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52

Manhole: Episode 16 (Final)

Well, we made it. We’ve traveled through time, altered the past and future, and mixed up countless relationships to the point where I’m now convinced that I will always get a slight headache every time I see a manhole. Still, while I may not understand most of the whys or hows behind this adventure, I’ll miss the elusive charm of our main characters and the family they created. We have reached the final hour, and I’m both relieved and exhausted as we take our last jaunt through the ever-lovin’ manhole, all in the hopes that Pil will finally get the girl.


 
FINAL EPISODE RECAP

Pil tracks Soo-jin and Jae-hyun to the lake house and peers in through the window to see them at the table. When Soo-jin spies Pil, Jae-hyun notices her gaze and turns to look, but Soo-jin pulls him back just in time to distract him and allow Pil to duck away.

Playing along with Jae-hyun’s crazy, Soo-jin tells him to wash up first while she gets changed for bed. Except the familiar suggestion reminds him of how she ran away the last time she told him to take a shower, and he grabs her arm.

Jae-hyun yanks Soo-jin back and warns her not to try and escape from him again, warning, “I’ll find you no matter where you are.” Soo-jin nods mutely, and he relaxes.

A car alarm suddenly sounds, and Jae-hyun goes out to investigate. Sure enough it’s his car, and as he goes to turn it off, Pil slips unnoticed into the lake house. (Ah, clever boy.) Pil quickly gathers Soo-jin and the two of them race out the front door, but they aren’t fast enough, and Jae-hyun spots the pair as they flee.

As Soo-jin and Pil make it to the back lawn, Jae-hyun sneaks up on them from behind the house, holding a long piece of wood. Soo-jin sees her husband raise the bat to attack and leaps to cover Pil with her body, taking the blow herself and falling unconscious.

Pil recovers first and starts punching Jae-hyun. Jae-hyun quickly starts fighting back, and the two men roll around the backyard as they trade blows. Pil manages to catch Jae-hyun’s arm and judo-flips him to the ground, then gives him three solid kicks to the face. (Heh. Karma, bitch.)

While Jae-hyun flounders around, Pil runs over to check on the unconscious Soo-jin. But Jae-hyun recovers quickly and pulls a knife from his waistband.

While Pil continues to hover over Soo-jin, Jae-hyun looms up behind and stabs Pil right in the stomach.

There’s a moment of silence, then Jae-hyun rips the knife out, causing Pil to gasp in pain. Looking stunned by his own actions, Jae-hyun drops the bloody weapon and sprints to his car, driving away while Pil crumples to the ground.

Soo-jin wakes up just as Pil falls, and she pulls his head onto her lap as she stares in shock at the blood spreading over his shirt. Pressing her hand to the wound, Soo-jin calls out to Pil, telling him to open his eyes.

Far away from the blood and mayhem, Pil’s police sunbae is still calling Pil’s phone after Pil hung up on him. Another officer informs Sunbae that Jae-hyun’s phone is back on, and there’s a police car heading to him now.

Returning to our life-or-death couple, Pil gasps out that he’s fine and asks where Jae-hyun went. Soo-jin assures him that he drove away and digs Pil’s phone out of his pocket to call an ambulance. Before she can, Sunbae calls Pil yet again and Soo-jin answers, weeping.

Sunbae immediately starts asking about Pil and Jae-hyun’s whereabouts, and Soo-jin hiccups out that Jae-hyun stabbed Pil and ran off. Taken aback, Sunbae promises to send an ambulance immediately, then hangs up to call the officers tracking Jae-hyun, informing them that he’s on the run.

As luck would have it, Jae-hyun drives past two squad cars just as they get Sunbae’s call. Recognizing the license plate, the police give chase.

Back at the lake house, Soo-jin tells Pil that help is coming and urges him hold on, but Pil just asks if she was hurt at all. Soo-jin says that she’s fine and apologizes for leading him here with her phone, crying that she wanted to stop seeing him because he always gets hurt.

Gasping now, Pil replies, “If I couldn’t save you, I would’ve resented myself for the rest of my life.” He adds that that would’ve hurt far more.

Jae-hyun continues to lead the police on a merry chase, until a wrong turn leads him to a dead end. He tries to escape on foot, but four officers pounce on him, shoving him to the ground and cuffing their elusive culprit.

Back to the tragic couple, Pil murmurs that while traveling through time, he first thought that all he needed was her. Then he came to realize, “When you smile, I can smile. When you’re happy, I’m happy. So you have to be happy. That way I can be happy. All right?” (*Sniff*)

Soo-jin snaps at him for talking like this is the end and begs him to stay with her. Pil’s breath is short as he swears, “Even if I die, don’t think that I’m not with you. Even when you didn’t remember, I was always by your side. Whatever you do, wherever you are, I will always be by your side.”

Sobbing now, Soo-jin says she can’t let him go. Pil slowly reaches up a bloody hand and brushes her cheek, whispering that he can’t see her face anymore. His eyes closing, Pil breathes out, “Soo-jin, I have to see you.”

Pil’s arm lowers, and his hand falls to the ground with awful finality.

