Secret’s out but were we at all surprised? We learn Jae-hee’s motivation for ending up at an all boys’ school, friendships are born and hearts begin to flutter. This episode kicks it up with the cute and though Jae-hee hangs by a wire between a stan and a stalker, one thing’s for sure: when it comes to her and that finish line, she sure as hell isn’t going to give up.
Lesson of the Day: Lee Hyun-woo is the ultimate Noona Killer as the most adorable thing ever.
SONG OF THE DAY
TVXQ – “Hug” [ Download ]
EPISODE 2 RECAP
Doc demands to know why there’s a girl in an all boys’ school. You and me both, good man. Jae-hee gets on the defensive but Doc says that he can tell right away with one look at her wrist.
She blusters that Doc must have it all wrong; she’s definitely a guy. She runs out of the office leaving Doc with a knowing smirk.
Tae-joon sits alone in the darkened gymnasium after the failed CF shoot. Director Jang reassures him not to worry and then places the blame on herself for rushing his recovery. They’ll run some more tests and then treat his injury.
I know your intentions are good but it’s like placing a band-aid over a healed cut and still calling it a boo-boo.
Her phone rings and Tae-joon assures Director Jang that he’s fine; it’s not like he was going to be an athlete forever. He’s sure something will work itself out and covers his disappointment in himself saying that he was getting sick of high jumping anyway.
He walks out.
Eun-gyul happily hops over towards Jae-hee after having heard she left the Doc’s office. Concerned, he tells her that she should be more careful – one never knows how they could die.
He changes the subject, breezing that it’s seems like Injury Day because Tae-joon didn’t complete the high-jumping segment of the CF. He wonders if Tae-joon’s ankle injury still hasn’t fully recovered.
Jae-hee reacts in shock and searches for Tae-joon but he’s nowhere to be found.
Dad’s car pulls up next to Tae-joon and the first thing Dad does is slap him. Um, ow. Dad asks if Tae-joon purposely messed up the CF shoot to put on a show for everyone.
Tae-joon glares back – what’s with Dad’s sudden concern? Dad tells him that there were plenty of other ways Tae-joon could have rebelled against him rather than simply giving up. “Don’t act so immature Tae-joon.”
Tae-joon bites back that he’ll figure out what he needs to do on his own.
Back in the room, Tae-joon remarks that Jae-hee must have no intentions to move out if her stuff is still here. Jae-hee begs to let her stay – she’ll be as quiet as a mouse. He pushes her aside and when she cries in out in pain, he thinks she’s faking it.
With his back to her, he says that he’ll kick her out if she’s louder than 40 decibels. Jae-hee belatedly realizes that it means he’s letting her stay and she’s as happy as a clam, even though Tae-joon mentions that it’s only temporary.
He adds that it doesn’t make them equals either. He’s the owner of the room and well, she’s nothing. When she calls him out on it, he says in a haughty playful tone, “If you don’t like it, you can pack your things.”
They bicker back and forth until Jae-hee finally concedes.
We peek into Tae-joon’s dream where he and his father are part of his mother’s funeral processional. Her date of death is July 2010 and Tae-joon places his high jumping gold medal on Mom’s grave.
Oh noes – did Mom die the day you won? That would explain part of the reason why you don’t want to high jump again.
Jae-hee notices Tae-joon sleeping in a fitful state and walks over to cover him with his blanket. He suddenly grabs her wrist and we see him dream of his mother smiling at him. Unconsciously, he then holds Mom/Jae-hee’s hand, pulling it towards his chest.
Stuck, Jae-hee sits by his bed and comfortingly pats his blanket and we see Dream Mom doing the same.
Morning. Tae-joon blinks awake with Jae-hee’s hand still in his. He jerks her hand away awkwardly when she begins to stir. She apologizes for falling asleep by his bedside and he grumbles, “Do I have to tell you where you have to sleep too?”
