Final Episode of Descendants of the Sun Brings in 38.8% Ratings Ending with a Successful Flourish


So long to two of the three currently airing Wed-Thurs K-dramas, and especially to the massive Pan-Asia hit Descendants of the Sun for bringing back eight weeks of what felt like the heydays of the ratings past. DotS made drama watching into a collective experience again as viewers tuned in during live television broadcasts and sent the ratings increasing week after week. The final episode 16 aired this Thursday and brought in a new record for the show garnering 38.8% AGB nationwide with a 4% increase from the previous episode.

Beleaguered Please Come Back Ahjusshi aired back-to-back final two episodes getting 4.6% and 2.6% respectively. Still going Goodbye Mr. Black continued to limp around with 3.5% and 3.8% for its airing of back-to-back episodes. With this final episode ratings, DotS will officially average 28.5% AGB nationwide ratings, a feat that is successful even during the halcyon ratings days of yore and now can be held up as a truly remarkable achievement. For highest rated Kim Eun Sook dramas it’s now Lovers in Paris which averaged an insane 41.3%, followed by DotS with 28.5%, and Secret Garden rounds out the top three with 24.3%.

So what are viewers of Please Come Back Ahjusshi think of the ending? For fans watching DotS you guys can share thoughts here or wait for my recap coming later. I hope folks feel a at least modicum of satisfaction with the endings, those who are watching either drama since it sucks to feel like eight weeks were wasted. On a side note, Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo really ratings KO’d their former drama costars Moon Chae Won and Rain. Too bad there wasn’t more ratings pie to go around.


Final Episode of Descendants of the Sun Brings in 38.8% Ratings Ending with a Successful Flourish — 52 Comments

  1. the dots finale was just the way i wanted it to be, pure fluff! loved both of the couples and all the side characters so even when the plot was lacking i never felt the need to drop it.
    btw where are all the people who watched dots and cbm?! i know y’all exist and i’m not the only one. it seems like everyone watching the dramas is so insistent on arguing over which one was better. i watched the highlights and read some spoilers for the last two episodes of cbm and honestly i’m really satisfied with the way it seemed to have ended. can’t wait to marathon both episodes after writing my exam tmrw!

  2. I think CBA deserve more but not really the great drama ever like the fans always shove up as the undeserved underrated drama, it’s good, deserve higer rating but you can lost interest when you don’t care about young soo/rain character arc or doesn’t too much liking of the actor/actress. I find OYS and Honey Lee is striking amazing on their own but the plot is just confusing. They should just stick to comedy cause the melodrama part ruin the drama. There’s a sincere heart in the comedic moment more than the “supposedly sad” moment and it better just to take the comedy, somewhere around the middle it gets repetitive and seems to filled screen time quota without plot development. This show has too many plot going on here and there when the actual story just wants to give closure about what missing in their previous life, instead they introduce this whole supermarket, job seeking, living together plot without much reason.
    At the end everything is connected but I still feel it wasn’t much of satisfying journey, it had enough laugh though.
    So, CBA is not a masterpiece and it’s okay to not liking it, deserve higher rating but I understand the decreasing viewership they had.

    • +100. CBA has become something that a lot of International Fans are throwing out there as a “gem” that should’ve done better than DOTs was a masterpiece etc.

      • There are some snooty drama fans who hate on popular dramas and who look down on people who enjoy them lol. They can’t seem to understand that people have different preferences. Life is short, let’s all enjoy the dramas that move us 🙂

    • Agree! Lol the funny thing was, prior to airing of both DotS and CBM, I thought DotS would be my melo drama and CBM can counter it with all its romcom-y goodness.. but it turned out that DotS entertained me more and seemed more balanced? I don’t know. There were eps of CBM that were just mostly people crying and whining which frustrated me. Though I hoped that ratings were higher for both CBM and GMB, I also wouldn’t say that they are perfect dramas.

    • CBA was losing most of its tiny audience against Mr. Black, and Mr. Black isn’t good either…so something isn’t working there.

  3. DoTS is a satisfying show, whether you watch it or miss it.
    It doesn’t aim too big but charming enough to have a relaxing story when good guy fighting for good thing, without nonsensical character involvement such as a sudden love triangle from the past, family member that just had to make the lead life worse somehow, ungrateful and not supportive friend, or backstabbing.
    It’s satisfying for those who enjoy it.,

  4. The drama wasn’t perfect, but I really enjoyed, from beginning to end, there were some issues with editing but that didn’t bother me too much, my only concern was about how will it end because lately I have seen many dramas that the ending were very weak or didn’t make sense. Now let see what the producer has prepare for us next week looking forward to see the highlights, behind the scenes and any thing that will make the withdrawal process less painful

  5. I enjoy DotS ending and my wish has come true! All previous spoilers did not make sense and I am glad I did not believe one cent of it. Thanks Ms Koala for the great recaps and I look forward to reading your insightful comment of episode 16!

  6. The DOTS finale was great. It was a fun and easy 16 episode ride. Thank you KES for not having a lead male be a Chaebol here. What a refreshing thing.

    We need to talk about SHK and SJK’s kiss scene in ep 16 tho *fans self* and then we need to talk about why JG and KJW’s kiss scenes were that bad and passion-less O___O

    • Wow I thought I was the only one who thought that! The Goowon couple look so cute but their kisses were super duper awkward…..maybe because Jin Goo is married?

      But yea SJK can sure kiss and SHK can sure reciprocate those kisses well.

    • i didn’t think they were that bad? maybe i didn’t expect much bc they were second leads but i was satisfied with them. tbh i didn’t even expect them to give the second leads any kiss scenes so i was really happy with how much screen time they got. i loved both couples but they had a special place in my heart so maybe im just being biased haha

      • i agree with you. i don’t find goowon kissing scene awkward or bad. yes, it’s not a hot one, they keep it modest but they still open their lips. the only thing i dislike is the duration. it went so fast

    • He’s married and she’s really young, I guess that’s why. GooWon has good chemistry when they aren’t kissing, but their kissing just kills it totally. Those pursed lips….

      • Their previous kiss scenes with other actors were very good, but the age difference and the fact that he’s married did affect the skinship a bit. I could see KJW holding back and it’s understandable. A video of them inviting viewers to watch the drama while holding hands had fans making so many inappropriate comments that Jin Goo ended up deleting the video, passionate kissing scenes would have had knetz call them both ugly names. It’s better this way.

    • Not the male lead, but this was the whole issue with Dae Young and Myeong Joo’s relationship, that he could not meet her father’s expectations of attaining a distinguished military career.

  7. Overall, I loved DotS just as much as everyone else did and kept rewatching scenes, especially ones with the Song couple. I enjoyed this last episode, but I was bothered by seeing SJK with the cast on in some scenes and without it in others, sometimes back to back. Did others notice it too? It felt like an oversight from the director and staff. Though I was happy that the story lines had closure, something about the writing in the last episode did not flow smoothly for me.

    I have enjoyed all of Kim Eun Sook’s dramas in the past few years, and this is one of her best. While probably in the minority about this, I still LOVE City Hall (maybe as my favorite), which did not do as well in domestic ratings but was an awesome romantic drama with amazing cast too.

    • I think it’s because of his injury nearly at the end of filming. They can’t delay the filming anymore to wait for Joongki to be able to take the cast, or shoot other scenes first because only several scenes left.

      • Glad you shared the same sentiment. I loved it and didn’t understand why it didn’t do as well.

    • Joongki injured his right wrist and the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee when he did the “car slide” stunt in ep14 but because of the tight budget & time constraints of the drama, he went back to filming after just 2 weeks. And since the scenes were not filmed in order, the cast comes and goes. Actually, they tried to hide it as best they can like remember that ep he went back to Seoul and took a pic with his dad and mom? You can see the cast there. Or that scene where he took drunk MY home? Cast/bandage was also there, just hidden as much as possible hehe. Still, they tried to work it in the story so I’m all cool with it 🙂

      • I knew about his injuries but didn’t know when he got hurt. Had actually tried looking it up. In fact, I saw the car slide scene and wondered if that was the scene he got hurt. I guess it couldn’t be helped if he filmed the last scene of episode 15 while healthy and then got hurt. Probably could not redo that scene with a cast (would not visually be as pretty). Unfortunately, I couldn’t help notice when it happened several times, and it made the last episode less real with the back-and-forth so obvious. 🙁

      • Because Si Jin’s feast on ceremonial food while MY’s medical team watched via Line (or ???)was so funny and entertaining, I can cut the production team some slack even this inconsistency in showing his injury was so noticeable. LOL

  8. DOTs finale made me want to cry, and not in a good way. it was just so nonsensical i wanted to pull my hair out. the last scene in Canada especially didn’t make sense and was completely out of tone with the rest of the drama, almost slapstick kind of humor from the thoughtful/tense melodrama of Uruk episodes past. the potential the drama had in the beginning with all the themes it touched upon, and with the advantage of pre-production, it could have been so much MORE.

    but overall the finale was very funny, sometimes not intentionally, but i can see for the people who loved the drama through its whole run would love all the fan service and fluff in this episode. there’s been plenty of dramas where the finale is reserved for fluff (can’t remember off the top of my head right now, mb someone can give examples) and those fluff episodes were still a nice cherry to a delicious sundae. however for the various reasons that people have been harking on for the past couple of episodes, i just didn’t want fluff. like artificial sugar, the fluff didn’t go down so well. unfortunately i was still looking for a narrative plot, or a resemblance of one, going into this episode to tie up all the unknown questions like: is Shi Jin Captain Korea? or Jesus? and why is he still so beautiful, if not stylish, after being captive for a year? how did he read those cell messages? how did he know to find her in the desert, wait, how did he even get to the desert? why did MJ and DY even break up? they’re Red Velvet stans?

    i know the general census is to turn off my brain and enjoy the pretty, but i just couldn’t, especially after what i imagined what the drama could be from watching the thrilling first episode. somewhere around ep 5 i got disenchanted from the whole drama and it wasn’t possible to go back. like when you learn Santa Claus isn’t real – Christmas will never be the same.

    • I am glad that I was taught Christmas is about Jesus not Santa Claus, hence, when Santa is not real, so Christmas is always the same.

      Same applied with DoTS, put aside the logic and treat it as a pure drama where the impossible is possible and magic can be made all the way, then we can enjoy the drama. I am glad that I never have any expectation in a drama so I can still find joy regardless the silliness it presented.

      • yea i’m atheist so not much i can do about christmas and i wasn’t sold on the song-song couple’s chemistry so again there wasn’t much for me to love in this drama. (mb song joong ki? only when he does the sexy eye stares, angst and car slides, i can do with less glib and less dying.) i’m glad you enjoyed the drama, as long as people enjoy it then its a successful. i think i might start waiting for dramas to finish completely so i can get my expectations right and enjoy them freely.

      • +1. Sorta agree with you. Besides, DotS is mainly about a love story (with other love side-stories such as the 2nd OTP and Dr. Song/Nurse Ha). Everything else is just for the purposes of creating juicy storyline to make it more fun to watch.

    • there is no volcano in Vancouver… lol!! .. Urk is not a real city either… Why Vancouver?? they might as well create a virtual city named “Ban”… I wish our two couples are getting married also…

    • @kpp
      Couldn’t agree more. I didn’t like that the writer gave in to so much fan service and fluffy, cringe-worthy scenes. Except for some really funny moments, it just felt too much like they were rubbing it in our face that it was such a happy ending! Wouhou we’re so blessed!
      I was expecting some plausible explanations, like when the North Korean guy had shown up in episode 13, they had actually thought up some plot, but here it was so rushed, ‘lazy writing’ couldn’t possibly describe it accurately.

      Some people think that it’s because we can’t get over the holes in the plot (read: shut off our brain) that we feel so disappointed, but it’s actually the plot that was so interesting about this drama – although the two lead couples chemistry was great too. Plot, characters and chemistry as a combination worked best during the first 12 episodes, but then the writer had to go and think that throwing plot and logic out the window would change nothing and that more fan service would likely cover it up. Oh, it certainly did for a lot of fans, not not all of them.

      The writer in an interview had said that she had learned from her past mistakes, implying that DOTS would have a happy ending, and indeed it did.
      Too bad it was at the expense of plot and common sense.

  9. The end was great and tied everything together to me. It never took itself that seriously and I just loved how everything remained the same as much as people changed. It was just a really fun drama to watch. Deserving of the ratings as well for daring to have strong female characters, and no love triangles or other cliches.

  10. It was entertaining as all heck. Logical? No. But I can see how pre production helped as it gave greater story license and smoother editing. If the story was choppy the last 4 episodes then it’s the writer. But individually the OTPs wwere great OTPs.

  11. however dots is the best comparing to other dramas at the same time. soooo… call me ignorance, but rating and praise for dots show it.

    logical or not, whatever. drama is always drama. nobody is perfect tho, including sw and pd.

    let’s move on and watch other great drama!!! fighting!

  12. I liked the glimpses I watched of the finale. I’m glad they didn’t go for a shocker. I enjoyed despite the fluff. I followed most of Come Back Ahjushhi. Basically it’s very slapstick, so not for everyone. I enjoyed it in the beginning but Rain’s characters arc was boring for me, so I lost interest.

  13. best moment of the episode the kisses between goowon both in the snow and cafeteria when she grabs him and kiss him.!!!great characters and chemistry!!!i am gonna miss them!!!

  14. could have 40% if the pd make bed scene for the last ep.
    already knew PCBM/GBMB was going to flop. the two lead from those two always sux at rating.

  15. I haven’t read the comments yet b/c I don’t want other opinions to influence mine.
    LOL @ all the ending spoilers. The finale is totally fluffy. Now I can safely say for sure that DotS is 60% rom com + 30% action + 10% Rambo/Iron Man. I think the first 12 episode could have been a complete mini series and wish they could have extended to either 18 or 20 eps. I wish there was more extension to fill out the backstory of missing storyline such as how seriously injured (if not critical with gun shot wounds) Si Jin and Dae Young survived the ordeal of being captured and got healed. The N. Korean special forces captain came to rescue seemed a bit of out of blue and it would have been better if they had given an explanation in the drama. I feel that it’s a bit running out of air time so that may have just edited out many scenes since they also need to squeeze in product placement in appropriate scenes that have to take place in non combat zones. LOL

    What I love this drama most is all the banter and farce. My favorite part is Si Jin’s feast on ceremonial food behind Mo Yeon through Ji Hoon’s webcam. The shot was epic and so LOLable. hahahaha

    Although there’re noticeable flaws in the last few episodes, DotS is still my favorite drama in the latest years. Kudos to the hard work and talents of the production team and the cast.

  16. I am enjoying the 3.8% Goodbye Mr Black, finding many things to interest me especially the OTP, the Black minions, Panda team and the super cool villains.

    Someone here mentioned City Hall. I must share that City Hall is one of my favourite dramas of all time. I laughed, cried, was touched by the romance and most satisfied by the ending!

  17. DOTS overrated..I’ve watched many great korean hall..healer..kill me heal love from the star..DOTS full exaggeration maybe because its been a long time that there’s no hit korean series after mylove from the star

    • If DotS were overrated, then MLFTS would be even more. KSH was so bland in MLFTS and his costar JJH stole the entire show even I’m a fan of KSH and watched MLFTS for his sake.

  18. The question is, do I want to watch DotS? Cos while I do find SJK adorable, I have such a -let’s call it- conflicting relationship with KES and her writing.

    I loved City Hall, A gentleman’s dignity was nothing to write home about (A+ cast, some elements of the story made me cringe like whoa) and I HATED Secret Garden with a burning passion of 100 thousands suns! Secret Garden single-handedly turned me off my kdrama obsession for two years!!! And NGL, I need kdrama fluff in my life so I do NOT want to repeat that experience again.

    Which is why I waited till DotS was over to make my decision. So far, I’m leaning towards no. What do you guys suggest? Koala, you?

    PS: my reaction to the rumors about Gong Yoo being cast in one of her dramas? Noooooooooo! Heh. I do NOT want to miss his comeback, kes tho? o_O

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