When I Was the Most Beautiful – Episode 16 (Finale/Ending) Recap and Review

Bittersweet First Love

Episode 16 of When I Was Most Beautiful produces a pretty good ending, all things considered, as this melodramatic Korean drama draws to a close.

We begin with Ye-Ji walking away from Hwan, refusing to answer his question about love. Instead she says her goodbyes to Sung-Gon and prepares to leave. With all of her things in the truck, she walks round the house one more time, stopping momentarily to hug Jin goodbye.

With the marriage over, Yeon-Ja tries to convince Ye-Ji’s Mother to make sure Ye-Ji stays with Jin. That way it dispels any rumours about her breaking up to get in a relationship with Hwan. At the workshop, she outright asks her daughter whether this is true or not. It’s here Ye-Ji admits the truth.

Back then, she was young and alone, wanting to be loved and taken care of by someone. Given Jin’s affection for her, she gave in and decided to marry him. They never clicked the same way she and Hwan did though.

Given he’s leaving for the US, she encourages Ye-Ji to go with Hwan to America. This decision is only made more difficult by Hwan handing her a ticket to leave with him as well.

After some thinking, Ye-Ji decides against going with him. After all, if she does then it severs any chance of Hwan fixing his relationship with his brother and parents. Unable to do that to him, Ye-Ji turns away but promises to watch him go as a sign of respect.

Unable to keep his emotions in check, Hwan starts crying. As he does, we cut to Jin on the rooftop of Jinhwan who’s just collapsed after looking over the edge. Was he thinking of ending things? It appears that way but never really touched on.

Hwan visits Jin at the hospital, making sure his brother is okay before checking on Ye-Ji. Only, she’s gone. The workshop isn’t open and she’s decided to live with her Mother – who’s also quit her job. Having missed his flight and chance to go back to the US, Hwan sits with Jin back home and watches the stars.

A year passes and Carry is released from prison. She starts attending interviews for a new job while Sung-Gon interviews new assistants for the workshop. Hwan is now working at the Hotel Bali, having decided against going back to the US. This new project though will mean he’s gone for 3 years.

Before he goes though, he stops by at Ye-Ji’s place to bid his farewell to her. She suggests they spend a few days together, which he graciously accepts.

After eating shrimp and watching the sunset together, Ye-Ji finally opens up and tells him she does love him. As the two fall asleep holding hands, Hwan awakens to find Ye-Ji gone. A note is left on the bedside table.

Meanwhile, Yeon-Ja arrives at the workshop and asks Sung-Gon out for a drink. Jin appears to be successful at the company now while both Ye-Ji and Hwan have learned to live with their feelings and grown into better people moving forward.

The Episode Review

With all things considered, When I Was The Most Beautiful delivers a pretty good ending. Hwan and Ye-Ji admitted their feelings for one another but their doomed romance angle from the start is a nice way to tie everything together.

I like that Hwan and Ye-Ji are now able to move beyond their feelings and grow after admitting the truth to one another. First loves are often bittersweet and painful, but it’s clear that these two have grown a lot over the episodes. Jin however, has not.

There’s been a lot of problems with this drama but at least the ending is satisfying enough to make the melodramatic ride worth taking.

The Sung-Gon/Yeon-Ja stories have not been great in truth and Amber’s involvement in the story, along with Hwan’s friends too, haven’t had an awful lot to do. Especially Da-Hoon who’s completely forgotten about midway through this one until the end.

While this is unlikely to be remembered as one of the better dramas of the year, the ending is actually satisfying enough to make the ride worth taking.

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12 thoughts on “When I Was the Most Beautiful – Episode 16 (Finale/Ending) Recap and Review”

  1. Hawn’s devotion and sacrifice for Ye-Ji was touching; however, he was so justified to start attempting to live his life for himself more than her and everyone else in his family. While their love felt uneasy due to Ye-Ji having once been married to Hawn’s brother, I honestly cannot see why Hwon couldn’t have been less selfish and given his brother his approval to love and live with Ye-Ji. There may be some socialital morality imposed, but, frankly, in real life after time passes…who cares. It wasn’t like either Hawn or Ye-Ji behaved dishonorably. I can understand the significance of the movie’s ending. However, I just as easily could see them married with a couple of kids running around grandpa’s ceramic shop and Hwon enjoying the children with a bittersweet smile on his face. Somehow the whole supposition that Hawn loved Ye-Ji for at least 9 years, she finally admits she should have waited and loves him too and then everyone lives on somehow successfully and happy,. Somewhat sad and anti-climatic.

  2. It was interesting to watch. Dorama was so deep, each character had it’s own deep soul, inner battles. My favorite characters has been Hwan and Ye Jin. I would like them to be together in the end, they both deserved to be happy in the remaining lifetime, but Ye Jin like all other times, this time either thought about others more.

