Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol: Episodes 15-16 Open Thread (Final)
As Do Do Sol Sol wraps up its final week, we’re met with a surge of hope and romance as we uncover a final secret and try to determine whether our couple will be together again. Then, the drama throws all its wonderful underpinning right out the back door with one of the worst endings I could ever imagine. Anyone have a sharp object I can hurl at my screen? I threw all of mine already.
EPISODES 15-16 WEECAP
I must start out by saying how much I loved this drama. It holds some of the sweetest and dearest moments in dramaland that I’ve seen in a while, and every character in Eunpo is so warm and wonderful. I will cherish the sweetness.
Much can be (and is!) forgiven in a drama that you love — random stalkers, underage hero reveals, uptight parents that rip apart made-in-heaven couples, wedding fake-outs, and more. I can forgive it all, because of how darling these characters are, and how much I love watching them. But do you know what I can’t forgive? Being jerked around in the final episode of a drama. Being fed a truly heartbreaking plot line for thirty minutes only to have it taken back in the last five, with no explanation whatsoever. Show, I simply cannot let this malfeasance slide.
Before we get to The Ending That Should Not Be, let’s run through the earlier action, because there’s a lot that’s rewarding and meaningful before everything goes to hell in handbasket.
The last quarter of Do Do Sol Sol has been full of pranks and tricks, most of which have been fun, though not exactly essential. The same lies in store with Joon and Lala’s recent breakup. All of Eunpo is reeling, but Lala has a sudden eureka moment that changes everything. She suddenly remembers meeting Joon in a coffee shop the day she lost her wallet to the stalker dude. It turns out she and Joon had a first adorable encounter there (squee level 10/10), and there was definitely something between them, but fate parted them.
But here’s the big twist: the coffee shop’s name was Dodosolsollalasol. What! All of a sudden it all comes together for Lala, and she realizes that it’s been Joon all along that was her secret benefactor and friend. It’s a little far-fetched, but I’m game — it fits and I actually love it.
Thankfully, this fact is enough for Lala to realize Joon’s heart toward her, and she messages Dodosolsollalasol, indicating she’s learned the truth. Cue yet another adorable meeting full of love confessions and togetherness. This really feels like their home stretch. We’re clued into the fact that the airport departure and dating were all fake-outs designed to make their break-up more realistic for Lala, but now that it’s in the open they can just be together, right?
Not so. One might ask why is Joon so intent on breaking the heart of his beloved. Well, his scattered nosebleeds take on an ominous meaning, and Joon is swiftly diagnosed with acute leukemia. His diagnosis shatters him and his family, and his mother softens, and lets him go to Eunpo to see Lala before they leave for the U.S. for treatment.
I hate everything about this diagnosis, and also find it inessential to the plot, but surely the drama has plans for something good to come out of it? Also, Joon and Lala are just every bit as cute as ever — exchanging couple rings, reliving all their cutest moments — I’m basically a puddle. Can we just end the drama here, with them cozied up in Lala Land?
No, we can’t. Instead, Joon continues to lie to Lala and goes to the U.S. to “study.” They text and call sweetly, but it’s hard to get behind this. It’s the most awful lie you can tell to someone you love, I think. But, I’m trying. I want to believe.
Lala plans a delightful Christmas concert for Eunpo at Lala Land. Joon is supposed to visit on his break, and they plan to play a duet after which Lala plans to propose. Be still my heart! The concert is as precious as we would expect, and all of her students play, but Joon doesn’t turn up. Instead, Lala plays along to a video recording of Joon playing. Haraboji cries, being the only person to know the truth. I’m getting a sinking feeling.
After everyone’s gone home, Lala is still waiting for Joon and his delayed plane. Instead of a jetlagged Joon, though, his mother comes in the front door instead. She looks mighty grim and is wearing something very funereal. She’s gentle about it, but essentially tells Lala that Joon had been dying of leukemia and that… yeah, he’s already dead. The recent text messages were from her, not Joon. The video of his piano performance was recorded months ago.
