Oh whew, it’s much better today. Yay for some cuteness. I was scared off a little (okay, a lot) by the downer of a first episode, but thankfully we get some much-needed levity up in here, as young romance starts to bloom. Why the show didn’t choose to start here is beyond me.
EPISODE 2 RECAP
Jung-woo finds Soo-yeon hiding under the slide and asks her to be friends. The first thing out of her mouth is, “Why?” He says he can take it back, and then suddenly dashes away.
Panicked that he’s really rescinding the offer, she chases him, and finds him leaning over a neighbor’s wall to steal a clothespin. He sticks it in her hair to sweep it out of her face and smiles, “Ah, so that’s what you look like.”
He tells her to wear it like that from now on. “I won’t ever pretend I don’t know you again. I’m sorry.” Aw.
She starts to tear up again, just as the wind kicks up, so he adorably sticks his arms out to be a shield from the wind and tells her not to cry. Can I keep him?
She finally smiles back. As they walk, she sort of trails behind him shyly like a puppy, so he runs at full speed just to get her to chase him.
Soo-yeon’s mom cries in the aftermath of the neighborhood ajumma attack, as Detective Kim stands in her doorway. She cries that they can’t blame her—she’s the one who turned that monster in.
Detective Kim hangs his head, “I’m sorry… the real killer… was caught.” Mom’s jaw drops in disbelief, and Detective Kim gets on his knees to tell her that he’s sorry.
Little Joonie (Hyung-joon) stares out his barred window, bowl at the ready. Poor kid is just trapped in there. He shrinks back when he sees Soo-yeon pass by, and notes Jung-woo with her. I wonder if they’ve ever met. They’re family, but this isn’t exactly a gather-for-holidays sort of bunch.
Her house is just a few doors down, and she shows it to Jung-woo who agrees that it’s really small. He brags that his house is really big in a jokey tone, but then adds somberly, “It’s so big that the wind blows through it, making me cry. Not because I’m sad, but because the wind gets in my eyes.” He uses her line, but you can tell it’s sincere.
Nurse Hye-mi sneaks back into Joonie’s room at the chairman’s compound, and takes out a duffle bag full of cash from the piano. She shudders as she thinks of Mom’s orders for her to take Jung-woo, as leverage to get the rest of the chairman’s money.
But she doesn’t get very far, because as soon as she returns home with said bag o’ money, Chairman Han is sitting in her living room waiting for her. He threatens her, expecting that she’ll lead them to Joonie if she’s got him stashed somewhere… but leaves without questioning the giant suspicious bag at her feet. Ha.
Soo-yeon finds Mom being thrown out of a restaurant, drunk and screaming as usual. She crumples in the middle of the street, crying and wailing in the aftermath of finding out that her husband never killed anyone, but died a killer anyway.
Soo-yeon doesn’t know this, and just pleads with Mom that she’ll be good, as if to make up for all of the bad in their lives. She breaks my heart.
Jung-woo runs to school the next morning, armed with a new hairpin for Soo-yeon, and walks into class to find the bullies painting her desk red and covering her chair in glue.
She walks in just in time to see Jung-woo shove the boys and the desk, ready to start another fight. The other kids warn that the teacher is coming, and Soo-yeon uses that chance to swoop in between the boys… and hug the bully. Ha.
Now the teacher is scolding the bully and Soo-yeon for dating, while the class oooohs and Jung-woo gapes. Are you jealous?
They spend the rest of class sneaking peeks at each other, but Jung-woo can’t get her make eye contact. He grabs her after class and asks what’s going on—didn’t they decide to be friends?
She says that everyone hates her here and knows whose daughter she is, so they can be friends outside of school but not here. “Secret friends.” He calls bullshit (thank you) but she won’t budge.
During lunch, the mean kids decide to pelt her with their milk cartons, calling it “throwing trash in the trashcan” and the winner gets cash. Jung-woo seethes in his seat and then makes a move to get up anyway against her wishes, but Soo-yeon beats him to it.
He watches as she picks up a trashcan, throws the cartons in, and then goes to each student and redelivers their milk. I love that she can defend herself. Jung-woo watches starstruck, totally impressed.
She sticks the trashcan up on the teacher’s desk with her scariest Ring-girl look, and Jung-woo pitches his carton in and takes the cash prize. He stops in the doorway, “Hey Lee Soo-yeon, aren’t you coming?”
She looks at him in alarm but he just beams and waves the bill wildly, “Snack shop!” So cute. They sit outside as the entire class watches from the windows, and she argues that she wanted to be secret friends.
