You didn’t think I would forget to recap the final episode now, did you? It’s hard to believe that it’s really over – neither the drama nor my first fully completed drama recap. When I first started recapping this series on June 29, I did not anticipate actually recapping the series to the very end and I definitely did not anticipate growing to like You’ve Fallen for Me as much as I did. And so before I forget, I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone for joining me on my journey. You all helped make the experience even richer and more meaningful!
EPISODE 15: “Make Your Dreams Come True”
The title for the finale is “네꿈을 펼쳐라” (“Make Your Dreams Come True”), a 1976 song by folk singer Yang Hee Eun. The lyrics is one of encouraging a lover to go after their dream.
As I was not able to find the original version, here is a cover by Park Kang Soo.
Make your dreams come true, make your dreams come true
To my lover in floral shoes appearing from within the heat shimmer
Open your window, open your window
Carry your sweet dreams and fly in the blue sky
Open your heart, open your heart
Our humble love will soothe every pain
Make your dreams come true, make your dreams come true
To my lover in floral shoes appearing from within the heat shimmer
Shin falls, and everyone rushes to his side. Suk-hyun and Yoon-soo ask what’s wrong, but Shin (once again) dismisses it as nothing serious and lies that he just has a stomachache from the food he ate earlier. Kyu-won wants to take him to the hospital, but Shin gets right back up again to show that he really is perfectly fine and even goes to finish his performance.
After the performance, he is late to arrive at the table as he holds his hand under cold water. As they wait, Kyu-won remembers the fall and guesses that the incident today has something to do with it. She confronts Shin about it when he returns from the restroom, but he denies it (again).
On their walk home, Yoon-soo continues to worry about Shin.
Suk-hyun: He looked fine earlier. Don’t worry.
Yoon-soo: He’s a guitarist. He can’t injure his hand.
Suk-hyun: (turning to her) Are you thinking of what happened to you in the past?
Yoon-soo: It’d be a lie if I said I wasn’t. My life changed because of that accident.
Suk-hyun: But because of that, you came back to school and met me. Let’s think positively. Shin will get better too.
(Oh, Suk-hyun! Meeting you cannot replace the fact that she had to forgo her lifelong dream!)
The next day, Kyu-won meets with the president of the music label and learns that she’ll be heading over to England next month. For six months, she’ll take vocal lessons, learn jazz dance and ballet, and watch many musicals during her stay there. It would naturally mean that she would have to take about a year off from school. He suggests that she quit school altogether, seeing that her major is in a different field from what she seeks to do. But Kyu-won is adamant about finishing school. If possible, she hopes to one day make a gukak musical.
Kyu-won tells her grandfather the news of her upcoming trip to England, but is met with an indifferent response. All his attention has shifted to his new protegee, Jung-hyun. When Jung-hyun envies Kyu-won for her travel opportunity, Grandpa reminds Jung-hyun that as long as she succeeds in gukak, she will be invited to perform around the world.
Kyu-won then breaks the news to Shin, showing him her passport photo. She has mixed feelings. Although she’s happy and excited to go, she feels upset and depressed when she thinks about being separated from Shin. He cheers her up – they can see each other online over the internet. He jokes that she seems to like him too much.
But while Kyu-won makes plans for her future, a brake is applied on Shin’s. He visits the doctor and learns that because of the strong impact from the fall, one of his nerves is pressed down upon and will require surgery. Although rare, some patients never regain their sense of touch even after surgery. The sooner it’s done, the faster and more effective will his recovery likely be. However, Shin wishes to postpone the surgery for a month. Yes, so that it will take place after Kyu-won’s departure and without her knowledge. Aigoo!
In the meantime, The Stupid stops performing at Catharsis. Of course, the real reason is that the pain is too great for Shin to perform. But as others do not know of his injury, everyone assumes that Shin wants to take a break because he’s upset to see Kyu-won go and wants to spend as much time with her as possible before she leaves.
