A happy note on the ratings:
Will It Snow For Christmas had been holding its breath for a ratings upswing once IRIS ended, and it has gotten its wish: the numbers, which have hovered in the 8%-9% range, shot up to 16.4% for this episode. Without its blockbuster rival, it managed a first-place finish (it was up against the IRIS broadcast special, which pulled in a 12%, and Hero, which is still struggling but improved ever so slightly with a 6.4%).
SONG OF THE DAY
Lucid Fall – “Les Miserables” (Part 1) from his new (fourth) album. [ Download ]
EPISODE 7 RECAP
When Kang-jin gets the necklace back, it signifies a couple things: First, that Ji-wan, who has pretending the past was over and insignificant to her, is admitting that it wasn’t all forgotten. More importantly, it also tells him that she does care for him — and that her comments that only a fool would go into that cold water to get the pendant were referring to herself. And the only reason she would have done that is… if she loved him.
So he tells her earnestly, fervently:
Kang-jin: “Let’s take it slow. There are so many things I want to ask you, to hear from you, to tell you — I want to hold onto you and stay up all night for days, but let’s do it slowly. From now on, I’m going to see you every single day. I’ll come to you every day, and talk to you every day, and listen to you talk every day. About how I lived the last eight years, how you lived. And after you left so suddenly, what I lived for, and what you lived for.”
Ji-wan goes inside, still in shock from his words.
Tae-joon has seen this exchange, and returns home to find Woo-jung outside his door with a bottle of champagne, with which she congratulates him on his win. The real reason for her visit becomes apparent when she nonchalantly shows him the video footage of his teammate tampering with Kang-jin’s computer. Her friendly smile turns accusing when she asks, “Was it that hard for you? Even if it was, this is too low. I went so far as to risk my life for a guy like this — how can you do this?”
Tae-joon doesn’t bother defending himself and asks grimly what she wants of him — his resignation? Surprisingly, Woo-jung breaks the disc in half and tells him, “The is the last show of my love and my friendship.”
Taking into account the violence of Woo-jung’s affections for Tae-joon when they were dating, it makes sense that she feels betrayed by him now. She’d thought their love was enduring and worthy, but this makes her question whether she was wrong about him from the start.
She leaves, and Tae-joon races out to catch up to her at the elevator. He says, almost defiantly, “I wanted to win. I wanted to win over your father, no matter what I had to do. Are you happy?”
He raises a hand to brush a tear from Woo-jung’s face just as the elevator doors open and Kang-jin walks out. Kang-jin doesn’t particularly care about what he’s seen and continues on until Tae-joon calls out, stopping him. Tae-joon pins him with a stormy glare but doesn’t speak, and Kang-jin leaves.
Kang-jin takes out the necklace and greets it: “It’s been a long while, Father.”
Looking out his window at the moon, he says, “Thanks. Good night, Han Ji-wan.”
I love these mother-son phone calls. This time, Chun-hee jokes that she wants a rich, dying man to cling to and live off of. Kang-jin asks how she feels about a nice, caring man instead, which she scoffs at as pointless. He tells her, more seriously now, “Even if you only live for a day, live with someone you love.”
Chun-hee jeers at the word “love,” but she’s not as cold-hearted as she acts. Take her reaction to the fact that Jun-su has been coming by the tearoom to see her daily for the last four days. Jun-su insists on a date and stubbornly waits outside by his car, but she hasn’t accepted.
Chun-hee goes outside and asks whether if his wife knows he’s doing this. He answers, “Yes, she ought to know by now.” Chun-hee has not flirted or tried to seduce him at all, so this confuses her: “She knows, and still you’re doing this?” Is he ill? Chun-hee, still suspicious, leaves him outside without agreeing.
He doesn’t take that rejection, however, and continues to wait outside. This is mighty baffling to Chun-hee — when she tried so hard to get his attention, he didn’t look at her once: “Why now?”
