I Need Romance 2012 – Quick Recap: Final Week


INR2 SHYM last
How does one endure heartache? How does one carry on after losing a loved one? The sun keeps rising each day, the stomach growls when it’s hungry … the world keep turning. I believe it’s the people around us who help us move on. In episode 15, Suk Hyun is able to carry on because Yeol Mae came back to his side. She calmly & quietly moves in and out of his circle. (SO LOVELY to watch) He accepts her little gestures of affection and caring. Things are peaceful between them but both are hiding things. He brings up a silly argument they had as kids about the moon but Yeol Mae doesn’t remember it.  (It seems she’s remembering a different story about the moon) After her Mom died, Suk Hyun slept with her, holding her hand and singing her to sleep.
INR2 moon
He wakes up to see Yeol Mae beside him with the pillows between them. Ji Hoon hangs up her nightgown in his closet. In the bathroom, he fingers the toothbrushes Yeol Mae bought. At the coffee shop, cutie-pie notices he’s down and calls Yeol Mae a bad person. Suk Hyun asks Yeol Mae why she broke up with LP guy? She implies he doesn’t truly care. He gets angry, telling her not to play around with words and just say it. (WUT? OMG, you have some nerve insisting she tell you anything – MR. SECRET-TO-THE-DEATH!) He reminds her how coldly she rejected him but she throws back how coldly he rejected her in the past. He knows she’s not the kind of person to turn her back on someone she gave her heart to.
He says she’s been acting strange: she’s not going to work and she just hangs around him. She explains that he’s even more important than herself. She says they don’t have to get married, they can just live like this. He asks again about Ji Hoon and Yeol Mae admits she likes both of them.  Suk Hyun gets angry, how dare she just blurt out her feelings all the time and leave other people to deal with it? (LOL) Yeol Mae tells him it would be nice if HE could say things honestly. He storms out of the room. Jae Kyung tries to talk to Jeong Min but he blows her off. You can’t completely understand everything about a person just because you love them. And you can’t make them understand you just because you try hard.
JKJM apology
Jae Kyung is interviewed about her shoe line. She admits she’s selfish, she doesn’t care if people think she’s a bitch. (LOL) A reporter asks if she wants to get married? As she’s answering this question, she looks straight at Jeong Min and says  she does. Yeol Mae tells Suk Hyun that one of the dogs has a rash, they should take it to the vet. As they walk back home, Yeol Mae holds his hand and he smiles. But she sees JI Hoon on the street and walks away. Later Suk Hyun tells her he’s going to pretend what happened in the street didn’t happen. Oh, are we doing a Scarlett O’Hara? “I’ll think about that tomorrow” Yea, because the best way to deal with issues as a couple is to completely ignore them. *stabs self in eyes again*
At the coffee shop, Ji Hoon’s cutie-pie employee is trying to protect him from hearing people order the “Yeol Mae” shaved-ice. Ji Hee meets up with Tae Woo. Turns out it’s their first official date and she’s upset that he didn’t make any special plans. He wants them to be comfortable around each other but she demands passion and hotness. (ROFL) She complains to the other women that she shouldn’t have kissed Tae Woo. Jae Kyung says during dating, the first kiss is the happiest day – it opens a whole new world. Yeol Mae thinks back on her first kiss with Suk Hyun. As she leaves the studio, she finds Ji Hoon waiting outside. He asks if she’s happy, he thinks about her 24 hours a day. *sobs* As she wipes away tears, she tells him not to come find her. She doesn’t think about him at all. (LIAR) He’s lowers his head in pain at her words.
As she’s crying, Suk Hyun calls asking where she is. He’s at the studio to pick her up. He hears the tears in her voice and sees Ji Hoon standing outside the studio so he knows they met. Suk Hyun tells Ji Hoon that Yeol Mae is his everything and he’s sure she feels the same way – that’s why she came to him. He tells Ji Hoon if he waits, he’ll see that Yeol Mae can’t hide her feelings. Yeol Mae is sobbing in her bedroom, with memories of Ji Hoon flooding her mind. She tells herself she can throw away the things Ji Hoon gave her but she can’t forget he gave his heart. She doesn’t know how to let him go so she just cries. Suk Hyun stands outside her door, listening to her cry. He goes in and hugs her, telling her to go ahead and cry. INR2 SHcomfortsYM
