Big: Episode 3
Ah, the story reveals another twist, and this one I like very much, because it counters what seemed like a conventional setup in Episode 2. The Hong sisters are best when they’re flouting convention, so I’m glad that the story turns in a different direction (even though bitchy Other Lady maintains the Hongs’ tradition for distasteful second lead ladies). On the upside, Suzy makes her entrance as a delightfully quirky addition. It’s like Hye-mi Bot turns fangirl, with hints of an interesting (?) backstory. I hope.
SONG OF THE DAY
Big OST – “미운사람” (Hateful person) by Beast. [ Download ]
EPISODE 3 RECAP
When Other Woman Se-young throws her arms around Dr. Yoon-jae and declares that she loves him, Kyung-joon finds out that his host body was a cheating cheater who cheats. “You son of a bitch,” he mutters to himself, just as the fiancée appears.
Da-ran misses the exchange and Se-young smoothly transitions into friend mode, inviting herself in for a cup of tea. She then gets rid of Da-ran by asking her to buy cookies to go with that tea and Da-ran, pushover that she is, cheerfully goes running.
Kyung-joon tries to shoot her looks that say, “Don’t go! Save me!” She doesn’t pick up the hint so he throws an arm around her, telling Se-young pointedly, “We want to be alone. You go!” Haha. He’s hilariously awkward in this role and his wording is juvenile, but I love him for being so direct.
On the other hand, oblivious Da-ran thinks Kyung-joon is just being rude and mutters for him to be nice to Yoon-jae’s friend. Kyung-joon ignores her and tells Se-young that if she wants cookies so badly, then she can just go and buy them, “And eat them ALL BY YOURSELF.” Oh, I luff him.
Da-ran is determined to be the polite hostess and tries to go to buy the cookies anyway, so Kyung-joon does the only thing he can think of to stop her: He picks her up.
Carrying Da-ran princess-style, he stops to tell Se-young firmly, “We won’t eat cookies. So go.” The ladies are both slack-jawed, so he makes it even clearer: “You’re so dense. I said I want to be alone with my fiancée. So, friend, go away!”
Kyung-joon lets her down once they’re back in the apartment. She darts off to fix his blunder, so he grabs her to prevent her from going. She bites him.
Kyung-joon tells her that Yoon-jae was two-timing with that other woman; Se-young hugged him and said she loved him. He’s all proud of himself, but Da-ran treats him like a little kid—was he worried about Teacher? Aw, isn’t he a sweet little boy. She assures him that her fiancé isn’t what he thinks, dismissing his concerns like he’s conjured them out of thin air. Or rather, like his hormones have conjured them; she informs him that skinship isn’t always an “erotic” occurrence, you know.
Kyung-joon gives it one more try, saying that Mr. Body wasn’t a nice guy. She says he is, and he sighs, giving up. Now she looks at the bite mark on his arm and apologizes for marring his skin, but Kyung-joon grits out, “Are you only worrying about the shell? ‘Cause the one who dealt with the pain was ME.”
Da-ran asks for him to repeat the “I love you” from earlier, wanting to relive the moment of Yoon-jae’s body telling her those words. He takes her face in his hands and says, “I do NOT love Gil Da-ran.” He points out that neither of them knows what Yoon-jae was really going to tell her; there’s no guarantee he was going to vow his love.
He tells her that since he’s such a kid, he’ll stay out of adult affairs from now on, and leaves huffily. The comment is enough of a reality check to make Da-ran wonder what Yoon-jae really did mean to tell her that day of the accident.
Kyung-joon exits, only to find that Se-young has been waiting outside all this time. She says she made her love confession because she could feel that he was hesitating over his marriage because of her: “After all, you didn’t return what I gave you.”
He remembers her referring to “it” but has no clue what it is, so he asks if “that thing” is so special. Se-young clutches her apartment key and says that obviously it is. She tells him she’ll give him a ride to their usual place, and he goes along.
That turns out to be a fancy bar, where Kyung-joon coolly takes a shot of whiskey, then reacts in pain. The bartender refills their shot glasses, and he hilariously gives it an anguished look, mouthing, “No…” Drinking’s not so fun when it burns a hole through your belly, is it?
