Drama Recaps
Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 8
by | January 29, 2013 | 244 Comments

When I step back from this drama after it’s done, I feel like I’m going to be amazed at how much the characters grew, and how their trajectories were in character, complete, and most of all natural. Episode to episode the growth is there, but subtle—characters remain true to their stubborn natures, but we see little shifts as they form bonds and learn from each other. And this episode in particular marks a nice step forward in the communication department—even for Enrique. Or perhaps I should say especially for him, since he has the habit of talking so much and saying little. It’s rewarding to see that balance shift a bit in the other direction.


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EPISODE 8: “There’s a Hazardous Tunnel Zone Ahead”

When we resume the scene outside the apartment building, we get a bit more from the other perspective, this time staying with Dok-mi while Enrique comforts a distraught Seo-young.

Dok-mi recalls Enrique telling her earlier (while he turned a crack in her ceiling into a painting of a tree, aw) that he wanted to give his hyung and Seo-young space—he didn’t want to be an interfering presence between them. So when she catches sight of Tae-joon approaching, she breaks up the embrace by pulling Enrique toward her.

The others are shocked, not seeing Tae-joon till he’s right there with jacket and shoes for Seo-young, who rushed out in her slippers. Enrique finally notices Jin-rak standing there and belatedly realizes how this looks, pulling his arm free.

Tae-joon ushers Seo-young back to his place. Enrique thanks Dok-mi for stepping in to prevent his hyung from jumping to the wrong conclusion.

Dok-mi and Jin-rak both head toward their building, but she changes her mind at the last minute. There’s this terribly sad moment when she starts walking back toward Jin-rak and he gets ready to say something… only to have her brush by to confront Enrique instead. Heart, crushed.

Jin-rak heads inside alone, grumbling that when he asked for a word she said she was tired. But he also changes his mind, turning around and glaring outside like a man on a mission. A bumbling spy mission.

Dok-mi requests that Enrique take her name off his book, which makes him wonder why. She transformed his half-assed manuscript into a piece of good writing, so why doesn’t she want credit for it? Is she that ashamed to be associated with his work? Aw, he would think that, interpreting it as scorn.

She tells him that writers are fiercely protective of the work they pour themselves into—they don’t just offer shared credit like a favor. She actually uses a word that he doesn’t know, and he has to pause to look it up: “Oh, it’s a good meaning.” It’s telling that he thought she meant it negatively when she hadn’t.

He calls himself thoughtless for not thinking of it her way, as befitting the cocky hollow shell he is. Dok-mi apologizes for going overboard in calling him a hollow shell, but he argues that it’s evident that that’s really how she sees him. In fact, that must be why she interfered just now, because she assumed that he’d hurt his hyung, since he’s just “human garbage.”

Dok-mi counters that she did it because she knows how he really feels and was afraid an irrevocable misunderstanding might arise: “Stop doing that, comforting Seo-young and worrying about her. That’s not your duty.”

Enrique argues that he can’t turn a blind eye to a hurting friend, and if misunderstandings arise, they can always be unfurled later. Dok-mi says in her sad way, “There are knots that can’t be unraveled.” He says exasperatedly that he’d dearly love to know what that knot is—this is the first time he’s been this curious to know someone else’s thoughts.

Jin-rak huddles by the trash bins watching when his phone starts to ring. He fumbles to silence it, popping his head up to see if he’s been noticed—he totally has—and ducks down cringing. Then he gets up and takes his phone call acting perfectly normally, like he totally wasn’t just caught snooping.

As Dok-mi turns to go, Enrique leaps in front to point out that she talked to him first, so they’re back on speaking terms (voiding his earlier agreement to leave her life). He darts off, not giving her a chance to argue.

Jin-rak’s call is with his hilarious PD, who has a few notes. She starts out as a corner insert in his screen, but gradually takes over more and more screen space as she cuts him down.

She starts with his rival character from Spain—is he for real? He’s a genius and warm and candid, all rolled into one? She muses that Rapunzel is likely to fall for him, which has Jin-rak sputtering why, why, WHY? The guy’s leaving in a month! How can that be the basis for love?

The PD informs him that it’s the perfect length of time to fall in love, enjoy yourselves, and then leave keeping all your secrets intact. A prospect that Jin-rak finds horrifying. His PD tells him to turn Mr. Spain into a dirtbag.

As if that weren’t bad enough, his PD tells him not to leave the character drawings to his assistant because they pale in comparison to the gorgeous backdrops. She hangs up (with a hilariously casual “bbyong”) and leaves him protesting sadly, “But… I drew the characters.” Oh, Jin-rak. Poor, pathetic Jin-rak.

He slumps down right there in the street, where he’s approached by an energetic pitter-patter of feet. Enrique’s head bobs into view, all smiles.

Enrique practically skips alongside Jin-rak (who’s doing more of a droopy plod) asking to watch the soccer match together. He’ll even root for hyung’s team tonight, since his own has been winning so much that it’s getting boring. Ha.

Jin-rak shoots him this incredulous look, wondering how he can be a fan who roots for one side and then another, arguing that he’s steadfast for one side through the end. But Enrique cuts through all the side talk and arrives at the conclusion: that Jin-rak will hate anything he says right now, and he’s already come to hate him.

I do love Enrique’s way of getting right to the crux of matters that everyone else talks around, and that actually has the effect of pulling the other person back. You can see it in Jin-rak, where he comes back to himself and realizes that no, he doesn’t hate Enrique after all. Enrique assures him that his own interest in Dok-mi is purely curiosity—that he wants to know why she lives the way she does, and how she can be so different from himself.

Jin-rak sighs, “That’s how it started for me too. Because I was curious, I’d get worried, then worrying would make me keep thinking of her, then thinking of her made me miss her. And so… and so… don’t be curious either.”

Enrique pouts that still, Jin-rak must be a little thankful to him for always barging in on Dok-mi and dragging her out into the world, which benefited him since Jin-rak got to confess his feelings and all. Jin-rak yells, “I told you, I haven’t confessed!” Heh, well not in your waiting-and-waiting-and-gradually-slowly-recognizing-our-feelings way, perhaps, though you’ve basically said everything but the literal “I like you, let’s date.”

