Flower of Evil: Episode 16 (Final)
After another brush with death, our anti-hero suffers an unexpected complication that threatens to undo all of the emotional progress that he’s made. As he struggles to make sense of his situation, his wife turns out to be the last person who can help him. This final test will prove just how deep his love is for his wife and daughter who want nothing more than for him to find peace and happiness.
EPISODE 16 RECAP
In the final opening flashback, Hyun-soo and Ji-won took a short break during their pre-wedding photo shoot. Hyun-soo sensed something was bothering her and Ji-won admitted to her fear that Hyun-soo would regret getting married without his parents in attendance. Hyun-soo assured Ji-won that she was the only one who mattered to him and when the photo session resumed, their wedding bands were in plain view.
In the present, Ji-won sits across from a man and reminds him, “It’s been over four months already.” A flashback to Hyun-soo’s shooting shows that Hee-sung was downed by Ho-joon’s bullet, allowing Jae-sub to safely run to Ji-won’s side. While Woo-chul lowered the gun in Ho-joon’s trembling hands, the mortally wounded Hee-sung stared up at the sky.
After an ambulance sped Hyun-soo to the hospital, a doctor met with Ji-won to explain that the bullet that grazed Hyun-soo’s head caused a skull fracture and a concussion. He predicted that Hyun-soo should wake up in day or so.
In Hyun-soo’s hospital room, Ji-won slipped his wedding ring back onto his finger. Jae-sub walked in with the news that reporters were gathering outside and warned Ji-won about the inevitable fallout. Ji-won took Hyun-soo’s hand and promised, “Together, we’ll get through everything.” In voiceover, Ji-won admits, “At that moment, I had no idea that I’d never see him again.”
Back in the present, Ji-won suggests to the fully healed Hyun-soo, “Hee-sung, we can take our time and get to know each other again.” Hyun-soo points out that she called him by the wrong name and reminds her what it was like when he woke up after a month.
In another flashback, Hyun-soo was still unconscious while memories of his life with Ji-won rewound all the way back to their first kiss. When Hyun-soo remembered being hit by Hee-sung’s car, his eyes flew open. In voiceover, Hyun-soo explains that when he woke up in the hospital, he thought it was immediately after the car accident and that it was 2005.
Hyun-soo stumbled out to the hallway where Ji-won had been on the phone and she smiled in relief until he brushed past her. Ji-won called out, “Jagi-yah,” but Hyun-soo saw the police ID around her neck and ran. In the lobby, Hyun-soo was surrounded by reporters and he narrates, “Not only did I not remember the past 15 years of my life…But I had also become really famous.”
Chief Yoon holds a press conference to announce that an investigation proved that Ji-won knew nothing about her husband’s false identity. In the Baek’s backyard, a forensics team digs up the silver box containing the missing fingernails of the murder victims with Woo-chul, Ho-joon and Jae-sub on the scene. Chief Yoon commends Hyun-soo for helping to solve the serial murder case as Hyun-soo reminds Ji-won, “Some people call me a hero for having caught a serial killer.”
Hae-soo, who’s now in prison, meets with Moo-jin and her attorney as Hyun-soo adds that some pity him for taking the blame for his sister’s crime. Hyun-soo can’t understand, “…the one person who should never forgive me doesn’t seem to hate me at all,” and Ji-won explains, “That’s because you don’t know about us.”
Seeing that he’s still wearing his wedding ring, Ji-won is tempted to ask about it until she remembers that she’s there to cheer him on. When Hyun-soo admits that he’s nervous, Ji-won encourages him to remember what he practiced.
Ji-won sits with Moo-jin as Hae-soo’s trial for the village foreman’s murder begins. While a televised newscast reports that Hae-soo claimed self-defense, Hyun-soo enters the courtroom.
On the stand, Hyun-soo recalls finding his sister standing over the dead foreman and in a flashback, Hae-soo shuddered when she recounted that the village foreman attacked her. Hae-soo’s attorney asks why Hyun-soo didn’t go to the police for help and he explains that after the truth about their father came out, he and his sister were reviled.
When asked if Hae-soo feared the village foreman, Hyun-soo testifies that she couldn’t sleep whenever he was dragged before the shaman and that she threw up all the time. At the end of the defense’s questions, the jurors appear sympathetic.
At the police station, Woo-chul reminds his team that Hae-soo’s claim of self-defense will be difficult to prove because she used a deadly weapon. When Jae-sub complains that all of the villagers are against her, he remembers something and pulls out a witness statement.
