To the Beautiful You: Episode 15
Woah. If that doesn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will. Confessions come spilling out left and right as characters all face their feelings head-on. As each day passes, Jae-hee edges that much closer to her cover being blown wide open. It’s going to be hard keeping a rumor tamped down for long – a ticking time bomb waiting for the inevitable.
This is an angst train I can get on but no one said that it would be a smooth ride.
SONG OF THE DAY
SHINee – “Life” [ Download ]
EPISODE 15 RECAP
Eun-gyul opens the door and sees Jae-hee’s exposed wrap – secret’s out. He gasps. She gasps. I gasp.
Jae-hee stops him, apologizing that things ended up like this; she should have told him sooner. Angry and hurt, he asks in a bitter tone what she’s sorry about, “Are you sorry that you toyed with me?”
That’s not what she means but Eun-gyul continues, “If you were sorry to me just a little, if you thought of me just a little… if you gave my confession a little bit of serious thought, then you couldn’t do this [to me].” Oof.
He blames himself for putting himself through this song and dance and leaves. Not a good way to start your morning, methinks.
Now we see why Eun-gyul’s bathroom is preoccupied every morning as Hyun-jae gives himself his daily pep talk through self-encouraging statements like, “You can do it” and “You’re the best, Min Hyun-jae.” And omg, they’re laminated. So cute.
He’s startled when Eun-gyul snaps at him and pouts a little before leaving his roomie alone to brood in bed.
Things are definitely looking up for Tae-joon, who’s in tiptop shape again and the boys exchange playful barbs at each other. D’aww, can we get more of this?
But Coach Baek’s got bad news – there’s a new high jumper in town and he’s about to turn this whole playing field upside down. Not only has he been at this sport for 6 months, his personal record is a centimeter above Tae-joon’s: 2.31m.
Eun-gyul continues to ignore Jae-hee’s calls and even one of Seung-ri’s corny jokes fails to make him laugh. Aww, ‘s not you Seung-ri – he just found out that his crush is a she.
Later that night, Jae-hee sits with Sangchu, saying that leaving would be the right thing to do but she wants to be by Tae-joon’s side more than ever. She calls herself the worst for wanting that.
This is where Tae-joon finds her and sweetly tells her to come inside. She asks if he remembers their first meeting. Through her tears, she recalls the wonder of that moment – when her idol was right in front of her eyes, in the flesh.
Jae-hee: “I have something to tell you.” Her voice breaking and tears streaming down her face, she confesses, “I’m… actually… a girl.”
…and Tae-joon silently pulls her into a hug. Tae-joon: “Thanks… for coming to stay by my side.”
Jae-hee pulls back – surprised – and Tae-joon admits that he knows she’s a girl. He tells her that he wanted to tell her for a while now but he had to keep it in. Tears fall from Tae-joon’s eyes as he tells her, “Gu Jae-hee, I like you.”
Hyun-jae returns with a peace offering, thinking that Eun-gyul is still upset about him for hogging the bathroom that morning. Eun-gyul apologizes for his snippy attitude and everything is right again in Bromance Land.
Hyun-jae asks how things are with his crush and Eun-gyul sighs that he’s angry at “that person” right now – that person deceived him and just thinking about it makes him angry.
Eun-gyul: “It was probably really hard for her and she probably had no one to talk to about it with. But that I didn’t know anything like a fool and that I couldn’t help her at all… makes me angry. But that it was all for someone else and not me… makes me really angry. But the thing that angers me the most… is the me who won’t be able to forgive her in the end. I’m angry at myself.”
This is… fantastic. Just gut-wrenching fantastic. Hyun-jae gives a comforting pat on Eun-gyul’s knee.
The next day, the gossip mill churns out that there’s a girl in Genie High, a tidbit that Young-man overhears. (I’ll admit that I almost wrote in Ha-jin instead. He was gone for a few episodes.)
Back at school, Coach Baek helps Reporter Yang carry school files to her car. Their friendly overtures are seen by Teacher Lee (who fires jealous glares) and hilariously, Coach Baek does a 180, drawing strict boundaries between them.
Tae-joon pulls Eun-gyul aside and points out that he and Jae-hee used to be inseparable and now he won’t so much as glance in Jae-hee’s direction. Eun-gyul retorts that it’s none of his business but Tae-joon stands his ground that it does since it involves Jae-hee.
There’s been a lot on her mind and she’s walking on eggshells around Eun-gyul. He reminds Eun-gyul of his own words of warning that he wouldn’t stand by if Tae-joon hurt Jae-hee, “But you seem to be the one hurting her the most.”
That prompts Eun-gyul to ask if Tae-joon knew about her secret all along. He scoffs at Tae-joon’s admission – why didn’t he mention anything or given him a hint? If he did, “Then it wouldn’t be so hard right now.”
He doesn’t buy Tae-joon’s excuse that he had no other choice given the situation and bitterly remarks, “I thought of you as a friend. I’m sorry I only thought of myself.”
Eun-gyul spends a moment of solitude in the laundry room when a voice squeaks behind him. It’s Jae-hee Sock Puppet, who apologizes and says that she wouldn’t have lasted a day at Genie High if it weren’t for him. There were times when she wanted to run away, but she endured, all thanks to him. Aww, this is a cute turnaround.
It breaks my heart watching him struggle with his inability to forgive her and be so reminded by his hurt. Jae-hee pops out to say sorry, but it’s not enough and he leaves without a word.
Coach Baek sidles up to Teacher Lee to invite her to lunch but his run-in with Reporter Yang is still fresh in her mind so she calls up Doc for lunch instead.
Tae-joon finds Jae-hee in the room, deep in thought while folding his laundry. She’s happy to do it, adding that it’s the least she can do. Jae-hee says that Eun-gyul must feel super angry and betrayed since he now knows her secret.
Tae-joon reassures her that he’ll come around soon enough with his usual bright and understanding personality. Then jealous Tae-joon peeks through, asking if she was thinking about Eun-gyul all day.
Jae-hee brushes his jealousy aside and changes the subject – she’s sure that Tae-joon will come out on top at nationals. Mention about the rookie jumper is news to her and he playfully asks if Jae-hee thinks he won’t win anymore.
She’s quick to defend that she’d bet her entire savings on Tae-joon. He puffs up with pride and assures her that he’ll protect her investment.
Before he heads out, he turns to say one last thing: “It’s not laundry. What helps me the most is for you to be by my side. Because if you’re there, I can jump.” She can do that, right? She nods.
The rumor that there’s a girl within Genie High is enough for Seung-ri to get his nose out of his humor book. Through some deductive reasoning, Young-man figures that if it’s true, then it’s likely that the culprit lives in Dorm 2, which Seung-ri considers utter nonsense.
And since it’s just a rumor, he can go ahead and check anyway, right? Yunno, just to confirm. Taking Young-man by the neck, Seung-ri warns that he’d better be prepared if nothing turns up. Then he delivers one of his jokes, “What do you get if you separate an insect into three parts?”
Young-man: “Head, thorax, and abdomen?” Seung-ri: “No, it’d die.” HAHA – a corny joke masked as a thinly veiled threat? I like that better than you looking them up to amuse Hanna.
Tae-joon looks up “really really feel good” date ideas. That brings them to the aquarium and Jae-hee forgets herself for a moment, slinking her arm in his. He keeps it there. Aw.
They explore the place, taking in the sights and they both shift nervously when they see another couple snuggle next to each other. When Jae-hee has trouble seeing the penguins, he takes her by the hand to the front so she can see better.
They go for a walk outside and Jae-hee admits that Tae-joon’s nicety still feels foreign to her. That leads him to ask if there was a time when he made her upset, pouting when she says there were several.
He asks when she was the most disappointed in him and is slightly surprised when she names the night he left for Seoul early on their camping trip. A lightbulb flashes above his head and they head straight for the camping store.
Soon they’ve built an impromptu camping spot and enjoy the s’mores that Jae-hee whips up just like the night of the meteor shower. Tae-joon asks what they would have talked about if they spent it together like they originally planned and Jae-hee answers, “Talk about that oppa who taught me how to make these?”
Oh honey, you don’t talk about the other guy when you’re on a date with your new guy. Tae-joon wonders if she’s talking about Jung-hoon and then jabs a petty barb that the s’mores don’t taste that yummy anymore. I heart jealous Tae-joon.
It turns out that Tae-joon enjoys going camping and particularly loves going in the winter because the cold would make him feel alive and the snow would be so beautiful. He suggests that they go together next time – a thought that makes her frown. Will she be here long enough to do so?
But that doesn’t deter Tae-joon in the slightest; there are still a ton of things he wants to do together. So, “You’re going to have to be by my side for a long time.” They hold hands and vow that from now on, they’ll do everything together.
The embroidered jersey Jae-hee once stitched for Eun-gyul brings back a flood of memories. Like how she rushed over to give it to him, and when he cried into it when he didn’t make the national team, and when he confessed his feelings for her.
Now that there’s a new benchmark, the boys up their game in practice, jumping again and again until they finally clear the 2.31m.
