It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Episode 16 (Final) Recap

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Episode 16 “Finding the Real Face” (Final)

At the house, Ko Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji) stares at the flowers Kang Tae gave her early in their relationship. Moon Kang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun) arrives and declares his love again. Moon Young tells him to stop and tries to walk away. Kang Tae stops her and asks what she’s going to do about it. He lightly kisses her. He stares into her eyes. He picks her up and puts her on the desk. He leans into her. She leans back. He keeps coming. The deer outside yelps. Kang Tae yells at the deer. They both giggle. They lock eyes, Kang Tae kisses Moon Young, it turns hotter as he leans her back onto the desk.

Moon Sang Tae (Oh Jung Se) (Kang Tae’s brother) reviews Publisher Lee’s memorandum to publish a book with his illustrations. Sang Tae notes he has bad writing. Jo Jae Soo (Kang Tae’s friend) is impressed Sang Tae got a written agreement. Sang Tae announces he wants to quit working for Jae Soo. Surprised, Jae Soo offers more money. Sang Tae declares he wants to be a full-time illustrator. Jae Soo declares he won’t accept it unless Sang Tae finds a replacement. Jae Soo bemoans his lack of coolness. Sang Tae notes Jae Soo was never cool. Jae Soo grouses that Sang Tae could at least lie about that. Sang Tae counters he must be honest.


As they relax on the couch, Moon Young asks why the family photo was hung on his mom’s tree. Kang Tae says his mom would want to know Sang Tae’s best friend and the woman he loves. He says they are a family. Moon Young worries his mother might hate him. Kang Tae notes she’s not the most likable person. Moon Young says she’s sleepy with a glint in her eye.

Jae Soo offers Sang Tae a ride home. Sang Tae says he’ll sleep there so Moon Young and Kang Tae can make up. Jae Soo hugs Sang Tae.

The next morning, Kang Tae holds a sleeping Moon Young in their bed.

He makes breakfast. Moon Young hugs him. Kang Tae admits he quit his job. He says he wants to try new things. Moon Young doesn’t like the idea of him attending college when he need only stay by her side. Kang Tae asks what she’s going to do. Moon Young says she doesn’t have anything to write about. Kang Tae wants her to finish the camping story with Sang Tae. Moon Young takes his hand and leads him to the library. She shows him the sketch Sang Tae made of him sleeping. Kang Tae loves it. Moon Young says she made changes to the story based on the drawing. She won’t reveal the ending. Kang Tae asks if she intends to publish the book. Moon Young confirms this. She doesn’t know if she’ll write another book. Moon Young asks who he likes better. Kang Tae says he likes himself the best. Sang Tae arrives home. Moon Young grouses then joins the brothers.

Director Oh and Patient Kan play a game. Director Oh teases him for losing on purpose to cheer him up. Director Oh gives Patient Kan his last prescription. It’s shoes. Director Oh tells him to put them on and walk out of the psychiatric hospital. Patient Kan puts them on. They fit. Both men smile.

Director Oh finds his son sleeping in the linen closet. The staff hear Orderly Cha yelling at his father to stop. They are surprised when Director Oh and Orderly Cha exit the linen closet having no idea the two were related. Director Oh tells his staff he’ll take his slacker son with him when he retires.

Sang Tae says he quit his job. Moon Young says they are all unemployed. Sang Tae asks if they kissed and made up. Moon Young clarifies they French kissed. Sang Tae doesn’t know what that means. She starts to share additional details, so Kang Tae kicks her. Kang Tae tells his brother Moon Young will publish the camping book. Sang Tae is thrilled. Moon Young says she can’t pay him with the camping van. Sang Tae points out his payment is the camping van per the contract. Moon Young offers cash instead. Sang Tae accepts the swap. They agree to continue working on the book after breakfast. Kang Tae smiles at their rapport.

