Drama Recaps
Coffee House: Page 14
by | July 18, 2010 | 102 Comments

I really liked this episode. This drama is heading into somewhat more serious/emotional territory, but it’s not getting so melodramatic that it turns me off. There’s angst, but not ridiculous, drawn-out, unnecessary amounts of it. We get a lot of character reveals and insights in this episode, and I always love it whenever a drama does that.


짙은 (Zitten) – “그녀” (Her) [ Download ]

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Jin-soo waits for Eun-young to change out of her wedding gown, but her zipper is stuck and needs help. She doesn’t relish having to ask for help with the air so strained between them, and babbles nervously while he works the zipper.

Jin-soo has been unusually quiet ever since realizing that she’s marrying Ji-won, and Eun-young finds his silence unnerving. She had expected some kind of reaction — sarcasm, anger, laughter, anything. In fact, it was fear of his reaction that made her think it was fortunate that she would marry while he was away. He wryly notes his great timing.

She explains about the 100 dates she went on, and how surprised she was when Ji-won persevered. She had assumed he would call it quits within the first 50, but when she hit 70 and he showed no signs of giving up, she started getting nervous. She explains, “That’s the kind of marriage it is.”

Jin-soo successfully gets the zipper loose, but Eun-young doesn’t want him to unzip her fully. In her alarm to keep him from full unzipping, she abruptly jerks away and loses her balance, her hand outstretching to grab something to keep her upright. Jin-soo prevents her from falling, but her hand catches on his pocket and the diamond ring flies out, clattering on the ground.

They both watch it fall and Eun-young registers the diamond ring with wide eyes. It’s like Jin-soo is so vulnerable in this moment that he doesn’t address it at all; he picks up the ring silently, then offers to wait outside.

At dinner, Jin-soo (seemingly) overcompensates by acting casual and careless. But when she gets a phone call from Ji-won (which she ignores until he urges her to answer), he looks at her with particular attention, especially as she refers to him not by name but as Writer Lee.

Ji-won wants to talk to Jin-soo, so despite the latter’s reluctance, he takes the phone. Ji-won is his usual boisterous self as he laughingly relates the misery of the past two years. His forced celibacy put him in such bad moods that he would snap at his secretary and then be forced to apologize, and scrupulously kept his distance from all women.

They’re keeping up this outer facade that all is fine and dandy, but Eun-young excuses herself when Ji-won asks her about the details. I suppose it’s telling that Eun-young doesn’t feel comfortable discussing her wedding plans in front of Jin-soo — either that, or she thinks he’ll feel uncomfortable and is trying to be extra solicitous of his feelings.

In any case, she continues her phone call outside, and mouths to Jin-soo, “Sorry.” Jin-soo smiles at her like it’s all okay, but when he turns away it’s clear he feels upset, the way he shovels the food into his mouth glumly, when at the beginning of dinner he had been eating with such gusto. Sad.

Seung-yeon comes home later that night, dressed in the fancy clothes she’d bought for her lunch with Jin-soo. Her family notices, and wonders if she’s dating someone.

Despite spending half her monthly salary on her new outfit, Seung-yeon recalls how Jin-soo commented that she looks grown-up now, and she smiles as though the cost were worth that validation.

Her PD boss calls her, having heard about her lunch meeting with Jin-soo. Taking that as positive sign that she is sufficiently friendly with the famous writer, the PD pressures Seung-yeon to request an interview. She answers that Jin-soo isn’t the type who would agree, but he urges her to try anyway, and captures Seung-yeon’s attention with mention of compensation. If she scores this interview, she’ll be looking at a raise. Particularly in light of her recent expenditures, this is mighty tempting.

After dinner, Eun-young asks Jin-soo what his big news was, now that he knows hers. He doesn’t answer straightforwardly, but instead asks which of four choices she’d like that news to be: resuming his writing, winning the lotto, finding a girlfriend, or running for political office.

Eun-young answers that of those, she’d prefer the third — the girlfriend — because she’d worried about him. Jin-soo answers that she’s right, despite her disbelief: “You said you’d like for it to be Number 3. So it is Number 3.”

Thinking back to the ring, she asks if that’s meant for his girlfriend, then. Is that why he came back to Korea? She receives another surprise to see that Jin-soo drives now — it’s another sign that maybe he has changed.

In the car, she muses that he must be telling the truth. She had thought that when he started using cell phones again and driving, it would be a good time for him to meet a woman. She asks about his girlfriend, and once again he asks for her preference, offering her four possible choices. Again, he tells her she picked the right scenario — she’s a Korean woman he met at a bar while abroad.

Another question — when is he leaving? — prompts yet another multiple-choice quiz. Would she prefer he leave tomorrow, a week from now, after the wedding, or whenever he feels like it? She says she’d like him to see her wedding, so he readily agrees to leave after it.

