I love when the shoe is on the other foot, and in this case it means it’s Min-joon’s turn to stew in jealousy and pettiness. It isn’t that I can’t understand his reasons for keeping his distance, but given that he’s trapped by his need to be noble for his love’s sake, I can’t deny that it’s gratifying to see him squirm a little in its wake, pinned by his own actions into walking the talk. Even if all that talk is a big fat noble lie.

Ratings held steady with 25.9% for this episode. Next week may or may not experience a shift due to the Sochi Olympics, though the drama will not be pre-empted. (It’ll air a little earlier than its usual timeslot, but we’ll get episodes.)

SONG OF THE DAY

Bulldog Mansion – “Bed” [ Download ]

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RECAP: FIFTEENTH RECORD

Song-yi’s father stays by her bedside all night, and she wakes to find him clasping her hand. He looks at her with unsure eyes as she registers the fact that he’s here, finally. She asks tearfully, “Why did you only come now? I grew up all alone—why did you come so late?” Both cry freely as they embrace for the first time in years.

A little while later, the mood is freer as they toast with fried chicken and beer (though Dad doesn’t let her drink). She asks if he missed her all these years, and he says that it was lucky for him that she became so famous, so he could see her everywhere. Song-yi, on the other hand, didn’t have that luxury—she didn’t even know if he was alive or dead. Even when her former manager struggled through his father’s long illness, she was envious: “No matter what kind of father he was, I would rather have him by my side.”

She says that she regretted her angry words the last time they’d seen each other, almost as soon as she’d said them. She’d come home after her accident that night wanting to tell Dad all about it, only to find that he’d packed and left. She holds no grudges, though, thanking him for being here when she woke up.

Mom arrives at the door just as Song-yi asks if Dad ever married again or had kids, and smiles to hear him answer in the negative. He asks Song-yi if she has a boyfriend, and after a brief pause she says no, and that she hasn’t met anybody as good as her father. He chides her, saying that he shouldn’t be her barometer for good guys, and she concedes, “Well, there was one man who was similar to you. Someone who made me feel uneasy that he might disappear.” Those words bring a stricken look to his face.

She describes her affection as one-sided, but her father assures her that he’s sure the man loved her back. Song-yi muses, “I’ve learned that it’s not an easy thing for the person I love to love me back. That’s a miracle.” As if to underscore that point, we see Se-mi in tears in Hwi-kyung’s hospital room, distraught over his condition.

Min-joon sits down to write a new entry in his journal, now with only one month left in his remaining time on Earth.

In the interrogation room, a frustrated Detective Park runs into the door repeatedly, trying to figure out how Min-joon could leave the room on one side but not appear on the other. Is there a secret portal? Magic? He literally bangs his head over and over, which makes it a lucky thing that he’s not the brains of the operation.

But Min-joon walks in of his own will, here to complete his confession. “However, it will be a completely different story,” he says. “You probably won’t even believe it.” But he has decided that in order to get them to believe the rest of his claims, he has to first explain himself.

After relocating to a camera-less area, Min-joon begins by confirming that he was on that cruise. Asked about being caught on a security camera in a separate building, Min-joon admits that he can transport himself at will, which makes the detective burst out laughing. Seok, on the other hand, listens seriously.

Min-joon recounts the incrimination conversation he heard on the cruise, which didn’t make sense until after Yura died. He names Jae-kyung as the culprit and hands over a piece of evidence: a USB drive. It’s not the same one that Yura kept, which got stolen from him, but fresh footage that proves that Yura was dating Jae-kyung. If they believe him, Min-joon offers to do what he can to help their investigation in the coming month.

Afterward, both investigators sit shell-shocked, trying to make sense of what they heard. The cop sighs, “Even as my head tells me it’s not true, my heart already believes him.”

Bok-ja visits Song-yi in the hospital and guesses that Song-yi is hoping for someone to visit or call—say, her alien man. Bok-ja points out that it’s not polite to be thinking of another man when Hwi-kyung saved her life and lies unconscious in the aftermath. A guy who rejected her, to boot. Instead, Bok-ja urges her to accept her devoted Hwi-kyung and give up waiting on her goblin man.

Song-yi makes a visit to Hwi-kyung’s room, which his mother immediately vacates with one cutting glare in her direction. Jae-kyung remains in the room and says a few comforting words, though he certainly doesn’t look grateful when she says that Hwi-kyung saved her from potential death.

