Auditioning for her comeback film in Episode 8, Yu Ra has to deliver lines that surprisingly portray Ji An’s situation: “It’s a terrible pity that I’m younger than you, [Department Head]. I want to bite off your arms and legs, curse at you, and quit. But I have a loan to pay off. So I’m going to love you starting today.”
Much later, we get a treat when Ki Hoon goes to the movies and we see a snippet of the final film. It turns out Yu Ra’s character represents Ji An in more ways than one.
The short movie clip of Yu Ra that is shown in Episode 16 was a metaphor for Ji An’s life.
The first scene shows Yu Ra’s character gulping down a shot of soju. We saw Ji An drink soju in various scenes such as:
– The company dinner in Episode 5
– Dinner with Dong Hoon in Episode 7
Yu Ra is styled with her hair tied back as Ji An usually had hers.
Yu Ra is also eating in a company dinner reminiscent of Saman E and C’s company dinner in Episode 5:
Yu Ra’s character then proceeds with the following monologue:
“Do you know why I’m always sick?
Because there are so many people I hate.
I thought about when I wasn’t sick.
When I was in love.”
For Ji An, sickness exemplified her life prior to getting to know Dong Hoon. Her world was full of hate, not only for the likes of Kwang Il, but more so with herself. It embodied her feelings of guilt and her avoidance of building human connections. But all that changed when Dong Hoon entered her life and showed her kindness and empathy, allowing her to heal.
Then Yu Ra says, “So I decided to love you starting today. You bastard.”
The finger-pointing and the use of the word bastard are an allusion to this scene:
The Department Head becomes exasperated with her:
“Acting out when she’s drunk, that’s all she can do.
Who hired her?
She can’t do anything right.
Until when will you act like that?”
These lines are a synopsis of everything Dong Hoon has experienced with Ji An and all his bewilderment that came with it: the stealing of the bribe money, the out-of-nowhere kiss, the unexpected love confession, and the wiretapping. Questioning “Who hired her?” is also a callback to Episode 9 when Team Three asks Dong Hoon on the rooftop, “What made you hire her?”
The scene above is interspersed with Yu Ra’s character saying:
“Let’s love. Let’s love him.
Let’s love that bastard.
I’ll try to put up with him.
I will try to love you more passionately.”
These lines signified Ji An still loving Dong Hoon throughout much of the latter episodes despite the distance and boundaries that Dong Hoon had constantly kept.
Yu Ra’s pounding on the copier is again a callback to how Ji An would do the same when she worked at Saman.
The change in the color of her wardrobe is significant, too. In the dinner scene, when Yu Ra was still in her world of hate, she was wearing black. But that changed to a lighter-toned top in the latter scene, reflective of Ji An’s improving circumstances in the latter episodes. It’s the same color tone that Ji An would wear as well in the final coffee shop scene, providing a connection between the two scenes.
Then she broke the 4th wall and addressed the audience:
That is the last scene in the movie clip, and it’s a foreshadowing of the show’s last scene itself with what’s to come between Dong Hoon and Ji An once they reunite.
How witty that the show encapsulated the entire journey of the main protagonist, Ji An, through a parody and presented it through a movie within the show. The key idea that really stood out for me was, while Ji An always used the word “like” in a number of occasions in describing how she felt for Dong Hoon, her meta representation in the movie only used the word “love,” over and over! In fact, she uttered “love” 6 times in the 65-second skit. I believe it is the show’s way to categorically confirm how we are to interpret the more subtle “like” that Ji An used.
And then there’s how the meta Ji An broke the 4th wall to lay out what exactly is to come in her final reunion scene with Dong Hoon – of love surging up between them.