Two years is a long time. There are many things that can happen within those 24 months, but not all things require change. How will things pan out for Ha-jin and Jung-hoon now that they’ve spent some time apart? Are things still the same between them or have their feelings for each other faded like the amount of time they spent with each other did?
Note: Oh noooo, it’s the end. The finale is here. The moment we’ve been dreading for has arrived. It’s crazy to think just how fast time has passed by since it feels like it was just yesterday that I started the recaps for it. This drama was not perfect by any means, but it was great and I am dearly going to miss it. I don’t have any other recaps I’m working on at the moment, but I am thinking of picking up a drama soon so be on the lookout for the next recapping series on my blog. Until then, please take care of yourself, wash your hands, and stay safe out there, friends!
Find Me in Your Memory: Episode 16 & Final Recap
Jung-hoon catches a glimpse of Ha-jin as she drives past him. He smiles at the thought of her being back in Korea. It turns out Ha-jin herself was also aware of Jung-hoon, but merely pretended to not have seen him. She parks her car by the side after passing by him in her car to catch a breath. With Ha-jin being back in Korea, Ha-kyung and CEO Park make the proper arrangements to accommodate Ha-jin’s return. Ha-jin has a meeting with a director so she needs to be as prepared as possible.
Jung-hoon stops by Ha-jin’s house just in case she’s home. However, he discovers that the house belongs to someone else now and drives away. With Ha-jin back in Korea, she actually does return to her original house. CEO Park’s niece who had been living in Ha-jin’s house will be away while Ha-jin is in Korea. The place still looks the same as it did before Ha-jin’s trip to the United States; she feels at home. While Ha-jin gets some rest at home, Ha-kyung goes out to spend some time with Il-kwon. He greets her outside of his apartment complex, but grows upset and jealous when he witnesses Ha-kyung hug her driver. The two get into a heated argument with each other, but quickly make up that following night.
Ha-jin, Ha-kyung, and CEO Park head to Ha-jin’s meeting together with a director for an upcoming movie. Ha-jin reminds the director about her incident from a few years back, but the director reassures Ha-jin that he doesn’t plan on cancelling out on her at the last minute. He wants to cast Ha-jin in his project. CEO Park and Ha-kyung continue to voice their support for Ha-jin regardless of whether or not she decides to work on the project.
Things are shaping up for Jung-hoon as well. After two years, he is back as the news anchor for his news segment. His very first guest upon his return as news anchor is none other than his best friend, Tae-eun. Tae-eun is also back in Korea after finishing his volunteer work as a therapist overseas. The interview goes well and Tae-eun talks about the new exhibition he plans to hold as a result of his volunteer work. After the broadcast, the two friends catch up with each other. Tae-eun follows up with Jung-hoon on Ha-jin and if he’s still waiting for her. Although Jung-hoon doesn’t give a direct answer and will leave it up for fate to decide, it’s obvious he still is.
Ha-jin herself still seems to have feelings for Jung-hoon even after all these years. She tunes into the interview of Jung-hoon and Tae-eun and has a conversation with Ha-kyung about him that night. Ha-kyung encourages Ha-jin to get back with Jung-hoon if she still misses him after all this time. Ha-jin gives her sister’s words some thought.
The next morning, Ha-jin sets out alone to shop for some traditional Korean fans that an employee in their U.S. agency wants. She looks around at shops on the streets and eventually enters a library. Unbeknownst to her, Jung-hoon happens to also be at the same library as well! He notices her first and follows after her to confirm whether it is her or not. Just when he loses sight of Ha-jin as well as any hope of reuniting with her, he turns around to find Ha-jin standing right across from him (OMGGG I’M GONNA CRY). It’s an awkward first exchange between the two since Ha-jin’s return to Korea. She informs him that she’s just visiting Korea for a bit and that she’ll have to eventually return to the states. Their interaction in the library is cut short by fans who begin to take photos of Ha-jin.
