What happened to Dong-Ma?
Love (ft Marriage and Divorce) bows out its third season with quite the dramatic turn of events. We’ve got the whole episode recapped with our thoughts on that one HERE.
The purpose of this article however, is to discuss the ending involving Dong-Ma. Now, if you haven’t seen the episode yet, turn back now! Big spoilers are discussed below – and we encourage you guys to get involved with your thoughts in the comments below!
So first up, what actually happened at the end of the episode?
The End of Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) Season 3
Throughout the episode two black-robed reapers have been waiting patiently in Dong-Ma’s father’s house, ominously telling ghost Song-Won that someone is going to die – and will do so within the month.
Well, it’s assumed that the one they’re after is Dong-Ma. When he heads into the bathroom at a clothing store, a strange black smoke swirls around him.
Dong-Ma eventually reconvenes his clothes shopping, but from afar the reapers watch as a ceiling panel collapses and lands on his head. Dong-Ma drops on the floor, blood trickling out the side of his head as he seems to be knocked unconscious.
Dong-Ma is rushed to hospital, while the two reapers, now in a sort of semi-human form with swirls for faces, watch over him.
In the ambulance, Dong-Ma sits up, asking who they are… as the season comes to a close.
Is Dong-Ma really dead?
Upon first inspection, all evidence points toward Pi-Young’s husband having passed away. The Reapers confirmed that someone inside the house is going to die within the month. Song-Won initially believed it was going to be Seo-Ban but that hasn’t come to pass.
Dong-Ma is also watched over by those faceless reapers most of the episode too, which appear to have morphed into something quite different by the end.
Dong-Ma has an accident and one would think he’s “awoken” in the afterlife in the ambulance. This is the most likely answer, but let’s explore why that could be wrong and disguised to catch us all off-guard.
Why can Dong-Ma see the Reapers?
Across the seasons, we’ve been given little hints that all is not what it seems in the ghost world. If you’ll remember, little Ji-A managed to see her ghost grandfather in the living room, doing karaoke and just generally acting randomly.
Likewise, we’ve seen various shamans able to see ghosts and, furthermore, the end of this season seems to point toward those who have had ghostly encounters can now see ghosts as well.
Hye-Ryung, for example, was possessed most of this season. When she heads back home again she now notices the ghost boy sitting on the sofa. This could be a subtle hint that Dong-Ma actually does see the ghosts inside the ambulance.
So if not Dong-Ma… then who?
If Dong-Ma isn’t really dead, it could well point toward another individual in the household that may be close to dying. This could be who the Reapers are after.
Dong-Ma’s father, for example, appears to have served his purpose narrative-wise, having patched up his differences with his boys across this season. He’s done. He could be the one the Reapers are after but the month hasn’t passed yet, hence why they disappeared in a wisp of smoke. Dong-Ma’s accident could just be a brush with death but he could be resuscitated and revived through CPR.
It’s clear that he’s not dead in the clothing store, at least not if the paramedics are rushing him to hospital so quickly. It’s fair to say they might have felt a pulse and taken him to the hospital for emergency treatment.
What’s the most likely theory though?
Knowing the writers of this show, it’s fair to say the above theories probably don’t hold much weight. Not only that, those more astute than myself will point out logical flaws with the reasoning around how the ghost world works and why certain individuals can and cannot see them.
The most likely outcome here is, sadly, that Dong-Ma died from a falling ceiling panel. Him waking up in the ambulance is passing to the afterlife, where he’ll likely be taken by these two reapers.
Alternatively, he could hang about and haunt like the others until his “purpose” is done. He could even end up possessing someone else. We’ll have to wait and see if that happens in season 4.
Over to you!
But what about you guys? What do you think happened to Dong-Ma? Is he actually dead? Or do you think the writers could be pulling the wool over our eyes and actually reveal Dong-Ma is still alive?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!