There’s no shortage of emotionally powerful scenes this episode, as characters we think we know prove to be entirely different than who we thought they were. (Or do they?) For every great revelation there’s an equally baffling counterpart, but all you really need to know is that there’s a game afoot, and there’s one goal everyone agrees on: Getting Young to care about living.
Ratings look to be locking in already, with That Winter poised to keep its first place spot (at 14.2% this episode) until the end of its run.
SONG OF THE DAY
That Winter OST – “And One” by SNSD’s Taeyeon [ Download ]
EPISODE 10 RECAP
The gangsters who accosted Young weren’t just random guys, as it turns out. They were acting under Moo-chul’s employ, and our resident terminally-ill baddie muses that Soo was one step ahead of him this time.
Unfortunately for him, the spurned gangster who’s sworn revenge on Moo-chul notices when he grabs his chest in pain.
Soo takes Young to a coffee shop to calm down, and she’s anything but calm as she accuses him of having fun while watching her fall into his trap. Did she seem pitiful when she was so happy to have her brother home? More importantly, why didn’t he give her the pill and kill her?
“Because you’re human, does your conscience bother you?” she asks. She throws out every other option but one, so Soo brings it up himself: “If not that, maybe I love you that much.” Eek! Confession!
“That pill was mine,” Soo explains. “One day, I thought, ‘Why am I living?’ No matter how much I thought about it, there was no reason for me to live. ‘Why am I trying so hard to stay alive? Even if it ends, there wouldn’t be anyone to mourn me. Even if my life ends today, there’s nothing to lose.’” His voice is trembling, and Young fights to keep her cool facade in place even though she’s wringing her hands under the table.
It’s like he wants to explain how things have changed after meeting her, but he stops himself and offers a simple deal: He’ll leave.
Young attempts to accept, but when Soo tries to help her leave she finally breaks down. He makes it seem like it’d all be over if he just leaves, but for her it’s not the same. The emotional turbulence causes another migraine to hit, and she faints in Soo’s arms.
As Soo & Co. rush Young to the hospital, So-ra meets with Secretary Wang to lie about how Soo acquired his massive debt. I’m not really sure what she wants – because if it’s money she’s the one who initially stole all of it – but she keeps up the lie that Soo is Young’s brother, even though Wang is positive that’s no longer the case.
Young finally gets a CT scan, and the results are as everyone feared – her brain tumor has relapsed in a big way. Doctor Noona (we’ll use her real name from now on, Sun-hee) pops in to take one look at the scan before declaring it inoperable.
Soo tries to convince her to perform the surgery, but she shakes him off: “I don’t play games where I lose.” He’s rattled that she considers a person’s life as a game, but she clearly holds Soo’s past against him (maybe unfairly blaming him for what Moo-chul has become) and forcefully declines to help.
Lawyer Jang delivers the disheartening news to Secretary Wang that the shareholders are considering another candidate as CEO, since they’re not happy with some of Myung-ho’s dealings and consider Secretary Wang as in on the plot.
She releases her ire on a startled Lawyer Jang, claiming that she’s the most loyal to Young’s late father, and therefore the one most deserving. “They’re trying to remove me, saying it’s for Young. Without me, they can do whatever they want,” she fumes. Let’s backtrack a bit. Who left Young’s dad to die alone again? Ohhh right. *kicks out Secretary Wang’s leg to stand on*
Young’s face remains vacant when Soo visits her in her hospital room, though it seems like she’s distancing herself because she expects him to leave. After all, it’s easy for someone like him to leave. But someone blind like her is always the one left behind.
If she could only see Soo’s face, she’d know how much he cared. His eyes fill with tears in such a way that it’s like you can see his heart breaking as he tells her that her tumor relapsed, but surgery can help.
She’s not surprised, but she’s heard this song and dance before. Soo fights back his emotions as he tells her what she told him in the ski lodge: “Young… It doesn’t have to be okay, so, do you want to cry?” Awww. (I’M not crying. I’ve just been cutting onions.)
When she says no, Soo gets on the bed behind her and wraps his arms around her, as if giving her the real okay to cry. They shed silent tears together, which makes it a super awkward moment for Jin-sung and Hee-sun to walk in on. Not just because they’re cuddling/crying, but because it’s clearly a really private moment.
Hee-sun tells Jin-sung that she’s seen Soo cry like that only once before – when he hugged her dead sister at the hospital. But things have changed for her because she can’t even be upset about it anymore. Good for you, Hee-sun.
Secretary Wang must have found out about Young, since she cries in the car ride over with Lawyer Jang. He even holds her hand to comfort her. D’aww, this ajusshi.
