Why “The World Of The Married” ‘Disappointing’ Open-Ending Was The Perfect Ending [Episode 16 Recap and Review]

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“The World Of The Married” has finally ended its run and I just finished crying so here I am to talk about it.

“The World Of The Married” was one hell of a rollercoaster ride, it was filled with ups but mostly downs. There were bumps along the way, but overall, I can’t complain about it because there is still truth to it… even if it was exaggerated at times, a lot of the things a married and divorced couple do rings true, and to me, those emotions were all that mattered.




Note: this is a spoiler recap and review of “The World Of The Married” episode 16.

Related: “The World Of The Married” Final Episode Breaks Cable TV History Records All Over Again, An Astonishing Feat

The quick recap

Nothing much happens for the first 30 minutes aside from the cast reconnecting after Sun Woo and Joon Young get back to town. Je Hyuk and Ye Rim have gotten back together but at the 30 minute mark we begin to see cracks in their relationship again. She doubts him again and despite her love to him, she says she doesn’t know if she can ever forget and forgive.

Around the 40 minute mark, the asshole Tae Oh shows up at their house and takes Joon Young with him, when Sun Woo finds out she panics and is afraid for the life of her son and the ex-husband.

He eventually tells her where they are and she comes to take them. She offers to buy lunch to Tae Oh, they eat at a restaurant but Tae Oh begins to spit nonsense again saying they should forgive each other and get back together, as you’d expect Joon Young isn’t happy with the situation and breaks down crying in the bathroom before asking his mom to leave.

Sun Woo tells Tae Oh that its over between them and there is no chance ever that they’d get back together. They part ways and Tae Oh asks his son not to end up like him, as the mother and son walk towards the car, Tae Oh decides it’s a good idea to just commit suicide right in front of them by jumping in front of a driving car. Thankfully or not, he doesn’t get hurt, Sun Woo runs over to him and embraces him, Joon Young sees that and decides it’s best to ditch the crazy couple and leave.

A year later

It looks like Tae Oh got his shit together again; he’s going around places pitching his scripts to media companies and getting rejected.

Sun Woo is back to work, she hasn’t given up on finding her son who ran away from home, but she has no choice but to wait for him.

Ye Rim and Je Hyuk have apparently divorced and Ye Rim has opened her own café, she is doing well.

Je Hyuk is dating another woman and appears to have moved on with his life, but you can see regret in his eyes.

Da Kyung is back to college, a man offers her coffee but she gets up from her seat at the library leaving his coffee behind.

Dr. Kim and Sun Woo seem to have nothing going on between them and remain colleagues.

Sun Woo wakes up the next day to eat breakfast and her son finally walks in back to her, she says, “you’re home?” before running to hug him.

My thoughts

Apparently, according to fans who saw the original, the Korean version had a happier ending. I really like this ending and I am so glad they didn’t sugarcoat it.  

Everything about the ending makes sense to me and rings true to the characters emotions and feelings, what a beautiful ending.

It is not a happy ending by any means but I prefer this to the overly happy cringy ending that “SKY Castle” for example ended with. Rather than pleasing the audience, show them how real life consequences unravel.




Fans are going so hard on Joon Young and it annoys me, he’s 13 years old and his parents are fucking crazy, what do you expect? People expect him to act like an adult and make responsible decisions that aren’t selfish when his parents fucked up so bad; there is no point of return.

And people found issues with Joon Young running away but I would’ve done the same if I were him. He was disgusted and sad by his mom and dad actions, when she embraced him after he attempted suicide, it could’ve felt, at least to Joon Young, that they were always going to be tangled together and who would want to remain in such an unhealthy environment.

People say Sun Woo should’ve tried to find him, but it appears that she is doing her best, but at this stage, as a parent I understand her, even if she did find him, trying to force herself and get him back will not do him good. He must decide for himself. It’s better that way; she fucked up raising him and used him so many time… he’s tired, giving him space is the right thing to do.

Runaways run away for a reason and dragging them back to the environment they tried to run away from isn’t always the right choice, besides, I think it suits Sun Woo just right.

People tend to try and defend her actions but in my opinion, she is deeply flawed and selfish as well, so selfish that she ruined lives and discarded so many others feelings for the sake of her own. I know Tae Oh was the beginning, but her handling method was so trashy and unlike what she claims to be.

I’ve been in a similar situation to what happened with this family and it broke my life, so I can understand better than I think the young kdrama fans who have never experienced such a thing do. Divorce doesn’t only ruin the cheating spouse but the entire family and the way the mom handles her cheating husband will either make or break her family.

Also, I loved loved that Ye Rim and Je Hyuk broke up eventually. It’s the best part of the ending for me, because it shows that once you break someone’s heart and break their trust in you, there is no return.




Personally speaking, I understand where Ye Rim comes from and I believed that Je Hyuk was over cheating, but he cheated so many times that I would’ve reacted the same way. The suspicion never truly goes away and its very difficult to carry a normal relationship with him ever again.

I also loved that Dr. Kim and Sun Woo didn’t end up together. Sun Woo is far from over Tae Oh. She loves and hates him at the same time. When you’re married to someone for so long, its difficult to just cut things off and move on fully, especially if you have a child together.

Dr. Kim deserves better than Sun Woo in my opinion, the series didn’t really explore the reasons behind why she did what she did fully which I thought was a shame, obviously, something deeply scarred her as a child. Sun Woo needs a long long time to heal and getting into a relationship with someone after such a terrible breakup is bound to cause friction and issues.

People were also upset with Da Kyung seemingly leading a normal life but you got to remember, homewreckers who come from wealthy family will not have to ‘pay’ the price so fast. In reality, homewreckers don’t always get karma the way you think they do and definitely not that fast.

Da Kyung is not really living a happy life either, she’s left with the child of someone she risked so much for and it will take her a really really long time to get over him and be able to love again. Also, she won’t easily find a good match who’s willing to also care for her child and that’s going to be her karma. Trying to fit a resolution one year later would’ve felt forced and unlike what reality would wind up. This is more realistic.

I am also glad to find out that Sun Woo realizes she fucked up pretty bad; I liked the last things she said about marriage, kids and forgiveness.

I would’ve loved if they showed Joon Young’s face at the end, but again, I am glad he’s back. He truly woke up his parents to the horrible things they had done to him and he’s the biggest causality of this divorce.

Related: How Much Kim Hee Ae Gets Paid For Her Work On “The World Of The Married” Finally Revealed, K-Netizens Think She’s Underpaid

Related: “The World Of The Married”- Get To Know The Cast Behind The Biggest Korean Cable Drama

So what are your thoughts on “The World Of The Married” ending? did you like it?

18 COMMENTS

  1. I like the ending of this story.It is paying the price of what you have done (for Tae Oh), and the love of Sun Woo for her son (Joon Young, representing Tae Oh).

    Not all can appreciate the deep longing of forgiveness from a person who hurt you.”The World Of The Married” shows us the cure for hatred and being betrayed..it is either you let go and forgive (even yourself). I really like the scene where Tae Oh cried out during their lunch, Sun Woo is crying, and Joon Young as well (at the CR).
    From this, we have the idea of what may come from a marriage destroyed out of infedility and loosing trust.So guys, take care of your family.

  2. I was truly shocked when Joon Young decided to run away. What an ending!
    Also about JY returning, I think it’s just Sun Woo’s imagination of the future, that’s why JY’s face is blurred. Just like the ending of Parasite, nothing is confirmed and what was imagined might not be true after all. But I really hope JY returns to his mom!

  3. As I read your review I felt like I wrote it myself, I couldn’t agree more. This drama made me frustrated down to my bones but that’s what they wanted us to feel, to make us understand how truly frustrating dysfunctional relationships are for everyone involved in them. This drama gave every character it’s spotlight, no one was an extra. Everyone added something not just to the plot but to the moral of the story. Every single person had a gradual and realistic character development to better or worse. For me, Joon Young’s character was so important. All his life he lived with seemingly loving and responsible parents, until he didn’t. There was a sudden shift in his life and he was being squeezed and used in the irrational fight between his parents. As a child with dysfunctional parents it’s not as easy as picking sides, because you’re constantly trying to make sense of right and wrong. In my opinion Joon Young was more mature than other kids because he rattled his parents by telling them the reality of their actions time and again. Sun Woo went through so much, and you realize that in the end when they show how happy she was with Tae oh, she couldn’t have possibly thought that he was cheating on her for so long. You don’t just forget that kind of love over night. But she had flaws, she used and eventually suffocated her son until he decided he couldn’t take any of it anymore. And therefore I really felt her when in the end she talked about forgiving herself but also not being able to move on until her son came back because she knew she had a huge role to play in his traumas. And I’m really glad she and Dr. Kim didn’t end up together too. Just like you said, he does deserve better than Sunwoo, who probably needs time to her self. Dr Kim was a genuinely nice person, who helped Sunwoo without expecting any thing in return. We all knew he liked her throughout, but he never forced her to reciprocate those feelings and always looked out for her as a good friend. That for me, was very refreshing. I don’t feel bad for him because I know he doesn’t feel bad for himself either, he’s just a good person. Tae oh couldn’t have fallen lower than to try and kill himself infront of his son, thats all I can say for him. I’m glad he was able to get back to his senses in the end. I think Da Kyung was very immature, and she’s finally focusing on herself as compared to running after guys. I’m glad she’s back in college and doing what she likes. Her karma is looking out for a child she was never ready to have. It’s a huge responsibility that she’ll have to carry because the other person doesn’t care, he wasn’t looking for Jenny as frantically as he was for Joon young. Finally, Ye rim made me so happy in the end. She probably had the best character development throughout this drama, and I’m so so so happy for her. If there’s one person I’ll always dislike, it’s Myung sook. She was unbearably nosy. And if there’s one person I missed in the ending, it was Min hyunsoe because I rlly wanted to see how she was doing. Ah it’ll take some time to get over this drama

