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Legend of the Blue Sea: Episode 20 (Final)

It’s time to say goodbye to this show, which has been a sweetly funny ride all the way through and retains those qualities through its final hour (and regains some of its earlier lightness too, which I enjoyed). It ends a little quietly, but in a way that feels well-suited to its themes, and on an uplifting note that leaves me in a good place as I leave these characters and wish them well for whatever’s around the bend after the show drops its curtain.

 

 
FINAL EPISODE RECAP

Joon-jae asks Chung not to erase his memory before she leaves, reminding her that it’s better to remember love even if it hurts than to remember nothing. She doesn’t want him to suffer in case she can never return, but he assures her that even if she couldn’t, his love would outlast his life and go into the next one.

Ultimately, he leaves the choice with her, and after she decides, she kisses him.

A short while later as Chung leaves the house, she runs into Nam-doo, Tae-oh, and Joon-jae’s mother at the front gate. She says she’ll just be going somewhere for a short while, but her goodbyes have an air of finality to them as she thanks them for everything.

Chung visits Jin-joo and Shi-ah’s house just as the two sisters-in-law are arguing over whose coat was more cruel to the animal sacrificed for it (mink versus duck). Shi-ah gets in a dig about Chung not only being Joon-jae’s girlfriend but also the object of Tae-oh’s affections, saying that his phone was full of her pictures. Chung tells Shi-ah to delete them, and Shi-ah retorts that she already did, ha.

Then Chung explains that she’s going somewhere for a while and wanted to say goodbye, extending a hand to the surprised family.

Next on her list is little Yoo-na, and as they sit in a convenience store window drinking yogurt, she tells her that she’ll miss everything she ate here. She offers a handshake to her too, and then gets up to go. Yoo-na asks why she’s leaving so soon, and Chung is surprised that she still remembers her—ah, she’s been using her mermaid memory-loss handshake on everybody.

Chung wonders why Yoo-na’s different, and why she could hear her thoughts. Yoo-na explains seeing Chung in a dream, and we flash back to Joseon, when a freshly caught Se-hwa had sent out a call for help as the children heckled her. Yoo-na had heard her then, and she explains now that in her dream, unni was a mermaid—and so was she, as the daughter of a fisherman father and mermaid mother.

Yoo-na explains how in her dream, she could communicate with the mermaids in the sea and warned the fishermen not to go out to sea when bad weather was on the way. Chung asks what happened next, and Yoo-na just says that in her dreams everything seemed happy and good, and that whenever she wakes from that dream, she feels happy all day.

Chung says she’s glad: “It must not have been just a folktale. It must have really happened.”

A bit later, Chung stands on the beach, looking out at the waves. “He said that memory is the road back,” she thinks. “Our story that only I know… So that it doesn’t turn sad, that it doesn’t disappear, I will protect it. I’ll cherish it. And I’ll return.”

With that, she goes back into the sea.

Joon-jae wakes with a start, and finds one lone pearl on his nightstand. He picks it up curiously and stares at it for a while. Yes, but did the memory-wipe work? Do you remember or not?! They’re going to make us guess for a while, aren’t they?

Three years later.

Everybody’s still living in Joon-jae’s house, and Mom calls the boys to the table for breakfast. There’s good-natured bickering about when the others will finally move out, although Mom tells them all affectionately to stay until they get married.

Nam-doo and Tae-oh both say they enjoy having someone to call Mom for the first time, and Joon-jae gets mock-jealous when Mom hands over his favorite egg dish to Tae-oh instead.

Nam-doo wonders why they’ve fallen into the pattern of keeping one seat open, as though someone belongs there. He calls it strange, and Joon-jae’s face clouds over as he replies, “There are a lot of strange things.”

Joon-jae pulls up at the prosecutor’s office looking sharp, scanning the lobby much like the last time, when he cased the joint to scam a target. Today he scans a badge and arrives at an office, where he knocks on the door and enters.

He introduces himself to the prosecutors inside, using his real name—he’s a law student who’s been assigned to this office as a trainee.

Jin-joo enjoys bragging on Mom’s behalf about Joon-jae to their social circle, telling them all about how he went back to school to complete his degree and is now aiming to be a prosecutor. Moreover, Mom has donated half her company holdings to set up social welfare programs and alternative schools for runaway youths.

Jin-joo praises Mom to the high heavens, especially grateful to have finally found a place to invest her funds, thanks to Mom’s help. She says that she and Mom must have been sisters in a past life, which is hilarious since we know she was her servant. And then Jin-joo jumps up to bring Mom more coffee and snacks, happy to serve her.

At lunchtime, one prosecutor invites Joon-jae to eat with him, while the other remains behind. Joon-jae wonders why they don’t all go together, and the prosecutor asks what the most important thing is for a prosecutor.

“A sense of justice?” Joon-jae asks. “That’s important,” the prosecutor informs him, “but there’s something that’s more important. Never leave the office empty.”

He confesses that their office was infiltrated by con artists three years ago during lunch break, and Joon-jae feigns ignorance as the prosecutor gripes about the scammers who dared to sit in his own seat and pass themselves off as prosecutors. Moreover, they deleted the security footage and messed with the traffic lights to cover their tracks. Acting affronted, Joon-jae denounces those scam artists and vows to catch bad guys like them.

Later, Joon-jae sits with the main prosecutor as they question a businessman who’s under investigation for fraud. The man confidently asserts his innocence, stating that everything he’s been charged with is just a normal part of doing business.

Joon-jae notices that the company address and all its subsidiaries are listed as the man’s home, and that their finances were in shabby condition. Then he looks over the casefile and list of transactions and pokes holes in the man’s defenses, one by one, getting to the heart of the man’s fraud at one swift glance.

It’s clear that the businessman didn’t anticipate anyone seeing through his various cover tactics and false fronts, but Joon-jae sees exactly how he constructed his fraudulent business practices. The man starts to fidget in his seat, and Joon-jae even recognizes one of the names involved as a money launderer and says he’s well aware of his current activities and how deep this operation runs.

The businessman is shocked that Joon-jae sees everything so easily—and so is the main prosecutor, for that matter, who asks later on their way out if Joon-jae really knows people connected to the case. Joon-jae says that he just picked up the information here and there, but the prosecutor eyes him shrewdly, not buying it.

Just then, Joon-jae spots Detective Hong waiting for him in the lobby and excuses himself. He runs up to join the detective like an excited little boy, and the two of them awkwardly scuttle through the revolving door. Omg, that’s adorable and hilarious. *rewind, replay*

Over dinner, Detective Hong asks about his studies and says that he’s glad Joon-jae found his path, admitting that he got scared for him during his rough patch when he’d started saying weird things and disappearing for spells. “What you suffered wasn’t something that could be mentally handled by ordinary standards,” he reminds him.

Joon-jae says he doesn’t remember “it” very well anymore, not even if he tries. (I presume they’re talking about the whole stepmom-killed-my-dad ordeal, though they don’t name it specifically.) Then Detective Hong asks what Nam-doo’s up to these days…

…and we find Nam-doo giving a lecture about navigating that gray zone of life between fully legal activities and evasion of the law. Today’s lecture is on taxes, and he does so glibly and entertainingly to a room of appreciative ajummas.

Nam-doo joins the other two at dinner, and assures the detective that he’s not scamming anyone these days. He reminds him that he’d be crazy to, knowing he’d get caught by Joon-jae when he becomes a prosecutor, then recalls how surprised he was when Joon-jae suddenly decided on this path. Detective Hong says it must have been after Joon-jae met him and was inspired by what a good person he was, though Joon-jae drily assures him that wasn’t the case.

Nam-doo asks what did spur his decision, and Joon-jae tries to think of the exact reason. He’s unable to pinpoint it, saying only that it feels like there was a particular reason, but he can’t recall it.

The guys continue drinking at home, where Detective Hong nags Tae-oh to make sure he’s also living clean. Nam-doo assures him that Tae-oh works on the right side of the law now, hacking into companies legally to find bugs and strengthen security.

When Nam-doo looks around for his cell phone and Tae-oh produces it, the boys sigh that “it” has started again. Everyone reaches into his pockets to ensure nothing’s missing, and reveals that Tae-oh swiped the detective’s handcuffs without him noticing. Ha, was he always a klepto, or is that just a side effect of going straight?

Then when Detective Hong stands up, Joon-jae drunkenly grabs his hand and tells him not to leave, slurring, “Tonight, nobody goes home!” He slings an arm around his neck and refuses to let him go. Man, I love drunk Joon-jae.

Annnnd then drunk Tae-oh tries to stuff a coffee mug in his trouser pocket. Meanwhile, Nam-doo tipsily chats up a lady on the phone, only to realize she’s married.

