This show really knows how to take your heart through the wringer, but in the best way. It conveys that perfect smallness of adolescence, when that new pair of jeans or that one moment with your crush is your entire all-consuming world… But then life comes around once in a while to burst that bubble, and remind you that there’s a bigger universe outside of you.
SONG OF THE DAY
Sechskies – “사랑하는 너에게 (To You, The One I Love)” [ Download ]
Shhh… don’t tell Shi-won!
EPISODE 5: “Life’s Counterattack”
Fall, 1997. Dad and Shi-won have another epic shouting match in the car, this time over clothes. Shi-won HAS to have new designer jeans and Dad screams that if HE were last place in school, he wouldn’t have the gall to ask for a new anything.
He tells her at this point she’d be better off just giving up on school altogether and earning her own living, and the argument devolves into a screamfest. Mom sighs and suggests they stop for red bean fishes to take to Yoon-jae.
Shi-won gets out to buy some from the neighborhood vendor. (A cameo by MC/gagman Lee Yoon-suk, who’s hilariously playing a kid one year younger than Shi-won. He actually calls her noona.)
She alerts him to the fact that he can’t be wearing an H.O.T. hat with a Sechskies sweatshirt (The horror!) and orders him to take it off. He takes her literally, so I’m thinking he’s either the village idiot or afraid of Shi-won noona’s wrath.
Dad says he’d rather take in and raise that kid, while Shi-won’s jealous he has no parents, and back and forth they go again. She swears if he buys her these jeans she’ll study hard. Dad: “All I have to do is buy Yoon-jae one new pair of underwear and he gets first place all the time!”
Shi-won says she’ll swap families with Yoon-jae then, and Dad says they’ll go right now and change the family registry. Thank goodness Mom’s around to tell both children to shut their pieholes.
She tells them to calm down before they get into a car accident… about two seconds before they get into a car accident. Luckily it’s just a fender-bender, and Mom and Dad tell Shi-won to stay in the car because she can’t act.
They get out of the car doubled over in fake back and neck pains, and Kim Jong-min gets out of the other car? Ha, this show is like ’90s Celebrity Where’s Waldo. I’m sad his cameo isn’t with Eun Ji-won though.
Mom falls over in the street and Jong-min panics. He takes out his GIANT brick of a cell phone, “Oh no, I have to call 119 (emergency)! What’s the number?” Dad: “Call 114 (information) to ask!” Pffft.
While that’s going on, Shi-won turns up the radio in the car, where they’re running a contest for listeners to send in their stories to win the pair of jeans that she happens to be dying for.
Next thing you know, the radio host is telling Shi-won’s story about living every day in tears because her dear friend Yoon-jae was caught in a fire and suffered third-degree burns. As the story plays over the radio we cut to a hospital room…
And Yoon-jae sits up in a bed, eating a popsicle and scoffing. Ha. But all Shi-won wins for her entry is a toothbrush cleaner, and Yoon-jae spits a laugh.
Shi-won arrives and drops the pastries on the ground in disbelief at the measly prize her sob story got her. Apparently Yoon-jae isn’t the first of her friends to suffer a life-threatening accident in an attempt to win the jeans, and Shi-won ponders what a stronger entry would be.
At the same time, Mom and Dad get checked out in the emergency room. Even though the doctor says they’re fine, Dad insists on any and all acronym tests he can think of.
Yoo-jung joins the group and they ask if Shi-won did the big homework assignment due tomorrow, to transcribe 3000 phrases in both hanja and hangul. Dude. Apparently this teacher is famous for this epic assignment and its equally epic consequences: one hit per entry you didn’t complete.
Oops, she forgot. She makes her best puppy eyes at Yoon-jae, and looks over at his broken arm. “Can you… write with your left hand?” Ha. He narrows his eyes and calls her sub-human.
She helps him pick around the beans according to his little boy taste buds, and Yoon-jae notices that the bags have changed—now they feature a missing persons ad with a reward. Shi-won just sighs thinking of all the jeans she could buy with that much money.
He asks after Mom and Dad and she says they’re still touring the hospital, telling Yoo-jung that her parents are expert con artists when it comes to accidents. Yeah I’m getting that. Dad bursts in with drinks for all of Yoon-jae’s hospital bunkmates, in good cheer.
