Drama Recaps
Boys Before Flowers: Episode 13
by | February 16, 2009 | 239 Comments

First, thanks to the overseas location shoots in this episode (filmed in December), the cast was given the weekend off. So at least they got a bit of sleepytime, which has been in short supply recently. (Lee Min-ho dropped by his fan café to post a weekend greeting and explained that he was stunned at the volume of Valentine’s gifts he received from fans, making this his best V-Day to date.)

Second, they should just call this episode “How Many Times Can Jan-di Be a Complete Idiot in One Hour? Go!” (Episode 13 was nowhere near as bad as, say, Episode 11 — but it was still a typical Monday episode. Meaning: silliness, holes in logic, and absurd misuse of paaaaraadiiiiiiise…)


Rocket Diary – “On My Way” [ Download ]

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Jun-pyo’s father passes away after collapsing in China, and Jun-pyo is named the managing director of Shinhwa Group. The big news (aside from Daddy Gu’s passing), is that Shinhwa is now entering plans for a “global project” — an international resort.

Episode 12 left off near the end of the school year; we pick up nearly half a year later. The F4 guys have graduated and moved on to university (not yet sure about Jun-pyo), while Jan-di has entered her final year of high school.

She has not heard from Jun-pyo since his departure, nor have the rest of F4 kept in steady contact. Ga-eul gripes that the guys (plural, but she means one in particular) must be busy having fun at college: “They’ve probably forgotten all about so-called friends and gone girl-crazy.”

The cranky old man comes back to the porridge shop; he’s been back several times since we last saw him, each time ordering something unusual. He eats with gusto, but refuses to give out compliments; instead, he gruffly says he only cleaned his plate to avoid wasting food.

Cranky Gramps treats Jan-di affectionately, saying that the more he looks, the more she resembles a lotus flower: “Do you know why the lotus flower blooms in mud?” He assigns that question as “homework” for his next visit. Her boss advises her to listen carefully, because Gramps isn’t the type to say something without reason.

I think it’s safe to say that Crankypants is indeed Ji-hoo’s grandfather (I was hesitant to believe it, because shouldn’t the girls have recognized their former president?) who has a long-standing connection to the restaurant boss, whom the girls call Master.

An old newspaper clipping shows the old man with Master Master’s father, the former lauded head chef at the Blue House (the presidential residence). (Is his name — Bom Sung-chan — a reference to Kim Rae-won’s genius chef in Gourmet, perhaps?)

Jan-di tries to keep a happy face in the face of Jun-pyo’s lack of contact, with little success. Whenever his name crops up, Jan-di’s expression grows more glum. Her blues are not helped by the fact that her shoulder has been troubling her, although she shrugs it off as minor.

To make money, the family have taken to decorating dolls as a side job, but they soon rejoice when Dad succeeds in getting a job.

And then, Ji-hoo conducts an orchestra. I DON’T KNOW WHY. Must we have a Beethoven Virus reference to go with the Gourmet one? You, sir, are no Kang-mae. (Or Kim Myung-min.)

Perhaps this is to show Ji-hoo’s university pursuits, but a little explanation — or even context — would be nice. As he leaves rehearsal, he walks down the staircase as the cleaning lady stumbles. He catches her; it’s Jan-di’s mom, who is immediately awed at Ji-hoo’s beautiful face. As for this scene’s purpose? WHO KNOWS.

Ji-hoo finds Jan-di in the swimming pool, struggling with her bum shoulder. This isn’t the first time he’s noticed the pains, because he chides her for not going to the hospital. Jan-di she says that doctors told her everything was fine, but he doesn’t seem to believe her, and Jan-di looks worried.

Ji-hoo takes Jan-di to the auditorium, where he’s set up a videocamera. He sits her down to record a message to Jun-pyo, saying that although F4 has had a hard time getting in touch with Jun-pyo following his father’s funeral, he intends to get this message to him.

Ji-hoo presses “record” and steps aside. Jan-di starts hesitantly, but about halfway through she warms up and starts smiling.

Jan-di: “Gu Jun-pyo. Can you hear me? While you’ve been away, I’ve thought of you every day — but why do I only remember us fighting? Still, isn’t it odd? I only remember us fighting and getting mad all the time, but when I think about you, I laugh. Gu Jun-pyo, you’re okay, right? When are you going to come back and fight with me?”

Nearing the end, a tear falls, which she wipes away quickly as she wraps up her message.

I think Ji-hoo senses Jan-di’s sadness, so he relieves some of the tension by playing a tune on the piano. Jan-di joins him in playing the melody.

The tune is an old trot song by Shim Soo-bong, called “사랑밖에 난 몰라” (“I Only Know Love”).
[ Download ]

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But you may prefer a remake, such as this one sung by Joo Ji-hoon in The Naked Kitchen. This “chanson version” was featured in one of the movie previews. [ Download ]

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Ga-eul drops by to talk to Yi-jung, and while she has a legitimate reason — Jan-di and Jun-pyo’s relationship — I think she’s happy to have any excuse to see him. She admires Yi-jung as he works intently, and there are a LOT of slow-motion glamour shots — lordy, I love Kim Bum and all, but even I was like enough already.

Yi-jung, aware of her presence all along, teases her by asking, “Am I that cool?” He guesses her reason for coming and refers to Ga-eul’s belief that there’s one love out there for everyone: “Do you think Jun-pyo is the one love for Jan-di? Is he really her soulmate?” He thinks she’s just transferring her own beliefs onto Jan-di and says dismissively, “If it were me, I’d spend the time looking for my soulmate — although I’m not even sure stuff like that exists.”

