Not all heroes wear capes. Pa-do finds his past finally catching up to him in the present and it involves the lives of many others who he befriended and became acquainted with over the months. Just how will everyone get out of this alive and how far are our characters willing to go to protect one another?
Was It Love?: Episode 14 Recap
Pa-do reminisces about his past as he chases after the van that has Ae-jung, Ha-nee, and Dong-chan trapped inside. He promised Ae-jung’s look-a-like, Tan Ziyi, that he would protect and take care of her son, Dong-chan. As she was his first and only love, it pained him tremendously when she was killed by her husband’s brother who accused her of trying to escape and report them to the police. Fast forward many years later and Pa-do strives to keep his promise with his first love.
Ae-jung, Ha-nee, and Dong-chan are locked inside of a room with no way to escape. The person behind the kidnapping is none other than Dong-chan’s uncle who’s amazed at how similar Ae-jung looks to Tan Ziyi. He’s reminded of the item that Pa-do is to bring them or else our family of three will be in great danger. Pa-do updates Yeon-woo and Dae-oh about the dangerous situation when the two guys catch up with him. He instructs them to call the police after an hour if they don’t hear from him. While Yeon-woo stays behind and listens to Pa-do’s words, Dae-oh follows Pa-do to the location where Ha-nee, Ae-jung, and Dong-chan are located. He can’t just sit behind and do nothing even as dangerous as the situation is.
After notifying Mama Yeon-woo about her plans to make Ae-jung’s life as miserable as possible, Ah-rin receives the set of questions for her interview to promote the upcoming movie adaptation. One of the questions asking about Ah-rin’s first encounter with writer Cheon Ok-man takes Ah-rin back to the time when she separated from him. It was at night and Ah-rin had a little too much to drink. Dae-oh met her in front of a convenience store and handed her a textbook that she would need for college. It’s then that he also announced his plans to leave and that he’ll be away for some time. Ah-rin assumes it has to do with Ae-jung and she grows upset at Dae-oh’s decision to leave. Ah-rin vows on seeking revenge knowing that he chose Ae-jung over her in the end.
And so Ah-rin enacts her revenge plan on Dae-oh. She backs out of doing the interview at the last second and even announces her plans to drop the movie to everyone in the room. Jin chases down Ah-rin and attempts to persuade her to keep the movie. She can’t just give up on someone’s dream of 14 years. However, this only gives Ah-rin more reasons to quit. She’s not a fan of anyone working on the movie and she’s not going to take it on. Jin reassures Manager Myung that he’ll get Ah-rin to stay on the project.
Dong-chan suffers a panic attack as memories of his mother’s murder resurfaces in his mind. He connects his uncle to his mother’s death and he begins to blame himself for the current situation he, Ae-jung, and Ha-nee are in. The mother-daughter pair try their best to comfort him and calm him down. Everything will be okay. While driving to the location to meet up with Dong-chan’s uncle, Pa-do understands what it is exactly that they’re demanding. Before her death, Tan Ziyi handed Pa-do a micro SD card and that must be what they’re after. Yeon-woo himself decides to take action and he leaves work that day to head to the police station.
Pa-do arrives at the Chinese restaurant with the micro SD card where Dong-chan’s uncle awaits. After meeting with Dong-chan’s uncle, Pa-do is lead downstairs to the basement where Ae-jung, Dong-chan, and Ha-nee are trapped. Although Pa-do hands over the SD card, that’s not all that Dong-chan’s uncle wants. He also wants Dong-chan himself since he was witness to his own mother’s death. Everyone assumes that it was Pa-do who killed Tan Ziyi when really it was the uncle and that’s not something that he wants others to know. Pa-do fights against his enemies and Ae-jung attempts to fight off the men as well. However, she’s not strong enough and she falls onto the ground after being pushed away by one of the men. Upon seeing Pa-do stay by Ae-jung’s side as she’s unconscious on the ground, Dong-chan’s memories grow even more vivid and he finally realizes that Pa-do isn’t his father all along.
