Descendants of the Sun Episode 16 (Final) Recap

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

My Thoughts
* 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.

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Posted in Descendants of the Sun, Recaps
39 comments on “Descendants of the Sun Episode 16 (Final) Recap
  1. Beez says:

    We finally got an answer about whether Daniel and his “wife” really were married or not since half the time she was identified as his wife and half not. I owe the subtitlers apologies for my mentally cursing them.

    I loved Dae Young doing the girl group moves. He was usually so stoic that anything he does animatedly just tickles me immensely.

    I get that being Special Forces is these guys identities, and that’s fine for boyfriend-girlfriend status. But what about marriage? And even if the ladies are still okay with their jobs after marriage, what about kids? Putting a consenting adult through that is bad enough, but kids? No way.

    I know Mo Yeon took a lot of flack from fans about her reluctance to enter into a relationship with Shin jin. Most cited her reason of his taking lives. But I always knew the constant danger to his own life was the real reason. That’s entering into something knowing the probable heartache to come. How many people think Dae Young and Shin jin will have a high chance of making it to a peaceful retirement or that he and Mo Yeon will enjoy growing old together?

    So after that ball of pessimism, here’s a peace offering from me
    SNL parody of DOTS


    • kjtamuser says:

      I was surprised the writer clarified the “is Daniel married” question. I guess she did so to allow our team to travel his wedding and encounter their next disaster.

      Ditto on Dae Young’s moves. This character blossomed in the latter episodes.

      Wouldn’t you think there is an age cut off for Special Forces? Google showed the US Army has the age range of 20-30 for Special Forces. If so, then Dae Young and Shi Jin will eventually be reassigned and no longer in Special Forces. That would be more conducive having a family.

      Loved the parody video, thanks for sharing!


      • Hope you don’t mind me joining in 🙂

        For the future, I got the feeling that both men could see when they wanted to end their career. For Shin Jin, it was his flashback through all the times he’d been shot/hurt while serving… I was actually waiting for him to say that he had decided to leave special forces and join a regular army unit.


      • Beez says:

        @kjtamuser Ohhhh, age range. LOL that makes sense. Now I’m like “what was I thinking? Special forces officers Shin jin and Dae Young on canes and walkers?” lol

        But seriously, I am so pessimistic about some things that I just never pictured them older at all because the job just doesn’t seem conducive to surviving into late 30’s-40’s or even say…tomorrow.


        • kjtamuser says:

          When Shi Jin had his flashback to all his injuries on missions, I thought wow, he’s been through the wringer. It certainly could lead you conclude the job could not be survived for a long span of time.


          • Beez says:

            For some reason, it reminds me of test pilots in the early days of aviation. I think their life electable was listed as between 23-26 years old! Can you imagine!


      • Jane Tilly says:

        Ditto on Dae Young dancing and the parody!

        Having a boyfriend or husband in Special Forces would be tough! I can’t fault anyone for not being willing to take on that challenge. The U.S. military cut off age to join Special Forces is 30, I don’t know if there is an “age-out” age. I do think the thrill of the adventure, especially when it is a success is a huge draw. I concur that getting older and/or moving up in rank, would take soldiers out of physically participating in the missions and into command roles. That should give families a bit more piece of mind.

        Liked by 1 person


    What did you make of the final scene with Onew (Chi Hun?) approaching the camera forwardly? To me it felt a little forced and odd.


    • Beez says:

      For me, I don’t mind when all of the show is completely over. For instance, if he addressed the audience as everyone went scrambling to help with the volcano. But to do it beforehand is a “take me out of the moment” thing that makes the scrambling seem…I don’t know…pointless?

      Which is weird because of course the whole 16 hours is a television show but that’s just how it makes me feel.\_(ツ)_/¯ 


    • kjtamuser says:

      I was not wild about the “break the 4th wall” because it didn’t seem to serve any real purpose. I found it odd that the Young Doctor addressed the camera, this is the last character I would expect to do this. So I concur with your assessment.


  3. Beez says:


    I initial thought (and hoped) Shin jin was saying that after all he’d been through that he was quitting, too.

    Personal rant on men with dangerous jobs: I mean, that’s who you are. I get it. But don’t you think it’s selfish to put that kind of worry and grief on someone else? They should handle their sexuality with casual partners (whatever that means, just hope they’re “safe” as possible), but don’t put women that are expecting marriage and family in that position. ‘Cause I could make the case that Mo Yeon tried to avoid that obviously foreseeable pain but he persisted until he won her over. She’s of an age that she can’t be waiting around(until he is to old to continue SF)to have children, if that’s her desire.

