Drama Recaps
Fantastic: Episode 16 (Final)
by | October 27, 2016 | 33 Comments

It’s the final episode, which means we’ll have to say goodbye to these lovely characters. All the way to the end, the show never loses sight of itself, and for a drama about cancer, it spreads a joyful message about appreciating the blessing of life. Though this may be farewell, the lives of these characters will continue on as they march towards the future while enjoying every second of the present.


So-hye waits at the park for Hae-sung, and in the distance, envisions Joon-ki standing off in the distance holding a balloon. He walks away from her, and as he lets the balloon go, So-hye loses consciousness. Hae-sung sees her fall, and runs to her side.

At the hospital, Jamie explains to Hae-sung that there’s a clot in So-hye’s artery that they need to remove with surgery, but for now, they’ll try to dissolve it using medicine. However, taking more medicine on top of her treatment for cancer will be difficult, so Jamie encourages Hae-sung to give So-hye strength.

Hae-sung visits So-hye in her room, but as she wakes, So-hye starts to panic. She doesn’t recognize Hae-sung, and attempts to get out of bed. Hae-sung fights back, keeping her in place, and So-hye’s senses return. He explains that she fainted, and So-hye drifts back to sleep.

Outside the room, Manager Oh tells Hae-sung that he has a packed schedule, but Hae-sung requests for everything to be pushed back because he wants to stay by So-hye. Manager Oh complies, and Hae-sung returns to So-hye’s side, dutifully watching over her.

Jerk-face and his mother praise and laugh with each other until Jin-sook comes running in, bearing bad news. They learn about Sul’s post, and Jerk-face reactively calls her. Sul is with Sang-wook when she answers the phone, and she curses Jerk-face before hanging up. Belatedly, Sul realizes that Sang-wook witnessed everything and admits that she used to “play” in the past. Despite his rigid posture, he quickly announces that it’s exactly his style.

They visit So-hye at the hospital who wakes up to see them. So-hye reaches out her hand towards Sang-wook, and tenderly asks him to stay by her side. Jealous, Hae-sung steals away So-hye’s hand, but she fearfully pulls away from him, unable to recognize him again.

Stepping out, Sul asks if So-hye is truly alright, and Hae-sung tells her not to worry. She promises to come back later with food, and Hae-sung suggests that Sang-wook stay behind next time. Hae-sung returns to So-hye’s side, and disheartened, asks a sleeping So-hye why she always leaves him out.

Jerk-face’s home has turned into a meeting room as they come up with a plan to fix this mess. At first, Jerk-face wants to drag Sul through the mud, but his advisor thinks that will only hurt his image. He suggests acting like an accepting husband and then revealing Sul’s scandals. That way, Jerk-face will look like an understanding leader and victim.

So-hye wakes up, and the first thing she sees is a huge heart made out of photos from her wedding. In the middle is a red heart stating, “I’m Ryu Hae-sung! Lee So-hye’s husband! Lee So-hye is Ryu Hae-sung’s wife!”

She gets up and touches the heart, and turns around to see Hae-sung sleeping on the couch. She gingerly pulls up his coat, but Hae-sung wakes up at her touch. Instinctively, he asks if she knows who he is, and So-hye replies that he’s the universal, big-star Hae-sung. He then questions her about Sang-wook, wondering if that’s her style. So-hye shakes her head, and her answer lifts his mood.

When So-hye mentions that she’s hungry, Hae-sung quickly sets up food, but after taking a bite, So-hye starts to look queasy. She continues to shovel food in her mouth because she needs to eat in order to get better, but in the end, runs to the bathroom to puke. So-hye refuses to eat after that, and goes to bed. Just then, she sees Joon-ki standing in the corner, but he disappears when Hae-sung tries to look, too.

News articles reveal Jerk-face’s demise, and we see pictures of him covered in flour and egg while at his rally. The assemblywoman calls another politician and says that she’s abandoning Jerk-face. As her car is about to leave, Jerk-face runs in front, and then grovels at her. The assemblywoman coldly reminds him of her warning that she won’t help him when he falls, and drives away.

