Big Episode 16 Recap

Big appears to have been a Big Disappointment for many drama viewers, but for me it’s been a Big Pleasure. I loved it, flaws and all, for the entirety of its run. Episode 1 was iffy for me on first watch, but subsequently I found it pretty much pitch perfect in setting up the entire journey of Kang Kyung Joon and Gil Da Ran. The fantasy body switch happened only to Kyung Joon, but the path towards growing up emotionally and mentally was one he took alongside Da Ran. This drama could not fully handle all of its weighty source material, with the final episode 16 barely resolving anything before our eyes. But it did two things perfectly.

It chose to focus the entire drama on Da Ran and Kyung Joon, so in the end I was completely attached to their story and cared about their ending. So the lose threads didn’t bother me, because the one thread that needed to be tied up was. It also chose to remind us that things work itself out with time, even if we don’t see it. I loved that the ending wasn’t fanservice at all, instead taking all that happened between Da Ran and Kyung Joon and telling us that the heart remembers what the mind might have forgotten and the ending of one journey is merely the beginning of another one. Gong Yoo and Lee Min Jung were magical together, and really the drama rose and fell on their able shoulders. I’ve truly enjoyed this Big roller coaster ride with them, and it’s with a satisfied heart I bid farewell to this drama that turned out to be a curious little affair rather than the Big deal people anticipated it would be.

Episode 16 recap:

Da Ran announces proudly to the entire table that she’s in love with KKJ, turning around to beam at Kyung Jae for good measure. He stares at her in stunned shock, his eyes welling up. Da Ran twists the dagger in some more by taking off her wedding ring and placing it on the table. Da Ran’s mom starts to berate her but Kyung Jae steps forward and asks to speak with Da Ran alone. If anyone has a right to demand answers from her, it would be him (Yoon Jae).

After Kyung Jae drags Da Ran out, Da Ran’s parents apologize profusely to Yoon Jae’s parents. Yeah, that’s definitely warranted. At this point I’m sure Yoon Jae’s gonna wake up and be pretty sad he lost Da Ran while he was sleeping. Kyung Joon’s aunt and uncle gossip about how Da Ran cheated on Yoon Jae.

Kyung Jae drags Da Ran outside and asks if she’s gone crazy, how could she do this? Da Ran says that she loves him, and she doesn’t want to live her life pretending that all of this didn’t happen. Even if it hurts, she won’t change how she feels about him. The love she feels for him is real and she will continue to cherish it even if he forgets.

Da Ran shows Kyung Jae the watch she fished out of the lake. I hope the watch was waterproof. Kyung Jae asks if she’s crazy, and she admits that she is just that crazy of a woman. He touches her dirty face, calling her smelly and gross. But then he hugs her, and she hugs him back. She vows that she will bring back his memories even if he has forgotten their love. When he wakes up, she won’t let him go.

In the hospital, Kyung Joon’s monitor starts beeping and the doctor runs inside to check on him. At the restaurant, Da Ran’s dad apologizes profusely for what his daughter did. They wonder if Yoon Jae got sicker because of what Da Ran did? Yoon Jae’s mom is rather calm and says that Da Ran already told her that she was planning to let Yoon Jae go, but she never imagined it would be this way. The Seo parents are done talking and leave. Once outside, they receive a call from the hospital about Kyung Joon’s condition.

The Seo parents rush to the hospital and find out from Se Young that Kyung Joon’s body appears to have a sudden elevation in vital signs but has stabilized now. Both parents decide to stay and watch over him, deciding not to let Yoon Jae know about it.

Kyung Jae and Da Ran are walking hand-in-hand down the street. Da Ran decides to make up for all the things she didn’t do for Kyung Jae, starting with picking flowers from a planter and running to the middle of the street to sing the Pororo song for him. The ahjusshi tending the flowers is upset until Kyung Jae explains that this lady is crazy, and by her actions the ahjusshi believes it.

Kyung Jae walks over to Da Ran and notes that it’s a shame he’ll forget all of this, otherwise he’ll hold it over her for the rest of their lives and tease her. Da Ran confesses that she was scared to do things for him for so long, and now she regrets it.

Kyung Joon’s aunt is trying on the wedding ring left on the table when Mari comes back and asks for it back. She reveals that she bought the ring to perpetuate a lie. Mari asks Uncle to tell the awakened Kyung Joon that she was always by his side taking care of him, and Uncle admits she was indeed.

Da Ran’s parents are back home and still trying to digest the shocking news their daughter dropped on them. Mom fumes and wants to know who this KKJ is?

Da Ran and Kyung Jae sit across from each other in the kitchen. Oh, their time spent in this kitchen has been some of my favorite scenes. Kyung Jae wants to know when Da Ran started liking him, and she confesses it was when he showed up at the movie theater. Da Ran felt her heart beat faster for him, and later when he showed up at the park, she knew she was waiting for him and not Yoon Jae.

Da Ran is sad it took her this long to tell him how she really feels. She even did the needle work to try to take her mind off him. Kyung Jae asks Da Ran to show her feelings directly from now on and she agrees. They stare at each other and he notes that when she’s looking at him, hearts are shooting out of his eyes. They smile at each other and Da Ran puts her hand on his cheek.

Back at the hospital, Yoon Jae’s mom appears to realize she does have a heart. She sits by Kyung Joon’s bedside and notes that when Yoon Jae was sick and she tended to him, her heart was filled with worry. Now sitting besides Kyung Joon, her heart is once again filled with worry. Oh lady, so little, so late.

Da Ran informs Kyung Jae that she’s going home to face her parents and tell them she’s leaving Yoon Jae. Kyung Jae suggests they run away but Da Ran doesn’t want to run away from anything anymore.

Back home, Mom goes to Da Ran’s room with a pair of scissors. She reveals that her own mother cut her hair off when she wanted to be with Da Ran’s dad. Now she will do it to Da Ran for daring to do something like this. Da Ran is unafraid and tells her mom to go ahead and cut her hair, she’s not changing her mind or how she feels. Da Ran’s mom breaks down and leaves without cutting the hair, having no heart to chastise her own daughter for being as courageous towards love as she was in her youth.

Mom goes back to her room and sobs while Da Ran’s dad tries to comfort her. Mom cannot believe she is saying the same things to her own daughter that her mother said to her year ago.

Kyung Jae talks with Se Young in Kyung Joon’s hospital room and she mentions how she thinks Yoon Jae and Kyung Joon are connected in unexplained ways. Kyung Jae remembers how he woke up in the morgue during the first switch, and wonders if he can shock this body into dying and trigger the switch back. Yoon Jae’s mom walks with Se Young and discusses the family plans to all go to Germany for Yoon Jae’s treatment and Kyung Joon’s recovery.

Mari announces to Kyung Jae her plan to follow him to Germany, but he tells her no. He reveals that even if he loses his memory, Da Ran intends to remember it all and find him again. Mari thinks Da Ran is crazy, and Kyung Jae admits she is.

Da Ran leaves school and heads to meet Kyung Jae, who is waiting for her outside. But sadly Choong Shik has been tasked with keeping on eye on her so she doesn’t meet with KKJ, so Da Ran has no choice but to go home.

Kyung Jae sneaks into the front door of the restaurant and tries to beckon Da Ran out. She tries to make the excuse she needs to go buy something but her Dad isn’t taking any of it and prevents her from leaving, sending Choong Shik instead.

Da Ran sits in her room and thinks about how to run away to meet Kyung Jae. He calls and reveals he’s outside her window. He tells her to jump out, spreading his arms in the 10:10 position and offering to catch her. Before Da Ran can jump, her Mom shows up and warns her not to think about going to see KKJ. Mom reveals that Yoon Jae cried at the restaurant when she talked about KKJ, not knowing it was Kyung Jae crying tears of happiness.

Kyung Jae is waiting outside for Da Ran when he hears a thump and turns around to see Da Ran has jumped. He helps her up and they hide behind some planters. He wonders why she jumped and she explains that he’s like fish who needs water/affection so she’s here to give it before he perishes.

Da Ran gives him back the watch and puts it on his wrist. She explains that this marks him as belonging to her. Da Ran kisses Kyung Jae on the cheek and goes back inside. Kyung Jae sits there with a goofy grin, wishing Da Ran has poured more water/kisses on him.

Kyung Jae discusses with Yoon Jae’s mom about going to Germany and Kyung Joon’s body here in Korea. Mom wants to stay with Kyung Joon, and will bring him to Germany after he wakes up. Suddenly a call comes in that Mari has taken Kyung Joon’s body. What complete lack of security this hospital has.

Kyung Jae calls Mari and finds out that she’s taken his body and plans to hold onto him until he wakes up. Mari says that she is even crazier than Da Ran. No shit. Kyung Jae threatens to withhold treatment unless she brings his body back, so finally Mari relents rather than risk Kyung Joon’s soul dying.

Kyung Joon is placed back in the hospital and Yoon Jae’s mom actually looks worried as she holds his hand. So why is no one pressing charges against Mari?

Mari wants Kyung Joon to be with her after he wakes, and Da Ran to be with Yoon Jae. That is the way it was supposed to be. How could Da Ran and Kyung Jae mess everything up? Mari shows Kyung Jae the wedding ring and speaks some hard to accept truths. She reminds him that Seo Yoon Jae does like Gil Da Ran, even if Kyung Jae wants to ignore it. When Seo Yoon Jae wakes up, he’ll be upset that he lost her.

In the hospital, we see Kyung Joon’s monitor blip again. Teddy Bear and Rabbit discuss how the Miracle angel picture tore in half. They wonder what will happen if a Miracle doesn’t occur the way it was supposed to?

Mari confronts Da Ran about the ring, which Da Ran left on the table. Mari says she threw it away in the dumpling filling since Da Ran didn’t seem to want it (Seo Yoon Jae). Da Ran frantically goes to search for it, even chasing after a delivery of mandoo and taking it from customers to check inside.

At the hospital, a tear falls from Kyung Joon’s eyes accompanied by Da Ran’s voice from episode 1 asking Yoon Jae if he loves her and Yoon Jae promising to tell her when he sees her. Dude, I genuinely feel sorry for you, but damn, you snooze, you lose. If you had bothered to tell her you love her ANY SINGLE DAY before the accident, then you’d have a fiancée today. Seriously? You proposed to her and didn’t even make this woman feel like you genuinely loved her with expressions of affection or words? My sympathy for you only goes so far.

At the hospital, Kyung Jae sits besides Kyung Joon’s body and talks to Seo Yoon Jae. He holds Kyung Joon’s hand and promises that he won’t be with Gil Da Ran until she can settle things with Yoon Jae after he wakes up. Since time stopped, then he will wait until things can be resolved properly once time starts again.

Da Ran and Kyung Jae walk on an empty darkened street and then realize they are across the street from each other and call each other to talk. Da Ran explains she went to look for the ring Mari threw away, but Kyung Jae shows the ring. Both realize that until Da Ran ends things right with Yoon Jae, they cannot be together yet.

Kyung Jae bemoans that they don’t have much time left together and wishes he could be with her. He worries again about losing his memory of this time and losing his chance to be with her and hold her hand. Da Ran promises him that her heart will swell to include his love for her. She will never let go of him and will hold onto him in her heart.

Kyung Jae asks Mari to leave, once and for all. She’s always chasing him and he’s sorta let her be even though he’s never encouraged her. But now she needs to finally put an end to her feelings towards him because he doesn’t reciprocate. Mari cries but realizes this is indeed the end. He holds out his hand and she tearfully walks forward so that he can tap her on the forehead one more time.

Choong Shik sends Mari off at the airport as she returns to the US. Before she heads off, Choong Shik stops her and grabs her bag to write his name on it. She says his name in shock and he tells her to remember that name Gil Choong Shil. For writing on this expensive bag, she’ll have to deduct more pans from him going forward. He turns and walks away all cool. Mari smiles and leaves.

Kyung Jae sees Yoon Jae’s mom reading and hears that Da Ran handed her notes about Kyung Joon’s likes and dislikes so she can be a better mom to him once he wakes up. Kyung Jae explains that Kyung Joon will be difficult at first and Mom agrees to try hard. Kyung Jae gives a little smile to hear this.

The Vice Principal gets a wedding invitation from Ae Kyung and Teacher Na, who are not only tying the knot, but may be expecting a baby as well. The VP bemoans how the young people rush into relationships so quickly these days.

Ae Kyung sits with Da Ran and asks about what will happen. Da Ran puts her wedding ring in a box and explains that she will wait for Yoon Jae to come to her from Germany. And when he does, she’ll tell him that she fell in love with someone else and no longer needs to hear his answer to her question.

Kyung Jae stands in front of Kyung Joon’s hospital bed. He flashes bck to the underwater fantasy sequence. Kyung Jae thinks to himself that he will be able to meet Seo Yoon Jae soon.

Kyung Jae walks through the hospital and meets with Se Young. She wishes that he will get better soon and Kyung Joon will wake up, hearing that the entire family is all headed to Germany. Kyung Jae confesses that Se Young was quite sexy when she touched his arm back in episode 2, and for her to do that again the next time she sees Seo Yoon Jae. He’ll like it. He smiles and walks away.

Da Ran walks through a park and goes to drop some change off for a bum sleeping on the park bench. She sees her long lost umbrella beside him, with her name tag still taped on it. She takes the umbrella to get fixed.

When Da Ran comes home, Kyung Jae is watering the lawn. She asks if he remembers where they first met? Kyung Jae says on the bus. Da Ran reminds him it was raining that day and asks him to make it rain now to bring them back to that day. Kyung Jae sprays the hose over her and Da Ran takes out her umbrella and opens it.

Kyung Jae is surprised to see she found her umbrella. Da Ran explains that she found something she thought was lost. Kyung Jae admits he chased after her that day. She didn’t take the wrong umbrella, he switched it so she grabbed the wrong one. Awwwww, I love this little reveal. Totally making me teary already.

Kyung Jae and Da Ran take the bus together, sitting in the same seats as that first time. He explains that she was so amusing that day, listening to the radio reading her own love story and being so obviously happy about winning a rice cooker. Da Ran thinks he liked her at first sight, but Kyung Jae scoffs that it wasn’t that much.

