High Kick 3: Episodes 105-109
Bummie’s back! It’s something of a cameo week, with not only Kim Bum but also Hwang Jung-eum back to show some love to the franchise that made ’em famous.
Now that we’re so close to the end, the show starts to bring some of its storylines toward the point of closure, but that doesn’t mean everything’s in its last stages. The show still has a few new developments up its sleeves, and solidifies a few lovelines — some which have been developing for a long while, and others that I didn’t think would really happen. But I’ll take later over never.
SONG OF THE DAY
New York Love Diary – “어떻게 하죠” (What Do I Do) [ Download ]
EPISODE 105 WEECAP
This episode’s setup is a bit obvious, but it’s the way the little things dovetail in the end that determines whether you find the ultimate punchline funny or not. We start in the school auditorium late at night, where Ji-sun watches a horror movie for her students’ project. Ha-sun interrupts her screening, freaking her out, and then adds that she thinks the murderess is kinda cute, despite her bloodthirsty ways.
Yoo-sun takes beef hocks next door to share with Ha-sun, but since the tunnel light is out, she misses seeing that she drops one. Next door she finds Julien taking out his new knife set, and Ji-won spills her red juice in the kitchen. We can see where this is heading, right?
Ji-sun overhears Julien and Ha-sun talking about a household matter, which gets her suspicions firing again regarding their living situation. She recalls Yoon Gun once mentioning something, and asks him what he knows. But he remembers how Ha-sun shoved him out of the window to shut him up and advises her that Ha-sun is scarier than she looks. Curiosity killed the cat, he warns.
Ha-sun interrupts to drag Yoon Gun off before he can blab anything to Ji-sun. He assures her that he’ll remain quiet, then mentions taking a few days off to work on a new song. So when he doesn’t show up to work the next day, Ha-sun tells the other teachers that he’ll be out of touch for a few days. Ji-sun recalls his warning — and last seeing him with Ha-sun — and starts worrying.
Ji-sun figures out that Ha-sun and Julien must live together, but that’s when her imagination takes over. Since she’s dating Ji-seok, she must be leading a double life — all sweet and innocent with Ji-seok, then sultry and bold with Julien.
To confirm her suspicions, she stakes out the house and tells the principal that this time she’ll get proof. She bursts into the house and surprises the two in a photo, and Julien chases her out into the street to drag her back inside, hoping to convince her to keep her mouth shut — if news gets out about them living together, they fear losing their jobs.
Too bad he accidentally bangs her head against the wall and knocks her out. Oops. While she’s unconscious, Ha-sun and Julien return to their problem of a broken kimchi refrigerator, worrying that all the kimchi will spoil and stink up the house. They decide to bury the kimchi in the front yard, old-school, to preserve it. Only, Ji-sun wakes up to see them discussing the need to dig quickly, before she wakes up, and imagines the worst.
She scrambles in the other direction — seeing the “blood” spatter in the kitchen (juice) — and finds the tunnel, falling in when the unstable door falls on her. She manages a call for help to the principal before it cuts out. Up in the bathroom, an oblivious Jin-hee takes a shower, remembering to move the washing machine on top of the tunnel door to prevent accidental walk-ins like the last time.
So Ji-sun finds herself stuck in the tunnel, assumes this is the grave the others were digging, and finds the dropped beef hock. Could this be… Yoon Gun?
Julien and Ha-sun race around the neighborhood looking for Ji-sun, while the principal comes around looking for Ji-sun. He also falls in, and the two teachers huddle together, sure they’re going to die here.
Yoo-sun is cooking dinner and struggles with a dull blade, calling next door to ask to borrow Julien’s new knives. Ha-sun offers to bring it over, and heads into the tunnel… where the teachers scream, sure this is the end.
EPISODE 106 WEECAP
Time for another High Kick alum making a cameo: Hwang Jung-eum arrives at the high school as a teacher trainee. As the flighty daughter of the board chairman, she doesn’t take the job seriously and even brings along her dog, which breaks free and runs toward the street.
Ji-seok swoops in before any harm befalls the pet, earning her gratitude. He regards her with disinterest but Jung-eum decides to win him over, baby-talking and using cutesy gestures, flirting freely.
The first exam of the new school year approaches, and students are reminded that this is a Big Deal that sets the tone for the year, which is geared toward university admission. To that end, they’re told to write down their top choice school, and while it’s an easy choice for some, Ji-won’s full of uncertainty.
