Our Blues – K-Drama Episode 17 Recap & Review

Chun-Hui and Eun-Gi 2

Episode 17 of Our Blues starts with Dong-Seok doing the rounds, helping out with different residents between selling his wares. He begrudgingly takes a call from Chun-Hui, who asks for his help in driving him to Mokpo for the annual memorial service for their father. She isn’t in the mood for arguing though and simply tells him to meet at dawn to take her there.

Over at Chun-Hui’s, she takes Eun-Gi’s requests to heart and begins cooking eggs and sausages for her. Eun-Gi continues to glare at her though, unhappy that her grandmother didn’t take her side and slapped her back in the last episode. Chun-Hui offers the girl a free slap on her back but the little girl refuses. She does like the chicken though, and starts to warm toward her grandmother.

In fact, they play games together, with Eun-Gi even proud of her grandmother for holding her breath for so long. When Hae-Seon rings, Eun-Gi has nothing but good things to say. She does pass the phone over to Chun-Hui, she asks just what’s going on. Hae-Seon tries to deflect, but after what Chun-Hui learned last episode, she’s obviously suspicious.

In fact, outside she overhears Eun-Gi talking to the other little girl, So-Hui, telling her that when her father is out of hospital then he’ll be there for her. It’s heartbreaking for Chun-Hui, and when Eun-Hui finds out, she implores her to tell Dong-Seok. Chun-Hui shrugs it off though, claiming there’s no point.

Meanwhile on the island, everyone gathers together when they notice dolphins out near the shore. Jeong-Jun and Yeong-Ok rings Yeong-Hui to show her too, while little Eun-Gi brightens up and shouts to the heavens, telling her mum and dad about the dolphins.

Of course, the one person not there is Chun-Hui, who heads across to the mainland to check on Man-Su. She eventually makes it to the hospital, where she learns that he’s in the ICU. This is the first time she’s seeing her son, and he’s not even conscious to see her. Chun-Hui comforts him, tears stinging her eyes, as Hae-Seok shows up just after to help.

“Man-Su cared a great deal about you mother,” Hae-Seok says, explaining the origin of his tattoo (Unity) which he got to remind him to always work hard

Outside, Hae-Seok brightly tells Chun-Hui that she’s got a couple of new jobs lined up and will take Eun-Gi back soon. For Chun-Hui though, she’s more hurt that this was kept from hr. After giving Hae-Seon some advice, telling her to listen to the doctors – and if need be stop life support for Man-Su – she heads back to the port. And subsequently, Jeju Island. As for Eun-Gi, Chun-Hui is going to look after her for now.

Since returning, Chun-Hui is a depressed mess. She’s struggling to smile, thinking back to what she said about Man-Su’s life support. Although she initially knocks over a rock cairn in frustration, she turns and puts it back again. This feels like a symbolic act, especially when the horrific news comes in that Man-Su is in a critical state.

The doctors want them to prepare to say goodbye but the rain and stormy conditions make it near-impossible to get a boat across to the mainland. Still, if this is the end then the residents of Jeju are going to do what they can.

In the middle of this storm, Dong-Seok receives a call from Seon-A who admits that she misses him. While he’s fixing up the house, which is almost done, Seon-A decides she’s going to come and see him in the next 10 days or so.

Dong-Seok probes whether they’re dating or just friends, to which she replies he’s “a guy.” Make of that cryptic reply what you will! Still, it’s clear that both Seon-A and Dong-Seok are on the right path together!

Meanwhile, the horrible truth about what’s happening is revealed in the most heart wrenching way to Eun-Gi. Chun-Hui breaks down into tears along with Eun-Gi, telling her that Man-Su won’t be coming and Hae-Seok won’t be picking up the phone either. This continues right the way through the night, where a teary Eun-Gi promises that she’s going to pray for her father to get better, and that there definitely are 100 moons, just like he promised. Chun-Hui softens a little and encourages the girl to come and eat in the meantime.

That night, Eun-Hui and the others call in as many favours as they can to try and get Chun-Hui and Eun-Gi across to say goodbye to Man-Su. Eventually they do get some luck, and it comes just as the rain stops and the wind subsides.

Thankfully Captain Bae is there on-hand to help out and the whole community to shine 100 moons across the horizon. These are from the boats of course but it’s a really beautiful but heartbreaking way of showing what’s happening.

As Eun-Gi drops to her knees and prays for Man-Su to be okay, we cut across to Man-Su holding on for dear life. Finally, out of the four women by the hillside, Chun-0Hui also drops to her knees, understanding that Man-Su is about to pass, and closes her eyes, tears running down her wrinkled face.

The Episode Review

What a beautiful and heart wrenching way to end this episode. Some people online have called this sadness porn, and while I wouldn’t quite go to that extreme to describe Our Blues, the “blues” certainly refers to depressing storylines – which this show has had in abundance.

Most of the drama we’ve seen, despite how relatable it is, revolves predominantly around a lot of deep and poignant ideas. There have been some bumps along the road, and to be honest I think the Han-Su triple bill that started this show, along with the early moments of Yeong-Ok and Jeong-Jun, are among the weakest elements of this anthological drama.

However, these later chapters have managed to really knock it out the park. That beautiful gesture with the captains out at sea, creating 100 moons for Eun-Gi, is such an iconic moment, and it helps to show a community coming together in the darkness to show some light. This also has the knock-on effect of progressing Eun-Hui’s character. She’s always doing favours for others and now she gets those favours come back ten-fold, thanks in part to Captain Fantastic (Jeong-Jun) organizing all of this.

It’s mad to think this show is ending next week, and with 3 more episodes still to air it really is anyone’s guess what will happen next.

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You can read our full season review for Our Blues Season 1 here!

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