Personal Preference Episode 16 Recap
Both Kae In and Jin Ho seemed determined to be the most stubborn. How long will Jin Ho keep secretly showing his love while insisting he never liked Kae In? And how long can Kae In pretend that she is over Jin Ho and no longer wants the relationship to succeed? Long enough to annoy Choi and make him wash his hands of their relationship troubles and long enough for In Hee to become angry enough to confess her real feelings to Kae In. Mixed in we have Kae In’s strained relationship with her father, Chang Ryul’s final decision regarding his pursuit of Kae In, and the results of the Dam Project. Like all kdrama, this one seems to through way to much into the final episode, which I find frustrating. Compared to Prosecutor Princess, this drama’s timing and pacing seemed better until the final episodes where everything was thrown on top of everything else. The mysterious Professor Park came home finally, Jin Ho’s intentions (which he kept trying to reveal throughout a good portion of the series) is finally revealed, Jang Mi finally confronted Kae In who finally remembered what happened to her mother. And in only like the final 2 episodes! Crazy. And you know with all of that there is resolution without resolution. What do I mean? Read on to find out.
I am proud of Jin Ho for taking a stand for Kae In (something that she still needs to do herself, but it’s a start, right?). Of course, Park’s reaction is to be expected. Jin Ho’s words would not have hurt him so much if they hadn’t been the truth. What words? We ended the penultimate episode with Jin Ho stating that the reason Park abandoned the Dam project 30 years ago (putting Kae In at about 34 or 35 – I didn’t think she was supposed to be that old) is because of his biggest failure at Sanggojae. Wow! What a blow! Why was Sanggojae a failure? Mrs. Park died, Kae In was scarred, and Park did nothing and made everything worse. [Totally off topic, but I just noticed that Kang Shin Il plays Professor Park – he also starred in the hit comedy Call of the Country as the overseer of the team.]
Kae In finally steps in and demands Jin Ho stop talking. Who is he to meddle in their family business – what can he possibly know? Jin Ho being a relative stranger to the situation as the clearest picture, plus he has seen the scars Kae In carries from growing up with a distant father and no mother. Jin Ho turns on Kae In and asks her how long she actually plans on crumbling in front of her father. Go Jin Ho! He has a point, Kae In really need to learn to stand up for herself. She’s come a long way, but still has a long way to go. Kae In’s counterattack is why is Jin Ho pretending to be on her side when he confessed he had no feelings for her. Kae In (quite unconvincingly) kicks Jin Ho out and goes to her room while a stunned Park tells Jin Ho to never darken his door again before leaving. Poor Jin Ho is getting a lot of gruff for telling the truth (well not the whole truth – he is still telling lies about very important things. This time though they are not lies of omissions, but blatant falsehoods).
The next day Young Sun is helping Kae In finish up the children’s room. Young Sun asks what about the heavier things and Kae In says she will finish them up at her own workshop and bring them over. If she can’t find anyone to help, then Young Sun is strong, right? Young Sun can’t make it as she has to go with her son Joon Hyuk to get his shots. At this point Sang Joon comes in and Young Sun tries to trap him into it – though she and Sang Joon would like it better if Kae In cut the bull and just asked Jin Ho for help. Kae In ignores this and the two just don’t know what to do about the two of them. A little later Kae In overhears just how much trouble Jin Ho and the company is in. She also overhears that Jin Ho obviously still loves her, but is determined to stay away from her. Like me, and I am sure other viewers, Sang Joon and Young Sun are getting completely frustrated with our two leads’ stubborn idiocy.
But Kae In does nothing when she overhears all of this and just throws herself into getting all the final pieces ready for the children’s room while Jin Ho watches over her and even covers the sleeping Kae In with her sweater. He leaves and Chang Ryul comes and wakes her up to take her home. I give Chang Ryul kudos for not taking the credit for covering Kae In with her own sweater. Kae In reluctantly accepts his offer of a ride while Jin Ho watches on from his car. The man is becoming a stalker! Do I feel sorry for him for hurting while watching Chang Ryul with Kae In? That would be no. Both he and Kae In have really about this torment on themselves – there really is no one else to blame.
