Let me get this out of the way first. I loved this final episode of Me Too, Flower! It wasn’t perfect, not by a long shot, but it was wholly satisfying in the things that mattered and served up a proper and meaningful ending in the truncated time allotted. I loved it so much its helped ease my frustration over the last few episodes of see-sawing madness. The middling fare doesn’t magically become better, I’m just less annoyed with it. But episode 15 does serve to validate my gripe towards this drama’s latter half propensity to drag on the conflicts. Everything was resolved so calmly and effortlessly, it proves that the earlier conflicts were so forced to begin with. Sigh. But I’m glad the drama really came together in the end to find a path forward for all the major characters. I’m content to have taken this journey with M2F, which is ultimately a drama worth watching.
Episode 15 recap:
Jae Hee finds a nearly frozen Bong Sun huddled under boxes on the rooftop where the bike burglar locked her up. He accompanies her on the ambulance to the hospital, fretting over her every step of the way. Bong Sun’s body temperature is extremely low and the doctor warns that she needs to have her body temperature raised as quickly as possible. They are pumping warm fluids into her, but Jae Hee covers her with his coat and then climbs into bed with her.
The police chief is back at the precinct and tells Maru not to berate himself for what happened. He informs the entire squad that Bong Sun has been found and is at the hospital getting treated for hypothermia. Maru goes to check on her, walking in only to stop when he sees Jae Hee curled up next to Bong Sun. Maru smiles and then walks out so as to not disturb them.
Maru calls back to the precinct to tell everyone that Bong Sun is alright. Bong Sun’s mom and Dal arrive at the hospital. Maru tries to keep them from entering the room but they barge inside. Both of them stop right at the door when they see Jae Hee and Bong Sun sleeping soundly on the bed, with their hand entwined together. Mom whispers to Dal that they should leave now. Dal gives one more look at the sleeping couple before leaving with Mom.
Dal goes to bother Dr. Park and walks right in because his door is unlocked. She asks Dr. Park if he loved his wife, and has he been in love since splitting with his wife? He’s annoyed and tells her to be quiet and go to sleep. Dal asks him to love her, and she promises to love him back twice as much. Dr. Park is stunned and tells her to stop joking around since it’s clear she knows nothing about love.
Dal says she does know about love and sits down next to Dr. Park and pretends that she’s going to jump him. But she stops and gets serious again, asking him to love her and she will love him back. Dr. Park tells Dal that love has no conditions, but then he puts his hands around her face. Dal takes that as a sign that he’s interested and she jumps him for real.
Bong Sun wakes up to find Jae Hee next to her. She smiles to see him sleeping peacefully and touches his face. Jae Hee wakes up and lets out a sigh of relief to see Bong Sun awake. She confirms that she’s alive and he’s not going anywhere. She still feels tired so he tells her to go back to sleep. Bong Sun remembers Jae Hee showing up in her dreams and singing to her. He teases that he has a good voice so she asks him to sing for her again.
Bong Sun leans in to kiss him on the nose while he snuggles closer. Which is when Bong Sun’s dad walks into the hospital room to check on his daughter and is stunned to see a strange man laying in bed with his daughter. He tries to drag Jae Hee outside and only stops when Jae Hee calls him “father-in-law”. Jae Hee is grilled by Bong Sun’s dad about his profession, and he hems and haws, explaining that he’s managing a business for a friend.
Bong Sun’s dad thinks Jae Hee is a glorified unemployed wastrel. Bong Sun wants to explain for Jae Hee but stops when it’s clear Jae Hee doesn’t want to tell the complicated truth. Dad wonders who is paying for the expensive hospital room and Jae Hee gives credit to his friend. When asked about his parents, Jae Hee confesses that they died when he was young. When asked about his education, Jae Hee says that he never finished high school. Bong Sun’s dad forcibly tosses Jae Hee out of the hospital room.
Bong Sun’s dad decides to bed down in the room and tells Bong Sun to stop associating with loser guys like that. Bong Sun sneaks out of the room after her dad has fallen asleep. She finds Jae Hee sitting in the lobby right outside her hospital room. She asks why he didn’t tell her father the whole truth? And what did he mean about wanting to start a new business?
