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Live Up to Your Name: Episode 15

Im has realized that he won’t be able to keep all of his promises, and the time has come for him to make a decision. Will he stay in the present with Yeon-kyung, living for the personal happiness that he’s been searching for all his life? Or will he return to Joseon, dedicate his life to his calling, and heal the pain of his suffering people? It’s an unenviable choice, and it’s going to take all his resolution to make it.

 
EPISODE 15 RECAP

Im walks the dark streets of Hanyang, wondering where everyone has gone. He gets his answer when he sees Japanese soldiers roaming around, and ducks out of sight to avoid them. He rubs his chest, his heart still paining him after the time jump. Eek.

He finds Heo Jun’s house empty and littered with dead bodies and panics, until he finds a letter left for him in Yeon-kyung’s purse (which stayed behind in Joseon).

In Seoul, a distraught Yeon-kyung rushes her unconscious grandfather to the hospital, where an ultrasound reveals that he has a serious heart condition. When Grandpa wakes up, she asks why he didn’t tell her he was sick, when he could have died at any moment. He tries to make light of it, but when Yeon-kyung tells him that he needs surgery immediately, Grandpa just pleads to be sent home.

Im follows Heo Jun’s directions to an abandoned house where he finds Mak-gae, who greets him with relief, although she’s concerned at his pallor. He worriedly checks her for injuries, but she assures him that she and Heo Jun are both fine and indicates where the doctor sits watching over his patients. She tells Im that Heo Jun has been treating the wounded whenever they’re brought here by the Joseon warriors.

Heo Jun is unsurprised to see Im, and tells him that Yeon-yi is waiting for him inside. Im enters the house to find Yeon-yi very ill, her father anxiously watching over her. Im takes her hand, and she opens her eyes and greets him weakly.

Close to tears, Im apologizes for making Yeon-yi wait so long, and he thanks her for holding on until now. He promises to make her better and takes her pulse, but his face falls when he hears her heartbeat. He wonders silently what on earth happened to the little girl.

Im tells Heo Jun privately that the girl has convulsions, but she seems to be affected by something more than just the illness. Heo Jun reveals that Yeon-yi’s family lived in the mountains, and when her father was away hunting one day, her mother was raped by a group of bandits. Yeon-yi witnessed her mother hanging herself. Oof.

Heo Jun says that he’s done his best, but only Im can save her, seeing as he gave her the will to live that has her holding out until now. (Okay, what the heck, old dude? If Im was the only one who could save her, why didn’t you tell him that the last time he was in Joseon?) Im promises to do his best, although Heo Jun warns that it won’t be easy.

Just then, the Japanese officer who shot little Kang suddenly appears, thrilled to have another opportunity to kill Im. He and his men surround Im and Heo Jun.

In Seoul, Yeon-kyung has admitted Grandpa despite his protests, and she asks why he’s resisting when he can live healthily for many years if he has the surgery. Grandpa grumbles that he’s lived long enough, but Yeon-kyung pushes him for the real reason why he’s refusing.

Grandpa turns his back to her and reluctantly admits that he doesn’t deserve to extend his life after failing to be a good father and for letting his son and daughter-in-law die before him.

“I’m a doctor, and yet I couldn’t even care for my son’s feelings. I couldn’t even save his wife. And I let my precious granddaughter lose her parents at such a young age. How can I dare—…” he trails off, both of them crying by this point.

Grandpa faces her again and asks her to let him go now that she knows, but Yeon-kyung asks him if he doesn’t care about her. If she loses Grandpa, she says, she’ll be completely alone in the world—can he really leave her behind?

Jae-ha comes to see Yeon-kyung, having heard the news about Grandpa. He apologizes for his own grandfather’s actions, but Yeon-kyung tells him that it’s not his fault and thanks him for convincing the homeless man to confess the truth to the police about the con.

Jae-ha asks about Im, guessing that he’s back in Joseon, and Yeon-kyung assures Jae-ha that he’ll come back, as though trying to convince herself. Jae-ha grumbles at the timing, but she says that Im has gone there to save a child that he mustn’t disappoint again. “He stabbed his own chest to go and save her,” she tells Jae-ha, and at this, she finally succumbs to tears, turning her face away from her friend.

Back in Joseon, Im agrees to surrender his life, but asks to go somewhere else. The Japanese officer just tells him to shut up and orders his men to look inside the house for other Joseon people. Im pleads that even during a war, doctors and patients should be left unharmed, but the officer just takes aim at Im with his rifle.

Suddenly, two black-clad warriors appear, saving Im’s life as they fight the soldiers’ attack. They’re outnumbered, however, and are quickly killed. The officer approaches Im and Heo Jun with a sword, but this time, an arrow hits him in the back, and he falls. A group of warriors quickly dispatch the soldiers,
and Im is surprised to find that they’re led by none other than Doo-chil. After the fighting is over, the two men greet each other warmly.

Grandpa disappears from the hospital, and Yeon-kyung finds him at the columbarium where her parents’ ashes rest. She listens, unseen, as Grandpa tells his son that he was wrong to pressure him into inheriting the clinic, and he swears that he was never once a useless child to him. (If you recall, Grandpa’s last words to Yeon-kyung’s father were that he was useless.)

