The mermaid is looking for the squid! I repeat, the mermaid is looking for the squid! This was a really nice ending for Fool’s Love – some questions get answered, and some don’t. But either way, you have a bunch of characters who have realized their full potential and found their happiness.
Chung Jae shakes Ho Kyung and Tae Hee for the truth. Is Ho Goo seriously getting married? Yup – and Tae Hee knows which wedding hall too! They bask in Chung Jae’s shocked face for a moment until they reveal it was all a lie! Mwahaha – of course it was. That was pretty clear with that kiss!
But what’s not so clear is how it came to be. We go back in time a little bit and see that Ho Goo was acting pretty much like a lovelorn fool, waiting every day outside the store after six o’clock until closing time, hoping for Do Hee to show up. Ho Kyung discovered her brother’s whereabouts when she overheard some schoolgirls talking about the “weird guy” who always waits outside the store across the street from their school. She doesn’t do anything to stop him though, understanding that he needs to go through his own breakup grieving process.
She herself needs to cut ties with Kang Chul, and after she receives payment for her counseling sessions she let’s him know that they no longer have need to see each other. Kang Chul feels like he just got dumped when they shake hands, and his heart begins to beat irregularly when she says she’ll go and like other people now. The silly boy attributes it to his need to go karaoke-ing again though.
One day when Ho Goo heads to the photo developer’s store, he finds Kang Chul standing there. The two grab some soju and squid at Ho Goo’s favorite haunt, which is really weird for Ho Goo because Kang Chul would never have been caught dead in one of those months ago. Kang Chul has a bit of a surprise: some of his clients include big-name search portal sites, and he showed them some of Ho Goo’s work. One of them was impressed and wanted to reach out. Ho Goo is not interested in meeting anyone as he has never created a series on his own. He draws because he enjoys it, not because he has a particular ambition to become a webtoon author or anything.
Kang Chul: “That’s why Do Hee left you.” Ouch. It may have looked like to the outside world that Ho Goo was a fool in sacrificing his entire life for Do Hee, but in reality Ho Goo sacrificed nothing. He just loved her and Geum Dong selfishly because he could, and just enjoyed the one-sided love that he was a part of.
That instigates a fight, and the two of them go at it in and out of the squid shop for hours. Other customers wonder if they should intervene, but they realize that Kang Chul and Ho Goo are such terrible fighters that no one would really get hurt in that fight. So they just go at it until they’re exhausted.
After the fight, Kang Chul brutally says that Ho Goo is more weak than small-minded: He’s not the man for Do Hee right now, who’s a lot stronger emotionally than he is. Because of that, she’s choosing to bear the burden herself instead of sharing it with Ho Goo, and that’s why she also left him. To her it makes sense to leave because she loved him. Ho Goo doesn’t initially accept Kang Chul’s words, but he does realize that he’s right. He never had a goal that he wanted to achieve for himself.
So Ho Goo takes the first step to changing his life around: he quits working for Chung Jae and reaches out to the webtoon manager about ‘Winged Baby’. And that’s how we end up with the book signing months later.
Now fast forward to post-signing and post-cafe chat. Ho Goo is still reeling from the shock of seeing Do Hee again, and Ho Kyung keeps him grounded by preventing him from texting or calling her. She then admits to having made up a tiny fib – that Ho Goo’s getting married. Hee. He freaks out and Ho Kyung feels guilty enough to offer calling Do Hee up and confessing.
But suddenly Ho Goo has an idea – why don’t they run with the idea of him getting married? He had been waiting for her this entire time because he thought she’d come back to him, and that’s why he went to the photo developer store and followed her to Geum Dong’s babysitter (where he then gave Geum Dong the rattle). However, none of that worked. But if they pretend he’s getting married, perhaps Do Hee will break through the wall she built to “protect him” and go after him. He’s been there this whole time, but she needs the push to finally go to him.
Wow, if this isn’t a breakthrough moment I don’t know what is. Ho Kyung and I are just brimming with pride right now for him.
And so the plan is put into action. Tae Hee and Kang Chul get involved, with Kang Chul being her drinking buddy and raising the idea about the reunion, and Tae Hee misleading her into thinking Ho Goo will never come. And just when Do Hee is despondent about Ho Goo’s non-arrival, that’s when Ho Goo gets the cue to enter the restaurant.
The Han River walk, the sidewalk talk, and the kiss. And then Ho Goo’s bedroom! But not for what you think. Ho Goo fesses up to the ruse, which makes Do Hee so angry at being conned. She’s so mad at everyone – Tae Hee, Ho Kyung, and Kang Chul included – that Ho Goo interrupts her: “Are you done yet?”
Do Hee: “No! I have a long ways to go [in venting]–”
Ho Goo: “Then do it later. Come here.”