Later that night, Shi-won washes up and puts on her glasses. She comes out and sits on Yoon-jae’s bed, startling him. She says she’s staying here tonight since no one’s home anyway, and tells him (the patient, ha) to sleep in the cot down below.
He just stares dumbly. Shi-won: “Why are you looking at me like that? Am I so pretty you won’t be able to sleep?” Yoon-jae: “No, you’re so ugly I’m in shock.”
But once she falls asleep, he’s up all night, just staring at her. “How can you sleep?” He looks at those old familiar glasses on her face, and it takes him back to the last time he saw them.
1996, the first day of high school. Shi-won nervously puts in her contact lenses for the first time and revels in shedding her glasses for high school. Yoon-jae comes to get her and goes slackjawed. He narrates:
Yoon-jae: Bumping into someone on the street, reaching for the same book at the library, or running under someone’s umbrella… I thought that falling in love would be special. I couldn’t imagine… that I’d fall because of something like this. Spring of 1996. My first love began that suddenly.
I love how both grand and ordinary it is. Back in the hospital now he laughs as he mutters aloud: “Back then she was pretty because she took off her glasses. But now she’s still pretty even when she wears them.”
He gently pulls the glasses off her face and tucks her hair behind her ear. And then he leans in to kiss her ever so softly on the cheek.
The next day, Dad goes to take the trash out…oh noes, Daaaad, are you wearing the Club H.O.T. uniform as a raincoat? LOL. I’m already dying and the scene hasn’t happened yet.
Sure enough, Shi-won comes racing out in a panic, barefoot in the rain. She screams at Dad to takeitoff, takeitoff, TAKEITOFF, and he argues that all raincoats are the same and he’ll give it back to her inside.
But she pitches a fit that it’s one-of-a-kind and cries that he has to take it off this instant… and accidentally yanks the sleeves right off. HA.
Even Dad knows this is bad, and quickly peels if off and runs away, leaving her sitting in the middle of the street to get drenched and wail over her precious.
This time the boys come to visit Yoon-jae. He complains that all they brought was popsicles and asks if Hak-chan doesn’t have anything else for him. He peels open his jacket to produce a dirty magazine, which Yoon-jae promptly hides under his pillow. Hee.
But Joon-hee has a way better gift—the big homework assignment, which he’s already done for Yoon-jae. How cute are you? Yoon-jae motions for Joon-hee to come closer… and throws his arms around him. “You know I love you, right?”
Squeeee. You can just see Joon-hee’s heart skip a beat. He blinks awkwardly and breaks away with a smile. Yoon-jae figures if he hadn’t broken his arm, he’d have been writing 6000 entries—his and Shi-won’s.
Cut to Shi-won at her desk about two minutes into the assignment: “This is impossible. It just cannot be done.” Dad comes in, still feeling really bad about the H.O.T. raincoat, and asks how much the jeans are.
She lights up but as soon as he hears that they cost nearly 300 bucks they’re right back to disowning each other.
Mom tells Tae-woong that she’s sending Shi-won to the hospital with food, and that Dad has paid Yoon-jae’s hospital bills. Aw. Shi-won shows up in her torn raincoat in a foul mood.
It only gets worse when she gets to Yoon-jae’s room and they watch the news on tv: the red bean pastry boy turns out to be the missing child on the bags, and now he’s suddenly a chaebol heir. (Haha, is he playing both father and son?)
They gape and Shi-won sighs at the reward money that could’ve been hers. Tae-woong tells them that’s life—you never know when it’ll turn on you. Shi-won narrates that it’s true…
She comes home to a dark house and the phone rings. Something about the sound gives her pause. She narrates that it wasn’t a noise, but a cold wind, a nasty feeling…
She answers, and it’s Mom. She asks calmly if Shi-won has enough money to take a cab. Ohgod… Mom tells her not to be shocked.
Shi-won (voiceover): “Human beings have superpowers. That horrible telephone ring. It was an alarm from the gods.”
Mom: “Your father… has cancer.” Damn. The air goes still and her legs give out. She falls to her knees with a thud as Mom keeps talking. She says not to cry. “If you cry, Dad will go crazy.”
