Drama Recaps
White Christmas: Episode 3
by | July 21, 2012 | 55 Comments

We’ve got the unlikeliest personalities working together to solve the same mystery that keeps compounding onto itself, revealing more and more unwanted secrets the closer our boys get. Everyone knows what they’ve done but not how to fix it, and this episode forces them to come face to face with their darker selves and, to a lesser degree, a murder. What does a young boy meet as he strays from the clear road? In this show, it’s either dead bodies or avalanches.

SONG OF THE DAY

White Christmas OST – Mansun “You, Who Do You Hate?” [ Download ]

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EPISODE 3 RECAP

It’s day four of the Christmas break, and there’s more snow and ice than ever, leaving everyone slipping and sliding if they try to walk outside. Kang-mo tells Moo-yul that Doctor Kim fell victim to the ice and hurt his arm, leading him to help the Doc put his injured arm in a sling.

Teach doesn’t show up for breakfast, and no one thinks much of it as Young-jae decides to start the morning off right by ridiculing Yoon-soo for his breakdown yesterday. I don’t know why he thinks this is a good idea, but he gets his comeuppance when Yoon-soo launches himself over the table and beats him until Moo-yul and Jae-kyu pull them apart.

Yoon-soo doesn’t seem to remember anything he said the day before, which Young-jae claims is due to his waning sanity and drugs. Moo-yul insists that Yoon-soo isn’t on drugs because he flushed the rest down, which merits a curious reaction from Ji-hoon – if Moo-yul could tell when Yoon-soo was or wasn’t on drugs, that means the teachers could too. Yet no one did anything.

Moo-yul and Jae-kyu turn up empty-handed in their search for Teach, and for that matter, Mi-reu. Moo-yul thinks Mi-reu just went home, but Jae-kyu knows he’s still on campus since there were no footprints in the snow.

Cut to: Mi-reu trying to wedge the cell door open with a pen. He fails and rages impotently, until he spies the security camera and begins to flail in front of it, hoping that someone will see. Lucky for him, Moo-yul has gone to his room to look for him and turns on Mi-reu’s laptop, flipping through the hacked security footage until he spots Mi-reu on screen.

They go down to the detainment area, and Mi-reu couldn’t be happier to see them. However, Moo-yul doesn’t seem keen on letting his new friend out when there must have been a reason for Teach to put him there in the first place, and doesn’t seem satisfied when Mi-reu says he didn’t do anything. Mi-reu even pulls up his shirt to reveal the major back bruise he’s sporting from the judo throw in an attempt to garner pity.

Moo-yul is taking his goody two-shoes role a bit too seriously, since he leaves Mi-reu in the cell to check the CCTV footage, since Mi-reu said that Teach was up to something. But of course, Teach deleted all that footage from last night, so there’s no evidence backing Mi-reu’s claim that Teach threw him.

He’s quick on the uptake though, and guesses that someone might have erased the footage. Ji-hoon arrives just at that moment wanting to talk to him, and they have a Smart Kids Meeting over the weirdness going on, which Young-jae overhears.

Poor Mi-reu stays locked in his cell like a zoo animal as Moo-yul, Jae-kyu, and Ji-hoon come to stare at him. They leave without a word, and soon Young-jae arrives in front of the cell, hilariously turning right back around when he confirms that it’s Mi-reu locked inside.

Ji-hoon shows Moo-yul the student pamphlet with Teach’s profile and points out something interesting; every permanent teacher at Susin High must have impeccable credentials and meet certain criteria, only Teach has none of those. He became a permanent employee not long after the school trip where Yoon-soo passed out, and at the recommendation of the school’s chief donor – Yoon-soo’s father.

Suffice to say, Ji-hoon believes that Teach was bought off by Yoon-soo’s father after discovering him on drugs during the trip. Ji-hoon wants to break into the teacher’s dorm, a thought which has the morally upright Moo-yul worried that they’ll get in trouble. Ji-hoon displays no fear and calmly says he’ll go alone if they’re so scared.

Meanwhile, Doctor Kim throws back his fair share of painkillers due to his arm, watching Ji-hoon & Co. from bed as they pass the clinic. Ji-hoon takes a taser to the electronic lock guarding the teacher’s dorm and goes inside, though Moo-yul takes a while to steel himself before doing the same.

They find Teach’s room and two black letters – the one Moo-yul gave him, and the one he received on his own. They surmise that Teach’s black letter sin is, “You silenced me.” Or more specifically, “You kept your silence about the things you knew,” meaning Yoon-soo’s drug use.

Ji-hoon is quick on the uptake but so is Moo-yul, and they put the pieces together – Teach remembered who Yoon-soo was with at the trip once Moo-yul told him about the letter, so he called someone to confirm it (they don’t have this detail right, since Teach had called the principle) and Mi-reu saw, which ended in Teach locking Mi-reu up.

Moo-yul becomes annoyed when Ji-hoon starts laughing, and Ji-hoon simply replies that it’s all very amusing. Moo-yul is a bit more indignant, but Ji-hoon just shrugs him off as they all go down to Mi-reu’s cell. At least this time Mi-reu is annoyed enough to ask them to pay money for their peep show.

They want to know what he knows about Teach’s late-night phone call, but Mi-reu is wise enough to withhold the information that they want until they release him. Mi-reu smirks as he asks if this scene looks familiar, and it’s Young-jae who points out that this is like a scene from The Silence of the Lambs. Ha. So Mi-reu is playing quid pro quo, only Moo-yul & Co. aren’t offering anything from their side.

