Abyss: Episode 16 (Final)
Actions have consequences, as our characters discover this hour. It’s a hard pill to swallow, especially when even the best intentions can have unforeseen repercussions, but our heroes are determined to see it through… for better or for worse.
FINAL EPISODE:”The Way Home”
Se-yeon proposes to Min and he happily accepts but as they embrace, his expression is anxious. They break apart and Min presents Se-yeon with a new phone to replace the one she’d lost. Testing it out, the couple take some cute photos.
Afterwards, they head to a cafe and write letters to bury in time capsules. Min chides Se-yeon for trying to peek at his and she asks when they should dig them up again, suggesting their 100-day anniversary. Pointing out that the wait is what makes time capsules meaningful, Min opts for 5 years. Se-yeon allows it, happily noting they’ll be together the rest of their lives as a dark cloud passes over Min’s face.
Se-yeon pouts, realizing her capsule is smaller. Min suspiciously says he had things to put in his capsule and figured Se-yeon didn’t. She agrees that all she has is her letter, but when they go to bury them that night (at the base of a tree Min had planted with his father years ago), Se-yeon sneakily slips in something else from her pocket. Elsewhere, Ji-wook meets up with his informant for that additional thing he’d requested–a gun. The man also hands over a phone and Ji-wook smiles evilly at the blinking GPS tracker.
Se-yeon and Min leave the amusement park where they’d buried their capsules and Se-yeon notes the place is creepy when the lights are off. Min stops walking and gently entwines his fingers with hers as all the lights suddenly turn on. Se-yeon is thrilled and Min happily follows after her, adding that he couldn’t leave the most important thing off his bucket list.
After playing on the rides for a while, Min surprised Se-yeon with ice cream. As they walk, Min tells Se-yeon that amusement parks have always made him think of his dad, but from now on, they’ll remind him of her as well. Se-yeon is pleased at the thought and vows to do everything she can to make him think of her always.
In her excitement, Se-yeon drops her ice cream and she sends Min back to get her another as she heads into the restroom to clean her couples’ sweatshirt. Completing their tasks, the pair return, but before they reach each other Ji-wook jumps out and grabs Se-yeon. Holding the gun against Se-yeon’s head, Ji-wook warns Min not to come closer.
The camera pans to Se-yeon’s discarded bag and a flashback shows that earlier in the day, Ji-wook’s informant had bumped into her while she was shopping with Min and placed a tracker inside. In the present, Ji-wook cocks the gun and tells Min that they brought this on themselves for interfering with him.
Min warns him this won’t change anything and threatens to revive every person Ji-wook has killed to testify against him. Ji-wook sneers that he’ll just kill Min, then, and is visibly unsettled when Min calmly dares him. Ji-wook points the gun at Min, but Se-yeon knocks it out of his hand. Min kicks the gun away as Ji-wook reaches for it and the men grapple.
Ji-wook finally gets the gun and although Min manages to deflect it, a shot rings out. Elsewhere in the park, Dong-chul and his team have arrived on notice Ji-wook is there and run towards the source of the gunfire. Min and Ji-wook both stare in stunned silence as blood drips from a hole in Se-yeon’s abdomen.
Wresting the gun from Ji-wook, Min races over to her. As Min cradles Se-yeon in his arms, Ji-wook rises to his feet. Enraged, Min aims the gun at Ji-wook, who cheekily raises his arms. His shock is evident when Min pulls the trigger and Ji-wook collapses to the ground.
Dong-chul and his team come upon the scene and while the other detectives arrest Ji-wook, Dong-chul tosses Min his keys to get Se-yeon out of there. Unfortunately, he doesn’t make it far before Se-yeon goes completely limp. As for Ji-wook, Min only shot him in the leg.
Min pulls up to the vacation house and rushes Se-yeon inside. She soon awakens and clings to Min, sobbing that she was so scared she’d never see him again. Min says nothing and just hugs her tightly as Abyss flickers on the floor. Se-yeon finally calms down enough to realize he used Abyss on her and shakily wonders what’s going to happen now.
“No matter what happens,” Min tells her, “it’s not your fault, ok?” Alarmed, Se-yeon demands what he’s talking about and her eyes fall on Abyss just as the light finally goes out for good and Min’s hand starts to disappear. Min assures her this was his choice and that he’s happy to make it. Se-yeon can do little more than sob as Min implores her to live happily for his sake.
“You said you’d always be by my side,” she cries, “You promised me that you’d keep me safe!” Min apologizes for leaving her behind and his voice shakes as he tells her he loves her. Se-yeon finally says it back to him and begs him not to go as Min fades away completely. All alone, Se-yeon wails uncontrollably.
Sometime later Se-yeon awakens in the hospital. She calls for Min, but then her eyes land on the empty Abyss. Dong-chul and Mi-do join her and Se-yeon tearfully asks where Min is. The pair exchange a look that says it all and Dong-chul tells Se-yeon that Min already knew this would happen.
