Drama Recaps
Boys Before Flowers: Episode 23
by | March 24, 2009 | 311 Comments

I watched Episode 23 with the critical dial turned down and enjoyed much of it — it was cute at points, and touching at others.

Then I turned my brain back on to address the commentary section and found a lot of bothersome points to take issue with. This makes for a somewhat lengthy commentary section today, but I’d like to preface it all by saying that despite the critique, I really did enjoy this episode. I’m watching with fondness, not bitterness, really!


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Jun-pyo and Jan-di’s zoo date marks their first chance in a long while for quality time, so Jun-pyo asks how she’s been holding up. He tells Jan-di, “I’ll take care of you,” explaining that Witch Mom isn’t the type to let the broken engagement and aborted merger slide — he’s preparing himself for her next assault.

However, Jan-di tells him she doesn’t want to be protected. Jun-pyo balks, because in his mind it’s natural to want to protect her, but Jan-di says, “I don’t like being supported by someone, or protected and taken care of. I’ve received many things from you, F4, and Jae-kyung. I want us to be equals, so I’ll face what I must.”

(And then the boy, Chan, whispers to Jun-pyo for a little bathroom assistance. He is so cute. Jun-pyo rushes him off, and the three enjoy their day at the zoo.)

I really like this walk home, which is characterized by calm contentment. Jun-pyo reflects, “It’s strange, it feels like I’m in a scene in a hazy dream right now.”

The words are spoken casually and Jun-pyo doesn’t mean anything by it, but they sure do make me uneasy. Their walk is cut short by a phone call from Mr. Jung telling Jun-pyo he ought to return home. Jun-pyo isn’t eager to go but he knows he should; he hands over the sleeping boy and reluctantly leaves.

Yi-jung’s studio. He examines the puzzle piece given to him by Eun-jae, and remembers when she’d first given him the present. When he’d asked what the characters meant, she had answered that it indicated “a once in a lifetime fate.” I suppose the point is that if it’s once in a lifetime and he had let her go, like the wind that never returns to the same spot twice, the relationship truly is over.

Ga-eul bursts in, nearly wilting with exhaustion but pleased to announce, “I found it.”

Ga-eul brings Yi-jung to the rooftop of a tall building and points in the distance, just as the rising sun illuminates the city skyline.

The billboards are advertisements for two different products, and when the sun hits, the light breaks and washes out the extraneous parts, leaving only “I love you” and “Yi-jung.”

Ga-eul explains how she came to discover this — three years ago, Eun-jae had asked Yi-jung to meet her at sunrise the next morning. That day’s recorded sunrise had occurred at 7am, so Ga-eul had been tracking down various locations until she found the right one, which displays this message only for a few seconds each day.

I’m sure Yi-jung has guessed the gist of Eun-jae’s message, but seeing it like this hits him hard. He breaks down, overwhelmed with regret, and sobs out wretchedly that he wants a do-over.

Ga-eul lets him cry, but his pained reaction affects her too, as she watches with pity (and probably some hurt feelings at this evidence of how deeply he cared for Eun-jae).

Ji-hoo and his grandfather fish together (while Jan-di prepares the fish stew that Grandpa Yoon likes). Dr. Yoon brings up the death of Ji-hoo’s parents, explaining that he was afraid of losing Ji-hoo as well, which is why he pushed him away. However, he’d thought of it as suffering alone — punishment for his lifelong pride — as though he hadn’t realized that Ji-hoo would misinterpret and shoulder the blame.

With things cleared up now, Grandpa Yoon is at peace, and feels he can die content. He asks Ji-hoo to take over his arts foundation and clinic when he dies.

That’s an idea that Ji-hoo isn’t ready to think about yet, and he doesn’t get much of a chance to protest because Jan-di announces that lunch is ready.

At the pottery studio, Ga-eul arrives with some apprehension, having been called there by Yi-jung. He’s in a much better mood than their last emotion-charged encounter, stomping on a mound of clay, barefoot.

Yi-jung has bad news and good news, then guesses she’s the type to want to hear bad news first, and indicates his right hand. He isn’t sure how it will hold up, and he won’t be as good as he was before. However — and this is the good news — he isn’t going to run away again: “Thanks to a certain someone, I’ve realized how much you can regret something after you’ve given up on it.”

Ga-eul smiles in relief, and he invites her to join him in working with the clay. As they stomp on clay together, she wonders how he knew she’d prefer the bad news first. He replies: “Good girls all want happy endings.”

She stumbles, and he catches her. There’s a brief moment between them, so Yi-jung reminds her, “I may be cool, but I’m not a good guy.” Ga-eul returns that he should get over his misconception that good girls always want good guys.

At that, Yi-jung leans in for a kiss, and Ga-eul closes her eyes… which is when her phone rings.

We don’t hear what the problem is (yet), but it’s bad news from her mother. And unfortunately, this time her bad news isn’t followed by good news or an almost-kiss.

Dr. Yoon’s heart condition is triggered when he receives an upsetting phone call, which sends Jan-di fumbling for his medication. However, Ji-hoo is frozen in shock, and Jan-di’s words all sound muffled to his ears — it’s like he can’t focus on anything, lost in his own fears.

Grandpa’s okay (or as okay as he can be). At the hospital, Jan-di tells Ji-hoo that his grandfather hadn’t wanted him to know, thinking all would be well if he was careful.

Mama Kang is once more on alert. Not only is she still upset about the broken merger, she has seen a TV news report that included footage of Shinhwa Zoo — which happened to include glimpses of the Jun-di date.

Madam Kang’s next plans are so harsh that even Mr. Jung speaks up, reluctant to carry out her orders to proceed. Having seen Jan-di’s attachment to Ji-hoo and Grandpa Yoon, she plans to take advantage of her Achilles heel. Namely, she will retaliate by lashing out at Jan-di’s loved ones, starting with Ji-hoo’s grandfather’s art foundation. She says, “We have to take this opportunity to yank out the roots. It’s fortunate that there’s something more important to that foolish girl than money.”

