The Thousandth Man: Episode 8 (Final) Recap

by: Raine

And here we have it, the finale. It’s all done and I feel a little empty as I always tend to feel after a drama that I enjoy finishes. It definitely brought everything to a close in a way I can accept.

But the episode was also a lot weaker than the others. I think they could’ve spaced some things out over a few of the earlier episodes.

However, my favorite moment of the entire series is in this episode and it makes up for everything. It was so beautifully done that even thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. *sob*

We end the series at 3.2% according to AGB Nielsen Nationwide. Ignore that!


Episode 15 – I am an evil fox!

“When We Didn’t Know Each Other” –  Shin Jae  (from the The Thousandth Man OST)


episode 8 (final) recap

After Mi-jin scared Chef Seo, he drops the phone and leaves Eung-suk hanging. Then he runs to the police station to speak with a very unsympathetic cop.

Chef Seo recounts his tale: he was on the phone and that woman appeared upside down on his car. When he ran away, he saw a shadow with multiple tails on the wall.

Then we see Mi-jin raiding his car for her documents.

Seo ran to the police station and the cop thinks his story is a result of alcohol or a game. When Seo protests the cop’s skepticism, he gets rather heated until he sees Mi-jin and flips out, hiding behind the desk.

So he’s the fear monger of the show, eh?

Mi-jin is let inside the station and let’s a very worried and surprised Eung-suk where she is. The cop asks to see her I.D., which states that she’s 51.

Hahahahaha!

The cop accuses her of forgery but she states that it’s not. After telling him where she works and that she just knows Chef Seo as “some ahjussi” (even though she’s older), Eung-suk walks in.

All three leave but Seo wants to stay longer (to avoid Mi-jin). He keeps stealing sidelong glances at Mi-jin who does the same. Eung-suk leaves with Mi-jin.

At home, he asks her what happened and tears pool in her eyes. Does he really want to know the truth? She doesn’t think he’ll believe it, but she tells him anyway because she doesn’t want to lie to him anymore. Chef Seo is right; she is a gumiho. He is confused and she explains that she wanted him to remember her as a human until the end; not like this.

She flashes back to the day her Goryeo Dynasty husband discovered that she was a gumiho. She is backed against a gate, bleeding. He wants to know if it’s true. Then, Mi-jin continues the story in a voice over: she didn’t want it to end like this; she wanted her husband to remember her as a human until the end.

The guards come and spot the blood trail and chase her off, leaving her husband to stare incredulously after her as it begins to rain.

I’m interpreting this to mean that she thought the same thing during her last day with her husband as she said to Eung-suk. I’m guessing she never got to say the words she wanted to say to her husband. It’s like she’s fulfilling a cycle now.

(That clock was a really good set touch.)

Eung-suk remembers Chef Seo telling him that he clearly saw Mi-jin with tails. Then he tells her that it doesn’t matter if she’s human or gumiho, he’ll never leave her. Then he hugs her and tells her not to worry.

Mi-sun is at home looking tired and ragged when Mi-mo calls. Turns out Mi-mo snuck out to let her mother sleep because she seems too sick/tired to come to work. Mi-mo tells her that she can’t stay up all night anymore and Mi-sun says she never worried like this as a gumiho.

Welcome to being human, sista. We worry like nobody’s business.

Mi-sun wonders if Eung-suk will be Mi-jin’s last man and Mi-mo hopes so. Then she encourages her mother who will be to work shortly. After they hang up, we see how exhausted and anxious Mi-sun truly is.

Uh, the family aspect of this drama kills me. KILLS ME.

Mi-jin watches Eung-suk sleep but when he wakes, she’s gone. He searches for her and then ends up nosing through her box. He finds the husband’s knife – he seems to find it curious.

When Mi-sun enters her office, she finds Mi-jin huddled in the corner, brooding. She told Eung-suk everything and Chef Seo saw her true form. Mi-sun flips out and runs out of the room.

Secretary Park wonders why Mi-sun is selling the shop and hasn’t told him; she lies that business has been bad. He asks if she can’t trust him and she ensures him that isn’t the case. Then he pulls out an envelope that he’s been saving for the ten years he’s worked for her, just for a moment like this one. It’s his entire savings. She gives it back, saying that he doesn’t have to do this. He asks if she doesn’t know how he feels and if this is too little. She gets angry and wonders if he thinks so little of her (to think she only wants money from him.) He leaves and we see that she actually cares for him.