Our final episode opens with Suk Hyun and Yeol Mae asking themselves why things turned out like this? Well, there are lots of answers to that one! Lies, secrets, games, manipulations … I could go on and on. There is a small part of me that hopes Suk Hyun feels guilty as hell.  DUDE! How long are you going to continue hurting this woman? It’s enough already! He wonders if he could turn back time, would they be living differently? Yeol Mae wonders if they can go back? They both think back on their relationship and how many times they had the opportunity to fix things: if she had only known exactly how he felt and if he had only taken her hand when she held it out to him. If she had waited for him. If he had told her how he truly felt. If she had known he was saying he loved her. If he had told her he was grateful. If she hadn’t met Ji Hoon.
INR2 road stand
Suk Hyun decides it’s too late to go back so he puts the house up for sale. (Wait, how can he do that without her approval? Meh, minor detail) He goes home to eat with Yeol Mae and she tells him to stop smiling so easily – her heart is broken, how can he smile right now? He offers to take her on a trip after they eat and let her decide where to go. They end up stopping at a road-side stand to eat. Suk Hyun brings up his sister and cute things she said in the past while Yeol Mae sits stunned. Is he finally opening up? (OMG, I pray) They reminisce about his sister, it’s clear they both know she’s dead but neither one says it. Suk Hyun says there were many things he couldn’t tell Yeol Mae. *holding breath* He then talks about missing his Dad.
INR2 final break
He admits he knows Yeol Mae knows everything. About Ki Hyun. And about him. Yeol Mae says he couldn’t tell her because she’s a selfish, immature woman. Suk Hyun tells her it was because he loved her too much. (Errmmm … Huh?) He admits to himself he’s never told her that he loves her on his own, not even once. He didn’t think he could say it because he wasn’t confident that he could take responsiblity for her. Okay, that part I get and can I just say: FINALLY. He then says this is the end for them, he’s grateful that he’s sending her off before she left him. (OMG, again with the “I need to dump you before you dump me”) He tells her to go to Ji Hoon. She makes it clear to him that she’s not the one leaving again – HE is. (Yup, agree)
JHTW final
Yeol Mae says does he think if he tells her to go to Ji Hoon, she will? She’ll make her own choices. (Did she just start walking in the middle of nowhere?) Ji Hee is eating with Tae Woo in a kimbap restaurant but she’s not happy about it. He says they’re ordinary salaried employees who can’t afford to eat out in fancy restaurants – they’ll do that once in a while after they get married. She realizes he just proposed and gets angry he proposed in a kimbap restaurant. How could he do that? (LOL) He takes her home, giving her flowers before she gets out. He says they shouldn’t drag it out – they should just get married. She’s so angry when he drives away, she throws the flowers into a trash bin without realizing that he put a ring in the flowers! HAHA! Yeol Mae walks, telling herself she needs to make her own decision about her life. (Yup, agree)
INR2 ginko tree
At home, Suk Hyun pulls his name off the mailbox and packs up his house. As he’s throwing things out, he notices the album and photo. Tae Woo asks Ji Hee about the flowers, did she water them? (Code for did she find the ring?) Ji Hee admits she threw the flowers out. They dig through the trash looking for the ring. He yells at her to stop tormenting other innocent men and just marry him. She yells is he really proposing to her right now in front of the garbage? AHAHAHA! Yeol Mae makes it to Ji Hoon’s coffee shop and watches him from outside. (OMG, did she walk that whole way?) She sees a sign in the window for a part-time worker. She also sees the bike. She imagines going inside to ask about the job and telling him that she’ll never leave him again. Suk Hyun drives by and sees Yeol Mae standing outside. Ji Hoon locks up and sees Yeol Mae standing outside.
INR2 JHfinalYM
Yeol Mae tells Mr Hotness she came to look for him one last time. *sniff* Ji Hoon hugs her and Suk Hyun sees them hugging so he drives off, clearly believing she choose Ji Hoon. She tells Ji Hoon she can’t come to him. *more sniffling* He’s a person who waters trees so he knows how she feels. For her, the tree she’s been watering is Suk Hyun. Even if she carries that bucket of water until her legs explode, that’s the way she feels. Ji Hoon asks if Suk Hyun knows how she feels? Yeol Mae says Ji Hoon watered that tree without caring how it felt, right? He taught her that. He cries as she says she’s sorry for hurting him. She thinks to herself everyone’s tears will dry with time. At home, she sees Suk Hyun’s side of the house packed up. She finds the album and photo Suk Hyun left on her bed and cries more.
INR2 JKfinalJM
