I Need Romance: Episode 16 (Final)

Well well well. The ending kind of snuck up on me in that I was sitting in front of my computer, enjoying the drama, when BAM – it ended.

This drama has been a fun ride as well – I can’t believe I recapped the entire series because it went by so fast, and it was fun! Anyways – here’s the last episode!

In Young and Sung Hyun’s relationship undergo a slow death. And by slow death I mean that neither party is willing to let go just yet. He follows her home almost every day and she lets him, even though she never acknowledges him.

During a game of Jenga with the gals, Seo Yeon says that only the last man matters; the way to get over the first and second man is to have a third man. Yeah well – coming from a lady who recently got dumped for cheating, I don’t think she’s the wisest advisor on love. Suddenly In Young stops the game – and farts. In a public place! And – her fart topples the whole tower of blocks!

As for Hyun Joo, she informs Duk Soo that she’s going to the blind date, since her mom’s been pressuring her. Surprisingly, Duk Soo tells her to go for it, and to meet a good man. It is disconcerting for Hyun Joo, and even more so when she finds that she actually likes this doctor-fellow her mom picked out for her. They have a lot of similarities, and that makes Hyun Joo even more confused.

That evening, In Young finds Sung Hyun waiting for her outside her workplace. It’s the first time they’ve actually approached each other face to face since their sort-of-breakup in the last episode. Sung Hyun takes her to a jazz bar and snuggles with her. He’s going to Singapore next month to help launch another chain of RH hotels, and so he gives her the engagement ring and an open ticket. He wants her to visit, if she misses him or just wants to see a friend. He will always wait for her, forever.

It’s a tearful goodbye, because Sung Hyun is trying so hard to stay strong, and yet tears escape his eyes. Choi Jin Hyuk is brilliant in this scene.

While In Young can easily tuck Sung Hyun in a box in her life, she doesn’t know how to “put away” Sung Soo. Her ex is actually heeding her words and tries not to smile at his female editor too much. He gets a call from Young Sung Soo, who is adorable as he cries, “My girlfriend won’t forgive me. And she’s eating ddukbokki with another boy!” Sung Soo cries out that Mini-me needs to be earnest in his apologies, and tells him not to cry – because he wants to cry himself! Ack – the little boy kills me – out of laughter and out of “Awwww”-worthy-ness.

Sung Soo stumbles to In Young’s home, drunk, which frustrates her to no end. He wonders if he should just kiss her and then get hauled off to jail for it. In Young’s heart actually starts pounding, and she starts wondering what she’s feeling towards Sung Soo. She’s almost ready to let him kiss her and closes her eyes, but he interprets that as her sleeping and trying to rebuff him. So he pouts, and sleeps on the sofa, snoring.

The next morning, In Young decides that she needs to cut Sung Soo out of her life like a sore on her butt. She flashes her engagement ring in front of him during breakfast, and expects him to start pleading for forgiveness and for her to take him back. However, he just congratulates her, and promises to tell her parents about what happened to them before she brings Sung Hyun over.

As for Hyun Joo, she goes over to tell Duk Soo that she actually hit it off with her blind date, hoping to elicit some jealous reaction. However he only congratulates her, and then asks if he said something wrong. Furious, she calls up the blind date and agrees to meet him. They have a nice time, and he drives her home. Though Hyun Joo wants to say goodbye, the blind date wants to go up to her home – for some hanky-panky. When she refuses, he forces himself on her and she starts screaming for help.

Luckily Duk Soo lives in the same neighborhood, so he catches the guy and pushes him away. He yells for the guy to leave, and then goes up to Hyun Joo’s house to comfort her. She’s angry with him too, because he didn’t do more to hold on to her.

Duk Soo argues back – how could he keep her? He has nothing to his name, he has no family, no real job. He got the ping pong club through loans, and what little he has he can’t compare to Hyun Joo. He thinks she can do better than him, so what right does he have to “claim” her? She argues that he’s so much better than her – he knows life and lives it, whereas she tries to learn about life through books. He teaches her what reality is, and that’s more valuable to her than anything else.

