Major Spoilers for the Novelization Ending of In a Good Way

It’s your choice whether you want to click on this post and be totally spoiled, but please don’t comment in future In a Good Way posts with information gleaned from here and thereby spoil the ending for those who don’t want to know beforehand. The tentative episode count for IAGW now that it’s nearing the end and SETTV has a better idea of how much more story left to tell stands at 24-episodes. That means four more episodes left and I sure hope the network makes the most of it in packing in momentum driving narrative rather then the nice filler that is enjoyable to watch but not very substantive in telling me how everyone will end up. The network released a novelization of the story last week in the Taiwan publishing press and eager viewers scooped up the book. The ending of the novel has been discussed among the readers who have read through the novel and below I’ve summarized the key relationship endings for all the main characters.

A word of caution not to expect the drama ending will be identical to the novel. I think there is still time for audience feedback of the novel to potentially tweak the drama ending, though I do expect the final steps of the journey to be more or less what the novel laid out. I read the novel, and have actually read quite a few SETTV drama-novels that the network has published for its popular dramas. It’s always a light read is never as good as the dramas, and here I think the wonderful cast with their great chemistry has managed to elevate what is just an ordinary story about a particular group of college friends trying to find their future paths. In particular it’s Lego Lee turning a stock nearly perfect male lead into something vulnerable with unique insecurities but bursting with a strong sense of self. All I’m going to say about the ending of the novel is that almost everything works for me expect one major quibble, but I actually think that one thing may be what the drama will do different. Who knows but I can’t wait to watch the final few episodes remaining.

The In a Good Way novelization ending:

1. Xiao Wei marries Ri Qi at the end of her senior year in college. They end up forming a traveling library on wheels as their future career and teaching reading around the island. They are very happy together.

2. Tracy and Ah Qing break up but remain single ten years later without finding the right person to settle down with, it’s revealed their mutually too-strong personalities is a dealbreaker even though they really did genuinely fall in love with each other. There is always a chance they can try dating again as adults.

3. Ren Wei becomes a rich and successful businessman in his own right, he doesn’t take over the family fishery but does return to Pingdong and runs a company selling local Pingdong agricultural delicacies and local offerings. He becomes best friends with Bai Xue like the way he and Jia En used to be. Bai Xue works in movie production and has a foreigner boyfriend who is a movie director. The guy has proposed many times but she keeps turning him down because she’s not in any rush to get married. She and Ren Wei are the type of friends that can say anything to each other. Ren Wei is still single.

4. Jia En goes abroad after she graduates to study English in grad school. Liu Chuan stays in Taiwan to continue searching for his grandfather’s treasure. She comes back after five years but by then Liu Chuan has gone MIA from all their college friends and even Jia En. No one knows where he is, and rumors say that he’s also left the country. Jia En spends three years back in Taiwan with no word from Liu Chuan and pretty much moves on from him though she is not dating anyone new. She thinks he needs to travel his own road as does she. She still thinks of him often. One night she gets a page “to byacing” from 3631 even though she hasn’t used that pager in years and everyone uses cell phones now. She goes to the Taya tribe reservation and finds the Sun Moon tree, part of the treasure hunt the entire group did in their senior year which solved the grandfather picture mystery to a certain degree. She finds an older more weathered Liu Chuan waiting for her. He explains what happened – he eventually solved the whole mystery and discovered there really was a treasure. His grandfather was on the doomed Taiping steamer that went down in 1949 and he was handed treasures by people who ended up perishing with a promise to deliver it or return it to their families.

He wasn’t able to do so because Taiwan was under martial law for thirty years so he hoped that one day when Taiwan was free and democratic then Liu Chuan could track down those families and return the treasures. Liu Chuan tried but some had been sold by his dad so he had to get it back first. Then he had to track down the descendants of those families. His dad opposed him every step of the way so Liu Chuan was facing a lot of pressure so he didn’t want to contact Jia En and get her mired in his heavy burden. Plus he was afraid his dad would track his whereabouts if he tried contacting Jia En and stop what he was doing. He just finished his last task and came back to Taiwan and contacted Jia En immediately. They get back together though she’s more angry at herself for doubting his feelings for her and trusting he had a good reason for not contacting her, she should have reached out and tried to find him. Through the treasure returning task left by his grandfather, Liu Chuan traveled the world and met many people, and in the end his dad was finally convinced to let Liu Chuan be free to choose his future and his love. So Liu Chuan earned his freedom and completed the task his grandfather left him in his will. Jia En and Liu Chuan were apart for ten years but end up together in the end.

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Major Spoilers for the Novelization Ending of In a Good Way — 36 Comments

  1. Thanks you so much Koala!!!

    Hmmm….I kind of wanted to have JE and LC to finish the grandpa treasure together because they both kept on saying so.

  2. I like the fact that Jia En was independent enough to go study abroad and didn’t let LC influence her decisions about her future. This drama was always about finding your dreams, achieving them and in the process gaining freedom.
    Also glad that RW was able to take his dad’s advice.
    What I don’t like is the 10 year gap, does it really need to be 10 yrs?

