Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Thanks for joining us for this fated commemorative group watch of Winter Sonata!
I know you guys thought this would be the final one – but surprise! It’s not. 😅 Details below, in the announcements section.
SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:
1. Trent’s had quite an upheaval to his schedule this week, and long story short, he had to travel at the last minute, in order to cover someone else’s work, because that someone else had gotten into a car accident.
I’m amazed that he was even able to cover episode 19, honestly.
Trent’s working on the notes for episode 20, but will need a couple of days at the very least, since he’s juggling not only his own schedule, but someone else’s as well. We’ll release it when it’s ready; thank you for your patience!
In the meantime, can I just say, THANK YOU TRENT, YOU ARE A ROCK STAR! ⭐️❤️
2. There is NO SPOILER ZONE this week, since we are on the cusp of the finale – please hold your spoilery episode 20 thoughts for the episode 20 notes, when they come out!
3. This is a heads-up, that after this show, we’ll be taking a break from group watches for a while, because I very much need some breathing space, and this is one way to get some. 😅
I’ll make an announcement, when I feel ready to take on another group watch – which will come, I promise!
Without further ado, here are Trent’s reactions to episode 19; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
First item of business on our penultimate journey through this particular instantiation of retro melo crazytown: a shout of praise and thanksgiving. 🎉✨ HALLELUJAH ✨🎊 and pass the pork chops! Somebody does know about DNA testing in our dramaworld after all! Whew.
Also, maybe it’s just me, but I had the distinct impression while watching this episode that our esteemed writers were like “What?! There’s only two episodes left? And there are still a few tropes that we have left unused? No, no, that simply won’t do. Quick! See how many more twists we can throw in before the end!” 🤔
Alright, let’s see what everyone’s up to in this episode.
So you will no doubt recall that we ended last episode with Yu-jin learning that her fated love was also apparently her sibling, and the closing shot was of her rushing pell-mell down the stairs of her apartment building…
So we open this episode with the taxi screeching up to Jun-sang’s building, and Yu-jin rushing pell-mell in and up to his unit (she collapses once on the stairs to underline that this is serious, y’all!).
She bangs on the door…it opens…and (🥁🥁🥁) it is Mi-hee standing there 😠.
They sit down at the dining room table, Mi-hee serves tea(!) and is all, you came for Jun-sang? Me too, I haven’t been able to reach him for a few days. Yu-jin is like, is it true? Is Jun-sang the son of my father?
Mi-hee doesn’t answer her directly, just gets up and turns away and is all, just let Jun-sang go, pretend you never met him… at which, Yu-jin jumps up and runs out.
Cut to Jun-sang sitting in his office at Marcian, and minion strolling in to ask where he’s been, and why he hasn’t answered any calls for a few days now, and what he’s been up to?
Just then there’s a disturbance out front, and Yu-jin bulldozes her way past the receptionist and into the room. Jun-sang is all, it’s okay…could you give us a moment?
(Long-running low-level mystery solved? Jun-sang calls minion “seonbae,” as he has consistently, but the subs refer to him as “Hyuk-soo,” so he has a name! It’s probably come up earlier and I just missed it. Sorry, Hyuk-soo Ssi! But at this late date, I’m afraid you’re stuck with “minion.” 😉)
Left alone, Yu-jin is giving her best “melt through steel beams” glare. Jun-sang is all, why are you here? Didn’t Sang-hyuk tell you what I said? I told him to tell you we were breaking up. (Which, dude, if it were on the level (i.e. not ulterior or concealed motive), you have to know is totally chickenshit. Tasking your quondam rival with breaking up for you by proxy, without the decency to even look them in the eye and do it in person? C’mon). Also, I’m leaving for the U.S. soon. You can’t change my mind, so don’t even try.
Of course, Yu-jin knows the score at this point, but she’s willing to play out the string, so to speak, so she’s like, why? Why can’t you change your mind?
I don’t love you, Jun-sang responds, I realized it after I got all of my memories back. Yu-jin is like, that’s a damn dirty lie, you’re lying, you’re totally lying. You love me. Can’t we just love each other?
(Interesting how her basic response to the INCEST news seems to be roughly aligned with his: just continue loving each other? Not clear Yu-jin has any better answer for how that’s supposed to work than Jun-sang did when we canvassed the question an episode or two ago….)
Jun-sang is staring at Yu-jin with a perplexed look, so then she continues, is that true? Is it true? Well, Yu-jin doesn’t define “that” or “it,” but contextually it must be clear, because they’re both leaking out the eyeholes, and Jun-sang gives a slight nod…at which Yu-jin collapses to the floor.
