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Human Disqualification: Episode 16 (Final)

We’ve reached the end of this lovely journey all too soon, but thankfully, the conclusion is as satisfying as I’d hoped. Our leads’ lives may not be perfect, but they’re both in a better place to cope with whatever comes their way. There are no tidy bows here to wrap up everyone’s stories, but there is a sense of resolution for the past and hope for the future.

 
EPISODE 16: “A starry day”

On the way to her dad’s apartment, Bu-jung calls to update Jung-soo. She stops in the hallway and stares at Kang-jae’s door. The night before, when she’d stepped outside to check the text from Kang-jae, she’d also seen the photos Ah-ran sent. She’d quickly hidden her phone when Jung-soo came looking for her.

Now, she takes one last look toward Kang-jae’s apartment before going inside her father’s. Meanwhile, Kang-jae visits Jung-woo’s sister again. He wasn’t sure what to do with Jung-woo’s belongings but finally decided his family should have them.

“Jung-woo hyung was a good person,” he says before he starts walking away. Jung-woo’s sisters calls out to ask if he can tell her more about Jung-woo.

While Bu-jung cleans up around Chang-sook’s apartment, Jung-soo does research on pneumonia and sepsis in the elderly. The fact that Jung-soo had the same weird dream his mom had is making him even more anxious something bad is going to happen.

Joon-hyuk thinks Bu-jung is lucky to have a husband who cares so much about her father that he can’t eat or work properly. He plops down beside Jung-soo and shows him the dating app he’s using since he and Min-jung have stopped talking.

When Jung-soo pries, Joon-hyuk says he supposes Min-jung dumped him after finding her true love or something. Based on Joon-hyuk’s humbler attitude, Jung-soo gathers that Min-jung must’ve hurt him.

In the elevator up to Kang-jae’s apartment, Min-jung tells Ddak-yi that her audition went okay, but she’s insecure since all the girls there seemed pretty, classy, and innocent. Of course, Bu-jung comes out just in time to see Min-jung take a call from Kang-jae and enter his apartment.

Kang-jae chides Min-jung for never learning and continuing to do these auditions. Then, he asks if Jong-hoon happened to see that box in his loft the day he came by. Min-jung supposes he did and gathers he took something from the box, like that cell phone.

As she waits for the elevator, Bu-jung almost replies to Kang-jae’s text but changes her mind. She realizes she forgot something and goes back upstairs. Before she reaches the apartment, the hospital calls. Oh no. She imagines her father sitting by his door, but then he’s gone.

Jung-soo leaves work in a daze after finding out Chang-sook had cardiac arrest and is now in critical condition. When Joon-hyuk very unhelpfully talks about the ethicality of life support and suggests Jung-soo should “steel himself,” Jung-soo grows angrier than we’ve ever seen him and yells at his friend for his insensitivity.

Meanwhile, Kang-jae goes Akira and sees Jung-woo’s phone charging in the back room. He takes it back and wakes Jong-hoon. Kang-jae accuses him of being a thief, but Jong-hoon argues the phone isn’t Kang-jae’s either. Plus, Kang-jae already erased everything on there.

Jong-hoon says it’s too late for Kang-jae to change anything. Bu-jung was already sent the photos and knows that Kang-jae was given the job of surveilling her. She was even told about Jung-woo.

“She’s not responding, is she?” Jong-hoon asks. He tells Kang-jae to stop waiting for a call that won’t come. Married women don’t do something that will ruin their lives.

Bu-jung rushes to the hospital and stops outside her father’s room, knowing. Noooo. Jung-soo and Min-ja are already there. Bu-jung enters and approaches Chang-sook. She kneels beside his bed and puts a hand on his face as she breaks down. Jung-soo crouches beside her and puts a hand on her back. The whole family sobs.

As Bu-jung walks down the funeral hall, we hear her suicide letter to Chang-sook in voiceover. She stares at her father’s portrait, wondering at what point it all went wrong. Does she have to start over?

“Father, I think I know now what death and life are.” Bu-jung, Jung-soo, and Min-ja watch as Chang-sook’s body is prepared for cremation. “In the end, death is a part of life. Why didn’t I know that then? I’ve never lived a day in this world without you, so I don’t know how I’ll live the rest of my life.”

Bu-jung tells her father she understands now that it’s not what you become, but what you do that matters. He’s been trying to tell her that with how he lived, but she’s only just starting to realize. She tells Chang-sook she loves him and hopes he’ll rest in peace.

On her way to a reunion, Kyung-eun uses the PPL cosmetics Jung-soo bought her and thinks of him. The night they went to the motel, Kyung-eun had asked about Bu-jung. Their friends told her that Bu-jung is a good person, thoughtful and upright.

They’d said Bu-jung was the exact opposite of Kyung-eun, which is probably why Jung-soo would marry her. Jung-soo agreed with the positive qualities she listed about Bu-jung, but he’d never thought of her and Kyung-eun as opposites.

