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Me Too, Flower: Episode 3

Whoo. The dialogue in this drama sometimes gives me whiplash. I feel like I’m watching a tennis match that requires me to look left and right until I pull a neck muscle. It’s not a huge complaint though because I love the amount of meaty content that comes from each conversation.

Jo Min Ki is such a scene stealer as Dr. Park. I’ve never seen him act so goofy and sarcastic. He usually takes villain roles so I’m thrilled to have him as comic relief. I mean, what kind of psychiatrist makes fun of his patient during therapy sessions?

Episode 3

Jae Hee joins Bong Sun at a restaurant and tells her to order anything she wants; he’s paying. He orders the most expensive drink the owner has and Bong Sun snipes at his ability to spend money so effortlessly. She brings up his designer undershirt and says it’s a shame that nobody can see it. He replies that the people who need to see it do.

She brings up the question of why people say “I love you” so easily over shots and Jae Hee answers that those words don’t cost money. They decide to put a fee on “I love you”; people who confess their love should pay a 50 cent fee while people who listen to the words should fork over a dollar.

Bong Sun starts to list other expressions that deserve to be fined, including “do your best,” “what’s your dream?”, and “have a dream.” She declares that her dream is to live in a world without dreams. In response, Jae Hee places 50 cents on the table to ask her what her dream is.

Bong Sun asks why he’s being so nice to her all of a sudden. Does he think he’ll get lucky tonight after feeding her and pouring her drinks? She stands up, only to crash onto the floor. In her drunken stupor, she recalls her dream, which includes a flashback of her sitting in a patrol car looking out to the Han River from an overpass.

Bong Sun: My dream is to cross over that bridge without looking back. I can’t take this car; that’s cheating. But even when I cross that bridge, nothing special will be waiting for me. I know that, yet I keep running towards that bridge breathless. I’m going crazy because I want to cross over so badly.

She laughs and calls it a cheap dream, which Jae Hee refutes. That dream is worth at least 5 dollars. Bong Sun reveals that she also wants to get promoted, but refuses to answer why. That’s a secret that not even $500,000 could buy. She stumbles and Jae Hee catches her in his arms, but Bong Sun pushes him away. She insists that she’s not drunk because she’s a strong woman.

She asks if he keeps following her because he likes her. When he replies that he lives in this neighborhood, she assumes that he moved to be closer to her. Jae Hee scoffs and remarks that she catches princess fever at night. He asks if she’s going to be alright by herself, to which Bong Sun nods yes and pulls out her police baton. She elongates it and ends up smacking Jae Hee in the head with it. She ignores his cries of pain as he squirms on the floor in pain

Jae Hee later walks into a cramped factory filled with the sound of pulsating sewing machines. The workers stitch together handbags from Jae Hee’s designs as Mr. Bae, the factory owner, and Jae Hee have a couple of drinks. Mr. Bae comments on how pretty Jae Hee used to be, which makes Jae Hee smile. He replies that the little 15 year old kid made Mr. Bae into a rich man.

Dal and her mom end up at a gated house, which makes Dal throw a temper tantrum. This isn’t in Kang Nam! She asks who lives here and a sharp “It’s mine” renders Dal speechless. Bong Sun, who had been sitting behind a bush, comes to the front door and turns to Dal’s mom. She asks coldly why she’s there and the older woman says that she’ll explain inside. Bong Sun unlocks the code and heads inside alone, leaving Dal and the older woman outside. The older woman shouts to let Dal live with Bong Sun; she can force Dal to clean and do the laundry to earn her keep.

Bong Sun asks who the hell that girl is, and wrenches the door open when Dal’s mother replies “your younger sister.” Bong Sun throws Dal’s luggage onto the street and whirls around to face her mother. Bong Sun hotly declares that her mother has no right in returning to this house. She abandoned her biological daughter to marry a random man, and that she can’t walk back into Bong Sun’s life this easily.

Dal slips in that she doesn’t want to live in that house and Bong Sun/Dal’s mother turns around to pat Dal’s face and hair. If Dal doesn’t live here, then she has nowhere else to go. Bong Sun tosses out that she’s not going to accept that girl. She asks how it feels to take care of another person’s kid after trashing her only child. Is it refreshingly sweet like her affair with that man? Bong Sun continually flings out barbed words until her mother slaps her.

