High Kick 3: Episodes 73-77
It’s a knockout week for High Kick with laughs, love, and life. How can a show leave me so content but demands that I have a box of tissues by my side? Seung-yoon seems to be the prominent character this week and he finally faces some serious identity issues of his own. Then there’s Ha-sun’s… I’ve said too much already.
SONG OF THE DAY
Taru – “쥐色 귀, 녹色 눈” (Gray ears, green eyes) [ Download ]
EPISODE 73 WEECAP
Can we call this episode ‘Death of the Kyeongsang Dialect?’
After Seung-yoon finishes serenading us on stage (swoon!), a fan approaches him asking if he’s doing anything later aka for a date. He tells her that he’s free and someone declares “Cut!” The camera pulls back to reveal the disgruntled staff and director who berate him for speaking in his country dialect.
Seung-yoon hates that he’s ordered to change his speech to talk like a Seoulite since Korea is made up of more than just Seoul. If it were up to him, he’d create a network that would strictly speak in the Kyeongsang dialect. In his head, he imagines a newsgirl reporting the weather in that accent. I feel like we’ve seen this before. But Nae-sang demands that he change it, pulling in Soo-jung to help.
She’s a harsh instructor, drilling him in his intonation and pitch (such as using “-ni” in Seoul instead of “-no,” which makes him shake in horror).
Kye-sang offers a ride to a Ha-sun when he sees her on his way home. She’s drunk and tired, but declines when Kye-sang suggests she nap in the car. His “just kidding!” catchphrase prompts her to ask about his humorous nature. So he tells her that he’s more playful when it will elicit a bigger reaction in the other person.
The next morning, Ha-sun groans when she hears that Kye-sang carried her home and recalls making cat noises in the car. She meets him on her way to work and apologizes for her behavior last night. Scurrying away to save herself from any further embarrassment, she suddenly slips on an ice patch, splitting her pants and runs back home, mortified.
The news that Ha-sun will be running late spikes Ji-sun’s radar again – how come Julien is so well informed? Music Teacher Yoon tries to grab her attention about their living arrangement, but she shuts him out before he gets the chance.
Ha-sun meets with Kye-sang alone after he nearly spills about an ‘entertaining, embarrassing story’, asking him to keep the morning’s incident under wraps. He complies (and assures her that he was referring to a different story), but wonders about how someone so demure could have such exaggerated reactions, even purposely prodding her to prove his point.
Seung-yoon successfully perfects the Seoul dialect with Soo-jung’s method of matching his spoken pitch with musical pitch since his accent isn’t present when he sings. He gets an earful, however, when his noona calls – she’s horrified to hear that he’s on his way to becoming a Seoulite. She hangs up in a huff, and poor, confused Seung-yoon slumps into the couch, dejected.
His flawless delivery at the following shoot earns him praise from both the staff and Nae-sang. He catches his reflection in the bathroom mirror and scolds himself for betraying his upbringing… then realizes that now he’s thinking in the Seoul dialect and scruffs up his hair in frustration.
He comes home tipsy later that evening, perplexed about who he is. Alternating between city and country dialects with Nae-sang and Jong-seok respectively, he sighs that he’s neither from Seoul nor from Kyeongsang before falling into his buddy’s lap.
Lee Juck narrates that Kye-sang continues to push Ha-sun’s buttons, finding the temptation to see her go from proper to crazed in a split second totally irresistible (His constant egging ends up with her smashing kimchi paste into his mouth. Serves him right).
At school, Music Teacher Yoon confronts Ha-sun about the living arrangement, but before he can utter “Jul—” she sends him flying out the window… of the second story.
EPISODE 74 WEECAP
Ji-seok helps out with Ha-sun’s flat tire at school which tugs at her guilt strings again. It’s only made worse at home when Jin-hee criticizes a TV character for playing on a guy’s heart, asking him for a helping hand when she doesn’t feel anything for him. She adds that it’s better off cutting ties cleanly to avoid further heartbreak.
By a moment of serendipity, Ha-sun spots the scammer ajusshi who conned her out of Julien’s housing deposit on the street, but loses him at the last moment.
Ha-sun decides to plan a stakeout to corner the swindler. Ji-seok warns her of the danger of pursuing the man by herself, offering his help. She declines his insistence, telling him he needn’t bother since Julien will be accompanying her. A little hurt, he asks if she finds him burdensome, and she stays silent, unable to tell him that she doesn’t want to take advantage of him.
Ji-won is plenty excited when Kye-sang invites her to see his friend’s art exhibition together the next evening. She dresses up, borrowing Ha-sun’s clothes and heels, in order to look older in front of Kye-sang’s friends. The heels cause her grief, but she slaps on a brave face throughout the night.
