1. One Year Later and an Anniversary
Okay, this one would qualify as an overused plot device in my opinion, but one that I just have to get used to and make my peace with. What do I speak of? The flash forward final episode. Just when we are sitting there wondering how they're going to resolve everything that needs to be resolved in the final hour, they pull this device out on us. The whole "xxx amount of time later" ploy. Okay, whatever. Annoying? Yes. Overused? Uh huh. Lazy way of wrapping things up? Maybe sometimes. But I'm not going to get any more in to it right now other than pointing it out so that in the future, if it doesn't already bug you right now, it most certainly will the next time it's glaring at you with its drama cliche-ness. You're welcome. >:-}
We jump to the future - the year 2014. We see Dok Mi working...at an office with other people! Yay! She's emerged from her hidey hole and is back out in the world kicking butt and taking names! And looking mighty fab while doing it I must add. Look at how gorg she is! I love her hair like that. And to see a smile on her face is like watching kittens frolic in a field of flowers on a bright, sunny day. And what's this we see? Lookie there! It's Enrique's book and it's apparently doing well. Well, good for him! And for Dok Mi, editor extraordinaire. When she walks out of work, guess who greets her. Enrique? Nope. Jin Rak. Whah? They smile and start talking about a one year anniversary. Double whah? Ooh. Tantalizing and oh so interesting. What's the story? Well, let's jump back and see for ourselves shall we?
2. Schooling the Fanclub and Ending the Past
We go back to where we left off - the confrontation between Enrique and his out-of-control fan club. He stands up for Dok Mi, points out that his dreams are not their dreams, and that right now, she is the most important priority in his life and his new dream. He also confesses to loving her right then and there in front of the game addicts. He scolds them for their slanderous ways and more or less tells them to get a life.
3. Goo-Goo Eyes
Enough of the serious drama stuff for a moment. Let's spend some time with these two. Jin Rak and Dong Hoon go to meet with their boss about changing the webtoon. Dong Hoon and the boss start making goo-goo eyes at each other, which Jin Rak spots.
4. A New Love Story
Jin Rak would like to end the Flower Boy Next Door webtoon. He's moving on from his one-sided love, recognizing that he doesn't quite know what love is, and wanting to protect Dok Mi at the same time, who has come under fire for her involvement with him. Instead, after seeing what is going on between his roommate and boss, he proposes a new love story about a hard-working guy and gal, both of which have a difficult time but are able to find love with each other. They realize that JR is talking about them and both pause to ask the question, "are we in love?" They then look at each other and it dawns on them, that, wow, yes, I guess we are. So so so so so stinkin' cute! I love these two so much! They saved this drama when even the sheer amount of eye candy wasn't quite enough for some.
5. Sorry Thank You Love
Dok Mi and Enrique are at the shore together, rekindling and building their relationship. And finally communicating. They start by playing a word game. Enrique, after leaving Korea as a child, would play vocabulary-based word games with his mom in order to keep up on his Korean. He and Dok Mi play one together that I'm going to call "Sorry, Thank You and Love". They have to come up with sentences that properly use each of these phrases. Dok Mi starts. She's sorry for pushing him away, thankful to him for not giving up and for finding her. And then comes the love part. Enrique is desperately hoping and waiting for her to finally confess that she loves him, but she playfully instead credits him for helping her to love herself.
6. Redemption of the Muppet Hunter
Do Hwi. Oh Do Hwi. What a character you have been. Through most of this show I despised you. I thought there was no redemption for what you put Dok Mi through. Honestly though, now that we're here at the end, I must admit that I love what they did here with you. You are redeemed, sort of. I appreciate that it wasn't complete. You were still wrong in the past, but you're making up for it now. I can respect that. As Dok Mi's name is being smeared online and things about the past are surfacing, Do Hwi goes on the defensive, standing up for Dok Mi and saying how all of the rumors from the past were false and how hurt she is by them and to please stop. She shows remorse and a sense of conscience. While not magically changed into a purely ideal person, she still manages to turn fairly decent. My hat's off to her for coming around. Hey, I have to give credit where credit is due. We need to be willing to forgive, forget and move on.
7. Serenade and Confession
We're back at the beach. Night has fallen and Enrique and Dok Mi are sitting around the campfire. Enrique serenades her with a love song. This finally gets Dok Mi to confess. She does so by showing him something that she created for him called "Her world". She tells him how he has become her world. Then she announces that she wants to do her "Sorry, Thank You, Love" turn over again. She's sorry for just now confessing, thanks him for becoming her world, and at long last, says those three little words that he has been waiting patiently to hear. I loved how overcome he was by her confession. He's speechless and so un-Enrique as he processes all the many feels he's experiencing.
8. I'll Wait
After the confession, Dok Mi tells him that he needs to go back to Spain but that she'll wait for him.
9. The Mystery of the Suddenly Empty Room
I missed the transition here while watching. I'm going to go out on a limb and just assume that they are on a trip together and staying at some house of some sort. We go from the beach to a room we've never before seen. Where they are is not really explained, at least not that I caught. Anyway, so they're in this room, together and it's nighttime. Dok Mi falls asleep on the couch. Enrique covers her with a blanket. (See how this whole episode is like reliving moments that have happened in the past?) She then wakes and in turn covers him with a blanket. Then, in the next shot, they're both gone. The room is suddenly empty. Without explanation. Are we to assume what I think we are to assume? Two people one moment are on the floor, next shot they're not anywhere to be found and then we fade to black. Is this drama for "they be doin' it?" Again, I'm going to be bold and go out on my bold branch here and say definitively, yes. Yes they were. They were off in another room getting to know each other a little better. You can be sure there was some hanky panky going on. What? You have a better explanation of the mysteriously empty room? I'd love to hear it. No, actually I wouldn't. I'd actually love to believe that I'm right and there was some lovin' going on between our love birds. And you know you would too.