Jae Hee explains that he is donating the car, he already sold his luxury unit, and the money in his account he will use as capital for his new business venture. Just like he promised to Bong Sun, he’s letting go of everything and starting over. Bong Sun calls him a crazy guy, but he’s serious and wants to give her father a good impression of him.
Bong sun cries knowing how hard he worked to get to where he is now. Jae Hee teases that Bong Sun can’t get sick again since this is the last time he can afford an expensive hotel room. He always had a ten year plan, and meeting Bong Sun just accelerated it. He pulls her in for a hug as she cries.
Hwa Young arrives at work and the parking lot manager goes to welcome her. He’s surprised that Hwa Young ignored him, but Hwa Young turns back to say hello but really to grind her heel into his foot as punishment for him locking her in the storage room. As Hwa Young walks into the building, she almost trips on her heels and her assistant chuckles at her.
Jae Hee and Bae ahjusshi are judging applications for people seeking to study abroad and learn fashion design or merchandising to be sponsored by the company. Bong Sun returns to work but finds the precinct seemingly empty. She walks into the changing room and finds her colleagues hiding inside to surprise her with a welcome back party. They chant that she is a phoenix who rises from the dead.
Bong Sun is credited with discovering a larger than expected bike theft ring and now the major crimes unit is taking on this case. Maru warns Bong Sun never to act alone again and she agrees since they are the best of partners. Their chief gives a speech about how a police officer who can endure three days on the job can then endure three months, which turns into three years, and finally thirty years. Their job isn’t just a chore, it’s a duty, paid for by the citizens they are sworn to protect. The chief wants Bong Sun to stay on the job for thirty years and encourages her for next year’s promotional exam.
Bong Sun’s boss asks that a retirement present be given to her dad, who will soon be retiring. Bong Sun goes out on patrol with Maru and thinks back to her childhood always waiting for her dad to spend time with her but he was always busy on the job. Her boss shares his recollections of what a hardworking police officer Bong Sun’s dad was during his heyday.
Dal arrives at the movies and is annoyed that Dr. Park left already since she was thirty minutes late. Dal finds him at the museum and complains that her feet hurt because her heels are so high. He tells her to take off her shoes and she thinks he’s going to massage her feet. Instead he takes her shoes and tells her to walk around the museum barefoot. Her pride can’t be contingent on her sky high heels.
Bong Sun leaves the precinct and looks around for Jae Hee. He surprises her by placing ear muffs on her head. They smile and walk over to Dr. Park’s office to say hello. They run into Dal and Dr. Park walking arm in arm and laughing on the street. Jae Hee is surprised while Bong Sun looks annoyed. The two couples split up to talk.
Bong Sun tries to warn Dal away from Dr. Park but she claims that she’s serious this time. Jae Hee tells his hyung to stop joking around but Dr. Park reluctantly admits that he’s serious. Dal explains to Bong Sun that Dr. Park sees her for who she is, whether she is wearing expensive clothes or cheap items. Dr. Park likes Dal for being someone who never conceals her true nature. Around Dal, every day is more interesting for him.
Jae Hee and Bong Sun take the bus home. Bong Sun thinks back to Dal describing what she has with Dr. Park as the same thing Bong Sun has with Jae Hee. Bong Sun smiles and puts her head on Jae Hee’s shoulder.
Dr. Park and Dal sit in silence for five minutes. She’s annoyed but does it anyway. He decides to share something with Dal, revealing that he has a daughter who is in junior high. Dal asks about his ex-wife, who Dr. Park describes as a good person who accepted his drunken ways. Dal wants to continue her studies, so that she can become who matches up to Dr. Park. He thinks she’s fine just the way she is.
Jae Hee walks Bong Sun home and decides to go inside and properly introduce himself to her mom. Jae Hee bows before Bong Sun’s mom and she tearfully bows back. Bong Sun’s mom takes Jae Hee’s hand in hers and thanks him, then reaching over and placing Bong Sun’s hands in Jae Hee’s.
Jae Hee glares at the giant Pink Chicken poster in Bong Sun’s room and asks why this poster hasn’t been removed yet? She doesn’t see a reason to remove it since it’s been with her for many years. Jae Hee demands to know why she has a strange man’s picture on her wall, rather than her hubby. He makes fun of Pink Chicken and warns Bong Sun to take the poster off now or else he will do it.
Bong Sun refuses because Pink Chicken has a longer history with her than Jae Hee. When asked what they did together, Bong Sun says they slept together. She won’t take it off now because if Jae Hee makes her cry, she’ll go and play with Pink Chicken.
That pushes Jae Hee over the edge and he tries to rip the poster of the wall. Bong Sun pushes him on the bed and gets on top to restrain him. Which is when Mom walks in to deliver some snacks and is shocked to see her daughter tussling with a man on her bed. Mom quickly closes the door but smiles to herself.
Bong Sun takes the bus to the countryside to visit her dad. She arrives at his precinct and spies her dad learning to use the computer from a younger officer. Another officer walks by, wondering why a guy about to retire is learning to use the computer when he should be getting other things done. Bong Sun walks up and offers to teach her dad. She puts her hand over his and shows him how to move the mouse.
Bong Sun and her dad go have lunch and she hands over the present from her boss along with her present to him. Her dad gruffly accepts the present and moves to pour himself a drink. Bong Sun tentatively reaches over and pours his drink for him. He grabs the bottle and pours her a drink since they haven’t drank together in a long time.
Bong Sun asks her dad if it was boring for him to work in the office. His dad admits it was boring but he’s gotten used to it. He changes the topic and tells Bong Sun that he will transfer the house to her name since she has guarded it for so long. She doesn’t want the house, but she wants her dad to meet Jae Hee. She asks her dad to trust her ability to choose a man. He thinks the world is already tough, she shouldn’t waste time on such a loser.
Bong Sun confesses that she doesn’t understand love because she never once felt loved before. She never once felt her father’s love. She cries, asking her dad why she has no memory of being loved by her father. So she’s not fixated on love right now with Jae Hee. Bong Sun starts shoveling food in her mouth and her dad had to ask her to slow down or she might choke. Both of them resume silently eating.
Hwa Young and Jae Hee bring Ah In to visit his father’s memorial. Ah In is nervous and tries to cling to Jae Hee, who encourages him to step forward and proudly talk to his father. Jae Hee walks forward and tells his hyung that he’s planning to leave. It’s best for him and for Hwa Young. He’s transferred all his shares to Ah In’s name, so that Ah In never has anything to worry about in the future.
Jae Hee is moving out of his apartment while Hwa Young rages at him to change his mind. She doesn’t want his shares, Perche is nothing without him. She will apologize to Bong Sun. Jae Hee calmly explains that he wants to start from scratch, he wants to have that feeling again. Perche was also something they built together, and she can run it by herself. He wants to pursue something that is very important to him now.
Jae Hee meets up with Bong Sun in their neighborhood. He finds her sad after meeting with her father. She calls herself a bad daughter. Jae Hee takes her inside the factory and they snuggle. Jae Hee reveals that Bae ahjusshi grew up in a loving family, and even his grandfather was a loving guy. Jae Hee wonders if perhaps Bong Sun’s dad also did not experience love when he was growing up, thus he is incapable of showing it to Bong Sun. In a way, he’s also a victim.
It’s nighttime and the camera pans to Ah In’s room. We see the spirit of Ah In’s dad visiting with his son, wishing for Ah In to grow up well. The spirit goes to see Hwa Young and gently wakes her up from her slumber. Hwa Young sees her dead husband and is so happy. He hugs her and says she’s worked hard by herself for so long. He compliments her on being still so beautiful, realizing that she must be so lonely. He apologizes to her as Hwa Young cries.
Bong Sun is sleeping while Jae Hee has gotten up to do some work. He hears someone calling his voice and turns around to see his hyung standing there. His hyung realizes that Jae Hee is all grown up now, and thanks him for everything he did. He’s relieved that Jae Hee has decided to leave and live his own life. Jae Hee did well, and he’s grateful. He hugs Jae Hee and tells him that his death wasn’t Jae Hee’s fault. Jae Hee sobs as he finally lets that guilt go.
The camera pans out and we see Jae Hee is still asleep in bed with Bong Sun. A shower of rose petals falls on them as they sleep.