Da-ran comes home to find her family preparing wedding invitations. She starts to say that she can’t send those invitations out just now…. and gets three sets of alarmed eyes fixated on her. She can’t muster the nerve, and instead makes a lame joke about how it’s nighttime so obviously they can’t mail them out.
Mom wonders why her fiancé was calling her “Gil Teacher” earlier, and asks if it’s a couple endearment—you know, like she’s his teacher in love or something. Da-ran jumps on that and agrees, and Mom sighs that it was so nice seeing them today, all comfortable with each other and finally seeming like a couple ready for marriage.
Da-ran reads between the lines and asks if that means they didn’t seem like a real couple before. Mom admits that they did seem rather stiff and unromantic, lacking that lovers’ chemistry. She assures Da-ran that she’s not worried anymore, which is no consolation to Da-ran.
Meanwhile, Kyung-joon’s totally hammered on whiskey and slurs to the Other Woman, “Seo Yoon-jae is marrying Gil Da-ran!” I love that he’s stating fact, but it comes out sounding like he’s talking about himself in the third person, pretentiously.
Kyung-joon declares that his body is taken by another woman, and gets up to leave. And starts to sway. The room whirls and goes fuzzy… and then he awakens in bed.
Kyung-joon’s topless and groggy, his gaze landing on framed photos of Se-young. Oh crap oh crap. He scrambles for his clothes and sees the note she left, saying she’ll see him at the hospital. In horror, he looks down at himself and recoils.
He makes the walk of shame, berating himself the entire time, and sees Da-ran at his front gate. She says he looks like he’s coming home after spending the night out, and he makes this hilarious conflicted face before lying, acting like he’s just out jogging and taking out the trash and totally unaware of the meaning of the words “spend the night out.”
Da-ran sniffs his clothes and smells liquor. He jumps on that, saying that after the (two drops of) beer he drank at her house last night, he got a headache and felt queasy: “I really shouldn’t drink liquor.” She warns him not to do anything dumb with Yoon-jae’s body, and he winces.
Kyung-joon asks cautiously how angry she’d get if, say, for instance, he were to mar the good doctor’s body. She asks if he’s hurt, and he clarifies, “No, nothing in the category of injury. I mean… like, dirty it, or make it different, or something?” But he chickens out of the explanation—he was just talking about exercise! Yep.
At school, Da-ran overhears Kyung-joon’s aunt and uncle talking with a teacher about possibly putting him on leave of absence, and that reminds her that Kyung-joon will be missing lessons. So she tells little bro Choong-shik to write down all his lessons—”And don’t pack your notes, but get the notes of a kid who studies well!” She sighs to herself in pity, how Kyung-joon’s still just a kid, like Choong-shik.
Kyung-joon busily washes his moral misstep from his body, blaming everything on “that ajusshi” and worrying about keeping this from Da-ran. He decides to go hunting for evidence of Yoon-jae’s infidelity and sneaks into his apartment, searching for clues. Like that “thing” Se-young keeps referencing. What could it be? Damn, if only he could run away.
Then Kyung-joon stumbles across the suitcase, packed with Yoon-jae’s passport and American dollars, and smiles. Magical exit, found!
Off to the airport he goes, and looks over all the cities he could run off to. He gets his old cell phone charged up, and turns it on to find several new messages. Er, make that 79 new messages, all from Jang Mari, although he has her name programmed as “Jang X.” Based on that and his expression, we can deduce that he’s not a fan of Mari.
Cut to: Mari (Suzy) in the States, narrating the content of her text messages. Things start off innocently with a simple, “Kyung-joon, why aren’t you answering my calls?” The messages turn anxious as she sets up a shrine and worries, “Is something wrong?” Then the mood turns dire as she screams, “Answer the phone!”
Kyung-joon shinks back, thinking, “Jang Mari’s angry. When she gets angry, she goes crazy.” And turns green and bounces around the countryside?
Next in the chain of texts is the announcement that Mari is going to Korea to see him. He smirks, since she won’t be able to find him. Next text: “Did you think that just because you didn’t give me your address or school name in Korea, I wouldn’t be able to find you?” Well… yes, I suppose that was the idea.
Kyung-joon starts to get nervous, looking around in paranoia. Then the last message: She’s tracked down his school and is headed there to meet “Gil Teacher.” How did she find this out? She tracked down a photo he uploaded to his kindergarten friend’s Facebook, and found out who the woman in the photo was. Kids, beware of social media: Facebook ruins lives!
Kyung-joon scrambles to leave the airport as Mari’s message reads ominously, “Whether we go together, or live together, let’s BE TOGETHER, Kyung-joon!”
Morning assembly in the schoolyard. A taxi comes tearing in, and everyone murmurs—him, again? But this time it’s Mari who emerges, not the crazed horny doctor asking for money, and Da-ran sighs in relief (VP Kim glares her way, ready to berate).
The boys drool over the pretty girl, while Mari does a scan of the teachers’ faces and target-locks on Da-ran’s. She runs straight for Da-ran and asks for money. HA. Mari grabs Da-ran’s wallet to pay the cabbie, and VP Kim shoots her a dirty look (adorable Teacher Na Hyo-sang tries to block her view, sweetly).
Da-ran puts on her teacher look and voice and starts to scold Mari, but Mari shows her the Facebook photo and demands to know where Kyung-joon is.
Da-ran leads Mari away to talk this out in private, which only makes them look more suspicious since it seems they know each other. And then, another taxi comes pulling into the yard. HAHA. Okay, this is now officially hilarious; it’s like the rake gag where once or twice is mildly funny, but then it just goes on and on and gets funnier from the absurdity.
Kyung-joon emerges, suitcase in tow, and looks around for Da-ran. Helpfully, the entire student body points up to the school.
He finds the two ladies and pulls Da-ran aside, telling her that this he’ll take care of it—this is a matter for kids, so adults butt out. Heh. He sends her on her way.
Mari starts to chase after Da-ran, but Kyung-joon holds her back. They have an old-fashioned staredown, and he growls, “So at last you’ve come, Jang Mari.” He calls himself someone who happens to have had quite a deep acquaintance with Kyung-joon’s mental state, despite being not at all the type of guy Kyung-joon would like.
He acts as his own gatekeeper, telling Mari to tell him what to convey, because Kyung-joon ain’t never gonna see her, ever: “He told you when he left America that he doesn’t want to see you or your father again.”
Mari declares that she’s gonna marry Kyung-joon, and he says that yes, that was the agreement between her father and Kyung-joon’s mother. But his mom died, so nope, that almost-family relationship won’t be happening.
Mari gets sad and asks, “Did Kyung-joon say his mom died because of me? Is that why he still won’t see me?” In a momentary flashback to the funeral, Kyung-joon rejects her comforting hand. Mari says morosely, “But I miss him so much, and I’m so worried.”
He tells her Kyung-joon is fine so she can leave. In consolation, he says Kyung-joon will feel a little thankful and sorry that she traveled all this way for him, and promises to tell him to send her a hello message via text.
Mari asks what his relationship is with Kyung-joon, and he hedges vaguely that it’s something they have to keep secret, but that entails “sharing body and mind.” Um. Did you think those words over?
Mari gasps, “Ajusshi, are you… Kyung-joon’s boyfriend?!” Haha. He recoils and denies it, just as Mari narrows her eyes suspiciously. She leans in and notes, “Ajusshi… you seem like Kyung-joon!” Oh, that’s cute. Though I guess she’d be a terrible love-crazed stalker if she didn’t pick up on that.
And then she warns, “Don’t copy Kyung-joon!” Hee. She has a message for him to convey to Kyung-joon: “I will definitely marry you.”
VP Kim rebukes Da-ran again for the disruption, warning that she’d best pass her teacher certificate exam, because it’s not likely she’ll get renewed for this short-term position.
The Idiot Trio spies the pretty new girl leaving the school, and Choong-shik tears after her, smitten. He takes a side route to put himself in her exit path, doing his best cool James Dean pose at the gate. He calls out, “I saw you earlier. You’re really pretty.” To his credit, he does manage to sound smooth and collected, though we know he’s anything but.
Mari replies, “I know.” He takes his pen to write his phone number… on her Chanel purse. Eeek.
She says, “My bag has become dirty.” He returns glibly, “So call me. I’ll buy you enough pizza to cover that bag’s cost.” What, like a hundred of them? With a wink, he dashes back to school.
