Hundred Million Stars From the Sky: Episode 16 (Final)
How far can one man fall? In the beginning, Moo-young considered himself above the rest of the world, toying easily with the lives and emotions of others. Now, he’s fallen victim to the game he once believed he controlled. Moo-young’s only desire is to protect Jin-kang, but with lives as intertwined as theirs, it may be impossible to sever those ties, and despite everything would Jin-kang even want to?
FINAL EPISODE:”I want to live”
Amidst the chaos following Se-ran’s death, Jin-kook rushes to meet Moo-young. Waiting for the detective at the temple where his parents rest, Moo-young stares sorrowfully at his last photo with Jin-kang. When Jin-kook arrives, Moo-young steps out to meet him, his expression stone.
Outside, Jin-kook asks if Moo-young really did it but Moo-young wants to know if Jin-kang can live a normal life now. Jin-kook doesn’t understand and is even further baffled when Moo-young suddenly thanks him. At Jin-kook’s blank stare, Moo-young clarifies, “Thank you for protecting… my younger sister, Yoon.”
Taken aback, Jin-kook stutters, “Jin-kang isn’t… You don’t have a younger sibling.” He wonders who could’ve put such an idea in Moo-young’s head but stops short when it finally clicks. The realization that Se-ran lied strikes Moo-young hard and he crumples to the ground in sobs, simultaneously relieved and horrified at what he’s done.
The next day, Jin-kang is interrogated at the police station. When asked about her relationship with Moo-young, Jin-kang replies she was his girlfriend… only to firmly correct that she is his girlfriend.
Waiting out in the parking lot, Jin-kook thinks back to earlier when So-jung had stopped him as he was leaving. She’d told him that Jin-kang was aware they weren’t blood-related and had known since high school.
Jin-kang’s interview grinds to a halt when Jin-kang declares she doesn’t believe Moo-young did it. Leveling her with a pitying stare, the officer tells her to wake up. Jin-kang listens in stony silence as he points out that Moo-young’s information has be released because they’re positive he did it.
Outside, she finds Jin-kook waiting for her and gets into the car. As they drive, Jin-kook thinks about So-jung’s claim Jin-kang knows they’re not siblings, and remembers Jin-kang tearfully screaming that she’d always felt guilty towards him growing up.
At a stoplight, Jin-kang asks if she should believe something if everyone else says it’s true. “Everyone is saying that Kim Moo-young killed her,” Jin-kang says. Unable to answer, Jin-kook thinks back to So-jung’s second revelation: she’d told Jin-kang what happened between Jin-kook and Moo-young’s dad.
“Jin-kang,” Jin-kook breaks the silence, “Your real name… is Jung-yoon. Han Jung-yoon.” He apologizes for not telling her sooner and promises to tell her everything once they find Moo-young. Jin-kang nods and offers a weak smile.
As Moo-young sleeps in the abandoned house he grew up in, Jin-kang stares at the last picture she took with Moo-young. The detective’s words that Moo-young is guilty replay in her mind, but she frames the photo anyway.
Jin-kang thinks about Se-ran’s goading for her to ask her brother about his past with Moo-young, and then So-jung assuring her that Jin-kook didn’t hate Moo-young, rather he felt apologetic and afraid. Moo-young wakes up and wanders around the house, finding both electricity and water not working.
Lighting some candles, Moo-young starts cleaning the place up. When he steps outside, he’s captivated by the night sky and flashes back to his conversation with Jin-kook the previous night. He asks who Jin-kang was, if not his sister, and why she was in his memories and his drawing.
“Because you treasured her and loved her more than family,” Jin-kook replies. He tells Moo-young that Jin-kang was severely neglected thanks to her parents’ obsession with the cult. They were the ones who’d converted Moo-young’s mother.
Learning that his mother stole their house deposit and ran off with him, Moo-young finally understands his father’s actions. Jin-kook continues that the couple Moo-young’s father had murdered along with his wife were actually Jin-kang’s parents.
Horrified, Moo-young begs Jin-kook never to tell Jin-kang about their dark past. In return, Jin-kook urges Moo-young to turn himself in. Shaking his head, Moo-young admits, “I’m so angry. I feel like somebody toyed with me so much that… I can’t bear it.”
Saying he needs time, Moo-young starts to leave but Jin-kook holds him back. Moo-young tells Jin-kook it isn’t his nor Dr. Yang’s fault and pulls him into a brief hug. Breaking away with a smirk, Moo-young adds that Jin-kook could never win against him, anyway, thanks to all the guilt he bore.