    Just my ranting opinion, of course.


    • kjtamuser says:

      It is clear by NOT giving up the job Shi Jin is prioritizing his job OVER Mo Yeon and their future family. Hence my comment that if Mo Yeon wanted Shi Jin she had no choice but to accept him and the job, it is a package deal.


      • Beez says:

        Amen.I’m not sure how I feel about that though. Service is so very honorable and for a romance tale, it is romantic. But if I were in her shoes…

        My son and my ex are firefighters so…the threat isn’t as guaranteed as it is everytime special forces go out but I know something about worry.


        • kjtamuser says:

          Wow, I should say you do know about worry with firefighters in your life.

          I do appreciate the service aspect to the army and the medical team. You used the word romance. That’s what the writer did…romanticize the service of the army and medical teams. But living with the threat of losing the service individual is different. Mo Yeon was the voice of reason for that point this series.


  4. Wow this comments section hasn’t gotten messy with everyone replying to everyone!

    I know what you mean about the romanticising of the job, my father was a police officer for most of my childhood and I knew how my mother would stay up late at night just to hear from him that he was okay when he was on night shift. But I guess that it’s a drama so there’s only so much realism we can ask for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beez says:

      @justanotheranimaefan – It was enough realism for me. Since I like K-romcoms – this had just enough realism. I wouldn’t want it any more real (except the few ridiculous stuff like leaping up after coding, etc.) I get enough of the “real” in everyday life. The whole reason I watch K drama is the fantasy of it.

      In fact, I really didn’t express in other forums (like I did here in the safe zone of kjtamuser) that I felt like MoYeon should’ve called it,especially after the gone for a year. That was enough noble sacrifice (not noble idiocy but legit) on her part. Time to make him choose. Who would want to go through that again? Or even spend time imagining and worrying every single time he leaves? I know it’s not the popular stance but I bet most people that have been saying “these guys need that to be who they are” would sing a different tune if it were their loved one. A few might could bear it but not most.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree about having Mo Yeon make him chose, especially considering how much she suffered. But I still got the feeling in the final episode that Shi Jin wasn’t planning to be part of the special forces too much longer… particularly in a “doing” role compared to a commanding role.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Beez says:

    Omo,Omo,Oh to the frickin’ Mo!

    I just found out that the sign Shin jin was holding at the Red Velvet concert said “Red Velvet is sweeter than my girlfriend”!

    Now I totally understand Mo Yeon going on the air with the “I don’t have a boyfriend” thing. Before, I thought it was a bit harsh for a bit of fanboying fun, but now, I’m thinking that wasn’t punishment enough!


  6. Jane Tilly says:

    I watched the final episode over the weekend, but it has taken me a while to put my thoughts into words (or a book base on the length), but all the comments posted have enlightened me. Beez, you struck the nail on the head “The whole reason I watch K drama is the fantasy of it” even though I do like enough realism to make it believable.

    CONS: I’ll start with these in order to end on a positive note.
    – Dr. Stank, enough said.
    – Myeong Joo’s dad’s continuous opposition to Dae Young and Myeong Joo. It is fine for Myeong, himself and Shi Jin, who he wanted as his son-in-law to be in the military, but not Dae Young? I’m so glad he finally relented.
    –Shi Jin’s numerous scrapes with death—I realize being in Special Forces puts him at risk, but seriously…
    • TheShi Jin was shot, his heart stopped in the ER, and practically as soon as he regains consciousness, he turns around and takes down the North Korean?
    – Dr. Lee (Onew) was right; this isn’t how we expected the series to end—I found this ending to be a bit odd.
    • Breaking the 4th wall is rarely done well; I think it would have been better if they had not brought the lights back on and gone into action.
    • Why don’t we see Daniel and Ye Hwa at their own wedding? Especially since there were so many comments about Ye Hwa’s dress—dang it I wanted to see it!
    • While there is a volcano near Vancouver, it did seem a little hokey. However I do like the idea of these medical and military teams going into action together!

