Drama Recaps
Boys Before Flowers: Episode 7
by | January 26, 2009 | 250 Comments

And it only took three weeks: This episode finally managed to topple the Monday-Tuesday behemoth East of Eden from its top ratings perch into second place, beating it by 2%.

There was perhaps one main cringey moment in Episode 7, but for the most part I really enjoyed it. That said:




Wheesung – “별이 지다” (Falling star) [ Download ]

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Following their fallout, Jan-di tries to find Jun-pyo at school, and finally comes upon him as he exits school; he spots her and pauses for a moment. She gives him a tentative smile — but he turns away and leaves in his chauffeured car.

Jan-di chases, calling for him to stop, then grabs her bicycle to pedal furiously to his mansion.

She’s so fast (and superhuman?) that Jan-di arrives at the mansion just as Jun-pyo’s car does. He tries to push past her, but she insists on saying her piece, even if he doesn’t want to hear it.

Jan-di blocks his way inside, prompting him to run the other way. She ends up chasing him around his front yard, which is pretty cute.

Jun-pyo manages to slip into the driver’s seat of the car and drive off, leaving Jan-di shouting after him. (He can’t be SO mad if he can still find satisfaction in sticking out his tongue at her, methinks.)

Just then, a sleek white sports car pulls up, the window rolls down, and a glamorous woman (the gorgeous Kim Hyun-joo) tells her, “Get in.” Dumbfounded, Jan-di gapes, but the woman tells her to hurry: “You’re trying to catch that guy, right?”

Jan-di rides shotgun as the white car weaves in and out of traffic, tailing Jun-pyo. He tries to shake off his pursuer, but she maneuvers her car with smooth control and forces her way in front.

Finally, she cuts Jun-pyo off, making him pull over suddenly and stop.

Jun-pyo emerges from his car, ready to give the woman hell, but she grabs a wooden kendo sword (because we all carry those around?) and starts toward him purposefully. And because PD Jeon cannot leave a perfectly good moment as it is, he ruins this by having her leap into a CARTWHEEL AND BACKFLIP before she uses the wooden sword to hit Jun-pyo, taking him to task for his rudeness: “Who taught you to treat women like that?”

Jun-pyo protests, “Sis, you don’t even know what you’re talking about,” but he does quiet down and defer to her and her big wooden stick. This is Gu Jun-hee, just arrived from America, who takes an immediate liking to Jan-di.

Jun-hee apologizes to Jan-di on behalf of her rude younger brother, then tells Jun-pyo to drive safely and meet them back at home, ignoring his insistence that Jan-di is banned from their house.

Jun-pyo refuses to join everyone for dinner (which he later regrets when he’s dying of hunger), leaving F2 and Jan-di to fill Jun-hee in on news.

Jun-hee asks if the other two agree with Jun-pyo’s intent to kick Ji-hoo out of F4. Woo-bin doesn’t, and Yi-jung starts to qualify his answer (he’s a little more sympathetic to Jun-pyo), but Jun-hee cuts him off, figuring that it’s clear that Jun-pyo’s the only one pushing the breakup of F4. She urges Jan-di to eat up to prepare her strength “to fight that idiot.” (FYI, Jun-hee does beat up on her brother several times, but she does it with some affection — and exasperation — so it doesn’t come off mean-spirited.)

When Jun-hee drops Jan-di off at home, Jan-di wonders why Big Sis is being so nice to her. Jun-hee replies that their mother always said that people like them had no use for friends. With such an upbringing, the fact that Jun-pyo was even able to find friends in F4 was nothing short of a “miracle.” This reminder at their broken friendship makes Jan-di apologize for causing the rift.

Jun-hee isn’t too worried, though, and thanks Jan-di: “You opened the door to turning that kid more into a human being.” After all, friendship will help get him there, but love is even more essential.

At Ji-hoo’s request, Jun-pyo meets him in what I suppose is Ji-hoo’s private movie theater, where he’s watching The Three Musketeers. By way of conversation, Ji-hoo asks, “Do you remember how many times we’ve seen this movie together? Must be at least ten times.”

Jun-pyo seems to relax a tiny bit when Ji-hoo says, “I’m sorry. I don’t expect you to stop being angry just because of an apology. But…”

Jun-pyo: “But?” Ji-hoo: “Leave Jan-di alone.”

Jun-pyo seems like he may have wanted to reconcile (given the right approach), but mentioning Jan-di is exactly the wrong thing to say. Jun-pyo hardens: “And if I don’t?” Ji-hoo: “I’ll protect her.”

At that, Jun-pyo angrily gets up to leave, clenching his fist. Without looking at Ji-hoo, he says, “It’s eleven times. If you’d remembered we were friends who’d seen that movie together eleven times, maybe this wouldn’t have happened.” (Oh, snap.)

So Jun-pyo’s plan to evict his best friend remains intact: He’s in the middle of intimidating the school headmaster into expelling Jan-di and Ji-hoo when Jun-hee bursts in. If he fires the teacher, after all, she can hire the next.

Grabbing Jun-pyo by the ear, she forces him out of the room, then tells him, the F4 guys, and Jan-di to follow.

Back at home, Jun-hee makes her proposal: Jun-pyo and Ji-hoo can work out their spat through an organized athletic competition. (Because sporting wins heal wounded hearts?) This way, they’ll both have to acknowledge the winner and abide by the outcome, putting a clear end to the fight. If Jun-pyo wins, he gets to expel Ji-hoo and Jan-di. Ji-hoo, then, is fighting to keep them both in school (and himself in F4).

