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Hwayugi: Episode 20 (Final)

I know that our monsters in Hwayugi didn’t go on a pilgrimage like they did in Journey to the West, but it still felt like quite the journey, full of misadventures, great tales, and a couple of wrong turns. We’re finally at the end of the road and it’s time to put Monkey’s love to the test once and for all. Can the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven actually go up against heaven and live up to his name, or will Fate get the last laugh?

 
FINAL EPISODE RECAP

Oh-gong’s body lies prone in Patriarch’s glass room, surrounded by heaven’s minions. In voiceover, Mawang narrates as if telling a children’s fable: Long ago, a monkey was born so powerful and bad-tempered that he caused trouble everywhere he went, and in an effort to placate him, heaven made him into an immortal. The monkey named himself Great Sage, Equal to Heaven.

Mawang is telling this story to Han-joo’s kids, who ask if Monkey is living happily ever after in heaven now, but he says that Monkey was punished after he stole a staff to put out a great flame that the people begged him to protect them from.

The children think it’s unfair that he was locked up for so long when he was trying to save people, but Mawang says it’s because Monkey wasn’t doing it for humanity, and never truly loved humans. Mawang continues that Monkey was freed from his prison and suffered a cruel pain as his punishment, and is now alone.

As he tells the story, we see glimpses of Oh-gong, who is alive but hardly living. He looks weary and defeated as he sits in his garden, staring off into space.

Mawang asks the kids if they don’t want to see the monkey, which of course they do, so he sends them to Oh-gong’s house via elevator portal in the hopes that they’ll coax him out of there. He even tasks them with retrieving the shiny gold bracelet on the monkey’s wrist in exchange for all the toys they want.

The children tiptoe into the garden and jump in fright at the sight of Oh-gong, who barks at them to get out. Do they not recognize each other? He used to babysit them!

Oh-gong is cold and harsh as he shoos them away, but when one child drops a toy dinosaur, it gives him a sudden flashback to the day he first met little Sun-mi, and he clutches his heart in pain.

The boy asks if he’s okay, and Oh-gong asks if they know each other. Wait, does he have amnesia?

Mawang tells Patriarch that when Oh-gong’s body was broken, his memory was shattered into pieces as well, and now whenever a fragment of his memory returns, it sends a shooting pain to his heart. He says that Oh-gong refuses to take one step out of his house.

Patriarch wonders why, when Sun-mi is no longer in this world and he has no memory of her. He asks if Oh-gong is still wearing the bracelet, and Mawang says the bracelet seems to still have hold of his heart. He explains that the bracelet is what saved Oh-gong when he battled the dragon, protecting his heart when it should have shattered like the rest of him. Ah. So it saved his life.

That’s what Patriarch finds odd, since according to heaven’s plan, the bracelet should have disappeared when Sun-mi died. Mawang just scoffs that heaven knows nothing and nothing goes according to its plan anyway.

Patriarch says that Sun-mi only had one request when she took on her heavenly calling—she’d asked him to keep Oh-gong away from her because she refused to let him be the one to kill her. Mawang says that the two of them broke their deadly fate by sacrificing themselves to save the other. But… she still died?

Oh-gong is due to return to heaven now that his punishment is over, but Patriarch worries what’ll happen if he takes Oh-gong up there in his current state. He says he came up with an idea to remove the bracelet, but he doesn’t know if it’ll fly: He requested that Sun-mi be allowed to return from the afterlife for just one day, to remove the bracelet.

With his liquor ban lifted, Oh-gong drinks and drinks and drinks in his cellar, though even that reminds him of little moments with Sun-mi, not that he recognizes the memories or understands why they make his heart hurt.

He begins to hear Sun-mi’s voice calling his name, and finally realizes that he’s not imagining it. He heads out to the garden, where she’s waiting for him on the bridge with a sad smile… but Oh-gong doesn’t recognize her.

He goes up to her and sees that she’s not human, while Sun-mi looks down at his wrist and wonders why the bracelet is still there. She says lightly that his personality seems to have gotten worse, and tells him that she’s the one who put that bracelet on him and she’s here to remove it.

But Mawang tells Secretary Ma that there’s something heaven and Sun-mi don’t know—that once Oh-gong chose to put that bracelet back on, he became its master, not her. Mawang kept that little tidbit to himself since they never would’ve let Sun-mi come back if they’d known, and he’s hoping that seeing her will help Oh-gong piece together his memory. But they only have one day.

Sun-mi moves closer to remove the bracelet, but Oh-gong swipes her hand away, refusing to let her near it. He says that his heart is in pain and this bracelet is the only thing allowing him to survive, but she says he’s got it backwards because the bracelet is what’s causing the pain. He asks what happened after she put the bracelet on him, and she says that something miraculous happened—she fell in love with him.

The other monsters share a drink at Frosty’s bar and wonder if Sun-mi will be able to bring back Oh-gong’s memory in just one day. PK says that Oh-gong’s temper has gotten so bad that he tried to remove the bracelet once and almost ended up roasted pig. Frosty worries that getting his memories back will be worse for Oh-gong because of the pain that’ll come with them.

The monsters are all startled when Alice walks into the bar, back to her old self after Dragon Prince left her body. She doesn’t remember anything from the time she was possessed, and PK says that their dating scandal happened because he was following her around, but she didn’t like him.

Alice takes out her phone and asks about a picture on it, and PK looks heartbroken when he sees a group picture of them with Buja and Summer Fairy. He remembers the night they’d taken it, and muses sadly that he’s the only one left. Aw.

But it turns out that Buja is still around—or rather, Priestess in Buja’s body, which is now rotting away without a connection to Sun-mi. She’s sleeping in subway tunnels where other homeless people avoid her because she smells so bad.

Priestess notices a newspaper with Kang Dae-sung on the front page, announcing his fall from grace in a massive corruption scandal. It finally dawns on her that she really was a demon all along, and she wishes that someone would just burn her so that she could die.

Unsurprisingly, Kang Dae-sung’s supporters turn on him and give his assistant a surreptitious nod while he isn’t looking. That night, he drinks himself into a stupor and rails at Priestess’s coffin for leading him astray, muttering that he should’ve dropped it in the ocean as planned.

He eventually passes out, and when he wakes up, he’s bound and gagged inside Priestess’s coffin. Wow, that’s karma for ya. His assistant orders his henchmen to drop it in the middle of the ocean, while Kang Dae-sung screams and writhes inside to no avail.

Oh-gong returns to drinking and seems skeptical that Sun-mi fell in love with him and chased him around like crazy, and that he allowed himself to be trapped by a bracelet. He asks what she did, and she lies that she ran around declaring her love and calling him handsome, and he says that she has no pride. Ha.

She swears that she’s the one who activated the bracelet, so she controls it, and Oh-gong tells her to go ahead and try activating it again so that he can tell if she’s lying. Sun-mi doesn’t hesitate to lean in and kiss him, and though he looks shocked at the kiss, he decides that she’s lying because it did nothing to the bracelet.

But the kiss does trigger a memory of a past kiss, and that sends another shooting pain to his heart. It brings Sun-mi to tears to see him hurting, which she points out is a sign that she’s telling the truth. She begs him to come outside so that she can prove it.

Sun-mi worries that one day isn’t enough time, and clutches the pendant around her neck. It contains a star that Patriarch plucked from the sky to allow her a day in the living world. Meanwhile, Oh-gong has another flashback to a time when he’d complained about Sun-mi holding him captive with that bracelet, which makes him think that maybe she isn’t lying.

When Mawang comes home, he nearly bursts into tears at the sight of Oh-gong’s coat draped over his bull statue. He runs inside to find Oh-gong casually hanging out after a bath, and Mawang can barely contain his emotional reaction.

Oh-gong doesn’t remember having lived here but he does agree that it feels familiar. Mawang welcomes him with open arms and urges him to listen to Sun-mi, and to recover his memories so that he can remove his bracelet.

Sun-mi visits her old office, sad to see that Han-joo is closing the business in her absence. She clutches the necklace to make herself invisible when he comes in, only to accidentally make herself visible when she knocks a bottle over.

He panics, thinking that he’s seen her ghost, and tries to make himself faint because he’s so scared. He knocks himself in the head repeatedly until he finally faints, and Sun-mi whispers that she’s sorry.

When Han-joo wakes up the next morning still in the office, he thinks he’s still hallucinating to see Mawang sitting across from him. Mawang says he’s here to take care of Sun-mi’s estate, and tells him that she left the building and the business to Han-joo, with the wish that he’d continue to live a good life and cry happily at his daughter’s wedding someday.