She rattles off a list of things to bring and tells her again not to cry. Finally the shock wears off and the tears start to come. Mom tells her not to cry and that she won’t too, her voice shaking as she cries on the other end of the line.
Shi-won breaks down, wailing: “What is this? What is this? Daddy! How can it be this way?” I’m screaming and wailing right there with her. It’s not fair!
The taxi ajusshi keeps looking back her, worried, and asks if there’s something wrong, if someone is sick. But she just cries silently and shakes her head no. He turns up the radio.
The final entry for the radio contest gets broadcast, and the winner is Shi-won, who wrote in about her father, a man who sacrificed his whole life for his family, and then was diagnosed with cancer. OH NO. You wrote this in yesterday, didn’t you? Oof. So that’s what a punch to the gut feels like.
She hears her own horrible lie being told back to her in this moment, and then the kicker: she wins the grand prize, the pair of jeans she was willing to disown her father for. She breaks down in the taxi, as the radio host tells her to be strong, and plays The Cranberries’ “Ode to My Family.”
Dad changes into scrubs for his surgery, and Shi-won can’t contain her tears. Mom does her best, and turns away as she starts to cry again, and he just hugs them close.
Tae-woong comes to take him to surgery, and Dad of course tries to make Shi-won feel better, telling her that if she cries like that he can’t go into surgery comfortably. She just wails into his shoulder, “Daddy I’m sorry.”
Aw. He smiles and chuckles that she’s finally grown up and hugs her again reassuringly. Augh, Sung Dong-il is so good at this—you can see the moment of heartbreak and fear in his eyes for that split second as he hugs her, that he blinks away before anyone can see.
The nurse comes to check his name and his age. Something about the way he says “forty-eight” just kills me. He’d better not die, ya hear me Show?
Tae-woong tells Mom and Shi-won to stay behind, and Dad takes Tae-woong’s hand. “Tae-woong-ah, you’re this family’s eldest son.” No, don’t say that! It’s his way of asking him to look after them if he doesn’t make it. *TEARS*
As he gets wheeled down the hallway, we flashback to earlier that evening, when he had gone down to the hospital’s chapel. He sits in the dark room and apologizes to God that it’s his first time.
He says that he has a daughter in high school, who’s physically big but really still a baby. She won’t realistically get into a great college or be really successful, so the only one who can take care of her is Dad.
“But if I go suddenly, what will she do? If I’m not here, who will hold her hand at her wedding?” *whimper*
He says he knows it’s a lot to ask, but pleads to be alive just until the moment he can walk Shi-won down the aisle. And then the second she does, he promises he can drop dead right then without looking back.
He starts to say that then he’ll go… to meet his daughter Song-joo who left this world before him, but can barely get the words out as he breaks down in sobs. Oof. Daaaaaaaad. How am I supposed to recap if I can’t see through my tears?
He begs, “Please…” and then we cut to him at the end of the hallway, as he enters surgery.
Mom and Shi-won sit on Dad’s hospital bed still in shock, and Mom tells Shi-won to go home—isn’t she going to school tomorrow? She reaches into the nightstand and passes Shi-won a notebook, saying, “You two always fight to the death. But he must not want someone else hitting his daughter.”
Shi-won opens the notebook to find that Dad did her homework for her. AW. She flips through the pages and starts to cry, and Mom sighs, “No matter what he says, you’re everything to your father. You be good to him.”
Yoon-jae narrates: “Life always comes when you least expect it to hit you on the back of the head. It can be a cruel sadness. It can be a cruel fear. At times like this the only thing we can do…”
We watch as Shi-won cries in the hallway, and as Dad cries a tear before going under. And then the surgeon comes out. Mom and Shi-won look up with bated breath… and the doctor unmasks his face. It’s Jong-min!
Mom recognizes him and immediately bows to the ground, feeling terrible for everything. But he sweetly tells her the accident was his fault anyway and starts to give them the news with a long face… and then a fakeout Just kidding! Haha, are doctors allowed to do that? I forgive you because you’re just Kim Jong-min, and I like the full-circle karma thing.
He says the surgery was a success and Dad will make a full recovery, and Mom jumps up to hug him and bows at his feet again and Shi-won cries in relief.
Yoon-jae (voiceover): This life that might leap anywhere—there’s no use avoiding or ignoring it. There’s just facing it and getting beaten to a bloody pulp. But at times life can surprise us with gifts that make our hearts flutter. And if we endure sadness, we are rewarded with happiness.
We get another glimpse of the moment Yoon-jae’s first love began, and the red bean fish cake Cinderella story… followed by the breaking news of the IMF crisis.
2012 Reunion dinner. Sung-jae announces that the groom will be buying the next round. Both he and Dan-ji ask if the soon-to-be-married couple will be buying a new place, and they argue back and forth about whether it’s better to rent or to own in this economy. Tae-woong marvels at how much they’ve grown up.
Sung-jae and Dan-ji ask twice if the wedding will be in Seoul or in Busan (effectively taking them out of the running). Annoyed, both Shi-won and Yoo-jung shout, “BUSAN!” Well, it’s something, but I’m pretty sure we knew the bride would be one of them.
EPISODE 6: “Love Makes You Do Things You Didn’t Do Before”
SONG OF THE DAY
H.O.T. – “너와 나 (You and I)” [ Download ]
Mom tends to Dad in his boisterous hospital room, as he complains that he has to share it with a bunch of ajummas. But times are tough (literally overnight) and they can’t exactly afford a private room.
Hak-chan gets on the bus to go to school that morning, and Yoo-jung waves at him excitedly from the back. He panics and throws on his headphones and beelines for the first seat he sees. She frowns.
At the hospital, Mom tries to coax Dad into eating and exercising, but he’s in a dour mood because they’re still waiting for the test results after the surgery, and he’s sure something else will go wrong. He tells her to be straight with him if he’s going to die.
The other ajummas coax her into watching the latest big drama with them, and Dad just stays in his funk.
It’s nearly lunchtime at school, and Shi-won and a classmate rev up like they’re racing the Indy 500, each holding a videotape at the ready. As soon as the teacher announces class is over, they take off running for the VCR and shove their tapes in simultaneously.
Shi-won’s like, We gonna start something, Eun Dokki? [Eun Dokki = Eun Ji-won fangirl.] The girl gets right up in Shi-won’s face, Let’s go, Ahn Seung Buin! (Tony fangirl, already established as Shi-won’s nickname.) This. Cracks. Me. Up.
It’s name-calling and tell-your-oppa-to-stop-copying-my-oppa back and forth, and soon there’s hair-pulling. Fangirl War!
The boys play basketball outside, and Yoon-jae is killing me with his affection towards Joon-hee, because I can just feel Joon-hee’s inner omg-omg-omg.
Yoo-jung runs onto the court and Hak-chan freaks out, literally running in the other direction. But she runs up screaming that the fangirl war turned into a brawl, and they need to hurry up and help Shi-won.
Yoon-jae and Joon-hee take off running. How much do I love that they run to her at the speed of light?
They get to the classroom but Shi-won doesn’t need saving, exactly – she has Eun Dokki in a wrestling hold. Yoon-jae picks her up and yells at her to stop but then gets startled by her bloody nose. That just sends her after the girl again in a rage. Ha.
This time he throws her over his shoulder and carries her out the door. Hak-chan and Sung-jae run up behind them and Yoo-jung motions for Hak-chan to go help the other girl. He awkwardly makes his way over to check on her.
In a daze, Eun Dokki chirps, “J-j-j-ji-won oppa?” and faints. HAHAHAHAHA. Yoo-jung tsk-tsks that she’s officially lost her mind. Or she’s the only sane one!
Back at the hospital, the doctor comes by to tell Dad that he’s cancer-free, but Dad has a weird reaction: blink-blink, “You’re lying.” The doc insists that he’ll be fine and he should exercise, and Mom tells him it’s true.
They join the ajummas as they watch their drama… which suddenly turns dire: “It’s cancer.” Everyone sighs and turns over in their beds. Lol. Oh, dramaland, why have your tropes remained the same, fifteen years later?
The group heads out of school that night and the boys get excited about having tickets to a basketball game. Joon-hee says he can’t go because he promised he’d stand in line with Shi-won for concert tickets, and the girls bound up.
Shi-won links her arm in Joon-hee’s, ready to steal him away, and the boys complain that it’s a waste of a ticket. So Yoo-jung links her arm in Hak-chan’s, giving him another jolt, and says she looooooves basketball. She’ll go instead!
It’s a win-win for everyone, except of course for Yoon-jae, who watches Shi-won and Joon-hee walk off arm-in-arm like the universe, and basketball, has betrayed him.
At the hospital, Mom tries to convince Dad that it was just a drama and he’s not going to die. Dad: “Don’t you know that dramas are based on real life?!” Ha, have you seen a drama lately?
While Yoo-jung gets snacks, Hak-chan rattles off statistics like an expert, and then clams up as soon as she gets back. She impresses them with basketball terms and knowing players’ names, and we see in flashback that she stayed up all night studying. Man, the things you do for a crush.
Back at the game, she asks Yoon-jae which player he likes. But his mind is elsewhere entirely, of course.
He asks Yoo-jung where Shi-won and Joon-hee are, and makes the excuse that he forgot he was supposed to bring Shi-won to the hospital tonight. He runs off, leaving Yoo-jung heartbroken. After all her studying! To impress you!
Yoon-jae finds Shi-won and Joon-hee in line and comes bounding up with the excuse that he came to see Joon-hee. He squeezes in between them and shares his pastries with a smile.
He asks if they aren’t bored waiting here all night, and they’re both like, “Bored?” The whole line breaks into song while waving their H.O.T. balloons, and Yoon-jae looks around him muttering, “The things I do…”
Dad wakes up in a coughing fit and asks for water, only to find Mom gone. She’s downstairs at the payphone, making a call to someone who’s working furiously at a typewriter.
Mom: “Are you going to write like that? If you just write that he has cancer and it suits you, is that all?! Are you that out of ideas?!” HA. Did you seriously look up the drama writer’s number to rant at her over the phone? Priceless.
Shi-won and Joon-hee sing “You and I” along with the crowd, eliciting stares of disbelief from Yoon-jae. They’re interrupted with an announcement from the Busan Club H.O.T. president (an awesome cameo by Shin Bong-sun), who says that an officer spot has opened up, since one member got her head shaved and shipped off to the States. Ha.
She says that normally they’d have an election, but since everyone’s here, they’re going to choose the person who can demonstrate that they love their oppas the most. Hands shoot up in the air.
Fangirl: I pitched a tent in front of Kang-ta oppa’s house for a month! Prez: Stalker! Next! Fangirl: I skipped my college entrance exam to go to an H.O.T. concert! Prez: You should have gotten into college to bring more converts! Pass!
This is awesome. The first one that gives them pause is: Well my unni’s boyfriend’s noona is an H.O.T. coordi! Shi-won sees the opportunity slip away and throws her hand up: “I can write a pledge in blood!” The boys gasp.
She writes a sign for Tony oppa with a pricked finger as Joon-hee and Yoon-jae just shake their heads like, nuh-uh… that’s going too far.
But it earns her the coveted little Club H.O.T. officer ID card. Joon-hee goes to get coffee and Yoon-jae wraps his scarf around Shi-won, asking if he and Tony both fell into the water, which guy she’d save first.
She thinks about it for a moment and says Yoon-jae, and he lights up. Shi-won: “Because Tony oppa knows how to swim.” He blames himself for asking and then tells her not to take that scarf off: “I’ve been wearing it all day. It’ll smell like me.” He kills me.
He wonders how the basketball game went. I don’t know about the game, but things are certainly looking up for Yoo-jung and Hak-chan. She’s asleep on his lap and he doesn’t move a muscle, even as janitors sweep up the stands around them. Adorable.
Dad finds Mom missing from his bedside again and complains but she’s so wrapped up in this drama that she goes livid when the hero gets told he doesn’t have much longer to live. She’s back at the telephone to scream another tirade at the drama writer, who’s now just taken to letting her rant while she works.
Yoo-jung waves Hak-chan down on the bus the next morning, and he ignores her yet again. This time she won’t be deterred, and sits behind him to ask for a favor. She got four tickets to another basketball game and wants them to go as a group again.
He says sure. But there’s a caveat: she’s also got two tickets to see Next, and she wants Hak-chan and Sung-jae to go to that, after agreeing to go to the game. Oh to leave you alone with Yoon-jae? Sneaky! Also, very elaborate. He stammers that he wants to see the basketball game, but she threatens: “Then I’ll just kiss you on the lips right here!”
