4 Things We Loved And 3 Things That Broke Our Hearts In The Finale of “The Red Sleeve”
The last two episodes of “The Red Sleeve” took us all on a rollercoaster of emotions. We laughed, we cried, we got butterflies, and we wept some more. The feelings that this epic K-drama was able to evoke on viewers were nothing short of perfection. Here are four things we loved and three things that absolutely broke our hearts in the finale episodes of “The Red Sleeve.”
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
1. LOVED: The subtle hand grab
After Deok Im (Lee Se Young) makes the bold move of showing her feelings towards Yi San (Lee Junho), they spend the night together. This is a huge decision for a court lady as she can not go back to living her normal life ever again. Yi San gently holds her hands and asks her again if she wants to leave. She doesn’t respond quickly, so as he is about to let go of her hands, she holds them again, affirming her decision to be with him.
I think you could hear the squeals from all over the world when this moment aired. It is so subtle but so emotionally charged. You can see the overwhelming amount of emotions in Yi San’s eyes as she holds onto his hands. He doesn’t want a moment to pass as he proceeds to kiss her fervently. We were not prepared for the intensity of this moment – we waited almost the whole series for this moment, and it was finally here.
2. LOVED: All of the love Yi San shows to Deok Im
I think one of the highlights of this series is seeing how much Yi San is in love with Deok Im. It is known historically that he loved no other woman as much as he loved her, and Junho was able to convey these strong emotions perfectly.
It is the sweet glances:
The way in which he always declares his love for her:
And how he comes and finds her whenever he is having a bad day:
Our hearts will never be the same!
3. BROKE OUR HEARTS: The loneliness Deok Im feels while being with Yi San
After Yi San and Deok Im spend their first night together, Deok Im spends her days with her friends, waiting for Yi San to visit her. It is a lonely reality for her as she sees her friends able to go on trips outside of the palace walls. There is a part of her that wishes she was able to do the things she did before.
The loneliness Deok Im feels while being with the king is heartbreaking. Although she knew the consequences and responsibilities of being with him, it still goes against who she was as a person. Deok Im being free-spirited and cherishing her friendships makes us feel so lonely for her. This is further emphasized when we see her quietly shed tears, realizing the life she had to sacrifice. Heartbreaking.
4. LOVED: The support from Deok Im’s friends
Deok Im’s friends Kim Bok Yeon (Lee Min Ji), Bae Kyung Hee (Ha Yul Ri), and Son Young Hee (Lee Eun Saem) have been there for Deok Im through thick and thin. They are a K-dramaland girl squad that anyone would be blessed to have and will definitely go down as being one of the best. With every step of Deok Im’s life as a court lady and her relationship with Yi San, they have been supportive, sticking up for her, and putting other people in their place if talk badly about her. This was the light and silver lining through the last two episodes. You can really see the bond that these ladies have with each other, and it is so heartwarming to see. This squad and the joy Deok Im feels while with her friends are definitely highlights in the last few episodes.
5. BROKE OUR HEARTS: The death of the crown prince
At the beginning of episode 17, there is a flash forward of Yi San laying down with his son who is sick with measles. We know that this is the son of Deok Im and Yi San, and viewers are automatically met with feelings of sorrow as he ends up passing away as a result of a plague that has taken the lives of hundreds of children.
This part is excruciatingly sad. Despite it having sped up to this moment at the beginning of the series, it is pretty obvious how much love the entire kingdom had for this boy. The son that Yi San and Deok Im created together was obviously well-loved, and it was with great tragedy that he passed away. The grieving and sorrow depicted by Yi San and Deok Im were enough to make us weep – we’re still not over it.
6. BROKE OUR HEARTS: The death of Deok Im
Yi San becomes sick and is resting. Deok Im visits him to make sure he is feeling ok and even volunteers to stay with him until he falls asleep. Despite Yi San’s reluctance, she ends up reading him a beautiful story but then suddenly faints. It is discovered that Deok Im had been gravely ill.
As if the death of the crown prince wasn’t enough. This particular part in the series was earth-shattering. Seeing Deok Im losing her first born, being sick during her pregnancy, and then passing away was not the end we had hoped for. It almost feels like Deok Im’s latter part in life was filled entirely with loneliness and pain that it is almost unfair that she had to go that young. On top of this, viewers were able to see a bit of how Yi San lives after her death, and his mourning of her is so heartwrenching.
7. LOVED: Yi San and Deok Im reuniting after death
After the death of Deok Im, the series goes through the next couple decades of Yi San’s life. He seems to have lived rather quietly without having experienced much excitement. It’s almost as if he has become a shell of a person since Deok Im’s death. When he is lying on his deathbed, he dreams of a moment he had with Deok Im in the past where he fell asleep on her lap. He is then able to close his eyes and pass away.
It is implied with the ending that the two are able to reunite after death. He almost believes this moment to be real and is grateful to be with her again but then realizes that it is a dream or the afterlife. This is the little bit of comfort that is given to the viewers at the end of the series. Although still heartbreaking, there is hope that the two reunited in death and can be together again.
If you haven’t watched “The Red Sleeve,” you can check it out here:
Hey Soompiers, how much did you love “The Red Sleeve”? Let me know in the comments below!
binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG but has lately been seen obsessing over Hwang In Yeop. Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!