Okay, we’re getting somewhere again. We’re wrapping up the story without rushing things too much. The only thing that’s a bit accelerated is Hyun Joon’s revenge on Joon Young, but everything else I think is right on track. If only all the events in this episode happened last week though, that would have been nice.
This show loooooooves flashbacks. So we jump to right before Joon Young meets Jung Eun under the bridge, where he’s changing into nice clothes. Ji Tae calls him and, almost triumphantly, tells him that he told Jung Eun everything – that Joon Young was just using her for his revenge. Isn’t Joon Young thus grateful for being spared from demeaning himself further? Joon Young sarcastically replies that only Ji Tae looks out for him.
And then Ji Tae asks if he’s been eating properly. He reminds him to eat three meals a day, to take his medication, and to just take care of himself. This is sincere, and my heart wells up at the thought that this is as brotherly as they’ll get.
Ji Tae hangs up first, being the cool one, but Joon Young calls him right back. He reveals that he plans to get Jung Eun to admit to everything and that she was the true culprit behind No Eul’s father’s death. Ji Tae doesn’t understand why he’s saying this; he could technically tell Jung Eun what Joon Young is planning since his parents will also be dragged into the mud if she confesses. But Joon Young doesn’t care if he goes to tell her. He’s been keeping this plan a secret for so long and he had no one to tell it to. The only one he could tell was Ji Tae, and even if he fails in getting this confession he hopes that Ji Tae will carry out his promise of getting revenge for all of them and No Eul.
Thankfully, his plans don’t fail and Jung Eun agrees to help him. That afternoon, Joon Young plants a dozen small cameras around the house at good angles to hopefully capture Jung Eun confessing to the crime at some point. And then that night, he tells Jung Eun and No Eul about how he stole her bag when she was going to report Choi Hyun Joon, and caused a fatal accident.
Jung Eun replies that he was such a filial son, to have protected his father that way. People die all the time, so he shouldn’t feel so guilty about killing a person. So. This is how she rationalizes what she’s done. She tries to comfort Joon Young, who realizes that she’s never going to admit what she’s done on her own. So he asks her point blank: “Is this how you came to terms with what you did when you killed someone?”
At first Jung Eun pretends she has no idea what he means, but Joon Young presses further, rattling off all the details of the events that night. He even adds that he has a lot of evidence against her, and the statute of limitations haven’t expired. If she had a shred of humanity left in her, she’d admit to it and apologize, and say that she’s felt guilty all these years. Jung Eun tries to leave the situation, but eventually loses her patience and declares that she is Assemblyman Yoon’s daughter. Her father, more powerful than before, will help make sure she never lands in jail, and there will be more prosecutors like Choi Hyun Joon who will help her.
And then she asks if he was purposely just pushing her buttons. He never had evidence… did he? Joon Young admits that he doesn’t – but now he does. She just confessed. Crap, Jung Eun thinks. He’s got cameras! On top of that, Joon Young addresses Eul without looking at the camera: “This is the truth you wanted to know! This woman right here killed your father, and the bastard who stole your bag and USB and caused your accident was me. I wanted to let you know before I died. This is the first and final item on my bucket list.”
Eul is watching all of this through the computer on the pier and she breaks down in tears. It’s almost cathartic and at the same time heartbreaking.
Jung Eun tries to locate the camera but Joon Young reminds her that her crazed actions is just adding to her confession. So she stomps off. And when she gets outside, she sees that the pier is empty. Eul is gone.
Joon Young then gets a call from CEO Namgoong telling him to keep his mouth shut when the police arrive. And almost right on cue, they arrive with a warrant to arrest him and search his house under the charge of possession and use of illegal drugs. Joon Young can’t believe this, but then realizes this must be Hyun Joon’s doing. He calmly goes with the police, and Jung Eun witnesses this from afar.
