Episode 20 came in at 9.6%. Ratings went up…how is that possible?
AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH! It’s done! It’s done! Hoo-frickin’-ray! *happy dance* *busts open the beer and soju* Who wants?
And about the actual episode: this was a horrible finale. I have the worst feeling in my gut right now. It’s not the content. It’s the delivery. The context…or the lack thereof. I’m not moved. Rather, I’m confused. That’s not a good way to leave your viewer.
“???” – You’ll get more when they give me more! (from the Fashion King OST)
episode 20 (final) recap
In the factory, the ahjummas wonder where Young-gul is as Ga-young listens. They make not-so-subtle suggestions about how to get a man back, like using aegyo. A call comes in from Young-gul’s relative and informs them that his father died the week before.
They are all shocked, especially Ga-young who, again, is feeling guilty.
Assistant Kim is yacking at a nearly catatonic Jae-hyuk about the Italy debacle and how shameless Young-gul is. Then, Madam Dragon comes in with a plan to take out Young-gul. Jae-hyuk is unsure until he has to go to a meeting where Young-gul is now present as a partner.
We see that Madam Dragon suggested the power of the press to take out Young-gul. Make him out to be a materialistic, money hungry merchant. One bit of mad media will cause business partners to turn away from him and decide to sever ties. Jae-hyuk is a chaebol and has the power of social status and old money. The Dragon suggests using this power to his advantage. Then Jae-hyuk should copy Young-gul’s strategies and offer slightly lower prices and completely pull the rug out from under him.
Chil-bok and Il-gook call to deliver the bad news. Jae-hyuk went through with the media attack and now Young-gul is being portrayed as a legend of Dongdaemoon only in name. It completely slanders him and although Young-gul wants to retaliate, his friends tell him that Jae-hyuk’s status and resources would completely render his efforts futile.
One of their sellers calls to say that they’ve decided to go with J Fashion instead. To say that Young-gul is unhappy is an extreme understatement.
Also, Il-gook seems to be enjoying his friends discomfort.
I’m a little confused why he’s there. After beating the crap out of Young-gul, I thought that Il-gook would quit. But I bet the writer kept him to exacerbate the situation and to highlight Young-gul’s downward spiral.
At home, Young-gul finds a guilty Ga-young has prepared him a meal. It would be cute, but the tone of this episode is so heavy (and the entire drama was so terrible) that I’m not feeling it. Not even Shin Se-kyung’s little aegyo whine can make me feel the cute although it makes Young-gul smile sadly. Ga-young is mortified that she even tried it and tries to distract him by showing her the sketches she came up with for her fashion show. She tells him that even if her work isn’t good, she hasn’t been this happy since sketching for her final portfolio for school. Even if she can’t put on a show, she is thankful to him for letting her feel creative and happy again.
Young-gul immediately calls Il-gook to book a venue for her; it’s a waste not to show such awesome designs.
Then she thanks him for her mom’s store. She was just shocked before.
CRAP EXCUSE. Omigosh. Did they actually just make her 180? !@#$@#$^%@#$!@#%#$&$%^#$%#
Young-gul accepts her thanks and tells her to go with Bong Sook to the store to plan its future and her show. Maybe one day she’ll even end up supporting him.
Boy, if you love her, share what’s going on in your life. But he’s on the verge of a serious breakdown so he’s barely functioning. She, however, is happy.
An-na’s office is buzzing and trying to do damage control. Young-gul is doing nothing, just sitting on the sofa wondering how to put on Ga-young’s fashion show.
Remember that word “breakdown”? Yeah, he’s almost completely shut down at this point and An-na calls him on it. He’s not doing anything to save his company although he keeps saying he’ll take care of it.
Daddy Tyrant calls An-na who reminds Young-gul that she’s not going back to the beginning again. Then she goes to meet Daddy Tyrant and accepts his job offer.
Young-gul gets abandoned by another person. At least An-na is making her own decisions…? All these idiots need to extricate themselves from each other.
Then the banker turns Young-gul down for another loan and Il-gook can’t sell the luxury car.
