Truth always comes out in the end, no matter how hard you try to hide it.
Legend of the Blue Sea Episode 16 Recap
Joon Jae (Lee Min Ho) sees Sim Chung (Gianna Jun) walking with a woman from across the street. He smiles. Sim Chung doesn’t see him until they reach the cross walk. She waves. She tells Joon Jae’s mother that her boyfriend, Heo Joon Jae, is across the street. The name shocks his mother. She stares at Joon Jae. Tears fill her eyes. She tells Sim Chung her son has the same name. Sim Chung THINKS “Joon Jae, the legend is true. Those that get separated will meet again. They meet again and love. Congratulations. You now meet your mother.” She smiles. Joon Jae looks stunned. He looks at his mother. She looks at him. The crosswalk light turns green. They walk to each other. Smartly, Joon Jae’s mother apologizes. She cries and hugs him. Joon Jae stands there fighting tears. He takes a moment to look into Sim Chung’s eyes and she smiles back at him. Lovely! Now he can’t hold back. He hugs his mother and cries. She sobs her apology again and again. Sim Chung THINKS “Among the many words I’ve learned since coming here, the best words are “happy ending”. This is a happy ending. Despair flows through time and it ends. Behind it is happiness.”
Joon Jae tells his mother to stop apologizing. She can’t believe she left him behind. She thought his father would raise him with love. She explains she understood that he was living abroad and studying. She asks why he ran away from his father’s house. Joon Jae says he missed her. He mistakenly though he could find her easily but that didn’t happen. Joon Jae’s mother keeps crying even when he tells her to stop. Joon Jae wipes her tears. Joon Jae hugs his mother. He tells her he’ll hug her every day. She cries that she left him at the tender age of 10, she left him to live a lonely life, and she cries more. Joon Jae tells her to never leave him again.
At the birthday party Sim Chung shares that Joon Jae is with his mother. Jo Nam Doo can’t believe it. They searched for so long. He stubs his foot getting more food and has a flashback to being at the pool with Sim Chung. He can’t quite remember, but he suspects it is big. Sim Chung enjoys Tae O, the little girl, Yoo Na, and her homeless friend unaware that Nam Doo is starting to remember.
Joon Jae’s mother can’t believe that she supplied him food. He says it tasted familiar and delicious, if he’d only known. Joon Jae’s mother recalls Cha Si A bringing her to Joon Jae’s house claiming that she would soon be his girlfriend. She asks Joon Jae if Si A is his girlfriend. Joon Jae is clear with his mother that Si A is a college classmate and friend. If he could only be that direct with Si A. A guy avoiding hurting a girl by not telling her what she doesn’t want to hear only prolongs things and extends needless hope and compounds the hurt in the end. Why isn’t this obvious? Joon Jae’s mother guesses that Sim Chung is his girlfriend. His smile confirms this. Joon Jae’s mother shares that Sim Chung saved her from a pick pocket and a car that swerved closed to her. Joon Jae urges his mother to be careful in the future. Joon Jae asks his mother to live with her. She asks what he does for a living. Once again, Joon Jae is ashamed to admit he is a con man, and gives a vague answer about doing this and that.
Everyone sings Happy Birthday to Sim Chung. Only Joon Jae avoids wearing a birthday hat. Just before Sim Chung blows out the candles Joon Jae tells her to make a wish. She sweetly wishes to live happily with Joon Jae forever. Nam Doo tells her she wasn’t to say the wish out loud, now it won’t come true. Sim Chung isn’t happy to hear that. Joon Jae assures her the wish will come true. Sweet! Sim Chung suggests lighting the candles again to celebrate Joon Jae and his mother finding each other. Sweet! The candles get lit one more time to celebrate Yoo Na’s excellent test score. Sweet!
Nam Doo calls Si A and invite her over to celebrate Joon Jae finding his mother. She’s shocked. She’s distraught.
Tae O takes Yoo Na home. Yoo Na congratulates Joon Jae on finding his mother. They both smile at the sweet sentiment.
The homeless friend asks if she can have a goodie bag as a party favor. After she leaves, Nam Doo asks Sim Chung why she doesn’t have normal friends. Sim Chung says she likes all her friends. She declares that she’s a friend to Joon Jae’s mother, who confirms this. That unsettles Joon Jae.
