16 October 2014


Jang Bori Is Here! - Episode 52 FINAL (KimJiCap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on October 16, 2014
It's the Eeeeeeend .... of the world, as we know it. Lalalaaaaaaaa. 52 episodes! Wow! We did it! Congrats, JoAnne! I don't know whether to laugh or cry? Should we have a big party? Or should we get drunk alone and quietly? Ah, and where is Kim Ji-hoon's next project? Is it too early? Why do I have so many questions? Maybe this is some kind of shock! By the way, this final episode is ... well. Haha. Read for yourselves. 
JoAnne: Wow... we made it, and quite frankly, we're in much better shape than I expected us to be in. (But we do deserve that drink.) Somewhere about the 20th episode or so I realized that I was looking forward to this show and choosing it ABOVE OTHERS to watch, and the reasons why are sort of perfectly highlighted in this final episode. 

Episode 52 - The End! 

Into the water they gooooooo, go, go, go! Ack, but no ... Jae-hwa jumps into the water as well and saves Veggie. Cause Min-jung is completely fine. And this drowning scene is just so ridiculous.
JoAnne: Evil floats, like that bar of soap that keeps slipping out of your hand in the tub.
Quite conveniently, the detectives from earlier have also come and arrest Min-jung. Also, Min-jung cares about her mother all of a sudden - very much. That's something new, but it's possible her heart mellowed because Bi-dan put a band-aid on her finger in the previous episode. Because she cries so much, they let her on the ambulance with her mother instead of locking her up immediately.
JoAnne: Band aids inspire love. Did we learn NOTHING from WTF Paris? or Heirs? or You're Beautiful (the school, not the band one) or...there's more, I just can't remember.
Min-jung is worrying so much about her mother, she even doesn't care about her hand, which is terribly burnt. But Veggie isn't dead and she isn't dying, but there might be damage to her brain. Water damage, so to speak. Oh, and because Min-jung is the only one with Veggies unique blood type (hahahaaaa, drama! Way to goooooo!), she's still not in prison.
JoAnne: I'm praying that Min Jung's mystery dad shows up just to up the WTF factor. He can be the brain surgeon who operates on Veggie.
But, oh! Look at how tough Bori has gotten! She tells Min-jung she has no right to call Veggie "mother" and makes sure she cannot stay at the hospital for one second more. She's not buying MJ's shit! Bravo!! No going easy on her and stuff. Time for some Min-jung punishment! Can we see how she's whipped? Naked? No?
JoAnne: I want her to go to jail for a decade or so, and every week everyone she hurt will send her home video of their happy, productive, increasingly wealthy, satisfying lives. She is forced to watch these videos before her special duty, which is scrubbing the toilets.
Penance by BaDIL next. She is burning the funeral clothes she made (what a waste!) and cries. And kneels. She got it, it seems. A bit later, she tells Bong2 she has no right to be his wife (hence the signed divorce papers on the floor), halmoni's DIL, and Bori's mom. She's leaving with nothing and expects nothing - just to see Bori from time to time. I think BaDIL got a lobotomy, but she is no longer Bad. So now, she's Sorry Daughter-in-Law = SoDIL.
JoAnne: She and Min Jung are the same in that they always felt like they were judged as inferior due to birth circumstances, and they both were so focused on achieving this one particular goal that they became increasingly obsessed and unmoored from any normal human sense of right or wrong. She gets it now, at least.
There's a time jump of three months. GooDIL is returning to Bi Sool Chae for good, Bori is sad her real mother has not contacted her at all (and misses her), and Jae-hwa says and thinks nothing. He's a very nice accessory though. Veggie has just been released from the hospital and is taken care of by "a trustworthy person". Who is nobody else but SoDIL. Oh dear: She really does seem to have brain damage. She only remembers Jangheung (or whatever it's called) the rice shop, a daughter like barley (Bori) and a grandchild like silk (Bi-dan).
JoAnne: Why'd it take GooDIL three months to return? Did she move one thing a day? I actually like that the two terrible mothers ended up together. A lot.
Bori has come secretly, and watches her two mothers with tears in her eyes. So SoDIL is trying to atone for her sins by taking care of Veggie, the veggie. Why not! But there will be frequent visits between all the involved parties. But no burden for Bori.
JoAnne: That's some really solid penance there, a lot of work to be doing, all because you love a person who loves this person. BaDIL wouldn't acknowledge the child Bori loved, who was in no way objectionable in her own self. SoDIL is the caretaker for the foster mom Bori loved, who was in pretty much every way objectionable both as a person and as a mother.
There's another time jump of three years!! Oh, will they all get new hair after it again?
JoAnne: I'm already looking for the Bori Baby.

