Six episodes, five recaps, five days. I am TIRED, yo! I’m going to have to let my brain rest over the weekend and watch something really silly.
On the other hand, these recaps have been a blast to write, if you couldn’t tell. For a melodrama, the episodes have been surprisingly easy to watch. (On the other hand, I heard the effusive praise and tried to watch writer Lee Kyung-hee’s last drama Thank You four separate times, but never could get into it. I still give it its due for being a good drama, but although I tried really hard to like it, I kept zoning out.)
SONG OF THE DAY
Will It Snow For Christmas? OST – Jade – “독한 사랑” (Harsh love) [ Download ]
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Reading Ji-wan’s “lost necklace” notice, Kang-jin is stunned. He thinks back to how he lost it, how he had tried to dive in to the water to find it, and how Ji-wan had seen him crying out for the return of his father.
He asks, “Why do you have this? How do you have it?”
Tae-joon drops by the cafe and hears from the owner about the recent renovations; she gushes about how great Kang-jin was for going out of his way to help. Tae-joon looks at the improvements in Ji-wan’s room, sees the box with Ji-wan’s pendant still unopened, and remembers the first time he’d seen it.
In a flashback, Ji-wan and Tae-joon are drinking in her room, early in their relationship. Ji-wan shows him her family picture, bragging about her handsome, smart older brother. He notices her use of the past tense, and she answers with a wistful smile, “He died. Because of me.” She continues in a light tone that belies the meaning of her words:
Ji-wan: “Someone lost an incredibly precious pendant in the water because of me, and my brother went into the water to get it because of me. And no matter how long I waited, he wouldn’t come out. Because of me. It was all because of me. The reason he lost the pendant and the reason he died is all my fault. If not for me, what would have happened?”
Tae-joon isn’t fooled by her laughing voice — he sees the tears in her eyes — and asks if that’s the pendant she always wears. Why did she never return it if it belonged to someone? He offers, “I’ll buy you a necklace that’s much more beautiful and expensive, so throw that one away.”
Ji-wan refuses: “When I meet him again, I’ll return it. Later, much later, when I meet him again, I’ll return it. Maybe in a hundred years?”
(Note: Throughout this conversation, she refers to the necklace owner in the third person. Perhaps Tae-joon guesses she’s speaking of a man, but she doesn’t explicitly state his gender.)
Back in the present day, Tae-joon takes the necklace out of the box and puts it on the desk, so that Ji-wan will see it.
On his way out, he runs into Ji-wan, who’s just arriving. He refers to the window Kang-jin made her, wondering, “Was I one step too late again?” He asks why she didn’t open the box he gave her.
Ji-wan treats him coolly, asking, “I’m ridiculous in your eyes, aren’t I? No matter what I do, I’m a stupid idiot who means nothing, right?” Tae-joon starts a little at the harshness of the words she uses against herself, and she says bitterly that she thinks she’s stupid herself, so it’s natural that he would have thought the same.
Now she switches to banmal (switching from polite speech to informal language gives her words more force): “But if you’re going to play with me, can you wait a while? I don’t have any energy right now to respond to your games.”
At work, Woo-jung calls both Kang-jin and Tae-joon to her office to remind them that at tomorrow’s presentation, she and her father will attend, signifying how big a deal this project is. Not only is it their company’s entry into the Chinese market, but there are a lot of other things tied up in other industries. While it’s a chance for them to prove themselves, it also represents a risk — and if they should both fail to win the proposal and it goes to another company entirely, both should be ready to resign.
Following this lovely pep talk, Kang-jin asks to be excused; he’s busy. Woo-jung keeps him back, asking him to free up some time for her on the weekend. Her Japanese friend is getting married and told her to bring her boyfriend.
Tae-joon looks at her sharply — she’s doing this to rub it in his face, right? Kang-jin, on the other hand, isn’t persuaded and says flatly, “I have other plans.” As he leaves, she calls out, “You can cancel them.” She’ll have his ticket ready and tells him to meet her at the airport.
Woo-jung marvels at how attractive she finds Kang-jin — he doesn’t even treat her differently because of her father, and he ignores her entirely. Other women might be daunted, but Woo-jung sees him as a challenge: “Easy men are no fun.”