Grandpa: “I’ve lived as a doctor all this time to pay back that karma, so that I can be a little bit less sorry when I finally meet you. Our Kyung-ie… for our Kyung-ie, can I be a bit more greedy? If I go to you a bit late, can you understand me?”

Yeon-kyung joins him and apologizes to her dad for taking away his time with Grandpa, and promises to work hard on the homework he left for her. She says tearfully that she’s done too much wrong to Grandpa and has too much to pay pack, so she asks to keep Grandpa for a while longer.

She turns to Grandpa with a smile and takes his hand, and he clasps her hand with both of his… and then staggers in pain.

Meanwhile, Im and Heo Jun use the first aid items left behind in Yeon-kyung’s bag to patch up the injured warriors. Doo-chil questions Im about his strange disappearance last time, but Im simply asks how he came to lead the warriors. Doo-chil explains to Im that he’d decided not to travel north alone, and instead chose to stay and fight to protect the people that were so cruelly abandoned by the king and ministers.

Doo-chil says that since Im saved his life, he wants to save a few lives before he goes to the next world, so that Ddak-sae and their mother will be proud of him. “If I hadn’t been born a slave, I would have learned medicine. Then I could saved lives like you, Doctor Heo.” He gives Im a thumbs up, saying he’s amazing.

The time soon comes for Doo-chil and his men to leave, and he says that he’s glad he was able to repay his debt to Im before he died. Im thanks him, and Doo-chil says, “You keep saving many lives, and I’ll keep protecting many lives, and if we meet again, let’s get along well like brothers. I think I’m the dongsaeng.” Im laughs that he’s clearly not (lol). Doo-chil and his men bow goodbye, and Im bows respectfully in return.

Yeon-kyung tells Grandpa not to worry as he heads into surgery. She holds his hand and tells him that the professor working on him is one of the best, but Grandpa asks Yeon-kyung to operate on him. Everyone looks at Yeon-kyung in worry, and when she hesitates, Grandpa wonders if she lacks confidence, and at this, she relents and agrees to do it.

“You haven’t done anything wrong to me. Don’t think such a thing,” he tells her. “I was able to live because I had you, my precious granddaughter.” Her face crumples at this, and he tells her with a grin to let him know later what his heart looks like. She promises that she will. Hang on a sec, I have something in my eye. *sniff*

Im sits at Yeon-yi’s bedside and tells her that Yeon-kyung has sent him here to keep his promise to save her, but he’s going to need Yeon-yi’s help. “Can you help this ajusshi, with your heart?” he asks her. Yeon-yi nods.

Yeon-kyung looks at her hands as she prepares to operate, remembering Im telling her that these hands that have saved so many lives are a gift left for her by her father. Im stares at his needle case as he recalls Yeon-kyung telling him to be sure to save Yeon-yi. Each of them mentally tells the other to watch them, as they get to work.

We see both of them working carefully on their patients. Im asks Yeon-yi to be patient as he puts a particularly painful needle in, and Yeon-kyung carefully replaces her grandfather’s heart valve. Both smile in relief at their successful procedures.

Director Ma arrives at the hospital to a crowd of reporters interrogating him about his involvement in the scam against grandpa. He escapes to his office and calls his powerful friends to no avail; Chairman Min merely tells him that he will be dismissed from his position.

Losing his temper, Director Ma swears that he’s going to kill Im, but Jae-ha enters and tells him that’s impossible—Im has returned to Joseon to help someone, even stabbing himself in the heart to do so. Jae-ha asks if Director Ma has ever endured pain in order to save a patient’s life. “When all the people you believed in turn their backs on you, when you’re all alone, call me. I only have you now too, grandfather.” Jae-ha says, and leaves him alone in his office.

Morning comes, and Im is happy to find that Yeon-yi is feeling much better. Yeon-yi’s father thanks Im profusely, and Im says on the contrary that he’s sorry for coming so late and bows in apology. But Yeon-yi’s father simply states that Im has saved both of their lives; if Yeon-yi had died, he would have followed her.

Im joins Heo Jun outside and asks why he didn’t follow the king where it would be safe, but Heo Jun asks Im the same question–isn’t the future safer? Im asks why Yeon-yi was staying with Heo Jun, and the older man says that he’d found out what had happened and had looked for her. He’d known that if Yeon-yi had died when Im returned, Im would longer be able to practice medicine.

Im asks if Heo Jun still thinks that he’s going to return here permanently, but Heo Jun replies that Im has to figure that out for himself. Im says that he’s heard the needle case was originally Heo Jun’s, but the older doctor says that it only stayed with him for a while. He doesn’t know the secrets of the case, but he too was able to regain his life as a doctor thanks to it. He can only guess that it was because he had something to protect.

Heo Jun says that doctors are rare at this time, especially talented doctors, and there must be a reason the case chose Im—and during a war, at that. Heo Jun points out that Im knows the value of his own abilities, and Im remembers telling Heo Jun how acupuncture is perfect for treating the poor.

“You said you wouldn’t take any memories from here, and yet you came back to save the life of a single child. That choice was not wrong.” He tells Im that the design on the needle case signifies Im’s enlightenment and progress as a doctor. Im notices a new facet of the design on the case that he has not seen before. “It must be time,” says Heo Jun.

