We start in Korea and end up in Urk while dealing with the real possibility of complete separation.
Descendants of the Sun Episode 15 Recap
Doctor Kang Mo Yeon (Song Hye Kyo) wheels Yoo Shi Jin (Song Joong Ki) out of the hospital as he is being released. She asks what he is listening to through his headphones. He puts the headphones on her head and hits play on his music player. It’s her cliff confession! She lets go of the wheelchair and Shi Jin rolls down the drive. He throws himself out of the wheelchair. Mo Yeon frets about the ruined wheelchair. Shi Jin can’t believe that she’s concerned about the wheelchair not him. He jokes that since the wheelchair is non functional they should not use public transportation for the safety of all citizens. Nice opening scene full of cute banter between our couple.
Officer Yoon Myeong Joo (Kim Ji Won) eats while Dae Young (Jin Goo) watches. She asks him to clarify their relationship. He says he’s in the process of exiting the army. She scoffs that working at her uncle’s company to satisfy her father will not make him happy. She offers to exit the army. He scoffs that she has the ability to rise high in the ranks and leaving will not be good for her or the army. He tells her he fed her so now he’s leaving. She tells him next time they meet they need to determine their status.
Myeong Joo’s father, Lieutenant General Yoon (Kang Shin Il), looks at Dae Young’s discharge papers.
Shi Jin stops by Mo Yeon’s apartment bringing beer and candles. They banter until she asks why the Arab helicopter came for her in Urk. He feigns pain in his arm. She’s not fooled and advises him to tell her the truth. Then she guesses the truth. Did he use his gold card on the helicopter? He doesn’t deny it. She can’t believe he wasted the gold card on transportation. Cash, bonds, jewels, why didn’t he get something with lasting value? He tweeks her cheeks calling her materialistic.
Solider Kim Ki Bum is greeted by his alpha team soldiers. They are rooting from him to pass his qualification exam. They offer food and advice. Ki Kim claims he’ll pass, no problem. They all get phone calls for a mission, except Dae Young. As alpha team preps to leave, Dae Young sits and watches. He’s called to Lieutenant General Yoon who tells him this is a 3 month mission. They haven’t found Dae Young’s replacement yet. The offer is simple – go on the mission or sign the discharge papers immediately. Dae Young picks the mission. Lieutenant General Yoon says when Dae Young returns he needs to bring Myeong Joo for some tea. Dae Young is surprised by the olive branch. Lieutenant General Yoon orders him to return safely. Lieutenant General Yoon tears up the discharge form. Yes!
Dae Young hangs his dog tags on Myeong Joo’s apartment door.
Shi Jin calls Mo Yeon to the front of the hospital. He tells her that he’s not early for their date but he’s going to the department store. He tells her he’ll be gone for 3 months. She asks if it is an overseas department store. He tells her to behave while he’s gone. She tears up. He hugs her. She tells him to return quickly. He promise to return, intact. He tells her it won’t be easy to communicate. He asks her to wait one season for him. She hugs him again. Atta girl, don’t let him leave without at least a heartfelt hug. He says he’ll miss her. She concurs. He leaves. What no kiss? Are you kidding me? Leaving for 1-2-3 months and Mo Yeon doesn’t even rate a kiss? Mo Yeon recalls Mr. Bad’s words about Shi Jin’s secrets and disappearances that could become permanent. I’ve got to give it to the actor, David McInnis, that effectively uttered that line which has been used repeatedly during this series as it embodies all of Mo Yeon’s fears.
Mo Yeon is distracted at work. She’s relieved to get a safe arrival text from Shi Jin. She keeps a running text communication with him. She misses him. He’s not back and seasons are changing. Wait a minute…she’s on the hospital roof…a helicopter approaches.
We see the alpha team on the mission. The first helicopter leaves with half the team and the civilians. Dae Young and Shi Jin will catch the next helicopter home. Oh no, Shi Jin is shot. Dae Young drags him out of the line of fire. Shi Jin looks bad. OMG, is he going to die? Things get worse on the ground. The alpha team in the helicopter call Shi Jin but get no response. They freak out when the site goes up in flames. Okay, this doesn’t look good but I do not believe they are going to kill Shi Jin and Dae Young. Not going to happen.
Mo Yeon is tired of getting no response from Shi Jin. Meyong Joo finds her and joins her for a drink. Myeong Joo says that radio silence is common. She is happy Dae Young left his dog tags, that is a positive sign. Both women plan to seclude themselves with their men when they return. Both women want their men to come home soon. Mo Yeon touches the necklace Shi Jin gave her.
In the rain, 3 of the 5 members of alpha team return to Korea. Snoopy tells Lieutenant General Yoon that the bodies of Shi Jin and Dae Young have not been found.
Lieutenant General Yoon meets with Shi Jin’s father. He gives him Shi Jin’s dog tags. Shi Jin’s father starts to cry. Lieutenant General Yoon salutes but he doesn’t see it.
Myeong Joo plans her vacation with Dae Young blissfully unaware of what will happen. She’s excited to see one of the members of the alpha team. But the grim expression wipes the smile from her face.
Snoopy meets Mo Yeon outside the hospital. He tells her he’s sorry.
Now we cut between both women learning that Shi Jin and Dae Young were killed during the mission.
Myeong Joo demands that the report be revised as tears fill her eyes.
Mo Yeon doesn’t understand is completely stunned as tears fill her eyes. Snoopy gives Mo Yeon Shi Jin’s will. It reads “I hoped this letter would not find it’s way to you. I haven’t kept my promise not to worry you, not to hurt you, not to die, and that I would come back. I’m sorry. You are in a bright place. I met you. I loved you. I’m sorry for being separated from you.”
That was a well produced scene. Cutting between both women as they heard the news was a nice production choice. the actresses brought the emotion – first shock, then tears.
Myeong Joo finds her father in his office. They stare at each other. She begs him to tell her it isn’t true. She cries. He hands her Dae Young’s will. Myeong Joo doesn’t want to take it. It will mean it’s real if she reads it. She cries. She yells at her father that because of him she and Dae Young wasted time. He offers Dae Young’s will again. She takes it.
Mo Yeon finds Myeong Joo weeping. She asks why she’s crying. She can’t be upset if Myeong Joo is upset. She wants her father to tell them this is all a mistake. She sees Dae Young’s will in Myeong Joo’s hand and realizes that Dae Young is dead…Shi Jin is dead…her life implodes in pain. She sinks next to Myeong Joo and cries hard. Both actresses delivered raw grief.
As Mo Yeon lays on the couch, Shi Jin’s voice intones “I’d like you not to cry too long. More than anyone else, live long and bright. Don’t remember me too long.” Ouch! I’m crying even though I KNOW he’s not dead. But these scenes are tear jerkers. That was harsh of Shi Jin to tell her not to remember him for too long. Yes, I get that you don’t want your loved one mired in grief, but I’d rather hear “remember me well and live a bright and happy life to honor our love”.
The commander visit Mo Yeon at her apartment and tells her the official word will be forthcoming next week. Shi Jin and Dae Young will be reported as killed in a car accident. He pushes a confidentiality agreement for her to sign. She asks if Shi Jin saved lives as part of the mission. She asks if his death protected the peace. She asks if his death protected Korea. She doesn’t want to sign the agreement. She moans to Shi Jin that even his death is a secret. She cries and signs the document. That was a moving moment.
Life goes on. Mo Yeon saves patients. Annoying Dr. Kim, yes I hit mute, talk to Mo Yeon. They aren’t friendly. Why is this character given precious airtime? She is like salt in a wound.
Mo Yeon and her friend talk and commiserate in vague terms. Mo Yeon cites items that remind her of Shi Jin. Mo Yeon cries. They decide more alcohol is needed.
Myeong Joo receives an order from her father to go to Urk. Her father apologizes for separating her from Dae Young with different assignments. He tells Myeong Joo that while she only thought of Dae Young, he thought of her. He asks her to think of her father as the man that worries about his daughter. He asks her to forgive him. Nice scene!
Myeong Joo and Mo Yeon meet. Myeong Joo tells her she’s assigned to Urk. Mo Yeon suggests they go together. She gives Mo Yeon Shi Jin’s stuffed animal. She has Dae Young’s stuffed animal. Myeong Joo suggests they drink for the next 3 days before she leaves for Urk. Mo Yeon asks how Shi Jin and Dae Young met. Myeong Joo smiles and says the men met because of a woman.
Flashback to Dae Young and Myeong Joo after the wedding date. She reminds him to tell Shi Jin they are dating. In the rain, Shi Jin grabs Dae Young suggesting they share the umbrella. Dae Young dutifully tells Shi Jin that he’s dating Myeong Joo. Later in a bar, Dae Young repeats this claiming they’ve been dating for 1 year even though they met 1 month ago. That puts a smile on Shi Jin’s face. Shi Jin asks Dae Young if he’s aware that Myeong Joo’s father has three stars. Dae Young does not get the army reference. Shi Jin smiles. Dae Young repeats he’s dating Myeong Joo. Shi Jin tells Dae Young to date someone for 1 year that he’s only known for 1 month is impressive. He tells Dae Young they won’t fight about Myeong Joo.
Mo Yeon passes the coffee shop she and Shi Jin frequented.
Flashback to Shi Jin stating they’ve never said “I love you” Mo Yeon startles him stating their actions speak louder than those words. Shi Jin says Mo Yeon should say it first based on name, age, etc. Then Shi Jin tells Mo Yeon “I love you”. Mo Yeon is surprised. He says it again. She tells him she loves him too. They hold of their lollipops and pledge their love.