During cross examination, the prosecutor reminds Hyun-soo that he lied about his identity for 15 years and even deceived his wife. Asked if he feels guilt, Hyun-soo suddenly remembers saying, “I love you, Ji-won,” as well as admitting that to Hae-soo that he never once felt love for his wife.
When Hyun-soo looks at Ji-won, he can’t answer the prosecutor’s question. Moo-jin whispers that the prosecution just convinced the jurors that everything Hyun-soo said is a lie.
After court is adjourned, Moo-jin scolds Hyun-soo for forgetting what to say as they walk to his car. Hyun-soo sees Ji-won’s reflection in the car window and admits, “The moment my eyes met hers, my mind went blank.”
Before she can get into her car, Ji-won gets a call from Jae-sub. When Moo-jin insists that Hyun-soo genuinely cared for Ji-won, he disagrees, “I wouldn’t have married someone I loved when living a false life.”
Moo-jin proves that Ji-won is on Hyun-soo’s mind when he pretends that she’s standing outside his car and Hyun-soo’s head whips around. Hyun-soo refuses to fall for the ploy a second time and is surprised when Ji-won knocks on his window, “Mr. Do, we have someplace to go.”
Jae-sub alerted Ji-won about the village foreman’s nephew, Yang Jin-tae, whose past statement claimed that his uncle used Hyun-soo’s exorcisms to steal money from Min-seok’s account. On the drive to meet the nephew, Ji-won explains that the foreman withdrew five times more money than needed to pay the shaman and in her excitement, she calls Hyun-soo, “Sweetie.”
Moo-jin visits Hae-soo to tell her about the possibility of a new witness that Hyun-soo and Ji-won are on their way to meet. Hae-soo asks how they’re getting along and Moo-jin shares his concern that Hyun-soo’s personality has changed since the shooting. Hae-soo wonders, “Maybe this is who he truly is?”
Hae-soo asks about his new roommate and Moo-jin assures her that Hyun-soo has made himself at home. Embarrassed to be seen in prison garb, Hae-soo suggests that Moo-jin shouldn’t visit her so often but he sweetly exclaims that the color is flattering. Hae-soo shares her hope that she’ll soon be able to share a meal with Mo-jin, Hyun-soo, Ji-won and Eun-ha.
Ji-won rings the doorbell to Yang Jin-tae’s apartment but he’s not home and when she can’t reach him by phone, Hyun-soo guesses that he changed his mind. When Ji-won gets a text confirming his suspicion, Hyun-soo turns to leave but she suggests waiting for him to come home.
When it starts to rain, Ji-won watches it with a smile and Hyun-soo is mesmerized. Ji-won holds out her hand to catch some water and Hyun-soo unknowingly breaks into a smile. The spell is broken when Hyun-soo suddenly recalls claiming, “Ji-won only believes what she sees. Because of that, I can see through her.”
Ji-won’s mother watches Eun-ha draw her family and when asked why she didn’t include her dad, she explains that it makes her mom cry. Suddenly sad, Eun-ha admits, “I hate Dad. How can he go on a trip alone?”
When the rain stops, Hyun-soo offers to wait for Yang Jin-tae so Ji-won can go home. Her eyes focused on his wedding ring, Ji-won finally asks why he’s still wearing it. Hyun-soo explains that the ring balances his hand during metalworking and he apologizes for not returning it sooner.
Hyun-soo places the ring in Ji-won’s hand just as Yang Jin-tae returns. At the sight of Hyun-soo, Yang Jin-tae runs away but Hyun-soo gets to him before his elevator closes.
At a café, Ji-won records Yang Jin-tae’s interview on her phone. Yang Jin-tae explains that his uncle became the guardian of Min-seok’s children in order to steal their money. Yang Jin-tae spread false rumors about Hyun-soo after his uncle agreed to pay his college tuition.
Yang Jin-tae left freshly killed chickens in the village’s streets and blamed it on Hyun-soo to confirm his rumor that Hyun-soo was possessed by his father’s spirit. When Hyun-soo asks Yang Jin-tae to testify, he balks, “I’m an elementary school teacher. If this goes public, I’ll lose everything.”
Hyun-soo advises, “…think about what you really want…so that you won’t end up hating yourself.” Ji-won looks at Hyun-soo in surprise when he adds, “I’m going to forgive you as of this very moment. So you no longer need to feel guilty about what you did to me.”