He bursts into tears and Sun-mi smiles as she watches him from outside. Mawang gets sentimental and pretends to have something in his eye, and he and Secretary Ma notice unseasonable flower petals falling from the sky on their way out. He wonders if it’s a sign from his beloved that she’s reincarnated as flowers in this lifetime.

Oh-gong looks around Sun-mi’s empty apartment and begins to remember a few of their early encounters, which matches the story that Sun-mi told him. She joins him there and he notes that he treated her rather badly, not that he feels sorry about it or anything, but he wants to know why it still hurts—that’s the part he can’t figure out.

She says that she doesn’t have much time, and he sees from her star necklace that she has a day, which he thinks is short for someone who claims to have loved him so much. She says she did love him and even put a star in the sky for him, which he thinks is odd since she wouldn’t have the power to do that.

He still won’t let her near the bracelet and declares that a day is very long, and orders her to lead the way to lunch since he has no memory of the foods he likes. In keeping with her opposite theme, Sun-mi takes him to eat ddukbokki, insisting that he loves it. He looks skeptical and declares that if he doesn’t like it, he’s going to make ddukbokki disappear from the earth altogether.

She panics, but he doesn’t find it half bad, though he’s more confused by the fact that he likes being with her. He wonders if maybe he feels sorry towards her for something.

Mawang stops by the General Store looking for Grandma, and the grandson offers to trade phone numbers with Mawang and call him when she comes back. He notices the kid eating mushroom porridge, his favorite food, and they even know of the same restaurant that makes the best in the city.

Mawang goes to put his number in the kid’s phone and pauses when he sees that the wallpaper is a shot of the falling stars from the night he’d taken Iron Fan’s punishment in her place. The grandson says that Grandma insisted that he go outside that night and bow to the stars.

He notes that Mawang must’ve seen the flower petals falling today too, pointing to a few petals stuck to the back of Mawang’s phone. As he starts describing the sudden shower of blossoms, Mawang is struck with a strange feeling… Is it recognition?

Mawang asks the boy’s name, and he answers, “Hong Hae-ah.” Mawang is overcome with emotion and he looks like he might burst into tears. He returns to his office to ask the portrait of Iron Fan if their child’s name is Hong Hae-ah. But he remembers Patriarch warning him that the moment his son is found, he’ll be hunted by heaven because he shouldn’t be alive.

PK hears his stylists mentioning a rotting smell and finds Priestess huddled in a corner waiting for him, and he’s shocked at how bad she looks. She asks if he’ll steal some energy balls for her to eat, and when he readily agrees, she calls him stupid.

He says it’s not for her, so Priestess asks, “Then for her sake, will you burn me?”

PK looks stricken but he agrees and takes her to a cemetery. He conjures up a mystical blue fire in his hand and hesitates, so Priestess tells him that Buja was gone before she became a demon, and she’s the only one left in this body.

He says he knows, but he still can’t bring himself to light her on fire or look her in the eyes. Priestess gives him one last message from Buja: “I liked you,” and then presses his hand to her heart.

The blue fire engulfs her and she looks up at him gratefully before disappearing into ashes, leaving PK alone with his tears.

Patriarch worries that Sun-mi will run out of time, and Secretary Ma thinks it’s a shame that she’ll never get to hear how Oh-gong really feels about her. Mawang says there’s still a chance that she will, and refuses to tell Patriarch the details because he’s been hiding stuff from them.

Mawang asks him to answer one question—whether Iron Fan was reincarnated as a flower—and Patriarch pretends to stretch while making a big O with his arms. Happy, Mawang in turn tells Patriarch that Oh-gong can remove the bracelet himself if he just pieces together his memories.

Sun-mi buys Oh-gong cotton candy to try and relive their happy memories, but he complains when she describes every single one of their past dates as having ended with demon hunting. It does send a flood of memories coming back to him at once, though now he’s convinced she used him just to catch demons.

She said he protected her, because they made a contract that he’d come to her side whenever she was scared or struggling or in danger. She thinks that’s enough proof that she’s the master of the bracelet, but he still won’t let her take it off.

Sun-mi worries that remembering any more will make things worse, claiming that she’d be embarrassed because she loved him enough to hang a star for him. But that triggers a memory of watching her watching the stars, and soon Oh-gong remembers confessing his love over and over and telling her that he chooses to be with her.

He calls her out for lying to him and snaps his fingers, and a shower of star candies falls from the sky into her lap. “I think the one who loved enough to hang a star in the sky… is me,” he says.

Sun-mi insists that his love was caused by the bracelet and isn’t real, so once she removes it, his pain will cease. He tells her to go ahead and remove it then, and finally offers up his wrist.

But when she tries to pull the bracelet off, it glows but stays put, refusing to budge. He asks angrily if she knows what she’s talking about: “Are you sure that my pain is because of feelings created by this thing?” She confesses that she never knew his true feelings and just believed that his love would disappear when the bracelet came off. He says that she failed and tells her to go back, and disappears before her eyes.

Mawang sees that Oh-gong is still wearing the bracelet and says he hasn’t recovered enough of his memories, but Oh-gong says angrily that he remembered being happy with Sun-mi and feeling sorry, but all he feels right now is pain.

Mawang: “Of course you feel pain. It can’t not be painful. She’s dead.” He urges Oh-gong to recover those memories and not run away when he’s so close to the end.

Oh-gong walks through his garden lost in thought, and begins to remember the sword he hid in the rock, and what Sun-mi had said about feeling sadder for the one who’d be left behind. He stops in front of the spot where he’d held her as she died in his arms, and it finally comes back to him. Awash in tears, he breathes out, “Jin Sun-mi.”

PK wonders if Sun-mi will have to return to the afterlife never having heard Oh-gong’s true feelings for her, but Frosty tells him that she did confirm his feelings once, very briefly on a cold night. He’s thinking of the night he froze the bracelet for her, and she’s standing at the same spot thinking of the same.

She whirls around to find Oh-gong behind her, and she’s surprised when he calls out her name. He tells her that he remembers everything, including the last thing she said to him—that she was relieved that his love would disappear once she was gone.

He says that he kept something from her, and holds his wrist out. To her shock, he pulls the bracelet right off and it disappears in his hand. He begs her to ask him anything she wants, and so with tears in her eyes, she asks, “Am I still pretty to you?”

He answers, “Yes, you’re pretty. Because I love you.” Kyaaaa. He walks over to her and pulls her into his arms, and she sheds happy tears as she says, “Nothing disappeared. I love you.”

It’s only a moment before Sun-mi remembers that she has to return and leave him alone again, but Oh-gong refuses to send her back like this and tells her to close her eyes. He says he has something to give her and presses his forehead to hers.

When she opens her eyes, her right eye glows red, and he says that he’s given her one of his eyes so that he can find her anywhere. “I will find you. No matter where you are or how you’ve changed, I will recognize you. Remember my name. I will find you,” he says.

She promises to wait and never to forget his name, and they stare into each other’s eyes lovingly as her time runs out and she vanishes.

Sometime later, Han-joo is hard at work trying to fill Sun-mi’s shoes and goes to see a haunted property armed with Sun-mi’s yellow umbrella. The ghosts laugh at him because he can’t see them, but they back away when he swings the umbrella around.

He ends up wandering into Frosty’s bar, and Frosty says that this isn’t a place that just anyone can find, noting that the umbrella must be how he found it. Han-joo says it belonged to his boss, who was surrounded by people so impressive that he wonders if maybe she wasn’t human. Frosty suggests the reverse, that the people around her were monsters, which makes Han-joo drink to shake off the scary notion.

Mawang bought up Kang Dae-sung’s cursed land and tells Oh-gong about his plans to build a hotel there, which Oh-gong thinks is a bad idea because demons are bound to be drawn here. Mawang says that’s the whole point, because then he can amass points faster by catching more demons.

Oh-gong laughs and acknowledges his uncanny business sense, but refuses to live there with him. Mawang insists that he’ll build him a giant bathtub and give him three parking spaces, ha.

Mawang wonders how they got swept up in Sam-jang’s fate, and Oh-gong says with a smile that however they were sucked in, he’s happy to be standing here with Mawang now. Mawang says that Oh-gong is responsible for chasing the darkness and bringing the light back to this world, and calls him a little impressive.