Kyung Joon merely switched the umbrellas because it looked so much alike and lo and behold, Da Ran took the wrong one without even realizing it. Da Ran explains that boys like to play tricks and tease the girl they like. Since Kyung Joon was interested in her from the first time he saw her, then when his memory goes back to pre-accident and they meet again, he may still have the same bit of interest in her.

Da Ran and Kyung Jae take a walk. Even though it is not raining, Da Ran opens her umbrella and puts it over them. Kyung Jae asks her to hold on to him if there is a miracle and he appears before her again. Even if he doesn’t remember her, even if he is rude and doesn’t care about her, she needs to cling onto him and never let go.

Da Ran promises to do that. Kyung Jae wants her to sincerely tell him how she feels when she sees him, that will be the magic to transport his memory back to this time. Da Ran asks him to look at his watch, and when he hears her sincerely telling him how she feels, that will be the magic spell she cast on him to make him remember.

Da Ran and Kyung Jae realize he needs to go and agree to say their farewells here. Kyung Jae starts to cry first, upset at his memories of her disappearing. He tells her “Gil Da Ran, I love you.” He puts her hand on the umbrella handle and then tightly grasps it. He reluctantly turns to walk away. Da Ran stands there watching him leave.

Time jump of one year coming up. Da Ran walks through the same school and looks around. Mari types up an email and Da Ran receives it. Mari reveals that Kyung Joon and Yoon Jae’s souls have switched back and both guys are awake and no memory of anything after the accident. Kyung Joon has never asked about Da Ran, and Mari will never say anything to him since she promised Kyung Jae that she wouldn’t. Da Ran tells herself to keep remembering as she vowed to do.

Rabbit and her mom gets a happy update from the doctor that she is recovering well. Teddy Bear is thrilled and hugs her. Ae Kyung and Teacher Na are expecting a baby and very happy. Da Ran walks through the school and sees sunflowers and smiles.

Choong Shik is dicing up mandoo filling and looking like a chef. The parents are happy he’s doing so well. Choong Shik comes out bearing a box of mandoo for Mari, and the parents know he’s been sending mandoo to her for the past year. When Choong Shik walks out, he is stunned to see Mari outside.

Choong Shik and Mari take a walk where she explains that she’s back in Korea because she won a photography contest. Probably as a result of her paparazzi skills stalking Kyung Joon. Choong Shik asks to take a picture together and Mari agrees. When Choong Shik asks how she likes his mandoo, she says her dog eats most of it, but she ate some and would give it 1%. This gives Choong Shik hope and he promises to keep sending her more.

Da Ran walks by Kyung Joon’s house and peeks into the courtyard to see a woman watering the lawn. She explains that she used to live here and it still looks the same. As she walks away, the little boy tells his mom that a hyung came by earlier and said he used to live here alone a long time ago…..

Da Ran stands under her green umbrella in the rain. Da Ran sits in the bus and listens to the radio, which says today is June 24th, so Da Ran smiles and wishes Kyung Joon a happy birthday. She checks the time and sees that it is 10:10. which is when the radio says it’s 10:10 as well. She looks down on the aisle and sees two green umbrellas there which makes her smile.

Da Ran gets off on her stop and walks out. Suddenly she hears someone call out “Gil Da Ran”. She turns around and we see a man duck under her umbrella just like when she first met Kyung Joon.

He puts his hand on her hand the same way he did before, and we see that he’s wearing the watch Da Ran bought for Kyung Joon.

Da Ran stares at him. His face is not shown, but a flashback to the final conversation with Kyung Jae happens and we see Kyung Jae ask Da Ran to hold onto him when he returns to her. It’s easy to tell which is past and present – presently its raining, and the man is wearing a plaid shirt, in the past its sunny out and Kyung Jae is wearing a grey shirt. Back to the present, Da Ran says hello to Kang Kyung Joon.

Present day Kyung Joon calls her Gil Teacher and says he came to see her because he was curious. Da Ran smiles and says she knew he would come. Kyung Joon says his trademarked uh oh and tells her not to project too much about how he feels. He asks why she’s standing so close to him, before taking the umbrella away and walking off.

Da Ran turns and stares at him with a smile, before running after him. She remembers Kyung Jae asking her to endure when he comes back all rude and doesn’t care about her.

It’s Da Ran’s turn to run under the umbrella and grab his hand. She stares at Kyung Joon. We see that his watch reads 10:10.

Flashback to Kyung Jae and Da Ran standing under the umbrella. She tells Kyung Jae that she loves him. Kyung Jae says that when she tells him that, his heart will swell like a miracle.

Da Ran and Kyung Jae smile at each other in the flashback and the camera pulls away.

Thoughts of Mine:

I have to start off by thanking all the fans of Big for taking this journey with me. This drama wasn’t the easiest to love, and certainly liking something not enjoyed by the majority can be hard to swallow on off-days, but for me the experience was thoroughly a joy from beginning to end. I loved this ending, cognizant of its less-than-stellar execution and room for vast improvement, but fully able to appreciate what it was intended to convey and how it tied the entire story together. I hope its clear that (1) the two guys switched their souls back, (2) both are alive (for now, who knows if Yoon Jae will get sick again), and (3) the complete Seo family reunited, both sons are back with Mom and Dad. So no one gets their comeuppance, not Yoon Jae’s mom, not Kyung Joon’s uncle or aunt, and not even Mari. But you know what? I really don’t care about tying all the lose threads because this story was never about the side characters and none of them ever did anything to derail the narrative.

At the end of the drama, we go back full circle to the beginning. Not to the literal beginning, which was how Yoon Jae and Da Ran’s love story started. At some point in the one year time jump, we know that Da Ran ended things properly with Yoon Jae. Maybe he did come back to Korea and she sat down face-to-face with him, or maybe she wrote him a Dear John letter. The method doesn’t matter, it happened because both Da Ran and Kyung Joon intended for that to take place before they could be together. The Miracle turned out to never be fully explained, but I’m certain it wasn’t at Yoon Jae’s election or behest. Perhaps the professor’s explanation was the best. It was Kyung Joon’s surrogate mother’s prayer turned into a miracle for her son to find his real family. With the soul switch, Kyung Joon found his parents and older brother. The truth was hard, but family is family.

This leaves poor Yoon Jae really one of the most peripheral second male leads ever in a drama. He never gets to share his side of the story, but ultimately that drives home the point that it doesn’t really matter. It’s already too late and love isn’t something that can be forced. I never cared what his reason was for behaving the way he did in episode 1, because that has no bearing on what happened later. It’s sorta like missing the train, it doesn’t matter if you had a good reason or a bad one. When the train leaves the station, it’s too late. I’m so so happy that he didn’t die in the end, and that the drama leaves open his own story. Maybe he’ll get back with Se Young, maybe he won’t. Perhaps he stays in Germany with his dad and creates his own life there. He experienced a heartbreak, but so did Kyung Joon in learning about his own life story. But we see that Kyung Joon has taken the first steps to forgive his parents even before the switch back, and Yoon Jae will surely heal from his own romantic disappointment in losing Da Ran.

I know there are a bajillion things never even touched upon in the end. The big pink elephant in the room beyond whether Kyung Joon will remember loving Da Ran is what to do afterwards if he does. He’s now Yoon Jae’s younger brother, and even if Da Ran never registered her marriage to Yoon Jae, to the world they have been married before. Will either set of parents accept this new pairing? I think if the drama shows anything, it shows that even the hardest to stomach realities has a way of being accepted. We might not see it onscreen, but my heart tells me eventually Da Ran and Kyung Joon will get their happy ending, one that comes complete with family acceptance. It’s not easy, but their love never was.

So let’s talk about that ending, shall we? This was not a bittersweet ending for me at all. It was a happy ending, a beautiful ending that really showed us how a love story could make its own ending. Episode 16 showed us how strong Da Ran and Kyung Joon have become, how they never wavered or feared their impending separation and memory loss. They cried, they promised each other, and then they courageously walked towards their own future. They held onto faith in the strength of their love. Da Ran knew she wouldn’t forget Kyung Joon or lose her love for him. Kyung Joon knew he would forget Da Ran but prayed in a miracle that his heart would be able to remember her. In the end, we saw with our eyes that he did, so how could this ending be bittersweet?

If post switch-back Kyung Joon’s memory stayed at pre-accident, why would he go find Gil Teacher again? Why was he wearing the watch she gave him? Why did he follow her off the bus when she was carrying her own umbrella? Why did he take her umbrella and walk off? Why did he use the same teasing tone with her? It’s because his heart remembered her and he wanted to see her. He may not know exactly why, hence his excuse that he was curious about her, but indeed a miracle did happen. His heart remembered what his mind forgot, and the rest is up to Da Ran to make him fall in love with her all over again. Who could doubt he would do just that.

I know the final sequence is totally confusing because the camera never shows us post switch-back Kyung Joon’s face, but one would have to blind not to see that it’s clearly Gong Yoo playing that scene. Now unless Kyung Joon took some steroids and growth hormones, there is no way in hell Gong Yoo’s physique could believably be passed off as Shin Won Ho after one year. But the final scene isn’t meant to be taken literally. We know that the drama is not saying Kyung Joon magically grew up to look like Yoon Jae. The camera doesn’t show us his face precisely because that’s not the point. The point is that in the past year, Kyung Joon believably did grow, probably an inch or so and add a bit of bulk. Perhaps evil Mom is really doing as she said and feeding her second son well and taking good care of him.

So the Kyung Joon who came back to Da Ran is not exactly the Kyung Joon who laid in a coma for a year, nor is he Kyung Joon in Yoon Jae’s body. The use of Gong Yoo’s body and hand to play that scene is for some continuity to the viewer’s comfort with seeing Kyung Jae with Da Ran, but shielding his face is to affirm that Da Ran isn’t going to be with a Yoon Jae’s doppelganger in Kyung Joon. She’s going to get her love story with Kyung Joon who is now 21 years old, a bit older, bigger, and mysterious. Who is he? What has he done in the last year? Da Ran smiles at him because it doesn’t matter. He may not look like Kyung Jae, the face she saw when she fell in love with him, but inside is still the same soul.

While Big deviated significantly from the Hong Sisters’ normal style, that actually worked for me. I loved the slow pace, the emphasis on the leads over the situational comedy and angst, and the devotion of time to really building up and resolving the love story. Not everything made sense, and the bouts of noble idiocy and stupid actions popped up here and there, but in the end those were blips and didn’t have any lasting repercussions. The whole Kyung Joon needs to save Yoon Jae again issue was not milked for makjang, and once Kyung Joon decided it was the right thing to do and something he wanted to do, it was accepted and people moved on. I always thought that was made too big a deal of, since Kyung Joon’s blood or marrow is hardly asking him to donate a kidney or some eyeballs.

I really had no problem with the drama electing not to openly address many of the viewers questions. But the drama is from Da Ran and Kyung Joon’s perspective, and really they have answered all the questions that matter to them. Da Ran no longer cares about Yoon Jae’s answer to her question, so we never hear it. I’m sure he was going to tell her he loves her. But like any sad sap of a poor second lead in every single K-drama, it was just never going to work out. The hows and whys of the soul swap remain illusory, and that is just fine by me. At least it didn’t invert itself and require random magical gymnastics to get the boys back to original form.

Ah yes, some might complain that original flavor Kyung Joon, aka my preciousssssss Shin, was never shown onscreen again in the present timeline after he went sleep happy. If I can get over it, you can get it over. It’s pure artistic license on THS in how they want to show switched back Kyung Joon. They wanted us to see him having grown a bit, fine by me. It’s hardly a short shrift for a newbie to claim he lacked screen time. I would argue seeing him asleep every episode was plenty good screen time. He looked great in pink PJs. I like to think he’s pleased as a peach that technically his character got the girl (see him smiling at me!), and he got to collect a paycheck while napping. I’m kidding! This drama is a fantastic launching pad for his acting career. It’s not everyday a fresh-faced young actor can say “Gong Yoo and I played the same character and we both rocked it.” Nice.

So in the end I probably read more into it than the story intended. The miracle was about Kyung Joon finding his family, a wish of his dead surrogate mother come true. Yoon Jae both gained and lost, he gained a brother, another chance at life, and lost the woman he likely loved. Kyung Joon grew up, realizing that family is both blood and nurture, and he had both in his life, warts and all. Da Ran grew a backbone, conviction, and courage beyond my expectations, contravening societal expectations and accepting familial censure to choose the man she loved. Against all odds, even knowing he will not remember her, she still choose the harder path in life. I acknowledge this drama wasn’t the easiest to watch, aggravating at times because I knew it could be so much better, but ultimately it was more than good enough for me. I love Big because the drama made me feel the love.


Big Episode 16 Recap — 183 Comments

  1. Thanks for the recap!! I am a little confused (Hopefully you can clarify this for me!) Before the accident, YJ had something to tell Da Ran. What did he have to say?? DID i missed it or was it never mentioned???

    • we never find out what it is YJ had to tell Da Ran.
      Whether he loved her or not.
      We did see him tear up though, while in kyung joon’s body.

  2. There were just too many questions left unanswered. Did he wake up in his body? Was that his real body in the end? What happened to the real YJ? If they are twins, will KKJ look the same as YJ when he grows up?

    The way the ending was handled just pissed me off so much. This entire drama was such a mess for me, not even Gong Yoo could save it.

    • Episode 16 answered those questions definitively. Mari wrote in the email to Da Ran that BOTH guys woke up and the souls switched back. So Yoon Jae is alive and kicking somewhere. Do we need to know exactly where? Probably not. That was not Yoon Jae at the end. The conversation makes it clear it’s Kyung Joon – he talks to her like he did in episode 1. The guys are technically fraternal twins (but not really, that’s stretching medical jargon), so no they will not grow up to look the same. Kyung Joon will keep growing since he’s only 20-21, and chances are he might be as tall as Yoon Jae, and as fit if he works out. Despite us knowing its Gong Yoo at the end, the fact that his face was never shown was mean to imply that Kyung Joon grew up since the separation, not to imply that he in fact grew INTO Yoon Jae. I think the execution was meant to parallel their final meeting before the separation, and not to be taken literally.

      • I have to agree and disagree. I feel you are right about how in the end it is supposed to be a switched back Kyung Joong we see, and I could even buy that he might have a better physique after a year of working out (though really we saw him in the hospital not that long ago and it would take a while to build up that muscle mass).

