Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 18
With everyone scrambling to get the upper hand, it’s anyone’s guess who could come out of this power play on top. Loyalties are changing by the minute, and it’s not easy to make a move without someone blocking it and striking back. Joon-young has got to stay ahead of the game, or he risks losing everything right when he most needs to win.
EPISODE 18 RECAP
We back up to earlier in the day, when Ji-tae calls Joon-young to say that since he ignored his warning, Ji-tae told Jung-eun everything. She knows Joon-young’s plan to use her to get back at his father, and Ji-tae says that Joon-young should be grateful — without his help, Joon-young would have taken things too far and have become trash.
Joon-young sarcastically agrees that Ji-tae looks out for him so well, but he goes cold when Ji-tae reminds him to take care of himself, in a moment of genuine concern. Ji-tae hangs up, but Joon-young calls him right back to say that today, he’s going to get Jung-eun’s confession for killing Eul’s father.
Because of Ji-tae’s interference, he believes he’ll fail — but if he does, he’s going to hold Ji-tae to his vow to carry out Joon-young’s revenge on his behalf. Ji-tae asks why Joon-young is telling him this, knowing he might go tell Jung-eun again, especially since her confession would ruin Ji-tae’s parents.
Joon-young replies that he’s tired, and Ji-tae is the only person he could think of to tell. That’s so sad. He invites Ji-tae to ruin his plans if he wishes — then Joon-young will die thinking that he lived in a world with no hope, and leave that world gratefully.
That shakes Ji-tae, and he doesn’t warn Jung-eun about Joon-young’s plans. Joon-young meets with Jung-eun at the river, as we saw in the previous episode, and she offers to team up with him in his plan.
Then Joon-young goes home to set up his cameras to capture Jung-eun’s confession. He bugs every inch of the house, making sure that wherever it happens, Jung-eun will be on camera admitting her guilt.
The evening proceeds as previously seen, and after Joon-young gives Eul his laptop and tells her to watch closely, she rewinds to the moment when he told Jung-eun about his dream to be a prosecutor. Eul watches as Joon-young describes the hit-and-run and the cover-up — and that the man who died was his girlfriend’s father.
Joon-young confesses to Jung-eun that he interfered when his girlfriend tried to expose his father, by snatching the bag containing the incriminating USB. He says, “I killed my girlfriend,” but his words don’t have the effect on Jung-eun that he hoped.
Jung-eun smiles, saying that she envies Assemblyman Choi for having such a loyal son. Joon-young repeats that he killed someone, but Jung-eun just breezily says that people die every day. She takes Joon-young’s hand and tells him not to feel guilty.
With Eul still watching through the laptop, Joon-young asks Jung-eun if this is how she justified it when she killed someone. He gives the date and time that she hit a man then fled the scene. Unnerved, Jung-eun tries to leave, then accuses him of making this all up.
Joon-young tells her to go — that he planned on getting a confession, but he already has all the evidence he needs even without it. He thought she’d be human enough to at least say she was haunted by guilt and felt terrible, and reminds Jung-eun that the statute of limitations isn’t up yet. He says it’s too bad he won’t be around to celebrate when she finishes doing her time.
Jung-eun switches to threats, saying that her father is even more powerful now than he was then, then accuses Joon-young of lying about his evidence. He admits that he has nothing concrete, because she was so efficient about getting rid of everything ten years ago.
Until now. Since Jung-eun just confessed on camera. Joon-young calls out, “Eul, you saw it, right? This is the truth you wanted so badly. The woman in front of me killed your father.” He adds that he was the jerk who stole Eul’s USB and almost killed her, and that he wanted to tell her this before he dies. He bellows, “THIS is the first item on my bucket list, and the last.”
Sitting outside with the laptop, Eul watches Joon-young reveal the entire truth, tears welling up in her eyes. She lays her head in her arms.
Inside, Jung-eun is furious to learn that this was all a setup, and she demands to know where the camera is, shoving things off shelves. Joon-young grabs her hands to stop her and says that she doesn’t need to scream; she’s incriminated herself enough. Jung-eun storms out of his house and makes her way down to the dock, but Eul has gone.
Joon-young barely has a minute to see that Eul’s left before President Namgoong calls and tells him to get out of there. Then he changes his mind, and says for Joon-young to stay, but not to say a word to the detectives until he arrives.
The police show up to arrest Joon-young for illegal drug use and escort him out, right past Jung-eun, who’s still on the property.
