Coffee Prince: Thirteenth Cup
This episode was, as I suspected it might be, entirely full of small, sweet moments. As much as my romantic-loving side would love to believe things remain in an Episode 13 zone of optimistic happiness, the side that’s all too familiar with dramas can only brace itself for what lies ahead.
It’s like walking along a razor’s edge of tentative, hopeful, but momentary happiness — lovely in the moment, but you’re aware that at any point the teeniest misstep may cut you.
Or maybe that’s just my uneasiness born of cynicism — creating problems where they don’t (yet) exist.
SONG OF THE DAY
Crispy Rhodes / 크리스피로즈 – “Crispy Paradise” [ zShare download ]
Note: To anyone who requests that I post a recap “quickly” —
These episodes air in Korea from approx 10pm-11pm, which is 6am in my time zone. After the rippers upload the file, I download it, watch it, take screencaps, upload images, find songs, translate and write recaps. I’ve been managing a turnaround of half a day. I’m fast. Honestly, there’s little I can do to hasten my process. I’m not offended at requests — I’m just letting you know this so you’ll understand why I can’t oblige. And now, onward.
EPISODE 13 SUMMARY
Adorably, Han Gyul asks Eun Chan on a date for that evening. But Eun Chan, who’s been studying extra hard lately, says she was going to study that night (Han Gyul: “Do it tomorrow”), then declines again because her mother’s been complaining that she’s been out late too much.
Han Gyul blusters, “Then when can we go on a date—?” before realizing, with amused surprise, “You’re playing hard to get?!”
Eun Chan makes a series of suggestions, all of which Han Gyul summarily dismisses for one reason or another — amusement parks, shopping, plays, musicals, the park, out driving. Han Gyul’s decision: “Home. DVDs. It’ll be cozy.” He walks off before she can respond, grinning to himself.
Meanwhile, Eun Sae, who’s a bit of a brat this episode, acts like a queen while Min Yub loyally follows her around, doing her bidding. Ha Rim hears about this and can’t stand seeing Min Yub reduced to such a puppet state. He tells him to dump Eun Sae immediately — he’ll introduce him to a different girl.
That night, Eun Chan and Han Gyul play a little game to decide who has to do the dishes — all questions and answers must be given in five syllables, and the first person to mess up loses.
Han Gyul: “You like me, don’t you?”
Eun Chan: “Ob-vi-ous ans-wer.”
Han Gyul: “Since when has that been?”
Eun Chan: “From when you kissed me.”
Han Gyul: “The kiss from which time?”
Eun Chan: “Match-mak-ing date kiss.”
Han Gyul: “It was that early?”
Eun Chan: “The ramyun is done.” [Eun Chan cheers]
Han Gyul: “Look at you, acting weird all on your own.”
Thus Han Gyul loses.
Han Gyul asks about Eun Chan’s feelings for him (it’s cute how, now that they’re happily dating, he keeps fishing for affirmation from her — not because he needs it, but because he likes hearing her say it). She answers that she’d thought they were on such different levels — he’s handsome, comes from a good family, and has great qualifications. On the other hand, she’s not that pretty or feminine, and her family background is nothing impressive…
Eun Chan: “There aren’t that many things to like about me, but still, you do.”
Han Gyul: “No kidding. But what can I do? Those qualifications don’t mean much to me. I just like you.”
Eun Chan mentions his plans to leave in a month, and Han Gyul asks, “Should I not go?” Eun Chan: “You know you’re going.” Han Gyul: “Do you want to go with me?” He mentions all the things they could do together if she went with him to New York — they’d live in his family’s place, and while he’s at work, she could go to the park to read. After work, they could eat dinner in the East Village, and go listen to music.
She likes the idea, but knows she can’t really go with him. He asks why not, and she answers, “Because I’m not thinking about marriage right now.” Han Gyul doesn’t follow, but she answers, if he wants her to go with him to the States, aren’t they going to be living together? Doesn’t that imply marriage? Han Gyul tells her people can live together without being married, and her surprised expression makes him amend embarrassedly that they could live in separate rooms. But, surely she can’t mean that for them to sleep together, they’d have to get married, right? “People who love each other can sleep together. Can’t they?” At Eun Chan’s continued silence, he grows more embarrassed.
Eun Chan: “If we sleep together, of course we should get married.”
Han Gyul: “So, if sleeping together means you have to get married, does holding hands mean you have to get engaged?”
She doesn’t really have an answer for that, and Han Gyul distracts her with ice cream to sneak a kiss. He tells her once again, “I’m really glad you’re a girl.”
Eun Chan’s family thinks the same way she does, though, and Eun Sae assumes that talk of taking her to New York means that Han Gyul’s proposed. Eun Chan says no, they’re not getting married. Eun Sae’s first concern is if Han Gyul will provide for the family (i.e., get them an apartment), and Eun Chan chides her — why should he do that? Eun Sae rants that Eun Chan’s only thinking of herself — she’s just happy at the idea of going to New York and leaving her family behind to fend for themselves. How will they manage without her? How will Eun Sae pay for college and make their rent?
(Before you hate Eun Sae too much, she explains herself in a following scene. So don’t judge her too strongly — yet.) Their mother tells Eun Chan not to be too upset — Eun Sae’s just acting up because she’s sad at having a guy steal her sister’s attention.
Sun Ki goes to see the woman he’s been searching for, meeting her face to face at her apartment, and that’s all we get this episode.
Min Yub takes Ha Rim’s advice and goes on a date with another girl — one who’s not only pretty and sweet, but who’s particularly good at taking care of the guy. Min Yub finds himself happy to be doing well — the girl agrees to a second date — and blows Eun Sae off when she calls.
Bummed, Eun Sae chats with Mr. Gu, who’s excited to hear Eun Chan might be on the verge of marriage — she really met a good man. Eun Sae jumps over him: “Why is he good, because he’s rich? My sister’s not the type to go after someone just because of his money, you know!”
Eun Sae glumly tells Mr. Gu she’d intended to buy her sister a car and her own cafe when she succeeded as a singer — but now Eun Chan’s being strung along blindly by a guy. After her mother leaves her (implying she’ll end up marrying Mr. Gu), Eun Sae will be all alone. In a sweet, fatherly gesture, Mr. Gu tells the despondent Eun Sae that he does want to marry her mother, but if she doesn’t want him to, he won’t pursue it — he’ll wait until she accepts the idea. Also, if her mother marries, she’s not losing a family member, she’s gaining new ones. (Okay, if you want to hate Eun Sae, now you can judge her.)
Now that everything’s out in the open, Eun Chan gushes to Sun Ki about how handsome Han Gyul is, practically drooling over his broad shoulders, long legs, good-looking face… Sun Ki just smiles knowingly. Bringing up the issue of Han Gyul leaving for the States, Sun Ki advises her to talk out her issues (about needing to provide for her family) together: “Don’t just worry about it on your own.”
Sun Ki: “Grab onto him. He liked you even when he thought you were a guy. Who knows, maybe he won’t go.”
Eun Chan: “An ambitious man… They say it’s really low to cling to someone using love as an excuse.”
That night, Eun Chan eats ramyun with her mother, who’s supportive of her daughter’s romance with Han Gyul but wonders if the social disparity between the two families isn’t too great. Eun Chan defends their family — what’s there to be ashamed of? — but in a clever transition, the director takes us from Eun Chan’s pot of ramyun to Han Gyul’s pot of expensive crab soup, made by his elegant mother.
Han Gyul’s family has decided it’s finally time to reveal the entire truth about everything, and his grandmother takes him to his birth mother’s crypt. As they look at the slab marking her resting place, his grandmother tells him that Lee Myung Jae, the man he’d met a few days earlier, is his biological father.
She leaves Han Gyul to give him space to digest this latest bit of shocking news…
Han Gyul then sees his adopted father for more answers. His adopted father had liked Han Gyul’s mother (and so had Lee Myung Jae), and even wanted to marry her. But because of his mother’s fierce opposition (Han Gyul’s mother was orphaned), in the end, he ended up leaving her.
Han Gyul: “It makes me angry, but I don’t know why, exactly. Maybe it’s because of the biological father who’s just now appeared, or because you and Grandmother suddenly revealed this now, or because of myself, for believing I was part of your bloodline.”
Ha Rim tells Eun Chan (jokingly referring to her as the Mrs., aka Han Gyul’s wife) that Han Gyul recently got an offer from the toy company in New York to be one of their designers. It’s an amazing accomplishment — he worked his ass off for three years to get the offer — and he strongly advises her not to let love get in the way of a man’s aspirations. If she wants to stay together , she should go with him — Han Gyul would take care of everything for her (living expenses, etc.). But she refuses to just receive everything from him. Eun Chan tells Ha Rim not to worry that she’ll hold Han Gyul back: “Even if you don’t say all this, I’m going to let him go.”
Han Gyul, quiet and withdrawn, asks about Eun Chan’s day, and she relates all the events that happened at the cafe. He prods her after each vignette (“What else?”) until she finally gets around to it: “Without you around… I kinda missed you.” He says he missed her too.
Han Gyul tells her everything he’s learned today — his adopted father was friends with his birth parents, who’d divorced within a year, after which his birth father left for Australia. Shortly thereafter, his mother passed away in an accident, and his current family took him in and raised him as their own.
“I was completely fooled by my grandmother, father, and mother. They treated me so well, I didn’t have a clue. The three of them were so good to me… but still, I feel resentment. Why didn’t they tell me earlier? Or, they should’ve kept it from me through the end — what’s the point now?”
Han Gyul asks Eun Chan again to go with him to New York, and she answers that she can’t because she has to take care of her family here, but she’ll write often. Han Gyul starts to say, “If it’s because of your family’s circumstances, I can—” but Eun Chan tells him she’ll manage. He should go, do a good job, and come back. She warns him: “I didn’t say this before because I thought you’d get cocky… Don’t wear black shirts. Last time, all the female customers couldn’t stop staring.”
Han Gyul asks, “Eun Chan, should I not go?”
