Open Thread: Move To Heaven Episodes 9 & 10

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.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little group watch-cum-experiment!

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

My thoughts

Episode 9

E9. With this being Show’s penultimate episode, I’d kinda expected our story to focus more on our key characters, and therefore, I wasn’t quite expecting another client to be introduced.

But, that’s exactly where we start this episode, and I felt a sense of dread, once I realized that Matthew Green was about to die.

To Show’s credit, this client arc serves our main story well, which I’ll talk more about a little bit later.

For now, I just wanted to say how sorry I felt for Matthew Green. To think that he’d suffered so much rejection while in the US, and had come back to Korea in hopes of finding his birth mother, only to be rejected yet again.

It’s heartbreaking, honestly.

He’d died believing that there was no one in Korea who wanted to acknowledge him, not even his own mother. Dang, that’s harsh. And he was so very young, too. 😭

Once again, though, Geu Ru is our MVP. Because of his tenacity and his unique memory and analytical abilities, they manage to find someone who does treasure Matthew Green’s memory.

So often, with these stories around death, there is wistfulness and regret; in this case, Kang Eun Jeong does regret not knowing who he was, when Matthew Green had gone to see her.

However, more than that, it feels heartening to know that at least there is someone who sincerely treasures Matthew Green’s memory, and will honor his name and his memory, to the best of their ability.

It’s very fitting, that Kang Eun Jeong would use her platform as a news anchor, to shed light on other adoptees struggling in the same way that Matthew had struggled. Because of this, it feels like Matthew had not died in vain.

On a side note, context is, again, everything. Before the reveal that Kang Eun Jeong really isn’t Matthew’s biological mother, everyone – myself included – had felt ready to criticize her for being a heartless mother.

However, as it turns out, Kang Eun Jeong isn’t Matthew’s mother after all, and was never deserving of the blame that everyone else had so casually dished out in conversation.

There’s a reminder here, about not being so quick to judge, because, so often, we don’t know or understand the full context of a situation.

The way this adoptee’s arc ties in with Geu Ru’s own adoption, feels nicely organic.

I mean, I’m sure Matthew’s story was introduced on purpose, so that we would have a connection to Geu Ru’s adoption, which had come to our knowledge last episode, but the way it’s handled, and the way Geu Ru’s adoption is brought up, almost as an afterthought, makes it work.

It’s quite moving, really, that Jeong U had respected Geu Ru enough, to let him know the truth about his birth.

I’d kind of expected Geu Ru not to have known, because he can be quite childlike in some ways, and therefore, it would be quite understandable if his adoptive parents had felt it was too burdensome for him to know.

But no. Dad had done a great job of telling Geu Ru the truth, while making sure that Geu Ru knew without a shadow of a doubt, that he was much loved, by his adoptive parents.

This episode, it was a very pleasant surprise to see Sang Gu appearing distinctly more in sync with the work at Move To Heaven.

There are still traces of the old Sang Gu, of course, with his rougher manner in general, but it’s startling – in the best way possible – to see him align himself with Geu Ru, as they do the work.

The way he chimes in with his own name, while Geu Ru does his greeting to the deceased, is something I’d never thought we’d see him do, and yet, he does it so naturally here. It’s heartwarming to witness.

Plus, he doesn’t even argue with Geu Ru anymore, about how they ought to treat the yellow box with respect, even when no one wants to claim it.

It’s also really nice to see Sang Gu express sympathy for the deceased, and even talk about how this work has made him see that there are people who are worse off than he is.

In not so many words, Sang Gu is becoming cognizant of what he does have, instead of focusing on what he doesn’t have, and that’s a huge step in a very positive direction, I feel.

And then, of course, there are the little dorky self-conscious bits, where Sang Gu is hyper-aware of U Rim. I find it really cute that Sang Gu has a legit crush on her, and I love the idea that her kindhearted nature is having a positive rub-off effect on him.

It’s with a sense of dread that I watched Sang Gu make breakfast for Geu Ru (how cool, though, that Sang Gu makes breakfast the exact same way Dad used to make it – they really are brothers, aw!), and ask Na Mu to watch over him, as if he was never going to come back again.

What are those papers about Punch Drunk Syndrome?

Are those left from when Sang Gu had cleared out Su Cheol’s room, or.. does Sang Gu himself suffer from this? Because it would almost definitely be Very Terrible for Sang Gu to fight this big game, if he’s indeed suffering from Punch Drunk Syndrome.

Ack. I’m nervous.

Episode 10

This was, in many ways, quite the perfect finale for this show.

I’d thought that we’d spend a lot more time on the Big Fight that Sang Gu had been strong-armed into participating in, but that takes up a surprisingly short amount of screen time, in this finale.

After all the build-up that we’d had leading up to it, it does feel a little like an anticlimax, to be honest.

