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My Ajusshi: Episode 15

Dong-hoon and Ji-an have been such influential presences in each other’s lives, it’s hard to imagine that their story is nearly over. But their struggles may be just beginning, as they face the consequences of their actions and the people they’ve harmed. Hopefully they can find their way to the other side a bit wiser.

 
EPISODE 15 RECAP

After beating Joon-young to a pulp for blaming Ji-an for this entire mess, and for suggesting there’s something inappropriate between him and Ji-an, Dong-hoon goes back to the movie theater where he left his phone so that Ji-an couldn’t hear. He picks up his phone, remembering all of the times that Ji-an used the conversations she heard to support him, cheer him up, and help him.

He says into it, “Lee Ji-an. Lee Ji-an. Call me. I heard everything. I know that you’re listening in on everything I do. It’s okay. Call me.” Listening as she always is, Ji-an jumps up and runs to a pay phone. She calls Ki-bum, but his friend answers and tells her that he was arrested, leaving a message for her not to get caught.

Dong-hoon waits for Ji-an’s call until long after the move is over. Eventually he remembers her saying that her phone broke, and he calls the number she called him from that day. It’s unavailable, so he guesses it must be a pay phone.

When Ji-an starts listening again, she hears him calling to find out which pay phone uses that number — the very phone she’s standing in front of. She hears Dong-hoon hail a taxi and ask to be taken to her location, so she runs to her tiny room and gets her things. She’s long gone by the time Dong-hoon gets to the phone booth.

But as she flees, she remembers when Dong-hoon caught his deputy gossiping, and all he did was make him say “I was wrong” ten times. Her determined expression crumples and she collapses, whispering, “I was wrong. I was wrong. I was wrong!” She gasps out the words over and over, her voice sounding more lost and childlike with each repetition.

Dong-hoon arrives home late, and Yoon-hee can tell something is wrong. He goes to bed, then changes his mind and, laying his phone down, he heads to Yoon-hee’s office. She senses that he needs to say something, and she tells him that she’ll go along with whatever he wants.

He asks if she knows Lee Ji-an, so Yoon-hee tells him that Joon-young once asked her to look into the girl. She says that she only found out later what Ji-an was doing for Joon-young, adding that it was Ji-an who told her what kind of person Joon-young really is, and that she even told Yoon-hee to go back to Dong-hoon.

Yoon-hee says that she felt that Ji-an liked Dong-hoon, so she advised her to cut ties with Joon-young and quit working at the company, and even offered to pay her. But Ji-an refused, saying that if she left, Joon-young would just use someone else to get Dong-hoon fired. Yoon-hee says that Ji-an has been fiercely protecting him, which made her so miserable she wanted to die.

She asks if Joon-young fired Ji-an, but Dong-hoon says that she’s running from the police over what happened to Director Park. He adds that she’s vowed not to get caught because if she is, she’ll have to reveal why she did all this, and Yoon-hee’s affair will be out in the open. “She knows what torments me the most. She knows.”

Yoon-hee says they should just tell everyone so that Ji-an won’t have to be on the run forever. She apologizes tearfully that this has all happened because of her, then she talks to Ji-an through Dong-hoon’s phone.

She offers to go with her to the police station, promising that she and Dong-hoon will tell everything and make sure she goes free. Dong-hoon sighs that Ji-an may not hear the message, but Yoon-hee is confident she will, since it’s Dong-hoon’s voice that’s given Ji-an the strength to get this far.

Ji-an is hit by a car as she runs, but she rolls to her feet and limps away. The driver calls for help, but Ji-an quickly disappears around a corner.

Ki-hoon shows up at Jung-hee’s to drive Yu-ra home, and Jae-chul complains that the brothers are acting weird since Dong-hoon became a director. Ki-hoon points out that it’s only been two days, ha. Jung-hee threatens to kill them if they’re drinking somewhere else, muttering that she won’t be betrayed by a man twice, making Jae-chul bark that Sang-won is a part of their treasured memories.

On the drive home, Yu-ra chirps that Ki-hoon is sexy, but he objects to her cheerful attitude since Dong-hoon is so sad lately. She says he must love his brother, but he snaps, “No! Absolutely not. Never. I’m just used to him, is all.” He says that Sang-hoon cries all the time, but when Dong-hoon cries, something is seriously wrong.

He waxes poetic about how he feels when Dong-hoon cries, making Yu-ra grin, “So you do love him.” He vehemently denies it, but she doesn’t believe him for a second.

When Ki-hoon drops her off, Yu-ra tries to kiss him. He leans away, saying that he’s commiserating with his brother today, so he has to break up with her… but only for three days. At her pout, he amends it to two days, then caves entirely. HA, so much for the solidarity breakup.

When Ki-hoon gets home, Sang-hoon wants to know why Ji-an quit, but Ki-hoon sighs that Dong-hoon isn’t exactly a detail guy. Sang-hoon starts talking about how hard it was when he lost everything, and decides that he wants to create a moment in which he turns his life around.

He imagines the brothers all suited up, drinking wine and laughing together, and riding around in sports cars like in old Hong Kong films. He wants to take his brothers on a three-day spree, and Ki-hoon rolls his eyes and asks if that’s what the money under the floorboards is for, grumbling that Sang-hoon sucks at keeping secrets.

Upstairs, Mom tells Sang-hoon to wipe down the floor of his room. She catches him picking up his money stash and says blandly that she wondered when he’d take it out of the floor, hee. He defends that it feels good to put the money under the floor, and when she huffs and leaves, he starts picking it up again.

In the morning, Dong-hoon goes to the police station to visit Ki-bum, to ask where Ji-an is. Ki-bum refuses to talk, so Dong-hoon tells him that when he’s released, to tell Ji-an that it’s okay and to call him, “…and that it’s no big deal.”

The anti-Joon-young directors marvel that Joon-young used a temp to do his dirty work, and they wonder if they should all check their phones for bugs. Director Jung wonders why Ji-an spoke so highly of Dong-hoon when she was supposedly working for Joon-young.

Director Park listens thoughtfully, rolling his eyes when Director Jung wonders if Ji-an is a spy who loves her enemy. Executive Director Wang asks Director Park how Dong-hoon feels about Ji-an, and Director Park says that Dong-hoon didn’t know anything.

On his way to meet with the directors, Dong-hoon leaves his phone at the front desk, ostensibly to be charged but mostly so Ji-an can’t listen in. Executive Director Wang believes that Ji-an is still listening and monitoring the situation, and he tells Dong-hoon to pretend he doesn’t know so they can use this to take down her and Joon-young.

Another director warns that it might be difficult since Ji-an and Joon-young no longer seem to be on the same side. Dong-hoon says that Ji-an no longer contacts him, so Executive Director Wang tells the others that they’ll have to say that Ji-an worked alone to get Director Park fired and Dong-hoon promoted.

His plan is to make it look like they’re trying to demote and fire Dong-hoon, which should bring Ji-an out of hiding. He says worriedly that they don’t know what will happen if Joon-young’s people get their hands on Ji-an.

The other directors leave (and I don’t like the way Director Jung eyes Dong-hoon’s phone at the front desk), Director Park orders Dong-hoon to just listen when they enact their plan, so as not to accidentally tip off Ji-an that this is a ploy. Dong-hoon hesitates, saying that he was close with Ji-an, and he asks for a little time to convince her to go to the police with him.

But Director Park asserts that even if Ji-an was on his side, she committed a crime. He adds that he can’t sit by as Joon-young isn’t re-elected, and just watch him leave without being held accountable for what he’s done. He urges Dong-hoon to help him put Joon-young in jail.

Ki-bum is released, and he calls Ji-an from a phone booth to tell her that Dong-hoon came to see him. He asks how much Dong-hoon knows, but she says she doesn’t know, seeming weak and sick. Ki-bum doesn’t notice, and he yells at her when she croaks that she hasn’t been listening.

Ji-an confesses that Dong-hoon knows they tapped his phone. Ki-bum says that the police must not have his computer since they don’t know how everything happened, when they would know everything if they’d heard the recordings. He thinks Joon-young’s people took his computer, but Ji-an knows from things Joon-young’s said that he doesn’t have it, either.

She tells Ki-bum that she erased all the recordings of Joon-young from her phone, which makes him squeak in alarm, since without those or his computers they have nothing to use against Joon-young.

He hangs up, and Ji-an immediately nods off, only to jerk awake when the door opens. Oh whew, it’s just Choon-dae, her janitor friend. Ji-an is too sick to eat when he bring her food and medicine. Choon-dae wants to take her to the hospital, but she shakes her head no.

Kwang-il spends his time listening to the recordings of Ji-an on Ki-bum’s computer, while his sidekick does some research into Joon-young. Kwang-il gets to the recording where Ji-an told Dong-hoon about her history with Kwang-il, and how he would try to stop his father from hitting her, sometimes even taking the beatings in her place.