10. Back to the Future
We now go back to the beginning where we started. It's the year 2014. Dok Mi leaves work and Jin Rak is there. And we learn that the one year anniversary is for the security guard/building owner and apartment 404's madam. There's an anniversary party with the whole gang, minus Enrique, back together again. And looks like the 4th floor is getting a new resident. Apt 404 will soon be vacant when Madam marries Security Guard/Owner and look who's moving in? Our favorite boss of the webtoon, minus her trademark dark circles of course! Her entrance is perfect, especially when she orders Jin Rak to move "right now!" and then snuggles up with Dong Hoon while they both wear matching couple tops. So, we now know the fate of most of our cast. The old people are getting married, Dong Hoon and his lady love are going strong and Watanabe is moving on and heading to Africa to learn African cuisine. (It was Africa right? I'm not remembering that wrong, am I?) So, what about Jin Rak? Well, as luck would have it, he's looking for a new partner in the webtoon biz. The candidate he is interviewing is perfect for the job and he hires her. She then asks if she can work at home. Looks like we have a new Dok Mi. She's pretty and just his type, and better yet, not attached to a gamer from Spain. Like a match made in socially awkward heaven! And how about Do Hwi? She's still on the hunt. Her interest is suddenly piqued in a hot bartender when she learns that he is rumored to be the son of a CEO trying to make it on his own merit in the world. She sees dollar signs and starts shamelessly flirting. Nice to see that she is in essence the person she always was, and lucky for her, this one is actually charmed by her BS. See, there really is someone for everyone, isn't there? We end with everyone merrily skipping down the street together.
Oh wait a minute! Did I skip a part? Silly me! ^_^ Yes, yes, yes. What about Enrique and Dok Mi? How does their story end? Well, we start with a letter in which Enrique tells her that he's going to be staying in Spain longer than anticipated. I smell a ruse, don't you? Sure enough, who should be looking back at her from across the way when she glances out her window, but a tall, dark and handsome man. She's shocked. She breaks out the binoculars, and, true to form, it's Enrique, letting her know in his Enrique way that he sees her looking at him. Remember how we're replaying everything over again, right? I thought it was cute and a perfect way to end the drama. Instead of hiding in her room as she did in the beginning, however, this time she runs out to the street to meet him.
There they are, face to face once again. And then, cue the angels above, we get a kiss! After the hard time I gave her earlier for her past kiss scenes, I most certainly applaud Park Shin Hye here. She did it. She got it right. We get a real kiss out of her! Now, granted, the cameras still move more than she does, but I'll take it. Her eyes are closed, she looks happy (as one who is liplocked with Yoon Si Yoon should only look), and she's kissing him back, in earnest. Hallelujah! We did it! See the power we netizens wield? We wanted a decent kiss out of her for once and lo and behold, we got it! Yay Park Shin Hye! You've done it! You've broken out of your too-innocent girl mold and become a grown up in the space of a few episodes. I'm so proud! What a perfect end to this drama. I won't pick at it any more, I'll take it, happily and with gratitude.
12. A Final Nod of Respect to Our Poor 2nd Male Lead
I wanted my last Drama Dozen moment to be special. So, instead of ending with the final scene, I instead end this with a special tribute to our 2nd Male Lead who represents every 2nd male lead of note. You know the ones I speak of. The 2nd male leads that we love and adore, just as much as if not more than our leading guy. The guy who inevitably gets his heart broken. Our poor, tragic, 'how can someone so perfect not find love?' guy. Jin Rak, aka Kim Ji Hoon, this last one is for you. Let's take a moment to appreciate you. You and your ruggedly handsome for a flower boy looks. Your tender soul. Your understanding and support and self-sacrificing ways. You gave up your love for the one you love when you recognized that you weren't the one she needed. You join your brothers in the 2nd Male Lead Hall of Fame. You've earned it. Your spot in history as well as your spot in our collective hearts. Way to go man, way to go. You, my friend, are indeed a class act. Thank you for everything.
And with that, I am done. Flower Boy Next Door has been reviewed in its entirety. What is your final take on this drama? For me, it was good. Not my favorite, but I don't regret it. It wobbled at points, but still was able to pull through in the end. I really enjoyed the final episode and that's a big deal to me. I appreciate when a drama can end on a strong note. It wrapped itself up nicely, with a pretty kiss for a bow on top. It was a fun little ride and I thank you for riding it along with me.
As far as what comes next, I have no idea. I'm probably going to take a week or so to figure it out. I enrolled myself in an online class and have been severely neglecting that, so I think I'm going to focus on that more for the time being. Maybe. We'll see. I'm still undecided. How would you feel about me reviewing an older show that maybe you haven't seen? There's one I have in mind that isn't well known, but is acclaimed to be amazing that I have been meaning to start. It's more of a melo though, so I don't know. When I get my stuff all figured out, I'll let you know, but I'm always open to suggestions and requests. We've done it in the past and could do it again. Not that I'm promising I'll review anything you want, but I will most certainly take it under advisement ;)
Okay, enough with the stalling. It's always so hard to say goodbye at the end of a drama. We spend so much time together with them that it's difficult to sign off for that final time. Thank you for watching this one with me and for your patience during those times I didn't get my reviews up as fast as I wanted to. As always, we appreciate your support more than you'll ever know! Many thanks to each of you!