Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 19 Recap

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Okay seriously, this isn’t an amazing episode that’s breaking any sorts of K-drama barriers. It’s also not a fast-paced, “holy crap we’re hurtling to the end and it’s wrapping up really quick” kind of episode. Instead, it’s an episode that keeps wringing my heart because freaking Jin Kyung and Yoo Oh Sung are fantastic actors who convey the pain and shock of seeing their son mentally deteriorate before their very eyes. And their performance affects Kim Woo Bin’s performance, making him even more outstanding than he’s been in the last five or six episodes. What the heck, Show.

Joon Young’s illness has made the news, and he watches from home how his eventual death is affecting millions of fans worldwide. He didn’t even realize he had that many fans. One good thing about his illness is that the drug charges were dropped, because they just literally made no sense. Gook Young tries to distract Joon Young from watching more news about his illness, but he’s suffering a lot himself. He, Man Ok, and CEO Namgoong have had a hard time facing him face-to-face because they’d just break down in tears. And that’s the last thing they want Joon Young seeing.

Joon Young then gets a call from No Eul, which leads us to the scene with the cherry blossoms. He has a momentary lapse in memory and believes that he is a college student studying to be a prosecutor. When a little girl comes up to him for an autograph, he chuckles and sends her off, having no idea that he’s the “top star Shin Joon Young.”

He goes right up to No Eul, his last memory being of her pretending to be his girlfriend, and puts his head on her lap. No Eul is stunned into silence, and then realizes that he’s experiencing delirium at the moment. She sees right in front of her how the cancer is affecting and playing with his memories.

She too ends up telling the little girl, who returns with a friend to verify if it is Joon Young, that he’s not the top star at all. He just looks like him.

Meanwhile, Hyun Joon is shocked to the core to discover that Joon Young is dying. And he had framed him with drug charges! But he must also deal with the fact that his son was just taken out of ICU and is now recovering in a regular room. Ji Tae is all cast up, still unconscious but no longer in the danger zone. Haru can’t believe that her brother drove recklessly because he’s just not that kind of person, and based on how Eun Soo is calmly reacting to all this it’s clear that she was the one behind it.

When Hyun Joon arrives in the hospital room he asks for a moment of privacy with his son. He remembers back to the conversation the night before the accident, where Ji Tae confesses that he did things that he did not agree with morally because he loved his father so much. Even though they didn’t share an ounce of blood together, Ji Tae regarded Hyun Joon as his true father. But now he can’t support his father anymore, and is going to choose to go against him. And with that, he asks that Hyun Joon stay with his mother and not abandon her – in front of his mother.

Eun Soo’s hands ball up in a fist as she hears this, as if everything she wanted to keep hidden from her husband is getting revealed. But she doesn’t completely unravel. Yet.

A phone rings in Ji Tae’s hospital room and Hyun Joon sees it’s from Secretary Kim on Eun Soo’s phone. He hesitates, then picks it up without a word. Secretary Kim launches into a problem: though she got rid of Ji Tae’s dash cam footage, other cars captured Ji Tae’s car being chased by another car. She was able to get the footage before the police did, but she’s not sure what to do with it. Hyun Joon staggers in shock, and just then Eun Soo returns to the room.

“Hold on Secretary Kim,” he finally says aloud. “I’ll hand the phone over to Eun Soo.” Oh shit. Eun Soo trembles a bit as she takes the phone and hears the update. She hangs up, then admits that she’s the one who orchestrated the accident in order to protect him. Ugh. Leave this woman. She is so selfish she doesn’t give a damn about her own son.

When Joon Young wakes up, he’s back to his old, celebrity self. He sits up straight when No Eul teases about pretending to be his girlfriend. Joon Young gravely tells her to make sure she puts the footage of him and Jung Eun on air. She needs to be able to live on when he passes, and she needs to be able to create a world that she would want to live in, rather than make excuses and blame others for all her troubles.

He gets up to leave, and No Eul reminds him that she called him to say something. She wanted him to know that it was not his fault. It just so happened that he was Hyun Joon’s son, that they were at that place at the same time. But he is not at fault for her accident. She’s basically finally forgiven him, and Joon Young sheds a tear.

Young Ok’s restaurant is riddled with post-it notes from Joon Young’s fans all around the world. Jung Sik maintains the wall, keeping everything pasted up rather than throwing away the messages. Joon Young spies a note from an Australian fan riddled with mistakes in Korean, and he jokingly asks Jung Sik to correct it. That only makes Jung Sik teary eyed. Joon Young goes into the kitchen to find his mother peeling enough onions for an entire neighborhood, covering her eyes and nose with huge goggles.