It works out nicely for her, then, when Jun-pyo comes in with a request. He owns up to the broken engagement and says he’s sorry. However, while their relationship with JK is shaky, it’s not destroyed — he promises to restore the alliance and asks Witch Mom to entrust him with the task. To show he’s serious, he will accept all her rules and restrictions, whether that that includes being followed around or being locked indoors. In exchange for one thing: “Just leave Jan-di alone.”

He’s told her this before, but he’s never really offered up serious collateral, which makes this time different. Mom asks, “You’re saying all I have to do is not do anything to Geum Jan-di?” At his yes, she agrees: “I’ll promise. I won’t lift a finger against her. But don’t forget what you’ve just said.”

Jun-pyo assures her, “Don’t worry,” and leaves with an almost puzzled expression — he was expecting more of a fight, so he’s unnerved by her easy acceptance.

Grandma Housekeeper echoes those sentiments, warning Jun-pyo not to let his guard down: “Don’t you know your mother yet? This isn’t the time to rest.” Granny also wonders how he means to manage Shinhwa when he can’t even watch over his girlfriend:

Granny: “I didn’t raise you to be so pathetic. Just being born male doesn’t make you automatically a man. One must take time — experiencing anger at losing, the injustice of stepping aside, shame at running away — until he can overcome his weak self to finally become a man.”

Jun-pyo finds encouragement in those words, and grabs her in a sudden hug, saying, “Thanks.”

As Jan-di packs Grandpa Yoon’s things to take to the hospital, she comes across a box, which she hands over to Ji-hoo once she realizes what’s inside.

The box contains items from Ji-hoo’s childhood, such as his school backpack and child’s shoes. It also includes a series of drawings of his family, from when he was very young to the present day. Because his parents are in the pictures, I’m guessing this is Dr. Yoon’s own creation (and not based on, say, photos or real life) of how Ji-hoo and his family would have aged over the years.

And then, Madam Kang strikes. First, Ga-eul’s father is forced into early retirement, without warning. Jan-di overhears Woo-bin discussing the matter with Yi-jung, both of whom guess that this is the work of Witch Mom. Rather than hitting at Jan-di directly, she’s exerted her influence with Ga-eul’s father’s company, a Shinhwa subsidiary.

Furthermore, signs indicate that Ji-hoo will be next; it looks like she intends to shut down the art foundation entirely.

This weighs heavily on Jan-di’s mind when she visits Grandpa Yoon, who by the way fires up his matchmaking again by urging the two kids to go out.

(Given his statements to Ji-hoo in the last episode, I’m inclined to believe that Grandpa was pointing out their character differences — that Ji-hoo is too cold for Jan-di’s bubbly personality — rather than trying to drive them apart. But I’m still not entirely sure what his intentions are — whether he really means to marry the kids off or whether he truly feels that Jan-di and Ji-hoo aren’t compatible.)

Ji-hoo spies a piano in the lobby and takes the seat, starting to play. He smiles at Jan-di several times, but she can’t quite return them because she’s preoccupied with the knowledge that his foundation is about to be ruined because of her.

As they walk along the river, Ji-hoo says that he hadn’t ever wanted to protect anything before meeting her. But now, there are more things in his life he wants to protect, such as his grandfather, the foundation… and her.

Just as he says that, his words are drowned out — the bridge lights up and fountains roar to life. It’s kind of hilarious how Ji-hoo, twice thwarted now from making a sincere confession, is so exasperated that he rolls his eyes.

Timing (and therefore fate?) is clearly not on Ji-hoo’s side.

Jan-di, meanwhile, is lost in her own thoughts: “Now that you have your grandfather by your side, I’m glad. You don’t know, do you, that you were always like sunshine to me. Goodbye, Geum Jan-di’s honorary firefighter.”

Why the goodbye? Jan-di’s made a decision in light of recent events. She tells her unconscious patient of her intentions:

Jan-di: “Sir, I don’t think I can keep coming by. I wanted to see you improve and read you more books, but I’m sorry. I can handle being hungry and cold, but there’s one thing I can’t handle — when people I love are hurt because of me. It’s not anything I can fix by working hard. It’s really unfair, isn’t it? I’m not running away, you know that, right? Even without me, you must get healthy.”

Just as Jan-di leaves, his hand moves.

She then visits Madam Kang, but we don’t see the scene play out yet, and instead resume as she’s leaving the meeting. Jan-di walks through Gu Manor, for once not tiptoeing around, instead chatting openly with the housemaids, who wish her well, as well as Granny Housekeeper.

She even calls loudly for Jun-pyo from the hallway, which makes him think at first that he’s hearing voices. Seeing her there, he panics and drags her inside, afraid that she’ll be noticed by Witch Mom, not understanding why she’s being so boisterous.

Jan-di suggests they go on a picnic and outing, as they’d once agreed to do.

(And now I can rest at ease, because Jun-pyo finally sees his Jun-pyo Face Rice!)

The following date is super-cute, although it’s almost so sweet that it makes you worry (or maybe that’s just me? — scenes like this that are so full of contentment always give me a sense of impending doom).

As they walk along the beach, Jun-pyo wonders if this is some kind of special day for her. He’s enjoying it so much that he wishes every day could be like today — after all, she came to him first to ask him out, and they haven’t fought once.

Going with the good feeling, he asks one more thing: “Why haven’t you said that you like me? I’ve told you several times.”

Jan-di: “Do I have to say so in words?”
Jun-pyo: “I want to hear from you what I mean to you.”
Jan-di: “I like you. So much that I couldn’t stop myself even though I tried, and got angry that I couldn’t forget you when I wanted to.”

This time she’s the one who draws him close, surprising him as she pulls him in for a kiss.

On the drive home, Jun-pyo can’t stop smiling, but Jan-di’s expression grows more and more somber. We find out why as she flashes back to her meeting with Madam Kang.

Jan-di had asked Mom to leave Ga-eul and Ji-hoo alone. Ever the cold businesswoman, Mom had asked what Jan-di would do in return, not expecting Jan-di to be able to offer anything worthwhile.

