Ah, my Witch Amusement is back on track! (Ish.) Granted, by now I know the show isn’t what I’d hoped it would be, but this was a much more enjoyable episode than some recent ones have been. If only they could have compressed the last six episodes into two.
EPISODE 12 SUMMARY
Mu-ryong and Yoo Hee find themselves locked in the warehouse where her CF was filmed earlier. Having lost her phone (again), Yoo Hee uses Mu-ryong’s to try to call for help.
I’ll admit it gave my cynical heart a little thrill to see that Mu-ryong has Yoo Hee programmed as number 1 on his phone. Aw. I myself have my own voicemail programmed as 1, so I wonder what that says about me. In my defense, Cingular doesn’t allow you to designate your own number 1, creating chaos nationwide for couples in need of romantic affirmation from their inanimate objects. Anyway, it’s probably a subtle hint that the person Yoo Hee calls first (with no answer) was NOT Joon Ha, as she calls him second. Furthermore, she seems hesitant to impose on him — you know you’re not that close to your boyfriend when your sentences start out, “Um, I wonder if I could ask you a favor? Could you maybe come down here? You see, I’m locked in a strange place.” I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pretty sure I would’ve led with “Help! I’m locked up somewhere!” before worrying about how my imprisonment was inconveniencing my boyfriend’s leisure time. Just sayin’.
Unfortunately, the battery cuts out and she’s unable to direct him to her whereabouts, and it’s also telling that Joon Ha only seems mildly concerned about her plight until he learns that Mu-ryong is there with her, at which point he rushes out with his jealous game-face on. (I’d wondered why they needed to lose Yoo Hee’s phone again, but now it makes sense since they can’t both have their phone batteries die simultaneously. Now that would just be too coincidental.)
Yoo Hee takes out her anger on Mu-ryong, accusing him of loitering and causing them to get locked in. Mu-ryong defends himself, as he was the one doing her a favor in the first place. She says he could’ve told her no; he didn’t have to come. Mu-ryong: “Yeah, I know. I really regret coming enough as it is.”
Annoyed, Yoo Hee heads off alone, and sees something she might be able to use as a tool, on top of a tall shelf. She climbs up on a small chair in her heels and attempts to pry it loose — and do I even have to continue? She falls, Mu-ryong catches her, and he takes the brunt of the force when a box dislodges and falls on top of both of them.
Seung Mi looks for Mu-ryong and hears from shirtless Johnny that he’d gone to do something for Yoo Hee, so she goes to Yoo Hee’s apartment. On her way out, she runs into a very pissy Joon Ha, who decides to wait frustratedly in his car.
To pass the time, Mu-ryong shows Yoo Hee some magic tricks (making things disappear, card tricks, illusions), which thoroughly entertain her. It’s very cute.
They lapse into conversation, starting with listing memorable foods they’ve eaten. Mu-ryong mentions his father’s cooking, Yoo Hee says Mu-ryong’s soup, and Mu-ryong says Yoo Hee’s spaghetti.
Yoo Hee: “Liar.”
Mu-ryong: “For real. It was your first dish ever, so how could I forget?”
And just as Yoo Hee’s about to be touched by the statement:
Mu-ryong: “Such awful spaghetti is truly hard to forget.”
Yoo Hee asks how he got into cooking, and Mu-ryong says he’d always loved it, because of his father. He only briefly tried to be a doctor because his mother wanted it so badly, and he happened to be pretty smart. But he always felt it was wrong for him. Mu-ryong asks why she refers to her father as President, and she says it’s how she was taught — “Before he was my father, he was the President. And before I was his daughter, I was his successor.”
Seeing Yoo Hee awkwardly dozing, Mu-ryong rests her head on her shoulder. She mumbles “Sorry” in her sleep, and Mu-ryong says, “I’m the sorry one. I lied earlier, when I said I regretted coming here. I missed you. I don’t regret coming.” Not realizing Yoo Hee’s awoken to hear it, they just rest there…
After they’re let out in the morning, they rush to make it to the gathering put on by Yoo Hee’s father to celebrate the MK Group’s anniversary. Seeing them arrive together, hand in hand, Joon Ha’s jealousy and alpha-male ego flares, and he blames Mu-ryong for whatever perceived wrongdoing he’s committed. Yoo Hee breaks it up and assures Joon Ha that she’d just sent Mu-ryong on an errand and they got accidentally locked in together.
