Big: Episode 10
Now that Da-ran is cluing into her feelings, we get some great stuff – the right kind of angst, a flurry of confused feelings, and a lot of crossed wires between two people who swore not to love each other. Oops. This is why you should always leave a loophole in your fake contract marriages, people!
EPISODE 10 RECAP
While Kyung-joon listens to the Walkman outside the theater, Da-ran stares up at him, surprised by her own reaction to his arrival. She starts, “I feel strange…” and Kyung-joon clicks the tape to stop.
She continues, “Why am I so happy you came?” He totally hears her, but pretends not to and asks what she said. She gets so flustered that she runs back and forth blathering on about buying snacks, and he just watches her curiously.
He spends the entire movie staring at her, and finally asks in the middle of the theater, “Gil Teacher, do you like me?” Eeek! Her eyes grow wide, but his question is cued to a screaming moment in the horror movie (awesome) and she averts her gaze awkwardly.
As they walk out of the theater, she finally answers, “So you heard that…” she attempts an explanation about not wanting to watch a horror movie alone, hence the happiness at his arrival.
He asks why with the moony eyes then. She says she makes those eyes whenever she’s thirsty. She demonstrates to hilarious effect, “Ah… so thirsty.” Kyung-joon: “Are you sure what you were thirsty for isn’t this?” He points to his face.
She finally admits she’s been confused lately, and she doesn’t know why, but she was really happy he came. He takes it in but also notes Yoon-jae’s ring on her finger, and sighs.
He tells her that he promised he wouldn’t go to her so he’ll keep his end of the deal, but if she comes to him, he doesn’t have the confidence to stop her. “So stop being so clingy.” Her jaw drops, “Clingy?”
Just then, a couple with a super clingy boyfriend walks past her and she screws up her face in embarrassment. She imagines the clingy version of her confession, complete with Star Wars opening crawl to define the word he used to call her clingy (the sound of chugging a drink but also used to describe the needy clucking of a significant other).
Meanwhile, Choong-shik finds Mari in a sour mood at the hospital. She asks if a person goes to see a movie they don’t even like just for another person, that means they like them, right?
Choong-shik says that if she had gone to the movies with him, he’d have guessed she liked him 80 points. That crushes her as she wonders, “If it’s eighty, then there’s only twenty left…” For you? Aw, sweetie. Not how it works. She leaves Choong-shik wondering if she has a new crush.
Se-young walks away reeling after conveniently overhearing Yoon-jae’s mother talk about Kyung-joon. She wonders if he could be a second son that she abandoned.
She braces herself and goes to meet her, where Mom asks her for regular updates on Kyung-joon’s condition. While Mom steps away, Se-young eyes a hairbrush with determination. Aw, yeah. You might be evil, but right now your nosiness is serving the plot quite well.
Kyung-joon takes Da-ran to his uncle’s restaurant to eat dinner, and takes every opportunity to use his clingy word kkul-geuk to describe the sound of swallowing stuff, like “glug glug.” She scowls.
He asks if she knows anything about a person Yoon-jae was looking for, someone Mom didn’t want him to meet. She doesn’t, and he guesses it must have been a clingy ex. She chokes at that.
Uncle comes by the table and starts to wonder at all the coincidences—the Doc sure knows a lot about Kyung-joon. Could he… maybe be… someone sent by Kyung-joon’s father?
That’s an unexpected twist for Kyung-joon, and he asks what Uncle knows about Dad. And in case we weren’t suspecting it, we get a shot of Yoon-jae’s father, who takes out a hidden picture of Kyung-joon’s mom Hee-soo.
Uncle says he only saw the man once, right when Kyung-joon was born. All he knew was that Hee-soo called him “Teacher.” (Which is a title for all sorts of things, not just teachers – for instance, doctors.)
Da-ran asks Kyung-joon if he knows anything about his father or wants to go find him, but he balks at that, since to the rest of the world, Kang Kyung-joon is lying in a coma.
Se-young checks in on Kyung-joon and wonders if he’s really Yoon-jae’s little brother, as she suspects. She takes a hair sample from him as well and asks her friend for a DNA test between Mom and Little Bro. Is it weird that I’m cheering her on? I might need a shower after this.
So then more dot-connecting: On the way home, Kyung-joon shows Da-ran the cherub picture in his wallet. Mom told him that Dad drew it himself.
Da-ran gets this niggling feeling that she’s seen this picture before, but Kyung-joon dismisses that as impossible, since only one exists in the world. What, did he go around drawing one for each son he left behind? If only that weren’t true.