At home, Jerk-face’s mom calls her contacts, but everyone seems unsympathetic to their plight. Jin-sook thinks the assemblywoman will help Jerk-face since they were having an affair, but Jerk-face comes through the door, wailing about how he’s been abandoned.

Following behind Jerk-face, his secretary enters, holding the gift Jerk-face gave to his prosecutor friend, and soon after, suited men from the prosecutors’ office barge inside with a search and seizure warrant. They also visit Jerk-face’s law firm and Jin-sook’s management office, and pack everything away.

Sul and Sang-wook leave the prosecutors’ office, and Sul sighs since she doesn’t feel as relieved as she thought she would. She thanks Sang-wook for all his help, but still can’t break her habit of calling him dong-saeng. Cheerily, Sang-wook offers changing his name, and then brings up the issue of payment. Instead of money, he wants Sul to give him more motorcycle rides, and Sul agrees to take him on one right now.

So-hye is surrounded by her friends at the hospital, but tells them to leave since she wants to sleep. However, as soon as they exit, she runs to the bathroom to throw up. Upstairs in the secret garden, Hae-sung meets with Jamie, and she hands him a consent form he needs to sign for So-hye’s surgery.

She explains that the surgery is risky, and So-hye might die during it. Anxiously, Hae-sung asks if So-hye will be okay, but Jamie refuses to give him false hope, telling him that So-hye will die if she doesn’t get surgery next time her blood pressure drops.

Hae-sung wipes away his tears, and enters So-hye’s room with a smile. She doesn’t return his enthusiasm, and informs him that the director called her. She orders him to leave and go about his business, but Hae-sung is more concerned about whether So-hye ate.

He tries to get her to eat, but So-hye screams at him, letting out her frustration. She’s sick and tired, and hates hearing him always tell her to be strong. Hae-sung argues back that she can’t give up, but So-hye yells that willpower alone won’t beat cancer. She’s exhausted from acting brave, and in response, Hae-sung decides to starve with her.

He says that they’ll give up and die together because he’s also tired of acting positive. So-hye cries at him to stop, and Hae-sung tenderly asks if So-hye would continue fighting for his sake because he’ll be by her side. Weeping, So-hye wonders for how long she’ll have to struggle, and hugging So-hye, Hae-sung whispers for her to fight just a little longer.

So-hye finally concedes to Hae-sung’s wishes, and they sit side by side to eat. So-hye apologizes for being weak earlier, but Hae-sung doesn’t hold it against her. He lovingly feeds her, and So-hye tries her best to swallow the porridge.

They escape to Joon-ki’s secret garden, and So-hye appreciates the view of the night sky. She asks Hae-sung when he started to love her, and he says that it was the moment he gave her a ticket to his play. She notes that it was love at first sight, but Hae-sung corrects himself, telling her that he actually saw So-hye days before, sitting on a bench, and worked up the courage to hand her a ticket.

He asks when she first fell in love with him, but So-hye doesn’t remember. She then asks him for a favor to go back home and look at a video on her old phone for her. Thus, Hae-sung runs to the apartment, and finds So-hye’s old phone.

He turns it on, and as instructed, he plays the saved video. It’s a recording of Hae-sung when he was handing out tickets, and in the background, So-hye tells Mi-sun that Hae-sung is good-looking and acts nervous whenever he looks their way. Hae-sung laughs out loud, realizing that So-hye fell in love with him at first sight, too. A call from Manager Oh breaks him out of his reverie, and Hae-sung’s expression darkens after answering the phone.

Jamie carts So-hye towards the surgery room, and luckily, Hae-sung arrives in time to see her. He holds her hand until the last moment, and then the wait begins. More people stop by to wait with Hae-sung, and in the surgery room, So-hye’s blood pressure falls again. Jamie starts compression, but So-hye’s heart fails to respond.

In the woods, So-hye walks up to a tree, and stuck in its branches is the balloon Joon-ki was holding. Sitting beneath another tree, Joon-ki scolds her for coming so early when he specifically told her to play. So-hye expresses her awe at him for living for five more years because she’s already exhausted. Joon-ki says that it’s like hiking: sometimes there are steep, difficult parts, but afterwards, there are always rest and viewing areas.