    + Possibly the BEST Kdrama sound track; I’d be curious to know what other sound tracks my fellow contributors thought were excellent or your pick for the best.
    + Kjtamuser’s wish list fulfilled—most satisfactory!
    + Pre produced series – I think this made for better continuity than most dramas.
    + Song Joong Ki – when he wasn’t busy charming us, he was evoking our emotions, PLUS he is VERY easy on the eyes! ❤ I’m sure having recently completed his mandatory military service, being Yoo Shi Jin was a comfortable role for him.
    + Jin Goo – he did a great job of portraying a strong, silent and persistent Seo Dae Young
    + Song Hye Kyo – great portrayal of Kang Mo Yeon showing us the struggle to cope with being in love with Shi Jin versus her concern for his career (whether it was his safety or his job)
    + Best bromance: Shi Jin and Dae Young—so many great moments; quite possibly the best bromance I have seen in Kdramaland.
    + Shi Jin and Dae Young were alive!
    • My fears were allayed about Mo Yeon seeing a mirage
    • Mo Yeon hitting Shi Jin was very apropos in keeping with her character as was giving into Shi Jin’s characteristic charm.💋
    • Dae Young and Myeong Joos reunion was very touching! We finally got an explanation of where the bromance boys have been for the last year!
    + The hospital gang watching Shi Jin ‘s “ghost” eating his memorial food was hilarious!
    + The low-key middle age romance of the Dr. Song and Nurse Ha was nice addition—especially since we saw his secret file was pictures of her, not porn.
    + It seemed Mo Yeon had an over the top reaction the seeing Shi Jin at the Red Velvet concert as she had her onscreen revenge on Shi Jin. Thanks Beez for the clarification on Shi Jin’s sign: “Red Velvet is sweeter than my girlfriend”—this is one of those times the language barrier makes a HUGE impact in our perception.
    + It was very refreshing to have two strong couples for this story, rather than having to contend with love triangles or rectangles.
    + Dae Young standing up to Myeong Joo’s dad was a great moment and her preemptively declaring pregnancy showed her conviction for staying with Dae Young. I LOVED the mess hall kiss💋 and the reaction in the hall!
    + Shi Jin and Mo Yeon made it back to the white sand beach in Urk to return the pebble. Mo Yeong wishes on a shooting star and Shi Jin makes her 💋wish💋 come true.

    This drama is a real contender to replace "Faith" as my favorite drama.

    Can’t wait to see what the special episodes bring, will we see our medical and military teams taking on the aftermath of the volcanic eruption?…


    • kjtamuser says:

      Simply superb…all your points resonate with me. Thank you for taking the time to articulate each one. This isn’t my favorite kdrama..but gosh…I enjoyed the ride!


    • Beez says:

      @Jane Tilly
      couple of comments on your “con” Section:

      – Myeong Joo’s dad’s was not against Dae Young being in the military but rather had an aversion to Myeong Joo outranking Dae Young…by a lot eventually (he did she could become first woman colonel or general (subs were different on two sites so…). I’m not sure if it’s because she’s a woman so her man must outrank her in her dad’s mind, or of it’s a Korean military elitist cultural thing. Which brings me to –

      I wonder what the fraternization rules are like between officers and non-coms because while I immensely enjoyed the cafeteria romance, I wondered if that would ever happen while 1)on duty;2)in uniform; 3) in public area; 4)in front of troops.

      As to Shi Jin’s crazy injuries, I could’ve gone along with my fantasy kdrama world, even with the craziness of him getting up to go on a mission after flatlining, but could he at least show SOME residual pain while he’s running around? Even a limp would do, even though it was his heart that stopped. lol Couldn’t he grab his side once in a while?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jane Tilly says:

    Beez, thanks for the clarification about Dae Young being outranked by Myeong Joo; I didn’t get that from the Dramacool translation, but it makes sense. It might also be a male ego thing in relation to the Korean culture. You are probably right about the 💋 fraternization as well, but since it feeds my fantasy, I overlooked it.

    I also concur on Shi Jin’s injuries, some residual pain or effects would go a long way to make it “seem” more realistic. 🙂

    I am curious what you all think of as your favorite drama(s) whether they are Korean, or otherwise. I want to be sure I have missed any of the best ones!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beez says:

      I think Healer is my number 1 and I don’t forsee anything replacing it for a long time. (I still can’t get over S. Korea hasn’t gotten Ji Chang Wook for another drama yet).

      I can’t vouch for the endings on most of these; but that’s the nature of the kdrama live shoot. Fifteen (or 19) hilarious episodes and an ending (ep16 or 20) that makes you want to scream or just go phfffft.

      Dramas: #1 Healer; Fated to Love You (Jang Hyuk meta so if not a Jang Hyuk fan whose seen most of his dramas, lots of jokes will go over the head); Master’s Sun (So Ji-sub,scary & funny & production quality of a Hollywood thriller with kdrama romance)

      Best Saegeuk: #1 is Chuno aka Slavehunters (Jang Hyuk amazing acting, great production value, lots of abs 😉); Tree with Deep Roots; Six Flying Dragons; Empress Ki; Shine or Go Crazy (Jang Hyuk)

      Favorite movies: #1 Always with So Ji-sub; #2 A Werewolf Boy (Song Joon-ki); A Better Tomorrow (Song Seung-Hun/Joo Jin Mo); A Frozen Flower (Joo Jin Mo/Zo In Sung, rated R but amazing story); Man from Nowhere; Scandalmakers (cute. The currently airing John Stamos show, Grandfathered, may have taken its premise from this).