Ha-jin exits first with a concerned Jung-hoon trailing behind. However, they’re unsuccessful in finding each other again after Ha-jin re-enters the library to search for Jung-hoon while Jung-hoon calls Ha-jin on his phone. It seems like the two has no way in contacting each other. However, a car accident with a taxi driver prompts Jung-hoon to reunite with Ha-jin shortly after their separation at the library. This time, they talk with each other for much longer and Jung-hoon even gets to drop Ha-jin off at her house. Before bidding farewell, Jung-hoon takes the opportunity to express his honest thoughts and feelings about everything that’s happened since Ha-jin’s left for overseas. He regrets breaking up with her and ending things with her. Throughout the two years, he’s missed her so much and always thought of her. Ha-jin too feels the same way as Jung-hoon; she regrets leaving him alone while she was away. The two give each other a tight hug to confirm their mutual feelings for each other.
Ha-kyung comes running to Ha-jin and exclaims about the sight she just saw. Ha-jin and Jung-hoon are officially back together! It’s great news for Ha-jin, but she keeps Ha-kyung on her toes. She’s never going to break up with Jung-hoon so Ha-kyung might end up being the first one to break up with her boyfriend. This gets Ha-kyung thinking and she meets up with Il-kwon that night to make a proposal. In hopes that their relationship will last even longer, Ha-kyung wants to live together with Il-kwon. He, of course, happily accepts and the two give each other a tight squeeze.
Tae-eun reunites with his family by grabbing dinner with each other. He also makes up with his dad after two years of not talking to each other. Tae-eun worries about his dad’s condition and health, but Tae-eun doesn’t regret any of the decisions he made before he left for his adventures. Now that he’s traveling abroad, Tae-eun feels much more alive and happier than he ever was when he was running his own clinic. The father and son slowly return to being on good terms with each other.
Il-kwon teases Jung-hoon about his relationship with Ha-jin. They’re back together now, but he should spend as much time with her as possible before she leaves back for the states. With time running out, Ha-jin and Jung-hoon embark on another date late that night. While holding hands and going on a casual stroll, the couple confess their love for each other once again. Although they’re certain that the public hasn’t quite completely forgotten about their dating scandal two years ago, all of these things doesn’t matter to them now. They feel confident about themselves and their relationship as long as they are both happy together.
Ha-jin requests for some assistance from Jung-hoon in regards to her next project: should she choose her next work to be a Korean movie or should she keep working on the same movie series she’s been starring in back in the states? Jung-hoon gives it some thought and does some research on both projects. While on another date, he presents to her his input and feedback which surprises Ha-jin. He actually put some time and thought into this! Jung-hoon eventually leaves it up to Ha-jin to decide; she should put herself first and do what is best for her. Jung-hoon will support her regardless.
Technical Director Kim receives a promotion; he will now be team manager for the 9PM news! Woo hoo! While at work, he greets Ha-jin and Jung-hoon who are seen chatting outside. However, the conversation doesn’t last too long for the two love birds have many more dates and things they want to do together. Jung-hoon eventually goes on to introduce Ha-jin to his dad over some lunch. They also go visit his mother’s grave together.
Nothing scares our fearless couple anymore, not even the crowd of reporters swarmed in front of Ha-jin’s house. Together, the two storm past the mass crowd of reporters and eventually make it inside Ha-jin’s house together. The next day, Ha-jin and Jung-hoon make plans to go camping together. However, the pouring rain doesn’t cooperate with their plans and the two are stuck camping inside of Jung-hoon’s place as their alternative option. But things aren’t so bad. They eat some ramen, drink some beer (in which Jung-hoon is much better at drinking now), and even share some kisses with each other. Things are going well for our couple.
It’s time for Ha-jin’s movie screening. It turns out she decided to move forward with a Korean movie as her next project instead of her usual movie series back in the states. Although Ha-jin is nervous at first, she eventually calms down upon seeing Jung-hoon at the screening. He had just arrived from work and took some time to appreciate the falling snow upon stepping outside. Although the memories associated with the snow will never fade or go away, he’s come to accepting that things will be this way forever and he’s okay with that.