Seconds later, Mi-mo comes in and demands to know why they’re moving – should they abandon Mi-jin then? Mi-sun assigns Mi-mo to take care of the business while Mi-sun moves them out to a new place.

Eung-suk tries to contact Mi-jin and Chef Seo stops him. The documents were real and there’s evidence that she’s a fox so Eung-suk needs to believe it.

Geez, this guy has one serious case of denial.

Seo says she different from us and Eung-suk agrees: he loves her and they’ll never break up. Seo thinks Eung-suk is bewitched and tries to stop Eung-suk from going after her. He reminds Eung-suk that she said she needs men to live, she dated all those men. Did they die? Eung-suk demands. She’s not such a monster; she’s a nice person!

Eung-suk’s denial makes Chef Seo decide to take proving Mi-jin’s gumihoness into his own hands.

Mi-mo says farewell to the employees and the business when she gets a call from a shocked and indignant Woo-hyun asking to meet. They meet at the basketball court and she says he can find her wherever she goes. But she has to wait for him because he’s enlisted. She’s shocked but hides it by telling him to go. But wait, is he asking her to wait two years? Nope, three minutes.

So Woo-hyun takes to shooting some hoops, or at least tries. He asks her to wait until the ball goes in, like it did in the second episode. She wonders if he likes her that much and he notes that she always asks that. The answer is: because you’re you. This hits her hard and she puts down her purse and takes the ball, sinking it in one try. Then she asks him if he remembers what she said “that night” (in the second episode) when she said they can be together when she’s old enough to be in a nursing home.

She walks away and he’s disappointed until she turns around and tells him that it’s a secret, but she’s already old enough to be in one. He whoops and hollers happily before grabbing her and twirling her around. He sets her down, moves in for a kiss…

…and we’re denied. We only get this. I assume the man finally got his.

Mi-jin watches the movers clear the house and ignores Eung-suk’s calls. She apologizes to her mother and then offers to go get drinks for everyone. A group of men show up on Seo’s orders. They are not to hurt anyone, but are to bring Mi-jin; if not her, then her family. Secretary Park takes a stand against them when they try to grab Mi-sun, who screams out to him as he gets his ass beat. She also gets caught.

At Last, Eung-suk is furious that Mi-sun is here and there are creepy men outside. Mi-sun thinks Eung-suk is in on it until Chef Seo confesses. He knows Mi-jin is a gumiho and needed to prove it to Eung-suk who won’t believe him. Mi-sun fervently denies it. Seo won’t back off because he doesn’t want Eung-suk to get hurt and Eung-suk angrily grabs him by the collar and moves to punch him.

Mi-jin walks in and her mother warns her away. The gumiho has that look on her face, the one she gets when she’s cornered and about to change.

Episode 16 – Bye, my precious love!

Seo calls for the men but Mi-jin says that he doesn’t have to. Did she eat them all? he asks and she agrees. Her mother tries to shush her and Eung-suk tries to approach her but she stops them. For a long, tense moment they all wait and then the cops show up. It’s the same investigator who heard Seo’s statement earlier.

Heehee. Go Mi-jin!

Anyway, Seo asks the cops to investigate Mi-jin and Mi-sun as gumihos. The cop is incredulous that Seo is still at it and arrests him and Seo begs them to still investigate them as he’s carried out kicking and screaming – he’s really scared for Eung-suk.

Mi-sun thanks him for believing them and Mi-jin decides to stay and talk to him. He assumes she’s mad and apologizes on Seo’s behalf, but she’s not. She instead asks if he remembers what she said in his room, or that time they went to the zoo? They only watched a fox for two hours. Kekeke.

She tells a story.

A long time ago, there was a mother fox and her two baby foxes. One day they ate a strange herb and suddenly changed to evil foxes with nine tails. They could turn themselves to human forms. But they were also fated to become human only after eating 1,000 livers.

They all wanted to become human for different reasons. “I only waited for livers from men that truly loved me and met 999 men. They all loved me dearly even though I was only a beast in human shape. I especially can’t forget the love of my Goryeo husband that looked just like you.”

During her story, her tale becomes a voice over and we see her fighting her mother and sister for the general’s life and then her dream of embracing the general.

