Melting Me Softly – Episode 16 Recap (Series Finale)
Dong Chan’s family has dinner. Dong Chan is absent. Seo Yoon checks his room and he is asleep.
Mi-ran’s family has dinner.
Mi-ran is in the capsule.
(Episode 16- Melting Me Softly)
A voiceover says, “If it was not for Mi-ran, You wouldn’t have been alive.”
Dong Chan’s phone rings. He wakes up and is flustered to see that the caller is “Superior”(Mi-ran). He picks the call.
Nam Tae is on the other end. He says Dong Chan’s number is saved as “My Love” so he thought he would make a call. Dong Chan’s voice is low as he asks if she has saved his number like that. Nam Tae asks if he is really Mr Cryonic. Dong Chan’s voice breaks as tears stream down his eyes. He says he is. Nam Tae says Dong Chan isn’t a cryonic anymore but Mi-ran is. Mi-ran’s mother rushes in and takes the phone from Nam Tae. She apologises and hangs up.
In a flashback, Dong Chan and Mi-ran watch the stars. Mi-ran takes her phone and changes Dong Chan’s number from inferior to something else. She says he isn’t inferior anymore. Dong Chan tries to see but she doesn’t allow him. Dong Chan asks if he went from cold-hearted punk to warm-hearted punk. She says no and promises to show him the next time.
Dong Chan joins his family for breakfast. He says that he needs to go away for a while.
Dong Chan packs his bags and goes to Mi-ran’s house. Her mother answers the door. She holds out her arms and he hugs her. She holds him in an effort to console him.
At the lab, Hwang struggles as he is unable to find a cure. He tells Jo that they have start over again as they froze a person with hypothermia. Jo says they can do it.
Dong Chan comes to work and Ji Hoon is there. He tells Ji Hoon to feel free to do what he wants as they are not going to do the project anymore. Ji Hoon refuses saying he wants to learn from Dong Chan.
Meanwhile, Ha Young finishes packing. She makes a call and says she feels uneasy leaving without arresting the culprit. She tells them to keep the hotline open. She thanks reporter Park.
Young Sun and Kyun Ja meet at the cafe. They read articles about Mi-ran being frozen again. Kyun Ja says all the professors in this field are working together to find a solution. She says they should be optimistic.
Just then, Young Sun receives a call from Byung Sim. He says he has been suspended because he approached a female student with personal intentions. He says the student is Mi-ran. He says she isn’t a student but his first love. He asks Young Sun to come and says that. Young Sun says he will soon be fired and tells her not to call her up for things like these. She makes it clear that she isn’t someone who would help him but she will be the one to destroy him if he calls her up again.
Byung Sim immediately makes a call to Kyun Ja. Young Sun says he is desperate for a witness.
At TBO, Dong Chan asks the team to go ahead and have lunch without him. He tells Ji Hoon to go as well.
The team discusses that Hwang has to start the experiment from square one because they froze a cryonic. They wonder if Dong Chan will be 70-years-old when they meet again. Ji Hoon asks if this is funny to them and walks away.
Dong Chan sits alone in the editing room. He looks up and sees a smiling Mi-ran sitting across him. Dong Chan’s eyes tear up as he knows that she isn’t really there. Mi-ran’s smiling form disappears.
Dong Chan goes to his desk and picks up the notebook that Mi-ran and he used to share conversations on. He goes through it.
Just then, Ji Hoon comes back with some coffee and lunch for Dong Chan. Dong Chan asks if Ji Hoon changed Mi-ran’s name in his contact to “Ms Ko”. Ji Hoon says he already refused to do that. Ji Hoon says Mi-ran will wake up miraculously.
At the police station, Baek receives a call saying they have located Terry Kim. He rushes out.
Dong Chan eats with Mi-ran’s family. He says that he found a place for Hwang to move in to. He says it is closer for Hwang to work from. He asks Nam Tae if he will be okay sleeping alone. Nam Tae says he misses Hwang. Dong Chan says he will ask Hwang to visit him this weekend.
Dong Chan walks into Mi-ran’s room. He sits at her desk and looks at her photo. He apologises for leaving her to be cold all alone. He notices the book “Everything About Love” on the desk. He picks it up and finds Mi-ran’s essay, “A cold woman’s warm heart”. He starts reading.