I think Eun-young is looking for some sort of sign, some hint as to how he really feels about all this, but Jin-soo isn’t going to give it to her. She starts to add that he doesn’t have to stay just on her account, and that he can leave as he wants to — but he cuts her off, saying that he wants to attend her wedding. That dims her mood somewhat. At first I thought she was disappointed that he is giving her the impression that he’s fine with her marrying because she still has feelings for him, but now I think it’s because he’s acting so cool and cavalier about everything that she feels he’s shutting her out.

I like the above shot with the car, because as with the piano shot in the last episode, this one puts another large object between them, which mirrors their emotional distance.

Eun-young hears that Jin-soo is staying at a hotel and invites him to move back into the writing workshop, which is currently unoccupied. Ji-won had suggested it, in fact.

He surprises her by agreeing, and adds, “If it makes you happy.” He shocks her further by offering to buy a cell phone tomorrow, so he can be reached easily. It’s all quite a lot to take in, and Eun-young goes home in a daze, mulling over all these new changes in him.

Seung-yeon returns to the book cafe for the first time in ages, and asks one of the baristas for Jin-soo’s phone number. She hears about the latest developments — Eun-young’s engagement, Jin-soo staying in the studio again — with surprise. She hasn’t remained in touch with the book cafe family, so all of this is news to her.

When Seung-yeon drops by the studio, Jin-soo immediately knows that she’s here to request an interview. Seung-yeon tells him that even though she knows he’d never agree, she has to at least make an effort for the sake of her job. Feebly, she asks for him to grant her program a short interview, which he flatly declines.

A phone call interrupts, and Seung-yeon is shocked that he answers. Or that he even has a cell phone in the first place. It’s Eun-young, inviting him downstairs for coffee with Ji-won, which he declines. However, they’ve agreed to dinner plans that evening, and both Ji-won and Eun-young urge him to bring his girlfriend. They’re both incredibly curious about her, and Eun-young adds that with him declining to give details, it sounds like a lie to her. Furthermore, she wants to see his girlfriend for herself in order to be at ease.

Once more, Jin-soo agrees without putting up a fight, which startles Eun-young. Only that means now he has to find a girlfriend. Isn’t it convenient that Seung-yeon happens to be standing by?

She’s not exactly jumping to agree, but it doesn’t help when Jin-soo mutters to himself, “Ah man, everyone thinks I have high standards. Would they even fall for it?” And he gives her the up-and-down, making her cringe uneasily. But he does dangle the perfect bait in front of her — if she acts as his fake girlfriend, he’ll be a guest on her radio show.

And then, Dong-wook is back. All decked out in a sharp suit and driving his red sports car, he arrives at the publishing office, where nobody recognizes himself at first. His appearance is a grand relief to Eun-young, though, because she has gone out of her way to try to find him.

As chance has it, Dong-wook has heard of her new book cafe opening, and understands that Eun-young will want him to resume his manager’s duties under her. However, he has a slightly different proposal this time: He wants to be her business partner, not her employee.

Dong-wook has clearly done well for himself in the time he has been away, judging from his appearance and the confident way he carries himself. But we’ll have to wait to get the backstory on him in another episode.

Seung-yeon agrees to the mad scheme of posing as Jin-soo’s girlfriend, but not without a lot of reservations. She agonizes over how she’ll be able to pull this off to Jin-soo’s satisfaction, because if the act doesn’t work, he won’t agree to be her guest. With his super-picky criteria for a girlfriend and high standards, she has to somehow pass muster with him AND his dinner companions.

At least one thing she doesn’t have to worry about is what to wear, because Jin-soo delivers a box to her office containing an expensive head-to-toe outfit. Inside, he has included a note outlining the details of their “love story.” Hahaha. How like the novelist to pen his own fake romance to fit his artistic standards.

When she meets Jin-soo en route to dinner, she’s feeling tentatively hopeful, bolstered by the designer clothing. But Jin-soo furrows his brow, gives her the up-and-down once-over, and says with dissatisfaction, “But it looked good on the mannequin.” Lol.

(Okay, I know that it’s a stretch to comment on Ham Eun-jung’s appearance as unattractive because the actress is quite pretty, but I do enjoy Jin-soo’s constant dismayed reactions so it’s worth the suspension of disbelief for me. Also, he’s not saying that she’s ugly, just that she doesn’t portray the super-high standards of poise and grace he holds. She’s no Eun-young, at least, who projects class from the inside out. Seung-yeon is just wearing the outer layer.)

His reaction sours her mood, particularly as he sighs heavily and says, “They’ll think I’ve really lowered my standards.”

With that, Jin-soo slides the ring on her finger. And Seung-yeon is shocked when she finally hears who they’re meeting.

Eun-young and Ji-won arrive at the restaurant first and await the other couple. It’s clear that she’s not necessarily looking forward to this dinner — her mood is subdued — and when Ji-won spots the other two arriving, Eun-young tenses. She braces herself before allowing herself to look up.

