The End of The Affair

One of the key turning points in the show is the moment when Ji An, instead of remaining a silent bystander in Dong Hoon’s life, decides to step in and do something: she confronts Yoon Hee and tells her Dong Hoon knows she’s cheating, changing the course of their marriage for good.

Why? What made Ji An decide to interfere in their marriage? Was she protecting or harming him? What do you think?

Note: the following comments were made on Soompi Forum directly after Episodes 7-8 aired

@zenya22:

My feelings and take about Ji An telling Yoon Hee that Dong Hoon knows about the affair. My first reaction was, she should not have but after watching the whole episode again, (can’t watch it just once), I understood the it as a gut reaction to protect a person she deeply cares about.

@timidjock0819:

Ji An’s impulsiveness scared me a little in episode 7. The girl literally jumped in front of the moving car because she wanted to help Dong Hoon’s marriage and protect him from Do Joon Yeon. She is unconsciously exhibiting love at its purest form without greed & is self sacrificing. A kind of love that’s so great and ideal that it might not survive the realities of this world.

In episode 4, Dong Hoon said that he felt he should not have been born in this world which closely mirrors Jian’s sentiments about being reborn. Jeong Hee made an excellent point talking to Dong Hoon about souls not finding their real home that’s why they keep on getting reborn. Yoon Hee also mentioned to Do Joon Yeon on earlier episodes that Dong Hoon always acted like he lost someone or something. I thought at that time that it was their son but oh gee the boy is alive and well.  So that’s why the soulmate angle is always strong because of these lines from the drama. Ji An and Dong Hoon are not interested in their environment or in this world that’s why they are having trouble connecting with other people in the first place. They love to wallow into their own sorrows and be alone most of the time like wandering lost souls. However, when they are together there is always a sense of calmness about them like they are in synchrony with each other without even using words. Most of their interactions are non-verbal which why their words sometimes contradict their actions.

Hypothetically speaking. If the PD and writers will intensify the “connection” for plot progression, this level of restlessness and impulsiveness will just keep on getting worse to the point that Dong Hoon and Jian will become each other ‘s everything. Whether they are  consciously or unconsciously aware of it will not matter. Now the question is are they going to be the endgame? Maybe or maybe not. But I don’t think the ending will be a happy one either way because both are tired of this world and are just waiting for each other so that they can move on to somewhere they truly belong.

@liddi:

I was unexpectedly affected by the breaking up of the affair, which I can only attribute to all-round excellent performances under Kim Won Suk’ skillful direction, backed by a painfully realistic script and spot-on characterisations. Lee Ji Ah’s performance in particular, is truly memorable – her delicately nuanced delivery of a woman who is barely holding it together from the moment she hears the recording, to her confrontation with her lover, and drowning in shattering pain from his betrayal and her own humiliation of having loved someone like him. I find so much realism in the depiction of the birthday party as well, and it is there that I can literally feel her loneliness and isolation in a family who unconsciously keeps her on the outside, because they defer to her achievements as a successful career woman. She brought a depth to what could have been a one-dimensional character, evoking empathy for her character, even if one did not approve of her infidelity.

And in the midst of it, we see Park Dong Hoon seeing her pain, agonised by her grief over another man, yet choosing to continue to support and care for her through it. His shattered gasp as he doubles over in the street after pretending everything is fine, broke my heart, just as his ragged “Fighting” to rally himself once more, and I root desperately for him that one day, he will find true happiness and meaning in his life, after all the storms had died down and the dust settled on the rubble around him.

Lee Ji An smiled the most in these two episodes since we first saw her, which I hope she will have even more reasons to do in the final half of the drama. Much attention is given to the time she smiled at Park Dong Hoon, which Kwang Il was witness to. However, for me, the smile that moved me to tears, is when her grandmother signed her gratitude for the delicious food that Dong Hoon bought. In that moment, Ji An’s broken smile had me aching so much for them – for grandma who found so much to be grateful for in something so small, and for her, to finally have a reason to smile because her grandmother was happy, even if just momentarily. Tears.

On a brighter note, can I just fist-pump at how awesome our girl is, fearless and resourceful as she confronts the bane of her existence right on his turf, and forces him to relinquish the wallet he had stolen. It is just a temporary victory for sure, but any victory, no matter how small, is worth celebrating, and the fact that she went that far to protect Dong Hoon, is yet another glaring testament to just how much she has come to care for him. For him, she would say what is probably her first encouraging word to anyone in years. Funny how a single word “Fighting” can speak volumes, especially coming from her, and is evidence of yet another milestone in her life as she begins to live in hope.

 

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