Questions about Ha-jin’s decision to film the movie as well her thoughts on her career in Korea are asked by reporters. When asked if she had any other reason to return to Korea other than to film the movie, Ha-jin simply and firmly states no. She chose to return to Korea for herself. She wants to be someone who is remembered daily and she wants to be able to love wherever she is.
In her answers to the other questions, Ha-jin gives away hints here and there that relate to Jung-hoon. However, it’s not until the news anchor himself harbors some courage to ask a question directly to Ha-jin that everyone’s attention is on the man himself. While everyone’s eyes are on Jung-hoon, his eyes are pointed at one person and one person only: Ha-jin. They stare lovingly into each other’s eyes and radiate rays of confidence among all the tension in that room. While staring at Ha-jin, Jung-hoon voices to himself,
Now I know how to etch those memories in my heart and move forward. I know how those memories can become good memories, not wounds. I just need to live this moment beautifully.
Ha-jin and Jung-hoon give each other a confident and beautiful smile. In the end, through all their hardships and challenges, their love for each other has remained strong. Their love for each other conquers all.
BLAH. UGHHHHH. I know I know. I KNOW I shouldn’t start off my commentary for the final episode this way, but I can’t help it. This is how I honestly feel about this last episode. Where do I even start?!
Watching this final episode made me realize just how much of a love-hate relationship I formed with this drama. For the most part, it was all love. I loved watching this drama. I loved our leads, I loved our cast, I loved just watching everyone be so badass and strong and confident in their own ways. I don’t have as much hate towards the drama (which isn’t really hate.. just more of discontent I would call it), but man is it strong though when I do! This last episode just felt so rushed and it seemed like the writer was using a cheap cop-out to give us what they thought we wanted. In a way, yes, we did get what we wanted which was a happy ending for everyone. Jung-hoon and Ha-jin eventually got back together after acknowledging their feelings for each other, Ha-kyung and Il-kwon remained in a relationship, even Director Choi and Technical Director Kim are still happily in love and married and he even got a promotion. Things were great for our team, but it happened way too quickly and too abruptly.
I don’t even want to speak about Ha-jin and Jung-hoon making up in this episode. It felt so rushed to me and quite frankly, didn’t really make all that much sense to me. I get where the writer was trying to come from and what they were trying to do, but it didn’t stick with me well. All of a sudden, after two years, they finally are honest with each other about how they felt? It took a whole visit from Ha-jin back to Korea for the two to finally be in contact with each other and to acknowledge just how much they missed each other? And then once they poured all their feelings out, they got back with each other all of a sudden and weren’t afraid of reporters nor the public’s opinion? What exactly triggered that fearlessness? What was different in the relationship between Ha-jin and Jung-hoon two years ago and then two years later? From what I observed, their feelings for each other were just as strong two years ago compared to the two years later so what was it that caused that sudden shift? What happened in those two years that made them realize that they didn’t need to be afraid or to care about what others thought of them and that rather what mattered the most was how they felt about their relationship? I know the two really liked each other before they separated, but they were separated for two years and then they suddenly got back together as if nothing ever happened. I love my Ha-jin and Jung-hoon, but I also want their relationship to make sense. I just felt disappointed with this episode because it was obvious just how rushed their whole make-up was after they reunited in Korea. Given, we only had an hour for them to make up, but I don’t know. I get what the writer was trying to do by having Jung-hoon and Ha-jin get back together, but the execution of it wasn’t all that great.
