So in the end it is Sung Soo + In Young forever. Despite my hopes, once again, a Korean drama doesn’t shock me. So what happened in the final week of I Need Romance?
Episode 15 begins with it finally dawning on In Young that she’s unemployed. And being unemployed means that she’ll soon be short on funds. She meets up with the girls where she explains that she’d quit RH Hotel because it would have been too difficult to see Sung Hyun everyday. She denies that she turned down the proposal because of Sung Soo but admits to herself that she thought of him because at least, he accepts her for who she is. Well, how wouldn’t he accept you for who you are when you were supporting him?
Hyun Joo argues that she simply doesn’t love Sung Hyun enough because if she did, she’d have worked out a compromise just like she has for Duk Soo by listening to trot music.
Sung Soo is back at their old school reminiscing about the day he’d met her 10 years ago when he sees a little kid called Kim Sung Soo getting dumped by his girlfriend. He, too, cheated on her (must be the name) so he tells him to try his best to reconcile with his girlfriend. And when he does, he should call him. He figures that the kid’s success would give him some hope.
In Young receives a text message from Sung Hyun saying that he’s outside her place so she goes over to meet him. He’s upset that it is so easy for her to break up with him. During their conversation, the real reason she broke up with him finally comes out – she’s lost her faith in love. Her great love with Sung Soo changed so how can she trust that their love won’t change as well? He’s mad because he doesn’t want to pay for Sung Soo’s sins but she’s already made up her mind. She says that in addition to that, their lifestyles are too different and I think that a part of her resents him for his wealth. He tells her that he will not give up and will make her his again.
In Young had mentioned that his rich man’s way of dealing with her unemployment is not normal so Sung Hyun inquires from her former colleague as to what a non-rich man does when his girlfriend is unemployed. Armed with this information, he goes into full support mode. He stocks her house with necessities, gathers a list of hospitality-related vacancies and is generally a supportive boyfriend during her job search. In Young enjoys it but has already mentally checked out of the relationship.
Back at her place, Seo Yeon is also checking out of her relationship with Alex. It looks like he tried to ignore the cheating but while making out with her, says that all he sees is Joon Hee’s face. So he ends things with her saying that with her attitude to love, she’s destined to be alone. And the next day while she’s working, she receives a goodbye text from him.
She immediately gets stressed out and attempts to chase him to the airport but stops herself. Joon Hee sees this and despite her protests, comforts her.
Then we move to Hyun Joo’s place. While she and Duk Soo are enjoying some foreplay, her mother shows up. They step outside to talk and after slapping her daughter (I think that makes 7 slaps), she tells her to get rid of the riff-raff that is Duk Soo and meet up with the blind date that she’s set up for her. Then she ends it by telling her to get surgery to restore her virginity. WTF? Are men really expecting to marry thirty-three year old virgins?
In Young returns home from hanging with the girls and sees Sung Soo’s car parked outside her house. She finds him inside with two huge boxes of grapes her parents had sent him. They are still unaware of their break up so he’s come over to return them to her. He’s under the impression that she’d accepted Sung Hyun’s proposal and wonders why she hasn’t broken the news to her parents yet. And when he notices that her ring finger is bare, she plays it off by saying that the ring is too expensive for everyday wear.
They bicker like they usually do and this is when it’s revealed that she’d been mistaken about his first cheating incident because his American friend had only kissed him on the cheek. Yeah right. Something tells me the writers visited a few forums and read that many posters would be more forgiving of Sung Soo if he were a first-time offender rather than a repeat one so they decided to revise history. But whatever.
While Sung Soo is at her place, Sung Hyun shows up. She steps out to see him and he hands her some information he’d gathered on American universities with hotel management programs. He’s trying to find a way to make them work and says that if she makes some sacrifices for him, he will do the same for her.
He tells her about a project his hotel is embarking on and how they can start working on it once they return from The States. Sung Soo watches this and when Sung Hyun caresses her face, he feels a stab in his heart. After Sung Hyun leaves, they are back to bickering and since they’ve decided to make jam from the grapes, go shopping.