The meeting ends in a stalemate when Mi-reu won’t give up the name he saw on the student record unless he’s released, and for whatever reason Moo-yul & Co. won’t let him out unless he tells them.

While Eun-sung finds herself unable to connect to the internet, Young-jae argues against letting Mi-reu out, claiming that he could be an accomplice to the letter writer or that he could have hurt the teacher. Moo-yul doesn’t believe this last point since Teach practiced judo, and Ji-hoon finally puts Mi-reu’s release up to a vote, with everyone but Young-jae raising their hands.

So Mi-reu is released by popular vote, much to Young-jae’s dismay. They try to get Mi-reu to tell them the name he saw, which leads them all to the staff room and the student record book. Mi-reu flips through it until he finds Kim Jin-soo’s page, the one that Teach had been looking at last night. He’s able to recognize it not because he remembered the name, but because of the smudge he left on the page from the bread he was eating.

Mi-reu’s interest in the matter doesn’t extend any further, and he announces that he’s going to head home before Teach returns. Ji-hoon sees Kim Jin-soo’s page and realizes that he’s the same year, even though he doesn’t remember him. Mi-reu chimes in: “That’s Choi Ji-hoon.” Then he focuses on Ji-hoon specifically as he says cryptically, “Don’t die on me.”

He leaves, and Young-jae finally recognizes Kim Jin-soo as “Pervert Jin-soo,” who Moo-yul remembers as being rumored to be gay because he hit on Yoon-soo once. The record shows that he took leave from school on the third of January, right after last year’s Christmas break, where he’d been one of the two students that stayed behind.

Curiously, the record shows that an ambulance was called on Christmas Day, though the specifics aren’t shown. He died on January 29th. That’s when Moo-yul recalls the black letter, specifically the part that read “After eight days, walk up the path by the Zelkova tree. Under the clock tower, you will see someone dead.” Moo-yul: “He meant that he would die. We didn’t receive a letter, it was a suicide note. Last year’s suicide note.”

As for who sent the letter, Ji-hoon thinks it would have been Kim Jin-soo’s closest friend… and the record shows that person to be Kang-mo.

Speaking of, we find Kang-mo very creepily printing out the photos he took of Eun-sung after she cut her wrists, while our boys discuss the likely reasons why Kang-mo would send the letter on Kim Jin-soo’s behalf, and why he would want to wait till the school was empty on Christmas break to get revenge for his dead friend.

Moo-yul thinks he’d want to make it known that someone died because of them, and Young-jae considers the case closed. Even if it isn’t, a beating or two would get the truth out of Kang-mo, right? Ji-hoon disagrees, since he’d witnessed how Kang-mo fought back against Mad Mi-reu when he’d smashed his camera once. No small feat, since he points out that Young-jae can’t even look Mi-reu in the eye without cowering.

Ji-hoon goes off to think, with Moo-yul and Jae-kyu doing the same until Young-jae is left completely alone. Moo-yul uses Mi-reu’s laptop to watch the CCTV footage, and Jae-kyu wonders aloud, “What’s Choi Ji-hoon thinking about?” Moo-yul gives a sudden, aggravated answer unlike him: “How should I know?!”

He catches himself and apologizes, watching Ji-hoon on the screen as he says: “When I look at Choi Ji-hoon, I can understand Kang Mi-reu.” Interesting, since Mi-reu hates Ji-hoon. Is it all jealousy over his intelligence?

Meanwhile, Ji-hoon goes to the clock tower and checks the dedication nameplate at its base to find that it was donated by Yoon-soo’s father in March the year before. Young-jae finds Kang-mo in the meantime and begins to not-so-nicely question him about who his closest friends are – the kind of close that’d make him want to avenge that friend if he died.

Moo-yul comes in time to stop the situation from escalating, though Kang-mo seems suspicious. He warns Young-jae that they don’t have any evidence against Kang-mo save for the fact that he used to be friends with Kim Jin-soo, so Young-jae says fine – but if something happens, Moo-yul will have to take responsibility.

Strangely though, Kang-mo doesn’t seem to wise up that security cameras are following his every move and fiddles with the bookshelf in the recording studio he frequents, while Moo-yul and Jae-kyu watch through Mi-reu’s laptop.

Speak of the devil, it looks like Mi-reu has really taken it upon himself to make it home even with the snowstorm, as he quite literally skis his way down the mountain. Moo-yul finds the books Kang-mo put away, flipping through them to see pages and pages of pictures, all of Eun-sung. Eek. Well, now his picture-taking of her in the snow makes a little more sense.

We find him watching Eun-sung as she tends to Doctor Kim in the clinic, as he’s come down with a fever. Kang-mo tries to sneak a picture of her with the camera he always hangs around his neck, but the lens hits the glass door and alerts her to his presence.

Next we know, Kang-mo is at Moo-yul’s dorm, claiming Eun-sung wants to see him. Young-jae closes the door after he enters and Kang-mo realizes he’s being trapped, though he still acts innocent when Moo-yul tells him they found the black letter’s writer – and his face falls once he hears the name Kim Jin-soo.

So Young-jae lays out the story as he believes it – that Kim Jin-soo and Kang-mo were best friends, and whenever Jin-soo was picked on, he’d go to Kang-mo. And then he died. It’s this last detail that surprises Kang-mo as he asks, in what seems like genuine surprise, “Did Kim Jin-soo die?”

Eun-sung hears a noise from the clinic and finds Doctor Kim barely holding himself up, having knocked over furniture in an attempt to stand.