        What I can’t understand however is how the “new” Kyung Joon has the exact same voice as Gong Yoo, I feel like they could have at least used a new actor to play KJ at the end if they were trying to make it “ambiguous” or even just dubbed it so that we see GY’s body but hear KJ’s voice (especially since they were inter-cutting it w/ GY talking). Oh well, I still loved the majority of the drama

      • @Mish it was not gong yoo’s voice. Try watching the last part again. It’s a different tone that is neither shin won ho or gong yoo’s voice. It’s a voice of a 21 year old Kang Kyung Joon. 🙂

      • I still think there should have been a conversation between DR and the real YL. I mean, they were going to get married! Just like that, they forgot about each other? Even if YJ didn’t remember anything from after the accident, he would still remember the fact that he had a fiancee. And did they ever get a divorce?

  3. Just popping in quickly (have to watch it subbed later) to say that I really liked the end, as confusing as it was.
    I got that tingly feeling again, like the first time with kkj, and I loved the hand on the hand. I didn’t picture GY’s face looking out at DR, but like you said, a bulkier, less childlike Shin, but then, I have been picturing how he would look later since the beginning! I liked that DR smiled knowingly at his pique. I want to be there for the rest of the story!

    It really was confusing, though, there were prolly some things that visually could have set the two scenes apart from each other, but maybe they wanted it like that?

    Anyway, thanks to YOU, Koala for making this a really thoughtful and loving BIG hangout. It was a sweet ride, and that much more fun to have everyone up here in the bus with me, and Capt Koala at the wheel!

    Where are we going next?

    • Thank you for your recap. I have to admit watching Big during the first episodes, I wasn’t expecting that much. But the lead actors are all good. Gong Yoo really displayed his acting skills. Your analysis on the ending is highly appreciated. I’m happy that KBS finally had a drama that appealed to many viewers. Once again, thanks for your recaps. More power to you!

  4. Thanks for the recap and for keeping faith in this drama! I still cannot lie though. I’m confused at the ending. I believe I get it but then I wonder WHY?! especially at the last scene. I agree there were so many set ups and so many vague answers or none at all.

    • I agree the ending was confusing even after reading this recap it helped out a bit. I also agree that there were many questions that us as viewers are still questioning about.

    • I agree the ending was confusing even after reading this recap it helped out a bit. I also agree that there were many questions that us as viewers are still questioning about. Like in the end was it KJ back in his original body or still in YJ body, because it was gong yoo playing as KJ in the end.

  5. Truly enjoyed the ending! A wonderful end to a wonderful story and experience.
    Thank you for all you’ve brought to this delightful, heartfelt journey!!

  6. I think you Mrs. Koala have done bigger job about Big then writers,
    I see you have soft spot for HS.

    I didn’t go with this drama, there was somethings I didn’t sense at the beginning really. You know when you hoping for WOW and you only get HAAA, that was my feeling about end. The most of part should’ve been in the middle of drama. Leaving me to wonder, doesn’t work for me. Think that end is rushed, they tried so much, during drama, to go little left and little right, they needed to go straight forward.
    Not that I didn’t like drama, just nothing special did for me.

    Thanks for hard work Koala.

    • @Trina; You asked about upcoming dramas.I’ve started to watch RMPW, the old ones you know, in future I’ll go with Arang, Faith, VP2…and e’thing else if it seems interesting, but focus on that 3. So you’ll see me in the recaps here and DB, I tried to find you on tw, but nothing. Be well dear!

    • haha.. ya I agree, I think Hong Sisters should make Koala their “must read” whenever their dramas are screen. I do feel the earlier part of the drama are more thought through and well crafted. Towards the end, even though the scenes are filled with heaps sincerity from both the actors i guess the amount of issues that needed to be dealt with are simply too overwhelming and thus they need to pick and decide what are their focus.

      I still love it though!

      • Haha, Best love was way more better then this. Nothing much, but well combined. Big, should we try this, no let’s go with this, eee we have this and so long. Lost it.
        Only reason to watch is GY! This is why I gave more credit for actor/actress for creating character then the writing.

  7. omg after finished watching raw ı refresh ur blog for hours XD
    The ending was realy like something i wait from hong sisters ;_; but still feeling a lil weird about Gong Yoo’s body for last scene of KKJ XD his voice was so cute and funny same time<3
    Its happy ending yet ı feel sad over this OTP<3 I wish we can see more Gong Yoo & Lee Min Jung interaction on future!
    I loveeeeee the way u tell ur feelıngs while capping XD esp Yoonajae's tear part. I feel rly sad for him when he teared then ı thought same thing as u say here XD
    Thank you so much for ur caps and reviews :'D<3

  8. After reading your thoughts on this drama I’m feeling better about this ending which I first didn’t know how to stomach… I’m still not completely satisfied but I can now be more than happy that DR and KJ got their happy ending! 🙂

    If I’d been the writer I would have put Shin Won in this last scene to let him close the drama. PERFECT! Maybe then we wouldn’t be so confused about the ending. Seeing Gong Yoo/knowing that it’s Gong Yoo didn’t make it easy to believe that they really switched back and KJ looks like YJ (at least the body).

    All in all a beautiful drama with its flaws but also with many moments I will remember… I’m still swooning over the ring falling from DR finger and the kiss. *___*

  9. I can’t believe they ruined the end. I am so disappointed since it aired. It wasn’t confusing at all, they just left out a lot of things and closed things too easily.

    In the collection of Hong Sisters dramas, Big is not anymore above average for me, it is now below average.

  10. Thanks for recapping ‘BIG’ i love this drama even though a lot of ppl might think otherwise… i love the pace and the message of the story…
    I really like the ending..i was afraid it’s bittersweet.. but it’s not.. it’s a happy ending. i also like the fact that they did not show the face.. and do we really need to care about the ‘face’ or the actor should play KJ at the end? Afterall… throughout the series, i realized that the ‘face’ is really not matter if u love someone.. DR fall in love with KJ while his soul is in the YJ’s body.. and she clearing know who she loves.. so in the end, as long as it’s KJ… it really doesn’t matter… now i am sad that it’s ended…

    • yes!agree with youuu
      thank you Ms koala for giving me recap
      thank you Gong yoo and lee min jung for outstanding performance!
      thank you shin won ho for making sleeping handsome syndrome!
      for the last thank you BIG!
      hope everyone getting bigger heart!
      Da Ran – Kyung Joon till end\(^0^)/

  11. Fire at will! I didn’t like the ending at all. I don’t watch a story to be left in the bush at the end: I want clear answers. I don’t mind open endings if they are coherent and well done but my job is not to fill in the blanks and the plot holes. Or else I would read fanfics. This ending is at best clumsy. Or else a way to do the buzz on the net, nothing more.
    And I still don’t understand what was the point of that story: Space and time is relative? Soul is more important than the shell? Second chances and miracles happen? Medicine and faith will make you meet your soul mate? Importance of letting go? Forgiving your parents (who where absent or evil and suddenly redeem themselves? So many unanswered questions.
    For me the project was too ambitious and crumbled under its own weight. And finally, I just can’t forgive the improper use of Shin Won-ho in the story: Criminal waste.
    Sorry for being harsh but I had to take that out of my chest. I confess than I might have missed things because I FFed a lot: Many scenes were boring and flat to me. I will remember the 2 first episodes as a promising set-up (also, liked the music) but for the rest it’s a Big no. Like a lot of people I think than Gong Yoo saved the ship. Almost.

    • Haha, you said it at loud! I wrote, I’ve never been more torn but so peaceful about ending as for Big, what stupid thing to say. I really thought it’s gonna work out better, but in the end, end was but no ending. Watching GY face in some scenes was priceless, but to switch role in ep 16 they didn’t have guts, shame.

  12. I love your recap, Ms Koala. I was totally confused and disappointed when I read another review about the ending. But once I read your full recap, I was so relieved that KJ and DR love story was beautifully concluded and not left in a hot mess. Thank you!

  13. It’s just too bad though – I was really looking forward to seeing Shin Won Ho as KJ at the end. I feel like it would have tugged at my heartstrings a little more to see DR emanating that love to KJ in his own body as much as she did to KJ in YJ’s body.

  14. Le Sigh. No Shin = flat ending for me.

    Ah well…I watched the whole thing and enjoyed it more than the crap-fest that was RTP (yes, I said it) so it wasn’t a total waste. The biggest unanswered question for me is WHY the character Mari got so much screen time (?) right-up-to and including a big chunk of the final episode.

    If you can approach it from an unbiased place (picture ANY young actress other than Suzy)….then imagine the character NOT being there. The story would have been virtually unchanged, with perhaps less ChoongSik (that would’ve been sad) …but other than that….WAE? There were plenty of other disapproving/blocking characters.

    Then again…I could say the same for the aunt and uncle characters…then add in the co-teachers long-suffering romance. Basically – the side characters were, to me, like planks of wood stacked around in various scenes intended to create….volume (?) …I dunno.

    Anyways ~ I’m not wearing sack-cloth and ashes, wailing to the Heavens about how horrible the show was….because it wasn’t…it was just circular and *meh* beyond the the core love story, which then ended …open. Le Sigh.
    (THANK YOU Koala for all your writing and content-posting….I SALUTE YOU!!)
    p.s. please try I Need Romance Season 2 – it may not be your cup of tea, but even if you ‘blast it’ I’d like to know your thoughts. cheers!

  15. ”I loved that the ending wasn’t fanservice at all”

    What are you talking about Koala?

    Sorry but I have to disagree BIG time in this.

    It was fanservice.

    Fans couldn’t accept KKJ in his body with DR, fans wated LMJ and GY!
    Polls showed this and everything else, and what Hong sisters did was to please these fans. Showing GY in the final end, we know he isn’t YJ, but I think the body and face of KKJ couldn’t be accepted by the viewers and this is such a shame. I like how you believe have another great meaning, and you are good at it, but not showing the face, I don’t think it is because it is a ”new” and mysterious KKJ. It is just LMJ and Shin would be strange and still a student plus a teacher together is a big thing.

    I know many people didn’t care about YJ at all. But I did, I wanted at least a decent ending to him, doesn’t matter with who, but I wanted to know his thoughts. Why do such mistery about him and his feelings only to not answer it later? WTH, Hong sisters are good at ruining things and character that could be insteretings. I know most of you are happy because the OTP is all what matters, but it didn’t happen to me. I didn’t love KKJ and DR OTP, I liked GY and LMJ together and GY was the reason to stick to this drama. I care about the side characters which is dumb to do in a Hong sisters drama where I know I shouldn’t because Hong sister just use them to later throw them away without a reason.

    Big just proved me I just have to stay away from hong sisters.
    I regret watching it.

    It reminds me of feast of gods, the OTP got together but I was pissed off by the all nosense and plot holes that were able to shallow them OTP and all viewers in it.

    So disappointed.

    If Hong sisters where going to focus on KKJ and DR since the begging, why the hell tell us the story about YJ and DR and how they met. It wasn’t needed and would make me not care about him, but since they showed, I was interested on his story that I’ll never know.

    • Thank you for remembering Yong Jae’s story and the fact that it was neglected.

      In fact, this drama reminds me of Rooftop Prince. RTP starts with the dead body of the princess, and then forgets all about it. At least, in RTP the dead body is explained in the last episode. Here, there is nothing, no explanation for the real Yong Jae at all. I think this is poor writing, like a large Chekov’s Gun that didn’t get fired.

      Ms Koala and many others love the OTP and forgive everything else. The answer is always, “oh the story is not about that, so it doesn’t matter.” Well, to my mind, if we take that advice and ignore all the “things that don’t matter” then we are left with a shabbily thin story.

      But I must confess, I’ve done the same for other dramas. I got hooked onto some small thing that I liked in the drama, and forgave plot holes, ridiculous conflicts and poor acting. Perhaps one day it will happen to you as well. So, don’t write off the Hong Sisters yet! You may still find something you like 🙂

  16. This drama made no sense to me but I am glad it made you happy (I’ve loved many a drama in the past where most seem to have disliked it).

    I have to say though that the one thing Big did right for me was actually making me like LMJ – I never could tolerate her before and would actually skip a drama if she was in it, but I was won over by her here and now she is off my ‘banned’ list.

  17. That’s not a happy ending … but a happy beginning!!! 🙂
    Thanks, Koala, for being an adamant guide thru this drama!

  18. thank you for recapping big. love all your analysis theories and speculations!

    your site is one of the few where BIG lovers come. too much hate on BIG at dramabeans XD

    it seems my taste in dramas are similar to yours.

    i felt this last episode felt rushed and there wasnt much of an epilogue. if only it was like best love in that respect. but other than that BIG will is my favorite hong sistes drama and what made it special was GY and LMJ. their acting was top notch.

    story could have been better and ended better but still i LOVE BIG 🙂

  19. First of all, thanks Koala – for recapping this one. At times it was a bit tough to get through. but your recaps helped me make sense of things and the comments/discussions posted also filled in the gaps.

    After 16 episodes, I am completely SOLD on Gong Yoo and his portrayal of KKJ’s half of our OTP.

    Thanks for taking this journey with us! Looking forward to the next one!

  20. Just my opinion, but I didn’t like the way it ended and it kind of ruined the drama for me. I thought the drama had some wonderful moments, but as a whole it lost it’s meaning when there was no switch. I know they “said” there was a switch, but that’s Gong Yoo’s voice and body at the end. There’s no way, Kyung Joon could look like that within a year. So, I kind of feel like they just kept teasing me with a switch, that didn’t truly happen or was shown. Here are pros and cons for me.

    PRO: Kyung Joon’s character, I did enjoy the character of KKJ acted by Gong Yoo and Shin Won Ho. Gong Yoo’s acting was so emotionally raw, and Shin Won Ho did a great job introducing the character; I wish he could have had five minutes in the end at least.

    Choong Shik’s character. I wasn’t expecting to like his character so much, but he turned out to be such a lovable, adorable, and loyal brother.

    Da Ran’s character at first annoyed me a tad because she was so blinded by her love for Yoon Jae and just accepted his excuses for standing her up and never stood up for herself. But she grew up and really fought for her love for KKJ.

    CON: Mari’s character has to be the most selfish, annoying, immature, and frustrating character ever written.