Choi shows Professor Park one of the proposals submitted to the contest and Park seems to be really taken with it. Choi asks him what he thinks and Park asks excitedly who submitted it. His interest is dampened when he learns that it was Jin Ho. Why? We then see Han trying to butter up Choi’s father to get Jin Ho kicked out of the competition. Choi senior doesn’t seem to care since Jin Ho submitted a completely different proposal from Park’s, but Han then mentions just how bad off Jin Ho’s company is and this seems to worry him. Choi and Park overhear this and go into another room. Choi is upset that Jin Ho might be disqualified from the final bid and Park asks why Choi is so worried. Choi talks about how he like the young man. Park then asks Choi just what he wants him to do. Choi does not plead for Park to choose Jin Ho, but pleads for him to sincerely look at the plans and fairly judge on talent without being biased for or against the young man.
Jin Ho and Sang Joon are running out of options. Jin Ho keeps getting refusals when he asks for help in settling the suit against his firm. Sang Joon asks Jin Ho to put aside his pride and ask Tae Hoon’s father. Apparently Tae Hoon comes from a very well off family – who knew? Jin Ho doesn’t want to ask this and then he gets a call to see Choi. What does Choi want? When Jin Ho gets there, Choi offers to cash in his own investments (which have grown a considerable size) to bail Jin Ho out of trouble. Jin Ho does not want to accept this help. Choi isn’t trying to buy Jin Ho’s affection or anything like that, he is sincerely trying to help as a friend. Choi tells Jin Ho that if he rejects Choi’s proposal he won’t stand for it any longer. Jin Ho stays silent and Choi then says that if he refuses his help then passing the preliminary screening will be for nothing. This shocks Jin Ho to hear that he passed. Choi then offers Jin Ho the use of his private villa as it looks like he needs a good rest. Jin Ho takes up the offer and Choi tells In Hee to prepare the villa and you can just see the cogs working in her head.
That day is also the day that Kae In’s children’s room opens to the public and it is a success! Choi compliments Kae In and moves on and even the evil In Hee compliments her. Even though she is sarcastic and not the nicest, Kae In still gratefully accepts the comment as she knows that In Hee did mean it. Sang Joon comes in and hands Kae In a bouquet and congratulates her and then says how bad it is that Jin Ho isn’t there. Then in comes Park. He takes Kae In asides and apologizes for what happened. Kae In then apologizes for forgetting what happened to her mother and being selfish in wanting her father’s love and approval (that isn’t selfish, that’s what all children want). Park then says he was wrong and lost in his own feelings, so he had no idea what he was putting Kae In through. Kae In says she knows how much her father loved her mother and Park says that he really loves Kae In, too (a duh moment for me because even when he was being mean, you could see his love and concern for his daughter). Park then confesses he locked the room and got rid of her mother’s pictures to protect Kae In, but he hated that she followed in her mother’s footsteps and hurt herself. He then tells her she did a good job. A nice, touching scene where old hurts are revisited and the two finally become close.
Jin Ho watches this touching scene from a distance, trying his best to keep himself hidden from Kae In. You can tell how happy he is to see her reconcile with her father finally as he knew how much their strained relationship hurt her. Kae In and her father set off back to the room when she notices Jin Ho leaving. Kae In tells her dad to go in first and she’ll be right back. She just misses Jin Ho and continues to look for him and tries calling him. This leads her to find him behind a pillar. She calls out and asks why he’s been hanging around. He says he hasn’t and Kae In replies that she knows he’s been there. She calls him a liar and he says that is right, he has lied to her all this time so him being there now can be considered a lie as well. Jin Ho then says it is best if they don’t meet so he will go to Sanggojae and collect his things while Kae In is at the party. This way they have no reason to meet. This hurts them both. He walks away trying not to cry while Kae In watches him leave, trying not to cry as well.