      Really likes/Just Plain Fun: City Hunter; Couple Trouble aka Fantasy Couple; Girl Who Can See Smells; Greatest Love aka Best Love; Kill me, Heal me; Rooftop Prince (just zany but you have to endure the first ep which sets up the story); Robber (Jang Hyuk)

      I Heard It Through the Grapevine is amazing & filed with dark, subtle humor. In my head I call it “Life after a girl catches her chaeboul”; My Love Eun Dong (adultery! but handled in a way that doesn’t make you barf. You justifiably root for the couple once the situation/story unfolds. Trust me on this one); Padam Padam; It’s Okay, That’s Love

      Melos: I hate melos, but A Love to Kill (Rain)

      Little known but long daily dramas, over 40 eps (I find these daily dramas teach lots about a more realistic life in S. Korea compared to usual Kdrama rom-coms, plus you learn more words because they tend to speak slower and the person they’re taking to may repeat part of the sentence in their response, and more daily cultural stuff is shown: New Tales of Gisaeng (Song Hoon); and Smile Again Donghae (Ji Chang Wook). I’m currently enjoying the heck out of weekend drama Five Children. It’s airing now.

      I left off many of the classics that I love because we already talked about those in another thread.

      I would ask you and kjtamuser the same thing?


  8. Beez says:

    Oops, “Robber” shouldn’t be under the “Just Fun” category. Should probably be under “Melodrama” but it never becomes one of those tissue tear wringers like most melos.

    It was fun to me because Jang Hyuk was so animated and the romance of a guy who needs saving & a single mom was very endearing.


  9. Jane Tilly says:

    Thanks for the suggestions! I have seen at least half of your suggestions and would vouch that the ones I have seen from your recommendations are good. I appreciate y’all sharing your thoughts on these, so that I can work on watching the best. My eonni wants to want to watch another Jang Hyuk one next–you’ve helped me narrow it down to Deep Rooted Tree or Robber. ❤

    Here is my list of favorites – most of them I liked enough to buy them or they are on my "to buy" list.

    SAEGUK: • Favorite – Warrior Baek Dong Soo • Chuno • The Princess’ Man • The Moon That Embraces the Sun • Damo

    COMEDY/ROM COM: • Favorite – Fated to Love You • Rooftop Prince • Oh My Venus • You’ve Fallen for Me • Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team (it may not be the most developed story, but the physical comedy caused me belly shaking laughs!)

    FANTASY: • Favorite – Faith • Secret Garden • KangChi, The Beginning

    DRAMA: • Tie for Favorite – Descendants of the Sun • Tie for Favorite – Time Between Dog and Wolf • Healer • Iljimae • Love Rain • You Who Came From the Stars • Angry Mom

    SHORTS with 2 (1 hour) episodes: • Splash Splash Love • Snow Lotus

    These shorts are almost more like a movie and these two were very enjoyable. I HIGHLY recommend these two shorts. I've watched a few of the drama shorts with 8-20 (15 minute) episodes, but the episodes are so short it is difficult to develop characters and story lines.


    • Beez says:

      Tree with Deep Roots is similar to Six Flying Dragons in the sense of the quality of the writing and excellence of acting, but be aware that while it has a romance, and the romance is a bit more active than the one in Tree, it’s not romance centric. Just letting you know in case you’re in a mood for a romance for your next drama you might want to go with Robbers first (16 eps as opposed to Tree’s 24).

      Robber is typical kdrama romance – meaning the romance is the point of the story. But be warned, only Jang Hyuk groupies watch it past the first episode which establishes just how much of a cad he is toward women. It’s not your typical chaebeoul is arrogant butthole but just needs to be brought down a peg. No. He is a con man who uses women for money and then leaves them high & dry. First two episodes it’s hard to like him at all. But if you stick with it, it’s totally worth it.

      I’ll have to check out
      FROM YOUR LIST:The Moon That Embraces the Sun•You’ve Fallen for Me•Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team• KangChi, The Beginning•Time Between Dog & Wolf•Iljimae•Love Rain•Angry Mom•Snow Lotus

      Those are going on my “to watch” list.

