Big: Episode 2
Well that’s better. It’s like it took an episode to rev up (which makes sense given the premise, but it did feel surprisingly subdued). To make up for a less joke-filled premiere, Episode 2 brings the body swap comedy, the sex comedy, and some zippy plot to boot. We knew the premise going in, but the plot ended up a surprise: it’s the great mystery of Seo Yoon-jae. Is he an ass, or isn’t he? It turns out to be a more important question than you’d think.
EPISODE 2 RECAP
Da-ran peers over at Kyung-joon-in-Yoon-jae’s body with her last ounce of hope: “Yoon-jae-sshi?” But no, it’s Kyung-joon of course. She drags him out by the wrist to insist that they go back to the hospital and get the doctors to switch them back. Oh sure, that body-swap-ectomy. What?
He tells her that’s ridiculous, since all three of them would get locked up and studied like lab rats. Besides, he hates hospitals (understandably so, if his mom’s death was so recent) so he tells her to go by herself if she wants.
She yells at him to stop acting like a kid. Kyung-joon: “I AM a kid! I’m eighteen!” But then when she tries to drag him out again, it’s “Don’t treat me like a kid. This face isn’t a kid’s.” Haha, I love that the droll delivery is the same, but now the sassiness has an extra kick with the deeper voice and well, the face of a man.
He tells her to get it together so they can calmly try to suss things out, clearly more level-headed than her even at his age. But then his explanation kills me. He sits down to explain his theory of the events with two toy figures. So like a little boy. His faces are killing me.
His theory: they had the accident, and both fell into the water. And then seeing that his body was dying, Yoon-jae jumped bodies into his, thus leaving him to wake up in dead Yoon-jae’s body.
Da-ran watches this all, taking it in, but stops to complain that Yoon-jae isn’t the type of person to go taking over other people’s bodies all willy-nilly. Kyung-joon rolls his eyes, since clearly from his perspective, the other guy’s gonna be the bad guy.
She just keeps going on and on that Yoon-jae-sshi is so very careful and thoughtful and he wouldn’t make mistakes, and Kyung-joon grits his teeth, “Whatever.” His point is, the other guy in his body has to wake up before they can fix whatever cosmic disaster landed them in the wrong shells.
She pulls the toy Yoon-jae close and voice wavering, asks how he ended up in a place like that. Kyung-joon takes offense, since “a place like that” is his body, and pounds and pulls on his host body, yelling, “I don’t like a place like this either!”
He grabs for a soda in the fridge, and Da-ran takes it away, reminding him that this is Yoon-jae’s body, not his. Yoon-jae doesn’t drink soda, or do anything harmful to his body, ever. I’m beginning to think that maybe Yoon-jae is a cylon.
She asks him to take care of this body until they can fix things, since it belongs to someone very important to her. She starts fussing over a cut on his hand, and Kyung-joon pulls away, reminding her that he can’t exactly detach his brain from this body, no matter how much he’d like to.
They call Uncle to check on Kyung-joon’s condition, and find that he’s been moved to another hospital, but he hasn’t woken up.
She’s amazed that Kyung-joon really lives here alone, and then asks with genuine concern whether he’ll be okay all by himself, since it was a traumatic day. You can see his eyes flicker for a moment, lighting up at the concern, but he breezes that he’ll be fine and goes to bed.
She lingers for a moment and peers into the fridge, stocked with nothing but soda and frozen pizzas. She sighs.
Kyung-joon wakes up the next morning pretty much busting out of his tiny bed, which was already too small for him to begin with. “Big enough” has turned into “Too big,” but then he smiles to realize this also means he doesn’t have to go to school. Heh.
He ignores the rice porridge that Da-ran left on the table and sneers when he opens the fridge to find everything replaced with water and juice and fresh fruit. He mocks her plea to take care of his precious body and snipes that he won’t eat any of it. Haha, his petty revenge is so perfectly teenaged and nonsensical.
Meanwhile, Da-ran goes to the hospital to visit Yoon-jae-in-Kyung-joon’s body. She takes his hand and asks, trembling, “You’re in here, right?” Aw. She flashes back to a winter date where Yoon-jae had held her hand for the first time.
