DRAMA CLUB: Jeju Island Gatsby (Warm and Cozy) Episodes 15&16: And They All Lived Happily Ever After
Welcome back to the final episodes of Jeju Island Gatsby. Join Taleena and Marakeshsparrow as we examine the conclusion of the show, the start of the final romances, and where it rates in the Hong Sisters' pantheon of shows.
Taleena: I have to admit I was a little apprehensive to watch the last two episodes. One, because there is always the possibility that a drama will stumble. Two, because some of my drama friends were “meh. I was disappointed”. However, I thought it was a perfectly lovely conclusion to a sweet drama. It doesn’t crack the list of top Hong Sisters’ dramas, but it was by no means the worst.
Marakeshsparrow: I agree on all counts! I actually wish they’d skipped through the last couple episodes (which I maintain must have been written as filler) and gotten to this sweet conclusion. My frustration with Geon Woo and Jung Joo finally went away and my ship was able to sail! Weeee! //waves hands in air joyfully// Not to mention--Taleena, you were right about Lady Diver handling the truth with grace. For a moment, I was afraid she was going to do something out of character like turn her back on Resort Oppa (that moment when she told him she hated him had me shaking in my boots!) but then after she learned the full truth about his mother being the real killer, she seemed to want to protect him as much as he had been protecting her. Though I thought she’d never agree to leave Jeju Island in a million years, at the end, their move to Japan made sense to me. I think she was ready to start over fresh, leave the past behind, and be happy. That was a really nice touch. What did you guys think?
Taleena: OK, yes WE understand that it was the mom who killed Lady Diver’s first husband, but honestly it was never explicitly said to Lady Diver. I have to say that I really, REALLY like the implication that Geon Woo really WAS his father’s son. That is to say, he was willing to sacrifice his every happiness to ensure the happiness of the people he loved. And I also, really like the “extravagant love” phrase passed from sibling to sibling and Lady Diver countering it by saying her everyday love trumped it. I liked that everyone was protecting Resort Oppa’s heart.
Marakeshsparrow: Didn’t the Realtor tell Lady Diver the full truth about the matter?
Taleena: Yes, Realtor told her the theory, which is why she kind of called Resort Oppa on the carpet, but that is ultimately why she saw Geon Woo’s father to find out the truth. She was smart enough to recognize Jin (the dad) was leaving a fig leaf of doubt for Oppa’s sake.
Marakeshsparrow: Ahhh ok. Yeah, I was actually wondering why President Jin didn’t totally come clean. Actually if I had one complaint about this episode, it would be that President Jin and Geon Woo didn’t get to meet, other than seeing each other from a short distance. I know Geon Woo had greeted his dad once before, when he didn’t know who he was, but I was hoping that they would have a bit more of a reconciliation. Though I do think Geon Woo forgave his father in the end, which I guess is a pretty big step for him.
Taleena: I was really happy that they didn’t wrap EVERYTHING up in a neat bow. Real life doesn’t work that way. I feel like that “bought” happy endings for everyone. Jin got to eat in his son’s restaurant, and heard the story of Warm and Cozy. It confirmed that there was something genuine that got passed to his son. I also think that it sowed the seeds of Jung Joo being the bridge between father and son. That Geon Woo saw his father come to the restaurant for that connection, while still honoring Geon Woo’s wishes to have distance, was ultimately a sign that his dad cared.
Marakeshsparrow: I mean they didn’t have to become fishing buddies! lol But I wanted them to at least have said something to each other. It /was/ good that his dad got to eat a meal at Warm and Cozy and hear how Geon Woo had inherited that phrase from him though. Honestly, I’m a sucker for father and son stuff, so I think I just wanted more. But on another subject, I have to mention what was possibly my favorite part of these last episodes--the Mayor and Noona! OMG--I was loving their interactions. I love that Noona became a much more sympathetic and 3 dimensional character by the end of the show. In the beginning she seemed to be just a flat caricature of the spoiled rich girl (maybe that’s why she got along with Leads ‘Em On), but then we got to see that she does have a heart, she does feel pain, and she really is just a normal person. The part where she was drunk and tossing pistachio shells was so funny! I knew they would be a good match for each other the second he scolded her at the wedding.
Taleena: *giving myself prognostication pats on the head* My heart hurt a little for the weeping Mayor in the flashback. Oh for second leads with broken hearts! I’m happy that he ended up with Noona. Mr. Mayor needed to feel wanted and pursued after chasing after Jung Joo, and it was funny to see how ardently Noona chased him. She even joined the diver’s school, pulling a page from Oppa’s romance playbook! The person who did not change AT ALL was Leads ‘Em On. Her single minded pursuit of money, her b*tchy one-upsmanship (side note - I was cheering when Jung Joo called her on it and kicked her out of Geon Woo’s room), all her snide passive aggressiveness was everything a onenote k drama antagonist needed.
Marakeshsparrow: THE PART WHERE JUNG JOO STOOD UP TO LEADS ‘EM ON MADE MY DAY! I was like--finally! I’m glad Jung Joo got her head on straight and realized she shouldn’t trust anything that comes out of Ji Won’s mouth. I thought for a second that maybe she really liked her fiance (though I knew the main reason was because he was a mega rich heir), but she seemed so agreeable and sweet with him. HA! I should have known--she even fooled me. I kind of hope she ends up working things out with that guy though, he seemed pretty grounded and might actually be good for the girl.
Taleena: She ended up marrying him in Cheong-dam(?). All I have to say is - he knew what he was getting into when she stomped away screaming about money. Alright, I’m gonna say it: I was Quite Pleased with the state of the kissitude at the end between Jung Joo and Geon Woo. Deepish, closed eyes, going in for thirds - I felt it. Good job Hongs.
Marakeshsparrow: YAAASSSSS! I’m so glad you brought that up. It’s been bubbling just under the surface, I just didn’t want to dive right into the goods straight away. I’m so glad we got a satisfying kiss in this drama (and hints at sleepovers even!) I think they were making up for all the dramatic (of course) back and forth that went on between these two this whole drama. I was a little worried we wouldn’t get anything more than a chaste, wide-eyed peck, but was happy to be wrong. AND I have to say, I found it really refreshing that Jung Joo was written as actually having desire and being interested in sex. Sometimes I get a little frustrated at the “innocent” way women are depicted. I mean, they don’t need to be sex-crazed or anything either, but it’s realistic that she would have desire for the man she loves! I thought it was so cute when she set up that wine/cheese/candle spread for them in her room. Alas, Geon Woo missed his opportunity. At least they made up for it later.
Taleena: The Hongs have a talent for writing human emotion and motivations within the conventions of a more circumspect TV standard that here in the US - this includes the understanding that while a heroine may be chaste, she has emotions and desires like anyone else. I am glad that they didn’t do any last minute stupid understandings over babies, texting, house renovations, Geon Woo’s status as rich heir and the like. I like that they said “I love you” straight up. I feel like although Geon Woo and Jung Joo were the leads, the real romance was Lady Diver and Oppa. Theirs seemed like the romance that was most fragile.
Taleena: I liked this drama quite a bit, but it seemed to have a few loose ends - or at least plot points that were useless. I’m looking at YOU Chekov’s paternity test that went no where. And YOU Geon Woo’s Dad was a con man. I would rank this drama below My Girl but above Hong Gil Dong. What about you ladies?
Marakeshsparrow: Overall, I think this was a cute, entertaining romantic comedy. I loved all the actors (minus Leads ‘Em On) and found myself laughing happily through most of it. I think it definitely had some flaws and I won’t say it was the best romcom I’ve seen, but it wasn’t the worst either. A good summer drama. If we’re talking Hong Sisters, I’ll say it’s not my favorite, but I did enjoy it more than Big (though there are a lot of things I enjoyed more than Big…) (Gong Yoo is easy on the eyes though --T.) Still, I’ll give it one and a half thumbs up!
What do you think drama fans? Were you happy with all the endings? Where would you rate it in the Hong Sister's body of work? Let us know in the comments! Thanks for watching.
Want more Jeju Gatsby Drama Club? Check out the links below!
Episodes 15 & 16: And They All Lived Happily Ever After