Enrique points out that he’s going back in a month anyway, but Jin-rak orders him not to talk about that anymore since it just makes him seem more interesting. No more talk of expiration dates! Enrique grumps, “What, am I a tin can now? A hollow shell, cocky devil, human garbage tin can!”

Jin-rak’s idea of consolation? “A tin can has a really long shelf life.” So cute. Enrique follows after him like an excited puppy and Jin-rak grumps at him to go home. Enrique calls out a cheery g’nite and sleep well, to which Jin-rak barks, “You sleep well too!”

Enrique thinks back one last time to the way Dok-mi stepped in and pulled him away, and he smiles to himself, saying, “I was kinda touched, ajumma.”

Dong-hoon makes his way through a crowded nightclub, which seems to be familiar territory for him. He finds who he’s looking for—a pretty woman at the bar—and makes his approach smoothly, leaving with her. He offers to bring her car to it, pausing to take a call from Jin-rak. He assures him that he’s done his work for the day—all the backgrounds—but Jin-rak tells him gruffly that he’s no longer his apprentice. They’re drawing together now, so he’d better get his butt home since he’ll have no time to go partying anymore.

Dong-hoon’s date finds her friends just outside, who wonder who he is. Only now he’s no longer the smooth operator but a solicitous employee, introducing himself as her driver. HA! I knew it! Dong-hoon even has his own business card bearing the title “Flower Boy Designated Driver.” At the end of the drive, he gives his bill (about 50 bucks) a long look. He works hard for that money.

Also busily drinking is Do-hwi and her cadre of copycats, who are impatiently waiting to go to the clubs, which she suggested. Do-hwi tells her friends to go ahead without her tonight, glowering, “For me, it’s showtime.”

Dok-mi finally does open the box Do-hwi had brought over, the box containing their old memories, and finds old photos and mementos from their schoolgirl days. Just then Do-hwi calls her (while slitting her eyes on the other end of the line, vowing, “Let’s see who wins”), and after a long moment to prepare herself, Dok-mi picks up.

Immediately Do-hwi launches into happy drunk mode, slurring her name over and over. She says she’s so hammered she doesn’t even know where she is and hangs up the phone mid-retch. Lovely.

Dok-mi sighs to herself that it’s been a while since she heard her name said that way, and tries out Do-hwi’s old nickname before shaking herself out of it.

In a dark room, a shadowy figure downloads the photos from Enrique’s stolen phone—it’s his ajumma attacker. I did wonder if she knew him, and by the looks of her displeased expression at the cozy photos of Enrique and Seo-young, I’d say she does—obsessed stalker fan, perhaps.

The photos soon leak onto the internet and netizens start to comment on the “ulzzang couple.” Tae-joon comes home wearing a long face and asks if Enrique just texted him. Enrique tells him about his stolen phone, then gapes to see the message, supposedly from him, with a link to all the leaked photos.

Realizing now that some of them look super coupley, he hastily explains to hyung that they were next-door neighbors for ten years so of course they’d have a lot of pictures.

Then Tae-joon drops the bomb that he’s leaving tomorrow, actually, not next month as originally planned. Enrique gapes, then tells him that his tendency to decide things all on his own makes everyone around feel lonely. Tae-joon just sighs, “I’m lonely too.”

Enrique suddenly has A Thought, and it makes his eyes bug out and his voice kick up a few registers. He wails that this is gonna make HER (points at Dok-mi’s window) think he uploaded all those photos on his own, and has this whole tantrum in superspeed, going from despair to moaning to wallowing to hope in the span of seconds. He’s totally having this conversation to himself and decides that he’ll use his panda hat as an excuse to head over and set this misunderstanding to rights. Off he goes.

Dok-mi gets the same text Tae-joon did, which is written like Enrique is sharing personal photos with all his friends, and she clicks over to the photo gallery.

Jin-rak gets it too, and seeing the couple photos makes him think back to the other night, seeing it in a more complete light. But how is Dok-mi involved in all this?

Dok-mi anticipates Enrique’s visit, so when he buzzes her doorbell she grabs the panda hat, thrusts it at him, then shoves the door closed. At least she tries to, though he jams his foot to keep it open.

Dok-mi glares at him and KICKS his foot aside. While he’s gasping in pain, she shuts the door. Hmph.

But then the scene rewinds. It plays out the same way at first, with her scrolling down to see photos of Enrique sleeping in bed with Seo-young (clothed) in the foreground. The door buzzes, but when she reaches to grab the panda hat she pauses this time—it’s either Panda Hat or Memory Box right next to it, and she doesn’t know which.

But the face in the peephole is Jin-rak’s, nervously primping. She opens up, and he stutters his way through a nervous explanation of having received a call from drunk Do-hwi, who thought Dok-mi might not know where the bar was located and requested that he accompany her over.

She asks him to take care of it alone, though, and he bends over backwards accepting her answer. Then he berates himself for stumbling over his words and being unable to just say confidently, “Let’s go together.”

He’s briefly waylaid by his drunk ajumma neighbor, who insists she’s been drinking champagne like an elegant lady (though the security guard smells makgulli on her breath and she pulls a can of beer from her purse). Haha. Onward Jin-rak goes, just missing Enrique hurrying on his way in, after convincing himself that his panda hat excuse is perfectly solid.

Enrique warms up his fingers to buzz away at Dok-mi’s door, stunned when it opens readily. She’s stunned too, not having expected him, and then she slams the door shut. Ha. He figures that’s more what he was expecting, and starts buzzing furiously.

Dok-mi opens the door, hands him his hat, then steps out to leave. He follows.

Jin-rak finds Do-hwi at the bar and walks her home. She acts tipsier than she is as she stops him in the street to confess that she fell for him at first sight. Hm, interesting that he doesn’t react to her calling him Jae-won-sshi by accident, rather than Jin-rak.

She says she was really encouraged by his behavior, looking after her so thoughtfully, and it made her happy. He blurts, “No, I’m not like that! Don’t be happy! Why are you all happy on your own?”

Do-hwi grabs his face, then swoops in for the kill. Er, kiss. I meant kiss! (But only kind of.)