Jung-woo: “And I said I didn’t.” He pulls her over to sit down next to him, and then comes the rain of trash over their heads. Soo-yeon gets to say I told you so: “Now you’re an outcast too.”
He scoffs that he’s never heard of an outcast with a friend, reminding her that she’s the one who said all she needed was one friend. He says this is nothing and promises to ignore her if things ever get too hard to handle, and that seems to ease her worry enough to relent.
On their way home, he teases that she’s just mad because he’s more famous than her now, and then asks her to take the post-its off his back. They tell Number 27 and 41 to hold hands and get lost, and call him a murderer’s daughter’s boyfriend.
She sighs, wondering what she’s going to do with him, when they’re suddenly interrupted by a loud popping sound. They run towards it…
It’s a fire, in the house where Joonie is trapped. The door is still locked from the outside, and Jung-woo grabs a nearby brick to smash the lock open. Joonie comes tumbling out on top of him, and immediately runs away in fear.
Jung-woo tries to stop him to help, and sees his leg covered in blood. He reaches out and accidentally yanks the necklace off his neck, and it breaks in two. He tells Soo-yeon that the kid is hurt, and she catches up to him, but he struggles to get away.
Finally Jung-woo comes up and just picks him up, kicking and screaming. They rush him to the nearest doctor, who can’t believe the condition his leg has been left in. Yeah, you and me both, doc.
Jung-woo calls his stepmother and pleads with her to come help him just this once, but she coldly tells him to get out of there before he has to take responsibility for anything. Dad takes the phone and says he’ll send someone over. Eep!
At the same time, Nurse Hye-mi gets the call about the fire and sneaks out, taking care not to be caught by Chairman Han’s men. But when she gets to the doctor’s office to find Joonie, it’s Jung-woo she sees standing outside.
She recognizes him from the picture of Chairman Han’s family and hides. She watches as he gives Soo-yeon the broken necklace, with a portrait of Mom and the inscription: “To Joonie, the one I love most in this whole world –Mom.”
And dangling from the other end of the string is a key. Cha-ching!
Joonie stirs awake, crying out for Mom. But when he opens his eyes, it’s Soo-yeon who’s sitting at his bedside. He panics, grasping for the necklace, and she gives him the broken pieces.
She introduces herself as “unni,” thinking him a girl, ha. He mutters under his breath, “Stupid. I’m not a girl.” She asks what he said until he finally repeats the “Stupid” part. She tells him her name, but that’s as far as they get before Hye-mi runs in, pushes her aside, and rushes Joonie away.
Soo-yeon and Jung-woo chase after the cab, and Joonie cries to be taken to Mom. Hye-mi snaps at him that he risked everything: “Do you know who you were with? That’s Han Tae-joon’s son!” He looks back at them.
Chairman Han fumes that they lost Hye-mi’s trail, and Jung-woo comes home to hear him kick his minions out in a rage. Stepmom tells him not to interrupt and sighs when she sees his bloody hand.
She snaps at him that she’s the one who gets blamed for his missteps, and he asks if they can’t try to make an effort to get along. How can they live like this every day?
She calls him greedy for having everything from his father and wanting her too, and tells him not to blame her—Dad made it this way. I don’t like her, but she’s not wrong.
Soo-yeon comes home and Mom bolts up, deciding that they can’t live this way anymore. She starts to pack a bag, and declares that they’re going to move into Detective Kim’s house. Er, just like that? Does he know you’re coming?
Soo-yeon puts up a fight, but Mom says she can’t feed them—what else are they going to do? So the only thing you could think of was to use Detective Kim’s guilt to your advantage? I mean, I’m happy for Soo-yeon because it’ll at least mean she has a slight chance at normalcy, but still.
By morning they’re standing in Detective Kim’s yard, while his daughter Eun-joo pitches a fit that Dad’s sullying Mom’s memory, thinking that he’s brought a girlfriend and her daughter here to live with them.
I love his confusion. He swears it’s not what it looks like, but Eun-joo’s like, yeah right. Mom tells him that it’s just until Soo-yeon grows up—they’ll stay here and she’ll cook for both daughters.
He just sits there flabbergasted, and suggests that if she gives him time he might be able to find her an apartment or something, but Mom doesn’t even give him a chance to refuse.
She adds that they’ll have to keep the whole Dad-wasn’t-really-a-murderer thing a secret between them. Did she just move into his house and not let him argue? Whaaa?