Eung-suk is still a skeptic and claps mockingly at the end of her story, telling her its perfect for a script only to discover she is no longer sitting beside him. He looks all over for her and discovers the pictures that her mother sent on the table – y’know, the ones in black and white that were definitely not taken in the past twenty years.

Suddenly, a wind blows and the pictures fly off the table. He glances up and his jaw drops. Before him is Mi-jin in her true form, nine tails waving. She finally shows him the truth.

Mi-jin: Eung-suk, this is who I am. Not a human, but an evil fox. The monster that eats human livers is me. Can you love me like this?

Eung-suk: Mi-jin ssi…

Mi-jin: Can you love me?

Eung-suk: I…

Then his eyes roll back in his head and he passes out, leaving her teary-eyed. Her shadow looms over him.

Chef Seo is released from the police station on the pleas of Mi-jin’s family with a warning that he’ll be arrested next time. He gets a call from the hospital and rushes over.

He immediately checks that Eung-suk still has his liver and he does. The doctor is confused by the fact that Seo is Eung-suk’s guardian and doesn’t know that Eung-suk has a terminal brain tumor. Eung-suk was okay for a while, but his health took a hopeless turn for the worst. Seo can’t believe it and starts to cry.

Mi-jin discovered  that Eung-suk’s illness was a brain tumor when she took him to the hospital, which totally floors her. She didn’t think he would die. She could sense that he was sick, but not where or how severe because it was in his brain.

She wonders if he didn’t love her, but rather felt sympathy because they were both sick.

Then she checks her calendar and crosses out a day with a shaky hand; she only has two days left.

Chef Seo sits by Eung-suk’s beside and apologizes for not realizing he was sick while crying.

Then, the best scene in the entire series.

Mi-mo is sleeping on the sofa in their new house. Well, she’s trying to sleep but can’t. So she grabs her pillow and goes into Mi-jin’s room and crawls into bed with her. Mi-jin is wide awake and looks emotionally numb.

Mi-mo puts her arm around her sister. “I love this fox smell,” she says and Mi-jin thinks that their old house still probably smells like Mi-mo and their mother. Then, Mi-mo recalls the day they first bought their house ten years ago. Mi-sun legally bought the house using her human name and cried. Mi-jin hadn’t realized how they must feel and apologizes.

When they moved, Mi-jin lost all of her things, but she says she doesn’t need them anymore. Mi-mo’s eyes begin to water.

Mi-jin: Mi-mo. We’ve lived together for so long, right?

Mi-mo: Don’t get sentimental. It’s not like you.

Mi-jin: Right. I’m sorry. Today is my last sentimental day so let me be just once. I won’t do it again.

Mi-mo: Don’t say “last”. You’ll become human.

Mi-jin: Alright. I’ll become human, watch my pretty Mi-mo marry a nice guy, buy my nephew a lot of clothes  and become a good aunt, so just wait okay. *she takes Mi-mo’s hand* I’ll become human. You trust me, don’t you?

Mi-mo: You fool. Idiot. Dumbass.

They both begin to cry.

This scene just absolutely kills me. Despite everything, they’re sisters, they love each other and this is really hard on them. And me. *sob*

Eung-suk wakes up and realizes that Seo now knows about his tumor. He apologizes for not telling Seo about it. Then he asks after Mi-jin. Seo tells him not to worry about that and Eung-suk says he has to see her and tries to get up, but can barely move. He begs Seo to bring Mi-jin.

Mi-sun gets a call from Seo saying Eung-suk is looking for her so when he wakes up, she’s by his side, but looking very dazed. He grabs her hand and puts it on his abdomen. Does she remember what he said? He didn’t know anything then, but he does now. However, nothing has changed – he doesn’t care what she is.

She tries to pull away but he won’t let her. He covers his liver with her hand and tells her to take it. He’ll give it to her. She pulls away and tells him that she doesn’t need his sympathy; it’s not love.

Eung-suk struggles to sit up. She has to live, so why does it matter? He’ll die and she can live. It’s miserable to live with sympathy, she explains and then he realizes that she doesn’t really know what love is. If she had loved one of those men who’d died for her, would she have let him die? “If you really had loved them, you wouldn’t have let them die.” He could never ask for her liver, because asking for her death would be like asking for his.

BINGO! That’s what I’ve been saying! I think she felt a hint of it once with her Goryeo husband who sacrificed for her against his beliefs, but now it’s in full bloom.

