Thursday marked the end or MBC’s melodrama I Miss You. I would like to say what a long, tear filled trip it has been. This drama has had me switching up opinions faster than live shooting dramas change their plot lines, which as we all know is pretty freaking fast. From loving it to bored-to-death to loving it to hating it I have to say I Miss you was quite the ride. Keep reading for a recap of episode 21 (the final) as well as Lore in Stone Cities series review. I hope you enjoy.
Episode 21 Recap
We begin with a lengthy flashback, explaining all of the bad deeds that got us to this point. After we get through all of the pain and suffering thus far we are met with Soo Yeon, sitting terrified in the warehouse where the bad stuff went down 14 years ago. Her fear seems well founded as we hear the rap-tap-tap that has come to signify Harry’s presence.
Jung woo arrives at the warehouse and we are met with more flashbacks as well as a voice over describing the fact that Jung Woo has thought of this moment many times before, thought of how he would protect Soo Yeon. Jung Woo cautiously slides open the door to reveal a terrified Soo Yeon and a menacing, bat shit crazy looking Harry (who waves his new gun with a sanity-lost look in his eye). Jung Woo follows Harry’s gun gesturing and takes a seat in the chair across from Soo Yeon.
We cut to Mom, who is doing some same fond reminiscing over her children. The phone rings- oh no- and then we find ourselves in the police station as Jung Woo’s father is brought in. Our team of detectives gives evil-dad rough treatment, letting him know that if Soo Yeon and Jung Woo die then he is responsible for their deaths. Unfortunately due to dramaland law Mom just walked into the police station and hears the whole thing. Turns out she just got a call from the station asking if she has heard from Soo Yeon (apparently the detectives did not think to maybe…I don’t know, call her themselves and explain the situation?). This leads Mom and evil dad to get into an impressive shouting match, ending with the token question “Are you even human?” Ha.
We return to the warehouse and indulge in a mind twisting conversation interspersed with Soo Yeon’s memories. Harry seems to think he can regain Zoë if he makes her remember how Jung Woo left her all those years ago. Harry’s romantic skills are a little lacking, having the girl you like remember her rape is not exactly the ticket to her heart. Jung Woo lets out a vocal onslaught at Harry, reminding him that he only hurts Soo Yeon in his desire for revenge. Infuriated, Jung Woo leaps from his seat only to have Harry turn his gun on Soo Yeon.
Harry, in all of his desperation, tells Soo Yeon he cannot be alone and cannot go to prison. He offers her his hand, beckoning her to come to him with all of his crazy logic. We hear police sirens in the background and we cut to an approaching SWAT team, accompanied by our familiar detective squad. A nifty camera device is stuck under the warehouse doors and wifey detective begins monitoring the situation.
Jung Woo interrupts Harry only to have him fire off a warning shot, exclaiming that he and Zoë are in the middle of a conversation and should not be interrupted (when he calls her Zoë it tops the creep scale for me, don’t know why, maybe it shows off his delusional side too much). Jung Woo tries to take control of the situation, rambling about how his father is really the problem. Harry is not distracted and tells Jung Woo he has lived his life as a lie to survive, Jung Woo’s lie and attempt to distract him will not work. That leaves Soo Yeon to begin her own teary confession; she loved Harry just not the way he wanted. And she knows his life was not entirely a lie.
Harry begins to pour his heart out as we see a red laser beam on the wall. I guess that means the SWAT team has a sniper on him. Jung Woo notices and glances between Harry and the door. Harry, reminiscing, looks at his cane leaning against the wall and notices the laser beam. Sensing this Jung Woo tries once again to negotiate, telling him that if Soo Yeon stays she will be in danger. In the moment that I think we all knew was coming, Harry puts a gun to Soo Yeon’s head and sits behind her, declaring he will not go down alone. Our sniper happy SWAT team, meanwhile, is upset as Jung Woo stands to block their shot. Wifey detective runs towards the SWAT team leader pleading with them not to shoot.
Back inside, Jung Woo calls out Harry for never seeing the bad things that happened to Jung Woo, only focusing on the things that made him jealous. Jung Woo brings up the fact his father is an evil bastard and the reality that he never knew his mother. He finishes off his teary eyed speech of reason proclaiming that if Harry shoots Soo Yeon it will not kill their love, it will only make it stronger. They will miss and grieve each other and therefore their love will only be more real.