In fact, he’d always thought they resemble each other because they’re both sad and lonely despite outer appearances. “Even when you’re near, you seem far away like an island.” It made him want to protect them, although that didn’t work out. He blames himself for messing everything up.

Now, Kyung-eun has the driver turn around and take her home. Meanwhile, Kang-jae goes up to his apartment carrying the envelope with Bu-jung’s manuscript he kept from the box he gave to Jung-woo’s sister.

Inside, he’s disturbed to find Ddak-yi and Min-jung being all flirty in his kitchen. Before he closes the door, he stares toward Chang-sook’s apartment.

Later, Kang-jae takes a tray with some food to Chang-sook’s, but no one answers. He sees a security guard enter the apartment and learns that Chang-sook passed away two days ago. Kang-jae stands frozen outside the apartment, the tray of food still in his hands.

While Bu-jung sleeps, Jung-soo goes into the room off the kitchen to get a beer. He spots Kang-jae’s business card again and pulls it out from under the fridge. Jung-soo then hears an alarm and finds it’s coming from Chang-sook’s old phone. He set an alarm to remind him to hand out flyers.

Then, Bu-jung’s phone dings. Jung-soo picks it up and sees a message pop up from Last Unit: “I don’t know what to say. I just heard about your father.” He recalls Bu-jung saying that Kang-jae, who they saw in the elevator, lives in the last unit.

Jung-soo adds the number from Kang-jae’s business card to his Kakao contacts and sees that Kang-jae’s and Last Unit’s ID photos match. Jung-soo looks up and is startled to see Bu-jung standing in the hallway. The alarm woke her, so Jung-soo tells her that it was Chang-sook’s. Bu-jung gets teary – neither of them knew Chang-sook was also doing work handing out fliers.

Bu-jung can tell something is up, but Jung-soo denies having something to say to her. He only says that he knows it’s been hard and that she’s been through a lot.

At Akira, Jong-hoon reports to Ah-ran that Bu-jung and Kang-jae are over. Their relationship confused him at first, but it seems like they actually loved each other. Ah-ran pauses at that and wryly responds, “That still exists?”

Elsewhere, Woo-nam breaks the news to Soon-kyu that he’s moving out next week. He no longer feels right shamelessly living with her without any commitment. “I’ll leave and then slowly, very slowly, for a long time, I want to see you.”

They both get teary as he says he doesn’t want to feel bad later for not treating her right. He wants to date like normal couples, going to the movies and out to eat. Woo-nam wants to be someone she can really fall for and stay with.

He jokes that she’d better not shake his resolve by trying to hold onto him. Soon-kyu scoffs that she was already planning to tell him to move out anyway. He promises to give it his all and pulls out an old-school camera to commemorate the moment.

Elsewhere, Ddak-yi limps along as he helps Min-jung carry her stuff to her new place. She assumes he doesn’t have a license, but Ddak-yi says he was a driver in the army. Min-jung guesses he doesn’t have money, though, and wonders how he’s going to make money.

Ddak-yi says you just have to get a job and then save your salary. “When you get a salary, can I spend it?” Ddak-yi stammers out that she can. How much can she have? Ddak-yi says he only needs a little, so she can have the rest. Min-jung promises he can spend her money in return.

They arrive all too soon at her new lodgings, so Ddak-yi asks if they can go around the block one more time. They’re both grinning and giddy as they continue strolling.

At home, Jung-soo places Bu-jung’s phone on the dresser and climbs into bed beside her. He tells her that Chang-sook died just like he lived – not burdening anyone, weightless, “like a butterfly.” Jung-soo is jealous that Bu-jung gets to have Chang-sook for a father.

Bu-jung asks if he wants to know a secret. “I was going to kill myself.” She shares that she was going to do it with people she met in an online suicide café and even met up with them. She ended up using the money she collected for supplies to help a sick child instead.

Jung-soo responds that he’s glad she’s alive. Bu-jung says it feels like a lifetime ago, although it was only months. Jung-soo understands, “It’s like a previous life.”

Bu-jung asks why he confessed to her out of the blue that he was meeting Kyung-eun a year ago. Jung-soo apologizes for causing everyone pain, but Bu-jung clarifies she’s not trying to harp on the past. “I like someone,” she confesses, “but I don’t have anyone to tell. I don’t have a friend or anyone.”

She finally understands why he told her back then. You naturally want to tell people when you like someone. Jung-soo blinks back tears and asks what she wants to do. Bu-jung says she just wanted to say that she likes someone. Jung-soo asks if she told the guy.

Later, Bu-jung looks at her phone and sees the text from Kang-jae. We hear what she told Jung-soo. She hasn’t told Kang-jae she likes him and doesn’t plan to. Didn’t Jung-soo also tell her about his feelings because he couldn’t tell Kyung-eun? Saying it would make it impossible to resolve things between them as a married couple.