All of a sudden, Joon-jae’s mood plummets and he starts to cry, repeating over and over, “I miss you.”

Nam-doo notes that this crying habit is new, and that he won’t even remember when asked later. He asks who Joon-jae’s always so sad about missing whenever he gets drunk, but Joon-jae just keeps crying to himself.

Far away in the ocean, Chung curls up to herself among a bed of coral, wiping away tears that roll away as pearls.

Joon-jae opens a locked safe in his closet and pulls out a journal, while outside, Nam-doo notes that it was after “that incident” that Joon-jae became strange. He started driving to the sea all the time, but when asked why, he’d reply that he doesn’t know. We see Joon-jae driving out to the seashore and looking out at the water, which his friends puzzle over.

Then, in the sea, Chung starts to swim up toward the surface…

In the morning, there’s a single set of footprints in the snow heading away from the shoreline. A courier arrives near the snow-covered beach and leaves two bags on a bench, although he can’t see the customer who requested the delivery.

A hand grabs the bags, and in a nearby public restroom, a woman dries her wet hair on the hand-drying machine, dressed in a suit. It’s Chung, her human transformation complete, and she boards a tourist bus that takes her to Seoul.

She takes a look around at the familiar surroundings, heading first to a jewelry shop where she sells her collection of pearls. Walking by a seafood restaurant, she crouches to look at the fish tank up front, next to another woman doing the same thing.

“Which sea did you come from?” Chung asks. Ha, another mermaid? The woman gasps in shock (aha, it’s Kim Seul-gi in a cameo), surprised to be found out so readily.

Chung asks if she’s hungry and Seul-gi nods, but tries to run when the restaurant owner calls out to them. Chung holds her back and indicates that they’ll be eating.

Ha, now Chung is the one who has to teach the rookie how to eat like a human, warning that grabbing with her hands will make people think she’s dumb. And when Seul-gi talks lovingly about the man she met who drew her to land, Chung is the one to put the brakes on her excitement, now the seasoned veteran.

Her words of caution are familiar, as she tells Seul-gi about the heart-hardening effects of coming to land, and how she’s better off returning to the sea than chasing a man who never gave her solid confirmation of his feelings. Aw, Jo Jung-seok would be so proud.

Seul-gi asks if Chung ever met a man who returned her feelings, and Chung affirms that she did, and that his love kept her heart beating. Seul-gi asks why she returned to the sea, then, and Chung replies that even a healthy heart is no match for a gun, and that she had to go deep into the sea and eat the best foods to recover her health.

Seul-gi asks why she got shot. Chung says, “I wanted to protect that man. In the end, I protected him, and I don’t regret it.” Seul-gi asks, “Where is that man now? Does he know you’re back?” Good questions.

Chung makes her way back to Joon-jae’s house and rings the doorbell, and it’s Nam-doo who steps out, although he reacts as though she’s a stranger. He turns her away, thinking she’s selling a religion or a service, but Chung calls him back and asks for Joon-jae.

Assuming she’s one of many women who’s fallen for Joon-jae unrequitedly, Nam-doo gives her the advice to get over him and leave, saying that he’s treating her like a sister because she seems familiar.

Then Mom arrives, and while she also has no recollection of her, she invites Chung inside to wait for Joon-jae.

Chung looks around at the familiar home with emotional eyes, and Mom and Nam-doo are surprised when she knows exactly where everything is. Nam-doo figures that Joon-jae brought her by without the others knowing, then calls him to let him know about their guest.

Nam-doo eyes Chung warily as he asks her name and hometown, wondering how she knows his hometown. Then he spots the jade bracelet on her wrist and gets excited over its potential value, which makes Chung smile at how little people change.

Shi-ah’s next to arrive, and Chung’s eyes widen when she hears that Shi-ah intends to propose today. With intensity, Chung asks if Shi-ah’s getting married, and to whom. Shi-ah flashes her couple ring and replies, “The man who lives in this house.”

Chung points out that three men live here, and asks which one. When she asks if it’s Joon-jae, Shi-ah smirks and asks what she’d do about it, then advises Chung to give up on Joon-jae, because she can’t beat out the woman in Joon-jae’s memories.

But Chung’s just glad she’s not marrying Joon-jae, and the smile returns to her face.

Joon-jae speeds home after getting Nam-doo’s call, and when he steps inside, everyone watches closely to see his reaction to Chung. Staring intently, Joon-jae approaches cautiously and asks who she is.

Chung thinks to herself, You’ve grown more handsome, Heo Joon-jae. I’m glad that you’re looking well. She doesn’t have an answer to his question, and thinks, I’m the person you said you would love for longer than all of your time.

The others tsk-tsk in pity as Joon-jae asks why Chung came here, and she can only say, “I… just…”

I wanted to let you know I’m okay now, that I’m healthy, and that I missed you, she thinks, looking at him with her heart in her eyes. When he asks if she knows him, she thinks yes, that she knows him better than anybody, but answers aloud, “No, not very well. In the past, I knew you for a very short while. You may not remember.”

He asks what she came to say, and she thinks, I love you. His expression flickers for a brief moment, and Chung says that she doesn’t have anything specific to say, and that she’s glad he’s looking well.

Joon-jae abruptly says that he has a meeting to go to and excuses himself. A moment later, Chung excuses herself and heads out looking for him, though he’s nowhere to be seen.

Snow starts to fall, and Chung looks over to the nearby courtyard where she’d once waited for him. She rears back when a passing motorcycle nearly splashes her with puddle water, then sinks into a crouch dejectedly. Should I not have come back? she wonders.

All of a sudden, Joon-jae appears holding an umbrella, which he extends over her head. Do you remember? Do you remember?

“Why, so you’d go back?” he asks. Then he extends a hand out to her, just like he did that first night in Spain, and she takes it.

“Is this what you wanted?” he asks. “To be forgotten completely from the world, and even for me to lose you?” He reminds her that he’d asked her not to erase his memory.

In disbelief and hope, Chung asks if he can really remember her. “Yes,” he says. “In this world, only I remember you.”

Chung doesn’t understand how, but Joon-jae pulls her in an embrace and tells her he’d remember her even if she erased his memory a hundred times. He tells her she missed one thing—that even if she could erase all the specific memories of herself from his mind, “My body remembers you, and you were engraved in my heart. You couldn’t do anything to that.”

He says he worked to remember her anyway, afraid time would chip away at his memory. “Every day, I worked at it, so I wouldn’t forget you.”

We see now that he’d recorded everything in the journal he’d locked away in his safe, starting even before she’d left him: “So that if something like this happened, even if my memories disappeared, I could at least find you in my records.”

We see him reading over those journals repeatedly, and he says he spent the first year clinging to his fading memories, and the next seeking out every seaside where she might be. He spent the third year looking for the perfect house near the sea where they could live together.

And today, when Nam-doo had called him about the sudden visitor, he’d teared up in immediate recognition at her description. “Finally,” he’d said in relief, and rushed home.

Chung asks why he did all that when there was no guarantee of her return. What if she never came back? He says, “Then for the rest of my life, only I would have remembered you. And only I would love you.”

They return home together, and Chung notes that her loft was left the same, even though his original rental period expired. Joon-jae tells her that since she wasn’t here to help him move, he ended up just buying the place.

“Thank you for waiting,” she tells him. He replies, “You worked hard, taking the long road back and not giving up.”

The moment deepens, and Chung starts to lean in toward him… except he steps back and checks that she won’t erase his memory again. Chung pouts and says she won’t, and he teasingly says she can take back this memory (of him doubting her). He leans in for a kiss, and this time she moves away with a laugh, and then they settle on the bed, holding each other.

The next day, Chung comes upon Homeless Fashionista digging in the recycling bins, and surprises her by already knowing her tips about where to get good clothes and shoes. She says she’s here because she missed Fashionista, and Fashionista says warily that she didn’t miss Chung because she’s never met her before.

Chung agrees that this is their first meeting, calling it a chance encounter, and adds that life is full of chance encounters—but it’s when you value those chance encounters that they can turn into good connections. Fashionista sees a kindred spirit in Chung and agrees to be friendly with her, although she gets a little weirded out when Chung knows too much about her habits and asks if she’s a stalker.

Chung assures her that she has a boyfriend, and Fashionista asks which stage they’re in. Chung cuts her off to finish her explanation of the romantic-hot-dirty love stages, and says she thinks she’s progressing from romantic to hot, with her eye on trying out dirty at some point in the future. Fashionista is gobsmacked at how well Chung suits her (since Chung is parroting back her own words at her, heh), and asks if they’re soulmates.

