The Interest of Love Season 1 Episode 16 Recap and Ending Explained

By Daniel Hart
Published: February 9, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
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The ending of the finale certainly leaves much for the imagination of the audience, but this is a realistic end to a love story.

We recap the Netflix K-Drama series The Interest of Love Season 1 Episode 16, which contains spoilers and explains the ending.

The finale of The Interest of Love had to focus mostly on Ahn Su-yeong (Moon Ga-youngand Ha Sang-su (Yoo Yeon-seok), especially after the bombshell in Episode 15 (that they don’t see each other again).

Episode 16 is certainly not for the hopeless romantics. If anything, it delves into the mishaps for love. The trials and tribulations of regret. The importance of healing. The ending of the finale certainly leaves much for the imagination of the audience, but this is a realistic end to a love story. It isn’t a certain happy ending. A lie we console ourselves to all of our childhood. It provides that sobering but self-aware outlook that being in love is simply not enough. Making the right decisions is hard work to nurture something sacred.

The Interest of Love Season 1 Episode 16 recap

Season 1 Episode 16 opens up — it’s June 2023. A normal day at the bank. Sang-su is living his life, becoming an assistant manager as it flits to 2024. He’s trying to forget about Su-yeong despite four years passing by.

Episode 16 moves to a wedding day — Sang-su presents a wedding between two colleagues from the bank — Ma Du-sik and Bae Eun-jeong. The bride wonders where Mi-gyeong is, which is met with an awkward silence. Colleagues believe it’s still awkward for Sang-su. Later on, Gyeon-pil bumps into Mi-gyeong at the wedding. It’s been a long time since they have seen each other. Mi-gyeong works at HQ now.

Su-yeong and Sang-su miss each other

Eventually, we see Su-yeong in Episode 16. A colleague visits her to catch up. She admits she thinks of Sang-su sometimes and reminisces. Su-yeong runs her own cafe now and admits she may need to visit the bank to get a loan. Regardless of where Sang-su and Su-yeong are in their lives, there’s definitely an air of regret. The wounds are not healing. They haven’t forgotten about each other at all.

Su-yeong needs a bank loan for her cafe

As we move forward, Sang-su moves branches. As he drives, he thinks he sees Su-yeong, and he immediately pulls over to run after her. The mere sight of her makes him almost breathless. However, when he reaches the woman, it is not her. However, by chasing after her, he does run into Su-yeong’s cafe — it’s a drawing cafe called “Future Happiness.” He decides to enter, and he sees paintings that he recognizes, locations where he and Su-yeong have walked and had endless conversations.

(Can I say, the whole coffee and paint cafe concept is a brilliant idea).

Mi-gyeong and Su-yeong find closure in their fractured friends, and Jong-hyeon achieves his dream

Meanwhile, Su-yeong is visiting a bank branch to enquire about a loan. She gets a trainee employee, so she sympathizes and asks the woman to take her time. She remembers what it was like to work at a bank. As she leaves the bank, Sang-su enters, and he’s introduced to his colleagues as the assistant manager.

Afterward, while at an art gallery, Su-yeong and Mi-gyeong run into each other, so they go for a coffee and a chat. They catch up, and surprisingly it isn’t awkward as they anticipated. Mi-gyeong admits that she used to resent her, but over time she became curious about her — either way, she has missed her.  Su-yeong tells Mi-gyeong that she’s missed her too. The finale then moves to Jong-hyeon — he became a police officer as he dreamed of. He’s all glowed up.

Sang-su learns that Su-yeong owns the “Future Happiness” cafe

Back at work, Sang-su is given a report on one of their clients that’s due for an inspection — the business “Future Happiness” owned by Ahn Su-yeong. Earlier in the episode, Su-yeong asked the woman inside the cafe what the name of the cafe meant, and she didn’t know.

The bank invites Su-yeong to meet Sang-su about the missing documents for the inspection. Su-yeong freezes, knowing she will meet Sang-su after all this time. Sang-su walks into her cafe, and time almost stands still as they look at each other intently. Sang-su runs through with her the inspection procedure, and it is slightly awkward.

