When money won’t do, our hero is asked to trade days of his life for love, whether it’s his second true love or his ever-loyal BFF. The tables have turned regarding Young’s desire to live, which of course ends up being counterintuitive to Soo’s desire to live (even though he SO was there first). But if you’re ever caught wondering exactly how long Soo has left to live, worry no more! Chances are, you’ll be reminded in the next scene. And the next. Tick tock.
SONG OF THE DAY
That Winter OST – “Tears Fallin’” by Spica’s Boa [ Download ]
EPISODE 11 RECAP
Soo asks Young one more time if she wants to live, knowing that she does even though she’s too afraid to admit it. “No, I don’t want to live,” she says, and Soo takes that as his cue to leave. Is he trying to snap her out of it by threatening to abandon her?
Secretary Wang has been listening outside the door, and Young tries to beg her help to stop Soo. Hah. As if.
Young follows after Soo, pitifully crying out “Oppa, don’t leave!” as he drives away. She flashes back to crying that same thing as a child when her mother and brother left her behind. Gah, must this show make me shed tears so early in?
She stands there crying, which makes it weird to say that this is the Young I like best – stripped of all her pretenses and vulnerable, as opposed to cold and shut-off. (Even though it’s a semi-viable defense mechanism.)
As she starts shuffling back to the house, Soo returns. “Get in.”
And then… Secretary Wang opens the car door for Young, urging her to do the same. Whoa. We know she hates Soo, so is this really just a genuine act of love for Young? I’m so confused.
Soo drags Young out of the car, coldly rebuffing any of her attempts to get closer to him as he snaps a few photos to mark the day he abandoned her, if she can ever learn to see later on. “And even if you’re still blind, don’t forget. I abandoned you.”
Trying to describe this next scene is proving difficult because there are SO many layers to every word, so since I can’t just quote the entire dialogue exchange (even though it’s a good one), I’ll just try to describe the underlying feels.
Soo is trying to snap Young out of her fear of trying (to live), but he’s also trying to save himself and his heart, not just his life. She talks so easily about dying when he’ll be the one left behind missing her, and he tells her that if she cared about him, she wouldn’t think of leaving so easily. So he’s basically telling her that he can’t keep up this charade until her last dying day because it’ll hurt too much for him once she’s gone.
While he speaks, Young continuously tries to seek a hug, seeming so much like a frightened child. Soo is acting the part of the older brother by not giving in to her as he keeps pushing her away, his emotions overflowing as he tells her why he has to protect himself: “Because I have to live. Even without you.” Those words seem to break his heart. He doesn’t WANT to live without her.
“Even without you, I have to live in this disgusting world!” He tries pushing her away again but Young persists, and Soo finally gives in, because he’s a big ol’ softie. Even though he still refuses to sleep with her until she wants to live. This is seriously tough love at its worst.
Young wanders outside into the snow once he’s gone, and Soo finds what she left behind on his morning jog – a little snowman, and the words “I want to live” crudely etched into the snow.
Aww, so cute, the snowman with the abnormally large nose is supposed to be him, with its tall body and all. He remembers how she mapped out his face and height with tears in his eyes. He’s so happy. Gah. It’d be easier to write without a veil of TEARS.
Young stands at her open window with the glass bell chiming, and Secretary Wang sees Soo staring longingly at her from below. Through her orphanage hunt, she now knows for a fact that Soo isn’t the real Oh Soo, but she doesn’t mention it. For now, anyway.
Lawyer Jang has found out the same, and Mi-ra overhears the truth. For the moment he wants to keep things under wraps because he knows how much Young has opened up to Soo.
Meanwhile, Jin-sung and Hee-sun are at a loss once they realize that they won’t get any money from blackmailing Myung-ho, which only makes matters worse because Jin-sung has to pay back the man who paid for his sister’s car accident.
Hee-sun seems to have an inkling that the man behind it is Moo-chul, but she doesn’t get to tell Soo before Moo-chul calls him with a change of heart: His sister will perform Young’s surgery.
Soo couldn’t be more elated as he tells Young the news before he runs off, grinning like a lunatic.
Secretary Wang finds Soo’s real record from his real orphanage, and matches a chest scar seen in his childhood photo to one she’d noticed on him recently. Now she knows without a doubt that our Soo is a fraud. (I have to admit, when she was really shocked at first my mind jumped to “Birth secret!” False alarm.)
