My Absolute Boyfriend: Episodes 35-36 (Final)
It’s finally time to see how our robot boyfriend and his lady’s story ends, or if it ends at all.
EPISODES 35-36 RECAP
Because of Da-da’s comment that she’s looking forward to experiencing all the seasons with him, Young-gu arranges for them all at once, inside the house — snow for winter, cherry blossoms for spring, etc. Da-da is confused since she plans to celebrate the seasons with him when they actually happen, but she thanks Young-gu for the effort he put into the day.
On the drama set, Yoo-jin seems down, and he accidentally lets slip something about Bo-won asking him to do something. He asks if Young-gu is at Da-da’s place, and whether he’s okay, and she says that everyone keeps asking her that, but he’s all fixed now. Yoo-jin is still conflicted about keeping it a secret from Da-da that Young-gu never went to the headquarters to get “fixed,” since it would have required a complete reset and memory wipe, but he decides it’s for the best.
While doing Wang-joon’s makeup for the day, Da-da notes that he seems tired. He decides that he doesn’t owe Young-gu anything, but Da-da deserves to know. He tells her that Young-gu confided in him that he didn’t get the repair and why, and that he asked Wang-joon to take care of Da-da after he’s gone. Da-da jumps up and leaves without a word.
At the home studio, Young-gu listens to the record player he fixed for Da-da and thinks about all the memories he’s made with her. He’s surprised when Diana shows up uninvited and thanks him for saving her life. She also apologizes for breaking the heart cooler, but Young-gu just threatens dire consequences if she ever hurts Da-da like that again.
Diana says she’s heading to New York City anyway, and she asks if Young-gu is still going to melt down, but he lies that he’s fixed. Before she goes, Diana asks if Young-gu would have developed real emotions if things had gone as planned and she’d been his only owner and had treated him like a human being. Young-gu says that Da-da never treated him like a human being, either — she just accepted him for who he is.
Da-da runs all the way home, falling at one point and skinning her knee. When she gets home, the blood alarms Young-gu, so he bandages her booboo then makes her some food when she asks. She claims an upset stomach and goes to bed, telling him to do whatever he wants while she rests.
Young-gu can tell something is wrong, and he almost confesses the truth, but he changes his mind. He notices that the shoes Da-da bought him are missing, but just then, Da-da carries them out of her bedroom and throws him at him. Crying, she asks if he’s looking for his shoes so he can leave, and Young-gu realizes that she knows.
He suggests they break up and Da-da angrily agrees, but when Young-gu actually turns to go, she grabs him and begs him to stay. She sobs that she loves him, pleading for him to stay with her no matter how bad it gets, until he throws his arms around her and cries along with her.
Da-da calls Bo-won over to get the full story on how long Young-gu has. He says it could be a week or one day, he just doesn’t know, but the fact that Young-gu keeps leaking coolant — which looks like tears — is proof that he’s rapidly breaking down. At this point, all Bo-won knows for sure is that the only reason Young-gu is still functioning is his love for Da-da.
Lying in bed that night, Da-da says that sleeping is a waste of time when she could be looking at Young-gu all night. She traces his features with a finger, then burrows into his arms. She texts Yoo-jin in the morning to say that she’s staying home to spend what little time Young-gu has left with him, and Yoo-jin explains the situation with Young-gu to Kyu-ri.
Young-gu and Da-da go for a short run, then lie down in the grass to rest. Da-da puts Young-gu’s hand over her heart and describes what it feels like when blood rushes through her body, then listens to Young-gu’s equivalent of a heart. She says that while they’re both alive, they should do lots of fun things and laugh a lot together.
They finally go for a real picnic in the park, and Young-gu says that he’d have taken Da-da on more picnics if he knew they were so much fun. Da-da tells him that every day she’s spent with him has been exciting and worrying, but happy, so he shouldn’t have any regrets.
They see a couple posing for wedding photos, and Young-gu says that Da-da would be pretty in a wedding dress. They go to a salon where Da-da tries on a white dress for Young-gu, and he says breathlessly that she’s the most beautiful girl in the world.
He buys the dress for her and takes her to a photography studio, where a photo of an old couple together makes him a little sad as they pose for their own picture. They have trouble looking happy until Young-gu tells Da-da he loves her and she returns the sentiment, which makes them both smile.