The voicemail on Dong-chul’s phone reveals Min called on his way to the vacation house and asked him to move Se-yeon somewhere safe if he’s unable to reach Min. He continues that he’s willing to pay for using Abyss, but vows that even if he vanishes, he’ll find a way to be with Se-yeon again. Dong-chul confirms that he only found an unconscious Se-yeon, and no traces of Min, when he went to check.
Min’s mom and housekeeper happily make his bed the following morning with new sheets she’d bought for Se-yeon and Min. Their giddy moment is broken when Mom’s secretary bursts in to announce Min is missing. After calming down, Mom says to announce Min went on a long-term business trip.
Mi-do and Se-yeon go to watch Ji-wook’s trial. Ji-wook glares at everyone as he’s escorted to his seat. Dong-chul is called as a witness and testifies that the same night they arrested Ji-wook, they apprehended the men that gave him the gun and found evidence that they’d also given him the gun used in the “suicide” of Choi Gi-hoon (the man Ji-wook had blackmailed to attack Se-yeon before).
Even Ji-wook’s attorney is unable to argue and the prosecution demands the death sentence. Ji-wook shouts that Se-yeon is still alive and sitting in the courtroom, but no one heeds the ravings of a madman and he’s dragged out by guards. Judge Seo watches as Ji-wook is ushered through a crowd of reporters onto the prison bus. They make eye contact as the bus pulls away and Ji-wook frantically calls out to his “father” that he’s innocent.
Back inside, Dong-chul and Mi-do attempt to comfort Se-yeon, assuring her that Min will make good on his promise to return. Mi-do urges her to focus on how they’ll live happily once he does, but Dong-chul says there’s one thing Se-yeon needs to do first and they accompany her to see her parents.
Mom sobs over the DNA results but Dad is still wary. Se-yeon promises to prove herself and apologizes for not telling them the truth sooner. Mom hugs her daughter and they both weep as Dad looks on, tears in his eyes but still skeptical.
Meanwhile, Min’s mother has collapsed and Se-yeon pays her a visit. The housekeeper is disheartened when Se-yeon admits she can’t contact Min either, but sniffles that no news is good news and he’ll surely return soon. Se-yeon asks to be updated on Min’s mother’s condition.
Se-yeon stops by Min’s room and wanders around his secret room, remembering the times they’d shared there. She catches herself crying and chides herself that she promised to believe in Min. The housekeeper calls out to her and hands her Min’s phone to look into, calling her Se-yeon, before correcting herself.
Afterwards, she heads back to Mi-do’s and frowns when she opens her bag to find Abyss, which she’d left in Min’s room. She muses that it seems to follow its owner before tossing it aside to dig through Min’s phone. Scrolling through pictures of them, she finds the video of her father telling Min how he’d always approved of him for Se-yeon.
She laughs sadly at Min’s excitement over being praised, but then we see Min recorded a second video right after where he tells Se-yeon that their wedding is good to go as long as she says yes and he begs her to wear his ring soon. Mi-do and Dong-chul return home to find Se-yeon sobbing. When asked what’s wrong, Se-yeon cries that she misses Min and doesn’t think she can live without him.
Three Years Later.
Mi-do has opened her own law firm and Se-yeon works with her. Dong-chul arrives with a crowd of new customers he’d found at the bus stop in tow and we learn that he and Mi-do are getting married the following day.
Arriving at the venue, Se-yeon finds Dong-chul already in the bridal room, snapping pictures of Mi-do. He still refers to her as Prosecutor Go, so Se-yeon tells him to address her casually. Mi-do snickers when he suggests sister-in-law and Se-yeon allows it.
Dong-chul leaves for groomly duties and Mi-do wonders how Se-yeon will do living alone again, admitting her reservations about Se-yeon returning to her old apartment. Se-yeon mutters that “he” should be able to find her, and says aloud that she’s upgraded her security.
Se-yeon passes on an envelope from Hee-jin and Mi-do winces that she’d forgotten to send her an invite. Se-yeon reminds her Hee-jin is in the countryside anyway, an assures Mi-do that she’s doing well. A flashback shows Se-yeon had visited her recently and praised Hee-jin on her farming skills.
As the women had visited, Se-yeon noticed Abyss had appeared next to her and wondered aloud if she could wish for another one and if it would bring Min back. Hee-jin had offered to tell her a secret to cheer her up and although we don’t hear it, it’s safe to assume she’d admitted she’d never actually slept with Min because Se-yeon nonchalantly said they already knew and Hee-jin squealed that they must’ve done something before marriage. Hee.
Se-yeon returns home after the wedding to find her mother stocking her fridge. Mom pleads with Se-yeon to move home, but Se-yeon assures her she wants to live alone and Dong-chul has officers constantly patrolling her neighborhood.
After Mom heads home, Se-yeon writes a letter to Min in her diary and then receives a text from Hee-jin, asking about the wedding. Se-yeon sends a photo and then crawls into bed. She briefly imagines Min next to her, but the vision fades and she pulls out his MP3 player, which now holds his voicemail to Dong-chul promising to return to Se-yeon. A mysterious breeze flips the pages of her diary.
