Drama Recaps
Triple: Episode 14
by | September 8, 2009 | 25 Comments

Two more episodes left…

It’s almost odd how Triple is nearing its end but doesn’t feel like it’s winding down. Perhaps that’s because it’s already so meandering to begin with, and I don’t mean that as an insult. It’s that this drama is SO slice-of-life that you almost don’t see an end in sight, because there’s no neat wrap-up for these stories. It’s like we started the drama mid-scene, so we may as well end it similarly and let the characters continue living out their everyday lives. This quality is, in my opinion, both Triple‘s asset and its liability.


Lee Seon-kyun – “소년” (Boy). This is Lee Seon-kyun’s re-recording of the 1993 Yoon Sang song originally sung by Kim Hyung-joong of EOS (original version here). I actually like the other version better as a song, but I do love Lee Seon-kyun’s voice in just about anything. [ Download ]

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After overhearing the conversation hinting that Hwal likes Haru, Coach Nam grabs Haru and takes her away, intent on taking her home to her father. He’s scandalized at the thought of funny business going on while she and Hwal live as siblings under the same roof.

Haru tries to tell him repeatedly that he’s jumped to the wrong conclusion, that she likes Hwal in an entirely one-sided way, and that Hwal doesn’t have any feelings for her.

You can see from Hae-yoon’s expression how he feels about this whole mess. He thinks Hwal should have just spoken out and told Coach Nam that he was wrong, and is frustrated at his silence. But Hwal can’t lie and say there’s nothing, even though I think he still doesn’t know what it is he feels. He does get a chance to talk to Coach Nam, however, when Haru sneaks away to use the phone. She asks Hwal to come to the terminal to discuss things with Coach Nam.

Hwal calmly explains that he thinks of Haru as a cute sister, and that she is doing well here with her coach. She is even considering heading to Canada for further training, and moving her back home would impede her progress. In the end, the conversation is enough to allay concerns, and Coach Nam heads back home alone, leaving Haru in Seoul.

Hwal again encourages Haru to go to Canada, and while it sorta feels like he’s pushing her to go in order to get her out of the way, he says it in a caring way. It’s really for her own good as well, because things will only become more difficult for her by staying; also, as they saw today, her continued feelings for Hwal could give rise to more misunderstandings. He advises her to think of her own future and skating aspirations.

Haru isn’t convinced that Canada is the answer, and asks, “If I go to Canada, do you think our relationship will be over?” Hwal doesn’t answer — you get the sense he both hopes for and fears that.

Haru makes up her mind to go, thinking that the opportunity will give her some time to mature and focus on her skating. And when she comes back, “I want to hold hands with you openly. I want to become a person you’re not embarrassed of.”

Maybe Hwal likes that idea, or maybe he likes the sweetly innocent way she says it. He pats her head softly.

Meanwhile, Poong-ho hears about Haru’s plan to train in Canada — he’s always up on the latest news involving her — and guesses that the suggestion was Hwal’s, and that she’d agreed because of him. He’s pretty perceptive, having gleaned the relationship dynamics through observation despite everyone’s denials, and says that he’ll follow her there. It isn’t that he has already made plans to follow her, but assures her that he’ll join her soon, somehow.

Sang-hee experiences her first brush with jealousy when she spots an invitation in the mail addressed to Hae-yoon. It’s for a piano recital performed by Hae-yoon’s ex-girlfriend and first love. Despite Hae-yoon’s repeated assurances that he hasn’t thought of her in years, Sang-hee remains insecure, comparing herself to the ex and looking her up on the internet (a losing game, always!). She’s further unsettled when Jae-wook tells her that all guys remember their first love in a romanticized light.

On the other hand, Hae-yoon finds this new side of Sang-hee hilarious. He laughs when Sang-hee toys with her appearance to look more sweet and innocent, like the ex, and spins off into a fantasy scenario wherein the ex’s reason for staying single was out of love for Hae-yoon.

Hyun-tae drops by Su-in’s house, where she finds him delivering breakfast. As usual, Hyun-tae is outrageous with his flirting, teasing that since she didn’t call him, she must have been waiting for him to call her. But unlike those times in the past, Su-in isn’t annoyed and finds his antics amusing.

