Descendants of the Sun A Year After Part 4

This episode starts with a scene filled with tension and fear. Although that gets resolved halfway through the show, it caused a conflict between our heroes that once again tests their budding romantic relationship. Fortunately, the episode ends with an unprecedented move from Yoo Shi-jin that somehow solved their earlier fight.

Select Scenes from Episode 4

1. Saving the Prince

"saving the prince" scene in dots a year after part 4

Yoo Shi-jin: Can you save him?
Kang Mo-yeon: What? I’ll only know for sure when I open him up, but it looks like he has biliary tract…
Yoo Shi-jin: I don’t care for your medical jargon. Tell me, can you save him? Tell me as a doctor…Answer me.
Kang Mo-yeon: I can save him.
Yoo Shi-jin: Then, save him.

This scene is a perfect example of how true Yoo Shi-jin and Kang Mo-yeon are to their duty as a soldier and doctor, respectively. There’s a heated confrontation between his force and an outsider security team over the emergency situation that involves the life and death of a VIP patient. Yoo Shi-jin knows that following orders is very important in a military organization, but in a situation where someone else’s life is at risk he’s willing to make his own decision based on what he think is right. After all, he “always protect beautiful women, the elderly, and children.”

We learned in this episode that he won’t hesitate to take the risk in protecting an elderly, which in this case is the Abu Dhabi Prince, even if the prince’s nationality differs from his. Kang Mo-yeon is no different. Despite the guns pointing at her and her team, she bravely told Yoo Shi-jin that she can save the patient. We could see in her face that she is very terrified during the whole situation but she didn’t let her fear to interfere with her job as a doctor.

2. Detained

"detained" scene in dots a year after part 4

Kang Mo-yeon: Why did you do it? You were able to make a choice. This didn’t have to happen.
Yoo Shi-jin: I told you. Beautiful women, children and the elderly must be protected. That’s my rule. A beauty and an old women. Two were right there. I had to step in. 

One good thing about this show is that it’s not simply a romance drama. Descendants of the Sun is built with characters whose principles in life are actually given much weight in the story. The conversation above is just a portion of his and Kang Mo-yeon’s conversation after the medical operation. He tells her that he can’t help but make his own decision because she and an old man are involved in the situaton.

"detained" scene in dots a year after part 4

Although the surgery on the prince went well, Yoo Shi-jin did not get away for making his own calls and disobeying his superiors. He gets detained after the surgery was done. This scene is quite emotional as Kang Mo-yeon went to talk to him after the latter’s superior made her feel like it was her fault that he has to face a disciplinary action. At the later part of their conversation, she takes out a mosquito coil and hands it to him as she felt he would need it while he is detained in the barracks. He said it was the perfect thing he needs to survive the detention but the truth is boxes of mosquito coils filled up the room.

3. Thank You

"thank you" scene in dots a year after part 4

In this scene, we get to see Kang Mo-yeon and Yoo Shi-jin talking again for the first time since he was released from detention. It was one of the most scenic shots in the episode and felt like their conversation was as light as the sheets surrounding them. This scene is actually almost perfectly made; the cinematography, music, and the script are great.  She thanks him for trusting her, to which he replied with a question, “Weren’t you scared?” She asks the same question and gets a change in her facial expression after hearing he’s relatively used those kind of situations. But overall the conversation goes fine.  The balance between scenes like this and scenes that get one’s adrenaline flowing is so far maintained in the show.

4. Dating in Uruk

"dating in uruk" scene in dots a year after part 4

Do you remember this scene where Kang Mo-yeon and Yoo Shi-jin talk about how they are still the same people years back and how they are different now? They talk things like that in their first ever date after their reunion.

Yoo Shi-jin: Why do you keep pretending to be a bad person? 
Kang Mo-yeon: I settled it with myself that I became a doctor for money. A lot happened since you were gone. And I’ve changed a lot since then. But you don’t look any different from then. 
Yoo Shi-jin: I’ve become more handsome, didn’t you notice? 
Kang Mo-yeon: Your jokes are the same, I see. 
Yoo Shi-jin: Your smile is even prettier.  