This could explain for why I had such a love-hate relationship specifically with this episode and how things wrapped up for Ha-jin and Jung-hoon. I dislike how rushed it felt, but I also loved that they were able to overcome their fears together. All the challenges, fears, and obstacles they faced two years ago were conquered two years later because they both realized that all they needed was each other. What I would have loved to see was what happened within those two years that got them to that realization. If Jung-hoon and Ha-jin’s feelings and love for each other remained the same before and after the break-up, why were they not able to handle all the chaos and public sentiment two years ago, but then were able to do so two years later? Moving past all these questions, I liked how the writer touched upon the impact that Jung-hoon and Ha-jin both have in their relationship. Together, they can conquer anything and they no longer need to be afraid of what others think about them because what matters the most is how they feel about everything themselves. They’ve moved forward from their traumatic past and have learned from it. If they have each other, then anything and everything is okay for them so they don’t need much else. With each other, anything is possible and that was a lesson that the writer highlighted in this episode which I absolutely loved. Our main couple has changed and that change is beautiful.
Another thing that I loved in this episode which I wished was touched upon earlier in the second half of the drama was Jung-hoon’s character growth and development. In this episode, we saw that he didn’t break down or become heavily affected when he observed snow falling from outside. He was actually okay and instead of becoming mad or upset at himself for Seo-yeon’s incident, he was rather calm. This scene indicates that Jung-hoon has accepted his past and the struggle to not have been able to rescue Seo-yeon in time. Maybe this acceptance and forgiveness comes as a result of having been able to rescue Ha-jin so he feels as if he accomplished something because he was able to rescue someone who he loved. Or maybe this acceptance came about because he realized that he needed to move forward from his haunting past and just learn to live with memories that he can’t change or do anything about. Whatever the reason is, Jung-hoon has learned to live with his memories instead of suppressing them or pretending as if they don’t exist. He also doesn’t let them affect him negatively as much anymore and that was beautiful to see. Of course, I would have loved to see this character development throughout the second half of the show instead of it popping up in this last episode, but I was satisfied that the drama at least brought it up.
There are a few other things that I wished the drama gave us some kind of update on, including Sung-ho. I wanted to see him receive some kind of punishment for the pain and danger he threatened Seo-yeon, Jung-hoon, and Ha-jin with, but instead he somewhat got himself out all the trouble by getting himself hurt. In a way, he got what he wanted and was able to escape from the situation by throwing himself off the building. Sure, he didn’t die, but he’s now forever paralyzed and will be unconscious for a long time. What’s going to happen to him? Is he ever going to pay for the trouble, pain, and devastation that he caused our characters? If the drama was going to place so much emphasis on him as a villain in this drama, why was nothing done about him in the end?
I think the drama was a little ambitious in trying to implement two primary plots in that it knew how to focus on them individually, but wasn’t able to balance them both at the same time. One part of this drama was about Ha-jin and Jung-hoon’s complicated relationship given the connection they both had to Seo-yeon. The other part was about the villains and Ha-jin’s stalkers that were terrorizing both her and everyone else around her. Individually, the drama did a decent job in exploring both plots, but when you step back to watch the drama as a whole, you realize that they didn’t really mesh well together. At times, it felt like I was watching two separate dramas: one about Ha-jin and Jung-hoon and then another about dangerous stalkers putting Ha-jin’s life at risk. I wasn’t a big fan of the stalker plot in the first place; it didn’t really grab my interest or attention and I much rather wanted to watch more of Ha-jin and Jung-hoon. Through the stalker, the two were able to bond and become closer to each other because Jung-hoon felt this need to protect her, but overall, I felt a disconnect with that plot.
I wished the drama would also have explored a little bit more about Seo-yeon’s impact in both Ha-jin and Jung-hoon’s life towards the very end of the drama. She made appearances here and there throughout the show and then she suddenly disappeared at the very end. Like I mentioned in my recaps in previous episodes, I would have loved to see some kind of conversation or acknowledgement from both Ha-jin and Jung-hoon about Seo-yeon. She was the connecting factor for both Jung-hoon and Ha-jin which they were well aware of as well. For the two of them to not say anything about her or to not have a difficult conversation about Seo-yeon was a little disappointing nor did it make any sense. It was interesting and intriguing learning about her death which the drama touched upon in the beginning of the series and then it was interesting to learn why Ha-jin felt so guilty towards Seo-yeon. I just would have loved to see something between our two leads in the present in regards to Seo-yeon and the impact she’s had on their respective lives.