As Jae-hee gets ready in the bathroom, she gets an unexpected morning visitor in the form of Eun-gyul. He doesn’t get why Jae-hee gets upset, thinking it’s no big deal because they’re both guys and then he just whips it out.
When Jae-hee asks if he doesn’t know of any basic manners, he’s like, my bladder is more important than damned manners! As soon as he leaves, Seung-ri walks in and then proceeds to sit on the john to do a Number two. HAHA.
Jae-hee cries in horror.
Reporter Yang finds it odd that Tae-joon still isn’t fully recovered from his injury especially since Director Jang herself declared otherwise. Director Jang brushes the matter under the rug.
Jae-hee ducks behind Doc’s car to remain hidden from view. He zooms off and she resolves that she’ll need to avoid him for the time being.
Seung-ri gathers Dorm 2 residents to discuss the upcoming school wide athletic competition. Their dorm won last year and they’ll need to do it again to keep the perks they received from the school.
He turns to Tae-joon and assigns him as their high jump representative. Tae-joon opts out (Hyun-jae gives a flicker of surprise), citing that he doesn’t want to expend his energy on a wittle competition like this.
Seung-ri is offended and held back by Eun-gyul and Jae-hee as Tae-joon walks out.
The three dorm leaders meet and we find out that the winning dorm will get access to the fancy school cafeteria. These guys are an absolute hoot. Charles, er I mean, Chul-soo of Dorm 3 quotes, “Veni, vidi, vici” and Dorm 1 Young-man sighs, “Can’t you talk in Korean?”
We pan over to see the striking contrast between the two cafeterias: the fancy cafeteria has its own greeter whereas the other one has a crabby ajumma who curses at the students.
Seung-ri checks in with the other dorms – how’s their training going? Young-man shrugs “not much” (Commence Boot Camp) and Charles says they went on a MT (Navy Seals style). They turn the question to him and Seung-ri answers, “We practiced just a teeeeny bit!” (Brutal soccer scrimmage)
They agree to play fair and join hands for a three way handshake… which turns into a three-way thumb war. Heehee.
Tae-joon happens to catch Hyun-jae in the middle of high jump practice and he’s surprised by the Reporter Yang. She informs him that Hyun-jae’s personal record is just shy of Tae-joon’s and doesn’t get why he’s so touchy – doesn’t he know she adores him?
Tae-joon looks back at her, “That kind of adoration is stalking.” Yeah, I can think of another person who should hear that statement.
She asks after Tae-joon’s condition – is he not jumping because he can’t or he won’t? He tells her to think what she wants, does a little fake turn on his heel (ha), and leaves.
Eun-gyul watches with a look of disgust as Jae-hee inhales her food to avoid Doc’s eye at lunch. They’re soon joined by Jong-min who’s royally pissed to see his best buddy eat with the new kid.
Jae-hee heads back to the room and then promptly puts on Tae-joon’s shoes (which, ew) before pretend high-jumping onto his bed.
She kicks her feet up and while she admires them, thinking back to the Doc’s question about what she’s doing at Genie High. So what part of this doesn’t make you a stan again?
After dance practice, Hanna and her girls jab at the screen of yummy food before they disparagingly open up their own salads. Hanna sighs, wondering if she should retire to live her life as Tae-joon’s wifey.
It’s apparent that Hanna has this ability to snap veiled insults in a matter-of-fact way to her dancer friends. She frets that Oppa’s been having such a hard time lately and wonders if she should send him a present. She puts in a call.
That “present” is a giant box that is delivered to Tae-joon’s room and Jae-hee examines it curiously. And then surprise! Hanna pops out, scaring the living daylights out of her.
Hanna introduces herself as Tae-joon’s girlfriend and warns Jae-hee not to circulate the news about her presence, especially on the internet. Which isn’t a problem since Jae-hee has no idea who the crazy girl in a box is.
She has this hilarious mixed look of amazement and shock on her face of, You don’t know who I am? She’s Seol Hanna, the nation’s younger sister who’s cuter than a celebrity.
Jae-hee just shrugs an apology that she doesn’t know because she just came from America. Hanna murmurs, “Don’t they have internet there?”
Tae-joon returns, none too pleased at the unexpected visitor and as Jae-hee watches Hanna pout, she figures that Hanna mustn’t be his girlfriend after all.
Another petty attack by Jong-min at the dorm track practice sends Jae-hee with a hurt ankle to the Doc’s office. She tries to grab some meds while the coast is clear but approaching voices send her hiding behind a curtain.
Doc and Tae-joon enter the office and Doc notices the pair of exposed shoes. He confronts Tae-joon about his injury, adding that being honest is the only way he can truly help.
Tae-joon answers that it does and so Doc launches into a possible theory: he thinks Tae-joon might have an acquired syndrome where the athlete is suddenly unable to perform anymore.
He continues that it often appears in athletes whose sports require a considerable amount of pressure and concentration and Tae-joon has a very particular case of this.
It’s different from a slump, Doc explains, because this condition has no known method of treatment.
But since it’s just a speculation, Tae-joon shouldn’t be too discouraged. Tae-joon replies that he’s not since he didn’t expect much anyway.
After he leaves, Doc calls Jae-hee out of her hiding spot. They have two separate conversations: he asks about how Jae-hee entered Genie High while Jae-hee inquires after Tae-joon’s condition.
Doc puts a stop to her line of questioning – he doesn’t know how she got in but he knows a surefire way to get her out.
He picks up the phone to call the principal as Jae-hee pleads that she came because of Tae-joon and he’s ready to spill the beans when Jae-hee admits that she wanted to see him jump again.
“At first, I just admired Tae-joon’s jumping, so in order to feel close to him I joined track and field. I thought at some point, we’d be able to stand together in the same place. Right now, I have to debt to pay to Tae-joon. So I can’t leave after seeing Tae-joon like this! I have to see Tae-joon high jump again like he did before.”
Doc asks how she plans to do that and she bursts she’ll do whatever it takes by any means necessary. If it means he can fly again, she’s okay with cutting off her own wings. So she needs to see him jump again and can’t go back to being a girl.
Doc stares at her with a hardened expression before deciding not to put in the call after all. He tells her, “Go back…” and then clarifies, “…back to your dorm.”
But this isn’t a green light; he needs time to think things over. He warns her that it’s just a matter of time before the school will find out anyway.
Tae-joon pretends to sleep when Jae-hee returns to the room, listening as she admits that she overheard his conversation with Doc. At her word of encouragement, Tae-joon tells her not to overreact because he was getting sick of high jumping anyway. So he’ll take this opportunity to quit the sport altogether.
Jae-hee calls him out as a liar – she knows his expression when he jumps, “How can a kid who used to fly in the air settle for just living on the ground?”
Tae-joon raises his voice at her suggestion to help and tells her that if she really wants to help then she can move out. It’s Jae-hee’s turn to raise her voice now and annoyed, he states, “43 decibels. You’re out.”
Outside, Eun-gyul sees Jae-hee dragging her feet and notices her dejected mood. He drags her to the soccer field and suggests a friendly soccer match. If she can steal the ball away from him, he’ll grant her a wish.
Jae-hee’s not in the mood to play and Eun-gyul shows off a few soccer tricks to entice her. He teases that she shouldn’t give up too easily and when Jae-hee finally agrees, he breaks into The Most Adorable Smile Ever. Gah, why are you so cute?!
Unable to surpass Eun-gyul’s skills, Jae-hee resorts to tugging at his shirt and they both fall to lie on the grass. Eun-gyul teases that this means she lost and then takes out his phone to take a picture together.
The uploaded caption reads: Friendship feels like a trapping at 11 PM. The ball wasn’t the only thing that passed from my foot to yours. That’s friendship.
His heart start to thump loudly and he looks over to see Jae-hee in a new light. Aww, bromance?
Reporter Yang corners Jae-hee at school to discuss a sports feature on Tae-joon. As Tae-joon’s roommate, Jae-hee must know him best, right?
