Our story concludes just the way we like it, with fully developed characters who have blessed us with a glimpse of their lives and who we leave still living their lives and living it with passion and pride. A beautiful end to a beautiful story and for those who’re worried? Nan Hee didn’t die. Thank heavens!
Top 10 Moments:
- Good news all around
Wan runs to the doctor to hear the results of Nan Hee’s surgery. His words stun her and she walks away dazed, past Yeon Ha, Choong Nam and Young Won. She finds a corner and starts flashing back to all her moments with Nan Hee (seriously show. If you kill her, I’m going to hate you!). Yeon Ha comes rolling in and calls her name. At the sound of his voice, she looks up, tears brimming in her eyes. He holds out his hands and she accepts them and gives in to the tears. At Hee Ja’s house on the other hand, the others are waiting for news from Choong Nam. Min Ho and Ha Nuel however, bring their good news in first, and show Hee Ja her grandchild. Hee Ja makes to carry the child but when Seok Gyun tells her not to take the baby because elderly people usually have weak hands, Jung Ah glares at her husband and tells Min Ho to hand over his child to his mother. He does so and Hee Ja smiles and calls the baby beautiful (awwww). Meanwhile, at the hospital, Yeon Ha’s been wheeling in his wheelchair for hours and Choong Nam and Young Won notice when it seems like he’s about to leave. Wondering whether to tell Wan about him leaving, they change their mind having figured that Wan will want to stay by Nan Hee’s side (yay! Nan Hee survived!) and instead admire how passionately Yeon Ha loves Wan, even as Young Won tells Choong Nam that it’s not too late for Choong Nam to find someone who would love her as passionately as well. The two aunties laugh as they stare at Yeon Ha who looks at the sunset with a smile (Gah! Jo In Sung is just too damn fine).
2. Seong Jae and Hee Ja spend yet another night together and everyone comes to visit Nan Hee
Nighttime has Hee Ja surprised as to why there’s an extra bedroll out in the living room. Seong Jae acts all surprised that she didn’t know that Min Ho said he won’t be able to stay with her that night because he’d be with Ha Nuel and so had asked Seong Jae to spend the night in his stead. Hee Ja though is pissed and calls Min Ho a jerk, saying that when she was okay, Min Ho used to hate the thought of a man being beside her, but now that she’s sick, he’s alright with it. She’s also extra careful of Seong Jae touching her at all as they watch television (hahaha). Later that night, when Seong Jae’s trying to sleep, Hee Ja admits that she feels like going for a walk. Seong Jae holds onto her hand as he tells her that he can’t let her go for a walk at night. When she points out that if he loves her, he would let her go, Seong Jae says even if he loves her, he won’t let her go out at night. She pulls away, grumbling that love is nothing after all and Seong Jae just taps her shoulders comfortingly. The next morning, Jung Ah, Seok Gyun and Ssang Boon pay a visit to Nan Hee who tells them how scared she’d been when her doctor had given her the diagnosis. Jung Ah and Seok Gyun decry the senseless way the doctor had given her her diagnosis whilst Ssang Boon is outraged and reducing to cursing the doctor. She relays the entire story again to the larger house when all her friends, minus Hee Ja are gathered, explaining that it was during surgery that it was discovered that her tumor was way smaller than the doctors had initially read from her MRI results. And then still a larger house is gathered, this time around with Hee Ja and Gi Ja in attendance and Gi Ja as always gets carried away with moping about her troubles until she’s reminded of the situation at hand.
3. Willing their mothers to get better
Back at home, Choong Nam brings up the Yeon Ha topic. Nan Hee is surprised to hear that Yeon Ha came and Choong Nam tells her that it was nice that Wan had someone who loves her by her side through the whole situation. Nan Hee though isn’t willing to listen and walks away, leaving Young Won to tell Choong Nam that Nan Hee wouldn’t agree and Choong Nam replying that it’s out of their hands. Wan on the other hand is on the phone with a grumbling Hee Ja who doesn’t remember that she’s visited Nan Hee and believes that everyone is keeping her away from Nan Hee because of her dementia. As Wan tries to convince Hee Ja that she really had come, she looks at the pictures of Yeon Ha that she has around her and soon it seems like she’s saying the words to Hee Ja and about Yeon Ha as well. Hee Ja doesn’t believe her though and Min Ho walks over to his mother to end the call and try and get her to sleep. But as Hee Ja looks at the newborn baby and confirms with Min Ho that she really had been to see Nan Hee, she insists on sleeping in the living room so as not to hurt the baby and confirms with Min Ho that her dementia is not so far gone and if she takes her medication, she will be able to get better. Wan is having almost exactly the same conversation with Nan Hee who she thanks for making it through her surgery, and then tells her to stay strong through her chemotherapy treatment as well. When Wan wanders into the bathroom, Nan Hee reaches for her phone and makes to call Yeon Ha. But she remembers Choong Nam’s words about how in love Wan and Yeon Ha had seemed and how it had been good that Wan had had someone by her side. With those words, Nan Hee changes her mind about making the call. Later that night, Hee Ja calls Choong Nam to ask her for recommended nursing homes for patients suffering from dementia and asks Choong Nam to visit them with her.
