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7.8 - Podcast Review of Episode 15 and 16 of Queen of Tears

Today, we’ll be discussing Episodes 15 and 16 of Queen of Tears, the hit K Drama on Netflix starring Kim Ji-won as Hong Hae-in, Kim Soo-hyun as Baek Hyun-woo, Park Sung-hoon as Yoon Eun-Seong, Kwak Dong-Yeon as Hong Soo-cheol, and Lee Joo-bin as Cheon Da-Hye. 

Ernabel Demillo is back to help us analyze episodes 15 and 16! We discuss:

  • The songs we feature during the recap:

    • More Than Enough by Kim Tae Rae

    • Heart Flutter by dori

  • How crazy it was that David Yoon got to claim that he was Hae-in’s fiancé by donating a lot of money to the medical center.

  • How Hae-in’s notebook was found by David Yoon, tossed into a fire, salvaged, and eventually made it back to Hae-in so she could read her own words about herself and Hyun-woo.

  • How we despised Grace but she did manage to redeem herself by encouraging Moh Sul hee to track down Hae-in, returning the pink MP3 player, and making sure that the notebook made it to Hae-in.

  • How David Yoon’s lies were so evil but because they had elements of truth, they became believable.

  • But despite David Yoon’s lies, Hae-in is uncomfortable around him. Her body “remembers” David Yoon and Hyun-woo.

  • How Hae-in decides to learn more about Hyun-woo because she is uneasy around David Yoon, Hyun-woo is clearly an important piece to her life’s puzzle, and her heart races when she sees him.

  • Kim Soo-hyun’s acting throughout this show, but especially when Hae-in goes in for surgery, when he’s arrested, and when he sees her afterward.

  • How our hearts just couldn’t take it when Hyun-woo is hit by the car and then later shot in the back.

  • We learn more about David Yoon’s dark childhood and the secrets he kept about his mom.

  • The beautiful ending where we see Hyun-woo and Hae-in get married, have a daughter, grow old, and eventually, Hae-in comes to get Hyun-woo and bring him to heaven.

  • Comments from our listeners about Queen of Tears, as well as their recommendations for shows to analyze in Season 8 of K Drama Chat.



K Drama Chat is a weekly podcast where we take one Korean (K) Drama each season and and recap and analyze each episode. K Drama Chat is available on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyAmazon Music, and Pandora.


  1. I wanted to quickly mentioned that Wonderful World finally dropped on Disney +. It's less than 16 episodes.

    1. Ooh. I don't know this drama. Will check it out. Thank you!

  2. I just love listening to you chat about Queen of Years! This series captured my heart, and I’ve been surprised that a few other K Drama enthusiasts I follow did not enjoy this drama. My one disappointment was that there wasn’t a big emotional affectionate moment for the lead couple towards the end - I felt like it needed a kiss or something as a reward for all the trauma of the last few episodes. The ending montage was bittersweet, and I just wanted to see/hear them interact at the moment they truly are together. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts in the podcast.

    1. Thank you for listening! It meant so much when listeners say they love our show. And to think that our last episode was over two hours long! My husband thinks I'm nuts but we had so much to say! As for Queen of Tears, Sung See, Ernabel and I are surprised that Queen of Tears did not make Top 10 in the US when it was solidly #1 all over Asia. Maybe it was too much melodrama and romance, and not enough violence and cgi? Not sure.

      You are right that some great romance, complete with some passionate kissing, would have been great at the end. Maybe that's not Park Ji-eun's style. We didn't have that in CLOY as well.

      And interesting that you think the ending was bittersweet. I thought it was happy and sweet because they clearly had a great life together BUT we were all crying at the end. Why is that?

  3. I had so many issues with the last two episodes. It was exhilarating through episode 14. Then ep 15 and 16 fell off the cliff!

    First off, although it was highly emotional and heart wrenching to see the cathedral scene of Haein (HI) begging Hyunwoo (HW) not to make her want to live because she didn't want to get the surgery, why even throw in another health issue? It was a devastating/dramatic decision to make and watch. But, you build up the brain tumor storyline that has been ramping up for 14 episodes and then you insert memory loss plot in episode 14? You have 2 more episodes left to go, lady. You need at least another 1-2 episodes to flesh this new development out properly before ending the series.

