Fated To Love You: Episode 20 (Final)
The day we dreaded since we first fell in love is finally upon us, which means that it’s time to say goodbye to the zany and whimsical side of Fated To Love You, while conveniently shelving the angsty side somewhere easily forgotten. At least this isn’t one of those endings that forgets to be an ending, because you’d be hard-pressed to think of one thread that doesn’t get tied into the neatest of bows. If anything, it’s almost too much of an ending, in that it replaced all conflict with cuteness a week ago and decided to spend its last hour as an epilogue. First world problems.
SONG OF THE DAY
Yoo Seung-woo – “Love” [ Download ]
FINAL EPISODE RECAP
Just as Manager Tak is about to send everyone home now that they’re missing their bride and groom, Gun and Mi-young come through the door hand in hand. Grandma Wang is beside herself with joy.
Mi-young notices Mom is missing, but still begins her walk down the aisle… At least until Mom yells frantically from the doorway, “I’m here!!” She all but falls into Gun’s arms as she worries she’s too late, but everyone’s all smiles and laughter. She’s just in time.
Gun and Mi-young begin their official walk down the aisle this time, which is like night and day compared to when Gun looked like he was walking to his grave the first time around.
Yong notices one of the candles is unlit during the ceremony, and uses his magical fire powers to light it. Haha. I still don’t get this bit, but I’m glad they’re committing to it through the end.
Then it’s the exchange of vows. They promise to take each other as husband and wife, and say aloud (and together) their promise to love and cherish each other for the rest of their lives, till death do they part.
But then there’s the addendum they both say: “No, even if death separates us, we swear to be together forever.” Now man and wife, they kiss to seal the deal. (*sniff*)
On their way to their honeymoon spot on Jeju Island, Gun complains about how short their trip has to be because of Mi-young’s work schedule. She preempts his question on whether work is more important to her than he is, which causes him to stop the car as he extols his impressive lineage, all, Pfft, like I was going to ask anyway! (He was totally going to ask.)
Mi-young takes things into her own hands by literally taking the wheel, leaving Gun panicked in the passenger seat as he asks her if she even has a license. She says she does, but that she’s never driven a car before. HAH.
It’s her way of getting out of Gun’s proposal that she’d have to kiss him at every stop light, but it backfires adorably when Gun realizes that he can kiss her at will now that he’s not the one driving. Cue cuteness overload.
Manager Tak and Yong, dressed like spies, undertake a mission they call “Revival Macau,” which entails them preparing the honeymoon suite (Room 2009) so that Gun and Mi-young can get down to business. Grandma Wang’s orders, of course—she wants a grandchild stat.
We flash back to Grandma Wang telling Gun that she wants a grandchild to hold in ten months, only for Gun to tell her that he planned on enjoying newlywed life with his snail for at least six months. Since that didn’t sit well with her, Manager Tak and Yong are there to make sure things go according to her plan.
Our newlywed couple arrives at Room 2006, and it’s funny how both of them make sure that last number is stuck on and totally unflippable. Little do they know that the two spies are watching from the peephole in Room 2009 across the hall.
After Mi-young puts the kibosh on sexy times before the sun sets, the two of them slow dance under the stars. Mi-young tells him that her father used to dance with her when she was young, calling her “Princess Mi-young” even though she admits that she never felt like much of a princess, and more like a maid.
Gun takes offense to that as he says that his Mi-young is no maid, but a pretty and kind princess who found the key to this prince’s heart. She laughs at the cheesiness of calling him “Prince Lee Gun,” while Manager Tak and Yong literally watch on with snacks in hand.
But they’ve still got something else planned: They’re going to drug the two of them again to really recreate that night in Macau. I’m… not quite sure how to respond to that.
To make matters worse, Gun reiterates to Mi-young that this is their first real night together, considering that neither of them remember that night in Macau.
So to be sure they remember tonight, they make a pact to keep themselves clearheaded, unaware that Manager Tak and Yong have already bribed the bartender to drug their drinks. But when Gun is rejected for a love shot, he brings up how she had no problem doing it with Daniel…
…Which opens another can of worms, since Mi-young had no idea Gun was following her around back then and isn’t all that pleased about it. They both down their (drugged) drinks as a challenge before ordering another round, and Gun makes another misstep when he tells her she shouldn’t drink so much. Mi-young isn’t the snail she used to be, and isn’t a fan of being told what to do.