Song-yi mentions telling the investigator that Jae-kyung dated Yura, asking if that made trouble for him. He dismisses it as a misunderstanding, then asks carefully whether she told anybody else. She answers, “Not other than Hwi-kyung,” which Jae-kyung notes thoughtfully. Ack! Not when he’s unconscious and so close to death already! That would be like taking candy from a baby for Jae-kyung. Or, you know… killing a baby.

As Song-yi leaves the room, an unseen figure snaps photos of her from the hallway.

Se-mi reads the latest headlines, which identify Song-yi’s rescuer as a handsome young chaebol. Min-joon hears the same thing from students at school. Neither receives this news happily.

Song-yi’s mother decides to back out of the management contract with Jae-kyung, offering to return the contract fee in full, only to get a rude awakening to hear that breaching the contract incurs a penalty three times the signing fee.

Min-joon catches the tail end of her conversation as he arrives home with Lawyer Jang, alarmed at the mention of Jae-kyung. Having heard about Min-joon dumping her daughter, Mom turns hostile (“Who the hell are you to reject her?”), which gets Lawyer Jang fired up on his behalf, and he snaps that Min-joon only acted as Song-yi’s manager because she begged him to.

Mom has to have the last word, and fires a parting shot: “We won’t miss you at all! Song-yi’s contracted with S&C Group, and she’s going to get engaged to Hwi-kyung too!”

Lawyer Jang worries that Min-joon’s upset at his interference, only to realize that Min-joon is so fixated on his thoughts that he isn’t even paying attention. It’s the engagement comment that’s weighing on his mind, and Min-joon argues that Song-yi doesn’t even like Hwi-kyung, who’s just a friend. “That was before the accident,” Lawyer Jang points out. “He saved her life, so her feelings could change.”

“Did I not save her life?” Min-joon demands. “I saved her lots!”

Lawyer Jang supposes that Song-yi started to like Min-joon after he saved her, so it’s possible her feelings could turn since Hwi-kyung saved her this time. Min-joon cuts him off: “Would you fall for everyone who saved a life?!” Insisting that he’s not angry, no not at all, he storms off in a huff.

Then Min-joon goes online to read the news that Song-yi is now engaged to her chaebol rescuer. He scrolls down to the comments, wondering what to pick for a handle: “Am I supposed to pick a singer I like?” He starts to type in a name, Lee Mi-ja (which made me laugh out loud, since she’s a 72-year-old trot singer your grandparents might like).

Then he deletes that to pick a new name—”Bae Ho jjang.” HAHAHA. (Which is like saying “Rain Rules!” in about forty years.) He types out his message, sounding like a cranky old senior citizen: “You say Chun Song-yi is getting engaged? Hur hur. This sounds to me to be a baseless rumor. In my long life, I see that smoke occasionally appears where there is no fire.” Immediately his comment gets derisive replies, and he huffs at the rudeness of young folk these days.

Then Min-joon logs on to the chat app on his phone and starts writing a message to Song-yi, only to stop himself each time. The messages try to sound casual and instead come off curt, because they’re all dancing around the thing he really wants to say: “I miss you.” He types that out and moves to delete it, but his finger hits send instead—and then he freaks out to see the message actually post. Can’t have her read that!

He bolts for the door, while across town Song-yi hears her phone ding and reaches to take a look. Suddenly time stands still and Min-joon darts forward to intercept her phone… and gets foiled at her pattern unlock code. HA! Too many failed attempts gets him locked out for 30 seconds, so he stands there nervously waiting it out. He reaches toward Song-yi and touches a lock of her hair, just as time restarts. Oh, yes. This is much better.

So Min-joon is caught red-handed hovering over Song-yi’s head holding on to both her hair and her phone, and the first thing he thinks of to say is, “So, do you feel better?” Song-yi demands to know what he’s doing and whether he really can transport himself places, and Min-joon sorta fumbles to answer, “Um, sometimes, when I’m busy or if there’s traffic…”

Then she notices the phone in his hand, which he drops like a hot potato. She asks suspiciously what he was doing with it and orders him out of the room. He reminds her to check her message, waiting for her to enter in that pattern code before freezing time again (ha), so that he can then delete his incriminating message from the account.

While Song-yi puzzles over the lack of messages on her phone, Min-joon loiters to ask about her contract with Jae-kyung. She reminds him to mind his own business, and he bursts out that she wasn’t even going to sign in the first place. Too bad she’s quicker to realize that she never told him that, and asks if he goes around eavesdropping on people’s conversations. Min-joon’s eyes dart back and forth guiltily and he says, “I don’t listen to everything…”

Now Song-yi recalls all the embarrassing things he might have heard her say (like her raging that he never liked her), before a horrifying thought enters her head: “You don’t… maybe… the shower? Or… the bathroom? Are you a pervert?”