Hak-chan: “Next! Next! I’ll go see Next!” Hahaha. But then she hugs him in delight and fondles his face, and he melts. Aw. The birth of Love Triangle Number 3?
Shi-won spends the morning asleep in class after pulling an all-nighter for the concert tickets, and Yoo-jung tells Eun Dokki that Shi-won is in a new class of fandom now, and tells them what she did.
In the boys’ class Joon-hee and Yoon-jae are both asleep too, side by side. Why so cute? They’re listening to “You and I,” and Joon-hee opens his eyes for just a moment to sneak a glance at Yoon-jae. Aw.
Shi-won finally wakes up in the afternoon to listen to Tony oppa doing a radio interview (in the middle of class, natch). The host asks if there’s anything a fan has done that he didn’t appreciate, and he mentions with horror in his voice that a fan from Busan sent him a message written in her blood, and says it was the worst thing by far.
Uh, yeah. Gonna have to agree with you there. But also, a heartbreaking realization for Shi-won. She buries her head in shame, as Eun Dokki laughs out loud.
Joon-hee comes by, worried, and finds her just sitting at her desk numbly. He tries to make her feel better, but she’s so devastated—to hear those crushing words from her oppa, just ooouuuuch.
The rest of the group heads toward the classroom to try and cheer her up, and Yoon-jae opens the door…
…to find Joon-hee holding her as she cries. Oh no. And… is he wearing the scarf Yoon-jae gave to Shi-won? Ack. Heartbreak. He shuts the door quickly and turns back.
As they head out, Yoo-jung presents the boys with the tickets to tomorrow’s game, saying that she won them for free, and convinces them all to go with her. Yoon-jae hesitates, and then asks her if he can have the tickets to take Shi-won. Oh noes.
She says she has four tickets so Shi-won can come, but he asks if he can have them all, making the excuse that he wants to take her parents too. Oh, you ass!
Yoo-jung gives them up with a smile, while Hak-chan watches, knowing what lengths she went through to get those tickets, all in an effort to be alone with Yoon-jae. This is one serious merry-go-round of teenage pain.
Yoo-jung leaves first before she bursts into tears, and Yoon-jae goes running off with a skip in his step, not knowing what a terrible move he just pulled. But Hak-chan knows, and he sends a basketball flying at the back of Yoon-jae’s head.
Yes! Hak-chan for the win! I love you right now. His eyes light up with anger.
Dad finds Mom missing yet again. She’s at the payphone of course, but this time she’s not calling the drama writer to rant anymore. She admits that her husband has cancer and says that the writer is brilliant and that everyone loves her work, but lately, ever since the hero of her story became sick, no one in the hospital watches anymore, and there’s no more laughter.
She pleads through tears for her to let that hero live, because right now that’s the only thing she can do for her husband, to give him hope. *tears*
She hangs up and then we see that Dad has heard the whole conversation. And now I’m a blubbering mess. Why are these two so good?
Yoon-jae (voiceover): The easiest thing we can do for the person we love is to throw ourselves away. The strength to do things that aren’t in our nature—that’s love.
Dad sits down next to her as she quickly wipes away her tears. He asks where she’s been—he asked her to always stick to his side. “You know I can’t sleep unless you’re using my arm as a pillow.”
He swings his arm around her and they have a tender moment… which he ends by telling her to wash her hair from time to time. Ha.
Yoo-jung runs onto the bus and then the tears come. Gah, I love you Yoon-jae, but right now, I just want to hit you!
The bus takes off but then stops to pick up one more passenger, and Hak-chan runs up. This time, he gets on and walks straight to the back of the bus, with purpose. Why is that so swoony?
He sits down next to her! Squee.
She can’t stop crying, and he doesn’t know what else to do, so he just silently puts one earbud on… and then puts the other in her ear. Omg. He touched her without freezing up.
Sechskies’ “To You, the One I Love” starts to play (posted up above) and he just sits there next to her while she cries, without a word. It’s my favorite thing, in a show full of favorite things.