They find both Soo and Young asleep in the position we last saw them in, though they decide to leave without waking them. Soo wakes up to read a text message from So-ra reminding him that their agreed-upon three day waiting period is up tomorrow, though I suppose he doesn’t care much anymore since the secret’s all but out already.
Young tells him to sleep on the floor so he’s more comfortable, but he blearily replies that he wants to sleep together with her until he leaves. She can’t help but be a wee bit happy at that: “I guess it’s good being sick sometimes.”
They fall back asleep with Soo holding her even closer than before, with Young’s lips curling into a tiny smile. I don’t know if all is forgiven or if this is a temporary stay of Hurt Feelings, but I’ll take it.
The next morning, Jin-sung urges his hyung to snap out of it and start blackmailing Myung-ho to get the money he needs to survive, otherwise he’ll be caught in his love for Young. “Your words, your actions, the way you stare… I’m telling you now – the one who is terminally ill isn’t Young, its you. You live first, then see what happens.”
Soo: “I’ll live. No matter what. Even if I’m stuck in a gutter or stabbed by Moo-chul, I’ll live. When I was little, left under a tree in the cold, I lived. I didn’t even feel guilty when I betrayed your parents who treated me like their child, stole money, and left. Even after Hee-joo died, I lived. I’ll find a way to live. I have you, Hee-sun, and… I have many reasons to live now.”
It’s clear that he stopped himself from saying “Young,” but Jin-sung and the eavesdropping Hee-sun know better. They decide to go forward with the plan to blackmail Myung-ho for the money even without Soo’s blessing, which Jin-sung sees as a necessary evil if he wants to save his hyung.
Since every important dialogue scene must take place in a coffee shop, everyone on Young’s side meets to discuss moving her to another hospital, something Soo is adamantly against. He reminds Secretary Wang of her place, but she turns it right around to remind him of his own – is he Young’s brother? She doesn’t think so.
Since both sides are investigating the other, Soo calls for a temporary truce. In the meantime, Young WILL stay at the hospital she’s in and get treatment from Doctor Sun-hee.
Myung-ho gets a glass of water to the face, courtesy of Secretary Wang, who chastises him for taking company matters into his own hands before she calls the engagement off. He stops her in her tracks when he tells her that Soo is blackmailing him.
Outside, Soo shows Lawyer Jang the photos of Myung-ho with his girlfriend. When Soo explains that he doesn’t trust Secretary Wang because he holds her responsible for Young’s blindness, Lawyer Jang lashes out against what he considers wild conjecture.
But at least he’s willing to see any evidence Soo could provide to the contrary, all while having his fingerprints tested. Because proving Soo touched Young’s safe will solve everything, I guess?
Young asks her doctor (not Sun-hee) whether he’d get surgery and chemotherapy if he were in her shoes. He says yes, but he can’t tell her that her sickness will be cured because of it, which Young takes as a sign to not go through with treatment. Which I take as a sign to headdesk. Seriously, when is the outcome for something like this ever guaranteed?
Soo sees Secretary Wang’s car speeding away from the hospital, and Young finds herself all but kidnapped inside when she realizes that Secretary Wang is taking her to another hospital, and not home like she thought.
She immediately gets out of the car, causing Secretary Wang to slap her across the face. Yikes.
Soo confronts Mi-ra on her past record of lying in order to force her to take him to Young’s old hospital, unaware that Secretary Wang finally took Young home.
She tells Young that she’ll MAKE her get surgery, but Young refuses. “Do you want to die?!” Secretary Wang screams at her. Young: “I plan on it.”
Secretary Wang hits her again, hard, enough to send Young to the ground. It almost sounds like a “Why do you make me hurt you?” when she tells Young that this is the first time she’s ever hit her, when Young has hit her dozens of times over the years. Young replies, “I know.”
She finally confronts Young into explaining the reasoning behind her hatred of her – is it revenge? “Do you think I wanted your family’s inheritance so much that I killed your father, used you, took over the company, forced you to marry Lee Myung-ho, and used you like a puppet to become CEO?”
Young admits that she used to think that way, and that she once entertained thoughts of killing Secretary Wang. But everything changed when she realized that Secretary Wang had ample opportunities to kill her, but instead of, say, suffocating her in her sleep, she’d touch her lovingly and leave. So, Young knows that Secretary Wang cares for her.
Secretary Wang cries as she remembers how many slaps she had to endure from a tantrum-throwing Young in order to teach her how to survive in the world. The thing is, Young knows all of this, and realizes the sacrifices Wang has made for her. Or more accurately, it’s like she knew all this already. Which, huh? Did she choose to selectively forget all this? (And what explanation does Secretary Wang have for lying to her about her disease?)
