Big: Episode 6
Okay, I don’t know if they did that time jump because the previous episodes were missing that spark, but man I’m glad they did. It’s a new year and a new show, as far as I’m concerned. I might be putting too much stock in the potential that comes out of where we find all our characters a year later, but I’m hoping the change in the tide is one that’s here to stay. Best time skip ever: Nobody gets a lobotomy, and the plot gets a conflict. Win-win?
EPISODE 6 RECAP
So we’re now a year ahead of the original story, and Da-ran attends a friend’s wedding. Yoon-jae’s shell walks right up to her and stands at the elevator, and she looks over in shock, “Kyung-joon-ah!”
But he doesn’t answer, so she asks haltingly, “Yoon-jae-sshi?” He turns and says it’s been a long time. She’s so floored she nearly misses the elevator, and then asks again skeptically, “You’re Kyung-joon-ie, right?”
He shrugs. Okay, that’s a dead giveaway, right? She asks why he hasn’t called, when he came back, what he’s doing here. He just says he’s here for a friend’s wedding, and she gets confused again, “Yoon-jae-sshi?”
Kyung-joon (I’m almost positive) looks over at her and wonders how she got so old in such a short time, and declares with almost too much nonchalance to be believable, “You’re not pretty anymore.”
She scowls, now sure, “You ARE Kang Kyun-joon!” He continues, “When I first saw you, you were so pretty I followed you around.” So it was true! That spins her around again though, “Yoon Jae-sshi?”
Kyung-joon smiles, “I’ve changed so much you can’t even recognize me anymore.” He leaves her dumbfounded in the elevator, and turns back with his trademark, “Uh-oh, mental explosion.”
When she snaps out of it, Da-ran shouts after him, “You ARE Kang Kyung-joon!” as the doors close on her. She catches up to him in the banquet hall and sits down to talk to him tenderly as Kyung-joon, not realizing that the entire wedding party sees her as desperately trying to cling to ex-fiancé Yoon-jae.
Wait, don’t touch his face! He likes you! He smiles to himself to see that she really was confused about who’s soul was in there, and then points out that the whole room is staring at them. Has she already forgotten about whose shell he’s in?
She covers her face in horror, “I only see Kang Kyung-joon, but they all see Yoon-jae-sshi.” Aw, I still find the sentiment really sweet, despite the social mortification happening right now.
Kyung-joon figures that the first person to stand up and walk away hangs onto their pride, and she agrees, suggesting they both get up at the count of three. One… two… and of course Kyung-joon springs up first, “Three.” Derp.
She’s left to clean up the mess, or rather get humiliated by having all her girlfriends run up and publicly console her. ‘Cause that’s so helpful. A real girlfriend would drag her ass out and into a bathroom first.
But just as she’s about to drown in a vat of her own pride, Kyung-joon opens the double doors and hero-walks back in. He beelines straight for her and says he’s counting to three.
She panics, not knowing what’s going on, and springs up at three. He grabs her hand and they go running out of the wedding hall like the end of a nineties music video.
Outside, she thanks Kyung-joon for saving her from an awkward situation, and he has to point out that she just got back together with “Yoon-jae.” He shows her their hands, still clasped.
It finally dawns on her what she did, only to have Kyung-joon tell her that’s actually why he’s here—”They’re telling me to get married.”
And then at the same time (or is it a flashback?), Mom is asking Se-young to stay by Yoon-jae’s side. Great. Now the monsters have teamed up?
Kyung-joon says Mom keeps pushing him to marry Se-young. Da-ran understands, “Because to Yoon-jae’s mother, you’re not an eighteen-year old blood clot.”
He makes this awesome silent oh-no-you-did-not-just-call-me-that face and tamps down his would-be outburst. “That’s a NINETEEN-year old blood clot to you!” Hee.
He says that’s what he needs Gil Teacher for—if he has to get married, then well, Da-ran is the only one who knows the real him. She hilariously leans in and narrows her eyes, asking if this is because he still likes her.
Kyung-joon: “I’m different now. I was too young then.” Da-ran: “You’re STILL young.” He explains that it’s not a real proposal—he just needs her to be his shield against Mom’s parade of women, including Se-young. Da-ran turns him down.
He catches up to her in his car, purposely making another show of their togetherness in front of her friends. She argues that if he’s looking for a girlfriend-shield, he should be looking for girls his own age.
He astutely points out that in his body, going after girls his own age would land him in jail. “I guess if I go to jail, I can’t get married.” HA. Plan B is jail then?
She says she can’t do it—after everything she did to break up with Yoon-jae and forget him, how can she be by his side again and look at him daily? He mutters, “Do you still like Seo Yoon-jae that much? Does it hurt that much to see me?”
He drops her off at home and then stops her, “Gil Teacher, will you say my name?” Da-ran: “Kang Kyung-joon. Kang Kyung-joon. Kang Kyung-joon.” If only this were Beetlejuice.
He watches her go with a wistful look. “I missed you. The one person who calls me Kang Kyung-joon.” Just break mah heart why don’t you.
Da-ran goes home and looks through her box of Yoon-jae stuff, stopping at the picture of Kyung-joon kissing her. I wonder if there are more Yoon-jae memories or Kyung-joon memories in that box, when all is said and done.
Kyung-joon dresses for work, now wearing his grown-up clothes with ease. His room is this strange mix of kiddie bed and figurines, with… medical books? Wait, he’s not going to attempt to be a DOCTOR after a year’s worth of self-teaching, is he? UM…
He meets his colleagues at the hospital and says he’s planning to return to work. He reads another medical text and murmurs to himself that he’s almost filled his brain. Dude. Not the matrix. You can’t just upload that stuff.
And sure enough, as soon as he walks into a ward, he cringes at the sight of blood. Oh, whoops, that part.
He sits with his comatose body for a while, and Mari greets him with surprise. Man, that’s some hardcore love for someone so young. He asks her about that very thing, and she says that because she liked Kyung-joon, he lost the person he loved most in the world.
So she’s going to keep liking him, and then become the person he loves most in the world. That’s… sweet. He gets it now, that it’s more like a loyalty thing for her. And if there’s guilt attached, it makes even more sense to me.
He taps his fingers on her head and that makes her ask directly if he’s got some special connection to Kyung-joon: “Are you… his dad?” Kyung-joon rolls his eyes and says that would mean Seo Yoon-jae would’ve fathered him at the age of twelve. He makes a cheesy Mari pun [Mari mari andwae = Mari makes no sense] and leaves her growling.
Aunt and Uncle work through the connection too—if he’s not Kyung-joon’s dad, then he must be some relative from the dad’s side of the family (they think maybe uncle), otherwise what’s all this talk about the inheritance?
Kyung-joon drops by the school, sending everyone into a tailspin (especially Na Teacher, who thought his competition long gone). He meets with the vice principal to ask about Kyung-joon’s credits required to graduate, and is surprised to learn that everyone thinks Da-ran was dumped.
He announces in front of everyone that he was the dumpee, and so he left to go improve himself and came back to ask again, and got squarely rejected. So cute. I do love that the guy walking around in Seo Yoon-jae’s body has no concern for Seo Yoon-jae’s pride.
As they walk out, Da-ran accuses him of making up an excuse just to come here and do that. He calls her smart and says he needed to do that so she could still save face if she were to date him again.
They argue over the issue again over dinner, and at one point she calls him a little blood clot again and he nearly stabs his fork right through his plate. He wants her to go see Mom with him, and when she refuses, he orders her to get all her newlywed stuff out of his house. Like right now.
She looks around at all the stuff, muttering as she wonders why Kyung-joon became so cold. What, do you even have to ask that? She starts packing up her things, and he arrives after meeting with Mom (just to update her that he’ll stay at the house alone and return to the hospital).
They bicker about when she’s going to move the stuff out, and he tells her to clean the kitchen while she’s at it. So petty. He then goes to the store to buy cleaning supplies and asks, “Which is one that doesn’t clean well, so it’s takes the longest time?” Cute.
Choong-shik goes shoe shopping with Mari, and I’m amazed that they got through a year and he’s STILL got pizzas left on his tab. He actually alludes to the fact that he’s winding down on pizzas, and says he has something to tell her when he’s no longer her slave. Heh.
