Drama Recaps
Coffee House: Page 15
by | July 23, 2010 | 76 Comments

There’s only a week left of Coffee House (and three more recaps after this one). What’s interesting is that I am really enjoying the episodes, and the acting, and the characters (mostly). And y’all know how much I love Kang Ji-hwan. So it’s a curious how this drama has consistently entertained me, but it hasn’t taken root in my heart/mind/feelings. I don’t even share a lot of the bigger criticisms about the show that many others feel, and have been content to let the plot play out without feeling upset about it. Maybe it’s just the season. Or timing. Or something about the show itself that keeps things sort of at a surface level, even despite incorporating some serious emotional beats. Oh well. I’m not beat up about it. (And yet, that’s what I find so weird.)


Space A – “섹시한 남자” (Sexy Man). I laughed out loud when this song cropped up in this episode, because it’s one of those old-school kpop hits from a group that (like so many expendable kpop acts) had a pretty short shelf life. But I seem to recall the song being popular during a trip to Korea, which means for a short while I heard it everywhere. [ Download ]

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In the studio, Jin-soo reads Eun-young’s text message, which is a essentially a pre-emptive rejection. The radio show staff members cast worried glances at each other because his silence is making things awkward, but he snaps back to the moment and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.

The rest of the interview goes off without a hitch, and the staff is pleased with Jin-soo’s performance — he’s witty, smart, and funny. They sigh that it’s too bad he was only available for this short stint — how about Seung-yeon try to persuade him into a regular guest spot? She tells her sunbae he’s overreaching, but she enjoys the praise directed her way over scoring such a prime interview subject.

Seung-yeon offers to buy Jin-soo lunch in thanks for the interview, and he accepts the offer. Determined to impress, she buys heaps of food and presents them proudly. She recalls that she’s still wearing his ring and starts to return it, but he tells her to keep it for a little longer. He wants her to continue acting as his girlfriend while he’s in Korea — to friend gatherings and Eun-young’s wedding, for instance.

This time Seung-yeon is quicker on the uptake and thinks of a way to work this to her advantage. With her boss’s suggestion to increase Jin-soo’s guest participation on the show in mind, she plays coy, and Jin-soo realizes what she’s up to. A little impressed with her bold move, he asks, “Are you trying to make a deal with me?”

Seung-yeon names her price: Be a recurring guest on the show, just 30 minutes a week (for a few weeks, until he leaves Korea). In defense of her manipulation, she reminds Jin-soo that he was the one who taught her about being a pro.

His grumbled response makes me laugh: “I taught you a hundred things — how is it the only ones you remembered are the ones that suck?” Still, Jin-soo agrees to the exchange, telling her, “You’ve grown up.”

Seung-yeon further impresses/surprises him by playing this up with her boss — she calls and makes the deal seem extra difficult, so that when she announces that she succeeded, it will seem an even greater accomplishment.

Seung-yeon’s father makes his first overture to the pretty lady running the dry-cleaning shop in their neighborhood. It’s a pretty paltry move, and one that I suspect will backfire on him, but he’s pleased as punch with himself. (He offers her a free coffee, making up some excuse about all his neighbors getting one free drink per day, which is bound to turn out badly, no?)

In any case, that night father and daughter are both in excellent moods over their productive days. This is something I miss from this series — the cute family moments. Seung-yeon’s family members never had prominent storylines, and perhaps the drama didn’t want to focus too much on them when the story was focusing on the Eun-young angle. But I wish they’d had slightly bigger parts, even if they’re just breezy interludes.

Ji-won recruits a bewildered Jin-soo to help him sneak into Eun-young’s apartment, as he has misplaced the engagement ring. It disappeared sometime after he showed it to her and got in his car, so he suspects it’s still in the house. However, he’s afraid of Eun-young’s reaction if she found out he lost it, so he begs Jin-soo to help him look. He’s only got a short time in which to search, because he sent Eun-young to pick up his parents.

Jin-soo’s not comfortable with this task, and he lets Ji-won look while wandering around. He gets a call from Seung-yeon, who wonders what they ought to call each other while acting as a couple. It’s a valid question but she also has some extra fun with this, knowing that Jin-soo’s not going to like any of her teasing suggestions.

She proposes Jin-soo-sshi, which puts them on equal footing; it’s acceptable in a dating relationship despite their former social and professional gap. Jin-soo ajusshi is another option, since he is a bit older than her — ajusshi preserves that age gap, but would have an affectionate ring. Then there’s Jin-soo oppa — and we all know what baggage oppa carries. She laughs to herself while Jin-soo balks at each suggestion, and enters him as “Jin-soo oppa~” (with a heart) into her phone.

But Jin-soo cuts short her fun, warning her that she’s going to have to write all his parts for the radio segment. Ordinarily her station unni would write the parts, but he insists because he won’t risk his image with bad writing — and while he can’t correct her co-worker, he sure as hell feels comfortable ripping her writing to shreds. Seung-yeon’s enjoyment thus killed, she pouts that Jin-soo can’t ever just let someone be happy.

And then, Dong-wook appears outside her family’s cafe, all spiffed up and driving his fancy red car. Seung-yeon doesn’t even recognize him at first, and when she does, there’s no romantic excitement there, just pleasant surprise.

Dong-wook has come into an inheritance, which explains the changed appearance. He is now Eun-young’s business partner as the new cafe’s investor, and it seems like he’s hoping his upgraded image will impress Seung-yeon. Alas, when he asks if she’s dating anyone, she answers that she is and shows him her ring.

