And it’s the finale for our characters! Everything that our characters have been working for has come down to this. How will Hong-jo and Sol-Ah’s relationship remain afloat? Will things change or stay the same for them? What will become of our characters and will they get their happy endings?
Note: I’d just like to give a quick shoutout to everyone who’s joined me in my recap journey to ‘Meow, the Secret Boy’ also known as ‘Welcome.’ Recapping this show was easy and interesting and while I’ll miss recapping all the humorous, ridiculous, and adorable moments from the drama, I do have to admit that I’m ready for another recapping journey with another series. If you have any suggestions on a drama you would like to be recapped (preferably a drama airing live at the moment), please do let me know! In the meantime, you can join me in my recaps for currently airing drama ‘Find Me in Your Memory.’
Meow, the Secret Boy: Episode 12 & Final Recap
Sol-Ah wrestles with the cat man to protect cat Hong-jo who doesn’t seem to be so well. While fighting the cat man, Sol-Ah accidentally drops cat Hong-jo and is then held hostage by the cat man who demands for cat Hong-jo to transform into a human being. Hong-jo’s done it before, he can do it once again if he wants to protect Sol-Ah’s life, right? The cat man eventually manages to grab cat Hong-jo and runs to his car right after. However, Sol-Ah isn’t giving up so easily and she too jumps into the same car. Jae-sun witnesses the chaos shortly afterwards and chases after the car as well. The wrestling resumes even inside of the car as the cat man and Sol-Ah fight over possession of cat Hong-jo. Eventually, the car comes to a halt when another vehicle is front of them. Unbeknownst to Sol-Ah, it’s Doo-sik and Ji-eun who are in the car in front of them! Haha. The couple attempt to determine the issue with their car until they notice Sol-Ah jump out of the cat man’s vehicle with cat Hong-jo in her arms. As the couple and Jae-sun hurry to Sol-Ah, the cat man escapes out of his car and into a dark alleyway. There, he encounters human Hong-jo who reiterates to the guy that he plans to wait for Sol-Ah. His only focus is on her. Sol-Ah follows the man into the alleyway and gives him a good punch in the face. With cat man down, Sol-Ah grabs cat Hong-jo and takes him to the veterinarian.
The veterinarian informs Sol-Ah about the physical conditions that cat Hong-jo is suffering from. After giving her some advice on how to better take care of cat Hong-jo, Sol-Ah, Jae-sun, Doo-sik, and Ji-eun all reconvene at her house. Cat Hong-jo transforms into human Hong-jo in front of everyone, but it’s Doo-sik who’s the most shocked as everyone else in the room was already well aware of Hong-jo’s ability to transform. Haha. Eventually, our couple and Jae-sun exit the house to give Sol-Ah and Hong-jo some time together. Sol-Ah reassures Hong-jo not to worry about her and instead encourages him to stay as a cat for the meantime. He must be exhausted which is why he hasn’t been able to stay in human form for long.
Jae-sun’s father unfortunately passes away and a funeral is held for him. Sol-Ah attends the funeral to pay her respect and chats with Jae-sun during a break at the funeral. Jae-sun expresses his regret in not spending more time with his dad. He wishes he had returned to him much earlier. Time truly does not wait for anyone, just like how it didn’t wait for Jae-sun’s dad and also will not wait for Hong-jo. When the subject shifts to Hong-jo, Jae-sun reveals the cold and harsh reality to Sol-Ah. Hong-jo might not be able to transform any longer for his time with Sol-Ah is running out. He’s already spent so much of his time just waiting for Sol-Ah. Sol-Ah breaks down into tears upon hearing Jae-sun’s comments and observations. She especially feels apologetic and guilty for brushing Hong-jo away the other day when he was waiting for her at the bus stop. Even though Jae-sun was the one who suffered a loss, it’s Sol-Ah who is being comforted by Jae-sun. When Sol-Ah returns home, she apologizes to cat Hong-jo in tears.
The next day, Sol-Ah hands in her resignation letter to CEO Park. She’s quitting, not because of financial issues but because of time. She needs more time. And now that Sol-Ah does have more time, she can finally do all the things that she’s ever wanted to do, like read more books and exercise and eat healthy. However, the first thing she does is well… sleep and even Hong-jo can’t get her to stay awake. Hahaha, too cute and funny! Sol-Ah ends up staying inside for the next few days and all she does is lie down or sleep. Hong-jo points out Sol-Ah’s actions to her and encourages her to go out. However, there’s a reason for why Sol-Ah’s stayed home the past few days. She needs to sleep in order to get Hong-jo to sleep. She drags Hong-jo to lay down with her on the couch and together, the two attempt to sleep. But while human Hong-jo lays sound asleep, Sol-Ah breaks down while laying next to him. She struggles to come to terms with the fact that Hong-jo doesn’t have much time with her left. She wishes that his time would slow down so that he can stay with her a little bit longer.
