Playful Kiss: Episode 10
Looks like JB’s got some competition in the curly-bedhead-making department! Much of the usual upbeat tone is tamped down in this episode, due to a big misunderstanding that, well, nobody but Ha-ni believes. But I’ll let that plot point go, since it’s nice to have some emotional changes, as Ha-ni struggles to let Seung-jo go, her friends step up to defend her, and Seung-jo struggles to feel feelings.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
True to his word, Seung-jo packs up right away and leaves. Ha-ni just watches tearfully, unable to say anything, and Seung-jo gives her one silent lingering look as he walks out. She bemoans the fact that school is now their only connection, and she’s sure that Seung-jo will soon forget all about her. Oh, Ha-ni.
She sees him pass by on campus, but she’s so deflated that she doesn’t even want to try talking to him. She’s back to being scared, thinking that he wants nothing to do with her. Her friends sigh that she’s returned to her high school situation, back to square one with Seung-jo.
Ha-ni continues to zombie out at school and tennis practice, until Kyung-soo offers up a trade: if she buys dinner, he’ll take her to the place where Seung-jo works. She smiles for the first time in a week.
They arrive at the restaurant where Kyung-soo works on weekends, since that’s also where he got Seung-jo a job as a server. Ha-ni meanders about what to order, as Seung-jo appears at the table. He stays strictly formal with her, just doing his job, but the interaction is enough to bring Ha-ni to tears, because it’s been so long since they’ve spoken.
She finally stops him to say hi, and asks if he’s mad that she came. He just nonchalantly says that he expected her to show at some point (smug bastard), and tells her to keep her mouth shut about it at home. Why? What do you want your parents to think you’re doing to pay the rent, standing on a street corner?
While eating, Ha-ni sees a job posting in the restaurant, so she runs over to get a part-time job, only to find that the last position has just been filled—by He-ra of course. She rubs Ha-ni’s nose in it, in her haughty way, making me want to push her face through a row of chocolate pies.
She asks Seung-jo if she can come by again the next day, which he brushes off as unwelcome. He doesn’t say no, but he does remind her not to say anything about it at home. So of course, she goes straight home and blurts everything to Mom. Haha. You are so incapable of keeping secrets. Mom can’t wait to sneak a peak, and plans to stalk him at work tomorrow. Ha-ni realizes her screw up a minute too late (I know you’re not bright, but really, Ha-ni?) and frets over Seung-jo’s imminent anger.
Sure enough, they show up in disguises, thinking that they’re pretty slick. So, you think your genius son can’t tell who you are, because you’re wearing a hat and sunglasses? Silly, silly family. Seung-jo doesn’t even go through the motions of being upset, since this is pretty much par for the course with Ha-ni and Mom.
He-ra shows up at the table to say hi, throwing Mom into a tizzy, “What are YOU doing here?” Hahaha. I love how she never hides her disdain for Ha-ni’s competition. She even coaches Ha-ni to not let He-ra get anywhere with Seung-jo. She tells her to screw pride and just stick to Seung-jo like glue, and make sure she sees him every day. Peas in a stalker pod, these two.
Her friends tell her the same thing, and she wonders if Seung-jo will hate it if she’s there every day. But they remind her that following him around is exactly her style, so she decides to go for it, pride be damned.
She shows up again the next day, studying at the table so as not to completely waste her time. Seung-jo just acts unsurprised and put out, but doesn’t tell her to leave either. He-ra shows up at the table to take her order in a thinly veiled passive-aggressive maneuver (the kind that seriously raises my ire).
When Ha-ni says she’ll have anything, He-ra sends over a ridiculous amount of food. She continues serving her in that fake-nice tone, as Ha-ni camps out until Seung-jo is done. He-ra calls her out on her doggedly obtuse method of chasing Seung-jo around, wondering aloud what sort of guy would like a girl like that. Just you wait and see, Miss High Horse.
Ha-ni gets kicked out at closing time, and barely scrapes together enough cash to pay for the crazy expensive dish that He-ra ordered for her. Evil wench. She waits outside for Seung-jo, but then hides when she sees him leave with He-ra.