She’s so angry that she’s about to leave when Duk Soo grabs her for a passionate kiss – and that’s it. Hyun Joo hears the “bells ringing and the waves crashing” – those metaphors of love that she’s read about in books so many times. Hyun Joo is happy.

As for Seo Yeon, she accidentally stands up Joon Hee on a date when she gets caught up with work. Instead of calling him immediately and apologizing, she finishes her work first. The damage is done; when she tries to contact him later, he doesn’t pick up. Love is exhausting, so Seo Yeon would rather be married to her work at the moment, especially with a TV appearance to help launch her celeb store. She warns In Young and Hyun Joo that when they see her tomorrow night on TV, they’re going to want to kill her.

It’s the night of her TV appearance, and In Young and Hyun Joo gush over how great Seo Yeon looks. That is, until Seo Yeon reveals her celeb endorser – Yoon Kang Hee! In Young seriously wants to kill Seo Yeon, and Hyun Joo can’t believe that Kang Hee is going to become a Little Seo Yeon. But they also can’t deny that the clothes look fabulous, and Hyun Joo quickly dials in to order one. Heh.

Sung Soo drives to the farm where In Young’s parents live. In Young’s mom is absolutely thrilled to have her handsome and successful son-in-law over, and she quickly prepares a humble meal for them. The father is more distant, but you know that he likes Sung Soo. The mother immediately calls In Young to see if her daughter will come too, and that’s when In Young realizes that Sung Soo is a terrible liar. He’s most likely to admit the truth about why they broke up. She rushes over.

When the father and Sung Soo start drinking wine, and the mother goes off to buy some snacks, Sung Soo gets on his knees and apologizes. He cries as he tells Father that he hurt In Young badly, and was unable to treasure their love because he was so young and selfish. Mother and In Young arrive in time to witness this, but they don’t intrude on the moment. Father is not happy, but instead of getting mad, he sighs deeply. Mother sends In Young away, not wanting her to be around, and sorry that she was so hurt. But they will house Sung Soo for the night, and feed him breakfast.

Father wants Sung Soo to sleep with him that night, and he tells the boy that he’s still young, and therefore has not lived a complete life yet. He will make mistakes, and so even if things didn’t work out with In Young, he shouldn’t be too hard on himself. It’s so sad, because the Father seems to look at Sung Soo like his own son at this moment. Sung Soo is unable to deal with this pain, and he leaves int he middle of the night when the parents are asleep.

That evening, Sung Hyun stops by outside In Young’s house to say his final farewell. He remembers all his moments with In Young and whispers, “You are a great woman.” With the hope that they will meet again one day, he leaves without seeing her.

After he drives off, Sung Soo drives in. And at this point, I’m going – “What the hell? How does she get two guys driving up to her home all the time?” Sung Soo returns her house keys, and pauses at the lamppost where they shared their first kiss, pensive. He receives a text from none other than Seo Yeon, telling him that Sung Hyun and In Young broke up. Now’s his chance! At that moment, In Young comes out of the house, as she seems to be headed out to buy something. She sees Sung Soo, and immediately hugs him. There’s no denying that seeing him confess the truth to her parents has made her more willing to forgive him.

If he kisses her right now, she’ll forgive him. And kiss her he does. They spend the night making up and canoodling. In Young reminds him that he’s at 2 and she’s at 1. She can cheat on him 1 more time to make it even. Sung Soo grabs her – no way in hell is he going to give her an opportunity to cheat on him ever! And the couple is officially back together.

Seo Yeon stops by Joon Hee’s exhibit, which features her as his model. His exhibition is all about freedom, and she overhears him telling other patrons that he was lucky to have met a model who encapsulated freedom. With that, Seo Yeon smiles and leaves, never saying another word to Joon Hee.