Soo-jin trembles at his still form and cries out for him to open his eyes. An ambulance pulls into the driveway, and Soo-jin reaches out to hold Pil’s hand, thinking, “Pil, I love you.”

Soo-jin bows her head over Pil, but suddenly, her body starts fading. (Omo!) Soo-jin disappears completely, leaving Pil (dead or alive?) on the grass.

And… we’re back?! It’s 2017 on Soo-jin’s wedding day, and we zoom in on Soo-jin in her wedding dress, getting her makeup done.

Soo-jin jerks upright, gasping, while Jung-ae and Dal-soo tease her for falling asleep. Confused, Soo-jin looks around and asks Jung-ae what’s going on. When Jung-ae answers that she’s getting her bridal makeup done, she realizes that she’s gone back to her wedding.

Popping up out of the chair Soo-jin runs out of the room, yelling that she has to find Pil.

At Pil’s house, Mom and Dad are grouching about having to go to Soo-jin’s wedding, when Soo-jin bursts in in her full wedding regalia, looking for Pil. Mom answers that Pil isn’t home, but Soo-jin runs up to his empty room to make sure.

Promising to explain later, Soo-jin races back out, leaving Mom and Dad wondering why she’s looking for their son instead of walking down the aisle.

Woah. Okay, so now we jump through time again to 2018, where Pil lies unconscious (but alive!) in a hospital bed. He dreams about the manhole tunnel and hears Soo-jin’s voice reaching out from 2017 as she runs around the neighborhood in her wedding dress, searching for Pil and begging him to appear.

Pil opens his eyes, and the screen splits to show Soo-jin running in 2017 and Pil getting up out of the hospital bed in 2018. Looking pretty spry for someone recently stabbed, Pil yanks out needles and shakes off confused nurses before running out of the hospital.

In their different timelines, both Pil and Soo-jin jog through the manhole tunnel, Soo-jin during the day, and Pil at night. They come to a stop at the manhole and think:

Soo-jin: “Pil. You’re also looking for me, right?”
Pil: “I told you that I’d find you wherever you are. That I’d always be by your side.”
Soo-jin: “Right, I can feel you. We’re in different times, but we’re still together. We’re looking at the same thing.”
Pil: “Nothing can split us apart. I’ll go to you by any means. Just wait a little.”

In her time, Soo-jin nods as though she can hear him, and both of them slowly reach their hands into the space in front of them, closing their eyes like they can feel one another. Above Pil, the streetlight starts to flicker, and when the clock strikes midnight, he fades away.

Jung-ae and Dal-soo finally catch up with Soo-jin, bringing Gu-gil along with them. Shaken out of her space time continuum moment, Soo-jin states that she has to find Pil, but the others snap at her that this isn’t the time since she’s late for her wedding, and they drag her away to her impending nuptials.

Meanwhile, in Jin-sook’s rooftop apartment, Pil awakens in 2017 to find himself tied to a chair. He starts looking around, trying to figure out what’s going on, when Jin-sook strolls in. Remembering the last time he awoke tied up (in the juice stand), Pil tentatively asks if he and Jin-sook got married again. Heh.

Thankfully, Jin-sook just calls him crazy and yells that this is to keep him from ruining Soo-jin’s wedding. Pil stills to hear that and wonders if Soo-jin didn’t time travel with him, lamenting that he came back alone again.

Seok-tae arrives at the rooftop apartment and Pil eagerly looks to his friend to untie him, but Seok-tae just asks Jin-sook if she tied the rope correctly. Pffft.

Seok-tae is firmly on Jin-sook’s side, agreeing that he needs to stay put for Soo-jin’s wedding, but Pil appeals to him, saying that he has to be there were the most important day of Soo-jin’s life. Seok-tae starts wavering and turns sad eyes on Jin-sook, only she just snaps that they can’t trust him and the two depart, leaving Pil tied up.

At the wedding hall, Jae-hyun paces while Soo-jin’s parents fret over their absentee daughter, but then Jung-ae and her boys arrive with the wayward bride.

Seeing Jae-hyun, Soo-jin freezes, remembering all the terrible things he’s done/will do. He walks up to her all smiles and sweetness, but Soo-jin stares at him, horrified. Soo-jin’s mom just laughs that she’s nervous, and then a staff member calls that the wedding is about to start.

In the rooftop apartment, Pil yanks at his restraints, finally managing to fall to the side and wiggle out of the ropes. He sprints of the apartment and is once again running through the streets to find Soo-jin. (Seriously, how much of this show has Pil spent running?)

Pil better pick up the pace though, as the wedding has already started, and Soo-jin is being called to make her entrance. She slowly starts inching down the aisle, looking like she’s walking to the gallows rather than the altar.

Downstairs, Pil dashes through the front doors and makes for the wedding hall. However, it seems this is the fastest wedding ever, as we’ve already reached the “Do you take” portion. Jae-hyun eagerly shouts out his “I do,” but when it comes to Soo-jin’s turn, she just stands there.

As silence builds, everyone starts shifting around uncomfortably as Jae-hyun looks questioningly at his bride. Then, here to save the day, Pil runs into the hall and calls out Soo-jin’s name. (Aw yeah!)