Jae Kyung is offered a trip to Paris. She wants Jeong Min to come too and marry her. She tells her friends and Ji Hee is immediately upset that neither Suk Hyun or Jae Kyung will be here for her wedding. And Yeol Mae will be all alone. Yeol Mae assures them that she’s fine. A year passes. Yeol Mae is still living in the house, turning away prospective buyers. She refuses to sell. She has a meal with Na Hyun who asks about Suk Hyun. Na Hyun tells Yeol Mae she misses him and wishes he had acknowledged her feelings even once. Yeol Mae and Ji Hoon meet at a record store, they carry on a silent conversation. He asks if she’s well, she tells him she thinks of him every time she drinks coffee. They smile at each other.
INR2 YMhappyJH
She goes home to clean Suk Hyun’s side of the house, getting her ring from his drawer. She puts it on her finger. We see a flashback of how he measured her finger with a bread tie while she was sleeping. (ADORABLE) We see Suk Hyun in a shop fingering a bread tie. He lists all the reasons in his mind why he loved her. He walks up to the house he’s been living at and greets a puppy that he’s named Yeol Mae. When he looks up, Yeol Mae is standing there. He thinks he’s imagining her and begins to cry. *SOB* He tells the dog he misses Yeol Mae. Yeol Mae walks up to him and holds out her hand, telling him they should go home now. He grabs her hand. (OH MY GOD, FINALLY!) *dances around the room* He pulls her to him, crying harder. (I’m laughing, dancing and crying at the same time) The next scene shows Suk Hyun has shut himself in his room again with a sign on the door. Yeol Mae laughs to herself as she rips the sign down and goes into his room.
INR2 SH breaks down
He starts to say he’s too busy but she runs her finger along his arm and neck. He drops the pencil from his mouth as she asks for just an hour? They bargain for the amount of time and kiss their way to the bedroom. In voice-over, he says there is no such thing as saying “I love you” too much and he’s going to say it every time their eyes meet. (THANK GOD) Yeol Mae puts a sign on HER door that she’s busy and Suk Hyun calls her to makes her say she misses him. He then calls her back asking her to tell him she loves him. After she says it, he kisses his phone and kicks his feet on the sofa like a little boy. AHAHA! The final scene is all 3 couples getting together to eat outside in the front yard. Ji Hee and Tae Woo are married and expecting a baby. Jae Kyung and Jeong Min got married in Paris. And Suk Hyun and Yeol Mae are getting married soon.
INR2 atlast
So they both “realized” something while talking on the bridge but the translation didn’t make sense to me. They started talking about the opposite meaning for the word love? It’s not hate, it’s “I loved”? I have no idea what they meant. In the end it doesn’t matter. After a year apart, they do end up back together. I have no idea how she found him or where he was but again, not important. I’m very happy she explained her feelings and ended things cleanly with Mr Hotness. Even though his heart was broken, she was able to make clear how she felt. Honesty has never been a problem for Yeol Mae, it was Suk Hyun who couldn’t be honest. The changes in Suk Hyun seem to have come about because he realized all his mistakes but believed it was too late.  He thought Yeol Mae would go to Ji Hoon. It wasn’t until she showed up that he finally completely broke down.
INR2 takes hand
I was happy they talked on the bridge but it wasn’t enough. I was hoping for an in-depth discussion on the disease and confirmation one way or the other if he had it. Since we never saw any signs that he was having symptoms, I’m guessing he doesn’t. It would be nice if we were clear on this but I’ll cut the writer some slack. I said a few weeks ago that I would be happy either way Yeol Mae choose and I am. (although I’m very tired of the “first love” scenarios that K-drama’s seem to do over and over) It would have been an interesting, different experience to have Yeol Mae end up with Ji Hoon and I think the writer missed an opportunity to finally squash the stereotypical “first love” nonsense. No matter – I am indeed happy with the ending.
INR2 SHpuppyYM
Even if the changes in Suk Hyun weren’t fully explored OR explained, it was nice to see him finally meeting Yeol Mae’s needs. Their relationship has been too one-sided for my taste with her giving all and him giving very little or even being downright cruel to her. So however those changes came about and even if it took until the very last part of the drama, I’m happy that it finally did. And how wonderful to see that they are getting married. So what are your thoughts? Happy with the ending? Pissed off? Let’s discuss! Cheers to another good drama from tvN! Thanks for taking the journey with me and I’ll catch everyone soon. *waves*
INR2 happy final