Jung-soo wonders if she’s right. He loves Bu-jung and is willing to do anything for her, including giving her his own heart or eyes. Bu-jung says it’s the same for her. “We can sacrifice ourselves for each other, but we’ve fallen out of love.” Neither of them has an answer for what to do about that.

While Jung-soo breaks down in the bathroom, it’s Bu-jung’s turn to exit her chat with Kang-jae. On the roof, Kang-jae checks his texts and sees that Bu-jung’s name is now listed as “unknown.”

A couple of months later, Kang-jae and Ddak-yi go to the café where Min-jung now works. Kang-jae makes his order ridiculously detailed and keeps changing it just to annoy her. Ddak-yi and Min-jung flirt, as usual. While they eat, Kang-jae gets a text about a “constellation festival” in Seoul.

Meanwhile, Bu-jung meets with her ex-colleague who has struck out on her own. When she offers Bu-jung the chance to translate a short story collection, Bu-jung lights up and accepts. Her colleague also shares the rumor that Ah-ran is finally getting a divorce and has publicly acknowledged her son in Canada.

Times have changed enough that being honest hasn’t hurt her career. Bu-jung observes that Ah-ran is still the same. She and her colleague commiserate over Ah-ran’s awfulness and laugh over the fact that they both still write mean comments about her sometimes.

At the bus stop, Bu-jung sees an advertisement for that constellation festival that starts tonight. She thinks back to seeing the stars with Kang-jae. Later, she visits her father’s old apartment one last time as a new couple moves in. She glances toward Kang-jae’s apartment before leaving.

That night, Kang-jae arrives at the observatory – an indoor theater – and takes a seat as the lights dim. He looks across the aisle and his breath catches. Bu-jung is seated right across from him. They stare at each other, feelings in their eyes, not even bothering to watch the display in front of them. They smile.

 
COMMENTS

What a wonderful, well-crafted drama. I loved just about everything from start to finish. It was beautifully filmed with each piece from the lighting to the framing so well thought out. As for the acting, not only were Jeon Do-yeon and Ryu Joon-yeol incredible here, but the cast as a whole was strong. The writing was phenomenal and didn’t rely on cliches or tropes, instead depicting complex, realistic human behavior. It really embodied the whole show-don’t-tell maxim, letting us get to know our characters through their actions and relationships. Dropping the audience into the characters’ lives without providing background and context can be a risky move, but it worked really well here. There was so much attention to detail in the writing and filming that we got a clear sense of who our characters were without needing info dumps or extensive backstory. Despite our characters often being stuck in the past, the drama itself was very rooted in the present. We saw relationships and characters as they are now without seeing much, if any, of their past dynamics. Given the minimal exposition elsewhere, I loved the use of voiceovers to get inside Kang-jae and Bu-jung’s heads.

One thing that stood out about this drama was the character and relationship development. I’ve rarely seen a drama where I couldn’t help but sympathize with basically everyone, even characters I disliked. Everyone was a beautiful mess with their own story and fraught, complicated relationships. I appreciated how, like I’ve mentioned in previous recaps, characters like Ah-ran who would usually be villainized were given depth and nuance. This was such an empathetic drama, emphasizing that no one is free from struggle or has it all figured out. We all flounder and are deeply flawed, but we’re all human. No one disqualifies (expect maybe Jin-seob).

The only aspect of the story that never quite landed for me was Woo-nam and Soon-kyu’s arc. I’d hoped it would feel more integral and less like a side plot as we went, but it never did. It was like watching friends of a friend get together, too far removed from our leads to be strongly connected to the main plot. Ddak-yi and Min-jung’s arc was more central since they were directly linked to Kang-jae, but I never quite warmed to Min-jung for some reason. I’m not sure if it was something in the writing or the acting, but I couldn’t connect with her.

Now, onto the ending. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. I love a good open ending, but I also don’t like for things to be left unresolved. What did Bu-jung and Jung-soo decide to do about their relationship? Was the final scene just an acknowledgment of Kang-jae and Bu-jung’s connection and how they helped each other heal? Was it meant to signal that they’re not over? When I went back and realized that Bu-jung wasn’t wearing her wedding ring after the time jump, it all came together more. I do love this drama’s attention to detail and that whole show-don’t-tell business, but that was almost too subtle for those of us who might not always catch those finer visual details.

That indication that Bu-jung and Jung-soo decided to go their separate ways makes it seem more likely that the ending signified a possible future for Kang-jae and Bu-jung. But to me, that’s not really the main point – whether they stay together or apart, the impact they had on each other remains. Some connections are lifelong while others are temporary, but longer doesn’t inherently mean greater. Kang-jae and Bu-jung together walked into the light, helping each other reach a much healthier, happier place. Maybe they’ll continue their journey together, or maybe not, but it was meaningful all the same.

