What a way to wrap up 2011, High Kick 3. It’s another excellent week for our characters as they prepare to finish off the past year, tying up some loose ends and boy do we start of 2012 with a bang. Just when I was about to throw in the towel, we finally hear the words we’ve been longing to hear.
SONG OF THE DAY
Brian McKnight – “Another You” which plays in the background in Episode 67.
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EPISODE 63 WEECAP
It’s nearly Christmas and the fellow nurses suggest Jin-hee to chip in for Kye-sang’s present. Way out of her budget, she stares at a lonely bill in her wallet before that too is handed over to raise funds for the clinic’s holiday drive.
Jin-hee opts to knit Kye-sang a gift, but sadly, nothing at the yarn store is available in her price range and the associate suggests reusing an old sweater. So when she gets home, she snips and starts to unravel her cherished red sweater.
Soo-jung whines for a Christmas tree after she sees the neighbors light their own. Her parents amuse her, but they reject the idea since no one in the family is big on Christmas. But ever the resourceful one, she drags one from a freakin‘ mountain and calls for a gift exchange later that evening.
The recent breakup weighs heavy on Ha-sun, who spends the majority of her time in bed or hanging around the house. Meanwhile, Ji-seok is arguing with his morals, conflicted whether it’s appropriate to give a girl who’s taken a gift. He reasons that the gesture is a simple formality, but thinks she’s out with Young-wook when he doesn’t find her in her room (No one else is aware of the split between Ha-sun and Young-wook yet).
Ji-won helps raise money for the clinic by singing holiday tunes with Seung-yoon. Not to be outdone, Jong-seok joins them and this adorable trio draws in a decent crowd. Jong-seok bucks up the courage to ask Ji-won to grab a bite to eat after their outside mini-concert, but she declines, citing that she’s busy.
Jin-hee neatly packs her finished red-sweater-now-gloves just as the nurses arrive. But her face falls after they boast their gift – they’ve prepared leather gloves. Embarrassed to give Kye-sang a similar gift, she slips away and gloomily adds them to the gift exchange.
Both Jiseok and Ha-sun head out for some fresh air: the former bummed after hearing news Ha-sun should be out on a date with her boyfriend, and the latter pretending to do so to keep up the ruse. What’s cute is that they have parallel experiences, like taking out their anger on a slippery ice patch or sitting at opposite bus stops.
Jong-seok arrives home and spots Ji-won in the kitchen, handing over her raised funds to Kye-sang, which earns her a thankful pat on the head. Now knowing where her affection lies, he hands over her gift (a guitar strap), dejected.
Time for the gift exchange. Nae-sang excitedly grabs Kye-sang’s gift, clearly the largest. It’s a Christmas “punch” (literally). Hehe. And Jin-hee looks in the pile for her number, but she ends up with her own set of gloves. Aww.
Ji-seok spends the night out with his friends, looking at the keychain gift he casually picked up (left by Ha-sun), and Ha-sun tries on the earrings that Ji-seok bought, both unaware that they’ve indirectly exchanged gifts with the other.
EPISODE 64 WEECAP
Jong-seok’s grades keep improving, earning some well-deserved praise from his family. Knowing that the tutoring session with Ji-sun has helped, Yoo-sun wonders what they should give her to express their gratitude. She overhears a conversation between Ha-sun and Ji-won and feels guilty upon hearing that Ji-won’s own studies have been slipping lately.
She consults Nae-sang about paying Ji-won for her services. Should Ji-won’s grades fall, Jong-seok’s future tutoring sessions could be in danger. They calculate how much to give (1/4 of a college tutor) but as expected, Ji-won politely rejects the money, saying it would turn into a formal tutoring relationship. Instead, she says to buy her a yummy dinner if Jong-seok’s grades improve on the following exam.
At the clinic, Kye-sang plays a trick on Jin-hee to lift her spirits, which rustles her feathers. She tries to get back at him in return with a Vitamin-C spiked coffee. But her jumpiness whenever he places the cup near his mouth gives her away and her revenge plan spoiled.