Jun-sang jumps up, and Yu-jin is like, stop! Stay there!
Shift to Chuncheon, where Yu-jin’s mom is out hanging laundry when Yu-jin meanders through the front gate. Mom is all, you didn’t even call, and Yu-jin is like, well, I just missed you.
Then to Jun-sang, arriving home at his place. He stops briefly while looking a bit dizzy and disoriented, then looks up to see piano mom waiting for him. Mi-hee is all, where have you been? Yu-jin came by…she found out about it.
Jun-sang walk slowly past, before leaning against the wall and then slumping down to the floor.
Back to Chuncheon, where Yu-jin is having a good cry while mom tries to comfort her. Yu-jin is all, it’s okay, it’s fine, while mom is like, what’s wrong? Did you break up with him? You broke up because of me and your dad, I’m sorry.
So then Yu-jin is all, do you still love dad? (…that hound dog, she doesn’t say). Of course, says mom, he and you girls mean everything to me.
Yu-jin is like, but—stay with me here—what if I hated dad? Aw honey, you shouldn’t hate your dad, mom responds, he’d be so sad right now for messing up your romance and all!
Cut to Jun-sang, sitting on his bed, while piano mom tells him that she’s sorry, she didn’t know he loved Yu-jin this much, if she had known, well… Jun-sang is like, please just go, mom, huh? Just leave, thanks. I don’t want to think or talk about anything.
Later, Jun-sang laid out sleeping on the bed, sweating heavily, when the doorbell rings. He stumbles down the hall to answer it. It is professor dad, here to pose a question… are you alright?
And…that wasn’t the actual question, because it’s right then that Jun-sang collapses in a faint, so we quickly cut back to the ol’ gurney wheeling in the ER entrance scene. Is he going to be okay, asks professor dad… are you his father, responds the doctor 🤔🤨😲
From there, we jump straight to Chae-rin, who is back on the beat after apparently having taken a several-day break away to get herself together. She is back in fine form terrorizing her boutique underlings, all except Jin-sook, who is gazing disconsolately into the distance.
Chae-rin’s like, what’s up, girlfriend? Jin-sook is all, a lot of stuff happened…for one thing, looks like Yu-jin and Jun-sang broke up. Chae-rin is like, say what?
Then it’s on to Sang-hyuk at his work place, where Chae-rin strolls in looking for the scoop. She wants to know what’s really going on with the Jun-sang/Yu-jin scene.
Sang-hyuk ponders for a second, and while he’s pondering, he fields a call from professor dad, who tells him Jun-sang is in the hospital, he thinks it’s after effects from his accident, but the doctor has to run more tests.
Professor dad sits down with a (particularly puffed-up) doctor, who huffs and blows but basically ends up on “I’ll be able to say more after tests come back.” (The doctor addresses him as “father,” apparently assuming that he’s Jun-sang’s father?).
So then professor dad is all, there is one more test I’d like to take… so then we shift to professor dad getting his blood drawn, and COULD THIS FINALLY BE SOMEONE GETTING A FLIPPITY-FLIPPIN DNA TEST?!
Then we get dad sitting by an unconscious Jun-sang’s bedside, while replaying all those clues that maybe point toward a different paternity for Jun-sang than Yu-jin’s dad.
Then Sang-hyuk and Chae-rin burst into the room.
Off to the side, Sang-hyuk assures dad that Yu-jin and Jun-sang have broken up…dad nods and then is like, and what do you think of Jun-sang (with strong subtext of “just maybe your brother?” Hmmm. Which one is hyung? Has to be Jun-sang, right? Professor dad and piano mom’s tryst would have been before professor dad married…although not that long before, if they’re all roughly the same age and in the same class).
Do you get along? How close are you? Sang-hyuk is all, uh, dad? And he’s like, right, right, never mind.
Back bedside, Chae-rin is wiping Jun-sang’s fevered brow, while he mutters Yu-jin’s name. Sang-hyuk comes back, and Chae-rin is all, why isn’t Yu-jin coming? She should be here, why isn’t she coming?
Sang-hyuk is like, they broke up…and he starts to go into the song and dance about how Jun-sang didn’t really love Yu-jin, and Chae-rin is all, you’re lying, dude, he’s still calling her name as he’s lying there, right now! So spill it, what is it you aren’t telling me?!
So then Sang-hyuk figures the game is up, and he’s all, well, those two…they’re siblings. Chae-rin is all, what the hell? Say that again? So Sang-hyuk explains the basic bloodline for her.