Do Hee: “Why?!”
Ho Goo: “So I could hold you for a bit.”
ACK! MY HEART! MY CHEEKS BLUSH!
Meanwhile Ho Kyung goes over to Kang Chul’s with a bottle of wine to thank him for his part in setting up her brother and Do Hee together. He suggests they drink together, but she no longer drinks with men she doesn’t flirt with. Ooooh.
He chases after her out in the hall and asks why she stopped liking him. What a blunt way to put it. Ho Kyung replies, “You’ve never seen me without my makeup on, and you’re not interested in finding out. I don’t think I can show it to you either. You don’t hate me, you just like that I like you and care for you.” The elevator arrives, but before she can take a step in she trips on her heels and falls. One of the heels break, and Kang Chul quickly tries to help her stick it back on.
Touched by his gesture to help her, Ho Kyung calls out his name and kisses him – exactly like she did six years ago. She says it’s her gift for all the good times they had, and then hobbles to the next elevator. Kang Chul’s heart pounds, and suddenly he realizes the truth. HE GETS IT NOW! The person he was in love with six years ago is the same woman rejecting him now – it was Ho Kyung all along!
Ho Goo and Do Hee are having a less mind-blowing night as the two snuggle on his bed. He just wants to listen to her talk, even as she tells him mind-numbingly boring things that she does every day. He hasn’t heard her voice in a year, and so he’s relishing it all now.
Suddenly all that peace is interrupted with the arrival of Kang Chul, banging on the door. He’s chased after Ho Kyung in his car after realizing the truth, and seeing that her parents own the manga bookstore he had been to before. On his way to Ho Kyung’s house, his parents also happen to see him on the road and quickly follow him. He wakes everyone from their slumber and then asks Yong Moo why the store is called “Two Two.” Yong Moo says it’s named after Ho Goo and Ho Kyung, because they’re twins.
Ho Goo and Do Hee enter after him, and he realizes for the first time that they’re twins. Even Do Hee is kind of shocked Kang Chul never realized it before. Ho Kyung emerges from her room – in sweats, makeup free – and orders him into her room for a talk. Then Kang Chul’s parents come stumbling into the house, wondering what their son is doing there and surprised to see Do Hee there.
Kang Chul sees an old picture of Ho Kyung and realizes she had plastic surgery. He shakes her, asking why she would change her face like that. “You shouldn’t have gotten plastic surgery if you were going to like me again,” he says. “You should’ve showed up looking like this! [All covered up, looking like a boy.] I thought I was gay! I thought my life was destroyed because of you! You turned me into a fool just so you could hide your face?”
It’s very self-centered of Kang Chul to use this reasoning, and also really odd. I mean, it’s like telling the girl to stay ugly because that’s the only way he would have recognized her, but also saying that he loves her because she was ugly. But then at the same time calling her a boy.
Ho Kyung fires back that ever since he didn’t recognize her at the bus stop (emerging from the car with Do Hee), her pride hit rock bottom. He didn’t see her as a woman, and from that day forward she made herself up and got plastic surgery just so that one day she could hear him say that she’s pretty. Kang Chul quickly says that she is pretty. She’s become ten times, fifteen times prettier than she did before! But all that facetiousness doesn’t get through Ho Kyung, and she kicks him out of her room.
The men are sitting in the living room, waiting for Kang Chul. Yong Moo is surprised that Kang Chul never knew his kids were twins, and Mr. Byun quickly urges his son to apologize to Ho Kyung since she “saved him from being gay.” As if being gay is a disease… But Kang Chul doesn’t know how to, as he’s never seen his father apologize to his mother. That earns a tsk-tsk from Yong Moo and Ho Goo.
In the bedroom, the women are gathered together except for Ho Kyung. Ok Ryung is happy that Do Hee has come back to her son, and wants to know what she can do to help their happiness. Professor Mok suddenly whips out her glasses, ready with advice. Do Hee’s problem can’t be helped by Ok Ryung doing something for her. Instead, Do Hee needs to say something. She was sexually assaulted, with ‘assault’ being the key word here. Because of that they’ll need to attack the issue head-on and beat the punk to the ground! Woo!
Ho Goo and Kang Chul go out to grab a late night snack. He shows Kang Chul the shoes that he had tied six years ago for Ho Kyung, who had never washed it since then. Ew. Ho Goo also asks if Kang Chul could represent Do Hee and him in court, as they’re now thinking of suing the man who raped her. Do Hee has not yet mentioned who the assailant is, but Kang Chul is ready to sue whenever they’re ready.
