This drama is candy-coated crack laced with Tabasco. How can a drama be so many things? It’s cute, it’s hilarious, it’s witty, it’s addictive, and it’s HOT. What I love about this show is that it’s got oodles of heart, but it’s always better when that heart is couched in wit and sexual tension and lots and lots of toilet humor.
EPISODE 6: “A Secret That Cannot Be Told”
Kang-hyuk playfully earns a candy from the little girl sitting across the aisle. Never too young to identify the pretty. Sigh. He gets up to go to the bathroom and runs into Eun-bi, where she tells him not to sell the ramyun shop.
Once alone, Eun-bi carefully takes out her constipation meds, and with another glance to make sure she’s alone, she opens it up and gets ready to swallow…
When Chi-soo comes bursting in from the traincar behind her. He knocks her hand with the medicine down, taking her face in his hands. He shakes her, asking if she’s crazy, what she thinks she’s doing. Oh no, do you think she’s trying to off herself? Hahaha.
Kang-hyuk comes out, exclaiming “Park Chi-soo!” In his anger, Chi-soo punches him in the lip, and the funnier part is the giant beanpole goes down in one swing. Heh. Eun-bi rushes over to tend to his bloody lip, which further infuriates Chi-soo.
The three of them get off the train and have it out on the platform. Eun-bi screams at Chi-soo, wondering what on earth he’s doing. “I said I’d be out of your life forever!” He screams back, asking where she thinks she’s going.
She replies, “I’m going to my dad,” which of course further serves to convince Chi-soo that she’s thinking of dying. This kind of misunderstanding just cracks me up. He’s hysterical about it though, which is adorable and endearing. So is the fact that he’s standing there in his jammies.
Chi-soo yells, “Do you think they’ll accept you there?” HA. Your tactic for convincing her not to kill herself is to argue she won’t get into heaven? He says that she got fired down here; what’s the likelihood they’ll take her there? “Do you think your father would be happy if you took drugs and went like that, you crazy woman?!”
Eun-bi rails back, asking if she’s not allowed to lay her father’s ashes to rest just because she has no money. She admits that she bought a train ticket and medicine and doesn’t even have enough for flowers. Thinking this is about her being an unemployed slacker, she screams, “Can’t the unemployed lay her father’s ashes to rest? Can’t the unemployed buy some poop?!”
HAHAHAHA. She said BUY POOP. Hahahahaha.
Both guys gape. “Poop?” “Poop?” And then Kang-hyuk hilariously mimes constipation, with a knock on his belly and a little X with his arms. Pfft. She looks up pitifully, confirming the diagnosis.
Chi-soo looks down at the packet he’s holding in his hand, called Woo-Roo-Roo-Ssa, which is like “Whoosh, Go,” but go as in go to the bathroom. Heh. He cringes. Yup, it’s a laxative all right, just by the name. Eun-bi demands to know what he’s doing here, and why he wants her meds. He stares down at the packet in horror, and screams as he takes off running in the other direction.
Eun-bi tends to Kang-hyuk’s lip wound, commenting that he sure is squeamish for such a big guy. She asks how he knows Chi-soo, and he winks, saying that their encounter was more like a blink. He suggests that Chi-soo must’ve had some business here, but she’s more skeptical.
Chi-soo sits in the train station, freezing his ass off with no money and no phone, and finds that the little girl from the train has a cell phone for watching Pororo. He sidles up to her and gives the classic Chi-soo line that she’s pretty, complete with a wink.
Daddy Cha doesn’t answer, and neither does Hyun-woo, and Chi-soo leaves a dramatic message like he woke up in hell or prison or worse, and screams into the recorder to be picked up at once. The little girl feels so bad that she gives him her blanket and candy before leaving. Her dad asks where her blanket is, and she says, “I gave it to the homeless man.” Ha.
As Chi-soo sits huddled in the train station, we rewind to the night before, when Eun-bi had said her goodbye at school. It’s even clearer this time around, the change in his face when she puts her hand on his heart. He’s falling hard.
Later he sits in Hyun-woo’s café, holding Eun-bi’s nametag and lost in a haze. He asks his friend what it means when someone starts acting differently all of a sudden, like playing a new sport.
Hyun-woo thinks he means that So-yi is dieting or something, but Chi-soo says no, not like that, but “When someone’s hair swishes back and forth like a unicorn’s tail, and when her body glistens like a mermaid.” HA. I love Chi-soo in love so SO much.
