Open Thread: Move To Heaven Episodes 7 & 8

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Thanks for joining in on this group watch of this very special show! ❤️

As I mentioned in my announcement post, these are my notes, exactly as they appear on Patreon.


We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.

This includes, but is not limited to, how characters &/or relationships develop, later in the show.

The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD. 

We need to protect the innocent! 😉

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 7

E7. Oh. My. Word. What a gutting episode this turned out to be. My heart literally needed several minutes to recover, after I finished watching the episode, before I felt able to put down any thoughts.

It is utterly heartwrenching to finally come to understand the backstory behind Sang Gu’s relationship with Su Cheol.

I feel it’s extra painful to see the flashbacks, spliced in between the painful events in the present, where Su Cheol’s quickly deteriorating, and Sang Gu’s desperately trying to get the money for surgery, in hopes of saving Su Cheol. Ack.

What a way for them to have met, that Sang Gu had saved Su Cheol from bullies who had literally driven him to the brink of death. It’s chilling to think that if Sang Gu hadn’t stepped in just then, that Su Cheol would quite likely have jumped to his death, right there and then.

It really is like watching a baby duckling glom onto the first person he sees; the way Su Cheol gloms onto Sang Gu, even though Sang Gu keeps telling him to go away, is really so wide-eyed innocent and endearing.

And the way Sang Gu eventually gives in, is so wholesome as well. From being a reluctant thing, where Sang Gu just put up with Su Cheol, it’s so heartwarming to see Sang Gu actually become sincerely invested in Su Cheol’s progress and future.

I loved that scene where Sang Gu watches Su Cheol’s match on TV, and cheers him on, and calls Su Cheol his kid, and gets all proud and puffed up like a mother hen, when Su Cheol wins.

It’s wonderful, honestly, to see Sang Gu feel so proud of Su Cheol, and understand that Sang Gu sincerely wants bigger and better things for Su Cheol, than he ever had himself.

That voiceover, where we hear Sang Gu tell Su Cheol to aim for a place in a sports university and a spot in the national championships, says everything.

It’s such a pure thing, for Sang Gu to want bigger and better things for Su Cheol, and so it’s doubly horrifying, to see what eventually happened.

It’s awful for Sang Gu to realize it in the present, that Su Cheol had actually been diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy – brain cell damage from repeated blows – before that fateful match.

This must have been why Su Cheol had opted to quit such a promising boxing career, to open a store with his father.

And this must have been why Su Cheol had had such a serious brain injury, from that match. He’d already been in a compromised state when he’d agreed to the match.

That’s a terrible realization for Sang Gu to have in the present, because even though it does absolve him somewhat, of having been too rough on Su Cheol, it can’t make him feel any better, to have known that he’d dealt a crippling blow to a dear friend, who’d already been in a weakened condition.

On that note, I officially actively dislike Madam Jung, more than ever before. She had clearly set it up such that Sang Gu would end up fighting Su Cheol, and she’d done that knowing what Su Cheol meant to Sang Gu.

And, from the way Su Cheol fought so hard to keep getting back up in Round 7, despite being beaten down so much, I deduce that she’d told Su Cheol that Round 8 was critical, while telling Sang Gu to wrap things up in Round 7.

UGH. It’s awful enough on its own, but the laidback pleasure Madam Jung takes in the set-up, and then in the proceedings as they unfold before her, is just sickening.

Her amusement and delight in someone’s life being destroyed before her eyes, is just mind-boggling to me.

I hate that in the present, Sang Gu still turns to her for help, because he feels like he has no one else to turn to.

And I have such a deep sense of foreboding, that Sang Gu’s signed that agreement for one more big fight, in order to get that money for Su Cheol. Nothing good can come out of that fight, right? 😬

On that note, I just wanted to say that before I understood Sang Gu’s backstory with Su Cheol, I was quick to judge the way he took the house deed out of Jeong U’s drawer, because in my mind, that house is not his to do anything with.

However, once I understood what Su Cheol meant to Sang Gu, I could understand why Sang Gu would be so desperate, and why he would do anything – even if it was wrong – if it meant that he had a chance to save Su Cheol.