As can be expected, Lala loses it. It’s the most horrible kind of heartbreak mixed with an almost unbearable outrage — imagine not knowing the person you love has died? That they were sick for months and you never knew? That everyone has been lying to you but now it’s too late? That you could have been a comfort to them and shared precious time together but it’s all been stolen from you? I can’t think of a more horrifying ordeal.
All of Eunpo reacts, and we get a really convincing look at each of our characters grieving over the news. Everyone from Dr. Cha to Ha-young to Seung-gi think back on Joon and his last words (unbeknownst to them) as they cry. It’s so totally heartbreaking and really does not fit the tone of this drama at all. A tragic death of this magnitude doesn’t belong in a fluffy romcom concerned with acts of love like growing romaine lettuce and sharing family china.
It’s not that I don’t like a ballsy move — I do. I’ve written about killing off heroes, and why and how it can be really effective. I’ve even argued that fake-out hero deaths in melos and more serious dramas should just be actual deaths, because if you need to land your story’s point, I think you should do it with your whole heart.
Well, it certainly feels like Do Do Sol Sol is doing just that. I feel robbed, sad, and kind of sick, but surely there’s a moral here they have been planning all along?
Hold onto your butts, though — it’s not over yet. We jump five years into the future, where Lala is still happily running Lala Land, Dr. Cha is back together with his ex-wife, and Ha-young and Seung-gi have an adorable baby and are squabbling like exhausted parents are expected to. Joon’s memory is cherished by everyone in town, and it’s quite touching… but what is the point of it? What did we gain from this gush of tragedy? I appreciate seeing that everyone is fine, but it still feels like something is missing.
One evening Lala plays the lovely piece that was Joon’s welcome home song. She/we remember him running up the hill to meet her… and then we see non-dead Joon doing just that. Wait, what?!
They share a teary embrace and immediately go to the hilltop where they’ve had all their heart-to-hearts. Lala is crying her eyes out in shock as one would expect in such a situation, and asks if Joon is a ghost. He kisses her to prove he’s not a ghost. Then, to explain The Cruelest Lie in History and his five-year absence, he merely says, “I wanted to return after I was fully recovered.” And then the drama is over. Yes, really.
So, Joon did not die. Instead, he and his mother lied to the woman he loves, putting her through an unthinkable agony, only to turn up and laugh on the hilltop when they reunite and Lala is hysterical crying. I can’t buy for a second that the sweet and devoted Joon would have actually done any of this. Also, his mother must be utterly soulless.
Leaving a drama feeling like you could punch through a wall can be a good, cathartic feeling when the drama is just that affecting, and the emotions transfer onto you that strongly. But leaving a drama wanting to punch through a wall because you feel that you as a viewer, and the story as an entity, have just been shamelessly abused? That’s another thing entirely.
Show, I will never forgive you for this tomfoolery. You’ve just handed me one of the worst endings I’ve ever seen, taking the worst possible route, and the weakest. Either have Joon die and use it to teach us all something, or just don’t bother taking us on this meaningless, useless, and unexplained death fake-out. Better yet, cut out his entire illness plot arc, and let us see their relationship mature, and see Lala win over his family. That would have fit. That would have been enjoyable, in-character, and consistent with the drama’s tone.
Alas, bad endings are bad endings — and there’s no way to sugar coat this one. All the joy I got from this drama has been overshadowed by this piss-poor ending. Hopefully that will change with time, and I’ll be able to remember Eunpo with a smile, like I want to. Indeed, this was one of my favorite drama settings and drama couples of the year. But, until that happens, I’m desperately seeking anyone that found this ending remotely logical, or even slightly satisfying. Are you out there? Can you share any pearls of wisdom?
- Premiere Watch: Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, Private Lives, Tale of the Nine Tailed
- Go Ara, Lee Jae-wook in new stills for Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol
- Finger-tapping anticipation in new Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol teaser
- Piano rom-com Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol holds first script read
- Go Ara, Lee Jae-wook to star in KBS youth rom-com drama