My Beautiful Bride - Episode 16 FINAL (A ThisKicksAssCap)

My Beautiful Bride is over and is definitely the best drama of 2015 (that I have seen, that is). I doubt anything will be able to top this (for me, that is). Of course, the drama had its faults! And there were many in this final episode too. But in comparison to everything else out there, this is leagues better in writing, directing, and acting. A story was told without compromise and the ending leaves me satisfied - overall. 
I'd agree. There have been some really enjoyable, crack-tastic dramas out there this year - but none had ALL the components like this one did. And I don't know about you, but when someone relatively minor just busts out with a performance to KILL for, like Kim Moo Yul did with Banker - well, I love to be there to witness that magic.

Episode 16 - FINAL EPISODE

Do-Hyeong enters Shadow Lair office in slo mo. He is born to be a gangster, people! Gangsterlings just stand there, letting him pass - even Fuckhat Kim just points to the door to Kang Overlord. Who is waiting, in Seo Jin-Gi's favorite chair. He sends everybody out and then, the conversation starts. The main topic is: The failures and ultimately the death of Seo Jin-Gi. And then, Chairman Kang offers Bank Guy a partnership. Season 2, Season 2!
Like it would ever happen, that partnership. 
No? Bank Guy, the Gangster Years? 
Now, MY season 2 would be Banker and Bride busting asses throughout gangsterland, then going home to be all sweet and cute.
Sadly, no. Do-Hyeong says he does not work for scum-people like Kang. Also not if he makes him bank president? That won't happen, says Do-Hyeong, cause he will put Kang away. Tracksuit Ahjussi is amused by what he considers "childish" (and utopian) behavior. The world is about profit and that's all there's to it. The ones that get it turn the wheel - the ones that don't will be crushed.
He's not wrong. Most of us live far enough away from the wheel to have pretty decent lives, that's all.
Oh, but Do-Hyeon has something else in mind: to crush that wheel. And Chairman Kang with it.
See, it's talk like this that gets heroes killed in drama-land, Do Hyeong. STAAAAAAAHP with the hero talk.
Do-Hyeong leaves all blustered, and Chairman Kang remarks that he is just like him when he was young. Awwwwww. He gives Kim the task to find out what makes Do-Hyeong tick.
What, Kang thought he could clean up the world, too? Or Kang thought he was invincible, more like. Have grill, will kill. He rules all the dudes with his fearsome foods.
Ever since he stopped grilling people, it's beeen going downhill for him
Joo-Young goes to see Hammer Head (the old flirt). She's adamant about meeting Chairman Kang, an idea Hammer Head does not support at all. On her way out, Joo-Young crosses paths with Tae-Gyu. Oh no! He immediately recognizes her (that's right, he used to fancy her, too). However, Hammer Head tells him her name is Yoo Nae-il (Tae-Gyu understand "nail", hahaha).
This can't be good. Who is Hammer Head, Kakashi? Do we know him from something else? (we might? But I can't place him. Typical OCN gangster face) Because he looks familiar, a little bit. Not a bad looking man. I like the gray.
Joo-Young goes to meet Lee El at the bar ... the "poor" woman is constantly drunk these days and seriously depressed. All is lost, money and love. Joo-Young scolds her for letting herself go like this and gets a piece of intel about Chairman Kang and the loan he is trying to get. DOES get ... Do-Hyeong gives his very best, including ransacking Branch Manager's office and getting caught by him (without any consequences) and visiting the location of the paper company, but the loan is approved. The people who want this are simply too powerful: even the president of the bank is involved.
The whole interaction between Do Hyeong and the Branch Manager, once BM knows that Do Hyeong is on to him - it's unsatisfactory to me. It isn't logical at all. If there is a reason (like the one you proposed, that BM knows exactly who Mama is) then that should have been in the story. Otherwise,... well, I guess BM does threaten him, but it was weak sauce. And Do Hyeong didn't even TRY to go higher with proof of bad loans, which he should have done from the start. He makes that one attempt to go to the inspection office, but really, a weak point overall.
He looks very good while doing it though. Those arms!
At the police station, the rather useless IA officer keeps questioning Yoon-Mi (she must have know about Park's dirty behavior etc.), but when she mentions that she knows who is behind this (Chief), she can just walk away. What a useless little interlude. Or not? It makes her become even more determined. Next target: Chairman Kang. How will they get him? By keeping a close eye on Hammer Head and S Loan Sharking (what a lame name, by the way).
I suppose, if I were going to offer a criticism over all, it would be things like this. While we are treated to a lot of really stunningly well choreographed fights, usually involving Banker, there are just as many instances where threats are made but only very weakly, or situations happen where you expect consequences and then there are none- people just walk away from each other. I can understand that there were a lot of cross-purposes here and multiple different power struggles, and this had the effect of turning kings into pawns and vice versa - but sometimes it did feel as though you were building up to a sneeze that just never happened.