It takes Ji-won and Eun-young a moment to place who this is, as they don’t immediately recognize Seung-yeon. And then realization dawns, and they look on in amazement as Jin-soo pulls out the chair for his date and acts the part of the attentive boyfriend. They’re practically slack-jawed in surprise.

The fake couple are in full-on faking mode, and Jin-soo launches into his story that they met in a bar (at least that’s not a lie) while she was on a business trip (also not a lie, although in his story they were overseas). Seung-yeon is less natural as she recites her end of the story, trying to pass it off smoothly, and Eun-young’s gaze lingers on the sight of the ring sparkling on Seung-yeon’s finger.

When the men get a moment alone at the table, Ji-won eagerly pumps Jin-soo for information, giddy at the vicarious thrill of hearing that his buddy got to live out his favorite fantasy: the boss and the secretary. At least we know which porn he’s watching. Not that I really wanted to know. (This is actually not a surprise when we recall that his relationship with Eun-young first fell apart because he’d felt belittled by her success and independence. Ji-won’s the type of guy who thrives off of being the older, wiser, senior half of the relationship.)

After the meal, Jin-soo asks Eun-young if her mind is at east, not that she has seen his girlfriend in person. She answers, “To be honest, I don’t feel great about it.”

Jin-soo makes his reply (“Why?”) casually, but he looks carefully at Eun-young for her response, anticipating her explanation. However, it isn’t the one he was hoping for: Eun-young says she was hoping he would move on and start his life fresh, but Seung-yeon is a person from his past.

One thing I appreciate about Seung-yeon in this episode is that she starts to put the pieces together. She’s still not the sharpest person around, but the facts don’t quite add up and she wonders at the underlying story.

For instance, earlier she had been so worried about messing up her act that she hadn’t had a chance to think about why she’s doing it. But in a moment at the restaurant, the thought strikes her that since this dinner is with old friends, why is there a need to produce a fake girlfriend for Jin-soo in the first place?

And now, as she looks at the expensive clothing Jin-soo bought her and takes off the ring, she notes that it’s quite an expensive ring. It’s not one he would have bought just for their act, which begs the question, Who did he buy it for?

Eun-young overhears the baristas chatting about Seung-yeon’s visit to the cafe earlier, and is puzzled when they say that she hadn’t known Jin-soo’s phone number or that he had moved in to the studio. The pieces start to fall into place for Eun-young when the barista adds that Seung-yeon seemed to be interested in persuading Jin-soo to guest on the radio show.

All of a sudden, Jin-soo’s behavior, seen in this new light, starts to make sense. She heads to the studio, finds it empty, and calls his cell phone. Jin-soo answers from the radio station, where he is being prepped for his segment. Jin-soo has a few minutes before airtime, so he excuses himself and continues the call from the hallway.

At first, he takes a casual tone, saying that he didn’t want to agree to the interview, but he couldn’t say no to his girlfriend’s wheedling. But Eun-young is tired of his facade and tells him plainly that she knows Seung-yeon isn’t his girlfriend:

Eun-young: “Why are you lying? The reason I could be okay without seeing you was thinking that later when we met again, even if it was in old age, we wouldn’t have the same relationship full of lies as before. I thought we’d be honest with each other, and that was enough. I lived with that as my comfort. But why are you lying again, as soon as you come back? I have to know why you have to do that. You left like you’d be gone forever but returned in two years — why the lies? Everyone else has changed, but haven’t you changed at all?”
Jin-soo: “I’m not exactly the same.”
Eun-young: “It seems like you haven’t changed. You just keep lying.”

Jin-soo: “In the past I lied for myself, but now it’s for you. That isn’t the same as not changing at all, is it? What I was doing all this time was realizing that there’s nobody in this world who can adjust to match me, and realizing that therefore settling down anywhere is meaningless, and thinking that now I’d have to adjust to match someone else. That’s why I came to find you, because I wanted to do what you wanted. But I arrived, and the thought occurred that what you wanted might not be what I was thinking, and I had to lie. You want to know what my shocking news is? If you really want to know, I’ll tell you. But I couldn’t tell you readily because I didn’t want to complicate your life, and I also couldn’t refuse to tell you. Because I didn’t know how you really felt. I want to do what you want. So you decide. Will you keep hearing lies, or will you hear the truth? Choose. One, I tell you the truth. Two, I keep lying.”

Throughout Jin-soo’s monologue, Eun-young has been silent, lost in thought. He sees the time and has to go in for the interview, and hangs up.

For long moments after the call ends, Eun-young once again sits there with her phone still held to ear. Finally, she turns on the radio, listening to the introduction of Jin-soo’s program, and contemplates her choices.

She ponders her cell phone in her hand, trying to decide how to respond as Jin-soo and the DJ make preliminary chitchat on the program.

