“Start-Up” aired its finale, and the ending is as gratifying as it can get. Here are six things we like about the final episode. Warning: spoilers ahead.
Nam Do-san Is All Grown Up
There’s a reason why Han Ji-pyeong has been winning the popularity votes side by side Nam Do-san. It took 15 episodes before Do-san finally became the confident and competent man that he is, worthy of a true K-drama male lead.
In the “Start-Up” finale, Nam Do-san brings out the charms with his Steve Jobs turtleneck and off the runway suits. Nam Joo-hyuk looked like the top model that he once was with his sleek overcoats and suits.
Aside from the looks, there’s nothing more attractive than a man who knows what he wants and gets it. After a convincing elevator pitch from Han Ji-pyeong in episode 15, Nam Do-san finally gets over his feelings of insecurity. We now get to see him upping his game in the final episode.
Han Ji-pyeong Finally Gets to Pay His Debt
We all knew (or did we?) from the get go that Nam Do-san will get the girl in the end. However, we were all hoping that Han Ji-pyeong gets his well-deserved happy ending. And he did for the most part.
In the “Start-Up” finale, our favorite tandem Han Ji-pyeong and halmoni Choi Won-deok have another heart-to-heart talk. While Ji-pyeong deals with his heartbreak, halmoni tells him to come see her more often whether he’s doing well or having troubles. She tells him not to get even lonelier.
True to his character, Han Ji-pyeong’s happy ending comes in the form of a start-up investment. He learns about a start-up that pairs orphans to sponsors, and lo and behold, the CEO is Yeo Jin-goo. It’s funny how they hired the same actor whose voice was used for “Start-up” version of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, the AI-powered Young-sil. Ji-pyeong makes a personal investment and the CEO wonders why. He cheekily says that he likes his voice. Finally, Ji-pyeong is able to pay his debt to halmoni by paying it forward.
Nam Do-san and Han Ji-pyeong Bromance
Despite their constant bickering, Nam Do-san and Han Ji-pyeong’s relationship was almost that of a hyung (older brother) and dongsaeng (younger sibling). Do-san looked up to Ji-pyeong until Seo Dal-mi came into the picture, which made things complicated.
Situations come in full circle in the “Start-Up” finale as Han Ji-pyeong is now tasked to convince Nam Do-san to allow his company to invest in Cheongmyeong company’s self-driving car. Do-san readily accepts the proposal. Ji-pyeong wonders why, since Do-san rejected his offer in the past. Do-san answers because now it finally looks like an investment offer rather than charity. The two shake hands and hug awkwardly, and we know that they’re going to be more than fine.
Won In-jae Is Back to Being Seo In-jae
Kang Han-na gets a well-deserved emotional scene in the “Start-Up” finale. After In-jae gets her original family name back by cancelling her adoption, she visits halmoni. The four of them, halmoni, In-jae, Dal-mi and their mom, eat together in their old home. Halmoni remembers the good old times when his son was still alive and they were all living together.
The ever competitive Seo sisters are also able to wrap things up nicely in the final episode. In-jae accepts defeat and pays Dal-mi 10,000 won. She acknowledges that Dal-mi has won their bet and that her younger sister has outdone her.
Samsan Tech Bros Level Up in ‘Start-Up’ Finale
The Samsan Tech brothers get emotional as they look back at their humble beginnings in their old, decrepit office. They’ve come a long way but they remember the hard times with fondness.
Meanwhile, Chul-san gets the girl of his dreams, Sa-ha. Despite telling him not to reveal their couple status at work, she introduces him to her sister as her boyfriend. Chul-san is genuinely touched and fights back his tears.
Nam Do-san and Seo Dal-mi Turn Their Misunderstanding Into Reality
Despite many fans rooting for Han Ji-pyeong, Nam Do-san and Seo Dal-mi were end game since the beginning. Nam Do-san gets the girl because he made the right move at the right time. On the other hand, it took three years after confessing to Dal-mi for Ji-pyeong to decide to take things to the next level. Talk about lost opportunities. Like a true investor, Ji-pyeong is prudent even when it comes to love.
In the “Start-Up” finale, we are treated to some cute Do-san and Dal-mi moments. Do-san brings out the kilig when he quickly declares that he will propose to Dal-mi if they win the bid for the self-driving car project. Do-san keeps his promise as the epilogue shows wedding photos of the two.
The final scene shows Nam Do-san, Seo Dal-mi, Han Ji-pyeong, and Seo In-jae in a power walk as they go in for a shareholders meeting.
Overall, the “Start-Up” finale left no stone unturned. The ending is satisfying yet bittersweet for those who might be wanting a second season for this heartwarming drama.