So-hye admits that she just wants to rest and stay here. Joon-ki asks if she has no regrets, and So-hye replies that she was happy. He pushes her further, asking about her friends and Hae-sung, but So-hye thinks they’ll get better over time just like how she did after Joon-ki died.

Joon-ki tells her that some people believe the dead are reborn in the memories of the living. However, the dead can’t remember. He has one final question for So-hye, and asks if she doesn’t want to touch, hug, and say things to the people she left behind.

Out in the waiting room, Hae-sung suddenly jumps up, and worryingly stares at the glass doors. In the surgery room, Jamie continues CPR, but So-hye flatlines.

One year has passed, and Hae-sung dresses in a black suit while Manager Oh contemplates about how it’s already been a year. Elsewhere, Mi-sun and Pil-ho also get ready to leave, and Mi-sun is pregnant! She wishes the baby to be a girl and wants to name her “So-hye.”

Meanwhile, Sul walks down the streets and witnesses a man chuck his bag at his girlfriend. The girlfriend wants to break up, but the abusive boyfriend threatens to hit her. Sul intervenes like a superhero, and apprehends the boyfriend. She asks if the girlfriend wants help, and once she nods her head, Sul advises her to leave.

Infuriated, the boyfriend throws off Sul, and menacingly growls that he’ll hit her instead. Just then, Sang-wook arrives and stops the boyfriend by citing all the laws against dating violence. He then leads Sul away, and opens the door to a nice car.

He leans over to buckle Sul in, and the awkward tension from their flirting stage is gone. He notices a cut on Sul’s hand and tells her to take care of herself because she’s his most precious person. Laughing, Sul reminds him that they’re late. At least some things don’t change.

Everyone gathers in the woods by a tree that also happens to be the one So-hye visited during her surgery. They comment about Mi-sun’s growing belly, and we learn that Hitman was such a success that Hae-sung is currently negotiating rights to a US remake. They’re still waiting for someone, though, and Manager Oh mentions that Jamie told him she’d be here early. Coming up the hill, the latecomers arrive, and it’s Jamie with So-hye! I forgot that this show is such a troll.

Jamie apologizes for their tardiness since all the patients love hearing So-hye’s talks, and then she exchanges winks and hearts with Manager Oh. (Well, that was random.) Today turns out to be the one year anniversary of Joon-ki’s death, and So-hye comments on how it’s nice to meet up at least once a year.

Sul laughs, saying that they meet up every week, but Hae-sung chimes in that it’s more like every two days. They line up to take a group photo, and afterwards, they each say good-bye to Joon-ki. When it’s So-hye’s turn, she thinks to herself that her heart has been doing well after stopping that day. Some called it a miracle while other’s said it was the power of love. For her, she still doesn’t know why she lived.

In her office, So-hye adds the group photo of their recent visit to Joon-ki to her heart-shaped collage on her wall.

So-hye: “While spending these blessed times heaven has given me, I decided to never again give up on this life full of pain. Although at times it was painful, so what. There’s no greater blessing that being alive.”

As So-hye and Sang-hwa get off the elevator, Hae-sung jumps in front of them, ordering them to stop. He brags that he’s well prepared for the script reading today, and So-hye whispers to Sang-hwa that he really did practice a lot. They walk together to the script reading of their new drama, and it’s the same staff from before.

The time for Hae-sung’s first lines approach, and hilariously, he’s still as awful as he was in the past. The director patiently gives him instructions about the emotions of the scene, and Hae-sung tries again, though he makes no improvements. Everyone watches him read with their jaws to the floor, and when it’s time for him to cry, Hae-sung attempts to wring out tears by not blinking. This will never get old.

So-hye whispers encouragements to Hae-sung, and reminds him to concentrate on his emotions. Something clicks in his head, and Hae-sung recalls his moments with So-hye. Staring at her, he recites his lines and says, “Don’t die.” Tears spring up in So-hye’s eyes, and the room explodes into applause for Hae-sung.

In the lobby, Jin-sook continues her old tricks as she passes an envelope to a fledging actor sitting across from her. She tells him that she made Hae-sung into a star, but right then, Hae-sung and So-hye arrive to interrupt her business.