Mi-ran’s voiceover reads the essay, “I was 44-years-old when I met my first love. I am a cold woman with a temperature of 31.5°C. (Dong Chan watches Miran as she sleeps in the capsule)
In this vast universe, there is only one man whom I love. We fell in love just like how the sun rises in the east and the moon in the west. It was very natural. It seems as if 20 years ago, all the stars in the sky planned to make us fall in love. (20 years ago, Dong Chan gives her free drinks in an attempt to convince her to participate in the experiment) It was fate that we both became cryonics. Because of this, I don’t regret my decision from 20 years ago. Living with a body temperature of 31.5°C is difficult and painful but nevertheless, I like the present. No matter how hard it may be, the time I’m spending with him feels like a miracle. Thanks to him, I could fully appreciate life. I feel like I was born to love him and he completes me. I love him very much. He has become my all. In order to be with him, I am not afraid to die.” Dong Chan closes the book.
(3 years later)
Mi-ran’s mother sets the table. Dong Chan looks fresh and cheerful as he walks into the living room. He wears spectacles. Nam tae runs in saying he is late and he has to skip breakfast. Dong Chan asks him to eat and says he will drop Nam Tae off. Dong Chan says he has a company dinner tonight and asks them not to wait for him.
Ha Young comes back to Korea and she reads an article stating that Kim has been dismissed.
Byung Sim runs a psychological counselling centre. He has a difficult patient and doesn’t seem to be doing well.
Young Sun and Kyun Ja meet at the cafe. Kyun Ja complains about Hyung Gi and says she has bad luck with marriages. Young Sun says Ji Hoon is getting discharged from the military the next day. Kyun Ja receives a call from Hyung Gi. She yells at him and hangs up. Young Sun says Kyun Ja should get a divorce.
Kim is in his office packing up. He tells Hyung Gi that low ratings are just an excuse to push him out. Hyung Gi says whenever Korea gets a new president, TBO also gets a new one. Kim says Hyung Gi lost his position and is now in the programming team. He wonders why Hyung Gi isn’t upset. Hyung Gi says it will make his situation worse. He says higher positions are poisonous for him.
The team gets ready for the meeting and Dong Chan walks in. He has a bad temper as he refuses all the ideas that the team has.
Nam Tae reads an article that states, “The man with golden hands, Ma Dong Chan continues to work for TBO while waiting for his girlfriend.”
Nam tae runs a bakery now. He puts out freshly baked bagels when Hwang visits him. He is excited to see Hwang and hugs him. Hwang eats the tasty bagels. Nam Tae asks when his sister will wake up. Hwang says they are testing the shot on a whale and asks Nam Tae to wait a while. Nam Tae says he misses Mi-ran. He says his heart is aching again.
Baek waits at a restaurant. A decked up Dong Ju walks in and sits across him. She asks him not to get his hopes up. She says today was the day their alimony got settled and she wants to treat him. He says he will order something expensive as she has a job now. She says she will kill him if he goes over 20 dollars.
Baek asks how Dong Chan is doing. Dong Ju says he feels more like her younger brother. She says she considers him her youngest sibling since the day he returned home. She says she feels sorry for him as it looks like he will wait like this forever. She says he feels responsible and sorry. She says that is where his love bloomed.
She says she is not his type. Baek says types don’t matter as Dong Ju wasn’t his type either. She tells Baek that she is too precious and will never get back with him. Baek says she has nothing but still holds that attitude. Dong Ju says Baek is like garbage to deal with and Dong Chan doesn’t know that.
Dong Ju says Dong Chan hasn’t lived as long as her. She says the years you live shows in your life.
Meanwhile, Ha Young collects mail in her apartment when she runs into Jo. She asks if he lives here. He says he moves in 2 months back.
They sit on a bench outside and talk. She says her sibling lived here while she was in the US. She says her mailbox was packed because they moved out a month ago. She says she intended to stay for 2 years but ended up staying in the US for 3. She asks him how Mi-ran is doing. He says she is well.
Ha Young says she prayed for Mi-ran every day. She asks him to bring her back healthy. He says they are doing their best.
At Mi-ran’s house, Dong Chan tells Mi-ran’s mother that they have a family meeting at his home and he asks her not to wait for him. She tells him that he should move back to his home. She says they can manage on their own. Dong Chan asks if it is because he is bothering her.
She says his mother must be upset. He says he visits them every weekend. He says his siblings are with his mother. Mi-ran’s mother says he is reliable. She says she now knows why Mi-ran liked him so much. Dong Chan says Mi-ran has high standards. Mi-ran’s mother laughs saying Mi-ran is unlike her mother. Dong Chan asks her to call him if something is wrong and takes leave.
Dong Chan comes to work. He is surprised when he sees Ji Hoon come up next him. Dong Chan hugs him.
Ji Hoon says he wants to return to school. Dong Chan says you get to live your 20s’only once. Ji Hoon says the same goes for the 30s’. Ji Hoon asks about Mi-ran. Dong Chan says she is good. He says her time has stopped but he keeps ageing. He says he is nervous. Ji Hoon says Mi-ran’s feelings will be the same even if Dong Chan becomes old.
Later at dinner, Dong Chan’s mother says whether you are rich or poor, you are given the same amount of time. She says everyone in their family should live their life fully with the time given to them. She prays for Mi-ran so that she comes back soon.
Dong Chan asks how the construction for Dong Shik’s house is faring. Dong Shik says it will be done soon. He speaks about his thesis and also says he is composing again. Dong Chan speaks to Seo Yoon who is in fourth grade now. She says she has become more responsible. She says it is pressurising and school isn’t her thing. He asks about her boyfriend. She says she broke up with him ages ago.
When asked if he will move back home, Dong Chan says he will move out of Mi-ran’s home once he gets married. He says that is why he bought the big house. Everyone goes silent as they continue to eat.
Dong Chan visits the lab later on. Hwang says the last round of clinical trial is today. He says if it goes well they can wake her up. He says it still has some risks. He says the shot may be too hard for her to bear, as it will be given the moment she wakes up. He says she also has to receive surgery after that.
Later, Dong Chan writes a diary entry, “If I could turn back time, I would’ve forced you to get the shot that day. Every time I think about that, it drives me crazy. I’ve been trying so hard to act like I am okay. Mi-ran, I miss you so much.”
At Kim’s office, Kim begs Dong Chan to air the cryonics project. He says if the project airs, he won’t be fired. Dong Chan refuses to air the project. Dong Chan tells Kim to leave his job. He walks out. Hyung Gi says he has nothing to say either.
Dong Chan walks in the lobby and sees Ha Young. They smile at each other. He congratulates her on her return. She says she heard Dong Chan is refusing to take the job as Chief. She says she also read about 6 other cryonics who woke up. She says Mi-ran will wake up too. She says she knows it is hard but asks him not to lose his trust and walks away.
Later, Dong Chan gets a call from Hwang saying that the trial was a success and they have to wait for 24 hours. Dong Chan is delighted.
Dong Chan meets Mi-ran’s parents and fills them in on the details. He says there is a problem as Mi-ran will have to go through surgery once she is thawed. Also, Mi-ran’s father says the temperature increasing process which takes one week will have to be done in one day. Dong Chan says they don’t know if Mi-ran’s body can endure it. Mi-ran’s mother asks what they should do. He says he is thinking what Mi-ran would do. He says Mi-ran would choose to wake up and overcome this. Her parents agree to it.
At the lab, Jo says that a wireless emergency switch will be connected to Mi-ran for the next 24 hours and she has to go into the OR with it. Dong Chan says the surgeons have agreed to let Jo and Hwang into the OR. Jo says they will give her the shot once they enter the OR. He says her body temperature will return to normal within half an hour and she can undergo surgery immediately.
Mi-ran’s father asks what happens if the temperature doesn’t come to normal. Hwang says it is impossible as they have done enough clinical trials. They say they are unsure if her body will endure it. Her mother says they should go ahead and do it.
Later, Hwang administers the shot in the OR. The surgery starts half an hour later.
Dong Chan and Mi-ran’s parents wait outside. After the surgery, the surgeon comes out and says that it is taking Mi-ran longer than expected to wake up from the anaesthesia. They say she will be moved to the ICU.
At Mi-ran’s home, Dong Chan sits at Mi-ran’s desk. He hears her voice saying she will be fine and she will wake up. She asks him not to sit there looking sad and tells him to cheer up.
