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Again My Life: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

Opinions on Again My Life are polarized, but no matter which side you’re on, you’ve probably been eagerly anticipating the conclusion. Well, the end is here, and our time traveling lawyer finally confronts our main bad guy.

 
EPISODES 15-16 WEECAP

Imagine watching a chess match, but instead of the competitors moving the chess pieces on the board, they’re verbally calling out their moves to one another. That’s what the last few weeks of Again My Life have felt like to me because — I swear — half the scenes for this drama have been of men sitting across a table from other men (and occasionally women), having conversations to purposefully provide exposition. Because they have to explain for the audience how trading stocks and taking over a company will weaken our villain, who seems impervious to everything.

One of my biggest gripes with this drama has been the pacing, which somehow manages to rush through the interesting bits while being excruciatingly sluggish when it comes to the actual systematic take down of our final boss. So with only two episodes left, I was expecting — hoping, really — that all the anticipation would finally culminate in an ending that was a thrill-ride from start to finish. Alas, that was not the case, and our final two episodes lagged in the beginning, as newly appointed chief prosecutor Seok-kyu pulls Hee-woo from Seok-hoon’s case.

Of course, Hee-woo just diverts his attention and resources to the Bando Bank investigation and quickly gathers the witnesses and evidence he needs to bring down Tae-sub’s money man. Seok-kyu, who is — unsurprisingly — still on Team Hee-woo, publicizes that PARK DAE-HO (Hyun Bong-sik) is wanted in connection to their ongoing case against an illegal loan shark business. Dae-ho goes into hiding with the intention of faking his death, but Tae-sub sends his hitman out to kill Dae-ho for realsies. Hee-woo shows up just in time to rescue (and arrest) Dae-ho.

With that case pretty much wrapped up, Hee-woo is free to tackle his next opponent: Seo-yeon, the woman Tae-sub has sent to honey trap Hee-woo. It’s another relatively uneventful case for Hee-woo because he knew she was up to no good the moment he saw her. A lobbyist with an arms dealing side-business, Seo-yeon is another familiar face from Hee-woo’s former life. She, too, died from a suspicious suicide a mere day before the prosecution was going to go public with their investigation of Tae-sub, and shortly thereafter, Seung-hyuk also died from a supposed drunk driving accident.

Hee-woo makes a deal with Seo-yeon: her life — because Tae-sub will kill her once he finds out she’s doing business with other shady individuals — in exchange for giving KIM JIN-WOO (Kim Young-hoon), Ji-hyun’s male counterpart, a staged voice recording of Hee-woo admitting he was teaming up with her to break the law. More on that later, but first…

Sang-man officially purchases JQ Construction, and Tae-sub — as Hee-woo predicted and feared — is eager to meet with Sang-man privately. Not wanting to put Sang-man in danger, Hee-woo shows up to the meeting instead of Sang-man and prematurely reveals that he’s been plotting to take down Tae-sub. Not only does this completely ruin the element of surprise that Hee-woo had going for him, but he also exposed one of his vulnerabilities: Sang-man, who at that very moment is cornered on a rooftop with the hitman and Jin-woo.

And this brings me to another gripe I have about this drama: as far as cat and mouse games go, this one — quite frankly — sucks. In order for a cat and mouse dynamic to be interesting, the two players need to take turns outwitting each other. One is in constant pursuit, while the other evades capture. Tae-sub, however, is a mouse who doesn’t know he’s being pursued. He can’t go head-to-head and match wits with a cat he doesn’t know exists, so the majority of this drama’s conflict has felt less cat and mouse and more like a mouse who has been efficiently avoiding Hee-woo’s traps.

I can’t help but wonder how much better our hero-villain dynamic would have been had Tae-sub at least known or suspected that someone was out to get him. So, when Hee-woo stupidly laid all his cards on the table and announced that he’s been plotting to bring down Tae-sub, I was curious to see if the reveal would make their dynamic more interesting.

Unfortunately, I was so preoccupied with my curiosity that I forgot to feel sad when Jin-woo and the hitman threw Sang-man off the roof of the building. Sang-man tried to record their conversation and corner them into admitting they were acting on Tae-sub’s orders, but they saw through his subterfuge. Miraculously, Sang-man survives the fall, but he’s in a coma.

