It’s Okay, It’s Love Episode 16 (Final) Thoughts

Jae Yeol: “Like that, due to many people’s help, at that convent in a cave, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, there is a candle that is continually lit without burning out day or night. There’ is only one reason why the candle is lit. It’s for all the lonely people in the world outside of the cave. For those of you who are lonely because you’re alone, there is someone who is praying for you 24 hours a day. Remember that. You are not alone, not even for a second.”



Coming into the finale, I was definitely expecting a satisfying and well-written ending, since I don’t expect anything less from writer Noh, but boy was I surprised by just how wonderfully heartwarming and feel-good this last episode was. The smile is still plastered on my face. Writer Noh was definitely spoiling us (not that I was complaining!) and I got everything I was hoping for in this episode and more. It really was a great way to end this series. Remind me again why this show has to end?!?! *tears*

With that being said, we start the episode with the heart-wrenching farewell between Jae Yeol and Kang Woo. Separations are always difficult, even if one of the two people involved is only a figment of Jae Yeol’s broken mind, since for the past three years, Kang Woo was every bit as real as any other person in Jae Yeol’s life and his role was an important one. Except now he can leave peacefully, since Jae Yeol has Hae Soo to lean on and together, they can handle anything that life throws at them (and no, I don’t mean lemons).

Kang Woo: Author Jang, should I…not come anymore?

Jae Yeol: My girlfriend…said to tell you “thank you”. If I didn’t meet you, she said I probably wouldn’t have been able to live until now because of a sense of guilt. While I was comforting you, actually, she said I was comforting myself. Thank you, Kang Woo-ah. Only after I met you, I realized it. That even if I pretend to be strong, I was really scared by my stepfather’s violence and my brother’s violence. Even though I saw my mom getting beaten up, I really hated myself, who couldn’t do anything, and who had no strength. When I was running away in the field barefooted, even though I didn’t cry, I was…was really scared.

Kang Woo: It’s all…incidents in the past.

Jae Yeol: Okay. I was young back then, and that incident is in the past. Now, I…I became a really decent adult. That’s how I think.

Kang Woo: Now, even if I come, pretend not to know me, Author Jang. Even so, if suddenly you want to see me, look in the mirror. Because you are me.

Jae Yeol: Yeah.

Kang Woo: Now, I am leaving. Goodbye…Han Kang Woo.

Jae Yeol: Goodbye…Jang Jae Yeol.

By talking to Kang Woo about the emotions and feelings that he has been burying beneath a façade of strength and cheerfulness, he was engaging himself in some much needed self-therapy. Through accepting that his past has had a profound influence on his life, he can begin to deal with them and eventually get better. As Jo sunbae said, Jae Yeol must try to understand that his actions from the past were borne from the unfair situation in which he was placed and in no way defines the person that he has become. In doing so he can forgive himself and let go of the guilt that has weighed him down for so long.

With one major obstacle down, Hae Soo and Jae Yeol have one final hurdle to jump over; Hae Soo’s family’s disapproval. Before we get into that little Debbie Downer bit, let’s first relish in how adorable Hae Soo and Jae Yeol were in the hospital. Since they have to pretend that they don’t know each other while in the hospital, they instead opt for some of the most adorable bits of secret exchanges.

Back to the issue of family disapproval. Since discovering that he suffers from one of the most severe mental disorders known to man and realizing that Hae Soo’s family wants him to let her go, Jae Yeol has been feeling conflicted about whether or not he should hold on to Hae Soo, and possibly burden her, or to let her go, against both of their desires. Jae Yeol just so happen to stubble upon Hae Soo’s mom “escorting” her away from the hospital. To gain a better insight on what it is like to be together when one partner suffers from schizophrenia, he decides to consult with Hye Jin and Yoon Cheol.

Hye Jin: Feeling sorry towards Yoon Cheol, it is still the same. What do I do, if I ruin this person’s life? How hard will it be for this person if I relapse again?

Jae Yeol: Every time that happens, don’t you want to leave Yoon Cheol and run away?

Hye Jin: Running away is too easy.

Yoon Cheol: I told her this. If she feels sorry towards me, hold it in even if she gets angry, and to adore me a lot. Don’t think only of Hae Soo. You also have the right to be happy.


However, it’s necessary that Jae Yeol overcome his inferiority complex when it comes to his mental disorder so that he can truly be happy with Hae Soo and eventually face her family. He loves her too much to prevent her from achieving her dreams. Instead of thinking of their separation as a break up, it’s more just Jae Yeol pushing Hae Soo to travel the world like she planned. He knows she loves him, and would be willing to postpone that part of her life plans indefinitely for him, but he doesn’t want her to. He makes it clear that long as they still love each other after a year, than this separation is in no way final. If he doesn’t force her to go, he would forever live with the thought that he held her back from achieving her potential.

It’s actually rather quite smart too. Hae Soo gets to travel the world alone for a year, just like she has always dreamt of, and Jae Yeol can focus solely on getting better. This also gives them the legitimation in the face of Hae Soo’s mom and sister, that he did try his best to push Hae Soo away. This makes it so that Hae Soo wouldn’t be forced to choose between him and her family, since she was willing to cut off ties with mom if mom forced her to leave Jae Yeol.

Hae Soo: Now, how are you feeling?

Jae Yeol: I got a call from Tae Yong, the radio program I used to do invited me as a guest. What are your thoughts?

Hae Soo: Go on it. Go and break the ignorance and stupidity of people who can’t differentiate between a criminal without remorse and a schizophrenia patient who’s hurting.

