High Kick 3: Episodes 100-104
Aw, with just under a month left, High Kick 3 starts wrapping up some of its storylines, leading its characters into confronting feelings, making honest confessions, and dealing with that pesky reality that keeps threatening to horn in on all the fun. But that’s life for ya; always moving on into the scary unknown, despite your desire to settle back and stay awhile in the comfortable, feel-good moments.
SONG OF THE DAY
Tim – “그래주겠니” (Can you do that for me) [ Download ]
EPISODE 100 WEECAP
With the relationship now out in the open, students tease Ha-sun about dating Ji-seok. The rowdier boys refuse to settle down and disrupt class with their taunting, making Ha-sun feel particularly powerless. Especially with Ji-sun taking advantage of her niceness to dump another duty into her lap unfairly.
Upset at being taken for a pushover, Ha-sun decides to toughen up her persona. Soo-jung finds her googling ways to command more authority and tells her to switch up her entire image, going “Black Ha-sun” on the offenders.
Yoo-sun hears through the grapevine that a friend, Jung-mi, has taken up a monk’s lifestyle, prompted by turbulent times in her life. It’s a huge shock, and Yoo-sun visits her at the temple.
Jung-mi explains that she’d visited the temple to ask a question, and couldn’t find the answer. It’s an answer she still seeks, and she asks it to Yoo-sun now: Who are you?
The question sticks with Yoo-sun, who falls into a funk and mulls it over as she goes through her daily chores. Is she a mother? Caregiver? Ajumma? In every social interaction, she wonders if this is the sum of her existence — who is Yoon Yoo-sun?
Yoo-sun writes to Jung-mi describing her existential crisis: she hasn’t been able to shake the question, and even takes up calligraphy class, where she finds herself writing over and over, “Who am I?” While out one day, she stumbles across a dance studio and looks curiously inside.
Ha-sun takes Soo-jung’s advice and reinvents herself as Black Ha-sun, layering on the makeup and dressing herself in studded leather. Um, I’m not sure this is the kind of disciplinarian she wants to invoke; the end product is one ball-gag away from an S&M fantasy.
The troublemakers continue to tease her in class, but today she’s brooking no quarter and demands obedience. Ha-sun starts to get a rush from the newfound respect and conducts her lesson with full-on crazy eyes, reading classical poetry in her stilted madwoman voice. (I do love that she breaks from character long enough to give Ji-seok a sunny smile, though, before turning the crazy dial back up.)
She keeps up the persona when they go out on a date, which almost leads to a parking-garage brawl. Ji-seok just barely gets her to calm down by holding her back.
The next day, Ha-sun dresses similarly, and although Ji-seok has been quietly supportive, this time he intervenes to tell her the truth. The kids haven’t been obeying out of fear; they’ve actually found her shtick hilarious, and have been laughing behind her back.
Ha-sun is crushed, but accepts the truth and reclaims her usual, unassuming look. Ji-seok gives her an adorable thumbs-up, cheering her up a tiny bit.
At the temple, Jung-mi receives another letter from Yoo-sun, which describes how she’s slowly finding herself. Yoo-sun describes their identities as like water, always changing forms even if they’re the same person, going from wife to mother. And for right now, this moment, Yoo-sun’s the samba lady.
EPISODE 101 WEECAP
Existential crisis apparently behind her, Yoo-sun resumes her food blog, and has decided to sell frying pans on it. This time she’s made sure the product is legit, and Seung-yoon helps set it up. (I love this puppy-dog relationship, ever since Yoo-sun got over her distaste of his eccentric ways and adopted him as her personal mascot. So cute.)
Too bad no orders come in. Jong-seok advises that she needs an angle to drum up interest and drive people to the site. So when Ji-seok mentions that Ha-sun is addicted to a drama, The Moon That Hits the Sun (HA! Sometimes I wish, I really do), she wonders if Nae-sang would be able to score access to scripts, so she can post spoilers on her blog and attract readers. Oh, this sounds like a bad idea in the making…
Next door, Jin-hee asks for to borrow a small amount of spending money, which leads to the explanation of how that expensive dinner with Lee Juck really set her back when he ditched her midway through. The girls are incensed over his bad manners — he picked an expensive place, which Jin-hee clearly couldn’t afford, then foisted the tab onto her?