Grandpa has awoken after his surgery, and Yeon-kyung tells him to stay healthy and live by her side for a long time. Grandpa smiles at her and says that she’s not just good at healing bodies, but also minds. He tells her that he’s not sad in the least that she became a surgeon instead of a traditional doctor—she’s still helping to save those that need her. He adds that this was the place she belonged all along, the place where she shines.

Im looks at the needle case, contemplating what Heo Jun has told him: Whether he stays or goes, he has to make a decision soon. Yeon-yi joins him, and he asks her why she waited so long for him. She replies that she trusted his promise, and he smiles at the realization that someone believed in him after all. Yeon-yi says that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up so that she can treat other children like her, and sighs that it would be great if she could be one now, during this war.

Yeon-kyung arrives home that night and thinks of Im’s promise to return by the time she counts to 200. She starts counting, then stops herself and starts again, much slower this time.

In Joseon, Im thinks of how much his people need him right now, and of his friends’ efforts to do whatever they can to help. He remembers Yeon-kyung saying warmly that she knows who he really is, after witnessing him helping the common people in Joseon. He sighs and bows his head. (Oh God, he’s going to stay, isn’t he?)

Each of them lie back and stare at the sky in their own times, comparing the amount of stars in each sky. They stare at each other in split screen, as if they can see each other across time.

Yeon-kyung wakes up the next morning to sounds from the kitchen. She finds Im making rice balls, staring at him in disbelief. He turns around and greets her cheerfully, and says he’s making extra rice balls for all the days he missed.

Dropping her bag, she runs and hugs him from behind. He teasingly scolds her for being so impatient, when he was only gone a few days. She asks if he was able to save Yeon-yi, wanting to know all about his trip. He tells her about Mak-gae, Doo-chil, and Heo Jun. She smiles as she listens to all of this, tears falling down her face. “And?” she asks, her voice trembling.

Im finally turns to face her, taking her hands in his. He smoothes back her hair and says, “I missed you.” They hug for a long time.

Im visits Grandpa in the hospital and laments that this happened while he was away—Yeon-kyung must have gone through so much. Grandpa acts offended at being second in Im’s affections, and they bicker, with Grandpa holding out a hand for the money Im still owes him until both men break into laughter. Aww.

Growing serious, Im takes Grandpa’s hand and tells that him it takes a weight off his mind to know that he went through with the surgery. Grandpa says he can see that Im suffered a lot during his trip to Joseon, and that he’s worked out his so-called assignment.

The old man puts his hand over Im’s and says, “My Kyung-ie is strong. You just take care of your own heart.” Im smiles sadly at him, and unbeknownst to the two men, Yeon-kyung stands outside the door to the room, having heard everything.

Im and Yeon-kyung eat the rice balls together in the courtyard, both of them trying to act cheerful despite the melancholy mood. She asks him how things are in Joseon, and he tells her that the Japanese have conquered Hanyang, killing the citizens mercilessly, and that he could only watch like a fool.

“And yet during that time, a doctor took the dangerous road rather than the comfortable one; a slave picked up a sword to protect others, and a child worried more about other sick children than herself.” We see Heo Jun, Doo-chil, and Yeon-yi bravely doing their best in their horrible circumstances.

Im remarks that Seoul is just as it was, busy and polluted—completely different from that world. He says he has something to tell her, but her phone rings, and she reluctantly goes back to work.

Once she’s gone, Im stares at his needle case, and we see his last conversation with Heo Jun: Im had said that he had someone he needed to see in Seoul, and Heo Jun had warned that if he returned again to Joseon this time, he wouldn’t be able to go back.

Im stands outside the ER, watching Yeon-kyung through the window as she works. He turns his gaze to the other doctors and patients as if memorizing the scene, and she sees him, watching him watch the others.

After work that night, Yeon-kyung walks around and around the same roundabout that Im circumambulated when he first came to the hospital, remembering the many times she’s watched Im help people with his talents. Grandpa’s words about people needing to be in the place where they shine most ring in her ears, and she cries.

Yeon-kyung arrives home to find Im asleep in the massage chair, his needle case on the table beside him. She picks it up and sees a long crack on one of its barrels, and understands that time is running out. When Im wakes up, she puts it down and smiles brightly, asking him if he wants to go out.

She takes him to Namsan Tower, where they ride the cable car, laugh, and hold on to each other tightly. They try on matching heart headbands and pop balloons with darts (Yeon-kyung gets every one, while Im is terrible at it, ha.) They stand at the famous wall of locks, and Im embraces her as Yeon-kyung writes their names on it with a heart in between, just as he did at the beach.

Afterward, as they look out over the city, Im says that he has something to tell her before he loses his courage. Yeon-kyung doesn’t reply or look at him, obviously knowing what he’s going to say, and Im struggles not to cry.

Finally composing himself, he turns to her and says, “I’m sorry.” Yeon-kyung closes her eyes miserably for a moment, and then turns to him with a smile.

“Thank you for coming back,” she tells him. “For letting me say goodbye to you. Now, you should go back to the place you need to be. I’ll protect Seoul, so you go and protect Joseon.” At this, Im just stares at her.