Soo-jin (and everyone else) whips around to see Pil standing in the aisle, panting. Soo-jin looks instantly relieved, and Pil gives his best ever puppy eyes as they gaze at one another, each hoping that the other remembers.

Everyone gawks at the interruption, and the officiate repeats his question, pushing Soo-jin to accept Jae-hyun as her husband. Her eyes never leaving Pil, Soo-jin answers, loud and strong, “No. I can’t marry this guy.”

The room erupts with twitters, and Soo-jin’s parents look like they’re having twin heart attacks. Soo-jin coldly warns Jae-hyun to never come near her again, then delivers a swift kick to his shins. Nice.

As Jae-hyun writhes, Soo-jin drops her bouquet and runs to Pil. He asks if she went through the manhole too, and she nods happily. Soo-jin grouches a bit at him for making her worry, but Pil just smiles and apologizes for being so late. Smiling back, Soo-jin holds out her hand and tells him, “Let’s go.”

Pil takes Soo-jin’s hand and, in front of all their gaping friends and family, the happy couple runs away from the wedding, both of them beaming.

Pil and Soo-jin escape to their lookout spot, and both of them can’t seem to stop smiling. Soo-jin turns serious when she asks if his stab wound is all right, but Pil chirps back that he’s all better, calling it a benefit of time travel.

Relieved, Soo-jin hugs Pil and asks that they never be separated again. Hugging her back, Pil answers that no matter where or when they are, he’ll always be there. He draws back, and they stare at each other for a moment. Then, Pil reaches up and gently holds Soo-jin’s head, pulling her in for a sweet kiss.

…And they keep kissing. (Damn, I think my knees just went a little weak.) The two slowly pull apart and smile at one another, a brilliant sunset lighting up their happy faces.

Then, we cut to one month later. It’s nighttime at Soo-jin’s house, and she lies in bed, checking her phone and looking worried. She glances at a string tied to her wrist, then we follow the string to where it runs all the way into Pil’s room, where the other end is knotted around Pil’s wrist.

Pil paces nervously, glancing at the clock, which reads twenty minutes until midnight. Pil calls out to see if Soo-jin is still there, and Soo-jin jumps up to reassure him that she wasn’t summoned by the manhole. Unable to take the stress, Pil climbs over the balcony into Soo-jin’s room and hops straight into her bed.

Soo-jin whisper-yells at him, but Pil insists, “If we get summoned, we have to go together!” Then he tugs her down into the bed with him. Before Soo-jin can give formal protest, she’s tucked in bed with Pil and holding his hand. She relents in the face of his happy face, but insists that it’s only until midnight.

Pil takes what he can get and cuddles closer, grinning when he hears Soo-jin’s heart beating fast. He brings up his phone, and they both pale to see that it’s 11:59 p.m. Soo-jin clenches her eyes shut as Pil counts down… but nothing happens. Soo-jin sighs that they made it through another midnight, and Pil cheekily suggests that he stay the night anyway.

Soo-jin’s eyes go wide, but then her mom’s voice calls out, and the two spring apart like guilty teenagers. Pil hides on the floor beneath the comforter while Soo-jin jumps up and manages to cajole Mom out of the room. The coast clear, Pil pops his head out of the blankets and calls the whole situation “thrilling.” Soo-jin, however, is less than thrilled and starts whacking him with a pillow. Hee.

The next morning, Soo-jin’s mom moans and groans about Soo-jin running out on her wedding and demands to know how she can keep dating Pil when he doesn’t have a job.

Suddenly, Pil’s voice carries down to them from his room, where he’s jumping around and yelling that he got accepted. Pil runs downstairs, barely pausing to tell his parents that he passed before continuing over to Soo-jin’s house.

Yelling that he got into the police academy, Pil scoops Soo-jin up and spins her around… right in front of her parents. Dad gives an “ahem,” and the giggling couple pause their revelry for Pil to practically shove the phone results in Mom’s face.

Pil’s parents come over and hug him, cheering to finally have a successful son. Soo-jin’s parents hold the stink eye for another moment before congratulating Pil and claiming that they always knew he’d be successful. (Sure…)

Having also passed the civil service exam, Seok-tae packs up his study cubicle when he gets a call from his father and heads to a café. Except, when he arrives, it’s to find that he’s been set up on a blind date. They sit down, and the woman seems nice enough, but Seok-tae clearly isn’t into it.

He just starts to muster up the courage to tell her that he already has someone he likes, when he spies Jin-sook sitting in that very café. He tries to hide his face, but Jin-sook sees him and heads over.

Seok-tae starts to babble that this isn’t what it looks like, except his date comes right out saying that they’re on a blind date. Seok-tae looks absolutely terrified, but Jin-sook merely apologizes for interrupting, then strolls out. With a quick apology of his own, Seok-tae ditches his date and runs after her.