Hyun-woo wonders what kind of sport looks like that, and Chi-soo asks what it means if someone says to live a nice life. Hyun-woo: “It means they’re going somewhere.” Chi-soo freezes. “GO?”
He rushes over to the ramyun shop, but finds it closed. There’s a sign on the door in crayon that she’s selling the place. Kang-hyuk walks up and greets him as Hong Chi-soo, and Chi-soo demands to know where “his wife” is.
Kang-hyuk says she’s not his wife anymore, and says she’s “In a happier place.” Chi-soo murmurs to himself that she must’ve gotten dumped. Again. Kang-hyuk suddenly calls Chi-soo by his proper name: “Cha Chi-soo, are you happy?” He scoffs at the question, as if it’s a given when your name is Cha.
He tosses and turns in bed that night, clutching her nametag and going over all the events of the past day, what they could mean. He zeroes in on her apology and final-sounding goodbye and rushes back to the ramyun shop in a panic, now thinking the worst.
He finds it still closed, and this time he sees the stack of all her teaching books left out on the street for anyone to take. He calls Hyun-woo in a panic, asking what it means if a twenty-something woman gets dumped, fired, starts acting out of character, and throwing away things that are important to her, and leaves on a trip. Where is she going?
Hyun-woo thinks about it, and says it’s either a trip to clear her head, or… the LAST TRIP OF HER LIFE. Hee. I love that the more serious it gets for Chi-soo, the funnier it is for us. He freaks out and starts driving around looking for her, and happens to see her just as she’s getting into a cab down the street.
He chases her to the train station and runs in just in time to see her standing at the pharmacy counter before walking away. He runs up to ask what kind of medicine she bought, and the pharmacist insists that it’s a patient’s privacy.
Chi-soo flips out over the technicality, thinking of course that her life is on the line, and demands to know what kind of medicine he gave her. He accuses the guy of just handing out dangerous meds all willy-nilly with no cause. The pharmacist counters defensively that she was in bad condition, weary, and in dire straits. Hee. This constipation running gag just won’t stop being funny.
Back in the present, he sits up in bed, still wearing the Pororo blanket as a cape, and clutching the laxative in fury. “Yang… Eun… Bi… So humiliating!” Daddy Cha comes in and Chi-soo refuses to acknowledge him as his father (because he didn’t answer his phone last night). “I have no father! This is my father now!” *holds up Pororo*
Outside, Dad asks his secretary to find out exactly what Chi-soo was up to last night. “And find out more about that guy, the one Chi-soo says is his father. What’s that guy’s deal?” LOL. Secretary: “Pororo? He’s a penguin.”
At school, Chi-soo’s buddies play back his super dramatic voicemail message on speakerphone, demanding to know where he was and why, since he made them run all over town searching for him.
He swears up and down that it was no big deal and that he just wanted to go there is all, and storms out. Hyun-woo catches up to him in the hall and asks why Teach was there. Chi-soo says it was for her father’s ashes, and then looks at his friend in shock, “How’d you know it was Intern?”
Hyun-woo just smiles knowingly and says he must’ve been worried about her, and Chi-soo guffaws that that’s ridiculous. Hyun-woo: “Then why’d you go all the way there?” … … … Chi-soo has no comeback for that, and hits himself over the head in frustration.
He sits in the gym watching other kids play basketball, but all he sees is Eun-bi, hitting her volleyball, glistening with sweat and bathed in angelic light. He darts up shaking his head, ” No. No, it can’t be… why would I… that kind of woman… like there’s some shortage of women around…” I’m so satisfied that his feelings torture him. Such sweet victory.
Eun-bi visits her dad’s ashes, wondering how he could be smiling like that when his daughter’s insides are so tangled up. (I love that the constipation is even a metaphor for her internal pain.)
She remembers that he even smiled on the day she threw the championship volleyball match. The coach asked how Eun-bi could do such a thing, and Dad had answered, “If it’s Eun-bi, she can. Because she’s special.”
Eun-bi: I really thought I was special. I thought as I grew older, I’d become more special. But I’m not. I eat more, and I know more, but I just grow worse. Is this what it means to age? To realize that you’re worthless, that you’re nothing? Acknowledging a little more every year, that I’m not that special after all? Is it like that?
Kang-hyuk: No. It’s not because you’re aging. It’s because you haven’t yet met the person who’ll tell you that you’re special.
