Our couple forges their own fate.
Legend of the Blue Sea Episode 20 (Final) Recap
As they stand by the pool, Joon Jae (Lee Min Ho) asks Sim Chung (Gianna Jun) not to erase his memories before she leaves. He reminds her that she told him that it’s better to love even when it hurts. He says because they share memories, he can let her go. She tells him she may not be able to return to him for a lifetime. He’ll have to wait without knowing if she’s alive or dead. He tells her that if she can’t come back for a lifetime, then he’ll be reborn again. He tells her to do the same. He reminds her their love lasts longer than a lifetime. She doesn’t want to leave him in pain. Joon Jae counters that if they remember each other, they’ll find their way back to each other. With all that said, Joon Jae gives Sim Chung the choice to erase his memories or keep them intact. Sim Chung stares into Joon Jae’s eyes. She tells him she’s made her choice. She places her hand on his face. She leans in to kiss him. He kisses her. Their sweet kiss starts to sizzle.
As Sim Chung exits the house, Nam Do, Tae O and Joon Jae’s mother return. They ask where’s she going late at night. She says she has to step out for a moment. She holds out her hand and thanks them for their friendship. Is she going to erase their memories?
Ahn Jin Joo, her daughter, her husband and Cha Si A rib each other about the animals hurt make their respective coats. Sim Chung arrives surprising them. Si A snipes that not only does Sim Chung have the love of Joon Jae, she also has the unrequited love of Tae O as evidenced by the pictures of her on his phone. Sim Chung asks Si A to erase the photos. Done, Si A states. Sim Chung says she has to go somewhere for a while. She holds out her hand and thanks them for their friendship. Is she going to erase their memories?
Sim Chung meets the little girl, Yoo Na. As they munch on snacks in the store, Sim Chungs says she will miss her. She offers her hand to the little girl who takes it. When the hand grasp is complete, Sim Chung is surprised that the little girl still knows who she is. So Sim Chung is erasing memories during her farewell tour. The little girl shares that she’s dreamed of Sim Chung and her past life. The little girl says in the past her mother was a mermaid and her father was a fisherman. That is why she can communicate with mermaids. Sim Chung is relieved to hear about a human and mermaid living a happy life together.
Sim Chung stands alone on the beach and thinks “he said having memories is the way to return to each other. I will protect and treasure the memories of our love.” We see her shoes on the beach.
Sim Chung swims through the ocean.
Joon Jae wakes and looks at the pearl she left him.
Three Years Later…
Nam Doo, Tae O, and Joon Jae enjoy another delicious meal courtesy of Joon Jae’s mother. Nam Doo and Tae O love having someone to call Mom (something they never had). Nam Doo never wants to leave. Joon Jae’s mother says until he gets married Nam Doo should live with them. There is a fourth chair unoccupied. Nam Doo asks why the fourth chair is there. Joon Jae stares at the fourth chair knowing it is for Sim Chung.
Look at this, Joon Jae is studying to be a prosecutor! He’s an apprentice for a day with the local prosecutor’s office.
Jin Joo brags the Joon Jae gave all his shares to his mother. The ladies murmur in appreciation. Jin Joo bags that Joon Jae’s mother gave half of her wealth to shelters for runaway teenagers. And she established an alternative school. The ladies murmur in appreciation. Joon Jae’s mother explains because her son ran away in high school she wanted to make life easier for others in similar situations. Jin Joo coos that she and Joon Jae’s mother have an intertwined fate. She jokes that maybe in a former life they were sisters. No, not sisters.