In order to repay Moo-chul for getting his doctor noona signed on, Soo has to sacrifice five days off his Debt Deadline. Now he has nineteen left, and the fact that he’s fine with that (because he loves Young) bothers Moo-chul: “Don’t you feel sorry to Hee-joo?” Soo: “No. Not at all.”
Moo-chul fights back that he’d feel sorry to Hee-joo if he loved anyone other than her, but the guilt trip doesn’t affect Soo anymore. He’s made peace with it. The only thing he feels sorry for is that he couldn’t wish her farewell when she died. Even when Moo-chul brings up the baby, Soo calmly replies that he’s been sorry. He’s always been sorry.
“I’m sure Hee-joo understands,” Soo says. “She was like that, always ready to understand us. That’s the kind of person we loved. Don’t make her into an unforgiving person like you.” BOOM.
Hee-sun gets the truth out of Jin-sung’s sister and her cohort, finding out that they’ve been more or less sponsored by Moo-chul while believing that the debt would go to Soo and not Jin-sung. Of course, since Jin-sung can’t pay the debt, Moo-chul was counting on Soo to take it on.
And what does he want instead of payment? Time. More specifically, he tells Soo that he can pay off Jin-sung’s debt if he shaves off another five days, which brings our final count to two weeks. He also advises Soo to stop hanging around his besties lest they get pulled into his mess by Boss Man.
Hee-sun tries to talk Soo out of it by claiming that they’re digging up dirt to use on Secretary Wang, though it doesn’t faze him. He considers the five days a small price to pay for Jin-sung’s safety.
She calls Jin-sung in a fit of worry to tell him that Soo’s thinking of dying, and it’s because of him (mostly his debt).
Moo-chul explains to his worried minion that he’s not afraid of the repercussions he’d face if he offed Soo without getting Boss Man’s money back because he has stomach cancer and only two months left. (We knew he was dying before, but not from what.)
He doesn’t get to finish listing his two regrets in life when Jin-sung comes barreling at him for a fight, demanding to know why his debt got transferred to his hyung. “If you want to kill Oh Soo, kill me too. Kill me too!” Jin-sung screams. Aww. Love.
But Jin-sung can’t win against Moo-chul and gets beaten bloody. Moo-chul tells him to just take care of his parents and move to the countryside: “Loyalty is something you should show to your parents first.” So why is he so loyal to someone like Soo?
Jin-sung is down but not out, and he rushes Moo-chul to get in a few good blows before he’s knocked down again. Each punch Moo-chul gives back seems so much worse than the last. Eek, stop hurting him!
Moo-chul goes to his sister to treat his fight wounds, and to ask her to operate on Young. Soo’s act of supplication seems to have affected him, since he remembers Soo doing the same way back when, when he asked Moo-chul to step back from Hee-joo because he loved her.
“I found out yesterday why Hee-joo chose Soo over me,” he tells his sister. “Even if I die, I can’t let go of my ego. Whether it’s for love, my parents, you, or even in front of death. I can never degrade myself.” But, Soo can throw down his pride, whereas Moo-chul let the love of his life go without protest for his pride, and he clearly regrets it to this day.
“Like you said, I’m getting punished by karma,” he adds wryly. But he wants his sister to at least try with Young, even though she thinks it’s a hopeless case. “Abandoning your parents and siblings so you could live… you did well. If you stayed and lived with us, you would have ended up like me.”
Secretary Wang and Lawyer Jang have called Soo to come home so that they can reveal the truth once and for all. He ignores Jin-sung’s calls, even though his bloody-and-bruised friend still clings to the hope that they can get Wang for embezzlement because her siblings own properties that couldn’t be afforded with her salary.
The friend they’ve been using to do their snooping tells Jin-sung that maybe they should just stay out of Soo’s affairs from now on. “Even if I have to go into the depths of hell with him, I will,” Jin-sung replies. “I’ll show you what true loyalty is.”
Lawyer Jang and Secretary Wang hesitate to tell Young the truth, but she speaks before they get a word out: “I want to get surgery.” She explains that it’s all because of Oppa, which knocks the wind out of their sails. If they want her to go through with it, they can’t tell her the truth now.