  3. Hmmm… I think that ‘treasure’ turned out more of a burden than setting LC free. Imagine being tied down to the task of returning treasures for 10 yrs? It was like living your life for others and not for yourself (yes, I’m selfish alright). 3 yrs maybe but a decade?! I just hope it’ll be a very big time jump into the future.

    On the other hand, glad that JE was able to live her own life during the yrs they were separated. So our shy couple ended up being the first to marry. Good for them. Happy too that BX has found her love although hinting that there might still be a chance for her and RW.

    • Totally agreed….this is a huge burden for LC. Poor guy has been trying to be free all his life and now he has to finish up his grandfather’s mission. What a cruel thing for our leading man.

      I am disappointed with LC’s ending. Everybody have moved on with their lives while LC is stuck wondering around the world with no friend, no family, and no JE.

      JE’s ending is a little better in that she was able to walk her own path of life. I would of loved to see her fully move on from LC and actually dated other people. Heck 10 yrs is too long. People become stranger after that many years, especially without any contacts.

      All I’m saying if they are going to make this into a movie, they better give some justice to LC character.

  4. Great ending. I hope the drama keeps it the same. From the very beginning of the drama, I felt there would be a separation between Liu Chuan and Jia En. The title gave me the impression that they were reminiscing the past after meeting again.

  5. Wow. Was that a drama ending? It sounds like a coming of age novel and not like a drama. If I take it like that then I can accept it. After all, life is unpredictable and not everyone gets their happy ending when it’s due. Or happy endings can be delayed. He could have trusted JE though. What a pity.

    • I love how it’s like the ending of a coming of age story because that’s really what this drama was. I felt like Liu Chuan not telling Jia En was a “noble idiot” moment and a bit of a copout, so I agree with you there.

  6. I’m not enthused about the ending actually. Why is Ren Wei still single? If he’s successful, and wants to settle down, it’s likely that he’ll have met someone at the right time who becomes the right one. And although I agree Tracy and Ah Qing might not make it, it’s kind of a lazy drama tool that they’re both single at the time jump; these are the people who would move on and date serially, they’ve never had problems finding partners, it was always a matter of keeping them, so that’s rather unrealistic. I really hope the drama does better than the novel’s rather weak ending for it’s supporting cast.

    • I think being single is not such a bad idea for RW. Maybe because i didn’t sense (based on Koala’s translation) that he was moping for his unrequited love for JE the entire time. I think he’s found passion in his work, and it looks to me like him and BX still being single and best friends like how he and JE were 10 years before is a good indication that they would eventually end up together. Remember what JE said how the perfect girl for RW should be someone he can be friends with, with whom he can talk freely? I like that BX seems to fit that description more and more with each new episode. I really like RW as a character, sometimes even more than i like LC, so I’m glad to see him have a sort of open ending with awesome character BX.

      • I agree with you that there’s a chance for RW and BX now that they’ve progressed to the close friends stage. I believe if there’s really a movie version (is that 100% confirmed???), there’s a very high possibility that they will explore that path.

        Btw, I’ve already PM you the translation.

        To those of you who are somewhat disappointed with the ending, perhaps you’ll feel better abt the story if you read the actual translation? I’ve actually done a detailed translation of the last 6 pages of the novel and made it available through PM on the soompi forum. So if you’re interested, PM me on soompi and I’ll send it to you.

  7. I’m also disappointed about how LC got tied down for a whole decade by the very “treasure” that he’d been hoping to give him the freedom that he most wanted. Isn’t that a little too cynical for a youth drama? Although if the drama version can show LC actually enjoying searching for the families to return their treasure, then I think that would be infinitely better. I can totally understand him not telling JE and it seems very in sync with what’s happened in the last episode when JE’s dad specifically asked him not to tie JE down. So as long as the drama version shows each of the characters not suffering too much because of the separation, and actually enjoying their time alone to grow, then I think this would still be a perfect ending for this awesome show.

  8. I’m actually okay with this ending, except for how they handled the Liu Chuan-treasure situation. Like others said, I don’t think that’s how I would have imagined Liu Chuan being free.
    I’m actually fine with Jia En and Liu Chuan not being together as long their own respective endings were emotionally and logically satisfying, but LC’s was a letdown.
    All I’m asking for is an ending that isn’t so rage inducing that it deters me from wanting to rewatch the series again (ie. Reply 1994, HIMYM)

  9. I am going to graduate this year from college finally but I would have love to have the experience as Xiao Wei and Ri Qi 🙂

  10. ten years is way too long…can they at least cut it down to 5 lol..felt bad for LC thinking this “treasure” was going to set him free but i didn’t know it was going to be that long and really separate him from JE without even saying goodbye/breakup/closure…felt bad for the couple but then like people had mentioned, i hope in the drama that they show both LC and JE are happy individually..busy with their lives..and the reunion better be explosive with tons of fanservice!
    still not over the 10 years…

      • I agree!!!! If they intend on keeping the whole 10 yrs bit (which I’m really really praying to the drama gods they won’t) the writers had better give us our fanservice happy ending complete with *insert Lego’s voice here* FRENCH STYLE kissing and a wedding.

        On that note, I think what bothers me even more than the 10 years deal is that LC didn’t think that JE could handle the pressure (I know I know, JE’s dad probs had alot to do with his decision) and that disappoints me a bit bc by now, he should know that JE is his sounding board and that she should have a choice in the matter – especially seeing how much she has helped her beloved research this mystery..the novel makes it seem a bit of a cop-out that JE woudln’t be helping resolve the final mystery at all..

      • lol yes 10 years of waiting= passionate french style reunion kiss! don’t hold back and it would be suitable for the scene hahaha

  11. I’ve never understood before why people don’t want to be spoiled. I’ve always thought it added to the fun of watching a drama or reading a book. But now I know… I really don’t like the endings and I feel less inclined to keep watching the show, my precious show that I’ve loved through 20 episodes. Now what do I do? I know I won’t give up reading spoilers, but I’ll go in a little bit wiser and sadder.

  12. 10 years?! Are you kidding me, show? Did Liu Chuan really believe that Jia En would wait for him? What if she had moved on and started her own family? What then? His excuse for not contacting her all this time is rubbish. Couldn’t he call her once in a while from some phone booth or write a letter? Had his father bugged Jia En’s phone and been stealing her mail? -_- After being silent for so many years, Liu Chuan suddenly appeared and went “Hey, let’s get back together!”…? What kind of love is this? What’s even more absurd is that in the end it was her, who felt guilty about doubting his feelings! Girl, if it was me, I would never ever take him back.

    • yes it is frustrating to think LC didn’t even attempt to let JE know..perhaps the ending was a bit rush on the novel and the writer got a little bit lazy..i want to assume that LC didn’t want JE to be tied down and have her freedom to live a carefree life..the only mistake is that he didn’t let her know..it’s a bit of out character that both JE and LC all of a sudden didn’t communicate after knowing throughout the drama that they have promised to go through it all and to let each other know what they are feeling..
      i guess in the drama, we will see more of what really went down and maybe see a clearer vision why LC couldn’t let JE know..
      if i can have it my way, i wished they had JE-LC solved the treasure hunt together..JE-LC went MIA from everyone else and now just coming back for the reunion in taiwan..but since the novel ending has been written down i hope they can change it up a bit..but hey a HAPPY ENDING IS A HAPPY ENDING..i am already happy about that rather than have JE and LC end up with other people..

    • Heh, she actually gave him a slap if it makes you feel a bit better. And he didn’t assume that she would wait for him. He asked her if she had anybody by her side.

      I also didn’t like the ending when I first read it but after reading it more in depth when I was doing the translation, I actually like it now. Their love withstood the test of time and the trials of life. This to be is true love. Of cos, I also think 10 years is way too much! They should have just made it 3 years or so….

  13. I’m getting a bit confused with the timeline. People keep talking about LC and JE being separated for ten years but I thought that the time jump was only going to be to 2005. So that means it’s ten years from 1995 when JE first came to Taipei but only 5 years from when she would have graduated. She wouldn’t have started grad school until about 2000-01, but LC graduated two years ahead of her so what is he doing during that time? Are they already broken up? So then if she studies in England for 5 years it brings us to about 2005-06. It says it takes three more years to finally track down LC, so we’re up to 2008-09 which would mean they DID break up after LC graduated if they are separated for 10 years. So will the story pick up from when JE comes back from England in 2005 (as the narration in the beginning suggested) but there’s ANOTHER time jump to bring us up to her reunion with LC? Does anyone understand the timeline better? So confused.

    • LC graduated in 1997 and he left for England in the same year. After that, there is a time jump to 2007 where it catches up with everybody’s lives. So the story doesn’t pick up from when JE returns to England. She had already been back in Taiwan and working for several years when the story picks up in 2007.

      What happens after LC left for England in 1997 is then told in flashbacks. He came back during the first school holiday and spent the holiday with JE before he left for England again. JE graduated in 1999 but when she went to England, she could not find LC. A couple of months later, LC wrote to tell her that he had already returned to Taiwan to keep his dad company (his parents finally divorced) and to look for further clues to his grandfather’s painting. That was his last letter to her.

      Hmm, from my reading of the novel, my understanding is that JE spent 3 years in England, not 5. Cos right after that statement that she never heard from LC again, there is a sub-chapter break which starts with the line “After 3 years, JE returned to Taiwan….”

      Hope that clarifies the timeline for you….

      • Thank you!

        So they never really broke up he just kinda disappeared? Dude, that’s terrible. I have a hard time believing LC would be that big a jerk. I seriously hope they find a better wrap up for the drama. Like something that doesn’t make me wanna flip tables.

  14. I thought Grandpa was going to be some sort of fighter for freedom during oppressive times–like say Germans who hid Jews and other victims of the concentration camps–and that would be reflective of his own path to be a human rights lawyer and maybe Dad would change too. Love the IAGW writers but this is a tad outlandish. Oh well, at least JE/LC definitely get together at the end 🙂

  15. Man I was so mad there was no ending but when I saw this post I was relieved. At least they got back together in the ending. Even though it was 10 long freaking years… why couldn’t it have been 2 years? UGH, this made me mad.

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