Returning to her rooftop, Jin-sook scoffs that Seok-tae had claimed he’d only like her for his whole life, but then Seok-tae bounds up and starts explaining that he honestly didn’t know about it. Jin-sook tells him it doesn’t matter to her and turns to leave, but Seok-tae has had enough. He grabs her arm and asks once and for all if she’s ever thought of him as a man (as in, romantically).

Jin-sook hedges, but at Seok-tae’s insistence, she answers that there’s a slight possibility. Then she yanks her arm away and retreats inside, leaving Seok-tae grinning cutely.

Dal-soo is playing guitar at his DVD store when Jung-ae runs in with the news that Pil passed his exam. Jung-ae spies a wedding invitation for one of Dal-soo’s friends and she asks if he will get married now that all of his friends are having weddings.

Serious, Dal-soo asks if she thinks that marriage is the endgame for love, and Jung-ae answers that it is, since it means they’ll always stay together. Dal-soo points out that two people don’t have to get married to be together, arguing that marriage isn’t some kind of magic solution.

Dal-soo takes Jung-ae’s hands and promises that for as long as she wants him, he will always stay with her. It’s enough for Jung-ae, and the two hug.

In a distinctly gloomier setting, a rundown Jae-hyun is with his psychiatrist. Looking dead inside, Jae-hyun admits that the medication is helping the mood swings. The session is interrupted when Young-joo enters the office, and Jae-hyun spins around at her voice. With a Cheshire smile, she holds her hand out to him, and he considers it.

Back at the manhole, the streetlight shines brightly as Pil and Soo-jin run up. At one minute to midnight, the two clasp hands and close their eyes, cringing against any potential rainbow lights. But midnight once again comes and goes with not even a burp from the manhole.

They both sigh in relief, then Pil laments that he can’t live with the constant worrying. Soo-jin stomps on the manhole and wonders if they should just block it up, but Pil answers that he has a better idea.

Reaching into his pocket, Pil lowers to one knee and pulls out a ring box. Opening the box to reveal a diamond ring, Pil asks Soo-jin to let him always stay by her side, no matter what time or place they’re in. (Awww!)

Soo-jin looks moved for a moment, then yanks him up and tells him to be “specific, clear, and precise” so she can understand. She starts to rant that she needs fours words, or even just three, but Pil cuts her off: “I love you.”

He says it quickly the first time to get it passed his nerves, then repeats it again, slower. Soo-jin is shocked into silence, so Pil adds on the four words she wanted, “Will you marry me?”

Stunned that he actually said it, Soo-jin holds out her hand and jokingly tells him to put the ring on her finger before she changes her mind. Pil returns to one knee, sliding the engagement ring onto the finger of the woman he’s loved for twenty-eight years.

Pil stands up and Soo-jin pulls him in for a kiss. As they embrace, the streetlight flickers above them, giving a final farewell to its time-traveling duo.

Two years later.

The gang is at Soo-jin’s studio and gathered around Pil as he holds a baby boy on his lap. Soo-jin snaps pictures while everyone marvels over how good Pil is with babies. Then, Jin-sook and Seok-tae arrive, and it turns out that they are the baby’s parents.

When Pil turns the baby over to them, Gu-gil remarks that Pil should take care of any children he and Soo-jin have. Pil immediately turns to Soo-jin and offers, “You just give birth to a baby. I’ll handle the childcare.” Pffft.

Dal-soo calls everyone to come take more pictures, and Soo-jin sets the camera to automatic before jumping in to join Pil in the photo. As the friends pose, we zoom out to see that someone else is watching the happy couple: It’s the aliens!!

The bug-eyed and black-robed extraterrestrials observe the group from their spaceship, one of them asking if Pil is the guy who used their wormhole. Another answers that he gave himself the impossible task of trying to make his unrequited love come true.

The aliens marvel that love is really so important to these humans and find it interesting that Pil succeeded in his mission. They wonder if they should take their wormhole back now, but ultimately, they decide that they should leave it so they can study this “love” phenomenon some more.

An alien asks if there is another suitable candidate, and their spaceship screen zooms in on… Gu-gil. Uh-oh.

Later, at five minutes to midnight, Gu-gil is alone at his pool hall. He calls Jung-ae to ask if she wants to get food together, but Jung-ae snaps that she’s meeting Dal-soo and hangs up. Gu-gil pouts miserably and turns to put away a pool cue, but suddenly fades away.

Over at the manhole, the telltale street light flashes, and we hear the aliens laughing as the manhole belches once more. Now, it is hapless Gu-gil bellowing as he slides down the manhole water slide.

Cut to: Pil and Soo-jin as they walk hand in hand and reminisce over how it’s been a year since they married. Soo-jin hopes that since they haven’t been summoned, maybe the manhole no longer works.

Suddenly, there’s an almighty bellow, and they both flinch to see Gu-gil barreling down. He runs up and frantically rants that everyone else thinks he’s crazy, but they’ll believe him, right?

Dropping to a whisper, Gu-gil says that every night at midnight, he travels back and forth through time.

Gu-gil starts listing how he’s been back to high school and kindergarten, but his friends both start to smile as he keeps raving. Laughing as Gu-gil insists that he’s telling the truth, Pil and Soo-jin both point at him and exclaim, “Manhole!?”