Now that Tae-sub is aware of Hee-woo’s agenda, he wastes no time isolating Hee-woo from most of his friends and colleagues. Hee-ah hasn’t gone anywhere, though, and she and Hee-woo still move forward with her company’s acquisition of JQ Construction — because that’s what the comatose Sang-man would have wanted. Min-soo is also still lurking around, but even though the drama wants us to believe he’s a bad guy now, it’s unconvincing.

As a prosecutor, Hee-woo has very little power to take down Tae-sub, so he decides to resign and become Tae-sub’s political revival. His last act as a prosecutor, however, is to cut off one of Tae-sub’s metaphorical limbs: Jin-woo. Hee-woo releases the photos he took of Jin-woo meeting with Seo-yeon (to retrieve the staged voice recording) to the media, which ties him to a known arms dealer.

Hee-woo intended to use the situation to have Jin-woo flip on Tae-sub, but Jin-woo would rather jump from a rooftop than betray his boss. Tae-sub is extremely emotional following Jin-woo’s death, and his reaction is a stark contrast to his state following his son’s death in Episode 3. It’s a pity the drama didn’t explore their relationship more so that we could have anticipated the impact Jin-woo’s death would have on Tae-sub. Prior to this scene, Tae-sub has treated the majority of the people around him as though they were expendable, so how was I to know Jin-woo was any different?

Which brings me to another issue I have had with this drama’s storytelling: more time should have been dedicated to fleshing out the characters around Hee-woo and Tae-sub. Hee-woo, for his part, ran around at the beginning of the drama collecting allies like they were Pokemon, and he utilized them the same way, by calling on them whenever he needed a particular move set to combat his opponent. (Han-mi used “press release”! It was super effective!). As a result, very few of the secondary characters left a strong impression on me, and I was never concerned about their wellbeing or how they might be used against Hee-woo.

As for Tae-sub — up until Ji-woo’s death — all the people around him seemed expendable and replaceable (case in point: Seok-hoon), so it never felt like any combination of Hee-woo’s targets was going to cause Tae-sub’s empire to topple. Instead of focusing so much screen time on how Hee-woo was building a case against Tae-sub’s people, more scenes should have been dedicated to establishing how certain characters were integral to Tae-sub’s success and would lead to his downfall if removed from the playing field.

Once Hee-woo steps into the political arena, Tae-sub tries to slander Hee-woo’s reputation using intel he received from Min-soo. Of course, the information was carefully cultivated by Hee-woo, and in the midst of his declining ratings, Hee-woo announces his engagement to Hee-ah. Not only does her company’s backing give him the power to stand on equal footing with Tae-sub, but Hee-woo uses the press conference to challenge Tae-sub to a televised debate.

Tae-sub accepts the challenge, and the two men face off on live TV. The debate — if you can call it that — quickly becomes Hee-woo’s platform for publicizing all the evidence that he has against Tae-sub, who manages to keep his poker face and remain calm and collected while the cameras are on him. That facade crumbles immediately after the debate, though, when Han-mi does a live interview with Ji-hyun, who corroborates all of Hee-woo’s statements with her own voice recordings of her private conversations with Tae-sub.

Her betrayal immediately makes her a target for Tae-sub’s hitman. Yeon-suk and Hee-woo’s MMA instructor try to fight him off on their own, but they are about as useful as punching bags until Hee-woo shows up and starts kicking some butt. I literally thought Hee-woo was going to beat the hitman to death, but no such luck because Ji-hyun stops him because — surprise! — the hitman is Ji-hyun’s older brother… and he has amnesia (*facepalm*). I mean, if she’d let Hee-woo hit him a few more times, he might have reversed the memory loss which the hitman sustained while Tae-sub rescued the siblings from a fire when they were children.

The siblings have been indebted to him ever since… I guess? It’s never fully addressed, like a lot of things. Like the fact that — in all the years since the fire — Ji-hyun never bothered to reintroduce herself to him as his sister. Like the fact that alternate Ji-hyun was murdered by her own brother, and that trauma made her a grim reaper and the freaking catalyst that instigated the whole plot of this drama. But yes, let’s not unpack or explore any of that.

After the hitman’s defeat, things wrap up anticlimactically. Tae-sub is alone and vulnerable, and we get one last scene with him where he calls out for Ji-hyun and Jin-woo out of habit, but they aren’t there. I wish we could have seen more character development like this all along, but sadly it’s too little too late. After this, Tae-sub supposedly disappears, but a body matching his DNA is later discovered in the ocean. Maybe it’s him, or maybe he faked his death. We’re not given a clear indication one way or the other.