Jin Ho packs up his things at Sanggojae and goes to Kae In’s workshop where he remembers the chainsaw pride incident. Really, the whole house is full of memories of them. From him taking care of the sick Kae In to him first meeting the stuffed lion Jin Ho. He leaves Sanggojae for what he thinks will be the last time, just like when he walked away from Kae In he though that would be the last time as well. However, Choi is giving Kae In one more chance. Choi congratulates her for her success and then says he is giving her one more chance to get Jin Ho back. Kae In says she doesn’t need such a chance and Choi expresses his disappointment and says he will wash his hands of the two if that is the extent of Kae In’s trust in Jin Ho.
Back at Sanggojae, Kae In is cutting up apples for herself and her father. Park teases his daughter for cutting the apple in half and eating that way (versus the smaller slices) and then asks Kae In to do that for him, too, so he can try it. Kae In does and Park looks at the apple and realization dawns. Kae In asks what’s wrong and Park says that Jin Ho’s design looked familiar because it resembled half an apple. This surprises Kae In and she asks if Jin Ho didn’t copy Sanggojae after all. Kae In then remembers when she gave the apple stool to Jin Ho saying it was her apology to him. Park then says that Jin Ho changed his design after meeting Kae In. She jumps up – a woman on a mission. What mission? Kae In is going to get her man back!
While Kae In calls Choi and asks for the directions, Jin Ho is standing by the lake getting drenched in the rain. Up walks In Hee with an umbrella, trying to protect him, but Jin Ho wants neither the umbrella, nor her. In Hee does not like this, but she is more than determined that she will finally get through to Jin Ho. She follows him into the villa and asks if he is all right. Jin Ho says that he is fine, but In Hee feels his forehead and sees that he has a fever. Jin Ho says he’ll be okay once he rests and In Hee insists on finding him some medicine. Jin Ho stops her and says that he wants nothing to do with her because his heart is full of someone else and she is the only thing he can see. In Hee then says she isn’t asking for his heart right away. Just give her a year or two and they could even develop a love-hate relationship (this girl keeps making herself more and more pathetic). Jin Ho gets up and In Hee asks where he is going and he says that since she refuses to leave, the is going to sleep in his car. Burn!
Kae In heads towards the villa, surprised to see In Hee leaving. Needless to say neither one wants to see the other at that exact moment. In Hee asks if Kae In is there to see Jin Ho and Kae In asks what In Hee is doing there. In Hee says that since Kae In left Jin Ho’s side, why wouldn’t she try to fill the vacant spot (again she sounds rather pathetic). Kae In stands her ground and says that between her and Jin Ho, there is no room for In Hee. This makes In Hee livid and she blows up at Kae In. In Hee asks if Kae In took her in out of pity and to flaunt what she had. Kae In insists that she thought of In Hee as family and In Hee says it was all an act. She was only nice to Kae In so that she could stay in Kae In’s house. Kae In doesn’t believe that it was all a lie, but In Hee insists it was all an act and that she especially hates that Kae In always gets everything. At this point, even though In Hee insists she hates Kae In, you can tell that deep down the unlikeable vixen does love her friend. Kae In then calls In Hee an idiot who can’t recognize just what she really has (too true!).
Kae In rushes into the house, calls out for Jin Ho and searches each room. Guess what? Jin Ho is nowhere to be found. She goes back outside and In Hee tells Kae In that Jin Ho is really sick and is out sleeping in his car. She also confesses that Jin Ho turned her down because all he could see what Kae In and that Jin Ho was hurting a lot. It is a final revenge, and at the same time a moment where these two friends finally bury the last hatchet. Kae In goes to the car and wakes Jin Ho up and manages to get him back in the house. Idiot Jin Ho tells Kae In to leave him alone and Kae In gets annoyed saying she can’t leave him alone in that state. Jin Ho tells her to leave again or she’ll worry her father. Kae In tries to help him more, but he keeps telling her to leave. Kae In agrees and begins to walk away only to have in grab her and tell her not to go. O! M! G! At this point, that is all I can think. Jin Ho is an idiot and Kae In is the bigger idiot. Why? Guess?