Maru stands in the precinct room holding a red rose bouquet and practicing a love song he’s planning to sing. The cops run to watch a breaking news report about the capture of the bike burglary ring. Bong Sun is credited with cracking this case. She and the chief go to meet with the department head who congratulates her on cracking the case. He also shows her letters written to him by people that Bong Sun has helped in the past, informing her that she’s been approved for a promotion.
Bong Sun happily runs back to the precinct and tells everyone that she’s being promoted to police lieutenant. There is a bit of awkwardness which turns out to be caused by Hwa Young sitting in the lobby waiting for Bong Sun. Hwa Young hands Jae Hee’s design dossier to Bong Sun but she doesn’t want to pass it along.
Hwa Young agrees to keep it, as a memory of the years she’s spent with Jae Hee. Bong Sun acknowledges that it is a part of his past. Hwa Young thanks her, and acknowledges that Bong Sun is Jae Hee’s future. They part on cordial terms.
Hwa Young walks into Dr. Park’s office and finds a new psychiatrist there. She’s stunned to see that he looks like her dead husband. He’s a colleague of Dr. Park and is happy to handle Hwa Young’s case going forward. She insists that she doesn’t have a problem so he tries to get her to just talk with him. Turns out the problem he was referring to was a rip in her pantyhose so he offers her a blanket to cover up.
Jae Hee is making kimchee fried rice while Bong Sun looks through his new design book for a new bag line he’s launching. He confesses that it’s hard because he wants to focus on details but the work in Korea is less sophisticated. But he’s excited about the batch of students sent over to Europe to study. Bong Sun suggests that Jae Hee go study abroad as well, she’ll wait three years for him.
Jae Hee confirms that she’s not kidding, and he gives her three chances to take it back. Bong Sun tells him to stop making things so complicated. Like he told her to keep it simple and stop over thinking things, she wants him to just go and then come back. He thanks her for the offer.
They sit down to eat and Jae Hee asks to lead the prayer this time. Jae Hee prays to all the gods, asking that Bong Sun never cry in front of another man again, that she get rid of the weird poster of the strange man in her room, that every criminal in her radius is captured, and that the woman in front of him realizes how much she is loved. How the food and soup she gave him saved his soul. He will never forget it, and he will be her eternal safe harbor.
Bong Sun voiceovers. A mom cooks for a family, a father is the family’s safe harbor. Bong Sung finally removes her Pink Chicken poster. A child who grew up not knowing love can learn it after becoming an adult. Her dad reluctantly accepts Jae Hee, and even agrees to go see Dr. Park together with Bong Sun’s mom.
Dal and Dr. Park are happy and still together. Maru finally gets up the courage to confess his feelings to the convenience store girl. Even a hurt person like Hwa Young still needs love, and will take a step towards finding it again. Hwa Young continues to meet with her new therapist. Love is the medicine for the wounded heart.
Jae Hee and Bong Sun walk each other home, parting at the steps. Love is like the paper window coverings that may not last through the winter. Bong Sun has decided to stop resenting anyone. Right now she is full of warmth and happiness. She understands how to accept love, and how to love someone back. Both Jae Hee and Bong Sun turn back towards each other, and then head off in the same direction, deciding not the part for the night.
Thoughts of Mine:
Now that M2F has concluded, I keep getting this odd sense of deja vu. A sensation that a drama has made me feel similar sensations through the trajectory of its run. I was driving when I suddenly made the connection. This drama affects me very similarly to M3, and in fact the two dramas shared quite a few things in common. One is much better written than the other, but the overall impact on me is strangely the same. Both are set in the Winter, so the drama feels so very cold while the leads bundle up. The romance is rooted in two misfits/broken people finding a kindred spirit in each other. It’s superficial similarities, yes, but when I watch those dramas, I get really invested in wanting the OTP to find happiness because they each seem so lost and lonely without each other. The last episode of both dramas also went out the same way, with sanity and sweetness. While it couldn’t salvage the messy middle parts of the drama completely, at least it alleviated the bitter taste in my mouth and left me content and happy.