To make it fair, they will choose randomly from ten possible sporting categories, some in which the guys are trained and some in which they are not. Best of three wins, and participants must agree to respect the outcome.

(As a plot device, I don’t mind the competition, but who else thinks it’s hilarious that they’d agree to settle a love triangle via sports? It’s almost as ridiculous as deciding a faux monarchy via sports — I’m lookin’ at you, Goong S.)

Jun-pyo protests, but he’s outnumbered by everyone else (who have been convinced by Jun-hee ahead of time). Jan-di, Ji-hoo, and Jun-pyo each pick a different ball from the lottery-style machine, and the first test is revealed (Jun-pyo’s pick): Horseback riding.

This is Ji-hoo’s area of expertise, and he is heavily favored to win. Knowing he’s at a disadvantage, Jun-pyo pushes himself to train for the event in the two days preceding the competition. Ji-hoo, meanwhile, picks out his horse but doesn’t train. (Reluctant, or just confident?)

On the day of the race, everyone heads out — Jun-hee, Jan-di, F4, and their Shinhwa classmates — to the equestrian center. The race starts inside the arena, then heads outdoors.

After a lap indoors, Ji-hoo is leading as they approach a forking of the trail, one side marked safe and the other indicating danger. As he cannot catch up to Ji-hoo on the safe trail, Jun-pyo heads off on the other one, urging his horse up steep, hilly ground even when the horse balks, and ignores his trainer’s warning not to push too hard.

Back inside the arena, everyone waits for the racers, fully expecting to see Ji-hoo leading. Unexpectedly, Jun-pyo gallops in first.

Ji-hoo takes the loss gracefully enough, treating Jan-di with calm good humor when she comes up to him afterward. She pets his horse — which is named Rui — and feeds it a treat affectionately. Ji-hoo offers to take Jan-di on a ride, and leads her on the horse outdoors.

I know it’s supposed to be sweet/fun that Ji-hoo’s horse is named Rui, but that just opens up a whole world of inappropriate double entendres, yunnowhatimean? Maybe I should’ve kept that to myself.

On the other hand, Jun-pyo may have won, but his horse has suffered for it. Hearing that his horse won’t ever race again, he’s overwhelmed with guilt for being so aggressive with the animal.

Jun-hee tells him, “You may have won this game, but you lost the battle, little bro. I really hope you learned something from today” — because if he didn’t, the horse will have suffered for nothing.

The second competition tilts the advantage the other way, because now Jun-pyo is the clear favorite: racecars.

It’s not merely that Jun-pyo is a good racer, but Ji-hoo struggles even to drive, haunted by memories of the car crash that killed his parents. He suffers nightmares of that night and has difficulty just getting behind the wheel.

Knowing that victory is nearly within reach puts Jun-pyo in a fantastic mood. Yi-jung and Woo-bin feel uneasy about the obvious imbalance of skills, but Jun-pyo doesn’t even feel this is unfair, since Ji-hoo picked this challenge. Plus, Jun-hee stipulated that they must abide by the contest parameters no matter what the tasks turn out to be.

Jan-di learns of Ji-hoo’s disadvantage from the Jin-Sun-Mi trio, who tell her to pack her bags because there’s no way Ji-hoo will win this battle. Jan-di assures them that it ain’t over till it’s over: “I have faith in Ji-hoo.” (At this point, I wonder if the drama has slipped up in achieving the right balance, because I have to side with Miranda — and siding with a Mean Girl can’t be right — who calls her out for lacking principles. She reminds Jan-di that not long ago, she was talking to Jun-pyo about trust and faith (regarding the hotel photos), and now she’s blabbering about believing in Ji-hoo. Girl does seem fickle.)

Fearing for Ji-hoo’s safety, Jan-di drops by the racetrack where Ji-hoo is watching Jun-pyo zoom around the course below. Hesitantly, she asks how he got his driver’s license, and he explains that Seo-hyun had taught him. He’d hated it, but embarrassment over failing pushed him to learn how to drive enough to get a license.

Jan-di cautiously suggests that Ji-hoo not participate in the race — it’s not like she wanted to go to that school in the first place. Ji-hoo says firmly, “I don’t know if I can win, but I’m going to do my best.”

Seeing that Jan-di has brought him some rice porridge from the restaurant, he asks to try it. Down below, Jun-pyo glances up to see Jan-di and Ji-hoo looking chummy together and suddenly swerves, his car spinning out of control. At the sound of screeching tires, they look over in alarm — but I dunno, there’s something about Ji-hoo’s smirk as he continues calmly eating his porridge that makes me want to smack him.

Afterward, Jun-pyo fumes. He kicks one racing coach/crew member, hits another, and throws his helmet at a third, saying, “What the hell’s wrong with the car?” (I guess they’re too scared to answer, “The driver.”)

The day of the race, Woo-bin tries one last time to persuade Jun-pyo to give up, while Yi-jung does the same with Ji-hoo. Both are unsuccessful, so the best they can do is tell the competitors to be careful.

Ga-eul worriedly asks Ji-hoo if he’s going to be all right, hoping he has some kind of secret weapon up his sleeve. At that moment, Jun-pyo walks in, and the two shoot daggers at each other. Ji-hoo tells Ga-eul that he does, in fact, have a secret weapon — and then bends down affectionately to embrace Jan-di.

Jan-di resists a little at his unexpected hug, but he tells her to play along — this may be a cheap tactic but it’s all he’s got. Jun-pyo watches incredulously as Ji-hoo places a kiss on Jan-di’s forehead.

