Recap: What's Up Episode 16

More cats are out of the bag as we enter the last run of What’s Up.

Episode 16

We rewind to Byung-gun’s most triumphant moment to date, this time through the eyes of Doo-ri.

DR: Sometimes, miracles happen in this world. For instance, the story about the frog which turns into a prince after it is kissed by a princess. Although it’s disappointing that it has to happen through the princess’ kiss, at least the frog gets to turn into a prince. Actually, it’s not that difficult for the frog to turn into a prince. What’s stranger is how the frog and the princess come to be so in love after meeting for the first time…

Doo-ri and Sun both notice how Jae-hun’s presence lifts Tae-hee’s spirit and encourages her to sing.

Doo-ri is inspired and starts working on her script: “Before we’re 19 years old, let the world not let us think of anything…not to think…but just go ahead and do whatever needs to be done…only then we can live… When we’re 20 years old, our lives start changing. Even though I can’t be sure if it’s the world or me who is changing, but something is slowly and surely changing…To a 20 year old, the world is 1 part warm miracle and 999 part cruel reality mashed together. The world is a recollection. ”

While Doo-ri narrates, we see a disguised Doo-ri stalking Sun who heads to the bus-stop, where Jae-hun is also present. They board the bus, and Doo-ri rushes out from her hiding spot to board the bus too just in time. Doo-ri follows Sun right to the hospital where she spies him talking comfortably to the lady doctor. It’s how he always speaks to the doctor but Doo-ri is unaware of that of course and gets realllly jealous! She calms herself in the men’s toilet (Hah!), removes her disguises and spruce up herself.

Then she confronts Sun who is surprised to see her. She admits to have stalked him here and demands to know what he’s doing here, claiming to be aware of the entire situation. Sun is flustered, unsure how to respond especially since he thinks she’s on to his secret. He tries to leave but she launches into a tirade of dissatisfactions, loudly, therefore attracting attention from the nurses and other patients. Sun who realizes now she’s not onto his secret, waves a prescription slip which finally stops Doo-ri who goes into a worried-gf mode instead. J

Over lunch, she continues pestering him into telling her what illness he is suffering from. Unable to resist her persistence, Sun concocts a half-truth about him suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms. He’s not in pain but he will still need to take the medication for a short period of time, after which he will recover. Completely. (There’s something so sad about the casual way he explains the fatality of his disease). Satisfied, Doo-ri asks about his relationship with the doctor, only content to let him off the hook when he replies that he doesn’t even know the doctor’s name.

Sun looks at her fondly (not a lover’s gaze…more like a teacher’s gaze) as she gobbles up her food more enthusiastically now that she’s sorted out her so-called potential rival. Just then, Sun winces in pain and excuses himself quickly to the loo. Uneasy, Doo-ri reaches for his medications…and stuffs a sample of them into her bag. Smart girl, but I’m not sure she’s prepared for the truth…

Meanwhile, Jae-hun answers the summon to be present for interrogation, after hesitating for the longest time at the entrance. Officer Jo sits before him, a little impressed he’s gotten more courteous since he started university.

Jae-hun tries to find out what he’s after, but Officer Jo just kept quiet throughout his grumblings before producing his ace – the photograph of the distorted motorbike – asking Jae-hun if he recognizes it. Jae-hun remembers it well, but acts as though he doesn’t. Officer Jo tells him to cut the crap, he’s not interested to dilly-dally with him, he has other criminals to catch. Did he cause the accident?

Victim is Park Young-soo, died on the scene of the accident, thought to be caused by the driver of the truck. Driver was released after negotiations with the victim’s family. Case closed. But the driver felt aggrieved, claims he wasn’t at fault and sought him out. Driver claims that victim swerved before his truck trying to avoid a motorbike. A witness saw someone like him at the scene, saw that he was stunned motionless before running away from the scene, leaving his motorbike behind. Jae-hun lashes out, still in denial, wondering how the witness could have recognized him so dark at night.