But Jan-di surprises her: “I’ll leave. I’ll leave Jun-pyo. I’ll change schools and homes and go somewhere he can’t find me. Will that do?”

Oh, that’ll do. Madam Kang accepts. Still, Jan-di feels the need to clarify:

Jan-di: “I haven’t lost to you, and I am not running away either. You’re the worst person I’ve ever met. I’m leaving because I don’t wish to connect the ones I love to you. I’m just sorry that I can’t save the one person I love the most from you.”

This explains the date: Today is really a farewell trip for Jan-di. Coming back to the present, she asks Jun-pyo to pull over, then she gets out with her luggage.

He laughs, wondering if she’s planning another surprise event, and doesn’t immediately grasp her meaning when she tells him, “I’m not going to see you again. Today was our last day together.”

He grows more serious but still doesn’t understand, and asks if something happened with his mother. Jan-di answers simply (and coldly), “I’ve decided to remove you from my life.” She tosses out a casual “Thanks for everything. Take care.”

Jun-pyo knows this has to do with his mother, even if she won’t admit it. She contradicts him:

Jan-di: “This time I realized that you and I are from different worlds. We met as though in a dream, but now it’s time for us to return to our own worlds.”
Jun-pyo: “You’re lying. Tell me, I’ll figure it out. I’ll protect you!”

A bus stops, and Jan-di heads to board it. Jun-pyo follows her and asks her not to go: “You said you liked me. Is this what your love is like? You say you like me and end things so easily?”

Leveling a firm gaze at him, Jan-di explains that her love must have had its limit, and she’s reached it: “It must have been exactly this much.”

He asks, “Taking away Shinhwa or my chaebol status, have you ever once just seen me as one man?” Without hesitation, Jan-di responds, “No. No matter how you try, you’re still Shinhwa Group’s Gu Jun-pyo. I’ve never forgotten that for one second.”

Her answer leaves him stunned. He doesn’t snap out of it until she boards the bus and it starts moving, which is when he starts to run after it, yelling for the bus to stop.

Inside, Jan-di cries, looking back as Jun-pyo grows smaller in the distance. She thinks, “After I fell for you, I’d always wished you were a normal man with no relation to Shinhwa. I’m sorry, Gu Jun-pyo, for not keeping my promise. I’m really sorry.”

So Jan-di arrives in the remote fishing town where her family has relocated, and finds her mother in the marketplace. After the initial giddy reunion, however, she’s dismayed to hear that the family situation is no better than it was before — faced with growing debts, Dad had to go away on a boat (to escape debt collectors, I assume?).

Jan-di wishes they’d told her, but they didn’t want to worry her. They didn’t want her to drop out of school to work, which is exactly what she would have done. She has to finish high school and go to university. Because of her mother’s reaction, Jan-di is unable to admit that she’s left Seoul for good, and merely says that she’s here for a family visit.

Meanwhile, Woo-bin and Yi-jung sigh at the way things have changed following Jan-di’s departure. They’ve looked everywhere, but she’s hidden herself well. They’re worried about Jun-pyo, who is apparently acting out worse than he was even in Macau.

Even worse, they fear more for Ji-hoo. He may be getting along with Grandpa, but Yi-jung points out that immersing himself in foundation and clinic work — for a guy who used to laze around napping all the time — is a drastic change.

I suppose the difference between Ji-hoo and Jun-pyo is that the former is internalizing his pain, exerting strict control over himself and his environment, while the latter is all about acting out and losing control. He sinks into self-destructive behavior.

For instance, when being driven home after a drunken night at a club, Jun-pyo sees a toy machine on the street, and recalls the double date when he failed to win Jan-di a toy prize from the claw machine. Now he staggers out, intent on winning the prize.

I was thinking there would be a beautiful sort of irony if he were to succeed now where he failed before — because now he doesn’t have the girl so it would be a pitifully empty victory — but no, Drunk Jun-pyo is not any better than Sober Jun-pyo.

In a rage, he lashes out at the machine, kicking and beating it until he attracts the attention of the police, who arrest him for (I’m guessing) causing a public disturbance. It’s in the holding area of the police station that Jun-hee finds Jun-pyo, staring emotionlessly in the cell, alone.


Before commenting on this episode, let me add a few thoughts on the previous one:

I was reading some of the dissenting opinions on the Jun-di relationship, seeing who sided with Jan-di and who sided with Jun-pyo. It’s probably not fair to charge those who think Jun-pyo acted more understandably with being clouded with Lee Min-ho affection, because (1) Well, yes, I think he’s quite a good actor, but (2) I figure at this point I’ve written enough on this drama, and in enough depth, to escape the tag of judging purely based on a hormonal reaction. (Honestly, y’alls, he’s cute but he ain’t my type.)

Here’s what it boils down to, for me: Both Jun-pyo and Jan-di have been shown, unfortunately, to be weak. This is problematic and has significantly hindered my regard for the second half of the series. I wish both had more backbone and were more forthright about their true feelings. Of course, if they did that and had a functional relationship, we wouldn’t have much of a drama to tune into every week.

Both parties have reneged on promises; both have been guilty of giving the other person mixed messages. Jun-pyo called Jan-di a stain, which is pretty harsh stuff, and obviously Jan-di has a right to be hurt. On the other hand, Jan-di has given Jun-pyo no indication that she wants to be with him following Jae-kyung’s arrival on the scene. She may not feel she’s in the position to do anything about it, but she did actively step back and even aided Jae-kyung in getting together with Jun-pyo — that certainly sends the message that she no longer cares for Jun-pyo. She also said that her promise from Episode 10 is no longer valid.

With that being the case, Jun-pyo has no reason to believe he has a future with Jan-di, and he walks down the aisle believing that his One True Love is over. In real life, we know that we get second chances and that a person can fall in love more than once, but in dramaland and in Jun-pyo’s heart, as he explained to Jae-kyung, he knows that it’s Jan-di or nobody. Therefore the question isn’t “Should I marry Jae-kyung or not?” but rather, “Is there any hope at all for a future with Jan-di? — because if not, I really don’t care about marriage and might as well do this political union.”

