I freaking LOVE this drama! Why didn’t anyone tell me in the promos that it would be Biscuit Teacher Redux?! That’s one of my favoritest dramas Of. All. Time. Screw the ramyun shop. Please don’t leave high school. Please don’t leave high school. I don’t even care that I’ll probably end up in the ninth circle of hell for thinking that Jung Il-woo looks hot in his high school uniform. Just don’t leave high school!
EPISODE 2: “The Legend of Hwanung” (Hwanung is a mythological god, known as the Son of God, from Korean creation myths)
Chi-soo winks and leaves Eun-bi flabbergasted in his wake. I am eleven kinds of embarrassed for her right now. He joins his buddies for the grand entrance into school, the kind only made by a jjang and his lackeys, aka F4 or F5 in their case.
They ask who the girl is, laughing that he’s already getting his flirt on before the bell rings, and Chi-soo just breezes, “Just some poop I stepped in yesterday.” Ha, you little ass.
They strut in, and one of them worries about being late and starts to run. Chi-soo orders him back, asking if the person who owns the joint should be running like all the little people. Pffft. He falls back in line.
Eun-bi gets introduced to the teaching staff as an assistant teacher, along with two other women. But all she can think about is her mortification, and the likelihood of running into Chi-soo. She figures that there’re 1209 students at Cha Sung High, so the odds are 1209: 1. Um… you’re not here to teach MATH, right? Because even I know that’s wrong.
She refigures it, realizing that it’s more like 33:1… and then looks up at where she’s being led to… Class 3-3 (as in third grade, aka seniors, third class). Her superstitious self shrinks at the unfortunate numbers looming over her.
She inches inside and scans the room with laser-robot-like precision. No Chi-soo. She lets out a big sigh and introduces herself to the class all sweetness and light, and gets a warm response from the room full of boys. Things are lookin’ up.
But then one student saunters in late, pointing at her, “Poop!” Confused, she shakes it off and continues. Two more walk in, notice her and point, “Poop!” She keeps going… and then… in walks Chi-soo. She freezes, horrified. Chi-soo smiles.
The homeroom teacher shoves her aside to go greet Chi-soo with a handshake, asking if he didn’t find the hill leading up to school too hard to climb. Hahaha. Chi-soo greets him like a CEO would an employee, and asks to address the class.
He walks up to the front of the room, and Eun-bi tries to disappear into the wall. No such luck. Chi-soo tells the class that they needn’t feel like it’s difficult to approach him (heh) and tells them to call him Cha. Then, slowly turning his head towards Eun-bi, “Or… you can call me oppa.”
Eeep! You cheeky little bastard! I think I love this show.
Eun-bi asks Dong-joo if that punk is really all that. Dong-joo quickly sets her straight – Chi-soo is the only son and heir to Cha Sung. Eun-bi gapes, “Cha Sung? As in Cha Coffee and ChaDonald’s Hamburgers?” HA.
And that’s not all – he’s also Cha as in Cha Sung High School, which sends Eun-bi over the edge. Dong-joo points out that they don’t call him Hwanung for nothing. Eun-bi: “The Hwanung in history books? That Hwanung?” Dong-joo nods yes – THAT son-of-a-god Hwanung.
Eun-bi decides to say something to Chi-soo, and pep-talks herself into facing him. She screws up the nerve and addresses him as “Chi-soo gun” and herself as Teacher, while he in turn calls her an intern. Heh.
She hems and haws about their tiny misunderstanding, and he wonders, “What? Oh when you called me oppa? Or when you asked to date me?” He assures her that he has no interest in spreading rumors, and squarely belittles her in that you’ll-do-fine-if-you-stick-to-your-place way, emphasizing it with the mop in her hand.
She sighs in relief, happy to save her job, despite another run-in with the punk. She gets back to mopping, and then jumps back to discover a guy sleeping on the floor of the gym. She’s even more startled to find it’s her old coach.
Coach tells her it’s her fault that his career never took off, since she was the Kim Yuna of volleyball, and then quit. He suggests she go to see her father, since she’s come all this way. She doesn’t seem ready to jump at the idea. Hm.
