The series ends off on a happy note for most of our relationships and even for the forum users as some of their lives have moved on towards a positive trajectory. Yet, amidst the happiness of the ending, I felt a sense of dissatisfaction at the issues that were glossed over and swept under the carpet.
Yoon-ki and Ara’s relationship has generally been poorly handled and just as I saw a glimmer of hope in the previous episode, this episode blew it all to bits again. Once again, there’s such excess to their storyline – earlier on, it was too much philandering scenes and now, we have too much revenge scenes. Did we really need to get so many scenes of Yoon-ki’s pathetic state post-divorce, or so many scenes of violence from Ara? Instead of the revenge sequences, which were downright cruel, I would have rather had some proper conversations between Ara and Yoon-ki, or even Yoon-ki with Hyun Woo or Joon-Young, reflecting on his actions and his state now. Certainly reconciliation is not on the cards and would be unrealistic, but greater exploration of their emotional journey would certainly have been more meaningful.
And then we have Joon Young and Bo Young’s storyline, which has always been the spark of the series. The two of them are downright cute together and have such great chemistry. They have so many touching and humorous moments – squabbling over the baby’s name, Bo Young moving into Joon-Young’s place and seeing the most sweet little nursery set up by Joon Young. I loved the scene where Bo Young walks around the house and uncovers all the photos of himself that Joon Young has hidden throughout. The core of their relationship in this episode centres around the baby girl and how they’ll handle it; however, the finale fails to explore what this whole issue means for both of them as divorcees. Didn’t Bo Young mention in the previous episode that she was not ready for a relationship again? What happened then to let her believe she was ready? How about Joon Young – he has certainly fallen into his role as a daddy very quickly – isn’t that a very big step ahead? How does he know that he’s ready as both a husband and a daddy? To expect answers to these may be requesting for too much, but I was hoping these would at least be touched upon. Ultimately, the pregnancy seems to have come a way to push them together towards the end.
Saving the best for last, we have Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon. When we started off the episode with her typing in the forum, I was hoping we’d get some insights into how she had grown, rather than a summary of what we had already seen in the past 11 episodes. And that’s precisely what we get – we hear of how over-stretched she was, how the affair gave her an outlet, and how she’s been a bad wife to Hyun Woo. She ends with the realisation that she has been a selfish wife and that all along, her husband has been holding on to her. There’s no sense that she’s intending to do anything with that realisation. Even after she sees him with another woman, she doesn’t make an attempt to hold on to him, and instead, calls him and says they should stop being sorry for each other, and be happy in their own lives.
Her phone call leads Hyun Woo to the realisation that he’s been too focused on the past and what has happened. He now has found the courage to leave all that’s happened in the past and not care about the wife that’s cheated on him, because what’s most important is “her, it’s her”, emphasising the wife that he sees before himself right now. He expresses hope that she too can let go of the past “him”, the person who was “foolish and lame”. And we see him walking across the zebra crossing to reach out to her, symbolising his attempt once again not to let go of her. While I understand him letting go of the past, I don’t understand why he sees the need for her to forget the “foolish and lame” him, because he evidently displayed growth from the moment of realising about the affair until the decision to divorce. He certainly gives himself too little credit and I believe even Soo Yeon saw his growth. This has led me to realise that the series is ultimately not about how a couple handles with adultery, but really with how a husband handles it when his wife cheats on him, which is honestly a tad disappointing.
I still admire this show very much for its courage in tackling such a tough issue and exploring the darkest, toughest corners of it. It’s been a hard-hitting and raw journey from start to end, especially for Hyun Woo. There were many moments throughout where the show caused me to seriously reflect on my own marriage and how I would respond to a similar setting. This show has been powerful in all the forums and discussion boards as well, causing people to open up and share their very personal stories. Regardless of how I feel about the finale, the journey of watching this show has been an extremely enriching and unique one and I’ve really enjoyed all the discussions of it. Perhaps the ending is left deliberately open for us to continue that dialogue about what it will take for Hyun Woo to Soo Yeon to rebuild their marriage again. It will certainly be long journey ahead, requiring both of them to work at it.
As we end the series, I’d also like to thank all who’ve commented on my blog, either through comment boards or on the entries itself. I’ve enjoyed talking about the show and discussing our views about marriage. This is a topic I personally feel passionate about and this show was timely as I wanted to watch a drama that dealt with marriage and not just dating and romance. In that aspect, the show certainly exceeded my expectations as it took a very realistic look at marriage in such an engaging and creative manner. Big thanks to the cast and crew of the show for making this so enjoyable!