She swooned at its warmth, saying that a person’s temperature is as warm as their soul. It comforts her now, feeling that his hand is warm.
She sneaks inside her family’s dumpling restaurant (their house is in the back) and Mom giggles that Da-ran must’ve spent the night with Yoon-jae. Dad clucks that it’s not something to laugh about, but does help her think of sneaky ways to feed Yoon-jae things that will help his virility. Ha. (His idea—stuff them into dumplings. Of course.)
Da-ran runs into school late that morning, and Vice Principal Kim glares. I love that Da-ran has this silent secret admirer in Teacher Na Hyo-sang, the guy who is totally gruff but silently puts a towel on her chair when she’s wet or now, blocking the VP’s gaze so she can’t glare anymore. So sweet.
Kyung-joon takes his time that morning, staring into the mirror. He wonders if he ought to try growing a beard or something. But then he notices a weird feeling on his back. He looks, and some kind allergic rash is starting to break out.
He comes careening onto the school field in the middle of an assembly, hanging out of a taxi like a crazy person. He runs up to Da-ran like his pants are on fire, screaming for money (because he lost his wallet in the accident). He pays the cabbie and then runs back, jumping and writhing.
“I’m going crazy. My body is on fire!” HAHAHAHAHA. (A common euphemism for being horny.) Everyone gasps. He just keeps going, “Look at me! My body is hot!” And then he lifts his shirt at her, bopping up and down, flailing about.
She just stands there in shock so he finally just grabs her and they take off running, as if he cannot possibly wait another second. All the teachers and students stand there stunned, and Choong-shik gapes.
They run inside a classroom and he starts showing her the rashes all over his body, here, there, and everywhere. The VP and her friend Ae-kyung happen to peer into the room right when she’s got her head placed precariously low, and he’s making orgasm sounds from the crazy itchy pain. Hahahaha.
It turns out to be a mushroom allergy and the school nurse treats him. Da-ran gets ripped a new one, and hangs her head in apology to the whole teaching staff. She walks Kyung-joon out, and he asks if Gil Teacher got in a lot of trouble. He sees her welling up with tears and worries, but she says it’s because Yoon-jae is such a respectable person, but now everyone thinks of him differently, and she feels bad.
She tells him to go home and not cause any more trouble, and says that she’ll buy him whatever he needs. That wording (the same used by his uncle) turns him off and he stalks off angrily, saying that he can take care of himself.
The idea of having to look respectable as an adult is clearly a new idea to him, and he pauses at a bus stop ad for men’s suits, figuring he can clothe this body like that once he gets his wallet back.
He saunters into the hospital where his body is staying, which of course is the same hospital where Yoon-jae works. His face is plastered all over the walls in promotional posters. At the same time, Da-ran’s dad comes by with food for Yoon-jae.
They both reach the elevators at the same time, and Dad notices him. He calls out to him (calling him Seo-suh-bang, like a son-in-law), but gets no response. Kyung-joon gets in the elevator, and Dad looks him straight in the eye and calls out to him again.
This his time Kyung-joon looks, and then looks away, like he’s purposely ignoring him. Dad’s jaw drops as dramatic music plays, like his world is crashing down. Ha. He calls Da-ran to say that he’s leaving dumplings at the front desk, since Yoon-jae seems busy.
She freaks out, wondering how Kyung-joon even found out which hospital Yoon-jae works at, and fidgets nervously. She doesn’t have the guts to ask the VP to leave early, but Teacher Na totally steps in to give her the perfect excuse. Poor guy. Also, is the PE teacher in love with her another High Kick reference?
Meanwhile Kyung-joon walks down the hall and every person stops to greet him, which starts to weird him out. He wonders why, when suddenly he comes face to face with… his face, as Yoon-jae, on a hospital poster.
He freaks out, covering Yoon-jae’s poster face as if that does anything. Pfft. He pulls his shirt over his face and creeps down the hall, swerving into the bathroom. He’s met by the same poster again, and this time he tries to imitate the smile.
It’s one of my favorite sequences in the episode. It actually seems like it’s impossible for Kyung-joon to make that same face, even though we know that it’s the same body that does both. Nicely played.
He creeps down the hall and manages to avoid detection… until his colleagues step right out of the elevator and into his path. They ask what’s wrong with him, because skipping work is so out of character.
