If You Wish Upon Me: Episodes 15-16 (Final)
It’s time to say goodbye to our hospice family, and it’s bittersweet. But we get a solid finale that returns to what this drama does best: heartwarming moments and healing. Our little supervisor has come a long way since he first arrived at the hospice, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect his newfound family. Thankfully, that devotion goes both ways.
EPISODES 15-16 WEECAP
Our final episodes really emphasize the meaning of family and who gets to claim that title. I love a good found family, so that’s been one of my favorite aspects of the drama, and I’m glad the finale brings us home, so to speak. But before we get back to the heartwarming stuff, it’s time to wrap up the gangster shenanigans and evil father drama.
We ended last week with Ki-joon’s underling aiming his bat at Gyeo-re’s head. As expected, Ki-joon calls him off, angry that he’s attacking his son that no one was aware he had. Gyeo-re, being who he is, gets his father to leave by going with him, breaking Tae-shik and Yeon-joo’s hearts. No one buys Gyeo-re’s tough act that he’s doing it for selfish reasons since it’s obvious to anyone who’s met him that he’s sacrificing himself to protect the hospice.
Gyeo-re tells Yeon-joo over the phone that he has no regrets since his wish of being happy at least once came true at the hospice. If it sounds ominously final, that’s because it is – Gyeo-re already set a plan in motion, and leads his father to where Seok-joon is waiting.
Seok-joon watches as the gangster boss beats Gyeo-re on Ki-joon’s orders. When Gyeo-re stands and grabs his father, begging for mercy, Ki-joon says he’s only trying to teach Gyeo-re just like when he was a kid. Ugh. Gyeo-re holds Ki-joon tight and signals to Seok-joon across the way who then drives his car straight at them.
Right at the moment Gyeo-re is prepared to die, Tae-shik drives his ambulance between him and the oncoming car. Tae-shik and Seok-joon both end up unconscious. During the commotion, the gangster boss takes this opportunity to stab the unsuspecting Ki-joon. He’s angry that Ki-joon claimed he was his son but then dropped him the second his real son showed up.
Reaping what he sowed, Ki-joon calls out for Gyeo-re in his final conscious moments, but his son is busy attending to Tae-shik, the man who truly loves him like a father. Ki-joon later dies in the hospital, alone. Gyeo-re does stand as chief mourner at his funeral, though, which is more than he probably deserved. Team Genie and Joon-kyung are the only ones who come to pay their respects, but they’re just there for Gyeo-re.
It’s a fitting end for Ki-joon who drove everyone away with his abuse and stayed unrepentant throughout his life, never acknowledging how he hurt those around him. I’m glad they didn’t give him a redemption arc – some people choose to be awful until the end rather than becoming the person you hoped they’d be.
Tae-shik stayed with him much longer than Ki-joon deserved. He only turned him in four years ago after seeing the abuse the girls endured in their “business.” I’m not sure how it took him that long to realize what was going on, but maybe he just didn’t want to see it. Either way, that was the end of his 20-year friendship with Ki-joon.
Ki-joon might never have learned from his mistakes, but the younger generation does. Seok-joon survives the accident and goes to prison, but he seems ready to turn over a new leaf. And then there’s Joon-kyung who acts like a different person. She suddenly wants to live, cares about people, and respects Gyeo-re’s opinion, willing to leave him alone if he never wants to see her again. She even helps the other exploited women turn evidence against the gangster boss to get him put away.
I found her turnaround frustrating and unrealistic. Mental illness built upon decades of trauma isn’t resolved by just learning that your parents didn’t abandon you. Her character was really mishandled, which is a shame since I think she could’ve been an interesting character.
It feels fitting that our final wisher is Tae-shik. He worked so hard to grant others’ wishes, and now it’s his turn. He’s illness is progressing fast, but Gyeo-re can’t acknowledge the inevitable. He gets a text saying that Tae-shik’s final wish is to have his funeral prior to his death with everyone, so the whole gang heads to the beach.
When they get there, Gyeo-re is stunned to find out that they’re actually there to celebrate his birthday. Tae-shik’s final wish was to give Gyeo-re his first-ever birthday party. It’s really touching, although it’s dampened a bit by the fact that they kind of traumatized Gyeo-re by saying it was Tae-shik’s funeral. There had to be another way to get him there that wasn’t so mean.
Tae-shik passes on his watch to Gyeo-re as his birthday present. Then, he makes Gyeo-re cry when he tells him, “Happy Birthday, son.” Gah, these two are so sweet.
A few odds and ends are wrapped up as well: the social worker who was stabbed by Ki-joon is doing fine and dating a nurse, Dr. Yang is happily dating someone new, and Gyeo-re and Yeon-joo are going strong. Oh, and Gyeo-re adorably got Son tattooed over his burn scar. We even get to see some of the former wishers’ family living well.
We then jump ahead a year to after Tae-shik has passed away. Team Genie is still going strong with Gyeo-re having taken over Tae-shik’s supervisor role. Tae-shik left all his money to Team Genie for wish granting, so they were able to create their own dementia village for Deok-ja and other patients. We end full circle with Gyeo-re welcoming a rough-around-the-edges community service volunteer (cameo by Lee Yumi). She arrives on a motorcycle looking over everything, bringing her pet turtle with her.
What a fitting ending. I loved seeing Gyeo-re take over his adoptive father’s role, readying to pass on the healing to another troubled young person. I’m glad we got to return to the warmth and lighter tone of the earlier episodes at the end. The drama was at its best when focusing on healing and family.
The characters were really the core of this drama. I loved Gyeo-re and the hospice family, and it was lovely to watch him slowly gain confidence and find his place among them. I still think we could’ve done without the gangster stuff, but I really enjoyed the drama nonetheless and will miss our wish-granting family.
- Premiere Watch: If You Wish Upon Me, A Model Family, Stock Struck
- Ji Chang-wook seeks healing in KBS’s If You Wish Upon Me
- Cast lineup finalized for healing drama If You Tell Me Your Wish
- Ji Chang-wook, Sooyoung, and Sung Dong-il make wishes come true in new promos
- News bites: August 6, 2022
- News bites: August 3, 2022
- News bites: July 20, 2022