Oh-gong knows that Mawang loves him and tells him not to miss him too much. He says he has to be on his way because someone is waiting for him, and Mawang agrees that they each have their own paths to walk. Oh-gong turns to him and says, “Mawang, let’s meet again in the middle of our paths,” and they both smile warmly.

Secretary Ma alerts Mawang to his son peddling magical trinkets in the street again, and he shows up to put a stop to it. Hae-ah grumbles and wonders why Mawang is chasing him and not demons.

Mawang offers him a job at his new hotel cleaning toilets, which he doesn’t like at all. He offers to buy the boy some porridge instead, and they bicker the whole way about what he’s allowed to order.

Mawang asks whom he takes after, and Hae-ah says Grandma told him he looks like his father. Mawang: “Your father must be very handsome.” They scratch their backs in exactly the same way as they walk, like carbon copies.

When he gets home that day, Mawang is saddened to see that Oh-gong’s monkey statue is gone, and CEO Sa tells him that Oh-gong packed up for a trip. Mawang guesses it must be a long journey if he packed his statue, and CEO Sa says that he went to the afterlife to find Sun-mi and bring her back.

Mawang’s face goes from shock to amusement, and he chuckles as he thinks of what havoc Oh-gong will wreak on the afterlife.

Oh-gong drives toward the ocean with his magical Mary Poppins suitcase in the back, and he narrates in voiceover, “Wait for me. Whenever you’re struggling or scared or in danger, call my name and I’ll run to you and protect you. Because I love you.”

 
COMMENTS

Er? I mean, it was kind of an upbeat ending, but it doesn’t exactly feel happy because Sun-mi is still dead and Oh-gong is still alone. They had a whole hour in which to fix that problem, but instead of using all of the mystical plot devices at their disposal to bring Sun-mi back to life and give her immortality like she deserved, they gave her ONE DAY to revive Oh-gong’s memory? The whole episode felt like a really long epilogue where nothing fundamentally changed. Would it have killed them to just wave a magic wand and bring her back as an immortal? Or to have her new monkey eyeball give her the power to stay in the land of the living?

I do leave the series firmly believing that Oh-gong will turn the netherworld upside down to retrieve Sun-mi, no question about it. But I would’ve liked to see it with my own eyes and actually get a sense of closure about them sticking it to the gods and subverting that deadly fate. Because you can’t actually say they defied the death bell if one of them is still dead! Hello! I thought the whole point was that Monkey was such a rebel that he’d always find a way to circumvent heaven and make his own rules, but instead of changing heaven’s paradigm, he just mucked up their plans a little.

I don’t know about you, but I’m disappointed in Monkey’s uncharacteristic obedience to the laws of heaven and earth. I thought he’d do something radical in the finale to make up for Sun-mi’s death in the last episode (which by the way, missed its emotional target by a mile when they didn’t have her possessed by the dragon and killed by Oh-gong, WTF, thanks for nothing). I feel like Episode 20 was an interlude and the real action is all set to go down in Episode 21: The Eye of the Afterlife… except there is no Episode 21.

I didn’t mind the amnesia, even though it didn’t feel particularly clever, but at least we got emotional payoff when Oh-gong remembered his love and finally told Sun-mi the truth about the bracelet. I just expected a bigger reward from the heavens for saving the whole goddamn world from destruction than a star necklace with a 24-hour expiration date. And then I thought that Oh-gong would just keep pulling stars from the sky and filling her necklace to keep her there for one more day, and another day, until infinity, but that didn’t happen either.

I’m complaining, but it wasn’t a complete disaster of a finale, because it didn’t go against its own story logic or give characters sudden lobotomies—everything was in keeping with the rest of the series and we got sendoffs for most of the major relationships in the show. I even think the promise of what’s to come in our characters’ futures is in line with how I want the story to end. Wouldn’t it be nice to be shown that ending instead of told to imagine it, though? The only ending I thought was satisfying was Mawang finding his son, and having to protect him at a distance without revealing who he is—perfectly bittersweet because there’s story logic to back it up.

As a whole, Hwayugi was a clever adaptation that spun a fanciful world full of monsters and magic into a believable contemporary fantasy drama. The world felt full and the mythology was layered, thanks to the wealth of its source material in Journey to the West. And the casting was so spot-on that it took very little to buy into the fiction whole hog. There’s so much to like about the drama, which is why I’m disappointed that the series didn’t really deliver on its own doomsday plot to satisfaction, with weeks spent building up to one dragon battle, which consisted of swinging a sword at it a few times from a distance (seriously, he couldn’t have made contact like, once?). I blame the director for that.

I loved the ingenious use of the bracelet to bind Monkey with love as a twist on the contract relationship trope, and how it ceased to have a hold over him the moment his love became real. The trajectory of his character was satisfying to watch, as he went from selfish trickster to an actual hero and learned how to love for the first time in his life. I wish the heroine had gotten the same treatment, because in comparison she really got the short end of the stick, what with the static character arc and the death. The one upside I can find is that Oh-gong isn’t planning to wait around for a century till Sun-mi gets reincarnated, and is planning an afterlife jailbreak instead. He’ll probably burn the afterlife to the ground in order to save her and they’ll have to spend another lifetime with him living out some form of punishment, but at least they’ll be together. It’s a breadcrumb, but right now I’ll take that breadcrumb. It’s all I have! Don’t take it away from me!

 
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WTF show?! I spent almost 25+ hours on this show and I get NO CLOSURE?!

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Thanks for the recap. I can't believe the director couldn't show us a cut of JSM with SOG in the last frame to show that he was successful and end it with an voiceover of him asking if she likes (immortality)peaches and magic pills. I am so dissatisfied and disappointed with the ending. We spent
so many hours watching the show loyally and being emotionally vested in it and they tell us that he went to get her back instead of SHOWING it, cleverly? And what exactly did SOG mean by "However you change I will recognise you?"

Arrrggghhh, show. WTF.

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They teased us with wedding over and over and yet we get nothing. They teased us with a baby that looks exactly like SOG (For sure JSM-SOG's future baby) and we get NOTHING! How are we supposed to get closure with such a shitty ending?!

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I just realized the connection when you mentioned about the baby! That's why the great egret told that it wasn't the baby's time to be born yet and how the baby looked like Oh-gong! Now I felt more awful about the ending T^T.

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Ah, yes. Immortality peaches. And that final cut could maybe show a glimpse of heaven in smoldering ruins.

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maybe we'll get a movie version of Hwayugi: Hell's Version. with better CGI and maybe a new female lead :p

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Yes to both of those. While I did enjoy the series (I refuse to watch the last episode) I would have loved it with a different lead actress.

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Pretty sure you will still complain cause the monk character is reserved and the plot and story arc is still the same with no character development or room to manouver or play with lol. I did like your suggestion on who to play the monk. Cause i thk the performance will still be the same if the character is written like how the hong sisters did with it with 0 room for development and always left hanging.

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I dunno about the rest of the peeps here, but i'm pretty fine with OYS playing the female lead in this series. Among LSG's dramas, I think he only had great chemistry with SMA and OYS.

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"However you change I will recognise you" was stolen from "I am not a Robot".

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uhh whats that supposed to mean.. ive read about dozens of novels with that same line.. and watched shows with that same line...

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I think the “however you change i will recognize you” line means that He will find and recognize JSM in her next life or reincarnation no matter how she has changed

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May be the writer wanted a sequel or second part to make, so the ending was wage. 'My thoughts'

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I actually wondered this myself.

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I must said it’s really a CRAPPY ENDING..

My advice to those people who just started to watch it, please, please, please just watch it until episode 18 and bed scenes in episode 19. Then stop! Welcome..

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duly noted ;)

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Its exatly what I did, I was just curious and came here to read about the baby and the end of those two.
I stopped after the bed scene feeling happy and full only with that. we should write your comment everywere. We want badass and lovely ending!

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I agree with you

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Like the ending to Goblin, I couldn't really see a happy ending coming for these two.. I mean, she was mortal anyways.. As much as I disliked how they ended the show, I feel better knowing that Oh Gong is currently tearing apart the afterlife looking for Sunmi...Even if I didn't get to see it...
At least in Goblin we got to see them reconnect.. something like that would've been so welcome here.. but alas.. It wasn't to be T_T

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well ive read on youtube that SOG has the power to extend life..so he could literally make her live for 1000 years..maybe thats why he wasnt really worried about her aging part.. and ugh at least goblin provided closure..this ending is a happy ending compared to goblin (cuz we know hes gonna make her immortal).. it just wouldve been better if we actually SAW the ending instead of imagining it..