On the drive back, Ji-won remarks that it couldn’t have been easy to forgive Yang Jin-tae. Hyun-soo confesses that it was quite easy because it was a lie intended to get Yang Jin-tae to change his mind. Hyun-soo smiles with satisfaction when Yang Jin-tae calls him with the news that he’ll testify.
Ji-won looks horrified when Hyun-soo suggests that Yang Jin-tae should be the defense’s final witness for dramatic effect. Hyun-soo confesses that Ji-won is embarrassingly easy to read and guesses what she’s thinking, “This isn’t the guy I know.” Pulling over, a tearful Ji-won demands to know why he’s being so mean.
Hyun-soo explains that when he woke up, he discovered that he not only possessed impressive metalworking skills, he had the ability to exploit people’s emotions to his advantage. Hyun-soo’s voice quivers and his eyes fill with tears as he confronts Ji-won, “You want me to tell you I still feel the same way toward you even though I don’t remember anything about you. You want me to lie to you like that.”
Sobbing, Ji-won asks, “How could you forget me…After how much we loved each other. After how we got this far.” By now, Hyun-soo is crying too as he shares that he’s afraid that there isn’t an ounce of sincerity within him, “…how long will these feelings that I feel for you last?”
Ji-won pleads, “Why can’t you trust yourself,” but Hyun-soo angrily admits how much he resents her hope that the man that she knew will return, “I hate him. I don’t want to know anything about him.” Emotionally exhausted, Hyun-soo argues that they’re going around and around in circles, unable to move forward. Devastated, Ji-won does her best to control her sobs while Hyun-soo cries beside her.
Moo-jin reads through the negative comments posted to his online article, “The Other Side of a Serial Murder”. When Hyun-soo walks in, Moo-jin asks if he’s crazy and shows him the refrigerator filled with egg tarts. Hyun-soo helplessly explains, “I keep buying them whenever I see them.”
When Moo-jin sees that Hyun-soo has been crying, he worries that Yang Jin-tae refused to testify. After Hyun-soo reports that he agreed, Moo-jin guesses that Ji-won finally hit him.
Hyun-soo would welcome getting hit by Ji-won if he could avoid seeing her again to discuss their kid. When asked about plans to see Eun-ha, Hyun-soo shakes his head and muses, “If I give what’s left in my inheritance to the kid. If I say let’s end it at that, would she be hurt?”
In her bedroom, Ji-won takes out one of Hyun-soo’s shirts and breathes in his scent. Later, she listens to Hyun-soo’s advice in the recording of Yang Jin-tae’s interview, “I want you to think about what you really want…so that you won’t end up hating yourself.”
Eun-ha wakes up in her bed and finds her mother sitting beside her. She starts to cry when she asks if her parents got a divorce like the kids are saying. Ji-won denies it but Eun-ha argues, “Then why isn’t he coming home?”
Pulling her daughter close, Ji-won tearfully explains that she wants Daddy to be happy and Eun-ha agrees, “Me too.” Ji-won realizes, “Daddy has never once lived as himself. Mommy wants Daddy to live freely at least once.”
Ji-won visits Hae-soo in prison and when she’s thanked for finding the new witness, Ji-won admits that it pales compared to Hae-soo’s sacrifice. With a small smile, Hae-soo explains, “Thanks to that, I’m finally able to like myself a bit.” When Hae-soo asks about Hyun-soo, Ji-won confesses, “I’m going to let him go.”
Ji-won is in court along with Moo-jin and Hyun-soo when the jury’s verdict is announced, “The defendant Do Hae-soo’s actions are hereby found as self-defense.” The judges are responsible for sentencing and Woo-chul, Jae-sub and Ho-joon huddle around a computer at the station to hear their decision.
Even though the judges disagreed with the jury’s verdict, they decided against any punishment because Hae-soo was a minor at the time of the crime. With a shout, Ji-won’s colleagues celebrate the news.
Hyun-soo visits Hee-sung’s mother in prison and she asks about her husband. Hyun-soo recalls Dr. Baek’s happy greeting when he visited him in a psychiatric hospital, “Hee-sung!”
Taking Hyun-soo’s hand, Dr. Baek saw the real Hee-sung’s face and complained, “I’ve been waiting for you for so long.” Hee-sung lovingly confessed, “I missed you too, you know,” and Dr. Baek pressed a pocketful of candies into the hand of a confused Hyun-soo.
