Reach of Sincerity: Episode 16 (Final)
We say a sweet goodbye to everyone in this hour, without much drama, but with plenty of sugar and spice, and all things nice. The happy ending for our main couple comes with very little fuss, which leaves more room for happiness and cute antics from all our other characters as well. We even get a nice surprise, with Yoon-seo returning as secretary – what more can you ask for in a finale?
EPISODE 16 RECAP
After spending the night together, Yoon-seo and Jung-rok continue to bask in the bliss of their relationship. Yoon-seo cutely pretends not to enjoy the breakfast Jung-rok made her, and Jung-rok gets his revenge with a surprise kiss on the cheek. Hee.
Swept up in his happiness, Jung-rok hasn’t had the chance to tell Se-won he’s back together with Yoon-seo. So naturally, Se-won thinks that Jung-rok has been pulling all-nighters at the office, lol. He confides in Yeo-reum that Jung-rok is having such a hard time with the break-up, and they both worry about how they can help their friend.
It’s really Attorney Yeon who is having a hard time, with his burnt hand and broken heart. He pitifully tells the office that he never thought Yoon-seo would date anyone who wasn’t a celebrity – and asks them what Jung-rok has that he doesn’t.
Attorney Choi is (too) quick to rattle off all the reasons – age, looks, his mountain of debt – and Attorney Yeon turns wounded eyes on him. Ha, cowardly Choi scurries off before Yeon can say anything.
On the thinnest of pretences, Attorney Yeon pulls Jung-rok into his office to grill him about dating Yoon-seo. Ohhh no, Yeon has zero chill, pettily ordering Jung-rok about, especially after Jung-rok gets a message from Yoon-seo saying she misses him. Ha, I’m cringing.
Se-won and Yeo-reum plot to help Jung-rok over his “broken heart” – by setting him up on a surprise date. Unwitting, Jung-rok tells Yoon-seo he’s going out with Se-won that night. Yoon-seo thinks it sounds like a great chance to have a date outside of the apartment, since no one will be suspicious if there are three of them.
Jung-rok gets there in time to learn about Se-won’s plan just before Yoon-seo arrives, but not in time to stop it. Jung-rok tries to explain, but Yoon-seo stops him and turns to the date, “I’m sorry, but this man is mine.” And she grabs (a delighted) Jung-rok’s wrist to lead him away. Hee.
At Yoon-seo’s apartment, Jung-rok contritely tries to confirm he had no idea about the date – and Yoon-seo answers that she’s furious. Furious that he’s so handsome, that is! Ha, she complains his face and body are a waste since he’s not even going to be a celebrity.
Jung-rok can’t hide his amusement, and Yoon-seo says that of course she isn’t angry about the date, because she trusts him. In turn, Jung-rok says that he’s the one who should be anxious, because she’s so great. In fact, Jung-rok says he’s worried every man in Korea will hate him – but sweetly promises that no matter what happens, they will be able to overcome it.
They’re going to be tested sooner than they think – Yoon-seo will be leaving for her overseas shoot sooner than she expected (tomorrow morning), and will be gone for a whole month. She whines to Hyuk-joon that it’s too long.
On hearing the unexpected news, Jung-rok flips into determined mode. He declares that they need to make the most of their 20 hours left so he’ll take the day off. Attorney Yeon petulantly tries to stop Jung-rok, but can’t follow through – what actually halts Jung-rok is the news that his client has been arrested.
Yoon-seo won’t let a little thing like that stop her though – so she goes back to work at Always Law as Jung-rok’s special ‘one-day secretary’. So cute. When Jung-rok’s phone runs out of battery, Yoon-seo uses her own phone to wirelessly charge it, and cheesily asks, “Isn’t it just like me, who always recharges your energy?”
The other lovers, Yeo-reum and Se-won are relieved that Jung-rok wasn’t angry over their mistake. Se-won jokes that Jung-rok really seems like a different person these days, since he didn’t even threaten to kick Se-won out of the apartment.