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I ended up reading recaps for all the even episodes because I couldn't be bothered to wait for subs. This included the finale. I feel happy I didn't waste those 12 hours now.

Buja, Secretary Ma's earrings, and Sexy Lee Seung Gi are the only memories I want from this drama.

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Never thought I'd feel so empty like Sam Jang by this ending, only left filled with Lee Seung Gi awesomeness as our resident monkey...

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Wasn't JSM supposed to have taken ASN's power? How could she even have died? Everyone else survived! The whole Amnesia thing was ridiculous! Did his mind fragment because he lost his love? That's the only thing that would make sense and not because he fought the black dragon since winter general was perfectly fine. And where the heck was his younger brother that was supposed to have been keeping guard when he went to speak to Patriarch? He wasn't there when JSM arrived to have been able to save her, doesn't make sense how he disappeared and no mention of that!

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I am so glad that I only read the recaps! And, yet I am still disappointed. Why can't Dramaland seem to end fantasy shows satisfactorily?!

Son Oh-Gong is an epic hero. We got that, even if his battle to save earth was the most lackluster thing ever. His love is epic, too, although I feel like he loved a cardboard cutout of a person. The writers robbed Sunmi of any real personality. She didn't have to be powerful, but couldn't she have had at least the agency of knowledge and discussion of important things with Son Oh-gong? Sigh.

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agreeeeeeeeee..so devastated.feel gloomy for the ending

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Heartbroken, is all I will say. 😭😭Haven’t seen the two episodes yet. And this time, it’s not just ‘cos of the subs. (I am beginning to see why the subbers did not treat this as a priority. THEY knew!)

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That is so right on the money. I won't say everything I 'really' want to say about this drama. I'll just boil it down: The Hong Sisters went 'Big' with this drama.

This drama had sooo much potential (like Big did) and it just never came through. Plus it left us with such an open ended ending (again, like Big). I hate to say this, but I think the Hong Sisters writing are now kinda 'old school'. Not that it was the writing alone that didn't deliver. The directing was seriously lacking here too. *sigh*

I will say that Mawang is my Scarecrow in this drama, because I will miss him the most.

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Gosh I loved this drama so much and now I'm contemplating whether I want to continue watching (I'm currently on episode 13) or drop it. I have never wanted to cry watching a drama I love turned into a mess like this before. What to do with my poor heart? Why do you have to pull Big again dear writernims?????????

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WATCH IT>.. the 18 and 19 are a let down but its a great series.. watch it .. even though the ending was like this..once u get over the disappointment its actually an awesome drama.. specially for fans of high fantasy genre..

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Maybe like how OG erased his memories of SM's death, I should erase my memories of having watched this last episode. Yup, E18 is the last episode for me.

This Chinese classic is one of my biggest childhood favs, (news of this adaptation made me SO happy, because childhood fav + k-drama sounded great on paper) but the writers went ahead and ended it on such a bitter note. I'm not so much upset about the open ending, but rather how the episode was executed. It's like the last episode was just one huge filler, and not only because we didn't get the closed happy ending that we wanted. But you know what? Maybe this is just the upset rant of a fan. The writers probably know better than me, right? In any case, below are 10 reasons why I'm upset.

1) So SM was given one measly day (and only because the useless gods needed her to help)... and we had to spend all 90 minutes just watching SM insisting she had to remove the GGG + non-stop flashbacks for OG to remember and FINALLY declare his love to be real? What a waste of airtime. What about the human who had betrayed OG? We don’t get an explanation as to whether he ever got over it, or what happened at all.

2) She asked the gods to hold OG so that their death fate could be broken, but ANYWAY he killed the dragon without needing her to be a vessel. If they had a death fate only because Samjang was born to be a vessel to contain evil and be killed by her guardian, then by that logic, if OG could kill that evil without using Samjang, then there was no death fate to begin with. In fact, isn't that what Granny said? That he could change fate because he had broken the GGG's power on his own? They gave us hope that the battle would not go as planned, but SM died for no reason at all.

3) The reveal at the last minute that he actually, really loved her. But how did that matter anymore? It'd just make her even more sad about leaving. When her eye glowed red, my heart jumped. I thought they were going to invent some corny, ridiculous reason like him transferring part of his energy to her and her becoming a demon or something so she could stay. I was going to accept it no matter what. But nope, still dead.

4) ASN's easy death. If she had been supposed to be a "villain", then perhaps they should have made her... more evil? Instead we got a priestess who wanted desperately to call up a dragon (for no reason other than the fact that she could), and who in the end realized, sadly, that she was evil. She didn't want to be evil, the poor thing. So she decided to end her existence (because anyway she was rotting). What?

5) All this points-racking, and MW is still not a deity? So Iron Fan got reincarnated as a flower... will MW ever see her again? Is this the end? For what purpose is he still collecting points then?

6) What was the point of the baby the white heron sent? Some method to pacify fans and delude us into thinking that they had a future? A loose thread that never got...

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6) What was the point of the baby the white heron sent? Some method to pacify fans and delude us into thinking that they had a future? A loose thread that never got answered?

7) I get it, SM is human and has to die sooner or later. But so what even if OG looks for her in Hell? She's still dead, and... there's still no explanation about a happy ending. Is he going to live in Hell forever? Is he going to change her fate in the book of death like the original Sun Wu Kong in the Chinese classic? It's like the writers were too lazy to even come up with a stupid reason for them to have a happy ending.

8) At the end of the day... nobody is happy except Mawang. PK is sad because Dragon Prince died for him and BJ was long gone from the moment ASN possessed her, and he had to burn her body. Heck, BJ never got to see her mum. Frosty lost his sister. Han-joo's left to deal with haunted buildings on his own and will probably run Hanbit to the ground. Maybe we should change the name to "A Korean Tragedy".

9) The Heavens put this bracelet on the Great Sage, and made him fall in love and run around protecting SJ, even killing the dragon, and at the end there was nothing else they could do? What do they exist for, other than to provide business to stores selling white clothes?

10) Maybe if OG had told her straight out that he really loved her she wouldn't have sacrificed herself? SM has always said, the one left behind would be sadder. So if she (the one who truly loved OG) died, and he (who didn't truly love her) was left behind and the GGG disappeared, everything would be good. That was her view. Clearly, OG thought differently. Does this whole ending boil down to terrible communication and a bad choice made by our monkey?

What was the point of it all in the end? What was the ending the writers wanted? To rid the world of an evil black dragon that was defeated in 10 seconds? To have the mighty Great Sage humbled by the love of a human? Is this Scarlet Heart all over again? Somebody tell me.

Actually y’know what? I have more questions. Like what was the point of OG playing mysterious chaebol? Did it change anything? I mean, we got to see LSG in his spiffy suits, but did it make an actual difference to the show?

After Goblin, and now Hwayugi... I feel like I'm swearing off all fantasy genre k-dramas forever. You've wrecked enough grief in my heart, Hwayugi. //overandout.

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"Does this whole ending boil down to terrible communication and a bad choice made by our monkey?" This is just sad.
The heavens are a weard bunch. Shouldn't there be rewards ofter great acts on their behalf? But no, JSM gets one day (not even in her favor, she can't even eat ttokbokki and gave one lousy kiss), SOG can drink his chestpain away.
No.2 is the best kind of logic.
Do we need to remind the production team that story should be told not suggested? I want to see things, not make them up on my own.

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I didn't mind episode 20 too much (because episode 19 lowered my expectations), but I was seriously upset that there was no reward for Sunmi, after leading her to die so meaninglessly. Like you said, the one day wasn't even for her. They brought her back to work for them to free SOG. If it were me and I discovered that this was how it turned out, I would have been pissed and just used my free day to influence SOG to turn against heaven.

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Well, Sun-mi is a dummy in love. At least she didn't end up being virgin ghost.

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"Like what was the point of OG playing mysterious chaebol?"
to get PPL moolah to give us the third-rate dragon CGI

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They sure integrated a lot of Mercedes-Benz moments, I don't know where that money went.

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I'm agree with you smh.. the one that make me even more disappointed that its not a pre-produced drama.. whats the point having a bad CG, producing while the drama airing when the writers aint even listening to the viewers? the viewers ask only for happy ending , but they give us a huge slap by giving a last eps that doesn't even taste like a last eps smh

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I'm with you . The ending has more loopholes than Patriarch's "excuses" and I don't think we'll get an answer for 1-10.