Kye-sang’s been fighting a toothache as of late, and when Jin-hee offers to set up a dentist appointment, he nervously brushes the matter aside. She hears from Ji-seok that Kye-sang harbors a fear of the dentist after a traumatic childhood experience when the drill brushed against his cheek.
Yoo-sun talks to Nae-sang again after seeing that how inconsistent the tutoring sessions are. This time, she suggests they draw up an incentive – if it’s good enough, Jiwon’ll bite. They reason that they’ll start the prizes off small and skip to bigger ones depending on what percentile Jong-seok falls in.
The result is a four-tiered pyramid broken down to the following categories: 80th percentile earns a fried chicken meal, 70th percentile a gold ring, 50th percentile is a trip to Europe, and within that rare 20th percentile, a compact car. The stakes are high and I’m wondering if offering such impossible rewards speaks more to luring in Ji-won or their half-baked belief in Jong-seok’s abilities.
But Ji-won agrees readily, taking them up on the challenge.
Jin-hee tests out Kye-sang’s fear the next day by dropping key words like ‘dentist’ and ‘appointment.’ The numbers on the heartrate monitor he’s attached to increases, confirming it. Kye-sang vehemently denies anything of the sort, but his heartrate races at the sound of a drill.
His fear becomes extremely real later at the dentist’s office: the seat pulls back, the spotlight, and finally the drill… and Kye-sang jumps out of the chair before getting anything done. Jin-hee claims she’ll take responsibility over everything, fear be damned, dragging terrified manchild Kye-sang by his feet.
Jin-hee takes Kye-sang to the children’s dentist (how cute!) to ease his anxiety, even holding his hand during the procedure.
The test results are in and everyone celebrate Jong-seok’s good marks until they realize he’s hit the 49th percentile. Which means… hello Europe! And you can see the ‘Oh crap‘ settle in on their faces despite Ji-won’s protests against going.
Ji-won tracks them down at the travel agency picking out a package, but she ushers them all the way home.
EPISODE 65 WEECAP
Ahn’s Art hits a snag – the broadcasting companies refuse to hire them ever since Yoo-sun went AWOL on set. Nae-sang pleads with his business partner for a project and forced to wait until a job comes in.
The following days pass without a hint of a lead, and the boredom settle in, almost driving them to the point of madness. So they resort to play childish games to break the monotony of waiting.
Ha-sun’s confession about the breakup leaves the teachers gobsmacked. Ji-seok catches up to her, his mind filled with questions but his mouth ends up talking about the weather. He mulls over his niece’s words when she tells him about a boy she likes, but he’s currently taken. Once they’re broken up, she’ll date him right away.
Which is exactly what happens once news breaks out that the boy’s single and they agree to date via text. Thus begins Soo-jung’s Dating Timer.
They meet up, giving each other cutesy nicknames like ‘wifey’ and ‘hubby’ (cameo by boy band member, Tae-min, from SHINee) and doing all the classic coupley activities, like taking selcas to show off their couple rings.
The honeymoon stage quickly blows over, however, when Soo-jung realizes that her new boyfriend is the clingy type, sending her texts every five seconds. He continues to work on her last nerve as the hours tick by. Though excessive, the dating routine works a little differently in Korea, where mutual interest can be gauged by how often they text each other in the beginning stages.
Amplify that with teen love and you’ve got a doomed Romeo & Juliet: The Epilogue.
They snipe at each other the next day, exasperated at each other’s blasé attitude. And as quickly as it started, they end their relationship just shy of 24 hours.
Nae-sang and Seung-yoon find a better way to spend their time, discovering that they can play duets of oldies. They entertain their family and friends with a medley of songs from famous duos like Twin Folio and Silver & Gold, to the more recent 10cm.
Ji-seok gathers the courage to buy concert tickets to a show Ha-sun might like, but hesitates when he spots Ha-sun curled up in her bed, still depressed.
Ji-seok criticizes his niece when he hears that her ‘fated love’ relationship has ended so soon, but Soo-jung tells him that confessing her feelings wasn’t easy but what matters is the fact that she said it at all. Her words about losing the person you care for because you didn’t tell them how you felt particularly resonates with him.
