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.
SONG OF THE DAY
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 ]
EPISODE 14 RECAP
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.
- Triple: Episode 13
- Triple: Episode 12
- Triple: Episode 11
- Triple: Episode 10
- Triple: Episode 9
- Triple: Episode 8
- Triple: Episode 7
- Triple: Episode 6
- Don’t trust that cute face of Song Joong-ki’s
- Interview from the cast of Triple
- Triple: Episode 5
- Triple: Episode 4
- Triple: Episode 3
- Triple: Episode 2
- Triple: Episode 1