However, on a character level, I do find myself hoping that they’ll be together now that Bu-jung is single. By the end, I felt like Bu-jung would be okay no matter what happened, but Kang-jae was a different story. I think Bu-jung kept a better check on her feelings since she was married, but Kang-jae fell hard. I hate to think of him being heartbroken after opening up to someone for the first time in his life. I get that Bu-jung wanted to definitively end things, but did she really have to ghost him? That was a bit harsh.

One of my favorite scenes this episode was the open and honest conversation between Bu-jung and Jung-soo. It was the first time we saw them truly communicate, and it was such a raw, respectful exchange. They may have fallen out of love, but they were family and cared for each other. Letting go of that isn’t an easy decision, but I think for them, it was the best one. They no longer understood each other enough to provide the support the other needed. Jung-soo seemed at a loss for how to help Bu-jung through her depression, although I do think he tried. He just didn’t have the intuition that Kang-jae did for how to react to Bu-jung’s sadness in a way that put her at ease and helped her heal.

Bu-jung looked so free by the end. Her hair was down and she wasn’t holding so much tension within herself. Although I hate that Chang-sook died, it needed to happen narratively to break the tether between Bu-jung and her old life. She’s always been constrained by others’ expectations as well as her own, but his death was the catalyst to her realization that life is not about titles or so-called success but choices – what you choose to do, say, and who you spend your time with. It’s a simple revelation but one that can make a profound difference. All of our characters came to realizations of their own and ended in a better place than where they started, but it wasn’t in an unrealistically happy-ending sort of way. There will always be challenges and struggle because life is not a fairy tale. But with support and perspective, we might just make it yet.

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I love this sobfest-and-sadfest finale episode of Human Disqualification/Lost!

...And let's not forget the hallelujah!

My only question: Is that true that Leonard Cohen or Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah will either appear on some Human Disqualification/Lost's BGM?

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https://wiki.d-addicts.com/Lost_OST here is is the full Various Artists album released

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I would like to thank our PD of this Kdrama, one of the greatest Korean film directors of all time, Hur Jin-ho and all of the cast and crew so see you all of them in our future projects!

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Yes! This was right in line with what I love about so many of his movies. Especially, a good rain knows. He's excellent at showing people attracted to each other without having to explicitly say it all out in dialog. It's beautiful to watch.

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Overall I have to say this show was slightly underwhelming for me. The thing about depression is that it doesn't stem from something, it isn't solved easily by something else. This show steered dangerously close to saying that coupling up is a cure for depression. It isn't. And not one of our (in some cases deeply and clinically) depressed people got treatment for their depression. I was quite disappointed in that.

I know for some people this was a romance drama or a healing drama but I didn't see romance and only a smattering of healing. The "romance" was entirely mutual escapism for two people who were massively unhappy and lonely and trying to avoid reality. So for me the emotional climax of the show was her and her husband finally talking to each other properly. I was actually happy that they didn't end up together and she instead decided to go back and sort out her life but then they had to put that ending on it: the typical romcom ending where you can imagine they "finally" ended up together, even though these are two people who would never work out outside of the fantasy pumpkin carriage. They were drawn to each other because it was something in the shadows, not because they'd work in the light.

But, you know, I said it was 'underwhelming' more than anything else and that's because it was beautiful and atmospheric and the OST was transcendent and the two leads at least put in astonishing performances and RYJ remains past, present and future walking sex. But I found the plot unfocussed at best.

If I had to sum up this show, I'd call it Sad People Being Sad but in an artistic way and the artistry was a bit too European arthouse for me to do 16 hours of it.

There's No Aphrodisiac Like Loneliness or, you know it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah.

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Yes re RYJ, 😍😍😍😍😍😍

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As I was watching the finale, I wasn't sad that the story was ending or that I wouldn't get more of it next week. I was just sad that I wouldn't have RYJ's face on my screen anymore. I have loved getting to spend some time with him weekly.

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I don't know if it is Anglo Saxon think to go see psychologist or psychiatrist but I'm coming from a country and as well living now in a country where people don't go to see someone for their depression or mental disorders. It starts to change, because kids have psychological help at school but us adults are not used to it. Maybe in SK is the same.

When I was talking with a friend who is going to be a psychologist soon she was telling me that she doesn't understand how I can be depressed and sometimes have suicidal thoughts when I know exactly where it comes from, how to deal with it, how to name my problems. I studied psychologie too so I tend to help sometimes people around me as well. But I found out recently that my brain doesn't get enough oxygen, that I don't breath properly and that it makes a huge impact on the state of mind. Maybe some people are the same and this kind of little discoveries can change someone's life unexpectedly.

So my point is that I don't mind if people overcome their distress with someone who they've met few times and they try to find a way to get out of their own troubles by themselves. It can be much more helpful as seeing a medical professional who doesn't listen or doesn't care or doesn't give a thing about their patients.

