Angel’s Last Mission: Love: Episodes 31-32 (Final)
All this time, our heroes have felt that God was never on their side. He never listened to their prayers, never granted their wishes, and He never showed mercy. Still, even during the worst of times, our tragic trio are holding out hope that He will save them in the end. If not Him, then maybe the drama gods will swoop in.
EPISODES 31-32 RECAP
We flash back to the prior night, when Yeon-seo was writing her report to God. As she recalled her time with Dan, she wrote that she never knew a moment could be their last until it passed by. She never got to say goodbye properly, so she was hoping that her “Giselle” performance could be her chance.
Right offstage, Yeon-seo gets that chance now, being in Dan’s arms as she takes her last breath. Dan breaks down crying, begging her to wake up, but it’s no use.
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Is there such a thing as a beautiful goodbye?
Yeon-seo is taken to the hospital and rushed into surgery, with Dan having to wait behind the operating room doors. He clutches his handkerchief, which is now spattered with Yeon-seo’s blood, barely noticing that Kang-woo has arrived too. Kang-woo silently stands there as Dan cries.
Director Choi and Uncle Kim rush over to the police station, horrified over the news of Luna stabbing Yeon-seo. They request a moment alone with their daughter and are taken to the interrogation room where she’s being held.
Choi gets right to scolding, but all Luna wants to know is what happened with Yeon-seo. She grins ear to ear and says, “Mom, tomorrow’s Giselle will be Nina,” making Choi slap her.
Choi chides Luna for talking about “Giselle” when Yeon-seo’s life is on the line, and Luna snaps that she’s not one to talk — the only reason they’re in this mess is because Luna had to finish what her mom started.
Luna turns away, while Choi can only stare at the monster she’s created and cry.
Three hours pass and Yeon-seo is still in surgery. Dan numbly tells Kang-woo that he’d promised to protect Yeon-seo, and Kang-woo firmly states that this wasn’t his fault — the couple already did everything they could. “No,” Dan says. “Yeon-seo won’t die. I’ll never let her die.”
He turns to Kang-woo and holds out his handkerchief. He asks Kang-woo to return it to Yeon-seo when she wakes up and to tell her that he’s sorry for not being able to be there. And for parting ways without a proper goodbye. Kang-woo tells him to tell her herself, insisting that it’s not over for them yet.
But it looks like it is over. Dan looks up at the clock and sees that it’s 11:59 p.m., one minute away from his deadline.
Dan drops to his knees in front of the doors, and inside, the surgeons struggle to get Yeon-seo stable. They shock her with the defibrillator paddles over and over until…
Dan starts to fade away. Kang-woo steps forward, concerned, but there’s nothing he can do. Dan just smiles, relieved to know that Yeon-seo is still alive. He shuts his eyes and, still smiling, completely disappears. Oh, Dan-ah…
Later, when Yeon-seo is in stable condition — but still unconscious — Kang-woo stays by her bedside. He tells her that he’d hoped and prayed that the couple’s fate would be different. He genuinely believed that she would sacrifice herself just as Seol-hee did, and that was why he was so scared.
So he apologizes for everything he’s done until now, including loving her. He places the handkerchief in her hand and relays Dan’s last words: “I hope she can think that I went on a trip. I hope she thinks that I went on a long trip to somewhere far away. I hope she thinks that I’ll miss her a lot.”
Kang-woo sighs, telling Yeon-seo to wake up since he can’t bear to watch them both suffer. Chief Jung then walks in and urges Kang-woo to head back to Fantasia — Yeon-seo would want him to go on with the next “Giselle” show.
Kang-woo greets the ballet de corps in the middle of practice and announces that the show will go on without Yeon-seo. He locks eyes with Nina and says that she’ll be dancing as Giselle tonight. However, Nina thinks she has no right to do so when this was all orchestrated by Luna.
Kang-woo smiles and says, “Rather than Geum Luna’s sister or Choi Young-ja’s daughter, do it as Geum Nina the ballerina.” The corps are super supportive, too, but Nina is still unsure.
Back at the hospital, Chief Jung is outraged when Choi and her husband come to visit Yeon-seo. She tries to kick them out, but Choi insists that she must compensate for her sins. Choi then recalls Dan confronting her days before and telling her that a real parent wouldn’t cover up their child’s crimes.
As Jung lets the couple inside, Choi remembers Dan’s parting words — to apologize to Yeon-seo if she truly wanted to start a better life. So when Uncle Kim gets down on his knees, Choi follows suit.
Now crying, Choi urges Yeon-seo to hurry and wake up so she can watch them get properly punished. With that, she finally admits that she did wrong and apologizes for coming so late. Her words turn into sobs, so her husband wordlessly walks her out of the room.
