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Nobody Knows: Episode 16 (Final)

The time has come for us to bid farewell to Young-jin and her ducklings as we gear up for the final showdown between 2 decades-long foes and I’m sad to see them go. Nobody Knows isn’t without flaws, but for a show centered around corruption and murder, it had a surprisingly positive message of hope and love. All of the characters carry their own trauma, but the way they deal with it is what defines them. The boundary between good and evil is as simple as a choice and what you decide can result in justice or salvation.

 
EPISODE 16 RECAP

July 2018, Eun-ho sits in Young-jin’s apartment filling out a report for his school field trip to the botanical gardens. Seeing the ghost flower on his printout, Young-jin explains her friend shares its name. She’s curious why he no longer questions her about the spare room, and Eun-ho asks if there’s anything inside other than the stigmata serial killer casefiles. “My friend,” Young-jin answers. He asks if she wants to talk about it and when Young-jin nods, Eun-ho sits up to listen.

Young-jin drops Ki-ho off at the safehouse, but he slips out as soon as she’s gone. He’d left behind his tracker and a note for Young-jin that he’s searching for the evidence of Sang-ho’s sins in order to atone for his own. Meanwhile, Sang-ho angrily returns to the hotel and startles Hee-dong on his way out. Hee-dong attempts to hide something behind his back, but hands it over when Sang-ho demands it.

Staring down at Young-jin’s photo and Soo-jung’s cellphone, Sang-ho assumes Sun-ah is responsible, accusing them of abandoning him like Du-seok. Whimpering, Hee-dong recounts how Sang-ho saved him as a child from a vicious dog at the orphanage – after the other kids locked Hee-dong in the room with it – by thrusting his own arm in the dog’s mouth. “Sang-ho,” Hee-dong smiles shakily, “I can’t do anything when I’m not by your side.”

Sang-ho growls for Hee-dong to wait there before confronting Sun-ah in his office. Brandishing his murder trophies, Sang-ho demands if she’d manipulated Du-seok as well. Sun-ah breezily replies Du-seok was wavering and she’d been curious which path he’d choose. “Do you think I can’t see what your mind is doing?” Sang-ho spits, but Sun-ah wonders what her mind looks like in his eyes.

Pulling her into an embrace, Sang-ho admits knowing she worries when he’s not around. Hugging him close, Sun-ah says she’s never heard better words since the ones he’d said when he saved her life. Sang-ho offers to repeat them, but we don’t hear what he says. Afterwards, he sits in his chair and looks at the empty room, previously occupied by his grunts, and thinks back to the murder of Hee-jung.

Just as Sang-ho raised the awl to pierce her hands, Sang-won entered the room. He wanted to hear her speak but Hee-jung immediately began screeching, trying to negotiate for her life. Sang-won was unreceptive to more of Hee-jung’s orders and once Sang-ho gagged her once more, Sang-won took the awl and finished the ritual himself. Now, Sang-ho tsks at Ki-ho’s suggestion Sang-won didn’t kill Hee-jung.

Recalling Ki-ho’s promise to keep Sang-ho’s secret if he leaves Eun-ho alone, Sang-ho sighs, “The choice has become too easy, thanks to you.” He and Hee-dong head out while Eun-ho stashes his sketches – of the ghost flower, the photograph, and the cellphone – when Sun-woo enters his room. At the mention of their connection, Sun-woo guesses Eun-ho is worried about Ji-won not wanting an older brother. He argues it’d be a shame if Eun-ho didn’t take care of her like he’d intended, and Eun-ho smiles.

The door flies open as Sang-ho forces his way inside, threatening to kill them if they act out. He holds up his phone to reveal Hee-dong stalking Mom for further leverage and moves towards Eun-ho, but Sun-woo blocks his path, offering himself instead. Sang-ho doesn’t bite, insisting Eun-ho is his because he saved him. He throws Sun-woo aside and Eun-ho, fearing for his mother, agrees to come.

Sun-woo attempts to hold Sang-ho back and suffers a brutal beating until Eun-ho pleads for him to stop. Unfortunately, Eun-ho’s notebook fell to the floor in the chaos, and seeing the drawings, Sang-ho knows Eun-ho saw everything in the study. He warns Eun-ho to be obedient or else Hee-dong will kill Mom.

Young-jin is returning after dropping the teacup with Sang-ho’s DNA off at the lab when Sun-woo regains consciousness and calls her. She’s barely made it to the end of the hall before her phone rings again, echoing Sang-ho’s call 20 years prior. Sang-ho laughs at the memory while Young-jin simply demands he put Eun-ho on the phone. Sang-ho attempts to toy with her, but Young-jin is positive he wouldn’t end things so quickly.

Impressed, he concedes Eun-ho is alive and Young-jin suggests they meet. Sang-ho tells her come alone and Young-jin races over to the hotel. “I’ll open all the doors for you,” Sang-ho says, “but you won’t be able to open the last one so easily.” Sure enough, the elevator takes her up to the 10th floor, but her path is blocked by Hee-dong. She asks him where she should go, and Hee-dong sneers they’re over because of her.

Young-jin repeats her question, ignoring Hee-dong’s threat to kill her. He grabs her by the neck and slams her against a wall, but she swiftly maneuvers out of his grip and pulls him to the ground. They grapple until Young-jin grabs the glass ashtray and finally cuffs him. Finding the study locked and Hee-dong unwilling to open it, Young-jin cocks her pistol. From the rooftop, Sang-ho and Eun-ho hear two shots and Sang-ho chuckles Young-jin must be mad. “Young-jin is no different than me,” Sang-ho tells Eun-ho, “She kills if she has a reason.”