This is when Ji Tae learns that his father was behind the trumped up charges. Eun Soo also asks her husband tentatively (and almost proudly) if he was the one behind Joon Young’s arrest. Hyun Joon sits her down and calmly tells her that Joon Young is his son from another woman, and he ordered his brother to drive the woman away so that he could be with Eun Soo instead. Before it was mentioned that Eun Soo was the one who had the brother drive Young Ok away, and Hyun Joon still seems hung up on Young Ok. So it seems like he’s telling her this story in this way to make Eun Soo feel more assured that he’s picking her, no matter what. He also frames it as, “I want you to know the truth as a lot of things may come to light as a result of this.” Ji Tae overhears this conversation outside his parents’ bedroom and understands what lengths they’re going to do to take down Joon Young.
He then gets a call from Jung Eun, who’s still at Joon Young’s house and crying over what she should do. She thinks that Joon Young and No Eul plotted against her, and that’s when Ji Tae silently hangs up on her. HA. IN YOUR FACE. I kinda wished he said first, before hanging up, “No. Joon Young and I plotted together.” Because really, the both of them were taking steps in the same direction without No Eul’s involvement.
Joon Young sits in the interrogation room listening to the trumped up testimonies from drug dealers and famous models and actors who all claimed that he was doing meth. He starts laughing at the detective’s face, because he can’t believe the ludicrousness of these charges. If only he said that he was sick, or the police searching his home found his cancer medication, it would totally nullify the use of drugs. Or if he submitted to a drug test…
Young Ok must deal with all the customers also talking about her son’s drug charges. She doesn’t want to close the restaurant, while Jung Sik and Man Ok do. Instead she goes to confront her few customers and asks if they’ve read the article about Joon Young’s drug use. Everyone knows that she is Joon Young’s mom, so they don’t want to raise their hands. But eventually they do because Young Ok offers them free food in exchange for honest answers. In a motherly manner, she assures them that her son would never do something like that. If he did, would she still be working at her restaurant so calmly? Her tactic is to educate rather than drive naysayers away. I just love how she’s softened up to Joon Young so much in recent episodes.
No Eul goes to the same old restaurant haunt where she starts picking off the leftovers of a previous customer. Bong Sook tries to get her to move tables, but then gets distracted by a bunch of girls gossiping about Joon Young’s drug charges. No Eul can’t stand to listen to people talking or mentioning Joon Young’s name and eventually leaves on her own. But then she’s stopped by Ji Tae, who arrives because Bong Sook notified him surreptitiously.
Ji Tae informs No Eul one more crucial piece of information: Joon Young is Choi Hyun Joon’s secret son. Of course No Eul is pissed that, once again, everyone knew this but her. Ji Tae adds that Joon Young is getting charged for drug use, and that his father – their father – framed Joon Young. No Eul doesn’t care. She doesn’t want to care, because in her view everyone has hurt her in some way and she thinks they all deserve her hate for now. Ji Tae begs her to hate him instead. Hate him, for being too cowardly, for feigning ignorance when he knew exactly what Hyun Joon did. Joon Young should have been just like Ji Tae, and should not have had a conscience or harbor guilt for all these years. But he did. And because of that, he suffered so much. So, Ji Tae begs with No Eul to have pity on Joon Young, who only has days left to live, and forgive him. Because if anyone deserves it, it’s Joon Young.
I’m so amazed at Ji Tae’s speech here, because he is being selfless and correct about Joon Young, his rival in almost everything in his life. It shows the depth of Ji Tae’s compassion, and how he understands that even though he hates Joon Young for a variety of reasons, he is still level headed enough to see that No Eul should have more reason to forgive Joon Young. (I disagree though on his assessment that Joon Young suffered more than No Eul.)
When No Eul returns home, Nari is on her way out. She warns her friend that she told No Jik everything – everything about Choi Hyun Joon, Eun Soo’s threats to kill him, Haru’s family, and how their father’s death was covered up. It seems like No Jik really wasn’t aware of all the details or even recognized the family himself. No Eul does not fault her friend for this and braces herself for No Jik’s yelling. He’s really angry with her for not telling him anything, because now he feels like a fool for having dated Haru.
No Eul replies that the family only needs one fool, and that’s her. How could she tell her brother the true nature of their father’s death? How could she tell him if it was going to make him feel guilty and angry all the time? If it was going to make him question if it’s okay to feel happy one day, or to be able to enjoy a delicious meal, or be thankful of a good night’s sleep? If he constantly had to think about the pitiful nature of their father’s death, would he ever feel okay with thinking, “Now, I can be happy again”? She didn’t want him to suffer when he was so young.
