Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 16
With time growing short and, it grows harder and harder for Joon-young to pretend that nothing is wrong. He’s determined to struggle alone, refusing to accept help, even though it’s making things more difficult than they need to be. But as much as he’d like to keep his secret as long as possible, the decision may soon be out of his hands.
EPISODE 16 RECAP
In a series of clips, we see—and hear—Joon-young talking to the cameras mounted in his house. He speaks as though to Eul, saying that he dreamed of her all week, and wonders if she would dream of him, too. Later he says that he doesn’t have a lot of time and asks Eul to stop playing hard to get.
Another time he talks to the camera in his living room, and tells Eul that he just got back from the doctor. Things have gotten worse, so he doesn’t have much time to spend with her. He admits that he’s scared he’ll die before he has a chance to tell her how much he loves her.
Now Eul watches the videos closely, picking out what Joon-young is saying by reading his lips. The last message stuns her, and when her coworkers complains that there’s no audio, she breathes, “I hear everything. I can hear him clearly.”
Meanwhile, Joon-young forces Jung-eun to speak to Ji-tae’s mother on the phone, and listens as she tells the woman that she’s giving up on Ji-tae. When he hears that, he turns back and kisses her.
On the other end of the line, Ji-tae tells his mother that he’s not here to give in to his mother — he’s here to declare war. He’ll follow her as far as she wants to take this. Her look of betrayal doesn’t sway him.
A while later, Jung-eun washes her face in Joon-young’s restroom, now having second thoughts and wanting to take back her words about giving up on Ji-tae. Instead, she approaches Joon-young and raises a hand to slap him, although he stops her. He tells her to take off her engagement ring the next time they kiss, because he’s not nice or strong enough to welcome a woman wearing another man’s ring.
Gook-young lets himself in and gapes to see Jung-eun there — he only knows her as the project leader of Joon-young’s movie. Joon-young tells Gook-young to drive Jung-eun home, ignoring his questions about whether something happened between them. Gook-young yells that if anything happened, that makes Joon-young nothing but a beast.
Eul takes a taxi to Joon-young’s house, and nervously tries to ring the doorbell. In the driveway Gook-young gets slapped for trying to take Jung-eun’s keys, but he promises that he’ll forget everything he saw and heard today, so she allows him to drive her.
Eul sees Jung-eun being chauffeured off the premises, and she hesitates. She remembers driving once with Joon-young, when he’d asked her if she hates seeing him that much. She’d said yes and told him to get lost, and he’d agreed to disappear from her sight forever, but only after three or four months.
As Eul cries outside his door, Joon-young gazes out the window and draws a little cartoon picture of Eul in a patch of his breath.
In the morning, an increasingly desperate Haru resorts to chants and talismans to try to coerce Jik to like her back. The housekeeper stops her from actually eating the talisman, ha, but Haru just goes back to her chants, and celebrates when she gets a text from Jik.
He asks her to meet, to apologize for ignoring her messages. Haru plays it cool, saying that she had plenty of guys to entertain her, but it backfires on her when Jik takes it as a rejection. She backpedals and says there’s no one else, and she’s single-minded when she likes someone.
She gulps nervously, and Jik backs up, assuming she’s about to plant another kiss on him, hee. She assures him that won’t happen, and he makes her promise there will be no skinship until he graduates high school. Well, maybe hugs on special days. And he wants to meet her parents to get their permission and date for real. Aw, he’s such a little man.
Haru whines that it’s old-fashioned, but Jik is serious, and he wants to do this right until he’s an adult. Haru isn’t happy about the “no kissing” rule, but she agrees when Jik says that holding hands is okay.
He takes her hand to reassure her that it’s no worse than a handshake, but his heart starts to pound. He says that maybe they can’t hold hands either, which just makes Haru stomp and pout even more. So cute, these two.
Joon-young sleeps until early afternoon, and wakes up looking like hell. Doctor Kang calls to tell him that Eul came by his office today, and suddenly Joon-young is wide awake. The doctor says that Eul knows he’s sick, and we see that Eul took the news stoically, only betraying emotion when the doctor confirmed that Joon-young is dying.
