I’m so dumb. It took me this long to make the connection: The series is called Flowers For My Life, and the episodes feature flowers in a different, yet prominent way. I’d noticed the flowers — different kinds each time — but the connection hadn’t occurred to me.

Sometimes they’re significant thematically, sometimes merely visually. There were the red roses Ho Sang bought for Nam Kyung, and the yellow wildflowers that the troubled mother carried in the previous episode. In Episode 1, Ho Sang brings Wang Dae Bak a bouquet of white (signifying death) flowers to pay his respects. I don’t know if they’re going to use flowers in every single episode, but I’ll be paying attention from now.


I (아이) – “사랑을 쏘다” (shoot love) [ zShare download ]

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My first (albeit minor) criticism of this series comes at the top of Episode 6, with Eun Tak reluctantly meeting a family employee who’s dressed in a black suit and driving a fancy black car. The employee tells Eun Tak “the President” ordered him to report on Eun Tak’s situation. Eun Tak tells him to report back to his father that he’s fine, and sends him on his way.

My criticism is thus: Flowers For My Life has so far been pleasantly fresh and different, and although there are some kdrama familiarities, in large part it’s done a good job of skirting those cliches. But to make Eun Tak a rich boy, and the son of some kind of president, made me groan. If they make him a full-on chaebol, I will truly be disappointed. Haven’t we seen enough dashing, broody, second-generation chaebol male supporting characters? Eun Tak was already the perfect guy; I liked his seemingly humble but decent roots. Making him rich seems like overkill.

Now, if this wealth causes an actual plot development — such as making Hana sway away from Ho Sang — that might be an acceptable use of the chaebol cliche. But as this issue is still in its incipient stages, I’ll leave it here for now.

Hana sees them together and her imagination runs wild. She’s seized with curiosity over what Eun Tak’s story is, theorizing that he’s a high-rolling gangster-gambler. The sequence closely resembles the opening sequence to the first episode of War of Money, but I think both series are actually parodying the film Tazza — which I have not seen fully so may be wrong, in which case I am sure someone will correct me! Thanks in advance.

If this cliche is responsible for the hotness of Kim Ji Hoon as a mobster badass, I can forgive it for now.

Hana thinks Eun Tak may be using her family to hide from dangerous gangsters, and goes crazy trying to figure it out without letting Eun Tak know her motive. Wondering if he has a distinctive tattoo, Hana tries to get him to take off his shirt (saying it’s hot), and spies on him outside his room. Ho Sang observes Hana’s odd behavior, which pricks his curiosity as well, mixed in with a bit of jealousy. He starts spying on Hana spying on Eun Tak.

Eun Tak finally asks why Hana’s following him around, and she demands to know what crimes he’s committed and who he’s running from. Eun Tak says he’s committed no crime; he’s here because of his mother’s dying wish — there’s someone he has to meet. He doesn’t say more (they’re interrupted by Ho Sang, who pretends he ISN’T spying on them), and trusts Hana won’t break her promise not to tell. Mentioning a promise makes Ho Sang even more curious.

Alone that night, Eun Tak recalls the conversation with his dying mother in which she begged him to find “that man” and bring him to her. Eun Tak opposes the idea, asking if she feels bad toward his father for making such a request, but she’s adamant in her desire to see the man (I presume we mean Pil Gu ajusshi): “This is my last wish.”

Ho Sang tries to find out what “promise” Hana made Eun Tak, and she’s gratified to see his curiosity/jealousy. She tells him if he marries her, she’ll never say a word to another man again. He tells her (again calling her “wad of gum” for her persistence) he can’t marry anyone in his situation: “My father passed away early, but when he was alive, he was a good husband and good father. I want to be a good husband and father too, but I can’t right now.” Hana misinterprets this, thinking that he’s referring to his short life span, and thinks, “Kind Dae Bak. So you can’t marry because you’d feel too sorry.”

Hana takes things into her own hands — thinking the sooner she marries him, the sooner she can devote herself to caring for his remaining life — and calls Ho Sang out to take pictures. Dressed in a wedding dress. Yeah, honey, like THAT’S not going to give a dying man an unnecessary shock. Since weddings are simply needless expenditures for photo opportunities, she suggests taking the photo now, then having a simple civil ceremony.

Ho Sang’s response? He yells at her angrily for disregarding his wishes and runs out.

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Hana rushes out after him, but she’s stopped by the shopowner, who insists she remove the expensive bridal gown first. Hana pushes past and runs after Ho Sang as “74-75” by The Connells plays. [ Download ]

She calls after him, pleading with him to listen to her, but he ignores her as passers-by ogle. It’s both really funny and sad at the same time. Much like this series.

The store owner drags Hana back to the store, while Ho Sang watches the sad sight and convinces himself to walk away.

But he can’t leave her like that, and comes back, to her infinite relief. Seeing that Hana’s limping (from falling over as the shop owner tried to drag her back), Ho Sang offers Hana a piggyback ride and tells her, “Wad of gum, don’t do something like this again. It hurts me.”

As they walk off, Hana thinks to herself, “That day, the sun was strong and I could smell the sweat on his back. On that day, I realized for the first time that there are things that smell nice in this world other than money.”

At home, Ho Sang applies a hot compress to Hana’s ankle, and he calls her a weirdo, laughing when she says she used to be called alien in school because it’s so appropriate. Hana says she once tried to fit in, but kids kept calling her alien, so she gave up. Ho Sang, on the other hand, had a lot of friends when he was younger, but none of them are left now. Because of his constant accidents and problems, they gradually began avoiding him. Hana: “It’s okay, you have me, and I have you. We can be an outsider couple, living happily on our own.”

