Koala Guesses: Yoon Jae or Kyung Joon at the End of Episode 14 of Big?

I’m been trying hard not to keep speculating about who woke up at the end of episode 14 of Big, despite my post-recap assertion that it was most likely Yoon Jae. But my Big love got the better of me, that and the niggling sensation that there might be proof of who it was based on clues hidden in the drama earlier. I’ve loved the hands, hands, and more hands theme flowing throughout the drama, but the Hong Sisters have been embedding additional Easter Eggs everywhere IMO. I think when all is said and done, we might go back and rewatch this baby and gain a deeper appreciation and understanding for how intricate they plotted this drama. Or maybe not, maybe I’m just projecting my hopes onto the writing sisters in the fervent wish that they won’t sink this ship with an abominable ending. Now off to the guessing game.

When I saw the body of Yoon Jae laying in his hospital office bed, I was initially so shocked I couldn’t really process all the details. After taking a step back, I realized that the person who woke up is likely Kyung Joon still. So that is Kyung Jae laying there, not Yoon Jae. My reasons? The exact laying position he was in was the exact same way Kyung Joon laid in episode 1, the first time the drama showed him resting on his kid race car bed and reaching over to play with his toys on the bedside table. See the photographic evidence below.

The sleeping position is identical, no? On the right side, with the left arm outstretched, and the right hand under the cheek. If I want to bolster my proof, check out all the times we’ve seen Kyung Jae resting, he’s always laying on his side.

The above are all moments when Kyung Jae is resting, though not necessarily in deep sleep. I don’t think its a coincidence the PD chose to film Kyung Jae resting each time in the side-sleeping position. If we look at the screencap below, it’s hard to deny the Yoon Jae body that is resting at the end of episode 14 is identical to all the Kyung Jae resting moments in earlier episodes.

So why do I keep saying “resting” instead of sleeping? Because I think there is yet another clue that this is Kyung Jae, and he’s laying there with his eyes closed because he’s in pain, and because he’s processing the non-change back and what to do about it. Remember each of the other times there was almost a change, he’s always in a lot of pain. This time I doubt he would be any different, and he seemed in pain right before he collapsed. But recall that in previous almost change backs, he also collapsed, but in the end there was no return to his original body. So the mere fact that he collapsed besides Kyung Joon is not indicative the souls were switched back. Furthermore, everyone at that hospital knows Yoon Jae is sick, therefore if he collapsed, why would he be laying in his own office bed rather than in a hospital room as a patient getting checked up.

Hello? Guy just fainted, in a hospital no less, so unless the doctors are courting malpractice, he would be examined.ย Therefore the only reason he was not being probed and was instead laying on Yoon Jae’s office bed was because Kyung Jae collapsed beside Kyung Joon’s body during the blood withdrawal, and then promptly got back up. As he has done in the previous other four times his soul momentary went back to his own body. Afterwards he declined to be check up and walked back to Yoon Jae’s office. Se Young just said Yoon Jae collapsed, but that doesn’t mean he was still in a faint when Da Ran got to him.

He was laying on the bed resting from the residual pain when Da Ran came in. When Da Ran put her hands on his face, he opened his eyes, but with Gong Yoo‘s amazing acting, it’s not immediately clear whether he was waking up from sleep or just opening his eyes because he was just resting. I think this is therefore a feint, and there was no switch back. Which then really really suggests that Yoon Jae’s soul is dead. Has been since the accident. That is why Yoon Jae’s body coded and he was wheeled into the morgue. Kyung Joon’s soul went into his body because it was the Miracle book at work, with his dead surrogate mother doing her magic to make her son find happiness.

I know its not logical to say that Kyung Joon’s body can lay there without a soul inside, but that is just a leap of fantasy we probably have to accept. Plus there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that people may be “dead” and by the use of medical machinery kept “alive”. I don’t think that is a hang up at all. If I follow this hypothesis, then I think that Mari’s dream is probably about Kyung Joon’s body dying because his soul has chosen to stay in Yoon Jae. Maybe the end game is about giving Kyung Joon the choice – to return to his own body or stay in Yoon Jae’s. I think he should, and I want him to, go back to being 20 year old Kyung Joon who has his life in front of him. But maybe what I want doesn’t matter.

My choice for Kyung Joon would be imposing what I think he should do. What if he wants to stay as Yoon Jae, so that he can be with Da Ran without complications, be the doctor who saves children in his brother’s stead, and have the family he was meant to have. Realize my operative word is “he wants”, as opposed to what the viewer wants. And no, I don’t think that happening would be to satisfy some sort of K-drama code that the male lead, i.e. Gong Yoo’s fine fine male form in this case, must get the girl. I’m getting the sense that the story is being developed as a tale about a boy who grows up overnight and then has to choose what life he wants.

I probably have as rabid a love for Shin Won Ho as any of his fans out there, but you don’t hear me bemoaning his fate in Big in spend the majority of it laying in a hospital bed. I don’t care which version of Kyung Joon ends up standing at the end of the drama, as long as its understandable for me and he gets to choose. Maybe the only way for Kyung Joon’s soul to return to his own body is for him to wish it. Kang Kyung Joon was an amazing meaty role for Shin to land, this total newbie who gets a chance to appear on the radar of drama fans in ways most young stars could never hope to do. It doesn’t matter about screentime, it’s about what you do with it. Shin was fantastic in episode 1, and I’ll always swoon over how he got off that bus and grabbed Da Ran’s hand on her umbrella and then stared holes through her face. But Shin needs to thank Gong Yoo big time for taking Kyung Joon and elevating this character into unforgettable territory.

If Kyung Joon returns to his body in the upcoming episodes, I hope Shin has been studying Gong Yoo’s performance keenly so he can at least try to attain even a sliver of all that nuance. But I think his acting limitations and inexperience aside, the boy has so much natural charm and charisma he can sell me on anything at this point. I would love for everything I postulated above to be wrong, and the person who woke up in front of Da Ran is Yoon Jae, because as much as I think the poor sap is as interesting as white paint, I welcome his return for the sake of dramatic angst and letting him say his peace. Maybe he doesn’t want Kyung Joon’s blood, maybe he refuses to once again live because of his brother’s gift of part of himself. I think the final two episodes can go in different directions and still be fascinating, which is the hallmark of a story well crafted. So there you have it, theory number 987 from me.


Koala Guesses: Yoon Jae or Kyung Joon at the End of Episode 14 of Big? — 34 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh miss Koala! I think you are totally RIGHT! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I have been telling friends that Shin is popular now due to Gong Yoo protraying as Kyung Joon In BIG.
    You have the same thoughts too.
    Thank you.

  3. Nice catch, Koala!

    It’s prolly his blood aversion just kicking in, made worse by the fact that it is his OWN blood.

    After a rewatch, I just noticed that the moment KKJ wavers is when the blood starts coming out through the tubes. He sinks down and holds his own hand, but that didn’t prevent him from finally going down.

    He was probably embarrassed and disappointed that he still has not been able to overcome this problem, and was hiding out in the office.

    I have been reading comments here and there where Shin fan’s say it isn’t fair that he doesn’t get to act.
    Last week, I went waaaaaaaay back to the beginning of the soompi thread to look for any advance word on his role. The production crew was very wise to not let a peep out about him, because the impact of seeing him come off the bus was THAT much greater.

    Remember how surprised we were that it was going to be about the 18 year old kid?

    I also love Shin with all my heart. I agree a lonely 18 year old student was a perfect role for an inexperienced 20 year old actor with the face of an angel, snarly smile, and charisma blasting from his gaze.

    If Shin wakes up in the show, I would prefer him to be that character again.

    As you said, he would have to have been studying the tape, practicing GY voice inflections, facial, hand, neck, arm, everything movements to tackle being the matured, bitter, love strengthened person KKJ has become. If I were his manager, I would be paying the writers off to NOT put my kid in that situation.