Jin-hee doesn’t want to turn it into a big deal, saying that he did send her money later; it just fell short of the total. Ha-sun suggests payback, eye-for-an-eye style.
Lee Juck is pleased to take Jin-hee’s call, thinking she likes him, and agrees to dinner. It buoys his spirits, after having gone on a dispiriting date with a gold-digging girl who just wanted him to buy her expensive things.
While watching Moon Hits Sun, Yoo-sun notices that one of the actors looks a lot like Nae-sang (ha for meta). Nae-sang explains that it’s his hometown hoobae, Sang-deuk, with whom he always got mistaken for twins.
At Yoo-sun’s suggestion, Nae-sang contacts Sang-deuk and visits him at the broadcast station to catch up on old times. He prods for a few spoilers, saying his wife is a huge fan, and promises not to tell anybody else.
Yoo-sun posts it on her blog immediately, attracting so much attention that it becomes a top-rated search and sends the production into a panic. But on the upside, Yoo-sun’s selling lots and lots of frying pans.
Lee Juck is surprised when his “date” with Jin-hee is crashed by the other girls, who awkwardly shoehorn themselves in and ask if they can order the most expensive dishes. Disillusioned once again, he thinks to himself that Jin-hee’s just like the rest, only interested in the rich doctor who’ll buy her things. He thinks pessimistically, “Love doesn’t exist in this world.”
The girls aren’t exactly comfortable playing this role but they do it for Jin-hee’s sake, and Lee Juck ends up drinking the night away bitterly. When Soo-jung asks for allowance money, he tosses her the contents of his wallet, saying that clearly they only see him as money.
That gets the girls feeling guilty, and Ha-sun follows him out to apologize. She explains that it was her idea and promises to treat him next time, assuring him that nobody sees him as money. It was just misguided loyalty.
As he walks home, he gets sick from all the wine and vomits in the street, just as Jin-hee passes by. She pats his back comfortingly while he has his sick spell.
Nae-sang returns to the station with a peace offering for Sang-deuk, which is an excuse for him to sneak another look at the script. Sang-deuk has been identified as the leak for the spoiler and is thoroughly put out, so he snatches the script away and tells Nae-sang to watch the show if he wants to know so badly.
So Nae-sang shoves him over and steals the script, running through the hallway. Sang-deuk manages to tackle him, but Nae-sang hurriedly reads the pages quickly, to get as much information as possible, and reports to Yoo-sun the dramatic turn the show takes: the princess, who falls victim to a spell and fake-dies from that medicine, turns out to be a man and becomes a general. Shocker!
Lee Juck drops by the Yoon house with Kye-sang, and finds himself dragged off by Soo-jung. He assumes she’s going to hit him up for more, but surprisingly, she returns the cash he’d tossed at her — she may pester adults for allowance money, but she’s no thief, yunno.
As he leaves the house, Soo-jung, Jin-hee, and Ha-sun send him off with a sunny goodbye, cheering him up now that the misunderstanding has been cleared up. His future self narrates that during it was during this cold winter that “I felt the first instance of warmth from my wife.”
EPISODE 102 WEECAP
Ji-seok and Ha-sun flip through albums for a photo of each other to claim for their wallets, and he sees pictures from her trip to Thailand. She remembers it fondly, smacking her lips in particular at the memory of atemoya, a delicious fruit she ate there.
It actually makes him mumble to himself, “Should we go to Thailand for our honeymoon?” which gets a little squeal from me. But he covers it up, brushing the comment aside when she asks about it. It’s pretty adorable how they show off their photos to each other, though.
While parallel parking in front of the house, Nae-sang accidentally scratches the bumper of another car. He insists that the scratch was probably there already and Yoo-sun is willing to let the issue drop, but Jong-seok overhears the conversation, which pings his conscience.
So when sees the car’s owner angrily examining his new scratch, he feels bad and speaks up. The man drops by the house and the parents have no choice but to offer compensation for the repair, which puts them out a large chunk of cash.
