Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 14
It’s an episode full of hilarity and heartbreak, as our characters find themselves on a crash course with that unavoidable fork in the road. Do you chase your dreams or hold onto the one you love? Do you give up on your one-sided love or do you make a last stand? Do you stay or do you go?
SONG OF THE DAY
Kim Woo-joo – “사랑해” (I Love You) [ Download ]
EPISODE 14: “Sometimes love is looking at two different maps”
Enrique pulls Dok-mi in close and asks her to go to Spain with him. He asks full of hope if she’ll trust and follow him, but when he backs away to look at her face, he can see the answer is no.
He quickly covers up his reaction: “See, you can’t. You just barely came out of your door, so how could you go someplace that far? So don’t tell me to go either. Now my dream is Go Dok-mi.”
Dok-mi: “Your feelings for me are like a rain shower. It’ll pass.” He starts to get angry, saying that his feelings aren’t passing ones… but are hers?
She says she’ll just think of him like a magical elf: “One who sent me out into the world, and made me live again, and smile again.” She says that she shouldn’t expect any more than that. Oh, Dok-mi. I get how crazy girl’s speech might’ve gotten under your skin, but uh… she be crazy.
Enrique: “Elves are things that exist in my games. The person standing in front of you now is just a man who’s fallen in love.” Augh, so perfect. LISTEN TO HIM.
She says she’ll think about it—about his words and what they mean and if she can go. How so like a writer to parse and re-parse his words. He agrees to give her as much time as she needs without bugging her for an answer, but in exchange asks her to stop telling him to go. I like that deal.
As they walk out, he tells her that it’s not so one-sided as she thinks—him just bringing her out into the world and changing her. “You’ve changed me too.” He takes her hand and yanks her close with a smile and stuffs their hands into his pocket.
They stop to listen to a guy playing the guitar (cameo by Kim Woo-joo, singing the song posted above) and they smile as they listen to his love song. Enrique muses that he thought himself a rather cool person, but he’s changing, and finding out that he can get jealous too.
He says it all very calmly, and then suddenly turns to her and whines: “Stop staring!” LOL. You meant this guy? She asks if they can’t listen a little longer, but he pouts and says no, dragging her away with the cutest evil eye at the poor unassuming singer.
He notes that he never used to say things like “No” and “I don’t like it,” but that must be a change as well. He asks if she isn’t scared he’s going to turn into a bad guy, and she looks at him with this face, like he might as well ask if he’s turning into a three-legged moose.
He says a little more sincerely that he’s the person who carried heavy things and always thought he could handle them on his own, but now he’s searching for a way to put those heavy things down.
She stops and turns to him: “Then promise, that if it’s heavy you’ll acknowledge that it is, and that if you want to put it down that you will. Promise. That if it’s hard you’ll say it is… promise.”
He nods over and over, and she raises a finger to his forehead, just as he always did to her. With her finger there to beam her thoughts over, she thinks to herself: “If you want to go, promise that you’ll say you want to go.”
Enrique: “Don’t tell me to go! I can’t keep that promise.” She pulls her finger back in shock. Did he really hear her? It’s pretty uncanny.
Jin-rak chuckles to himself as he works on his webtoon, when the power suddenly goes out, killing hours of unsaved work. Oh, sympathy pangs. Ow. He swears he paid the bill, but finds that everyone in the building is running out with the same problem.
Enrique and Dok-mi arrive from their date to find everyone standing outside. The neighbor ajumma makes a snide remark about their landlord’s poor upkeep on the building, and all of them turn to her and ask—isn’t she the landlord?
She pulls the security guard aside to ask and he admits to making it up, and asks if she got the flowers he left for her. She pretends to be put out by all this attention, but she’s loving it.
The security ajusshi tells them all that the water tank blew the heat and electricity, so they’ll have to sleep elsewhere for the night. Enrique excitedly offers up his place for a slumber party.
So Jin-rak, Dok-mi, and Ryu come by and Enrique welcomes them eagerly, saying that he loves it when lots of people are over. He shows Dok-mi to his room and he’s so giddy about her spending the night, it’s adorable.
Once he closes the door, she says aloud as if she’s just realizing it: “You didn’t like being alone…”
Dong-hoon sends Jin-rak a composite of Jin-rak’s face with Enrique’s clothes and a text wondering if maybe the reason he lost the girl was because of his fashion sense. Pfft. Jin-rak tells him about losing all their work from today, and tasks Dong-hoon with telling their PD because he can’t deal with her.
Enrique and Jin-rak share a pot of ramyun, and I love that despite having settled into a rather civil version of their relationship, Jin-rak isn’t above griping at every little thing about Enrique like the grumpypants that he is.
He asks if Enrique is really going to give up on the animation project, and Enrique asks his advice—what would he do? Jin-rak says he’d find a way to have both, and Enrique admits that he wants that too, but that would mean forcing Dok-mi, who just barely stepped out of her apartment, to go such a distance.
He can’t force her to do that, but he also can’t be away from her either—he can’t bear to be away from her for one or two days now, so how could he bear one or two years? He says with a sigh that it’s right that he gives up the animation project.
