Nine: Finale Thoughts

After weeks of squeeing and bawling and all around madness, our journey with Nine has come to an end.  Taking a 2012-overused device, the Nine team created a thrilling, heart-wrenching, broken, and ultimately love-worthy world populated by just as equally imperfect and moving people.  From start to finish, we were left guessing and grasping at straws.  We were taken to the greatest heights of giddiness, and then ruthlessly cast down to the deepest depths of darkness and despair.  And, in the end, we were presented with a love that refused to be conquered – with a belief in oneself and in one’s love that refused to back down and instead dared to demand a happy ending.




Despite all the time traveling and incense stick burning and evil Dr. Choi hunting, what we ultimately have in Nine is a story of love.  Everything started because of Sun-woo’s love for his family – for his brother and for his parents.  Despite the betrayal he had felt as a child, he had continued to love his brother.  And when he got the chance to bring happiness to Jung-woo’s life, he grabbed that chance with both hands and never let go.  He did all that was in his power to piece his broken family back together.  He fought for justice not because Choi Jin-chul deserved it – though he certainly did.  Sun-woo spent all those years digging into the man’s background because it wasn’t just any evildoer committing everyday crimes – it was personal.


But what started as a crusade for his family became much more – so much more.  It became a battle to reclaim the love of his life.  A lot of people have complained that the emotions, the feelings, the passion is just not there between Sun-woo and Min-young. Any luffy moments are few and far in between, and it isn’t until the last few episodes that we get some solid sweet time.  But it’s the idea of such a doomed love that really gets to me.  With a single phone conversation, Sun-woo did for me what 50 episodes sometimes cannot do: break my heart.

Do you want to hear facts or fantasy?  You want facts?  When I heard that I was going to die soon, two thoughts entered my head.  One was ‘Mother’.  “Who will take care of my mom if I die?  Oh no.”  That thought.  That was why I went in search of my brother – to ask him to take care of Mom.

The other was “If I die, I die – but before then, let’s film a hot bed scene with Joo Min-young,” or something along those lines.  I was taken aback as well.  There are so many beautiful women in the world.  The models in my computer file “S”.  It wasn’t the glamorous female announcers who flirted with me.  I had no idea why I thought I wouldn’t be able to die in peace if I didn’t film a bed scene with Joo Min-young, whom I had never once thought was sexy.

What do I do, those are the facts?  If you end up dating someone later, remember my words.  If a guy tells you he’ll be content his whole life just seeing your smiling face, he’s a con man.  If there’s a guy that says things like me, then marry him – because he’s a very honest man.

Are you disappointed?  You want to hear fantasy?  The past five years, Joo Min-young was only a dumb junior (hoo-bae) who had so much to learn but only knew how to act like a girl.  But it was only when I learned that I was soon dying that I realized this: I had loved her all through those five years.  I learned that I had never not loved her, even for a moment – but it was too late.  So I wanted to spend my last few months with her, doing everything for her.  I feared I would never see her bright smile again if she knew of my illness.  That’s why I tried to keep it a secret.  What’s so important about a stupid smile?  I’m putting everything I have into making energy, but several times a day, I feel like crying.  It’s not a stupid smile.  It is everything to me right now.

In the beginning, it was the idea of too little too late.  He had loved her for 5 years, but he didn’t realize the depth of his love until he had all of 6 months left to show her how much he loved her.  And then it became a nightmare of a battle with his own self.  It’s the same dilemma we see day in and day out, but it never loses its punch, nor does the solution ever become clearer.  Do I fight for my own happiness?  At the expense of others’?  Or do I stay silent and let the world continue on its present course?  And once one person learns the truth, do we both just keep calm and carry on?  Or do we bite the bullet and charge forward?


I am still flummoxed with respect to the ending and I don’t think I’ll be figuring out anything anytime soon.  If ever.  I really ain’t a fan of open endings, and I was NOT pleased with the way things ended.  Too many unanswered questions leaving me still in a doozy.  But to be fair, I can appreciate the revisiting of the opening scene, where Jung-woo is lying in the snow in Nepal and a shadow falls over him.  For the duration of the entire show, it was the one thing that really continued to remain in the back of my mind, and though I have noooo idea what in the world the big reveal means, I want to just skew everything and cram everything into ill-fitting boxes to create my happy ending.

