Can’t Lose: Episode 16
What’s better than romance? Why, bromance of course. In the best episode yet, we get the height of both funny and sad, all in one go. The rivalry heats up, an unexpected friendship emerges, and it comes time for Eun-jae to face some harsh consequences for the choices she’s made. There’s only one word for this episode: DAEBAK.
EPISODE 16 RECAP
Eun-jae goes home alone, and cries herself to sleep while thinking how envious she is of Woo-shik and his daughter’s reconciliation. At the same time Seok-hoon and Hyung-woo face off, both promising not to give up on Eun-jae. They look like they might (a) beat each other up; or (b) lean in for a kiss. It’s 50-50, at this point.
Hyung-woo goes home to the bachelor pad and shares his regret over fighting with Eun-jae and not treating her better when he was with her. He sighs that he doesn’t really know her as well as he thought, but now he’s lost the chance to make things right because she’s asked for some space.
He wistfully says that he’d carry her around in his pocket if he could, just to protect her. Gogi: “Isn’t she… a little large to fit in a pocket…?” Hee. I love Gogi and his literal Gogi brain.
Eun-jae tosses and turns that night, and Hyung-woo calls. She reluctantly answers with a, “I said I wasn’t going to answer your calls,” and declares that she won’t go see her father, no matter what he says.
He assures her he just called because he knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep, and pretends that he’s in the mood to sing, so will she listen for him? Aw, I love that he presents it like she’s doing him the favor. So cute.
He relives his Oska days with a little ballad, managing to lull Woo-shik and Gogi to sleep too. There’s something so great about him locking himself in the bathroom to sit on the toilet and sing to Eun-jae over the phone.
He sings to her until she falls asleep, and says to the sleeping Eun-jae: “Dream good dreams, and don’t cry tonight.” Okay, I’m kind of swooning right now.
That night Eun-jae has the same dream she always has about being a little girl and calling after Dad, who never looks back and walks away. But this time Hyung-woo is there, and he comforts Little Eun-jae, wiping her tears and telling her that they’ll meet again someday, and to grow up well until then. *sniff*
She wakes up shaken by the vivid dream, wondering what it means.
Over at the bachelor pad, Hyung-woo and Gogi sleep like this:
Hee. Gogi stirs awake, and the first thing he sees is Hyung-woo’s lips puckered right at him, so he yells for Hyung-woo to wake up so they can untangle their limbs. Horrified, they both dart up and look away awkwardly.
Gogi: “You know this isn’t normal, right?” But that doesn’t make it not awesome, does it? They start blaming each other and fighting until Woo-shik wakes up and kicks both of them out, at which they shut up and go back to bed, right back to the position they started in. Heh.
Eun-jae asks Mom to go on a date with her today, but Mom’s too worried about Dad in the hospital to go out and do anything. She makes a feeble attempt to bring up the Big Conversation, but Eun-jae shuts her down, reminding her that she just barely reconciled with Mom and doesn’t want to lose her. It effectively stops Mom in her tracks, since she’s well aware of what happened the last time they fought about Dad – Eun-jae just cut her out of her life with no recourse.
Eun-jae heads to work, and Hyung-woo brings her a cup of coffee and asks how she slept. She reminds him that he doesn’t have to be so attentive, since they’re just friends.
“You can be a friend. I’m going to be a boyfriend.” AW. Why are you suddenly so awesome? Geez, if you had been this way from the start, well I guess we wouldn’t have a drama.
She can’t help but smile. He tells her that she was in his dream last night, and that she was small enough to put in his pocket. She wonders to herself, “Did we dream the same dream? No, it can’t be.” How nice that they’re finally in the same place at the same time, even if it’s only in a dream.
Hyung-woo tells Woo-shik about Eun-jae and her father, and asks for his help to try and convince her, since she thinks of Woo-shik like a dad. They agree they ought to hurry, before the dad croaks and Eun-jae is left with nothing but regret.
I like that this isn’t necessarily about forgiving the dad, but about helping her come to terms with her scars and making sure she doesn’t live the rest of her life regretting what she should have done.
Hyung-woo gets a call to meet Seok-hoon for their contract case, and he makes it abundantly clear how much he does not want to be working with The Rival. The feeling’s mutual, so the meeting starts out icy, despite Seok-hoon’s attempt to separate their work from their mortal enemy-hood.
They manage to go over the major points and then Seok-hoon suggests that Hyung-woo go after a testimony that they need, since that’s his specialty. (I like that his specialty amounts to doggedness, which is kind of perfect in light of his marriage.)