Thinking quickly, he says that he ate mushrooms by accident, and that he’s resting. Se-young uses that as an excuse to get handsy, which Kyung-joon notes. She asks if he still has “that thing” that she gave him and tells him to use it at times like this. And then she runs her hand down his arm and into his hand. Oh NOES.
Kyung-joon wriggles off her weird vibes, wondering why the ajumma is being so touchy-feely, and then Da-ran comes running up. She calls him Yoon-jae but silently growls at Kyung-joon, dragging him away.
She asks what on earth he’s doing here, but he says he’s here to see his own body—isn’t it natural that he’d want to check on himself? Besides, he has to retrieve some belongings.
She realizes her mistake, and takes him inside to Yoon-jae’s office, giving him the doctor’s coat to wear. That’s when he asks about one of Yoon-jae’s friends, saying that there’s something weird about her, and the way she touches people.
Da-ran chastises him, assuming it’s his teenage boy hormones reinterpreting everything sexually, when it’s not. He rolls his eyes at her, wondering if she knows anything about men. I’m beginning to think she knows nothing about people.
He plops down on Yoon-jae’s bed, and Da-ran notes how much he just seems like Yoon-jae right now. She sits down next to him and asks to hold his hand, sighing that it’s not as warm as Yoon-jae’s, since his soul isn’t as warm. He scoffs that he’d rather be cool anyway.
She gets up and reaches out her hand to help him up, but that triggers a memory. He flashes back to that moment in the water, when he opened his eyes and saw Yoon-jae swimming toward him with his hand outstretched.
He says he remembers seeing Yoon-jae’s hand then, and thinking that if he wanted to live, he should take that hand. So he did. He wonders now if that’s why they ended up this way. Well I’m glad he at least remembered that Yoon-jae saved his life.
She takes him to see his own body, and suggests that maybe if they got swapped when they held hands, doing so now will switch them back. He hesitates, wondering what happens if he doesn’t wake up, but she doesn’t so much care and insists it’ll be fine.
She puts their hands together. A mystical breeze comes through the room. Kyung-joon opens his eyes… as Yoon-jae? He calls her Da-ran-sshi, and tells her he’s sorry.
She starts to cry, happy and relieved, saying that she was so worried it was all her fault. He tells her he’ll say it now…
“Puing. Puing.” HA. You ass. By now, she’s totally bought that they’ve switched back and crying, so his stunt is mean. He expects her to stop, but she just cries more, asking if this is all a child’s game to him. She storms out.
He looks around for his stuff, when Aunt and Uncle come in asking after Kyung-joon. He quickly grabs the chart to look like he’s doctoring, and Aunt asks if there’s a chance he won’t wake up for years.
Kyung-joon can’t help but ask what they’d do if that happened, and she says that they’re not THAT close a relation that they’d take that kind of responsibility for him. Ooof. That hurts.
He just steps back and watches with this heartbreaking look on his face, as she asks Uncle if there’s a way they can send him to America or something. The nurse asks if they want his belongings, and she coldly goes through them, throwing everything away but taking the cash and cards from his wallet. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
He finally stumbles out of the room shell-shocked, where Da-ran is waiting for him in the hall. He just walks past her silently, kicking a trashcan in anger.
She chases him outside, asking if he’s okay, but he gets angry at her too, knowing that she’s only concerned about what he’ll do to his body. She’s actually concerned because she overheard what Aunt and Uncle said, but he screams that she’s the same anyway—she finds him burdensome and is only worried that he might stay in this body forever.
She tries to stop him, hanging onto his arms to get him to listen, and he pushes her off. But that’s when Little Bro Choong-shik comes running up, appalled. He steps up to defend his noona, (So. Cute.) asking why brother-in-law is acting this way.
Kyung-joon just yells, “I am NOT your brother-in-law!” Oh no. But the hilariously dim Choong-shik just goes, is it not mae-hyung? thinking he got the WORD wrong. Hahahaha. I luff this character.
He starts calling him sister-in-law (to his credit, family words are confusingly specific in Korean, but sister-in-law isn’t one you’d mistake for brother-in-law). Kyung-joon gapes, calling him stupid before walking away.