Da-ran sits with Kyung-joon and asks what he was doing with Yoon-jae’s suitcase. Was he running away? Kyung-joon fumbles for an explanation: He wasn’t running so much as he was evacuating from the site of a disaster. In such a case, he needs space while finding a way to manage the mess. Otherwise, he could keep causing accidents in her and Yoon-jae’s life.
Da-ran asks shrewdly, “Did you cause trouble?” Kids tend to run away when they’ve made mistakes, so he must’ve done something. Kyung-joon hangs his head and admits that he got drunk and spent the night with that woman. She’s understandably peeved, demanding, “What did you do with Yoon-jae’s body?”
Kyung-joon says he can’t be certain, “But I don’t think anything happened.” Not exactly convincing. He says he was trying to fix things, but Da-ran accuses him of mucking things up with his interference.
Tempers rise and angry words start flying, and the conversation starts to carry the painful ring of truth: He asks if she’s just worried about not becoming a doctor’s wife, and if the wedding is the only thing that matters, ’cause then why doesn’t she just marry this body-shell while she’s at it?
He says he may be young, but he sure is smarter than her. She fires back sarcastically that she’s really looking forward to where those smarts take him, and he retorts, “Yeah, I’ll grow up smart and not turn out like you!”
On that note, he huffs away, leaving her in tears. Kyung-joon goes home in a foul mood, where he finds the lunch Da-ran made him. He shovels food into his mouth and chokes, then sees her note telling him to eat slowly.
Da-ran heads out with the suitcase while her colleague Hyo-sub busily cleans out his car to offer her a ride, wanting to impress her. She finds Kyung-joon hunched over outside, though, running through a practice apology to her—how he spoke too rashly and how she hits too hard and how he’s really sorry. Then he spots her, and she tells him to come along with her to the hospital. Still feeling bad, he jumps to take the suitcase and speaks to her respectfully, worrying that she’ll get into trouble for leaving early.
She says pointedly, “Why worry, when I’m just going to become a doctor’s wife?” Kyung-joon takes the barb, but points out that she’s the teacher, so she should know better than to take his words at his level when he’s just a kid. Heh.
Kyung-joon sure does love falling back on that age excuse when it suits him, and she calls him out on it. He returns, “That’s why I’m a kid. If I were totally consistent, I’d be an adult, not a kid.” Touché. You can’t argue with that.
He adds that when he grows up, he wants to be a nice adult like her, putting on his best little-boy smile, and she can’t hang on to her peevishness in the face of such charm. As if anyone could.
Hyo-sub finishes cleaning his car just as Da-ran sends him a text, thanking him for the offer but opting not to accept this time. Aw, poor guy.
With Da-ran’s coaching, Kyung-joon submits his paperwork for a leave of absence, citing his car accident as the cause. He’s asked about the children’s charity event, and says that he’ll be able to make that, sure.
Da-ran’s no help, because she hadn’t known of an upcoming event. Kyung-joon barks, “Don’t you know anything about him?” She shoots him a look, and he backs off, “There is enjoyment in learning about each other gradually, I suppose.”
Yoon-jae’s teacher friends call out to him, and Se-young shoots him a knowing look. Da-ran steps in and wipes that smile from her face, saying that Se-young should have called her to take drunk Yoon-jae, apologizing for the “trouble” he caused. Se-young gets the message, that it’s not their little secret if the fiancée knows about it.
The two male doctors urge the couple to take them out for a drink, so all five of them end up at a wine bar, trading pleasantries. The wedding where Da-ran and Yoon-jae met belonged to one of the doctor friends, who laughs about how shocked they were when Da-ran fell down the staircase at the ceremony.
Se-young speaks up jealously, saying pointedly that Yoon-jae’s first impression of Da-ran must have been the image of her rolling down the steps and lying unconscious. Smugly, she adds, “Then it definitely couldn’t have been love at first sight.”
Da-ran shifts uncomfortably, and Kyung-joon clocks her unease before answering that actually, it WAS: “Our Da-ran-sshi fainted adorably. She looked so lovable that I fell for her at first sight.”
