Dare to Love Me – Season 1 Episode 16 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

The Most Precious Treasure

Dare to Love Me Episode 16 brings us back to the director’s safe house where he packs treasures while his guys re-tie Hong-do. As she screams in terror, Yoon-bok is already outside punching his way through more men in black.

The director makes his crazy excuses for doing this to Hong-do as he commands the guys to pour a gasoline-like liquid around the house and ignite a fire. The last of the men is kicked out of the way as Yoon-bok races into the house. As the fire spreads, he frees Hong-do and they grab a bag of precious items on the way out.

READ MORE: Click for more K-drama and K-movie reviews

As the police arrive, the director escapes into the woods on foot. Yoon-bok spots him and gives chase, leaving Hong-do with emergency services. He catches him, getting into a battle of words with the director who inadvertently admits his involvement in Yoon-bok’s father’s demise.

Back then, his father had wanted to share the beauty of the village treasures with the public, putting them on display. That’s when he’d revealed the jade box. The director started the fire that killed his father and burned his own arm too. But he didn’t get the box back then, merely escaped with the key.

Just as Yoon-bok is about to take his revenge, Hong-do hits the director with a heavy object, knocking him out. She claims she doesn’t have the dignity of a scholar so it’s not an issue to hit a low-life like him. As the police drag him away, the two awkwardly apologize to each other.

The news covers the shocking arrest of the director as Jun-ho watches from his hospital bed. Leader Shin is horrified to hear that he also killed his son – someone he’d worked with for years. In regret, Leader Shin apologizes to Yoon-bok’s mother. Yi-bok finds him at the urn where he apologizes to her too, inviting her back to the village.

On the phone with Yoon-ah, Hong-hak is shocked to see Chil-bok sneaking onto the roof. Hong-do catches them and tells her father to never return to which he agrees. But she quickly changes her tune, wanting him to stay with them. They weep and hug, finally reunited.

Preparing to depart, Camille meets Leader Shin, presenting him with a pile of vitamins. And he shows the pencil box from back then, which he will now proudly display. He also promises to visit her in France.

In their apartment, Hong-do and Hong-hak have a lively dinner with their father. Afterwards, he notices her passport and asks about Yoon-bok but she doesn’t reply. While at the village, Yoon-bok thinks of Hong-do.

Packing their office, the team gets excited about Paris, but Hong-do has mixed emotions. That evening, Yoon-bok arranges to meet her. He tells Hong-do how much he learned from her and that he wants to stay in the village to protect it. He hopes she achieves her dream as well. As they part, Yoon-bok isn’t able to tell her that he loves her.

At the airport, Hong-do leaves her dramatically crying family while Yoon-bok watches planes depart from the village. Then he leads a meeting about the things he’d like to achieve in the village. Leader Lee asks to join the meeting and Yoon-bok brings him back into the fold.

At the police station, Yi-bok’s letter of resignation is submitted while she visits Jun-ho in prison. She apologizes for not seeing his pain and says she’ll return to the village to wait for him. That evening, Yoon-bok meets with his grandfather to discuss the day’s events. Yi-bok joins them, welcomed with open arms. Later Yoon-bok gazes at the moon thinking of Hong-do.

A year later in Paris, Hong-do meets a man wearing the suit she designed and for a moment, thinks it’s Yoon-bok. But it’s someone else. As Hong-do is about to launch her spin-off brand, he asks to introduce it when he appears at Cannes. Back in her office, Hong-do considers calling Yoon-bok but hesitates, instead checking the village news online. While at the village, Yoon-bok thinks of her, especially when he sees a pair of shoes like hers.

But it’s an official come to meet them. They talk of opening the village treasures for the public to view. The official notes that the village recently appeared in French news as Camille’s Korean designer prepares to launch her own brand. Yoon-bok can’t take his eyes off the story featuring Hong-do’s photo.

Sitting in a restaurant, Hong-hak displays his Webtoon of the Year award posting a photo as he celebrates alone. Then Yoon-ah appears to join him and he offers a job as a writer now that he can afford to pay her. She quickly agrees, impressed at his manly handshake.

Yeojudaek and Chil-bok visit Jun-ho in jail, reporting all the happenings in the village. Afterwards, the two go out to lunch using money he earned repairing things. He proposes a long-lasting relationship but she just gets flustered.