Moo-young asks for three days and Jin-kook can only watch him leave with a sigh. In the present, Moo-young sits at the table and tries to write out his will. He rubs moisture from his eyes as we see the gun sitting on the table beside him.
Walking out into the woods, Moo-young pulls the gun from his pocket and fires a bullet into his head, crumpling instantly… but it’s only a nightmare and Jin-kook wakes up in a cold sweat, screaming, “No, Moo-young. No!”
Bursting out of his room, Jin-kook finds Jin-kang sitting in the dark living room. He asks what she’s doing and she fires back, “Why did you do it to him?” She’s asking why Jin-kook stabbed Moo-young. Jin-kang can’t understand why he didn’t apologize and ask for forgiveness if he felt sorry and afraid.
She repeats her question and Jin-kook can only reply that he was wrong. “He isn’t the person you used to know. He told me he wanted to start afresh,” Jin-kang says firmly. She refuses to believe Moo-young killed Se-ran unless she hears it from his mouth.
Jin-kang adds that her feelings aren’t like a cold, as Jin-kook had said. “It isn’t like something that gets better after suffering a little,” she says, “I.. I don’t think I can live without him. I might end up dying without him.” Pulling her into a hug, Jin-kook promises to find Moo-young.
The next day, Jin-kook confides in Dr. Yang, lamenting that he should’ve stopped Moo-young from leaving at all costs. Dr. Yang muses that Moo-young directed all his hatred inward when he learned the truth about his father.
He warns Jin-kook Moo-young won’t be able to bear having become a murderer himself. Both men resolve to fine Moo-young quickly. Meanwhile, Chairman Jang (Se-ran and Woo-sang’s father) icily wades through a throng of reporters.
So-jung drops in to check on Jin-kang and has her change the house’s passcode. Grumbling that Jin-kook never did it, despite his promises, So-jung anxiously asks if Jin-kang used something personal–like her birthday–for the new code.
Jin-kang immediately guesses So-jung is worried about Moo-young and demands to know why. Shocked to learn Moo-young had come to the house to confront Jin-kook with a gun, Jin-kang wonders if it was because of the incident twenty-five years ago.
She asks when Moo-young came and checking her texts, realizes she hadn’t even noticed Moo-young had made sure she wouldn’t be home, and Jin-kook would. Leaving a convenience store with supplies, Moo-young pauses at the telephone booth. Meanwhile, Jin-kang meets with Yoo-ri in prison.
Yoo-ri guesses she’s there about Moo-young and Jin-kang admits she doesn’t believe Moo-young is guilty. Yoo-ri disagrees, saying that Moo-young always follows through. “If he has the will,” Yoo-ri adds, “he’s capable of even worse things.”
Moo-young stares down at the rice he’s just made and flashes back to the night Jin-kang taught him how. He’d asked her why they’d bothered and she’d told him that if he wanted to start fresh, he should live in a warm house smelling of warm rice.
As Jin-kang takes a taxi home, we hear that Yoo-ri had added that killing someone doesn’t change who Moo-young is. “At least,” she’d said, “he doesn’t harm those who did nothing to him.” Jin-kang suddenly asks the driver to take her to the police station instead.
The horde of reporters swarm in as Se-ran’s secretary exits the station and Jin-kang fights her way through to demand what they’d said to Moo-young. She cries frantically after him as he drives away, begging to know where Moo-young is.
Sitting numbly in the car on his way home, the secretary receives a call from Chairman Jang, whom we see staring ominously at a photo of his now-dead children.
Moo-young sits outside tending a fire. Staring up at the sky, he thinks of Jin-kook’s retelling of Moo-young and Jin-kang’s past. Their parents were so obsessed with religion, they neglected the kids. Caring for Jin-kang fell to Moo-young.
“You meant the world to her,” Jin-kook had said, “That’s probably why she stopped talking when you disappeared.” Jin-kang didn’t say anything for the first three months with Jin-kook, and just sat staring at the gate all day until the sun went down and she cried.
Even after opening up to Jin-kook, Jin-kang would chase after any boy Moo-young’s age and cry again when it wasn’t him. “You planted love in her heart,” Jin-kook told Moo-young. In response to Moo-young’s disbelief, Jin-kook pointed out the burn on Moo-young’s shoulder.
