Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Gosh, time flies, doesn’t it? We’ve come to the end of this delightful show. 🥲 Thanks for watching this one with me! 😘
SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:
1. There’s no Spoiler Zone this week, since this is the final two episodes of the show.
2. Our next Saturday group watch will be of Autumn’s Concerto [Taiwan], which will start on 25 June 2022.
I will make an announcement with all the relevant details, next Saturday, 18 June 2022.
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
Oof. What a rollercoaster of an episode this turned out to be.
For those of us who wondered what else Show might have up its sleeves, after such a great pair of episodes last week, welp, I guess we have our answer. 😅
To Show’s credit, it’s something that actually makes decent narrative sense, and doesn’t feel like something that writer-nim just made up on the fly, in order to fill screen time.
Before we get into that, though, I am appreciative of the fact that Show gives us an intensive dose of Cute upfront, in order to anchor us through the angst that we get, for a good chunk of the episode.
I loved – so much! – the OTP cuteness that we get, with Hee Jin being so thrilled that Boong Do’s with her in 2012, that she can’t sleep, and then jumps at the first chance she gets, to go over to Boong Do’s apartment.
How cute, that the thing that gets her so excited to go over there, is the chance to show Boong Do how useful neckties are, for kissing.
Tee hee hee! How funny, that Boong Do expresses suspicion around the fact that so many of Hee Jin’s explanations have something to do with kissing. So funny, but so true! 😁
And how sweetly poignant, is Hee Jin’s joy over the fact that Boong Do’s now only 5 minutes away from her, rather than 300 years away. Aw.
It really has been hard to date long distance – or in their case, across different timelines – and it does feel like sweet, sweet relief, that they’re both now in the same timeline, finally.
I find it extremely endearing, that Boong Do’s applying himself so earnestly, to learning everything that he needs to know, in order to fit seamlessly into his new chosen timeline.
His questions about clocks and clothing and why we read things from left to right, are cutely thought-provoking, and he does make me look at my world a little differently, by asking them.
Their date is so lighthearted and cute, with Hee Jin being blithely adorable and romantic, even though she’s under strict instructions from Soo Kyung, to watch her image, heh.
The way she teaches Boong Do to do the “Lady and the Tramp” kiss with pasta, is cutely hilarious, and I think it’s awesome that Boong Do remarks, half seriously, that he’s only going to eat pasta from now on.
EGAD. Just, how cute are they??? 😍😍
..Which just makes Boong Do’s sudden disappearance, back to the Joseon timeline, feel all the more like snatching candy from a child. 😭
At first, I’d thought that this might have something to do with the fact that the charm was made in Joseon, and therefore, Boong Do’s meant to spend most of his time in Joseon, but I think the explanation that Show eventually gives us, is better.
Since Yoon Wol had been the one to request the talisman for Boong Do, and since she’d been the one to pour her faith into it, via her prayers, it makes some kind of sense, that when Yoon Wol’s life is snuffed out, that the talisman would turn black like that, and cease to work the way it had been.
On that note, POOR YOON WOL. 🥺
I’d hoped that she would’ve been able to start a new life, after accepting the fact that Boong Do’s left for the new world, but alas, it wasn’t to be.
It’s horrible that Lord Min Am’s lackey would take everything out on Yoon Wol and kill her for having been the cause of everything that had happened, but I can see why he would direct his anger at her.
After all, if Boong Do hadn’t had that talisman, he would have been successful in killing him, and Lord Min Am wouldn’t have died like that.
Still, it’s a terrible fate that Yoon Wol suffers, and I’m only mildly mollified that Boong Do wastes no time in avenging her death, and making sure that the monk at the temple would collect her body, so that she’d be able to spend her last moments in the place where she felt peace.
I was suuper nervous about Boong Do trying to use the blackened talisman to get back to Hee Jin, because, what if it doesn’t work, right? That means that he’d die, just making the attempt.
And yet, he still chooses to take the chance, because that’s how much Hee Jin means to him, and my heart can’t help but wobble in appreciation.
Still, that moment, when he’s almost reaching Hee Jin, and trying to explain that there was something wrong with the talisman, and then disappears, mid-stride, is utterly heartbreaking.
Talk about being so near, yet so far. 😭
And, as if this isn’t bad enough, Boong Do finds, after traveling intensely for a month, to get to the head monk who’d written the talisman, that the head monk had already passed away, a month before.
GAH. With no one left in the world who knows anything about how the talisman works, let alone how to possibly make a new one, I can see why Boong Do would decide that the kinder thing to do, would be to burn the talisman, in the hope of releasing Hee Jin from the pain of remembering him, and waiting for him.
Gulp. That’s such a painful thought.
And yet, I can see why Boong Do would make this choice.
I wouldn’t call this noble idiocy, even though Boong Do’s doing this for Hee Jin’s sake. He literally can’t see any way out of this situation, and is trying to free Hee Jin from a potential lifetime spent waiting for him in vain.
That letter that Boong Do writes at the end, for both his and Hee Jin’s sakes, is so heartbreaking.
It’s heartbreaking that Boong Do’s conclusion is that in order to preserve his life, he has to give up everything, including his memories of Hee Jin, in order to pay the equivalent price.
And it’s even more heartbreaking, that Boong Do’s final wish, is that if Hee Jin were to ever read the letter, that she wouldn’t even realize that it had been meant for her.
Gurgle. That’s so, sooo sad. 😭😭
With the talisman now burned, what’s going to happen to our adorable OTP? Because, surely there must be a way for them to be reunited..? 🥺
The path to true love and happiness is a rather rocky one, this episode, but – HUZZAH!! – we do get our happy ending, after all!!
But first, let’s back up a bit.