Ji-hoo walks off, thinking, “Jun-pyo, I’m sorry. I want to protect her, even if it’s like this.”

With that scene playing in his head, Jun-pyo takes to the track, trailing Ji-hoo at first. Amazing at how Ji-hoo’s debilitating fear of driving is miraculously cured! He’s even leading for the first half of the race.

But Jun-pyo’s mind involuntarily flashes back to the kiss, and in that second of distraction, he veers off course and skids, allowing Ji-hoo to zoom ahead to the finish line.

If Jun-pyo lost the first test of sportsmanship, surely Ji-hoo loses this round?

Now, the third test. A bit expectedly (for us), Jan-di’s selection turns out to be swimming — which practically guarantees a Ji-hoo win. Flustered and panicked, Jun-pyo refuses to participate. Unfortunately, Jun-hee reminds him, if he forfeits, Ji-hoo wins.

Yi-jung speaks up — if this issue is decided because of a forfeit, nobody will feel satisfied. Therefore, he’d like to offer himself to take Jun-pyo’s place in the last challenge, if everyone consents. Yi-jung finds it difficult to forgive Ji-hoo’s actions, too, and this is his way of making the last game fairer. Jun-hee accepts his proposal, saying that she’s okay with it if everyone else is. Jun-pyo immediately agrees, as does Woo-bin.

But Jan-di speaks up too — if Yi-jung gets to take Jun-pyo’s place, then she wants to take Ji-hoo’s. Jun-hee warns that she’ll be given no handicap going against a guy and Jun-pyo argues that she should stay out of it, but Jan-di says this involves her life too. She feels she should participate in determining her own fate.

Jun-hee agrees to the suggestion — then they can make it two-on-two: Yi-jung against Jan-di, Woo-bin against Ji-hoo.

So, they start training.


When their kooky restaurant boss (who’s always babbling about spirits and aliens) has a dream about the race, Jan-di and Ga-eul eagerly ask about the outcome, grasping at straws for good news. He describes: “Approaching the finish line, you’re almost neck in neck. Then, at the moment when a hand is reaching out… everything went dark.” (This may be a throwaway bit, or it may mean something, it’s hard to say just yet.)

Ga-eul proposes that they resort to underhanded methods — desperate times, and all — like feeding Yi-jung diarrhea medication secretly, or running him over with a bicycle (which, frankly, is a scene I’d like to see. The bike, I mean, not the diarrhea). Their boss puts his foot down and insists she not do anything dishonorable.

That doesn’t prevent her from dropping by to talk to Yi-jung, however. Yi-jung guesses that Ga-eul came to ask him to throw the race — she argues that the outcome doesn’t affect Yi-jung at all , while Jan-di may be expelled — but he has no intention of doing so. He isn’t going to kill himself over this competition, but he’s not going to purposely lose it, either.

He reminds her that she doesn’t exactly have a right to be so upset at his position: “I warned you that it would be a good idea to stop her.”

Jan-di’s family is appalled to hear that she cheated on Jun-pyo with Ji-hoo and now faces expulsion. She tries to explain her actions, but they’re disappointed in her when she confirms the story.

Her father figures she must take after her mother (who tries to shush him) and that based on his experience, when a man has been hurt by a woman two-timing him, the curious thing is, it always helps when the woman apologizes and says she was wrong. They urge her to apologize to Jun-pyo, and for once, they don’t seem so ridiculously out of line.

As Jan-di walks outside that night, Jun-pyo pulls up in his car. Hearing that she’s on her way to train, he asks, “Do you want to win that badly?”

Jan-di sighs, “We don’t have much of a choice.” Jun-pyo reacts to her phrasing: “We?”

Frustrated, he asks, “Why did it have to be Ji-hoo? If only it wasn’t him…”

Jan-di says his name reproachfully, but he suddenly pulls her to him in a hug. Earnestly, he says:

Jun-pyo: “It’s not too late. It would only take one word, if you said that you like me…”


Yunno, I’m the first one to admit that this series is flawed. Like, way seriously flawed, yo (yo yo, ma bro).

But for some odd reason, it’s still a drama that I look forward to every Monday and Tuesday, and is one of very few in the past couple years that I’ve been eager to see as soon as possible. (Some — really, really good — dramas sit on my hard drive months and years after downloading, still unwatched.)

It’s just that, if a drama is able to get me upbeat and excited for any reason, I’m happy. The rest? It’s icing, folks. Sweet, glorious icing.

As for this episode specifically:

The thing is, we’re supposed to be rooting for Ji-hoo, because that means F4 remains intact and Jan-di gets to stay at Shinhwa High School. Yet I found myself rooting for Jun-pyo, and wanted Jan-di to root for Jun-pyo secretly too (there may have been a hint of that during the horse race, but if so, it was fleeting).

The problem is, I’m starting to hate Ji-hoo. You may not believe me but I want to like him, I really do. I’m trying to understand his character. But he’s just so… meh.

When he kisses Jan-di in front of Jun-pyo to throw him off his game, he’s doing exactly what Jun-pyo accused him of doing at the end of Episode 6, which is use Jan-di. Not because he cares for her, but for his own purposes. And not only are his purposes selfish, he means to harm his friend to win the race. Jun-pyo didn’t act honorably in the first race, but is stooping to a lower level really the answer, Ji-hoo? I thought you were supposed to be the gallant, noble one.

(That said, I was squeamish about Jun-pyo treating his horse so carelessly, even if he feels bad about it. Jun-pyo was also seen acting out more aggressively in this episode, such as when he hit his racing team out of misplaced frustration.)

I’m not sure if this is a writing problem or an acting one, because it could be either — or both. If Ji-hoo is just written this way, it’s making his character way unlikable. On the other hand, if he’s being written to convey conflicted emotions, those aren’t showing through the acting. From reading through the scripts, it seems that the characters aren’t given much direction on the page (they probably are offscreen), and whatever subtext that emerges is a result of smart acting and directing. Some actors are able to mine moments out of their scenes more effectively than others. Some may just be acting what’s on the page.

For instance, in the movie theater scene, you can see for a moment that Jun-pyo softens toward his friend, then hardens at the mention of Jan-di. If Ji-hoo showed inner conflict in a similar way, I could get behind him — but he’s just so smugly calm all the time. It makes me want to slap that smirk from his face.

I was trying to figure out the appeal of Jun-pyo in this drama, because as much as I’m liking his character, the drama feels unbalanced in his favor and I’m trying not to let it bother me. I don’t think it’s a simple matter of “omg Lee Min-ho is hawt!” because yes, he is, but that’s not what does it for me and it’s a little demeaning to say that the only reason Jun-pyo fans like him is because the actor is good-looking. After all, Kim Hyun-joong is surely beautiful but he doesn’t have the same effect on me.

For me, it’s that Jun-pyo is the only character thus far who is drawn in a complex way AND acted well. Everyone else is one or the other, but not both: Jan-di is acted anywhere from weakly to moderately well (depending on your opinion) but her character is not complex. Ji-hoo is complex but not acted terribly well. Yi-jung and Woo-bin are both acted fairly well but their characters are not complex. Same with Ga-eul. So against this character landscape, when we have one lead who is layered, complicated, and portrayed convincingly, we get: Lee Min-ho mania.


250 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Anonymous

    haven’t read it yet, but i just want to thank you for your dedication if giving us recaps! =]

  2. rtan

    thanks! so fast! ^-^

  3. 3sha

    tnx so much!..

    luv you recaps.. 🙂

  4. 3sha

    ^^ correction: ” luv your recaps”

  5. Anon

    Well, I was rooting for Ji Hoo all the way. I really, really can’t stand Jun Pyo. Oh, gosh… I find him so selfish.

    Ji Hoo played on his emotions to win the race because a loss would have meant Jan Di’s expulsion. He wasn’t really doing it for his own benefit but for someone else’s.

    Jun Pyo put his horse’s life in danger, and in fact, lamed his horse just because of his bruised ego.

    I didn’t find anything wrong with Hyun Joong’s acting (in this episode), I must say and enjoyed his character’s interactions with Jandi – I found them sweet.

    Jun Pyo has so much learning to do. He threw a tantrum about having to swim, gloated about win a race that permanently hurt his horse (which I found especially disgusting), kicked his assistants and blamed them for losing the race and all that. He really has so much growing up to do.

    I just rewatched the theatre scene and don’t find Ji Hoo to be smugly calm at all. And at the end, he sighs… he’s frustrated by the whole thing as well, IMO. And sorry too.

    Also, I find Min Hoo attractive and look forward to romantic scenes between Jan Di and Jun Pyo but right now, I really can’t stand him. He’s just way too selfish, arrogant and brutish for me.

    • 5.1 Synthia

      I totttttttttallllllly agree with you Anon… you wrote the words of my mind.

      The recaps are good, but I found it too biased to the character Jun Pyo (or may be Lee Min Ho). Ji hoo is not at all that bad which would lead to want to smack him. Jun Pyo is arrogant but dunno why cute Ji hoo is to be blamed!!! (well, it’s totally my view)

  6. gia

    absoluly hot….

    Kim Hyun-joo was great…

  7. Anonymous

    just finished reading and thanks again! 😀

    hmmm, i think someone over at soompi mentioned that they think the horse’s name was louis? i’m not sure though.

    and i love me some ga eul and yi jeong scenes! even though they are, as you said, not complex, they’re acted well and i always liked their substory in the other versions and manga; all of which left me unsatisfied in terms of endings. i have hopes for kim bum and kim so eun though!

  8. bambooshoots

    I’m not reading this until I watch the episode, but THANK YOU in advance! I always love the insight that you give 🙂

  9. javabeans

    “I just rewatched the theatre scene and don’t find Ji Hoo to be smugly calm at all. ”

    Not the theater scene, but I find him worst in the car scene when he LAUGHS after Jun-pyo loses control of his car.

  10. 10 nicole

    haha i actually was rooting for jihoo the whole time..i mean, it was TOTALLY unfair when junpyo was all I CANT SWIM! AND I WONT FORFEIT! while jihoo overcame his fear of driving and toughened up and actually won WITHOUT giving up–i like how he stood up to his challenge without worming his way out of it. junpyo was somewhat cowardly.

    plus his cheating turned me off. i hate malicious cheaters.

  11. 11 rtan

    totally agree with how you described each character and how the actors are giving justice to their roles. i hope Ji-hoo will improve. he’s good looking and all but he’s failing to get on our good side.

    I’m also so infected by the Lee Min-ho mania. OMG!!!

  12. 12 Rainey

    Thanks for the recap. This show is just straight crack!, once you accept it for its outlandish glory it’s easy to overlook most of its ridiculousness. (I do still have gripes, but I try reallllllllllly hard to just let it slide).