Chi-soo gets called to the principal’s office, or rather, he gets invited for tea, and the principal tentatively suggests that a student driving a car to school doesn’t look so great. Chi-soo says he understands… “But you see, I don’t use a chauffeur for my car.” Ha.
The principal tries to make his point again, which Chi-soo rejects with the threat of taking over the school as soon as he graduates. They quake in their boots. Lordy. Who on earth is going to discipline this kid?
Back in class, the homeroom teacher asks after one of kids, Crazy Chicken, who’s ditched class yet again. Crazy’s busy beating some heads and then eating ramyun at the neighborhood ajusshi’s restaurant… curiously named “Eun-bi Snack Shop.” Uh, I think I found Dad.
The ajusshi asks Chicken if he got into another fight, and then invites in the opposing gang for ramyun too. They sit together awkwardly and decide to get up, only to have the ajusshi flip his crazy gangster switch and yell at them to sit their punk asses down before the ramyun gets puffy. (I’m sure there’s a technical term for the way ramyun retains water and bloats, but I always call mine puffy.)
Back at school the homeroom teacher tells Eun-bi that Crazy Chicken (KIM BA-WOOL) is the troublemonger in the class, and it’s the fourth day in a row he’s missed school. He tasks her with tracking him down after school. And the place she should start? The snack shop just outside campus.
She walks in and runs her fingers along something etched in one of the tables: “Eun-bi ramyun can do it.” It’s a pun, ramyun as in “If it’s Eun-bi, she can do it.” Aw.
Dad comes out from the back, stunned to see her. Neither of them says anything for a while, and then she finally asks after Crazy Chicken. He snaps that that’s the first thing she says to her dad in five years, and she snaps back that they see each other once a year.
He pointedly says that running into each other at her mother’s grave doesn’t count, and that it’s been five years since she’s stepped foot in the shop. She wonders why she would, since the smell of ramyun makes her queasy.
She marvels that nothing’s changed about the place, except that Mom’s not there, and Dad puts his hand over his heart, “What do you mean? She’s right here.” She scoffs bitterly that she’s not in there.
She puts a hand over her heart, insisting that if Mom were in here, then he wouldn’t have walked straight out of the funeral to open shop and make more ramyun. She tells him that this teaching gig is crucial for her, and asks him not to make things harder for her.
Dad tells her where to find Crazy Chicken, and she heads out. Chicken’s busy having a summit meeting with the other gang, where he quotes scripture and then declares the ramyun shop a neutral zone, calling it JYP. Ha. The other boys point out that it’s JSA (Joint Security Area), not JYP, stupid, and Chicken raises his fist.
But someone blocks his swing. He turns to find Eun-bi strong-arming him, and calling him Ba-wool. She yells at him that he was always a punk since he was a kid, and now he’s running around doing the same.
He postures that he doesn’t like to hit girls, which earns him an arm twist that sends him down to the ground. He looks up, startled, “Eun-bi noona?!” Hahaha. Love it.
He kneels at her feet, presenting a pack of yogurt as a peace offering. She asks what the hell kind of name is Crazy Chicken, and he chides her for pretending not to know, Eun-nem-bi, aka Silver Pot. She covers his mouth and tells him to bury it in the past. How much do I love that she was a high school gangster?
She tells him that he’ll be coming to school religiously starting tomorrow, and he assures her that he’ll obey. Hee. He marvels at how much she looks like real girl, with her hair grown out and wearing skirts and stuff.
She smacks him upside the head, “What do you know about girls?” And he starts blushing as he tells her about his purty girlfriend.
She’s Yoon So-yi, the pretty girl at the neighboring girls’ high school, and a ballerina to boot. Of course she is. She dances in class, and Chi-soo saunters in, interrupting without a care. He just stops at So-yi with a “Let’s go.”
The teacher tries to stop him, but he just throws her his trademark pretty line, and walks right back out. Ha. So-yi comments that it’s been two years, and wonders why he doesn’t ask if she has a boyfriend. Chi-soo doesn’t seem to care, clearly not one to let a silly boyfriend stand in his way. She muses that he hasn’t changed a bit.
He tosses out compliment after compliment, which just cracks me up. He is such an operator, it kills me.