Just as the DJ asks if Jin-soo had a particular reason for returning to Korea, she texts him a message and his phone lights up with Eun-young’s response. He freezes, ignoring the DJ’s question or perhaps not hearing it at all, causing some uncomfortable dead air. The interviewer tries to fill in the silence, while slowly, Jin-soo’s hand creeps forward to check the message.

It reads: “Number 2.”

Which means, of course, keep lying.


Interesting development for our main characters, and an explanation that makes sense to me. Maybe it won’t resonate with everyone, but I’m appreciating the way this drama is managing its angst. Angst generally has an external component (e.g., some force keeping the lovers apart) and an internal component (e.g., the lovers feel that they can’t be together because of internal conflicts). When a drama relies on too much of one or the other, the angst gets frustrating. This scenario gives a balance of both, which feels credible to me.

So, what has changed in two years?

First off, I like that everyone else thinks Jin-soo has changed so much based on outer appearances, but Eun-young sees through that and says he hasn’t changed — or not in the ways that count. But as he clarifies, there is one main difference, and that is his willingness to work past his eccentricities. Or, to frame it a different way, he has decided that Eun-young is worth the effort to change things that he had previously believed to be unchangeable.

I wonder if Seung-yeon’s role in this is again going to be as the conduit. I won’t say Eun-young and Jin-soo have regressed all the way to square one, but they’ve moved back a few steps to being locked into that dynamic of hiding their real feelings as a protective measure. Jin-soo admits that this time he was doing it for her good — he didn’t want to derail her happiness with his admission — but whatever the reason, he’s putting up barriers again. And since he’s shown some of his weaknesses to Seung-yeon that he hasn’t shown Eun-young, he’s given her a glimpse at his true motives. Seung-yeon is on her way to unraveling those, and perhaps she’ll need to step in once again.

Early in the episode, Eun-young explains a little uncomfortably that “this is what kind of marriage” she is going to have with Ji-won. It’s almost like she wants to offer Jin-soo a bit of consolation, that even though she moved on, it’s not because Ji-won replaced him in her affections, or anything like that. She’s not making excuses for her choice, but it’s like she wants Jin-soo to understand the kind of relationship she has with Ji-won.

When a person is young, romantic passion can sometimes feel like it’s everything, but as a successful professional and mature adult, Eun-young has realized that a lot more goes into a functional relationship. I can see her accepting Ji-won out of a practical sense of compromise — she may not love him the way she loves Jin-soo, but he has demonstrated his devotion to her, and that kind of loyalty has to count for something. It doesn’t excuse his cheating earlier, but he finally owned up to that in a way that he hadn’t previously. Sometimes marriage is about decisions as much as it is about feelings.

In choosing Ji-won, I see it as choosing to move on. She could go back to Jin-soo and hope for a better outcome this time, but rather than taking a step backward, she is prioritizing her future, which I can respect. I really don’t think the choice is about either man, but about her own goals in life.

I think both Jin-soo and Eun-young assumed that the reason for their failed relationship was that Jin-soo wasn’t ready for it. So if they failed, it would be because he would never be ready for it. I don’t think they anticipated that it would fail while both were ready for that emotional commitment, just because the timing was wrong. This makes me think back to that earlier interview with PD Pyo, and what he identified as his major themes in his own life. (I prefer to base my interpretations of a drama on the material itself and not outside interviews — because what matters ultimately is what the drama DOES, not what it INTENDED to do — but I think it’s relevant here.)

Pyo described wanting to emphasize being happy in the moment, without overthinking yourself into a corner and fixating on what will make you happy in the future. If you’re always planning for the future, you’ll never enjoy today, and in so doing you may even miss out on future happiness. Eun-young and Jin-soo’s relationship seems to underscore that point — two years ago they decided to let today go, and banked on tomorrow, and that has knocked their timing askew.


102 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. mel

    JB thank you… Agony!!!

  2. Skye

    WHOO-HOO!! recap of ep 14 is finally here!!! thank you thank you thank you… and yay i’m finally first to comment!!! off to read now….

  3. Skye

    i’m such a dork…

  4. PSYlovahh

    Can they please just make up and make babies already? Not trying to be a perv, but I’m kinda anticipating a scene like that 0_0

  5. Minnetter

    this was my favourite ep so far, because I can´t foresee what will happen, it´s made it hard to even try to guess how the problems will be resolved 🙂

  6. hitsugaya

    i was waiting for this! thank u so so much javabeans! lovely recap as always 🙂

  7. Simmy

    Dong Wook’s baby ponytail. That is all.

  8. miss_procrastination

    THANK YOU. I have been debating the turn of events myself and I have reached similar conclusions. I just wish they could just be honest with one another. But if that were to happen, there would be no drama.

  9. annoyed

    why did she choose #2. It makes no sense. I thought she wanted them to be on different terms…to be honest and then she chooses #2…for him to keep lying. makes no sense and it’s annoying!