    Can you imagine the conversation about the last episode if he had to? “So you’re saying Shin has to follow GY being his wonderful self for 14 episodes and win over the audience in seconds while making them forget that GY was on their screens? No PROBLEM!”

    I say, let Shin sleep out gracefully, do concert fan meetings, continue his rise to fame while working on his acting. Isn’t he the type that ends up in a High Kick show, where he has to work and work? Then, maybe a little brother in a Kim Soo Hyun (writer: LIB) show, a supporting lead in something else – like a crime drama, yeah.
    THEN, he can play a romantic lead. Just not yet.

    • I hadn’t thought about him not having just woken up when Da Ran came in there, that’s a very good point. But after I wrote that post on the other thread about how we can’t forget that Yoon Jae’s body was dead until Kyung Joon’s soul entered it I started thinking and I agree with you that I don’t think they have switched back, I think you are right and Yoon Jae is already dead, as sad as that is. It would definitely make for some good drama for him to have to choose whether to go back to his body and not lose 12 years of his life but loose his memories with Da Ran, or to stay as Kyung Jae and lose 12 years but remember Da Ran. I feel like if he chooses his own body at that point then I wouldn’t quite even understand the point of the whole switch, except I guess he would have to learn doctor knowledge and it would make him closer to Da Ran, okay nvmnd I think I do understand lol. Sometimes I have to write things out to wrap my brain around them ha ha. Ahhh I was starting to hope and look forward to the whole him forgetting and them falling in love again ending because I like endings that are related to destiny and fate. So letโ€™s say he does choose his own body (which I think Da Ran would push him to do, I donโ€™t see her wanting him to give up 12 years of his life and his personal identity for her), so that would mean Yoon Jaeโ€™s body would die right? Then thereโ€™s no complicationsโ€ฆ.

  4. woww!! koala, i’m really excited everytime u put your thoughts here. especially thought on BIG. well, i think u might be right about the waking up YJ at the end of ep 14 was actually KJ. however, i really wish that it was YJ. which means KJ has returned to his own body. i fell in love with SWH from the 1st episode and hoping for him to be the end game. but your theory seems almost too real, like it could be the real script of whats going to happen next. why cant they let KJ’s soul back to his body?? >A<

  5. If I were KKJ, I would have chosen to return to my own body, even if it were a bit decayed from staying “soulless”. I would have also thought hard about what I want to dedicate my life to. Because, you know, it can’t be just DR. She has to respect him as a man to become his beloved again. You know what I mean.

    I still tend to think that there was some Angel or some living being, who was maintaining KKJ’s body with the power of his/her soul, while his soul was not there.

  6. Ms. Koala~ the new preview is out~~~

    ์ด๋ฃจ์–ด์งˆ ์ˆ˜ ์—†๋Š” ์šด๋ช…์ด๋ผ ํ™•์‹ ํ•œ ๊ฒฝ์ค€(๊ณต์œ )์€ ์• ์จ ๋‹ค๋ž€(์ด๋ฏผ์ •)๊ณผ ์‚ฌ๋ž‘ํ–ˆ๋˜ ์ˆœ๊ฐ„๋“ค์„ ๊ธฐ์–ต ๋ชปํ•˜๋Š” ์ฒ™ํ•œ๋‹ค. ํ•˜์ง€๋งŒ ๋‹ค๋ž€์€ ๊ฒฝ์ค€๊ณผ์˜ ์‚ฌ๋ž‘์„ ์‚ฌ๋ผ์งˆ ์ถ”์–ต์œผ๋กœ ๋‘์ง€ ์•Š๊ณ  ๊ฐ€์กฑ๋“ค์—๊ฒŒ ๊ณต๊ฐœํ•˜๊ธฐ๋กœ ๊ฒฐ์‹ฌํ•˜๋Š”๋ฐ…
    โ€ป ์˜ˆ๊ณ  ์˜์ƒ์€ ์ค€๋น„ ์ค‘ ์ž…๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ์ด ์  ์–‘ํ•ด๋ฐ”๋ž๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

    Credit: miwako @soompi for finding it

    ^ You should really really be a scriptwriter LOL I don’t know what to feel about the preview yet though… =x

  7. Have we ever seen Yoon Jae sleep before? May be he has the same sleeping way like Kyung Joon, it could be, right??
    So, I still hope that they really switch.