Ji-wan opens up the cafe in the morning, and when she pulls up the blinds, she finds a poster attached to the glass. It reads (IT IS SO CUTE):
An invitation for Han Ji-wan-nim
Time: Today at 6pm
Location: Imo e nadia Restaurant
Goal: A date (also, have a very important thing I want to give you)
Invitation from: Super-cool CHA KANG-JIN
P.S. Will wait till you come. If you don’t come, may even cry.
It’s so childish that it’s adorable to think of the normally austere Kang-jin going to such lengths for a date.
Tae-joon comes by, and Ji-wan asks if he has time for some tea. After the scene with Kang-jin last night and the poster this morning, she’s in a happy mood, and thanks Tae-joon for returning the pendant. He’s relieved to see her smiling again, and cautions her to be careful so she doesn’t lose it again.
Ji-wan answers, “The pendant was returned to its owner. Thanks to you.” Connecting the dots, he asks, “Is it… someone I know?” She confirms it: “It’s Kang-jin oppa… Team Leader Cha Kang-jin.”
That makes him upset, and his voice grows hard: “Why did you pretend it wasn’t? Why did you act like you didn’t know him? Why did you treat me like a fool and play around with me?” Ji-wan confesses, “Because I was scared. I was too afraid that I’d like Kang-jin oppa again.”
Which is, essentially, a declaration that she does. Judging from Tae-joon’s reaction, he arrives at the same conclusion.
Woo-jung receives the disturbing news that Kang-jin had checked the master security tapes yesterday, meaning that her cover-up for Tae-joon was for naught. Kang-jin must have been suspicious from the start and knew to check the cameras. Woo-jung’s an angry panicker, so she has a brief tantrum and shoves papers from her desk.
She does, however, pull it together enough to drop by a meeting, interrupting to ask for a few minutes of Kang-jin’s time.
The team is working on a multi-shopping mall project in Gampo, and Tae-joon provokes a minor clash with Kang-jin. Tae-joon questions him — twice — about whether Kang-jin has taken the proper care to deal with construction issues regarding gravesites and potential cultural assets in the area. Kang-jin reads this as a challenge of his authority and answers that they’ve done all the necessary steps and there are no problems.
After Tae-joon dismisses the meeting, Woo-jung asks (a little nervously) about his visit to check on the security cameras, and asks him for a favor — to let it go. When asked if Tae-joon made the request, she answers that she’s asking “100% for myself.”
He wonders, “If you like him that much, why did you act like that with me? Why did you do that with someone you had no feelings for?” Without waiting for a response, he sighs that she doesn’t have to worry — he won’t make an issue of it.
This is exactly the kind of thing that answers his own question, as Woo-jung points out: “Because you’re so cool, I keep feeling conflicted. I do have feelings for you. When I look at you, I feel butterflies. If I have ten rooms in my heart, Park Tae-joon has seven, and you have three.” Knowing she sounds crazy, she decides to push it one step further and asks whether he’d consider a contract-dating relationship with her, just until she can clear out the other “rooms.” Can’t he help her out?
Kang-jin isn’t interested, but he seems amused at Woo-jung’s brazenness.
Tae-joon wrestles with his jealousy of Kang-jin for winning over both the women in his life. He receives word from his teammate that someone related to their current development project is on his way to Seoul to meet with Kang-jin, and is assured that the issue of the graves “is bound to become an issue.” While he doesn’t expand on what that means, the ominous tone of this scene suggests that they’re the ones who are going to make it an issue.
After days of waiting, finally Chun-hee shows up to meet Jun-su at his car, all dolled up for a day out. But she still harbors reservations, and says (as though trying to convince herself she’s not doing anything wrong), “This is not a date. You’re just going to run your errand and I’ll run mine, and we’re just sharing a car in this country that has no oil of its own.”
She’s surprised when he announces that they’re going all the way to Seoul for their date, but settles back for the ride. When they stop the car for a short break, Jun-su asks how long Chun-hee waited “back then” at the train station. Thirty years ago, they had agreed to run away to Seoul together and set a time to meet at the train station. Hearing her answer (two days), he sighs.
Jun-su: “If I didn’t come after a while, you should have figured it out. Why did you wait two days, foolishly?”