It’s sad that Su Cheol died, and it’s hard to see Sang Gu look so grief-stricken, and.. broken, crying over Su Cheol’s body.

However, it does feel like the more merciful outcome, given how much Su Cheol’s sister was suffering, and given that Su Cheol had been kept alive, but had had no quality of life whatsoever.

It’s really poignant to see Sang Gu ask permission from Su Cheol’s sister, to gather Su Cheol’s things, and to then see him carefully going through Su Cheol’s things and gathering the important mementoes into a box, in a way that is very similar to what Geu Ru’s been doing for Move To Heaven’s clients.

And how affecting, for Sang Gu to realize that Su Cheol had actually found Jeong U, and had planned to help the brothers reunite.

Guh. This accidental friendship, which had turned into an enduring brotherhood, is so deeply meaningful.

It’s so tragic, how that all ended in such a heartbreaking manner. I really hope that Sang Gu won’t be too hard on himself, for what had happened. I’m sure that Su Cheol would feel the same. 😭

Episode 8

E8. Augh. What an emotional, bittersweet, heartfelt episode this was. My heart aches, but it aches so good.

On one level, we get to see how Sang Gu’s relationship with Geu Ru is evolving, and then later in the episode, we get to explore Sang Gu’s relationship with his brother Jeong U. It’s all so poignant; I love it.

I hadn’t expected Sang Gu to want to cut ties with Geu Ru, after Su Cheol’s death, actually.

I’d found this surprising, because, as we’ve seen in the beginning, him being Geu Ru’s guardian does give him financial stability and other benefits.

And, Sang Gu honestly doesn’t have anything else, other than this guardianship that his brother has requested of him, in his will.

The fact that Sang Gu’s first action, after Su Cheol’s death, is to leave the house and text Geu Ru to say that he’s not coming back, tells me that Sang Gu had only ever accepted the guardianship, because he’d felt that he would need the money in order to take care of Su Cheol.

He’d never been greedy for the house or other benefits for himself; the moment Su Cheol’s medical bills were no longer an issue, he didn’t hesitate to leave.

But that’s not because he doesn’t care about Geu Ru. The moment he realizes that Madam Jung’s got Geu Ru, he doesn’t hesitate to go get Geu Ru. He may not want to admit it, but Geu Ru has become important to him.

I felt bad for poor Geu Ru, who went through the shock of losing Sang Gu, and then getting kidnapped for ransom, pretty much.

I was very touched, though, that Geu Ru didn’t hesitate for a moment, in deciding that he needed to find Sang Gu. I mean, it’s not like Sang Gu’s been super nice to him; in fact, Sang Gu’s been mostly rough and noncommittal.

I love that Geu Ru sees him as family anyway, in such a firm and irrevocable sense of the word. And, of course, we also know, from earlier, that Geu Ru does see Sang Gu as a good person, even though he’s rough and unpleasant sometimes.

Madam Jung is so manipulative, using Geu Ru to force Sang Gu to agree to another fight, when all he wants to do is stop fighting. She’s an unabashed user.

She doesn’t care about Sang Gu one bit; she only seems to see him as a tool that she can use to get what she wants. She is right about one thing, though; Geu Ru really is Sang Gu’s new Achilles’ heel, after Su Cheol.

Even though Sang Gu tells Geu Ru that he will never come get him again, if something like this were to happen in the future, but I don’t believe him for a second.

I believe that if he knew Geu Ru were in trouble, he would step up to save Geu Ru, in spite of his own reservations. It’s because he does care, deep down.

And that’s why Sang Gu trails Geu Ru the next day, even though he’s very reluctant to do so.

He knows that even though Geu Ru’s perfectly capable of taking the bus, and other basic things, Geu Ru’s not well-equipped to handle strangers or other unexpected situations.

That’s why Sang Gu follows him; so that he can protect or save Geu Ru as necessary. That’s really quite caring, yes?

I love the way he steps in to save Geu Ru from those school bullies, without even showing his face. How clever of him, to play the sound of police sirens outside the restroom, so that the bullies would run away.

And how heartwarming is it, to hear Sang Gu tell the bullies that Geu Ru is a genius that they ought to listen to. Aw! I loved that.