Joon-young goes downstairs to find Eul making herself at home, and he reminds her that they’re over. She agrees that they were, but now that she thinks about it, it doesn’t really benefit her to end things now. She asks Joon-young to let her continue working for him on the documentary, and she swears she won’t even care if he dates someone else.
She nearly slips with, “Just let me be near…” but stops and corrects herself. She says that producing his documentary is a huge feather in her professional cap, but she wants to go further, and it’s not worth giving up for a mere ten million won.
But Joon-young denies her request, and tells her not to be so clingy. He gives her one minute to leave, and walks away.
Ji-tae is raked over the coals by one of KJ Group’s bigwigs for having no filial piety and trying to dismiss his own mother. He’s ordered to rescind his request, but he holds strong and refuses.
As he bends to pick his scattered papers off the floor, Jung-eun approaches and tells him to give up. He just removes her shoe from his papers and continues, so she tries to get a rise out of him by saying that she’s falling for Joon-young. She admits that she never thought she could have feelings for anyone else, and that it surprises her too.
She asks Ji-tae to hold onto her and prevent her from going to Joon-young. But Ji-tae says coldly that he already gave her his answer.
Jung-eun visits Ji-tae’s mother next, and attempts to talk about her statement that she’s giving up on Ji-tae. But his mom bulldozes right over her as if she never heard a thing, and gives her an expensive, difficult-to-buy handbag.
She eventually acknowledges what Jung-eun said about Ji-tae, and starts to fawn over her and ask her to forgive Ji-tae. Something about that offends Jung-eun, and she says again that she’s seeing someone else.
Mom sweetly tells her to just break it off, and even offers to do it for her, like she did once before. Wait, has she been chasing off any suitors that weren’t Ji-tae? Seriously, this witch.
Assemblyman Choi is still reeling at the news that Joon-young’s mother was never married as she claimed. Recent information confirms Joon-young’s birthday, and the math adds up.
Choi finds himself in front of Joon-young’s home, and remembers when teenage Joon-young told him that he wanted to be a prosecutor. Joon-young had grown quiet when Assemblyman Choi said that his parents must be proud of him, which now seems to mean more than he realized back then.
Ji-tae pulls up while Choi is still standing there, and he asks his father why he’s here. Assemblyman Choi says that his department is organizing a Hallyu event, so he’s here to ask Joon-young to sing a few songs. Ji-tae thinks it odd that he’s doing this in person, but Choi stammers that he’s just catering to Joon-young’s famous pride.
Not fooled one bit, Ji-tae asks his father if he was crying. Choi lies that he has dry eyes, but Ji-tae just asks how much he knows about his relationship with Joon-young. Choi clings to his lie and says that he doesn’t know what Ji-tae is talking about, and Ji-tae backpedals, saying he was mistaken.
He tells his father to go talk to Joon-young and he’ll come back later, but Choi stops him, and asks Ji-tae how much he knows. Ji-tae simply says that he knows as much as his father knows.
Assemblyman Choi ends up leaving first, though he’s so distracted that he nearly hits a group of pedestrians with his car. Ji-tae stands outside Joon-young’s home, thinking about the moment that he pulled up and saw his father here, wiping tears from his eyes.
Ji-tae finally approaches Joon-young, and the two sit to talk. Ji-tae notes that Joon-young didn’t seem surprised to see him, and asks flat-out when Joon-young will be dying. Wow, really?
Joon-young smirks and asks Ji-tae if he wants him gone, and Ji-tae says that yes, he does. Really?? Joon-young tells him that lifespan depends on the patient’s willpower, and apologizes since he doesn’t plan to die any time soon. He says that there’s still a lot he has to do, and a lot he wants to do, so he’s hanging on to life as best he can.
Ji-tae tells Joon-young to leave the revenge to him—he’ll be the one to carry it out on behalf or Joon-young or Eul. He tells Joon-young to die in peace and stop using Jung-eun to make things messier. Then he can be remembered as the pitiful and beautiful star.
