FantastiC Episodes 11-14: TerrifiC Friendships Demand Touching Goodbyes
Hey FantastiC fans! For the past couple weeks there have been some massive transitions in the lives of our characters but their stories have progressed in ways that express the realities of their situations in the most heartwarming and tender ways.
One of the best things about this story is the friendships it has managed to portray. Whether it is the ladies rallying together after years of separation or the new found buddydom of the boys, it feels solid and real and enduring. Their bonds continue to reveal themselves as durable and heartfelt.
The women have longevity and history to steady their connection but what I enjoy is they make a point to stand firm in their belief in their friendship. Regardless of what they have known about one another, they are willing to learn and accept new things about the others, especially concerning their past hurts and present circumstances. Seol almost losing her mother shatters her resolve to keep the secret of her nightmare marriage from her friends any longer. And while I appreciate Mi Sun’s understanding of her situation, I also respected her honesty in her hesitation at the word divorce. She's upfront about not being someone that thinks it's a plausible or practical route for most women but also agrees that for Seol, it's the best decision she could make.
Having three women living completely different lives reflects the benefits of having friends from all walks and experience. For like So Hye, my first instinct is regardless of how I may feel about divorce in principle, Seol needed out and I did care how. And I was losing patience with her weakness and pacifism. Mi Sun balancing that argument with more rational thought and positive encouragement helped Seol make the best decision for herself, her mother and her future.
Oh but how I wish it was easier to get rid of her trash husband and his mother? It sickens me each time he tries to reduce every move she makes to the influence or backing of a man. Even Jin Sook makes the comment she's too dim and docile to fight and must have help. At least she recognizes that resource could be a friend, not just a lover. I realize with the type of man Trash Husband is, we can't hope for much more than petty schemes and crocodile tears but his insistence on painting Seol as an adulteress, discredits and discounts all their shared time together, reveals his conviction she's little more than his property or better yet, trophy. However, what I find worse is that she nor I are disappointed or hurt by this fact, it just expresses another level of his entitlement and selfishness.
I think this is also why Sang Wook is so refreshing. We’re nearing the end and I still have little hope for a full blown romance with those two, though I greatly appreciate his confession-without-a- confession and his resolved interest in her. And that’s because I find his actions to be a reflection of Seol’s already established friendships. Love is about giving 100%. It’s not a give and take and Seol needs to see that across the board. She needs to understand that it's possible to experience that with someone who barely knows her but wants her in his life, just like her besties who’ve known her forever. People who are willing to love you, aren't looking for payback, they’re not keeping ledgers, at the very least they are just trying to find ways to be better, so they can give more. So Hye is learning this as well.
Once she and Hae Sung were together, I was immediately concerned about what obstacles would crop up to force them apart and wouldn’t you know it--- the byproducts of cancer and its treatment can certainly be more than just an obstacle if you let it. But thankfully Hae Sung has zero intention of letting that happen. So Hye is proud and scared and unfortunately those two traits are depleting her of much needed rest and sanity.
Hae Sung is aware of this and does his best to lighten her load but also remains open about his own struggles. They are both great at looking out for one another and it's refreshing to witness them disagree and discuss, even when it's hard. There's nothing easy about what either of them are going through, from medicinal delirium to oxygen tanks to mood swings; their battle is ongoing. There's no end date, not until The End and Joon Ki’s deterioration was a bittersweet catalyst to confront that truth.
Having Joon Ki around became something So Hye and Hae Sung both found strength in, for the simple fact that Joon Ki was genuinely great. He was wise and caring, encouraging and ginger. His cancer was a very real part of him; his life, his mindset, his existence but it didn't dictate his steps in negative ways. Instead, it spurred him to be a better doctor and all around human being. He lived as fully as he desired, but to be honest, I do wish he’d loved without hesitation. [But that’s just a quibble. Sigh. No one’s perfect.] So it’s no wonder he and Hae Sung were fast friends and the best love rivals to grace K-dramas in a long, long time. One of my favorite moments this week was when Joon Ki confessed he’d want to live and know them both again if he was given the chance. That he’d choose again to be their friend.
I’ll also make a confession, one that I rarely find to be the case--- Joon Ki was a prize. Not at all a typical second lead, for some many reasons but mainly because he not only loved and actively chose to help our leading lady be her best self, but that he also took the time to know the leading man. He became a true friend to Hae Sung. It may have begun as a joke or just to ease his mind about So Hye’s choice but in the end, their friendship was real, based on mutual understanding and respect. It would’ve been lovely to watch all these characters have more sleepovers and house parties, dodging So Hye’s sugarless disgusting cake but for the short time we had, I am grateful. I will miss Joon Ki. Alas, looks like E-kun got her wish. Guess I’m grateful for that too.
Missed an episode? I got you!
Episodes 11-14: TerrifiC Friendships Demand Touching Goodbyes
Need a watching companion? Check us out at any of the links below!