Reporter Yang is on campus working on a feature when she picks up the rumor that there’s a girl in the all-boys school. Her curiosity is further piqued when she sees Tae-joon paying particular attention to Jae-hee during practice…
Side note: I love that Seung-ri has now moved onto another humor manual, “Humor A-Z,” and has dog-eared the fart joke page.
Afterward, Reporter Yang approaches Jae-hee, asking if she knows of any dirt on the mystery girl at Genie High. Jae-hee maintains her poker face long enough for Tae-joon to come to her defense. But Reporter Yang won’t be backing off from such a juicy story anytime soon.
Hyun-jae runs into his roomie outside and asks if he’s heard the rumor about a girl hiding in Genie High. Ha – now half of me wishes this rumor mill also doubled as a game of Telephone just to see what we’d end up with at the end.
They both agree that it sounds like pure nonsense but Hyun-jae mentions that he saw the other dorm leaders carry a cardboard box into the locker room…
Eun-gyul demands the key to the locker room and runs.
Sure enough, Jae-hee has locked the door to change uninterrupted but unbeknownst to her, Young-man peeks from a hole. At the same time, Eun-gyul fumbles over the keys, panicking as each passing second slowly ticks by.
And just when Jae-hee is about to confirm the rumor in front of the dorm leaders’ eyes, she gets a text that distracts her long enough for Eun-gyul to pull her out of creeping view.
The dorm leaders climb out of their hiding spot, scratching their heads at her disappearance. They decide to move on.
We pan over to see Eun-gyul hiding Jae-hee from view, his hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming in surprise. Omo omo. He registers their close proximity a belated second later and stammers that rumors are flying and she should be careful.
He turns to leave but Jae-hee stops him by the wrist. She apologizes again – she won’t ask to be forgiven but is truly sorry. He takes her to the soccer field where he first fell for her. They bet on a wish then and he reminds her that he hasn’t used his yet.
He knows how she feels about Tae-joon and that he’s the reason she came to Genie High. All he asks for is a fair shot. He was rejected by the Jae-hee who acted as a guy, but if after this she still feels the same way, he’ll take himself out of the picture.
Tae-joon isn’t a bit pleased to see Reporter Yang waiting for him outisde after practice. She cheerily chirps that she would love to dig up some dirt on his roommate, Jae-hee. Tae-joon wouldn’t mind, right?
He calls Reporter Yang out on her sudden interest in Jae-hee and she basically tells him that they can do it the hard way or the easy way. She would be much obliged if Tae-joon would provide an exclusive tell-all interview. I’m getting such Rita Skeeter vibes, sans the makeup and magical quill.
Tae-joon agrees to do it.
Jae-hee lies in bed, thinking of how she promised Eun-gyul that she would spend the day with him tomorrow.
The following morning, Tae-joon is reluctant about her get-together with Eun-gyul. His concern is more towards Eun-gyul and Jae-hee tells him that she’s using today to settle things. He wishes her luck on her date, and she wishes the same for his interview. But he’d better not forget to practice and he teases her for nagging.
HA – in a hilarious reversal, now Hyun-jae’s the one suffering outside the bathroom door while Eun-gyul gets ready for his date. Aww there’s that smile I’ve missed all episode long. Jae-hee apologizes for being late but Eun-gyul doesn’t mind, “since you’re a girl.”
At the same time, Reporter Yang fires her first question, “When did you start dating Hanna?”
Speaking of whom, Hanna sighs at Seung-ri’s appearance. It seems that he’s kept his word and visits her every day to make her laugh. She’s in no mood to be amused and tells him to drop the act.
His words of sympathy make her uneasy and she snipes back in her usual prickly demeanor for him to move. But Seung-ri isn’t easily dismissed, “I won’t ever move away from Hanna. No matter what happens.”
She calls him a stalker but he doesn’t skip a beat and asks again for Hanna to accept his heart. If Hanna lets him, he’s determined to learn everything about her. If she doesn’t, then he’ll leave Hanna’s presence. But he won’t take back his feelings for her.
Hanna seems genuinely moved by his words and asks why he’s telling her this. Seung-ri: “Because I like you.” Aww.
Seung-ri moves on to deliver his daily humor and today it’s a physical gag as he chases his hat around… and rips his pants. LOL, okay – that really made me laugh.
The corners of Hanna’s mouth ever so slightly curve upward and Seung-ri breaks into a big smile at his achievement.
Meanwhile, Eun-gyul and Jae-hee enjoy their date, playing games and perusing the vendors. Eun-gyul even buys a hairpin that Jae-hee likes. Cute cute.