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As a side note, this reminds me how I once went to a therapy session, and while I was basically vomiting all my inner thoughts and feelings, the therapist just yawned in my face, lol. I kid you not. I went through maybe like 5 therapists, when I was going through a hard time. Every one of them sucked balls. It's true people go into that profession just because there's demand and yep, for money. And it's true it's hard to find a good therapist. A depressed person barely can get up in the morning, let alone "therapist-shop".

I honestly wished we emphasized more the support of others in our recovery from depression. This Western system has done a good job of emphasizing the need for therapy, but as someone who's gone through that system, I found very, very, very few caring specialists. Talk therapy didn't help me precisely because the therapists didn't care shit (or perhaps it was one of my cognitive biases or "mind-reading", which are common to depressed/anxious folk and about which I learned only when I worked hard on my OWN with a help of a mental health app, NOT with therapists). So if we had relied more (as we did in the past) on the support from our friends, family, community, next door neighbors, we would be less lonely, less jaded, more involved human beings, less stewed in our obsessive anxiety thoughts, more trusting in our ability to fail in the society and get back, more open to possibilities.

I'm not advocating for anything woowoo. I think the western clinical approach with the help of pharmacology takes the quack treatments out of the picture, which is good. I tried many pills, and some of them helped. But it's really my own intense desire to be a better human being that prompted me to work hard on myself, to challenge my thinking, and also my deep desire to get more involved with other humans, that spurred me to "heal".

But @leetennant is not wrong either, if I understand their opinion correctly. It's true if one wants stable loving long-term relationship, they need foremostly to work on their own mental stability and the whole loving yourself (aka self-esteem) before loving others and commencing long-term relationships.

I personally skipped a lot through the series, but stayed mainly due to charisma of the actors...ah, no, mainly due to charisma of RYJ's face. 😄

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Ha! This reminds me how I got together with my life partner 😅 I thought he was so caring, honest, straightforward and empathetic. He's everything except for the last one. We are still influencing each other and even if it seems we are like an italian couple - always contradicting, arguing and disagreeing it helped us both sides - he's more human and less jerk ( he was really unsupportable person too sure about himself before he'd met me as his friends told me) and I'm less naive and trusting towards humans as I was before. I don't like to talk about my inner feelings, because I tend to expect that people who know me can tell the difference in my body language but he doesn't until tears start to come off and there he knows he has been too much. I hate him so much sometimes and he's the same but I love him and it's balanced like that.

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My attitude is that if the relationship works for each of the person in the relationship, the relationship just works. We also tend to project our own feelings and attitudes onto other couples, and I'm catching myself every time I do that, lol. If it works for the couple, it works.

I'm so glad it's working for you.

And I'm in love with Italy! Such a beautiful country!

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I rewatch this episode but still can't understand it😶

She avoids answering him, she also deletes their conversations and also deletes his phone number after just one conversation with her husband. I assume Bu Jeong tried to make things work with her husband but failed.

And the symbolic items saw in this episode:
1) she not wearing her ring at the end episode, which could signal their marriage was failed.
2) she seems reserving an empty seat before her
3) Kang Jae's heart beats faster when he sees her
4) she knows that Kang Jae will be in that event, so she chose to meet him.
5) They both give each other look that says I love U and I missed U

After that, show end..😏

Based on the items symbolic above, i would like to interpret that they end up together. Oh, please don't separate them. They love and caring each other more that words can describe it.

Love JaeJeong Couple❤️❤️

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A resounding "Yes" to everything you say here in the comments @quirkycase It was just beautiful. The takeaway was

*it’s not what you become, but what you do that matters. ... life is not about titles or so-called success but choices – what you choose to do, say, and who you spend your time with*

Kang-jae did fall hard. She was important to him and made a difference to how he felt about life. Bu-jung made him feel valued and loved. His measure for love changed because of her. It's funny because he was the one who gave the most in conversation, but she was the one who reached out to him first, both in the bus and when she made the appointment with him. His physical presence saved her, especially on the roof.

Food was threaded through everything, tying it all together naturally, incrementally, and subtly. Quite simply, they met each other's craving for sustenance.

The actors were stunningly good.

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For me, Bu-jung's sadness is an expression of existential angst - a loss of meaning and a loss of desire to live. Her sadness resonated with Kang-jae because he felt the same emptiness. I I know that this state can also be taken for the symptoms for clinical depression, but in this instance, the angst is foregrounded.

The word *anomie* kept on coming to mind and I've just looked it up. It's as much about social disintegration as it is about an individual's psychological condition.

The term was introduced by the French sociologist Émile Durkheim in his study of suicide. When a social system is in a state of anomie, common values and common meanings are no longer understood or accepted, and new values and meanings have not developed. According to Durkheim, such a society produces, in many of its members, psychological states characterized by a sense of futility, lack of purpose, and emotional emptiness and despair. Striving is considered useless, because there is no accepted definition of what is desirable.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/anomie

It is tied up with people being unable to achieve their personal goals. Kang-jae talks about how he has given up striving and Bu-jun has lost her dream.