He storms off and purposely drinks a soda and then goes to see his body again. The trash has already been emptied of his stuff, and he assures his comatose self, “It’s okay, you have Mom’s inheritance, so for now they won’t throw you away.” Awwww. Just kick my heart why don’t you.
He comes home to find a bag of stuff hanging on his door. It’s his clothes and wallet (with the cherub picture still inside, which must’ve actually been from Mom, the way he cherishes it) and a box of dumplings from Gil-ka Mandoo (Streetside Dumplings). He looks at the name and realizes it’s from Gil Teacher.
Gil Teacher is currently being given the third degree from Dad and Little Bro, who ask if her engagement is off. (Choong-shik has finally figured out the other meaning of “I am not your brother-in-law.”)
Dad swears that Yoon-jae blew him off on purpose, and Da-ran has no excuse up her sleeve. They sigh that it must be over.
Just then, Kyung-joon comes by the restaurant looking for Teach, when Mom finds him outside. She reels him into a round of guess-what’s-in-the-dumpling using Gil-Da-ran puns until he finally gives her the right answer. I love that he doesn’t know why he’s playing this game.
She yanks him inside and announces him to the family. Da-ran gasps. Kyung-joon pauses the action for a moment to figure out the family connections – so this is Da-ran’s mom, which means he needs to call her mother-in-law, etc.
He smiles and bows to father-in-law, and waves at brother-at-law, calling them by their proper titles this time. Well phew for being faster on the uptake this time around. They ask what brings him by so suddenly, and he just stands there awkwardly and bursts, “Surprise!” Hahahaha.
She drags him out to ask what he’s doing here, and he says he just came by looking for her, but the ajumma made him play a guessing game and then dragged him inside. He thinks she should be grateful he was quick enough to call them by the right titles.
He turns to go, but she holds him back—well if he started as Yoon-jae he has to see it through. Inside, the family breathes a sigh of relief that the relationship seems fine after all, and the parents send Choong-shik out to get beer and soju so Dad can clear the air properly.
He comes outside to find the couple arguing over having to “hide the truth” and Choong-shik asks what they’re talking about so suspiciously. Hide what? Da-ran just drags Kyung-joon inside and tells him that it’s adult business and kids needn’t know.
Kyung-joon loooooooves this, and makes a point of saying it over and over to Choong-shik: “Kids don’t need to know!”
He has to spend some awkward alone time with Dad as they wait for dinner, and his behavior is so puzzling to Dad. He’s not outright rude, but he lacks the over-polite that a well-behaved son-in-law would be dripping with, in a normal situation.
Dad gets excited when he shows in interest in his rock collection, so he points out the ones that represent his family. Kyung-joon: “Oh so it’s a rock family! Rock Dad, Rock Mom, and the idols!” Pffft. (Ah-ee-dols = child rocks, but also how you pronounce idol in Korean.)
Dad says that since he’s joining the family, they’ll have to make a place for his rock too. He says no thanks, thinking it silly, but remembers that he’s supposed to care, and takes it back.
He asks what the criteria are though—is it by size? Because then… the big rock should be Choong-shik and the little rock Dad. Or by beauty? Then the big rock should be Mom and the little rock Dad. Ha. I love that he’s insulting him the entire time, and then adds a… “father-in-law?” at the end.
Dad gets angry (but in a cute petty way) and says that they’ll just have to find a rock that suits him. That leaves Kyung-joon wondering what that means. He figures it’s not his rock/place anyway, since it’s Yoon-jae’s to worry about.
They manage to get through dinner okay, though Da-ran and Kyung-joon bicker quietly throughout. Dad offers “Yoon-jae” a beer, and he lights up. Da-ran stops him—he has to drive! He reminds her of the accident, so it’s fine.
Dad goes to pour and Choong-shik tries to join in, and noona tells him no—she will not watch minors drink! She gives Kyung-joon a pointed look and he closes his eyes, to say, then don’t watch!
The silent bickering is so cute. He finally sticks his tongue out at her and accepts the beer from Dad…
…which Da-ran snatches out of his hand and guzzles down. HA. He watches in horror and then grabs it back to get the few remaining drops out of the glass, as the family watches in confusion.
