Love is in the air! To prove it, Hyun-soo will kiss Jung-in… if it kills him. Haha! So as not to give away any spoilers, let’s just say that he makes a lot of kissy faces in this episode.
The relationship between Jung-in and Hyun-soo develops very quickly and sweetly because of their heart-on-your-sleeve honesty… and thankfully there’s lots of cringeworthy hilarity to keep it from getting too saccharine!
SONG OF THE DAY
Norah Jones – “Those Sweet Words.” I couldn’t get this song out of my head while writing this recap. It seemed so apt for the heartfelt moments between Hyun-soo and Jung-in… plus, Norah Jones’s voice is liquid love. [ Download ]
Holding hands, Hyun-soo and Jung-in walk along the romantically-lit street. Realizing that they’d forgotten to pay for the food, they head back to the restaurant. On the way, Jung-in stops him at the place where they’d hugged and says, “Let’s kiss to commemorate this moment.” She puckers up expectantly, but he hits her on the forehead and tells her not to bring up kissing again until he initiates.
Noticing that neither Jung-in nor Hyun-soo have come home yet, Geum-ja is about to check in on his whereabouts, but Sang-hoon stops her from dialing. Her tells her that her (s)mothering ways are the reason why Hyun-soo doesn’t have a girlfriend yet. He says she needn’t worry about Jung-in; without saying who it is, he says Hyun-soo has a one-sided crush on a college classmate. From upstairs, Jung-kyung overhears wistfully.
Ah, the happy couple. They go window-shopping and look at Christmas decorations. Jung-in picks up an angel, saying it looks similar to the statue her grandfather had commissioned when she was born.
Hyun-soo picks out his decoration: a frog.
As they walk home, Jung-in declares their first date a total success—though she admits she is a little disappointed. Hyun-soo knows she’s referring to the fact that there was no commemorative kiss, and he feels the pressure to perform.
He takes her to the pagoda near the house to rest their legs. It’s cold enough that when he sighs, you can see his breath, but he unbuttons his collar and says it’s hot. His statement obviously makes no sense, so he corrects himself, “I mean… compared to yesterday.” LOL.
He leans in, but she bends down at that moment to massage her legs. He awkwardly bobs about a bit trying to angle his way into a kiss, but he can’t find the right position or timing.
Jung-in asks what his first impression of her was, but trails off mid-sentence, recalling their first encounters—when she had gone to his grandfather’s house in a shredded wedding dress, and later got drunk and threw up on the bed:
Jung-in: It would have been nice if I’d looked prettier when we met. I shouldn’t have asked. Please don’t remember it. Oppa… for your part, can it work with someone like me? Can I like you?
Sensing her vulnerability, he admits that his first impression wasn’t the best, but he considers himself fortunate to have met her. He even says he’s always liked frogs and used to catch them with his bare hands as a kid: “It must have been so I could meet you.”
“Jung-in,” he continues, “I’m sorry that when we first met, I wasn’t able to see you for who you are.” He wipes her tears away, then gulps, preparing once more for The Kiss.
The strings play softly. She inches forward—
And grabs him in a hug, crying, “Oppa… Oppa!” He can’t help but laugh. (Macho FAIL.)
They walk hand-in-hand until they get to the house. She lets go and looks warily at the house. Drawing her finger along her throat for emphasis, she tells Hyun-soo that if Geum-ja sees them going in together, she’s dead.
Ever so forthright, Hyun-soo wants to tell Geum-ja that they’re dating, but Jung-in says she’s worried about what will happen between their families if they find out. With an apologetic tone, she asks Hyun-soo to give it some time before they tell their families—so that the families have time to get closer and she has some time to win Geum-ja over.
There are two people in particular they need to be wary of: Geum-ja, whose suspicions have already been roused, and Sung-joon, who’s liable to try to pull something crazy if he finds out they really are dating.
HAHA. This image captures the scene perfectly:
- Jung-in tries to be the sweet, meek daughter[-in-law]
- Feigning ignorance, Sung-joon drops hints right and left that Jung-in would be a catch for “some lucky guy”
- Geum-ja scoffs at the idea
- Joo-hee is cluelessly in her own world.
Trying to score points with Geum-ja, Jung-in lets slip the fact that Sung-joon has been sleeping in Hyun-soo’s bed, and Hyun-soo on the floor. She suggests that they put the mattress on the floor for Hyun-soo, and Sung-joon can sleep on the bed platform.
Geum-ja leaps into action. Hyun-soo insists that he’s fine on the floor, but he’s obviously pleased to hear it was Jung-in’s suggestion. To get Geum-ja off the scent, he noisily complains that Jung-in is always causing a ruckus, like a frog.
Geum-ja is overjoyed at this unfavorable comparison, not realizing it’s actually a term of endearment.
Sung-joon tries to take Jung-in’s mattress, feeling shortchanged that Jung-in is looking out for “Hyun-soo oppa” instead of her blood-related oppa. Jung-kyung is fed up with the both of them, so Sung-joon leaves, offended that neither of his little sisters will take him seriously.
