The Promise 101-102 (FINALE)

Yookyung’s hired hitman causes a fatal and dramatic accident that leads to forgiveness and amnesia.

THE RECAP

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Yookyung’s silent drink where she blames Nayoung for the hitman is interrupted by a call from the hospital.  In the emergency room, she is told that Sejin is critical with a ruptured kidney whereas Nayoung has only non-critical injuries.

When Yookyung realizes that Sejin was in the same car as Nayoung, she realizes that it was her fault and faints.

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Yookyung decides that it’s somehow Nayoung’s fault and goes to harass the unconscious Nayoung.  Hwi-Kyung realizes what would happen when Yookyung rushes away and manages to come in minutes after Yookyung attacks.  Yookyung stalks off to call the hitman in the stairway and scream that he killed her daughter instead of Nayoung.

Hwi-Kyung had followed Yookyung into the stairway and overhears everything.  He asks Yookyung if she’s behind the accident.  But Yookyung only yells back that Hwi-Kyung is worried about Nayoung when his family is suffering.  Ah the remorseless antagonist.

Hwi-Kyung goes back to Nayoung’s room and wonders how he can stay with her with such a crazy sister…

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Nayoung feels guilty for Sejin being in a critical condition because she chose to drive…Nayoung assumes that it was because Sejin saw Taejoon with Nayoung.  So, she goes to visit Taejoon and let him know about Sejin.  But Taejoon refuses to visit saying that it would only make it harder on Sejin.

Annoyed with how useless Taejoon is, Nayoung calls him out as being a weak guy who cannot protect those he cares about. Yep.

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Since this is the second to last episode, we need to tie up loose threats.  Nayoung broods in her room about the police investigator’s questions.  The investigator had mused that the accident was weird since usually these freak car accidents result in the driver sustaining less injuries than the passenger as the driver unconsciously swerves to protect him or herself…But, here, the driver ended up in a critical condition as if she was protecting the passenger.

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The next day, the doctor tells Yookyung and Gyungwan that Sejin’s kidney is functioning at 20%.  She needs a kidney transplant.  Yookyung, Gyungwan and Hwi-Kyung get tested for compatibility but they all are not a match.

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Yookyung screams that she will save Sejin and goes to beg Giwan to get tested.  He answers that he will after he gets permission from his wife and daughters.  Yookyung sees through his words and marches out.

Yookyung then meets with Nayoung and demands that Nayoung save Sejin.  OMG this woman.  The worst type – you know, the ones that only think of themselves and their family?  Yeah, no pity for her suffering.

Nayoung grimaces and agrees but Hwi-Kyung interrupts.  He tells her not to do it.  But Nayoung answers that a test doesn’t guarantee anything.

Nayoung goes to visit Sejin who is awake.  She asks Sejin why Sejin turned the handle in the direction where the passenger is saved at the expense of the driver.  Sejin sighs that it was unconscious and not for Nayoung’s benefit.

But when Nayoung leaves, Sejin has a flashback to the accident…Prior to the accident, she had overheard her mother tell the hitman to create a minor accident that would scare Nayoung.

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Of course, Nayoung is found to be a match and Gyungwan calls her out to ask her to donate her kidney.  In contrast, Hwi-Kyung meets Nayoung at her house to tell her not to do the transplant.

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As Sejin becomes critical, Nayoung is called in by the police.  The officer in charge notes that from Nayoung’s car’s rear camera, the car was following Nayoung from her house…. It was as if someone had deliberately targetted Nayoung but did not realize Sejin would drive.

Nayoung walks out in a daze where Hwi-Kyung meets her.  He knows what she must have heard and tells her not to forgive any of them.

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Yookyung calls Nayoung out and demands to know why she isn’t donating her kidney.  She even has the audacity to ask why Nayoung pretended to agree to donate.

Nayoung snaps back that she has no responsibility toward Sejin.  She also blames Yookyung of killing her mother before planning this car accident.  It’s Yookyung’s fault that Sejin is hurt.

Yookyung realizes that she’s been found out and falls to her knees.  She begins to sob and begs Nayoung to save Sejin.

Nayoung snaps that Yookyung only cries when she feels that she would benefit from it.  She gets up to leave when Yookyung grabs her leg.

From the ground, Yookyung confesses to lying…She confesses that she had been afraid of Gyungwan leaving her.  So she had begged Eunhae to leave the family alone…She had offered to compensate Eunhae to keep it a secret but Eunhae had refused and walked off.  It was then that Eunhae got into the accident… She was tempted when Eunhae was on the ground and dying.  Then she gave in to her temptation and left Eunhae to die, which was when Eunhae got the earring.

Yookyung sobs that she will repent her whole life if Nayoung would save Sejin.  Nayoung gives Yookyung a scathing look of disgust before walking away into the rain.

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The long night passes and both Sejin and Nayoung are wheeled into surgery.  Yookyung is following Sejin when the police arrive to arrest Yookyung for the charge of aiding and assulting the attempted murder of Dohee.

Gyungwan stares at Yookyung in disbelief.  Yookyung walks away with the police willingly after telling Gyungwan not to forgive her.

In a voiceover, we hear that Yookyung gets 3 years in prison for her attempt at assulting Dohee and assulting Sejin.

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Time jump to 5 months later.  Sejin is healed.

Sejin and Gyungwan visit Dohee and Saebyul’s memorial  But, Sejin does not remember either of the two.  Gyungwan explains that Dohee was his daughter and Saebyul his granddaughter.  Sejin happily asks if she knew Saebyul as she would have loved such a cute child.

Gyungwan smiles that she did…As if.

Then on the car ride back, we find out that Gyungwan and everyone are lying to Sejin.  They told her that her mother was studying abroad.

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Yookyung is sporting jail clothes while Hwi-Kyung visits his murderous step-sister. Gah, this is why when you’re marrying, you have to look at the family.  If there are bad apples, run away…For the whole tree might be corrupted.

Yookyung muses that she misses Sejin before asking about Nayoung.  Her only remorse is to ask about Nayoung before noting that she has nothing to say.  Yeah, how about apologizing for being a psychopath?

She does pause before going back into jail cell to tell Hwi-Kyung to pursue Nayoung since Nayoung saved Sejin.  what about because the two supposedly love each other?

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Gyungwan also visits Hwi-Kyung to tell him that Nayoung returns that weekend.  Gyungwan suggests that Hwi-Kyung go to pick up Nayoung.

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Off on the side, Geum-Bong gives birth to twins.

After much brooding, Hwi-Kyung goes to the airport.  But just as he’s about to call for Nayoung, he sees Taejoon run up to her.  Frowning, Hwi-Kyung turns away.

We hear that Nayoung met Taejoon on the plane because his company sent him off for additional study?  In what I wonder since this is the genius that took 5 years to complete a normally 2 year MBA program…

They part happily.

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Just then Sejin rushes into the airport.  She runs into Taejoon and is about to run in when she pauses.  She walks around him and then asks if they know each other.

Taejoon smiles that he does know her.  Sejin laughs that she lost her memory as an after effect of her surgery. Pulling out a business card, she tells him to call her before running off.

Sejin’s goal is to meet with Nayoung, whom she also doesn’t remember. Sejin happily prattles that her father missed the bus and sent her instead.

Nayoung smiles and thanks Sejin for coming out but apologizes that she’s waiting for someone.  Sejin takes it graciously and smiles that she can go after the guy she ran into earlier – whom, she’s sure that she knows.

Nayoung realizes that it’s Taejoon and bids her to go quickly.

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Taejoon meets up with Hwi-Kyung and calls out.  He tells Hwi-Kyung to hurry up and go inside since Nayoung is waiting for him.  Hwi-Kyung doesn’t need any other pushes.

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Hwi-Kyung leaves as Sejin runs over and extends her hand to Taejoon.

 

Hwi-Kyung finds that Nayoung has left the waiting area.  He walks around in frustrated circles when Nayoung appears at the area that he bumped into her in the past.  She berates him for making her wait and Hwi-Kyung thanks her for not getting over him.