She hits Bong Sun and yells that she never abandoned her. It was Bong Sun who refused to come with her mother, and that she has kneeled in front of Bong Sun for forgiveness over a thousand times in her heart. Bong Sun smirks and tells her mother to stop making excuses. She cheated and that’s that. Bong Sun turns to leave but ends up walking straight into the door. She shrugs off any concern and angrily wipes her bloody nose as she smashes the door closed.

Mom leaves in tears and Dal finds herself waiting outside the door in the cold. A neighborhood dog starts to sniff around Dal until she pushes him away with her suitcase. Bong Sun sits in her room putting on lotion with Pink Chicken’s comeback stage blaring in the background until Dal screams bloody murder. Bong Sun eventually drags herself outside with her baton to scare off the dog, but sees nobody outside.

She comes back in to see Dal settled into a room. Bong Sun tells her to fix her banmal to jondaemal and warns Dal to leave before she wakes up in the morning. Dal asks when she opens her eyes and Bong Sun shoots her a death glare. Bong Sun lies on her bed looking up at her Pink poster and says that he’s her one true love. Pink, however, turns into Jae Hee. Haha.

Jae Hee draws in the basement of the factory as he recalls Bong Sun’s drunken state. He sketches her in uniform holding handbags and later ends up falling asleep. Mr. Bae comes into the room and flashes back to his first encounter with Jae Hee, who had been fighting with another boy in the snow.

Teen Jae Hee had posted up advertisements for the black bean noodle shop he worked for, which the other boy had torn down. Mr. Bae broke up the fight, and then began to follow Jae Hee around asking him questions about where he lives and eats. Back in the basement, Mr. Bae covers Jae Hee with a blanket. He shakes his head at the “strong-willed” boy who actually managed to become rich.

The following morning, Pink attempts to wake a sleepy Bong Sun, which actually ends up being her alarm clock. She runs out to check if Dal left and lets out a forced sigh of relief when she doesn’t find her.

On the other hand, Jae Hee wakes up from a nightmare while Hwa Young arrives at her office to look for Jae Hee. Her worry starts to mount and calls her cousin, the one and only Dr. Park. He replies that he hasn’t been in contact with Jae Hee, but that he’s going to have lunch with him later.

Bong Sun walks into Dr. Park’s office sheepishly and he wastes no time in making fun of her emotional breakdown. He asks her what exactly she hates about herself. Her face? Her body? Her personality? He reasons that her face is alright; maybe it’s a little long and her body could use some more curves. Her personality, though, is pretty dang rotten. This ruffles Bong Sun’s feathers and she spits out that he’s a horrible doctor. He doesn’t have any other patients besides her, does he? He tells her that she needs to bring in her parents to a consultation for homework. If she doesn’t, then he’ll tell on her to her supervisor. What are we, in middle school?

Bong Sun leaves the office and stands at a crosswalk. At the same time, Jae Hee shows up on his motorbike at the opposite end of the street. He waves his hand as she mutters that he looks like a dog wagging his tail. Jae Hee starts to act out last night’s drinking stint, which Bong Sun takes as a sign of his descent into insanity. Suddenly, a man grabs her bag and runs across the street, passing an amused Jae Hee. He points in the direction that the robber headed and Bong Sun screams out Jae Hee’s death sentence as she sprints past.

Jae Hee follows the chase on his bike and ends up kicking the robber down, foiling his escape plan. As Bong Sun scrambles to call the police, the man pleads that he was just hungry and cold. Jae Hee thinks back to his teenage years and tells the guy to scram. Bong Sun flares up and calls Jae Hee crazy. She moves to run after the guy, but Jae Hee takes her handcuffs and locks both his and her arms together. She can arrest him for obstruction of justice and that they can head to the station right now.

As they walk, he swings his handcuffed arm up and down and informs people that he’s on a date. She asks why he let the burglar go and he responds that the man was sincere. She rolls her eyes and snaps that every criminal is the same; they always lie to get out a sticky situation. She sarcastically remarks that he should become a police officer because he’s so perceptive about what’s right and wrong. He weighs the idea but is interrupted by Bong Sun who lists off his age and other qualities that would prohibit him from being one quickly. He puts Bong Sun’s hand on his cheek, saying that she thinks of him so much, which leads to a kick in the shins.