He goes to Ji-soo’s place and vents his frustrations to a very unwilling ear; Ji-soo is busy preparing for the restaurant opening, and not in the mood to entertain her intruder/guest.
He tells her he’s going to wash up at her place and says slyly, “Watch yourself so that you don’t come in.”
Disgusted, Ji-soo balks, “Huh?”
“Into my heart,” he says.
(Hahaha. He is so clueless and cheesy. It’s hilarious to watch him thinking he has the upper hand, while we know she could probably crush him with her pinky finger.)
As if they’re not in the same house at the same time, Hyun-soo and Jung-in are having a lovey-dovey phone call, right down to “You hang up first” and “I miss you already.” After hanging up, Hyun-soo runs upstairs. Jung-in comes out of the bathroom just then, so they sneak back in together (Ooh la la!).
Despite the suggestive circumstances, their romantic jitters make for some hilariously bland, even nonsensical, conversation:
Hyun-soo: Jung-in, remember the socks…
Jung-in: You said you have a lot of socks, right?
Jung-in: I have a lot of stockings, too.
Hyun-soo: Isn’t it cold if you only wear stockings in the winter?
Jung-in: They’re surprisingly warm.
Hyun-soo: That must be nice. I’d like to wear them too.
LOL. But the chitchat masks the sexual tension between these two; once their conversation lapses, Hyun-soo moves in for the kiss, and this time they’re both ready.
Alas! Just then, Grandpa Man-bok knocks and asks, “Who’s in there?”
Romeo hides in the laundry tub, whilst Juliet, remembering to flush the toilet for full effect, leaves first. (That would make Grandpa the Nurse in this scene—teehee.)
Hyun-soo manages to escape, but later runs into Jung-kyung. She asks him why he’d taken Jung-in to Namsan. He says, “I just wanted to be honest with her.”
He explains that he’s never met with Jung-in thinking of her as Jung-kyung’s sister, but since they are sisters after all, he wanted to make sure it was okay with Jung-in that he used to like Jung-kyung.
Jung-kyung acknowledges, “You said you wouldn’t meet with anyone else while thinking of me, so that must mean there’s no room in your heart for me.” But she asks him to reserve a little space for her–as a friend.
(I’ve been really impressed with Jung Kyung-ho–and this moment is an example of why. The way he looks at Jung-kyung in these scene is perfect. It shows sensitivity and concern, but with enough detachment to indicate that he really has moved on.)
Meanwhile, Sung-joon emerges from the shower and blithely continues to flirt with Ji-soo under the guise of calling her his new dongseng (little sister). She’s had enough, so she twists him arm behind has back and kicks him out.
So much is astir tonight! Jung-in sneaks down to Hyun-soo’s room. She sticks a post-it note on which she’s written, “Seo Jung-in’s boyfriend,” and takes a photo.
Over breakfast, Jung-in and Hyun-soo pick up the same types of food at the same time to eat “together” even while in the group. Of course, it doesn’t go unnoticed by ever-watchful Sung-joon.
Jung-kil wakes up in bed with Han-se (HA!!). He’d passed out the night before, after the two had promised: Jung-kil will reclaim the inheritance, and Han-se will reclaim Jung-in.
Each is trying to use the other to achieve his own end, so then argue around each other in circles. Jung-kil says he can’t go back to the house, but Han-se says he has to go back and keep an eye on Jung-in and Hyun-soo.
Jung-kil assures Han-se that Hyun-soo is not Jung-in’s type, and she’s just using him to make Han-se jealous. But Han-se responds, “She’s changed! She was bragging about how he roasted a sweet potato for her.”
Jung-kil: “Hey, do you really think people change that easily? Look at me. Have I changed?”
From Han-se’s look, you can tell he’s thinking: Touche.
At work, Han-se’s secretary says he has found the address of the new owner of the Seo family’s house, who lives in America. Mid-conversation, Han-se smells something pungent. It’s coming from the stairwell, where Jung-in and Hyun-soo are having a picnic that includes some pungent pickled radish.
They hear Han-se’s voice saying “Find the smell!” coming up the stairwell and run off. Hyun-soo drops a container, though, leaving a pile of red pepper sauce behind.
Han-se comes running up the stairs and leaps out of the way. He yells, “CATCH THE BASTARD WHO POOPED ON THE STAIRS!!!” (HAHAHA—Han-se is getting funnier by the episode.)
Jung-kil returns home with a tall tale about how Han-se dragged him away, got him drunk and toyed with his conscience. Grandpa tells him to stop lying and divulge his real reason for returning home.
Jung-kil surmises: Han-se says there’s no inheritance, but Grandpa Man-bok says there is. Therefore, Grandpa’s house must be the inheritance, so he’s come home to reclaim what’s rightfully his.