Hahahaaaaa, look! It's SoDIL, teaching female inmates how to sew Hanbok. Min-jung is also there, but she seems to have lost all ability to sew well - because her hand is damaged. And you know why?! Because her wedding ring is STUCK IN THE HAND! She clutched it for three full years!!!! Buahahahahaaaaa. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure. She doesn't want it removed because "it's a gift from Jae-hee". Oh, and NEW HAIR!
JoAnne: That was goddamn creepy.
Outside the prison, Bori waits for SoDIL - with Bong2. It's make-up time! He is ready to forgive his wife and hold hands again. Loooooooooove is in the air! Lalalaaaaaa.
JoAnne: I did not mean THAT kind of Bori Baby, in case the universe is watching.

Lee Jae-hee doesn't have new hair. Boooooooo. He is also still very angry at Min-jung and doesn't open any letters or parcels from her. What? You don't feel the lurve, man? But here comes SoDIL, with some info for him: Min-jung has clearly lost it. No, she doesn't say that, she just shows him the X-Ray with the ring in the hand. SoDIL does it, because she now considers herself Min-jung's mother and will be the one to support her, even if everybody turns their back on her.
JoAnne: And why must SoDIL be that person, you ask? Oh, the reason is delicious. I cannot wait until it is revealed to you, my dear Squeeglets.

Yes, Jae-hee - Min-jung's love for you .... it was real. Oh, how beautiful! It was real! Jae-hee, save her! Make her get surgery!
JoAnne: Let her be. At least this way she won't try anything.
Bi Sool Chae is a paradise of love and Hanbok teaching, jointly done by GooDIL and BoriBori. Halmoni quietly checks in on them and then dies. Hahaha, no, not yet. But soon.
JoAnne: I just realized we never saw Shady Servant again.

Bori and Jae-hwa want to pick up Min-jung who is released from prison. Only ... she has left already a while ago. Even though it's only 6am. BUMMER. Also, no new hair on Jae-hwa, but VERY BAD hair on Min-jung! Who went to ogle at Jae-hee through the shop window. In the shop, Bori and Jae-hwa, who is trying on a PPL rain jacket. Bori looks up - and sees Min-jung!
JoAnne: I keep laughing. She's not holding it high enough, but she's making the gesture for 'halt' that you use when a squad is out on maneuvers. Yes, 'halt', Min Jung.  Do.
She catches up with her (wow, it seem she also got a lobotomy?) and tells her to go see her mother. Who hasn't spoken of her at all - and maybe doesn't even remember her. Oh. That's harsh! Hahaha, Jae-hwa doesn't recognize Min-jung when he runs out to tell Bori that Veggie has run away again, this time smartly recording snoring sounds on her cell phone so that SoDIL wouldn't notice her absence.
JoAnne: The woman is still obnoxious. How did she ever get a man long enough to even create MinJung?
He finds it funny, but lobotomized Min-jung is worried. Which she shouldn't be, says Bori, she probably went to Jangheung, where she goes every time - to cook rice soup at the shop. When Jae-hee steps out of the shop, too, Min-jung runs away, hiding her damaged hand. 
JoAnne: Mostly I noticed how thoroughly chaebolized Bori looks these days.

She goes down to Jangheung, where Veggie is cooking rice soup - in a shop that belongs to another woman. Oh, and the Senseu woman is there too! She's not looking very glamorous these days. Min-jung says she'll buy the shop. When she calls out "Mom", Veggie turns around confused and asks who she is ... hahaha, this is good! I like this! She doesn't remember her at all and keeps talking about the beautiful daughter she has named Bori.
JoAnne: Oh, I laughed. I laughed hard. This is so awesome. Min Jung is completely alone.
And here she comes, the beautiful Bori! And of course, Bori is not allowed to touch anything and Min-jung is mistreated by Veggie. But Bi-dan ... good-hearted Bi-dan touches Min-jung's damaged hand and asks whether it hurts (it doesn't). She is glad and promises to make a beautiful mitten for Min-jung. They both cry. Yes, Bi-dan knows.
JoAnne: I think she figured it out in the car with Jae Hee and that's why she said she changed her mind.
Kim Ji-hoon is looking particularly well after the time-jump, but he doesn't speak anymore. Oh well. They send Bi-dan to get ice cream with crazy Veggie and then, Min-jung serves them soup. She will stay here and will no longer try to escape her fate. She never wanted to be a rice soup shop owner's daughter, but she always was. But she'll still dream about being rich. She asks how Moony is doing and it seems he is doing well! And regularly meets Bi-dan. (Oh that's good to hear.)
Min-jung tells them to let Bi-dan know who her real father is - but keep the fact that she is the real mother from Bi-dan until her death.
JoAnne: Shut up. Don't tell them what to do. (Except, they should totally do what she tells them to do, here.)