Soon enough, there are wedding pictures on the table (you skipped showing us the wedding?!) and Chung is studying to take her high school equivalence exam. Joon-jae tries to lure her away from her studies and into bed, and when she wants to keep studying, he just picks her up out of her chair and carries her to bed. Rawr.

Then Joon-jae is being interviewed for his prosecutor’s appointment, having flown through his exams, and is asked if he has dreams of being a particular type of prosecutor. Joon-jae replies that his dream is to be appointed to a branch office out in the provinces, perhaps near the sea. It’s an unusual response (since everyone wants to be in the big city), but his preference for an out-of-the-way office has his interviewers nodding in approval.

Joon-jae and Chung make the scenic drive out along the coast, smiling happily at each other, and he narrates, “At last, our dream came true. In an insignificant village with no particular news and nothing much to it, we’re living quite insignificantly.”

Joon-jae and Chung walk home with grocery bags, arms interlocked (hers wearing a pearl wedding wing), and when he comments that she’s eating too much, she indicates her big pregnant belly.

He sighs that it’ll be tough to feed her on his government salary, and she assures him teasingly not to worry, since she has her tears.

His narration continues: “We live, crying and laughing and being happy and sad over insignificant things, calmly watching every day, every hour, every minute and every second passing by. Cherishing the love that traveled far and wide and returned to my side at last…”

They laugh together at home, watching a simple TV show, then sit outside quietly looking at the sea.

“…and remembering our far-off, beautiful, secret legend.”

 
COMMENTS

Aw, it’s a thoughtful, somewhat contemplative ending, taking a step back from both the wacky comedy and the epic background story, which I think works quite well for this story. I’d thought we were going to end with more fanfare, given the thriller elements of the villainous-murderer plotline and the sad grandeur of the Joseon storyline, but found this ending more moving and intimate—I was glad to have things close on the couple only, without doppelgangers or criminal chases, and finding the beauty in sharing their lives and memories together.

I particularly love the detail about Chung’s memory-wipe affecting everyone but Joon-jae (well, he did experience the erasure but overcame it), leaving their story for only the two of them to know. I wouldn’t have minded a resolution that didn’t require her to erase the bonds she’d made with everyone else, but at least the finale showed us that it’s entirely possible for Chung to rebuild those bonds, assuring us that nobody changes from their true nature that much. And it did leave us with the nice poetry of Chung and Joon-jae having this secret between themselves. It’s not like anybody would have discovered or believed their Joseon-era parallel life, so it was already half their secret anyway.

In closing off that circle, it actually heightens the ordinariness of their lives now—they’ve gone through the full gamut of dramatic experiences, and all that matters is getting to live a completely unspecial, unremarkable life like two normal people.

I’ve enjoyed Legend of the Blue Sea a lot, but if I’m perfectly honest I’ll admit that I did think it missed having that extra spark of energy (say, like there was in You From Another Star). It’s hard not to compare it directly to its predecessor, especially with the similarities of format and character and lead actress, but mostly I think it’s a writing thing, where the drama did everything I expected it to, down to the clever twists and plot reversals. It wasn’t by any means badly written, just a tad predictable, which is why I think that spark wasn’t quite there—that spark that comes from feeling like you’re being led down a crazy, funny, unpredictable ride where you enjoy all the twists and bumps. When you see the road clearly before you, it’s just a little harder to deliver that feeling of surprise.

Even so, I did think Legend of the Blue Sea held its own as a drama independent of that baggage, and one that I thought was sweet and heartfelt at times, and fun and zippy at others. And because I’m satisfied with the way the romance played out and how it resolved, I’m content with the overall experience and left with a pleasant glow. Not all happy encounters have to be wildly original; comfort food is good precisely because it’s warm and familiar.

I have to also give Lee Min-ho some extra props for driving this show along, which was a total surprise since I think everybody was expecting it to be Jeon Ji-hyun who blazed through with the force of her charisma like she did in You From Another Star. Plus, I didn’t even know that Lee Min-ho had it in him to be self-deprecating and funny, and to commit to a romance in a way that I really appreciated, because there were a lot of times when I thought, “Man, Joon-jae’s dialogue could be so cheesy but Lee Min-ho is being magically earnest and somehow I’m moved, rather than cringing.” It’s a combination of a lovable character and a performance that was in tune with the role, and while this world was wholly fantastical, as long as Joon-jae was onscreen it felt tangible and real, making the problem at hand always a very universal human issue and not a crazy supernatural one. It’s been a fun ride, folks!

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Good drama!

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OMG!! That KISS????
Did they read viewers comment and granted our wish? Thank you director for that 2 second french kiss.
Sorry for hijacking your comment

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Yes, that kiss! I think this is the first time I've seen anyone use tongue in a kdrama kiss!!

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there i more in Goblin Kdrama

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in Goblin?

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yeah :D first saw it with seo kang joon's kdrama :D omo kdrama kisses are getting exciting :D

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I have seen a lot of comments about this kiss, well more specifically, LMH's tongue.

Believe it or not I think LMH might have redeemed any issues with this drama with the 2-second use of his tongue. LMAO. That should be a headline: "LMH's tongue saves drama." LOLOL.

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oh! i thought only me who pervy enough to paid attention to the him used his tounge in kissing her.. lol.. and all i can think of was 'what would Suzy think.. and no wonder there were lots of rumour of him cheated on Suzy with JJH' lol..

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I knew it...that someone will notice and say something about that passionate kiss ( i replayed it over and over just to make sure that what i saw was really a french kiss ) and just know that it will be on a topic for discussion. I'm glad that it was not a typical kiss since they are both matured enough to do that. ( i wonder what Suzy would say about it lol )

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I thought i was just imagining the first time at the poolside & lo & behold i saw lee minho's tongue at the last ep. I paused played repeat for a couple of times... i felt weirded out its my 1st in KDRAMA, (tv, smallscreen ) glad im not the only one???

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first saw it in seo kang joon's kdrama.. ayii! :D :D omo!!

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Yess that kiss...wow..

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And yes we all know LMH is best in kissing scenes ;)

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I have to give this one to Lee Min Ho.

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I thought I was the only who noticed the tongue. Jeez that was surprising but thank goodness it was a good kiss

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haha omg i had to rewind it a couple times to make sure what i was seeing was right! i was so shocked to see LMH's tongue too!!!!

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Definitely was a good drama!

The missing spark was that was sorta predictable... but predictably profitable! I then realised that to enjoy it I really had to go with its retelling of a familiar tale.

And it was all good! I really love this drama.

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Tq dramabeans for the recaps...really love lmh in this drama:)

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Nice ending to a nice show. Very sweet. But I still wonder why Korean writers love last episode separations and time jumps. Don't see the point.

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I agree. Until Chong's conversation with Kim Seul-gi, I wasn't sure why her heart was having issues. I was thinking of what merman Jo Jung-suk had told her about her heart functioning ok if her man loved her back (which.. hello he did). I guess I missed the point that the gunshot did some extra damage that love couldn't overcome.
So now I was watching this whole finale with the thought that the taking gunshot was a way to get to the separation phase. Now it seems so unnecessary. If I recall correctly, that "house by the ocean" solution was proposed by girlfriday last week
I was actually sad that everyone lost their memories of her. Those bonds she had with not just Joon-jae, but his bros and mom. The other part of my mind was like "did she also meet the detective and fix his memory, how many people's memories did she fuck with?" Lol

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Stupid comment posted too soon (fat fingers on mobile). Correction - the house by the ocean suggestion was given by a bunch of smart beanies :-)

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It seems that she needs to go into deep ocean to recuperate.

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Yeah... their final angst sounds so stupid and unnecessary... but I couldn't help being happy when these two reunited and live happily for ever and after.

This drama ending has gotten rid my heartache which caused by Goblin ending T_T

Awww... have a lot of half mermaid-half human children you two! So Chung can cry a bucket of pink pearls and make necklaces, earpieces, and bracelets out of them.

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Its not stupid u shud have heard Chung properly. She went deep in the ocean and gained some nutrients over the course of a long period to fully recover. She wouldn't have recovered if she kept going back and forth between land and sea. Hence the separation was needed and since she was not sure if she will be able to recover at all hence the erasing of memories

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You should have asked me properly what makes me think it's stupid. I have no problem with her going back to ocean to recuperate her health after being shot. That makes sense. Her habitat is in the ocean after all. I guess that's one of the reasons why Joon-jae bought a house on the beach, even though she could live on the land just fine.

What makes me think it sounds stupid is because after everything she learned, that having the memories of someone you love, even though it's painful, is still far better than not having them at all... she still erased Joon-jae's memories anyway. Why did she refuse to erase Joon-jae's memories when Dad died then? If she had seen Joon-jae extremely miserable after that, then I would have understood why she made that choice. But he looked completely fine.