Sol-Ah almost gives up on her dreams of being a webtoon artist. She politely turns down an interview with the webtoon manager until Hong-jo urges her to reschedule the interview again. While Sol-Ah prepares for the interview, Hong-jo spends time with Jae-sun at his cafe. He feels apologetic to Sol-Ah who seems to be giving up everything to spend more time with him. This wasn’t what he envisioned for her. Hong-jo understands that his time as a human is getting shorter and shorter, but he’s still afraid of what is to come. He just wanted to hold Sol-Ah and to be there with her, but it seems like that won’t be possible for much longer. Jae-sun shows his support for Hong-jo and is willing to do anything for Hong-jo to make him feel better. Aww, I love the bromance.
Hong-jo assists Sol-Ah with finding an outfit to wear for her interview. She remains reluctant in attending the interview and jokes that she can just stay home, but Hong-jo won’t let her. He heads to the interview with her to show her his support. While Sol-Ah is being interviewed, Hong-jo heads to a department store nearby to purchase Sol-Ah a pretty necklace. However, Sol-Ah becomes distracted and anxious when she doesn’t see Hong-jo in the same room as her. She stops the interview abruptly to search for Hong-jo. Eventually, she finds him outside as he walks back to the room that the interview was in and presents the necklace to Sol-Ah. With Sol-Ah cutting the interview off, it doesn’t seem like she will get a second chance. That night, Sol-Ah encourages Hong-jo to get some sleep once again. She doesn’t want him to get sick. Before falling asleep which means transforming back into a cat, human Hong-jo hands Sol-Ah the necklace he purchased for her earlier that day. Just like how she got him a collar to declare him as her cat, he declares Sol-Ah as his owner by giving her the necklace. He warns her that he might fall asleep forever with this last transformation, but Sol-Ah shouldn’t worry. No matter how far they are apart, they’ll always have each other and will find their way back to each other. He also voices his confidence in Sol-Ah and her ability to achieve all that she wants to do. Hong-jo puts the necklace on her and then transforms into a cat to get some sleep. Aww, I’m gonna cry.
The next day, Sol-Ah works on her webtoon, but she can’t seem to focus. She suggests to cat Hong-jo that they go out and get some snacks, but cat Hong-jo stays relaxed on her bed. Right at that moment, Doo-sik, Jae-sun, and Ji-eun pay a visit to Sol-Ah and Hong-jo. When asked about the progress of her webtoon, Sol-Ah shares that she’s uncertain as to how to end the webtoon. She can’t imagine the end of a cat’s life. Jae-sun suggests that she end her webtoon by bringing it back to the very first moment she met cat Hong-jo. How did she feel when she first interacted with the cat?
Later on that day, Hong-jo wakes up from her nap to find human Hong-jo in front of her. With the limited amount of time they have left, they spend their last remaining moments together at the same exact bench where they first met. Hong-jo warns Sol-Ah that it’ll be his last time transforming into a human being. There’s no definite way to know, but he just has a feeling. Sol-Ah remains in denial and claims that they can drink coffee like how they used to in order to maintain Hong-jo’s human form, but he sits her down to help her confront the truth. Even though Hong-jo will no longer be a human being which means he won’t be able to hug, hold, or talk to Sol-Ah any longer, he’ll remain by her side as a cat. He’ll stay with her for as long as he can. Sol-Ah breaks down into tears upon hearing Hong-jo’s bittersweet words. Hong-jo was able to transform into a human being as long as he was with Sol-Ah so if she stays with him and hugs him, he won’t go back to being a cat right? However, it doesn’t work like that and Hong-jo will return to a cat eventually. Sol-Ah wishes for Hong-jo to stay as a human being, but it’s okay if he doesn’t. Everything is okay to her as long he’s fine and not sick. And just like Hong-jo, Sol-Ah will wait for Hong-jo for as long as it takes. She keeps the hope alive and suggests that they visit the ocean and the rooftop of their house the next few days if Hong-jo still maintains his transformation as a human being. They share one last kiss with each other.