Even though I wasn’t sure what to expect, when Sang Gu made his presence known to Geu Ru, and started dragging him to take rides instead of just looking at them, I ended up loving it.

What a huge step forward, for Geu Ru to start to enjoy the rides, instead of being afraid of them. I do love the little detail, that from seeing them on rides together, we also see them on rides separately.

This means that Geu Ru is brave enough to go on his own now, without Sang Gu, and it also means that Sang Gu’s genuinely having fun, and not just going on the rides for Geu Ru’s sake.

What a poignant reveal, though, that this whole picnic tradition that Geu Ru had had with Dad, had all been in Sang Gu’s honor. Augh. The realization really hit me right in the heart.

To think that Dad – well, Hyung, in this case – had gone to that department store, only because Sang Gu had requested real Nike sneakers for his birthday, and it was that very visit to the department store, which had then prevented Hyung from keeping his appointment with Sang Gu.

What a world-tilting realization for Sang Gu, to finally understand that he’d been mistakenly resenting Hyung all these years, when Hyung had actually gotten seriously injured because of trying to keep his promise to Sang Gu.

That tradition that Hyung had made with Geu Ru, where each year, they’d do all the things for Sang Gu on his birthday, that he’d wished for, and that cupboard, full of things that Hyung had prepared for Sang Gu, including Nike sneakers for each of his birthdays since that fateful day, speak volumes about how much Hyung has loved Sang Gu, all these years.

I can only imagine the discombobulating mix of emotions that Sang Gu feels, as he breaks down in tortured sobs.

On the one hand, there must be such a sense of release, to realize that Hyung had never abandoned him, after all, and had continued to love him and care for him, in the ways that were available to him, for so many years.

On the other hand, there must also be such a sense of guilt, for having nursed such hate and anger in his heart towards Hyung all this time. Guh. My heart goes out to Sang Gu, in this moment.

I am so glad, though, that he’s come to know how loved he’s been, all this time.

Also, what a surprising reveal at the end of the episode, that Geu Ru is adopted.

I hadn’t seen that coming, because Dad had doted on Geu Ru so tenderly; I’d never imagined that Geu Ru might not be his blood.

However, I am also not surprised that Dad would adopt a child and love him so unconditionally. Dad’s shown himself to be such a kind and loving person; I’d totally believe that he would love Geu Ru as his own.

I do wonder, though, what effect this new knowledge will have on Sang Gu.

Will he see Geu Ru as less related to him, because he’s adopted? Or will he feel a sense of solidarity with Geu Ru, since he, too, had lived in an orphanage at one point in his life?

Next Open Thread will be up on: Wednesday, 18 October 2023!

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1 month ago

I’m following along with the recaps but I don’t think I can take rewatching this series. But can someone tell me why Hyung could never find Sang gu for all those years? If it hasn’t been mentioned yet, that’s okay. I’ll read it in the next recaps.

1 month ago

I am almost through my first box of tissues…

Princess Jasmine
Princess Jasmine
1 month ago

One last thing I forgot to add 🙃: On Na Mu
I am so loving the banter between Sang-gu and Na Mu in all these 8 episodes so far. They will make for a good brother-sister duo. Kudos to the actress – Hong Seung-hee for playing Na Mu with so much affection, fun and wittiness.

Last edited 1 month ago by Princess Jasmine
Princess Jasmine
Princess Jasmine
1 month ago

On episode 8:

It’s a mixed episode for me. Lots of surprises for sure. But as many of you have mentioned in the comments already, I am not convinced that Sang-gu’s older brother (Dad) couldn’t locate Sang-gu in these many years. Hopefully we will have more info on this in the coming episodes or I just have to accept the fact that Dad did look for Sang-gu all these years but all those attempts were unsuccessful.

Anyways yet with all these logical questions, I truly empathise with Sang-gu. He has been letdown (knowingly or unknowingly) from the beginning by the people that he loved (Dad, Su Cheol, his own birth parents). Thank God he turned out to be a good person instead of taking the darker path. Now I get why Lee Je Hoon took on this role because in the initial few episodes it was Tang Jun-sang’s show all the way. In these 2 episodes LJH scores and nice to see a good balance of characters between the two actors.