Without having to perform at Catharsis, Joon-hee and Hee-joo are able to meet more frequently. Because Hee-joo’s throat is still sore, Joon-hee is as always very attentive to Hee-joo’s needs. And when she appears upset at the news that Kyu-won will be leaving for England, Joon-hee cheers her up and tells her that once she recovers, she will far surpass Kyu-won’s success.
Suk-hyun and Yoon-soo will also be gone for about a year to stay in the States. Suk-hyun’s show is running for six months, but he will need the extra time to prepare for his Broadway musical. Yoon-soo will be on sabbatical to stay with Suk-hyun during that year.
But before he leaves, there’s one thing he must first check. He meets up with Shin and suddenly grabs his wrist. When Shin winces from the pain, Suk-hyun confirms his fear of Shin’s injury. Shin admits the truth of his condition and asks Suk-hyun to keep it a secret from Kyu-won. If she finds out, she will surely decide to stay. Suk-hyun understands and promises to do as Shin’s request.
However, it doesn’t take long for Shin to blow his own cover.
Shin meets Kyu-won for a shaved ice date. When she shows him her plane ticket, he replies that her going away seems real now. Their order comes out, and he offers to get it. But as soon as he attempts to lift their tray, his wrist can’t handle the weight and he drops the tray and everything with it.
Kyu-won rushes to Shin’s side and tries to get him to admit that he injured his wrist because of her. But, he denies it once again. He lies that the tray must have slipped because of water.
That night, she goes home and thinks back to all the incidents involving Shin. Piecing all the clues together, Kyu-won is now firmly convinced of Shin’s injury. The next morning she goes and tells the president of the musical label that she can’t go to England. For any costs incurred, she promises to reimburse him back. But she explains that she has to stay in Korea to be by someone’s side. He asks her if she really won’t regret her decision to quit like this, but she confidently says she won’t regret it.
She then goes to meet Shin at the campus bench and cheerily tells him her new decision to stay.
Shin: Why did you do that?
Kyu-won: You’re injured. And it’s because of me. So I how can go? Have you gone to the hospital yet? What did they say? (Shin remains silent.) Shin!
Shin: My hand is completely healed. And… let’s end it now.
Kyu-won: What did you just say?
Shin: I said let’s break up.
Kyu-won: Why are you doing this all of a sudden?
Shin: They say out of sight, out of mind. Honestly, I don’t have the confidence to wait for you.
Kyu-won: Do you really mean that?
Shin tries to hand her his half of their couple cellphone accessory, but when she doesn’t accept, he leaves it on the bench. With just a mere “I’m sorry,” he gets up to leave. She immediately goes after him and grabs his hand to stop him. After making her let go, he walks away. Tears stream down Kyu-won’s face as she watches Shin go farther and farther away from her.
That night, the heartbroken lovers cry alone in their rooms, Kyu Won holding their bears and Shin staring at Kyu-won’s passport picture.
But without Shin “tying” her down, Kyu-won leaves for England. And as he has intended, Shin prepares for his surgery once he is assured of Kyu-won’s departure.
ONE YEAR LATER
Kyu-won has returned from her training in England and is now a musical star. Her musical shows are sold out and her newly released musical album is ranked number one in the New Age Chart.
Shin’s mom is switching to a new job after accepting an editor-in-chief position for a new musical magazine. She meets Kyu-won’s dad and makes him a job offer with her magazine, which he accepts.
As for Shin, he has undergone surgery and recovering well, although not yet completely healed. He continues to practice his guitar until he can return to his old self. In order to keep Kyu-won in the dark about his surgery, he has even kept it a secret from his sister.
Under the watch of Kyu-won’s grandfather, Jung-hyun receives pansori training to follow in the footsteps of Grandpa. However, she’s no pushover. She has memorized Grandpa’s entire life story, and won’t stand to hear him repeat it to her or nag at her. She even dares to send him away when he interrupts her lesson… and he abides.