Jae Yeol: I’ll think about it. And you…as planned, have a sabbatical year.

Hae Soo: Did you call to tell me that? To tell me to leave?

Jae Yeol: Yes.

Hae Soo: What’s this? Are we going to break up again?

Jae Yeol: Keep your loyalty to your mom.

Hae Soo: I made her a lot of money during all this time.

Jae Yeol: If you do that to your mom, whom you haven’t once been nice to, you’ll be punished.

Hae Soo: My life is mine. (Damn right!)

Jae Yeol: Even after being discharged, I’ll regularly receive treatment well. Love is…isn’t sacrificing something for the other person, it’s accomplishing something. Don’t give up an important part of your life because of me. With your free two feet, leave as you had planned.

Hae Soo: Are you serious?

Jae Yeol: For one year, do your best to forget me. If you can’t forget me even after that, then let’s meet once you come back. Don’t call me. As you know my personality, even if you call me, I won’t answer. After today, I will reject your visits. If you make rounds as a doctor, then I’m going to transfer hospitals.

Hae Soo: Is it easy for you to let me go?

Jae Yeol: It’s hard. But I have to endure through the hard times, so that later to your family, I can confidently say that I tried as best as I can.

Hae Soo: On my trip, what if I meet another guy, then what will you do?

Jae Yeol: I’m totally your style. But if that happened, then I’ll think that I must have been mistaken and say, “Live a good life, Ji Hae Soo”. I won’t give in. As I have found Kang Woo’s existence because of you, because of me, have your sabbatical. Come back after becoming an even better doctor. Now, go.

Hae Soo: You’re not going to give in for me, right?

Jae Yeol: No. [wipes her tears and kisses her] Go.

Hae Soo: Do you know that you’re really mean?

Jae Yeol: I know.

Hae Soo: I’m going.

I’m also glad that this separation allowed Hae Soo’s mom to soften towards the idea that maybe Jae Yeol and Hae Soo are meant to be together and it’s going to be damn hard to keep them apart. She saw how considerate Jae Yeol was in helping her persuade Hae Soo to go abroad. It was a sweet moment to watch mom and Hae Soo have an honest conversation with one another about Hae Soo’s life decisions. Hae Soo wants mom to trust her and you can see the moment when mom realizes, that as Jae Yeol says, love shouldn’t mean sacrifice. Hae Soo shouldn’t have to give up her happiness to make mom happy.

Mom: So, after handing in your vacation leave letter tomorrow, are you really leaving immediately afterwards?

Hae Soo: Yes.

Mom: Together, deceiving me and contacting each other behind my back, and getting together and doing something else, it isn’t like that, right? If Jang Jae Yeol and I were that cunning, we would have already left our families and this country. You know me, my personality. If I leave, I will never call Jang Jae Yeol. Because I really, really love my mother. I can at least make you happy this much.

Mom: It’s enough. Then go.

Hae Soo: But mom. Mom, up until now, just the way you have believed in me, please believe in me one more time.

Mom: What?

Hae Soo: Believe in the fact that I can treat my patients very well, and that I am a good doctor. And even when I have to face an unfortunate obstacle, that I can turn the situation around into a happy one, that I am that kid.

Mom: Are you saying that when you come back, you are going to again with Jae Yeol…

Hae Soo: Mom, I love you. I’ll contact you often. I’m going to go.

Mom: That stubborn girl, really.

As Hae Soo heads off to travel the world, Jae Yeol continues to deal with his mental disorder, as well as the ignorance that people have surrounding schizophrenia. As he heads to be a guest on his old radio show, one fan even wondered if he is pretending to suffer from schizophrenia to sell his books since he’s looks so “normal”. Uggh.

Jae Yeol: Hello everyone, it’s Jang Jae Yeol. Many people probably already know, but I am currently battling schizophrenia. Doctors say that 1 in 100 people have this common illness and rather than it being an incurable disease, it is possible to return to normal life. I trust their words and I’m planning on trying my best. What I can do for those whom I love is never losing hope no matter what. For today’s good night words, instead of directing them to you, I would like to dedicate them to myself instead. Up until now, I’ve always only asked how others feel and have said numerous goodbyes to them, but for myself, I haven’t once done the same for myself. Tonight, I also suggest you to, instead of others, ask yourself, “Are you really okay?” Check on yourself like this and do a warm “good night” to yourself. I wish you’d all do this. So, tonight as well, good night, Jang Jae Yeol.

Jae Yeol is in essence saying that caring for others is important, but caring for your own well-being is what truly matters. Don’t disregard your own feelings. You should come first so do what makes happiness. It was sweet that all all the people in his life that love and support him were listening intently to the radio program and then told themselves a “good night”, just as he recommended.

It was adorable how during their so-called break-up, everyone would just oh-so casually bring up Hae Soo to Jae Yeol. Like how Soo Kwang and Jo sunbae looked at the pictures of Hae Soo’s travels right in front of him and asked if he really, really won’t look at them. In a way, Jae Yeol and Hae Soo can withstand this separation so calmly because their hearts are connected. They trust and know each other better than anyone. They both know that they’ll wind up back in each other’s arms eventually. It’s like the idea behind the Red String of Fate.

[One Year Since Hae Soo Left]

We get an appropriate use of a time jump and it’s wonderful to know that the Jang family is on their way to becoming a highly functional family. Jae Beom has grown out black hair again and seems to have a huge crush on Young Jin. Which is as hilarious as you can imagine! When told to change his shirt to a blue one, “My Young Jin likes white”. HA! I love that the whole family is able to joke around with each other and are once again comfortable in each other’s presence. I’m also glad that the show didn’t gloss over the fact that both mom and Jae Beom also need psychological treatment; they went through a lot as well.

