The Final Chocolate Bite
There’s been tears, there’s been laughter and there’s been a whole load of poignant montages along the way but after 15 episodes we finally arrive at Chocolate’s finale. With a lot of the loose threads tied up last time out, Chocolate delivers a happy ending with plenty of hope and promise for the future and some nice closure for a lot of our characters.
The season finale to Chocolate begins with Kang and Cha wandering around a chocolate shop and eventually sitting together to eat the delicious varieties on offer. As they sit together, Cha questions whether the woman who gave her chocolate at the department store was Kang’s mother, which he laughs away. Meanwhile Tae-Hyeon heads out with Hui-Na and they go shopping for a car while her health continues to deteriorate.
Kwon heads out to the seaside with Seon-Ae where he tells her he thought he needed to work hard to make her happy. After splashing in the water together, they talk by the sea where she tells him she wants to learn to be a chef. While Kwon takes a call, while his back is turned Seon-Ae seemingly has another memory lapse and hurries away from the restaurant. She sends a text to Kwon while riding the bus though, telling him she wants him to be happy as tears run down her cheeks.
Grandma Han wakes up and tells the family she has no intention of heading back to work. Desperate to clear the air, Hye-Mi and Kang meet where she tells him what happened with Jun in the past and how she sacrificed everything for him. It’s here we see her perspective of what happened with the company and given she worked tirelessly to make Geosung what it is today, she laments his birth-right as the reason he should be allowed to take over. He agrees with her too, telling her that Geosung belongs to those who sacrificed and he’s not interested in the job – Hye-Mi can have it.
However, this will only apply if she keeps the hospice active and exactly as it is without destroying it. As he relays this news on to Jun, he tells Kang that he’s surprised but knows that the people at the hospice changed him. Outside the hospice itself, Yeong-Sil stares at Dae-Sik, sitting opposite him and taking the words right out of his mouth. As his lip trembles, he tells her he hasn’t got much time and laments that he didn’t arrive sooner to tell her how he feels. They embrace and share tears together in a really touching scene.
Meanwhile, Kang heads home and sees the state of his apartment and begins tidying up. Afterward, he and Cha-Young both cook meals until Cha receives a call from her Mother that throws her off-guard. After receiving a package, Kang turns the lights on and admires his handywork for his own birthday. As Cha arrives they celebrate his birthday and he kisses her tenderly as they share a wonderful evening of drinking and eating.
While staring longingly into one another’s eyes however, Cha asks Kang whether they should run away together. It’s here she mentions that her Mum is a horrible person and tried contacting her. After some deliberation she decides to meet her Mum, who orders herself an expensive steak and continues to bad-mouth Cha’s Father. As she begins to weave her story, her Mother fails to show a shred of remorse about what’s happened in her life and worse, is forced to leave midway through thanks to moneylenders. It’s here she stands up for herself and tells her they’ll meet in 10 years and when they do, she’ll tell her whose life is on track.
Kang messages her as she stands alone and it turns out he was sitting in the restaurant the whole time, listening. As he holds her hands, the pair go their separate ways for now as Cha heads home and wallows in self pity, needing time to recover from what’s happened. He promises to be there for her and watches over her from afar, as he has done for much of the episode.
Meanwhile Lee Jun tends to a woman who passes out on the floor at a museum. She’s rushed to hospital and Lee Jun tags along with her, using his medical expertise and seemingly deciding on his fate in the process. Director Kwon finds his purpose too, heading back home and embracing Seon-Ae, telling her that what’s done is done and he hasn’t even had a chance to enjoy a meal she’s prepared yet.
Back at the hospice, an old man asks Kang to head out for pizza and he decides to go with him without a moment’s hesitation, bringing back memories of what happened with Mr Kim earlier in the series. Meanwhile, Tae-Hyeon continues Hui-Na’s legacy after she passes away, heading down to the coast and telling the avid viewers to cherish every moment that comes by with a beautiful quote. As Tae-Hyeon remembers her memory, Yeong-Il sits with Dae-Ki and makes the most of his final days, singing with him while they wear identical clothes and she calls him her boyfriend.
After a really lengthy montage we return to the scenes in Greece from earlier in the series but with more context this time around. Kang wanders through the streets looking for Cha-Young and as he heads to the various different locales we saw in the early episodes, we receive further clips from the past as Kang tries to find his lover. Eventually he does after racing on his bike down to the shore where he finally finds Cha staring out at the ocean.
He asks her whether she got some rest and as we zoom out from Greece, he tells her he missed her and holds her hand as they walk up the shoreline together, having escaped Korea and seemingly now able to live their happily ever after. A beautiful montage of all those touched and changed by the hospice and food bows us out nicely for the end of the series. The post-credits scene then show the cast and crew (along with a whole group of cute kids) eating food and reveling in the joy this brings with it.
We get a happy ending! There were a few moments where the series threatened to spill over into sadness and especially during the scenes with Cha’s Mother, this could so easily have spilled over into pretty dramatic and tense moments. Alas, instead we receive a much more straight forward 70 minutes of drama and an episode that rounds things out nicely and delivers a satisfying send-off for all our characters. Although the situation with Cha’s senses remains a bit of a question mark hanging over our characters, given she’s managed to draw on her life experiences to push past this is enough to easily overlook it.
Chocolate has been a wonderful Korean drama and one that perfectly captures the significance of food and how important it can be to the well-being of people from all different walks of life. From crossing language barriers (Susan and Michael) to rekindling an emotion lost years before (Mr Kim), Chocolate has managed to weave these ideas across the 16 episodes in the best possible way to make for a really thought-provoking, beautiful and reflective Korean drama. While it may not be the heartbreaking affair it so easily could have been, Chocolate bows out with a wonderful finale nonetheless that’s certainly made the ride up until this point worth it.
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