Chun-hee: “I thought you’d gotten confused. I thought you forgot the first date, so I waited another day, but you didn’t come. I figured, ‘This guy must not be coming, not ever.’ So I took the train alone. But why didn’t you come? Did you get caught by Young-sook?”
When they finally arrive in Seoul, Chun-hee’s puzzled to see that they’ve arrived at a hospital. He explains awkwardly that he has a friend here who agreed to do an exam for free. He doesn’t want to do it alone, so he wants to do it with her.
Chun-hee starts to laugh that he should bring his wife instead, but breaks off mid-speech, truth dawning on her: “Am I sick?” Did the results of her exam in Sancheong come out odd? Did he lie to keep her from getting scared?
Jun-su tries to maintain a calm demeanor, saying they won’t know anything until they do the exam, but she cuts him off. She doesn’t want to know. She won’t do the exam. She wants to go on their date. And if he refuses to take her, well, her son lives in Seoul — she can go on a nice date with him, instead.
That evening, Kang-jin waits at the restaurant for Ji-wan — at first eagerly, but as the night wears on, his mood deflates. But still, he waits. While working at the cafe, Ji-wan vacillates over whether to go, and finally decides to meet him (it’s the P.S. about possibly crying that seems to spur her on). At the restaurant, she is led to Kang-jin’s table — only to find it empty.
She turns to leave and comes face to face with Kang-jin, who eyes her sternly. He says grumpily that he’d gone to buy a blanket, since he was determined to stay until she showed up.
Grabbing her face in his hands, he says in his cranky tone, “You haven’t changed at all. You’re just as ugly as ever.” That piques her pride, and she mumbles, barely audible, “Like you’re so good-looking…”
He insists she speak louder and to his face, and makes her repeat herself. She retorts, “You’re just as ugly as me! What, do you think you’re so incredibly good-looking?”
He announces, “I AM good-looking! How can you compare yourself to me? If you can find a guy who’s as handsome and cool and perfect as I am, tell him to come out!”
Note that the entire restaurant is looking at them curiously by this point, and Ji-wan is feeling rather provoked. Slowly, he breaks into a grin, then bursts out laughing, which leaves her confused. He assures her, “You’re pretty, Han Ji-wan. Today you’re really beautiful.”
(How cute is Kang-jin, playing peek-a-boo with the menu? He playfully hides, peering out at Ji-wan, who is still feeling a little miffed.)
Unfortunately, he gets an urgent call from work that requires him to head over immediately. Ji-wan understands and starts to get up to leave, but he tells her to stay and eat. He’ll be back in an hour. She answers amiably that since she made him wait an hour and a half, this makes them even.
Telling her to order the most expensive thing on the menu, he promises to return soon.
A group of men are causing a ruckus in the office, angrily facing off against Tae-joon. The leader demands to see the man in charge, which is when Kang-jin announces himself. The man is here to complain about the new development, accusing them of plowing over his father’s grave.
Assessing the situation, Kang-jin asks, “You’re scamming me, right? You’re a fake. That’s not your father’s grave, is it?” (Note that Tae-joon and his teammate have interesting looks on their faces that hint that Kang-jin may be on to something.) Kang-jin says with cool logic that if he were really his son, he wouldn’t have let his father’s grave to such careless care. They’ve spent the last three months meticulously researching and contacting those involved.
The tense atmosphere is interrupted when Woo-jung steps in and announces herself as the main person in charge. She apologizes for her employee’s mistakes, saying that it’s their responsibility to take all the proper precautions. She bows and apologizes to the man.
In the privacy of her office, Woo-jung yells at Kang-jin for getting angry when he should have taken the proper measures to prevent this. If Bumseo Group loses this contract, they’ll be losing a tremendous amount of money. The angry man has agreed to negotiate after they fire Kang-jin, so she warns him to go and beg for forgiveness.
He cuts in, “I don’t want to do that.” He stalks out without another word.
Immediately, he asks his employee for materials related to the Gampo shopping mall project (which, by the way, elicits a tense look from Tae-joon). He dives into work, forgetting all about his dinner date.
