Progress! This episode is chock full of the funny, and moves forward in plot line! What more could I ask for? There’s something about this series that’s highly amusing, even though it feels riddled with lazy writing. But then I can’t help thinking – doesn’t the writer know the cliches she’s writing? I mean, she did do City Hunter…
A young Tae Sung witnesses his father sleeping, his back turned and only a large dragon tattoo snaking around his back and arm. Then, he witnesses a gang fight, where his mother takes him away from the scene and on to a train. They sit across another mother and son pairing, and, hungry and jealous, Tae Sung takes the other little boy’s eggs. His mother apologizes for him, and once they get to the station, she picks up some boiled eggs and cider for him from across the street. Just as she’s crossing back to him, she gets hit by a car, and is carted away by an ambulance before his very eyes.
Tae Sung wakes up startled next to Joong Shik in the tent. He’s amazed that he’s actually fallen asleep from the acupuncture, without relying on the sleeping pills for the first time. He remembers about Sora, but she’s nowhere to be found. Did she just go meet Jung Chul without him?! Off he goes in search of Sora, and he ends up in a baseball field in town. Uncle’s Fishery is now a team going up against another local Busan team. The uncles are a bit incompetent – save for Sora as the pitcher – as they even have a little kid on second base.
A hit from the opposing team goes flying in the air and aims straight for Tae Sung’s head. Sora screams for him to duck, but tae Sung coolly catches it with his bare hands. Yep – they’re impressed. Sora rushes over – how could he catch that without a glove? But he shows her his callused hands – which are overly callused, if I may say – and says there’s nothing to it. He just wanted her to tell him where she’s going first before she leaves – just in case the gangsters from last night were after her again. Pff.
She asks if he wants to join, but he’s got no interest. He finds steel parallel bars further down the field instead and hangs out there.
Sora goes up to bat, and clearly she’s the best player based on how everyone’s cheering. She swings – and the ball goes flying way out of the field and into the stands. Home run! But Sora barely makes it to second base before everyone stops what they’re doing to stare at Tae Sung. Doing tricks on the parallel bars. Like an Olympic gymnast.
WHATTHEHELL!? Since when was Tae Sung this skilled?! It could explain the ridiculously sized calluses, but still! I love how this drama owns up to its own campiness with the way it shows off Tae Sung as a hero. He does handstands in the air, then makes the perfect tumble off – landing exactly like an Olympic gymnast. Whut?!
Everyone is awestruck, but Dong Baek tries to rally them into thinking that they’re better than he is in baseball. Yeah right – not with the way he perfectly pitches the ball back to them with such power that it knocks Uncle Hello Kitty back into the fences – literally. Whatever it takes – they’re going to scout him out for their team!
Back at home, everyone gathers to eat a seafood feast of a breakfast. Again, they all share spoons, which disgusts Tae Sung to no end. He has a small lunch tray, and fills it with the bare minimum of food; being allergic to shellfish doesn’t help either. Uncle Hello Kitty takes note of the tray – and asks if the marketplace is selling a Hello Kitty version! *dies* Kwan Soon joins him at his table, claiming to be eating a Denmark diet of only hard-boiled eggs and grapefruit; it’ll keep the weight off! She offers it to Tae Sung but he reacts roughly, saying he doesn’t want it. He hates hard-boiled eggs. Sheesh mister – we get it.
In the Lee household, everything is right and normal in the world as Mrs. Lee and her two sons eat breakfast calmly. Only Dad is freaking out because he hasn’t heard anything from Tae Sung in the past few days. Isn’t anyone else worried?! His sons are indifferent, taking their cue from their mother, who is annoyed that Dad clearly favors his adopted son. “Don’t worry about unnecessary things and make me get wrinkles on my face,” she snaps. “Do you know how expensive Botox is!?”