Feeling insulted, Ga-eul starts to leave, thinking it was a mistake to come by. But she thinks twice and turns back, then points out that he believes in soulmates, too.

For the first time, Yi-jung’s unshakable calm is disturbed as she continues, “They say a strong denial is like an affirmation. I think I understand now. You do believe they exist — you’re afraid that they do. Why is that?”

This gets to him. He warns, “Don’t act like you know me so easily.” Ga-eul, however, has regained some of her confidence: “Today’s the first time I feel like you’re a real person. I’m glad I came after all.”

Ji-hoo drops by Jan-di’s work to take her somewhere. Cranky Gramps, who is inside, therefore spots Ji-hoo as they leave together, which I’m sure will be important later.

Ji-hoo knows that Jan-di hasn’t been to the doctor for her shoulder, and takes her to the hospital. The injury, which arose after she was hit with the chair to protect Jun-pyo, would have been more treatable had she come earlier (which she probably didn’t because of hospital fees). The doctor assures her that she’ll be able to recover and live a normal life — but her swimming days are over.

That’s pretty devastating news, and sends her into a (deeper) funk. Jan-di heads to the pool and explains to Ji-hoo, fighting tears:

Jan-di: “I know that I’m not pretty, I’m not smart, I’m not rich. But there was one thing I liked, that I could do better than other people. They say I have to quit — I can’t swim anymore. What do I do now?”

It’s not just that she’s lost her favorite sport, but in the midst of all her relationship uncertainty, this is the last thing that she had faith in, and now it’s like Jan-di’s been set adrift. She points out that Ji-hoo has his music, Yi-jung has his pottery, and Jun-pyo and Woo-bin will inherit their family’s companies. They all have their futures carved out for them, but she doesn’t know what to do now.

Ji-hoo promises to help: “Let’s figure it out together.”

At Ji-hoo’s place, Jan-di looks at photographs of his family, and Ji-hoo explains matter-of-factly that the car accident that killed his parents had been his fault. He had been playing in the backseat while his father drove. He was found in his parents’ arms; everyone said it was a miracle he survived. However, his grandfather never returned after that: “He must have hated the grandson who killed his own son.”

It was then that Seo-hyun had held his hand and told him to start over. He tells Jan-di, “This time I think it’s my turn” — to hold her hand and be her support, that is.

And so, Jan-di packs away her swimming things into a box. Bye-bye, Park Tae-hwan posters! You are now symbolically meaningless! Jan-di hesitates when she pulls out Jun-pyo’s gift from the auction (Park Tae-hwan’s goggles), but packs that in the box, too.

That doesn’t mean she’s giving up on Jun-pyo, though. Because the producers can’t think of a cleverer way to give Jan-di her moment of clarity, she happens to catch a television drama that her family is watching. The scene mirrors exactly her conversation with Ji-hoo at the airport (WTF?), when she urged him to not be cowardly and go after Seo-hyun. Hearing her own words spoken by someone else, Jan-di is reminded of her own advice not to give up, and to fight for love.

Well, if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain. She asks Master for an advance in salary to buy a plane ticket. Trouble is, he doesn’t have 2 million won to give her. On the other hand, they might be able to earn the amount by selling porridge lunchboxes.

Ga-eul and Jan-di are doing pretty miserably, but what would an episode of Boys Before Flowers be without F3 magically swooping to save the day? (I am getting very tired of this, by the way.)

Hearing of Jan-di’s intention to earn money to visit Jun-pyo, who’s overseeing the new project in Macau, F3 pitches in. Their mere presence brings droves of screaming girls. Day saved, plot device resolved.

Afterward, F3 present the girls with a little ceremony they’ve planned at the swimming pool — sending Jan-di off for one last swim.

They watch Jan-di take a lap in the pool, appropriately moved at the solemnity of the moment. Yi-jung sees Ga-eul crying and offers his handkerchief.

After her lap, the guys present Jan-di with a certificate and enact a short “retirement ceremony.” It’s really sweet, actually. I haven’t felt much kinship between F4 and Jan-di thus far, but this episode finally conveys a sense of affection between them, for which I’m grateful.

Yi-jung reminds her, “You know that an end signals a new beginning, right?” Woo-bin wishes her well in finding Jun-pyo in Macau and giving him what-for.

So Jan-di arrives in Macau, and heads to Jun-pyo’s resort hotel.

Unfortunately, she can’t actually get to him; he’s busy with work and surrounded by his entourage at all times. Jan-di (rather cutely) tries to explain in broken English and Korean that she’s here to see Jun-pyo, making hilarious hand gestures to depict his curly hair.

She fails. Kicked out of the hotel, Jan-di waits outside, trying to figure out her next move.

When a girl rushes out of the hotel to catch a tour bus and drops her tourist pamphlet, Jan-di picks it up and happily peruses it for sightseeing tips. (Stupid girl didn’t even research before her trip, or bring her own map?)

Note: I’m trying to keep my recaps generally spoiler-free, so I’ll just identify this girl as Ha Jae-kyung, which we learn soon enough anyway.

While Jan-di buys food from a vendor, a shifty-looking guy slips her wallet out of her bag. She doesn’t notice, but the thief is immediately stopped by another tourist — Jae-kyung — who twists his arm back and demands he return the wallet.