Jin-rak struggles to push her away but she gets in a good, long sucker before he finally breaks free. Do-hwi resumes her demure pose while Jin-rak looks frankly traumatized and rubs at his lips.

As Enrique bounces around Dok-mi asking where she’s headed, he brings up the strange text she may have gotten today and says he’s been hit by a sasaeng fan (the highly intrusive ones that meddle in celebs’ private lives). He holds up his scraped palm as proof and wins a few sympathy points. Surely she didn’t think he sent the text on purpose, did she?

One look at her face tells him she did, and he asks what kind of guy she takes him for. Wow, so she thinks she’s that rotten, huh? Dok-mi at least seems sorry to have jumped to the worst-case scenario, but just then they stop in their tracks: Approaching from the other direction are Jin-rak, still furiously wiping his lips, and Do-hwi. Awkward.

Mostly I feel terrible for Jin-rak, whose face falls. Do-hwi all but smirks to have “won” this round, especially since Dok-mi did in fact come out to get her—but Jin-rak tells her firmly that she has the wrong idea, and that he likes somebody else. With that, he excuses himself.

Do-hwi’s voice hardens as she asks Dok-mi, “Is it you? Do you think you’re the one he likes?”

Dok-mi asks, “Do you like having your feelings exposed to other people?” Do-hwi fires back, “It’s better than being sneaky.”

Dok-mi says resignedly, “Always so like you. When will I be able to understand you?”

Only now does Jin-rak recall Do-hwi using the wrong name on him, in addition to earlier slips indicating that she knew who he was from the start. Hm.

Dok-mi writes a new segment of her story:

“To somebody, love is like medals or trophies, the result of a victory to boast of. To somebody, love is the process of waiting endlessly on for the other person, which turns into true feeling. To that woman, love is a secret she cannot allow to be exposed, not even to herself.”

Tae-joon packs his suitcase to leave for training, while Enrique tries to get a hold of Seo-young, who’s being stubbornly unresponsive. Enrique gives some extra loving to the dog… and then a sneaky look crosses his face. Idea!

Dok-mi gets a text from Tae-joon (who IS Enrique’s cousin—finally there’s confirmation) asking her to meet him briefly downstairs. A quick peek over confirms that he’s not in his apartment, and he texts again to say he’s waiting.

Dok-mi heads out to meet him, stopping at the sight of a new Post-It milk delivery, this one showing the cartoon man proposing to the cartoon lady with a big heart drawn in. Aw, it’s his boldest non-confession yet. The note reads: “Starting anew today!”

Dok-mi primps on her way out, but it’s Enrique who pops out to surprise her. He does assure her that hyung wrote the text himself, though he knows she wouldn’t have come if it was Enrique asking to meet.

He presents her with the dog, Hippo (aw, is it for Hippocrates? Doctor hyung’s a nerd), and she lovingly fusses over him. Enrique tells her that Hippo’s going away with hyung, and proudly congratulates himself for doing a good job giving her a goodbye.

Tae-joon pulls up in his car and exchanges goodbyes with Dok-mi, just as Seo-young makes her appearance after all. She says she’s here for her final goodbye, like she’s ready to finally give up on him, and Tae-joon says he’s sorry.

She chides him not to use sorry, and the echo of her rejection of Enrique makes him step in to press his hyung—”Do you really know what that means? You’re saying it’s over, stop coming to me.”

Tae-joon says that’s right, and Seo-young tells him she’s sorry for being a pest. Also, she’s going to return to Spain with Enrique.

That startles everybody. Enrique warns her not to speak rashly, but she says she’s seen the leaked photos, some of which she didn’t even know existed, wondering why he held on to them so long. “Now that I’ve been hurt, I finally understand your hurt.” Oh, that’s sweet of her to realize how he feels, but pretty misguided if she means to give him another shot out of sympathy.

But she already has plane tickets in hand and wants to leave right away: “Let’s go together.”


I find the Tae-joon and Seo-young couple interesting from a distance, in that I think there are enough hints of conflicted feeling on Tae-joon’s side to make it a dynamic worth exploring. When it seemed like it was just Seo-young chasing after him without any encouragement on his part I didn’t care much for it, but with little signs that Tae-joon cares more than he lets on (or lets himself admit), I’m cool with them being a couple.

On the side, that is. Waaaay off to the periphery, working through their problems off-camera, preferably. Because when you bring them front and center they have a lot less oomph, and I don’t want Seo-young to be this spoiler in Enrique and Dok-mi’s budding relationship because that emotional ship has long sailed—Enrique’s feelings seem to be well on their way to letting go, so I’d rather that continued.

But I suppose that this twist isn’t so much about Enrique and Seo-young so much as it is about putting distance between Enrique and Dok-mi, just when they’re really starting to get somewhere. And something tells me that drawing someone out of their painful shell isn’t exactly a long-distance proposition.

That aside, I liked what we got to see of Enrique this episode, and what sticks out particularly notably was the way he reacted to negative judgment—first by Dok-mi, then Jin-rak. Or should I say perceived judgment, since he jumped the gun in assuming Dok-mi was judging him in wanting her name taken off his book. His knee-jerk response was to turn defensive, and even after she apologized for calling him a shell of a person, he turned that bitterness on himself, calling himself all those names. Tae-joon noted that he never used to care about being call names before, but I think the issue is two-fold: He may not have let on that it hurt, and also, it matters a lot more when the person leveling them at you actually knows you.

So just as Dok-mi is being drawn out of her silent shell by Enrique, their association is also slowly changing him as well—we’re starting to see more cracks form in his facade, more instances where things get past the sunny exterior. It’s the trade-off, as we saw in the previous episode, where opening yourself up puts you at more risk of being hurt. But it’s also meaningful that this drama is exploring not romance as the thing drawing people together, but understanding. Before we even can get to love, we’ve got to back up and learn to communicate, person to person. I find that a poignant point to be making.


244 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. 51 S a r a h

    Seriously, 45 minutes IS NOT ENOUGH!
    I want MOAR FBND! I want more Enrique! (Seriously, I Yoon Shi Yoon is LOVE. He’s doing such a great job.)

    As is with all the other endings, I’m sure there’ll be some twist to that annoyingly hanging cliff-hanger. Though I guess that’s the point. To leave us hanging. To make us want more. Auuuuughhh, and it’s working writer-nims! It’s working! So give me my FBND fix stat!