Sharing a moment, Ho Sang makes a move to kiss Hana. She closes her eyes in anticipation, but they’re interrupted by a phone call — Nam Kyung.

Nam Kyung’s feeling sad and asks for his company, and they go out dancing to a club. She puts on the fa�ade of enjoying herself, but she’s trying too hard and Ho Sang sees her wipe a tear away.

They retire to a quieter locale, where Nam Kyung confesses she’s been having a hard time because of her fiance. “I want to see him but he won’t let me, and he makes me lonely all the time.” Ho Sang tells her to break up with him, but Nam Kyung says she can’t, even though she wants to: “But still… I miss him so much. Even though it hurts like this, I want to see him.”

While waiting for Ho Sang to return, Hana meets the Vietnamese girl, Ran, again. They decide to be friends (Hana: “I guess you don’t don’t know I’m weird because you don’t understand Korean well”), and pass the time by having Ran teach Hana a song.

Hana’s mother becomes angry knowing that Ho Sang’s out with another woman, and subjects him to her bad temper over the next few days. Finally, she approaches him with her sincere appeal:

“I know my Hana lacks a lot of things. She’s really different from other girls these days. But the way she feels about you is also different from other girls. She’s doesn’t date or break up with someone easily. She doesn’t have any friends, and you’re the first man she’s dated. You might think of her as a difficult person, but even if there’s a part of you that doesn’t like her, can’t you look after her and teach her how to walk, one step at a time? I ask this favor.”

So, Ho Sang goes to Hana. He admits that he knows Nam Kyung doesn’t like him back, because she loves her fiance. So he’s giving up on her. Overjoyed, Hana gives him a kiss on the cheek and asks if there’s anything he’s ever wanted to do that he hasn’t done yet. She’ll do it with him.

And that’s how they go bungee jumping.


At first, Ho Sang chickens out, but Hana encourages him to keep going, since he’s always wanted to bungee jump. She hugs him tight and tells him, “Trust me!” Afterward, however, she’s the one who ends up sick — she’d put on a brave front because if she told him how she felt, he wouldn’t have jumped. Ho Sang, touched by her thoughtfulness, surprises Hana when he wipes away her drink mustache.

Afterward, Hana asks what else Ho Sang wants to do, but he tells her to think of something, too (“But make sure it’s something possible. You’re such a weird kid, I get scared wondering what kind of strange idea you’ll come up with”). Not expecting that question, Hana says she’ll think it over.


At the funeral parlor, Pil Gu ajusshi messes up an order and blames it on Eun Tak, who doesn’t defend himself. Pil Gu tells Eun Tak he’s young and able, so he should go find some more suitable work. Eun Tak takes offense to the false concern and offers ajusshi some harsh words about his own irresponsibility.

Pil Gu takes a cheap shot and attacks Eun Tak, who has the opportunity to beat him back but restrains himself. Instead, he goes off alone to brood upon the memory of his mother defending Pil Gu. She’d said he was a good person. “If you meet him, you’ll understand why I loved him.”

Hana tends to his wound, and explains to him that Pil Gu isn’t a bad guy. He once told her that although he lives wandering around from place to place, he felt happy to have their house to return to as his home. In explaining his aggression against Eun Tak, Hana says, “Ajusshi’s just afraid of losing his homeplace.”

Eun Tak asks Hana what’s so great about Ho Sang. She doesn’t know what exactly, but she just likes him. Eun Tak says she reminds him of someone, being so attached to someone who, in his eyes, is so undeserving of that devotion. He advises her to open her eyes and look at Ho Sang carefully. But she defends him, saying he’s a good person. Eun Tak: “I see the disease is serious” (referring to her).

Hana takes Ho Sang out for a day on the town, envisioning, of all things, reenacting the scene from Goong (where Chae Kyung and Shin kiss in the streets).

Seeing Ho Sang distracted by an emergency van, Hana suggests going to visit Nam Kyung — the more Nam Kyung sees them together, she’ll realize she shouldn’t be calling Ho Sang out all the time. However, upon arriving they see a handsome man (Lee Jung Hyuk cameo) greet Nam Kyung as she cries.

The man, whom we are supposed to think is the fiance, tells Nam Kyung that it’s been three years, and she should move on. He worries over her whenever she calls; he’d thought she’d stop eventually, but she hasn’t. Kang Jae wouldn’t have wanted to see her like this — he’s Kang Jae’s older brother. He tells her to get on with her life, because no matter what, a person who is dead cannot return to her.

Meanwhile, Ho Sang is bothered by the memory of seeing Nam Kyung so upset, and leaves Hana behind to rush back to her. He tells Hana to go first and that he’ll meet her soon. So Hana goes to some kind of street festival alone, awaiting Ho Sang’s return.

Ho Sang witnesses Kang Jae’s brother removing Nam Kyung’s engagement ring, saying he has to do it for her own good because she won’t do it herself. She cries, and Ho Sung attacks him, accusing him of being heartless, assuming he’s the fiance. Nam Kyung interferes, telling the brother to leave, and grows angry at Ho Sang for interfering.

The man invites Ho Sang out for a drink, where he explains that Nam Kyung’s fiance was his brother, and that three years ago, he disappeared into the sea. That’s why Nam Kyung went into rescue work — she believed that if she saved someone else’s love, someone else might have saved hers. He’s worried about Nam Kyung, and feels she’s even more pitiful in her current state than his dead brother.

Meanwhile, Hana waits by herself, plucking the petals off of flowers, reciting to herself, “He’s coming, he’s not coming. He’s coming, he’s not coming.”


Finally, Hana gets up to leave, just as Ho Sang arrives at Nam Kyung’s door, awash in pity and sadness for her plight.