Breaking free, the pickpocket wildly brandishes a switchblade, then grabs Jan-di and holds the blade to her neck. Several black-suited bodyguards run in to provide backup — they’re obviously protecting Jae-kyung — but she tells them to stand back. A proficient fighter herself, she is confident in her ability to handle this.

The pickpocket proves belligerent, and since he doesn’t speak Korean, Jae-kyung addresses Jan-di in Korean and instructs her to bite the man on the count of three. Jan-di does and runs free, so the man attacks Jae-kyung, who counters with a swift kick.

The bodyguards take over, and the sound of approaching policemen sends everyone scattering.

Together, they walk along and chat; Jae-kyung talks in a very friendly way, using banmal like an old friend. She asks why Jan-di’s in Macau alone. Hearing her response (“To find somebody”), Jae-kyung guesses that it’s a boyfriend, saying, “I’m envious.”

As they split up, Jan-di asks for Jae-kyung’s name, but the girl doesn’t wait to get Jan-di’s.

Next, Jan-di figures out a way to sneak past the guards inside the hotel by joining a group of tourists. Inside, she marvels at the grandeur, wandering the hotel, the casino, and finally arriving at a bar.

It’s there that she spots Jun-pyo, but her cheeriness immediately takes a nosedive. For one thing, he’s laughing and smiling, looking totally happy. Two, he seems awfully cozy with the beautiful woman on his arm.

Third — and worst of all — when Jan-di bumps into another guest, Jun-pyo looks up and spots her. His smile fades and he stares for a moment — and then he turns away coldly, walking away without any hint of recognizing her.

Jan-di hurries to the bathroom to clean up the drink that spilled on her, trying to convince herself that he didn’t see her — and even if he did, she’s the odd one for showing up suddenly in Macau.

When Mr. Jung asks Jun-pyo about Jan-di, Jun-pyo disregards the question and turns the topic to business, making it clear that he’s not going to talk about her.

Now that Jan-di has no reason to be at Jun-pyo’s luxurious hotel, she heads to a seedier part of town, where a small boy offers to take her to a nice, cheap hotel. She’s hesitant to trust him, but he assures her in broken Korean that it’s fine, and she should follow him.

Honestly: How many times can Jan-di be stupid in one episode?

Not surprisingly, the boy grabs her luggage and starts running. Jan-di chases him down the street, fighting for her bag when she catches up to him. The boy calls Jan-di an idiot, and, well, he’s not wrong.

But it becomes clear that this was a part of a bigger setup; a gang of older punks appears, closing in around her menacingly. Frightened, she cowers against a wall, screaming, “Help me! Help me! Gu Jun-pyo!”

And because once was not enough, again we have F3 TO THE RESCUE. Are you kidding me? They literally come out of nowhere — must be that Jan-Distress Call at work again. If I were watching on TV, I would have thrown my remote at the wall. And then regretted it, but yes, still thrown it.

Ass-kicking ensues. F3 easily beats the thugs — but more interestingly, when Woo-bin addresses them, they recognize him, asking, “Prince Song?”

Prince Song must be one badass mofo because the gangsters suddenly grovel at Woo-bin’s feet and beg for forgiveness. He growls at them to leave, and they scatter. (Btw, apparently Woo-bin — whose father’s business is in construction — is insinuating that he has yakuza-like mob ties. LOL.)

Ji-hoo tells Jan-di reassuringly that they came because they’d figure she’d run into trouble. Well, at least they know her by now.

Like I said, I’m getting tired of F4 (or F3) rushing in at the last minute to save the day. I don’t mind giving them a moment to shine and be heroic, but when you create obstacles, then send in the all-powerful F4 guys to “fix” Jan-di’s troubles, well, it’s a cop-out. It’s a non-solution and I feel cheated.

Case in point: Isn’t it great how, now that Jan-di is with her rich boyfriend’s rich friends, she no longer has to worry about money? I guess in this context we should be glad she bothered to pay for her own plane ticket — symbolically, at least, that’s meaningful — but now she gets to relax in luxury.

The guys settle in at the hotel. Their attempt to contact Jun-pyo is rebuffed; he cites work and can’t make time to see them. Woo-bin comments that now it’s starting to feel real — that Jun-pyo isn’t the leader of F4 anymore, but the leader of Shinhwa Group.

The guys all sense something really wrong, and Yi-jung asks if Jan-di got a chance to meet Jun-pyo. She recalls his cold brush-off, then makes up the excuse that Jun-pyo looked so swamped, naturally she hasn’t had time to see him. Ji-hoo, however, picks up on her wording (how would she know if she didn’t see him?) and she hastily covers up her slip. Ji-hoo, as usual, is not convinced.

The four friends decide to stick around to try Jun-pyo again later, but in the meantime, they might as well go out and enjoy the sights. Jan-di attempts to have fun but can’t enjoy herself fully, lost in thoughts of Jun-pyo’s sudden coldness.

All the while, Jun-pyo is busy with work, conducting deals and meetings with cool efficiency.


I still don’t like the blatantly romantic overtones, but this is the first time I’ve actually felt any chemistry between Jan-di and Ji-hoo, and thought their friendship made any sort of sense. Honestly, I’ve tried to see it previously, but couldn’t get ANY drop of human emotion out of their interactions, which felt like forced obstacles to the Jun-di romance.

The pool scene, though, was the first time I thought of Ji-hoo as a real character and not just a very pretty stand-in for Rui. I’m starting to see that he may actually care for Jan-di instead of wondering, “Where did those feelings come from?” Hey, at least it only took twelve episodes!