Hyung-woo throws the responsibility off on Seok-hoon, since he “has no girlfriend or any plans.” Ooooh. Seok-hoon reaches for his phone and calls Eun-jae to remind her that they have an alumni meeting tonight. He smiles triumphantly and throws it back at Hyung-woo, who “has no wife and no plans tonight.” I could watch this for hours.
Hyung-woo takes a page out of his book and calls Eun-jae, asking her to meet him before her plans with Seok-hoon. Pfft. Seok-hoon: “You’re very childish.” Hyung-woo: “I learned it from you.” Hahaha.
Eun-jae wonders what’s gotten into both of them, calling one after another, not realizing of course that they’re more fueled by trying to beat each other than anything. Woo-shik talks to her, not about her father directly, but about his own daughter and his regrets.
He tells her about his guilt as a father, and how many times he’d watched his daughter from afar, never able to approach her because of how he’d failed her as a dad. He explains that it kept him from making things right all those years, but now he knows that he should’ve done so earlier, before it turned into regret.
He does a good job of telling her what she needs to hear from a dad’s perspective, without ever forcing the issue or letting on that he’s talking about Eun-jae and her dad as much as he’s talking about his own daughter.
Young-joo calls to suggest a girl’s shopping day, which turns out to be a cover for what she really wants to do – buy Gogi a new fall sweater and have Eun-jae give it to him. Eun-jae finds herself eyeing something in the men’s department, and ends up buying something.
Young-joo asks if it’s for Hyung-woo or Seok-hoon, and asks if she doesn’t feel swayed by the ex (boyfriend). Eun-jae says it’s mostly regret because they broke up over a misunderstanding, and Young-joo sighs that it’d be nice to have someone like that as a friend. Eun-jae agrees but knows it’s too selfish a request.
She returns to the office and presents Gogi with his sweater from Young-joo, and tells him to beg for forgiveness and move back home. The staff chimes in and he gets up to go make peace with Young-joo right away, wearing his new sweater. Aw, I guess that means cuddle times with Hyung-woo are over, but good for him.
Seok-hoon waits and waits for Eun-jae to show up that night, but she never does. Hyung-woo does the same at her mom’s restaurant, and both guys try calling her, without an answer. They both assume the worst: that she’s with the other guy.
Hyung-woo says it out loud and Mom’s quick to say that she wouldn’t be with Seok-hoon, and he’s shocked to realize that Mom knows the ex. She hurriedly lies that she’s only met him a few times, and he starts getting jealous.
She insists it’s just because she feels bad for him and nothing more. Hyung-woo whines that Mom’s supposed to be on HIS side. She agrees awkwardly under pressure, but won’t make eye contact, which freaks Hyung-woo out. Heh.
He rushes over to her place, shocked to find Seok-hoon already standing outside. He peers over curiously, “Have you been stood up too?” Seok-hoon calls Eun-jae without a word, and this time she picks up.
She tells him she forgot, and he laughs that it’s just like her. Poor Hyung-woo just has to wait and ask him what she said, and he says it was an Lee-Eun-jae-esque reason. Hyung-woo: “Did she forget? That woman…”
But she didn’t really forget, which HotBar points out, since she’s been hiding out at his bar all night, avoiding both of their calls. She sighs that she’s in no place to date anyone right now, but still asks about Hyung-woo and how he’s doing.
Gah, I wish he wasn’t her brother. Why so hot, guy she can never be with? It’s downright cruel. He tells her that if it were up to him, he’d have her meet Hyung-woo right now. She just lets out a long sigh.
Hyung-woo wanders to his usual pojangmacha, where again he finds Seok-hoon, already half a bottle in. He asks what Seok-hoon thinks about Eun-jae’s actions tonight. He admits that it’s annoying, which makes Hyung-woo smile, since they’re in agreement there.
He asks how long Seok-hoon dated Eun-jae: “Three years?” Seok-hoon: “Three years, two months, and seventeen days.” Awwwwww. Puppy.
He starts questioning Seok-hoon about Eun-jae’s favorite food, favorite color, and he’s annoyed that the guy can match him point for point. He asks if he knows where Eun-jae goes when she’s upset.
That’s easy: the bar where Lee Tae-young works, which gets Hyung-woo really riled up. “You even know Lee Tae-young?!” It’s cute that he’s possessive of his brother-in-law, though Seok-hoon doesn’t actually know that he’s her brother until Hyung-woo points it out. Sharing his dongseng is the last straw for Hyung-woo, and he calls Tae-young to settle the score.
Tae-young gets the drunken call from Hyung-woo and tells him that he’ll be right there. Eun-jae asks what’s going on. Tae-young: “My ex-brother-in-law is with my almost-brother-in-law.” Ha.