Back in the dorm room Young-jae urges Kang-mo to confess to sending the letters to avenge his friend, but Kang-mo paints a different story. Though Kim Jin-soo listed Kang-mo as his best friend in the school records, Kang-mo listed Kim Jin-soo as the person he disliked the most.

Moo-yul: “You didn’t like Kim Jin-soo?” Kang-mo: “Of course I didn’t like him. He was the only one who totally treated me like a disabled person.” We see a flashback where Kim Jin-soo had told Kang-mo to be strong because of his hearing disability, pity that Kang-mo did not welcome.

“What was worse was that he felt he was superior to me,” Kang-mo continues. “I know everyone else did too. But no one made it as obvious as he did.” Even Young-jae, the school bully, notes that Kang-mo is being harsh to a dead person. Kang-mo doesn’t seem to care, and says that he preferred Young-jae’s bullying over Kim Jin-soo’s presence, until the day he finally told Jin-soo to get lost.

Young-jae continues the investigation with the second piece of evidence – Kang-mo’s photo collection of Eun-sung. Young-jae: “Even my mom didn’t take this many photos of me.” Kang-mo asserts that taking photos of Eun-sung isn’t a crime, and if it is, then Young-jae should be implicated too. Kang-mo: “Often when I took photos of her… Very often, you were around.”

This is the second major hint we’ve gotten that Young-jae secretly crushes on Eun-sung, and Young-jae doesn’t take the implication lightly. Just as he’s about to punch Kang-mo, Eun-sung enters to deliver the news that Doctor Kim is running a dangerously high fever, and the snow has blocked out the internet and the phone lines. They’re trapped.

Kang-mo notes that Doctor Kim’s fever will affect his brain functions if it gets much higher – his hearing impediment was caused by his mother running a high fever when she was pregnant. With the exception of Kang-mo they all head to the clinic, while Moo-yul gives Jae-kyu the order to stay behind and keep an eye on Kang-mo.

Through the CCTV, Jae-kyu watches as Kang-mo breaks into the main security office by getting past the most laughable electric locks, where simply pulling their batteries out opens the door. He tries to stealthily report this to Moo-yul as he’s laying ice packs on Doctor Kim, but Young-jae knows Kang-mo’s done something right away.

Ha – I love that Moo-yul hangs a lantern on the door lock deal, by asking Jae-kyu how Kang-mo got through and then noting: “So much for the latest technology.” Kang-mo was only in the room for ten seconds, but there aren’t any security cameras inside to tell them what he did there. Everything looks fine, but Jae-kyu seems oddly nervous and starts breathing heavily. Moo-yul goes looking for Ji-hoon.

Eun-sung and Young-jae are left tending to Doctor Kim, and the conversation gets more than a little weird when Young-jae implies that Eun-sung might be in danger trapped with six boys on a mountain, though she knows that he only means himself. Then it gets even weirder when it’s implied that she shouldn’t care either way since she tried killing herself.

Eun-sung: “Why? If I’m going to die, should you and I…?” She trails off, leaving the rest to the imagination as she asks Young-jae if he still likes her, which he scoffs at like a child. “Jo Young-jae, maybe you were born as a kind person too,” she muses. “There’s a reason why you’ve turned out this way. But I will never know what that reason is. You’re just a loser to me.”

He asks her to elaborate, and she gives a cryptic reply: “That’s the tragedy between us. The tragedy among all human relationships.” She leaves him with Doctor Kim while she tracks down Moo-yul, Jae-kyu, and Ji-hoon in the security room, thinking it funny that the smartest boy and the most obedient boy have broken in.

With Ji-hoon’s help, they’ve found that the phone and internet aren’t down due to the snow, but because someone intentionally sabotaged the communication mainframe. Even Ji-hoon doesn’t know if it can be fixed.

Everyone (sans Kang-mo) convenes to discuss their suspicions about him being the one to mess with the mainframe, though Eun-sung points her suspicions toward their missing teacher. Their black letter sins are all small, but Teach’s could get him fired or even jailed. Eun-sung: “What would you do if you were him? It’s common. Tell a big lie to cover small ones. Commit a big crime to cover up petty crimes.”

Meanwhile we find Mi-reu taking a traveling break in the middle of a snowy forest, kept company by some strange, beeping device. A GPS maybe?

Young-jae suggests that they leave the school, but Ji-hoon tamps down that idea when he knows they’d all freeze to death. Moo-yul suggests waiting till morning so that Doctor Kim’s fever can drop, and votes that they all sleep together in the same room tonight.

Jae-kyu follows Ji-hoon as he goes to investigate a hunch, and Eun-sung goes to Moo-yul’s room to see the pictures Kang-mo took of her. She acts like the photos don’t affect her and wonders if Kang-mo masturbated to them, but soon she’s ripping the photos out. Eun-sung: “He’s crazy. I’m going to kill him.”

Just then, Moo-yul spots something under his bed and pulls Eun-sung away, just as Kang-mo emerges from underneath. He tries to protest his innocence but drops a sharp object/weapon he was carrying in the process, only alarming Moo-yul more when he picks it back up, claiming it’s only for self-defense.

He has a point since everyone is suspicious of him, though he tells Moo-yul that he’d realized the lines couldn’t be down due to the snow because they’re all underground, which is why he broke into the security room earlier, suspecting that someone broke the communications computers. He came here to warn Moo-yul, and after taking one look at Eun-sung, Kang-mo leaves.

Moo-yul makes sure Eun-sung’s room is secure before leaving her alone, telling her to lock the doors until he returns. Just in case, he gives her a whistle, and promises that he’ll come running if he hears it. Her normally sarcastic outer layer fades as she utters a genuine thanks.