He advises the young actor to step away from Jin-sook if he doesn’t want to ruin his life since he’s speaking from experience. Then, Manager Oh introduces himself as the CEO of Hyesung Entertainment, and hands the actor his business card, telling him to come talk to him if he wants to turn out like Hae-sung. After they leave, the young actor chases after them, and Jin-sook screams in rage.

At Jerk-face’s house, Mom is dressed in old garments, and cooks ramyun for dinner. Jerk-face complains about the food, so she scolds her petulant son for expecting his old mother to cook for him. She wants to him to find work so they can hire a housekeeper, but Jerk-face is too proud to work under someone.

Jin-sook comes home to see her family eating ramyun, and when she asks for bowls, Mom tells her to do the dishes then. She steals the lid from Jerk-face, and the two bicker again. Mom reminisces about Sul’s cooking, and Jerk-face agrees that Sul’s food was good. Jin-sook yells at them for bringing her up, but admits that Sul made tasty kimchi. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Hae-sung says good-bye to So-hye who’s going on a trip. He wishes her safe travels, but also warns her against drinking tea with random men while traveling. They hug one last time before she gets on the elevator, and Hae-sung blows her kisses.

On the plane, So-hye is with Sul and Mi-sun who are accompanying her to finally visit Uyuni. So-hye films everything, and they can’t hide their excitement for the trip. Unbeknownst to them, two suspicious men covering their faces with magazines sit behind So-hye and Sul.

So-hye sends a text to Hae-sung, and a familiar ringtone goes off in the plane. The two men turn out to be Hae-sung and Sang-wook, and Sang-wook wonders if Manager Oh is really not coming with them. Hae-sung explains that he’s busy dating, and from across the aisle, Pil-ho eagerly joins the gossip.

Getting excited, Hae-sung tells them that Manager Oh is dating Jamie, and witnessing their bewildered faces, Hae-sung laughs out loud. So-hye recognizes his laugh, and turns around to see her husband sitting behind her. They sheepishly try to hide, but their covers are blown. With the whole gang together, they visit Salar de Uyuni and pose together for one last group photo.


Well, that last episode surprised me to say the least. I’m happy that they’re happy, and a part of me is glad So-hye is alive and enjoying life. This will probably be a very unpopular opinion, but I will admit that I was also a bit disappointed that everything ended so… “happy.” It’s not that I expected a tragedy because that would have been uncharacteristic of the show, but the ending was a bit too neat for me. It’s probably because the show executed Joon-ki’s final farewell so well, that I feel like the actual ending for the drama felt less poignant in comparison. Sure, So-hye learned to appreciate life as a blessing even if it’s painful, and she realized that striving to live is wholly more worthy than giving up no matter what happens. Yet, I feel like we could have still gotten those messages without everything feeling overly saccharine. This optimistic and sweet atmosphere worked for the penultimate episode because there’s the niggling feeling in the back of your mind that So-hye may not live to see tomorrow. Hence, as a viewer, I warmly embraced the happiness because it felt precious and fragile.

However, the ending didn’t really have that feeling, and it’s not because So-hye didn’t die. I feel like the director could have done a better job setting the tone for show after the time jump that still preserved the warmth that was displayed in previous episodes. Even with So-hye surviving the surgery and overcoming that hurdle, the last quarter of the show was oddly chirpy. I still really enjoyed seeing the various characters continuing with their lives, and thought Hae-sung’s foot-acting was hilarious (that bug-eyed expression killed me). Despite all that, I felt that everything ended too perfectly, and while I still thought the final episode was satisfactory overall, I was just hoping for more. It also didn’t help that the show ended with such an obviously photoshopped picture of the group at the salt flats. It added to the cheap feeling of the ending, and if I could make a comparison, it was like finishing a hearty, home-cooked meal but then receiving a Twinkie for dessert.

Despite of some of my complaints, the ending didn’t disappoint me that much. It wasn’t what I was hoping for, but even up to the end, I still think the show stayed true to its roots. The story centered on relationships and living life without regrets, and its greatest strength was the friendships developed throughout the story. It was great to see that everyone’s bonds remained intact through the year, and from the way they acted, it looks like they’ll maintain these friendships until the end. Even with its flaws, I enjoyed every episode and loved watching these fabulous characters grow in their relationships. The show dealt with some heavy topics, but it always tried to stay hopefully. The characters struggled and faced challenges, but they continued to fight and persevere.