Yeo-reum’s ears prick at this, and she tells Se-won that he should just move out. Yeo-reum says that Se-won should go somewhere he’s wanted, somewhere he can get a warm meal when he comes home. She casually adds, “I have a lot of rice at my house.”
Se-won almost misses the hint, but he beams and grabs Yeo-reum’s hand when he realizes what she’s asking. Yeo-reum gruffly says that she’s doing the right thing since it’s her fault he can’t live with his parents. Se-won sighs, “You’re amazing. I really love a woman who knows how to take responsibility.”
They even get a triumphant moment when Prosecutor Im walks by. Se-won smugly tells Im he’s going to live a loooooong time and be happy with Yeo-reum. After Im leaves, shaking his head at their lovey-dovey display, they go right back to laughing together.
Yoon-seo and Jung-rok finish their work in the evening, determined to end their day together. But, oh no, Hyuk-joon apologetically rings Yoon-seo – he forgot they had an online interview scheduled for that night. Yoon-seo wilts at the thought of their last night being cut short, but Jung-rok just sweetly smiles and tells her that of course she has to go, for her fans.
Aww, at his apartment, Jung-rok sighs that he misses Yoon-seo. He turns on the live stream so he can at least see her adorable face – and gets very excited when Yoon-seo says that she will call the fan who can tell her what the plot to her new drama is.
Jung-rok furiously types out a (hilariously precise) summary of the plot, and wins the call. He introduces himself as an attorney, whose nickname is Porcupine, and Yoon-seo smiles when she realizes who it is.
Jung-rok tells Yoon-seo that his girlfriend is also going away for a month, to fulfil her dream. Jung-rok says “I want to tell her to have fun while she’s there, to stay healthy, and that I’ll always be waiting here.” Yoon-seo tells Jung-rok that she’s sure his girlfriend is grateful for his feelings.
Squee, then Jung-rok adds, “My goddess, your goddess, the universe’s goddess. I love you.”
Yoon-seo practically melts onscreen, and she confesses, “I love you too.” Just so her cover isn’t blown, she adds that she loves all her fans. Ohmygosh, too cute. Way too cute.
Yoon-seo leaves the next day. But even though they’re not in the same country, Yoon-seo and Jung-rok continue to act hopelessly in love, calling each other all the time.
Jung-rok might be happy when he’s speaking with Yoon-seo, but alone at night – he flicks through old photos of her on his phone. Wahhh.
Poor Jung-rok is really going to be left all alone, as Se-won packs up and gets ready to move in with Yeo-reum. Jung-rok jokingly warns Yeo-reum that Se-won is her problem now, at least until he gets his own apartment.
But Jung-rok isn’t as unfazed as he seems, as he goes back to his empty apartment, and sighs, “I hope Oh Jin-shim comes back soon.”
Yoon-seo rings Jung-rok, who is delighted to hear from her. But Yoon-seo sounds panicked as she tells Jung-rok that an article has come out – and hastens to tell him it’s not true. Yoon-seo laments that she’s most worried about how the news will affect him, and reaffirms that it’s definitely not true. Yoon-seo tells him she won’t be able to answer her phone, and hurriedly says she has to go.
Concerned, Jung-rok searches online to find out what Yoon-seo was not telling him – and oh no, it looks like reporters caught Yoon-seo and her “kiss master” colleague Ji-ho on a date. Jung-rok is upset… at how thin Yoon-seo looks. D’aww, he frets that she isn’t eating well.
Ha, it looks like the Always Law team care more about the news than Jung-rok does. As soon as he leaves, talk turns to whether it could be true or not. Ms. Yang thinks their relationship couldn’t have changed so fast, but Attorney Choi wisely says that feelings change all the time.