Ji-tae is floored when his assistant informs him that his father is responsible for the story that Joon-young is a drug abuser. He says that at least the drug tests will come up negative, but his assistant reminds him that his father is powerful enough to alter the test results.
Even Ji-tae’s mother seems shocked that her husband would do such a thing to his own son, but he says that he abandoned Joon-young long ago. He tells her that he knew his brother sent Joon-young’s mother away, even though she was pregnant with his child, because he’s the one who asked him to do it. He says that he’s not going to lose everything because of someone like Joon-young, and warns her that there will be more shocking things to come.
Ji-tae overhears his father’s confession from outside the bedroom door, and he shakes with shock and rage. Jung-eun calls him from Joon-young’s place and begs him to help her, telling him that Joon-young set her up. Ji-tae hangs up on her.
In an interrogation room, Joon-young is read the accusations against him, which include several actors claiming to have done drugs with him. They’ve provided multiple dates and locations, and the detective seems to think the case is airtight.
The lies make Joon-young laugh, to the detective’s ire. But Joon-young jokingly criticizes the bad spelling in an accuser’s written statement, and asks if this is a prank.
His mother wants to close the restaurant temporarily, and though Ajusshi objects, Man-ok complains that everyone who’s come in is gossiping about Joon-young. Mom tells her to deny the rumors, then she goes inside to do just that.
She addresses the customers, and asks if anyone has heard the rumors about Joon-young doing drugs. They all raise their hands, and a few raise them again when she asks who believes the rumors.
Mom insists that her son is innocent, and asks them to tell everyone that the rumors aren’t true.
Eul goes to her usual drinking hole, and sits to polish off someone else’s leftover soju. Ew. The restaurant unni asks her what’s wrong, but Eul stays silent, and she covers her ears when Unni mentions Joon-young.
Eul overhears some girls at a nearby table talking about Joon-young’s latest scandal. She tries to ignore them, and asks them to keep it down. They get loud again when they find yet another article about him, and Eul complains that there are more topics to discuss besides Shin Joon-young.
Ji-tae walks in, and Unni admits that he asked her to call him if Eul showed up. He takes Eul outside to talk, and commiserates with her shock at finding out that the man she loves so much is Assemblyman Choi’s son. Eul is angry that nobody told her sooner, and angrily asks if he enjoyed deceiving her. But Ji-tae defends Joon-young, saying that he suffered as much as she did.
Eul is sick of listening to his excuses, but she’s stopped from leaving when Ji-tae tells her that Joon-young got arrested for drug use. He says that his father will make sure the tests come back positive, because Joon-young stabbed his father in the back to discover who killed Eul’s father.
Eul raises her voice, asking what this has to do with her. Ji-tae says that Joon-young should have just left things well enough alone, like he did — putting aside conscience and guilt, all for a woman.
He asks why Joon-young would throw away the rest of his life like this, and how he’s supposed to deal with that: “How is a coward like me supposed to live, being so ashamed?” He tells Eul that she can hate him forever, but to understand Joon-young and let it go.
But Eul just says an angry “No” and walks away.
When Eul gets back to Na-ri’s place, her friend confesses to telling Jik everything about his father’s death.
Jik demands to know why Eul never told him about the cover-up, and how Assemblyman Choi’s wife threatened Jik’s life. Eul says that she couldn’t tell him or the knowledge would have ruined his life as well as hers.
She cries about how miserable her life is, when every day hurts and she can barely breathe. If she’s ever happy even for a moment, she suddenly remembers how her father died and questions her right to be happy.
Jik hadn’t realized how much his sister had suffered, and his face starts to crumple as he cries. He hugs her and apologizes. Eul says fiercely, “So don’t ask me to let it go. Don’t ask me to forgive.” She’s talking to Ji-tae now.
The next day, Jik meets with Haru and tells her that he likes men (namja). Aw no, he’s trying to spare her feelings. She misunderstands and thinks he’s talking about a girl named Nam-ja, but he clarifies that he means he likes guys. He says it’s why he doesn’t feel comfortable touching her, and that they should break up.
Haru finally gets it and grows angry at his apologies, and she deletes his number from her phone so that she won’t call him in a moment of weakness. Jik can barely look at her, and he’s struggling to keep from crying, but he obediently deletes her number when she asks.