Then Married Doctor pipes up that that’s not the right story—has he been lying to Da-ran? Se-young perks up and asks for the real answer, and Married Doctor replies that Da-ran’s fall down the stairs wasn’t Yoon-jae’s first time seeing her. Actually, that was earlier in the day, when she’d been hurrying to deliver the bouquet—she’d run into the elevator, heading straight into his chest while carrying flowers.
She hadn’t noticed him in particular, but as she held the bouquet over her head, he’d quietly put out a hand to hold it up for her.
Then, after the ceremony he’d been there when she’d banged her head against the wall, embarrassed at her run-in with her schoolmates, and he’d watched with amusement as she’d put in her wedding gift, noting her name. And then, he’d sat at her table while she’d eaten, mumbling to herself all the while.
Omo, then was it love after all? Interestinger and interestinger… Da-ran is pleasantly surprised as Married Doctor adds that on top of following her around at the wedding, Yoon-jae had even pulled him aside to ask for an introduction with one of the bride’s friends, named Gil Da-ran. Aw, I’m so happy for Da-ran, and that doesn’t even take into account the satisfaction of Se-young’s sour face.
All Kyung-joon can do is stay silent and let everyone assume he’s just awkward about being outed, but he seems to look at Da-ran’s radiant face particularly closely.
That night at the Gil residence, Choong-shik skips dinner, sure that he’ll be getting a call for pizza, any… minute… now…. I’m actually worried about his future health (his, erm, smarts leave much to be desired), but thankfully his phone rings after all. It’s Mari, asking to claim her bag reimbursement, and he puts on his cool voice to agree to buy her pizza as promised. And then he does an adorable happy dance.
It’s at the pizza restaurant that Mari informs him that it’ll take 300 pizzas to pay for her bag, and he drops to his knees in supplication. Like a character in a sageuk begging a queen for mercy, he asks her to to be patient and let him pay her back little by little, as his parents are but humble folk. Mari agrees: “From now on, I’ll judge from your behavior and deduct one pizza at a time.” Oh, this should make for some hilarious shenanigans.
Choong-shik vows to “noona” to do whatever she asks. She asks if he knows Kyung-joon, and when he mentions the transfer student from America, she’s pleased at the proof that he does in fact know him: “One pizza down.”
She figures Choong-shik isn’t the type to be Kyung-joon’s friend since he seems kinda like a dummy, and barks, “Why, does that make you feel bad?!” Choong-shik smiles sunnily and replies no, because he knows it’s true. Mari likes that answer and deducts another pizza. So cute.
She orders Choong-shik to find out who Kyung-joon’s friends are and report back, because she’s got to know everything about him. Choong-shik tells her Kyung-joon can’t be contacted right now, because he’s in the hospital. Mari’s eyes widen.
Da-ran is floating on cloud nine as she and Kyung-joon leave the wine party, having her “I Feel Pretty” moment while singing along to “Beautiful Girl.” Kyung-joon sniffs at her drunken state, then says she’s probably drunk on learning Yoon-jae called her pretty. He grumps that ajusshi was way too shallow, appraising her beauty on looks and not her heart. Are you jealous of your host? That’s adorable.
Da-ran motions him over to join her on a park bench, tipsily slurring instructions to be quiet for just a moment, “So I can meet Yoon-jae-sshi.” She addresses him as Yoon-jae, asking, “Did you really find me that pretty? You should have said so. Then we could have had that cheesy romantic spark.”
She holds his face and says, “I like you so, so much. I found you beautiful from the start, too.”
Kyung-joon shakes her off and warns her not to confuse him for Yoon-jae. She slumps back, dejected again.
Mari and Choong-shik arrive in Kyung-joon’s hospital room, where she looks at him through tear-filled eyes and urges him to wake up, even slapping his cheek. He remains unresponsive, and she cries.
Meanwhile, Se-young contemplates the photos of the doctor friends and muses to Married Doctor that Yoon-jae seems different these days.
Kyung-joon is grumpy about Da-ran’s newfound giddiness and says he bets Yoon-jae just made up that story to score some free liquor off his friend. After all, a man who falls for a woman at first sight surely doesn’t go around withholding his choco abs from her. ‘s what I’M sayin’.
Kyung-joon tells her that this is the same with young men and grown men alike—men’s love grows proportionately with their physical affections, so conversely if a relationship has no physicality, then the emotions have ceased to grow as well. Da-ran says lamely that it’s slowed, but not stopped.