He remembers a time when they were younger, after his father had beaten her and another little boy. Kwang-il, also with a bruised face, had brought them some candy and carried Ji-an home on his back. Now Kwang-il hears Ji-an saying that he’s tormented by a time when he liked her, while she’s tormented by a time when he was nice to her.

At the office, Dong-hoon runs across Joon-young, who says to tell Ji-an to stay hidden or she’ll humiliate him. Dong-hoon orders Joon-young to shut his mouth, warning that soon, they’re both going to be utterly humiliated.

Dong-hoon goes to his friend’s bar alone and talks to his phone, telling Ji-an that it’s okay, she doesn’t need to run, that they need to take care of things. He walks to her old apartment, where the landlord is cleaning out Ji-an’s discarded belongings. He asks Chan-young, his neighbor friend, to hold onto them for a while.

Talking into the phone, he asks Ji-an how she’s getting by without even the basics. He grows upset, asking if she’s even listening anymore. Suddenly he gets a call from an unfamiliar number, and he answers anxiously, then sets off at a dead run.

He ends up at Choon-dae’s shanty, where he finds Ji-an still very sick. She cringes in fear when she sees Dong-hoon, then mutters that he thought she was just a murderer, but she’s also done many other terrible things. She snaps at him for being nice to her more than four times, calling him an idiot for being nice to just anyone and blaming his misery on that niceness.

Dong-hoon looks shaken, but he just says, “Thanks. You listened to my pathetic life, yet you took my side. So thank you.” He says that he can’t stand seeing her in pain because she pities him, or the fact that she’s so pitiful. His voice hitches as he asks how someone so young could feel sorry for someone like him, adding that it breaks his heart more than he can bear.

He says that if he can’t show her that he’s living a happy life, she’ll continue being in pain because of him, which will cause him so much pain he couldn’t go on. He challenges Ji-an to watch and see how happy his life is, because humiliation, gossip — none of it is a big deal.

As he speaks, Ji-an bursts into tears, and she sobs that she wants to see him truly happy. Dong-hoon promises her that he’ll be happy, which makes her cry even harder. He convinces her to go to the hospital, where her broken arm (from her car accident) is bandaged.

As she’s treated, Dong-hoon calls Yoon-hee, who says that since Ji-an was only an accessory to Joon-young’s crimes, she’ll only get probation if she cooperates and if Director Park agrees not to press charges. She says that since this all started because of her, she wants to make things right, and she offers to make sure Ji-an isn’t punished.

Dong-hoon takes the message to Ji-an. He says he’d like to visit her grandmother then take her to the police station. He tells Ji-an to tell the whole truth, because he and Yoon-hee have decided to expose everything that happened. Ji-an seems surprised, so Dong-hoon tells her that Yoon-hee said this all into the phone. But Ji-an says that she couldn’t listen once he knew she was listening.

Tentatively, she asks if Dong-hoon really doesn’t hate her. He says, “When you truly know a person, nothing they do bothers you. And I know you.” Ji-an whispers, “I know all of the sounds you make, and all of your words and thoughts, and the sound of your footsteps… all of it. It felt as if I saw what a human being was for the first time.”

Once she’s released, Dong-hoon takes Ji-an to Jung-hee’s bar, and Jung-hee is tickled pink and invites Ji-an to stay with her as long as she wants. Dong-hoon tells Ji-an to just rest here for a few days and not to go outside, and before he goes, Ji-an promises to delete the wiretapping program on her phone.

She lies down to sleep and puts in her earbuds just as Dong-hoon is approaching the train tracks. As he crosses the tracks, she deletes the program, his footsteps the last thing she hears.

Sang-hoon takes Ki-hoon shopping for the PPL sunglasses they’ll wear for their fancy blow-out weekend. Ki-hoon warns Sang-hoon not to let his wife find out about this and tries to talk him into the cheaper sunglasses, to no effect. Next they go PPL car shopping while Ki-hoon plays with a PPL app on his phone, heh.

Meanwhile, Dong-hoon finally lets Chairman Jang take him out for a meal. He tells Chairman Jang everything that’s happened, and Chairman Jang commends him for his honesty. He confesses that he thought something strange was going on when Dong-hoon showed up at the campsite that time, so he did some digging and discovered Joon-young and Yoon-hee’s affair.

He says that since Dong-hoon seemed to want to save his marriage, he decided not to say anything, and was impressed that Dong-hoon appeared to be doing so well. He’s disappointed that Dong-hoon finally agreed to eat with him only to announce that he’s quitting, and he asks him to think about it.

Dong-hoon says that he decided to quit since everything happened because of him, his wife, and Joon-young, and he thinks Director Park should have his job back. But Chairman Jang barks that he doesn’t want to lose Dong-hoon, so he offers to reinstate Director Park if Dong-hoon stays.

He even promises to ask Director Park to work things out with Ji-an, so Dong-hoon accepts his offer. As they leave, Chairman Jang tells Dong-hoon to have Ji-an call him when her punishment is over so he can repay his debt.

Unable to reach Ji-an on her phone, Kwang-il calls the office and learns that she quit. He drives to her old apartment, passing right by Jung-hee’s bar, never guessing that that’s where she’s staying, and finds her apartment empty.

Joon-young gets a call, and he hears his own voice telling Ji-an to date Dong-hoon then accuse him of abusing his power to a subordinate. Kwang-il’s partner is playing the recording, and he asks Joon-young how much he’ll pay for it and the hundreds of other recordings.

He tells Joon-young that he knows who he works with, guessing that he’d probably rather they didn’t give these recordings to “that guy.” He tells Joon-young to prepare the money and he’ll call him back.

Joon-young runs through the building to Dong-hoon’s new office, which is empty. He finally spots Dong-hoon hanging out at his old desk, but he just glares and marches back to his own office as everyone wonders what on earth that was about.

The neighborhood friends all show up at Jung-hee’s that evening, and Jae-chul immediately recognizes Ji-an. Sang-hoon and Ki-hoon both scramble to call Dong-hoon first (Ki-hoon wins, ha), but of course he already knows. Dong-hoon and Jung-hee both pretend that Ji-an is only there to hang out tonight.

On his way to the bar, Dong-hoon is nearly mowed down by Yu-ra, who’s running there at a dead sprint. When she arrives, they all invite Ji-an to have a drink with them, and Yu-ra notices that Ji-an isn’t wearing makeup and guesses that she doesn’t know how pretty she is.

She does a silly “spell” so that Ji-an will never realize she’s pretty, and invites her to be her dongsaeng. Ki-hoon objects, but Yu-ra says that Ji-an is definitely younger than her own 31 years. Ji-an mutters that she’s thirty thousand years old, then Jung-hee introduces herself as forty thousand years old, and one of the guys grumbles that they’re making his fifty thousand year old self feel bad, lol.

Dong-hoon arrives and pretends that he’s seeing Ji-an for the first time in a while. Someone asks if she knows that Dong-hoon became a director, and when she says yes, they marvel that she’d even care about a former boss. But Dong-hoon tells them that Ji-an got him the job, making them speculate that she must be the chairman’s daughter.

Alone later, Dong-hoon suggests to Ji-an that they visit her grandmother tomorrow, then go to the police station. The entire group of friends comes outside to bid Ji-an goodbye and thank her for joining them, then Jung-hee walks with her, saying that she’s sleeping at Ji-an’s place.

The brothers and Yu-ra walk with them, and soon Ki-hoon and Yu-ra peel off towards Yu-ra’s place. Jung-hee turns Ji-an down a side street and they head back to the bar, as Sang-hoon and Dong-hoon split up towards their homes.

Ji-an sits up later, unable to sleep. She tells Jung-hee that if she’s reborn, she wants to be reborn into this neighborhood. Jung-hee smiles and says they can meet again in their next lives, the thought making her happy.

Dong-hoon walks home, his footsteps echoing in the empty street as he breathes, “Let’s be happy.”

 
COMMENTS

It’s so nice to see Ji-an hanging out with people who accept her, who tease her like she’s one of them and treat her like anyone else. I don’t think she’ll ever be talkative or open with people, but you can see that people will find her a likable person, and she’ll be able to make friends, if everything works out in her favor. It’s heartbreaking that just imagining Ji-an living a normal life is so moving, but she’s never had a normal life, or been accepted by anyone. It’s really all I want for her, and even though she doesn’t seem to know what to do with her sudden group of friends, I don’t think she has a choice in the matter. Just witnessing Jung-hee’s delight at having a new friend made me tear up for Ji-an.

I’m so glad that Dong-hoon is the kind of man to find out all the facts before flying off the handle. When he found out that Ji-an was tapping his phone, he went to Joon-young for answers. When he couldn’t find Ji-an, he spoke to Yoon-hee about her. His patience allowed him to get the real picture of what Ji-an has been doing instead of just assuming that she’s still listening to him for information to use against him. He learned that it started that way, but that her eavesdropping quickly changed into a way for her to help him and support him.