Meanwhile, Jan-di has been the poster child for passivity. WE know she loves Jun-pyo, but she sure as hell doesn’t let anyone else know that. As some commenters said, perhaps she’s not in a place to demand a relationship with him, but if she hides all her feelings and mopes privately, well, that’s just wallowing in one’s self-pity. She tends to just accept whatever happens to her, and that frustrates me. Jun-pyo is also weak, but at least his feelings — and his desire to escape from the influence of others — are clear. He’s bad at following through on his feelings, but Jan-di doesn’t even get that far — she keeps hers bottled up and unspoken, and that does nobody any good.

And yes, I recognize it’s a pointless exercise to say who was MORE wrong in this situation — but it’s always fun to do it anyway.

Now, for this episode:

I understand Jan-di’s actions and her rationale for leaving, and I actually kinda agree with her decision. Or at least the reason for her making the decision. However, this plot device suffers from overuse — it’s a tactic used in all those classic (read: outdated) Cinderella kdramas, where the girl selflessly gives up her love — even though the guy is prepared to fight for the relationship — to save those around her.

I suppose we’re supposed to feel admiration and pity for the woman who sacrifices her own happiness for the greater good, but what she’s really doing is taking away the choice from the other person, who deserves to have a say in this. Just as Jun-pyo (wrongly) asserted his will one-sidedly earlier in their relationship, she’s disregarding his feelings under the excuse that “I know what’s best for him.” I hate that.

Now, IF she had believed everything she said before getting on that bus — and I think her words had a point — then I wouldn’t have complaints and would probably back her up. (I think it makes sense on one level to want to say, “I gave it my best shot, got my heart broken a couple times, and want to believe that Love Conquers All — but maybe all this fighting isn’t productive if I’m just fighting a losing battle against this all-powerful, evil force who is going to hurt everyone I love.” It’s not fair, but sometimes you have to think of self-preservation.)

However, that’s not the case here: As we can see from her reaction afterward, she lied purposely to get Jun-pyo to let her go, believing that he didn’t need to know the truth. And that her decision was right no matter what he thought. By the way, they’re both guilty of this — him most notably when he turned Jekyll-and-Hyde in Macau — so it’s not like I’m only blaming Jan-di for the tendency.

I might have let this go otherwise, but it really doesn’t help that PD Jeon’s prior two series also employed this exact same scenario (girl leaves selflessly to spare the guy pain, but in a way that removes his choice from the equation). When Chun-hyang in Delightful Girl Chun-hyang did it, I actually enjoyed the ensuing angst (and the anticipated reunion!), but I watched that series earlier and didn’t have a slew of similar dramas to compare to. Also, Jae Hee really rocked the emotional turmoil in that drama’s breakup and reunion.

In My Girl, I hated the ploy because it seemed like a direct ripoff of Chun-hyang (same director, same writers), plus it seemed more forced into the story for manipulative reasons.

Here, I don’t hate it as much as in My Girl but I think it’s definitely less effective as a plot device than it ought to be, because (1) it’s so overdone at this point, and (2) this whole drama has been full of dramatic angsty moments like this, so this one doesn’t particularly stand out for me.

But on the upside, we’re so very close to the end that all this analysis is really just extraneous stuff. Mostly I’m watching with half my brain turned off, and at least there isn’t enough time to drag this storyline out into as painful an arc as the Jae-kyung one.


311 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. mc

    THANKS. =[ so sad this is ending soon

  2. AnGeL

    Again, thanks so much for you hard work. ^^

  3. mc

    thanks so much!!

  4. Genie

    It was too cute today, they looked like a family

  5. Alice

    I loooved this episode! It made me laugh and cry and cry some more… maybe because I’m pmsing (tmi?) It just enough cheese and drama to satisfy my inner fangirl! Good to see that JD finally vocalizes how much JP means to her… bad that she had to go 🙁

    Woo Bin looked REALLY good in this episode, either they did something to him or he’s growing on me… a lot. And I have JP’s houndstooth scarf! 🙂 I liked how JD’s camera wasn’t on when she took pictures of JH and grandpa hahaha

    Can’t wait until next Monday!!!!

  6. LoveLikeWinter


  7. ibako777

    OH. MY. GOD. While biting my pillow and at the edge of my sit and shouting NOOOOOOOOO!!! Why, why do you have to do that and then smiling, laughing, while teary eyed (in my husbands eyes…I’m a complete lunatic).

    SoEulmate romance…almost there…(holding my breath when they were about to kiss)
    I love Ji-hoo and all but man…the eyes again…it’s really funny.
    Mama Kang…really good acting but she’s just SO BAD!!!
    Poor Jun-Pyo…
    And Woo-bin’s having a lot of air time…yeheey!!!
    Best episode ever!!!
    Thanks for the recap!!! My heart is braking into pieces just two more episodes to go…

  8. hi

    lollll who is mc

  9. marbleloaf

    my day is complete. thanks!

  10. 10 Jasmin

    About 10 episodes ago I started setting my brain aside when watching this drama just so I could enjoy it for pleasure without having to over analyze everything like I was some kind of important K-drama specialist. I have to say with the series winding down I’m feeling a bit sad that it will be coming to an end next week. I will definitely miss some characters, mostly Jun-pyo…eh, even Mama Kang and her crazy evil eyes.

    I’m just nervous Mr. PD is going to try to pack in so much stuff in the last episode, i.e – mystery guy in coma (who i believe in Jun-pyo’s dad nor if they wanted to add in a crazy twist say it was Ji-hoo’s dad who survived the car crash…wouldn’t that just be madness but so k-drama style!), Jun-pyo’s memory loss and an additional love triangle with Jan-di, Jun-pyo and mystery girl.

    I’m just glad that Jun-pyo finally got to see the Jun-pyo rice. Freakin adorable.

    • 10.1 kamila

      my fav serial

  11. 11 Hannieoon

    The last date between Jun Pyo and Jan Di was so cute (not the zoo. That was bizarre/random)!