She puts the wallet back in his hand and holds his hand in hers for a moment, saying sincerely that if he ever changes his mind about wanting to find Dad, she’ll help in whatever way she can. He teases her about the handholding, and she pounds her head into the window as he laughs.
He asks if there isn’t something she wants to do on her last night of freedom before work, and she drags him to a gift shop to find stuff that’s made in China to give to her coworkers. Kyung-joon finds little white bears and figures if they color them in, they’ll be little pandas. Score.
But they argue on the proper parts to color, and it devolves into a competition. They gear up at home with a basket full of bears and a pair of permanent markers, and get to pandafying the teddy bears. The winner gets to live like a panda – do nothing but eat and sleep.
It actually is sort of confusing when you think about which parts are black, and Da-ran gets tripped up, while Kyung-joon is confident and refuses to share.
Time for the unveiling. Da-ran’s panda looks almost right but wrong, and Kyung-joon proudly presents his.
Da-ran googles pandas disbelievingly, and Kyung-joon comes out the clear winner. I love the way he describes it: “See! Long-sleeve super-cropped belly shirt, bare stomach, rain boots, no panties.” Hahaha. When you say it like that, pandas have weird outfits indeed.
He lifts his panda’s arm up to declare him the winner, and Da-ran makes her panda attack. He immediately requests a back massage and a drink and she complies grudgingly.
They finish up the panda gifts, and we see Gil Panda and Kang Panda hanging up above them. Cute.
Mari goes to see the newlyweds first thing in the morning, and Choong-shik tags along to try and deter her, insisting that it’s rude. They peer in the window and see the couple arguing over the fact that Kyung-joon won’t eat the beans in his rice.
Mari says that he doesn’t like beans. But as soon as Da-ran leaves, they watch as Kyung-joon closes his eyes and swallows the beans with a glass of water, as if they’re pills or something.
Her face falls, and she asks Choong-shik how many points he likes someone if he eats beans for her. Choong-shik says 90 points, and this time Mari says aloud, “Then there’s only ten left for me.”
Choong-shik bites down on his own fist in shock. Does Mari like… Doctor Seo??
Mari finds Da-ran at school and makes sure that they’re still on the same page: “You want Kyung-joon-ie to hurry up and return to his place, don’t you?” But this time Da-ran sighs, “I suppose that’s how it should be.”
Mari asks, “You don’t like it that Kyung-joon is here. You want Seo Yoon-jae ajusshi to hurry back, right?” And this time Da-ran can’t even answer. Aw. Mari asks her to scold Kyung-joon if he ever says that he wants to stay this way.
Da-ran sits there a while longer, lost in thought. She looks down at her ring and sighs that Kyung-joon should go back. That’s what’s right. But she doesn’t look happy about it.
She comes home to find Kyung-joon staring at the cherub picture in his wallet, and she asks if he’s really not going to look for Dad. He says that he’s not interested in seeking him out—he never needed a dad, since he was perfectly happy just him and Mom.
At the same time, Se-young gets the DNA results back, and they’re a 99.9% match. So Kyung-joon is definitely Yoon-jae’s mother’s biological son. She wonders if she should tell Yoon-jae what she knows.
Kyung-joon asks if Yoon-jae’s family situation is like his, since he never once met his father the whole time he was in the States. Da-ran just knows that Yoon-jae’s parents live apart, but that’s about it.
All he knows is that Yoon-jae supposedly sees his father once a year on June 24, but doesn’t know the significance of the date. He prods Da-ran to see if she remembers anything specific about that date, but she doesn’t, and he storms into his room in a huff.
He can’t believe she doesn’t remember that it’s also his birthday, and fumes bitterly. She knows it’s something and searches her brain. The thing she comes up with? Her essay deadline for “Why I Want to Be a Teacher,” assigned by Vice Principal Kim.
He deflates at her answer. She scours the shelves looking for an essay that Yoon-jae once wrote on why he wanted to become a doctor, and says she’s going to use it as “reference.” He guesses more accurately that she’s copying it. *facepalm* Really? Plagiarism, Teach?
He picks up the article and reads a little, as we get a flashback to the warm and caring Doctor Yoon-jae. He writes about wanting to become a doctor at the age of eighteen, when he found out that he was saved by someone extending a warm hand to him.
He writes that he wanted to become someone who could offer a warm hand to others, and thought that if he did, he could extend the salvation he received. It sounds more and more like Yoon-jae discovered at eighteen that he was saved by a transplant of some sort (which he didn’t know at the time), and feels that being a doctor is giving back that debt he owes.
