Drama Recaps
Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 12
by | January 14, 2010 | 68 Comments

As with the last episode, I thought the first half of the episode started out a bit tired. Things were kind of expected and I was feeling antsy.

However, the last half makes up for it — things pick up and get more exciting, and there are some really interesting, complicated dynamics at work that I love digging into. (More on that at the end.)


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When Kang-jin comes home, Young-sook is preparing a dinner spread — it’s his birthday. (Or rather, Ji-yong’s.) A flashback to the day of the fire fills us in on how this charade started.

Note: I know the quick way to refer to Young-sook’s condition is amnesia, but that’s not really it. It isn’t that Young-sook has reverted to a prior state in her life when Ji-yong was alive. She knows that adult Ji-wan is her daughter. Rather, she believes that this grown-up man IS Ji-yong, and he has come back to her after being away for a long time, and now they’re going to be a happy family together. Any blips in logic that this may cause (such as, uh, the holes in his life as an adult) are shoved aside by her brain, which just fixates on the fact that he’s here.

At the hospital, after Young-sook had mistaken Kang-jin for her dead son, he and Ji-wan had been too stunned to react immediately while Young-sook had gotten out of bed to clasp him to her. Horrified, Ji-wan had told her mother that it was Kang-jin — Ji-yong died, remember?

This only made her mother angry, and she had glared at Ji-wan. Cupping Kang-jin’s face in her hands, she had told him, “Ji-wan keeps saying weird things, that awful girl. That wretch must be crazy.”

When Ji-wan repeated that this wasn’t Ji-yong, her mother had screamed at her and collapsed. Worried, Kang-jin had rushed to help her, and she had told him, “Ji-yong, don’t go anywhere. You have to stay with your mother. You can’t go away.”

Conflicted, Kang-jin had remembered his mother’s insistence on being with Jun-su, and Ji-wan’s reaction to her father’s disappearance as she cried, “What about my mother?” Feeling the burden of the sins his family committed against hers, he had told Young-sook in an unsteady voice, “D-don’t worry. I…I… won’t go anywhere.”

Now in the present day, Ji-wan arrives at the house for her brother’s birthday dinner. Ji-wan and Kang-jin carry on with their normal lives outside the house, but at home with Young-sook they preserve the illusion that he is Ji-yong, at Kang-jin’s insistence. That’s why, when Ji-wan walks up Kang-jin and hugs him, his expression darkens.

She pulls back and says, “Oops, I forgot, sorry,” not sounding sorry at all. “We aren’t supposed to do this, right?”

Kang-jin takes her face in his hand and stares at her sharply. How can she “forget” a thing like that? She’d better be careful, he warns.

Kang-jin has been living with Young-sook over the past three years, but Ji-wan wants to take over her mother’s care now, even if she has to take her away forcibly. Even if Young-sook comes back to this house, Kang-jin should turn her away.

Kang-jin dismisses that idea — her mother already panics if she doesn’t see him every day. How will she deal with that? When Ji-wan replies that they’ll just have to deal with it, he asks, “Even if she dies of shock?”

Ji-wan has forgotten to buy Ji-yong’s birthday cake, but I’m betting it’s really more of a conscious decision to participate in this farce as little as possible. Like a little rebellion.

Young-sook mentions a new neighbor, and the daughter of the family has been begging for an introduction with Kang-jin, because she’s interested in dating him. Ji-wan plays along to say that yeah, he should go on the date, as though challenging him. But when he accepts the idea, her face falls.

That night, Ji-wan watches her mother sleep, and asks:

Ji-wan: “Are you happy, Mom? Living without knowing anything, are you happy? Forgetting oppa, and Dad, you’re happy like this, aren’t you? But this isn’t right. Doing this to Kang-jin oppa isn’t right. Only caring about his mother’s happiness and her love, he makes us unable to acknowledge Father and turned you into this. I’ll hate Cha Kang-jin, that selfish jerk, for the rest of my life — I won’t forgive him — so that’s enough, Mom. Come to your senses.”

Ji-wan isn’t really saying she’ll hate Kang-jin, or that she blames him. She recognizes that he’s playing along as Ji-yong because he feels guilty — twice now, Ji-wan’s family has lost two people because of his family. Perhaps playing along with Young-sook’s delusion is his way of doing penance, but it’s too much to ask of him, it’s too unfair. However, maybe it’ll seem too unfair to let him off the hook completely — so in order to lift him of this burden, she’ll hate him, so Young-sook can stop insisting he’s Ji-yong now. It’s her way of bargaining for Kang-jin’s freedom.

Ji-wan finds Kang-jin working and, in a fit of pique, knocks over his model. He straightens it, and she knocks it over again: “Aren’t you going to look for your mother? What kind of son are you? Why don’t you look for your mother?”

Kang-jin answers, indicating the room where Young-sook sleeps, “The only mother to me is that woman over there.”

She asks, “I keep getting confused, so let me ask. What are we? Are we strangers? Siblings? Since you’re so smart, let me know clearly. If other people ask, what should I answer?” He replies, “Answer however you want.”

She says that makes them siblings, as long as he acts like Ji-yong. She wonders, “What if we run away? What happens if we run away like your mother and my father, without thinking of anything else?”

He won’t respond, so she grabs his face to ask what happens. He tells her, “I won’t run away.”

Young-sook cries out in her sleep for her son and her husband, and Kang-jin calms her down. She had dreamed that Ji-yong and Jun-su both said they’d go away and not come back. Kang-jin assures her that it was a bad dream.

As she settles back to sleep, Young-sook asks when Jun-su is getting back — he’s been away on his business trip for a while now. (This suggests that the family doesn’t know that Jun-su and Chun-hee decided not to run away together, and that he (most likely) died.)