Do Hee then invites Ho Goo over to her dorm, showing off all her medals and pictures from events. Ho Goo then affirms with her that he’ll always be by her side. He’s not an arrogant prince, like Kang Chul, but rather a homely squid who will always be by her side. So when she is ready to sue, he’ll be right there next to her. Do Hee is worried though that Ho Goo may stop loving Geum Dong. She herself sometimes hates Geum Dong for being the product of rape, but at the same time she loves him dearly because he is hers. However Ho Goo has no blood ties to that child, and so she worries that he may hate her child soon.
Ho Goo pulls out the photo frame of the three of them from the 100th day celebration and notes that she must take him as a joke. He heads out, but turns back for a quick kiss on the lips. “I’m going to be more aggressive from this day forward, so I suggest you prepare yourself,” he says. Then runs out the door. Hah!
Back at work, Kang Chul finds himself thinking about Ho Kyung all the time, even while in a meeting with Kyung Woo and his associate. Kyung Woo is advised to settle with the netizens who spread rumors that he was gay, to which Kang Chul is okay with since he’s in la-la land. As they exit his office, they bump into Ho Kyung, who came to meet Gong Mi. Before Kang Chul can really say anything, Kyung Woo swoops in and asks Ho Kyung out for tea. He guilts her into saying yes by mentioning how hurt he’d be if she rejected him again. Sensing an opportunity to hurt Kang Chul, she says yes and away they go.
At the agency, Do Hee expresses her intention to take her baby back and to sue Kyung Woo for what he did. Director Park is flabbergasted – after all the work she did to protect Do Hee! She wants Do Hee to just get along with Kyung Woo again, but Do Hee won’t have it. Director Park then says, “Fine. Though Kyung Woo did wrong, what did you do that was so right?” Wow. What a bi—.
Do Hee admits that she thought she was at fault too, but she has realized that she is actually great in giving birth to the baby and taking care of it on her own for the first few months. Shocked, Director Park “disowns” her and demands that Manager Yang take Do Hee’s poster down, as she will no longer represent her. Do Hee leaves, satisfied, and I think Manager Yang looks a little disappointed in Director Park’s decision.
Do Hee then goes to pick up Geum Dong with Ho Goo, who at that moment is leaving flowers on Ji Yoon’s grave, which now holds a framed picture of her. Whew, at least he knows who she is now. He also promises that they’ll do their best. While not explicitly said, I assume it means that they swear to fight against sexual assault in her name too.
Gong Mi drops off a bunch of files in Kang Chul’s office, a bit disgusted with him for not fighting for Ho Kyung and bringing her back. But what can Kang Chul do? He then gets a call from Ho Goo that they’re going to sue, and that he’s sent the lawsuit file over to Gong Mi already. Kang Chul checks the file and can’t believe his eyes. The defendant is none other than Kyung Woo! No wonder Gong Mi was also so mad that Ho Kyung went out with him!
Ho Kyung, at least, can take care of herself. Though she went to tea with Kyung Woo, she also explicitly tells him that she’s not interested in dating. Kyung Woo spins it around and says that he’s not looking for a girl either, but just wants a “drinking buddy.” Huh. So this is how you get your girls?
Suddenly Kang Chul bursts in and grabs Ho Kyung. This is one wrist grab that’s totally allowable, as he pulls her from her seat and protects her from Kyung Woo. Before he leaves the cafe, he turns back to Kyung Woo and fakes a punch. Naw – Kang Chul won’t hit him. He has no right to. But he does warn Kyung Woo to get a lawyer ready as he’s not going to pull any punches in the courtroom.
Outside the cafe, Kang Chul can’t bring himself to say exactly why he dragged Ho Kyung away from her “date” with Kyung Woo. However, he does manage to say “I’m sorry” and that he really does have feelings for her. Ho Kyung tells him to shut up, as this is the part where he should kiss her.
And kiss her he does! Dang, that’s a hot kiss. And everything that has happened just proves that dating is really all about timing.
Ho Goo’s parents drive him and Do Hee up to the police station, where she gives her statement. Unfortunately the detective is very skeptical about her side of the story because she doesn’t seem to “act like other victims.” Do Hee asks right back, “So how is a victim supposed to act?” Good one Do Hee! But it’s going to be a tough fight.
Kyung Woo arrives at the station and sees Ho Goo pacing outside. He sneers at him, wondering what Do Hee must’ve said to convince Ho Goo her side of the story. Ho Goo swears he’ll put him in jail – not the physical jail, as Kyung Woo is likely to get acquitted, but a more harrowing one where Ho Goo will smear Kyung Woo’s name everywhere and remind all people that he’s a rapist at every one of Kyung Woo’s meets. And since Ho Goo is a writer, he can spin out a bestselling book about it. Kyung Woo doesn’t believe him, but Ho Goo reminds him that his name means ‘Fool,’ and one should not underestimate what a fool can do.
