Netflix “Start-Up” has aired its last episode on December 6 finally coming into an end after almost two months, but was it a happy ending or not?
Today, I am here to quickly recap the highlights of “Start-Up” episode 16 and to talk about my feelings on the series and the finale.
Do San and the gang find out that the twins are the ones who hacked into the system at the company, they report them to police.
Meanwhile, they’re being interviewed by a reporter who crushes start-ups through his articles, despite Ji Pyeong running to the rescue, it turns out that they had already figured it out. They put the cocky reporter in his place explaining what transpired after the hacking happened.
Do San then goes to meet Dal Mi’s mom and grandma, the grandma thanks him for making noongil and helping her out.
Later, grandma goes to visit Ji Pyeong, she brought some corn dogs. Ji Pyeong speaks as if he wants to settle their debt once and for all, the grandma begins to cry and tells him not to go away and to stay and call her even if he’s doing well in life. They cry together.
The team members are working on the bidding and decide to place multiple bets if they win. Do San says he’ll propose if they win.
On another day, Ji Pyeong meets with a young talented man who wants to connect orphans to people who can help them out. Yeo Jin Goo turns out to be that start-up CEO with the idea. Instead of investing through his company, Ji Pyeong decides to invest personally and to donate as well reflecting on grandma’s suggestion that he should help out people in dire need instead of her.
While Dal Mi and Do San submit for the bidding, they run into the twins who say that they will pay a fine for what had happened.
At work, Sa Ha introduces her elder sister to Chul San. Chul San is very happy that Sa Ha thinks so highly of him and cares about him.
The team later finds out that they’ve made it into the final 5 for the bidding offer. They celebrate.
At the celebration, Dal Mi suggests they accelerate their process and look for more investors. She consults her sister but she’s against the idea at first.
Dal Mi runs into Ji Pyeong one day and they end up exchanging what would become the resolution to Ji Pyeong’s unrequited love. Dal Mi wants to thank him again but he refuses to hear that, he says,
“Back then, I had no friends so your letters were my only comfort. Let’s say we’re even….
Even after reading your letters for 15 years, I didn’t look for you. On the other hand, Do San went to you the moment he read them. So I am not the Nam Do San from the letters. There is no reason you should feel sorry or blame yourself.”
In Jae’s father is giving a lecture at sandbox, not many attend after Yong San and Chul San loudly talk about how his son is receiving punishment for orchestrating the hacking on their company. In Jae attends and asks her father at the end of the session why he fired her, he says he thought she’d listen better to him if he had done this. She says she’s thankful for the opportunities and shows off the certificate that approves her name change back to Seo In Jae.
Later, the trio finds out that their place was rented to other young people. They go there to say goodbye one last time. They cry while apologizing to each other and reminisce about the old days.
In Jae goes to her grandma’s house, she hugs her tightly and they cry in each other’s arms. She explains she hasn’t been there to their house because she was ashamed for being Won In Jae not Seo In Jae [WHAT?]. It looks like the family is back together and is getting closer again.
The next day, In Jae meets with the mentor at sandbox and suggests they begin searching for investors. She says she wants to invest in the company and asks Ji Pyeong to pitch them the idea.
Ji Pyeong attempts to decline but eventually he talks one on one to Do San and suggests the idea. Do San agrees this time because he knows the investment is not coming from a place of petty. Ji Pyeong will continue to nag and interfere as an outside investor.
It appears that the company has grown exponentially. Through photos spread on Dal Mi and Do San’s desk we find out that they’ve gotten married and won the bidding for the self-driving car. The family of Dal Mi has all gotten together well, and it was revealed that Sa Ha revealed she is dating Chul San.
The last scene shows the four main characters on their way to a shareholders meeting.
So what did you guys think of “Start-Up” ending? did you like it?
I liked the ending. I think it was wrapped up rather well, a lot better than I had expected. I was scared the screenwriter would make Ji Pyeong go away for a couple of years to the U.S. It might be why I was pleasantly surprised by the ending.
The ending was probably the best in the eyes of the people who were fully immersed in the drama’s atmosphere, but not so much for those who had higher expectations walking into the second half. I am part of the latter.
The biggest disappointment will remain In Jae’s character in my opinion, I wrote an article on this, you can read it here. Simply put, she was reduced to this ‘cameo’ type of character. As an actress Kang Han Na was truly a missed opportunity in this drama, she could’ve easily shined as brightly as Kim Seon Ho but it didn’t happen.
Also, the explanation by In Jae to why she’s never been to their house because of her name doesn’t make an ounce of sense to me. The fact that no one told her the grandma was going blind is infuriating to say the least.
Added to that, Ji Pyeong explanation to why he’s not that Do San also doesn’t make sense. It’s clear as the sky for me that the screenwriter wrote this for us, the people who were rooting for Ji Pyeong, too bad it doesn’t make sense. He’s still that person who wrote those letters and the person who eased her loneliness 15 years ago. Just because one person acted on reading letters doesn’t erase the fact that he was never that Do San.
It’s very easy to nitpick at “Start-Up” and it could be because I worked with multiple startups in the past so I know the terms and logic regarding the business part of this drama. But even if you don’t know anything about startups, its pretty to pin point the flaws of this drama.
I am a bit sad the drama couldn’t have been better. I said before in my review of “Start-Up” first half that screenwriter Park Hye Ryun tends to rely on stereotypes a lot especially towards the second halves of her dramas. Sadly, she proved to me once again that I am right. Despite her age and experience in this field, she’s mostly still writing the same style and level of maturity she did five years ago.
I will publish a detailed article in a couple of hours to explain why the second half of “Start-Up” was disappointing in my opinion. But aside from my thoughts, I just want to thank everyone, the actors and the staff for doing an amazing job during such challenging times.
I could feel that everyone in this drama was genuinely trying their best, they looked so happy to have been a part of this drama and everyone was such a treat. The actors in this drama are the reason why I am writing this article. I am so thankful for them, even if I am not pleased with the writing overall, the drama provided me with comfort and I had fun watching the majority of it.
Thank you to “Start-Up” actors and staff.