As she sleeps, Kang-jin tells her, “If you don’t want to remember, don’t remember. If it pains you, don’t remember, for ever. I’m fine. I’m… fine.”

Although she had been told to pack up her desk for her previous outburst, Ji-wan isn’t actually fired from her job. She is instead given punishment to sterilize an entire batch of materials by tomorrow morning. It’s a task that would be difficult even if she stayed up all night, and she pops out to the store to buy some milk. She’s saved from the embarrassment of not being able to pay when Tae-joon shows up.

As he’s working on the hospital design project, it’s not the first time they’ve run into each other. They joke pleasantly, and she even teases that his future wife will be lucky.

Jae-hyun tells Kang-jin that Woo-jung has gone to try to win over a client who had previously rejected them. It turns out that she’s acquainted with him, and in fact has once been the target of the client’s crush (though she had rebuffed him).

Woo-jung’s method of winning him over is by engaging in a drinking contest, where she and the client down shot after shot of hard liquor. He finally slumps over first, and when the guys arrive at the restaurant, she gives them a triumphant smile. She slurs, “I won the art center project! Didn’t I do good?” and then passes out.

Kang-jin takes her back to his home (they call it an atelier), where he lets her sleep it off. Young-sook is curious about the woman, and shoots Kang-jin a knowing look, but he laughs that they’re not in a relationship. She used to be a director at his old company.

And now for another mystery solved. Tae-joon is a daily patron of a coffee ajumma who runs a stand outside his office building, who turns out to be Chun-hee. He doesn’t know that this is Kang-jin’s mother or any of the family history, but he has a nice relationship with her, bringing her warm bread as a nice gesture for serving his favorite coffee.

Next, he brings Ji-wan food, since she’ll be spending the night at the hospital working. At first, her insulted reaction startles him, but she’s just teasing: “How can I eat all that? Am I a pig? Eat with me.”

He helps her through the night, and together, they finish. She’s grateful for the assistance, since she might not have finished without it.

Woo-jung wakes to find herself in Young-sook’s room, and comes downstairs where Kang-jin is working late. He felt bad that she would actually harm herself (in the sense that drinking herself into a blackout is harmful) for his sake, and asks why made such a dumb bet. She’s just happy she won, and proud of herself. She also asks to be a part of the project, since she helped him attain it. Playing on his sympathies, she pouts that she sold all her designer bags and has to find a way to feed herself. Won’t he hire her?

Woo-jung asks who the older woman is (Young-sook), and Kang-jin hesitates.

We don’t hear the explanation onscreen, but Woo-jung is dismayed after learning the gist of what has happened. I love the sad, melancholy way she looks at Kang-jin as she sighs:

Woo-jung: “Birdbrains. Idiots. And after I let you go like that. Fools. Even when I let you go, you couldn’t go to her? Stupid. Idiot.”

Flashbacks take us through some of the happier moments of the previous episode, representing the contents of his dream-thoughts as Kang-jin sleeps at his desk — their kiss, the proposal in the cabin, and his comment to Ji-wan that “I couldn’t sleep, thinking someone might come by and tell me it was a dream.” It’s as if to say that maybe all the happy moments were a dream, and he did wake up to find it wasn’t real. While he sleeps, a tear falls from his eye. Woo-jung sees it and wipes it away.

Kang-jin and Jae-hyun have been working for the past few months on a design presentation, and on their way to give the PT, they run into familiar faces in the elevator. Tae-joon is also giving a presentation to bid for the project, and they greet each other warmly.

Bumseo is another participant, who present first while the other four teams wait and go through last-minute preparations. Jae-hyun receives some bad news at the last minute, which makes no sense — they’ve been cut from the final group of presenters. Clearly, this is the work of Bumseo interference.

Tae-joon looks over in concern and asks what’s wrong, but he doesn’t have much time to feel sorry for Kang-jin, because next he finds out that he’s been screwed, too. Bumseo’s presentation was almost identical to the one they prepared — somehow their design ideas were stolen. They’ll be forced to forfeit.

Both men are left stunned, and after taking a few moments to regroup, Kang-jin approaches Tae-joon outside to propose a bet: “If Park Tae-joon and Cha Kang-jin join forces, do you think we’d be able to beat Bumseo?”

Tae-joon’s opportunity to compete has been stolen, and Kang-jin was disqualified — so what if Tae-joon presents Kang-jin’s idea? It’s better than both of them sitting out the competition. Kang-jin bets 100,000 won ($80) that they’ll lose. This, of course, prompts Tae-joon to decide, “Then I’ll bet 100,000 won that we win.”

So they hunker down in the hall, while Kang-jin shows Tae-joon all their files and explains their concept so Tae-joon can present.


Ji-wan again encounters that troublemaker at the hospital, and today she tries harder to control her temper. He takes advantage, knowing that she’ll get in trouble if she fights with him, and provokes her temper. She threatens that he’d better move out of her way on the count of three, but he doesn’t budge. Twice she counts to two, but stops herself. He continues his taunts.

The last time, she growls, “One… two…!” And then, another voice chimes in, “Three!” and whacks the punk on the head. Woo-jung hits him with her bag, calling him names and handing out the smackdown that Ji-wan had been itching to deliver.

Woo-jung notices that Ji-wan’s changed and comments that she’s gotten really cool. They smile when Ji-wan answers, “I was always really cool.”

Woo-jung is here to bring her clothing she’d left behind at the house, per her mother’s request, figuring this presented a good excuse to come see her. They have a friendly rapport with each other, but Ji-wan’s reaction becomes subdued when Woo-jung explains that she’s working for Kang-jin now.

