Bubblegum: Episode 16 (Final)
Korean Drama Recaps | December 22, 2015 | 298 viewed
Director: Kim Byung-Soo
Writer: Lee Min-Na
Starring: Lee Dong-Wook (Park Ri-Hwan), Jung Ryeo-Won (Kim Haeng-A), Lee Jong-Hyuk (Kang Suk-Joon), Park Hee-Von (Hong Yi-Seul)
Release Date: 22th December, 2015
Bubblegum: Episode 16 [Recap]
It’s time to say goodbye to our adorable little family, and this final episode wraps things up for everyone nicely. A bit too nicely, but at least we get closure on all of our couples. With the promise of a bright future filled with happiness and family, Bubblegum ends as it began — sweet, warm, and full of smiles and love.
EPISODE 16 RECAP: “That’s how a new spring approaches through the gaps”
Ri-hwan finds Haeng-ah to tell her that he’s gotten his test results… and he’s fine. She wells up and they hug, thanking each other for being there and being healthy.
Ji-hoon pours Tae-hee a drink, reminding her that she lost the bet that Ri-hwan and Haeng-ah would never date, and this is her punishment. Ji-hoon admits that there are a lot of reasons why their friends may not work out, but they’ve been loving each other with every shred of their beings, and it makes him wonder what he’s been doing with his life.
He says that all the words he’s been saying to Tae-hee were old feelings, and she hands him a drink, saying that he’s wrong. He says she must hate him and she pours him another “you’re wrong” drink (is this a good idea? He’s an alcoholic!), and one for herself when he asks if she hates him. Ji-hoon notices that Tae-hee won’t look him in the eye, but she just silently keeps downing shots.
Thinking that she’s not ready to hear his honesty, he asks if they talk later, will she believe him that he never cheated on her? Tae-hee says that she wants to, but wonders if it’s safe. In answer, he pours the last of the bottle and downs it in one shot. She pours an even bigger shot, and one-ups him handily.
The next morning, nearly everyone gets a text message that makes them smile widely — aww, it’s the photos from Mom’s birthday party.
Ji-hoon slumps into Ri-hwan’s office whining about how terrible he feels, having lost his alcohol tolerance. Ri-hwan offers to do some acupuncture, but Ji-hoon gripes that he’s scared of needles (Ri-hwan: “You’re an Eastern medicine doctor!”). But Ji-hoon is giddly, and says that his hangover reminds him of the night before with Tae-hee. He finally relents, but makes Ri-hwan piggyback him, hee.
There are video cameras in the radio studio today — apparently Se-young’s popularity from her drama has them recording a special live-action show. Tae-hee admits that she feels like she’s going to die, having to work with Manager Jo one more time, but she just snarls when Haeng-ah offers to buy her medicine.
Manager Jo complains when he sees all the cameras, and accuses Haeng-ah of making him do this today because she’s camera-shy. He also thinks it’s weird to feature an ajumma famous for her ddukbokki on a video show (“Don’t idols usually do this?”), but Joon-soo tells tham that the ajumma is mising and can’t be reached. Also, Se-young is bringing her mother to watch them tape the show today. This sounds like it could be disastrous.
When Se-young and her mom arrive, Joon-soo rushes to introduce himself to her. He’s eager to answer her question about his age even though Se-young cringes, and he’s very solicitous to her and makes a good impression.
It turns out that the ddukbokki ajumma has had a huge rush at her restaurant, and can’t make it to the show. But by a stroke of good luck, Se-young’s mom used to run a ddukbokki stand. Everyone stares at Se-young while she cries that they absolutely can’t do what they’re thinking — and the next thing you know, her tiny little mom is on the radio.
Hilariously, the interview turns into Mom telling stories on Se-young as a child, like how she ate all the food at her mom’s cart and got fat. Poor Se-young has fits trying to get her back on track, while Joon-soo nods sympathetically at stories of how hard it was to give birth to Se-young’s huge head.
