When A Man Loves - Episode 20 Final (A SqueeCap)
Shuk: The final episode. Where writer-nim has to ferret out anything and everything to tie up. No drinking game this time; I don't want anyone accusing me of alcohol toxicity. Any thoughts, JoAnne, before we finish this?
JoAnne: Oppa best get his happy ending, y’all, or I’mma cut a b****. Also, volunteering.
kakashi: *sobbing uncontrollably* (cause it's the last WAML SqueeCap)
|*sigh of relief* - "finally done!"|
Shuk: We open up with Seon-joo trying on wedding dresses, and I feel the vomit coming up in my mouth. Yong-gap charges into the dressing room, telling her she can't marry Tae-sang. She calmly tells him she won the bet, and he should find a good woman and settle down. He promises the biggest wedding present ever.
JoAnne: Grandpa Leeteuk: Voice of the Audience.
kakashi: He has tears in his eyes .... oh, my feels! He lurves her so .... o_o
And I finally understand why I like this guy! He looks a lot like my uncle. Yeah, people, I have a really sexy uncle!
JoAnne: Brother-in-law of the writer, and his ‘room-mate’.
kakashi: If I ever feel like committing a crime, I'll go to South Korea.
Shuk: Chang-he is at the hospital and sees the news report regarding the homicide investigation, and right away wants to leave.
JoAnne: But not to go to the police station. To go to Hong Kong. At first that confused me, but then I realized he was taking care of loose ends before turning himself in to the police. Always with the tidying up, this one.
kakashi: His hair, like Mi-do's, has already fully grown back. Oh miracle!
JoAnne: Seriously. So much win in the Chang family. That dad is just a genuinely nice person, and he raised a good son. That we hope to see more of, Drama World.
kakashi: And indeed, people do not die in this drama. Him having a heart-attack was ... uhm ... there to spice things up? To make us worry? I think it worked on JoAnne.
Shuk: The bride shows up, surprised to see her old rival, and Tae-sang uses the chance to tell Mi-do of his upcoming nuptials. She’s surprised, but asks for an invitation to the wedding. Tae-sang watches her as she leaves. On the bus, she finally deletes the face mask pictures.
JoAnne: The look on Oppa’s face: Save me, Save me, SAVE ME.
kakashi: Yeah. And now, please leave him alone. Forever. Both of you.
|"Loooooky, Tae-sang oppa! I can do this, this and this with my phone!"|
|"And I can do this! I will forget you! Yes! Forever! And Ever! |
JoAnne: People are just so understanding. I can’t decide if it’s because they're good or the writer was just working down the list of things to close out going check, check, check. If so, I’m still waiting for the Shoulder of Doom, Writer-nim.
Shuk: At The Golden Tree, the Board of Directors votes to oust Tae-sang from his position, and put Jae-hee in his place. Roy Chang scoffs at their disloyalty in kicking someone out on unproven charges and ignoring his contributions to the company. And he leaves the table. Score one for the dongsaeng!!
JoAnne: Chubs looks like he just pooped his pants a little and wants to sing about it *I’ve got something youuuuuuuuuu don’t….*
kakashi: I think people wanted to see more Roy Chang gifs? Here is one:
JoAnne: Oppa looks the same and Interfering B***** is dressed for a picnic on Sound of Music Mountain, but why is Grandpa Leeteuk wearing Gay Trucker?
kakashi: Gangster Tae-sang? HOT. Baseballcap Yong-gap? Uhm ... not feeling it.
JoAnne: Well he can’t be seen without his FACE on and his HAIR did, now can he?
JoAnne: No, at this late date we're just making up lies.
|Look! I'm evil! There even is lightning!|
JoAnne: Along with all the cool kids in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe.
kakashi: Great hair-commercial shot!
JoAnne: No, this makes perfect sense to me. She always knew were Oppa was, pretty much. And he knew where she was. But Roy was lost, and at such a young age. She’d have spent years wondering if he was dead, alive, happy, being sold for terrible stuff, all that going through her head and not knowing? I get it.
Shuk: I still think Oppa got gypped.
kakashi: Totally. This is not a nice mother.
JoAnne: New motto for cops: To Protect and Serve Melos.
Shuk: Tae-sang thanks him for hugging their mother, and they share a brotherly moment overlooking the city.
JoAnne: And I’m thinking that’s two nice butts right there.
kakashi: Not close enough for a good gif though. Sorry.
JoAnne: Cannot wait for your inevitable comeuppance, Missy.
kakashi: This is for Seon-joo: Bleh.
JoAnne: No? What do you regret, then, Chubs? Do you regret assuming the worst of the man who gave you everything decent in your life? Do you regret trying to steal his woman? Do you feel bad for going behind his back on the Asia Star Deal? Are you wishing you would have bought just one more plaid suit? What. What is it you do regret, I really want to know.
kakashi: I am sure he is NOT regretting the über-hot scene he had with Mi-Do. I think I need to file that one away under "hottest almost-sex scene on public Korean TV"
Shuk: At the jewelry store, Seon-joo puts on a locking bracelet and gives Tae-sang the key. He puts on a watch. An interesting idea on couple rings: slavery and making time??
