tvN’s Valid Love episode 19 – Hee Soo

Second last episode! I don’t know how this will end, but I have a sneaky feeling that it will take place seven years in the future. It also may or may not be open-ended. I do hope that the show has these characters grow a bit, since I feel like everyone, minus Yi Ri and Ki Tae, are in the same place as the beginning of the series.

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5-Line Recap:

1. Il Ri is saved by the neighbour who harassed her husband and is now fighting for her life, while Hee Tae is perfectly fine.

Who just walks away from someone who is having an asthma attack? I know some like to hate on Hee Tae, Kim Joon, and Il Ri, but that couple that just walked by before the neighbour got there are the real villains of this show. Who does that?

Anyways, Il Ri is in the hospital and both Hee Tae and Kim Joon feel something as they are reminded of Il Ri in their own ways, but nothing happens. Hee Tae arrives back and Soo Young ends up calling him to tell him about Il Ri’s condition.

This scene…kind of familiar isn’t it? Hee Tae left the last time this happened and judging by the previews he will again. Granted, the first time was for his dream and this time it’s probably going to be because he still thinks that Il Ri and Kim Joon are together and doesn’t want to get in the way of that.

2. Min Ki tells Kim Joon that Il Ri has been the hospital for days, so he rushes over and has a chat with Hee Tae.

I wonder if my bromance will ever happen. 😦 Seems like it’s broken beyond repair, but who knows.

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So it’s been five days and Il Ri still hasn’t woken up. Hee Tae goes to the room and talks to Il Ri. He pours his heart out and finally tells her his true feelings, even though she’s not awake for it. After he’s done, he tells her to swim freely and that he won’t go near her anymore.

It’s a good thing, even though it seems cruel. If Il Ri wakes up, then the last they need is to be near one another again. They need time and space before they can move past their problems. I kind of wish they did this before with them, because being around each other and never talking about their problems only made the situation worse. Whether they stay together or not is irrelevant, but an adult talk would have done wonders for them.

Things like this only happen when there’s space to think by yourself or someone gets sick/hurt.

3. Hee Soo is going backpacking. 😦

My bromance might never happen, but I still like the relationship between Hee Soo and Il Ri. While Il Ri is at the hospital, Hee Soo shows up and tells her to wake up. It’s a nice scene, even though it’s just a dream.

After all of those death scares in the last episode, there’s one here and it sucks.

I guess due to the blood clots that are mentioned in the beginning of the episode, Hee Soo stops breathing and dies. As she’s rushed to the hospital, with her family in tow in the ambulance, we see Hee Soo having a fun day outside while she sings? I think that was her singing, since it sounded like her voice. It’s the last time though, because she isn’t coming back after this.

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Out of all of the characters I wanted Hee Soo and Sun Joo to have a happy ending. In the end she died happy, but it’s still sad. We never even got any sort of resolution to her boyfriend story. Will he show up? Will the show even remember? Will we still get to see Hee Soo in episode 20? I hope so, because she is my favourite thing about this show.

Goodbye Hee Soo!

Before leaving, she says goodbye to Il Ri and helps her wake up. She then tells Kim Joon to go inside. So he rushes to her side only to hear his girlfriend say Hee Tae’s name. Poor guy. That alone doesn’t really mean anything though. She’s been in a horrible condition and thought of her husband instead of boyfriend. Fourteen years vs. a couple of months will do that to you. From a psychology standpoint, I don’t think that really says anything. In kdramaland…it means she cares more about her husband than him.

Ah…I guess it does mean something then. Well, even if you don’t have Il Ri, you’ll always have Min Ki and a bunch of ajummas who want you.

4. Il Ri learns about Hee Soo’s passing, so she rushes over to the Jang house to see things for herself and to say goodbye to her Cool Unni.

Considering how stress made her hyperventilate the last time, this seems incredibly dangerous. I hope she has a bag with her or an inhaler of some sort. She’s okay though. She cries and says goodbye, but no sacsac attack hits her.

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Some interesting parallels though. Il Ri says that for the past seven years she’s been like Hee Soo. She just lived and breathed, but didn’t actually live her life. I think everyone saw that, but Il Ri remained blind to it and only realized just how stagnant her life was. Now that Hee Soo is gone, this will probably mean that Il Ri let go of her burden and swim away.

That sounds wrong, but it’s true. I still feel like Il Ri used Hee Soo as an excuse to not do anything with her life. Instead of going to art school, or doing things that she liked, she tied herself down and refused to let anyone move her. In that sense, I don’t know if she ever fully opened her heart to Kim Joon or Hee Tae. I think with each guy, she acted in a way that she thought she was suppose to act and in the end it backfired on her. The only time she was true to herself was with Hee Soo, which is why she clung onto her so fiercely.

Now that she’s gone, Il Ri will actually have to live her life without excuses.

Miss Go and Mr. Jang go on a date and he goes along with her dementia without being angry with her. He’s trying though, which might also be a parallel for Il Ri. I feel like both characters are similar, even though they’re incredibly different. With Hee Soo gone, they have to step up and since Mr. Jang is trying to do his part and stop running away. I think Il Ri will too.

5. Il Ri apologizes.

She meets with Kim Joon and apologizes for going with him 100%, which falls in line with what I’ve been saying. I’m glad that she admitted that, but it’s sad for Kim Joon who now knows that he loved Il Ri more than she loved him.

Kim Joon uses this information to meet up with Hee Tae. Ho….ho….hol. Kim Joon was the one who would bring Il Ri and Hee Tae closer together and show them that their love is valid. He does it in an underhanded way by giving the chair to Hee Tae and then asking him to officiate the marriage between him and Il Ri. But I think we all know what he’s doing.