Afterward, at the bus stop, Young-gu is strangely still for a moment, but he quickly snaps out of it. It begins to rain so Da-da leaves him to get an umbrella, though Young-gu seems reluctant to let her go. He reaches out to feel the rain on his hand, which reminds him of the first time he ever saw Da-da, while he was still living at Kronos Heaven.
He wonders if he fell for her even then, and if their love was destined. He thinks, “I’m sorry, Girlfriend. I promised to be with you forever. I promised to protect you, but I can’t keep that promise. But because I met you, because I spent time with you, I was very happy. Every moment with you was a treasure to me, and wherever you were was paradise to me.
“Whatever others say, you were the perfect girlfriend to me. Don’t mourn for me for too long after I go… If a long time passes and your memories of me fade, don’t blame yourself or be sad. Every special memory of us, I can remember forever… Thank you for watching me, trusting me, and being patient. I was happy, and I love you. Goodbye, my girlfriend.”
Young-gu takes his A++ sticker from his pocket, and he’s still holding it when Da-da returns to find him shut down for the last time. She lays her head on his shoulder and apologizes for being too late, and sobs that she loves him.
Three years pass, and eventually the last day of shooting for Doctor AlphaGo Season 4 arrives. Da-da’s Real team has a new maknae, and Da-da grins proudly as Kyu-ri explains to the new girl why they need five different kinds of blood.
Wang-joon gives an interview, looking much more relaxed and friendly than in the past. The interviewer asks Wang-joon if he’s still in the unrequited love he publicly confessed three years ago, and he glances at Da-da and smiles as he says that he is. He gives his new manager a hard time, holding up Young-gu as if he was the perfect manager who could do anything.
Ye-woong now works as Wang-joon’s agent, and she gently fusses at him for still talking about his unrequited love. She has exciting news for Wang-joon — an American company wants him to star in a new Hollywood hero series. Eun-dong even shows up on set, as his new rookie actor has a small role in the finale.
Yoo-jin now works for Bo-won, who runs a small robot repair shop. Yoo-jin still designs new robots in his spare time, and Bo-won thinks he’s quite talented.
At the end of the day, Da-da declines to join the cast and crew for their final dinner, telling Kyu-ri that she has a date. She goes back to her empty studio and makes herself a solitary dinner, then spends some time on housework.
Kyu-ri stops by — she knows Da-da well enough to know that by “date” she meant “chores and TV.” She says she’ll be Da-da’s date, and as they share some beers, Da-da sighs that she doesn’t want to get drunk because it makes her think of Young-gu. Kyu-ri tells her to think of him, and miss him, if she needs to.
Da-da starts to cry and says that she still misses Young-gu so much it hurts. She says that the worst part is that her memories are dimming as time passes, but she doesn’t want to forget anything. Kyu-ri says that this is much more normal than watching Da-da pretending to be fine.
As she cleans up later, Da-da finds her little toy Young-gu, whose lights are still broken. She takes it to Bo-won’s shop to have him fix it, and he asks her if she’s still having a hard time getting over Young-gu. She says that she cried a lot at first until she realized that it wasn’t what Young-gu would have wanted, but that she’s not trying to forget him, either.
Bo-won tells Da-da that he keeps thinking of things he could have done differently. Da-da says that if Young-gu were human, she’d at least be able to visit (his grave), but she can’t.
As she’s walking home, a street light suddenly comes on as Da-da passes beneath it. It reminds her of the time Young-gu fixed a broken street light so she could walk in safety. As she keeps walking, the lights flicker on, one by one.
Wang-joon is waiting when Da-da arrives home — he wanted her to be the first to hear that he’s going to be in a Hollywood movie. She’s thrilled for him, though she’s surprised when Wang-joon asks her to go with him as his special effects coordinator.
Da-da says it’s a great opportunity, but she wants to become successful on her own instead of riding his coattails. Wang-joon already guessed she’d say that, so he says goodbye without argument.
When she’s alone, Da-da goes to Young-gu’s Love Room, where she finds the ring that Young-gu gave her. She remembers his promise never to go anywhere without her, and the memory makes her tear up. She picks up the photo of her and Young-gu on their last day together, and when she sets it back down, it falls off the table.
The frame comes apart and Da-da can see that Young-gu wrote something on the back of the photograph. It says, “I will treasure all the moments I had with you, Girlfriend. You can forget everything else, but will you keep this one picture?”