Elsewhere at the Doc’s office, we see Hyun-jae sneak a peek at Tae-joon’s file, rifling through his medical records and x ray. He makes sure to snap photographic proofs Tae-joon’s healed Achilles’ heel.
Director Jang flips a lid at Reporter Yang for the recent headline about Tae-joon’s condition. Dad sees the headline too and tells his staff to bring Tae-joon home later.
Tae-joon reassures Director Jang over the phone that he’s fine and that the acquired syndrome is only a theory. He thinks back to how the reporter found out in the first place and recalls finding her business card among Jae-hee’s things.
He tenses, “Was it for that reason?” Jae-hee has no idea what he’s referring to and he shows her the article. He asks again if Jae-hee hung around him so that she could sell off information about him.
But Jae-hee defends to the end that she had nothing to do with the feature and he storms off.
Athletic Competition Day. Seung-ri wins the relay for Dorm 2, Dorm 1 wins the basketball tournament and they pull ahead with another win in tennis.
Eun-gyul secures the win in soccer with another awesome butterfly kick and when he spots Jae-hee cheer for him, his heart starts to pound again.
With the marathon up ahead, Seung-ri scolds Jong-min for carelessly getting injured. Jong-min pipes that it’s no big deal since Tae-joon will win the high jumping round. Trouble is, he’s nowhere to be found.
Hyun-jae makes a jab about his condition and it’s enough for some of the dorm members to start wondering if it really means the end for Tae-joon’s career.
So Seung-ri assigns Hyun-jae to get the job done but he feigns injury – he’d love to see what might become of Tae-joon as well.
To everyone’s shock, Jae-hee volunteers to run the marathon. If she wins then Tae-joon doesn’t have to jump right? Seung-ri points out that Jae-hee’s a sprinter; has she ever ran a marathon? Jae-hee insists that she can do it.
Seung-ri gives his dorm members a last bit of encouragement and instructs Jae-hee to run with the finish line in mind.
Given Dorm 3’s sketchy pep talk, it looks like they have something up their sleeves…
As the students run, Seung-ri narrates to a concerned Eun-gyul that they’ll be approaching the first deadpoint. Your body starts to break down from the agony, unable to keep up with the condition.
We catch up to the runners and just before Jae-hee reaches the table of drinks, a student from Dorm 3 crashes into it. Tae-joon finally shows up and Eun-gyul informs him that Jae-hee is running the marathon because of him.
Then Seung-ri announces the final deadpoint. “From that point on, it’s a fight with your mind, not the body.” And then, the Dorm 3 student kicks Jae-hee’s shin.
There’s a hilarious break between the marathon to spend a moment with our teachers. Coach Baek has a budding crush towards the language teacher and shyly hands her a drink. She then offers it to Doc who then hands it back to Coach Baek. HA.
Back to the marathon. Dorm 3 cheers to see their runner in the lead and then we see Jae-hee turn the corner. She pulls up next to him and then takes the lead much to Dorm 2’s roaring cheers.
But then Jae-hee collapses to the ground, suffering from a sprained ankle. Tae-joon involuntarily reacts in shock and the muffled shouts of the crowd deafen her.
She struggles to get up and thinks back to Tae-joon’s speech after his high jump vcitory that, “A miracle is just hard work by another name.” Repeating those words, she gets up just before the other runner catches up to her.
With a final burst of energy, she speeds to the finish line. As soon as she crosses it, she collapses. Her dormmates gather around her and as Seung-ri treats her injury, she looks to find Tae-joon.
She limps towards him, telling him that she repeated that mantra to herself in order to win. She loses her balance and Tae-joon catches her before she falls.
He remains silent as Jae-hee insists that it wasn’t her who talked to the reporter about the leaked article. At a distance, Eun-gyul looks on.