Harry reacts by turning the gun on Jung Woo. Soo Yeon takes this opportunity to leap up and stand in front of Jung Woo, protecting him for a potential shot. She explains to Harry this is what love is, and then tells Jung Woo she will wait for him after she dies. She approaches Harry and pushes the gun to her chest, asking Jung Woo to make sure Harry is not hurt. WTF! This is the last straw for Harry and he freaks out. Jung Woo reacts swiftly, pulling Soo Yeon away from the gun and throwing himself in the line of fire. Harry shoots, the bullet hitting Jung Woo in the back. Noooo! I knew it was coming from episode 1 but…nooooo!
The shock of the shooting leaves Harry to hold the gun, repeating that it did not happen. The SWAT team rushes in and wifey detective pulls his gun, only to look down and see Jung Woo on the floor, Soo Yeon bent over him, crying for him to get up. As Yoo Seon pleads for Jung Woo to be okay Harry holds the gun to his head, saying he too could have died for her if that is what her love required. She ignores him, hysterically shaking Jung Woo.
Harry readies the gun to fire but the SWAT team shoots first, hitting him. He collapses as Soo Yeon continues to hold Jung Woo. Falling, he utters “hold me”, his desperate need for love and affection overtly apparent. Detective wifey runs to Jung Woo and the police pull Yoo Seon away, the camera (in a nice piece of cinematography) shows both men, lying on the floor, focusing on one then the other as their shared fates resonate.
We cut to the hospital where (of course) Jung Woo and Harry are being treated side by side, even being wheeled into the operating room together. Harry’s doctors discuss if he will be able to stand trial for his horrible deeds, after all he may now have brain damage. Harry, in all of his drug induced coma-ness, remembers the time he spent with Zoë, comforting her and loving her.
With images of a hospital room shown a voice over of a news broadcast takes us a little forward in the story, first explaining that the serial killer (Harry) has been caught, then telling us that evil dad is going to go to trial for his crimes. Next we see a woman wearing high heels enter a hospital room and open a yellow umbrella, as the camera pans up we of course see that it is Soo Yeon. At this time Jung Woo wakes up and stares at Soo Yeon fondly. Soo Yeon explain he has been out for 10 days. She hugs him close, asking him to say her name (which is a nice nod to an earlier episode), after all she has missed hearing his voice. As he repeats her name she hugs him close and the camera pans out to reveal that it is raining outside. Awwww. These two and their weather references. So cute.
We fade to black, only to pick up ten months later with wifey detective hearing the weather forecast on his phone- today is the day of the first snowfall. Wifey laments his loneliness and age as boss detective approaches and tells him to get to work. Wifey, using some of Jung Woo’s mannerisms announces he will go investigate a crime scene to stretch his muscles. Ha.
Jung Woo is back at work as well (yay) and is in the middle of an interrogation. The criminal he is interviewing will not spill the beans so Jung Woo punches him, causing the man to proclaim that cops can’t hit people. Jung Woo tells him he is not a person, he is garbage (nod to what Jung woo thinks of his own father) and that he cannot stand for people like him to live in a place where people he love exist. Awww. That is…kind of sweet…I guess (cop romantic maybe).
Jung Woo comes home to a dark house. Calling out for Soo Yeon and girlfriend he is surprised as the light flickers on and Ah Reum saunters out, dressed up. Next we have Eun Joo and then girlfriend, all dressed to the nines. Surprisingly evil step mom appears too, though protesting her appearance. The cutest thing is they all are wearing clips in their hair (ala Jung Woo’s first gift to Soo Yeon). They explain that Soo Yeon made them all outfits and that from now on they will live their lives carefree. They sit down to eat the chicken that Jung Woo brought home and have a cute assembled family moment. Can I give cheers for a new assembled family? I just love this element in dramas. Jung Woo gives Soo Yeon an I.D. card, telling her that it is time to reclaim her name. She is touched and the others tease them. Cute.
Jung Woo goes to visit Dad in jail and we see that Pops hasn’t changed. Dad wants nothing to do with his son, especially his son’s heartfelt words of you-should-ask-for-me-sometime feelings. Dad asks to be lead out and as he leaves we see Jung woo reflect on the situation, sighing and slightly smiling, showing viewers that he has accepted the relationship with his father and all of the outcomes, good and bad.
Next we catch up with Harry, who is in some kind of hospital, wheelchair bound. We hear a voice over, telling us that he says a few words now but does not show any signs of real improvement. He has to be moved to a prison soon in order to serve his life sentence according to our narrative. The camera turns to Soo Yeon and Jung Woo who have come to visit their arch nemesis (which leads me to wonder why, after everything, they want to go visit this guy). Soo Yeon shows Harry her new I.D. and tells him her name is Soo Yeon, which again seems really f***ed up considering what went down 10 months ago. Jung Woo gives Uncle Harry a leaf and tells him it is now winter. Harry is fascinated by the fall foliage and studies it as Soo Yeon (in a once again WTF moment) waves her hand in the Jung Woo forget about bad memories technique. Harry only stares at the leaf, ignoring her motions.
Jung Woo and Soo Yeon leave, only to find that it is snowing outside. The first snowfall! Harry watches them leave from the window, reaching out a hand as if to capture them. The camera focuses on a necklace he is holding in his hand (is it his mothers? Does he remember after all?!) and then pans to him smiling wistfully.
It is the first day of snow which means wedding time! Jung Woo and Soo Yeon show up at a chapel ready to tie the knot. They start awkwardly, Jung Woo walking towards the altar with the bouquet in hand. He realizes his mistake, turns around and gives it to Soo Yeon who may I add, is adorably wearing a clip in her hair with lace on it. Awww. We hear voiceovers from our bride and groom:
“Jung Woo you have no idea how long I have waited for this moment, do you? Thanks for always staying…and waiting for me.”
“It was a tough road to get here, wasn’t it? You just need to take thirteen more steps now. One, two, three, four, five, six. If the wind starts to blow, we will block it for each other. If it rains, we can share the umbrella. On the days of the first snowfall we will meet up like this. Do you remember? We showed our scars to each other on the steps when we were younger and laughed over it. WE can just keep doing that. Let’s endure the tough times with the strength of our love and live our lives that way. You look beautiful.”
They exchange rings and take a selca, which Jung Woo promptly texts to everyone and their brother. Girlfriend is ecstatic at the text, while Eun Joo can’t believe they went through with it without everyone there. Stepmom scoffs, but admits the romanticism as Ah Reum explains the story behind the first day of snowfall. Wifey detective looks at the text and then fakes a stomach ache (his tactic whenever Jung Woo and Soo Yeon showed PDA) causing the other detectives to take a look at the text. Ha.
Jung Woo calls girlfriend and they have a teary exchange as he explains that he and Soo Yeon will marry again in front of everyone and then thanks her for everything – being his mom and giving birth to Soo Yeon. Mom starts crying at his words (so did I. Right with you Mom!) and thanks Jung Woo for being her boyfriend, son, and son in law. Seriously, crying right now. Mom and Jung Woo tell each other they love each other.
To continue the tear-fest we see Soo Yeon and Jung Woo at the altar, doing the make-bad-thoughts go away trick and then descend into flash backs of their meeting 14 years ago when Soo Yeon gave Jung Woo the yellow umbrella. We then find ourselves at the playground, a 15 year old Soo Yeon sitting on the swings; dipping her sneaker into a puddle playing the will he come will he not game. Suddenly Jung Woo appears and we can tell from the modern playground equipment that this is not reality but an alternate view of what happened.
In alternate memory world Jung Woo gives Soo Yeon back the umbrella and tells her that he brought someone with him, his kid uncle that he just found out about. Harry runs up to the pair and tells Soo Yeon she is not pretty, after all Jung Woo said she was but he was wrong. Soo Yeon confronts Jung Woo as Harry runs to play, asking him to tell her what he finds so pretty about her. He takes the adolescent boy route and tells her she is ugly, she chases him playfully with the umbrella. The three of them play, like the kids they are, as the first snow begins to fall (alternate reality of the horribleness that actually happened to them on that day, a view of what could have been if their childhood innocence had not been shattered by the adults in their lives). As we flit through the alternate reality the following voice over accompanies the images:
Jung Woo: Had we met like this…what would it have been like?
Soo Yeon: Had we met like this…what would it have been like?
Jung Woo: I am sure I still would have loved you. Even if we had met like that…we still would’ve fallen in love.
Soo Yeon: If you had not come to that playground that night would we still have met?
Jung Woo: I told you, we already met before then. It’s just a relief it rained that day.
Soo Yeon: I found the umbrella because my Mom kicked it in her sleep.
Jung Woo: So it was my girlfriend after all. The person who brought us together.
We return to the present. The couple walks out of the chapel, hand in hand, as the voiceover finishes.
Series Review: The Good and the Bad
Where do I begin? I like to think of the bad stuff first and the good stuff last so I am about to go on a full out ramble. Prepare, it may take awhile, especially with this drama.
Obvious Plot Changes
Any drama that is extended goes through at least a little plot rearranging. I Miss You was extended by one episode- not a whole lot of shuffling should have been done. Yet in the early episodes we were consistently teased with a flash forward of epic proportions- our main character dead, crying, and a whole lot of tragedy. None of it happened. Seriously, none of it (okay, I concede that some of it kind of happened, like the Soo Yeon framed for murder bit and the Harry crying bit). Which I am kind of happy for yet sorely disappointed that no matter how you look at it, or how they tried to spin it (like it was what could have been), that flash forward was a discarded to a somewhat confusing effect.
Everything is horrible
If you have read my past posts about I Miss You then you are aware of my thoughts on the tragicifying (yeah, I made this word up) this series brought on. Everything was bad and then was worse and then was just so freaking horrible you had to wonder what sick monkeys write for this show. I mean seriously, kidnapping, child rape, and more kidnapping are not enough?! You had to throw in serial killers, drugging, even more kidnapping, and beatings and….sorry, I will stop now or this will go on forever.
Ultimately this drama tried to tell an emotionally deep story with a high impact; unfortunately they tried too hard to reach this goal and ended up with too much tragedy. An overabundance of tragedy served up every ten minutes desensitizes viewers to the tears and emotional impact, making the next terrible thing not as emotionally moving as it could have been. In the resonating storyline department I Miss you fell flat.
This may be whiny but I have never shied away from complaining before. This story really did not do justice to the stellar cast. Yoon Eun Hye is golden when she has the right role, Yoochun has always surprised me with his acting, and noona-heart-stealer Yoo Seung Ho has turned in many a great performance. However this trio fell flat with I Miss You.
Maybe it is because the cast took the wrong roles, maybe it is because the writers never considered the cast (I feel King of Drama flashbacks coming on. Forget I said considered the cast that always ends up with actors crying at the wrong time or having fifty unnecessary scenes. Orange juice!). I would like to think that part of this problem is that two actors that excel at rom-coms, Yoochun and YEH, went all melodrama on us. That may be the problem, who knows. Whatever it is, the actors did what they could but the characters were never near and dear to my drama heart.
Okay, okay. I know this is more like a fan-girl-happy kind of critique but in my opinion it is true. While I complained the show did not follow its original flash-forward I was kind of happy it did not (though I still think if it was not to be they should have left it out entirely). I liked the fact that they ended up together, I like the fact they came to terms. While not every character trajectory in this drama made sense the ending was probably the only feel good episode of the entire show. Huzzah.
The I Miss You Theme
The missing you plot point- that missing a person can drive you to any lengths- was shown multiple times in this story. From Harry’s obsessively crazy motivations over missing his mother and later Soo Yeon to Jung Woo’s fourteen year period of missing Detective Kim and his first love we saw what missing a person can do. Favorable memories and deep emotional ties can drive someone to great lengths, especially when the object of their memories is nowhere to be found. From murder to taking a bullet for the one you love, the bonds that you form and the social and emotional needs people carry can take them to unimaginable places. This was something I Miss You did well.
One of my favorite tropes of stories, Korean or otherwise, the assembled family gives us a ragtag group of outcasts that find kinship in their struggles. I Miss You gave us a particularly powerful version of this, Jung Woo, Eun Joo, and Mom bonded due to their intensely emotionally damaging pasts (kidnapping, dead father, and dead daughter and abuse). Somehow they forged ahead and came into their own, supporting each other in ways that some real families may struggle at.
So there you have it. I am not sure that I will miss you I Miss You, but I will definitely always remember Yoo Seung Ho’s swan song before he entered the military. On second thought, let’s fast forward two years and cast a rom-com with this bunch. I have a feeling I may like that show a thousand times more than I enjoyed I Miss You. Cheers.