  3. The writer of this drama is so superb. He/She deserved applause for this. Although the end story of this is not like fairy tale one but story gave justice to realistic mean of it. Avid viewers expected the happy ever after ending story, but sometimes the story should be somewhat people can relate too. This is just my opinion for having watched hundreds of movies/dramas from local to internationally. Some writers just gave what viewers expectations w/o analyzing the viewers choices of storyline. also, I don’t like the actors who portrait on this (except jisoo 2nd male lead actor😉🤩) but they gave all just to deliver the story. Respect my opinion. Thank You. I rated this 10/10 for the storyline, good job Writer whoever you are😊😉

  4. So far the best drama on my list. Everytime they play “My Serenade” , I know I will have tears running down my cheeks! Thumbs up.I told all my friends to watch it..Loved it!

  5. Starlette has the most correct assessment.
    You can be a cheating whore like Hwons mom and society should have a problem but somehow in the screwed writers universe….doesnt.
    Jin is a attempted murderer of his own brother, lifelong bully of his brother, manipulates and steals the love of his life which society should have a problem with but in the writers universe doesnt.
    The father takes Jins side his entire life and lets him live off the family as a playboy never taking his responsibility..,.READ Filial Duty!!!!!! as oldest son which society should have an absolute explosionsal meltdown over and in the writers universe doesnt.
    And Hwon marrying Ye-ji who dated for a couple weeks, was married for a couple months and then abandoned for 7 years makes society lose its s**t in the writers universe????????
    Long story short every Kdrama is a scathing indictment of Korean society. Name one drama that the source of conflict isnt Confucian Korean society.
    In One Spring night you cant marry a guy with a kid.
    In something in the rain you sacrifice your life and love and date who your mom tells you so she can brag about it to her friends.
    In 10 other dramas you dont deserve happiness or a job or love because your an orphan.
    They refer to every unmarried woman over 30 as left over women as if there was something wrong with them or they are defective as if that wasnt the case someone would have already married them.
    Korean writers tell these stories as if they were just life of a average person on earth but if you removed Confucianism from Korea I wouldnt feel like we have to set up refugee camps in the US for every young woman in Korea.

  6. The right thing to do? The right thing to do? For who? Society? She is suffering to PLEASE society not herself. What would society give her back in exchange for her heartache? People love a good true love story. They would have come to understand them and all rumors would have been forgotten in a short period of time. All that character has done in this show us being a poster child face for abuse, pains, and sufferings throughout her entire life with a few exceptions. The show didn’t end well at all. Hwan has suffered way too much for loving her and in the end not even received a single good bye 💋 the least. His brother had butt himself into their relationship with full force under the pretense of manhood and her bad situation at home and manipulated her consent to marry him. Her marriage was circumstantial. Love is a feeling of freedom not of force and abuse. Jean has demonstrated it very well. He never forced her to do anything even to love him back. That’s true love. The brother didn’t even give her freedom. He took control of everything in her personal life and her marriage to him. That’s a pure example of mental abuse right there. That’s not love at all. He stayed away for 7 years with another woman and expected fidelity which she had done wholeheartedly on her own devotion to their marriage. He didn’t think about her sufferings that his supposed death would have brought to her.
    She and Hwan should have gone together and live their lives with true love. In the long run, Hwan’s mother would have forgiven them and welcome them back in the family.

  7. After Ye Ji and Jin get married they started to face a lot of challenges and i waited for them to fix their relationship but it never happened. I really don’t like the ending because i thought Ye Ji and Jin will be able to fix their relationship and they will have a children then Hwan will be happy because at last Ye Ji becomes happy with his brother. If I’m gonna rate this drama i will give it a 5/10 i waited for nothing.

  8. support Soo Hyang all the way. love her so much. she is a good actress. well done ( beautiful 😍 👏)

  9. The ending was bittersweet, bittersweet coz hwan did not end up with Yeji but yeji did confess her love to him and apologise for not waited for him…the drama ended well coz it is the right thing to do. SAD but the right thing to do for YeJi. And Ji Soo acting as Hwan is so good and convincing. I can really feel his pain, and what a great character.❤❤

  10. I was thinking that Jin died at the end and Hwan and Ye-Ji got married and live happily ever after. And after watching the finale last night, what was I thinking was not happening. But even I was dying for Hwan and Ye-ji to be together, the ending is indeed satisfying. She confessed what she felt all along.

  11. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling sad thinking about Seo Hwan and his love…. there are many parts of the story that I believe are not important… I agree that the ending is still good no matter how much I want to see them together in the ending. 😣😣😣 I love Kim Ji Soo so much.😍😍😍 Will always support him.

  12. Well, its undeniably true that we,ve got 2 of the most ctedi le & trusyed actors in Korean drama in this project. Enough of modern fantasy romantic drama! To the Prod Team, Congratulations!

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