    Some episodes really dragged and went around in circles and didn’t make any sense. You could tell they were just trying to fill up an episode. I felt they just threw in the fraternal twins thing for no real purpose. What was the point? Other than to hurt Kyung Joon even more. It’s like, oh by the way you weren’t just born to help your brother but you were frozen for 12 years and just suddenly came in handy. That did not make sense to me.

    What was with that mug scene? That was just overall odd to me.

    Conclusion: I liked the drama it had some great moments, but I don’t love it and it isn’t my favorite. In the end they might tell me that the souls “switched”, but I’m sorry drama I won’t be like Da Ran blinded by love and just fall at your knees.

  21. thank you so much Koala for your wonderful recaps which I have been following since the first episode. it was really great ending and I do agree with your theory. it doesn’t matter how KJ would look when he grow up what is important he is KJ and DR loves him and they are together again. I love the happy ending. I really enjoyed my long journey with this drama and would definitely buy the DVD once it is out :)))

  22. As soon as the soul/body first switched, I’d figured the central theme, from the Hong Sisters, would be that falling in love means loving the soul, not the body.

    And, this drama is about DR’s journey to come to that realization and acceptance.

    Thank you for the recaps and especially your perspective on the final episode. With which, I entirely agree.

    • In that case, why leaving the girl with the safe option: A grown up body with choco abs who has a good status? If she really loves the soul she should have ended with the student in the student body and dealt with the prejudices of society. For me the older shell was needed only to open the eyes of the female character, and it needed to be discarded at the end. That would have been brave. I say CHICKEN, dear writers!

      • That’s how I felt too. I’m not sure if the writers meant it to end that way (they’ve made some brave choices- Hong Gil Dong, anyone?), but using Gong-yoo’s body instead at the very end felt like a total copout. Looks like while DaRan found her guts and direction at the end of episode 15, the production lost theirs in this last episode. And if Shin was not a buff or good enough actor to pull of the Kyung-joon that we’ve watched for 16 episodes, they should have brought in some other actor with a baby-face-manly-body combination to play Kyung-joon.

        Loose ends were messily tied and things felt a rushed- ending for the sake of ending – sort of like the ending to My Girl (one of my fave dramas, but the last few episodes were pretty darn bad).

      • Totally agree. I feel like the real story is just about to start – and the writers are like, “Okay! You can imagine the rest for yourselves, we’re out!”

        …I feel slightly cheated out of the last 16 hours. I don’t think it was all a waste, because I enjoyed some parts a lot, but I didn’t get to see what I was looking forward to most, which was what would happen after they switched back. Which I guess is where my expectations didn’t match the writers’ intentions, but even if they wanted to end it like this I still think we should have seen Kyung-joon’s real face in the last scene. THAT would have proved she loves his soul and not his body. (Come on, guys don’t change THAT much between age 19 and 20. They could have put lifts in his shoes.)

      • Shin made a good first impression in the first two episodes, but then Gong Yoo blew everything out of the water.

        That being said, I think other dramas have been more successful at picking a younger man who isn’t child like in appearance (Jung Il Woo in Flower Boy Rammyun Shop, for one).

        I think Shin will have a promising career ahead of him, but I think it will be best for him in the long run to transition into a more adult appearance.

  23. Thanks for your recaps. It’s nice to read a recap from someone who is actually enjoying the drama like I am. I enjoyed Big, despite its flaws. I did want to see her with Shin in the end, but otherwise I am okay with the ending. I enjoyed all the little moments between them, and I really got caught up in the story.

    I am going to swear off body-switching dramas after this, though. I think the problem is that there are contractual issues with the leads, which the writers have to work around. (I’m still bitter about 49 Days.)

  24. Oh, and one more thing. I think this drama would actually be more fun if you were a little bit spoiled. I think the reason so many people hated it was less about the drama than their own preconceived expectations.

    • So true. Reminds me of this quote, ” What screws up us most in life is the picture in our head of how things should be.”

      I think people have all these expectations of How they want things to be and thus cant get over what the drama is leading to. A pity when i thought it was actually so well delivered and a beautiful love story.

  25. The ending wasn’t perfect, that’s for sure, but I’m satisfied with it because it’s a happy ending, they’re going to fall in love all over again, how in the world isn’t it happy?lol

    I would be way more pleased if it was Shin under that umbrella, but we can’t get what we want I guess ;__________;

    Before I started to watch the episode I saw a lot of disappointment comments so I was really worry, and when I watched the ending I almost threw my computer at the wall JESUS GUISE I THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO DIE OR SOMETHING I THOUGHT THEY WOULDN’T BE TOGETHER OR SOMETHING WHY WOULD YOU SCARE ME LIKE THAT?

  26. While the ending wasn’t all I wanted, I Still really liked the show.

    One of the things that allows viewers to connect with fantasy genre stories is when the relationships themselves are depicted realistically – not simply the primary couple, but their relationships with other.

    Showing DR and KKJ having a reunion and a happily ever after a year in the future (even if he doesn’t totally remember) pulled me out of the story – especially given the nature of typical family relationships in Korea culture.

    I guess most of us have figured out many of the “whys” behind the choices in filming the final scene, but I have to say that this ended up being an emotional disconnect that pulled me out of the story. I think it would be better if they had taken Gong Yoo, altered his appearance somewhat through makeup and prosthetics (perhaps to make some of his features resemble Shin’s more), and shown us KKJ’s face as an adult. Perhaps positioning LMJ on a block, so that KKJ doesn’t appear as tall as YJ in relation to her.

    This would have kept the emotional connection at a higher level at the very end.

    On viewers having an ick factor regarding Shin and LMJ, the show runners didn’t do themselves any favors with that last Mari daydreaming sequence (with Shin as the prince). He looked like 12 years old in that sequence. Frankly I didn’t get this vibe in the first two episodes, but at the end I felt like Justin Beiber is a manly man compared to Shin. Maybe because of the amount of time Shin spent in that hospital bed, wearing childish PJs, and looking vulnerable in his coma. That and his mother calling him “that child” (perhaps in Korean it doesn’t have a similar feel).

  27. the only thing that pissed me off!
    is that i want more of shi won !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i was expecting it!!
    and nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    he needs another dramaaa!!!! inmediatly!

  28. Honestly, if da ran/kyung joon’s journey was all that mattered in this show, did the Hong sisters have to create such a complicated story surrounding this OTP? I think the set up ended up being too much, even for them. But i’ll forgive them for trying. Effort is appreciated.
    However, i’m going to say that it’s hard to ignore the gaping plotholes, no matter how in love you are with the OTP’s sweet story. That’s why some people couldn’t find to love it. Some are more willing to overlook things, while others are only happy with a clean and well-made storyline that made sense. Those that like concise answers will hate it, and those that like it open-ended with love it. I wouldn’t have minded if the last minute was the way it was, but the fact that none of the major conflicts were solved before that last minute. Really, you couldn’t give more in the last 2 episodes? One can harbor such patience. I feel like there’s a difference between leaving it open-ended where we don’t know what will happen in the future vs. posing all these conflicts throughout the story that are never expertly wrapped up.
    As much as i still love the Hong Sisters, i’m not going to make excuses for this show.
    I’m writing this opinion without bias from OTP.

    • Kyung Joon (despite the fact that they should’ve used another actor to show KJ’s physical growth).

      I liked the drama overall, but I wish episode 15 never existed. Ep 16 should have been 15 and 16 should have delved into their new lives together.

      • I agree ep 16 should have been ep 15 then the ending wouldn’t have been confusing, because ep 16 could’ve told us DR and KJ new life together.

  29. I’m glad you enjoyed it and the ending made sense to you… I still don’t get it, and sadly this drama failed to get me in the heart. It couldn’t make me feel the love, and that makes me sad.

    I guess I had an idea of what I wanted from this story that was very different from what the HS did, and that gap between expectations and reality made me unable to enjoy the drama. Plus the infuriatingly slow pace. I wanted so see them switch back around episode 10, and see a teacher-student romance with similar themes to Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy. But I suppose the casting of a newbie like Shin Won-ho should have tipped me off that we would see very little of him.

    Well, thanks for the wonderful recaps! I hope I can enjoy your next drama project with you like I did TK2H. 🙂 (You are seriously tempting me with RMPW. I keep telling myself I’m already watching too many currently airing dramas for the health of my real life…)

  30. The best things in life cant be describe by words but has to be felt. This is what Big has done for me. If any words are required, Koala cant have said it any better. Big may not be flawless but it has manage to draw me into his world with its intriguing, unusual storyline and fantastic cast. Very rarely does a drama gets to me like Big.

    Thank you Big for giving me so many happy and magical moments and making me smile silly often throughout these few months just thinking about you. I hope Hong Sisters, Gong Yoo and LMJ will get to read Koala’s blog and find all the love and support they are having here. The actors have done an especially fine job! We really do appreciate all the hardwork and love this drama heaps!!

    All the backlash could be a result of much expectation from the Hong Sisters. I personally love it and will rate it a 8.5/7.5. How would you rate Big, Koala?

    Thanks again for all the hardwork. I have been a regular since Da Mo Yao and have almost made Koala playground my internet home since Big was screen. 🙂 For now, I think Im going on a drama holiday. Big hangover is setting in …

  31. Thanks to recaps and insights, koala 🙂 but honestly, not even your analysis can “soothe” the disappointment that I’m feeling knowing what transpired in the finale…It’s not that I hate the ending, but I didn’t like it either. Watching the angst episodes was hard, seeing the previous one made my head ache and watching the last episode sapped most of the love that I felt in this series in the first place (btw, I said “most” because overall I still like BIG). It’s a good thing that GY and LMJ delivered well individually and as a couple, and that for me saved this drama (oh, and not to mention Shin too–if not for his piercing gaze in the first episode I would not have been in the KJ-DR ship, in GY’s shell or not). 😀

    • I think the only clue towards the end was the tears he shed in KKJ’s body. The assumption about halfway through the drama was that he did care for DR. He was likely stand-offish because of his medical condition.

  32. How hard is it for the people behind the drama to show KKJ’s face and Daran lovey dovey together. Or are the producers afraid of this age gap thing, some future backlash from parents , or public outcry on promoting Teacher-Student relationship. Perhaps it is still a taboo or unacceptable that a woman is older than the man in a relationship.

    • A lot of people may feel that there is an unfair taboo. To me, it was more his appearance than his supposed age. And the teacher/student thing.

      My dad is about 7 years older than my mom, and he was a teacher at her high school…but they waited to date till she had graduated. My brother is married to a woman 5 years older than him. They met while he was still in high school, too, but they didn’t start dating till he was in his 20’s.

  33. Thank you.
    I was hostile at first,towards the ending. Now that I simmer down,I think it’s ok that I couldn’t see his face so I’m going to imagine it’s Shin. I always wanted them to be together so I’m glad they are,in the end.
    I’m not going to say much about this and that here,just that it’s good enough that all ends well.

  34. If you remember the Rabbit and Teddy bear had the ripped picture of the miracle. I think the following happened.

    1. Since the picture was ripped the connection was broken and they did not switch back. This would explain why he was wearing the watch and retain his memories.
    2. in the text message, it only mentioned that he woke up and did not ask about her because he was planning to tell her that he did not love her. That would explain the airplane ticket to LA they found in his luggage. He was planning on leaving her.
    3. It took a year for his treatment to be finished and get to know his new brother and to find out what happened before he went back to her.

    I think this makes sense, of course we will never know for sure since this was the last episode. I will love to see a Big 2, but I dont think that will happen

    • Ok, I would like to edit my comment, She did say they returned to their own bodies, but I think they were lying to keep their secret or did Suzy lie to give her no hope. I think they lied to everyone to keep their secret. I give this an 10/10, even though I didn’t like the ending, but I am glad they are reunited again. To this day, I am still trying to figure out the ending to Quantum Leap, in one of the episode, Sam discovered he was married, but did not leap back to her after fixing Al’s marriage. Sam just disappeared and was never seen again

  35. Watched the un-subbed version last night and as it ended, the only word I could think up was ‘BRILLIANT’! Ok – I know there are a lot of haters out there who think that the ending sucks but I beg to differ. There was no way THS could win with an ending that showed either GY or SWH. There will be fans that have been following the show who will freak out either way.

    By choosing to not show the face yet using GY’s (sexy) hand and voice, they satisfy both camps – I know I’m satisfied because at the end of the day the most important thing for me was knowing that DR and KJ are together again and their love which had crossed the biggest ocean before would cross it again. The joy in DR is palpable even as she waits patiently for KJ to return to her side – her faith in their love unshakeable and totally heartwarming.

    I am thankful for the sweet and heartfelt moments in ep 16 for the OTP – of course I wish there were more but that’s me being greedy as usual. I cannot believe I actually watched through a drama that made me cry for 4 out of 16 episodes and still arrive to say I love every moment of it because it was a journey that I took with the protagonists – I did not just watch it, I was IN that journey. I laughed with them as they laughed, felt their joy, cried with them as their hearts broke, berated them when they ‘misbehaved’ and ‘held’ their hands as they sat through quiet moments.

    Big has touched me in so ways that many dramas have failed to do and I am glad I trusted my instincts to follow it. As at this moment, DR and KJ have climbed to the number one spot for my favourite on-screen couple list. Their position is tied with Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan (You’ve Got Mail) – I know…totally different genres but my only qualifying criteria is that the show must feel like I am going ‘home’ each time I watch it… and God knows how many times I have watched and re-watched the movie/past episodes of this drama. It’s the same warm and fuzzy feeling I get when I re-read (for the gazillionth time) my favourite book of all time ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ by Harper Lee.

    I want to thank you Ms K for being on this journey with so many of us. I loved reading your recaps (which are so detailed and peppered with hilarious asides), comments and analysis (which are so insightful) and I am truly touched by your sincerity in penning all of it down. You should really try your hand at writing a script and sending it off to K-Town Seriously…we mean it….

    • hey BIGaddict!we shall keep in touch once in a while we reconnect our same thoughts and feeling towards this drama!it’s fantastic isn’t it…i guess when you are someone who sees life with deeper thoughts…you’d understand the beautiful journey that BIG has taken us on…i am 100% like you…BIGADDICT…BIGtime!….i am having a bad day today…BIG hangover is sooooo depressing!