Yeon-kyung lets go of his hand and steps back from him. “Now, let’s go our separate ways. For real.” She smiles bravely, blinking back tears. Im can only look at her, his heart in his eyes.

 
COMMENTS

Nooooooo. Why do I feel like the one who’s been stabbed in the heart with an acupuncture needle? It was clear almost from the beginning of this episode that Im was going to make this decision, but that didn’t make it any easier to watch him and Yeon-kyung slowly find the resolve to do what they needed to do. And yet I can’t even be mad, because unlike many dramas that introduce a nonsensical last-minute conflict to the plot, this is a dilemma these two were always going to face. As soon as they began to fall for each other, we knew as well as they did that there was going to be some element of sacrifice involved.

For Im, who had decided to live his life with Yeon-kyung, that sacrifice was going to be his life in Joseon, but the war changed everything. Ironically, it was Yeon-kyung’s own strong ethics as a doctor and her unwavering belief in Im’s goodness that ultimately inspired him to make the only choice that they could both be proud of. And I loved that she understood exactly how hard it was for him to break his promise to her, and spoke up first to release him from it by telling him that she’d be okay. I just love her so much.

This leads me to my favorite thing about this episode, and why this couple is one of the best I’ve seen in a drama: I love how honestly these two communicate. I’ve mentioned it before, but as sad as this hour was, it showed clearly how wonderfully they support each other, like intelligent adults in a healthy relationship. Im went back to save Yeon-yi with Yeon-kyung’s blessing; he’s never once disappeared without saying goodbye (not of his own free will, at least). We haven’t seen a single iota of noble idiocy from either of our leads; whenever they have a problem, they ponder it on their own, consider it from every angle, and discuss it with each other. Even this time, when the couple faced their most difficult challenge yet, they had an unspoken understanding of the heartbreak to come, and that made their last date so bittersweet and heartrending.

That final date at Namsan Tower brilliantly overturned the trope we’ve seen so often, where one person decides to break up with the other person for their own good and figures that it’s the noble thing to do to spend one last, amazing day together before they crush the other person’s heart into little pieces. I always resent that trope, because we’re meant to feel sympathy for the person making the “noble” sacrifice, but all I can think of is how they’re lying to the person they love, and depriving them of the chance to be involved in the decision (and have a proper goodbye). Major props to the writer for doing it this way instead.

I didn’t understand why Heo Jun would hide Yeon-yi from Im and make her wait so long for treatment, but I was glad to see him be able to finally cure her. It was lovely to see Im echo Yeon-kyung’s words to Ha-ra when she arrived late for the girl’s surgery when he finally met Yeon-yi. Even separated by four hundred years, these two have completely become each other’s world, and they were constantly thinking about each other, trying to act in a way that would make the other proud. It was lovely, and it makes me even sadder that they’re saying goodbye to each other at the end of this episode. We had a record amount of hand-holding this hour, and I totally needed it—I felt like the writer was comforting us so that we could brace for the coming heartbreak. Let’s hope that a miracle brings our lovebirds back together, and that this drama ends with as much heart, beauty, and goofiness as it’s had from the beginning. If Live Up to Your Name can manage that feat, I’ll be putting this down as my number one favorite time-travel drama ever.

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Wow. Possibly Number one time travel drama ever? @laica do let us know in the next recap whether this Show made it or not ok? 😊 I really want to know!

Because this is my first time travel drama ever (I know I know, I suck as a self confessed drama addict) and I'm enjoying it so much so that I want to watch the other Time travel dramas like QIHM and Nine so I really would like to know how this one compares.

The point about Heo Jun taking care of Yeon Yi but not curing her URKED me a lot because isn't Heo Jun a doctor too? 🤔 But I guess maybe I've just not been totally sold on the fact that Heo Im is a demi-God in the world of acupuncture medicine and is the only one who can do some things. But I guess it did force Heo Im back to Joseon to see the horrors of war and realise where he was really needed. And make the necessary separation of our OTP heartfelt and realistic. Like you said- Yeon Kyung would want Heo Im to go. As much as it would break her heart, she would want him to. And that makes it all the more heart wrenching! 😭

Final episode here we come!

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Also I blogged about the medical condition that Grandfather had, and how the Show was pretty darn medically accurate. Kudos to the team for good research!

But there are SPOILERS for the final episode since I talked about both of them together, so please read at your own risk!

https://mydramalesslife.wordpress.com/2017/10/03/live-up-to-your-name-dr-heo-episode-15-16-thoughts-and-medicap/

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Ahhh, I've missed your medicaps @michykdrama! *runs off to fill head with geeky medical knowledge* Hope you're enjoying/enjoyed your well-deserved time in Korea with your family! x

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If I am not mistaken, Yeon Yi did requested for Heo Jun (in episode 11 or 12) to not treat her because she wanted to wait for Heo Im. Perhaps he knew that Yeon Yi is final connection/test to lead him to his right path as a wunderkind doctor.

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Oh I see... must have missed that. I guess that sort of makes sense but yeah, still, Heo Jun should have just told Heo Im the last time rather than gamble on the fact that Yeon Yi would hold out for Heo Im to accidentally find out from Yeon Kyung that she was still alive. 😓

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I think it's also because Yeon Yi is suffering from psychological trauma which Heo Jun can't treat (he's more of a medicine master?). He might have deemed it not life-threatening yet as YY was holding on to hope.

