Playful Kiss: Episode 14
Lordy, I didn’t think we’d EVER get here. But here we are, and what a breath of fresh air it is to see Robot Boy stepping up to own his feelings. What’s even better is what he does afterwards, because as awesome as the kissing is, it’s much more satisfying to see them steer each other towards growth, and maturity, and a sense of self that doesn’t make me want to lose my lunch.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Seung-jo’s jealousy-fueled, rain-soaked, you-can’t-love-anyone-but-me kiss leaves Ha-ni (and everyone else) a puddle of goo. At home, Dad is announcing their departure from the house, throwing everyone up in arms.
Just then, Seung-jo and Ha-ni arrive home, sopping wet. Mom sends them upstairs, but Eun-jo rushes up to his brother: “Oh Ha-ni is leaving!”
At that, Seung-jo does the unimaginable. He takes Ha-ni by the hand, sweetly interlocking their fingers, and announces that they have something to say. Omo! So soon?
Seung-jo: I want to marry Ha-ni.
Cue trumpets, dancing pandas, and stockpile of confetti. I seriously thought we’d be in for some more roundabout angst before he actually admitted the consequences of the Big Kiss, but hey, I’m all for forward movement. Bring back the Cute!
Mom squeals louder than twenty fangirls on speed, hugging Ha-ni and jumping up and down. Her statement to her son cracks me up: “Baek Seung-jo, why are you so awesome right now?” Hahaha.
Upstairs, Seung-jo says goodnight and Ha-ni stops him for a moment, scared that when they wake up, he’ll go back to being cold Robot Boy. He backhugs her (Who are you?) and casually tosses out, “Should we sleep together then?” Kyah! She buries her face in his chest, saying how much she likes him and that she never even imagined he’d like her back. Seung-jo: “Neither did I.” Heh, it’s dense, but totally honest.
Back at the restaurant, Duckie laments his stupid pushy move on Ha-ni earlier. Yeah, that was your downfall, buddy. He packs a lunch for Ha-ni and heads to campus to apologize…only to find a poster announcing Ha-ni and Seung-jo’s promise to marry.
Okay, what is with the convenient announcements all over school, all the time? I get that it’s cutesy, but as a plot device, (as in, a way for people to find out important things) it’s lame.
Elsewhere on campus, Seung-jo breaks the news to He-ra, who shows her disappointment, but basically acknowledges that everyone knew he liked Ha-ni, but him. She even understands exactly why it was so hard for him to realize it—because Ha-ni was the first problem he’s faced that he couldn’t solve easily, unlike everything else he’s ever encountered.
Seung-jo admits to having a really hard time with it, but now that he’s surrendered completely to Ha-ni, he’s happy. And it shows on his face. I’ve never seen him smiling so much, in all of the previous thirteen episodes combined.
He apologizes to He-ra, and admits that he really did think they were a good match, and that he felt comfortable around her. He-ra puts two and two together: he ran away from the discomfort of his feelings for Ha-ni, and took shelter with her, where he felt comfortable. Ouch. He doesn’t deny it, and she plays it cool, congratulating him even while her heart is breaking, which makes me respect her all the more.
Ha-ni laments not being able to tell Duckie herself, but he’s hurting too much to take her calls. He-ra takes out her heartache on a few hundred tennis balls, and Kyung-soo steps up at just the right time, as a shoulder to cry on.
Duckie takes to the river for his bout of angst, complete with beer and a song. Ha-ni’s heart weighs heavy all day too, knowing how Duckie must feel. She comes to Dad’s restaurant after closing, and when she appears, Duckie braces himself for impact. He tries so hard to put on a brave face, to keep her from saying the words out loud…it breaks my heart.
Just then, Seung-jo walks in, declaring that he likes Ha-ni, and asking for Duckie to let her go. That just raises Duckie’s ire, knowing how badly Seung-jo has treated her for four years, but then Ha-ni finally speaks up, and puts the nail in the coffin. Ha-ni: “Joon-gu-ya, I’m sorry. I’m sorry and I’m grateful.”
She starts to say the rest, but Duckie turns around, telling her to stop. He gets it. He knows. He’s always known, of course. With his back turned, he says, trying to lighten the mood, that Ha-ni has horrible taste in men, and that even if she regrets it later, he won’t go back to her. Aw, your stiff upper lip is killing me, Duckie.
He turns around with these words: “Baek Seung-jo, don’t forget that I’ll be watching you. If you make Ha-ni cry, I’ll make you cry blood.” Seung-jo takes the warning to heart, and Ha-ni looks up at Duckie, so sorry to cause him this much pain.
Dad returns to the restaurant to find Duckie a mess, and comforts him with soju. Duckie finally lets himself cry, saying that he wanted so much to call Ha-ni’s dad “Father.” What a great dad, to be at Duckie’s side through all this.
He-ra’s grandfather is about as happy for the couple as you’d expect, and he decides to pull out of the investment without any qualms. But Seung-jo shows up at his office to convince him otherwise. And then…he decides to invest and save the company. Gee, sap all of the dramatic tension, will ya? Is it too much to ask for Robot Boy to have a hard time at anything? Sigh.
At home, Dad announces that it’s time for Seung-jo to leave the company…and go pre-med. As his last duty for the company, he launches the new game. As He-ra and Duckie watch in the wings, He-ra is reminded of his awesomeness and Duckie is spurred on to become just as impressive a man.
Ha-ni receives her grades, and it’s bad news all around. She whines to Seung-jo that she thought she had brought her scores up enough to get better final grades, and he just replies that she must’ve miscalculated. Haha.