Joon Young wants to see her face, and slowly pulls it off. Only to reveal his mother sobbing into the goggles. She screams at Yong Deuk for giving her faulty goggles that won’t prevent her from tearing up, and several tears escape Joon Young’s eyes. It’s just amazing to see Kim Woo Bin be affected by Jin Kyung’s performance…

Young Ok leaves the kitchen, sobbing in front of all the customers, leaving Joon Young to cry in the kitchen. This is what happens when you don’t tell your family that you’re dying! You give them so little time to grieve that you’ll all spend your last few days crying instead of trying to make happy memories because you’ve accepted the inevitable and are trying to make the most of it!

Ugh drama, ugh! If I could kick you in the shins right now…

When No Eul returns home she’s greeted by Assemblyman Yoon’s secretary, who wishes to escort her to his boss. She knows that she’s going to be dragged no matter what, and threatened to not reveal anything about Jung Eun. Thankfully just then Hyun Joon arrives and says forcefully that he and No Eul had a planned meeting already. No Eul chooses to escape with Hyun Joon instead, as he’s the lesser of two evils.

In Hyun Joon’s office, No Eul says that she’ll do anything she can to get the footage of Jung Eun confessing to the hit-and-run on air. She gives him the USB with the footage for him to watch first, just so he’s aware. She also is giving him her only, original copy and hopes that he will not tamper with it whatsoever. It shows just how much she’s trusting Hyun Joon right now with it. I think it’s a dumb move, but I can see how she’s putting a lot of faith in the good side of Hyun Joon and in the fact that he’s Joon Young’s father.

Ji Tae finally wakes up and sees his mother and Secretary Kang by his bedside. He doesn’t address his mother though, asking Kang what happened to Joon Young instead. Secretary Kang informs him that the drug charges were dropped, but also the entire world knows about his illness. His mother tries to get his attention, but Ji Tae only wants to know how Joon Young is doing, being more worried about his brother from another mother (and father) than his own awful mother.

Joon Young arrives home to find No Eul in his living room. She’s become quite popular lately (with the wrong crowd) and needs a place to hide out. Besides, he has a huge place, so it should be fine, right? In response, Joon Young throws his car keys at her. He promised her a trip, and never fulfilled it. Better late than never, right?

Late that night in his office, Hyun Joon watches that footage of Joon Young talking to Jung Eun about how he admired his father so much he wanted to be a prosecutor. It’s enough to make him feel really, really guilty about all the awful things he’s done. Just then, Young Ok calls him out of the blue. They meet in the park, and she asks for a personal favor: could Hyun Joon find a doctor that would be able to save her Joon Young? He must know so many people. She will do anything to save her son, as she feels like Joon Young is paying the price of their sins. She raised her son to be honorable and fight on the side of the victims, just like his father.

Talk about the show really laying it on thick about how honorable Hyun Joon could be, reminding him that he needs to do the right thing.

No Eul and Joon Young arrive at their destination the following morning. It’s a small cabin on a private meadow – the small house that he built for the both of them. He never got to show it to her, but they can stay here for a little while and then head back to his home. No Eul smiles brightly, “You said that you built this place for us to live here together. Let’s stay here for 500 years, okay?”

Cue a cute date at the local market where No Eul and Joon Young check out and buy fresh seafood. They act like newlyweds, and somehow Joon Young’s flimsy disguise of a scarf covering his face is enough to make him unrecognizable. As they walk back home, No Eul sees three ahjummas playing Go-Stop, with one of them swindling the other two because they don’t know the rules of the game. No Eul steps in, helping one of the naive ahjummas count up her points and win.

Just then, Joon Young gets a call from Hyun Joon, whom he’s labeled as “Stranger” on his phone now. He has a momentary lapse again and brightens at the voice of his father. He hurries to a taxi, forgetting about No Eul, to go meet Hyun Joon. Meanwhile, Hyun Joon tells his wife to not get caught; he’s sure that Ji Tae thinks that he organized the accident, and so he’d rather let it stay that way. Just then they receive a guest at their house: Assemblyman Yoon.

Since Assemblyman Yoon hasn’t been able to get ahold of No Eul, he now goes to Hyun Joon to make sure he can control the footage from leaking. He gifts them ginseng for Ji Tae to recover, tells Hyun Joon that he’ll support him being Secretary-General again, and offers to set up a marriage date between Haru and a distant nephew of his. All of this is supposed to make Hyun Joon feel indebted to Assemblyman Yoon and take care of the footage (because silly Jung Eun’s already complained to her father), but Hyun Joon stoically does not look at him in the eye. He just stares straight forward with a hardened expression.

Hyun Joon then goes to meet Joon Young in his office and immediately can tell that something is off. Joon Young had said that he’d never see him again or call him father, but now the man in his office is looking around and telling him about how he’s studying to be a prosecutor and that he’s going to vote for Hyun Joon to be elected as assemblyman.

Hyun Joon asks when they last met, just to confirm his suspicions. Joon Young says that they met when he was in high school and held an umbrella for him. Immediately the tears well up in Hyun Joon’s eyes as he sees how the cancer has messed with his son’s memories. Joon Young sheepishly says that he hasn’t passed all three law exams yet, and that he’s going to vote for Hyun Joon because his mom says that he is an admirable man.