Mari in turn muses that she never imagined Kyung-joon would still be asleep, three hundred pizzas later. Choong-shik asks if she’s heard anything about Yoon-jae returning to the hospital. For some reason she says no, and Choong-shik nearly murders a shoe as he says he’s been hearing rumblings about Yoon-jae’s return.
Se-young arrives at Yoon-jae’s house with a box of his belongings from the hospital. She walks in smiling in anticipation, but finds Da-ran there instead. They have a standoff in the living room, each wondering why the other is there.
But the hilarious part is, Da-ran is no longer concerned so much about Se-young and Yoon-jae, as she is about Kyung-joon having a hot, scantily-clad lady friend visiting him at night, and tries to reason that Yoon-jae has the mind of a 19-year old right now.
It flies right over Se-young’s head, and she acknowledges that Yoon-jae is different after the accident, but she’s not going to give up on him like someone. But all Da-ran sees is her long legs in her tiny skirt, and chases her out the door before Kyung-joon gets home.
Kyung-joon arrives just in time to see Se-young leave, and smiles to hear that Da-ran chased her out. She tattles that Da-ran thinks he’s a childish kid. Kyung-joon: “I am. I’m a kid. And I’m very childish. Can you handle it?”
Se-young argues that he’s not at all childish, or he didn’t used to be. And she’s not going to give up on him like Da-ran. He sighs, “Fine. If, IF that guy returns, you can have him.” You don’t think that’s a mixed message to the dog with a bone?
He comes in still smiling about Da-ran chasing Se-young out, but frowns to see her lost in thought as she looks at Yoon-jae’s stuff from the office.
She checks out his room and marvels at all the medical texts, amazed that he’s really as smart as he claimed to be. He says it’s not so bad, zooming to thirty in one go. But he doesn’t want to be married off the same way.
She agrees that it’s pretty serious if Se-young is dropping by this late at night. He pointedly mmmm-aaaahs at the thought of that sexy lady coming by at this hour. “Teach, this is a brain that knows no self-control.” Rawr? Or is that icky? Still confused. Though her face at his o-face is awesome.
She tsk-tsks that Se-young would turn right around if she knew that his brain was more blood-clot, kiddy-bed level. Determined to prove her wrong, he gets right up in her face, inching her backward, “Then Gil Teacher would never… ever… feel that pull?”
She says that’s right. Uh-huh. He plops down on his bed and says that’s why Gil Teacher is the only one who can protect his innocent kid-brain. Argh. Still the same Kyung-joon: a man when it’s convenient and a kid when it’s convenient.
She goes home and sighs—what is she going to do about Kyung-joon? She can’t just leave him like that. Kyung-joon looks at the picture Da-ran was holding when he walked in, sighing that the hearts were still coming out of her eyes. Aw, kid.
At school, Na Teacher bemoans never having made a move (for a whole friggin’ year, I might add) and asks Ae-kyung to shoot his heart into the race. She complies, only it backfires and makes her fall for him.
Kyung-joon decides to face the music with Da-ran’s family, but then hides in fear the second Mom appears outside the mandoo restaurant. “That ajumma is the scariest one!” He sneaks in posing as a customer and hides behind a fan.
Thinking himself cowardly, he puts the fan down and gears up to face them, only to see Dad wielding two sharp butcher blades and Mom tapping a rolling pin in her hand. He quickly hides again and makes his way to the door…
Where Mari appears and blocks his exit. They have a silent standoff while Mom and Dad greet her, and he begs her not to give him away. She lets him off the hook and has his mandoo packaged to-go.
They eat in the park and she scowls at another Kyung-joon-copying behavior, taking two radishes per mandoo (I hate that too!) and he gives her the excuse that he normally eats three.
She gets sand in her eye on their way out, and for a moment, while her vision is impaired, when Kyung-joon tells her she’ll be okay and tousles her bangs, she sees him… as the real Kyung-joon. When she blinks the ajusshi returns, and it leaves her puzzled more than ever.
Meanwhile, Yoon-jae’s mother tells Da-ran to clean her stuff out of the house because she’s selling it. Da-ran says that there’s someone who’s supposed to buy it back from Yoon-jae, but obviously Mom doesn’t care.
She looks around the house and worries, remembering how much Kyung-joon had wanted to protect his last remaining possession, and what lengths he went to, to keep it.
Se-young comes by to check in on Kyung-joon as a patient, and finds out from a nurse that Yoon-jae stopped by the hospital to visit this kid. She wonders why and starts digging around, and finds out the connection: they were in the same accident.
Da-ran gets a call to come home to meet a visitor, but Kyung-joon gets there first, to see Na Teacher (who he just calls Phys Ed, ha) making nice with the family. Dad delights in the prospect of having a son-in-law follow in his footsteps, and also squeals to find that his last name isn’t Seo (having long since come to hate the term Seo-suh-bang).
Kyung-joon sees Da-ran walk up, and stops her from going inside. His distraction tactic? An existential crisis about soul and body.
While she ponders his crisis, he sneaks in little questions about Phys Ed. Have they gotten close? She says no really quickly and without thought, and he smiles.
She doesn’t know how to solve his dilemma, but she knows one thing for sure: “You’re just Kyung-joon-ie.” She tells him that he’s young, so he shouldn’t be around adults who are drinking, and he can never smoke, and even though he has a license, the driving still worries her so.
He beams. Awww, that smile is freaking adorable.
Mari watches over Kyung-joon in the hospital, thinking over all the weird signs that Yoon-jae and Kyung-joon are so alike in every way. She wonders aloud, “In this world, is there such a thing as two people who feel the same?”
Uncle comes in to ask if she knows the relationship between the doctor and Kyung-joon, and then gives her yet another puzzling clue: that Yoon-jae bought Kyung-joon’s house.
She asks Choong-shik about it, and he says he doesn’t really understand all the changes that happened to Yoon-jae after the accident. Mari locks in on that—what accident? When? The clues are a-convergin’.
Da-ran and Kyung-joon get coffee, and he sits down first, squeamish at the sight of a barista’s bloody finger. She wonders how he read all those medical books then.
She looks over at him, noticing that his lean-back-hand-in-pocket posture is exactly the same way he sat in class every day. Aw, is she really starting to see him as Kyung-joon? She smiles at him.
But while she’s waiting for the coffee, a girl knocks into him with her drink, not even trying to pretend it wasn’t on purpose. She asks for his number. He takes out his phone and Da-ran grumbles that that kid is really easy, just as her phone rings.
Kyung-joon: “Are you just gonna watch?” HA. He reminds her that she’s supposed to protect him, so she goes running over with their coffee.
The girl asks if she’s the girlfriend, and Da-ran can only manage a “Well… um…” but it’s enough to make the girl go away. He scowls at her lackluster response to the question. He asks again if she’s going play along for his sake, and she says she’s still thinking it over.
He sighs that if Gil Teacher’s thoughts get long (gil-da-ran), her confusion just grows too. He illustrates with a piece of candy taken from a bowl.
“The bait is Kang Kyung-joon. Just bite. The only person in the entire world who knows the real me is Gil Da-ran. This isn’t happy fishing, where I’m trying to catch a lot of fish. It’s sad fishing, where there’s only one fish, and I’m hanging onto it. Gil Teacher, please bite.”
He pushes his metaphor candy across the table as bait. (There you are, Hong sisters trademark! Where have you beeeeeen?)
Meanwhile, Mari has hopped the fence into Kyung-joon’s yard, and discovered his bed inside the house. She fumes and starts attacking the glass. When that doesn’t work, she tosses a chair clean through the window. What’s a little B&E for a true-blue stalker, eh? She’s officially back to being creepy.
She hardly even registers the cut on her arm as she walks past the broken glass, and goes straight for the bedroom, kept exactly as Kyung-joon would. At the same time, Se-young visits Kyung-joon’s body and wonders about the accident that left one asleep and the other without his memories.
Back at the coffee shop, Da-ran guesses that in other people’s eyes, it’ll look like she’s getting back together with Yoon-jae. He says this in-between will never work: it’s either all or nothing, and she has to choose.
Da-ran: “Kyung-joon-ah, I really want to stay by your side and help you. But I don’t want to see Yoon-jae-sshi’s face. It took so much to clean up my feelings, but seeing you with that face… can I stop myself from being swayed? Will I be able to not feel that pull in my heart?”
His face falls as she says the words. He says she’s made her decision then, and agrees not to see each other ever again. He gets up to go. Why does this feel like a break up? A real one? It’s confusing in a really good way.