  10. 10 cont'd

    I can’t believe she picked 2

  11. 11 Varietyqueen24

    Hm mm….I have been leaning towards JS getting with SY. Like you said, JS shows sides of himself to SY that EY does not ever get to see. I was rooting for EY and JS to get together but the further we get into the show, I realize i just want them to move on from each other. I feel that they are walking on eggshells around each other all the time. Its so frustrating….but I still like the idea of them getting together, but I like SY and JS a little more…

  12. 12 marie*

    I’m thoroughly enjoying Coffee House. I love how the plot and writing are unique, leaving the audience with surprises in each episode..also loving Kang Jihwan’s acting haha.

    Thanks for the recaps!

  13. 13 kuchiki

    i have been waiting for this whole week. thx so much JB. my most favorite drama so far in 2010. i’ll be waiting for unknown time (hopefully in next 2 days) for your amazing recap of CH.

  14. 14 Varietyqueen24

    Just saw the preview for the next episode…squeal!!! it just keeps getting better and better. I swear the writers should be the main writers for every drama….LOL!!

  15. 15 Rin

    You had no idea how nervous I was when the ring falls out of his pocket! I would think that EY knows why JS is back right…? After she finds out that he’s been lying to her. I really wanted her to choose #1 but they have to have something for the remaining 4 episodes right? Lol.

    @4: They would make such beautiful babies!<3 lol.

  16. 16 GRAWL

    @PSYlovahh, amen! I can’t believe she chose number 2. argh!

  17. 17 pasta

    i’m missing jin soo’s crazy mad hatter laugh!
    my only wish is for the show to end with jin soo laughing and ji won doing the two fingers salute plus wink thing.
    *pulls self out of this depressive hole”

  18. 18 m a r a


    so, essentially, have a repeat of episode 12? they already moved on in that episode.

  19. 19 leila8mae

    sometimes we really get frustrated how the turn of events unfold.. maybe because, I for one, wanted EUNSOO just to be together and end all this pain and angst.. but thanks to you JB, we get to have a clearer view of this drama on a neutral ground.. =)

    I believe that this show should be watched in whole not in parts because every scene really plays a role in every character that will aid to understand the story better.. of course we all want a happy ending or atleast a story that wraps up with sense and meaning.. but I realized that CH is NOT our story as much as we want it to go OUR way.. it will always be what CH is on its own..

    I trust PD Pyo and the writer.. and as much as I fear riding a roller coaster, I’ve fasten my seat belts and enjoying the ride still ♥

  20. 20 m a r a

    ^^^meant to say, they already moved on from each other in that episode. why repeat a similar premise/solution 2 years later?

  21. 21 Snikki

    I love that very last shot of EY (in the comments section). I could feel her sadness. That calls for another header…maybe. hehe…

    And I love your choice of music for this one, so apt (the melody and the title, that is). I played it while looking at the main pic you chose for this recap. Aw, that look on JS’s face…ouch, it hurts!

    Thanks, JB, for this recap!

  22. 22 Diamondback

    I was kind of really miffed by Jin Soo’s whole “you choose” thing with Eun Young throughout this episodes. on the one hand, I get that he says he wants to adapt to her and I guess that’s being selfless in a way, but it feels like he’s just puting the onus on her to make the tough decisions. it’s like he can’t come out and own up to what he really wants unless SHE takes the leap and says she wants it first, which is kind of selfish on his part, I think.

    I guess it kind of backfired on him, in any case.

  23. 23 Opal

    Sorry for my slow digestion. I still don’t get it “..JS shown some of his weaknesses to SY that he hasn’t shown to EY..”, what sort of weaknesses?.

    And it doesn’t need for JS to show his weaknesses to EY as she knows in and out of JS.

  24. 24 verive

    Augh! The cliffhanger is killing me, and I found this episode just yesterday. At this point, it’s kind of obvious whom the main couple in the drama are, but just – auuugh. So much suspense! Will they get together? At this point in the drama, I’ll be happy if they were just to sit down, have a heart-to-heart talk, cry a bit, and come out BFFs at the end.

    I agree completely with the stuff about angst though – this is just right.

  25. 25 starletbang

    god after this episode i hate the number 2

  26. 26 CG

    Thanks for the recap! I was glad Lee Jin-soo didn’t actually propose to Seung-yeon, and now that I think about it, I was really stupid to think that way (writer Lee will probably never ever see Seung-yeon in that light. The episode 13 preview really mislead me). The tensions are really high, and as much as I like the progress in the recent episodes, I wish Coffee House would take more of a fun turn once in awhile to lighten up the mood like the last episode.

  27. 27 cheanne

    Wonderful……The writers of this series is really imaginative but realistic…….I love how they let each character grow., every episode answers and also add more mystery……I like the twists and turn……I can’t wait to watch this……BUt I have to wait till it ends and find a complete DVD and spend a weekend watching it……

    Great job JB…Thanks always.