She looks to him for answers, and he just tells her that she got herself into this mess, and she has to work to get out of it. Defeated, she asks if maybe she should drop out.
WHAT? I’m seriously reaching into my screen to slap you upside the head right now.
Seung-jo nips her pity party in the bud, pointing out that while other students poured their sweat and tears into studying, she’s wasted all of her time in fruitless pursuits. He asks pointedly what she’ll do if she doesn’t go to school…have more time to follow him around? Damn. Straight shooter. He basically tells her to get off her ass and work hard at something, otherwise she’ll have nothing.
OH. THANK. GOD.
Baek Seung-jo, I have never loved you so much until now. LOVE. Fluffy bunny love.
Such a relief, because I really didn’t want to end this series hating where they took the characters. I know y’all think I’m hating on Ha-ni because she’s not going to be a high-powered doctor or lawyer instead of a stay-at-home mom or something, but that’s not why I’m angry with her. It’s because of this, right here, that Seung-jo is pointing out—that to her, it doesn’t matter what she does. And THAT is upsetting. If her dream in life was to be the best mom in the world, that’s an admirable dream. But it’s not—it’s to be whatever, whenever, as long as it’s with Seung-jo. It’s her lack of self that makes me angry, because I love her, I adore her…I want her to love herself.
If her goal in life was to be a golf caddy, I wouldn’t care. But the fact that she thinks there’s no difference to her, whether she’s a golf caddy or a nurse…is why I was so reviled at her so-called “dream.” Because that’s not a dream. It’s a lack of one.
Love is sacrifice and devotion, sure. I don’t discount that. But to me, true love? Is what Seung-jo is doing here—making her BETTER, the best version of herself. Because that’s what he wants for her. Because that’s what she should want for herself.
But Ha-ni, stubborn girl that she is, just gets mad at Seung-jo for pointing out her faults, and threatens to move out. He does the exact wrong thing, laughing that she’s got nowhere to go. That just fuels her defiance, and she leaves, declaring that she’ll go to another man. Mom worries, but Seung-jo tells her that it’ll be good for her, to be away from him for a while, and to focus on herself. Amen. To quote Mom, how come you’re so awesome all of a sudden?
Ha-ni heads over to her girlfriends, who give her the best kind of support—beer and girltalk. She stays at Min-ah’s house, and although she misses Seung-jo like crazy, the second she spies on him at school and sees him smiling without a care in the world, she decides to stand her ground and not return home. Look at you, growing a spine.
Mom frets over Ha-ni, but Seung-jo insists that they let Ha-ni deal with this on her own.
Ha-ni wanders the streets for a while, having been kicked out of Min-ah’s house because of visiting family. She walks and walks, finally letting the anger subside, and coming to a conclusion. Perhaps what Seung-jo said was right: she’s always lived for him, and never thought about what she wanted for her own future. She decides that she can’t return like this, and that she wants to marry Seung-jo as someone who is equally impressive and worthy.
You did it, Show! See, people—ask and you shall receive. I think my fight with Show mirrors Seung-jo’s fight with Ha-ni. I had to push, for it to struggle and come back around.
Ha-ni takes a job a local restaurant, and after finding out where she works from Min-ah and Juri, Seung-jo shows up for lunch. Ha-ni tells him that she’s thought long and hard about what to do with her life, and what she wants to be. She’s come to the conclusion that she wants to help Seung-jo and be by his side, so she’s decided to become a nurse. Well, that’s no surprise to any of us, but it’s still a mighty step up from freshman college dropout and professional stalker. I approve. Loving Seung-jo has helped you find your dream, which is very different from loving Seung-jo being your dream.
Seung-jo smiles and holds her tight, telling her to return home now. She sighs in relief, saying that she truthfully missed him like crazy. He knows, and makes it all okay with his embrace.
Once home, the family is back to its usual bustling chitchat, until Mom declares that everyone needs to clear their schedules for next Wednesday. What’s next Wednesday, you ask?
Why Seung-jo and Ha-ni’s wedding of course.
The turnaround in this episode couldn’t have come any later. I would’ve broken up with you, Show. You guys know my patience is oh-so-thin for the kind of crap that went on in 12. Thankfully, Ye Drama Gods are whimsical but benevolent, and I was allowed to keep all the hair on my head this week.
I would like very much to thank Robot Boy for taking Ha-ni to task, and for turning out to be a rather excellent boyfriend, especially considering how much of a jerk you were for the entirety of your emotionally-stunted adolescence. I really thought that at the end I would just have to concede that you never truly earned her love and won her anyway, but sweetie pie, you TOTALLY earned her love this week. Bravo. Your gold star is in the mail.
I was rather impressed at Duckie and He-ra as well, despite their conflict being a little too easily swept under. But this isn’t their story, so I didn’t expect to even get the kinds of moments that we did, and I appreciated that they didn’t just disappear as characters the second that Ha-ni and Seung-jo stopped needing them as romantic obstacles.
Well I wasn’t expecting a wedding so soon, but I guess that’s where we’re headed in the last week. Not the most exciting cliffhanger to get us to the final stretch, but I’m sure there’ll be plenty of shenanigans before they make it to the altar.
- Playful Kiss: Episode 13
- Playful Kiss: Episode 12
- Playful Kiss: Episode 11
- Playful Kiss: Episode 10
- Playful Kiss: Episode 9
- Playful Kiss: Episode 8
- Playful Kiss: Episode 7
- Playful Kiss: Episode 6
- Playful Kiss: Episode 5
- Playful Kiss: Episode 4
- Playful Kiss: Episode 3
- Playful Kiss: Episode 2
- Playful Kiss: Episode 1