He digs out the tickets to Next and asks if she wants to go with him, and she admits she doesn’t like them. Ha. He promptly rips up the tickets and tells her to meet him in front of the mall tomorrow.
Hak-chan: “We’ll go do whatever you want to do. Not basketball. Not Next. What YOU like to do.” How could any girl on this planet not fall in love with you??
She kisses him on the cheek, surprising even herself. He freezes, his eyes like saucers.
Reunion 2012. Sung-jae reads the wedding invitation for…
Hak-chan and Yoo-jung! Whooo!
Sung-jae asks if the wedding is so soon because they made a baby, but Yoo-jung balks, “We haven’t even kissed!” Everyone groans.
Hak-chan belatedly informs her that everyone knows they kissed the day they started dating. Ha.
They get ready to toast the couple but Shi-won whines that she has to drink juice (Omo!) and everyone sighs that the big drinker can’t join in because of…
The baby! One mystery solved, another begins. She sighs, “Jagi-ya, can’t I just have one?” Tae-woong, Yoon-jae, and Joon-hee reply in unison: “No, it’s bad for the baby!” Lol.
Shi-won says in voiceover that today Yoo-jung and Hak-chan announced their wedding, and that her husband is sitting at this table too. Dun DUN!
Back to 1997. A month passes and the hospital ward is quiet. A nurse comes in to turn on the tv—it’s the last episode of that drama. They all watch as the doctor announces that the hero is cancer-free and it’s a miracle.
The room bursts into cheers, and Mom is moved to tears. Dad just asks cheerily if they’re not going to exercise now, and shows her his empty bowl of rice. Yay.
As the closing credits roll, Yoon-jae sits at the basketball game. Is he alone? Serves ya right.
He murmurs that he knows saying this makes him really uncool and he’s mortified, but… could she stop hanging out so much with Joon-hee? ‘Cause it really concerns him…
Shi-won stirs awake in the seat next to him: “Did you say something?”
Yoon-jae: “No.” HAHAHAHA.
I love the Yoo-jung/Hak-chan pairing so much. I’m glad it’s their wedding announcement, though I’m really surprised they revealed it so soon. But that’s what this show does so well—it undercuts what you expect, whether it’s turning a melo scene into a comic one, vice versa, or delivering the answer to a series mystery this early in the game. Now we have one couple secured, and get confirmation that another survives. Time to place your bets.
Hak-chan took a while to come to the foreground, since he was the new kid and was less of an established character, but the way he reacted to Yoo-jung’s crush on Yoon-jae just stole my heart. He really surprised me, and I thought it was actually quite funny that it was her crush on Yoon-jae and her heartbreak that brought them together. I guess I just like the silent stoic guys who have random bursts of basketball-chucking anger to express their emotions. So funny, so simple, so sweet.
The Shi-won/Joon-hee/Yoon-jae triangle continues to hurt my heart a thousand ways, of course, but that’s a long-term conflict we’ll be riding out till the end. What took the limelight in this pair of episodes was really Mom and Dad, and for me, Dad and Shi-won. The daddy-daughter stuff is the thing I identify with the most on this show—I just feel every moment of Shi-won’s teenage strife with her father. And I appreciate that the family is the emotional heart of the show, not just for those of us who were horrible rebellious daughters once upon a time, but because Mom and Dad as a unit ground the comedy and the fleeting teenage whims.
They can be silly too, but man, can they deliver on solid gut-wrenching drama when it counts. I just love that Mom was so hung up on the idea that Dad needed that fake drama hero to live, when what he really needed was her. All it took to turn him around was to see how scared she was to be strong again, for her.
The passing of objects from character to character worked so well in this pair of episodes. The homework: Joon-hee does it for Yoon-jae, Yoon-jae would have done it twice for Shi-won, Dad does it for Shi-won in the end. The tickets: Yoo-jung to Hak-chan, revealing her crush on Yoon-jae, then giving them to Yoon-jae who can only think selfishly of Shi-won, and Hak-chan reusing the Next tickets to ask Yoo-jung out. The scarf: Yoon-jae giving it Shi-won, Shi-won thoughtlessly giving it to Joon-hee… all of it just tells us so much about the relationships, without needing to spell it out. We know exactly who loves whom, and whose heart is getting ripped out in the process. How can heartache be this good?