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Hahaha will do!

And to everyone, thanks for taking this journey with me. This drama had a small but very passionate viewership, and it was lovely to squee together over this warm, beautiful story and its amazing characters. ❤️

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You are very welcome 😇 But I guess the icing on the cake for me is if Kim Nam Gil and Kim Ah Joong get together in real life. That would be the ultimate squeal 😍

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Are they both single? I really can see them together. I found myself giggling like crazy when they act cute and lovey dovey. Seriously,I've never been like this before from watching kdramas.

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There are no news of any of them dating anyone so maybe they are. Apparently the date scenes are the actors own ad-libs so it was basically just them making up stuff as they go. In my 15 years of kdrama watching, this is my first time to be shipping the OTP so hard 😍

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I got a bit jealous of the number of comments in other dramas, but I like how you put it, "small but very passionate." It's almost like quality over quantity. I like how I see familiar people in every recap. Again, thanks @laica for recapping this drama. I really love your insights. Looking forward to your next recap!

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Hahaha, same. I tried not to, but, as my love for this show grew, it became more and more perplexing to me that there were so few beanies here discussing it. I can't help but wonder if it would have been different without the licensing issues making it harder to watch.

Still, just seeing that most of us who did stick around are feeling all the same things is gratifying enough for me. Definitely quality over quantity!

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It was really good. Kim Nam Gil comedic acting is superb. But Queen in Hyun's man is still the best for me in terms of romantic time travel drama. Ji Hyun' woo and Yoo In na's chemistry is awesome!!! Ji Hyun woo's character is the best for me. Live up to your name will be my second. Kim Nam Gil and Kim Ah Joong's chemistry is also great. Hoping for SEASON 2 it felt like their story is not yet finish and I want to see Ma Gae and Jae ha's interaction :D

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I never thought anything would ever come close to QIHM when it comes to having a clever, satisfying time slip storyline (and sizzling chemistry between leads!) but this show has done it. So if you enjoyed this you'll definitely love QIHM - it's not a cult favourite for no reason! ;)

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Thanks @laica for the wonderful recap.
Yes, to everything you said.
I love the maturity of all characters in this drama.
And I love Yeon Kyung even more as this drama progressed. While it was Heo Im that stole my heart in the earlier episodes, it is Yeon Kyung that owned me by the later half. Strong, intelligent, understanding and nurturing .
I have never been prouder of my drama heroines before but Yeon Kyung made me feel that way.
"Live Up To Your Name"...I love you so much, show.

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Yes to Yeon Kyung!
I've loved her from the start, so much so I've defended her here before, and I still love her just as much, right till the very end.

When I hear this song I think of her:

"Most girls... are smart and strong and beautiful!
Most girls... work hard, go far, we are unstoppable!"

I want to be her!

*Flips hair and struts off with sass*

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I totally agree with you, Yeon Kyung was wonderfully written and Kim Ah Joong certainly brought her character to life, totally "Girl Crush" material as what the Koreans would say 😍 Same here, show, I adore you 💖

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I know it was inevitable that they would part ways, but it still hurts and I cried so much.
Yes, I agree it's the one of best time travel drama ever because it was nicely done and it doesn't overwhelmed the viewers so much.

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This episode was heartbreaking and so full of emotion. T_T The couple moments between Im and Yeon Kyung were precious and bittersweet. Seriously they are one of my favorite OTPs ever!!! ❤️❤️❤️ Such a great match. They fully support and confide in each other about their struggles. They healed each other.

Despite all the tears, I wasn't frustrated about this episode at all. The show gradually prepared us for this. I knew Im was going to have to go back. It was the right thing to do. My heart still breaks though. I really hope the final episode will give us satisfaction and a great ending.

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Agree with you. I never see OTP like Im and Yeon Kyung in drama before. I hope, in the future, writers would write heroine character more like Yeon Kyung. She's very cool and mature, yet when she must parted with Im, she didnt hide her feeling.
I just love love her. Yeon Kyung is the epitome of cool girl in dramaland, IMO.

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i was freaking out that she was operating on grandpa. it doesn't seem like a good idea to operate on family members... let another doctor handle the surgery.

i'm glad it worked out, though. the whole yeon yi and grandpa holding out on treatment/surgery to the end was perplexing for me, but i think the tone of the drama didn't make it crazy-making.

i love this couple so much.. and it was so extremely sad and happy to watch them on that final date. it's also scary to think about what heo im is going back to.

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I love this show with all my heart that I'm so sad that it's ending. They are honestly my fave otp of the year because, although heo Im is adorable like a child, they have such a mature relationship where they actually 'COMMUNICATE' instead of keeping things from each other. Until the last episode recap - see you on the other side 😭😅

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It's almost weird how the OTP evolved, because I remember how I hated Yeon-Kyung's bad attitude toward Im and how I felt it bordered on emotional abuse, which I still stand by. Now, I love the couple and how they communicate and rationalize things. But it did show that what the two needed was more equal power between them (since Im WAS totally dependant on her before he accepted Ma's offer; after that he willingly chose to spend time with her) and more distance. I think that almost reflects the views against Joseon and how the show made it clear how bad inequal power dynamics are and feel. So as soon as Im got his own resources, Yeon-Kyung's bad communication skills were less frustrating, and it was easier to see how they would develop respect and love for each other.