    • 51.1 Leeminhofan


  2. 52 Enz

    I feel for Jin rak :(. The funniest bit this episode was him bobbing behind the bin then finally screwing up enough courage to stand up and pretend to be talking on his phone. That was so funny.

    I can’t believe this seo young is so insensitive and inconsiderate and presumptuous. Argh. I find her so irritating.

    • 52.1 S a r a h

      Aww, me too. It was funny but heartbreaking as well.

      I hope he ends up with his funny editor, for realz. Or someone else nice. Certainly not Do Hwi!
      I was thinking Seo Yeong, but we have so little about her character now, and what direction she’s taking. She’s already threatening to be a block between Dok Mi and Enrique, albeit unknowingly, but who’s to say she won’t fall for Enrique for realz this time and REALLY be a big hindrance between them? Hmm, speculations, speculations.

      I wish it was Monday already. 🙁

  3. 53 Diana

    tq jb,

    Jin rak don’t send or write the milk carton messages anymore,

    she will just ignore you through and through so try the reverse action,

    no milk today the milkman has gone away !!
    and let see how she will react to it, DM don’t take things for granted ?.

  4. 54 IziEyaNa

    THanks for the recap JB. Wah.. the plot is sweet and simple, charactor development is great, storyline is awesome. TVN flower boy series always comes out with a great drama. ITs so realistic yet so drama-like.. I like… These characters are like onion. The more layer you peel more they revealed what;s hidden in their side. BTW, i wonder if whose behind this Oh Jae Won.. I think he is caebol..

  5. 55 Lucille

    Loving this drama. I don’t know if anyone has said this or not, but he reminds me of Tamaki from Ouron high school host club with all of his energy.

    • 55.1 nasus

      you’re right!! they should make the real-life Korean version of Ouran High School and cast Yoon Shi-Yoon as Tamaki!

  6. 56 Julia

    The scene where the neighbors are dining together was so warm. I really liked it.

    My heart sunk when Enrique Bunny said he was curious about Dok-Mi. At that moment I felt Jin-Rak’s pain and knew the tipping point had been reached and Dok-Mi/Enrique were destined. I mean, the clues were all there before, like Dok-Mi noticing Enrique, thinking about him, engaging with him even if it is fighting. But my little heart that has fallen in love with Jin-Rak was indulging in enjoying his love for Dok-Mi. The heart post-it would have melted me into a puddle if left on my doorstep. *sigh*

    Now I am going to work hard to root for DM and Enrique.

    What a great group of characters. Wantanabe too underutilized! DH the flower boy driver I want to hug. The love-struck security guard who cares about all the residents. Bromance for all the lovely men. I’m happy happy happy!

  7. 57 Julia

    btw, when Dong-Hwi sucked face of poor Jin-rak, I wish he had stepped back, spit, and then slapped her. I know, men can’t slap women … but she so deserved it after all her plotting.

  8. 58 diarrhetic.pen

    Could the “sasaeng fan” actually be Dok Mi’s grandma? Coz it would really make loads of sense why she’s doing what she’s doing…

  9. 59 Anna Banana

    Maan, I really feel for Enrique’s character. All the judgment from his anti-fans online, having to struggle with the judgment from people around him who don’t know how he truly feels, giving up his first love for his hyung, giving up the possibility of liking Dok Mi for Jin Rak’s sake… How much more can he take??? I just want to take care of him. 🙁 I honestly thought the character I’ll feel sorry for the most is Dok Mi. But while I’m definitely loving Dok Mi’s journey back into the outside world, something tells me that she can handle the outside better than Enrique can handle really digging deep inside him.

    I feel bad for Jin Rak though, because as much as I like him, and even if I’m the type who has a strong second lead syndrome, Enrique is much too lovable to not root for. And let’s face it. Dok Mi and Enrique are meant to be with each other. <3

    On another note, the preview from this episode is killing me!!!

  10. 60 Beatrice

    tq jb,

    Jin Rak could pronounced the name of champg clearly,

    must be well educated then, very heart wrenching

    now ! to know he will not get dok mi !!

  11. 61 JoowonLover:P

    Does anyone know what type of dog Hippo is? It’s soooo cute and I adored that part with YSY snuggling it!

    YSY is slowly growing on me….He was ok in Baker king (tbh i thought Joo-won stole the show, he was fantastic, not being biased or anything ;P), but he’s so bubbly and cute here! Great versatility, these actors!

    • 61.1 onyxx

      it looks like a Sheltie (Shetland sheepdog) — Shelties look like miniature rough collies

      • 61.1.1 Carrie

        My favorite part of Enrique / Hippo snuggling on the couch was that YSY was selling it so hard “Look! We’re besties! Man’s best friend!” and to me the dog looked annoyed.

        Kind of an “I know I can’t bite you, and it’s rude to run away, but man. Gerroff, wouldja??” Which cracks me up because it was kinda the same expression that so many other characters show to Enrique – an awareness that they can’t shout at him to STOPPITALREADY!! but at the same time can’t completely hide their annoyance. Dog actors = love. Dog actors = human actors = biggest love.

        It’s like WC Fields said – “Never work with children or animals.” They’ll invariably accidentally steal the scene (in the one take out of 20 where they get everything right, of course).

        • pogo

          AHAHAHAHAHAHA I’m not the only one who thought Hippo looked annoyed! And it’s even more hilarious because Enrique himself is making such a puppyface at him, lol (and in typical Enrique style, he ignores the doggy annoyance and just keeps cooing over him, ha).

          The scene with Hippo+Dok-mi was adorable though.

        • pogo

          also, I love that Enrique took Hippo out to Dok-mi, probably remembering that Hippo is the reason they met in the first place (and I was wondering where he went, nice to see him back).

          • Carrie

            Does anyone else think that Hippo is going to end up living with Dok Mi? To be a further catalyst for getting her out of her apartment? (You can’t stay inside forever if you’ve got a dog that needs to go out at least three times a day!) Tae Joon was getting ready to take Hippo to a shelter, not to the island (right? Did I catch that right? I’m not Korean), so wouldn’t it be better if Hippo stayed with Dok Mi? If it were my dog I’d rather he stay with a friend than at a shelter.