Officer Jo calmly points out his slip of tongue – how did he know it was night? Damn. Jae-hun remains quiet while Officer Jo reads out his crimes, which is in simple terms – Hit and run. Highest punishment is life imprisonment or 5 years or more in jail. He orders him locked up, waiting for his confession and tells him to call his mother. When he refuses his right to call, Officer wants to confiscate his cellphone…thinking he’s got no one else to call anyway T.T

Doo-ri walks with Sun to the bus-stop, making unabashed attempts to cuddle up to him. Sun repels her every time, but she would not be thwarted. Sun receives a mysterious call – from Jae-hun?? And bundles Doo-ri onto the bus before she could react.

It is Jae-hun! Officer Oh is surprised that Jae-hun called a Professor, even more surprised that he would show up at the police station. Sun is pretty surprised himself. Officer Jo admits that he thinks Jae-hun is bad news, in fact he was non too happy to learn he’s enrolled in a school…since he used to lie and run from the police. This is news to Sun, that Jae-hun is a habitual offender. 

Officer Jo lays out the situation clearly for Sun – the truck driver has been petitioning for them to reopen the case, alleging unfair treatment and found a witness to prove his case. If the media gets wind of this, there’ll be hell to pay. Sun is curious why Jo is feeding him that much detail, since it should be confidential. Officer Jo admits he need his help – it’s better for both parties to resolve the matter amicably.

Sun meets with Jae-hun, who is surprised to be released from custody. The cops have given him 3 days to solve the matter. So he can return to school for now. Jae-hun is still stubbornly denying any wrongdoings. Sun notes that he wasn’t captured but came on his own accord. Jae-hun tries to explain but Sun tells him to shut it and follow him.

On the bus, Sun continues to analyze him. It’s a half-half situation isn’t it? On one half, he continues his denial because of fear. On the other half, he wants to serve time after confessing everything. Jae-hun tries to provoke Sun in self-defence, but Sun is too calm for that. He finally reveals his version of the events – it wasn’t exactly a hit and run, he tried avoiding the victim too and got injured himself. Sun tells him it’s useless explaining to him, he needs to explain to the victim.

Jae-hun thinks he meant the truck driver, but no, it’s the dead victim’s family he needs to do his explaining to. If he’s able to receive forgiveness from the family, he can avoid doing time. Sun has in his hand the address of the victim’s family, which consists of a couple of old parents and a daughter, whose name he already knows….Watching a silent Jae-hun, Sun says: “Sometimes even before something becomes known, the trapped body and soul is already serving penance…it’s a fact not many are aware of…”

Back in the school, the new choreographer is drilling a completely new routine into the students from Prof Yang’s musical. The students are having trouble grasping the new routine which annoys the choreographer who complains to Secretrary Oh. Chang-jin is also trying to convince Prof Yang to revert back to their previous choreography.

When Prof Yang and Secretary Oh confront each other, it’s obvious that Oh is calling all the shots. He demands that the company’s dancers are recruited for the musical, the practice hours are extended in expense of the day classes which should be re-shuffled, and for the vocals – he wants Tae-hee and Byung-gun! There’s really no room for discussion…and Prof Yang could only swallow her pride, because Oh is their sponsor.

But that doesn’t mean she’s not mad. In fact, she’s so pissed she’s directing her anger at the students. Chae-young is looking non too pleased herself. Guess her plans are backfiring on herself.

Prof Yang requests for Byung-gun and Tae-hee’s participation from Sun who couldn’t resist rubbing it in her nose – she who declared she had no need for first years. He’s aware of her predicament, having read all about it the school’s online bulletin. But she’s looking at the big picture – a first real chance for Haneul Art University to clinch first place in the NYMF competition. Sun asks her curiously how could it be considered a Haneul Art University product if everything from directing, choreography, script and actors are all outsourced.