Two years pass by. While Jae-sun is still the owner of his cafe, our Sol-Ah is now a successful author of her first book ‘Welcome.’ She heads to a fansigning event for her new book and is greeted by many excited fans. As for Ji-eun and Doo-sik, the couple is still working at the same graphic design company. In a meeting with some clients, Ji-eun successfully presents her company’s ideas to the clients. Everyone is proud of Ji-eun, but Doo-sik is the proudest one in the room. Hehe. After the meeting, Doo-sik, Ji-eun, and their coworkers head to Sol-Ah’s event to show her their support. Even Jae-sun stops by the event even though he’s a bit late. He proposes to grab dinner with Sol-Ah, but she already has plans to head straight back home to be reunited with cat Hong-jo. Even though Hong-jo is now a cat, he still seems happy and that makes Sol-Ah happy.
And so Sol-Ah counts down the days until Hong-jo returns as a human being. She doesn’t mind waiting even if Hong-jo was to return as an old, wrinkly man. She would still be able to recognize him right away. After spending some time at the bench where she and human Hong-jo had their last interaction, she heads back home. At first, it seems as if nothing’s changed. Cat Hong-jo remains in her house and waits for her in her bedroom. However, it’s not until Sol-Ah walks away to the living room that she senses that something’s different. Something’s changed. The pages in her art book flips to what would be the ending to her webtoon and her red scarf falls to the floor. When Sol-Ah turns around, she slowly makes her way back to the kitchen and discovers human Hong-jo standing there sporting her red scarf. Her eyes immediately lit up and with a bright smile on her face, she welcomes him exactly like how he greeted her every time in the past. Human Hong-jo smiles back at Sol-Ah. Just like how she’s been waiting for him, he too has been waiting for her.
AND THAT’S ITTTTTT! THAT’S ITTTTTTT! I’m not that surprised by the ending given that the drama is a fluffy, light, and adorable rom-com so it was expected for there to be a happy ending of some sort. Although it doesn’t necessarily make much sense to me just how Hong-jo was able to return as a human being after two years (unless I missed out on something and wasn’t paying enough attention), I’m just glad that he’s back. He can finally hug, hold, talk, and most importantly, kiss Sol-Ah like how he and she both desperately wanted. I also liked the little touches that the drama continually added throughout the drama, such as the red scarf or the yellow umbrella that we saw in the last episode. Everything comes full circle for our characters and the consistency remains strong. All the waiting for the both Sol-Ah and Hong-jo was worth it and they were able to reunite with each other after keeping the hope and optimism alive.
Moving past Hong-jo’s return as a human being, I generally enjoyed the time jump. It wasn’t much to the drama, but I liked how we got to witness character development after those two years. Sol-Ah was able to achieve her dreams of becoming a well-known webtoon artist and she even published her first book. Ji-eun’s character development was by far the best one with the way that she was able to speak out loud and confidently and boldly present in a big meeting with the company’s clients. Out of all the characters in this show, Ji-eun has to probably be my favorite one. I can see little hints of myself in her and I loved how she was able to speak her voice and put her foot down as the show evolved and as she was placed into situations where she was misunderstood. Ji-eun used to be quiet, reserved, and shy and while she still possesses those characteristics to an extent, she is also bolder, more confident, and more out-spoken now. She did this mainly on her own, but she also did it with some support and push from Doo-sik.
‘Meow, the Secret Boy’ was always a simple drama to begin with so it’s not like the drama had a lot to go off of. The premise centered around a cat who was able to transform into a human being because of a person he was destined to be with. I would be lying if I said that I was completely fascinated and engaged with this show, because in all honesty, I wasn’t. I wasn’t always intrigued with the show and often times I found myself distracted because of how simple the drama was. There wasn’t enough substance to it for me to be interested. However, there were moments in each episode that moved me or made me feel touched and the last episode was no exception. It was heartbreaking to watch Sol-Ah be in so much denial about Hong-jo’s last remaining moments as a human being. Whereas Hong-jo already had enough time to process and accept his shortened time because 1) this was something he was already trying to bring to Sol-Ah’s attention and 2) he became aware of this much earlier than Sol-Ah did, Sol-Ah had a lot more trouble coming to terms with everything because she was busy focusing on other things. She withdrew from these activities as we saw in this episode to make up for the lost time she had with Hong-jo, but as the two learned, time cannot be stopped and there was nothing she could do to change anything. Sol-Ah had no choice but to confront her biggest fear which was the inability to interact and spend time with a human Hong-jo. It was the scene with Hong-jo and Sol-Ah at the bench in particular that really got to me. Sol-Ah’s desperate attempt to keep Hong-jo in his human form by hugging him and clinging onto him or the way she cried knowing that it would be their last time interacting that way broke my heart.