His reaction to news of a boyfriend is particularly hilarious because he has an “I knew it!” moment, and this confirms all of his old jealousies of Jin-soo — which we know are actually completely unfounded. He growls to himself in frustration, asking what good money is to him now. Poor Dong-wook! He deserves someone much more into him than Seung-yeon.

Ji-won has to run out and still hasn’t located the ring, so he pleads with Jin-soo to keep looking. Jin-soo doesn’t want to, and doesn’t actually do any searching after Ji-won leaves. Instead, he spots Eun-young’s wedding-related materials and rifles through them. As he registers the bridal magazines and her annotated scrapbook, he starts to see this angle that he hadn’t considered before, that Eun-young is looking forward to her wedding.

Just then, voices sound at the door, and he only has a few seconds to dash into the bathroom before Eun-young enters with her in-laws-to-be.

She treats them warmly and attends to them, and it’s clear that they have a lot of affection for her as well. In particular Ji-won’s father, who promises to beat some sense into Ji-won if he ever acts out of line.

Jin-soo peers out of the bathroom door to see her interacting with them, and starts to see that this is about more than his feelings for her, or even hers for him. Her decision to move on and marry is also about family, commitment, faith, and other relationships.

Jin-soo finds the dropped ring in the bathroom just as he hears Ji-won’s father ask to use the bathroom. Panicking, he lurches for the door, locking it just in time to prevent being discovered. He dashes off a quick text message to Eun-young, who gets out her spare keys and lets Dad try the locks while she reads the message.

Her eyes widen in shock at the warning that Jin-soo is in the bathroom, and she leaps in front of the door to prevent Dad from seeing that compromising scenario. She makes a hasty excuse that her underwear is hanging inside, and slips into the bathroom.

Jin-soo explains the ring situation, and they both have to laugh at the absurdity of this situation. He tells her to act surprised when Ji-won gives her the ring, and readies to slip out of the apartment while Eun-young distracts the in-laws.

In a brief pause, Eun-young tells Jin-soo with a sincere tone, “I’m sorry.” They both know what she’s referring to without addressing it directly, and Jin-soo’s answer is also an indirect way of replying to that as he says that her in-laws look like good people.

Eun-young goes out to distract her in-laws by asking them to help her choose what to wear for dinner. When Jin-soo leaves, he briefly makes eye contact with Eun-young and offers her a rueful smile.

Then, as he is about to hand the ring over to Ji-won, he holds it back for a second to tell his sunbae, “Treat her well.”

Ji-won has no idea of the significance behind that, but we can see it as Jin-soo relinquishing Eun-young to Ji-won’s care.

Later that night, Ji-won heads to the writer’s studio to persuade Jin-soo to join him for drinks with some university buddies. Instead, he finds Seung-yeon there alone, who has arrived to run through the radio show ideas with Jin-soo. Taking advantage of this moment, Ji-won pressures Seung-yeon into joining him for drinks, since everyone will be eager to meet Jin-soo’s girlfriend.

At the bar, the sunbaes push drink upon drink on Seung-yeon, so by the time Jin-soo hears what happened, she’s thoroughly drunk. Thus he’s forced to come to the gathering — which was Ji-won’s strategy in bringing Seung-yeon along — and is greeted by his “girlfriend” with an enthusiastic and singsong, “Jin-soo oppa~~!” The mood is convivial and as the only one sober, Jin-soo grits his teeth while everyone parties.

While the others are distracted, Jin-soo tries to sneak out with Seung-yeon, but they are stopped by a sunbae. Demands for a song are pressed upon them, and although Jin-soo refuses, Seung-yeon bounds up for a round with the karaoke machine, dancing suggestively as she belts out the lyrics.

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The song she picks is the same one that’s posted up top (Space A – “섹시한 남자” (Sexy Man)), whose lyrics include a rousing chorus of “You’re my sexy man, my handsome man… I’ll only love you, why can’t you trust me? You’re the only one for me until I die…”

Against his better judgment, Jin-soo starts to enjoy himself, finding her amusing and silly.

Things are a little less amusing at the end of the night, when he has to deal with a drunk and unhelpful Seung-yeon. In the morning, Seung-yeon wakes to the ringing of her phone. She answers groggily and finds herself chewed out by an irate Dad, who demands to know what the hell she was doing out all night. Suddenly alert, she hastily lies that she had to come out early to the radio station and hangs up.

Eun-young and Ji-won go to the jeweler’s, presumably to take a look at wedding jewelry. As they do, Eun-young scolds Ji-won for dragging Jin-soo and Seung-yeon along to his party, because she knows its’ a fake relationship put on for their benefit but can’t be the one to spill the beans about it. So instead, she takes out her frustration on Ji-won, telling him to butt out of their relationship. Ji-won protests that Jin-soo had fun last night, and the couple looked really cute together. This surprises Eun-young, who expects Jin-soo to have fully hated the party.

While Eun-young steps aside for a call, Ji-won chats with the store employee and takes this chance to brag about his friendship with Jin-soo. The woman not only knows who Jin-soo is, she was the one who helped him purchase a ring recently. Ji-won assumes that this is where he bought the engagement ring for Seung-yeon, but the saleswoman adds that he’d been worried about the choice, which he was going to give to an old friend.

Ji-won scoffs at that, since his relationship with Seung-yeon hardly qualifies as old… and then another thought pops into his head and wipes the smile from his face. Eun-young joins him, and he looks at her with new eyes… wondering if perhaps… his suspicion is right?

Little snippets of last night trickle back into Seung-yeon’s memory, and they’re all embarrassing — like Jin-soo carrying her piggyback-style with difficulty. Or refusing to answer when Jin-soo asked for her phone PIN so he can unlock it and call her family. She runs into Jin-soo at the doorway, and rather than face him she dashes out.

