It’s the end of the journey for our characters and Ji-hyun finally receives some closure to the sudden losses of her sister, mother, and Soo-ho. Though it was not easy and she undoubtedly faced many challenges, she was eventually able to fight for justice and peace. The process to healing definitely won’t be easy, but the long fight is now over. She can rest a little bit more peacefully now.
Note: First and foremost, this recap is a week late which I heavily apologize for. I assumed that the drama only aired one episode last week so I didn’t think into researching about episode 16. However, I finally searched online and it seems like episode 16 did air last week along with episode 15. I apologize for the delay (especially since this is the recap to the final episode).
With that being said, this is the recap to the finale so I would just like to thank everyone who joined me in this recap journey of ‘Time.’ It was definitely a WILD, WILD ride with the drama itself and all the controversy surrounding the drama before and during its airing. However, ‘Time’ for the most part was not disappointing and I think it did the best that it could given its circumstances. You can still join me in my recaps for other dramas ‘100 Days My Prince’ and ‘The Ghost Detective.’ Until then, take care 🙂
Time (시간): Episode 16 & Final Recap
Ji-hyun reveals to the public the actions and wrongdoings of W Group and Chae-Ah. She shares via live stream that her sister, mother, and Soo-ho were cheated and that the truths to their deaths were never revealed. That’s why she’s now taking the initiative to finally reveal everything herself once and for all. During the public speech, Chae-Ah is exposed for having taken part in Ji-eun’s death so she confesses her faults. She begs on her knees for forgiveness from Ji-hyun and will take any responsibility for her actions. Prior to Soo-ho’s death, she was indifferent and careless about the pain that Ji-hyun was facing. However, it wasn’t until he passed away that Chae-Ah finally empathized with Ji-hyun, hence, her changed behavior.
Ji-hyun forgives Chae-Ah, but she’s not quite done yet. The person she wants to confront the most is Soo-ho’s father. Unlike him, Soo-ho actually cared about Ji-hyun and wanted to help her reveal the truth. He sympathized with her and went out of his own way to help her. She encourages Soo-ho’s father to do the same. Many things can be bought with money, but there’s one thing money can’t buy: the truth. Soo-ho’s dad stays silent and walks away without saying a word. However, everyone else won’t let him go so easily and they surround him.
Ji-hyun and Chae-Ah have some lunch with each other. They first discuss about Min-seok who Chae-Ah promises will hold accountable and responsible for his actions. Chae-Ah’s changed behavior enlightens Ji-hyun and she admits that she can trust Chae-Ah a little bit more now. Before leaving, Chae-Ah hands Ji-hyun the same exact pen she gave Min-seok when they used to still be together.
Protests for the arrest of Soo-ho’s dad spreads after Ji-hyun’s public event. Dad assumes he can make an attack on Ji-hyun first before prosecutors get to him, but it’s too late. Prosecutors take Dad in for interrogation and does the same with Chae-Ah. Ji-eun’s friend Yuri as well as Ji-hyun watches the news report about the arrests.
The trial for the investigation of Soo-ho’s dad takes place. Dad’s legal team argues that Min-seok and Ji-hyun framed Dad primarily for money. It was never their intent to discover the truth about Soo-ho’s death like they claim it was. If they didn’t do it for the money, then where is the money? Min-seok ran away with the ten million dollars. However, at that moment, Min-seok marches into the court room with evidence of the $10 million dollars. He has it and he never fled with it.
Min-seok is then interrogated as a witness in the trial. He admits to turning himself in because he’s tired of always being on the run. He’s willing to confess to everything both the Chairman and Dae-chul has done up until now to cover up the truth.
During the break, Dad learns that Lawyer Dae-chul has confessed to all the demands and orders that Dad gave him. This stresses him and his family out, but Dad isn’t willing to go down without a fight. He’s going to protect himself and his foundation somehow.
Chae-Ah is brought in next to test as a witness. She describes the account of what happened the night that Ji-eun died in the hotel pool and about the fire incident that killed Kang In-bum. However, Chae-Ah makes a grand confession and comments that Kang In-bum isn’t actually dead. She just wanted people to believe he was dead because she thought it would cover up her tracks. Ji-hyun then learns from Yuri herself that Kang In-bum has returned to Korea and has been keeping contact with her because he wants to start his prostitution business again. Ji-hyun then asks Yuri for a favor.
Kang In-bum is brought in for questioning as well and repeatedly denies any accusations of murder against Tae-sung and Ji-hyun’s Mom. He never did such a thing although all evidence points to him. Meanwhile, Min-seok is brought in for another day of interrogation and admits all his faults. However, he can’t bring himself to admit that he attempted to murder Ji-hyun like he was ordered by Dad to do. It’s true that Min-seok tried to silence Ji-hyun, but it was never his intentions to kill Ji-hyun.
Dad is up next in the trial. He continues to deny any involvement with all the incidents and argues that he is innocent in all of this. However, the court finds him guilty and he is sentenced to 10 years in prison. His lawyer Dae-chul is sentenced to 5 years in prison while Kang In-bum receives life in prison as his punishment. As for Min-seok, he’s sentenced to 15 years in jail while Chae-Ah receives 3 years imprisonment and 5 years on probation.
With the trial having concluded, Ji-hyun is now able to rest and relax for a bit. She’s reminded of Soo-ho in the smallest ways whether it’s feeding his pet turtle or having Bok-gyu and Young-hee come over to pack his belongings into boxes. They all tear up at the thought of Soo-ho, but Young-hee reminds them all to think of good memories with Soo-ho. That way, they can think about him forever and not feel as regretful or sad about his passing.
The loneliness gets to Ji-hyun and she’s not too sure what she should do now. Who or what she should be living for now that the fight is over? She stands at the same rooftop where she and Soo-ho had once stood on when he was still alive. Ji-hyun was close to jumping off the building, but was eventually held back thanks to Soo-ho. Now without Soo-ho to stop her, Ji-hyun can jump off the building if she wants. However, she doesn’t and she lays down on the rooftop while reflecting about life and death. Now that Soo-ho’s dead, there’s no one who will want to die with her.
A year passes and everyone has readjusted to life. Ji-hyun still meets with the restaurant staff to eat and catch up. During one occasion, they discuss about the gifts that Soo-ho gave them prior to his death and how much these gifts remind them of him. They all miss him dearly.
Ji-hyun visits Young-hee at work after lunch and stops by Young-hee’s shop to check up on her. Together with Bok-gyu, Young-hee has created her own business and things seem to be going well for the both of them. Aww.
Soo-chul’s gotten into some trouble and wants Dad to hand him the position as CEO of W Foundation so he can improve his image again. However, Dad remains stubborn and won’t allow the organization to be anyone else’s but his. That’s when Soo-chul’s Mom steps in to threaten Dad. He can either rot in prison forever or give Soo-chul the position and title. She has evidence of some ledger documents that could ruin Dad’s life forever if he chooses not to abide by their requests and conditions.
Chae-Ah pays Min-seok another visit in prison. During their meeting, Min-seok reveals to Chae-Ah some of his most honest and truthful thoughts during the seconds when he had his gun pointed at Ji-hyun. During the showdown with Dad, Min-seok had at one point aimed his gun at Ji-hyun’s head. He considered for a second the option of killing her and then running away with the $10 million dollars forever. However, it was never his intention to kill her as he went through with their original plans. It was just a thought that came to his head at that moment. Before bidding farewell, Min-seok adds that Chae-Ah doesn’t have to visit him anymore. She should move forward with her life and focus on herself.
Young-hee, Ji-hyun, and Bok-gyu all visit the same orphanage that Soo-ho and Ji-hyun visited the last time. They play some fun games and activities with the little kids and gifts them with some toys.
After the fun and exciting day, Ji-hyun returns home and takes some time to pen Soo-ho a letter, writing,
Dear my husband Soo-ho,
I’m doing well. I thought you might be worried about me. These days, 24 hours a day seems too short. I’m living my life to the fullest. I made myself a bucket list. Then, a whiff of a scent, a ray of sunlight, even a line in a song, suddenly reminds me of you… the moments I spent with you.
Like how the shining sun will one day burn up and extinguish, nothing lasts forever in this world, right?
Someone precious.. someone who is loved.. is bound to leave someone behind. We could live each day as if there’s no hope, but we could also live each moment in hope. I learned that through you. It was only for a short time, but I’ll remember you forever.. all of the moments you left with me..
Until I become a star, I’m going to continue living with hope while living the happiest time of my life.
Whether it’s making the special cookies that Ji-hyun baked for Soo-ho once before or visiting Soo-ho’s burial site right next to his mother’s or visiting the orphanage, Ji-hyun is reminded of Soo-ho where ever she goes or whatever she does.
With the letter that she writes for Soo-ho, Ji-hyun folds it into a paper airplane and throws it from the rooftop of the building. As she watches the paper airplane fly on its fragile wings, she tears up and thinks about Soo-ho.
In time, Ji-hyun will heal – all thanks to Soo-ho.
Gaaaah, it’s ended. I really don’t know what to say about this drama; it’s left me speechless throughout its entire airing in a good way. The ending wrapped up everything the way that it should have and that we were expecting so nothing about the ending was too surprising. I’m glad that the drama ended the way that it did; justice was finally served and Ji-hyun can finally move forward with her life like how she had wanted.