And I love that when Dong-hoon finally found Ji-an, he just seemed to relax into himself, as if even though everything had gone terribly wrong, it was all okay because he found her. I can’t even describe it, but there’s something very pure and genuine about Dong-hoon’s aura when he’s with Ji-an. It’s like he’s not truly himself unless he’s with her, like she’s the only one he can be himself with because he instinctively knows that she won’t betray him. Around everyone else, even his brothers, Dong-hoon always has his guard up — and they know it. It’s the thing Ki-hoon was complaining about when he said that Dong-hoon never shows his emotions. But with Ji-an, Dong-hoon is nothing but emotions, and I hope that what he takes away from their friendship is that he can relax around people and that he’ll be okay.

I melted when he told Ji-an that he’s not angry with her because he knows her too well. And again when Ji-an revealed that by listening to the sounds Dong-hoon makes, she felt as though she learned what a human being is. I believe that these are the reasons they’re in each other’s lives, because they each had something to teach the other. Because Dong-hoon holds himself so apart, he never knew how it felt to truly, deeply know a person. And because Ji-an has been pushed to the sidelines by society, she never learned what human beings are really like.

I said before that this is not a romance story, but it’s most certainly a love story between Dong-hoon and Ji-an. It’s just not a love story in which the people involved are meant to share a life — it’s the kind of love story where their love is so pure and real that they genuinely just want each other to live happy lives, whatever that means. It doesn’t mean that they “fall in love” and get married and have a family, that’s much too simple for these two. They just want to make the other’s life better however they can. For Ji-an that means seeing Dong-hoon in the job he deserves, with the life partner he deserves. And for Dong-hoon, it means helping Ji-an move beyond her past and being seen and loved by others for who she is now, not what she did once before.

If you’d told me before the drama started that this was the point of the show, I don’t think I would have been very interested. Words can’t describe this show, it has to be seen to be understood and fully appreciated. So keeping the show’s true message under wraps and allowing the audience to discover it slowly was brilliant, because watching My Ajusshi has been like opening a gift… I didn’t know what it was at first other than the general shape of it, but as I slowly uncovered each piece, I realized that it’s so much better than anything I ever anticipated. I’m starting to think that maybe we’ll get lucky and it won’t end in tragedy, and I’m so, so relieved.

 
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This eps is all about redemption and people finding their way toward happiness. But what makes it resonated deeply is the fact that often time, it's someone unexpected pointing the obvious that finally made us see the glaring truth for the first time.

It takes witnessing Ji-an protecting Dong-hoon with all her being for Yoon-hee to start atoning herself. Not just doing revenge-related stuff because she felt embarassed and suffocated, but something that's in their marriage's best interest. Ji-an must felt like an unwanted mirror for Yoon-hee to see how she should have been to Dong-hoon all this time.

That wiretaping audio continued to change people's heart. Dong-hoon might be able to touch something deep in Kwang-il's heart with his quiet observation. (His reaction reminded me strongly of Ji-an's first reaction to Dong-hoon's understanding and pity) Maybe it really only takes meeting one good person who told you that you can still become a better person, that the messy beginning isn't your fault to heal a lifetime torment caused by one bad adult.

I also love how their path to happiness isn't something they originally envisioned for themselves. Jung-hee found her gate to happiness by sharing her room and a part of her life with other person, who happened to be Ji-an. Ji-an who found her smiles by opening herself and accepting her place among her new neighbors. And ajusshi who found a strong will to live a happy life so that it doesn't pain the person who loves him anymore worrying about his 'pathetic' life. It's still a long and hard way for them, but I believe it will worth all the painful journeys they had to go through.

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Yeah, right? I was crying when Doong hoon said that to her, and that was when I understood what Lollypip said about their love being something far beyond the common fact of getting married and being together. With them is more about knowing the other one is happy makes them happy, and knowing the other one is suffering is unbearable. It seems simple and clichè... And we have listening to those expressions from many other characters in dramaland (sometimes even in the real life), but with them and knowing them, it simply makes sense. You tell yourself: totally true. You can feel it too.
And being able to watch them being honest with each other that way... wow, so beautiful!

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About the wiretapping, I found it delicously ironic that something so wrong kinda righted so many lives. Am feeling how pitiful Kwang-il is in this ep. Ji-an uses the wiretap as a way to be beside Dong-hoon all the time, but Kwang-il seemed to have been listening hours of recording just get a glimpse of Ji-an's live, when he heard his name mentioned. That's so sadly desperate...
Am glad Dong-hoon shared everything with Yoon-hee, and surprised but glad of her reaction, it's a relief seeing them working as a team like mature people.

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When Kang-il listened to Ji-an recounting their tragic youth. 😢 She was the girl he liked and cared for, not the murderer who killed his father. He was able to shed his hatred that he had harbored for all those years.

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Thank you so much, @lollypip for this recap and your insights. I cried so much in this episode and reading you made me cry again. You are so right when saying that their love doesn’t mean that they “fall in love” and get married and have a family, that’s much too simple for these two. And comparing my Ajusshi to a gift you unwrap slowly by watching. Wow! Yes...
There is also so much I could say about it, but I lack words!!!
Simply gorgeous. This drama is amazing!!! 😃😍😃

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When he ran to her and then brought her to Jung Hee....perfect. Just perfect.
Every time we listen to DH's footsteps or breathing I'm reminded of Oh Hae Young and how they create sound for film.

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Omg! Yes! I’m not alone hah I also rememberd the guy’s job from Oh Hae Young (awesome job btw loved it).

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Beautiful, beautiful episode.

How wonderful it was that the overall reaction of Dong hoon upon learning of the wire-tap was one of understanding and concern and even gratitude, rather than betrayal or anger or disgust.

It broke my heart that when Jian first sees Dong hoon, she physically recoils as if scared. And then we see her try to put up a wall by belittling herself in front of him for being nice to her. That defense mechanism where she beats people into saying that she’s a terrible person first, because she feels that inevitably, they would say the same and hearing it come from them would hurt more. The same tactic she used when she first met him and one she uses in the beginning to push people away. But we all know it’s not gonna work because both of them have been through so much and know each other too well. They’re not the same person they were before.

That whole conversation was just wonderful. And Dong hoon was right, it was pity that started it all: he pitied her for having lived like that at such a young age, and she pitied him because of his miserable life that he tried so hard to keep hidden. They’ve seen each other at their weakest and most vulnerable moments and that formed the bond between them that has become kind of symbiotic: one cannot be happy when the other is not. I will never forget that scene in all dramas I’ve watched. Magnificently acted by IU too.

And again, that awesome OST! Everytime the character says something heartbreaking, with perfect timing, the “Naneun gwenchana” part plays? I totally lose it. Sang by Jung Seung Hwan who I really love cos he also sang my fave If It’s You from Oh Hae Young. I will listen to Ordinary Day whenever I need a good cry.

Another highlight was when Ji-an was part of the NEIGHBORHOOD gang at the bar. This group is a great example of how surrounding yourself with such warm-hearted people can rub off on you and influence you so that it becomes second nature to be as kind to others. ❤

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This show may be grim and joyless at times, but at its heart it's such a celebration of the healing power of community and kindness. I love that about it.

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Yep, the OST is well-placed!

I also love how they placed OST “There’s A Rainbow” by Vincent Blue at the of almost each episode when Dong-hoon & Jian are together, or when DH was trying to reach her up by calling her name of the theather... I guess the OST can symbolize of each character like “A Millions of Roses” is for JH, and “Dear Moon” is for Jian when she’s with Grandma.

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So well placed, everytime! I love Dear Moon! I recently just looked up the eng trans and it explains so much about Jian's thoughts... got goosebumps when it made sense and I just started crying.

It says something about the moon being a source of comfort - which we saw at the start at how the PD emphasized the moon for Jian and grandma, until DH eventually becomes Jian's "moon". The same moon that you can only see but never be yours 😭

I think it was written by IU too

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Yes, the lyric is written by IU. She is a brilliant songwriter (and singer) to begin with.

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"when Jian first sees Dong hoon, she physically recoils as if scared. And then we see her try to put up a wall by belittling herself in front of him for being nice to her". This!!!!! Broke my heart too... She looked like a hurt puppy and then really scared.

And you know what? I was expecting (me and my Latin mentality) him to hug her, or at least try to pet her somehow, even if it is like a parent would do to a child.
But then, of course, I had to remember they are Asians.
Very impressive the differences between all our cultures. I have heard many Africans love, they LOVE our Latin soup operas because they show lots of couple skinship, conversations and whatever else they find different. Me, as a Latina, I hate those soup operas because they are totally superficial. I see us, and yes, we are very touchy, but superficial. In comparison, Asians keep their distance, but if half Koreans are half like these characters from my Ajusshi, I like them more.
You don't need to hug a person, (although sometimes the physical contact is a healing thing in itself), in order to show love, care and affection.
I have been wishing Doon hoon to touch Ji an a little bit, to give her a hand, a hug like she requested... something that shows he is caring and conscious of her utter isolation, but he has kept physical distance even when finding her in that state. Again, I say to myself "Asians"... But I took advantage of appreciating the way he definitively is touching her life for the good.