Eun Chan can’t let him do that, hearing how he worked so hard for the past three years. She tells him she’ll think of it as him going off to do his military service, and wait patiently:
“So don’t you dare go off and have an affair or anything, or else you’re dead!”
Ephemera’s “Balloons and Champagne” ::
But, if they miss each other too much, maybe they can see each other once a year… or once every six months. Han Gyul, on the other hand, would much prefer to fly back and forth every weekend.
Eun Chan tells her sister not to worry anymore since she won’t be going away with Han Gyul. Eun Sae, young and flighty, is entirely too happy about it. I’m trying not to place too much weight on Eun Chan’s (casually delivered) line after she tells Eun Sae that Han Gyul wanted to fly back every week to see her: “Honestly, if we do all that and still end up breaking up, it’s better to break up now.”
Eun Sae exults to her mother that Eun Chan isn’t leaving, but her mother looks troubled to hear it.
Han Sung comes home expecting to spend another lonely night wondering where Yu Ju is… but to his shock, he finds her sleeping in his bed. I love that hesitant, relieved, hopeful smile on Han Sung’s face enough to forgive this couple for their awkwardly uncomfortable fight in the previous episode.
Fanny Fink’s “좋은 사람” (good person) ::
In the morning, Yu Ju awakens first, and tells Han Sung she’ll step out for some groceries for breakfast. Han Sung takes her arm as she walks by, and tells her, “Hurry back.”
Han Sung: “I really missed you.”
Yu Ju: “When?”
Han Sung: “When the wind blew, when I walked, when I fell asleep alone at night, when I woke up alone in the morning…”
Yu Ju: “What about Eun Chan?”
Han Sung: “After being briefly swayed, the moment you packed your bags, I came back to my senses, and got over my feelings for her… Thank you for coming back.”
Yu Ju: “I never thought I’d be left behind, since you were always the one who loved me more. But seeing the small changes in your gaze, your sighs, your expressions… made my heart fall with a thump. It’s funny, that as my feelings for you grew, I lost confidence. And so, I thought, ‘Let’s preserve the last of my pride. Before I’m left, let’s leave first.’ That’s why I ran away. I was so afraid of what would happen if you didn’t grab hold of me.”
Han Sung: “Wily fox.”
Yu Ju: “Thank you, for holding onto me till the very end.”
Ha Rim prods Eun Chan for some details of her love life, asking what she and Han Gyul do so late at night. What’s the extent of their physical contact? She shyly admits they hug, and he tells her with exasperation that she’s gonna drive the guy crazy. She doesn’t get it, so Ha Rim tries to explain from a man’s point of view… and it’s hysterical watching him attempt to convey a guy’s, um, raging hormones, which dominate his mind all day long. She innocently wonders what guys do, and just as Ha Rim brings up porn, Han Gyul overhears and jumps in, alarmed, telling Ha Rim not to tell Eun Chan stuff like that. Ha Rim just says he’s just educating her to help Han Gyul.
Han Gyul takes offense to the way the other Princes heap chores on Eun Chan, and yells at them to take care of it themselves — why are they making Eun Chan do all the work? The Princes grumble at how protective Han Gyul is being. In exaggerated theatrics, they accost Eun Chan, calling her madam (effectively saying Mrs. Han Gyul, really), fanning her, feeding her, etc.
Han Gyul gets a call from his mother telling him Lee Myung Jae is leaving for Australia tomorrow morning, and that he should go send him off. If he doesn’t, he’ll probably regret it later.
He tells Eun Chan about it, and she doesn’t quite know what to tell him, how to react, so instead, she goes to his apartment early the next morning to leave him with a cheer-up message (the song is Casker’s “Mocha,” on the OST and posted on the song list, if you’re curious):
Han Gyul finds it on his way out, and reads the message on the milk carton: “Super-strength-supplying milk! Go Eun Chan Milk. Be strong. Kiss, muah!”
Neither man refers to their true relationship, but it’s clear that both are aware — and both know that the other person knows. They make fairly generic goodbyes, but at the last minute, Han Gyul asks one more question: “I heard you have a son. What’s his name?” Lee Myung Jae tells him he’s Lee Han Young, twenty-two: “He’s about your height. He resembles you a lot, too.”
They shake hands, and Han Gyul watches his father leave with a small smile.
On his way home, Han Gyul calls Eun Chan to report his successful morning venture, thanks to her strength-providing milk. He informs her proudly that he sent off his father grandly with a handshake and no tears. He’s now on his way to report sales figures to his grandmother, and will return to the cafe in the afternoon.
Han Gyul: “Eun Chan, let’s tell each other everything.”
Eun Chan: “About what?”
Han Gyul: “Just everything. Saying that we love each other, or that we’re sad, that we miss each other, that we’re angry, that we’re feeling spiteful, everything. Let’s not stay in the dark, not knowing and being unable to do anything, and causing pain. Let’s talk about everything, all right?”
Eun Chan: “Okay, I’ll say it all. I won’t hold back anymore, I’ll tell you everything. Everything.”
Han Gyul: “Good.”
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