 
COMMENTS

You know, I can hardly believe it I’m saying this, but I actually liked the ending. I mean, I really enjoyed it. I know, believe me, no one is more shocked, but it was like everything the show was missing got shoved into this final hour. Admittedly, it was not a perfect episode, and there are still a few lingering questions regarding the rules of time travel that will forever remain a mystery. Still, this was way more than I was expecting, considering I went into this episode with the same level of excitement as Soo-jin during her second walk down the aisle.

My main concern was how they were going to return Pil to 2017 without losing everything that happened in 2018. I honestly had no idea how they were going to pull it off (especially since the manhole was now blocked again), and I absolutely love their solution: bring Soo-jin back with him. Granted, this means that future Soo-jin will now forevermore be stuck one year behind her actual timeline, but I can live with that.

Pil’s ability to travel through time had originated with his sincere wish to be able to tell Soo-jin his feelings. So there’s a kind of symmetry when Soo-jin’s love confession to him opens the manhole and takes her back. Then, with them both stuck on either side of time, their mutual love and Pil’s promise to never leave her was strong enough to pull him through to her. No, it’s not a flawless solution, and I’m sure if I poked around I’d find more holes in the theory than Swiss cheese, but for some reason it felt right, and that’s enough for me.

I was worried about what with happen with Sir Crazy if only Pil and Soo-jin remember what happened, except it turns out that it doesn’t really matter if no one else knows about Jae-hyun’s psycho tendencies. By going back, Jae-hyun never started using his serial beatings of innocents as an outlet for the rage he suppressed during marriage. So while he wasn’t punished, he didn’t actually commit the crimes either. I’m a little concerned that he and Crazypants will get back together, but maybe Young-joo was right when she told Soo-jin that only she could handle Jae-hyun. I’m just going to hope that they can focus their particular brands of crazy at each other rather than innocent civilians, and leave it at that.

My other worry when watching the last episode was how Manhole planned to wrap up our confusing Jung-ae, Dal-soo, and Gu-gil triangle. I was yet again surprised at their simple answer, which was essentially to not wrap it up. Sending Gu-gil through the manhole is brilliant, since it now sheds a whole new light on their past exchanges. Before, it was just a confusing mash of mixed signals and constant confusion as to why we even had this subplot.

Now, however, it’s the perfect backdrop for another manhole excursion, this time with Pil and Soo-jin there to give Gu-gil some pointers. Admittedly it’s not a completely satisfying conclusion, since instead of answering our remaining questions about these pesky aliens and their manhole, it sidesteps them entirely by implying that adventure continues with Gu-gil, and he’ll have to find the answers himself.

But while I still don’t have my answers, I’m just so taken with how clever the show was to find an ending that didn’t need to answer the questions that I don’t even care. After the subpar plotlines and constantly inconsistent characters, this crafty finale is a lot like getting outsmarted by a little kid: You can’t get mad because they are right, and you’re so shocked that you can only tell them “Good job,” while wondering what the heck just happened.

I may be in the minority regarding the ending (and it’s entirely possible that I’m subconsciously trying to convince myself that I like it as a way to justify sitting through the last fifteen hours of the show), but right or wrong, I ended the last scene smiling, which is far more than I had hoped for. So farewell, Pil. It’s been… an interesting ride, and I hope you and Soo-jin find the happy ever after that you worked so hard for. But maybe stay away from manholes for a while longer – you know, just in case.

 
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It's over everyone! Take a sigh of relief! Let's hope KBS won't have to beat a dead horse next time.

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i may have been the only person that actually LIKED this show. but it was a guilty pleasure and a great way to turn my brain off and just go with the mess.

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Honestly, though, I'm with you. I too enjoyed the show and didn't find it less entertaining though my only complain is making a Jae-Hyun an obvious villain. That makes it black and white. I'd much prefer a gray and gray morality where we can't help but wonder if Pil is doing the right thing for his oneitis.

Despite that though, I still enjoyed the show and everyone actually acted pretty good and I like the special effects and the weird plots; the ghost plot, the gangster plot and I think we should've gotten more of the weird plots. Too bad with just 16 episodes, they couldn't really do much weird plots. But hey the show was still good in my book

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I kinda liked it too, especially the ending. Not that it was a great show, but I've finished worse (Blood, Doctor Stranger), and I've dropped many much worse (Or at least I hope/assume they were much worse -- I'd feel dumb if a show I dropped turned out good, except that I'd never know).

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I liked this show very much, especially if you compare it with Operation Proposal. I hated OP, where hero was always rejected as I remember for not being good enough.
Here Soo-jin invested fully in caring and fighting for Pil in some episodes and in the end. Or may be I just love Uee more??
On the other side Pil really run to much!!!

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Kudos to the tenacity & perseverance of the recapping team @candidclown and @chickachunga to finish this series till the end without being lost in the Manhole! ;)

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It was a close call...

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Uee Please Eat Something Now...

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Manhole is FINALLY OVER!!!!!! Whew

I really wish jaejoong oppa's next project will be better than Manhole.