On the other hand, I think this episode suffered from a lack of Lee Min-ho. And no, I don’t mean that in a fanservicey way; it’s that, without him on screen for most of the episode, it really became evident just how much of the intensity and conflict derives from Jun-pyo. Without him, this episode seemed to meander at points — and then Jun-pyo came onscreen for a few seconds and stuff got intense and interesting again.

On a superficial level, Gu Hye-sun was pretty cute in today’s episode. For once, I didn’t feel like I was going to gag on her overcutesy mannerisms, perhaps because Jan-di is sad and depressed in this episode. If they could just cut out the ridiculous Jan-Distress moments, I would be so grateful.

Speaking of which — I wonder if BBF would have been better received if it were made, say, five years ago. Because, while the story itself ages pretty well, I think some of the characters and dynamics are, well, familiar at this point. I don’t mean this in context of Hanadan comparisons, but even just considering kdramas alone. Would Jan-di have been less annoying back in the Golden Age of Damsels In Distress (aka, late ’90s or early 2000s, in Hallyu’s nascent stages)? Is the little bit of spunk she DOES show mitigated by the fact that we’re in a post-Sam-soon era, where the sassy girl isn’t unusual any longer but kind of expected?


239 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. maria

    whoa, what a departure from last week’s lightness, hey? i mean, i saw it looming ahead, to be sure, but Joon Pyo totally did a 180! i can’t wait, pretty sure today’s epi will explore why that is.

    some points:

    1) ji hoo, i <3 you, but you are TOTALLY OBVIOUS and we should have a drinking game for all the times you cast break-my-heart sidelong glances at jan-di.
    docmitasha, liv, sarahbeans? what say you? 😛

    2) jan di’s skirts are too short. that is all. 😛

    3) no wait– the girl jun pyo was with should have worn stockings. i’m not mocking, it’s just…. no one messes jun pyo and jan di hehe

    4) roar at me sooorta liking the fiancee. she was always gonna be likable anyway, right?

    5) *SWOON* at jun pyo’s caught-off-guard-vulnerable look, turned hard stare, turned indifference. GAHHH lee min ho, i love that you’re playing him like a true layered character. and ps: i love you. 😛 haha

    and 6) SERIOUSLY HOW HOT WAS WOO BIN WHEN HE WENT ALL: gangsta -“YEAH!” after beating those guys up!. yeah, ji hoo and yi jung didn’t look to shabby kicking some ass either. *f4 flailage*

    hollabak if anyone’s in on the drinking.
    ji hoo still MEGA <3’s jandi??
    …we should be drunk out of our minds given the preview of tonight’s epi.

  2. DBSK

    thanks for the recaps! i was refreshing the page every 2 minutes or so!

  3. GreenFreak

    Really miss JunPyo in this episode.. didn’t see him til the end…hopefully we’ll see him more really soon… 😀

  4. evelyn

    i think imma be like third or fourth

  5. PILK

    Thanks for a great recap! The scene where LMH looks up and sees Jan-di is great! LMH nails the welter of emotions in the unexpected shock of seeing his GF, countered by the obligation to be heir apparent to Shinhwa. Worth the wait!

  6. Liv

    I have to say – I’m getting pretty sick of the highhandedness of the F4 guys. Like really, for once could they at least INFORM Jan-di of whatever their latest plan is, instead of just whisking her away? Like seriously, its always:

    Jan-di: Where are we going?
    F4: You’ll find out soon enough!

    That said, I still think I liked Jan-di a lot more in this episode that prior episodes – we saw a little more of her spunk than the usual helpless puppet (2 near-death experiences aside. By this point, Ive accepted that Jan-di must nearly die at least once every episode. Every. Episode). And even though her segment was short, Jae-kyung was cool – she wasnt overly-friendly in the “of course! Now they can become best friends…only to become RIVALS!” later on, nor was she unncessarily distant, I felt.

    Oh and if by chance any BBF writers happen to be reading this, please no more F4 heroics – those fight scenes almost make me cringe and laugh embarassedly

    @maria – we can play 2 games at once – a shot for Ji-hoo’s longing glances, and 1 for every time Jan-di almost dies. And Im absolving myself of responsibility for any ensuing alcohol poisoning.

  7. interested reader

    lol at these comments “I’m getting tired of F4 (or F3) rushing in at the last minute to save the day”.

    can’t these be considered as deus ex machina? =]

  8. Nikita

    Thank goodness for your recap! I was going crazy not understanding what was happening

  9. stargazer377

    anyone else find Jan-di’s shoes, when she’s in Macau, really out of character? i’ll have to add that along with the other idiot Jan-di moments in this episode. her shoes really bothered me for some reason. they were nice shoes, but so impractical which i guess was the point. (?)

    and yes, F3 to the rescue needs to stop. i want Jan-di to fight and fend for herself once in a while!

  10. 10 sophie

    thank you for the recap!

    for some reason i found gu hye sun especially irritating in this episode. however, the new girl seems pretty cool.