  28. 28 xylophonic

    I kind of appreciate that Eunyoung chose #2, because I think it’s consistent with who she is. I think she’s guessed by now what his ‘shocking news’ is, and so her decision basically was either put it out in the open or not. If she chose number one, Jin-soo would have to tell her that he came hoping to start over with her (or something like that) she’d have to acknowledge that they now he’s ready to be with her, which he wasn’t before.

    That obstacle is now gone, but now the obstacle is her engagement to Ji-won. She’s engaged to be married to another person! If she wasn’t planning to ditch Ji-won right away, what good would it do to admit that she still loves Jin-soo (which I think is obvious? It is to me, at least), something which would be prompted by his confession to her?

    I get the impression that she’s mad that he arrived so sooner than she expected. Marrying Ji-won was a sign of her moving on and forgetting about Jin-soo, because it was the practical thing to do; she had no idea when he would be back, and thought it would be years later when he did! But now Jin-soo shows up and messes with her resolve, but at the same time she can’t allow herself to break up with Ji-won (especially after their recent history) to go back to another man. I just don’t think ethics would let her.

    Anyway you pretty much said everything else that was on my mind, JB! Thanks for the recap!

  29. 29 opusthirteen

    @22 I kind of agree. There’s a certain point where his “you choose” attitude almost seemed too much. He was pushing too much on to her that it seemed almost as if he were back in his old mentality, but in a different way: looking for a way to duck out of responsibility but giving her the choice on everything. This way, he doesn’t need to make that first move and step out until he knows she’s ready to stick her neck out.

    I think it’s because he’s come back to lie, he’s come back to think that he serves her selflessly that caused EY to choose #2. It’s almost like the second lead syndrome where the guy is always there to lie for her and to her and to help her, but doesn’t show enough initiative to actually gain any trust from the girl herself. It’s always the waiting. Definitely a huge dose of timing backfiring.

  30. 30 missy

    wow i like your last paragraph. it is full of explanations and makes me look into the world of grown ups. kudos to the writers for being realistic

  31. 31 Lahlita

    “I wonder if Seung-yeon’s role in this is again going to be as the conduit … And since [Jin-soo has] shown some of his weaknesses to Seung-yeon that he hasn’t shown Eun-young, he’s given her a glimpse at his true motives. Seung-yeon is on her way to unraveling those, and perhaps she’ll need to step in once again.”

    Seeing as how episodes 10 and 11 played out, I wouldn’t be surprised if Seung-yeon ended up as the conduit yet again. However, I’m hoping against hope that that isn’t the case this time. First of all, Seung-yeon’s character deserves better. I’d hoped for more balanced storytelling in this drama but Seung-yeon continues to be underwritten in service to Jin-soo and Eun-young’s relationship issues. Granted, we were forewarned of the abrupt shift that the drama would take about half way through, but I must admit that I was unprepared for just how abrupt a shift it was, both in tone and in storyline. I’m disappointed that when she does figure into the story, it seems to be as a wire-line between Eun-young and Jin-soo, or as Jin-soo’s plaything. Two years later, Jin-soo is a verbally insulting, at times inconsiderate donkey to Seung-yeon. But then again, Seung-yeon is letting him, so I can’t only be annoyed in Jin-soo there. Seung-yeon needs to be less pliant with him.

    Secondly, while I’ve come to accept that there will be an EY/JS ending, which I prefer to SY/JS, but Seung-yeon really shouldn’t be involved in it. If Eun-young and Jin-soo get together only after Seung-yeon steps in again, their relationship will ring hollow for me, because it will have shown that after all these years, and after being confronted with some or the same problems, neither Eun-young nor Jin-soo have gained the knowledge or the courage to confront their problems head-on and fix them from within. What will have been the point of their storyline? Where would the growth have been? It seems to me that the entire point of their love-line is them overcoming their past, their poor timing and, most importantly, their own walls and pretenses. Having an external catalyst again would completely invalidate their journey for me.

    Some might say that Seung-yeon wouldn’t be wasted if she were their conduit, and that it would be completely in character for Seung-yeon to want to fix things. I agree that it’s in her nature to care more about people than things. However, she shouldn’t fix their complication, nor should she have to. In fact, I hope that Seung-yeon’s growth is the realization that she needs to stay out of other people’s business. Two years ago her interference got her fired. Ideally, she’ll return the ring to Jin-soo, and leave without another word (wishful thinking, I know). I have no doubt that Jin-soo and Eun-young love each other, but love in and of itself is just not enough. Eun-young and Jin-soo are now 33- and 34-years-old respectively. So I need to see them both take the initiative to step up — without any prompting from Seung-yeon, Ji-won, Haraboji or anyone else — and go through the pain together and come out on the other side. Then I’ll buy into them having a relationship. Otherwise, how will they tackle the next hurdle life throws at them?

