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.