Lol, Attorney Yeon advises Choi he should be more worried about Attorney Dan’s feelings changing – he once saw her fall in love with three men in one day. Yeon asks that the team respect Jung-rok, and keep mum about the scandal…
…and is the only one to sneakily spy on Jung-rok for any clues about how he’s feeling. Ms. Yang sensibly points out it was his idea to not get involved – after she catches Yeon crouched on the floor analyzing Jung-rok’s motives vis-à-vis thumping a broken photocopier. Yeon loftily says that he just wants the best for Jung-rok and Yoon-seo. Ms. Yang drily says she never got that impression before.
Yeon’s words about Dan’s wandering eye come back to haunt Choi later that night when she wants to stop for udon – and the owner is particularly good-looking. Choi ushers her into a restaurant run by grannies instead, to be safe.
Except it looks like one of their – handsome – grandsons works there as well. Choi leaves to answer his phone, darting suspicious looks between Dan and the man. Choi’s worst fears are confirmed when he comes back in in time to see Dan giving the young man her number, and Choi staggers against the wall.
Choi pulls Dan outside, and demands to know why she’s giving other men her number. Dan looks momentarily confused – and then answers that the shop does home deliveries, so she gave them Choi’s address since he seemed to enjoy the dish. Woops.
Dan says, “You still don’t trust me. I guess I can’t blame you since I know how I’ve been.” Unhappily, Choi tries to deny it, but Dan continues, “But you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Now I just fall in love with the same person, over and over again… I fall in love with you dozens of times a day, so I don’t have time to fall in love with anyone else.”
Choi looks like he’s about to explode, and he leans in closer and closer, about to kiss… when people walking past scoff at them. Dan and Choi break apart, embarrassed. But not for long – Dan grabs Choi and pulls him behind a tree. Kisssss.
Meanwhile, Yeo-reum considers whether she should move to a less intense job, so she can spend more time with Se-won, because that is when she is happiest. She muses that she will have to move soon when her lease is up.
Yoon-seo heads home early, but gets upset when Jung-rok doesn’t answer his phone, and pouts when Hyuk-joon tells her she needs to go straight home to avoid another scandal.
But when she gets home, there are candles lit and wine waiting for her… and a super-cute Jung-rok jumps out from behind a wall, clutching a bunch of flowers. He arranged the whole thing with Hyuk-joon, the sneak. Jung-rok dispels Yoon-seo’s fears about the scandal and assures her that he trusts her.
Overjoyed, Yoon-seo hands Jung-rok his present (snerk, more Chanel perfume) and the close contact suddenly reminds them they’re alone. Jung-rok asks, “Should we do what we couldn’t for a month?”
Flustered, Yoon-seo asks what he means – and is very much disappointed when Jung-rok squarely replies going over her script with her. Ha, he’s not that clueless though – Jung-roks admits he was joking and he pulls Yoon-seo in for hugs (and more?).
The next day, CEO Yeon upsets Yoon-seo when he refuses to release a statement that she isn’t dating her co-star, because it will be good for ratings. Yoon-seo plaintively asks how this will make her boyfriend feel – and CEO Yeon takes a good long while before he realizes exactly what Yoon-seo is confessing.
Meanwhile, Ms. Kim gushes to Ms. Yang about how excited she is to go to the Yeon Entertainment 10th anniversary party and meet the celebrities. Ms. Yang is confused about one thing though – Mr. Lee’s address on the invitation is wrong. Ms. Kim tells her he moved 3 or 4 months ago.
CEO Yeon storms into the office, and confronts Attorney Yeon about Yoon-seo and Jung-rok’s relationship. CEO Yeon blusters that Yoon-seo was sent here so his cousin would look after her. Attorney Yeon admits that he was upset at first too, since he’s Yoon-seo’s fan – but then adds maturely, “But what could I do? Yoon-seo is a person too. You can’t control her emotions.” He advises CEO Yeon to just be understanding since they can’t change it.
CEO Yeon doesn’t like it, but says he will be understanding of Yoon-seo – but he really can’t accept that she chose to fall in love with a crank like Jung-rok. Attorney Yeon defends Jung-rok. Trying to prove whether they do or don’t belong together, the two cousins bicker over whether Jung-rok is good-looking and successful enough for Yoon-seo – and eventually, who was more hated by the nation, lol.