Meanwhile, Jong-seok stares at a pair of sneakers gifted to him by Seung-yoon and recalls that Ji-won recently tore her old pair. So when she comes by to study earlier than usual, he sneaks outside to draw an outline on his shoe sole to measure her shoe size. Too cute.
He goes to the store to exchange the sneakers and lifts up his own shoe to show the sales associate the appropriate shoe size. Hehe, how adorable.
The first all-night stakeout turns up nothing and Ha-sun returns the next day, this time by herself. Preoccupied with Ji-seok worrying over again that morning, she hilariously mistakes a stranger for him, thinking that he followed to keep an eye on her. Fiddling with her phone, she wonders in silence how Ji-seok hasn’t called to check in with her.
Conman Ajusshi finally shows his face and upon recognizing Ha-sun, makes a run for it. He’s chased down the street until he realizes that she’s alone versus him and his men. She confronts him about the deposit, her words no weight against four grown men. Her henchman start to drag her towards the car but out of nowhere, Mr. Piggy comes to her rescue.
He stands his ground pretty well delivering some punches and kicks but not without suffering some blows himself. The scoundrels drive off, and Ha-sun pulls at Mr. Piggy’s headpiece, knowing full well that it’s Ji-seok.
Mr. Piggy shakes his head, running off with a slight limp. When he’s out of sight, however, he removes it, revealing Ji-seok indeed. Soon afterwards, he receive a text from Ha-sun that says she’s grateful but prefers that he doesn’t bend over backwards for her anymore.
Kye-sang’s friends invite him out to Round 2 to a wine bar and Ji-won asks if she can tag along, saying it would be a waste to dress up for a few short hours. Kye-sang registers a deeper sentiment behind her words and tells her gently that although she looks very pretty tonight, the clothes would look prettier when she’s 20 (aka an adult). He adds that for now, her school uniform fits her best.
Jong-seok runs into Ji-won on the street, jokingly calling her short legs. She suddenly cries out in pain over her heels and he kneels down to help. Jong-seok scolds her for wearing shoes that don’t suit her and slips on the new sneakers instead.
She sighs, saying that she’d like to become an adult soon. Suddenly she gets up and starts running to turn 20 faster and a confused Jong-seok chases after her.
Ha-sun runs into car trouble and left stuck on the road. She imagines a worried Ji-seok coming for her and waits outside, thinking that he’ll be taking the same road. But she waits for hours until Teacher Yoon arrives – that is, a bus named, ‘Teacher Yoon Math Classroom.’
EPISODE 75 WEECAP
Kye-sang is enjoying lunch with a friend when he overhears the manager arguing with a woman who can’t pay for her bill. So he steps in to pick up her (expensive!) tab.
The woman (cameo by Shin Se-kyung) is grateful for the gesture. She’s immigrating to Taiwan soon with her father, who left to attend to some business, and her money was swiped. Seeing as she doesn’t have a place to stay, Kye-sang opens up their home to her.
The Ahn/Yoon household has no qualms about the situation, apart from princess Soo-jung who gripes at first, but comes ’round when she hears that Se-kyung has no one else to turn to. Seung-yoon compliments how pretty she is, busting out in spontaneous song that carries a slightly gloomy tone.
Se-kyung offers to help around the house in exchange for giving a roof over her head. She finds herself sometimes too helpful at times, like preparing breakfast or delivering soup to the clinic. In a particular instance, she waves to Nae-sang, shouting that she washed his underwear so he doesn’t have to go commando anymore. HA.
Ji-won tries out a new method to help Jong-seok memorize English vocab by playing a game. The person who answers first gets to bop the other on the head. He’s confident in at least two, but ends up getting creamed anyway.
Kye-sang learns that Se-kyung has dropped out of school. In his concern, he reels her in to sit in Ji-won’s tutoring sessions. Se-kyung teaches them some nonsense phrases to help Jong-seok remember which words are important, but Ji-won’s narcolepsy kicks in and Jong-seok watches her sleep with a smile on his face. Cute cute cute.
A tumble down the stairs sends Se-kyung to check out her injury at the dentist. She runs into Kye-sang on her way there and he buys her a scarf so she stays warm. Touched, a lone tear runs down her face in the chair and when asked, she says, “I’m so relieved that I don’t have to pull [the tooth] out.”
Jong-seok is amazed at Kye-sang’s wealth of knowledge, so he asks about his study methods. Kye-sang says it’s simple: memorization is easier if you find it interesting. So at Julien’s English study group, the students ask him questions.
He stammers at first, but gains a foothold when they ask about a girl he might like. He tells them about how a girl who makes his heart flutter – he’s concerned about her narcolepsy and wants to take care of her. It’s absolutely adorable – a gold star for your work today.