At an auction, people bid on vases as the lights suddenly go out. It’s Yoon-bok to investigate counterfeit antiquities but he lets them go – this once. The next day, Grandfather talks of passing the responsibility of the village on to his grandchildren. Wanting to hear their opinion on the most important treasure, they both respond – people. That evening, he thinks of Hong-do once again.

In Paris, she works on a design and in between notes on the news that there’s a new village leader. But clicking through, she finds it’s Yi-bok. What about Yoon-bok? As petals flutter, Yoon-bok appears in traditional dress with a flower for her.


Ending Explained

Why does Jun-ho pair with the Director?

This is never fully explained but it seems likely that the director sponsored Jun-ho from the start, using his childhood anger and grooming him to help steal antiquities from the village.

Why does the Director want the jade box?

Greed. Plain and simple, he sees it – he wants it. He plans to take it, even killing Yoon-bok’s father to get it.

Why does Chil-bok give the key to the Director?

The director threatens Hong-do so Chil-bok immediately complies.

Why is Leader Shin so unbending?

He’s a traditional guy trying to protect a rapidly evaporating tradition.

Why does Yoon-bok dare to love Hong-do?

Rather than resist, it takes him a long time to sort through his feelings. He’s probably had some sort of feelings for her since his academy days. But once he does and realizes she may be interested too, he’s all in, ready to give up his role in the village.

Why does Hong-do want Yoon-bok to treat her carelessly?

Oh, he’s so formal in the beginning. Painfully so. And she’d rather be treated as a contemporary than put on a pedestal, as his life-long teaching impels him to do. While Hong-do would rather romance and an equal relationship.

Does Hong-do go to France?

Yes, she goes to France following her dream. When she’s ready to launch her own line under Camille, it doesn’t look like she’ll be heading back to Korea anytime soon.

Does Hong-do forgive her father, Chil-bok?

Yes, she’s a softie after all. Even while he continues to find himself unworthy, she and Hong-hak welcome him back. Bonus, she knows he’ll keep an eye on Hong-hak while she’s away living her dream.

Do Hong-hak and Yoon-ah end up together?

Maybe not together as a couple but they’re still in touch. In this final episode, he proposes a paid working relationship as a writer/artist duo for the second season of his celebrated webtoon. But I’ll bet it’s more about keeping her close – the webtoon team is icing on the cake.

Do Camille and Leader Shin rekindle?

It’s more like they part as friends. But who knows, if circumstances were to change…. Leader Shin retires from his role in the village after all. Maybe he’s two steps behind Yoon-bok, alighting from the plane in Charles de Gaulle right now.

Who is the guy who wants to introduce Hong-do’s fashion at Cannes?

It’s Youngjae from GOT7. Nice!

Are Youngjae and Kim Myung Soo friends?

Youngjae has a radio show on MBC, ‘Youngjae’s friends’ where Kim Myung Soo appeared a year ago. Catch the show (unfortunately, without English subs) here


The Episode Review

As a romance, Dare to Love Me wraps up nicely both giving the leads an opportunity to set their dreams in motion and after a time, reunite. In fact, most of the romances have come together in some way, with an open future and line of connection. This is especially satisfying for Yi-bok and Jun-ho who need to wait just a bit more until he’s released from prison but a clear path forward, Yi-bok committing to waiting for him.

And now that the crimes are solved, treasures returned and the village is on it’s way to offering more to its residents and the country, Yoon-bok can leave his sister in charge having made progress on his father’s dream. Leader Shin? His grandchildren have made him brand new – enough for him to feel like he can retire with the village in safe hands. Will he go to meet Camille as he’d suggested? That’s not revealed, but why not?

So, now that everything is satisfyingly cleaned up, what do you think? Are you pleased with the fairly neat bow on relationships + comeuppance for criminals? More to come in our full season review. Feel free to add more questions in the comments if you have ’em.


Did you enjoy Dare to Love Me? Are you a fan of ‘L’? Let us know in the comments below.  

Previous Episode

Next Episode

 Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes

 READ MORE: Click for more K-drama and K-movie reviews 


  • Episode Review

Leave a comment