Please bear with me as this would be a long post with a lot of ugly crying.
Aftermath: The Punishment
Just like Son Oh-gong’s (Lee Seung-gi) last words before he went unconscious, the world continued to move forward even without his beloved Jin Sun-mi (Oh Yeon-seo). Those words really struck a chord in me because I was reminded this series was not for children. It takes a level of maturity to realize the world still turns even if you thought you lost everything. That was what happened to the rest of the characters while the Great Sage lived in limbo.
Professor Kang Dae-sung (Song Jong-ho) was killed by his fellow greedy humans after his secrets were exposed to the public. Ah Sa-nyeo, on the other hand, was stuck in a rotting body after Sam Jang died. They deserve what they got but I’m quite saddened that I never got the chance to see the bubbly Jin Bu-ja or Jeong Se-ra (Lee Se-young) again. I was hoping there would be a last-moment goodbye for Jeo Pal-gye (Lee Hong-ki) even for a few seconds. There wasn’t. All I got was Bu-ja’s last words: she liked PK.
I think PK is taking this ending better than me as his conversation with General Frost (Sung Hyuk) reflected he already accepted what happened. Even though it was depressing to think most of his pals left him, he seemed to continue seeing the good side of things. Maybe I should do that too especially after knowing what happened to our well-loved couple.
Aftermath: The Suffering
My prayers to dramagenies were all for nought. Sun-mi really died and went to the netherworld while Oh-gong suffered from temporary memory loss after fighting the black dragon (see, why I hate those two evil greedy plotters?!).
I have to admit though that I’m not a big fan of amnesia. I really think it is a lazy way to escape plot holes the writer dug up for her characters and start anew. In this case though, playing with Oh-gong’s memories worked well. It was a good way of remembering everything this couple has experienced and a painful reminder of everything they lost.
As fragments of the past slowly created the whole picture for Oh-gong, he discovered it was only him who can remove the Geumganggo. He was the one who tied his heart up to Sun-mi. And for one last time, he said those iconic words to Sun-mi. My heart, who only beats for this OTP, was asking why they won’t give them a peaceful happy ending. I think I could never hear that phrase again without tearing up a bit.
Aftermath: The New Chapter
We, humans, have a tendency to hold onto pain because it sometimes makes us feel alive. Knowing that aching sensation was still there reminds us that we are still breathing. It’s not the case for these demons though. They go on with their lives with lessons they’ve learned from the previous battles they’ve conquered.
Ma-wang (Cha Seung-won) finally knew that his son was the Peddler Halmoni’s (Im Ye-jin) mischievous grandson, Hong Hae-ah (One/Jung Jae-won). I’m grinning from ear to ear with their cute interactions which really show their blatant similarities. It’s a bittersweet ending for our favorite entertainment depyeonim as he can’t reveal to his son that they are related because the heavens might take him away from him. At least one of the character has a definite happy ending.
PK, General Frost, and Sa Oh-jeong went on and probably lived the rest of their faux identities before re-entering the world with a new one. I’m really glad PK and General Frost is coping with their losses because I’m not and I couldn’t.
Son Oh-gong has vowed to find Sun-mi in the netherworld. I would always believe their story won’t end there. I saw a hopeful and confident smile on his face before he travelled to the netherworld and rescue Sun-mi.
Maknae’s Series Verdict
This K-drama has reminded me that things won’t always go the way I wanted to. As much as I love how rational the ending is, deep down I was hoping for a happily-ever-after. For once, I was silently hoping they’ll do a finale wedding scene and an epilogue of Sun-mi delivering the baby that the White Heron brought to them. But it was a far-fetched cliche ending. Things were wrapped up in the most realistic way an unbelievable fantasy series could end.
Kudos to the writers for making sure every character was utilized and not banish as mere marketing tools. It was obvious they knew everyone’s purpose from the start and delivered every story arcs smoothly. There were some loose ends left hanging but it kept the air of mystery the whole series exudes throughout its run.
I have to also give credit to the technical side of this production. I may not be an expert in this area but as a viewer, I really enjoyed travelling to this somewhat-familiar-somewhat-strange-world of Hwayugi. As I’ve said in its pilot week, they made the unbelievable believable with all those visual theatrics (yep, including those scary ghosts).
Lastly, the whole Hwayugi cast deserves to be recognized, some of which were, as expected, brilliant in their roles while others came as a surprise.
I have watched previous works of most of the cast members but they exceed what I had expected them to deliver. Lee Hong-ki and Lee Se-young gave me my first taste of second couple syndrome this year. I’m especially looking forward to seeing more from them as they were the ones I held onto when the main couple were busy bickering and fighting off spirits.
Another notable performance was that of Cha Seung-won. He fits perfectly with his role that I can’t imagine anyone doing it. He really “pass” with how he breathed life into this seemingly funny character and was able to show how deep this character’s scars really are. Of course, the main leads Lee Seung-gi and Oh Yeon-seo were equally perfect as well. Oh Yeon-seo just climbed a notch up with my list of favorite actress. She has erased all traces of her previous roles while living the life of Jin Sun-mi. Those episodes when Ah Sa-nyeo possessed her body were solid proofs of how versatile she is.
Do I really have to talk about why I’m glad this is Lee Seung-gi’s comeback project? His military service felt like it will last a century for me but he demonstrated his acting chops didn’t rust at all. Every time he cries, I cry harder. Every time he uttered “사랑하니까 (Saranghanikka)”, my heart skips a beat. And every time he smiles, that puts a satisfied smile too in my face. He was that kind of actor. He affects his viewers through the heart.
I could go on forever and delay letting go of this series. But just like these characters, I have to go on with my life and move on with another. One thing’s for sure though, this series would be difficult to forget.
Dongsaeng’s Final Thoughts
– This series’ OST will be on loop as I try to survive from my K-drama sepanx.
– Will watch One/Jung Jae-won’s other drama and MVs, just because.
– In memoriam of Jade Dragon’s hilarious antics.
– So, are they the ancestors/descendants of the Uchihas? Lol. Jk, forgive my cheap jokes for one last time eh? Kidding aside its origin actually fascinates me. Huoyan-jinjing or fiery-eyes golden-gaze allows Son Oh-gong to recognize evil. It’s not as powerful as Sharingan (lol, I’m really insisting with this comparison) but it will allow Oh-gong to find Sun-mi in whatever form she takes in the Underworld.
– I’m kinda close with the Water God and I’ll complain about how cruel the heaven realm is to these creatures. How dare they! Or maybe I should just tell the Grim Reaper about Oh-gong’s mission in the world of the dead so he could help him out? Or maybe the Hong Sisters will write a season 2? JEBALYOOOOO!!!
– What I look like after watching the finale
– A collection of Hwayugi kisses because I know you’ll need it.
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