Ultimately, that’s what the writers left us with in the end anyway.  As our grown-up 1993 Sun-woo gets ready to fly out to Nepal (after learning that the 2013 Sun-woo died 20 years ago), he tells the 2013 Sun-woo (in narration):

…[T]hen “fantasy” must be the hope that I can rescue you and that Min-young won’t become unhappy because of me.  If you were in my shoes, what would you have done?  As for me, I want to make things as simple and clear as possible.  So.  Believe in the fantasies you want to believe in, and love the woman you want to love.

And that is why I want to believe that everyone got their happy ending.  Our 1993 Sun-woo changed his future by refusing to change his past, by refusing to give in to the lure of the incense stick.  And as for that wonky epilogue that I was waiting for?  Ummm, that can be 2013 Sun-woo magically come back to life and rescuing his bro before racing off to get married so Min-young isn’t left standing at the altar.  Logic be damned.



16 responses to “Nine: Finale Thoughts

  1. I just finished the final episode and boy, it was AWESOME. It is an open ending but the concept of time traveling isn’t something that can be explained easily, so I find the ending satisfactory. In the time traveling of Nine, the past, present, and future move in parallel to each other and the older Sunwoo who saved 2013-Jungwoo might come from the future. Ah, I’m sad that the drama has ended but it will be a memorable drama for me :’)

    • i’m still flummoxed and i don’t think i’ll ever quite figure out what in the world went down… or what i’m feeling 😉 but strangely enough, i think this weird feeling is what ‘fits’ with the open ending, so i’m just gonna leave it as is! hahahahaa!! 😀

  2. Love the drama and love the ending. i’m ok with the open ending because there wasn’t enough time to explain everything in just one episode plus we get sweet and happy and hot scenes between SW and MY. as you said this drama is all about love: the love of SW for his family, the love of YH and SW as best friends ever, the love of CM and SW as a father/son relationship and of course the Love of MY and SW… even if everything changes in every reality the love stays the same
    as much as MY was always open in her love demostrations to SW is SW’s love for MY that always breaks my heart, so sad yet so brave… he finally decides to be happy with his family and MY and i’m with him, so i believe that they won’t use sticks and live happy together 🙂
    best drama of the year so far and one of the best dramas i’ve ever seen… i miss it already

    • yesyesyes so true! i reaaaally loved the relationship between sun-woo and the director and sun-woo and young-hoon… it was just so special 🙂
      i’m just gonna believe the two are living happily ever after with babies running around the house and sun-woo doing the housework while min-young takes the broadcasting company by storm… lolol 😀

  3. It is easy to understand.

    SW from 1993 found out from MY that SW from 2013 died while going back to 1993. He then, knwoing all the facts and not having reasons to go back in time like 2013 SW had (His brother was in jail but he didn’t lost contact, Choi didn’t got successful, he didn’t die of brain tumor because he found out from SW from 2013), so he did not use the stick and did not go to past (and maybe kept it to use it 20 years later saving his brother JW on himalayas) .

    By past SW not going to 1993 – This made the SW from 2013 that died on 1993 come back to life, because his ”past” SW didn’t go to past, so he didn’t die and saved 2013 SW….

    Eveytime someone from the past did something different and changed the life of people at 2013? Even JW come back from the dead. So SW also came back from dead, and I imagine he married and had a happy life with MY in the future timeline.