Ji-hyun willingly went to prison for her association with Tae-sub’s crimes and seems at peace with her decision. She still manages to look spectacular in a prison jumpsuit.

Everyone on Team Hee-woo is doing well, too. Sang-man wakes up from a coma, and it turns out Hee-woo and Hee-ah are actually dating. They weren’t at the time of their engagement announcement, but they are now, and have prolonged their engagement while they date officially.

To apologize to everyone for the shock their marriage announcement must have given them — because everyone found out via the news — they buy everyone in Hee-woo’s harem a trip to Bali. (Uh, where’s my trip to Bali? I should be compensated, too, because I was just as shocked as everyone else. They have zero chemistry!)

On a less happy front, there appears to be another villain — and a possible sequel? — on the rise: Chairwoman Chun Ho-ryung (cameo by Bae Jong-ok). Our drama ends with her gathering all of Tae-sub’s former accomplices, who have avoided being punished for their crimes and are roaming freely, and promising to restore them all to their previous positions.

She cackles maniacally like a comic book villain, and as we pan out from her conference room we see Hee-woo watching over the city like Batman. Only, unlike Bruce Wayne, Hee-woo managed to save his parents. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

 
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Started this drama for Lee Jun Ki. Stayed for Lee Jun Ki.

It's a miracle I didn't drop this drama in the second half. Not sure why... Maybe it wasn't that frustrating, maybe I kept waiting for Hee Woo's ultimate takedown of Tae Sub. The finale was incredibly bland. Too much talk and letting the other person know your moves. No thrills! No suspense! Tae Sub's vague demise was unsatisfactory... Even the characters commented on it during the episode.

The dang cliffhanger was the only mildly interesting thing because Lawyer Cha caught my eye. Wonder if I've seen the actor before. Annoyed that they made room for another season.

Wasted potential. Perhaps there were too many side characters and they were not fleshed out. (LOL your Pokemon comment!! @ DaebakGrits) Sure, they had their specific positions and roles in Hee Woo's grand mission. I was hoping for a better group effort though.

Seok Kyu trying to protect Hee Woo fit his character so I didn't mind his attempt. On the other side, Min Soo's being Hee Woo's betrayer or not was meh. Unconvincing. Too little, too late.

I knew Sang Man was going to survive when they showed that he was in a coma. It was a common tactic to hurt the main character, but I felt nothing when the hitman attacked and literally threw Sang Man off the roof. The editing was abrupt when they moved from the rooftop to the operation room signs too. No need to see the gruesome details, but it was missing tension and a more visceral, emotional reaction from Hee Woo.

I thought there could have been more supernatural elements, but the whole coming back to life and grim reaper role was just devices to jumpstart the plot. The rest of the story was a typical revenge drama except for all of Hee Woo's convenient memories/flashbacks. I don't think he ever got any of the ones that helped him wrong. Director Han didn't even know she had been a grim reaper. Her sibling connection with the hitman was underutilized.

Hee Woo and Hee Ah announcing their romance for the publicity and to use their combined power against Tae Sub made sense, ok. However, the fact they were actually in love was unbelievable. The romantic bit at the end was shoehorned in and unnecessary to the drama.

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Lolllll my comment turned out so long.

Oh, but I learned that Lawyer Cha was played by Lee Kyu Han~! He was definitely intriguing in his short scene.

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Thanks for the name 😅, I was trying to remember where I saw him and now I know.

He acted in She would never know

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let’s not unpack or explore any of that.

Veteran kdrama viewer's motto.

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Please spare me any sequels and that awful new baddie.

FWIW, Asianwiki lists a writer or the web novel, but not for the show. Hmmmm.... Wikipedia lists a writer, doesn't have a article on him/her, and neither does Asianwiki. So I guess part of the show's issues can be pinned on a no-name(?) inexperienced(?) writer.

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The writer got reincarnated but STILL failed to write a decent drama. Third time the charm?

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Thanks for the Wee cap, I will not bother with episode 16 or a season 2. What a sad and bland drama. This is the definition of MEH.

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Watch ep 1 becosof ljk, drop it becos of the writing n min soo acting makes my hair stand. Get back on it on ep 5 for ljk, but still the wrting is really bad n less of min soo. The actor who acted as min soo, i saw him on funrestaurant, he acted himself but at leastcthe variety show is more funny. The way he acted as min soo like there mystery, not convincing, like he does not know what exactly his role. probably writer writes him that way, n many characters introduced but wasted. The plot just kept repeating. Overall acting by ljk n others are good. Are they thinking of season 2, same writer, very unlikely to watch it.