Se-yeon kicks butt in court the next day and then heads to the amusement park. She gets an ice cream but a child bumps into her and it falls to the ground. Se-yeon sighs that this keeps happening just as someone walks up behind her. The voice is familiar and Se-yeon turns to find Min smiling down at her.
He apologizes for taking so long and Se-yeon begs him to stop talking for fear of the illusion breaking. Min takes her hand and Se-yeon stares in awe as he brings it to his face. She breaks down into tears and Min pulls her into his embrace as he tells her he missed her.
That night they lie in bed and Se-yeon keeps repeating that she loves him, saying the thing she’d regretted most when he was gone was that she’d held back her love when they were together. She says she’s not angry he took so long since she knows he’d give anything to be with her and must’ve suffered a lot to get back.
Se-yeon wonders where he was, and Min flashes back to waking up in a misty forest. An alien had walked up to him and said that Min was warned to use Abyss sparingly and that he wouldn’t be able to stay on this planet in his condition, and would suffer even more pain. We now see that Min was there in the hospital with Se-yeon, but couldn’t touch her and she couldn’t see him.
Min tells Se-yeon he couldn’t bear to leave her, even as his continued stay took a toll. One day he’d collapsed and the cardboard man had pulled him up, tutting that he wouldn’t be in pain, if only he’d leave. Min is stunned he can see him, but cardboard man just tells Min to follow him and now we see the thing Min had noticed before… a glowing Abyss in the back of the man’s cart.
Min adds that Abyss continues to follow him even after he became a spirit, meaning whenever Se-yeon saw it, Min was right beside her. Alas, Se-yeon doesn’t hear him as she’s already fallen asleep.
Sometime later, Min and Se-yeon dig up their time capsules. They bring them home and we see that they’ve already gotten married. Se-yeon ushers Min into the bathroom and as soon as she’s alone, sneakily tries to open her capsule. Min catches her and Se-yeon admits that she didn’t think they’d actually open them so she put in something “dangerous.”
Min immediately recalls she’d snuck something in before burying them and wrestles it away from her. It’s her wish coupon! Min holds it out of her reach but as Se-yeon grabs for it, they suddenly are aware of their proximity and Se-yeon heads to the bathroom. Min chides himself that they’ve already been married a year and he still gets flustered. Hee.
Flashing back again to his interaction with cardboard man, Min had tried to return Abyss, saying he no longer needed it. The man had laughed that’s not how it works and reminded Min that he’d considered Abyss a present. Min agrees that it allowed him to save Se-yeon twice and the man says Abyss gave him the biggest present of his life.
Min questioned if that meant Abyss would follow him forever, but the man had said if there’s a present that can bring him a greater miracle, Abyss will disappear. Min stares at Abyss now and wonders how there can be anything better than Se-yeon just as Abyss blinks and fades away. Se-yeon runs out of the bathroom and cries that “it” happened and hands Min a positive pregnancy test.
Ecstatic, Min thanks Se-yeon and promises to keep her and the baby safe. He adds that he actually predicted this and opens his time capsule to reveal baby clothes, giggling that he figured they’d be married and expecting by the time they opened it. He says he hopes the child looks like him and Se-yeon tuts that’s no good.
Min balks that she’s referring to his old face and she asks if he’s mad. Their fight doesn’t last long, though, as Min soon gives in and begs forgiveness. Laughing that she can’t stay mad, Se-yeon opens her arms and they hug.
A light and sweet ending to a not-always-light, but sometimes-sweet show. Personally, I could’ve done without this final arc of Min’s disappearance. Especially on the heels of Se-yeon dying… again… And although the finale tied up all the loose ends, it’s the neat and perfect bow that always feels too easy and lackluster. Not that Se-yeon and Min didn’t suffer and earn their happy ending… I just wish it had played out in a more compelling way. I didn’t feel sad when Min disappeared because not only did we already know it was coming, but we also knew there had to be a way to bring him back. The downside of having a magical orb of revival is that loss kinda loses all meaning. We knew magic existed to bring him back, we just had to wait for Min to find the right loophole. Even their reunion lacked an emotional punch.
But we’ve long established that the mechanics of this universe are clunky, at best, and while the premise was certainly fascinating, the execution left something to be desired. I still adore the characters (except for Young-chul, who didn’t need to hang in there half as long as he did) and will forever lament what this show could have been. Se-yeon and Min’s relationship may have been the heart of the show and I found them cute and endearing, but I wasn’t nearly as invested as I should have been. I’m not sure where the fault lies there, but it’s disappointing nonetheless. To make up for it, however, I never tired of Dong-chul on my screen and am still anxiously waiting for the day the drama gods give Lee Si-un a lead role. His relationship with Mi-do and their relationships with Se-yeon were hands down the funnest part of the show.
Overall, Abyss was a pretty easy watch, especially if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief at the rampant stupidity that populates the universe. I’ve certainly watched worse shows and while I can’t imagine ever sitting through the entire thing again, I don’t regret watching it. Park Bo-young is always a delight and I’ll never turn down seeing her perform. Thank y’all for keeping me company on this insane ride and hopefully our next run won’t be quite so ridiculous.
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