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Forest: Episodes 29-32 Open Thread (Final)

If you’re still with me, we’ve made it to the final week of Forest. And that means justice will be delivered, and loves will be reunited. But first, more flames! Forests, hospitals, and hearts will burn — because this drama really does love things going down in burning flames. Maybe, in the end, that’s the best metaphor it’s created.

 
EPISODES 29-32 WEECAP

At this point, Forest has done everything it can to make San-hyuk into the full-fledged valiant hero. He’s sacrificed the contamination records to save Young-jae. He’s confronted his repressed past and dealt with the horrors of his childhood, including the loss of his little sister. He’s identified the remorseless, weasely bad guys that made it all happen. And now he’s out to bring them down. It should be exciting, right?

It’s not. San-hyuk strikes up a phony deal with Taesung and while this plays out (yawn!) we’re treated to San-hyuk and Young-jae curled up alone on couch and bed, respectively, missing each other. Interestingly enough, both seem to look fondly upon their misadventures in the water together.

San-hyuk’s plan quickly comes to fruition, and with some testimonies from important players from 25 years ago, it’s all put out there on live TV. The mining for rare minerals. The contamination of the water and entire mountain. The cover-up when they had to shut down operations. And the rescue unit’s headquarters plopped right on top of the old excavation site, in order to hide it. And that’s why they couldn’t let the unit move, folks. *Gasp*

To her credit, Young-jae and the nurse and doc from Miryeong have been on a parallel track as San-hyuk, trying to do the same thing from the other angle. They’re committing all sorts of medical violations to learn about the cover-ups with the people that are passing away due to Miryeong’s toxicity. But they’re not quicker or more well-equipped than San-hyuk. When Young-jae realizes that he was just trying to bring the whole thing to light, they reunite. Forgiveness, hugs, and never ending love.

But the baddies aren’t done yet. They set fire to Miryeong hospital, lock our leads inside, and when that fails (thanks to our highly-trained rescue worker), the Taesung guy shows up with a shotgun and shoots San-hyuk while laughing.

We’re faked out to think that San-hyuk’s in critical condition — but no, that’s Team Leader Bong, poor man. San-hyuk is safely tucked away in the VIP ward with a photogenic scratch on either of his shoulders and one of his cheekbone (lol). Did they really think I really thought he was in danger of death and/or coma? No. We know it’s a ploy to get us to watch the final episode.

Everything falls a bit flat (flatter?) when the drama takes back its reveals, though. All that live news broadcasting and country-wide reveals? Covered up, again. In fact, our people — all of them — can’t prove anything, and this back and forth is a little tiresome. Things start to move again with the help of deus ex machina: Choi Chang heads home early and just happens to hear his father talking out loud to himself confessing the entire plot from start to finish.

I was vaguely interested in what would happen when Chang realizes his father is a complete scoundrel, but things take a weird turn when Papa Choi gets diagnosed with late-stage cancer out of the blue. Um, I hate this as a plot arc, because it’s as painful as it is nonsensical. I don’t approve of it as a “punishment” for Papa Choi, and I don’t like it as a wake-up call for him to make amends and start telling the truth, either.

There’s a final showdown in the typical deserted warehouse where the tables turn, San-hyuk takes the victory, and then punches the lights out of the Taesung baddie. It’s supposed to be symbolic that he beats him to a pulp with the very “burning hand” that had reached into the fire to save his dying sister… but it’s actually not that powerful of a scene.

The culminating courtroom scenes where all the villagers and rescue workers come together and tell their stories is a little better, and eventually the truth is revealed. The Taesung baddie finally stops his giggling when Papa Choi is wheeled into the courtroom. Choi’s testimony finalizes things since he’s got all the inside knowledge and evidence to bring Taesung down once and for all. This is also, theoretically, supposed to be redemption for his misdeeds, but as said above, I don’t really like where they took this.

The attention then turns to Young-jae before this thing can close. Her adoptive father, after decades of silence, dredges up the case of her parents’ joint suicide. He forces her to realize that in the end, they tried to save her. I’m not sure why we need to know all this now, with nine minutes left in the drama, but we do.

Young-jae has a little moment at the river pool where our couple often hangs out, and it looks like she’s going to drown herself. But instead, it acts as a sort of emotional exorcism, I guess? She goes from almost drowning to saving herself, and I guess we’re going for a rebirth metaphor here.

It goes without saying that we didn’t really get the story we expected with Forest. It’s not the dead-ends and plot tangents that bother me as much as the painfully long process of actually getting to the climax and conclusion of this story. All of this seemed to occur in the final fifteen minutes of the drama. Everything in between felt more like filler. Anyway, at the conclusion of our tale, both San-hyuk and Young-jae have now re-lived their respective childhood traumas in the most gory ways possible. This has given them the ability and strength to move on with their lives. They are now free to pursue their dreams, and each other. And it’s all thanks to the forest.