Secretary Wang makes the executive decision not to confront Soo about it either, and when asked why, she explains, “That boy loves Young. I think he has for a while. I overheard their conversation yesterday, and he was genuinely worried about Young.”
But it’s not like she’s letting him off the hook per se, since she believes that karma will leave Soo penniless for fooling Young, and in that case, he won’t be able to escape the debt collectors. So… she knows he’s probably going to die, then. And she’s okay with that.
Soo and Young share an adorable day together building snowman likenesses of each other, but it turns into a snowball fight when Soo gets offended at how big of an, uh, nose she puts on his snowman.
And d’aww – he keeps acting like she hits him even when she misses, which is just… agh. Too cute. As they roll around in the snow laughing and playing, we hear Soo in voiceover:
“For the first time, I was as joyful as a child. I wasn’t scared of Moo-chul’s knife, either. For the first time, I didn’t consider my thirty years of life as being unfair. For the first time, it felt like the world was fair. I don’t want to forget being with Young in this moment, so when I take Moo-chul’s knife, I should never feel that it’s unfair. I remind myself of that hundreds and thousands of times, but there are still moments when I’m afraid. Then I’ll think of this again. Up to this moment today, being endlessly afraid of death… Young, who is in front of me… I will never think of my life as unfair. Right now, I’m happy. That’s enough.”
Later on, as Young cuddles with Soo in bed (I know, only in this drama), she talks about what she’ll do when she can see again, but more than anything, she wants to see his face. I love that she keeps chattering without realizing that Soo’s been asleep the whole time. Hah.
Young is content to tuck him in until she accidentally brushes his face, and the touch has an effect on her. She hesitates before feeling the bridge of his nise, his cheeks, his lips, and then abruptly pulls away. Ohhhh, NOW she’s the uncomfortable one?
She even moves to sleep on the floor, unable to sleep with Soo without a care anymore. Hopefully this is because she knows somewhere, deep down, that Soo isn’t her brother. Otherwise things just got squicky again.
Boss Man gives So-ra a one-way ticket to Switzerland, revealing that he knew all along that she was the one who stole the money, though he blamed Soo anyway out of jealousy. But, if she ever wants to get the money back she has to leave, otherwise she stays and dies with Soo.
To make matters worse (for her), Secretary Wang sends a “let’s not meet again” text because she knows who Soo is, and doesn’t need her anymore. So So-ra responds in her usual rational matter by calling Young to meet in order to tell her everything. (She introduces herself as Soo’s girlfriend and leaves out the part about being certifiable.)
Soo asks Young why she slept on the floor the next morning, and Young stutters that she was feeling uncomfortable, adding that they should sleep separately from now on. He blinks, totally confused by her sudden change in attitude.
“Oppa, do you have a girlfriend?” she asks. Soo has no idea what she’s talking about, but when she continues to ask him about it in the car he finally wonders if she’s being jealous. “Why would there be any jealousy in a sibling relationship?” Young asks blankly. “You’re my brother, you’re not a man to me.”
I love that Soo’s all, Yeah, it WOULD be weird if there was jealousy between siblings. Haha… yeah it would be. It sure would be. Hah…
Only, he gets jealous when Young tells him Myung-ho will be picking her up. (Which is fine for him because he knows she isn’t her sister. But what does she believe?) Either way, this car ride is awkward nation.
While Young has her meeting with So-ra, Soo hears some bad news from Doctor Noona Sun-hee: Young’s tumor is inoperable, there’s no chance to save her, and like any good doctor would say, there’s no use in even trying.
Soo cries alone in the hallway, but we don’t ever see his face – only his hunched shoulders. And the sound. Oof.
So-ra texts Soo the exact message she plans to send to Young (full of The Truth) if he doesn’t leave the country with her in three days. She’s looking right at Young in the coffee shop as she tells Soo: “If you had a conscience, you wouldn’t mess with a girl like her.”
Soo’s face remains unchanged. Is this threat not working on him anymore?
Young’s thoughts are only of Soo as she spends an afternoon with Myung-ho, and I’m not sure if she’s confiding in him or just voicing her thought process when she asks whether a sister shouldn’t feel jealous when it comes to her brother.
Myung-ho brings up his old girlfriend as being all in the past, and claims to be sincere about Young now. Even his parents changed their minds about her when they met her. I almost want to believe he’s being sincere until he brings up how he’ll lead PL Group, which is iffy territory.