They run over to find the pair of happy drunks not fighting, but fawning… over each other. Hyung-woo: “How come you had to date a guy like this? I want to be friends with him!” Seok-hoon: “If it weren’t for you, we could’ve been really good friends.”
PWAHAHAHAHA. Bromance for romance?
She yells at them to get it together, but they both ignore her like little boys, and get up to walk away, arms around each other and totally in step. Eun-jae watches with her jaw to the ground, while Tae-young laughs that they look good together, so they ought to just leave it alone. Hee.
This might be the best resolution to a love triangle ever.
Woo-shik and Professor Jo hang out at the bachelor pad and wonder how Hyung-woo and Seok-hoon are holding up in their war, worrying that they’re both such competitive types that can’t stand to lose.
…Which is exactly when the pair stumbles in together, bowing to the professor in unison. They sit down for a beer while the professor gapes, wondering if this is how “kids these days” are. Haha.
Seok-hoon adorably fumbles with his beer can, struggling to open it like he’s got jelly fingers, and Hyung-woo cracks it open for him. “Here, dongseng.” Seok-hoon: “Yes, hyung.” O.M.G. They’re hyung-dongseng now? This just gets better and better.
Woo-shik calls Eun-jae to let her know what’s going on, and she tells Tae-young with a horrified look on her face: “They’re sleeping there. Together.” Tae-young laughs, Eun-jae shakes her head, and I fall out of my chair.
Morning at the Bachelor Pad of Bromantic Intentions. Um, Hyung-woo, when was the last time you didn’t wake up with your arms around another man? Just sayin’…
Woo-shik has to wake up the lovebirds, who are of course horrified to wake up in each other’s arms. He reminds them that they’re besties now, but they both swear not to remember. Woo-shik: “If you want hangover soup, you can go holding hands.” Hahahaha.
The three men awkwardly head out of the apartment together, and Woo-shik casually says that they ought to just forget Eun-jae and be with each other. Pfft. Yes please!
When Hyung-woo gets to the office Gogi chastises him for sleeping with the enemy (keh, I love that that’s literal), and warns him that Eun-jae even bought men’s clothing the other day.
That puts him back in worry mode, though he doesn’t bring it up with her. He just tells her not to see Seok-hoon while he’s busy with the witnesses, and asks if she’ll go on a vacation with him once this case is over. She tells him nonchalantly that she’ll think about it, but smiles to herself.
It’s the final court date for the car accident case, and Hyung-woo comes through at the last minute with the witness, and they win. They return in good spirits, and suggest a party with the staff.
But Eun-jae gets a call from Seok-hoon asking her to have dinner with him because it’s his birthday. It seems to have special meaning for them other than just being about his birthday.
But when she tells Hyung-woo that’s where she’s going, he tells her not to go. They argue and she points out that it’s just dinner because he doesn’t have anyone else to eat with on his birthday. Might I suggest his new bestie?
He asks if that’s why she bought men’s clothes the other day, as a birthday present for Seok-hoon. She insists that’s not the case, and reminds him that Hyung-woo’s the one who slept with him. Hee.
He puts his foot down with an ultimatum: “If you go now, I’ll never see you again.” She tells him that she’s not exactly in a position where she has to listen to him anymore, and simply says that there’s a reason why she has to go, and leaves.
Seok-hoon says he wants noodles, as in her mom’s noodles, so they go there, putting Mom on edge because she promised Hyung-woo she’d take his side. Eun-jae tells her there’ll be no side-taking today, since they’re just here to eat for his birthday.
She asks if he’s still estranged from his family, and he says it’s the same. Clearly why they bonded initially. She knows that birthdays are especially hard on him, and that he’s never shared this side of himself with anyone but her; that’s why she came today.
He asks what she’s going through right now, and she looks over at her mom, but doesn’t say. He muses that he opened up about everything to her, but she must not have done so with him.
He tells her to stop running away, otherwise she’ll cause more pain in other people, like she did with him. Mom, who’s been eavesdropping this whole time, chimes in that Seok-hoon is right. Heh.
He walks her home and she tells him that she keeps getting greedy – the more she sees him, the more she wants to keep him around as a friend, but she knows how utterly selfish that is. It’s why she’s trying not to see him at all.
He doesn’t disagree that it’d be selfish of her, which I love about him. He understands her in his head, but he points to his heart, which won’t follow suit. Aw. But no matter how heartbroken he is, he still sends her home with a smile.
The more I see glimpses of their relationship, the more I wish we’d seen them from the beginning, though I suppose if that were the case, there’d be no chance for Hyung-woo.