Kyung-joon does that maddening thing of humoring her, and asks, “Ah, I see. And how far did you go?” She pulls out her “Kids don’t need to know” card, but he isn’t fooled. He grabs her hand and holds it up—did they go this far? She sneers, so he figures okay, this is nothing new.
He scoots close and puts his arm around her shoulders. What about this? He gauges her reaction and supposes this is also familiar to her.
Then Kyung-joon lowers his head and leans in close. Her eyes widen, and he crows, “Ah, you’re tensing! This is where it stops?” He taunts that even he’s gone further, and that she must not have experienced anything further. Goaded, she retorts that she has—and he moves in even closer, willing to call her bluff….
Like girlfriday, I wasn’t a huge fan of the whole Yoon-jae-is-a-cheater storyline as hinted by the end of Episode 2, because that plot just seems so done. Not that a body-swap comedy couldn’t mine the setup for new material, but I much prefer the idea that there’s a whole lot more than meets the eye when dealing with Yoon-jae.
This accomplishes a few things: Character-wise, it steers us away from several overused archetypes—the perfect boyfriend who turns out to be a cheater, the naive girlfriend who doesn’t see that her boyfriend doesn’t love her, the standard Other Woman ready to swoop in to claim her man. Granted, some of these elements are still in play, but the revelation that Yoon-jae did fall for Da-ran changes the playing field. Yes, Da-ran is still frustratingly naive, but she’s not inventing something out of nothing. And Yoon-jae is curiously sexless around her, as Kyung-joon keeps pointing out, but perhaps there’s a reason for that other than him feeling duty-bound to marry some woman he doesn’t like.
Plus, I like that Yoon-jae fell for Da-ran in her “real” state—the one who makes mistakes, talks to herself, gripes about things, and doesn’t feel pressured to put on a perfect persona. Hm, maybe that has something to do with Yoon-jae’s cold feet… or is that too simple an answer? In any case, it also gives us a mystery to solve, and I welcome rom-coms with a mystery element to keep things interesting.
Mari adds an interesting dimension to the storyline, and I liked that flash of something deeper at mention of Kyung-joon’s mother’s death. Already we can see that that was the beginning of the end for him, the last time he cared about anybody, and how he’s been adrift emotionally ever since. I was enjoying the Mari-as-stalker storyline on its own, just because she seems so silly and harmless, and her quirky princess persona seems like such a hilarious foil to Choong-shik’s thick-headed ways. But it seems like she cares for Kyung-joon as well, and perhaps has a deeper insight into his character than anybody else so far.
In fact, I’m not yet convinced that the Kyung-joon-and-Da-ran loveline is the drama’s ultimate pairing, and I’m willing to see where everything goes without needing to know for sure what the end goal is. Usually I like to know, just because I hate feeling like the drama doesn’t know, but in this case I feel like there’s so much territory to mine that I’m content to enjoy the ride.
It almost feels as though the relationship between Kyung-joon and Teacher will be a catalyst for his emotional maturation and rediscovering his place in the world, which I would LOVE. I saw flashes of that in the previous episode where Dad tries to have an awkward bonding moment with him—it was so reminiscent of Delightful Girl Chun-hyang that I got excited for the possibilities.
In fact, this drama feels the most like Chun-hyang of all the Hong sisters’ projects, which makes me super happy since that remains my favorite of their projects. It may not be their most polished, but to me it was the most earnest, and the least slapstick. It was also the only drama with a heroine who wasn’t over-the-top cutesy or comedic, and while the drama was chock-full of comedy, it was situational more than broad. In any case, it’s probably a factor of sharing the same director, and a number of supporting players.
Anyway. If there is no romantic resolution for Kyung-joon and Da-ran, and Kyung-joon instead ends up becoming a part of the Gil family, I might be completely satisfied. No, I’d probably actually be impressed and bawling from all the acquired-family love, which is a storyline that never fails to reduce me to an emotional wreck. When done well, that is. Maybe it’s my knee-jerk aversion to the whole Korean “blood purity” motif where blood conquers all—it’s rampant in stories of birth secrets, chaebol inheritances, orphaned children, fauxcest—but the fact that you can gain a family through trust and warmth? That’s love.