When he asks what she’s doing in the afternoon and hears that she has plans, he accepts that as a no and starts to leave — so Su-in hurriedly blurts out that she’s free in the evening. They set a date for 5pm.

Perhaps Su-in was expecting something along the lines of a grand outing, given Hyun-tae’s history for romantic gestures. Instead, when they meet up, she’s taken by surprise to be challenged to a game of “rock-scissors-paper.” Upon her defeat, Hyun-tae makes her jog alongside him as he rides his bike to another destination.

She’s puzzled but complies, jogging for a while before challenging him to a rematch. She loses repeatedly, but when she finally wins one round, Hyun-tae accepts her win and gives up the bicycle to her.

At the park, he gives her a book — he tried skimming it but found it beyond him, so her “homework” is to read it, then explain it to him. It’s a bald excuse to get her to keep calling him, but neither really minds.

Arriving at Su-in’s house, Hyun-tae suggests one last round of rock-scissors-paper, this time to be done with eyes closed. After they separate, the loser has to wait and watch until the other person disappears from view. Again, Su-in loses, but Hyun-tae peeks down at the last minute and switches his move so she wins. He feigns disappointment (“Aw, I really wanted to win this one”), and although Su-in knows he cheated, she humors him.

That night, they text back and forth about random things like the book and what they were like in high school. Then Su-in wonders, “Do you ever wonder whether it’s okay for us to be like this?” He quips back, “I’m not sure. We’ll have to meet a few more times before I decide.”

Hyun-tae breaks the texting chain by calling, even if it’s just to marvel that she actually picked up and to wish her good night.

The next day, Hyun-tae brings back his basketball hoop (with Su-in’s permission) to Su-in’s front yard. In a roundabout way, she asks how Hwal is doing, and mentions how strange things were the night he left. Contrary to her expectation, she fell asleep comfortably that night, alone, which she finds odd.

Hyun-tae surmises, “I guess you need time to let go.”

With Haru’s Canada plans slowly solidifying (she’s to leave in two months), she makes one request regarding something she’d like to do before leaving: skate with Hwal. Haru enjoys being better at something for once, and coaches him through his beginner-level skills.

As she helps him along, Haru revels in this one time when it’s appropriate — or at least acceptable — to hold hands.

On the drive home, Hwal gives her a going-away gift: gloves and a knit hat. Explaining that they’re for the cold Toronto winters, Hwal compliments her, saying they look good on her. Haru turns sad at that remark, and says, “I wish they didn’t.”

Sang-hee finally decides to ignore her jealousy and be the bigger person by going to the piano recital. But at the last minute, as they walk to the concert hall, she resists going inside. Fidgeting in her uncomfortable “cute” dress (worn to appear more demure, like the ex), she suggests a short detour before the performance.

They have drinks — or rather, Sang-hee has drinks and Hae-yoon watches in amusement as she bemoans, “I want to hold onto you. I don’t want to lose you to someone else.” Her continued jealousy is so irrational and unexpected that it’s cute.

They end up missing the performance, which means Sang-hee’s mood is much improved as they sit outside later that evening, and she gleefully bids his first love goodbye. (Hae-yoon replies that he’d already bid her goodbye ten years ago: “Thanks to you, I have to say goodbye twice.”)

She warns playfully, “I’d better be your last love. If I see you with another woman, you’re dead! You can’t do that!” Hae-yoon teases back, “But can I marry?” In response, Sang-hee grabs him in a kiss.

Bond Factory. Yes, the guys still (apparently) have a job. Things hit a snag when their carefully prepared presentation for the K Oil company has to be redone from scratch — their idea is too close to an advertisement that has come out, and is therefore useless. Adding to the pressure is the fact that they are competing for the bid against their old boss.

With only a few days remaining, the guys scramble to come up with another concept. As they take their place before the K Oil president, they fight back their anxiety to be presented not only with a team of executives but even lower-level personnel. The president has invited the new hires to sit in on their presentation. Hwa, Hae-yoon, and Hyun-tae gulp nervously…

…and Haru takes a hard fall on the ice, clutching her knee.


