Scent of a Woman – Episode 15

The end of episode 15 just kept getting sadder and sadder with each happy moment.  I kept thinking, “Will this be her last photo?  Is this her last dance?”  It was a great sequence (even more so because I love YJ’s mom so much) but it certainly pulled on the heartstrings!

If I’m honest, I was a bit disappointed with the middle episodes of SOAW, so I’m thrilled that the last three were so great.  For a while it felt like an endless cycle of angst and moping, and I started getting deja vu every time I saw the OTP crying. It’s not that I don’t sympathize with them or understand their motivations, but the density of those scenes resulted in a deficiency of what makes this drama special (at least to me).  What always hits home the the most when I’m watching is SOAW’s ability to be inspiring and uplifting, and once that aspect of the show was missing, I keenly felt its absence. Happily, the show not only brought back its theme of positive thinking and living each day to to the fullest, but even finished on that note.

The character that got to me the most in the last two episodes was definitely Yeon Jae’s mom.  I admire how quickly she took control of her grief so she could support her daughter, and the scenes of her smiling and laughing always choked me up the most.  I’m sure it is far more difficult to make the decision to be happy as the mother than as the sick child,  and every moment YJ’s mother was on screen was completely heartwarming.  One of my favorite such moments was when she suddenly walked into the hospital with a smile on her face.  Could YJ ask for more?

I also adore YJ’s new step father.  I appreciated how quickly he took responsibility for the two women and filled a fathership role without overstepping his bounds or being pushy.  And how sweet was their mini-wedding?  They both looked great, although I’m not sure what Ji Wook was thinking with that jacket.

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My only disappointment with the last two episodes was that we still had to put up with this man!

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Really?  You think you need to send your granddaughter’s ex-boyfriend out of the country in order for her to cope?  No wonder she grew up to be so spoiled and emotionally unstable.  Although I wish that Se Kyung’s plotline had been tied up a bit earlier, I appreciate that some of the earlier episodes showed her vulnerable side and how she had been hurt in the past, so I was able to swallow her reconciliation with YJ more easily.

And then there was my favorite SOAW character: Eun Seok.  I almost even started to cry when he asked for the dog back!  I think that he experienced the most growth throughout the series, and of all the episodes I liked 14 the most.  Hee Joo was consistently delightful, and the moments leading up to and following her death were handled perfectly (even though they made a mess of me).  Those scenes acted as the finale to ES’s transformation, and I think his breakdown in the hallway was possibly the most heartbreaking scene in the entire drama.

Usually I either despise second leads, could care less about them, or ship them 100%.  In ES’s case, I felt none of the above.  I simply admired him for fighting through his emotional constipation to always do the right think and support the woman he loves, while never asking for anything in return.  Not once did he try to steal her away from JW or act inappropriately.  He was so focused on her benefit alone that  even consistently tried to get YJ and JW together, and I’m sure that he will go down in history as one of the most selfless k-drama characters ever.  That being said, Ji Wook’s acceptance of ES and the mutual understanding that they share on YJ’s behalf is almost as touching.

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My favorite part of the finale was the finale to the finale.  It has always bothered me that YJ basically had an expiry date, and I loved that the drama finished on such an uplifting note while remaining realistic and not doing anything too miraculous.  Amazing cancer miracles certainly do occur, but it wouldn’t feel right within the context of a drama.

What I appreciated the very most was YJ adding to her bucket list.  Is there any better attitude to have?  I love that she refuses to feel like her life is finished, and will continue to experience new things and edify others.  You shouldn’t have to be dying to value to each day like YJ, and that is the underlying impression that this drama has left me with.  We’ve all heard expressions such as “live each day like it’s your last” a thousand times before, but few things drive that point home as well as SOAW has.  There are many other shows out there that are more enjoyable or better written, but how many of them really affect us and have the ability to change how we live out each day?  I think that SOAW deserves recognition for that quality alone, and I feel lucky to have watched it.

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What a great year for dramas this is turning out to be.  I feel certain that everything else this year will be terrible, just to balance out the scales.

Since it’s the end of the drama, of course the videos of the day are SOAW MVs! The first is short but snappy, and the second is fantastically constructed although it mostly focused on episodes 11-13.  Credit to vsRegina for both.

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17 responses

    • Such a good finale! And thanks for complimenting my speed since I feel super slow lately! I felt like it was taking forever while I was drawing it, but once a finale comes around I feel like there’s a deadline for some reason 😛

  1. For someone who said she doesn’t like painting kissing shots, it sure looks like you are partial to them – just admit it – they are beautiful and you were tempted again. Cuz when I saw that scene, I was like – i bet I could coax Fanderay to paint that and right at that moment you already were 🙂 I can totally tell now which scenes you will go for. I am going to call it already – the next SOAW will be the ending shot by the lake right- with the tree on the left and the lake on the right side background?