  36. I’d hoped that Kyungjoon and Yoonjae would switch back and even if Kyungjoon remembered none of the memories he’d shared with Gil teacher, just as she’d promised him, she would remember – for both of them. I’m somewhat miffed and disappointed that Kyungjoon didn’t get to meet Daran again in his own body… And yet, a happy resolution to the story in a manner reminiscent to their very first meeting – this time with overflowing emotions from both parties.

    Big hasn’t been the smoothest ride with its set of flaws and not-so-realistic situations. Still, I’ve enjoyed the journey over these 8 weeks – waiting for episodes to be uploaded every Tuesday and Wednesday was at times aggravating but was worth it. (Especially when you know/can sense that something BIG’s going to happen.)

    My interest in this drama was aroused initially due to the interesting plot – there’s more to a solid plot in the recipe for a ‘successful’ drama though. The chemistry between the lead couples and side characters; how scenes are interpreted both physically and emotionally; the sacrifices actors/actresses are willing to make; the amount of heart, mind and soul put into each little moment that collects into one whole episode. One person alone cannot single-handedly bear the weight of carrying the drama through – Gong Yoo and Minjung delivered stellar performances as the leads but the supporting cast did well and deserve recognition too. Bravo/ Brava to all.

    Thank you Koala for having been such a dedicated Big follower; for all the recaps, news and previews ^^V

    Oh, good good day, oh, good good day, oh happy day~

  37. OMG I believe that I must be part of the smallest club in the drama world.
    I loved the ending.
    Once I watched this ending with subs, I sobbed like a big fat sobber.
    Things were clearer, too, as far as the rain, and what time was which.

    Their story is a beautiful example of “love that was meant to be,” which I am a sucker for.

    I loved that GDR lived quietly for a year, teaching at a new school, beginning a new chapter in her life, alone with no man to define her. She has come a long way from the girl who once waited hours for someone who never showed up.

    I loved that KKJ made his way back with what he thinks is just curiosity driving him.
    He had to put a name on that feeling – let’s call it emptiness – something neutral, so he decided to make it intellectual.

    Even HE had to wonder about this lady who married his brother and left him? What?
    If KKJ has been living now for a while with their parents – who probably still worshipped YJ – he probably asked himself: who is this lady who dared to leave the perfect one?
    Nobody would talk about what actually happened with them at their house. It was an off limits topic.

    But of everyone who saw DR being in love with YJ, KKJ was the ONLY one who saw the flaws in YJ/DR’s relationship immediately, more than once, and recognized that this was not a real romance between them. He would have had good insight on why it could not have worked out.

    I imagine that deep inside was some kind of itch to see her again. At first buried deep. He had to get through all the trauma of new parents, brother, finding out he was a “spare,” moving into another new house. But as time wore on, the itch got itchier, and feelings more than memories surfaced more and more often.

    And even though he never talked to Mari about her – why would he when he knew what a psycho she had been in the past? He did think about DR. And finally, not knowing why, got a plane to SK to that neighborhood, visited DR’s parents’ mandoo shop, and boarded the bus near his old school. He WAS looking for her, and knew it the second he saw her again.

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (SPOILERS) had a similar scene, another reason I loved how they used it in Big. Jim Carrey jumps off one train, and onto another heading to a specific beach for a reason he can’t explain. He meets a strange girl, and they strike up a conversation that leads to them spending a lot of time together, eventually they both decide maybe this is the one. We find out later they were lovers who had met at that beach, but had broken up. Both had a scifi procedure that was supposed to erase the other from their memory, but it didn’t work. They still were attracted to each, and their hearts remembered what their brains could not.

    This was an amazing series for me, with amazing acting all around, and some strange useless events and episodes. Did not make me love it any less. When I rewatch, I pretend those scenes don’t exist.
    I will forever love DR and KKJ. They are a unique OTP in Kdramaland – GY and LMJ’s interaction as these characters fills me with joy and pain when I watch, and I rooted for them every step of the way.
    How about we wait ten years, and see BIG Shin take up the KKJ part again with GDR? I would love to spend time with that pair forever.


    • Consider me a part of that club to Jomo!! I loved it and the only thing that made me sad was that I have to let the OTP go on their journey without me the stalker fan watching. That was the only thing that made me want to bawl:(

      Thank you too Jomo for making this journey with this beautiful couple all the more interesting:)

      • That is exactly how I feel.
        I was on the way home from dropping my daughter off
        (That is what I am doing most of the time)
        when I got all sad and teary because they will fall in love all over again. KKJ would sing to her again, and get mad at her again, and GDR would take care of him when he was sick, and they would make more Pandas, and GO TO CHINA TO SEE THE GREAT WALL!
        and we would miss it.
        I am very jealous of the imaginary people who get to watch them IRL, in fake life. *sniff*

        It’s fun hanging out, isn’t it? Does this mean you need to change your name soon, once you discover your new crack?

      • Jomo – I will be hanging out here a lot more the next time Ms K starts on my new ‘drug’ (donno what that will be yet) and I will use my real name Agnes.

        Ms K – Oh Captain, my captain….where to next?

      • Where to next? Where my heart takes me. Perhaps it’ll be worth the journey, or the destination is the reward.

    • I is Captain of this club? YY? 😀

      *shamelessly pandering for votes* *refuses to run negative ads that allude to people who don’t like Big being haters of pandas sliding down slides and other sundry cuteness*

      ‘Tis not the size of a club that defines it. We are the Dead Poet’s Society of drama lovers. I would get on a table to bellow my love for Big, if anyone but called me O Captain, my Captain.

      “I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.”

      • Yes, Cap’n!
        The rarer a thing, the greater its worth.
        We are valuable, indeed.

        I liked standing on my desk once in a while, too.
        It makes every one else nervous, but I get to see things I never saw before.

      • For sure. “Believe in yourself. Do not abandon your convictions because it is not what others believe.”

        I find Big so pure and true, with a beauty that shines through its clunky outer shell filled with missteps and spinning in circles, because in the end Kyung Joon and Da Ran’s paths converged again and onward to the rest of their lives.

        She stayed true to her promise “I will remember”. He had faith that that he will find her again. She had the courage to tell him “I love you.” His heart will sing because he will finally know why he has felt so empty and lost in that tiny corner of his heart for the past year. He will comprehend that he is home, his home is where Da Ran is. She will smile, because a year apart is not hard at all, not when love is waiting for her as long as she believes.

    • You know I love you dearly, sister Jomo, but you and I, for one rare drama, are on opposite sides about our feelings. My sobs were all about what could-have-been and wasn’t. 🙁

      • I have to guess that they WERE going to go with Shin, but changed their minds because they were worried about the backlash from the Mothers Protecting their Sons from Lust on TV, or whatever that group is called.

        They put CS in glasses, why couldn’t they have put KKJ in jeans with a relaxed jacket, more mature hair, and glasses? (OK, I just want to see Shin in glasses.)
        Maybe they screen tested it, and it still didn’t work.

        I would have liked to see one more stare down between DR and KKJ under the umbrella, to set them off on their new life together.

    • I have to smile when you said we belong to the smallest club in the drama world. And can I say Im so proud to be part of it!
      I actually like and am happy and contented about the ending. It may not be a drama as what most of us expectated, but it turned out beautiful in its own way.

      Not enough credit were given to the Hong Sisters for their crafting of KJ and Daran’s love story which in my opinon was done with lots of thoughts and details that were not seen in most dramas. Under the given situation that had happened, how they tried to cope with what happened, lean on each other and eventually fall in love. All the struggles they were feeling emotionally at every stages of their relationship were mostly very real. I feel for them and every part of the journey that they have walked. Not to mention how sweet and heartbreaking many scenes were. These were what made this drama so special to me.

      I have to admit that I belong to an even smaller club within the small club that Im so happy it was Gong Yoo who came back for Daran as KJ. ha!

    • @ockoala @jomo & @BIGaddict:

      I was on my way to the West coast so I missed the live broadcast of episode 16. Then in the airport, I was checking anxiously the reaction for episode 16, and everyone was bashing over soompi, baidu and DC.
      I was so worried.
      But then several hours later, I watched it last night with subtitles, I felt a great sense of relief because this drama did not fail me from the very beginning to the end. I am so grateful to GY, LMJ,all the cast and crew, and even Hong sisters (which it self is a miracle because I am so indifferent to them prior to Big).

      Like ockaola said much earlier, Big is feeling-driven . In a way, the plot of soul-swapping or the ridiculous fraternal twins are the deceiving gimmicks that give us a dramatic “appearance” but the “soul” of the drama remain steadfastly to be a touching love story between DR and KJ.

      I don’t know if anyone who has ever seen “In the Mood for Love” by Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung. I know Big cannot be compared to Wong Kar-wai’s masterpiece ,but somehow Big reminds me of the ephemeral feeling, the atmosphere and the mood of Wong’s film. It all depends on the acting and the directing to bring out the “mood for love.”

      There is barely any skinship between DR and KJ, but still, these two manage to bring most intimate and most grounded feeling of loving each other completely. When there is barely any skinship, both LMJ and GY have to be deeply immersed in the characters to deliver something pure and transcendent. The plots don’t make sense, but it touches my heart, and that’s what CS is talking about.

      For the sincerity and warmth, for the tenderness and purity, I give Big a perfect 10 despite all the cries and yelling from other viewers. Ockoala, thank you for your recaps and beautiful reflection throughout this drama. You are my beacon. Kudos to this great community <3

      • Love this:
        “…these two manage to bring most intimate and most grounded feeling of loving each other completely.”

        Awww! The whole comment is nicely put.
        Now I HAVE to watch that film you mentioned. It does sound like something I would adore.

  38. “BIG”, for me is a very endearing drama in general, I like the story plot, the actors GY & LMJ that played the lead parts in the story was a major plus (specially Gong Yoo!) He in particular moved me to tears endlessly, i was literally crying with him while feeling & sharing his pain. The only disappointment was…Gee! I was really looking forward with the soul swap! i was dying to see KKJ – body & soul sealing the happiest of ending with Da Ran! Haysh! Im sorry but i want it in black & white, with very efficient fashion stylist everywhere in south korea, they could easily transform and turn KKJ into a fine looking, more matured version, as long as its the real KKJ! 🙁

  39. Excellent post. I completely agree with you on two points:
    1. The story line’s focus were the two protagonists, GDR and KKJ, not the side characters, who only served to beef up the story (and did a great job, though Jang Ma Ri…well, Suzy played her annoying great! lolol ).
    2. The show may be complete, but it did leave a lot of open room for improvement. The Hong Sister’s had a great cast (no magnificent!) and they could have milked them for all their acting skills. The story itself, wow, if left in my hands, trust me, I would have had them confessing to each other from the middle of the story. It felt a little forced this last episode, but it happened, so I can’t complain too much. The ending though, I loved it. Their love brought them back, and I wish they would have thrown in a kiss, but oh well. Good ending for a plot that was definitely a roller coaster ride!

  40. thank you for the recap! i bet you really followed this drama and even watched it over and over again. i think this drama is very unique with all of the metaphors in words, the “slow pace,” and “open-ended.” same with you, ockoala, i really like and love the entire episodes!

  41. Thank you Koala for your recaps during this drama especially for the fans who loved this drama despite the slow pace it was an addictive drama for me.

    This ending is way better than some dramas that showed earlier this year ‘cough’ Fashion King,Dream High 2’cough’ trust me the ending made more sense than those endings for me.

    I am now a fan of Gong Yoo and look forward to seeing future projects from him which I will definitely watch.

    I have also become a fan of the actor portraying Choong Shik he was so lovable and I am looking for other dramas he acted in so I can watch those too.

    It was great reading the comments from fellow Big fans I will miss it but I look forward to new dramas that we will comment about and we have a lot to see in August and September so excited.

  42. The writers did a terrible job with the ending. Yes, you can explain it as you see it, but it is really sloppy and not clear – not clear in a sloppily written way, not some esoterically, philosophical question way.

  43. *sighs* what a disappointment. the live recap actually gave me nightmares. never had a watched a drama and was just completely unsatisfied with the ending. sure sure its about the precious OTP and sure its about Gong Yoo’s acting but demmit, i want a nice closure. i can’t imagine why they have to set aside Yong Jae’s story for the uncle and the principal’s. really? the uncle’s story and the principal is more important than Yong Jae’s?

    and all i wanted was for them to show Shin’s face with Da ran. they had chemistry at EP 1, why did they think it’ll be a disservice to show him with Da ran. WAAAH. i vote for crappiest ending ever. i applaud you for sticking to ur guns koala LOL. good for you.

  44. Y’all need to click on Dramabeans list under BLOGROLL located at the bottom of the web page and read all the negativity there left by the commentators for Big Episode 16.

    Thank you @(*o*)@ for the recapping BIG.

    @(*o*)@ = Koala

    • Lol I’ve read it. I don’t know why. It does suck a bit that I’m part of the super small club that actually adored Big, but whatever. As long as you enjoy the drama, who gives about what others think right?

      I feel like a lot of people pinned their own expectations onto this drama, and when the drama refused to satisfy their expectations and chose to spend most of its time exploring Da-ran and Kyung-joon’s growing relationship, all this negativity came out.

      Even though it doesn’t really matter, I don’t think the rating they gave Big was fair. A lot of the dramas they rated better were way weaker. But meh, their opinion (and mine, I guess).

      Anyways, thank you Koala for recapping! I’m glad I could find some sort of haven on the interwebz where I can mingle with others who actually enjoy Big. It’s always good to find a place to share your love for a drama with 🙂

      • Hi eternal! your name sounds familiar, i think you were an avid follower of K2H too?
        I just wanted to say that for me, i had absolutely no expectations.
        it’s the fact that you built up all these conflicts but never wrapped it up in a decent manner. it just seems sloppy to me.
        it’s more of a cop out — the way this ending was. They bit off more than they could chew that was quite evident. I always leave expectations at the door since a drama can make it or break it for me, despite having a stellar resume like the hong sisters.
        I was fine with them spending time with the OTP, but it was the fact that they decided to just leave everything else and not deal with it. I think majority sees episode 15 as a filler. Why couldn’t they have done more with ep 15? As i wrote earlier, i would have been fine with the last minute of the ending. But what did they do with the 2 episodes before then? Much could have been accomplished while still tying in da ran/ kyung joons sweet love story.
        Just wanted to share my story, coming from the majority. 🙂

      • Hi 🙂 haha I think you’re thinking about a different Eternal cause I’ve only watched 4 episodes of K2H before dropping it. It never nabbed me and something about Ha Ji-wons character bothered me

        Yes I agree that they left many loose ends. And I do agree that the Hong sisters bit off more than they could chew. But I did think that the theme of the drama was clear and that the ending was consistent with this focus. Also I probably am more forgiving because it at least offered a hint of a happy ending for Gil Da-ran and Kang Kyung-joon.

        Episode 15 wasn’t filler to me because it showed that whereas Kyung-joon was “ready” to let go of their love, Da-ran was willing to stand up for it, reflecting her growth as a character. My fingers are starting to hurt from typing on the phone haha.

      • Well. I respect dramabeans but every blog has its own bias and preference. They have the preconception and assumption of what a Hong Sister drama should look like and what counts as a generic rom-com. But the point is, Big is really not a typical Kdrama and even less a romantic comedy. It’s really not for the mainstream audience, but it’s ok. At least this time, for once in a long time, a Kdrama is trying to tell a love story genuinely.
        They surely have authority, but ultimately it all depends on whether the drama really speaks to the individual viewer. They are entitled to their opinion, but I do think if you don’t watch Big carefully without these external voice, you’ll find something moving and loving.

  45. i loved this series but this ending was the worst. i wrote something similar on the dramabeans recap which was to the effect of if you’re gonna go there, go there. don’t get scared at the end to show the real KJ with DR. we’re all grown ups, we can handle seeing LMJ with shin vs. GY. i thought when KJ admitted he switched the umbrellas on purpose they would do a little flash back. but nope. since the first ep they have never shown DR and the real KJ have any interaction again. WHY. it’s just stupid. ep 15 was just filler so they wouldn’t have to deal with writing the aftermath of what happens after the switch. i swear to god every single kdrama i’ve seen lately have been super great until the final ep. why can’t any of the writers get them right????

    and also not even one real kiss in the final ep? come on, i need the fangirl in me squealing and a peck on the cheek isn’t cutting it for me.

    • when i mean interaction i mean they barely show them in the same frame, her looking at the real him, holding his hand while he’s in the coma, little things like that… i know he’s in a coma so it’s not like they can chit chat etc…

  46. Why do so many want to be told every single thing that happened to every single character? I really liked the ending that mimicked closely their first meeting in the bus. Like koala, I took it the fact that they don’t show gong yoo’s face to mean that the real kj has grown up somewhat ( act he is taller than gy as shin is 185 cm) and it’s not that he looks like gy. Why need to be so literal people?

    I wanted them to have that possibility of falling for each other again and I got it in a very sweet way.

  47. This is my first comment on your site, Miss K, but I wanted to take the time to thank you for all your recaps, thoughts, and theories on Big. It has been a lovely adventure and Big is definitely one of my top five favorite dramas (It helped that Gong Yoo was main! I love that man!!) but it was your insightful recaps and explanations that truly helped Big stand out.

    There were all these puzzle pieces that I never would have noticed if it hadn’t been for you. I had not been a fan of Lee Min Jung until this drama and now I will definitely pay more attention to her in the future. In fact, I think this is the first drama in a long time where I could appreciate, love, and respect the ENTIRE cast.

    At first, I really did not like the ending. I thought it was a big disappointment with all the loose ends, unanswered questions, and not knowing what happened to Yoon Jae, why they switched back, HOW they switched back, what Yoon Jae felt for Da Ran, and how they dealt with having to break up because Da Ran had moved on, and so forth. Even reading your recap and your thoughts did not help the disappointment I felt after the wonderful journey I had been through.

    But I just watched it a second time and I came to realize that it is okay! That in fact… the more I think about it… the more I LOVE the ending now. What does it matter as long as Da Ran and Kyung Joon can be together, as long as they find their happiness with each other again? After everything he’s been through, even if he doesn’t remember, doesn’t he at least deserve that much?

    They were such a loving couple – so adorable – that it was impossible not to fall in love with the OTP. I keep replaying all their cute scenes in my head and rewatching them because now I’m being forced to deal with a Big hangover. So depressing!! I read the comments EVERYWHERE and I know that a lot of people hated the ending… I did too! But I don’t anymore. So I may be in the minority now, but I agree with you fully, Miss Koala! Big has been an awesome journey and I adored the ending, flaws and all. GO GIL DA RAN AND KANG KYUNG JOON!!

  48. the fact that i didn’t cry at the ending is becoz it is a happy ending…those teeny boppers who are rooting for SHW are understandably disappointed…id prefer the memory of GY face as KKJ remain….we need BIG 2 as to tell the story on GDR trying to make KKJ fall for her all over again…

  49. Thanks for the recap and sharing your thoughts about this drama. In my own opinion, this is a drama intended for viewing and basically, people watch it because of its feel-good effect. I guess, the writers lost it when they have to interpret it figuratively. People watch because they love want to see, they don’t want to think and interpret what the writers would want to interpret in the story. Ep. 1-13 was good because it shows more of the romantic side of the story which makes you feel good while watching it. Episode 14-16 blew it where it became purely drama and everything just have to be imagined as how you wish it would end.

    Bottomline, if they could make a season 2 for this to make up for the 90% disappointed viewers in the ending and show everything needed to be viewed on season 2. For me, it would still be best to show GDR being married to KKJ with the proper ceremonies and live with the same house as where they were as married couples. But this time they would be living together as both adults and not play around. They would have kids and just like in fairytales, there should be a happily ever after ending. Which I guess, would make everyone happy. But, of course, alongside with the other characters such as Yoonjae, they have to show that everyone lived their own peaceful and happy lives afterall.

  50. I really don’t like the ending. That’s Gong Yoo’s voice for sure. So Very frustrating. The very first drama that keeps me watching til the end to see the “2nd male lead” again but never happened. This is the very first KDrama that I’m not rooting for the OTP to be together. Sooo WEIRD. ):

  51. “Dude, I genuinely feel sorry for you, but damn, you snooze, you lose. If you had bothered to tell her you love her ANY SINGLE DAY before the accident, then you’d have a fiancée today. Seriously? You proposed to her and didn’t even make this woman feel like you genuinely loved her with expressions of affection or words? My sympathy for you only goes so far.”

    I can’t agree with you anymore~~haha~
    I really love this drama and make me have an unforgettable experience!
    I will definitely be looking forward to Gong Yoo’s next drama!
    I completely love this man!!!:)

  52. ockoala,I like it when you mentioned that Kyung Joon merely switched the umbrellas so that Da Ran got the wrong one. So I am going to rewatch episode 1 again to get the feel of their love story again.
    I fell for Shin when I saw him in ‘A Bachelor’s Vegetable Store’ and eventhough he didn’t act much in BIG,I’m still faithful to him. Thank you for the pictures of Shin in here and I like the one where he’s with Gong Yoo at the script reading,they look like brothers.
    Lee Min Jung and Gong Yoo are an amazing pair,I love the chemistry between them.
    Will be following you to check out all the dramas you recommend here.

    • I just read what Jen wrote (240 Films) about BIG. I don’t give a damn,what’s she’s grumbling about there.
      BIG is an entertaining drama,it brings out all sort of emotions within me and I’m glad I’m watching it.

  53. WTF Seriously WTF … Since the end of Bad Boy, no other drama made ​​me think WTF by its end, I’m disappointed I’m sorry but I feel betrayed

  54. i indeed too is part of the minority who loves this drama..

    thanks Ms.koala for the recap..i was indeed confused with the ending of the finale episode but thanks for explaining it further.. 🙂

    i love GDR and KKJ! 🙂 i dont care anymore if KKJ ended in GY’s body or long as him and GDR are inlove and had a happy ending it very okay with me!

    i love GY and LMJ in this drama..i hope to see more dramas in the future where in they are the lead actors and a couple..they had such a good chemistry! kudos to LMJ and GY for portraying their characters effectively! and to the whole cas as well..thank you as well for the Hong Sisters for this drama, as it gave us our YooMin couple! 🙂

    lets all not stress about the ending of episode 16 and the majority of the people who hates this drama..lets all just be happy for GDR and KKJ and relieve their sweet moments and love story..fighting!

  55. i’m still not satisfied and i never will be but reading this made me feel a little bit better.
    but i still have a huge huge question to ask,
    so who/how explains to the switched yoonjae? like since they supposedly switched back and lost all their memories post-accident, and since yoonjae was in the coma, only kyung joon knows what happened during that time, and why yoon jae doesn’t have a fiance any more and why the hell he’s in germany..or all the little things for that matter. and since kyung joon apparently doesn’t remember, how is yoon jae going to know? the parents can’t explain it to yj since they’ll be baffled that their son suddenly doesn’t remember everything that’s happened (like what happened with DR). and they can’t say “oh another memory loss omg…poor bby was shocked that DR left him”. the only people who know what REALLY happened is mari and daran, and mari doesn’t really have the rights or the opportunities to meet yoon jae, not that he’ll believe a little brat, and DR..i don’t know. so many questions. or am i missing some point?
    honestly, this is the only thing i want answered ,despite all the other big looming question marks.
    they can’t give us that kind of ending, implying that they want the viewers to THINK about it and not expect us to think about this part of the story.
    /ps, i’m not sure if this has been asked/answered already…i tried looking through but there was too many. so sorry if it has been.

  56. Gosh, this drama SUCKS. It’s like watching Lie to Me and MSOAN again. I was hoping for a miracle to make it good (even just the last minute) ’cause I love the actors + premise. Thank heavens there’s still Rich Man Poor Woman.

  57. I’m part of a small minority that loves this drama, I guess. Koala put it so eloquently (thank you for your articles!). I really appreciate that the writers challenged every assumption that “Big” was going to turn out to be a typical romcom drama.

    Just a quick add-on about the ending… when Da Ran and Kyung Jae say goodbye, he says “I love you”, and she smiles without saying anything. They tearfully say good-bye and the camera pans out as he walks away from her.

    A year passes and when they meet again under the umbrella, it cuts back and forth between the flashback and the present. The very last scene is in the past…. except this time, Da Ran says “I love you”, and they smile and laugh together. The camera pans out while they are together.

    I LOVE that it is left open to interpretation. It could just be looking at the past, as a way to see what their future could be like (though in a bittersweet way, because the last scene is a happier alternative to what actually happened). Or it could be that in the blurring of time, more years have suddenly passed and Kyung Joon has grown to look like Yoon Jae, and in the passing of years KJ and DR have fallen in love again. My immediate interpretation, though, was that the ‘magic’ that Kyung Jae spoke of before they separated really happened. That when she confessed her love for him, it would open up his heart and they would return back to where they had been before.

    In the end, it didn’t really matter to me what had actually “happened”. Daran, staring at the man in front of her, smiles because she loves Kyung Joon for his very essence and personality and soul. She has overcome age, social boundaries, and even a divorce to be with him, and it doesn’t matter what form he comes to her. She loves him. And it’s as simple as that.

  58. Where does one begin with such a minefield of problems?

    The one really brilliant bit of this drama ?? — Gong Yoo’s acting. That’s it.

    Everything else could have been done better. Re-worked scenes appeared in nearly every episode, no new and interesting locations, music, dialogue or characterizations were introduced much after the first three episodes or so, and one could see clearly from 400 miles away that the bus was going off the cliff in the end and leaving us not only unsatisfied with all the unanswered questions, but the Hong Sisters were actually arrogant enough to skirt a few major medical ethics issues and then just ignore them. EEP! Perhaps they started taking drugs, or stopped their meds, who knows??

    Where was the cute? the clever? the pithy dialogue and zany zingers? Where was the anst? the caring? the love? Not cute. Check. Not clever. Check. Not pithy or zany. Check. No angst. Check. No caring. Check. No love. Check. Perhaps they were just teaching a class: How To Write a Drama that Sucks from A to Zed.

    I can’t even be bothered to list all of the problems, it is such an endless and fruitless task. There’s no answers to the “why” questions we all have, there’s no solutions or explanations good enough to redeem a lackluster drama that solely made it to air-time by the talent attached — Gong Yoo and The Hong Sisters.

    Now one wonders where they will get their next paycheck, those sisters, since this is not just one for the crapper, it’s the black seemingly bottomless pit of crap under the crapper.

  59. i believe this storyline is suitable for a movie….will be a better platform for elaborate closure…no rush and so on…and what i realized is that i never thought the whole thing will fall apart by memory loss effect after the switch..I really didn’t see that coming…that they have to prepare for the main characters to face the lost memories of 2 years…owh..that is so still having the hangover!!!!crap!

  60. Dear Ms. Koala.

    I believe I’m also part of the small minority who actually enjoy this drama the way it is.. up till the end. I have been following your BIG recaps since Episode 1. Since this drama had come to an end, I told myself I have to come in to at least express my thanks you to for this wonderful journey.

    I truly enjoy your writings and fair reasoning which I am able to absorb and learn from it. You made me see things I didn’t see or missed out.. you filled in the empty blocks that I had in my mind.. For things I have doubt with, you made had made it clear. You are the best!


  61. Thank you for all the BIG recaps full of your thoughts and positiveness. I enjoyed the drama and loved Kyung Joon in whoever body he was. I have to admit though that last episodes lost its shine for me… and I was disappointed with the ending. I don’t need to see the closure of the relationship of Mari, nor this sudden change of mother-the-b**ch (though that could be caused by the weak actress). And it wasn’t because we didn’t see the face of the new Kyung Joon. What I minded was that again Da Ran was the one waiting and Kyung Joon coming to her. I thought that this time the initiative should have been on Da Ran’s side. Thus in my fantasy, in the final scene, it is Da Ran switching the umbrellas in the bus, it is Da Ran who chases Kyung Joon for that umbrela and it is Da Ran who grabs his hand. And it is Shin Won Ho who we see 😉

    • But she didn’t notice he was in the bus.. She was busy listening to the radio again. And she did go after him despite him telling her not to overreact

    • Actually, even though Da Ran was the one waiting again, she also wasn’t going to allow Kyung Joon to take the initiative in finding her. If you watch the scene in the very end where Da Ran is on the bus, you’ll hear the radio broadcasting another one of her stories (much like the first episode). I am recalling from memory, but it said something like:

      “Today is the birthday of the person I love. To everyone else who has been born on June 24th, congratulations and be happy. Next month, to the person who is far away, I will be visiting him for the comeback greeting I haven’t been able to give him for a long time. He won’t remember when I meet him, but I will tell him everything I remember.”