We catch up with Mi-reu, who’s finally able to see headlights from a road in the distance. His excited exclamation causes some of the nearby ice to crack. Uh oh. Avalanche?

There’s something strange going on between Ji-hoon and Jae-kyu, as Ji-hoon looks back through teachers’ memos about Kim Jin-soo while Jae-kyu follows him around. Ji-hoon: “Jo Young-jae tainted Kim Jin-soo and made him pitiful. Yoon-soo turned him into the monster in the corner. The teacher silenced him. Eun-sung ridiculed his false hopes. Park Moo-yul took the only thing he had and put it around his neck. He held out his hand and Yang Kang-mo let go. I deleted him from my eyes.”

Then he levels a look at Jae-kyu, and asks him if he transferred to Susin High by taking Kim Jin-soo’s place when he died. They’re interrupted by the sound of Eun-sung’s whistle as she stands outside, and all the boys start running toward the sound as we hear in voiceover:

I can confess that I had some expectations. Eighteen years. Not an adult or a child, an in-between age with desires of escape. It may not be as adventurous as Huckleberry Finn or Nanook, but I had some hope about escaping from reality. It was the last time that we could believe in adventure. Up until now, we were more excited than afraid. But we had forgotten – no matter how bright a voice you tell it in, breaking away from reality is dangerous. The boy must be cruel in order to survive. Huckleberry Finn and Nanook ended up meeting the devil too.

Everyone but Kang-mo finds her outside near the base of the school fountain, and she keeps blowing on the whistle with her eyes fixated on one spot until Moo-yul calls her name. “Over there…” she stammers out, her whole body shaking as she points to the base of the fountain. “Over there…”

And the camera pans to reveal first a human hand half-buried in the snow, before the wind comes and blows away enough snow to reveal Teach’s face. They’re all looking at his corpse.

And Mi-reu turns around just as he hears a rumbling sound, only to stand stock still as an avalanche barrels down the mountain toward him.

 
COMMENTS

This episode moved a little slower than those that came before it, taking its time to establish our characters, their allegiances, and their hidden sides as well. There’s something special about Ji-hoon, whether it’s the actor or the way everyone seems to trust him as the cool-headed genius with a good heart. He has a quality about him that instills trust in the others even when he never asks for it or relies on it.

That, I think, is one of the greater aspects of character displayed here – because we’re not only being told that Ji-hoon is the capable smartypants, but we see it, and subtly at that. We can see why both he and Mi-reu are respected as alpha males for totally different reasons, and why Ji-hoon is the de facto leader everyone looks up to once Mi-reu is gone. The thing is, Ji-hoon doesn’t have to try to be That Guy, which is why it chafes Moo-yul so much that he is, because Moo-yul tries very hard to be That Guy, only he isn’t.

It’s a weakness Young-jae exploited in the first episode when he called Moo-yul out on competing with Ji-hoon, the born genius, and you could almost say Moo-yul is the ‘made’ genius. Does that legitimize him any less? I love that it’s a question the writer keeps posing through Moo-yul’s own insecurities. It was just one line but it was incredibly telling, when Moo-yul snapped at Jae-kyu for wondering what Ji-hoon thought – telling because Jae-kyu had more faith in Ji-hoon’s ability to work through the problem, and that Moo-yul realized it. You can tell that Moo-yul wonders why he isn’t good enough and struggles with it, and there are times where he can’t control that impulse to shake others by the shoulders going: “I’m the one here for you. I’m good enough. I’m capable enough.”

So in exploring Ji-hoon more we get a better glimpse of what makes Moo-yul tick, and that sort of snowballs into the other character moments we get this episode. The revelation that Young-jae likes Eun-sung isn’t too much of a surprise because we got that impression before, though it’s interesting to contrast Young-jae’s almost toothless affection toward her compared to Kang-mo’s very dark tendencies. Young-jae is a bully but a scaredy-cat, and deep down, maybe he’s a good person. Eun-sung says as much. But the more we see of Kang-mo the worse he becomes, and there’s that totally unapologetic quality to him, too. He hates others for looking down on him for being deaf, but in turn looks down on everybody. Sounds cheesy, but it is really a vicious cycle.

I do like that we’ve gone darker with this episode, with the black letter mystery still unsolved as we head into new territory now that everyone’s discovered that there’s been a murder. A small detail I really enjoyed was that we (and some of our characters) saw that pile of snow since the beginning of the episode, with no one aware until the end that they were laughing and talking feet away from their teacher’s corpse. If that’s not dark, I don’t know what is.

 
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55 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. gracie

    Thank you thank you thank you so much! I’m forever indebted to you for introducing this great drama to me~

     (0)


  2. meecheellee

    Yay! Been waiting for this!!! Off to read! (: THANKS HEADS!

     (0)


  3. Noelle

    Yay! Off to read!

     (0)


  4. Kaddie

    Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful drama, I finished it two days after the first episode recap you posted.

    Usually, there is always a character I gravitate towards from the get go whenever I watch a drama, and during the first few episodes it was Mireu. But afterwards, I started finding Ji Hoo more interesting without being told he was meant to be interesting if that makes sense. It’s so easy for a writer to introduce someone as the most capable, smart person, but it’s so much more satisfying when they trust that we as an audience can pick up on these traits our selves.

    I’m definitely re-watching this drama, as well as keeping up with these recaps!

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    • 4.1 random person

      I finished this drama soon after the first recap too! I think I like Ji Hoon (and Miru) the most because he was the least irritating, after all was said and done. Reliable and resourceful. <3 But he and Miru's attractiveness are probably helped a lot by being contrasted with the complexity and flaws of the other characters.