Publisher Lee Sang In meets Moon Young and asks what she’s going to do about her claim that his company would publish the last book of that her mother wrote. Moon Young gives him the manuscript. Publisher Lee is shocked. Moon Young says that is the only copy. If he publishes it, he’ll make enough money to cover all the payoffs he had to make because of her behavior over the years. Moon Young says Publisher Lee has to choose between her camping van book or her mother’s book, he can’t have both. Publisher Lee considers then tell her he wouldn’t publish a book by someone that caused her so much pain. Moon Young points out her mother’s book will make more money. Publisher Lee says her books are better. As they stand to leave, his drink spills on her mother’s manuscript. Publishing coworker Yoo Seung Jae finds the sodden manuscript and an empty table when she returns.  She allows the waitress to clear it away before she exits.

Joo Ri’s mother is happy to learn Sang Tae’s illustrations will be published in Moon Young’s book. Publisher Lee notes Sang Tae will work with other writers too as Moon Young is taking a break. Joo Ri’s mother agrees that is a good plan. Nam Joo Ri joins them and hears that Publisher Lee will be returning to Seoul to restart his publishing company. He notes they should enjoy him while he’s still around. Seung Jae returns and scolds Publisher Lee for leaving without telling her. Publisher Lee asks where the manuscript it. Seung Jae doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Publisher Lee says he texted her. Seung Jae says she didn’t receive the text. Publisher Lee checks and find he texted Moon Young instead of Seung Jae. Moon Young reads the text the grouses about his two timing.

Moon Young visits her mother in jail. She tells her mother this is the last time they will see each other. Moon Young’s mother wonders how long the brothers will stick by her side. Moon Young says they are family. Moon Young’s mother shouts they aren’t her family. Moon Young’s mother says she loves Moon Young. She wants Moon Young to live like her strong and unaffected by others. She doesn’t want her to hang out with the brothers. Moon Young is relieved she turned away from becoming a demon like her mother. She feels sorry for her mother. Moon Young points out her mother doesn’t even know that she’s cold and pitiful. Moon Young says she’s learned that warmth is wonderful. MM scoffs at the word warm. Moon Young tells her mother to take care of herself. She says she’ll erase her from her memory. Moon Young’s mother screams she’ll never be able to erase her from her memory. Moon Young’s mother says they are the same. Moon Young says butterfly and psycho are derived but she’s knows it is also a cure.

Moon Young finds Sang Tae painting over the butterfly. He says he’s going to paint a new butterfly. Moon Young agrees covering and replacing is a wise idea. Sang Tae says butterfly means cure. Sang Tae asks she wants to watch him draw pretty butterfly.  Moon Young smiles her agreement.

Kang Tae is all smiles when he visits Jae Soo. He tells Jae Soo he’s going to study now. Jae Soo suggest they do it together. Kang Tae asks if that’s what he wants. Jae Soo admits it isn’t. Kang Tae tells him to find where he wants to go in life. Jae Soo asks if Kang Tae is kicking him out of his life. Kang Tae tells Jae Soo now he’ll treat him like an older brother. Kang Tae says it is better to have older brothers. He thanks him for being by his side, laughing with him and making him less lonely. Jae Soo tears up. Kang Tae smiles. Jae Soo tells him to be good to him. Kang Tae promises. Jae Soo tells him to call him big brother. Kang Tae does so.

Sweet scene. Kang Tae has come a long way.

Moon Young and Sang Tae work on his illustrations. Kang Tae enters with food. Moon Young kicks him out. He’s not allowed until the book is done. She presses him against the door jam and tells him to do something else. Kang Tae wonders if she has any suggestions. She sighs and returns to work. She literally shuts the door in his face.


Publisher Lee and Seung Jae search the dumpster for the manuscript. Seung Jae points out Publisher Lee promised he wouldn’t publish it. Publisher Lee says it is only insurance should hardship strike. Fed up, Seung Jae quits.

Quitting is the trend.

Joo Ri finds a stinky smell in her room. Seung Jae says she showered. Publisher Lee texts her to hang out.

They meet for drinks. Joo Ri scolds Publisher Lee for picking on Seung Jae. Publisher Lee reveals Seung Jae is older but acts young and naïve to make things easy for herself.