  4. I am actually still contemplating if Joon Young is an illusion/symbol of what that can redeem Sun Woos, since the director has chosen not to show him clearly. He is so blurred that his silhouette barely lookes like him. And somehow I wondered if he had been gone for such a long time, that he had grown into a man before meeting his mother.
    Sun Woo talks a lot about forgiveness at the end, and getting Joon Young back is the only thing that can make Sun Woo forgive herself, but first he needs to learn to forgive what has happened in the past. To set himself free from the anger and hurt in order for his mother to be able to do the same. And that can take a long time.

    Forgiveness is what allows people to move on, but as you can see, Sun Woo has not been able to move on. She has been unable to find self-love (as Go Ye Rim symbolizes), or someone to love her in a healthy way as Kim Yoon Gi would have. Every person has grown, learned from their past mistakes, and somehow learned to live with the choices they made; except from Sun Woo. She has stagnated. The person who enters in the end, her son, is her only hope.

  5. I thought they will leave us hanging about Joon young’s face. But you can see in the end , the behind the scene’s photos that it was really Joon Young she was hugging that time. 🙂 we have the same thought with the ending. I was not really expecting a different ending, it’s reality. I don’t know why my friends posted “that’s the ending? That’s all!?” something like that. Hehe

  6. Good ending for me and I agree exactly with what you wrote. I don’t understand also why they simply hate on Joon Young being problematic when he was a product of the action of his parents, so his response were just fitting. A good example are scenes that played a number of times when Tae Oh was saying that he didn’t want to abandon Joon Young just as his father did but nevertheless did so because he probably subconsciously emulated his own father. He was telling Joon Young not to be like him but this may probably happen in the future since Joon Young is a damaged good already. There were flashes of Dr Ji’s problematic youth as well so it just went to show that her poor decision-making to preserving her own family was probably a result of that as well. She acts loosely based on fears of her tragic past. For me, it speaks volume that our children are reflection of us and this drama shows that not having a proper personal closure to our dark past will just ripple to our future.

  7. personally I feel like sunwoo did not mess up and did not ruin joon young, if anything Tae Oh did that! I feel like her reaction to the situation was quite reasonable considering he continued to lie about cheating until he couldn’t anymore. And yes, people might have thought that if sunwoo would just forgive him and move on with their marriage everything would be fine. BUT HOW? Da Kyeong was pregnant!!! Even if divorce did not happen the marriage would have been broken anyways and Joon Young would have grown up in a unhappy family. I think what “ruined” Joon young at the end and made him run away was he fact that he thought he could never get away from his CRAZY dad. I think at the begininng he blamed his mom more because he thought that if she would just live with it everything would have been fine and he would not be an outcast at school BUT he came to realize that his dad was the crazy one instead and at the end even Joon Young didnt want his dad in his life anymore.

    And yes people said he should have been more understanding and be the typical perfect drama son ( I thought this too) but the reality is this is what happens in real life a lot of times to kids of divorced parents, especially in Joon Young’s situation. He saw his mom get beaten by his dad and his dad threw him away for a new family.

  8. It is a good drama for parents who have plans to divorce. Finally, it will affect their children. They need to think of their children and not to harm them physically or mentally through their divorce for fulfilling their lusts.
    I was shocked to end this drama because why did Joon Young run away and where he did go as a teenager. There is no information where did he stay for one year. He was the most affected person in this drama. He had to face lots of troubles because of his father. Again his father came to ruin his mother and his life. His father and Da Kyn changed and JY’s mind to fulfill their desires. Still, I am thinking about where did he go.

  9. It is a good drama for parents who have plans to divorce. Finally, it will affect their children. They need to think of their children and not to harm them physically or mentally through their divorce for fulfilling their lusts.
    I was shocked to end this drama because why Joon Young did run away and where he did go as a teenager. There is no information where he stayed for one year. No information about that place is good or bad. He was the most affected person in this drama. He had to face lots of troubles because of his father. Again his father came to ruin his mother and his life. His father and Da Kyn changed and JY’s mind to fulfill their desires. Still, I am thinking about where he goes.

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