(And gotta say, my dire hypothetical scenario from last week’s comments – Jun-sang goes back to Chae-rin to irrevocably repudiate the relationship with Yu-jin – is certainly looking at least possible, if not plausible).
Jun-sang regains consciousness, and the first thing he says to the nurse is “I didn’t want to ever wake up again.” Then he’s dressed and getting ready to leave the room when Chae-rin comes in.
He’s all, how come you’re here, and she’s like, I’m here to give you a ride, come on. So she takes him home and up to his place, and then she’s all, okay, well, bye. And he’s like, thanks.
Then Chae-rin turns back and is all, just tell Yu-jin how you feel, and run away with her. Neither one of you knew about “that thing,” what were you supposed to do? I’m not happy you breaking up because of this, if you break up for something like this (implied: but still love her), then how am I supposed to ask you to come back to me?
(Okay, 1) what have you done with my backstabbing Machiavellian 🦊 Chae-rin? and 2) apparently everyone in this drama is cool with a wee bit of incest, when push comes to shove, as long as the parties are in love and they “run away” so we don’t have to think about it carrying on right under our noses? I dunno…)
Cut to Yu-jin out at her dad’s grave mound, and she’s all telling him about the dream she had of coming there with Jun-sang to greet him, and then wondering if the reason she loved Jun-sang so much and so long in the first place is because they were related (which…eww?)
Back to Sang-hyuk’s workplace, where Yu-jin is waiting for him in the hallway. He expresses pleasure at seeing her after she’s been incommunicado for some time.
They go out to eat, and Yu-jin tells him she is quitting her job, she just hasn’t been able to concentrate. He tells her she should take a long vacation.
Then she asks him if he’ll help her get in touch with Jun-sang, who isn’t answering her calls.
Sang-hyuk is all, no, I don’t think it’s good for you, you just need to forget about him. (Once again, the menfolk know what’s best for Yu-jin!) Yu-jin is all, please? I won’t do anything dramatic, I just have to tell him something.
Over to Jun-sang’s office, where minion is chillin’ across the desk from our boy. On his way out, he gets in a parting shot about “how much you two have to suffer to end things.”
Jun-sang picks up a call from Sang-hyuk, who mentions Yu-jin came by…Jun-sang asks how she’s doing, then apparently Sang-hyuk tells him Yu-jin requested he meet her one last time?
Yu-jin is packing up her office stuff when Jeong-ah comes in and is all, what’re you doing? Yu-jin is like, I’m quitting before you fire me! And I need some time to clear my head and think what to do.
Yu-jin heads out with her stuff, including the small model she built of a house. She goes strolling through the neighborhood park, with Jun-sang following her for awhile, until she sees him. They sit down at a table in the park.
Jun-sang apologizes, says he didn’t want her to know about “that.” It’s not something he could save her from. Yu-jin is all, you should have done better (and I’m like, yes, drag him, girl!)…it would have been better if we had broken up without knowing that (but…that’s the point! You wouldn’t have broken up without knowing that!).
Jun-sang is like, are you alright? And Yu-jin is all, what about you? (neither one answers).
So then Yu-jin says, “Jun-sang. I love you. I have loved you, and I’ll love you forever. Can’t I do that? Is that a bad thing?” (sorry, I need a moment. In spite of all that’s happened, this is an enormously affecting delivery 💔😭💞).
Jun-sang responds, “no, it’s not.”
Yu-jin is all, that’s right, it’s not. No matter what people say, I’m not ashamed we love each other. I was thrilled, I had butterflies in my stomach, it was difficult and sad, and every moment was precious to me. I truly loved you. Please don’t forget that. I will remember everything, until the last moment of my life. Will you?
Jun-sang is all, yes, I will too. I promise no matter what happens, I won’t forget about you, I’ll remember you.
Then they walk together down the path a ways, and then Yu-jin is like, promise me one thing, just promise me you won’t turn and look back. I don’t want the last moment we have of each other is to be seeing each other’s backs.
So then they turn and walk in opposite directions, and neither one turns back 😭💞😭
THEN we move to pompous doctor’s office, and professor dad (with papers in hand) going, is this true? Is this really correct?
Doctor is all, well, we never say we’re 100% sure in the case of DNA paternity testing, but in this case, I’m sure it’s correct. …are you alright (he says, as professor dad passes out and falls to the floor).
So YES! They DO have DNA testing in this time and place!! Now I’m side-eyeing EXTRA HARD at Jun-sang, ya silly git, an educated professional who should have had the good sense, one would think, to get a DNA test done at some point before blowing things up so spectacularly. Heck, tell Yu-jin the whole scenario, ask her to get tested together with you!
