DRAMA CLUB: Mr. Baek Episode 16 Recap
Here we are at the sixteenth and final episode of Mr. Baek, and the writers have indeed saved the best for last. Join Wendilynn, Amy, and me, Cici, as we discuss what may well be the sweetest and most satisfying ending in all of K-drama history.
Watch the finale:
Wendilynn: Amen. I haven’t seen a show end this sweetly in a long time.
Cici: Because it was originally labeled a melodrama, I had huge amounts of apprehension coming into this episode. I was so afraid that SOMEONE WAS GOING TO DIE. Because that’s what happens in Korean melodramas. Spoiler alert: no one dies. At least, not exactly.
Amy: I wanted to see them get married, though! Ha ha ha! I did enjoy the ending. It was very sweet.
Cici: My one beef with this episode was that it took nearly twenty minutes for the Old Man to revert back to his original physical self. That seemed a little drawn out to me. But it was worth the wait.
Wendilynn: I want to give kudos to the makeup team. They did a phenomenal job with aging Ha Kyun the way they did. It looked so real. At no time did I say, “this is just makeup”. In the beginning I had a hard time seeing Shin Hyung in the Old Man, but all these episodes got me very used to the look coming from his eyes, so when he reverted back, I could easily reconnect that while the face is old, our delightful, tender Shin Hyung was still in there.
Cici: I also loved how when he finally did revert back to the Old Man, he kept popping in and out of various scenes. It was like he was a benevolent ghost that was keeping an eye on everyone. Well, mostly benevolent, lol.
Wendilynn: The elevator! bwhahahahahahahahahaha!
Amy: Oppa! I’m sorry! Hyungnim, kill me now! Ha ha! They totally deserved it.
Cici: Apparently playing on Koreans’ fear of ghosts is totally fair in love, war, and family shenanigans. And the fact that he promised to come back to keep an eye on their behavior before making his dramatic exit was hysterical. Way to go, Old Man!
Wendilynn: That elevator scene was great. Speaking of people getting their just do, all the evidence that Dae Han and Manager Hong had been gathering finally put a nail in Lawyer Jung and his friend the prosecutor’s coffin. At least he was dignified to accept the consequences for what he did. I wasn’t expecting Manager Hong to be so upset by it though. They clearly had been friends for a long time.
Cici: She did keep trying to tell him that it wasn’t too late for him to back down and save himself, right up to the very end. It must have been heartbreaking for her to watch him hang himself. Not that there was anything romantic on her part, but from the standpoint of a long-time friend and associate, it must have been hard. I was so happy that Dae Han has really grown to appreciate and depend on her, not just as an employee, but as someone who has consistently stood by his side.
Amy: Lee Joon did an excellent job as Dae Han. He was my favorite second lead in a long time. It was fun to watch him gain an interest in Manager Hong and start to care for her more. I also enjoyed him learning about the business world and seeing him be proud of himself for progressing so well.
Cici: This drama was unique in that once Dae Han got over Ha Soo, he kind of transitioned out of the traditional second lead role and into a viable character in his own right. And I think Wendilynn nailed it on the head when she said that the main love story in this drama was actually between the father and son. That relationship was so tender and satisfying, and it was definitely the most dynamic.
Amy: Yes. That was the relationship that I wanted to see do well the most. I would have been perfectly fine if things didn’t turn out well between Old Man and Ha Soo but went well for Old Man and Dae Han.
Wendilynn: The story between Dae Han and his Old Man really was the love story that kept bringing me back every week. Lee Joon has moved into my list of actors I will watch out for. His portrayal was so moving. Ha Kyung also gave me lots of feels as the greedy man who had to learn how to love. Their growth was amazing.
Cici: I am ashamed to admit that I realized just how shallow I had become when this drama started, because I put off watching it just because I did not find Ha Kyung particularly attractive. Not just because of the Old Man make-up, either. But as his character developed, I realized how far a GREAT smile and kind eyes can take a man. Now he kind of makes me swoon. Maybe I’m not so shallow after all?
Wendilynn: I loved his eyes. Lee Joon’s as well. Both had kindness and love shining from them by the end.
Amy: I still don’t find him very attractive BUT I would definitely date a guy like that because of his personality and I could see myself eventually thinking he is the most handsome guy ever.
Wendilynn: I also liked Ha Soo’s character. She never wimped out on us. She stayed strong, loveable and even when she was sad, she didn’t get all hand wringing and pathetic. I liked how they finally let her figure it out. Once she saw those glasses and the candy on the nightstand, she finally clicked it all together.
Cici: I also appreciated how the Old Man had prepared everyone to carry on in his absence, and how they were all successful in fulfilling their dreams. Even though they missed him and never gave up looking for him, life went on, and they did an admirable job living it to the fullest. That made finally finding him again all the sweeter.
Amy: Yes. I loved how nobody gave up on Old Man. It would be hard for anyone in that position but they cared so much that they saw Old Man for who he is and wanted him with them as long as possible. It was very touching.
Wendilynn: That scene on the deck of his first hotel. Where Ha Soo finds him and knowing what is going on, lets him know how much she loved him was so touching. And to watch him disappear as she kissed him really made me teary. I like that they never really tried to explain things. Even at the last minute Manager Sung and Dae Han were trying to come up with solutions. In the end, though, it was Ha Soo and her love that sent him off.
Cici: It was her love that made it possible for him to stay as his younger self, just not where he could be easily found. And while I’m not normally a fan of the amnesia trope, it was played perfectly here.
Wendilynn: I was not surprised that he ended up in an old folks home helping out. He built that senior center when he was Go Bong and he went there to check on it often. Now that he was a kind, helpful version of himself again, it actually made sense that he would end up there once the amnesia kicked in. And you're right, Cici, it was used perfectly here. I liked the decision Dae Han and Manager Sung made to let Go Bong go and just let him be Shin Hyung. I started crying when Dae Han hugged him saying he’d found his brother.
Cici: That final scene with all the photos from his time with Ha Soo made me realize how appropriate her dream of creating memories for others was, because that’s what she had been doing with Shin Hyung all along. The memories she had created and preserved were the ones that he would need to have replaced after he had forgotten his past. That was the proof of their connection that he needed to be able to return to her.
Amy: It was way too sweet when they found each other. Old Man could feel the connection that he had with Ha Soo despite not being able to remember it and the koon koon da thing stayed with him too.
Wendilynn: I normally hate stand and smile endings. Usually the scene really calls for a mad kiss or something, but it was perfect for this situation. So appropriate for when they are meeting basically for the first time. I melted a little when his first question to her was if they had been in love. *melt*
Amy: His smile melted me. Sweetest smile ever!
Wendilynn: That ending really was the sweetest thing ever. I‘ve only seen one other drama that got even close to ending as adorably as this one did this year. The little pickups during the credits were cute, too.
Amy: Dae Han and Manager Hong kissed! So cute! Hee hee!
Cici: And everyone lives happily ever after. WE GOT OUR HAPPY ENDING!!
Well, dear viewers, so ends another wonderful drama. What did you think? Were you as enthralled with the ending as we were? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
For more from your Mr. Baek Drama Club:
Past Episode Recaps: