post

EPISODE 18 (FINAL) RECAP  

image image

With her son’s surgery already underway, Han Mi-ree is horrified to learn that Jo Yoo-sang is missing. She calls Yoo-sang, who is coldly unconcerned that backing out of the surgery means that their son will surely die. Go Cheok-hee and So Jung-woo arrive at the hospital to help. They send out the team to search for Yoo-sang and ask Mi-ree to tell them everywhere he could possibly be.

image image

They finally find him at a casino, and he demands that Mi-ree sign a contract agreeing to give up custody of Han Woo-ram if she divorces him or discloses any information about their lives. With Woo-ram’s life on the line and no other options available, Cheok-hee tells her to sign the agreement, and she complies.  

With the contract in hand, Yoo-sang goes to the hospital and goes through with the bone marrow donation. Yoo-sang’s parting injunction to Mi-ree is for her to keep her promise if she doesn’t want to lose her child.

The surgery seems to have gone well, but it will take two weeks for them to know for sure. With Woo-ram out of danger, Mi-ree turns her attention back to the contract she signed, wondering aloud if she will have to live shackled to Yoo-sang for the rest of her life.

Cheok-hee and Jung-woo have already discussed the contract. They know they only have two options to get rid of Yoo-sang: reveal the truth without violating the contract or invalidate the contract. Cheok-hee has a plan to accomplish at least one of those goals.

We don’t get to hear what it is, but the next thing we know Mi-ree shows up at Ma Dong-mi’s office asking for a favor. Cheok-hee’s plan somehow involves Dong-mi, and Mi-ree cryptically tells Dong-mi that they’ll have to meet in court again. . . I must admit I’m intrigued.  

Across town, Jo Soo-ah is ready to leave the country, and she visits Jung-woo’s mom to say goodbye for the last time. She doesn’t have the heart to tell mom she’s leaving for good though so she pretends that she’s just going on vacation.

Meanwhile, Cheok-hee and Jung-woo are still in the office discussing Mi-ree’s case. Apparently Dong-mi has agreed to go along with their plan and will need a lawyer. Cheok-hee thinks there’s one person who’d be perfect to represent Dong-mi, and right on cue Jung-woo’s cell phone rings.

It’s Soo-ah. She’s on her way to the airport and is calling Jung-woo to say goodbye. She tells him to pass on the message to his mom that she’s relocating to live in the States instead of just going for a visit.

image image

Cheok-hee of all people ends up at the airport to stop her from leaving. Cheok-hee brings up Ma Dong-gu’s case and asks her to stay for him. She tells Soo-ah to go see Dong-mi and she’ll find out what she’s talking about.

It turns out Mi-ree asked Dong-mi to sue her for damages for illegally installing the camera in the apartment to get evidence of Dong-gu’s affair. In explanation of why she’s asking Dong-mi to file suit, she merely says there’s a truth she has to reveal but she’s sworn to silence.

image image

Suddenly it’s the day of their showdown in court (that was fast!) and Soo-ah presents evidence of the financial loss DK Electronics suffered as a result of the former President Ma Dong-gu’s divorce case and points to the illegally obtained video of Dong-gu’s affair as the major cause of their losses.

image

When it’s Mi-ree’s turn to testify, she admits that she knew using the camera was illegal, but she refuses to tell the court why she submitted the evidence anyway. Cheok-hee explains that Mi-ree signed a contract agreeing not to disclose anything related to her marriage and testifying about her prior divorce would violate the agreement. Soo-ah asks the court to consider the validity of the contract, and the court declares it void as an unconscionable contract.

With the contract invalidated, Soo-ah proceeds with questioning Mi-ree, and Mi-ree shocks everyone when she announces that Yoo-sang was blackmailing her. Cheok-hee submits the video shot at the Yangpyeong house to corroborate Mi-ree’s claims and the court takes the case under advisement.

After the hearing, reporters surround Mi-ree and she confirms that the testimony presented in court was true. She apologizes and announces that she will retire from the entertainment industry.

image image

The police arrest Yoo-sang, and Mi-ree goes to visit Dong-gu’s grave to thank him for everything he did for her. It turns out that Dong-gu knew about Woo-ram and secretly ordered his secretary to make monthly deposits into an account Yoo-sang opened in Woo-ram’s name. What’s more, Dong-gu was looking into a way to adopt Woo-ram so he could live with them. Mi-ree cries as she asks Dong-gu why he bothered to love a woman like her. She asks that they meet again in their next life so she can pay him back and do all the things she wasn’t able to do for him in this life.

image image

Mi-ree then goes to see Dong-mi and returns the inheritance she received from DK Electronics. She wants to donate the money to the bone marrow charity. Dong-mi asks if she has an ulterior motive, and she says that she does. She’s under investigation now, and if anything happens to her, she wants Dong-mi to take care of her daughter as well as Woo-ram.

