“All human beings have some sort of power within them.”
~ Park Ki-hoon
May we all find comfort in ourselves.
My Ahjussi fulfilled its promise to give the audience a healing drama and tied all loose ends at the finale. As for this K-drama drunkard noona, let me close the curtains by sharing with you the five life lessons the beloved ahjussis, the Stoic Agassi, and the people surrounding them thought me.
It may be hard, but learn to forgive.
If I’m being really honest right now, I’m trying my earnest not to cry while typing the phrase above. It takes a lot of effort and tears to forgive someone but it takes all the forces of the universe to forgive yourself.
My Ahjussi showed us how forgiveness can bring healing. First, Park Dong-hoon showed how big his heart is when he decided to take back her wife after her affair with CEO Do Joon-young. It’s beyond question how difficult it must be for him yet he decided to do so. I can’t forget the scene in Episode 16 where he was alone in the house and he just cried. He was doing mundane things and suddenly the gravity of all the things that happened hit him. He didn’t say anything but it was more than enough to show how much he was suffering. The Earnest Ahjussi may not have been a perfect husband but his selflessness and forgiving heart saved their family in the end.
On the other hand, Lee Ji-an chose to forgive herself and start anew. It was not just Gwang-il who’s casting a shadow on her life, Ji-an has been living in darkness because she can’t let go of what she did to his father. But with the help of Dong-hoon and Chairman Jang, who gave her a job to Busan, the Stoic Agassi was able to click reset. She eventually moved back to Seoul enjoying life, having friends and when she met Dong-hoon again, it was clear that she already took off the shackles of her past and has made peace with herself. She fulfilled grandma’s wish to live happily in order to pay back those who extended their hands to her.
And lastly, the forgiveness that pulled my emotional strings more than it should have. Monk Gyeom-duk mustered the courage to visit Jung-hee because he finally wanted to let go of the guilt of leaving his friends, his parents and especially, abandoning her. I understand how Jung-hee at first said that for the longest time she wants Gyeom-duk to live in misery by having a heavy conscience, she even asked him what she can look forward to now in life if Gyeom-duk will be free from guilt. But I think it reached her soul when the monk told her that she can look forward to living a happy life. Jung-hee’s tearful eyes state that even though he hurt her more than words can describe, she will finally let go of the pain.
Be a blessing to others.
Every episode of My Ahjussi shows us how our act of kindness can change someone’s life. From Dong-hoon to Jung-hee to Section Chief Song, we are always reminded to be a blessing to others. In the final episode, Sang-hoon also proved to us the value of generosity when he used all the money he saved for the funeral of Ji-an’s grandmother.
Remember how in earlier episodes he kept reminding Dong-hoon to stay in the company so that their mom will receive many flowers at her wake? Ji-an’s grandma has none. So instead of using the cash for his planned posh vacation, Sang-hoon made the selfless decision to bless Ji-an and her grandma. He filled the altar with offerings and flooded the hall with flowers. Finally, this ahjussi fulfilled his desire to be able to do something worthy in his life.
Friendship will be your guiding light in the darkest of days.
The Earnest Ahjussi and the Stoic Agassi formed a unique kind of bond and gave strength to each other in the most challenging days of their lives. I couldn’t agree more when Dong-hoon said to Ji-an that it was not him who saved her, it was the other way around. No matter how unusual it was, the two’s friendship helped them in their journey to healing.
In the finale, I was touched how all the neighbor ahjussis paid their respect to Ji-an’s grandma and even attended her burial rites. They treated and cared for Ji-an as one of their own.
But the scene that made me sob during halmeoni’s wake was when Ji-an said sorry to a teary-eyed Ki-beom, and the latter awkwardly responded that there’s nothing to apologize for. He even told her to hang in there before leaving. It was just then that I realized how loyal he is and how big of a help he is to Ji-an. He may have shown his loyalty in a twisted way like helping in getting Director Park fired but he never betrayed Ji-an. He never got mad at her even after getting detained by the cops.
I remember in Episode 15 how a young Ki-beom with bruises in his face sat next to a bloodied Ji-an while waiting for Gwang-il. He never left her since they were young and it proves how precious she is to him.
Ki-hoon broke up with Yoo-ra and in the middle of his loneliness, he decided to pick up the pen and dream again. It was such a simple scene but it hit home in many ways.
There’s a little of hero in all of us.
The handsome Gwang-il made me cry happy tears in the finale episode of My Ahjussi. He had to fight Joon-young’s men to run off with Ji-an’s audio recordings, and made the great decision to send it to Dong-hoon. Ji-an’s words got through him. And despite all that happened between the two of them, Gwang-il proved that there is kindness within him. At the end of it all, he is still Ji-an’s hero.
Here’s a short run-through of what happened to our characters at the finale.
Both CEO Do and Director Yoon left Saman.
Yoon-hee stayed with their son in the US.
Dong-hoon started his own company along with his loyal three musketeers.
Yoo-ra became a big star.
Sang-hoon got back with his wife.
And lastly, the Earnest Ahjussi and the Stoic Agassi are both happily living their lives.
My Ahjussi as a whole gave as a gritty and horribly realistic drama. And though there might be scenes that bore the viewers, all was paid for by the actors’ performance. From Ji-an’s cold and empty stares to Dong-hoon’s heartbreaking confrontation scene with his wife and Jung-hee’s tears when she’s all alone, it’s no doubt that My Ahjussi has a stellar cast that can compete in this year’s award ceremonies.
I also appreciate the tone and the color PDnim used throughout the series. It helped in setting the mood of the drama. I appreciate how consistently dark it was since the pilot episode and became bright at the latter part of the finale. It supported the journey of our two main characters in getting out of their own bleak tunnels.
The show also gifted us with one of the most heart touching OST. Dear Moon and Adult were my personal favorites.
And lastly, this is a shout out to the unsung heroes of the drama, the ever loyal ahjussis of the morning soccer club!
Here’s our My Ahjussi cast members at the drama’s wrap-up party.
❤ I hope you all found healing and comfort in yourselves. This has been Tipsy Ahjumma, signing off.