On the way to Ga-young’s boutique, Ga-young and Bong Sook get a call from the factory where everything is in a frenzy. People are everywhere, fighting, yelling, trying to repossess equipment. The ahjummas are flipping out and wondering where Young-gul is at this time of crisis.
I know I should be mad at him for abandoning them, but he’s completely broken. The man needs serious therapy and a STRONG woman (not a doormat) to support him. He needed it from the start. Not making excuses for him, but he’s pretty pathetic right now.
Ga-young decides to go a-begging again and interrupts Jae-hyuk’s celebration. He’s completely thrown by her appearance but quickly puts on a facade of indifference. Intimidated by his guests, Ga-young tells him she will go to his office, but Jae-hyuk wonders why it matters. She asked him not to remember her.
After taking a deep breath, Ga-young demands why Jae-hyuk is doing this to Young-gul to which Jae-hyuk replies that a well brought-up person like himself doesn’t give pain unless he is hurt first. Is this how someone who grew up in a good home acts? she demands, which draws a gasp from the guests. If he’s angry at her, he should take it out on her. But there is nothing between them, he replies, drawing tears from her eyes.
When she quickly leaves, Jae-hyuk crumbles and lasts no more than a few seconds before chasing after her. He drags her into a room and shoves her against the wall. How long is she going to put Young-gul between them? How can she tell him to erase her from his memory? If she really wants him to leave, he will, because he loves her. But is that what she really wants? He’ll give her time to think about it.
Then he leaves her alone and stunned.
Ga-young goes home to brood and the show has more flippin’ product placement. It’s so ridiculously obvious that it’s more jarring than this hair-brained plot.
Broken-down Young-gul visits his father’s memorial and promises his father that he will not live like he did.
Sounds like the man wants a change in his life. He seems to have hit rock bottom.
Jae-hyuk is happily planning social excursions when Young-gul shows up to beg for money.
I know, I know WHAT?! But this time, he wants it to put on Ga-young’s show and he’s broke because of Jae-hyuk. Young-gul must’ve really hit rock bottom to give up on his fierce pride and need to crush Jae-hyuk to beg. It’s his first truly selfless request.
Young-gul also finds out that J Fashion pulled out of YGM. I guess he hadn’t hit rock bottom before. I have a feeling he still has a ways to fall… In any case, he begs Jae-hyuk to put on the show for Ga-young, even offering his shares of YGM.
In the hall, Young-gul runs into An-na and discovers she took a job with J Fashion and shut down the Young Young Apparel office. He doesn’t even look surprised. Instead, he apologizes and walks away. She stops him with a request: can she call him once in a while like old times? Like old times he replies, “If you want to.”
An-na looks happy at his consent. I also think she’s happy because she’s regained her power in her life and is not controlled by him, or Jae-hyuk. But she DID idiotically sign to J Fashion and now she’s answering to Daddy Tyrant, so I wonder what her future really looks like.
Back at the factory, Young-gul watches Ga-young sleep with a resigned, sad smile. Then he places a lollipop and the necklace beside her and leaves with a suitcase in tow. When Ga-young wakes, she sees the necklace and panics.
She runs to his apartment, which is in the midst of being repossessed. She has no time to process Young-gul’s disappearance because Daddy Tyrant calls her to his office.
He has beaten Jae-hyuk senseless. No, seriously. Jae-hyuk is on his knees, barely able to move and visibly about to crack. Daddy Tyrant has purposefully called her to his office to show off his handy work on Jae-hyuk’s face.
Ga-young is visibly shaken by the sight, but properly greets Daddy Tyrant and says nothing.
This man is sick. Sick. He was always sick, but it’s exacerbated by the grim, heavy feeling of the episode. The tone change of this episode really jarred me.
Anyway, Daddy Tyrant mentions that Young-gul asked Jae-hyuk to put on a fashion show for her. He also mentions that Young-gul is ruthless, leaving her to be cared for by another man. He must’ve planned it from the start. Then, dad turns on his son again. “This means he had his funds as soon as you signed the merger document.”