The next day, the nurse walks into Mi-ran’s room and notices her fingers twitching. Dong Chan waits outside as the doctors rush in. The doctor says her pupils are responding and now it is her will to wake up that matters. He says they can’t allow visitors yet.
Dong Chan goes over to Mi-ran’s house. Nam tae gives him Mi-ran’s phone and says he should keep it. He hugs Dong Chan and tells him to hang in there as he is sure Mi-ran will wake up. Dong Chan says he will and says she loves Nam Tae a lot.
After Nam Tae leaves, Dong Chan sees the wallpaper on Mi-ran’s phone. It has the two of them on it. He then notices a Love Diary app. He opens it. It has dates marked like the first day at work, the first time I kissed him, the first time we swapped ice cream, day one of our relationship, the first time we went on a date, Dong Chan’s mother’s birthday etc.
The next day at the hospital, the doctor tells Dong Chan to call Hwang. He says Mi-ran’s temperature is at 35.4°C and it is plummeting. He says she is in danger.
Hwang comes over and gives her another shot. Dong Chan waits outside.
Mi-ran’s mother goes home and packs Dong Chan’s things. Her father says this won’t make Dong Chan move. Mi-ran’s mother says they will have to kick him out. She says they can’t ruin Dong Chan’s life. She says they have to let him go. She says Dong Chan gave it all. She says Mi-ran sacrificed her life for Dong Chan because he is kind-hearted and honest. She says Mi-ran would’ve wanted this.
Dong Chan walks in just then and asks what she is doing. She asks him to leave but Dong Chan says Mi-ran will kill him if she wakes up. He sits down and removes the clothes for the case. He says he asked them to be dry cleaned. He says he will get upset if they try to kick him out. He says he has to go to the hospital after eating. Mi-ran’s father takes her out before she can say something else.
Dong Chan sits by the suitcase.
Later, Dong Chan sits on his bed. He stays there till night falls and falls asleep. Mi-ran’s voice says, “Dong Chan, my temperature went up. I think I am going to get better. Be patient.” Dong Chan wakes up with a start.
Dong Chan calls up and tells Hwang that Mi-ran’s temperature went up. Hwang asks if the hospital called. Dong Chan says he has a feeling.
Dong Chan waits outside the ICU. Hwang goes in and is surprised to see Mi-ran’s temperature is normal at 36.5°C. Hwang goes out and tells Dong Chan that Mi-ran is recovering.
A Christmas tree adorns the living room in Mi-ran’s house. Mi-ran’s father wonders where Dong Chan is. Mi-ran’s mother says Dong Chan is spending the night at Jeju Island and returning tomorrow night. Just then, she gets a call saying that Mi-ran is awake.
Dong Chan and his team are busy working when he receives a call saying that Mi-ran woke up. He tries to go out but Park says it is night and there are no planes or boats at this time. He tells them to find what is available.
Later, Dong Chan is in the cab. He is on the phone with Mi-ran’s mother who says Mi-ran is talking and smiling. She says Mi-ran is walking and asks if he wants to talk to her. He says he will go and talk to her in person.
It is snowing as Dong Chan walks down the path leading to the hospital. He stops as he spots Mi-ran on the bench catching snowflakes in her hands. She looks up and spots him.
Dong Chan’s eyes tear up as she walks towards him. Dong Chan walks towards her. He asks her if she is okay. Tears well up in her eyes as she nods and asks if he has been well. He says it has been a little tough. Mi-ran says he is still cool. Dong Chan says he missed her a lot.
Mi-ran says she is cold and asks him to warm her up. Dong Chan steps forward and pulls her against him wrapping his coat around her. Tears streak down his face as he holds her close.
One day at work, Dong Chan reprimands the team for writing terrible proposals. He tells off Go Mi-ran saying she worked better as an intern and now she is dull after promotion. Mi-ran says she ran out of fresh ideas because she was frozen twice. Dong Chan tells her not to make him laugh. He says her attitude is the problem. She apologises.
Later, Mi-ran waits in the editing room. Dong Chan sneaks in with two cups of coffee. She asks if her brain got dull. He says he has to talk like that in front of other people. He asks if she was upset and she says a little bit. He says they should be professional when they are at work. She says she needs a change. He says he understands because she has been 24 years old for 23 years.