Ji-wan asks if Woo-jung has married, a little disappointed to hear that she hasn’t. Woo-jung explains, “Someone raised my standards, so nobody else seems satisfactory. There’s someone I couldn’t forget, so I returned to Korea. I thought that if I confirmed things again with my own eyes, I might be able to give up.”

Ji-wan has heard that Woo-jung was kicked out of her job and her family when she chose to save Kang-jin, which greatly embarrasses the latter. (Another thing I like about Woo-jung — she’s bold and open about things others would be ashamed of, but hides the things other people would use to feel superior.)

Ji-wan: “It’s good that you came back. It’s fortunate that at least Kang-jin oppa has you with him.”
Woo-jung: “What does that mean?”
Ji-wan: “Kang-jin oppa gave up on me, though I haven’t yet. But I’m thinking to get over him soon, cleanly. It’s really fortunate that there’s someone like you with him.”

Ji-wan says this with a forced smile, which turns into a pained look as she leaves.

Bu-san is doing well, now working at a nice cafe alongside their former cafe waitress (Miss Shin). Like his brother, he treats Young-sook well and plays along with her Ji-yong delusion. Rather than identifying him as Chun-hee’s son, Young-sook merely sees him as the cafe ajusshi (and it’s a recurring joke that she thinks he’s much older than he really is).

Miss Shin can’t stand to see them treating Young-sook so nicely, and shoots her dirty looks. She fumes and asks why they put up with it when Young-sook isn’t outright crazy; she’s quite sane, actually, so what is she doing messing up Kang-jin’s life? Why do the brothers treat her so nicely? Bu-san explains, “The reason she’s like that is because of our mother.”

Even so, Miss Shin can’t stand watching this and asks why Kang-jin has to sacrifice himself for his mother’s sin. She’s sorely tempted to sit her down to lay out the truth plainly that her son is dead.

Kang-jin interrupts, warning her not to do that. His tone is harsh and he reminds her not to use his real name in front of “Mother.” Miss Shin grumbles at his usage of that word, saying Chun-hee would go crazy if she witnessed this, and calls Young-sook a crazy woman. Kang-jin says sharply, “She’s my mother. Watch your words.”

Kang-jin ushers Young-sook out of the cafe, pausing to take a phone call from Tae-joon. Unfortunately, they lost the presentation — he must not have been able to convey Kang-jin’s intention as well as it could have been done.

Tae-joon stops by the coffee stand as he talks, and when he leaves his gloves behind, Chun-hee chases after him to return them. A motorcycle honks, skids on the sidewalk, and crashes into the booth.

Tae-joon ushers Chun-hee to the hospital, where Ji-wan encounters him on her way to treat the patient. The coffee ajumma had refused surgery at a Western hospital, so Tae-joon brought her here to the Oriental hospital instead. Ji-wan hurries inside to join the team treating the patient with acupuncture, but the more the woman talks, the more she sounds familiar…

When Chun-hee turns her head to the side, Ji-wan recognizes her. Staggering in surprise, she leaves the room to call Kang-jin. However, he’s busy helping Young-sook with the kimchi, and doesn’t see his phone ring.

Ji-wan enters the patient’s room with a solemn look on her face, but Chun-hee doesn’t recognize her. Even when Ji-wan introduces herself, the name doesn’t ring a bell — it’s only when she says that she’s Han Jun-su’s daughter that the realization dawns on Chun-hee. With a cold, impersonal tone, Ji-wan asks, “Have you been well?”

It’s then that Kang-jin, seeing his phone’s log of missed calls, rings Ji-wan back. Still in her cool, formal tone, Ji-wan answers, “Yes, I called you, Kang-jin oppa.” She says his name deliberately for Chun-hee’s benefit, whose eyes widen at mention of her son.

Ji-wan: “I’m curious about something, so I wanted to ask you. Why can’t we be together? Why? You’re the only one in my heart, and I know you feel the same for me. So why can’t we be?”

Realizing that her son hasn’t been happy in love, Chun-hee’s eyes start to well with tears. Ji-wan repeats her questions in an increasingly emotional voice, her voice raising to a shout:

Ji-wan: “We love each other so much. Why can’t we be? We went through so much to come this far — why can’t we be?! Because of who?!”


Complaint first: There’s a lot of coincidence in this episode. I’ve liked that this drama has created conflicts that remain true to the characters and relationships, so until now I haven’t felt that there has been much random coincidence. Which is why I rolled my eyes a little at Tae-joon meeting Chun-hee in the street. And Tae-joon being brought to the hospital for an architecture-related job. (The Woo-jung reunion is not a problem since she actively seeks out Kang-jin and Ji-wan, but Tae-joon and Chun-hee is way too It’s-A-Small-World-After-All.) I do understand why they did this, because if Tae-joon is familiar with Chun-hee, then it would make sense that he would bring her to a hospital he knows. I’m just saying. It’s a small gripe.

While I am not ruling out the possibility that Young-sook is faking this all, I’m really skeptical about that. It seems too evil a thing for her to do, and this drama has always been about tragedy arising through circumstance, not through the machinations of evil-minded people. I think she is so miserable in her real life — dead son, daughter in love with her rival’s son, cheating husband — that she has retreated to a place where everything is just as she wants it to be. I don’t think it’s a conscious choice, more subconscious — as in, deep down, she can be reached. That she’s just forcing the fantasy to act as reality. As everyone comments, Young-sook is far from crazy. Everything else in the world functions normally; her condition strikes me as someone clinging to a huuuuge state of denial.

Speaking of which, how devastating was Kang-jin’s face when he made his choice to preserve Young-sook’s fantasy? Damn but my heart broke for him, yet again.

I will say that I am okay with Kang-jin’s act of sacrifice in keeping up the pretense of being Ji-yong. On the surface, it seems like he’s martyring himself, and it’s TOO much pain to heap on our gloriously tortured hero, right? But I don’t think that he’s only sacrificing his happiness out of a guilty impulse, like he has to compensate for stealing Young-sook’s son and husband. Accepting this role also allows him to be angry with his mother. Not that being angry with your mother is a good thing, but it is long overdue. As he yelled at Chun-hee the day before, he’s always accepted her mistakes and selfish behavior. How much is he supposed to just take? At what point can he actually express his hurt?

It ties into the same concept as when Ji-wan had the conversation with her sleeping mother, that if Mom “woke up” from this delusion, Ji-wan would take over by hating Kang-jin for the rest of her life. Kang-jin has taken a lot from the Han family (in his way of thinking), and if he ignored Young-sook’s delusion and went on his merry way, he’d have to live with the guilt of hurting Ji-wan. His mother stole her father, and wrecked her family. I think Ji-wan would have insisted they could still be together, but this setup is reminiscent of her vomiting episodes, when she wanted to be happy but her body wouldn’t accept it. Now that Kang-jin is the one suffering, not only does he take on the mantle of being Young-sook’s son, he has gone one step further by forsaking his mother. He’s not looking for Chun-hee, and he calls Young-sook his only mother.

Here’s what I do love about this drama: Fate — or call it Life Circumstances — has intertwined everyone’s lives so tightly that the actions of one person have ramifications on others, so that one can’t act for one’s own happiness in a vacuum. Ripple effect. Often, one person’s happiness ends up harming another’s, not on purpose but just because relationships are complicated. It’s not about one evil person wrecking everyone else’s lives.

This creates an unbalance every time someone acts — if Kang-jin kept his mother from running away, he’d preserve his chance at love with Ji-wan but ruin his mother’s. Preventing Chun-hee’s happiness would mar his own, so he can’t insist that she forsake her love. He sends her away to pursue that love, but he gives up his own chance at happiness because now he’s incurred debts against Ji-wan’s family.

Of course, you could say that he and Ji-wan could just get married and live happily and forget the rest. It’s not like there’s an irrefutable reason they must be separated, right? They’re not really siblings, they’re not dying, they’re not mortal enemies. So what if their parents had an affair, that has nothing to do with them, right?

But it’s not even about Your Happiness stealing My Happiness. It’s my happiness stealing from my other happiness — and when one part of yourself comes at the expense of another, how do you pick which one to preserve?

I like that if we must have a separation, at least it’s not external forces keeping them apart through tired manipulations. No, we’re talking in terms of debts and sins against loved ones, the currency being guilt. It’s like a complicated math problem where you’re trying to barter with uneven bills — there’s no way to even the score perfectly. Someone’s always paying too much or being shortchanged.


68 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Molly

    Yes! I tried not to get distracted and focus on homework instead of giving in, but I figured that I’ll be able to focus better after reading this. So excited! I’ll have to watch some of the major scenes this weekend. Happy Friday! Thanks, Javabeans. 🙂

    As you can see from the many exclamation points, I have been too anxious to read this haha.

    I’m really glad that Ji-wan’s mother hasn’t been acting. I knew we could trust the writers! Whew.

  2. Molly

    Loved the analysis at the end, and all your points are valid. I find it lovely that this drama has so many kinds of interaction: psychological, emotional, physical, mental…And all of them work. Just amazing. I can’t believe there are only two weeks left!

  3. jacq

    Patiently waiting to watch this episode with c-subs…..somehow tonight is a little bit late for it to be up where it usually is. So meanwhile I have to come here and spoil myself! Can’t wait to watch it!!

  4. butterball

    wow, DB! Your analysis is gold. I really appreciate it!

  5. chucker333

    ..love the last paragraph of your comments section….the analysis and comparison was amusing yet so true….

  6. jacq

    love it. thanks JB

  7. anne20

    “It’s like a complicated math problem where you’re trying to barter with uneven bills — there’s no way to even the score perfectly. Someone’s always paying too much or being shortchanged.” ♥ sigh. it’s the only way to explain everyone’s motivations this far into the drama. please, everyone, just stop paying. ;> i’m glad that JW is against the deception though. It must really feel like a betrayal on her part that KJ is so stubborn about preserving their sibling-act for YS’s sake.

  8. Suzy

    Thanks JavaBeans for this recap! lol, like molly, i was also feeling rather anxious to read this recap, hehe considering that i have only stopped at eppy 10, see how addictive this drama has caused me to be, whahah. Indeed i absolutely agree with u, when you think deeper, this drama does show how one pursuit of happiness would inevitably affect others, it calls us to see deeper how sometimes people are mostly thinking of themselves, like wat are the happiness that i can gain from doing this and that….KangJin’s character is one that i marveled at man, if i were in his position…i would highly doubt that i would respond in the way he responded….lol..he will make a good husband to be…haha lol, dun worry, hehe i know Javabean’s has claimed goo soo, hehe

    Im thankful that as the episode progress, we are thrown into new possibilites and unthinkable circumstances, to me the last few episodes are really unpredictable…but one thing im hoping would be that it would be an ending that we can predict…lol..whatever happens in between is fine with me, as long as the ending is what i want… :/ …lol, sorry but i am more biased towards good endings…lol, anyway A big Thank you again Javabean!

  9. olengjus

    Now I understand why Go Soo said in the interview that this role is hard and painful.
    It is Emotional Roller Coster.. up down, left right centre. Even I went ballistic when watching this drama. However I do must apploud their acting skills are superb. Both the Children and the Parents. As much as I hate Yoong Sook’s facial expression in the beginning of this series, I can gradually relate to her Pain and Denial.
    The writer has done a great job, using a stereotypical drama plot but evolve them using a different combination of scene to make it addictive to watch.
    Javabeans, great summary! totally agree and can relate to your writting on the emotinal ups and downs. Cant wait for Next week episodes.. A few more to go.. Sigh.. What is going to happen in the end?