Before her return, this is a letter/email (?) that Hae Soo wrote to Jae Yeol as she relived the moments from their vacation in Okinawa together:

Hi, Jang Jae Yeol, yesterday, as my last relaxing vacation, I came back to Okinawa. And all day, I just stared at the ocean that we went to. And, today…I am here (the cliff) again. Tomorrow, I’m coming back to Seoul. I am certain you haven’t, but just in case, you haven’t forgotten about me, Ji Hae Soo, right? I’ll contact you when I get there.

Cute, but their reunion was even cuter. Albeit, a bit odd, but just in line with the feel of these characters. Hae Soo happily returns home to lukewarm reactions from Soo Kwang and Jo sunbae, who are too busy putting a puzzle together to pay any attention to her (they are hilariously childish about it too). Of course we know they are just messing with her, but she doesn’t and actually feels pretty vexed about their lack of warmth and excitement. To make it worst, the house is a mess and when she gets some water to calm herself down, Jae Yeol suddenly appears, to her delight, but then nonchalantly says, “You’re here. You became prettier while I didn’t see you”, and then leaves like, well, a hallucination.

Now seriously angry, Hae Soo follows Jae Yeol to his room and takes him to task for his strange, carefree attitude about her returning after ONE WHOLE YEAR away.

Hae Soo: ‘You’re here. You became prettier…’ What are you trying to say?

Jae Yeol: Just that.

Hae Soo [exasperated]: Did you forget me?

Jae Yeol: No.

Hae Soo: Then the thoughtlessness, the careless welcome, what’s with that? You haven’t forgotten about me, but you don’t care?

Jae Yeol: You see, because I’ve been thinking about you every day, it feels like I saw you yesterday then again a few moments before. I really missed you. Can I kiss you?

Hae Soo: Please do.

So the two of them start making out, like two people who love each other and have finally reunited. (So many other drama couples fail at expressing this…) Of course Soo Kwang and Jo sunbae have to pop into the room, bearing a puzzle that writes, “Hae Soo, whom we love, Jae Yeol was waiting so long for you”, to witness the two of them kissing (now I see why Jo sunbae said all the puzzle pieces look the same…). Instead of leaving, Soo Kwang and Jo sunbae stay to enjoy the show. They are such voyeurs and it’s hilarious but I’m just screaming at them to leave the room so our OTP can physically express their love! They have to be asked to leave by Jae Yeol before they actually start making their way, way too slowly, towards the door. In the meantime, Jae Yeol and Hae Soo just continue kissing, as if no ones watching, and it’s super sweet! They’re just so happy, that it makes me feel happy!

[One Year, Again Since Hae Soo and Jae Yeol Reunited]

We pan across a painting of a camel that is no longer tied down by its past trauma and is roaming freely across the vast desert, which has replaced the old painting. The symbolism behind this is beautiful.

In the bathroom, we find Hae Soo looking at a positive pregnancy test. YES!!! But seriously, with their libido, it’s really not a surprise. Rather unhappy, she returns to the bedroom, where Jae Yeol is still sleeping IN BED. Hae Soo gets back in bed and Jae Yeol hugs her while placing his head on her stomach so she peevishly tells him to take his head off her stomach. I find it simultaneously hilarious and adorable that Jae Yeol immediately assumes that he did something wrong to get scolded by her. He even offers to raise his arms up in the air as punishment but then quickly puts them down when she tells him not to do that. These two are so cute!

I love how he asks what is the problem today, like this is a common occurrence, but as soon as she shows him the pregnancy test, Hae Soo: “5 weeks ago, I told you that we shouldn’t do it if we didn’t have a condom, didn’t I? But you persistently persuaded me to do it anyway”, his reaction is priceless.

He just silently gets up and leaves the room, as Hae Soo calls after him; “Honey!” (they’re married!). He casually heads outside and places the pee stick on the table to brag to Soo Kwang and Jo sunbae that he’s going to be a dad! It’s adorable how ecstatic he is about this news and exactly the kind of reaction any girl would want from their husband. Of course unless that girl is Hae Soo, because then even with Jae Yeol’s sweet words, “But on that particular day, Hae Soo was so pretty. My mind was all over the place”, she sprays all three men down with the water hose.

Jae Yeol’s can barely contain his excitement at this good news, so fitting of his character, that he goes off and tells Hae Soo’s mom and dad about the pregnancy. Mom’s super proud of Jae Yeol too, as if it’s some sort of great“accomplishment”. LOL She totally dotes on him now.

Maybe almost as much as Jae Yeol dotes on Hae Soo…almost. Even though she’s the type of girl to tell him to sleep in Soo Kwang’s room because he got her pregnant, only to realize that she can’t stand a night without him by her side.

Then…we get one of the most peculiar scenes in the drama. If I wasn’t already use to the level of zany from this show, it would have felt out of place, but for this show, it oddly fits. Jo sunbae decides to host an intense stress relieving program where all the couples on our show go to a white room, wearing white t-shirts, denim pants, and throws tomatoes at each other. It’s actually really cute. It was especially hilarious how Hae Soo said that to participate, you must have something against the others, so Jae Yeol chimes in to say that he has nothing against her, but once she starts scolding him for making her postpone her doctorate degree, he’s all in. LOL

Our OTP  changes the candle together every night. They are so in sync, she replaces the candle, and he lights it.