Joon-young almost looks tempted, but his eyes harden and he starts to retort. But Ji-tae interrupts, and says that Joon-young’s father considered Jung-eun his daughter-in-law, so he should stop being a jerk to her and just die quietly. He issues this last warning, and stands to leave.
Joon-young calls after him, his voice rising to a scream, “Why do you keep saying that? I won’t die!!” Provoked now, Joon-young angrily empties his entire medicine cabinet onto the counter. But a call from Man-ok alerting him that Eul is at Mom’s restaurant stops him.
Mom feeds Eul, who eats so hungrily she nearly chokes on the food. Mom asks if Joon-young is that mean to Eul, and Eul doesn’t even bother denying it. Ajusshi notes that Eul is just like Mom — when she’s upset, she stuffs her face, ha.
Eul asks Mom why Joon-young is such a jerk anyway, and goes on and on about how selfish he is, and rude, and how he holds a grudge forever. Mom bristles at Eul badmouthing her son, but Eul is all, That’s right, and I’m just getting started.
Mom says that maybe Eul should just find someone else, but Eul pouts that there’s nobody else. Mom points around the restaurant, and Man-ok claims the other worker so Eul brightly asks Ajusshi if he wants to date her. Ha.
After Eul finishes her meal, she and Mom step outside to speak privately. Mom reminds Eul that she said she was going to break up with Joon-young, and asks why she’s clinging to him instead. Eul doesn’t answer, but instead asks for a hug.
She reaches out and hugs Mom first, ignoring her initial struggle, and asks her to just stay like this for a while. It’s sadly reminiscent of Eul and Joon-young’s hug by the river, only now Eul is the one who needs it. She asks Mom to tell her to stay strong—and no matter what happens, Mom shouldn’t cry too much, either. Okay, but now I’m crying. Mom scoffs and tries to push Eul off again, but Eul just hugs her tighter.
Joon-young pulls up in time to see Eul hugging his mother right there on the street. He freezes, unable to move at the sight.
Jung-eun stands on a rooftop overlooking the city, thinking everything over. She recalls how Joon-young told her to take off her engagement ring before seeing him again, while a billboard plays Joon-young’s concert serenade to Eul, and pronounces his documentary a message of hope for those facing death.
The next time Joon-young sits to record for the documentary, he tells the camera that the first item on his bucket list is to bring the girl he’s dating into the camera shot right now, and be proud. The official story is still that he and actress Kim Yuna are dating, but he says that that’s not who he’s talking about, outing the president for making up the story. Gook-young asks if he means Eul, and Joon-young denies it. Gook-young then snarkily asks if it’s Jung-eun—and Joon-young confirms it, to everyone’s shock.
Just then, Eul’s cheerful voice interrupts: She’s here to help. Joon-young’s eyes flicker just a moment before that cold expression slams down again… and then everything goes blurry.
Joon-young clutches his head in pain for just a moment, struggling to control himself in front of everyone. His face twists in agony as Eul and President Namgoong argue over whether she should be here, and the moment he’s under control he stands and says they’re done for the day.
He tells everyone to leave, and Eul seems to notice that something isn’t right. President Namgoong blames Eul for making Joon-young want to quit filming, but Gook-young kindly asks if Eul is okay. It’s interesting how he’s suddenly her biggest supporter. Gook-young is fed up for real this time, and he tells President Namgoong that he’d rather eat rocks than continue to be Joon-young’s manager.
Joon-young stumbles to his bathroom for his medicine, fighting nausea and dizziness. He gets a pill down, but collapses in the hallway, unconscious.
Eul finds him lying there and sits with him, fighting back her tears. She stays with him, wiping the sweat from his face, until he wakes just enough to roll his eyes up to her.
She tells him that she almost called for an ambulance, but she didn’t want rumors to spread.
Joon-young pushes himself to a sitting position, and he throws Eul’s phone angrily when she starts to call Doctor Kang. He screams at her to leave, but she just calmly urges him to get treatment.