    Also, there is a difference between being unable to swim and a fear of driving. Forgetting that they both have traumatic experiences, I think it’s unreasonable to expect JunPyo to learn to swim and stand any chance of beating JiHoo. It’s one thing to handle a machine, it’s entirely another for someone to learn how to swim and then the next day win against an experienced swimmer. That said, I thought both scenarios were biased towards one or the other.

    PS. I was more annoyed by JunPyo horse-race cheating than by the forehead kiss. JunPyo was way out of line and his decision ended up harming Jupiter. 🙁

  13. 13 KTV

    Thanks for the recap. I was just wondering for what purpose Ji Hoo used Jan Di. I still don’t quite get his intention.

  14. 14 lola

    #10, Ji Hoo played as dirty as Jun Pyo. Nobody gets to be on the moral high horse for this one.

  15. 15 anna

    Hmm… my guess is Ji Hoo laughs/smirks because he realizes he can use Jan-Di to his advantage to throw his opponent off but probably doesn’t want to resort to that. When they have a stare-down before racing, he decided he actually should pull that secret weapon out after all.

  16. 16 Lin

    In terms of what Jihoo did before the car race, it was really the only card he had left to try to win the race and prevent Jandi from getting expelled from school.. and.. I can understand that. Or else he would have lost for sure.

    When Jihoo saw Junpyo’s car skidding during “practice”, I agree that he should have show some concern, I think he was a little shocked though. But when he realized what caused Junpyo to lose concentration – then I think he started smiling.

  17. 17 starz12

    i dont understand Ji Hoo’s actions at all. why is he doing this?. i hope he’s doing this not because he likes Jan di or something. in Japanese version at least Rui had a reason-to avenge Domyouji for taking what he likes the most, the apple thing.. lol..

  18. 18 Maddy

    I agree with Javabeans all the way, I too am “starting to hate Ji-hoo.” (Although hate is a strong word.) I was rooting for Jun-pyo! Secretly Jan-di knows she likes Jun-pyo and we all know it’s going to happen…ugh Ji-hoo, you mess up everything!

  19. 19 dkiew

    I’ll have to disagree with everyone that Jan-di cheated on Joonpyo. She was never his girlfriend to begin with. She made it clear the entire time that she did not want to be in that situation. Yes, she may have been touched by his devotion to her, but she never committed to it. yes, she hurt his feelings, but that’s what you get when you force someone to accept your feelings and don’t ask what the other person what they feel in return.
    Jan-di has shown that she has been selfish, but Joonpyo is also selfish as well. As for JiHoo, he’s much comfortable in his role than he was before and his charactrer is always calm! The only times he ever gets mad is when someone hurts Jan-di. But I’ll agree he needs to work on conveying his emotions more. As for the other characters, they can’t be complex yet since the show has been so focused on the romance between Jan-di and JiHoo so far. The one story I liked beside the main one was the Soujiro’s first love story. Don’t know if they are going to include that though. Hope they do! Fingers crossed!

    Thanks for the summary as always! I always watch the episode and read this! Doesn’t feel complete without doing both!

    • 19.1 Mq

      I agree with this almost completely! It wasn’t good that she kissed Jihoo, and of course she should’ve taken Joon Pyo’s emotions more into consideration, but she was never really his girlfriend. Also, she always had a crush on Jihoo, so to pull away would be going against what she’s been wanting for a while. It wasn’t right for her to kiss Jihoo, but I can’t dislike her that much her for it.

  20. 20 Grace

    hmm… I gotta disagree with that last comment, just a little.
    I think both the main leads have their shining moments, and their weak moments. We hear a lot of criticisms about GHS, I think she just has it harder from the beginning because she is a girl, and there are a lot of girls watching this drama who just root for the hot actor. But I really believe GHS is a talented actress.

    But that’s not really the point i was trying to make… what i am trying to point out is that LMH is very good at portraying a lovable JP. But I feel that I’ve completely missed the jerk JP. At first I was afraid that the writers had made him a gary stu character… but this episode clearly shows his real flaws. I think it takes a lot of guts and talent for an actor to be able to portray a character in a way that leaves the audience rooting against the character (when they’re supposed to). And GHS did a good job of that in the last episode, and KHJ did a great job in this one. I really hate JH right now. I feel that LMH could be such a better actor if he wasn’t afraid to take that turn with his character. But I think way to many of us associate a hateful character with bad acting, and we need to remind ourselves that that is not the case. So many people are criticizing KHJ’s acting.. I admit it was not great. But i get the feeling that people are saying that, not based off the real acting, but based on the fact the JH is so hateable right now

  21. 21 cherry

    Is it just me or does Lee Min Ho look a lot like Jerry Yan? They could be long lost brothers.

  22. 22 leann

    I think I have one big problem with Jihoo’s “secret weapon” that bothers me more than Junpyo’s cheating. Junpyo hurt his horse by accident and wouldn’t have been hurting Jihoo to win, he just wanted to come in first. But Jihoo was playing with a dangerous situation because he saw during practice that Junpyo almost got into an accident because of being distracted by Jandi. When he decided to use that in the real race, he was risking both lives because obviously they are in fast cars that are possibly fatal machines and he did it *on purpose* hoping Junpyo would get in an accident. I can’t accept that from Jihoo. 🙁 🙁

  23. 23 EUNWHUI

    great recap as always!

  24. 24 deeta

    I actually began to luuurve Jihoo this episode and I have always been a Team Junpyo. This is the first time I like a Rui character.