They reconcile like a true mother/daughter duo after the fight, though Young still refuses to have surgery and cries that she wants to get married so she can look pretty for Oppa one last time. Which, again, what? She thinks he’ll worry about her less just because she’s married to the King of Douches, Lee Myung-ho? Did I miss a step here?
Secretary Wang is ready to agree to anything Young wants as long as she’ll get treated, claiming that she’ll fight Young until she has the desire to live.
Soo meets with So-ra while on the hunt for Young’s doctor, but her threat to tell Secretary Wang everything doesn’t affect him anymore. He’s even at peace with being framed by her, even, and considers it the karmic price he has to pay for messing around with her.
However, he lays it all out by explaining to So-ra what love is, and why what she’s doing to him isn’t love. She asks if his relationship with Young is any more legitimate, claiming that Young will end things with him once she realizes he isn’t her brother. Soo: “I know. And when that time comes, I plan on leaving.” End of discussion.
Myung-ho explains to Secretary Wang that the pictures of him and his girlfriend were of their final goodbye, because saying goodbye takes an entire night. Secretary Wang gives the pithy excuse that she was going to let his cheating slide because that’s just what men do (grrr), but she won’t let him mess with the company (he embezzled some funds, no big deal), since that’s Young’s only lifeline.
So, some interesting dichotomies in the way she thinks. Myung-ho agrees to do whatever she says if she gives him a second chance, and agrees to delay the wedding so Young can get surgery first. What are these two to each other?
Secretary Wang updates Soo on her macabre plans to prepare for Young’s wedding and surgery at the same time, though at least they’re in agreement that her health comes first. She also makes sure to mention Jin-sung’s blackmailing attempt on Myung-ho, something she claims won’t work since both her and Young are well-aware of Myung-ho’s unfaithful past.
She warns him that his act is over once Young has the surgery and that she’s only letting him slide if she thinks he’ll help Young to get it, and he responds in kind – when he goes down, he’s taking Secretary Wang with him.
Young smiles like she’s not dying when she tells Soo that she feels less selfish about her possibly short-lived (hah) wedding plans when she knows that Myung-ho will get a company out of the ordeal. She’s mostly doing it because she thinks women look their prettiest in a wedding gown. So… just go to the bridal store and try a few on.
When Soo tries to stop her, she cuts him off by acting like he’s the Buzz Killington in their relationship by not wanting to have fun in the time they have left.
Jin-sung has to deal with the fallout from his sister’s expensive car accident, and he earns a slap from Hee-sun the second he thinks about borrowing money from Boss Kim.
She feels immediately bad after and hugs it out with him, promising that they’ll solve this problem together. Only… someone’s already paid off the debt. They just don’t know that it’s Moo-chul.
While en route to meet Myung-ho’s parents, Young chatters endlessly about her wedding and honeymoon plans, which include bringing Soo & Co. along with her. “Why aren’t you saying anything?” she asks Soo. Does she really not have an educated guess?
Soo finally pulls over when he’s had enough, and orders her out so they can have a little talk.
While Secretary Wang goes orphanage-hunting for records of Soo, she flashes back to her meeting with So-ra, where the actress requested her help in leaving quietly with Soo. The deal seems to be: Help me, and I’ll keep my mouth shut.
However, Hee-sun seems to have beat Secretary Wang to the punch, because the photo from Soo’s orphanage record is strangely missing.
Meanwhile, Convenient Plot Device Joong-tae FINALLY finds that photo he’s been hunting for all series long and uses it to prove to Lawyer Jang that Soo’s got the burn scar on the wrong arm – ergo, the Soo they know is a fraud. Dun dun dun.
We find Soo and Young back at their favorite caffeinated haunt as he confronts her about Myung-ho’s cheating and company embezzlement. She pretty much shrugs both off, causing Soo to give her a verbal golf clap when he tells her that she’s unbearable.
And if there’s one thing he’s got her beat on (or so he claims), it’s that he actually wants to live. She brings up the Death Pill as evidence to the contrary, even though he claims he just kept it to strengthen his resolve.
“You can live if you want to,” Young says. “But even if I want to live, I can’t.” Ah, okay, so I’m beginning to understand her warped perspective – that if she hopes for something, she’ll just be let down that much more in the end. So why bother, right?
But Soo can read her like a book, and calls her on her wedding bluff when he prepares to leave her in Myung-ho’s care: “You’re really bad at lying. You don’t want to die, you want to live. You’re just afraid that as soon as you admit it, you’ll look pitiful. But unfortunately, to me, you look more pitiful now.”
Young becomes desperate when she realizes he really plans to leave her there, but he refuses to play along with her and enjoy the time she has left until she gives up and dies. “You won’t get your way. Unless you tell me that you want to live, you won’t get your way.” FINALLY.