It’s a logical deduction, but incorrect. Young-gul is running away, not to spend money, but to hide.
Dad says that Young-gul should’ve been nipped in the bud. How many times is Jae-hyuk to be swindled by one man? How do they handle trash that is nearly impossible to get rid of? He poses the last question to Ga-young who looks horrified.
Outside, Ga-young watches Kim gingerly hand Jae-hyuk into the car. Jae-hyuk smiles at Ga-young and is sorry she had to see that. She watches him go with tears in her eyes.
One Month Later.
Yes, they did it. The time skip. !@#$%^#@#@%
Anyway, Jae-hyuk shows up at Ga-young’s, watches her get mail and opens it. (So illegal. He was probably waiting for it. He hasn’t shown any tact or regard for anything legal or proper thus far). The parcel is from Young-gul: a plane ticket and a letter.
You must be shocked and resentful. Sorry for leaving without saying good bye. Come here with plane ticket I sent you. Let’s talk when you get here. You can find that house, right? I’ll wait for you there. I love you.
I think it’s a huge thing that he admitted his feelings to Ga-young, but I still don’t want her to get back with him. I was team Young-gul. But being with someone who is that mentally broken isn’t good. Now I’m Team “Everyone-go-your-own-way-and-get-some-therapy.”
Turns out she doesn’t even have the option because Jae-hyuk pockets the letter and the ticket. He goes up to Bong Sook’s apartment where Ga-young has been lying catatonic, devastated over Young-gul’s desertion.
But Jae-hyuk doesn’t care. He invites her to go to New York with him; start up her studies again. He even got permission from his parents. If she has no plans, he’ll assume she’s coming.
Door. Mat. Door. Mat. Door. Mat. I want you to study again, but if you accept this offer, I will truly hate you. You pine yourself into a state of catatonia for one man so you better not leave on a jet plane with another.
Young-gul broods in his New York apartment, waiting for Ga-young. No, it’s not even brooding. It’s utter depression. He’s a crushed spirit. And, I admit, even though his character has been horrible, I still feel moved. Yoo Ah-in, you deserve a better show.
In what looks like a hotel room, Ga-young is packing and Jae-hyuk shows up.
WHAT?!!!!!!!! !@$#%@$%^@#$% You fucking leech-y coward.
Jae-hyuk mentions that Young-gul is in New York and tears immediately jump into her eyes. When he asks her if she wants to meet him once, she quickly says “no”.
Jae-hyuk tells her to hurry and finish packing so they can eat. Then he leaves her sobbing.
Sobbing gets you nowhere. If you want to see him, stop being petty.
An-na calls Young-gul and asks if they’re still friends. She’s on her way to Italy. What a random scene. Probably showing her all free and happy. Whoopee.
Young-gul goes to the New York Fashion School, flowers in hand, and is crushed to see Ga-young exit and grab Jae-hyuk’s hand. Jae-hyuk leads her to the car and they laugh their way into traffic.
Seriously, Ga-young? You’re dating him. I thought you were sobbing so badly you could barely function over Young-gul’s departure. Now your leeching and being morally despicable.
An-na is the least offensive character right now. How did that happen?
Anyway, Young-gul goes to the old apartment he and Ga-young lived in and remembers all the time he spent with her and sobs his broken little heart out.
Yoo Ah-in, you’re killing me. I hate you for killing me. Because I just want to straight up hate this show. Start a new drama worth your talents.
As for Young-gul, I know some of you are going to say that he should’ve gone to Ga-young anyway, but I don’t think he can. He’s completely broken now. It’s hard to do anything when you’re that dysfunctional. He’s on the lower end of a serious downward spiral.
Young-gul goes home and gets raving drunk. He strips off his shirt, but I can’t enjoy it. The mood is too heavy. You know that when pervy Raine can’t enjoy nekkidness, there is seriously something wrong.
So he grabs a white fur coat, a wine bottle and his phone and trudges through his fancy apartment up to the roof where he climbs into a shallow pool for a drink and a wallow in his misery.
