The World of the Married -- Episodes 15 & 16: Every Victim Was a Culprit, Every Culprit a Victim
The World of the Married does not disappoint at its ending week; it opened with a bang and ends with a bang -- with history repeating itself, but rather than Sun Woo, it was now Da Kyung's turn to ask Tae-Oh if he was cheating on her. The coward that Tae-Oh is, I expected him to lie but readily and easily admits to the affair.
And as fast as he confesses as fast as Da Kyung, Jenny, her parents, the dream house and career come crumbling down. Like they and it never existed -- how quickly the mighty fall. It was difficult to watch as much as it was satisfying to see Tae-Oh have a taste of his own medicine. With Tae-Oh defeated once a for all, Sun Woo has her victory. She returns to Gosan since it’s Joon Young's wish, and they attempt normal life again. Though Sun-woo and Joon Young live a relatively happy life without Tae-Oh, life isn't really done with them because every choice comes with consequences.
Once a person makes a choice, they must accept responsibility; there is no escaping it. And the consequence comes in the form of Tae-Oh trying to ingratiate himself back into their life. Trying to convenience them both they could be a family again, that it wasn't too late for them and a minute I wondered as did Joon Young as Sun Woo longingly looked at Tae-Oh and narrated, "The person who tore my heart into pieces. The enemy I killed. My other half, whom I utterly resented… and also loved from the bottom of my heart. He was both my foe and comrade, my best friend and archenemy. My husband" was mad enough to accept his pleas, but even she knew there was no going back.
Throughout this drama, I always felt Joon Young was the one ultimately paying the price for his parent's choices, so I was not at all surprised when Tae-Oh tried to commit suicide in his final deluded attempt to have his family back. Joon Young had enough and decided to break free of both his parent's toxic cycle and ran away from them, leaving them behind to suffer the consequences. There's nothing worse and more painful for any parent than to be left wondering whether their child is alive or dead, living day in and day out, not knowing, but that was the cost of the choices both Sun Woo and Tae-Oh brought on to themselves and as such had to endure.
What I liked, though that despite both Sun Woo and Tae-Oh deserving their ending, the show isn't mean enough to desert Sun Woo, a victim of her own obsession who had survived a lifetime of agonies. A year from the day of Joon Young's disappearance ran, Sun Woo's doorbell rings, and we see her face light up, and that's enough to let us know that whoever walked in may as well be Joon Young.
Everything about The World of the Married worked for me despite having seen the British version of the drama and love it as well, this Korean version left a much bigger dent with me, and the only reason I can think of is the cultural mark brought with it. I am left with many lessons but the main one being life is about choices, some we regret, some we are proud of, and some that will haunt us forever, as with Sun Woo and Tae-Oh, where the culprit turned victim and the victim, culprit. The main message I am left with is that we are what we chose to be. This was one drama deserving of all the awards it received.