Brilliant Legacy concludes brilliantly. Pun very much intended.
The ending is very Brilliant Legacy-esque. It’s done perfectly. Perfect pace, perfect conclusions, with a dash of that Brilliant Legacy magic (gosh, am I being too corny? Allow me for today!) It leaves you wanting more, but it is still a satisfyingly beautiful ending. The loose ends of the story are tied up, but not so tight that it leaves no open room for interpretation.
Take for example, the Seungmi and her mother Seunghee. They have started a new life away from the people they have hurt and deceived, but they are not completely changed either. In the last moments at the end, Seunghee displays a lack of fervor of her new life, but masked so that Seungmi is happy. Ultimately, Seunghee still mourns the money she lost, but her love for her daughter keeps her intact… for now.
Another example is Sunwoo Mom and the Chef/Butler. She finds out that Butler has been having feelings for her, and seemingly reciprocates it, but writer keeps things simple and light and open. We have yet to know if these two seasoned lovebirds will be able to make it.
Every important points are highlighted and shown, but they are also shown in the perfect amount so as to not crowd out the whole episode. Another point of view would probably say that they are done choppily, only showing a little bit of everything and while that may be valid argument, the flow of the episode is actually not compromised. The exquisite touch of virtual scissors from the editing director helps too, but in the end, it’s the believable writing that develops the ending.
Now that the drama has ended, I can say for sure that Hwan and Eunsung are best when they are working together. Their dynamic comes in full force when they are trying to achieve a mutual goal, achieving sales level of the store, ultimately making Granny happy. I like their dates and everything, but their passion to prove themselves capable is what makes the difference. They race to the top, but they still help each other along the way. That sense of purpose, of getting something they both really want, is why they look the best working together.
I’m not saying that the dates are lacking in chemistry or anything (oh no, chemistry is alllll over the place), but sometimes, I feel that they feel a little…mundane, a little pale in comparison to how passionate they do their work. Eunsung’s fiery self comes out a lot when working together with Hwan, but in their normal dates, Eunsung is more chill and feminine. The same thing goes with Hwan. He is driven and competitive when working with Eunsung, but again, in his normal date, he’s just…nice. These are not bad things, but I just find it more exciting to see them working together.
I was hoping that even if they had done a time jump to the future, they would show Eunsung and Hwan working together, perhaps co managing of the Soup company?
One of the things I love the most about this episode is Eunsung taking initiative. This far, while we are fully aware of Eunsung’s feelings, she has not exactly shown much to Hwan. She is a nice girl, but she’s nice to everyone. In the last few episodes, we have seen Eunsung slowly starting to show her heart and mind more clearly. It was Eunsung who asked Hwan on a date. Eunsung hugged Hwan, comforting him after his emotional confession to Granny, initiating her first body contact with Hwan. And this episode, we see Eunsung fully reciprocating Hwan’s feelings.
For one, I’m not sure if this was intended as a symbolism, but instead of Hwan crossing the street to get to Eunsung, it is Eunsung who braves the Seoul busy traffic to get to Hwan, meeting him in the middle. Not only that, she tells him to wait, wait for her as she finishes her culinary studies. Remember how this request was voiced by Hwan first several episodes back. Nice throwback.
Like in the picture above, it is Eunsung who goes up to plant a kiss on Hwan, signaling that duh, of course, she’s into him too. If the kiss on the bridge was Hwan’s, this kiss by the lake is Eunsung’s. She stole it. Eunsung even goes further a notch by whispering her declaration of love to Hwan, again, mimicking Hwan’s admission of feelings early on. If Hwan was in doubt about what he meant to Eunsung, now he can be sure that he means the world, or at least a lot, to Eunsung.
The above picture is posted for no other reason than how gorgeous it is. Compare that to this:
Instead of on a shaky bridge, Hwan and Eunsung are now on solid ground. Instead of being above water, a possible danger, they are by it, danger is passed. Instead of a foggy dawn, it is now a clear day. Instead of Hwan possessively, but lone, clutching Eunsung, Hwan and Eunsung are now in an embrace, arms around each other.
Instead of feelings going one sided, the feelings are now very much mutual.
So long, Brilliant Legacy. A drama I watched since the first day, but never thought it would leave such an impact. After exactly 14 weeks, 3 and a half month of awesome ride and becoming a source of smile, laughter, and tears, I am not without those in bidding you goodbye.
Let’s hope SBS relesases the DVD with decent English subtitles and lots and lots of bonus scenes.