Some days later, Kye-sang gives Se-kyung a ride to her destination. It’s raining and Se-kyung looks out the window wistfully, reflecting on how this moment seems like yesterday, or some time ago, and adds, “I wish [it] would stop…” Kye-sang asks what and she says, “…my motion sickness…” and ready to hurl in the car. LOL. And just when you thought we steered clear of the High Kick 2 meta-reference, a truck approaches them from the opposite direction…
And we see a tragic car crash. On TV, of course – our two characters are safe and Kye-sang gives her some water to prevent her from upchucking in his car.
At the harbor, she promises to keep in touch to repay his blessings and graciousness. A month later, Kye-sang receives a letter from Se-kyung, telling him that she and her family are doing well, she’s studying hard, and hopes that one day she’ll return to Korea.
EPISODE 76 WEECAP
Soo-jung excitedly runs in to tell her mother about an upcoming family badminton tournament; the grand prize is a family ski trip. Yoo-sun suggests teaming up with her oppa – he was a star athlete after all, and Jong-seok puffs up, confident in everything sports-related.
Too bad that Soo-jung switches him out with Ji-seok later which leaves Jong-seok enraged – he’s already bragged about his abilities around town. When his family asks to whom, he leaves out Ji-won’s name. He calls for a try-out so that the better man can play for their family.
Jin-hee is sent around town to run errands for the clinic. Suddenly, an old man reaches to grab a snack out which she gripes about. He calls her ugly, stealing the entire bag after asking for one, and yells at her when she talks back at him.
She spots the same elderly man wandering around the streets a little while later. He calls her ‘kiddo’ much to her displeasure (although I think the bunny earmuffs given by Kye-sang DO make her look younger). She tries to help him find his way back home “ooovverrr therrree.” With a poor memory and giving irrelevant answers to Jin-hee’s questions, she grows tiresome and leaves in a huff.
But she remembers how cold it is outside and worries that he might get sick. So she hurries to find him and wraps her scarf and earmuffs around his ears, promising him to bring him back home safely. Taking her hand in his, they set out together.
Ji-seok the pro, but he’s disinterested in winning against his nephew and getting in between the family’s argument. The problem is that Nae-sang is a biased judge, calling fouls against Jong-seok even though Ji-seok says otherwise. In the end, Ji-seok wins and the family flocks to his side. Betrayed and furious, Jong-seok stomps out of the gym.
Seeing his family’s team uniforms sends him over the edge and hotheadedly declares that he’ll compete against them with Ji-won. Nae-sang argues that he’s an Ahn to which he retorts that he’ll just change his residency. He follows through, and an irate Nae-sang tells Seung-yoon to relay that Jong-seok is barred from stepping one foot in the house.
The elderly man stumbles into an abandoned house and Jin-hee tells him he can’t just walk in anywhere. Kye-sang discovers them there a short time later. He tells her that the man is a dementia patient and figured that he might find him at his former residence. Jin-hee says that this place must hold special and happy memories for him, seeing that he came back here. Though it’s the dead of winter, they sweetly join him digging the earth, the reason to grow his son’s favorite food.
However, they learn from his caretaker that his son died 3 years prior in a car crash, but continues to hold on to his son’s memory. He steps out to return the earmuffs, but Jin-hee tells him to keep them. Animated, he exclaims, “You’re the prettiest in the world!” which makes her blush until he adds, “Not you… the earmuffs.” Pfffft.
He gives her a few seeds to plant, instructing her to take good care of them, and waves goodbye.
Tournament Day. The Ahns sneer at their rivals, calling their traitorous son, “Kim Jong-seok.” Their teams, “Ahn & Yoon,” and “Long Legs & Short Legs” face off in the semi-finals (Ha, and I love it how Seung-yoon calls after Jong-seok longingly but Nae-sang pulls him back). They’re close for the majority of the match and it’s down to match point. An impressive strike hits Soo-jung square on the forehead, securing the win for his team.
He revels in celebration (a little too much) which gets him effectively thrown out of the house. He waves his change of residency form like a white flag of surrender and kisses the ground when they finally let him back in a week later.
At the clinic, Jin-hee calls Kye-sang over when the seeds start to sprout. They look at the budding shoot lovingly, and like any parent, hope that it will grow strong and healthy.
EPISODE 77 WEECAP
One of Kye-sang’s patients turns out to be a boxing gym director. Since he can’t pay for the medical fees, he offers Kye-sang and his family to come work out at his gym anytime. Kye-sang invites Jin-hee to spar with him during lunch, giving her a chance to release any stress she might harbor against him. Yeah if by stress, you mean adoring crush.
He gives her some pointers, but she’s too entranced and distracted, and goes down in one punch. She laughs like a fool which makes him wonder if he hit her too hard.
Seung-yoon lavishes the Ahns with gifts and sweets after he visits his hometown. They’re reeled in shock with such expensive gifts and Nae-sang wonders if it’s okay to keep accepting these gifts – if he could afford all of these valuables, he must really hail from a rich family. Yoo-sun dismisses it, trying out her new mink shawl, saying that even Seung-yoon said they were things lying around the house.