The owner of the cellphone – Oh Jung Chul – finally contacts Uncle’s Fishery and asks if they have his phone. He promises to pick it up soon, though “soon” is quite a vague timeline. They can’t even call him back to confirm when as the number has been blocked; Soon Shin rightfully assumes that Jung Chul must be involved in some nasty business.
Jung Chul is holed up in a hotel with his busty girlfriend, packing up drugs in a regular post office shipping box, and hiding it under a layer of cardboard. Really?! You won’t get caught that way?! Girlfriend – and the real geisha of the nightclub – can only think of going to Macau and spending some money on gambling and shopping.
Someone else thinks just like that – Kwan Soon! She whines about getting a new bag for Sora’s wedding, but her father tells her to bring either a wedding gift or an envelope of money; she already has too many bags! Kwan Soon tries begging Sora for one through Min Gu, but Sora refuses; Min Gu isn’t the richest guy on the block! Kwan Soon is annoyed – why couldn’t she marry a rich man? She starts on Sora’s newlywed home, but her father shuts her up. Hmm – sounds like something might be wrong with this “newlywed home” that Sora and Min Gu have gotten…
Kwan Soon refuses to help with the cleaning, and Soon Shin has to go on a delivery. This leaves Sora alone to do it, and no way is she going to go clean Tae Sung’s room just because he’s a guest. It’s not a 5-star hotel, yunno. Just then, she gets a call from Min Gu about keeping something safe and hidden, and taking one whenever she’s feeling tired. Oh yeah – totally sounds like she’d be taking drugs. Tae Sung’s ears are piqued, and he follows Sora when she assures Min Gu that she’ll check on “it” right now.
At that moment, Jung Chul arrives at Uncle’s Fishery to pick up his phone. Before he makes it to the store, he spots Tae Sung and quickly ducks. How did Tae Sung know he was here?!
Whatever Sora’s safekeeping for her fiancee, it’s in the storage freezer. Tae Sung sneaks in and watches her crouch over a storage box, oohing over the “quality” because it’s “all natural.” Tae Sung is impressed that despite her childlike demeanor, she can tell the difference in drug quality. At that moment, Jung Chul sneaks by the freezer and quietly locks the door…
It’s time to burst her bubble – Tae Sung taps her shoulder. What in the world is she taking that’s so addicting? There’s white stuff smeared all over her mouth and he wipes it off to take a very thorough taste of the drug. But something’s not right in the taste… He flips the box lid over and looks inside. They’re dried persimmons!
Why are there dried persimmons in the freezer?! Because Min Gu likes his persimmons frozen, and the freezer at his place is broken! Who’s Min Gu?! Her fiance! Isn’t it Oh Jung Chul?! Who!? Why’d she put Oh Jung Chul in her truck then? Because she hit him, and brought him to the hospital! She has his cellphone though – but is Oh Jung Chul the reason he came to Busan? Not because of her!?
I love this – the truth is finally out! Whee!
Sora says that Jung Chul should be coming by today to pick up his phone, and with that, Tae Sung rushes to the door. But it’s locked! There’s no way they can open it from the inside. Start banging the door!
Jung Chul finds his phone in the store by the water pot, and leaves just as the uncles arrive from a delivery. They don’t question him when he says he’s just here to pick up his cellphone, and he gives Soon Shin a few 50,000 Won bills, and Uncle Hello Kitty a measly 10,000 Won bill. They watch him leave, ogling at his girlfriend for a little bit before packing up for another round of deliveries.
Tae Sung and Sora are stuck inside the freezer for hours, with Tae Sung starting to look like Father Christmas, and Sora having found a blanket to huddle under. She sings children’s songs to keep herself occupied and feeling warmer, and Tae Sung begrudgingly crawls over to the blanket. He pulls out a lighter from his pocket; it was a dusty lighter from a sleazy nightclub found in his room.
Suddenly he gets an idea. He grabs the blanket and makes a little rope out of it attached to a stick. He then starts melting the ice with the lighter. He’ll break the lightbulb and fry the electrical wire with his makeshift water torch, and that will turn off the freezer. At least that way, they won’t freeze to death.
