We are back with more Crash Landing on You because I have entirely too many feelings about this wonderful show. This time we are going into the times Yoon Se-ri and Ri Jeong-Hyeok broke my heart and stitched it back together again because my heart that has been battered, bruised, and healed by these two. I had decided on the number seven because I like it, and I need to limit myself. There are, of course, more scenes that destroy me (and more characters that have a big impact), but these are the ones that hit me the hardest.
Major Spoilers Ahead.
Trigger Warning: Suicide
1. Ri Jeong-hyeok’s Last Performance
The pain I felt for Yoon Se-ri and Ri Jeong-hyeok during this scene was real. They didn’t even know each other at this point and yet they were connected in an intangible way. Jeong-hyeok had just lost his brother and performed the song he wrote for Ri Mu-hyeok for the first and last time. Meanwhile, Se-ri was ready to give up on her life. She has been so incredibly lonely and was never close with her family. Se-ri and her brothers have always been competing with each other. Se-ri loves her mother, but has been abandoned by her in multiple ways because she is the daughter of another woman. It is clear how much the distance with in her family weighs on her and the sadness it causes.
While sailing on a lake, trying to let the beauty of Switzerland inspire her to live again, she hears a piano play across the lake. We are lucky to get a little narration from Se-ri about that time, giving us more understanding of the person she was. She was looking for consolation, “… I still wanted to hear someone say that I could live and I must keep on living.” Then she hears the melody like “it was the answer to my prayer.”
In episode 9, as soon as Se-ri sat down at Jeong-hyeok’s piano, I got chills. I knew what was coming, but I wasn’t ready. Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin were fantastic in this scene, treating it with reverence. It feels precious and intimate. Se-ri starts playing his song, and he gets up, startled to hear his song. He saved her before he knew her, and she tells him so. When she opens up about not wanting to live, Jeong-hyeok keeps his face neutral, hiding the worry he feels, but we know he hears every word she says, and it stays with him.
2. The Snow Storm
After a tense time with Gu Seung-jun, Se-ri is full of anxiety over Jeong-hyeok. She worries that she has broken his life. She pushes him away in the snow after he walked through the woods to find her when he should still be healing in the hospital. Not to mention the fact that he took care of a few guards at the house. (Maybe he should be in the Avengers.) He would stop at nothing to save her. And then she tells him to leave, and her engagement to Gu Seung-jun will guarantee her return to the South. Yet, Ri Jeong-hyeok knows her and is not completely convinced. He asks he if she means it. Se-ri is able to look him in the eye and tell him so. As soon as he leaves, she breaks. She cannot let him walk back to the hospital in a blizzard.
We love “hurt and comfort” here, and Se-ri following Jeong-hyeok and taking care of him in an abandoned school is glorious! Even with the new tension between them. Later, as they try to keep warm, she asks if Seo Dan is his first love. With the music and the look on his face, we know it’s actually Yoon Se-ri who is his first love. It is so sweet and heartbreaking knowing the road is far from easy for these two. The moment is broken with Se-ri’s jab at him being a single-forever type. (His reaction had me laughing.) These two once again healed my heart even with the forced distance between them.
3. Se-ri Taken
I can’t believe this happens in the same episode as the snow storm. Se-ri refuses to leave Jeong-hyeok until he feels better, but other forces keep that from happening. We cannot even get into the fact that she bought the watch he gifted his brother at the pawn shop, but it deserves mention. Before she can give Jeong-hyeok his gift, however, she is taken.
He wakes up to find a Christmas tree she decorated only to have her call a few minutes later, and clearly things are not okay. If she told him what she sees, he would find her. The way he pleads with her to do so is gut-wrenching. He was already running through the woods to find her. He believed he could find her no matter what. The call ends with Se-ri declaring her love, followed by a gunshot ringing in Jeong-hyeok’s ears. He looks completely shattered. He is shaking and, at the same time, frozen in place. His greatest fear, he thinks, has come to pass.
He does find her (of course) at his parents’ house, making his confrontation with his father is heartbreaking. The tears in his eyes and Hyun Bin’s delivery is desperation personified. He feels guilty for not having been there when his brother died, and he cannot lose the next closest person to him. He says it would be as if he were living in hell, and my heart aches. Thankfully his mother intervenes with Se-ri, and their reunion is beautiful. The care and concern between the two is palpable. This scene is made better all the more by his father’s reaction to Se-ri and Jeong-hyeok. There is abject horror on his face as he watches the reunion. He cannot believe his son is blatantly in love with a woman from South Korea, and it’s somehow a hilarious scene.
4. Goodbye on the Border & Hello Seoul
Their farewells on the border are something else. Ri Jeong-hyeok said, “how could I forget a woman who fell from the sky.” She corrects him, saying that she descended. I love this banter so much, and it helps alleviate the pain of this scene and showcases their connection. They were both trying to make the best of a terrible situation, trying to keep it light while saying their goodbyes. It is such an interesting scene as well because there is a finality to it, but at the same time, it doesn’t feel finished. They aren’t finished. The quiet journey to the border is full of unsaid thoughts. Then Se-ri steps over the border, and Jeong-hyeok cannot let her leave without a kiss, and my heart melted.