I initially watched this show because of Kim Hyun-joo, and this show reaffirmed why I love her. She’s a fabulous actress, and I find her stunningly beautiful. She was charming as So-hye, and struck the right balance between feisty and vulnerable. She never felt haughty, and even when So-hye would say or do hurtful things out of fear and pain, I credit Kim Hyun-joo for making her sympathetic. On the other hand, I was surprised by how much I loved the other actors after this show. Joo Sang-wook was hilarious, and though his hair was a tube too greasy, he really made Hae-sung a loving character. He was very animated and expressive, and I commend him for making Hae-sung an endearing character who’s more than a goof. I also loved Park Shi-yeon who made Sul gorgeous both on the outside and inside. She depicted both the submissive Sul and hot-blooded Sul well, so that neither felt out of place or contradictory. The hot-blooded Sul was always underneath the submissive one, but years of abuse caused the spirited nature of Sul to retract within herself as a defense mechanism.

The last actor I want to mention is Kim Tae-hoon because he blew me out of the water. I’ve only seen him in more serious roles, and I always remembered him as the more evil-looking version of Kim Tae-woo (his older brother who’s also an actor). However, I take back any negative thoughts I might have had towards him, because he was simply amazing as Joon-ki. While So-hye and Hae-sung are the undeniable protagonists of this show (and I loved them both), Joon-ki was my favorite. Much of that was due to Kim Tae-hoon’s performance and ability to make Joon-ki feel infallible yet vulnerable at the same time. His dimples were adorable, but it’s not just Joon-ki’s infectious smile that made me fall in love. It was the interesting juxtaposition of unbounded joy and acceptance of reality within Joon-ki that endeared me to him.

He faced death numerous times, and basically lived with a ticking time bomb in his body. However, he was one of the brightest and happiest characters on the show. Interestingly, humor also seemed to be his defense mechanism, and there’s something tragic about a character that can laugh at death but is also hiding his greatest fears under that laugh. My heart cried every time Kim Tae-hoon would smile or wave, but a quiver in his voice or the tears in his eyes would betray his most inner feelings. Joon-ki was a great character who was more than a second-male lead, vying for the heroine’s attention. He was, in part, the heart of the show who constantly guided our main couple, and I can’t imagine anyone else but Kim Tae-hoon in this role.

One thing that I liked about this show that I haven’t talked about was the concept of reuniting. A lot of the relationships portrayed in the drama, especially concerning So-hye, were those of reunion. She reached out to her old friends she lost contact with, and her relationship with Hae-sung was also a rekindling of their old relationship. It’s obvious how impactful finding her friends again were to So-hye because it reminded her of her past as well as helped her maintain her past identity pre-cancer diagnosis. However, while I usually roll my eyes at the first-love setup, I actually thought it was an important part of So-hye and Hae-sung’s relationship beyond kdrama’s fixation with purity and first loves. Since our leads had a history together, we didn’t need to see the initial stage of getting to know one another or pondering about what would happen if they separated.

The fact that Hae-sung lost So-hye once because of his mistake, gave him more urgency when he reunited with her and learned about her cancer. He had already experienced life without her, so he was fully aware that he would rather have her in his life even if that time might be short. In a sense, So-hye and Hae-sung went through the typical stages of misunderstanding and noble idiocy off screen, so more of the relationship we saw were developments in the later stages of dating. As a result, it was a more mature relationship—as mature as Hae-sung can be that is—and less about gut reactions and awkward tensions (we got those cute moments from Sul and Sang-wook). It also makes it more realistic that Hae-sung would want to stay by So-hye while she battled cancer because his feelings for her weren’t solely based on the initial butterflies you feel when dating.