She leaves in a huff, but Gun isn’t too worried—she’s only got one place to go, and it’s the same as him. He does notice a familiar taste in the drink a little too late, since we find Mi-young stumbling back to her room as she grumbles about having a lover’s quarrel with Gun.
Gun is next to all but crawl his way down the hall, laughing hysterically at the generic paintings on the hotel walls for whatever reason. He can’t escape that feeling of deja vu as he stubbornly tries to enter what should be Room 2006, but which has now been labeled Room 2009 by the Spy Duo.
Mi-young is already in bed when Gun crawls into it, and they find each other with their eyes closed before Gun pulls the blanket over their heads…
Grandma Wang asks the multiple portraits of the Lee Clan ancestors to bless Gun and Mi-young so that they return as three, instead of two. Mama Yong also joins in the prayers, even adding her hope that they’ll have twins.
Dressed in traditional wedding hanbok in a cartoonishly familiar world, Gun and Mi-young act out their wild night together much like they did in Episode 2, replete with zany innuendo. Wouldn’t be the same without it.
They wake up with a scream the next morning, neither of them having any recollection of what happened the night before. Gun cries as he remembers this exact situation in Macau, especially since he’s been looking forward to sleeping with her for years now… and he can’t remember it.
He can’t even remember if they slept slept together, though all signs point to yes. They try to piece together the events of last night, and while both of them remember feeling strangely drunk, Gun belatedly remembers seeing Manager Tak and Yong outside his room. He was just too drugged to recognize them then.
Gun finds them across the hall in Room 2009, and makes the two of them kneel with their hands over their heads like schoolchildren. But Manager Tak and Yong spill the beans to Mi-young that it’s all because of what Gun told Grandma Wang about not wanting a child right away.
Still, Gun can’t get over how the Spy Duo ruined the first night of his honeymoon—but I love how he ends up being the one to hold Mi-young back when she launches at the pair for insinuating that sacrificing one night isn’t such a huge deal when they’ll have countless more in the future.
Daniel confronts Se-ra’s mother with the picture of him and his sister as children, and she doesn’t deny that the little girl is indeed Se-ra. While the weight of this revelation settles in, Se-ra arrives in time for her mother to pull her aside and tell her the truth: She’s adopted.
Se-ra’s mother, freshly lobotomized, shares a tender moment with her adopted daughter as they both agree that they’re still mother and daughter even if they’re not related by blood.
After Gun gets to brag about his wife’s success as an artist, the two lie on the hotel rooftop and stare at the stars. They reminisce about when their fate actually began, and while Mi-young thinks it was when he called her his lady luck at the casino, he thinks it started when they first met, chasing after his ring.
“The thing called fate,” Gun muses, “I thought it would be special, but I don’t think it is. Right now, the person in front of me… Everything will be fine as long as I’m with her. Not being able to imagine being with anyone else but her… I think that’s what fate is.”
“I’m okay even if we aren’t fated to love each other,” Mi-young replies. “Because I’d still love you like we were.” Gun takes her hand as he tells her that her future with him won’t be without difficulties, but Mi-young isn’t afraid, and doesn’t want him to be either: “Let’s do our best to love each other and be happy together every moment of every day for the rest of our lives.”
So Gun makes a vow to her as they look up at the night sky: “Until the day all those stars disappear, I’ll love you like you’re my fate every day.” Mi-young: “Until the day all those stars disappear, I’ll love you like you’re my fate every day.”
And at what feels like long last, the two get to have a night together they’ll actually remember, complete with candlelight and all their unspoken words of undying love passing between them as they kiss, undress, and make love.
One month later.
Grandma Wang and Gun wait in the doctor’s office with bated breath until Mi-young comes out bearing news… she’s having twins! Grandma Wang is over the moon with happiness as she praises her grandson’s virility, which, hah.
