The bumps and hiccups haven’t disappeared just yet as there’s still plenty of issues that our characters have to address and deal with in their lives. Although life can be challenging and difficult at times, there’s comfort in being surrounded by your family and loved ones who are there to support you through it all. So is the case with Ae-jung who has persevered in life thanks to Ha-nee and Grandma’s never-ending support and Dae-oh’s unconditional love.
Note: Like all my other recaps to a drama’s final episode, I just want to thank everyone who followed my recaps for ‘Was It Love?’. The drama wasn’t the greatest and there were many things about it that wasn’t the most satisfying, but I still watched it for the lessons about family, love, dreams, and all the good things in between. I came out of this drama with two realizations: my love for Son Ho-jun will never waver and hopefully our awesome and funny cast will come out with many greater and better things. You can join me in my recaps for currently airing drama ‘Do You Like Brahms?‘. Until then, please take care everyone!
Was It Love?: Episode 16 & Final Recap
After their date at their former college campus, Dae-oh drops Ae-jung off back at home. The two lovers stay inside the car for a bit before bidding farewell and Dae-oh grows nervous at the thought of Ae-jung’s response to his proposal. He encourages her to take her time in giving him an answer, but Ae-jung has something she wants to express to Dae-oh right then and there. She’s grateful for his effort in bringing her back to their college campus and taking a trip down memory lane. Although she’s clearly opened to inviting Dae-oh into her life, the same thing can’t be said just yet about Ha-nee so she’ll work hard to change Ha-nee’s opinion of Dae-oh. Our popular author is so in love with Ae-jung he leans in to give her a kiss which Ae-jung fights off. She’s afraid someone will see them, haha.
Inside her bedroom, Ha-nee opens up Dae-oh’s book that includes the story to “Love is Nonexistent.” She’s in disbelief that he would base the story off of his relationship with her mother and Ha-nee addresses the issue with Ae-jung later on that night when Ae-jung returns home. Ha-nee hands over the book to her mother and shares the rumors that have been spreading about the book. Apparently, “Love is Nonexistent” is all a lie and Dae-oh wrote bad things about Ae-jung on purpose. Dae-oh himself learns about the rumors and he reads up on the article that claims his novel was a lie and that he abandoned his pregnant ex-girlfriend. Things aren’t looking so great for him. Things also aren’t looking so nice for Ae-jung and Hye-jin who discover that their bank book has disappeared and Ae-jung assumes it must have been CEO Wang who took it. Although CEO Song and Mr. Na finish their collaboration on the damaging news article about Dae-oh, CEO Song still doesn’t feel so great. She demands that she and Mr. Na never meet again. Their deal is done now.
Chief Editor Hong barges into Dae-oh’s place the next day to talk to him about his current situation. While Mr. Hong is more concerned about Dae-oh’s writing career, all Dae-oh can think about is Ae-jung and Ha-nee. He would hate for the two to get dragged into all of this mess and trouble so he requests for Mr. Hong to delete any clips of Ae-jung at his book concert as well as any photos of Ae-jung. Even if it means possibly ruining or losing his career, he’s okay with it as long as Ae-jung and Ha-nee are okay.
Dae-oh stops by Thumb Films the next day and discovers Ae-jung in a meeting with production staff for the movie. They’re angry and upset with her for not getting paid and they demand their money. Dae-oh swoops in and declares his decision to pay the staff for their work. Although it’s not necessarily what Ae-jung wanted, she gives in. Ae-jung also grows concerned when she learns from Hye-jin that Dae-oh’s locked himself up in his office the entire day. Dae-oh is still clearly apologetic and worried about the public’s opinion, but all of his worries disappear for a moment when Ae-jung showers him with a surprise later on that day.
Up on the rooftop of the building, Ae-jung’s set up a large umbrella and table to make it seem like they’re camping. It was something that they experienced back in college in 2005 when Dae-oh and Ae-jung had to camp indoors because of the rainy weather. Just like back then, they munch on some ramen noodles together and it’s clear that Ae-jung hasn’t forgotten any of her memories with Dae-oh. Ae-jung sends encouraging words to Dae-oh to lift his spirits and mood, but Dae-oh remains honest with Ae-jung. They should stop working on the movie altogether and scrap it. He doesn’t want to film a movie based off of a novel that was a lie and he’s going to protect Ae-jung’s dream as well as Ha-nee in any way that he can.
Ah-rin and Manager Do learns about the possible cancellation of the movie thanks to the latest news article. Ah-rin isn’t so happy with the update, but she’s even unhappier when she witnesses Jin get swarmed by reporters as he enters a building. The reporters and journalists continually expose Ae-jung’s name publicly which doesn’t sit right with both Jin and Ah-rin. Ah-rin intervenes and sets her foot down with the journalists. Ae-jung nor Ha-nee are celebrities so their privacy should be respected. Ah-rin dislikes and disproves of how the journalists are acting which surprises everyone. While Manager Do attempts to play it off as Ah-rin merely acting (LOL), Ah-rin’s honesty impresses Jin.
