Big Episode 12 Recap

What did I say about this drama being renamed Hands. Look at their hands! I have either became omniscient from watching too many dramas, or else my all-encompassing love for Big flipped my brain on extra-smart mode. Episode 12 reveals more plot developments that continue to validate my earlier theories, but at the same time giving me so many wonderful OTP interactions I was left gasping, giggling, and sobbing with happiness within the span of a short hour. This might be one of the best episodes yet, but really this drama is about letting go of the demand for “whys” and just appreciating the story as it unfolds.

Da Ran and Kyung Jae finally bridge that gap between them in the most realistic and heartfelt of ways, having taken themselves (and us) through 12 episodes of getting there. From their very first meeting on the bus til now, I’m just giddy with glee at how I called it from the get to – this Kyung Joon is the guy for her. I feel like I’ve won two lotteries in a row, what with Big following right on the heels of The King 2 Hearts. If the Hong Sisters can finish up this drama with as much heart and thoughtful care as they’ve put into it so far, this will definitely be one of the top K-dramas of the year for me.

Episode 12 recap:

Kyung Jae tells Da Ran that he can’t stand watching her emotionally suffer anymore. So if she doesn’t stop crying, then he’ll take her and run away. She tells him not to bother with her if she’s the one who wants to give up, but he takes responsibility for her suffering. He was the one who asked to get married, so if she’s hurting now it’s because of him. He wants to protect her.

Kyung Jae tells Da Ran that if she takes off the ring, he’ll take that as her choosing him and he will accept her at that time. He plans to keep his promise to leave once the souls switch back, so if she wants Kang Kyung Joon then she has the choice to take the ring off herself. He’s not threatening her to take the ring off, but nor will he help her keep the ring on. Kyung Jae turns to leave, but not before telling her to take that ring off if she chooses Kang Kyung Joon.

During the drive home, Kyung Jae sees Da Ran sneaking peaks at him and tells her to look all she wants. She wonders how he can be so calm after what he just said. Kyung Jae says he wasn’t expecting anything from her since she’s not going to take that ring off anyways.  He asks if she’ll seriously consider what he said? Kyung Jae thinks his declaration was better received compared to the last time when she called him a baby. She asks if he’s joking again and he says this is serious but she can treat it like a joke if it makes it easier on her.

The horrible Seo parents are discussing Kyung Joon laying in the hospital. Mom admits she already knew son #2 was in a coma, but says that since Yoon Jae saved Kyung Joon in the accident, the debt has been paid back. Er, it doesn’t work that way, you crazy ahjumma. Mom reveals Yoon Jae wants to look for Kyung Joon’s dad so she tried to dissuade him. Years ago Yoon Jae’s dad chose her and Yoon Jae over Hee Seok and Kyung Joon, and she wants him to choose again. How about I choose to throw you in the dumpster, bitch?

Back home, Kyung Jae notices Da Ran wearing the ring even when washing dishes and washing her hair. He tells her to take it off when doing chores, it’s not like he’ll hide it from her. Okay, two you, this is not the One Ring, so wearing it won’t turn you all power hungry and evil and into Gollum. So don’t affix so much significance to it, sheesh. Da Ran goes to her room and looks at the sunflowers.

At school, Ae Kyung continues to notice mopey Da Ran and thinks she’s fighting with Yoon Jae. Da Ran mentions youngsters joking with her and she won’t take him seriously. Da Ran hypothetically asks Ae Kyung what to do if a Joseon woman is waiting for her husband to return and doesn’t want to be attracted to a young neighbor. Ae Kyung suggests the woman keep herself a big knife to avoid the man, or better yet just not see the young man anymore. This gives Da Ran an idea and she wonders if a teaching job in another province is available?

Kyung Jae sees Da Ran washing sneakers in the yard and points out she’s still wearing her ring. He offers to tie her shoelaces for her once she’s done washing the sneakers.

Da Ran finally gets fed up and confronts Kyung Jae, asking why he’s joking around with her and confusing her. Kyung Jae tells her to keep treating what he said like a joke then? Da Ran can’t handle his joking right now. Kyung Jae asks if she plans to keeping enduring like an adult, and who she is doing all this for? Yoon Jae? His parents? Da Ran says she’s enduring for him. She spends time with him while waiting for Yoon Jae and it’s hard to deal it because she enjoys it.

Kyung Jae asks if she’ll die then if he’s even nicer to her than he already is. Da Ran says she won’t do it anymore, especially since Kyung Jae will soon find his dad and not need her or take responsibility for her. This upsets Kyung Jae and he agrees that they don’t need to see each other anymore. He storms into his room and thinks Da Ran is getting ready for Yoon Jae’s return by pushing him aside.

Da Ran grabs a garbage bag and starts collecting items Kyung Jae has given her – the sunflowers, the repaired walkman, the China book, the pandas, the 21 year old alcohol. Oh no no no no, don’t you dare touch those pandas, missy! In a pique, Kyung Jae also grabs a garbage bag and heads to his room to toss her things away, but realizes there is nothing to toss.

Kyung Jae confronts Da Ran on how he did so much for her during their time together, whereas she did nothing for him. He wonders if she’s suffering so much already from what he’s done for her, what if he did even more and she could fill up another garbage bag? She probably be died by now.

Da Ran looks at the empty bag and muses that she did nothing for Kyung Jae. Kyung Jae angrily watches as she throws out the trash. As Da Ran walks away from the trash pile, she turns back and takes out the sunflowers. Since it’ll wilt soon, she might as well keep it until it does. Then she takes out the pandas, which are staring at her, and the China book which she could use when she does visit China. When she flips through it, she sees the Da Ran-Kyung Jae doodle on the Great Wall and realizes Kyung Jae did take her to China. Da Ran cries and brings the items back inside.

Da Ran walks into the living room and sees the empty garbage bag on the ground. She cries and confesses secretly to the inside of the garbage bag that she likes Kyung Joon.

Kyung Jae talks with Mari about the man who visited his body but never came back. Kyung Jae says its his dad’s loss if he’s not really looking to reunite with him, since he’s a smart, good looking and well behaved son. He warns Mari not to tell Da Ran he hasn’t found his dad yet, since she’s getting things ready so she can leave once he finds his dad. Mari suggests Kyung Jae return with her to the US even if he hasn’t found his dad. Kyung Jae says he’s made preparations to be independent after his birthday, so it doesn’t matter if he’s found his dad.

Kyung Joon’s aunt and uncle are discussing Kyung Joon’s trust fund when Yoon Jae’s dad arrives at their restaurant. He stares at a picture of Kyung Joon’s mom on the wall. You know, if Yoon Jae’s mom is an icy bitch, then Yoon Jae’s dad is a spineless douche. They deserve each other.

Se Young meets with Yoon Jae’s mom to tell her about a man who visited Kyung Joon’s body. Yoon Jae’s mom reveals that Da Ran is planning to leave Yoon Jae once he gets his memory back. This confuses Se Young since in her eyes Yoon Jae is much better to Da Ran nowadays. Mom coolly says she never liked Da Ran for her daughter-in-law.

Da Ran is preparing to go on a camping trip with her family and tells Kyung Jae not to go since she already made an excuse with her parents. She asks to borrow his car and he purposely messes with the AC to annoy her. Kyung Jae refuses to play along with her lie, but then says he doesn’t want to go. Da Ran tells her family that they just had a fight and urge everyone to get in the car and leave. After they leave, Kyung Jae regrets not going and missing out.

Kyung Jae goes to throw away all of Da Ran’s household items since she’s planning to leave soon, but he finds the bag of his gifts in her room that she retrieved from the trash. He smiles happily and then goes to put her items back that he was planning to throw away.

Despite Da Ran ordering her family not to contact Kyung Jae, everyone sends him texts. Dad wants him to come pick a son-in-law rock out, Mom lures him with her kimbap asking him to guess what she put inside, and even Choong Shik asks him to come and not miss the time to make up.

At the campsite, Da Ran looks around for a Kyung Joon rock. She goes through a few until she finds the one that correctly fits his personality. She punches it a few times while scolding it, but then smiles. When she goes back to camp, she wonders where everyone went. Which is when a guy’s voice asks if she’s all alone. She thinks she’s being picked up so she looks all pleased. She turns and yelps in shock to see Kyung Jae beside her, all dressed for camping with his backpack.

The awesome Gil family is happily driving home, all proud that each contributed to getting the newlyweds back together so they can make up. They even took the car so Da Ran and Kyung Jae are stuck camping until tomorrow. See, this is what can come of two people marrying for love and with understanding, despite vast age differences and the teacher/student barrier. They create a happy loving functional family, unless the loser duo of Yoon Jae’s mom and dad. Yesyes, I know those two buttheads are also Kyung Joon’s parents as well, but until they act like it, I won’t call them that.

Kyung Jae looks at all the rocks laying around and tosses one aside. He stands up to go for a walk and Da Ran is reluctant as she wants to guard their belongings. Kyung Jae does his patented count-to-three move and she instinctively complies when he counts to three.

They take a walk and Da Ran sees some wild sunflowers and admires them. Kyung Jae wonders why she threw the ones he got for her away if she loves them so much. Da Ran sets up a camera to take pictures on a timer. She sits down and Kyung Jae gets in all her picture, making funny poses and generally being just a nuisance.

Afterwards they go play in the water, and OMG Gong Yoo’s arms in a wife beater are…….incredible. If they make a K-version of Thor I vote for Yoo! Kyung Jae picks Da Ran up and slings her over his shoulder. I love how Kyung Joon is making the most of being in the bigger body of Yoon Jae, as in he’s already slung Da Ran over his shoulder twice now. Totally getting ready to grab his woman and run away.

They go to the convenience store to buy some snacks. When the cashier compliments the married couple on looking so good together, Da Ran calls Kyung Jae her younger brother and not her husband. Da Ran runs into her teaching sunbae and greets him warmly. She pulls him aside and asks if there is a teaching opening out here in the countryside. Kyung Jae watches Da Ran give her number to the sunbae so he can contact her about any jobs.

As Da Ran and Kyung Jae walk back to camp, a girl approaches and asks Kyung Jae for help setting up their tent. Since they are such weak ladies with no ability to put a few sticks in the ground. Kyung Jae knows he’s being picked up but goes with it to annoy Da Ran. He tells them that she’s his noona and happily goes to help them. Da Ran seethes in annoyance.

After he returns, Da Ran reminds him that those noonas are older than him, but he’s fine with that. He reveals they asked for his number and he gave it, since he can’t turn down a girl who clings to him. Hahahaha, poor Mari, she must not be a girl then. He reminds Da Ran that she can still come to him if she takes off her ring.

Yoon Jae’s dad meets Kyung Joon’s aunt and uncle and reveals that he is Kyung Joon’s dad. When aunt and uncle balk at his offer to take Kyung Joon back to the US, Yoon Jae’s dad tells them they can continue to manage Kyung Joon’s trust fund, he just wants to take care of Kyung Joon’s body. You’re about 20 years too late, mister. Afterwards Yoon Jae’s mom bitches out her husband for daring to choose Kyung Joon. He plans to take Kyung Joon back to the US after his birthday. Tin Man Mom says that day is not Kyung Joon’s birthday, it’s the day their Yoon Jae was reborn. Ugh, shut up woman, you keep digging herself deeper into Hell.

Kyung Jae and Da Ran continue bickering back at their tent. He threatens to go meet up with those noonas and tells her to go meet with her sunbae. She leaves and tells him to do whatever he wants. After she leaves, he moves to delete the ruined pictures in her camera, which is when he notices that she retrieved the rock he had tossed aside. This makes Kyung Jae happy again.

Da Ran changes her mind and heads back to the campsite. She knows Kyung Jae can be really super good to a girl when he wants to, so she doesn’t want those girls falling for that. Along the way, she sees Kyung Jae carrying a lantern coming towards her. She grumbles about him heading to the noonas tent but he says he came to find her since its getting dark. She tells him to wait for her because she needs to go to the sunbae’s tent to ask him something. Kyung Jae warns her that if she’s not back soon, he might get lured away by a pretty and sexy female ghost.

Yoon Jae’s parents make a joint visit to Kyung Joon’s bedside. Kyung Jae starts getting dizzy and falls down on the wooden bridge as his soul appears to be once again trying to return to his own body. In the hospital, Kyung Joon’s eyes open slightly and he sees a blurry image of Yoon Jae’s parents that gets clearer and clearer. But before he can confirm it’s them, he goes back to the body of Yoon Jae.

Da Ran returns and sees Kyung Jae looking pained and immediately realizes there was almost a switch. She asks if he’s alright and he reveals the almost switch, which might even have been a dream since he thinks he saw Yoon Jae’s parents when he opened his eyes. Yoon Jae’s dad looks at Kyung Joon’s chart and notes that his body is moving more and more. Kyung Jae leans on Da Ran’s shoulder to rest for a bit as she looks on worriedly.

That night, Kyung Jae and Da Ran lay in the tent to go to sleep. Kyung Jae awakens with his head still dizzy and he sees Da Ran curled up a few feet away. He goes over to cover her up more snuggly, and then lays down behind her.

Da Ran is turned to her side and has her back facing Kyung Jae, who is turned on his side and staring at her back. He thinks she’s asleep so he starts talking out loud. He’s thankful that each time there was almost a switch, she is by his side. This life, with family and friends, isn’t his, and he knows that when he switches back he’ll be all alone again. That’s fine, because he’s always been alone. But here he has parents, in-laws, even Choong Shik, and also Gil Da Ran.

When he goes back, it’s like his existence as Yoon Jae never happened, because people won’t remember this. He hopes Da Ran will remember him. He hopes that she won’t just celebrate Yoon Jae returning, she will also remember the Kang Kyung Joon who disappeared. With tears falling, Kyung Jae just stares at Da Ran.

The camera pans away and we see that Da Ran isn’t asleep and has been listening to what Kyung Jae said. She is silently crying. Good lord, just break my heart, won’t cha?

Mari hears from Choong Shik that Da Ran and Kyung Jae went camping alone. She vows to quickly take Kyung Joon back to the US. Mari gets a text from Yoon Jae’s dad identifying himself as Kyung Joon’s dad and asking to meet. Mari shows the text from an unlisted number to Kyung Jae, who agrees to meet him.

Da Ran sits down with her dad and reveals that she’s thinking of transferring to a school in the countryside. She asks her dad how he got together with her mom, since he was so much older and her teacher. He smiles happily and says there was a huge gap but he crossed because he knew she was the one. He even got on a boat as a stowaway to avoid her, but no matter what he did, she was someone he could never forget in his entire life. He is so thankful that she’s chosen to be with him. Da Ran asks how he was sure she was the one, and he tells her to have courage to grab onto it, then she can have a lifetime’s happiness. Da Ran looks down at her ring.

Mari is waiting in the hospital lobby for the man who is Kyung Joon’s dad, while Kyung Jae is on his way. Se Young stops Kyung Jae and tells him to keep visiting that patient Kang Kyung Joon, who is a really pitiful. Afterwards Kyung Jae grumbles to hear himself referred to a pitiful.

Yoon Jae’s dad arrives and Mari looks at him curiously, but before she can ask whether he’s Kyung Joon’s dad, Kyung Jae arrives and he suddenly collapses on the ground. Yoon Jae’s dad rushes forward to help him, and so does Mari, who actually calls out “Kyung Joon” in her shock but Yoon Jae’s dad doesn’t hear it.

Dad drags Kyung Jae off to get checked. Kyung Jae asks if the Seo parents visited a patient’s room together recently, he thinks he saw them. Dad is shocked and quickly says no. Dad confirms that Kyung Jae appears to have increasingly frequent dizzy spells. Dad reveals that Yoon Jae was very sick as a kid and wonders if he really doesn’t remember. They agree not to tell Yoon Jae’s mom and worry her. Afterwards, Yoon Jae’s dad asks the doctor privately to run additional tests on his son and to let him know the results.

Mari discusses with Kyung Jae how she almost mistook Yoon Jae’s dad for Kyung Joon’s dad. She finds out that it is extremely painful for Kyung Jae whenever there is a near switch. Kyung Jae doesn’t want Da Ran to know he hasn’t located his dad yet. Mari tells him to gets him things in order and go back to the US with her. She decides to plan a birthday party for Kyung Joon. Kyung Jae remembers Yoon Jae’s father holding his hand and how warm it felt.

The Vice Principal sees Da Ran at school and points out how she’s leaving early quite often lately. Da Ran sees the date on the calendar and realizes today is Kyung Joon’s birthday.

Mari walks into Kyung Joon’s hospital room and is stunned to see him awake and standing by the window. How I’ve missed you, my adorable boy! He gives her a smile and then turns to stare out the window. Mari stands next to him and looks up as well, wondering what he’s looking at. When she looks back, Kyung Joon has vanished.

Turns out this was just Mari’s dream (nightmare? premonition? foreshadowing?) and she’s woken up by Kyung Jae. She reveals the dream about him disappearing and she tells Kyung Jae that he can’t go anywhere. She doesn’t even care if he stays this way forever, as long as he doesn’t disappear.

Kyung Jae stares at his Miracle picture. Kyung Jae picks up a call from Da Ran’s teaching sunbae, who reveals that a teaching position has opened up but she has to decide quickly. When Da Ran returns, he tells her about the call. Kyung Jae reveals he needs to attend a gathering with Yoon Jae’s parents tonight.

Da Ran says it’s his birthday tomorrow and asks to have dinner tonight. She asks if he wants anything as a present and he tells her to forget it since it’ll just be tossed out as trash later. He asks if he really did something so wrong in offering to take her away. So why is she trying to run away somewhere else to teach? Da Ran says she needs an ocean that cannot be crossed. Kyung Jae asks what about an ocean? He hates riding in boats so he’ll never go see her. If she goes to some random island to teach, then they don’t need to ever meet again.

Mari and the nurses throw a birthday party for Kyung Joon’s body. Mari prays for Kyung Joon to wake up soon. Kyung Jae walks to the kitchen and sees that Da Ran has made him a birthday breakfast which includes the Korean customary seawood soup. She left a note asking him to meet her at the park tonight. Kyung Jae huffs that he won’t go.

Da Ran is buying a watch for Kyung Jae as a birthday present. She asks for it to be wrapped, and the cashier offers to have it engraved. Da Ran writes down the initials KKJ on a piece of paper. Se Young and a friend walk by and Se Young notices Da Ran and says Da Ran is the wife of a friend. She overhears the cashier ask Da Ran if this is a birthday present for the man she loves, and Da Ran says yes. Se Young is curious since it’s not Yoon Jae’s birthday. She peeks at the paper and sees the initials KKJ.

Da Ran sits in a coffee shop later and stares at her ring. She takes it off and puts it in a small cup, sighing that she doesn’t have the courage to throw this ring on the ground. Se Young and her friend are also at the coffee shop and the gossipy friend points out how Da Ran took her wedding ring off so could she be having an affair?

Mari finds out from Kyung Joon’s uncle and aunt that Kyung Joon’s father has been by and wants to take Kyung Joon back to the US. Yoon Jae’s dad gets the report on Yoon Jae’s health, and to my ever lasting non-surprise, Yoon Jae’s childhood illness has recurred. The doctor asks if they need to start looking for a bone marrow donor match, but Yoon Jae’s dad says he know where that person is. Oh, you mean your comatose other son? The one you tossed aside for 20 years? Yoon Jae’s dad goes to stand by Kyung Joon’s bedside.

Se Young calls Kyung Jae out to drop what she considers behavior indicative of Da Ran cheating on Yoon Jae. She saw Da Ran buying a birthday present for the man she loved, but today is not Yoon Jae’s birthday. Plus Da Ran had the initials KKJ engraved on the present. When Se Young adds that Da Ran took her wedding ring off when waiting for that guy, Kyung Jae’s face lights up and asks if she’s serious? Se Young is totally serious and sure about what she saw, that Da Ran looked happy waiting for the guy and sad when the guy didn’t show up. Se Young concludes by saying that Da Ran had told Yoon Jae’s mom that she would let Yoon Jae go when he came back. Kyung Jae stands up and rushes out of there, muttering “Gil Da Ran, you are so dead.” Se Young must feel like she’s surrounded by freaks since her discovery made Kyung Jae so happy.

Da Ran is sitting at a park bench waiting for Kyung Jae. She happily looks at the watch present, and then takes off her ring. But then she reminds herself to clear her head, she needs to go home. She is about to slide the ring back on when Kyung Jae arrives and calls her “Gil Da Ran”. Not Gil Teacher, but her full name, like when they first met.

He asks if she’s cheating with another man? He asks if she’s suffering recently because of that man? He asks if that man’s initials are KKJ? Kang Kyung Joon? Da Ran warns him to keep his distance but he walks up to her as she’s trying to put her ring back on and he grabs her hand, their fingers fully intertwined. The way Kyung Jae walks up to her and grabs her hand is just like the way Kyung Joon walked up to her after they got off the bus and grabbed her hand and the umbrella. I love these little symmetries.

Kyung Jae says that she’s already cheated, so that ship has sailed. What is she going to do now? Da Ran tries to pull her hand away but he refuses to let go. He’s staring at her and she slowly stops pulling and moves in for the kiss. Her hands relax and the ring falls on the ground, but neither of them notice.

Both of them lean in for the kiss, as Kyung Jae tenderly cradles her face in his hands and totally kisses like an old pro and not the youngster he is inside. My boy always seemed like he knew his way around the ladies from the get go.

Thoughts of Mine:

More thoughts, more thoughts, Big 12 has left me with tons more theories about the entire story. But first things first, wow was that a satisfying episode. Chock full of emotional ebbs and flows that felt so palpable, because we’ve come to know Da Ran and Kyung Jae so well in the course of this drama. The Hong Sisters have failed to create a viable ensemble cast, with half the characters serving no material purpose other than to push the exposition forward and to be a reactive presence (Teacher Na, Ae Kyung, the Vice Principal, Kyung Joon’s aunt and uncle). But the time saved from developing these side characters, have instead been well spent on developing Kyung Jae and Da Ran.

I think the story is just too ambitious and THS didn’t have enough time within a sixteen-episode arc to devote to anything outside the main love story, plus time saved for the big soul switch birth secret recurring illness denouement. For an OTP to get together at the end of episode 12 is actually quite late for a drama of this length, whereas the pacing would have felt perfect for a twenty-episoder. Am I right? Hence some folks find this drama draggy while others think nothing is happening. That might all be true because a drama of this length does require more snap, crackle, pop within each episode, and Big doesn’t have that. Big feels very leisurely and has elected to be a feeling driven drama.

Those hoping in every episode that Kyung Joon’s body will wake up must be feeling terribly miffed that he hasn’t, but I don’t see that as some sort of narrative betrayal. This drama was not marketed as a soul-switch drama where the switched characters are both featured. In many ways Big the K-drama is like Big the US movie, in talking about a younger boy who spends the majority of the narrative in an older body. I think the disconnect in the K-drama is that Kyung Jae isn’t in the body of his older self, but in that of another man Yoon Jae, who plays an important role in the drama. But Yoon Jae character isn’t as a second male lead, but as a catalyst. So while Gong Yoo owns this drama, we’ve gotta stop fixating on his face. I’ve said this before, character-wise, the second male lead would have to be Choong Shik. And actor wise, the second male lead is Baek Sung Hyun and not Shin Won Ho. Which makes sense, because I may lub my Shin to death, but boy is a green newbie and hardly the likes the get second billing here. He’s feature because his character Kyung Joon is the lead, but screen time wise sticking him in a bed isn’t preposterous in the least.

So here comes more Koala crazy theories that somehow keep coming true. Now that it’s confirmed Yoon Jae’s body is definitely sick again, I’m all atwitter my theory last week is right. I’m fairly certain he was starting to get sick again before the wedding, but it was just the first stirrings, whereas a year later now his body is pretty much failing. All that soul-switch back occurrences is because his body is trying to kick Kyung Joon out, and Kyung Joon’s soul is in pain because of Yoon Jae’s body being in pain. I still think Yoon Jae’s soul is silent in his own body, and has seen everything happen. Here’s the kicker –he does not want to stop Kyung Joon and Da Ran from falling in love. He’s literally putting the world around him in order so that he can peacefully leave. He was going to call off the wedding with Da Ran so she’s not married to a dying man, watching Da Ran fall for Kyung Joon probably both pains and relieves him.

The final choice will probably rest with Kyung Joon, and in a way his birth and beyond was completely out of his control. He will discover his true parentage, he will learn that his birth saved Yoon Jae and years later Yoon Jae saved him, and he will learn that Yoon Jae’s body is sick again and he’s the only hope. No one will be harvesting his bone marrow without his consent. Ugh, that is repulsive to even consider and not what THS has been talking about. This story shows how cruel Yoon Jae’s mom was the first time around, in having a baby to save her child and then discarding him. Big is the story about second chances, and everyone will be getting a second chance to do things right.

Yoon Jae’s mom will get a chance to do the right thing, realizing that Kyung Joon’s existence is something she needs to accept and value. I don’t think she owes him anything, because Kyung Joon was lovingly raised by his surrogate mom and lacked for nothing since his family was so well off. But now that he’s without his surrogate mom, it’s time his blood mom stepped up and atoned for her sins against her second son. Da Ran and Kyung Jae falling in love was her second chance at choosing her partner for life. Yoon Jae is a good man but really not right for her. She’s so hesitant and insecure around him, it’s not a recipe for a lifetime of partnership. Look at her parents, that level of communication and understanding despite the age gap. Da Ran has that with Kyung Joon, and she’s picking him the second time around.

In the soul switch giving so many people second chances, would Yoon Jae himself get yet another chance at life? I think once Kyung Jae knows the truth, he would willingly donate bone marrow to Yoon Jae. I’m thrilled he’s confirmed Da Ran’s feelings for himself first, so he doesn’t try to save Yoon Jae out of some misguided belief that Da Ran loves Yoon Jae and wants him back. I think he’ll choose to save Yoon Jae because that’s his brother, and because the soul switch was Yoon Jae’s way to give Kyung Joon a second chance at claiming the family and life he was meant to have. I’m still uncertain whether Yoon Jae will ultimately survive, but I’m sure at the end all the main characters will have truly understood the theme of love and sacrifice as represented by the Miracle book.


Big Episode 12 Recap — 114 Comments

  1. woop!!! i had a hunch the se young moment in the preview would come at the end of the show. they are such a tease!!!

  2. Such a beautiful episode again. I was smiling and sobbing and squealing throughout the entire episode.

    Big is definitely the best Hong sisters’ drama in my book.

  3. This episode was really touching and I don’t know, but I started to cry after Mari had this horrible dream. I think just the thought of KJ disappearing made me very sad…
    I’m really afraid of the ending of BIG. But I’m optimistic. If your theory about the ending is true, then I’ll be perfectly fine with it. And considering the direction BIG is taking, it seems likely that your theory is going to (once again) be true.

    • He’s making it extremely hard on me not to want to snatch him up and secret him to my underground lair and keep him there forever. The man is gorgeous manliness personified.

      • My favourite scene got to be the one where he was pitching tents for those girls to make DR jealous!! Too ADorable!!!

        ps. I vow to come back as a top korean actress in my next life to have to privilege to act opp. all these hot actors. Though right now, I only want that actor to be Gong Yoo. 😀

      • Fairy Ockoala…if and when you snatch Gong Yoo in your underground lair…can you keep me with him too? I promise I’ll take good care of him ^^ pretty please *puppy eyes* kekekeke

    • He is so freaking hot for so many reasons that don’t include his arms, shoulders, back, butt, chest, face, lips, eyes hair. HIS HAIR! I would love to run my fingers through his hair…hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
      ….I forgot what I was talking about just now…

  4. Thank you.
    Loved that it was “the cheater” Se Young who thought that she was revealing the cheater Da Ran and actually helped the two to get together.