Later they meet Dong Chan’s family. His mother asks if they plan on getting married. Mi-ran says she is just 24. His mother says Mi-ran has been 24 for a long time. Mi-ran says she keeps missing her chance to age. She says she plans to go abroad to train and Dong Chan’s face falls.
Dong Chan starts yelling and asks what about him. He says he waited for her for 3 years and asks if she doesn’t care about him. He says he understands women who wait for their boyfriends when they serve in the army. He says people serve in the army for one and a half years but he waited twice that much time. He asks how she could talk about going abroad in front of her. He laughs in disbelief.
Mi-ran says she wants to go abroad and develop her skills. She says she wants to study and get her master’s degree. She says it will take her five years to finish that. Dong Chan calls her selfish. He says he will be 40 in 5 years and asks if she thought about him.
Dong Ju corrects him by saying he will be 60. Dong Chan says Mi-ran is making him angry. Mi-ran suggests they eat first. Dong Chan’s mother suggests that he should join her abroad and study with her. Dong Chan says he is working on a lot of projects.
Dong Chan’s mother suggests that they get married first and have a baby. She says Dong Ju will raise the baby and the couple can go abroad and study together. Everyone is shocked to hear this. Dong Chan tells her to stop talking nonsense. He scolds Mi-ran too.
Dong Chan’s mother says she would like to see them married by this summer. Dong Shik says this is a mess. Dong Ju is upset that her mother wanted her to raise Dong Chan’s kid. Dong Shik says Mi-ran would never want Dong Ju to raise the kid anyway.
Dong Chan silences everyone and says they should eat. Dong Shik’s wife asks if Dong Chan really wants to get married. Dong Chan yells that he wants to. He says he should get married.
Dong Chan drives Mi-ran back. She says he isn’t angry. Dong Chan says he is angry. She says he is thinking about something. He says she doesn’t know him.
As he drops her home, he passes 3 diaries to her saying he wrote these. He says he wanted her to know what happened while she was sleeping. He says he wanted to share the time with her. He says this is unlike him but he believed in fate when she was asleep. He says they should leave it to fate. She gets out of the car and waves him a good night. He smiles and waves back.
Mi-ran sits up late in the night and reads the journals. Some of the entries are, you came in my dream today, I hope this frozen fate of ours melts slowly, I have hope so I won’t struggle, I miss you so much.
She stops at the entry which reads, “If I could turn back time, I would’ve forced you to get the shot that day. Every time I think about that, it drives me crazy. I’ve been trying so hard to act like I am okay. Mi-ran, I miss you so much.”
Mi-ran cries as she reads the entry.
The next day, Mi-ran goes to work. She meets Ha-young in the lobby and congratulates her on her return. Ha Young thanks Mi-ran for coming back. Mi-ran thanks her for worrying about her and walks away.
Mi-ran and Dong Chan walk by the lake. He tells her to do what she wants. He says he will always support her. Mi-ran says she read his diaries. She says she doesn’t want to be apart from him anymore. Dong Chan says he can’t follow her abroad. He says she is chasing her dream but he needs to work hard where he is. He says they need to meet in the middle. He says he will wait for her.
Mi-ran says she doesn’t want to go anymore. Dong Chan says he doesn’t want her to give up on her dream because of him. She says she doesn’t want to be apart from him. He says he doesn’t either. He receives a message just then and he says there might be a solution.
Hyung Gi walks into the office and is told that Dong Chan and Mi-ran are going to leave.
(Two months later)
Seo Yoon watches ‘Mi Ran and Dong Chan’s travel Vlog’ with a smile.
In a flashback, we see the text Dong Chan receives from Seo Yoon when he was talking with Mi0ran by the lake. She says he is making things complicated. She says he should go with Mi-ran and start a YouTube channel. Dong Chan tells Mi-ran that there is another way.
At present, in the Vlog, Dong Chan and Mi-ran say they are in Seatle and it is freezing. Dong Chan says everyone should live their lives passionately. He says being able to share the time and space with our loved ones is what makes us happy. He thanks everyone for their support and they sign off.
Seo Yoon’s voiceover narrates, “And the two cryonic humans Dong Chan and Mi-ran lived happily ever after.”
Image Courtesy- TVN
Though the finale tied up all the loose ends and gave a happy ending, it still felt bland and slow.