In Young and Sung Soo affirm their love to each other with couple rings. When they go back to work, Sung Soo meets a beautiful hippie-like songwriter. Before he finds himself smitten by her, he immediately says that he’s got a girlfriend who’s practically his wife. The songwriter: “Um, ok… I wasn’t asking about that…”

Likewise, In Young finds a new job as a concierge and meets a former sunbae. He notes how pretty she is, which sends her heart fluttering. Immediately she says she has a boyfriend who’s like her husband. Sunbae: “Uh… so?”

Heehee – although it’s nice to see that they’re making a greater effort. Love for them is not just the fun romance of it all, but is something they built up together over many years. I was afraid they were going to repeat their cheating cycle all over again.

The three girls spend an afternoon baking, and while In Young and Hyun Joo gush over their relationships, they tease Seo Yeon for being alone. However, Seo Yeon refuses to be jealous of them. They end up in a food fight, throwing flour around the room, and laugh over each other on the bed.

Love may only be temporary, but friendship lasts forever.
Final Comments:

That’s the end! I was actually unsure over who she would end up with until I accidentally saw some spoilers about the end. I found myself not caring who she ended up with, as both men had their merits. Yes, Sung Soo is a cheater, but Sung Hyun is also quite selfish. Sung Hyun and In Young’s love is like the precedent for a future K-drama. Their story is what usually forms the backstory between the male lead and second female lead. It’s almost like the backstory to Kang Ji Hwan and Jo Yoon Hee in Lie To Me, or Lee Dong Wook and Park Shi Yeon in My Girl: rich boy in love with headstrong girl who ends up leaving him first, and when they meet years later, she thinks he’s waiting for her but he’s already moved on with a Yoon Eun Hye or Lee Da Hae.

Get my drift?

So in a way, I don’t think Sung Hyun and In Young could have lasted very long. That’s not to say I’m happy she ended up with Sung Soo. I’m of two minds for this – she shouldn’t have forgiven a man who has the proclivity to cheat. However, I don’t blame her for going back to the man she has loved over many years; the two of them grew up together practically. I do appreciate that he’s changed, and he’s making a greater effort to be a better man.

Sung Soo and In Young getting together in the end has made me wonder about the meaning of this drama. Usually, in a drama the female or male character grows up and learns to appreciate a new love because that new person has changed his/her life in a good way. Here though, the main female lead goes back to the guy she started out with. The growth is different here; it seems like this drama is saying that while “new” people can teach us new things about life, it doesn’t mean you have to throw the “old” people away. In the end, it’s the relationships that count, and you shouldn’t toss relationships out so easily.

Seo Yeon’s character thus proves to be an interesting one. She is one heck of a flawed girl. Bu Ki from The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry was plain awesome, because she spouted wisdom everywhere and was always consistent. But Seo Yeon spouted wisdom when she had none. She burned bridges everywhere, except for the ones with her friends. She was someone who ended up alone, and deservedly so. I’m not saying she should have gone running to Joon Hee’s arms and depended on him, but she shouldn’t have disrespected him so.

Hyun Joo and her story was pure fluff. It was adorable to see her be so completely bookish and learn to love through a humble – albeit super tall, dark, and handsome – man. I think her story was the simplest, and the most similar to a typical rom-com K-drama. Seo Yeon and In Young’s stories had a greater complexity to them, so I appreciate Hyun Joo’s simplicity – both in her personality and in her story line.

I really enjoyed this drama, probably more than I think I should have. I think the actors really hit it home for me. People cried in the last episode, but it wasn’t one of those useless crying scenes. (For example, I felt like by the end of 49 Days everyone was just crying nonstop for the sake of crying.) Here, they cried from the heart.

I actually don’t want a season 2, now that I’ve seen this episode, despite my earlier wish. I think if there was one, we should have new characters. These girls are awesome, and I don’t want to leave them – but I think their stories are done.

Rating: 9/10

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