They are reunited at the end of the next episode, taking place a few weeks later. Jeong-hyeok goes through unbelievable lengths to find her and protect her from Cho Cheol-gang. (He is really raising my expectations in men.) Se-ri’s first thought upon reuniting once again is that she hates dreams like this because she is so sad when she wakes up, and oh boy, does that gut me. But then they hug, and my heart heals a bit. When I first watched this, I was so excited to see Jeong-hyeok in South Korea, knowing that on top of all the amazing scenes they will share, he would have to get used to the South.
5. Se-ri’s Birthday
Se-ri comes home to an empty apartment after telling Jeong-hyeok she understands and is okay with the fact that he has to leave immediately when he finds Cho Cheol-gang. But she isn’t. She comes home on her birthday to an empty apartment and breaks down. Jeong-hyeok and the guys come in ready to celebrate her birthday only to find her sobbing on the floor in the dark. They are all at a loss for what to do, and when she walks out, it’s Pyo Chi-su who motions with the penguin stuffed animal he is holding for Jeong-hyeok to go follow her.
Jeong-hyeok holds Se-ri from behind in comfort. This moment is so intimate even though it takes place on the sidewalk. He says that her next birthday will also be good because he will be thinking of her, grateful that she was born into this world. Then she confesses, telling him she thought he had left. And what gets me the most is him asking if she plans on crying like that when he leaves. But Se-ri is one strong woman. She comforts him in return, telling him that she has resources to protect herself, and she worries for his family’s safety with him helping her. The care and consideration Se-ri and Jeong-hyeok give each other is so beautiful. I love that this show gives them the room to go deeper into their feelings and fears. They make one badass team.
6. In the Line of Fire
Jeong-hyeok’s cries as she falls from the car are haunting. She saved him and almost died in the process. His internal monologue as she is brought into the hospital is so heartbreaking. We get to hear why Ri Jeong-hyeok has distanced himself from the world and people because of the loss of his brother. And now he faces losing the person he loves most in the world once again. It takes days for her to wake up, and I hate her siblings for having him removed from his bodyguard status. On the flip side, we get a glorious scene of him running through the hospital to get to her when she wakes up. When he sees her, you can feel his relief. He breaks down and finally says, “I love you.” (Many tears were shed by me as well as Jeong-hyeok.)
The guys were monitoring the situation, just as anxious (well, not as anxious as Jeong-hyeok), listening into Se-ri’s hospital room thanks to Jung Man-bok’s bug he placed on her hospital bed. This made for a great scene that had me laughing, which was much needed in the midst of all this angst. They were treating her family drama like a K-drama. The way each of them reacted when they had the earpiece was golden.
7. Final Goodbye and the Wrong Train
Se-ri Runs to Jeong-hyeok as he is just on the other side of the border, yelling at him. The raw emotion Son Ye-jin is channeling is something else I don’t have the proper words for. The pain in Jeong-hyeok’s voice as he yells at Se-ri not to run to him after her brush with death haunts me. The tears would not stop at this scene. “You came into my life like a gift.” Just rip my heart out. It would hurt less. We also see the guys watching on with tears in their eyes, making it worse. Se-ri asks Jeong-hyeok if there is any way they could see each other again, and he responds by referencing their time at the abandoned village. “Just wait and pray desperately.” (Do tears hydrate your skin or dry it out because of the salt content? Asking for a friend.)
While the pain was alleviated in bits and pieces throughout the finale, I could not breathe easily again until they finally, finally reunited. Once more, with a less-than-graceful landing of a paragliding excursion. Then, she hears his voice from outside her mess of a paraglider. She runs to him and hugs him, asking how he found her. Jeong-hyeok’s line of getting on the wrong train as a call back to their conversation by the fire is brilliant and fits with the theme of destiny.
I was not ready for how much time would pass, but two years (or is it three?) in all is not so bad given their impossible situation, but it hurts. They don’t get the traditional happy ending, but they get two weeks a year with the person they love. I have a headcanon that they write journals for each other throughout the year and give them to each other. I will also keep my fingers crossed that they make another season and somehow manage to live together.
Honorable Mention: A Kiss in the Rain
I am throwing in one more because this was so sweet! After Jeong-hyeok wakes up from surgery he yells at Se-ri for not leaving when she had the chance. The chance he and Park Kwang-beom put their lives on the line for. But she stayed to return the favor and give him her blood and save his life in return. Son Ye-jin’s expressions here kill me. You can see how Se-ri feels as if she doesn’t belong there but doesn’t want to be anywhere else.
After learning of the circumstances of his recovery, Jeong-hyeok leaves his room to find Se-ri alone outside in the rain. The growing emotions of the past weeks finally come to the surface and he acts on them. Jeong-hyeok is apologetic, and with his “wistful” eyes, they share their first real kiss. This is made even better by the blush on his face after the fact.
In conclusion, Crash Landing on You is full of emotions that will hurt and heal you. (I am finishing up my rewatch already and crying more than the first time.) Comment below and share with us what scenes got you the most!