And then, even more memories make their way back into her consciousness, each one more mortifying than the last. She’d been jokey and irreverent, which is bad enough, but then she had even taken his face into her hands and planted a big kiss on his lips — twice!

I love the look on Seung-yeon’s face below as she recalls this horrible last detail. And then realizes that she has left her cell phone behind in Jin-soo’s studio. There’s no way around it — she has to head back.

With not a small amount of dread, Seung-yeon returns to the building and cautiously makes her way back… quietly creeping up the stairs… where a pair of shoes enter her field of vision from the level above.

Aaaaand nope. There’s just no way getting out of this one.


Are we heading to a Jin-soo & Seung-yeon pairing after all? I still say no — there just hasn’t been enough emotional groundwork for it — but this episode did plant a few seeds in that pot, and more believably than any previous episode has done, in my opinion.

What it does do is set up the possibility for an unconventional ending, i.e., no romantic couples affirming love and heading off into a blissful happily ever after. That was always a possibility, of course, but not one I placed much stock in because the plot didn’t justify it. But in this episode, Jin-soo makes the realization that Eun-young’s happiness perhaps hinges upon more than he can offer. Before, it was never questioned whether Jin-soo had it in him to make her happy, just whether he was ready for it. Now it appears there’s more to the picture, more things that he can’t give her.

I’m not referring to tangible things like a mother and father or whatnot, but the sense that his love for Eun-young was selfish, based on himself only. You like me, I like you, therefore we should work, right? Like he said in the previous episode, now he’s doing things for her benefit, not his own — and letting go is for her benefit.

Then again, maybe this is the very kind of change he actually needed to make to deserve Eun-young. And he’d never have arrived at this point if she didn’t go back to Ji-won and turn him down. Oh, there’s all sorts of irony built into that, isn’t there?


76 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. mememomo

    Thanks for the recap JB. These episodes are entertaining.

  2. kaedejun

    thanks for the recap!!! i love the last image of KJH smiling charmingly while holding the phone!

    i’m now hoping that we end up with a no-happy-relationship-ending. if JS/EY do get together, i’m hoping that it’s just hinting at the possibility that they’ll get together, not a full out declaration of their coupledom.

    i kinda feel bad for JW now. but if JW and EY end up together, i’m also happy for them. that ending doesn’t bother me as much.

    props to SY – she is like another Yoon Eun Hye (except with more experience) where i think it might be very productive for her to pursue an acting career. she already stepped down as leader of T-ARA… soo….. who knows!?

  3. pengork

    thanks for the recap, javabeans! i’m planning on watching this week’s eps tomorrow… huh, it’s interesting that you said it hasn’t taken root for you. for me, it’s done so but in a strange way. for most of it’s run it was hilarious and awesome and unpredictable. for most of its run it was epic for me. at points i got really excited, like the first kiss, and again when he came back. but since last week and the engagement revelation, i’ve been feeling fatigued and put through the emotional wringer and i was actually disappointed to hear it was 18 eps and not 16. i kindof need it to be over because it’s so exhausting, i guess in the way it is for eunyoung. at points like this i wonder whether it’s because i’m watching it as it airs, and i have to carry those feelings across over so many weeks. since i watch a lot of old series and can binge/marathon, ride out the tougher parts, i wonder how it’d be if i’d watched this all in one go. right now, it’s gotten tiring and i’m a bit disappointed it did. it’s starting to weigh me down. but, not long left now! ^^ i don’t think i’m expecting anything epic for an ending, but a satisfying one ofc would be great. i hope for jinsoo to find some stability and normalcy, and i wonder if it can be done. i’ve actually stopped being super invested in the otp outcome, i’ve realised i don’t care anymore, which is.. bad. 😐

  4. George

    I laughed like crazy while watching this episode.

    But I have to say that I LOVED the last scene. Kang Ji Hwan going from sexy killer smile to you’re-so-dead glare, in what? 4 second?. He’s the king of expressive eyes.

  5. cathy

    i enjoy this drama bc of KJH and PSY , very unpredictable drama , but i agree with you the writer can not end up with his secretary , not enough love , chemistry
    between them .
    I”m watching Road number one , after episode 4 , all better , no more boring
    triangle love story , only war stories . I can not tolerate KHN voice , too high pitch which really hurt my ear , i have nothing against her but her acting in this drama
    so poor .

  6. what is

    oh man, I’m very excited about the ending! I love it because I don’t know what’s going to happen! Like you said, the entire plot has been set up so it seeeems like it’ll be eun-young and jin-soo, but also like you said, this episode really lays down the ground work for a possible jin-soo/seung-yeon pairing. If this episode was episode 3 or something, it would be a definite jin-soo/seung-yeon. I don’t know! I just don’t know! Ahhhh this is great!!! Keep me guessing!

    It doesn’t seem like Eun-young really dislikes Ji-won either. She’s settling. I don’t know if she still has that spark to unsettle herself and go with jin-soo. And if they did, I don’t know how their relationship will work. Well maybe I do. That moment when they were both in the bathroom, and joking with each other was very nice. Just a crazy, humorous couple. Sigh.

    And I’ve got to say, Ji-won cracks me up!!!! He’s absolutely hilarious! He’s not a hate-able character at all! He’s so funny and ridiculous, that it’s impossible to dislike him!

    Whichever way it ends up, I think I’ll be perfectly happy with it! I really liked this drama. Definitely.