Meanwhile, Jung-woo panics when he goes to Soo-yeon’s house and finds it empty. The landlady tells him they moved in the middle of the night. He heads to the playground dejectedly.
But Soo-yeon is there on the swings, kicking a little bucket of water to play her he’ll-come-he-won’t-come game with ripples in the water. She hums a song and he lights up at the sight of her.
He asks if she’s going to move schools too, and she wonders if she should, not giving away how much she pleaded with Mom to let her stay at her school. She tells him that the clothespin was the first present anyone’s ever given her (So. Sad.) and that she has a present for him too, but will only give it to him on a rainy day.
He walks her to her new house and asks about her new family. She says there’s another girl there the same age as them, and Jung-woo pouts that she can’t ignore him just because she makes a new friend.
They sit on her front stoop and he touches her foot asking if she isn’t cold, making her shrink back in embarrassment. He puts her at ease by showing her all the scars he’s accumulated over the years, on his back, his leg, and teasingly starts to unbuckle his belt, making her turn away wide-eyed. You cheeky.
She shows him the scar on her foot and says she got it while running away from Dad. She stepped on a piece of glass in the snow, and didn’t even feel the pain because it was so cold.
“But strangely, every time I see it, it hurts. Even though it’s healed.”
He listens to her story and then puts his hand on her foot to cover the scar, “It doesn’t hurt now, because you can’t see it, right?”
With his other hand he waves it in front of her face like he’s casting a spell, “All bad memories erased! Now you can make new ones—good memories.”
They’re interrupted when Eun-joo comes home. I love that the cop’s daughter talks like a gangster; she’s hilarious. She’s mean to Soo-yeon, until Jung-woo pops up behind her, slaying her with The Pretty.
Eun-joo gapes and her inner voice marvels that a boy so cute could have a voice like that. As he approaches, she thinks, “Don’t smile, don’t smile, don’t smile…” He smiles, and she practically faints. Hahahaha.
Chairman Han checks out the room where Joonie was hiding out, and his minion reports that Jung-woo was the one who rescued him and took him to the hospital that day.
Dad reels at the missed opportunity, and the minion confirms that Jung-woo didn’t seem to know the family connection and just happened to be nearby.
His right-hand minion is actually a double agent, and reports to Joonie’s mom (or he’s working both sides—it’s unclear at the moment). He promises to take her and Joonie to safety, but she doesn’t trust him.
He warns that Joonie’s leg won’t make it much longer if they keep hiding, and Mom thinks it’s just a ploy. He tells her to give it up before she loses Joonie, but she refuses to budge.
Meanwhile Nurse Hye-mi hides a briefcase in a train station locker and forces Joonie to take his meds. He wants to be taken to Mom, and she warns him menacingly that his life and his mother’s are no longer in Chairman Han’s hands—they’re in hers.
Damn, I knew you’d turn on them. And then someone else (her partner in crime?) takes that briefcase out of the locker. The next day that same person is parked outside, stalking Jung-woo with his family photo in hand.
Jung-woo accompanies Soo-yeon home by bus, and he prods her for his present while she nods off to sleep. He gets in her face to nag her about it, just as the bus lurches forward…
…landing them in a kiss. It stuns Jung-woo, and Soo-yeon doesn’t even know it’s happened. He blinks without moving, and then scrambles back to where he was as she opens her eyes.
She turns to him wide-eyed and he starts to protest, “It wasn’t me!” but she tells him to hurry—this is their stop. Heh.
They walk up through her neighborhood and he keeps avoiding her, and she asks if he’s mad or something. Finally she stands in his path, and he goes googly-eyed, suddenly seeing her differently and feeling short of breath. It’s so adorable.
He whirls her around so he doesn’t have to look at her (Ha—if only it worked that way, kid) and marches her ahead of him. She keeps turning back around, and he just keeps spinning her forward each time with a gulp.
Soon they’re running, and he stops at a curious lamppost that blinks on as they pass by. Soo-yeon counts, and on cue it goes back out. She thinks it’s creepy, but it’s been that way since she moved here and no one will change it, and she can’t reach.
Jung-woo thinks he can, so he reaches up, using her shoulder to get a little more leverage. It’s then that Soo-yeon starts to feel something too, as she looks up at him.
He twists the bulb into place and beams, and then looks down. Their eyes lock in the charged moment and they stand there, frozen.
And then we see that someone is watching them… oh it’s Detective Kim. He peers at them from around the corner, and from his perspective, it totally looks like they’re making out, and that Jung-woo is reaching up to turn off the light.