MY FINAL IMPRESSIONS

And, this is over.  I have decided that while KBS daily dramas usually do better in Korean viewership ratings, I’m going to try giving SBS or MBC a chance for my next daily drama series that I recap.  Why?  There is a condition that plagues all of the KBS daily dramas that I watch.  They begin to drag at one point, which makes me lose my emotional connection. But I digress.

PLOT

Heaven’s Promise did a good job in not meandering off of its main premise – Nayoung’s revenge.  While other dramas sometimes forget the plot in the middle or become another drama, this one did well in focusing on the main story.  On the flip side, it ran out of ideas at one point so it began to drag.

CHARACTERS

This is another mixed bag.  Some of the side characters like Mr. and Mrs. Baek were given a lot of depth during their short screen appearances.  Thus, one could see how they are dealing with multiple different motives and emotions.  Their deicisons made sense.  In contrast, some main characters like Yookyung fell flat.

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Yookyung was such a 2D antagonist. She started out as an insecure woman who only lived for her daughter and husband.  Throughout the whole drama, you knew that she did everything for them.  Yet, the whole 102 episodes rarely gave her depth.  The only time that Yookyung faltered in her “I-MUST-PROTECT-SEJIN” mindset was when Youngsook was involved.  Yet, even the character pause that Youngsook gave Yookyung was shallow.  Yookyung’s character screamed “I AM THE ANTAGONIST.” That was it.

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Ah, Nayoung finally gets some good makeup without looking too strong as she had when she played Dohee.  It only took 102 episodes.  But, Nayoung’s character actually developed during this series which I really appreciated.  She began as this really frustrating single-minded needy woman into someone who could stop her mother-in-law from slapping her.

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One thing that I really love about revenge dramas is that you see the main character grow, stumble and grow even more.  Here, Nayoung grew a backbone.  She turned into a revenge seeking sociopath.  But then, she found her humanity and reorganized her priorities once Sejin got hurt.  She was willing to overcome the fact that Sejin killed Saebyul and donate her kidney.  Then, she was willing to return to Hwi-Kyung, which was a huge sacrifice.  Returning to Hwi-Kyung and accepting him means accepting his crazy psychopathic family with all of its faults.  The drama did use the tropes of accident, amnesia and time jumps to achieve the final character development.  But, since we are so invested in Nayoung, I’ll take it for closure.

Sejin was also a bit stagnant as a character once she turned evil.  Prior to turning evil, it was fun to watch Sejin go from this haughty heiress who could stand up for herself into someone head over heels for a guy.  She seemed so real even with her faults that I wondered if I would learn to hate her…

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But then… The drama used the sniveling self-pitying card over and over and over again.  Suddenly, Sejin fell into this character whose sole purpose was to annoy the readers so that we would root for Nayoung.  In that, the drama succeeded.  Whereas, Sejin began as a girl who wanted to take over Baekdo in her own right, she ended up being this girl who did notthing but pity herself and whine over Taejoon.  This felt so flat…Sejin acted irrationally and her motives were unclear for why she was being so annoying other than that she was Antagonist Female 2.

Sejin’s character got rehabilitated in the last arc but it was clear that it was just so that they could tie up loose ends.

As for the men, neither Taejoon or Hwi-Kyung were particularly memorable in this drama.  Neither of their characters made me swoon continuously or squeal.  They were just their to hate or to exist as Male Lead 1 who is destined to be with Nayoung.  As such, since the night is pretty late, I’m going to move on.

FINAL VERDICT?  B –

If I was not watching any other daily drama, I would watch this.  It had some really fun elements (the revenge) which can help blow off steam without really having to use one’s mind.  It was also simple and reliable in that I knew sooner or later, there would be cathartic revenge.  It took until the last 20 or so episodes for the revenge but we got it.  Yet, it was not a drama that I would recommend going out of my way to watch.  Had there been more chemistry (I felt the chemistry between Dohee and Hwi-Kyung was pretty good but not Nayoung and Hwi-Kyung) or if at least one male lead was memorable, I might have given it a higher score.  But alas, we have to continue our search for an amazing daily drama.

 

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