  7. grasya

    thanks for the recap…
    i was looking forward to what you thought about it, hehehe.
    the SY-JS shippers were really rejoicing for this and yup, this could be a beginning of something, but since we only have 2 more episodes to go, i wholeheartedly agree with you that it might be an unconventional ending with JS not ending with either girls.
    but, i would love a happy ending for JS and EY — after all that angst, i want to be happy when we end this drama. : )

    Jin Soo, fighting! [spoiler: since he finally mustered the courage to fight later, hahaha.]

  8. Kayt

    Thanks JB!!!
    I am absolutely sure that we are heading to JS and EY ending after ep 16. They have to!!!
    But I was scared to watch this episode those as I knew it contains some skin dip in ( like I cheated to EY!!! haha)
    However, I found how deep JS love SY though this eps and the 16 as well. I ‘ll come back with another comment as I need to fishish reading your capse

    But we is going to have a happy ending for sure!!! 😀
    I can be 99% about that hehe

  9. kc

    Thanks javabean!

    I love his smile while he was on the stairs! That so Jin Soo!

    I do feel bad for JW because he was so clueless about whats going on between them. But I see the sincerity on his feeling towards EY.

    DW is funny! I feel bad for him too! Im sure SY will end with him. All his efforts has to pay off.

    Enjoyed this episode very much!

  10. 10 Maddy

    Ah, I’m torn, because I partly want EY to find her happiness (most likely with JS) but this makes EY no better JW in the earlier episode. She’s emotionally cheating on him and that really breaks my heart. I want her honest with herself, and if she really does not love JW, end it with him rather than stringing him a long. -___-

    I don’t know, I’m frustrated… I want no couple ending at this point. It’s too early for a JS/SY relationship and a jerk move for EY to dump JW for JS.


  11. 11 Kayt

    Edit: Sorry for the typos

    Thanks JB!!!
    I am absolutely sure that we are heading to JS and EY ending after ep 16. They have to!!!
    But I was scared to watch this episode those as I knew it contains some skin dip in it (feel like I cheated on EY!!! haha)
    However, I found how deep JS love EY though this eps and the 16 as well. I ‘ll come back with another comment as I need to fishish reading your caps. I love the way he looked at EY in the house, because this seems to be a new side of her that he hasnt seen before, but that how is wanted to give up and let’s go…. ** sad**

    But we is going to have a happy ending for sure!!!
    I can be 99% about that hehe

  12. 12 Buki

    Hey JB! Thanks for a great re-cap per usual. I have a question. I asked it in the open thread but no one answered. I know things are exaggerated for dramas but this just seems like a common trope that always happens.

    “I have a question for those who have been to Korea or are currently living in Korea. Is the wealth disparity so great btw the middle class and rich? Unless you very rich they always make the middle class look so poor/desperate. Take Bad Guy….Jae in is a freelance art consultant working for one of the biggest?? Corporations in Korea. As someone who works in the arts, I know she should be paid really well. Yet she has trouble paying rent?? Also Coffee House, SY spends half her paycheck (a months worth of pay) on one outfit?? Can you not buy nice work clothes in Korea that aren’t from high end designers and still look nice?? This is just always so exaggerated in dramas and a constant theme, i was just wondering if there was a ring of truth to it?”


  13. 13 missy

    i’m looking forward to the recap for the next episode. and see what you guys think abt whats going to happen in the end. the pairings are so confusing

  14. 14 Lahlita

    Wow, Javabeans, I am impressed and amazed. Since this episode really played up the Jin-soo/Seung-yeon interactions, I admit I loved it (I like my Coffee House light and happy), but I didn’t know if it would provide enough substance for the fantastic analysis I’ve come to expect from you. I need not have wondered; you did it again. You are good job!

    Gracious me, I loved this episode. I LOVED IT. So much Seung-yeon (she’s my favorite character, with Eun-young being a really close second), and Jin-soo smiling and being gorgeous and snappy and persnickety. And that end scene where his smile went from shining like the sun to I-am-sogoing-to-murder-you had me rolling in the aisles. It’s such a relief to be avidly enjoying this drama again, because while I appreciate relationship angst in some shows (MNIKSS, Dal Ja’s Spring), I’m just not enjoying it in Coffee House. I confuse myself, because objectively I can appreciate the complexity, soul and depth of Jin-soo’s relationship with Eun-young (love her), but I just end up annoyed the minute they’re in the same scene. In that same vein, I objectively understand how weird, and at times mean-spirited and uncool, Jin-soo is with Seung-yeon, but darned if I don’t just break out in a huge grin the minute they’re in the same space. I must be perverse.

    And now I beg everyone’s forgiveness. I’m going to make like Pipit and post lengthily, if not epicly. But it’s not an ode to any ship. Never that. Ships are made to sink.

    @ 88 jun, from the episode 14 recap comments section.

    I liked your take on the internal war between realism and entertainment. As I continue to watch Coffee House, I too am battling with myself between accepting the heightened reality of one side of the “love-triangle”, or just going for the entertainment value that comes with watching the hilarious fail on the other side of it.

    I think the PD has done a disservice to both women by relegating them to opposite sides of the tonal divide. In the initial episodes of Coffee House, up until episode 8, both women had various tonal interactions with Jin-soo. For example, Eun-young and Jin-soo had some emotionally naked, incredibly brutal conversations, but they also laughed together, joked and argued with each other, messed with Ji-won and played really funny pranks on him. After that, they brought sexy back with that epic fake seduction scenes (so hot). On the other hand, Seung-yeon and Jin-soo were doing the hilarious craziness they do so well, but the mood could get somber once he started to let her in a bit. She saw him sick, vulnerable and mentally fractured from his writer’s block and his dominoes, and he didn’t hide his weaknesses from her. And there was that absolutely gorgeous moment on his bed where Jin-soo confided his inability sleep and they lay down together and they listened to the sounds of the night — before he sent her out into it. 😀 I was able to see that Jin-soo could be multi-dimensional with either of them, and they could both multi-dimensional with him.

