The final episode of I Promised You the Moon has arrived, and with it that hanging sense of finality and loss I always get at the end of a drama I’ve become seriously invested in.
I love that it opens with Oh Aew’s ad campaign project. The flashcard promotion to help learn a foreign language is an essential connection between Oh Aew’s past life, his present life, and the symbiotic balance he’s found between the two.
Oh Aew is happy, healthy, and prosperous. Hard work and good friendships truly make a difference in a person’s mental health and outlook on life. Oh Aew is living proof that anyone can overcome confusion, adversity, and a broken heart and still come out stronger for it.
Still, Teh haunts him.
What I find genuinely amazing about this drama is that it portrays what happened between Teh and Oh Aew in a much more positive light than a negative one. While fans railed about Teh and his choices, Oh Aew’s character took what happened to him and grew from it. He isn’t poisoned by his broken heart. Instead, he chose to leave the toxicity behind. Because of that, he can look at Teh and see something beautiful instead of something terrible. He finds pride in the man he spent his youth loving, reveling in Teh’s success rather than wishing him ill will.
In retrospect, Oh Aew realizes he is as much a part of what led to his breakup with Teh as Teh is, just on a lot less harmful level. They were in love with each other but not in love with themselves. They needed to find self-love before either of them could genuinely love the other in a way that wouldn’t lead to bad decisions or toxicity. Although many viewers feel like a lot of focus was put on Teh, I saw extreme growth in Oh Aew. Oh Aew may have a likable personality and appear less injurious to himself and those around him than Teh, but he’s struggled just as profoundly with himself. A lot of his identity was tied to his relationship with Teh. Oh Aew made similar life choices by following in Teh’s footsteps and even clung to Teh to fill a lonely void when they first started university. He was more comfortable being part of a couple than being an individual. By choosing himself over reconciliation in the fourth episode, Oh Aew gave himself room to discover who and what he wanted to be. He gave himself room to love himself, and that’s a much more incredible love story.
I love that Oh Aew has become confident enough in himself to say, “I just want to be friends.” It’s obvious Q has feelings for Oh Aew, and as outstanding as Q is, as supportive as he’s become, it doesn’t mean Oh Aew has to love him beyond friendship. Oh Aew may have needed to grow away from Teh, but the love he and Teh shared is real. It’s significant, and it isn’t something a person can step out of just because it felt wrong at the time. Growing away from someone doesn’t mean growing out of him.
I adore Oh Aew’s pride in Teh, and I can’t say that enough. Sometimes people come into our lives, they shake it up, they change it, and then they exit it. I love that Oh Aew allows himself to realize this, that he allows himself to continue loving Teh while also admitting he needs to be alone.
In life, we often have different paths, dreams, and ideas that take us away from the people we thought would walk the same path with us. Along the way, a fork appears, and we move in different directions. The different paths transform us.
We all start life in a box, a space surrounded by the same people and the same routines. It isn’t until we move outside the box that we grow bigger by being stimulated by unexpected emotions and experiences.
It isn’t until we are outside the box that we realize the stuff inside our box we thought we wanted so badly may not be everything we expected it to be. While Oh Aew has been enriched by his experiences, Teh has been tarnished by his. He’s reached the pinnacle of success but realized it’s not as rewarding as he hoped it would be. He’s stayed inside his box, but he starts to realize that what’s outside of it is much more enriching.
The magic moment happens. Oh Aew and Teh come face-to-face. They are different people, and yet the same. The invisible rope that has always bound them is still there. It’s a little tattered now, but still there. What once made the two of them weak as a couple now makes them strong. They can now look at each other and see what makes each of them special. Oh Aew sees the things about Teh’s life and personality that make him unique rather than damaged. Teh sees Oh Aew as the professional man Oh Aew’s grown to accept in himself.
Both of them are mature now, but Teh is still out there searching. He’s carrying regrets he hasn’t let go of and a love he doesn’t know how to take back.
Teh finally listens to his heart, the same heart he’s constantly ignored in favor of his dreams. The same heart he allowed his dreams to deceive in the form of Jai. The same goals that fooled him into believing he needed someone who wanted the same things as him rather than being with someone who could pull him out of the box he’d put himself into.
Oh Aew stepped outside of his box and grew. Teh kept himself inside his box, surrounding himself only with people he thought needed to be in it with him. This isolation kept him from growing. Acting is a box Teh sealed himself into.
Despite how excited I was to see Teh confess his feelings to Oh Aew, and as much as I wanted to see these two together despite everything that happened between them, I admit I am glad Oh Aew walked away after the confession. Teh’s promise to not make Oh Aew sad is unrealistic. Part of growing into a relationship with someone is realizing that you won’t always be happy while in a relationship. It’s realizing that you won’t always make each other happy.
The great philosopher Bas once said, “The one who chooses what’s best for you is yourself.”
The world can shout and say, “No! Don’t go back to him! Choose Bas or Q instead! They are much better for you.” But, in the end, we sometimes make decisions no one can understand. Even we don’t always understand them. The world may see Teh as the famous actor who doesn’t deserve Oh Aew. However, to Oh Aew’s heart, Teh is the man he wants to try a relationship with even if it brings him pain again. Sometimes we don’t always choose the relationships we know will be better for us; we choose the ones we want to be a part of even if it’s uncertain and scares us. Even if we fear the darkness that may lie on the horizon. Often the people we hurt the most in our lives are ourselves.
Sometimes happy endings aren’t perfect. They’re just happy. For now.
For now is enough. We should live our lives for now and work to keep growing outside our boxes.
May Teh and Oh Aew enjoy the happiness they have now and work hard to keep each other from falling back into their boxes. Problems and all.
I Told Sunset About You and I Promised You the Moon will always hold a special place in my heart because true happy endings are always bittersweet. Thank you, I Promised You the Moon, for being honest.
Rating- 4.5 out of 5
4 thoughts on ““I Promised You The Moon” Series Finale”
Very beautifully written. I loved the series. It was a poetic expression of life.
Thank you for this very insightful review. I really needed this. While I understood all the things that led Teh to make those poor choices he ended up making, it doesn’t make it any less painful. That’s what this series has done to me. I felt so emotionally attached and invested with these two characters that the pain just became too palpable. I don’t know when I will ever fully come to terms with everything that happened but reading this just made closer to doing that, so really, thank you!
Reading your review, I might like it better than IPYTM itself, ngl. However, I liked that you didn’t compare it with the 1st one and be disappointed, like everyone else is. I am glad someone recognized this show’s value in its own right.
Por fin alguien que piensa como yo. La serie no solo se basa en la infidelidad de teh por dios, sino en como cada uno creció a su manera y como fueron luchando contra sus emociones. Amo lo bien que está pensada esta serie, cada detalle y escena encaja, tiene un sentido.