Goblin was the example of how to do a bittersweet fantasy melo right. Hwayugi had all the ingredients as Goblin but the Hong cooks screwed the execution. I'm "fine" with tragedy (even though I prefer happy endings) if it serves a purpose, but this was just unjustified melodrama.

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"Does this whole ending boil down to terrible communication and a bad choice made by our monkey?"
Yes.
Even more: Maybe if he had let her use the sword which was originally intended to fight the dragon perhaps she hadn't died so defenseless. How is it possible to allow a stupid evil human to alter the tragic fate of a chosen one? What if SOG hadn't been able to release himself? This was plain stupid.

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#8 so sad for buJa!! She didn't even repossess her body and see her mum. From the moment ASN appeared buJa never came back!

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I SO AGREE WITH YOU. T___T :(

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"and we had to spend all 90 minutes just watching SM insisting she had to remove the GGG"

if i were SM i'd go "i'm here to take the GGG off but if you're so against it, i'm sure we can think of something else to take off *winkwinknudgenudge*"
i'm sure a whole day in bed with SM can cure him like no other ;)

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Oh, I like your version much better. I’m sure that would have cured him much faster than deokbokki. 😉

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Thank you! #2 is so true! And so are the other points! I'm so pissed about how poorly the last two eps were executed. It was a big WTF throughout.
So many teases of a happy ending and this is all they gave us? The writers were certainly thinking of ways to piss off their viewers.

And why is SJ in hell? Is it cuz she didn't fulfill her duty to contain the dragon? Shouldn't she at least get rewarded for fighting off demons? So heaven just tossed her aside once shes useless... ? They totally ruined OYS's SJ character.

What a waste of a strong opening of the drama and a great cast... finishing this series feeling deflated...

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Ah, the Chinese concept of life after death is different from the Western one. The gods live in heaven and all that that, but departed souls all go to Hell/the Underworld. There they are judged for all their sins, and go to the different levels of hell for punishment. Those who are worthy of reincarnation drink the tea and move onto their next life (as per Goblin’s storyline).

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I see what you mean. I was praying that it doesnt end like Goblin's with the whole reincarnation stuff. The show revolved too much around SOG all of the sudden, everyone around him became a stepping stone for his character development...

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So true af we never get to see the human who betrayed OG,does ironfan hv a happy ending,what even mawang cant tell his child that he is the father and there is no accuracy that OG and sunmi will hv a happy endind,what a rushed drama??the finale is a total disapointment😈😈

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I dont understand why you all keep saying the human who betrayed son oh gong. Mawang has told the story to the kids, the human who betrayed him is his worshiper. they only remember him for a while and forget about him afterward. after what he did being locked up 500 years, and they worship him only a while.

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So someone please tell me why dragon prince was in this drama for so long? And also buja’s mom. Felt like they didn’t contribute much to the overall plot. Was very sure dragon prince was going to hand SOG a weapon like in the novel to defeat the dragon but no??? His character had so much potential. And regarding ASN, why would she try to kill SJ if she was going to die together with Sj? Since her blood revived bujas body.

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It's like at least 2 whole episodes could have been scratched without the right ending .

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whay was everything ever was in this drama?
if you cut out the love story part, this drama is all about a bunch of people sitting around doing nothing and talking about nothing

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Felt the dragon prince's role is absolutely unnecessary. He didn't add anything to the story. Begin to feel they kept him cuz of the actress BORA. To bring ratings?

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Dragon prince stayed to help put out PK's fire when ASN left him burning.
ASN didn't want to kill Samjang, but swap places with her and keeping her in a dream-state. So Samjang's blood will persist.

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Not a great ending.

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It was one of the more disappointing endings in terms of recent dramas. Now HEA for anyone. MW can't even officially acknowledge his (probable) son. PK had to burn Asanyo (who basically said Buja had died when she took over). Into Dragon Prince is dead. And OG and Sun Mi are separated. Can you blame the outraged fans? If this is the Hong sisters' or producer's idea of dangling a sequel, it's a bad move. Pissing off half your fan base is never a good bait for second season..

Seriously, I'm going to ignore the last two episodes and only remember the good parts and the humour. Not the draggy plodding of the finale and not the ?? of the last two episodes.

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i think we're all pretty much in agreement that the past 18 episodes should be remembered and wtf to the last 2 eps seriousllllyyyy i really expected so much more from the endings. I really thought OG would stick it to the heavens and that we'd actually SEE him fight for JSM or bring her back to life and not just be left to think of the possibility you know? :(

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I don’t know about you, but I’m disappointed in Monkey’s uncharacteristic obedience to the laws of heaven and earth.

Me, too. The Sun Wukong of my childhood was an unrepentant, mischievous, hell-raising brat of a hero who did everything he could to go against the heavens. I half expected him to refuse to let her go, to do something to the star necklace, just... ANYTHING at all. I feel like this did no justice to the hero of my childhood, and while I KNOW that he is on his way to hell to get her, I wouldn't mind being shown him striding in and smashing everything in his path to find her. I don't like being told to imagine it via the exposition fairy. (I'd much rather read a book in that case).

Only Mawang got a satisfactory ending in this show, which gives me even less closure because heck, this is the bull who screwed up quite a lot of things with love as an excuse. All he got was temporary blindness, and a newfound son. Are the heavens biased or what?

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Even him crossing the treshold of underworld would have made me more happy. I challenge the integrity of your character and love, monkey!

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This would’ve made me happy

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Exactly. What, the road to hell is through driving into the sunset? I never knew the gates to the Underworld were that cheery.

At least SHOW him doing something about it. He looked like he was gunning off to a resort to enjoy life. If I wanted to imagine an ending rather than be shown one, I'd write my own dramas and read them myself.

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A bunch of useless demons.

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It was an aesthetically pleasing final shot and SOG's confidence and cheeryness was reassuring, but....like what route and exit would you take to the Underworld? Is it on the Jeju island from Warm and Cozy in the restaurant run by the unlikable male lead?

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More like the haunted Kingdom mall.

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I do leave the series firmly believing that Oh-gong will turn the netherworld upside down to retrieve Sun-mi

He’ll probably burn the afterlife to the ground in order to save her

If he's anything like the Monkey in the book he sure will. But would it kill them to show us? Just a few seconds....

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I agree that he sure will, and the ending was in that direction... but still!! - Did they run out of time due to live shooting? So they can't do even bad CG for underworld in some cave and only can rehash old material (flashbacks) for 1/2 an ep?

Seriously i need amnesia to erase this ending from my mind

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In order to show us tat meaning cost will be involved to create a netherworld scenes!! Knew they will not be screening that but instead replaced with a Merz advertisement. Damn Crap ending!!!

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I actually hoped that for at least a few seconds they could do a reprise of the scene where SOG burns the film world as he carries JSM in his arms except this time, it's the afterlife he's burning and he's rescuing JSM. But no, I guess we can't have nice things.

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That would have been nice ending ~ maybe them walking hand in hand through the flames or something with that smirk on his face

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" this is the bull who screwed up quite a lot of things with love as an excuse"
heck he was so ready to betray SOG even in the final ep if not for Sec Ma being her usual flawless self

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ikr he should have just following sunmi to the afterworld and meet the whoever God there so he can flipped everything ask for sunmi life back.. so she could have comeback as a demon or goddess or anything idc as long as they could be together

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With the amount of dithering in the second half. It could have be interesting if they sped things up and "killed off" SM around the 2/3rds point...making the audience go like "whoa, what's next?!!!!" and then had SOG journey to the underworld to retrieve her. But with lack of time and money and imagination, it wasn't a realistic endeavor.

MW definitely got away with too much! I think if he wasn't played by CSW, it would have made some narrative sense to kill him off when he absorbed Iron Fan's punishment. But if he wasn't played by CSW, he may not have been as fun to watch.

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I was thinking the same, they should have fought the dragon and SM died in episode 16 or something, and put the rest of the show into SOG wrecking the plans of heaven

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Thank you for recap! A roller coaster ride is only fun when done with other people. And so we have reached the end of the ride.

I really enjoyed the first 18 episodes . Great plot and creative twist from the original story. Cast were awesome for me as well. Overall, I would give it an 8.

That last episode though. If I wanted to watch a bunch of flashbacks then I would have just watched the previous episodes. Felt like the writers got lazy in the end. The laziest way was used to tie loose endings, to kill said characters, *slow clap. Honestly very insulting. Writers think we're going to eat up whatever they serve.

On to the ending of our OTP, apparently theres this place Netherworld and monkey will go there to fetch Sun Mi, after that who knows. This ending doesn't feel like an ending at all. Felt more like a prelude for a season 2 or something. I really hate open endings as it doesn't provide closure for me.