            That way Hippo would tie Dok Mi closer to Tae Joon as well as to Enrique, and serve as a reason for her to engage herself more in the outside world. And maybe, just maybe if we’re very very lucky, Hippo could pee on Do Hwi’s designer boots one happy day. 😉

      • 61.1.2 JoowonLover:P

        I’ll have to keep this in mind when I’m looking for a new friend in the near future 😉

  12. 62 blueberry

    I’ve already watched it and it is so awesome!!! Really!!! I am so excited for episode 9 because of the preview on episode 8!! I can’t wait to watch it!! by the way… thank you for the recaps! I love to read them all over and over again! XD Go! ENRIQUE SHIPPERS! <3

  13. 63 piggy68gal

    Thanks for the recap! 🙂

    This episode I actually felt sympathy for Jin Rak, which was totally unexpected because I don’t exactly like this character yet. But I think I’m warming up to him…and I think he’ll make a good couple with the editor, haha.

    The character I felt the most sorry for this episode is Enrique. It seems like he automatically assumes people have bad impressions of him, don’t like him etc. I find that really quite sad. I think he covers the whole being affected thing with his cheerfulness and talkativeness, but I still feel it lingering.

    About Tae Joon, I am rather confused. What exactly is he so conflicted about? If he really does like Seo Young then what is holding him back? I want to know more about him. As for Seo Young, I haven’t disliked her, but I thought it was pretty selfish of her to request Enrique to go back to Spain with her.

    Do Hwi is another character I find quite interesting. I actually haven’t disliked her that much, and I don’t know why. Probably because I want to know more about her past with Dok Mi, if there’s more to it, and her true intentions of trying to ‘seduce’ Jin Rak. And her true feelings to Dok Mi as well…

    And I still love Go Dok Mi a lot. She has really changed since the first episode. I sense she is falling for Enrique already. Perhaps only a teeny weeny bit, but I’m quite sure there are some feelings there. That’s why I can’t wait for the next episode! Form the preview it looks pretty exciting, and I think it will bring Dok Mi and Enrique’s relationship to another level. Or at least make them more aware of their true feelings towards each other.

  14. 64 Osmond09

    Is there anyone knows the Guitar Soundtrack of this drama??

  15. 65 Faye

    Thanks for this great recap, as well as all the others. As this show progresses, I am amazed by how much I love it. To be honest, I only started watching it because I’m a Park Shin-Hye fan. I had expected it to be a typical light, fluffy rom-com. Was I ever wrong! I hope it doesn’t sound condescending to say that I am shocked by the depth and maturity of the story and the characters. I relate to the character of Go Dok-Mi so much, and feel the writers are doing an incredible job of depicting her and her journey out of hermit-dom.

    Also, for the first time ever I am actually hard-core shipping the presumably “intended” couple, Dok Mi and Enrique. As someone who also needed to be drawn out of her shell and her nest, and who married a charismatic, outgoing extrovert (even though I never thought I would) — I can say that someone like Dok Mi really needs someone like Enrique, even if he is a bit much at times.

    I like most of the other characters, as well, and am curious to see what happens with them. Except for plastic-faced nemesis — she can DIAFK. I know she’s fictional, but oooh, I had one just like her in high school, and lived in the same city with her an adult, and that type? Never changes. Hope Dok Mi can give her the comeuppance she deserves.

    What I liked most about this episode was the paradigm shift we saw. Previously, it was mostly Enrique drawing Dok Mi out of her shell, being the catalyst for her flowering and changing. In this episode, we saw Dok Mi exercising some power by dragging him away from Seoyong and telling him it wasn’t his job to save her. I like the idea of the two of them achieving a certain equality, development-wise.

    Finally, it’s a pleasure to see a K-drama with a heroine who is a fully-realized, complex, mature character in her own right. The writers are to be commended for writing like this, and Shin Hye is knocking it out of the park with her depiction of Dok Mi. Can’t believe we are already halfway through this drama!

    Guess this post is overly long for a first one, but I am so excited about this drama. Love watching it, and reading the recaps and the thoughtful posts here only enhances the experience.

    • 65.1 Carole McDonnell

      oh my, I was the charismatic outgoing person who married the quiet one. And yes!!! The writers for this drama are to be totally commended.

    • 65.2 pogo

      What I liked most about this episode was the paradigm shift we saw.

      Yes! Dok-mi’s been coming out of her shell, little by little (forcing herself to step out of her front door to lend Jin-rak and Dong-hoon the rent money, making the threatening gangsters leave Jin-rak’s house alone last episode, and now – out of pure concern for Enrique – stepping in to save him from a misunderstanding…..it’s happening. Happening in baby steps, but still – happening! And I love that she’s the one who marched right back to Enrique because she had more to say to him, even if poor Jin-rak was a bit heartbroken by that.

    • 65.3 PSHAW

      Um, what’s DIAFK?

  16. 66 dany

    What about the ratings for ep 7 and 8? I couldn’t find them and I am curious if they improved because you all know we can get an Enrique & Ji rak kiss if they surpass 5%.

  17. 67 Waca

    Thank you so much for the recaps!

    Without them, I would never have had the idea to watch FBND (I am usually more a sageuk person).

    I love this show. I can feel so much empathy for the characters. I am kinda like Dok-Mi, staying most of my time in my appartment, so I found that plot interesting. I wish I could have a Jin-rak next door (and a Ryu! yeay!) and an Enrique…er…no, I’m taking this one back. I love Enrique on the screen, but I’m pretty sure he would give me a headache in realife! 😀

    Is anybody bored as well by Tae Joon and Seo-young? Seriously, the guy bores me and the girl irritates me to no ends. I dunno why…first, there’s her face, then, there’s her untactfulness towards Enrique (she knows he loved her, so why is she acting like this?): she actually has to be hurt herself so as to understand how he is hurting, what kind of egoist is that? Seriously, I strongly dislike her.

    Now, Do-Hwi… the actress is really doing a fine job at playing such a bitch. I already hated her in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, but wow, this time, she makes me laugh out loud! I find Do-Hwi really funny, she’s such a caricature…however, I hate it that she’s forcing Dok-Mi to see her when she is only pretending, only to get Jin-Rak. Poor Jin-rak too!