He rushes out and catches Ha-sun at the bus stop, showing her the concert tickets he bought earlier. But she’s on her way to meet some friends and regretfully hands them back over.
But Ji-seok runs up to the bus to shout out a few last words, “Next time I won’t be late! Next time!”
EPISODE 66 WEECAP
Yoo-sun grows increasingly frustrated at Kye-sang’s constant disinterest on attending blind dates, wondering if there could ever be a woman to tie him down. So she’s pleasantly surprised when she discovers that Ha-sun enjoys delicate hobbies like drinking tea and baking, commenting how lucky her boyfriend is.
But Ha-sun tells her she’s single now, and the gears start turning in Yoo-sun’s mind. She employs her kids to help Ha-sun and Kye-sang get together, who jump on board at the sound of an allowance.
It’s no surprise that both parties are stunned at the news, hesitant about being set up together. Yoo-sun and the kids drop a few white lies to nudge them, and they reluctantly agree to meet.
Nae-sang decides to be more proactive about obtaining future projects, since they’re always on the losing end when a job flops. But another task comes in and Nae-sang jumps at the chance to sign up foreign actors.
Hiring foreigners require drawing up contracts which can wipe out their entire budget. But Nae-sang isn’t deterred, assured in the possibility of finding the next Daniel Henney. They dwindle their candidates down to three, formally signing them into Ahn’s Art.
Jin-hee rushes to tell Ji-seok about the date as soon as she finds out. She berates his passive attitude, telling him it’s his last chance to do something should things work out between Ha-sun and Kye-sang.
Speaking of whom, the two are on their awkward date, trying to influence the other to end the date early with Kye-sang rolling out all the corny jokes he knows and Ha-sun awkwardly dancing. The tension finally breaks when Ha-sun asks if he’s trying to turn her off and mutually laugh over the things they prepared to do so.
Ji-seok and Jin-hee hurry to crash the date, the latter more flushed about the entire situation. Ji-seok points out her worked-up reaction, asking if Jin-hee’s interested in his brother to which she denies, telling him she’s trying to help Ji-seok. When they arrive, they miss the other two who’ve already stepped out for drinks.
They head to the nearest pojangmacha, drowning their sorrows in soju. A drunk Ji-seok demands that Kye-sang leave for Rwanda whilst Jin-hee fights back tears in the dark. Even though the date mutually ended without any romantic interest, the others’ reactions are still a little heartbreaking.
The problem with the new actors is that none of them can speak English. Nae-sang screams into the phone: “I thought that everyone who’s blond-haired and blue-eyed knew English!” Seung-yoon suggests teaching them how to speak it instead.
Yet despite all the English lessons, the newbies have a hard time mastering the language saying, “I’m ongry” versus “I’m hungry” and Nae-sang uses them as extras, instructing them to keep their face hidden from the camera.
EPISODE 67 WEECAP
Ha-sun and Ji-won help out as bridesmaids for a fellow teacher’s bridal photo shoot. Ji-seok drops by to deliver some snacks and Ha-sun’s phone, and is left awestruck seeing her in a pretty dress.
Both Ha-sun and Ji-sun end up having one too many drinks at dinner afterwards. It’s past midnight and Ha-sun drunkenly notes that it’s the last day of 2011, taking out her pent-up frustration by downing the rest of her glass.
Needless to say that Ji-seok is left to make sure the ladies return home safely. He watches Ha-sun sleep, entranced, and gently puts a hand to her cheek with a smile.
Ha-sun notices that her wallet is missing the following morning and Ji-seok offers to help retrace their steps to find it. He wonders if someone swiped the wallet while Ha-sun was knocked out, asking to review the recorded video from the previous night.
Ji-seok assures her that they’ll find the wallet thief when it dawns on him – if they see the tape, she’ll see him look at her lovingly which means she’ll find out about his feelings. Panicked, he suggests they give up on finding the wallet, offering to buy another one for her. When she declines, he says there’s a saying that one isn’t supposed to search for something already lost. She asks who said it and he blubbers, “Some famous person!”