Awwwww. He puts up flowers, which wouldn’t be so touching except for her pointed comment earlier about not being able to afford them. He says that this is what it means to grow older, and pulls her close with a hand on her waist. RAWR.
He turns to Dad and says that they’ll live well together with a smile. So cute. And then he wraps his other hand around her waist, and leans in… omo! Closer, closer, and then in a panic, she raises her fist right under his chin, probably knocking his jaw loose. Ha.
They walk along the shore and he complains about his jaw, but she retorts that he shouldn’t joke around like that then. He turns to her, “I wasn’t joking.” He puts both hands on her shoulders and looks straight at her. “You’re special, Yang Eun-bi.”
And then on his close-up, we see that now he’s got two matching band-aids, one for Chi-soo’s punch and one for hers. Pffft! He tells her that being her father’s daughter makes her special to him. “But from now on, I think you’ll become special to me in a different way.”
He adds that he’s nervous, judging from her violent reaction earlier. He says this is what he was trying to say earlier, and wonders what she thought he was trying to do, accusing her of having her mind in the gutter. Cheeky.
He runs off to play on the beach, but in about thirty seconds, he’s already lying in the sand. They frolic, they play, it’s adorable.
Chi-soo tries to convince himself that what he thinks is happening cannot be happening. Yes, because willing yourself to stop thinking about someone is such a good method for exorcising that pesky feeling thing. He calls So-yi out for a movie date.
He’s distracted the entire time, so they switch movies and end up watching one about volleyball, which Chi-soo watches with this silly grin that could melt a polar friggin’ ice cap. Gah.
He turns to So-yi and asks her to try tying up her hair in a ponytail, with the excuse that he thinks it’ll look pretty on her. He shakes his head no and directs her to tie it up high, and then shakes his head no again, like something is off. Or, maybe, is it, THE GIRL?
He asks if she doesn’t have any yellow rubber bands instead. Oh Chi-soo. He leaves his date dissatisfied, and calls the boys, deciding this is something that has to be partied out of his system.
His friends ask if he’s okay, and he suaves that it’s about time for him to make an entrance… and then downs the rest of his APPLETINI. Pffft. This drama’s eye for character detail just cracks my shit UP.
He joins the guys on the dance floor, and then someone’s ponytail catches his eye. That’s Eun-bi’s hair. He makes his way through the crowd, searching. The sound of her heavy breathing rings in his ears.
He makes his way to her, mesmerized, and reaches out to touch her. It turns out he’s imagined her of course, now legitimately hallucinating visions of Volleyball Eun-bi in the middle of the dance floor. He trembles to realize how bad he’s got it.
He leaves the club and Hyun-woo chases after him to ask if he’s okay. Chi-soo: “I’m going to end up in the hospital this way. I have to go see with my own eyes. That woman.”
Meanwhile Eun-bi and Kang-hyuk arrive back in Seoul. I love that she has to constantly yell at him not to lie down in random places. She tells him to go first, and she stops by the same pharmacy again, to ask for some ointment for scars, and some more Woo-Roo-Roo-Ssa.
Kang-hyuk arrives at the ramyun shop to find Ba-wool waiting outside, bags packed. He feeds him ramyun, quoting a common saying from parents, that he feels full just by watching Ba-wool eat.
Kang-hyuk: “So… do you want to be my kid?” (He says ja-shik which is also what you’d say if you were swearing at someone, but he means it in the parent-child way.) Ba-wool gets angry, and then Kang-hyuk pulls out a note, again in crayon, a Help Wanted sign asking for part-time employees.
Ba-wool asks if he really owns the ramyun shop now. “And what about Eun-bi noona?” Kang-hyuk: “I’m her owner too.” Ba-wool doesn’t like that so much. Kang-hyuk leaves him in charge of the store while he attends to some business… on the toilet.
It turns out now he’s constipated too, and he smiles, “Did I catch it from her?” Hahaha, are you actually grinning because you might’ve caught her cooties? Why are you so cute?
While Ba-wool is the only one watching the store, Chi-soo arrives with Hyun-woo, and immediately it turns into another brawl. Chi-soo doesn’t understand why they’re fighting again, since he told So-yi to see Ba-wool too, and besides, he NEEDS to see Intern.
Ba-wool growls at him not to mess with people’s hearts that way, and Chi-soo scoffs that Ba-wool’s one to talk. “Aren’t you dating So-yi for the same reasons I am? Because she’s pretty?” That’s just fuel to Ba-wool’s fire and he lunges at Chi-soo.