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    • 4.2 Craxycat

      I did too! Although on youtube a lot of videos have been removed I tried to follow what I could (any other links you know of?). I missed a lot but the characters are really compelling, and it tosses and turns so much that even though I have finished it these recaps are so informative. I haven’t picked a favorite yet, but I did like ‘the plague and ES’ at the beginning which then of course has changed again. Thanks for the recaps can’t wait until the next installment.

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  5. Nokcha

    I’m not one for creepy dramas, but I love ready your recaps. Looking forward to the next one! Well done!

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  6. Betty

    Thank you HeadsNo2 for this recap.

    I love when bullies are being bullied because then they can taste their own medicine, YES I am talking about YOU Young Jae, I am happy that you are being smacked around by Mad Mi Reu!

    Heads I like your take on Moo Yul. I did perceive a little what you said about him being kind of insecure and being defensive whenever Ji-Hoon is brought up but it became really obvious when you pointed out the situations where it happened. Retrospectively I can see that he is hung up and feeling overshadowed by JH. But he is a nice boy trying to do the right things even tho he is not a born leader…

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    • 6.1 jomo

      I loved that moment, too, when he said “How am I supposed to know?”
      I think, though, that MY IS a born leader, even if he isn’t the smartest of the group. He has the courage to be the first one on the scene to help out and he cares about everyone.
      He is the male version of a mother hen. CJH may be smart, but he couldn’t care less about being in charge of the group.
      When MY and CJH are out in the world, I see them as having complimentary skill sets.

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      • 6.1.1 Betty

        Yes MY is always caring for others, the first to step up to resolve things but you can feel the underlying vibe of “love me, please, please” emanating from him. But nonetheless he is very sweet and caring and nice.

        I feel more like MY is ‘taking on’ the role of leader rather than being a born leader. But it is as effective since what matters is the end results.

        JH, don’t care about people but is charismatic which is why people might feel drawn to him or want to be shielded by him even if he is cold and heartless… I know I feel drawn to him… lol

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        • 6.1.1.1 jomo

          How about this?
          People who have it easier in life tend to give up faster.
          Smarter kids don’t do as well in the real world as kids who have failed and overcome obstacles.

          I see MY’s personality as a marathoner. He is simply NOT going to give up, even if it is because he wants the recognition.He has the heart and the desire which leaders need more than anything. As you said, he will get results from other people.
          CH is blessed with speed and impresses with his sprinting. He is extremely important to success in society, but he is not the guy to get you through the long haul of hard times. He may inspire, but he isn’t going to motivate a team cause he just can’t be bothered.

          I believe I have mixed every possible metaphor just now.

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      • 6.1.2 whimsyful

        I agree that Moo Yul is a natural leader. In the 1st ep scene where everyone is discussing the letters and the Teach is about to come in, everyone else hides their letters only after MY takes his back. The other students pay attention and listen to him even if they don’t like him (ex. Young Jae).

        Chi Hoon also has leader-like qualities — he’s brilliant and the others respect him, but I think he’s missing some important social skills. Remember when he interrupted Eun Sung and MY in the infirmary and told ES if she wants to kill herself she should do it outside school? I was like “dude that is not what you should tell a girl who cuts and has already tried to kill herself”.

        MY is definitely jealous of CH though. And they could make a great team if they get past their differences.

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      • 6.1.3 cheekbones

        I agree with you. MY is a born leader and he and JH have complimentary skills. It’s like JH would provide the brain stuff while MY would have the organizing and people skills to do it.

        Furthermore, I think MY, JH and Mireu are like a triumvirat with Mireu bringing in the physical security / street smart aspect. I dunno, I just feel secure whenever there’s Mireu around since he has the brain and muscle to protect me. Hehehe……

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        • 6.1.3.1 Chandler

          EXACTLY. That’s why those three are my favorite characters! Individually, they display some of the strongest traits. MY is caring and quick to begin unraveling the mystery. JH is the coolheaded and charismatic genius. And then MR with his hot-headed strength and good instincts. Together they’re a dream team!

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      • 6.1.4 Betsy Hp

        I agree that MY’s the leader, though CJH is more compelling. And yes, I think they’re definitely a good working match. What’s interesting is I feel like CJH kind of gets that already.

        That he’s seen his own weakness, recognizes that MY has what he lacks and is attempting (in his own way) to team-up with MY. I don’t think MY realizes it though. Because CJH just kind of pops up where he is and builds off of what MY’s begun without explaining.

        (I may be way out in left field on this. I just see CJH checking in with MY in a way he doesn’t with anyone else. Asking his opinion, being where he is, etc. Which strikes me as unusual enough for CJH to be noteworthy.)

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        • 6.1.4.1 jomo

          They are like Jim Kirk and Spock, with MR as Bones.

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  7. jomo

    Thanks for the recap of the marvelous show.
    I started last night and will finish today, but I don’t want to finish today. I want to keep watching these kids figure things out for the rest of the year.

    This director drove me absolutely nutty when I watched EM, and I noticed some almost freeze frame moments in Ep 1 and 2 that make me a little nervous, but they worked for the mood and moment. One HUGE difference between WC and EM is the music. It is spare and cool in this show, where it was bombastic and queaze inducing in EM.

    Mostly I want to comment on how amazing this cast is performing for this PD and with this script. All of the young cast were in something else this year, they have never been better and more convincing in their performance.
    Well, maybe except for Baek Sung Hyun and Esom, who are good in everything.

    Which leads me to something I am reeeeeally mad about.
    Here Kim Hyun Joong as the Mad Mi Reu is fantastic; which means they are completely wasting him in A Gentleman’s Dignity. Why in AGD do they have his character lumbering about lifeless and boorish? He is capable of some much more fire than what we have seen in that show.
    I knew it was the same guy but I still checked Hancinema to make sure. I love him in this role.

    I know everyone loved Sung Joon in Flower Band, but I like him here more, even if his part isn’t as developed. He’s just sooooo cool. I would have fallen in love with him for sure if he went to my high school.

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    • 7.1 Danna

      about Kim Hyun Joong (or Kim Woo Bin) in AGD
      I blame the lack of fire (or just about anything else in that performance…seriously it has nothing in it) on the writer….So so very wasted…he is too AGD what Lee Jong Suk was to Secret Garden…so much potential for their characters (and in the actors) but absolutely no development

       (0)


      • 7.1.1 jomo

        Exactly – like they started out with the character’s role only pencilled in, forgot about them most of the show, and then, were like, “Ut-oh! What was going on with this guy again? Maybe we should shoehorn a scene in soon so people don’t figure out we forgot ‘im.”

        Why even bother writing in the character at all? Drives me crazy.

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      • 7.1.2 Chandler

        You’ll probably never see this comment, but it’s so funny that you mention this here! Both Kim Woo-Bin and Lee Jong-Suk went on to give some of their best performances together in School 2013! Oh the Bromance!!! (except now that same writer is wasting Kim Woo-Bin again in Heirs!)

         (0)


        • 7.1.2.1 Newbie

          Like you, I loved watching Kim Woo Bin and Lee Jong Suk in School 2013. Their acting was excellent! I have to say, there are now many people who hate Young Do in The Heirs. That is most probably due to the fact that KWB is doing one heck of a job playing the rich bad boy. His appearance in Heirs can’t be totally wasted, can it?

           (1)


    • 7.2 Anne-So

      I prefer 1000 times more Sung Joon in WC than in FB.
      And Kim Woo Bin is fantastic, I watched the first 2 eps of AGD and I was so disappointed.

       (0)


    • 7.3 Betsy Hp

      Oh, you’re so right about the music in WC versus EM. Could make for a good lesson in how important music is in making or breaking a scene’s mood.

       (0)


  8. Danna

    I loved the ending of this episode and it was the first time I was really pulled into the show (as I remember from last year) though the previous episodes were intriguing enough….after this I can guess that even those people that were on the fence about this drama probably had a very hard time putting it down, as was the case with me… There were so many riveting details that you have to focus on here… making it so hard to steel yourself away from this drama…your discussion on Ji Hoon really got me thinking about how I felt about him while watching this….he was probably my least favorite (or interesting) character, I felt like he was the one that was given the least depth and backstory aside from being a rival for Moo Yool and Mi Reu, giving them more beef….it didn’t help that Sung Hoon was so green here…Young Jae, on the other hand gets better and better and so does the actor playing him (Kim Young Kwang).[SPOILER]….can’t wait till he reaches that “breaking” point (with Jae Kyu)…that scene was so awesome and terrifying

     (0)


  9. sunshine

    One of the funniest parts of this episode was when Moo-yul brings Eun Sung to her room and asks if she’ll be okay. She says, “If I said no, will you stay?” He immediately makes sure that all the security apparati are fine, and then they talk a bit before he leaves. Maybe that part was supposed to show how much he cares for her and how responsible it is, but all I thought was: the communication is down; the teacher is missing; and Moo-yul leaves a girl in a different part of the building on her own?!

    Ditto about the Ji Hoon/Moo-yul dynamic. Moo-yul is a leader, but in the sense that he has to actively command it. On the other hand, Ji Hoon starts on something and others immediately follow.

     (0)


  10. 10 Anne-So

    This is the episode that made me get into the drama.
    Well surprisingly, there is this one character that I thought I would dislike from the beginning to the end : Moo Yeol. He is like a derived stereotype of The Good Guy. But he is not a good guy, he feels insecured and is always running after something.
    I love how he came off as a character that could be -stereotypically- the main one, but the more I got to know him, the more human he became. I didn’t understand everything about him, and I need to watch this drama once again, but at the end, he seemed human and strangely mysterious at the same time.
    And actually, my description of him, perhap’s due to my misunderstandings, is what represents best the characters of the drama in my opinion.
    All of them are looking for something, to relieve their own fears, their darkest secrets. They try to escape reality while playing some kind of role and building walls around them, but time to time, they get weaker and things explode, those who surround them saw and see what’s inside them, and reveal it, or just a part of it.

     (0)


    • 10.1 sajatokki

      I think that’s why Moo Yul is my favorite character. Out of all these characters, he’s the most human to me. Such complex thoughts and emotions behind that good guy image.

       (0)


  11. 11 ishi

    OMG!! After reading your recap I couldn’t contain myself so went ahead and watched the ending (what can I say I’m just one of those people *embarassed*).

    It’s a nice series. A lot of eye candy esp Ji-hoon, well I’m biased after SUFBB.

    Lastly, thanks for the recaps. Really appreciate it.

     (0)


    • 11.1 Betty

      I am also this kind of person and I am NOT embarrassed lol because I find it even more interresting, and also I can scrutinize the characters’ behaviours/reactions (usually the culprit). I love it.

       (0)


  12. 12 Anvesha

    I love your analysis of Ji Hoon’s character and contrasting it with Moo-yul’s… The actor did a good job of portraying the subtlety. He doesnt try to be the best or sound arrogant which seems to be the trait of geniuses in drama land.