    However, as time went on, EY/JS scenes brought me angst, angst, and more angst, with almost no break from the heaviness. SY/JS scenes made me laugh, laugh, and laugh some more, with few attempts at emotional depth or characterization (episode 15 remedied this somewhat, I need to watch episode 16 and see if SY/JS develops the way I think they’re going to). Personality-wise, both women run the entire spectrum of emotion; but their interactions with Jin-soo right now do not. I believe that has divided the fandom more than is necessary by aligning each woman with one set of personality characteristics, at least as it relates to scenes with Jin-soo. And in failing to make the interactions of both women multi-tonal, the feel of the drama has whip-lashed from one mood to the next based on which female lead was on screen, and that dissonance was bending my head. As such, while I’m not invested in any ship (other than shipping EY/SY and JS/psychiatrist), I find myself tired of EY/JS, but enjoying SY/JS, because my desire to be entertained and happy outweighs my desire to reflect on the “realistic” pitfalls of complicated adult relationships. I’d like to do both, but if I must choose (and the PD was making me choose by linking tone to female lead), I choose to laugh and be happy, and SY/JS — for me — is where my enjoyment is. This is unfortunate, because as I’ve said eleventy hundred times, I love Eun-young. I love them both. Kyaa, Drama! Chaega wae to me this are doingeyo? Imnida.

    The PD did say that the drama would revert back to giving off a happy vibe overall, and I think episode 15 is the start of them getting back to the Coffee House I love. Episode 15 has done much though to show me again why I love SY/JS together (interacting in scenes, not romantically), and how cute EY/JS can be, even in the face of awkward situations. I haven’t seen episode 16 yet, but I hope the drama continues to go the way of lightening up Eun-young and Jin-soo some more, and giving Seung-yeon and Jin-soo a little more sweetness and depth. And maybe some sort of tacit acknowledgment from Jin-soo about how important Seung-yeon is (because he really, truly, does care for the girl). But not too much sweetness and depth, or else Seung-yeonnie is going to be devastated when the drama ends with EY/JS, as I believe it will.

  15. 15 Alison

    hehehehe they used that song in “my tutor friend” as well. ^___^

  16. 16 AuntieMame

    During the drinking session, it seems like JW made a rather insulting insinuation about JS and SY’s relationship.

    Or, I may have missed something. Or, I just can’t warm to the JW character. I’ve tried to find something positive about him. But, I just find him very annoying.

    This drama is not something that I eagerly await each week. However, it does entertain and hold my interest when I finally watch the episode.

    Thanks so much for the recap.

  17. 17 oh! tht! chick!


    ok coming back to non squeeee decibels, im so so going to miss it and KJH in a week's time nooooooooooooooooooooooooo 🙁

    yep the wind def seems to be blowing sy/js way and im not one to be opposed to either ship now, cos i dont care either way as i find the story so engaging that now i dont care who ends up with who, i just want to know how IT ALL ENDS!! im just going to go where it takes me and try (hope??) to be happy abt it!

    KJH is just killer in the last scene i laughed soo damned much all the while going "she is dead so so dead" in my head loool!

  18. 18 yoyo

    Thanks JB! As absurd as this sounds I absolutely refused to watch this episode before reading your review, I hate the unexpected!
    I’m starting to see a new relationship between JS and EY, partly because before JS left for his eclectic journey EY was the one who made the silent *sighs*, wishful hoping, and I’m watching you from afar moves, but now JS is the one lurking in the shadows. You can’t help but pity both characters.
    “So it’s a curious how this drama has consistently entertained me, but it hasn’t taken root in my heart/mind/feelings.” I’m with you JB! Although I like this series I haven’t turned into that fangirl that waits for every episode and plots accidents for the unfavorable characters. The storyline gives us a reason to dislike characters for their actions, but allows us to like them enough to hope for a good ending for them. <—my two cents

  19. 19 sora

    I was expecting sooooo much from this drama and quite frankly it just doesn’t do for me. The plot is plain messed up. No forward or backward with three episodes left?/ Come on!!!

  20. 20 Jewels

    I am really enjoying this drama. Episode 15 was hilarious and one of my favorites. However it ends, I will be satisfied be it EY/JS, EY/JW, JS/SY or JS by himself.

  21. 21 haezi

    looks like i’m in the minority for hoping that the ending at least hints at a possible SY/JS pairing. No pairing is fine, too. it’s just that, while i really like EY, I feel that all that drama with JS’s ex-wife isn’t worth pursuing their relationship, especially after i saw her interactions with her future father-in-law. plus, EY and JW really seem like a couple now…especially in the latest episode. in any case, the writer is great at exploring all of the characters.

  22. 22 Snikki

    I love HEJ’s portrayal of SY, she’s adorable! I enjoyed watching the noraebang scene. Oh, and I think she looks really pretty in those specs while talking to JS on the phone…love the smile! But, yeah, I still want a JS/EY ending… 😀 Actually, to be honest, I don’t really need to see JS and EY couple up in the end, and I have a feeling we won’t see that happen anyway — it’ll be an open-ended one. But that’s ok with me, I’ll be satisfied with confessions of how they truly feel for each other.