Nam Doo tells Joon Jae’s mother they searched for her diligently. She explains she went abroad after the divorce, so finding her would have been impossible.
Nam Doo surprises Joon Jae’s mother when he asks if she knows Kang Ji Yeon (Seo Hee’s original name). She wants to know why they are asking. Nam Doo says there is an issue and her resident id is no longer used. Joon Jae’s mother says she knows Kang Ji Yeon well and so does Joon Jae. That surprises him. She tells him that Kang Ji Yeon is Joon Jae’s stepmother. Everyone is stunned. Joon Jae says that’s not her name. Joon Jae’s mother said that she told her that she changed her name to Kang Seo Hee. Nam Doo notes there was no record about the name change. Joon Jae’s mother says her name in school was Kang Ji Yeon and now her name is Kang Seo Hee. Nam Doo starts to tell Joon Jae’s mother but Joon Jae presses Nam Doo’s hand to keep quiet. Ah, once again protecting a woman he loves by keeping information from her. But Nam Doo doesn’t keep quiet and tells her that they are tracking the escaped criminal Dae Young who has a connection to Seo Hee. Sim Chung asks how Dae Young and Seo Hee are connected. This time Joon Jae shuts the inquiry down saying it was something the police discussed with them.
Si A doesn’t have the guts to enter Joon Jae’s house and face him and his mother. So when Tae O returns from taking Yoo Na home, Si A drags him to get a drink. There she confesses she knew that Joon Jae’s mother was living with her but she was trying to reverse her previous shoddy treatment before revealing that she knew where Joon Jae’s mother was. Si A sobs that now Tae O must hate her. Now Tae O can get over his feelings for her because they’ve been replaced with disgust. Tae O shakes his head at the sobbing delusional Si A.
Joon Jae calls Detective Hong and tells him about the connection between Dae Young and Seo Hee. Detective Hong doesn’t understand how Joon Jae factors into the equation. Joon Jae tells Detective Hong that he is Heo Il Joong’s song. Joon Jae realizes that Seo Hee would be interested in his demise over the inheritances. Detective Hong counsels securing evidence before tipping Seo Hee that the suspect her. Joon Jae is positive he’s right. This is about money. He doesn’t want to be cautious, he wants to catch them. That scene would have been much more effective if the actors had done that face to face versus a phone call where we didn’t even hear Joon Jae admit Heo Il Joong was his father.
The doctor tells the assistant’s wife that her husband survived being disconnected from the oxygen and appears none the worse for wear. The wife sobs her husband is still in a coma. The doctor says there is no answer when her husband will wake. They can only wait for the miracle to occur.
Flashback…The assistant dreams about hiding from intruders in a closet. When he leaves he comes face to face with the intruder outside the house. OMG!! There are two of them, Chi Hyeong and NAM DOO. Holy smokes! He runs. They chase him. Unfortunately, that confirms my early suspicions about Nam Doo which had been tamped down in recent episodes. Will Team Evil out number Team Good?
Chi Hyeong asks Seo Hee if Dae Young is his father. Wow! I like the blunt question. Seo Hee berates him for asking. If would just he sit and wait she will handle everything. Wait a minute Mother Kang. Your son just asked if an escaped criminal and murderer was his father. And your response is don’t ask, sit quietly and let mother handle everything? Chi Hyeong yells that he feels dirty knowing he came from scum like Dae Young. Tears fill his eyes as he looks at his mother in outrage. Seo Hee explains that she had an unfortunate childhood and learned that tears of a helpless person could blind people to the possibility of criminal acts. She claims that’s how she’s gotten as far as she had in life. With tears in her eyes, she says it doesn’t matter who claims to be his father, they are only stepping stones to the rich life that is almost in their grasp. He stares at her in disbelief. Seo Hee tells her son that he need only wait and take what will soon be theirs. She walks away. Once again, Seo Hee explains things in a way that makes sense for her. She doesn’t care about the men she uses, she only cares about herself and because Chi Hyeon is an extension of her, she cares about him too. No one else matters and are only to be used to reach the status and wealth she dreams of. I get it. It is warped and completely ignores Chi Hyeon’s horror at having a murderer as a father. But it’s simple, Seo Hee doesn’t think that matters. The only thing that matters is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. She the classic “the end justifies the means”.