     (0)


  13. 13 lalala

    Which day of the week does white christmas come out in Korea?

     (0)


    • 13.1 anais

      It’s already over. You can find it on d****crazy.

       (0)


  14. 14 kaye

    Thank you for the recaps. Had to watch it after your reading your take on episode 1. This show is so dark and I loved it.

     (0)


  15. 15 narae

    I’ve been a fan of Baek Sung-hyun for a long time (and keep wishing he’ll get bigger roles that allow him to stretch his acting muscles more, but he hasn’t :P), so I felt a little bit like a traitor when I realized I liked Sung Joon’s character so much better than Baek Sung-hyun’s XP Just… Ji-hoon is so charismatic, and Moo-yul tries so hard, but you’re just drawn to Ji-hoon… props to Sung Joon, I guess.
    On a totally different note, does anyone else have major coat envy right now? I just want all of the coats in this drama XD

     (0)


    • 15.1 MenCallMeBacon

      I already have a coat/jacket addiction, so this drama is not helping me out on that front. I have also developed a major scarf envy.

      I actually am drawn to Moo-yul more as a character than Ji-hoon. Ji-hoon, while charismatic as a born-genius, is one-dimensional and ultimately not that interesting as a character. On the other hand, we see glimpses of flaws that ever threaten to crack Moo-yul’s shell of seeming perfection. I think the most telling moment for this character was the scene in the beginning of the series where he removes gum from the next-on-the-wall-of-fame-mirror, looking a reflection of himself then wistfully looking down at the phrase “Next is…”. He is a model student even when no one is around to appreciate his actions (removing the gum), and his expression suggests that he knows that he may not be able to achieve his desire to be on that wall of fame. He is, no matter how hard he tries, not that “next” wall-of-famer.

       (1)


      • 15.1.1 Anne-So

        I agree with you. I think Moo Yeol is such an interesting character as the only things that the drama wants us to focus on are his flaws more than everything else.

         (0)


    • 15.2 whimsyful

      With you on the coat envy. Those are some nice clothes. I really have to thank the costume designer for not sticking the kids in some “trendy, hip” clothes.

       (0)


  16. 16 Nana

    Ji Hoon/Sung Joon is so hot O_O I love him…

     (0)


  17. 17 Betsy Hp

    Yay! Another WC recap! Thanks so much for doing this. :)

    “A small detail I really enjoyed was that we (and some of our characters) saw that pile of snow since the beginning of the episode, with no one aware until the end that they were laughing and talking feet away from their teacher’s corpse. If that’s not dark, I don’t know what is.”

    That was super creepy and I totally missed that the first view-through. But watching it again and knowing what was under that extra little mound… *shudders* This ep definitely brought in the darkness.

    I also loved the various relationship explorations. The interaction between YJ and ES was particularly interesting to me. She’s the object of (so far) 3 of our characters’ male-gaze, but with YJ she’s not at all a victim. (Which is a weird twist since he’s the bully.)

    And CJH gets to shine! :D (I’ll admit he’s my favorite of the assorted lovelies the show gives us.) I find it fascinating to see what it is he notices — what he finds noteworthy. He’s obviously interested in MY, but that he knows KM enough to chide YJ’s lack of knowledge was really interesting to me.

    (Also, I noticed MY’s room is right next to MR’s. So I’m keeping my “they’ve been friends, or at least friendly, for a little while now” as my personal head-canon.)

     (1)


  18. 18 Abbie

    WHOA! Great episode! Again. This show is addicting.

    I hope Mi-reu doesn’t die, because he’s awesome.

    I think Young-jae is a good guy underneath. He just tries to be bad to protect himself for some reason.

    More of Ji-hoon which I love. He’s great.

    All the characters are engaging, but some more than others. I don’t know what to think of Kang-mo, he’s creepy, but in the first two episodes, he was used more as comic relief than anything else.

    I can’t wait for the next episode, because this one ended on such a cliffhanger.

    Thanks for the recap, HeadsNo2!

     (0)


  19. 19 jenjula

    Ah, I started watching White Christmas tonight because I saw the screencap of Sung Joon (love). It’s 12:25AM now, and I am so scared but I can’t stop. HALP :’(

     (0)


  20. 20 suri

    hey guys, oh please help me out, i’m looking for the name of the song that plays in the Moo-yul/Eun-sung scenes. it’s in ep 4 and 5 too, whenever they’re together. gentle song, girl singing (i could hum it. that would be pointless.) anyone got an idea?

     (0)


    • 20.1 jomo

      The soompi thread which is not very long btw, has a track listing for the whole ost.
      Get the titles, listen on YT, find your song!YAY!

       (0)


      • 20.1.1 suri

        thanks so much :D

         (0)


  21. 21 eternalfive

    This drama sounds so creepy yet fascinating, but I can’t bring myself to watch it because I’m just too much of a wimp. Maybe I’ll watch it later when I don’t have exams coming and have enough time to marathon it when it’s strictly daytime, with my whole family or friends around, making a lot of noise. =\ Usually I like experiencing the drama first-hand before I read the recaps, but I love reading your recaps and your writing! The story is just getting better and better – I’m always completely engrossed when I’m reading, and wish for more when it ends. And I love how I can still get a feel of the characters through your recaps – even by just reading them, I’m somehow drawn to Ji-hoon and and his charisma, and can feel Mu-yool’s insecurities, and felt some kind of loss – as if the situation wasn’t as stable anymore – when Mi-reiu left. Which is awesome. ^^

    Also, just a small thing: “…they don’t have this detail right, since Teach had called the principle…” – isn’t it “principal”? I think I remember you doing the same in the last recap, so now I’m not sure if it’s just me or something.