This definition of anomie gives a whole other layer of meaning to the drama because the world they are in is a disintegrating one and their place in it is highly questionable. He was selling himself and she was trolling someone who had turned on her when she tried to defend her from abuse and had also cynically inserted plagiarized material in the novel that she had ghost written and received no credit for. The context is of a broken and decaying social system within which people lose their bearings and gravitate towards self destruction. This drama goes deeper than I have given it credit. It's not only about two people, it's about people in a disintegrating society.

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Beuatiful and very interesting point of you... thank you so much! <3

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Thank you, this adds other layers to the story.

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I only just *got it* as I was writing.

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"Kang-jae did fall hard."
It killed me everytime when he was checking phone for reply, just to see that Ms.Lee bu Jung has now become Unknown!
Ahh🥺
(He saved her number as Lee bu Jung only, right? )

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Yes, I think so. Yes, it hurt. He was such a beautiful puppy.

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I have no idea what I watched. It wasn't a romance, it wasn't healing at all...

This drama portrayed very well the fact everyboy is grey but I couldn't really feel empathy for the characters. I still don't understand the chronology of the events and how they pushed the characters to be the way they are.

I think the character I liked the most was Jung-Soo, it felt the most normal. I don't think it talked about his ex because he loved her but because he wanted to give a chance to his couple. He never crossed the line with his ex. He felt really guilty for the miscarriage and tried after that even if he was clueless a lot of times.

There were too many characters who didn't bring anything to the story like Lee Soon-Ju and his family, Kang Min-Jung...

Jeon Do-Yeon, Ryoo Joon-Yeol and Park Byung-Eun were great and I think it's the only reason I didn't drop it.

I can do moody and slow drama but for 16 episodes, I need more developpment or hope.

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Can i just point out things that makes it difficult to forgive Jung Soo, for me at least. No matter how kind or how good the intention behind his action but
1- the way he talked about Bu Jeong with his colleague was so dissapointing
2- the way he confessed about how he still had feeling for his first love when his wife was at the lowest point after losing their baby was the cruel est thing thats he did to Bu Jeong.

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I don't agree. At this point, they became stranger but he always cared about her.

But did we know the chronology? I think he said it before the miscarriage and it's why he felt guilty. But honestly, BJ didn't talk about it, she never showed she was hurting because she was loosing her husband. It was more about the baby and her job.

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Some people have this deep sadness in their eyes and her body language showed him that the inner world was a land like after an avalanche - it needed support to have enough strength to be built up again.

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But we don't know how things happened. She closed herself and didn't let him enter anymore, she was angry with him. She lied to him and her father. I don't say he was perfect. He wasn't the smartest for relationship, but at least he tried.
Did he suffer after the lost of their baby too? Did they talk about it? Etc. It's why this drama is complicate to appraise, we don't have all the informations.
She needed to see a professional.

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I'm talking from my own experience... It's something it needs some time to be talked about, mostly you just need a silent support at a space for grieving and she was quite advanced in her pregnancy and it was a desired one too. Myself I won't look for a professional help - it's expensive and it highly depends on who you come across and when you have an inner pain mixing with a guilt it's hard to share with professional also. They have limited time as well and they are not so welcoming neither. Maybe it's cultural but seeing a therapist is something you won't have thought about when this kind of things happen.

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I totally agree with you about JungSoo. He was by far the most honest of all of them, he always admitted he was slow in getting things but also he was always there for everyone, never pushing, always listening.

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"it’s not what you become, but what you do that matters. ... life is not about titles or so-called success but choices – what you choose to do, say, and who you spend your time with". If not anything I'll take this one line as a take home message from this drama. Chang sook is really the inspirational character. Living without bothering anyone dying without bothering anyone.
Coming to the leads, both have done a fantastic job. The acting is really on the next level. Overall a very good drama. I know it's unnecessary to add but Ryu jun yeol is Very Hot and Very Sexy. Saranghae Oppa!!

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Not at all necessary, but I'm glad you did. 😆

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Agree. His hotness was distracting at times.

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What a beautiful drama! It may have not been perfect but yet I loved it. Thanks so much for the recaps @quirkycase. Enjoyed reading it every week.

Jeon Do-yeon and Ryu Joon-yeol 🥰. These two actors were the soul of this drama. What they conveyed without words were so poignant.

I did like how they wrapped up the story of our leads. And the ending was so beautiful.
But the other two couples I could barely tell.
I think the pharmacist and the friend issue should have wrapped up a week earlier with more progress much earlier. And the other couple didn’t make any sense to me.

