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I was recently re-watching KBS’s I’m Sorry, I Love You (MiSa). The tragedy aired in 2004, and starred So Ji Sup as Cha Moo Hyuk and Im So Jung as Song Eun Chae. The drama also starred Jung Kyung Ho as Choi Yune, Seo Ji Young as Kang Min Joo, and Lee Hye Young as Oh Deul Hee, Moo Hyuk’s mother. Additionally, Choi Yeo Jin played Moo Hyuk’s ex-girlfriend, Moon Ji Young, Lee Young Ha played Song Dae Chun (Eun Chae’s father), Jun Hye Jin played Moo Hyuk’s sister, Seo Kyung, and Park Gun Tae played Moo Hyuk’s nephew, Kal Ji.
The drama centered around Cha Moo Hyuk and his quest for revenge on the mother that abandoned him. Moo Hyuk was given up at birth and put up for adoption. He was adopted by a family in Australia, who then abandoned him at a young age. Moo Hyuk grew up on the streets of Australia, and dreamt of the day he could return to Korea and take care of his poor mother, who had to give him up for his own good.
Moo Hyuk’s girlfriend, Moon Ji Young, taught him how to speak Korean and made Korean food for him. Ji Young then abandons him to marry a rich crime boss, wanting money more than love. When Moo Hyuk goes to her wedding, he is in time to save her from an assassin. In the chaos, Moo Hyuk is shot in the head. The bullet is in such a place that it cannot be taken out, and Moo Hyuk is told that he only has months to live. Ji Young gives him money to live on, and Moo Hyuk decides to go back to Korea to meet his mother before he dies.
Choi Yune is an idol star, and has come to Australia to make a music video. He is infatuated with Kang Min Joo (another idol), who gives in to his romancing and the two have a little romance while in Australia. Song Eun Chae is Yune’s assistant and general caretaker. The viewer can also see that Eun Chae is in love with Yune, but Yune only sees her as a convenient assistant and nothing more. Eun Chae decides to leave Min Joo and Yune to their romancing and to go home early. On the way to the airport, she is mugged and becomes lost. Moo Hyuk saves her, and tells her to go back home. This is where Moo Hyuk’s and Eun Chae’s relationship begins.
When Moo Hyuk comes back to Korea, he goes on a show that helps adoptees find their parents. Kal Ji (Moo Hyuk’s nephew) sees the show, and contacts him, and Moo Hyuk gets to meet his sister, Seo Kyung, and her child. Moo Hyuk learns that his twin sister was injured in an accident when she was chasing after a woman she thought was her mother; as a result of that accident she is mentally impaired and has the mind of an 8-year-old. He also learns that Seo Kyung was raped and Kal Ji is the result of that attack.
When Moo Hyuk finds his mother, he finds that his mother is a rich star named Oh Dal Hee. She has a son named Choi Yune that she dotes on. Moo Hyuk sees the bond between mother and son, and sets out to destroy the only thing that Oh Dal Hee loves above all else, her son. Moo Hyuk wants revenge even more when he sees what has happened to his sister because of her desire for her mother.
Moo Hyuk decides to go after Kang Min Joo, knowing that if he seduces this woman, Choi Yune will be heartbroken and that will hurt Oh Dal Hee indirectly. To implement his plan, Moo Hyuk moves in Min Joo’s apartment building and presents the kind of facade that will attract a woman like Min Joo. He also causes photos and rumors to spread about Eun Chae and Yune that lead to Min Joo distancing herself from Yune.
Moo Hyuk also insinuates himself into Yune’s life, and comes into contact with Eun Chae. He develops a bond with Eun Chae, and slowly falls in love with her sweetness and innocence. She gives him the maternal warmth that has been missing from his life, and he appreciates how she takes care of his sister and nephew. Moo Hyuk falls under her spell and is willing to give up his revenge if God will allow him to spend his last days with Eun Chae.
One day, Oh Dal Hee comes into contact with Seo Kyung and, when a ring goes missing, she accuses Seo Kyung of stealing. Not only does she terrorize the poor girl based on this belief, but she calls the police on her. Moo Hyuk is angered by this treatment of his poor sister, and decides to move forward with the revenge. The look on his face when he realizes how his mother treated his sister is heartbreaking; his resolve is clear at that point.
Moo Hyuk goes after Min Joo with a vengeance, and Min Joo breaks up with Yune. Yune is hurt by her treatment, and gets into an accident. While he is the hospital, it is discovered that Yune has a heart condition and will need a heart transplant. Having lost Min Joo, Yune now wants Eun Chae in his life. Knowing that he is dying, Eun Chae agrees to be with him, turning her back on Moo Hyuk.
