Explanations have never been a strong part of "That Man Oh Soo" and I never had any expectations otherwise for the final episode. I figured there would be some weird loophole used to explain how Oh Soo could save Yoo-ri without killing himself, when Oh Soo had already initiated the whole noble suicide process. But what exactly that loophole was, um...I'm still not sure. Somehow "That Man Oh Soo" manages to get to the end without explaining what happened even to Yoo-ri, so of course we get nothing either.
Although aesthetic problems, rather than logical ones, are the real issue with the ending. We get the whole trope of Oh Soo and Yoo-ri meeting again in different circumstances, the implication being that the same love story will start anew. But this ignores how the critical dynamic between Oh Soo and Yoo-ri revolved around their mutual antagonism, and how they kept running into each other because they lived in the same neighborhood.
That's fully irreconcilable with watching these two meet again on a beach, years later, by apparent coincidence. Was Yoo-ri's relationship with Oh Soo really ever even deep enough to sustain that kind of an extended moody break-up? Difficult as it may be to remember now, the very first cliffhanger in "That Man Oh Soo" was about Yoo-ri getting dumped by her long-term boyfriend. The humor then was in watching Yoo-ri try to cope with that while Oh Soo looked on in irritation.
During the scene where Oh Soo was trying to wake up Yoo-ri again, I kept watching in expectation of some sort of callback or reference to that first episode. I halfway wondered whether Oh Soo and Yoo-ri meeting again like this was going to trigger some sort of time paradox. But nothing of the sort happened. We're just left with Yoo-ri acting depressed for awhile and Oh Soo not having much screen time at all and bam, there's the ending.
The subplots are of equally little help. None of the other characters have even so much as a pretense of character growth. The big wedding is never actually seen, the implication being that neither of the side couples were plausible for that purpose. Why wasn't anything in "That Man Oh Soo" ever built up to? That's what I really can't figure out. There were all these establishing scenes and plotlines, yet no follow through. No wonder the ending proved to be so half-baked.
Review by William Schwartz
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Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "That Man Oh Soo" Episode 16 (Final)"
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