She walks him home (worried because he drank some beer) and he sighs that it was a drop and not even his first anyway. She says it doesn’t matter—she feels responsible for him because he’s her student, and he groooooooans. But you know he’s gotta love it.
She adds that she’s sorry that she made him act like her fiancé, and thanks him for playing along. He says they’re even since she retrieved his wallet, and adds that if she’s really sorry she could help fill it, since this body costs more to take the bus (heh) and needs bigger clothes.
He points at his butt, “This guy keeps eating my pants!” Hee. She agrees that they can’t let him dress this way, and he lights up—are they going to buy new clothes? No, they’re going to Yoon-jae’s apartment to get his clothes. Oh right. I forgot about that solution.
Mom and Dad wash dishes and wonder about the change in Yoon-jae’s behavior. Mom swoons, thinking it means that he’s really comfortable around them now, like real family. Dad’s not quite convinced, but agrees that if that’s the case, it’s a good thing.
Da-ran and Kyung-joon head to Yoon-jae’s apartment (good thing the lock’s a fingerprint one) and she tells him to go pick out some clothes. She walks in on him changing and turns away, and he wonders what the big deal is. She must’ve seen him undressed all the time.
But she admits she hasn’t. Kyung-joon gapes, “Oh. My. God. You mean you and this ajusshi aren’t… with the seeing… in THAT kind of relationship? You’re getting married in a month! How can you not have?” Words out of my own mouth, kid.
She stammers that that’s not something a kid should be saying. He gets an idea and moves in close. “Want me to show you?” Rawr.
He lifts up his shirt, “This ajusshi’s body is awesome. Look, chocolate!” Hahahaha. She turns away again and tells him to stop.
He wonders why this ajusshi worked on his body so much if it wasn’t to show Gil Teacher. He figured that since it was so sculpted, it was to look good for her, but if that’s not the case… Hm, this is going to a bad place for Yoon-jae.
He then adds that this is the kind of body that takes hours daily to maintain. So then why did he spend all that time on it, when he could’ve taken her out on more dates? Aw, kid, you’re breaking her bubble! Stop it!
He comes to the conclusion that this ajusshi though more of his abs than his girlfriend. Da-ran’s face falls. She wonders if all those times Yoon-jae had told her he was too busy were just excuses because he didn’t want to spend time with her.
Kyung-joon realizes his mistake, and quickly adds that Yoon-jae was on his way to see her that day, to tell her something important. She wonders if it really was to say that he loved her. “What if it wasn’t?”
He takes a step closer. “Gil Da-ran-sshi, I love you.” Awwww. Now I’M confused! Swoon.
They smile at each other, lost in the moment even though they know it isn’t real. She lights up as soon as he says the words.
He takes a step back. “…is what he would’ve said.”
She smiles, calling herself dumb for thinking otherwise. He agrees that she’s dumb.
He flips through the clothes in the closet, grumbling, “Does she like Seo Yoon-jae that much?” Aw, are you getting jealous? He snipes that he doesn’t like any of the clothes, and finally lands on a sweater.
Only, when he yanks on it, a little electronic house key falls out. Oh crap. All the signs, they point to Cheaty Cheaterson! Argh.
He asks if this is a key to his house, but Da-ran says no. She thinks maybe it’s to their newlywed house? Er, that’s a leap, given he didn’t even care to be present when you went looking.
The phone rings and she tells Kyung-joon to answer, so he does. It’s Se-young, who only belatedly found out about the accident and is on her way with his stuff.
As they wait for her, Kyung-joon wonders what to do about the ajusshi’s job—does he have to go to work at the hospital? Dude, and kill innocent people with your non-medical-school-graduating self? WUT?
She suggests they put in a vacation request since the accident is a good excuse. He wonders what else he’ll have to do in the ajusshi’s place—like the wedding? She says no, since Yoon-jae will be back by then. Kyung-joon says he wouldn’t do it anyway.
She reminds him to be polite to Se-young and not to look at her lustfully (ha) and he swears to look at her purely, but winks at Da-ran. Hee.
He heads down to meet Se-young, looking curiously at the key again. Se-young arrives, and we get a conspicuous close-up of her keys, with an identical electronic key.