I know I’m listing out a ton of things that I wished the drama could have improved upon or highlighted throughout its run, but that’s not to say that the drama was bad.. because it wasn’t. It could have been a lot better, but it was a fulfilling drama and had its moments where it was extremely great and so fun and so wholesome. Episode five probably still has to be my favorite episode, but I enjoyed watching Jung-hoon and Ha-jin fall in love with each other throughout the entire run. The best thing about their relationship was that you actually got to watch them fall in love with each other. You were a witness to the development of their relationship; you saw the incidents and the memories and the experiences that made their feelings for each other grow even stronger. Their relationship was a slow burn type of love and I loved it. They started off on a bad note; they were supposed to just be a fake relationship. However, they began to play a much bigger role in each other’s lives the longer they dragged out this “fake” relationship and soon it amounted into something more and real for the both of them. Ha-jin and Jung-hoon was such a great and supportive couple and they were so patient with each other as well. They were rarely ever selfish and always put the other first and that was beautiful to watch. Even Ha-kyung and Il-kwon remained so adorable in this drama and I’m glad the show set them up as a couple because they were definitely the comedic relief in this series.
If there’s anything that I’m taking away from this drama, it’s that Kim Dong-wook is absolutely amazing and talented. I mean.. it’s not like we didn’t know this already, but this drama just basically reaffirms that notion. He is SOOO good. He’s great in whatever he does, romance or non-romance. I’ve always wanted to see him in romantic dramas so I was really happy to see him in this drama, but he’s also just as good in projects of other genres. There weren’t that many action scenes in this show, but I’m not gonna lie: the one scene of him with Sung-ho on the rooftop was so intriguing to watch. Kim Dong-wook was so good in that scene even though it was so short and brief. I loved watching him physically in action and I would love to watch him in some kind of crime/investigation drama that also include bits of romance. Plus, Kim Dong-wook’s chemistry with Moon Ga-young in this drama was so cute and strong! They were so adorable together both on and off screen. Going into this drama, I was a little concerned that Kim Seul-gi would be too good for the role that she was playing as Ha-jin’s manager/sister. I was afraid she wasn’t going to get as much screentime or as much focus and was just going to be pushed to the side as a supporting character. While she was not a main character, she got a good amount of screen time and focus which I was pleasantly surprised by. Kim Seul-gi is so unique and good in that she makes her characters hers so Ha-kyung was fun and great to watch because it was Kim Seul-gi. I would love to see Kim Seul-gi play a much more challenging and daring character next time, but Ha-kyung was fun to watch so I’m glad Kim Seul-gi was a part of this show.
Regardless of how disappointed I might have felt about this episode, I wanted to cry when the episode ended. I have this weird thing where I get attached to dramas that I’ve watched from the very beginning and I get sad when the drama ends (especially if it was a drama that I enjoyed). ‘Find Me in Your Memory’ will be one of those dramas for me. I’m going to miss it dearly, especially since it was the one drama that I looked forward to the most out of all the dramas that was airing at the same time. Kim Dong-wook and Moon Ga-young were so great as the leads and the show had an airy, melancholy, and heart-warming sentiment attached to it. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but it was comforting (plus, you never know when Kim Dong-wook is going to do another romance drama so I gotta appreciate this as much as I can for now!). I’m not sure if it’s a drama I’m going to ever revisit in the future, but maybe when I miss Kim Dong-wook and Moon Ga-young or when I’m bored and I just want something to watch, I’ll give ‘Find Me in Your Memory’ another watch. However, I’ll place this drama in the back of my mind as a loving memory and will go back to find these memories when the time calls for it. ‘Find Me in Your Memory’, so long for now.
Extra screenshots from the episode~