    If the true meaning of KKJ’s actions at the end is “being dead”, I don’t mind to die every day… the boy has sure grown up…

    • Se Young has been quite useful recently, hasn’t she? And she has been instrumental since the very beginning in showing us that there is much to Yoon Jae that he hasn’t told Da Ran. Maybe it wasn’t all bad, but ultimately shows her and us that she doesn’t know him that well.

      Even Mari is no longer annoying and back to being relatively harmless. Yes, Kyung Joon has grown up, he’s Big inside and out. XD

  5. If not for your in-depth analysis, I would have had a fit in this show just like the majority are having right now because of its frustratingly slow progress plot-wise. But looking at it in your perspective makes the drama interesting to watch despite everything that has been unfavorably said about it. Thanks, Mrs. Koala! 🙂

    • I’m sure some detractors have valid points as well, whiles others probably are just piling on cuz that’s what always happens. I have plenty of criticism for the drama, and I point out all its weaknesses. Overall the drama has a sense of sureness of story that I like and most rom-coms sort of fail at. Glad my musings add some perspective! I find myself thinking a lot about this drama and have quite a lot to say.

  6. Thanks for your recap. You don’t know how much I appreciate it in the midst of so many haters of this drama out there. Your theory really makes sense.

    • I do wonder why some viewers feel the need to read recaps if they don’t like the drama already, and then write some more about how they don’t like it. I would get the heck out and spend my time doing things that I do like. Just my confusion over the state of K-drama critiquing, which isn’t limited to Big, but happens anytime majorly expected drama fails to live up to expectations.

      • A possible explanation…

        I don’t comment negatively about a drama in a blog that recaps a drama (unless the recapper is snarking herself), but I actually only read recaps for dramas I am not interested enough to watch but curious enough about to want to know what’s going on (whether, as with Big, because recap is about at my level of interest, while watching the drama is too much investment, or with some bad dramas, out of trainwreck curiosity). I never read recaps for dramas I watch properly because why would I need a recap – I can watch it for myself.

      • That makes two of us koala. I don’t understand why folks read recaps of shows they seem to actively hate. Dangermousie, you’re different cos as you said, you read recaps cos you’re still curious or interested enough, but it seems to me some are really hating and then reading nd then commenting on how much they can’t stand it and that they are going to stop watching and only read recaps!!! Huh? Why bother?

        Oh well.. Takes all sorts I suppose. By the way, isn’t what gong yoo wore called a singlet? I thought wifebeaters are those t shirts with cutoff sleeves. No?

      • Same here – I stopped watching The moon …sun and I couldn’t read the recaps after ep.12. I only watched the pictures of the last episode and that for the closer.
        For some dramas I only read recaps if I don;t have time to watch it from the start, but is mostly the recaper “fault” for being better than the drama itself.

      • I think people read the recaps because they just want to know how things pan out. Even for dramas they may hate, there is a loose ending that they feel an urge to see tied up. I’m like that sometimes—there’s something specific I’m looking for in the recaps. And with Big, the reveals are slow in coming, so people keep hoping for answers every episode but not getting them. Why those same people feel the need to comment so much, though, is beyond me.

      • I dont understand either. These people buffles me.

        I drama shop heaps to see which drama reasonates with me. Rarely do I come across a drama that grasp me to such degree like Big. When a drama doesnt appeal to me or disappoints, I simply wont waste anymore time on it.. not to mention even comment. These people should so move on.

        Im so glad for our little community here at Koalasplayground. Thank you all Big addicts and fans whos making this journey so much more interesting then it already is.

    • @ Dangermousie,

      Hello! Just wanted to say that some of us non Koreans read recaps of dramas we watch because we want to see if there are some cultural or translated things that we missed out on. The subbers don’t/can’t always mention or highlight those moments so we (maybe I should say “I”) read the recaps to see if I have missed a few things, and quite often, it has happened that reading a recap has helped me understand and appreciate a show or an episode better.
      I also personally like to read some of the comments to know other people’s opinions or views/interpretations of the show. I also usually learn quite a few things that way. I know that subbing and recapping dramas is a lot of work and time consumming, and I appreciate the hard work and time invested in doing so.

  7. Thanks for the recap. What a great episode!
    Holy schmidt! When he was helping the noonas with the tent, I imagined those girls telling everyone, “And then GONG YU came and helped us with the tent. Really!!”

    A few moments made me stop the vid and sob:
    “she sees the Da Ran-Kyung Jae doodle on the Great Wall and realizes Kyung Jae did take her to China.”
    KJ’s speech to her back about letting him stay by her side…
    How about the saddest birthday party ever for the prince in the coma?!

    Good catch on the symmetry of the umbrella hands grab and no ring grab.
    (Does this mean we DON’T get a symmetrical moment with uri Shin? Cause I NEED a symmetrical moment with uri Shin!)

    We agree that KJ WILL have a choice on whether to donate his marrow to YJ.
    I guess a DNA test will prove his father as his guardian so HE could sign the papers. Although we have seen that YJ actually has the power of atty.
    Does having POA mean you can make medical decisions?
    And how self-serving would it be if (it looks like) the person deciding is the person receiving the donation?

    So KJ finds out he was born as something-attached-to-an-umbilical-cord, that the person he saved is the body he inhabits. It seems that after some angst, KJ would say yes, right?
    He knows that DR loves him, and saving YJ would make her happier than if he died.
    KJ and DR have to wonder if BOTH will die if they don’t do the bone marrow transfer.
    Oh, now I see what is coming…It is KJ who goes into treatment in YJ’s body. We wait with bait breath to see if it successful and who comes out of it when he wakes up.
    Since nobody can guarantee that YJ’s death will result in him returning to KJ’s own coma body, if YJ dies on the table where does that put KJ’s soul?

    I am still fuzzy – REALLY REALLY fuzzy – on why KJ ended up in YJ’s skin.
    YJ could have returned the bone marrow favor by saving KJ from drowning.
    YJ dies a hero. KJ survives.

    If YJ had died, KJ would have continued his lonely life in SK, maybe crushing on his new Gil Teacher, and she in her mourning makes friends with him (and eventually falls in love…)(OK Long shot)
    The only answer is KJ Oma angel guided KJ into YJ’s body so DR could take care of him. Still, that’s a long shot, too. What if DR told him to get lost?

    My head, it spins!

    Nice kiss, kid.
    He said he had kissed before. We Americans work fast as teens, don’t we?
    Workin’ on our night moves
    Trying to lose the awkward teenage blues
    Workin’ on out night moves
    Oooh – ooh In the summertime

    • Wuri Kyung Joonie has lied about his kissing history. He claims to have kissed before, but during the wedding photo shoot he kissed Da Ran and told her to remember the kiss because it was Kang Kyung Joon’s first kiss. I like to think our boy just has the innate power to kiss a girl’s brains until it fries.

      I loved Da Ran’s conversation with her abuji. She’s really so confused, and scared, and he’s just so honest that it wasn’t easy but he had the courage to reach for her mother’s hand. Oceans couldn’t keep them apart, so why wait a lifetime to confirm a person is the one true love, rather than taking a chance and happily spending a lifetime together. Proof = empirical whereas love = chance.

      I still have no clue “why” Kyung Joon’s soul is in Yoon Jae’s body. I want to stop calling it a soul switch since Yoon Jae’s soul is pffftt based on what we see. The soul shift needs to be explained, even if it relies on magic hoodoo to make sense of it all. I worry the surgery on Yoon Jae’s body will happen with Kyung Joon’s soul still inside. That would destroy Da Ran.

      • Oh geez!
        You have just seen DR’s nightmare future in your crystal ball.
        Both boys go into surgery together (even though I am sure it doesn’t have to happen that way IRL) as she (and we) wait for whatever the HECK they are going to do with the souls and bodies after…
        Although now I don’t see how YJ could die now…meaning I don’t see how the body of YJ could die if we have to go through all kinds of angst to see IF KJ is willing to donate. You can’t have a major sacrifice FAIL, can you?
        But I also don’t see how they can keep both boys alive at the end.
        Who is YJ? What do we know about him? What? He survives and rides off into the sunset alone or with SY?
        But I also don’t see how the body of KJ just up and dies, either.
        I said this before, if KJ, the body dies, leaving him in YJ’s shell, that is the SADDEST THING EVER! Would they do that?

        Hopefully they have figured out how NOT to pull a Best Love, and have every speck of angst go *POOF* when the surgery is successful with no problems. That was where I lost all interest in it.

      • Me, too… Loved the scene with her dad. It’s the first time I really liked that actor’s character. I usually find him annoying (Rooftop) or too over-the-top (My Girl).

  8. I hope this will be extended by 4 episodes I felt bad for YJ…….. I think they to switch bodies and explain everything to da ran

  9. Thanks for the recap koala. Appreciate and love your thoughts on it. After every episode, I would rush here and want to hear how you feel about it.

    I love both the last 2 episodes. I guess many people will feel its moving too slowly but theres so much undertones that goes on throughout all the scenes that makes it so interesting, lovely and heartbreaking. I do agree they brought the OTP together beautifully. So realistic and so much soul. Love it!

    Last two episodes made me cry heaps. Then again, Im so invested in this drama I could tear up just KJ looking at Daran with those eyes of his..

  10. I also feel really sad about YJ, ( whether or not its because thats GY face on the character) I really hope he does survive. Is there a possiblity that everyone ends up happy in this drama ??
    I think it will be interesting to learn about the state of mind of YJ when he learned his illness is back. I think hes too nice a guy to actually go back to look for KJ to asked him to save his life again, but did he want to do it for DaRan?

    • I kinda doubt that he knew of his physical condition when he searched for KJ*… it seems more likely to me that he was simply searching for that elusive life-saver of his… probably not even having the full grasp of what exactly it took for his life to be saved. otherwise his essay would have been “When I was 19: I decided to run away from home and search for the son my parents abandoned” (teenage hormones? and with his kind heart i don’t think he would have taken it well) I think always wondered who exactly saved him, and wanted to find out to thank the person… but eventually, he got frustrated at the countless times his mom brushed off his questions and hid it from him…. so when he got old enough, he decided to do the searching himself. though the search, he starts to realize what his parents possibly could have done: create and then abandon a donor-baby… and by the time of the wedding ceremony, he hears news of possibly finding KJ…. by the time of the accident, he’s narrowed down his search, and found about about KJ’s surrogate mom dying–> rushing off to find KJ and take care of him… all in the midst of the emotional struggle from finding about his parents and his insanely busy surgeon schedule… poor D is left out.

      * the bodily pains and rejection of KJ’s soul didn’t occur until after the one-year time leap… perhaps they switched because of the relapse/KJ omma interfering… but it was probably too early for YJ to realize/notice it

      also… ep 11 was the first time my heart really ached for YJ… I’m not in the camp of KJ-D getting together is UNFAIR to YJ… I simply feel sorry for the poor guy… he and D simply didn’t fit together… and honestly I think he feels just as lonely as KJ: parents divorced and not talking to each other, dad he barely gets to see, the sadness of finding out about the donor-baby… but so caught up in his work he has no one he can trust to share these with (I don’t think he had known D well enough to entrust her with such things… nor was she acting comfy enough around him to feel like a secure burden-sharer… SY, forget it, he could tell her some things, but she’s so willful and avant-garde in her attitude (think how they first broke up, according to character description) I wouldn’t be comfortable with telling her the whole story…) honestly, that flashback of him turning around after stapling D’s dress, then looking back at her– it almost made me cry at his lonely, burdened shoulders XP

      • I also really feel sorry for Young-Jae since he had no one to confide in and his mum is something else.

        ‘I still think Yoon Jae’s soul is silent in his own body, and has seen everything happen. Here’s the kicker –he does not want to stop Kyung Joon and Da Ran from falling in love. He’s literally putting the world around him in order so that he can peacefully leave. He was going to call off the wedding with Da Ran so she’s not married to a dying man, watching Da Ran fall for Kyung Joon probably both pains and relieves him.” <—————— I don't know why this made me tear up so much. It would be such a sacrifice even though we don't know much about him and he isn't the star of the show.

  11. ahhhh, such a beautiful episode!! I appreciate that in this drama THS are using analogies and not metaphors that are meta in nature….cuz the latter would get tiresome after a while.

    Thanks for the recap!

  12. Umm.. Hi Kola unni and everybody else and mtoh and jomo… ^^ So, I am like behind of Big yes I know I must keep up especially today. But, I think I am getting bored. *ducks behind Koala unni* I will try my utmost to catch up this two episode. I am soo bad I am behind of AGD and I know they reveal the father on sunday episode.. So, Do not tell me.. No spoilers… I need to find out who out of the F4 in agd… =)

    • Hahe, not telling, I’m late with Big, catching up with two last eps, but read recap…you’re not alone.
      As for AGD, I’m 101% on board, no late there 😉

  13. It is such a relief to come to Koala’s playground and enjoy the love that most express about each episode of “Big”. I go to other sites and it just depresses me how many “Debbie Downers” there are, blasting the show. ” Okay, i get it, you don’t like the drama, move on.”. Thank Ms Koala, I love your recaps and comments!

    • You don’t need to name the other sites, but I wonder, why put yourself through the pain of reading yucky things about something you like?
      Is it like a train wreck and you can’t look away?

      There are sooooo many shows that I have enjoyed for peculiar reasons that got bad reviews or press, my way of maintaining my love is just to ignore the bad news bears.
      It is like someone telling me: “No, Jomo. Your favorite color is NOT GREEN. and if it is, YOU’RE a STUPID cow for liking green.That, and you’re ugly!”
      They will never change my mind.

      • hey Jomo ~ “You’re a stupid cow for liking green.” hahaha! That totally cracked me up. Enjoyed your take on things..and

        …..wanted to comment that overall I have liked BIG — typical weak female-lead character itches me a little and the time-jump tease had lead me to believe that the show would move at a snappy-pace…um…then didn’t.

        But in no way do I feel the show is deserving of the wham-bam I’ve been reading at other places. It’s hardly the Voldemort of dramas (aka A Thousand Kisses)… or another random manga/manhwa starring as many teen idols as they can stuff into a thin-plotted-sandwich.

        Ya know…things worthy of actual side-eye ಠ_ಠ #◄—-

        After having read at several forums, I’m starting to believe I’m the only viewer out here who is perfectly FINE if DaRan & KyungJoon…with KJ in his 20 year old body, hook up.

        He’s full grown. (by age 19 –I had bought my 1st car, had an apartment, a job and was paying for College) Toss in that I was also of legal marrying age and, having a womb, could have at any time chosen to create another human. All that…at a year younger than this character is ~ All the hoopla! about the age difference reeks of double-standard sexism to me. (grrrrr)

        I’ve been watching Kdramas for 2 years now, and this is the first one that not just a few….but MANY of the comments from others have me shaking my head and asking, “Are we even watching the same show?”

        Summation: Thanks Koala ~ your site is MUCH appreciated.

      • @sally_b: You are not the only one that has no problems with DaRan & KyungJoon…with KJ in his 20 year old body. Actually, I think it wouldn’t be fair for KKJ to remain in an older body and to lose 12 years of his life (and he does have the time to build up his body even better that SYJ).

        @koala unnie: Thanks for the recap. I love reading recaps even if I watched the episodes mostly for those insights and thoughts of the recaper. I am not to good at finding the symbols in dramas, I am a beginner in d-land but I want to learn.

        This episode was beautiful, simply beautiful. It gives us hope that both of the men can survive.
        … and I can wait for another week with a smile on my face due to that kiss <3

    • Why do I watch dramas that I don’t like?
      1. Throwing good money after bad. Already watched 10 episodes, might as well watch the rest, because it can only get better.
      2. Addiction. It’s bad but I got to have more.
      3. Schadenfreude. It makes me feel good to watch someone else’s misfortune. I feel superior, because all these other viewers, the ones who think it is good? They are stupid.
      4. I don’t have anything better to do. I mean really, what are the alternatives?
      a. Go exercise
      b. Think of a new angle for the research I’m working on.
      c. Put in some overtime to get on my bosses’s good side.
      I’d rather watch TV.

      Hold the flames! Big is cool.

      • Sometimes you love to hate a drama. I had so many feels about fashion King even now I could get into an argument about the OTP’s the peoples crazy and Bad Daddie No.1. If a drama hooks you it hooks you good or bad.

  14. I LOVE IT! Thanks ockoala, for your insightfuk analysis, I just like you, enjoy BIg so much, despite it flaws… This drama is a character driven, and from the start, I’m wasn’t expecting something spectaculer on plot wise. But I feel like in terms of relationship character development wise, they have been doing a great job so far. I feel more attached to the main character more than any other hong sister lead.

  15. First of all, I just want to say that I totally called the cord blood/significance of April 24 as the day YJ was “saved” in a much earlier post. Sorry, but I’m proud of that 🙂

    Anyway, I find many of the criticisms of this drama very odd. I have never thought of YJ as the lead character. Yes GY is the main ACTOR, but that doesn’t make him the person we are rooting for. For me, every time Shin comes on the screen I think, “there’s our boy.” To me, this has always been the story of KKJ/GDR from the very first episode. He has had her hand since they got off the bus together and never let go.

    I love the idea of two people finding each other regardless of all the external things and just falling in love with each other. And the teacher/student element doesn’t bother me at all. I mean, she was his teacher for a handful of days at the most. And YJ was GDR’s doctor for crying out loud! That’s a pretty big thing and no one seems to have a problem with it.

    Speaking of YJ, I have absolutely nothing invested in him waking up. I can see why people would like his point of view, but I agree that we were never promised a “swap” story line. YJ is more like a ghost from the other character’s pasts than an actual character himself. That’s not to say that I want him to die or won’t be happy if he eventually makes it back in the end, but I don’t feel cheated in any way that we didn’t get to see him during the switch.

    Big has me besotted and obsessed. I love all the characters (except for the evil-bitch mamma) and have no real problem with the pace. The slow burn relationship with all the chemistry and laughs has been a k-drama highlight for my tastes. Thanks for your insights, awesome assumptions, and unflagging support of this cracking drama.

    • “To me, this has always been the story of KKJ/GDR from the very first episode. He has had her hand since they got off the bus together and never let go”
      Yah..totally agree..i think there’s no need to question whether other characters are equally & fairly developed in this drama..cos what matters is just KKJ & GDR, well at least to me 😉

    • I totally agree with you.
      I also only see KKJ whoever’s body he occupies.
      I also have no problem with their relationship and age gap.
      Sometimes I get this feeling that the main critics didn’t get the message that the shell is not important…

      Actually, I think this is also the lesson Da Ran is learning – to try to see what’s behind, to leave imagined for truth… to see what the true relationship is about…

      …and is not actually KKJ the teacher here???
      (I’m willing to subscribe for his kissing lessons 😉 )

      • “Sometimes I get this feeling that the main critics didn’t get the message that the shell is not important… ” I know, right? I feel as if this is the MAIN POINT of the drama, and no one seems to get that! Maybe it’s because they chose such a handsome and charismatic lead to play YJ/KY that it makes it hard for people to see beyond the shell. I don’t know. But it’s so obvious to me that is what THS are trying to get across.

        And I completely agree that KKJ is teaching GDR that love is much more than what’s on the surface. The whole idea is that YJ was perfect for her on paper but in actuality a pretty bad match, while KKJ is completely wrong for her superficially but her “soul mate” (he he) when you look at the whole picture.

        As someone who has been in a relationship for 11 years, I know that the way you look changes and your circumstances change, but who you are deep down stays the same. Especially after you are banged around by life, that person beside you better be one who can hold on for the ride. That was what GDR should have seen from her parent’s relationship, and finally understood after she spoke with her Dad. It was why she could let go and accept her love for KKJ (ugh, finally!!!!)

        Oh, and I would also be up for some kissing lessons with GY/KKJ. I’ll refrain from doing anything with dear Shin for Koala’s sake. But, so pretty…

  16. Thanks for your insight, Miss Koala. I have a feeling that you’re right about a lot of things. As for me, I’m enjoying the drama so far. Of course, I would follow Gong Yoo anywhere. He’s just amazingly boyishly charming and smexy. :)~

  17. Still interested enough to read all the re-caps as dangermousie put it but not enough to watch like I actually watch IDID raw and worry about recaps later.
    I am fangirling (cougar here) Shin so guess that makes me bias as well.

  18. I can’t believe its only 4 episode left.. and what a kiss, I’ve told you he’s a great kisser but not really an experience since DR is the only woman he is ever kiss, hope so,hehehe…

  19. MaRi’s dream really make me uneasy bout the ending T_T
    And KJ’s plead to be not forgotten once he disappear from DR make all this feel like a sad foreshadowing for the ending
    Hope ur ending theory work one way or another
    Please be it a happy n satisfied ending Hong Sis!^^

  20. Dear Ms Koala,

    I would like to admit myself into BIG Anonymous. Any places left for this support group? I have replayed the kiss scene for the umpteenth time and I am still smiling from ear to ear.

    Flaws? What flaws? I would just like to enjoy the ride till the end with you on this drama Ms Koala!

  21. OMG!
    Is there a land speed record for fasting posting of a SHIN header, Koala?!
    I’m dying here!!!!! You are sooo cute.

  22. I am dying to see the ending, but I am on vacation out of the country no laptop. grrr. i can’t believe i’ll miss this. i have to find some wi-fi somewhere and watch it on my tiny phone.

  23. I’ve finally arrived people. I used to only want DR and KJ together if he was in YJ’s body, but their beautiful adorable love has sooo won me over. Now I want DR+KJ no matter what!

  24. So after a particularly brutal class, i just wanted to come home and find Da Ran and Kyung Jae on the same page in their relationship….and I would be lying if I said I didn’t want them to kiss already, dammit. I promised myself I could get through anything, absolutely ANYTHING, if they could just be together.

    Then I watched the last 2 minutes of ep 12…and for the first time ever for a kdrama, I simultaneously laughed and sobbed like a baby. FINALLY! Thank the kdrama PTB! *throws confetti and dances wildly*

    And now I’m as content as a baby panda munching on a bamboo stick, lazy grin and all. This is life, I tell ya. 😀

    • I just have to say, when you posted this *throws confetti and dances wildly*, I was imagining Choong Shik in the fantasy Da Ran has about her happy future with Yoon Jae. 😀

  25. I saw the stills from the kiss scene last night, and I have been waiting All. Day. Long. to get to see it. Yay! Except I hate when the cut it off in the middle. I mean, I know we’ll get to see it again next episode, but I still wanted more. Also, how adorable was the photo bombing? I think I woke my neighbors up with my laughter!

    Every time Kyung Joon almost goes back I get a little teary. It’s just so hard to see him suffering like that. And the camping confession scene! I almost died for his sorrow. And I totally freaked out during Ma Ri’s dream! This drama is making me crazy, but I love it so!

  26. I’m so torn about this drama because I wanted it to go both ways. At first I thought it was gonna be a story about Da Ran discovering YJ through the eyes of other people, and KJ finally getting his chance at having a caring family even for a short while, and then in the end soul-switch back and they live as a happy family. Clearly the story at the moment is so far from this right now.

    My theory is that YJ actually died in the accident as much as I’d like it to be false. 🙁 His body was the one pronounced dead, and then he came back alive during the soul-switch. Him reaching out for KJ was the initiator for the switch, but I don’t think it happened right away or else he wouldn’t have been pronounced dead…right? If it was a real soul-switch then shouldn’t KJ’s body be awake right now too? Where did YJ’s soul go? I really think his soul has departed from this world. The story of the Miracle book is telling: a child saves one child so that the saved child can help another. KJ was born to save YJ, and YJ was the one to save KJ.

    KJ is YJ’s body is so enmeshed in this world that everyone is used to the new YJ. He has formed a relationship with his parents, Da Ran, and Da Ran’s family. What happens when YJ does come back and find out all this? So much has happened and so much time has passed that if a return were to happen it would have happened already. I think KJ will find out about the truth and choose to save YJ’s body, but he will also remain in it.

    I really don’t see a soul switch back unless the Hong Sister’s go for the tragedy route where the brothers saving each other come full circle. Pretty much the switch was a near death experience with each soul swapping as they reached for each other. This is HIGHLY unlikely, but during surgery, KJ in YJ’s body wakes up momentarily as they are operated on side by side and reaches for his brother’s hand, and they soul swap back. Then KJ dies. The swap was pretty much him skipping through life as he put it. He was given a chance to live out his life to adulthood and experience all the things he never would have experienced had he died in the accident such as falling in love, getting married, and finally feeling the warmth of a real family. Da Ran will be heartbroken, and idk what will happen to her and KJ. 🙁 Yeah, that’s probably the worst ending ever and is so 49 days.

    • Oh no!! That would be too tragic! The scene where Mari dreamt of KJ waking up and staring up to the light with that eternal smile seemed pretty spooky to me…

    • @Rila – RE:
      “The swap was pretty much him skipping through life as he put it. He was given a chance to live out his life to adulthood and experience all the things he never would have experienced had he died in the accident such as falling in love, getting married, and finally feeling the warmth of a real family. Da Ran will be heartbroken, and idk what will happen to her and KJ. Yeah, that’s probably the worst ending ever and is so 49 days.”

      I think your thoughts could be entirely spot-on…..including that I, personally, would take it as an exceptionally egregious-ending. (You can’t hear my tone, but my intention is that your comments…REALLY got me thinking…compliment intended 🙂

      In terms of a well written story…there would have to have been more satisfying moments of falling in love.
      *it’s been tame to comatose (pun intended)
      *getting married didn’t even happen on screen
      *warmth of a family comes in spurts, but is oveshadowed by trust fund vultures & a DNA Mom who has clenched ‘cold bitch of the year’ award from me

      For me, just saying — the visual narrative has not given me enough of the …short-life, well-lived….to justify killing off KyungJoon. body or soul.

      so yeah. Friends and I joke that in Kdramas the theme is generally:
      Rocks Fall. Everyone dies.

      I’d rather they collect more of the Gil Family *rocks*. (crosses fingers)

  27. I’m just dreading the next episodes, because by k-rules the angst must come…
    Please, don’t break my heart too much… and give me a happy ending… with DR and KJ hand in hand…

  28. Everyone’s comments are so interesting and insightful, thanks. Don’t know why but I think KJ is giving YJ the opportunity to love DR purely before his demise, by using his soul. KJ has been trying to reclaim his soul, but YJ is reticent about giving it back. He needs closure with DR since he feels responsible for her and wants her to be happy without him and she’s now found that happiness with KJ so soon he will feel free to let KJ’s soul leave his body (and even if he’s sick, it’s a mighty fine body to have 🙂 ).

    YJ got the oportunity to feel love with DR and the Gil family, to find his inner child, to see the reality of his parents, to care for his brother and I think he’ll be happy should he have to leave. It pains me to see him go but it seems like a logical outcome. It’s a shame the Hong Sisters are being criticized for this slow-paced love story and I think many were just to used to their fast paced, zany antics and sometimes wacky characaters. They’ve established their reputation based on previous works and I think they just proved they have much more to give us in the future.

      • He was already declared dead once so I think it was be an abrupt demise. He will be mourned and there will be a time jump. That’s my prediction.

  29. My guess is that YJ’s body collapses (from the mystery sickness), and KJ wakes up in his own body. He decides to save YJ’ by being a donor. Dae Rae is pretty miserable about this since there is a rIsk to KJ. During the surgery, KJ’s body dies…but since YJ’s soul is already gone, KJ will slip back into YJ’s body. The ending scene will be DR by the bedside of YJ’S, with the repeated waking up scene, where she will find out that it is KJ that survived.

    • Absolutely think you are right with some questions.
      How do they explain WHY KJ’s body dies?
      You can’t take tissue from an unwilling and SICK donor. So he has to be declare healthy to go ahead with the bone marrow extraction.
      They keep saying they don’t know why he has been in a coma.
      Are they going to say, “Oh! It was his time. He just up and died.”
      Meaning wouldn’t DR feel guilty for the rest of her life if she thinks KJ’s body died so YJ would have no soul to perch? Or that KJ died for YJ’s body?

      • Right? The thing is even if KJ were to remain in YJ’s body for a happily ever after ending with DR, to accomplish that (and only if this applies to YJ’s state at all prior to entrance into a comma or nonexistent-character state) they would still need to fix YJ’s body, wouldn’t they not? It’s the souls that have been swapped, so regardless of the commander, the ship would still be broken. But then, of course, why hasn’t KJ experienced pain in a debilitating, life-threatening disease sense since he has occupied YJ’s body? If THS were to suddenly throw us a disease curveball that would be another shite added onto an already mountain high pile of shite.

    • By the way, I am very concerned about my friend, Jomo.

      She was babbling about KJ in Shin’s body dying. She is sure that Mari’s dream means we are NOT going to see SHIN wake up from his slumber.
      She understands that doesn’t mean that KJ will die, and somehow, she couldn’t care less about a Dr. Sew? So? Seo?

      But she is getting all kinds of upset imagining that scenario.
      Something about “they better not make me SEE that.”
      It would be like Lee Jung Jae in Sandglass, and Una in WBDS.
      It would be devastating, she says.

      The last thing she said was frightening, almost Dr. Frankenstein ish
      “Sure, go ahead and kill him. I will keep him alive in headers
      Headers never die.”

      I am keeping an eye on her for the time being..

  30. Thanks for another great recap ockoala unnie! Thank you! At looong last, they clearly know each other’s feelings now. It cracked me up that Se Young was actually the one who helped stop all these misunderstanding shenanigans between our OTP! I guess this is the first time that I was mighty glad that a character is one meddling bitch. I was getting tired of the misunderstandings but it was so satisfying to see the scene where Se Young was telling on Da Ran. Ha! Just look at his face! Way to go, Se Young! Finally! I saw the kissing cut in youtube. Boy, was that a sweet-turned-hot kissing scene. Yes, I will agree that he’s one of the best kissers in kdramaland. Another on my list is Cha Seung Won. I guess these two are tied up in the best kisser category.

  31. Thank you soo much Miss Koala..
    Maybe this drama is not perfect..but I luuv soo much with the OTP …so I can not stop to think about this drama 24/7. I think GY-LMJ chemistry is more solid than GY-YEH in coffe prince (i’ve tried soo hard to finish coffe prince for killing time waiting for Monday..but it ended with re-watch Big over and over again)…
    I agree with you..many character in this drama are not developed enough and their existence are only to support the main OTP…but I’m satisfied because it’s mean that the screen time of uri OTP much much longer (i often watch Kdrama with fast forward in annoying supporting role) soo the Hong sister really focus on our OTP..the interesting think for me is i am not fans of Gong Yoo…nor LMJ..but I really really luuv…Gil Da Ran and Kyung Jae..
    For age gap problem…I think because Shin is such a cutie boy…so it feel awkward to think they will be paired…but for age i think 5 years is not a big deal…
    I agree with you..i think Big don’t have second lead male or even second lead female…Yoon Jae is not a real character here…and I agree chong siikk is senior in acting compare to newbie Shin..i really love when he pronunciate moommyyyy..or americhaa…hehehe…so cute….(want to see him played in Saeguk paired with Eun Jung..hehhe..he is soo cool there..proving that he is a good young actor)
    and for second female lead..I think mari is not a real candidate because KJ is never give his heart to her..or even SY because her role just for complement for the drama…so I guess our OTP is struggle themshelves to understand their love…plus the awkward condition that they have to overcome
    Woah…another week to wait..still get blank for the end..but it’s okay…I will be patient and for now just happy for our couple…chukae…..

    • See, I feel the total opposite. I have never seen a drama where the two leads had more chemistry than in Coffee Prince. And having just rewatched it for the 4th time, it is making the chemistry in Big seem really weak to me. It may just be because I like strong female lead characters who take initiative and fight for what they want. Da Ran is just too complacent for me. It bugs me that she has to let this 20 year old guy make all her decisions for her. I really like the show, (other than the fact that I am ready to know what is going on as far as whether or not they are going to switch back or Yoon Jae is going to disappear and what not and they have dragged it out an episode too long) , but I think Da Ran is the show’s weak link. But that’s just me, I know a lot of people really like her, I just prefer female leads with strong personalities. How far have you gotten in Coffee Prince? The chemistry gets off the charts about halfway through.

      • You expressed every word of my mind. I think this OTP has some chemistry but in Coffee Prince GY- YEH couple was way better than this, some magic works between them… I never feel tired of watching them together.
        DR character is BIG NO for me, kind of spoils my mood while watching it .. …

      • I agree that YEH and GY had amazing chem in that show.
        Physical closeness was KEY to the plot and characters and skinship started in the first episode, getting progressively hotter. In order for his character to be willing to cross that line, he had to be fatally drawn to GEC. The script had him unable to keep his hands off GEC. Her mere presence got him hot and bothered, and they both did a phenomenal job bringing that to the screen.

        Big has a relationship progress from cool (teacher/student) to finally hot in 12, in order for them to stay true to their characters – Both suppressing their attraction because of fear: her fear of “cheating on YJ” and his fear of being rejected.

        So both had chemistry that fit the story.

      • 100% with you on this.

        GY and LMJ have great chemistry together, but it feels a bit flat somewhat. The dynamics are just not as powerful, perhaps because, as you said, the female lead character is rather white bread. It takes two to make a rock solid pairing after all, and though LMJ is gorgeous, I’ve never thought she was a great actress, and it feels like GY is doing most of the work actually trying to maintain the chemistry, you know?

      • @Jomo

        I agree it’s a different type of story, but there can be more passion expressed without actually touching someone. Perfect example, I don’t know if you guys have seen the Pride and Prejudice movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden, but it is one of my favorite movies because they show such intense passion with it still being G rated, they don’t even kiss until the very end of the movie, but the way their body language is towards each other and the way they longingly look at each other still makes me more hot and bothered than anything aside from Coffee Prince lol. And forbidden love should be hotter than it has been on this show, I mean look at Da Ran’s parents, they’ve still got it lol. I agree with LilyJang that Kyung Joon’s character is doing a great job of portraying it, but Da Ran’s character is not holding it up on her end and I’ve only seen her forever ago in BOF, so I don’t really know if it’s LMJ acting or the way the character is written, but I suspect it’s a bit of both. I mean even in the kiss Gong Yoo was doing all the work, he was kissing the hell out of her and she was just kind of there lol, at least that’s how I saw it (and I’m thinking girl if you can’t kiss him right move out of the way and let me in there lol). I’m not saying they don’t have chemistry at all, I just don’t think it anywhere compares to the chemistry in Coffee Prince. Their chemistry is like a low flame right now, while in Coffee Prince it was wildfire lol. And whose to say that won’t change in the next couple of episodes? I would love it if it did.

      • I loved coffee prince too and when you see the interaction of the couple there, you really can believe there was a genuine liking of each other’s company and an attraction. But I think most of that comes from good actors realizing a good script and good direction. Coffee prince for me had ALL that. I didn’t love go eun chan character all that much either but as a drama couple, I felt that they very believable in how their feelings evolved and how they came came together.

        Here, while I love the character kyungjae a WHOLE lot, I don’t love da ran much at all. I can still understand why kj would love her to
        some extent but I feel she has been so undeserving of that. But since she is who kj believes he loves and will make him happy, I go along with the story and want that for him too.

        It will be interesting to see how this story wraps up. I think tribute really is to gong yoo to have made us love kj despite some real flaws in the drama. I really don’t care much for da ran except as a vehicle for kJ’s happiness.

  32. “So while Gong Yoo owns this drama, we’ve gotta stop fixating on his face”. Then, let’s be honest, who do we see when we see Gong Yoo. It’s neither YJ or KJ, it’s Kyung Jae. Even mari needs to cover YJ’s face with KJ’s at first because she felt weird. And Daran fell in love to KJ while KJ it’s in YJ’s body. The switched has been too long, they already become 1. If YJ’s body is the weaker why KJ left his body? He is the one who left, not YJ and that confused me. I love KJ in YJ’s body because i already get use to this character, if KJ go back to his body I’m sure I’m going to love him also, but i will say “eeww” if Dr kiss KJ and scream ” he’s just a boy ahjumma, wake up!”. Kekekekeke. I guess i’ll have to wait for another surprises next week. Thx ms. Koala for the recaps and your thoughts. Love them.

    • After all they have been through, and thinking back to how completely sweet they were bickering and challenging each other, and also showing concern for each other in Ep 1, I would love to see skinship between them.
      If this were a French film, it would happen!! SK? I don’t think they are ready for that!!
      But I remind you that MY point of reference for “ewww” has been influenced by the old movie “Harold and Maude.” Romance between an 80 year old and a mid 20 year old. Nothing can come close to that!

  33. Are there really people who are angry because they believe DR “cheated” on YJ? Wow, that’s so … out there. (LOL) The OTP have always been K Joon and DR, right from the beginning. How can we all see that but they don’t? I don’t get it. The names I’ve seen DR called? *shudders* These people are vicious and I”m scared. Hold me.

    *raises hand* I’m probably guilty of fixating on Gong Yoo’s face (and Shin Won-Ho’s face too but for totally different reasons – hehehehe) but in all fairness, it IS his face all over the promos/posters/ads/etc. *sighs* I’ve been brainwashed. But I clearly know who the OTP are.

    This episode was good! For all my complaints of earlier ones, I actually really enjoyed this one. I’m not sure why – maybe because things are finally coming together but I pray they continue with whatever they did differently. Great recap, thank you!

    • You have to admit that poor Yoon Jae got really screwed over in this drama. I’m not mad, because it has been made obvious in the last few episodes that he is purely there to drive Kyung Joon and Da Ran together and make the plot more interesting, but the poor guy had his body married off without his permission and now he’s being left for his brother, all of this happening while he’s in someone else’s body in a coma. Oh well it’s the plight of the second lead, they always get screwed over 😛

      • Lol, your comment made me realize that THS was ripping off Big, While You Were Sleeping, and god knows how many western movies they mash up…

    • I don’t understand your argument that just because KJ-DR is the ultimate pairing of the show, it makes it OK for DR to jump onto KJ’s ship whilst her fiancee whom she claimed to have loved is stuck in a kid’s body and in a comma. The shell may be YJ, but now that DR has finally grown a pair(metaphorically speaking) and admitted to her feelings for KJ, it is the emotional betrayal that constitutes cheating.

      • Is anyone else excited that Kyung Jae will need another operation because that probably means another shirtless scene….

  34. Anyone knows where the Hong Sisters live? Let’s go kidnap them and squeeze the last 4 episodes out of them! I C A N N O T W A I T T I L L M O N D A Y :((

    Who’s with me?

  35. i think youngjae’s body would require one more transplant, which kyungjoon’s body will provide and then perish??? & kyungjoon continues to live in youngjae’s body??? so is kyungjae the end deal???

  36. In my POV, I think Yoon Jae’s character would really die on this drama. But on Kyun Joon’s body, that means KKJ soul would forever be on YJ’s. But with the soul switching theory I believe one of your theory is correct. That YJ purposely let KKJ soul stays in his body and silently watches the development of Da Ran and KKJ feelings so he can leave at peace when he dies. But something is really confusing me when Se yong did the DNA test between KKJ and YJ mom, it appears to be positive. But she’s not blood related to KKJ. Only his father or YJ would fit positive on KKJ DNA. Could it be that YJ’s soul had really reside on that bed ridden body and just waiting for his final call? Unfortunately the selfish fan me wants that Goong Yo in KKJ’s character that YJ….

    • You are mistaken. Yoon Jae’s parents are also Kyung Joon’s full-blooded parents. Yoon Jae’s mom’s egg was fertilized with Yoon Jae’s dad’s sperm and then implanted in Kyung Joon’s birth mom’s womb. This is called surrogacy. All Kyung Joon’s surrogate mom did was carry him to term, and afterwards raise him. But Kyung Joon and Yoon Jae are full-blooded brothers, not half-brothers. That is why a DNA test on Yoon Jae’s mom showed that she was also Kyung Joon’s mom.

  37. Don’t kill KJ’s body! Don’t kill KJ’s body! Don’t kill KJ’s body! Don’t kill KJ’s body! PLEASE.
    This is how I see things. Not all of us will be happy with the ending and not all of us hate the drama because the story line falters. It is not negative to root for your team only to the other team. When a drama makes you think and react then it must have some good qualities. True I am no longer a fan of Gong Yoo but only because of this story and my fanship to Shin but he has done a remarkable, outstanding job in acting through this drama. Lee Min Jung is taking a lemon role and making it lemonade cause it is not the first or only k-drama that portrays women as stupid, bumbling creatures. Of course THS have an Gong Yoo/LMJ ending, they are stars and beautiful Shin is a newcomer. The synopsis is misleading so here I am and while not enjoying like the multitude of GY fans, still hoping for my ending. I enjoy reading all the comments, negative or otherwise. Laughing at jomo and tessierro’s hold me fill me with thoughts that everyone is watching this drama and thinking. Ms Koala after this drama, I will probably break away again and I saw you stopped watching IDID. That one is killing me too.

    • I left this comment further up on accident but it was unrelated to that thread and I can’t figure out how to delete it lol, but is anyone else excited that Kyung Jae will need another operation because that probably means another shirtless scene…. I am a sad sad woman 😛

  38. here’s my take on the whole ‘endings theory’

    their souls are back in their rightful bodies and Kyung Joon realizes he has to save Yoon Jae thru a transplant. but something wrong happens in his surgery and he’s in the brink of death and Da Ran is at his bedside and Da Ran confesses she loves him and they kiss… then Kyung Joon dies.

    Then Yoon Jae’s soul realizes it’s HIS time to save Kyung Joon so they do a switcheroo again and Yoon jae’s soul dies finally and its back to being Kyung Jae and Kyung Jae and Da Ran live happily ever after.

    a girl can dream!!! lol!

  39. I appreciate your wonderful recap and insight, but do you really think Yoon Jae has just been watching everything? Seems a bit too far fetched to me, that he’s now rooting for their relationship having been creepily imprisoned in his own body this entire time. In all honesty if that turned out to be the case I would be disappointed at the bizarre and unrealistic nature of it all, and the Hong Sisters don’t really seem to be those kinds of writers- it’s a nice theory to pave the way for the Happily Ever After of our protagonists, but I have a feeling it’ll be a harsher reality, as they’ve spent quite a bit of time establishing Yoon Jae’s love for Da Ran as a real obstacle to her accepting her feelings for KJ, thus there must be some kind of fallout from her making such an angst-ridden choice, so it’s more plausible that they’d have to endure the pain of giving him the lo down of what’s happened while he’s been asleep. Also I think Fate knew that he would need another transplant which is why everything happened, but it’s pretty hard to believe that he’d known of his upcoming death and that this disease spent a year reaching full force. I mean it’s possible, but again pretty out there. Also I know you ship KJ and DR all the way but I’m having a very hard time imagining a character Gong Yoo has established acted out by Shin. He hasn’t gotten nearly enough screen time for me to fully support the pairing, as while the message of the drama may be that love transcends physical boundaries we have seen no proof that the love between DR and KJ will endure once he returns to his barely out of teenagerhood body, which is why I am fervently hoping for a body swap back very soon and some time spent on their interactions in their rightful bodies, so that I can actual invest in the couple without feeling the wrongness of her loving him while in her ex-love’s body. Those were just my thoughts on the matter, thank you for the recap!

    • Yeah, that’s a healthy thought. I also think it is best and fair to start developing relationship, once everyone is back to respective shell.

  40. Thanks for the recap, Ms. Koala!ü I really hope that Yoon Jae will wake up VERY SOON so we can hear his story(e.g. why he had intended to go to the US the day before their wedding; how much does he know about KKJ; what’s his relationship with Se Young and his feelings for Da Ran), and to know him much better as well. I hope the Hong Sisters will give enough screentime for that matter, and not just wake Yoon Jae up in the last episode of this series.(That’ll surely irritate me to death! >.<)

    BTW, I like your theory about YJ knowing what's going on between DR and KJ, yet not stopping them. That makes perfect sense.(You're insights are really superb, you know!ü) If that's actually the case, I can't imagine how painful it must be for Yoon Jae. I really feel bad for him. T.T

  41. It’s funny how I went from potentially dropping this drama to obsessed. It’s not fast moving, but there’s something so real about this drama, despite all the weaknesses. Oh and Gong Yoo is so hot. So shallow, but man is he manly. The beefeater scenes makes me wish they had more sleeveless scene. Or instead of camping, why couldn’t they have gone to a beach?

    Thanks for the recaps. My 2 cents about why read recaps. I read recaps, in fact multiple recaps if they are available. Even with my own understanding of Korean and English subtitles to fill in holes, there’s always different interpretations, etc. Also, the additional insights from others help me understand better the drama. Plus, it helps prolong the overall enjoyment of the drama.

  42. What surprises me is how many believe that KJ and DR will end up together. Say the soul swaps take place and KJ gives YJ what he needs. YJ lives or dies won’t matter to the out come, because once all is known could KJ really stay with DR or her with him? Because KJ and YJ will no longer be two strangers who souls were switched they will be two brothers who souls had been switched. That fact alone will change the complexion of DR and KJ’s relationship. If YJ survives DR will be legally married to him, if he dies she will be his widow, can she then truly turn around a marry his younger brother? Maybe I’m just a pessimist but I don’t see a happy ending for our couple.

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