I suppose this whole rock-scissors-paper game parallels the real-life dynamic between Hyun-tae and Su-in, in that he willingly puts himself on the “losing” end to make Su-in feel more secure. All day, he has won numerous rounds but doesn’t press his advantage. He lets Su-in re-do her move as many times as it takes for her to “win,” and when she finally manages to beat him, he concedes right away. No matter that it’s her one win after a half-dozen or more losses. He likes her so much that he’s willing to make ten moves to her one, and to accommodate her hesitation until she is ready to face him.

This is a vast improvement over his earlier pushiness, because previously he had elbowed his way into her life without heeding her discomfort. He wasn’t blind to her circumstances — he recognized her protests — but he didn’t respect them, and thought he could keep going until he could overcome her resistance. It’s telling that it wasn’t until he backed off that Su-in had space to consider the possibility of liking him. (Her text message asking if it was okay for them to “be like this” is a pretty solid indicator that there’s something happening on both ends this time, not just his.) If I actually cared for their relationship development, I’d think this was a nicely poignant way to express it.


25 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Vecchio

    “It’s that this drama is SO slice-of-life that you almost don’t see an end in sight, because there’s no neat wrap-up for these stories.”

    Exactly. I couldn’t really express why I liked this drama, but maybe that’s the reason. Maybe I just like to pry into people’s private life, I don’t know. I’d seriously be content with just watching the Hwal household going about their daily lives through hidden cameras and it’d be entertaing to me. No joke.

  2. piki

    thanks for posting. I am a loyal follower of the triple posts since i have no time to watch.

  3. xiaoSxin

    i lost interest in this drama, about halfway through… usually i read JB’s recaps AFTER watching the episode, to avoid spoilers. Or I usually do not read the recaps at all if I am not watching or interested at all with the drama. Triple is the only drama that made me give that up. The only reason I am reading the recaps at all is because of Lee Sun Gyun and Yoon Kye Sang. They are two my most favorite Korean actors.

    However, even that did not save this drama for me.

  4. more

    That what makes TRIPLE so good is that you dont see an end in Sight. Everything is still fresh Unlike most K dramas the story tends to drag toward the end and the excitement dies down which. That what makes TRIPLE unique to me.

  5. sue

    @vecchio LOL ditto!

    it’s been a while since i’ve finished triple, but i remember how much i enjoyed lee jungjae’s portrayal of hwal’s uncertainties and his interactions with haru. idky but it just made me squeal with glee. LOL. does this mean i want a boyfriend 10+ years older than me?

  6. javabeans

    sue, for me it means I just want a boyfriend who is Lee Jung-jae. 😀

  7. embermiya

    I also agree with this drama being so slice of life. Slice of life actually only either bores me or makes me uncomfortable.
    This drama did both.
    I tried sitting through this episode about five times before I conceded and just decided to wait for the recap. I’m going to try the next episode now but this drama is slowly disappointing me and I don’t know how (other than Haru being with Poong Ho)it can get better.
    Thanks as always for the recaps!

  8. Nea

    Thanks for the recaps!

    “If I actually cared for their relationship development, I’d think this was a nicely poignant way to express it”

    LOL. I couldn’t agree more. My friend and I had too many arguments over HT and his antics! I hated him, she thought he was cute. (Personally, I think she couldn’t separate Yoon Kye Sang and HT, which wasn’t a big deal for me at all cause…umm I hate almost everything HT did in this show!) But anyway, if he hadn’t been such an idiot at the beginning, seeing this would be cute but you said it…negative! Too late now.

    “for me it means I just want a boyfriend who is Lee Jung-jae. :D”
    AMEN to that! His smile melts my heart! Love that man!

  9. jandoe

    i haven’t watch this myself and -i don’t think i ever will – but i’ve been closely following your recaps and obviously, your thought processes and opinions about this show have affected me as well.

    my conclusion? it feels like it mirrors real life wayyy to closely.

    personally, i don’t know how i feel about that – although yeap, like many other i’m always complaining about lack of realism in dramas, given too heavily of that… and it just feels darn miserable cos it’s like, hey isn’t Real Life already like that – must TV-land be that way too?

    i’m getting a little ahead with my rants (oops) but yeap, Triple just seems too real life-interconnected that i don’t know, it seems (and i’m using seems a lot because i don’t watch it myself after all) that it’s totally halfway between good or bad, depending on the viewer’s stand about that.

    ahh i’m talking too much; thanks javabeans for this recap!

  10. 10 Z

    Let’s just admit it… this show hasn’t been the same since the dog died. Poong Oh is the only character I still cared about by the end. Still, I enjoyed it. I don’t know I would have if I’d watched it in “real time” but it was kind of nice to stroll through it at my leisure… it took me weeks to watch the was three or four episodes.

  11. 11 anny3fam

    I started watching triple for a number of reasons,
    one of them was Lee Jung-jae, i’ve been fascinated w him ever since i saw the movie “an affair”, and of course everything related to coffee prince made me curious.. in short, i had to see it.
    but i have to say i didn’t like the way Hwal was introduced here,
    this “over achiever – classic music lover – who builds miniature boats in his spare time”
    -do you have have some more cliche’s in store for us?
    …I felt like someone tries to forcefeed me to love him, which i did i must confess, until he decided to get back with Suin, that was such a cruel and selfish thing to do from my point of view.
    be a man and say that it’s over. he never had the b___s to do it himself, she had to do it for him.
    I love this actor very much, but can’t except this character’s lies, cheating at one point, and practically ignoring everything that is not his own(and Haru) business.
    one example: his wife’s mother’s dying and he can’t come on his own to the hospital(he comes when he wants to get back with her because of his feelings for Haru). bad stuff.

    on the other hand,
    I have never heard about Yoon Kye Sang until now. never seen him in any drama before Triple.
    but i think he is doing a terrific job with a flawed character, with obvious obstacles.
    he simply shines.
    he starts off in disadvatage, being this childish creature, a wirdo, watching porn movies and sleeping everywhere he can(just not in his bed).
    I warmed up to his presence only at the end of epi. 3 when clues started to appear as to why he is this way. with an overbearing father(who’s in the army )and succesfull older brothers, very strict home it seems .
    with his artistic soul it’s pretty obvious things weren’t so easy for him. he, i gather, had to carve his own way.
    no doubt that the way he pushes himself on Su in is wrong. and can’t be excepted. i’m not trying to defend him here.
    but, other than that and from epi 4 onwards,
    I love his love for life.
    his attention to detailes, to nature.
    the way he sees through other people thoughts and feelings.
    the help(emotional and other) he gives to his friends, to Haru.
    he is there for them. the help he gives Suin’s mom.
    he is a treasure in my opinion, who was very wrong in the beginning,
    but is very right right now.

  12. 12 XE

    what’s the title of this episode?

  13. 13 embermiya

    “Let’s just admit it… this show hasn’t been the same since the dog died.”
    I actually agree with this sentiment. This drama took a sharp downturn after Wal died.
    I also agree with anny3fam about Hwal’s character. I actually do not like him very much, though I think Lee Jung Jae is gorgeous.

  14. 14 gphoenix

    This series is boring! There is no real plot, and falling in love with a step brother who is 10 years older is weird. In that time slot, I rather watch Swallow the Sun or Partners. Actually, Partners has a more interesting storyline and better acting.

  15. 15 hh

    yeah, same like #12.. what’s the title of this episode? i thought i might have skip it, but, when i look for it all over again, i don’t think you put the title of this episode.. ^^

    oh, and thank you for all of your news updates! i keep on reading this blog for updates on korea! thanks a mill! (^^)v

  16. 16 luraaa

    I haven’t seen this series, but I think it was very brave for the producers and writer (and the whole crew) to come up with this kind of show. It wasn’t appreciated very well by the Korean audience, as they are more into the typical melodramas which I don’t think they’ll ever get tired of. Thank God though that they have new unconventional dramas (like Story of a Man) nowadays. It saves me from the tragedies of the typical Korean dramas.

    If you say that this is a slice of life kind of story, then, this isn’t really for everyone. I suppose this is the kind of show that you could keep watching forever, without really ending it because there’s something inside you that doesn’t want to let go of the characters. And so you continue watching them, even though it takes forever for you to finish it. And when you do, you’ll feel different because it felt like you were also part of the show.