I know she didn't want Joon-jae to wait in uncertainty, but why didn't they make promise to call once in a while? Chung could've gone to the nearest land and made international phone call to South Korea to update him with her condition. Or she could've just told him where she was going to so Joon-jae could visit her once in a while. Or even better, he could've followed her and stayed on the nearest beach. Or Joon-jae could've given her any tracking device to check on her position.

There were so many alternatives, why chose the most extreme one.

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Too many dramas end with the OTP separating for years without contact (cellphone anyone?)
Waiting for the writer who will break the mold.

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Cliche girl, cliche. Korean dramas have that.

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Um what happened to Ma dae young??

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right? thats what i would like to know. he seemed to be lurking around and that crazy step mom seemed to be pleading to him to "not leave things be" through the cameras whilst she was being arrest and filmed. ?

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I thought Ma Dae Young was taken away last episode? So he should be in jail by now....reunited with his love perhaps.

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yeah! he was in the psyc clinic about to murder the doctor and the police came and arrested him.
-- and he cant possiblly reunite with the step mom because im pretty sure korea has separate prisons for different genders... so they probably each got a life sentence and will never see each other again. who knows maybe they got a death sentence.

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I'd like to think that the pitiful Ma Dae Young is pitiful to the end, paying the price for crimes he has no recollection of committing.

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omg HAHAHA i totally forgot about him!! lol! they showed him in a scene after his wife got arrested/son committed suicide and i remember thinking "we havent seen the last of him" but i guess we did??? lol wow, they had 1 whole episode to tie his story up but i guess they forgot about him too

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The ending just wow! Thanks for the recap!

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This drama is strange. The beginning didn't move me and I yawned through the step mom arc and only got my interest back after 'who's the real killer' arc but this ending...is just perfect.

I love it, almost every second of it. Even KSG cameo is perfect, mirroring JJS perfect cameo.

Maybe I'm just sucker for happy ending (and still trying to wrap my head with Goblin's ending) but after almost got killed, separated for so many years, a happy ending is well deserved ending. Poetic pretentious message be damned.

What a feel good episode and great emotional payoff. I might not buy their love story in the beginning but the ending got me teared up and realized that I've attached to the characters more than I previously thought.

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Woiw I also agree

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I will never forget Hoe jun Jae! ???? Legend of the blue sea is the BEST drama of Lee Min ho so far. Thanks to park Jin Eun for creating Hoe Jun jae and Dam Ryung.
Love the happy ending

The house near beach was so beautiful.. Pregnant Chung was so cute..
The Kiss was SO HOT!!
Did you guys see the tongue??☺☺☺???

I LOVE Hoe Jun Jae's lines at the end... ??? They live such a quiet, simple yet beautiful life. At the end, it felt as if the world was only for Jun Jae and Chung. It seems like they made their own world!! It was just for them

??Legend of the Blue sea??
I am gonna miss them all!????

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LMH really know how to make a drama from any amazing writer become unbearable and unwatchable..overated!

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Take this L you hater!! ????

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Wow, hater alert. Lee Min Ho for the Win ??????????

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Hater, I see!

It's okay. Everyone has his/her own opinion.

But believe me, LMH was a lot better.

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To my Favorite City Hunter director---> ??? Thank you for the Tongue Kiss ☺☺☺ ?????

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Never again... never again will I insult Lee Min Ho! I accept it... he is talented.
Jeon Ji Hyun, you remain QUEEN! Forever and ever!
I am so happy with these new changes going on in kdramaland. We are leaving the era of weepy perfect candy females and I AM SO HERE FOR IT! For someone who has been a fan since the days of BOF, kdramaland is doing something right!

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thanks for the recap. i really love this drama

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Finally, I stayed till the end with a drama on DB. Yay for me!

The ending was really good. All in all it was a good drama that surely proved to be achievements for JJH and LMH.

To LMH, good work, man! You finally showed your worth by doing a great drama.

To JJH, queen you are!

To PJE, thank you for writing a great drama. Hope to hear more from you.

To JH, thank you for making it a feel-good drama.

To Beanies, thank you for being together all the time. It really feels like family here.

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+100

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And miss you too. I always used to see your comments.

Hope we soon pick up a common drama and meet there.

Till then, see ya chingu...

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Aww, such a cute farewell msg. Thank you to you too, fellow-beanie. :)

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you are not the same Sic as I am... I am conFUUUUUUUUUSED... *see comment #22)

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I was sad because LOBS ended and then I see this comment of yours, Sic original, and it made me laugh... haha!

Probably Sic duplicate might have liked your name.

Sic duplicate, thanks anyways.

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Really? But I had also commented with Sic UN according to my local time.

I guess the only thing left to do now is to take it lightly.

Hi, twinno! <3

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Also, Sic, sorry. Maybe I didn't know that Sic was taken. Sorry. As it is, my commenting here is done for now and I have commented only 3-4 times.

TC, twinno!

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Okay now this is just funny... Also sorry for late reply, I live in NZ so whilst most of you were posting, I was asleep.
Nooo Sic2 it's okay!!! hahahI mean, YES I was salty at first because Sic is the usual handle I use, well less salty than confused to be honest hahahaha but I don't mind, truly. Tbf, I should probably just the full title of my tag, that is, Sicarius, to avoid confusion from here on out. :P

You also take care Twin! I actually feel like I wanna see you around as Sic now though... so... how far are you going?

(glad to make you smile AniLoh :) )

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That was a great and beautiful ending! It could not have been better.

Enough said.

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Thank you for all the recaps! Lee Min Ho is shining in this drama. Thumbs up for Jun Ji Hyun too, I saw her BTS clip working hard swimming underwater as a mermaid, that's not an easy job.

Lesson from the story: always write notes diligently, keep your diary in case you got your memory erased.

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I would've love to see cha si ah propose to Tae Oh.

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Same here!! But can only imagine it now... unless they release deleted scenes or something...

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Same... it would've been bloody adorable.

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Just love this drama! And it had a perfect happy ending!

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This ending was so great!!!! It totally erased my memory in terms of my mid-series issues with the writing. I literally forgot everything after watching that kiss. LOL. But at the same time doesn't it make you wish it was like this all throughout the series. I was so moved by what LMH did to keep his memory. LMH and JJH as a team hit it out of the park. I LOVE LOVE them together as a couple on screen. I hope they do a movie together. I think they could really do some damage now that they are used to working together. LMH really showed some depth to him and diversity. Proud of him. JJH was as wonderful as always. They both played off each other so well. Love the other characters too. I literally loved each and every character. Which is a first for me watching a drama. There was no character that I felt like was a throwaway. Imagine if the writing had really fully utilized everyone though. Holy crap it would've been so good. But yeah, kudos to LMH and JJH for carrying this drama. Their final BTS was soooo cute. I wish they had let us seen more of that over the course of the series. Anyways, great job to everyone involved with LOTBS!! I'll miss you!!!

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+1000

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Agreeeee.. Though the ending was sooooo beautiful I could not stop my tears, I think this is the best love story I've ever heard ? I mean think of their journey, they were complete strangers in the beginning, and then realised a deep connection from the past, fell head over heels for eachother and that love made them get separated, the agony they felt missing each other(that was evident in HJJ's red eyes) and finally they were able to live the love they treasured for years together. There can never be a better love story. (I could have collected a bag of pink pearls seeing the last episode). I think by the end of the episode LMH and JJH started living as HJJ and SC. I could just see and feel the real love between these two.

Showing the life after marriage was the best part, most of my favourite dramas don't do that. (even now wen I see BOF, I hate it when jandi dint even say yes to Gujunpyo's proposal at the end). The drama did everything it could do, even in the final episode they managed to have funny scene, for me it's a perfect rom com.
How I wish to be a mermaid and to love and be loved by the most handsome man like HJJ. Wish the entire team all success and thanks for creating such a beautiful fairytale for me. ?

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I'm bothered that she never shed a pink pearl tear! Maybe it'll have to wait for her to give birth then?

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Just wanted to say, she DID shed a pink Pearl tear. HJJ was looking at it while he was sitting on his bed and it's her wedding ring. Problem solved. Now everyone is happy. :D

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Ahhh. so she DID! Now I am happy! Didn't notice from the screen shots. :)

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Hehehe!

Cute! Someone else noticed the pink Pearl!

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I saw the pearl but i forgot about it for a while because my memory was wiped clean by HJJ tounge-kissing Shim Cheong.

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That said, it really is a wonder what a good ending can do to elevate a show. I didn't connect with the whole series as much as I wanted to (I love JJH and LMH so so much) and throughout the series I was just going through the motions. But the ending was wistfully good, it made me realize I was invested in this relationship after all.