    Dramatic reality is not true reality, but I think the PD has done a decent job with verisimilitude. So I’m hopeful that if Eun-young and Jin-soo end up together, it will be because they worked for it. Here’s hoping.

    Thanks for the recap, Javabeans. I don’t frequent any of the other sites for spoilers, discussion or anything else. I watch the episode blind, then I wait for your recap to see what you have to say. Your thoughtful commentary and deconstruction is greatly appreciated!

  32. 32 Amg1

    The mere fact that he reverted to “lying” is a clear sign of how fracture the way of thinking the Jin-Soo Character really has, there a more choices than one can take in life with out the necessity for lying, He has not only involve Eun-Young in his Lying he also involve Seung-Yeon , but in defense for the 2 female leads; 1- Eung-Young is not aware that he is lying until she hears it from her workers. 2- Seung-Yeon agree to pretend to be his girlfriend, but later we see that if she knew ahead of time it involve Eun-Young she would not agree to go along with him.
    To me this new scenario does not work at all, the reason being that he is putting Eun-Young on the place where she is the one who is asked to make a decision where logic and common sense is missing because his stupid behavior.
    What is Eung-Young supposed to do with this new scenario?
    Go back to Jin-Soo and live happily ever after, when all along he has shown up till this very moment to be a very mentally unstable person?
    What about Ji-Woon, and Seung-Yeon being drag into this situation because his unmitigated selfishness?
    The writers let the “Cat” out of the bag, so there is no turning back, there is no way that Jin-Soo and Eung-Young can be happily together in this new scenario without having to hurt a lot of people in the process!!!!
    Honestly the only way that the story can have a proper “Melodramatic” ending is for both of them to end up apart at the end of the story, than and only than will the writer redeem himself and the characters he created, other wise is just another half ass show!!!!!!

  33. 33 teeny

    ROFL! The 100 dates thing reminds me of “Couple or Trouble/ Fantasy Couple”!
    Ji Won’s character also gives me the same impression as Sang Shil’s ex. (x

  34. 34 cupcake

    same here with #23 opal ….i don’t quite understand about the changes and everything

  35. 35 bahl

    it doesn’t really bother me if JS and EY don’t end up together.
    IMO, Clearly, a love line between JS and SY will be too contrived, because both of them don’t seem to harbor romantic feeling with each other… it is more of a deep brother-sister/ oppa-dongseng kind of thing for me.

    But what really bother me is that EY is moving on with JW.. that is not really moving on but being stuck. if she moved on with a different guy, like that soonbae from episode 13, her moving on would be more justifiable.

  36. 36 vie

    I agree with EY’s decision – it’s really just too much for someone. I’ve always been for JS/SY even though I can tell that he feels more emotion towards EY – the past is just too much to go through to be together for them. I know it’s dumb to think this way but….everyone who knows the both of them know who his wife was – they know she was best friends with her. It’s just wrong if they get married — her family, their friends, colleagues – maybe it’ not in the drama world but in real life that would be a lot of social pressure to take.

    And SY is slowly growing – she may never be able to “match” JS needs but she will be the one who understands him well and the only person to get him to be able to change for the better. Even if they aren’t together in the end – I believe that she has been more of an influence on him than EY has.

    The way he’s changed now just isn’t him – he needs to find a balance. Even if EY had said yes – I don’t think he can live that way forever – with his new clothes, new car, cell phone – that’s just not his personality. And it’s not the person EY has known for 10+ years.

  37. 37 pipit

    Thanks a lot JB.

    I agree with your sentiment like 100% (your opening). I like this episode a lot.
    I haven’t had the time to read the rest of the recap or the comments yet. Just stop at your opening and think….now I know why I love you JB ^-^

    I’m not sure whether I’ll have time to write my usual comment with Jin Soo’s story in it but as I love CH so much I need to say at least this much for now….

  38. 38 Helena

    Thanks JB, I was really missing my Coffee House fix! I could hardly breathe during this episode. I want a happy end for Jin soo with Eun young, I see the difficulties, but I would be terribly disappointed if they didn’t get together in the end

  39. 39 Cali Girl

    I absolutely loved this episode! 😉

    I keep thinking, there has to be more to Dong-wook, there has to be! I’m really curious about his role in the overall story because before he was just the guy SY didn’t really care about. But now he’s come back, and there has to be a good reason…but what could it be? And what about him and SY? Is that completely over? How did he get rich? I want answers! 😛

    Can’t wait until the next episode! Thanks so much for the recap!

  40. 40 Fatty

    I agree that Eun Young is prioritizing her future and attempting to move forward. But I’m not convinced that her decision to put fear before love is really a step forward.