Grandpa Man-bok tells him to resume working at the construction site to find out if his conclusion is true. This worries Geum-ja–What if what Jung-kil is saying is true, and the house becomes his? She tells Sang-hoon they have two options: 1) for the Seos to become in-laws with Han-se again; or 2) prevent Jung-kil from developing moral character, since that’s Grandpa’s prerequisite.
Han-se happens to catch Hyun-soo practicing kissing against the wall. Alarmed, he follows him to the bathroom, where Hyun-soo is brushing his teeth to get the kimchi smell out.
“You sure are brushing your teeth furiously,” he comments sarcastically.
Hyun-soo waits in the warehouse elevator for Jung-in, with newfound badass flair. “Get on,” he commands.
With MRAWR in every slinky move, he backs her up against the wall and decisively slams his hand against…. the intercom.
“Is there a problem?” a voice asks from overhead.
“No—I pressed it accidentally,” he says, sheepish.
(EPIC MACHO FAIL.) Jung-in doubles over with laughter.
Han-se later confronts Jung-in about Hyun-soo. She tells him not to pry into her life.
Jung-in: I told you I don’t have feelings for you. I’m not someone you can command to come or go because of that money [the cost of the ring]. I’m not afraid of money. The only thing I’m afraid of is losing someone that I’ve finally, finally gained. So don’t interfere in any way with me and Hyun-soo oppa.
Ji-soo and Joo-hee’s joint ddukbokki (spice rice cake) restaurant has its grand opening. The family all turn out to help hand out food and show their support—everyone except Jung-kyung, who’s decided to move out and find her own place.
When Han-se shows up, the mood sours.
Jung-kil quickly takes him inside. Han-se complains that Jung-in definitely has feelings for Hyun-soo. He points out the window and says, “See for yourself whether the two of them have that kind of relationship.”
“It doesn’t look like anything to me,” Jung-kil says. He turns around and asks, “Do you perhaps… have paranoia?”
HAHAHA. Han-se leaves in a huff, and on his way out again tries to cajole Jung-in. Geum-ja cuts in, trying to work her new strategy of getting Han-se and Jung-in back together, and tells her to run after him. Telling Jung-in it’s best to go back to the man that she’s already married, Geum-ja pushes her forward, knocking over a pile of dirty plates.
Hyun-soo’s been watching silently. He bends down to help Jung-in and holds her hand, but she pulls away.
Inside the restaurant, the Kang and Seo parents get in an argument again, this time over Jung-in. Geum-ja complains that Jung-in has been following Hyun-soo around. Having heard Han-se’s latest, though, Jung-kil argues that it’s Hyun-soo who’s following Jung-in around, and he says Geum-ja should tell him to stop.
Hyun-soo follows Jung-in home and says she should stand up to comments like that, and not let what others say get to her.
Jung-in: I don’t care what anyone says. But ahjumma is your mother. I can’t stand to have you listen to those kinds of things. So just go.
Hyun-soo: If I decided to be your boyfriend, isn’t it obvious that I would have to listen to those things? Did you decide to be my girlfriend thinking you wouldn’t hear those things from my mom? Jung-in, isn’t it alright if it doesn’t bother me?
There’s nothing like an argument to bring people closer. He puts his arms around her, and she says, “Sorry. I won’t do that again.”
They’re enjoying the moment, but right when he says, “Let’s stay like this another minute. It’s nice to be just us two in the house”—
Geum-ja comes in.
This series pulls off practical jokes with pitch-perfect timing–like the meditation spot on Han-se in the last episode, the pepper-sauce-poop or the intercom in the elevator. I love Hyun-soo and Han-se’s characters for letting themselves be the butt of so many of the jokes. Props to Lee Kyu-han for having no fear in letting his character be quirky, sometimes sensitive, sometimes dense, and more often than not, completely hilarious to watch as he tumbles from grace. He manages to make Han-se likable, probably because he’s so much fun to laugh at.
I have to admit, about halfway through this episode I was still “Aww”-ing at all the sweet moments between Jung-in and Hyun-soo, but I was also missing their banter. I hope they move past the ‘honeymoon’ phase and settle back into their flirty bickering soon. Although, the elevator scene in this episode got a really hearty laugh out of me. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Lee Min-jung‘s laughter in that scene seemed pretty genuine, too.
On a side note, I’ve been dreading flashbacks as a sign of fatigue on the production & writing team’s part—reusing old material to fill the extra time. Flashbacks begin to appear in this episode, but I actually don’t mind them! They’re not heavy-handed or obtrusive to the flow of the scenes. Instead, they’re treated like snapshots, and frankly some of the references go far enough back that we could use a reminder.
Refreshing writing & production, tight pacing, electric chemistry between the leads, a hilarious supporting cast. The only thing I can think of that would amp up this series a few extra notches would be a more nuanced soundtrack. I like the songs that are used, and I also like the PD’s use of silence (rather than overpowering every scene with a score). But I do think the soundtrack could do more. I’m kind of holding it against the standard of Coffee Prince, though, which is probably setting the bar too high.