My fav scene this episode was the couple talking. They were family. They may not love each other but they are family. You can’t abandon family easily. You stay with them and come back to them. Such a beautiful conversation.
It was sad they they had to let go of that bond. And they couldn’t have done that if father wAs still alive.

Will miss this show.

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Such a beautiful drama! When you jump into it after watching many cute rom-coms, adventurous fantsy drama and gloomy thrillers... it feels like walking into another world. Like finding yourself on Mars. After finishing Lost I also finished Cha Cha Cha and it was not easy. It all looked quite cheap, silly and quite meaningless. Like My Mister, this is one of those dramas that set a bar very high. It's not esy to find a story so meaningful and so touching.
The two leads have all my admiration and gratitude. I've never felt before that glances could be so powerful and meaningful. That last scene, with them looking at it eachother and the stars behind them, it really made me feel things. WOW!
All my love goes to the writer and the director of this drama for being able to portray secret and delicate feelings so carefully and truthfully. This drama, more than once, felt just like life.
Probably this drama will talk more to those who have found themselves at the same point in life of the two protagonists. When you are forced to face what you have done of yourself and with your life and what it means to be alive and to be true to yourself. I'm so glad Bu-Jung and Kang jae found the peace they were looking for. I will miss this show but right now I only feel grateful and very lucky.

PS: any thoughts on the fact that Kang Jae made his job more official with the sign outside the door?

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I loved this drama so much. What a beautiful look at broken people. The conversation between BJ and JS was so important and why CS had to die before everyone could just let go. He was the glue to everyone's connection. So the ending for me signified new beginnings and the universe being their oyster.

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I think I am going to be lost now without this drama. This is not something I normally feel after a drama series, but it is sad to say goodbye to Kang-jae (and his voice!!!) and Bu-jung (who still posts a few mean comments occasionally).
The open ending is very fitting. I had difficulties visualising these two setting up home together and living happily ever after, such a fairy tale ending would felt wrong for some reason.
Thanks, quirkycase, you summed it all up very beautifully.

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I love this imperfect drama so, so much. Both JDJ and RJY acting was top notch. They carried the show on their shoulders and they did a great job. The OST was also one of the best I have listened to lately.

I liked the ending. I don't expect them to end up together, because now that they have understand they can leave sadness behind they don't need to be with together. As LT said, the relation between Bujung and KangTae was more an escapism than real love. Maybe they can be friends in the future, but let's face it, a real relationship can't work our because after midnight it will become a big pumpkin.

As almost everyone here pointed out, the best scene was the very honest conversation JungSoo and Bujung had in their bedroom.

I also never understood SoonKyu and WooNam story and what did it had to do with the story. Neither why was Kyung Eun supposed to be a central character. The drama would have been the same without any of them.

As for this "I never quite warmed to Min-jung for some reason" I can tell you the reason: Son Na Eun.

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I think all those other couple stories showed us how different people in relationships can be and what makes them bond with each other, to show us different aspects of love. SK and WN made a huge progress because finally WN realized that he should let go his ex-wife and build the trust in SK slowly and not just use her as a refuge after a divorce. SK has been very patient with him and he did ask her for more to start over that she could start to lean on him as well after he becomes a new phoenix.

KE's story is so realistic as well - she got married as her mom wished to a rich man, the hospital fees had to be huge btw and when she crossed paths wit JS again it put the necessary blow to the little fire there was still left after the long like damp and winter time in her marriage. Some people can't live on their own and KE is like that.

As for MJ there she needed a person who she can relay on and he will like her truly without any unnecessary questions and she found her peer in DY. She can be still cruising oceans and there will be a place to come back no matter how scattered will she become with a big storm.

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Let me skip the praises, you guys have done it much better than I thought I would do and go straight to the questions I have... (Forgive me for being dumb, I thought about these multiple times, but just couldn't get my head around it)
1) What was the relevance of Jung soo finding out about our Kang jae's number in bu Jung's cell?! Did he connect the dots?
2) We have seen Min Jung's obsession over Kang jae all over the drama (idk how to put it better), so what happened in just last few eps to change her mind? (Was it Ddaki's money or his comfortable life with two storey house?, she was not broke, but then again her comment on sharing his salary! Or she just moved on from Kang jae (if she had known about bu Jung it would have made sense, but just leaving him didn't make sense (wait, not that I wanted her to be with him, just given the fact how she was since beginning, I was curious about her 180° turn) - Cause I really don't believe she fell for Ddaki, did she?
3) We saw Ah ran only sending pictures to bu Jung, we never saw any other messages. So what that Akira man was saying was all lie? (Telling bu Jung about Kang jae's job - surveillance and all)
4) With all the symbolic items we saw in last episode, we concluded that they both separated, so then why did she delete his number immediately, (Last time when Kang jae first deleted her number it made sense, but now they've come a long way since then, Doesn't he deserve a respectable farewell if she just wanted to move on?!

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I had some of the same questions, but I'll venture a couple of answers.