  • milaiski says:

    Thanks for the recap! Kept refreshing your blog for this. . Anyway, I already babbled so much about my thoughts on the finale on the soompi forum so I guess won’t repeat them again here. Just my thoughts, why is Lee Jin Wook getting hotter by the minute? Arggggggh. He’s like shooting testosterone! hahaha!

    • Porkyjin says:

      LJW foreva!!!! Can’t wait for another drama with him on it…

    • tessieroo says:

      Hi milaiski! Even though I wrote my final thoughts, I keep having MORE thoughts come up. (HA) And I’m still checking the subs on other sites to insure I didn’t misunderstand anything. All in all, I’m okay with the ending. Did you see the Strong Heart episode with LJW and KJS in it? Episodes 125 & 126 – you can find them online with English subs. 🙂

      • milaiski says:

        I’m suuuuuuuper okay with ending the ending too. I already watched the Strong Heart episodes because I super love love LJW already since I discovered him in Spy Myung Wol. He’s just so hooooot and adorable. 😀

  • feb says:

    I was waiting for your recap since I watched the last two episodes. I agree with you that this was a missed opportunity to have a different ending than the normal kdrama.

    I am the roamntic type and always support the main couple but in this drama I was convince she should end up with Ji Hoon. Not only because he was a nicer guy and loved her more but this is the first time that I see the main girl torn between two man. In most kdrama, the love triangle is always one sided. But here, it was really convincing that he love them both. It’s just really a matter who will she choose.

    And it would been awesome if she have chosen Ji Hoon proving that they are fated to each other.

    • tessieroo says:

      I completely 100% agree, I think it’s time for writers to drop that whole “First Love” nonsense and explore other things. But Asian dramas in general are like a dog with a bone for that concept – they can’t let it go. I’m a closet romantic too. (shhh, don’t tell anyone) Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  • sally_b says:

    Tessieroo ! Awesome final recaps! (BIG HUG to you ~ ♥ )

    I’d said over at the soompi forum that I’d be relieved when this show is over…an absolute rarity for shows that I LOVE…but this one got so heart-hurting, (I adored the two male leads so much)…that YES, I’m glad it ended.

    The writer, I think, did a pretty swell job of not falling into creating the same scene a dozen times, though there was some of that. (Not nearly as much as in non-cable shows..where running in a circle is the NORM)
    Also…it was a wee bit thick on flashbacks…but generally the show was so good that seeing a flashback for a second or third time was OK, rather than thinking “geez-louise ~ could you please assume the audience is smart enough to remember they said that…already.”

    As you know, my biggest sticking point was the dismissal of …THE THING!!! After having been beaten half to death with the *illness stick* — as a viewer, I really needed closure…unambiguous closure…on that topic.
    As well as Seok-hyeon’s FULL verbal apology – I wanted to see his face form these words, “I was a coward and thought you’d leave me, so I kept you at arm’s length for most of your adult life, never letting you be free…because I was selfish”…. hahahah ~just me, I guess.