Ms. Yang tries to work out whether Mr. Lee lied to her. When Mr. Lee reminds her about their date tomorrow, Ms. Yang hesitantly asks if he moved – and is shocked to hear that he did. Mr. Lee explains that he wanted to be there for her so she could fall asleep without missing her stop.
Se-won invites Yeo-reum to look at a new apartment – and takes her by surprise when he says that he has already signed a contract for it. He asks Yeo-reum is she will move in with him – and marry him.
Se-won tells her he dreams of happy times in this apartment, and two children that look just like her. He slides a ring onto her finger, and overwhelmed with happiness, Yeo-reum agrees to marry him. Se-won says, “My happiness is right here too. It’s you.”
Mr. Lee anxiously waits for Ms. Yang to show up for their dinner, but when she does, it isn’t to go on a date. Ms. Yang gently tells him that she thinks love is like a flower that is beautiful, but withers quickly. She explains that she had resolved to ignore love if it ever came along again. Just a little sadly, she tells Mr. Lee not to like her, and meet someone far better. Mr. Lee is left looking crushed.
On the evening Yoon-seo’s drama first airs, Jung-rok shows up at her apartment to watch it with her. Yoon-seo seems tense as the air time grows closer, even though she denies it, being a seasoned actor of 15 years. Jung-rok folds her hands in his, and warmly says, “I know how much you waited for this. Thank you for sharing this precious moment with me.”
Afterwards, Yoon-seo can’t bear to look at the comments, so Jung-rok tests the waters for her – and reports back that all the comments are positive! Delighted, Yoon-seo basks in the praise, until one commenter says that it looks like the leads are really dating. Womp, womp.
Fast-forward to the wrap party, and Yoon-seo thanks the cast and crew for working with her on the comeback drama she prepared so hard for. She says gratefully, “All that I wanted was for my sincerity to reach many people. I feel like I’ve achieved that partly, so I’m happy and feel honored.”
CEO Yeon, slightly tearily, says that he was touched by her speech. With a glint in her eye, Yoon-seo says she’s pleased to hear that – and clasping her heart, she vows, “I’ve wrapped the drama, so from now on, I’m going to do whatever what I want.” Pleased with herself, Yoon-seo jumps away, ignoring CEO Yeon’s impotent shouts about her troublemaking.
CEO Yeon tries to take out his frustration on Hyuk-joon – but ha, Hyuk-joon is just drunk enough to tell Yeon exactly what he’s thinking. He rants that he’s the one who has cared for Yoon-seo this long, and supported her, and basically makes a mess of himself while CEO Yeon tries to calm him down.
Yeon Entertainment’s party looms, and Yoon-seo prepares Jung-rok for a long day ahead of him. First stop? A new outfit! Jung-rok, confused why he would need a new suit when he already has so many, thinks these are too flashy for just an advisory counsel. But Yoon-seo corrects him – he won’t be going as a counsel, but as her boyfriend.
Yoon-seo tells Jung-rok that she is tired of hiding the truth, and wants to be honest with everybody. She asks Jung-rok if he will be happy revealing that he’s her boyfriend, and he enthusiastically agrees.
And so they show up on the red carpet, looking like an impossibly beautiful couple. Jung-rok, in a spiffy tuxedo and rocking a new hairstyle, accompanies Yoon-seo just as if he belonged there.
The whole Always Law family is already there, from Attorney Choi and Dan with their showy displays of affection, to Mr. Lee and Ms. Yang and their quieter understanding, to Ms. Kim taking selfies with the interns. And of course, Attorney Yeon shows up in an attention-grabbing jacket.
When Yoon-seo and Jung-rok step out together, happy and very much in love, everyone gathers round to cheer and clap. Gah, so sweet.
Yoon-seo smiles up at Jung-rok and thinks, “My heart, and my sincerity. Will others see it?”