Sora makes a grab for the lighter. Is he crazy? Not only could he get electrocuted, but if the freezer turns off, the fish will rot! They start struggling with each other, and in no time, Tae Sung has Sora pinned on the wall, their legs entangled together in a mess. This is not a compromising position at all.
Sora screams her head off, hoping that the uncles can come and save her. It’s a good thing they just came back from a delivery, and though they’re sweating up a storm, Soon Shin is the first to hear her cries. They open up the freezer door, and find the two of them once again in a situation where Tae Sung looks like a rapist. It doesn’t help that Sora blames him for trying to “ruin us,” which sounds like he’s trying to ruin her reputation and purity, rather than their business.
But Tae Sung ignores their cries of outrage – did the cellphone owner come or not?! They say he did, and headed over to Haeundae, while cursing Tae Sung out and swearing to bring him to the police station. I love how Soon Shin and Dong Baek do all the beating, while Uncle Hello Kitty tries to keep Sora warm by blowing on her hands.
Tae Sung runs out of the freezer door, drops his precious watch, picks it up, and his butt inadvertently closes the door… THEY’RE LOCKED IN AGAIN! Hahaha!
On to the action – Tae Sung picks up his car and races towards Haeundae, checking out every possible car to see if he’s going to pass by Jung Chul on the way. He passes by a harbor and spots Jung Chul and his girlfriend parking the car and heading to their boat. Gotcha! First thing Tae Sung does is slash Jung Chul’s tires so he won’t be able to get away.
Their small yacht pulls away from the pier, and so Tae Sung swims after them. Sheesh – are you really going to catch up to a motorized yacht?! At least they don’t go too far out to sea, so Tae Sung eventually catches up to them onboard.
Kwan Soon returns home with her newly manicured nails and sees that no one is around. She calls for them, but hears no response. Then she sees their cash safe box. Could she possibly… “borrow” some money? Nope – they locked it, since she’s done that to them several times before. A customer comes by, asking to purchase all of her fish. He has a party tonight to supply, but his usual supplier didn’t have their catch ready. Kwan Soon suddenly gets a bright idea – she’ll sell him all of their fish at half the price in cash. Uh oh!
Jung Chul and his girlfriend are getting ready to suntan and relax on the deck when Tae Sung interrupts. Did Jung Chul really think Tae Sung would never find him? Jung Chul isn’t afraid, and whips out his blade instead. He can take on Tae Sung by himself.
Pfff – yeah right. Tae Sung is way better at fighting, and he pins Jung Chul down over the edge. Jung Chul freaks out – he can’t swim! He’ll surrender! But then – girlfriend uses a filled liquor bottle and does a nice hard swing at Tae Sung’s head. It’s hard enough to cause him to bleed, and Jung Chul throws the barely conscious Tae Sung overboard.
So this is how his amnesia starts…
Jung Chul docks the boat and they make the run for it; he also calls his men to pack up and move out of Busan. The girlfriend hands Jung Chul Tae Sung’s watch and car keys; for a prosecutor’s son, he has very expensive things. Since Jung Chul’s car tires are slashed, they take Tae Sung’s foreign car instead and speed away. His girlfriend is a bit of a simpleton, relishing in the fancy car and sunglasses, and feeling like they’re on a secret getaway rather than on the lam from the cops. She tries to put on a pair of sunglasses on Jung Chul while he’s driving, and her act of idiocy leads to him being unable to control the car.
The car swerves, flies over the edge and down the rocky hill, and lands right by the water shore. And then the car blows up. WHUT!?
Meanwhile, Sora and the uncles are finally set free, and the first thing they do is report a robbery to the police. Not only did Tae Sung – or “Nam Hae” – lock them in the freezer, but he also took all their fish. He also caused “mental and physical injuries” to all of them, and it was only because of Joong Shik’s hide-and-seek game that they were found.