She follows behind them, reassuring herself that they must be coincidentally heading in the same direction. But she follows them all the way to an apartment building, where they enter and get in the elevator together. Ha-ni crumples to the ground as she assumes the worst—that Seung-jo left home to live with He-ra.
She cries alone in her room that night, imagining Seung-jo and He-ra in bed together, and wondering if his declaration that he doesn’t dislike her meant anything. She heads to school the next morning, only a shell of the vibrant girl she used to be, worrying the family.
She purposely dodges classes that she shares with Seung-jo and He-ra, and tells her friends that it’s really the end this time. It’s so heartbreaking to watch her be so defeated. Seung-jo isn’t exactly a man of action when it comes to stuff like this, but he does look around for her everywhere he goes, wondering why she’s stopped orbiting him.
Min-ah and Ju-ri can’t stand to see Ha-ni so depressed either, and finally decide to do something about it. They track Seung-jo down on campus, and he greets them with, “Who are you?” They can’t believe his 200-IQ brain can’t remember them, and he counters with, “I erase data that becomes irrelevant.” You really ARE a robot. Gah.
Ju-ri can’t understand why Ha-ni likes this guy. They rail into him for moving in with He-ra without ending things first with Ha-ni. He’s of course surprised to hear that’s he’s living with He-ra, and answers that he’ll be straight with Ha-ni then. The girls tell him to be gentle with her, but to let her down firmly. Min-ah tells him that they’re not asking him to stop liking He-ra; they want him to do the right thing by their friend, who’s loved him unrequited, for four years.
They leave, and Seung-jo’s face? It breaks into a smile. Aw, you LOVE hearing how much she loves you, don’t you, you little punk!?
Ha-ni continues this way for two weeks, eating next to nothing and feeling a mess. She realizes that without her trying so hard to see Seung-jo, they don’t actually cross paths at all—hence, it was all one-sided.
But lo and behold, Seung-jo appears next to her at school, and when she gets up to run away, he asks her to wait with him. He plays it cool, saying that they haven’t seen much of each other. He purposely baits her, saying that he spends most of his time with “YOON. HE. RA.” You are totally trying to goad her, pigtail-pulling little boy!
But they get interrupted by a girl, a high school student who comes up, asking if this is Oh Ha-ni. It turns out that she’s being tutored three nights a week by Seung-jo and He-ra, and goes to their old high school, where Ha-ni is a legend for her 50th place record. She greets Ha-ni warmly, saying that He-ra and Seung-jo talk about her all the time, and that she wants to go to school here next year.
Ha-ni realizes that this is where she saw them go the other night, and blurts out, “you’re not living together?” Seung-jo acts surprised, even though he totally orchestrated this whole meeting, just to prove to Ha-ni that he ISN’T living with He-ra, but Ha-ni doesn’t know that, and just squees silently in delight.
My god, Baek Seung-jo…you are such a weird little robot boy, but it’s adorable the way you want to make it so that she keeps loving you. The only objection I have is that you’re doing all this to keep from having to admit your own feelings, but I will concede that you may not have the proper data for your robot heart.
Ha-ni gets back to her old self, making chocolates for Seung-jo, to the utter delight of Mom. She fantasizes giving him a perfectly wrapped box of chocolates, and in return, he gives her…a diamond ring the size of Kansas? Hahaha. Even in a fantasy, you must’ve laced those suckers with love potion or something.
She heads out that night with her chocolates, but it starts pouring rain, and to top it off, her taxi breaks down on her way to Seung-jo. She shows up at the restaurant sopping wet and trembling.
He-ra comes over to her table, telling her it’s useless to wait for Seung-jo tonight because they have a tutoring session again. She brings her a cup of coffee with a side of sass. I would check for arsenic before drinking.
Sure enough, Ha-ni takes one sip and faints. See! Okay, fine, it’s just probably your two weeks of non-eating combined with getting rained on in your condition, but you should consider checking He-ra’s purse for untraceable poisons.
Seung-jo’s boss lets him off early to take Ha-ni home, making He-ra give Ha-ni the evil eye, but acknowledge her unparalleled steadfastness. Begrudgingly.
They head outside and can’t manage to get a cab, so Seung-jo suggests walking to his apartment and then calling Mom for a ride from there. Ha-ni is of course thrilled to be invited over, no matter the circumstance.