Meanwhile, Da-ran looks for the vacuum to do some cleaning, and finds a suitcase in the closet, packed and ready to go somewhere with a fresh passport inside. Not something one normally keeps in the closet at the ready.
She wonders to herself where Yoon-jae was going without telling her…
Downstairs, Kyung-joon sees Se-young arrive and waves at her awkwardly. But she surprises him by running up for a big hug. She asks why he didn’t tell her about the accident, saying she should’ve been the first to know.
And then she turns her face towards his for a kiss. He yanks her away before anything happens. She just says, “Yoon-jae-ya, I love you.” His jaw drops.
And then Da-ran shows up behind him. He looks back and forth and back and forth, as it starts to sink in…
Kyung-joon: “Seo Yoon-jae, you son of a bitch.”
Oh HELL YEAH.
Yay for Kyung-joon being quick on the uptake! I’m sad that Yoon-jae turned out to be a cheater, though really, it’s still circumstantial evidence at this point. It’s still possible that Se-young is one-sidedly clingy while he’s just cold feet guy, and not a very expressive boyfriend. I don’t think so, but it’s possible.
I feel like either way, there’s something interestingly mysterious about him, and even if he does turn out to be a straight-up two-timing dirtbag, it’s a great mystery to solve. That sort of makes Kyung-joon the detective, in uncovering the truth about this guy, which is a fun way to twist the body swap. Because you need more narrative motivation other than just having to bumble your way through posing as the other guy until your body wakes up. Now he’s invested Gil Teacher’s future—he can’t have Teach marrying a scumbag now, can he?
I didn’t expect this drama to be Biscuit Teachery, since I assumed the student-teacher pairing wouldn’t be the main one. But it’s looking more and more like it is, if they’re painting Yoon-jae as the guy who was wrong for her, in every way. (And also because Yoon-jae-in-Kyung-joon’s-body is lying in a coma, whereas I had expected more of a Freaky Friday situation.) Already we can see that Kyung-joon would’ve done things differently, had he been this body’s owner, which makes me think this is the pair we’re going to end up rooting for. You know I already am. But it’s also the unlikeliest pair, given the student-teacher problem. And it’s a pair whose ending is less of a foregone conclusion, which I really like.
Thankfully, Da-ran is much more palatable when she’s talking to Kyung-joon because she loses the put-on aegyo and talks like a teacher, so I liked her much better in this episode than I did in the first. She was worrying me before, but when she’s with Kyung-joon she’s much more assertive and interesting. She’s still amaaaaazingly naïve for her age, but at least now she seems less like a total dimwit. She’s a pushover when it comes to Yoon-jae, but not with Kyung-joon, which makes sense and is a huge relief—it means the source of the problem is Yoon-jae and her fear that she’s somehow not good enough for him. I already love how much sense Kyung-joon makes, all Well if I were this guy, I would’ve made these chocolate abs to show YOU.
Episode 2 feels much more like the usual Hong Sisters pace and tone, now that we have the body swap in place and can let Gong Yoo play Kyung-joon, which is what we’re all here for. I love how physically different Yoon-jae and Kyung-joon are. One is uptight and perfectly perfect in an OCD way… and yet probably fake because no one can actually be that perfect. That put-on smile that Kyung-joon couldn’t replicate is the best. And I love that Gong Yoo has the kind of face you can maneuver like a lump of play-doh. So comical.
My favorite thing about Kyung-joon is how much he wants to be treated like an adult without having to do any of the work, and this is his free pass to do just that. His journey will likely be in figuring out that there’s no such thing, but it’s really fun to see him enjoy things like having a beer or telling Choong-shik that kids don’t need to know certain things. You guys know I love me some high school coming-of-age shenanigans. And Gong Yoo in Biscuit Teacher Redux? I don’t even care if that’s redundant. It’s like Christmas came early this year.
- Big: Episode 1
- More Big
- One Big love triangle…sort of
- Gong Yoo, half-naked and Big
- Big’s soul-swapping shenanigans
- Gong Yoo and Lee Min-jung’s Big snowy date
- Gong Yoo in his double roles for Big
- Baek Sung-hyun joins Big
- Cast gathers for Big’s initial script reading
- Hong sisters’ upcoming Big finalizes cast