can I find a BFF like her?? I. NEED. ONE <3 I will forever love JY for wanting to kick some dimple ass when JH tried to drunk-force himself onto HS that one time
Eun Sung: in the words of our PD-nim at the first script reading, Shin Ri Na really is the "golden card" of this drama. She was the glue to all the pivotal characters, driving force of our beautiful heroine, Ji Hoon's precious little angel-cat

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

... continued from above
Ji Hoon:
I'm kind of at a loss as to where to start with him. He's made such a huge transformation throughout the drama, and hats off the Lee Seo Jin for giving us the Han Ji Hoon that we got... with a side of the most beautiful man-dimples I'll probably every lay eyes on <3 He went from being a self-pitying guy that only went through the motions of life in zombie mode-- with a side of womanizing shenanigans-- to a MAN who, not only found his self-worth, but also found LOVE and a family in the process, all due to one beautiful woman (inside and out) who told him that he is a good person-- simply beautiful. Whereas, not even his BFF, could convince him of his self-worth, no matter how many times he was told that he's actually quite capable. I find the biggest part of JH's transformation to be him finding and developing a standard for himself, the his actions being an outpour of those standards he sets for himself. If it weren't for HS hounding it into him about the consequences of the whole "paying you to marry me and donate your liver" situation, I feel like he would have gone into doing dealing the whole liver-transplant situation and would've said "To hell to with consequences!" But because of her, all that she says and all that she does, JH slowly began to see the consequences and try to change what he could about the whole thing before it got too far. Yes, he was panicking when Mi Ran didn't want the surgery, but he was also relieved, I feel, when HS didn't have to do it anymore, either, therefore, giving us glimpses of his developing moral compass. Not only did he develop a moral compass, he also gained back control and his own life, a life he never thought he would have under the control of Chairman Han; especially a life spent with those he loves so dearly but never thought would come to him. The scene at the end of Episode 11 where he's begging HS to stay by his side, I watched that scene thinking of it as a parallel to the scene in the rain when HS was begging MR to continue living: HS was linking her livelihood with MR's, and likewise, HS has basically become JH's life source and purpose for living--if it isn't her, then it isn't anyone-- and we see that in Episode 16 when JH says he thought about following her if HS were to die T.T Throughout the course of this drama, JH has slowly tied his lifeline and HS's lifeline together, syncing them and making them one. That is why he goes through all this effort to help her and to adapt to her as much as he can-- so that they are to live-- yet, he does it in the most gentle, subtle, tender, loving, heart-wrenching way. Seriously, one look at her as she was getting out of the car and he already knew without her telling him that something was wrong with her eyesight, so he goes and installs handrails around the house ~swoon~ Yet, just like Saya pointed out, he does everything in a way that lets HS keep her dignity and always looks to her for a cue...

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

... continued from above
and direction, which I find, is the most respectful and unintrusive way to do it. He keeps in mind what HS had told him before: she doesn't like being treated like a patient.

It is because of the amount of love and respect that he has for Hye Soo, that his transformation was possible, and we as the viewers were able to see such a beautiful occasion take place and love the man that is Han Ji Hoon

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Last Part...

Hye Soo:
I'm even more at a loss for words on where to start with Hye Soo. I LOVE AND ADORE THIS WOMAN, even though I am a woman, myself... No homo. Her nerves and strength of steel, her gentleness, her femininity we can see peeks of when she's with Ji Hoon, her shear-sharp focus in trying her darnedest as a mother to bring what she thinks best for Eun Sung... I could go on and on and on about this woman. Again, hats off to the more-than-superb acting from Uee and the chemistry she has with Lee Seo Jin that really brought Hye Soo to life (What? What is that I hear? WHAT AGE GAP?!?!?!?!). Hye Soo's transformation was a bit more internal and environmental compared to Ji Hoon, who's transformation was more relationship-induced. Hye Soo had to change at the drop of a hat in how she would do certain things or have to adapt according to what she had to face next-- regardless if that was Shark, her tumour, Ji Hoon and his treatment of her, and even herself and how/what she felt she had to reconcile the situation she was in. At the end of Episode 1, you could literally see her mental wheels turning and how she asked Ji Hoon to marry her unhesitatingly as soon as she heard how much Ji Hoon was offering for someone to marry him and donate her liver to Mi Ran. But in contrast, it took 10x longer for her to be able to let those around her know that she was ill and to ask for their help. It goes to show what kind of a person Hye Soo really is, through and through, it's that she's SELFLESS. Her being selfless doesn't even mean that she feels no self-worth, it's that she doesn't even have the TIME to think about a question like that, not until Ji Hoon came into her life, have her instil HIS feeling self-worth back into his life, then have HIM make her consider the same thing. I think it's safe to say that not only was Ji Hoon surprised when Hye Soo was listing off all the things she wanted to do with her lover, but that she was also surprised, herself. Regardless, despite having a hard life, the woman never lost herself and alway remembered the most important things and values of life (i.e. one's moral compass) that I think served to help her continue on all this time, so it was a very significant scene when Hye Soo was telling Eun Sung to always be a person who GIVES love more than to receive it...

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

…. And I think that I is the biggest takeaway that I will get from this drama: LOVE

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Saya, I just LOVE this recap. I think it's the best I've read in all my years of recap-reading. I just wanted to let you know.

And thanks, Saya and Lollipip for recapping this drama all the way!

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, Saya and Lollypip..
It so beautiful recap.
Eventhough i already see this ep twice, but when i read your recap, i have teary eyes again...
Nice!

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh gnats. I meant Lollypip.

Yeah, it's a wonderful recap but it is obviously helped by the episode itself being a solid one. Pair this with beautiful writing and thoughts, and this "miracle" happens.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I thought this was a really brilliant finale, optimistic yet realistic. I don't think it's pandering to viewers longing for a "happy ending" -- in fact it seems so much tougher than most other K dramas about terminal illness, with a heroine who doesn't just swoon prettily but undergoes scary looking radiation therapy, is constantly hanging over the toilet bowl, has to wear a wig, needs handrails, can't see and taste, etc. (Kudos to Uee for really capturing the frozen terror of losing one's senses.)

I was also impressed by the writer's portrayal of the progress of Hye-soo and Ji-hoon's relationship. It has just reached the playful stage, which in a rom-com would be uncomplicatedly cute, but here unfortunately happens to coincide with Hye-soo's physical deterioration. Yet Hye-soo and Ji-hoon continuing teasing each other through the tears, which made me laugh and cry at the same time. My favourite part is the tea-making sequence, with Hye-soo actually expecting hanky-panky ("we'll wake Eun-sung up") and Ji-hoon going all, what're you talking about, we're just having tea.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *