Everyone works out their issues in this final episode that spans three countries.
Descendants of the Sun Episode 16 (Final) Recap
In the Urk desert, Doctor Kang Mo Yeon (Song Hye Kyo) sees a man walking to her. She’s stunned. She starts running to the man. She trips. The man is Yoo Shi Jin (Song Joong Ki)! 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. Then she realizes Shi Jin left her hanging for 1 year believing him to be dead. She calls him a jerk, she hits his chest, she cries that she never forgot him, she claims she’ll become a monk, then she hugs him and tells him she loves him.
Solider Kim Ki Bum and Officer Yoon Myeong Joo (Kim Ji Won) observe the snowfall. It has been 100 years since it snowed in Urk.
Myeong Joo stands outside watching the snow fall. Then Dae Young (Jin Goo) appears. He looks likes he’s been through the wringer. His arm is in a sling and he looks tired. He approaches and they stare at each other. Tears run down his face as he declares. “This is late but my answer is that I’ll never leave you.” She hits his chest and cries. He grabs her and kisses her. She pushes him away and continues to hit his chest. He stares at her like a starved man. He grabs her and gently kisses her. She gives into the kiss.
Kim Bum directs the soldiers to perform snow removal. Dae Young appears and smiles. Kim Bum cries unable to keep a stiff upper lip. Dae Young gently hugs him chiding him not to cry in front of his team. Dae Young asks if he passed his test. Kim Bum confirms this.
Myeong Joo takes the dog tags from her neck and returns them to Dae Young. She shaves his face. He promises not to die again. She tells him she doesn’t believe him but try anyhow. She asks what happened. Weren’t they killed in a bomb strike? Dae Young says the militia dragged them to a shelter before the bomb strike. They were held captive for 3 months then they were ordered to be killed as the militia was abandoning their position. They were about to be killed in their cells when a masked man killed the militia men. The masked man revealed himself to be the North Korean solider! That is almost too much. The North Korea soldier said this was his payback for the solid they did for him in South Korea.
Now Shi Jin tells Mo Yeon that the North Korean soldier saved them. They banter. In his mind, Shi Jin runs through highlights his difficult and life threatening army life. He promises not to do this again. Mo Yeon can’t believe she will believe it again. Mo Yeon gets another worker to confirm that Shi Jin is real. She pushes the memorial food at him. Eat and drink, she urges him. The medical team video call Mo Yeon. She’s pleased to hear from them. When she turns they see Shi Jin in the background. They are stunned. They think they are seeing a ghost. The doctor faints and the call ends. When they call back they urge her to release Shi Jin. She laughs and takes the phone to Shi Jin who waves and tells them hello. They still can’t believe it is real. Mo Yeon tells them Shi Jin is alive and she’s happy. She’ll explain later.
Back in Korea Shi Jin and Dae Young arrive and are shocked to receive a heartfelt hug from Myeong Joo’s father, Lieutenant General Yoon (Kang Shin Il). Their former commander cries but at least he’s been promoted since they last met. Shi Jin and Dae Young and everyone leave the commander to attend other business. Alpha team is thrilled to see them, hugs and whoops of joy abound. The commander tells them they have to do paperwork now. Shi Jin and Dae Young are not thrilled to write their experience and decide part fact part fiction will do the trick. Dae Young gets the job of chronicling their experience because Myeong Joo is in Urk while Mo Yeon is in Korea.
At the coffee shop, Shi Jin and Mo Yeon remember breaking up there. Mo Yeon cuts to the chase and asks if Shi Jin is going to continue going to department stores. She asks if he does it to feel like a hero. He explains keeping the peace is his objective. She asks if he’d give it up if she objected. He asks if she’s objecting. Mo Yeon pauses and tells him she’s not objecting because she knows this life is who he is. She promises to support him. He thanks her and apologizes. She suggests fishing tomorrow will be fun.
They fish together and Shi Jin claims he’s healing. Mo Yeon is irritated the fish aren’t biting. She suggests different things to do. He suggests they hang in the tent. He suggests they get close. She doesn’t object but the fish start biting and interrupt that. She cleans the fish because it makes him queasy. In the tent she shows him the rock from the beach in Urk. She wonders if they could return to Urk. He’s agreeable. She’ll let him know when. He snuggles close. They smile. She ducks his lips. He whines. She pats his head.