    Anyway, thanks for the recap. :)

     (0)


  22. 22 asianromance

    I’ve been reading your White Christmas recaps and haven’t dropped by the comments box to say THANK YOU SO MUCH! For letting me relive one of the best kdramas I’ve ever watched. While it’s been years since I’ve been in high school, I do wish there are more high school kdramas.

    “A small detail I really enjoyed was that we (and some of our characters) saw that pile of snow since the beginning of the episode, ” — totally missed it when I had first watched it!

     (0)


  23. 23 iDK

    Thank you Headsno2 for the recap and for giving me a reason to finally get around to watching this show!

    Like most everyone, SUFBB made me a Sung Joon fan. He’s a very capable actor so I was wondering when he’d finally grab the spotlight in White Christmas– episode 3 was that and I surprised myself by being even more charmed here, despite his role in White Christmas being relatively smaller. Episode 3 really felt like Choi Ji Hoon jumping on the case and finally propelling the plot to a solution.

    I’m not sure if I would call Choi Ji Hoon a leader, although he has that aspect to him. It’s more that I feel that if any of the characters would know or figure something out, it would be Choi Ji Hoon, and if he can’t then no one can. And it’s my certainty (and the other characters’ certainty) about this that makes him feel safe and trustworthy and worth following because Choi Ji Hoon will always be on the money. At the same time, the lack of emotions means Ji Hoon needs to be left alone: he’ll just come back when he’s figured something out that’s useful, otherwise people need to stay clear and let the brain work.

    (Mi-reu might be smarter than Ji-hoon but he also seems more likely to use his smarts and knowledge for personal gain, whereas Ji Hoon doesn’t feel like he brings a personal agenda to it.)

    Park Moo Yul is like the default leader because he’s the moral compass: people trust him to know what’s right even if maybe he doesn’t know the answer the way Choi Ji Hoon does. Also because he wants to lead and he seems to care… for order, if not for the likes of Jo Young Jae and Yang Kang Mo personally. They know he’ll be fair and the decisions he makes come with a great deal of thought to back it up. When it comes to anger, Ji hoon will take a seat back, Mi-reu would indulge and Moo-yul will think about whether it serves the greater good.

    If this was Lord of the Flies, Park Moo Yul would be Ralph and Choi Ji Hoon would be Piggy.

    I thought it was interesting that it was Moo Yul’s idea (and objective for staying over the break) to find the letter sender. Ji Hoon said he just wanted extra time with his equations, but he’s ultimately drawn into finding the letter sender too ie, following Moo Yul’s lead. And unlike when Moo Yul was leading the efforts to solve the case, it’s actually going somewhere now because of Ji Hoon.

    Their styles would absolutely be complementary if Moo Yul could ever get over his insecurities enough to see that. (And I say that with a ton of love for Moo Yul and his insecurities. <3)

     (1)


  24. 24 Mia

    thanks to your review I watched the whole series in two days, not gonna spoil anything of course, I just somehow need to release the tension and this weird feeling in my stomach, maybe I need a therapist :O
    just finished the last episode and I’m feeling extremely restless and kinda upset but not in a bad way, not exactly in a good way either, I’m emotionally,mentally and philosophically confused :P
    I can only recommend everyone to keep watching, even though the drama turns into something slightly different somewhere in the middle, I’m still more impressed than I’ve ever been with any other k-drama

    I hope that was sufficiently vague lol, but I feel better now XD

     (0)


  25. 25 Pandora

    Love this drama so much. I’m really glad someone is recapping this. Thank you!!

     (0)


  26. 26 Ennayra

    Thanks for the recaps! I think a lot of the actors did a great job in this drama.

    Hmm, the fact that I watched this means that I’ve seen all 3 of Sung Joon’s dramas (Shut Up Flower Boy Band, Lie to Me). I saw him first in Lie to Me and liked his voice, but eventually skipped all his angsty art scenes. So glad he gets to play interesting roles in his other two dramas. :-)

     (0)


  27. 27 KStyle

    White Christmas: one of the best kdramas ever!!!

    Loved everything about this show from the scenery, directing, script, acting, the fine eye candy even with some not so cute hair styles and the cliff hangers.

    This is how a Kdrama should be done.

    Please take note *hint hint some of you crazy scriptwriters, no names will be mentioned but you know who you are*

    I may go watch it again to bask in this shows awesomeness and admire the many different flavors of eye candy.

     (0)


  28. 28 denise

    OMMMIGGOSSH…. the recaps of White Christmas, brought back soo much memories. I sooo loved the drama and all the characters. One of the best dramas out there. The scenery was beautiful, the acting was awesome for such young talents and the directing couldn’t be better. My favorites characters were Choi Ji Hoon and Mi-Reu, wish i had there smarts. hehee =)

    p.s. the coats worned were all very nice.

     (0)


  29. 29 JD

    Whoa Sung Joon is looking mighty fineeee

     (0)


  30. 30 jenny

    Wait…I still don’t get it. What did Moo yul do to Jin soo? What did it mean by taking the only thing he had? Is the newspaper article? How is that putting it “around his neck”? I’m confused.

     (0)


    • 30.1 August

      “You took the only thing I had and put it around your neck.”

      Moo-yul published one of the stalker’s letters that Eun-Sung received in the school newspaper under his own name in an effort to stop the stalker.

       (0)


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