I really loved the characters of Bong Sun and Jae Hee. They felt like messy, complicated, insecure real people. While the writer chose to focus the latter half of the drama on plot situations, which got more and more extreme, I would have loved to spend more time digging deeper into the leads, and even into the side characters. The first half of the drama was so gripping because it was ultimately a character study into Bong Sun, radiating outward towards the people she comes in contact with. While there is no magic fix for the guilt, anger, and disappointment that grips the many characters of this drama, it felt substantive to watch them fight and work out their issues time and again. Later on it just became Hwa Young playing puppetmaster and everyone dancing to her sick game. While the ending for Hwa Young might seem rather like she got away with her bad behavior, she really didn’t. She lost Jae Hee as her crutch and her obsession, without it she’ll eventually have to face her demons. We forget that she’s also a victim, even if she ultimately became a tormentor. As long as Jae Hee and Bong Sun got their happy ending, I don’t have an overwhelming desire to see Hwa Young punished more.
I suppose we need to thank Hwa Young and her hurtful games for being the catalyst that set Jae Hee free. But I think that argument is a stretch. I’m not convinced Jae Hee needed to donate his earnings away and start from scratch in order to be with Bong Sun, or to find purpose in his life again. I get that he craves the creation process rather than the ultimate reward, but it’s not an either or proposition. A millionaire can continue to challenge himself and build more and more businesses without needing to start from ground zero each time. If Hwa Young weren’t so messed up in the way she viewed Jae Hee, he could also remain a closer part of Ah In’s life. But the story made Hwa Young so extreme in her own pain that she can’t really start anew either if Jae Hee were still hanging out. Ultimately, they both needed to head in different directions for a chance at their own future happiness.
Materialistic and immature Dal seemed to have made out like a bandit in this drama. I’m not sure what purpose that serves other than she’s damn lucky people appear to forgive her for her transgressions and give her more chances than she deserves. I don’t hate her, but she’s annoying and not terribly sympathetic in any way. I reckon she’s not without hope, and Dr. Park is free to like the girl if he chooses. But I thought their relationship progression felt forced from the very beginning. From bickering to their sudden desire to try dating each other, I never connected with them as individual characters or as a couple. What I liked about both characters were their relationships with Bong Sun. I like how having Dal around forced Bong Sun to interact with another person more, and later made Bong Sun express the multitude of feelings she was keeping bottled up inside about her situation with Jae Hee. Dr. Park was a good friend and therapist for Bong Sun, and their interactions were always very purposeful and sincere.
One of the threads I wished the drama had focused more one (amongst the many that languished) was Bong Sun’s fractured relationship with both her parents. I appreciated the drama taking time to address it towards the end of the drama, and at the very end allowing both parents to let go of their own anger towards each other and sit down with Dr. Park. It was glossed over, but at least we got a taste of Bong Sun really letting go of some of her own disappointments from her broken childhood. It’s clear that Jae Hee’s love alone isn’t enough to cure Bong Sun and suddenly turn her into a sunny, happy flower girl. But the drama shows that finding a healthy love helps heal wounds in other places, thereby making it easier to move forward rather than standing still. Both Jae Hee and Bong Sun have been standing still emotionally for such a long time, their volatile relationship was the impetus for them to confront their issues. In the end, we see their loving and stable relationship as proof that they are living their lives to the fullest rather than just going through the motions.
I really loved M2F more than qualitatively it deserved, a drama once again that wins my heart over more than my head. It had an outstanding OST that was brilliantly used to just amplify the emotions in any scene. The directing was solid, but the choppy editing remained a slight distraction throughout. Sadly this drama really defies an easy description, thereby making it a hard sell. What I loved the most was the magnificent acting from Yoon Si Yoon, who brought Jae Hee to life and bore a hole in my heart in ways I never thought would happen. He was believable as the flip and brash poor guy and the polished yet insecure rich guy. He made Jae Hee’s ability to love and his reservoir of guilt feel so raw and immediate, so I was sucked completely into his story. I thought Lee Ji Ah did an excellent job as Bong Sun, perhaps her best acting performance to date. Bong Sun is a wonderful character that is worthy of love yet not so immediately loveable. Lee Ji Ah ably presented the two sides of Bong Sun and made her such a sympathetic character and a heroine I could root for. I love the OTP to pieces, and their final bit of happiness together was exactly the balm I needed to end my 2011 drama viewing experience on a high note. I don’t need a wedding or babies to leave me satisfied that Bong Sun and Jae Hee found what they were looking for in each other. Love may not be eternal, like Bong Sun says, but she had learned how to love and be loved, and that is the message this drama leaves with me.