We find that it was Pa-do who ran away with Dong-chan after being accused as a murderer. In the present, Pa-do continues to get attacked and beaten up by Dong-chan’s uncle’s men. Thankfully, Pa-do is able to secretly hand over his phone to Dong-chan as they give each other a hug for a few seconds before getting separated again. Pa-do, Ae-jung, and Ha-nee are left inside the basement to die as a lighter is placed in the microwave to heat up. Thankfully, Dae-oh arrives at the Chinese restaurant after managing to chase Pa-do down and find his car. After a few minutes of frantic searching and hearing noise down in the basement, Dae-oh goes to where the noise is coming from and he breaks open the secured door. They all safely escape from the restaurant, but there’s no time to rest.
While Pa-do heads off to look for Dong-chan, Ha-nee runs back inside the restaurant for an item that she’s forgotten (WHY! WHYYYYY). Dae-oh runs after Ha-nee and as Ha-nee grabs her backpack with the stuffed keychain that her mother got her, the lighter in the microwave explodes (NOOOO). Yeon-woo arrives at that moment with police and he discovers a terrified Ae-jung wailing for her daughter. Pa-do manages to find Dong-chan being forced onto a boat at a dock. He won’t back down as he has a promise to fulfill and he fights Dong-chan’s uncle’s men to rescue Dong-chan. However, there’s way too many enemies and only Pa-do and he comes close to being defeated. Thankfully, things take a drastic turn when Pa-do’s men show up. Pa-do had contacted Director Kim after escaping from the Chinese restaurant and that’s how they knew where to go.
With Pa-do’s men now involved, it doesn’t take long for our enemies to be defeated. Pa-do is reunited with Dong-chan and the two give each other a comforting embrace upon making it out alive and safe. And so all our five characters are transported to the hospital afterwards. While Ha-nee is awake and conscious, the same thing can’t be said about Ae-jung or Dae-oh who doctors attempt to resuscitate. Pa-do and Dong-chan too are doing fine. When they both awaken, Dong-chan grows heartbroken at the thought of Pa-do checking in on him. He’s touched and moved by how Pa-do cares for him despite them not being actual father and son.
Hye-jin panics when news of Ah-rin dropping out of the movie adaptation spreads. Ae-jung isn’t picking up her phone and she’s unsure as to what to do. When Hye-jin gives Ae-jung yet another call, the call goes through but it’s not Ae-jung who picks up. It’s Sook-hee. Manager Do attempts to get Ah-rin to change her mind. All the news articles about her dropping out of the film adaptation is spreading like wildfire and it’ll only ruin the reputation she’s worked so hard into building. However, Ah-rin has no plans in taking back her decision. A phone call from Hye-jin might change all of that though. Manager Do receives a call from Hye-jin about Dae-oh’s incident.
While Ae-jung lays unconscious on her hospital bed, Ha-nee expresses her worries about Dae-oh. He risked his life for her and yet she was so mean and harsh to him this entire time. Just then, Ae-jung awakens and the mother-daughter pair give each other a warm embrace. Grandma and Sook-hee also stop by at the hospital and they join in on the group hug. Ae-jung then learns that Pa-do and Dong-chan are doing fine, but she doesn’t hear any relieving or good news about Dae-oh which causes her to worry. Dae-oh is still unconscious in the hospital and isn’t awake just yet. Ae-jung pays him a visit and watches as he fights for his life on his hospital bed. She grows apologetic and wishes for Dae-oh to wake up as soon as he can.
Ha-nee and Yeon-woo head to the store to grab some snacks. She wants to make sure her mother and Dae-oh are well fed the next day since both she and Grandma will be away from the hospital. Yeon-woo notices just how worried Ha-nee is about Dae-oh and points it out to the middle school student. Ha-nee feels guilty for being the reason Dae-oh is in such a condition, but Yeon-woo makes it clear to her that he did it because it was her. Dae-oh risked his life for her because she’s important to him and he didn’t want to lose her.
Sook-hee overhears a patient and her husband in the same room as Ae-jung gossip about Ae-jung and her incident. After scaring the two away (LOL, go Sook-hee!), Sook-hee places a succulent next to Ae-jung’s hospital bed. Pa-do stops by to pay Ae-jung a visit and to apologize to her. He assumes it’s Ae-jung behind the hospital curtains so he goes on to apologize for getting Ae-jung involved with all the chaos and trouble. He chose to stay in Ae-jung’s life as she reminded him of someone who he used to know. He apologizes once more to who he assumes is Ae-jung and also drops off a succulent. Without knowing that it was Sook-hee behind the curtain all along, Pa-do sets off back to his room.