Moony is working in an orchard and Bi-dan visits him (er... how are these round things pears?!) (Those are called Asian Pears. They're good, they're expensive, and they're fragile. You buy them cocooned each in its own little cushy netting to protect from bruising.) A woman who looks exactly like Min-jung comes to visit as well, with a group of kindergarten kids. But it's not Min-jung - her hand is intact. She also has a tiiiiny little mole below her left eye. This woman is clearly demented though - and Moony's new love interest? I can't even. Seriously. JoAnne! This show just turned 10000% more wacko in the last 60 minutes!! Could she be Min-jung's lost twin?
JoAnne: They never did say where her father was... there could be other kids around! Are you as creeped out as I am that Moony went out and found someone who looked like Min Jung?
Time for SoDIL to return to Bi Sool Chae - Halmoni is not well. Before she goes, GooDIL wants her to see her and SoDIL live together in peace. It's loooooooooove! Ex-BaDIL is forgiven and she is asked to make Matron's death shroud, so that Bong1 can recognize her - and so that she can boast in front of SoDIL's mother, when she meets her in the afterlife. Afterwards, when SoDIL starts making the garment, Bori comes in and hugs her - finally, she says, I get to meet my real mother. I've waited for her a long time. Looooooooove is in the air! (and Halmoni doesn't die yet. Not at all)
JoAnne: I guess I'm okay with this. It makes Bori happy.
And there's chaos at the Lee house. Dumb Mom takes swimming classes in the morning, Bori is too busy with classes, Ga-eul is utterly useless and the men don't cook anyway, so there's no breakfast and Bi-dan is almost late every morning. But the loooooooove between Bori and Jae-hwa ... as strong as ever! And the love between the two brothers: restored!
JoAnne: Hire a goddamn maid. What's wrong, run out of secret mothers for that? Speaking of, remember Stalker Bride? She was all threatening and stuff and then POOF, gone. No resolution. No biggie.
At Jangheung, Min-jung now has Bori-early-days hair and works like an ox. Veggie destroys her sad attempts at making hanbok. But when Veggie viciously starts pulling Min-jung's hair, Jae-hee appears and rescues her. Is more love in the air? Hm, I don't know ... he presses an envelope full of money into her hand and tells her to get surgery right away. A bit of love? No! He gets into his car and drives off ... to see Metallica in Vegas.
JoAnne: I love you so much, Kakashi.
Moony sends Bi-dan the bunny picture from a few episodes ago - and Bi-dan says goodbye in her head. She knows he is her father. But she will wait until she is 20 to call him "daddy". And Moony can go and be happy with the crazy Min-jung look-alike now. All is well. Well, not quite, because Bi-dan is just standing there in the street, crying her eyes out and shouting "Appa, Appa"! over and over.
JoAnne: And no responsible adult pays any attention to the small child's pain yet again.
A Bori/Jae-hwa jjajangmyeon date! He says he is now finally fulfilling his promise, the one he made to Jang Eun-bi so many years ago. Wait ..... didn't we see them have jjajangmyeon together before? I think so. Whatever. The important thing about this scene is that they both start retching. And what does that mean? a) that they are very, very close, b) that they are pregnant - and c) that it might be twins. Congrats, people!
JoAnne: Then there better be another damn time jump so we get to see this baby.
And so it ends ... with a drawing competition. Bi-dan has drawn herself, her mother, her father ... and her second set of father and mother. All is well. Yes. Love rules, people. Love. Peace. Forever.
JoAnne: I'm outtie. *drops mic*

The Rest

- Ga-eul kisses Little Kang accidentally on the stairs - her family sees it. It's fine.
- We get to see Big Kang' baby.
- Bad Dad finds out Big Kang was a gangster but doesn't care at all. The past is the past. Because he is overjoyed, Big Kang carries Bad Dad around on his back for a while. *picks up mic* Didn't Bad Dad already know that?
- Veggie names a dog Min-jung; but Min-jung is glad that her mother says her name at least sometimes.
- Hey, Moony didn't die!