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Cute show - even while being annoying at times. But, OMG, poor gaunt Uee's stick arms and legs bothered me and distracted me SO much that I could never forget it was Uee. And to think the camera adds ten pounds, yikes! Whenever Pil grabbed her arm I thought it would snap right off. I'm not someone who minds thinness, but this actually looked scary and it makes me worried for her.

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Like the line from the guest comedian on Johnny Carson many years ago...
"The camera adds ten pounds"
"Stop eating cameras!"

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or the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. reference...
"The camera adds ten pounds!"
"Then how many cameras were on you?"

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Yes, she looked better when she was younger and not so thin.
In Berdie Buddy she was even named Steam Bun for her cheeks, the same in Angel, you are beautiful (she was bad heroine there, but I liked her and hated main hero).
In Hogu Love she also didn't look so thin and looked better.

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I actually laughed at myself for watching this drama until the end. 😂 I lost hope (I think) at ep10, but I continued it anyway but most of the time, I shut my mind completely to ever question why the characters in this drama did what they did. It's a mess until the end, but Jaejoong is too handsome for me to resist (fangirl for 10years). This drama managed to make me feel like a fool as I feel betrayed that Pil's time travel to the past actually meant nothing, really. If the only way to make Soo Jin to believe Pil is for the present Soo Jin to see beyond future through manhole, then why bother making Pil went back to past as if altering the past could alter the present timeline. And what happened to Dal Soo being chaebol? All of sudden, it's irrelevant? 🤔 One thing I know for sure, I'll definitely avoid this writer again in the future. Geez, I thought Ruler's writer is bad enough, can't believe I watched the worst drama in the year -- thanks to Jaejoong.

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Dal Soo refused to marry, and so his family presumably cannot press him. May be crazy Koreans thing that you need parents approval for marriage?? It is about 1/5 content in average doramas, and in some doramas main theme (first version of something about 1%)

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Hahaha! You have watched not just the worst drama of the year but the worst drama in the history of dramas since the ratings system began 20 years back!! Talk about a record! 😂 :-P
@headsno2 mentions it in her drama ratings post.. buyout the good news is that you aren't alone!

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Thanks! that idea of avoiding the writer's next project, i need it *sigh*

(the casts have done well, but the story become so messy on the last eps)

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Thus episode was definitely the best and I was very satisfied with the ending. I actually don't understand why the ratings were as bad as they were. There have been other shows I've watched that were worse. I always found myself engaged and the episodes flew by as i watched. I did find myself screaming at characters when they did stupid things, like Soo Jin getting in the car with jae Hyun after deciding she couldn't be with Pil because he always got hurt trying to save her (when the obvious solution was to be with him so he didn't need to save her). I thought the first few trips through the manhole made the most sense logically - Pil beats up church oppa becomes a gangster, Pil saves Soo Jin from the fire becomes a spirit in a coma. I never saw the connection that put Pil on the road to marrying Jin Sook. I'm assuming that in the real timeline Jae Hyun did stalk Soo Jin and follow her to England and I'd like to know what made him fixate on her to do that. I did enjoy seeing various aspects of our characters during the different timelines. In my mind each character carries all those potential histories with them whether they happened or not.

The scenes in Ep. 16 where Soo Jin and Pil were anxious every midnight that the manhole would tear them apart were very fun. When Pil confessed at the manhole even I was frustrated with his words that kept beating around the bush. I was so glad Soo Jin stopped him and cheered when he finally said I love you.

All and all, Manhole gave me hours of escape and I'm happy I watched. I am a JYJ fan so I was predisposed to enjoy the drama and to support my faves. I enjoyed watching the other actors too and thought Baro did very well. He started out as a character I didn't like at all and ended up as one I did. In both his case and Pil's love made them better people.

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I feel after first few episodes, I could have just skipped to the last few. the entire plot was so confusing and useless. I really hope Jaejoong gets better projects in future.

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No, you're not the only one who loves the ending.
My whole opinion is exactly the same as you.
The whole reasoning for previous episodes don't matter anymore.
I just keep grinning and happy to see the couple.
I don't regret my time watching this drama.
It's worth it!
New Jaejoong's fan here because of this drama.

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1: Finally, the couple who were truly fated to be together from the begining ended up together. No, not them, I mean the crazy stalker couple. Think of the children.

2: Be careful, Gu-gil! Don't do anything in the past to undermine Pil & Soo-jin.

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sigh...
Oh well, better luck next time.

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Ha, so the little aliens appeared again. I somehow wouldn't be surprised if you said they did a little song and dance at the end.

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I wished Soo-jin was a bit more determined not to marry a psycho...I mean if Pil didn't show up was she seriously going to say yes? I guess it's better to marry a psycho than be single??

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I noticed that too. I would continue to find Pil in some time line but I would not go through the wedding no matter what. I don't get why she had to wait for Pil to stop the wedding.

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True, haha. I kept thinking, why are you even walking down the aisle!? The characters were rather dense.