    I don’t know how Jihoo was supposed to be in the manga, but I found myself really liking this slightly vindictive, slick, and very smart Jihoo. His intention towards Jandi isn’t really clear to me, does he like her? Does he just feel affection for her? I can’t really guess. But the way he purposefully rattles Junpyo makes him seem more human, a shitty friend yes, but human nonetheless.

    F4 have been friends forever, but you could see that Junpyo is the center of everything, the one leading, and over the years, there must’ve been some sort of resentment towards him. Even Yijung confessed he had often thought Junpyo too much. So, Jihoo’s behaviours might be an accumulation of that resentment, even though he might not realize it. His conscious thought might just be to win and save Jandi from being expelled, but there’s also a hint of revenge there.

    ETA: Oh man, that scene where he chuckles after seeing Junpyo swerves, that was AWESOME to me. I could practically see two red horns poking out of Jihoo’s head. I enjoy evil-ish characters, hehe..

  25. 25 annerxd

    i don’t think they’re actually settling a love triangle with sports, per say, but it is a part of it. the fight is just to decide if they stay in school or not. the love fighting starts afterwards but of course, we all know who she ends up with. 😀

  26. 26 Anon

    “Not the theater scene, but I find him worst in the car scene when he LAUGHS after Jun-pyo loses control of his car.”

    Yeah… we need some internal monologue for that scene. Of course, Kim Hyun Joong isn’t as good an actor as Lee Min Ho, so while the latter might be able to properly convey the right emotions to the audience, Kim Hyun Joong might need a little help via a internal monologue so that the audience can get it. Why did he laugh? I might fanwank and say that it was something like, “Haha… this guy is tripping again.” lol… but who knows?

    That’s part of the problem here… the characters ARE rather inconsistent.

  27. 27 Vanessa N

    Looks like you enjoyed writing this review more than any other bof reviews
    it was hilarious

  28. 28 Anonymous

    Totally agree with #15 and 16.

    And I must say, the cartwheel by Jun-hee was pretty crazy and unexpected, but it made me burst out laughing and I guess that’s a good thing.

    Thanks always for the recaps, javabeans!

  29. 29 jong

    your point about the car race is a little shaky… i dont see anything unsportsmanlike about it. I guess you could argue that jihoo knew that it would bother junpyo or w/e but still… in the end junpyo let it get to him.

    i won’t lie i like jihoo just cuz i love Rui haha but i do see how the drama tilts very much into junpyo’s corner. But I think that’s well done.. i didn’t think the japanese version was all that great because Domyouji wasn’t easily likable.. he was goofy, aloof and plainly retarded… but hanayoridango is supposed to be about Domyouji and even though the korean version is force feeding us this bias toward junpyo it makes sense in the context that we’re supposed to like him better than jihoo.

  30. 30 javabeans

    #19, The family used the words “cheated on Jun-pyo,” that wasn’t my personal commentary. They asked if it was true she cheated and was in danger of expulsion, and she said yes.

    #29, I think we’re supposed to think the car race was unsportsmanlike of Ji-hoo, because even he admits he’s using a “dirty” tactic.

  31. 31 Anon

    “Not the theater scene, but I find him worst in the car scene when he LAUGHS after Jun-pyo loses control of his car.”

    Yeah… we need some internal monologue for that scene. Of course, Kim Hyun Joong isn’t as good an actor as Lee Min Ho, so while the latter might be able to properly convey the right emotions to the audience, Kim Hyun Joong might need a little help via a internal monologue so that the audience can get it. Why did he laugh? I might fanwank and say that it was something like, “Haha… this guy is tripping again.” lol… but who knows?

    That’s part of the problem here… the characters ARE rather inconsistent.

    @leann, Jun Pyo didn’t hurt his horse by accident because before he took the short cut, he acknowledged that taking it was tantamount to a death sentence (or similar) for his horse, but he took it anyway.

  32. 32 makuii

    So this episode wasn’t as interesting as last Tuesday- but I’m thinking that’s the pattern ^_^.
    Haha. With the cheap tactics, I’m wondering why Jun-pyo doesn’t just realise this (ah, the wonderful world of drama ^_^ )

    Of course, I’m rooting for Jun-pyo, but I’m liking the way Ji-hoo throws a spanner into the works for Jun-pyo and Jan-di. (hehe)

    But I’m wondering, what happened to the most predominant thing in asian drama: BACK HUGS?!?!

  33. 33 Veronica

    I think the Ji-hoo that comes back from France is supposed to be rather unlikeable. I felt the same way about Rui in this manga arc. He’s very emotionally conflicted and is using Jan-di to forget about his failed romance. He had his woman “stolen” from him so it seems as though he’s trying to regain control of his life by doing the same to Jun-pyo. I think that’s why they threw in the “or you’ll both be expelled” card; it wouldn’t really be a contest otherwise.

    But I agree that Ji-hoo isn’t being portrayed with the subtleties required for his character to be comprehensible. They also never really established his personality BEFORE he left for France, so what should have been an obvious difference after his return isn’t really noticeable at all.

    My biggest beef: Ji-hoo is supposed to have a really comfortable, calming atmosphere about him. But he just comes off as, like you said, smug. Blegh.

  34. 34 balletbabe

    Omo omo , you comments are too funny. “I know it’s supposed to be sweet/fun that Ji-hoo’s horse is named Rui, but that just opens up a whole world of inappropriate double entendres, yanowhatimean? Maybe I should’ve kept that to myself. ….At the sound of screeching tires, they look over in alarm — but I dunno, there’s something about Ji-hoo’s smirk as he continues calmly eating his porridge that makes me want to smack him.”