Alone in the room, Seung Jae pulls out the manuscript that she found dumpster diving last night. This is Publisher Lee’s punishment for not treating her well. She giggles she’ll keep it for a month, then give it to him.

Kang Tae finds Sang Tae and Moon Young asleep after working hard. He smiles at the mock cover that lists both their names.

Publisher Lee and Seung Jae arrive with a box of the new books. Seung Jae presents the book to Sang Tae who is thrilled. He runs out of the room. Kang Tae and Moon Young follow. Publisher Lee frets this new book’s style doesn’t match Moon Young’s previous style and won’t find its audience. He bemoans not finding MM’s manuscript to serve as a safety net. Seung Jae tells him everything will work out.

Sang Tae takes the book to his mother’s tree. He tells her he is an illustrator. Kang Tae suggests their mother would like the book read to her. Sang Tae reads the book and cries as he does so. Kang Tae cries with pride.

Seung Jae and Publisher Lee prep for the book launch at the psychiatric hospital. Seung Jae reports the press don’t believe that Moon Young is launching a new because of the lie about MM’s book.

Joo Ri’s mother tells Director Oh that he helped Sang Tae spread his wings. Director Oh says Sang Tae did the hard work. He compliments Joo Ri’s mother looks. He asks her to hang out by yelling. She smacks him. The patient that couldn’t admit her daughter was dead arrives. She tells Director Oh to stop by her eatery anytime. Patient Joo looks for someone. Patient Lee arrives. They run into each other’s arms. Everyone shows up for the book signing. Jae Soo is spiffed up and catches Seung Jae’s eye. The son of the former assemblyman, Min Seok, arrives. He’s working in government now.

Sang Tae wants to read the book. Moon Young won’t let him. They bicker. Kang Tae walks away.

Publisher Lee begins the book launch while Seung Jae records the event. Moon Young and Sang Tae take turns reading the book. But when they both try to read the same part, neither will yield. They fight and the book launch pauses.

Joo Ri’s mother chuckles that some never grow up. Kang Tae finds her. She tells him to be understanding about the bickering. Kang Tae presents a book with a sweet inscription from Sang Tae. She loves it. Kang Tae asks if he can hug her. He doesn’t have to ask if her response. They hug.

Joo Ri finds Publisher Lee sulking. She tells him everything will be okay. He shows her the video with comments from many. Joo Ri says Publisher Lee can make this work. Publisher Lee sighs and says she isn’t a good liar. Joo Ri says he’ll brush himself off and go on. She knows she won’t see him. Publisher Lee surprises her with the news he’s opening an office in the city. It has the added bonus of Joo Ri. He moves his hand to take hers. Their fingers touch. They smile but don’t verbally acknowledge the moment.

Sang Tae and Moon Young apologize and make up. Kang Tae is still irked with them as they exit the psychiatric hospital. Director Oh calls that he has something for them.

In the parking lot is a camper van! Director Oh tells Sang Tae it is payment for his mural. Sang Tae and Moon Young scramble into the camper van. Director Oh tells Kang Tae this is his atonement for hiring MM’s mother. He wants them to have fun. He bets watching after Moon Young and Sang Tae will be exhausting. Kang Tae agrees but says it is fun too.

Sang Tae is hesitant to go on a trip together. Kang Tae says they aren’t running away, they are going on a trip.  Kang Tae says they return from trips. Sang Tae doesn’t see the point.

Kang Tae pitches Moon Young the idea of a trip with the lure of finding inspiration for her next book. Moon Young isn’t sure. She suggests a day trip. Kang Tae points out he wants to wander. Moon Young tells him to calm down.

Kang Tae drinks with Seung Jae and Publisher Lee. He doesn’t understand why Moon Young and Sang Tae are denying him the trip they clearly know he wants. Kang Tae says he’s like a third wheel sometimes. Publisher Lee points out Kang Tae is instrumental in making things work in his family. Kang Tae says he wanted a free-flowing camping trip. Why can’t they agree? Jae Soo declares Moon Young and Sang Tae should apologize for denying him. Kang Tae asks if Publisher Lee and Jae Soo mean it. They assure him. He says they are lying and passes out. Jae Soo and Publisher Lee laugh.