While in her cell, Luna begs the security guard to look up news of Fantasia’s show. And she’s overjoyed to learn that Nina did, in fact, perform as Giselle. But then the guard shows her a video of directly after the show, when Nina officially declared her retirement.
Luna falls to the floor, crying out in denial. Meanwhile, Nina shows up to Yeon-seo’s hospital room with flowers. She’s too ashamed to go inside, though, so she leaves the flowers out in the hall and walks away.
Some time passes, and Yeon-seo’s doctors inform Chief Jung and Kang-woo that it’s possible she could never regain consciousness. Jung breaks down in tears and curses Dan for running away at a time like this.
Kang-woo vaguely states that Dan probably had no choice but to leave. He then turns to the side table and notices the handkerchief, now clean. And hold on a damn second — the feather is still blue! Which means… Dan is alive?
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The clue in the handkerchief
Later, when Yeon-seo is alone, Dan walks in wearing the same clothes from the day he disappeared. (But the screen is oddly fuzzy, as if this is a dream.) He says Yeon-seo’s name a few times, and her eyes flutter open. Relieved to see that he’s alive, she sits up and hugs him.
Dan offers to take her anywhere she wants, and she simply says, “I want to go home. To our home.” Once Dan does get her released from the hospital and back to the estate, she asks him what happened. And we see that when Dan had disappeared, he’d been poofed to the angel crossroads. A scroll had floated down, delivering a message from God.
The message read: “Angel Dan — You were given the mission to let the human Lee Yeon-seo learn what true love is… Love that can cover everything is risking your life and sacrificing yourself. You have successfully completed your mission. But you committed the sin of loving a human as an angel.”
However, considering Hoo’s pleas and the fact that Dan resisted the temptation of killing Luna, God was willing to overlook the fine print. He gladly accepted Yeon-seo’s last performance and forgave Dan for his sin, thus granting him access to heaven.
“So you’re still an angel,” Yeon-seo realizes. But as long as he doesn’t disappear, she doesn’t care. She brings him into another hug and murmurs that she missed his scent.
Over the next few days, the couple go on to do normal activities such as planting flowers, watching scary movies, and flicking each other’s foreheads over games of Jenga. It’s all incredibly sweet… and way too good to be true.
One night, Dan is reading Yeon-seo The Little Mermaid, and she tells him to change the sad ending into a happy one.
He continues reading, when she then asks, “This is a dream, isn’t it?” He freezes, only to compose himself and ask how she knew. She slowly rests her hand on his chest and notes that his heart isn’t beating.
We then see that she is, in fact, still asleep in her hospital bed, with Dan standing over her and producing these dreams. Apparently, when God had opened the doorway to heaven, Dan refused to go.
In the dream, Yeon-seo asks if she’s dying and if this is his final goodbye. Dan smiles and shakes his head no. He admits that in the beginning, he resented God for bringing them together only to tear them apart. But he’s come to understand that the time they had, no matter how short, was a gift. He was able to meet her, recognize her, and fall in love with her.
And now he wants her to live on. “It’s my last wish,” he says. “To give you my last breath.” He tells her that he loves her and always will, making her tear up, and then gives her a soft kiss. He does the same action in the real world, telling God that he’ll be giving the life that He gave him to Yeon-seo instead. He looks down at Yeon-seo and says his goodbyes, a single tear falling from his face and onto hers.
And just like that, Dan is gone. As the feather on his handkerchief turns black, Yeon-seo finally opens her eyes and immediately starts crying.
Three months later. Yeon-seo meets with the press to announce that while she can’t dance yet, she’s recovering well and will be permanently taking over as Fantasia’s chairwoman.
Afterwards, Kang-woo asks if she’s really okay — he heard that she cried nonstop her first week home and hadn’t gone outside until now. And to his surprise, she responds with, “I have hope.”
Yeon-seo explains that she has this strong feeling that she’ll see Dan again. It sounds impossible, but then again, she once thought reuniting with the deceased Sung-woo was impossible.
Kang-woo points out that even if Dan were out there somewhere, he probably wouldn’t remember her. But she doesn’t care; the important thing is that she remembers him. To that, Kang-woo just smiles and nods.
As for Yeon-seo’s family, it turns out that Director Choi was sentenced to seventeen years in prison, while her husband was sentenced to six. Luna, having shown no remorse for her heinous crimes, got life.
One day, after hearing rumors of Luna’s numerous suicide attempts, Yeon-seo visits Luna to tell her to stop trying to escape her punishment. Yeon-seo wonders if Luna ever loved anyone with all her heart. Because if Luna really loved Nina, she would’ve had feelings of wanting to die for her, not hurt others for her.