    I suppose that *talk on the bridge* was intended to cover that ^ . But, it came across as nebulous non-sequitors to me.
    “The opposite of love is not disliking…..blah, blah… I loved. That hurt us both.”

    Overall, I’d definitely recommend the show to most anyone…it’s done thoughtfully and honestly, and surprisingly real for a kdrama (thank you cable TVn) . A+

    p.s. why did SH spend so many years being a broody McSurly-Man when he looks so cute with a doofus grin and while squeeing and/kissing his smart phone?? Next time I’d like to see Jin Wook actually doing COM…in a rom-com, right?

    • tessieroo says:

      sally_b! *HUGE hugz back* Thanks so much for all your support during this one. It’s fantabulous that I found someone who understands everything I’m feeling even before I say it! (HAHAHA!) How many times did we see that flashback of their first kiss in their school uniforms? Oh my GAwwwwd, really? *heehee* I think the conversation on the bridge could have been better too but I loved the part when SH finally broke down. I will forever be wondering if SH does have the disease though. *scratches head* I agree…wtf? *waves*

  • Amanda says:

    I wonder if all the talk about the opposite of “loved” being “I loved” is about timing—that by saying you loved someone in the past tense, it means you don’t love them anymore. I wasn’t all that happy with the ending either, but kind of liked that they didn’t really focus on the illness. Now they just have to live not knowing either way until symptoms start to show up (although presumably there’s a specific age when the disease starts to manifest, and he might already have passed it).

    • tessieroo says:

      *pauses* Well, that’s a great idea! SH did say their timing was off so you could be right! Thanks, i’ve been trying to decipher what the conversation on the bridge was all about. (LOL) I don’t think he has it either, his sister was 15 and he’s definitely past that age. Thanks so much for your comment, Amanda. it brings a little clarity to the bridge conversation! 🙂

  • luliqz1 says:

    i love it it was good, thanks for the recap

  • homespunthings says:

    Ah! Gomen, I’m super late to the game …. I skimmed it RAW alongside the recap but even though the ending is what I wanted, I found myself tuning out for the first half, so it took a while to get around to watching the subbed version. Too many melo MTV flashbacks with zero plot advancement is something I really dislike about kdrama finales!

    There was a little bit of the Noble Idiot storyline in The Redemption of SH sequence, but I appreciated that his departure made sense because it seemed like YM really needed time out while she sorted out her feelings for JH (such heartbroken eyes he has!), even if she madly denied it before she walked off.

    On the whole there weren’t any real surprises and it was a bit slow, but there were a few lovely beats scattered throughout — the heartbreaking moment when JH is defeated by his own story about the tree, SH’s tear-filled trembly-lipped face on the porch when all bravado collapsed. And it’s so frigging ADORABLE how once he’s discovered the power of Expressing Himself, he can’t seem to stop. It’s like watching Bambi learn to walk! and YM’s half-tickled half-resigned expression as she put on a fake aegyo voice to say Saranghae to the love-starved puppy outside her door is awesome.

    Thanks so much Tessieroo for working so hard to recap this beautiful series! I’ve been a big fan of Jung Yumi since Que Sera Sera but her playful charm really shines here, and I think it’s the best realistic (albeit glossied up and gorgeously lit) portrayal of adult love I’ve encountered in kdrama so far 🙂

    Kamsahamnida! ^_^

    • tessieroo says:

      Awww, what a perfect analogy: Bambi. *hee* Thanks for your thoughts on this one. I must admit now that it’s been a month – this one became forgettable for me rather quickly. *shock* Not that I regret watching it at all but I appreciated the actors much more than the story itself? And I loved how LJW came alive in this drama (compared to that Spy one he did)

      • homespunthings says:

        Hehe actually the same goes for me … I guess that’s the problem with (relatively) true to life trendy dramas? There’s less stickiness since they’re not about the high emo factors or implausible makjang scenarios! I’m sticking this one in my play-in-background-to-cheer-me-up-while-typing list. And maybe save a screengrab of the cute boys snuggling in the tent for my phone 😉

  • ALAYNA says:

    what about his sickness… ?