Suk-hyun and Yoon-soo return to Korea after their one year stay in the U.S. Just like a year ago, Soo-myung greets them at the airport with his old car. But there have been some major changes as well. Soo-myung is now dating Sa-rang, and the two are running Catharsis together after Madame Gu took off to Santiago, Chile… in search of… love.
Hee-joo’s mom is brewing with jealousy at she reads the news of Kyu-won in the papers. Well, she has put all her hope in making a star out of her younger daughter. Her plan is already in place.
And of course, that plan still involves bribing Tae-joon. Except Hee-joo’s younger sister has neither the looks nor the skills of Hee-joo. That doesn’t matter to Tae-joon, as Suk-hyun won’t be around this year to foil his plans.
Except right on cue, Suk-hyun and Yoon-soo walk up to Tae-joon! Fortunately for Tae-joon, Suk-hyun has no intention to involve himself with another school event. Instead, he has plans to start his own show.
First he goes to see Kyu-won, and finds her as she’s practicing her dance moves. Well, Park Shin Hye is an awesome dancer and she finally gets to showcase it here. And Suk-hyun is completely impressed at this new Kyu-won. After greeting her by tussling her hair in what has become his signature move, he asks after her and Shin.
Kyu-won: We broke up.
Kyu-won: Right after you left for America. Shin suffered a minor injury because of me. He must have hated me as he saw me being happy about leaving for England not knowing about his injury. At first I didn’t understand, but after being apart and alone, I started to understand what he meant.
Suk-hyun: So petty. I should go over and give him a scolding. Does he still perform at Catharsis?
Kyu-won: No, not since then.
Suk-hyun had assumed that they were doing well because Kyu-won never mentioned anything about the breakup in her emails to him. He hands Kyu-won a script for his upcoming musical and tells her to audition for it if she’s interested. He reminds her that just because she is now a musical star doesn’t mean she can bypass the audition and automatically land the role. Yoon-soo will be in charge of the choreography, and he is thinking of asking Shin to work on the music for the show. He confirms with Kyu-won that she would be okay with working with Shin.
Next, he goes to meet Shin. He learns from Shin that his surgery went well, but is curious as to why he is still not performing at Catharsis.
Shin: I am not yet fully recovered as I was then, so I am still practicing. You need not worry too much.
Suk-hyun: Kyu-won knows that you injured your hand. Does she also know about the surgery?
Shin: She doesn’t know that yet.
Suk-hyun: I see what’s going on. You were afraid Kyu-won wouldn’t leave for England if she were to find out about your injury. So you broke up with her to make her go. I’m right, aren’t I?
Shin: It’s not important now. It’s all in the past.
Suk-hyun: Should I help?
Shin: No. I’ve already sorted out my feelings. Please don’t tell Kyu-won.
Suk-hyun: Yeah, I don’t want to give myself a headache by getting myself involved in other people’s love life.
And now back to business, Suk-hyun tells Shin about his newest musical and asks whether Shin has written any songs that he can use in it. Shin does have a few songs and offers to show it to Suk-hyun. However, at the news that Kyu-won may join the musical, Shin’s face darkens.
That evening, the old musical cast and crew team hold a small reunion at Catharsis to welcome back Suk-hyun and Yoon-soo. As Ki-young has entered a theater company, he offers to buy the beer. And Soo-myung and Sa-rang swindle Suk-hyun into buying the most expensive appetizers from the menu.
Learning about Suk-hyun’s new musical, Hee-joo wants to audition as well and go up against Kyu-won. But when the conversation turns to Shin doing the music for the show and possibly working together with Kyu-won, everyone goes quiet. Bo-woon speaks up that she feels sorry for those two and wish they could get back together again.
And as for Kyu-won herself, she looks through the script for Suk-hyun’s musical titled “Playful Date.” (Oh, Suk-hyun, let me guess? This is a sequel to “Playful Kiss” and involves a girl majoring in gayageum who crushes on the campus hottie, right?)