It’s actually a pretty gorgeous scene with the blue-lit pool and the city lights as a backdrop.
He calls Ga-young for the first time since he left.
Young-gul: It’s me. Were you sleeping?
Young-gul: What are you doing up so late?
Ga-young: You called me.
Young-gul: *starts to cry* Do you like it?
Young-gul: It’s good you like it.
Ga-young: I heard you’re in New York.
Young-gul: Don’t you miss me? *sobs* I miss you.
Ga-young: Are you…there?
Young-gul: Will you come?
A man dressed in a suit comes and calmly shoots Young-gul in the head and the shot rings out over the rooftop.
Ga-young: I miss you, too.
Her voice is quiet and calm.
Young-gul slowly sinks into the shallow pool as blood billows from his wound. The lights of New York City shine brightly as Ga-young listens to silence.
The. Fucking. End.
I had four initial emotional reactions to this ridiculous ending: Shock. Disgust. Relief. Confusion.
Shock – It was jarring to see Young-gul get shot in the head. However despicable a character, and however much I comment on wanting death, I really don’t like death. I’m a happy-ending gal. That’s why I avoiding even thinking about the fact that its the same writer as What Happened in Bali, which I haven’t seen nor do I want to see.
Disgust – Ga-young sits there, listens to a gun shot, no tears, and then continues to say that she misses him. It really seems like she knew it was going to happen.
Relief – Young-gul is finally out of his extreme misery
Confusion – Was it REALLY NECESSARY to have Young-gul murdered? Did Ga-young know it was going to happen? What happened to all of the loose ends? ARGH!!!!!!!!!!
What I think happened: I think Daddy Tyrant ordered the hit and that Jae-hyuk and Ga-young knew about it. I think she’s dating Jae-hyuk now because she has no spine to go out and get what she wants. When Jae-hyuk told her that Young-gul was in town, it was him offering her one last chance to see Young-gul alive. At that time, I don’t think she knew about the hit, but how could she be so calm when hearing a gun shot in the background if she didn’t know about it when it was happening? How can she not cry at all?
Daddy Tyrant is violent enough to order the hit and powerful enough to make it happen. Jae-hyuk now has his toy who now, due to her own cowardliness and idiocy, will be miserable for the rest of her life. Jae-hyuk will sleep soundly at night. I don’t think he’ll be feeling guilty about Young-gul’s death. I think he, his father and Madam Dragon will gloat.
Young-gul dies alone and lonely in his luxurious pool while Jae-hyuk frolics with his new toy.
Loose ends: I’m just going to list the ones I can remember. I’m sure there are more.
- How did Young-gul get the ring in the first place?
- Why didn’t Ga-young recognize it?
- What happened to the loan sharks?
- What happened to the ahjummas?
- What happened to the boutique?
- What ever happened with Michael?
- What ACTUALLY happened to Ga-young’s parents?
- What happened to Jung-ah?
Plot: You’ve heard me bitch and moan about this for twenty recaps. I’ll just say this. Now that we’re at the end, I see sort of what the writer was going for. I think. Sort of.
I think Young-gul was the main character who was to rise and crash and burn. I think we were supposed to see the tyranny of the chaebol and the terrifying power of the corporation. I think Jae-hyuk was supposed to be the unfortunate result of being born and raised in the cold environment of the corporation. I think An-na was supposed to show liberation of woman. But with Ga-young…no fucking clue. I hate her.
But nothing was shown as it should’ve been. There were bits and pieces, but they didn’t fit and then they repeated ad nauseam. The disorganization of the plot actually prevented me from investing in the story and the characters.
Characters: Completely superficial development. They tried to show us so many things like Young-gul’s fear of abandonment and Jae-hyuk’s daddy issues. But they covered up all the development with convoluted dialogue and storylines.