Nae-sang says Jong-seok did the right thing, but the parents sigh at the expense — they can’t exactly urge their child to be dishonest, but it’s clear they’d have been willing to bend the rules this time. This means the family has to tighten their belts to make up for the repair fee, and Soo-jung blames oppa for their meager breakfast table. Jong-seok is taken aback — he did the right thing, didn’t he? What was he supposed to do?
Ji-seok accidentally saves his class plans as a blank file, and is told by the principal to redo them by tomorrow. He’ll have to stay up all night redoing the work, and Ha-sun surprises him with a late-night snack, ready to spend the night at his side. Long into the night, they sit side by side, in their sorta-matching jackets and matching couple rings, until finally he’s done.
As they pack up to go home, he hears the radio DJ mention a meteor shower and suggests that they watch it together. But after waiting for some time, they see no falling star and give up — but not before Ha-sun sneezes, which makes Ji-seok apologetic for subjecting her to the cold. She teasingly tells him to pluck a star for her to make it up to her, and he fervently promises.
Clearly it’s an impossible task, but Ji-seok the Stalwart stays up late researching ways to make the metaphor literal, calling astrology bureaus and asking whether NASA sells bits of meteors. He’s so sweet, it kills me — or it would, if Ha-sun were unappreciative. Thankfully, she’s just as sweet, which makes the pairing so awesome.
Ha-sun calls in sick, though, and Ji-seok races to her bedside to apologize, feeling guilty. She’s unable to eat anything, which makes him think of the Thai fruit she loved. Immediately he gets on the phone to look up places to find atemoya, and books a flight that day for freakin’ Jeju Island.
He races to the supplier, buys two fruits, and runs right back to catch the next flight back. In his haste he runs headlong into a tree and falls over, literally seeing stars. As if that’s not enough, Ji-seok lies there in his daze imagining how happy Ha-sun would be if he gave her both an atemoya and a star, and fumbles in the air to pluck one. Awwww.
Nae-sang has another close call when Julien shows off his spiffy new camera and, as Julien steps away, the camera dial breaks. Yoo-sun urges him to put the camera down before he can be accused of breaking it, but Nae-sang sees Jong-seok step into the room and mumbles that no, they’ll just pay for a new camera. Mom insists it’s not his responsibility, but Nae-sang reminds her pointedly that Jong-seok is watching.
Thankfully it turns out that the dial isn’t broken after all, but Jong-seok feels disturbed at the way his family is reacting and drowns his sorrows in soju. He wonders to Seung-yoon, Why am I the bad guy in this? Didn’t he do the right thing? What does it mean to uphold justice?
Seung-yoon launches into an extended metaphor that starts with That’s why justice is hard and ends with I dunno what justice is. Ha, some help you are, square-earth boy.
As the family drives to a family gathering for which they’re late, Nae-sang runs a red light and gets pulled over. Nae-sang asks the officer for lenience, lying that his kid is sick. The officer looks over at the backseat, and Jong-seok makes a split-second decision… and doubles over moaning, grabbing his stomach.
The cop lets them off with a warning and the family congratulates Jong-seok for his fast thinking, happy to take this stroke of good luck. But Jong-seok remains perturbed, and writes into the window, What is justice?
EPISODE 103 WEECAP
Ji-won tags along on one of Kye-sang’s house calls, and they play a word game along the way, asking and answering questions in five syllables.
During the call, Kye-sang tells his patient that a new doctor will take his place soon, which is news to her. She hadn’t realized he’d fixed his plans for Rwanda — next month — and is dismayed to hear it.
Seung-yoon can’t buy Soo-jung anything to eat today because he’s lal out of cash, having spent his entire allowance on his friend’s birthday. She’s incensed for him — it’s protocol for the birthday guest to pay for his party, not for a guest — and insists on taking the money back, saying that everybody takes advantage of his generosity. It’s a rather pot-kettle argument even if her point is valid, and she declares herself his new money manager, for his own good.
Jong-seok says she’s just lying again so she can use all the money herself, but good-natured Seung-yoon goes along with it, even if it does require filling out tedious paperwork requesting funds. She declines the frivolous ones, like how he wants to buy 100 sweet buns from the food-cart lady just because he feels sorry for him. (She gives him money for two, and no more.)