Comments and Goodbyes

This was definitely one of the worst and at the same time craziest episode's I've EVER seen. Oh, don't get me wrong, it's a "good" ending, one that wraps everything up and delivers on all fronts. Min-jung gets punished - first with prison, then with not being recognized by her mother, and abandoned again by her ex-husband; Veggie gets punished by getting water damage; Bi-dan gets to stay with her parents; Moony finds new love; the Lee brothers are besties again; BaDIL repents and becomes another GooDIL; and Jae-hwa and Bori will have twins. I'm fine with this ending. Absolutely fine. Not buts. And no butts.
JoAnne: It's okay. I guess. It works, it delivers what we wanted them to get.

The hardest two things in this drama were how to punish Min-jung and how to resolve the Bi-dan issue. Would there have been a worse punishment for her (apart from death)? No. I find it very clever. She has to live the life she always despised - and she has to go through the same humiliation Bori went through. Not being remembered by your mother (who only remembers the child she picked up on the street) IS indeed a terrible punishment. She is the only person in this drama who is absolutely miserable in the end.
JoAnne: And that's pretty much exactly how we wanted it.

As for Bi-dan ... yes, that is well-handled as well. She gets to stay with her mother and father, but she also gets to spend a lot of time with her real father. The kid knows who he is, but she keeps quiet - so as to not hurt anyone, obviously. And then, it's time for Moony to move on - and he does. Of course he will see Bi-dan again - but he is starting a new phase in his life.
JoAnne: I don't like that it's with Min Jung Lite. But wouldn't it have been cool if at the end, she sort of looked at us over Bi Dan's shoulder and gave an evil little grin?

As for the whole drama ... it was long. It was too long. But from about episode 19 onwards, it was extremely entertaining. The secret to its success is most certainly its tone. It's over-the-top, wacko, fairy-tale like story, with an absolutely fabulous villain. Bravo, Lee Yu-ri. You were really the best. And you gave it your all! The other crucial side character was Moony - her nemesis. Who actually was led away from the darkness into the light by Bi-dan, his daughter. Sung Hyuk made this a very compelling, sad, and torn character - for whose safety we feared. I'm glad he got to live. 
JoAnne: You're absolutely right, because Moony really went to the edge of darkness and did things that were shockingly bad; we understood what compelled him, true, but we were suitably horrified and repulsed all the same... and he brought us back from that pretty steadily episode by episode. Lee Yuri stole the show, absolutely. She was prone to bug-eyed crazy in the really emotional scenes, but she was still a very entertaining evil. And Bi Dan! She was really impressive.
Oh! How could I forget her!!! Yes, she did SUCH a good job.

So what about the leads? Oh Yeon-seo overacted an awful lot in the beginning - oh dear. That voice! Those eyes! But her portrayal of Bori's journey home was consistent and believable - nothing happens fast in a 50+ episode drama. Bori went through a lot, but she never ever despaired - and even though her saint-like qualities could get on people's nerves, she was of a purity not often seem. The exact opposite of Min-jung, of course. But for all the qualities of Bori (and Oh Yeon-seo's portrayal), I'm pretty sure this drama would not been half the success if was without Min-jung.
JoAnne: Bori's strength was her simplicity. Without schooling or much exposure to the larger world, she was a very basic person who saw things in very basic terms - and let's face it, we muck shit up with too much detail and peripheral nonsense anyway. So her plain, clear view of the world really stood out, and her loyalty and cheerfulness kept her going.

And last but not at all least ... Kim Ji-hoon. The reason why we're here today. When Bori and Jae-hwa's romance was at the center of the drama, my Kim Ji-hoon shipping heart was happy. What a delightfully cheerful, positive character! Never wavered, never doubted, went for what he wanted, got what he wanted. What a break from his last role, for example! But ... yeah. For the last 10 (or more?) episodes, Jae-hwa became an accessory, nothing more. The writer obviously didn't know what to do with him. Or rather, he had to step into the background and be a supportive husband to not steal any of the scenes from Bori - and Min-jung and Moony. Kim Ji-hoon is a talented actor - in this drama, he is sadly underused. But still, how can I complain? 4 months of Kim Ji-hoon on my screen! I will miss you! And your retweets!
JoAnne: Kim Ji Hoon was charming and fun and he handled himself very well, I think - Jae Hwae was also a pretty simple, straightforward person. I loved how constant he was in his devotion to Bori. She needed that. But I, too, would like to see him get roles with a bit more meat to them. Next time! This is our second KimJiCap, Kakashi... I hope the next one comes along soon!
Let's drink to that! One Shot!  

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