    A bit confusing, but I think it was a great end ^^

    • weeeelcome to the Patch, liz!! 😀 your explanation totally makes sense… a lot of the korean media mentioned that the sun-woo who rescues his bro in the mountains was an ‘old’ sun-woo, i.e., he was middle-aged. so they were saying that the 1993 sun-woo used 1 stick 20 years later to go back and save his bro in the mountains so that none of the whole shebang had happened… oh my, just thinking about it again makes my brain hurt lolol! thank youuu for your lovely explanation and for joining us here at our madhouse, liz! we hope you continue your dramaland journey with us!! 😀 😀

  4. Omg its the finale and I do love it! great drama with much more scenes loving this! I want more so sad it was the end, and I love the phone conversation u wrote I cried on that scene :(( what korean drama u watched now I enjoy I summon gold and a bit disappointed for when a man’s inlove :S

    • heheheee my new twitter friend jean segovia! i cried, too… *sigh* nothing new for his watering pot lol! ^^
      yesyesss i’m officially on “gold” and nooot on “when a man loves” 😉

  5. The finale…kinda left me hanging emotionally. I really bought the romance, so I definitely appreciated the shippy scenes BUT I couldn’t completely be happy because all my emotions were invested in the ‘original’ SW and MY and YH, and I cant help but feel like they were left to live their lives in heartbreak. But I guess now thinking about it, does the ending mean that since new SW didnt time travel, all the shit that was ep 1-19 will be erased in original SW’s time and the original gang will still have their happy ending? And gosh the wedding, they totally played with our hearts with that. The scene with Shi-Ah and SW was just cruel. It was brilliant, but so so cruel.

    • weeeelcome to our Patch, emilyrliu93!!! 😀 😀 😀
      i think you really hit it on the spot: i was left hanging emotionally. i adored the fanservice of ep20, but the whole time i kept wondering when we’d get to our ‘original’ sun-woo and min-young… i mean, i know until now that things that were tweaked ‘became’ the original crew’s past, but for some reason, it felt different this time around… the k-media claims the epilogue sun-woo was ‘old’ i.e. he waited 20 (or 19?) years to use an incense stick to go back to the time when jung-woo went to the mountains. so. according to this theory, sun-woo is stopping his bro from dying and stopping the whole entire madness that was eps 1-19… gah, i don’t know anymore. they had a special broadcast where the writer was supposed to reveal the ‘true’ ending, but i haven’t watched it yet and there haven’t been any headlines about it… and ohmygollies yesss the wedding leg-jerker was HORRIBLE and the shi-ah sun-woo rainy conversation was just ACK.
      hahahaa i can go on forever! thank youuu, emilyrliu93, for joining us! hope you continue to ‘garden’ with us!! 😀 😀 😀

      • hahaha omg the way you say “emilyrliu93” kinda makes me wince… I didnt know how to change to a cooler name sighs 😛
        yes! thanks so much for all your writings, I’ll def try to comment more!

  6. Now…. Be a good girl and run off to watch Queen InHyun’s man….
    How could you have not watched QIHM?

  7. That ending was so mind-bending… I loved it! 😉 I feel like time-traveling Sun-woo died… but then didn’t because ’93 Sun-woo survived and the time traveling was all done. (Like how he’d originally died on the operating table… but then didn’t — because the brain tumor was caught early.)

    The mountain-rescue Sun-woo was older — white in his beard and deep eye wrinkles. So my thought on that is Jun-woo of the ’93 version still tried to go back in time to save his father and died. And ’93 Sun-woo waited twenty years then went back and saved him. (But that’s it! No more time traveling so no need to die in a version of the past! Because he and Min-young have kids heading to college and he’s not going to leave her holding the bag like that! *nods firmly*)

    And.. yup. Those are my thoughts. 🙂

    • my mind is forever bent. i don’t think it’ll ever get straightened out 😉
      i really couldn’t go anywhere NEAR the show after that horribly emotionally-left-dry-hanging ending, but one of my kdrama-virgin friends just started watching it… and i think i might go back and try to watch it with her xD it’s a scary thought but becoming closer to being realized lol;)
      i totes vote for kids heading to college! 😀 😀 love your take on the ending and your reaction post, too!! 😀 😀

      • Wow — what a show to choose as your first! (I came in with “Boy Over Flowers” — I suspect “Nine” would leave a… different impression. ;))

        And also, thank you! 😀

        • hahahaa i know, right?! i’m afraid the kdrama experience might end with “nine”, which would be a shame, no matter how great the drama was xD heeeee “boys over flowers”!! ^^ i’m grinning just thinking about the show and the whole watching experience 😉

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