Ha-sun thinks it’s a given that she’ll pick Myungin University’s medical school, as her father wanted, but for her it’s not so clear. She asks Kye-sang (who went to the same school) why he quit his prestigious hospital and is going to Rwanda. Is it out of a sense of noblesse oblige? No, he replies — it’s because he enjoys the work, and it’s a comfort to him to think he could be of help to people.
The teachers hold a welcome dinner for Jung-eum, who flips out when she discovers that Ji-seok and Ha-sun are dating. Ha-sun actually smirks in satisfaction, but then Jung-eum perks up — it’s not like they’re married! Hence, he’s fair game.
At the noraebang session afterward, Jung-eum messes with Ha-sun’s song selection and keeps flirting with Ji-seok, then fakes drunkenness to get him to take her home. Fuming, Ha-sun forces her way into the cab, foiling Jung-eum’s plans. She finds Jung-eum’s aegyo tricks petty and transparent.
The next day, the ladies run into each other in the bathroom, and Jung-eum sprays water in Ha-sun’s direction with a insincere apology. Ha-sun sprays water back at her, which prompts Jung-eum to fill up a mug and pour it over her head in retaliation.
Cut to: Students racing through the hall at news of a teacher fight. Ji-seok hurries to the scene, and finds the ladies in a full-on water fight, splashing furiously and dumping pails of water on each other. Omg, this is hilarious, a bona fide laugh-out-loud moment.
Ji-seok steps in and tenderly takes care of Ha-sun, which makes Jung-eum pout. The ladies end up yelling again, only this time it’s about how they’re envious of each other. Hilariously, they scream back and forth: “You think I’m cute?!” “Yes! Incredibly cute! You’re envious of me?!” “Yes! I am!”
The absurdity saps the anger out of the situation, and after drying off, the ladies end up apologizing sheepishly to each other, with Jung-eum even calling Ha-sun unni. Some things just bring you closer.
By the time Jung-eum’s stint is over, they’re on much better terms, and Ha-sun and Ji-seok send her off warmly. Jung-eum can’t resist sneaking in a kiss on Ji-seok’s cheek, then dashes away giddily.
Test day arrives, and the perpetual No. 1 student, Bo-hee, powers through the exam despite abdominal pain, eventually collapsing due to an inflamed appendix. As a result, Ji-won claims first place, and Bo-hee accuses her of being happy at her collapse, vowing to reclaim her spot.
But Ji-won isn’t happy over the win, still gloomy over the whole university question. She mulls it over for days, and then drops by to tell Kye-sang her newfound decision: She wants to go to Rwanda too.
EPISODE 107 WEECAP
Kye-sang is dismayed at Ji-won’s decision, but she explains that she wants to do something for herself — she studied hard because her father wanted her to be a doctor, but it didn’t necessarily make her happy.
Kye-sang tells her that feelings are bound to change, trying to dissuade her from such a drastic choice. Ji-won agrees that it’s possible, but this is how she feels now.
Ji-won’s awkward around Jong-seok now that she knows how he feels, but he says he feels freer now that he isn’t hiding his feelings. He suggests that they both continue living their lives the same way — she can keep liking her guy, and he’ll keep liking her.
Teasingly, he warns that he’s going to step it up in taking care of her, demonstrating by swooping in to open that stuck jar… and then ends up wrestling with the jar for 15 minutes. At school he relieves her of trash dumping duty, but his jaunty gesture sends the bag breaking and dumping debris everywhere.
Yoo-sun catches Nae-sang walking with Nurse Im, holding her shopping bags for her, and goes ballistic by attacking him with green onions (her weapon of choice). Kye-sang has to step in to play mediator, speaking to Nae-sang first.
Nae-sang enjoys having a sympathetic ear and explains the situation, which is mostly truthful but skewed to make himself the victim, emphasizing how Yoo-sun’s always resorting to violence. Kye-sang decides that although Yoo-sun has reason to be upset, her reactions are excessive. She may have stress-related anger management issues, and he proposes looking for ways to subdue her temper.
Kye-sang’s solution is to put Yoo-sun in boxing gloves whenever her temper spikes. This leads to a lot of punches thrown at Nae-sang, followed by wheedling to let her out of the gloves. Nae-sang refuses to let her out, reminding her that she can’t take them off until her anger has subsided.
Ji-won asks Kye-sang to catch the Rembrandt exhibit with her tomorrow, and despite his reluctance — like she’s done with Jong-seok, Kye-sang has also pulled away since realizing she likes him — he agrees.
Jong-seok sees Ji-won’s art book and asks her to teach him how to look at paintings. She prods him to explain his reaction to a self-portrait of Rembrandt, and he decides that he looks uneasy. Ji-won explains that it was painted when he was around Jong-seok’s age, unsure about the future, full of confidence and fear. He wonders, “Was he like me?”
Ji-won gets a text from Kye-sang about their gallery date, which Jong-seok clocks. He tells her to go ahead without asking questions, and for some reason she feels guilty and tells him she’s meeting Kye-sang. Jong-seok replies that it doesn’t matter, and offers to give her a scooter ride to the museum.
On the way, a car swerves into their path and the scooter skids, knocking them to the ground. Jong-seok sees that Ji-won’s unconscious and carries her all the way to the hospital, worriedly waiting while she’s checked out.
She’s fine, but the doctor notices that Jong-seok’s limping. Turns out he’s the one who’s injured, having run all the way on a severely swollen foot. He brushes it off, but Ji-won can’t help but register what he’s done for her.
Jong-seok knows Ji-won’s got plans and sends her off to her date, assuring her that he’s fine. He’ll just rest his foot a while, but she can be on her way. Apologetically she accepts his offer and heads out, and just as I’m about to growl that she’s on my shit list if she actually goes, she turns back.
Not sure what to do, she just sits there, both of them not speaking.
At home, Yoo-sun’s angry outbursts are still ongoing, and in a fit of pique — the gloved hands don’t deliver enough pain, per their intention — she kicks Nae-sang. So back on the gloves go… this time on her feet as well.
EPISODE 108 WEECAP
Soo-jung has a dispiriting shopping trip in which she can afford nothing, and leaves the department store feeling glum. Enter Kim Bum in another alumnus cameo appearance, as the well-dressed man who joins her in the elevator, then freaks out when it stops. He has claustrophobia, thanks to a traumatic childhood experience, and Soo-jung talks him through it, holding his hand. But… aren’t Secret Garden parodies so 2011?
They’re rescued, and he thanks her for her help. He’s so grateful that he tells her to pick out anything in the department store — he’s the president here. Soo-jung eyes the coat she couldn’t afford earlier, and Kim Bum grabs the coat, then selects armfuls of clothing to go with it.
Soo-jung decides that a young chaebol would make a fantastic new boyfriend and decides to win him over. They go out to lunch, where she lies and says she’s a third-year student in college. And just as they’re served their steaks, he recoils from the cutlery like a vampire hissing at sunlight. He explains having a phobia of sharp objects stemming from a childhood trauma in crafts class, and shows her how to eat without knife and fork — with plastic gloves.
Bum white-knuckles it through the elevator ride down — he feels brave today, with Soo-jung at his side — only to have another panic attack at the wide space. It’s his agoraphobia, ha! Okay, now we’ve gone from so silly it’s funny. Bum can’t decide which phobia is greater — forward into the lobby, or backward into the elevator? Soo-jung takes charge by covering his eyes, then leads him out with soothing words.
Bum thanks her again and explains his agoraphobia as a traumatic response to being separated from his mother once at an amusement park. When he was eighteen. LOL.
Ha-sun and Jin-hee have dinner together, where Jin-hee assures her she’s dealing with her Kye-sang crush. Ha-sun can’t help feeling for her, though, and decides that she wants to help Jin-hee. She can’t give her a job or help her family situation, but she can help snag her a reliable boyfriend to be an emotional support. But who?
She hits upon Lee Juck, and calls him out to dinner, bringing Jin-hee along. She spends the whole time talking up Jin-hee’s appeal and pushing the couple together, not at all subtly. She offers them musical tickets that she got at school, and insists on heading out for wine after dinner.
Ha-sun accidentally trips and falls down the stairs, hitting her head, but even as she’s being examined in the hospital she’s fixated on matchmaking and crawls out to hand over the musical tickets, insisting that they go together.
Jin-hee declines regretfully because she’ll be busy studying, but as they take a cab home, he asks to reconsider — he has nobody else to go with. Jin-hee agrees, but as she’s leaving the taxi she changes her mind apologetically, saying she’s too busy.
He chases her down to give her the tickets, telling her to go with a friend — aw, does he assume it’s an excuse not to go with him? But Jin-hee chases him down to give them back… and then he chases her to give them back, and now this is also so absurd it’s funny. Finally he corners her while she’s in a bathroom stall and slides the tickets under the door, which is sweet, a little gross, and also kinda clever, since he’s got her cornered. Aw/ew.
Bum asks to meet Soo-jung’s family, genuinely interested in making their acquaintance, and Soo-jung prepares the house to receive him and all his phobias — she hides the silverware and everyone puts tennis balls on the table’s sharp corners.
Bum arrives looking dashing and bearing generous gifts… but as the family chatters their hellos, he grabs his ears and winces, asking them to speak one at a time. His ligyrophobia (fear of noise), you see, stemming from the trauma of a childhood experience when his mother and father once scolded him simultaneously. Ha.
The family eats with gloves, and he apologizes prettily for troubling them with his sensitivities… just as he flinches at Yoo-sun’s polka-dotted shirt. Trypophobia, a fear of clusters of holes (which I just realize is the name of the one phobia here that actually makes me shudder in disgust. It’s a thing, I swear! Ugh, now I have the creepy-crawlies. Go on, google it).
Bum apologizes again, then recoils again — from everyone’s attention. (Scopophobia, fear of being stared at.) And finally, when he clings to Soo-jung’s ladder when his acrophobia kicks in — like one foot off the ground, lol — she’s finally had enough. There’s only so much you can put up with, hottie chaebol or no.
Bum goes to a doctor to address his fears, and the doctor busily catalogs all his phobias. There are the ones we’ve already seen, like claustrophobia, joined by fears of suffocation, baths, viewership ratings, polar ice caps, meetings, dawn, crossing the road (well, he IS a chicken), failure, flowers, the universe, swamps, and, of course, phobias. 107 in all.
EPISODE 109 WEECAP
Soo-jung comes across Seung-yoon as he’s being accosted by a group of high school delinquents who essentially bully him for lunch money. The problem with Seung-yoon is, he’s so easy-going and trusting that it’s hard to tell whether he’s being mugged, or if he’s voluntarily giving them money. She warns him that he’s too nice for his own good, and that people will take advantage of it.
At school, Ji-sun is miffed at the other teachers because she feels like the outcast — not only are Ha-sun, Ji-seok, and Julien connected by their tunnel, they’ve all been lying to her. The others feel sorry for cutting her out of the loop, and decide to do something to make amends. Perhaps they can treat her to dinner, or set her up on a blind date. Or both.
Ji-seok suggests his good friend for the set-up, and Ha-sun gets Ji-sun to agree. Too bad the friend takes one look at Ji-sun’s photo and backs out, which offends Ha-sun. Ji-seok defends his friend from her harsh words, though, and that gets both of them bristling and taking up opposing sides. Ha-sun storms away in a huff when he calls her overly sensitive, and they spend the night refusing to call each other, while annoyed that the other person isn’t calling.
Nae-sang gets a request for an extra who can double as a figure skater, and Soo-jung jumps to nominate herself, insisting she’s great. This is Seung-yoon’s first solo project, though, so he calls a number of places looking for his skater, and finally takes Soo-jung upon her offer. They head to the rink to check out her skills… but she takes one wobbly step onto the ice and he deflates, realizing she lied to him again.
She admits she lied but assures him she can learn quickly. He turns away in disappointment — just as she miraculously picks up skills, even pulling off a jump. (Trivia: Krystal was the winner of Kim Yuna’s skating-reality show Kiss and Cry.)
Ji-sun isn’t too upset at the date cancellation, but Ha-sun is still miffed at Ji-seok for supporting his shallow, looks-obsessed friend. The four teachers go out to dinner that night and the air is tense, with Ha-sun and Ji-seok making passive-aggressive snipes at each other.
Things escalate at noraebang, where Ha-sun signals a message to Ji-seok — she’s invented a new gesture for “I’m really disappointed in you.” Miffed, he retaliates by singing a song to her about how she’s untrustworthy, and Ha-sun storms out in tears.
Ji-sun drags her back and confronts the bickering couple. In teacher mode, she chastises them for acting childish and gets them to admit they were both wrong, ending the fight and making them seal the deal with a duet.
At the ice rink, Soo-jung is put on standby for hours on end, with a douchebag of a director putting her down at every turn. Seung-yoon mediates, but when he gets called out briefly, Soo-jung is called for her shoot and has to deal with the director on her own. She’s too nervous to land her jumps, and the director blows up at her, calling her useless and halting the shoot for the day.
Seung-yoon returns to find Soo-jung brushing away tears. She waves it off and says it’s nothing, but he asks a crew member for the story, and his face darkens to hear what he missed. He finds the director in the bathroom and gives him a piece of his mind, no longer the Mr. Nice Guy who gets walked over by little kids.