4. Nan Hee’s reaching her breaking point and Hee Ja comes to a decision
It’s Nan Hee’s turn to feel very cranky what with the way Wan keeps looking at her and refusing to let her do anything in the house. When Wan even takes to answering her business calls and lambasting one of the chefs for not paying a supplier who had called Nan Hee for his payment, Nan Hee gets tired of it all and walks into her room. It’s there she’s at when Young Won comes to join her. Giving into her fears, Nan hee asks Young Won if chemotherapy really is that hard, especially considering that she’s just getting six treatments. Young Won tells her that it’s hard and will take a long while since it’s administered case by case. She tells Nan Hee not to expect much, but not to give up hope either. The words have Nan Hee making up her mind and she makes a call to Yeon Ha. Meanwhile, Hee Ja’s with Choong Nam who’s brought her to a nursing home she’d had her relatives at. She takes Hee Ja on a tour, showing her the different rooms. Although Choong Nam is of the opinion that it’s only people with dementia worse than Hee Ja that are in the home, Hee Ja refuses to leave the home as she figures that it would be hard for Min Ho, Ha Nuel and the baby to live with her. Reminding Choong Nam that she’s always put others first, she tells her that she would rather remain at the nursing home until the very end and asks that Choong Nam bring Jung Ah and Ssang Boon to come visit her. As they both cry, Hee Ja tells Choong Nam that it would have been nice if they’d all lived together, but now that dream is a distant one.
5. Nan Hee meets with Yeon Ha and Yeon Ha says goodbye
Whilst Wan’s at the restaurant, pitching in to help the staff, Nan Hee has Young Won drive her to the restaurant where she’s meeting Yeon Ha. Young Won points out about it being a bad idea for Nan Hee to see Yeon Ha alone, instead of letting Wan know about the meeting but Nan Hee tells her that it will be a brief talk, plus, she has no intention of pulling out Yeon Ha’s hair like she’d done to Dong Jin. Young Won allows the moment of humor and teases Nan Hee right back that she knows Nan Hee can’t do that because she just had surgery. Nan Hee then leaves the car and walks into the restaurant where Yeon Ha comes riding in his wheelchair with a tray of teacups in hand. He serves them both the cup of tea and gives a little smile as they both fall silent. Finally Nan Hee speaks and asks him why he’s not dated any other women. When she asks if women refuse him because of his legs, Yeon Ha laughs as he tells her that he’s just not been interested in other women. Nan Hee then moves on to pleasant chitchat, asking Yeon Ha questions about his family. When she asks him if he makes a lot of money, Yeon Ha laughs as he tells her that he makes enough (awww. Why do those sound like mother-in-law questions?). Nan Hee asks him if she sounds materialistic and Yeon Ha holds onto her hands as he tells her that he’s grateful her surgery went well (awwww). Nan Hee looks down at his hands and sees the couple ring he has on; the exact twin of the ring on Wan’s finger. She covers his hands with hers and compliments his hands and then confirms that he’s traveling that day. When she tells him to take care, he tears up. Next thing we see, he’s in a cab, headed for the airport and talking to Wan who explains that she hadn’t called because she’d feared that she would beg him to stay. Yeon Ha admits that he would have stayed if she’d asked him to and Wan tells him that she still loves him. He replies that she should take care, and thanks her for giving him the courage to fly down because she’d flown to him. He tells her that he loves her and when Wan tells him to forget all about her, he answers that he’ll be sure to do so. When they hang up, they both tear up.