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When he entered that room and saw how sickly she was, I thought for sure he would sweep her up and rush her to the hospital. But no...., he just sat a distance away from her, when a hug would have been completely understandable, precisely because he was still guarding his feelings toward her. I don't think being Asian had anything to do with it.

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Ha ha... that too. He knows, still, he has feelings for her, and even told her... not with the common words. But I understand what you mean. We could also take it as respect for her vulnerable situation, not only as a young woman but poor and sick woman too... he is totally a gentleman

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Being an Asian male in 40's must have some effect on his behavior. But more than that, I thought that he intentionally kept his distance from JA. He was afraid that once he touches her, his true feeling for her would overflow him! Sometimes a gentle touch would trigger a hidden emotion.

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Personally, I think it was more of Dong hoon being himself :)

We have to remember it is ingrained in him to be restrained with his emotions. He can barely say what he really feels, what more with a physical manifestation like a hug.

So that doesn't come naturally for him and again, he restrains himself as part of his personality

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Oooo, you are so right. I remember his younger brother's words, that Dong Hoon is so stoic that when he does say something, then it really means much much more significant than the words themselves. For example, if he says he is hungry, then he really is beyond hungry, he is starving. So just because he doesn't say a word about his feelings, it doesn't mean they are not there. In fact, they are in full display in front those around him!

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As usual the transcendent beauty of this show renders me speechless so I'll just mention the one scene that stood out for me. I said last week that we tend to portray someone's kindness as their weakness but in this Dong-hoon's kindness is his strength. So watching the thug Kwang-il cry while listening to these recordings really moved me. He too has never experienced kindness and even though it's second-hand, you can see that Dong-hoon's humanity has changed him too.

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I didn't expect it to happen, but when I saw it on screen, it totally made sense. Of course it takes someone as kind and sincere as Dong-hoon to finally move Kwang-il's hardened heart.

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Yes, I think that Kwang-il's listening to the recordings was life-changing-- like Ji-an, he "saw what a human being was for the first time.” And also like Ji-an's shock at Dong-hoon's reaction to the wiretapping, Kwang-il must've been flabbergasted to hear that rather than hating on him, both Ji-an and Dong-hoon were talking about him with compassion and only blaming his father.

You know how eating a ton of food can make your stomach stretch? I feel like my heart must be stretched by all of these intense feels.

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That was the point in the show when I started crying and then couldn't stop.

Each step of this redemption process for these characters is shown with simplicity. The honest sincerity of Dong-hoon and Ji-an's interactions is all the more moving because it is a window into their souls.

Kwang-il heard the exact words he needed to hear...

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Yes! I was really hoping that Kwang-il listening to all the audio would also be a great chance for him to have a change of heart. Like how Jian was changed by listening to Dong hoon, so can he by knowing everything that happened and being exposed to all the kindness behind the actions

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I had been wondering how they would portray Kwang-il redemption arc, I was even wondering if they would. He was such a complicated character. But that scene was all it took. This drama...no words, just perfect 👌🏾

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Thanks so much for this very meaningful and insightful recap which I have been waiting for.
I love all your recaps because you always bring that extra angle into what's happening. I fully agree with your interpretation of what love is between Lee Seon- kyun and IU. I am looking forward to the finale and pray that it will be a happy one. Let's all be happy together 😍

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this group of people, they are beyond friends, they are more than family, really... they are so supportive and loyal and loving to one another and also anyone who wanders into the group!

no questions asked, ever. if one of them brings another person into this fabulous group of friends... then they just accept and support.

if only each and every one of us had such a wonderful group of souls surrounding us....

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I’m wondering why Yoon-hee can’t be with them?

Is it because she’s from diffeent background?

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Probably. And also because of different ideals. She didn't see them as essential relationships to maintain as we saw in the past episodes how she was resentful of DH's relationship with family and friends. She chose to distance herself

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The actress playing the role grew up in California. That casting choice may have been deliberate, to accentuate Yoon-he's isolation from the everybody-knows-everybody neighborhood. She arrived 20 years ago in the neighborhood so she's still considered the 'new girl'.

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Yes, I believe she has been used to being pampered and indulged, a me-first kind of person...afterall, our first introduction to her was the scene of her berating JY for ignoring her calls all day and making her feel ignored. Her retort to DH during their argument about the affair was "Am I #1 in your life?" Her resentment of his family and friends being more important than her probably turned her off ever getting to know them and because of that, she missed out on the opportunity of truly knowing and understanding the kind of struggles he faces because she is so fixated on "what about me?".

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Ji An: "Do you... really not hate me?"

Dong Hoon: "If you get to know a person... if you get to know them... nothing they do bothers you. And I know you."

Ji An: "I liked... all of the sounds you made, Ajusshi. And all of your words... And thoughts... And the sound of your footsteps... all of it. It felt as if... I saw what a human being was, for the first time."

I cried so hard. This scene truly shows the personal sacrifices, unconditional forgiveness, and acceptance that love encompasses. Just love at its purest form.

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What a coincidence, I mean how lucky they are that the lead actor happens to have a unique voice and a unique way of walking. {swoon} I don't that these traits played any part in the casting.

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That is Ji-An telling Dong-Hoon on how she loves him with all her being.

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My favorite scene in the episode and possibly the entire drama. I know LSK's voice is 😍 but man I love IU's voice as well and she utilized it so well when she spoke as Jian! In this particular scene, she's almost whispering. I simply can't explain how beautiful it was.

Also I love how Jian owns her feelings and can be so honest. She's a person of few words but when she speaks she speaks with so much sincerity and meaning. I've noticed most beanies don't think Jian's love for DH is anywhere near romantic but I respectfully disagree. 😁 I know it's a debate that has gone on for weeks now, and although I didn't really ship it (up until this week's episodes), I never doubted Jian's feelings included 'romantic' love towards DH. My opinion is that her love encapsulates many forms of love. Romantic, yes, but also the other forms beanies have mentioned. And I still think it's one of the purest relationship. That being the case, I'm glad Jian can be so forward with her feelings. It's very refreshing.

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Personally, I have lived some traumas that made me hate men in general. As a consequence, 99% of the time I cannot see them as men, but simply as human beings. You could say it is also a defense mechanism, but it had worked for me over the years.

In that condition, there are few men in my life that I really love and one of them I used to like as well (as dating material)... so my point is: there are many ways to love a person, there are also many ways to love a man. Ji an's love for Doong hoon makes me remember myself, a little bit (for I haven't found a Doong hoon in my life yet), but I have few examples of love that are platonic, filial, and beyond romantic at the same time.
It is a mixture of admiration, joy, compassion and well being, it is also agape love, wishing the best for the other person, and it doesn't need to be with us, it is not attached physically...

And I see that this is the way she loves him, as the human being he is, because she has got to know him like no one, except as a man to her, but that doesn't matter... his spirit is what she knows the best and it is so deep entangled with hers, that you cannot have any doubt of their love even if they never say the words "I love you"'.... They don't need to. It is just implicit..beautiful! 😍

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Yes, Ji An IS in love with Dong Hoon. Thank you for saying that. And I hope people will not forget that or sweep it under the "it's not the romantic kind of love" because IT IS. Even, Ji An was very clear to Dong Hoon about it, to Yoon Hee, to Joon Yoong, heck to everyone who asks her if she likes Dong Hoon. She IS in love with Dong Hoon. PERIOD.
I think Dong Hoon thinks it is because of pity that she likes him but after this episode I don't think Dong Hoon can honestly say Ji An only likes and loves him because of pity. Dong Hoon finally knows everything and Ji An is really dead serious in her love for him. She wants HIM to be HAPPY and she will do everything in her power to protect him even at the cost of her suffering and being always on the run. Not because she doesn't want to go to jail but because she doesn't want Dong Hoon to experience "what torments him the most". Even Yoon Hee understands that...that Ji An's love is far superior to her love. She compared them. Her the "romantic love category wife" compared her love to Ji An and she knows hers is far less superior to Ji An's love for Dong Hoon. like say what you will about Ji An and Dong Hoon's love for each other as pure but please don't say that it's not romantic love especially with Ji An's because I do not get how pure and romantic are opposite of each other. Dong Hoon's might be the one's that's ambiguous only because he is not the type to be so verbal about his feelings... but the fact that he said "i cannot bear it if you are suffering because of me... To know that you continue to suffer because of me I do not think I can go on". Honestly, this tells me that what torments Dong Hoon the most now is no longer about his wife's affair being known. It is now Ji An, being on the run, having to hide just so that his wife's affair will not be known and that Dong Hoon won't have to experience his greatest fear...Uhhm Ji An, your happiness trumps whatever greatest fear Dong Hoon ever has or ever will be... so I say that pretty much tells me that they feel the same way for each other, don't you?

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I totally agree with your interpretation of the relationship between Dong Hoon and Ji An. The idea that the two have romantic feelings for each other in no way diminishes the purity of those feelings. These two people love each other enough to not allow that love to become a problem for either of them. IU's and Lee Sun-Kyun's performances are masterful; especially LSK. He conveys the characters romantic feelings subtly but unmistakenly. Any doubt is removed by the author's words (as you recount in your comment). That man loves that woman in EVERY way.

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I second you on this. The romantic nature of their love does not make it any less pure at all.

I am in awe of Lee Sun Kyun's masterful acting in every single episode. DH is a man with very little words yet he could exude that subtle romantic vibe in the purest earnest way. And not to mention that amazing chemistry he has with IU, who would have thought that?

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The director knew what he was doing in casting LSK. There was a time not too long ago that LSK had the reputation of being the romantic guy in South Korea. He knows how to do romance. But so many hotter, younger, more beautiful actors have risen to the limelight in the last seven years that he wisely moved on to doing more action and mature roles. I am sooo glad this once-in-a-lifetime role fell on his lap.

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Thanks for your beautiful words. I can never worded it more beautiful than you did.

I agree with you. From episode 6, I already feel what DH and JA share is ROMANTIC LOVE, just not the typical kind of romance than need to be consumated physically.

I never have doubt that DH loves JA, it's just that he never cares to address his own feelings, having too much things going on in his life or perhaps because he is too morally upright to think that he could actually love another girl other than his wife. DH telling JA that he could not go on living knowing she is in pain is already the greatest love confession at all.

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Count me in as another who sees romantic feelings in Ji An, but also in Dong Hoon. Sure, their love transcends everything, there is no disagreement about that, but it also includes romantic love. I have no doubt that under a better set of circumstances Ji An would love to wake up everyday with this man who means the world to her. And as someone pointed out below, he is in love with her, his actions speak volumes. But there are too many things going on so he is still in denial of his feelings for her.

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Watching K-dramas. I wonder if something is being lost in translation when a character says they 'like' the other character. The use of 'like' in Korean seem more significant than American English use of 'like'. I may have only seen the word 'love' used in K-dramas a half dozen times total, or maybe less.

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This sentence from DH really touched me: "if you get to know a person... if you get to know them...nothing they do bothers you".
This is a life lesson right there, and I think a secret to building very strong relationships, be it romantic, or platonic, like friendships. Kuddos to the writer, really.

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I am gona be biased and talk about Iu .
She just keeps on surprising me on every episode with her role in this episode. And in this episode she just blew it off the ballpark in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, all the other actors are already good as expected from the veterans . But iu wasnt really for her acting, she was an descent actress but this is the role which just earned my trust that she can pull of any role.
When Ajusshi finally finds her , she looked so vulnerable but yet trying to show she doesnt give a fu** about him and then when she just broke down... Oof , I legit cried also. This drama and IU deserves heaps of awards.. !!

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I just always fangirling IU's acting in this drama, particularly in this episode. She is just keep getting bettet. That passion. U just can't deny she loves acting!

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How can someone be talented in so many things ? Songwriting, Singing , Acting ...

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I have always liked IU's performances because she is so, well, likeable. My respect for her skills began to grow when I saw her in "The Producers". I thought, at first, she was simply playing the spoiled brat singer by just talking in a lower voice with a brooding look. However, as the drama progressed, IU's performance showed real depth, humor and great comedic timing. In "My Mister", IU hit the ball out of the park. Every episode, I kept thinking "I can't believe this is IU." God bless her; she did such a great job.

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IU's only drama I have watched was "pretty man", which really disappointed me as a drama, because it was too weird and frustrated and climax was absurd. But what kept me watching that drama before was exactly IU. Not that I thought her acting was amazing at the time, but just her character was so cute and silly in love with JKS, I just wanted to know how her love story within the story would end. I also have to recognize I was not a very demanding viewer at the time... But my point is, even back then IU was the only reason I watched a nonsensical drama like Pretty Man.
I have never known her so much as a singer, I never watched her musical videos until now, and I never knew she was so famous in Korea or wherever else, but really.... She killed me with her Ji an. I will always love her because of fleshing out the best female lead I have ever known in dramaland. And I will always remember her.
Now I even got few of her songs and she also sings very pretty.
I don't feel any kind of envy for her talent, I really wish her more success and happiness. Beautiful girl.

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Iu does her best i think when she is given creative freedom. Same goes for her songs and acting. Before her agency used to choose those cute roles for her because they thought it goes with her image and it kind of worked i guess. But when she is given the freedom to write and produce songs and choose her roles , thats when she really shines.

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Lollypip, agreed! There’s no words to exactly be able to describe this show...

The more I watch this show - I watched more than once in each episode - I realized that this show is just too well-written!!! 😍😍😍😍. The dialogues are not easy to forget; and there are not wasteful dialogues at all! I love how poetic they’re.

When Dong-hoon found Jian, and he said was “Thank you...” I felt like a big rock hit my chest. Even without a word, I know that both of them are in each other thought! And it made me cry even harder. This show made my eyes dry and swollen.

At the time when Dong-hoon met the directors, it feels like he went to have a lunch hours meeting (Dong-hoon entered the restaurant at 12.15, and he went out at 1 PM, says clock at the cashier desk).

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Your recap was so beautifully put it made me cry. First time that ever happened to me. Thank you, Lollypip.

One of the most underrated and beautiful scene of this episode:
When JA deleted the wiretapping app and Dong Hoon's footstep sound was starting to fade. Dong Hoon was near the railroad again.. At this point the railroad must mean something for their relationship. It's been referenced so many times! I can't seem to understand the symbolism, though.

I swear this show makes the best and well-executed endings. every. single. time. 😭😭

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I think that scene once again reinforced the idea that life is a series of choices, that we are the one who decided what's important and what's the right thing to do (just like what ajusshi always said). Maybe that railroad is a symbol of how their relationship will go on from that point. All this time, Ji-an tried to immerse herself in Dong-hoon's life by listening to him day and night, surrounding herself with his sounds and the sound of his family and friends, almost like she tried to live that life. But now, with their honest talk and the realization that there's no secret remained between them, she can choose to really be a part of their life if she wanted to. She doesn't need that secondhand experience anymore. And I think it's both relieving for her and leaving her a bit wishful for losing the simple comfort of his footsteps and breathing sound.

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But she was hurt she had to erase it. She was also kind of reluctant, because it felt like losing a part of her she was most fond of. And yes, gadis... she can now choose to be part of their lives, of his life... But will she have the confidence?? She is so used to rejection and hatred, she cannot easily trust she will be accepted and loved.
But I admired her for doing it anyways, erasing the program just like she promised him she would do. I really really admired her in that moment, because me, I would have found an excuse not to do it... I would have said to myself I can control listening, I would turn it off most of the time, and only listen if I am in a desperate situation...
It makes me remember Doong hoon saying that her being by his side help him breath... She didn't say it, but I felt it, that it was the same for her.
So when she erased the program, it was like suddenly stop breathing, and she cried. I cried for her too.

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That echoing silence as well.
We could feel just how cut off she felt when she deleted the app and stopped.

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That scene is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time, because as YH said, JA was surviving just listening to DH. It's her giving up on the sound that she likes most in the entire world and she finally did it anyway.

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How does anyone even watch this drama without looking like an ugly sobbing mess? This is the drama that will break and heal your heart in the same tenuous instance...

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When I watched the last 2 eps I was bawling like a baby.. I never cried so hard watching anything phew

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Ugly cried through 15 and 16. This drama has been so gut wrenchingly moving.

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Words can’t describe this show, it has to be seen to be understood and fully appreciated. .... watching My Ajusshi has been like opening a gift…

Preach it, Sister! And we're so fortunate to have the gift of your recaps, too. Watching this drama has been such an emotional but breathtakingly beautiful journey-- it means so much that thanks to you and DB, we've been able to revel in it together. I don't know how to thank you enough, @lollypip, for leading us in this truly amazing and unforgettable experience.

Can't wait to discuss the finale!

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LOL at the PPL comments. I've noticed that the PPLs in Kim Won-seok PD's dramas are all inserted so randomly, and with the sole intention of turning off the viewers from actually buying the products. I think it's his not-so-subtle way of fulfilling his obligations to the sponsors while simultaneously sticking it to them. I remember back in Signal, Kim Hye-soo was forced by her mum to put on some cushion foundation before her date and she half-heartedly slapped it on, and was like "Happy, now?" No sane viewer would buy that thing, hahaha...