Ji-wan waits with an upbeat mood at first, waiting to order until Kang-jin returns. She plays with his phone, which he has accidentally left behind, taking sel-ca (self-shot) photos with it and playing games. But finally, the restaurant has to ask her to leave as they close for the night.
As she leaves, his phone rings. She answers as a secretary would, explaining to the caller that Kang-jin isn’t available at the moment, and that he had left the phone behind accidentally.
She doesn’t immediately recognize the voice on the other end: it’s her father, calling to ask if Chun-hee is with Kang-jin. She has gone off somewhere and he can’t find her, so he hopes she’s with her son.
Belatedly, she recalls his name and asks him to repeat it. He does, adding that if Kang-jin will know who he is if she says it’s the Oriental medicine doctor from Sancheong. Jun-su apologizes for troubling her, calling her ‘miss.’
After he hangs up, she fights her tears as she says, “I’m not ‘miss,’ I’m your daughter Ji-wan.”
Chun-hee finds Jun-su soon afterward, now in a calmer frame of mind. She was going to see Kang-jin, but had turned back instead. She has decided, “I want to go on a date with you.” This is a hard-won opportunity, so she won’t let it go so easily. She’ll do the exam too, and if it turns out there’s something wrong with her, Jun-su can fix her.
Jun-su agrees to take her for an exam the next morning, and sees her to her hotel room. When he bids her good night, she asks him to stay with her, assuring him she won’t make a move. She promises, “Unlike someone else, I won’t take a friend’s man.”
Jun-su says with a rueful smile, “It’s not that I don’t trust you, but I don’t trust myself. I’m afraid I’ll make the move.”
The sad smile makes me think he’s saying this for her benefit, as a kindness to her in light of the bad news. Jun-su spends the night in his car, while at home, Young-sook is a mess of nerves. Chun-hee spends the night in her grand hotel room alone.
Wrapped up in work, Kang-jin doesn’t realize the time until late that night, when the office is empty. Belatedly, he remembers leaving Ji-wan at the restaurant and runs to her cafe, which is closed. Remembering that he told her not to move a muscle, he then runs to the restaurant, which is also closed. Ji-wan sits outside, still waiting.
Feeling guilty to see her looking so down, he apologizes. He must think she’s sad at his neglect, not knowing that she has been shaken by her father’s phone call. She looks up with teary eyes but says merely, “I’m hungry.”
At a pojangmacha, she wolfs down her food (which makes him feel worse, because she’d gone hungry waiting for him). Remembering that he had something to give her, he hands over a package, which is his way of thanking her for returning his father’s pendant.
Opening it, she finds several notebooks. They’re her brother’s. He explains that her brother had come to see him once, asking, “Are you Ji-wan’s sneakers?” (Referring to the time he went barefoot to return her shoes to her.)
Ji-wan opens a notebook to read the message Ji-yong had written to Kang-jin:
“Hey, sneakers! These are my secret notes that I never show anyone, but I’ll show you. It’ll be a huge help to you in the entrance exams. I’d like to meet you as a hoobae [junior] at my school. When we meet then, I’ll give you more things. Look over these notes, and give them to our Ji-wan, though I’m not sure if that slacker will be able to follow. But hold her hand tightly and bring her to our school. I’m trusting in your skills. Let’s see each other more often, sneakers.
—Ji-wan’s brother, Han Ji-yong.”
Kang-jin says that the notes were helpful to him and, as instructed, he did end up going to the same school. He’d wanted to return the notes to her, but she suddenly ran away: “Now you can tell me why you did that. Why did you go without a word, so suddenly?”
Ji-wan doesn’t answer. Rather, she asks him for some milk.
When Kang-jin returns from the convenience store with a carton of milk, Ji-wan is gone. He runs out into the streets, shouting her name, looking for her.
Ji-wan trudges along clutching her brother’s notes, taking swigs from a soju bottle. She recalls the scene with her brother before he had gone into the water, and his last words to her, which seem particularly prescient in retrospect: “If I can’t find the pendant today, I won’t bother coming out of the water.”