Kae In demands to be released and Jin Ho sits up and pulls her down on the bed and hugs her. Major eyeroll here. Totally a disappointing climax. The rising action built kind of well only to fall flat in this moment where the two finally, FINALLY manage to make up and confess that they really do love each other. Kae In’s speech is priceless when she says she chooses trust so it’s okay if Jin Ho lies to her and uses her again. Oh, what a horrible thing to say. Even though we all know that Jin Ho is pretty innocent of most charges, to say that she is okay with that, I half expected Jin Ho to give his pride speech again, but no. The two then finally consummate their love and for once it was too awkward. I guess the right moment finally arrived. Sang Joon and Young Sun would be so happy if they knew.
The two bask in the afterglow and are finally happy. Jin Ho confesses that he wished they would invent a time machine so he could go to the past and convince Kae In that the accident with her mother wasn’t her fault. Kae In says it isn’t necessary as he is by her side and that is all she needs. They then head back to Sanggojae where Park invites a worried Jin Ho in to talk. Jin Ho confesses everything and Park challenges him to a drinking contest (LMAO! how typical in these dramas). Jin Ho takes up the challenge despite a worried Kae In’s protest. I think that situation was tidied up a little too quickly, but at least we had some softening on Park’s side beforehand, so it was to be expected.
Everyone is happy that Kae In and Jin Ho are back together and they celebrate over a lunch that Kae In made. Jang Mi comes in and is not happy to see Kae In there. Jang Mi meets with Kae In and says that she still doesn’t find Kae In acceptable. Kae In says she knows this and then talks about just how hard Jin Ho’s life is. Kae In then says how much Jin Ho loves his mother and how envious she is of Jang Mi’s and Jin Ho’s relationship. She then tells Jang Mi that she would love to have that kind of relationship with her as well. The no mother card tugs at Jang Mi’s heart and she asks Kae In to come over some time (seems way too unbelievable, though).
We then see Chang Ryul’s and Jin Ho’s final proposals. Both designs make it into the final two, but it is Jin Ho who wins in the end. He is shocked, yet totally happy. Han is livid, but Chang Ryul gracefully accepts the defeat and disappointment. An anxious Kae In waits outside where Chang Ryul tells her the good news and also tells her that he is finally letting her go for good. He walks away and Jin Ho comes out and the two smile at each other. Kae In congratulates him and Jin Ho asks how she liked his apology. Kae In says that she liked if very much. They then drink to celebrate. Jin Ho tries to convince Kae In to sing versus taking the drinking penalty, but Kae In drinks instead. You’d think Young Sun would remember what a lousy drinker her best friend is, but no.
Jin Ho ends up carrying the drunk Kae In back to Sanggojae. Her father scolds him for keeping her out so late drinking and then asks Jin Ho to hand Kae In over. Jin Ho initially refuses, but then hands Kae In over. Since Kae In is about Park’s height, if not a little taller, he can’t carry her and practically falls over. Jin Ho keeps a firm grip on Kae In and takes her to her room and tucks her in. When he leaves, Park tells him that he has not officially accepted him yet, but asks Jin Ho to watch over Kae In as Park has to return to London to tie up some loose ends. He may not have complete faith in Jin Ho, but he has enough to believe that he won’t do anything to hurt Kae In anymore.
Jin Ho and Kae In are happy and free. They enjoy going on dates and Jin Ho finally proposes! He has a bunch of kids go up to Kae In and hand her balloons. He then goes to hand her one more and proposes. Kae In lets go of the balloons, ruining Jin Ho’s plans. Why? The engagement ring was tied to the last balloon he gave her! Kae In gets on Jin Ho’s shoulders and the two struggle to get the ring back, finally succeeding. Looks like nothing can stop the happy couple anymore.
Jin Ho visits Choi who says he’ll be lonely without Jin Ho and Kae In. Jin Ho vows to visit often and Choi says that he has learned to be brave and to go face the world thanks to Jin Ho and Kae In. Jin Ho then meets with Chang Ryul who is going to China. Chang Ryul says he will be there for a few years, but he might decide to stay there permanently. Chang Ryul then thanks Jin Ho for giving Mirae the actual construction task for the Dam project. Jin Ho says that his firm couldn’t possibly handle it. Chang Ryul asked why and Jin Ho said because Mirae was the company his father built. Chang Ryul then talks about how friendly they were once. When they were kids their families went on a camping trip and he and Jin Ho collected bugs. Chang Ryul still has that bug collection. He then says how they could have been great friends if it hadn’t been for his father. Jin Ho then tells Chang Ryul to call him when he comes back from China and Chang Ryul scoffs about how hard it would be for Jin Ho to let him visit the newlwed home. Jin Ho agrees, but not because Chang Ryul was his rival, but because Kae In can’t cook (LOL! I want these two to be friends as I could tell it really was more Han than Chang Ryul who had true animosity towards Jin Ho).
And what else is there? Oh, yes. Young Sun is pregnant with her second child all thanks to Sang Joon. Her husband got so jealous of their relationship, that’s how baby two got conceived. Sang Joon confesses to Young Sun that he is utterly terrified of her husband and Young Sun replies that everything is okay because he thinks Sang Joon is gay. It’s funny to see how close these two still are. Their closeness is definitely something else. If Young Sun hadn’t been married, something just might’ve developed there. Young Sun sets Sang Joon up and he runs into In Hee. Both their arranged dates were busts so they go out drinking together and decide to date. Totally random. Tae Hoon has finally won over Hye Mi and of course Jin Ho and Kae In give their final weather reports. Things aren’t perfect and there will be trials to come, but they have each other now. Good for them.
Final thoughts: The initial synopsis for this drama was that Jeon Jin Ho moves into Sanggojae with the ulterior motive of getting the girl. That synopsis is no where near the truth. Jin Ho moves into Sanggojae to study it for help in landing the Dam project. He never claimed to be gay, it was an assumption that Kae In herself made. The fact that Jin Ho kept denying this fact is blatantly ignored when he comes out of the closet. Also, saying that Jin Ho was deliberately using Choi is again wrong. He only confessed to be gay because he genuinely did not want to see Choi get hurt. Jin Ho never really encouraged Choi’s attentions and affections, but he still got flak for that. That would have to be one of my biggest problems with this drama.
Another problem comes with Jin Ho taking all of the blame upon himself for everything. It is really Sang Joon that was the instigator and who actually pretended to be gay and Jin Ho’s lover. It is Sang Joon who tried to take things a step further each time while Jin Ho did his best to reign him in. I know that Jin Ho was sorry for hurting Kae In and making her pathetic in front of her father, but him just abandoning her in no way made the situation better. Kae In’s stubborn refusal to try to work things out after Jin Ho did his final lie was also very frustrating.
So much of this drama was spent on the budding relationship, that it seemed the Dam project that Jin Jo was supposed to be furiously competing for was never on the forefront of his mind of the agenda. Although this was a good drama and really showed some great acting skills on Lee Min Ho’s, Son Ye Jin’s, and Kim Ji Suk’s parts, it fell flat. Bringing Professor Park in at the very end seemed a bit too rushed and the whole Kae In recalling the accident with her mother just didn’t jive well as it was there and then gone way too fast. This drama would have done better if there was a little more thought and planning going in to it. So much focus on the relationship actually slowed things down considerably and made the ending too rushed. I do not like how a lot of dramas show what happened to everyone and you have to wonder just how things happened like that. But oh well.
Overall, it was an enjoyable, yet frustrating ride. Full of laughs, me screaming at the deliberate misunderstandings, and a happy ending that was believable for the most part, though way too perky and happy with everyone finding someone (with the exceptions of Chang Ryul and Choi). This weather forecast is finally over. I can’t believe I made it to the end in recapping things. Cheers!