Anyway, it's interesting how the girls have such different personalities, warm Jung-hee, quirky Yoo-ra, and reserved Ji-an, yet none of them feels out of place in that little bar. They just fit in so naturally from the moment they were introduced to the club. After Yoo-ra's "I like that you guys are pathetic but happy" speech, the boys adopt her; and after they took Ji-an home, she's no longer a stranger but one of them. Even I want to be a part of that neighbourhood.

The whole episode I was so worried that Kwang-il would snap and go on a murdering spree after discovering that Ji-an has disappeared from his life. I've never been so glad to be wrong. Also final shout-out to the little girl who played young Ji-an, she's so cute and resembles IU a lot so good casting there; and the other little boy in the kiddies trio is little Ki-beom, I think. Judging from the rapport, Kwang-il, Ji-an and Ki-beom seem to know each other's history from a long time and it makes sense.

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It was masterful to use the ppl as comic relief!

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OMG HE WAS KIBEOM OMGGG i never thought of that mind blownnnn

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I wondered if he was Ki Beom - because it would make sense of the relationship between the three of them.

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To me those three very different girls fitting in indicates that if Yoon Hee didn't fit in it's because she chose not to.

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"because watching My Ajusshi has been like opening a gift… I didn’t know what it was at first other than the general shape of it, but as I slowly uncovered each piece, I realized that it’s so much better than anything I ever anticipated."

Thanks LollyPip! that's such a wonderful insight.

The last two episodes were an ugly-sobbing-fest. And i'm still in hangover phase now. It's really THAT good.

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The love between Dong-hoon and Ji-an transcends mere romance. It's agape, and merely being in the presence of the other or listening to the other's voice brings comfort and happiness, even to the most jaded and scarred of souls.

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When Dong-hoon said "I know you" and how Ji-an exhaled like a big burden is off her shoulders, awh, such a lovely moment *sobs*
Of course he'd say that, they are after all tarred by the same brush. Isn't the way Ji-an loves Dong-hoon also his MO in loving people? As in, I don't care about me being in pain if I can make somebody I love happy. And now that he is in the receiving end of such love and loyalty, he made the perfect response. "Just see, I'll be happy!" *wipes snotty nose*
And Jung-hee finally have a roommate, yayy. Loved her for being so silently supportive, no questions asked, just open arms. And Yoo-ra, loved her "spell" and how it made even Ji-an have a "you're weird" expression ^^

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Remember how Jung-hee once said "I have so much love to give, just no one to give it to", so as much as Ji-an receives comfort and unconditional acceptance from Jung-hee, Jung-hee also gains a fiercely loyal and non-judging company in Ji-an. It's simply beautiful.

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Totally! I also remember that. Ji an came to give this woman something she apparently never had before, just by means of existing!!!! It is like having a child, you love her/him no matter what just because it is yours and because it is there.
It touched me deeply that jung hee also didn't ask questions, there were no conditions... just acceptance.
So wonderful, so selfless!!!
I loved her more in this episode!
Really, I can't stop praising this drama. I can't get enough.

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Jung-hee hasn't been shown to be truly alive, she was just going through the motion; that is until Dong-hoon shows up at her door with Ji-an in tow and entrusts the girl to her. Then she suddenly gains a sense of purpose in life and blooms like a flower. If it had worked out with Sang-won she would've made a wonderful mother, and it hurts to see that she's been so lonely all this time. But now that she has Ji-an by her side, it gives her the satisfaction of showering someone with love. So essentially Ji-an's presence has also changed Jung-hee's life and healed her.

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When Jung-hee lit up to see Ji An and was SO happy that she was there - I cried. Well I cried through the whole show.
But the two of them have so much in common. Remember how JiAn stood by Jung-hee when she was outside the bar that morning. Just stood there kind of like in solidarity with her?
Oh everything about this show is really hard to explain... all the other beanies here are expressing my feelings so much!

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Yes...that was also what I was thinking after seeing Jung Hee just unconditionally accept Ji An to her home, no questions asked... when Jung Hee and the others joined Dong Hoon in walking Ji An home... Ji An was grateful... And because again Ji An's superpower is being an empath hehe then she immediately saw what JH needed when she passed by the bar... she gave JH that silent support and stand beside her to show her that she is not alone so DH brought Ji An to JH of course she welcomed her...they were already bonded as like family so she welcomed her like family too...
Oh sidebar, JH knew full well that Ji An likes DH when she left the neihborhood and now JH also know that DH feels the same way since DH brought her back to the neighborhood...

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From the "So you're the 30.000 years old one" comment, Jung-hee definitely knew Ji-an is not just a casual nobody for Dong-hoon. Loved how low-key she is about the fact, and how these three seem to enjoy sharing an inner joke ^^

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The contrast between the chairman and janitor is amazingly highlighted to watch in this episode. One has wealth, the other does not. One speaks, and the other is mostly silent. Yet they can be real adults who brings happiness to Ji An and Dong Hoon.

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Finally the recap that I've been waiting for days hehe! Thank you once again for putting my indescribable thoughts for this drama beautifully!! You perfectly describe what kind of relationship they are in.

Who else feels great relief to finally see Jian lay down to rest properly?

That scene after Dong Hoon found Jian and tells her that he can't bear seeing Jian suffer because of him, makes me realize that they can be friends in this life, showing care, emotions, their true self to each other without wanting to be more than that. If Jian was a male or if Dong Hoon was an ahjumma we wouldn't doubt about their feelings to each other, but their contrasting gender is what makes us wonder about how they truly feel for each other, when in fact, that's how a human being should feel for other human being.

I cried for Jian when she finally uninstalled the wiretap app, especially when we know that Dong Hoon's voice has been a source of comfort for her. And when our Ajusshi's sound of foot step disappear, it feels like she sacrifices her happiness...

Ki Hoon's grumbling about his brother is cute because that shows just how much he knows- and doesn't know about his Hyungs, but how he loves them nevertheless. And SangHoon's HongKong movie imagination, tho!! Gave me a good laugh in the middle of this emotional ride.

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Im so happy for JA, when she is surrounded by ppl, and by how happy JH is for having her around. For the first time in her life. And for DH to be very understanding of her. Thats true Lollypip, their precious bond is one in which they truly love the other to the point that they want the person to be happy with his life, her life.

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thanks a lot for the recap, Lollypip!

I watched this episode first without subs, and my Korean is almost zero, but my eyes are teary at that Ji-an moment of breakdown on the street, her repeating 'I was wrong, I was wrong',,so heartbreaking, since I remember JiAn stoicly said to her grandma that people's goodness is easy when they're privileged (have money), as in she wouldn't feel any guilt to do terrible or wrong things, but now look at her admittedly doing wrong, with that earnestness,,I just hope that she'll get that new start, her to be a good human being, a good person, one she has seen on DongHoon.

on a side note: how beautiful that running scene of DongHoon, beautifully shot, and made my heart ache for him and JiAn to finally be happy in this life.

Let's be happy,
Fighting!

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Dong Hoon ran to her like the many times Ji An ran to him- out of love and fear and caring.....

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Yesss,,the parallell in this drama, especially between the two leads, are just lovely.

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Thanks for the recap @lollypip. Could not agree more with you. No words can ever describe how wonderful this show is.

I could not imagined a much bigger love that the one that DH and JA have. Definition of happiness to them is the happiness of each other and the deepest pain is the thoughts of each other hurting, that none of them could go on living knowing the other is in pain. The fact that this love means so much more than all those grand love confessions in other k-dramas is because it is so pure, selfless and so earnest.

We finally see an honest communication between DH and his wife and I am proud that YH trying her every best to atone for her past mistakes. At the same time, I could not help but feel sorry for her - it must have been difficult for her to see how her husband understands JA so well and acknowledged that she is the one who understands him the most, despite YH sharing all those years with him. And no matter how much effort she put in to redeem herself, it is evident to her that JA's love for DH is so much bigger than hers.

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Thank you, @lollypip.
Reading your recap and your comments helps me to better digest this show.

I am impressed beyond words at the quality of MY AJUSSHI. As you said, this is a gift that we unwrap and discover bit by bit as the story progresses.

The echo of this show will continue in my heart for a very long time.

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Your comment on love between two characters confuses their relationship when the word love is most misunderstood and loosely applied especially used on an international audience.

The better word is “care” and going that “extra mile” for another very pitiful individual.

In this story, both were pitiful and they went the extra mile for each other(beyond expectations). Many others in the story cared as well but their lives stories were not as deeply intertwined between the main characters - because of wiretapping and their unique circumstances.

The word love just get mixed up with fantasies when it is quite clear the man has very clear drawn lines which leave no room for misinterpretation.

He is very PROUD(expression) of her at the end - not like a longing love struck teenager.

She moved on.

