Descendants of the Sun A Year After Part 3

Well played, Fate. Very well played. The reunion of Yoo Shi-Jin and Kang Mo-Yeon creates the possibility of them building a relationship again. But that is not easy at all, especially that their differing ideals could influence their daily lives as a doctor and soldier in a dangerous place like Uruk. Plus, Mo-yeon is being reluctant to open up to Shi-jin.

Select Scenes from Episode 3

1. “How have you been?”

the landmine scene in dots a year after part 3

When they first meet at the airport, it seems that Mo-yeon was at a loss for words when she saw him went down from the plane. And if someone was winning in this ignore-each-other game, it was definitely Shi-jin. He did not say a word when he handed Mo-Yeon’s scarf at the airport, nor did he acknowledge her presence when he was retrieving a package from the car while she was standing nearby. What it took for the two to finally have a conversation is when she is swarmed with children in the camp after giving food to one of them. He approaches and tells her not to give food unless she has something for everyone. Their conversation didn’t  go well and she leaves. Just a few seconds later he announces that she stepped on a land mind and their bickering started. Later, they fall on the ground and he asks the question that must have been in his head the whole time since she arrived:

the landmine scene in dots a year after part 3

2. The Brave Myeong-ju

The brave Myeong-ju in dots a year after part 3

We get to see the outspoken Yoon Myeong-ju again in this scene but now he’s facing a military commander who is also his father. She reports of her dispatch to the medical corps of Mowuru Company in Uruk and tells him that she will stay safe. It turns out her father didn’t like her to go there because of Seo Dae-young. But she honestly tells him that she can’t wait to leave, that she loves Dae-young and she can’t let him go. She even threatens him that he will lose her as a Lieutenant and a daughter if he stops her again, making the General speechless while she was talking.

General Yoon: Are you going to have it your way, no matter what?
Yoon Myeong-ju: Yes, sir. I can’t wait to go there.
General Yoon: As I told you before, I like Yoo Shi-jin better. He is a general material. I want him to be my son-in-law. You know that you are giving Seo Dae-young a hard time.
Yoon Myeong-ju: You can’t treat him with personal feelings as his superior. Do you want to lose another excellent subordinate?
General Yoon: Seo Dae-young decided to stay in the army taking my advice. I have never lost my guys. 

Yoon Myeong-ju: He decided to stay not because you are a great superior. He did because he is a real soldier. That is why I love him. That is why I can’t let him go.

3. Confrontation

confrontation in dots a year after part 3

This scene gives us more details on our second couple’s complicated relationship. It seems that General Yoon didn’t listen to Yoon Myeong-ju’s request (or threat) not to stop her again from meeting Seo Dae-young. He orders the transfer of Dae-young to the Special Forces in Korea, a move that would make it impossible for the couple to spend time together again. When Dae-young finds out about the news, he remembers the time when the General joined him on a meal and told her to stay away from Myeong-ju.

General Yoon: I heard that you are going out with my daughter.
Seo Dae-young:  Yes, that’s right.
General Yoon: I am worried about my daughter’s future. So I hope that you be considerate of my daughter’s future too. I believe that you know the way to do so. It is the wisest way.
Seo Dae-young: Is that an order?
General Yoon: I hope that I will never have to order that. But if I must, I will do so. Whether we both remain honorable, is all up to you.

4. An Angel

an angel in dots a year after part 3

There’s another flashback that reveals more about the relationship of Seo Dae-young and Yoon Myeong-ju. This time the story comes from Yoo Shi-jin as he narrates to Kang Mo-yeon how the two first met. “There was a thousand-mile march going on and at that time Lieutenant Yoon was the supporting army surgeon.” In their first meeting, Myeong-ju found out about Dae-young’s plan to ruin his ex-girlfriend’s wedding. In their second, she became part of the plan. Actually, the right way to say it is she created the plan.

(Myeong-ju enters Dae-young’s car, making him confused about what’s happening.)

