It is an episode of goodbyes as one life comes to an end and others continue on after having loved and learned. The end of this story is the start of others, but the end doesn't mean that its true meaning does not persist. That is what Joon-young means to those he loves and to those who love him. His life was short, but his memory lasts in the hearts of those who cherished him. In that way, the ending of "Uncontrollably Fond" was beautiful. In others, it was rather puzzling.
Joon-young's story came together in this last episode. He appreciated life because of his mortality and that appreciation spread to most people around him, especially Ji-tae and Assemblyman Choi. Their corrupt actions come back to haunt them in the guise of their consciences. Ji-tae's turnabout is easier to believe because he fought for a twisted sense of justice that straightened out. Assemblyman Choi seemed so steeped in his own wrongdoings that his about face was much more awkward. The best part about their mutual acceptance of their wrongs is that their father/son relationship was restored. As for Ji-tae's mother, she was the character who was left without rehabilitation and also left to suffer the consequences of her twisted life choices. Her ending wasn't quite as satisfying because of her lacking character arc. The same holds true for Jeong-eun who has a chance at repentance via a self-sacrificing Ji-tae. I really think the hope for a future between the two was a haphazard ending between them at best and didn't fit the trajectories of their individual and mutual plot threads.
Also, after so much time had been spent on the Jik/Ha-ru romance, I wanted a better finish than the nice and pat acceptance of their fate, especially since Jik is such a great, earnest character. Joon-young's mother, on the other hand, came full circle and that was satisfing. Her understanding of her child grew, she regreted her past decisions and decided to be there when he needed her. It may be late, but she made the change, and that is oh-so-satisfying as well.
As for Joon-young, his appreciation of life and loved ones was so palpable that it carried the bulk of the drama on its shoulders. He changed Eul and gave her a direction to chase besides revenge. She learned to value herself more. He learned to accept love. I wish I could've seen more of them in the early stages because their early romance came off lackluster. The same is true for the progression of his disease. I wanted more severity over more time rather than a rush of sad degradation near the end.
For a pre-produced drama, "Uncontrollably Fond" could've done way more, especially with the development of character. It focused more on beautiful shots and drawing out emotional scenes than on character continuity. There were so many stunted story arcs like that of Joon-young's mother, Assemblyman Choi, Jik, and Jeong-eun. They all had potential that wasn't filled.
In the end, I enjoyed the finale better than I enjoyed the drama as a whole. It felt like a pretty package with precious little inside.
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Note : due to licensing, videos may not be available in your country
Managing editor, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 20 (final)"
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