Ji-won asks to meet Kye-sang in the tunnel, and essentially confesses that she likes him. It’s in a roundabout way — she asks how she’s supposed to get over her feelings — but he understands the subtext right away. She prevents him from answering and says that since she’s told him how she feels, she’ll work out how to get over the feelings.
She asks him for a snow day, though, even insisting on skipping school tomorrow to go with him. He tries to decline, but she’s in her stubborn mode and he reluctantly agrees to the request.
So the next day, they head off together for the mountains. JI-won keeps up a cheery face, but every so often Kye-sang watches her with that serious adult look on his face, heavy-hearted.
They have their fun playing, making snowmen and having snowfights, and Ji-won thanks him on their drive back. She likens their day to
time spent in a different world, and now it’s time to go back to reality. As he drops her off, he refers to her previous question about how to get over her feelings. He hands her a letter, telling her that his answer is inside.
Soo-jung gets an invitation to a party and looks for something to wear. She eyes Seung-yoon’s cash and decides that if she returns the clothes tomorrow, it’ll be just like a bank investing your money when you take out a loan. Too bad the white dress gets smeared with something chocolatey, ruining it and making a refund impossible. Soo-jung fends off Seung-yoon’s new requests for access to his money — he doesn’t need a toothbrush when he as his finger, and if she kicks his leg surely his headache won’t be as noticeable — but worries over what to do.
Jong-seok cynically predicts that Soo-jung spent all Seung-yoon’s money, and she protests while thinking up ways to deal with this problem. Finally she solves it the old-fashioned way: work. It takes back-to-back jobs to scrape up the cash, but when Seung-yoon asks for his money and tells her he’d better take control of his own finances, she has the money to return.
As she lays there exhausted, Soo-jung offers Seung-yoon some hard-earned advice: that it takes a lot to earn something that gets spent in seconds. She falls asleep mumbling about how she should spend mom and dad’s money carefully.
And Ji-won, who spends days contemplating Kye-sang’s unopened letter, not wanting to confirm her suspicions, finally burns it.
EPISODE 104 WEECAP
Nae-sang and Yoo-sun go out to dinner with other couples, and Yoo-sun notes how the other husbands dote on their wives. Nae-sang, on the other hand, not only ignores her but practically treats her like a servant.
She goes home feeling peevish, leading to an argument about how he takes her for granted. In his typical childish way, Nae-sang says that if she’s so intent on being treated like a queen, he’ll treat her like a queen all right. This entails lots of sarcastic sageuk-speak, addressing Yoo-sun as Her Highness and making a big show of serving her.
Yoo-sun’s so annoyed that she goes with it, and they egg each other on with their immaturity, neither of them willing to back down.
Ji-won is feeling melancholy over Kye-sang’s letter, and Jong-seok clues into her recent gloominess. She waves it aside, but he urges her to talk about it, instead of bottling it up.
Ji-won requests a favor of Kye-sang, and he reacts to her upbeat attitude with a sad resignation. He tries to decline, but she keeps pressing him to go to the amusement park with her, and finally he relents.
They go on zoo tours and roller coasters and have a fun time, but Kye-sang finally asks why Ji-won never read his letter, guessing from her behavior. She answers that she can guess at his answer, but asks him why it was a rejection — she can tell it must have been a rejection.
Ji-won says that her reason for liking him wasn’t because of his looks or anything like that — it’s because he happened to be with her during her hardest moments. And when he facing some tough moments of his own, she happened to be there for him, too.
Kye-sang doesn’t reply, and she asks if she’s wrong about this.
The spousal battle rages on, and Nae-sang brings home a queen costume from the station to goad Yoo-sun on. She refuses to let him have the last word and dons the costume, insisting she looooves it, and decides to wear it to another couples’ dinner with Nae-sang’s friends.
He takes the challenge and orders a special car to take them — er, carriage. Yoo-sun calls his bluff and agrees to ride the horse-drawn buggy to the dinner, only by this point they’re both faltering a little, though not enough to back down. In they go.
But the sight of a carriage in the busy streets of Seoul is no usual thing, and they attract lots of curious bystander gazes and laughing comments. They both inwardly die of embarrassment inwardly but stick to their guns… until neither can take it anymore. They break at the exact same moment and order the carriage back.