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OH NO ITS ENDING!
every-time an epic drama is coming to an end I cant help but want to grasp onto it because who knows when the next one will come by. Im in a dilemma because I so desperately want to see how they'll wrap the drama up but also I don't want the story to end. Its just so beautifully put together that my ineloquent self can not begin to describe. When I first saw the recaps of this drama I dismissed it because i thought it would be noir and depressing. Even though it was a depressing concept the emotions were so raw that it made the drama beautiful and warm.
I know the age gap between the leads is quite obvious however their chemistry is undeniable. They complement one another and I for one dont have anything against it. For now Ill just patiently wait for the writer to conclude their relationship because so far they havent disappointed.

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Oof! This show knows how to wallop my heart!

I can’t decide which scene I loved the most, so I’ll talk about all three!

The wiretap program, I’ll erase it now.

It was necessary, of course. But, my heart still grieved for Ji An. What she did was wrong, but the scene so perfectly communicated the death it was for her, because it was a death - the end of an era when she had unmitigated access to the depth and honesty of Dong Hoon’s thoughts and feelings. The “Stop” signs we see as she hears the sound of DH for the last time walking away as he crosses the railroad tracks - and as soon as she ends the program - we see Dong Hoon, but now all is silence. An aching way to see how the connection between them is broken - but it was necessary to make way for a healthier path forward. While it was painful for her, it is a start of a beautiful friendship.

She was protecting you with her whole being

I loved how Dong Hoon finally came to Yoon Hee with his problems. While I personally would have loved to see more interaction between them, this was such a poignant scene with Yoon Hee once again sharing her POV, but revealing the best of Ji An. That must have been difficult for her, but I was really proud of her for doing the right thing, acknowledging her fault and (later) committing to doing whatever is in her power to set things right.

And when I think of you in pain because of me, I will be in so much pain that I won’t be able to go on.

Wow! What an amazing confession! While we’ve discussed on DB how ambiguous DH’s seems to feel about JA, I guess a more accurate label would be it’s an ambiguous sort of love because it does not readily fit into any category of love we know. But, this scene was just SO POWERFUL because of all the subtext. It actually reminds me of IU’s prison scene from Moon Lovers with Lee Jun Ki, that was another heartfelt scene where the audience could tell the main leads loved one another, but the word itself was never spoken - because it didn’t need to be.

I can’t wait until the final episode airs with subtitles! What a ride!

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Totally agree with you! There's already a link with all the subtitles!

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Lollypip does it again, writing comments that strike a chord with me every time. I 1000% agree, "when Dong-hoon finally found Ji-an, he just seemed to relax into himself, as if even though everything had gone terribly wrong, it was all okay because he found her."
He really is his truest self when he's with her.
- When DH said he knows Jian so it didn't matter what she does because it doesn't matter to him, I wonder if that saying of his also applies to Yoonhee? Does this insinuate that he never really knew Yoonhee? Which is why he finds it difficult to forgive her?
- Jian stopping in the middle of the street to apologize 10 times. TEARS.
- DH going a little crazy talking to his phone in this ep lmao. Makes you realize that he's so worried about her, he's not afraid of letting people know what kind of relationship he has with her. The last time he came to her house looking for her and the neighbourhood guy asked him what he was doing around here, DH brushed it off not wanting to reveal that he had come for Jian. This ep, he's literally yelling for that neighbour to help store Jian's home belongings with 0 hesitation.
- the look on DH's face when he finally found her. That was an entrance of epic proportions. Too many feels.
- when DH just knew Jian was putting her defensive guard up when he found her, and he responded by thanking her repeatedly...*clenches my tiny little heart that can't take all this FEeEeEling*
- when Jian lingered on the wiretap live feed of DH walking home before she uninstalled it for good, THE SILENCE KILLED ME. The sounds he made gave her so much comfort all this time, so knowing what that meant to her and watching her end it, I was, once again, a puddle of tears.

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Even the memory of it breaks me a little. Just by reading your comment I feel again so touched!
This drama! Who would have known that when they were promoted, I thought I would die for the pretty noona, and here I am dying for My Ajusshi instead. I know it is not right to compare, and I am not saying one of better than the other. Just that I would have not believed I would cherish this show more, and I started watching it skeptical, because I didn't think I needed melodrama in my life after Mother and just between lovers ended, but then again, here I am. I would watch ajusshi over again immediately. Amazing!!!!

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Where do you find such high quality caring people in the neighbourhood ?

Only in Kdrama. Ha

(off tv. back to reality)

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My Boyfriend has friends like those from the same neighbourhood. That’s why I find myself relating to Yoon Hee lol.

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A lot of gomawoyo in this drama. Everybody so grateful

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I found it very sad that Ji An didn’t hear Dong Hoon’s whole conversation nor listened to the recordings afterwards once she discovered he knew she was listening. “Lee Ji-an. Lee Ji-an. Call me. I heard everything. I know that you’re listening in on everything I do. ” Hearing this she tears of the earphones but Dong Hoon continues “It’s okay.” I wish she heard that. She needed to hear that so much. I admire Ji An’s self control, as soon as she learned Dong Hoon knew she was listening in she stopped listening to him. I thought it was very funny that as a result no plot Director Park made would get her captured. Then she deleted all the recordings some of which gave her strength through the toughest times, more show of her self control and inner strength. She deleted the wiretap program once she met him.
I thought it was thoughtless of Dong Hoon to let Ji An hear he was looking for the payphone she called him from. If he made sure she didn’t hear he would have found her sooner and she wouldn’t have to be running in the streets in the middle of the night. Her “I was wrong”s in the street were heartbreaking.
The music after Dong Hoon learned where Ji An was and was running to her was very romantic. Their talk was so raw and honest and one of the best scenes of the drama. As Lollypip says this is one of those undescribable dramas that need to be watched to be understood.
Maybe I am a mean person but I didn’t feel much for Yoon Hee when she told Dong Hoon that seeing Ji An fiercely protecting him made her so miserable she wanted to die. Because that was a self inflicted misery. It was her lot to protect her husband, but she is the one who made the choice to harm him instead. Her saving grace for me was to suggest they reveal everything so Ji An could stop running. It’s also to her credit that she understood Dong Hoon’s voice (and support) gave Ji An the strength to get this far.

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Thank you so much @lollypip for a great recap.

It’s heartbreaking that just imagining Ji-an living a normal life is so moving, but she’s never had a normal life, or been accepted by anyone. It’s really all I want for her, and even though she doesn’t seem to know what to do with her sudden group of friends,...

- So true. I too have nothing that I want more for this show's denouement than Ji An's welfare.

I guess I've been sort of walking in Dong Hoon's shoes, in the horror (and also respect) he felt over how such a young person had suffered so much, and was still suffering, how she was pitiful and yet how she cared for him despite her own circumstances, how she fought in anyway to survive but still retained her core of goodness.

I like this show especially for the fully lived in characters and how real they are. The friends and neighbours are a character of their own, a warm, collective brotherhood. It would be so nice if Ji An could really stay in that neighbourhood and slowly figure out how to live with all those ajusshis and noonas who are so ready to embrace her warmly.

Thinking back to the beginning when so much was so dark for Ji An, I too was afraid of a tragic ending, but now there is hope and light. I applaud the writers for giving Dong Hoon such a mature, thoughtful and caring personality and making him consistent and true. Also for the redemption of Yoon Hee and how willing she is to sacrifice self for others, in contrition, and because she wants to do what is right. I feel that I cannot approve the characters and their characterization enough, and the difficult but right decisions that they have stepped up to make.

I look forward to the last episode with bated breath and a lighter heart. Dong Hoon fighting! 🌄 Ji An fighting! 😉

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It ended as I had expected. Dong Hoon has an air of lightness especially when he jested about his family in the end. A truly happy ending.

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"I can’t even describe it, but there’s something very pure and genuine about Dong-hoon’s aura when he’s with Ji-an. It’s like he’s not truly himself unless he’s with her, like she’s the only one he can be himself with because he instinctively knows that she won’t betray him."

I wholeheartedly agree with you, Lollypip. And the last time we ever saw DH being this pure and genuine was when he visited the monk. That's why I think the reason why DH finds his relationship with JA so precious is because JA is literally the first person that ever made him feel alive again since his best friend, the monk. I can even say if JA is not a girl, but a boy, he would go to the same extent to defend their bond.

That's not the case with our main girl, JA. I truly believe she does not only see him as a human being but also as a man. The show has given too many subtle clues for me to ignore her feelings. Yet JA knows she can never have his heart. The OST "Dear Moon" best describes it: "I’m not trying to hold you I know you’re too big for me to hold. I’m not trying to have you. The fact that you’re so dazzling is because I’m too dark of a night"

And yet, she still gives her all to save DH. That's selfless love right there.

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I felt like DH had a full character growth in this episode and it was so rewarding and beautiful to watch. Hos conversation with jian was definitely one of the best scenes of the entire series up till now. "I cant be happy if youre unhappy" and the other way around. So he choses to be happy, he choses to believe it's not a big deal, he choses to move forward. He wont drown in unhappiness, and self pity. And thats big. Our DH has really grown, and i hope Jian can learn what he did as well.