“You’ve never once had these feelings,” Yeon-seo continues. “So your heart is empty, and you’re desperately trying to fill it.” She truly feels sorry for Luna since she’ll live the rest of her life in prison, never knowing how precious real love is. Luna is fuming as Yeon-seo stands and leaves.
At home, Yeon-seo realizes that her handkerchief is missing from its usual spot and has a total meltdown. To de-stress a bit, she goes out to the park and sits under Dan’s tree, holding her hand out.
Chief Jung shows up with Yeon-seo’s private physician, voicing her concerns over Yeon-seo’s mental state. For a while now, Jung has witnessed Yeon-seo talking to herself as if Dan was there.
While Yeon-seo does admit she’s been imagining him, she thinks she could actually be sensing him, like the first time they met. After a beat of silence, her physician states that she’ll be prescribing her medication. Heh.
That night, Yeon-seo and Jung chat over drinks. Yeon-seo accuses Jung of stealing her handkerchief, knowing Jung is the only one who resents Dan. Though Jung doesn’t have the handkerchief, she did find a box of notes while rummaging through his stuff.
Yeon-seo picks up the first note and reads “Happy first wedding anniversary!” There’s a note for every year, all the way up to their thirtieth anniversary, all saying that he loves her. She cries as she goes through each one, chiding Jung for hiding them away all this time.
Later, when they’re thoroughly drunk, Yeon-seo keeps insisting that she’s seeing Dan. She points over to the space in front of them, but Jung doesn’t see anything. Jung begs her to take her medicine, but she doesn’t want to if it means she won’t be able to see him anymore.
“If I’m only seeing him because I’ve gone crazy,” Yeon-seo cries, “then I want to stay crazy.” Still, she shouldn’t live like that when Dan wanted her to be happy. Jung hugs her as she continues that it’s so hard when she misses everything about him.
Once Yeon-seo is put to bed, we see that Dan is really standing there, all in one piece. And he has the handkerchief in his pocket, the feather back to blue. Um, WHAT?!
He heads to his former room, where he sits down to write a report. He thanks God for allowing him to stay by Yeon-seo’s side, even if no one could see him.
We flash back to all the times when Yeon-seo had “imagined” him and see that he was always there, holding himself back from answering her or touching her. “Even if she never knows,” he now writes, “even if no one else knows, even if I can only watch her, it’s okay with me.”
The next day, Kang-woo cleans out his office, ready to say goodbye to Fantasia and move on to New York. Yeon-seo stops by and says he should’ve stayed for one more show, and he replies that they’d have creative differences anyway. Haha.
They shake hands and thank each other for everything. Hesitant, Yeon-seo then asks if Kang-woo is at peace now. He smiles and gives her a single nod yes.
The two exit the building and are immediately ambushed by the ballet de corps. They gather round to say their goodbyes, ignoring Kang-woo’s attempt to nag them for their forms one last time. With that, the group takes a commemorative photo.
Kang-woo’s final stop is a small ballet studio, where Nina currently works as an instructor for children.
Nina is still living alone, having to pay a monthly rent and everything, but she’s happy with where she is now.
Still, Kang-woo tells her to contact him if she ever wants to get back into performing. “I’m an expert on bringing back ballerinas who retired,” he jokes. She laughs and says that the next time they meet, she hopes he sees her as a person and not just a ballerina.
Meanwhile, Dan follows Yeon-seo as she walks to the park, over to their tree. Having convinced herself that her sightings of him were mere illusions, she says that she’s going to live as cheerfully as she can.
Dan smiles sadly and sits next to her on the bench. He watches as a leaf falls from the tree and she jumps up to catch it. She’s disappointed, however, to see that there’s no mission written on it.
Yeon-seo takes out a pen and writes her own mission on the leaf, just as Dan did once before. It reads: “Today, right here.”
Yeon-seo sighs and realizes that she only got to spend one season with Dan. It was only one season, yet she feels so empty now.
“I’m going to live cheerfully,” she promises, her voice cracking. “I will. But I’m going to think of you every now and then and cry.”
Unable to watch her cry, Dan reaches over to caress her face. And she turns to him, as if she could feel it. For a second, she thinks he’s another illusion and shuts her eyes. But when she opens them, she still sees him.
They both stand, neither able to believe that this actually happening. Yeon-seo then places a hand on Dan’s chest and there it is — his heartbeat. At the same time, the handkerchief in his pocket vanishes into thin air.