They end up tearing the place apart, and when Chi-soo shoves some tables at Ba-wool, he uses all his strength to push them back, knocking Chi-soo into a bookcase that teeters and falls…
Everyone gapes as it starts to fall right on top of him, and then Kang-hyuk appears and swoops in to block it. Holding up the bookcase on his back, he asks, “You okay, Park Chi-soo?” Heh.
Kang-hyuk sits the boys down and declares that from now on, all three of them will be his children. They will be the new employees of the ramyun shop. While that’s all fine and good for Ba-wool and Hyun-woo who both need jobs, everyone takes issue with the idea of Chi-soo working there.
Eun-bi arrives in the midst of the discussion to find the shop torn to shreds. She zeroes in on Chi-soo. He gets up, adorably eager to see her, rambling on about how he’s been trying to get a hold of her all day. She slams down her bag of fruit at his feet.
Eun-bi: “Don’t come near me, Cha Chi-soo.” She calls him disgusting (in the clingy way), asking if he really had to take it this far. He stammers, realizing that she’s misunderstood, and tries to explain.
She grabs the empty ramyun pot on the ground and holds it up for him. “Here. Isn’t this what you wanted to do? Isn’t this why you followed me onto the train? Here, hit me. You said you got anger stress because of me, right? When I see your face, I’m all stopped up in here, that I think I’m going to get sick and die.”
She can’t believe that getting her fired wasn’t enough, that he had to ruin her trip to see her father, and now he’s torn apart the ramyun shop. She tells him to hit her until he’s satisfied, and then never appear in front of her again.
What kills me is his face the entire time she says all this, just crushed and angry and hurt. He finally hangs his head, gives her a searing look, and then walks past her toward the door.
He stops to ask, “Is that woman an employee here too?” Kang-hyuk confirms it. Chi-soo gets that evil glint back in his eye. He walks back in and picks up the Help Wanted sign, “Fine, I’ll do it.”
Everyone gapes. Ba-wool: “YOU?” Eun-bi: “WHY?!”
Kang-hyuk announces that the application process for Eun-bi Ramyun is now closed, and all positions have been filled. He and Chi-soo shake hands, to the horror of everyone else.
Chi-soo: “Don’t call me a part-timer. Call me Intern.” And then he turns to Eun-bi…
“Or… you can call me oppa.” *WINK*
Goddamn that wink! Aaaaargh. I will not fall for it. I will not fall for it. Sigh. Resistance is futile.
I’m not even sure I want anything to change, because I could watch Chi-soo confusing love for heartburn and following Eun-bi around to annoy her FOREVER. Seriously, I’d never get tired of it. I want so much for him to stew in his feelings until he goes batshit crazy. That said, I love that Eun-bi’s now got a matching symptom, and well, between hormone-laden Chi-soo and grabby cheeky Kang-hyuk, that tiny ramyun shop is gonna be sizzling.
I like that besides the flirty bits, Kang-hyuk continues to play Dad’s role in the shop and in Eun-bi’s life. It’s clear that she’s lost without Dad, despite her refusal to admit it, and it’s so sweet that Kang-hyuk is her connection to dad in so many ways. He’s obviously been raised in Dad’s spitting image, and carries on his legacy — that cooking ramyun isn’t about filling stomachs so much as filling empty souls with warmth and love.
He sees lost kids and wants to help them, raise them like Dad did for him, and that just makes me go, awwwwww. I also adore that at the end of the day, Chi-soo’s still a kid, and that Kang-hyuk has to save him like a dad. I like the idea that as Chi-soo thinks of him as a romantic rival, Kang-hyuk might end up being more of a father figure to him than his real dad is.
My favorite kind of drama families are the ragtag kinds that form over strange circumstances, that begin at odds and then eventually grow to be more loving than a real family would be. There’s something about the idea of making your own family that always gets me right in the gut, and the way this episode ends has me even more hopeful for where we’ll go from here.
- Flower Boy Ramyun Shop: Episode 5
- Flower Boy Ramyun Shop: Episode 4
- Flower Boy Ramyun Shop: Episode 3
- Flower Boy Ramyun Shop scores high ratings
- Flower Boy Ramyun Shop: Episode 2
- Flower Boy Ramyun Shop: Episode 1
- Flower Boy Ramyun Shop’s press conference
- Flower Boy Ramyun Shop posters
- Flower Boy Ramyun Shop releases teasers
- Jung Il-woo on the set of Flower Boy Ramyun Shop