Descendants of the Sun Episode 16 Recap ~ END
“My life suddenly brightened up.”
Mo Yeon couldn’t believe that Shi Jin was alive and he pointed out that he was always able to keep his promises towards her; one way or another. He took her in his embrace and he was deeply apologetic. They couldn’t hold back their tears and Mo Yeon could finally unleash all the emotional tension in a wide variety of ways! She revealed how much she had missed him and that she hadn’t forgotten about him, but the fact that he had been alive all this time while she was thinking that he was dead was making her think that she could live all alone by herself and even become a nun! Mo Yeon lost herself in Shi Jin’s embrace once again and laid emphasis on how much she loved him.
Gi Beom informed Myeong Joo that snowing in Uruk was very rare and while she was outside Dae Young appeared and stood right in front of her. He couldn’t hold back his tears while being apologetic for taking him such a long time to answer that they weren’t breaking up. Myeong Joo’s shock was immense and she started hitting his chest, but Dae Young’s kiss had already started melting the ice between them amid falling snow.
Gi Beom had become a younger version of Dae Young as a platoon sergeant, but once Dae Young appeared in front of him he lost himself in tears. He told him that a platoon sergeant shouldn’t cry in front of his men and Gi Beom informed him that he had passed the GED exam. Dae Young was proud of him and held him in his own loving way.
Myeong Joo placed the dog tags around Dae Young’s neck and started shaving him. He pointed out that he would never die again and even though Myeong Joo couldn’t believe him she was intending to hold on to his words. Snowing in Uruk for the first time in a hundred years and Dae Young coming back alive was making her feel as if she had already used all her luck. It would be Dae Young’s turn to start using his luck and he informed her that after reporting that he was alive he found out where she was and rushed to meet her. Myeong Joo became aware that Shi Jin was also alive and Dae Young started revealing what had happened. Right before the bombing, they were taken to a bomb shelter and were locked into a cell for many months until one day Jung Joon arrived and saved them.
Shi Jin couldn’t reveal many details, but he told Mo Yeon that he had received the help of a friend from far away. Mo Yeon had missed his jokes and she was so glad that he was back, but her hug was making things a bit painful for him! Shi Jin recalled all the moments he had been wounded and reassured Mo Yeon that something like that would never happen again. She had no other choice but to trust him and she informed him that the food nearby was the one for his memorial ceremony since it was his death’s first anniversary! A medic brought Mo Yeon’s knife and she asked him if he could see Shi Jin and once the answer was positive she was relieved since she thought that she was being delusional again! Shi Jin couldn’t believe that she thought he was a ghost even though she was a doctor, but she urged him to eat since all that food was for him whether he was real or a ghost.
Mo Yeon received a video call from all the medical team who were happy seeing her. Soon enough they noticed Shi Jin eating his memorial food and they thought it was a ghost! Sang Hyun fainted while Shi Jin was pointing out that he had died for the third time! She received a second video call with Chi Hoon trying to explain that Shi Jin was behind her and once Shi Jin started talking to them they were shocked once again. Mo Yeon told them that she would explain everything once they’d come back and the medical team couldn’t believe that he was actually alive!
Commander Yoon set aside the saluting procedure and hugged Shi Jin and Dae Young. He was thankful that both of them had come back alive and Byeong Soo was losing himself in emotion! He kept talking and talking, but Shi Jin and Dae Young had already left him behind to explode with happiness by Woo Geun and the other two betting soldiers’ side! Byeong Soo informed Shi Jin and Dae Young that the reports they would have to write would be as thick as school textbooks.
Shi Jin pointed out that A4 papers were scarier than C4 explosives and he wanted Dae Young to write an even more glorious report far away from the truth. He could only agree and Shi Jin laid emphasis on the fact that balancing somewhere between reality and drama would be just fine. As expected, Shi Jin left Dae Young to write the report on his own and his excuse was the fact that Myeong Joo was in Uruk whereas Shi Jin’s girlfriend was nearby!
Shi Jin and Mo Yeon were at the café where she had dumped him and she wanted to know if he would continue going to the department store because she needed to figure out whether she’d dump him again or not. Shi Jin told her that there wasn’t any soldier who would want to become a hero after his death and he was curious if Mo Yeon would object in case he’d want to keep preserving peace where peace was needed, but she reassured him that she wouldn’t since things would progress like they always do! She was intending to keep supporting him since it was something that was comforting him and Shi Jin was both thankful and apologetic. Mo Yeon would like to go fishing with him!