Afterward, Su-yeong invites Sang-su for coffee. They catch up, and Su-yeong tells Sang-su that she tries to be happy as best as possible. Sang-su admits he tried to be happy too. Sang-su finally leaves, frustrating this love storyline even further.

Eventually, in the finale, we see a fleeting reunion between Su-yeong and Jong-hyeon. Su-yeong passes him by as he directs cars as a traffic officer. They simply smile at each other. No conversation is needed. And then, there’s a fleeting moment between Sang-su and Mi-gyeong too. All the characters have healed as well as they can after what they endured years before.

Sang-su has no more reasons to see Su-yeong after the inspection concludes

Sang-su visits Su-yeong’s cafe to continue the inspection; Sang-su sees Su-yeong smoking and wonders when she took on that habit, revealing that he quit. She jokingly tells him that he will live longer than her. Everything with the inspection is cleared, and Su-yeong looks sad that their banking ordeal is over. Sang-su asks if he can try painting before he leaves. He paints a beach and a sand castle where they both sat together, peacefully

Sang-su finally leaves, and Su-yeong seems anxious. It’s obvious she doesn’t want him to leave (not knowing when she will see him again). Sang-su tells her that he hopes she lives a happy life, and she returns the same sentiments. Once again, there’s no closure between them both. Sang-su at least as his painting, a memory of their brief encounter, but deep down, it is not enough.

Sang-su and Su-yeong cross paths again

Sang-su walks late in the night and bumps into Su-yeong, which makes them both laugh; they can’t believe they have run into each other again. They go for a coffee, and there are a lot of unspoken words between them. Su-yeong wants to know why he isn’t curious as to why she ghosted him. Sang-su admits he doesn’t fully understand why she ghosted, and it didn’t feel right missing her when she broke a promise — to go out to eat pork cutlets. The pair laugh to add amusement to the conversation.

Sang-su gives Su-yeong another chance and asks her if she’d like to see him the next day — she promises again.

Sang-su and Su-yeong meet for a date, and this time, Sang-su makes sure he is not late

And the next day comes, and Sang-su is under pressure at work to leave on time to go on his date with Su-yeong — he’s so desperate to be on time that he balances the books himself with his own cash. The series goes full circle; while he was late at the start of this story, this time, he turns up on time to meet Su-yeong. Sang-su asks her why she never called him back in the past; Su-yeong believes she had no more to give or receive.

Sang-su ponders what would have happened if they made different decisions — if Sang-su did not hesitate on the night they were supposed to go on a date; if Sang-su was not thrown off by her and Jong-hyeon — if they did absolutely everything right, giving the audience a kind of La La Land montage.

Su-yeong then wonders the same if she had made different decisions. She ponders how better it would have been if she was honest with him. A life with less regret and instead, love.

Su-yeong and Sang-su admit they wished they worked out and are expressing the number of regrets they have. Su-yeong tells Sang-su they would have had a life of marriage and family, sometimes arguing like a couple, enjoying the day-to-day until the inevitable divorce. Sang-su disputes the divorce part, knowing Su-yeong always thinks of worst-case scenarios. They are being playful with each other. It’s a prelude to their official relationship.

The Interest of Love Season 1 Episode 16 Ending Explained 

Eventually, they both stop walking and look at each other longingly. Sang-su narrates how they were once a part of each other’s lives and fell in love, but they played foolishly with what they had. But everything they regretted made each other long for each other more. Were they either in love or blinded by interest all of this time? By now, we know the answer. They are intensely in love.

Do Su-yeong and Sang-su end up together in the end?

As the finale ends, Sang-su and Su-yeong look at each other with love in their eyes before continuing to walk. This time, there is no goodbye to end the night. They have everything they need.

Whether they will end up together is a question left to the audience. This is certainly a painful ending for the hopeless romantics hoping for an embrace. Instead, the K-Drama ended by teasing the audience with the “what-ifs.” We leave this series hoping that they work it out now they are back in each other’s lives. No foolishness, no regrets. The lesson served is — if you love someone, make sure you have no regrets.

What did you think of the K-Drama The Interest of Love Season 1 Episode 16 and the Ending? Comment below.

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