Metro Editors React To The "Crash Landing On You" Finale
Spoilers abound! You’ve seen the finale, now let’s compare notes about what we really think about the fate of Captain Ri and Se-ri
If you were like any other Crash Landing On You fan, we bet you also stayed up Sunday night to stream the grand finale of this 16-episode daydream we’ve been following since December 15. And while you may have guessed in the past few weeks, we at Metro are just obsessed with this series—from its stellar cast (Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin, Kim Jung-hyun, and Seo Ji-hye), to the fashion, to beauty inspiration, and even travel and food recommendations!
So much so that a great chunk of our day was spent unpacking and analyzing the finale.
SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen it yet, turn back and go to Netflix to stream. You’ve been warned!
So basically, here’s what went down for the finale: Episode 15 ended on a cliffhanger with Se-ri flatlining in the hospital bed, mirrored by Seung-joon in the North, similarly in a critical state after his gunfight to rescue the kidnapped Seo Dan. In the start of the episode, Ri Jung-hyeok runs outside her room and looks in horror as the use the defibrillator to revive her. In a similar medical bind is Seung-joon who spent his last moments happy with Seo Dan in the ambulance. Between the two, it is Se-ri who survives.
Meanwhile, the NIS (national Intelligence Service) of South Korea and their counterparts in North Korea come up with a deal to allow the comrades to return to North Korea in exchange of South Korean prisoners. It was also revealed that Captain Ri’s father has lightly threatened his next-in-line officer (#2) to comply with his proposal to cut this deal, citing that he knew #2 was in touch with Jo Cheol-kang while the former Comrade was in South Korea.
Se-ri wakes up in the hospital, only to find out that Jung-hyeok and the other soldiers were on their way to DMZ to cross the line towards North Korea. With her mother, Se-ri hurries to the DMZ to catch one last glimpse of her Captain Ri.
It was too late when she got there as Jung-hyeok had already crossed the line, and she went hysterical when she saw that he, along with the other comrades, were in handcuffs. She ran after him, AND he crossed the line! Both North and South Korea agents stood in shock, proceeded to aim their firearms at each other, but clearly, very confused at the situation.
The two embraced and has the most romantic goodbye dialogue: She asked him if they’ll ever see other again, and he said, “If we wait and pray with our whole heart, then we will meet the person we want to meet. Then we can see each other,” he says with much hope.
Soon after, Jung-hyeok and his comrades return to Korea, they were taken out of the regular path, which is highly suspicious. Turns out, #2 was planning to execute them—until Jung-hyeok’s father came along to save the entire team.
Meanwhile, Seo Dan is going through stages of grief caused by the death of Seung-joon. She suddenly livens up and requests her mother and uncle’s help to take revenge. She found the handler Cheon, and requests for information not just on the people who killed Seung-joon, but also on the financier of the operation.
That would be Se-ri’s brother’s wife, who is shown debating with her husband about having Seung-joon killed. The two argue and blame each other for the possible consequences of their actions. Then they go to their parents house and see Se-ri there, and Se-ri, with her father, confront the couple—the two committed a crime by financing a murder, among other crimes. Turns out, their broker from North Korea sent all the money and account information through China, implicating them. They come face to face with their South Korean broker, and they couple is then taken by NIS agents.
As for Se-ri, she gets the best surprise when she finds out that Captain Ri sent her messages written in advance—little reminders, messages of encouragement, and at some point even instructions on how to live a better, happier life, even without him.
These messages transform her outlook, making her look forward to each day and savor every moment. He provides a big clue in where they will meet next: Switzerland.
Se-ri then gets to work. Through their company, they set up a foundation to support children in classical music in Switzerland, and each time she visits, she hopes their paths will cross. They have a concert every year, publicized as a project of Se-ri’s Choice and Queens—ways Se-ri hopes that Jung-hyeok will hear about it and seek her out.
At some point, she decides to go parachuting against the gorgeous scenery of Switzerland, landing roughly in the prescribed point. She complains that she does so well until the point where she has to land—but then she hears Jung-hyeok say: “It wasn’t too bad. This time you landed in the place you were supposed to land.”
Flash forward to the future, Se-ri is driving in Switzerland and goes to a hotel where an event is set to take place. That event turns out to be a concert, and here, Jung-hyeok comes to her table and sits with her, and they hold hands under the table and smile.
It pans to a gorgeous house, with framed photos of Se-ri and Jung-hyeok, along with fresh flowers. It seems to be their place. She goes outside and sees him walking up the hill while carrying flowers. So romantic! They stand beside each other, and she rests her head on his chest. They look at each other, standing in the vastness of the gorgeous scenery of Switzerland, and kiss.
For our discussion, we had:
Grace Libero: Metro.Style People Editor and resident K-Drama expert
Kate Paras: Metro.Style Beauty Editor and new K-Drama Fan (This is her first series!)
Chris Lopez: Metro Group Head, and also a new K-drama fan
Ceia Ylagan: Metro.Style Travel Editor who got hooked because of the gorgeous locations
Jana dela Cruz and Nona Baldo: Fellow K-drama fanatics
Mari Santiago: Metro Business Manager
and Geolette Esguerra: Metro.Style Editor-in-Chief
On the finale:
The team started talking about how they felt about the finale. While most were happy and satisfied, some felt that there was something lacking. The insights here reveal what really makes Crash Landing on You amazing—it took everyone on a ride of highs and lows, of tears and laughter, and with its culmination in the finale.
Grace: “I’ve never been this happy and satisfied with a rom-com series since 2013’s My Love From a Star, which also happens to have been written by Park Ji-eun, the same screenwriter behind Crash Landing on You. There was a strong possibility for CLOY to have a sad ending because of the realities of Korean conflict, but the production team behind it found a plausible conclusion to give viewers a satisfying ending. The finale takes viewers to an emotional rollercoaster ride, with major 'iyak-tawa' moments. It wonderfully tied loose ends and did so with impressive cinematography to boot. It made me want to go to Switzerland and try paragliding.”
Kate: “It’s the finale we deserved. After feeling so much pain (from the 15 episodes), it was the perfect way to end it. And at the same time, there was room for the imagination: Did they only spend time two weeks a year? It wasn’t overwhelming happiness, but all the loose ends were tied. But then it’s not the end. It can go on—if we petition enough. I close my CLOY chapter with overflowing emotions, mostly happiness and contentment.”
Chris: “I personally felt that the ending was bitin, without seeing other Korean dramas and without hearing what you all said. It’s open-ended, you can really do a season 2 for this. But I was just disappointed that Jung-hyeok hardly spoke in that episode. Much of what he said was 'I missed you.' And about the train. And that’s it. And in the final scene in the hillside, not a single word from him.
"And that for me was part of the allure or the attraction to this drama. The things he says to her. I wanted a little bit more. Even when he came to the recital, all she said was: 'He started,' and his answer was 'I know.' Because the entire 15 episodes, every little thing they showed meant something. And then there’s this 'I know.' For such an important scene where we were wondering—are they going to end up together—it was just, 'I know.' And even in that scene, they were so far from each other.
Although I felt that Captain Ri should have said more in the end—I was also relieved that it was happy ending. That after everything they went through, they can finally be together—even for just two weeks. Plus, the location and cinematography were stunning.”
Jana: “The ending was happy, but medyo nakulangan ako. Not too happy. Towards the end, when she was saying that she’s already accepted the fact that they’ll never see each other again. Akala ko 'yun ang ending. And then when they saw each other, it never really said na nagsama sila. I was looking for those tweets which hinted at them having twins, and it said on Twitter that they removed those parts because they got leaked. And that scene, with the open field, dapat daw may tumatakbo na mga bata. But they removed it. So it wasn’t a complete happy ending, it wasn’t full closure for you. You wonder what will happen next.”