After Jin-kook shot Moo-young’s dad, Jin-kang had innocently run inside and knocked over the heater and the kettle balanced atop it. Moo-young had had dived to cover her and that’s why his burn is bigger. “I feel proud…” Moo-young said, “of my ugly burn now.” Jin-kook then apologized for his actions after Moo-young had done so much to protect Jin-kang.
In the present, Moo-young starts to cry and Jin-kang lies beside him, asking why. He tells her it’s because he’s happy. She wonders why and he replies that the sky is so beautiful, lamenting that he’d missed so many beautiful things in the world.
Turning to face her, he tells her they used to live in the house. He jokes that if he told her everything she’d want to repay him. Jin-kang promises she will, “So…stay with me for a long time.” Moo-young curls into Jin-kang’s embrace but it’s all a dream, and he shivers on the blanket alone.
At home, Jin-kang remembers Moo-young telling her he’d found his home, before laughing it off as a joke. Recalling he’d said the house looked like his drawing, Jin-kang fishes out the picture. She pulls up a satellite image of Mount Geumah and finds the house in the woods.
She books the earliest train ticket just as Se-ran’s secretary texts her the article they’d shown Moo-young. He then details that Moo-young and the other couple’s daughter were later hospitalized with burns.
Returning home, Jin-kook finds Jin-kang missing. Her computer is still on the satellite image and she’d jotted a note on her train time in a notebook. Panicking, Jin-kook races back out, but pauses when his phone rings.
It’s Moo-young’s friend, Hee-jun. He tells Jin-kook Moo-young instructed him to call three hours later, but he felt anxious. Hee-jun delivers Moo-young’s message: for Jin-kook to meet him at the place he’d first met Kang Sun-ho.
In a voiceover Moo-young says, “To tell the story I want to tell, I will have to quickly end the story that I must tell.” He continues that if not having a heart makes one a devil, then he really didn’t have a heart. Moo-young doesn’t know why, but he’s always considered people strange.
Moo-young:“They became happy because of strange things, became sad because of strange things, and became angry because of strange things. I hated people some days, and they entertained me some days.”
Moo-young says he bothered and observed whatever he wanted to, and if someone wanted to fight, he fought. He admits that he had no interest in either Yoo-ri or Seung-ah, he only knew that he would win. A taxi drops Jin-kang off and she starts up the mountain.
“Jin-kang told me to become a good person,” Moo-young’s voiceover continues, “I wanted to become a good person, but I became a murderer.” We see that Moo-young’s words are a narration of the letter he’s writing.
Thinking back to the moment he’d asked Se-ran to stop, noting that he’d thought only he would get hurt and admitting he felt regret asking her to interfere, Moo-young says, “I really felt that I was a human that day.”
He laments that he killed someone in the moment he’d felt most human, and realized his life was over as a result. Moo-young sets the pen down and picks up his photo with Jin-kang as the camera pans to show the gun on the desk behind him.
Jin-kang finds the house and a memory of little Moo-young and herself playing leads her around the back. She remembers sitting on the stoop whining to Moo-young that she’s hungry. He’d climbed up to look in the window at the adults absorbed in their prayers and instead gave Jin-kang all the peanuts in his pocket.
Inside, Moo-young has finished his letter and a noise sends him darting around a corner. It’s only Jin-kang and he steps out stunned. His eyes fall to her hand, which is holding the gun. Throwing on a cocky grin, Moo-young awes at her finding him.
Jin-kang asks if Moo-young had gotten the gun for Jin-kook and he confirms it. She asks if he intended to kill Jin-kook, even bringing it to their house and questioning Jin-kang on their schedules to make sure Jin-kook would be alone. Moo-young simply replies “yes” to everything.
She asks if Jin-kook is the reason he broke up with her and Moo-young repeats his answer. “Is there anything else besides that?” she wonders, “What other lies… do you have prepared for me?” She demands to know what he’s hiding behind his smirk and monosyllabic affirmations.
Moo-young denies it, but freezes when Jin-kang puts the gun to her temple. Laughing nervously, he warns her that it’s not a toy. In response, Jin-kang cocks the gun. Moo-young tells her to stop playiing around, but Jin-kang says, “I feel bad… because my brother caused your father to die.”
Jin-kang says she’ll die in his place and the smile drops completely from Moo-young’s face. He urges her to give him the gun and she demands he promise her he won’t die. Moo-young doesn’t answer and Jin-kang’s finger twitches. He shouts her name as he dives for her and the gun fires.