Or is it that I feel like this ending made up for the unsatisfying ending I got from YFAS? There I felt that the ending could have been more "happy" but here, I am totally for them having a super normal life.

Thank you JB and GF for the recaps and comments, I am happy for LMH to have a character that show his acting chops - working with this director must be great for him.

PS I'm glad Namdoo Hyung and Tae Oh found a mother in Joon Jae's mom too. :)

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Not many people know that the last epilogue of YFAS was actually a cut part of the entire one.
In the entire epilogue, they had a house and lived like any other married couple.

I am glad with LOBS. Thank God it came right back on track. :D

And yes, ND & TO finding a mom in JJ's mom is so heart warming.

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Totally agree fangirl sy, that ending really was a gamechanger. as you said the ending can make a real difference in how you perceive a show overall. ah i like what you said "But the ending was wistfully good, it made me realize i was invested in this relationship after all." that line should be in a drama. haha.

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"PS I’m glad Namdoo Hyung and Tae Oh found a mother in Joon Jae’s mom too. ?"

I had no idea they were motherless, too. Now I'm gonna think of them as the Lost Boys. ;)

But which woman was Wendy Darling? Joon Jae's mom?

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Er ... she did - she wore it as her wedding ring? The part when she's heavily pregnant and taking a walk with HJJ and HJJ teased her about eating so much food??

What I am confused about is WHEN she shed the pink pearl tear?? Because HJJ woke up and found it on his bedside table?? I am guessing it's the night when she left (backtrack 3 years)?

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I believe She cried the pink Pearl that night she left... or maybe some other happy day and left it to HJJ the night she left....

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Thank you, Javabeans, for the recap!

I woke up last night in time to check for the first English Translations, Drama Addict, that I am. =)

This was a nice wrap up to an interesting story. My take-away is the choice to do what we want with our lives, even when reincarnated to finish old arcs. Thank you!

Actors were on-point. Not too cheesy but talented with comedic timing! Well done, cast and crew! The OST is great, too!

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IA everything said about LMH.

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It's really over huhuhuhu I don't want to say goodbye yet :(

Love this drama to bits! Love LMH and now JJH too.

And that kiss! Waaaahhhh mind blowing hehehehe

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Thanks Javabeans and Girlfriday for recapping Legend of the Blue Sea. Likewise, "I'm content with the overall experience and left with a pleasant glow."

Watching the wacky comedy, fantasy saguek Joseon background storyline, and thriller elements set in both the past and present unfold and parallel in LOTBS was a must for me on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I'll miss Shin Rin-Ah playing little Yoo-na. She was such a delight. Awesome to have a cameo from Kim Seul-gi in the finale.

My interest in Sim Chung & Heo Joon-jae / Kim Dam-ryeong & Se-hwa and the degree of excitement encountered each week watching them never wavered even with competition from the likes of the other popular dramas Goblin and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo.

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+1000000000000000

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Totally called Yoo Na being part mermaid, at least in one lifetime... in like episode 3. Anyone else?

And my wishes for this show are still the same as last week. But at least I got a sweet ending. Even if it was a given that the ending was gonna be sweet.

(Still wanted more Tae Oh and Yoo Na... but I guess I'm just fussy hahaha)

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Na. doo

More Tae Oh and Si Ah would have been icing on this already delish cake!

I was really satisfied with everything else!

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What a perfect ending...it feels melancholy...romantic..warm...and happy...but also sad to say goodbye to this amazing show...and lee min ho will go to army too...and not gonna see him around for 2 years...waah....i'm not even a fan of him but this drama makes me want to see him on screen everyday....hiks..Thank u show for giving me the best experience every week...and all the beanies..your comments always make me smile and happy...thank u DB...for such wonderful recap n patient...

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What a great journey. I loved the finale so much, and that's why i don't regret saying goodbye to our characters.

Looking forward to another Lee Min Ho and/or Gianna Jun drama.

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Aww man.they didnt show us the wedding scene.who did shi ah get married to and chung and yoona meeting again.all the same,this drama ended beautifully.lee min ho did exceptionally well.i think after city hunter,this is my next best lee min ho drama.
if chung gives birth,will her baby and yoona become cousins.i mean chung and yoona father are from the fish family

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Hehe! At the cousins part!

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I always dread final episodes because I'm always hoping that it will be a good ending. It rarely happens in kdrama land but this one I'm really satisfied. I'm going to miss Chung's personality and her interaction with the little girl. She's the cutest.

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It’s all very nice and all, having a nice little secret just between you and your one true love. Except for the fact that you don’t, because Yoo Na didn’t forget, because Cheong couldn’t erase her memories, a plot point apparently even the show seemed to forget, despite it being, in my opinion, a super interesting and important plot point. But nope, we’re just gonna forget that happened at the end aren’t we…
Sorry for my sarcasm, I guess I just really like Cheong’s relationships with the other humans, just as much if not more than I liked watching her relationship with HJJ. And to me, I thought the idea of Cheong finding a family on land was a very sweet and powerful one. Alas it happened to be overshadowed by the story of One True Love. Don’t get me wrong, they wrote the latter very well, and it had some nice moments going for it, I just was actually looking forward to her reunion as Cheong with everyone else, more than I was with her reunion with HJJ. Because I knew the latter was gonna happen. We all knew it was gonna happen. So why does it bother me that they spent so much time on her and HJJ and not enough time on her and the others? Am I growing out of that style of story telling where everything (or almost) is about the main love line? Or am I just tired of it and want to see more complex relationship stories that aren’t just about the main love line? Or is it just the execution that bothers me? Perhaps I was just invested in the secondary characters more, and wish for better development of their storylines in dramaland in general. I just wanted my little family of adorable freaks to be happy at the end, ok.
I hope they do remember. I hope the boys get to be silly uncles for HJJ + C’s child. And I hope Yoo Na is their unnie or noona and teaches them life lessons.
Hmmm... I should lower my expectations of dramas probably. hahaha

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I felt the same. I didn't like the deletion of all the memories Cheong made with Joon-Jae's family. I am going to imagine that she rebuilt all those relationships and living by the sea doesn't mean they don't see their family anymore!
One true love is well and good, but other relationships are important and can be powerful too.

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Agreed.
Didn't like the fact that the bonds she had built with everyone else were wiped out just like that.
Also, didn't we see in a previous episode that she can give the memories back? (When she wiped Nam doo's memory for the first time)
Why didn't she do that with everyone once she came back?

The entire plot point of the separation and memory wipe at the end felt forced and unnecessary.
They could have simply gotten the seaside house in the first place and wiping everyone's memories didn't serve any purpose.

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It's kinda like a weird slightly-wants-to-be-justified-but-really-can't-be version of Noble Idiocy really. All at the excuse of... of what? A poor writing decision to further one relationship development SLIGHTLY, at the detriment of the rest of the story line.

And yessss I commented that below actually haha regarding giving the memories back. It's nice to theorize, but we still didn't see it on screen :/

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I think she did not 'give back' Nam-Doo's memory. From what I understand she wiped off his memory and merely did the same thing again! Aka wait till Nam-Doo leaves the swimming pool- jumps back into the swimming pool- wait for ND to notice him again- then she asked whatever she wanted to ask him. It was a hilarious scene!

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@Kai
Yeah I am realising that now... Oh well. A girl can dream, right...

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I have to admit that it really bothered me that she wiped Joon Jae's memory again, when he didn't want her to.

I mean, I get that it's good the mermaids/men have a way to protect themselves from humans, but to wipe the memory of your lover because you think it's best for him, seems verging on abusive to me. (Well, abusive isn't exactly the right word, but I can't think of what is.) So maybe she deserved that little bit of punishment, when Joon Jae pretended he didn't know her.

Though overall I really enjoyed the show and this last episode, I wish that memory-wipe part hadn't happened.

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Jamie, if she didn't erase HJJ memories of her the second time, the tragedy will happened again. When KDR and SH going to be apart the second time, SH did not remove his memories. And the tragedy happened.

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I think they both dint abandon their families. They just dint show it on screen because it's understood. SC met her fashionista friend and she even said she will meet her at Wednesday's. Which means she still values the connection she made on land and ofcourse she will treasure it. They just dint show each and every connection reunion and that would have made the last episode draggy. So it's understood. But all this happened because of her love for HJJ so isn't that more important? I think the ending cannot be more beautiful than this.

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How sure are you that those bonds with HJJ's family will NEVER be remembered???

I think it was fine those memories with others were deleted and sorta became HJJ's only... well Yoona... but I digress...