Hyun-soo tells Dr. Baek’s wife, “One day at a time, his mind is taking him to his past.” When she wonders about the reason for his visit, Hyun-soo inquires, “Detective Cha. Who was she to me?”
Hee-sung’s mother shares that Hyun-soo hated bringing Ji-won over to visit. At first, she and her husband assumed it was to protect their secret but she eventually realized that Hyun-soo was protecting Ji-won because he truly cared for her.
Moo-jin lets himself into Hae-soo’s empty apartment and recalls her announcement that she was going abroad to study. After Hyun-soo expressed his approval, Moo-jin offered Hae-soo his full support but warned, “Don’t get your hopes up though. I won’t wait for you.”
Moo-jin suddenly remembered an interview that he’d scheduled and he promised to see Hae-soo before her departure. At Hae-soo’s prompting, Hyun-soo followed him and he found Moo-jin crying while staring at Hae-soo through a window. Moo-jin asked for tips on how to lose his memory and Hyun-soo offered to help him fracture his skull.
While Moo-jin takes in the view from the rooftop, Hae-soo calls. When he claims that he forgot that they scheduled the call, Hae-soo sounds upset and Moo-jin can’t hide how happy that makes him.
Hyun-soo walks alone while pondering Hae-soo’s parting words, “You and I somehow got lost…that’s why we need to have a starting point so that we don’t get lost again.” Hyun-soo stops when he recognizes the spot where he and Ji-won took shelter from the rain on their first date.
Standing under the eaves, Hyun-soo remembers Ji-won’s question, “Has it ever occurred to you that you’re the only one who doesn’t know you like me?” When Hyun-soo also remembers smiling at Ji-won that day, his eyes fill with tears.
After a call from his real estate agent, Hyun-soo surveys a house that meets his criteria, unaware that it’s his house. Hyun-soo reads the name of workshop, “The Place Where the Morning Star Rests”, as the agent takes him inside.
Left alone to explore the space, Hyun-soo finds a notebook that contains notes that he’d written about Ji-won’s likes and dislikes. Hyun-soo is particularly interested when he reads, “She gets excited when it rains. And she smiles over nothing.”
Ji-won walks in and is surprised to see Hyun-soo. Ji-won offers to leave everything for him except the notebooks, “…they’re all about me, so I can’t give them to you.”
Hyun-soo asks about the shop’s name and Ji-won confirms that he chose it but never shared it’s meaning. When she wistfully laments, “I guess no one will ever know,” Hyun-soo tells her the story of Hephaestus, the Greek god of metalworking.
Hephaestus was the ugliest god in Mount Olympus and spent all of his time in his workshop. Hephaestus had a wife that he dearly loved and her Roman name was Venus. Hyun-soo explains that the planet that bears her name is known as “the morning star”.
Hyun-soo finally realizes that he genuinely loved Ji-won and he confesses, “You were always on my mind in this very space where I spent most of my time.” Ji-won ignores him and shares her plan to move to Busan as soon as her transfer is approved, “So that I won’t run into you even by chance.”
Hyun-soo looks frightened at the prospect of losing her, “I finally took one step toward you. How could you run away?” Hyun-soo asks Ji-won to change her mind and when he promises, “I’ll be good to you. I’ll like you for real,” she remembers telling him the same thing just before their first kiss, a sign that his memories are returning.
When Ji-won looks up at him, Hyun-soo proposes, “Let’s search for the person you’re looking for together…I want to know who he is.” After Ji-won notices the bandage on his hand, Hyun-soo shows her many others and explains that he keeps hurting himself without his ring.
Taking his ring from the chain around her neck, Ji-won returns it to Hyun-soo’s finger and a tear rolls down his face. Hyun-soo confesses, “Whenever I’m with you, I get nervous…afraid that I’ll make a mistake,” and Ji-won admits that she feels the same way. Hyun-soo kisses Ji-won tentatively and then again more passionately.
During a final look at the home’s interior, we hear Ji-won ask Hyun-soo if he wants to come along when she picks up Eun-ha. She laughs softly when Hyun-soo frets, “Will she like me?”
Hyun-soo nervously twirls his ring outside of Eun-ha’s kindergarten but he turns around when he hears, “Oppa!” When Eun-ha hugs him, Hyun-soo remembers holding her when she was just a baby.
