We’ve finally reached the finale for this long, wild, and entertaining drama. Things wrap up for all our characters and they finally receive the closure that they’ve been yearning for this entire time. Though there might have been many challenges and risks and scars throughout this journey, the end results are more than enough to help them accept their reality and move forward in their lives.
Note: I’d just like to thank everyone for joining me in this recapping journey of ‘Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter.’ Though I might not have been as impressed with it, it was an interesting drama for a variety of reasons and I’m happy to have just watched a show with Yoon Hyun-min, Moon Chae-won, and Seo Ji-hoon together.
Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter: Episode 16 & Final Recap
Ok-nam eventually retrieves her fairy clothes and gives her husband, Kim Geum, a sweet kiss on the lips in happiness. Although Kim Geum pleads for Ok-nam not to return to fairyland, she and Jeom-dol eventually leave to go back home. So Kim Geum is left behind in the human realm with Jeom-soon. She accompanies Kim Geum during a fansign event for her book that was published. They take a photo with Doctor Lee who then sends it to Yi-hyun. Speaking of Yi-hyun, he resigned from working at the university and is doing volunteer work in the countryside. Meanwhile, the coffee truck on campus is now taken care of by Master Kaldi who originally taught Ok-nam how to brew coffee. Doctor Lee no longer feels anxious or nervous about Yi-hyun as she just feels relieved to finally be reunited with him after he was gone at Mount Gyeryong for a few days.
Though Ok-nam is gone, Kim Geum still gets to spend time with Jeom-soon. They stop by a food truck near the Han River to have some sausage, but Jeom-soon is soon approached by someone unexpected. It’s none other than Gyeong-sul who wants to talk to her to ask for her forgiveness. After the incident in Mount Gyeryong, Gyeong-sul seeked treatment and assistance from Doctor Lee. He then apologized for his wrongdoings and was able to recover. Now that he is aware of what he’s done wrong, he asks for Jeom-soon’s forgiveness. Of course, she forgives him and the two make up.
Kim Geum sits near the river by himself and waits for Jeom-soon. While waiting for Jeom-soon, he too receives a surprise visit from Ok-nam and Jeom-dol. They’ve both returned to the human realm after a year (a day in fairyland but a year in the human realm) to reunite with Kim Geum. Yaaay! Kim Geum takes them home where they also reunite with Jeom-soon (yay, the whole family is back together!). Since Ok-nam and Jeom-dol are in Seoul visiting, Kim Geum suggests they can sleep in his room while Kim Geum will sleep in Yi-hyun’s room. Kim Geum updates Ok-nam about Yi-hyun’s volunteer work and how they haven’t been keeping contact with each other. However, Ok-nam reassures him that Yi-hyun will reach out when he’s ready.
With that, the family separates to grab some sleep. While laying in Yi-hyun’s room, Kim Geum is unable to fall asleep. All he can think about is Ok-nam. Just like how he couldn’t fall asleep the night he first met Ok-nam, Kim Geum too has trouble sleeping after reuniting with his wife. He distracts himself by staring at the ring box he has prepared for Ok-nam. The next morning, Ok-nam and Kim Geum head to campus to visit the coffee truck. There, they meet Master Kaldi who is present at the truck brewing some coffee. After creating some small talk, Ok-nam asks to work at the coffee truck which Master Kaldi permits. Customers are elated to see Grandma Ok-nam at the coffee shop again while Doctor Lee stops by to take a photo with Ok-nam. She assumes this will be the only way to get Yi-hyun to respond back to her texts.
And of course, this does raise Yi-hyun’s interest after he receives the photo of Doctor Lee and Ok-nam together. Though he likes the coat that Doctor Lee had gifted him, he’s more intrigued by the photo. Back in Seoul, Kim Geum and Ok-nam have a dinner date with each other. Kim Geum is nervous as he plans on proposing to Ok-nam. The two are stunned by the other’s beautiful appearance (and I am too) and have some dinner with each other. Ok-nam then shares with Kim Geum her thoughts and feelings on her relationship with Kim Geum.
She doesn’t regret her decision of bathing at the waterfall in the human realm 700 years ago. If she could, she would do it all over again. That way, she would be Jeom-soon and Jeom-dol’s mother again and also get to meet Kim Geum like how she did in this lifetime. Kim Geum smiles in awe at the response and finally gathers the courage to propose to Ok-nam. He hands her the ring box which Ok-nam opens and is taken aback by.
The next morning, Fairy Oh and Wizard Park prep for the Chuseok Holidays. They also converse about Teacher Gu who they realize isn’t present with them. It turns out he’s busy on a trip with Mama Kim now that Ok-nam has returned to the human realm to take care of Kim Geum. In an earlier conversation, Mama Kim shared a story with Ok-nam about Kim Geum when he was a child. She thanks Ok-nam for liking her son and asks that she take good care of him in the future. Speaking of Kim Geum, he returns to the fairy cafe with some presents for everyone. He also gifts Ok-nam with some flowers and silently rejoices at the sight of the ring on Ok-nam’s fingers. Eeeeeek!