Our show ends with our very much in love couple out on an ice cream eating date; very similar to the time he picked her up at the bus stop. When they run into a group of fans (cameo alert) that push Hae Soo out the way, Jae Yeol becomes super protective of her.

Jae Yeol: Don’t be like that to my wife. She’s pregnant right now, so you can’t be like this. Also it’s our alone time, so I’ll sign later.

Hae Soo: I’m sorry, my husband cares for me too much. Sorry. Come to the signing. Sorry.

Haha I love their responses. They are so perfectly happy and it’s hilarious how they basically rub it in other people’s faces. Which, well, they should.

They continue on their date and Hae Soo’s worried Jae Yeol will lose his fans if he keeps acting like that.

Jae Yeol: I’m fine as long as you don’t fall away from me.

Hae Soo: Gosh, where did you learn to say such a cute reply?

Jae Yeol: You’d be very surprised if you knew. Gosh, so cute.

Hae Soo: You’re exactly my style.

Jae Yeol: You’re exactly my style. On that note, after giving birth to our child, what about one more?

Hae Soo: Do you want to fight again? Another? You seem happy.

Jae Yeol: Call!

Hae Soo: Okay!

Concluding Thoughts:

One word: phenomenal. If there is such a thing as perfection, then this drama is damn near perfect. The show has managed to portray, what many people view as the dark side of human nature, with a certain level of deft writing, directing and acting that is tremendously difficult to come by. For a show that dealt with society’s stigma against mental disorders head on, it was surprisingly light, since the real heart of the show has always been it’s focus on love, friendship, family, support and hope; the parts of life that makes it worth living, and amazingly, the show never once strayed from those ideals. Just like how the body gets sick, so does the mind, and the writer obviously understood this well. Instead of trying to sensationalize these psychiatric disorders, the show tries to normalize them and treats the difficulties of those that suffer from such disorders with dignity and respect. Psychological problems can bring about a lot of suffering, and it is definitely more common than one would think, but it is also a source of inspiration; people are strong and in the face of adversity, they can overcome, especially with love and support; not derision and blame. That was the message that this drama was trying to get across to its audience and I’d argue, it did a laudable job.

I initially started watching the show not expecting much but ended up falling head over heels in love with it. The show managed to strike the perfect balance between humor, romance and poignancy. The music was fantastic, the fashion and style of the show was awesome and of course, the cast and crew were BRILLIANT. The writing by writer Noh was top-notch, even with her simplification of psychology, and the directing/cinematography by director Kim was gorgeous. Sung Dong Il and Lee Kwang Soo (along with the entire cast) were outstanding but the bulk of my praises have to go to Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin. Their acting was simply amazing. There were so many scenes where their performance simply left me breathless. There is a maturity and finesse to their acting that befits their title as veterans of the craft.

The show was, above all, a love story between two broken people who heal each other’s wounds and Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin managed to portray this love so realistically. Their chemistry was off the charts and they made me believe that their love was real and can actually exist in this world. They acted so naturally and there was never a single hint of awkwardness between them.

Another thing I appreciated about this show was that it promised us romance and it stayed true to that promise throughout the entirety of its run. This show is definitely one of those rare dramas where the OTP get together early on in the series, so instead of suffering through the push-and-pull stage of the relationship to end with the couple barely getting together, we instead got to see Jae Yeol and Hae Soo experience the ups-and-down of life together.

Also, mad props to Gong Hyo Jin for going through with the filming even after her car accident. Every time I saw her limping in the show it tugged at my heart, but it really goes to show her determined character and devotion to her art.

Prior to this drama, the only real impression I had of Jo In Sung was that he’s a really good looking actor. I saw him in The Classic, and I have to admit that he was pretty bad. Then I saw him in What Happened in Bali and all I can remember was how much I hate the show. However, the thing that makes me come to truly love Jo In Sung is that, unlike so many other actors who are only successful due to their looks, he continues to try to improve his acting. This tells me that he is actually passionate about his profession of choice and he takes his craft seriously. If you look at his resume, he has continually chosen projects to challenge himself as an actor so that now I can honestly say that he is probably one of the finest actors out there.

The show was well paced and so refreshing; in what is sometimes a very repetitive kdrama landscape. It’s just my style! I am loath to say farewell to this world and its inhabitants since I’ve grown so attached to the characters that it feels like I’m saying farewell to some close friends, but I’ll pretend that they continue to live on even once production as ceased. Let’s start lighting candles to pray for a second season or a reunion series.

Dang, the withdrawal for this show is hitting me like a brick. Anyone else feeling that tightness of chest, or is that just sentimental me? So with a heavy heart, farewell It’s Okay, It’s Love. It’s been a pleasure. #BestShowOf2014

Thank you everyone who’s followed the show along with me on this blog. I hope you’ll continue to drop by. And for anyone who’s curious, I’m a bit burnt out (the withdrawal symptoms are not helping) so I will be on semi-hiatus but do support my good friend, Buticut, with her hilarious Iron Man Cactus Man recaps. Finally, don’t forget about the GIVEAWAY! Basically, post a comment and you’re golden!

“Hey”-IOIL OST Part. 9 


57 thoughts on “It’s Okay, It’s Love Episode 16 (Final) Thoughts

  1. ttduong says:

    I have been managing to cure the IOTL withdrawal syndrome for the last two days then I read this entry of you. My efforts fail obviously haha (sure it is not a complaint). It is such a big regret to leave the show, the discussion thread and the blog! I have never been crazily falling for a drama before. Hope to see them back and we shall meet together then!