Do-Hyeong has hit a brick wall (awwww, come to Mamma) in his efforts to make the world safe for his bride. Last resort? Meeting with his mother. Another lecture about power and that he does not have it. In a variation: he cannot protect the one he loves because he "does not have law on his side". He is little impressed. And then, he informs her about "The Shadows" and all the horrible things they are doing, orchestrated by Chairman Kang ... she didn't know. That is good, because I kinda like her. A bit.
You're right that she didn't know, but how would she not have known? That made no sense. It's like when Yoon Mi thought there was only ever one 'Shadow' in the world. That's just silly. 
Do-Hyeong has a favor to ask of her. He is going to go against Chairman Kang and the Shadows. He hopes his mother will not be siding with that monster. He does not want to be ashamed of her. And ... "I'm going to find Joo-Young". Haha. Stubborn darling.
I can understand his mother not wanting him to do this, but if she steps in and makes it all go away magically, I'll be mad.
Outside, Lawyer comes after him. A tip: shake it up and make it so that the whole world can hear the battle. Then he will win.
No one ever wants their dirty laundry aired... but usually if you do that, they all gang up on you.  If he's going to be loud about this, then he is going to piss off his mother big time.
Ah, but Lawyer was always on his side, in his quiet, supportive way
Do-Hyeong listens ... time to start that collaboration with Yoon-Mi we have been waiting for for so long!!! But first, she tells him who is behind S Loan Sharking. It hits Do-Hyeong hard. Loan sharking is, after all, the thing he hates most. He meets with Park Tae-Gyu, who tells him about his Joo-Young sighting - no, Joo-Young had no twin sister. But Do-Hyeong has a favor: Park Tae-Gyu needs to go see Branch Manager.
What do you think about her doing this, by the way? I always figured that this was the plan she and Jin Sook cooked up to take down the Shadows, and so I'm a little surprised that Do Hyeong doesn't think that too. He thinks she's just decided to return to her formerly criminal life?
I think Jin-Sook wants to become Big Boss with Joo-Young's help. Taking down the shadows is just what needs to be done to get there, but there is no morality involved in this. Joo-Young has played along because what else did she have in life? Sure, revenge played a role, but I'm sure she just saw herself as Loan Shark for the rest of her life. Until she heard that Bank Guy is still out looking for her
And Tae-Gyu does ... all happy and smiley and cool. But it's all a set-up, and a mean one at that. As soon as he gives Branch Manager the envelope he received from Do-Hyeong, the door bursts open and the police storms in. They arrest Branch Manager for accepting bribes (and loan fraud) - but they also arrest Tae-Gyu. He is shocked that he was used like that by Do-Hyeong. Yes, me too. Do-Hyeong, this is NOT OKAY.
I was thinking certainly they told him about this and he was IN on it, and that his protestations were 'acting' - but it becomes clear that they kept him in the dark and yes, Do Hyeong, Kakashi is right. This is NOT OKAY.
Next, Do-Hyeong confirms that his Joo-Young is really part of S Loan Sharking and then calls her (Joo-Young tries to hide it from Jin-sook, but unsuccessfully). They both cry (do they always cry?)(Pretty much.) She thinks he must hate her, but of course he does not. She is his beautiful bride. The woman he has known since high school and has loved ever since. I think she finally accepts his love at this moment. Took a while. (by the way, he explains why he pretended not to remember: for fear of her disappearing). There is a moment of regret about the lying to each other and a moment of regret about not having been able to reminisce about their common high school past. I'd say you get over it, lovelies.
Yep. Time's a-wasting. If you live through this, plenty of time to reminisce. After. But I do like that they FINALLY told each other the truth, although I shake my head that she was dumb enough all along that she thought he REALLY didn't remember her.
Lee El is arrested for bribery. And another one gone, another one gone, another one bites the dust. And then, it's time to make some noise!! Seryo Construction's evil fraud case is made Number 1 item in the evening news. It looks like Do-Hyeong Omma has it all prepared - the family lawyer meets with Branch Manager and gets him to confess, and Omma herself pays Chairman Kang another visit. "The ones above have ordered you to leave quietly", she says.
Ah, she can play it well...but do you think that those higher ups might be in trouble if Kang and the rest get arrested? That's kind of what I'm talking about in this drama. Things could continue out to their logical conclusion... but don't. They just stop. Although I guess, in a way, that could be looked at as a good thing, too. In real life, the big wigs often go completely unscathed and untouched when their underlings get caught.
Kang gets feisty and wants to insult her by saying she is nothing but an average Korean mom. This? It has nothing to do with her son, says Mrs. Moon. And he is mistaken if he thinks an average mom is something bad. She, however, heard about the Shadows - and warns him to stay out of human trafficking. Give Chairman Kang something to eat, he looks upset.
You know, I think it was that news of what the Shadows do that finally convinced her to do something helpful. But I still think it's ridiculous that she had no idea. She knew Kang, so she had to know what he was up to. Do you think that she wouldn't have had an eye on him?
Isn't it more like she could have known but never bothered? Remember that "you work by night so that we good citizens can sleep well" comment. Their worlds are seperated. Which is convenient for her and her like.

