The Happy Ending
Episode 16 of True Beauty begins with Ju-Kyung pulling away from her hug with Seo-Joon and apologizing. As Seo-Joon walks away, he bumps into Soo-Ho and the two head out drinking together. They discuss Seo-Joon’s date before the two boys stumble home drunk.
The next day Seo-Joon breaks the news to Ju-Kyung that Soo-Ho is heading back to the States. As he says the words, Ju-Kyung hurries off while Seo-Joon takes the stairs up back to the studio. Only, he stops halfway and begins crying, thinking back over all those times he was with Ju-Kyung.
This small act happens to be Seo-Joon giving up, evidence of him surrendering and giving up fighting over a girl whose heart is clearly set on Soo-Ho. Ju-Kyung arrives at Soo-Ho’s apartment and begs him not to go. Only, it turns out he’s actually unpacking. Well, Soo-Ho agrees to drive her back home and after dropping her off, share a kiss in his car.
With Seo-Joon’s debut coming up, Ju-Kyung heads back to the studio and clears the air with Seo-Joon, who apologizes for confusing her feelings and knowing that she still isn’t over Soo-Ho. After clearing the air with him, Ju-Kyung heads back to work with the obnoxious Chen. Ju-Kyung gets her food (a throwback to episode 1) but the celebrity goes one step too far and Ju-Kyung refuses to pick out the cucumbers from her food.
As thing start to kick off, Soo-Jin arrives and saves the day. Taking Ju-Kyung out for a drink, Soo-Jin explains what happened to her. It turns out her parents got divorced not long after she moved to America. She’s been doing volunteer work all this time too and she’s just returned from Haiti. She apologizes to Ju-Kyung for what happened in school.
With Soo-Jin and Ju-Kyung patching up their differences, Soo-Ho too begins healing as Hee-Kyung requests he send in the ‘Missing You’ song. While he works on finishing up the audio, sending the finished product by email, Ju-Kyung enters a competition to model the idol group. She gives her Director a presentation and hopes for the best.
Meanwhile, Soo-A and Tae-Hoon meet again after being away from one another for so long. Soo-Ho and Ju-Kyung sleep together (or at least that’s implied) while Seo-Joon practices his singing for Se-Yeon’s song.
After this, everything builds up to Hee-Kyung’s wedding, where the couple run into trouble when Hee-Kyung’s head gets stuck between some wooden panels. Despite trying to pull her free, it’s no good and she walks up the aisle with it round her neck. All of this leads to a whole load of dancing at the wedding and despite its mishaps, produces a touching and fitting celebration for this dysfunctional duo.
After, Ju-Kung heads back to work and helps out Seo-Joon with his make-up. She didn’t make it very far with her presentation but her Director is clearly impressed with her work.
Seo-Joon’s debut goes ahead and it’s a rousing success, singing Se-Yeon’s song and finally making it as an artist. Ju-Kyung and Soo-Ho head back to the comic store too, the place they first met, and kiss.
The Episode Review
Following a rocky penultimate episode, True Beauty brings everything back and shows just what made this series so appealing to begin with. The Seo-Joon romance angle is thankfully wrapped up relatively quickly, with Joon realizing that Ju-Kyung’s heart has always been with Soo-Ho. It’s a nice arc for his character and a fitting end too, with him succeeding at his dreams of honouring Se-Yeon and performing as an idol.
Ju-Kyung and Soo-Ho end up together as well, which perhaps was obvious, but in doing so also wraps up a lot of the supporting characters and their issues too.
Seeing Soo-Jin enter the fray again, on the back of last episode’s cameo, is a really nice touch. It’s good that the writers gave her character a redemptive arc after the issues in school, although personally it would have been nice to see more of her family troubles. Then again, this isn’t that sort of drama.
While the main storyline is a little obvious and cliched, the supporting characters are ultimately what help this drama to thrive. Hee-Kyung and Joon-Woo’s story is absolutely hilarious, wrapped up in a weird triangle with the teacher who likes Joon-Woo. The reverse roles that these characters have is a nice little play on stereotypes too, contrasting the very conventional set-up for the main trio.
It may not have done anything particularly outstanding or original, but True Beauty has been a true beauty to watch over the weeks and aside from a slight wobble and scare after the time jump, brings everything back full circle with a warm, fuzzy finale.