With Ha-sun and Ji-seok back in each other’s good graces, the teachers call it a night. Julien suggests another drink with Ji-sun, and as they chat over soju, Ji-sun sighs that she was envious of the couple even while they were fighting. Julien assures her that she’ll meet someone too, but she says she’s tired of hearing those words of encouragement — everyone tells her she’s nice and interesting, but don’t want her attention themselves.
No, she sighs, she’s just going to give up on love altogether —
— which is when Julien shuts her up with a kiss. Omo!
Seung-yoon and Soo-jung head out after the shoot, and he asks why she had trouble with the jump when she’d done so well the day before. She supposes she was wound up with nerves, then offers to demonstrate that she can do it. Here, in fact.
She takes off running and does the jump in the air, but her landing is unsteady. Seung-yoon sees her starting to fall and rushes forward, catching her in his arms.
Two new couple developments! Okay, I’m not sure if Seung-yoon and Soo-jung count yet toward a romantic anything, but I’d be perfectly happy if they took it in that direction. Soo-jung has been gradually growing on me in recent weeks. Not enough to outright like her, but enough to see her as more than the pointless spoiled brat of the first half of the drama.
I used to have little patience for her selfish, mercenary ways, and while it’s still not her most attractive trait, it’s become more apparent that her avarice is mostly harmless. She wheedles and whines and puts herself first, but she has her limits. Like when she returned Lee Juck’s money, because that was money that counted — it cost Lee Juck his faith in people, so she couldn’t take it. Whereas when it’s about allowance money or New Year’s gifts, she’ll happily milk the situation for all it’s worth.
Plus, Soo-jung has always had a different relationship with Seung-yoon. Maybe it’s because he’s so easily manipulated, and constantly fleeced of his money, that she gets frustrated at how he’s so giving. Even as she’s scheming of getting him to spend money on her, too. It would almost be worth it just to see Jong-seok flip out at his sister and his best friend getting together.
I like that we got to see Ha-sun and Ji-seok hit a rough patch, just because it’s not realistic to always see them smiling and lovey-dovey. It makes sense that they’re passing out of that honeymoon stage, but as Ji-sun says, the relationship is enviable even in spite of — or maybe it’s because of? — their tiff. It shows that they’ve established enough of a comfort level to express their annoyance with each other without going to the dramatic place or threatening breakup.
It’s too bad that the parents’ storyline isn’t drawn with the same sort of cuteness and/or maturity, because I’m pretty damn tired of the Nurse Im story. I’m actually hanging in there in the hopes that the storyline is moving somewhere, though, because every time the narrative pops up it heads in a different direction. I hated it the first time it came up, but it seems like each time it returns we’re given a slightly different facet of Nae-sang and Yoo-sun’s marriage that I’m hoping for a point to the whole thing.
For instance, the gloves are a stupid idea that made me grit my teeth in annoyance because the whole episode just pathologizes Yoo-sun’s anger, without addressing any of Nae-sang’s failings. I don’t think the marital issue is that she’s got anger management problems so much as it’s Nae-sang failing to respect Yoo-sun, but we’re not seeing that in the plot. And the gloves just made Nae-sang goad Yoo-sun further, like a boy teasing a girl in the playground, like it’s a big game and not something that may actually mean something to his marriage.
Let’s just say that this had better end with Nae-sang realizing he needs to appreciate his wife a lot more. If not, then he’s pretty much a worthless husband and frustrating character. If he learns, at least the story will have been worth the aggravation.
As for Jong-seok, if last week gave us his rejection, this week brought us a glimpse of hope for him and Ji-won. Their relationship trajectory reminds me quite a bit of Ha-sun and Ji-seok, when they were first starting out. When Ji-seok declared his feelings, Ha-sun’s first reaction was to turn him down, too. They’d already established a friendly rapport, but it took a little prodding to show Ha-sun how important he was to her, and how constant and supportive.
I still wouldn’t mind if Jong-seok and Ji-won left things on an open-ended note, but I’m glad that this week at least showed us that Ji-won sees how much he does for her, now that her eyes are opened to his feelings for her. And while she’s not ready to return his feelings, she recognizes that there’s something there, too, that she can’t quite leave behind. It’s expressed so nicely in that hospital scene when she starts to leave, then decides she can’t. Jong-seok has given her free rein to leave, and has been doing an admirable job of not clinging, choosing to keep showing her how he feels with no demands from her in return. And that means something to her, even if she can’t express it in words. That wordless bit of them, side by side, says a lot.
- High Kick 3: Episodes 100-104
- 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