6. Hee Ja settles into the nursing home and Nan Hee sends Wan off
Min Ho gets into a big argument with his siblings about Hee Ja not needing to be in a nursing home as he’s quite okay with taking care of her himself. He storms out of the meeting and we cut to Hee Ja looking miserable at the nursing home as she ignores Jung Ah’s call. Instead, she chooses to befriend one of the other older women in the nursing home and shares her fruit with her. Jung Ah on the other hand wants to bring Hee Ja back but she’s aware that it’s Hee Ja’s decision and feels tired of it all. Seok Gyun who’s really come a long way from the person we met at the beginning of the drama, tells her to sleep on it and then gives her a foot massage. When he tells her to not forget to get her shots, and she tells him they will cost money, he tells her to spend it all (yes. I’m gaping as much as you all are. Seok Gyun really has come a long way). We then cut to Nan Hee and Wan with Wan still being a mother hen and ignoring Nan Hee’s questions about why she’d gotten rid of all of Yeon Ha’s pictures. Wan just keeps talking about work and the fact that she’s finding it particularly painful to write Hee Ja’s part of the story. When Nan Hee mentions that she’s thinking of entering a center where she can have a professional caretaker take care of her during her chemo treatment, Wan insists on doing it herself. Nan Hee simply sighs and pulls out a plane ticket, extending it to Wan who she tells to go and meet Yeon Ha (are you serious?). Wan is insistent on not going though, saying that she has to stay and care for Nan Hee. When Nan Hee points out that her illness is not a one time thing but something she would be battling for years, maybe a decade even, Wan insists on being there, seeing that her mother has raised her for over 30 years and 10 years is therefore nothing to her but Nan Hee cries that she doesn’t want to feel like the fool whose daughter is taking care of her rather than living her own life. She tells Wan that she can’t ask Wan to leave her for good because she clings to Wan a lot and so she wants Wan to leave for a week and when she gets better, Wan can leave for a month (Gah! Nan Hee…). Then Wan can get married and then leave her for good (did you just give her permission to marry. Gah! My heart and the tears won’t stop falling). Wan tries to talk, but Nan Hee interjects and asks if Yeon Ha is good in bed (what??!!!! Hahahaha), and if he hugs Wan a lot. The question has Wan laughing and then crying and Nan Hee tells her that when she comes back, Wan should learn how to give massages because with Yeon Ha working the wheelchair all the time, his arms would hurt (Awwwww). Morning comes and we see Wan with her luggage in hand trying to get Nan Hee to change her mind about insisting that Wan travel to go meet Yeon Ha. Nan Hee refuses to budge however and sends her daughter off telling her to tell Yeon Ha to hold her more often (hahaha). When Wan brings up Il Woo to get back at her mother, Nan Hee laughs as she says that Il Woo told her he misses her a lot. As Wan rides in the cab on her way to the airport, she tells us that that’s how she left her sick mother behind and continued with her life. As we pan to Nan Hee putting up Wan’s pictures of herself with Yeon Ha (awwww), Wan tells us that she realized how cruel life could be. She continues that their parents younger days told them to have as much as they can, seize every opportunity and live their lives to the fullest. But now that they’ve gotten older, life states that everything they have, including their children who are more precious than their lives, should be left behind. Wan states that life hurries them to leave everything behind, including their hopes and their regret and no one knows when life will be over. She continues that she wanted to ask life, on behalf of the older ones, what it wants them to do.
7. Dae Cheol extends an invite to Young Won and Hee Ja wants to die free
Alone with Choong Nam, Young Won tears up when Choong Nam points out that she looks like she’s crying. She tells Choong Nam that Dae Cheol’s really sick and is in the last stages of his pancreatic cancer, meaning even the doctor refuses to operate on him. However though, after he came to Korea to see her, he had the strength to get his surgery and is now inviting Young Won to come visit him in the States, saying that Dae Cheol told her that he will hang in there until he sees her. Young Won also adds that Dae Cheol told her that he got divorced 30 years prior. Choong Nam grumbles as she tells Young Won not to go see him and Young Won teases her about inviting Dae Cheol over then. Meanwhile, Hee Ja’s at the nursing home feeling sad as she sees one of the people in the home being taken away by her son. That night, she calls Jung Ah and asks if they’ve ever gone on a drive. We flash back to happier times when they’d done that and Jung Ah smiles as she replies that yes they have. Hee Ja then suggests Jung Ah come pick her up immediately so they can go on the drive. She reminds Jung Ah about Jung Ah’s desire to die on the road and says that she doesn’t want to die, cooped up in a small prison-like room. Jung Ah, looks around, thinks of her friend and tells Hee Ja to stay right there as she would come pick her up (tearing up now). She dresses up, heads to Seok Gyun’s to get his car keys and then races off to the nursing home to meet an ecstatic Hee Ja who is thrilled to see her (awwww). The two friends get into the car and cheer as they get started on their journey. Except, they run out of fuel before they get very far (hahahaha).