Secretary Kim is really the worst, isn't he. He goes behind Chairman Kang's back and asks Lawyer to make him the new Kang. Lawyer puts him in his place beautifully. I really like him. Awful Kim, the slimebag, goes to see Park Tae-Gyu (who is in custody) next and tells him that his Mi-Sook was the one that died in the fire, not Joo-Young.
Ahhh, Lawyer, you have stones! It's so clear that you are disgusted by having to deal with these people, too. I always liked you and your pretty eyes, too. That Death Mask KIM though...ugh.
Next, he lures Joo-Young to Hammer Head's shop and then kidnaps her. Kim takes a photo of her in the car, with green tape over her mouth.
I need him to die a painful death. It's not fair that he gets away with everything when he was just as guilty as Seo Jin Ki.

Do-Hyeong is at home, not knowing what to do next. This must suck. But look who is here! Mommy. It's the first time she sees his house. She is pleasant enough, though ... not saying anything when she sees the huge pictures of her son with Joo-Young. She wants beer and asks him to open it for her. She smiles a lot, but unfortunately, Kim sends Do-Hyeong the photo of the kidnapped Joo-Young before he can smile back. Do-Hyeong runs out like greased lightening. Kim is the biggest asshole of them all, isn't he?!
He really is. Halloween mask looking triple-crossing fraidy-cat ass kisser trash.
Chairman Kang is surprised when he sees Joo-Young - and not very impressed. "It's all over", he says, and orders Secretary Kim to just take her back. Kim takes her out, but he has no intention of taking her back - he wants her sold to China.
Kim, I think you're going to regret this.

Do-Hyeong arrives at the restaurant a few seconds too late. He makes his way in and confronts Chairman Kang, whom he believes to be behind Joo-Young's kidnapping. Kang realizes right away that this is all Secretary Kim's doing. Well, outside, the police arrive, which is probably better, because Do-Hyeong has a murderous look in his eyes. Still, he realizes Chairman Kang speaks the truth about not knowing where Joo-Young is.
Everyone else is gone, Do Hyeong. Don't take too long to realize that Kim is the only one left.
Kang is arrested and led away. Lawyer, who followed Do-Hyeong reports to Omma about it - she says there can be no mercy. Kang is going down and will stay down. When everybody is gone, Secretary Kim appears again and sits down at Kang's seat - already talking like him, too. You wish, you asshole.
He's disgusting. A slimey wannabe. They are very, very dangerous, sadly.
Luck has it that Hammer Head, who is a bit enamoured with Joo-Young, followed her capturers to where they're holding her - and calls Do-Hyeong. He storms into the building, beats them all up (there are quite a few dangerous situations) - and finds his Joo-Young and two other women in the back room (editing mistake: the women's mouths are taped shut, but we still hear their screams during the fighting). Finally! Reunited! "Everything is over now", Do-Hyeong says. And: "Let's go home".
What? That's it? It didn't seem like much, that fight.
But no, it's not over! First, Yoon-Mi saves Do-Hyeong's life by shooting a silent axe-attacker. And then, they're outside, where there is a lot of police and ambulances. Do-Hyeong is not in the best of shape either. He looks dazed ... What a crazy ride.
Because he can't believe it's over, either. Tell me he doesn't get accidentally run over by a police cruiser here or something.
He walks towards his car, Joo-Young supporting him by holding his arm, when Park Tae-Gyu appears ... and stabs him in the abdomen. It's pay back for lying about Mi-Sook and for using him. Once again, Do-Hyeong murmers "I am sorry"... and then, he collapses. Joo-Young presses her hands onto the terrible wound on his abdomen, but it looks futile. His eyes flutter shut.
 Oh, did I have choice words at this point. I mean, I knew it couldn't be over like that, with that relatively unspectacular fight - and if anyone had a right to stab our Banker, it would be Tae Gyu - but COME ON. He's gonna DIE? Did the universe not get my memo last week? It's no longer okay with me if he DIES. (I did have a thought, though... what if to save him requires a new kidney, and his mother.... buys one?)
Maybe Chairman Kang is a potential donor!
Cut to the operating room ... Do-Hyeong dreams. He is inside a beautiful white and golden church (well, it's a wedding hall, but looks like a church). And his bride comes in, smiling sweetly. It's all empty, there are no guests. She joins him at the altar. He puts a ring on her finger and they kiss.
Why is there no one there? Shouldn't Yoon Mi and Banker Friend be there, at least? Shithead brother? Notice how they dropped Mom out of the story after the first few eps, and brother fell by the wayside a couple of weeks ago? Disposable family.
It's a vision/dream though. I guess he just wanted her to himself
A tear escapes Do-Hyeong's eye at the hospital. And then, his heart stops beating. He flatlines. Fade to black.
Son of a bitch. The only way to save this fucking fiasco of a story is if Joo Young gets a season two and is THE FIERCEST BADASS avenger of wrongs of all time. And even then I will hate you, Writer-nim. You shithead.
The colors are super bright and we are back at the pier at Incheon. Joo-Young is standing there, looking out at the sea, wearing the light brown shoes he gave her and pretty much the same outfit she wore that day the whole kidnapping stuff started. She turns her head and there is Do-Hyeong, on a bike (well, very small, but we recognize him anyway, show).
Yeah, right. I saw the ending of Sang Doo, and it scarred me for life. You fucking asshole crackhead illiterate SHIT of a writer.
And to not make this like the ending of Cruel City, we see the heart monitor again ... and how his heart started beating again.
Wait, what? I take everything back, you brilliant person.
He rides to her on his bike and she smiles expectantly. He smiles back. He stands next to her, stealing glances at her all the time... until she asks "why do you keep looking at me?" - "Because I like you", he answers, replicating that talk they had at the high school. "And I'm going to keep looking at you". - "Me, too", she says.