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@candidclown Thank you so much for this final recap, and it echoes my feelings toward the episode and the show on a whole exactly! I sort of lost my appetite for the show around ep.13 because I found it exasperating that the story shifted its focus to crazy Jae-hyun, as if it was saying that Soo-jin could have been perfectly happy with him had he not been a nut job in secret. But the finale somehow made everything alright, when we realized that through his time traveling experience, Pil is no longer the Pil at the beginning who single-mindedly wanted to have Soo-jin for himself no matter what, that he just needed her to be happy (in other words, he would've let her go had he not become convinced that Jae-hyun was the culprit).
Plot holes aside, the last episode simply made me happy with all of its positive energy, as our dear "family" members might be a group of flawed, simple and goofy people who aren't particularly brilliant in any aspect, but their simplicity and sincerity toward each other warms my heart and brings a smile to my face.
I've been through countless shows with much, much better written plots than Manhole, but surprisingly I haven't liked many finales as much as I like Manhole's. All is well when it ends well, I guess?

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I actually wish more well-written shows had finales more like this one!

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I honestly didn’t think the show is as bad as people are making it out to be, like it was a torture to finish. Cuz although there may have been a ton of flaws, it was overall still entertaining to me for the most part. Definitely lots of things could’ve been answered, or done better but definitely not torturous like somebody of you are making it sound like....

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I really enjoyed ep. 1-6 and 14-16, esp. ep. 16.
What happened in the middle I'll just skip over because it all reset anyway. ;) When they stopped putting the dates/times on the titles I should have known.
The finale episode at least persuaded me that the beginning and ending at least would have convinced decent actors that it was a good show. I feel like that was the setup the writer wanted all along. The problem was that they kind of forget to lay the proper character groundwork for it. I feel like the characters developed through time travel, which then all got erased, instead of Pil discovering what was already there through the time travels.
All in all, though I enjoyed it when I turned off my brain. The actors did a decent job and I liked the feel of it.

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I really liked this show; it was fun and I never knew quite where it was going. BTW, I think Jae-Hyun had already been assaulting ppl as the ex told Soo-Jin he had a criminal record for assault...so that sounds like it was before JH married SJ. Loved the ending, a fun fantasy ride!

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This show was mostly terrible and did a disservice to the actors; but I'll try not to harp on that. Best not to dwell in the past haha. Yet, there were a few memorable moments.

The episode where Phil was in the comma was truly touching. One of my favorite moments was the scene where his parents were considering taking him off life support. It was unexpectedly moving.

This last episode did an amazing job of bringing everything together and wrapping up the story line in a satisfactory way.
My only minor change would be to keep Dal-soo at his family's business but have him go down the manhole instead of Gu-Gil, so he could see the consequences of his actions. He was after all quite lonely in the future.

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Anybody here knows the exact location of the lookout spot of Pil? The place they usually visit and the secret place when they were just kids?

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Think JJ posted it on his IG jj_1986_jj

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May I ask where is the park in South Korea and the lookout point where the characters go?

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I kind of enjoyed the appearance of the Aliens. Non Koreans enjoying a Drama?, they are kind of our avatars! ;) .

I am sad to read this Drama was so clueless. The last one I saw from start to finish was Goblin. After Warm and Cozy it has become more and more difficult for me to stick to one show. Is there a good one you could recommend me?.

Thanks in advance!!!.

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What kind of genres do you like?

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If you like Goblin you might like Decendents of the Sun. It's by the same writter. It has the same grand production value. I haven't seen it myself but I hear it's similar in that it has memorable characters and an awesome romance. Like the goblin, I hear it's a little light on plot and character depth though.
You From Another ⭐️ Star- I have seen and it's very good. It was also very popular and has the same kind of quality in terms of production value. The chemistry between the leads is sparkling and the story is also very good. It's one of my favorites.
If you like action/thriller
City Hunter
Thriller/Romance/ awesomeness/best ever
Healer
Best ever legal thriller
Forest of secrets
Mystery/romance
Pinocchio
I hear you're a voice
Slice of life/ mystery
This week my wife will have an affair
Age of Youth 1&2 (the latter being better so far)
Slice of life/family/romance
Reply 1997, 1988

If you want to try jdramas I recommend
Pride- drama/romance
We married as a job- Quirky comedy/ romance

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Best friends to lovers
Two Outs in the 9th Inning

Fluffy and Fun rom-com
1% of something (2016)
Weightlifting Fairy

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try Circle and My Love From another Star (You Who Came from the star).

While you were sleeping was also good.

My list for fantasy kdrama:
- Goblin
- You Who Came From The Star
- Nine
- While You Were Sleeping
- Circle
- Another Miss Oh (Another Oh Hae Young)
- W
- Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
- Oh My Ghostess!
- Bride of Habaek

romcom kdrama:
- Reply 1988 (even this one looks oldies, it's a great kdrama)
- Suspicious Partner
- Temperature of Love
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

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how could I forget Circle.