1) Yes, I do think he connected the dots and understood who "Last Unit" was and that clearly he and his wife had a connection that went beyond the level of acquaintances. And later, I do think we were supposed to believe he knew the person his wife liked is Kang-jae.

2)This one perplexed me all drama long. I *think* we're supposed to believe that her feelings for Kang-jae were not that serious or deep, and that over time, she did come to appreciate Ddaki. This didn't work for me at all, as even when they were supposed to be flirting, all I saw was a woman toying with a guy who she knew was completely hung up on her.

3)I didn't pay close enough attention to those scenes. I also could never figure out that guy's deal. Was he in love with Ah ran? Did they have a sexual relationship? What did he want from Kang-jae exactly? Sorry--more questions than answers on this front!

4) My take is that part of her wanted to run to Kang-jae but she knew that until her marriage was resolved--either in reconciliation or separation--it wouldn't be right or fair for her to have any contact with him. I get that, but she could have said him a single message better explaining what was going on rather than just ghosting him. The purpose of that, imo, was simply so the writers could build dramatic tension before the final scenes.

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1) Yes, makes sense!
2) "even when they were supposed to be flirting, all I saw was a woman toying with a guy who she knew was completely hung up on her." - Exactly why I asked the question, couldn't put it better!
3) oh wait, what I meant here is this, that Akira man said this " Bu-jung was already sent the photos and knows that Kang-jae was given the job of surveilling her. She was even told about Jung-woo" - On one hand he's saying this, and on other hand we just saw the pics from Ah ran and not this other info! Why I'm thinking about this is, if it's true that she sent those messages with the pics, then we don't know how bu Jung reacted to that, if not then it's simply a lie told to Kang jae!
4) Just for tension before the final scene? Ok I take it! 😌
Btw thanks for answering ☺️

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This drama will undoubtedly end up being one of my favorites this year and the ending was as I expected, open-ended but also hopeful. It fit the tone and themes of the drama perfectly, and felt satisfying because the moment in time during which we were privy to these characters' lives has now passed and everything that needed to be said has been said.

From the start, I thought the narrative laid the groundwork for two types of endings: either the leads would kill themselves together (so the opening shot would be come the closing shot, just with different characters) or they'd be metaphorically re-born by their connection and go on with their lives stronger and more at peace. As the story went on, I started to fear the former was possible, but by episode 11, I felt that we were clearly headed towards the latter. And to my mind, that's what we got.

"Lost" wasn't primarily a romance, and it was heavily focused on so many side stories, that I thought it unlikely Bu-jung and Kang-jae would ever truly be a couple. But I also felt that the ending suggested they had connected on a deeply emotional level and couldn't--and shouldn't-- quite let each other go. It was clear to me that Kang-jae had fallen in love with Bu-jung; the depth of her feelings was more ambiguous, although her emotional and physical attraction to him was obvious.

So I feel that if the story were to continue, the suggestion was there that the two of them would probably have pursued some kind of non-platonic relationship. And the writers took pains to show that the two were still attached enough to each other to attend an event primarily because it reminded them of their most emotionally and (nearly) physically intimate time together. That charged look, too, at the end suggested none of those desires had waned, either. So although I agree with those who point out that it's not necessarily the case that this relationship would last forever, there's also no reason to believe that they wouldn't at least pursue it for a time.

Although not quite as addictive, focused on the lead's relationship, or unabashedly romantic, this drama reminded me a lot of "Secret Love Affair" in tone, direction, and writing. When it was at its best, it felt like a sublime exploration of the inherent loneliness of modern life where everyone is striving to find an authentic connection. In the middle, I thought it dragged somewhat with a prolonged focus on side characters (like Min-jung who, due to both the writing and acting, never appeared to me to be more than emotionally manipulative in every exchange) and started to feel bogged down by its increasingly bleak characterization of day-to-day existence. But the last three or four episodes were incredibly powerful and cathartic.

Finally, I was impressed with several of the actors, but RYJ really made this drama work, imo. I have only ever seen him in "Reply 1988" and was struck by the fact here he played another stoic guy with an...

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This is beautifully expressed. Especially this *at its best, it felt like a sublime exploration of the inherent loneliness of modern life where everyone is striving to find an authentic connection.* I agree with the Secret Love Affair comparison. Both intense dramas.

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I stopped watching after episode 6 or 7 so big kudos to every one who stuck through with this show. It was a bit boring and the story dragged a lot. Plus I didn't particularly like a lot of the characters. That said, I'll admit that the show would be considered "healing" in a good way. Glad it was a satisfactory ending.

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Like the expanse of stars, the future is vast. The ending gave me such a hopeful feeling as if it was wishing everyone well in the days, weeks, and years to come. Moving and beautiful.

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I'm just glad I drop this drama, now I know the ending. I really wished it turned out like My ajussi, but alas...

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