Beauty Inside: Episode 16 (Final)
Everything good in this show finally comes together in this final installment, and it’s a delightful way to send off our lovely characters. We watch our couples experience the joys and frustrations of lovers, and it’s quite adorable. Though Do-jae and Se-kye are met with scandals and accusations from the world around them, their trust in each other never falters. And for them, that trust and confidence in each is the only thing that matters for their love.
EPISODE 16 RECAP
In an interview, Se-kye shares her excitement about going to Cannes for her latest film. When asked about her most memorable costar, Se-kye chooses Yoo-ri and notes that she hasn’t been active recently. We see paranoid Yoo-ri hiding under sunglasses and a scarf, apologizing and running away when she accidently bumps into a passerby.
Sa-ra finds Se-kye after the interview and hands her a bouquet of flowers as she tries to win her over to model for her airline. Do-jae intercepts the bouquet exchange to protect his model, and Woo-mi intervenes to ask for a formal proposal from both airlines.
As Woo-mi escorts Se-kye out to her next schedule, Do-jae and Se-kye exchange finger hearts. Sa-ra sighs at his advantage and shoves the bouquet into Do-jae’s hands before walking off.
Do-jae bothers Secretary Jung with the bouquet of flowers and insists that they get lunch together. Secretary Jung (now VP Jung but we’ll just call him Secretary Jung for consistency) refuses and responds to work matters, but Do-jae continues to distract him in his office as he comments on Se-kye’s social media. Only when Secretary Jung threatens to call Gramps does Do-jae finally get out of his hair.
Eun-ho and Do-jae go on a date at a café because both their girlfriends are busy. Before Do-jae can dig in, Eun-ho takes pictures of the dessert and Do-jae
like a true millennial. Eun-ho says that Do-jae makes money easily while Sa-ra works tirelessly all night without giving him a single glance to try to beat Do-jae’s airline. Do-jae drops his fork and can’t believe that Eun-ho was with Sa-ra all night, and Eun-ho takes that as his cue to run away to the library.
Learning from Eun-ho, Do-jae decides that he needs to make a greater effort and sends Se-kye a selfie he takes with her dog, who’s now his office dog. Se-kye doesn’t read his text right away, so he pouts that he’s lonely.
At an interview for her new film, Se-kye’s male castmate says that the actresses are the “flowers” to the movie set because you feel good just looking at them. He identifies the younger female actress as their film’s “flower,” and Se-kye responds by saying that he can also be the film’s flower by smiling and keeping his mouth shut.
Se-kye bluntly translates that by telling the dude to shut up and be their film’s flower while the she and her costar remain as actors. Woo-mi glares at Se-kye for causing another headache, and Do-jae also acknowledges troublemaker Se-kye after watching the interview. He receives call from Gramps about their sudden drop in stocks, and Do-jae assures him that it’ll be resolved soon.
Woo-mi scolds Se-kye for causing trouble on their live broadcast interview, and Se-kye says that she couldn’t stop herself. As expected, Se-kye has topped the search charts online, and they find that a dating scandal with the flower castmate has also emerged. Woo-mi immediately calls their trusted Reporter Park to try to resolve their bad press.
Do-jae sees the dating scandal and wonders if this is why Se-kye has been avoiding his messages. Just as he wonders if he’s been dumped, Se-kye enters his house and immediately runs to her dog, leaving Do-jae hanging. Do-jae trails after her with open arms to ask for a hug and adorably settles for a back hug.
Arms crossed, Do-jae asks about the scandal, and Se-kye tells him to look closely at the photo of the man. Do-jae recognizes the man as Se-kye from a previous transformation and apologizes. Se-kye says that Do-jae needs to endure these scandals because she’s just that good of an actor. She notes that her real relationships never made news, and Do-jae suspiciously asks about her past relationships. Avoiding the question, Se-kye runs off to find food.
Se-kye tells Do-jae that she’s starring in a new rom-com, which makes Do-jae preemptively jealous for the kiss scenes. She asks him to help her run lines — of course, the part with the kiss scene — and lucky for Do-jae, he gets to practice the scene with Se-kye. After he gives her a quick peck, Se-kye points out that it was a kiss, and he tries to go in again. Hee they’re cute.
