“There You Are”
The finale of When My Love Blooms brings a great and emotional conclusion as it resolves all the different plot points we’ve been following over the weeks. Everyone got the ending they deserve too and the show did a great job building its character arcs up with plenty of emotion and twists.
Episode 16 of When My Love Blooms picks up with Ji-So telling Seo-Kyeong that’s she won’t stop Jae-Hyun. Seo-Kyeong replies that she can just carry on being a mistress and cheater. She asks her if her justice applies to her father and herself as Jae-Hyun is going to take everything. Ji-Soo explains that if he is the man he used to be, he won’t.
Meanwhile, Jae-Hyun addresses the union and tells them he needs their support during next week’s extraordinary general meeting. He is planning to bring forward a new Hyung Sung group where he will separate management and ownership. He will also demand that chairman Jang and President Jang get fired and in doing so, he will resign as well. For that to happen however, he will need their part of the shares.
At home, Ji-Soo is surprised to hear Young-Min play the piano. He tells her he learned while watching her while Jae-Hyun meets with the two investors who are surprised he is willing to resign.
Over the next few days, we learn that Chairman Jang has been sent to a detention centre as his crimes are very serious. After the general meeting, the shareholders voted for his and Seo-Kyeong’s dismissal, which prompted Jae-Hyung to resign. In court, the prosecutor relays all the crimes Jang and his accomplices committed, including causing the suicide of two of his workers. He asks the judge for a fair but severe punishment.
In the evening, Jae-Hyun talks to Seo-Kyeong about the situation. He tells her that nothing will change for her; she won’t be taking over the company but she and her father will still have the majority of the shares. He will make sure that his goes to a non-profit foundation. Seo-Kyeong then gives him divorce papers. She explains that after speaking to Ji-Soo and witnessing her father’s trial, she has been thinking of him and his father. She will raise Jun-Seo and he promises to keep in touch. After discussing what made them get married, Jae-Hyun wishes her happiness.
Meanwhile in the police station, Se-Hoon is allowed to go as Pil-Ho has changed his statement and now claims that he did the attack on his own. They wouldn’t normally close the case but Jae-Hyun wrote a long letter to let Pil-Ho off and insisted that he wasn’t involved so they have decided to respect both men’s wishes.
He heads to see Ji-Soo next who tells him she is not sure she will be able to forgive him. However, she has to as he is Young-Min’s father so she asks him to change and be a better person in order for her to forgive him.
Later that day, Young-Min waits for his dad to pick him up. When Se-Hoon arrives, he takes him to a park and has a heart to heart with his son. He tells him to make sure he always stays by his mum’s side and he will do his best to become the dad he will be proud of. At the same time, Jae-Hyun takes his son fishing. He tells him he will always be his dad and take his side, but wants him to keep his mum safe. They share a touching moment together and tell express their love for one another.
Later on, Jae-Hyun invites Ji-Soo to Young-Woo’s bar for some drinks with their friends. In a flashback, we see Jae-Hyun taking Ji-Soo to a nice restaurant for her birthday, singing her happy birthday with her friends.
In the present, Ji-Soo arrives at the bar as the lights suddenly turn off just as her friends arrive, singing the same song they did in 1994. This makes her cry, especially when she sees a picture of her family on the cake. She explains that she can’t celebrate as she doesn’t have birthdays. Jae-Hyun tells her that her mum and sister may have died on her birthday but it mean she will remember them more. She finally blows out her candles and everyone cheers.
That night, Ji-Soo has her usual dream where she tries to say goodbye to her mother and sister. This time though, they turn around and wave at her, smiling.
The next day, Jae-Hyun and Ji-Soo make their way back to Gang Chon and walk under the bridge where Ji-Soo first wrote about their love. After seeing what Jae-Hyun wrote, she decides to add something. They then spend the night in their usual bed and breakfast. As they sit outside under the stars, he asks her if he remembers what he told her the last time they were there. She tells him she does so he takes a ring out of his pocket and puts it on her finger, telling her that she is not only precious – but his too.
In a flashback, we see that the two had actually met in 1991 during another protest. Ji-Soo helped him escape the police but never saw his face properly as he wore a mask. Jae-Hyun however saw her name tag and came back looking for her a few days later.
In the present, Jae-Hyun tells Ji-Soo about that day and she teases him that he liked her first. As we cut to the wall, we see that Ji-Soo has changed the message to “For a million years… Everyone’s love shall bloom.”
As we fast forward a little, we catch up with what everyone has been up to. Ji-Soo has opened her piano school and is teaching children like Byeol. She also has her bachelor degree and has got into grad school. Jae-Hyun is helping out schools and community centers with projects and works with Kang Joon-Woo. Se-Hoon has quit his law firm and is taking on divorce cases free of charge.
Young-Woo meets a nice girl in the park while walking his two new dogs, while Hye-Jung is finally going on holiday. Seo-Kyeong arrives in Seoul with her son while her father is still in prison.
As the episode closes, Ji-Soo sits on a bench as Jae-Hyun arrives, telling her his usual words :”There you are.” They both see each other as young versions of themselves. Young Jae-Hyun tells Ji-Soo that they have held up really well. Young Ji-Soo then replies to Young Jae-Hyun that thanks to those moments that were as pretty as flowers, she knew they would go on.
Both then talk to the young version of themselves, telling them how amazing they did and how they will never forget that it was when their love bloomed. Young Ji-Soo tells them that their love is still blooming now because they are together. In the final flashback of the series, we witness the protest in 1993 as Jae-Hyun sees Ji-Soo watching in the distance and says to himself, “There you are.”
Ji-Soo and Jae-Hyun finally get their happy ending in the finale of When My Love Blooms and it was really heartwarming to watch. After everything they went through, it was only fitting and took a long time for them to get there. The conclusion to this drama leaves no stone unturned as we see what happens to each of the characters.
The last scene was quite original too as both speak to the young version of themselves. This was a great addition which shows that they were finally happy and ready to move on with their lives as their love can now fully bloom. When My Love Blooms may not be the strongest K-drama of the year but its touching story and characters do make it worth checking out.