Only Young-jin didn’t shoot Hee-dong and there’s a smoking hole in the study keypad. She flings open the door and Hee-dong abruptly stops laughing when she steps aside to reveal Sun-ah bleeding out on the floor from stigmata wounds. Young-jin quickly uncuffs Hee-dong, ordering him to save Sun-ah. Scooping up Sun-ah, Heed-dong tells Young-jin to head for the roof. She takes the stairs, leaving the elevator for Hee-dong and Sun-ah.

Young-jin bursts onto the roof, aiming her gun at Sang-ho, who in turn holds a knife to Eun-ho’s throat. They each demand the other drop their weapon but neither complies. Sang-ho refuses to release Eun-ho, so Young-jin fires two more shots into the air. He finally drops the knife, laughing, and Young-jin re-holsters her gun. Sang-ho concedes he has no intention to harm Eun-ho: “The moment he jumped off here, I fell for this guy.”

Sang-ho tuts they’re only loving Eun-ho in their own ways. Young-jin again asks to release Eun-ho but Sang-ho points out Eun-ho already knows about Soo-jung. He tsks at Young-jin for telling a child such a horrible story, and marvels over Eun-ho keeping his composure after realizing who Sang-ho was and then leaping from the rooftop to save himself. Sang-ho insists Eun-ho should hear the rest of the story.

We once again flash back to the day of Hee-jung’s murder. Seo Sang-won suggested blessing Young-jin with the resurrection but Sang-ho argued she should be the witness to testify as Young-jin had searched for them for 20 years. He’d then offered himself up, emphasizing the honor of leading the resurrected with the final blessing. Sang-won falls for the manipulation, desiring the glory himself.

With Hee-jung barely alive, Sang-ho warned Sang-won to leave her until they find Ki-ho. Soon after, Sang-ho received the report from Du-seok at the hospital and ordered Du-seok to follow Eun-ho. Sang-ho tells them now he’d been amused to discover Eun-ho not only lived downstairs from Young-jin, but they were friends. “I think I was meant to kill Soo-jung instead of Young-jin,” Sang-ho muses, wondering how Eun-ho would’ve turned out had he met Soo-jung instead.

Sang-ho insists at least Eun-ho wouldn’t be in this situation, declaring Young-jin to blame. Young-jin asks if he blamed Sang-won and that’s why he reinvigorated the older man’s madness and pierced his hands. Sang-ho guffaws Seo Sang-won believed only his own hand could administer the stigmata. Young-jin asks if Sang-won did it himself and Sang-ho answers, “That’s why we need a witness. An honest witness.”

PART 2

Placing Young-jin’s business card on the alter, Sang-ho timed the video message to be sent in the near future. He then watched Seo Sang-won plunge the awl into his own hand, musing how after every whipping, Sang-won said: “Be grateful to receive the sacred pain. And you will be a believer who doesn’t get swayed by any temptation.” He told Sang-won it wasn’t too late to stop but Sang-won smiled and asked Sang-ho to help him finish.

On the rooftop, Sang-ho assured Seo Sang-won he need only wait a little longer. Hearing someone approach the building, Sang-ho peered over the ledge to see Young-jin. He’d gleefully informed Sang-won Young-jin came early and of her own accord (as she didn’t receive the text he’d sent until after discovering the body). Sang-won smiled, “She is indeed appropriate to become the witness of my resurrection.”

Sang-ho doesn’t believe Sang-won’s hand slipped, insisting Young-jin let go. Young-jin knows he watched since there was DNA found in the machine room on the roof that matched the recorder from Eun-ho’s room. Seo Sang-won called out to someone as he fell and Young-jin now realizes it was Sang-ho, who’d slipped into the machine room moments before Young-jin arrived on the roof.

As Young-jin struggled to keep hold of Seo Sang-won, Sang-ho quietly urged her to let go, wishing her to stay alive until they meet. Sang-won screamed, “My lamb that’s been lost in the world. My apostle and my child! I give you the blessing of faith with my resurrection!” Sang-ho tutted that he’s an adult now and can take care of himself just as Sang-won plummeted to the ground.

Afterwards, he’d snickered as Young-jin cuffed Sang-won’s body: “I like you. It was wise of me to kill Soo-jung instead of you.” Young-jin questions the kind of life he’s lead and Sang-won muses that while the mother who abandoned him cried while beating him, Sang-won saved him and smiled while beating him. Young-jin points out it was his choice to become a monster and he must’ve found comfort in making others like him.

Sang-ho shrugs and sits on the railing. Young-jin asks if she can release Eun-ho and with Sang-ho’s permission, unties the boy. He immediately asks after Mom and Sun-woo, who Young-jin assures him are fine. Taking her hand, Eun-ho begs to go home but Young-ji apologizes, insisting she needs to know how Soo-jung died. Eun-ho explains this is why he wished she’d never know if something happened to him and Young-jin smiles he’s all grown up.

Standing on the ledge, Sang-ho warns her life will be harder knowing but Young-jin demands why he chose Soo-jung over her. Sang-ho can’t understand her so Young-jin explains she’d taken Soo-jung for granted, taking strength from the comfort of always having her friend beside her. “I want to remember her and feel sad for her,” Young-jin answers, “Because that’s all I can do now.” Sang-ho refuses so Young-jin will instead remember him every day. She asks why he’d deemed it a wise choice to let her live, knowing he must’ve planned to kill her the day before Soo-jung because her picture went missing.