Tae O walks Si A home. When she stumbles, he rights her. He tells her that he will stop liking her now. He recommends that she tell Joon Jae everything. She doesn’t want to. Tae O says if she doesn’t then their friendship is based on lies. He leaves. Si A is impressed he got over her so quickly.
Joon Jae’s mother calls Ahn Jin Joo that she found her son and will be staying overnight at his place. She’s thrilled and chatters as Si A comes in the house and heads to her room.
Sim Chung asks Nam Doo about the relationship between Joon Jae’s step mother and Dae Young. Nam Doo tells her that Dae Young was once romantically involved with Joon Jae’s step mother. He also relates that people around Joon Jae’s step mother tend to die under mysterious circumstances. Nam Doo makes a guess that Chi Hyeon could be Dae Young’s child. Nam Doo says Joon Jae was lucky to hook up with him after he ran away from his home, lonely and hurt. Sim Chung goes to bed. Nam Doo stares at the pool and remembers asking Sim Chung to cry at the pool. He can’t remember anything else. I must say, this erasing memory talent mermaids have does not seem to be permanent!
Sim Chung shows Joon Jae’s mother the loft. Sim Chung finds two boxes. Her note reads “to my beloved fool, you went through much to find me, and I’m thankful you are here. From now on, only where pretty shoes and walk besides me.” Inside the box are silver and pink sneakers and her pink octopus is in the second box! She’s thrilled. Joon Jae’s mother hugs her and tells her she’s happy Joon Jae has her. Sim Chung hugs her back and says if anything ever happens to her and she can’t be with Joon Jae, she asks her to be with Joon Jae.
As Joon Jae chills he hears Sim Chung THINKS “thank you for the gifts.” He texts her and asks why she’s still awake. Sim Chung THINKS “we didn’t get to spend much alone time today.” He texts her to open the loft door. She does and he’s in the bedroom smiling up at her. He texts her she’s seen him, now go back to bed. Sim Chung THINKS “a kiss is traditional on birthdays.” He chuckles and motions her to come down.
They meet by the pool. Sim Chung purses her lips in anticipation. Joon Jae laughs and tells her to stop thinking so much before bed. He tells her he wants her brain peaceful. She grouses asking if that is why he wanted to see her. He says no and gives her a lovely hug. Joon Jae says he wanted to know her heart was beating strongly. He teases that it isn’t beating as strong as he wants. He kisses her. He hugs her and comments her heart is healthy. She smiles and hugs him back. They are cute! Their sweetness works. The fact that they don’t evolve into sizzle doesn’t matter.
Ahn Jin Joo is thrilled to hear the details of Joon Jae’s mother’s story. She even offers to make tea though she doesn’t know where anything in the kitchen is. Her husband returns and is happy to learn that she found her son. He brings groceries. Joon Jae’s mother isn’t impressed with his selections. That’s the needling passive aggressive woman we’ve seen this series. I was thinking one day with Joon Jae wouldn’t suddenly make her sweet. When Si A sees Joon Jae’s mother she turns around and heads back to her room.
Joon Jae’s mother comes to her room and asks if Si A knew that Joon Jae was her son. Si A mumbles she planned to tell Joon Jae. She asks if she’ll tell Joon Jae that she withheld the information. Joon Jae’s mother takes Si A’s hand and tells her since she has been a good friend to Joon Jae, she’s forgiven. Si A is relieved. She calls her mother and tries to hug her. Joon Jae’s mother quelches that and slips out of the room quickly. Si A doesn’t feel as positive.
Chi Hyeon sees Joon Jae at the office building. Joon Jae asks where father is. Chi Hyeon sends his entourage away. He hears their murmurs that Joon Jae is the real son. Chi Hyeon declares his father went to Hawaii. Joon Jae doubts it. Chi Hyeon asks what Joon Jae wants. Joon Jae puts him on notice that he doesn’t trust him anymore. He tells Chi Hyeon not to take care of father. Joon Jae walks away. While I like putting your cards on the table, there are times to be subtle. Telling your enemy you know he’s your enemy is tipping your hand.
Detective Hong learns that Joon Jae’s father has not left the country. Joon Jae calls Nam Doo that they need to steal from his father’s house. He’s shocked and thinks it is a bad idea. Seo Hee is bad news. Joon Jae hangs up on him.
