Recap by EE
Almost without exception, we want our OTP to make it to the altar, get married, and live happily ever after. And don’t they make the cutest couple in these wedding photos? Sun Woo in the navy blue tuxedo? Swooon. Never mind the grin on both their faces. But sometimes when the clock strikes 12, the magic stops and you have to settle back into reality.
❂ ✸ ✲ ❁ ❀ ❁ ❈ ❉ ❁ ❁ ❉ ❈ ❁ ❀ ❁ ✲ ✸ ❂
We begin in 1993 at 11:59 AM, just as Jung Woo has left the church/his wedding. From a distance, Young Hoon watches as the guests cluck and chatter in disbelief about the groom vanishing moments before the ceremony begins.
In the present, Young Hoon anxiously paces his office. Then the memories of this new timeline start to come to him (and clearly he has been taking facial response classes from Choi). His office disappears around him (much like Min Young’s surroundings at the end of episode 17) and he finds himself in front of the church with his family. He asks is wife if Min Young and Sun Woo are really getting married. She looks at him like he is crazy, and says of course they are.
We flash back to the moment Jung Woo walked out of the church, with Shi-Ah calling after him. The rain has deflated his pompadour; he looks more recognizable to me at this point.
Min Young is at the memorial, and the mourners begin to vanish as the clock turns to noon. Piece by piece the items vanish, and so does her mother. A gauzy film covers the scene and we see it is literally her bridal veil. Min Young is being primped (by bridesmaids? They aren’t dressed as such, but maybe that is a western tradition) on the stairs leading to the church.
We see a sign announcing the wedding of Park Sun Woo and Joo Min Young, and Min Young looks over to see her mother and step-father Joo greeting the guests. (PS: How weird is it that Min Young is getting married at the SAME church where her mother was left at the altar exactly 20 years ago, right down to the minute? And even if that were not the case, how is Mom happy about her marrying into the Park family? That has to be bizarre no matter what.). She recognizes him as her step father from Boston, he smiles and gives her a “thumbs up” from across the driveway.
Choi is about to bust the windows out Sun Woo’s car to get that incense stick. Again, we see his golf club vanish and wooosh! Goodbye Secretary Kim. Annyeong driver. Hasta la vista car! Choi in this new time line may not be in the poor house (like I had hoped) but he’s rocking some Einstein hair and he is . . . a hoarder?
Choi runs outside and sees the sign to his shop “Myungse Pharmacy.” He runs back inside and does a web search for “Myungse Hospital Chief Choi Jin Chul.” The search shows no matches. He looks in his desk mirror (and this is something I have seen in several dramas. . . do Koreans actually have these huge mirrors at work or is this a drama thing, to manipulate the angle so we can see both the computer screen and his reaction?) He remembers modern day Sun Woo telling him in 1993 about suffering for 20 years being more painful than death.
Choi is livid at how Sun Woo has wronged him. He goes out to find his car, using the keyless entry clicker . . . and finds he is now the proud owner (leaser?) of a delivery van. Bwah ha ha ha! Commence tantrum of epic proportions.
We flash back to the moment Jung Woo leaves the church (again?) ( And do you see what I mean about that pompadour?) We now see Jung Woo in 2013. He is working at a clinic in China. Jung Woo is getting his flash of the new events.
In 1993, Jung Woo ran into the ER to find Sun Woo with Chul Min. Jung Woo asks where he is hurt and Chul Min introduces himself as a reporter with CBM (obviously, he has not had a chance to watch the tape yet). Chul Min starts to talk about who might have attacked Sun Woo but Jung Woo cuts him off. He tells Chul Min he knows, and he will tell him everything. He is ready to confess, but maybe not so much in from of Sun Woo.
Back at the (1993) wedding, Yoo Jin is in tears and being consoled by her friends. She says she regrets giving Jung Woo a second chance, he dumped her once before and she believed in him and took him back. All she wants now is to leave the country and never think of him again. We see Yoo Jin and Shi Ah get into a taxi and an airplane takes off.
Chul Min is reporting from the Myungse clinic about the arrest of Choi. His report also talks about the accidental death of Daddy Park and how Jung Woo was blackmailed. This leads to a series of arrests, including the corrupt police men. They even toss Choi into a squad car with Chang Min. Choi asks him what he was thinking going after Sun Woo, and Chang Min insists Choi told him to. This is confusing to both parties.
Jung Woo apologizes to his mother while the officers wait to take him in. We see one tear slide down mom’s cheek. Sun Woo, who is watching the courtyard from up in his room, is crying too.
Is it more comforting knowing you will eventually understand this tragedy? Or is it more confusing in the moment to think that you will?
Choi and Jung Woo are being sentenced. Jung Woo suggests that Choi repent, and spend the rest of his life trying to make amends. Jung Woo plans to do something every day. Meanwhile, the judge is giving a 4 year sentence to Jung Woo and 6.5 years for blackmail to Choi (including the return of Myungse Hospital to its rightful owners [the Park family? Stockholders?] because it was a benefit of his blackmail.) Choi is practically growling at Jung Woo, how this is his fault because Choi was trying to do him a favor. According to the subtitles, Choi also calls him a bastard which would be pretty ironic all things considered. The judge is not impressed with Choi’s courtroom behavior.
Sun Woo visits Jung Woo in prison (Jung Woo’s prison # is 2511 or 2+5+1+1= 9). Sun Woo shows him an acceptance letter (to a University, I presume). Jung Woo is pleased and happy that Sun Woo came to visit; he did not expect to see him. Sun Woo reports that Mom is still the same, she doesn’t seem to be aware of his acceptance letter. He also says he came because “he told me one day I would understand, and I believe in him.”
Jung Woo says, “I don’t understand what you are saying.” “It’s a secret,” Sun Woo says.
Ending his flashback, we see Jung Woo in the present realizing the secret was the incense and that 1993 Sun Woo must have heard it from 2013 Sun Woo.
News staff shows at the wedding. Somehow the Hussy got an invite. The Bride is waiting in the receiving room.
Young Hoon pops in offering congratulations and Min Young seems bewildered “I am not dreaming?” Min Young thinks back to February 2013, with Sun Woo asleep in her bed.
She wakes him up, asking him for a proposal. Clearly this is not her first time requesting he put a ring on it. She says today would be perfect, the weather is beautiful AND it is her birthday. Sun Woo scoffs, but she insists it is true. He says, “Do you have birthdays every month?” She admits last month was a lie; she was just trying to pressure him but today really IS her birthday. Min Young leaves and Sun Woo rolls back into sleep.
He hears the door open and assumes it is Min Young. Through closed eyes he jokes with her about only leaving for 30 minutes . . . only it is NOT Min Young. It is her mother, Yoo Jin. Accompanied by Min Young’s stepfather. And Sun Woo is in their daughter’s apartment. Wearing only his underwear. He stumbles to get his pants and things into the bathroom and tries to call Min Young. He hears Yoo Jin shouting through the door “Don’t bother calling my daughter, she left her phone here”.
Min Young comes home, surprised to see her parents. Her mom says she was surprised too . . . to walk in on a MAN in her daughter’s home. Apparently, her husband had a business trip in Japan and since it was so close to Min Young’s birthday they decided to pop over to visit. Sun Woo is furiously brushing his teeth. Min Young comes in the bathroom.
She apologizes, she had no idea they were coming. Sun Woo smells a set up. Min Young insists her mom is furious, but that if she heard they were already engaged it would be okay. Min Young can say they had planned for an April wedding with spring flowers in bloom . . . and that they hadn’t said anything yet because Sun Woo had not made his official greeting to her parents. She practically has invitations sent out before she walks out of the bathroom.
Back in the present, Min Young smiles as she remembers the bathroom proposal. She receives a call from Jung Woo, she answers it nervously. He introduces himself as “Dad.” He says he knows he should call her “sister-in-law” but he’d like to keep calling her Min Young, she agrees. He tells her he is surprised to be alive, and that he is happy. He is not like he was before. He asks about her mom and if she is happy. Min Young says yes. Yoo Jin walks in and Min Young cuts the conversation short. Mom asks who was on the phone; Min Young tells her it was Sun Woo’s brother offering congratulations. Yoo Jin mutters under her breath that he could have come to the wedding; she would not have caused a scene. Yoo Jin thinks back to meeting Sun Woo for the first time. Yoo Jin was asking all of those vaguely nosy future in law questions (who is your father, what does he do? Do you live with your mother? Etc. Sun Woo is honest, his father is gone. His mother is in a facility because she is not well). Yoo Jin wants to know what happened and Min Young stops her.
She asks if Sun Woo has any siblings and Step dad gets a call and steps away. Yoo Jin takes the opportunity to ask if his brother is Park Jung Woo. Sun Woo says “How did you know?” Yoo Jin asks “Do you remember me? I am Shi Ah’s mother. Didn’t you know Min Young is Shi Ah?”