He goes running up like he caught them red-handed and grabs Jung-woo away by the ear. LOL. I love cop ajusshi.
But as they run off, we see that the creepy stalker is there after all, watching from his car.
Jung-woo sits at the dinner table nervously, as Mom peers up at him, amused. Then Detective Kim brings out both girls wearing matching sweaters. Omg that’s so cute. He’s adorable. Eun-joo naturally balks, but Dad insists on it and they all sit down to dinner.
Eun-joo claims the seat next to Jung-woo and fawns over him, and Dad actually tells her to have some pride. Heh. And then he proceeds to awkwardly lecture Jung-woo about hormones and how he never even looked at a girl until he was twenty.
Eun-joo quickly corrects him that he met Mom in junior high and even kissed her. The trigger word sends Jung-woo into a coughing fit, and when Detective Kim catches him making googly eyes at Soo-yeon again, he drags him out by the ear in the middle of dinner. Hee.
Outside, Detective Kim gets thrown against a wall… only he’s acting, and trying to teach Jung-woo how to fight like a man. This ajusshi is making my day. He teaches him everything down to the attitude and the lines, and Jung-woo eagerly learns.
Soo-yeon sits on the stoop watching them, and Eun-joo joins her, wondering if the umbrella she found is THE umbrella that Mom mentioned at dinner. Soo-yeon grabs it and Eun-joo asks if she can’t have that, can she have Jung-woo?
Eun-joo wonders what she did to make him like someone like her, and Soo-yeon hangs her head, saying that she’s right—she likes Jung-woo on her own and he just probably felt sorry for her.
But Eun-joo isn’t actually a mean girl, and when she sees Soo-yeon react that way, she puts her arm around her and tells her to buck up—they’re detective’s daughters, after all. Awwwww.
Mom witnesses the moment with a bittersweet smile, and sits down next to Soo-yeon. She leans in and says the sweater looks better on her. It’s probably the first nice thing her mother’s ever said to her, and Soo-yeon lights up. Mom prods her to go join the others.
Detective Kim tells them all to attack, and sticks Soo-yeon’s clothespin in his own hair. Ha. The four of them run around and play keep-away in the street, like a happy little family.
We fade into Soo-yeon sitting alone, and carving a message into a wall: “I miss you.” And then she turns around at the sound of a voice calling her name. It’s Jung-woo, but the grown-up version.
Jung-woo: “Are you smiling? I’m so angry it kills me. So angry I’m going crazy. I’m just going to wait today. Just today.”
And then we see that he’s all alone, and Soo-yeon was the vision, now gone. A tear falls, “I really might go crazy this way.”
I like that transition into the future, though I think it’s just a glimpse since we’ve got a lot more story left to get through in the early years. At least this time it was a rather pleasant look forward, because yesterday’s bullet-in-brainpan montage left me wary. Fortunately today’s episode was a marked improvement on the first. It’s not nearly as convoluted, and focuses much more on building relationships and making us care.
It’s really to the show’s own detriment that they premiered with such heavy angst right off the bat. The ratings for this episode dropped to 6.2%, and it’s not hard to see why, given the doom and gloom of the first episode. I don’t know why you wouldn’t lead with the cuteness first—make us fall in love with them, and THEN bring the pain. Because by then we already care and it’s too late to back out.
I came into the series bracing myself for some heavy angst for sure, since it is a melodrama after all. But it’s the parental corporate machinations that turn me off rather than the tears or the sadness, because the emotion (when coming from Soo-yeon or Jung-woo) is done really well. I particularly liked their scar-sharing; it’s not the subtlest metaphor, but it’s a nice moment between them.
I can’t say I’m not going to roll my eyes at the plot, but I do care about the characters and today’s episode made great strides in developing their fantastic chemistry. Now they’re connected by something other than sadness and pain, and Soo-yeon has a real chance to grow up in a warm, positive environment. All good signs, pointing to the possibility that we’ll meet her in the future as a confident young woman who doesn’t hide behind her hair. Here’s hoping.
- I Miss You: Episode 1
- Yoochun’s fans demand firing of his co-star
- More tears for I Miss You’s leads
- Yoo Seung-ho’s poster shoot for I Miss You
- I Miss You completes its love square
- More photos of young romance (and heartbreak) in I Miss You
- Yoo Seung-ho joins I Miss You as Yoochun’s rival
- Yoochun and Yoon Eun-hye’s poster shoot for I Miss You
- Youthful romance in I Miss You’s poster shoot
- Yoon Eun-hye joins Yoochun in I Miss You
- Yoochun confirms I Miss You