Myeong Joo calls Dae Young during his report writing stint. They are happy to hear each others voices again. This is real, not a dream. Dae Young tells her to call whenever she wants. He notes tomorrow there is a VIP ceremony.
Alpha team is on escort and cover duty for the girl group Red Velvet for the military show. They guys enjoy the ladies singing and dancing. They are cute as they show their fan ship.
Mo Yeon sees the video feed which prominently shows Shi Jin and Dae Young enjoying themselves at the concert. Mo Yeon is not happy.
She decides to request her boyfriend be a guest on her TV show, Physical Body. But on air, the irked Mo Yeon says she does not have a boyfriend because she’s too busy.
At home, after seeing Mo Yeon’s declaration on TV, Shi Jin asks what he is to her. Mo Yeon asks if he enjoyed the girl group.
Myeong Joo is not happy with Dae Young over the girl group video. Dae Young claims it was bad editing.
Shi Jin claims it was bad editing too. Neither lady buys their lies.
Myeong Joo yells at Dae Young that she’ll be back in 3 months and he’ll pay. Dae Young puts his head on his desk.
Mo Yeon hits Shi Jin with pillows. He tells her he’s getting promoted. She’s stoked about the pay increase.
Shi Jin is promoted to Major.
Voice over of Mo Yeon stating Shi Jin will always help the young and old. She will continue to be a TV medical doctor.
Myeong Joo is back in Korea. She decides to forget Dae Young’s transgression with the girl group. They drink and plan to meet her father. He promises not to quit the army. She’s stoked.
Myeong Joo and Dae Young arrive at her father’s office for tea. As her father calls for tea, Myeong Joo blurts out she’s pregnant! Holy smokes! Dae Young says it isn’t true. He asks Myeong Joo if this was her big plan. Yes, she’ll confess to being pregnant before getting pregnant. You know a preemptive strike. As they sip tea, Dae Young tells her father that he won’t leave the army. He’s a solider. He’s value add to the army. He wants her father’s blessing but he won’t get it by leaving the army. Her father says the country has honored his service and he in turn recognizes the honor it would be to have him as a son-in-law. Myeong Joo is surprised. Her father says he’s happy Dae Young is staying in the army. He tells Dae Young to take care of his daughter. Finally!
Mo Yeon and Myeong Joo are happy to see each other. Myeong Joo tells Mo Yeon they got her father’s blessing. Mo Yoen is happy for them. She gives Mo Yeon a card from the girl in Urk. That puts a smile on Mo Yeon’s face. The young doctor logs onto the doctor’s computer. He and the nurses watch video from the kid in Urk. He can’t catch the kid’s name and it drives him crazy. The nurse recalls the doctor telling her about the zip file while they were in Urk. She checks out the location and is surprised to find pictures of her (not the expected porn). She’s touched. The doctor finds her dazed. He tells her the picture were party of his proposal strategy. He tells her he loves her. She promises to agree to his wishes…AFTER she’s paid back her debt.
Mo Yeon has named her car “Big Boss”. Shi Jin drives the car to a car wash and washes it. Mo Yeon sprays him with water. She puts her coat around him.
Dae Young complains when Myeong Joo plays footsie during their meal. She tells them that Daniel sent them a wedding invitation. He’s getting married in Vancouver, Canada. We learn the back story of Daniel and his fiance escape from Urk. Dae Young asks if she read his will. He tells her what it said “If you are reading this, then I’m hurting you to the very end. Don’t forgive me. I want you to be happy. My love burns for you Myeong Joo, whether I’m alive or dead.” Myeong Joo scoffs that he did not memorize his will. She pulls out his will. He’s surprised she has it with her. She reads the will. She cries. He orders the men in the mess hall to close their eyes. He kisses her forehead. She stands and tells the men in the mess hall to close their eyes. She tells Dae Young to close his eyes. She kisses him hard. The mess hall erupts with cheering soldiers.