  10. 10 kpm1111

    you’ve saved me from the most boring fridays i’ve had in months….
    thanks 🙂

  11. 11 lovewls

    THANKS Javabeans. I’m a fan of your recap.

  12. 12 Elise

    Thank you!!! Thank you!!!! I can’t find this episode with English subs yet and I have to go to bed now so at least I know now what happens 😛 This drama had better end happily after putting so many damn obstacles in their path that’s all I’m sayin…. If it doesn’t I am going to boycott Korea

  13. 13 isabella

    I love your comment section so much! You’ve saved me, too, JB 🙂

  14. 14 Icarusfalls

    o… interesting! I can’t wait for your next recap. Thanks JB!

  15. 15 tinysunbl

    I feel antsy at every minute of this drama. sooo exhausted!!!!!!! I think we may be spared of this angst and stress a bit if the tragedy isn’t due to circumstance but to a particular evil person. But I prefer this approach more than the conventional story.
    Thanks jb!

  16. 16 eiko

    Oh gosh darn….now where the heck are we?!!!! I thought I was doing a good job of keeping up and here we go…..this is the most disjointed drama I have ever tried to figure out! 🙁 even Go Soo looks confused!

  17. 17 iglooooo

    omo, this drama gets gloomier and gloomier by the episode…I can put through all of this only if at the end the couples (JW&KJ and TJ&WJ) get a happy ending…

    I want to give props to all the actors because they seem to be emotionally and physically involve in this drama and it really shows how well they sell and deliver their lines and characters
    Favorite moment has to be the confrontation at the beginning of the episode, with all the angst and everything, the actors showed a lot of emotional turmoil.
    Love Go Soo’s facial expression when he has to answered JW’s mother and accepted his position as “ji yong”

  18. 18 alexandra

    JB – What excellent analysis. Are you a Literature grad or professional writer?

    Ripple effect/bartering with uneven bills. AGREE!!

    “But it’s not even about Your Happiness stealing My Happiness. It’s my happiness stealing from my other happiness — and when one part of yourself comes at the expense of another, how do you pick which one to preserve? ”

    Thats LIFE, thats why I find this show very real. The fact that everyone still has a day job even when their love life is mess up.

    It is about making choices. Life is all about making choices. I once heard someone said that it is often not the choice you have chosen that you remember, it is the choice not taken that lingers in the mind.

  19. 19 notoriousnoona

    Thank you again!
    When I think of this drama, I think of it in terms of storytelling, not like a drama but more like a novel. The story isn’t epic but it definitely reminds me of a classic Brit romance spanning years of love, heartache, separation and resolution. I’m enjoying it so much.

    The thing I have truly loved is Jiwan’s progession. Like in this episode with WJ she admits that she’s always been “cool” and honestly she has. The teenage girl we met is this adult we see now and I’m grateful for that. Freeing herself 3 yrs ago has restored the JW that we all loved at the beginning. And I truly think that once again its going to be that JW that pulls KJ out of his angst and brooding like it did when they were in high school.

  20. 20 Alison

    JB, your recaps and every insightful analyses at the end deserve a standing ovation. it’s cool how the writer put a spin on the whole k-drama-forbidden-sibling-love thing.

  21. 21 socal

    Okay… this story line is totally losing me…Young sook’s memory lapse or denial is just too unbelieveable and ridiculous. Someone tell her the truth even if it kills her! It’s not fair that she has to get in the way of Jiwan and Kang Jin’s happiness.

  22. 22 tisyamey

    JB, yet another awesome recap.. thank you!

    As for your inference with regards to Jiwan’s mom’s current state, I find it awesome. Human beings are built up so complex that we won’t totally understand how everything works.. in this case, how complex and powerful the mind is when it comes to protecting the whole body from pain.

    Bombarded by the tragedy of her son and her husband’s betrayal, YS chose
    to lock her mind from reality and built her own. A similar incident happened to someone close to me– I’ve witnessed, first-hand, how the mind can do outrageous and inconceivable things when the pain gets to be too much.

    I love melodramas coz even they can surely drive you crazy with frustration, heartache, tears, at the end, they bring you catharsis… crying is very cathartic. After a really good bout of crying, one comes out refreshed and again, ready to face the world. I use kdramas to relive me of stress.. and so far, it’s worked out pretty well.

    looking forward to your next recap…. thank you.

  23. 23 Maggie

    Oh lord………. when I saw this episode it was like… what the hell just happened o.O

    Does anyone else feel like this episode was ridiculous?

    Yea, I understand that Ji wan’s mom was so emotionally shaken up but couldn’t the writers have thought of something else?

    It went from a pretty solid story plot with Kang Jin and Ji Wan to Chunhee and Junsu running away together (Omg… these people are perhaps the most selfish people in the whole world. Really…Leave your whole family behind? And leave everyone else to clean up the mess they’ve caused?) to Ji wan’s mom attempting suicide and blocking out the fact that her son is alive (Kang Jin) and we skip three years ahead?!?!? I feel like the show came to a screeching halt and everything has been jumbled up in a very bad way. Hopefully the writers have figured out a way to get out of this mess. And I mean a really good way to get out of this mess to save the drama… at least for me.

    This is perhaps the worst episode of this drama -__- Hope next episode is good or I’m ditching this drama all together.

  24. 24 anjell

    “FATE” is just toooooooooo cruel… T.T

  25. 25 celestialorigin

    Whoa! Hummm…

    I don`t know if I can keep up with this drama any longer… Isn`t it a bit over the top? On the other hand, I don`t know if I can prevent myself from MY Go Soo, either…

  26. 26 belleza

    Kang Jin’s not just a mama’s boy. He’s a mama’s boy for other moms. FAIL. 🙁

    Ehhh. This episode was not so good. It recalled that glorious Gong Yoo-Sung Yu Ri masterpiece “One (Frigging) Fine Day”, (you know, the one where Sung Yu Ri has to pretend to be somebody else’s fake daughter due to the mom from Autumn Tale going nuts, with a fake sibiling relationship with the fake bro who really was into her but then later realized that her hot fake sister was really her hot biological sister and then Gong Yoo wized up and cut off his Beethoven Virus pama and then I think somewhere Sung Yu Ri was a lot of OPW to convey the misery of their awful sibling-but-not-really predicament while looking at dolphins hahaha this was the greatest show with dolphins ever i love dolphins they’re so cute hahahaha.)

    I think the problem now is that I’m not really that invested in Kang Jin and Ji Wan overcoming this. Having now become socially and financially responsible, Lee Woo Jung has evolved into essentially the perfect rom-com heroine. Goofy, free-spirited, a little selfish and undeniably generous and honest with her feelings., And Park Tae Jun is a sweet guy.

    I’d like the pleasure of them actually giving the alterna-couplings a real shot. Or, better yet, to have Park Tae Jun and Cha Kang Jin partner up to take down The Man. That’s a story worth investing in.

    Lee Kyung Hee’s having her plot-twist fun now, and in some respects, it hurts the illusion that these people are living in a zero-sum game of romantic disappointment. Because — here — she should simply invest in their misery. Ji Wan’s reaction is spot-on. She views it as a bitter joke — which is to say, she really takes to the irony of their situation — and in a way the story is curling where it should be engaging the heart.

    At this stage in the game, it wants to be a comedy. And that’s a problem.

  27. 27 nonsense

    This drama has lost it, IMO. Not even the analysis of the great JB herself is enough to make me think that the writer is not feeding us crap. All characters, except Ji Wan, has gone bonkers!!! I am dropping this drama now before they feed me more crap, and not even Go Soo’s eyes will make me touch this drama ever again with a 10-ft. pole.

  28. 28 su-pah

    I’m glad this episode was less weird than 11! Seems the script-writers have a plan rather than let it get all awry. *fingers crossed*
    Ji Won is still smarting from KJ’s bad decision-making and rightly so. If he had been decent about it, he would have allowed her time to speak out what she felt too, rather than complete disregard for her feelings and her little and large attempts to fight for their love.
    Good, let him know he’s clearly upset you, on top of everything else!
    I also liked the part where she’s almost giving him away to WJ. Zzzing!
    That’s right; a little bit of self-respect never hurt a girl. Plus, by forcing a more than willing WJ on him, she’s also taken the decision-making away from KJ and meddling in his life, just as he has done her.
    But my heart did break for the guy though, with the tear that rolled down his face as he slept. So he does still care! Whaddyaknow? (ofc. I know, but some times these things need to be substantiated in some way, just to keep reminding us. Sigh!)

    If the ever-irritating WJ steps into his life as his woman now, after seeing that, she really is heartless. Although appreciation for what she’s gone through for them to be together. (Which is still think; however is more as collective comeuppance for her past childish behaviour than it is for them two, but who knows?)

    I think Tae Joon has just met his stepmother, Madame Cha. I’m convinced his character is beyond just third wheel.

    When JW went into her mother’s room and spoke with her, while she was sleeping, I honestly thought as JW walked back out, Young-sook would open her eyes and glare at her, without JW noticing. She could be faking it, she’s a bitter woman who has suffered two losses and she saw how happy JW was about KJ. She could still follow twisted logic about JW being guilty for JY’s death and her re-appearance brought ill luck yet again when Jun-su left.
    But we didn’t see that glare so she could still be innocent.

    OMG! The previews look too good, don’t think I can wait that long. *squeeeal*

    Ok, better stop rambling now.

    Thanks for this brilliant, detailed recap, JB!!

  29. 29 what did they do to kang jin?

    I hate what has become of Kang Jin’s character. He started out as a very logical character, and then all of a sudden he’s a doormat. No person, no matter how much guilt he’s feeling over other people’s mistakes, would allow himself to be used as a stand in for a dead person. FOR THREE DAMN YEARS. No person is as self-sacrificing as that!!! This drama has become too ridiculous for my very simple brain….

  30. 30 Emeldy

    I really don’t think Kang jin character became less logical. He was overtly logical, that’s purely the reason he is stuck taking care of Ji Wan mom. It is sort of a pay back for what his family has done. The best thing i like about kang jin a character is that he is not one of those who runs away from problem, he deals with it slowly with time, that’s the reason i guess we are seeing lot of time leap in the drama.

    I love Javabeans comparison, Your comments are always a pleasure to read.

    The best thing i love about this drama is the twist and turn that it has created so far. I am always getting a surprising episode. I love it. Now i am ready for anything thing for the next Four episodes. Bring it on writer lady, surprise me. However, i am really not convince that a Ji wan mon has lost her sanity. I am pretty sure its all an act.

  31. 31 D

    @ 28 su-pah

    i had excatly yhe same thought.. i half expect the camera to close-up on Young-sook after that but that did not happen.. but if so, it would be too ‘easy’, right? that she’s faking it..

    ah well, lets see what writer Lee has in store for us next week.

    i’m taking this melo as it is.. like reading a book, i’m anxious for the ending.. as long as it is not a Sang-do, i’m ok – i guess..

  32. 32 su-pah

    31 – D

    I totally agree with you, I’m taking it as it comes and haven’t been disappointed in the least.
    Yeah, I suppose the drama isn’t as amateur as that, for Young-sook to show faking signs so early on, she will probably break down later and admit it at some point later.
    Next episode looks reeeally interesting.