Shi Jin was pretending that he was receiving the soothing and healing vibes of the surrounding environment, but Mo Yeon wasn’t pleased with the fact that they hadn’t caught anything yet! While she was searching for tourist hot-spots they managed to catch a fish that could have saved Shi Jin from traveling anew, but it actually ruined the plan of sharing a hotel room with her! Shi Jin was afraid of touching the fish and Mo Yeon would take care of everything with surgical accuracy!
Shi Jin and Mo Yeon were inside their tent and he liked the big bed of the hotel room Mo Yeon was staring at, but she wanted a smaller one. Iit was something she had learned from Shi Jin since she had to survive one year in his absence. She was curious if they would return to Navagio (Ναυάγιο) beach and once he was positive she wouldn’t tell him when because she wanted him to find out how waiting feels like, but it will happen suddenly one day! Shi Jin was trying to find out how close to her he could get and he wanted to kiss her, but it wasn’t the right moment and she caressed his head to comfort him!
Myeong Joo called Dae Young who was being tormented by the creative nature of his report, but he was happy hearing her voice quite often. Myeong Joo informed him that she kept asking Gi Beom if Dae Young was really alive and that morning he had reassured her on his own. However, she kept wanting to hear Dae Young’s voice in order to keep making sure that he was alive and he urged her to call him anytime she wanted to except for tomorrow because he would escort a VIP.
They had set a grand operation and everyone wanted to escort the VIP, but Dae Young and Woo Geun would take care of it. Red Velvet were the VIPs and their live show began in front of the ecstatic soldiers! Dae Young was dancing in his own hilarious way and Shi Jin was demonstrating that Red Velvet were sweeter than his girlfriend! Soon enough everyone started losing themselves to Red Velvet’s rhythm while singing along and Shi Ji and Dae Young took a selca with them! Of course, Byeong Soo couldn’t miss that event!
Chi Hoon found the video and Min Ji showed it to Mo Yeon whom Shi Jin had informed that he would be on a mission and she was ready to punish him! Mo Yeon wanted the anchorwoman to ask her if she had a boyfriend and she replied negatively on air!
Shi Jin wasn’t pleased, but Mo Yeon told him that she had seen himbeing overly ecstatic at Red Velvet’s event at the camp! Myeong Joo was enraged as well, but Dae Young and Shi Jin were telling that they were cheering once their battalion commander appeared. Myeong Joo pointed out that she would come back in 157 days, but all that time she would be thinking of possible ways to kill Dae Young! Shi Jin admitted his mistake and pointed out that Red Velvet were innocent.
Mo Yeon started hitting him with the pillow, but he pointed out that he was no longer a captain since he would get promoted and he’d become a squadron leader. Mo Yeon was more than pleased since he would get a raise as well!
Time had passed and in Mo Yeon’s thoughts the man she loved wasn’t only a soldier of Korea, the only divided nation in the world, but also a squadron leader who was always protecting the elderly, the pretty and the children and she was still a doctor appearing on the TV and the most famous doctor at Haesung Hospital.
Myeong Joo had returned and since she was thinking of how to kill Dae Young it could mean only one thing, that she was thinking only of him and she eventually had missed him to the point of wanting to die. His mood became brighter and he was glad seeing her once again. He wanted to see her father while holding her hand, but they had nothing to talk about since he didn’t intend to leave the army unless she wanted him to. Myeong Joo could only be happy!
Myeong Joo’s plan was to tell her father that she was pregnant, but Dae Young reassured commander Yoon that it wasn’t true! The tea arrived and commander Yoon was willing to listen to anything Dae Young had to say. Dae Young laid emphasis on the fact that he couldn’t keep his promise to leave the military. Dae Young would leave the military when he should while preserving his dignity and he was intending to find another way to gain commander Yoon’s approval. Commander Yoon was more than ready to accept him as his son-in-law. He had already approved him the day he left on that mission, but it was also a decision he was regretting the most until his return. Dae Young was thankful and Myeong Joo hugged her father full of happiness. Commander Yoon urged Dae Young to take good care of his daughter and he could only answer positively.
Mo Yeon and Myeong Joo were playfully teasing one another and Mo Yeon was glad finding out that Dae Young had earned her father’s trust. Myeong Joo had brought a Christmas card from Fatima who was learning Korean and wanted to become a doctor.
Chi Hoon saw a video of the child from Uruk who had finally gotten his goat! Blackey was the name of the goat, but Chi Hoon couldn’t hear the child’s name because of the goat and he couldn’t believe that something like that was happening since he would never be able to find out his name. Ja Ae wanted to know what Sang Hyun was hiding in that folder, but it was filled with pictures of her and she was being overran by emotion.
Sang Hyun ran towards her and urged her to prevent herself from collapsing in another man’s arms and that was the reason why she should get some rest! He was already aware that she had seen the folder and it was his own way to propose to her by proving that she had always been the one and only woman in his life. Ja Ae would confess her feelings after she’d pay back her debt and Sang Hyun kept chasing her around in order for her to get some money from Mo Yeon for things to progress!
Mo Yeon had named her car after Big Boss and the real Big Boss would have to wash it! It was cold but he was pretending that everything was fine and after an aegyo attack Mo Yeon threw water on him by mistake! She gave him her coat since she wanted to protect him from other girls and Shi Jin complimented her once again.
Myeong Joo kept tormenting Dae Young with her foot and she was trying to find ways to be alone with him, but she didn’t want to break a part of his body because he wouldn’t be able to go to Daniel and Ye Hwa’s wedding in Vancouver. The medical team had been invited as well and Ja Ae and Min Ji were losing the world underneath their feet until they found out that Ye Hwa’s parents had been shot to death after treating rebels and Daniel was the one who had saved her after registering their marriage at the Canadian embassy.
Dae Young recited his will in which he was pointing out how much she loved him even though he was a coward who kept running away. He was thankful and apologetic and in case she was reading his will she would find out that he would remain as a painful memory. He had asked her to never forgive him and he was urging her to live a happy life before stating that he was loving her at the utmost level, something that would never change whether he was alive or dead. She read his will to find out that everything he had just said was true. He told her that he had written that letter over a hundred times and over a hundred times he wanted to run to her. He urged everyone whose rank was lower than his to close their eyes and he kissed Myeong Joo on the forehead while everyone was cheering for them. Myeong Joo gave the same order which was about Dae Young as well and then she kissed him!
Mo Yeon and Shi Jin were talking about Ye Hwa and Daniel’s forthcoming wedding and she informed him that she was paying him back through donations for the car she had ruined. Shi Jin was wondering where that materialistic lady had gone to and Mo Yeon pointed out that she was about to get a beer! Shi Jin found out that she was representing her class because she was the prettiest and not the top of the class and he kept teasing her. She laid emphasis on the fact that she was a renowned alumnus and Shi Jin wondered if she was owing money to her college as well and another quarrel started taking place.
Shi Jin and Mo Yeon were attending graduation ceremonies and they were recalling their oaths that were a part of who they had become today. Mo Yeon hoped that all these people who swore their oaths would remain loyal to them under every sun on this earth. Mo Yeon called Shi Jin on the phone and informed him that the moment had arrived.
The rock and our couple had returned to Navagio (Ναυάγιο) beach and she started teasing him that thanks to him she had lost her chance to go there with another man! She took a picture of him since the only one she had was the x-ray and she started running around in order for him to catch her! The night had arrived and Mo Yeon was drinking some wine. Shi Jin wouldn’t drink even though he wanted to because he would have to drive the boat. She was well aware of a way for him to drink and she told him how nervous she was when he had kissed her! Shi Jin pointed out that he was nervous since he was at a beach with a beautiful woman and drinks.
Mo Yeon was entranced at the sight of a shooting star and she had already wished for something to happen. She wanted him to get a star for her, but he pointed out that he had already done that and the star who had brightened up his life was no other than Mo Yeon who was sitting next to him. Shi Jin wondered how did a woman like Mo Yeon become his own woman and she told him that he must had saved a nation in his previous life as a soldier, just like in this life! Mo Yeon started teasing him and Shi Jin promised that he would find her in the next life as well. Mo Yeon had wished that he would kiss her and it came true right away and after confessing their love to one another kiss blossomed!