We knew that Dad, Chae-Ah, Min-seok, and everyone else who played a role in the death of Ji-eun, Mom, and Soo-ho were going to be convicted and punished in the end. There was no way they were going to be able to escape and run free. It was expected so I wasn’t as surprised with the ending to this drama. Though Dad still remained stubborn to the end, he eventually had to learn the hard way that power and money can only take you so far. He also learned that he can’t always get whatever he wants. He might have been able to corrupt the system before, but he can no longer do that with the powerful force that is Ji-hyun. Like Ji-hyun commented, there are some things money cannot buy and that one thing is the truth. Even until the very last minute, he was threatened by Soo-chul’s Mom who threatened to reveal the truth about W Foundation to the public. Things will come and go, but the truth will always remain.
I’ll admit that it felt a little weird watching Chae-Ah and Min-seok be punished for their wrongdoings just because the last couple of episodes showed them somewhat making up for their actions by teaming up with Ji-hyun. However, we were reminded that they did take part in Ji-eun and Mom’s deaths and were involved in it so they should receive the consequences for their actions. It was only the right and most fair thing to do so even if they did cooperate with Ji-hyun and genuinely felt guilty for their actions; they must own up to their mistakes and wrongdoings. It should be a good learning lesson and experience for them and teach them to never do such things again in the future.
The last half hour of this finale episode after the conclusion of the trial was slow but sleek and mellow and bittersweet. A part of me was relieved and glad that the trial concluded with everyone receiving the necessary punishments that they deserved. Another part of me was also so sad for Ji-hyun who then had to learn to adapt to her new lifestyle without her loved ones there with her. She was so occupied all this time in fighting for justice that now that she’s finally achieved that she isn’t so sure what to do after. She can finally relax and rest which are both things which she was never able to do before. This unfamiliar feeling of calm and peace were so foreign to her and it’s a feeling she’s going to take a long time in adjusting to, but that will eventually start to feel familiar. Ji-hyun is learning to move forward with her new life and is adjusting to new situations. Sure, it won’t be easy and it’s something she’ll probably deal with for the rest of her life, but she is ultimately living for Ji-eun, Mom, and Soo-ho. That’s her purpose for staying alive.
Even with the departure of main character Soo-ho, the drama still maintained its focus on the primary plot which was Ji-hyun’s fight in revealing the truth about Mom and Ji-eun’s death. It was a good thing that the drama had something else going on other than Soo-ho’s sub-plot. Even though his passing was unfortunate and sad and still a bit disappointing (given that he died due to drowning and not cancer like how he was supposed to), the drama stayed true to its roots and incorporated his death into the overall premise smoothly. You never really felt like his death was random or sudden (even though it actually was because the drama cut him out a lot earlier than planned), and we gained a sense of what things would have been like had Soo-ho died later on in the drama as planned. Soo-ho was going to die anyways; with his cancer, he was never going to actually live until the very end. We witnessed a little bit of what this would have been like during this episode when Ji-hyun grieved over his death. She finally had the time to sit down and process his death, and a part of me believes that this was the original ending to the drama anyways. Soo-ho was going to die sooner or later and Ji-hyun was going to mourn over his death. The drama never digressed or moved away from its original plot; it stayed true to its roots all the way until the very end.
Although I was overall satisfied with how the story resumed even with Soo-ho’s early departure from the drama, another part of me is also so curious as to what would have happened had Soo-ho still been alive. Would Min-seok, Chae-Ah, and Ji-hyun have worked together like they did after his death, or would it have simply just been Soo-ho and Ji-hyun working together to solve her sister and Mom’s case? I think this is how you could tell that the writing for this drama was stable and consistent. The drama was able to work its way around Soo-ho’s early exit from the show by making the three remaining characters work together, but would things have been like this if Soo-ho didn’t leave so early? Would Chae-Ah have turned herself in eventually if it wasn’t for Soo-ho’s death? There are so many questions regarding Soo-ho’s early departure that makes me ponder what kind of drama ‘Time’ would be if Soo-ho was alive a little bit longer. It’s such a shame Soo-ho had to leave and there was nothing wrong with that either, but his character was central to all of this. The endless possibilities will always be there, and we’ll never know how the drama would have truly unfolded.
Overall, this drama was actually pretty decent and impressive to me. ‘Time’ was less about the end results but more about the journey and process and the drama definitely showed us that. The ending to the drama was as expected, but it was the process of watching Ji-hyun defeat all her enemies that was the drama’s main focus. Granted, there were times when things seemed hopeless or when all the antagonists just kept on winning, but eventually the truth prevailed and Ji-hyun won. I’m also glad that in the process of watching Ji-hyun battle all her enemies, she had a change in plans and switched up her personality. That was a shocking and pleasant change that exemplified not only her intelligence and quick thinking, but also just a nice change to the pace of the drama. There was only so much the drama could do using Ji-hyun’s original method which required her to be naive, trusting, and persistent. She was still persistent, but just in a more redefined and sophisticated way and I liked that.