We see Sun Woo waiting in the phone booth, just as he is about to “depart” from 1993, with less than a minute remaining on his watch. In 2013, Choi about to break through the window, only to have everything (including Choi this time) vanish. The incense burns out. And Sun Woo is still in 1993. He checks his phone, but apparently his carrier is not as good as Kim Bong Do . . . he has no service. The clock function still works, it indicates it is 12:02. He should definitely be back at “home.” Why did he not leave? A box appears on his passenger seat in 2013 (wedding rings maybe?) The incense holder and case vanish. What does this MEAN? Did someone from another point in the time line take it?
Sun Woo uses his phone to record a message to Young Hoon, saying the incense has gotten the best of him again and he is stuck in the past. Meanwhile Min Young can’t seem to reach him on his cell phone.
Present day Scruffy Choi hops in his delivery van and goes to where Sun Woo left his car (and the incense burning). The incense is gone, and Choi starts to lose it but strange things are afoot in 1993, which makes Choi do his weirdest face yet (seriously, he looks like he is trying to sell Kool Aid or something wacky.)
1993 Choi is discovered by a security officer, who helps cut the binds. He immediately dials Chang Min’s car phone, but he does not get an answer because Chang Min is passed out and literally hogtied inside the record store. Choi drives down there and stops in front, only to see Sun Woo standing in the phone booth (which must be shocking the heck out of 2013 Choi.)
Sun Woo looks up to see Choi barreling down at him. Sun Woo’s luck with phone booths is about as bad as it gets.
Two ajussi’s in an apartment near the alley hear the crash, one leans out the window but can’t really see what has happened. There are loud sounds of thunder, perhaps he assumes that was all he heard and they go back to their game. Choi drives away with a huge dent in the front of his car. Present day Choi seems elated with this turn of events, but also sits on the ground (to have a heart attack. I hope). He mumbles something about being even with Sun Woo.
The last thing we see is bloody and beaten Sun Woo, grasping at the wreckage and passing out. No guys, really. He is just a little sleepy and he is going to have a nap while he waits for the paramedics. He is NOT DEAD. Or at least not for real dead. He can be like tumor surgery dead. Meaning alive in the next episode. Or maybe they will find him and he will have the DREADED AMNESIA so he ends up in the home with his Mom who finally breaks her catatonic curse to recognize her son. As the guy who stepped on her glasses, of course. Not actually her son.
Okay, yes, I was waiting for Cinderella’s other glass slipper to drop. I knew when he didn’t see Sun Woo come back to 1993 that SOMETHING was amiss (although I had no idea he would be *stuck* there and impaled by a phone booth). This week’s episodes were more action packed than the last two weeks, we kinda felt our hero was getting somewhere and not just whipping himself or wallowing in self pity. We got some happy ear wiggly couple moments (WHY HAVE WE BEEN DENIED FLASHBACKS ALL THIS TIME?) I could handle the math of an alternate timeline to get more sweetness from these two). And the end of this episode, our final cliffhanger going into the last week? Unnnfff. With all the trauma at the end I have to leave with something happier, so here is what I like to think of as Choi doing the Harlem Shake.
So not fair, EE, that I have to look up at THAT as I write. Let’s see what I have in my bag of tricks to fix that right up…
From the second we saw Min-young in the white dress, all I wanted was to see Sun-woo tuxed up. The thought of him dressed like that for his woman rode my thoughts all through the episode. Where is he? Where IS he? WHERE IS HE? Did anyone hear my “OH SH^T! OH SH^T! OH SH^T!” when it was obvious Sun-woo was going to be stranded? Sweet mother of all that is! I read someone on some site guessed that would happen, but still, I appreciate the beauty of the problem.
If he’s Monty-Python-and-the-Holy-Grail not dead yet right now, let’s hope he never EVER becomes Monty-Python’s-Flying-Circus parrot dead (You Tube can explain.)
The Min-young as girlfriend to sleepy Sun-woo boyfriend scenes delighted me. Thank you, director/writer.
There are many possibilities, but what if he disappears from the current Present timeline, but grows old as Kid Sun-woo grows up, and watches his whole life unfold again? Does he meet all the same folks, and end up finding the sticks again? If he does find the sticks again and doesn’t use them, does he disappear from the Past? I dunno. I don’t want to know quite yet.
I do know it will be dark and horrible next week, but for now at least I have the image of smiling OTP to keep in my memory when I need to go to my happy place. If not, the header I am making when I finish these words will be there, too.