No Jik is left speechless, and he ends up hugging and sobbing into his sister’s shoulders. He’s sorry for yelling at her, because he now understands that she bore the burden for both of them so that he could grow up a better and happier person.
The following morning, No Jik goes to break up with Haru at a cafe. He tells her he’s gay, but she misinterprets him at first thinking that he likes a girl named “Nam Ja” (which means ‘male’ in Korean). She is left speechless, and amazingly holds in her anger instead of getting shriek-y. He gets up when she stands to leave, and she tells him not to do that. She doesn’t want to hear an apology from him – she doesn’t want to hear anything from him. Instead, she storms out while calling another oppa and asking him to go on a date. Outside the cafe, she breaks down in tears. And inside the cafe, No Jik sobs his heart out while other customers watch him. Poor kids. Lee Seo Won is absolutely amazing.
He returns home to find that No Eul is still asleep – for 15 hours already. She’s not dead, but she’s definitely very tired. No Eul spends that time dreaming about all her moments with Joon Young, from when he “confessed” to her in high school to faking their relationship in college. From when he told her again that he loved her and she reciprocated and admitted that she cared for him very much. As much as she wants to hate him, she also can’t.
Meanwhile Young Ok can’t stand trying to be normal and run her business as usual anymore. She needs to see her son in the police station. However there are a bunch of reporters in front of the station, and CEO Namgoong is fielding questions by denying that Joon Young is in there right now. Gook Young spots Young Ok and Jung Sik in the parking lot and hurries over, pretending that he’s looking for his phone in the car. He tells them to pretend they’re talking to each other while he addresses them, so as to seem like they’re all not talking to each other together. Gook Young updates them that Joon Young is inside and fine, and doesn’t want any of them to worry.
Inside, Joon Young is actually meeting Hyun Joon, who offers to make all the charges disappear if he leaves with his mother to another country. He’ll even give them money to make sure they are well taken care of. “I have my own money too, you know,” Joon Young replies. Heh. He asks what would happen if he says no – would he be convicted as a drug addict? Hyun Joon leans back: “We’ll have to make sure it doesn’t come to that.” Joon Young admires how powerful Hyun Joon is, which is natural after so many years of work and groveling. Was casting Young Ok aside part of his plan to rise in power?
Hyun Joon stiffens, so Joon Young takes that as a yes. So in that case, he’s done speaking with Hyun Joon, and he’s not going to take his father’s offer. He stands up, and he addresses Hyun Joon: “Father. Today will be the last day I call you that because from now on, I will be too disgraced and embarrassed to refer to you as such.” He walks to the door, but before he can turn the handle he collapses. That’s the disease kicking in.
When No Eul finally wakes up, she gets a call from Jung Eun. They meet in Jung Eun’s restaurant, which is completely empty this time (because Jung Eun wants no witnesses). Jung Eun is completely different in her demeanor, being very polite and gracious towards No Eul. She serves her some dinner and coffee because she wants to clear up the misunderstanding from last night. No Eul can’t possibly believe that Jung Eun is the culprit to her father’s death, right?
No Eul replies that she saw the face of the person who caused the accident. So yes, she believes it’s Jung Eun. In fact, she can’t believe she didn’t recognize her before. (I think she forgot how she looked from five years prior, during Hyun Joon’s election rally, because of a different hairstyle perhaps.) Jung Eun’s expression hardens, and she hands No Eul some money in an envelope. To be clear, she’s giving her money because she doesn’t want No Eul to be hurt by what happened last night, not because she’s admitting guilt.
Without hesitation, No Eul takes the money and then says that she’s going to air the footage she got last night unedited. She will also give the money to the police as evidence against Jung Eun. She doesn’t care that she might lose the case, and she doesn’t care that Shin Joon Young may get hurt by being an accomplice in some way. Everyone must pay their dues at some point. And with that, she stands up and flips the table cloth over, spilling all the food on Jung Eun this time around. Hell yeah! I guess the only way we can get No Eul to be her spunky self is to always beat her down and make her hate the world again.