  2. Rigby says:

    Thank you dramapenchant for the recaps of these amazing drama. Your insights and comments has helped us your readers and fan understand more the beauty of this show. You are appreciated much!

    On to the show, this is lovestory at its finest ! Never had experienced this kind of satisfaction not just for the ending but for the entire drama! This is a well written well thought masterpiece! If there is such a thing as perfect , then this is perfect! The artist are such amazing, they are not acting, they are the characters! JIS and GHJ are such gems of artist to behold. Just as you have said, there is ni awkwardness in them, they are so in love with each other! And i think that is why this show is beautiful, because in my opinion , this is a lovestory, more than a psychological issue, this is a beautiful lovestory!

    This drama is hard to forget, i was inspired to pray for at least one soul a day hoping it will make a difference in that person’s life.

    Congratulations SBS and thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • dramapenchant says:

      Thanks Rigby! This drama will be a classic, in my book, for its ability to tell a beautiful love story without ever straying from its central messages of acceptance and hope.

      Is it bad if my praying involves asking for a 2nd season/reunion of the cast and crew? 😛


  3. MoniW says:

    So happy you’ve posted this!!!!! Is it okay with you if I post about ep 15 and ep 16 here at once? I will wait for your answer before posting anything as you’re the Boss of this blog :).


  4. readlead says:

    Hi, this is the first time I comment 🙂
    First, I LOOOVE the pics you choose, they all my favorite moment in this ep… compare to other recapper, I love your choice of screen-caps the most!

    not only that, I truly enjoy reading your thoughts from beginning until end, the way you express every scene and your final words, for me it’s one of smartest review from IOIL’s lover 😀 not only agree with all you said about IOIL, I love it!

    watching JY when he announced that he would be a dad, OMG… truly he will be a really great father, isnt he? ^_^ he is truly my perfect style, wish I can meet, falling in love and get married with a man like him hehe

    you;re awesome, for writing such long thoughts plus screencaps, which I believe spend the most time, (capture + upload + put the link one by one) which is reason why until to day, I havent write any recaps/review for any drama though I have been wanted to do it 😦

    bian, I talk to much 😛 hope someday, we can falling in love again with same drama… 🙂


  5. myJourney2Oasis says:

    Enjoyed every episode of this drama! Watching it for 1 hour is like watching it in 30 mins haha Yes! It is really the best drama this year! Want a baeksang award for them!

    Love the dynamics of the characters from beginning to end…it’s so natural! Plus the countless K-I double S hahaha I dunno if it helps that both of them are in a relationship & InSung Oppa’s gf is hyojin unnie’s bff 😀

    Btw, how can we request for an english version of the script book? That would be daebak! A priceless collection for us 🙂

    Thank you, Drama penchant! Perfect! Just like my style! 😀


  6. dramapenchant says:

    Reposted for mylovebuggeroos:

    Ah I just finished the last episode. 100,000 in two years? Phew! Hats off to you!
    1. I love this show. It has been so intriguing and captivating that it might be consider my one of my favorite top ten dramas of all time (considering this kdrama obsession only started 5 months ago). I love how much it made me think about life in general. I think as human beings we are all too judgmental and especially the older generations…mental illness is a shameful and embarrassment to the family. I hope that this social stigma slowly fades away.
    Oh my gosh. I loved it so much. That was the perfect ending. I love my happily ever ending…especially when pregnancy is involved. After I watched it… I felt so complete. Ah the way he protected her. I am in love. Haha
    #3 Always and forever… When she was drunk and sleeping on his bed. While recording what he was going to do. That jazzy sizzling dance. OMG. I might just pass out now. Ahhh! It is 9/12/2014 here!


  7. Caitlyn says:

    One of the reasons Gong Hyo Jin is one of my favourite actresses is because she’s always so natural. What you said about there not being any awkwardness between her and Jo In Sung, it’s because she’s always like that. Everything is so real with her, I love it.

    Prior to this show, I didn’t have much of an opinion of Jo In Sung because I didn’t (still don’t) find him attractive and the only thing I’d seen him in was TWTWB and while i did actually like his character in that show for the most part, it didn’t stick with me afterwards. But now, I can really appreciate his talent. In the last few episodes, he has been simply amazing. Episode 14 was the turning point for me, when he was in hospital asking Hye Soo if he could leave because he didn’t feel like himself in there. There was no over acting, everything was just so subtle, and he really made me empathise with him so much. I felt so sad for this proud confident man who now felt humiliated and pathetic. Just a beautiful scene. So yeah, he’s still not gonna be a favourite actor of mine but he’s certainly on the radar now.


  8. shl says:

    Dear Dramapenchant, thanks for your insights into each episode! I came late to this drama, thanks to a recommendation by Snoopy’s Twinkie, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely, thanks in no small measure to the recaps and insights posted by ST, you and Softy.

    I think the cast and production team did a brilliant job! I have a newfound appreciation for Jo In-sung; only saw him in That Winter the Wind Blows and didn’t think much of him there beyond ‘pretty face’, but he was great as JY. Gong Hyo-jin I came to appreciate last year through The Master’s Sun (also through ST’s recommendation!), and she brought HS to life. Hats off to all the other actors, too.

    I did have some issues with the writing, mainly in the ‘technical’ details e.g. sodium amytal as the wonder-truth-drug, the instantaneous ‘healing’ of HS’s aversion to intimacy, but, for the most part, I thought it was a well-written look into the lives of real people. This writer excels at character interactions and relationships.