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I am with you. I exactly enjoyed the ending as well as all the other episodes. A drama is just a visual fiction which you can appreciate and touched with your own eyes by watching instead of just reading. As far as the audience could be inspired of something, follow the journey of the characters and feel touched by many of the scenes, the drama is a great success already. Why bother so much logics. Timeslip itself is no logics thing itself. I found Manhole is very entertaining, bringing me experience all kinds of emotion, fun, sad, heartbroken, joy, sweet etc and etc. I am particularly impressed by the passion and persistence of Bong Pil in pursuing his love, and he did it eventually. The only regret I have about this drama is that: how come it would have such a low audience rate in South Korea. It's really discouraging despite the actors' effort, especially the gorgeous acting skill of Jaejoong. He gives so much 'life' to the character of Bong Pil. So well done, Manhole team and Kim Jaejoong! I hope the drama and his acting skill would be rewarded someway by professional judgement in the drama industry in South Korea, instead of just judging by the audience rate!

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Most people watch online nowadays . . If ifans do it why koreans arent ahead . . They had better speed on it

And its being said that its has higher rates on something i forgot . . Also sold higher that DOTs . . So not everything comes down to ratings nowadays

Read few things that stucks with me today . . In line with the comments made . . Bout how the actor kinda blindsided when choosing a script . . Either by start-to-end script as mentioned above . . Or cause of the colourfulness of the character that the actor wanna develop so it didnt bored us to death as viewers to be presented by anything thats just fits the success formula of a drama to be likeable

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I'm with you on Manhole's finale. The people behind the show did really well wrapping the story up. I just wish that they did as well with the earlier episodes. They had an interesting premise and the quirky characters were a treat to watch!

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Nice.

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the last episode was honestly better than the whole show put together

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Hmm..I liked this show until 10th ep. I started to doubt it when they make Jae-Hyun a villain. Because, it presented the BiG spoiler that means "Whatever Bong Pil's character development, he'll get the girl, since his rival is a bad guy. The End", and I lost my excitement watching it, dragged my self to watch it until 15th ep

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Jaejoongie looked so good with that bloody lip. I'd like him to be a vampire next. In Joseon, in Seoul, wherever. As long as he's with a likable cast, this show proved to me that I'll watch no matter how bad.

Spy I couldn't get through because of the female lead. Ugh.

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woah our 8 week roller coaster time travel love story ended...actually this is really a great drama very unpredictable, in my case I"ve been banging my head like what the hell will happen in the next episode, its like too hard to guess...its really mind blowing, frustrating and stressful all at the same time...but all in all this is the best finale I've ever watch in a kdrama its not rush the timing is good and kind of answering all the hanging question, and i guess 16 ep. was enough for the drama....LOVE THE ENDING AND REALLY LOVE THIS DRAMA...MANHOLE THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET.

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Why did she walk down the aisle? If Pil hadn't run in, would she have married the psycho stalker again? Does that make sense to anybody?
No matter what else happened in this episode, I couldn't get get over that.

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I lost hope at 6 so yeah you are much better drama fan than me XD

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I don’t know if anyone is still reading this in 2018. But I just finished the show. I actually decided not to watch last year because of the hairstyle Pil wore in the teasers! Well I’m not a large fan of Korean dramas & when I saw that frizzy hairstyle I thought it’s one of those stupid goofy series & decided against watching it. This year I thought I wanted to watch some Jaejoong (I’m an old fan of him actually) & It was much much better than I expected (& Pil had that hairstyle in only one episode haha). This show was actually really good in my opinion specially the ghost episode (Gawd I cried a lot at that).
I think the idea of traveling back through time was to see if Sujin was marrying someone eles because of something Pil had done & If Pil could stop the wedding by changing something he had done in the past (or hadn’t done).But as we see it never worked out & whenever he changed something he thought was the reason he could not marry Sujin, It just drove them apart more & caused some serious troubles. Then he found out Sujin loved him too & maybe the only reason was that he hadn’t confessed his love to her. But then again that didn’t work either because Sujin was going to hide her feeling for Pil due to Jinsook’s love for Pil. So now should Pil pity Jinsook & accept her love? In one of his time travels we see the result & that’s another No! It’s not gonna work again. Then there is Jaehyun. Pil finds out he doesn’t want to be selfish unlike before which the only thing he cared for was to marry Sujin. now he only wants Sujin to be happy. So should he just walk away? He finds out Jaehyun is a dangerous guy & he should stop the marriage for the sake of Sujin this time. Sujin too can finally trust Pil & there comes the happy ending.
So for those people who think the manhole rules are not clear: guys! This is a fiction, this is not about rules. In a fiction you can make a gorilla fly & talk if you want to. This is not about physics rules or whatever. The aliens can do whatever they want.
As I mentioned this drama really surprised me & I really enjoyed watching it. The actors/actresses did really well , the ending was great & I found myself giggling like crazy at the scene SuPil where jumping around at the news of Pil passing the police exam & not to mention Jaejoong looks really pretty throughout the sereis :).
Of course there are questions too. Like what happened to Sujin’s decision of staying away from Pil in order to not causing him anymore trouble. Or why wasn’t Sujin stopping the marriage before Pil showed up. Or why in the world Pil didn’t think before he act every time? (Should Jeahyun tell you to behave like an adult man?) but I think these are not that huge to have that really low rating for this show. They deserved more, much much more.

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