Jung-rok smiles back, and thinks, “I’m sure your sincerity will reach the hearts of others. Just like it reached me.”
Awwww, the show went out the way it started – with (nearly) every story wrapped up neatly, and lots of adorableness from our couples and friends. I came for Yoo Inna and Lee Dong-wook – and okay, I stayed for them as well – but I grew more attached to the side characters and stories in this drama than I thought I would.
Sure, I felt like it ended slightly abruptly, I wasn’t enamored of Yeo-reum’s out-of-the-blue decision to take a step back in her career, and once again the show threw in new plot lines (the scandal with Yoon-seo’s coworker, Yoon-seo’s erratic and busy schedule) only to completely resolve it without really exploring it. But these are very minor complaints, especially because this show was never about manufactured drama, and explosive twists. It was about a cast of characters being lovely to each other, and growing closer together while honestly trying to do their best in their relationships and lives. Which was why this gentle ride ended on a high, with a touching send-off to all the characters we have come to care about. By undercutting the drama, and refusing to prolong the pain, this episode gave the characters room to honestly express their feelings. And lots of cuteness.
Tying into the overall theme of the show, everyone’s sincerity shone through in this episode. Attorney Dan and Choi may have started as cartoonish, but their heightened and specific reality still had realistic problems we could relate to. What makes them connect so much with them is that they aren’t just played to be ridiculous, and I was swooning right along with Choi at Dan’s speech about falling in love repeatedly with him. Followed by laughing uproariously at their appropriately inappropriate rom-com kiss. Yeo-reum and Se-won, with their own mature and loving relationship, tugged at my heartstrings as well. I enjoyed that Yeo-reum finally trusts Se-won enough to start making her own moves to deepen their relationship by asking him to move in. Though of course, the eager Se-won just had to trump her with that beautiful proposal (even if I did think he probably should have waited to sign the lease until Yeo-reum had a chance to see it).
On the other hand, the bittersweet ending for the romance between Ms. Yang and Mr. Lee might not have worked out the way I wanted it to – but at least they got their chance to explore it. I was torn on whether Ms. Yang was actually serious about never wanting to date again, in which case, I hope the last look they shared was indicative of a slow-burning change of heart because that’s too sad to contemplate. Or whether it was merely an excuse because she thought Mr. Lee feelings (his bus-time habits) were too intense for her. Either way, the shot of melancholy balanced out the more saccharine elements of this ending.
But it wasn’t all romantic relationships that took the focus of sincerity – the Yeon cousins continue to spark delightfully off each other, and Attorney Yeon jumps onboard the Jung-rok-Yoon-seo ship. After he had his mini tantrum, that is. But I get the feeling he will be Jung-rok’s staunchest defender – and as the president of Yoon-seo’s fan club, who is better placed to get the public on side after the truth comes out? Even CEO Yeon and Hyuk-joon had their moment of honesty with each other – and I don’t even think that Hyuk-joon will suffer too much for it, because CEO Yeon is the biggest softie in the entertainment world. Which even Yoon-seo recognizes, because he really does just want the best for her. It’s just that Yoon-seo is now confident enough to make the decision of what is ‘best’ for herself.
One of the greatest coups of this drama was landing the effortlessly charming and likeable Inna as Yoon-seo. When Yoon-seo wanted everyone to feel her sincerity, I felt it because Inna sold it. And her relationship with Jung-rok, even though on the outside it didn’t look like it would work, really did because Inna kept Yoon-seo grounded. And thank you, Reach, for getting Lee to smile so much in this last episode. Every time he did, I did. I fully believe that Jung-rok and Yoon-seo will go on to have a wonderful life together, because they understand the pain of separation and don’t want to go through that again. They know that what they have is special, and are willing to fight for it, because everything they have gone through has just made them stronger together. Which is why the decision to be honest about their relationship was more important than the fallout from it – and we end on their triumphant choice to take that brave next step in front of the world.
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