WARNING: Obviously, since this whole post will be about the ending of God’s Gift – 14 Days, everything will be spoilers. So, if you haven’t watched the drama yet, plan on watching it, and still want to be surprised (which I highly recommend, otherwise, there’s no reason to watch this “mystery” drama), don’t read any further. On another note, you can just scroll to the bottom and see my ratings, if you want to see what I thought about the drama as a whole.
I was planning on doing a full review of this drama, but I decided not to and to just address the ending (it will be going on my list of Must-Watches, however). Immediately after I finished God’s Gift – 14 Days, I went to the trusty old web to make sense of the ending. Much to my surprise, every post I saw was bashing the ending, and every commenter was wailing about how Dong Chan really didn’t need to die. Now, I don’t know if the writers came out and said for sure that Dong Chan died in the end, but even if they did, the ending I saw was left purposely ambiguous.
God’s Gift – 14 Days never once gave any solid indication that Dong Chan died. Sure, while carrying Saet Byul into the lake, he did say that one of the two of them needed to disappear in order for the other to live, but we only hear the sound of something plopping into the water. The audience never sees whether Dong Chan or Saet Byul fall into the water. I had to watch the short, confusing ending a few times to try to understand everything. While I do believe that it is a possibility that Dong Chan died, I believe there’s also a strong possibility that he didn’t die, and here are my reasons:
1. When Dong Chan is initially bringing Saet Byul into the water, Saet Byul’s mother, Soo Hyun, is running toward the water and yelling at him. As Soo Hyun makes it near the water, a screen showing “Day of the Incident” appears, and time seems to flash forward. We see the president making his speech about the evil-doing of his family, Soo Hyun, Saet Byul, and her mother at the Moojin lake, and Dong Ho getting out of prison, greeted by Young Gyu, his mother, and some mystery man. The screen goes back to Dong Chan in the water saying he will protect Saet Byul. The camera pans out, and Soo Hyun is no longer there running and yelling at him. We hear the plop of water, but never see anyone fall in, and the audience is assuming Saet Byul is still in Dong Chan’s arms since we never see him set her down. So, why would he have gone back to the shore, set Saet Byul down, and then drown himself? That just doesn’t make sense. So, if he did die, we can only assume that Saet Byul was still in his arms when he fell in the water, but if that’s the case, then how was Saet Byul saved? And if Saet Byul was saved, then Dong Chan should have been save too.
2. The president’s speech was the whole thing that basically changed history. Him making that speech could have very well meant that the whole timeline was changed, and Dong Chan lived because there was no need for him to die anymore.
3. When it flashes back to when Dong Chan is reading Saet Byul the story he rewrote about the mother trying to save her child, Saet Byul asks what happened to the knight? The drama abruptly ends here, not giving us an answer. This is because they purposely wanted to make the ending ambiguous. If we were thinking up until that point that Dong Chan was dead, well perhaps he was actually still living since we don’t hear the answer he gives Saet Byul about what happened to the knight.
4. In the “flash forward” scene, we see Soo Hyun standing with Saet Byul and her mother looking out across the lake where everything had happened. Although Soo Hyun has a slightly sad smile on her face, Saet Byul and her mother are just standing there as happy as can be. Even Soo Hyun looked like she was somewhat happy. If Dong Chan had died that night in that same lake, why would she and Saet Byul be looking at the lake with smiles on their faces? I’m sure they both would have been traumatized by the incident, so why would they have even gone back there?
5. Also in the “flash forward” scene, we see Dong Ho released from prison. He is greeted by Young Gyu and his mother (we only see the back of her head). A man stands behind them and touches both of them on the shoulder. All we see is the back of this man’s head. Is it Hyun Woo Jin or is it Dong Chan? We’ll never know, and the purpose for the director not showing that man’s face, but making it clear that a third man was there, is because, again, they wanted the ending to be ambiguous.
6. Dong Chan needing to “disappear” might have just meant he needed to never see Saet Byul and her mother again. It didn’t necessarily mean that he had to die.
7. Lastly, if the writers had really wanted the audience to 100% believe Dong Chan died, they would have given some solid indication instead of “playing” with us, whether that would have been going to his gravestone or showing Woo Jin at the prison site or even having Dong Chan answer Saet Byul’s question about what happened to the knight with “he died.”
All in all, I don’t think we’ll ever know what happened to Dong Chan. But, unlike all those pessimists out there, I’d like to think that he lived. Since history was changed, the need for his death could very well have changed too, and since there was no solid evidence that he died, Dong Chan is still alive in my mind!
And just in case you’re curious, here are my ratings of the drama without the actual review.
Acting: 8 (The girl who played Saet Byul and the man who played her father were only okay.)
Storyline/plot: 8 (Near the end, it seemed like the drama was losing its mysterious edge.)
Plot Development: 8 (I think if the drama had been shorter, the development would have been better, and they wouldn’t have had to keep adding “twists.”)
Characters: 10 (Sure, Saet Byul and her mom could be a bit annoying at times, but Dong Chan, Dong Ho, and Young Gyu more than make up for that.)
Music: 8 (I loved how there were no vocal tracks during the drama. It would have taken away from the whole atmosphere.)
Ending: 10 (Unlike everybody else, I welcomed the ambiguous ending. It wasn’t predictable, and it made me think. When’s the last time you watched a Korean drama that actually made you think? Off the top of my head, I don’t think I’ve ever watched one that really made me think and question the happenings in the drama.)
Overall Rating out of 10: 8.7
Maybe it was all just a dream. . .