The other scene was when the two were on the couch at their house and Hong-jo warned Sol-Ah that his next transformation as a cat could be the defining moment where he would sleep forever. I think there’s just something about farewells and goodbye’s that gets to me every time. Maybe it’s because we witnessed Sol-Ah not want to take care of Hong-jo initially at first then turned into someone who formed such a strong connection with him overtime that the almost farewell in this episode made me want to cry. I loved watching the relationship development between Hong-jo and Sol-Ah that I too didn’t want to see them separate. Even though I knew that Hong-jo wasn’t going anywhere and would still be by Sol-Ah’s side just as a cat, I still got sad hearing his last words as a human being. He broke not only Sol-Ah’s heart but mine as well.
‘Meow, the Secret Boy’ is one of those webcomics that probably sounded better on paper than onscreen. While I think our cast did the best that they could with what they were given, I don’t think the execution was fully there. I don’t think the content in the webtoon translated well over onto the screen which was why I had trouble investing myself into the drama. That’s not to say that the drama was bad or anything, because it necessarily wasn’t. I still enjoyed parts here and there, but it also didn’t have a lot going on which made for a surprising watch when there were new plots being thrown in into the show. From bringing in Guk-bong to the cat man to Hong-jo’s back and forth as a human being and everything else in between, I was surprised at how the show still kept itself going and still managed to somehow keep me entertained (in a good way). Although I didn’t necessarily enjoy everything (such as the cat man.. I felt like the show was taking itself too seriously by roping him in), I did enjoy watching how the drama was going to resolve all the sub-plots and issues it kept on introducing and what was going to happen to our characters.
I mentioned how I felt like the show started off on the wrong note by bringing up Jae-sun and Sol-Ah’s confusing relationship without providing much context and that’s something I still firmly believed in until the very end of the show. Their relationship didn’t make much sense to me at the beginning of the show, I wished we could have gotten more context and details about them to make not just the show a much better watch, but to also make their relationship make sense. I think that’s only fair given how much the show heavily focused on their relationship in the beginning. Even with my irks about the way Sol-Ah and Jae-sun’s relationship was introduced in the show and the way it developed throughout, I did enjoy watching their relationship in this last episode. The scene in particular that finally made me feel warm and fuzzy was when Jae-sun comforted a crying and heartbroken Sol-Ah during his dad’s funeral. Even though the two have a very complicated past and relationship with each other, they both still care about each other and aren’t afraid to show that. Their past might be complicated, but their present doesn’t have to be.
I don’t see myself revisiting this drama any time in the future and ‘Meow, the Secret Boy’ will probably be one of those dramas where the first watch around is sufficient enough, but as with all other dramas that I watch and recap from the very beginning, I can’t say that I’m not going to miss this drama. Although it wasn’t the most enticing and most gripping and most entertaining, it was a light-hearted and funny romance drama that I needed after all the other shows I was watching. ‘Meow, the Secret Boy’ gave me a small break by not requiring me to be so focused and instead, allowed me to just sit back and relax and turn off my brain while watching. Our characters were so cute and I’m glad that everyone had a happy ending of some sort (even for Sol-Ah’s dad who disappeared the last few episodes, but I think it’s safe to say we already know what his happy ending looked like). I’m especially going to miss just seeing Hong-jo and Sol-Ah bond in both his cat and human being form. That was the very reason as to why I stuck to the show in the first place. I loved watching the two build such a strong foundation and bond with each other that Sol-Ah suddenly found herself as a cat lover and wanted to take care of Hong-jo. She wanted him in her life and wanted to stay with him. And as we saw in this last episode, she loved him so much she was willing to wait years for him. If that’s not love, then I don’t know what is.
‘Meow, the Secret Boy’ was fun to watch while it lasted. While there were a few moments that made me question the drama or was off-putting to me because of how empty or serious it was, I generally enjoyed the show as a whole. I’m going to miss all our characters and the fun moments, memories, and experiences they’ve built together, but I take comfort in knowing that they each have their own happy endings for now. Hopefully, things will stay that way forever.
Extra screenshots from the episode~