      This is obviously Da Ran’s story since they are re-enacting the scene from episode one where she was listening to the radio broadcasting her love story with Yoon Jae. She’s just more mature now, silently listening with a smile on her face, instead of squealing and attracting the attention of everyone on the bus. She also says Happy Birthday, Kyung Joon while listening. The broadcast mentioned that “he” will not remember her, but she will tell him everything that she remembers which was clearly the promise they made each other before Kyung Joon switched back.

      This to me, is saying that she was going to take the initiative. She gave enough time to let things get sorted out, for Kyung Joon to accept his new family and perhaps grow closer to his older brother, for her to tell Yoon Jae what happened and to close that chapter of her life, and for Kyung Joon to grow and mature a little more. She was going to stop waiting and find him… it’s just that Kyung Joon, with his piqued curiosity of Da Ran from before he lost his memories, was impatient and managed to find her first.

      It is actually a very touching love story and at first, I didn’t like the ending… I hated the ending, but now… I love it more and more and it really brought a smile to my face every time I think about it. Da Ran and Kyung Joon both have grown so much, physically, mentally, AND emotionally. =)

      • I watched the episode without subtitles (with the great help of this recap), thus I’m sure I missed many details. But my comment about the ending was meant as a general one and not as a change of some details. I’m sure (and glad) that Da Ran grew up and took initiative into her hands. And it is great that she planned to find Kyung Joon… I just wanted to SEE it. That’s it. And I also wanted to see Shin Won Ho 😀

        BTW Who knows, maybe Kyung Joon did remember everything :-))

  62. thanks for the recap and insights, Koala.

    I have enjoyed this drama alot and it has been a pleasure reading your recaps. Many parts of the drama is good. I even enjoyed the last two episodes, except for the Mari kidnapping scene.

    While I wish they have done more with the brothers waking up and bonding and have some closure with yong jae, I am contended with the implication that DR and KJJ will fall in love again and overcome the odds against them.

  63. thank you so much “ockoala” for making the last recap..!! was little bit confusing at the beginning, now I really understand why the director made the ending so unpredictable .. BIG is not an “ordinary” romance like the others which you can easy to guess the ending..
    Love BIG..!!!

  64. Thanks so much for the recap of the last episode. It’s a happy ending, but the way it was portrayed was frustrating. I, like so many viewers, felt disappointed in the ending, but I did enjoy the drama as a whole. It’s a shame that they’ve decided to play it safe. Would it be too scandalous to show Lee Ming Jung and Shin Won Ho at the end (because of the age gap of 10 years or so between them)? I suppose fans cannot accept the idea of a younger guy with a woman who’s something like a decade older.

    We should have seen Shin Won Ho at the end, instead of the safer option the producers here have decided on: showing KKJ appearing in a body resembling Seo Yoon Jae. If they wanted Gong Yoo to appear at the end that’s ok, but we should have seen a brief flash showing that it’s actually Shin Won Ho (i.e. it’s simply that Gil Da Rang sees a mature version of KKJ). I’m still a bit confused haha, but the recap has helped a lot. Thanks.

  65. you know what this ending showed? that we the audience cannot handle Da Ran being in love with a 21 year old boy so they refused to show it. whyyy not give us the satisfaction of seeing him with the real Kyung Joon!??? wehhh???? wehhhhhh???????

    gaaah this show just gave me nightmares. (especially after i read the live recaps). so friggin frustrating. **pulls Show’s hair** (still not satisfieD!!!)

  66. Thank goodness, ive found your recap – ockoala.

    Actually i’m still mending my broken heart for BIG’s finale. I have several why’s in my head wishing that korean dramagods would help me. Reading dramabeans recap on its finale has indeed, cracked me up!

    Through you, I’m glad i read a positive interpretation of Big’s ending in your behalf.

    Now, i just need to wait for its actual broadcast in my country…and hope by then – i have healed and might give this drama another fresh start.

    • Yup!!Couldnt agree more^^
      Ur insight make this drama more meaningful n easier for someone as simple minded as me to better understand the whole essence of this great love story.
      Thanks miss koala:-D

    • Hi Ms Koala.. I have been a silent reader towarda your blog until now… First is because i think you already have too many admires and commenter to begin with..
      Now, i think that there has been a better timing that since last year, i have been stalking your blog everyday…
      I gotta admit that your blog is one of the best drama blogger and always “current”..
      The reason that i am writing my first comment is because of the final big episode recap.. Yes, i am one of the late fans who just finished the series in one day straight… To be honest, i was doubtful of this drama because of the bad reviews from most of the viewera..
      But, after finished watching it myself and after reading your recap, i think the ending is really beautiful…
      Ms. Koala, you truly have a talent to look at a drama from complete windows… Only true professional recappers can write what you wrote at the above…
      Thank u for recapping this particular drama…
      And for other readers who are dissapointed on “why we never see KKJ in his real face”, i might have an answer..
      Remember when the evil mother said that they were originally twins but it is just she chose to have SJ first?
      The reason that they didnt show his 21 years old face because it might exactly look like SJ now..
      However, if the Hong sisters decide to still put the same actor (original SJ) to show up, it will even make us to feel more confused…
      This is just my little opinion… 🙂

      Thanks again Ms. Koala… Your recap and the final ending of this drama truly makes me to think over about “what love really is?”…

  67. reading comments from dramabeans for this episodes makes me sick as it is full of negative comments on the finale episode..hahaha..that is because im part of the minority who likes the finale episode.. 🙂

    this episode made me cry, particularly the part when GDR and KKJ said their was so heartbreaking! 🙁

    and yes, i have watched the ending part of this finale several times just to understand how it as per my understanding, KKJ and SYJ did indeed switched back..for me they didnt show KKJ face to show (though we all are sure that it is GY) that he is now matured and grown in both in body and mind since his 21..using SWH body will not show it, as of course he still looks so young and does not have a body like GY..i can feel that it is indeed KKJ since the smile on GDR’s face shows how really happy she is..

    i think the reason why when in the last part GDR rushed to him when KKJ took her umbrella and she was all in smile because that is the start of her letting him remind her of their memories and holding on to him and never let him go..GDR just did what KKJ told her before they parted ways a year back, that is to be sincere to him, hold on to him and endure him even if he pushes her away and make him remember all the memories they had..

    remember KKJ told GDR before they parted ways that if she tells him everything they will go back to that time and will be indeed be a miracle, which i assume did really happen since they did go back in time..the scene where in they went back to the time past where in GDR told KKJ iloveyou proves it..for me this, means that GDR made KKJ remember everything and that they indeed live happily ever after all..which made me happy! 🙂 that is why for me i loved the ending especially this drama! i love KKJ and GDR and LMJ and GY! 🙂

  68. hahaha strangely I came to love this episode too. It’s just something about the story appearing on screen that made it beautiful, despite the aggravating lack of narrative logic in many places. what triumphs in Big isn’t a logical story (narratively), but emotions… LOTS AND LOTS OF IT– through the directing, through the actors, and then honestly, besides the core of the storyline, what of the heart it intended to discuss– not much else in the writing haha a BIG heart this drama has (sorry for the pun) and for that I love it.

    we’d sigh over what it could have been, but we’ll love it for what the actors and directors salvaged from messy writing… and so I’m surprised… messy writing CAN be salvaged by good actors and directing… as long as it has a big-hearted premise

    … Ok, I’ll give the Hong’s some credit… at least they didn’t give wacky endings like in MGIGMH or My Girl or watnot haha… this one was tasteful, if you could appreciate it

    KJ’s constant giving and D’s strength towards the end of the story will be tucked in a special place in my heart… so KJ still has a place up there as best male leads with Boong Do hehehe

  69. I feel cheated, they took the easy way out, sigh. It’s like I asked for food and was given cotton candy.

    I can’t believe the swap that everyone (well me) took place off-screen! I wanted to see the fall-out and see KKJ and DR find their way back together.
    So I really hate the time-jump which I also hated in Best Love. It would have been more memorable that way!

    I would have loved to see YJ and KKJ get aquianted with each other. I would have loved to see his family make amends to him. I would have loved to see Daran pursue KKJ and get him to remember her. I know he remembered her a little by wearing the watch but I would have loved to see the recognition come to his eyes, like a lightbulb lighting up. Or a feeling of deja vu. Or (if they hadn’t mentioned he was attracted to her pre-swap) she would have recreated the dates they had to remind him. Convince him the little things she knows about him like doesn’t like mushrooms. I wanted to see him learn to walk and talk again with her help since he has been in a coma for years.

    I always thought YJ was a silent character in KKJ and DR’s relationship. I wanted to see his character have resolution. I wanted to have a scene where DR explains everything that happened (too cruel and impersonal to do this in a letter, he deserves a face-to-face!). I would have loved YJ to tell her if he really loved her or he was having second thoughts. I also wanted to know what he was going to tell her that day at the park before the accident. I wanted to see YJ come to terms with KKJ and DR’s relationship and give them his blessings.

    I feel like the Hong Sisters took easy outs where they shouldn’t but surprisingly did the hard way something they should have gone using the easy way. At the end of ep 15, when Daran gave her confession, she should have explained exactly why she felt that way. She should have laid everything on the table. How KKJ’s soul was in YJ that is why he started behaving differently than before. Why the Hong Sisters are content in letting everyone think she is crazy, I will never understand! This could have been great fodder for the rest of episode 16.

    Last but not least, I really wanted a recreation of the Shin Daran scene from episode 1 showing Shin’s face and not GY’s. (I still think they took an easy-out. Sorry am not buying the sudden 1-yr growth spurt as Shin has looked the same for the past few years and he was in a coma.) What they should have done is show Shin’s face 1s then the next GY’s, interchanging. Or they could have shown DR and Shin reenacting a scene she did with only GY (not umbrella scene)and showing them side-by side. To show tthat she still loves the soul irrespective of the shell.

    Question if KJ never lost his memories when in the 1st swap, why would he loose them now?

    I am just itching to rewrite this drama! I’m sad that what started as an ambitious project just whittled away to fluff. Le Sigh.

    • Same feeling there
      I like the see the details of how they get back together n carry on probably to a wedding n stuff
      Details like how the address their emotions(it’s so detailed emotions)
      But looking at the rating they received in Korea for the amount of viewers watching the show
      It’s probably the reason y it turn from 20 to 16 episode

  70. I try really hard to feel better about this drama and your recap is one of a kind!

    I love this drama, but the ending is not satisfying enough. I really hope HS wake YJ up before the last minute ending and the BIG event was never showed <- disappointment no. 1

    I know the story focused on KJ-DR love story -and I looovveee the couple, but its unfair to get rid of YJ until the very end. He was there for God sake. He has story to be told and the mean HS just never give him a chance to tell. Whats the point of the cute encounter, engagement and the planned wedding?
    I don't want to assume what happen, I want a nice settlement of that relationship given to the story. You owe that Hong Sister!

  71. You recapped the episode nicely and my feelings about the drama are the same as yours. I loved it, “flaws” and all.

  72. U r definitely right
    Mari told her they swap back
    N when GDR alight the bus n kkj caught up
    N GDR first response was (hi kkj) in Korean
    So if the body is GY then she won’t say that instantly

    As for the use of GY body
    Is like being said
    Its a perspective of GDR that kkj is of that form(thru out most of the episode)
    But they blur out the face so that u will have to think hard
    Or rather fill in the face u will like to have

    Haha but nice job on ur breakdown
    Very detail n accurate

    • and I have to add that the little boy said that just before Daran a HYUNG came to see the house if KKJ were to be in SYJ’s body the little boy would have said an ajhussi.

  73. Well as for lost memory
    U can choose to believe that kkj din lose memory
    Cos Mari also make lie
    It could b her lie

    Well u can choose to fantasize any ending u want cos there are too many things not told clearly
    Well that might be one of the script writer plot
    Cos miracle is of any possibility even if it is logically impossible(e.g. Soul swapping)

    Fantasize any happy ending u want n feel good abt it
    That’s Ur miracle in BIG

  74. I got my lost memory ending, which I actually thought was beautiful, but Gong Yoo playing grown up Shin was pretty awkward for me because I don’t think they look anything alike. I thought that the ending was pretty slow for a drama that started out so fast paced and it did leave a lot questions unanswered, but at least Yoon Jae did not have to die and the main couple, Ma Ri and Choong Shik, and the two teachers all got together so although I don’t think it was a fantastic ending, at least it was a happy ending.

  75. I love Big but the ending didn’t do enough justice to the front eps.
    Why did Kyung Joon only return to look for Da Ran after a year? Shouldnt he feel something speciel and return earlier? Maybe the timeframe doesn’t really matter but it really does need to take alot of love for the show to swallow down this ending.

  76. Disappointed and indifferent to this drama except for the brilliant acting of GY. How is it possible to blame an actor for changing the course and perception of the drama and overshadowing the plot, other actors, implied morals, etc? Ridiculous.

  77. people are asking what happened to yoon jae. if yoon jae really loved da ran he would have come back for her immediately after his recovery. but he didn’t. this considering that he had not lost all his memories since he was in coma. now if yoon jae did lose all his memories they were still not fated to each other. he never came back. it was kkj who returned.

  78. if they showed shin won at the end, some people might not like it because they do not see a connection with da ran. because all through out the series, all the good stuff shown of gil da ran and kkj were in goo yong’s body or yoon jae!

  79. Can I just say Thank you!!!!!!!! 🙂
    This is pretty much what I was thinking. I thought it was a pretty good ending. I’m not sure why people are so confused. It’s pretty obvious that it’s KKJ. He was wearing the watch, the green umbrella, and he said uh-oh. Those were the biggest hints.

    I really liked this drama. It was definitely something different. I don’t think the Hong Sisters were really focusing on what the fans wanted but they focused on what they wanted. They did a pretty good job!!!! 🙂

  80. the main substance of the story is focused on KKJ (on yoon jae’s body) and gil da ran. yoon jae’s part of the story was only second to KKJ and gil da ran’s romance. yoon jae’s story with gil da ran was only a prologue.

