Our Beloved Summer – Episode 16 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Our Beloved Summer

Why did Nu-A’s words affect Choi-ung so much?

Episode 16 of Our Beloved Summer begins the finale with Choi-ung still reeling over Nu-A’s words last episode. The thing is, Choi-ung has always felt like he’s living a “borrowed life” after being abandoned and then adopted.

Throwing himself into his drawing, Choi-ung has felt like he’s living an empty life, using his art as an excuse to bury his own insecurities and issues. The thing is, Nu-A hit the nail on the head. His work does lack the emotion behind it, and it’s taken these harsh critiques to see it.

What is Yeon-Su’s choice?

After all this time, we cut back to the present as Choi-ung makes a big decision. He’s going to start afresh, setting his sights on studying overseas but wanting Yeon-Su by his side while he does. It’s a massive decision, one that sees Yeon-Su decide to give it some thought.

This decision is made all the more difficult by Yeon-Su offered her own opportunity at work. She’s offered a lucrative position of transferring to Paris to work with the team over there. And that, of course, would also put her closer to Choi-ung given his school is there too.

All of her colleagues convince Yeon-Su to put herself first for a change, and after what her grandmother said about living her own life, it’s all boiling down to a huge life-changing choice for her too.

What helps Ji-ung turn a corner in his life?

While this is going on, Eun-Ho despairs over Choi-Ung leaving. That wailing is only exacerbated when his severance pay comes through, which is way more than he expected. When Sol-Yi sees it too, she gasps in shock.

Ji-Ung heads out with Park Dong-Il who encourages him to start finding the beauty in everyday life. It’s something he’s struggled with for most of this season, with last episode’s flashbacks showing him scoffing at taking pictures of the market. He’s encouraged to look at the world through the lens of the camera, presenting life as it is.

Dong-Il also mentions the lack of photos Ji-ung has of his mum. For Song-Il, he only has one picture of his mother and that’s a group picture. He’s thankful for that but urges Ji-ung not to waste his life procrastinating, convincing him to seize the moment.

Ji-Ung eventually visits his mum in hospital. There, she opens up and admits she decided to leave originally because she was afraid that he’d turn out as miserable as she was. So she abandoned him.

Ji-ung scoffs at her explanation and admits he won’t forgive her for what she’s put him through. No level of suffering can forgive what she’s done. And yet, she’s still his mum. He agrees to continue seeing her but it’s clear there’s a lot of baggage between the two.

What happens with Choi-ung and his mum? Does he reveal the truth about his feelings?

Choi-Ung heads home and speaks to his mum, who admits that she actually knew about Choi-ung being aware of her son. For her though, Choi-ung is her family.

With tears stinging his eyes, he admits he was afraid he wouldn’t live up to their lofty standards and be good like them. Lee Yeon-Ok smiles warmly, and tells Choi-Ung that they’ve never been disappointed in him.

What choices do Yeon-Su and Choi-ung make?

With the air cleared, Choi-Ung decides to do what he needs to do to be a better person. So too does Yeon-Su, as it turns out, who decides she’s going to follow her heart. The things is, Yeon-Su never has, and through some flashbacks we see she’s always gone with the flow but she’s still had some good moments regardless of that. The only person who hasn’t seen that is herself.

Now that she’s living her best life, Yeon-Su decides she’s going to stick with her current life and enjoy it for longer. Choi-ung meanwhile, is dead-set on studying abroad. With the pair bound for different destinies, Choi-ung promises to return and asks her to wait for him.

She agrees to do just that, as the pair make their mature choices to better both their lives.

Does Choi-ung tell Yeon-Su he loves her?

Ji-Ung focuses on himself and even films a documentary about his favourite moments involving his mum. With a smile crossing his face, reminiscing on those rare moments where he and his mum shared time together, she sees him from afar and seems to brighten up a bit.

Choi-ung eventually studies abroad while Yeon-Su dives head-first into her work. The pair continue to communicate over the phone, although Choi-ung eventually surprises her by arriving in the street, just to tell her he loves her. It’s a really beautiful moment, and Yeon-Su is shocked to see him again. The pair embrace, as Yeon-Su urges him to hurry up and return.

What happens during the time jump?

We then jump forward 2 years later. Chae-Ran and Ji-Ung drive together with the latter in a much better place. He’s smiling and even more so when he finds out she likes him. They’re en-route to a book donation event, where Sol-Yi and Eun-Ho are both prepping everything ready for the big event together.

Ji-ung is filming too, and when Yeon-Su and Choi-ung show up, he warmly smiles at them. He’s got over his crush on Yeon-0Su and appears to be living his best life as well. Alone, Choi-ung makes a bold decision and decides his story with Yeon-Su hasn’t ended yet. He asks her to marry him.

How does Our Beloved Summer end?

During the epilogue, Ji-ung approaches the happy couple and decides they should film another documentary. Now that they’re getting married, he thinks they should film another docu-series. Together, they both face the camera and tell the viewers that they’re married.

The Episode Review

Our Beloved Summer bows out with a sweet ending that wraps up all the big plot points and gives our characters a conclusive finish. A lot of this drama has been focused on healing old wounds and getting one’s life in order before moving on. With that in mind, this K-drama has been thematically on-point and this final chapter rounds all of that out nicely.

Seeing Ji-ung’s character actually grow at the end is a nice inclusion, even if he’s been severely under-utilized for large bouts of this show. Likewise, Choi-ung and Yeon-Su both grow and are much more mature than they were originally, with their spirits and heads held high for the future.

In the end, the characters have really helped this show grow and the final scenes with Choi-ung admitting that he loves Yeon-Su is heartwarming and certainly welcome. The story does wrap up with plenty of satisfying moments for all the different characters, although it would have been nice to see more scenes involving Eun-Ho and Sol-Yi together.

Whether there will be a second season to this is unknown at this point but either way, there’s certainly plenty to like with this show, which ends with a sweet treat of a finale.

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You can read our full season review of Our Beloved Summer here!

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3 thoughts on “Our Beloved Summer – Episode 16 Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. I think the scene where Choi Ung tells Yeonsu that he loves her is poignant as this was what she had been waiting to hear all these years. Her persistent “what ifs” questions was her way to push him to say it. She knows he loves her from giving actions but he has never said it (correct me if I am wrong) which frustrates her a lot

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