Sora and Soon Shin head to the station to try and find him through the police’s database. However they can’t find his photo out of all the “Nam Hae’s” in Busan. The policeman supposes that it may be a stage name, and Sora remembers that he was searching for another man – but can’t give the specific name. The policeman needs more precise details, and he’s quite shocked that the former gang members were beaten so easily. Heh.
Uncles Hello Kitty and Dong Baek are overseeing the officers checking out Tae Sung’s room, and they can’t find a single print. I find it hard to believe that during his entire stay, Tae Sung continuously wiped down his room. Dong Baek shows off his hidden artistic talents and gives the police a rendering of how Tae Sung looks like. The photo goes up on flyers all over, and the uncles and Sora start handing them out to everyone in Haeundae Beach.
Though they put up a reward amount for Tae Sung, it’s a bit too much and they really hope they don’t have to pay it either. (Hahaha.) Then Sora accidentally bumps her head against a shirtless runner on the beach. The uncles take him to task for not watching where he’s going… but it’s Joon Hyuk! Sora quickly apologizes for hitting him, addressing him as ‘Vice President,’ and Joon Hyuk notes that he might need two weeks of treatment for the bruise she’s made on his fine looking chest.
He remembers that the hotel hasn’t paid her for the mackerel just yet, so they head over to Haeundae Hotel together. Through the revolving doors, Sora somehow slips on the marble and lands on her butt. When Joon Hyuk pushes the door to get her out, she bangs her head against the glass. Yep – she and Tae Sung are fated to be; those who bang heads together, flock together.
They head to the cafe instead of his office, and Joon Hyuk has the money brought down to her. He actually has a business proposition as well: would Sora be interested in continuing to be a supplier to Haeundae Hotel? They got rave reviews for their recent event, and Sora could make a lot of money for Uncle’s Fishery. Though the offer is sweet, Sora declines, as her uncles don’t like her dealing with Haeundae Hotel in any capacity.
Tam Hee overhears this part of the conversation just in time and butts in. She wants Uncle’s Fishery to leave Haeundae anyways, but Sora vows that she’ll get her hotel back. Their little spat is tiring – even for Joon Hyuk, and we both shake our head at how embarrassing these two girls can be. Tam Hee viciously tells Sora to send her father to a psychiatric hospital – or do they not have enough money for that?
Out of spite, Sora agrees to the deal. Yay! So Tam Hee ends up helping Joon Hyuk after all! Joon Hyuk quickly calls his assistant to bring down the prepared contract and tells Tam Hee to stop butting in to business she has no part in. Woohoo!
Kwan Soon arrives at the hotel with a new dress and a limited edition bag to meet a friend. Of all people, bumps into Joo Hee. They know each other through Sora, and there’s definitely no love lost between them. They snipe at each other over who got the better plastic surgery until Joo Hee loses (she having supposedly gotten more surgery). That’s when they notice Sora in the cafe with the Joon Hyuk. Sensing Joo Hee’s jealousy, Kwan Soon points out that Sora has been able to be naturally attractive through her charms rather than looks. Ooooh..
I’m impressed that Kwan Soon isn’t jealous of Sora dealing with Joon Hyuk, but rather wishing that her cousin were going to marry him instead of Min Gu. She meets her friend, whose bag is unfortunately not as expensive as Kwan Soon’s, and sees the flyer about Tae Sung. Uh oh – he’s been framed for something she did! Trust Sora to escalate issues into big deals.
Min Gu calls Sora up during her meeting with Joon Hyuk, asking about purchasing the most expensive appliances for their new home. She says she’ll think about it and will see him after his business trip. Business trip my butt – he’s actually at a local gambling house, his friends all knowing that he’s scamming a new girl. Ugh.
Joon Hyuk gleans from a few details that she’s getting married, and he asks to be invited so that he can congratulate her. Aww – I’m sure he’s also thinking, “Gosh darn it, I missed a good catch!” Sora thinks it might be weird to have the VP of Haeundae Hotel there, but he assures her that their signed contract means their family. That’s the thing – she’s not sure she even did the right thing by signing it.