Let's all pretend our monkey met with Sun Mi in the Netherworld and he took her away, never to be reincarnated. Thats a kind of immortality too I guess. Maybe add a few adventures here and there and she gets to finally be a deity.

Sigh. I don't know what they were thinking, sticking with a weak ending.

Still, despite the many misses, it was a fun ride. Bonus is me blushing (which I haven't done in a while) because of the awesome chemistry of the OTP + LSG bare shoulder. I've seen him topless. But wrapped with blankets and just hints of skin is really something else. *blushing again.

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Waking up in bed with the GGG on and dragging a pillow over to lean on is also really something else. *rawr*

I agree, if I'd wanted to watch flashbacks, I'd have just rewatched the previous episodes (which, I actually have, 2-3 times over). I didn't need all that just to remind me that OG's love was actually real, because it has been real for a very long while now.

I really enjoyed all first 18 episodes and have been recommending it to my friends non-stop, but with this ending? This puts Hwayugi nowhere near my "favourites" list, which really conflicts me because I loved the start and the twists so much.

I really hated how he said "however you change, I will find you" because that opens up all the paths to reincarnation. That wherever she is, and in whatever lifetime, he will find her and protect her. But that's not how I want our couple to go?

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I know exactly what you mean!! I;ve been telling my friends to jump on this bus for the longest time but now....I just wish they could've tied it up with a more solid conclusion.

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He has the sexiest collarbone 😊
Yup, that's where I start rewriting, after this scene.

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I like to think he’ll get her out before reincarnation. He is the Great Sage (one hopes).

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But she will still be a ghost. This ending was sooo lazy I can't.

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Maybe she will become an immortal monster as a punishment for running away from the afterlife 😂

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I would be fine with that. Can she?

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I think they really did run out of time to film. There was news on Feb. 23 that the writing was done, and that they were planning to film up to Mar. 3 (which was the airing date of the 19th episode). I suspect the Hong sisters wrote the amnesia-themed last episode to include flashbacks so that they would actually have a full hour to broadcast on the 4th. I've been suspecting that the tight schedule has been driving the writing - so lots of sit down scenes, lots of 2-3 person scenes even though you have a whole ensemble, and writing falling apart.

This was a drama that seriously needed to be preproduced.

I wouldn't have minded reincarnation, but I'm feeling oddly confident that SOG will find her before she becomes reincarnated. I'm sure someone will try to reincarnate her and then be like "whoa, what the heck is with her eye? We need to stop the reincarnation and check this out first". Then boom! SOG shows up!

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nice happy little thoughts..just what i need right now ..

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Does anyone actually want to see season 2 of this? 20 episodes should have been just right to wrap up this story. With all these lost opportunities, I certainly wouldn’t trust the writers with another episode.

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LSG and the bracelet had better chemistry than OTP lol
Crappy ending with full of fillers. It dragged and dragged.
Now tell me how can I recover 20 hours of my life :(

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Wtf Hong sisters? This ending was not good at all, I didn't expect this from Hong sisters at all! Most of their endings had been relatively good! What!!

The only person who got a "happy ending" was Mawang!! I kind of wish Hong Hae Ah knew Mawang was his father though.

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And so it all ended, him dashing into the sunset to get his happy ending (off screen). Yawn.
I wanted to lament more but @girlfriday wrote everything (thank you).
I am no longer mad about it, it just feels like Oh-gong was more angry and hurt when Sun-mi got possesed then when she died. Wth, I'll rewrite the battle in my head, burry KDS the exact same way and have the Great Sage start a riot in the underworld myself.

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oh YES definitely. I didn't think about it until I saw your comment, but OG was so much angrier and ready to kill somebody (ASN) when SM got possessed. As compared to when she died? He just let her go and cried. The OG we all know... the one who smashed Patriarch's table... he doesn't stand for such crap.

I've sort of given closure to myself in my own head, but I can't help feeling disappointed about it.

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Or better, no underworld, I'll let him beat the crap out of heavens and make them reward Sun-mi with immortality. That is the way I want them - together forever.

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Basically he was more angry and desperate when ASN took over JSM because he couldn't find her or bring her back, unless she called for him.

When JSM died though he knew where she was and how to twist the heavens arm to get her back. If not for the stupid amnesia, he would have gotten her back in a few hours instead of being in pain for days. By my estimate(From MW change of clothes), JSM had been dead for at least 4-5 days..maybe a week at the most.

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Ok, this is probably true.

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The impression Mawang gave me was that she'd been dead for a while though. I mean especially with the whole story-telling, OG being annoyed that Mawang kept sending things in, the heavens being worried, etc... it felt like they were worried about it because Monkey was holing himself up for way too long.

Anyway, it's been a week and I finally brought myself to watch the subbed version because I wanted some closure, and I understand your point, he knows he can get her back, which is probably why he wasn't as pissed but... I still don't really like the amnesia route. It felt like a waste of 90 minutes. That said, after my initial disappointment, the ending was not as bad as I'd thought.

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Not really...from the state of LHJ packing up JSM's business, I am pretty sure it was just 4-5 days..maximum a week. We know for sure that MW sent PK to him to remove the GGG but after SOG almost killed the pig, everyone maintained their distance(as per their conversation at the bar). That's why MW sent the kids hoping they would be successful.

I totally agree about the stupid amnesia. And unlike you I still think the ending is pretty bad and disappointing and a slap on the fans faces. Would it have KILLED the stupid writers to give them a happy ever after? The only reason I can come up with is that since the show was picked up by Netflix, Season 2 is a possibility and so left many plot threads open for the future..including the OTP's love story. IF S2 ever comes up, I just hope they cast LSG and OYS as SOG and JSM again or the lovestory will be jarring and unsatisfactory to watch.

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@bookwormgirl85 I feel like it's SO rare for K-dramas to even have a S2, which is why viewers are so disappointed in the ending. Probably because most of us know it's not likely (plus, I saw some news that LSG gets paid something like 100,000 dollars per episode??) especially with the star-studded cast.

Yeah I don't know why I got the impression that it was quite a while already, because apart from the LHJ scene it really felt like a lot of time had passed to me LOL.

I do still think the ending is bad, just maybe... not deserving of all the vitriol I hurled at it. 😂 Like, I still don't get the purpose of SM dying (it all boiled down to a lack of communication between the 2, argh), or even why ONLY Mawang had a decent ending, or WHY all the female characters except for Secretary Ma died... and there are still tons of things I'm not satisfied with BUT

I'll say that Hong sisters are masters at wrecking tears. Like when PK looked at the photo and said he was the only one left? Sigh. My heart pretty much broke.

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@lezah You are right. It is very rare for a Season 2 for a Kdrama. But its not an impossibility anymore, so let's see. I am not hoping for it because I would rather take the open ending and be sure SOG broke out JSM than have Season2 change the actors if LSG-OYS are unavailable or reject S2 but it is a possibility that S2 may have been planned. I can't come up with any other reason for all the plot threads the show kept open. These writers never do that.

The end result of the show was supposed to be everyone attaining nirvana and becoming deities. Other than SOG no one else did that and there's a possibility that SOG will be punished once again for wrecking havoc in the underworld and breaking out JSM.

I thought the same that a long time must have passed but logically, it couldn't have. LHJ's loss was too keen and raw still, if more than a week had passed, LHJ's pain would have dulled and turned into a quiet acceptance. Besides, I doubt heavens would have let SOG lock himself away for more than a week. Also if it had been more than a week, there was also a chance that JSM's soul would have gone through a change and been reincarnated.

You are being kind. I still think the ending deserved all the vitriol and more. They basically led us on by giving us hope with talks of wedding, refuting the death bell fate and the baby. I feel played with and cheated.

Don't remind me...LHJ crying for his CEO made me bawl my eyes out. :( He was such a sweet marshmallow.

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I think he was less angry because he had a new resolve, he felt less hopeless? She’s dead now, what’s the worst that the heavens could do. You know what I mean?

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The biggest issue I have is that
He literally burned a whole movie world up in flames just to save SM who'd died in that world. (Yes, movie world, but MW and Secretary Ma made it sound extremely heroic, and I'll roll with that)
Then he literally thought of any and EVERY way to save her from eternal sleep. He almost destroyed SM's bar, and he would have killed Frosty, too. He even wanted to rip ASN to shreds.
Then he decided to step out into the human world just for a chance to save SM's life (err I still don't understand the point of this plot but whatever). He was willing to sacrifice his own life for hers.