While on this topic, I found it endearing that both our leads fell in love at first sight with one another and just revealed that fact this episode to each other. It’s cheesy, but these two were truly meant to be. Even if that journey was tumultuous and winding, they found each other in the end, and I would argue that those roadblocks made their relationship stronger. It’s always bittersweet to say good-bye to a show because of the time invested in the characters and their lives, but I’m just thankful to have been able to watch such a charming drama. Though it wasn’t the most exciting or well-paced, I loved every episode wholeheartedly and will remember these lovable characters for a while.


33 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Sera The Ms Temper

    The ending probably was “too neat” but I have no complaints. I was prepared to see So Hye to die, but make her survived the operation and see how her life turned was a great thing to see. No one knows how long she can be alive, but to be positive in all aspects is the best thing to do.

    I think despite it looks too happy ending but.. it could be some some sort of encouragement for terminal illness patient who are watching this drama, because they are the people who really connecting with this drama. Seeing that So Hye survived the operation and living her life to the fullest would encouraging them as well.

    • 1.1 CatoCat

      At first it looks like a Too Neat and Clean solution of the story but i don’t think that was Writers objective. Throughout the show Writer tried to encourage the audience. That 1st scene stamped that Life can go either way in a few moments. So Hye surviving showed that Getting a big diseases isn’t the end of world. Mental strength is as much required to get rid of the disease.

      It wasn’t a drama for Ill people. It was a drama for Normal humans like us to learn about eh struggles of those who are ill. I have said in previous 2 recaps, It was like a 3d or virtual experience of a Patient.

      We get stats of how many patients died of this and that disease every year and it doesn’t much affect us but here by connecting with a Cancer Patient we face some of the struggles too. This is also a form of life experience we got without much expense.

  2. MikoDee

    I have no complaints except that Jerk-face wasn’t in jail… this was honestly one of my favorite shows this season. Sad it’s over. Hae-sung is the sweetest boyfriend-hubby-dongsaeng-chingu ever. Loved everything about him, even his whining. His devotion to not only So-hye but those that mattered to her warmed my heart. Gonna miss the bromance between him and Joon-ki for sure. Perfect.

  3. vongole

    Bye bye lovely characters! You were fantastiC!!

    And, thank you for all the recaps, DB.

  4. Gaeina Lee

    ..I forgot that this show is such a troll..

    Ahh, but I love this kind of troll. My heart was knotted when MS said that she’ll name her daughter SH. I was ready to weep… then, I smiled in the end. As long it’s a happy troll I’d welcome it.

    Thanks for the recap, Lovepark! What a journey we’ve been through following SH, HS & their friends these past few months.

  5. Imbuk

    I felt or kind of knew she wouldn’t die because this show is just too big hearted to kill two of its leads in consecutive weeks. Yet, the conflict the show touched upon was really thoughtful. When its easier to die, why choose to keep on living a painful life? Even if we have not diagnosed with a terminal illness we all would have come across a time in our lives where dying seemed like the better option. But just like so hye said “even if its painful and terrifying at times, there is no greater blessing than living”. Also what joon ki pointed out that people around us may learn to move on If we die but what about us? We ll never be able to do those things we did with them again, its the first time I have heard this argument and it makes sense. Even if it seems selfish to live so that you can keep experiencing things with your loved ones, it works great as a motive to live. I think this is the reason the show kept her alive, to show the result of her conflict, to let people understand that no matter how hard life may be, it is better than not living at all.

    Also I am sucker for physical photos (i.e pictures that are not stored in the memory card alone) and the way this episode employed them was touching. For the world it created and the refreshing, heart warming, endearing people who lived there and for showing a mature view of life and death, fantastic will always have a place in my heart. <3

    Thank you odilettante and lovepark for recapping this drama and giving us all a space to share our thoughts and for your awesome and thoughtful recaps. Glad to have shared this journey with fellow beanies and you guys.

    • 5.1 Sera The Ms Temper

      One word to describe this drama – beautiful. Even dying also has been described in a beautiful way. I can say, Joon Ki’s death & funeral are the best & most beautiful that i’ve seen in kdrama.

  6. berries

    i cant believe that they dare to end the drama with a photoshopped image

    • 6.1 Al'sBevy

      I agree!

  7. yuera

    ji soo ♥

  8. gadis

    This is how you do a friendship-centered drama right. It might not be all rainbow and happiness, but those people will always be there for each other, through thick and thin, no matter what kind of problem the world throw at them. It convinced me that I can send them off contentedly, know that they’ll definitely have a better, happier life.