Epilogue: Lee Jin-Sook enters Kang's restaurant and takes her seat. "We'll have to change the interior here", she says. And, when her underling suggests to change the business, "Will you"? Just like all the bosses before her and all the bosses after her.
We need to talk about Jin Sook.


Who started shouting and crying around minute 59 too? Damn, that was MEAN. Well, we expected it, at least in the first half of the drama, but killing Do-Hyeong at the very end was ... absolutely cruel. And I couldn't even be mad at Tae-Gyu, who had looked up to Do-Hyeong like a dog in a dumb-earnest way, but was lied to constantly and badly used.
I agree.  Tae Gyu didn't exactly deserve better, but he deserved better.  Our Banker was not above committing sins in order to save his bride, and so of course he had to pay.

And now I'm going to say something unpopular. If I had written this drama, I would have let Do-Hyeong die. What a horrible fate, I know. But it would have delivered that final punch I would have secretly expected from this drama. He should have died, and Joo-Young would have become a sad, but ruthless gangster right hand at Lee Jin-sook's side, never finding happiness again. As a punishment, kind of, for her actions.
That would have elevated the drama to a different level, I agree.  As is, it was an action movie.  With your ending, it would be Noir.  I would have HATED it, but I would have loved it, as well.

In contrast to Cruel City - which killed Paksa but made him appear again in the epilogue, maybe - this drama made it as clear as it could with that heart machine shot that this was no dream or an afterlife scene. He is healed of this terrible gut wound, they go to a place where nobody knows them, and start being happy together again - even happier than before, because there are no more lies.
I think the writer got beat up for Paksa, and so this time he's all: No, really, the dude is alive. See? ALIVE. He's happy, they're happy, no one is dead. STOP THROWING GARBAGE AT ME.

So what about all that talk about "power" and them being powerless and hence the victims of forces beyond their control? I wonder. Lee Jin-Sook gets her power - Do-Hyeong's mother keeps her power given by law. And Do-Hyeong has crushed the vicious wheel that Chairman Kang talked about and made his and his bride's world a better place. Will it be enough? I guess it will. I'm not saying these two don't deserve it. They had to work damn hard for that chance at a normal life and I hope it will work out for them.
We need to talk about Jin Sook. Yes, we will! Review piece coming up ... stay tuned. And I disagree that they made the world a better place.  What they did was secure passage out of a troubled neighborhood. They took out a couple bad guys... but they didn't really stop anything at all.

But I also feel a tiny little bit cheated. There is so much more in Do-Hyeong, a fighter for justice who could rid the world of evil, if he only wanted (or rather, if that evil went against his bride) - and he will just spend his days riding a new bike in some remote place on the coast? That's a waste. A real waste. I hope there will be a new gang of Shadows sometime in his future. So that he can go and kick ass again.
I'm not sure actual humans have more than one of those fights in them, though. I guess next time he really will die.
No season 2 then.