Some time later, Tae-joon receives a call from Ji-wan’s phone, although the voice on the other end belongs to a policeman. Ji-wan had been found hunched on the street after drinking three bottles of soju.
Tae-joon rushes to the station and finds her asleep, and urges her to awaken.
Ji-wan: “I’d completely forgotten. I’d forgotten. That my brother died because of me. I told you about it before. I’d totally forgotten. He was trying to find the pendant — Kang-jin oppa’s pendant — and died, and I’d forgotten about it. After my brother died like that, how could I see Kang-jin oppa again?”
And Kang-jin shows up just in time to catch that last part.
This episode contains one of my favorite moments in a kdrama: The outing of the truth. Now the characters all know how they feel, and the big question haunting their past is revealed.
This does, on the other hand, make me a little nervous, because now the angst begins in earnest. Not to say we’ve been without it thus far. A drama may have a plethora of sources of angst, like Kang-jin’s father issues, Ji-wan’s guilt, Jun-su and Chun-hee’s fallout, and so on. But The Big Angst of a melodrama is, generally speaking, the reason keeping the main couple apart — and with this confession, we’re opening the door for that scenario. I can only hope that they handle it with care! Once a drama goes all makjang on the OTP — meaning it throws all sorts of crazy plot devices at the couple to split them up — I throw up my hands in frustration.
I don’t actually believe that Ji-wan had forgotten about why her brother had died — how could she, when she was self-flagellating every day? — but means that those feelings had been dormant all this while. I said before that Ji-wan’s actions were like cutting off a limb and cauterizing it to stop it from hurting anymore. Now with Kang-jin refreshing her memories, those buried feelings come flooding back in a wave of pain, like a newly opened wound.
(Just love that shot.) Tae-joon is shaping up intriguingly, isn’t he? At the beginning, I wasn’t convinced that he was responsible for the sabotage, because I thought his reaction could be read either way. Either he did it and was upset to be caught red-handed, or he didn’t do it but was taking the blame since Woo-jung was accusing him of it anyway. But it’s looking like he really is the saboteur — and will continue to be one — so I just hope they keep his character multi-layered rather than flattening him down to mere Jealous Crazy Spurned Lover. Song Jong-ho is doing a nice job of acting Tae-joon’s conflicting emotions, and I appreciate that while the character is sharp and strong at times, he’s also weak and deeply flawed.
I’m glad that Woo-jung clarified that she’s still harboring feelings for Tae-joon while entertaining new ones for Kang-jin, because otherwise it did seem too soon for her to let go of such a consuming passion for Tae-joon. But she has made her decision to let go and move past Tae-joon, which is why she’s much more forward with Kang-jin when he’s only got three “rooms” in her heart compared to Tae-joon’s seven.
I’m less clear on Tae-joon’s feelings, but here’s my read: He still has feelings for Woo-jung and he also cares for Ji-wan to a lesser extent, but he made his decision to let go of the former before Kang-jin came along and jealousy reared its ugly head. I think he honestly believed he could live with having wronged Woo-jung, even if it meant being a lesser man for taking the deal with her father. Kang-jin usurping his place in her heart was bad enough, but when he also claims Ji-wan, it makes Tae-joon into the loser twice over.
I don’t believe that Tae-joon really loves Ji-wan (though I think his affection is real). Rather, it seems like he’s determined to make things work with her, almost as proof of his will. Having decided to let go of Woo-jung, Ji-wan is a physical representation of that choice and therefore his relationship with her is as much about his own pride as it is about his romantic feelings. Actually, it’s probably more pride than feelings. He loved (loves?) Woo-jung but made the choice to be the bad guy, and in order to justify what he did to her without being completely evil, he has to make this work with Ji-wan. If he loses both women, it’s a confirmation that he’s really just that low and miserable.
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 6
- 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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- Will It Snow For Christmas kicks off new midweek ratings battle
- Go Soo makes a double comeback
- First stills for Will it Snow On Christmas