She is indignant at being ridiculed, not when she’s repressing her dignity for the sake of her students. Because no matter how much she yells and shouts in class, she cannot provide them opportunities like that company can, and for that she is willing to grovel. Sun stops ridiculing her but claims he doesn’t own the students, so he can’t exactly hand them to her. She should just ask them herself. LOL. Prof Yang is pissed he made her go through all that when that is the case. Hah.

Chae-young tracks down Oh, grabbing his car keys to force him to talk to her. She’s understandably angry he’s demanding for Tae-hee’s participation since the whole deal was for her to compete with her in the first place. He doesn’t share her views and his dismissive attitude fuels her anger.

Oh loses patience with her, and explains his own stakes. True, she started the whole thing. But she’s got nothing much to lose besides another opportunity lost. But for him, it’s a matter of do or die. Because he dares compete with the son of the company’s President. There’s no second chance for him. Chae-young is furious he expects her to allow Tae-hee to usurp her place but he reminds her it’s another opportunity trample on Tae-hee’s fragile confidence. So she’d face the same problem with her voice during Director Kang’s musical. It’s a piece of cake for her right? Gosh…now who’s using who? So much for your manipulative skills Chae-young…you created a monster.

Tae-hee spots Jae-hun from afar but before she could approach him, she’s called by Prof Yang. After dispensing with all the niceties, Prof Yang finally reveals her true intentions. She wants Tae-hee to join their musical instead. It’s sponsored by her company so she’s expected to join them. Furthermore, if they win it will provide a platform for her to showcase her talent on a real stage before a real audience – isn’t that her dream?

Tae-hee is deep in thoughts when she bumps into Sun. Sun tells her to find Jae-hun and her face glows instantly. He’s appointed Jae-hun as director so he wants her to tell Jae-hun to come up with a proper schedule. Tae-hee is super excited, now she’d have an excuse to see him! She’s so transparent that Sun immediately teases her for liking Jae-hun. She protests weakly before admitting her feelings. LOL. That was cute!

She also admits that it’s one sided, but promises to exercise more self-respect and restrain herself. But that’s not what he meant. He asks her for 500won. For intelligence. Woot! LOL. When she passes him 500 won, he tells her that Jae-hun likes her too, even more that she likes him. Initially she thinks he’s joking, and then she thinks he’s trying to comfort her. Sun flips the coin and says, “I don’t sell fake intelligence.” Awwww….Tae-hee mulls over his words, confused.

Soo-bin is composing alone (new hairstyle again!) when Chae-young shows herself. He’s surprised to see her since she’d declared she’s not speaking to a traitor. She looks at his composition, amazed he’s pouring so much effort challenging an amateur like Do-sung. But Soo-bin disagrees. He doesn’t think Do-sung is an amateur. From his songs, he can see that Do-sung is a seasoned composer, with a personalized characteristic, which is rare among composers nowadays.

Chae-sung notes he’s looking rather excited, which is rare for him. He’s aware of it himself and tells her to leave him, so he can continue to derive pleasure in his work. Instead, Chae-young plops herself on the piano, declaring she wants to experience the same thing – to smile and shout out happily, passionately, truly. Soo-bin tells her not to disturb him, since he sees no reason why she can’t do all that – she doesn’t need a license for that.

Chae-young wonders aloud if she’ll feel happy receiving an award for something. How long would the happiness last? A month? 3 days? Will she receive less ill-favor if she receives such awards? People tend to agree with someone else’s opinion, if something receives praise others will think it’s good, when in truth they have no idea of it’s true value. Soo-bin senses something is troubling her. Chae-young admits that she feels like killing anyone who’s genuinely happy now – it’s a curse…like abracadabra…enough to trample another if uttered religiously. Sigh. When will she learn?