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This drama benefited a lot from the emotional and characters built-up and growth. Such a clever writing. The fact that our OTP only got together starting episode 12 (considerably late by K-drama standard) but the effect turned out to be a lot greater than we expected. I have never rooted for an OTP as much as I did for these two - they embodied everything a couple should be... love, mutual respect, growth and communication. Kudos to both the writers for creating such exceptional partnership and ofc the actors for making every seconds count and conveyed all emotional depth that we as viewers could deeply feel.

Yeon Kyung is definitely to go down as one of my favourite K-drama heroines. We may not have a good start but as she took the journey together with Im, we could see how that relationship cracked open that hard-shell surrounding her. When she comes to love him - she loves him with full acceptance. The fact that made them so loveable is that they each brought out the best of each other.

I love every seconds of this drama. Have not yet disappoint me up until this moment. Whatever the outcome for the finale might be, this drama surely reserves a very special place in my heart, something that I will completely watch over and over again with such fond feelings deep in my heart.

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"Kudos to both the writers for creating such exceptional partnership and ofc the actors for making every seconds count and conveyed all emotional depth that we as viewers could deeply feel."

"Partnership" is exactly the right word to describe this pairing. It's all the more remarkable that we're talking about a Joseon man who embraces and celebrates his modern woman.

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Thanks @laica for the recap, your insight is on point as always 😇 My fav scene in this episode is the saddest one where Heo Im tells Yeon Kyung that he was sorry and Yeon Kyung trying her hardest to smile while holding back her tears and saying thank you to him for coming back as promised. I was practically sobbing like nobody's business at the end of the episode 😭 This drama has become my No. 1 drama of all time and this OTP is THE OTP for me 💖 The amount of love and respect they have for each other makes their eventual separation so sad but beautiful to watch. Both Kim Nam Gil and Kim Ah Joong totally nailed the emotional scenes. Looking forward for the finale recap 😘

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I dearly love that they communicate and made decisions as mature adults. The last scene was really bittersweet. I am happy that they get to do more coupley stuffs but ultimately sad that it will end.
I am sad that he will have to go back. but he would've been ridden with guilt if he doesnt.

Oh I love this drama so much. RL commitments kept me away but this drama has a place in my heart. Big part of it is KNG.I think this is the first drama of his I've seen. (I've heard of him and seen references especially when Cha Seung Won made a reference to him in The Greatest Love) But this show was the one that made me took notice. Sad really since that means I am not as well versed in k-entertainment as I thought. But that can be easily fixed since he is now on my radar.

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I love time travel dramas, but this one has definitely become one of my favs. Such an inspiring decision for them to both make, and the cruel noble idiocy breakup trope was not needed.

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I feel like I've said most of what I've wanted to say about this show already. I loved it then and love it even more now in the last couple of episodes. Kudos to the writer for showing us probably one of the best examples of character development in a drama, ever. Yeon Kyung, the character, is seriously girl crush material. ❤️ I wish I was even half as cool as she is. KAJ is lucky to have found this role and props to her for breathing life into Yeon Kyung. I wonder if YK would still have been "#goals" in the hands of some other actress. The same goes for Kim Nam Gil but he was always known to be a very capable actor. KAJ on the other hand, I feel this is her best performance so far, at least in my opinion. And this couple, this couple is ❤️❤️❤️! Enough said.

And thank you, Laica, for your recaps! I'm also eager to know your final thoughts on whether the drama's conclusion lived up to your expectations.

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Tons of actress had played "doctor" role and tried selling the "cool girl" factor but KAJ by far is that gotten me sold. So far, the rest came out "forced" at least, to me.

Like you said, if it was some other actress, could YK resonated to us this much? And let's not forget the chemistry that KAJ have with KNG. Would we be sold this much if it was not KAJ portraying YK and vice versa?

Whatever it is, I thanked the universe for bringing these two actors together and giving life to one of the best OTP in K-dramas ever.

This drama has been completely rewarding and it gave me the right amount of satisfaction all the time and has not once faltered. ❤💙💚💛💜

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There have been a few heroines that I've found to be pretty strong over the years, but I completely agree that Yeon-kyung is one of the only ones that effortlessly captured that "cool girl" image many dramas have tried to emulate. Kim Ah-joong manages to do this while still embuing her character with emotion and charm.

This is definitely her best performance and role. I was surprised by how well-defined the character has felt to me from the beginning, especially when I had such a hard time reading her one in Wanted. I hope she'll find more dramas and roles that allow her to shine like this.

Kim Nam-gil gets a lot of attention for his comedy, but I found her to be surprisingly hilarious throughout the show and hope she does lighter material more often.

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Agreed. KAJ was superb. Her intelligence, strength, and vulnerability breathed life into what could've easily been a cliché performance.

From my readings, the last decade in South Korea has seen the male vs. female birth rate get closer to the norm. (More parents are keeping their female fetuses.) Pop culture matters and self-actualized characters like YK will help empower girls and women.

