Missing You Reveals the Big Separation Event for the OTP

It’s no secret that I was underwhelmed by the first two episodes of Missing You, a melodrama fairly dripping with an excess of pathos and bathed in the ardent sheen of young love. After mentioning how Yeo Jin Gu was surprisingly bland in episode 1, he stepped up his game in episode 2 and together with his co-star Kim So Hyun, in episode 3 the two of them are singlehandedly the best part of an otherwise soggy storyline mired in inheritance battles and poverty-stricken injustices. I could watch Jung Woo and Soo Yeon be cute together all day long, their moments of happiness so brief and fleeting that it appears to belong to another drama entirely. While I joked with friends that Kim So Hyun must’ve been cast because Kim Yoo Jung was already doing a heavy duty stint as the child lead in May Queen, I’ve come to truly appreciate how much Kim So Hyun took this character and ran with it. Lee Soo Yeon is saddled with one of the most horrific and miserable backstories I’ve ever seen in a K-drama, but Kim So Hyun makes her feel a broken-winged song bird still daring to fly. Everyone has been wondering what huge thing happened to keep Soo Yeon and Jung Woo apart for 14 years, and episode 3 revealed the giant hammer of doom. Its just unspeakably terrible. The ratings for this episode barely blipped up and I wonder if even the adults coming in can save this drama from being mired in so much pain that the viewers just don’t want to spend time with it anymore? Anyhoo, giant spoilers of pain after the jump!

In episode 3, Jung Woo gets kidnapped on his way to meet with Soo Yeon, and she happens to witness it and also gets kidnapped along with him to keep her quiet. One of the kidnappers is a drug-user and when the other kidnapper steps away, he beats up Soo Yeon before raping her. All in front of Jung Woo, who cannot do anything because he is tied up and gagged. It’s too late when the other kidnapper returns and tries to stop him. Despite the drama electing not to show the rape, it did happen. The Korean newspapers are writing about how truly awful it was to see the rape and brutality towards a teenage girl onscreen. All the viewers hear is Soo Yeon screaming and Jung Woo crying and crying and crying, and then we see Soo Yeon’s bloodied face and her clothes in disarray.

When the other kidnapper comes back, Jung Woo happens to break the ties on his hands and he stumbles up. He sees Soo Yeon laying there and their eyes meet. She is completely catatonic. Jung Woo looks up and sees the door is open. He looks between Soo Yeon and the door….and then he chooses to run away. There is nothing he could have done for her had he stayed, running away to get help would be his only rational choice, but Soo Yeon lays there and tears fall from her eyes. As Jung Woo is running it starts to snow and he remembers his vow with Soo Yeon that they are to watch the first snow together this Winter. He looks back towards where she is being held and cries.

The kidnappers leave Soo Yeon laying there to go after the escaped Jung Woo. She lays there and watches the snow falling outside the door. Jung Woo’s dad arrives in time with his minions to save Jung Woo, who asks him to go back and save Soo Yeon but the evil bastard doesn’t care. Soo Yeon stumbles out of the place where she was being kept. Hyun Joon and his mom’s nurse are driving there and hit Soo Yeon with their car. Jung Woo’s dad sends him minions to burn down the place where the kidnapper kept the two kids. Jung Woo is dragged home and when he wakes up he screams for Soo Yeon, but it’s too late, she’s gone missing.

So….uhm….saying that was intense would be an understatement. Watching it onscreen is much worse than hearing me recap it. I’m not squeamish about rape as a plot element, nor is the fact that the victim is a teenage girl make it any more wrong. It’s utterly monstrous watching the entire scene unfold, Soo Yeon trying to protect herself and getting violated, Jung Woo watching in helpless agony. Narratively I felt this was exploitative on the part of the writer to create the schism between the OTP, but its not wholly unbelievable something like this could happen in such a convoluted situation. Both Yeo Jin Gu and Kim So Hyun were magnificent in those scenes, neither over-acted and truly conveyed the pain and agony of suffering through such a traumatic event. Kim So Hyun tweeted this morning saying “Watched Missing You today and my heart hurt……I did not act out that scene directly but I presented that difficult emotion with the hopes that something like this will never happen again in this world.” This girl is truly a talent and I applaud her for delivering a performance worthy of a standing ovation. Same with Yeo Jin Gu, whose performance in episode 3 made his The Moon Embraces the Sun performance in episodes 5-6 (when Hwon loses Yeon Woo) pale in comparison.