    But isn’t it really late in the drama for them to be breaking up?

    Oh and another thing, is the coma guy (I’m assuming is Jun Pyo’s dad) supposed to replace the memory loss Jun-Pyo (like in the manga)? Who knows. LoL

    Interesting episode. Not the best.

    And I’m actually early for commenting. Yeaa!!!

  12. 12 maria

    thanks for the recap!!!!

    i know what you mean about enjoying it wiht the critical dial turned down.

    I BAWLED LIKE A MOTHERCHUCKER at this episode..
    one thing that really got me, was when junpyo is asking jan di if this [her leaving him] is the old hag’s doing again, and he goes
    “you’re lying now.. did the old hag do something again?”, and then with the most vulnerable face i’ve only ever seen on a man truly in love and in fear of losing love, he asks her, tears already forming in his eyes, “what is it? …i’ll fix it.”
    and he looks at her– confused, yes. dazed and windstruck. but pleading and longingly,most of all.

    fo shizz.

    lee minho, that was an incredible bit of acting, and thank you, thank you for it!
    i don’t want BOF to end yet… 🙁

  13. 13 all4movies

    thanks dramabeans. if it weren’t for your recaps, I wouldn’t have realized that I missed the last 5 minutes.

    I will rectify that now. see you.

  14. 14 SHIN

    everything is torture, torture, torture!!!

    as much as i feel bad about jun pyo and jandi..
    and i cried on the part where jun pyo is in self destruct mode just because of a huge heartbreak…

    im still not going out of the jihoo boat.
    jihoo cried for the first time!!!! omg.
    i cried for his pain too…

    he’s so cute when he played the piano.. all smiling and trying to impress her… omg…
    the sad fact is when, twice he tried to confess, but it seems like fate wouldnt allow her to hear his heart out…
    too bad and sad…

    but as what jandi said to the witch… she hasnt lost the battle yet…
    and here i go, hoping for a rebound. hahahaha!

    i just wanna round house kick and btch slap that witch!

  15. 15 bumper

    Thanks for the speedy recaps. I always read them first before I watch the episode. It helps my understanding of the emotions that otherwise flicker ever so briefly across the faces of the actors. There are so many things I would miss if I didn’t know to look for them. Greatly increases my enjoyment of the series. Thanks.

  16. 16 lovenyc52

    i scrolled down to scan through pics and saw the one of SoEulmate and and the almost kiss…. and i almost died….

    Now I have to watch at least part of this episode raw before the subs come out cuz i gotta get my kim bum fix…and my SoEulmate fix :o)

    thanks for the recaps javabeans!! enjoyed it!

  17. 17 vivi

    i hate how both of these ppl have to rely on other people to patch their love 🙁
    come on! where’s the domyoji and makino that’s suppose to fight anything for their love >.<
    im so sad to see jae kyung leaves just to know that these give up their loves so easily like giving up a peanut.
    i dont really watch it for pleasure now, i only watch it to sub it nowdays.

  18. 18 ozchick

    Oh my goodness! i’ve been waiting for this ALL DAY! Now I can finally rest, switch my brain back on and go and study. Thankyou!

  19. 19 Debbie

    Hmmm… interesting comments. So I gather that you would like to see a storyline in which Jan Di doesn’t break up with Jun Pyo but rather stay together with him to fight the evil witch, aka Jun Pyo’s mom? That would surely be an interesting storyline. What would make Jun Pyo’s mom finally accept Jan Di? (I’m thinking getting Jun Pyo’s dad to come out of his vegetative state) And what would Jan Di do to protect the people she loves, and at the same time show that weed spirit that she’s supposed to possess?

  20. 20 Jennifer

    I actually really liked the scene where Jandi leaves on the bus even though its really sad. I think HyeSun can pull of emotional scenes really well. She makes me feel like she’s doing that for the right reason.
    There are spoilers that the amnesia plot will be added in, but I wonder if they can squeeze that in for the last 3 episodes.
    I really loved the Soeulmates’ interactions today! <3

  21. 21 elmo

    thanks javabeans!
    OMG the almost-kiss almost made my heart beat
    i wish they’d put a bit more soeul in each episode, just to give me less..anticipating heart attacks lol
    it’s actually sweet this episode (though i haven’t seen it yet) i usually am a jan di hater but yeah, her “self sacraficing” and “not taking” is getting old and definitely very annoying.
    but i think it’ll be a HUGE twist if she ended up with ji hoo, which many readers agree is the better choice
    but then jun pyo will be alone =((
    since jae kyung is gone and all…
    what else
    i can’t believe i was right on the yi jung thing!? i dont speak korean so i dont know if yi jung is anyhing in korean that could be on a billboard

  22. 22 foxymama123

    i don’t know what to do with myself every mon and tues when this drama is over.
    LOVE IT!

  23. 23 bambooshoots

    thanks so much for the quick recap =]

    and i was wondering, would anyone care to explain the Achilles heel metaphor? I’ve seen it used a couple times but I’ve never really understood the meaning of it…

  24. 24 Lena

    I’m still all for JH & JD lol
    this version did a horrible job in conveying why the main couple should be together.

  25. 25 vivi

    you know, this is all the PD’s fault, they ruinned the whole domyoji-makino’s pure love >.<
    but it’s still interesting to see how they’ll end up

    there’re too many things i cant understand still:
    – she should’ve stopped him at the wedding,
    – he should’ve never ever made Jae Kyung see the other side of him
    but oh well i guess that’s what makes this a drama

    im crossing my fingers wishing that Mama Kang will realize Jan Di is the only girl that could make Jun Pyo smiles without any burden 🙁

  26. 26 Debbie

    @ Maria –

    “I BAWLED LIKE A MOTHERCHUCKER at this episode..
    one thing that really got me, was when junpyo is asking jan di if this [her leaving him] is the old hag’s doing again, and he goes
    “you’re lying now.. did the old hag do something again?”, and then with the most vulnerable face i’ve only ever seen on a man truly in love and in fear of losing love, he asks her, tears already forming in his eyes, “what is it? …i’ll fix it.”
    and he looks at her– confused, yes. dazed and windstruck. but pleading and longingly,most of all.

    fo shizz.”