I mean everybody remembering SC would have been more torture for HJJ...more pity from the others... more people knowing her true mermaid nature...well just Nam Doo... digressing again...but hey you get the point...hehe!

I'm just saying that I don't mind that everything is those two's little secret for now... it's their story... past and present... so I don't think there is an obligation for everyone else to have their memories of our mermaid... and they could very well remember at a later date... so it doesn't even take all that much away from the overall story.

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i felt the same way. i loved the ending, but i was sad that the other characters didn't know who she was. they went through so much together for them to just forget. i really felt like they were one family. it was actually painful to watch people like HJJ's mom and Jo Nam Doo not know who SC was. that goes to show that these secondary characters were not just throwaway characters but people we invested in too.

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@ popsicle"...Yoo Na didn’t forget, because Cheong couldn’t erase her memories, a plot point apparently even the show seemed to forget."

I think the point of that was just to reassure Cheong (and us) that humans and mermaids could have children and live happily together, without terrible tragedies befalling them. The show emphasized Yoo Na's positive and happy experience as a little half-mermaid/half-human who was valued for her difference (even if no one knew she was part mermaid).

So we see the story Joon Jae's mother told was, as the show says, not just a fairy tale.

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@popsicle Agreed! I also hated it that she erased everyone's memory of her, what a disappointing episode since I loved this drama from the beginning T_T

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No popsicle, I don't think you're asking for much. I think that its a recognition of the fact that Korean dramas have already come so far in creating beautiful love stories with depth and detail that expectations are high; and rightfully so. I wanna see the Kdrama industry surpass and just excel upon and master their art of making laypeople like us into goo and mush through their moving, well-rounded storytelling.

Its not to say I didn't enjoy this drama, I enjoyed it A LOT. Its still at the top of my list of dramas I'll recommend to people. I just wanted it to be that much better for it.

I too wanted Shim Cheong's relationship with others to persist (if not develop any further). You mentioned in response to my comment below (sorry for the 48-hour-later reply) that her memory erasure kind of negated everyone's role in the main couple's lives. Yea! Couldn't agree more. What about HJJ's Mom's love for Shim Cheong?? What about Nam doo's sacrifices for HJJ and for helping HJJ protect his girl because those two were practically his siblings? Or Tae Oh's short-lived but significant and earnest crush which prompted him to be a better person by always acting to protect Shim Cheong, huh? HUHH??? Whyyy show us their developing relationships if its just going to be erased?! HUH?

Lol yes I know this is fantasy and not real. I KNOW THAT INTERNET FORUMS ARE REAL FOURTH-DIMENSIONS WITH REAL PEOPLE ON THE OTHER END WHO EAT RAINBOWS AND REGURGITATE SKITTLES. yess. I'm okay.

This is just my opinion people. excuse me.

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Hi,

I'm new here. This happens to be my 3rd KDrama. I'm just loving them! :-)

Agree with what you had to say. The total erase was just not required, so many sweet memories lost to the secondary characters. We didn't get to see Tae Oh meet her after she's back, that's always cute.

Was disappointed mid series when things were left unresolved when HJJ's father passed away. Maybe that was avoidable. He could have come back on friendly terms with his wife or at least the family could have been at peace.

And they just stopped showing HJJ's conman skills enough as the series progressed! I really liked the first few episodes where he used his lighter after a quick analysis of his target.

So much fun reading all your comments.

Loved this drama!

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Thanks JB for your great recaps and reviews! It truly was a fun and great ride. I enjoyed watching the whole drama from start to finish. And this finale, ahh, what a sweet and satisfying episode. I had a grin on my face the whole time I was watching it. I wll surely miss HJJ and SC characters. Kudos to LMH and JJH for their great performance and chemistry, which got better in each episode. Will be looking forward to their next projects for sure.

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Not much to say other than it was really refreshing to see Lee Min Ho show some really great acting ability. He really matured in this role and - I think - carried the entire drama. Bravo.

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i really felt like he matured too. no longer a pretty boy. now a pretty man. =P

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True. Even City Hunter PD said that he was impressed with LMH's performance in this drama, and that he has turned. from a star to a real actor in the past years.

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This the best Kdrama ending I can remember. ❤️

Also,
How did she pay for the clothes?
how would he know which sea was she in? ?
And I missed TH in the last reunion?
And is not weird to just show up infornt if ppl who have no recollection of you! Also it turned out just fine.
But would no the normal with most chances of success is to introduce yourself like it was the 1st time.

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On how HJJ would know which sea to find SC, got this from Soompi forum: The second year, he spent trying to look for her. They also showed him listening to news report of miraculous saves by the sea. (That must the scene when he was checking news on his tablet). So everytime there was a news report of someone being saved at the beach, he would head to that beach bec. he was hoping that Chungie was the one miraculously saving people.

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Oh, thanks KrisS.

The Question that remains, how did she pay for the clothes.
I keep remembering that poor delivery man face and laughing. ?

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Now that is a mystery. LOL. My guess is, she still has a credit line for a department store and ordered via phone and had them delivered.

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I really, really appreciate this show. It was never crack-level for me, but I spent the last fifteen minutes patting the two characters on my screen and saying out loud how adorable they are. And as I reflected on the series, (the series of flashbacks helping me out), it dawned on me how much love I have for this couple.

The recent commentary for the '10 best drama couples' on this site had me thinking - because like it said, we often have favourite dramas and favourite characters, but they don't always follow as also holding our favourite romances or couples. And for me, this couple is so, so lovely.

In the process of learning to care, respect and love each other, Joonjae and Chungie were able to appreciate more of the world they live in and the people that inhabit it. They wanted to be better individuals, therefore becoming an even stronger couple, and gathering around them friends and family who similarly grew from being beside them.

That's love for me.

Thanks for the recaps!

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"In the process of learning to care, respect and love each other, Joonjae and Chungie were able to appreciate more of the world they live in and the people that inhabit it. They wanted to be better individuals, therefore becoming an even stronger couple, and gathering around them friends and family who similarly grew from being beside them."

+100000

I couldn't have said it better myself!

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What an anticlimactic finale. It frustrated me that Chung erased everyone's memories. If Joon Jae was going to buy a house by the sea, why did they even have to separate in the first place? I'm upset we didn't get to see Tae Oh. And what was she wearing?

Regardless, I enjoyed Legend of the Blue Sea throughout. It was entertaining, and the characters were endearing. Fish out of water tales are a favorite of mine. This couple didn't quite make my heart flutter, but I always rooted for their happiness. Jeon Ji Hyun was her stellar self, and Lee Min Ho shined as a fool in love.

Many thanks for recapping, javabeans and girlfriday!

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yeah, I didn't get what was the whole point of erasing everyone's memories? The final episode was a letdown for me

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Just amazing! I hope I can get to watch them again together on screen. Such a stress reliever to watch this show!

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Thanks for the review Javabeans! I keep saying this, but I always rush here to read recaps after I've watched an episode of good drama. I don't comment enough.

Something keeps nagging at me about this ending and I wanna share it somewhere. Gahh this drama was so great...funny and moving with awesome acting and cgi (well, believable i.e. pretty) and Jeon ji hyun rocked so hard that I was ready to overlook the flawed and cliched storyline. The thing that keeps nagging at me tho, whyyy whyy ohhhh whyyyy did she have to erase his memory in the end? I was counting on this drama not to do this to us! And from our heroine no less! Heo joon jae's sweet and heartbreaking efforts during the three years apart softened the blow while I was watching this episode since all I could do was sigh at how moved I was, but man, what a setback! All of that character development for Shim Cheong, who was slowly learning through example both in the past and present timelines that just because she possessed this power didnt mean she could willy nilly take everyone's memory away! What is she, reaper!? Everyone else had a developing story arc, everyone from Stepmom, Dad, Cop, Ma dae young, Nam doo, Chi hyun, Shi ah, even Tae oh! Okayy granted, a lot of them were short arcs, but they were there. Of course, Heo joon jae having had the biggest arc, probably with the most admirable character development. But the way they built it up around this issue of memory erasure (or perhaps thats just the way I saw it?) I expected Shim Cheong to really impress us with her maturity. It wasnt too much to ask, was it? I didnt ask her to get a Phd in quantum physics did I? I just asked her not to make the same bad decision again! And it's not like they framed it in a way in which her decision actually felt justified, given that Joon jae had to go through so much heartbreak just to hang on to his memories. Add in everyone else's amnesia and confusion and it just all felt...pointless. She deliberately erased their feelings, love, sacrifices, a whole chunk of their lives!