    • It could be Yoon Jae especially if they are a kind of fraternal twins. There was a study done that should twins have similar behavior even when they are raised separately. I want a switch as I think if YJ is dead it will be a cope-out.

  8. I actually think this ending is the way to go and best for everyone. Esp. Shin! Imagine having to live up to all these expectations.. haha.. Poor guy. Koala, am pretty sure you are going to nail it again this time.

    I also think the last 2 episodes will be happy ones. Of Daran and KJ conquering all and coming together ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Koala, thanks for sharing your theories and the screencap “evidence”. His behavior was similar to the elevator scene where he made Da Ran guess which soul she was talking to and therefore reveal which soul she wanted it to be. I’m not sure which body I want KKJ’s soul to inhabit, but I do want *him* to get the girl.

  10. Hello Miss Koala! This is off-topic but I just wanted to share with you that Suzy and Kim Soo-hyun are reuniting for a Beanpole CF shoot. Long live the Dream High OTP!

  11. I also believe it’s still KKJ because if it’s YJ, it should have been cleared at the ending to boost the drama’s rating.

    KKJ should return to his own body that to saty on YJ’s body just to be with DR. YJ’s body is not that healthy and maybe 5 to ten years from now, his illness will recur again and therefore it’s useless to saty in that body because his happiness with DR will just be short-lived. While if KKJ returns to his own body, he can do so many things like becoming a full pledged doctor because he’s healthy and he can still stay with DR if he wants to but of course with so many complications but who cares as long as you’ll be together with the one you love.

  12. OH! Another thing!

    The “only Yoon-jae shi has warm hands like this” statement from DR.
    Also misleading – When she went to the hospital after the switch and held KKJ shell’s hand, she remarked that they were warm. This assumes that YJ is in there; I don’t think he is.

    The warm hands belong to the dad and both of his sons. The proof is that in YJ’s autobiographical essay, he mentions the warm hands of his savior. It could be figurative, or it could be he held the little baby’s hands…
    (sniff sniff…I would NOT survive THAT scene if they decided to show it. God, please NO!)

    Why didn’t KKJ as GY have warm hands? Either she is wrong, which is possible, or because YJ is dead.
    This whole time, she has NOT been interacting with KKJ’s soul in a healthy living shell, but one propped up by magic, and she felt that.

    • Wow..Jomo…you’re really into this drama, I haven’t paid attention to none of that. Nice insights!!

      If YJ is dead, someone is a zombie in this drama. KKJ’s soul is a resident in a dead man’s body. I can’t help but laugh…all this seems like something you see in a horror movie. The plot is too messy, but I hope it’ll all make sense in the end.

  13. Omo! I had the exact thoughts yesterday but backed off commenting cuz I just couldn’t get the right words to explain it. I think KJ will stay in Yoon Jae body and the parents will take care of KJ. Kyung Jae will see how his parents have repented and are now taking care of him with love and he will be able to forgive and accept them. I just couldn’t accept Kyung Joon and Da Ran together…it just seems so wrong. Student/teacher relation…no, no, no. Wouldn’t mind if they are of appropriate age, but a teenager and an adult….no, no, no.

  14. Episode clues: Bear with me while I try and sort it out like a 1000 piece picture puzzle.

    1) Gil Daran chooses who will live. Means one will die with a cloth covering his face, exactly the same as the first episode when Seo Yoon Jae’s body was covered with a cloth when being taken to the morgue.

