Episode 16 was nothing special by any stretch of the imagination but it brings a natural ending to a convoluted love story that ran out of steam.
The Was It Love? finale was always going to be a wrapping up job and episode 16 proved just that, making it as sweet as possible. There are some poor and strong episodes in the series but thankfully, it ends on a good note. To begin with, Ae-jeong gives Dae-o a peck on his cheek and thanks him for waiting patiently. The couple are relieved and happy after a great day together. She asks him to wait for a little longer after his proposal.
Ha-nee reads the book “Love is Nonexistent” and ponders over the claims that it is fake and the implied truth that Dae-o abandoned Ae-jeong and her child. She speaks to her mother and tells her that everyone online is saying the novel is fake and that she knows the woman is based on her. Of course, Ms Song is the orchestrator of all of this. This is one last throw of the dice to stop Ae-jeong and Dae-o from concluding their relationship but it’s obvious it isn’t going to work. Episode 16 is going through the motions.
Dae-o then hears the news that he’s been exposed online. He’s been made out to be a piece of trash. When Ae-jeong gets into work, she sees her bank book is missing and wonders where Mr Wang is. Dae-o wants the video put down of Ae-jeong at his book concert as he’s worried about her and his daughter. He tells his agent that the rumours are true — he wrote the story without considering Ae-jeong’s feelings.
Taking full responsibility
The risk of the movie not happening is high which means massive cost implications. Dae-o arrives at the office and takes full responsibility as he wrote the novel. Later, Ae-jeong tells Dae-o that through wind and storm, they should get through this together. Dae-o suggests scrapping the movie as he doesn’t deserve to direct it but he will ensure to protect Ha-nee and Ae-jeong’s dream. Dae-o is thinking long term in the Was It Love? finale.
Leave them alone
A-rin shouts at the journalists for trying to violate Ae-jeong and Ha-nee’s privacy in the media. She highlights that they are not celebrities and that they deserve better. Ryu-jin is impressed by this more caring behaviour from A-rin. But the media story is getting more personal and intense for Ae-jeong and Dae-o.
He’s not a bad man
Ha-nee seems content on keeping up to date with the news — she’d rather know what everyone else is saying than not know. She tells her grandmother that the kids have not bullied her over it and actually, they’ve been nice. Ha-nee continues and states that she can tell Dae-o is not a bad man.
It’s time to be happy
Ha-nee and Dae-o meet. They both ask each other how they are feeling. Ha-nee asks Dae-o to take care of her mother first. This is the scene that confirms that she trusts Dae-o. Dae-o admits that he hated Ae-jeong for a very long time over misunderstandings. Ha-nee says she’s always been happy due to her mother and grandma but that it’s time for Dae-o and her mother to be happy. The level of maturity from this kid is incredible. If this was my child, I’d offer them half of my salary just to maintain this outstanding behavior.
Sacrificing the film
The next day, Ae-jeong learns that Dae-o has retired as director and that Mr. Kim will be helping out with the new film. Koo Pa-do states that Dae-o can no longer be part of the project but that Thumb Film will co-produce “No One But My Man”. Ae-jeong will be the supervising producer but she wants to talk to Dae-o first. Koo Pa-do reveals that this is what Dae-o wanted and agreed to. A flashback shows Dae-o giving the script for the new film and asks Koo Pa-do to start fresh without him and allow Ae-jeong to pursue her dreams of producing a big movie. A mature sacrifice from Dae-o — he finally understands what he needs to do.
Fulfilling dreams and becoming a new writer
Ae-jeong then finds out that Dae-o was leaving without telling her and she’s heartbroken. Dae-o explains that he wants to tell the world their real story but that it will take time. He doesn’t want everyone pitying Ha-nee and Ae-jeong. She tells Dae-o that he can write the real love story without leaving them. Dae-o is worried about people talking and not leaving them alone — he wants to write in solitude. While she fulfills her dream, he will become a new writer. Ae-jeong shares the news with her mother and cries, explaining how heartbroken she is. This really is the last roll of the dice to keep these two apart in the finale — the K-drama series could not help itself.
The ending of the finale
The story then jumps forward and the new film “No One But My Man” is in the post-production stage and Ae-jeong is receiving deserved praise. Ryu Jin and Ms. Song form an understanding with each other despite the fact that they cannot be business partners again. As for Dong-chan, he’s playing football, and Koo Pa-do watches and encourages him; they seem to have a more connected father-son relationship.
With Ae-jeong celebrating her success, she imagines Dae-o returning but of course, it was just a daydream. She ends up reading his new book which details their love story. As the episode ends, Ae-jeong is on the phone talking about the film, and then she sees Dae-o and she is stunned. He assumes he’s come back too late but he’s happy that she’s successful — he’s made her wait two more years. Dae-o tells her he missed her and hugs her. She calls him an ******* but that she’s missed him too. The finale closes out with Ha-nee’s wedding. Episode 16 was nothing special by any stretch of the imagination but it brings a natural ending to a convoluted love story that ran out of steam.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.