  23. 23 asianromance

    thank you for the recap! =D

    i think it is easier to let yourself just go with the flow in this drama because this isn’t your typical, predictable kdrama. Expectations of how the main characters should interact and expectations of what should happen at which point in the story are sort of tossed out…so instead of wait for the predictable and fighting against the unpredictable..it’s just better to let the story unfold and wash over you.

    i’m always surprised how in karaoke scenes that koreans hardly ever look at the words to sing the songs. even with american songs, when i go karaoke, my eyes are glued to the words even if it’s a karaoke song that I’ve sang a bajillion songs.

  24. 24 Jenju


    Even after watching the episodes, I always anticipate these reviews. They add so much to the viewing experience.

    Thank you!

  25. 25 leila8mae

    thanks for the recap JB.. I’m such a fan of CH and I’m actually so involved now, emotionally even! haha.. I’m an EUNSOO shipper by heart but since I trust the writer and PD Pyo, I’m open and will respect their story w/c way it ends still.. ♥

    JB you said that maybe this epi also can pave the way for JS to fight for EY.. I’m looking forward to what your view of EPI 16 since I think it explained more what happened in EPI 15.. I’ll be waiting w/ bated breath! hehe

    but for now this is my thought and I’ll quote JB:

    “Before, it was never questioned whether Jin-soo had it in him to make her happy, just whether he was ready for it. Now it appears there’s more to the picture, more things that he can’t give her.”

    I believe for Jin soo, there’s nothing more important to him than Eun Young’s happiness.. and I think having that in mind is one of the best way to express LOVE.. whether or not EY will be w/ him, he just wants her to be happy..

    on Eun Young’s part, I think she is doing things as planned.. her future is set, sort of.. but amidst all these things, for me, there’s also only one person who can give her HAPPINESS.. that at the back of her mind, the truth might be Jin soo can give her that and it will suffice her..

    now, I see that both of them cares for the other’s happiness and not really their OWN.. good! but it’s also important that we fight for our OWN happiness especially when its WORTH it.. and I believe JS will try to protect and fight for that..

    I’m looking forward as Coffee House ends next week.. I’ve truly learned a lot of lessons just by watching.. and I’m happy to have watched this drama.. Kang Ji Hwan is such a revelation to me and he’s such a brilliant actor that can really touch my weak heart w/ his amazing expressions! kudos to him ♥

  26. 26 Mel

    I really hope they’d end up together – they’re so cute! And I wanna see Eun-young move on too. It’d be too much of an emotional turmoil if she didn’t and ended up with Jin-soo instead.

  27. 27 Ise

    I have my theories:
    One possibility is that you all know how JW left EY right before they were to be married for her friend, its a possibility that karma will turn right back on JW. Maybe right when they are about to be married, EY leaves him for JS who was also a friend of JW. Not only would karma be at work, but love will def. prevail.
    I know that there is a lot of baggage between JS/EY, but we cannot overlook the fact that they love and care for each other. And this is not just superficial, carnal lusting… but love in its purest form.

    in the case of SY and JS, i don’t think that there is a future there. I think that the producers have built so much into the relationship between JS/EY that a JS/SY relationship would not be believable. We are also forgetting that JS has never shown much interest in SY beyond a mentor and student relationship.

    Im hoping that in the last two ep. SY realizes that there is no hope for a relationship with JS and focuses her attention on DW!!! He already loves her, so it would be perfect!

    I would also like to comment on the fact that EY should just move on from JS since she looked so happy with the father in law. But who is she marring? The father in law or JW? You cant really marry someone for the in-laws…
    Besides, I dont see EY look at JW the way that she looks at JS. The same could be said about JS. the way he looks at EY is in no way the same as he does at SY.

    My last scenario is that nobody except SY ends up with anybody. I think that in the end she will like DW after going on some dates and finally giving him a chance. EY will not marry JW and JW will out of Seoul… and JS will continue to try to find himself and perhaps later in the future he will end up back with EY.

    I have no idea if any of this made any sense… i cant wait for the last episodes to see how it all ends!

  28. 28 miss_procrastination

    I have never been so nervous for a coupling before in drama. Though I am convinced that Eun Young and Jin Soo belong with one another–I can see the merits of him ending up alone. The Seung Yeon connection will never really pan out because there is no real emotional involvement (at least on his part). But I can see everyone happy at the end even if they’re not coupled. That worries me greatly.

  29. 29 sunshine

    There were so many SY-JS moments in this episode; I wanted to tear my hair out. I was a hardcore EY-JS shipper. However, I do have to give the writers props; the story has progressed in a very natural way, and at this point, it would make sense if JS and SY got together. The story is also more realistic in that there is more to a relationship than just feelings. JS and EY might love each other, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t grow to love other people over time.

  30. 30 Melissa

    For me, and throughout the drama, although there was passion there seemed to be a lack of compatibility between Eun-Young and Jin Soo, as well as a back story that never panned out, as far as those two were concerned. Maybe that’s why I feel the same you do, that surface feeling and my own incompatiabilty with the drama. I’m starting to think the only reason I stay with it is the story arc between the writer and SY, not for romantic pairings (though I do like their chemistry), but for the lessons they teach each other out of respect and trust.

  31. 31 yen_nguyen

    I was in very good mood before I watched the episode but after watching it, I felt depressed.
    Why? To me, JS strays. People keeps talking about SY’s function in JS-EY relationship or her role in changing JS into a better person but I can’t see it there, she does almost nothing, (JS’s) thing changes by itself. JS stray off the way (which I want it to be), he knows where SY’s house is, but he takes her to his house and let she kisses, therefore in some short moment, there is no EY, and in that moment, JS is like a cheater.