    For me, the main takeaway was not just that people can depend on each other (love in all its forms, whether between lovers, friends, siblings, spouses, or even ex-spouses), but that we need each other. As John Donne says, ‘No man is an island’. HS may tell her patients they must have the will to get better – which is true – but will alone doesn’t go far without the encouragement and help of someone else, whether spouse, doctor or hallucination 🙂

    What touched me most was when HS told JY to thank KW for her and to say that he could effectively hand the baton over to her; she’d be by JY’s side going forward. I didn’t expect KW to be given that kind of validation.

    oops, sorry for the rambling! Still trying to sort through my thoughts in some ways.

    Thank you again, and have a good break 🙂


    • dramapenchant says:

      As you said, the show’s portrayal of certain medical/psychological issues weren’t ‘perfect’ but it did a good job for what it was trying to get across. The characters and their interactions were really what made this show superb.

      That scene was simply beautiful! It just shows how much she loves and is willing to be there to support him. And in doing so, it allowed him to finally come to terms with needing to let Kang Woo go and instead rely on those around him for help.

      Thank you!


  9. dongsaeng killer says:

    1) I loved your concluding thoughts. I especially loved the line about psychological problems and how they can be a source of inspiration as opposed to shame and the need for love and support. A number of individuals in my family live with mental disorders and I sent out a group text with your words because that line was so beautiful 🙂
    2) I LOVED THIS SHOW! I hardly ever watch kdramas since they require a lot of time and effort and can be a frustrating experience. Recaps are so much easier on my blood pressure 😉 But this show I watched every second of because it was so beautifully written, wonderfully acted and appealingly directed and I must say it was worth it
    3) The finale was extra satisfying. I don’t necessarily believe every drama should have a happy ending. But possibly due to my circumstances, it was especially important that this drama go out on a happy, hopeful, optimistic note. i am so happy that they showed that although it may not be easy, one can still have a fulfilling and happy life in spite of your diagnosis.
    4) How can you ask me to pick a fav scene????? Impossible! Maybe the last scene in ep4 when JaeYeol is running down the highway alone? Chills! Or when he said goodbye to Kangwoo? Tears!

    Thanks so much for your commentary. I’ll be following your blog from now on 🙂


    • dramapenchant says:

      Awww, thank you so much for the kind words. I’m really moved to know that my writing was able to affect you in that way!

      The finale was perfect for a show about hope.

      The ending scene of ep. 4 seriously gave me chills as well!


  10. LoveGong Jin says:

    Omo ! dramapenchant , kamsahamnida ! for airing some of my thoughts !

    Like what I posted in my fb , I directly thanked writer Noh He Kyung , not only for a well hoped for ending , but I told her , she even surpassed my expectations !!! And for that I was truly overwhelmed ! Just Imagine , I never really thought that Hae Soo would even got pregnant oh my goodness !!! hahaha , and they got married sooooo happy !
    What I was wishing for was Jae Yeol to receover from his illness , and that Hae Soo be free from all worries and that’s it , but really having seen the finale to be like that? Gosh I ran out of words , I felt like I was in heaven floating (too much excitement that night!) …
    And you know what , that following day I felt so much recharged & I felt so very light . I was sooo excited even until now .. hhahahha
    whooo !


  11. MoniW says:

    Sorry, I meant to post this earlier but you know what’s it like when real life interferers with your fantasy life (aka IOTL lol…). I simply run out of time! My gosh what will I do on Fridays now without IOTL . I always looked forward to the weekends so much because late on Friday nights, I would relax on the couch, pop my headphones on and watch with relish the 2 weekly episodes of this wonderfully refreshing drama !… I feel so nostalgic already…

    So many loose ends finally tied in this episode. I was relieved that Kang Woo finally left. I know he served a very important purpose in JY’s life but in the last few episodes I would get a horrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever he showed up because his existence just reminded me how ill JY was and that he would never be able to progress and live at least a semi-normal life until such time as he stopped seeing/relying on KW. The goodbye between them was handled beautifully. So meaningful and so poignant.

    Also, as difficult as it was, I totally understood the reasoning behind Jae-yeol letting Hae-soo “go”. He wanted to be genuinely sure she accepted him (with his illness) and he considered that if after being apart for a year she STILL wanted to be with him then they were really “meant to be”. It reminded me of the saying “If you love something set it free… if it comes back to you….etc. etc…..”. And I believe it was important for him to know (for the sake of their future together) that he wasn’t responsible for holding her back from doing what she always wanted to do even before she met him. Plus I think we ALL agree that their separation would also give JY the very much needed space to concentrate purely on his recovery and learning how to manage his illness long term. Even though Hae-soo conceded to this separation, what partly made it a little bit easier for her was the knowledge that she was leaving JY in very good hands (with Dong-min and Young-jin).

    By the way, knowing how important family approval and acceptance is in Korean culture it made sense that Jae-yeol did what he had to do to be accepted by Hae-soo’s family. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like we don’t crave parental approval here lol BUT it’s on a whole different level over there. Despite my “Western influence” I actually have a lot of respect for how they treat their parents and their siblings (even if certain behaviours are difficult to understand at times arghhh). Well, as we all know whatever Jae-yeol did worked a treat in the end! Admittedly, I felt that the story-arc of Hae-soo’s family was a little bit inconsistent and all over the place but hey…

    I loved the little “candle” prayer for all the lonely people out there. What a beautiful touch! So memorable…. I also laughed and enjoyed Soo-Kwang and Dong-min sitting on the bed while watching JY & HS make out (that was very cool – especially HS wrapping her leg around JY :).