    “At that moment, Jun-pyo walks in, and the two shoot daggers at each other.” I felt that I was ‘ everyone better move out of their way!!!
    I also I agree with you on how flawed this drama is but the story line and the characters make it so likable that views come back to watch!.

    And I don’t think Ji Hoo is acting like this with his own motives. “Not because he cares for her, but for his own purposes. And not only are his purposes selfish, he means to harm his friend to win the race. After all he keeps repeating that he wants to protect Jan Di. Perhaps he knows what going to that school means to Jan Di and her family. He, on the other hand, does is rich and can afford to attend another school so he doen’t really care [maybe, just maybe, he is cheating so he can save the friendship not for just him but the other 3 memebers of F4]

  35. 35 hooray

    lol, indeed, korean dramas must have the back hugs. hahaha

  36. 36 sonam

    Yes, LMH mania! The drama should be called LMH before Flowers.
    I thought Rui looked a little better in this episode…not so anemic looking. Maybe he shouldn’t wear white so much. I am thinking he’s trying to win because he doesn’t want Jandi expelled from school. At the end of Ep 6 he seems to sense that Jandi has started getting attached to JP….while they were making that drawing. Jandi herself doesn’t seem to have realized this. So maybe he has his own reasons.
    I agree…the sister doing the acrobatic stuff was so unnecessary.
    I am hating the way they dressed Jandi and her friend at the horse race. They looked like little grannies. Jandi’s friend is so likeable. I want to like Jandi but …….maybe next episode. I wish her hair could be longer …maybe that would help. But at this point it’s very hard to understand why JP likes her so much. I am just not connecting with her.

  37. 37 Liv

    OK. So I havent watched episode 7 yet, so Im solely going off of Javabean’s recap, so forgive me if my comment lacks anything that may have been observed during the show. That said, what disturbs me about Ji-Hoo’s actions is that he seems to completely disregard his whole friendship with Joon Pyo and the rest of F4. The whole “did Jan Di cheat” question can be debated – but you cant deny that Ji-Hoo hasnt tried to recover his relationship with the guys (he said it himself at the end of episode 6 – he was doing this for Jan Di, not for F4). It makes me dislike him because what can you say about a guy who is willing to throw away years of friendship without any hesitation? Sure you could say its cause he “loves” Jan Di – but not even a regret? Not a second thought? Barely an attempt to reconcile? I hope they take the story in such a way as to prove that ultimately, Ji Hoo does care about his friendships and is willing to make an effort for them. Because if this story ends without him proving that he values F4 for who they are, I really wont be able to like him at all.

  38. 38 eevee

    i soo agree with u at the end part.

    and i really cant stand the character jandi. not only does GHS cant act as a 17 year old teen girl, she over exaggerates. and also hyun joong is really not improving that much! i used to love the character rui because he was so conflicted but never meant to hurt F4, but now jihoo doesnt seem to care at all.

    and the transitions are terrible!! what the hell is the director and editors doing????

  39. 39 kana

    I too rooted for Ji Hoo. After all, I don’t want to see Ji Hoo expelled. I don’t find Jun Pyo’s extreme mood swings attractive at all.

  40. 40 michelle

    Poor Jupiter! He’s the real victim here 🙁
    Thanks for the recap. I love reading your entries.

  41. 41 Eisa

    I totally agree with you, I know that I’m suppossed to want Ji-hoo to win but I found myself throughout the whole episode wishing they would just get Jun-pyo to win on the games…I also found myself disliking Jan-di, again, I couldn’t see her secretly rooting for Jun-pyo and even when his car veered on the track i only saw her “worried” for a second or so…I would have totally panicked 😀

    I think the fact that Jun-pyo’s character is portrayed so well and we are shown his conflict is what makes him so likable( adorable many times) yet there are times when I also think he is overdoing his anger, the horse incident.

    Thanks for the recap again…I watch the episodes as soon as they are available, but I still have to read your recaps, thanks again 😛

  42. 42 starz12

    TO #5 Anon:
    well, that’s supposed to be Jun Pyo’s character. Even though korean, japan and taiwanese version made a few adjustments of F4’s character, but this drama is still based on manga, so they have to at least stick to its original characters. Jun-Pyo’s character is written that way, arrogant, selfish, whichever you may call it. So, be patient for a while, for the next few episode.

  43. 43 aoiyuki

    Yeah I did find the scene where JiHoo smirks a little irksome. It did feel a little manipulative on JiHoo’s side to be hugging Jandi. But at the same time, I actually started liking JiHoo more in this episode. To me it seems like he’s doing everything to protect Jandi. It was his mistake in the first place for kissing Jandi and now he’s owning up to it–by shielding her from Junpyo’s wrath. We see in this episode that Junpyo, even if he treasures something (ie his horse), at the moment he is still capable of crushing it when he’s not careful and when he lets his ego get the better of him. The race meant more to Junpyo than the horse. We see the opposite of that in Jihoo. He’s kind, caring. He talks and laughs with his horse. It’s a different dynamic. This suggests that if Junpyo stays the way he is, he is capable of ‘killing Jandi’ if his temper sets him off in the wrong way. Even though Junpyo may not necessarily intend to hurt Jandi on purpose, regret after the fact will be too late. Jandi needs JiHoo as a buffer. JiHoo knows Junpyo all his life. He knows the extent of his temper so he knows Jandi is gonna be in danger unless Junpyo changes. It’s the act of challenging him for what Junpyo sees is his natural possession (ie Jandi’s affection) and the experience of losing are what I think is going to change the way Junpyo views the situation. I think that’s the mark of true friendship. Instead of letting Junpyo run wild and think he can own everything under the sun, Jihoo’s helping Junpyo change by teaching him a lesson. True the smirk is a little iffy. But we still don’t really know that much about Jihoo’s personality yet. So it’s a little too early to tell. But I really do like the fact that he’s standing up for Jandi.