The scenes after Mi-ran’s return were mostly arguments between the two. After all the hype and waiting, the reunion scene could have been made better. All the characters got a good ending but the ending for the leads wasn’t that satisfactory. After watching the two characters yearn for a normal life for 16 episodes, the viewers are left hanging with just a two-line Vlog, which is supposedly Mi-ran and Dong Chan’s happily ever after.
Also, just a moment before Dong Chan reads Seo Yoon’s text, he made it clear that he won’t be able to leave his current job and leave with Mi-ran. I wonder how the YouTube channel qualifies as his current job or middle ground.
About 45 minutes of the finale comprised of Dong Chan brooding in Mi-ran’s absence. The scenes with Dong Chan and Mi-ran’s family were well made. Though it had good content, the epilogue seemed too short compared to this. The last 15 minutes of the episode seemed rushed.
There was a whole lot of waiting in the last two episodes (apart from the existing waiting time in the plot). It looks like that is not enough and the writer decided to extend it further beyond the finale to another 5 years.
The great cast gives life to the plot, which is inconsistent and flat. The performance of the actors is what stands out in the entire series.
This series did have a lot of great scenes but they couldn’t compensate for the ones that missed the mark.
Melting Me Softly is about a 24-hour cryonic experiment which goes wrong and leaves the subjects frozen for 20 years. Ma Dong Chan and Go Mi-ran are woken up after 20 years by accident. Ma Dong Chan had left behind his family and his girlfriend Ha Young while Go Miran left behind her grieving family.
They find out that they are in 2019 and have skipped 20 years in time. They also learn that their temperature at 31.5°C making them cryonics. This creates further complications. There is also someone who wants the experiment to fail. Solving this mystery while trying to cure themselves forms the rest of the story.
The series got off to a slow start.
The romance in this series makes one wonder if it is love or just a heightened level of empathy that stems out of guilt. Though the leads repeatedly confess their feelings for one another, there doesn’t seem to be a base from which the relationship stems except for being thrown together in a capsule. That said, the leads share great chemistry and most of the scenes between them are a good watch and form the best part of the series.
The series lacks a strong antagonist which is one of the reasons why the series is dull. The so-called antagonist makes the most illogical decisions. The plot relies on these illogical decisions to move ahead.
The blend between the serious plot and the comic one isn’t great, so they seem like two different storylines. The plot is inconsistent and doesn’t have proper direction. Though it is a fantasy series, there are some points in the series that are illogical and makes us question the entire storyline.
The comedy wasn’t impressive. Some of the supporting characters are annoying and unnecessary to the plot.
What was good in this series was the acting and the concept of the story.
The concept of what a person from 20 years back would feel about the current technology and corruption was portrayed well. The absence of plot to back up this concept makes its impact subtle.
The scenes with Mi-ran and Dong Chan’s family grows on you and it turns to be the best part of the series.
Ji Chang-wook plays Ma Dong Chan. He does a great job in portraying the Production Director who is self-assertive and strong-willed. As the series progresses we know that he is soft-hearted. Ji Chang-wook’s acting adds life to the otherwise bland plotline.
Won Jin-A portrays Ko Mi-ran, a lively and loving intern who is bent upon achieving her goals. She has done a great job in playing the chirpy 24-year-old from the 90s’ stuck in 2019.
Yoon Se-Ah portrays Na Ha Young, Dong Chan’s girlfriend from 20 years back. Yoon Se-Ah’s performance is laudable as she fits into the character well and makes one dislike Ha Young whenever she is on screen.
Ji Hoon, Nam tae, Seo Yoon, Dong Shik and Dong Ju are my pick of supporting characters who add life to the script.
As the series progressed, it seemed like the plot relied on Ha Young, whom one assumes to be a secondary character in the beginning. What actually was portrayed in the series was how Ha Young turns from a vengeful and obsessive jilted lover to a helpful woman who learns how to let go. Her character showed more promise than any other characters as the story develops.
After a point, all the lead pair does is yearn for a normal life while waiting for the cure and their storyline gets monotonous. The story then turns towards other characters to carry the plot forward. The last 3 episodes seemed like a separate series by itself since most of the story gets over by episode 13.
The finale gives every character a happy ending but it falls short, as it felt rushed towards the end. The epilogue could have been a lot better.
Though the series had a star-studded cast and a good concept, the substandard writing makes Melting Me Softly an underwhelming series.
-By Soul Sword-