  32. 32 ktv

    Thanks for the recap, Javabeans!!! I like the interaction between SY and JS. Their relationship is so refreshing. She is the one who makes JS realize things that he did not before. She changes him much more than EY does. So I hope that she will end up with him. It seems to be a healthier relationship than that with EY. However, open-ended final is fine with me too. EY and JS relationship is too tiring –> it’s time to turn to a new page in their life. What’ s the point of scribbling all over an already-fully-written one in their life???

  33. 33 daisytwenties

    The one thing that makes me think that Eun-young and Jin-soo won’t be together in the end is the inclusion of the in-laws in this episode. If they like her and she likes them, how could she stop the wedding and be with him?

  34. 34 mary

    OMG the pic of JS on the stairs holding the phone is priceless, he is ADORABLE. Loved this episode so many cute moments between JS/SY. I love their scenes together as they are funny and comfortable with each other JS/EY scenes have become very gloomy and sad. Both girls are lovely just follow your heart JS.

  35. 35 Twe1ve Tinsel

    I really love KANG ji Hwan………….Although i hav not watchd da drama yet but readin da recaps i damn feel its gonna b fun dis weekend wher i am surely gonna sit back home n watch all da episodes of COFFEE HOUSE!!!
    About da pairing I kindda lyk to c Jinsoo n SY…they r gr8 together…….

    Most of all I jus

    ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥KANG JI HWAN ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

  36. 36 charmie

    My guess on the ending? I think JW would let go of EY because he has finally learned to love someone unselfishly. Which means EY and JS can finally be together. Yippee! ;p

  37. 37 jusash

    the pitch of SY’s voice reminds me of someone …. Jeon Do-Yeon.

    i am rooting for neither girl, though i can’t really see him with SY. (and no offence, but i think SY needs a better cut. her bob does nothing spectacular to enhance. it just hangs and is neither a bob nor a shag).

    this is probably one of the very first times in any drama i have watched that it’s so inconclusive and unclear @ ep 16.

    but kudos to the scriptwriters and brilliant acting by KJH (that wicked deceptive smile at the end == this guy’s a brilliant chameleon! )…. all the progressions are credible.

    THANKS for the recaps! i have not really been watching any of the eppies until maybe about ep 10 or 11, but merely following by reading recaps.

  38. 38 bjharm

    This show been like aversion therapy on one side we had the melodrama and suffering of Jin-soo and Eun-young, then on the other side we have the giggles and cuteness of Jin-soo and Seung-yeon. I can totally understand why people are supporting the latter..it is fun the other is just..painful.
    But you are right there just not enough building of feelings between Jin-soo and Seung-yeon to make it feel right that they end up as a couple..I could though believe they have enough, now she’s grow up a bit but still so cute, that they could START a relationship.
    I really think the other pairing just missed their time or change, i think this episode shows that, with her meeting of Ji-won parents really the last nail in the coffin..so to speak.

  39. 39 Opal

    I can’t see how SY changes JS. If he change it’s because he sees and starts to learn what a real love should do…

    Everyone says SY is the most grown up and unselfish, how could it be when she spent half of her salary for an outfit just to impress JS?. but most of all I just can’t tolerate a person not sticking to her own words…. promising DW to be there on his birthday and all in sudden left without feeling guilty and not even say sorry?…, I don’t know why I can’t relate to SY till now… again I really think because of the actress which I think her acting is sucks. If SY played by other actress (like the one who play in YAB) maybe it will give different affect to me. Sorry, I am not Korean and find so hard to memorize the names, so far only CSW and KJH I can remember.

    I don’t understand how could SY not knowing EY is the one that JS loved. JS feels more comfortable with SY?, of course normally you will feel more comfortable and be yourself with someone that you don’t feel deeply enough but more in general friendship. You loosen up with a familiar person. The presence of the one you really care will more or less affect you. So, I can understand why JS seems to enjoy the karaoke…not to go overboard with it and justify SY can makes JS happier. He can be happy with or without SY. But he can only be a man with EY ^^. Also don’t think SY loves JS that much either, you just know the guy 6months +, you may feel attracted but deeply in love?. I can see that JS & SY will develop a respectful friendshiep and share the same passion of writting but more than that?….I doubt. JS will be there for SY only because in a way he is a mentor for her. There will be no way JS can replace EY in his heart. If you have loved the person for almost 12 years and still feel the same, you will never stop loving that person.

    EY is an organized person, everything is planned but who knows that at the end she realizes that happiness is something you feel not planned. It won’t surprise me if she in her wedding gown prior to say I..do, realizes that and choose to leave behind all the planned things and pursue her happiness with JS.

    JS/EY fighting!!

  40. 40 bluebird

    EY lacks trust, which i think is themed in the last week’s episodes.
    To me, EY looks like not different from JS in the past as being self-defensive.

  41. 41 nuffsaid

    Wow… the writers and PD are so crafty! There was a while where I had had enough of this drama and 15 and 16 has brought me right back in.

    I am prone to the JS and SY pairing and not in the declaration of undying love type of way, If only the dram hints of them being together, I’ll be happy.

    Having a Two week break for the World cup hasn’t help[ed this drama at all. The EJ/ JS storyline actually hasn’t been going on for that long but it feels considerably longer- almost giving the impression that it dominated the majority of the episodes. However, having *hope* after 15 and 16, I went back to watch the entire series so far in one(ish) sitting and if the character of SY does not end up with JS, it just seem truely illogical because of the time and effort that they have spent buiding/selling this relationship… which is why alot of us is still guessing about the ending. Although EY and JS definitely share a history, emotional bond and passion which is why it would make sense if they finally unloaded all the baggage and got together/moved on. It make little sense to spend more than half the drama on exploring and progressing the SY and JS relationship is she is nothing more than a conduit/ link for EY/JS.