The prosecutor asks Joon Jae if he wants to take the first lunch. Joon Jae asks why they all don’t eat lunch together. The prosecutor says they’ve learned to never leave the office empty. Ha! Recall in an early episode, Joon Jae and Nam Doo took over the empty prosecutor’s office during lunch to impersonate prosecutors and scam someone. The prosecutor relays those jerks pretending to fix the water filter had the gall to use his office, his chair, his desk as if it was their own. Joon Jae corrects him saying the jerks came to fix the elevator. The prosecutor asks how Joon Jae knows that. Joon Jae smiles and says that happens often in his neighborhood. That suit Lee Min Ho is wearing does not look tailored and rather baggy. Joon Jae pledges to catch such criminals. Joon Jae proves it takes one to know one as he nails a con man during an interrogation. The prosecutor is impressed but suspicious. Joon Jae is saved when Detective Hong is waiting for him in the lobby. Joon Jae scampers to Detective Hong like a kid greeting his mother after school!
Over food Detective Hong says he’s glad that Joon Jae is more at peace now. He says that Joon Jae worried him in the past with all he went through. Joon Jae comments that he can barely remember anything. Hmm, I wondered this previously, but is the writer trying to make us believe Sim Chung erased Joon Jae’s memory?
What is Nam Doo doing now a days? Lecturing about evading the law. He’s a good lecturer!
Nam Doo joins Joon Dae and Detective Hong who asks Nam Doo if he’s conning or teaching people. Detective Hong brags that Joon Jae is a changed man because he’s following in his footsteps. Nam Doo asks why Joon Jae decided to become a prosecutor. Joon Jae admits he can’t remember the triggering incident.
At the house, we learn that Tae O is paid by companies to try and hack their computer systems. They all get blitzed. Tae O has light fingers and lifts items from his friends. Joon Jae murmurs “I miss her” and cries but he doesn’t know who he misses. Nam Doo complains that Joon Jae does this every time he gets drunk but doesn’t remember in the morning. That’s clear, Sim Chung elected to erase his memory.
Sim Chung cries in the sea. Pearl are scattered around her.
Joon Jae opens his safe and removes a journal. Nam Doo intones that Joon Jae has changed. He drives to the sea without explanation. Nam Doo, Tae O and Detective Hong worry about him.
A delivery boy leaves bags on a bench by the sea. Yes! It’s Sim Chung! Love the shell purse! Those are big baggy pants! She arrives in the heart of the city. She declares everything is the same and she feels good to be back. She sells a pearl for some quick cash.
Sim Chung asks a girl which sea she is from. The girl is startled and wants to know how Sim Chung knew. Hey, it’s Kim Seul Gi from Oh My Ghostess! She treats the girl to lunch showing her the proper way to eat. The girl states she came to the city for a man she met. Sim Chung wants to know if the man asked her to marry him. Not exactly the girl’s answer. Sim Chung tells the girl once on land her heart begins to harden. It beats in the water but not on land. Only the love of her true love can make her heart beat. The girl admits the man won’t return her phone calls. Sim Chung advises her to return to the sea. The girl asks about Sim Chung. She proudly states her man loved only her. The girl asks why she returned to the sea. Sim Chung says her heart was damaged by a bullet and she had to return it to full health. The girl asks if her man knows she’s back.
Sim Chung walks to Joon Jae’s house. She rings the doorbell. Nam Doo answers but doesn’t know who she is. He shuts the door in her face. She rings again and asks about Joon Jae. Nam Doo recommends she forget about Joon Jae. He starts to close the door but Joon Jae’s mother arrives. She doesn’t know Sim Chung either. But she invites Sim Chung inside to wait for Joon Jae. Sim Chung looks around the apartment and begins to cry.
Nam Doo calls Joon Jae and says he has a guest. Sim Chung approaches Nam Doo and provides her name. Nam Doo is surprised when she knows his hometown. He notices the jade bracelet. She chuckles and says people don’t change.
Si A arrives and calls to Joon Jae’s mother. Si A notices Sim Chung and asks who she is. Nam Doo chides Si A for proposing first. Si A defends herself saying women do this all the time. Sim Chung asks if Si A is getting married. Si A flashes her ring and confirms this. Sim Chung asks which one of the three men in this house she’s marrying. Nam Doo asks how Sim Chung knew how many men live in the house. Sim Chung repeats her question to Si A who is startled Sim Chung knows her name when she didn’t supply it. Sim Chung asks if she’s marrying Joon Jae. Si A asks Nam Doo if this woman is a Joon Jae fan. She counsels Sim Chung that Joon Jae has a mystery woman in his heart and memories that she cannot compete with. Si A starts to say who she will marry but Sim Chung cuts her off because she doesn’t care. Ha!