The wedding had taken place and Dae Young was the one to catch the wedding bouquet and he couldn’t throw it away! Myeong Joo urged Shi Jin to stop teasing him since he had many wedding memories due to his ex-girlfriend. Chi Hoon declared the end of the drama with a happy ending but the lights went out! The waitress informed everyone that a volcano had just erupted and everyone start getting ready for the next challenge in their own quirky way!
~ Thoughts ~
The 16th episode was a highly representative swansong of Descendants of the Sun’s course as it closed the drama’s curtains in the most desirable way. It soothed all the heartrending vibes the 15th episode kept transmitting for the most part of it and brought to the foreground the drama’s humorous and heart-warming aspects we were longing for. The drama bade us farewell with a gleaming happy ending worth remembering while breaking its records for the last time with 38.8% nationwide and 44.2% in Seoul.
In the beginning there was fire and there was ice. Like i said in my previous recap, the snow and the desert weren’t meaningless. One way or another, things had always been heated up between Mo Yeon and Shi Jin whereas there had always been a sense of ice between Myeong Joo and Dae Young. Our couples’ revival had to take place at the right environment that would do justice to everything we had witnessed from the first episode up to that point. The fire turned into glowing warmth and the ice melted to become the thrilling morning dew of renewal.
The 16th episode offered a proper and/or hilarious closure to pretty much everyone’s side story without leaving things unanswered. Jung Joon returned the favor to Shi Jin and our friend from far away gave birth to everything we were longing for. The drama did justice to its name by relating it to the oaths our main figures and people who would become like them had sworn with the hope that they would live up to their oath’s expectations under any circumstances and under every sun in this world which is no other than the one and only sun all of us witness every day as residents of planet earth. The drama’s humanitarian aspects were intriguing, especially when it comes to the medical team’s efforts, but also when it comes to the soldiers, but mainly during the natural disaster, the epidemic and against the weapon smuggling activities. I am against war so i will set aside the purpose the military usually serves and that was the reason why i became more specific above.
Red Velvet appearing was a more than pleasant surprise, but i have to admit that Shi Jin and Dae Young fanboying was the real apocalypse! Setting aside the difficulties both couples had to face, their presentation when they were happy together wasn’t exaggerating in luxurious restaurants, bars, etc. Shi Jin and Mo Yeon enjoyed drinking beers together at home and talking and teasing one another, going camping or going out for a coffee whereas Dae Young and Myeong Joo were loving going out for food and soju at a local restaurant or talking on the phone when distance was an obstacle. They are normal things couples do and enjoy, it doesn’t have to be bombastic to make you feel the vibes. Every kiss and moment of affection were majestic in their own way and Dae Young’s will gave voice to everything he was drowning in silence in the most representative way.
The ending possessed a sense of self-sarcasm at times that made me appreciate Descendants of the Sun even more. The 16th episode made up for every painful second of the 15th episode (which i loved – dramasochism mode on) with its overly humorous and heartfelt vibes. At the end of the day, what was Descendants of the Sun? Most and above all, it was a successful drama that preserved professionalism to the fullest from the very beginning to the very end. It forced the ratings to keep screaming its name during every airing week and seduced the hearts of a very big part of the audience in Korea, but also worldwide.
The OST was memorable and it was enriching the emotionally fortified or more heartfelt scenes with its own melodious approach. You have to admit that “Once Again” by Kim Na Young and Mad Clown was the OST’s captivating highlight and it will always possess Dae Young and Myeong Joo oriented dynamics. The use of CGI and effects was spot on and it wasn’t altering the sense of realism the drama wanted to present through earthquake-oriented scenes, etc. On the contrary, it felt like watching a real event from a safe distance. Descendants of the Sun had many demanding scenes that were well-executed and the cinematography was giving you the impression as if you were watching a lengthy film in parts.
The closeups, the sense of distance between the characters, their positioning in the surrounding environment and the overall approach through angles and perspectives along with the natural scenery and the wide variety of ambiances depending on the indoors or outdoors shooting were just a few characteristics that were proving Descendants of the Sun’s film quality. Director Lee Eung Bok certainly honored his lenses and completed the cast’s multifaceted acting efforts in the most desirable way throughout the whole duration of the drama. Pre-production can do wonders and Descendants of the Sun kept proving it all along the way.