When he gets home, Moon Young and Sang Tae are packed and waiting to go on the long trip. They even have family t-shirts. Kang Tae wishes they hadn’t lied to him about not going. He starts to cry. He hugs them.

On the road Mang Tae hangs from the rear-view mirror. Kang Tae is feeling the after effects of the alcohol. Moon Young scolds Kang Tae. Sang Tae scolds Moon Young. Kang Tae demands they pull over. He can’t eat food. Moon Young and Sang Tae eat with relish. Moon Young asks Kang Tae if the reality of the trip isn’t what he wanted. Kang Tae heads into the camper to sleep it off.

They grill out and eat. They sleep. The sing and laugh as they drive. They play games at stops. They drive to where ever they want. Smiles abound.

  Moon Young finds Kang Tae warming himself by the fire. He says he can’t sleep. She apologizes for hurting him physically in the past. She hopes she never does so again. Moon Young thanks him for brining her on the trip. Moon Young tells Kang Tae she loves him. She says she’s not pretending. Her love it real. She leans in and kisses him.

Kang Tae finds Sang Tae staring at the vista. Sang Tae says he wants to do something else. Sang Tae is having fun but he wants to work. He wants to draw. That is fun for him. Kang Tae says they can head home. Sang Tae tells him to keep on without him. Sang Tae says someone will pick him up soon. Moon Young joins them. Sang Tae tells her that he’s going to draw for another author. Moon Young says she needs him too. Kang Tae asks if Sang Tae will be okay. Sang Tae tells Kang Tae that he belongs to himself, and he belongs to himself. Kang Tae cries at the memory and the truth of the statement. Kang Tae says he doesn’t belong to Sang Tae, he belongs to himself. Sang Tae hugs his brother. Sang Tae thanks his brother. Kang Tae cries and thanks his brother for being his big brother. Flash to a young Sang Tae hugging the grown Kang Tae. Sang Tae’s ride arrives. It’s Publisher Lee. He puts Sang Tae’s bag in the car. Sang Tae waves goodbye. Kang Tae smiles and cries. Sang Tae admonishes them not to fight. Their cars go in opposite directions. Moon Young’s voiceover “they begin a new journey to find their stolen faces”.

Kang Tae, Sang Tae, and Moon Young read the remainder of the book. The final line of the book “What the shadow witch stole from them wasn’t their true faces but their courage to find happiness.”

The final scene is Sang Tae, Kang Tae and Moon Young heading to the camper van for coffee before Publisher Lee drives Sang Tae away.

My Thoughts

This episode was a victory lap with content. Writer Jo Yong wrapped up and put bows on almost everything. Moon Young visited her mother in prison and clearly stated she had a new family. After enjoying wandering, Sang Tae left to walk his own path of an illustrator. Kang Tae let his brother go and meant it was okay. This trio became a family that loved, fought, and supported each other. The cartoon of the book was well done. This show was beautiful to view and never failed delve into the uncomfortable to heal. Writer Jo wrote a strong series and earned a spot as a writer I plan to watch again.

Moon Kang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun) got his wish to travel without an agenda or timeframe. Kang Tae couldn’t believe when Sang Tae and Moon Young rejected his trip plans. He got drunk with his best buds, Jae Soo and Publisher Lee, who dutifully listened to him complain. Kang Tae’s dream came true when he returned home to find Sang Tae and Moon Young packed and ready to go on the adventure with Kang Tae. This character was suppressed, controlled, and a duty-bound caregiver. Kang Tae ended up being free, happy, and able to pursue his dreams with the woman he loved.

Ko Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji) told her mother she had a family and pitied her. Moon Young visited her mother alone. She confronted the controlling witch with a calm manner and a direct message that she was no longer in her mother’s grip. She was her own person with her own family and destiny. This character evolved to find her heart, her love, and her family.