Jik reaches out to steady Haru when she stumbles, but she shoves him away and snaps at him not to touch her. She calls another boy and asks him out on a date while looking Jik right in the eye, and storms out. Once she’s gone, Jik slumps into his seat, and gives in to his tears.
He eventually goes home to find Eul still sleeping, with Na-ri watching over her. He tells Na-ri that he ended things with Haru, and they go to eat, leaving Eul to rest.
She dreams of high school, when Joon-young had given her that teddy bear and said he loved her. Then college, when she’d pretended to be his girlfriend and made him laugh with her over-the-top aegyo. She dreams of confessing to him in the road, and of Joon-young declaring his love for real, and kissing her.
At the restaurant, Joon-young’s mom fusses at Ajusshi for messing up the kimchi, then she slaps herself for even caring about kimchi when her son has been arrested for drugs. Ajusshi honestly tells her that she’s been acting nuts since yesterday, and she softly says that she wants to see Joon-young. At that, Ajusshi feels her forehead and declares that she’s finally come to her senses.
The police station is swarming with reporters when they arrive, and President Namgoong and Gook-young are talking to them. President Namgoong vehemently denies the rumors, insisting that Joon-young’s not even inside the station, and Gook-young rushes over when he sees his dad with Joon-young’s mom.
He pretends to be looking for his phone and warns them not to let the reporters see them. They surreptitiously ask how Joon-young is, and Gook-young says that he’s doing okay. He even said to tell his mother not to worry.
Assemblyman Choi visits Joon-young in custody and admits that he did this. He tells Joon-young to retire and move out of the country with his mother, and Choi will make sure they live comfortably. Joon-young retorts that he has enough money, and he asks if he’ll be convicted of drug use if he refuses to leave.
Assemblyman Choi tells him not to let it get that far, and Joon-young admits wryly that Choi has a lot of power. Choi agrees that he’s done a lot of things to get where he is now. Joon-young asks if Choi abandoned his mother to gain that power, and his voice shakes just a little when he says that he’ll take Choi’s silence as a yes.
Assemblyman Choi offers Joon-young a deal — if he’ll promise to leave Korea, Choi will drop the drug charges. Joon-young just yells for the detective, done discussing this.
Then he calls Choi “Father,” though he says it will be the last time he calls him that. With a quivering voice and tears in his eyes, Joon-young says that he’ll consider being Assemblyman Choi’s son a shame and a disgrace “until the day I die.” Assemblyman Choi looks stunned at the words.
Joon-young walks to the door, then suddenly collapses to the floor, unconscious.
Eul sees that she missed a ton of calls while she was sleeping, and thinks about Joon-young’s confession that he’s the one who took her USB and nearly got her killed. She gets another call, and it’s Jung-eun, inviting her to Jung-eun’s restaurant.
This time Eul is on guard and doesn’t trust Jung-eun’s pleasant greeting, and Jung-eun immediately says that Joon-young’s trick prompted her to talk nonsense the other night. She says that she’s not the driver who killed Eul’s father, but Eul stops her, and says that she remembers the driver’s face.
She’d clearly seen Jung-eun get out of her car and look around, then jump back in and drive away. She asks if Jung-eun has enjoyed her life of luxury, but Jung-eun doesn’t answer and just hands her an envelope of money.
She tells Eul that this isn’t an admission of guilt, but consolation for what she’s suffered. Eul takes the money, then says that she’s going to air the entire video on television, and use the check as evidence.
Jung-eun’s sweet expression changes to fury, and she says that doing that will hurt Joon-young. But Eul calmly states that if Joon-young has done something wrong then he should pay for it, just like everyone else. She stands and grips the tablecloth, and tips the whole thing into Jung-eun’s lap this time. Awesome.
Ji-tae approaches his parents that evening, and says that no matter how hard he tries, he can’t think of a way to stop them. He asks them if there is any way, and his father says no. At that, Ji-tae calls his assistant to gather the press, so he can tell them a story about his parents that will shock everyone. He hangs up and asks his parents if that will work.
After Joon-young’s collapse at the station, the news about his cancer gets out, and soon Ajusshi sees the announcement on the news. He’s stunned, but Joon-young’s mother is checking out a customer and doesn’t hear the television.
President Namgoong fields the inevitable rush of calls alone — Gook-young and Man-ok are too upset to help. Jik overhears some guys on the street talking about Joon-young’s illness, while Haru reads on the internet that Joon-young is dying, and bursts into tears.