Unable to make Eul leave, Joon-young starts to walk away, but Eul stops him. She asks if he’s refusing treatment because he’s afraid people will find out he’s sick. She says the words out loud: “You’re dying.”
She tells him again to go to the hospital, but he just grabs her hand and pulls her outside. Desperate, she threatens to tell everyone if he keeps refusing treatment, but he pushes her out the gate, tells her to do whatever she wants, and slams the door in her face.
He goes inside and sinks to the floor, choking back tears.
Ji-tae runs into Assemblyman Choi coming home late that night, and sadly asks his father never to leave his mother, no matter what. Choi easily promises, and asks for a promise in return — that Ji-tae will never abandon his mother, no matter what. But Ji-tae can’t make that promise, and says that that’s why he asked for his father’s promise first.
Jung-eun is at the Choi home for dinner, and Haru pulls her aside to talk about boys. She asks if it isn’t normal for a a man to want to kiss and hold hands with the girl he likes, and Jung-eun says that it is. Haru asks about Jung-eun and Ji-tae’s first kiss, but Assemblyman Choi and Ji-tae’s arrival saves Jung-eun from having to answer.
Ji-tae is unhappy to see Jung-eun here, and complains that they should have told him. Jung-eun says that she has something to tell the family, and she pushes off Mom’s hand when she tries to pull her away. Jung-eun goes to Ji-tae and gives him her engagement ring, saying that they should call it quits now.
She turns to Assemblyman Choi and tells him that she’s seeing someone else. She states that her debt to him (for helping her in the hit and run) has been paid back by her father, and tells him not to use that to hold her back.
She tells Ji-tae’s mother that she left behind the fancy handbag she’d given her, adding that she’s perfectly capable of buying herself such luxuries. Assemblyman Choi asks who she’s seeing, but we don’t see her answer him.
Over at Na-ri’s place, Eul is doing her best to hide in a blanket cocoon, and Jik asks Na-ri if he can hold her hand, then grabs her in a hug, then touches her face, checking his heartbeat. He leans over and kisses her cheek, and Na-ri decides he’s gone bonkers.
Jik clinically reports that he doesn’t feel a thing, so he wonders why his heart explodes when he so much as touches Haru. Eul suddenly bolts upright and starts talking about jerks, and HA, both Jik and Na-ri point questioningly to him. Eul dashes out, leaving Na-ri and Jik utterly confused.
Joon-young calls Gook-young when he can’t find Pororo, and Gook-young accuses him of making up an excuse to call him. He reminds Joon-young that he rehomed Pororo a while back, and Joon-young is confused for a minute before he remembers. Okay, that’s worrisome.
Eul shows up and pounds loudly on the gate, demanding to be let in. When he doesn’t respond, she calls loudly that she knows he’s pushing her away, afraid she’ll be hurt when he’s gone. She yells that that won’t help anything, because they were never madly in love, and they never understood each other.
Joon-young’s chin wobbles when Eul cries out that her not wanting to see him romantically was all a lie. She says that she likes him, that she loves him, and she can’t stand one more minute without him. She beats on the door, begging him to let her in.
Her words shake him to the core, and he starts to walk towards the gate. But an alert on his phone just then reminds him that the statute of limitations is up in only thirteen days, then Gook-young calls.
Gook-young has called back to say that even though Joon-young is a big star, he shouldn’t flirt with just anyone and break a poor girl’s heart. He says that if Joon-young does that, he’ll suffer in hell for it.
Confused, Joon-young asks Gook-young what statute of limitations is up in thirteen days. Oh no. He doesn’t remember what the alert means, or having put it on his phone. But Gook-young has no idea what he’s talking about, either.
Eul pounds on the gate until her hand is bruised, but Joon-young doesn’t open up. Jung-eun pulls up and the two women exchange loaded glares, then Jung-eun walks past Eul to ring the doorbell.
Joon-young hears the bell and goes to the door, expecting to see Eul on the other side. Instead it’s Jung-eun, who holds up her hand to show him that she’s no longer wearing her engagement ring. She steps into his arms, and Joon-young looks confused, almost as if he doesn’t know who she is.