Grandma watches news coverage about the situation with Dae-oh and she grows frustrated at all the lies being spouted about him. Ha-nee arrives home not too long afterwards so Grandma immediately shuts off the TV so as to protect her from hearing anything. However, Ha-nee is already well aware of what the talk of the town has been about and so do her classmates. Surprisingly, Ha-nee isn’t being bullied at school and no one is saying anything harsh to her. Instead, they’re criticizing Dae-oh which Ha-nee admits hurts her. Instead of standing up for Dae-oh, she remained silent instead and Ha-nee grows close to crying just thinking about it. Grandma reassures Ha-nee that the truth will eventually reveal itself. Grandma, Ha-nee, Ae-jung, and Dae-oh all know what the truth is.
Ae-jung confides in Sook-hee and grows worried as to how she can protect both Ha-nee and Dae-oh simultaneously. She doesn’t want to hurt either and she’s unsure if there’s a way to do this. Sook-hee reassures Ae-jung that she will come around and find a way. Ae-jung will be able to protect her loved ones because she knows how capable and talented Ae-jung is. Sook-hee is reminded of the moment in 2013 when she invited Ae-jung, Grandma, and Ha-nee to move into her house with her. They were at Grandma’s chicken restaurant and Sook-hee overheard Grandma talking about getting kicked out. Sook-hee was only a customer at the restaurant back then, but she knew she could trust Ae-jung for Ae-jung was not one to give up easily. And that’s how Sook-hee and Ae-jung got to know each other better.
Dae-oh hurries to his secret meeting with Ha-nee that Ae-jung isn’t aware about. He checks in with her, but Ha-nee reminds Dae-oh that he should be more concerned about Ae-jung rather than her. Despite the reminder, Ha-nee can see just how tired Dae-oh looks and how much he’s been going through. She trusts him and understands that he didn’t intend to write anything bad about her mother. Dae-oh adds by explaining that he and Ae-jung misunderstood each other which lead them to despise and hate each other. It was all just a misunderstanding. But things aren’t like that now and Ha-nee reiterates that she’s been happy even without her father in her life. She’s giving Dae-oh a chance to be Ae-jung’s husband as it’s about time that he and Ae-jung too deserve to be happy in their lives.
While dropping Ha-nee off back at home, Dae-oh gifts her with a present and suggests for her to open it another time. Ha-nee thanks Dae-oh for the gift and heads inside her house. She glances back at him before entering the door and disappearing from his sight. Aww. The next day, Ae-jung enters Thumb Film to find a director she’s worked with before, Director Kim, in the office. He’ll be working with Ae-jung for a new movie called ‘No One But My Man’ that Ae-jung worked on long ago but never got around to because of several issues. Ae-jung meets with Pa-do shortly afterwards at the office and is updated on the new project that she will be helping out with. She learns that Dae-oh proposed the idea to Pa-do since he didn’t want her first project as a producer to be based off of his novel. “No One but My Man” was a movie that Ae-jung originally worked on anyways so it’s the perfect opportunity.
Ae-jung isn’t feeling great about her new project and she stops by Dae-oh’s place to talk to him. When she enters his apartment, she discovers that Dae-oh has been packing as if he’s moving away. It turns out Dae-oh does plan on leaving in order to focus on himself and to rewrite his story about him, Ae-jung, and Ha-nee. He doesn’t want people to pity them because of his novel so he needs some time away to rewrite the story now that he’s aware of the truth 14 years later. Ae-jung sheds tears just thinking about Dae-oh’s decision and she pleads for him to stay. He can do all of this without having to leave, but Dae-oh is keen on leaving. He doesn’t want any distractions and they’ll both be given the chance to achieve their dreams while being apart. They can reunite again once they’ve both achieved their dreams, respectively.
Ah-rin sobs upon thinking about her now damaged image, reputation, and career. With her earlier incident where she yelled and cursed at the reporters, people now term her as ‘Crazy Angel’ and they perceive her differently. She’s afraid things are over for her. However, a video of Jin defending Ah-rin proves otherwise and he commends her for her effort in protecting Ae-jung and Ha-nee’s privacy and for standing up to the reporters. It was the right thing for her and she should be regarded as a ‘guardian angel’ instead. Ah-rin is thankful upon watching the video, but she also grows doubtful that maybe Jin likes her. Haha.
When Ae-jung arrives home that evening, she finds Grandma in the kitchen making some food for Dae-oh. Grandma’s worried about him especially since he lives alone. Ae-jung then updates Grandma on Dae-oh’s living situation and his plans to leave. She bursts into tears upon sharing the news and cries into Grandma’s shoulders as Grandma gives Ae-jung a comforting hug. Ha-nee overhears her mother crying and she closes her bedroom door so as to give her mom some time to grieve. She then opens up the gift that Dae-oh bought her and finds a pair of nice shoes inside. There’s also a card, Ha-nee’s checklist that she created just for Dae-oh, and a scrapbook with photos of Ae-jung and Dae-oh that they took on their date. Dae-oh vows to keep all the promises he committed himself to on the checklist. Ha-nee breaks into tears upon reading the card and reviewing the checklist.
