Winter Sonata – Episode 18

Our couple is poised to begin a new chapter of their lives as husband and wife. But we already know that many people wish that the two of them had never met.  But love conquers all, doesn’t it?

Episode 18

Joon-sang begs forgiveness from God for marrying Yoo-jin, knowing the consequences of their sibling relationship. Sang-hyuk is still running around the resort like a crazy person, looking for them. He has all but given up, when he bumps into the sidekicks. Neither wants to talk to him, but they exchange side glances. Do they tell him…?


At the church, Joon-sang places a coronet of white and yellow flowers on his bride’s head. She looks at his face and begins the wedding vows, promising to love and cherish him. Joon-sang begins vows of his own. But just as he finishes, that ass shows up.

Sang-hyuk marches right up to the pair, challenges Joon-sang with a glare, grabs her arm, and drags her out down the aisle. Joon-sang does nothing. Why don’t you go after them?? Sang-hyuk stops long enough to warn the other man that he will never ever ever allow the two of them to be together. She’s still confused; Joon-sang says nothing. He stays rooted to the spot and hears the ever-fainter sound of his bride calling out to him.

She’s still screaming out his name as Sang-hyuk folds her into the seat of his car and drives away. Joon-sang is left in the deserted worship space, sitting on the dais steps. Manager Kim shows up and mentions that he told Sang-hyuk their location. Way to go there, friend. He wants to know where his boss’ woman is, but Joon-sang just mumbles over and over, “I thought no one would know.”

Manager Kim can be a bit slow, and it takes him a minute before he realizes that the other man has absconded with Yoo-jin.

At her apartment, the doctor and the roommate are exchanging worried looks. Yoo-jin’s bedroom door is closed. Inside, Sang-hyuk chooses not to tell her the startling news, but couches the kidnapping in different terms. He can’t stand to see the two of them marry, and wants her to go back to him. They don’t have anyone’s blessing; no one wants them to be together. She doesn’t care; she doesn’t need anyone but her first love.

A moment later, the man steps out into the kitchen. The waiting pair immediately round on him: he promised to let her go, why is he behaving this way, etc. etc. He tiredly begs them to trust him, then slowly heads out to his car.

Joon-sang is waiting for him, and the two find a bench to talk. He quietly asks if Sang-hyuk told Yoo-jin the circumstances; he admits that he didn’t because he didn’t want to crush his former fiancee. Joon-sang asks him if he would turn a blind eye if the couple left the country. Sang-hyuk almost looks sad as they sit together.

It’s now morning, and the sidekicks are waiting at the site. Joon-sang is still in Seoul and they can’t contact him; Jin-ah wonders if the couple really did get hitched the night before. Manager Kim thinks the behavior of their coworkers is fishy. Just then, Yoo-jin calls Jin-ah, looking for Joon-sang.

Yoo-jin starts looking for him, but there’s no answer at his apartment, he hasn’t been at the Marcian office, and he hasn’t called in. Where could he be? Yoo-jin ends up at his mother’s place. Kang Mom is dismissive of the young woman, almost to the point of rudeness. Did she tell her not to see her son anymore? Hasn’t her son told Yoo-jin anything? It doesn’t matter, she demands the woman stop looking for Joon-sang. Sadly Yoo-jin leaves the room, but accidentally drops and damages the star necklace.

Mom, on the other hand, has a flashback of a conversation with her son. Joon-sang flat-out asks her if Yoo-jin’s father is his father, too. Back in the present, she lets him know that Yoo-jin and she talked. She apologizes for her son’s suffering, but her love of Jong Hyun-soo was so great that she raised her son as his. Joon-sang cuts her off, but she keeps going. She offers to explain to Yoo-jin the entire circumstance. Actually, she practically threatens her son. If he doesn’t break it off, she’ll spill the beans to the young woman. He caves, thinking Yoo-jin isn’t strong enough to hear the truth.

Yoo-jin flies down her stairs to meet Joon-sang. She stares at him with accusing eyes filled with tears and demands to know where he has been and why he hasn’t called her. He can barely look at her; instead he apologizes and says that something came up. It was sudden but it has all been resolved. She’s relieved but still unhappy. He wipes her tears and they hug. When they pull away, he proposes a trip to the seaside.

It’s a beautiful sunrise as he drives onto the sand. They are side by side gazing over the waves; Joon-sang mentions this is the first time he has been to the shore, with her. In his thoughts, he tells himself that it’s their last as well.