    Then you have another car accident scene, a kidnapping scene and a gunshot scene in the last two episodes. Really? It became all too plot driven at the end instead of its original intent - character driven and focused on the main leads.

    That's when most series fall apart when shows are driven by plot rather than the characters. The first 14 eps were captivating and focused on the characters with one/two main plots (her brain tumor and their marriage) and that's how it should have been to the end.

    Also, why did HW and HI have to meet outdoors at the end of 15? Why couldn't he drive over to her house to talk?! I digress. Haha. (It looks like Eun Sung (ES) ran over Hyunwoo but that guy he hired took the fall for ES?)

    Then to have flashbacks felt lazy on the part of the writer/directors in ep15. Other than we finding out that Haein read the diary at the end, the episode didn't move anything forward. I'm sure there was so much better content to display than scenes we've already seen, especially we're in the last two eps! We fans know all their scenes very well since it was torture to wait for new eps to drop every week. There was nothing to do but to rewatch previous episodes until the weekend came. Ha.

    Why the unnecessary Yongduri lottery scene too? What was the point of the detectives following HI and ES in Germany? Other than they were cameos of comedians that worked with the writer previously (source: internet since I didn't know OR care for these detectives). We all knew HI and ES would "break up" even though we didn't think they were together. Regardless, no need to have 3 cameo actors tell us the obvious and waste precious screentime with our leads. Ha!

    We should have focused on HW and HI's relationship/illness. To gloss over the loss of their child when the writer made it a significant part of their fractured relationship was dissatisfying. It felt like "oh, it's the end and we have to tie up loose ends now". Ugh.

    1. And then the finale. Don't get me started.

      Why would we need to see older HW, the grave of HI and the epilogue of photos? We saw that Haein lived a happy life (until age 83.5) but the epilogue only showed pics of their daughter until age 10 or so.

      If you lived until 83, you would have more pics of potentially more children/grandchildren or at least older pics of HW/HI and their daughter at an older age. Production photoshopped the daughter in the Germany church scene but it all felt like an afterthought. Looked like the writer/directors had to scramble inserting the daughter in. Also, HW and HI wouldn't be wearing the same clothes from their honeymoon (15-16 years later if their child is 10 in the photo). HI is the CEO of a major department store. She would definitely have a different outfit on and she wouldn't allow HW to wear the same clothes either from their honeymoon days. Ha.

      Then I read online that because the show got so popular, they changed the endling and made Haein live longer. She was supposed to die 10 years later (2034) because her cancer came back. That to me is so much more realistic and matches the end/epilogue. The tombstone was supposed to read 10.31.34 (which would have been cruel to have the date of their unborn child).

      HI dying at age 44, showcasing the lavender field with them both and that epilogue would have been more impactful (and make more sense). But to have her live until 83 (she dies in April 2074 and was born in August 1990), what was the point of the somber ending other than they shot it and needed to use it?

      We should be all grateful if we live that long. However, showing her tombstone and seeing she lived a full life was unnecessary. They should have just ended the series with HI and HW going up the palace steps with their daughter. That would have been a better/happier ending and a bit more satisfying than the lingering/something-is-off feeling ending we got.

    2. Other notes:
      - Btw, television is a writer's medium (not only in Korea but very much in the US and probably everywhere). Film is a director's medium. You were discussing it in one of your podcasts and thought to include this :)
      - No major kiss post divorce papers, surgery and memory loss was a huge disappointment.
      - Why would throwing the iPad in the river solve getting rid of the evidence? Isn't everything saved in a cloud/server?
      - I guess Koreans like writing in diaries by hand even though everything is digital now. You'd think she'd write it on her phone/iPad, saved her notes and sent it to Hyunwoo (like the acquarium invite). That would have been too practical and not dramatic enough.
      - Guess they didn't tie up HW and HI knowing that HW saved her from drowning other than the moms knowing at this point. Perhaps HI was savvy enough to know everything ES told her were all lies.
      - Too bad Baeksang nominations eligibility was only through 3/31/24 (when only 8 eps have aired). I hope the last half will get some recognition next year especially JW and SH in ep 14!
      - There's no perfect series where you can't nitpick/dissect things apart. I went along with everything through ep 14 but the last two eps had SOOOO many glaring holes that they treated the viewers like we're not that savvy/sophisticated to know something was off.