Eung-suk tells her to take it again and become human and love someone with all of her heart. She breaks down into tears and runs from the room. He calls for her and then listens to her cry just outside his door.

I think she sees it now, that her thoughts of love were very skewed. What she wanted was not just love from someone, but to be a part of a loving relationship: love and be loved. She has it now, and she only has one day left.

That night, she suffers in agony and then has a strange dream. She’s walking through a haze dotted with men, the ones who died for her. She hears her family worrying for her and her promises to them to become human. Then she hears Eung-suk begging her to take his liver.

In her dream, she meets one of the men who died for her; he was happy to die for her and would do it again. She tells him that she didn’t know how great his love was. Another man tells her that she just didn’t know, she wasn’t through learning. She needed to meet 1,000 men and complete her love.

Wait, you’re telling us this now, show? This whole dream sequence thing killed the mood for me. More on this in my comments.

Anyway, she doesn’t know what to do and hears Eung-suk begging her to become human and love someone with all her heart.

She’s staring at her calendar the last morning when her family comes in. Mi-mo says he made his own choice and he was the most beautiful person. Her mother can only hug her tightly.

They all know and it’s so sweet and sad how they’re pretending otherwise.

Chef Seo begs his Chef in France for a recipe to make a dying person live.

Mi-jin shows up at the hospital in her true form and kneels over Eung-suk.

Mi-mo and Mi-sun watch the moon. It’s almost midnight, and it will tell them how Mi-jin fairs. Mi-mo jokes that she’ll be the unni when Mi-jin comes back.

Gah, this is killing me. ACK!

Mi-jin sits beside and unconscious Eung-suk in the backyard of Last. He wakes and sees they’re at Last. He assumes that it’s his last place before he dies as it was always intended to be for people.

She doesn’t answer him and instead thanks him for teaching her what it is to become human. Then he thanks her, thinking she’s taking his liver. He kisses her sweetly. She pulls away, glances at him with love in her eyes, then kisses him heatedly as something glowing moves up her throat

The moon starts to turn red and Mi-sun and Mi-mo start to sob and cry out. Mi-mo passes an orange orb to Eung-suk who swallows it.

(I don’t want to kill the mood, but that orange orb was really gross looking. Guh…)

Eung-suk wonders what just went down his throat and Mi-jin tells him not to worry. She gave him her crystal orb that holds the lives of 999 men who loved her. (Come on, just call it a fox bead.) He gets really upset and she thanks him for showing her what it is to be a human – she’s really happy.

But he’s not. He’s all tears.

She tells him she loves him and he tells her not to go as he hugs her. Then she asks him say he loves her for one last time. He pulls away and tearfully declares that he loves her. Tears fall down her cheeks and she rises. They hold hands until the last moment as she walks away.

A few feet away, she stops and turns with peace in her eyes. She slowly disappears into foam as he cries, “No!” in horror and crumples in tears.

He remembers her asking him if he can love her as a gumiho and replies, “I love you.”

Eung-suk is at the zoo and at the fox exhibit. He answers the phone, promising the person on the other line that he’s leaving and will be there soon. A little girl comes up to him and calls him “dad.” She wants to leave the fox exhibit.

(I’m guessing this is seven to ten years later based on the girls age, who looks about six or seven.)

The girl wants to see the lions and tigers too, but he tells her they have no pedigree. Look at their (the foxes’) eyes. They look so lonely, he says, mirroring Mi-jin’s words.

And she’s the loveliest? the girl finishes.

To know a fox is to see love, Eung-suk says with sadness in his eyes. Then he tells his daughter that mom is waiting and leads her from the zoo with one long glance backwards. He smiles as they leave.

Aww. Need to wait ‘til after recap to comment on this…

(It is cute that ending credits roll over Polaroids. Nice touch with the  happy memories theme.)

Secretary Park is holding flowers when Chef Seo calls, calling him hyung-nim. Park says he’ll be there soon and hangs up. Seo relays the message as Park can’t come. She looks disappointed. “Ever since he started his own business…”

HAHA.

Mi-mo calls to say happy birthday. It looks like she’s in New York. She years Chef Seo and Eung-suk say hello. Woo-hyun is in class right now. They all sing “Happy Birthday” to Mi-sun and she blows out the candles.

 Comments:

And it’s finished. What a wild ride. Now, this commentary is going to be long. I tried to section it off, but I ended up babbling…as per usual. In any case, you are forewarned.