Ri-hwan watches the show and texts Haeng-ah to ask why she’s not on camera, and she explains that it’s Manager Jo’s last day. She tells him to pay attention to the last song on the show tonight, but doesn’t tell him why.
Se-young’s mom is adorable, but she keeps freaking out the entire team by mentioning brand names on-air for free. She tells Joon-soo, still on camera, that there’s only a four-year age gap between him and Se-young (she lies about her age), so they should totally date.
At the end of the show, they play “Not a Fancy Confession” by Lee Seung-hwan, and Ri-hwan smiles as he listens, since it’s the same song that their old classmate Woo-bin apparently dedicated to Ri-hwan at school, and made everyone think it was from Haeng-ah. Ri-hwan meets Haeng-ah on her way out of the building to give her a ride home, and she reminisces that Woo-bin gave them a lot of happy memories.
Ri-hwan laughs at her, and we see that back in school, the joke that Ri-hwan always said was played by their frenemy Woo-bin was, in reality, Ri-hwan’s idea after all. Haeng-ah wails that she’s dating a con artist, and she’ll never be able to face Woo-bin again after blaming him for eighteen years.
Wow, Manager Jo’s new job at Suk-joon’s station is pretty nice, with a swanky corner office and everything. It’s cute how he’s more concerned with whether the cafeteria food is good than meeting his new coworkers.
Aunt Princess fusses over Ri-hwan’s mom, worried that she’s going out with Dong-hwa for the first time alone. Ri-hwan comes to take them to arrange flowers, but Aunt Princess seems awfully worried today for some reason.
Yi-seul gets ready for a second date with her match, though she has to tell her mother to simmer down, as it’s too early for a proposal. This date is more informal and he suggests they stop for ice cream, and Yi-seul nervously accepts unlike her date with Ri-hwan. He’s awfully cute, and she can’t help but smile despite herself.
He buys a huge bag of snacks which he tries to give to Yi-seul, laughing when she’s afraid to gain weight. He calls her “curvy” which gets her hackles up, and she barks back that he’s short. And then he wonders why she’s so sensitive, because pretty people aren’t usually insecure, and teases her out of her grump. Okay, he’s adorable.
They sit down for coffee, and Ri-hwan just happens to walk past while they’re talking. He stops and bows to Yi-seul with a smile, and she bows back a bit sadly. Ri-hwan notices her date and leaves, and Yi-seul’s date knows this must be her “midnight man.”
He jokes that she sure does like good-looking men, making Yi-seul defend that that’s not why she liked him. Her date admits that he’s been winding her up on purpose, because at least then she’s not thinking about Midnight Man, and suggests that they keep seeing each other until they’re both over their exes. Yi-suel agrees as long as she can hit him if he’s rude, which sparks another fight. He’s a keeper — if she doesn’t want him, I’ll take him off her hands.
Mom’s doctor takes Ri-hwan out for a meal to celebrate his good test results, and says that he regrets not catching Mom’s illness sooner. Ri-hwan admits that he feels guilty enjoying nice things when Mom is so sick, but says that he’s pretty happy for now. He asks what Mom was like in school — he’s curious since she’s showing sides he’s never seen before, these days. Turns out, Mom was famous for being a great dancer, who knew?
While Dong-hwa is distracted by a phone call, Mom sees a woman in a doctor’s coat enter an elevator and follows her, fascinated. Dong-hwa calls Ri-hwan for help, and runs through the streets calling for Mom. She’s finally located on the building’s CCTV, and Dong-hwa tearfully waits for her parents to come help.
When Se-young gets a group text about Mom being missing, she realizes they just passed that building, and she and Joon-soo go back to help look. Haeng-ah also gets the message and heads that way. Meanwhile Mom stands in the road, nearly getting hit by passing cars, until finally a man stops to offer her help.
He takes her to the police station, and it’s Se-young who arrives there first. She doesn’t recognize Se-young, but she does know Ji-hoon when he comes, and soon Dong-hwa runs in wailing with relief with her parents right behind her. Next comes Haeng-ah, then Ri-hwan, and the station is soon filled with people who love Mom. Aww.
