Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! It’s surreal to think that we’re really at the end of this journey. Thanks for joining me on this watch, you guys.
This shot of In Sang and Bom headlines this final post, because this feels like the perfect summation of where we arrive, at the end of our story. 🥰
SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:
1. There will be no spoiler zone this week, since these are the final episodes.
2. Instead, I will be putting up a post where we can discuss what you guys would like to do next, with this group watch slot. You can visit that post here!
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
It feels like a battle of wills this episode, with everyone choosing the path they want to take, and it looks like many of those paths are taking our characters away from the Han household.
In fact, it feels like more and more of our “non-elite” characters are coming together and putting their heads and hands together, to accomplish what they believe in, never mind what Jung Ho or Yeon Hee say.
I don’t think Yeon Hee is at all cognizant of the fact that Yi Ji, Secretary Lee and Housekeeper Jung are actually working together to secretly pack In Sang’s stuff and get everything to him, when she orders them to get rid of all his things.
If she’d known, then this would be her cooperating with them without letting on that she’s cooperating with them.
The sense I get, though, is that she doesn’t actually realize that her order happens to align perfectly with their plan to get In Sang’s things out of the house.
I do feel a little sorry for Yeon Hee, because she looks distinctly lonely, and I mostly have seen her more as a victim of her limited mindset and the social structure she’s been brought up to ascribe to, rather than as someone who’s overtly malicious.
Meaning, sure, she can be petty, and she does put way too much emphasis on social standing and appearances, but I don’t see her as particularly evil.
Also, I’m thinking that perhaps her general sense of unhappiness is making me feel sorry for her as well. I feel like she wants to be happy, but is trapped by her own limiting beliefs.
That said, I do feel a stab of satisfaction, at seeing everyone come together to help In Sang get his things; even Hyun Soo and Min Jae are roped into the mission, which is pretty cool.
The way everyone sneaks a visit to Jin Young’s daycare center, in hopes of getting to see Jin Young, is kind of silly and hilarious, which is exactly the kind of stuff that I like to see, from this show.
It’s great that Yi Ji gets lots of nice pictures of Jin Young to show the staff at home, and it’s somehow quite funny, that both Yeon Hee and Jung Ho attempt sneak visits, but are totally found out.
I guess they’re both not very good at being discreet or spy-like? 😁
I’d imagined that perhaps one or both of them might change their tune, spurred by their both missing Jin Young as much as they do, but.. that’s not how it shakes out.
I’m somewhat disappointed, but not actually surprised; after all, it’s all a matter of what they value more.
And, even though it’s true that they both miss their grandson and wish to see him, they still value their pride and their chosen stance more, and therefore won’t back down.
It’s all a matter of priorities, in the end, and it’s sad but true, that they value their pride more than they value their grandson.
In fact, both Jung Ho and Yeon Hee express, in their own ways, that they’re shocked and disappointed that Bom isn’t showing any repentance, even when she meets Jung Ho at the daycare center.
That says a great deal, doesn’t it? That after all this, they both still feel they’re in the right, and that it’s Bom who should be groveling for forgiveness.
Ooh, I love the little detail that we get, that Teacher Park and Secretary Lee are planning to get married. Aw, YAY. I’m really happy for them. 🥰
I’m curious about what they mean though, in asking Bom and In Sang about their plans for their studies.
Since they’re both talking about quitting their jobs, could they be thinking of starting some new venture together, and thinking of getting Bom and In Sang to join them, maybe..?
It’s a tough question for In Sang and Bom to work through, because there are so many practical considerations. Like, what about money? And what about Jin Young?
I do appreciate that In Sang’s instinct is that if only one of them should study, then it ought to be Bom because she’s always done better on the mock tests.
This feels very teamwork-y to me, like he’s really thinking of who the stronger player is, between them, rather than thinking of himself and what he’d like to do.
I have to admit that I’m not hugely interested in Jung Ho’s plan to put a shady Prime Minister in place for his own shady reasons, but I get the idea that more of our characters are against him, rather than for him, compared to when we started our story.
Even Secretary Kim, who’s usually so scared of spy-type work, leaks information to Secretary Min, in an effort to help her.
Also, that’s an interesting detail, that Jae Won basically buys Jung Ho over, with an introduction to his hair transplant doctor. Say, what?!?
So, because of Jung Ho’s love for his hair, he’s going to let Jae Won off, who had been the planned scapegoat. This means that they need a new scapegoat, right?
Suddenly, I think Secretary Min’s remark about Secretary Yang’s brother becoming the scapegoat, might actually come true.
I do rather love the idea of Teacher Park joining Attorney Yoo and Je Hoon in their non-profit venture, though that does seem to mean that my earlier thought of him starting his own business and getting In Sang and Bom involved, is off the mark. Hmmm.
As we close out the episode, it looks like everyone in the Han household is looking to leave – except for Jung Ho and Yeon Hee, that is.
Not only does Teacher Park leave, we see Secretary Lee hand in her resignation, AND we see Yi Ji telling Butler Park and Housekeeper Jung, that they can’t leave until she’s left.
ANDDD. Housekeeper Jung even tells Secretary Yang – politely and pleasantly of course – to not try to lord it over the staff, and to come and talk to them on their level.
Oohhh. It sure looks like we’re on the cusp of a big exodus, aren’t we..?
If that’s the case (and it sure looks like that’s the case), then what will Jung Ho and Yeon Hee do?