Soo goes straight to Moo-chul to kneel at his feet in order to beg him to ask his sister to perform Young’s operation. The act of supplication catches Moo-chul by surprise, and he even looks a bit uncomfortable as he tries to escape.
When he moves, Soo crawls/slides his way to block his path, still kneeling. Moo-chul kicks him out of the way, and then when Soo tries to get back on his knees, he kicks him again. And again. And again. Oh god, this is horrifying.
He beats the daylights out of Soo, and only when he takes a breather does Soo force himself back to his knees, sobbing. He reaches out for Moo-chul’s hand: “Please save her, hyung.” Whoa. Hyung? Soo is entreating him as his former friend, no matter how long ago that was.
Moo-chul violently kicks him down again. Soo calls out to him: “I’ll come back tomorrow. I’ll come the day after that, too. I will. I just need to die at your hands, right? Let’s save Young. Let’s save this innocent girl. Let’s not make her Hee-joo. Let’s save this kid.” He calls out “hyung” long after Moo-chul is gone.
Soo comes home as Secretary Wang tracks down his former orphanage, and Young lets herself into his room. “It’s me,” she announces. “I know,” Soo responds dryly. “I can see.” Hah.
I love that he’s had it up to HERE with her, and doesn’t want to listen when she wants to talk because he knows it’ll be more of the same, all of it centering around her plans to die.
“I got hurt,” he finally tells her. He explains what he looks like in detail, but he blames her inability to see him as her fault, because she doesn’t even want to try helping herself with surgery. “You don’t want to see me, do you? It’s a lie that you want to see me, isn’t it?”
She responds that yes, it was all a lie. Soo presses her against the wall as he all but tries to shake some sense into her: “I’m getting tired of your lies.”
Young tearfully asks him what he wants from her. Soo: “Say that you want to live. Have the will to live.” Young doesn’t understand what would change with those words when she can’t even live if she wants to.
“I’m scared of dying too. Why do you make me so weak all the time? Why do you keep making me want to live?” Young asks.
I’m glad we got some clarity with Young, because it helps to put some of her actions into perspective. I can buy that this is all an elaborate cover-up she’s executing in order to mask her fear of dying, and I think it’s important that Soo saw through that AND her. She’s got everyone on her side trying to save her life, but if she doesn’t come to the realization that she wants to at least try, then we’re stuck repeating the same core conflict – only with strange tangents like the whole rushed marriage ordeal. Which, even coming from Young’s warped perspective, is a bit extreme. There are easier, less self-sacrificial ways to get your oppa to see you in a wedding dress. Just sayin’.
There were two truly standout scenes in this episode – Young’s confrontation with Secretary Wang, and Soo’s confrontation with Moo-chul. Young has been saying for a while now that she’s not scared of Secretary Wang anymore, but it still felt a little jarring for her to go from blaming the woman for her inability to live independently, to her agreeing that Secretary Wang IS the reason she can live independently. This change in their dynamic leaves me confused as to who Secretary Wang really is and how much of her Young really knows.
If Secretary Wang was telling the truth in that conversation and Young wasn’t just playing along, then she’s only ever loved Young and wanted the best for her. Out of the two of them, Secretary Wang would be the victim, suffering years of verbal (and physical) abuse from Young in order to help her. Only… she’s not after the family fortune? Did she also not kill Young’s dad? Did she not lie to Young about her condition so she could become blind? Does she actually think Myung-ho is a good match for her? What is seriously going on with her?
I can’t help but be emotionally hooked to Soo, and I really got the sense this episode that he’s actively trying to atone for his past misdeeds with Hee-joo by saving Young. That’s not all there is to it, and he’s not just in this to clear his conscience, but I do like how things boil down pretty simply for him. Just like he told So-ra, love is simple. He seems to view the world in the same kind of simplistic terms, which is why he’s the type to go all in once he loves someone. Young is the naive, child-like alternative to his worldliness, which seems to be part of the reason he always feels he must protect and save her.
But to see him kneeling to Moo-chul, begging him to help save Young’s life? That cut deep, and brought the episode back around for me. Moo-chul’s got a personal vendetta against Soo a mile wide, but you’d hope the guy wouldn’t punish Young for Soo’s unfaithfulness to his long-dead girlfriend. There are a lot of reasons Soo would just take that beating without protest, but knowing Soo’s track record, I’m guessing he thought he deserved it. He understands Moo-chul, and took his one opportunity to beg and plead something from him NOT to save his own life, but to save someone else’s. That’s what I call heroic win (inasmuch as kneeling and begging can be considered heroic).
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 9
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 8
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 7
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 6
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 5
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 4
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 3
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 2
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 1