Yoon-jae writes, “I always ask the 18-year old me: Am I doing well? Is my hand warm?” Kyung-joon reads it and looks at his hand dispassionately, the larger meaning lost on him. He figures she can just change all the “doctors” to “teachers” and she’ll be set.
He catches her red-handed in her plan to copy the essay, but she counters that she wanted to become a teacher at 18 too. She asks what Kyung-joon wants to be. He’s more interested in what she thinks—what does she want him to be?
He tells her he can be anything, so she should think about Kang Kyung-joon’s future and spark an interest in something for him to pursue, and then adds oh-so-nonchalantly for her to think about his immediate future as well, say June 24.
She’s left baffled again, until she FINALLY remembers that it’s his birthday. She looks at him studying in his room and muses, “One year older. Kang Kyung-joon’s future…” She smiles.
Se-young meets with Kyung-joon’s aunt and asks about his birth – was Aunt present, and was his mother his birth mother, or was he adopted? But Aunt remembers Hee-soo having a pregnant belly and Kyung-joon being born on June 24, so nothing out of the ordinary.
That throws Se-young into another round of what-hell-with-this-family, and she works out the possibilities. If Yoon-jae’s mom is bio-mom, but Kyung-joon’s mom gave birth… then… surrogate?
The Unrequited Lovers Club meets again at the mandoo restaurant, and this time Uncle tells a ridiculous story about a woman King Sejong loved named Antakab, and he was so heartbroken that he couldn’t be with her, that he invented the word antakab-da (heartbreaking) after her. Pffft.
He calls the regret and heartbreak he carries inside an Antakabi, and they each reminisce about the cruel fate of missed dates with their intendeds, because of a lack of technology (no cell phones, no navigation). I sort of understand why VP Kim might still be moony, but is anyone going to remind Uncle that he’s already married?
Da-ran wonders what she should get Kyung-joon for his birthday, wanting it to be something special that sparks a dream for his future.
Meanwhile Mari thinks priority number one is finding Kyung-joon’s dad, since then Gil Teacher doesn’t have to be his guardian anymore. Da-ran says she doesn’t mind being around for Kyung-joon, but Mari counters that she can’t do it forever, which gives Da-ran a pang of sadness.
Mari tells Kyung-joon that they should look for his dad, and being in Yoon-jae’s body is the perfect disguise for it. Um… if they didn’t share a father, sure.
He doesn’t want to, but Mari says it’s for Gil Teacher’s good—she’s surely burdened by the responsibility of being his guardian, but doesn’t say anything because she’s too nice. He’s left wondering if that’s true, and thinks maybe he shouldn’t have been such a lazy panda then.
Da-ran tells herself that she can’t be around forever in Kyung-joon’s life, so inserting herself into his future is wrong. She convinces herself to focus on her future with Yoon-jae, and thinks back to Yoon-jae’s birthday last year.
She remembers waiting for him with a tandem bicycle for hours… and then he never showed. She spent the time doodling hearts on the bench where she waited. Seriously, this is your memory of his birthday? Sigh. She psyches herself up that she was able to wait for him for hours, so she can wait longer now.
As Da-ran cleans, Kyung-joon keeps giving her furtive glances, checking to see if she seems burdened by having to take care of him. But she’s glancing at him too, for different reasons: “The face is Yoon-jae’s, but why do I keep seeing Kyung-joon?”
They lock eyes and she awkwardly blurts something about the house being burdensomely large to clean, and he fixates on that word and jumps up. He grabs the mop and tells her to lie around, and he’ll clean and mow the lawn “so that it’s ready for army duty.” Ha. I don’t think you need to shave the lawn into a crew cut.
She wants to help but he ushers her up to her room and insists that he was perfectly capable of doing all this when he was living alone, so she doesn’t need to do any of it, and tells her to rest.
She goes to her room and sighs, “Kyung-joon-ie would be fine without me.” Aw, I love this—he’s scared she’ll go away if he doesn’t help her, while she’s scared he doesn’t need her around.
She tells herself to stop thinking about Kyung-joon and heads out to try and find “The Gil Da-ran who knows how to wait.” She rides her bicycle around the park looking for that bench, confused because they all look the same.
Mari comes by to tell Kyung-joon that she found a connection between his parents—an art professor that they shared. Dad happens to be arriving in Korea at the same time, and his first stop is to meet said professor.
The professor says that Yoon-jae came by once to ask about Hee-soo and her son, and asks if they’ve found the child. But Dad says no, they haven’t yet.
