Blurb: Valid Love 19

Cringe, cringe :/

This is like being strapped in a roller coaster that is making its slow ascend into the stratosphere, and with each clacking on the the rail, your heart thumps faster, you question your sanity and the inevitable is within seconds as you see the front car plunge back to earth.

Strap on your seat belts, chingu, it’s gonna be a fast descending ride…


IR gets another sac-sac attack, but this time, no one is around to help her. Not a brown bag in sight either. And no hawt KJ’s hand to grab onto either. But, hang on, a couple walk past by her IR who is wheezing on the ground, and they continue on their journey (eh? o_O ). However, Mr. Stalker-Who-Started-All-the-Crey found her and calls for an ambulance.

Meanwhile, the fire has been out on the Research boat, but there is still no phone reception on board. Al the circuits have been badly burnt. Lucky for them, another boat has arrived to pick them up and return to shore…

IR has reached the ER and calls out HT subconsciously. Hundreds of kilometers away (I think), HT feels rather uneasy. Sixth sense kicking in. She also calls out “Joon-ah” and he, too, stops his work mid-way, and looks outside as though someone called out to him. He picks up the jar of vaseline from his box, looks at it for 10 seconds longer and throws it onto the floor.
Is this a premonition, chingu?

HS is at the doctor’s office with her parents. Doctor is hopeful of HS good condition, however there is a minor concern with signs of clotting. Hmmm, doesn’t really translate into ‘good condition’ does it?

HT and his crew safely disembark at the port and SJ rushes over worried sick about their condition. As she asks about their well-being, the men’s phone suddenly beeps into life with non-stop texts that couldn’t get through the night before. SJ tells them the fire break out was big news on TV last night and IR even called to find out about HT.

It was IR’s bestie who called HT and told him about her condition.

HT rushes to the hospital and sees his MIL and IU waiting in the corridor, “Why is she still in the ICU?” MIL tells him not to worry, she will wake up in due time. Doctor-in-charge informs HT not to worry. All they can do is give her IVs and dioxide gas concentration treatment. And just wait.

HT voiceover:

Let’s wait. The words I heard most when HS collapsed. I didn’t think I’d wait long since it’s a different case than HS’. But my wife didn’t wake up. Time passed hopelessly. 24 hours. Even after 48 hours, she was unconscious.

HS is sleeping in her room when she hears IR calling out for her to wake up. “I’m going on a backpacking trip. I always said I would, but I really am this time.” HS asks IR about her strange get up for a backpacking trip. HS offers to lend her outdoor clothing to IR, turns the opposite way and then it hits her: IR could hear what she said? Why is IR in her world? She turns back but IR is no longer on her bedside.

KJ is in his studio, still thinking whether to call IR or not when juvenile delinquent MK walks in. He still wants to be KJ’s apprentice. KJ tells him he can’t accept MK. He might not be in the neighborhood much longer. MK talks under his breath complaining “Pfft, you don’t even know Ahjumma is in the hospital…”

KJ rushes over and sees HT waiting outside the ICU unit. HT blocks him saying it’s not visiting hours yet, and he needs to explain a few things to him. One, IR has hyperventilation. It was probably caused by the news of HT being on a burning ship. KJ gets frustrated that there’s nothing he or the doctors can do except wait.

IR:  Go home and get some sleep

KJ:  Was it fun?… Playing with me? Was it fun? It’s not fun for me. I’m gonna end it. I’ll end it first.

HT voiceover:

My wife didn’t wake up after five days. I started to get scared. HS was just like this. I felt like I could do anything if she just woke up. Her involvement with this guy wasn’t important.

[HT covers KJ with a blanket who is sleeping on the row of chairs in the hospital corridors]

My wounds were nothing. Who care’s about my wife’s mistakes? As long as she wakes up.

As HT looks over IR, he remembers how she saved his life from an oncoming vehicle, how she looked at him while she bled on the street…

HT:  Saying you should go to Carpenter Kim so you can be at ease… It was a lie. I couldn’t forgive you. Looking at another man besides me… even if that was a mistake, it was horrible enough to want to kill. But not anymore. Just wake up. Forgive you? What right do I have? Just live. Walk and talk. Laugh a lot… Love… a lot. Live like you. As you are. Don’t get caught in any nets and swim. Whatever ocean that might be in… I’ll cheer you on. But I, won’t go near you.

Dude, you’re telling her all these when she’s in a coma? 😮 Aish…

HT takes his leave and looks at KJ’s sleeping figure in the corridor. Seconds later, the entire area lights up and a well-dressed lady in fashionable clothing walks in with a bouquet of flowers. It’s HS visiting IR. She sits at the foot of the bed, lovingly taps IR’s legs to wake her up.

HS:  Hurry up. Let’s go out.

IR:  How did you get here, Eonnie?

HS:  I came to visit. It was nice walking in the sunshine.

IR:  How pretty. You’re wearing pretty clothes too.

HS:  Don’t just lie there. Get up. Eat good food and go shopping.

IR:  I can’t get up, Eonnie. (Why not? – HS)  Just… My body won’t listen. I want to open my eyes, but I can’t. I thought I lifted my arm, but it just lies there. I thought I got off the bed, but I’m lying there.

HS:  Keep thinking. Don’t give up. Keep going. Think about how worried people are.

IR:  My mum… is she okay? (Your mother is strong. She’s enduring well. – HS) IU? (She’s doing well – HS) That’s a relief. What about HT and Carpenter Kim? (Curious? – HS) I have a lot to tell them. (Then wake up already. I have to go – HS) You’re going somewhere?

HS:  IR, do you know what my dream is? To get up… No. I know I have no hope of that. My dream is to leave someday. All of a sudden. Without pain. Kim Il Ri. Promise me. That you won’t cry.

Mom enters HS’ room and cheerfully asks if she would like to shampoo her hair. Or to have a bath as well?

HS voiceover:

Mom, no matter what happens, don’t blame yourself. It’s not your fault. It’s my body.

Mom:  Are you sleeping again? Mmmm? You just woke up.

So promise me, Mom. That you won’t cry. I’m really excited…

Mom:  HS? HS?… [gingerly places her finger against HS’ nostrils] HT!! GT!! GT!! HT!!

They all rush into the ambulance, HS’ body looking deathly pale. The vehicle pulls away from the Jang residence, and HS is standing at the front gates, decked out in her most fashionable outdoor gear for a backpacking trip. She’s running on the neighborhood streets, taking pictures… She’s free…

At the hospital, the attending doctor pronounces HS dead on February 1st, 2015 at 7:15pm. Her heart simply gave way. Jang family are in disbelief that HS has left them.

That same night, HS visits IR for the last time…


“I’m going on a backpacking trip instead of you. You were the greatest gift in my life. The best friend too. Thank you for taking care of me. Promise me one thing…


Don’t cry because of me. You did enough. A person who did all they could doesn’t have regret or reluctance. So, don’t cry. Just cry for yourself.”


How beautifully written HS’ departure was… 😥

HS walks into the dark corridor and tells KJ to go inside IR’s room. She has woken up.

Nurse:  Are you KIR’s guardian?

IR:  HT-Sshi. Have you eaten? I slept too much. Eonnie came to me in a dream. She said something. But I can’t remember. I’m sleepy. I’m gonna sleep some more.

AWWWWW! JOON-IE!! Come here you! 😥

Next day IR’s mum is with her and the patient is eager to get out of bed. She tells mum she saw HT earlier. Mum said it couldn’t have been him because she has been there the whole day.

HT is the Jang representative at HS’ funeral. He thanks IU for coming by. When no one else is around, HT sits on the floor and stares at HS’ portrait.

HT voiceover:

What did she think while leaving? I wonder if she wanted to live on like that. Or did she think it was better this way? Where is she headed to now? I hope she’s not lonely. Suddenly I became curious. Why did she endure so long to leave so pointlessly? All that time, what did it mean?

Bestie is at the hospital ward helping IR pack up for discharge. IR feels that she may have lost something. “It’s strange… why do I feel like there’s something missing?” IR looks into the drawers and wardrobe. IR is reluctant to leave the room, and her friend caves in to tell her the news, “Brace yourself.”

A taxi stops in front of the Jang household, and IR rushes in. She walks into HS’ room, minus the resident. IR looks around the silent room, and sees the rows of framed photographs, all of smiling HS. She holds onto one and cries her heart out. Please just do NOT hyperventilate again, IR o_O

IR:  C0ngratulations, Eonnie. It’s just like you. You were cool. You probably left smiling. Like you were going on an outing. About now, you’re probably walking somewhere confidently. I can see it. Because we spent seven years together. And you were my best friend. What do I do now? Without you? I can’t bathe you anymore. Suctioning your saliva… I have nothing to do now.

IR lies in HS’ bed, under the warmth of the quilt, continuing her conversation with HS, “I was you. I only breathed and lived. For seven years. I lived like that.”

It’s a crisp winter morning and Ms Go is thanking Mr Jang for grieving along with her though the child wasn’t even his. Omo. Her dementia has gone to the next level, but at least she’s not disgusted with his presence anymore. Mr. Jang now also knows how to play along and get riled thinking it’s one of her tricks to get to him about his past philandering ways.

IR visits KJ’s studio with packed kimbab.

KJ:  You were just discharged. Can you do this?

IR:  Try it for now. They won’t compare to the ones you made. (They’re… so-so – KJ) When I was in the ICU, did you visit? Were you there when I woke up?

KJ:  What do you wanna know?

IR:  If you were the one who stayed, thank you.

KJ:  It wasn’t me. You must’ve mistaken me for someone else.

IR: And I apologize for saying it was a bottomless pit. Saying we came this far by rolling in a bottomless pit… I take that back. It wasn’t a bottomless pit when I thought about it.

KJ:  Was it a silken road?

IR:  Anyway, for bringing me this far, you’re the mirror that let me see myself.

KJ:  What’s wrong with you today?

IR:  I have a lot to apologize for. For not being faithful to you, for not going to you fully, for making you anxious, I’m sorry and thank you. Thank you so much for bringing me this far.

The Wut? “Thank you for bringing me this far?” WHAT THE FRAKEN?!? 😡

KJ tries to locate HT. He had to get intel from GT and finally finds him at his isolated fishing spot. They share soju by the beach and HT wants to know what brought KJ all the way there.

KJ:  We’re leaving next week. To the south. Why? Don’t like it?

HT:  No. It’s up to you both. To leave or not leave.

Then HT notices something wrapped with care just past KJ. It’s the chair. KJ says HT should give it to IR himself as a divorce gift. HT is not pleased with his “cuteness.” Take back this chair and leave. But KJ wants a favor instead, “Please officiate my wedding.”

HT voiceover:

He was probably joking when he asked me to officiate. But what about leaving? I was curious. Did my wife really decide? Does she want to leave with that guy?

HT is finally back in his home with the rocking chair tucked in one corner. However, he finds a letter on his table…

IR voiceover:

Since we can’t meet, I’m writing instead. The passcode was the same, so I was able to enter. It won’t happen again. I’m leaving you now. I’m really going to give up. It’s not because I hate you. I don’t think you hate me either. But we were both in so much pain. Both of our scars are too big. I don’t want to blame you when I see my scar. I don’t want to hear your blame either. But I’m thankful. I grew as big as my scar is. Thank you for letting me this far. And, I’m sorry.

And HT takes this as IR’s decision to move on with her life without him being part of it. Next day, he’s at the traffic lights waiting to cross the road, and who does he see walking from the opposite side waiting to do the same thing? IR looks up and sees HT across the street and automatically smiles. But HT averts his gaze instead and IR’s smile slowly disappears…

HT voiceover:

The feeling that I’d long forgotten. My heart races. My heart is pounding. I was excited.



What the FRAKEN?!!!



😡 😡 😡


  1. Another observation I want to share that has not gained much mention in other recaps and reviews is the strong food motif in the serial. Restricting my observations to the last two episodes, I draw your attention to the numerous times IR has enquired about HT’s meals.

    When IR regained consciousness in hospital, she mistook KJ for HT and asked “Hee Tae ssi, have you eaten?” Poor KJ, it must have caused him a stomach upset among other ailments. When IR met HT at the park near their road intersection, she enquired if HT still loved her. HT did not reply verbally, but his stomach growled and IR asked “You haven’t had lunch yet?”
    Back at their apartment, when HT presented her the rocking chair and confessed that he felt guilty and bad toward IR and mistook it for love. He lamented that now he no longer felt bad, she was leaving. And what was IR’s reply, “I’ll make you dinner”. During dinner, they recaptured memories of the thousands of meals they shared and rediscovered their passion – they were “hot”, excited, and thankful (IR had earlier told KJ when she wanted to end their affair in episode 9, that she was “hot” all over – her head, chest, hand, and toes). Now in this final episode, she has not only been excited by HT at the kiosk but also at dinner in their home.
    IR waited outside their apartment for HT to return from his reunion with his alumni and when she saw him, IR asked “Have you had dinner?” Later when HT returned to work, he sheepishly informed SJ, who commented that he looked rested, that he ate his wife’s cooking and they have reunited. Note that she has never asked KJ if he has eaten.

    IR had always wanted to be married to HT, even after their divorce application has been filed and she fought to stay with HT. Her marriage to HT was the “staple” meal (which comprised a main dish and many side dishes) while her affair to KJ was best represented as a meal of instant ramen or rice with only a side dish of kimchi or radish. So “basic” in IR’s own words.

    After IR turned down HT’s offer to return home and after KJ saved her from the locked washroom, IR decided to give KJ a chance. Note she only cooked him curry with a side dish and not her winning bean paste stew. It should be noted that IR could have cooked KJ an elaborate meal as they were at a supermarket and could buy all the ingredients needed.

    When KJ “proposed” to IR in the cab of his vehicle, IR doused his “hot proposal” with the excuse that her favourite restaurants and cafes were all in Inchon, among a host of other immaterial excuses.

    If you review this serial thoroughly, you will find support for my observations. Remember how IR framed her problem? She asked twice, “Am I being too GREEDY?” Apparently, the food motif was significant for viewers to make better sense of the narrative. Food is the symbol of love for IR and the evidence presented dispels all doubts that IR loved KJ as much as she loved HT. Sorry for making KJ-shippers unhappy – but you missed the signs!


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