  81. Thanks for your recap. Reading it is like finding rest after a looooong, tiring journey. I think Big will eventually be like Playful Kiss….not so stellar rating, lots of bashing, but it will have its own cult following. Sometimes, you just have to sit, watch and be entertained. Set aside analyzing every scene, character or dialogue. Although, I wish it was a straight up Lee Min Jung and Gong Yoo pairing, rather than characterwise Da Ran and Kyung Joon pairing.

    Oh, well….does anyone know the title of that crazy music they play before something funny/outrageous happens? anyone?

  82. I forgot to say, thanks Ms Koala for you’re wonderful recaps and your work on your thoughtful insights. I still don’t like the ending. It didn’t make any sense to say they switched back, and not show KKJ back in his real body. It would have at least made more sense to say they didn’t switch, and have the ending that they did. There were too many unanswered storylines, and it was just sloppy. But I’m glad some people enjoyed it. Thank you!

  83. You are way too good at recapping. Thanks so much for posting so quickly after episodes air and for providing your insight.

    This is the first Korean drama I have ever watched. (No, I am not twelve)

    I don’t watch very many dramas and I usually jump on bandwagons some time after the drama is over. This is simply because I do not have the patience to wait for new episodes. Instead, I try to find episode recaps for a few episodes first and if i get hooked I start watching it. I stumbled upon your site a while back when I was looking for episode recaps for Startling Each Step and really enjoyed your recaps so I check back once a week or so to see what you recommend. You started recapping Big but I didn’t read those articles because I was bias towards K dramas. I have never watched a K drama before and i think it was because I was under the impression that a lot of them were too similar (I don’t even remember where I got this idea from). I finally decided to read a prediction article just to see what the hype was about. I was instantly hooked!

    Big’s ending wasn’t conclusive and I am the kind of person who doesn’t like open endings. I am so thankful for you and the commenters here for bridging the gap for me. Because of the language gap for some viewers like myself, we might have missed out on some details when we were busy reading subtitles had it not been for you. Reading your recap after watching the episode really enhanced the experience. I don’t think the ending for Big was that bad and the more I think about it, I don’t think I would have been happy regardless of who played KKJ in the end. I grew attached to Gong Yoo but using him outright would have been too much of a cop out. Big is right up there in my top five favourite dramas.

  84. what i’ve done was to watch ep1 again….and it’s truly given me the satisfaction of putting the ending pieces together…all into its places. thank goodness the ending didn’t go according to what netizens been speculating…but…i guess the retelling of the ending could have been done in a bit better way just to shush some.

  85. those who claimed ‘confused’ are just quite in denial…..this drama requires some of your great minds to work out the hidden ‘messages’ within the script and body language in between scenes. SHW was never a main cast….i am thankful that i see KKJ in GY’s form as i bid farewell to them..

  86. i wish Hong sister would come up with Special Edition via youtube like “playful kiss” for BIG.

    With this, perhaps all BIG fans would be satisfy and able to know what happen to YJ, MA RI and why KKJ suddenly grow up just like YJ in a year 🙂

    anyway , the miracle to me was when i see Gong Yoo smile.. he’s an angel.

  87. First of all thank you for you miss Koala for your very supportive comment in BIG…(i start stopped reading other recap because of their negative comment)..for me BIG is one of Kdrama that keep me stay until the end..some drama getting lost of my attention in the middle so I need times to finish it..
    With this drama finished, I understand how far the character goes..with mature KJ and independent DR..which I say LMJ is soo good although many people said that her acting is bad..luv luv GY-LMJ…
    I really satisfied with ending….I realized it will be fast ending when the time in my computer show almost 3/4 of the episode but they still not switch back…
    Some people argue that it will be better if many thing get solved properly..but I think Hong sister already put that things in previous scene, although maybe implicitely..such as asking forgiveness from YJ, the hard path that they will overcome, the sadness of YJ of losing DR (we can see Shin crying in this episode with YJ soul), rejection from parents….so in my opinion if they make those scene after the should involve SWH or another actor who is older..but as someone said before..maybe it will be awkward if we literally watch LMJ with SWH in love…while in this long journey KJ is in Gong Yoo think this way is the best( the crew, HS, director and the actors must have discussed about this many times too for the best thing)
    I love big with many of its flaws..hehehe..did anybody recognize that in the last scene the KJ watch should have late time compare the other..because DR watch and the radio already said 10.10 few minutes before his watch..hehehe
    For know how many people watch his group Cross Gene despite of their silly dance (sorry just in my opinion..becoz I am fans of Kpop too..and find their dance is so nooo..) including me…(I am listening their song in my laptop while writing this comment..hahaha) SWH get his popularity too..and while he was sleeping, he still can go promote his boyband album..hehehe
    I am looking forward his new project, becoz i think his acting is promising..(imagine..I am Ji Chang Wook fans..but I watch Bachelor Veggie just for SWH part..sigh..)
    I think I will re-watch Big again and again…Gomawo BIG….

  88. as it’s happy ending i didn’t cry but i did cry coz of the Kkj in SYJ that i enjoyed watching is gone after the switch..and thinking of how sad he was prior leaving Da Ran with the umbrella..i’ve been in similar situation where we have to part because that’s the only option..and it’s painful!you have to be really strong to survive the hole left for you to fill up…that’s why i can be quite connected to the emotions project in this drama…

  89. personally I love the way you recap and ur honest view about this drama.. Thats why I prefer to read ReCAP from you and not from Dramabeans a.k.a JV or girlfucsday… They are so immature and bash this drama.. I dont understand why.. U are a better person.. i love how u talk bout this drama. Love u !! hahaha! hope u will review another drama and cant wait to watch To The Beautiful You with MsKoaLA!! looking forward for that..

    • Seriously! Did you just come here to bash other recappers? They spend hours recapping you should appreciate their effort and not bash and degrade them?
      Not everyone has to agree with what you think or your opinion.

    • Did I just read DB bosses are immature? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
      No. They are biased, like we all are at one point. But they are the first to acknowledge a quality in a drama, even if there is just one.
      This drama is bashed almost everywhere for your information. I guess you must be a young fan of Ms Koala: You’re not helping her much there. 🙂

    • Hi BigLover

      I’m glad you like the drama and want to talk about it, but I greatly appreciate if you refrain from denigrating other bloggers. I respect JB and GF, the two ladies have raised the bar for K-dramas the world over and I love them regardless of whether my views on any drama coincide or differ from theirs. You can share opinions, but I like to keep the tone of comments positive if possible. I appreciate your positive thoughts about my writing!

  90. Koala,

    Thanks for another recap and your wonderful thoughts.

    I didn’t like how the Hong Sisters delivered the story, many things were kept unanswered and that was disappointing because some side stories became consideraly important and demanded closure.For example, I wanted to see some brother interaction, since YJ survided, and some family time between KJ and his parents. The funny thing is that some shallow stories like the two teachers and Mari’s relationship with DR’s brother had an ending, but why other more important characters hadn’t?

    But one thing I have to agree with you – the umbrella scene was so B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L, it was the visual link between the past and the present, very cinematographic. I LOVED THAT!!! And I loved the fact that KJ said that he did it on purpose, he deliberately took her umbrella. That was so adorable. That scene made reminded me of an episode of jdrama called “marriage simulator”, it had a scene with an umbrella too and the guy said to the girl that he didn’t forget his umbrella on the day he met her, he just used that as an excuse to meet her and that he was sorry that it wasn’t fate encounter as she thought.

    I like this idea that love isn’t fate, but choices we make. I think BIG tried to tell this message through KJ and DR’s love story.

  91. I am a big fan of sisters hong’ve watched all these dramas and watch them just because they were written, but in Best Love despite having enjoyed the drama especially the actors and their characters, for me it was missing something, I do not know explain exactly what it was, despite phenomenal highlight several scenes the plot of the drama is not arrested me for nothing, so I was not so excited to see the drama as his previous. Big And unfortunately the same thing happened I started to see the drama so excited with each release accompanied by reading the recaps in several different places and indicating to everyone I know, but over the episodes I thought it was all gone and despite the often repeated scenes cute in episodes compensate, I lost all the magic I felt the drama that butterflies in my stomach every scene. And then the final disappointment was only increased to understand all points of view put by you, but they only made ​​me accept the end, but not like it. The drama is not bad far from it, but it’s not what I expect the Hong sisters.
    Now hoping that next year they bring a Guminho that exceeds that for me so far is the best one.

    The: Thank you for the recap read them makes me feel inspired even when they do not totally agree with what does not happen very often! ^ – ^

  92. I’m nicely surprised to have someone share the exact same point of view on this drama with me. I really enjoyed your recap…and I’m glad I’m not the only one who understood this ending this way^^

  93. The loose threads will always bug me, because it’s like wasted time in the drama. For example, why doesn’t GDR’s mother remember that one Uncle who kept spying on her (and vice versa for the Principle spying on GDR’s father)? They never explained that mystery.

  94. Koala,

    Thanks you a lot for your recap. I share the similar opinion of the ending as you. I was pretty satisfied with the last part and I liked how it was solved. Frankly it took me some time to accept this drama and main characters but during the last episodes I quite enjoyed this show.

    (And my heart truly jumped up with joy when Da Ran declared her love for KKJ plainly in front of everybody.)

    Both leading actors did a great job. Will never have enough of Gong Yoo.

  95. Great recap! I really enjoyed this series as well and I interpreted the ending almost the same way. But though I do agree that it wasn’t an “unhappy” ending, I have to disagree that it wasn’t bittersweet. It was in my mind, anyway. I’m not upset (anymore 😉 ) that they didn’t show Kang Kyung Joon’s face. I’ve come to accept it and, ok, can see reasons why they didn’t show him. But what I am still saddened by is that it appears Kang Kyung Joon did in fact lose all his memories of Gil Da Ren and the time they spent together falling in love. I was holding on to a tiny bit of hope that he might suddenly remember after all. Yes, it would be a bit of a fairytale ending but I wanted the fairytale ending for them.

    I know he has the watch, and that he came to find her, and the scene with the umbrella indicates that he still has her in his heart (even if he doesn’t yet know why) and that he will eventually come to love her just as much again. But somehow, his memory loss makes me feel like it taints their long, emotional journey. The WAY in which they fell in love for the first time was, to me, what was so special and beautiful a discovery to both of them. The WAY they grew closer was unique to them at that time. And even moreso because it occurred naturally when they were thrown together in such a situation. The bickering, the tears, the nagging, the anger, the laughs, the moments – they all added up and blossomed over time. But as it stands at the end of the series, with only Gil Da Ren remembering their past, doesn’t sit well with me. It just… won’t be the same. Even when Kyung Joon does fall in love again, it won’t be the same. The way I see it, the same heart-wrenching emotions won’t have a need to surface now because she already knows she loves him. Falling in love is full of ups and downs but only Gil Da Ren knows the extent of that now. Neither of them will ever need to feel real jealousy or fear the possibility of losing the one they love forever. Though it won’t matter as much to Gil Da Ren seeing as she’s already been through it, I don’t like that Kyung Joon won’t be experiencing that angst or those ups and downs. She won’t LET it happen because she has already discovered that he is the one she truly loves. Therefore, she wouldn’t LET him go – whereas before when they were both unsure about each other and their growing feelings, it was a path of discovery they were both walking together. Now it’s like she’s already at the end of the path and he has to run to catch up – but this time without any of the circumstances or issues that they had to overcome in the first place. And further, I hate the idea that Kyung Joon will never know the way Gil Da Ren stood up and declared her love for him in front of the families. Or the elation he felt when he found out she called him her boyfriend. Or the way he felt when they first kissed etc, etc. I’m probably being silly because I suppose at the end of the day, love is love. But I find it depressing that there was a time, feelings he felt and things they went through on the way to his realization that he loved her that she remembers and he does not.

    Thinking about it, I would have actually preferred that they BOTH lost their memory of their time together and THEN reunited at the end, suggesting that they always come back to one another (even without knowing it) and will walk down that same path that had already been tread once before. It would still be sad but at least this way they would be doing it all again TOGETHER and at the same time. But alas, that did not happen.

    The series was still quite good but the ending casts a shadow on it that I wish didn’t have to be there.

    Anyway, I’ve rambled enough for one post. Thanks again for your recap! I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

  96. Thanks for this blog, Koala! I’ve used it many times for clarification or to catch up. I’ve never been more thankful for it until Big. I liked the first episode but was left wondering if I wanted to continue on after the second. I decided to read your thoughts and recap of episode 3 instead of actually watching it. Your enthusiasm was what made me give it another chance and since then Big has become one of my favorites.

    I couldn’t agree more with your final thoughts. I’ve read so many complaints on different sites about the ending. A lot of people were confused, they wanted to know what happened to Yoon Jae, or they wanted something happier. It didn’t confuse me so I can’t relate to that. They should read your recaps! Like you basically said, Yoon Jae didn’t really matter after a certain point, but his possible future was foreshadowed into the drama nicely. Finally, the wanting of happiness. We as viewers knew Kyung Joon would lose his memories. We also knew Da Ran vowed to keep at him once he came to her in his “new” state. Their reunification was happiness enough for me. We didn’t see their ending, we saw the beginning to the second part of their story.

  97. Best explanation of the ending that I’ve seen to date. Dramabeans really has a poor explanation and as someone else said a lot of negativity. Other sites really also didn’t seem to “get it.” Glad someone did and was able to help others enjoy it as well.

  98. For me I felt it was overly drawn out, and the heroine was a little too naive for her age, I know it is common for kdrama heroines but its annoying. My biggest issue and for many people was the copping out and not showing Shin with her at the end. It was very cowardly.

  99. Thanks for sharing your wonderful insights about the ending. I love this Korean drama. I’ve finished watching it lately. Though I am very much disappointed at first because I just want to see the face of the young actor. :/ But it all made sense. I don’t care about the questions left unanswered, in love, in maturity, in life – it’s like that. Maybe, I just really want to be satisfied with the idea that the two lovers really ended together. But, just like the theme of the drama: MIRACLES, we just have to believe- have faith even if it doesn’t make sense or we can’t see it with our eyes. Thanks, your thoughts ease my heart actually. 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.