We jump forward a bit in time and see Do Hee and Ho Goo eating at a restaurant. The news on the television reveals that Kyung Woo has been acquitted, but Do Hee is looking to appeal the court’s decision. Some other customers muse aloud that she’s the liar and is doing it to get Kyung Woo’s money since her career’s gone down the drain. Do Hee suddenly calls for the waitress really loudly for more meat and pointedly replies that she’s very rich and can afford more servings of meat. On top of that, Ho Goo whips out money from the wallet to show that Do Hee’s got a rich boyfriend. Oh these two.
Of course, there are still a lot of protests to be made thanks to Do Hee’s appeal. A “Righteous Mother’s Club” led by Kyung Woo’s mother, a “Resignation Club” led by Kyung Woo’s father, and a Kyung Woo Fan Club all hold protests around Do Hee’s van calling for her demise. Do Hee starts cussing out all these people from the backseat, sick and tired of how Kyung Woo hides behind these supporters all the time. They’re ruining her wedding!
Yep! Ho Goo’s right next to her with baby Geum Dong, and he reminds his wife to please not say such things with the baby around. Coach So, in the driver’s seat, gets a call from the others that they’re getting ready to leave. At the count of three, he, Ho Goo and the baby, Ho Kyung, and Do Hee run out of their van and escape the crowds. As they run down the block of the parking lot, they’re joined by friends: Gong Mi, Tae Hee, Chung Jae, and Kang Chul, all running in another line right behind them. Then the parents show up, forming another barrier behind the crazy clubs.
They reach the crosswalk, but it’s a red light! With the angry clubs gaining in on them, they decide to cross the street together, holding hands. Together they can all do anything, and they happily make it to the other side, safe from the mob.
Fast forward a little more, and now Do Hee’s at a competition. Ho Goo is in the stands, with Geum Dong and a new baby girl! They cheer as Do Hee gains on her rival Han Sung Shil, and then surpasses her. And wins the gold.
I really needed some time to just digest and bask in the glow of this drama. I really enjoyed how simple the drama was in messaging. Sure there were plenty of red herrings and crazy twists, but at the end of the day the drama was all about two people learning to come together and be happy. It was just so fun to watch.
I like that Do Hee chooses to fight Kyung Woo in the end, and I like that we don’t get a satisfying resolution. It’s still up in the air whether or not she can successfully sue him because it’s an ongoing fight. And I can see that reflecting society nowadays, where we get lawsuits of sexual assault involving celebrities. One can never know truly whether sexual assault really happened if there are no other witnesses, and that’s what makes the issue so difficult to prosecute. I also think it makes it harder to choose sides, though you are wont to choose sides. So I appreciate that while we know Do Hee’s truth, everyone else in the drama is buying Kyung Woo’s side. It’s a very realistic scenario to encounter. To have someone like Director Park to blame the woman also reflects one perspective, and to have the detective be skeptical of Do Hee’s story reflects another. It makes these characters unlikable, but it is not a stretch from what could happen realistically.
Likewise, I find the treatment of homosexuality as somewhat unsatisfying. It’s good to raise it, and to have the character believe he’s gay. But we have to also remember that he’s really not gay, and that the treatment of him being gay is done very lightly. It’s quashed away with the fact that Ho Kyung was the twin who seduced him all along. One of the things I didn’t really like was how the parents treated homosexuality like a disease. Mr. Byun notably says at one point, “Apologize to [Ho Kyung]! She saved you from being gay!” As if it’s a disease! While it bothers me, the characters and the delivery of the line are shallow and light enough that you know the show doesn’t really mean it as a disease. It’s just that Mr. Byun as a character is incredibly flawed and narrow minded. And knowing that about the character gives him a bit of a pass because you expect something like that to come from his mouth. His thoughts reflect conservative people’s, and makes him a good balance to Ho Goo’s more liberal parents.
I have to appreciate that while the “less forgiving” characters towards sexual assault and homosexuality can be a little crude, they raise questions and points that can reflect how people really think and thus skew cases unfavorably. Their challenges are things that we may face from time to time, so I’m glad that the drama brought it up in a lighthearted manner.
I’d just like to give some credit to Coach So for being on Do Hee’s side the entire time. I wish the show gave him more credit for being on her side after she left Phoenix.
I’m really really impressed with Choi Woo Shik and Im Seulong in this series. The cast was excellent, and I loved them all. I’ve always been a fan of UEE in her acting, so this drama was of no surprise to me. They really made the drama so much more enjoyable.
Verdict: Solid 9/10. I really enjoyed it, and could watch it again and again.
- Fool’s Love: Episode 15 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 14 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 13 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 12 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 11 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 10 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 9 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 8 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 7 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 6 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 5 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 4 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 3 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 2 Recap
- Fool’s Love: Episode 1 Recap