Furious that his son and ex-wife are both turning against him, Chairman Hong threatens his ex-wife with Sang Tae's safety. Knowing his dad wouldn't really hurt him, Sang Tae decides to keep staying with Chairman Hong and tells his mother to do what's right.
Mountains of evidence against them, all the baddies starts to turn against each other and pushing the blame around. Minister Kang was hoping he could remain blameless through all the dirty flinging but all hopes was lost (along with his bid from becoming the next president) when his son, Chief Do hands over a recording that has his voice telling Chief Do's mother that he could easily have them killed.
Man, it really bugs me when a show gives out half victories. I realize it is probably realistic but there is a reason I am watching dramas you know?! If I wanted reality I'll just go watch the news!
Time Jump: 3 Month Later.
Still having a difficult time over her son's death (he died from trying to prevent the school building from collapsing), Kang Ja's mother-in-law is nonetheless getting some comfort from Kang Ja, Ah Ran and Princess Han's presence.
In the middle of being transported from prison to somewhere else, Dong Chil hears the stunning news that Chairman Hong has already been released. Knowing full well what kind of man Chairman Hong is, Dong Chil knocks the guards unconscious and escapes.
Ah Ran rushes to a back ally to meet with Dong Chil and with tears in her eyes she says "You are my father." Shaking his head, Dong Chil breaks down in tears as well and finally tells Ah Ran that she is his niece "I am your uncle that accidentally killed your father, my brother."
Kang Ja "But that means you will spend the rest of your life in prison."
Dong Chil "Don't you find me scary?"
Kang Ja "I know you helped Ah Ran secretly, because she is your brother's daughter."
Dong Chil "No, because she is YOUR daughter."
Looking down in shame, Dong Chil tells her "Jo Kang Ja. I am sorry. I am sorry I pushed my own crime onto you."
Dong Chil really was an interesting character. So scary, but his pain was also apparent for all to see. Compare to the monsters he worked for, he just doesn't seem like such a bad guy anymore.
Telling Chairman Hong to think about what the kids suffered (referring to when the building collapsed), Dong Chil leaves with Kang Ja. Unable to get up, Chairman Hong feebly asks for help only to see his own men leaving without a backward glance at him. Calling out a weak help, Chairman Hong's eyes widen when a pair of white shoes show up and he reaches out his hand for help. (The white shoes are the same pair that the assistant of the very important person Chairman Hong visited earlier in the day was wearing. I guess only the dead are the best secret keeper.) It puzzled me for a second why Chairman Hong's men would leave without helping him, but then I realized those men were probably really working for the guy wearing the white shoes.
The next scene we see is the tv news reporting the death of Chairman Hong and all the various speculation of how he died.
Bok Dong happily welcomes his brother's release from prison and finds out from his brother that Dong Chil's fierceness is keeping his prison life quite comfy.
Still teaching at the school, No Ah is now the acknowledged "handsome teacher" of the school.
No Ah (the hero) takes his class on a hiking trip. Judging by how shyly Ah Ran tells Sang Tae to cut it out when he tries to piggy back her up the mountain the two young love birds' romance is still going strong.
Acting like friends now, Bok Dong and Sang Tae sits together after they hiked to the top of the mountain. The two boys starts talking about their dreams for the future and Sang Tae tells Bok Dong that he has decided to become a prosecutor so he can one day expose the "secret book" his father gave away before he died. Knowing full well that the "secret book" might very well be in the hands of those of the highest power but Sang Tae is not afraid.
Standing together, No Ah and Kang Ja thinks back to what happened in the past year and is grateful to the many sacrifices of the people they know that helped to bring peace back to the school. Kang Ja goes on to remark that while the winters might be cold and bitter but spring will always come back.
We end with a happy class photo.
At first I wasn't entirely satisfied with the ending but after having a night to think it over I am actually okay with it now. I really wanted the baddies to be brought to justice directly by the hands of the victims but in the end it was a bit dissatisfying that they ended up taking each other down. However, the more I think about it the more I realized that is how the show has worked the whole time. All along, the baddies had to fight against the "little people" who tried to raise against them, but in the end what ends up being the biggest obstacle to their own greed were the natural consequences of their action. Minister Kang was brought down by Chief Do because of his own ruthlessness towards his own son. Chairman Hong died in the hands of the other "big bad" who he was trying to threaten. Even Dong Chil's pain for accidentally killing his own brother is really stem from the violent path he has chosen for his life. The parents of those children that died were the very same parents that ignored Kang Ja and No Ah's pleas for them to unite together so they can stop the school construction.
I am a bit disappointed that our two leads didn't get together or even has a hint that maybe something will happen later on... but dang, that smile on Dong Chil's face sure makes me wish I was watching a J-drama so I can get a special later on to see if Dong Chil really comes through on his noona romance or not.
Overall, I enjoyed this show quite a bit. I wished the hopelessness of fighting against the bad guys weren't so pervasive through out the whole show but since I watched Angry Mom all the way to the end I guess it must of been at a tolerable level. This one is probably not one I would necessary recommend to those who really need romance in their dramas, but for those who are happy with sisterhood, friendship and human warmth then this was a great watch.
Overall rating: 3.5- 4/5 (3.5 if I really want to nitpick but a 4 if you just want to go with the overall feeling after watching the show.)