  11. 11 JJ

    thank you! I kept refreshing too hahah

    While watching the part with ji hoo & jandi when she is devastated about not being able to swim again, the only thing she was good at & loved to do…it made me think of symbolism. Maybe a symbolism for the sacrifice she made for Jun Pyo when she blocked him from getting hit by that chair and in result she permanently messed up her shoulder. It’s like a sacrifice she made for love (w/ Jun Pyo) but he hasn’t even contacted her & I think that is what made it even MORE devastating for her.
    Just my thought =)

    Gosh, more SoEul moments, please! haha & I want whatever F3 radar Jandi has on her when she is trouble. ridic.
    Also, Ji Hoo is so sweet! So sad how he can”t have her yet he chooses to stick next her when in need. The 9 min. preview for ep 14 looks so good! I can’t wait. more cute ji hoo & jandi moments.
    Lee Min Ho is such a good actor. You could tell JUST by his expression when he saw jandi that he was hurting & still loves her… even tho he ignored her.

  12. 12 cullenhale

    Angst. Horrible angst.


    I always look for your recaps…somehow they complete the Monday experience of BOF… 😀

    Anyways, I felt horribly awful for JanDi..finally, she comes around and Junpyo has the whole world on his shoulders. He pulls off the whole cold and unconcerned attitude very well. I have to admit that I didn’t feel very satisfied after this episode, I always feel like Monday episodes are always like that. It just felt a little empty…

    I do think Ji-Hoo and the JanDi side of things is kind of sweet and it makes me feel somewhat better just because you can tell how hard he is trying to be a friend and to remain at a respectable distance.

    I love how F4 just comes out of nowhere…it is horribly unbelievable especially when they come out of NOWHERE! but it makes me feel a better. What can I say I love the superficial nature of BOF…its such a mind break : D Oh, even though hyekyung (sp?) makes a brief experience, her voice kind of annoys me and I don’t know about her….I know who she is, and I’m avid supporter of JanDi/Junpyo but still. I really liked her in Who Are You? but maybe I’ll change my mind.

  13. 13 KoK

    Not another typical hooligans chasing her scene, god do they really need to put those in? Can I just say for once int he pics Jan Di looks really good and cute, I hope the series gets better now, the last few eps have been far too silly, we need more grounded scenes.

    And please someone stop “Almost Paaaaradiisee”, can’t bear it anymore.

  14. 14 sneee

    hello dear thank you for the lovely recap as always! ♥ looking forward to the development of the love quadrangle. i really hope jae kyung doesn’t get written as a character who’ll leave a bad taste, because she’s a sincerely nice person, at least as i understood it.
    thank you again 🙂

  15. 15 anon

    6 months later.. its still winter in korea.
    thanks for the recap

  16. 16 Debbie

    “I think this episode suffered from a lack of Lee Min-ho. And no, I don’t mean that in a fanservicey way; it’s that, without him on screen for most of the episode, it really became evident just how much of the intensity and conflict derives from Jun-pyo. Without him, this episode seemed to meander at points — and then Jun-pyo came onscreen for a few seconds and stuff got intense and interesting again.”

    The only thing that I want to say is that I absolutely agree with your above comment. I thought that this episode was one of the more boring ones. It certainly picked up whenever Lee Min-ho appeared on screen… though it was only for less than 5 mins in this ENTIRE episode!! A drama becomes boring when there’s no drama, no angst, conflicts, … and those things don’t exist without LMH screentime.

    The fact that that was the only thing I had to say must mean that this episode really inspired nothing from me. I hope tomorrow’s episode is much, MUCH better!

  17. 17 I♥♡Angst

    There should be a legal cap on the number of montages one can use in a single episode. I think there were five in this episode, which were four more than what is tolerable.

    This episodes proves that without LMH, this show is mediocre at best. It was amazing to me how bland I found all the other characters to be. That is not say that they are not appealing–they are–but they don’t bring out strong emotions in me. BBF is exciting and raw because of LMH’s smouldering presence, and even though I acknowledge that the man is gorgeous, I am not speaking as a gooey fan.

    LMH has got to be one of the best Domyojis so far. Really–he has created so much depth in this character: lonely, yet callous, vulnerable, yet oppressive, arrogant, yet childlike. Amazing portrayal. Kim Bum seems to have some acting chomps, but nothing close to LMH.

  18. 18 BOF Fan

    Master is the son of the Blue House chef for the ex-President (JH’s grandfather). The newspaper picture is of Master’s father, not Master. You can tell because when Master asks JH’s grandfather what to prepare next time he visits, the old man tells Master to cook him something that he is confident can beat his father’s cooking.

  19. 19 dunlop

    JJ, I agree!
    JD has sacrificed so much more…. not only the bullying,kidnapping, getting hit by a chair, having to get more jobs because her parents lost theirs… but the swimming. It was the only thing that was hers, I never knew how important it was to her until she said it. But then, she never blamed JP even though the whole kidnapping thing happened because of him, she never regretted jumping in front of him. Even after she sees JP’s coldness..I think it really shows how much she treasures her relationship with him. She doesn’t regret not being able to swim again for JP.

  20. 20 Akiddo

    Thanks so much!! I have been waiting for the recap the whole morning.

    Watched without subs last night but could more or less understand as Goo Hye Sun did such a good job. I almost cried when she did the video recording. Her life is really tough. I replayed the scene at least 20 times where Jihoo and JanDi played the piano together – they have so much chemistry! I have this feeling that this piano thing is going to be significant in a later episode……

    Ah..Goo Jun Pyo – you are in for serious competition in this version of hanayori dango! But totally agree with you that LMH brings so much intensity into the show. His shock expression was a split second but it was priceless.

    Please place a link to the piano piece if anyone has it! Hope it will be included in the 2nd season OST.

    Thanks Dramabeans!!!

  21. 21 jassarah

    Thanks for the fabulous recaps! This episode had the distinction of being so over the top, it was actually possibly a little bit good. I burst into disbelieving laughter many, many times, not least of which was the (!?) Ji Hoo conducting scene. In the absence of Jun Pyo scenes (and I agree with you that he does drive the intensity of the show), I gravitated toward the Yi Jung-Ga Eul storyline and finally understand all of the “SoEul” fanatics out there. That pottery scene was acted with nuance and care, which I thought was great. And is it sad that I kind of like the Jun Pyo’s future fiance better than Jandi right now because she’s smart and rocks?

    @maria, I like your idea of a BOF drinking game–it would definitely make things funnier!

  22. 22 peony

    Jan Di was suppose to do homework on why a Lotus only blooms in the mud. I’m sure i could Google it and find out but does anyone know why?

  23. 23 orr

    anon – i think it means half year as in the end of winter break, the beginning of the new school year, and in korea, first semester of school starts in february.

  24. 24 lalala

    thanks for the recap.
    i’m going to watch this episode tomorrow.
    and im pretty sure i’ll end up agreeing with everything you’ve just said.

    more Jun-pyo.
    less idiotic Jan-di moments.

  25. 25 Airajuliafor

    Thanks, Javabeans.

    BTW, I think it’s also not just because there wasn’t much Lee Min-ho… it’s also because there wasn’t much Gu Jun-pyo. The character itself is really what help keeps the story going. It’s like, sometimes it’s boring to feel the leading lady suffer by herself, but when you actually see the source of her sufferings (the guy), it’s more interesting. Still, I agree, more Lee Min-ho would be immensely delightful.

    Thanks for the recap. As always, you’re awesome!
    WOnder what’ll happen in tomorrow’s episode. Come on, Jun-pyo, quit ignoring your leading lady! It’s not cool at all of you!

  26. 26 aoi

    hmm, I actually liked this episode. A while back you said that JP’s character was the only complex and well acted out of this entire story. Now we get to see some more of the complexity in JD’s character as she deals with the loss of her ability to swim competitively, and to add on top of that the loss of JP. We also see increasing complexity in JH’s storyline and HJ’s acting’s definitely improved since the beginning.

    the part where F3 keeps saving JD. guess it’s a little overkill but that’s the way the story in the manga goes. i guess the problem is that they’ve condensed the manga, making the damsel in distress scenes now seem closer together in time than they actually are. but if you think about it, JD wouldn’t normally be in those situations if it were not for her relationship with JP. sure it’s some bad decisions on her part, but her relationship with JP has placed her in those dangerous situations (ie JP being angry at JD for losing the necklace so she decides to look for it, JD going to macau for JP and ending up being cornered, etc). i think because of those JP-instigated situations, F4 needs to come and clean up the mess sometimes.

    also, i don’t think it would’ve been a good idea for JD to pull out her flying spin kick at that time. she’s outnumbered. kicking street goons in the face will only make them angrier and more violent, making a bad situation worse.

  27. 27 maria

    @liv : sooo.. weak liquor then? agreed. 😛 see ya on the other side of our impending hangover. 😛

    and i am STILL thinking about hoe lee min ho DID totally NAIL that moment where he spots jan-di!! AMAZING subtlety in the expressing of like, the 5 simultaneousl emotions that scene required! and f3+jandi moments are <3.

    but i agree with javabeans, this is a real MONDAY epi. senseless at some points. jandi’s mom falling and then musing about how he looks like a living statue?? WTF?!

  28. 28 Aye

    I felt as if this episode was the first of a 2nd season. It wasn’t a bang (it did drag for a bit), but it contained a lot of plot setups for future episodes.

    I understand that we don’t clearly know why Jun-pyo is ignoring Jan-di. But during the scene when he ignored her immediately after seeing her, I gasped in horror. It was the worse thing he did to her—worse than sending potential rapists and minions to beat her up.

    It’s sweet, and sad at the same time, to hear Jan-di calling out Jun-pyo’s name when she was attacked by the thugs. Now we know that in spite of everything, she thinks of Jun-pyo at critical moments. (No longer Ji-hoo! Phew!) I find it funny how knowing they would pop up any moment, I was still relieved to see Jan-di saved by F3 (although at this point, they should be called her friends). So predictable but so nice to see them! And when they came out with all their glory, I could not help but burst out laughing! And I just love the way Woo-bin said “YEAH!” to the thugs with so much conviction; as if at the end of that word there is a sentence attached to it which says: “Duh, you’re supposed to know that from a mile away!” haha

    I’m going to refrain from commenting about the new girl. I know she’s going to play the annoyingly good, cool person/fiancee, but I don’t have anything nice to say about her. I don’t want to be hostile already.

    Anywho, thanks for the recap!

  29. 29 Lena

    Jaekyung is cool but myy godd her voice is annoying lol

    this episode was definitely lacking JP, but I suppose it was necessary since it’s part of the plot. I also wish they’d cut down the “Jandi-destress” scenes. It seems like the only way they can introduce new characters is by making Jandi be in some sort of trouble.

    I really liked the scene where Jandi was recording the message for JP. I thought GHS was great there (I think she’s really good at the emotional scenes.)

  30. 30 idunno

    Does anybody know if Kim Hyun Joong has had plastic surgery? I’m just curious because his nose looks a little different than in the past… I know he has lost some weight in the face, but that’s not it… it looks a little sharper. He was handsome before, but now it is almost flawless. We can all see that Lee Min Ho’s looks are natural judging from his childhood pictures, but I was wondering about KHJ.