Ji Tae addresses his parents in the dining room with one question: “Can you tell me if there’s a way for me to bring you down?” Eun Soo would rather not understand what Ji Tae is referring to, but Hyun Joon answers no, there is nothing Ji Tae can do. So in front of them, he calls up his secretary and asks him to arrange a press conference, as he has something to reveal about his parents. This – this would be a way, right?
Kind of, but not really. As Ji Tae drives to the location of the press conference he sees that he’s being followed. He begins a high speed chase on the roads of Seoul trying to lose his tail. When he finally does, Ji Tae gets hit by an oncoming truck. Goddamn it.
Meanwhile news breaks out that Joon Young has brainstem glioma. It was hard to hide the news after he collapsed in the police station and rushed to the hospital. Everyone in the world has forgotten the drug charges and are crying over his fate. Haru is in tears in her home, and No Jik overhears it from passersby on the street talking about it. Jung Sik sees it on the restaurant’s TV, but thankfully Young Ok doesn’t notice it because she’s busy working the cashier. Gook Young and Man Ok are also crying in the agency’s headquarters, unable to help CEO Namgoong pick up the phone to field calls from reporters. Even CEO Namgoong is not his usual blustery self. It’s news to everyone and they really don’t know how to handle it.
It fades out to black, and then when we’re back in the episode, No Eul is sitting on a bench under a bunch of cherry blossoms. Joon Young, happy and healthy, comes by and lays his head on her lap, wanting her to be his pillow for now. It’s reminiscent of that day in college after she successfully pretended to be his girlfriend and he fell asleep on her lap in the middle of falling autumn leaves. As she watches the cherry blossom petals fall, a voiceover explains to her that their current state is delirium. Where they’re mixing up their past and present, and Joon Young is reverting back to the time he wished to relive the most because of all the pain and suffering he’s gone through.
In a way this seems like it could be the ending of the series. Completely unsatisfying, but an ending. I’m a bit confused by it since I don’t know whose state of mind we’re in. It would make sense if Joon Young is delirious, but it feels like No Eul is the one who is undergoing it. We’ll probably get some clarification in the next episode, coupled with more tears and heartbreak, and plenty of hospital visits.
I’m amazed that the parents are so heartless they’re willing to hurt their oldest son in the process. I was pretty impressed with Ji Tae in that he finally had the courage to do what Hyun Joon dared him to do – to publicly denounce his parents. But I also knew that Ji Tae was going to get hurt for it. It’s that type of melodrama so it’s not surprising he gets hurt in a car crash. I still hope he can make his public statement soon.
One ridiculous plot point for me in this episode was how the police did not discover his stash of cancer medication sooner. If they were going to tear the place up and down, they would have realized there were no drugs there. Or, if they planted the drugs in his house, it still would have gone against the cancer medication he had. It’s possible that someone who has few months to live might act more recklessly and take drugs, but it’s also still out of nature for someone like Shin Joon Young. I’m hoping the drug charges will just fall away naturally, and that Hyun Joon realizes that charging him with illegal drug use would not have been the best way to go about in smearing a cancer patient. I would have rather found another thing to pin Joon Young on.
This is also the first time I don’t hate Haru. She handled that break up with No Jik masterfully, without a frenzied fuss. It was more restrained for that actress, especially since she normally is all over the place and passionate about everything. Honestly, I don’t know if I would want to be told that the man I’m dating is gay, but I think that was probably the best way to break up with her. Haru wouldn’t believe it if No Jik said he was no longer interested in her, and would stick around. But the truth about her parents being horrible people would not be the right way to go about it either. She’s a fragile girl, and does not need to be put down any further after seeing how her family is slowly falling apart from unseen forces. It’d also be hard to say if she’d believe No Jik if he told her the truth. Making the problem smaller and between the two of them is probably better for her when she eventually has to deal with the repercussions of her parents’ actions. She can then at least focus on her parents and not have to think about No Jik at the same time, because she will at least think that no matter what, she never had a chance with No Jik.
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