The directing to ‘Time’ was also absolutely beautiful and I think that’s one of the biggest reasons as to why this drama was so enjoyable for me. When you really sit back and reflect on the drama, you realize that there’s not too much going on. However, you’re still glued to the screen and invested in watching what happens because the directing is gripping and engaging and knows how to keep you interested. The directing was truly on another level and so so beautiful to watch. I really appreciated all the colors and the different ways of filming and just the overall cinematography. ‘Time’ might not have been the most unique or distinctive drama to watch, but it sure was beautiful and intriguing and that was more than enough for me to stay.
I also really have to give our cast credit as well for making this drama as enjoyable as it was. We all know Kim Jung-hyun was a talented actor prior to ‘Time’ and he definitely showcased that talent during his time in the drama, but he was truly phenomenal in here. I will never forget the feeling I had when I first watched the teaser to ‘Time’ because I just remembered feeling so excited and impressed by his melodramatic acting. He suits these more serious and sophisticated dramas and I’m not so sure what his next plans are, but I would like to see Kim Jung-hyun in another drama similar to this one again (just maybe not as severe of a character). He made this drama and I’m not sure if any other actor would have brought as much life into Cheon Soo-ho as Kim Jung-hyun did. Once again, it’s such a shame he had to leave the drama early, but I don’t blame him and I’m just glad Kim Jung-hyun played this character for the time that he did.
Seohyun was also another huge factor in the success of this drama and I really have to give it to her for being able to hold things down until the very end. She already had to play such a difficult, challenging, and serious character prior to Soo-ho’s death, but was responsible in keeping things together when he suddenly died. The drama was not the easiest to film and to act, but Seohyun did a tremendous job from the very beginning to the very end. She held things together as the main character when Soo-ho passed away and I truly commend her for her work. I also have to add that prior to her past projects, Seohyun improved tremendously in ‘Time.’ She’s been in a few acting projects before, but ‘Time’ is probably one of her biggest projects yet where she really had to carry the drama herself. There was probably a lot of pressure especially after Kim Jung-hyun’s exit from the drama, but she still held it together and did her very best until the end. Seohyun is truly such a hard-working and determined woman with lots of potential in the future. ‘Time’ showed us this potential and I’m glad that Seohyun’s proven her worth with this drama.
I’ll admit that I got a little teary-eyed towards the very end of this episode when Ji-hyun was shown occupying her time with different activities that reminded her of Soo-ho. It was so realistic and relatable on many different levels. It hurt even more while reading the letter that she wrote for Soo-ho. There were quite a few things in this episode that I think could be metaphorical or representative of Soo-ho and Ji-hyun’s relationship, such as the letters or the cookies or the orphanage. Soo-ho wrote everyone letters before he died; Ji-hyun wrote him a letter back to signify her progress and her effort to move forward in life. The rooftop where she stood and threw the letter is also another place that represented Soo-ho and Ji-hyun’s relationship. By throwing the letter off the rooftop, Ji-hyun is somewhat indicating that she’s okay now. She’s learning to move forward with her life and to live her life with hope because that was what Soo-ho essentially taught her.
It’s not that she’s forgetting about Soo-ho or that she no longer loves him; she will always remember him even if the time they had together was short and he will always remain in her heart. Ji-hyun’s love for Soo-ho will be endless; the only difference now is that she’s learning to accept and live her new life with him where he’s no longer physically present. Soo-ho might not physically be there to taste her cookies anymore or to visit the orphanage with her, but he will always be with her in many other ways. He’ll be there when Ji-hyun is going through rough times and needs words of support or encouragement or he’ll be there when she’s lost and uncertain as to what to do. Soo-ho and Ji-hyun has always been that pillar of support for each other and that extends even beyond the afterlife. Soo-ho will always be present in Ji-hyun’s life, in this lifetime and the next lifetime too.
It’s going to be weird to no longer receive updates about this drama now that it’s ended. ‘Time’ wasn’t a drama that I anticipated watching every week, but I was always impressed and satisfied with each episode that aired when I did sit down to watch it. I’m definitely going to miss just how mellow but intense and serious it was with a little of comedy sprinkled in there during some moments. ‘Time’ was a drama that I had no expectations for and almost didn’t watch, but that I’m glad I ultimately gave a chance. It impressed me in many different ways and just like Ji-hyun felt about Soo-ho, ‘Time’ is a drama that I’ll keep in my heart and think about from time to time too.
Note: 4 extra screenshots from this finale episode. Enjoy 🙂