  18. 68 Lori

    seriously, these flower boy dramas are by far some of the best korean dramas i have ever watched. i love how subtle this drama is and how its letting the main character slowly fall for each other. i also love that they are both slowly falling for each other at the same time. usually its the girl who falls in love with the asshole for some odd reason and then one day the guy is like oh damn i think i like her too but im still going to be an asshole.

  19. 69 schwimmen

    Dong Hoon is actually my favorite character. The actor playing him is just killing it- you can always see what he is thinking on his face, and it is usually hilarious. There was the moment last episode (7) when Enrique backhugs Jin Rok and Dong Hoon and Do Hwi are looking on, and Dong Hoon just had this hilarious crabby look on his face, where he’s openly jealous and insecure about Jin Rok and Enrique’s new friendship. (Especially because Enrique knows Jin Rok by his real name, which I think Jin Rok did to create distance, but Dong Hoon misinterpreted it as closeness and trust. Ha.) Dong Hoon is essentially the background in that scene, but the facial expression was so evident and funny it became what I remembered about the scene. Those 3 boys are by far my favorite love triangle thus far.
    I also actually love what they’re doing with Do Hwi. Sure, she’s a terrible person, but the fact that she’s such a transparent gold digger that Dong Hoon deduces exactly what is going on the first time he sees her (again, on Team Dong Hoon here) and her efforts end so poorly is refreshing in a drama world where all the heroes/heroines are totally oblivious or powerless against the eeeeeevil until the climax of the plot. Instead, she’s hopelessly transparent and pretty much shooting arrows at armored steel. She doesn’t even exist to Jin Rok outside of her context to Dok Mi. And props to wardrobe for her endless selection of colorful abominable snowman skins. The fact that it’s clothing of her own design makes it even better. Just another ridiculous element

    • 69.1 Carole McDonnell

      Love your comments. My feelings exactly. On both characters.

    • 69.2 Waca

      I didn’t really think much about Dong Hoon apart from the comical aspect, so thank you for your comment, it was an interesting note about him! 🙂

    • 69.3 nasus

      exactly! i like Dong Hoon a lot. aside from being cute, you’re right: his facial expressions totally nail it!!

  20. 70 Raine

    This show is drama crack. I marathoned these first 8 episodes until 4am…

    I love the small world that this is created in. They’re in their neighborhood, spying on the neighbors, becoming involved and growing because of the interactions.

    The only parts I’m not really enjoying are the Do-hwi parts. She’s ridiculously pushy and phoney and seems very transparent to me and I’m wondering why these boys are do damned dense!

    But the slow relationship of understanding and respect budding between Enrique and Dok-mi is so beautiful. She was his project and then he ended up being truly effected.

    When is next week coming?

    Thanks for the recaps JB and GF!

  21. 71 pumpkinattack

    Thank you for the lovely and insightful recap! You ladies have made it into an art form! 🙂

  22. 72 Ruth

    Wow! Look at all these comments! Seems like everyone else is enjoying this drama as much as me.

    Most everything that I think has already been said. I just wanna restate how refreshing this show has been. It’s the nice romantic comedy that I was hoping for, and it hasn’t disappointed. Of course, there are some characters that annoy me to death (you can guess – although I crack up every time Do Hwi enunciates her name) and there are others that I wish got more screen time (Watanabe – you’re cute). But, by and large, the balance has worked beautifully.

  23. 73 watashiwachiaki

    weird that even when subs as out as soon as I wake up, I still go back here to read your recaps ^^

    thanks for this recap

  24. 74 Carole McDonnell

    I so love this drama! And the image of the crack in the ceiling turning into a beautiful tree of life with two little blue lovebirds…well, isn’t life like that after all? We get little cracks in our lives and we are cracked…we can cover the cracks in a fake way or a reclusive way or a healed way. We know the cracks are there, our friends know the cracks are there. We acknowledge our soundedness but with love…we can live a full life.

    I’m wondering if — in all Dol Hwi’s scheming and machinations– if there really is a part of her that actually misses her high school chum. She’s too mean NOT to be in denial about her guilt and sorrow at the loss of the friendship. I don’t think she is consciously trying to see evil on Dok Mi’s part. I think she has convinced herself that Dok Mi really did harm her. So although there are all kinds of bromantic doings going on… there is this bond of the two girls that also needs to be repaired. And (hope it isn’t just me) I so want Jin Rak to open up about his real identity to Dong Hoon ..who really is just absolutely a great person. I don’t know why he’s being kept at arm’s length by Jae won/Jin Rak.

    I’m glad Jin Rak sees through Dol Hwi. That’s what I like about this drama. In another drama, he wouldn’t have noticed her sneakiness until the last minute. But the scriptwriter isn’t interested in that kind of silly script-gameplaying.

    Sad that the Ahjumma has such a sad life. She MAY turn out to be the landlady. I like the underlying undercurrent of opposites attracting because the opposites are essentially also similar. In real life, I’ve seen some very hyperactive ADD types married to quiet types. And I’ve seen older women married to younger guys… so let’s see how this all turns out.

    Thanks so much for the recap. This was such a neat episode.

    • 74.1 jomo

      Love what you wrote about the tree painting.

      I was especially impressed that they showed us that Enrique is an OK painter and that his birds were a little clumsy, rather than having him being effortless at this, too.
      Made if feel more real.

      My thoughts about DH are similar. We will see there is more to her than we think, and I expect she will have to suffer a LOT and be redeemed. She WAS a good friend to DM before and could be again.

      • 74.1.1 Carole McDonnell

        Ooh, Jomo, you just made me think…
        Interesting that Enrique is not a great painter and also that Jin Rak was told by Editor the backgrounds (drawn by Dong Hoon) were better than the character drawings. Interesting. Maybe they’ll all work on something together one day. Not sure how Bleary-eyed editor would take it if the plot in the webtoon turns into a bromance with Rapunzel, distant, lover and “scumbag manipulator” all happy in the end.

        I liked it that Jin Rak didn’t get all jealous about Dong Hoon’s talent being praised. He actually did an interesting thing to make them both work on all parts of the webtoon. Very interesting… must ponder what all that is about.

    • 74.2 Carole McDonnell

      Aaagh.. Meant to write “acknowledge our woundedness.”

  25. 75 Kiara

    Thank you JB for the awesome recap. YaY to tvN for another great drama.

  26. 76 dramasinjupiter

    i have a feeling there will be a lot of heart ache next week. :/ SAVE ME ;_;

  27. 77 onyxx

    *sigh* there are so many heartbreaking moments in this episode. you can’t help wishing that these funny, endearing characters don’t have to go through the wringer to realize what they really want, but then again life is full of these painful lessons. wow. i didn’t think it was possible, but this series has met my expectations, and more…

  28. 78 jomo

    Thanks for the beautifully written recap!
    Loved this:
    “glaring outside like a man on a mission. A bumbling spy mission.”

    I will join in the chorus of poor Jin Rok! I am always torn rooting for this type of character. On the one hand, his feelings are genuine so I want him to win his love and be happy. On the other hand, I want to scream, “Come on, man! Sh^t or get off the pot! Make your move!” My sympathy is lessened by the fact that his fate is in his own hands, and maybe losing the girl is what he deserves.

    I am not rooting for Enrique because it seems like a foregone conclusion right now. He doesn’t need me.

  29. 79 Jellykelli

    Anyone think that Seo Young might have gotten the plane tickets to make Enrique realize he likes DM? I saw that when DM grabbed Enrique, she had an almost “Oooohhhh. I see.” Kind o look on her face. So maybe she wants to prod Enrique into letting go of her and movin on, so he won’t hurt over her anymore. It made me wonder.

  30. 80 pogo

    This is kind of besides the point, but – Park Shin-hye looks so pretty in this drama! I love her with the messy hair and next-to-no-makeup look, especially in the early episodes where her skin looked almost translucent because it’s so clear. I know her look is supposed to be frumpy, but to me it’s just natural beauty who can’t be bothered to play up her looks.

    • 80.1 Maris

      I agree. She looks great like this. It also adds to the character of DM perfectly. That’s what I like about her. She gives a totally different look in each of her projects.

  31. 81 daniela

    My prince of drama! I simply love it!

  32. 82 SuJu 4 Life

    aigoo…J-6 before next episode

  33. 83 Marwita'h

    I really Hate Do Hwi ><

  34. 84 miss_c

    Aaaandd…the long agonizing wait for next week to come is here again. Sigh. And poor Jinrak, who really looks like traumatized by that horrible kiss from Do hwi… Urgh! Can somebody make her disappear please??

  35. 85 peaches

    okay, to everyone who ships jin rak and dok mi together, you should go read this post–>
    it says it all.
    and no, i wasn’t the one who wrote this, i just saw it because i’m following the FBND tag on tumblr. this post perfectly articulates my thoughts on why jin rak is so wrong for her.

    • 85.1 rearwindow

      That is a super interesting perspective on Jin Rak’s character, thanks for sharing!

    • 85.2 Maris

      I would not go to the extent of calling him abusive. His intentions have been protective for three years……even concerned. His daily acts of leaving stickers on the milk carton was definitely something that DM treasured since she carefully collected and put it in form of a booklet. It definitely must have showed her that someone cared for her. She does not feel abused because she actually came to his rescue when contributing towards the rent and when the two black dressed guys came looking for him. JR in asking E not to be curious about has selfish reasons but that was a spontaneous possessive reaction to what he felt for the first time a threat towards gaining DM’s love. There are other moments too when he is thinking of her first but it will take too long.

      • 85.2.1 cheers

        i agree w/you on this, i won’t also consider jin rak’s actions abusive, the guy is just simply falling in love for her & supressed it for 3 yrs and rightfully so dok mi must also apprec the notes he incessantly leaves on the milk carton, i mean if i found a guy who’s treating me with utmost admiration, wldn’t u hv a slight feeling if not 100% to give him a chance? i would if i were dok mi. on the other hand i also credit enrique since he’s giving his hyung a chance to express his feelings for her. luv this drama to da max

      • 85.2.2 IBkaytee

        Agreed. It’s going a little bit too far in saying he’s abusive and frankly the writer has taken this too seriously. Jin Rak in no way should be lumped together with abusers.

        I don’t think he’s being possessive at all. Judging from his inability to confess his feelings to her and the three years he’s given her space he’s the opposite of possessive.

        They say he’s ‘drives E out of her life’ but they forget to account the fact that Enrique himself is helping Jin Rak get closer to Dok Mi WILLINGLY. What I see here is a guy crushing on a girl and Enrique is acting as a wingman. It happens ALL THE TIME. What man wouldn’t be jealous if a girl, who is normally secluded all of a sudden comes out of her shell…something he couldn’t do if u liken her to Rapunzel and Enrique as the prince.

        • Maris

          I agree about him not being possessive. I should not have used it. That was one time reflex action to what E said about being curious about D. He has not been given any reason for him to feel that Dokmi belongs to him. He sincerely thinks of D first and acts in a way in which he feels is in her best interest.

    • 85.3 pogo

      I’m firmly on board SS Enrique, but I feel like that post is reaching, way out into the galaxy.

      And I don’t care what social justice warriors get mad about, especially if it’s people calling Do-hwi names but not doing the same for Jin-rak – only one of them is a bully who is actively trying to harm Dok-mi even now, and I see no reason to defend her just because she’s female.

      Jin-rak is, at worst, misguided because he idealises Dok-mi and the current state she’s in and is a touch jealous of Enrique’s ready connection with her (but, unlike Do-hwi, he’s actually able to be jealous of someone and be nice to them at the same time). But abusive? Rubbish.

      • 85.3.1 Nanaki

        I think it’s an overly sensitive and melodramatic take on a character who is in actuality pretty ineffective in Dok-mi’s life. But I can see how someone could end up thinking Jin-rak is (or would be) emotionally abusive. I don’t agree that he IS, but he can be a bit creepy in that you-know-you-have-no-grounds-to-be-possessive-RIGHT way. That said, Dok-mi doing morning exercises with Doc gave me the creeps too.