I don’t want to say I told you so to some KJ/IR fans, but….it wasn’t going to go any other way. This makes me sad that we never really got any of their love story and everything will now be crammed into one episode. Hopefully it doesn’t feel rushed!

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Hee Tae also reads a letter that Il Ri wrote to him where she lays out her feelings as well and says sorry. Since she told him that if she says sorry that would mean their relationship is over, he decides to go and congratulate her on her new life.

Preview: None, but we do see Il Ri walk over to Hee Tae.


10 thoughts on “tvN’s Valid Love episode 19 – Hee Soo

  1. sparklingcosmic

    I see a history of a husband who sacrifices a lot for love. He’s not showing it enough, but he feels it inside his heart as he wants her wife to be set free. That reminds me an old sonh of sting or the police, “if you love somebody, set him free”.. I am not sure the tittle or lyric exactly. I would do the same thing if my husband loves somebody else. I’d be angry, but what can i do to make him stop loving the other person, than just wait until time says otherwise?

    I guess that is how the writer shows us how great HT is. Not satisfying for me, bit i guess it’s fair enough. I have seen ep 2P without subs, i am not happy with the end, but i guess it’s the right thing to do. I still think writer could do better since ep 12, but it seems that just like other drama writers; rating and fanbase service matter.

    I watched many kdramas with love triangle, appart from those which have “otp” we cannot really guess until the very last episode who will the girl chooses.

    1. mochirochi Post author

      I watched many kdramas with love triangle, appart from those which have “otp” we cannot really guess until the very last episode who will the girl chooses.

      I disagree with you there. For most kdramas, the main guy always wins even if the second one is better. Here, Hee Tae narrated the story in past tense and kept calling IR his wife. The synopsis was also about him showing IR that their love was valid (even though that technically never happened). I think the writers always planned on a HT/IR ending, they just needed KJ to help the characters get to that point.

  2. Vali

    WOW. This was a very special episode. I was put off by episodes 17 and 18 but I’m really glad at the end I decided to watch it, because it was really worth it…He Soo… what a great character, and what a performance…great actress, really.
    Me too, I wondered about two things: the specific cause of her illness and about the ex boyfriend: I would’ve loved to know a bit more.

    Thank you very much for the recap! Now off to watch ep 20…

  3. Pingback: VALID LOVE. TVN. | IKurate

  4. Boon Ang

    Please forgive me for this late posting as I only watched Valid love two months ago. A recurring and “burning” question from episode 14 was if IR had given up on HT to go with KJ. There were some critical incidents that suggest this. First, IR no longer wore her wedding ring. Second, she removed her wedding picture on the wall in her bedroom at her mother’s home. Third, she seemed to have given KJ a chance – she’s cooked him curry (IR tends to communicate love through food – it is a symbol of love for her). Fourth, she told KJ that she always wanted to hold hands sleeping with her boyfriend – inferring he was her boyfriend now as she was sleeping hands held with him at the bed and breakfast. Fifth, she declared that she followed her heart and her heart followed only him in episode 16. It would seem like she was with him now. How then can we explain/understand, as many commentators queried, why she went back to HT’s home against opposition from her own mother, HT, and KJ? Loyalty to her MIL who “loved” her? To assuage her guilt so that she can go to KJ with a clear conscience, as she told him? Or she still had lingering feelings and loyalty to HT? I surmise that it’s probably all of the above. To keep it short, I’d like to suggest that IR had always loved and wanted to stay married to HT. Not that IR had never declared her love for KJ directly nor her intentions/desire to marry him. Contrast this with her infatuation with HT in episodes 1 & 2 where she blatantly and brazenly told him she wanted to marry him. This was evidence in her efforts to salvage her marriage in episodes 9-13, I further cite evidence in her final farewell letter to HT – “…. Since we can’t meet, I am writing instead…. I’m leaving you NOW. I’m really going to give up….” Strange isn’t it? If she had broken up with HT at the end episode 13 and episode 14 when she twice refused HT’s request to return home, why is she leaving him and giving up NOW? Perhaps this might help us understand why IR rushed back to the Jang household to care for MIL and maybe save her marriage. This seems to be the case as she’s very affected by HT “casting her off” after he cried in her arms (she had two flashback the morning after the near deaths of MIL & HS and when she hesitated calling HT after MIL informed her of ship’s fire) and before she had her sac sac attack after hearing that HT was on the burning ship and could not be contacted. Human motivation is complex!

  5. Boon Ang

    Many have commented about IR attachment to HT and the Jang family. Some have surmised that she chose to love HT and this family and this may be true as events bear out. I want to offer another POV to understand IR’s behaviour in addition to love. IR suffers from a psychological condition called “co-dependency” and has been referred to as the psychological disease of a lost self. She wanted to keep protecting HT, asked HT many time if he still needed her, admitted that she had nothing more to do with HS’s passing. It may also explain why she rushed back to help when MIL’s illness was known to her – they needed her!
    Co-dependency is characterised by a dysfunctional helping relationship that is intently focused on another’s sustenance and well being. Other commonly cited symptoms of co-dependency include:
    Inability to tolerate being alone, accompanied by frantic efforts to avoid being alone – and IR was really lonely;
    Chronic feelings of boredom and emptiness – she felt like HS only living and breathing;
    Subordinating and relegating one’s own needs to those of the person with whom one is involved -IR sacrificed on her own accord for HT and Jang family;
    Overwhelming desire for acceptance, affirmation, and affection – from HT and family and that’s why she felt so hurt by their rejection;
    External referencing – KJ “reflected” that IR wanted to be good wife and daughter-in-law;
    Dishonesty and denial – IR was dishonest and bestie confronted her with it; and
    Low self-worth – she lost her esteem, felt really hurt when HT pointed to her DNA.
    Just another angle or POV.


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