With Do-jae lying on her lap, Se-kye asks about the difference between her face now and when he felt her face with his prosopagnosia. Do-jae says that he can’t tell the difference and admits that he just wanted to feel her face. Se-kye looks alarmed by his naughty intentions, and Do-jae offers to show her more naughty intentions. He kisses her until she concedes to his affection.
The next morning, Do-jae suggests that Se-kye accompany him to work, but she has other plans. Se-kye meets with Sa-ra and assures her that she hasn’t broken up with Do-jae. Sa-ra acknowledges that Se-kye’s line of work makes her prone to rumors, and Se-kye grumbles in disapproval of younger men like her scandal counterpart.
Sa-ra wonders if Eun-ho is being too polite to her because he’s younger than her. She says that Eun-ho only calls her when she’s done with work, knowing that she’s busy. Se-kye asks if Sa-ra is bragging about her boyfriend, but Sa-ra insists that it’s a genuine concern and explains that she doesn’t have any friends to ask for advice.
Se-kye says that Eun-ho is always like that — kind and friendly to everyone. Sa-ra doesn’t like describing Eun-ho as “friendly to everyone” because she was initially rejected with that phrase. She accuses Eun-ho of smiling at everyone, and Se-kye slams the table at that unacceptable behavior.
Eun-ho studies at the library, and when a female student points out that he dropped something, he assumes that it’s a pick-up line and immediately tells her that he has a girlfriend. But the student picks up his pen and seems baffled by his assumption.
Sa-ra smirks while watching this interaction, and Eun-ho turns to find her being approached by another male student. The student tells Sa-ra that she dropped something — her charm — and asks if she has a boyfriend. Eun-ho marches up to her and announces that she’s taken, and the student recognizes him as the legendary Ryu Eun-ho.
In Sa-ra’s car, Eun-ho sulks in jealousy, and Sa-ra says that it’s not her fault that she’s charming. Eun-ho regrets being sulky when Sa-ra drops him off and apologizes for making a busy person drive him around. Sa-ra says that she’s doing this because she wants to and that she’ll be too busy for the time being to drive him.
On that note, she hands him keys to an extra car she received from Gramps. She tells him to drive himself while she’s busy, and Eun-ho looks shocked by her generosity. Before he leaves, she points to her cheek and kisses him twice before driving off. Eun-ho comments that he’s dating a great person. Then, he gets summoned by Se-kye to come over right away.
Eun-ho kneels on the ground with his hands raised in front of his friends as punishment for his poor dating etiquette. Se-kye scolds Eun-ho for making Sa-ra wait for his calls, and Woo-mi scolds him for smiling at everyone. When Eun-ho claims that people still like him without his smile, Woo-mi threatens to hit him with her slipper, and Eun-ho obediently keeps his hands raised in punishment.
Secretary Jung enters Do-jae’s office and accuses him of dating another woman. He shows him the photo of Do-jae with another woman (transformed Se-kye) and wonders if that’s the reason for Se-kye dating another man. Holding Se-kye’s dog, Secretary Jung wonders if the cute dog is the only reason why they’re still together.
Secretary Jung meets with Woo-mi and apologizes profusely about Do-jae cheating on Se-kye first. Woo-mi knows that this isn’t true but plays along with his concern. Secretary Jung proposes a plan to kindle the broken relationship and invites the whole gang over to his housewarming.
When Do-jae arrives, Secretary Jung closes the door when Do-jae pretends that he didn’t bring a housewarming gift but opens up in glee when Do-jae reveals his gift. Sa-ra notes that Do-jae must pay Secretary Jung a lot for him to buy a house, and Do-jae explains that he raised Secretary Jung’s salary every time an incident occurred, which was often.
Eun-ho says that he’s jealous but rejects Se-kye’s offer to raise his pay because he fears what she’ll order him to do. He reveals that Se-kye once asked him to steal her phone from Do-jae, and Se-kye says that it’s all fun memories for them now. Secretary Jung seems proud of his strategy to mend the broken relationship, though Se-kye and Do-jae both deny his misunderstanding.