Moon Sang Tae (Oh Jung Se) (Kang Tae’s brother) bravely pursued his own path. Sang Tae and Moon Young continued to bicker and argue, their language of love. Sang Tae wanted to be an illustrator to many authors. He agreed to travel with Kang Tae and Moon Young. He enjoyed it. But he took his own road to pursue his dream which allowed Kang Tae to continue his own dreams. These brothers started this series unbalanced with Kang Tae the strong one and Sang Tae the weaker one. Sang Tae ended up on equal footing with Kang Tae and became the big brother they both needed. It was a joy to watch Sang Tae confront his fears, evolve, find his voice and path this series.

How did I do on my wish list for the final episode?

Our family is together and happy. GRANTED. Our trio took a trip in a camper van provided by Director Oh and traipsed the countryside enjoying wherever the road took them. Even when Sang Tae left to pursue his own path, this family was happy and supportive of each other. Family means love, support, caring, challenges, arguments, and the knowledge you won’t lose each other. Watching this trio find that in each other was satisfying, touching, and the best part of the series.

The supporting characters wrap up well. GRANTED. Publisher Lee and Joo Ri moved towards dating when they held fingers. Jae Soo and Seung Jae didn’t inch closer but they have proximity. Director Oh gifted the dream come true camper van. Patients, past and present, were in a better place and stronger at the end of this series.

I rank this episode as almost terrific, 8.5 on a 10-point scale.



Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on

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Posted in It's Okay to Not Be Okay, Recaps
26 comments on “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Episode 16 (Final) Recap
  1. Snow Flower says:

    Ah, such a heartwarming finale! Our characters deserved it.
    ST truly is the glue that holds this family together.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. DramaDazed says:

    Thanks kjt for guiding us through another good series.

    Drama endings can go so many ways, I always enjoy seeing more than the clinch and kiss of a happy one.

    This one gave us not just our main cast but friends and their families that each had moments in the story – and bonus points for the OK denizens who were touched by our main characters. I was particularly pleased by the inclusion of naked boy, showing his scandal leading to his cure. I think real life is like that.

    The story of MYs mom and dad could have used a little more exposition, but just out of curiosity since it doesn’t seem relevant to the end. Imo, this piece was the weakest link.

    I felt like healing process of our 3 was infectious. The dark start got lighter and lighter, building step by step.

    Imo, all the actors gave spot on performances. Special points to Oh Jung Se, playing a person with challenges with great sympathy. I’m a fan of Kim Soo Hyun’s acting already (and his buddy Kim Chang Wan who switches from charming to cold blooded evil with ease) and Jang Young Nam was credibly crazy…I have seen her in lots of roles. Seo Ye Ji…I will take a wait and see but she sure is gorgeous and her makeup and costumes were enhancing.

    On my scale, this is a Yes, I would watch it again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • not just our main cast but friends and their families that each had moments in the story – and bonus points for the OK denizens who were touched by our main characters. I was particularly pleased by the inclusion of naked boy, showing his scandal leading to his cure. I think real life is like that.
      As you note the series wasn’t just the trio but a community they moved through and the ripple effects. I liked the touch back to the patients too.

      MYs mom and dad could have used a little more exposition, but just out of curiosity since it doesn’t seem relevant to the end. Imo, this piece was the weakest link
      Yes, MY’s parental backstory wasn’t fleshed out enough. I was surprised at the petty nature of MY’s mother’s murder of KT’s mother.

      Seo Ye Ji…I will take a wait and see but she sure is gorgeous and her makeup and costumes were enhancing
      I’ve enjoyed the series she’s been in as lead that I’ve watched Save Me, Lawless Lawyer. The costume department had a field day with her in this series.

      On my scale, this is a Yes, I would watch it again.
      This would be a drama I’d recommend to someone not well versed in kdramas.