 
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I didn't manage to catch up 🙁.

Thank you for sticking with the drama @missvictrix and providing us weekly recaps *fingerhearts*

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Go backwards (really! it helps!)

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But what about the Clams?

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A red herring, I'm afraid lol

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There were herrings too?

All jokes aside, here's to finishing this boring, random show 🥂

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The clams, just like all the other forest critters, have gone to drama cliche heaven.

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The clams went into cardiac arrest when she threw herself into the water. Dr.YJ killed them. She wiped off the whole species.

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I thought the same thing!! Maybe they had all those scenes in the water so the clams would 'be there' in some way or another.

or something like that. I watched it raw last week but never had the energy or interest to watch it subbed - yawn....

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By throwing herself in the water, Young-jae has become one with the clams. She is the clams, the clams are Young-jae.

Now everlasting peace is achieved

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All jokes aside, @missvictrix I'm both sorry that you had to recap both Melting Me Softly and this show and grateful. Grateful because your recaps made me laugh and meant I could keep enjoying this show without having to endure actually watching it.

Love live the Clam Zombies and Vibrator Man, saviour of the Forest!

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The squirrels. You forget the squirrels.

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They drove off in the Backhoe of Doom.

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As a bunch of mutant chipmunks beat out a jazzy tune on clamshell cymbals.

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What a beautiful image!

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This drama did give us some fun, all inadvertently! I mean where else would we have gotten clams, mutant squirrels, Vibrator Man, etc?

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I simply could not make it past EP26, even with massive fast forwarding on this trash heap. I did flip through a few short clips, such as the hospital fire scene (what a freaking joke - she could have busted out with nail clippers on that flimsy door). and of course with that (not so) raging bonfire, they have to take the time for a long hug. The saddest part of this whole drama is that they could have used the money for something useful, like Clam research...

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And devising a faster way for mutant squirrels to collect clam shells. They are having a hard time rolling the clam shells. It's uphill all the way to the hole in the tree.

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Scenes That Made Me Glad This Show is Over

Dr. YJ's left cheek is plastered with mud and blood and a patch of green - a leaf, I presume. Her eyes are bugged out. Her chest is heaving.

The rescue team is remarkably clean and unscathed. Hey, wait a minute - how did they get out of the fire? Didn't the ceiling cave in on them? Ah. The clams must have rescued them.

Oppa's abs are bandaged. Oppa's battered face is almost perfect. Oppa has amazing healing skills. Because he is Vibrator Man.

Dr YJ says, HE CAN'T SEEM TO WAKE UP FROM HIS SLEEP.
But why were his eyelids open before she came in? I could see his eyes. This crazy show. Now they are sealed shut. Bizarre.

She is talking to Oppa. Because she can't stop. Talking loudly to her is as natural as breathing. This woman lives to talk.

SLEEP AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE, she says fondly to Oppa. No problem with that. This show is a snoozefest, and she just confirmed it.

And ready, one, two...

She shrieks.

Sigh. I knew it was coming. Her infernal screeching.

IT'S ME. DO YOU RECOGNISE ME????

Yeah, yeah. The whole world knows. Lord knows you make sure everyone - humans and creatures alike - knows.

It's mindboggling that she's a surgeon. I mean, she must be the worst surgeon ever. You DO NOT screech at a patient who has just woken up from a coma. Bizarre. Crazy. And on top of that, Oppa's eyes are wide open. Amazing. Not groggy at all.

She says, YOU CAN LEAN ON ME. I'LL CARRY YOU.
No, please. Not another piggyback scene.

DON'T JUMP INTO THE FIRE FOR MY SAKE. Why is this so funny?

Oppa's bf to grey-haired dude, I'M YOUR BABY. THE ONE YOU GAVE BIRTH TO WITH YOUR ACHING BELLY. My jaw fell.

Oppa confronts Laughing Baddie.

Baddie: WHO ARE YOU?
Oppa: I'M A SUPERHERO.
Me: ....VIBRATOR MAN.

The trial ends. Last glimpse of Laughing Baddie in the bus, still...laughing. I get it. Oppa is Vibrator Man and Laughing Baddie is The Joker.

Oppa strides down the road, jacket flapping coolly in the wind. Hey, Oppa, where are you going? The car park's behind you. There's nothing ahead, just a stretch of road. I know you want to look cool and all, but I think you're just looking plain weird here, Oppa.

Wildlife Count

Zero. Nothing sighted.

Seriously, the worst drama of the year, hands down. Awful acting. Thank God for the clams, and for @missvictrix and the zany forest-addled beanies. Love you guys, hope to see you all again in another awful drama.