Last edited 1 month ago by Princess Jasmine
1 month ago

i guess narratively it would be “on theme” (?) to have Sang-Gu find closure/answers from what two people he loves, Dad and Su Cheol, left behind, and then see him grieve through that 😛

Princess Jasmine
Princess Jasmine
1 month ago

Great to read all the comments and KFG’s notes on these episodes. Can’t believe that only 2 more episodes are left to finish this drama. But first my thoughts on this week’s episodes:

Episode 7:

Finally we get the backstory on Sang-gu and what happened to his protege. Sang-gu has definitely gone through a lot in life. Hopefully the last 2 episodes bring in some kind of a peace and stability for him.
I really liked that Geu-ru sees Sang-gu as a good person and the way he puts forth that when Na Mu asks about Sang-gu was satisfying to watch.
This is what Geu-ru says: “What makes a good person is how they try to understand others and not how they talk”. That way Geu-ru sees that though Sang-gu may have an unpleasant demeanour yet he has helped/understood Geu-ru so far in the time that they spent together. Honestly I can’t agree enough with these words of Geu-ru. His father has brought him up well and he also has the innate ability to put forth his good upbringing/wisdom to right use at the appropriate occasions and explain his thoughts very well.

The only issue I had in this episode was that why didn’t Su Cheol inform Sang gu about his health condition. Obviously anyone in Sang-gu’s position would be disappointed after training his protege for so hard and having some grand expectations. And this is a serious health condition and given the close relationship that Su Cheol had with Sang-gu – I would have imagined that Sang gu would be the first person that Su Cheol will confide in and ask for guidance. Isn’t it how we handle this in the real world. Maybe it was a K-drama trope. Also I think that this “sudden quitting” by Su Cheol would have played in Sang-gu’s mind when he was in the fight against Su Cheol in the ring. I am really not sure but I wish that this part had been handled differently. Any thoughts welcome. Thanks.

Last edited 1 month ago by Princess Jasmine
1 month ago

This is has been a great watch through and through. I was touched by Sang Gu’s attempts to move his friend to heaven.

1 month ago

Soooooo many waterworks this episode for me 😭 for me, the worst part is Sang Gu holding such resentment that he never even consented to his Hyung’s visits in prison. It is terrible K drama-only coincidence that not only would they lose each other because of a freak disaster, but then on the day Hyung finally found Sang Gu that’s also when he gets arrested for causing grievous injury! Auuuugh. So Hyung saw what happened in the fight and knew it wasn’t really Sang Gu’s fault, and that’s why he felt he could trust Geu Ru to Sang Gu.

I suspected that Geu Ru’s talent for investigation would be used to uncover his own father’s story and enlighten Sang Gu who never got to speak to Hyung as an adult. But it was a nice twist that Geu Ru only gave Sang Gu some clues, and it was Sang Gu who did his own investigation and piecing together of what his Hyung left behind, using skills he has learned from Geu Ru, to find out the truth about his Hyung’s love for him 😢 I think the fact that he found the evidence himself was so powerful.

I find it so hard to imagine Hyung couldn’t track Sang Gu down all those years. Does that mean he didn’t go into a properly licensed orphanage? I’m sure Hyung would have tried checking with all the orphanages before resorting to a missing kid poster? Sigh but anyway. The feels!

1 month ago
Reply to  Elaine

when you put it that way, i wonder if Hyung, knowing he may die soon without reuniting with Sang Gu, entrusted Geu Ru to him as well, hoping and believing that he will eventually discover the truth after all these years

1 month ago
Reply to  Elaine

The whole “Someone Goes Missing For Years and Nobody Knows Why or Where” trope is not high on my list of faves….

1 month ago
Reply to  j3ffc

have yet to watch Boys Over Flowers actually (ha), but i’ve been wanting to mention: it fascinates me that Move To Heaven has the same writer (Yoon Ji Ryun)?? wonder if it makes sense for those who have seen both shows

Last edited 1 month ago by dreamingdrama
1 month ago
Reply to  dreamingdrama

Now that’s a head scratcher! lol I hated Boys Over Flowers. At the same time, I couldn’t stop watching it. But I guess enough years are between the be two projects for the writer to have improved?