  • kimyoonmi says:

    I guess that means me and my friend are the only one that like the fact that the drama *didn’t* conclusively tell you about the disease–if he had Huntington’s or not. (That’s the only thing it could be)

    1. The drama was making statements about the political and social climate of genetic disease.
    In not giving it away, it doesn’t fall into makjang or undercut the message of bringing up the *social repercussions* and it doesn’t undercut the conflict by saying, “Oh well, he doesn’t have it.” The point was the *social* liabilities, not the disease itself. And it’s not really anyone’s business if he has it or not–which is also a strong statement made by the drama. The whole point is asking about love, social liabilities to love, etc. So I like the not knowing–because it says to me instead of “Well, he should have gotten genetic testing” or “He shouldn’t have gotten genetic testing” that he and Yeol Mae are prepared to face anything together–which is a much stronger statement than “OMG he’s dying and she has to stay by his side” or “Silly, see, you should have gotten tested earlier.”

    2. By the time that Yeol Mae goes back, *it doesn’t matter* if he has it or not. What matters is that she chose him no matter what. He went away from her and she brought him back. (which overturns the nasty grandmother)

    3. Plus she went through a man detox. Yay! Made me incredibly happy.

    And the bridge talk was pretty easy to figure out. The opposite of love is not hating, it’s not caring. It’s apathy. Writers put that line in a whole bunch. The bridge talk was him taking responsibility for his actions which he had not done before and personally. It was a turn around of him accepting her every time she came back. This forced both characters to grow (before she went through the man detox) I called that one too.

    I thought that her going back to JH would be equally destructive. They’d been dating only 2? months when she moved in. That’s a big red flag. That’s a no. He should have pushed her for her own good into her own apartment to live n her own. And then he proposed to her at what? 3 months? That’s another big, HUGE red flag. That really shows she needed a man detox. Boy, keep your boundaries. Seriously. If you truly love a person you do what’s best for them, not what they say is best for them.

    So after she came back from her man detox, she showed clear boundaries, a growth in her character and a relationship that was not so desperate and full of man sickness (which is thinking of the man 24-7) but showing a lot more independence. By the time she’d gained that, it didn’t matter if they both died tomorrow. The relationship had turned healthy as she made choices not out of desperation, but out of real love.

    Good ending.

    • tessieroo says:

      Hi kimyoonmi! I was frustrated with her dependence on the men in her life too but then again, I was brought up in a different culture where family/marriage are not the most important things that define a woman. I was very happy she did a “man detox” too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I love reading what others think. 🙂

  • Toni says:

    I know I am way too late in saying this, but the house. One side (the left) is YM’s house and the other side (right) is SH’s house. The sliding door separates the two houses where a brick wall once stood. When the door slides open you can notice the breaks in the wall.

    Story wise, I would have been happy if she chose JH, but either choice would have been good. I agree that the writer missed the opportunity for the lead to choose the second lead.

    Off all of the I Need Romance series, I liked this the most. Why? I was in a relationship with a man, you can say my first love. We fought, broke up, fought, broke up, became friends with privileges and ended up getting married.

    Thanks for the recap.

  • Luna says:

    Does anyone know the name of the instrumental music playing in the background when Yeol-Mae is crying about Jihoon? It sounds so pretty but I can’t find the song

  • Lis says:

    Recién terminé de ver este drama y full decepcionada, incluso estoy muy molesta porque durante dos capítulos me hicieron creer que se quedaría con el SR.LP (Ji Hoon) en cada escena que veía con él volvían mis esperanzas y cada escena q veía con el otro se rompían las esperanzas hasta el último cuando se encuentran escuchando música, que final más malo, que protagonista más estúpida… Quiero ver la 3 temporada pero si es igual a las otras 2, entonces perderé mi tiempo otra vez,….

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