The assistant demands to know Chief Hong’s full name is Hong Du Sik. He reconfirms it. The assistant punches Du Sik and knocks him down. He hits him again. Everyone is shocked. Sung Hyun and Officer Choi pull the assistant off the stunned Du Sik. The assistant yells that Du Sik is a murderer. Yoon Hye Jin (Shin Min Ah) stares at the man she loves. Hong Du Sik (Kim Sun Ho) gets up and slowly walks away.
She follows Du Sik. She’s sure this is a misunderstanding. Du Sik declares everything the assistant said is the truth. He hurt the assistant’s father. He destroyed the family in the photo. He’s a murderer. Hye Jin backs away. Du Sik walks away.
Du Sik returns to his home and collapses. He is forced to anxiety meds to cope with the strain.
Hye Jin returns to her home. Roommate and friend Mi Seon returns home. Hye Jin sobs in her arms.
The next day, the villagers struggle to cope with the surge of business without Du Sik’s help. They gather and express their concern about Du Sik.
Ms. Kim leaves food inside Du Sik’s door. He ignores it.
At the dental clinic, Ms. Yu arrives for her wisdom tooth extraction.
At the network lobby Director Ji Sung Hyun (Lee Sang Yi) see Writer Wang talking to another director. He interrupts their conversation with a little white lie that the footage was lost. Writer Wang rushes upstairs to the editing booth. Sung Hyun follows and admits the footage wasn’t lost but he couldn’t stand her talking to the director. She asks if she can talk to him about nonwork stuff. Before he can answer the assistant enters.
Sung Hyun tells his assistant he doesn’t know all the details of his father and understands that is his truth.
Flashback…The assistant’s father can’t cope with the financial plummet of the high risk fund he invested all his money and a tries to commit suicide. The assistant finds his father passed out on the floor.
The assistant shares that his father wasn’t the only person hurt, Du Sik’s boss was also killed. That gets Sung Hyun’s attention.
Mi Seon shows Hye Jin an article about Du Sik’s a success at the asset management company. The accompanying photo shows a smiling Du Sik and his boss. Hye Jin remembers the boss from the photo that Du Sik stated he’d destroyed the family.
Sung Hyun remembers going to the hospital to find his cousin weeping over the body of her dead husband.
Mr. Chang and Ms. Yeo are playful with each other at the house. They are surprised when their son enters the house and sees his divorced parents hugging. They sit him down and explain that they are back to together. He wants to know if they will remarry. Startled, they confirm it. He declares he’s going to play with his friend and leaves.
Ms. Kim leaves food inside Du Sik’s door. He ignores it.
Hye Jin is pressured to make a decision on the job offer in Seoul. She promises she provide her answer soon.
Ms. Kim arrives with food to Hye Jin. She shares that Du Sik hasn’t touched the food she’s left for him over the past days.
Sung Hyun declares additional B roll footage is needed. He and assistant agree to return to the village.
Mr. Chang and Ms. Yeo wonder what is keeping their son. After calling the friend, they are dismayed to learn their son left some time ago. Both family’s search. They find the boy who is overwhelmed that his parents are getting back together, his dream come true. Tears all around.
Hye Jin goes to Du Sik’s house. She offers to give him the time he needs until he is ready to share. Du Sik says he’s ready. Du Sik says he’s friend’s name was Park Jeong U. He shares at his friend’s urging he joined the asset management company and found an affinity for the job.
Flashback…Du Sik is consistently kind to the assistant’s father, a security guard. When pressed, he warns the man his fund was risk yet, but gave the man a card should he want to invest. Then the financial plummet came. The man revealed he invested everything including a loan. Du Sik is horrified. The man admits he got greedy wanting a better life for his family, including buying his son a suit for an interview. Du Sik is called away and promises to get back with the upset man. But the work toil increases and Du Sik ignores the man’s phone calls. Park Jeong U tells him recovery of the fund is unknown. Another employee announces the security guard attempted suicide and is in the hospital. Upset, Du Sik decides to drive to the hospital. Jeong U refuses to let Du Sik drive upset. He drive Du Sik to the hospital. But a car accident occurs that kills Jeong U when a truck slams into the driver’s side.
Hye Jin hugs Du Sik. She cries. He cries. She understand the deep pain and guilt that has burdened him. She tells him he can be sad with her and share his burden. Du Sik does just that and sobs his pain.
During the car ride to the village, Sung Hyun reveals his cousin Seon A’s husband was Du Sik’s friend and boss at the asset management company. He shares the husband was killed in a car accident as he drove Du Sik to visit the assistant’s father in the hospital. He points out Du Sik was deeply affected too.
Ms. Yu visits Ms. Yeo an expresses her happiness that she’s reunited with Mr. Chang. She admits she’s over her. Ms. Yeo admits she knew that Ms. Yu liked her romantically years ago but didn’t know how to address it directly. Ms. Yeo notes Ms. Yu was and is a lovely warm woman. Ms. Yeo liked her then and now, albeit only as a friend.
Once in the village, Du Sik urges his assistant to talk to Du Sik.
The assistant visits Du Sik. He remembers after his father’s suicide attempt, his mother suddenly had money to pay off the family’s debt claiming it was insurance policy payout. He asks if the money came from Du Sik.
Flashback…Du Sik kneels before the assistant’s mother in the hospital and begs her to accept the money he raised by selling everything he owned. Not wanting to but knowing she couldn’t afford to reject the money, she takes it. She declares she’ll pay off the family’s debts.