At home she contemplates his words about running away, and calls Hyung-woo, surprised that he’s not answering. She wonders if he’s really going to stick to his word and not see her, and we see him at home, having a staring contest with his ringing phone. Hyung-woo 1: Phone 0.
The next morning, Mom finally asks Eun-jae to please go with her to the hospital because there’s not much time left, and it blows up into another fight. Eun-jae tells her to get out if she’s going to keep doing this, and Mom packs a bag right away.
And they were doing so well. It’s certainly Eun-jae’s fault for being so cold, but it looks like Mom’s the same as her, immediately packing a bag at the first sign of trouble. I mean, if I said that to my mom, she’d call me names and pitch a fit, but she wouldn’t pack a bag.
Eun-jae takes out the sweater that she bought and takes it with her. It’s clearly an ajusshi sweater, which means it’s not for Hyung-woo; it’s for Dad. She heads to the lake and comes to a decision.
Hyung-woo heads to work and gets a call from Eun-jae’s mom, frantic that this is the end. She asks him to find Eun-jae and bring her there. He finds her and she smiles, telling him that she’s finally come to a decision – she’s going to see her father, and fight if they need to fight, and talk if they need to talk, and work out their issues.
Hyung-woo takes her by the hand, and says they should go right now. She asks what he means, and he tells her gently that he’s not doing so well. Trembling, she says he’s been like that before, but he was always okay.
He leads her to the car, not wanting to frighten her, but knowing they have to hurry. In the car she starts to panic, asking angrily how it could be like this, just when she’s decided to see him.
She confesses to being so envious of Woo-shik’s reunion with his daughter, and says she had decided to do the same – to pretend like she was begrudgingly letting Dad win. She says that she even bought clothes for him.
“He has to wait. I’ll never forgive him if he doesn’t give me a chance to forgive him.” Heh. It’s heartbreakingly nonsensical. Hyung-woo clutches her hand and drives on.
They run into the hospital and pause just outside the door. Tae-young comes out, eyes bloodshot. “Noona.” Oh no.
Shaking, she says to Hyung-woo: “What’s wrong with him? He called me noona…” But because of that word, she knows what’s coming before it’s out of his mouth: “A few minutes ago… he passed away.”
Oof. Wow, that was unexpected.
She sinks to the ground in shock.
Eun-jae: It makes no sense. How can he… till the end? This makes no sense, right? I deliberated, again and again, and came here to forgive him. Because I missed him so much… How can it be this way? Was I wrong, again? How can he go like this? Without letting me say “Daddy” once? How can he go like this?
*Tears* She cries and Hyung-woo holds her close. She falls into his chest, sobbing, as Tae-young and Hyung-woo cry by her side.
Wow, when she said she’d decided to see her father, I started to worry that they might not make it, but I just assumed that of course they’d arrive at the very last second and that she’d get her five minutes with Dad before he died. I really didn’t expect this – that she’d decide to forgive him only to lose him before ever seeing his face.
That’s unbelievably tragic. And yet I appreciate it as a story turn because it’s more realistic than getting the movie finale with the moments of peace and love that we all think that everyone gets before they die. It’s just not always the case. And Eun-jae suffers the consequences of shutting him out her whole life, and putting things off, and putting things off.
It’s not her fault that he was absent, and yet it’s her life, and her heart that suffers from her shutting people out. It kills me that she never got to make things right, but perhaps she’s someone who needs that kind of massive regret and real-life consequence to jolt her out of always running away and shutting people out to protect herself.
It’s maybe the real reason why Seok-hoon, who is exactly like her, isn’t the right man for her. He tells her to stop running away, but he makes the exact same choices that she does. Hyung-woo will always do the opposite, always run headlong into everything, be dogged to the point of annoyance. But he’ll never run away, not really. Not when it counts.
Though it’s a tragic way to learn the lesson, it’s time that Eun-jae learns how to let go and love completely, before life passes her by. Hopefully she’ll let Hyung-woo help her mend the wound her father left, as he did in her dream.
- Can’t Lose: Episode 15
- Can’t Lose: Episode 14
- Can’t Lose: Episode 13
- Can’t Lose bargains its way to extension
- Can’t Lose: Episode 12
- Can’t Lose: Episode 11
- Can’t Lose can’t agree on extension
- Can’t Lose: Episode 10
- Can’t Lose: Episode 9
- Can’t Lose: Episode 8
- Can’t Lose: Episode 7
- Can’t Lose: Episode 6
- Can’t Lose: Episode 5
- Can’t Lose: Episode 4
- Can’t Lose: Episode 3
- Can’t Lose: Episode 2
- Can’t Lose: Episode 1