Young-gul: To the bitter end, he was a wildcard. He began as a scrappy, resourceful man; a hustler. Then he degraded into a revenge obsessed freak. Do I think these men are different sides of him? No. He’s always done what he believed was needed to live. In his fucked up brain, he thought revenge was necessary. It doesn’t excuse his behavior in the slightest, but I’m trying to understand what the writer was trying to portray.
He had a fear of abandonment from the multiple times he was betrayed as a kid. Then Ga-young betrayed him a few times, Jae-hyuk, An-na, his aunt, Madam Jo. Even money betrayed him. He was fragile to begin with. So he basically did just what he believed he needed to survive and never though of anyone else. I don’t think he truly knew how to give. Not even in the very end. When you’re that messed up, you’re unable to give. Honestly, I understand that, if that is indeed the case. I don;t like what he did and he could’ve chose differently despite his hurts, but whatever.
He may or may not have spiraled as badly if he had a solid, non-wimpy woman. He loved Ga-young because she was the same as him. Honestly, he was so messed up from the start, that’s hard to fix, even with the right people in one’s life. Perhaps had he had a chance to love Ga-young properly without Jae-hyuk’s interference, things would changed for him. But I think he’d always be ridiculously damaged so it’s just as likely that he would’ve crumbled anyway.
I also think a fitting end for him would’ve been suicide, not murder. The murder was stupid. I would’ve been more emotionally invested in suicide. It fits the self-destructiveness of his character.
Ga-young: I hate her. Door mat. Leech. She basically only ever though of herself and when she thought of others, she weaseled her way into things and never did anything by her efforts safe for one: getting into school. After she gave that up, everything went down hill.
When Young-gul suffers abandonment he becomes ruthless. When Ga-young suffers it, she becomes a whiny leech.
Maybe it’s just because I’m so disgusted with her, but I seriously can’t see her in a good light right now. Last night, I actually thought she was smiling when she heard the shot ring out.
This morning I think she was probably trying to keep herself from crying. But WHY THE HELL WASN’T SHE CRYING?! How was she sitting there calmly? She had a cow during every other major and minor event on the show. Sobbing, begging for money, forgiveness, affection.
And why the hell did she go with Jae-hyuk? She was sobbing over Young-gul and then decides to go to Jae-hyuk AGAIN? Is she stupid? First of all, she should’ve never played into their pissing contest and gotten her own job. Second of all, she should’ve ALWAYS been direct and honest with Young-gul and supported him through everything.
Support doesn’t mean letting him do whatever he wants, but to be a real sounding board for all ideas, always let the person know you care. She never did that for him. EVER. Not that he did it for her either, but I’m mad at her, so she gets the brunt of my anger.
On top of that, she gallivanting around with Jae-hyuk, the man who ruined the man she loves and who also did quite a few brutal things to her. AND if she marries him, she has to deal with Daddy Tyrant and Mama Bitch. Can this girl do anything for herself besides draw ugly clothing? How could she just give into Jae-hyuk’s desires when she was holding out for Young-gul so hard before?
Oh yeah, don’t forget, she’s dating the guy who ordered the hit on Young-gul. At least, that’s my theory. You sick fuck, Ga-young. You had a total sociopathic lack of response to a gunshot. There is no way you didn’t hear that.
In her defense, she could’ve been threatened by Daddy Tyrant. Maybe. Bleh.
I think shes completely selfish and cowardly. I don’t think she should’ve gotten back with Young-gul, but I do think she needed to talk with him ad settle things. He probably still would’ve self-destructed, but that’s what SHE could’ve done to better HER life. Then she needed to walk away. Find another school besides NSF. There is more than one fashion school around.
Jae-hyuk: King of daddy issues. I don’t think he feels badly for any of the wrongs he’s done and I don’t think he’s learned from them either. I think he loves Ga-young to the best of his ability, but that seems like a sick and twisted possessive love to me. He doesn’t care if she doesn’t like him back. He sabotages HER happiness for his. If he hadn’t taken Young-gul’s letter, what would’ve happened.
