Side dish: It’s October so now you can eat pumpkin flavoured treats. Try Pumpkin Spice Babka, and you can also enjoy one of the best things about the Jewish High Holidays.
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At the Haneul Group special shareholders’ meeting, Hyun Min (Ahn Jae Hyun) is relieved to hear that a slim majority have voted in favour of keeping the Chairman on. It turns out that secretary, Yoon Sung (Choi Min) used his votes and those of his mother, Madame Ji to foil her plans to oust the Chairman.
At the hospital, the Chairman’s liver transplant was successful, but Ji Woon (Jung Il Woo) remains in the operating room. Ha Won (Park So Dam) and Hyun Min are horrified to learn that Ji Woon went into shock due to his allergy to anesthesia. They keep this a secret from the Chairman who already looks guilty about having received the liver donation from his grandson.
Sitting by Ji Woon’s unconscious body, Ha Won admits to Seo Woo (Lee Jung Shin) that it never occurred to her that Ji Woon might leave her. Now, she regrets her plan to leave him, and is sorry that she never made her feelings clear. Once they are alone, she chooses to confess to Ji Woon’s unconscious body how she fell for him.
While he recovers, the Chairman is still able to conduct business like preparing a resignation letter for Yoon Sung, and divorce papers for Madame Ji. Yoon Sung reveals that Madame Ji is his mother, and claims responsibility for their entire failed plan. Yoon Sung runs into Hyun Min on the way out, and the Chairman’s grandson tells the former secretary to get lost.
The Chairman eventually learns of the risk Ji Woon took to save his life. He goes to visit Ji Woon’s hospital room and finds Ha Won there. His gratefulness towards Ji Woon notwithstanding, the Chairman remains committed to the ultimatum he gave Ha Won: choose between love or money. Ha Won tearfully chooses to remain with Ji Woon and nurse him.
Unfortunately, an urgent need for funds comes up unexpectedly when Ha Won’s father gets into an accident after falling asleep at the wheel of his truck. Ha Won’s stepmother and stepsister beg her to obtain the $6000 needed to settle with the other driver.
Ha Won receives news that Ji Woon has gained consciousness. She rushes to the hospital, but stops short of entering his hospital room, realizing that to get the funds she needs, she must meet the Chairman’s demands to stay away now that Ji Woon is awake. Ji Woon asks for Ha Won and attempts to reach her by phone, but she ignores his calls.
Just before he is discharged, the Chairman is visited by Madame Ji. She claims to have loved him, but her maternal instinct towards Yoon Sung took over. The Chairman vows never to forgive her. Madame Ji accepts this, but begs for leniency for Yoon Sung who protected the Chairman’s interests in the end. Hyun Min overhears the conversation outside, and tracks down a more relaxed and studly Yoon Sung teaching martial arts. He invites Yoon Sung to return to the Haneul Group.
Ha Won picks up her grateful father from the police station, and on their way home, they find Ji Woon waiting for Ha Won. Ha Won paints herself as a gold digger who acted in self-interest by breaking up with Ji Woon. He begs her to stay, and Ha Won leaves him without a word. When she gets home, Ha Won can only reminisce about her special moments with Ji Woon and cry, overwhelmed with guilt about repeatedly running away from him.
Seo Woo is now free to resume his pop idol career, but he has decided to throw it away in order to return to busking. His manager’s head explodes, and I can’t say I blame him. Yet, his manager is ready to stand by his side when Seo Woo heads out to perform on the street, and even enlists the help of Ja Young (Cho Hye Jung) in this new chapter in Seo Woo’s career.
Meanwhile, my head explodes watching Hyun Min kiss a café window. Love of Hye Ji (Son Na Eun) has turned Hyun Min into a kissing fool. The new couple visit the memorial of her brother together, and Hyun Min announces that he will focus on Hye Ji rather than her dead brother from now on. Once at a respectable distance from the grave site, they kiss some more.
After Seo Woo reveals Ha Won’s dedicated bedside vigil, Ji Woon confronts the Chairman about doing to Ha Won what he did to Ji Woon’s mother. Ji Woon does not want to live with regret about how his relationship with Ha Won might have turned out, and pleads for the Chairman’s blessing to resume a relationship with Ha Won.
Her love life may be in shambles, but Ha Won’s family life is looking up. Her stepmother and stepsister appear ready to accept her out of gratitude for bailing out her father.
The Chairman has a change of heart, and gives Ha Won his blessing to resume dating Ji Woon. Ha Won decides to maintain her exile, feeling guilty about having chosen money over Ji Woon. She gets Hyun Min to retrieve her belongings from Sky House, and he brings along the shoes he had gifted her on the night she was introduced as his fianceé. He tells her to wear them when she is ready to go to Ji Woon.
Inspired by Ji Woon’s fearless leap into love, the Chairman goes to court Madame Ji, who is now a pathetic insurance salesman. Madame Ji is apologetic towards the Chairman and grateful for his forgiveness, presumably because selling insurance is worse than being a chaebol wife.
The Chairman gives Ji Woon the ring that belonged to his father, though he does not know what happened to the corresponding ring belonging to Ji Woon’s mother. Ji Woon suddenly recognizes the ring as a partner to the one that Ha Won claimed was her mother’s. Ji Woon then recalls that Ha Won’s mother died on the same day as his.
Ji Woon finds out that someone has been looking to return something belonging to his mother. Sure enough, it’s Ha Won’s father who is returning his mother’s ring to him. Ji Woon learns that Ha Won’s mother died attempting to save his mother, and that she had hoped to return the ring to Ji Woon. Ji Woon suddenly remembers that he and Ha Won met as children at the funeral home where both of their mothers were laid to rest.
Ha Won finds out from her father about her long forgotten shared history with Ji Woon. This convinces Ha Won to put on the Cinderella shoes from Hyun Min and go running out to meet Ji Woon who is inexplicably wearing runners that say ‘yeah baby’ on the side. They place his parents’ rings on each other then passionately kiss.
Ji Woon and Ha Won have a cute moment bickering about the rings. He threatens Ha Won with no skinship for a month, and Ha Won calls him on his bluff. Ji Woon immediately envelops her in a back hug.
The final scene is a sunny picnic where everyone laughs like they’re drunk on love. Fortunately, Yoon Sung is drinking water, and not alcohol.
This episode was determined to deliver a happy ending on all fronts. Even consistently villainous characters like Ha Won’s stepmother and stepsister were redeemed, and the indefensible Madame Ji was forgiven. The Chairman was stubbornly persistent about his asshole deal with Ha Won; it is disgusting how he ignored the fact that history was repeating itself, and how he forced a choice between love and money on others that he never had to make himself. Of course, in the end, the switch was also flipped on the Chairman, and he became a sucker for love and forgiveness.
As much as I want Ha Won and Ji Woon to be together, what prompted them to reunite felt gimmicky. Do they really need this shared past of dead mothers to convince them that they were fated to be together? Was their childhood encounter in the funeral home even a thing before this episode? You would think that Park So Dam and Jung Il Woo’s amazing chemistry would be enough to convince anyone. Their reconiliation felt especially artificial given that Ha Won was running towards Ji Woon wearing shoes bought by Hyun Min to help him carry out a scam. It felt like a last ditch effort to tie in the Cinderella metaphor.
In spite of these cheap short cuts to a happy ending, I did enjoy this final episode. We finally got to see Yoon Sung as the stud he is. I liked how relaxed he looked in a gi.
Plus, there was a lot of kissing. I will give “Cinderella and Four Knights” credit for allowing their newly minted couples to act like people who are still eager for skinship. More squees and some bitching to come in our series review.