    I’m glad Kang-jin’s flaws are being enhanced here, if anything, we know this couple can’t communicate with each other, that’s always been their problem. They were too independant and headstrong and took mammoth problems upon themselves in order to ultimately protect the other. That’s exactly where their faults lie.

    They really cannot die! Or end up not being together. Hope not! *winces*

  33. 33 amyra

    your insights are always refreshing Sarah. Its what I look forward to read when I was reading ur recaps…

    “one can’t act for one’s own happiness in a vacuum. Ripple effect. Often, one person’s happiness ends up harming another’s, not on purpose but just because relationships are complicated. It’s not about one evil person wrecking everyone else’s lives”

    “we’re talking in terms of debts and sins against loved ones, the currency being guilt. It’s like a complicated math problem where you’re trying to barter with uneven bills — there’s no way to even the score perfectly. Someone’s always paying too much or being shortchanged”

  34. 34 dorayaki

    While I understand Kang-jin is trying to “atone for his sins”, I do think that the writers are taking things a bit too far. It’s entirely unrealistic for someone to live as someone else for such a long period of time. Also, I didn’t like how the writers didn’t seem to take into account the three-year-gap in terms of Jiwan and Kangjin’s relationship — it was like Ji-wan was only beginning to address the issue three years later (i.e. she was only starting to get angry and be all difficult THREE YEARS AFTER), which wouldn’t make sense for her character or any other normal person either. THAT SAID, I am aware that most drama series exaggerate things a lot and aren’t supposed to depict real life to a tee.

    This episode was especially painful to watch after that few minutes of happiness in Episode 10, but I felt that Woo Jung shone the most here compared to the rest of the series. Her whole speech about how Kang-jin and Ji-wan are idiots was one of the most amazing parts of the episode for me. Of course, Go Soo is brilliant as always, especially in the opening scene when his voice wavered as he accepted Yoon Seuk’s crazy request.

    All those aside, I was most impressed with Han Ye-Seul, surprisingly! I think that she can be quite awkward during happy moments (re: Episode 10), but she handles the whole anger+heartbreak+forced-smile dynamic very well. I’m hoping to see more good acting from her in the next few episodes.

  35. 35 mie

    This drama definitely headed in a direction I didn’t expect. I did wonder how they would fill the remaining 5 episodes with more angst separating the main couple – and then they throw this Youngsook-is-crazy curveball. Like others, my first impulse was that Young-sook was faking it, but it makes no sense that she’d insist KJ is JY when she loves JY so much. I don’t think she’d ever willingly want to “replace” her son. And plus, the way she looked at him midst the fire makes me think that perhaps right as she was about to “lose her mind” the last face she saw was KJ’s and so it’s forever imprinted in her mind, in a way.

    I am loving Woojung’s character. In a way, she’s what I hoped adult JW would be – a bit brash but always honest to her feelings. I love that she has returned to KJ’s side but isn’t there to necessarily want him for herself. She has enough sympathy within to feel pity for the two mains, and I feel that if there wasn’t KJ in the middle, the two girls would be great friends (same with TJ and KJ and that’s what I like about this love square).

    On a final note, I do think everyone (minus Youngsook) knows about Junsu’s death. First because I think it’s highly improbably that Chunhee could’ve hidden that fact – particularly since we’re talking about a dead man in a locked car. But more because of JW’s word choice when talking to her sleeping mother. She uses the word 임종 when referring to her father.

  36. 36 m&m

    O BOOOO!! =[
    I feel bad but yong sook sort of pisses me off. Why does she have to dislike Ji Wan so much? Why is it ALWAYS Ji-Yong. pooorrr kangjin. I can’t believe they carried the whole thing for 3 years. it seems like there’s always something preventing them. I hope they eventually have a good ending and that yong sook doesnt go crazy and do something like burn the house down D:<

  37. 37 faridah2201

    Thanks for the recap.
    Everyone on viikii keeps getting excited about the episode 13 preview but I do not think everything will just work out like that. I think, if anything, KJ is trying to drive a point to JW.
    The thing I love about this drama is that we are given second leads we can like and are suppose to like. TJ and WJ are flawed but so are our leads. No one is EVIL. I adored the WJ and JW scene. They look like they would be great as friends. I agree to an extent that the would all be friends if not for the rivalries that exist, but I think that the show does good of showing that they would also probably haven not become friendly with their rivals, if the rivalry did not exist.
    Like with KJ and TJ, they were just colleagues, they respected one another’s work but w/o JW the two would never have gotten so close. WJ worked next door to the place JW worked and yet the first time she saw her was when she went in to try and declare TJ hers.
    I am not a huge believer in fated relationships, but this story has the appeal of tying concepts of fate that seem to be in all melodramas while also maintaining this idea it is all a reaction to choices they make. That JW, KJ, TJ, and WJ meet with one another frequently over the years seems to be fated, but the fact that none of them are seeing the person they want is a result of choices made on all of their parts.

  38. 38 cans

    Thank you again for another great recap.

    In the hospital scene where Ji Wan and her mother are screaming, all I could think of was, I hope Go Soo had some ear plugs while filming.

    This episode had me all riled up. For the first time in the series, I was able to relate to Ji Wan in getting all frustrated and angry. But as my mom (with much more K-drama experience than I) would say, “That’s his pahl-jja. What can you do?”.

  39. 39 Sonam

    I have stopped watching this drama but reading the recaps curious how it’s going to end. Sounds like it has become even more convoluted and am wondering how on earth it’s going to extricate itself. Poor GS. The drama started with such high hopes and so much excitement but now it’s a complete mess. No wonder the ratings have fallen and I don’t think it’s solely because of Chuno.