Their conversation then gets interrupted by a call. Kang Mo-yeon gets upset, knowing that he might leave again for unknown reason. She pointed out the fact that the end to their date remains the same even abroad and insists that she wants to go with him.

Kang Mo-yeon: Were are you going? is it confidential again? Is that a place where I’m not allowed? 
Yoo Shi-jin: You aren’t prohibited from going there, but I don’t think taking will you will play to my advantage. 
Kang Mo-yeon: Why do you always want the upper hand?
Yoo Shi-jin: Because my work itself gives me the lower hand in this relationship. 
Kang Mo-yeon: What if I still want to go with you?

5. Kang Mo-yeon’s Concern

"kang mo-yeon's concern" scene in dots a year after part 4

Yoo Shi-jin and Kang Mo-yeon get into a fight again after she stepped in into the decision of Yoo Shi-jin’s superior to punish him for his violation. She is very concerned that he is taking all the responsibilities but he tells him it is not because of her. His decision to accept the punishment as it is boils down to his job as a soldier after all. Speechless and disappointed, Kang Mo-yeon leaves him in the middle of the road.

Yoo Shi-jin: Why did you do such a rash thing?
Kang Mo-yeon: A rash thing? I just ruined someone’s [interupted]
Yoo Shi-jin: It was not because of you. Do you think I agreed to this to save a woman? Do you remember my gunshot wound on the day we first met? One of my superiors told me this on my first day as a Captain of the Special Forces. “Soldiers always live with a shroud on. When you die in nameless land for the sake of your country, the place of your death becomes your grave and your uniform becomes your shroud. This should be your mind-set whenever you put on your uniform. If you have put it on with such mind-set be honorable at every moment. There is no reason to fall short.” And I gave my life to him. That gunshot wound is from that battle. No matter how big or small, all my decisions include my comrade’s honor, glory and their call to duty. That particular situation was the same for me. I have made a decision based on all those things and I do not regret my decision. However, that cannot cover up the fact that I violated the military law. Things of the military will be taken care of within ourselves. And that means you will let it be, Dr. Kang.
Kang Mo-yeon: I am very sorry that my concern got in your ways.

"kang mo-yeon's concern" scene in dots a year after part 4

6. The Wine Kiss

"the wine kiss" scene in dots a year after part 4

This final scene was a surprise to many. Kang Mo-yeon’s confession of her not watching the film they planned to watch during their first date triggers Yoo Shi-jin’s affection towards her. She offers the wine, telling him that he must have wanted it badly. He did drink it, but in a completely insane and romantic way.

Focus: Filming Locations

Descendants of the Sun  garnered a lot of praise from Korean drama fans not only for its story but also for its cinematography coupled with beautiful filming locations. Most Korean dramas are shot in and around South Korea but DOTS is different because some of its scenes were shot outside the country. One of the most memorable and most romantic scenes of the drama were filmed in Greece. Here’s a list of select places where the shooting took place:

1. dal.komm Coffee Shop

da.komm coffee shop
Photo Credit:

This is the location where Sergeant Major Seo Dae-young and Captain Yoo Shi-jin went to after the thief incident on the street in episode 1. The second time the shop appeared in the drama is in the second episode wherein Kang Mo-yeon cuts his connection with Yoo Shi-jin. However, the two shops are not the same. The one in the first episode is located in 108 and 109, Building 3D, Prugio City, Bundang District, Seongnam City, Gyeonggi Province, Korea. The second one was shot at Level 1, Central Park Prugio, 23-5 Songdo-dong, Yeonsu District, Incheon, South Korea.

2. Taebaek Harbor Exhausted Mine

Taebaek Harbor Exhausted Mine
Photo Credit:

This is located in Taebaek City in the Gangwon Province, South Korea. It is an abandoned coal mine where most of the military camp scenes were shot. The area now does not really look like how it was in the series as the camp was taken down after the shooting.