      Liked by 2 people

      • DramaDazed says:

        Kjt, your comment “I was surprised at the petty nature of (the)murder”


        • DramaDazed says:

          😏sorry I fat finger posted the above comment…to continue:

          It made me think about the types of mental illnesses we saw portrayed and each of the other patients had some explanation for the underlying trauma – MYs mother was the exception. Maybe this was the writer’s point – there are insanities we are are unable to understand or explain. My reading about real ROK (not drama land) indicates that mental health is a seriously under-addressed public issue and this drama laid out some of the easier understood scenarios where treatment is possible. So…public service message? Maybe MYs mother represents the limit of understanding. Just my random thoughts.

          Good suggestion for recommending this drama, I will keep it in mind, I am always looking for recruits! 😉

          I want to check out Lawless Lawyer.

          Liked by 1 person

    • beez says:

      Oh yes. Thanks for reminding me, DramaDazed – that was a nice touch that some of the more standout patients were depicted in MY’ fairy tale book.

      Liked by 1 person

    • beez says:

      Before Save Me, I had only seen Seo Ye jin in Hwarang (I think she was on Hwarang?) and that threw me for a loop because before Hwarang, all I’d seen of her was as a child star in Moorim School.

      Liked by 1 person

      • DramaDazed says:

        Oh yes, I forgot about Moorim School. At least I remember that one – I know I saw Hwarang…it just didn’t stick with me.


  3. beez says:

    Although I do find Sang tae’s story too pat for a person with autism, I must admit this show was very, very satisfying, mostly because of Sang tae and the excellent acting all around by the entire cast.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Jane Tilly says:

    During the majority of the series I had serious doubts happy endings for all the main characters were possible. I echo KJT’s sentiment that “Writer Jo wrote a strong series and earned a spot as a writer I plan to watch again.”

    I 💗 that Moon Young 🚬 ✍ used Sang Tae’s 🦕 reference of painting a beautiful butterfly 🦋 over the killer’s butterfly, to paint beautiful things over her mother’s ugly influence in her life as it could never be erased.

    “Watching this trio find that [Family means love, support, caring, challenges, arguments, and the knowledge you won’t lose each other] in each other was satisfying, touching, and the best part of the series.”-KJT. I 💗 how the fairytale book echoed our trio’s journey to develop into better people with more well-rounded lives and the people they met. It was satisfying to see the progress of some of the previous patients.

    I’m a sucker for a happy ending and I was pleased with the victory lap episode. Moon Young 🚬 ✍, Gang Tae 🩺 and Sang Tae 🦕 overcame their fears and found happiness with each other … and had their epic adventure in the “camping car”. The stories of the side characters enriched the series as well. I adored Publisher Lee Sang In 📚 and how his influence mellowed Joo Ri 💉 and was pleased he started his company back up locally to stay near her.

    Thanks again KJT for your speedy recaps and providing a forum for us to discuss this series❣

    Liked by 1 person

    • beez says:

      Ditto! Thanks, kjt!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I 💗 that Moon Young 🚬 ✍ used Sang Tae’s 🦕 reference of painting a beautiful butterfly 🦋 over the killer’s butterfly, to paint beautiful things over her mother’s ugly influence in her life as it could never be erased.
      That was a nice moment. Sang Tae’s wisdom made impacts throughout this series.

      Thanks again KJT for your speedy recaps and providing a forum for us to discuss this series❣
      I appreciate the interactions from everyone on this series. It enhances the watching a series as good as this one.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. beez says:

    I guess if we look on the bright side, at least they waited until the show was over unlike how they dealt with Backstreet Rookie


    • A bit prudish. Aren’t cable shows more spicy?


      • beez says:

        I’ve since read even more about this. I think the complaints about the scene where Author invades Care Giver’s space and touches him when his shirt is off is bull crap. I mean, I’m all for subtle but the whole point of the scene is to show just how inappropriate Author is. How else could you have shown that? As far as I’m concerned, in my Book of Interpretion of imported sexual themes in kdrama: what that scene was really conveying is she actually touched him somewhere WILDLY inappropriate.

        Liked by 1 person

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August 2020

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