When Oh Dal Hee finds out that she might lose her son, she is inconsolable. She will do anything to save her son. When she finds out that Moo Hyuk is dying, she goes to him to try to ask for his heart. While she fails to ask for his heart, she leaves him with enough supplements so that he can take care of that heart for her son. Moo Hyuk is confused when he comes home to find that Oh Dal Hee came bearing gifts, but when he realizes that Oh Dal Hee came for his heart, he is physically sick from that thought. He becomes even more colder, bent on taking her son away from her. He forces her to ask for his heart, watching her break down in front of him.
Around the same time, Moo Hyuk finds out that Yune is not Oh Dal Hee’s biological son, rather he was adopted. Yune insists that Oh Dal Hee is not capable of abandoning her own children, and he knows this because she took him in and loved him like he was her own. Moo Hyuk also learns from Song Dae Chun (Eun Chae’s father and Oh Dal Hee’s assistant and driver) that Oh Dal Hee doesn’t even know she had children. The truth is that Oh Dal Hee had an affair with a married man, and she became pregnant. When she passed out from giving birth, her mother and Dae Chun conspired to take the twins and abandon them at an orphanage. When Dal Hee awakened, she was told that the baby had been stillborn and that she had no children.
Moo Hyuk realizes that his mother didn’t try to hurt him, she didn’t even know he existed. He decides to keep the truth of his existence from her and simply disappear from her life.
Eun Chae finds out that Moo Hyuk is dying and thinks back to all the times she was cruel for him. She realizes that she wants to stay with him in his last days, and nothing else matters. Eun Chae runs off with Moo Hyuk, but he abandons her, not wanting her to see his physical deterioration. She follows him to the resort he is staying at with Min Joo, and stays with him. She takes pictures of him to remember him by. Moo Hyuk leaves again, erasing all pictures she has of him. He doesn’t want to leave any hint that he was ever there.
When Moo Hyuk’s girlfriend returns, telling him of a doctor that may be able to save his life, Moo Hyuk decides to leave the country and try to save himself. On his way to the airport, he has a brain hemorrhage and dies.
Some time passes, and we see that Yune has received his heart. He is still friends with Min Joo. We see that Seo Kyung and Kal Ji are a part of Oh Dal Hee’s life, but she still doesn’t know that Seo Kyung is her daughter. Apparently, Song Dae Chun and Yune are taking care of them. We learn that Eun Chae is on a vacation. In Australia, we see Eun Chae walking through the same streets in which she met Moo Hyuk. She goes to his grave and places flowers there. And that is where she drinks the poison, so that she can be with Moo Hyuk in the afterlife. In the end we have Eun Chae’s voice over saying that she needs to be selfish once to be with the man that was alone all his life.
I liked the drama. It was painful to watch, and there was a lot of angst. Everyone was hurting, and I hurt right along with them. I loved Moo Hyuk and Eun Chae, and wished that they could have a happily ever after. I still think about the what ifs. What if her father hadn’t abandoned the babies? Then Eun Chae and Moo Hyuk would have grown up together. They would have had a happily ever after. Eun Chae’s death is a punishment for the wrong that Song Dae Chun did so many years ago.
I loved the scene where Moo Hyuk is talking to God and asking Him to let him live his last days with Eun Chae. I loved the scene after Oh Dal Hee terrorizes Seo Kyung; where Moo Hyuk is remembering his prayer and you can see the resolve in his eyes to get his revenge. I loved the scene where Eun Chae finds out that Moo Hyuk is dying and she can barely function. I also loved the scene where Kal Ji finds out that his uncle will die soon, and that he will lose him. The way the actor shows that Kal Ji is realizing that horrible truth, that his mother will never understand that truth, and, then, the way he cries is heartbreaking.
If I had a problem with this drama, it was that Oh Dal Hee never found out that Moo Hyuk was her son. In the last episode, Moo Hyuk demands that she make him food. It is the equivalent of the last supper for him. She does it, and, afterward, when he leaves and she is washing the dishes she begins to cry, not knowing why she is doing so. Outside, Moo Hyuk is making his final bows to her. Soon after Moo Hyuk dies, and Oh Dal Hee never gets to know that Moo Hyuk was her son and she will never get to know that Seo Kyung is her daughter. And that is not fair to her.
I loved the drama, even though it was a tragedy, and if you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend that you do so.