So-yi goes from her coffee date with Chi-soo to a coffee date with Crazy Chicken, literally in the same chair. He dotes over her and asks her to call him oppa, ready to move mountains for her in return.
She asks if he’ll do anything if she does, and so she says, “Oppaaa… Chi-soo’s back. I’m going to date him now. Let’s be good friends.” HA. Poor Chicken. He fumes, and then who should call, but Chi-soo.
Eun-bi ends up staying late on her first night, stuck with preparing lessons for tomorrow. When the printer craps out on her she lugs it down the hall, and then stops when she hears a scuffle from her classroom.
She peers inside to find Chi-soo and Ba-wool duking it out. Chi-soo asks if this is any way to greet a friend for the first time in two years, and Ba-wool corrects him that he’s no friend, so he should just stay the hell away from So-yi.
That changes Chi-soo’s demeanor instantly. He shoves a desk at Ba-wool and peers down threateningly, “It was you? You’re the asshole who dated So-yi?” Ba-wool struggles, but doesn’t back down, insisting that he’s STILL the guy dating So-yi. They scuffle again, but Chi-soo maintains the upper hand.
Ba-wool knows that he’s no match for Chi-soo when it comes to his station in life, and so he spits out that if he waits three years, he’ll contend with him then. Chi-soo laughs, “Three years?” He goes up to the front of the class.
He gets on his soapbox, ready to give a lecture, and starts writing Chinese characters on the board to illustrate an aphorism… only he forgets how to write them out. Ha. He gets at the gist of it: He who has will continue to have, and he who doesn’t… won’t. Spoken like a true rich brat.
He lays out the gritty details: “Even if you run like crazy, I’ll already be flying… When you’re a manager I’ll be a boss. When you get an apartment rental I’ll be getting a villa.”
That gets Eun-bi cursing up a storm from outside the classroom, which Ba-wool finishes as he launches at Chi-soo.
Cut to blackout, sirens, helicopters, the works. What, does the precious son-of-a-god have a SWAT team on call in case someone messes with his pretty face?
President Cha gets briefed that Chi-soo is fine. (Does this man never leave the hot tub?) The secretary tells him that the snack shop near the school is still refusing to budge, which the president thinks will change soon enough.
Then there’s the matter of Chi-soo’s car, which the secretary insists should be taken away. Dad shakes his head no, “That car is Chi-soo’s favorite thing. He’ll be mad at me if I take it away. I don’t like it when Chi-soo is mad. It’s scary.” LOL. This dad cracks me UP. Also, is it any wonder that Chi-soo is a first-rate ass? Gah.
Eun-bi and Ba-wool stand outside the police station as Chi-soo shakes the chief’s hand and takes care of things. Chi-soo peers at her curiously, but says nothing. So-yi pulls up and asks if Chi-soo is okay.
He rubs it in that she isn’t asking if Ba-wool is okay, which she does. He smirks and announces that they’re leaving, but Ba-wool grabs So-yi’s wrist and tells her she can’t go. Chi-soo turns to tell her, “Either clean it up or step on it, but clean up your own shit.” Dayum.
Ba-wool looks at her with these sad puppy eyes, and So-yi slowly pulls her hand away, though not without feeling. She leaves with Chi-soo. Eun-bi looks up at poor Ba-wool, her heart breaking for him.
As they drive away, So-yi asks again why Chi-soo isn’t asking about Ba-wool. He doesn’t give it a second thought, already calling it in the past. He tells her if she regrets it, she can date Ba-wool again, it’s no skin off his nose. Urrrrg, now I wanna strangle you, kid.
Eun-bi takes Ba-wool out, still cursing Chi-soo for him, while he… downs shots? Wait. Pffft, it’s cola. Hahaha. She pours him another shot, and he downs it like soju, as he tells her how hard he worked for two years to win So-yi’s heart. He waited every single day in the same spot to carry her bag for her.
He asks if she knows how hard that is, to wait for someone in the same spot, every day. She knows, all too well, and starts divulging a little too much of her own problems, about how hard it is to wait for someone for two years, to call, counting the days. “…Or so I can imagine…”
He gripes that Chi-soo just appeared and in one day, turned those two years to dust. He sighs that it’s his own fault for going up against Hwanung, who is no mere mortal. Eun-bi counters that in the end, Hwanung married a bear anyway. (Didn’t he turn the bear into a girl though? I’m not that great with my legends. I’m pretty sure he didn’t just, yunno, get it on with a bear.)