JoAnne: When he says ‘You are mine.’ I kinda zoned out a little bit and pretended that was me.
kakashi: I don't get that scene. He tries to be nice, even caresses her hand. She just looks sad. But look how good he looks as a groom.
JoAnne; And then Chubs, Destroyer of Moods, says how he can’t leave his brother. No one ASKED you to, you enormous clump of stupid.
JoAnne: Friend whose name I never bothered to learn, let go the idea that you will ever debut. Trust me. (And I laughed my A** off that they seriously went to a camping store to buy a dress for a wedding.)
Shuk: Mi-do goes on some rambling story that’s half-autobiographical. Dad says it a stupid story and he won't write it. I won't either. Here's a picture of a Shih tzu playing the piano instead.
JoAnne: What are you talking about? That was actually a good story. Here’s this woman agonizing over two men, and whichever one she chooses, she’s always going to be wishing for the other. So her whole life, both men are completely central and present in her thoughts. And then we find out after her death, in both scenarios, the ‘other guy’ didn't even remember who she was. I loved that. We’re the stars of our own stories, but that doesn't make us the star in someone else’s. Its’ not really analogous to what’s been going on in THIS story…but it’s still a very valid point and an insight that many people never achieve. So like the writer to come up with something good and then JUST MISS connecting it to the actual plot.
Shuk: I love his little nose and paw.
kakashi: Why are KDrama writers obsessed with giving every single character and his twenty brothers a "good" ending?! Who cares about her stupid father! Redundant, redundant, redundant!
Shuk: The Lee brothers share food and beer, and hyung apologizes for all the decisions he’s made so far. Jae-hee thanks him for raising him. He tells him Tae-sang cried many tears looking for his brother, and that Jae-hee should do well.
JoAnne: When a Murdering Gangster is the Better Brother
JoAnne: In the fugliest, most confusing mishmash of a dress I have ever seen. It’s all garden party in the front, Naughty Librarian in the back.
kakashi: Need proof? Here we go:
kakashi: SEE?! I always knew he was one of the most crucial characters in this! My love for him was not in vain! And he is a good guy after all!
JoAnne: He’s thinking ‘I cannot catch a fucking break.’
kakashi: He is thinking 'close one. But saved by Grandpa Leetuk.'
JoAnne: So wait. Is Chang Hee planning to go to jail for running her over, which is what this sounds like, or is he planning to go to jail for disposing of a dead body, which is what it sounded like when he said he had to leave the hospital? Or is he just going to show up at the police station and say ‘Trust me, I’ve done some shit. Put me away for a couple of years so I can reflect.’
kakashi: Time to say it: What the frigging hell is he wearing on his head?! The magical "I can make an open head wound disappear in 2 nights"-beanie? I want one!
Shuk: Uh, kakashi. Do you have an open head wound we need to know about??
BSJ: “I'm sorry, Tae-sang. I finally realized that this isn't right for the either of us. But you made me the happiest woman for the past couple of days. Thank you.”Shuk: She goes to the Han River and throws herself in….not really, just to sit and cry as the sun sets.
JoAnne: That was a really lovely sequence, the flowing dress over the grass, the lonely bride by the river as the sun sets. How come we’ve never seen that location before in any drama, ever? Plus, I knew in the end she would do the right thing.
kakashi: Wow. They really managed to make her a good person in the end. Almost.
Google Fu FAIL: I couldn't find the location.
|You know you were hoping she would...|
Shuk: Tae-sang is back and alone in his Mousetrap apartment. Man, he’s gotta feel like the most unloved unlucky guy around. But the light still lovingly caresses his features.
JoAnne: I loved his chuckle and head shake on the couch.
kakashi: Most beautiful shots of him on the couch with yellow light. I'll remember this. Forever. Fondly.
Shuk: The Seo family sees their oldest off to New York City, and Mom is still pushing President Han. Idol Boy gives her a "Hwaiting!" and she's off. No Jae-hee, no Tae-sang.
JoAnne: As it should be, as she always intended. She didn’t leave Oppa for Chubs. I know a lot of people thought she did, but she was always pushing for her own right to have a life that wasn’t focused on a man.
Time Skip, and a chance for writer-nim to come up with all sorts of tie-ins, both plausible and implausible.
|The threads of the story, as plotted by scientists from SunKungKwan University.|
JoAnne: That woman’s voice is Mickey Mouse’s on helium.
Shuk: Chang-hee is out of prison, and Dong-goo and Jae-hee meet him with tofu, and playfulness.
JoAnne: They were cute. It can’t be denied.
kakashi: In your face, Chang-hee!
