Hello, friends and future friends, bare with me while I wipe the tears from my face. I'm fresh off of watching the finale for My Unfortunate Boyfriend and that was a roller coaster of emotions. Sadly, this is our last episode to recap, but stay tuned next week for my fictional American recast of the series. So let's go over how the drama wrapped up and I'll give some final thoughts on this show.
As the last episode ended Hee Cheul and Tae Woon both received mysterious envelopes. Tae Woon's envelope held a copy of Ji Na's resume as well as an intent to resign from the competition for CEO form. So this is what Hee Cheul meant when he said he was going to ruin the Chairman's plans to have Tae Woon compete. Hee Cheul's envelope contains a copy of Ji Na's resume as well, but his is special. It's the resume with the dried spider blood as well as a usb drive that shows her interview and points out she never lied about her education that day. The Chairman sent it to Hee Cheul to show him that he misunderstood and didn't actually have anything to blackmail Tae Woon with. Even though Tae Woon doesn't know Hee Cheul misunderstood, he still doesn't drop out of the competition before the presentation like Hee Cheul wanted him to.
Mal Sook returns home from work to her and Ji Na's apartment to find that Ji Na has cooked for her and is being really nice. Mal Sook is suspicious and we see Ji Na leave the apartment and look back longingly. She calls someone on the phone and asks them to meet with her. She goes to an antique store and purchases a cassette player and the person who she meets up with arrives, Hye Mi. Ji Na gives Hye Mi a letter of resignation for her to turn in on Ji Na's behalf. Ji Na says that either way she needs to start over and do well this time. Having lied about her education reflects badly on her no matter who wins. Hye Mi seems sad but Ji Na assures her she'll succeed and they'll meet up again. Ji Na heads to the train station where she pulls out the cassette that Hee Cheul made her back when he planned the surprise event for her. That's the reason she bought a cassette player.
At the office we catch up with Hee Cheul and Tae Woon as all the board of directors are leaving. Hee Cheul stands there stunned. Tae Woon has won the competition, but Tae Woon does something surprising. He hands the intent to resign form to Hee Cheul. Hee Cheul questions why he's doing this when he won. Tae Woon tells him that he never wanted to win and take control of IM, he only wanted to protect Ji Na. Once Tae Woon leaves, Hee Cheul slumps to the floor in defeat.
Hee Cheul realizes that not only did he lose, but he also compromised his character to do so for nothing. Hye Mi comes in to see Hee Cheul staring at the ground and comes to comfort him. She hugs him and he hugs her back in return.
Tae Woon goes back to his flower shop to find a letter in his mailbox from Ji Na. She says that she's going back to her hometown because she needs to start over cleanly this time. She tells him to keep growing that she'll start over and catch up to him and asks him to wait for her. As she's at the train stationing and listening to Tae Woon's cassette she hears the message he recorded which tells her that he may not pick up on things right away, but he's going to learn to be good at loving her by loving her every day and asks her to be patient with him as he becomes good at loving her.
Not a lot of time has passed and Tae Woon takes the chairman fishing like her promised. The chairman seems quite content and Tae Woon puts headphones on for the chairman so he can listen to the music as the two enjoy the nature.
The next scene shows Hee Cheul bowing at a grave. At first I thought he was visiting his father, but then Tae Woon shows up with a bouquet of flowers that he puts on the grave. It turns out the Chairman passed away and both men are missing him. Tae Woon tells Hee Cheul that the stocks the Chairman was acquiring he was actually doing for Hee Cheul. That not only did he leave him his stocks, but he also set up the whole competition to make Hee Cheul more upright.
Tae Woon hands Hee Cheul a letter the chairman left for him and leaves. Hee Cheul breaks down as reads the letter and realizes how much the Chairman cared about him and the fact that he never gave up on him even though he did some shady things. Next we see Hee Cheul bringing Hye Mi to the ocean. He tells her that it's his hometown and that he wanted to wait until it was only her left in his mind before he did so, but that there will always be something else in his mind- IM. She laughs and then he proposes to her. They both seem genuinely happy.
Ji Na is back at her hometown as well, working in her parents' restaurant and who should show up but the panda bear she drank with. She's quite happy to see the person in the costume, but then she questions who it is and tries to remove the mask. Tae Woon eventually removes the mask himself and Ji Na is shocked to see it's him. She playfully chases him around asking how he could do that to her.
The two settle on the beach to watch the ocean. Tae Woon explains that he wanted to wait for her, but he missed her so he had to come and see her. He then pulls out the ring that he had made for her, which has a living plant in the center. He puts the ring on her and then pulls out a box with a heart necklace.