Young-jin says he must’ve been waiting for her but suddenly changed his mind and only took her picture. That had been July 31, 2000 and he’d murdered Soo-jung to following day, August 1, 2000 at midnight… Young-jin asks if it was still wise when killing her as intended would’ve fallen outside of Tae Wan’s Law (the abolishment of the statute of limitations) thereby disappearing once the time limit was up.

Alas, he’d chosen to kill Soo-jung the following day and her murder has no statute. Young-jin confesses if she’d caught him after the statute of limitations expired, her only option would’ve been to kill him: “Fortunately, I was given another choice.” Sang-ho says he changed his mind because Soo-jung had other friends while she was Young-jin’s only friend. Between the two of them, Young-jin was sure to suffer longer, and he told Soo-jung as much before killing her.

She realizes the third call that night was from him and Sang-ho admits he’d told Soo-jung he’d spare her if Young-jin answered. Young-jin asks if he would’ve kept his word but Sang-ho laughs she knew his face and name so there was no way he’d let her go. He recites teenage Young-jin’s vow to find him and kill him and spreads his arms wide, smirking it’s time to execute her promise. Young-jin says she’s not the same person and Sang-ho produces Soo-jung’s phone.

Soo-jung’s last words are recorded on it and Young-jin asks to hear them. Sang-ho wonders if she’ll be okay and Young-jin says she’ll know after she listens. He hits play and Soo-jung’s voice asks to speak to her parents, begging them not to be sad. Addressing Young-jin, she confirms Young-jin’s assumption the victims felt angry and frustrated to end their lives like this: “So… I decided to think about happy and fun memories only. You’re also part of them.”

Young-jin cries out in anguish before leveling a glare at Sang-ho. To Eun-ho’s horror, she joins him on the ledge. She reaches for Soo-jung’s phone and Sang-ho drops it to the ground below. Grabbing him by the collar, Young-jin cries that she’ll kill him as he wanted. Sang-ho smiles that revenge is what she wanted. “Fine. I’ll let you go…” Young-jin says and Sang-ho closes his eyes, leaning back serenely, “to hell.”

She swings him back over the railing and Sang-ho looks up to see Eun-ho desperately gripping Young-jin’s ankle. She suggests they go home and as Sang-ho watches them he flashes through his past with Seo Sang-won. Imagining Young-jin opening the door instead, Sang-ho wonders: “If it’d been you, would my life have changed?” Young-jin throws him fully onto the roof and officially arrests him, reading his rights.

Sun-woo wakes up in the hospital, relieved to hear Eun-ho is okay. Young-jin’s team joins them on the roof as Sang-ho spits she’ll regret this choice the rest of her life. Expressionless, Young-jin asks about Sun-ah and Ja-young reports she’s stable and Hee-dong has been arrested. Sang-ho is stunned they’re alive and laughs maniacally as he’s lead away. Jae-hong vows to never be late again.

“You were never late. It’s just I never waited for you,” Young-jin confesses, promising to try and wait from now on. She apologizes to Eun-ho and he says it’s unavoidable when you have a superhero neighbor. “You’re my hero,” Eun-ho reiterates and Young-jin says it’s cringey. He’s relieved she’s smiling and Young-jin bursts into tears.

Young-jin visits Sun-woo in the hospital, admitting she’d thought he was bluffing when he said he’d rather get hurt than someone else. Sun-woo jokes he didn’t know it would hurt so much. She says she’s heading home, smiling when Sun-woo thanks her. Mom watches Eun-ho sleep as Young-jin climbs up to her apartment and crashes on the couch.

April

Young-jin wakes up in bed and smiles out the window as Eun-ho walks to school. She curls up on the couch as Eun-ho’s classmates greet him. The bullies ask about his book, this time sincerely and ask to borrow it when he’s done. Hee-seob tells Sun-woo they’ll be separating the foundation from the church, lamenting that means they won’t fulfill Sun-woo’s father’s wish to build a college.

Sun-woo wonders why he cares so much when Sun-woo doesn’t and Hee-seob says it’s because they’re family. Hee-seob promises to run the foundation clean and hand it over but Sun-woo says he feels being a teacher suits him perfectly. He heads to class and notices Dong-myeong’s empty desk. He wonders aloud if they should start without him, smiling proudly when the students refuse. Dong-myeong slips in and Eun-ho and Min-sung smile as Sun-woo starts class.

On break, Eun-ho calls Young-jin, who’s still snoozing on the couch. He tells her to be more active and she sleepily mumbles tomorrow. Hee. Eun-ho tells her to pick him up and feed him. At the gate, she calls out to Dong-myeong and Min-sung, inviting them to join her and Eun-ho for food. She tells the boys to order as much as they want and eyes the boys suspiciously, asking whether they hang out or eat together at school.

They don’t and Eun-ho laughs they’re a bit eccentric. Min-sung calls him a kid and Eun-ho retorts he talks to Hwang every day on the phone. Min-sung balks but Dong-myeong confirms he’d told Eun-ho after Min-sung was on the phone all day instead of working at the farm. Smiling, Young-jin calls Hwang to join them. Min-sung makes a call (to his mother’s lawyer) that he won’t be attending cram school. Hwang joins them and they all chatter happily.