Do-sung returns to his room to find Jae-hun packing. He’s running away. How funny is it that the situation is reversed now. He tells Do-sung honestly that he’s quitting school. Do-sung anxiously grabs the cellophane tape…trying to prevent him from leaving. Do-sung also points out the irony of the situation…Jae-hun laughs and agrees. Life is just like a hand of poker cards…you never know what card will be handed to you next. Do-sung throws back Jae-hun’s exact words at him, back when he was leaving. When he asks if Jae-hun’s told Tae-hee he’s leaving, Jae-hun grabs his backpack and leaves, reminding Do-sung to courier the boxes later. Do-sung stops him at the door.

DS: You can’t leave!

JH: I’ll message you my address.

DS: Jang Jae-hun! What is this about? Yah! You knew all my secrets. I’m your friend! I thought we were friends! But what’s this suddenly? How can things just change?

JH: I might go to jail.

DS: What?

JH: The cops want me to negotiate with the victim’s family. If I were to do that, I’d have to confess everything. But, those are words I’d die before saying. So, I rather go to jail.

DS: What are you saying?

JH: Didn’t you say we’re friends? If that is the case, you won’t mind paying for the courier service right?

Do-sung is confused and at lost of what to say. Sob sob. Jae-hee sees Doo-ri on his way out. Doo-ri looks at his backpack warily. He wishes her luck with Sun and tells her she’s a good kid. It’s so out of character that Doo-ri thinks he might be sick. But Jae-hun playfully ruffles her hair before she could react. She retaliates and he surrenders and leaves.

Doo-ri watches him leave with a funny look on her face, and the gust of cold wind ruffles her hair as the door opens…but she hardly has a moment to dwell on it before Byung-gun shows up, pleased with himself. Doo-ri made him find out what Sun’s medications are for from his dad. But of course Byung-gun couldn’t exactly approach dad since dad has no idea he’s doing musical here…

Doo-ri gets impatient with his incessant ramblings and tells him to cut to the point. Byung-gun actually consulted his doctor hyung who tells him the medications are opioid painkillers, normally used for cancer patients. Doo-ri’s eyes widen in sudden comprehension!

Extra footage:

First part is during their first musical showdown. Sun is boasting to Chang-jin about how he designed the little flags….ever since kindergarden. Understandably, Chang-jin thinks he’s gone cuckoo.

For the ending theme this episode, we have the scene from after the accident, whereby Jae-hun stumbled into a theater hall and saw someone singing The Phantom of the Opera.


We only have two more episodes to go and everything is converging nicely for what will unquestionably be an emotional finale.  And I can’t wait to see it. I know Sun will leave us, but I hope he gets to accomplish what he wants and exert an irreplaceable and profound influence on the kids.  

Right now, I’m still waiting for Chae-young and Prof Yang to make the right choice…they’re not evil, just plain misguided. On the other hand, I don’t think I care what happens to Secretary Oh…maybe it’s because we don’t spend as much time with his character but I hope he gets what he deserves.

It’s been another long journey, but I sincerely do not regret recapping What’s Up. In fact, I think it’s a pretty great drama despite its understated tone and it’s just too bad it did not receive as much love as it deserves. My only regret would be I was unable to offer the best inputs with regards to the songs, which are fantastic, and for that I apologize. Just a couple of more days to go!


  1. Thank you for recapping! This drama is very satisfying indeed to watch.

  2. Hey,

    I haven't been commenting. I'm sorry! Bad me!

    Love your recaps and your straight forward take on things.

    I just finished ep 18 and I'm a sob fest. Doo-ri...Im Joo-eun right? She is so fantabulous for a small name. Who cares how well known she is, she's breaking my heart in any case. She can act the s*** out of anything!

    Thanks for your hard work!

  3. @Raine,
    It's ok. Kinda surprise you're watching What's Up too...since your fav Shi-hoo is not in this :) I love what you did to your site too, though I haven't been commenting as well.

    1. @swui

      I watch other things...jaja. I don't mind that you don't comment as long as you enjoy it. I love reading your opinions even though we differ on some things. I really like seeing how the same thing affects people differently.

      You're doing a GREAT job. I linked to your site, btw. So other people can rock What's Up and In time with you and TPM!