And at the end... they give him amnesia, and then they make him send her off saying that he will find her? It's just... it's just not in his character.

I guess I'm just disappointed. We all are :(

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So very true. This whole thing is so nonsensical I can't even be properly angry about it!

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I think that Seunggi himself was flummoxed by the ending. In a recent interview at the end of the drama, he said that he was rather frustrated and felt bittersweet about it. But since he had given his best, he had no regrets.

I too have been writing my own alternative ending,

But to cheer everyone up, this is Oh Gong's sexy dance with Octopus Prince.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlXoVj-Rcbc
And this is one of him showing off his abs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8q4-5l9M4Q

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Sorry, the word he used was 'regretful', not frustrated. That was my word!

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Hmmm, was that how you interpret it?

In the article, it was mentioned that LSG remarked "I feel regretful and bittersweet [about the drama ending]". My interpretation is that he meant that he felt regretful and bittersweet about the drama coming to an end and not his thoughts on how the story ended.

I guess may have to see the orig korean sentences used for the context then to confirm what he really meant..

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Why would he feel "regretful" about drama coming to an end unless he truly mean't about how it ended....that's how am taking it!

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You sure know the way to make me feel better.

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You're welcome!!!

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Thank you ~ this does help 🤗

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OK let me just get a few things out before I explode.

How did Oh-gong get to his house from the protected glass case??
How is Frosty still alive didn't he die?

Ma-wang is such a sentimental bull lmao crying about Oh-gong returning home and for Han-Joo as well.
All it took was MA-wang asking his son his name to figure out it was his son, why on earth didn't this happen like 10 episodes ago?? But their scenes were still cute. One of the only satisfying parts of the finale.

OK NOW, WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK WAS THIS @WRITERS @DIRECTOR @SHOW??????? WHAT TYPE OF OPEN ASSED ENDING IS THIS?? THERE ARE SO MANY BLOODY QUESTIONS UNANSWERED WHAT IS HAPPENING.
I mean I knew when it was Hong sisters that we might not get a closure for every storyline, but these plot holes were just way too excessive to overlook!!! This is one of the most disappointing drama endings I've seen in a while smh. I (and the rest of the viewers) did not spend 20+ hours of our life watching this show to be so hugely disappointed omg. I'm pissed off right now. This was literally like a filler episode!! It gave like 40% closure and the rest of it was bull!!

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I was so confused I actually thought there was an extension...or a season 2? Wth? My first reaction was literally.. "HUH?!" Gahhhhddd so disappointed :(

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Right?! Like you'd think they left it an open ending because there's gonna be a season two or something but we know that's not the case!! Smh so much story potential down the drain

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Yeah! my first thought when i finished the ep was "uh so there's gonna be a season 2 right???"

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This reminds me of a gif-a guy throwing everything off his office table with "Fuck this!". Is that what happened to the ending?

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That's exactly what happened. Don't watch the ending lmao

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I shared a little rant about the writers above, but I also wonder how much of this hugely unsatisfying wrap up was also because of production issues. Just got reminded of its rather inauspicious beginning.

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Who knows. Maybe they'll comment on it later.

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Just do what I’m doing, remember why you loved the show and ignore the last 2 eps

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Urghh I wish I had done that hahaha.

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I just needed to see and process it. Now I can move on. Eventually.

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what is so wrong to have a happy ending in fantasy drama? why did kdrama and cdrama writer are so adamant giving open ending or bittersweet ending to viewers? IT IS A FANTASY in the first place! no need to be so damn realistic and said there will no happy ending forever and ever.

and Hong Sisters, PLEASE DO LOVE YOUR FEMALE LEAD TOO. come to 2018 please. dont treat them like a plot device to make your heroes stand out more than they already have.

monkey king, i love you. that's all. i do hope you take that Giant writer new drama after all.

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They don't need to love them (if they don't want to) but some respect would be nice.

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Or don't cast them at all; just do all male!

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@egads sent me this link about how western ideas of endings are very different to East Asian endings and it’s based on culture. They don’t necessary always have ‘happy endings’, or any kind of resolution. Often they create aesthetic endings, much like what we saw in Hwayugi. I’m not forgiving the writing at all, it needs work and the ending felt rushed, but I am beginning to understand the ending and resent it less. It’s the start of OGs journey to find his girl. One journey ends and another begins. I saw the ending last night and have been so upset about it but am better after reading this article. I get it a bit more.

https://lithub.com/our-fairy-tales-ourselves-storytelling-from-east-to-west/

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Thanks, I'll get to it later, now I have to go work.
I've seen a lot of shows so I don't really mind no resolutions. But this show built up our expectations so high and the delivered total anticlimax.

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I’m with you there but I feel a little hopeful of the upcoming journey now, we jsut don’t get to see it which sucks

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@mollyp, @egads,

Thanks for passing along that link. Between it and your comments here, I can see that Oh-gong's "real" journey has just begun. I also think that there's more than an little kishoutenketsu in this drama's way of relating the story. That may be another reason why it feels unsatisfying, especially to those of us more familiar with three-act storytelling.

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Probably because we just felt they had been so hard done by, in particular JSM, that they deserved happiness. And the whole drama was so full of sweet moments and adorability, and they just took it away from us.

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I feel like the Hong sisters used to love their female leads a lot. Chunhyang was smart and strong. Yoorin was so cheeky and outshined everyone. Anna Jo also outshined the male lead in Fantasy Couple. They all had great catchphrases, "mind your own business", "you'll be blessed", and the arrogant "look at you..." Hong Gil Dong was the central character, but we also got to see Yi-nok grow into a rebel on team Hong Gil Dong. Her character held her own in the story and stood by him as a partner, rather than a shadow. In MGIAG, the story was really about Miho's journey. Sure LSG was the male lead, but Shin Mina/Miho was clearly the most memorable.

Things changed after Greatest Love. I love that drama, but admittedly CSW's male lead got more of the love, though the female lead was strong in her own pragmatic way. Big: story focused on Gong Yoo's character. Master's Sun: I enjoyed this one too, but Joong-won's trauma took over in the last half and he had the more fun catchphrase. I did not finish Warm and Cozy because I disliked how the male lead was written.

Man, Hwayugi really forked over our ladies - SM, BJ, and Summer Fairy. It imbued them with a good foundation and then threw manure on them. Maybe I'm blowing it out of proportion since the Water Dragon was really a guy, but the female body count feels uncomfortably high - especially if you count BJ and ASN separately? Just hurts seeing lovable/great/interesting/potentially-interesting (in ASN's case) female characters being underutilized and given a crappy fate.

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@asianromance,

I think the only other Hong Sisters shows I've seen so far are THE GREATEST LOVE and HONG GIL-DONG, so I appreciate your comments on their earlier works.

Maybe HWAYUGI is actually an LSG-CSW reunion in honor of the former's comeback from the service, and female characters are an unnecessary evil. (How else does one explain "Dragon Prince Alice," who used to have a randy male octopus for an avatar?) I've been confused all along with the references to Sam-jang as being a "monk," which in English refers to male clergy; otherwise she'd be a nun or an abbess. It seems the monk in the original story got a sex change to enable the power of romantic love to tame and transform the Great Sage Equal to Heaven -- with monkette Sun-mi the expendable means to that end.

Poor Bu Ja got turned into a stinky, decomposing zombie, and Priestess ultimately picked up where she left off. What crappy fates. At least Sun-mi didn't end up polluting the air like an undead zombie. It must be her lotus-scented blood. (Either that or she inhabits a freezer in the afterlife -- which she doesn't tell Oh-gong about because he hates the cold.) How's that for grasping at straws over the heroine's death?

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There has been a massive downturn in the way they wrote heir females. Give me another 10 gumihos hong Sisters so I can forgive you for the way you treated JSM. I do like her quiet power and inner strength, but she deserved so much better. And after GuMiho, my favourite was absolutely Chunhyang. I adore her! Do they think bigging up their male leads and weakening their females is what the poeple want? It’s 2018 ladies! Get your shit together.

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The only other ones I’ve seen are MGIAG and Master’s Sun, and you make good points about both ~ Miho is the heart of the former, with LSG there as her love interest (while in Hwayugi SM, despite being chosen, was just the object of LSG’s love at the end), and the latter frustrated me greatly by focusing on chaebols over ghosts at the end.