  9. Al'sBevy

    I’ll so miss these characters! This show was a high point of my week and the actors did a super job!

  10. 10 Ck1Oz

    I held off watching till the recap.
    Joon Ki was one of the most touching Kdrama character I’ve ever seen. So warm yet grounded in reality. He wasn’t percect and didn’t make me do 2nd lead shipping. However I liked him and it’s actually really rare to have someone likeable but not written as a doormat.

  11. 11 capt_blackdog

    It was a wonderful and emotional journey, this show. It did a great job depicting realistic characters, who were genuinely nice & caring people. It was so easy to root for them! In my books, Fantastic will be one of those rare gems that managed to show not 1, not 2, but 5(!!!) male characters who were warm and affectionate and brave enough to express their feelings and/or act on them. In a world were ‘tough and cold’ seems to be the norm (and brooding, don’t forget the brooding!), this was refreshing and adorable.

  12. 12 Lessa

    Totally agree with it being too neat. Not to say that Im not a fan of happy endings, maybe she should have been shown with an oxygen tank or needing a wheelchair.. or with a bandana cause she lost her hair from another clinical trial? Maybe thats just because I know she’s supposed to die with that kind of cancer. Lung metastases and possible brain metastases is horrific. But I guess the point of all this isn’t her dying, but her living.

    My only regret here is that JerkFace isnt in jail. Or living in the streets.

  13. 13 Gina

    For me, it was a satisfying ending, I really enjoyed this drama from start to finish, kudos to all the actors and actresses in this drama, they all did a wonderful job. This drama is indeed FantastiC!!! This is one of the few gems of 2016, wish there are more dramas like this one.

  14. 14 Beatrice

    What a wonderful ending, lost Joon Gi here is already sad for me..i can’t face another lose again, i’m glad that So Hye still alive and enjoys her life happily .

    I felt very satisfied with the way this drama ended, it’s genuinely a beautiful drama from start to finish. Thank you production team!

    Thank you odilettante and lovepark for recapping this awesome and heartfelt show!

  15. 15 Carrie

    I really liked the show, except for my undiminished rage for Jerk Face et al. I admit to being completely distracted by weird plastic wrapping on the trees at Joon-ki’s memorial site, and totally confused by the weird plastic bottles attached to the tree trunks. I kept thinking “tree catheters?” And getting distracted. Yes, I am easily led astray by small, random details . . .

  16. 16 rentenmann

    I really loved how this show — and this episode in particular — depicted the many facets of how knowing one has a more defined timeline can affect you. I also applauded the show for addressing the patient’s will to live (or to give up). That scene when the OTP were fighting about So-hye giving up or not hit very close to home. Not gonna lie, I straight-up bawled at that scene.

    I was on the other end of the spectrum with my dad. Everyone was telling him to keep going, to keep trying, with late stage 4 cancer that had spread everywhere. He went almost two years with constant chemo, radiation, or both going. It was torture for him. I finally asked him why he was doing this, and encouraged him to only think about himself for once. If he wanted to stop, he should stop, regardless of what others thought he should do. You know what? He stopped that weekend. I still question whether I did the right thing. Maybe he was waiting for someone to give him permission to let go?

    Then when the show decided to keep her going, I was more than a little disappointed. I’m happy she’s still alive at the end, but it’s a bittersweet happy. It makes me question my own real-life choices ten years ago. Well, thank you, show, for making me think more on this. No, really. For once, I am not sarcastic. I still need more time to think on this. So how awesome is it that a show can be this provocative in getting me to think about my choices? In the future, should I be one of many that encourages someone going through hard times, even when it’s highly likely that they will not get out of said situation? Or should I be my ever-practical self and tell it to them from my point of view of the truth? Lots to think about. Thank you, again, from the bottom of my dark heart. It was a lovely, thought-provoking ride.

    • 16.1 capt_blackdog

      I’m sorry about your dad.