Tae-hyung pulls up in front of a house to find Sun-woo waiting, realizing Young-jin must’ve told him. Sun-woo says he was worried Tae-hyung wouldn’t trust anyone because of people like him and Sang-ho and apologizes for not trusting Tae-hyung when he was younger. Tae-hyung argues it’s too late – he became someone worthy of suspicion after hitting Sun-woo. Shrugging, Sun-woo says he should apologize and Tae-hyung bows deeply. Sun-woo apologizes again and then helps Tae-hyung move into his new house.

Young-sik finally speaks to the detectives, comforted by their assurance that keeping him safe is their duty and while he’s responsible for his own life, they can help. Officer Hong drops off records of Seo Sang-won’s movements to the office at Superintendent Han’s request. Byung-hee grumbles prosecution had pestered them for all the records but Han points out they won’t investigate, so the team happily volunteers. In prison, Du-seok gets dialysis while Hee-dong stares at his blistered hands and Sun-ah reads.

Returning home, Young-jin finds Jae-hong and Ja-young waiting outside. They report the progress of the case, saying everyone confessed to their crimes and the statements match. Young-jin wonders why they didn’t just call, but the pair say they wanted to deliver a message in person: “All of us are waiting for you.”

In the park, Young-jin and Sun-woo watch Eun-ho play with Ji-won. She muses Eun-ho looks happy, thinking he was lonely than she’d realized. Sun-woo smiles Eun-ho’s affection for Ji-won is the polar opposite of lonely and asks if she’ll attend Sang-ho’s trial. She’s saved from answering by a phone call from Mom asking her to dinner. She hangs up and reiterates it to Sun-woo with a wary expression.

They leave and Ji-won runs up to take Young-jin’s hand, asking if she’ll hang out again. Young-jin thinks she isn’t much fun, but Ji-won likes her anyway and with a smile, Young-jin says she likes Ji-won too. Eun-ho joins Sun-woo who teases by calling him nephew and asking if he wants to hold hands too. At home, Mom unpacks food for dinner with Eun-ho and Young-jin while Ki-ho mails a package addressed to Young-jin.

The next day, Young-jin meets Hwang and Soo-jung’s mother. She asks why Young-jin didn’t attend the trial and Young-jin confesses she was worried she’d regret not leaving him to die. Taking her hand, Soo-jung’s mom praises Young-jin for making the right choice, noting it looked like Sang-ho’s world was full of hell. Speak of the devil, Sang-ho is deposited back in solitary and he curls into a blanket, mentally transporting back to the room his mother had abandoned him in.

Hwang says he heard Young-jin hasn’t asked to be reinstated, wondering if she’s maintaining Soo-jung’s case will be her last. Young-jin asks if he meant what he said about their duty to find hope and Hwang congratulates her in advance for her reinstatement. Meanwhile, the boys leave school and seeing something, Eun-ho tells Dong-myeong and Min-sung to go ahead. He sits down with Ki-ho, who apologizes.

Eun-ho hopes Ki-ho won’t consider his actions a gift from God, as it was his choice. Ki-ho says he broke many kids’ hearts in the past and Eun-ho points out he used to be a heartbroken kid too. Eun-ho says he used to be anxious every night until Young-jin moved in and Ki-ho wishes he would’ve been that kind of grownup, thinking it too late. “Aren’t you going to be a grownup until the day you die?” Eun-ho asks and Ki-ho agrees.

The package arrives and Young-jin stares at the recorder until night falls and she finally gathers the courage to hit play. Sometime later, Eun-ho plucks a book from her shelves and walks into the spare room, which is now just a regular study. He places the book (“The Life Before Us”) on the shelf and walks out, deciding to leave the door open. A bird flies out the open window, soaring over the road Young-jin is driving. Eun-ho calls and she promises she’ll be home on time.

Young-jin stands in the forest clearing – looping back to the opening scene of the show – and sees Soo-jung smiling up at her. It fades into the past as teenage Young-jin and Soo-jung walk home together, laughing and gossiping. Later, Young-jin sits on her couch reading while Eun-ho waters the plants. She goes to stand beside him and then they leave the apartment.

 
COMMENTS

What a bittersweet ending. If I had any complaints about this show, they’re super nitpicky and minor. The whole book thing got a tad frustrating and turned out not to be all that important in the end as Young-jin managed to throw Sang-ho in jail even without the damning videotape. The ending, although perfectly fitting, was a little anticlimactic for me. Perhaps my issue is I wish they’d wrapped up the resolution in half the time and spent even more of the episode on Young-jin and her ducklings. Maybe I’m just greedy.

I appreciate things weren’t knotted into perfect bows and certain things were left somewhat open. It’s unclear whether Hee-seob came clean to Sun-kyung as he’d planned or if Ji-won is aware Eun-ho is her brother yet, but it was sweet to see the kids together, especially under that caring guidance of Sun-woo and Young-jin. I’m thrilled they’re still hanging out and although this drama was never meant to be a romance and part of me is thankful it didn’t try, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t fully on board with this ship and wouldn’t have loved seeing any progress. Even just a little more of Sun-woo’s adorable crushing on Young-jin. They’re such a great pair, I hope they continue to guide kids and solve crimes.

As I said at the top, despite the dark content, this show had a strong positive message. It was about hope and how you can rise from trauma and pain if you have someone supporting you. Sang-ho realized that too late, and it was heartbreaking to imagine how he could’ve turned out if he’d been found by someone like Young-jin rather than Seo Sang-won… What Young-jin said was true – he made a choice – but given a chance, he might’ve made a different one. Unfortunately, he wasn’t given just one choice, but many. And he continued to go down the wrong path. Sun-woo, Tae-hyung, Eun-ho, Min-sung, Dong-myeong…. They all made some poor choices, but they all took steps to course correct.