      As to Warrior Baek Song Doo – the reason I didn’t include it in my recs to you is that I wasn’t sure if you would like it. While I love Ji Chang Wook, and I found the fight choreography to be excellent, (practiced Tae Kwon Do before I got sick), but the story seemed lacking in where it was going and seemed to leave behind without looking back some things it established early on. And there wasn’t enough romance in it (which worked out because I didn’t care for the OTP. I wanted him to be with Joo – the tomboy warrior girl who was loyal to him all her life). The girl they picked, they didn’t give her a personality or explore her background enough for me to like her.

      I tried to only recommend stuff I was sure you’d like. Now that I know you liked Warrior BSD, you might like Bicheonmu aka Dance in the Sky (there are several versions but this one stars Joo Jin Mo). I didn’t include it before because…well, the reason is complicated. I suggest you see if you’re interested first by watching a couple of clips:

      The problem is, Bicheonmu  was a Korea-China joint collaboration. It ran into some type of trade agreement problems that delayed the release for over two years. As a compromise, it was released with only 13 if it’s 33 episodes. The 13 episodes are on if you want to check it out. But because I love Joo Jin Mo and wanted to see the entire thing, I purchased the box set. If I recall, the condensed version leaves you scratching your head at certain things. Anyway, your choice if it’s worthy of adding to your watch list.

      Thanks for the recs off your list.Iljimae (and The Return of Iljimae) and Angry Mom were already on my watch list. I’ll add the others. Thank God I’m retired cause I would be crying I don’t have enough time!


  10. Beez says:

    @Jane Tilly – I can’t believe I didn’t ask if you’ve watched Chuno?



  11. Jane Tilly says:

    Thanks for the recommendations Beez! I most definitely have seen Chuno—it was on my saeguk favorites list. I recently purchased it and am awaiting for delivery—I can hardly wait to see it again!

    While I am a 💋romantic💋 and love a good romance, like DOTS, I feel there doesn’t have to be a romance to be a good drama for me, it is icing on the cake. I’m with you in thinking Baek Dong Soo should have ended up with Jin Joo. I liked this drama enough to look past my own preferences, story deficits and even the high body count—including the deaths a lot of people I liked, especially the person in his last duel (which I won’t mention here, in case one of the readers hasn’t seen this one yet).

    Funny that you compared Deep Rooted Tree with Six Flying Dragons. My eonni and I ended starting to watch Six Flying Dragons. I wish kjtamuser recapped this one, as I am finding it a challenge to follow the story. Any recommendations for a site for clarification? I recognized some of the characters from The Great Seer (same kings etc. Goryo to Joseon era), but this is from a different perspective so it will be interesting to this writer’s take.

    Bichunmoo looks interesting…I see a resemblance between Joo Jin Mo and Ji Chang Wook. I haven’t see anything with Joo Jin Mo…yet. I think I’ll add this to my list. I wish I was retired and had my time for Kdrama

    By the way, what does the acronym “OTP” mean?


    • Beez says:

      OTP = one true pairing.

      Dramabeans recaps all of the popular shows and you’ll find “Tree” and “Six” both there. Many of the recappers on Dramabeans are Korean-American and many speak Hangul so their understanding may be better than what the subtitles provide. We can trust kjtamuser to catch the shows that are good but for some reason aren’t on everybody’s radar and may fall through the cracks. (That’s how I found her site.)

      When you get your Chuno dvds, let me know if the subtitles are done by WITHS2. I’ve downloaded Chuno, but want to own a version with the full flavor of the language intact. (Reach me at

      Now, something I feel very strongly about is prequels/sequels:

      Six Flying Dragons is a prequel to Tree with Deep Roots (and produced by same crew).

      I usually recommend people watch the original movie/show before its prequel because many times, something is only important in the prequel because the sequel made you wonder about it in the first place. Likewise, if something is shown/answered in the prequel, then when you view the “sequel”(original) next, the very questions that made the original so interesting is – meh. ‘Cause you’ve already had your answer.

      But after writing that, and thinking about both shows, I suppose there really is nothing spoilery in one versus the other so it doesn’t matter which one you view first.

      Tree is fascinating for how the Korean written language was created (they had no written brain of their own language and they used Chinese characters before). I thought it would be boring but not at all. I know I’m being repetitive but – FASCINATING! (And it has a bit of Song Joon ki and a lot of Jang Hyuk.) And Six has Yoo Ah In giving a never to be forgotten acting performance.


  12. Beez says:

    NOT “brain” – should be “no written VERSION”

    Darn autocorrect!


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April 2016

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