The White Butterfly
Episode 10 of Move to Heaven begins with Sang-Koo fighting in the ring for his life. While he dances around the octagon, Geu-Roo and Na-Moo race to the scene to check on him. When Sang-Koo notices them in the audience, it’s just the distraction his opponent needs to illegally tuck a blade into his glove.
Geu-Roo switches the lights off, grabbing Sang-Koo and saving him from his fate. Bleeding from the head, Sang-Koo promises the others he doesn’t have punch drunk syndrome as they head to the hospital. With them gone, police race to the scene and arrest everyone involved with the gambling den.
It’s clear this experience has traumatized Geu-Roo, who finds himself struggling and having bad dreams.
In the morning, Sang-Koo hears on the news that the gambling den has been completely dismantled. Geu-Roo turns the TV off though, reminding his Uncle that they need to eat. However, a knock at the door brings Lawyer Oh to the fray; Geu-Roo has been avoiding calls from the memorial center and they want him to make a decision with the ashes.
Geu-Roo hurries into his room alone, locking the door and sneaking out the window. With him gone, Na-Moo, her parents and Sang-Koo all hurry out to try and find the boy.
While they’re on the hunt, we receive some telling flashbacks of Geu-Roo as a child. He didn’t speak much as a kid but his first proper words came from the sea life center, where he began to repeat the different fish facts.
Sang-Koo goes hunting at home and finds a picture of Jeong-U as a firefighter in the past. Believing this could hold a crucial clue, he races to the firehouse.
Further flashbacks reveal a traumatic experience where Jeong-U found a child abandoned in a water tank cellar all alone. He checked up on the child and from there, grew a bond to make sure he was okay. Knowing the baby could be sent off to an agency, Jeong-U decided to adopt the child. In fact, Geu-Roo grew to become the mascot at the fire station.
The family were happy, at least for a short while anyway. When his Mum passed, Geu-Roo was beside himself with grief and found it hard to believe that she was gone. Eventually Jeong-U spoke to his son, telling him that his Mother is in his heart and his eyes always.
Back in the present, Sang-Koo eventually finds Geu-Roo a the aquarium of their childhood town. He tells Geu-Roo that the dead still speak and with this confidence, sets to work clearing out his Father’s room.
It’s a really emotional segment, one that sees Geu-Roo finally ready to let go. He finds Jeong-U’s phone and Geu-Roo starts looking through the pictures. Within this, he finds a video intended for Geu-Roo. It’s a beautiful clip; a final goodbye from Jeong-U to his son.
Geu-Roo joins his family and friends as they say goodbye to Jeong-U at the memorial center. A tree is planted, and Geu-Roo hugs it tightly.
Three months pass and the end of the guardianship marks a big decision for Lawyer Oh to make. Unfortunately Sang-Koo is disqualified. At least in Lawyer Oh’s eyes. However, Geu-Roo wants him to continue on as his guardian. He personally asked for him and this sees Sang-Koo drop his tough-guy façade and smile; a genuine, beaming grin to show how grateful he is.
Meanwhile, a girl shows up at Geu-Roo’s house requesting his services for Move to Heaven. A white butterfly lands on her head and eventually flies away.
The Episode Review
The final episode of Move to Heaven is all about saying goodbye. The gambling den issue is resolved pretty quick and, dare I say, underwhelmingly too. Personally I would have liked to see Sang-Koo actually best his opponent in the ring properly.
He could have then had a similar experience to that of Soo-Cheol, with his opponent down but surviving. There could have been a good moment with Sang-Koo helping his opponent up and reflecting back on his time boxing. Instead, that whole subplot just sort of peters out without much fanfare.
However, the rest of the episode perfectly deals with Jeong-U and Geu-Roo’s goodbye. It’s a beautifully cathartic experience, one that sees our young Geu-Roo finally letting go and being at peace with his Father’s passing.
Having Geu-Roo empty his father’s room of belongings is a stroke of genius too, and the entire episode perfectly encapsulates the best parts of this show.
In the end Move to Heaven finishes with a beautifully written finale and although it could have been a little tighter with the gambling den plot, there’s enough to like here nonetheless. The ending perfectly closes everything out, with all of our characters growing and ending at a better place.
This is certainly one of the better Korean dramas of the year and a beautifully written tribute to death and honoring one’s memory.