But it’s not long before Gun jokingly blames his grandmother for taking away their chance to live as plain ol’ newlyweds, even though he can’t stay that upset. Plus, Grandma Wang isn’t the least bit sorry.
Se-ra finds a post-it note inviting her out for ice cream from her oppa. It’s their first time meeting since they found out they’re brother and sister, since both of them needed time to process their feelings.
But from now on, Daniel wants them to live as siblings, which Se-ra agrees to. In a throwback to their first meeting on the plane, Daniel draws a portrait of his sister—only now he doesn’t have to guess what she looks like.
When Se-ra asks why he’s drawing his sister alone, Daniel’s eyes brim with tears as he mentions the day he lost her while buying ice cream. He tells it like a story that isn’t about her, which is maybe the only way he can get through it, but all that matters is that Se-ra understands.
They both have tears in their eyes as Daniel laments that he wasn’t fast enough back then and has been sorry for it ever since, to which Se-ra replies that he can make it up now by buying his sister that long-awaited ice cream.
Daniel holds out his hand to her, “I’ll never go off by myself again. I’ll always hold on tightly to our Mi-young’s hand.” Se-ra smiles through her tears as she takes his hand and calls him “Oppa.”
Three years later. Doctor Moon and Gun take a look at his crystal clear brain scans, with the good doctor surmising that if he’s had no more symptoms at his age, he can expect to live the rest of his life free of his family’s genetic disease.
However, Gun knows that Doctor Moon is courting Mi-young’s mother, and gives him some tips… like calling her “Lettuce Wrap Lady,” Gun’s favorite nickname for her. And it totally works, earning Doctor Moon a date with an extra-coquettish Mom.
Since we’re wrapping up everyone’s stories neatly, we find out that Manager Tak does have a passion outside of serving Gun—and that passion is dance. (In a fun throwback, his instructor turns out to be one of the many clones of Gun and Mi-young’s prenatal class teacher.)
He totally fangirls when he learns he’ll be taking lessons from a legendary dancer named Charles, only to recognize the pink-clad legend after he salsa’s up to him as none other than Lawyer Hong. Like Manager Tak, he needed a hobby, and it’s not long before the two stop using petty human words in favor of dance, the universal language.
While waiting for Se-ra to get out of her teaching job, Daniel watches with amusement as one of her young male students professes his undying love for her. Then he scares the kid off by saying that he’s the one who loves Se-ra most in this world, only for her to reply that Daniel is also the man she loves the most in this world.
Afterward, Se-ra uses Daniel’s given name to scold him for saying his sister is the person he loves most when he could be dating. Daniel tosses back that she doesn’t have much room to talk when she’s pretty, but also just as single.
Mama Yong reluctantly attends a meeting with Ji-yeon and her father, intent on showing her disapproval once and for all. But when Ji-yeon’s father is revealed to be a chaebol, and she a chaebol heiress, Mama Yong sure does change her tune fast.
When Yong asks why Ji-yeon kept her lineage a secret from him, she admits that she didn’t want him to love her because of her money. But now that Mama Yong smells money, she’s all for a quick marriage.
Gun and Mi-young have a picnic with their twins, a boy and a girl, now toddlers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Gun was born to be a father, but he manages to surprise even Mi-young when he offers to read the kids his favorite story…
…And he pulls out a hand-drawn, hand-written book called “Princess Snail.” It’s the story of a princess who wore round glasses like their mother, and who was bad at studying. Haha.
The story goes on to say that the princess had an illness making her incapable of refusing a stranger’s request, as well as being incapable of abandoning anyone. In fact, as he tells them, she didn’t even know she was a princess, and thought she was a maid.
Then Gun tells of the rude prince from a neighboring land who called the princess “Snail,” and, living up to her namesake, the princess crept into his life and heart. The prince fell in love with the princess, and suffered an illness where he couldn’t live without her.
As we get taken through a flashback reel, Gun alludes to his real illness by saying that others were worried for the prince, but that he wasn’t afraid because the princess was by his side. “As long as the princess is next to him, the prince will never get sick again.”
He flips to the last page of the book, with a drawing of him and Mi-young, their two children, and lots of adorable snails as he finishes the tale: “The princess and the prince had twins and are living happily ever after.” And forever more, just in case the “ever after” wasn’t enough.