Alone in her apartment Mo Yeon asks Shi Jin’s stuffed animal if he thinks she’s pretty. She fantasizes that Shi Jin holds the stuffed animal and tells her she’s always pretty. He looks good in that sweater! She asks why he didn’t keep his promises. He wanted to return to her, but he couldn’t. She cries. Then she’s alone in the apartment and crying her grief out again.
In Urk, Myeong Joo arrives and sets up her living area. She takes out Dae Young’s will and puts it in her locker. She believes that she’ll never read it.
Mo Yeon is at the airport to go to Urk and gets a call from Daniel. He’s at the airport protesting. He asks what she’s doing going to Urk. She’s volunteering and she’ll remember the one year anniversary of Shi Jin’s death in Urk.
She arrives in Urk and begins her doctoring. She continues to text Shi Jin. She says she’s become a doctor that doesn’t care about profits.
Myeong Joo tends a solider. She’s surprised Kim Bum is there and invites her to eat ramen. She asks is Dae Young enjoyed his ramen. Kim Bum confirms this. They eat together. Kim Bum says it is snowing. It is.
Mo Yeon vists the dessert and thinks of moments with Shi Jin. She builds a memorial to him. She cries. She remembers him saying that he doesn’t get killed, he won’t die, he’ll come back. She cries calling him a liar. She remembers him saying he loves her. She cries harder. Nicely done scene, soft but heartfelt in the pain of loss.
She gets a call on the walkie talkie to return to camp. She places the rock from the beach on the memorial but it falls off. The walkie talkie squawks with Shi Jin’s voice. She drops it. She hears Shi Jin’s voice on the walkie talkie again. She looks around. She hears “Pretty one, turn around”. She turns and looks over the sand dune. She sees a man walking to her. She’s stunned. She heads to the man. She repeats “I can’t believe it.” She starts running. She trips. The man is Shi Jin! He lifts her to her feet. He says “it’s been along time”. She says “You are alive?” With tears in his eyes he replies “It was a difficult mission”. He hugs her. “You are alive” she utters. He apologizes. She cries and hugs him back, finally believing this is real.
* This series had to deal with the reality that Shi Jin and Dae Young could die. How many times had Mo Yeon thought about the possibility of Shi Jin never returning? This was the perfect time to deal directly with this fear and potential reality. I liked this episode. It had the right mix of heart, pain, loss and fond remembrances of our couples. Shi Jin and Mo Yeon definitely got the spotlight. It was fitting that we went full circle back to Urk.
* Song Joong Ki showed us that Shi Jin felt Mo Yeon’s pain at their separation. He felt empathy and understood her disbelief. I loved that she tripped trying to get to him and that he lifted her up. Nice detail. I loved that he had tears in his eyes when they hugged in the desert. He was desperate to feel her against him and finally reunite with the woman he loved. I loved the flashback where he told her he loved her first, after chiding her to say it first. I loved that Shi Jin didn’t die.
* Mo Yeon was grief stricken but still lived. I liked the heartfelt tears. I liked the multiple scenes grieving the man she loved. I liked how Mo Yeon and Myeong Joo reached out to each other. By the way, her shade of pink lipstick is perfect. I liked how the rock would not stay put on the memorial. I liked that she went to the desert to build the memorial. I liked the vision of the man in the sand dune. I like her hope that maybe just maybe it was Shi Jin. I liked her running to him and tripping in her haste. When he lifted her up, even then Mo Yeon couldn’t fully trust it was real. Only after she felt his arms around her, heard his murmured endearments, could she trust this was real. This episode was Song Hye Kyo moment to shine. She was superb.
* Dae Young was desperate to save Shi Jin on the mission. Before the mission, Dae Young received subtle approval from Myeong Joo’s father before he went on his mission. The flashback with Dae Young repeatedly stating he was dating Myeong Joo for 1 year though he’d only known her for 1 month to Shi Jin was darling. I liked that Dae Young left his dog tags on Myeong Joo’s door knob. I loved that Dae Young didn’t die.
* Myeon Joo wouldn’t read Dae Young’s will. I totally respected that she wouldn’t read the will. If she did, then it would become real and she’d have those words burned in her brain forever. I liked that she rightly railed at her father for keeping her from Dae Young. I liked that her father apologized for separating her from Dae Young. I liked the scenes with Mo Yeon. Both ladies delivered believable grief in their own ways. Excellent episode for Kim Ji Won.
* One more episode to go. What’s my wish list for the finale episode?
* I want to see the reunion of Myeong Joo and Dae Young. This better not happen off camera.
* I want Mo Yeon and Shi Jin to resolve what ever they need to resolve to stay a solid couple. I don’t think he needs to leave the army but this was a shattering experience.
* I want Myeong Joo and Dae Young to both be happy with the resolution of their relationship and have the blessing of her father.
* Finally the 10th song of the OST is released. The lovely “How Can I Love You” by Xiah Junsu has been featured often during the series. Check it out via the link or the embedded video below.