Kyung-joon tells Mari that he doesn’t need to find his father because that’s not the person he wants around in his future. Mari asks who that is. Kyung-joon says that even though he can become anything that someone else wants of him, he can’t expect someone else to act according to his expectations. “So I don’t care if I’m alone.”
Mari volunteers herself for the position, and then moves another purseful of things into her makeshift room.
Da-ran searches the whole park for that bench but can’t find it, and wills her heart to beat the way it did when she was waiting for Yoon-jae on his birthday. But it won’t beat faster for Yoon-jae, no matter how much she commands it to.
And then Kyung-joon calls and says he’s at the park looking for her, and she tells him where she is. She hangs up and starts to wait, and then feels a thud in her heart.
She puts her hand there, “My heart is beating just like it was when I was waiting for the person I liked. Why am I like this? The person I’m waiting for is Kyung-joon.”
She stands there waiting with her hand over her heart, and when she sees him in the distance, the feeling overwhelms her. “I must be crazy.” She hides behind a tree, not wanting to face it.
He calls to ask where she is, and she says, “I’m not here,” which is hilariously telling. But the moment he notices her behind the tree, she tells him, “The person I’m waiting for isn’t you. So don’t look for me. I can’t look at you right now.”
He gets the message and turns around, and she watches him walk away, her heart breaking. She says aloud to herself for Kyung-joon to go because she’s in the middle of waiting right now, but tears start to fall the farther he gets from her.
The art professor looks at the Miracle book and guesses right away that it’s the story of Dad’s two sons, one Yoon-jae the other Kyung-joon. Dad says nothing in response.
Kyung-joon gets home when suddenly another jolt hits him and his coma body lifts up as he goes there for a split second. He slumps to the ground.
The nurse sees Kyung-joon’s body move and runs to get Mari and Se-young.
Da-ran finally finds the right bench, though now her heart is faded and surrounded by other people’s doodles. She puts a hand to her heart, but sighs when nothing happens. She wonders why it’s not the same as before.
Mari calls in a panic to say that Kyung-joon’s body moved. Is she with him? Is it Yoon-jae or Kyung-joon? Da-ran says she’ll find out, and the first thought out of her mouth is, “Is Kyung-joon-ie gone?”
She races home and calls out his name, and finds him slumped over on the couch, in the middle of trying to call for help.
She asks hesitantly, “Kyung-joon-ah?” He opens his eyes slowly and she can barely contain herself as she waits for his answer. She searches his face and then he finally answers, “Gil Teacher. It’s me.”
She lets out a breath of relief and then the tears hit her like a wave. We know she’s crying in relief because her fear was that Kyung-joon would leave her, but he thinks of course that she’s crying in sorrow.
Kyung-joon: “I’m sorry that Seo Yoon-jae couldn’t come back.”
A tear falls as he watches her cry.
He calls Mari to update her on the non-change, and she says things are the same at the hospital. She asks if he’s okay, and he says that it hurt a lot. He wonders why they don’t switch permanently and instead just get bursts of searing pain.
She asks about Da-ran and he sighs that she must’ve been really disappointed because she cried a lot and went up to her room.
Upstairs, Da-ran sinks to the ground and breaks down in tears, “I must be crazy.” She cries and cries, and Kyung-joon hears her from the other side of the door. He murmurs to himself, “Seo Yoon-jae, hurry back.” To end her pain? You two are killing me.
The next morning, Ae-kyung gets word that Da-ran is too sick to come to work, and she bristles at Na Teacher’s concern for Da-ran. She pretends a customer service call is from a guy she’s going on a blind date with, and he walks away and leaves her pouting.
Kyung-joon comes to check on Da-ran and asks why she’s sick when he’s the one who was in pain: “Were you that disappointed?” She turns away from him and says that it’s her she’s disappointed in.
He says that he went back for longer, almost thirty seconds this time. He’s sure they’ll switch back soon, so stop being disappointed. Aw.
“Kyung-joon-ah, when you change back for good, will I be able to let you go?” He hears that as burden and responsibility rather than her heart, and asks with tear-filled eyes, “Am I really that burdensome?”
He tells her to stop thinking about those things and just not be sick anymore. He leaves to go get her medicine.
Se-young comes by to give Yoon-jae’s mother an update on Kyung-joon and decides to just ask her outright: “Isn’t Kang Kyung-joon your son?” Mom doesn’t need much prodding to spill the beans, and confirms how all the puzzle pieces fit together.
When Yoon-jae was twelve, he was really sick and needed a younger brother to survive (they don’t specify what, but we can guess it’s some kind of transplant). Mom wasn’t in the condition to have another child, so Dad and the woman he loved, Hee-soo, had the child.