Later on, In Young peruses the documents Sung Hyun gave her and wonders if the proposal would have been more acceptable to her at twenty. She eventually gets a temp job at a hotel that Sung Hyun and his fellow hoteliers happen to be having dinner. And as one would expect from a drama, she is in charge of serving them. Sung Hyun doesn’t recover from the shock of seeing her there and his dinner is ruined. He hates watching his peers belittle her but what hurts most is that he can’t do anything about it.
That night, In Young returns home to find Sung Hyun waiting in his car. His face looks like death and it’s obvious that he’s come to say goodbye. Other than belittling In Young, his peers had mentioned his cancelled engagement and how it reflected badly on him and his business. With the previous rumors of his adulterous affair with a noona, it is strike two for him. He hugs her saying that she was right and that he now realizes that he also has things that he can’t give up. As he apologizes to her, a tear falls from his eye. While in his arms, In Young thanks him for making her heart flutter during her darkest days.
Even though they’ve parted ways, In Young and Sung Hyun keep seeing each other. Or to put it more accurately, In Young allows herself to be seen by him. Sung Hyun always come to the bus stop he often picked her up at and instead of getting on the bus when it arrives, she lingers for a little while so that he can watch her. I’m sure it’s supposed to be touching but I find it a little strange and stalkerish.
Since Duk Soo doesn’t stop her like she’d hoped, Hyun Joo goes on the blind date her mother had set up. It’s a success as he is her intellectual match.
After days of watching from afar, Sung Hyun appears in front of her and they have a date at a lounge. While they are cuddled up like a couple, he tells her that he’s moving to Singapore in a month. He gives her an open plane ticket and the ring he bought; asking her to visit him when she misses him and to wear the ring when she thinks of him. He also says that she can even visit him if her heart hasn’t changed and that he’ll wait for her forever. WHY?!? He said that there are things he can’t give up but his love for In Young shouldn’t be one of them.
The little cheating Kim Sung Soo calls the bigger one to tell him that not only did his girlfriend not take him back, she’d moved on to someone else. Now that his last bit of hope has shattered, big Sung Soo gets drunk and shows up at In Young’s place. Unlike in the earlier episodes where he said she was like a sister or mother to him, he talks about how pretty she looks. Then he tries to kiss her and when he moves closer to her, her heart starts to beat faster and her body gets hotter. In conclusion, she’s still very much attracted to him. She decides to give in just this once since he’ll probably not remember anything the next morning. However, he’s so drunk that he just goes to sleep.
Watching him sleep, she reminds herself that she hates him as she touches his face and eventually rests her head on his chest.
Like in the earlier episodes when she was doing crazy things, her heart and head are at odds. The next morning, she tries to get him jealous by wearing Sung Hyun’s ring but he doesn’t bite.
Seo Yeon is so wrapped up with work that she forgets her date with Joon Hee and even when she remembers three hours later, she still doesn’t call him.
Hyun Joo’s blind date drops her off after another successful date. But instead of leaving, he invites himself in for coffee. When she refuses, he proceeds to force himself on her right at her gate. Of course Duk Soo happens to be passing by so that he can rescue her. And as one would expect, he doesn’t slap the attempted rapist (…) but manages to chase him away.
Anyway, Duk Soo goes into her house and they talk it out. The reason he didn’t object to her blind date was because he felt he didn’t have the right to since he’s a nobody ping-pong club owner. Hyun Joo tells him that he’s definitely good enough for her and has many wonderful qualities. They kiss and she hears fireworks.
Sung Soo visits In Young’s parents to update them on the state of their relationship. They welcome him with open arms and boast about his success as a director to their friends. In Young’s mother calls her to ask why she hadn’t come with him. Earlier on, In Young had told him not to confess his crime to her parents and just say that she found someone else because her father would kill him while her mother’s heart would be break. But she knows he won’t do that so she immediately goes over to her parents’ place to stop him.
When the time is right, Sung Soo gets on his knees and confesses the truth to her father. As one would expect, that’s the exact moment In Young arrives. He apologizes profusely, crying because he regrets hurting her so much. He says he took her for granted and now regrets that he won’t be able to be their son anymore. Seeing this, In Young also starts to cry as she’s touched by his sincerity. She and her mom are standing together where the men can’t see them and the older woman tells her to return to Seoul.