Woo-mi announces her marriage and hands out her invitations to everyone. Eun-ho tells Woo-mi that she’s going too far by faking marriage, and Woo-mi rolls up her sleeves for a scolding. Sa-ra gives her permission to do as she wishes since she doesn’t intend on interfering their friendship.
The guys drunkenly watch the ladies play an intense game of Go Stop, where Sa-ra leads with her fourth “go.” Eun-ho admires his cool girlfriend, and Woo-mi cheers on Se-kye with their company on the line. Se-kye asks Do-jae for the hammer (a phrase used in the game) and screams in delight when she wins with her turn. Do-jae jerks awake at the celebration and slurs as he asks for a hammer.
Se-kye drunkenly video calls Do-jae and whines that she misses him. Do-jae says that he misses her too and promises that they’ll see each other soon. Woo-mi looks at Se-kye pathetically because Do-jae merely went out to get a restock on alcohol. She’s embarrassed that Se-kye is acting so dramatic in front of Sa-ra, but Sa-ra is no different and whines that she misses Eun-ho. LOL.
As the guys stumble back with more alcohol, Secretary Jung continues to accuse Do-jae of cheating. Do-jae explains to Eun-ho that it was a transformation, and they note that Se-kye hasn’t transformed in the past two months. They explain Se-kye’s transformation condition, but Secretary Jung assumes they’re talking drunken nonsense.
When they return with the drinks, Se-kye runs into Do-jae’s arms and Eun-ho cuddles Sa-ra. It’s the most unnecessarily dramatic reunion scene, and Woo-mi shakes her head in disapproval.
As Sa-ra drops off Eun-ho at school the next day, Eun-ho looks disappointed when Sa-ra says that she may or may not call him after work. He kisses her on the cheek before heading out, and as Sa-ra drives off, he’s approached by a female student who hands him a drink. Sa-ra drives back around and honks at Eun-ho to get back into the car but without that drink.
Sa-ra meets Eun-ho’s parents and asks them to give their son to her because he’s too precious to leave unclaimed. Having just met Sa-ra, Dad asks about her job, and she responds that she’s a chaebol. The parents gasp, and Aram giggles in glee.
Sa-ra promises to make Eun-ho’s dream to become a priest (shinbu) come true, and Mom freaks out. But she means that Eun-ho will be the bride (also shinbu in Korean) and she will be the groom. Aram applauds in approval, and Eun-ho takes Sa-ra’s hand in agreement.
When Sa-ra returns to her office, she notices the marigolds on her desk and takes a moment to pray to the higher being in gratitude for Eun-ho. She thanks the higher being for agreeing to her negotiation and promises to fulfill her offer. Nothing like business with the heavens.
During her break at a photoshoot, Se-kye and Woo-mi find a food truck sent to the site with a poster announcing that it was sent from her boyfriend Seo Do-jae. Woo-mi notes that Do-jae must have been really bothered by the scandal and immediately gets busy trying to deal with the press.
As Do-jae looks through his sketches of Se-kye’s cohabitants that he’s met, he receives a call from Se-kye asking him out on a date. She offers to pick him up, and on her way, she notices a grandmother with a cane struggling to cross the street. She pulls over and helps the grandmother to the other side.
Once they safely reach the sidewalk, the grandmother asks for her name, and Se-kye tells her. As Se-kye watches the grandmother limp away, she remembers how she helped others through her transformations and tears up in realization that for so long, she had been resenting the many versions of herself.
As we see Se-kye picking up Do-jae and running into his arms, she narrates: “Fate continued to teach me that it had to be me, that those many faces came to me for a reason. So now, I should love myself and love you.”
Se-kye takes Do-jae to a dress shop and tries on the red dress she plans to wear to Cannes. Do-jae decides that she’s too dangerous going to Cannes in that dress and takes her to a special venue.
They arrive at a beautiful private outdoor wedding venue, and Do-jae says that he’s going to make a promise before Se-kye charms anyone at Cannes. Se-kye takes his arm, and they walk down the aisle like a perfect couple.