They receive an unexpected visitor however – it’s Seung-yoon’s mom who is appalled that the family have accepted such gifts from her son. Her bewilderment escalates with every gift that she sees from the shawl to the sweets.
She explains that Seung-yoon is different from other children (and Yoo-sun starts to confirm how strange he is but Nae-sang hushes her). His altruistic nature caused problems since he was a babe – he would give his bottle over to another crying baby, do all of his classmates’ work, and nearly brought down the house (literally).
She’s worried that people will continue to take advantage of his giving heart and Yoo-sun immediately apologizes. Seung-yoon’s mother takes back the mink shawl (to Yoo-sun’s hesitation) and leaves.
Soo-jung continues on her immature rampage, from picking out the olives on her pizza to the poor boxing instructor. She sternly explains that she likes hitting, but hates getting hit. So every time the instructor lightly taps her helmet, she punches him back tenfold.
Ji-won and Jong-seok take a turn at the boxing rings for themselves with Jong-seok flexing his emcee muscles. Ji-won protests at her poor record (1 win and 8 losses, all K.O. keh) and objects at his perfect win record.
The results show Jong-seok to be the ultimate victor and she calls for a rematch. Jong-seok narrates how her punches fail to score any points, which bubbles her anger further. She sends him down with a light punch. She’s surprised and adorably, he quips if she isn’t going to start the countdown and then passes out again. She counts to 9 before he gets back up, much to her annoyance.
He calls out the results again which declares him champion again. Ji-won argues that she didn’t fully go down for the count whereas he did. On the verge of tears now, Jong-seok narrates that the results were incorrect (twice) and announces Ji-won as the champ. She addresses the invisible crowd in quick thanks, and then slugs Jong-seok in the gut.
Ji-won gets chased out of the ring, but they both get caught in the ropes and Jong-seok topples on top of her. Both reacting to the close proximity, he bolts up, coughing the tension away.
Seung-yoon is stunned to hear that his mother dropped by and took back the gifts he brought. Arguing that his family usually doesn’t react that way, he calls home to confirm. Determined to bring it back, he gets up to leave straightaway to Yoo-sun’s half protests.
The next day, she overhears Jong-seok speaking with Seung-yoon on the phone. Thinking that he must be close by, she uses the laundry as an excuse to delay leaving the house. On the veranda, she pulls out a pair of binoculars to scan the neighborhood until she sees it – a large bag that could be holding her precious mink shawl.
Something must be said about a series that can make me ache for the next episode but the same time, leave me perfectly content with just 20 minutes.
My heart broke when Seung-yoon had to give up his Kyeongsang dialect. I’d gotten so used to it for months that I found it oddly strange to hear him speak in the Seoul dialect. I know that Kang Seung-yoon hails from Busan, so playing a character from that region isn’t necessarily a far stretch for him. To his credit, he brings up a good point about how Korea isn’t just all Seoul (even if it’s the majority of what we see in Kdramas, and even then you particularly only see certain places like Kangnam and the Han River. Maybe too much of the Han River) and there’s perfect credibility in showing off different regional dialects. They all make up Korea.
However, the reality is that the Seoul (or standardized depending on whom you speak with) dialect is what directs written Korean, and what’s taught in classrooms. Because it is in mainstream media, it’s the easiest to understand, whereas the Kyeongsang dialect with its varied pitches and intonations make it particularly unique and carries its own charms. Personally, I love the Kyeongsang dialect – a lot of the Kpop stars and actors whom I love are all from that region. So here I thought we’d see the end of it. Thankfully, that was not the case.
Ji-won is another shining star this week. After we discovered more of her backstory last week, I thought there wouldn’t be anything left to tug at our hearts. It’s obvious she still harbors feelings for Kye-sang and attempts to fit in with her friends, to act older, to be seen as a woman than just a little kid. It’s completely understandable – who hadn’t wished they were just a little older, to be seen more like an adult.
I think the series did a splendid job here of portraying that through her shoes – her adult high heels (Kye-sang) versus her sneakers (Jong-seok). They take on a double meaning – they’re not her shoes, but they don’t fit her either, at least, not yet. I’d like to interpret that the sneakers fit her at present because she’s still young and has time to enjoy her youth – it’s comfortable, and you grow into them whereas heels, let’s face it, cause you pain, much like how adult life does or I guess you can call it the “real world.”
Perhaps Kye-sang still wants to protect her youth – to not rush into wanting to grow up so quickly. Compare that with Soo-jung on the other extreme, who absolutely refuses to mature. Ji-won, you’ve already suffered through so much already – enjoy what you’ve got. You’ve got so much of life ahead of you.
- High Kick 3: Episodes 68-72
- High Kick 3: Episodes 63-67
- 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