Once the sun is up, they spend time frolicking along the water’s edge, stirring up the seagulls with their antics. They end up arm in arm on their backs, staring up at the sky. A plane’s contrail slices across the sky, and Yoo-jin wistfully wishes they could fly far far away from all their troubles. He looks sad, but a visiting puppy brings a smile to both their faces.

Yoo-jin must be a metal detector, because she finds several 100-won pieces in the sand. Gosh, I went to Haeundae Beach and only found seaweed. Anyway, he watches her digging in the sand. A short time later, she runs up triumphant, with her treasure. He’s ready to spend them on snacks, but she refuses. They figure that it’s money dropped during the summer season and uncovered now, at the end of winter. If they find enough, maybe they can afford a yacht and travel away. Or maybe they should just tour the world and never come back. Yoo-jin says no; the yacht will need repairs and the captain will age. Then they will want to return home.

Yoo-jin is oblivious to his double meaning and continues prattling. All her friends and family are her in South Korea, and she would miss them too much. Joon-sang muses that running away isn’t a viable choice for them, so it’s best not to hurt the people they care for. Yoo-jin runs off for some snacks; Joon-sang stays behind and makes a phone call.

Sang-hyuk is in a meeting at the radio station, waiting for a phone call from Joon-sang. When he calls, it’s to say that tomorrow night is time. Sang-hyuk asks if he is okay. Silly question, really. Joon-sang asks for another favor. There are photographs the two of them recently took. He asks the other man to intercept and destroy them, so there is nothing to prove they ever were a couple.

He finishes the phone call just as Yoo-jin comes back. She has a disposable camera in her hand, to document their fun times at the beach. Ouch! She also hands him a same-sided coin, so that they will always have a positive outcome in their relationship.

They spend the rest of the afternoon taking pictures as the sun slowly sinks behind them. Once it’s dark, they find a guesthouse. Joon-sang asks for two rooms, but Yoo-jin insists on sharing one. Wow, when she makes up her mind, she’s decisive!

They look around the small room. She wants to take pictures of their first night together, but backs off after seeing the look on Joon-sang’s face. He watches her as she tidies the room. She also pulls out a couple of toothbrushes. He’s just staring at her face until she stops talking, then, as if he can’t help it, he runs his fingers through her hair. She suddenly gets shy as he cups her face, and then pulls her into a hug. She’s anticipating a kiss, but at the last minute he pulls away and leaves the room.

A moment later she follows him. She back-hugs him as he stares over the shoreline. In a quiet voice, she promises to never be afraid of anything as long as he stays beside her.

It’s a bright sunny day as he pulls open the door to the guestroom and sees her silhouetted in the sunlight. She is ready for wherever the day takes them. Which appears to be more walking around and stuff. They end up at a street market. He offers to do whatever she chooses, for the rest of the day. She’s a bit suspicious, but gets into the spirit, demanding some bungeoppang for dessert. He runs off to grab some of fish-shaped pastry, leaving her alone in the crowd.

While Yoo-jin is waiting, a halmeoni asks her for some assistance. Yoo-jin hesitates but then agrees. When Joon-sang gets back to their meeting place, of course there is no white turtle-neck woman waiting for him. He starts running around looking for her. Really, isn’t it better to wait for a moment in case she just went to the bathroom or something? Nope, the rendezvous point is still empty when Yoo-jin arrives back. Now both of them are running around like mad people. Run run run. Search search search.

They finally find each other, and he scolds her for running off. She cracks a smile; he found her so everything is fine. He’s deadly serious, though, asking what she would do when he’s not around. She’s puzzled, and the mood is definitely destroyed.

They end up sitting on an old log as the skies darken. She mentions that the star necklace broke; it wasn’t as solid as she thought. He offers to get it fixed, and she willingly hands it over. Nooo! Take it back, Yoo-jin! She makes him promise to return it ASAP once it’s fixed.

They are munching on some Jeju tangerines when he apologizes for his overreaction. She’s fine with it, and cheekily asks for another boon tomorrow. Instead he gives her some advice: pay attention to her direction, so she doesn’t get lost. Don’t get distracted. Don’t be clumsy. Don’t lose things. And learn to say “No” and not to give into everyone’s whims. And… She interrupts him. Why does he talk like he’s disappearing? And why not mention any good points? He looks almost ready to cry, but his voice is steady. He says she doesn’t have any good qualities; that elicits a laugh from her.