Mu-ryong rushes to get to work, where Johnny’s been worriedly wondering why he hasn’t shown up. I really like how Johnny’s concern overshadows any annoyance he may have had that Mu-ryong arrived so late.
Paran is fantastic as he takes the opportunity to grind some pepper into Joon Ha’s wineglass. It’s great! Joon Ha knows that Paran’s the guilty offender (tipped off when Paran sticks out his tongue at him, then pretends he was merely licking his lips), but can’t do anything about it.
I love Paran. I wish they’d explore more of the brotherly relationship he’s developing with Mu-ryong and Song Hwa, because that’s somehow more touching to me than any of the other romantic stuff. I can see Paran walking that line between diverging in two very distinct directions — one good, and the other very astray. In the beginning, he was cold and lonely, with a decided lack of fear and even respect for authority, in the way that very intelligent (and smart-assy) kids are. He was reaching out for warmth, but didn’t find it — not in any adequate form, at least. Had that continued, who knows what kind of detached, unpleasant person he could have become. But after meeting the Chae brothers, he’s found an outlet to be a kid, playing with bikes, arcade games, roller coasters and bumper cars… and some of his possibly-alarming tendencies have been curtailed into playful mischievousness. Like peppering his sister’s douchebag boyfriend’s wine! Witch Amusement is obviously about Yoo Hee’s transformation from a “witch” into a real, caring person because of Mu-ryong’s attention, but in some ways I feel his effect on Paran has been so much more significant.
::: End digression :::
Unfortunately, due to the mad rush and bad timing, Mu-ryong is unaware of Johnny’s special instructions that there’s one guest who’s allergic to almonds — which you know is going to be a problem since the main dish is a lobster with almondine sauce. The guest collapses at his seat, prompting Johnny to flash back to possibly the funniest segment I’ve seen so far — although it’s entirely unintentional in its cheesiness.
I’m guessing from the flashback that Johnny suffers some emotional baggage due to the case of a patron dying at his restaurant from something he made. It’s so ridiculously melodramatic it could almost be a parody, but alas, it’s completely straight. Still hysterical though.
Irate at the turn of events, President Ma slaps Mu-ryong and insists that Johnny fire him. Johnny tries to take responsibility for the mistake, but Mu-ryong steps up and takes the blame.
Seung Mi chases after Yoo Hee to ask her: “Shouldn’t you take responsibily for what’s happened to Mu-ryong? He’s become like that because of you. He’s not the kind of person to make such a careless mistake. If you hadn’t called him yesterday — No, if only he wasn’t late today, none of this would have happened.” Mu-ryong interrupts to say it wasn’t Yoo Hee’s fault, but Seung Mi continues: “This woman has ruined your life!”
This is by far my favorite version of Seung Mi — because honestly, Yoo Hee is a little responsible. Not entirely, but it’s not fair if she escapes any criticism — she was being selfish calling Mu-ryong the day before. It was his decision to come running to her rescue, so it’s not like one person’s the villain. But I like that Seung Mi, despite being upset at Mu-ryong herself, tries to make Yoo Hee own up to her part in the mess.
Joon Ha tells Yoo Hee, while sneering at Seung Mi and Mu-ryong’s retreating backs, “Don’t worry. Those kinds of people are all alike. There’s no reason to give them any thought. Ignore them.” I wonder if she’s starting to think that having gotten what she wanted all along, he’s not so great after all.
So Mu-ryong resigns. Johnny accepts the resignation despite liking Mu-ryong, because he recognizes that his mistake was big. I like this response, and the way that you can tell Johnny still likes Mu-ryong as a person, but his friendship doesn’t get in the way of professionalism. Mu-ryong understands that as well. Johnny thanks him for his work, and Mu-ryong leaves.
And doesn’t this feel like it would’ve made a fantastic midpoint to the series? If only this were in episode 8 and not 12, you’d have wondered with anticipation, How are they going to take the series from here? All these relationships are changing! What’ll they do now?
Yoo Hee attempts to convince Johnny to take Mu-ryong back, feeling a large responsibility for what happened, but Johnny flatly refuses. Mu-ryong’s mistake was too big, and it’s only natural he pay the consequences.
While they’re talking, Joon Ha calls repeatedly, prompted by the President’s words earlier to marry Yoo Hee soon. That’s the only way Joon Ha will get the hospital he wants. (Although it’s not explicitly stated, I’m guessing from the conversations that the President has offered to set up a new hospital and appoint Joon Ha as the director, as long as Joon Ha fulfills the President’s wishes.) But in any case, Yoo Hee ignores his calls.
Mu-ryong goes back to his parents and faces up to his failure. Despite how obviously saddened Mu-ryong is to disappoint them yet again, his family is supportive — and the Chae family gives me the warm fuzzies. They’re so weirdly functional. For instance, his mother tells Mu-ryong not to worry, he can always go back to medical school. Mu-ryong starts to protest, but she tells him she’s just using that as a saying — it means that he has options, not that he actually has to go back into medicine. And that shows she does get him in a way that she doesn’t always seem to have in the past.
Seung Mi brings up the topic of marriage, which Mu-ryong’s parents seem surprised at but happy to discuss, but Mu-ryong contradicts her and tells everyone, “No. We’re not getting married.” Clearly not the reaction Seung Mi was looking for, she leaves, angry.
Although this is yet another repeated conversation we’ve had a dozen times before, at least a new element is introduced this time: Seung Mi doesn’t care about his lack of stability or job and wants to get married, and asks him flat-out why they can’t. Is it because of Yoo Hee? Ever since he met her, he’s been acting strangely. Because of her, Seung Mi can’t rest easy — and Mu-ryong bursts out, “Stop it already!” Calmer, he says, “Stop it. I’m not going to get married.”
Seung Mi shows some (scary) mettle by telling him, “No. We’ll see about that. I’ll make it happen.”
…Creepy! Hide your bunnies, people. (But is it weird that I like her more now?)
Home alone, Yoo Hee sees the notes Mu-ryong had left her and gets busy concocting an excuse to call him. She tells him to drop by and retrieve some plates he’d left behind.
Mu-ryong reminds her that those dishes were there even before he moved in, seeing through her excuse, and asks if she used it as a reason to call him over. She denies it, but suggests he stay for a bit. He could at least have some tea. Since he came all this way and everything.
Arriving at the door at that moment, however, is Joon Ha. Mu-ryong hides himself while Yoo Hee lets Joon Ha in, and as he tries to escape unnoticed, he overhears their conversation. Joon Ha tries to bring the conversation around to marriage (I presume), since he says, almost out of nowhere, that being together feels like they’re already married. He continues, saying he’s never felt so comfortable with someone before, not even with his ex-fiancee.
A slight plot detour takes us to Song Hwa, who’s up for his model audition with MK Group. He looks the part, and everyone is pleased with his appearance. However, once he’s tested on his facial expressions, Song Hwa can only come up with one look for all three fake scenarios — whether he’s acting as an army soldier who’s dropped his precious, sole Chocopie into the toilet; or someone who’s won the lottery; or someone who’s had his heart broken.
One look may have worked for Zoolander, but Song Hwa fails. To compensate for his weak expressions, he’s asked if he has any hobbies or skills — and when he’s asked to demonstrate his Taekwondo, he can’t even lift his leg.
His mother explains to his girlfriend that he’s been unable to practice Taekwondo since high school. He was picked to be a member of the national team, but accidentally injured his best friend and fellow athlete with a stray kick, crippling one of his legs.
Mu-ryong takes Seung Mi out, saying it’s to make up for all those times they’d postponed or cancelled. At dinner, though, he takes on a serious tone and tells her: “Let’s rethink our relationship.”
Leaving us hanging, we go to Yoo Hee’s surprise date with Joon Ha, where he presents her with something very closely resembling her fantasy date from a prior episode. Of course, Yoo Hee can’t help but think back to her simpler, cheaper date with Mu-ryong instead.
Anyone else feel like it’s a weird “ideal romantic date” location to pick a stage in an empty auditorium? To be sure, it creates a nice visual image, but I’m not sure if we’re to take meaning from the fact that there’s nobody present, and yet the two are up onstage in front of the empty chairs as though they must maintain their act.
And Yoo Hee looks on in surprise when Joon Ha presents her with a ring.Dennis Oh, Han Ga-in, Jae Hee, Kim Jung-hoon, Witch Amusement