Du Sik shares the last conversation he had with the assistant’s father was about his desire to purchase a suit for his son. The assistant cries remembering his father’s belief that a proper suit would turn the tide and secure him a job offer. Du Sik apologizes for not returning his father’s calls. The assistant declares the situation wasn’t Du Sik’s fault, but he needed someone to blame. Du Sik gives another heartfelt apology to the sobbing assistant.
The next day dressed in the suit his friend purchased him long ago, Du Sik and Hye Jin meet Jeong U’s wife, Seon A, and her young son, Ha Rang, At the beach while Hye Jin plays with Ha Rang, Seon A and Du Sik talk. She shares that Sung Hyun is her cousin, and that he speaks highly of Du Sik. She remembers the pain and belief she couldn’t go on when Jeong U was killed. But life continued on, and so did she. No longer does she blame him. Now it is time for him to forgive himself. Ha Rang calls to his mother who joins him on the beach.
Jeong U appears to Du Sik. Crying Du Sik admits how much he misses his friend. Jeong U feels the same. He tells Du Sik the accident wasn’t his fault. He wants Du Sik to live a full life and move on from the burden of guilt. He takes Du Sik’s hand and declares they will fish again one day. Du Sik cries. Jeong U cries. They watch Ha Rang playing on the beach with Seon A and Hye Jin.
Ms. Kim returns to her home now that the filming is complete. Her friends come over and help her clean. They share a meal. They chat as they fall asleep agreeing to have a picnic the next day.
Hye Jin and Du Sik reflect on the day. She urges him to smile, she’s there for him. Du Sik admits he almost killed himself when his friend Jeong U died after the car accident.
Flashback…Dressed in his hospital clothes, a dazed and distraught Du Sik makes his way to a bridge deciding to climb over and fall to his death. But Ms. Kim’s timely text averted that. She asked to see Du Sik as she was in Seoul. Du Sik crouches down and sobs. The next day Du Sik returns to the village with haunted eyes and a broken heart. He wanted to hide in his house but the villagers gently cared for him. They would ask for his help with all manner of things and he emerged back into the land of the living.
Hye Jin smiles now knowing how Du Sik became Chief Hong, jack of all trades. She understand why this village matters. Du Sik says she knows all. She thanks him for sharing. He remembers she wanted to tell him something, and assures her he will wait until she’s ready. Hye Jin reveals she was offered a job in Seoul.
The trio chat as they fall asleep. Ms. Kim states her life has been wonderful. She urges her friends to see the beauty of their lives too. Every day is a gift. They agree to have a picnic the next day and fall asleep with smiles on their faces. The next morning they awake to find Ms. Kim has peacefully passed in her sleep.
Hye Jin notices a man that looks like a patient huddled on a bridge. She calls the emergency team to report it. They come and help the man. It is Du Sik.
The mystery of Du Sik’s past is fully revealed. Writer Shin Ha Eun finally showed why Du Sik was a shell of a man when he returned to the village. At the prompting of his dear friend, he joined an asset management company and thrived. The assistant’s father desperate for better life for his son, invested in a high risk fund without Du Sik’s knowledge. But when the financial plummet came, the assistant’s father revealed the extent of his investment (including a loan) to a dismayed Du Sik, who could not offer a solution. Du Sik ignored the father’s calls as he and the rest of the company dealt with the plummet and subsequent demands. While Du Sik was not responsible for the assistant’s father’s investment decisions, he was responsible for ignoring his post plummet calls made just before the suicide attempt. The guilt was heavy and overwhelming. Then the tragic car crash that killed his friend while taking Du Sik to the hospital to visit the assistant’s father occurred. That guilt was paralyzing. A broken Du Sik returned to the village and slowly rebuilt his life with the insistent pings of the villagers. The backstory worked and was affecting.
Yoon Hye Jin (Shin Min Ah) offered her support to Du Sik. Hye Jin was shocked and pulled away without knowing all the details (that Du Sik did not share when he went into his shell). At the urging of Ms. Kim, Hye Jin went to Du Sik and offered to hear it all when he was ready to share. He shared. She listened and observed most of events were out of his control. She was true to herself and was the rock he needed. Writer Shin once again tied our couple with another moment of past connection when Hye Jin called the emergency team to tend to the unknown man, Du Sik in the depths of despair, on the bridge.
Hong Du Sik (Kim Sun Ho) revealed his crippling past. Du Sik’s flashbacks told the back story that Writer Shin hinted at throughout the series without making the mystery of his past the focus. Du Sik is a kind sensitive man and his reactions to the series of unfortunate events proved that again. Guilt can be a destructive mantle to bear. It was wonderful to see him reconnect with Seon A and her young son, Ha Rang. But the moment of the episode was his conversation with his dear departed friend Jeong U; it was truly touching.
One more episode to go. What’s my Wish List for the final episode of this series?
* Du Sik and Hye Jin finish strong. This twosome have been a delight to watch. Hye Jin should reject the job offer in Seoul. They deserve a victory lap in the final episode.
* Our bonus couples finish strong. #1 Mi Seon and Eun Cheol – continue to strengthen and could move towards an intent of permanent future. #2 Writer Wang and Sung Hyun – the time has come for Sung Hyun to move their relationship out of the friend zone.
* Ms. Kim’s funeral unites the village. I was a bit surprised Writer Shin killed this character in the 15th episode, yet the funeral/memorial service could be the setting for the now familiar villagers to gather and unite in love for her and each other.
The eighth song of the OST is the lovely “I Hope You′re Happy” by Lee Sang Yi who portrays Sung Hyun.
I rank this episode as almost terrific, 8.5 on a 10-point scale.