This is a happy episode, filled with joy and love. Even if adversity hits So-hye and Hae-sung, at least they’re together and ready to help each other overcome anything life throws their way. So-hye has also learned to live each day with purpose and without regret, which means walking besides her fantastic man through thick and thin.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
So-hye sits at her desk and strokes the album Joon-ki made for her. She narrates, “My cancer comrade, as always, left our sides cheerfully, leaving behind many gifts.”
The scene changes to Joon-ki’s adieu party, and on screen, a video recording of Joon-ki announces that he’s dead. He thanks everyone for attending, and then specially gifts So-hye and Hae-sung their wedding present: a travel package to Bolivia. He wants this to be his last party, and on cue, confetti bursts into the air.
After all the festivities, Joon-ki ends the party by telling everyone to enjoy the gift of today. Eyes brimming with tears, he waves at the camera and gives his final farewell with his trademark smile. So-hye looks out at the crowd, and narrates that there’s no such thing as a farewell that doesn’t hurt or is good. However, there are warm farewells filled with love. Thus, now it’s her turn to prepare her gifts for the people she’ll leave behind.
So-hye types the title for a new blog post, naming it “FantastiCancer.” She writes about how she has no future guaranteed, so she’s going to enjoy the present to the fullest without regrets, adding at the end of her entry, “with my fantastic man, Ryu Hae-sung.”
Sitting together on the couch, So-hye and Hae-sung plan their wedding, deciding on Okinawa for the location. As Hae-sung continues to work on their wedding preparations, So-hye takes out her phone and snaps some photos of him. He dutifully poses for her pictures, and then they take a selfie together.
So-hye and her friends go shopping for her lingerie, and they poke fun at So-hye for not doing anything with Hae-sung even though they live under the same roof. Meanwhile, the men have also created their own club which includes Hae-sung, Pil-ho, Manager Oh, and Sang-wook. They feast over food and drinks that are known to be good for men’s stamina, and celebrate the last day of Hae-sung’s bachelorhood. When a toast is proposed, Hae-sung pours a glass in honor of Joon-ki, and they happily clink glasses.
At a café, So-hye, Sul, and Mi-sun recreate their high school photo, and promise to keep taking them in the future. So-hye receives a call from Sang-hwa, and her face falls. Ominously, So-hye narrates, “Amongst the gifts of everyday, there isn’t only good presents.”
News articles revealing Hae-sung’s mug shot and criminal history plaster the internet. Hae-sung scrolls through the articles, and Jin-sook calls. She explains that she lost her phone, and when Hae-sung states that this is a breach of their contract, she flatly tells him that she’s also a victim. Hence, if Hae-sung still wants to press charges against her, he better be prepared for a long legal battle.
After hanging up, Hae-sung voices his concerns for the drama, and decides to call So-hye to let her know the news. Of course, So-hye already saw the articles and is already at the broadcast station. She meets the director who tells her that their drama will get an early cancellation.
Furious, So-hye marches past the director to personally talk with the higher-ups. They’re not surprised to see her, and tell So-hye that she’ll have to revise the drama since they are ending it at six episodes, because they can’t have a previous drug dealer as the hero of their drama. So-hye argues that the incident is in the past, and that it’s too early to decide. Unfortunately, the public wants Hae-sung out, and the decision has been made.
In the hallway, So-hye runs into Jin-sook who’s here to discuss the scheduling for her new drama which will be replacing Hitman. She’s despicable as always, and So-hye barely manages to keep herself from exploding.
Once Jin-sook leaves, So-hye firmly states that she isn’t going to change her script since this whole situation is an abuse of power by the station. She tells the director that they’ll find a different route to finish their drama, and they share a little cheer to raise their spirits.
At home, Hae-sung stares at his toy train until So-hye comes by and hands him a beer. He’s quit drinking, but she thinks one beer would be appropriate since it was an especially hard day. Hae-sung corrects her, saying that it was an especially eye-opening day for him.
Hae-sung declares his intentions to resuscitate Hitman no matter what since he learned all the techniques from Joon-ki. He suggests putting the drama online, and promises to take responsibility until the end because he’s the producer, lead actor, and So-hye’s man. The mood turns romantic, but before they can do anything, Manager Oh calls out for Hae-sung.