Let’s just turn on the waterworks, shall we? Hyun Joon can’t talk anymore and removes his glasses, covering his eyes to obscure the tears. Joon Young hurries away, thinking that he’s disturbed Hyun Joon while he’s not feeling well, leaving Hyun Joon to sob like crazy in his office. A man bumps into Joon Young on the stairs, causing Joon Young to drop his phone just as he gets a reminder about Jung Sik’s birthday. These two combined remind Joon Young that he’s got to be somewhere: home, preparing for the party.

Meanwhile No Eul is waiting in the cabin on the meadow for Joon Young to come back. Instead she receives the two ahjummas who want her to teach them how to play Go-Stop properly. No Eul invites them in, and then calls up Joon Young’s phone to see where he is. Gook Young picks up, and he tells her about Jung Sik’s party. She then clutches the side of her stomach in pain, hanging up.

Dude, she better have freaking appendicitis because if it’s stomach cancer, I’mma kill somebody.

It’s a simple backyard party where all the guests (Jung Sik, Gook Young, Man Ok, and CEO Namgoong) are wearing dark shades because they don’t want Joon Young to see their tears. He teases and dons shades as well, then asks Jung Sik if he could make a wish as well. He’d like it if Jung Sik takes care of his mom when he’s gone, and Jung Sik promises to protect her. If you’re wondering what happened to Pororo, Joon Young is entrusting the dog to Gook Young.

They then receive two more visitors. Well, technically only one comes in: No Jik has come by for a visit with Nari, but Nari couldn’t go past the front door because she can’t face Joon Young yet. So No Jik is tasked with telling Joon Young about Nari’s secret: back in high school she was actually two-timing Joon Young because she was so sure that her looks would get her any man she wanted. It was only when they broke up that she realized that she lost someone special. Hee! That’s a cute secret to tell.

No Jik adds that he used to look up to Joon Young, but recently he hasn’t been able to. He hopes that Joon Young will fight the disease instead of being lazy and submitting to it. His father used to say that the lazy die because they don’t want to try to live. Joon Young promises to fight his cancer and do his best to live. Then No Jik asks where No Eul is, and Joon Young suddenly is reminded of where he left No Eul in that small town. He hurries off to his car, driving back to that cabin in the meadow.

Meanwhile Jung Eun visits Ji Tae in the hospital and tells him that she’s going to the States with General Oh’s son. Because the States is always the solution for rich criminals like her. She plans to date and marry him within two years if she can tolerate him, because that’s all she can do. Jung Eun also adds that KJ Group has reported Ji Tae under embezzlement charges; his mom is just going to keep on coming with the attacks. Ji Tae doesn’t really care that he’s been abandoned by his parents, which goes to show the difference between him and her. Jung Eun is still too dependent on her father to do everything for her.

Ji Tae only apologizes for not being a better friend to her: he should have told her off after the accident and convinced her to turn herself in. He should have given her the cold shoulder and show his disapproval for what he did. She might be getting away with her crimes again, but he believes she will be punished for them one day. What’s hurtful about this is that Ji Tae says it in a calm demeanor, almost apologetic when he has no reason to be. The disappointment in his voice as he lays out the facts would hurt me more than if he got angry with me.

Hyun Joon is racked with guilt, unsure what to do still about the footage. He calls up No Eul to ask why she gave him the original footage in the first place. What was she trying to say or do by giving him that USB? How could she trust him when she knows exactly what kind of person he is? No Eul simply replies, “You’re Joon Young’s father.” And that’s enough to make him feel even more guilty for not being the righteous person that Joon Young had long admired.

Joon Young finally arrives at the house and finds No Eul sitting on the side of the house, crouched down. She has a high fever, and Joon Young wants to take her to the hospital. Stubbornly, she insists she’s not sick and doesn’t want to go. (Sounds like someone else in that scene…) He asks, “Do you want to die with me or something?”

No Eul, “Am I not allowed to do that?”

Joon Young, “Fine, let’s die together then.” And he picks her up and brings her into the house.

Some Thoughts

If this show ends with both of them dying and no one getting punished on screen, I will have issues with the message this drama is trying to convey. It is stupid that the show would attempt last minute drama with No Eul’s sickness. You know what would have been a more interesting drama? Seeing Jung Eun get punished.

I’m going to have faith that Hyun Joon is going to do something at the last minute to redeem himself before Jung Eun leaves for the States. I’d also like to see Assemblyman Yoon and Eun Soo severely punished for their actions behind the scenes. If they and Jung Eun do not get their comeuppance, I will believe that the writer is trying to say, “You’re a good person? Sucks for you. You’ll never win. Money and power doesn’t matter – you being a good moral person will mean you will never survive in this world.” And that will just make this entire series a complete waste of time.

So really, Show. I know it’s pre-produced and the ending has been set in stone already. But don’t disappoint me.

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