He keeps insisting, and I hope that there isn’t some sort of sentimental value attached to the wallet, but there is, as it was given to her by her father. In a last-ditch effort, he lies that he stole it himself, much to her disbelief. But Ha-sun receives a call from the restaurant informing her that they’ve caught the thief on film.
Ji-seok rushes back to the restaurant before Ha-sun arrives. They review the tape, which records the theft and Ji-seok frantically tries to hide the video from Ha-sun’s view. He starts to sweat bullets as he sees himself drape his jacket over Ha-sun, the moment of truth about to reveal itself… then a drunkard appears in front of the camera, hiding the evidence of the crucial moment.
Nae-sang draws up a huge kite so everyone can write down their New Year wishes. Nae-sang wishes for everyone’s health, Jong-seok to do better in school (and in teeny writing ‘better than Ji-won’ heh), and Seung-yoon jots down ‘World Peace.’
Flying the kite turns out to be harder than initially thought, perhaps because of the kite’s enormous size, but Nae-sang continues to run around, determined to let their New Year wishes fly high into the sky.
Julien has been sulking for days, homesick for Texas. Jin-hee knocks on his door with rice cake soup, explaining that in Korea, you gain a year by eating it. She apologizes that she can’t make any homemade comfort food like he did for her last time, but he eats up nevertheless, grateful for her thoughtfulness.
Ji-seok offers to drive Ha-sun to her New Years Eve party, but the holiday traffic is a mess. There’s less than an hour left in 2011 and they reminisce on the past year’s memories. For Ji-seok, he says that this year was topped off by not telling someone something very important.
Ha-sun tells him there’s still time left to tell them, so he shouldn’t end this year left with any regrets.
We survey everyone spend their last few moments of 2011 together: The Ahns busy trying to fly a kite until it lifts into the sky, Kye-sang and Ji-won exchange New Years greetings with each other, and Ji-seok watches Ha-sun walk slowly away from him, then running to catch her.
As the New Year rings in, he finally utters the three simple words we’ve been dying for weeks to hear: “I like you.”
Oh you evil little elf, High Kick. What a cliffhanger this week for our character relationships. The obvious one here is the Ji-seok/Ha-sun loveline and I’m antsy to hear her answer. If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting the entire series for Ji-seok to finally scrounge up the courage to confess his feelings. A part of me hoped he would say it in the car with a few seconds left on the clock, but I find this outcome far more refreshing. If last year was a bit dismal, then why not start off the new one by making better memories? Please let it be Monday already.
However sad it may be, the Kye-sang/Ji-won loveline has jumped ship too, given Kye-sang’s slightly shocked reaction. Although if you’re going to be particularly nice to a teenage girl, you can’t really blame her for harboring feelings towards you. We’ve mentioned before that High Kick doesn’t necessarily like to dwell on initial pairings, and her small peck on his cheek to usher in the New Year was a delightfully nice touch to wrap up her romantic interest towards him. As I see it, even if he lets her down gently, Ji-won has nothing to lose by making her own New Year wish. Plus, I’m pushing for the more age-appropriate, bickering love-hate rapport she has with Jong-seok.
I wouldn’t dwell too much on the tears and small heartbreaking moments of Jin-hee coming to terms with her feelings towards Kye-sang and Jong-seok handing over his present with a deflated attitude. These emotions were masked for much of the storyline and they’re now in the open, readying itself for a new story arc.
Happy New Year High Kick! See you in 2012.
- High Kick 3: Episodes 59-62
- High Kick 3: Episodes 54-58
- High Kick 3: Episodes 49-53
- High Kick 3: Episodes 45-48
- High Kick 3: Episodes 40-44
- High Kick 3: Episodes 35-39
- High Kick 3: Episodes 30-34
- High Kick 3: Episodes 25-29
- High Kick 3: Episodes 22-24
- High Kick 3: Episodes 18-21
- High Kick 3: Episodes 14-17
- High Kick 3: Episodes 10-13
- High Kick 3: Episodes 5-9
- High Kick 3: Episodes 1-4