In the living room, two police officers are here to take Hae-sung for questioning about drug possession because of a recent influx of reports. Hae-sung complies with their request since avoiding the situation will only make people more suspicious. Noticing So-hye’s fear, Hae-sung acts brave and reassures her that everything will be fine.
Sang-wook meets Sul at a coffee shop, and tells her that he filed the complaint and handed over the account book to the prosecutors. Sul still feels nervous about the situation, so Sang-wook tells her a story about a baby elephant tied to a post. When the elephant grew old and was untied to the post, the elephant still couldn’t leave because of past memories. He compares Sul to the elephant and says that they’ll pull out that post together.
They leave the café, and their hands brush against each other for a second. Hyperaware and awkward, Sang-wook offers Sul a ride to her mother’s nursing facility, and when Sul says that it’s a long ride, Sang-wook happily exclaims that long is good. He quickly tries to explain himself, but Sul cuts him off, telling him that she’ll accept his offer.
Jerk-face arrives home, and soon after, Jin-sook and her mother come home after being at the hospital. Mom got the doctor to diagnose her with Alzheimer’s, and Jerk-face praises her for writing a stack of fake account books. He gleefully explains how they’ll lie about Mom writing account books due to Alzheimer’s, thus questioning the authenticity of the real account book. Just then, Jerk-face gets a call, and he yells in surprise.
At a club, Jerk-face pours a drink for his prosecutor buddy, and tells him that his wife has depression. The prosecutor still finds it hard to believe he let his wife file a complaint, so Jerk-face cries that his mom has Alzheimer’s. He then goes on to explain that the account book is fake, and also adds that Sang-wook is having an affair with his wife. Jerk-face wails about his situation, and the prosecutor agrees to help him out.
Sul and Sang-wook walk to the prosecutors’ office, and he tells her to be calm before they go inside. The prosecutor who interrogates them is Jerk-face’s friend, and watching them through the mirror is Jerk-face. The prosecutor immediately questions Sul and Sang-wook’s relationship, and warns Sang-wook that this is pointless. He accuses Sang-wook for losing his dignity as a lawyer, but Sang-wook criticizes the prosecutor for losing his dignity before marching out.
At a café, Sang-wook tries to lift the mood, reminding Sul that they knew it was going to be difficult, but Sul feels guilty for tarnishing Sang-wook’s name. He proudly declares that he’s a lawyer who fights for justice, and says that he hasn’t given up. Meanwhile, Jerk-face and his horrible family celebrate their win against Sul, and Jerk-face brags about how power is superior to intelligence. Assuming the worst to be over, they raise their wine glasses and toast.
Manager Oh makes phone calls to reporters, trying to explain Hae-sung’s situation, and at the apartment, So-hye paces back and forth, waiting for Hae-sung who’s been gone for two days. She hears the front door open, but rather than Hae-sung, it’s a surprise visit from Hae-sung’s grandmother!
Grandmother immediately assumes So-hye is Sul, and nags her for living in Hae-sung’s house. So-hye tells Grandmother her name, and she excitedly says, “You’re Hae-sung’s first love!” They move to the couch, and after asking about So-hye’s family, Grandmother happily states that So-hye will get married and have kids soon.
She notices So-hye’s crestfallen expression, and asks if she hates marriage or perhaps Hae-sung. So-hye quickly denies both, so Grandmother asks if she’s divorced and has kids. Again, So-hye says she doesn’t, so Grandmother doesn’t see what the problem is then. So-hye bows her head and admits that she’s a cancer patient.
Hae-sung arrives home, and rushes upstairs when Manager Oh tells him that his grandmother is here. Inside, Grandmother is sleeping on the couch, and So-hye hesitantly places an ice-pack on her forehead. The cold shocks Grandmother, and now having woken up, she asks So-hye to make her food.
So-hye hurries to the kitchen and attempts to make seaweed soup. However, So-hye doesn’t even know the basics like soaking the seaweed in water before boiling, and Grandmother has to direct her in every step, though it’s mostly just Grandmother nagging while So-hye freezes and tries to remedy her mistakes.
Hae-sung arrives and hugs his grandmother. He asks if she met So-hye, and Grandmother informs him that they’ve met and even had a private chat. Everyone sits down to eat, and Grandmother compliments So-hye on the soup. Tentatively, Hae-sung and Manager Oh take a sip, and are pleasantly surprised by the taste.