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Congratulations. You made it to the end and keep the faith with the Oppa Law. All Hail the Keeper of the Faith!

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*Hails self*

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A few dramas are so bad they are good. This is not one of those dramas. Don't be like this drama.

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Don't even know how to respond...
Worst. Show. Ever.?
But, @missvictrix, at least you've managed to brighten our days.

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I personally think Melting Me Softly was worse although I can't quantify why. It could be because JCW's character in that was such a gross creepster. But in terms of 1&2 on Worst Show Ever list, Melty is 1 and Forest is 2.

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Item. Number 2 on my list. Never watched Melty. Never intend to.

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Hmmm, I would have to say Forest was up there, but it was too tepid to really be #1. I need to be insulted and enraged, and Forest was like a milk pudding left over from a 5-day banquet. I have to say A Thousand Kisses is still the worst, for me.

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I would say that Heirs was worse, but not by much. Have not watched Melty - it sounds too much like a cheesy clamfest.

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The wind just whooshed loudly in my part of the world. Was that really just a collective sigh of relief I heard from all of you, marking the end of Park Who? Jin's clam, herring, zombie, vibrator, and backhoe adventures ? :D Thank you to @missvictrix especially, and the rest of you for making the recaps worth the while. And sorry for making you go through this.

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The wind that you hear whooshing could be the result of Oppa and the Butterfly Effect. Oppa vibrates in the forest, and causes a typhoon in the rest of the world.

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Is that how the tornado happened in CLOY? @yyishere you were working with him for your cameo?

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I am however hoping for some future roles for the Backhoe Of Doom.

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Only if driven by mutant squirrels.

Well, I guess I can accept chipmunks too.

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Well uhm... yeahp.

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Did you watch this mess? If so,

Could we commission a survivor’s badge?

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No I did not lmao I dodged the bullet but you could maybe comission one anyway if you ask nicely... ^-^

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I tried something different, for these last few episodes. I started at the last episode, then worked my way backwards. I discovered the true secret of Forest - it is a palindrome! It makes just as much sense backwards as it does forwards.

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Hahaha! This strategy still doesn't make me want to watch it, though...

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Oh, man. What this show has done to us...

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Wow. This is a NEW class of bad.

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Oh my gosh. Frakking dying. 🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂

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I don't know about anyone else but i liked the show..it was intetesting to me..

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Is this the only kdrama you have watched? Trust us, it is really bad.

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Just wait until she sees a really good one.

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Or you can let people like what they like. No it wasn’t the best but it was decent and worth watching for some of us.

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My comment was NOT intended in any way as a criticism or put down. Rather I intended it as an encouragement to watch more Kdramas. Because there are so many shows that are much better. If she wants a comedy there is WOO HOO WAIKIKI. A great rom-com- she could try MARRIAGE NOT DATING. Don't get me started on the sageuk's but for Makjang it would be hard to beat GRACEFUL FAMILY or THE LAST EMPRESS. And so it goes.

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Thank you @missvictrix for your bravery to watch and recap this. I tried to watch it for the actors, I liked them both in past dramas. But alas, the cringe-factor defeated my morals, fast forwarding didn't help either. I think I stopped after the first half of the first episode... So cheers to you! And better dramas for you to recap in the future.

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I was disappointed by this drama to say the least, given I didn't expect too much to begin with when I initially read the synopsis.
I'm being completely serious when I say that I mainly watched this for the 2 lead actors (mainly Park Hae Jin, because he was gone for so long!) and nothing else.
The most memorable moments for me were in the first 6 episodes, so if it weren't for me being a completionist, I wouldn't have bothered with the rest.
Many dropped plotlines, loads of filler when the story was about to pick up, and the timed comments on v i k i really made it a difficult watch.
The saddest thing for me is that I don't even feel angry or annoyed about the drama being boring. I feel kinda indifferent towards it, which is almost worse.
This reminds me of Melting Me Softly in terms of letdowns, only that that drama at least made me furious, this was just a mostly boring experience.
These recaps were really fun though, thanks @missvictrix for also making it through this drama!

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All I can say is YEEEESH. The end was just hopeless.

But thank you for soldiering on Miss Victrix. Your service was invaluable and deeply appreciated by many.

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I'm trying to find out the name of the last song that played in the final episode. Anyone know?

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Congrats on everyone who finished this drama. It took me weeks to watch the last couple of episodes and it. was. painful.
The only positive things about it were the recaps and all the crazy comments over here.
Thank you all, you and the clams clan made it way more bearable.

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Not sure why there’s so much hate for this one - I really liked it (and I’ve seen a lot of k dramas) although I love park hae Jin in anything.

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