As for how the story will continue, I pretty much loathe every character not named Jung Woo, Soo Yeon, and Hyun Joon, and I think Jung Woo won’t see Soo Yeon ever again until the adults section. Obviously she’s not going to die, so my guess is that the nurse takes Soo Yeon and Hyun Joon and they hi-tail it out of Korea and head to the States as the character descriptions indicate Hyun Joon and Soo Yeon have English names. Obviously Soo Yeon is leaving behind an emotionally deadweight Mom and some horrific memories if she returned to her old life, so starting new would make sense for her. This is probably how she and Hyun Joon start dating eventually. Which begs the question – she will then have a much stronger history with Hyun Joon if they grew up together whereas her history with Jung Woo consisted only of the short time they knew each other which ended the worst possible way I can imagine. I’ll keep watching to see how the adults section moves past all the tragic woe of the backstory and perhaps do something meaningful in dealing with grief and forgiveness and healing scars, but oh my was this episode draining to watch.

Watch Missing You here.


Missing You Reveals the Big Separation Event for the OTP — 45 Comments

  1. I might be in the minority here but I was glad theat the writer went there…. Because it was an event where I could believe that LSY could leave everyone she cared for behind for 14 years… Not just because she might be angry and hurt by HJW but probably more because she’s ashamed of having that happen to her and HJW was there to witness it.
    And wow, both kid actors can act… I am really loving Kim So Hyun here. And the cinematography and editing still blows me away…
    Anywayzzz, can’t wait for the next episode…!

    • One positive comment here & somehow the low rating gives me some reverse interest that would motivate me to start watching 😉

      In contrast to most followers here who were in love with Eun-Ma OTP in Nice Guy, you won’t believe me that reading Ms Koala’s recap fulfilled my satisfaction & I only watched the last Ep.20!! Happy ending ! What a relief!

      So, wait for me YEH. I will be watching you & Ms Koala, do the recap please… If you can 🙂


    • No, you are to the only one I’m also glad this scene was done, it really not about the sexually assault, but how the Director chose to show us the pain, humiliation, fear, angry and hate that took place in span of 15 to 30 minute that will have to carry the drama into the adult characters and it was done wonderfully. Having Yeo Jin Gu expression be the blueprint of SY assault is like a fossil left in my memory. As the drama proceed I can tap into why there is so much pain and hurt because without able to fully understand the reason for the separation and why the reunion will be so painfully it would have been a wrap for my by episode 5.

      I seen few movies/shows that had to tackle a painful history for you can understand the present and wonder about the future, movies/shows like “ROOTS”, BURNING BED, “THE COLOR PURPLE, BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT and “DUMMY (American) these are shows/movies that come to mind when you nee a Director that understand why the small cuts hurt the most. It’s that upset feeling you have s even after you taking a
      (SH_ _ T). I’m expecting to feel that way every time SY and JW interact with each other. I’m looking foreword to seeing how the screen writer has written SY character. I have my doubt that they can even pull it off or even capable to of making “SY” into the person I would like to see, I can only hope she grown into a woman that now able to laugh, smile and have fun. I don’t think I can continue to watch a drama where characters living but not alive… I have the “The walking Dead” on Sunday for that!

  2. Koala, I was so intrigued by your intro that I went ahead and read the entire post. Whoa! That is intense indeed. Still not watching this drama for now. I’ve already maxed out all my emotional quota for fictional characters with Nice Guy. No more melodramas for me until next year maybe.

    • I totally agree. I’m soooo emotionally wrapped up in Nice Guy, I cant find any room to think about other characters or care about their issues. Will definitely give I Miss You a try when Nice Guy ends.

      Also, rating might be low because they feel the same way we do. No room for others when all we can think about is Kang Maru. So! Hopefully ratings will go up when Nice Guy ends.

  3. OMG, this scene is hurtful and horrified even just in words. Before I planned to start watching Missing You when having few days off for Thanksgiving, but now I feel like I shouldn’t watch it, the pain for SY character may stay with me for weeks :(. I want something cheerful/warm for holiday time 🙁

  4. What r u talking about ockoala? Ratings is not an issue coz superstar Yoochun will save the ratings. He will carry the ratings on his back just like he did with rooftop prince n his other dramas. Other casts r not worthy to b mentioned, they r not as famous as him coz they dont have ajumma fans who give them expensive gifts n they dun have as many articles like he does, so he is the star of this drama, others r just accesories. Ratings can only be saved once hero Yoochun appears.

    • Go away you troll.

      This episode broke my heart . I don’t have a lot to express but this drama might wring more out of me than 1 litre of tears.

    • Careful there…the Yoon Eun Hye defense team and fetus boy defense team as they so fondly call them, might take offense and could blow up any minute. I can feel it. Cause you know, they must be pissed that their bias are not getting as much attention as dearest superstar Yoochun.

      • omo please don’t create a fanwar. okay
        please go away
        just skip the drama if you don’t like the actor

    • only stupid person can say something like this..
      Did you doesn’t have any sense about why some drama got high rating.,and why some drama doesn’t??..Even how big Yoo Chun name is.,but if the story suck.,the drama will not success..I’m really tired with someone who only though the drama is great just because of the leading cast.
      Your word “Ratings can only be saved once hero Yoochun appears” is laughable.

  5. The upcoming holidays are fun, warm and cheery so NO to this kind of drama watching for me during this season.

    One radio station has started playing Christmas music all day long already. Can we at least make it a day before Thanksgiving before this happens?

    Anyway, I’m ready for the great pumpkin, soap that makes a boy blind, a miser, a witch with a tree on her head, ain’t life grand, and miracles.

  6. hmmm..watched or not..watch or not… still deciding.. 😀
    i’m still in emotional because NG. but, i think i’ll watch it in one go after this drama end.. YEH,YSH,KSH,YJG, and YC is too good to pass by. btw, when will this drama end?

  7. wow… yoochun seem like always choose a really heavy-set drama w controversial female lead back story
    first melo leaves the audience hates the female lead cause of her choice of action.. both lead the viewers to separate the lead couple cause of a very tragic event :(( can they stick together later on :((
    the production team of i miss u is awesome

  8. Wow when you said Soo Yeon has a horrific past I thought you just meant beating, framing, and verbally. Never did I think it was rape as k dramas rarely add that to the plot, especially to a teenage girl

  9. Not many Korean series that I’ve watched. I like What Happened in Bali, Full House, and Coffee Prince. But I often read many forums and blogs. I see the spoiler “Missing You” drama. I am interested to watch it especially seeing the expression of youngsters cast. I guess this drama would make a novelty, just as What Happened in Bali

  10. WTF with the rating.
    this drama really good. this drama is like the mother of melodrama
    writer i salute you. actually this is really happen in the reality but many people avoid to accept that.

  11. Can you believe that Kim So Hyun is only 13 years old?! After watching I Miss You, I think that Kim So Hyun is a better actor than Kim Yoo Jung. Kim So Hyun has more range, and she can emit waves and waves of sadness and desolation just with her eyes. There’s this depth, complexity, and vulnerability that Kim So Hyun is able to embue in her character that I feel Kim Yoo Jung wouldn’t have been able to do. And I’m saying this as a HUGE Kim Yoo Jung fan.

    This episode was amazing and I have a sneaking suspicion that in retrospect it will have been the best episode of this series. I just cannot heap more praises upon Kim So Hyun and Yeo Jin Goo. Damn. They are so freaking talented.

    I didn’t feel like the rape scene was an exploitative narrative device to create a schism between the OTP to account for the time jump, though it may be that that scene only felt natural due to the sheer excellence of KSH and YJG’s acting. However, I do feel like the rape scene was exploitative in that its purpose seems to be to mark this melodrama as an uber, mega melo melodrama, to make the statement, “this aint your typical pansy melodrama, yo.” I mean, I agree that the rape scene will be utilized and milked for all its worth to fuel more angst, pathos and conflict for future episodes. But every single event in this drama seems to have been written with the purpose of making this drama a sobfest. Melodrama for the sake of melodrama. To me, this rape scene’s main purpose is to show that there will be more likewise tragic scenes, and that this drama is all about the extremes. I’m not against seeing a K-drama heroine getting raped. But I do think it’s overkill to have her rape be witnessed by her OTP partner, who then ditches her. I agree with the K-articles that expressed disappointment that this was turning out be a makjang melodrama. Still like the drama, but I wish there was less melodrama for the sake of melodrama.

    • On the contrary, I think that an errant split-second decision after a very traumatic experience is one of the most believable reasons for having a Love That Cannot Be. Compared to, say, the usual manufactured excuses that kdramas make to create a fake separation between OTPs.

      If there’s anything overboard in this drama, it’s the half-sibling, Evil Dad of Evil, Crazy Mom Who Suddenly Lives With A Police Officer collection of crazy and unrealistic plot devices. I think the writer should’ve done away with all the makjang-y elements about stolen inheritances and kidnap-swapping.

      If she started with the cute to establish a working relationship, then went straight to the accidental kidnapping + physical abuse by a druggie the separation-thing would make sense and wouldn’t look like an attempt to pile more pain on an already twisted OTP. 🙁 Unfortunately, doing it this way would make this a drama “About a Woman Who Finds Love After Being Abused”. In the same way that I Do, I Do became about Ji An’s motherhood and Thousand Day Promise became about the heroine’s Alzheimers.


      Regarding your assessment of So Hyun’s acting, I just realized that you may be right! I remember hating her so much in Moon/Sun and Rooftop Prince, but I like her here and in Ma Boy. So she seems to be able to evoke the necessary response from the audience. I’m just glad she was able to make me smile with Ma Boy before she chose another weepfest like this one.

      I hope she gets to act in another rom-com after IMY. Preferably with Jun Gu.

      • I’m fresh from watching Ma Boy as well, and I really like the way she’s able to handle the range she’s picked so far. Ma Boy required a bit more exaggerated acting to fit into that world, and I adored her. But in I Miss You (and I honestly only watched the child part for Kim So Hyun and Yeo Jin Goo), you see true vulnerability shine.

        I seriously want to see Kim So Hyun, Yeo Jin Goo and Kim Yoo Jung headline a middle school/high school drama right now. They could totally carry the series on their own.

    • i agree with you. Kim so hyun is much better than kim yoo jung when it comes to acting. Though yoo jung had received many awards than her, i’m still her fan. Keep fighting Kim so hyun! 🙂

  12. Oh my God…I am utterly shocked…I think think this drama will be the end of me…the moment I see YEH, I know I will be in tears knowing that she is emotionally scarred…And the moment they meet again after 14 years, I think someone better be close to me to hold me because I might just die from feeling the pain that they are feeling…and knowing that they will be unable to express it.

  13. I think I am not going to watch this because I’m very melo-ed out a this point as far as dramas are concerned…but wow…..so much respect for Kim So Hyun for taking this one! must’ve been super hard for her even if they didn’t actually show it

  14. don’t hate me for saying this, but I actually liked this drama more than Nice Guy, which I have been obsessing over since it began. I haven’t watched episode 3 of IMY yet, but I am getting there. I think I am going through the nonstop melodrama phase right now. Last year it was The Princess’ Man and Can You Hear My heart, and now NG and IMY. I really don’t like comparing Kim Yoo Jung to So Hyun, I think they both are very talented, and Yeo Jin Goo is doing really good, I became his noona fan lol
    I cannot wait for the 14 year leap, so much will be changed but it was much needed. I will miss the child cast too T_T

  15. Kim So Hyun is not 13 yrs old. Since her birthday passed in June, she is now 15 yrs old in American age (Since June) which is same as her Korean age (Until January). Come January, she will be 16 in Korean age and remain 15 yrs old in American age (Until June). Seems like some people have this idea that American age is 2 years younger than Korean age?

    • Never mind..so she’s 13 maybe. but my point being her American age is same as Korean age at this time. Didn’t know Kim So Hyun was born in 1999. haha. So that would be 13 in American age and 13 in Korean age. Sorry for the mistake.

  16. Uh.. more intense than I would’ve imagined. I can appreciate that at least in this drama, it’s not just a misunderstanding or I-moved-and-lost-contact conflict. I’m still not planning to watch it because I’m pretty sure it’s going to be emotionally exhausting (mostly from frustration at the plot later on in the story, as is the case with melos).

  17. at first when i learned about this drama, i decided to watch it only because i’m a huge fan of YEH. But after this episode, i give credit to the writer for being Brave in making a melodrama that defies all norms in korean drama industry. The writer has set a higher standard in this field. I’ve seen a lot of melodrama but this one is different, because it dare to tackle a very sensitive issue we rarely see in a korean drama.Its about time that the industry offer its viewers something different and more realistic scenario. some viewers say that they prefer that seo yoon ‘s reason for 14 yrs separation from jung woo is amnesia. its been used so many times, even in NG.Personally, i haven’t even met someone afflicted with amnesia, no kidding, only people with selective memory.Im sure the writer knew that the viewing public might not be ready for this kind of drama, and still went on with it anyway, because maybe she believe that her story is worth telling, and high rating or not, she doesnt care that much.I still have high hopes for this drama especially when the adult actors shows up, id rather that this drama be remembered for its unorthodox approach. Having high ratings doesn’t guarantee that a drama will be remembered for a long time or become a basis in measuring a good drama.

  18. I miss you is classified as a MELODRAMA, by stating this fact,it is just reasonable to expect a lot of tears and angst.So when i started watching it, i knew right there and then that i have to be prepared . Though i was really surprised and cant believe that the writer went that “FAR”,i was glad that the writer chose the unconventional approach rather than the safest way that which most viewers can take.Although most of us wants a happy , lovey dovey scenes,i think the best way to get this is to watch a romantic comedy, and not a melodrama.I think the writer made everyone aware from the start that IMY is a TRAGIC drama.So expect extreme crying, pain and anger.So lets not blame the writer for all the pain that we are experiencing while watching this.Im sure there will be moments of celebration and happiness in the future so just be patient and try to enjoy it. expect this drama to make headlines.

  19. I’m not a melo fan, but do enjoy one occasionally. I was so keen on this drama till I read your recap (as well as DB’s) and my heart felt as if it was bleeding. Angst I can handle, tragedy I can handle, even rape in a drama, i can handle but from tbe recaps, the way the drama seemed to be playing out the evil and misfortune is just brutal.

    Despite the teens’ brilliant acting, I don’t think I can bring myself to watch the childhood part. I just hope the brutal excesses will end soon and I can watch the adults move on, seek redemption and compensation, love and hate.

  20. So far this is the 1st melodrama acted by younger versions showing a high maturity in acting and i saw that in Yeo Jingu and Kim Sohyun’s portrayal of Jungwoo and Sooyeon… they should be given more respect in their acting after IMY.

    IMY is not draining to watch, instead it made me more hook on this drama… wishing that after IMY ends the writer shall make a novel out of it… i already considered IMY as one of the epic melodrama i’ve ever seen in Korean drama history!

    So, ckoala hope you’ll still hang on to IMY… : ) Keep It Up!

  21. Just the first episode when the girl was hit by the “father” in the first minutes of the ep. Make me cry…. I think i will cry a river with this drama ….

  22. I don’t want to watch this drama.

    I’m a fan of the you left me now you want me because of my make over but you can’t have me because with said makeover i now have the confidence to go after my dream with new guy who loves me for who I am no matter what i look like. This looks like it’s going be one of those carry with you depressing dramas that even in a “happy ending” the characters will still be depressed and miserable. Because no way Soo-yeon doesn’t feel guilty for whatever state she finds her mom in 14 years later on top of damage of her traumatic childhood. Jung-woo will have to forever deal with guilt from Soo-Yeon, anger towards his father, guilt over his anger toward his father, resentment and frustration over his powerlessness and eventual confrontation with father over all of the above. Hyung-joon emotionally is probably closest to Jung-woo who has to deal with powerlessness of protecting his mother, guilt of being indirectly the reason for Jung-woo kidnapping along with Soo-yeon(I do not think they told Soo-yeon about Hye-mi being responsible for that) the physical pain of a physical handicap to match his emotional one, the hatred and rage of a ruthless brother with not moral compass and a resentment of a nephew who benefited from said horrible brother regardless of direct involvement in horrible acts, if revenge doesn’t eat his soul up then the pain of losing the girl closest to him the the son of the source of his anger will. I’m hoping for a everyone is happy ending, but really I’ll be glade if everyone is alive by the end.

    The sad thing is I know i could spare myself the anxious, teary and sad weeks of “COME ON! CAN’T THEY JUST BE OKAY, JUST ONCE!” by not watching… but it too late, I’m invested. Damn

  23. Its not that its wrong for a writer to go the rape route but what annoys me is there’s no context! It just so happens the kidnapper was a druggie and randomly rapes her. What’s the message the writer is trying to portray, that girls are randomly raped? It was placed for maximum dramatic effect, nothing more and that’s what annoys me. Everything is over the top without the story calling for it except to create maximum pain. Its just really terrible writing which is a pity because the acting is really really good but very few will see it because more people than not will be turned off by all the excessive, unnecessary torture.

    • Well duh! What is so random about it? The kidnapper was a druggie, more reason for him having a f*cked up mindset, since he is fully drugged up. And yes, there are a lot of sick fucks out there who randomly rape women and kids. Dont you watch the news? Stuff like this really happens.

    • Uhhh…not sure if you’ve ever known someone who’s been raped before, but it doesn’t always have some great reason or purpose. That’s part of why it’s so painful, having to come to terms with the fact that you’ve been violated for reasons beyond your control. A druggie who kidnaps children doesn’t sound like someone waiting for a specific context where it makes sense to rape someone weaker than him.

      Rape is sick but it happens and it happens to those who are already wounded and that’s what the writers showed. It might seem excessive to you but it’s very real. Some might think genocide is excessive but we clearly see that it has happened and is currently happening in parts of the world. And many times, these “excessive” forms of torture make no sense, morally and logically.

      I do understand that not everyone can stand to watch things like that. I remember I used to watch Criminal Minds and that screwed my mind up so much, I would get scared to sleep in the dark. So by all means, don’t continue to watch this show, but don’t assume that scene was because of terrible writing.

  24. When I read the description of this drama previously, I thought Seo Yeon’s (Yoon Hye) life was heartbreakingly tragic, but I didn’t know it would be THIS tragic!!!. The writer is VERY serious about the “painful/tragic” separation between our OTP. I wasn’t expecting it will end like that.

  25. I watched it and thought, “Hmmmmm….YEH could do a LOT with this role.”
    This is nothing like anything she has ever done before.
    And if the director/writer handle their adult cast as well as the kids, this series could knock my socks off.

    Keep in mind, I am going to play “I can’t hear you I can’t hear you” with the Evil Bag of Money storyline. Seriously hope they don’t show them at all from now on.

  26. Are you going to be recapping this or something else? Or laying off the recaps in general.
    I was curious to know how you felt about this show and now I know.
    Opinions on King of Dramas and the Great Seer? That’s the only show I’m interested in lately.
    I liked your take on the rape scene. I AM squeamish about rape scenes and the like but I sit through it if it’s for good narrative purposes. The child actors are amazing really, I can’t wait to see more of them. Hopefully as leads because they have the chops for it! Don’t need them as the child versions of the leads anymore DramaWorld!

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