Grandmother suddenly turns to So-hye and tells her that she looks like someone who will live a thousand years. She explains how she lost her daughter who was around So-hye’s age, and even if someone appears healthy on the outside, you never know when death will come.
As Grandmother gets ready to leave, she hugs So-hye, and then orders Hae-sung to not bother her. Inside the elevator, she adorably waves good-bye to So-hye. After making sure Grandmother went home safely, Hae-sung returns home, and bumps So-hye out of the way to do the dishes. He cites that he needs to treat So-hye well so she doesn’t abandon him since he might lose everything soon.
She reassures him that she won’t leave, and even states that she’ll write him a script if no one else will. Hae-sung promises that he’ll do whatever to support her, but then sighs when thinking about their wedding since he wanted to make it nice. So-hye says that they could have their wedding here, and Hae-sung smiles like a goof.
So-hye publishes her blog, and writes another entry about Hae-sung. Underneath photos of Hae-sung doing the dishes, So-hye writes about how everyone makes mistakes and grows from them. Hae-sung made a mistake, but now he’s the most dignified person she knows which is why he’s her hero. However, So-hye’s words are ignored since her blog doesn’t even have one visit.
Sul enters the room, and So-hye tells her that she’s getting married tomorrow. Sul is happy to hear the news since all a wedding needs is a bride and groom. Feeling tired, So-hye gets up to leave, and Sul uses her laptop to search up something that makes her frown.
Wedding time! So-hye and Hae-sung walk hand in hand down a boardwalk as their friends clap and celebrate with them. They put on their rings, and then read their vows together. Sang-wook declares them legally married, and the crowd chants for a kiss. Hae-sung willingly obliges, and they share a quick peck on the lips.
So-hye looks at her friends, and then sees Joon-ki standing in the back, clapping happily. She smiles, knowing that he’s here in spirit. Next on the itinerary is the bouquet toss, and it ends up in Sang-wook’s hand, though he quickly hands it to Sul much to (mostly) everyone’s amusement.
Afterwards, they take group photos which are sweet and adorable. Everyone then sits down for food, and Manager Oh makes a toast, hinting at the special night. Hae-sung jokes along, and warns everyone to not call him tonight.
The newlyweds arrive home, and Hae-sung starts kissing So-hye. She pushes him away since she needs to change first, and he tells her to hurry. So-hye wears the lingerie she bought for this occasion and puts on lipstick. However, she pauses for a moment, and places a hand on her chest, knowing that the cancer is hiding underneath. Taking a deep breath, So-hye smiles at her reflection.
Meanwhile, Hae-sung throws rose petals on the ground and does push-ups as he waits for So-hye. Once she walks in, he hides behind a wall, and shyly smiles. After acting bashful, Hae-sung guides So-hye to bed, and the camera blurs out as they start to have sexy fun times. Suddenly, an alarm goes off, and they get up to check it out.
The alarm turns out to be Manager Oh with a horn, and he tells them that there’s an article about their marriage. So-hye and Hae-sung read the article which describes their love, So-hye’s illness, and words of encouragement. The comments are also positive, and Hae-sung’s fans have returned to his side. Having delivered the good news, Manager Oh excuses himself, and the couple runs back to bed.
Later that night, Hae-sung and So-hye lie in bed and stare up at the ceiling with lights projected on it. So-hye says that this is more romantic than Salar de Uyuni, and gently caresses Hae-sung’s face. They stare at each other for a while, and then kiss.
Manager Oh runs into Sul who’s just returning to the apartment to cook food. She tells him that she’ll have a delicious meal ready for dinner, which he interprets as something just for him. Manager Oh is so smitten that he trips on his way out, and Sul giggles at his obviousness.
She looks up Jerk-face online, but the news and comments are all positive. On the other hand, Sang-wook receives an email telling him that he’s being investigated for not acting accordingly as a lawyer. Frustrated, Sul decides to write an online post, and describes the true nature of Jerk-face and his slush funds. She also includes a video and photos of Jerk-face’s hidden wealth, and uploads all of it online.
Sul grabs her jacket and runs outside. She ends up in front of Sang-wook’s door, but he’s not there. She walks back to the apartment, but waiting for her outside is Sang-wook. She tells him that she stirred up trouble today, and he says that he’s going to stir up trouble right now. Sang-wook tells Sul that he’ll protect her, and pulls her into a hug. He then finally declares the words he was saving: “I love you.” Hugging him back, Sul lets a tear roll down her cheek.