    I really, REALLY loved the happy note the show ended on… (including happy JB and everyone getting proper ongoing treatment for different issues). And my gosh we even got a baby!!!!!!! It was really happiness all around! And as you said yourself – even the tomato fight was truly consistent with the theme of the show of “expect the zany and unexpected”! Although I would have loved 4 seconds less of tomato fight and few more scenes from the wedding instead lol (awwww!!). My gosh, I have just seen the additional wedding photos released and oh WOW it would have been so lovely to have them included as part of the episode (instead of just with the rolling credits. Don’t hate me, I told you I am “greedy” lol). Especially that pic of JY holding HS’s face about to kiss her (that’s just purely stunning!).

    I know I always talk about JY & HS but I loved so much the additional characters of Dong-min, Soo-kwang and Young-jin. Writer Noh has created such beautiful souls in all of them. I could well and truly watch another 2 seasons of IOTL – it wouldn’t bore me just to watch them having a normal life – the mundane day to day stuff – JY & HS continuing with their relationship, bickering, making up, having a baby but yes I am deluding myself lol.

    I watched this show because of Jo In Sung and he did me proud :). This was the first time I saw Gong Hyo-jin and I really liked her, she was perfect for this role. The music was phenomenal and the fashion was very chic (I totally loved what JY and HS were wearing, especially the man-shirts on HS and her jewellery [I WANT those shirts and those rings :)], I will really treasure this show for a long time. I will have to console myself by repeated viewings! And yes, I was a good girl and signed the petition for script in English :).

    Heartfelt thanks go out to you again Dramapenchant for this blog, for your insights, for your humour and fantastic screen captures and of course your love of JY & HS. Great job. You will be pleased to know that I was VERY naughty and would sometimes sneak a peek at your recaps during work!).

    As this post is waaaaay too long I promise I will not take any offence if you cull it :).

    Thanks for your email, I will definitely drop you a line soon :).


    • dramapenchant says:

      MoniW, I absolutely loved reading your comment (s)!! Never ever worry about the length! 😀

      Don’t remind me! I’m still in the denial stage about the fact that IOIL has really ended! LOL Good thing we have the Thailand trip to help ease us into this withdrawal period.

      I just viewed the “separation” as a 1-year long distance relationship, supposedly without any contact. I say supposedly because (1) JY’s sly reaction when Jo sunbae asked him if he really hasn’t been in contact with HS during this entire time and (2) HS’s letter/email voiceover to JY.

      I do have to agree with you on HS’s family arc. Oh well, that plot line accomplished what it needed to. On the line of parental approval, it is most certainly important, especially in East Asian countries that are heavily influenced by Confucianism. One of the 5 major human relationships as outline by Confucius was parent-child (well, technically, father-son but let’s ignore the sexism…)

      I wanted them to leave faster so that I can see more of the kissing in a passionate light instead of a humorous one! But understand why the production had to do it that way (to keep in line with the show’s rating) and it was pretty hilarious. They were basically all of us viewers as we watched HS and JY make-out.

      I also wished the tomato fight scene was shorter, since I wanted to see either the wedding or just a scene of them with their baby, but as is, the finale is still perfect, in my opinion. I like that it ended with a positive, optimistic note, and with happy promises for the future of HS and JY. Also, having re-watched the tomato scene, I’ve actually grown to like it more and more! It really is bittersweet to say goodbye to all of those lovely characters.

      I think I mentioned it in a previous thoughts section (and maybe even within this post as well…I kind of forget) but the mundane, day-to-day interactions between couples are some of my favorite moments in a show. That’s why I always love the supermarket, shopping scenes in dramas!

      Thanks for signing!! 😀

      ❤ Thank you so much for the kind words and for following along on this ride! I hope you'll continue to drop by! 😀


      • MoniW says:

        Oh Dramapenchant – you were SO right! This episode got so much better for me with each additional viewing (yep, even the tomato scene lol)! As much as I enjoyed the episode before NOW I have grown to truly love and understand every moment of it :). Your comments helped me to “see the light” lol.

        I think initially I was just over emotional when I sat down to watch the final episode for the first time (I’m sure you know what’s it like when you’re tired after a week’s work, it’s very late at night and your favourite show is about to end – resulting in you holding a box of tissues in one hand and a tub of ice cream in the other – lethal combo lol) so frankly I don’t think even I knew what I was expecting from it and perhaps that’s why I was puzzled by few bits here and there lol.

        I can’t wait to get my hands on the Director’s cut DVD of the series – (and especially the commentaries by the actors, I only hope/pray they will sub the commentaries and the cut scenes etc!).

        I better “get a life” as I’m sure everyone is probably done talking about the show lol…


      • dramapenchant says:

        LOL I was super emotional watching the finale as well. I wanted to postpone the inevitable, indefinitely but I also really wanted to know how it ended! 😛 Too bad I didn’t have a tub of ice cream to alleviate the pain!