Kim Geum and Ok-nam head out for the lantern festival. While walking around, they come across Yi-hyun who is also at the festival. They exchange some friendly greetings then invite Yi-hyun over to the house for some fun (and a bath). While Yi-hyun takes a shower, Kim Geum heads outside to give Jeom-dol a gift. It’s the birch-wood top that son Jeom-dol had asked his father – Husband Bausae at the time – to buy him on his way back from work. However, since Husband Bausae died that day, he was never able to give Jeom-dol the toy. Now, Kim Geum is finally able to give Jeom-dol the top like how Jeom-dol had asked. But it’s too much for Jeom-dol and he doesn’t feel like he’s worthy of the gift for he hadn’t been the greatest brother to Jeom-soon back then. Kim Geum tears up at the news, but is interrupted by Yi-hyun who suggests they all have some wine.
While drinking some wine, Yi-hyun suggests Ok-nam and Kim Geum get married to each other again. However, they can do things a little different this time and have a more modern of a wedding. Yi-hyun will be more than happy to officiate their marriage and give his blessings to the couple. Ok-nam and Kim Geum are surprised by the suggestion, but they’re happy with it nonetheless. The next day, Yi-hyun sets out on another adventure. This time, he reunites with his mother at her church. The two break down into tears upon seeing each other as Yi-hyun’s mother had been longing to reunite with Yi-hyun again for the longest time.
While resting in the church, Yi-hyun encounters the Master of the Northern Star who reminds him that he can return to the immortal realm only once he has realized that the sky and earth are one and has overcome the physics of the man which Yi-hyun has accomplished. Yi-hyun sets out to visit Doctor Lee next who’s in her office. Since he’s leaving for Africa soon, he asks her to go with him. Doctor Lee simply shuts the door on Yi-hyun and ignores his request.
Wizard Park and Fairy Oh set up a cotton candy machine right next to the coffee truck on campus. They’re soon joined by Teacher Gu and Mama Kim who have returned from their trip. They all rejoice over Wizard Park’s ability to read, but that’s not the only thing they’re happy about. Yi-hyun stops by to pay them a visit before his trip to Africa. Ok-nam and Kim Geum too join in on the fun and Doctor Lee has all her bags and luggage ready to accompany Yi-hyun on the trip. Everyone gives Yi-hyun and Doctor Lee some last words of advice and support before they are to leave. However, they all take an adorable family photo first before going their own ways.
The drama then returns back to the moment when Yi-hyun was an orphan boy who was locked inside the shed. However, unlike what actually happened with how both the villager (who was reincarnated into Fairy Bausae) and the orphan boy died, this time the villager awakens to find the little boy smiling. Afterwards, scenes of Jeom-soon and Jeom-dol playing outside in the snow as well as a sweet interaction between Fairy Ok-nam and Fairy Izy smiling at each other in fairyland plays. All is well between everyone.
And that’s a wraaap! The final episode was cute and warm which was expected after the intense and wild roller coaster that was the last two episodes. This episode concluded all loose ends down to the smallest detail such as the birchwood top that Jeom-dol had asked his dad for 699 years ago. This episode had a little bit of everything for everyone which was nice to see.
I finally realized after watching the last two episodes that I really enjoyed watching Yi-hyun come to terms with his past and his present. I already mentioned this in my recap for episode 15, but I wished his journey to self-discovery and self-reflection was what the drama would have shown us this entire drama. That’s not to say that it wasn’t because in a sense, this drama was about Yi-hyun and Kim Geum’s process to learning about themselves in both the present and their previous lives. However, the storytelling just made things confusing and the framing device was what lead to the drama’s downfall. It’s unfortunate that the drama didn’t take advantage of what I assumed (and had hoped) was its original intention which was to showcase how Yi-hyun and Kim Geum learned about their relationship in their past reincarnations. It made for an interesting, complex, and engaging story when the drama finally did present to us details and context about their fairy lives in the last episode.
The drama led viewers to believe that it was going to center around Ok-nam’s search for her reincarnated husband when really it was everything but that. I think the drama itself might have even been confused as to what it was about or what it was trying to do and convey. Even when Ok-nam moved to Seoul in hopes of having a better chance of finding her reincarnated husband, things still stalled and she never really achieved anything. If the drama was going to pretend to focus on Ok-nam’s husband search, it should have done so in a more entertaining, fun, and logical way. Instead, we went around in circles and achieved nothing. Plus, when Kim Geum, Ok-nam, and Yi-hyun did find out that Kim Geum was the reincarnated husband, it felt underwhelming, anti-climatic, and too straight-forward. But of course, you were exhausted with the husband search by that time and didn’t really care anymore. Plus, all the hints the drama gave to viewers made you conclude that Kim Geum was the reincarnated husband before it told you explicitly. Similar to the husband premise in the ‘Reply’ series, ‘Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter’ followed a similar route by leading viewers
with false hope on a false lead and completely changing directions at the very end (I’m still not over ‘Reply 1994’ LOL). The man who we assumed was the reincarnated husband was not the reincarnated husband by the end of it all. I shouldn’t have been surprised that Yi-hyun was not the end game, but why do I feel a bit disappointed that it wasn’t him? Maybe I’m just being super biased.