I want both our leads to be happy, desperately.

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The actual word used is “like”.Nobody disputes what’s obviously stated however, DH kept a very clear distance so nothing really happened between them

I think JA learned to respect that towards the end and the handshake is a very nice way of congratulating each other for having fought a good fight .

DH obviously navigated better to reach the final goals for the two.

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I think it is appreciated if we avoid spoilers from the last episode. 😅😅😅😅

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Most(fans) would have watched by now because it’s only a day apart and understandably, the laborious recaps can’t keep up.
Only the speculative aspect affected mostly and leaving many other nuances , reason I avoid elaborating and kept it short, in the respective episode are still worth savouring.

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This drama is truly a masterpiece. You said it beanies, no words can ever explain this wonderful work!

The most memorable scenes for me:

1. "She was protecting you with her whole being". This coming from Yoon Hee was monumental for me. I admire her strength to admit this to DH.

I also love their talk about JA. Perhaps it's the second time (first time when they confronted each other about the affair) that I think DH opened up to YH about his problems.

Perhaps the first one might not be even counted since it was YH who brought it up first and DH tried to avoid it but can't.

2. DH running to JA when he found out from the janitor that she was sick. That was really romantic for me.

3. The talk of DH and JA. OMGGG. It's so honest and pure, and my gosh I was crying the whole time!!! You guys are correct when you pointed out that there was no 'I love you' during that conversation but we all felt the love coming from these two!!

4. Hongkong dream of Sang hoon. It was a welcome funny moment from all this emotional rollercoaster that we've been enjoying.

5. Jung-hee's lit up face when she saw that JA would be staying with her!! I agree with you guys when you said that finally Jung-hee's love will all be spent towards JA!

6. The neighborhood guys all welcomed JA. I love love love all the camaraderie from these guys.

I'm looking forward to discussing the last episode with you guys!!

By the way, I know this was not mentioned or shown in this episode, but what is it about the slippers from JA that DH worn? Was it supposed to be a sign of something? I forgot to ask last time.

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In that case, it can also be interpreted that the whole gang loved each other and their kind actions are all soooo romantic....so really no big deal in that department isnt it?

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Not to disappoint/hurt a kind gesture(your last para). Similar to a gift you give someone and the recipient despected it or trash it.

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"When you truely know someone, no thing they do bothers you, and I know you."...... the best line that summerizes such a deep drama in such simple words...

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Thanks again for your recap, LollyPip! I like your take that JA makes DH be himself in that DH is full of emotions when with JA (or when it involves JA). You are so right! During their quiet moments when he’d pour his thoughts and heart out to her (esp when he finally found her), running here and there, punching JY, DH was all rage or affection.

DH was short of going berserk in looking for JA, was being worried sick that she didn’t even have her basic stuff with her that it was like a life-and-death situation for him that if the writer chose to kill JA, it will kill DH as well. We could see that when DH finally found her, it was like finding his lifeline again. The sprint scene did say a lot. DH was like running for his life. He looked so relieved and grateful to the janitor friend because I think losing JA would really crush and kill him. He was acting like JA is his everything, his precious. He’s protecting her as fiercely as she’s protecting him, and I dare say, he loves her as much as she loves him. These two just desperately need each other but couldn’t be together (yet) that it breaks my heart.

When DH says to YH when talking about JA, “She knows what torments me the most. She knows.” As if to say to YH, “sadly, you don’t”. In fairness to YH, she is repentant and willing to help so I I kind of like the character now.

It was so sweet of DH’s brothers to inform him right away that JA is at the bar. They do know that JA is someone special to DH. She’s the one who makes their brother “breathe”, after all. It warms my heart that these brothers just love each other. I’m also glad that JA is with JH. I love how JH takes care of her and how the presence of JA makes her happy.

When JA asked DH if he really doesn’t hate her, DH says,“When you truly know a person, nothing they do bothers you. And I know you.” Well, that is kind of not true. That doesn’t sound right. I do think that what he meant was “When you truly LOVE a person, nothing they do bothers you. And I LOVE you.” That makes more sense really because people you actually know or close to do things that bother you but if it’s someone you actually love, well you tend to let the wrongdoings slide. But of course DH’s words remain ambiguous for the reasons we know.

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Funny, the last part

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oh that scene of the brothers competing to be the first of sending news to DH about JA’s presence in the bar, I was smiling broadly since I think it was so alike with some of us who would be soo excited to let our best friend know and come to the place where the girl/boy that he/she likes very very much has just shown up, hahaa..Talking about subtle-but-not-so-subtle showing of attraction and affection from DH to JA, even the brothers could see it, you silly DH! :D

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On another note, I come to find that LSK is a really powerful, nuanced actor, who can have great chemistry with all the actors in this drama! IU is no doubt magnificent, she truly shines (how I love the wobbling of her chin when she cried!), but then you see how LSK acts, you see why a veteran is on another level. Same goes with the older actors; halmeoni, janitor, chairman. Their mere presence totally gives the vibe of the char, even without much words.

As for LSK, his chemistry with IU is undeniably great, but then you have his scene with his wife - the dynamic between them -, with his bros, with his mom, with his monk bff, with his team, with JY, with his gang, with JH, even only on text message convo with his son! I still mesmerized by the way he says, "Okay," when his son demands rising of allowance. Just a simple okay, but so much tenderness and playfulness depicted between father and son in that one word and its tone. Just wow.

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Thank you for saying all this, and I agree with you on everything. LSK has chemistry with everybody and so effortlessly so at that! The director really hit jackpot when he picked LSK as his leading man. And I can't be more pleased that so many get to appreciate his talent for the first time. But ALL the other actors acted the hell out of their roles. I can't express in words like so many here can, but there is just this unspeakable synergy. It's as if all the actors believe in the story-telling with all their being and as a result their acting transcends into something magical. Sorry if that makes no sense, like I said, I am not good at words.

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Indeed, ALL of them act their char very, very well, to the point that makes this drama so real, so riveting. Something magical, even more magical that it comes from a story about ordinary middle aged people with their ordinary lives, no chaebol, no flashy car, hotel, no nice clothes, etc etc.

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Yes, i like that most dramas nowadays, actually, are about ordinary people with economic struggles and just living in ordinary neighborhoods... taking the underground transportation or the bus.
They feel somehow closer to us viewers, I think... And that is great.
I don't think I have ever watched a drama with typical chaebols where I have liked them or their story altogether 🙄
Wait, maybe Oh my venus, and that was only because john kim was focused on sports and health and not on living the chaebol's life. And I can give an honorable award to Shopping King Louie, because the drama was a comedy, and Loiuie was funny and innocent at the same time; nothing about money and power and politics.

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Everyone has already said all the things about this episode especially @lollypip who has so eloquently recapped this brilliant series. I just want to add that this episode is perfection. From the writing to the directing, and all the nuts an bolts that go into filming, the storytelling is exceptional, but the acting is so masterful it reduced me to blubbering pile of emotions. I am in awe of all involved in this project.

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How do people see JA and DH as soulmates I am clueless. To me, they are more sorrymates than soulmates. That said, everyone has great chemistry.

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My Ajusshi is a masterpiece that is slowly unfolded and treasured with each discovery. Thank you so much LollyPip for your insightful recaps.

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Lollypop, just loved your recaps. You've managed to articulate so well all the scenes it this Drama. I simply loved this Drama, soul mates taking care of each other and the intricate relationship between family and friends. Thanks for the recaps.

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My apologies, typo error for your name LollyPip.

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I watched the last episode raw and cried like 5 times, and then i watched with subs and i cried again; this show i tell you, it just had that idk that something, i loved it. It goes there alongside all the dramas i have loved since i started watching kdramas. I will miss JiAn so much, and our adorable ahjusshi as well. I'm already suffering withdrawal symptoms lmao. Good thing I have Come here and Hug me to cover the space this drama left.

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I have finished watching till episode 16 with English subtitles and am waiting for your recaps @LollyPip. Loved all your recaps especially the way you analysed and explained the scenes that were played out. Thanks for the recaps. My Ajusshi is truly a remarkable drama. It brings out all the emotions from tears to laughter, depression to joy watching the intertwining life journey of the PDH & LJA together with their family, friends and colleagues.

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I have also watched ep16 and am just waiting to read the final recap and comments. I’m totally curious ...
Anyway it seems to me that all has been said about episode 15 :)

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One overlooked detail about the conversation between Dong-hoon and Yoon-hee. When DH came into her home office looking sad and hesitant it was apparent that YH thought to herself 'This is it. This is where he finally asks me for a divorce'. That's why she said she'll agree to anything on any schedule. Instead he asked about Ji-an. That wasn't where she thought the conversation was going. So her unspoken response was okay, we're both in this together then.

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