Still thinking her dad was on a trip, Eun-ha asks if he brought a gift and Hyun-soo stammers that he forgot. Eun-ha assures her dad, “It’s okay. You’re my gift…I like you more than anything in the whole world.”
After Hyun-soo manages to admit, “Me too,” Eun-ha wraps her arms around his neck. When Ji-won hugs them both, Hyun-soo smiles through his tears.
Flower of Evil was unpredictable until the end because I never expected that Hyun-soo’s latest injury would lead to amnesia. After everything that Hyun-soo and Ji-won had gone through, the loss of the memories of their life together, including cute little Eun-ha, turned out to be their greatest challenge of all. It kept them apart for the majority of the finale and when they were together, it was tortuous. Once they finally found their way back to each other it was incredibly moving and satisfying and my only complaint is that it felt rushed.
In the entire scheme of things, Hyun-soo’s amnesia made sense to me because it gave Ji-won a chance to walk away from Hyun-soo. There was no medical reason for Hyun-soo’s prolonged unconsciousness, so it’s possible that he didn’t wake up for psychological reasons. Hyun-soo had been experiencing terrible bouts of panic and anxiety and his greatest fear was that he’d lose his family because of his lies. In a way, Hyun-soo’s amnesia protected him from the pain of that loss if Ji-won were to finally leave him. In fact, after waking up, Hyun-soo did everything he could to push Ji-won away. As Ji-won hoped and waited for Hyun-soo’s memories to return, she found herself fighting for their relationship, so there was no doubt that she was committed to staying with him, in spite of his secrets.
Hyun-soo’s month long absence also allowed Hae-soo to finally face the consequences of her killing of the village foreman. Since Hae-soo survived Hee-sung’s attack, the only way for her and Hyun-soo to truly be free of their pasts was for her to be held accountable for her actions. The tragedy that befell Min-seok’s children after his death became public knowledge thanks to the trial, proving that Hyun-soo never killed anyone. And it revealed the criminal intentions of the village foreman that contributed to his death after he drove both Hae-soo and Hyun-soo to desperation. After Hae-soo’s trial and release, Ji-won’s admission that she wants Hyun-soo to know freedom at least once in his life is the moment she lets him go. For the first time in their adult lives, Hae-soo and Hyun-soo are truly free.
Lee Jun-ki and Moon Chae-won delivered consistently solid performances until the very end. So impressive. The standout scenes for me in this finale were when Hyun-soo couldn’t take his eyes off of Ji-won as she watched the rain and their breakdown in the car after Hyun-soo went all dark and twisty on her. In Hyun-soo’s defense, he was totally confused by his conflicting memories and emotions plus he was determined not to lie to Ji-won. Normally, that’s commendable. Thinking back to what he was like when he first met Ji-won, because that’s who he is once again, Hyun-soo pushed her away then too. But Hyun-soo wasn’t able to escape Ji-won’s pull at that time and the same holds true again, thank goodness. And it was the significance of his workshop’s name, “The Place Where the Morning Star Rests,” that turned the tide in Ji-won’s favor.
Hephaestus, who was rejected by the gods, sounds a lot like the young Hyun-soo, who couldn’t understand or feel emotions and found himself a social outcast. Until he met Ji-won, who connected with him in a way no one else ever had or could. No wonder Hyun-soo was so devoted to her, even though he didn’t fully understand at the time that he loved her. But the name of his workshop was Hyun-soo’s acknowledgement that his wife was precious to him. And that refrigerator full of egg tarts proved how much he longed for his daughter even though he didn’t remember her either.
In the end, both Hyun-soo and Ji-won found each other not once but twice, a real testament to the fact that they belonged together. Ji-won didn’t suffer any career setbacks because of Hyun-soo and her relationships with her colleagues survived. Everyone’s safe from Baek Hee-sung and his parents and Dr. Baek’s break with reality gave us another chance to see Kim Ji-hoon. While Hae-soo and Moo-jin didn’t get together, I have a feeling the door is still open to a romance with time. Who else will accept Hae-soo? She’s not only the daughter of a serial killer but she killed someone herself. Moo-jin doesn’t care one bit because he’s made his own share of mistakes and I’m convinced he felt some responsibility for what happened to her after he abandoned her and Hyun-soo. After that touching reunion between Hyun-soo and his wife and daughter, we’re left to imagine what comes next. Whatever their future looks like, we can be sure that Hyun-soo and Ji-won will always be together.
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