    I thought this episode was better than ep. 11 , too, but Jandi did come across a little too clueless. Can’t wait for the tension to rise as Jandi faces competition.

  31. 31 all4movies

    Jan-Di’s boss is getting more interesting. At first, he seemed just really weird and kind of an alien. Now, it seems he’s the son of the former Blue House chef. I want to taste the food too.

    Anyways, this actor was also a chef/apprentice/spy in Kim Sam Soon and he was a hoot.

  32. 32 Jenn

    That really was a terrible scene but HYD’s one was just as bad. I loved how the main character went from times square to some horrible part in the bronx in a matter of 2 blocks. And here came the big scary black guys! That’s when I stopped watching.
    They should have cut that from this version but…apparently they can’t resist the superficial F3 fighting scenes with PAAAAAAAAARADISE playing in the background. Every time that familiar tune starts playing, I’m like “Oh god no!!”. But it does make me laugh 😀

    I wish they had shown JD breaking down about not being able to swim. I usually enjoy the subtle scenes more, especially on this show but I feel this was one instance where full on angst was required.

    Decent episode. It was basically setting up the “new season”. LMH is truly incredible and just commands any scene he’s in. The episode most definitely suffered from his absence.

    Jae-kyung is adorable. I had a feeling I would really like her and i’m glad to say that’s the case.

    Thanks for the recap!

  33. 33 Empress

    I was bummed Lee Min-ho was only in a few scenes. For me, he totally carries this series. Like you said with out Jun-pyo, there lacks a sense of intensity. I was also glad that the the audience was able to see a real friendship between the F3 and Jan-di. It had been lacking in the previous episodes but this really showed how the F3 are really fond of Jan-di are actually wanting to help her out with or without Jun-pyo. I’m hoping tomorrows episode is a little bit better and with more scenes of Lee Min-ho.

    I look forward to the addition of Jae-kyung in the story. Also, I’m really curious as how the Ji-hoo and his grandfather storyline will unravel.

  34. 34 Muneeba

    ok so, I so totally agree with you on the Jandi-stress

    seriously? how many more times?? You can just start predicting when the F4 are gonna start jumping in to save her butt. Gosh, ditto on the remote throwing- I have to stick to yelling at my laptop screen and getting strange looks from my sister.

    and F3 using their good-looks to solve all of Jandi’s problems is getting tiring

    I’m having Jun-Pyo withdrawal :-/

  35. 35 fatima

    I literally held my breath when joon pyo was on screen. ::sigh:: he is simply amazing

  36. 36 sonam

    GJP looked tormented before he turned to look away from Jandi. LMH did such a good job….heartbreaking!
    I can’t believe that Jandi is still wearing skimpy minis with high heels and I don’t like the way the director pans in on her thighs. Jandi should be dressing the way the fiancee is dressed. Kind of tomboyish. I like the fiancee a lot. Love her hair. Waiting to see her with LMH.

  37. 37 Kelso

    Great recap.

    -Lee Minho is doing such a fantastic job. I also as many of us, could feel the distress in his composure when he saw her. But he snapped out of it quick. Good job!
    -Woo Bin… he was totally hot kicking butt. “Prince Song” might be an interesting side story! I hope they go somewhere with that.
    -I agree, That may be a little too much slowmo for Kim Bum. A few would have been better to keep us wanting more.

    Can’t wait ti your next recap tomorrow!

  38. 38 deeta

    It’s Jandi GPS, I’m sure. I’m convinced that Jihoo placed a bug in her bag or something. I too am getting tired of the cop out, with F4 solving whatever problems Jandi has, even to the smallest thing. What? Can’t she not get herself in sticky situations all the freaking time?

    On the other hand, I love this episode. More of Goo Hyesun, but less overacting. We’ve been so focused on Lee Minho (for good reason, yes), so it was rather refreshing to see things more from Jandi’s side. Personally, despite some obvious flaws, I really liked this episode, much much better from last episode.

    ETA: On Hyunjoong’s plastic, I don’t really know, but I think he said on some show that he did something with it. Although the purpose, medical or cosmetic, I’m not too clear about.

  39. 39 Empress

    @ #15……

    I thought the same thing too. 6 months later and its still winter. AHAHA!

  40. 40 KP


    The porridge shop “Master” is actually named 봄춘식. I believe the person in the newspaper clipping is his father. I got confused after seeing that part, so I looked it up and found this:

    “이 과정에서 봄춘식의 레시피북에 스크랩 된 낡은 신문에서 청와대 배경으로 윤지후(김현중 분)의 할아버지인 윤석영 대통령과 봄춘식의 아버지로 추정되는 중년의 주방장이 함께 찍은 사진이 공개됐다.”

    Not quite sure if it’s true or not, but just wanted to give you a heads up 🙂 Thanks for your recaps; I come to read them even though I watch and understand the show in Korean, haha.

  41. 41 javabeans

    Thanks for the correx about Master’s father. (I’m annoyed that the newspaper clip was misleading, since we’ve never been given Master’s name.) >_<

    Regarding drinking games — weak liquor indeed. I think this would only work safely if each “drink” were limited to a single shot glass of beer. They’d add up right quick, though. Also, any and all drinking games must be confined to one “criteria” (i.e., every time Jan-di almost dies, every time F4 rescues her, every time she cries “Gu Jun-pyo” with no follow-up statement, every time Ji-hoo gazes longingly — but a little confusingly — at Jan-di). Drinking to any of these in combination is perilous to health.