  40. 40 RandomTouristX

    Thanks for the recap JB.

    I hate to be alter voice but i found this new direction of the show infringe somewhat on the trashy soap opera territory, that uses cheap dramatics devises to further the plot. SO much so, it reminded me of those ridiculous US/Latino TV soaps!!

    Especially when compared with the first 10 episodes, that rests strong on reality with indepth character development, with an simmering undercurrent of melancholy, the current episode felt really disjointed and a bit like ‘huh??!’ The writer is enjoying torturing us so much, it is a bit ridiculous!

    At times it almost like watching a fanfic being played out, musical chair played out by the same characters. It even satisfied the fan’s wish list on many levels. So much so, it felt like fan service.

    Actually there are so many plot loop holes, i rolled eye balls so many times, it is no longer funny.

    IE/ If someone die, isn’t it the police or the social service’s responsibility to inform the family?

    If someone has a psychological problem, isn’t it the responsibility of the doctors to ensure they fix the situation instead of compounding the problem further by acting out the patient’s fantasies? JW should know better.

    I guess i will just have to wait and be proven wrong. It is still thrilling and addictive to watch, but now my appreciation for the drama really took a different turn with the way is heading i guess… what other cliches are left? Who dun it type? Also isn’t it weird that KJ smiled more often in this episode with JW’s mum than all other episode put together including with his own gf and his own mother? Weird!

  41. 41 myeong jang

    Thank you so much for the recap, JB!!

    Gaaah, what the hell is happening with this plot?! I demand this bizarre twist be explained!

    [Also, nitpicky me – doesn’t Young-Sook ever wonder why the sign outside says ‘Cha and Seo’, and not ‘Han and Seo’?]

  42. 42 mississy

    this is so sad! how can someone live their life by pretending to be someone else when they know the diff between right and wrong. and for 3 years? if i was ji-wan, i’d be so frustrated!

  43. 43 dangermousie

    OK, Kang Jin lost all my sympathy – all his angst is self-caused – anyone who enjoys martyrdom this much is welcome to it. A normal course of action in this situation is to take Ji Wan’s Mom to a doctor and get her supervision and medication. I have never heard of medical treatment saying it’s a good thing to encourage psychologically ill in their delusions. What Kang Jin did isn’t just bizarre – it’s extremely unrealistic even by melodrama standards. Anyone who instead decides to pretend to live as a fake sibling to his girlfriend as a means of treatment for that gf’s mother should probably have himself checked out by a shrink as well.

  44. 44 RD

    KJ is annoying me. I understand where he’s coming from I really do but seriously dude, grow a pair and take your woman! No more sacrificing for others. Also, I don’t agree the Youngsook curveball was that ridiculous (I mean come on, she’s dealt with a whole lot) but I do agree on the Chun-hee and Taejun link up. Small world?…it ain’t that small.

    Han Ye Seul did amazing in this episode IMO especially the last scene, it was brilliance. I felt her intensity and the silence of the KJ and CH was just like O_o. I’m glad JW ain’t giving up, she’s the one that’s still waiting for KJ. Come on KJ, stop making your woman wait!!!

    BTW, excellent analysis javabeans 😀

  45. 45 Christina

    wow. that mother always annoyed me. I believe it is an act mostly because she wants to forget it. She tells herself this is how it’s supposed to be until eventually she believes it.

  46. 46 Tammy

    Still following and mostly enjoying this show (Go Soo is just too big of a draw for me) and glad that JB is still finding positive remarks about it (I want to keep reading your recaps!!). On that note, I would have been (mostly) okay with JW’s mom going mental if the writers had limited it to three months as opposed to three years; it’s a little ridiculous that we have so many time jumps in one series.

    I definitely agree with a previous commentator that JW should have said something a long time ago as opposed to waiting until three years had passed by and then taking it out on KJ’s mom. On the other hand, I can also empathize that she probably just snapped in the moment of seeing the “root” of her predicament. JW probably never expected three years ago that this farce of a charade would still be continuing…

  47. 47 Atsirk

    Sometimes, this is one of those plots that get people saying, “No wonder I can’t ever relate to Korean dramas.” Some of the most ridiculous plots come up, and Ep 12 is one of them…omo, that is like sooooo selfless of KJ to do it for JW’s mom.
    I think the mom isn’t faking it…I think she really has lost her mind…for now…

    Anyway, I like this episode. And I will keep on watching. We got 4 more, right?

    Thanks Javabeans!!!

  48. 48 min

    Why is it always women who have mental illness on korean dramas. It’s like they’re still stuck in the Victorian age when it comes to protrayal of women. Bring on the breathing salts, my lady has fainted again! oh no! She’s hysterical!! must treat her like a child.
    She thinks her daughter’s boyfriend is her dead son, whatever shall we do. yawn… they’ve really lost me with this drivel.

  49. 49 Sakura

    FATE is not cruel.

    It is people who make their choices are cruel, and they have to live and abide

    by it. kangjin has ” forgotten” and also decided not to look for his mum. Go get

    married and have 2 or 6 kids as they had planned and live happily ever after.

    Why is this not happening ?. You wont be happy if your mum is still roaming the

    street or still working at old age. Kangjin has to acknowledge her mum

    shortcomings and bring her back as his mother. If they want and love their

    mothers then they have to sacrifice something that is precious to them.

  50. 50 Joanne Lee

    How would jiwan and her mother react if they know that actually han ju su committed suicide in his car ?.

    That’s why madam cha cannot come back and she can’t come to terms with his death too.
    And his parting words to her – don’t want to meet her again in the next life,
    So while madam cha is living, she doesn’t want to be connected at all to the Han family.

    Painful melodrama to watch !!..

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