Seo Dae-young: What’s the matter?
Yoon Myeong-ju:  Congratulations on your chance to ruin your ex-girlfriend’s wedding. Well, coincidentally, I am off-duty today. Isn’t that great?
Seo Dae-young: I asked what the matter was. Was my question difficult? Lieutenant Yoon Myeong-ju.
Yoon Myeong-ju:  Was my answer difficult to understand? If you ruin the wedding your way, the woman will be glad that she got rid of you, not regret it. But if you take me, you can make her regret all night. That was what I meant.

an angel in dots a year after part 3

5. The Shipwreck

the shipwreck in dots a year after part 3

Kang Mo-yeon: Why is this ship sitting here?
Yoo Shi-jin:  
It’s been bewitched. This is the end of something when it’s bewitched by a beautiful thing.
Kang Mo-yeon:
Have you ever been bewitched?
Yoo Shi-jin:
I have. I think you’d know. Come to think about it, I don’t think I heard your answer yet. How have you been? Are you still sexy in the operation room? 
Kang Mo-yeon: I think you’re mistaken. I am not here out of a good heart as a medical volunteer. Someone who is in power has struck me down. And I’ve been struck down to this place. And I don’t do any more operations. Operation experiences are not too helpful on my resume. I’ll return back soon, and when I do, I have to climb back up to where I was. I’m a busy woman. 

Yoo Shi-jin: I see.

Isn’t that harsh? Yoo Shi-jin just asks how she have been all this time, but she answers in a way that implicitly tells him to leave her alone. “Stop flirting with me because I did not come here for you. Stop saying things like that because nothing’s going to happen between us. I don’t think I like you, and even If I do, I have no time for you. So, just be done with it.” And then all he could utter is, “I see.” That’s quite a sad dialogue for a place as lively and pretty as the Navagio Beach.

the shipwreck in dots a year after part 3 the shipwreck in dots a year after part 3

The following OST plays the moment Shi-jin and Mo-yeon ride the boat and leave for the beach.


Focus: Director Lee Eung-bok

Descendants of the Sun has two directors:  Lee Eung-bok and Baek Sang-hoon. But of course the main producing director (PD), which is Lee, is the one who’s always been in the limelight since the drama became a success. 

dots director lee eung-bok
Lee Eung-bok

PD Lee’s previous dramas include Secret Love (KBS2 / 2013), School 2013 (KBS2 / 2012-2013), Glass Prison (KBS2 / 2012), Dream High 2 (KBS2 / 2012), Dream High (KBS2 / 2011) and The Reputable Family (KBS / 2010). He worked for the same station since 2003, so many were surprised by the news in August of last year confirming his resignation from his KBS post just a few months after the end of DOTS in April. Then, everyone just found out later that he would be directing a tvN drama with writer Kim Eun-sook. Did he quit his post just to reunite with the DOTS writer?

No one knows for sure what really happened behind the scene, but the turn of events was beneficial for the fans who liked Goblin, the second drama they made together. When we call Descendants of the Sun and Goblin the dramas of the year because of their immense popularity in Korea and abroad, can we call PD Lee and writer Kim the director and writer of the year, respectively? Seriously, it was very surprising that the drama they created together achieved such a remarkable commercial success and massive following from the international fans. 

PD Lee started his work at KBS as an assistant director. During  his early years he co-directed three dramas: My Pitiful Sister  (KBS / 2008-2009), Sassy Girl Chun-hyang (KBS2 / 2005), and Sangdoo, Let’s Go to School! (KBS2 / 2003). Including these three, he already directed a total of 11 dramas.

The director has his own favorite scene from DOTS. He picked the one when Kang Mo-yeon was crying after hearing the news of Yoo Shi-jin’s death in episode 14. He said that it was truly touching and more memorable than another hundred lines in the drama. “They weren’t just tear drops falling because of mere sadness. It was captivating to see how the tears would fill up in her eyes and overflow,” he added.

Directors play a key role in the artistic aspects of a drama. They are the ones who visualize the script, guide the technical crew and cast in making a story to life. Without their contribution, a script, no matter how well it is written, wouldn’t make a drama any better. It is thanks to these people, like PD Lee Eung-bok and PD Baek Sang-hoon, that we got to enjoy a drama as beautiful as Descendants of the Sun.

(DOTS A Year After is a 16-part post series that commemorates the first anniversary of the highest-rated weekday prime time kdrama in 2016. For your feedback and questions about the series, you can send an email to [email protected], message us through Facebook, or comment directly on this post.)

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Me? Just an ordinary lad with an extraordinary (says this something called 'stereotype') habit of watching Korean dramas. It started with action-filled City Hunter and the rest, as they say, is history.