She recognizes a poem in the musical, and while looking for the book with that poem, she accidentally comes across Shin’s dad’s record in her bookshelf. She decides to return it to Shin and waits outside his front door, just as Shin comes up behind her.
Shin: What are you doing here?
Kyu-won: Oh… to give this back to you. (She shows Shin his dad’s album.) I considered handing it to Jung-hyun, but I thought it was only right to return it directly to you. (Shin accepts the disc.) I should have given it to you sooner, but I left for England right after we broke up. And even when I came back, it was so hectic that there was no chance to return it. I’m sorry.
In a voice barely above a whisper, he merely tells her to go on in (back to her home), and he walks into his own home himself.
And once again, the two former lovers cry alone in their rooms, as we viewers ask ourselves, “Why did they break up again?” Oh yes, because he was being a noble idiot!
Suk-hyun and Shin meet the next day. Shin offers Suk-hyun the songs that he have worked on to use as he wishes, but declines to take part in the production. His guitar playing is not up to par, and he doesn’t want Kyu-won to suspect what has really happened to him.
That day, Suk-hyun and Yoon-soo talk about Kyu-won and Shin’s situation. Yoon-soo thinks she can understand how Shin feels, comparing it to her own experience and how she worried about Suk-hyun finding out about her accident. Suk-hyun admits he suffered in pain when he found out, and this memory helps him in his decision to not tell Kyu-won about Shin’s surgery.
Meanwhile, Shin makes a comeback to The Stupid’s rehearsal studio, much to the delight of his bandmates. However, he’s not yet prepared to perform at Catharsis. Just then his phone rings. It’s from Kyu-won asking him to meet her in person.
She found out from Suk-hyun that Shin declined to take part in the musical. When they meet, Kyu-won tries to convince him to join the musical, promising him that she’ll try not to run into him if at all possible. But Shin stubbornly refuses and tells her not to contact him again.
Believing herself coldly rejected by Shin once again, Kyu-won heads to Catharsis with Bo-woon to drink herself out of her misery. Kyu-won eventually passes out, and not having anyone to help carry Kyu-won home, Bo-woon calls Shin to ask him to take her home.
Shin paces back and forth in his room not knowing what to do, and he eventually decides to call Kyu-won’s dad to let him know to pick up his own daughter.
Nevertheless, Shin continues to worry about Kyu-won and he ends up waiting outside her house to see with his own eyes that she returns safely home on her father’s back.
Kyu-won’s dad sees Shin, and so after dropping off Kyu-won safely in her room, he comes back out to thank Shin for contacting him. Dad guesses that Shin still likes Kyu-won and advises him that they try to get back together again. He compares the situation to that of Shin’s mom and himself, and he explains that had just one party been brave enough to admit their feelings, things might have turned out different between them. He doesn’t want Shin and Kyu-won to live with that same regret.
Although he remains mum, that night, Shin continues to ponder over what Kyu-won’s dad told him.
Suk-hyun listens to Shin’s songs and notes how ardent (절절하다) is his love for Kyu-won still. Despite his earlier decision to not get involved, he realizes that he really needs to step in to help the two before they both die of lovesickness. He stops by Kyu-won’s dance studio the next day and hands her the music sheet and the song sample. Introducing it as a song written by a fool, he asks Kyu-won to listen to the lyrics because he plans to use the song as the main theme for his upcoming musical.
Excerpt from “I Thought You Were Merely a Friend”
Even if I regret it now, there’s no use
Even if I hold on now, there’s no use
Because you were by my side
Because I became used to it, I did not know it was love
I can’t call out to you again
I shouldn’t call out to you again
I leave you after saying “goodbye,”
The word I do not mean
I guess I thought you were merely a friend
I guess I thought this was just a friendship
When I’m missing you like this
When I’m frustrated like this
I deceived my own heart like a fool
You say let’s just be friends (friends)
You say let’s just call it a friendship (when I now can’t live without you)
Even though it hurts so much,
Even though the tears fall,
You ask that I pretend it’s not and smile
Can’t you love me? Can’t you hold me?