Sim Chung overhears and offer to help. Nam Doo says that Joon Jae must not be told so they must keep her part a secret. Sim Chung agrees.
Joon Jae’s mother asks Jin Joo to get Seo Hee out of her house for 2 hours. Jin Joo thinks of a way to do that.
Seo Hee isn’t happy to hear Jin Joo called everyone but her for a meeting. Seo Hee decides she must attend and gets the time and place for the meeting.
Chi Hyeon visits father in the master bedroom. Father says he’s fuzzy from the medicine. He realizes Chi Hyeon has been drinking. Chi Hyeon asks why father can’t consider him the only son. He asks why Joon Jae is in his heart. He cries and lies that he told Joon Jae about his illness but Joon Jae didn’t care and refused to see father no matter how much Chi Hyeon pleaded. Chi Hyeon says Joon Jae is a con artist. Father says Chi Hyeon is drunk and should go to bed. Chi Hyeon staggers out of the bedroom.
Joon Jae, Nam Do, and Tae O change to break into his father’s house. Sim Chung comes out in a dress saying she has somewhere to be. She and Nam Doo wink at each other. The boys leave.
Seo Jee leaves the house.
Joon Jae, Nam Doo, Tae O, get out of the van with Detective Hong. I guess this is a police sanctioned break in. Nam Doo tells Joon Jae he confirmed Chi Heyon will be out late. Detective Hong tells the boys to be quick and not get caught. Ha!
Nam Doo, Tae O, and Joon Jae enter the house pretending to be exterminators. Joon Jae can’t believe he’s back in the house.
Chi Hyeon meets Sim Chung at an eatery. She asks him if he knows Dae Young. She asks how Chi Hyeon is related to Dae Young. That wipes the smile off his face. Little does Sim Chung know that Dae Young sits only a few tables away. Chi Hyeong asks why Sim Chung wants to know. She states that Dae Young keeps popping up in their lives and she wondered if Chi Hyeon could help stop it. Chi Hyeon says he can’t help. He claims he has nothing to do with Dae Young.
Tao O disables the CCTV in the house. Joon Jae photographs all the flowers Seo Hee carefully tends. Ah, it’s the flowers that yield the “medicine” Seo Hee gives father. Joon Jae finds the pills. He plants a bug before he leaves the room. Joon Jae heads upstairs.
Joon Jae enters his father’s bedroom. His father asks if it’s him. His father turns on a light. Joon Jae removes his cap. His father’s vision is blurry. He asks if it’s Chi Hyeon. Joon Jae approaches his father and asks why he’s here. His father is stunned. He yells at his father. “You can’t recognize me and you separate from mother to end up like this. And you treat me badly.” Joon Jae’s father says nothing.
Nam Doo distracts the maid from the noise upstairs but she goes up.
Joon Jae tells them they have to leave. His father refuses to leave. Joon Jae says that what happened to his assistant, to him, is because of Seo Hee. Joon Jae’s father can’t believe he’s slandering his wife. Joon Jae yells that father’s choices have been wrong. Joon Jae’s father demands to know what right Joon Jae has to judge his choices. He claims that surgery will make his eyesight return to normal. Joon Jae says that his eyesight isn’t the only thing that causes him not to see. Joon Jae’s father defends his wife. Joon Jae says that Kang Seo Hee used to be Kang Ji Hyun with two marriages before him whose husband’s also lost their sight. That gets his father’s attention. Joon Jae yells this is not a coincidence, this is a pattern. His father does not want to believe it. Joon Jae tries to force his father to leave. His father pulls away and declares that Joon Jae is just conning him like he cons everyone else. His father says he knows what kind of a man Joon Jae really is. Joon Jae stares at his crying father with tears in his eyes.
The maid calls Chi Hyeon to tell him know she’s heard arguing upstairs. Chi Hyeon tells her not to let father leave the house and call the police if needed. Chi Hyeon asks Sim Chung if she asked to see him to get him out of the house. He tells her he won’t be driving her home. He leaves.
