Descendants of the Sun Episode 15 Recap

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This was a most surreal episode of Descendants of the Sun, even on top of it being the penultimate episode that needed to set things in motion for the final swan song hurrah. This was an episode of things happening that for the life of me I can’t join together coherently beyond – shit happens and then everyone reacts to it. If I turned off my cognitive functions then this episode was really moving, I felt the emotions radiating from the screen from both Song Hye Kyo and Kim Ji Won, nicely done ladies!

But as a slow wrap to what has been an entertaining albeit implausible story, episode 15 jumped the shark big time (I call it jumping the megalodon), but in this case landed softly because it’s just a stuffed animal shark. No one watching at this point even expects a modicum of realism, but even narrative connectivity got junked to wallow in emotional exploitation. I don’t dig that, even as I still dig Shi Jin and Mo Yeon, so it’s a matter of whether I can overlook the big fat blip to move on. I can, but if tomorrow’s finale craps even harder than today’s episode then it’s going to be a long hard DotS fall to swallow.

Episode 15 recap:

Shi Jin sits in a wheelchair, smiling contently while listening to something on his headphones. I love Shi Jin but if he was out shooting stuff off mere hours after getting admitted to the hospital with a gunshot wound, it seems wholly necessary that he would be in a wheelchair now when he’s getting discharged, whatever standard hospital policy requires.

Mo Yeon bounds up with his discharge papers and confirms his teasing that he looked just like a pretty painting sitting there. Mo Yeon is excited because today she’s not his doctor and is taking him out of the hospital as his girlfriend.

She asks what he’s listening to and he puts the headphones on her to share his favorite listening selection. Mo Yeon smile disappears when she realizes he is listening to her cliffside confession and angrily lets go of his wheelchair. Shi Jin goes rolling down the incline in his wheelchair before hitting a curb and falling off. He’s fine of course but berates his girlfriend for nursing him back to health only to almost kill him afterwards. He suggests they don’t communicate via public transportation in the future.

Myung Joo and Dae Young are having lunch, her shoveling food while he sits ramrod straight across from her. I love a girl who can eat. She tells him to say what he wants to say before she finishes soon, and if he has nothing to say then why ask her out to eat. Myung Joo asks what their relationship is? Are they fighting while still together or have they broken up now?

Dae Young wants Myung Joo to convince him to take off his army uniform and go work for her uncle and become a businessman, he can do that because he’ll have her by his side. Myung Joo doesn’t want his life to be stifled like that, and brings up how she can cut off her dad going forward. That’s not an option for Dae Young because it ruins Myung Joo’s future promotion in the army. If he were Myung Joo’s dad he would also disapprove of Dae Young. He gets up to leave and tells her to finish up, he really did call her out just to feed her. Myung Joo asks if he wants to break up for real but Dae Young says nothing.

General Yoo stares at Dae Young’s army discharge papers sitting on his desk.

Mo Yeon is home and Shi Jin video calls her, teasing why she’s still dressed. She hangs up to open the door for him and is surprised he’s dropped by. He claims his injury still hurts and is here to get a follow up care. Shi Jin takes out cans of beer and tells Mo Yeon to go take a bath.

Mo Yeon finishes her bath and comes out to see Shi Jin has lit candles everywhere. She’s surprised he knows that she loves candles. He takes her beer from her and warns her not to drink with other guys. Mo Yeon asks what he will do if she does, will he drop down in a helicopter to stop her? She suddenly asks how he got a helicopter to rescue her and doesn’t buy Shi Jin’s attempts to feign injury pain to avoid answering the question.

Mo Yeon angrily asks how he could have used the second card to get the helicopter but he points out that using it helped save her life. Mo Yeon is upset and grills Shi Jin on whether there is anything of value in the helicopter, like gold or cases full of cash or barrels of oil. She can’t believe he used the second card on yet another mode of transportation! Shi Jin lovingly pinches the cheek of his very materialistic money grubbing girlfriend.

Ki Bum arrives at the test taking site for his college entrance exams and finds the hyungs of Alpha Team waiting there to cheer him on. They hand him PPL food and treats along with advice to select his answers wisely, or always pick 3 if he doesn’t know the answer as Dae Young suggests. Ki Bum heads inside and the guys try to act incognito before they all get calls on their cell for Alpha Team to gather, all except Dae Young.

As Alpha Team is packing up Dae Young is called in to see General Yoon who asks him to join this three month deployment because he can’t find a replacement yet, or he can sign the transfer papers now if Dae Young doesn’t want to go. Dae Young wants to go so General Yoon tells him to go and come back safely, and come see him with Myung Joo as he will drink two cups of tea with them as tacit acceptance of their relationship even without his earlier demand. General Yoon tears up Dae Young’s transfer papers while staring at the picture of his daughter.

Dae Young leaves his dog tag on Myung Joo’s apartment door before leaving for deployment.

The medical team at Hae Sung hospital are sitting around a coffee break when Chi Hoon is so upset after learning from Daniel the translation of what the little boy said to him. Chi Hoon realizes the little boy was asking for a goat and that word was not his name, lol.

Mo Yeon gets a call and excitedly heads outside the hospital to see Shi Jin waiting for her in his army fatigues. He apologizes right off for bat as he’s leaving for longer than usual. Mo Yeon wonders if it’s a few weeks and hears that it’ll be three months. He came by now when he had the time to see her before leaving. Mo Yeon asks if he’s going overseas so Shi Jin asks her to just think of him as enlisting in the military and his first day off is 100 days later.

Mo Yeon tries to be nonchalant and used to this but she can’t really and almost cries. Shi Jin hugs her and apologizes for having her endure this. She asks him to stay safe and he promises that he will come back alive. Mo Yeon wants to know if he can be reached and Shi Jin promises to call her when he has access. He asks Mo Yeon to live this season well and he’ll be back at the change of the season. Mo Yeon runs into Shi Jin’s arms and they embrace warmly before Shi Jin reluctantly leaves.

Shi Jin drives off while looking at Mo Yeon in his rearview mirror. Mo Yeon reluctantly heads inside when Shi Jin’s car disappears from view. She remembers Angus telling her that Big Boss is a great guy but has many secrets, and one of these days he won’t come back. Shi Jin deploys once again.

Mo Yeon is in a daze at the hospital cafeteria line and snaps out of it once she receives a confirmation text from Shi Jin that he’s safely arrived and missing her. Mo Yeon goes about her day-to-day life and lives on occasional texts from Shi Jin updating on his life tidbits where he’s at. Mo Yeon texts back that she misses him a lot and it’s hard not to be able to contact him.

Mo Yeon sits on the roof and watches a helicopter fly by, wishing Shi Jin would be taking one right now to come back to her.

Shi Jin and his Alpha Team are on a mission and ten minutes from finishing their entire deployment to go home. Shi Jin is suddenly shot from a distance and falls into Dae Young’s arms as he pulls Shi Jin to safety.

Mo Yeon happily goes about her day at the hospital as Dae Young tries to triage Shi Jin who is losing consciousness. Shi Jin remembers when his comrade died in trying to rescue him and how they promised to go drinking. Shi Jin says he’s coming and Dae Young begs Shi Jin to stay awake. Dae Young is suddenly shot at and watches Shi Jin’s eyes close. The Alpha Team members in the helicopter radio call and get no response. They suddenly see the area below explode in a fiery inferno and everyone screams.

Mo Yeon is texting Shi Jin and getting no response. Myung Joo joins her for drinks and assures Mo Yeon that the men are somewhere without communication so she needs to not upset herself by sending texts that won’t be returned. Myung Joo explains how her battle with Dae Young to be together is even harder but she won’t lose.

The ladies discuss what to do when the men return – Mo Yeon will take a week off no matter how much pay she loses just to stick beside Shi Jin, whereas Myung Joo will confiscate Dae Young’s phone and take him on vacation with her. They toast to that and then Mo Yeon gets a text update from joining an army wives board hearing that the men have gotten their shore leave.

Mo Yeon notices that it’s raining outside and wishes their men are back already. Myung Joo knows they are almost home and the ladies exchange assuring glances.

The Alpha Team members are welcomed off the arriving army transport and only three deplane without Shi Jin or Dae Young. Sargent Choi reports that the search and rescue is over and the men’s bodies have not been recovered.

General Yoon sits in his office brooding when Shi Jin’s father arrives. He walks numbly forward staring at Shi Jin’s dog tag on the desk. General Yoon hands over the dog tag with Shi Jin’s letter addressed to his dad. Shi Jin’s dad sobs uncontrollably.

Myung Joo is looking for hotels on her cell phone when her subordinate arrives to greet her. Myung Joo figures Dae Young is back and excitedly wants to run off to look for him. The subordinate walks up to give a report that Dae Young died honorably in battle. Myung Joo starts crying while screaming at the subordinate to give her a happy report!

Sargent Choi goes to see Mo Yeon at the hospital to give her the bad news. He starts off apologizing before telling Mo Yeon the terrible news that Shi Jin died in battle. Mo Yeon takes the letter addressed to her from Shi Jin.

Mo Yeon reads the letter from Shi Jin explaining that they write final letters each time they go into battle. He hopes she never reads it but if she is then he hasn’t kept his promise to come back safely. Wherever she is at is a happy place, and he is so lucky to meet her and fall in love. He’s so sorry to always have to leave her. Mo Yeon runs out of the hospital and drives off.

Myung Joo runs to her dad’s office and General Yoon can only apologize. Myung Joo wants him to tell her that this isn’t true but he only hands off Dae Young’s letter addressed to her. Myung Joo doesn’t want the letter because accepting and reading it means that he’s really dead. She blames her dad for doing this, when they could have been happy he sent Dae Young on a mission. General Yoon tells Myung Joo that she can still have a happy life but she wants none of that.

Mo Yeon arrives on the army base and sees Myung Joo sitting on the steps crying. She asks why Myung Joo is crying, if she’s crying then what about Mo Yeon? How’s Mo Yeon going to handle this? Has it been confirmed yet, what if it’s a mistake! Mo Yeon sees a similar letter in Myung Joo’s hand and asks if she will never see him again, he’s never ever coming back.

Myung Joo nods her head and Mo Yeon sinks to the ground beside her. Mo Yeon starts to sob in earnest as Myung Joo continues to cry.

MO Yeon lays in her apartment as Shi Jin’s letter continues – he knows this is a shameless request but he doesn’t want her sad and crying for long. He wants her to live a happy life and to forget about him quickly. Colonel Park pays Mo Yeon a visit and explains that in a week the army will release an official report that Shi Jin and Dae Young died during a training exercise. He wants Mo Yeon to sign a non-disclosure agreement keeping the truth of Shi Jin’s death a secret.

Mo Yeon asks if Shi Jin died saving lives and Colonel Park says he did. She wants to know if he helped maintain peace somewhere when he died and Colonel Park says yes. He also says yes when she asks if Shi Jin died serving his country. Mo Yeon wants to know why his country wants her to sign this NDA now, when the country wants to keep what he did a secret to the end. But she still tearfully signs it because it’s what he would have wanted.

Mo Yeon returns to work at the hospital and everything is back to business, taking patients from the medi-copter into the OR and rushing around to grab a quick bite. Dr. Kim walks up to talk about how Mo Yeon shaved another 8 minutes in her ER patient intake, congratulating her on becoming Gangnam’s fastest ER doctor.

Dr. Kim sits down and asks Mo Yeon why she’s objecting changing a medicine? Mo Yeon says the current one is fine and cheap and the new one comes from a company Dr. Kim’s relative owns. She tells Mo Yeon to go be a doctor in Africa if she’s all about saving lives but Mo Yeon points out that three out of four patients Dr. Kim sees are misdiagnosed thanks to her incompetence so she best look out for herself.

Mo Yeon drinks wine in coffee mugs with bestie Ji Soo in her radiology lab. Ji Soo wants Mo Yeon to go home tonight rather than stay and give the residents a hard time. Mo Yeon grows quiet and Ji Soo wonders what she’s thinking? Mo Yeon is thinking of so many scattered memories – bottled water, red wine, candles, c-rays, recordings – as her eyes mist up and she starts to cry. She thought she was all better but clearly she’s not.

Ji Soo asks if Mo Yeon needs a hug but she promises to be fine. Mo Yeon takes another drink of wine before wiping her tears with a smile.

Myung Joo deploys yet again to Urk and thanks him for allowing her this mission. General Yoon asks her to stay healthy this time and admits his only failed mission was opposing Dae Young. It was a completely wrong thing to do and made his daughter so unhappy. He asks Myung Joo to know that he is always thinking of her and if she has time to remember that, and he will wait for her to forgive him when she is ready.

Myung Joo and Mo Yeon go back for drinks and this time their dates are the same two stuffed animals that Dae Young and Shi Jin won at the arcade. Myung Joo explains that she’s going back to Urk in three days and asks Mo Yeon to drink with her for three days and three nights like the guys did. Mo Yeon is up for that as the ladies toast.

Mo Yeon admits it’s been weird lately as she keeps remembering all the happy memories. She wants to know how Myung Joo and Dae Young met and hears it was because of a woman.

Flashback as it’s raining and Dae Young heads out under an umbrella after he’s attended his ex-girlfriend’s wedding with Myung Joo. Shi Jin runs under and puts his arms around Dae Young. He introduces himself as the Captain and Dae Young blurts out that he’s dating. Shi Jin is confused until Dae Young says he’s dating Yoon Myung Joo.

Shi Jin and Dae Young sit down for drinks and Dae Young sucks at keeping his story straight, saying he’s dated Myung Joo for one year but then revealing that he met her last month during endurance training. Dae Young just keeps repeating that he’s dating Yoon Myung Joo. Shi Jin asks if Dae Young knows that Myung Joo’s dad is a three star general. He pauses before repeating again that he’s dating Myung Joo which makes Shi Jin smile and he tells Dae Young to keep dating her. He’s happy that he won’t have reason to fight Dae Young other than on the same side in combat.

Mo Yeon walks through Seoul holding her Shi Jin bear and passes by the coffee shop where she used to go with Shi Jin.

Shi Jin and Mo Yeon tease each other in the coffee shop on one of their dates about how they have not said “I love you” to each other. She thinks they’ve said it via physical skinship which makes Shi Jin nearly choke on his coffee, but she meant the hand holding and kissing before they even confessed. He wants to hear it now and in alphabetical order she should do it, or ladies first, or by age. But before Mo Yeon can complain Shi Jin just says “I love you”. Mo Yeon takes her chocolate heart stirrer and says I love you back. They clink hearts before dropping it into their coffees.

Mo Yeon lights a candle at home and stares dejectedly at her Shi Jin teddy. She suddenly sees Shi Jin sitting on her sofa holding the bear. They both say I miss you before Mo Yeon demands to know why he didn’t come back as promised, asking if it was all worth it? Shi Jin wanted so much to rush back to her. Mo Yeon cries that he hasn’t come back before the camera pulls back showing her alone.

Myung Joo arrives back at the Urk base and settles into her bunker. She takes out Dae Young’s letter and holy has she not read it yet? She puts it into her locker folded and says that she will never read it until she dies, she’ll piss him off like he’s upset her.

Mo Yeon is at the airport flying off and finishes talking to Ji Soo before taking a call from Daniel. He’s stuck in quarantine since he’s on various no-entry list and is in Korea to protect a Big Pharma conference so the two meet up at the airport. He hears that she’s headed back to Urk to volunteer and she’s doing this for her own selfish reasons because tomorrow is Shi Jin’s death anniversary.

Mo Yeon arrives in her overseas stint and settles into treating the local patients.

Daniel is protesting on how vaccines originally created to save lives are being weaponized to do harm. He decries the multinational pharmaceutical companies for their greedy ways.

Myung Joo is bandaging the hand of a soldier when Ki Bum walks in revealing that he’s also been stationed her. He offers to cook ramyun for Myung Joo and the two sit down to eat, reminiscing about how Dae Young loved ramyun too. Ki Bum looks up in shock to see that it’s snowing outside. Snow flurries fall in Urk softly as Myung Joo stares.

Mo Yeon ties her hair back in the wind and remembers Shi Jin doing it for her in the past. She goes to play flowers on his rock grave site and talks to him about why he takes such risks and thinks he can survive. He’s a liar when he told her that he wouldn’t get hurt or die.

Mo Yeon cries and cries until she gets a call over the walke talkie. She answers back that she’s coming back before leaving the white rock on the grave. The rock keeps falling and Mo Yeon tries to put it back. She suddenly hears “Big Boss” over her walkie talkie and she drops it in shock. She looks around and then grabs her phone to see that her text messages to Shi Jin have all been read. Wow, magical cell phone survival as well.

Mo Yeon looks around and then hears a voice on the walkie talkie telling the pretty girl to turn back and talk a look. Mo Yeon stares at Shi Jin slowly walks towards her. Mo Yeon runs towards Shi Jin and trips to fall to the ground. Shi Jin drops his bag and runs towards Mo Yeon to help her up.

The two stare at each other before Shi Jin says no long no see. Mo Yeon keeps repeating that he’s alive and Shi Jin says something this difficult he’s always able to do it.

Shi Jin pulls Mo Yeon in for a tight embrace as she keeps repeating that he’s alive while he keeps apologizing to her. If he didn’t intentionally fake his death and then stay away then he has nothing to apologize for.

Thoughts of Mine:

Where do I even start? Getting angry at Kim Eun Sook for this level of narrative wankery just to put Mo Yeon and Myung Joo through the ringer feels so pointless. Of course she was going to try and kill Shi Jin off, all the hints from episode 1 pointed towards the men going through a life and death experience while the ladies who love them suffer and cry back home. But expecting it doesn’t mean accepting a very lame way of bringing it about, and this was as poorly constructed as any. Starting off with it following just an episode behind Shi Jin getting shot and having his heart stop, ergo he’s just had a brush with death. If he died for reals this time then so be it, narratively it would be a better payoff then yet another feint that relied on his superhuman healing abilities. This time he got shot and survived an explosion, woo hoo! Much as I love Dae Young, if he also survived then the headdesking is through the roof. Only way I’ll buy it is if their deaths were orchestrated by the SK government to send both even deeper undercover, but then why have Shi Jin’s near death memory of his dead comrade. I couldn’t swallow a single moment of the sadness to come because this whole set up stunk to high level with lazy writing.

With that said, Mo Yeon and Myung Joo’s sorrowful displays did feel sincerely heartbroken, and makes me want to introduce them to non-special forces awesome guys out there so they can stop loving men perched at the edge of danger. At Shi Jin and Dae Young’s danger hit rate, these two ladies are going to be going through this cycle like a bad case of Groundhog Day. It also feels like that as a viewer, and with each instance the impact is decreased exponentially. The next time Shi Jin gets shot and/or maybe blown up I might look up from filing my nails, or maybe not. He’s no longer the Korean Captain America, he’s now the Korean Wolverine with regeneration powers. I know the story will have some explanation for how Shi Jin came back alive but there is so little I can postulate to make it work, on top of the general exhaustion with this recycled plot device. Even admiring how beautiful Song Hye Kyo looked in the entire episode, from beaming happiness to gutwrenching despair, I still couldn’t help but mentally check out by the end. And then mentally checking back in the moment desert windswept and dirty Shi Jin, wearing matching scarf natch, showed up again walking over the desert horizon crest. What can I say, I’m a glutton for Song Joong Ki visual perfection.

Aside from the rinse-and-repeat death feint, everything else in this episode also felt perfunctory. The medical team members are all on the backburner with one scene hanging out with Mo Yeon. The mission that “killed” Shi Jin and Dae Young had zero context so I didn’t even know enough to care why they went there or who they may have given their lives for. Unlike Urk where each new danger developed nicely, this mission was just there and felt manufactured for the tearful fallout. If it was to put Shi Jin and Dae Young in so much danger that they would quit their military careers once they got home then so be it. But even then it’s not realistic since being soldiers is the only thing they are excellent at, as far as we know, and if they don’t become civilians after this bout with near death then I’m going to want Myung Joo and Mo Yeon to find new boyfriends because this will clearly keep happening time and again. They aren’t just normal soldiers, they are elite special forces at the front line of danger. I think Kim Eun Sook bit off more than she can chew in trying to hammer home this point, this episode would have better spent with the two couples just being lovey dovey while safely advancing their careers. There was no need for one more life-and-death struggle, we get the risk and I don’t appreciated being treated like a mentally slow viewer while dangling pretty Song-Song cuteness in my face.

It’s disappointing that Kim Eun Sook couldn’t have saved this huge event just for this ending episode, or thrown in other dangers like maybe Mo Yeon or Shi Jin’s parent getting in harm’s way thanks to Shi Jin’s job or in a medical emergency that needs Mo Yeon to step out. I’ve cut this dramas glaring lack of realistic plausibility a lot of slack and agree that those who enjoy it aren’t getting hung up on eyeball rolling displays of heroism and regenerative ability. But stretching realism to make for good dramatic flair is not what lapsed here, what happened with Shi Jin, and likely Dae Young’s fake death, is to make me stop connecting with the emotional core of the love stories. I feel tired with both couples issues that are non-issues because it no longer feels like Shi Jin could ever really die. Not to mention Dae Young and Myung Joo at an impasse over his military career when it’s not like he’s a piano prodigy giving up the ivories for the girl he loves, being a soldier is just a job and he can get a different one without anyone crying a river. If he doesn’t like desk jobs then get one where he gets to use his skills. Now that all that venting is done, I am still enjoying the drama and looking forward to the final episode. It can’t be stupider than this one, right? And after so many times of making Mo Yeon, and us, worried about Shi Jin’s fate there can’t possibly be a fourth bite at the same rotten narrative apple. Right?

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Comments

Descendants of the Sun Episode 15 Recap — 84 Comments

  1. As crazy and unbelievable the story of this drama, the ladies of DOTS nailed this episode😉 their acting was raw and full of emotions. I must say they have mastered the art of crying in vain for the ones they love. I will just have to wait for tonights episode I guess with a back story of how they survived and my hunch is they were dismissed from service as KIA so as to move on with their personal lives with their ladies. Nevertheless your quick recap and posts throughout this entire DOTS journey is deeply appreciated and lauded. Kudos😊

  2. “I don’t appreciated being treated like a mentally slow viewer”

    Mte
    Are we just mindless viewers who just want the guys to be resurrected at all costs, even if it is completely implausible. There are only so many times I can suspend my disbelief. I thought this drama, with it’s filming done before broadcast, wouldn’t fall into the usual pattern of Kdrama plots falling flat midway, but I guess this only proves that it’s on the writer’s onus to write sanely as well.

    • Thats why i like this drama its so unrealistic but something you’d like to happen in reality. Theres enough cuteness and lovey dovey that takes you out of this stressful real world.want to see the ending but truthfully dont wanna see it end.. just yet

    • Because a patient can jump out of bed after the machine has declared no heartbeat even after CPR. Then suddenly wake up and walk like a completely normal person with just a sprained wrist and no gunshot wounds. And the doctors aren’t even surprised – stuff like this happen everyday huh?

      I thought perhaps that episode was rushed in the writing because of Joongki’s injury. But this one. The army had already aborted rescue and declared death publicly. And it is already one year on. If he actually miraculously survived, well surely he would have been in Korea first instead of Albania? Because you know, passports and all? Now medical inaccuracy probably doesn’t matter to most ppl but basic knowledge of death and passports is hard to ignore. I’m not against unrealistic situations but at least give a justification for it. 2 completely implausible scenarios with no explanation at all is lazy writing. Just trying to fire a cheap shot making ppl cry and be grateful he came alive, regardless how. The fact that the drama was pre-production means pacing problems shouldn’t be an excuse. Scriptwriter had time to make sure the ends tie up nicely.

      I’m disappointed simply because the first 12 eps had its share of unrealistic moments but at least they bothered to explain or give context. And the story writing was so strong before, it suddenly leaves me thinking somebody changed the writer somewhere. Some people think I shouldn’t complain, but many people like me watched it because of the story. Not everyone watches the show just for the romance yeah? I watched it wanting it succeed so don’t point fingers at me thinking I just want it to fail or that I’m heartless. I loved it for 12 eps which it why it pained me this much.

      • That’s KES for you. She can only write fantasy dramas. She even said she uses those cheesy lines to pull men. That means it’s a bad example.

  3. Is it wrong that I don’t even care that this episode makes little sense and feels like it was clumsily put together? All I care about is uri captain! Hahaha like you I’m a sjk visual glutton! ❤️

    I felt so much pain for both the female characters, thumbs up to the 2 of them for making those scenes feel so real (at least on the emotional level)

  4. Am I do the only one who thinks the writer could make this work? I feel like Seo could have pulled him out before the fire. The way the camera shot this, there could have been a time gap between when they got shot and when the men in the helicopter started to yell their name. I’m holding my judgement till tomorrow

  5. Part of the thoughts are true for me. Although thr rating keeps soaring high, but it left me with less attachment after ep 12. For me, ep 12 just a perfect wrap up for this drama. Streching too far for unconnected eps towards ep 16 kind of tiring now. I do admit that I’m a huge fan for this drama but apart from rom-com that display in each eps (after ep 12), I barely have any hype feeling. Not even a shed of tears although seeing the lead covers in blood or even being blown up by a missile.
    I will not putting high hope towards the ending anymore, as I expected in earlier. Thus drama will be in my list but not in my everlasting favourite. I definitely can move onto another drama after DoTS close his curtains. Everyone who has working very hard to make this drama a worthwhile watching, I command your efford. I will watch until the end before I can put my personal rating.

    • I was busy and a little late to finishing up the last two episodes but your comment got me because I know I’m supposed to be all emotional and crying in this episode but all I could think was…it’s episode 15, they aren’t dead. It’s ridiculous there is a whole episode left. Bad plotting, bad pacing, bad storytelling. I’ve enjoyed, like Koala, enough aspects of the show to keep going. This could have been different and epic. It’s not.

  6. I really don’t have much issue with him coming back because DY was not badly hurt,and could save him, and there will be an explanation. That being said we could have done without his near death experience last week.

    And SHK carries this drama tbh. Her character is the best written and her acting shows the most range. She was brilliant today.

    SJ really needs to retire. MY should come first finally and if he loves her he won’t go to the department store anymore

    • It was manufactured emotion. And even koala said that was one of the saving graces of the show and the ladies were great at crying. But don’t kill the lead for no reason except to wring out tears and then bring him back for no emotional consequence.anyways I don’t give you much credibility if that’s all you feel after watching this episode. You just must really have turned off your brain.So logic won’t help here

  7. ROFL. What a clusterfuck this script is! 😮

    The writer is like checking off a list: ‘Which effect haven’t I created before? For beginners – therefore without a plot.’

    ‘Ep 13 – almost kill the hero and make the audience suffer – check
    Ep 14 – give the hungry masses some lovey dovey for the feelz – check
    Ep 15 – now kill him for realz – check. Have the heroine suffer for a year while looking beautiful – check. Dramaaaaaatic plot twist, let the hero return while pretending that there still is a country in the world without SNS or something stoneage ancient like a telephone – check.
    Ep 16 – endless happiness while p**ping rainbows for the OTP because the heroine will not have found someone new and will not be angry at the hero for not contacting her during his loooong healing process – check.
    Now for the second lead couple should I go with option 1: kill him, because it’s an army story and I can so the audience will get the feeeeeellz and always remember this show or option 2: more p**ping rainbows so the audience will def return and watch my next show because it is soooo good and the best ever. Ok, let’s throw a coin.’

    SJK this will take a long time to forgive you to make me watch this mess just to see your face! *shakes fist in anger*

    • I totally agree. It was a good story until episode 12. Then it started to desperately want to keep audiences watching and stretching their emotions. SHK did a great job and proved that she is not just a pretty face. Kudos for that. I am still waiting a drama/story that has both story and visual value. Like what ockoala said, audiences are not dumbos. Yes, we want to escape reality but only by a reasonable amount or it will be difficult to go to work tomorrow. Thanks for the recap and your views. I enjoyed reading it.

      • Maybe it is also because sjk got injured filming that car chase.. So they had to change the story a bit to meet the shooting deadline?

    • The almost die plot twice really kills the suspense. It kinda makes things worse. And like koala said, the last mission seems out. It will be better if they were still at Urk. At least the tension from that place doesn’t felt fabricated. But this one, with no background of what kind of mission they went to, and a sudden shot at the end of the mission once more (first was with capt Argus) seems so out of place. The writer could’ve done better. And one whole year is too long to recover from gunshot wound. And it’s not like they can treat each other so no way in hell could there be no buzz about them at least within the locals. Unless the military has completely stop whatever kind of contact they have with country after the disaster, that would’ve explained it.

    • Me too. Its all about sjk. Whatever the plot is for me all the actors and actress act was very good. I can watch many times because of sjk.I really love his face expression, his body language, his voice. He makes people smile with his smile.

  8. Thatkind of like how I feel. For daeyoung and myeong ju realationship ican still take it that they keep on breaking up for the same reason, things like that happen. Couples do fought over the same thing again and again. But near death situation keep on repeat, still ok if they make it realistic. I mean who could stand again after collapsing from gun shot and to top it having a cardiac arrest??? At least the writer could make someone else do the job and let si jin lie on the bed getting treatment. And now, seeing the river and come back a year later? Pffttt. I’m not aginst sijin alive but i hope the reason behind was acceptable.
    All the lovey dovey scenes from episode 13 is lovely i lovee it so much but i hope in the middle the writer would just create another interconnected plot so the last 4 ep wouldn’t feel so off. And make him severely injured instead of nearly died then only ep 15 sijin revival would seem more acceptable to me.

  9. This episode once again vindicates what SJK summarized about DotS:
    “It’s about a love story.”

    It’s definitely 100% a love story. There’re still missing puzzles to be pieced together for what had happened to Si Jin all this time. And what about Dae Young? I hope there will be some legit explanations in the finale.

    Nevertheless, I don’t think all the disjointed threads in the storyline matters anymore given that they can’t be accurate in real life, as already shown specifically on medical side. And I don’t think being realistically precise is even part of the writers’ emphasis since the focus has been mostly on the romance of two OTPs.

    • No. They are all written by the two co-writers together. We can feel that the action scenes are written by the male writer and the romantic scenes are written by the female writer consistently from episode 1 to episode 15.

  10. Totally on the same page as you. I’m so disappointed with how the last 3 episodes have been panning out, and the disappointment is heightened because of how great the drama has been thus far. It feels like some other scriptwriter came in halfway and took over the reigns entirely:(

  11. Sigh. Such a mix of emotions. While I’m relieved SJ is alive. The plot is too convoluted and poorly written. In this case. The drama deserves another episode or 2 to fill in between Shi Jin getting shot at and revived dramatically last episode to Shi Jin being killed off/bombed and survive to reappear again. An additional episode (or 2) would give us some pleasant dating lovey dovey in Seoul before properly developing the new important mission that Shi Jin and his alpha team must go. That way we will have more meat on the mission and it’s severity and danger. Instead of dropping us a being shot and getting bombed at scene. I rarely wan a long Korean drama. But the hasty pace and so much going on really interferes in thoroughly enjoying the acting. And that is a real shame. Because the two actress were really into the soul crying emoting scenes when they learn they lost their man. Episode 16 better come up with a strong iron to iron out the many creases and bumps of episode 15.

    Meanwhile episode 15 to me is just really to stare at the beauty of SHK and the charm of SJK in their roles

  12. kim ji won great acting shine the most in this episode.i can’t believe she is the same person who play the characters in heirs,one sunny day,gapdong,watch up…such a great young actress.she just nailed Myung Joo character, my favourite in this drama.jin goo also does a great job too!!!

  13. the recycled I-died-but-I-came-back-alive-again plot twice in four episodes is hard to swallow for me. The explosion scene in this episode was still believable as both Shi Jin and Dae Yong might have just split seconds to escape from the burning car/truck/lorry but the car park gun-chasing chapter, I still could not grasp it. If Doo Min Joon (from YWCFTS) could live 400 years, Captain Yoo Shi Jin could easily surpass that and live at least 401 years. I am a fan for the first ten episodes but the interest died down slowly when they returned to Korea. Fans have been asking for an extension to 20 episodes but seriously, this drama is already at its best at 12 to 16 episodes and adding more will have reverse effect.

  14. This is a drama and some of you are asking for a documentary. For me this episode is so emotional. And SHK really shines here. She deserves any award for her performance here.

  15. As much as I loved DOTS in first few episodes,my brains can’t take it seriously after that scene of YSJ playing with gun,pointing at MY when she was washing in one of episodes.A soldiers never disrespect his gun.

    Then followed by YSJ becoming captain Korea with surviving multiple shots and standing up right after CPR.Ho.Ho. Good bye DOTS.I give up watching and just decided to read recaps.

    Now,I see more plotholes,even I am just reading recaps.Why? This is preproduced and had tons of money put in.But everything is so messy and out-of-universe.I wonder if it is serving for crazy young fangirls only.

    HONESTLY,DOTS was fun and awesome.For first 6 episodes or so.The rest is to watch with half of the brains.Or None.

  16. Agree that SHK really nailed this episode. She is like on another level.
    The cinematography is also very good. It is very well executed. I don’t understand why you are watching such a good drama and still complaining about it.

  17. Nothing makes sense in this drama, the story is incoherent but somehow still boring a lot of the scenes feel pointless,the plotholes are too big to just ignore. After episode 12, the same conflict goes round and round shi jin gets shot she cries he miraculously survives he gets hurt and comes back to life again and again it’s unrealistic and laughable. Frankly speaking, i’m still watching dots only for the 4 main leads good acting.

  18. Its lucky kmy dont married someone else.. And then one day ysj came looking for her at the hosital only find her huge pregnant. Its going to be another heartbroken

    Just like the ‘sail away ‘movie.

  19. This writer is so bad at writing other genres except romance lol. Does she need such high budget to shoot this drama lol?
    The medical aspect and army don’t make sense at all . What war zone drama? Bullshit
    She only cares about the eyecandy by making super perfect male leads. I really hate how shallow the drama is. The casts are amazing but it’s even more painful to see so many people going nuts for such jarring plot.

    • Shallow is an accurate way to describe this show. There’s no story. It’s really just a collection of beautiful music video moments and random stuff happening to get us to those beautiful music video moments.

  20. I’m i the only one who thinks MY is just imagining seeing him there? Though am pretty sure he is alive, am confident that ep 16 will show us how they managed to survive. Maybe this episode will make so much sense after we watch ep 16.

  21. I cried yes, because no im not heartless. But then I rolled my eyes and chuckled a ridiculous amount, because I still have a functioning brain lol. It’s like I was sad but then mostly Im just asking wtf am I even sad about, I was basically anticipating how the reunion was gonna be because come on we ALL know YSJ gonna come back. I was also internally asking MY to hurry up with the mourning, I mean we all want to see the reunion fucking bad right?

    In terms of acting, I have always known SHK will deliver, never doubted her acting once. She is the queen of Kdramas hello. My queen anyway.

  22. possibly a last min plot revision. the writer did joked she possibly may have to emigrate if the show ends as Lover in Paris. which is YSJ and SDY dies scenario (but i bet she did not expect the 2nd leads story to become so popular.)

  23. Aww, this drama started with a laugh about MY’s will at the cliff and near the end, it turned solemn and sad with SJ’s will ..Kudos to the ladies of this show! Splendid acting all around. Although from recent interviews, Kim Eun Sook assured us that no one will die, I cried my heart out watching them broken with grief.

    Honestly, this is my “chill” drama, I don’t think much when I watch. I just sit back and be fully entertained. I find this works best for me.

    Lol at knetz though saying the writer hinted at Signal with the walkie talkie coming alive at the end!! Hahaha!! Kim eun sook & Signal writer are good friends so if she really did that on purpose, they must’ve had a good laugh XD

  24. Maybe the writers ran out of things to write about after ep 12, but in terms of plot continuity this drama scores low on the totem pole.

    KMY’s reaction to the news of YSJ’s death was spot on. Any reasonable person would ask, did they check the scene properly before assuming he was dead since they never found the bodies? I don’t know why they didn’t declare them Missing In Action or Prisoners Of War, and just made the leap that they were dead without any physical evidence to support their claim, unless it was part of their covet op to pretend to be dead for a year.

    Either way, YSJ has a helluva lot of explaining to do. I half expected KMY to deck him on his face, for making her suffer for a year, instead of giving him a hug. I know if I were in her shoes, I’d probably hit him.

    Kim Ji Won makes a badass female soldier. I love her strength and hardness. That kind of strength is so sexy in a female (I hope I don’t sound sexist).

  25. I agree with all of people that say ep 14 was so unrealistic and writer could just make accident for his injury no need to such a drama but that aside this ep was wonderful I live in a country that had a war not long before I have relatives their husbands job are so similar to shi jin but they don’t left their men just because their job is dangerous and made them worried. I am so glad you lived in peaceful country and can’t relate with such situation but drama aside ,meaning and feeling this show want to show is beautiful.(sorry for bad eng ,its not my native language)

  26. I don’t understand why many are surprised by the events in Ep 15 – the whole theme of dating a man with a very risky job is running through the entire drama, so there’s gonna be a GGOMGWTF life and death event involving YSJ at least and we’re gonna see melo tear-jerking moments so SHK can shine in these scenes. The cardiac arrest event last ep was resolved too fast to milk any tears and was probably just there to check off a doctor-girlfriend-saves-soldier-boyfriend’s-life dramatic requirement, and yes, I agree that was really splotchy logic wise even for this drama.

    What I didn’t like was the one-year separation – did YSJ have to do an overseas MBA? And if he wasn’t paying his phone bills for 1 year he can still receive his messages? Maybe Ep 16 will explain it acceptably, let’s see.

  27. Thank you for the recaps Ms. Koala. I just wanted to add that I did find some sense to this episode because I wasn’t waiting for a logical explanation of whether Shin Jin survives and how likely that is to happen. The Wolverine comments really made me laugh…Instead what I thought was important about this episode was it provides an answer to a question I had about Myung Joo. To me she represents so many wifes and girlfriends of people in dangerous jobs. I understood her hesitation to get emotionally involved and fall in love with Shin Jin because I kept wondering how can this work out in the long run? Two very busy life’s when would they ever have time for a family or how could she get past the girlfriend stage if he kept disappearing? If he disappeared for 8 months, came back injured, then disappears again. You date someone like this for two years and realize this won’t work in the long run…20, 30 years of this lifestyle together….the death scene in this episode was important because if nothing else it creates the scenario I feared most for Myung Joo. He really doesn’t comeback and now what? It asks was it worth it? Can she move on? Would she end up feeling resentful? Would she just find someone else? I loved how both girlfriends went back to making their work be the truly solid part of their life. Their boyfriends are never there but their work never goes away. It’s their work that saves them both because it gives meaning to their day to day. They are both doctors and save lifes everyday. It felt like both women grew up to become such strong characters fighting for life in the way Shin Jin fights for Peace and adding Daniel to this episode was wonderful. I love the way he protests against pharmaceutical companies and compares them to drug dealers….In short, this episode gave me a much better understanding of the ladies character and Daniels and for that I really enjoyed it. Whether Shin Jin came back or not at the end didn’t seem so important to me because it showed me that either way Myung Jo would find a way to continue living well.

    • I think you bring a different perspective to the discussion. And I agree with what you said – but this episode, when joined to the previous ones, seems a little much. It would have been nice, and for me logical, to include the reactions of the Dr. and Nurse as they view the Myung Jo’s loss from their perspective. They are not in constant danger of being separated so wouldn’t it be better to be happy together – it’s a chance they have that Shin Jin and Myung Jo don’t have – living a relatively peaceful, well-ordered life. But I wrote my predictions below in my own post. We’ll see. It’s a good story but I do think the writing has weakened since episode 12.

  28. I really don’t understand the bashing here. It is so bizarre. Judge whatever you want but all the scenes make sense to me and the script is very consistent to me. This episode is the best one and SHK really shines in it.

    • Maybe you should explain why it makes sense to you. Because on the other spectrum, people really can’t understand why this episode would it would. Honestly I’m curious.

      Step by step I can understand,he left, he got shot, he died, everyone was sad,but then he didn’t die, plot twist! but the why it happens or the emotional build up of dying on a mission without context, after almost unrealistically dying last episode; it’s not supposed to be realistic but story wise theres no subtlety and it doesn’t spend the time to dig deeper into these issues of being in war and a relationship. Then if you look at the show as a whole, it’s disjointed from the first half and from being in uruk. There’s few scenes of the medical staff because apparently they served their purpose.

    • Thank you. Well said. Some of the critiques come off as everybody wants to be a well-known writer, but for this drama, there are only two.

    • I think if you look at it as a romance story about a peacekeeping special forces officer and a trauma doctor and how they deal with their issues, it makes sense. All the previous eps have shown (tho of course with suspension of disbelief, lots of it) how they slowly understood each other, got together, and tried to make the relationship work, even when they got to their normal lives in Seoul, away from the romantic backdrop of Uruk. This latest hurdle in their relationship, SJ presumed dead and gone for a year, is the most difficult one to date and I guess if they get through this, if MY can still accept him, and if they both can reach a compromise after, then maybe their fated relationship can really last.

      Of course if you compare this to other highly thought out, very intellectual dramas, then you are really bound to be disappointed. Also, for the people ranting about the sudden appearance of SJ at the end, as we’ve seen in previous DotS eps, for sure it will all be explained in the finale. It had the surprise factor right? Just like the kiss scene in ep 4, the shocking ending of ep13 etc.. for people still watching, let’s all have fun and enjoy the finale! 🙂

      • Well said. I like the drama. I don’t know if everything will be able to be explained in the last episode, but there is an epilogue next week. I like the acting, I like the actors/actresses. I like the love story.

  29. Lol! I agree w the matching shirt, scarf and pants. Lost interest aft ep 8. 1st 8 eps before and during earthquake were awesome!

  30. Lol about the not paying his phone bill & still receiving messages! Seriously there’s so many plot holes in this drama but SJK just has to smile & I’m glued to the screen 🙂

  31. As usual you are dead on in your critique of this episode. It seems the writer was given a project with 16 episodes and ran out of real plot line at episode 12. Then forced the next two episodes with Super Captain. And for the latest,15, just went off the rails. It is difficult for the spouses of Special Operations Unit personnel to deal with the deployments and fear of constant death. The specter of the base Chaplin and Commanding Officer showing up at the house to tell the wife her husband is dead or missing is all too real. But I think this episode went way overboard precisely because it lost all the other plot lines. Although I was glad to see the Thief/solder get promoted. I predict the ending will have the Captain get promoted to Major or higher and therefore fall of the list of deployable assets. The Sgt Major will be promoted and placed in charge of the training academy and therefore non-deployable, and the young thief, now Sgt, will join Alpha team to continue the tradition. Regarding the Doctor and nurse – well – who knows.

  32. What I really want to know is…
    1. How did they find a Samsung charger out there to charge his phone?
    2. How come his messages get displayed as read – its an sms right?
    3. For a wartorn country that has many power blackouts their telecom service works just fine. I mean, he gets reception in the desert! Where I am, I don’t even get reception unless I expose myself to radiation by standing next to the transmission station.

    Still,agree with a poster above who said that dots is a great escape from the real world
    Cant wait to see sjk in his movie!

    • I only have answer for item 2. That’s not a SMS, that’s a chatting app. Katalk and Line has the features to view as read, if your message is read by the recipient. It works like the double green tick on whatsapp.
      Sorry~a techy geek here. Got to highlight this hahaha!

      • haha thanks so much! it got translated as “SMS” over the app i watch it on. love the story so much but… had to suspend my belief many times over!

    • Well, I enjoyed the episode and…. No one else should make me feel like I shouldn’t enjoy it or i should enjoy it, so take everything with a pinch of salt! Even the bad reviews and good ones.

  33. Interesting. After watching such a heartfelt episode I came here to see the bashing. Is this a club or something? You guys never fail to amaze me

    • Silent reader here usually but I agree, I didn’t mind the episode, but Koala hs a cult following her and they just go ‘omo koala you are SO right’ and proceeds to take her views. Seen it many times here. Usually disregard it but you know what, guys, chill…. It is a freaking drama, it isn’t suppose to be reality!

      Man, I am a trauma nurse and I laughed hysterically at majority of the medical scenes from episode 1, it is fake and all absurd from the start, hence him jumping up after CPR is believable… From episode one there is medical inaccuracy so why will that change? And yes, people can be quite well after CPR, seen it, they do actually talk to you and is normal (complaining that their chest hurts *yes dear, we had to revive you with CPR, she/he was cute in my memory*), except they don’t run around like our Captain because our Captain is YSJ in a drama, a Korean drama to be exact. What do you expect?

      I loved the ladies reaction to their boyfriends ‘death’, their acting was spot on and was probably the reasons tears were shed by the lady viewers, I didn’t like how they had to make them die, didn’t shed tears, only the acting of the two females leads did. Which was awesomely delivered, spot on acting. And the commander too, his dripping uniform was like his tears he couldn’t shed as he had to remain the composed leader. The acting in this episode is fantastic!

      Story line wise, it wasn’t as amazing, it did feel they had to kill off the main male leads in a stupid way (as if no one saw it coming…, it’s Korean drama!) and then probably reunite them or make it a dream… All which are typical of a Korean drama, so, once your expectations are there to watch a sappy love drama of a Korean screen writer, you should know you are in for a ride, which romance of theirs isn’t dominated by some kind of gut wrenching life and death or MIL objection blah which prevents them BUT true love prevails and they are together either in life or sometimes death.

      If you want to hope or hoped that this is different, then you are just kidding yourself, if you want it to be ‘more real’, go watch a documentary about animal reproduction, if you want to be a fan girl crying over your dead oppa who was so dashing, then you come to the right place, expect hilarious medical errors, out of ordinary army errors, unrealistically good looking couples who just happen to meet and be single, and always, always a mean parent who objects to the relationship, always. It’s like a maths formula one has to get the answer from.

      So all in all, if you don’t want to read my ranting, summed up is
      * acting is superb and good emotions by the actors
      * typical Korean drama story with gut wrenching twists
      * shitty medical errors from episode 1, so him surviving another gun shot is like, him getting a cut during shaving.
      * enjoy the drama, not many people go and analyse all the nitty gritty and ‘it didn’t meet my expectations’, which from its ratings, it seems to be meeting the expectations of many, which I think is to watch that SJK’s handsome face and go gaga over it =P

      Chill guys, it’s a KOREAN drama, realistic stuff don’t happen, if it does, it will be a documentary (animal reproduction, coz some are partners for life, so I guess they love each other and went through stuff before they got together and had babies, which is what the happily ever after in a drama will eventually pan out to).

      *sits back and waits for back lash with a burger, chips and extra large Coke*

      • agrees with everything except the documentary part. I don’t think i need to find a documentary, just another kdrama with more convincing twists and an average rating.

      • This is the first of this genre that I have watched. And from what you describe it is a typical, cookie cutter drama: All the same. I would say that is one of problems with most American and some European television shows. They are very much like cookies cut from the same mold. I think the first 12 episodes of DOS were entertaining, fun to watch and I did not over-analyze them. But writers are responsible for their work and I, along with many others, think the writers just ran out of steam. I don’t mind an exscapist drama but it should still be well thought out, put together and acted. It seems the writers are the ones who let a lot of people down. Just saying!

  34. From the beginning to the end, even before the drama was aired, this drama always has some haters. Fortunately the number of haters is very limited and most of them camp here because they know this is the place

  35. There is one commenter who is posting under different usernames and needs to stop. Feel free to say the same sentiment over and over again, but my pet peeve is pretending to be multiple people saying it to make it look like there is a larger number sharing the same opinion. Don’t become the Girl’s Generation of Kim Bum. I hope there are readers who have been around here long enough to remember that epic thread.

  36. I have to praise the writer’s consistency in echoing earlier episodes of stuffed animals, drinking scenes, coffee shops dates… The flow of the two love stories is very well constructed. The medical aspect is goofy, e.g. YSJ needs a wheelchair at hospital discharge while he could get up & walk after a cardiac arrest. The wheelchair scene is cute and I enjoyed it despite the fact that it does not make any sense. I actually fell asleep when YSJ got killed and this is the first time I was so tired after watching so many near death occasions… lol!

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