The Ending

Going into this show, I figured something tragic or bittersweet would happen so my desire for a happy ending turned into a desire for Mi-jin to learn something. She craved love and didn’t realize that a truly solid and happy love requires reciprocation. Men died for her, but she didn’t totally appreciate why because she didn’t love them in return; she didn’t give. I think that was her big lesson – she learned to give back. She was seeking peace in love and she finally found it when she gave up her life for Eung-suk. Of course I wish she found it another way so they could make fox babies, but I can deal.

So although it’s sad that she died, she died happily and in peace and became a happy memory in a photograph for Eung-suk and her family. She left a mark on the lives of the people she loved and changed them for the better.

I liked that they showed everyone moving on because, hey, life goes on. For me what was really poignant about Eung-suk and his child was that he was genuinely happy. Earlier in the show, he wasn’t really living. He was on a course for death and kept himself sheltered from life. When he fell in love with Mi-jin, he started opening up to life and really enjoying it in all of what it has to give.

We are made up of the people that we know and used to know. Mi-jin taught him to love and made him care about life. That lesson let him continue to love her even as he moved on and now he remembers her as a happy memory mingled with some sadness. He can now love his wife and child and appreciate life because of his relationship with Mi-jin and her selfless sacrifice. We see it in his parting smile at the fox exhibit at the zoo. I think that’s a huge step for this character.

As for the others, Mi-mo got her man, Mi-sun is still playing Park and Seo and the entire group is still in contact. I honestly could’ve done without that. They didn’t need to stay in contact. I wish we’d seen Mi-sun and Mi-mo together and then Chef Seo and Eung-suk goofing off in the kitchen with his little girl covered in flour!

I’m happy Mi-mo is with Woo-hyun. This is the first love she’s had as a human. Before, her dealings with men were as sexy gumiho luring poor man to his death. She kept that behavior into her humanhood and it was commented on many times over the course of the drama. But her romance with Woo-hyun was different. It was that adorable, slow-developping friendship-to-romance ball of cuteness and full of genuine emotion.

The show commented on the different kinds of love and romance and Mi-mo/Woo-hyun were another example: woman blindsided by guileless love that doesn’t require games. That was cool.

Secretary Park is no longer a secretary! He finally moved on…sort of. Chef Seo was obviously forgiven. Mi-sun seems happy but, again, I want to see her with Mi-mo, or arguing with the gumiho council! BWAHAHA!

OST

I have to say, the OST was pretty well-matched to the show, but I wouldn’t listen to a lot of the songs on their own. However, the Verbal Jint that played each time Woo-hyun came on screen was the BEST mood-maker for the Mi-mo/-Woo-hyun couple.

B1A4’s Hey Girl is just so damned catchy and did it’s job in whatever capacity it was used: spirit lifter, montage music, opening music. And, it gets stuck in your head. For. Days.

The emo music, G.NA’s Tell Me Now, was effective, but I found the song a bit whiny in her higher registers, which greatly distracted from it’s effectiveness. But Mi-jin died to this music, so it’s a little stuck on me.

Not a fan of the Block B’s Your Umbrella. It didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the soundtrack. It wasn’t as impactful as the other songs and didn’t rouse emotions to the same extreme as the other songs.

The creepy gumiho music was effective as well. So in music terms, the incidental music was well-composed. I found I liked a lot of the instrumentals.

There were some other not as notable songs that were good, but didn’t fit. OSTs need a cohesiveness, like a good album. Dark Side of the Moon, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Family

Oh, the family aspect of this drama seriously just killed me. It wasn’t dysfuntional. The mother wasn’t overly psycho. The sister wasn’t overly jealous. The three women genuinely loved each other, took care of each other and lived really well with each other. How often do we see that in k-drama?

In their concern for Mi-jin, Mi-sun and Mi-mo weren’t super crazy and the earnestness of their emotions really got to me. Even though Mi-mo liked Eung-suk, it still didn’t turn her into a crazy bitch. Her sister came first, as she should. Mi-sun’s little plan to kick Mi-jin out of the house, although cruel, was for Mi-jin’s benefit and the two still came together anyway. I really love that. They can’t stay away. They’re not just blood related – they’re truly family.