Jae-hee uses a minute when Eun-gyul slips away at lunch to send a quick text to Tae-joon and pouts when she doesn’t get a response. When he gets back, Eun-gyul tells her that the spicy ddukbokki here helps to clear his head.
At the cafe, Reporter Yang continues to drill questions, now on the topic about the rival high jumper. This looks like it’s gonna take a while so we can check back in a bit later.
Eun-gyul and Jae-hee sit by the Han River later that evening and he honestly admits that he was glad to hear that Jae-hee was a girl. Conflicted with his feelings before, he found it difficult to like her as a guy but he did.
He thought it would be difficult to forgive her but he can now. Eun-gyul: “For me… I’d rather see you smiling than smiling myself.”
Elsewhere in a cafe, Reporter Yang thanks him for the interview. She asks off-the-record for her own curiosity: Why is he protecting Jae-hee? He answers that he doesn’t want to make things harder on her, saying that he’d rather bear the brunt of it.
He exits the cafe, glum and exhausted, and reads Jae-hee’s stream of messages giving him a play by play of her date. He sits on a bench and sends a reply, “Jae-hee, where are you? Can’t you hurry back? I miss you.”
Jae-hee instinctively reacts, which doesn’t escape Eun-gyul’s notice. He asks if it’s Tae-joon and then turns to her, “I’m going to go to the bathroom. It’s going take me about 10 minutes to go there and back. If you’re not here when I get back, I’ll take that as your answer.”
Eun-gyul gets up, and taking her hand, he adds, “But I hope that you don’t go.” Ten minutes later, she’s gone.
Nothing good ever comes about at the Han River, Eun-gyul! Learn that important life lesson while you’re still young! He sits back on the bench, dejected.
And then a figure comes into view behind him and calls out his name. He turns back to see Jae-hee and he lets out a huge smile of relief.
Cut to: Tae-joon waits nervously and then hears footsteps running towards him – it’s Jae-hee. Oh no, this must mean…
Flashback to the rest of the conversation by the river as Jae-hee tells him that she can’t return his feelings. Jae-hee: “I’m sorry, Eun-gyul.”
He slaps on this pained smile to hide his rejection and silently pats Jae-hee on the head. In the present, Eun-gyul sits alone by the river.
Cut back to Jae-hee, who tells Tae-joon that she ran over because he said he missed her. Tae-joon looks back at her for a moment and then pulls her into a hug.
Drama, you can’t keep doing this to me – not this late in the game. Don’t you remember when we talked about the emotional whiplash? I can’t bounce back that quickly so give me some time to recov– *epic dramatic music*
This episode is where Eun-gyul reigns supreme with his teen angst. His reaction was the one I waited for the most since this would mean what seems like his entire reality would flip upside down. For him, the lines between friendship and love are blurred and complicated because it involves questioning his sexual identity and social acceptance. As soon as he gained the confidence to build upon that and follow his heart anyway, that reality shifted on him. And then he had to face that large dose of betrayal, hurt, and anger, all mixed in a vat of confusion.
It’s Lee Hyun-woo’s portrayal that really shines through here as he keeps us the audience with those small beats of Eun-gyul’s turmoil. It’s his eyes that tell us how desperately he wants to forgive Jae-hee for keeping him in the dark and yet can’t bring himself to. And what I love most about Eun-gyul most of all is that he freely gives Jae-hee that space to move where her heart leads even to the end. My heart – it breaks for you.
Biased? Of course I am.
What I really wish we had more of is seeing more of the Genie High students to fill this world. This series does a fairly good job of zooming in and highlighting a few characters for an episode or two but then everyone else fell to the waste side. The Dorm 1 and 3 dorm leaders seem to set up to play a part in exposing Jae-hee’s secret but if they’re gone for a majority of the run (and also missing the funny), then is this still a drama based in school?
Tae-joon and Jae-hee finally move an official step forward now that they both know of Jae-hee’s secret. Now that they’ve confirmed each others’ feelings, it means that the stakes are raised higher now. Sure they can go out on dates and enjoy each other’s company but what will happen when her secret explodes? Will their budding relationship implode? Also, I know they’re together now but does this mean I won’t see jealous Tae-joon again? ‘Cause I’ll miss that.
(Note: To respect your fellow readers and myself, please refrain from revealing spoilers about the final episode in the comments. Common courtesy, y’all.)
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 14
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 13
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 12
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 11
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 10
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 9
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 8
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 7
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 6
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 5
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 4
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 3
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 2
- To the Beautiful You: Episode 1