That evening, Sora finds Soon Shin watching over her father as Joong Shik fishes in the waters. Soon Shin is taking out his anger for Tae Sung on all the mosquitos, and so she sends him home to spend some time with her father. Joong Shik hasn’t caught any fish, but Sora plays along as if he did. He refuses to share any with her, saying that he’ll only give it to her mom.
That makes Sora sad. All these years, her father is still loyal to her mother. Just in the past few days, Sora’s heart had wavered with the appearance of Tae Sung, as she didn’t know what to make of the man who’s “never felt this way before!” She knows that she should marry Min Gu though, since he promised he’d take care of her father. With no one else to tell it to, Sora also tells her father that she’s decided to sell fish to Haeundae Hotel, even though it may not be the wisest decision, and she’ll continuously be receiving hate from Tam Hee.
Early the next day, the uncles and Sora go out to sea to catch fish. They know they got a huge catch of mackerels this morning, and they celebrate the net being unfurled on their boat. Whee! Fish!
And… a dead body?! OMIGOD – it’s Nam Hae! I mean, Tae Sung!
YAY! Tae Sung has amnesia! Wow – I never thought I’d be so happy to see someone have amnesia. Usually I hate it because it’s a writing device that frustrates me to no end. However, amnesia is the plot point I’ve been waiting for for the past four hours, and it’s finally here! It’s also poised to give us a lot of confusing hijinks, and I hope there will be lots of the funny.
The writing is getting stronger, although it definitely feels lazy and ridiculous. Having Jung Chul go up in smoke felt like a convenient way to get rid of his plot line so that he won’t come around again. I actually thought that his car was just going to end up stuck in the rocks, and he and his girlfriend would have to struggle to go up the rocky hill. Instead, the car just blew up. I have not seen the previews – repeat: NOT SEEN IT so don’t spoil it – but I am thinking that Jung Chul’s death will cause some problems for Tae Sung and the uncles. Either someone mistakes Tae Sung and Jung Chul’s relationship, or even think that Tae Sung is Jung Chul; that would make this plot point a little more useful rather than a throwaway bit. After all, Jung Chul and his girl do have his car and his beloved watch… which means that his family will think he’s dead… and he’ll be free from Se Na!
But considering that the writer is from City Hunter I’d hate to think that she’s being over the top cheesy for no reason at all. I enjoyed City Hunter for its tight plot and characterizations. I don’t want to think that she’s just pushing her pen on the paper for this series. Therefore, I’m choosing to think that she’s actively trying to be cliched and cheesy for a purpose.
On another note, I am definitely enjoying Joon Hyuk’s character – and I need more of him. It looks like he has a plan that he made in accordance with Man Ho, and I’d like to know what else he has in store for Haeundae Hotel. Plus, he is such a good catch. I almost want him to end up with Sora instead. (Crap – second lead syndrome.) I’ve also become even more interested in Dong Baek’s character because we now learn that he’s talented in drawing. Based on his young age, it seems like he’s known nothing but the gang for most of his formative years. As the youngest, he’s also the roughest and the most street smart; however, because of his youth he has a wealth of opportunities to explore and find out his talents. I know I’m reading a bit too much into this, but somehow I wish that he’d end up being a talented artist by the end of this series.
As for the music – I don’t mind it too much. I’ve heard that some people don’t like the music for how it doesn’t match the scene, but I think that’s what’s great about it. It really adds to the quirkiness of this drama that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I think it’s found its groove now.
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 3
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 2
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 1
- Posters and stills for Haeundae Lovers
- Haeundae Lovers releases first teaser
- Haeundae Lovers, feeling the love for poster shoots
- Haeundae Lovers fills out its supporting cast
- Jung Seok-won joins Haeundae Lovers
- Kim Kang-woo and Jo Yeo-jung for Haeundae Lovers