Later that night, In Young’s father tells Sung Soo not to beat himself up about the mistake. Apparently, life is a long journey and no one is born perfect. Cool.
Then it’s time for both men to say their goodbyes to our heroine. Sung Hyun drives over to her place and standing outside, their precious memories flash through his mind. He’s about to leave for Singapore so it’s his final goodbye. He says they will meet again and just as he drives away, Sung Soo drives in.
He stands under the street light they had their first kiss and while he’s saying his final goodbye, receives a text from Seo Yeon informing him of In Young’s break up with Sung Hyun.
This is also when In Young walks out of her house and finds him. She keeps telling herself that she hates him but runs over and gives him a hug. Then they kiss and make up.
At this point, the drama is over. Seo Yeon goes to see Joon Hee’s exhibit but doesn’t speak to him. Duk Soo is doing housework at Hyun Joo’s place. In Young and Sung Soo exchange couple rings. He promises never to cheat on her and she reminds him that she still has one more chance to even the cheating score.
The main couple is now settled in their relationship. Sung Soo meets a pretty girl and has stars in his eyes while In Young meets a man whose compliments make her heart beat faster. But no matter how other people might make them feel, they are committed to each other. How’s this different from episode 1? When Sung Soo told In Young that he met a girl that moved his heart, she dumped him. So prior to his cheating, he already knew that she wouldn’t tolerate infidelity.
In the final scene, the girls meet up and pass on a pearl of wisdom to the audience: Love is like In Young’s farts – no matter how hard you try to hold it in, you can’t.
I thought episode 14 was rushed and didn’t make much sense but not dwelling too much on that and accepting the contrived situation it created, I thought episode 15 was well done. The only problem was that it felt like the eleventh episode in another drama. You know, in the kind of drama where the couple will eventually overcome all their obstacles.
So the cheating Suck Soo and his princess live happily ever after. Was this surprising? Nope. After watching 49 Days, I’ve learned that the Korean drama lords will screw up a plot just to ensure that a lead and second lead do not end up happily together. Unless the second lead is played by Park Shi Hoo. However, this is a drama I think both leads should have ended up alone.
I’m not upset that they reunited because I never fully put my heart and soul into believing that they wouldn’t. However, since Sung Soo and In Young are to be together forever, why not write a better plot and really make us root for them? Why not make him truly remorseful (he was more upset he got caught) throughout the drama? And to be honest, I don’t think she’s still in love with him. I think she does love him a lot, is attached to him and can have a happy life with him if he doesn’t stray again. I don’t think one has to see fireworks to be happy in a relationship. However, if he does stray again, she has no one to blame but herself for taking him back. It’s funny how she said that Sung Soo had shaken her belief in love yet she went right back to him. So now that she’s back with him, is it because she believes in love again? Is she now confident that their love will not change again?
And what a strange way to end Seo Yeon’s relationship with Joon Hee. He willingly became the “other man” but when Alex is no longer in the picture, ends things with her because she stood him up for a date.
The ratings for the final episode were 3.37% and the overall average was 2.27% which is great as anything over 1% is considered successful. Even a 0.5% rating is good. Apparently the producers are considering a second season and I don’t know what else they can possibly do with this story. I don’t want Sung Hyun to try to win In Young’s heart in part 2. I think he’s suffered enough with her and want him to move on. It’s funny how the Sung Hyun who in the first half of the drama would have done anything for In Young suddenly had “things he couldn’t give up.” I’ve also had my fill of Sung Soo + In Young so if there’s a second season, I hope we have new characters. Will I watch it? Possibly. The ending may not be the best but it doesn’t ruin the entire series for me. I think being mentally prepared for it helped a lot. Plus it was nice to watch a Korean drama done differently.
Anyway, it’s time for me to leave I Need Romance behind. Thanks for 8 weeks of entertainment and while I don’t know if I’ll meet you early next year for your second season (if it materializes), I had fun.
Goodbye to the show and thanks to all those who read the recaps. I hope we meet again.