She makes it sound like they had a child between them, though we know from the DNA test that what they did was get her to be a surrogate, since he’d have to be a biological match to Yoon-jae to help him.
She admits that Kyung-joon was born specifically to save Yoon-jae. Damn, that’s crazy. She adds that she can’t say that Kyung-joon is her child. Because then you might feel the insane amount of guilt that you should?
The art professor reads through the Miracle book and narrates that it’s the tale of two boys who save the other in turn. Se-young tells Mom that in their accident, Yoon-jae saved Kyung-joon without knowing who he was.
She wonders if they oughtn’t tell Yoon-jae, but Mom doesn’t want to do that ever and tells her to butt out. She has every intention of never seeing Kyung-joon again, barring Yoon-jae having more health issues. You are one cold fish, lady.
Se-young watches over Kyung-joon’s body, now realizing that he was born only to save Yoon-jae’s life. She worries that he might never wake up and just die this way. If you grow a conscience and meddle in this, I’ll totally forgive your other meddling. Really, I swears it!
Kyung-joon comes home with medicine for Da-ran but her room is empty. He finds her in the park and she says she’s okay now and asks if he is too. He is, but he figures it’ll hurt a lot more when they change for real.
Da-ran: “Us returning to our rightful places… seems like it’s going to hurt a lot.”
Kyung-joon tells her that if worrying about him is burdensome, she doesn’t need to waste any concern on him. “I’ll be patient by myself, and when I change back, I’ll disappear from your side.”
She looks into his eyes as he adds nervously, “I’ll disappear so you’ll never have to see me again.”
Both a lot of development and very little at the same time, if that’s possible. I really wanted her crying outburst to be accompanied by a panicked confession of some sort, so that he’d know her fear and desperation is about him leaving and not about her disappointment that he’s still here.
But I’m grateful for at least the huge step in Da-ran realizing her feelings – no confusion this time, but a clear understanding that her heart no longer beats for Yoon-jae, but does for Kyung-joon. I liked the waiting motif, mostly because it doesn’t require their physical presence—she can’t be confused by Yoon-jae’s face if that’s not what she’s looking at when her heart thumps for Kyung-joon. Her heart seems firmly attached to Kyung-joon in that body now, so much that when she hides behind that tree and says she can’t look at him, it’s not Yoon-jae’s face she’s talking about.
I think it’s to this show’s detriment that her feelings came now (late for me) but I’m not about to look a gift horse in the mouth. Now that their relationship is charged with emotion and their equal desire to do right by the other person, it’s fraught with the right kind of tension that’s moving and sweet. I love the crossing of wires for them, because it’s not caused by some interloper (though Mari does keep trying). It’s really just that they can’t give up on the idea of what they’re supposed to do, to make the other person happy. It turns out their love triangle is soul-body-teacher, which is kind of funny and also really really hard to overcome. ‘Cause soul kinda can’t detach itself from body for the time being.
And there’s something really interesting about that problem because Yoon-jae’s shell is both the reason why she began to see Kyung-joon beyond his 18-year old shell, but is also their biggest hindrance in ever doing anything about it. And I like that in the end, it’s the same problem they would’ve had sans body swap at all. Her primary concern has shifted to Kyung-joon’s age and the lines she shouldn’t cross as his teacher, and hiding her feelings because they’re crazy and inappropriate. Well, they are till June 24. *wink wink*
I’m glad the family mystery has finally been revealed, and I’m happy that it’s more complicated than a simple secret illegitimate love child, half-brother scenario. But what the hell, family? You have a child by surrogate for the sole purpose of saving your son? That’s crazy. Now I’m curious how much Yoon-jae knew—did he simply think he was searching for a donor, or did he know he was searching for his biological brother, born to save his life? And if they chose the woman Dad was in love with to give birth to the child (which seems EXTRA crazy to me) it makes sense why Dad is more attached to Kyung-joon and seeking him out, whereas Mom puts herself at a cold distance.
The particulars of all of this still seem nutty to me, but I like the one-born-to-save-the-other connection, because they do in fact mirror the act eighteen years later without knowing why. Now the idea that only one brother might survive in the end seems more of a likely threat—perhaps according to Fate, only one brother was ever supposed to be born, but the parents took the matter into their own hands, to tragic consequences? I think we’re gonna need some major mojo for them to both walk away from this alive. Get that shaman back on the line! On the upside, this week felt a lot more like classic Hong sisters writing, full of twists and wordplay and double meanings from every other line. I feel like this drama’s been light on their usual flair, so it was nice to have that flavor back in action this week. Hope it’s here to stay.