And then there’s that moment when Mi-mo crawled into Mi-jin’s bed. Gah, I’m getting teary-eyed just typing this. I am a big sister. I’m five years older than my younger sister and we’re best friends. Now as the big sister, I have very, very often had my little sister crawl in my bed for comfort (or mad bouts of giggling), pretty much from the time she could walk until, hrm, last night? Basically, she’ll be doing this our whole lives. It’s a sign of closeness and love and a strong sisterly bond. (I admit, I crawl into her bed, too!)

So when I saw Mi-mo crawl into Mi-jin’s bed, both women knowing the choice Mi-jin will make, I just cried like a baby, stopped the show to calm down, and came back to it later.

It reminded me of the March sisters, Beth and Jo, from Little Women. Beth, the younger sister, gets scarlet fever, is ill for a very long time and then finally passes away. I can’t read that book anymore. Anyway, a musical was made from it and there’s a lyrics in the song where Beth dies and she says, “Let me go now.” This scene was Mi-mo letting go despite all the outward appearances of hope that her sister would live.

But Mi-mo lives on and she was deeply affected by her sister’s life and her views on love. I don’t think Mi-mo had ever wanted anything as badly as Mi-jin wanted love. That kind of desire leaves a deep impression. That night when she crawled into Mi-jin’s bed, I think Mi-mo felt that desire, wanting her sister to live and then now, with Woo-hyun, she wants to love and live the way Mi-jin always wanted to.

I didn’t get as much from Mi-sun. I don’t think her character was as well developed, but I appreciated how much she felt for her daughters.

Plot/writing

First things first, I wish I knew what happened to Mi-ja! Heehee.

Okay, so the finale was effective: it made me cry. However, it also made me see some glaring foibles. There was so much crammed into the seventh and eighth episodes, I thought my brain would explode. I really enjoyed the pacing of the first five episodes and the chance of pace was jarring.

So let’s go over this one qualm at a time.

1) Dream sequence: That bit where Mi-jin meets her former lovers was really unnecessary and super hokey. It would’ve been better had they slowly revealed that information over the course of the drama. Maybe make each of the men she dated resemble a former lover. Or, be a doppelganger of a former lover. Then Mi-jin could’ve puzzled together the pieces of loving as a gumiho over a longer period of time and made that revelation more impactful.

2) That B.S. with Chef Seo getting all nosy and invovlving the cops and gangsters. So unnecessary. Instead of having that over-the-top exchange, it would’ve been way better had they shown more family time and then time between Eung-suk and Mi-jin so they could more slowly teach each other the revelations that come to pass. When they’re so sudden, it’s so cheesy and makes it hard to believe as true. That and you get terribly cheesy, awful, corny dialogue that requires some pretty intense, cheesy acting. Cheesy. Cheesy. Overly-dramatic. Cheesy.

3) That fox bead exchanged was DISGUSTING. I’m sorry. Gross. Just make it a little ball of light. It’s okay.

4) Although this isn’t a plot or writing issue, I don’t know where to put it so it goes here. Mi-jin’s gumiho form: leather, long hair, long red nails, fangs, green eyes, and nine tails. A few of these fit and a few of these don’t. Did she wear leather back in the day? Does she pull a Sailor Moon? In the name of the moon, I will eat your liver! I think it would’ve been fine if she stayed in whatever she was wearing as a human when she transformed into a gumiho. And why the hell weren’t her eyes green when she revealed herself to Eung-suk?

5) The Goryeo husband was a little confusing, not gonna lie. But here’s how I see him. She loved him but didn’t realize it. She didn’t eat his liver because he didn’t offer it to her even though he unthinkingly gave his life to save hers. I also think she didn’t eat his liver because she couldn’t bring herself to, but she didn’t realize that at the time. I do think she started liking Eung-suk because of the similarities, but she started to love Eung-suk when he kept being so damned sweet and awkwardly cute! The Goryeo husband seems to be what could have been if Mi-jin had been fully matured.

Characters/Acting

Stand out: Hyomin. Hands down. She was so fabulous. Screencapping her was such a pain in the ass because her facial variety is ridiculously awesome. Choosing a shot was nearly impossible. She can jump from emotion to emotion like a monkey jumps through trees. She brought life into a character who could’ve been very, very annoying. Mi-mo is a selfish, jealous, petty character. But Hyomin’s jealousy had undercurrents of love and fear and insecurity making Mi-mo worthy of empathy. Her pettiness was lined with sincerity making Mi-mo worthy of love. It was fabulous. Did I say “fabulous” already? Yeah, fabulous.