After everyone else leaves, Ji-hoon jokes to Tae-hee that they’re here in front of the police station for the third time. At this rate, he’ll start to get happy just seeing a police car. Tae-hee smiles at that, and he invites her to eat. She turns to walk away, then turns back: “Aren’t you coming?”
Se-young drops Joon-soo off at his family restaurant, and he says that he was impressed how she took charge to run to Mom’s rescue. Too bad the rest of the world doesn’t know that side of her. He says that he’s thought of the solution to their problem (their age difference) — they can just love each other, and not worry about what the world thinks.
Se-young sagely says that’s not as easy as it sounds, but Joon-soo wants to give it a shot, and Se-young agrees to try. He grabs her in a hug and they’re caught by his mother, ha.
Suk-joon chews up and spits out a guest on his show, accusing him of tax fraud on air. Manager Jo has to ask him to take it a bit easier or nobody will want to come on the show.
Ji-hoon walks in on (and right back out of) Haeng-ah and Ri-hwan sitting down to breakfast, but Haeng-ah invites him to stay and eat. Ri-hwan pouts at his breakfast, and Ji-hoon whispers to Ri-hwan to tell her why, quickly. They’re hilariously reluctant to eat, since Haeng-ah is a terrible cook — Ri-hwan says he once ate an eraser that tasted similar.
They even rock-paper-scissors to see who has to eat it, and Ri-hwan loses, only to have Haeng-ah “refill” Ji-hoon’s bowl, ha. Ri-hwan does a literal spit-take when Haeng-ah promises to cook for them every day once she moves back into the third-floor apartment.
He pulls her aside to tell her not to cook for them every day, because the her cooking is awful, and he’s relieved when she takes it well. Then she says she doesn’t want him to call and sing for her every night anymore, because he’s just singing the same song every time, and he bows up all offended. HAHA. But they make up and hug it out. Kind of.
Dong-hwa teaches (re-teaches) mom to play go-stop, as an exercise to keep her brain sharp. And then Mom hands her her butt, beating her soundly, hee. Aunt Princess decides to try, since it can’t be difficult to beat a sick woman, and also loses her hat to Mom. Even Uncle Gangster gives it a shot but gets caught cheating.
In a small moment of lucidity, Mom apologizes to Aunt Princess (for being a burden), who corrects her and thanks her tearfully.
Ri-hwan teaches Haeng-ah to drive with disastrous results, and he gets so frustrated he forgets his words. They just end up screaming at each other, and Haeng-ah refuses to try anymore. They make up while sitting by the river sharing a drink, and Ri-hwan chuckles that if she were good at everything, they wouldn’t be here now, together.
Ri-hwan tells Haeng-ah that he knows what he wants for his wish, and he whispers it into Haeng-ah’s ear. She giggle-shrieks and says that she’ll never do that alone, but she’ll think about it if he joins her. We don’t hear what it is, but whatever it is, it has them both laughing like loons.
In voiceover, Ri-hwan says that to forgot something, like a bubble popping, is nothing to be sad about. You just blow another bubble. Small happiness is like any other kind of happiness, in that you go through a difficult season, but soon the spring comes. He and Haeng-ah walk down the street, arm-in-arm, finally happy and together.
- Bubblegum: Episode 16 (Final)
- Bubblegum: Episode 15
- "Bubble Gum" Lee Dong-wook, the weight of the drama
- Bubblegum: Episode 14
- Bubblegum: Episode 13
- Bubblegum: Episode 12
- Bubblegum: Episode 11
- Bubblegum: Episode 10
- Bubblegum: Episode 9
- Bubblegum: Episode 8
- Bubblegum: Episode 7
- Bubblegum: Episode 6
- Bubblegum: Episode 5
- Bubblegum: Episode 4
- Bubblegum: Episode 3
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