    • Psh, whatever, I’m just catering to people like you!! Okay okay, so I liked the scene too (consider me busted) but note that I avoided the kiss itself! I actually wanted to draw them dancing against the sunset, but none of the shots were that aesthetically pleasing so I had to swallow my pride and go for full-on cheesiness. It’s not my fault this drama is so dang romantic! If they were doing kung fu against the sunset I would’ve been ever more eager to draw it 😛

      And yes…that ending scene by the lake MAY have crossed my mind and I MAY have some screencaps laying around of that exact shot (Although all the houses across the lake are a bit annoying. They would have to be deleted!).

      It’s actually kind of convenient that you know you my style since I can now exploit you. If you see any great scenes in O brothers or anything else, let me know. I won’t be able to do a write-up at this point, but I could just link your blog where I’m sure lots of people will be talking about it (and coming up with more introspective things than I ever could). Even though I watch a ton of dramas drawing even more variety would still be a good thing 🙂

      • haha can I second softy’s comment that I also thought you were tempted to paint that last scene with Ji Wook and Yeon Jae by the river under the tree? That’s totally your style =P

  2. Me dibs on the lakescene.

    Can I have it with even words like ‘Thank you for your love and hard work?

    Nah…no need words.I would love one of the lakescene.Let me rephrase it I love Scent in a different way from CYHMH.

    Of course after this I am a rabid Wookie fan even though I was mad for him before the drama.

    The challenge-which painting softy and Fanderay would look good on a phone screen?You know phone screens are kinda long.I have a Samsung S2.

    • Hey ck! I probably won’t be painting that lake shot this week since I like to save some scenes so I can return to a drama later on (when I’m sick of drawing all the dramas currently airing). Would you like to have a different painting with those words written? Maybe the the first one on this page?

      I’ve started doing wallpapers for phones when I do my wallpaper posts, and this tango one words pretty good if you want a SOAW phone background:
      https://kolorfulpalette.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/scent-of-a-woman-episode-8-wallpapers/

      Even though I use an Android phone myself, I only do iPhone resolutions since other phones vary so much. Do you know what resolution your phone uses? I can crop you something if you know what you want 🙂

      • Yes please. very much.This has not been a usual drama it strikes close to home dealing with if life and death. That first photo will be great. What would I do without you dear. Hugs. and kisses .

            • haha, I know how that goes 🙂 What drama was it?

              Sorry again for making you wait. I actually would’ve missed your comment for even longer if I hadn’t accidentally scrolled too far down my “manage comments” page. You said you’ll be managing that Kim Bum drama later right? Padam Padam was it? I’m sure that’ll be on my “to watch” list.

              • I just marathon A Thousand Kisses.OMG I so did not intend to even watch it.It’s not an all round fantastic dramas because the mothers are darn irritating and dead cliches.

                However Ryu Jin and that young ‘un who plays his love interest.They have a 17yr gap are so addictive it’s not funny.

                Yes I am managing Padam.Next month we start Man of Honor the one with Jang Woo and PMY.However we have subber issues again.Can’t Lose is terrible absolutely terrible getting subbing done.

                In Nov I am hoping to pick up Brains.You know the one with that cutie guy with abs from Heartstrings.Take your pick which drama to watch 🙂

                • I almost gave Thousand Kisses a try (I really liked Ryu Jin in Baby Faced Beauty) but it looked too much like a soap opera for my taste. If I hear really good things after it finishes airing I may give it a chance, but otherwise I’m happy to not have another drama on my list!

                  Not that I usually “pick” when it comes to dramas (I just watch them all) but I’ll probably skip Brains since I’m not big on medical dramas (the only ones I’ve liked are Scrubs and House). I’ll probably watch the first episode or 2 just to give it a chance, but I’m way more interested in Padam.

  3. Ergh I can’t look at any photo/screencap on this drama without this ‘soft’ feeling in my chest.It just draws out all the hidden emotions.

    Have you guys heard the whole soundtrack?OMG it is so good you should listen to it.I was putting it all up on the viki page.It feels awfully sad and final as we’re tidying the page and writing thank you notes.The first lot to the segmenters have already gone out.

  4. I laughed when I read your comment “What a great year for dramas this is turning out to be. I feel certain that everything else this year will be terrible, just to balance out the scales.”

    But it’s okay even if this comes true because I can just rewatch all my KSA’s collection – SOAW, MNIKSS and CH 🙂

    Before Ep 15 and 16 I actually wrote an ending myself (as a way to make myself less nervous about the ending) and I’m glad that it was realized in this finale to a certain extent – extending the bucket list, YJ living pass the 6-month benchmark (but not miraculously cured), mom remarried etc. so I’m just very, very happy with this ending.

    I believe some of the middle episodes would have driven people away, but I still applaud for the writer that she’s trying lead both the characters and viewers to go through a very depressed phase before reaching the final acceptance and peaceful phase. It feels rewarding having gone through this emotional ride and then ended up with hope AND a tomorrow.

    SOAW has brought me more than just a brilliant story – I’ve met different friends because of it, including an awesome painter like you! 🙂 And I was thinking of starting a CYHMH oil painting but now that SOAW occupies my mind and heart so much I may have to reconsider the sequence between those two! =P

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