Tae-joon thinks she’s being pretty outrageous, and asks, “Is it that hard for you? I know how tough it must be, but you don’t have to stoop this low. Why mess with Team Leader Cha?”
She laughs at his assumption that she’s doing this all just to piss him off, saying, “I’d love to do such an immature thing, but at some point I started to feel something for him. I’d have trouble eating because of something he said, and be bothered by something he does and not be able to sleep. I wonder about him about twenty times a day. What he’s doing, who he’s meeting. I like him, don’t I?” Assuming that Tae-joon has he decided to start over with Ji-wan, she tells him, “Go the path that’s right for you, and I’ll go the path that’s right for me.”
Stopping by Kang-jin’s desk on his way out, Tae-joon says sarcastically that he’s been one-upped twice by him: “How do I repay all this kindness?”
I can see how Tae-joon might feel affronted, since he doesn’t know Kang-jin’s history with Ji-wan. He demands, “Are you interested in our Ji-wan? You’re a very attractive person and I know you have women flocking to you, but don’t you think setting your sights on your co-worker’s fiancee is going too far? Don’t keep messing with Ji-wan.”
Kang-jin has been silent this whole time, and startles Tae-joon with his terse reply: “No.” Tae-joon: “What?” Kang-jin repeats, louder now, “NO.”
With Bu-san still accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Chun-hee calls for a meeting with Young-sook, who starts out a little defensive, assuming that Chun-hee will attack her.
Instead, Chun-hee pleads, saying that Young-sook is the only one who can help. She knows that they saw each other at the flower shop: “I know you’re lying because you hate me. If you want to fight, fight with me. Why take it out on an innocent kid? Aren’t you also a mother of a son?” Chun-hee asks what it’ll take — should she kneel, beg, sell everything for money?
A little desperately, Young-sook says, “Disappear from my sight. Move back to where you came from. Then I’ll do everything you say.”
That’s… not something she was prepared to do. Wordlessly, Chun-hee adds sugar to her coffee, lump after lump. To drown out the bitterness?
Chun-hee’s tone hardens as she decides, “No, I think I’ll let Bu-san go to prison. His innocence will probably come out eventually. Even if not, well, that’s the fault of being born to a worse fate than most others.” Young-sook’s face falls and she looks stricken as Chun-hee declares that no, she will not move: “I’ll stay by Han Jun-su.”
Jun-su drops by the police station, where he watches Bu-san sleeping. (I had wondered at the flower shop whether Jun-su might be Bu-san’s father — there’s something in the way that he looked at him — and now that question returns. Perhaps we’re all being misled with the Kang-jin–Ji-wan drama…)
At home, Jun-su tells his wife that he had seen her at the police station earlier — did she go because she felt sorry for him? “Was it because you felt the same way I did?” He also admits that he saw them talking at the flower shop. Young-sook asks, scared, whether he told the truth to the police. Did he turn her in?
He sees her anxiousness and smiles reassuringly, “I won’t tell. Don’t worry.”
Ji-wan had rushed off to class without seeing the pendant on her desk, so she’s still looking for it. She takes a phone call with someone who saw her flyer, which turns out to be a prank call from a pervert. She bursts out indignantly at his crass comment before recalling that she’s in a lecture hall.
The professor is so offended at the disruption (and her general lack of focus these days) that he orders her to leave class. Furthermore, nobody is to let her back in and if they should ever hear of her trying to open her own practice in her hometown, as is her dream, they should stop her.
She trudges back after class, angry with herself for being so stupid. Banging her head on the bus stop, she calls herself names — and belatedly realizes that the lost necklace posters look different. They’ve been redone on a computer, with a new drawing and a much more professional style.
Ji-wan is shocked — who could have done it? The answer dawns on her slowly, and she races to the Bumseo Group office.
It could be either Kang-jin or Tae-joon, but she guesses that it’s Kang-jin. Running into his co-worker Jae-hyun in the lobby, she starts to ask for him hesitantly… only to be cut off by the arrival of Woo-jung.
Woo-jung assumes she’s here to see Tae-joon and instructs Jae-hyun to call him down to meet his fiancee. She’s here to deliver food for Kang-jin, who is busy working. She announces, “I’m going to make a play for him, officially.”
Jae-hyun warns her that it’ll look bad if she goes up to see him. Woo-jung doesn’t care about appearances, but concedes and lets Jae-hyun deliver the food instead, even though Jae-hyun grumbles that Kang-jin won’t accept it.
After Jae-hyun leaves, Woo-jung approaches Ji-wan in a friendly way, assuring her that she won’t interfere with her engagement with Tae-joon this time. Ji-wan starts to speak up, as though to correct her mistaken assumption, but Woo-jung doesn’t let her get a word in.
Disturbed over Woo-jung’s declaration, Ji-wan walks out of the building just as Tae-joon arrives, having been told she was here to see him. He doesn’t see her.
At the cafe, she receives another shock to find Kang-jin there, holding a meeting about the Chinese development proposal. When they meet eyes, Ji-wan abruptly walks out.
He wraps up his meeting (sigh, such awkward English, but it’s okay I still luff him), then looks around for Ji-wan. She’s huddled around the corner, clutching the flyer. He refers to the notice:
Kang-jin: “I thought it was impossible, but I drew it anyway. It was definitely lost in the water, and I thought I’d never be able to find it again. How do you have it? Did my eyes deceive me? Did I hallucinate? Can you explain? Is that my pendant?”
Ji-wan fumbles for an answer: “It’s… a gift from a friend. There are so many things that look similar in the world. You’re mistaken. That’s mine.”
He doesn’t believe her. His eyes fill, ever so slowly, with tears, as she issues lame denials:
Ji-wan: “Do you really think that makes sense? Do you think I would have gone into that cold water just to find that old thing? Am I a dumb fool? Why would I do that over something impossible to find, when trying could kill… Why would I?”
Kang-jin, so sharp to perceive it, furrows his brow when she trips over the word “kill” — it’s possible that this starts to jog his memory. Ji-wan hurriedly wraps up her explanation by saying that his design is different anyway.
But even she knows that her excuses sound lame. In her room, she looks up at her family portrait and says, “Oppa, Kang-jin oppa knows the truth, doesn’t he? He found out I had his pendant, right? Why do I always mess things up like this?”
Her gaze falls on her desk, where the jewelry box is now open. She grabs the pendant in relief; the realization hits her belatedly of how this got here.
Chun-hee had defied Young-sook’s request to her face, but now she hurriedly packs up her belongings, preparing to move. She is a mother, after all, and she really does love Bu-san, so she’s prepared to make this sacrifice. But a phone call changes things: Bu-san will be released. Young-sook confirmed his alibi.
Chun-hee runs to the station to catch up with Young-sook and tells her, “I’m… not going to move. It took a lot to come back, and my mother’s buried here. I’m old now and don’t have it in me to leave my hometown and start over.”
Young-sook is sad and resigned, as though she’s given up hope. She turns to leave, and Chun-hee adds, “I won’t smile at Han Jun-su. I might smile at other men, but I won’t smile at him. Even if I walk past him, I won’t acknowledge him, although if he talks to me first, I won’t be able to help it.”
It’s her way of thanking Young-sook and she holds up her finger to pinky-swear. Young-sook ignores the gesture, walking on wordlessly.
With the presentation looming, both teams hustle to complete their work that night. The office is a blur of activity and stress. Tae-joon lets his displeasure show in frustrated outbursts to his staff, but he finishes his preparations first. Kang-jin wraps up later that night.
Meanwhile, Ji-wan falls asleep clutching the pendant.
In the morning, the directors and clients file into the boardroom. Tae-joon’s presentation is first, and his work is professional, crisp, and well-received.
After spending all night at the office, Kang-jin washes up in the bathroom, and when he comes back to his desk, disaster has struck. A computer error has erased their master file.
Kang-jin sweats through Tae-joon’s presentation, trying to find a last-minute solution. (Go Soo does a wonderful job portraying his contained panic.) Woo-jung notices, and looks at him in concern
When Kang-jin is called up, he’s distracted and his silence unnerves the room. Finally, he makes a decision and takes off his jacket and tie. He starts to draw.
He works quickly and busily, and when he’s done he has produced a rendering of a modern city nestled in the mountains, drawn to recall a classical art style. With hands still smudged with charcoal, he takes the podium:
Kang-jin: “This may be presumptuous of me, but I consider the most outstanding construction to be something that isn’t built. But that’s my own philosophy, so this time I countered with a realistic design. What is the perfect construction? Ultimately it’s man, and nature. I want to leave this city to my descendants hundreds of years later. I want to leave behind a city that then, as now, breathes as one with nature. Man — nature — an ideal city that is built with mutual communication. This is Green City.”
Woo-jung claps for him enthusiastically — but she’s the only one. Slowly, the others join in dubiously, more as a polite gesture than anything. It’s a cool moment to see Kang-jin rise to the occasion in a crisis, but his presentation is at best a pretty speech.
So, Tae-joon wins.
Drinking a beer bought at the nearby store, Kang-jin spies Ji-wan heading to the bus stop. He follows and boards the bus, surprising her when he drops in the seat next to her. He speaks without looking at her, just talking in his tired voice:
Kang-jin: “Your parents would be thrilled to know. They wouldn’t never have guessed that you’re going to Oriental medicine school and studying so hard. There was a presentation I really wanted to win, but… I lost. I’m not used to losing, so I don’t know what to do at a time like this, or what I should do. Even if I drink I can’t fall sleep, and even though I want to sleep, I can’t.”
He rests his head back and closes his eyes, continuing:
Kang-jin: “I thought from the start that it was impossible for you to have the pendant, but to go looking for that old thing… To go into that cold water… Yeah, that makes no sense. Why would you do that?”
He’s repeating her own words of denial — that she wouldn’t have gone “into that cold water” just to get “that old thing.” Ji-wan starts to break down, tears forming in her eyes as Kang-jin falls asleep.
Some time later, the beer can in his hand starts to fall from his grasp. She grabs it, and just as her stop is announced, his head falls onto her shoulder. Ji-wan takes out the pendant, which she’s wearing, and looks at it.
When Kang-jin awakes, the bus is empty and parked back at the depot. Looking around wearily, he rubs his eyes — which is when he sees what Ji-wan has left in his hand, looped around his wrist.
Back in their hometown of Sancheong, Chun-hee is back to her old self. She has to convince a disgruntled customer that she was just joking around because she was bored, and promises to be the cute, flirty madam they’re used to.
It’s hilarious when she smiles widely to prove it just as Jun-su bursts into the cafe. The smile freezes and Chun-hee averts her face right away, given her old promise not to smile at anyone else. To her surprise, he tells her insistently, “Go on a date with me today.”
Tae-joon is feeling great at his victory and celebrates with his team. The client had decided against Kang-jin because they couldn’t put their trust in someone who would lose their master file on such an important day.
Woo-jung is suspicious, and asks Jae-hyun if this has ever happened before. Hearing that this is the first, she deduces that this means someone may have had a hand in making the file disappear. It’s a good thing they installed security cameras in the company a few months ago, which the other team leaders (including Kang-jin and Tae-joon) know.
Sure enough, reviewing the footage reveals something suspicious: a man sneakily doing something on Kang-jin’s computer.
That night, Kang-jin waits at the cafe for Ji-wan to come home, clutching his returned pendant. He approaches her at the door, and as she turns to face him, it seems like she’s bracing herself for his scorn.
In a hard tone, he asks, “What are you? Who are you?!” He steps toward her and grabs her by the upper arms, fixing her with an angry gaze.
Kang-jin’s tone grows increasingly condemning and his face twists as he demands, “What the hell are you doing, you bastard?” His voice breaks, contrasting with the startlingly severe words:
Kang-jin: “Who the hell are you to interfere in someone else’s life…? Do you want to die? Who the hell do you think you are?”
The moment is charged and Ji-wan can only await his ire… but he pulls her to him, tears falling from both their eyes.
What I love about this hug is that, in contrast to his last one (and our expectations), it’s not intense, or possessive or passionate. It’s incredibly tender, and the action gentles the harshness of his words.