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I really like Gong-shil and Gumiho, Ae-jung got dragged around too much. I do not remember much of the others.
It may not be that bad. Sacrificing so many female characters makes them important. Most of all I do not get the message with Buja. I was fixated on her overcomming her possesion and getting justice for weeks. Nevertheless she was not there long before I lost interest in her story. That was a low blow.
To be fair, if I would write a drama with LSG and CSW, I might get side-tracked too.

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Ah, I feel bad that I hated the the last few episodes of this drama :(

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I'm especially grateful to @Javabeans and @Girlfriday for doing an awesome recaps for this drama. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Also special thanks to all of you, we have been together since the first episode. Some of you had come out with really fantastic comments, ideas, stories, logics & opinions. I really gratify when I read it & really appreciate it. I’m so happy to know that I’m not alone to face this crappy ending.

To our beloved writer-nim, who I adore & respect for this amazing drama, thank you so much. But I also hate you because you never listen to our requests for a happy ending for SOG & JSM. Please come out with another greatest hits in the future.

For our dearest K-drama friends/fans, I hope we can meet again in a great drama recaps comment sections in the near future. Wish everyone a great life & awesome binge-watching.

#withdrawalsyndrome

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What? Huh? That's the ending? -_-

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This is one of the worst dramas i ever watched, what a shitty drama. Seriously the Hong sisters lost their touch time ago.

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I'm sorry you feel this way. This story still gave a lot of joy even with all the disappointment.

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I posted this on another side but I'm still annoyed so here I go again.

Seriously?? The writers had 75 minutes to put all loose ends together and that’s what they gave us?

First of all, I hate the amnesia trope! Almost all the time it is unnecessarily and useless, and Son Oh Gong’s memory loss is no exception. I mean what’s the point in telling a story for more than 19 hours, just for the main character to suddenly forget all of this and then let him remember the whole story for freaking 60 minutes in the very last episode??? It literally added nothing to the main storyline!

At least some of the side stories got a good closure. I especially liked the bounding between Ma Wang and his son, and the bromance between Ma Wang and Son Oh Gong!

But some questions are still open. For example: Why would all of the demons want to eat Sam Jang in the beginning, if her blood loses all the power the moment she dies? The writer never really explained this to us or they didn’t think this through in the first place. I guess, I will go with the later one.

To be honest, the first 60 minutes of this episode were this frustrating, I was just glad that the writer even gave us a little bit of closure in the last 15 minutes. I didn’t even mind that Jin Seon Mi wasn’t there at the end, she was pretty useless most of the time and it really was a shame how the writer wasted so many opportunities to give her more significance. It was funny that she couldn't even remove the GGG at the end.

I guess this drama is a good example how the story suffers from all the circumstances on set. The last scenes were filmed only yesterday, so maybe that’s just the best the whole crew could do at this point. It’s still frustrating, though, since I (and I guess I’m not the only one) really loved this drama and it could’ve ended so much better.

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I really hate the amnesia route. I'm not super mad at it, but it's lazy, and I would much rather have had a grief-stricken Monkey locking himself up in his house, and reacting in the happiest manner to see Sun-mi standing before him again... than a snappy monkey who only remembered her at the end.

If it was a "test" to see how strong OG's love really was, it was a useless test. We all knew he was ready to sacrifice his life as the Great Sage for a mere human woman.

According to the original Chinese classic, eating the monk gives demons a huge boost in strength. So not so much about how her blood loses power once she's dead, but rather the consumption of that blood gives them huge power. I think they twisted it a little with that adaptation, in the sense that the blood stayed in Mawang and BJ's body and affected them.

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Absolutely awful last 2 episodes. Horrible ending with plot holes big enough to drive a truck through, lots of unanswered questions, utterly meaningless heroine death that pretty much boiled down to bad communication and idiocy, too much focus on Mawang when what everyone wanted to watch was the main couple, and crappy CGI to boot - saw someone mention that the CGI was fine due to it being an "Eastern" and not "Western" dragon - sorry no, it looked like it was from the 90s. Great concept for the show, [add expletive here] execution. Not the way to set up a Season 2 at all.

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Disappointed with the ending like everyone is...it could have been a great drama (CSW & LSG!!) but the ending fell flat. Especially the dragon fight scene. All the anticipation of a great fight scene and yet SOG just stood there and waved the sword around. Where was the flying? The physical combat? Is this the type of fight that got Mawang so frightened?
Also, the story is filled with plot holes.

For example, how did Mawang send the children to SYD? Wasn't it stated at the start that no one except for SOG can find the place? JSM asked Mawang to send her there but he couldnt't.

Or, didn't SOG tell JSM that he will look for her after her reincarnation? How is it that he decides to find her in the afterlife soon after and not wait for the reincarnation? What's the point of the grand gesture of giving her one of his eyes?

Why did he feel betrayed by humans when his motive for helping them was not really due to any goodwill towards humans? Does he even care that they lacked gratitude for his help? Enough to feel betrayed and to lose trust?

And the biggest one. Which i cannot close an eye to. If JSM's blood draws demons, what happens each month when she has to periodically bleed for a number of days?

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Bleh. It was cheap of the Hong sisters to kill off so many characters and then conjure this sense of sadness and longing for the dead here to cover up all the mishaps and misses in the plot. They did a really good job with that though, so much, that I almost bought it.

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I feel like we need a second season to see how SOG get's Sunmi back and gives the heavens a kick in the posterior. I feel kind of empty right now with this ending. As I said, I might have to wait a bit for the feelings of anger to go away and really be able to process this ending.

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Empty. That's what this feeling is.

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As I am still waiting for the subtitles, I am seriously thinking of skipping that. I will just pretend that the last scene is SOG is driving off to a luxury beach resort or his villa at the seaside where a recovering JSM is waiting for him.
I did enjoy watching the series -most of the time. The actors where superb. I liked how SOG and JSM fell in love, try to resist it, and finally gave in. I liked the interaction between MW and SOG.
I didn't like that ASY was allowed to keep on plotting for so long. For instance, the whole business with a fake son for MW felt superfluous.
But I learnt how to say 뽀뽀 and 사랑해.

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What a ride! What an ending! By far not what I wanted for our main characters. I had also wanted to see the bonding of all the demons when they join Monkey and Sun-MI in defeating the dark dragon and evil people, not one person at a time coming to do their thing! And wasn't Oh gong''s little brother supposed to be watching the gate when Oh gong went to see the patriarch? How come he wasn't there when Sunmi showed up and saved her from getting stabbed? I found the ending "lazy story telling " to not give a proper resolution, how is it that many writers and directors are satisfied with such endings? Remember when the Monkey set that pretend world on fire?, a world that hurt his love? and that was when his love wasn't free will; I had wanted to see what he would have done now that his love was true!!
I love everything about the drama but the end of 19 and most of 20. I also love what happened to Kang desang but the Priestess got off easy!

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As for Sa O-jeong, he was told by Oh-gong to go back and deal with the aftermath. Oh-gong probably didn't want him to get hurt when the black dragon appeared.

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I have already expressed my feeling s about the shows end. I’m not going to do a things I like list like I usually do. I’m just very sad right now. I was obsessed (I don’t use the word obsessed lightly) with this show. And it provided me with immense entertainment and so many squeeees and heart palpatations. I will forever be in love with SOG and LSG and have a new found respect for OYS. Other then the last maybe 5 episode (with the exception of all the romance and cute) I had no issues with the drama, and felt the Hong sisters story telling had really truly improved. But the whole KDS storyline was boring and a let down. I’m also unhappy with SMs death, she deserved better. But I see why they did that, they think an open ending is cooler and equally bittersweet. They couldn’t do reincarnation as it would be too similar to goblin, so they left it for us to imagine.

I still have a lot of thoughts and feelings but as I am an emotional person, I need time to really think about them and articulate these feelings.

One thing I will say though is, the journey to the west has begun. Maybe the drama should have been called the romantic journey that started the journey to the west? Pre-journey to the west?

And I wil forever be more attracted to LSG then I can possibly handle. And I will rewatch Hwayugi, but only the funny and cute, stuff the Hong sisters are good at. Next time ladies, stick to that kind of fantasy.

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We can have a group hug dear because you’re not alone. There, there, himnae uri gang-aji.. ❤️❤️❤️

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I emptied a whole bottle yesterday, a hug is exactly what I need now.

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Hehehe come come.. ❤️❤️❤️

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🙏

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SOG needs to share his alcohol with everyone on this page.

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I don’t drink but I’ll settle for I’m-sorry-for-the-shit-ending-kisses. Lots of them. While he’s shirtless

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