Link: Eat, Love, Kill: Episodes 15-16 (Final)
In the finale week, our leads finally face off with the man who took so much from them, and the neighborhood comes to grips with the truth about one of their own. It’s a solid ending that ties up the loose ends and gives some closure to the past, but also leaves plenty of time to explore where this leaves everyone as they figure out how to move forward.
EPISODES 15-16 WEECAP
After all he’s learned about what happened to his sister, Gye-hoon is back to self-blame. He struggles to cope and this time, he’s the one to suggest to Da-hyun they should break up. Da-hyun can see how much he’s struggling and agrees. I guess they are breaking up for real.
But their link is adding an extra challenge to their breakup since they can still feel each other’s feelings all the time. Try as he might, Gye-hoon can’t ignore the pang of fear he feels from Da-hyun when she runs into Young-hoon.
Young-hoon is still feeling her out to see if she remembers him – this time, she does. Da-hyun tries to act normally and politely declines his offer to give her a ride home, but she still arouses his suspicion. Da-hyun ends up running from Young-hoon who chases her down side streets.
She tries to get help from a nearby shop owner, but Young-hoon knocks the old man out. In typical hero fashion, Gye-hoon arrives just as Young-hoon is attacking Da-hyun. He and Da-hyun struggle to take Young-hoon down, but Gye-hoon does eventually manage to strangle him unconscious before the police arrive.
In the scuffle, though, Da-hyun was stabbed. The whole incident finally unlocks the rest of Da-hyun’s memory, and everything clicks into place for her. When they were held captive, Gye-young had told Da-hyun about the link she shared with Gye-hoon. She’d started crying and knew the tears were Gye-hoon’s.
Gye-young asked Da-hyun to pass her twin a message in case she didn’t make it out: “Oppa, you have to remember it’s not your fault. It’s really not your fault, so promise you’ll stop crying.” Da-hyun now realizes this is why she and Gye-hoon are linked. Sure enough, once Da-hyun passes on Gye-young’s message as she’s rushed to the hospital, the link disappears.
I’m glad we got some explanation for the link because I wasn’t sure whether it’d fall by the wayside. I think it’s better they went with an emotional reason rather than a logical one. I don’t think there’s a way to explain it logically that wouldn’t fall apart under scrutiny.
I had a feeling it had something to do with Gye-young that night, but it was sweet that it was born of her worry that Gye-hoon would blame himself for everything. She knew him well. After all this time, the person who finally comforted and freed Gye-hoon was Gye-young.
Young-hoon turns out to be a very ineffective serial killer because none of his three targets died. Da-hyun has to undergo minor surgery for the side wound, but she’s fine. Gye-hoon got a little banged up but had no major injuries. Even Jung-ho survived his ordeal intact.
Perhaps one of the most surprising turn of events is that Chief Seo actually participated in catching Young-hoon. After Min-jo intercedes and convinces him to let the past go, he and Won-tak sort of make up. Chief Seo promises to apologize and quit the force once Won-tak finds the real culprit. It seems he’s capable of admitting he made a mistake after all.
Chief Seo even manages to provide the missing piece in identifying Young-hoon. Won-tak knew Jin-geun had met with a man that night he called Gye-hoon, but he can’t find the man on CCTV. Chief Seo pipes up that he saw Jin-geun talking to Young-hoon that night. Look at him being all helpful.
After Young-hoon’s arrest, it’s a time of new starts as Won-tak begins reconciling with his dad, Gye-hoon is honest with his mom about his father’s likely death, and we get some relationship shakeups. Won-tak and Min-jo, no surprise, rekindle their relationship. Remember that abused woman who wanted Bok-hee and halmeoni to kill her husband? With them as backup, she demands a divorce. Even Eun-jung and Jin-hoo seem poised to date.
Meanwhile, Gye-hoon leaves town and takes some time to process. He returns a month later, having sorted out his thoughts. He realizes he still wants to be with Da-hyun, despite the trauma that links them. Da-hyun is miffed he was MIA for a month, but easily takes him back.
Now that they’re no longer linked, they’ve lost their fast pass to reading each other. They spend time getting to know each other anew, learning to connect the traditional way.
Drumroll please… Gye-hoon FINALLY opens his and Jin-hoo’s restaurant. What a saga that was. He and Jin-hoo packed up and left – can you close a restaurant before it even opens? – only to come back a month or so later. It does extremely well, which makes sense since Gye-hoon is a famous chef (a fact I totally forgot).
Although Young-hoon is behind bars, Gye-hoon still doesn’t have closure given that they haven’t found his father’s or sister’s bodies. Jung-ho takes it upon himself to get Young-hoon to talk, and it works – he gives him a hint that the bodies are in their hometown. It takes some time and excavation, but they manage to find the bodies.
Gye-hoon and his mother are finally able to mourn and truly live. She even apologizes to him for leaving him to raise himself. Now, Gye-hoon is much lighter and more open with those around him. The whole neighborhood seems lighter, in fact. We end the series on Gye-hoon and Da-hyun sharing a happy moment together as they continue to support each other and move forward together.
This was an unexpected drama, for me. The ride may have been a little bumpy at times, but I really enjoyed it. The balance could’ve been a bit better, but it managed to integrate its darkness and comedy reasonably well. These serial-killer romances (did I Can Hear Your Voice start this bizarre trend?) can easily devolve into a convoluted mess, but that didn’t happen here.
The mystery was straightforward yet not obvious, given all the neighbors were so suspicious that the killer could’ve been practically anyone. And I appreciated that the residents weren’t suspicious for no reason; many of them did play a role in what happened.
That said, I do think the drama tried to do too much. We had Jin-geun, then the Gye-young mystery, and then Gye-hoon’s dad’s disappearance that I kept forgetting about. A little more focus wouldn’t have hurt. But somehow, the chaotic vibe kind of worked with our characters and world.
Da-hyun and her family were a trip, and their chaotic antics were a highlight for me. Somehow it made it even better that halmeoni was Bok-hee’s former mother-in-law who just decided to become a mother to her when she and Da-hyun needed her. I loved this intergenerational female bonding.
But Gye-hoon was the character who tugged most at my heartstrings. He was the typical tortured hero with a past, except he wasn’t a jerk. (I love dramaland’s move toward nicer heroes.) Yeo Jin-gu played Gye-hoon with a lot of restraint, the repressed emotions always visible under the surface. Both Gye-hoon and Da-hyun were easy to root for, and while I don’t know that staying in that traumatic neighborhood was the best decision, I’m glad they’ll have a strong support system as they find their way.