Geolette: “That’s also something I kinda expect in Koreanovelas, that it will be open-ended. That we won’t get that kind of closure. and I also don’t want to get that kind of closure—that everything is neat and tidy, that everyone is happy. I think it’s important that the ending will always give you room to wonder, and to consider the options: How will this long distance relationship work, will they really spend two weeks together?”
Nona: “It was a perfect ending for me. I thought it won’t be a happy ending. Netflix Originals is known for open-ended or weird endings. So I am happy.”
Mari: “I mostly loved the casting, and the end tied it up really nicely.”
On season 2:
Most felt that the finale worked well enough for the possibility of a Season 2—something everyone got excited. In fact, when Mari mentioned how we all thought about the season 2—"do you think it'll be corny?" the room exploded into a series of protests. "No, we all want a season 2!" we declared.
Chris: “I think it’s open-ended enough that there’s room for Season 2. The brother is in jail with the [soon-to-be-divorced ex-wife], so there are potential villains. Plus, something can still happen to the parents of Captain Ri, because the circumstances surrounding his freedom [is questionable]—the father had to kill the military director.”
On some details we were looking for:
Truth be told, most of the information don't just come from the show itself, but from fan sites and social media sites who have access to inside information from the cast and crew. These have been the source of some of our theories on the finale.
Jana: “Someone tweeted that it’s Se-ri’s house, and that they spend two weeks there. And for their music scholarship, it’s Captain Ri who brings in the students from North Korea to Switzerland. I also want to know why it took them such a long time to meet. One year of text messages, and then she returned a few times to Switzerland.”
Chris: “Based on what I saw, it seems like he had to first resign from the military. And because that Captain is his friend. I think there’s still danger to his family, to his parents, if he’s gonna be publicly associated to someone from the South.”
Grace: “I also read that you can’t just escape North Korea without a purpose, so his piano work is a good excuse.”
Jana: “Or there was really a trial—"
Kate: “Yeah, like what his dad said, everyone deserves a fair trial.”
Chris: “And the decision resulted in that he had to resign from the military.”
On feeling a little “bitin”:
Chris earlier raised an interesting point about how it seemed uncharacteristic of Captain Ri to suddenly be so quiet in the finale. Instead of his usual snide remarks and comments, we were treated to a quiet portrayal that had him speak so few lines. We yearned for some of the other scenes where he was just so passionate. On the other hand, some Koreanovelas often frontload the drama and climax on the second to the last episode, and continue in the first half. Towards the end, it's all about resolutions.
Chris: “I felt that he was out of character, he looked like a model already, just posing and posing. It wasn’t as satisfying those other moments of theirs. Remember in the garage when she was being attacked, and when he grabbed her, she was—that look of his. And when she called him up after being in a coma for many days, and she rang him up—so where is that. Even when she crash-landed from Switzerland.”
Ceia: “We even thought that scene was leading to their wedding. Because it was small and intimate, and everything was white, and she was overseeing the whole thing.”
Kate: “Or that scene by the border!”
Janna: “Or when he was just waiting for her”
Ceia: “You remember that scene from the cliff, it felt like it was an ad. And it was out of place. Even the treatment.”
Jana: “Someone commented on Twitter that it looked like a tourism shot. That it was an advertisement for tourism in Switzerland.”
Geolette: “I would argue that in Koreanovelas, the climax occurs in the second to the last episode, because the last episode will tie the loose ends. It’s a lot of montage, a lot of fan service. To tie it all in. That’s why we were holding our breath in the 15th episode, or why we cried so much in the start of episode 16!”
Chris: “I really wish he said something in the end, like 'I finally have you here…'”
Jana: “But ibang klase ang kissing scene sa last.”
At this point, everyone nodded in amazement, filling the room with laughter. That the scene looked like a painting, exclaims Kate, or that it seemed as if everything slowed down and panned to the scenery. These were the little details that we will mostly miss about this show. These are the details that we will keep thinking about in the days to come. Indeed, what we got was an ending that tied the story together into a plausible solution. It was an ending we all deserve.
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