When they reach the altar, Do-jae gives Se-kye one more chance to run away, but she refuses. Do-jae retrieves the rings and before he can put the ring on Se-kye’s finger, she asks for a proposal. Do-jae asks, “As we grow older together, are you confident that you won’t abandon me if you suddenly turn young one day? And if you suddenly turn old one day, are you confident that you won’t abandon yourself?”
Se-kye says that she’s confident and extends her hand for him to put the ring on her finger. Se-kye also slides the ring on Do-jae’s finger and promises to buy their real rings. Do-jae says that they still need to go on their honeymoon, even though this is all practice.
They drive to the beach and watch the waves as we see a montage of our couple’s iconic moments — their first meeting, secret contract, the joys of dating, their painful break-up, and their reunion.
As they sit on the beach, Se-kye asks how pre-surgery Do-jae recognized her from the crowd in the award ceremony photo. Do-jae explains that he spotted a solo photo of her from that ceremony and used that as reference.
Se-kye then asks how he recognized her in the elevator, and Do-jae admits that he just guessed because she was acting so suspicious. He figured that Se-kye was the only person who would be so dramatic. Se-kye calls him a con, but he corrects her that it was all fate.
As Se-kye walks out toward the water, Do-jae calls out to her and tells her that he loves her. She smiles, and as she walks back toward him, we see the many versions of Se-kye walking that same path toward Do-jae. Young, old, men, women, children, including some familiar faces (cameos by Jeon Hye-bin and Heo Jung-min) all walk to Do-jae as Se-kye. When she reaches him, she tells him that she loves him too, and they kiss.
While setting up the camera for their photo, Do-jae worries about Se-kye’s transformation overlapping with the Cannes Film Festival. Se-kye thinks that she’ll be fine because she’s been transforming less often recently — every few months as opposed to every month. Do-jae joins her in the photo and they announce together, “Until now, it’s been Se-kye and Do-jae of today.”
We made it! After experiencing their sudden encounter, sudden intimacy, sudden affection, and sudden turbulence, we’ve landed safely into the land of butterflies and rainbows and everything good in the world. There’s only so much happy you can fit into a finale, and I guess that’s why we got not one but two montages of our couple’s trajectory. Though it was far from perfect, I’m sufficiently satisfied with this ending because this finale and the montages reminded me of the strengths of this drama.
This show didn’t always have the best sense of direction (akin to Google maps circa 2006, though people still drive into lakes in 2018 — besides the point), but it always had this inexplicable charm and sparkle with Se-kye being unabashedly herself — outspoken, petty, dramatic, and kind. That dynamic character paired with deadpan and semi-robotic Do-jae was a joy to watch, and I love that this last episode gave us more hilarity and witty banter, which is truly this show’s greatest asset. I could tell that the cast was super close (Seo Hyun-jin, Lee Min-ki, and Lee Da-hee are the same age), and something about the synergy of the cast made the onscreen relationships and acting feel more natural.
I had almost forgotten how forthright Se-kye was until I saw her shut up the male cast member, and that jogged my memory about the Se-kye’s amazing shameless confrontations with misogyny. I like that we revisit this Se-kye, who stands by her beliefs with brazen honesty, but in a new light. She no longer has a veil of melancholy energy; rather, she carries this sense of happiness and comfort. I think that change was best portrayed in her interaction with the grandmother crossing the street and her subsequent reflection. Instead of suffering through her transformations as punishment, she realizes that this may have been a gift to teach herself to appreciate her own humanity and kindness.
The show has made it clear that the origins and true mechanisms of the transformations are not important, and I’ve conceded to this show’s rhetoric. Just like Se-kye has learned to see her transformations in a more positive light, I’m choosing to be more optimistic about this show and ending. We got some amazing cameos (Kim Min-seok set a high bar and was by far my favorite), crackling chemistry between rom-com royalty, an adorable dog dressed to the nines, and plenty of cheeky hijinks that were pulled off with ease. I’ll probably remember the show with selective memory, but even without my rose-tinted glasses, I do think that the good outweighed the meh, especially with Seo Hyun-jin’s ability to make even make most nonsensical moments emotionally charged. Until now, it’s been dramallama of today. Thanks for tuning in!