Her heart sinks as she watches him walk away, and she picks up the candy on the table with a sigh.
Kyung-joon comes home to find his window bashed in and Mari waiting for him. She gives him the third degree and then sticks out her bloody arm for him to treat. He turns away at the sight of blood.
Mari: “Are you afraid of blood too?” Eeep!
Da-ran arrives outside, apparently having changed her mind. I’m happy about that, but too panicked to register it right now.
Mari finally lets the missile fly: “You’re not a doctor, are you? Are you… Kyung-joon-ie?”
Her eyes fill with tears and he says nothing, frozen in shock. Da-ran comes in, of all things calling out, “Kyung-joon-ah!”
Oh NO. Looks of panic, three ways across. Mari asks if it’s true, and then grabs him in a hug, crying, “Kyung-joon-ah. Kyung-joon-ah!”
She found out! I’m actually a little impressed that she sleuthed it all herself, and it seems fitting that the only one who could actually get to that conclusion on her own would be the nineteen-year old. Because body swap is not a logical adult answer to anything. Excited to see what changes her new knowledge will bring.
I actually much prefer the one-year-into-his-adult-body version of Kyung-joon, so the time skip works wonders for me. The previous setup had zero chance of working out—perhaps one reason why many of us, me included, felt emotionally detached from the show as a whole despite liking it (though there could be many other explanations). For me, one thing was clear before: Da-ran was in love with the shell, and almost never saw Kyung-joon or put him first. To the point that it made me question her heart (or lack of one).
But now it’s a new game. For one, Da-ran sees him now and her go-to is Kyung-joon, not Yoon-jae. And he’s come back as an even more confusing version of the manchild that he was—now he seems more mature, more caught up to the body, but also knows better how to play that angle. Because he’s only aged a year, technically, but he seems like he’s closed the gap more than Da-ran will let herself believe. Or is he just playing adult because he’s figured out how to act like one? It’s more of a mind-bender, but in a good way.
Now Da-ran’s number one concern isn’t Seo Yoon-jae. Giving her a year to get over him offscreen is pretty much a godsend, in that now she’s no longer a Seo-Yoon-jae-comes-first mindless robot. She’s finally putting herself first, and has spent the year passing the teaching exam and growing from her pain, like a normal person. Honestly didn’t know she had it in her.
This puts the Body/Soul conundrum in a MUCH more interesting place. Before, Kyung-joon found himself having to compete with his shell, and always losing, which is a given. But now there’s a more interesting conflict: he’s trapped in the body of the man she least wants to see. Like of all the human beings ever. And that’s how she should feel. That’s what we wanted for her—to wake the hell up and grow a spine. Only, now she has… and he’s still trapped in that guy’s body. Whoops.
It’s a million times better a problem than the first one, which was rather simplistic. Before, the body swap wasn’t that big a problem. Sure, it was inconvenient, but fundamentally, it didn’t have a huge conflict that drove it (a mistake, I think, in expecting the body swap itself to BE the conflict). But now, the romance is pitted against the body swap in a crucial way: Will Kyung-joon ever get the girl wearing the body of the man who broke her heart? And if he succeeds, how much of that will be her residual feelings for her last love? Why we didn’t just start here is killing me. I suppose it needs some setup, but I don’t know if we needed five episodes’ worth.
Being stuck in the body that got Da-ran’s heart-eyes was bad, but now his shell actively causes her pain. And his hurt at that unfixable problem (FINALLY) starts to get me in the heart. I hope it’s a conflict that we tease out more, since Kyung-joon thankfully kept his crush going strong while he was away. The soul-body jealousy has been good from the beginning, but with this new dimension, it’s got some serious potential.
And I’m so glad that of all things, Kyung-joon learned to hate being considered a kid. It didn’t bother him before, but now the way he reacts whenever Da-ran calls him a kid or a blood clot is perfect. He’s figured out how to get the entire world to see him as a grown man, but the one woman he wants to impress still sees him as a tiny baby. He spent the first five episodes just wanting to be a kid again, which I understand but care less about. But now he desperately wants to grow up to get the girl, which tugs at the heart in a new way. I hope this is where the central conflict will stay for a good long while.