In all, though, I understand his character most. He’s under social pressure, daddy pressure, and Ga-young is this gentle, talented woman who makes him feel good, unlike anything else in his life. She’s not just a toy; she’s his comfort blanket. He NEEDS her. It’s really not good to NEED anyone. You want them in your life, but needing is not healthy.
An-na: Can I just pretend this character didn’t exist?
Cinematography: The ending scene was gorgeous. That’s pretty much all I wanted to say about this. There was a lot of anguished face shots and really choppy filming of fashion shows. Nothing spectacular or to write home about. The long/wide shots were the best: the cities, the parks, the memorial.
Or maybe I liked those because there was no dialogue…
Product placement: Seriously, could they have been any more obnoxiously obvious with that security system, the KIA, the phones. ARGH! Frustrating as hell. I hated it.
Ending in Death
1) If there had to be a logical death, I would’ve preferred that Young-gul commit suicide in that pretty blue pool on the phone with Ga-young. He would’ve tried to confess his love, but the words would’ve stuck in his throat. She would’ve been horrified to hear the gunshot. She also would’ve been in a Parisian fashion school after rejecting Jae-hyuk’s offer. Jae-hyuk would’ve been banished New York and An-na would’ve run away with Daddy Tyrant to play golf.
Okay, so I got a little out of hand with that one.
2) Ga-young finds Young-gul and Jae-hyuk gets jealous so he follows them to the blue-lit pool. There waits a hundred ninjas, one of whom is an officiant. He tells Ga-young to pick a man to marry, but since she’s a doormat, she can’t say that she wants Young-gul. Then then ninjas murder Ga-young, Young-gul and Jae-hyuk while the ninja officiant watches and cleans his nails.
Okay, not practical.
3) Mystisith comes to kidnap Jae-hyuk where they go frolic with An-na bo-peep and her sheep. Well, An-na bo-peep is now a waitress who has to wear a chastity belt and parachute pants for the rest of her life. Then Deeno (who wrote some HILARIOUS alternative endings) comes with Vanness on her arm and they throw a dance party.
What happens to Young-gul and Ga-young? Well, Young-gul realizes Ga-young is a waste of time, reads all of my recaps and sees how dedicated I was to this horrible waste of one hundred hours and decides to marry me in front of Ga-young. We use her as my wedding runner, thereby trampling her.
4) Russian roulette with the main leads.
5) My cat Timmy gets very, very hungry.
Happy Endings or endings without death
1) Young-gul and Ga-young band together to produce good, easily marketable fashion and fight against Jae-hyuk who wants to take Young-gul down because of their penis-measuring contest and wants to get rid of Ga-young because she rejected him. They would’ve ended up moderately successful in another country because, let’s face it, Jae-hyuk’s company is too powerful to win against. Let’s send them to Thailand. Yeah. They have three children who they raise without abandoning.
2) Young-gul hits rock bottom, as he did, but Ga-young finds him, knowing how he is and helps him get through it. After lots of therapy, they stay friendly acquaintances. She gets married and sees him occasionally while he runs a small shop in New York.
3) My readers clone Lee Je-hoon and Yoo Ah-in (or Shin Se-kyung or Yu-ri) so that they can each live out their own happy endings. They also are kind enough to clone Park Shi-hoo for me. Three of him. And three of his cat. Every handsome man should have a cat.
And that’s all folks. I am hanging up my hat. No more Fashion King for me…ever. Applause to the actors for sticking it through and not running away screaming.
Please feel free to discuss theories, ideas and whatever else you may need to get down into writing.
Rating (How much I enjoyed it/Overall quality) – 3/2
THANK YOU READERS!
I’m really grateful to all of you who stuck through this show with me for twenty recaps. Your support really kept me going and I loved seeing you guys come together as a little Fashion King community. This was my first solo venture into recapping a live show and it was way more difficult and time consuming than I expected. But it was fun.
I won’t be recapping a currently airing show again until August because I’m traveling a lot of the summer. Actually, strike that I will keep up with Big as best I can (not promising timely recaps…and then I’m going to England for three weeks in the middle) and work on my retrocaps of Padam Padam and White Christmas and How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor.