[University’s finally caught up, so this’ll be a recap with fewer screencaps, besides Shinhyuk’s farewell. It actually takes me 1-1.5 hours to get all the screencaps in usually, and I don’t have that time today! 😦 I should be all caught up to recap next week’s finale though!]
Shinhyuk calmly introduces himself as TEN while Sungjoon reels in shock. He hands Sungjoon a recording he’s made, telling him to use it to write the main feature article. Sungjoon understands what implications this’ll have for Shinhyuk and hesitates, yet Shinhyuk reverts to his characteristic jokey behaviour and tells him to go on and do it. He says he planned to tell Hyejin first, but knowing her, she’d feel too bad to actually write anything so he’s entrusting this to Sungjoon. He did create the recording thinking he’d be speaking to Hyejin though, so he asks Sungjoon to excuse the informal language. Despite all his outward humour, that’s a vein of sadness that runs deep in his eyes. Shinhyuk leaves before Sungjoon can protest any further. Sungjoon returns him and listens to the recording his face growing more and more worried before calling the print shop editor and telling him to proceed anyway, without the main feature article. Aww, he’s protecting Shinhyuk here.
Too bad Shinhyuk guessed this would happen, writes the article and includes it in anyway much to Sungjoon’s horror. The magazine hits stands and MOST surges in sales, reaching first place. The MOST team is shocked at the reveal but no one more so than Hyejin who leaves to go looking for him upon Hari telling her that she knew he lived at the hotel. Sungjoon’s one step ahead but Shinhyuk’s already cleared out. Sungjoon hands her the recording, saying that he thinks they’re Shinhyuk’s last words to her. Hyejin listens as Shinhyuk tells her that he was adopted at the age of 12 by American parents and had a wonderful, loving upbringing. His American name was David Joseph, his pen name, TEN. He tells her why he kept his identity a secret. Hyejin thinks back to their final date and tears up.
The staff find a video message that Shinhyuk left for everyone. One by one he addresses them all personally and sincerely thanks them, even leaving a gift for the soon-to-be-married editor. He addresses Sungjoon fondly noting that he’d have lent him more underwear had he known, right? Hyejin’s the only one he doesn’t address. She has to return to the management team, and everyone throws her a party. But someone’s missing from her life now and Hyejin recognizes it. Walking on the street, she freezes upon seeing someone who looks like Shinhyuk and runs after him only to find no one. Thinking she was mistaken, she leaves only for Shinhyuk (with a cap pulled down to hide his identity and looking even sexier than ever) to slow-motion grab her close and hug her tight.
He whispers something to her that the show doesn’t reveal, she laughs and then he leaves, with a sweet smile.
Hyejin thinks back to every moment they had together. Him offering her a bite of his food, using her headbanging to break his noodles, snapping pictures of her jumping down the stairs (I WILL GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIP) and smiles through her tears before leaving.
Sungjoon and Hyejin go on a date at the same playground where he once awkwardly slid down a slide at her feet and then commented on how bright the moon was. She hilariously reenacts it, much to his embarrassment. Sungjoon tells her that he planned on proposing to her once they reached 1st in sales but this wasn’t how he wanted it to happen. He plans on declining the promotion he’s been offered and on taking care of things on his end before he marries her. He asks Hyejin to come with him to America. She happily agrees.
Hyejin meets with the fairytale author she worked with who praises her writing and asks her to work with her and a bunch of other writers. It would mean moving into the house they all share until the project is complete. Hyejin refuses laughingly, saying that she’s getting married. But she talks animatedly about it with Sungjoon who notices how much she loves the idea.
Meanwhile, Hari (with Hyejin’s help) realizes that she really does love being a hotelier, but doesn’t want to get the position through her father’s money. So she’ll be heading off to graduate school to study hotel management. Hyejin comments on how pretty she looks at being able to do what she loves. Hyejin later looks at herself in the mirror and notes that she doesn’t look pretty.
Sungjoon prepares to propose to Hyejin once she comes over and is horrified when the first thing she says upon him opening the door is “Let’s get married!” She even has rings, which she hurriedly puts on his finger and hers.
Hyejin stutters in getting it out but he predicts what she’s going to say. She’s asking him for a year before they get married. He agrees saying he saw how happy she was earlier and wants her to do what she loves. She says that people who do work at what they love look beautiful and that she wanted to be beautiful for herself (have I mentioned how much I love this girl?) He gets adorably grouchy that she stole his thunder though and Hyejin pesters him on how he was going to propose to her. He simply brings out the Renoir puzzle (in pieces) and they finish it together with Hyejin still pestering him). He points at a fallen piece and uses the moment she turns away to place two rings on the empty slot left. They’re all laughter and tears as they put the rings on each other’s hands. Sungjoon adorably tries to make a move on Hyejin only for her to bring up laundry she has to do and practically race out of there. A bit later he happily surveys his new ring only for the doorbell to sound. It’s Hyejin, who nervously says that she doesn’t have to do her laundry. Sungjoon just smiles, grabs her in and whoa baby now there’s a kiss.
Hyejin packs to move to the author’s house with Hari who starts crying since they’ve never been seperated. Hyejin starts to cry too and both sob before turning to drinking and dancing like in the first episode (best friendship ever). Sungjoon walks Hyejin to her new place. His flight’s the next day but he asks for Hyejin not to show up, knowing that he’ll probably say something embarrassing like asking her to come with him. Hyejin agrees and they slowly say their goodbye, only for Sungjoon to turn and run back to tell Hyejin that he loves her. Hyejin tearily smiles, saying that she does as well.
He kisses her forehead and we fade out. An unspecified amount of time later, we see bushy-haired Hyejin riding her bike through the neighbour past the authors. She yells out that she’s on her way to see someone, but she’ll be back real soon.
First off, I’m really glad that Shinhyuk was given such a vital role in the saving of MOSt so that Sungjoon doesn’t appear some kind of hero. Because let’s face his, his methods (while understandable) were very, very questionable (though I”m choosing to look past them now) . Perhaps it’s the character’s incredible popularity and uniqueness (the sex appeal of the typical ‘bad guy’ character, combined with the ‘idgaf’ attitude usually associated with snooty male leads combined with such heart, and warmth, sweetness and eccentricity) but unlike most second male leads, Shinhyuk didn’t fade into the background after Sungjoon got the girl. Hari’s screentime has gotten incredibly reduced, but Shinhyuk’s if anything has increased. And I’m glad because honestly, the man is perfection and you can’t go wrong with putting more of that onscreen. It’s a shame the show didn’t tell us what Shinhyuk whispered in Hyejin’s ear because I am so dying to find out. Ah well, a week’s wait until then. I hope we get to see how he’s doing in the finale, because if this is the end, and this turns out to be the last image I have of Siwon before he leaves for the army, I’ll probably going to loop this and sob. I miss you already Shinhyuk-ah!
Sungjoon really was a sweetheart today though. From protecting Shinhyuk’s identity to how easily he agreed to a year apart, he clearly loves Hyejin to bits and what she wants is what he wants. His proposal is indicative of how great a guy he is (“I want you to feel as much happiness as you’ve made me feel”), and he deserves credit for that. I am a bit curious about this ending though. And about those strange little things that don’t add up about Sungjoon’s character. Remember the second time Hyejin’s family had him over for dinner and kept piling food on his plate? He acted really strange. This wasn’t awkwardness, it was straight out discomfort. And drinking flower water and bumping into things? Too focused in his work or indicative of a larger problem? And there was something strange in his tone today when he asked Hyejin not to meet him at the airport. Just sadness that they’re spending a year apart or something more? Perhaps I’m reading a bit too much into this and we’ll get a happy cotton-candy ending (which I wouldn’t mind one bit, part of the joy in seeing this show is sharing in their happiness) but what do you guys think? 😀