The drama managed to maintain its consistency and remain what it was supposed to be since it wasn’t affected by ongoing external criteria that could have possibly played their own part had live shooting been involved in the overall process. Story-wise, the drama was far away from the typical plots that fell into the magic potion like Obelix did since a big part of it was taking place abroad and was depicting events and circumstances through the distinctive approaches of the soldiers and the medical team. Quite different and demanding, don’t you think? It’s not like the scenario was perfect, but it was flowing naturally by doing justice to all the elements it was incorporating.
Conceptual aspects that don’t always make sense and leave a different impact on each one of us have always been a part of dramas. Nitpicking is something dramas promote on their own since a part of their magic is in the details, it’s something I usually do. What I usually don’t do is nitpicking just for the sake of it in order to find something to complain about (unless something enrages me a lot – it’s always subjective), especially if the overall vibes I receive are more than pleasing and Descendants of the Sun succeeded in terms of feels, humor, chemistry and piquant moments. There were a few Americanized aspects we usually witness in US films that have to do with an idealistic sense of honor and duty in the world of Descendants of the Sun such as the President’s approach on the undercover mission and the diplomatic problems it would cause, etc, but I could easily neglect them since the very soul and essence of the drama was Korean to the core even though a big part of it was taking place on foreign soil.
One of the drama’s strongest aspects was the combination of character development and presentation. The writer was masterful in structuring highly memorable and distinctive characters that were leaving their own impact as they were developing solely and through interactions. We had two very specific couples from the very beginning and there were no intersecting complications between them. It was quite an achievement that was setting aside the forever alone second male lead and the ostracized second female lead simply because the main couple was destined to end up together before the drama would even start airing. We had four characters that were inhaling and exhaling personality, two couples that were evoking their own vibes and a bromance relationship to die for.
Descendants of the Sun was being surrounded by an excessive sense of ever-expanding chemistry, even if you’d pick up a rock you’d find chemistry underneath it and when all four were a part of the same scene that was when all hell was breaking loose; in a good manner of speaking! Song Joong Ki was ideal for the role of a straightforward, spicy and sharp soldier in the first half of his 30s that could transform himself into a loyal player anytime and without neglecting the more saddening aspects of his part of the story. His lines and the way he was giving them voice with a wide variety of like-minded facial expressions were making Shi Jin a portable bomb, the one you take with you without knowing/caring when it will explode!
Song Hye Kyo was exceptional as the devastated by the system hardworking doctor that lost faith in her vocation to find the meaning of her oath anew under circumstances. The austere beauty that had always been a renowned characteristic of Song Hye Kyo was utterly representative of a rational yet daily character like Mo Yeon who was seeking the meaning in the simple joys of life but found herself in a complicated relationship that was growing day by day.
Jin Goo was one of a kind as the chased by his own demons and runaway from love Dae Young who was struggling to be accepted for who he was while craving to cherish love’s utmost delight. His chemistry with Song Joong Ki was shining all along the way and together they were giving bromance a brand new meaning; effortlessly. Kim Ji Won shone as the hunter of love Myeong Joo with her strong-willed yet understanding and deeply caring personality that could transform utter cuteness into a living threat anytime! We simply had four self-contained, uniquely humorous and emotionally distinctive characters with their own burdens and desires that managed to form a universe in which opposites where attracting themselves in a natural and gracious way.
The actors and actresses behind our secondary and tertiary characters did a good job as well even though the storyline was mainly evolving around our four main figures. If I had to distinguish some of them then I’d choose the always charming Seo Jung Yeon as Ja Ae, the overly hilarious Lee Seung Joon as Sang Hyun, Park Hoon as the seemingly serious Woo Geun, Kim Min Suk as Dae Young’s secret bromance, Gi Beom, Onew who earned my trust the moment Chi Hoon started showing his more dramatic contours, David McInnis as Argus because he simply had the vibes his character required and Park Hwan Hee as the utterly cute Min Ji.
Descendants of the Sun was a successful and pompous attempt of challenging and meaningful interactions, solid characters, versatile and natural acting, opposing points of view meeting on crossroads upon which deeper bonds were being built, heavy and heartening feels, humor and well-conceived and well-executed fan-service that could conceal imperfections appearing along the way.
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