Epilogue of a relationship

An unpublished Theme of the Month post submitted to Dramabeans for the prompt, Epilogues

Korean dramas are full of romance. Even shows with psycho killers and kidnapping plots have a One True Pairing – the cornerstone of 90 per cent of Korean television. But I know I’m not alone in imagining what happens to that relationship after the curtain falls on the final scene.

If the show has done its job, I’ll imagine a happy and fulfilled future for our loving couple. If not, I’ll imagine all the ways in which the relationship will lead to misery. If I’m honest, I’ll admit the latter scenarios are a bit more fun.

I recently watched the quite silly Yong Pal and was struck by how terrible the main OTP was. Kim Tae-hyun may be a dedicated humanist but he only loves his wife when she’s sick. As soon as she’s independent and living her own life, he leaves her to find other patients to adore and rely on him. He comes back to her only because she falls sick again and needs him to save her. I hope that woman is plagued by a lifetime of health problems because otherwise her marriage is doomed.

While many people were sold on the great romance in Are You Human Too, I had no clue what that relationship would look like after the curtain fell on the kiss. Love can survive many things, I’m sure, but can it survive a relationship with an undocumented doppelgänger of a chaebol with no legal rights that’s incapable of loving you back?

(Hopefully the riot I just caused gets me pelted with Cinnamon Rolls, not raw eggs).

I give them two years. Mea Culpa.

There are many shows that are perfect and many that would benefit from a full second season. But every now and then one comes along that needs a small epilogue about our main couple to bring it to a fitting conclusion.

Here are just a few of these epilogues:

Breakfast in Bed: What’s With Secretary Kim

Secretary Kim is known for her professionalism, resilience and hard work. But even she would find it exhausting to service the professional and emotional needs of a man 24/7. While most women would last a year, Secretary Kim is so committed to a life without her own identity that I give her five. Divorce is far too messy for our perfectionist and she is in charge of every aspect of his life.

THE SCENE: Morning. Sunlight streams into a pristine kitchen.
CHYRON: Five years later.
Secretary Kim moves through the kitchen with confidence and precise grace. Dressed in an elegant pants suit and with her hair pulled back from her exquisitely made-up face, she gives a secret half smile as she prepares breakfast for her beloved husband: slipping death mushrooms into his omelette with the same deft hand she uses to manage his affairs.
Her smile widens to one of satisfaction and she places his breakfast on a platter with a flower and a cold-pressed juice and takes it into the sun room.
She really should have gotten another job while she had the chance.

Secretary Kim looks blankly at her boss
Secretary Kim

We Probably Should Have Talked About This First: Your Honour

When Your Honour was cut from 20 episodes to 16, it had to jettison a lot of resolutions and a lot of storytelling. And a big chunk of that was establishing what our OTP would like after he took back his real identity. He was a criminal with five priors and she was trying to be taken seriously in a legal system already stacked against her because of the sexual harassment case. There was also no resolution to the conflict between the brothers or to her issue with her boyfriend’s twin either. How would this end?

THE SCENE: Cafe, early evening. Han Kang-ho sits across from his girlfriend Song So-eun.
CHRYON: One month later
Song So-eun: Let’s break up.
Han Kang-ho: But, WHHHYYYYY????
Song So-eun: I want to be a judge and you’re a career criminal, your brother testified against my sister in her rape trial, and also that tattoo is ridiculous. I can’t stop laughing whenever you take your shirt off.
Han Kang-ho: But I DON’T WANT TOOOO.
Song So-eun: Also, it’s possible you’re five. What’s with those weird facial expressions anyway?
Han Kang-ho: I’m telling my Mum! And you’re out of character in this epilogue!
Song So-eun: I honestly blame you for that as well. Sorry. This has all been a terrible mistake. I’m never using a bracelet as a life gauge again.
She walks out of the cafe and into a lifelong quest for justice. He makes a new recipe involving spam. Later, he goes to his brother’s apartment and punches him. His brother just nods sadly at how much he deserved it.

The female lead in Your Honour ponders the horror of the male lead's "Angle" tattoo
We’re doomed, Your Honour

My Imagination is 19+ but this blog post won’t be: The K2

You probably think that the ending of the K2 showed Choi Yoo-jin sacrificing her life for her stepdaughter while the K2 and Go Anna rode off into rose-dawn tinted, soft focus domestic bliss. This is a common misconception of the ending of the K2 and one that could be easily fixed by an epilogue that showed what happened after Kim Je-ha dropped Anna off in Barcelona and then disappeared like mist…

THE SCENE: Late afternoon, sun setting in a fiery ball over a tropical beach. Quick shots: seemingly-deserted beach with shallow, turquoise waters, palm trees and lazy waves. Tanned, legs, condensation on a cocktail glass, recliners with a view of the water. The shadow of hands clinking glasses.
A close up establishes this is The Man, the K2, looking relaxed and strangely-lethargic in a way that is unfamiliar to us viewers. We’re used to seeing him always alert and watchful. He smiles affectionately at his companion – the camera doesn’t let us see her face but just her presence. Is it Anna?
K2: So everyone thinks you’re dead, just as you planned. What do you want to do now?
The camera finally pans over to the other recliner and we finally see Choi Yoo-jin, rocking a one-piece bathing suit with a smile tugging at the edges of her mouth as she sips her Mojito.
Yoo-jin: I have some ideas
Je-ha slides his sunglasses over his eyes and relaxes back into this recliner with a smile. The camera pans back and up and we see them on a small island in the Pacific.
It is finally a happy ending.



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