Jong-seok drops by while Ji-won packs for a short trip and asks her again whether she’s really okay. She brushes off his concern, but finds him waiting for her the next morning with his own packed back, ready to join her.
Ji-won turns him down, saying she’s going for more than one day, so he accepts her choice and hands over a snack for the road, and a hot pack.
She takes a bus ride to the sea and thinks things over as she starts snapping photos… like Kye-sang’s reaction… and how she said he was always with her in her difficult moments… and how she wondered if she was wrong about that. As she unpacks Jong-seok’s snack, perhaps it dawns on her that there was somebody else with her in those difficult moments…
And sure enough, when she disembarks from the bus on her way home, Jong-seok is there at the stop, waiting for her. He plays it off casually, saying that he figured she’d be coming back tonight since they have school tomorrow, but she sees his chapped hands from the cold and guesses that he’s been waiting for hours. So as they walk along, she asks him outright, “You like me, don’t you?”
Jong-seok is surprised, but he answers yes. Ji-won tells him not to, “Because I can’t return those feelings.”
Jong-seok faces her and asks her if that’s something she could do — just get over her feelings by wishing them away. And then he resumes walking, away from her.
Aww. With the series coming to a close, some relationship threads also start tying off toward their respective ends. On one hand, I’m looking forward to seeing how Ji-seok and Ha-sun’s story ends; I have complete faith in a happy ending for them, and that’s usually enough to satisfy my thirst for a pleasant story wrap-up. But in this case, I think we’re really gearing up for some sort of marriage commitment, and I’d love it if they ended on a wedding. Especially with the super sweet reminders of their affection imbuing all of their interactions, peppered with little comments like Ji-seok’s reference to a hypothetical honeymoon. These two surely deserve it.
On the other hand, this also means conclusions for our more open-ended relationships. We had Jin-hee facing reality with her Kye-sang crush in previous weeks, and now it’s Ji-won’s turn. Some comments have wondered why I don’t comment on the Kye-sang and Jin-hee relationship, and to be perfectly honest, it’s because a lot of times I plain forget. They’ve just never been a memorable pairing for me, even though I would have loved if they were.
I like both characters individually and they have had cute moments together — the bunny sweaters were adorable — but I never felt that they shared a deep connection. They were friendly, but I didn’t see that relationship going anywhere. I never did, so they never got under my skin, not even in a “They won’t happen but I wish they would” sort of way. I felt like it was natural for Jin-hee to crush on Kye-sang, but he never exhibited any interest in her and her affection for him didn’t seem based in a heartfelt connection, so I was just waiting for that storyline to work its way to a close.
That comes in contrast to the relationship Kye-sang has with Ji-won, which did get me in the heart. This was an example of a relationship that felt like it could never work, but that still stirred my emotions because there was a deeper connection there, an understanding between them that went beyond words.
But that, too, wasn’t ever going to end with a happily ever after — not just because of the age gap (he worked a similar gap with Go Ara in Who Are You) but because Kye-sang didn’t show any interest Ji-won’s way. In that I think the series may have misstepped, or at least failed to take advantage of a prime opportunity — you hire a leading man heartthrob like Yoon Kye-sang and then you never even tease a loveline with him in a serious way?
I do think their relationship was dealt with in a believable way, because even though he cares for her a lot, it’s becoming more clear that she’s still not-quite-an-adult, while he’s very much one — even more, he’s something of an old soul, and that really comes across in this week’s episodes when he looks at her in his sad, resigned way.
I admit to still holding out hope for Jong-seok, though, even though I don’t think three weeks are enough for her to turn around and suddenly accept him as a romantic interest. But I loved the moment when she’s out there assuming that Kye-sang is the only person with whom she shares this special connection, and then realizes that maybe she’s overlooked someone else, someone she’s taken for granted, someone who really IS there for her in her difficult moments, with little fanfare, just offering his help without condition. It’s poignant, and bittersweet.
- High Kick 3: Episodes 95-99
- High Kick 3: Episodes 90-94
- High Kick 3: Episodes 85-59
- High Kick 3: Episodes 82-84
- High Kick 3: Episodes 78-81
- High Kick 3: Episodes 73-77
- 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