    As fo DW. He may be cute and all but in story telling terms, his character is useless. He has done practically nothng to progress the story (yet). JW on the other hand has gone from being a egomanical jerk to soemone quite endearing. Can’t wait to see how it all ends- It probably has a 50-50 chance to end up as the best drama OR the funny but most pointless drama for me this year…. It all depends.

  42. 42 Bee

    This drama fails to keep me interested. I simply can’t connect to any of the characters, there’s nothing that gives that sense of inner gratification over having a character developement – JS claims to have progressed, but he#s still the same old coward. EY, who’s eyqually cowardice and like JS just runs away from the real problem and consequences. SY, who depends on JS for reaffirmation way too much, and JW, who’s still stuck on cheating bastard mode…
    I watched them going back and forth for so many episodes, but for a drama trying to break cliches, it just has no real direction. Kind of like dropping someone off in the desert where they have a map showing them where an oasis is, but then when they reach the oasis, there’s a sign “Nice try, but the real reward is elsewhere, have fun looking. We have left you a hint buried in the sands.”…
    I really can’t seem to invest any emotion in any of the characters. None of the “ships” seem appealing at all, because they all kind of make my toenails roll in with their convultedness and self-centeredness…

  43. 43 CW

    Bee has it right. Even though I support a ship, there are many things bordering on stupid in this drama. They insist on making the characters make stupid decisions to help carry the plot along while the right decision is staring in their faces. The plot is thin and moves in circles with no clear direction. I think they are focused on creating twists and confusing the audience instead of creating a well written, well though out, not so convoluted story. I think the elements are there – the actors are great and I think the writer can write interesting scenarios.

    However, things like clarifying the back story, explaining how JS got healed and all that have been dropped for plot directions that are made simply to create twists and confuse the audience instead of carrying the story along.

    I will finish the drama but I will say that I am disappointed with it.

  44. 44 yen_nguyen

    @43, 44: I’m with you!

  45. 45 Marie

    Opal : ) i really like views towards SY – on being immature…yes, undoubtedly she is. She has never grown up – at all! Not only that i dislike the SY character but the actress playing it. Still, a lame actress for me – a wannabe.

    On this episode, now can we say that JS is beginning to fall for SY? I don’t think so. I think JS now sees SY as a human being, and not as a non living thing like a table…he’s still in love with EY. And why would he even call JW about him fighting for some thing when SY does not have anything to do with JW.

    I believe JS will fight for his love till the end. Or JS will make his presence felt to JW. The end of Ep 16 will show you that coz’ JW wants JS to go away and dont appear anymore in EY’s life. They had talked. then at the end of the episode, but JS didnt leave. he made a phone call and he tells JW that he will fight for his love to EY.

    And preview of episode 17 is out. JS fought for EY…went to her
    house disguised as a delivery man because he couldn’t reach her through
    the cellphone. he asked her if she would really be happy to marry
    JW…EY girl, stand up for your love. fighting!

  46. 46 dramacafe

    I thought at first, EP15 would shed some light on the back story of JS/EY along with how JS coped up and managed to recover from the state where he left off mid EP12
    But to no avail, loose ends still remained as loose ends and apparently there’s no hope that the PD & writer would remember what happened in the earlier episodes to tie up those loose ends as they kept on stretching the story much to the confusion not only of JS/EY/SY but also of the viewers.

    What a pity that somehow I feel that the great start they had has been wasted as they stretch the plot to unbelievable heights probably in the hope of trying to be unconventional but ending up otherwise . Sigh of sighs!

  47. 47 kyun

    im so excited for next week!!! i just finished ep 16 and can i just say to the Gorilla that it is not OVER YET >5 chips) again, no offend intended


  48. 48 Cris

    I totally agree with you Lahlita. I think what made me dislike the interactions between JS/EY is the fact that I totally associate their pairing with drama, sadness, struggle and so forth. Both female characters’ interaction with JS are not “multi-tonal.” On one hand, you have a happy and lighthearted vibe from the JS/SY pairing, on the other hand, you have an emotional and dramatic vibe from the JS/EY pairing. To top it off…because of the unpredictability of the ending of this drama I opted to stray from shipping either pairs. However, I found JS/SY interactions far more entertaining…(I laugh so hard at times): from JS being mean and playful with SY to SY trying to take a revenge while miserably failing.

    Of course, like many other viewers, I can sense that the JS/EY pairing have more depth, after all, they have been friends for a very long time and each had feelings for each other, even before. However, there’s something more refreshing and I can sense that it could eventually develop to something if JS/SY were to be together.

    Also, I’m a bit annoyed at the fact that the manager and SY’s interaction were always cut short by JS. First, EY has her ex-fiancee. JS has both SY and EY. On the other hand, SY’s interaction with the manager did not even develop…the reason tend to always be because of JS (either bec. he calls for her, he says goodbye, and so forth…this becomes frustrating especially if SY was never meant to end with JS).

  49. 49 Hannelora

    Thank you very much for your recap, JB.

    I were nervous when I saw this ep. I am afraid that JS could change his feeling towards SJ… It is hard for me to sleep due to this ep….Haha

    Now I understand that he does not change, and I am very happy about this.

    Although a lot of people comments how cute SY is in this ep. I think it is unnormal SY’s behaviour when she got drunk, and tried to kiss JS…I do not find this action is cute at all in practical.

    Hopefully there are a kiss and bed scene between JS & EY, then we have happy ending between them.

  50. 50 pohonphee

    Kang Ji Hwan rocks!!!

    SY is sweet, cute, etc, but I like EY more…

    EY fighting!!

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