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EPISODE 16 (FINAL) RECAP  

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Han Ji-eun is left speechless after Lee Yung-jae presents her with a ring and asks her to marry him. She tries to respond, but she can’t manage to get more than one word out. Finally, she says she finds it weird that he’s suddenly proposing when the day before he wished her well with Yoo Min-hyuk and left. She thinks he’s being flaky, but he says he’s not flaky. He tells her he thought letting her go was the right thing to do, then he pouts and asks whether she will accept the ring and marry him. She says she will think about it and goes back inside.

He follows her in and asks whether she’s hesitating because of Min-hyuk. She tells him she and Min-hyuk decided to remain friends and says she just needs time to think about it. He asks how long she needs. She wants a week, but he protests that that’s way too long. She asks for three days, but the old Yung-jae returns. He demands an answer by tomorrow and starts to walk away. However, he can’t leave without swiping the refrigerator and checking for dust. When he sees the amount of dust on his hand, he tells her to start cleaning too, then he storms off. (He’s way too funny sometimes!)

That night, he can’t sleep. He sits up and opens the ring box to look at it and think. Ji-eun is up all night too. She sits at the computer trying to work but stares upstairs most of the time.

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In the morning, Yung-jae wakes up to go jogging. He goes to Ji-eun’s room to invite her too, but she’s asleep at the desk.   He covers her with a blanket and shuts the computer off before he leaves.

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Ji-eun’s frantic by the time he returns because the computer was off when she woke up and she lost the file she was working on. She starts to fuss at him for touching the computer, and he becomes defensive. He says she needs to go to bed at night instead of working and tells her to just rewrite whatever she lost. He says she’s a talent-less bird anyway and it pains him to see how hard she has to work. She asks him why would he want to marry a bird and he says he didn’t ask her to marry him because he actually likes her but because he feels sorry for her.  After all, who else would take her in when she’s short, foul-tempered and dumb too? (Oh no he didn’t!)

Ji-eun says there’s always Min-hyuk and she stands up fed up with him by now. She says she can give him an answer now and tells him she doesn’t think she can marry him. She walks away and he’s back at square one.

Over breakfast, she asks when he plans to move out. He says he’ll stay until he finds a place and offers to pay rent while he’s there. She says she doesn’t need money, but she’ll hire him as a housekeeper. He gets offended, but she tells him to leave if he doesn’t want to do it. She demands that he has breakfast ready by nine, tells him to sleep in instead of getting up to exercise so early in the morning, and remarks that because he likes to clean so much, have a blast doing just that. (And the student has become the master, haha!)

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He gets to work right away. He cleans the windows next to the desk where she’s working, then starts dusting the printer. Finally, he kneels beside her and asks her to reconsider her refusal to marry him. He thinks she rejected him out of anger and says he doesn’t want her to regret it later. She says she didn’t rashly reject him, besides, she was married to him before and it wasn’t that great. She doesn’t think they’re compatible and says they should stay friends. He’s like, friends? And she tells him they can remain master and housekeeper if he’d prefer, it’s up to him.

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The doorbell rings before he can respond. It’s Shin Dong-wook and Yang Hee-jin. They’re there to unpack his things . . . again. Dong-wook goes upstairs with Yung-jae and gets to work. He complains that he’s tired of packing and unpacking for Yung-jae and tells him not to run away again. Hee-jin comes upstairs though and tells him not to bother unpacking. She says Ji-eun rejected Yung-jae’s marriage proposal and he won’t be staying.

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The three of them go outside and Dong-wook and Hee-jin decide they’ll help Yung-jae woo Ji-eun. They agree to tell him her likes and dislikes and let him know her secrets in exchange for his investing in their video shop. He accuses them of trying to hustle him, but Hee-jin says that’s not it. She actually likes Min-hyuk and thinks he’s a better match for Ji-eun but she will help him because Dong-wook wants to stay loyal to him.

Yung-jae goes to a café to wait for Dong-wook and Hee-jin to come with information on Ji-eun. The employees recognize him and whisper among themselves. The waitress brings him his drink and asks if he’s really the actor Lee Yung-jae. He nods. He thinks she’s an admirer, but she actually berates him for being unfaithful to his wife and insults him for being so vain as to wear sunglasses indoors. Hehehe.

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Dong-wook and Hee-jin arrive with a report listing information on Ji-eun, like her favorite color and favorite movie. They even throw in a freebie—a list of guidelines to make Ji-eun fall in love with him based on their dating experiences.