        Who’s telling you to get over this show? You don’t have to worry about that here! I’m still stuck on the show as you can probably tell from my recent posts lol


  12. MYSTYLE says:

    Your review contained just the exact words that described how I felt on the final episode. And you’re not the only one who suffered with withdrawal syndrome. Haha! I can’t move on that I’m watching it again and I’m on episode 10 now! Haha. I initially watched IOIL when I happen to see a friend’s post from fb that she’s watching IOIL, EP 4. I got curious (clueless and did not expect much frm the show) and downloaded the episode 1 and, dang! I fell in love with it and never expected I would happen to watch such great drama as this. I really loved the ending. Hats off to the IOIL Team; brilliantly written by the scriptwriter, great character execution from the actors and superb direction. I firmly believe that IOIL deserve enormous awards. And of course, Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin for BEST COUPLE! I’ll leave three words to IOIL before I click the post button– *finger snap* DEFINITELY MY STYLE! ;D :)) ♥


  13. LoveIOIL says:

    Thanks a lot for the well written articles. I should have found it earlier. Yes, I’m having bad withdrawal symptom and like you say the “tightness in the chest” kind of feeling, like I had been dumped by someone 😦 LOLZ! Crazy right?!
    So to curb the feeling, I watched it for the second times and couldn’t get bored watching them again and again. Simply LOVE them.


  14. aa304 says:

    Does anyone know which brand of earpiece Gong Hyo Jin is using when she’s on the plane listening to Jang Jae Yeol’s radio broadcast? Please lemme know I would appreciate it to death


  15. jhonbars says:

    Thanks for this wonderful review! Actually I just finish watching this drama last two days ago and yes I can really say everything is almost perfect for the show. I hve this separation anxiety of the drama and I watch it again for the second time. I feel in love right away with Jo In Sung. The chemistry of both actors are fantastic. I cried, I laugh and I feel their characters. The drama is like a reality of life. The ups and downs of relationship. The jealousy, the bickering, the fighting and above all the love they shown for each other. I really can relate to the woman especially when she is being double sided. Well, woman is complicated and hands down to Gong Hyo Jin for acting is so real. Most woman are like her and can relate on her character. As for the man, hands down to Jo In Sung for being a true man. Like even their roommate knows already that they are sleeping together but he is not answering their questions. A true gentleman indeed. How I love this drama and for sure just like Kim Soo Hyun, Ji Chang Wook and Jang Keun Suk, well I add Jo In Sung to my list as one of the best Korean actor. Who really knows how to act well. Congrats to this drama! Hoping for a reunion drama for the two leads. 😍


    • Vy says:

      Thank you for reading and leaving a comment! 😀 I can’t tell you how many times I re-watched IOIL 😛 I’m hoping for a reunion too. It would be awesome!


  16. kangaroo says:

    “Another thing I appreciated about this show was that it promised us romance and it stayed true to that promise throughout the entirety of its run. This show is definitely one of those rare dramas where the OTP get together early on in the series, so instead of suffering through the push-and-pull stage of the relationship to end with the couple barely getting together, we instead got to see Jae Yeol and Hae Soo experience the ups-and-down of life together.”



  17. kangaroo says:

    “Let’s start lighting candles to pray for a second season or a reunion series.”

    A second season is usually a let down so I hesitate but seeing that the writer, the production team and the actors/ress has been true to the end, let me risk it and pray too for a second season …a continuation of all that is loved in this series. so, echo your thoughts.


  18. kangaroo says:

    Echoing this comment too:

    “On to the show, this is lovestory at its finest ! Never had experienced this kind of satisfaction not just for the ending but for the entire drama! ……! If there is such a thing as perfect , then this is perfect! ……. JIS and GHJ are such gems of artist to behold. Just as you have said, there is no awkwardness in them, they are so in love with each other! And i think that is why (amongst others) this show is beautiful, ……….”


  19. kangaroo says:

    Like these concluding episodes too (warm and heart rendering):

    1. “Instead of leaving, Soo Kwang and Jo sunbae stay to enjoy the show. They are such voyeurs and it’s hilarious but I’m just screaming at them to leave the room so our OTP can physically express their love! ” Such a far cry from the frigid HS at the beginning of the show.

    2. The bed scene (when JY found out that HS is pregnant), in particular, JY’s “priceless” reaction when he found out that he was going to be a father

    3. Both lighting the candles and when they walked away – they are so “in sync” (as mentioned). Also, lighting the candle for all the lonely souls …this is such a beautiful gesture.

    4. when JY was recording at radio station – their eye contact, when JY came out and plunk a kiss on HS

    5. when they were strolling during their date – JY being so protective over HS (after the fan pushed HS away)


  20. imustbeafanofyours says:

    your review and conclusion are so damn perfect! i love how you used your words to describe everything. you and writer noh must be so brilliant. especially in playing the words. may success in your way.


  21. kangaroo says:

    Wish there can be more episode for us to droll over, a 2nd season. One wishes that the relationship continues from reel to real but it is probably unlikely (after so many months), so, we should just be glad that 2 very dedicated actor/actress and a team comprising the writer/director/supporting case/other supporting cast has given us 16 full very lovely episode. It was not perfect (as in 100%) but in such an in-perfect world, it is really a perfection (as one would never have expected & never seen before). Believe it will remain 1 of my top 3 drama for all times.


  22. kangaroo says:

    I watched this series only in May 2015 and am still very enamoured. Most seems to have caught this in Sept 2014, a good 6 months & more, so, interest on this seems to have died. There seems to be only 2 websites which has full reviews on this show, dramabean and this. In dramabean, the writer sometimes failed to be able to appreciate the quirkiness of the show, in particular, that of JHS (btw, quirkiness in many females) while here, at drama penchant, the writer is able to better appreciate the quirkiness and nuances of the show and its characters. There is more love for the show and its character. So, I may like to post more on the show here. Hope the blog owner does not mind.


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