Either way, he gets a taste of his own medicine when he realizes that Young wasn’t listening to anything he said, being too preoccupied with Soo. Hah.
Soo visits Jin-sung’s parents, who lovingly treat him like their own despite the things he’s done. Jin-sung’s dad knows something is wrong with Soo, since he’s only missed his surrogate family enough to visit them three times in life – the first was when Hee-joo died. Tears well up in Soo’s eyes when he denies anything being wrong.
Jin-sung comes home with bruises and cuts all over his face, and angrily confronts Soo when he doesn’t even ask about where he got them. He asks his hyung if he really doesn’t want to live, even though Soo is trying to distance himself in order to keep Jin-sung safe. That’s the reason why he saw Mom and Dad today – to say goodbye.
“What if I say I can’t do that?” Jin-sung asks, so Soo replies by punching him in the face. Dude. I know you think this is for his own good, Soo, but you seriously do not deserve him.
Jin-sung can’t even stay mad, and calls out “Hyung! Hyung!” as Soo leaves.
Soo hears the glass bell when he gets home, only to realize that Young has attached the string tied to it to her wrist like he once did. He sits on the edge of her bed while she sleeps, thinking of Sun-hee’s incredibly bleak prognosis. There’s no hope.
Tears fall as he slowly leans over, his lips only inches away from hers. Omo.
But this time isn’t a fake out, since he finally goes in for a real kiss, his own lips and body trembling with barely-contained sobs.
And then… Young’s eyes open.
Oh. Holy. Crap.
So the question of the day is: Does Young know Soo isn’t her real brother?
This has yet to be properly sorted out in the series, so I’ve been mostly approaching the question with a wait-and-see attitude because I’ve been caught giving characters way too much credit before. It wasn’t so much of an issue before since she explained her child-like mentality in seeing her oppa as just an oppa, but things took a turn this episode when she seemed keenly aware of the fact that oppa is a man.
That means what Young’s perception of Soo is a bit more important now, because romance on Soo’s side was understandable – he was playing the part of her brother, but knew that he wasn’t. If Young is now experiencing romantic feelings for a guy she considers her real brother, then things just got officially weird.
The B-side to that, then, is whether she knows (or suspects) Soo isn’t her brother. She’s certainly had plenty of chances to doubt, plenty of hints to think on, and that whole conversation with Secretary Wang where Not-Mommy Dearest flat-out said that she was sure the other Oh Soo was her real brother. We haven’t heard about Young’s search for the missing Oh Soo since then, which makes me wonder if somewhere in this timeframe she’s had her doubts and put them to rest under a big ol’ blanket of denial. As in, she has a pretty good idea, but she tries to convince herself otherwise. And sometimes it doesn’t work, ergo the uncomfortable bed scene. But, that’s really all conjecture at this point so I’m nervous and excited to see her reaction to the big reveal.
I realized this episode how appreciative I am that Soo is such a mature character, especially considering that he’s really one of the few in a drama industry filled with manchildren or the dreaded opposite, the chado-nam (cold city man). He’s not a type, he’s an adult who we’ve seen grow and change over the course of the (admittedly short-seeming) past eleven episodes. Imagine that.
His response to Moo-chul’s guilt-trip attempt literally left me kind of speechless, because it was such a leveled, thought-out reply, seeming to come from a man who’s had a very long time to go through every emotion possible relating to that one horrible time in his life. And it came from someone who’s LEARNED from his experiences, enough to realize that sometimes you just gotta move on. Moo-chul would like to think Soo’s “moved on” because he’s selfish and unfeeling, unable to really grasp that he’s moved on because that’s how life goes sometimes. (Though it was nice to see Moo-chul realize that he hates in Soo all the qualities he himself doesn’t possess but wishes he did, even though it didn’t make a dent in his desire to see Soo dead. Does stomach cancer give one the right to be a douchelord?)
A lot of these revelations are really simple when you get down to it, but I find myself hard-pressed to remember another instance (though I’m sure they exist, my short term memory is so-so) where a character has truly digested the idea that life goes on, enough to put it into words and use it as legitimate advice rather than lip service. Same goes for Young in her “It’s okay to not be okay” speech. I just hope everyone remembers their own advice when le shit hits le fan.
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 10
- 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