No one is “good” or “bad” inherently, it’s a choice we make and must continue to make all our lives. Sometimes it’s big choices – like whether or not to throw a murderous sociopath off the roof of his blackmail-acquired hotel and be done with it – or everyday choices, like admitting when you’re wrong. I didn’t know how much I needed a “good adult” drama until watching Nobody Knows and seeing adults not behave like children. Every time a character apologized to another, especially someone “below” them, either in status or age, it just made me cry happy tears, like Young-jin admitting to Jae-hong that he’s never been late, she’s always been the one running in without waiting for him.

All in all, I really enjoyed this drama. The cast was phenomenal, and I am full-on in love with Kim Seo-Hyung and her portrayal of Young-jin. With the exception of the book and perhaps a hair too many flashbacks, the writing was solid throughout and delivered a story that resonated. While I am generally not a fan of extended finales, I would be perfectly happy watching an extra half hour of these characters just having fun together and I’m excited to see how these young actors grow in future projects. Thanks so much for watching with me! See y’all in the next one.

 
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One of the best dramas of 2020 hands down with an amazing heroine,that stayed and used her inteligence from the start till the end...Might say that Baek Sang Ho was such an entertaining villain that i loved and hated at the same time...The story really highlights the importance of great adults orbiting children while they grow up and more than sure if Sang Ho had kind amazing people around him like Young Jin he would have become something totally different from the poor soul he is now...It also showed how monsters are made as So Sang Won was a lunatic that created the monster in the form of Sang Ho who became a twisted psychopath far more dangerous than Sang Won...Really wanted to see more of the twisted relationship between our heroine and villain as from a viewer point was facinating,he was obsessed with her and her promise to find him for such a long time,one could almost think he had feelings for her or seen as a throphy and somehow could be seen as such considering how twisted he was...I do confess i kinda wanted for our heroine to visit him again in prison but i guess she would be too much of a saint then...The ending was perfect,full of hope and new beginning also shown in the choice of attire of our heroine...Can i say how badass Young Jin was in her fight with Heedong,like damn that was one heck of a fight and elevated the police heroines aspiring level on the battle side!!!There were many many favorite scenes but the one were Sang Ho looks at Eun Ho holding onto Joung Jin leg is by far my favorite...The actors did an amazing job,hands down to all of them...Now the camera work was so well done visually and audio merging so perfect like one...The BGM is fabulous in front wih the main BGM for the show,it's so huntingly beautiful! Goes without saying that i'll wait for the writer's next project and hope to see Park Hoon and Kim Seo Hyung soon in other quality projects...Just give the man another show to shine!!!

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I personally loved how once she arrested him Youngjin didn't even attend his trial. Sure in the real world she would have had to testify probably but as a dramatic statement it was perfect. He is irrelevant to her now he's caught. He is not someone she chooses to keep in her world. I loved that.

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The poetic justice of Baek Sang-ho being trapped back in a small, dark room forever and ever brings me a sadistic kind of pleasure.

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I felt sorry for him actually. Because, you know, for someone who talked constantly about how he was rescued and his desire to rescue others - even if it was to create his own damaged cult followers who would do whatever he wanted - that final scene said more powerfully than anything else the truth.

He was never rescued. He was always in that small dark room. Beginning to end.

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I can't say I'm not at all sympathetic - the whole conceit of his character is that he got unlucky. What kind of person could he have been? We'll never know. But there's probably no more definitive a statement about nature and nurture than the end of this episode. Young-jin and Sang-ho were both deeply traumatised when they were young, but while one is condemned to the dark, the other walks in the light.

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Also Eunho makes this point very clear to Ki-ho - this is not destiny, nature or God. This is the culmination of people's choices.

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Our son is full of wisdom~

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My baby boy. Where is @boughtabride?
She's supposed to be co-parenting.

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YEA AND LOWKEY I HATED IT but i choose to read it the way i would. that cycle wasnt gonna break and he would still be punished for being poor.......i notice i have my own pipe dreams but still

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It though the shot of Sang-ho the adult remembering his childhood locked up in the room was very powerful. Life brought him full circle. I don't think it's always all about choices though. The choices you make are determined by the circumstances you are in, especially when you are a child. Sure, after a point, as an adult, you have more control over what you do. That is why I think the show kept reiterating - and especially in this episode - what it might have been if Sang-ho had had a different influence growing up. Would he have made different choices?

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What the show was saying I think is "children make mistakes, what matters is how adults respond to those mistakes".

There were four other characters in this show who made big mistakes as adolescents: Eun-ho, Dong-myeong, Min-sung and Tae-hyung (all boys, this is my only gripe, I'm trying not to dwell).

The only difference between the four is that Sun-woo responded in the wrong way to Tae-hyung and then corrected that the mistake with the other boys. So it's in that - not the mistake, but the response of the adults around him - that determined whether his life went off course.

So the choice here isn't the choice of the child to do the wrong thing or not. It's the choice of the adult in how they respond to childhood mistakes.

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Agreed. I misunderstood the earlier comment about choices, then :) The way you describe also contextualises the last conversation between Eun-ho and Ki-ho.