Joon Jae feels something and drives home faster. When he arrives his mother says he has a guest. He stares at Sim Chung. She stares at him. He asks who she is. She THINKS “you’ve become better looking. I’m glad you are well.” He asks again who she is. She THINKS “I’m the woman you said you’d love longer than your lifetime.” Joon Jae asks why she’s here. She THINKS “I’m okay and wanted you to know I’m healthy. And she missed him.” Sim Chung says they met briefly in the past. Joon Jae asks what she stopped by to tell him. She THINKS “I love you.” She tells him she had nothing to say. She THINKS “I love you.” Joon Jae says he has an appointment he has to leave for. Si A frets that she’s going to propose to Tae O and she wanted him here for the celebration. Joon Jae says he can’t miss his appointment and offers his congratulations. He leaves. Sim Chung leaves too.
Sim Chung searches the streets for him. It starts to snow. She sees the lights on the fountain they once visited together. Sim Chung wonders if her return is pointless.
It’s Joon Jae WITH AN UMBRELLA. He asks her if she was going to leave again. He offers his hand. She takes it.
They stare at each other. He asks if she wanted to be erased from the world. He’s irritated that she erased the memories when he told her not to. She asks if he really remembers her. Joon Jae says in this world, he’s the only one that remembers her. She doesn’t understand how he knows her. He hugs her and states that she could erase his memories 100 times and he’d never forget her. His body knows her and his heart has her engraved on it. Nice line! He admits that he worried that he might forget her so he worked hard not to.
Flashback to Joon Jae recording their life together BEFORE she left and “erased” his memories. Smart! Joon Jae says after she left he was able to hold onto enough of his memory but it did start to fade. He found the sea he thought she might be living in. He bought a house near the sea to they can live together. Why wasn’t this considered before she left?
We see that Nam Doo called him Joon Jae immediately knew who the unnamed woman was. Tears filled his eyes as she finally returned to him. Lee Min Ho looks good with tears!
They stare into each other’s eyes. Sim Chung chides him for remembering her. Joon Jae says that was his choice. He tells her he loves her. He hugs her relishing their connection. Sweet!
Joon Jae takes her to the loft. He tells her he bought the house so she could find him. He thanks her for returning to him. When she approaches him he backs away and warns her not to try and erase his memory. She scoffs that she wouldn’t do that. He jokes that what’s in his heart can’t be erased. They laugh. Sweet!
Ah, it’s homeless lady! Sim Chung finds her searching through the clothing bin. Sim Chung tells her she came to find her. The homeless lady doesn’t know her. Sim Chung tells her that coincidental connections happen all the time and should be cherished. The homeless lady likes her. Sim Chung promises to see her again. She brag that she’s in love with man. The homeless lady asks what stage of love. Sim Chung lists the three kinds startling the woman. Sim Chung says her love is romantic and hot and she hopes to progress to the dirty stage soon. The homeless lady asks if they are soulmates. Cute!
Sim Chung studies for the GED. Joon Jae wants her to stop for the night. She wants to study. He lifts her into his arms and carries her to bed. They smile and stare into each other’s eyes. They kiss. It goes from giggle kisses to more sizzle.
At an interview to become a prosecutor we learn Joon Jae has an outstanding bar exam score. Joon Jae declares he wants to become a public prosecutor at a regional branch, preferably near the sea. He explains he has a small house near the sea and if he could practice nearby, it would be a dream come true.
Joon Jae and Sim Chung drive to the sea all smiles.
Joon Jae intones “finally we made our dream come true. In a small boring village, we live a simple life.”