Hwa Young watches everything from afar and calls Dr. Park to confirm Jae Hee’s cancellation on their lunch date. (Ah. I really hope this stalking-Jae Hee thing is used sparingly). Dr. Park asks why she keeps calling him when she could just call Jae Hee himself. It’s because you’re a plot device, Dr. Park.

Bong Sun unlocks the handcuffs at the right plot point and says she’ll buy lunch. Over dumplings, Bong Sun asks Jae Hee if he really thinks any girl would fall for him. She begins to list how inferior he is to her, including education, salary, and the lack of his own house. She goes on to say that he’s arrogant and loves to jab at a person’s sore spots. He doesn’t know his place and lavishly spends his money. Finally, he’s not all he seems to be.

She states, “You’re dark. You have a shadow. It’s there no matter how hard you try to hide it. You’re tainted.” The last bit finally provokes Jae Hee’s temper and he prepares to tear up Bong Sun’s pride.

Jae Hee:I don’t like girls who hate their own lives as well, who hold onto their phones and cry into them. That’s a great sight. What? Are you embarrassed of yourself? You think you’re worth less than bug…like you’re a dust particle on the street, like an empty can traveling down a rolling river, like a doll that was played with and thrown away, like a plant that has no caregiver 365 days a year…

She slaps him across the face and leaves with tears in her eyes. Jae Hee stands frozen as Hwa Young takes in everything from her car.

Hwa Young and Jae Hee later converge in her office to discuss a new business venture. She asks where he was and why he didn’t answer his phone calls. After he mentions the factory and a dead battery, she hands him a portfolio of Jacques Fabian, a French handbag artisan. Jae Hee sighs and reminds her that he doesn’t want to replace Mr. Bae and his factory. Hwa Young replies that Mr. Bae’s bags are good, but that Jacques’ work is better.

She reasons that nobody wants to buy bags that are created in a small hole in Korea. People buy luxury goods because they’re stylish, high-end, and exclusive. Not everyone can have them. Jae Hee returns that then they’ll have to import those bags from Europe. He prefers locality. He says that Mr. Bae’s work has heart. Each bag has over 50 years of love and care invested into it, and the wrinkles in Mr. Bae’s face represent the countless products that he’s created with his hands.

Hwa Young lets her frustration seep out and points out that a business is just a business. We give out products and get compensated in return. Nothing more, nothing less. Jae Hee asks if working like that is fun, which upsets Hwa Young further. She demands to know why Jae Hee keeps heading over to that factory; every time he heads there, he comes back a different person. She fears that he’ll never return from there and just disappear. He assures her that he won’t leave without reason, but that he’s also not bound to anything, including this company.

Both Jae Hee and Bong Sun ponder each other’s words from lunch. He rides alone on his motorbike and Bong Sun stares absent-mindedly out the bus window.

Bong Sun comes home to see Dal on her computer with her clothes sprawled everywhere. Bong Sun calls the emergency number to report a break-in and Dal screeches that she’s being harsh. Bong Sun snipes that Dal’s homeless state is not her problem and throws Dal’s $3000 camel coat onto some burning candles. Dal panics at the sight of the ashen burn marks and blubbers at her unni to reimburse her.

In the living room, Dal slams down the coat’s receipt and declares that Bong Sun either pay her the $3000 or let her stay in the house. Bong Sun takes her anger out on her stuffed dog in her room and asks Pink to choose for her. Having made her decision, Bong Sun marches into the living room with a contract and her baton. She states that she’ll house Dal for exactly 6 months and proceeds to read off the terms of the contract:

  1. Don’t make me talk.
  2. Be here…like you’re not here.
  3. Your crap stays in your room.
  4. You buy your own toiletries.
  5. Find your own food, wash any dishes you used, and enter your room right after eating.
  6. Don’t spray perfume. There are no men to impress here.* breaking any of these rules results in a 10 dollar deduction from the $3000.

At Dr. Park’s office, Bong Sun rattles off the annoying habits that Dal has. She turns up her music to dance, uses Bong Sun’s toothpaste, leaves hair in the bath drain, and craps out un-flushable poop. She also always tries to eat Bong Sun’s food. But the real kicker is Dal’s raised pinky when she eats. Bong Sun declares that she wants to cut that stupid finger off, which is when Dr. Park cuts in to say that he has the same habit. Puhaha. I bet he was beat up as a kid for his smart-ass comments. Kek.

He says that Bong Sun just hates Dal without any reason, which is when she lets slip that Dal is her stepsister. Her mother got remarried and took care of Dal but didn’t give birth to her. Dr. Park asks if she lived with her father then, but Bong Sun shakes her head. Bong Sun’s father also remarried when she was in middle school; since then, she’s lived on her own.

Back at the station, Bong Sun calls Dr. Park a fly that hovers over other people’s poop and takes out a gun. Maru walks in and Bong Sun aims her pistol at his private area, which makes him flinch. He’s a man, alright. Poor Maru.

Bong Sun and Jae Hee pass each other without words as she walks into a lingerie store. She stares at the rows of bras and weighs the thought of measuring her boobs. She asks an employee if she has to take off all her clothes to be measured, and the store girl replies that a camisole can be worn. Bong Sun tilts her head in confusion at the word “camisole” and walks away.

She sees a wallet but balks at the $630 price. Her frenemy from episode 2 comes up to her and asks who the wallet is for. She tells Bong Sun that she’ll give her a store discount if Bong Sun meets her cousin. Bong Sun turns her down, muttering how annoying store girl is.

Bong Sun buys something and is on her way towards the police station when someone calls out “Excuse me, policewoman.” Bong Sun turns around to see Hwa Young, who approaches her and asks to talk.

Comments:

There are still some technical details that catch my attention. They’re not bad enough to annoy me but they do keep me from completely falling for the drama. The editing is still pretty iffy, which makes transitions clunky. The tone of the drama also switches really quickly and the music feels a little misplaced. The ending, for example, is hardly exciting so the cue of dramatic violins is kind of laughable. I assume that the time constraint has a huge impact on the post-production work, so I’m trying hard not be too nitpicky.

The characters, after all, are what we really care about. I’m so excited at the thought of Dal and Bong Sun living together. It calls for some hilarious situations, but I’m also looking forward to sisterly bonding. Dal annoys Bong Sun with her bright, superficial personality and Bong Sun’s practicality drives Dal crazy and they remind me a lot of real-life sisterly pairings that I know. Writer Kim, please have Dal braiding Bong Sun’s hair as they fangirl over Pink by the end of the series.

I usually don’t read the detailed synopsis of a drama because it makes me pay less attention to the first couple episodes, so I’m still not sure of what to make of Hwa Young. She’s just not that compelling so I end up wanting to skip over her parts. I see her becoming one of those clingy second leads, which I’m dreading because she has absolutely no chance with Jae Hee. She pushes a little too hard to “understand” Jae Hee, which ends up driving him further away. (And this is overlooking their visible age difference too).

The scene in her office is a perfect example of her inability to decipher Jae Hee’s feelings and intentions for his company. She thinks of the handbags as empty objects while Jae Hee sees them as a symbol of his creativity. Their distinct mentalities fit their respective roles; she takes care of mechanical details as he pursues his imagination and love of creation. They balance each other out, which makes them perfect business partners but ill-matched lovers.

Jae Hee values his freedom. He likes to take odd jobs, travel the world, and comes and goes whenever he wants. Hwa Young is already smothering him as friends and we see Jae Hee ignoring her calls and neglecting to tell her where he is. She’s trying to tame a wild horse, which leads to underlying friction. In addition, Hwa Young overlooks the importance Jae Hee places on his relationship with Mr. Bae. Mr. Bae takes the form of a father figure and Jae Hee can’t just cut off ties because of a business venture. He thinks of his company as a network of different people; his odd jobs allow him to learn who his employees are.

Jae Hee keeps up a free-spirited, easy-going image that makes him extremely likeable. But his playboy, cheeky demeanor also prevents people from knowing his darker, “tortured” self, which is similar to Bong Sun’s mask of anger and prickliness. She pretends to be strong, especially in the face of people who abandoned her like her mother. It’s when Jae Hee and Bong Sun butt heads that some of their outside layers peel off. They slice through each other’s outer shells with their piercing words. These words hurt so much that Jae Hee and Bong Sun find themselves reflecting on their personal issues, which pushes both of them a little closer to self-healing and to each other.

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