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i love reading the comments!!!! i'm so sad it's over!

and totally agree @leetennant, i've been talking abt this show from the view of my childhood and i'm happy people see that. it felt like a show that took kids seriously in the end, because the response can be life/death. i'm still ruminating on the girls thing, but i think i'm genuinely satisfied with it as a whole piece and for what it was and what it wanted to say. the flaw i would say i didn't love was the prison thing. i mean jail was going to happen and that's something i am used to but, and perhaps this was a tongue in cheek thing, sang ho ending up right where he started is exactly why...........abolitionists exist lmao i was like U DIDNT HAVE TO LIE. but really what i got from this show was a lot abt class and criminality in itself.

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i love how much she just didnt care for him. them not meeting often was a good choice imo because i felt so much disdain towards him because young jin told me to lmao

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Sang-ho is a fascinating villain indeed, when did he change from that scared boy into the cocky devil blackmailing Father Kwon? I also note that his younger version got the same creepy smirk, haha.
I pity him but to me he is irredeemable and I also take supreme pleasure in his downfall, because as much as he is trapped in that dark room, his way to survive is to drag Young-jin into that room with him. That's how he lived for 20 years, smiling and watching and feeding on the knowledge that she is suffering from guilt and what-ifs, ugh.

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I also somehow think he kinda wanted to taint her as well,to prove somehow that even a good soul like hers can torn into a monster...That's why he tested her so many times...

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Great job everyone--Great Job!

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There was a final quote at the end but it was not translated. Does someone know what it said? Thanks. I really loved this drama. Great cast, good acting. One of the best dramas I have watched.

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Oh someone on Twitter posted this and it was fantastic. It was a quote with a message that basically meant: good adults create good children. I'll try to find it.

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"A good watchman chases unfortunate things"

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Thank you for the translation. A perfect quote for the show.

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Absolutely loved the show. Like you said the book thing got a little tedious but even so it kept my interest throughout. Also how good was it to see Young-jin beat up and arrest Hee-dong like it's all in a day's work. Love shows about badass women!

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In 2018, I learned a very valuable lesson while watching Your Honour: Sometimes you can turn your analytical brain off. Sure, it's wonderful to be analytical - we get to have mature, in depth discussions - but equally, dissecting too much can counter-productive. If I told you that I love Your Honour, that suggests I felt good about it as a whole, right? Since I like to analyse my shows, it must have been a complete masterpiece beyond criticism. Well, no. There were plenty of abandoned sub plots, unlikeable and cartoonishly villainous characters, cases that were a little ridiculous. Bit it also had the best workplace that will ever brace our screens, a fun Yoon Shi-yoon performance, and a great heroine. So I can still love it.

Anyway, that's what I have to say in regards to the problems people have shown with Nobody Knows. Sure, some aspects were irrelevant. There wasn't always enough time for the characters we really care about. But I don't care. I choose to love everything about Nobody Knows, even the bits I don't love.

Also, I can't be analytical about Nobody Knows, it isn't possible. I can only giggle gleefully about how precious the ensemble is and sit slack-jawed in awe whenever an episode ends masterfully and it cuts to black.

Thank you beautiful, artful, eerie, reflective, exciting, well-shot, well-plotted, well-edited drama for a brilliant eight weeks.

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(If I had to complain a little, just a little, it would be that I miss Young-jin and Sun-woo solving crimes as a dynamic duo. That's what reeled me in to begin with.)

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Also, Young-jin dressed all in the white (indicative of the fact she's finally let the past go) is the loveliest thing I've ever seen. I'll stop now.

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For final episodes I usually keep myself to how I felt about the show overall. And for this show, overall, I loved it. I loved its message, its characters, the technical aspects of it and the way that epilogue made me feel like my heart was full.

It wasn't perfect. It wasn't. I would happily watch a sequel about the ducklings at school and their badass Chingu Ahjumma being pursued by their sweet homeroom teacher. Nobody Knows: Hijinks in the Hallways. I want. But if a drama leaves you wanting more it's done its job. Definitely the best crime thriller since Children of Nobody, and certainly far more uplifting.

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That's the best part. I often struggle with melodramas and thrillers, even the best of them, because the emotions tend to affect ME and make ME miserable when I should be entertained (See: VIP). Nobody Knows throws me enough joy and hope that it was never a commitment to sit through an episode. It got the balance just right.

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It did and so I choose not to dwell on the MacGuffin hunt and long flashbacks that didn't make me enjoy these last few episodes as much. I love when a drama, despite all its flaws, get to the point in the final episode and it's the perfect culmination of everything that's happened. When Youngjin and Eunho are on the rooftop and she arrested Sanho and he wonders what his life would have been like if the person who saved him that day was her instead of an abusive religious psycho. It was just perfect. And the epilogue in her light-filled apartment with Eunho and her dressed in white was perfect. And that moment was worth what came before even if that wasn't perfect.

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I agree - I think the sign of a drama having succeeded in its job is how it makes you feel at the end of it all (presuming that it has made you keep watching till the end at least). And this ticked all the boxes. It had many flaws, and I'm sure we can all write essays on it, but it left everyone feeling happy, positive and wanting more. Those are all good signs.

I think the script writer should take a bow for this one. It seems to be her debut 16-ep drama, and what a debut indeed!

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Damn, if this was written by a rookie, I'm ever more impressed! Most veteran writers can't write 16 episodes.

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I'm basing this on the MyDramaList page for the show/cast and crew, which shows only this show and a 2015 drama special listed against the credits for this writer. It depends on how reliable MDL is.