We see that Dok-mi is listening to their conversation from the other room.
Jin-rak admits that if he were in Enrique’s shoes, he wouldn’t be able to give up the animation project: “I think that’s why I’m here, and you’re in Dok-mi’s heart.” Aw.
Dong-hoon screws up the nerve to tell his editor that they lost all the work that was supposed to be turned in today, and he happens to catch her at a moment when she’s wielding weapon-ready chopsticks.
He backs away slowly as her eyes turn to saucers and she yells up a storm… but then swoons at Dong-hoon’s puckered lips and calms down. Heh. She says the webtoon’s comments are all about unrequited love, so they’ll just re-edit some frames on that topic and put them up.
She tells him to go, but to her surprise, he sits down right next to her and pulls her chair in close, insisting that they work on it together. She says she can do it herself, but he gripes that this is why she’s got dark circles 365 days a year and gets to work. She’s so smitten.
Dok-mi works late into the night, and comes out to find Jin-rak still awake. She smiles over at Enrique, asleep at the dining table.
Jin-rak asks if she can’t sleep, and tells her that when Enrique was going to leave the first time, he asked Jin-rak to look out for her. Flashback to his requests for him to knock on her door once in a while and let her know that someone understands her.
He says now that it made him nervous, because he realized that Enrique might not go back to Spain after all, and if he were to stay, he’d never leave Dok-mi’s side. He says he was right after all.
Jin-rak: “So don’t worry. No matter what you decide, Enrique won’t change.” Aw. She looks over at Enrique with a smile.
Stalker girl turns out to be a member of Enrique’s gaming fan club, and they meet to start their online protests about Sola doing the animation project without Enrique.
In the morning, Jin-rak and Enrique are busy plotting and scheming, as Dong-hoon looks on in horror. They’re talking about doing something at the final meeting with Jin-rak’s brothers to sign the disinheriting papers, and they sound vaguely like felonies: “Steal the car,” and “We just have to get it…”
Dong-hoon: “What? What is IT?” Jin-rak ignores him entirely, and Enrique says he’ll take care of the plan. Dok-mi walks in and they all clam up suspiciously, and Jin-rak and Dong-hoon scurry away.
She asks what’s going on, and Enrique says they’re on their way to see Do-hwi to apologize after Jin-rak awkwardly accused her of painting Dok-mi’s door the other day. He muses that she must’ve felt unfairly wronged, and maybe she’ll know a little of what Dok-mi felt.
He asks if Do-hwi was really a good writer in high school, because he doesn’t want to be judgy, but she doesn’t really seem like she would’ve been, and wonders why their teacher liked Do-hwi. He says he doesn’t like anything about Teach. Yeah, you and me both. Dok-mi’s eyes widen in surprise: “That’s what she said?” She asks to hear everything that Do-hwi told him.
Dong-hoon thinks they’re headed to see Do-hwi, but Jin-rak says he has no intention of going there, since he doesn’t sincerely feel the need to apologize. He stalks off.
Enrique gets ready to go out, and makes Dok-mi walk him to the door. He tells her that his fan club problem should die down soon enough, but asks for some time to handle it. He asks her to stay inside because he’s worried about her, and then sighs that he just got her to go outside but now he’s asking her to stay in.
She says that his fan club doesn’t scare her, and that she understands them—they like him and want him to be his best, and that’s something she gets. Enrique: “But my fans don’t know what I really like.” He points a furtive finger at Dok-mi.
Suddenly the tone shifts entirely as Enrique, Dong-hoon, and Jin-rak pose for the camera in shiny new suits. Oh, is this for The Plan? That explains the outfits, but not the hilarious modeling interlude for absolutely no reason.
They music-video-strut down the street, and head to the meeting with Jin-rak’s brothers. Enrique takes the lead and goes in alone, doing his best imitation of a gangster walk. He throws down an envelope and sits at the table.
HAHAHAHAHA. What the hell is on your face?
Jin-rak joins them and as Enrique mutters in Spanish, he introduces him as his Italian mafia friend who might fly off the handle at any moment. Enrique makes threatening faces while saying things like, “I wanna go potty.”
While they drag out the conversation, Dong-hoon peers down at the car keys on the table and heads down to the garage to attach something to the license plate.
Jin-rak signs the document choosing to give up his inheritance, and Enrique amps up the crazy, pretending to reach for a gun. Jin-rak “translates” that if anyone moves, he’ll start shooting, and Enrique pulls out a sausage to smoke like a cigar. I know that sounds like a euphemism but it’s really what he does. I’m dying.
They head down to the garage and wait for Jin-rak’s hyung to drive away. He stops when he hears a noise—a bunch of cans on strings, that Dong-hoon put there. As he gets out to search, Jin-rak and Enrique get in the car and drive it away, cackling.
They pick up Dong-hoon on their way out, and stop by the side of the road. They open the trunk and gape at the “It” and start laughing their heads off… is how the plan is supposed to go, as Enrique imagines it. Uh-oh.