He looks at her in astonishment and asks, “You can see me?” She just smiles and throws her arms around his neck, saying that she knew he’d come. They hold each other close as they cry from overwhelming relief.
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You can see me?
Dan narrates his last report, saying that once a mission is over, everything returns to its place. Humans will disappear and die, while angels will be around forever. And this is the universe’s providence. “Within this providence,” he says, “we will live happily with this miraculous love. Brilliantly and dangerously, shining radiantly.”
Wait… That’s it? That’s all we get? We don’t get to see our couple cuddling at home? We don’t get to see Dan begging for Chief Jung’s forgiveness? We don’t even get a last kiss?! Believe me, I’m ecstatic that our couple got the happy ending that they deserved. I’m ecstatic that Dan is back in Yeon-seo’s arms and finally (er, presumably) human. But to whip that out at the very last second? After all the heartbreak we went through? That is not cool. Not cool at all, Writer-nim. Rather than wasting time with two — freaking two — fakeouts of Dan disappearing, you should’ve wrapped things up and given us the reunion at least ten to fifteen minutes earlier.
For a while there, I thought that Dan was destined to be nothing but a guardian angel for the rest of Yeon-seo’s life. That Yeon-seo would realize this and be content in just knowing that Dan was watching over her. And though that would’ve been incredibly sad… I would’ve liked it. It would’ve been the perfect bittersweet ending. Plus, if it had gone that way, the two fakeouts would’ve made sense. I’m completely fine with the ending we got, though. I may not seem like it, but I am. I genuinely liked having their reunion at the park, as it was a nice way to bookend their journey. I’m just not 100% satisfied. And to walk away from a drama that I really loved feeling only, at best, 90% satisfied — well, it sucks. I want my other 10%, dammit.
I honestly think that the second half of the drama could’ve been so much better if the writer had toned it down with the religious aspect. The romance was already strong on its own, so it didn’t need all the extra angst that was piled over it. The only angst we needed was the detail that angels couldn’t fall in love with humans. I understood that, within this world, that was a big no-no in heaven. But did the God character really have to fight against them? He couldn’t have just been a silent figure? Because if God was going to grant the couple their wish at the very end, then what was the point of Him being against them? No matter how much I think about — and boy, have I really thought about it — it doesn’t make sense to me.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around this finale since there was a lot going on all at once. But I’m guessing that after Dan gave Yeon-seo his last breath, God took pity on him and allowed him to live as her guardian angel. And it was Dan’s willingness to do so that God saw as an act of sacrificial love, thus making him human. Am I getting that right? Who knows? Maybe I should be like Dan and Yeon-seo and just be happy that things worked out. I think we can all agree that the drama started off very strong, faltered in the middle, and became a bit of a mess towards the end. Still, messy or not, I never felt that the drama ever lost its magic. So I can at least say that this writer knows how to tug at the heartstrings — she tugged mine into oblivion. But it wasn’t just the writing; it was the acting, the atmosphere, and the amazing music that brought it all together.
Acting-wise, I was impressed with L and his range most of the way through. He is by no means a natural actor, but I applaud him for taking on a role that required him to be both goofy and dramatic. I’d been waiting for that one drama that would make me forget the majority of his resume and remind me of the awesomeness that was Hyun-soo in Shut Up: Flower Boy Band, and this is it. I have plenty of praise for the characters and the way the actors brought them to life, but this was definitely the Shin Hye-sun Show — she was impeccable. And I think it was her adorable and fun chemistry with L that also brought Dan to life. When Yeon-seo was onscreen with anyone, whether it was Dan or Kang-woo or Luna, there was an intensity there that’s hard for me to describe. What can I say, the girl is a phenomenal actress.
Overall, I had a great time with Angel’s Last Mission: Love. The drama took a lot from various ballet sources and drama sources, such as You From Another Star and my all-time favorite My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, and for that, I can’t complain. Even with all the unanswered questions, as has become the fantasy drama norm, I can’t complain. When you get a lovable couple like Dan and Yeon-seo, and you know that they’re going to be okay, sometimes it’s best to just sit back and smile.
- Premiere Watch: Angel’s Last Mission: Love, One Spring Night
- Spring blooms for L, Shin Hye-sun in KBS’ Angel’s Last Mission: Love
- New levels of petty between ballerina and angel in Angel’s Last Mission: Love
- Angel wings and tutus in white on KBS fantasy Dan, Only Love
- Shin Hye-sun, L, Lee Dong-gun and more gather for Dan, Only Love’s first script reading
- Lee Dong-gun and L to join Shin Hye-sun on new KBS fantasy drama
- Shin Hye-sun transforms into ballerina for a KBS fantasy melo