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Thank god for these recaps, not only because they're awesome and make me feel not so alone, but because they allow me to hold on to this show for just a bit longer. I really don't want to say goodbye to these characters and already have a rewatch planned for the weekend!

Totally agree with all the praise for Yeon-kyung. I fell for her as soon as she broke out into dance in the first episode. Even when her flaws were put on full display, I always expected for this drama to take her through the change in perspective necessary for her growth. I especially love how surprisingly fun and spontaneous she can be. She's truly one of the strongest heroines this year and the show didn't even make a big deal of her self-defense skills. She took the lead in so many situations and remained classy through it all. No wonder our sweet, adorkable Doctor Heo was smitten from the beginning.

I love that both our leads have become stronger from meeting each other. It's this distinction that really sets them apart. Perhaps because the time-travel mechanism proved to be more of a powerful guiding force than a tempestuous, unpredictable one. It gave our leads the chance to make the right choice themselves and never forcibly tore them apart. Though, who knows, it might have forced him back anyway, final destination-style.

Still, I love how it was never necessary for them to be torn apart by fate because, throughout the course of this show, their growing love and respect for each other prepared them to face their destinies head on when the time came. It's just that they wanted to believe in the fantasy for a while and it was achingly beautiful and sad watching them both play along with the illusion for as long as they could. I don't know, there's just something so powerful about them choosing these separate paths of their own volition, when so many supernatural/fantasy romances rely on the universe tearing the leads apart against their will.

I love the reunion scene, especially the version tvn posted on youtube with no bgm 😍 I've watched it over and over!

Also adored this little moment when they're hugging playfully on the lift and Heo Im has this sudden change in expression that just got to me. It's like at first he was just light-hearted and happy, but then he gripped her tighter and it was like I saw him realizing all over again that these were probably some of their last moments of bliss. Ugh, there was just something so sweet and heart-tugging about his expression here.

Thanks for the recap, Laica! I didn't join in on all of them, but I'm so happy I got more involved towards the end. This drama is also rivaling my favorite time-travel romance to date, Queen In Hyun's Man, and I could not be more thrilled.

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Where is the version without the BGM? I've only seen the one with Hyolyn's "Always" playing the background.

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Yes! Thank you for sharing the link @chandler! I saw this scene first without music loved how you could really hear their fabric rubbing and their breath. As much as I love the OST, some scenes just need some quiet space.

Will dramabeans allow me to post a link not directly related to LUTYN?

The kitchen reunion recalls a scene in Javier Bardem's Biutiful(2010).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkT1Lt33K3c (1:07 min)

Uxbol, who is dying of cancer, is desperately trying to find adoptive parents for his son and daughter. The scene features a heartfelt moment between father and daughter. You can hear how child's heartbeats were recorded live by her lavalier mic. Music begins only at very end.

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Maybe the reason why Heo Jun didn't let Heo Im know was because of Yeon Kyung's injury.

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Thanks @laica for the recap...
There are a lot of reasons why I love this show. One of the things that I loved the most of this show is that the two lead characters are very mature in handling their relationships. There may goofiness and cute antics when they are together but when it comes in making decisions they are mature enough how to deal it. This show is not just simply about romantic love, it also illustrates the passion for others-the calling. It is also great to see that both lead characters has the same passion. In a relationship it is good that both has the same passion and so they will helping each other to become better version of themselves. I just love Heo Im and Yeon Kyung...
I've been watching Korean dramas but this is my first time to have hopes that the two leads will become a real couple. #KimKimcouple

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I cried buckets to this episode. Esp that last part of the episode. The silence of the scene escalates the emotions these two have at that moment. And it's satisfyingly so sad and heartbreaking, and I'm just................*cries acupuncture needles*

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The Namsan Tower date scene really is bittersweet.

The level of understanding, respect and love between this OTP is what so many K-dramas out there failed to deliver. Congrats, writer-nim. This is the kind of drama we want to watch - without unnecessary misunderstanding, psycho second leads, noble idiocy, a strong heroine yet can tugged at our heartstrings.

I love how the writer highlighted the most important element of this show that is selflessness. For both Im and YK to sacrifice their love for much bigger causes in their hearts. It's truly heartwrenching but making their love all the more beautiful.

And ofc, kudos to these two great actors. To think that the date scene was totally ad-libbed by both actors and yet having such strong emotional resonance really is impressive. KNG and KAJ should consider doing another drama together or else, just get married. That would be the best happy ending ever after.

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Hands down, Im and Yeon Kyung are one of the most supportive couples out there in kdramaland. Yes, I did shed a lot of tears and my heart did feel all wrung out, but never once did I think that there was senseless conflict separating the two. Instead, it was a very real issue that they grappled with, and handled beautifully as well. Yeon Kyung and Im love each other, but they also hold their duty in high regard and you know, they would never stand in each other's way. My heart swelled when Yeon Kyung told Im they should go their separate ways. Because she does truly understand what Im's work means to him. And she would never expect him to give it up for her. In the same way, Im would never expect Yeon Kyung to sacrifice anything for him as well. And I think that's what makes them a truly great couple. They love and respect each other, but they do not expect sacrifices to be made by each other. Also, I'm emotional all over again. What a gosh dang fantastic show this is. And to think I almost dropped it to begin with.