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He takes the list back to Full House and decides to try something on it. So he takes her to a nice restaurant—one that she’s already been to with Min-hyuk though. He’s pretty bad at dating. He actually compliments her healthy appetite, ha! That doesn’t work so he tells her a joke. Unfortunately, she knows the punch line already. Next, he tries to talk about how great the restaurant is. She agrees and says she’s been there with Min-hyuk and had the same dish with him too. The dish is just as tasty as before, she says, but Yung-jae’s ready to go when he hears that.

They go back to Full House and Yung-jae has them do laundry on the upper deck. Ji-eun complains about having to do more housework, but it’s all a part of Yung-jae’s master plan. He’s taken another suggestion from Dong-wook and Hee-jin’s list and is trying to “induce natural intimacy.” He joins her in the bucket to stomp on the laundry and puts his arms around her as he ostensibly claims he’ll “help” her. He gets hurt instead when she stomps on his foot.

He goes back inside and throws Dong-wook and Hee-jin’s list to the ground. However, a moment later he decides he’s not quite ready to give up so he picks it back up. They recommend a romantic proposal, which according to them will lead to a passionate kiss, so he asks Ji-eun to meet him at the ice skating rink at MagicLand later. She says she’s busy and suggests they go another time, but he insists she come that night.

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Ji-eun works late into the night while Yung-jae waits for her in the middle of the rink at MagicLand. He practices his proposal over and over, but by the time she gets there, he’s pissed because he’s been waiting so long.

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He hands her the flowers he brought and starts to walk away but ends up falling flat on his behind. Ji-eun laughs at his clumsiness, and they end up having a good time skating together.  

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Afterwards, she asks if he’s still mad. He claims he wasn’t mad at all, and she asks why he wanted to meet at MagicLand. She also asks about the flowers he brought. He starts to speak. He says he has something to say to her. He tries to tell her he loves her, but his words are drowned out when a loud machine rolls onto the ice. She doesn’t hear him, and then the cleaning crew comes and kicks them out of the rink.

Back at Full House, Yung-jae is still mad that Ji-eun made him wait for hours at the rink. She apologizes but says they had a good time skating and she accepted his apology, so what’s the harm. She also had no idea he’d be shivering and cold by the time she got there. He claims he wasn’t shivering and says he never catches cold. However, he sneezes before he can finish talking and later we see him using Dong-wook and Hee-jin’s guidelines to wipe his nose because he doesn’t have any tissue. Ewww.

Dong-wook calls the next morning to see how things went, and Yung-jae yells at him because nothing went right. To calm him down, Dong-wook tells him he left out an important part of the plan: overnight camping. So at breakfast, even though he’s clearly not feeling well, he tells Ji-eun that they have to go camping because the summer is almost over. Ji-eun says she has a meeting with Min-hyuk the next day and can’t go, so he insists they go camping that day.

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Ji-eun makes kimpap for the camping trip, but Yung-jae is asleep by the time it’s ready. He has a fever and Ji-eun wants him to rest instead of going out, but he’s adamant that they have to go camping before she sees Min-hyuk again. She finally convinces him to take a nap for just an hour and they can leave after his nap. He agrees, and as he falls asleep he asks her not to go anywhere and to stay by his side. He repeats that she can’t go to Min-hyuk and Ji-eun smiles as she realizes what he’s really worried about.

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When he wakes up later, it’s dark outside, and he’s upset that she didn’t wake him up like they agreed. He refuses to eat the porridge she made for him, but he perks up when she says they can go camping after he eats. They end up in a tent in the backyard. He’s still mad, but he eventually comes around.

He apologizes for bothering her computer and calling her a poultry writer. She says she’ll forgive him if he stars in her movie. He agrees to decide after he reads the script. Then he starts revealing things he knows about her, like her favorite color and flowers. He says he asked around about her because she claimed he didn’t know anything about her.

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She tells him if he wants to know something about her, he can just ask her himself so he says, “Can I ask you one thing then? . . . Will you marry me?” He says he wants an answer now though because he can’t wait until tomorrow. She asks if he’s stupid and says they’re already married. She shows him her hand. She’s wearing her old wedding ring!

He’s surprised she still has it. She’s sure he lost his, but he turns the tables on her and pulls his old wedding ring from his pocket. He still has his ring too!

Ji-eun stares at her ring and says when she first got the ring, she thought their marriage was fake. But eventually, it became real to her. When she was always waiting for him, while her heart was breaking, and as she was happy, the ring became real because of him, she says. He says he thought he was going to go crazy when he thought he couldn’t protect her. He constantly thought about her and worried about her. And he missed her. He says loving someone is a difficult ordeal, but he can’t stop himself.