Ji Na realizes that he is proposing and is upset at such a shabby proposal. But she's not really all that upset when Tae Woon tells her how much he missed her and that he can't wait any longer. They share a romantic kiss as the sun sets on the beach.
We see Ji Na and Tae Woon in a field, flying a kite together like Tae Woon said they would. The drama ends as the two sit in chairs on the beach with Tae Woon playing a guitar and Ji Na singing.
Ah, what a bittersweet moment. Those were the final moments of our drama. Here are my thoughts.
-Either way Tae Woon faced the possibility that Ji Na lying about her education would be exposed since Hye Mi threatened to reveal it if he didn't enter the competition and Hee Cheul if he did. By dropping out after he won, he made both happy and looked cool by all accounts.
-It's interesting that Hye Mi was the person that Ji Na chose to say goodbye to. That was actually a sweet scene and a glimmer of what a friendship between the two could have been like if they had been on the same side.
-Surprisingly, Hye Mi and Hee Cheul make a really great couple. In their manipulative states, I know I said they deserved each other. But when they're sweet to each other, I find it surprisingly heart-warming. The two seem genuinely happy together.
-I was not prepared for the Chairman's death. One moment he's smiling and they're fishing and the next Hee Cheul and Tae Woon are visiting his grave. I loved his character and so when Hee Cheul was sobbing so was I. Tae Woon finally had reconnected and had a relationship with him only to lose it. I definitely did not expect a death like that in the final minutes of a drama.
-Ji Na's ring is sweet, but it's kind of an eyesore. While it's a really cool idea, I wonder if it had to be so ugly. Still, if I were Ji Na I would treasure it.
-I was sure we were going to see a "2 years later" scene after Ji Na left, but was so happy when Tae Woon couldn't wait and went to find her. Way to break the mold, writers! If anything, that is the Kdrama cliche that bothers me the most.
-In true Ji Na style she's mad at his goofy proposal, but decides she doesn't care after all because of his pure heart.
-I'm glad Ji Na didn't go back to IM. Things would have been awkward, although it would've been nice if she could reconnected with Team B.
-3 engagements in the last 2 episodes, but not 1 wedding. That's a bit unusual, but in my mind they all live happily ever after.
-Now that I have the particulars of this episodes out of the way, here are my thoughts on some of the overarching themes of the series that were tied up. First of all Hee Cheul's redemption. I know that I've expressed a lot of irritation toward Hee Cheul, but that's only because I felt like he had a lot of potential wasted being shady. I love that instead of giving up on him, the Chairman made his redemption possible. Maybe it's naive, but I truly believe he was affected by the Chairman's words and the way Tae Woon beat him. He really seemed to take note of what was important and I was actually really happy that he ended the drama as a redeemed character.
- Regarding Hye Mi and Hee Cheul's relationship. Even though Hye Mi had her moments of manipulation, she was getting treated pretty poorly by Hee Cheul all along and so I had sympathy for her. But she had faith in him and stayed patient and was rewarded when his heart turned toward her. She redeemed herself by switching from being malicious to be honest in her requests and concerns. They seemed so sweet together in the end.
-Regarding Ji Na's character. Ji Na felt that her own ambitions had dirtied her somehow and wanted to have a clean start. Even though she never lied on her resume, I understood where she was coming from and I admired her. She recognized that things had become too muddled at the company. While her own character was clarified and defined through meeting Tae Woon, she wanted to start over on a good foot to be someone who deserved his pure heart through a fresh beginning rather than having a past with questionable motives. She had a good heart all along, but was blinded by ambition so I was thankful that she got a chance to begin again with no unscrupulous motives.
-Regarding Tae Woon's character. We saw a lot of growth from Tae Woon going from Mr. Unfortunate to a man who ventures out into the world and takes care of the people that he loves. He managed to keep his pure heart but to accept reality and let people in as well. He was really this incredible character who loved Ji Na for her heart and not the shallow things that everyone else saw. It was really refreshing to have these two characters who truly were able to see each other apart from all the shallow things that fade away. Talk about relationship goals.
-I haven't analyzed how I felt about this drama overall until now. And the truth is I thought it was really great. It broke and stayed away from so many Kdrama cliches but more than that it provided a new level of depth for me on character development and relationships. These two characters are never malicious or cause one another harm. They choose each other even when people try to tear them apart, but mostly they see each other's hearts and that's what they fall in love with. The supporting characters are hilarious, the second leads are infuriating but brilliant, and there's plenty of laughs and tender moments. I'm definitely going to miss this drama.
Sadly, this concludes our My Unfortunate Boyfriend recaps. You can check out all the episodes below. And stay tuned for our final DramaClub posting on Thursday as well as some more My Unfortunate Boyfriend themed posts next week.
*Update* The final DramaFever Drama Club posting is now here.
Beginnings and Endings