8. The friends all go on a trip… or rather, they wanted to
Out of gas, Jung Ah immediately calls Choong Nam who has plenty of money but doesn’t know how to get to them. When a very happy Hee Ja tells her to come join them and a cautious Jung Ah wonders if Choong Nam can drive. Choong Nam spots one of the pottery pieces from her professor-artist friends and immediately agrees to come over, saying she would take a cab. After entrusting the cafe to her nephews, she calls Young Won as she’s packing and suggests they go on a trip with their friends (awwww). Young Won then extends the same invite to Nan Hee who is very excited about going on the trip. Soon Young Won, Choong Nam, Nan Hee, Seok Gyun and Seong Jae are all in one car heading over to join Jung Ah and Hee Ja on their trip. Seok Gyun of course grumbles about the trip being unplanned but everyone else ignores him. Unfortunately, heavy rains soon start and the next thing we see, they’re all cooped up (Hee Ja and Jung Ah inclusive) in a room whilst Choong Nam grumbles at all the money she’d brought along and now they’re cooped up in a room. When the others ask her where she’d rather go, Seok Gyun pipes up about the fact that it’s going to rain for the next four days so it’s best for them to all go home. They grumble and Jung Ah interrupts to complain about the way they’re talking to her husband. Everyone teases her about the closeness she now has with Seok Gyun whilst Seong Jae just grumbles that they should get back together. He then asks Seok Gyun if the latter is scared of dying away from home and Seok Gyun explains that he heard a folktale about people who die away from home not having a pleasant afterlife. Hee Ja and Choong Nam tease him about how he knows it to be so when he’s never died before (hahaha) and then they decide to say how they want to die. Choong Nam chooses to go by sickness, Nan Hee wants a natural death, Young Won wants to die alone, Jung Ah just doesn’t want to die by suicide and Seong Jae chooses a natural death as well. They all then reach a consensus that they would prefer to die on the streets, whilst Seok Gyun grumbles about them being hopeless fools. At that moment, Wan walks in to join the party (hahaha. Everyone’s what’s she doing here face is just classic).
9. The trip is back on and life goes on
As Wan watches them all sleep that night, she tells us that when her old friends had told her that they wanted to go on the road again, she’d thought they were joking or dreaming. We pan to a view of a camping bus on a road and Wan tells us that they had been serious however and from that day on, they spent their time on the road. We then see Seong Jae and Seok Gyun at the front of the wheel, with the both of them arguing about the direction they should take, whilst the aunties are in the back, napping, singing and in the case of Choong Nam studying her English textbook. Wan continues telling us that no matter how rough the road got, they never stopped because they believed that the difficult lives they’ve lived meant that they could handle all the hardships they experienced on the road. And sure enough, we see them all push their bus out of a ditch it had gotten stuck in and soon they were on their way. Back at Seoul, we see Nan Hee getting her chemo treatment, Seong Jae and Hee Ja at a senior center, where Seong Jae is possessive about Hee Ja talking with the other men (hahaha), Seok Gyun and Jung Ah affixing eyes to teddy bears, an action from which they take a break whilst Seok Gyun gets water for Jung Ah, Choong Nam is studying for her exams and Young Won’s practicing lines for a drama. Away in Slovenia, Wan is writing her book and Yeon Ha is practicing standing with a walker. He collapses exhausted and Wan encourages him. In the morning, she wakes up in Yeon Ha’s arms with his whispering that she get up. Back in Seoul, Nan Hee’s having happy times with Il Woo as they watch movies and snack on popcorn.
10. Living with intensity and pride
The next time our friends go on a road trip, Ssang Boon’s with them and she grumbles about the fact that it always rains when they’re going on a trip. When Seok Gyun teases her right back that she shouldn’t come with them anymore then, she snaps at him to speak for himself (hahaha), and Jung Ah defends him, but receives a tap on her head for her efforts (hahaha). The next thing we see, the friends are at the ocean, and Wan is with them, telling Ssang Boon that she’s finished her book and is titling it: My Old Friends. Ssang Boon however, isn’t impressed and grumbles that Wan should get pregnant. Wan laughs and asks Ssang Boon for a definition about life in one sentence only. Ssang Bong gives a simple reply: “There’s not much to it.” When Wan asks if that won’t make life too sad, Ssang Bang wonders why life would be sad when there’s not much to it. She tells Wan to just think of it as “a life with not much to it, isn’t so bad like this”. As Ssang Boon walks away, Wan tells us that Ssang Boon had said that there isn’t much to life after living for 90 years, and Wan figures that perhaps that’s the answer because all that’s left of life which doesn’t have much to it are selfish children, and she didn’t think it was right. The aunties and uncles aren’t privy to her thoughts however and spend the time playing and goofing around by the beach. As Wan watches them play she thinks of how foolish she is that she’d thought of them coming closer to death. She continues that just like they’ve lived in the past, if they have to go back to where they came from to make their return significant enough, they’ll still be living the moment with intensity and pride. The aunties and uncles then watch the sun set on the ocean and as Wan watches them , she states that if they could get a wish, she’s sure they will wish the moment lasts for longer so they’ll have no regrets.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
Headache inducing moment:
This episode’s a glass of red wine. Well made and a beauty to watch and enjoy. All the amazingly individual stories that have been developed all through the drama reach a conclusion that gives us a glimpse of the rich lives our characters have and what lies ahead of them. It’s a touching episode and I have no regret in watching the drama. Goodbye Dear My Friends. Thanks for the last eight weeks.