Just for one day, just for one moment,
Can you love me?
As she listens, Kyu-won is reminded of her relationship with Shin, and she quickly realizes that it was he who wrote the song. She goes to confirm it with Suk-hyun, who confesses the truth of Shin’s wrist surgery.
Kyu-won immediately heads over to find Shin at his band rehearsal studio. From outside the door, she looks in to see Shin playing with pain in his wrist. Storming in, she calls him a jerk.
Shin: I told you not to keep coming to find me. I am not doing the director’s show.
Kyu-won: Why didn’t you tell me? Why did you hide it from me? I heard it all from the director. You should have told me that you were injured. Without knowing the reason, do you know how hard I tried to hate you? Forget it. Fine, I will hate you for real now.
She walks out.
As she leaves campus, she looks up to the balcony where she used to give Shin his coffee every morning…
And she passes the music store where she and Shin took shelter from the rain. Reminiscing back to that moment, she once again holds out her hand.
Not long after Kyu-won leaves, Shin also walks down the memory lane. And he too holds out his hand.
And they both arrive at the park where they once walked hand in hand down the tree-lined pathway…
Until they finally come face to face with each other.
No words need be exchanged. That they both came to this place signified that their feelings for each other still remain unchanged since a year ago. Shin breaks into a smile.
He briskly walks towards her and hugs her.
Shin: I missed you.
Kyu-won: Me too.
Shin: I love you.
And he kisses her.
The final scene finds the couple performing together at Catharsis, as everyone watches and cheers.
I’m of the camp that did not like the last minute breakup and get-together. Although Shin’s injury could have been an interesting conflict for the story as a mirror of what happened to Suk-hyun and Yoon-soo, I thought it was unfortunate that it was used merely as a plot device to show Shin’s sacrificial love for Kyu-won, just as any other male lead in every other K-drama. One thing I had found refreshing about You’ve Fallen for Me is how honestly characters talk things through and admit their inner thoughts, and thereby resolving conflicts in an effective manner. But by Shin’s sudden turn to be the noble idiot and keep secret his condition, perhaps I felt cheated that the drama chose to go the “every other K-drama” route.
But this is the end and instead of being my usual critical self, I’d much rather talk about the joy that this drama brought us the past two months. What this drama did successfully was convey the feeling of being young. And that means finding joy and pain in even the most mundane parts of our lives. Without relying on any histrionics, the drama showed two people falling in love for the first time. And that love came in the form of simple coffee errands, cleaning a theater prop room, biking to school, taking shelter from rain, going on a MT trip… and MUSIC!
I don’t think any of this would have been possible without the wonderful chemistry between Jung Yong Hwa and Park Shin Hye, and especially their stare-downs. I think I might have said earlier that I would have watched this drama even if it consisted of nothing more than those two looking and stealing glances at each other for the entire series in what I like to call it their “mating dance,” and I still stand by my statement. Thankfully, You’ve Fallen for Me was much more than that. This was a testimony to Jung Yong Hwa’s growth as an actor during the series. Like Bella, I too was distracted by how Jung Yong Hwa looked constipated every time he tried to emote in the earlier episodes, but by the end of the series, Jung Yong Hwa was gone and only Shin remained in my eyes.
Finally, what I will always remember this drama is for its music. Whether it be the fusion music jointly produced between a guitar and a gayageum, the quiet guitar piece made by Shin and his dad in a hospital room one day, the musical ending song that Kyu-won sang between tears as she hid behind the curtain, Shin’s confession song that he was lucky to be in love with his best friend, and even the songs that were never heard in the drama itself but for the titles lent to each episode, You’ve Fallen for Me lived and breathed music up until its very end.