The next day, Ah-rin also makes her way to the hospital and she encounters Ae-jung while there. The two have a talk about Ah-rin’s decision to quit the movie adaptation which Ae-jung wasn’t aware about since.. well.. she was occupied with other things. When Ah-rin breaks the news to Ae-jung, Ae-jung pleads for some more time. She assumes that Ah-rin was anxious regarding all the commotion surrounding Jin and Ae-jung and the news articles, but Ah-rin makes it to clear to Ae-jung that she’s quitting due to her and Dae-oh. They two are the reason as to why she’s dropping the movie. Although Ah-rin’s known Dae-oh for 14 years, he has never once looked at her for he only loved Ae-jung. Of course, this didn’t sit well with Ah-rin. Ae-jung finally understands Ah-rin’s involvement in all of this and how it was Ah-rin who kissed Dae-oh on that rainy night. She’s in disbelief at Ah-rin’s decision.
Jin also stops by the hospital to pay Dae-oh a visit. He’s close to shedding tears as he watches Dae-oh fight for his life. Upon exiting the room, Jin comes across Ae-jung and the two exchange friendly greetings with each other. Jin then also finds Ah-rin at the hospital and the two have a quick chat with each other. Jin grows frustrated at Ah-rin’s carelessness. How could she come all the way to the hospital to deliver the news to Ae-jung about her dropping out? However, that’s not the main thing on Ah-rin’s mind at the moment. She’s still heartbroken at how it was always Ae-jung who Dae-oh cared about. Although she had her heart set on Dae-oh, he only had eyes for Ae-jung. Whether as Hyo-sim or Ah-rin, nothing has changed for Dae-oh 14 years later. He still only cares about Ae-jung. While listening to Ah-rin vent about her unrequited love towards Dae-oh, Jin reflects on his one-sided love for Ae-jung. He realizes that they both have something in common with each other.
Ae-jung stays by Dae-oh’s side as she waits for him to wake up. While doing so, she finally checks her phone and listens to the one voicemail that she received. It’s from none other than Dae-oh and it was sent during the time when he was trying to find her. In the voicemail, he notes,
Ae-jung, where are you? Are you okay? You’re not hurt, are you? I’m worried. I can’t believe this happened to you out of all people.
Ae-jung, I know this will sound ridiculous, but if I could turn back time I’d go back to that day. Our last anniversary together. I’d give you the letter and gift that I couldn’t give you. When it’s tough or when I need a shoulder to cry on, I would say so honestly. I wouldn’t leave you alone, and I wouldn’t make Ha-nee feel lonely. I would support your dream as well. I want to say all these things to you, but you’re not here. Where are you, Ae-jung? I miss you.
Scenes of Dae-oh handing Ae-jung a card as well as matching couple rings on the day of their 300th day anniversary are shown while Ae-jung listens to the voicemail. Dae-oh also cries on Ae-jung’s shoulder after returning from his visit to his parent’s house. He also raises Ha-nee with Ae-jung as one cute, little family. He too would be there to support her as she achieves her dreams of becoming a successful film producer. There were so many things that Dae-oh regrets he didn’t do on the day they separated and he wished he could travel back in time to do it all over again.
Upon listening to the voicemail, Ae-jung sheds tears just thinking about Dae-oh. He can still do all of these things and more.. if only he would wake up. As Ae-jung cries next to Dae-oh’s side, Dae-oh finally wakes up (FINALLY!!). He repeats Ae-jung’s words about her missing him and wanting to talk to him and he seems relieved. Although still clearly physically hurt, he’s relieved to finally know how Ae-jung feels about him. He asks for her to lean in closer to her as he has something he wants to say to her. So with that, Ae-jung leans in towards Dae-oh and hears Dae-oh mutter the sweet words “I love you” to her. Dae-oh then gives her a kiss on the lips afterwards to confirm his feelings for her. A lighter and gas may have broken some of Dae-oh’s bones, but his love for Ae-jung remains untouched and intact. He’s loved her the same all this time.