JoAnne: I love how his own plan is what did it to him. He told her that in order to save Oppa from the cops, she’d have to call off the wedding. You know that he did that because he wants her for himself, but also because he knew it was the wrong thing for her, marrying a man who didn’t love her. Because just as Seon-Joo truly loved Tae-Sang, Dong-Gap truly loved Seon-Joo. And then that became the instrument of his own destruction: he realized that if Seon-Joo loved Tae-Sang enough not to marry him, there was never going to be a day when she’d turn toward Yong-Gap - so he should just stop.
kakashi: Oh whatever. Drama, end already. They are really wrapping EVERYthing up neatly and with a bow.
Shuk: Seo Appa’s book is a hit, and the interview goes off without a hitch. Jae-hee waves to her from the back of the audience. Whatever.
JoAnne: Whatever. At least it got her back to Korea so we can move on to what’s important.
Shuk: Mi-do goes to the old residence, to find that the bookstore was reopened a year ago under the same name. She goes inside and meets the proprietor. She asks if she can write on the chalkboard, and writes her last quote, “You are someone I had read the most painful book with.” As she leaves, we see a gorgeous man with an excellent forehead, cleaning up the window upstairs. Tae-sang is bringing books down from upstairs. He sees the new quote, and asks the manager who wrote it. He looks around, but there’s no one on the street.
JoAnne: I know we spent a lot of time on how awesome Oppa looks both shirtless and in a white dress shirt, but I really like the jeans and work shirt combo on him. Especially because he wears his clothing tailored jussssssst tight enough to lovingly caress his spectacular bod, but not so tight that it looks uncomfortable or too small.
kakashi: I think at this point, we can easily agree that this man looks good in ANYTHING. and I am sure withOUT anything.
JoAnne: I liked Idol Boy demonstrating what that meant.
kakashi: Uhm ... eyelashes ... Oppa Hot aka Handtowel With Eyelashes.
JoAnne: *Nods head in agreement.*
kakashi: This stylist is a fucking genius! First, they get us with the abs, and then, they prepare us for a WAML2 with this new haircut! I want MOAR! NAO!
kakashi: We are definitely all looking at you.
Intimidated” by Heo Young Saeng.
kakashi: Well done, Shuk! You did it! The last one! YAY!
And ... cue ... (cause who cares about the stupid Boy Band) strutting hotness:
JoAnne: So basically the only pair that didn’t try to kill each other is the only pair that isn’t going to be lovey-dovey now.
kakashi: They are totally at peace with each other. Look! Smiley-smiley!
kakashi: Bring on the cheez.
JoAnne: No but we did get my favorite smile of his, that shy little grin where he ends up looking off to the side. Oppa, saranghae!
kakashi: And in the next scene, that we did not see, he tells her to go F herself and leave him alone! Yes, a little birdie told me. Oppa forever!
FINAL FINAL THOUGHTS
Shuk: Well, this has certainly been a ride. Merry-go-round or rollercoaster? I’m thinking carnival funhouse, where you walk into things, circle around while someone laughs cruelly, and eventually find the exit. This show was a little bit of everything, and a whole lot of nothing: too mild for melo, too violent for romance, too lacking in cheesecake for fanservice, with a twisty, spaghetti-esque plot that kept me going week after week even while scratching my head. All in all, I really enjoyed the show, and never felt that it dragged down, even while getting cross-eyed from the plot. Song Seun-hun’s acting was a massive, massive improvement over Dr. Jin, but is that him or the PD? It certainly wasn't the storyline. You ended up really rooting for poor Han Tae-sang, who couldn't catch a break but also whom nothing particularly crappy happened to him. You just wanted to see him happy and smiling, preferably shirtless.
|We didn't get this...|
|...but we didn't necessarily get this either.|
Thanks to my collaborators JoAnne and kakashi, who allowed me to browbeat them into coming on board and who are two very very special and terrific friends. Without them, this would have been as boring as Seo Mi-do… Kamsahamnida, uri unni’s! And a deep bow to several others that helped me with the language, music, and general information.
JoAnne: I’m so glad you talked me into this! Thanks to my collaborators, who did all the heavy lifting. Without you, I’d have had to tweet all this! I agree with Shuk that this was not an easily defined show, and that Oppa’s acting was probably about the best it’s ever been - no telling why, but I’m grateful. I loved that in the end, Han Tae Sang has his family, his friends, and the possibility of the love he’s wanted for the better part of ten years. While there’s a part of me that would have liked him to rip his shirt off and kiss her hard, the truth is that sweet moment of possibility and hope that they share in front of the bookstore feels much more real to me and much more in keeping with the incredibly sanitized version of the world that this writer gave us. I’m sorry this is over. I could watch more Oppa. To help ease the pain of this loss…come back to this space in a few days, and you may see a new Object of Squee.
kakashi: Thank you, Shukie and JoAnne, for Squeeing publicly on this blog! We've been through a lot together and bonded for life. Life after squeecapping is not the same. Definitely not. And oppa forever.
B O N U S T R A C K
|"Yes, JoAnne, I want to announce my sincere appreciation for your efforts. Love, Oppa"|
..... Until next time, Shukmeister.