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Thank you for painfully pushing through until the last episode @daebakgrits

Please rather than give us this lazy writing, they should have left Hee-Woo as dead the first time because how the hell was he surprised/didn't anticipate what happened to Sang-Man? What have we been watching for the past 14 episodes?

This weecap just echoes all the ranting I wanted to do, so I won't even bother.

I tuned in for Lee Joon-Gi and it's not like I had really great expectations for the drama but I atleast thought that they would have done some things differently

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They better ditch the idea of a second season and take the high road with their high season 1 ratings.

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I haven’t watched the last four eps but wanted Heewoo to end up with the journalist and for Taesob to turn into a petrified tree. I also would like never to see that hideous actor ever again in any Drama.

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When I first take note about this drama, I have no expectations of it because a 2nd chance in life for revenge is really pure fantasy but it's Lee Joon-Gi :P and I'm in a Kdrama drought and have nothing to watch so I dig in. I got hooked at the start because the pacing of the story was good. However like what DaebakGrits indicated in the weecap, the buildup towards the end really fell flat to me. The villain just disappear and met his end like that? Those bad lackeys are all doing fine and will rise once again with a new lady boss? Did I went through all 16 eps for this outcome? sigh.....LJK is good as always but the other characters seems to be there only to do his bidding so there aren't much to say about them....

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The bad lackeys roaming free and doing fine is because of the law and lighter punishments for economic crimes not problematic writing.

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Honestly they did the webtoon and the original story dirty. From episode 12 towards the end it's completly different !! The biggest thing for me is Tae-Sub ending. In the webtoon he actually gets arrested and then gets epstein'd in his prison cell because he knew too much

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Epstein'd - I know it's so wrong to laugh, but I did.

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I didn't think it was possible to make a reincarnation-revenge-political thriller boring but this show managed to do it. What a disappointing end. Even the final showdown was just them mouthing meaningless words at each other.

If they're planning a sequel I will not be checking in. In fact this show has now made me wary of even watching the OTHER reincarnation-revenge drama of 2022 - Song Joong-ki's Youngest Son of a Conglomerate.

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This was so bland. If they couldn't pull off the political debates, they shouldn't have gone that route. Previously, I did enjoy the drama despite the predictability idk maybe I enjoyed cheering on the protagonist. However, I would've liked it more if they:
-went for psychopath/sociopath with a competitive streak arc for Min Soo
-went for good man gone bad arc for the Chief/Jeon Seok Kyu
-gave Director Han more gumption like her past self (why did she need Hee Woo to give her that strength to expose The Sub this time around) and started her betrayal/character depth earlier
-changed Hee A's hair and used her for anything else besides PPL
-kept the three FLs more in the story than just aids to Hee Woo
-swapped the romance FL to Kim Han Mi with actual development of romance plot
-not included that scene of Hee Woo's harem
-actually showed Tae Sub posing Hee Woo actual harm than planted ones. The stakes are actually high kinda situation.
-I actually thought the parents would be utilized in some plots besides JjimDak restaurants and initial Hee Woo gratitude/motivation
This was a snoozefest. Now, I need to cleanse my palate with a better Lee Joon Gi drama and a better revenge plot drama.

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I enjoyed the drama up through episode 15. Episode 16 was way too hurried with zero depth...then time wasted on epilogue which was very unappealing.

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I guess the ending just a little bit a rush with HW turn in to political battle and HW is dating HA ? hmmmm....

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Well in a way in the five minutes she appeared I found Chairwoman Chun Ho-ryung (great ‘ham it up’ cameo) a more interesting villain than Assemblyman Jo Tae-sub.
As usual Lee Joon-gi’s physicality was outstanding but for me LAWLESS LAWYER was a more interesting drama with two class A villains.
Credit to the production for the very good ratings.
I will pocket the bean and move on.

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Well,that was an underwhelming conclusion considering they had a webtoon material to use...I can understand the ending in a more realist way but i want that clishe kdrama ending were the villains are punished...Another mahor NO thatbi'm fed pu is using suicide as a ways to solve the problem for the villains...That is lousy writing...
The acting was great no comments on this regards...
Started promising ended on a mediocre note...

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