Professor dad recovered quickly, it seems, because next thing we know, he’s bursting into Mi-hee’s practice room to confront her.
Mi-hee is all, did we have something else to discuss? Professor dad is all, ya daft auld besom…okay, no, that’s me…actually he’s like, is it true? (dude, you know it’s true. Are you going to give her the benefit of a doubt in the face of a DNA test?). Is it true that Jun-sang is…our son?
This is Mi-hee’s shocked face → 😲 But then she’s like, yes, it’s true, Jun-sang is your son (she’s kind of a piece of work, our Mi-hee is 😤🤬)
Cut back to Jun-sang’s office, he’s staring out the window, before he collapses in a faint again. His receptionist rushes in to find him, and we’re back to ambulances pulling up to the emergency room.
We skip over the recovery scenes, and go right to Jun-sang sitting in the doctor’s office, looking at head MRI pics.
Doctor is explaining that he has a chronic subdural hematoma, and it could basically blow up at any time, so they need to do immediate surgery. BUT, it’s in a “difficult spot,” so no guarantees! Except we’re pretty sure you could lose your eyesight, and your life is at risk, if we don’t operate, sorry.
Early the next morning, professor dad is off to Jun-sang’s place, but Jun-sang doesn’t answer the doorbell. But as he’s loitering in front of the building, Jun-sang walks up.
They go back up to Jun-sang’s place, and Jun-sang is all, are you alright, my man? (professor dad is acting kind of not quite in complete control of his thoughts and emotions).
Professor dad is like, I can’t believe I didn’t realize it. You look just like your grandfather! 🙄 That’s why I always thought of you.
To which Jun-sang is all, what are you talking about? So professor dad is all, Jun-sang…you…are my son. (insert LukeSkywalkerNOOO.gif 😉).
Of course, Jun-sang is all, say what? Professor dad is like, I only found out yesterday, when I heard from the hospital. Also, I talked to your mom…you’re not Hyun-soo’s son. Jun-sang has a poleaxed look on his face, and then he’s right back to mom’s place to confront her.
He (very reasonably) wants to know why she didn’t tell him, why she made him believe his father was dead?
Mi-hee is all, I’m sorry, Jun-sang. And he’s like, you’re sorry?! All this time, and you’re sorry now? You broke Yu-jin’s heart and mine, and made us break up, and now you’re SORRY?! WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?
So Mi-hee is like, all this time I wanted to believe you were Hyun-soo’s son. That’s the truth. So I raised you believing you were his son. That was the only way I could survive. I’m sorry.
Once again, we are back to Sang-hyuk’s workplace, Yu-jin waiting in the hall. Sang-hyuk comes over and is all, did you find a school? Yu-jin is like, I did, it’s a place in the countryside in France, I think it’s a good school.
Sang-hyuk is all, I’m envious, should I come study with you there (dude, no). Then he’s all, have you talked to your mother? Yu-jin is like, yeah, she wasn’t thrilled at first, but she came around. Sang-hyuk is all, don’t worry about her, I’ll visit her often.
Then Sang-hyuk sees her out, and right about then, Yoo Yeol strolls up and is all, why was she here? Sang-hyuk is like, she’s going to study abroad.
So then Yoo Yeol is all, dude, you should get her back, you still love her don’t you? I don’t know what happened between you, but you should be by her side if she’s having a hard time, not just doing nothing at all. You shouldn’t just let your loved one go off alone.
(At this point, you should picture me shouting at the screen: STOP YOUR EVERLOVIN’ GOB, YOU GORMLESS WORM!! SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!!! WHO ASKED YOU TO INSERT YOUR IGNORANT UNWANTED OPINION INTO THE MIDDLE OF THINGS?!! ARGGHHH!!! Etc etc.)
The outside of Yu-jin’s apartment building, Jun-sang is loitering across the street.
We shift up to Yu-jin’s room, where she and Jin-sook are camped out in bed. Yu-jin is telling Jin-sook that she can stay there until Jin-sook gets married…maybe to Yong-gook?
Just then, Yu-jin’s phone rings, and then we see her going down the stairway of the building and out the front door. As she goes outside, Sang-hyuk walks up.
He’s like, can we get together and start over again? The camera pulls back a bit to show Jun-sang watching this scene, and…curtain.
So remember a while back I said that I might stroke out? Hold that thought! Or maybe Jun-sang’s subdural hematoma is contagious? 😤😠🤬😡🤬 I blame Yoo Yeol, who has just bought himself a one-way ticket on the Rocketship to the Sun 🚀🌞