That Winter, The Wind Blows Final Episode

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed by Winter Blows’ finale.

Also, Innocent Man flashbacks. Intense flashback (hence spoilers for Innocent Man’s ending as well).

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Moo Chul doesn’t die, except he does. 5 minutes later. But he gets to be a good guy for those 5 minutes and break Jin Sung’s heart. Also, Kim Bum, I like you a lot now. You are so good at looking broken.

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Young is alright. Well, we still had an episode left, it’s not like they were going to show Oh Soo mourning Young for 60 minutes. That would be too dreary.

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She is okay and she goes to listen to the message he left her: “When you will be hearing this I won’t be by your aside anymore”

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Except he is still there and she seems to be displeased with this inconsistency.

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She tells him to go, because she can’t forgive him yet. But she also makes it obvious that she will forgive him if she is alive and well after the surgery.

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“Even when I was slitting my wrists, I didn’t think about anything except you. That you would come and save me.”

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So her suicide wasn’t about her, or anything beyond her – it was all about Oh Soo and her love for him. If she overcomes death by suicide or by surgery or whatever, then it will be ok for her to accept him back. The danger of eternal separation coupled with physical separation of a promise to meet only by chance in the future seems to be the key in righting all wrongs in their relationship.

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It makes sense. In their world. But I can’t escape the overwhelming feeling of farce this set-up evokes in me. Like this is all for show, as if to say “hey, look! we are great! moral! characters!”. Staged and linear, carefully thought out, all for the comfort of the audience – so that we don’t forget that in fiction good people get rewarded for their strength and weak people get redeemed through love. Except it sort of doesn’t happen like that in real life and at some point you get tired of fiction. Even good fiction.

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Honestly, this scene was only salvaged by make-outs.

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Teary make-outs but I will take what I can get.

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Oh, and Young saying, “Don’t cry, I love you”. It sounded so very perfect and real, despite everything else that was going on.

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Oh Soo gurgled something back that was suppose to sound like “I love you” and there you have it, the most functional confession ever uttered in a melo.

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A lot of things happened after, like Wang-biseo trudging along her redemption arc and Oh Soo gambling for his life but I won’t get into that because everyone saw the pretty spoiler pictures already and we know everything is going to be alright.

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Strange, how despite the surreal similarity between this scenario and the one in Innocent Man, I was so much more affected by the latter. I don’t know if it was Song Joong Ki’s acting and his hear-wrenching voice-over, or just me getting used to heroes getting stabbed 5 minutes before the ending and then being miraculously okay just in time for the happy ending, but yeah. We got it. Jin Sung stabs his huyng, in an ironic reversal of his loyalty, Oh Soo can only think of Young, and all of us would just rather get back to Soo-Young make outs.

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And our wish is granted!

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The director couldn’t help himself from going into an artistic rampage over conveying Young’s limited eyesight and so he resorted to instagram’s blur tool. And you know what? It turned out great.

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I was way ahead of everyone else assuming this is a dream sequence. Because if Innocent Man can pull of a bizarre ending like that, then TWTWB will surely follow suit.

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There is some playful back-and-forth and yes, everyone breathe. They will go on to have beautiful babies.

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When did happy endings start to feel so meaningless?

Yes, I sound like a grumpy cat but I jest. Mostly.

I did find the final scene extremely captivating, just because it’s so aesthetically pleasing on the eyes and because I can’t escape that excitement I always feel when coming to the end of a story. And I wouldn’t say that the ending was completely disappointing. I would have been too horrific if Young died or if they were separated at the end or anything along those lines. I am a masochist but not to that degree (yet). I’m happy they are OK in the end and I’m even more happy that Young is able to see enough of Oh Soo to confirm he is sex on legs (practically only reason why I wanted her to get her eyesight back) and it’s not like their journey there was completely disappointing either. On the contrary, there were many things I loved about TWTWB, which I will try to articulate more structurally in a review. Also, it’s not like this drama didn’t affect me, maybe not as much as it intended to, but I felt involved, if not in the histrionics but definitely in the development of Soo and Young’s romance.

But.

There is something so spectacularly unsatisfying about these sort of finales. Something with the structure, the formula, the farce…The players and the forces, from dialogue to characters, all interesting and complex but all moving, undeterred and impenetrable, in the same direction, towards the same destination. I am happy I was interested enough to see it through to it’s destination but now that I’m here…I look around and don’t see much.

7 thoughts on “That Winter, The Wind Blows Final Episode

  1. I was really disappointed in the ending too. So much of it seemed arbitrary, there just to yank my chain. Mo Chul’s dead, not… Only he dies, like you say, 5 mins later. What was the point of that then???

    Then to skip to ending, we have Jin Sung talking about taking something to OH Soo’s grave. And I’m like, wait, he’s really dead? Then I remembered about the other Oh Soo and realized that no way would Jin Sung be smoochy with his gal if his Oh Soo was dead. Just way too manipulative.

    How many things did this finale get wrong? My goodness, I didn’t like Nice Guy’s finale that much either, the random stabbing of Maru, or Eun Gi’s blathering on without seeming to realize he’s… like dying!

    But things happened in TWTWB’s finale that really didn’t make much sense even within the fictional world of TWTWB. I wished the last two or three episodes hadn’t happened, or happened differently.

