Lee Gang Hun’s worst enemy has always been Lee Gang Hun (Shin Ha Kyun), and after 20 episodes he finally dealt with this problem. I think that this last episode was very fitting with the rest of the series – strangely serious at some times, and just weird at others. There was something for everyone – awards, ultimatums, confessions, and a wedding! I was surprised that they packed Gang Hun’s big transformation into the last, say, 15 minutes of this episode, but that’s a Korean drama ending for you.
It looks like Gang Hun’s career star is on the rise, so we abruptly begin (what happened after the kiss?) with a creepy television interview with Lee Gang Hun and Kim Sang Cheol (Jung Jin Young) where they totally indulge in a lovefest with each other. But this isn’t the closure Gang Hun is looking for. He becomes obsessed and starts to engage in his favorite pastime, Stalking Sang Cheol.
Because he’s watching the man so closely he comes to learn that his mentor is still going blind – Gang Hun loses. But Sang Cheol has become resigned and is even gentle as he tells his student that he believed in him all along. And then he goes AWOL. I guess this was one of the few things he could have done in order to pay for his earlier mistake and to keep Gang Hun’s reputation spotless. Also, his mysterious whereabouts contribute to a semi-mystical feel, especially with Gang Hun seeing him in his head (imaginary Sang Cheol is kind of a bully).
I’m glad that Gang Hun came to terms with his daddy issues, even if he couldn’t admit them to anyone but Yoon Ji Hye (Choi Jung Won). I thought the scene where he confessed that he had secretly wanted his abusive father to die was a nice moment where he grew up, so it would have been nice if it had happened earlier. But it fit with his personality, I guess. It took his mother dying for him to be able to appreciate her, and it took Sang Cheol being unhealed by his hands to admit that his anger at Sang Cheol was more correctly applied against himself and his father. I don’t think he ever told Sang Cheol, but whatever. He has ample opportunity to tell his new imaginary best friend Sang Cheol whom he sees quite often. Annyong, corporeal Sang Cheol.
And what happened to everyone else? You know the only one I really worried about was Yang Beom Jun (Kwak Seung Nam) – and his fate was even crueler than I had imagined. Not only did Sleeping Beauty Bong Gu (Kwon Se In) marry Lee Ha Young (Kim Ga Eun), but they asked him to be the MC. So cruel.
My heart bled for him when later in the episode he wore glasses. Oh Beom Jun, it wasn’t the glasses. But it looks like his career is improving – unlucky in love, right?
But the newlyweds were so cute, even though it’s so strange to think of Gang Hun and Bong Gu as family now. Awkard!
I don’t think Kwon or Kim are slated for any new dramas yet, and they haven’t really had big roles to date, but it would be nice to see them in larger roles.
Even Dong Seung Man had kind of a happy ending. His gamble on Professor Go Jae Hak paid off since Jae Hak is buddy-buddy with the new management. And Jae Hak was so classy – he was genuinely happy for Gang Hun’s success and even tried to kiss him.
You really feel for his thwarted love – is that the real connection Seung Man and Jae Hak share, loving Gang Hun?
So that means all of the residents have paired off – for Jo Dae Shik (Shim Hyung Tak) finally got to indulge his weird nuna-thing with Nurse Eun Suk. I’m not going to get into that, but they seemed happy with each other, especially when Dae Shik caught the bouquet.
And where was Seo Jun Seok? He seemed happy and well-adjusted in the two scenes he was in. I felt so bad for the actor – he was battling swine flu during filming. So when he shook Ji Hye’s hand, a part of me wanted to slap his germy hand away. See what happens when you play racquetball too intensely? The other second lead, Jang Yu Jin, also took the high road and walked off with some dignity left. It looks like Ryu Bi will have a more active mother from now on.
But even with a time leap of 1 year, Gang Hun’s conflict between his work ambition and his love life was not resolved. Since he can apparently kiss Ji Hye and then forget about it, it should not have shocked me as much as it did that they were still in a holding pattern (minus the holding). Ji Hye took matters into her own hands by leaving her job and telling him that she was moving on unless he could compromise (by compromise she meant go see her at her new job – I don’t see how that’s a compromise). He even explicitly asked her to stay by his side, and even offered to get her a new job through his connections, but she decided to be an independent woman. I get that what she really wanted was for him to do something and not just care about his career ambitions, and so she forced his hand. For a minute there it looked like it was over.
But of course not – since whatever Gang Hun wants, Gang Hun gets. At the last-minute, Ji Hye came back (since she can’t leave her brain behind), and so Gang Hun got the Young Scientist Award/glory and his true love Ji Hye. The end.
I was a little startled that Gang Hun got absolutely everything even though he didn’t really make a choice. Ok, at the last moment he finally realized (with the help of Imaginary Sang Cheol) that he had been a fool all along who valued the wrong things. And so when he was smiling at the end, it was really at Ji Hye, and not the applause he was getting. Still, I really don’t get the sense that he earned Ji Hye’s love, but he’s Gang Hun, so whatever. And considering how bad K-drama endings are as a general rule, I guess this one wasn’t so awful.
I guess this was a watchable drama, and it exceeded my expectations – of course I was expecting nothing, but still. I wasn’t impressed by Jung Jin Young or Shin Ha Kyun, but they’re so famous and such established actors that I guess that doesn’t matter.
But I was pleasantly surprised by Choi Jung Won whom I ended up really liking. I might even watch her previous drama Stars Falling from the Sky, I liked her that much.
Her semi-backwards and hopelessly devoted character was kind of hard to play, but she was really cute and likable.
I think it’s no secret that my favorite part of the drama was the life of the residents, especially Kwon Se In and Kwak Seung Nam. I think the drama should have focused on them, with Ji Hye being the main character more than Gang Hun, but oh well. Annyong, Brain.