    Anyway, point is, this isn’t really for everyone. Some get bored, some got hooked, while some, don’t finish it. But then again, that’s what JB’s recaps are for.

  17. 17 anny3fam

    “If you say that this is a slice of life kind of story, then, this isn’t really for everyone. I suppose this is the kind of show that you could keep watching forever, without really ending it because there’s something inside you that doesn’t want to let go of the characters. And so you continue watching them, even though it takes forever for you to finish it. And when you do, you’ll feel different because it felt like you were also part of the show.

    Anyway, point is, this isn’t really for everyone. Some get bored, some got hooked, while some, don’t finish it. But then again, that’s what JB’s recaps are for.”

    great analysis!
    that is it for me, i guess.
    makes me think about my life, the people who were in it, and not anymore.
    the mistakes we made. and it’s hard for me to let go although not completely satisfied..

    thank you Javabeans for this blog and everything in it.

  18. 18 Thai Fan

    Dear Javabeans, Does this mean you’re dropping KJW? Then, can i have him please?

  19. 19 tree

    I have to say I haven’t finished triple yet. I did lose interest around the time Wal did die. LOL.

    There is something appealing about the drama, I know I shouldn’t expect Coffee Prince from it, but I was hoping it would be coffee prince-esque. Triple lacks the oomph that CP had. But I loved the music tracks on Triple.

  20. 20 foru

    I admit that I watched this drama solely for Yoon Kye-sang and as usual he didn’t disappoint me at all but I stopped watching this drama half way. It’s not because it’s not good but it’s just the kind of drama that I’d watch only when I have the free time.

  21. 21 SuzY

    hi, do u know the song that was played in episode 14, when hawl and hara were skating?? its around the 7min..when they were holding hands…thanks!, isit avalible on the ost?? Thankssss so much if u can help…really love this dramaa..esp hawl and hara 🙂

  22. 22 cathie

    I’m pretty much like xiaoSxin. I’ve been watching Triple episodes first then reading Javabean’s recaps. I read them after because I want to know what impression that particular episode left on someone else and compare it with my own. Much like actually talking to someone else who has watched the show.

    Anyway, I think I’m starting to get why not a lot of people like Triple. But for me it does have its own charm that makes it more endearing to watch then let’s say.. Boys Over Flowers. (OK please don’t kill me for that. That’s just my opinion.)

    So I totally agree with luraaa when she said,
    “If you say that this is a slice of life kind of story, then, this isn’t really for everyone. I suppose this is the kind of show that you could keep watching forever, without really ending it because there’s something inside you that doesn’t want to let go of the characters. And so you continue watching them, even though it takes forever for you to finish it. And when you do, you’ll feel different because it felt like you were also part of the show.”

    I feel that Triple is exactly that kind of drama. And these types are rare in my opinion. I felt the same when I finished Coffee Prince and so far from the dramas I’ve watched only Triple has managed to draw out the same effect. I totally do not agree with the whole Haru-Hwal thing but I still manage to pass that and still be able to relate with all of the characters.

    Plus I think Poong Ho was added more than enough motivation to finish this series. (haha :P) He’s just so adorable.

  23. 23 haru+poong-ho

    the only reason i’m watching this drama is because i’m still hoping haru and poong-ho will get together in the end. why didn’t the writers focus on haru’s one-sided love to her brother-by-marriage and then realize later on that it’s just infatuation? because as much as people say its “slice of life” or whatever, if 18 year old haru would get together with her 34 year old brother no matter how many years down the road… it is just too weird / too creepy in more ways than one.

  24. 24 more

    please finish the recaps this is a good drama with great music it’s worth finishing. 😛

  25. 25 kippy

    are you ever going to finish recapping this? it’s sitting in the back of my drama box and i just can’t seem to open it up … but i want to know the endinggggg. please finish your recap!

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How would you rate this episode?

5 Badass. Omg. Squee.

4 If you squint really hard, those plot holes look smaller.

3 A for effort, C for execution.

2 Is it too late to hire a script doctor? I volunteer as tribute.

1 I want my hour back!

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