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He looks at her and tells her he loves her, so much that it feels like the universe will explode. He says he loves her as long as it will take the oceans to dry and so much that he doesn’t care if his soul burns to ashes. He loves her very much.

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Ji-eun is speechless—as usual. But this time, Yung-jae calls her out and asks why can’t she say anything. He tells her he’s saying he loves her a lot. She has tears in her eyes and kisses him instead of answering, and he kisses her back.

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The next morning, Ji-eun wakes up first. She smiles as she looks at Yung-jae, but when she sees that he’s about to wake up too, she hurries out of the tent. Then she calls inside for him to get up so they can go jogging. He’s bashful now that he’s confessed his feelings again and hides his face in the sleeping bag. He tells her to exercise alone and he’ll have breakfast ready by the time she gets back. She insists that he come out though and reminds him that he has to listen to her from now on. Duly chastised, he agrees then hides his face again. (It’s the cutest thing, lol!)

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Some time has passed. Dong-wook and Hee-jin have had their baby and opened up their video store. Yung-jae’s movie poster is all over the store and Hee-jin tries to sell the movie to one of their customers. Dong-wook tells the customer he used to be Yung-jae’s manager and they claim they were responsible for reviving his career.

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Yung-jae is at a press conference. The reporters congratulate him on the stellar reviews from critics because of his realistic portrayal of the character in the movie. Min-hyuk walks in as he says he had a lot of help, especially from a chicken. They smile at each other as the reporters try to understand what he means.

Afterwards, he meets Min-hyuk in the hallway. Their relationship seems to have improved, and Yung-jae invites Min-hyuk to Full House for a celebratory party. Min-hyuk says he’ll bring Kang Hye-won and Yung-jae agrees.

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He goes to the car and is all smiles as he calls Ji-eun and asks if she wants to eat out. They’re so cute I (almost) wish they’d go back to fighting. They go on a Ji-eun-style date, holding hands as they walk around sightseeing and window shopping. They play arcade games and enjoy spicy rice cakes, and Yung-jae surprises Ji-eun with a single red rose. They end the day at a noraebang and have a good time singing and dancing.

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The next day, Min-hyuk and Hye-won arrive at Full House and the four of them enjoy a nice meal in the backyard.

As Yung-jae and Ji-eun clean up, Hye-won joins Min-hyuk on the dock. She sees the way Min-hyuk is looking at Ji-eun and says that Yung-jae and Ji-eun look good together. She asks Min-hyuk if he’s jealous and he says he is. She jokes that he wouldn’t have to be jealous of them if he’d come to her when she asked and laughs at him.

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The series ends with Yung-jae and Ji-eun enjoying a bike ride and a montage of scenes featuring highlights of their times together.

MY THOUGHTS

This series had quite a cute ending. My only complaint is that we had to wait so long to get to the good part.  Watching this the first time around, I thought there were too many rehashed scenes and arguments, too much repetition of the same tired behavior from all parties involved, and no real conflict to justify Yung-jae and Ji-eun staying apart for so long. Recapping the drama brought those glaring problems full front and center. It felt like every other scene was someone brooding or standing in place staring off into space thinking. And was I the only one who couldn’t take any more cleaning and eating!?

For those who don’t know, the producers of the drama built Full House especially for the series. It’s a beachfront property located in Incheon and, according to the Visit Korea website, it cost about $1 million U.S.D. to build. That probably explains why there were so many scenes in and around the house. They seemed determined to use the house to the full extent possible, i.e. the numerous scenes in the bathroom where Yung-jae and Ji-eun were brushing their teeth. This final episode, for example, seemed to be ninety percent Full House with a few other locations thrown in here and there.

In hindsight, I don’t think the limited filming location was the problem though. It was definitely the writing, or maybe that the drama was a few episodes too long which highlighted weaknesses in the writing.  But I still believe the actors did a good job with what they were given. The main leads were both written as preternaturally immature adults. Yung-jae’s immaturity was worse than Ji-eun’s, but I think Rain’s solid performance made the character a lot more likeable than he would have been otherwise. Ji-eun’s ignorance was her most glaring flaw. She didn’t seem that dumb, but she certainly pretended to be slow on the uptake one time too many. She accused Yung-jae of not knowing how to care for other people, but she didn’t seem to have enough sense to care about herself.

Having said all that, though, this show will remain on my favorites list. The fifteen minutes of good times at the end of this series totally made up for the fifteen episodes of frustration and angst. I enjoyed Yung-jae and Ji-eun as a happy couple so much that I would have loved if there had been more time devoted to them within that dynamic. But I can content myself by rewinding the last half of this episode and imagining the good times to be had in the future.

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