When Mi-ree leaves, Dong-mi starts thinking of Cheok-hee, recalling the words Cheok-hee said to her when she threw a glass of wine in her face long ago. She tells her secretary to order a bottle of wine for Cheok-hee.  

image image

Min-gyu pays a visit to his father at BF Law Firm. He doesn’t care what happens to himself, he says, but he reminds his father that he has employees depending on him. His father tells him that Soo-ah has mended the firm’s relationship with DK Electronics. With the rift behind them over, he tells Min-gyu to come back to BF and bring his employees too. He wants to be able to leave the firm to Min-gyu, and Min-gyu must have really changed for the better because he accepts his dad’s offer.

image image

Min-gyu returns to Choice with the news that the firm is merging with BF. Luckily Manager Yoon and Woo Yoo-mi are thrilled to be joining such a prestigious company and readily agree to go with him.

Jung-woo is the only one who turns him down. Jung-woo tells the group he has somewhere else to go, and he calls Cheok-hee and asks her to meet.

image image

Cheok-hee is at her office, and after she hangs up with Jung-woo, she receives a delivery. It’s a bottle of wine from Dong-mi and a thank you card with a handwritten expression of gratitude (Dong-mi’s still a bit of a witch but I’ll grudgingly admit that was a nice gesture).  

image

Cheok-hee meets Jung-woo at the hotel where he’s prepared a surprise for her. Over a glass of wine, Cheok-hee brings up that Min-gyu told her he left the firm. She tells him to report to work at her office the next day—they can work together from now on. He agrees, and then he gives her a drawing Kyung made. He agrees to marry her without the wedding ceremony she doesn’t want, but he wants to use the drawing to officially announce that they got married.

Cheok-hee declares that it’s time for another glass of wine. She’s paid her debt and is getting married and feels great! Jung-woo’s eyes brighten as he pours them both another drink, then he turns to Cheok-hee and tells her he’s usually good at holding his liquor except when it comes to drinking wine. Wine makes him weak, he declares. He’s in luck because wine makes Cheok-hee weak too, she says, and they cutely start inching closer together.

image image

Over at Choice Law Firm, Yoo-mi is the last one in the office packing at the end of the night. She looks in the drawer of Kyung’s old desk and finds his sketchbook—full of drawings of her, and she realizes that Kyung has liked her all this time.

He even left her a note! “If you’re reading this right now, it’s because you’re also thinking about me right now. Mondang Yunpil became a work of art by sacrificing his body. Just like my yearning heart for you has turned into a work of art,” it says.

She pulls out her cell phone and calls him, and she’s surprised to hear a cell ringing in the office. Turns out Kyung is behind her! And he’s hilarious as he invites her out for some “mixed drinks.”

image image

She smiles and agrees to go, so it’s no surprise to me that they wake up in her bed together the next morning. But she’s shocked and starts screaming, which wakes Kyung up.

image image

He’s a bit bewildered at first, but as soon as he realizes where he is and who’s next to him he starts to celebrate and grabs her in for a hug. Soo funny, ha!

image image

Over at the hotel, Cheok-hee and Jung-woo wake up together too. Cheok-hee tries to act surprised that they’re in bed together too, but Jung-woo just pulls her back down next to him and tells her to hold still. They’ll be waking up next to each other everyday from now on, he says.

image

Min-gyu is at his apartment when he gets Cheok-hee and Jung-woo’s marriage announcement in the mail. He drops it in shock at first, but after a moment he picks it up and reads it.

image image image image

The scene shifts so that we see Cheok-hee’s sister, Soo-ah, Dong-mi, Manager Yoon and Yoo-mi all reading the announcement as well.

The two go to Jung-woo’s mom to announce the news too. She sits ignoring them as Jung-woo tells her they’ll live at Cheok-hee’s place for a year until her anger subsides. Then they’ll move in with her.

Jung-woo gives her his car to use, telling her he hardly uses it anymore because he takes the subway. To prove that he’s able to ride the subway now, he takes his mom for a subway ride. When she realizes he’s really okay, she asks if he got treatment at a hospital. He tells her it was Cheok-hee who helped him by making him ride the subway everyday.

image image

Just then, Cheok-hee shows up and makes a big show of pretending it’s a total coincidence that they all ended up on the same train and in the same car. She’s so earnest that she even manages to get a smile out of his mom.

image image

When Cheok-hee gets home, Go Mi-hee is packing her things to leave. She’s finally let go of her resentment towards Cheok-hee and tells Cheok-hee that she knows their mom could have died even if she’d gotten the surgery. She admits she resented everyone after their mom died, especially Cheok-hee. She tells Cheok-hee to find her own path to happiness and not worry about her anymore. She’s going to help their dad in Busan, she says.

image image

Cheok-hee and Jung-woo get called to Choice Law Firm. The staff tells them they’re going to spend their last day in the office celebrating their marriage. Manager Yoon is wearing a hanbok and has prepared an array of traditional food. Kyung has prepared a song and Yoo-mi has a poem. After her poem, Yoo-mi asks Min-gyu if he’s prepared anything. He says he has and he gives them a thousand origami cranes—it’s all he could afford. Awww!

image image

After the celebration, Min-gyu is heading out and runs into Soo-ah in the building’s lobby. He’s about to start walking home, and she agrees to join him. She’ll use the time to think about whether to stay in Korea or move to the U.S., she says. Min-gyu notes that since he started walking, he’s noticed all sorts of things he never saw when he was in his car, like the udon place around the corner. Soo-ah happens to love that place and Min-gyu tells her she should stay in Korea. If she leaves, she’ll miss her favorite udon place too much.

image

Jung-woo has a new banner made for the office. He’s changing the firm’s name to Happy Ending. He even gives the firm a new motto: “If you can’t avoid it, then let’s divorce with a happy ending.”  

image image

The new firm gets its first clients soon—who happen to have been been Jung-woo’s first client at Choice—Lee Yeon-hee and her husband—they’ve tried and failed to reconcile.

After the consultation, Cheok-hee and Jung-woo are walking down the street discussing the new case. Cheok-hee cites Nelson Mandela and his inability to remain married to his wife for more than six months after he endured twenty-seven years in prison. That’s how difficult marriage is, she says.

image image

But they’re interrupted when they run into Hye-rin and her ex-husband. They’re looking happy and they even see Hye-rin kiss him on the cheek. When Hye-rin notices them, she admits she couldn’t live without him once they were apart, and her ex-husband tells them they’re thinking about getting back together.

Jung-woo happily watches them scurry away, and then he cites 1994 Nobel Prize winner John Nash as an example of how difficult divorce can be. Even though Nash’s wife divorced him, she stayed with him through his battle with mental illness and they eventually got back together. That’s how hard divorce is, he says.

image image

They arrive at the courthouse where they’re finalizing their marriage paperwork. Cheok-hee hesitates over signing the marriage certificate so Jung-woo takes her hand and helps her sign anyway. He happily walks out of the courthouse as her legal husband and they shake hands and agree to do well.

image image

“I thought our ending would be at a place that was a little more romantic. I never imagined it would be in front of city hall.” –Jung-woo.

“Do you know why all romances end with a kiss? Because they want to show you a fantasy that everything will go well. But we know all too well that marriage is not a fantasy. So this is the perfect place for our ending.” –Cheok-hee.

“Still, let’s live with at least a one percent fantasy. That we’ll always stay together forever.” –Jung-woo.

image

MY THOUGHTS

As for this episode, I think it was a perfectly serviceable finale. Wrapping up the Dong-gu/Mi-ree/Yoo-sang storyline was definitely the highlight for me. It really warmed my heart to see how much Dong-gu cared for his wife. And I was just as touched as Mi-ree was to realize that Dong-gu knew about her secret child and loved her anyway. It didn’t hurt either that we got to see that horridly selfish caricature of a human being Yoo-sang get his comeuppance and go away (hopefully forever). I know this is a drama and they purposely made his character despicable, but his complete disregard for the well-being of his child was hard to swallow.

Cheok-hee and Jung-woo’s storyline delivered on cuteness and I found their moments together light and sweet. But the laugh-out-loud funny was reserved for Kyung and Yoo-mi. I really wish the show had done a little more with their story arc. There was a lot of potential there that got wasted, but I can be satisfied with Kyung’s hilarious morning-after pat on the back. It was a great spin on their original morning after way back in Episode 5.

As for Min-gyu and Soo-ah, the question is will they end up together? Who knows. I’m still not a fan of hers, but I ardently admire him. Does she deserve to end up with my favorite character of the drama? I’m not so sure. But he definitely deserves someone who can appreciate his misguided and immature but perfectly amiable heart and if she’s the person who can make him happy, then I guess I’m okay with that.

Overall, this drama didn’t do anything new but I found it harmlessly cute and mostly entertaining. I think Jo Yeo-jung and Yeon Woo-jin’s performances saved it from being completely bland and mediocre. I also think second lead Shim Hyung-tak was great as well.

What dragged this drama down was the divorce-case-of-the-week set up because the cases detracted from the characters (who were way more entertaining) and their stories (which were way more interesting and vibrant). The show spent so much time on the divorce cases, which were almost all invariably silly and frivolous, that we didn’t get character development from any of the secondary characters that could have made the show infinitely better.

I can’t say I’ll ever want to watch this one again or even give it a resounding recommendation, but I do think it had a cute romance between the OTP that makes it’s watchable. And it gets points for our leads doing a good job balancing between realism and romanticism in dealing with their relationship and showing us a more pragmatic approach to a couple beginning their married lives together.

image

As predicted, ratings were pretty low for this show. According to AGB Nielson Korea, they ranged from a low of 3.2% (Episode 17) to a high of 6.0% (Episode 1) with an average of 4.5%.

RELATED POSTS
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 17 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 16 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 15 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 14 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 13 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 12 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 11 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 10 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 9 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 8 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 7 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 6 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 5 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 4 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 3 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 2 Recap
Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 1 Recap

2 thoughts on “Divorce Lawyer in Love: Episode 18 (Final) Recap

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *