It’s the final episode already and we now have to bid farewell to our School 2017 cast whom we learned to love for the past few months. By this time, I know you are somewhat attached to the characters and saying goodbye is bittersweet.
School 2017 Episode 16 is a bit heavy compared to other dramas where the finale is an hour long of fan service. The K-Drama genies dedicated the first part of the final episode to resolve the issues that were left. And before saying my piece on the show, let me first give you a quick roundup of what happened in School 2017‘s last episode.
School 2017 Episode 16 Run-through
After the Hot Rebel revealed himself as Student X in front of the whole school, Eun-ho decided that she won’t let Tae-woon fight alone and admitted to being an accomplice.
Byung-goo calls out how amazing X is and other Geumdo High students joined in.
The scary moms threatened Director Hyun once again so he ended up ordering Principal Yang to expel both Eun-ho and Tae-woon according to rules.
Byung-goo misses Tae-woon 😦
Dae-hwi burns Hee-chan when the latter loudly told his friends that Eun-ho and Tae-woon would be expelled. Dae-hwi fought back by saying that he smells trash. Hee-chan got mad and warns Dae-hwi that Tae-woon is no longer around. Mr. Perfect answered back by saying that without someone to pick out exam questions for him, it’ll be hard for Hee-chan to even keep his fifth place.
Sa-rang, Dae-hwi and Bo-ra join the couple at the cafe. Tae-woon sadly smiles while watching Eun-ho being happy with her friends. He knows that his girlfriend will miss them as much as she will miss going to school.
Tae-woon makes a deal with his dad. He agreed to study abroad in exchange of allowing Eun-ho to return to Geumdo High School. Eun-ho is not happy with Tae-woon’s choice knowing that it’s a sacrifice for her. This started their misunderstanding.
Dae-hwi asks Eun-ho to stop pretending she’s fine, to admit that she’s hurt so that others, including Tae-woon, can lean on her too.
With Dae-hwi’s help, Nam-joo returns to school. The Brat Gang wasted no time to bully her but Dae-hwi was on her side and defended her. Nam-joo also stood up for herself, she admitted what she did was wrong but that she’ll face the consequences head on.
While throwing the box full of her drawings, Eun-ho was reminded how Tae-woon fought for her dreams. She ended up using chicken delivery as an excuse to visit Tae-woon. She also told him that it’s now her turn to give to him and that she’ll respect his decision for himself.
Officer Han confronts Director Hyun on the school corruption issue but Tae-hyun’s father did not give in. Later, Tae-hyun tells to Eun-ho his realization that he used Student X as a mask to tell his father the reasons why he hated school.
The Hot Rebel sent his father the video of the expired food in the school kitchen. Director Hyun got mad but told his son that he has survived much worse. The next day, Tae-woon saw his father at the station with the police chief but he did not back down and gave Officer Han the USB drive containing evidence.
Principal Yang and Vice Principal Park were called in by cops for questioning.
Officer Han returned the USB to Director Hyun, telling Tae-woon’s father that there is no conclusive evidence against him. Officer Han also gave the school owner some things to ponder on and revealed how scared Tae-woon was when giving her the flash drive.
Tae-woon finds his dad at his study table and asked him “What are you so unhappy about? I tried my best.” Tae-woon responded that he wished his dad was like other parents who teach their children not to lie, to be honest with their friends and to be responsible for their actions. Much to his surprise, Director Hyun agreed with no second thoughts.
Director Hyun then turned himself in and admitted his wrongdoings to the police. He asked Teacher Goo to take over as Geumdo High School’s principal since he plans to have a small school in the countryside to learn how to be a good educator.
Tae-woon gives Eun-ho a new bike since he will no longer be around to fix the chain of her old one. Eun-ho looked concerned and Tae-woon explains to her that he needs to be with his dad because he’s the only family he got. Eun-ho cried but assured Tae-woon that she’ll support his decision.
Geumdo High looks the same and different at the same time. PDnim gives use a view of what happened to the rest of Eun-ho’s classmates. Young-gun and Bo-ra made up with the former training for the police exam. Teacher Shim and Officer Han continued their job and their sweet relationship, with poor Teacher Jung on the side.
Issue and Kyung-woo do busking as they both don’t know their dreams yet, and Sa-rang will no longer pursue the path of being a civil servant.
Dae-hwi and Nam-joo continue to be relationship goals.
Tae-hyun and dad are happily living in the countryside and are enjoying their good relationship.
Of course, PDnim won’t let us go without blessing our hearts with Tae-woon and Eun-ho’s cute scenes.
Some high school girls gifted Tae-woon with food and even called him oppa, Eun-ho saw what happened and asked his boyfriend to return the stuff. She then performed the most cringe-worthy aegyo but ended it with “do you want to die” when the girls left. Then, we get a peek of their sweet date in the countryside.
School 2017 ended with Eun-ho and Tae-woon walking happily side by side. Their last narrations go…
Eun ho: Wounds don’t heal easily. The true feeling hidden inside are still fragile. But the fact that you don’t stop from walking right now is as important as your arriving somewhere.
Tae-woon: I hid myself behind the mask called X. But I learned to take off that mask and to face the world as someone who’s more mature than before.
Both: That’s the truth I learned in school.
Tipsy’s Final Thoughts
Like what I’ve said in the beginning of my review, I have always been a fan of the School franchise. And the 2017 installation did not fail me as well. I love how it tackled true to life experiences and problems that students face. Though there may be some questionable angles, like it’s hard to believe that the combined effort and skills of school teachers, officials and even a licensed cop were not enough to find out who X is earlier, overall, the drama delivered and served its purpose.
The finale was a bit heavy as the X angle, Eun-ho and Tae-woon’s relationship and Director Hyun’s story were resolved in this episode, not complaining though. One of the things I appreciate about it is how Tae-woon’s dad turned around and clicked the restart button both for him and his son.
But what I like the most in School 2017’s finale is how it portrayed the reality of life. Let’s dig into this.
First, Eun-ho’s grade remained in the six-tier. Let’s admit it, just because you made some vigilante campaign and served justice to where justice is needed doesn’t automatically make your grades go higher. Realistically, Eun-ho’s grade would have plummeted since she spends more time with Tae-woon and the X Brigade instead of focusing on improving her scores. Though we may be a bit disappointed with her line that Hanguk University is still a dream, it’s just the way life goes and she could still probably work her way around it with her talent.
Second, Eun-ho’s trauma on riding buses did not magically disappear just because she’s riding it with his hot, handsome, adorable, and did I already say hot, boyfriend. Overcoming trauma does not work that way and I’m glad PDnim did not portray it like that.
Third, the Brat Gang remained bullies. This is the part where I got conflicted with Hee-chan because I sincerely hoped he’ll find the light, but I guess this just shows us that some people will not change and will remain prickly immatures.
Fourth, maybe this is my fave scene in the finale. The part where Tae-woon was handing over the USB drive to officer Han and his admittance that he’s scared. It honestly described the conflicting emotion of a son who knows that his action might put his father in danger but is also frightened that his dad will continuously spiral down the crooked path. I think it also shows the other layer of Tae-woon’s character. Despite of his tough demeanor, he’s still a kid who desperately needs a father.
Okay, this is just me but I’m so disappointed that there is no clear status on my fave couple. My poor noona heart is crying that they did not have a sweet moment in the final episode. K-Drama genies, is my incense offering not enough? Did I lack anything for you to hear my prayers for Kyung-woo and Sa-rang? This will make me sad for the next weeks.
K-Drama genies, this is an earnest request. If I offer more incense, do you think you can pair up Park Se-wan and Seo Ji-hoon in another drama? Pleeeeease, jebal?
Kim Jung-hyun x Kim Sejeong x Jang Dong-yoon
Tae-woon and Eun-ho’s chemistry is undeniable. Others may have doubted Sejeong‘s ability before the drama starts but she proved them all wrong. Though there may be scenes that Sejeong appeared cringey, all-in-all, her performance is exemplary and exceeded expectations.
Kim Jung-hyun, on the other hand is another story. His aura reminds me of Kim Woo-bin, the type that’s not overly handsome at first sight but has this oozing sex appeal the more you see him. I can’t believe that he’s already 27 years old. Acting wise, I think him and Jang Dong-yoon are the great discoveries of this drama. Kim Jung-hyun is great in depicting emotions even without a dialogue. I also appreciate how he gave various layers to Tae-woon’s character, from a Hot Rebel to a dorky jealous guy to a conflicted and mature son.
One of the character developments I love the most in this series is that of Dae-hwi. Since the start of the drama, Jang Dong-yoon has been performing well and he showed outstanding acting until the finale. I love the dynamic evolution of Dae-hwi. From his twisted relationship with Hee-chan to his one of a kind friendship with Tae-woon to his reconciliation with Nam-joo.
I am not a fan of the Mr. Perfect and Poor Princess tandem and I hate to admit this, but when Dae-hwi visited Nam-joo at the cafe, I felt a different kind of thump in my heart. It was one of the sweetest moments in School 2017. I used to believe that Dae-hwi does not have genuine feelings for Nam-joo but he proved me wrong. I guess his story is a clear example of you only realize someone’s worth when they’re gone.
School 2017 yet again give birth to new K-Drama stars. I’m sure we’ll see this bunch leading other dramas soon.
The Great Support
School 2017‘s supporting cast is no less than impressive and gave color to the drama. From Hee-chan and Bit-na, to Principal Yang, to Eun-ho’s brother, the series would not turn out great without them.
And can I just mention how adorable Byun-goo is?
I’ve already mentioned how good of an actor Hee-chan is so let me take this chance to say how annoyingly good the rest of the Brat Gang is. I take my hat off to Bit-na (Z.Hera), Jung-il (Ahn Seung-kyoon) and Hak-joong (Lee Joon-woo).
Here’s the last shooting day of our School 2017 cast. 😥
Oh and this is just me gushing how cute Eun-ho’s oppa (Jang Se-hyun) is.
He was actually the rude dude from Ban-ryu’s (Do Ji-han) clique in Hwarang.
I’ll meet you again real soon my beloved K-Drama drunkards. This has been Tipsy Ahjumma, annyeong!
PS: I don’t know if I missed this or what, but who actually gave this note to Eun-ho?