    [if this is true, then Kyung joon lived in a state of nothingness for 12 years = Yoon Jae did that for 1 year, Both must have been painful times for the souls. But why didn’t Kyung Joon’s body die? Only to save Yoon Jae again? But why keep a gap of one year? Read on…]

    2) Kyung Joon has to forget everything. Means it is again Kyung Joon in Seo Yoon Jae’s body, but he has forgotten everything that happened in the last year. So it’s a new waking up albeit as Kyung Jae again. But different this time because he will be more grown up without realizing why/how

    [doesn’t make sense because one who is frozen is the one who shouldn’t remember, in this case Seo Yoon Jae. But the drama suggests that Kyung Joon also has to forget. Inspite of the fact that technically Seo Yoon Jae was the one lying unaware and he should wake up as if his life had paused and not Kyung Joon]

    3) A quick behind the scenes clue: The original Kyung Joon is out of all the posters/publicity. He only appeared along with the actor who played Choong Shik as far as I know. If his role would have been any bigger than it already is, he would have appeared in more publicity material?

    4) Seo Yoon Jae cannot wake up in spite of being in a healthy body. So Kyung Joon is the one driving this. Whether he wakes up in his own a.k.a Kyung Joon’s body or not, Seo Yoon Jae is gone. And it is highly unlikely they will kill Gong Yoo off before the last two episodes. In effect what I am saying is that a switch is not possible. We are going to get Gong Yoo’s Body with Kyung Joon in it. Only question is will this Kyung Joon remember the last year or not.

    [This works because its give and take. not give take and then give! ๐Ÿ˜€ Meaning, Kyung Joon waits for 12 years to give life to Seo Yoon Jae. During the accident Kyung Joon’s body is about to fail/die and Seo Yoon Jae saves him. But remember Seo Yoon Jae also knew that his illness had returned (aka him searching for his lost sibling) so he realises that his body will not last for Kyung joon for long. So he holds on in the goner body of Kyung Joon until Seo Yoon Jae gets the cells he needs. Effectively saving his brother completely. This then means that the sacrifice is equal. The lost 12 years of Kyung Joon doesn’t matter anyhow because we have now learned that they were technically created at the same time. Everybody ends up happy. Seo yoon Jae because he got an extension of 12 years of life which he shouldn’t have had anyway. Kyung Joon who decides to become a doctor and save children’s lives now just like his hyung did when he received the gift of life. Da Ran because. well, because none of it involves her anyway. Her guilt over not loving Seo Yoon Jae has been pulled out in previous episodes. And her love for Kyung Joon has been painfully established. So she cries for Seo Yoon Jae. But has to live with Kyung Joon in Seo Yoon Jae’s body. Everybody knows its Kyung Joon, they move to a rural hospital where Kyung Joon practises for the poor and she teaches at a school. Mari has to deal with the fact that Kyung Joon doesn’t love her. Which she knows anyway.

    • To irib’s comment:
      Exactly my thoughts – you took the words right out of my mouth ๐Ÿ™‚
      To me that is the most logical ending, not ideal but realistic and in synch with societal norms/culture.

      How I lurve BIG ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Oh, and we will also probably get an interaction of the original Yoon Jae with the original Kyung Joon if Kyung Joon does forget everything. Thus effectively killing Kyung Joons body off now that blood has been donated.

    So Kyung Joon has to grow up all of a sudden and realise that his hyung died, giving him a protective shell and how he uses that shell and a new family and love. His growing up.

  16. OH MY GOSH!!! you are so correct…lol, for some reason, i feel like you were having a “MARI” moment…that’s how she figured how that kyung jae was kyung joon through pictures hahah

  17. I think you hit the nail on the head Koala…with him having the choice….but what really worries me….is the last shot in the video preview….the tear slowly making its way down KKJ’s face….that does NOT sit well with me….why is he crying, have they switched back and KKJ is dying and he doesn’t want to leave her. He feels regret, love, sorrow and pain…either way I know I am going to sob my heart out. Every time I come out of my room sobbing after watching one of my Kdramas, my boys say: “Mum why do you watch them if they make you cry so hard”…..its easy, because I love them…Koreans create wonderful dramas!

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