    I actually find it a little odd that the production team is slowly showing different aspects of characters’ personalities little by little. Not that it’s entirely bad. It’s just a different approach. Normally in dramas we get introduced to the characters and we see their personalities right off the bat. For this drama it feels like we’re with Jandi, learning a little more about the characters with each passing day (ie Junpyo’s inherent violence when he beat up the kids and his coldness to Minji n ep 5, and Jihoo’s desire to protect Jandi). I just can’t quite figure out why they’re doing it tho. It’s interesting, but it also makes it confusing at times.

  44. 44 G

    Thank you for this recap! Great job, as usual~
    Did no one else think all of Jun-hee’s moments with Jun-pyo were pure gold? They made everything about watching the series worth it, for me. To think of Jun-hee in the way you characterize the other castmembers, I guess she’s of the “acted well but not complex” variety, but what a difference it makes to be able to watch someone who you know can do the job! I’ve liked her in other dramas and was able to relax much more in this episode because of her scenes. More, please!

  45. 45 gallivanter

    I’m not a fan of Ji-Hoo either. Maybe it’s that Oguri Shun owned the role when, IMO, he wasn’t given much material. But, I also think it’s partially because they’re giving Ji-Hoo so much here. He’s just not…that…mysterious. We’re supposed to be unsure of his feelings for Jan-Di. And right now I think he just likes her.

  46. 46 cookie13

    completely agree with your analysis of why jun pyo is so appealing. although, strangely this was the episode I actually started to like ji hoo a little bit. I watch the episodes in chinese subs, but I still read your recaps. You do such a good job, especially with the analysis. Thank you!

  47. 47 anna

    “but he’s just so smugly calm all the time. It makes me want to slap that smirk from his face. ”

    So right on the spot! I hate this type of character. Emotions, what emotions???

    I cannot hate Jihoo more as of this moment. Not because I’m on JP-team or anything, but just his overall character. I actually can’t stand character that tries to steal his best friend’s girl and such. It’s too low.

    Honestly, I’m not rooting for anyone ..I just can’t wait until this silly competition is over with.

    If only JD is portrayed better (and quietly), maybe I would understand her appeal.

    Man, I swear I was around comment 11 when I wrote this and now I’m 47.

  48. 48 Devi

    I completely agree with Anon & nicole. I was totally rooting for Ji Hoo, not Jun Pyo, who really proved what an immature brat he still is. Like Jun Hee noona said, Jan Di has made him more human but he still has a long ways to go. As for Ji Hoo and his smirk, it seemed more like he was smiling in realization of something – that he might actually stand a chance against Jun Pyo in the car race b/c of Jun Pyo’s obvious feelings for Jan Di… not that he was happy over Jun Pyo possibly getting hurt. And, even after he used those tactics on Jun Pyo before the race, he felt sorry about it – but his real motivation, imo, was pretty self-less, he didn’t want Jan Di to be expelled… he wanted to protect her.

    As for Jun Pyo, I felt bad for him after the horse incident, though he did bring it on himself. But, even though I thought Ji Hoo really was Jan Di’s white knight in this episode, literally (with all the black and white color symbolism throughout the episode, lol), I seriously missed all the Jan Di baht – Jun Pyo bickering… the chase seen at the beginning of the episode was adorably cute, though!

  49. 49 ice chocolate

    I don’t get JanDi here. She is not worry at all to JunPyo? The car is out of track. She is the one who cheated. If she doesn’t like JunPyo, at least worrying a friend is not hurt much.
    I think JanDi worries about the game is because she will be kicked out from the school. But here what I see is she worries about JiHoo’s trauma on riding car. Then she doesn’t worry about JunPyo trauma on swimming.
    Damn. I don’t like to see JanDi. The character is very annoying. At least give her some scenes for a little bit caring of JunPyo. I don’t know whose blame it is. The director or the script writer.
    I hope their rating is consistent beating East of Eden, not just because of New year.
    Thanks for the recap, javabeans..

  50. 50 roro

    Geezus I’ve been looking forward to this recap all day! Honestly, I know I shouldn’t be doing this but I can’t help but compare Shun’s Rui with Ji Hoo. I can’t believe how callous Ji Hoo’s being to his friends. On top of that, his friendship with the others was barely established before all the drama happened. We were basically just TOLD that they were this really tight group of friends, but didn’t get to FEEL that, especially from supposed best friends Ji Hoo and Jun Pyo.

    Remember when Tsukasa nearly cried when Rui went off to France with Shizuka? Tossing him the apple, jumping on the fence and waving goodbye? And how Rui only made a pass at Makino to get the two to really be upfront about their feelings? The way things are going now in the Korean drama, I don’t see how they can make Ji Hoo and Jun Pyo that close… believably.

    Oh and did you see this? http://www.journalfen.net/community/fandom_lounge/844813.html There’s a casting call for a movie of a cartoon that’s inspired by Asian-cultures. Yet it’s starring white people, not Asians. On top of that, the casting director seems to be under the impression that Koreans wear KIMONOS. The entire movie is pretty disrespectful towards Asians, so a lot of people (Asians and non-Asians) are organizing a protest at the aang-aint-white livejournal.

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