Then over her shoulder, Joon-young sees Eul step out from behind the gate.
That was painful to watch. It’s one thing to see Joon-young in pain, but something else entirely to see him losing large chunks of his memory. He looked so lost and befuddled, but the scariest part is that when he starts losing his memories, he’ll start losing himself in the process. It’s our memories that make us who we are, and without them, Joon-young will slowly fade away.
Just when I thought Ji-tae’s mother couldn’t get any worse, she goes and gets way, way worse. Apparently Jung-eun’s fixation on Ji-tae isn’t all self-propelled — from that little comment of Mom’s (when she offered to get rid of Jung-eun’s new fling, “like before”), it sounded like she’s experienced in chasing away any man who shows interest in Jung-eun. This shows a level of commitment and obsession with the match of Jung-eun and Ji-tae that’s been years in the making, and it’s frankly chilling. Neither of them ever had a shot at finding love for themselves, with Mom making damn sure that they never even had any other options. It’s amazing that Ji-tae was able to hang out with Eul as long as he did, and resisted the brainwashing that Jung-eun’s fell into.
I’m feeling more magnanimous towards Assemblyman Choi these days, though I’ll admit that it’s largely to do with his current lovelorn situation. He seems deeply shaken to know that he may have a son he never knew about, and there’s a large part of me that still wants him to turn out to be a good man. He’s a loving father and husband, but his attitudes towards the poor are problematic at best. I hold out hope that his reconnection with Joon-young’s mother, and his realization that Joon-young is his son, can turn him around on that score.
Ji-tae is really frustrating me lately, because I just wish so badly that he’d chosen a different path. If he had been able to forgive Joon-young for Eul’s loving him, the two men could have worked together to get Eul the revenge she deserves. I watch Ji-tae and Joon-young’s scenes together and it’s like I can see an alternate scene, where the two are at least on the same side, and taking down the Choi family together. But Ji-tae can’t let it go, and his anger and resentment are causing him to push everyone away. I just wish he’d gone in a different direction, and been a help to Joon-young rather than repeatedly telling him to just go die already so Ji-tae can do things his way.
I think that Suzy’s acting has improved measurably during the course of this drama, and for me, she’s gone from tolerable to actually better than decent. I still wouldn’t call her a good actress, but she’s serving the character well and getting better with each episode, it seems. In part I believe that’s because the role of Eul hasn’t been particularly challenging — she’s a rather one-note character to begin with — which makes it easier for an actress of Suzy’s level to maintain throughout the course of a show. But to Suzy’s credit I can absolutely see that Eul has more spark in her eye, more confidence in her voice, and more maturity overall than she did before. I like how she’s turned the tables and decided to stay near Joon-young whether he likes it or not, now that she knows the truth.
On the other hand, Woo-bin has been and continues to absolutely master the role of Joon-young. I may not understand Joon-young, or even like him much, but I can feel every ounce of his sorrow, anger, and grief at facing his own mortality. The man has a will of steel, to be able to listen to Eul crying that she loves him, and not go to her and just love her while he can. Every time he sees her, he looks like he’s just a moment away from breaking down.
At this point I don’t even want or expect Joon-young to find a miracle cure, because his character arc has been entirely focused on the end of his life (and as I mentioned before, I knew someone who lost to this particular cancer, and it is a vicious illness that’s hard to beat even when you do pursue treatment). I do want him to realize that love is more valuable than revenge, so that he can die without regrets and knowing that Eul loves him. But for all of his angst and self-denial to be worth it, he almost has to die, otherwise it will render everything that we will have invested in for ten weeks meaningless. And he was on the right track before he veered off into revenge territory, back when his final wish was to tell Eul how much he loves her. I want him to learn to embrace love again, and leave knowing that he did do something meaningful before he died — he loved well.
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 15
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 14
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 13
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 12
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 11
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 10
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 9
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 8
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 7
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 6
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 5
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 4
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 3
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 2
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 1