Perhaps I hadn't watched enough dramas to be this disappointed yet, but I finally get what javabeans and girlfriday and a lot of other beanies and commenters were talking about when they criticized Ra On's dying character in MDBC...I would dare to add that its not just a problem of giving up on the heroines' character arcs, but further this tendency to glorify male character leads by giving them most of the credit for coming to all-inclusive, thoughtful, logical resolutions. To be fair I realize that dramas would not run with this trend if we, the predominantly female, fans didnt enjoy falling in love with and fantasizing and to some extend glorifying perfect male characters...its fun. Its just, I would like to find myself able to relate to our heroines more often. I wanna be impressed by them and genuinely moved by their actions and think to myself, I admire that, or in the least, I understand where she is...

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This question of why she erased memories seems to have frustrated a lot of viewers, but oddly enough I get it. Shim Cheong had just sustained a near fatal injury and needed to return to the sea to recover. 1) she would have no way to explain to her new family where she was going - let's not forget the mermaid thing is stilll a secret except to Nam Doo - and 2) she honestly did not know whether she would survive let alone return. So from her perspective she was trying to protect them especially HJJ from the feeling of loss.

And when she returned, I saw comments asking well why come back if you erased his memories...for the same reason we sneak a peak at Kdramas/dramabeans at work or wherever else that would seem unreasonable...LOVE. Guilty pleasure. One last look to fulfill her desire. She needed to see him for her heart to be at peace and she was willing to accept th bittersweet reality that he may not remember her nor even love her but there was no way she could've stopped herself from going to him. Such is the nature of Love ❤️

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Lol Venus, so corny (it made me giggle) but so true. I see your point.
Its not so much her coming back that bothered me, I wanted her to do so so badly (especially since we saw in earlier episodes that memomry erasure didnt work so neatly as mermaids would ideally have it so I expected HJJ to remember something at least). I guess...I still can't agree with decisions to alter someone's cognition JUST to save them from uncomfortable truths, or so to speak sugercoat the experience. Doesnt make sense to me. I'm not saying it wouldnt have been complicated, and messy, and really sad (especially for HJJ). I suppose one could argue that given the ability, the power, shouldnt one consider using it? Sure, but a) it makes more sense narratively and hypothetically that merpeople would possess this power primarily for the stated reasons: to protect themselves from greedy hoomans, and b) lying/white-lies/sugercoating things ALWAYS has unintented consequences! Laugh at my cliched statement and persistence to this ideal, but I can argue for this till the day I am on old lady living with my twelve cats in the woods by myself that lying, no matter how noble, always has unintended consequences *eyetwitch* (not that I don't lie and dont ever find myself in hot messes, yet a sugercoating of negative/depressing outcomes to this scale by making ppl forget her had me shaking my head a no-no).

Yea but I guess its my stubborness to see things in this particular way. I do respect the opinion that given the choice...; and further that Shim Cheong probably most likely acted emotionally, wanting to protect her loved one. I get it. Just don't agree.

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Gotta say I'm with the OP on this one.
See, when I watch stuff, I analyse the shit out of the writing and the execution of the writing (aka, all the stuff that makes the writing into a film medium), so when I see her erase the memories, I see it as the last final conflict SOMEONE felt they had to put in, probably just so we could justify that one last little bit of the main couple's love story development. That is; Heo Joon Jae would always remember her, and always fight for her, because his love transcends time and memories.
And that even if she didn't return, that he would still remember her and it'd be ok that way, that way she wouldn't hurt everyone else if she didn't.
BUT.
1) HJJ is not the only one who remembers her nor would he be the only one waiting for her to come back: Yoo Na also does and is.
2) I can see an alternate ending in my head. Or alternate endingS actually.
Where she didn't erase anyone's memories and they were all told she had to leave (for some Dramaland reason to convince those who didn't know she was a mermaid (also known as the only weak link in this idea)), and then the last episode is everyone pitching in and buying a house, and choosing a house, and getting excited at her expected return, and keeping records of what they've been up to to show her when she gets back and then they throw a big surprise party for her return and the relationships that were the entire point of the last 19 episodes aren't wasted, because having erased them, sure ok, I'm trying to get it, that it's because of what is between her and HJJ but it kinda makes those last 19 eps with everyone else a little pointless, no? And I'd rather we didn't have ONE small relationship development at the detriment to the rest of the story, thank you very much.
OR Cos of the fantasy element in this, what if, those who love her, not just romantically, but true friendship etc, what if the memory erasing doesn't work on them because of that? Or at least not fully. So she think everyone can't remember her and turns up like she does in the canon, but nope, they actually can because that's how much she means to them.
Such is the nature of Love, no? ;) Just my thoughts.

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I also felt unnecessary erasing everyone memory which we never saw Detective Hong getting his memories erased. The logic behind Chung when JJ asked for his memories erased when his dad died went out the door. Is more like it does not apply when comes to her.

I wish the end of the drama not only see our OTP happy together but it would had been nice to see everyone together chatting and having a good time like family because JJ just reunited with his mom and the boys were his brothers and lets not forget detective Hong added to the group. That way doesn't feel like 19 episodes we all saw didn't pass in vain.

On a side note i feel all actors did a good job portraying their characters I wish there was more chemistry between our OTP because at time it felt flat more like friends and lovers.

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Yes to everything you just said haha.
The erasing of 19 episodes for everyone else for the sake of her and HJJ irks me sooooo much.

And yes, again, I really loved the supporting characters, I thought that did a splendiferous roll of their parts, if only some of them had had a LEETLE more screen time and usage... (e.g. I think Yoo Na was the most horrifically underused character in the drama, both plot wise and character wise)

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popsicle, sorry for the 48-hour-later reply. You're probably not even going to read this. BUT

Yes! I agree with both your points: Yoo na remembering kind of negates the whole epic "only HJJ remembers" love story thing. But then again, I'm sort of ready to excuse this fact given that shes half-mermaid. It was like an exception to the norm, I guess. And Yoo na forgetting would have been so sad.

And yes I agree that there were so many potential alternate endings which, as javabeans also mentioned, didnt have to involve her erasing everyone's memories. I think Shim Cheong erasing everyone's memories bothers me so much because as you mentioned popsicle, while I was focusing on the main couple, everyone else's involvement in their lives contributed to it all. I would've still continued to be moved by their whole epic backstory from their reincarnated lives and appreciated that HJJ was one of the few who could both recover from memory erasure (remember that he already did it once where he remembered their first encounters in Spain AND supposedly got a nice little birds-eye view flashback of what happened to his past-self in Joseon) and hear Shim Cheong's inner voice. So I could've done without the whole memory erasure to prove their "true and pure love" that could transcend time, death, and memory erasing magic. It would have also been more practical to continue including everyone else's investment in HJJ and Shim Cheong's lives. I found those connections significant and deleting them so that they existed "at some point in time" but goes on unrecognized by those characters themselves or (I argue) unappreciated by the main couple was just plain frustrating.

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But! I thought she understood the importance of keeping ones memories of loved ones, both good and bad. There was a bit of an Aha! moment for Cheong when she offered to erase the mother's memory of her dead daughter way back in her first hospital stay. Even with HJJ pleading with her to leave his memories using the same logic she still decided to wipe them out.

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@annana bannana
Exactly! Which is why I don't really understand why they chose to do it this way, and why it comes off as a bad writing decision rather than it make full narrative sense.

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Ya what you people are saying is right. Story point of view it is unnecessary. But just think, she loves him to the point of dying for him, and she may not be able to return to him which means she may die. If this is the situation and you have the ability to erase memories,what would you do? Would you let him suffer to the point of death? I mean no one wants to be forgotten but if you have that ability and love someone more than your life, the decision changes.
But It's a fantasy yar, let's just enjoy it, rather than questioning.

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@louise
I get that. I understood that was what she was trying to do. But it was one small factor. It was one development point, and she only focused on it with HJJ. That's what bugged me. Perhaps because I was watching for Cheong and her relationships with others, rather than Cheong and her love story, I felt that at the very least she could've expanded on that thought a little more with the rest of the crew.

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@louise.
I could appreciate that reason more if there wasn't the not-so-little factor of Yoo Na being a plot hole, and if I wasn't more invested in her relationships with everyone as friends, rather than her epic love story.

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@louise
but that's just me hahaha.

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@annana bannana: "But! I thought she understood the importance of keeping ones memories of loved ones, both good and bad. There was a bit of an Aha! moment for Cheong when she offered to erase the mother’s memory of her dead daughter way back in her first hospital stay."

You are so right! Wow, I had completely forgotten about that point. Does Cheong never learn? Where is her character development?

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Exactly annana bannana!

I expected both those developments to be significant for Shim Cheong, so that she grew.

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Also agree with Jamie.

