Our couple encounters some final challenges as our small story comes to a close. But maybe it's all part of a grander plan, because everyone ends up exactly where they need to be given some time to heal and more chances to forgive.
After pummeling our emotions (and Tae-yang and Tae- Joon's) for so long, the reward this drama provided us in its final week was magnificent. Thankfully, the drama took its time to bring everything full circle, and the smooth and natural path it took more than made up for Joon-young and Jung-hwan's abrupt adjustments last week. To put it another way, it's a happy ending.
Tae-joon has summoned the confidence to ask Tae-yang to be his partner (for the time being, only in badminton), and the result is swoon-worthy. Of course, she declines the offer because she is Tae-yang.
But, rather than going into self-flagellation mode, Tae-yang has changed because Joon-young has forgiven her. She appears to be less burdened; her last arc is about understanding not just that she can be loved, but also that she can be happy.
When it comes to Tae-Joon and his family, Tae-yang strives to do the right thing and be respectful, but her heart yearns to play with him. Joon-young offers Tae-yang the swift approval she seeks over the phone, and while fans are still perplexed as to how someone so vicious could alter her mind so soon, but they admire what it says about forgiveness.
As Joon-young attempts to explain to her still-awful mother, forgiving was much simpler than she had anticipated. Joon-young would even eventually act as the key that turns her mother's heart towards Tae-yang, much to my delight — but more on that later.
Tae-yang agrees to be Tae-mixed joon's doubles partner after gaining Joon-young's permission. People, the smiles are returning! The duo has a tournament to prepare for, as well as cute dinners with Jung-hwan and Yoo-min.
Everything depends on this tournament for Tae-Joon, and he makes it obvious to Tae-yang that once it's finished, he'll confess to her. Viewers admire his candor; it complements that smile perfectly.
Actually, so does the drama, because, like last week, it focuses more on our supporting characters, and we get to see Seung-woo return for a final match partnered with Tae-joon as well as his wonderful moments with Young-shim. Viewers are so glad the situation ended happily for these two; they're fantastic together. Jung-hwan and Yoo-min, on the other hand, are fantastic together.
Everyone is focused on preparation for the competition, but the drama still finds time to provide us with adorable bonding moments, such as our meteor shower thunderstorm. Although the meteor shower is obscured by the clouds, Tae-joon and Tae-yang spend a private moment away from the squad. She inquires as to what Tae-joon's wish will be... to win the tournament? Success? Happiness? Tae-joon, on the other hand, expresses his desire to kiss her right then and there.
Even though there are no shooting stars in the sky, Tae-Joon confidently declares that he would fulfill his dream on his own, and this kiss is one of the most beautiful moments the pair has experienced. It's also a good metaphor for Tae-joon, who was previously on autopilot but now has things to fight for.
Tae-yang notes this shift in him, and we're reminded of how easy he forfeited a game at the start of the drama. They've now found themselves in the reverse situation. With his knee barely recovered, Tae-joon intends to play and has been playing, and when no one is looking, he limps and winces.
Despite his doctor's orders, he continues to play, but Jung-hwan has grown into such a loyal buddy that we see him observe Tae-joon's knee and even try to stop him before he injures himself.
Tae-joon refuses to give up the game and is willing to sacrifice his knee, but an accident determines the Park twins' fate in the tournament finals. Tae-yang has discovered how terrible his knee is, so they're squabbling near the top of a stairwell, and she loses her footing and falls down the stairs. The game is called off, but she sits in the back of an ambulance with a huge smile on her face, telling Tae-joon, "I saved your leg."
The Park twins are awarded a silver medal by default while Jung-hwan and Yoo-min are awarded gold, but the best part is seeing both of them running about the hospital in hospital gowns and crutches.
The team pays them a visit at one point, and in a comical disclosure, Joon-young and Tae-joon both exclaim, "Mom!" at the same time, revealing the secret. When the team understands the truth, it's all fun and sweetness, and the show has reached at the point where viewers could watch the team interact all day and never get bored.
Tae-joon's parents discover that it was owing to Tae-yang that Tae-joon avoided breaking his knee while playing, and while this isn't enough to change their hardened hearts — yet — it sows critical seeds. And this is when Joon-young comes in, telling her mother that she's always been on her side, and now it's time for her to take Tae- Joon's. It's time to preach!
We move ahead a month, and Tae-joon has finished his recovery and is back in touch with everyone. He's desperate to reunite with Tae-yang, but they agree to wait until he has a 100 percent chance of succeeding.
Then it's time to have some more fun. Coach Lee and Tae-father yang's are drinking again, but this time they're not grumbling or gloating about their daughters, but about their daughters' love interests. We hilariously reenact what the two fathers did the last time, with the sons running to the bar, both attempting to gain approval.
Jung-hwan's predicament is a little more amusing, as he lavishes presents on Coach Lee while the Coach loves-hates him, but Tae-is joon's more serious — as it should be, given he's the hero asking for the heroine's hand in marriage. He kneels in front of Tae-father yang's to request permission, and it's refreshing to see everyone wanting Tae-yang to be happy for a change.
As spring progresses into summer, the couple continues to be patient and wait, gradually winning over the elders. There was something about the way this unfolded that fans adored. Despite the fact that we found Tae-joons' family to be tough to understand, fans knew — and the tale skillfully crafted it — how much Tae-yang required their acceptance before she could embrace Tae-joon's heart for good.
Despite what had transpired in her past, Tae-yang's path was ultimately about understanding that she was worthy of happiness. Though her maturation was largely due to her circumstances changing, fans appreciated how they witnessed her progress from guilt and self-punishment to a willingness to fight for and claim her happiness.
During the competition, a fan followed Yunis' van to the stadium, which was really touching. Everyone assumes it's a Jung-hwan fangirl, but Tae-yang weeps when she sees her! It's her younger sister, and she's holding a Park Tae-yang sign and cheering her on, even if she's on her way to work.
The Park twins have waited a long time, and their goodness and patience have finally paid off. Tae-joons' mother gradually relents, perhaps realizing how much bitterness she has been leaking upon everyone. When our pair finally gets together, they exchange some killer smiles and an even more killer embrace.
As the drama concludes, the Park twins are given a second chance not only in love but also in badminton, and they're off to play mixed doubles at the tournament the following year. But it's not about who wins – and the drama is well aware of this. What transpired to get these characters to that point on the court, playing their hearts out together, is the true core of the story.
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