        Thing is that all our main cast have mental health problems, not just Dok-mi and Enrique but Jin-rak (and, okay, Do-hwi) as well. Jin-rak’s indulged his crush on Dok-mi so much that he’s using it like it’s a relationship when it’s not, and he gets angry when reality chucks a rock in the lake of his fantasies (‘misguided’ doesn’t seem to express this quite right, although it’s close). That is and should be worrying, just as is Enrique’s overcompensation and Dok-mi’s fiercely self-imposed isolation. They’re all very lonely people and it’s affected them powerfully in different ways.
        I think Enrique and Dok-mi are more obvious because we’ve seen them rip off each other’s scabs, but Jin-rak’s in for just a rough time as the two of them.

        • pogo

          I do agree, we’ve got a full cast of people who (except maybe Dong-hoon and sweet Watanabe) have their own damage to deal with, but Jin-rak being labelled as abusive based on so little is some extreme extrapolating, and logic-wise it’s a harder stretch than even the most flexible lycra can take.

          If his behaviour went further than that, I can understand the thought, but as things stand I’m just deeply sceptical about the corner of fandom that insists on seeing pop culture only through the prism of self-righteous social justice. They go through a story looking only for its ‘isms, they’re going to end up missing out on the story.

  36. 86 jademwong

    Loving this drama. And I’ll admit, a lot of the loves comes from the very talented cast! Jin-Rak for example is hard to watch and not want to roll my eyes in exasperation as a character but KJH makes him grounded and watch-able and I find my heart strings tugging in his direction from time to time. YSY and PSH both have some of the best and most expressive facial expressions. Unf I love this main cast so much.

    I am really hoping for a Jin-RakxEditor pairing, they are so real with each other and the editor is quite frankly the only other female I can stand in this show (besides dok-mi). Love that Hippo got a couple good scenes! Lol I’m going to miss that dog xD

    Lastly, thanks for the recap!! Well written as always!

  37. 87 Suzi Q

    I glad to see that I’m not the only one rooting for JinRak and the editor! Their scenes together are hilarious especially when the editor has dark circles under her eyes!

    It is easy to misconstrued by anti-fans and Dok Mi the photos of Enrique’s which were downloaded to the internet especially the one with Enrique sleeping in bed and Seo Young in the foreground. Why would you keep those kinds of intimate photos on your phone? Dumb move.

    Although Tae Joon gave short notice to Seo Young about leaving, Seo Young jumped the gun by getting airline tickets right away to go back to Spain with Enrique. Enrique, the poor guy, got blind sighted with Seo Young imperious decision to return immediately. Was she just being histrionic to create a scene in front of Tae Joon and Dok Mi? She seems to be a selfish self centered person trying to drag Enrique back since she can’t get Tae Joon to do her biding. Is where Tae Joon going to some island where Seo Young can’t follow?

  38. 88 Evana

    tq jb

    Jin rak and the editor is shown as boss and colleague interactions, they don’t meet each other everyday,

    but between jin rak and dok mi they see each other almost everyday and mostly during the night, is she an owl. Imp. point both of them work from home .

    Her smile for jin rak is only for a moment, very tormenting for us viewers to watch her reactions towards him.

    Jin rak although fate is not on your side, there are better things ahead of you.

  39. 89 Auro

    Those last lines were deep and truthful javabeans.

  40. 90 SopheaJane

    I love when seoyoung said about spain, enrique eyes went to dok mi…. so far, the storyline is brilliant. Who would have thought to create a hero and heroine deep connection that they are even able to converse with just reading each other expression? Fell in love with this drama since the teaser…. I want more…. :<

  41. 91 gereysi

    I can’t wait for next week episodes. This drama has a nice appropriate pacing. love the characters especially enrique!

  42. 92 SopheaJane

    It’s funny how people who live around her couldnt know so well… but someone that is from far-faraway could read her between the lines about her sorrow and loneliness and ready to cure it… I love this story… :)))))

  43. 93 Nilechoclate

    I love this drama really touch me the Neighbours , people who live beside us and our relationships seriously the characters are amazing who make you happy and who annoys you and who make you sad and these characters more realistic that you live with actually you find them around you
    I am rooting for E & DM couple actually I think JR didn’t do any thing except he send notes to her not as E who get her out get her from Silence to Noisy world inside her is changing bcz E I really find him deserving her and only one that DM listen with open minded he find his mate soul who believe in him 😀
    I can’t wait next Monday 😀

  44. 94 Lilian

    I prefer it when love stories begin like this, not the love at first sight crap. This is so much more believable. And for me, three characters stand out, Enrique , Dok Mi and Jin Rak/Jae Won. I wanna learn more about them. For the rest, so so

  45. 95 twacccyy

    Enrique is already giving them space. Why couldn’t they both see that? He’s already giving in so much for the both of them. =[

    Enrique’s cousin should know that no matter how far he’ll go Seo Young’s feelings won’t change.

  46. 96 sietorito



  47. 97 maakopla

    I really like this drama. Episode 8 and still as interesting as ever, not many dramas can stay exciting for so long. And just like someone mentioned before, who cares about the pairing? Just watching these people live is entertaining enough.

    I like Enrique but he is kind of annoying and I think his character is pretty unrealistic in contrast to all other characters who are pretty realistic.

    By the way, I think Park Soo Jin is doing real great job with her Cha Do Hwi role. She is supposed to be annoying but for some reason I love this character even though she did some really mean things to Dok Me. It’s a pleasure to watch this girl’s acting!

  48. 98 cheers

    i’m really liking this drama every epis…yoon shi & jihoon are both super funny in their roles, woah i’ve never seen yoon shi so hilarious & loveable as well as kim ji hoon! they both cracked me in the last or latest epis i think it’s epi 7 or 8! more power to this drama!

    i feel for jin rak’s love for dok mi, now i’m absolutely divided if i were dok mi who to choose betwn the two! 🙂 and the beautiful saga continues! can’t wait

  49. 99 Gia

    Love this show! I don’t know if this has been asked before, but does anyone know what kind of dog that is?? It’s adorable ^^

    • 99.1 Mystisith

      It’s a Shetland aka “mini-Lassie”.

  50. 100 deathofserenata

    thanks for the recaps. can’t wait to see the next episode!

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