And watching this all is Tae-joon.
First, the sabotage: I can’t tell if the man on the security camera is Tae-joon’s close colleague, but I’m betting that if it is, Tae-joon is not aware of it. At first I thought this was another reason for me to hate him for being insecure and weak, but if the team leaders all know about the cameras, there’s no way Tae-joon would risk getting caught so blatantly. So the question now is whether this is a simple case of sabotaging Kang-jin to help Tae-joon, or if there’s a more complex power play at work.
I suspect that the ending scene — which I agree is fantastic — will be the buzz among most fans, but I actually had a few other favorite moments. I definitely love the dramatic, intense scenes, especially when they’re acted so well — but the small, subtle moments can also be powerful.
Maybe this will sound surprising, but Ji-wan’s drunken conversation with Tae-joon is actually one of my favorite Ji-wan scenes. I don’t think I was too hard on Han Ye-seul in the last recap, because it’s true that she’s not as strong as the others, and that can be really frustrating in key moments. What could be fantastic becomes merely acceptable, and when you can see the potential there… urg.
But I really appreciated how she played Ji-wan’s revelation that she was the reason her brother died. She smiles and talks in an upbeat tone, but her voice trembles and her eyes tear up. It’s the incongruity of her attitude with the horrible words that makes the moment so awful and sad. Tae-joon realizes this, which is why his expression immediately turns serious, even as Ji-wan continues to act like this is no big deal, ho-hum, I’m a stupid foolish idiot who killed my brother and doesn’t deserve to live, la la.
She says, interestingly, that she intends to return the pendant in a hundred years or so. Maybe after she has sufficiently atoned for her sins? Ji-wan is incredibly hard on herself, which is understandable — even before the tragedy, she’d been a disappointing student and a trial to her parents, always embarrassing herself. Given the magnitude of her loss, she has locked herself into this fixed image of herself, and there’s no dragging her out of it. Which is why Kang-jin’s diatribe at the end is like a confirmation — something that she probably feared and also felt she deserved. So when he pulls her to him, he’s showing that she is forgiven.
Another really lovely moment is when Kang-jin finds the pendant in his hand. Awesome. One of the things this drama does so well is in packing such an emotional punch into scenes that are wordless.
But what the hell is going on with that bandaged finger? I’m very nervous about it. I’m warning you, drama, if you kill Kang-jin, I WILL NEVER WATCH A MELODRAMA AGAIN.
All right, so I know it’s a melodrama and tragedy comes with the territory and writer Lee Kyung-hee loves to torture her heroes, I get it etc etc. I knew that going in. But I don’t need sunshine and roses. I’m not asking for neatly tied ends or candy-coated fluffery. I’ll make do with bittersweet. (Hint: There are three other characters who could die and provide us with a bittersweet ending. Four if you count Chun-hee.) But I will feel really burned if they kill off my
Go Soo Kang-jin. You took him for TWO YEARS, Korea! You have to give us some time to enjoy having him back, and not make us bawl right away by subjecting Kang-jin to some kind of gloriously, ecstatically tragic death.
Also, there’s a recurring habit of the director to linger on windows. Shots through bus windows, glass jars, shut doors, etc. I’m still on the fence as to whether it’s a meaningful choice or just because the director thinks it’s visually interesting. But given the deliberate plot point involving the window in Episode 5, I’ll dip my toe into the symbology: at least in the case of Ji-wan’s room, it seems clear that Kang-jin is literally offering her a view outside her closed box, which also works figuratively. She’s shut herself off for so many years and he has to be the one to draw her out, since he’s tied up so inextricably with the source of her trauma.
(I just hope this doesn’t come at the expense of himself, since that injury was a direct result of this literal window-creation in the first place. It seems too simplistic to make him get the injury because of Ji-wan’s real-life window, and correlate that directly to the creation of her metaphorical window (i.e., drawing her outside of her shell). You hear me, writer lady? You can’t kill him off because it’s too literal a representation of the injury! It’s bad writing! You don’t want that!)
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 5
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 4
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 3
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episodes 1-2
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