I’ve been thinking about my previous entry on the finale and realised I had been too focused on what the episode was not telling, instead of looking at the story that was being told. I then rewatched the finale, focusing only on Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon’s storyline and realised that there were indeed some things I had missed and that Soo Yeon’s story is being told.
From my reading of forum posts and comments on her, many either see her as being unrepentant for the adultery, or not taking any action to save her marriage, even rejecting Hyun Woo’s attempts at trying to salageve the marriage. While that was initially the view I took, I realised upon watching this episode that Soo Yeon’s journey has been more multifaceted than Hyun Woo’s. Hyun Woo’s journey throughout the series has largely been about how he has grown as a husband, hence it has been largely easier to follow. However, for Soo Yeon, we’ve been exploring her journey as a career woman, a mum and a wife – and how she attempts to juggle all three. Seen in this light, the finale then paints her journey in a more positive light.
One thing I noticed when rewatching the finale was how much more energetic and happy Soo Yeon seemed. Even in the earlier episodes of the series, before the affair was revealed, we would always see her frazzled, exhausted and looking pale. However, there’s a certain ease and restedness in her about now – we see her meeting up with a friend, hear about her chatting with neighbours and even amongst her subordinates, she seems more at ease. Perhaps she’s even stayed clear of the mummy chat groups as we do not see any of that in this episode. In the final scene, she tells Joon-Soo that she’ll be waiting for him at home with corn and cheese, instead of what used to happen where she’d be rushing to fetch him. She’s certainly smiling so much more in the finale than we’ve ever seen her throughout the entire series. It’s clear that Soo Yeon has let go of the need to be perfect and has found a way to balance her priorities while also taking care of herself. As Soo Yeon’s journey in this show was about her coping as a working mum, it’d good that the finale brought some closure to this.
As for the marriage, we learn that in the time that has elapsed between the end of the previous episode and this episode (easily about 4-6 months), Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon have been meeting up regularly for meals and spending time together. While most people who have divorced on this show no longer even see their spouse, Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon have started spending more time together than ever before and relating to each other. When Soo Yeon gets rejected from promotion, the first person she calls is Hyun Woo and she even suggests that she can go over to his office, which even surprises him. Now, this is a big step of growth for her, because when she first told him about the adultery, she mentioned that she had kept all her struggles to herself and never told him. She has now grown to open herself up emotionally to him, and allowed herself to be vulnerable.
That emotional vulnerability becomes even more apparent when she sees him dining with his neighbour. Though she doesn’t say anything, she just stops there and looks on, and it’s clear to him that it affects her. She stays outside of his door even when she comes to visit, respecting that he may have moved on and she cannot think of herself as always being a part of his life. This is reinforced by the fact that his fridge also has food from the neighbour. She subsequently tells him that they should stop feeling sorry to each other and they should be happy in their own lives. Earlier on, Soo Yeon mentions that Hyun Woo’s decision to divorce was to make her feel comfortable. She now does something similar to him, by telling him to move on and be happy in pursuing love.
Coming back to her forum post, what came through upon second viewing is how she lays no blame upon him at all for what happened. She portrays him as always fighting for their relationship and even more powerfully for saving her from walking towards the pathway of destruction. What stood out was how she was even somewhat thankful for him finding out about her relationship with Michael, because she knew that the relationship was doomed from the start. While all women would treat that moment of discovery with shame, Soo Yeon sees it as a moment of salvation for her. For someone as private as Soo Yeon to share her own journey in such a detailed manner in such a public forum certainly takes a lot of courage and she’s done so for the sake of her husband.
While we do not see the forum users’ responses to her sharing, the very fact that they gather to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Toycrane at a restaurant is a sign that Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon’s story has brought hope and reconciliation to the lives of those following their story. After closer viewing of the finale, I do feel a great sense of hope as I watch the both of them smiling at each other, across the zebra crossing and I have no doubt that they will work things out moving ahead.