      Maybe I, too, would be misunderstood, but I think there are cases when letting go is the best solution for everyone involved. My husband’s grandmother died of cancer this year. She held on for several months, all of them in one hospital or another, drifting in and out of consciousness, suffering from delirium, with very rare and very short moments of lucidity. And when her daughter kept insisting on more tests, on different doctors, this or that, I kept thinking, this isn’t life; it’s torture. It was obvious she wouldn’t make it, the cancer, as it turned out, has been growing and spreading for 5 years, those were the final stages. So, what is more human — to insist on struggling or let go? Food for thought, indeed.

      • 16.1.1 rentenmann

        Aww, thank you. It’s a hard thing to watch, isn’t it?

        • capt_blackdog

          Yes, indeed… Cancer leaves a mark on everyone involved. Maybe that’s why the writer decided to gift us a happy ending, as a sort of heeling.

      • 16.1.2 mary

        I honestly don’t know what I’ll do if found in a similar situation. It sounds like a difficult place to be in and I wouldn’t wish to experience it myself. 🙁

        If it’s any comfort, I think there’s no single, correct answer for everyone.

  17. 17 olaide

    Good By i will miss you all

  18. 18 Islander_58North

    Enjoyed from start to finish, I’m in a minority but I could enjoy the saga continuing.

  19. 19 blnmom

    Many thanks to lovepark and odilettante for the recaps. I stopped watching after Sohye had her first attack in ep 4 (I think) because the depictions of illness were too raw for me to watch, but I did follow in the recaps. It was a lovely drama with a lovely message.

  20. 20 Arhazivory

    I loved this show and it will go down as one of my favourites. It’s okay to have a happy ending and she might die a year after the curtains close on the drama. Just like Joon Ki was able to live for 5 more years, she can live for a couple more too. I was very satisfied with this drama and I’l miss the characters.

  21. 21 salt n' pepper

    I’ll miss this show. It wasn’t the most addicting or innovative one out there but it was warm, thoughtful and just lovely all throughout. I loved the show for its wonderful, fleshed out characters and its ability to handle a serious topic in a cheerful yet insightful way. I chose to tune in to this show because of the cast, particularly Park Si Yeon (loved her since Coffee House!), but it also made me a fan of Kim Hyun Joo. I started watching her past projects to keep me entertained while waiting for new episodes of Fantastic to come out each week. The other cast members were fantastic, as well, and Joon Ki just might be the best non-second lead-like second lead out there. Why can’t we get more drama characters like him? Along with the beautiful message about life and living, the warm friendship and bromance among the characters were what made this show true to its title.

  22. 22 Lisa_wackycashew

    Thanks for the recap, lovepark!

    This drama is definitely one of the best I’ve ever seen! All the actors did a fine job and I love the characters. From the friendship of the ladies to the JK-HS bromance to the romances of the main and other couples… A truly heartwarming show that balances humour and heartfelt moments. Bravo!!

  23. 23 mary

    Thanks for recapping this @odilettante and @lovepark 🙂

    And thanks to the beanies who gave me lots of food for thought when talking about life relating to this show.

  24. 24 Rina

    I’m very satisfied with the ending, I don’t think I can handle two deaths in a row. This is my favorite 2016 drama. Will miss our OTP, secondary couple, friendship between the three ladies and bromance between HS and JK, they are too adorable. Fantastic is indeed Fantastic, I will miss you a lot! Now, I’m going to rewatch this drama now.

  25. 25 bugs_bunny

    Thank you for the recaps lovepark:)

    I luv this show!!! It’s heartwarming, life-affirming and filled with friendships and love that’s been tested and stayed true in time. No complains about the ending, I’m assuming so hye would have the same journey as joon ki, it was hinted by the sister when they arrived late for the anniversary/memorial. She’s probably saying the same things as joon ki:)

    As some have mentioned I wished they actually went to salar de ayuni, but I’m thinking due to budgetary constraints they couldn’t:(

    jtbc has better writers but tvn has the best production values. Location shooting actually makes a huge difference coz it evokes more than feelings, maybe a sense of triumph within this storyline…

    Hi to odilettante! See you on your next recaps lovepark!!!

  26. 26 Gi na

    Kim Hyun joo is amazing!!! So rare these days to see such talent in kdrama.

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