Aw, how cute are these two?
They head to his studio apartment, where Ha-ni confirms that she’s his first visitor and Seung-jo calls Mom to come pick her up. But Mom tells him that she doesn’t feel like it, and promptly hangs up on him. HAHAHA. Love Mom!
Seung-jo gapes at his phone in disbelief and goes to shower. Ha-ni freaks out about being in a situation straight out of a romance novel, and wonders how to act. She thinks to herself, gulping, “But…this place only has one room…and only one bed!”
Seung-jo comes out, putting her on edge, and he asks knowingly if she’s nervous. He gives her a change of clothes and she washes up.
Meanwhile, Mom calls Duckie and asks him to relay a message to Ha-ni’s Dad: that she’ll be spending the night at Seung-jo’s place, and not to worry. Duckie goes into Defcon 1, asking where Seung-jo lives, but Mom doesn’t know, and wouldn’t tell him anyway (Ha), so upon hearing vague references to where Seung-jo works, he runs out to track them down.
He eventually shows up at Seung-jo’s restaurant, rain-weary and freaked out, and then passes out.
Ha-ni sits uneasily, as Seung-jo finishes reading and then goes to bed. She timidly says that she’ll just sleep on the floor then, which he agrees to wholeheartedly, telling her to grab one of his jackets, as he only has one spare blanket.
That’s enough to break the spell, as Ha-ni’s spunk returns. She says that most men would insist she take the bed, but he answers coldly that he’s not in the mood to say those words to her. Ha-ni: “You’re not even a human being!” Yeah, that’d be because he’s a robot.
Cue Ha-ni in bed, and Seung-jo on the floor. Heh. She asks if she can turn the light on—she’s afraid of ghosts. He says he can’t sleep with the light on, but then he turns it on anyway. Aw. Next, she wonders if he isn’t cold. She offers to switch places with him, annoying him to the point that he just gets into bed with her, announcing that they’ll just sleep like this, so that she’ll shut up about it. Well, it’s true that this is what she wanted, but don’t pretend that it’s not what you’re angling for either. You just get to use her as an excuse.
But once they’re in the same bed, they can’t go to sleep, and Ha-ni starts nervously gulping again, which he notices. He supposes that she has a valid reason to be nervous, since anything could happen—a kiss, or something more…
He springs up and Ha-ni does too, lingering for a moment…and then he lies back down, deflating her excitement. He turns his back to her, saying that he’s not going to do anything, so she shouldn’t raise her expectations. Aw, man. What about MY expectations? Gah.
Ha-ni frets that maybe he doesn’t think of her as a woman, but he reads her mind, and assures her that it’s nothing to do with her. He just doesn’t want to fall in line with Mom’s plan for his life, strapping him down to her pre-ordained path for him. Well, I see that in theory, but I don’t really see how your desire to not be Mom’s toy solider is trumping your libido here, college boy. I’m not even sure it makes any sense or is necessary, since they could’ve just sweetly spent the night together and not had sex. That’s not unheard of. There doesn’t need to be a reason involving Mom.
Ha-ni smiles as that comforts her, reminding her that he doesn’t hate her, and she can’t manage to fall asleep from the pitter patter of her heart. It turns out that Seung-jo is wide awake too, smiling to himself. They lie awake like that, adorably nervous and content, and trying not to let it show.
It’s always two steps forward, one step back with these two. But what makes it enjoyable is that it stays true to real life. Ha-ni is so swept up in her emotions that it informs everything she does, probably to the detriment of her college career, but what girl hasn’t been there, done that? What infuriates me about Seung-jo is that one minute, he’s a robot, and then the next minute, he’s playing her hot and cold like a seasoned veteran. But that’s realistic too, because, well, boys are stinky like that. Pull a girl’s braids, call her names, kiss her, then pretend you don’t know her. It’s the same cycle, from kindergarten to adulthood, with slight variations to account for liquor, and the bad judgments that ensue forthwith.
Hats off to Jung So-min in this episode, who plays everything from severe depression to utter bliss in the course of an hour. She makes Ha-ni’s lovelorn conflicts so palpable that I can’t help but be carried along by her roller coaster ride in trying to figure out how to love Robot Boy. Somebody, please…give this girl a hug.