Seung-ri happily accepts the athletic competition trophy for Dorm 2 and the celebration party begins (à la EXO’s performance of “MAMA.” Nice, subtle touch SM). They chant Jae-hee’s name when she appears and throw her up in the air.
Eun-gyul notices Jae-hee’s discouraged mood and he checks in about her physical condition. She giggles in response that she finally feels like a student who belongs at Genie High. Eun-gyul’s heart goes thump thump again. Puppy love solidified.
Heads turn when Hanna joins the festivities and Eun-gyul snaps at her for speaking in banmal. Clasping a hand over his chest, he worries, “Getting mad at a girl and your heart flutters for a guy? What’s going on?” He runs away in embarrassment.
Meanwhile, Tae-joon crushes the article about his condition in his hands.
How much do I love that Eun-gyul is so popular with the ladies online but in reality, he’s just a big ol’ dork? He literally pulls at his hair when the ladies scatter at his awkward dancing.
Tae-joon contemplates a drink before downing in the next minute. Sure enough, we find out that he unknowingly grabbed a drink containing alcohol and Seung-ri warns Jong-min to make sure Tae-joon doesn’t consume any.
Why? Because of his “alcohol allergy” (uh, okay), Tae-joon gets drunk with just one sip.
Hanna pouts at being unable to find Tae-joon. She lights up when she sees him walking towards her in the distance. Then we hear Seung-ri narrate that Tae-joon’s drunken habit is to kiss the first person he sees.
Hanna happily turns the corner… and fakeout! She pushes Eun-gyul aside, upset that he’s not Tae-joon.
Jae-hee trudges up the stairs, at the brink of giving up on finding Tae-joon. He appears, clearly drunk and spots her.
Target locked, he stares at her with unwavering eyes. She looks back at him, confused.
Then, Tae-joon leans in to kiss her the very moment fireworks burst in the sky behind them.
Good luck recovering from that, Jae-hee. And good luck trying to convince him that it actually happened.
This episode was filled with so much cute and adorableness that I thought I might die. And that was even before Lee Hyun-woo came along. ‘Cause really – who wouldn’t melt at that adorable face? And apparently, he always takes a selca after he scores a goal. I thoroughly enjoy Eun-gyul as a character because at this point, he’s the most dynamic and intriguing. Poor thing has a budding friendship and crush. C’mere, noona will give you a hug.
Now we know a piece of what’s motivating Jae-hee in her efforts to see Tae-joon high jump again but it does little to settle the uneasiness I feel when I see her watch him sleep and try on his shoes. You’re no Edward honey and if you were, that’s still creepy. You’re a complete stranger to Tae-joon at this point bordering on stalker territory. To her credit, it was sweet of her to step in so that Tae-joon wouldn’t necessarily have to high jump in order to protect him but then that swung right back when she said she repeated his words in her head. I can see the production team try to portray these actions as innocent as they can, but I just can’t shake off the feeling that if it was someone else who had a less innocent face than Sulli, we’d be watching the Perfect Sasaeng.
I do believe it’s worth noting that although I am familiar with parts of the manga and have seen the 2007 Japanese drama adaptation, I’ll do my best to refrain from drawing any comparisons that say “x drama did this better than y drama.” The reason is that though this show is a remake, I think it is worthy of its own praise and criticism as a separate entity. An adaptation is just that – a version of the source material and though the purist in me cries for exactly how I imagined it, I’m always intrigued to see how someone else reinterprets the same material and incorporates their own style into it. We may not always see eye-to-eye when it comes to that but it can make for healthy discussion.
Getting back to the drama, one of the relationships I really love right now is between Director Jang and Tae-joon. She’s the closest thing to a maternal figure in his life and seeing their conversations warms my hearts. Though I see the intention of trying to cover Tae-joon from high jumping until he’s ready, we’re beginning to see those consequences of those actions. She does care for him but it certainly isn’t the most loving thing to cover his fear of high jumping again. On the other hand, this is where the Doc really shines because he provides that opportunity for Tae-joon to be truthful to himself about his injury – both the physical and emotional one.