He gives a little smile at that, and then reaches for a shot of soju… which earns him a smack on the head. “Ow! It hurts! It hurts! Tell me first when you’re going to hit me!” Ha. I love this pair.
The next morning Chi-soo goes downstairs to the garage to find himself without wheels. Literally. He calls Dad, screaming, asking what he did with his car’s tires, and Dad tells him that driving that car to school will get him cursed at.
Chi-soo: “That’s okay. I’ll live a long long life getting cursed at, so gimme my wheels!” Dad says no, take the bus or a cab, and Chi-soo flips out in a full-on tantrum right then and there. Nothing makes him seem like more of a child than when he cries, “My tummy hurts!”
Eun-bi races out, late again, and struggles to catch a taxi. She finally braves it and stands in the path of one coming at her (You crazy? Lady, this is Seoul!) stopping it in traffic. And who should be riding inside but Chi-soo, of course.
She tells herself not to react emotionally, and he asks why she’s staring at him the whole way. She asks him about So-yi and Ba-wool, and how he could steal his friend’s girlfriend like that. He chimes, “I told her to date him. And to date me. We good now?”
Her jaw drops. She’s so stunned that she has no time to react when he stops the cab and pays the fare. She catches up to him at school and asks to talk. She tries to hand him the change from the cab, which he lets the intern keep.
And then she asks what he meant by telling So-yi to date the both of them. “You told her to cheat?” He tsk-tsks her for using such “old” language. “There are plenty of nice new words, like public auction.”
Eun-bi: “Public auction? What, is love a freaking fish market?!” Haha. She catches herself yelling, so she tamps down her temper and tries to explain that Chi-soo is still young and doesn’t understand love…
He whirls her around and backs her up against the wall. Goddamn. The coins drop to the ground and he smiles as she stutters. He asks what she meant the other day, when she asked him to date her. She says it was just her mistake.
Chi-soo: “It wasn’t a mistake to me.” He puts his hand up to her face, caressing her mole. “This dot… is really pretty, you know that?” Her heart starts to race. He leans in for a kiss… She closes her eyes…
The school bell rings. She puckers her lips and so does he… and then he plants a kiss on her forehead.
He flashes his megawatt smile.
Chi-soo: Did you see, our hearts?
Chi-soo: It’s simple, and easy, right?
Eun-bi: Yes… what?
Chi-soo: Intern Teach, it’s only been two days since you’ve been dumped by Water Balloon… and yet you’re already here like this, with me.
Chi-soo: Hearts? Are the easiest things in the world. If you close your eyes once, they open. Not like a revolving door, but like a revolving merry-go-round… they’re something lots of people can share and ride together happily.
Wow, could two people be any more different when it comes to love?
She gets it together and tries to set him straight, “Chi-soo gun…”
But he pins her up to the wall again. “If you mess with me one more time… Then I’ll really…” His growl turns back into a giant smile, “Then I’ll really date you.”
Oh, you cheeky rat bastard!
I both love and hate how much of an ass Chi-soo is. I find that I’m generally happy with younger characters who are like this, as opposed to grown-up Darcys who really should know better. When they’re the high school Gu Jun-pyos and Cha Chi-soos, I’m more excited at the prospect of what change and growth the character will undergo, while of course, providing plenty pampered hijinks in the meantime.
I like that he’s painted very clearly as a rich entitled brat who’s a product of the entire universe treating him like he’s some superhuman god. When in fact he’s just a boy, and when push comes to shove, Gangster Eun-bi’s not gonna let some bratty kid walk all over her. I can’t wait for that reversal.
I love the old/new debate that runs through every relationship, whether it’s between Eun-bi and her dad or Chi-soo’s idea of free love vs. Eun-bi’s idealized romantic love. It’s great because neither is entirely wrong. Eun-bi has a lot to learn about matters of the heart and how quickly they can change, while Chi-soo has yet to actually fall in love for the first time. Yeah, let’s hear how many people you think should be on your merry-go-round THEN, hotshot.
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