Time passes and things are looking great and bright for Ae-jung whose movie ‘No One but My Man’ gains great success and popularity. Even CEO Song acknowledges Jin’s success and role in the movie when they encounter each other at a building. CEO Song admits though that she still doesn’t feel guilty for her decision back then. She did what she thought was fitting and right at the time. Jin acknowledges CEO Song’s work in helping him get his foot into the industry, but she would have caused too much trouble to be a life-long partner. Nonetheless, he’s grateful that she assisted him when they did work together and he leaves it as that.
Ha-nee watches Dong-chan play a game of soccer at school. Pa-do is there also to show Dong-chan some support and catches up with his son after the game concludes. Dong-chan is still bummed out at how he failed to score a goal when he had the chance, but Pa-do reminds him that it’s all about timing. Timing is everything. So Dong-chan gathers some courage and he takes a sip out of the soda that his dad bought for him while walking over to Ha-nee. Ha-nee is busy inviting her crush to a movie premiere for “No One but My Man”, but Dong-chan intervenes by burping in front of both Ha-nee and her crush. Of course, things aren’t so romantic anymore and well.. let’s just say things don’t work out so well for Ha-nee.
Ha-nee and Dong-chan both attend the premiere party for Ae-jung’s film later on that day. Ha-nee’s still not so happy with Dong-chan’s burping, but hey, Dong-chan had to do what he had to do, haha. Pa-do catches up with Sook-hee and together, the two talk about her relationship and connection to Ae-jung. Although there’s many different roles that Sook-hee plays in Ae-jung’s life, the one she emphasizes the most on is being Ae-jung’s admirer. Despite how difficult things were, Ae-jung never gave up on her dream, her life, or her family. Sook-hee and Pa-do propose that they celebrate by giving each other a toast, but Manager Myung interrupts by introducing himself to Pa-do. Hahaha. So much for that toast!
Mama Yeon-woo and Grandma are also at the premiere party and Mama Yeon-woo requests for Grandma to teach her the recipes to some of Yeon-woo’s favorite meals. She wants to cook her son delicious food as well as grow closer to Yeon-woo without being nosy and meddling in his business. Yeon-woo approaches both his mom and Grandma a few seconds later and is advised by Grandma to be nice to his mother. His mom cares about him and wants to cook him yummy food. Ah-rin follows up with Jin about his feelings for her and whether or not he likes her. She hints for him to be straightforward and to directly ask her out if he does plan on expressing his feelings for her. Lol.
And so everyone gathers to give a toast and to celebrate the success of the movie premiere. Everyone’s in a good mood and things are shaping out. Ae-jung is happy and content with the movie and she’s thankful to be surrounded by her family, friends, and loved ones, but it’s clear she also misses Dae-oh. She imagines him at the party congratulating her only to realize seconds later that it was just a hallucination. He’s actually not at the party (omg for a second I really thought he came back and was so excited. I’m so saaaad).
A few days later at work, Ae-jung takes some time to go over a list of recommended books that she is encouraged to read. One of the books is titled ‘Last Love’ and it reminds her of her relationship with Dae-oh. Excerpts from the novel reads,
I met her once again… She took everything once again from me… It was fate… I was destined to fall in love with her once again.
Ae-jung is so touched and moved by the book that she calls Hye-jin to set up a meeting with the author of the book. And so a meeting is set up between the two and Ae-jung heads out for her meeting. While walking over to the cafe, Hye-jin shares with Ae-jung that the author is European and that he’s already been approached by many companies for the publishing rights to his popular book. However, the author rejected all offers since he’s apparently waiting to strike up a deal with one specific company.
It’s not until Ae-jung enters the building that she realizes who the author of the book is and why he rejected all his other offers. The author of the book is none other than Dae-oh and it’s her that he had been waiting for all along. Upon reuniting, the two slowly make their way to each other and Dae-oh introduces himself using his alias name. However, all Ae-jung can focus on is meeting Dae-oh again and she cries in happiness and relief upon seeing him. Dae-oh gives Ae-jung a warm hug and apologizes for making her wait two more years on top of the original 14 years. They continue to give each other a sweet embrace and all is well between the two lovers.
Love is in the air for Ha-nee and Dong-chan who get married to each other many years later. Walking Ha-nee down the aisle is none other than her mother Ae-jung while our four guys – Dae-oh, Jin, Pa-do, and Yeon-woo – all watch from the back of the room in awe. Pa-do even sheds a tear while Dae-oh watches on proudly. Everyone gets their own happy ending.
And that’s a wraaaaaap! I wanted to try something a little different for this last episode so I recorded my thoughts and feelings about this last episode and the drama overall! Take a listen if you would like and enjoy the extra photos down below 🙂
Extra screenshots from the episode~