However, seeing that it’s Geu Ru and Na Mu who save Sang Gu, and that they really do care about him, definitely helps to make the watch experience more satisfying.

On top of that, Geu Ru’s once again our MVP, with his perfect recall abilities that allow him to not only call Prosecutor Lee, to activate the police, but also, remember where the light controls in the fight dungeon are, to switch off the lights and thus put a stop to the fight.

On hindsight, I really enjoy the fact that Show spends the bulk of its screen time on more heartfelt, emotional beats, even though it could also have easily made the Big Fight the central event of this episode.

The fact that Geu Ru can’t sleep because he’s worried about Sang Gu is very telling; over time, Sang Gu really has become very important to him.

It’s so endearing how Geu Ru goes to the hospital to check on Sang Gu, and then, once his mind is set at ease by Sang Gu’s assurance that he’s not dying, asks if he can sleep at the hospital.

How perfect, that Sang Gu then takes a blanket from his own bed, to drape over Geu Ru who’s already settled down on the couch.

I also love the fact that Geu Ru then proceeds to set the breakfast table at home, with a place setting for Sang Gu.

Ahh. He finally sees Sang Gu as his family, and I’m so pleased that Sang Gu himself is cognizant of how big a milestone this is. It warms my heart so, to see Sang Gu react with a sense of wonder and gratitude, at Geu Ru preparing a place for him at the table. I love it.

While I felt bad for Geu Ru having to deal with the fear of having to put his father’s ashes to rest, instead of keeping the ashes with him at home, it was really important, I feel, that we got to see more of Dad and Mom, and how they had come to love Geu Ru, and how they’d come to be Geu Ru’s parents, and how they’d loved him, and been patient with him, and rejoiced over him, even though Geu Ru had his developmental challenges.

The sense of gratitude and love is so clear, as we catch a glimpse of them via the flashbacks.

I’d already had a sense that Geu Ru had grown up much loved by his parents, but it’s still moving to see that love in action, played out on my screen.

Dad and Mom really were made for each other; they were so in sync with each other in all the important things, particularly in wanting to adopt Geu Ru.

I’m glad that Sang Gu manages to find Geu Ru just as Geu Ru’s starting to become distressed, at losing sight of the visions of Mom and Dad, that he’d managed to conjure up with his memory, and I think it’s so perfectly fitting, that Sang Gu speaks to Geu Ru in a way that he can understand, by quoting Geu Ru’s words back to him, that even the deceased can speak.

How movingly, perfectly perfect, that Geu Ru puts Dad to rest, in the very way that Dad’s taught him to do for others.

Augh. It hadn’t occurred to me before, but this really is the most fitting way for Geu Ru to honor Dad’s memory.

The way he carefully goes through Dad’s things, the way Dad had taught him to, picking out the items that express the essence of Dad as a person, is so poignant and so emotionally resonant.

This is all of Dad, articulated in a box of treasures that are handpicked by Geu Ru, Dad’s most precious son. It honestly couldn’t be more perfect. ❤️

Dad’s last video to Geu Ru is so wonderfully fitting. Dad is clearly sad at the prospect of not being there for Geu Ru, but I love how warmly confident he is, that Geu Ru’s more than able to remember both of his parents well, and encourage himself the way Dad had always encouraged him, by daily telling himself in the mirror, that he’s done an excellent job.

Augh. I love that Dad’s so clear on what Geu Ru needs, and is so focused on helping Geu Ru have an emotionally stable and confident future. ❤️💔❤️

I love that through it all, Geu Ru’s revisiting all the lessons that Dad’s taught him over the years.

That scene, of Geu Ru rushing back to Dad’s tree, to hug it, says so much. We’d seen in episode 1 just how uncomfortable Geu Ru is, with physical contact, so much so that it’s a rare occasion that he’d let Dad hug him.

And here, he’s running to give Dad a hug, and when he gets to that tree, he hugs with fervor and desperation, like he’s hugging Dad with all of his being. It’s so poignantly touching, truly.

I didn’t appreciate Lawyer Oh’s bluff of sorts, that Sang Gu’s been disqualified to be Geu Ru’s guardian, but that look of tearful relief in Sang Gu’s eyes, more than makes up for the fake-out.

I love the idea of Geu Ru and Sang Gu sharing many more family meals together, over that table, and being a family, together. ❤️

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1 month ago

What a gem of the show. Thank you, kfangurl, for the mini-watch; I’d have never looked at this one on my own. The final show got me just as it was supposed to; I was soon a plane and disturbing my neighbors with my misty eyes pretty much the whole episode.

But you didn’t mention the little sequence at the end, which would appear to be introducing a new case. There was a little symbolic element, with the moth or butterfly, and a mysterious request. And Geu Ru had a look on his face that I couldn’t interpret…did he recognize her? Love at first sight?

It almost felt as though there were more shows scheduled but scrapped. But never mind: I can easily just chalk it up to a mysterious ending to a magical story.