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Was it you who mentioned your intention to drop the show in "What We Are Watching" segment last week?

Told you so, this drama is so rewarding. If there's one word that I can summed up about this show is that...LUTYN has so much heart ❤️.

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That was not me. But I did consider dropping the drama when it first started, because I found the build up a little slow. Luckily, a friend convinced to give it one more shot and now here I am, in love with this drama and it's everything. :D

Every episode has been a delight, even though I shed so many tears. You are absolutely right, this is a drama with a lot of heart. And I'm really glad I saw it as it aired! :)

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Lol. Sorry i got the wrong person 😁 But thank you, for not dropping this drama 🙏🏻. Always happy to know someone to share same love for such an incredible drama like this one. This is my drama 2017, totally and completely.

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Aww, no problem at all! I too am very glad I did not drop it. It turned out to be such an enjoyable ride!

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I also felt unsure about the direction of the show around ep 5-6, even though I enjoyed the comedy, characters, and the double time-travel going on with the leads. I remember I lagged on watching eps 7-8 before I heard such great things about them, and, sure enough, as soon as I watched those I was completely hooked. Probably because those eps were the first ones that really hinted at all the greatness to come!

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Completely understandable! The first few episodes, despite all the hilarity didn't suck me in at all. By 7 and 8 though, I was truly well aboard the ship and ready to go down. The chemistry went off the charts from thereon and just kept getting better!

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Looking forward to the finale recap.

All the studying for a medical degree and a specialist Thoraric surgeon made Dr yeon kyung very mature woman to handle relationships somehow. She so pretty surely she had few BFs before.

Nice touch to bring Heo Im back again to give the couple a final proper goodbye by him conveying he saved little Yeon yi. I'm sure knowing that eases Yeon kyung's feeling towards him going back to Joseon.

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@laica Com sam ni da ..lol i was going to thank you all for feeling and living this drama with me these past weeks .. i am usually not a crier, yet i cried so spontaneously that i was surprising myself .. I laughed equally crazy with them , full loud laughter ..again so spontaneous and freeing . If our LUTYN team ever reads these comments, they will know that what they shared with us was priceless and superior to anything i have seen before . These two are more real to me than half of my friends lolllll . See you all for the finale :) One of my favourite scenes this episode was YK's hug while HI was making her breakfast rice . Ahhh Love .

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Love love love this drama! The story and acting are just perfect. I wasn't expecting too much when I watched the first episode but got hooked!

Thank you Laica for choosing to recap this drama. I enjoyed reading them. :)

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why do I have a feeling that Im will come back? it would be so amazing to have a happy ending for both our leads and Mak-jae and Jae- ha Who did a great job kudos to both of them 😄😄 am so sad that it's ending tomorrow.. I wonder why good dramas doesn't last long 😢😢 the leads looks good together but I wouldn't wish for them to date hahaha am I being selfish??? 😂😂

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By far, my favorite time-travel drama. Phew, Heo Im is one of my fave heroes. Even with his frustrating hubris and dark days, I was fully invested in seeing him overcome. I'm late to the Kim Nam-gil fan club, since this is my first drama with him in it, but I'm such a fan of his facial expressions and comedic timing (and his skinny legs, lol). The nuances of his acting is a dream to watch. He makes Heo Im such a likeable and complex character at the same time. That inner struggle he faces and his impish moments, i felt each one. I loved every episode (didn't skip a one, which is a feat these days of meh dramas). I was so invested in the OTP's chemistry, their partnership, their triumphs and slumps... sigh. I'm gonna miss this drama, seriously. It's up there with WFBJ and KOD.

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I feel the same about Heo Im. He just had this child-like quality to him that had you believing in his inherent goodness, so much so that whenever it clashed with his more jaded aims, I could never judge him and rather just hurt for his struggle. It was well-written material, but Kim Nam-gil really brought out all the charms and flaws with such an endearing and thoughtful performance.

I also had never seen a full drama of his, though I briefly remember trying Shark back in the day because I was already a huge Son Ye-Jin fan. I could never really get into that though. Now I want to check out some of his other roles, like the infamous Bidam from Queen Seon Deok. I'm just not sure when I can find the time. I'll definitely be rewatching this though.

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Highly recommended Queen Seondeok 62 episode the most favorite character he played, you will find how versatile actor he is plus good casting also...you will never regret to watch this. You will find the complete episode in VIU.

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I can’t understand how this drama isn’t loads more popular? Is it the time it’s shown in Korea? This is a wonderful drama and it took me forever to find it but I’m so happy I did.

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The drama is quite popular in Korea as the ratings are in between 5% to 7% although it is shown on cable and not the free -for-all tv. I do think that the drama gets less attention from international fans though 🤔

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This episode was bittersweet, my favorite thing about Heo Im and Yeon-kyung as a couple is how they made each other a better person/doctor, is satisfying to see how they changed from the first episode and now.

Thanks for the recap! ^_^

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It breaks my heart that Yeon Kyung knows all the folks from Joseon and asks how they're doing. It's not like Heo Im just went to a business trip to a neighboring town, y'know.
I kinda want it end in a His Dark Materials style because it would make the drama perfect (by plot and logic of happenings) but I want my happy ending at the same time T_T

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