Unfortunately for Mi-mo/Hyomin, Woo-hyun was a bit one-dimensional as Woo-hyun. Not that the character was meaty, but I felt like Woo-hyun the actor could’ve given more variety and a better sounding board for Mi-mo/Hyomin to act with. Picture him played by Sung Joon (Shut Up Flower Boy Band/White Christmas) making eyes at Hyomin. Get my point?

Kang Ye-won as Gu Mi-jin. I’ll admit. I was not on the Kang Ye-won train when this first started. But I think it was more the writing than anything. Mi-jin was a stilted character in the first episode and I really liked Ye-won afterwards. She has a quirky sense of timing in line delivery that made Mi-jin unique. Mi-jin was an interesting character overall, so obsessed with love and understanding it so little. She lived so long, but was still unwise to many things. Almost like a kid in an adult’s body. And she is such a frank character, which is where Ye-won really excelled. Mi-jin is frank, loveable, pitiable. Eung-suk saw all of these in her and Ye-won really played those aspects of the character well.

Mi-sun was a bit of an underdeveloped character, but Jeon Mi-sun did a great job with what she had. The woman was selfish and petty (like Mi-mo) but full of heart. She’s enjoying her humanity and Mi-sun the actor really plays that up. Especially her purposeful torture of Secretary Park!

Speaking of, what an enjoyable side character! The overly dramatic secretary in love with his cold, cruel boss. He speaks of his love openly and would do anything for her. He cries when she’s mean (and then hides behind sunglasses). He threatens the competition. And Park Jung-hak played him to a T. He was funnier than comidian Seo Kyung-suk, who I expected more funny from.

And Chef Seo. So underwhelmed by this character. He’s needy and near the end the writer just used him as a plot mover. Boo. Well-played by Seo Kyung-suk who gave the Chef a wealth of emotion, but the character didn’t do anything for me.

Finally, we have Kim Eung-suk played by Chunderella, er, Lee Chun-hee. I liked the character. He was emotionally stilted, perhaps from birth, perhaps from his cancer diagnosis. Then he expanded to a full palette of emotions, experiencing new ones like a child. It was refreshing to see a character scheduled for death handle death as a fact, but not as reason to neglect what life he has left. Chun-hee did a good job with him and dare I say that Chun-hee as the best WTF face EVAR. It’s so cute. The crying in parts of this episode was a little much, but I think that’s a fault of directing… Anywho, he played Eung-suk down and I liked that. Mi-jin was so strong that had he been too much, the relationship would’ve seemed forced.

Overall

Was the drama an enjoyable watch? Yes. Would I watch it again? Probably not. Would I recommend it? Yes. It was a solid special, but nothing to write home about. I got invested because I recapped it and I tend to get invested when I recap. Objectively, it’s emotionally involving but not strongly written. We’ll see how long it sticks in my memory. Rating is given by how much I enjoyed it and my objective rating.

Rating: 9/7

Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (final)

Character introductions.

The Thousandth Man Episode 8 (final) Screencaps.


8 thoughts on “The Thousandth Man: Episode 8 (Final) Recap

  1. Monica Bortolotto says:

    There’s a smiley in the bottom left corner! Lol just noticed it. I knew that something like this would happen from the start, but i think around episode 5 i began to hope that they both live or die together. My last hope was by finally understanding love she would truly be human. Also just for a fun twist even though both are human they had gumiho children. When i saw the little girl after Mi-Jin disappeared (which made me cry) i was suddenly filled with hope, but what you said was true he took his own advice and moved on. I am recommending this! Will i watch it? MY DRAMA LIST TOO LONG!

  2. puputmagic says:

    awesome !! ^^
    really best recap, thank you so much….
    This answered my question about Eun Suk’s daughter
    who’s her mom???? would be very nice if she was Min Ji, but not her 😥

    I think I did not really like the end of the drama like this… 🙂
    they have been through so many things, it should end with happily ever after, right? hehe~~
    but, that’s life we will not get everything we want….

    I really liked the way you explained all this, very detailed and honest… ^^
    happy to visit…
    sorry for my bad english ^^

    • Raine says:

      We don’t know. I don’t think they want us to think on that. Rather, I think the writer/director wants us to understand that he’s moved on and yet still remembers Mi-jin.

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