    Young commits suicide, is saved by Oh Soo, and they actually have to deal with the ramifications of that action, she isn’t just fine the next day. Jin Sung stabs Oh Soo, but we see the aftermath of that. And so on.

    In regards to the happy ending, I totally (well, there might have been a small sliver of doubt) expected the hea of Nice Guy. All along, there was the themes of forgiveness and redemption, Maru forgiving others time and time again. So a hea made sense there.

    Here, it could have gone either way I thought, but I didn’t really feel that ultimately Young and Soo deserved that hea or worked for it. Maybe because it was such an unsatisfactory ending (why did we need to know anymore about Wang or have all the gambling scenes (yawn)) instead of focusing on Young’s suicide, not really, attempt or Jin Sung. Yeah, I know it’s for dramatic effect, but it just left a bad taste in my mouth.

    • Yeah, TWTWB’s ending has lazy written all over it, much more so than Nice Guy.

      I mean I could see the point to everything that happens…Mu Chul not dying quite yet just so he could save his underling from the fate of being a murderer and Jin Sung stabbing Oh Soo that there would be a way for Oh Soo to get out of his life-threatening situation not completely unscathed…

      Korean melos are really into this trend of killing off heroes/heroines in a super dramatic way but then making sure everyone gets an easy happy ending. They are like – yes, you will get your happy ending but not before we scare you a bit. I’m so used to this pattern, nothing can faze me at this point.

      I almost wish TWTWB focused more on Oh Soo and Young’s relationship and the ramifications of Soo’s betrayal and the faux-incest (the tension between them just fizzled out after that, hasn’t it?) rather than all the drama surrounding her sickness and suicide, because it was just so wasted

  2. TWTWB is only my 2nd melodrama after Nice Guy, so I admit I don’t really know the genre well, but I’m really starting to hate the “Two years later” or “One year later” ending so many dramas have, not just melodramas, but the Hong sisters latest dramas as well. I think it works if only time can heal the wound (like in My Girl) and there are no other problems left unaddressed.

    But like you said again, there was so much other stuff that could have been the focus in TWTWB that I wanted to see instead of two episodes filled with moldy cliches. Dude tries to kill his best friend, girl survives major brain surgery with little or no side effects (and I was half expecting Oh Soo to crawl to Young’s side, dying as she lived – thank goodness I was spared that!)

    Just to rant some more, that slow camera shot up Jin Sung’s body after he stabs Oh Soo, was sooo laughable. I was entirely predicting that and hoping against hope that it wouldn’t go there, but… sigh… it did.

    And then there’s Oh So lying there unmoving, eyes open (so he’s really dead?), then other stuff is shown, then Jin Sung’s there with his gal who seems awfully happy (so he’s alive??), but they’re talking about taking things to a grave (so he’s really dead?!!!!) and then I realized I was being taken for a ride.

    I do agree that Nice Guy was the better written ending of the two, although TWTWB’s couple had more chemistry. Both had problems plotwise to me, but I would give the edge to Nice Guy’s acting over TWTWB because Jin Sung was uneven at times. I was definitely much more emotionally invested in TWTWB and even thought I had my drama of the year. Not so anymore. So now, I am still looking for something that will beat Cheongdamdong Alice.

    • I was going through my list to see how many melodramas I’ve seen…A lot, it turns out. And I won’t pretend that I’ve really liked them all. I do like the genre in theory (certified masochist here) but what annoys about it in Korea’s execution is 1) character motivations being all askew all the time (although I can concede that this could be attributed to cultural differences) and 2) exactly your point about time-skips, which I think ties into a larger theme of redemption that kdrama creators love to tack onto every single melo. Everyone needs to get their redemption, in the most convenient possible way. And to make matters worse, the person who needs redemption is not even that guilty to begin with. I feel like there is this moral line that kdramas creators refuse to cross when it comes to their characters which creates this artificial sense of comfort that has no bearing on reality at all. This is acutely evident the latest melo I’ve checked out – When a Man Loves. Goodness, I haven’t seen such horrifically and hilariously cliche mess in a while.

      My affections lie with TWTWB out of the two dramas but I do think Nice Guy had stronger writing overall (it had a misleading promise but ultimately the writer achieved what she set out to do). I’m pretty used to Kdramas majorly messing up their endings too. Hell, I’m used to kdramas messing up majorly OVERALL, so I’m just grateful TWTWB held my attention for as long as it did and I’m pretty certain that it will be tough for anyone else to replace the Oxygen couple as my favorite couple of the year🙂

  3. The ending of TWTB is good. We can see that Gino(Jin Sung) and Cindy (Hee Sun) is talking about the flower they will bring to Xander(Soo). In the first place, I thought Soo is dead but when I watch the last episode twice, I see that the ending is good. The flower which Cindy and Gino is talking is there in the restaurant of Xander. Yonna (Young) played with the flower lamb ear’s. It means that Gino and Cindy give flower to Xander since he is running a restaurant. The flower serve as present and not an offering for the dead. The ending is good since Xander was able to escape death for the second time and Yonna survived the surgery and regain her eyesight. Although it is much better if the TWTB is extended for 4 episodes, it is good to see that Xander and Yonna was able to rekindle their love and was able to reunite. A must watch ending.

  4. They are alive…don’t mind the flower because giving flowers have different meaning…since cindy is working in flowershop then that is their meningful gift to xander..it not necessarily mean that bringing flowers is offering for the death of a person remember it has meaningful and romantic value for lovers..

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