    Thanks, JB, for the recap and insight! 😀

  41. 41 ck1Oz

    Thank you for the recap finally…..I am been on tetherhooks waiting for it and now I can read and then watch the ep before tomorrow’s raw.I don’t know about other dramas but the viewers for this on one of the forums I read has been driving me absolutely nuts with their impatience for subtitles.Yours is the only voice of reason I can understand.Is it this drama….I don’t recall anyone getting so worked up over EY vs SY or any love triangles before.No one even noticed the background of the series just the love triangle *-*

  42. 42 Marie

    Ep 14 of CH is one of my favorite episodes ever!

    I want to see a development on SY and Dong-wook …relationship, plzzz? and the progression of EY/JS somwhat – maze relationship.

  43. 43 wulanastasiaz

    love is patient.. love is kind..
    love means slowly loosing your mind…

    why don’t they just forget everything and runaway… aaaarrgghhhh..

  44. 44 sherrvonn

    thanks for the recap once again! ^^

    i can understand why eunyoung chose 2. cuz trouble will brew if she knew what the truth was. (i’m guessing the truth is that jinsoo still loves her and wants to marry her). she had to call off her wedding plans and the everybody will make a big hoo-haa about as she’s a prominent figure. and so i agree that she’s priortizing her future and career like what dramabeans mentioned. i also think that she wants to move on… maybe she expected jinsoo to be more honest and simple person… moving on and away from the complicated past. she probably felt like the past where it took him so long to confess to her and he keeps on lying and pretending to avoid getting his feelings known to her.

    as for seungyeon… i really dont know if she has feelings for him or just like senior-junior kind of romance feelings cuz i think she knows that things arent so simple and that maybe she doesnt really know jinsoo well enough. as in other than his actions and behaviours… something like his thoughts, his past… she doesnt really know. but i guess she’s curious too.

    i think she might be waking jinsoo up again. -_________-
    i dont want! i’m a jinsoo-seungyeon shipper!

  45. 45 grasya

    aigoo, i miss the fun this drama used to bring me! it’s growing angst episode by episode…even this week’s preview episodes are agonizing, unnecessary angst all the way…

    it is still an EunSoo ending, i can feel. if not, then their story should have ended in episode 12. if not, what’s the time skip for? if not, why wasn’t EY married already when JS came back? why did he arrive in the nick of time to claim his girl? believe me, they are so ending together.

    if PD suddenly shifts to JS/SY, 4 episodes is too short to convince me of a realistic transfer of affection.

    and … poor DW!

  46. 46 grasya

    @ 32: Awww, if EY/JS will not end up together, this whole drama would be such a waste…so yeah, i insist they end up together. PD nim better repair the damage he has done on JW/DW/SY. Anyway, somebody also gets hurt in kdramas… : )

    EunSoo, hwaiting!

  47. 47 fromdblock

    as expected … another well-written recap and comments… 😉

    EY is indeed a unique character.. she’s an admirable person. PSY is doing a great job in this drama! i’ve never seen her act this good!

  48. 48 marmar

    Oh JB thanks once again for your summaries. I always look forward to them.
    Honestly my personally opinion of the outcome of this drama is that the two mains will end together (oh gosh I so hope so) & that SY will be the one helping them realize their love for one another..& to add a twist it would be great if the ending of this SY wrote a book about their love story & about this whole drama..naming it Coffee House..lol
    I mean I can so picture that.
    I love this drama because I love how the writer does not give you a bad guy/girl..All the characters are pretty equal.

    Oh I look forward to the next part.
    Is the drama still ending at 16 or did it get picked up for two more episodes?

  49. 49 mmmaggie

    This is slightly off topic, but javabeans, I LOVE the song of the day. It’s so fitting for the mood of the episode. Thanks for exposing us to Korean music that isn’t all recycled pop and dance.

    Back to the series, I’m loving not knowing who’s going to end up with whom. When I thought the drama would end at 16 episodes, I thought for sure when Jin Soo returned that he’d end up with Eun Young. (Yay!) Now that it’s 18 eps, I’m not 100% sure that’s going to be the outcome. (Damn you, Jung Woong In, for not letting me just hate Ji Won!) I’m so pleasantly surprised by how all this is unfolding (I actually gasped when they panned to the ring in Jin Soo’s pocket during the last episode) that I’m totally content to just enjoy the show and go where it takes me.

    @25 starletbang: LMAO at your comment! I still want Eun Young to end up with Jin Soo, but I’m no longer gonna give up Kdramas if he doesn’t. Like I would’ve been able to anyway. 😉

  50. 50 marmar

    oh gosh just wanted to add the whole you choose thing..i admit it was annoying at first but i get why he did it.
    as you know the whole yes or no question it’s always two options but then option three is the maybe
    so throughout the whole episode EY choose 3 the “maybe” option but then it came down to the final question 1. truth 2. lie..there was no 3 no maybe for EY to choose from.
    so all that was left was for her to have to pick yes or no..& she chose no as in no don’t tell me the truth just keep lying.

    The writer is brilliant.

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