@louise, mee too! *raiseshandwavesinearnesttobepickedaswell*. I too sort of find pleasure in analyzing stories in depth...even if it frustrates me. I empathize and agree with popsicle's p.o.v. since I do much of the same, aka analyze story details and plotlines and whatnot. As frustrated as I sound in these comments, I actually love this kdrama and it will continue to be at the top of my list for recommendations purely for the entertainment and pretty it gave us.

@Aniyoseyo, I respect that point of view, that given the choice and power to erase your loved one's memories, wouldn't you...? I get it. My point was just that the side-effects of protecting one's loved one to this degree seemed far too numerous and overshadowed the benefits (or even perceived benefits). I would have been more impressed by their epic love story if Shim Cheong took the brave approach and didn't use her given abilities and instead let HJJ keep his memories, because she respected his choice (as well as everyone else's choices in the matter had they been given a choice) to do so. But you're probably right, I'm taking this far too seriously and need to take a vacation from dramaland.

That being said, idk how you all do it, Dramabeans team. Seriously. How do you do it?

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What a cute, sweet, simple ending :3 Perfect! HJJ's narration at the end really sums up their love story, their legend, and was so well told. Haengbokhaeyo (I'm happy ^^). Adores.

This drama is definitely on the top 10 of my favourite k-dramas. I'm for sure going to miss JJH and Cheongy (rewatch time? hehe)

Thank you dramabeans for the recaps and so much more. I came across this site from this drama, and now I'm looking forward to being around here more often for drama recaps and news. :p

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I watched this drama from beginning to end and I enjoyed it and like its happy endjng. However I agree that this drama lacks in suspense and for some weird reason I am not too invested in their love story. Is it because of less angst maybe? If I must admit, the other drama that just ended last weekend did a much better job in drawing me to their love story. Nonetheless, good job to all lobts team!

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I loved the simplicity of the ending after all the murder plot and I knew he was going to end up on the straight and narrow path but I thought he would become a detective/police officer not a prosecutor.

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This is quite random but I just had an image of Chung and Joon-jae arguing and she starts crying and tells him to wait while she grabs a plastic bag. That would be hilarious!

Anyway, I liked the final episode. I dislike that Chung erased everyone's memories though! I'm glad Joon-jae fought to remember still. It's a testament to how much he loved her and didn't want to forget her. I like that they ended up together in a little house by the sea. Such a perfect ending for them. Especially since this was the ending that was stolen from them when they were Dam-ryung and Se-hwa.

This show was no You From Another Star (Sorry, I know I shouldn't compare but it's REALLY hard not too!) but it was still a great show. I definitely enjoyed watching week after week and I am sad it's over. Lee Min-ho really stole the show! I came for Jun Ji-hyun and ended up a huge fan of Lee Min-ho.

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I could help laughing at your imagination of them arguing and cheong grabbing a plastic bag to catch her pearls. How can one take her seriously then? Lol. I know if I were HJJ, I would not be able to keep a straight face lol.

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This ending is like complete reversal from Goblin's ending.. Sorry folks, can't help but to compare the two shows as both show supernatural/fantasy abilities, love that transcends time, life, even dimensions, and the whole memory loss subplots. I'm wondering if the two writers write side by side and/or have deep discussions regarding their dramas. LOL

Jokes aside... THAT kiss is SO HOT!!! I lost count how many kisses are in this drama and some of them are really really hot! Kudos to the actors! I hope their real-life lovers won't have to throw something at their TVs for that many skinships!

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Overall, this drama was very...comfortable. There were plenty of bumps here and there, but the last episode seems to have answered most of the questions that were raised in the drama. As I watched, I couldn't help but compare this drama to Goblin and YWCFTS, and unfortunately LotBS falls flat to both by far, despite having the tidiest ending. There were no acting holes, but the plot was all over the place. The writer lost her sense of consistency and continued to switch focuses, from past lives to makjang to fantasy. Sometimes I thought I was watching 3 different dramas.

rating: 7/10.

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Thanks for the recap!
Not much dirty love but at least there's a 'dirty kiss' so I'm not too disappointed. Was hoping to catch a glimpse of merbaby/merkid but a pregnant mermaid is better than nothing.
Next tough feat would be getting over the withdrawal syndrome. After goblin and now legend of the blue sea ends, I dunno what to look forward to every week ?.

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This drama is generally breezy and feel-good, with many giggly fairytale moments. I wish the characters deviated more from their previous lives though, it feels terrible that the villians in the previous lives had no chance to redeem themselves in their current lives. However I doubt the focus of the writer is to explore such themes. The hjj amnesia and the step mother arch wasn't necessary, and they kind of dragged down the plot. I think the writer could have found other ways to for the plot to progress. Overall it was an easy watch, not genre-changing, but okay nonetheless.

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My friend just pointed out a (good) thing though which makes me feel a little better (even if we didn't get to see any of it on screen). That Cheongie can return memories. She did it with Nam Doo when he first found out and she wanted to check what HJJ would think of her if he found out, so she gave them back, did the whole thing again, asked, and then erased them AGAIN...
At least, that IS what happened right? I didn't just watch the scene completely wrong? To be fair it was a bit like watching myself lucid dream, where I rewind the dream and redo something because I wanted to change the outcome... so it WAS a little confusing...
SO SHE CAN GIVE THEM BACK RIGHT? RIGHT?!

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chung did not give back, rather she just acted the same situation again since she can erase his memories :)

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Welp... there goes that theory. Oh well. :)

Clearly I was confused by the lucid dream state of it all hahahaha.

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Tae Oh's drunken habit tho.. ??

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Actually possibly my favourite part of the episode hahaha. He's such a lovable dork.

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You like it more than the scene where he dressed up a as a girl?

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I meant in comparison which one do u like more. Sorry I missed the 'Do' in the question ☺

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Ooooh hahaha that's a toughy! Because well, all of Tae Oh's scenes are my favourites... :P

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haha yeah when he was trying to steal that cup i giggled so much lol

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Yay!! Such a blubbering mess.. The intimacy and earnestness of this ending has left me so mushy and warm and happy i think i could cry( If only they would turn into pink pearls)
Am happy My Oppa that lured me to dramaland is leaving for service with this drama behind.. Here is hoping more awesome projects when he gets back..
This definitely erases the bitter taste goblins ending left in my mouth.
Its all just really about the sweet little things in life.

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Ok first - yay to good kisses.
That's how it's supposed to be done!
My final thoughts on the drama

It did fall short on my expectations. I love the premise but the execution of the story and some parts of the plot it should have been better. Esp when u have such good fantasy elements, I didn't feel we used it to it's potential and it's a waste. I don't care for the villians, but the mytical components regarding mermaid lore and also, the connection to the past should have been used more effectively (I love dam Ryung and we should have seen more of him)
But that being said, despite all flaws I enjoyed the drama.
I like and I will say love that it stayed true to its spirit right to the last episode. It was like "aww we must hit 20% so lets do all those high drama for so ep 17-19" but then back to the last episode we stay true to what we are - which is essentially a rather low key but sweet and simple story.

I'm inclined to say the credit goes to Lee min ho for really not just standing his ground but making his character such a anchor for the whole series. He was able to make fluff and cheese to cute and endearing, and his tears made me clutch my heart even when I felt nothing for the Villains or the victims in that sense. I felt for him, and boy is he good at vulnerability. But his dokiness takes the cake - I would love to see him in another rom com as a flailing male lead with some quirk! It'll be awesome. I believe he has good comedic sense. ( and I don't believe I'm saying this as i never thought so - as he's such an idol)

But that wouldn't be fair to the rest of the supporting cast or JJH. They all were good as whole and I like them all. Perhaps JJH should had a little more spark but I did not had any negatively towards her mermaid and did like her in general. And she was on point in the last episode and absolutely beautiful.

Perhaps also the writer never meant to write some epic because I felt her pace and consistency to simple twists and ends seemed purposeful and not because of a lack of ideas. It was an enjoyable 20 episodes with some that I look back with quite a bit of love.
That's enough for a drama I guess - not one that is a Big Bang but absolutely not a bad drama in any sense at all. I see the need to validate that as some comments from others who judge this drama really harshly - it's quite unwarranted.

Till next time folks - and Pls LMH for a neurotic weak rom con lead who falls unknowingly witlessly in love - I can laugh already. We must have that drama!

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Dear LOTBS,
I feel like I cheated on you with Goblin ? Although I'm a Minoz but the days with Goblin shined so brightly that I unconsciously changed my lane. I'm not sorry but please accept my gratitude for showing Lee Min Ho as Heo Joon Jae. I will watch you when I become more clear headed and overcome the PTSD*.

From
도깨비 신부

*(post traumatic syndrome of Dokaebi)

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