Ji-tae drives to his press conference, and realizes that he’s being tailed by another car. He weaves through traffic trying to lose his follower, accelerating and swerving through cars.
A sudden top-speed U-turn seems to work, and gets him on the other side of the road while his pursuer’s car gets sidelined…
But then, as Ji-tae drives into an intersection, he looks up in alarm at oncoming lights. His eyes widen as the truck approaches fast… and slams right into his car.
Eul sits on a bench, watching the cherry blossoms fall. Joon-young sits down and praises Eul’s acting, thanking her for getting rid of that clingy coed. He lays down with his head in her lap, asking to stay like this for just ten minutes, since he stayed up late studying.
It’s the same thing he said back in college, and Eul doesn’t tell him that he’s experiencing a delusional memory, which his doctor warned her about. He’d said that Joon-young might confuse the past and the present, and advised Eul to not be shocked, but to hold him when it happened.
So Eul stays sitting there with Joon-young resting in her lap.
As she looks up at the falling blossoms, Eul thinks to herself that after a long and painful period, “Joon-young has returned… to the time he most longed for and wished to return to.”
Joon-young is slipping away, and it’s breaking my heart. He’s not been the most likable character, and I’ve often wanted to smack him upside the head for being so cruel to Eul, but I’m not prepared for him to die yet. I still believe that’s where we’re heading, and I still think that it makes the most sense for Joon-young’s story to end this way, but it’s not going to be easy to watch.
But in a way it’s a blessing that Joon-young will die like this, that he’ll forget all the pain he’s been through and go back to simpler, happier times in his life. I hope he won’t have to go knowing that he pushed Eul’s love away — I want him to only remember when they were happy together, brief though it was, and I want him and Eul finally be able to experience that uncomplicated love.
I can’t even believe that I once defended Assemblyman Choi, calling him a good man doing the best he could in a bad situation. He’s fooled everyone into thinking he’s a benevolent politician and a decent family man, when it turns out that he’s been a horrible human being all along. He sent Joon-young’s mother away, knowing full well she was pregnant, just because she would be a hindrance to his political career. Now I wonder why he bothers seeing Madam Song at all, and why being with her seems to upset him so much, if this is all of his own doing. I don’t buy the “he sent her away even though he loved her” excuse anymore, because I don’t believe this man has ever loved anything or anyone in his life, other than money and power. He’s reprehensible, and I hope Ji-tae recovers from his Truck of Doom encounter and takes his father down hard.
I felt so bad for Jik and Haru in this episode — they’re the only innocents here, and yet they’re being hurt because of the actions of others. I already think Jik is a mature young man, but he really impressed me with the way he handled the breakup. At first I thought he copped out a bit by claiming to be gay, but after thinking about it, I think he broke up with Haru that way for two reason — so that she wouldn’t feel personally rejected, and to spare her the pain of knowing what her father did. He’s protecting her the same way Eul protected him for all these years, preserving her innocence for as long as he can. It’s a pretty mature thing for Jik to do, and I really respect that he listened to Eul’s reasoning for withholding information from him for so long, and wanted to protect Haru the same way.
I’m also proud of Eul, who has really grown the most as a character. She’s no longer grasping and desperate, and she’s not willing to just lie back and let the powerful people win. She may not have the connections and influence that they have, but she will fight them with every ounce of her being to the end. I love how she got a second chance at that meeting with Jung-eun, and this time Eul kept her composure and didn’t apologize or bow down. I loved it when she took that money and said she was going to air the video anyway. By the time she upended the food into Jung-eun’s lap, I wanted to cheer, I was so proud of Eul for giving Jung-eun back a little of what she dished out. Eul may have changed for the better, but she’s still fundamentally Eul, and if she hadn’t gotten a little tit-for-tat I’d have been disappointed in her.
I still wish Joon-young had handled things differently, and told Eul about his illness sooner so that they could have made the most of the time he has left. But if he regresses and forgets all the recent conflict and pain, and he and Eul have even a few weeks to enjoy their remaining time together, than I’ll take it and call it good. Eul is strong enough now to carry that burden, and to let Joon-young peacefully live in the past until he’s out of time. If things had happened differently, she wouldn’t have learned that she possesses that strength. So maybe, in a way, Joon-young is leaving her with one final loving gift after all.
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 17
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 16
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 15
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 14
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 13
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 12
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 11
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 10
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 9
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 8
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 7
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 6
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 5
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 4
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 3
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 2
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 1