We see Sim Chung is wearing a wedding ring as they walk along the boardwalk next to the sea. She’s pregnant! He jokes his salary may not easily support another person. She jokes that she’ll cry to produce pearls to supplement their income. They laugh.
Joon Jae intones “While crying and laughing at simple things we love each other. We watch our time flow together every moment of the day.”
We see Sim Chung and Joon Jae cuddling on the couch laughing at the TV show in their house by the sea.
Joon Jae intones “After making many detours, treasuring the love that finally came to me. We remember our legend from the past that is our beautiful secret. ”
The series ends with Sim Chung and Joon Jae sitting on a bench staring at the sea.
A sweet and gentle ending to this series. This episode had a slower pace as Sim Chung leaves her friends and Joon Jae behind. The writer made you wonder if Sim Chung had erased Joon Jae’s memories. I did not understand why Joon Jae didn’t follow Sim Chung to the sea to live on a boat or the option he chose which was to live by the sea. But the memory erasing provided the full circle moment for our couple. When Joon Jae walked up to a sad Sim Chung with the umbrella, you knew without him saying a word that he remembered.
Our side characters are all well. It was good to see Joon Jae still have a close relationship with Detective Hong, Nam Doo, Tae O and his mother. Tae O and Si A are headed for the alter. I wish the writer had granted us a scene with the two of them together. Nice to see Nam Doo support Joon Jae and yet still be himself. Jin Joo and Joon Jae’s mother continued their fated existence. Sim Chung reconnected with the homeless woman. And she was unable to erase the memories from the little girl.
Dam Ryung / Joon Jae (Lee Min Ho) overcame ill fate and embraced a new happy fate with Sim Chung. I enjoyed the scene with the prosecutor when he knew about their office being broken into and when he exposed the con man for what he was. The core of this show was Joon Jae’s relationship with Sim Chung. That relationship never failed. Lee Min Ho and Gianna Jun have a wonderful chemistry. Their scenes always had a depth of feeling underneath the scene they portrayed. You knew this couple was destined to be together forever. Lee Min Ho lucked out in choosing this project. Joon Jae was a personable character. Joon Jae was cool but could angry quickly. Joon Jae was tough but was able to cry when the situation warranted. He was loyal. He cute as a button! I was glad Lee Min Ho returned to a kdrama after a multi year absence. He still has “it”. I was a bit surprised that he didn’t sing a song on the OST.
Sim Chung (Gianna Jun) erased memories from everyone, but Joon Jae managed to remember anyhow. Sim Chung erased memories often in this series. It was her go-to way to get out of sticky situations. It had varying degrees of success. Sim Chung was a character you rooted for. She loved Joon Jae. She embraced a wide range of people. She was like the island of misfit toys. She was nice but not sappy. She could and did defend herself and her man. She didn’t scare and cower in the corner. She was bold and brave at times. Gianna Jun had chemistry with Lee Min Ho. As a viewer you’d like to believe that if you sense respect between two actors it’s real. I don’t know for sure, but it appeared that Lee Min Ho and Gianna Jun respected each other. That came through on the screen and strengthened them as the lead couple.
How did I do on my final episode wish list?
1. Happily ever after for Joon Jae and Sim Chung – Granted. The crux of this series was breaking the cycle of fate and finding happily ever after. The writer provided a happy ending full of warmth, love, and future happiness. Thank you Writer Park.
2. Happily ever after for the rest of the characters – Granted. Everyone was happy at the end of this series. Thank you Writer Park.
Legend of the Blue Sea was a ratings hit. At the SBS awards Lee Min Ho and Gianna Jun won Best Couple, Lee Min Ho won Top Excellence Award for an Actor in a Genre & Fantasy Drama and Gianna Jun won Idol Academy Award for Best Acting.
I hope you enjoyed this series as much as I did. It was sweet, fun, and the cornerstone of this series, our lead couple, never failed or faltered in delivering characters we rooted to overcome their past fate and forge a new one.