    I had THE EXACT feeling when I saw that scene. I really loved it when he said “what is it? I’ll fix it.” His face AND his voice softened when he said that phrase. It seriously showed how much Jun Pyo loved Jan Di.

  27. 27 cullenhale

    this episode had its moments…it almost killed me, when I realized JP and JD were going on their farewell date, I was like, AH! I hate all the spoilers coming out about this drama, honestly-it is quite hard to avoid.

    I love the reaction on JP’s face when he see JD yelling in his house, his facial expressions are just adorable, I try really hard to look past the gorgeouness that is JP and JH and pay attention to the contents of this drama…I’m going to miss it so much! My Winter Quarter has been all about BOF…now, ahhhh, so SAD!

    thanks javabeans for the amazing recaps!

  28. 28 EndlessxBliss

    The ending looks like it’s gonna be rushed (is ep 25 confirmed yet?)
    It would SERIOUSLY help (I think) if that ahjusshi in coma woke up and hlped Jan-di already.
    I was think of DGCH and MG too. And I don’t really get it… if she knew she was breaking up with him, then why did Jan-di say that she liked him? Would’nt it have been better if she told him she just didn’t like him?… but then again….
    Thanks Java. Great work as always.

  29. 29 shinychopstick

    Yeah, really… I was annoyed that the same “heroine” storyline was used once again. It’s just a back-and-forth match between both of them, who can deceive the other for their greater good. It’s really getting to me. And we all know where this is going…

    (Do they really keep the same billboards up for 3+ years? I found it strange.)

  30. 30 stella

    Did anyone else cry when she was leaving? Maybe it was just me…. lol
    It was so sad and Lee min hos acting was sooo good. I wonder how there gonna pack so much in how many episodes are left ?one?

  31. 31 Daiquiri

    At this point I’ve given up any hope that both JP or JD will have a decent reconciliation. I guess we we’re supposed to accept the weak apology that Jun-pyo gave to Jan-di during their stargazing scene. I think we’ll have to settle for less in the next two episodes as well. UGH.

    I’m sorely disappointed how the scriptwriter still managed to put in a ridiculous amount of Ji-hoo and Jan-di scenes, of which they really didn’t go anywhere most of the time. For example the hair cutting and car-washing scene, or today’s piano scene. Seriously? Where is this going? We get it. Ji-hoo is amazing at everything and they are great friends. We also get that Ji-hoo loves Jan-di and there is compatibility there as well. Ok! No more please! I totally get it by now, why continue reiterating these pointless scenes even now, when we’re so close to the end? I won’t even start with the fiancee arc. I’ve lost a good chunk of hair and I think my eyes hurt from having them roll back so much.

    I also wish they didn’t fast-forward the beach date scene. I would have loved to hear their laughter while they were bike-riding, or what they were saying while eating. I mean for goodness sake Jun-pyo finally got to eat a homemade lunch that had his face courtesy of Jan-di. What did he think of it and did he enjoy it? I’d rather see more development on these scenes then the redundant ones with Ji-hoo looking longingly at Jan-di but then nothing happens because a) Jan-di doesn’t hear it b) something occurs where it gets cut short c) we just jumped to the next scene and had 5 valuable minutes wasted.

    Where has the focus between our two main couples gone? While the majority of the fans know who Jan-di will end up with that is no excuse for the lack of dialogue between the JD and JP scenes. It irks me that a great deal of their scenes are often glossed over by music or sound is omitted. The worst one is when it’s cut short. I want to see some heart to heart conversation. I’ve been so patient and accepting up until now but I need to vent. There are only two more episodes left and I feel the fans are going to get gypped. If we do get a cheesy ending like My Girl I am swearing off PD-nim Jeon’s future works for good.

  32. 32 christine

    when i commented there is only 3…. but i’m not sure if i’,m going to be the 4th..

    anyway, the end is near that’s all i can say!

  33. 33 Lucille

    Thanks for the recaps this week. I agree that Jan di and Jun Pyo are both weak. He really hasn’t done anything to protect her from his mother. When she made them lose the cleaners, when she wrecked their food stand, when she made Jan Di’s mother beg, when she had the apartment building demolished, when she made her perform, so on. So, in all honestly, why should Jan Di believe that he is going to be able to protect her friends. He can’t even protect her. While he may be very vocal in his love for her, he is very passive in acting. She makde the only logical choice in leaving. ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS JUN PYO.

    (BTW, isn’t JH grandfather a former president? Shouldn’t he have money and powerful connections to protect his property from Madam Kang?)

    In Jun Pyo’s favor, he has no reason to believe that she really likes him. Like he said in this episode, this is probably the first time ever that they have been together and didn’t fight. While she may be very active (making him things and protecting him from the chair), she has never actually said anything. For all men may claim that they aren’t into emotions, they still need to hear it.

    Still I am enjoying this drama and as I have said before, I love unreasonable love. Love just is. In reality this relationship doesn’t work, but on paper it does. While the Korean version haven’t done the best job of showing it with this being the 9th adaptation of HDY, Makino and Domiyoji are truly perfect for each other.

  34. 34 Akiddo

    Thanks Dramabeans. As the drama draws to a close, guess i just want to enjoy every bit of it.

    The breakup scene stood out for me partly because I did not watch the 2 dramas you mentioned earlier. Could see Junpyo’s happiness disappearing within seconds the moment he stopped the car and opened the boot (how the luggages got there – we shall not dwell). Suddenly the only thing he really ever wanted is slipping away. The intensity of their sadness comes pretty close to the bridge scene in ep 14. This part was made sadder because of the happy date they just had. The possibilities of their happiness had they not been in their respective position in life.

    And Jihoo…my favourite guy (other than Mr Jung) – Jandi’s sunshine and honorary fire fighter. Need we say more? Soul mates who missed their rightful timing in life. If only JP didn’t come into the picture…Jandi would have been in a LOT LESS trouble.