Later on, she’s fast asleep on their pallet, but he is wide awake, staring at her face. Quietly he apologizes and kisses her cheek all while sniffing back tears.

He’s alone on the sand, staring at the ever-moving water. One by one, he throws their relationship away into the surf: the two-headed coin, the camera filled with seaside photographs, and finally, the necklace. After that tiny sparkle when it disappears into the water, he collapses to the sand, bereft.

In the morning, Yoo-jin wakes up alone. She quickly cleans up and heads outside. Except there is no Joon-sang. Instead, Sang-hyuk is waiting to take her home. At first she thinks he’s lying; after all, why should her fiancé leave? But he explains that Joon-sang chose his mother over her. She bursts into tears and runs, but Sang-hyuk catches up.

KimMom is worried about her son; but the professor just heads for his office to wait for Sang-hyuk. He flashes back to a conversation he had with KangMom. We find out that, the day her love Hyun-soo married Yoo-jin’s mother, she nearly drowned. Rescued by Professor Kim, they apparently spent the night together, and she disappeared soon after for Choonchung. That’s why he thought at first that Joon-sang was his son, but her suicide attempt soon after convinced him that she was probably pregnant before that night. He does wonder why she never told Hyun-soo she was pregnant with his child, but she blows it off at blind love. After all, she loved Hyun-soo one-sidedly, and Professor Kim loved her one-sidedly.

When Sang-hyuk comes home, he goes into his father’s office, where the door is conveniently left open a crack. KimMom stops by with snacks and overhears the conversation. She overhears them talking about the Joon-sang/Yoo-jin blood relation. Sang-hyuk confirms that Joon-sang knew before the accident a decade before, and that they were now officially apart. He figures he should have saved Yoo-jin the heartache by forcing her to stay with him, even though she didn’t love him. KimMom hustles away after hearing all this, without letting the men know of her presence.

Before Sang-hyuk leaves, Professor Kim wonders how they all were in the same grade in school, when Joon-sang should be older than the rest of them. Sang-hyuk knows that the two former lovebirds were born only a month or two apart.

Yoo-jin is fretting at her apartment when the doorbell rings. She races to it – it’s KimMom! Oh crap, is she going to spill the beans?? Yoo-jin sits her down with a cup of tea. Mom wastes no time; why is still bothering her son? And just because she’s broken up with her half-brother, it doesn’t mean she can have Sang-hyuk back. Yoo-jin asks numbly what the older woman means. Oblivious to the other’s distress, KimMom plows on. She should blame her philandering father for the sad circumstances of her life. Too late, she realizes her big fat mouth took her someplace she shouldn’t have.

Yoo-jin grabs her stuff and runs out the door.

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Final Comment

Honestly, the entire Kim family is just a bunch of jerks. Professor Kim admits to having sex with a half-drowned, drunk woman he likes; KimMom is just a egocentric gossipmonger who delights in hurting people’s feelings. And how proud they must be of their son, who tried a bunch of lies to tie an unwilling woman to him, and the speculates that he should have tried harder?

The biggest crime is, of course, against Yoo-jin. Yes, Joon-sang is also a victim of whatever stupid behavior the previous generation did. But he chose to keep Yoo-jin in the dark. And we all know that  no secret is kept secret for long, especially in a KDrama. Still, I think Yoo-jin is built of stronger stuff that I previously believed. She planned to marry Joon-sang despite everyone’s criticism and disapproval. She was even willing to spend the night with him.

We still have two more episodes to resolve this unfortunate turn of events. Can our lovers get that happy ending?

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About Shukmeister

I have a great fondness for chocolate chip cookie dough, 80's science fiction movies, and thunderstorms.

Posted on May 18, 2016, in Recaps, Winter Sonata (2002) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m so happy and thankful that you have taken the time to do the recaps; and they are not ordinary ones, too. Your side remarks are funny but not distracting. I can’t wait for the last two recaps.

    • Menci – Thanks for your comments! When I first started recapping in April 2013, my collaborators and I created a recap-and-comment style we dubbed “SqueeCapping”. Even though the recaps found on this blog are my personal recaps, I try to follow that format and stick to the storyline as closely as possible with minimal comments. As for my recaps, I plan to focus solely on completing the recap of “Winter Sonata”, and commenting on Viki’s “Dramaworld” series (SqueeCaps found at before starting any more South Korean drama projects. Wish me luck! 🙂

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