So they’re really still waiting in the garage for the hyung to drive past, and he does… only he doesn’t stop like he’s supposed to. Ha. Foolproof plan, eh? What’s even funnier is that Dong-hoon doesn’t know the plan has failed, so he gets in the backseat, only to realize that it’s not Jin-rak behind the wheel.
Their low-rent plan backfires perfectly, and Jin-rak sighs that he really is all alone now. Dong-hoon reminds him that he’s not alone: “You have me!” and throws his arm around him. Enrique looks on with a smile and raises his arms like he wants to join in on the hug, but just laughs it off. Aw.
Stalker girl leads the fan club in a demonstration outside Enrique’s building, and stares Dok-mi down as she walks past. Dok-mi heads home without a word, and opens up “That Man” to add a passage:
How many meanings are there in the words I’m sorry? Sadness and scars. Misunderstanding and repentance. Regret and reconciliation. Innumerable feelings are mixed up within. That man believes that you can’t express your heart with one short word. “Will you come to Spain with me?” What that man spoke was love.
Dok-mi heads back over to Enrique’s building, holding the boxes that Do-hwi brought over. She stops in the hallway, thinking of what Enrique told her—that Do-hwi has liked Jin-rak for a long time.
Do-hwi arrives, and has the gall to be indignant about Dok-mi returning her things. They head inside and Dok-mi asks to have a chat.
The boys arrive and find the fan club protest going on down in the street. Enrique sighs, but then he and Jin-rak both start getting scared that something might’ve happened to Dok-mi, and they rush inside.
They panic when she’s not there, but Dong-hoon runs into Do-hwi’s posse on the way in, and he tells the boys that Dok-mi went to see Do-hwi.
She brings the boxes full of their memories and says coldly that she’s come to expect that Do-hwi would lie about their high school years and their teacher—none of that surprised her. But she realized now that Do-hwi never came looking for her in the first place, not when she could’ve done so any time before. She says with a pained look in her eyes that she actually felt something when she looked at these things, not knowing that Do-hwi wasn’t sincere about them.
She guesses correctly that she came to this neighborhood looking for Jin-rak. Do-hwi doesn’t deny it, saying that she likes him and Dok-mi doesn’t know anything about him, or his family. Dok-mi gets it now, that her so-called crush is really to do with his chaebol background, and bitingly calls her pathetic.
Dok-mi: “Our memories are in here? You don’t have such things! Don’t play with someone’s heart! Don’t come near me, or that person. I won’t leave you alone.”
Do-hwi flares up, asking what gives her the right—is she his girlfriend? Does she like him? The boys arrive behind them…
Dok-mi: “I like him! I like him. Not the outer image of Jin-rak that someone like you sees, but I like him because I know he’s an upright person!” Oh noes. Enrique!
She whirls around and locks eyes with Enrique. Ohgod, ow the pain.
She just stands there, frozen, and Jin-rak walks up and takes her by the wrist. She looks up at him.
And then we get a flashback to their conversation late last night. Jin-rak says Enrique won’t change. Dok-mi: “I can’t be happy watching him like that by my side. Will you help me, so that he can leave?”
Back in the present, Jin-rak takes the lead and they walk out, crushing Enrique’s heart into teeny tiny pieces.
BAH. Why Show, why? We were doing so well. There were direct conversations and promises to be honest, requests to each other not to be noble OR idiotic, and a hero openly saying out loud all the things we’re trying to mind-beam over to the heroine. So then why, oh why does Dok-mi need to pull this age-old stupid, totally predictable it’s-for-your-own-good tactic to push him away? So. Lame.
I was actually completely caught up in the moment, thinking that she just blurted out that she liked Jin-rak to get Do-hwi to back off. I thought it might be a misunderstanding between ‘like as a man’ and ‘like as a person,’ one that Enrique could question and doubt, and make him nervous. But when they revealed that she freaking planned to break his heart to make him go for his own good, I just threw my hands in the air.
When Dok-mi told Jin-rak that she wasn’t some Rapunzel but the witch who locked her away, I had hope that she’d stray from that classic quietly suffering heroine in other ways too, but this move was so disappointing. I just can’t get behind a move to lie about your feelings and crush the heart of the person who does nothing but adore you. That’s just mean. Not to mention dumb, which she’ll eventually figure out. But I’m allowed to be annoyed until she catches up and realizes just how idiotic it is. Mostly, I’m disappointed that the final arc couldn’t avoid this turn, because I was rooting for them to face the obvious rom-com forced separation conflict with a solution that wasn’t so obvious.
It does work in one sense—my heart was crushed along with Enrique’s, but I don’t like the cost. I don’t want to be mad at Dok-mi, but now I am, and will be for a week. Of course I love her and I fully expect that the final two episodes will bring her back around and that part of her journey is in learning how to love, how to speak elephant as it were. But did she have to crush his heart (not to mention her own) in the process? So many strides forward, and yet… so much farther to go, grasshopper.
*gives puppy a hug*
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 13
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 12
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 11
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 10
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 9
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 8
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 7
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 6
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 5
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 4
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 3
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 2
- Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 1