Dae Young enters the parking garage and smiles at Sim Chung. She stares at him and approaches. He whips out his trademark hammer. He throws it at the sprinkler which goes off!!! She runs. He follows. They race up the stairs. She pulls him onto the roof. She declares his memory will now be erased. She hopes he’ll get a taste of hell. She closes her eyes. She flashes through his life starting with the present and then his past life. She sees Joon Jae on the boat trying to save her. She sees Dae Young fling his spear into the water at her. She sees Joon Jae with the spear in his back. She can’t believe it. Joon Jae told her they lived happily every after. She sees this was a lie. She hears his lie “they aren’t hurt. They have babies and enjoy raising them. They grow old together”. Sim Chung utters “lies.” She cries. “It was all lies again!”
This writer leaves logic gaps that cannot be ignored. Dae Young did not see Joon Jae get the spear. I don’t buy that. Even if Dae Young peered into the water and knew that Joon Jae took the spear intended for the mermaid, I take exception with how this was revealed to Sim Chung. I’m ok with her belief that erasing Dae Young would protect her. I was actually impressed that Dae Young tried to douse her with an overhead sprinkler though that came to naught. What bothers me is Sim Chung taking in all of Dae Young’s ugly memories into her brain. She learned in the past Dae Young was the mastermind behind hunting her and trying to kill her and then killing the man she loved. Why can’t she have this knowledge? She can. I am repulsed by the mind meld Sim Chung just completed with Dae Young. You might think me over reactive, but Sim Chung was sweet and naive. But now her head is filled with memories of a dark and twisted man that has killed for his own gain for multiple lifetimes. The writer may have her shake it off like it is nothing. But that would be another logic gap. I’m off my soapbox now.
Side characters notes. Nam Doo was revealed to be part of Team Evil in the past. While I suspected Nam Doo as caring for himself only using Joon Jae for his own gain, I’d hoped I was wrong and Nam Doo would put his friendship with Joon Jae above money. We shall see. Tae O took advantage of the opportunity to tell Si A that he was over her. Good for him. Ah Jin Joo’s continued to suck up to Joon Jae’s mother in hopes that she’ll be powerful and rich woman soon. Si A and Joon Jae’s mother came to an understanding. Not one that allows Si A to hug Joon Jae though.
On the evil side of the house, Chi Hyeon learned Dae Young was his father. His mother’s explanation was so self centered it was fascinating. Seo Hee is evil incarnate. Dae Young is evil incarnate. Chi Hyeon is hurt, jealous, and stuck with evil incarnate as his parents. Plus Joon Jae called him out as plotting against his father. It must be a bummer to be Chi Hyeon.
Dam Ryung / Joon Jae (Lee Min Ho) tried to save his father who rejected the truth about his wife. Joon Jae is ashamed of his con artist ways. His father’s remark about his con artist ways cut him. Will he continue to force his father to leave the house? The problem I have is that I don’t particularly like either of Joon Jae’s parents. His father was duped by a murderess, dumped Joon Jae’s mother and then treated Joon Jae like a second class citizen in his own home forcing Joon Jae to run away to find his self respect and his mother. Joon Jae’s mother was duped by a murderess into leaving her only son in the hands of her cheating husband and the other woman. Neither one of these parents have much of a brain.
But the real gotcha, and we knew it would come back to haunt Joon Jae, was the reveal to Sim Chung that Joon Jae lied that their past counterparts lived happily ever after. The writer didn’t wait long to reveal this lie. Lying to protect someone is standard in dramas and never works out. This is a prime example. Sim Chung asks Joon Jae for the truth. She wanted to know, even thought the answer might cause her pain. Joon Jae should have told her. She would have appreciated his honesty. Honesty is not a virtue if it isn’t tested.
Sim Chung (Gianna Jun) learned Joon Jae lied to her about their past counterparts having a happy ending. Joon Jae’s betrayal by lying hurt her. She’s in a vulnerable state with a crazy killer Dae Young next to her. What state is Dae Young’s brain in? Is it erased? Are his memories intact? Will he attack Sim Chung? She’s boldly believed her ability to erase Dae Young would absolutely protect her. She may find that insufficient.
At least Sim Chung had a happy birthday complete with a sweet kiss and hug from Joon Jae.
Will Sim Chung’s opening thought “Despair flows through time and it ends. Behind it is happiness” be true for our couple?
The 10th song of the OST is “One in Ten Thousand” by Sejeong.