When Gun asks Mi-young if she ever regretted marrying him, she treats it like the ridiculous question it is—why would she?
“Thank you for being by my side from today, and at this very moment.” Gun says.
“Thank you for always being with me that time, not sometime, but this moment,” Mi-young replies.
“I love you, Princess Snail.”
“I love you, Prince Lee Gun.”
What a sweet ending. Admittedly, I was a little worried during that dark stretch of episodes dealing with Gun’s amnesia and noble idiocy, since that’s where this version deviated so much from the original that any crossover viewers (like me) inevitably lost the ability to predict what would or could happen. Which isn’t a bad thing, since I’m all for adaptations staying true to their roots while forging their own identity. And it’s safe to say that Fated’s strongest point was in its ability to cherry pick what worked in the original while leaving out what didn’t.
And for a little more than half the episode count, this show was perfect. Which is why feeling even vaguely dissatisfied at the end of it all hits much harder than it should, because it’s not the same as watching a nonsensical ending to a bad show or even a mediocre ending to an already-middling show—Fated To Love You was like a ray of sunshine on dramaland’s darkest day. It was the drama that reminded us why we started watching dramas, with a crack factor through the roof, witty writing, and sparkling chemistry between two leads who could not have been more perfectly cast.
But it began to lose what made it truly stand out when Gun’s illness came to the fore, and when it became less about them as a couple and more about Gun shouldering the weight of the world on his shoulders. Noble idiocy isn’t a bad trope in and of itself, and while what Gun did and why wasn’t so beyond the realm of reason as to be incomprehensible, that story thread did surprisingly little to enrich our viewing experience or understanding of the characters.
Because in the end and after years of operating under misinformation and lies from Gun’s camp, Mi-young made the same decision regarding him and his illness as she would have if she’d known the information sooner. The three years spent apart became meaningless, which in effect seemed to make the whole exercise meaningless. So much ended up riding on an illness Gun wasn’t even sure he’d have, and the drama pivoted to become more about the two of them learning to love in the moment without worrying about the future.
Which is, again, a perfectly fine thing for a drama to focus on, except it became about nothing else. It’s a shame when there was so much to mine from how they met through how they dealt with the loss of their unborn child, to their rediscovery of each other. But instead, Gun’s noble idiocy act was like hitting the pause button on what was, up until then, a fast-paced plot—and worst of all, he wasn’t even the one to hit play again.
Even understanding his reasoning now doesn’t change the fact that the story slowed to a crawl after the time skip, and what oddly felt like filler these past couple weeks actually turned out to be filler. I was a bit surprised that this week was dedicated to tying up every single possible loose end you could think of, as well as those you didn’t (because really, who among us would have felt genuinely robbed if we didn’t get an ending for Lawyer Hong?), which seems more indicative of a show that got saddled with a sudden extension more than a show which knew it had twenty episodes from the start it had to fill with story and, yunno, conflict.
But lest I sound too hard on a show that did bring so many of us so much joy, it should be said that though Fated tested the limits on how much time it could stall for, even its filler was packed with more cute antics and warm fuzzies than most shows could ever dream of. It’s still the puppy parade of dramas, but with the bittersweet reminder that those puppies are getting older with every day that passes. Which I guess is as good a reason as any to remind us to enjoy the time we have, even if I already miss the time that’s passed.
- Fated To Love You: Episode 19
- Fated To Love You: Episode 18
- Fated To Love You: Episode 17
- Fated To Love You: Episode 16
- Fated To Love You: Episode 15
- Fated To Love You: Episode 14
- Fated To Love You: Episode 13
- Fated To Love You: Episode 12
- Fated To Love You: Episode 11
- Fated To Love You: Episode 10
- Fated To Love You: Episode 9
- Fated To Love You: Episode 8
- Fated To Love You: Episode 7
- Fated To Love You: Episode 6
- Fated To Love You: Episode 5
- Fated To Love You: Episode 4
- Fated To Love You: Episode 3
- Fated To Love You: Episode 2
- Fated To Love You: Episode 1