I’m angry (not in a serious way of course) in that I wasn’t going to provide a commentary to this episode primarily for the fact that well.. there wasn’t much to say about how the last two episodes progressed. The whole kidnapping and fighting incident felt blown out of proportion to me and while it was entertaining to watch Pa-do and Dae-oh rescue their kids, it also didn’t really make any sense in the scheme of everything going on. I felt as if the kidnapping was too makjang for me and really didn’t fit in with the mood and tone from the rest of the show. I felt as if it was a cheap cop-out to 1) incorporate Pa-do’s storyline into the drama somehow and 2) have Ha-nee and Ae-jung give Dae-oh that chance that he was desperate for. The last two episodes didn’t really make any sense for me and yet I’m angry because of the last 5 minutes of this episode.
Just when I thought the drama was going to remain a stagnant and sluggish watch, episode 14 did something to me at the very last 5 minutes that just broke my heart and reminded me once again of how the drama has its shining moments. Up until the very last 5 minutes, I didn’t really care for the episode and I didn’t really feel any certain way about our characters or really about what had transpired. I expected our characters to come out of the situation alive and safe anyways so I wasn’t bawling or crying when our characters were hospitalized. However, with that being said, I was close to shedding tears when Ae-jung listened to Dae-oh’s voicemail at the hospital.
It wasn’t even the voicemail itself that shook my heart and made me want to cry, but rather, it was all the scenes that were shown while the voicemail was playing that made me so sad. It was all the ‘what-if’s’ that completely shattered my heart and made me feel for Dae-oh. If he and Ae-jung didn’t fight earlier that day, if he had just given her his gift on their 300th day anniversary, if he had just opened up to her about his family’s financial situation, maybe things would have taken a different turn and they wouldn’t have gone through everything that they did. Maybe they wouldn’t have broken up and maybe they would have been able to raise Ha-nee together as parents. Maybe they would have enjoyed a sweet and cozy life as a family of three and nothing bad would have happened. The part that gets to me the most is just thinking about all the possibilities and doors that could have opened up had Dae-oh and Ae-jung made a different decision on that day of their 300th day anniversary. That’s what breaks my heart.
The past is the past and there’s nothing that Dae-oh can do to fix his past mistakes which was the whole message behind his voicemail, but it still pained me to see all those scenes of him with Ae-jung and them two being a supportive couple while also being loving parents to Ha-nee. Their life could have been so different had they just maybe made a few different decisions 14 years ago, but it’s the fact that they didn’t that kills me. Of course, with Dae-oh literally risking his life to protect Ha-nee and once again communicating to Ae-jung how serious and genuine he is about her, it’s obvious that Ha-nee and Ae-jung now have a greater reason to trust Dae-oh and to let him into their lives. Combine this with Ah-rin’s anguish about Dae-oh never even giving her a chance because he loved Ae-jung all along and this just proves to Ae-jung why she should learn to trust Dae-oh again. It’s not just Dae-oh who’s doing all the persuading, but there were also Ah-rin’s words as well as Dae-oh’s actions that proved to Ae-jung just how much he wants to be with her as well as to be Ha-nee’s father (and it also apparently took a whole kidnapping and gas leakage I might add). While it’s a shame that Dae-oh had to go through all of this just to prove himself, hopefully it’s worth it in the end and he’s given the opportunity to be in both Ha-nee and Ae-jung’s life like how he wanted. He definitely had to put in a lot of work (maybe more work and effort on his part than he should have), but it was evident that he was willing to do whatever it took to be with Ae-jung and Ha-nee.
Now that the danger is (hopefully) over, we can return to normal times and watch Dae-oh, Ae-jung, and Ha-nee be the family that Dae-oh imagined and that they have the potential to be. It’s never going to be easy and the pain and heartbreak that was caused 14 years ago isn’t going to just suddenly vanish or fade away. The past is something that our characters are going to have to confront, address, and heal from for a very long time. However, if there’s one thing that we’ve learned and seen from our two parents, it’s the fact that they would go back and do this all over again if given the chance. They wouldn’t change a thing, they would still fall in love with each other, and they would still have Ha-nee in the end. 14 years ago and 14 years later, nothing has changed. The love is very much still there and it always will be.