This week on High Kick 3, we get a lighter dose to relieve us from the heart-tugging events from the previous week. Some of our characters remain stubborn in their ways while others take a turn for the better. A bit of the funny is back, giving us some delightful moments to balance the other more heartwarming ones. I get this overall wholesome feeling from this week, like comfort food. Oh and lots of Ji-seok and Ha-sun, if you’re keeping count.
Note: Wednesday’s episode was pre-empted, so only 4 episodes aired this week.
SONG OF THE DAY
“Have You Ever Been In Love” – Kang Seung-yoon’s cover of the same song title by Standing Egg [ Download ]
EPISODE 45 WEECAP
At breakfast, Yoo-sun tries to reel in her brothers to attend a blind date. Both brothers are disinterested, moreso Ji-seok, whose deflated attitude leads her to wonder what might be bothering him.
That dejected attitude stems from his recently broken heart. He barely perks up after agreeing to give Ha-sun a ride to a fellow teacher’s upcoming wedding, and spends a lingering moment staring at the street light.
At school, Jong-seok arranges another study
date session with Ji-won via cell-phone. She asks why he’s so secretive about it later that night and he counters that it’s the only way to preserve his last bit of pride. He can’t possibly let on that he needs remedial help, let alone from his junior.
But an unexpected visit from Soo-jung forces Jong-seok to hide and conclude that the classroom is too dangerous a place in case they’re found out. They relocate to location after location, from the bathroom to the bus (to which Ji-won asks: “Is that the best you can do? Are you sure?” for an extra meta-laugh). But Jong-seok is hyper-motion-sensitive and the bumpy ride makes him upchuck right into his backpack.
Teacher Ji-sun tags along, with the intention to congratulate her ex. But as the ride continues, it’s clear that she’s not okay with the wedding and becomes increasingly unruly. Having spiked her coffee, she insists on turning back, even grabbing Ji-seok’s hair.
They stop at a rest stop, and when he pulls away at her touch, Ha-sun asks after why he’s been avoiding her, adding that it’s been a while since she’s seen him smile. He flatly replies that there isn’t much to smile about lately. Aw.
So Ha-sun offers to drive in his stead, and though well intentioned, she’s a nervous newbie behind the wheel – gripping onto it with dear life. She doesn’t notice an animal in the road until it’s too late and she freaks out for possibly killing an innocent life, chanting, “Unni’s sorry, rabbit… Unni’s sorry!”
Ji-seok steps out and notices a curious tag attached to the roadkill. Thankfully, it’s just a rabbit doll and Ha-sun slumps to the ground in tears of relief.
Just then it begins to snow and she smiles, opening her mouth wide to catch a few falling snowflakes in her mouth. Heh, I totally still do this whenever it snows. She tells him that if you taste the first snowfall, your wish will come true and encourages him to join her. He looks on as she frolics around, enjoying the white flurry, until he finally breaks into a big smile.
Jong-seok and Ji-won resume their studies at Ji-won’s house. But once they hear someone’s footfalls coming up the stairs, Jong-seok jumps from the second floor and runs down the street to guard that damned pride.
Seoul experiences its first snowfall while Ha-sun is out on a date with Young-wook. He encourages her to catch the snowflakes but she declines. Meanwhile, in another part of town, Ji-seok sees the same snowfall and opens wide, letting the snowflakes drift into his mouth.
EPISODE 46 WEECAP
Kye-sang runs into Jin-hee at the bus stop waiting in the cold. She accidentally drops her phone and it goes dead. Already strapped for cash, the broken gadget adds to her ever-growing list of expenses.
The Ahn Siblings War rages on at home and at school, with heated hostility on both sides. Their persistent fighting continues in gym class where a direct throw towards Soo-jung hits Ji-seok square between his legs, much to his ire. Traditional punishments don’t work on these two, and they kick each other as they squat around the gym.
Kye-sang impresses Jin-hee with a few parlor tricks at the clinic, masking his secret as “magic.” He claims that he can read her mind, but she’s skeptic. So tells her to pick a number, add and subtract a few digits, and a name of a country and animal associated with the letter in the alphabet. He gets it right and Jin-hee’s left incredulous, starting to believe in his magical skills.
Everyone at home tells her that she fell for the classic, “Denmark, Elephant” trick and Julien even replicates one of them. She pouts, beating herself up for being so gullible. Jin-hee arrives at work the next day, calling Kye-sang out on his bluff. A sunbae cancels on him last minute, and he employs Jin-hee’s help for a children’s magic show.
They practice, and Jin-hee suggests that they create an incantation to get the children involved. She calls his idea too old-fashioned and after tossing a few ideas, they settle for a short ‘YAP.’ He tests it out, turning her five dollar bill into a dollar, but isn’t able to turn it back. Hehe.
The magic show entertains the kids and it’s time for the highlight: the saw-Jin-hee-in-half routine. The problem is the putting her back together because the apparatus gets stuck. The kids start crying, and Magician Kye-sang thinks fast, and encourages the crowd to chant the excessively long incantation, “Shala pompai hakuna matata polei polei YAP!” It works, and a whole-again Jin-hee greets the crowd in a bow.
Ji-seok breaks up yet another fight between the two Ahn kids, taking away their allowance as punishment. This tactic seems to work as both kids need the spending cash, and soon, they’re clinging onto Ji-seok, asking for it back. He refuses, and Soo-jung offers to pretend to get along in front of their uncle, but Jong-seok tells her he’ll see right through the ruse. So Seung-yoon suggests another idea and they’re onboard.
Looks like Seung-yoon’s proposed plan is another staged fight, and while Ji-seok is distracted, Soo-jung swipes the cash from his wallet. This still gets them punished, and though they still fight, they at least team together for a purpose.
Back at the clinic, Jin-hee marvels at the magic of their created incantation. They try it out on Jin-hee’s dead phone and it bursts to life. Convinced in the incantation’s power, they chant for the morning bus to appear. They wait, and wait, until it finally arrives, their noses red from the cold. Maybe not so magical after all.
EPISODE 47 WEECAP
Ji-seok holds up the bus for Ha-sun who climbs in nearly out of breath. Our lovesick awkward Ji-seok is back, stealing glances at her and when an abrupt stop has her falling into his arms, he all but turns bright red.
That same morning, Kye-sang gives his sister a ride to work and tells her he’s worried it’s too strenuous. She reassures him that she’s fine but what troubles her is her frequent memory lapses as of late, like nearly running out of the house still in her nightgown and leaving the stove on. He says that he too often forgets things but she wonders if it may be linked to her menopause.
On her way home, she lingers for a moment in front of a display window. She steps inside, inquiring after the bag. It’s fairly expensive, but she did get paid today, and they’re having a sale…
She gives into impulse and hurries to stash away the new bag before anyone can notice. The purchase weighs on her mind that night, so she gets up to find a proper hiding place, eventually storing it in the tunnel.
Ji-seok is distracted at work for the rest if the day, his thoughts wander about their close encounter that morning. Ha-sun misinterprets his odd behavior as a bad day, so she tries to uplift his spirits by imitating cat sounds, getting really close to save herself from public embarrassment. Oh honey, you might as well just purr in his ear.
His buddies tell him he must really like this girl if he’s acting nervous around her. Ji-seok protests that he just doesn’t want to be awkward around her and the boys chant to ask her out in response.
The bag goes missing the next day and Yoo-sun scours the house, afraid that she’d forgotten where she hid it. Then, Julien visits from next door with the bag in hand, and she takes out her pent-up anger on him. Yoo-sun decides to stuff the bag into a plain ol’ plastic bag to mask the evidence. But in another moment of absentmindedness, she tosses it with the rest of the trash, and chases down the garbage truck down the street, screaming.
Ji-seok and Ha-sun attend a child’s dol (first birthday) party together and they chat about the festivities, Ha-sun asking what Ji-seok reached for when he had his dol ( There’s a common tradition where items are spread in front of a baby and the item will foretell of the child’s future). He doesn’t remember, suddenly feeling more comfortable around Ha-sun. But she’s clutching her stomach, thanks to some raw food earlier, and she needs to go. I mean GO.
They rush into a closed public building, but the bathroom is locked, so Ji-seok sprints to find an open room. He leads her to a deserted office, grabbing at anything and tells her to go on the floor, in a bucket, in the flowerpot – anywhere because he’ll take care of it. Aww so sweet but ew.
He finally seizes a fire extinguisher to smash the lock in front of a confused security guard and exclaims, “Quick, go!” Haha, what a hero.
The bill comes out to over a thousand bucks and Ji-seok teases Ha-sun for taking an expensive dump, much to her embarrassment. She’s confused when Ji-seok tell her that he’s already taken care of the bill, but she insists on paying him back. Soon, they’re adorably chasing each other around the room shouting, “Let me pay you!” “No it’s fine!”
EPISODE 48 WEECAP
Chauffer Jong-seok gives Ji-won a ride home, but she swipes the scooter key when he’s not looking. He gets them back and they’re still fighting inside when Kye-sang walks in.
Time for a household meeting to settle matters on who gets the scooter. Even though Jong-seok agreed to drive Ji-won around, he’s tried to run away a few times – he’s out. Ji-won’s narcolepsy is too dangerous for her to drive and he shushes Soo-jung’s cries of, “Me! Me!” Nae-sang rolls out of bed mid-meeting and Yoo-sun suggests him – he’ll need a safer alternative than a motorcycle for his new job. Ji-won is clearly upset about others making decisions over her own scooter and Kye-sang reasons that he’s worried for her safety.
Nae-sang takes Ji-won to school the next morning, and wonders why she’d ride such a dangerous thing. As a father with a daughter her age, he’s taught his kids to tell the truth. He shares a tale about a kid who always told lies. One day, he fell into the water, and when people asked if he was drowning, he said no. So he died. End of story.
Jin-hee is initially left confused when Ji-seok declines a blind date with her friend but finds out the real reason after she spots him watching Ha-sun from the window. She encourages him to confess his feelings to her, since she feels he has a fair shot, but he vehemently opposes the idea, asking her to keep it a secret.
Ha-sun arrives that evening, tired and relieved from going on a date with Young-wook, and Jin-hee wonders aloud: what if she was destined to be with someone else… She starts, “Actually Teacher Yoon…” and Ji-seok charges in before she can utter another world.
Once they’re out of earshot, Jin-seok reminds her not to plant any seeds in Ha-sun’s head since he’ll confess his feelings when he’s ready. Jin-hee is still eager to help, so she offers to sneak in some compliments about Ji-seok and some Young-wook insults to balance it out. She lays it on thick to Ha-sun, even whispering Ji-seok’s feelings into Ha-sun’s subconscious as she sleeps.
Tomorrow morning’s scooter life lesson is about boundary crossing. Nae-sang recounts another tale of a kid who wasn’t mindful of his boundaries and Ji-won finishes the tale – he died too. Go figure, all of Sage Nae-sang wise ol’ tales are the same. Ji-won notices that they’ve crossed the traffic lines on the road and Nae-sang barely swerves in time to avoid hitting oncoming traffic.
Jin-hee arranges a “fated” shopping outing as another chance for Ji-seok to impress Ha-sun. She gives Ji-seok the 411 on what makes Ha-sun’s heart flutter: when a guy can coolly park into a space in reverse with one hand. She takes another look at his dress and instructs him to change shirts, for good measure.
They search for an available parking spot, and Jin-hee points to a space across the lot where Ji-seok would have to park in reverse. He fumbles, reaching for Ha-sun’s head versus the headrest, and turns the handle. The spot gets taken before they can get there, but Ji-seok refuses to give up and drives, in reverse, to another floor.
Nae-sang consistently picks up Ji-won at school in the coming days, who is excited to hear more of Nae-sang’s stories. Ji-won narrates that Nae-sang’s words weren’t exactly pearls of wisdom, but they stuck with her. Like for instance, how love comes slowly through a gate, but flies out the window, and basically boils down to trust nothing and no one. So she deduces that she shouldn’t trust him either and he tells her that she’s catching on.
Down at the tunnel, Ji-seok thanks Jin-hee for her help in spending some 1:1 time with Ha-sun, relieved to finally tell someone about his feelings, and she gives him some last words of comfort about his one-sided crush. He’s loads better than Young-wook in all aspects, calling Ha-sun dense for not noticing.
She turns to leave, but asks him one final question, “It’s no big deal but you don’t want to date me, right?” He politely says no and she laughs off the awkwardness, taking a tumble before climbing back up. Once Ha-sun climbs down, Jin-hee pushes the washing machine, sealing the entryway.
I say this time and time again, but what I love about the High Kick series mainly rests in the characters and their developing relationships with each other. The writers take their time to cultivate them, and just when you thought all the characters interactions have been spent, we see some new ones blossoming in ways never imagined. Take for example, Jin-hee and Ji-seok. It never occurred to me that they never really talked to each other prior to discovering his feelings for Ha-sun, but now they have this connection where he can trust her (to an extent anyway, because she’s so eager) where they would never have crossed paths otherwise. Each of the characters has a different layer of friendship, love, acquaintance with each other and the two households are beginning to resemble one large extended family. And to think – it was thanks to a tunnel!
Let me say this now – I’m growing tiresome of the neverending Ahn Sibling War. I thought there were some significant steps in their character growth in recent weeks, but their spat about wrestling money back from their uncle left a sore spot in my side. I’m slightly more disappointed in Soo-jung, who I was beginning to grow fond of after I saw some cracks of weakness that broke her fragile bratty exterior, but this week, it looks like she’s back to Day 1. The blame here doesn’t necessarily fall on the actress, Krystal, but moreso on her character description. The more I see the annoying aspects of her, the more I consider her role expendable.
Now that Nae-sang’s financial burdens and running from the law is out of the picture, it’s a complete 180 of his character and it’s not a moment too soon. Last week we saw how important his family is to him, and now we see another aspect of him, acting as an acting father figure to Ji-won. I don’t think either Nae-sang or Ji-won fully comprehends what the beginning of their relationship means to each of them – that the patriarchal figure in Ji-won’s life is being filled or the tears forming in Ji-won’s eyes when she realizes that Nae-sang’s heart to spend time with her is far more valuable and cherished than his pearls of wisdom, or lack thereof. End of story.