I was slightly dismayed to see that a whole year had passed since the end of our previous episode, because this means that Hee Jin and Boong Do have been apart for a whole year by this time – and we still don’t have a clue as to if or how they are going to get back together again.
I thought Show did a nice job of revealing to us, bit by bit, whether or not Hee Jin and Boong Do had retained their memories of each other, after Boong Do had burned the talisman.
For a hot second, I’d thought that maybe – just maybe? – Hee Jin did remember him, but had just moved on with life, as people tend to do.
But then, when she’s given the script for the documentary that she’s been asked to narrate – aptly titled “Queen In-hyun’s Man,” heh – she remarks that she’s never heard the name “Kim Boong Do.”
Ahh. So this means that Boong Do had successfully wiped her memories, when he’d burned the talisman.
The other question the remains, of course, is whether Boong Do himself remembers Hee Jin, and we do get an indication of that too, when Hee Jin, in her narration, mentions that Boong Do had mentioned the mystery lady in his other memos (which I assume to be letters).
I also rather like the way we’re informed of what had happened to Boong Do, via the information provided for the documentary.
It makes sense to me that Boong Do would have spent his time wandering the peninsula, while still carrying his most important possessions with him – which include the letter that he’d written to Hee Jin.
And, it’s entirely possible that he’d have left the letter behind among his books, when he’s recognized and in danger of being captured.
It’s really quite poetic, the way Boong Do’s letter, written for Hee Jin, really does come to her attention, 300 years later. And, it’s so poignant too, that his wish in the letter, that she wouldn’t even know that it had been written to her, comes true as well.
At the same time, it’s completely in line with Hee Jin’s character, that the idea of Boong Do being in love with the queen, would capture her imagination, so much so that he comes alive to her.
And so, in the scene where she does the outdoor narration in the palace, and literally crosses paths with Boong Do (such a beautifully conceptualized scene, I think!), it could be rationalized that this is just her, getting overly emotionally invested in this historical figure, whose story she’s narrating.
However, to my eyes, this really feels like the thing that first might have triggered Hee Jin’s memories of Boong Do to start to come back.
Yes, this doesn’t make logical sense, since Boong Do had burned the talisman, BUT, Show’s established before, that the connection between Boong Do and Hee Jin is strong enough, that it tends to transcend the confines of the time travel mechanism.
In the past, when the talisman had been sliced in half, and that had caused Boong Do to lose his memories of Hee Jin for a while, he’d still remembered phrases that he’d picked up from her, in 2012.
Because Show’s done that before, it doesn’t feel like that much of a stretch, that in this moment, Hee Jin’s para-timeline encounter with Boong Do, might trigger the return of her memories of him.
At the same time, in Joseon, it’s really quite heartbreaking to see Boong Do conclude that his only step forward, is to kill himself, because his identity is about to be discovered.
And how ironic, that he chooses to hang himself by the very necktie that Hee Jin had bought for him.
And he almost succeeds, too. Ack.
Thank goodness for Hee Jin regaining her memories, and attempting to call him – based on her regained memories of his phone number, no less! – which is the thing that gets him to escape the stranglehold of the necktie, in order to answer her call.
As it turns out, it’s the answering of Hee Jin’s call, that then transports Boong Do to the now-2013 timeline.
I remember when I first watched this show, that I was so happy to get my happy ending for Hee Jin and Boong Do, that I didn’t even care too much, that there was a sector of viewers who felt that the phone ringing thing, was a bit of a cop-out.
On this viewing, I have to say that it makes more narrative sense to me, than most people gave it credit for, when Show first aired.
The thing is, Show has demonstrated that Yoon Wol had “called” for Boong Do, when she’d died, which had enabled Boong Do to travel back to the Joseon timeline, even though the talisman wasn’t on his person.
And, Boong Do himself had referred to the event, as Yoon Wol calling him back to Joseon.
This time, we can think of it as Hee Jin “calling” for Boong Do too, the moment she remembers him, except that this time, it’s via a phone call, and not a talisman.
Again, yes it defies the laws of physics and everything, but, as Show has demonstrated more than once already, their love has proven to be greater than things like rules and mechanics.
That’s the romance of this notion; that things like the laws of physics, or the mechanics of time travel, aren’t enough to keep Boong Do and Hee Jin apart, because their love is greater than all of that.
I feel like I actually have more questions about how Boong Do finds Hee Jin in that theater where she’s watching the documentary footage, than in how he travels back to 2013, heh.
STILL. It’s so great to see them reunited again, that I feel quite happy to just roll with the fact that he managed to find her, despite her not answering the phone, when he called her back.
It’s perfectly understandable that Hee Jin’s in shock, and not quite believing of the fact that Boong Do’s standing right there, in front of her.
That touch, of that single tear springing forth from Hee Jin’s eye, as she realizes that Boong Do is real, is very nicely done, I thought.
Amid the tears, as Hee Jin touches his cheek and confirms that he’s alive, I find it so endearing, that the first time Hee Jin asks, is how Boong Do has been, this past year. Aw.
It’s both sweet and cute, that Boong Do gently tells Hee Jin, that he came back because she’d called him, and therefore she should take responsibility for it.
And then it’s so perfectly cheeky of Boong Do, to tell Hee Jin that he’s missed the purpose of the necktie, which she’d taught him. Ahaha!!
YES PLEASE, bring on them kisses!!!
I confess, I can’t help grinning like a goofy loon, as Boong Do and Hee Jin drown in an endless series of heartfelt, hungry kisses.
What a pitch perfect little epilogue in the corner of our screens, as Boong Do gets interrogated by Soo Kyung one last time, about where he goes to school, and where he lives, etc. Her questions, as always, are hilariously consistent.
But I take comfort in the thought that this will be the final time that Boong Do will have to answer these questions, because finally, he’s here to stay, for good. ❤️