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This was such a fabulous gem of a drama. I too am in love with Kim Seo Hyung. She was perfect in this role. She wasn't too strong or too vulnerable. She was human. I also want to give a quick shout out to the fight choreographer of this drama, the fight scenes were beautifully done. That being said I look forward to seeing the actors and watching the writers next work.

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Yep, I love this drama. It was good to see the female character being written so solid and 3D.

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So true! Her character was perfectly balanced - she was aggressive when the situation demanded it, and warm and welcoming with those who needed the warmth the most, and even - at times - vulnerable, e.g., with Hwang, because she recognized that she needed her own "good adult" to parent her. KSH played all of those moments to pitch perfection. I'm now officially a fan.

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I actually started watching this show with no expectations.. and only because I recognized the actress as the villain from Sky Castle. I thought to myself that this should be interesting because she was very good there. Definitely not disappointed with my choice - clearly a gem of a show.

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every time she cried i was like "im with u girl love u"

i love how kim seo hyung really picks who she wants to play and how they come across. comparing to sky castle, her character was cold when it came to her job but also was manipulative and actually psychotic. here young jin was strict, sweet, lonely, serious, and a good friend.

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Nooo, it's ended T_T Best dramas for me are those that made me envision the characters lives even after the final episode, and I will spend a long time thinking about these people. (And in my head the ship is definitely sailing!)

The first half is a hard watch. It shook me that Soo-jung was so courageous in front of death, even trying to leave a comforting message. My heart bleeds thinking of what a loss it is that she never had the chance to be another good adult like Young-jin. Her tears are so painful but it must've also been cathartic. Like Soo-jung's mom said, it's a closure that they need.

Thank God show gave us healing after that! There's closure for each and everyone, even poor tortured Young-sik. And Min-sung's mom, guess she really ends up jailed..? Sun-woo & Tae-hyung's apologising to each other warmed me to the toes. Min-sung & Dong-myeong, hanging out together in school and at work yet not speaking, LOL. The playdate and Sun-woo & Eun-ho smiling because their favourite person likes their other favourite person, I want moreee! And mom's "cooking skill" ><

That final screenshot, Kim Seo-hyung's smile is just dazzling. Thank you @sunny for the on-point screenshots, faithful recap and wonderful commentary, and for being a fellow shipper!

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I love this drama! One of the best this year for me (along with Hyena) 😊. I'm not really into watching dramas that induces stress but somehow this one made me wait for it every week... And I laugh at myself waiting also for the recaps and the comments here, it makes me feel it completes the experience of 'watching' the episodes hahaha!

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Besides all that has been already said about this wonderful drama over the past few weeks in the comments thread here and on fanwalls, I wanted to add that Park Hoon really outdid himself in this last episode. I was uncomfortable with his cartoonish depiction of the villain earlier, but he was excellent in the scene on the terrace (and of course, he had the phenomenal KSH to spar with).

I also loved the new ducklings who seem to just automatically get drawn to Young-jin - Tae-hyung, and Ji-won especially (that scene was so well done, and so on-point). There's just something about Young-jin that wants you to be under her care. She's everyone's superhero and chingu, if only you can see that! Eun-ho figured that out at age 7. I'm so glad Dong-myung and Min-sung came around too.

I'm running out of superlatives when it comes to what I feel about this show. But I should stop here. I think you all get my drift...

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Knowing Tae-hyung is reporting to Young-jin on his plans and whereabouts is so good, her sharing the intel with Sun-woo is even better!
That playdate scene, it really looked like Young-jin & Sun-woo are the (adopted) parents you remarked before ><
I feel you on running out of superlatives, am also running out of "gorgeous" synonyms to describe Kim Seo-hyung.

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I loved this show. All the things it has done great have been said by the beanies. I only have one question that I don't know if it was a plothole or if it was mentioned and I completely missed it? How in the WORLD did EH find out that HS was his father? The whole sneezing thing was really dumb but I'm not dwelling on it because he found out about it after he discovered his parentage. And that scene where he told his mother that he found out his bloodtype doesn't match hers was dumb too! HOW did he even come to suspect HS?? Did I miss this point or was it glossed over?

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I'm struggling to remember this too although it made sense to me at the time.

Re the blood type: Eunho wasn't saying his blood type didn't match hers. He was saying that his blood type wasn't possible based on her blood type and the blood type of the man she said was his father. Ergo he knew his father was a different man. After that I'm fuzzy on how he came to suspect HS.

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I guess I just presumed that that father was just made-up so he couldn't have a clue on his blood-type.

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Whether his mother made up a blood type for a fictional person or used the real blood type of a man she was involved with, the result was the same. He knew she was lying about who his father was.

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You must have watched it with kocowa subs. The other site has better subs, i think, more logical. Eunho figured out that he couldn’t have been born with the combination bloodtype of his mom and his “father” (the one who died who was not actually his dad). That’s why he figured his dad must not be his dad. About how he figured out that it was Hee Seob - that’s where the question hangs.

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I guess I just presumed that that father was made-up by his mother so he wouldn't look for him, so he couldn't have a clue on his blood-type.

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But yes, HS is my actual question.

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I think he probably had some harebrained plan of checking out the DNA of every appropriately-aged male who had the sun-sneeze issue, and Hee-seob was conveniently the first one he found...?

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But he didn't know it is hereditary until after the DNA test.

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oh he didn't ? I presumed he asked his mom whether it was hereditary, and when she confirmed it, or when he figured it out in some biology textbook or something, he started out on his harebrained mission.