All in all, I think that Show manages to arrive at an ending that feels like a good balance between believable and satisfying.
I find it believable in that not everyone has a change of heart, and some of our key characters choose to stick with their beliefs, even if the social and emotional cost is high.
I also find it believable, that the question that Teacher Park poses to In Sang and Bom, actually leads to some tension between the two.
What Bom says to Yi Ji over the phone has such a ring of truth and pathos to it, “I guess fights do happen even when we both feel sorry for each other.”
I’m so glad that this works out in the end, when it turns out that Teacher Park would like to offer personal scholarships to the both of them.
This might not be suuper realistic, because, how often does someone like Teacher Park come along in the real world?
I mean, he’s ready to leave his old high-salaried life behind, and embrace a new life, where he’s not only sponsoring a pair of teen parents to the bar exam, but also, earning minimum wage at his new job, because he feels that he’s earned enough from his old job?
That’s pretty dang special and incredible.
But this feel-good, sunshiny part of the finale, though requiring some suspension of disbelief, is really the stuff that makes my heart sing.
Sure, I have no idea how Teacher Park is finding the time to personally tutor In Sang and Bom, when he’s now got a new job with Je Hoon’s non-profit firm, but the idea is so warm and cozy that I roll with it anyway.
And, I honestly just love the idea that the household staff all leave, but choose to stick together, to make a new future together.
I LOVE the idea that the apartment that Teacher Park and Secretary Lee get, is just upstairs of the apartment that Butler Park and Housekeeper Jung get, and that they basically weave their lives together, and share food, and spend time together on a regular basis.
I also love that these two apartments are just a few minutes away from Bom’s parents’ house, so that all of them can easily move between these three locations.
The various scenes that we get, of folks hanging out at Bom’s parents’ house, eating together, and chatting, is just wonderfully heartwarming, and the noisy chatter seems charming and welcoming, so much so that I’d like to join in too, if I could, heh.
At the same time, I find it believable, that Jung Ho and Yeon Hee don’t budge, even at the prospect of In Sang and Bom taking up Teacher Park’s offer, and therefore agreeing to carve a path for themselves that will have nothing to do with the likes of Hansong.
Effectively, it feels like Jung Ho and Yeon Hee are cutting ties with In Sang and Bom, even though there’s nothing in Teacher Park’s conditions that stipulates that.
It’s just that Jung Ho and Yeon Hee are so set in their ways, that they won’t consider compromising with In Sang and Bom, in order to have more of a relationship.
When In Sang gives Yeon Hee that hug, telling her that she can come and visit them anytime, it feels so.. final, really, because Yeon Hee declines right away, and says that it won’t happen.
I’m still glad that Bom gives Yeon Hee room to change her mind, so for Yeon Hee’s sake, I hope she does.
It feels a little extreme that Secretary Kim also resigns and ends up joining Je Hoon’s non-profit firm, but y’know, by this point, I’m just rolling with the inclusive, feel-good vibes that Show’s serving up.
Even Min Jae ends up doing an internship there, ha.
It’s time that these characters leave that toxic Hansong environment behind and get a chance to start afresh in a new place that’s more life-giving.
With her brother in trouble just like Secretary Min had predicted, Secretary Yang is offered the chance too, but declines, saying that she’ll deal with it on her own.
Again, I see this is as one of Show’s more realistic touches, in this finale. Not everyone chooses to start over, in the end.
And it makes sense that Secretary Yang chooses not to, because she’s basically spent her entire life in Hansong, and probably is too entrenched to see herself leaving.
Speaking of leaving, I thought it was a rather nice touch, for Hyun Soo to leave with Yi Ji, so that they have each other for company, as they study abroad. This feels like a good move for both of them, since they both need to get away from suffocating, toxic parents.
I’m also glad that Hyun Soo and Bom get to have that awkward but rather positive goodbye, where they even share a quick hug, and Hyun Soo blurts out that cute-awkward, “Thanks, a little bit.”
I wasn’t quite prepared though, for Yeon Hee’s departure, where she just packs her bags and informs Jung Ho that she plans to travel for a bit.
This feels quite final as well, because Jung Ho’s first response is, “Are you coming back?” and Yeon Hee’s response is a very non-committal, “Maybe.”
I feel like there’s a good chance Yeon Hee won’t come back, since she’s not particularly fond of Jung Ho, and he’s now the only person left in the house.
But, perhaps with some time and thought, Yeon Hee might just find it in herself to compromise and visit In Sang like he’s invited her to.
I honestly don’t feel all that sorry for Jung Ho, as he becomes the only person left in that big ol’ house, because this is what he’s chosen for himself.
In choosing to stick to his way of doing things, and in choosing ambition over relationships, he’s lost everyone; that was a conscious decision that he made. And because that was a conscious decision on his part, I’ll just shrug with maybe the tiniest bit of passing sympathy.
He’ll live the life that he chose, and he’ll enjoy the success and power that he chose. There will always be people who will be willing to play by his rules and bow those deep bows as he comes home.
But, I’m glad for all the folks in our story who made the choice to walk their own paths and do things their own way, because they honestly look so very happy and content, where they’re at.
You’ve chosen well, friends, and I’m rooting for all of ya. 🥰
THE FINAL VERDICT:
A touch meandering, but quirky, different and engaging enough, to feel refreshing.