Making his way up the mountain, Jin-kook starts running faster. Miraculously, neither of the couple is hurt and Moo-young angrily demands if Jin-kang really wants to die. She earnestly replies that she wants to live, “I want to live together with you.”
Pained, Moo-young turns away and commands her to leave. He turns back when Jin-kang admits she knows his father killed her parents. She says that she understands now how Moo-young must’ve felt when he found out Jin-kook killed his father.
“That’s why you said that to me, right?” she asks, alluding to Moo-young’s statement that she was just herself to him. She returns the sentiment, but Moo-young argues that he killed someone. Undeterred, Jin-kang points out he can just turn himself in, atone and start again.
Moo-young disagrees, saying he’s come too far and now he just wants to die. Jin-kang demands what she should do, then, and Moo-young tells her to go back… to the time before they met. “Even though we were together from the start?” Jin-kang asks.
Producing Moo-young’s drawing, she indicates the smallest figure. “This is me. If you die, I’ll die too,” she declares. She points out that she was only alive because of Moo-young to begin with and refuses to go anywhere without him. Jin-kang wonders if he really wants to die, even after everything she’s said.
After a pause, Moo-young finally chokes out, “No. I want to live.” Jin-kang starts towards him, but when she hears the door open, flings herself in front of Moo-young just in time to block the gunshot. Outside, Jin-kook hears and screams her name, bolting towards the source of the shot.
Moo-young stumbles back as Jin-kang sinks to the ground, not even registering Se-ran’s secretary leveling the gun for a second shot. Moo-young collapses next to Jin-kang and the couple will themselves to inch just a little closer.
“I love you,” Moo-young chokes out and Jin-kang cries as he stops moving before she too falls still. When Jin-kook bursts into the house, the secretary is gone and only the couples’ corpses remain.
Jin-kook breaks down sobbing as Moo-young’s voiceover finishes his letter which he’d addressed to Jin-kook, “Goodbye, Ajusshi. Please don’t be sorry to me now. 25 years are enough.” Moo-young had paused after dating it to sign his original name, Kang Sun-ho.
Moo-young:“P.S. In the afternoon one day, I missed something and started my journey. I walked, walked, and walked again. I bumped again and again. Then I met Jin-kang. And… I started to breathe again.”
That’s it?! I don’t know about y’all, but I was half-inclined to chuck my laptop into the ditch after watching that ending. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t betting on at least one of the leading trio dying but the way everything went to hell and then there was that glimmer of hope? That despite all the horrible things, the couple just might pull through and (after a lengthy prison sentence) have the happy ending they so badly deserve… only to have it all ripped away by the secretary?! I mean, technically it was Chairman Jang and one could hardly blame him after both of his children died after getting involved with Moo-young but gah!!!
I suppose it was a relief to find out that Moo-young and Jin-kang actually weren’t siblings after all, but at that point it hardly mattered as the damage had been done. Honestly, the revelation felt more like a slap in the face. And the little sense I’d been able to glean as to Jin-kook’s reasoning for being so incredibly awful to Moo-young flew out the window when the taboo was stricken from his possible list of objections towards Jin-kang and Moo-young being together. If anything, you’d think he’d be happy that they found each other again. It’s too late now for what-ifs but it just eats me up that they would’ve made an adorable family unit if only Jin-kook had talked to them rather than scream at and stab them. Now he has two more lives weighing on his conscious.
Moo-young’s letter was a sad cherry atop the world’s saddest sundae. It was heartbreaking to finally understand how his mind worked and see that he truly never hated anyone except himself. He understood that what happened between Jin-kook and his father was merely a tragic accident and his own desire to protect Jin-kang allowed him to forgive Jin-kook’s graver offenses (*cough* stabbing *cough*). He doesn’t even hold a grudge against Dr. Yang, whom I’ve always found disturbing and will never forgive for allowing an injured, amnesiac, child to wander off on his own. Moo-young’s only solace was Jin-kang. She was the thing he’d never known he was missing and if my heart wasn’t already as dead as the OTP (too soon?) I would’ve cried ugly tears at his postscript.
Oh, how I wish I hadn’t been so frustrated with the ending, because the drama was quite captivating, due in large part to the actors. Seo In-gook and Jung So-min were exquisite and despite my fury at the ending, I don’t regret watching their performances one bit. Props to Park Sung-woong, as well, because I both hated and adored Jin-kook… often simultaneously. It’s been a crazy ride and I don’t think I’ll be repeating it, if only because I want to live in my fantasy world where Jin-kang and Moo-young get their happily ever after, maybe in their next life?
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