In the drama this area is the setting of Uruk, the fictional country to which the medical team of Kang Mo-yeon is sent on a humanitarian mission. Many reports in the past claimed that the military base will be recreated in the location to make it a tourist spot but there have been no confirmations regarding on the plan from the government.

Jung Chang-soo, the CEO of the Korea Tourism Organization, said in a statement regarding the possible remake of the set at the abandoned coal mine, “The film set should be created as a sustainable tourist destination rather than a one-time location. The site should be connected with other regional tourist products for the long run.” Former president Park Geun-hye supported the proposal of Jung but it is unknown if they will still push through with it.

3. Samtan Art Mine

Samtan Art Mine
Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

Do you remember the earthquake scene in the drama that damaged a lot of buildings and infrastructures in Uruk? One of the heavily hit areas was the solar power plant where the rescue operation of the Kang Mo-yeon’s medical and Yoo Shi-jin’s military team took place. This area is the Samtan Art Mine located in 1445-44, Hambaeksan-ro, Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea.

The location is a former abandoned mine that was transformed into a cultural and art complex for public visit. It has no an art center, wine cave, restaurant, rail museum, and other auxiliary facilities. The art center, in particular, has a studio, modern museum,  storage for art works, and other amenities for artists. Aside from the  collapsed building in the power plant, the safe house of the antagonist of the drama (Argus, played by David McInnis) and his gang was also filmed at the Mine.

4. Camp Greaves DMZ Experience Center

Camp Greaves DMZ Experience Center
Photo Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

Scenes showing the military headquarter of Yoo Si-jin and the soldiers in the Uruk dispatch troops are filmed at Camp Greaves DMZ Experience Center in Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. The Center actually served as a base camp for the United States Army for almost five decades after the North and South Korea signed their ceasefire agreement. It is located just about 2 km from the southern boundary line of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Due to the success of the drama, cultural and tourism activities have been conducted in the area. The local authorities decided to set up a program that will take visitors around the barracks, their local theme park, and the garden.

5. The Monastery of Panagia Skopiotissa

The Monastery of Panagia Skopiotissa
Photo Credit: Vaclav Mach (Shuttertock)

This area  is located in Mount Skopos on the island of Zakynthos in Greece and served as part of Yoo Shi-jin’s military camp in Uruk. In his article in, Aloysius Soh noted that the ruins of this 15th century-old monastery’s stone walls “perfectly captures the themes of war and destruction tackled in the show. It is a juxtaposition of beauty and devastation.”

One scene in the drama that was shot in this location is in episode 12 when Kang Mo-yeon hugs Yoo Shi-jin all of a sudden while he is holding two cups of coffee. Another one is in episode 5 where he confronts her about the kiss and asks, “What should I do about it? Should I apologize or confess my love?

6. Navagio Beach, Zakynthos Island

Navagio Beach

One could argue that this location is the most beautiful among the filming locations of the drama. Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck Beach or Smuggler’s Cove, is located in Zakynthos Island in Greece. The location was first shown in the drama when Yoo Shi-hin took Kang Mo-yeon to the beach to see a shipwrecked vessel which became a permanent fixture at the beach since it sunk and washed up in the area in 1983. 

The second time this location appeared in the drama is in the final episode, during which the couple’s final kissing scene is shown.

7. Arachova, Greece

Photo Credit: Anton Ivanov (Shutterstock)

This area is also in Greece. Whenever Yoo Shi-jin and Kang Mo-yeon find time to do things together and get away from the military camp for a while, the setting of their destination is usually in Arachova, a mountain town in Boeotia, Greece. The Memorable Scene No. 4 (above) was shot in this area. Another scenes showing this location are in episode 5 when Yoo Shi-jin and Kang Mo-yeon went to the town and encountered Argus. 

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

(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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