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Anyway, this show had many many gaps. E.g., How did the show sort out Eun-ho's sudden appearance on the scene as a blood relative? How was Hee-seob's wife okay with her daughter hanging out with Eun-ho in that play date in this last ep? And so on. It leaves a lot to our imagination. I'm not happy with it, but I'm okay with it. It doesn't mess with my having thoroughly enjoyed the show.

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Yes, thankfully. I loved and enjoyed it a lot too.

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I just assumed that Eun-ho figured out that Hee-seob was an old flame of his mom. Am just realising it's never explicitly explained!

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thank you for the wonderful write up. this goes down in my book of favorite favorites! so well written and acted. i love kim seo-hyung! and the actor who played eun ho and all of them. i love shows that show conflict and character development and resolution. i will go away thinking about this one a long time just like Ajusshi.

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shows that really make you feel things and think about things but not tearing your heart out and leaving it on the floor, but a lesson, a resolution a good feeling of closure at the end.

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There's nothing more I can say that hasn't already been commented but I just wanted to show my appreciation for such a fantastic drama. This was a lot more hopeful than other dramas that deal with similar topics and I enjoyed the focus on the friendships and the hopeful messages rather than the negative impact of a traumatic upbringing.

Sure, adults aren't perfect and are capable of doing harm to the children we should be caring for (intentional or otherwise), but that doesn't mean that we can't try to be better if only for the sake of those who look up to us. What a beautiful message to send to the audience~

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Loved this drama!

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I think all those of us who watched and loved this drama should take a moment and celebrate - for the first time, the comments on this last episode are now over 50!!!

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I was really happy watching it climb 🎊

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YAY

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Thanks for the recap.

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i loved it. genuinely liked it through and through so, although it's not as emotional as other shows like this have made me, i don't have many complaints. i even did mind the choices of the hunt. at some point it became less about what was going on and more about what emotions flowed through what findings. like i was always like what's going on. in a way this may have done better as a movie but it's more on the cerebral side of thriller. so it's less about the drama that's in the background and more about how they interact with it. it kinda reminds me of save me 2 in that way, a slice of life with a very interesting and engaging human plot.

i appreciate all the weird aspects of the show, too. i wanna bring up some things, thinking about girls/women in the show i'm not sure how i feel about it in this show, if it was needed as a show about a group of people where moms are in roles being single and supporting young sons but the influence of women in the show is enough for me. i would like to see moms/daughters explored but i never really thought about it hard until i saw people talking about it. i think in terms of shows some actually give respect to the subject theyre displaying while others manage to criticize them heavily. i would have never forgiven eun ho's mother, ever, but i notice as an audience people came to understand her. and, unlike min sung, he could try for a better rship with his mom. i mean idk that's a whole other thing. but idk. i think what i had was enough where i think that female presence was all around in that show. honestly, it's not only the competence of the women but also just the way in which the show was handled that. and i could tell it was done by a woman.

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on the other hand, the ending was hard to watch. not because i found it ironic that sang ho was in jail but because either the show thinks of it as a good thing or is criticizing the current system but sang ho back where he started was bleak. he had no choice of where he was as a kid and still ended up being hurt by toxic and abusive adults, gets stuck in some sort of psychotic capitalist arrested development, and he still walked on a path that got him into prison. had he not had those moments of wealth would he be in prison? if not, why? his fate wasnt always prison, it just people in the way of it. I MEAN i get the analyses that i did enjoy through the show but the solution to imprisonment isnt...more imprisonment like clearly we know the legal system and the cops are bullshit lmao. should have ended with like doo seok tryna form a union

and finally my kids lmao. i basically really dislike authority figures and have a hard hard hard time with being controlled and i felt like these kids got their freedom. it was a relief to see that there were people out there that came to them, that couldn't really do anything but knew theyd always have a place to go and that saved them, their lives, their psyche.

soo jung and young jin's moments were so beautiful, the atmosphere was so pretty, and the moments of true youthfulness and happiness (the plats being very green, the lights, the greenery in general, that beautiful flower and the childish view of it) and the 3 of the boys being a reincarnation of that which young jin helped with

everything they did wrong...which was wrong but also theyre kids and growing up didnt stop us from really wanting the best for them. anyway uhhh i had a good time

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I get the analytical lens you're applying right now and I agree but I think the conclusion to come to isn't "if he was poor Sang-ho wouldn't have ended up in prison but would be dead" but "for Young-jin the alternative to arresting him was throwing him off a building and that would have undermined her as an adult in pursuit of justice".

Sang-ho's story was actually completely tragic and his realisation that if it had been Young-jin he met as a child rather than the psycho religious nutter who raised him then he wouldn't have been the damaged person he was. But he still murdered people. And he's not a child any longer. As an adult he has to take responsibility for that and the options here are jail or death.

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yea and while i agree with you on a factual level (IE a fact that crime = punishment) i think it's interesting that the end result is what it is. i would have rather had that image of who young jin is right now than to see him be put in solitary confinement.

instead of either of those conclusions there's another: "what could we [as a society] have done differently to get them help? how can we fix it?"

in my head i want the fact that he ended up there to be what i hope it is... the show is about redemption and good/evil but i think i'm starting to see that (to me) it's less about blame anad more about moving through things properly

i like that young jin had a purpose and was doing the job to find out something she so deeply cared about and affected her life. and i like that when she achieved this, she took a break. everything she ended up doing i can love and follow along with even in the context of her job but yea i just...there's irony to that ending in a good and bad way

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