    But for sure, JP means the most to Jandi. Her scene with Mdm Kang was excellent. She didn’t back down and finally gave the mdm a piece of her mind and something to think about.

    2 episodes to go…I am not sure how they are going to do it without letting the audience down. Well, we’ll see. Again, i do not watch the drama with logic of any sort. Just going with the flow and swimming in the emotions.

  35. 35 Carrie

    Yay javabeans! I love the recap… always so much to think about…

    Oh man so much to say… so many tortured emotions and yet I walk away from the episode with this:
    Buses are harbingers of doom in any Asian country. When I go to South Korea or Taiwan I am never. EVER getting on a bus. I’ll walk the whole way if I have to. But buses are out.

    As for the rest of the drama, the two parts that stood out to me the most:
    The cold yet almost blank rage in Jun Pyo’s eyes when he attacks that toy machine. Although I confess, I was hoping he would demolish it. (Also, am I the only one who thought the jail looked like an oversized crib? Just curious…)

    And when Jan Di talks to Darth Mama. I loved the line where she said that she was sad that she couldn’t save the person she loved the most from his own mother. She played that in excellent fashion. Not overdone, or sappy. Just broken.

    I thought the break up scene was brilliantlly played. (Man can Min-ho run!!!) Anyway, all logical thoughts aside, I really am anxious to see how this will end up! They’ve got alot to cover in 2 episodes and I am going to be beyond angry if they give me the typical 4 minute happy ending. But I’m prepping myself for it anyway.

  36. 36 vicki

    OMG, I love this drama….(yes my husband also thought i was crazy!)
    I knew the last date was coming up…ehhhheehhehhhhh
    I wish JanDi would stand up and fight for JunPro more! I would if i were her…he’s too damn fine…..
    i can’t wait to the next ep!
    Ji hooo i love you no matter what…..

  37. 37 snojmikl

    Surprise me damn it!!! Let’s have a happy ending for Jihoo at least just once! And I am so over Jandi for treating him like her sunshine or what not. Go to JP and have him be your sunshine! If you don’t love Jihoo…..uhhh stay away!!!!!!!!! I want the sexy HCY to comeback and run into Jihoo’s arm again!!! Did she go to France or something! Well all I know it if she comes back, she better know how to french-kiss at this point! Cuz the kiss she gave Jihoo before was mehhhh!!!!!
    thnx for the recap!!
    “Honestly, y’alls, he’s cute but he ain’t my type.” lol
    He isn’t my type either but if he propose I might have to reluctantly accept…puhahaha
    Since I know Hyun Joong is already taken by too many fan girls!! Can’t blame them becaused I was charmed by him ever since WGM.

  38. 38 panshel

    Meh, this episode wasn’t that great… and to think, it was supposed to be the second to last episode. The best executed scene was Jandi’s exchange with Witch Mom. I really felt her helplessness in saving the person she loves most from Mama’s unyielding grasp. You mentioned previously that you like the scene where Jandi returned the money in episode 12. I reckon Goo Hye Sun does her best work with tactful reasoning opposed to overt peppiness.

    The bus chase scene was expected, so it didn’t tug at my heartstrings like it was supposed to. The only thing I could think while watching was fatigued actors like him shouldn’t be forced to run down the street. And what happened to the top-notch Lee Min Ho crying scenes from Macau? I didn’t see any tears when he collapsed.

    Ji Hoo ah, keok jeong ma. I’m on your ship… even though I know you and I will wind up with heartache at the end.

    I had a hutch there would be NGs in place of a preview. Knowing them, they’ll be filming the final episode on Monday. o_O Are they really going to do the amnesia arc? With two episodes left?

    Thanks a grand for your insightful commentary, javabeans! The ride’s almost over. We’re on our way to our happy ending.

  39. 39 balletbabeanna

    I’m confused! Since Jan-di said her promise on the bridge was not valid anymore why did she, on the bus, “… say she was sorry for not keeping her promise”?!?!?!??!? @_@

    Anyways Jan-di couldn’t have said ““I gave it my best shot, got my heart broken a couple times, and want to believe that Love Conquers All — but maybe all this fighting isn’t productive if I’m just fighting a losing battle against this all-powerful, evil force who is going to hurt everyone I love.” because then we’ll all know she’d be lying. I believe the only time she fought/ gave her best shot for their relationship was when she went on the trip to Macau just to see Jun-Pyo!

  40. 40 youknowwhatimean

    In this episode, Lee Min Ho’s acting was….okay.
    He’s good but not that great either.
    I wasnt touched by his crying scenes this time…i dunno why.

  41. 41 Tay

    i admit that i always cried when i watched this episode. so touching and sad. touching parts :> when JP and JD enjoyed themselves with the kid at the zoo and i can imagine this is how they will behave when they have kids of their own;
    both of them enjoyed the picnic and how JD kisses JP
    sad parts :>when JD hurted JP with all those words at the bus stop. I am imagining why cant JP uses his brain to think that the real reason that she left him is cos of his damn stoopid mum although JD refuses to ack this fact;
    how JP turn crazed over JD’s words.

    actually there are alot of sad parts in this episode but the particular parts are as above.

    I think the show will end with JP’s dad woke up from his coma and slap that stoopid wife of his. He will support JD all the way and happy ending.
    I want more episodes!!!

  42. 42 Aye

    I just want to scream right now. Jan-di is so frustrating. I just want to yell at her and tell her to be selfish for once. And what is up with “cho-ah-hae”? It’s “sarang-hae,” dammit! I understand that at this point, one last major dilemma is inevitable. But I don’t care if I have to watch two full episodes of lovey dovey interactions. Kiss and make up already, JJ.

    Thanks for the recap!