Mo Yeon and Shi Jin banter. Mo Yeon’s voice over “Hippocrates said some words stay in your mind and some in your heart.” We watch doctors taking pledges and soldiers taking pledges. “We will not back down, we will keep the peace”. Mo Yeon walks down the street and thinks “I hope everyone that took pledges can keep them throughout the earth and under the sun.” She calls Shi Jin and tells him it’s time to go to Urk.
On the beach Mo Yeon and Shi Jin return the rock. She banters with him that she couldn’t come alone to this beach or with another man. She takes a picture of him claiming she only has the xray. She dares him to catch her. They chase each other. They watch the sunset. She drinks wine but he refuses because he’s the boat driver. He tells her he’s nervous. They are on a beach, there’s alcohol, a beautiful woman, and shooting stars. She tells him to pick a star for her. He picks her as his star. He tells her she’s sparkling. He asks how he got so lucky to find her. They banter about meeting in the next life. He asks what she wished for. She tells him she wished for a kiss. He obliges. He tells her he loves her. She concurs. Then she says she loves him. He concurs. More kissing.
Everyone attends Daniel’s wedding reception in Vancouver Canada. Dae Young caught the bouquet. Ha! The girls are at one table and the guys are at another table. The young doctor breaks the fourth wall and tells us this is not the ending we expected. Then the lights go out. When the lights return a waitress yells the volcano erupted. Our team grumbles but gets ready to help. They walk into the final frame a team working to keep peace in the world.
* Not the greatest final episode. I don’t mind victory lap in the final episode. We got that. The episode felt fairly cohesive until the mid point. Then it dissolved into scenes strung together clearly in wrap up mode. The multiple voice overs felt a bit out of place. The ending scene in Vancouver was okay. What purpose did breaking the 4th wall serve? I did like the idea that they were a team and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
* So the pre produced series turns out to be a juggernaut in the ratings. I support pre produced series and hope to see more of them. What a double edged sword for the network. They took the chance and pre produced. Then the series because astonishingly popular with staggering ratings. If there was a series that would have been extended under the normal live shoot methodology, this was it. UPDATE – There will be epilogue of 3 episodes 4/20 – 4/22 according to Soompi. The network, KBS, stated these special episodes are “considered to be an act of gratitude towards die-hard Descendants of the Sun fans”.
* Song Joong Ki ended the series being the cute Shi Jin we loved from the first episode. He won’t leave the army, it is his identify. Mo Yeon accepted that. He admitted he loved Mo Yeon. They went to the beach in Urk. I like this couple…quite a bit…but they’ve had better episodes in this series. This couple had excellent banter chemistry. Their physical chemistry veered to the sweet but not hot zone.
* Mo Yeon ended the series a doctor that was willing to serve for peace. I thought it was interesting she went back to being a TV doctor and joked about money. I thought last episode in Urk she claimed to have evolved away from that. She admitted she loved Shi Jin. She accepted his job because she had to. If she didn’t, she’d lose him. She loved him, she accepted all of him, including his job.
* Dae Young ended the series a soldier with Myeong Joo a soldier too. I liked how he started their reunion with tears and then came the heartfelt words. I liked how Dae Young and Myeong Joo’s father came to an understanding and acceptance. Glad we learned what was in Dae Young’s will. I liked in the final scene that Dae Young caught the bride’s bouquet. Dae Young and Shi Jin provided a great bromance throughout the series.
* Myeong Joo ended the series a soldier with Dae Young a soldier too. When she hit his chest at their reunion it took me back to a similar reaction when they crossed path on the tarmac in Urk. Myeong Joo surprised me with the pregnancy declaration. I’m glad this couple worked everything out to their mutual satisfaction.
* Did the show meet 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. This happened.
* 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. This happened. They did allude to the danger but agreed Shi Jin was a solider, it was who he was.
* I want Myeong Joo and Dae Young to both be happy with the resolution of their relationship and have the blessing of her father. This happened.
* I’ve enjoyed this OST. My favorite tune is the just released “How Can I Love You” by Xiah Junsu. Check out the OST via the link or the embedded video below to the series playlist.