Love Affairs In The Afternoon Episode 16 Recap (Final)

This entry is part 16 of 16 in the post series Love Affairs In The Afternoon Recap

Jung-woo (LEE SANG-YEOB) returns to his grandfather’s house and thinks of the time he spent with Ji-eun there. As Ji-eun (PARK HA-SUN) sits surrounded by fire, Chang-kook (JUNG SANG-HOON) rushes home. When he gets there, the house is filled with smoke and the fire alarm and sprinkler have gone off, drenching Ji-eun and dousing the fire. Chang-kook takes an unconscious Ji-eun in his arms.

Soo-ah (YE JI-WON) narrates bedtime stories to her daughters and tucks them in bed. Ha-yoon (JO DONG-HYUK) stares at his painting of Soo-ah, his hand all bandaged up. Soo-ah texts that she will return in a few days, when her kids feel better, and Ha-yoon replies that she can take all the time she needs. Perhaps realizing she won’t be back, Ha-yoon thinks of their time together and sheds tears.

Soo-ah discovers her earrings and old magazines with her cover photos on Young-jae’s (CHOI BYUNG-MO) desk. She’s reminded of the time she’d cried during a ballet performance and Ha-yoon had comforted her. She overhears Young-jae talking to Bit-na (YOO SEO-JIN) on the phone, trying to convince her to drop the lawsuit against Soo-ah. When he mentions Ha-yoon’s ring, Soo-ah steps in front of him and takes back the ring.

Chang-kook takes Ji-eun to the hospital and deals with the police, who have come to inquire about the fire at his house. When she regains consciousness, Chang-kook tells Ji-eun that they should get divorced. He sits outside her room and tears up, as Ji-eun sits on her hospital bed in a daze.

Min-young’s parents see her and Jung-woo off at the airport. Jung-woo assures that he’ll take care of their pregnant daughter, but on the plane, he hears a doctor telling them that Min-young had had a phantom pregnancy. Jung-woo had been instructed to care for Min-young (RYU ABEL), who was in shock from finding out that she wasn’t pregnant.

Ha-yoon covers up the portrait of Soo-ah in his apartment and texts her to ask if they can meet. He tells her that he’s decided to settle down in Spain for good. She understands that he’s trying to break up with her and returns both their rings, saying she doesn’t deserve them. She asks him to forget her and leave without regrets, and they say goodbye with a last hug.

Ji-eun leaves Chang-kook’s home with a huge suitcase and their last pet bird, who is named Hope. Chang-kook wonders if she can handle living alone, and Ji-eun says she wants to try. He apologizes for making her lonely in their marriage. Ji-eun leaves with a wish for Chang-kook to be happy.

Down the street, Ji-eun runs into Soo-ah and the two get coffee. Soo-ah reveals that Ha-yoon is leaving for Spain and she’s going to stay with her kids for a while. Ji-eun shares that she used to be envious of Soo-ah for daring to live on her own terms, and will try to do the same for herself. They say their goodbyes outside the cafe as Ji-eun thinks about how, at 3 p.m. on a weekday, Soo-ah is returning to her family while she is leaving home.

Bit-na agrees to divorce Ha-yoon before he leaves for Spain. Young-jae shells out $2 million to settle with the artist involved in Jeni’s plagiarism case. Kang-chul (OH DONG-MIN) visits Soo-ah to ask if Ha-yoon’s hand is okay. She knows that he attacked Ha-yoon and reveals that they broke up, despite being in love. She thanks him for loving her and advises him to move on.

Ji-eun returns to Jung-woo’s grandfather’s house, ready to live as Son Ji-eun instead of someone’s wife, daughter-in-law, or lover. She frees the bird from her cage with a wish for her to live the way she wants and not care about others.

As Ha-yoon stares at his plane ticket, Soo-ah glances at a plane flying overhead and thinks of him. Ji-eun hangs the empty birdcage at Jung-woo’s house, realizes that all living beings eventually find their place, and seems confident that she will too.

Three years later, Ji-eun bikes around a scenic town and gives some tourists recommendations of places to visit. She cleans a house and makes dorm-style beds. It seems like she runs a boarding house of sorts. In the evenings, she finds the time to write. All in all, she seems at peace.

At an ecological research institute, Ji-min (SHIN WON-HO) visits his old teacher. He remarks that Jung-woo has become successful after becoming the head of this institute and getting his Ph.D. in the U.S. Ji-min wonders if Jung-woo has been happy, and Jung-woo looks pensive before playfully hitting him.

Ji-eun gets rejected from a scriptwriting competition for the third time. Instead of being discouraged, however, she decides to keep trying. At a bar in Spain, Ha-yoon is reminded of Soo-ah while watching a dancer. He takes out his sketchpad and draws her. Bit-na approves an article on Ha-yoon being a genius artist as Ha-yoon sits through an interview. When the interviewer asks what inspires him, Ha-yoon cracks a smile.

Soo-ah is now a ballet instructor who teaches older women. She gets a call from Ah-jin, who needs her mom’s help in choosing a dress.

While hanging out at a local market, Ji-eun sees Min-young with a baby and hides herself, fearing a run-in with Jung-woo. But Min-young’s baby looks half-white, and she walks arm-in-arm with an American man. She looks up Min-young’s Instagram and finds that she has remarried. Chang-kook invites Ji-eun to spend a weekend with him and his mom, and Ji-eun agrees.

Ji-min works at a cafe as a barista. Girls crowd around him, talking about how handsome he is and how good his coffee is. Ah-jin pays him a visit and asks him not to cheat on her.

Ji-eun visits her Chang-kook’s mother at a hospital. She introduces Ji-eun as her daughter-in-law, making Ji-eun awkward. Chang-kook walks in with Yoo-na (PARK MIN-JI) and their kid, and reminds his mom that Yoo-na is her daughter-in-law now. Ji-eun leaves the room in shock, and Chang-kook follows, explaining that his mother is suffering from dementia. Ji-eun feels guilty, but Chang-kook asks her not to worry because his mom is getting better.

Ji-eun watches Chang-kook and Yoo-na dote on their baby and seems glad that Chang-kook found happiness again. On her way back, she stops by the park she used to frequent with Jung-woo and thinks of him.

Soo-ah, Young-jae, and Ah-ram cheer for Ah-jin at her ballet recital. The four of them return home, but Soo-ah doesn’t stay. Instead, she asks her daughters to visit ‘mom’s house’ during the weekend and promises to cook for them. Young-jae offers to drop Soo-ah home but she declines. She goes to her apartment and opens a can of beer. She receives a painting from Ha-yoon—a portrait of her—and tears up. In Spain, Ha-yoon paints while wearing their rings in a thread around his neck.

Ji-eun takes a bus to Jung-woo’s grandfather’s house. On the way, she fiddles with the pen he gave to her and thinks about how despite her financial troubles, she’s living as the real Son Ji-eun and is happy. At the house, Ji-eun is happy to see that the cage she hung there has a nest within it now. A voice behind her asks, “So, have you found Love yet?” She turns to see Jung-woo smiling at her and replies, “I think I just saw it. My Love.”

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Indoor Enthusiast (Esha) is a staff writer at Kdramapal. She is responsible for bringing all the latest happenings in Kdramaland to the readers of the site. You are likely to find her going on rants about how Ji Hae-soo from It's Okay That's Love and Sung Bora from Reply 1988 are the best heroines to grace our screens. Thrillers like Secret Forest, shows about female friendships, a la Age of Youth, and rom-coms with sprinklings of feminism, like Because This Life Is My First, hold a special place in her heart. She lives in India and spends all her free time reading books. Indoor Enthusiast can be reached at [email protected]