  43. 43 BOFfan

    I thought YiJung’s acting was a little overdramatic in the rooftop scene… more than the Japanese version. And I also cried when Jandi broke up with JunPyo…. so sad. I can’t wait for next week’s final episodes.. I hope JunPyo does not get amnesia, and I hope that Jihoo will be happy. Seriously, JiHoo is too beautiful to be real. He could like seriously play one of the vampires if there were ever a Korean version of Twilight (I must be becoming a fangirl… yikes)

  44. 44 anon

    Ok I KNOW you said you didn’t want to us to do this (or was it that you said you specifically weren’t going to do this) but seeing as we’re so near the end, I think I’m allowed a bit of leeway.

    Hana Yori Dango did it better.


    …but they did.

    (w/ the exception of the Kimbum storyline & even that is debatable).


  45. 45 Akiddo

    #12 Maria, #26 Debbie

    “…the most vulnerable face i’ve only ever seen on a man truly in love and in fear of losing love, he asks her, tears already forming in his eyes, “what is it? …i’ll fix it.
    and he looks at her– confused, yes. dazed and windstruck. but pleading and longingly,most of all.”

    You hit the jackpot!! LMH was awesome – the beaming face to brimming tears, the changing emotions within seconds..from giddy happiness, disbelief, despondent, pleading/last attempt to hold the love of your life back and final collapse (as if you have been hit by a bullet train), feeling as if your soul has been taken away from you. Both actors didn’t over do it – i thought it was one of my favourite sad/emotional scenes in this drama. Not in order of preference

    1. Mop scene with Jihoo @ clinic
    2. Bridge scene – 1st breakup in Macau ep 14
    3. Breakup scene in this epi
    4. Confrontation JP-Mdm Kang in ep 14

    I wonder if the actors ever do NGs for all these scenes. They are so emotionally draining even for the audience.

  46. 46 awwwww sob

    I can’t believe how this drama is going. I loved it, I got annoyed by it (Jaekyung and Macau), I was happy again (Jun-di) and then MAMA KANG HAS TO…
    Good job to the actress who is Mama Kang. She’s amazing and I truly hate her (she’s that good).
    There are only two episodes left…how will they manage to fit in a reconciliation (that HAS to be there) and resolve the Mama Kang problem…and ON TOP OF ALL OF THAT the amnesia thing AND the JunPyo’s coma dad. If the producers had a mind they would extend like another (at least) 2 episodes. It’s gonna be way too rushed and jam packed into 2 hrs.

    I was so happy yesterday when JunPyo and JanDi were finally together…after JaeKyung, I thought this took long enough. You could tell the date wouldn’t end well…my heart broke for JunPyo. His one love confesses and he essentially has the best day of his life…and then….
    Mama Kang will probably realize her son is nothing without JanDi and have to bring her back…but at the same time he’s losing his memory, so what would he know? They can’t do this…

    Do you ever wish you hadn’t gotten yourself into this BoF mess? Look at all of us, ranting about a TV show we hate and love.

    To conclude:
    -PDs are stupid
    -Mama Kang should open her evil mascara-lined eyes and realize her son, the HEIR to Shinhwa will be nothing without JanDi (and she should stop being so evil…honestly what sort of person ruins the lives of people so her son will stop loving a girl? extreme much.)
    -JunPyo’s dad (Dada GU?) has to wake up..seems like he’s a decent person from everything, so maybe he’ll fix his estranged wife
    -JunPyo and JanDi have to get back together or I will fly to Korea and protest.
    -Amnesia helper girl…why does she have to appear? RUIN MY LIFE.

    2 more episodes…did you ever imagine you would be like this 23 episodes ago?

  47. 47 Jasmin

    Wouldn’t it be great if BBF lunch boxes became the craze?

    Heck, the cast is whoring out all kinds of products these days, why not a Jun-pyo lunch box….with Jun-pyo rice face and all.

  48. 48 ella

    I felt so blah at this episode. It just wasn’t angsty/sad enough for me. It’s better than the earlier forced episodes, but since this is supposed to be the second to the last week episodes this should have been written better.

    And I agree with you. They are both weak characters, and I honestly don’t know how the writers will turn the story around and bring them together. At this point, they just might as well move on and never get together. LOL but that would never happen because this is a Kdrama. And in HYD it was a happy ending, so I supposed we’re getting a Jandi/Junpyo ending as well.

    I am excited-slash-dreading the last two eps. It will be so hugely and awesomely disastrous or awesomely awesome! LOL. The writers still have lots of loose ends to work on, like Goo Junpyo’s dad, then there’s the Gaeul/Yijung plot, and then there’s the memory loss arc. That’s a lot of things to include in two eps. Augh, just thinking about it makes my head hurt.

  49. 49 purple :-)

    so…following your advice…and by simple experience i realized that to enjoy this drama one must resist thinking haha and just take it for what it is….

    -after reading your review i decided i dnt hate Jan Di too much..cuz the entire time i was thinking…what a …&*6^%$# how stupid etc..but i guess your right….and I agree with everything you say..they both show a lack of backbone in this drama…but regardless Jan Di’s lack of action..is really annoying still cuz i mean you can fight for your love and still be considerate about other people around you..i mean im just saying…not fair to JunPyo…..

    -@ Carrie that commented about the jail cell…seriously i was wondering if this was b/c its a Kdrama or what…but whats up with the cell gate lol…..

    -Lee Min Ho srsly impresses me in his acting skills..i felt really bad for him when Jan di was stepping all over his heart i mean it made me really dislike jan di….hes really good at conveying emotions…either that or im blinded by how cute he is lol

    -SEULMATES!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 figures they didnt kiss…poo

    -em..well apart frm the usual illogical kdrama stuff in BBF…..im a bit worried that the last two episodes are going to sux balls….only b/c it seems that they have a lot too cover and then it wont leave time for a satisfying ending..you know one that will give justice to the main relationship and the rest of the characters stories.. give them their moment etc..not just the last 5minutes they hug and make up and then its over…

  50. 50 javabeans

    Do i ever hate getting myself into this madness?

    OH HAYELL NO. I haven’t had this much fun in AGES!

    “did you ever imagine you would be like this 23 episodes ago?”

    23 episodes ago, I had hoped this drama would be much better. however, 12 episodes ago, i feared it would be much worse.

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