      Lastly, Soo Hyun and Ji Won's stellar performances carried the series to the very end albeit the convoluted and disappointing ending. Like Time magazine reviewed the series, kdrama writers seem to have a hard time sticking the landing (I thought CLOY's ending was appropriate given their circumstances). QOT had the potential to be so epic and groundbreaking as there was no weak episode through ep 14.

      The last kdrama I was obsessed with was CLOY (during the pandemic when there was nothing else to watch). I'd say QOT now tops CLOY for me as CLOY was my first intro to kdramaland. 52 kdramas later, QOT is now #1 on my kdrama list despite the flat/unsatisfying ending. I'll forgive the series if Soo Hyun and Ji Won marry and have kids in real life, like Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin. Ha.

      I recommend King The Land, Itaewon Class, Hometown Cha Cha, Reborn Rich and The Glory if you haven't decided on your next series yet. I couldn't finish Vincenzo and couldn't get pass ep 2 for Gyeongseong Creature.

      Thank you for your perspectives on QOT. I enjoyed listening to them on a weekly basis :)

    3. One last thought, I agree it's impressive to have ONE writer write the entire series/season as it'll definitely the make the series more consistent. That was displayed beautifully in Downton Abbey written by Julian Fellowes.

      American shows all have writing teams which can be a benefit if the team is smaller.

    4. Cathy, thanks for your detailed and amazing comments! Terrific perspectives. So much to comment on here. Yes, we think there were too many catastrophic things that happened at the end. We needed some real romantic scenes at the end. The lottery scene in Yongdu-ri felt a little out of place to me but maybe we needed some comic relief.

      I don't think the actors in Queen of Tears will get nominated at next year's Baeksang awards. Kim Soo Hyun was nominated as Best Actor and did to win. Since he was nominated this year, it seems the other actors were snubbed. Kim Ji Won was equally terrific.

      Thanks for the show recommendations. Keep them coming!

  4. I really enjoyed listening to your detailed recaps of episodes and even more your discussions of the elements of Kdrama. My gateway was also during the pandemic lockdown and my first was Romance is a bonus book. An element which struck me immediately was the graphic art introductions to all the series. Most of them are works of art in themselves and of course unique to the storytelling of each series.
    I do watch a lot of foreign series and understand three languages and began learning a fourth three years ago. I haven’t started Korean because I don’t recognize patterns of speech yet after watching 89 episodic series. I do love rom coms but soon branched out to historical series, contemporary suspense series and even the occasional horror series. I’m now familiar with many of the top actors and actresses and I recently began watching a few reality shows as well. I keep detailed notes on all of them and developed my own rating system. I only give five stars if the story, characters, acting, cinematography and emotive value are all excellent and I can easily rewatch the series multiple times and share with friends. I live in a very strong artistic community in southwestern Ontario however only have one friend who tried to watch with me. Therefore your podcast brings me, joy entertainment and intellectual stimulation.
    I tried many other podcasts about Kdramas but none of them seem to be much more than fan swoon sites for the actors by super giggly young women. I much prefer your more mature insights and reactions. Thank you so much. Vivienne

    1. Vivienne, thank you for your wonderful comment! So much to respond to:
      * What did you think of Romance is a Bonus Book? I could not finish it, but then again, when I first watched CLOY, I couldn't finish it, but came back to it and I'm so glad I did!
      * LOVE your suggestion of the graphic intros, which I agree are works of art! Will need to discuss with Sung Hee!
      * I'm a language lover myself. I did a little Korean through Duolingo but I'm stalled. I think I need to take a class. It was useful to learn the alphabet on Duolingo. The Korean sentence structure is very, very different from English! I'm now studying Italian!
      * I don't take detailed notes on every show I watch, but as you can tell, I LOVE going deep into the shows that we discuss in our podcast. For each episode, Sung Hee and I have very detailed notes and we have a text string going all week! Haha!
      * I can totally relate to not having K Dramas buddies! Consider us your K Drama buddies!
      * What K Dramas have you given 5 stars to? How many stars did you give Queen of Tears? We would give 5 stars to the shows that we have discussed (otherwise, we would not have discussed them!).

      Thank you for listening and for your thoughtful comments! I hope you'll give us a rating and a review on your favorite podcast site! Love, love, love it when we get comments!


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