So-hye picks out an outfit with Sul’s help, and giddily goes out for her date. She’s the first to arrive at the park, and waits for Hae-sung on the bench. Suddenly, So-hye sees Joon-ki again, but this time he wears a solemn expression while holding a balloon.
Joon-ki turns around and walks away from So-hye. On the other side, Hae-sung arrives and calls out So-hye’s name. He waves at her, but So-hye’s attention remains glued on Joon-ki’s receding back. Joon-ki lets go of the balloon, and as it floats up to the sky, So-hye’s breathing turns shallow. Slowly turning her head towards Hae-sung, So-hye faints, falling onto the bench, and Hae-sung runs to her.
This was a happy penultimate episode. If this were any other drama, this would be the finale, but Fantastic isn’t one of those dramas. However, I’ll let my tears wait for the next episode because that wasn’t the point of this one. What I loved about this episode is that it really overflowed with happiness. First of all, So-hye and Hae-sung finally got married, and while it may not have been the spectacle Hae-sung had originally intended, it was small, sweet, and perfect for our couple. The photo sessions were too cute, and I love how Hae-sung has his group of guys now like So-hye. I can’t believe it took them this long to make it, but better late than never.
While the wedding was adorable, I also found the scene with Hae-sung’s grandmother to be really endearing. At first, it appeared that Grandmother disapproved, which was why So-hye was apprehensive in the beginning. However, once Grandmother complimented her cooking and then told her that people never truly know when death will come, it made me so happy for So-hye. Grandmother’s response was poignant and heartbreaking when you actually think about what she told So-hye. She has lost her daughter, and reconnected with Hae-sung after he was a grown-up. That probably means that Grandmother was alone all this time, having lost both her child and grandchild. She has experienced truly tragic loss, and despite that, she warmly embraces So-hye because she understands the fragility of life. Grandmother truly is such a cutie that it’s a shame the show didn’t capitalize on her more.
A small caveat I have about the show is the issue of family. While the strength of the drama is in its portrayal of friendship and love, I think the writer really dropped the ball when it comes to “family.” You could argue that family doesn’t have to be purely biological and normative, but in many cases, I just think the show simply forgot about addressing family in order to emphasize the friendships. For example, So-hye has an older sister and brother, but neither of them know about So-hye’s cancer yet. Also, if an article was written about So-hye’s illness, doesn’t this mean her family should technically know? I understand why the show would not want to introduce them into the story all of the sudden, but part of the problem is that family was never integrated into the plot as well as the other relationships were. Besides So-hye’s family, I also think the show did a poor job with Jamie and how Joon-ki’s death affected her. She is just a side character, but she is his sister and knew him the longest. Losing a friend and losing a sibling (one that I presume Jamie admired and loved) have different traumatic effects. Granted, it’s the same underlying issue with So-hye’s family in that Jamie isn’t a major character, so the show doesn’t develop that plot line. Regardless, for a drama that’s excelled at creating relationships and revealing the nuances of friendship and love, it’s a shame that family ties were never truly explored in relation to cancer.
Another ray of sunshine this episode was Sul and Sang-wook. It was frustrating to see Jerk-face shirk the rules and use his influence to stop Sul. However, it also forced Sul to be even more proactive in bringing him down, so I’m happy that it spurred her to accept her feelings and act on them. Similarly, these setbacks also pushed Sang-wook to confess his feelings, and those two are just too sweet together. The show really hasn’t hidden the fact that Sul and Sang-wook are going to be a couple, and if I have anything to look forward to in the next episode, it’s at least knowing that those two will be together, happily in love. Also, I’m hoping for Jerk-face to fall, and am especially hoping Jin-sook gets justice, too. It seems obvious that Jerk-face will come to his demise because he’s been skating on thin ice, but I hope the show doesn’t forget about Jin-sook, because she’s been harassing Hae-sung for years.
This episode was definitely the calm before the storm, and I appreciated the moment of happiness I got to experience alongside our characters. But if that ending scene was a sign, then I best be armed with some tissues for the last episode. I don’t want Joon-ki to take So-hye just yet, but even if the end is near, I at least know that So-hye was happy and lived her days to the fullest besides her fantastic man, Hae-sung.