The drama presented many different things to us and made it a confusing watch, but the content was still enjoyable. So while I might not have liked the storytelling and the execution and the CGI editing, I liked watching Ok-nam interact with both Yi-hyun and Kim Geum or everyone hang out with each other like how they did in the last ten minutes of this episode (I wished we had gotten more of that!). Of course, there were quite a few things that was unnecessary (and even a little dreadful to watch) such as all the jokes which felt out of place or the constant bickering between Wizard Park and Teacher Gu (and even Kim Geum’s two labmates) or Gyeong-sul’s storyline. Hell, even the trio’s earlier scenes in the drama felt completely different from Ok-nam’s storyline and was distracting to watch. However, eventually, the drama was able to wring everything together and get all our characters to be connected somehow. That was refreshing.
I also really liked how the drama paid attention to small details, such as the birchwood top scene in this episode between Kim Geum and Jeom-dol. I teared up while watching this scene because of how heart-warming and moving it was. For the Kim Geum who was unable to give his son the toy his son wanted in his past life, he made it up by giving him the toy in his next life. Kim Geum loved his son so dearly and wanted to make up for his actions that he made sure to give his son that piece of toy when he remembered. Gaaah, that part was so heart-wrenching and bittersweet for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was just the fact that Husband Bausae couldn’t give Jeom-dol the toy at first because he unexpectedly passed away that clenches your heart and makes you wanna cry. However, just knowing that Kim Geum never forgot about that moment and made sure to give Jeom-dol the toy he always wanted warms your heart and makes you smile (with tears). It was as if the drama was trying to convey to us with that scene that the things that can’t be done in one’s previous life can always be done in the next life; if not in this lifetime, then the next. The scene with Jeom-dol and Kim Geum was so touching and moved me in a way I had never ever felt about any other scene in this drama. That scene easily wins as my favorite scene in this entire drama.
The last episode did a fine job in explaining everything about Kim Geum and Yi-hyun’s lives as Fairy Izy and Fairy Bausae and the actions that lead to their current situation so this episode was focused on the aftermath of it all. It was nice to just see everyone doing their own thing after resolving the predicament that is Yi-hyun’s hate, anger, and resentment. I also liked that he was shown himself the consequences of his actions and what his anger and hate did to both him and Kim Geum in their reincarnations as Fairy Izy and Bausae. What’s a better way to teach someone a lesson than to have them see it for themselves? You can tell someone to forgive and forget and to simply move on, but things probably won’t change until they witness the consequences for their attitude and notions. That’s why even though the last few episodes had A LOT going on, I was satisfied with how things unfolded. Yi-hyun learned his lesson, let go of his pent-up anger, and moved forward in his life like how he needed to. He changed for the better and it made everything better for everyone else around him as well.
While this drama was far from perfect, there were quite a few things about it that was charming and fun. Still, my biggest wish is to see Moon Chae-won (as well as Yoon Hyun-min and Seo Ji-hoon) in a much better project next time. The three are so talented and have so much potential, but their skills were wasted in this drama. I sincerely hope to see Moon Chae-won in dramas like ‘Innocent Man’ and ‘Good Doctor’ where both she and the drama was good all around. Though I like Yoon Hyun-min and Seo Ji-hoon a lot, I think the casting for this drama might have also been a little awkward. I just couldn’t feel the chemistry between Seo Ji-hoon and Moon Chae-won and maybe their age difference played a part in that (and maybe it was also because I’m aware myself of their age difference). Nonetheless, I think our cast members worked well with what they got and did the best that they could. They receive lots of applauses, bonus points, and love from me for being able to act in a drama like ‘Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter’ as it probably wasn’t the easiest thing to do (I don’t know what was more painful – acting in the drama or watching the drama as a viewer LOL).
I will most likely never re-watch this drama for the confusing and frustrating watch that it was already the first time around. I will also be a lot more careful and cautious around projects from this writer or anything Moon Chae-won related (sorry Moon Chae-won! As much as I love you, your last few works have not been the best!). However, I did enjoy some parts about this drama and there were a few things about it that touched my heart. Unlike Fairy Bausae who lost all his memories before reincarnating into Husband Bausae, I probably won’t need to erase all my memories of this drama because of how naturally it’ll disappear from my mind. ‘Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter’, you were fun while you lasted.
Bonus: Extra screenshots from the final episode~