In the morning, Bo-won comes to take Da-da to Kronos Heaven, where Young-gu’s body is still kept. Bo-won tells Da-da that when Young-gu stopped functioning three years ago, the company decided not to discard his body because his data was acknowledged as a unique case in AI technology. He explains that he never told her because he thought it would make things harder for her.
He says that the Korean branch of Kronos Heaven has completed its research, so the head office will be collecting Young-gu’s body tomorrow. He lets Da-da into Young-gu’s room to say goodbye, and she sees that his copy of The Happy Prince is lying beside his head. Da-da cries to see Young-gu’s face again after so long.
She holds his hand and says that he’s as handsome as ever, and that she’s taking care of herself since he’s been gone. She tells Young-gu that she finally saw the note he wrote on their picture, after being too scared to go into his room for three years for fear she wouldn’t be able to handle it.
She confesses that she hated Young-gu at first because she couldn’t understand why he didn’t stop her from leaving him to get an umbrella. But she says that now she understands that he knew she’d be going home alone, and he didn’t want her to get wet — he was thinking of her in his very last moments.
She thanks Young-gu tearfully for teaching her how to love with her whole heart, and she promises that she’ll live her life remembering the things that he left her. She says she’ll remember his love forever, and tells him one last time that she loves him.
She thanks Director Go for letting her say goodbye, looking as though she feels much lighter. She takes one final look at Young-gu, then leaves with a smile on her face. We see that in his hand, Young-gu still holds his treasured A++ sticker, and his thumb moves, just a tiny bit.
Winter comes, and Da-da is waiting at the bus stop when the first snow starts to fall. She decides to make her way on foot, but before she goes far, she runs into someone who holds an umbrella over her head. Da-da looks up at his face in surprise, then she smiles.
Well, so that happened. I’m sure that was Young-gu under the umbrella due to all the heavy-handed foreshadowing, but I hate unclear endings. I’m not against an ending where Young-gu somehow recovers… after all, technology is always evolving and it’s entirely possible that they might find a way to revive Young-gu with his memories intact at the head office. It’s just that I want to know. Da-da was never going to return Wang-joon’s feelings, not after so long. I just don’t like that we’re expected to accept things without an explanation or a reason.
I do kind of wish that Da-da had given Wang-joon another chance, which if you’ve read my recaps has not been my attitude at all during the drama’s run. But Wang-joon had more genuine character development than any other character in the show, and by “genuine” I mean that we could see the reasons for his change in attitude and behavior, and not just character development occurring without any real justification, just because the story needed it (I’m giving Kyu-ri and Diana in particular the stinkeye). Wang-joon was by far the most interesting and complicated character in the drama, and I could see Hong Jong-hyun acting his little heart out in an attempt to give him depth and complexity, but even then there was only so much he could do with the role.
The other characters, despite being endearing and likable, just never went anywhere. Especially Da-da, who I had such high hopes for at the beginning because she was strong and she stood up for herself, but as soon as she started dating Young-gu (another flip in character that had no buildup and no reasoning behind it) she lost any sense of self beyond “But I loooove him.” She even turned down a chance to work on a Hollywood movie… the girl had no ability to make good decisions. There was no consistency in her character, the best example being that she got over a seven-year relationship within a matter of weeks, yet three years after having known Young-gu for a few months at most, she was still hung up on him. He was a sweetie, and it’s harder to get over a “death” than a breakup, but I still find it odd that Da-da was that broken up over Young-gu after so long.
I’ve pretty much said all I have to say about My Absolute Boyfriend, so I won’t go into great detail repeating myself. It was a sweet show that told a sweet story, though a lot shallower one than I’d hoped for. That said, I did have moments where I felt for the characters, and even teared up a little, and got worried or scared for them. I just feel like the show was too tentative, as if it was afraid to really take things to a level that might actually mean something, like making Diana a true psycho or giving Da-da and Young-gu some stakes beyond “robot might malfunction.” I could write another thousand words about the things I wish the show had done differently, but we got what we got, and while cute, it just wasn’t what it could have been. I did like that Young-gu didn’t want Da-da to watch him melt down, as that was the most painful scene of the Taiwanese version, but in the end it’s just another example of how this show could have been the best version of this story if only it had just tried. When I think back on My Absolute Boyfriend, I’ll always think of what might have been.
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