  42. 42 annie

    haha i kept refreshing this page too waiting for the recaps! thank u!!

  43. 43 Sitknee

    I love your recaps :]

    this episode was kind of a disappointment…
    I love Jihoo!!!
    He is very adorable!

    I am totally sad that Gaeul didn’t come too…
    I love yijung and Gaeul together!

    Lastly, I am so sad that junpyo is being a weener
    and not even looking at jan di
    I mean he was the one that said he loved her
    it just doesnt really make sense to me
    because he was so infatuated with her but
    now he doesn’t even acknowledge her
    when she cam all the way to macau to see him….

    anways i hope tomorrow’s is better :]

  44. 44 I♥♡Angst

    Why did they make the new female character so awesome? It’s ridiculous that the writers are willing to so completely overshadow Jandi–the fiancee is gorgeous, badass, rich, intelligent (can speak multiple languages), cool, and just plain everything that any man would want. I know why–b/c the resolution will solidify emotions even more–but really, does the rival have to be quite so perfect while Jandi is increasingly cast as simply the damsel in distress who constantly needs knights and the occasional girl to rescue her? Where is Jandi the weed? Where is Jandi the kick ass girl we saw briefly?

    Why do GJP and JH love about her? If it is her tenacity and fighting spirit–umm, where is it? Why is she not kick boxing anyone?


    Complaining aside–I love, love, love this show. It takes me out of real life so well, it takes me hours to come back down to earth.

    I know that I will cry during tomorrow’s episode…sucker me.

  45. 45 SueNoona

    Art thou mad, Jun Pyo….. Wat’s with tt cold stare……
    Minho….. You never fail to impress me no matter how small an appreance in a certain episode. I agree with you that we are suffering from Lack of LMH here!

    Wat ever it is, I am still rooting for this drama in whatever form it maybe as much as i had enjoyed the other instalments…..

    BBF or BOF or HANADAN or METEOR GARDEN….. Unique in it’s own special way…… and for myself, it’s a good stress reliever after a long day @ work!

    Aza aza!

  46. 46 May

    F3 as superheros is getting tired. Showing up like they did in Macau was my “oh please” moment but then I was distracted by the thugs reaction to Woo-bin (at least he finally had a little of the spotlight). I liked it better when Jan-di had some fight in her and was able to take care of herself. And I must admit that “Almost Paradise” is wearing on my very last nerve. In spite of this, I am still hooked on this drama.

    I didn’t really mind Jun-pyo not being in much of this episode because I liked that they tried to build on the F3/Jan-di friendship. I think it was needed.

  47. 47 lidge_fan

    I actually feel that this episode is a heart-breaker for Jandi.

    First, she finds out she can’t swim competitively anymore. It was so sad when she sat by the swimming pool telling JH that she isn’t pretty, smart or rich. The only thing she’s good at is swimming, which sort of became her identity, a way for JD to differentiate herself from others. Knowing she can’t do that anymore is like losing a part of herself.

    Then she goes to Macau and sees that JP basically looks right through her. She finally realizes how wealthy he is and the huge social gap between them. I almost cried when she went into the bathroom and tried to convince her that JP didn’t acknowledge her b/c he didn’t recognize her.

    On a more upbeat note: GHS sounds absolutely adoraaable speaking English, and I cracked up so bad when Woo Bin was like “yeah, I’m prince Song.” Somewhere along the way, I’ve become a fan of Woo Bin and his bad gansta-English. Also, kudos to LMH for doing an excellent job in the bar scene when he first sees Jandi. In a few seconds, he was able to convey surprise, happiness, regret and then indifference. I’ve replayed that scene over and over again too many times for my own good…lol

    Thanks for the recap, dramabeans! Now, I can finally go to sleep….lol

  48. 48 Empress

    I am so going to have my beer and shot glass ready when I watch tomorrows episode.

  49. 49 Alaina

    it’s really fun to read your recaps, much more fun than actually watching the episodes in my opinion.

    “Speaking of which — I wonder if BBF would have been better received if it were made, say, five years ago. Because, while the story itself ages pretty well, I think some of the characters and dynamics are, well, familiar at this point. I don’t mean this in context of Hanadan comparisons, but even just considering kdramas alone. Would Jan-di have been less annoying back in the Golden Age of Damsels In Distress (aka, late ’90s or early 2000s, in Hallyu’s nascent stages)? Is the little bit of spunk she DOES show mitigated by the fact that we’re in a post-Sam-soon era, where the sassy girl isn’t unusual any longer but kind of expected?”

    Hhmm, I don’t know. Even if this was made five years ago, Jandi’s exaggerated facial expressions would be just as annoying; Jandi being stupid and the F4 constantly coming to the rescue would still be irritating, etc.

    Other lead actresses in Korean dramas are also stupid and acts cutesy but they don’t go overboard. They are also damsels in distress but they don’t wait and wish for a dashing prince (or the prince’s friends) to come and save them. The fact that these ladies try to overcome their troubles on their own (and not hope for someone else to help them), that’s what’s endearing about them.

  50. 50 Lena

    I don’t think Jandi should beat up the goons lol she’s tough but she’s not a black belt fighter or anything . I mean, yeah she can kick JP and GE’s ex in the face when they’re not expecting it, but asking her to beat up a group of bad guys is too much lol

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