In what felt like a whirlwind airing, Two Weeks wrapped up today with a lovely flourish and a feeling that it all just flew by. The logical bumps and bruises continued in the last episode but the emotional payoff was outstanding and well-earned. It helped to envelope this drama in a wonderful finish, letting us know that the world created for this particular story didn’t have perfect endings but it was satisfying in all ways poignant and bittersweet. I’m so happy I decided to recap this drama, which never became a crack addiction for me but was so solidly good in ways that rarely happen nowadays. There was no second half collapse and no easy resolution to tough emotional quandaries. Yes, the narrative on the procedural side took a giant unicorn lala-land pill in the last two episodes, what with Tae San apprehending Moon Il Suk himself and also figuring out Jo Seo Hee’s big charity auction drug deal all on his own. But in the greater scheme of storytelling it fit with the general conceit that so many shitty things kept happening to one man and he needed to help himself. Jang Tae San – fatherless orphan who watched his mother commit suicide, gangster who found love only to have it cruelly snatched away, dissolute loser just scraping by who gets framed for murder and gets his best friend killed in the process. I didn’t mind how the drama resolved all the conflict and tied up all the loose ends but it needs to be said that it’s turned out to be quite easy.
The drama may have had an open ending but it was executed perfectly so it made sense and felt realistic. The bad guys got their just desserts and will pay the price for their misdeeds, the good guys who made mistakes or bad choices all owned up to their actions and accepted their punishment, and the wronged people got a measure of peace by learning the whole truth. Tae San found both exoneration and rebirth through his ordeal and his daughter, and how he walks the rest of his life is a journey we don’t need to worry about because it will be with purpose and conviction. I found the resolution of the two daddies for Soo Jin conundrum wonderfully done, with all parties behaving with class, dignity, and sincerity all wrapped in the understanding that love means sacrifice and acceptance. Two Weeks was a wonderfully written and deftly executed drama from beginning-to-end, one that eschewed most of the standard drama tropes and created something heart thumping and heart warming when all is said and done. Good job drama, and Godspeed to Tae San wherever he may end up. Lee Jun Ki delivered another memorable and all-in bravura performance that continues to cement my love for him as one of the most talented and hardworking leading men of his generation. This one goes in the win column for me.
Episode 16 recap:
Killer Kim arrives in the other operating room and goes in to kill Tae San. Lying there is Chairman Han, who gets up and goes to talk with his long lost son. He tells Killer Kim his real name and reveals that his son used to nickname Chairman Han Captain.
He takes out the pen knife and tells his son that this pen was not meant to hold a knife. These details trigger his memory and Killer Kim remembers now. Ooof, I feel terrible for him. Even if he’s a cold-blooded murder.
Moon Il Suk enters the operating room and sees a figure lying under the blanket. He walks close and raises his knife up to stab. To his dismay, it turns out to be a body pillow under the blanket. He realizes this was all a set-up. No shit, Sherlock.
Flashback to how it all went down. Jae Kyung and Tae San realize they have to catch Moon Il Suk, even if Tae San and Soo Jin have the surgery they will always be in danger going forward unless he’s apprehended. Moon Il Suk stole Chairman Han’s son, he could easily do the same or worse to Soo Jin. Good point.
They decide to leak info that the surgery has been moved up. Chairman Han comes in and tells them to make two operating rooms. He’s certain that Killer Kim will be there as well.
Jae Kyung goes to meet with the cops to devise a way to lure Moon Il Suk to their trap. The Captain confronts the scruffy faced cop about him being the mole and he confesses. His dad needed surgery and Moon Il Suk found him soon after Jang Tae San escaped to provide insider information. The Captain asks why he kept doing it and the mole cop says he was afraid of being outed by Moon Il Suk.
So the cops turn the mole cop who participates in setting the trap for Moon Il Suk. He calls claiming to have information and sells it for a high price. After the exchange with Moon Il Suk’s secretary, he meets up with Seung Woo and confirms that the bad guys believed him. Seung Woo goes to the hospital and tells the staff to be on alert and if anyone tries to bribe them, to agree and take the money.
The operation starts and Jae Kyung tells Tae San to wait in the car in case Moon Il Suk spots him. The cops swarm into the operating room but find it empty already. YOU GUYS ARE SO INCOMPETENT. FIRED, ALL FIRED!
Moon Il Suk has ducked out another door and used a rope and ladder to escape. He lures the cops thinking he went down the side of the building, when in truth he rappels down an elevator shaft. He heads down to the parking garage. Tae San is in the car waiting as he’s told but realizes the operation is botched when he sees cops scrambling.
Moon Il Suk drives away in the getaway van but Tae San jumps onboard the back in the nick of the time. The most useless cops in all of Seoul come rushing out all frustrated they lost the bad guy. Jae Kyung spots Tae San and when she sees the car empty realizes that he’s going after Moon Il Suk himself.
Moon Il Suk drives to a empty lot and Tae San jumps out to confront him. Tae San screams for him to come out and stop hiding like a rat. It’s all over for him! Tae San confronts Moon Il Suk who doesn’t back down and says he didn’t climb to this position for nothing. Tae San says he did it by stepping on others, likely stealing all the food from his own siblings and letting them starve to death.
Tae San says Moon Il Suk never had a right to change Tae San’s life and it’s going to end right here. The two of them fight but the younger Tae San quickly gets the upper hand and gets in some satisfying punches until Moon Il Suk is incapacitated.
Tae San ties Moon Il Suk up and then goes to meet with the arriving law enforcement. Jae Kyung is relieved to see that he’s fine. You and me both, sister. Moon Il Suk struggles to escape and causes an explosion which injures him.
Jae Kyung drives him back to the hospital and In Hye runs out to embrace him. Tae San stands there for a moment before slowly hugging her back and smiling.
Jae Kyung watches the hug with a comforted look. Seung Woo pulls up outside the hospital and is about to get out when he sees the hug as well. He stays in the car and looks very resigned.
Congresswoman Jo Seo Hee is at a meeting with her staff when she gets a call that Moon Il Suk has been arrested.
Soo Jin hears that her dad is fine and going in for the procedures. She wanted to see him but In Hye says Tae San doesn’t want her disturbed and told In Hye to prepare the foods Soo Jin wants to eat for after the surgery. She starts happily writing in her journal.
Tae San goes under for the bone marrow extraction procedure. He wakes up the next morning with Jae Kyung sitting next to him. She reveals that once Moon Il Suk was arrested, Hwang Dae Joon turned himself in and confessed that he was the one who beat up Chairman Han and Moon Il Suk was the one who stabbed Jae Kyung’s dad. Jae Kyung asks how Tae San feels to be fully exonerated? He’ll now have his criminal record wiped clean.
Tae San goes to Soo Jin’s hospital room and sees that his marrow is being injected into her body. He smiles in relief and Soo Jin’s doctor comes up and reveals Soo Jin will be fine now. But she needs to stay in the clean room for some time, and then moved into a regular hospital room for a few weeks.
The charity auction begins and Moon Il Suk’s secretary is there to bid on the piece hiding all the drugs from Thailand. He wins and the money is wired into Jo Seo Hee’s account by the drug dealers. She smiles and heads to the airport.
As Jo Seo Hee walks through the airport, Jae Kyung trails her. She’s arrested before she can clear customs for drug trafficking.
Flashback to when Tae San saw Jae Kyung’s tracking board and saw Jo Seo Hee’s picture. He realizes that she’s the woman Moon Il Suk mentioned once that he was secretly working with. Together they bribed people, manipulated stocks, and trafficked drugs. Jae Kyung says there is no evidence of drug trafficking. She does more digging and realizes that the charity auction is odd and there is a piece coming from Thailand. Turns out Jo Seo Hee is the charity auction middleman, and this time she’s planning a big deal so she can leave the country afterwards.
Jae Kyung takes Jo Seo Hee back for interrogation and has in hand her three different passports and aliases. Jo Seo Hee refuses to answer any questions. Jae Kyung sees that she has something in her hands and grabs a poison pill. She tells Jo Seo Hee to look at the computer and there is a video of her disabled son happily drawing his mother as an angel.
Jae Kyung says that to her son, she’s an angel, even if she’s a devil to the rest of the world. She needs to stay alive for him. He’ll be taken care of in the center where he’s staying while she’s in jail.
Tae San goes to court where his criminal record is expunged and his name is cleared for Mi Sook and Man Seok’s murders. Yay!!! Dae Joon goes to prison for all his accessory crimes.
Tae San walks out and thanks Jae Kyung and her boss. Looks like she got her job back. Tae San apologizes for what happened to her dad but she thanks him for what he did to help her catch Moon Il Suk and Jo Seo Hee. They shake hands and she congratulates him on becoming a completely free man.
Tae San goes back to Chairman Han’s place and asks how his son is doing. The Chairman says he’s at least talking to him. He hands Tae San some money as compensation for his son trying to kill Tae San multiple times. Tae San doesn’t want it since the guy was acting on Moon Il Suk’s orders and didn’t even remember his past.
He thanks the Chairman for all his help and the Chairman says it was because of running into Tae San that he found his son. He also regained some faith in humanity. The Chairman offers to let Tae san live with him. Maybe they can go live in some remote village. Tae San realizes the Chairman is worried about his future. The Chairman grumbles that he isn’t since Tae San is young and has no criminal record now. Tae San smiles and reveals Soo Jin is leaving the clean room in the hospital tomorrow.
Soo Jin keeps peeking out the window waiting for her dad. Tae San arrives and congratulates her on moving to a regular room. He hands her back her favorite toy like they promised. Awwww.
Tae San kneels down to cup her cheek and she adorably follows suit and does the same to him. He pulls her in for an embrace and they both smile while In Hye looks on.
Jae Kyung eats breakfast by herself in her room when suddenly she imagines Mi Sook is there with her. Mi Sook smiles and says the food is ready to eat. Jae Kyung cries but imaginary Mi Sook touches her on the cheek and wipes away the tears.
Moon Il Suk is in jail and totally disfigured on one side and can’t see very well. His other cell mate steals some food from his plate and he can’t even stop it.
Jo Seo Hee sits silently in her own jail cell. Killer Kim reads a letter from Chairman Han and leans back against the wall, looking upward with a wisp of a smile.
The cops are all dining at a pizza joint where the mole cop who was fired is now a chef. They compliment him on being a better chef than a cop, and happier too. They tease Seung Woo on looking happier after a vacation as well.
Seung Woo goes to greet Soo Jin on her hospital discharge day. He brings her presents and her favorite food. In Hye asks how his vacation went and Seung Woo says it’s not a trip for a repenting time since he was suspended from work.
Seung Woo, Soo Jin, and In Hye walk out of the hospital and Tae San is there. Seung Woo smiles and tells Soo Jin to go greet her dad. Soo Jin runs into Tae San’s embrace and he asks if she wants to go take a trip with her dad?
This odd little family go camping and Tae San finds himself playing soccer with Soo Jin. Then father and daughter sit down to sketch In Hye.
Soo Jin asks why her dad liked her mom and he explains that he did something wrong to her when they first met but her mom is someone who wasn’t mad but instead forgave him.
Flashback to the boob grabbing incident and the apology on the beach.
The family cooks dinner and enjoys the food. Soo Jin wants to know where her dad is living but Tae San explains that he’s done many thing’s wrong and he needs to fix it all before telling her. Soo Jin apologizes because her mom told her not to ask her dad. Tae San promises to tell her one day.
The family snuggles in the tent ready for bed, with Soo Jin wedged between Tae San and In Hye. She asks for song from her dad to put her to sleep. Tae San doesn’t know any lullabies but Soo Jin asks for a song that her dad likes. Tae San starts to sing and In Hye appears to recognize the song.
Flashback to Tae San and In Hye on a date when she sang that song which he didn’t like because it’s about breaking up. In Hye asks if oppa is jealous of a song right now? They tease each other and kiss.
Tae San goes outside and tent and In Hye follows. He thanks her for picking him, even leaving her disapproving parents to be with him. He will never forget it. In Hye apologizes for not believing in him back then. She just didn’t believe it could happen and never tried to understand why.
Tae San thanks her for having Soo Jin, she is as beautiful and kind as In Hye. It really makes his heart break. He reveals that since her surgery he wanted to visit everyday but didn’t because he doesn’t know how to answer her question about what he does for a living. He wants to become the type of father that she can always rely on as she grows up.
In Hye asks if he wants to do everything Soo Jin wants today and then leave? Tae San knows In Hye has forgiven him but please don’t pity him and stop him from leaving. There is already someone beside her who has been protecting In Hye and Soo Jin for many years.
In Hye thinks back to her conversation with Seung Woo, where he explained that he was being investigated internally and went on a vacation. What he realized was that he was too focused on being with In Hye and Soo Jin that he couldn’t deal when he realized Soo Jin’s dad was alive. In Hye apologizes for never explaining that Soo Jin’s dad was not dead but Seung Woo says its nothing compared to 8 years of lost time.
Seung Woo cannot pretend the complicated feelings between Tae San, In Hye, and Soo Jin isn’t there. What’s most important is Soo Jin and she loves her dad. Seung Woo tells In Hye not to let Tae San leave alone. In Hye reveals Tae San also needs time, time to recover what he lost. She is apologetic towards Seung Woo but agrees to do what the guys want.
In Hye tells Tae San that Seung Woo is a good man and tells him not to worry about them and go do what he needs to do. He apologizes again. In Hye says he won’t tell her where he is or what he’s doing? Tae San says no matter where he goes he can live well, and if there is an opportunity he would like to see Soo Jin. In Hye says anytime Tae San wants to see Soo Jin, he can, so never forget.
Soo Jin has been awake this whole time and is crying silently in the tent after listening to her parents talk outside.
The family goes back into the tent and Tae San cradles Soo Jin in his arms as she sleeps. He thinks to himself that there is someone smiling at him and he smiles back. In his heart, there is finally sunshine that comes in and the flowers are blooming.
Tae San walks in down a forest path when he hears someone call “Daddy”. He turns around with a smile.