Min-joon exclaims that he’s not some kind of weirdo (though the indignation falls a bit flat considering you’re an alien), and he insists that he can’t spend his life listening to everything; he only catches little bits sometimes. He finds himself swearing that he’s not a Peeping Tom, and Song-yi orders him to leave: “Get out, Pervert Alien!”

Hwi-kyung is still unconscious, and every day that goes by that he doesn’t wake up increases the danger to his life. This is a fact Jae-kyung notes with too much interest, and Min-joon happens to see him on his way out of Song-yi’s room. So he pays Jae-kyung a little visit in Hwi-kyung’s room to confront him about all the lives he’s endangered, including his little brother’s.

Jae-kyung just laughs and says that exposing him will expose Min-joon too, and people will fear him as a monster. Min-joon asks why Jae-kyung has gone to such lengths to kill people when he already has so much. Jae-kyung sniffs that the world is full of people who are as expendable as bugs, with only a few who are truly necessary—and when a few of those “bugs” get in his way, it’s best to eliminate them.

“That isn’t evil,” Jae-kyung says. “It’s a good deed that benefits more people.” Yeesh. I wonder if he really believes that. I suppose we should be glad that Jae-kyung classifies Min-joon as a useful person, and makes one last attempt at a deal: Use his powers for Jae-kyung, and Jae-kyung will protect him. Then Song-yi could remain safe as well. Min-joon agrees to think about it, and I really hope that’s just to lull him into a false sense of security.

Min-joon goes home with Song-yi’s mother’s words ringing in his ears about Song-yi marrying Hwi-kyung, and that prompts an unwelcome hallucination—it’s his dream of marital bliss, only starring Song-yi and Hwi-kyung, cavorting in his own bed. I swear, you can almost see him indignantly thinking, That’s MY fantasy! Suddenly enraged, Min-joon grabs the bed linens and flings them madly, dispersing that image.

Then he imagines Hwi-kyung and Song-yi baby-talking to each other like lovesick fools, feeding each other fruit, and enjoying cozy domestic moments together. Aw, poor guy. His delusional fantasies sure are thorough.

Song-yi is discharged from the hospital with warnings not to engage in strenuous activity too soon. She intends to head right back to work, though, saying that she’ll be careful. She explains to her father that she’s realized that life moves quickly, leaving you little time to do all the things you want, and be with the people you want. So she wants to use the rest of her time well.

Song-yi’s mother tries one more time to reject the management deal, but it only takes one fancy van and an eager-to-please staff to win her over. So Mom orders Song-yi to come outside to be escorted to the film set in style—but when Song-yi gets there, it’s Min-joon who comes screeching up in his car. No van, no staff.

Turns out he sent the staff away, having paid the contract breach fees in full and speaking as her attorney. We see him taking care of the matter in a hero moment, full of cool music and forceful charisma—but to Song-yi’s face he glosses it over like it’s nothing.

So he ends up driving her, offering to be her manager. Song-yi snipes at him the whole way to the set, reminding him that she’s keeping her distance and making certain he understands why. And when they arrive Song-yi stops Min-joon from following her in, and asks him not to wait for her either.

Reminding him that he was the one who said she was nothing to him, she asks him to leave. Bound by his own words, he can’t argue. “You said you disliked me,” she says. “Then act like a man who dislikes me.”

Song-yi would rather keep her distance from Se-mi as well, but Se-mi steps forward to intercept her on her way in. She explains how Hwi-kyung had decided not to treat her as a friend anymore, for Se-mi’s own sake, because he didn’t want to make her unhappy the way he’d felt while pining after Song-yi. “Do you understand how I felt, hating you?” she asks.

Then she sighs, saying, “How could you understand? To you, Hwi-kyung is a good friend who’s comfortable to be around. But to me, he was the one person I would give everything up to have.” She admits to feeling jealousy behind her back, “But when I saw Hwi-kyung diving to catch you, I prayed that I would die instead of him.”

She understands that Hwi-kyung feels the same thing for Song-yi, and that’s why she’s come to this point: “I’ll ask a favor of you. Can’t you accept Hwi-kyung?”

Jae-kyung receives a surprise visit from Detective Park, and to avoid a scene he agrees to be questioned. Chairman Dad is furious to hear it, and orders someone to talk to their inside man at the prosecutor’s office. Above all, they must make certain this doesn’t get leaked to the press.

Then, the camera pans over to show us that Hwi-kyung, lying in his hospital bed a few feet away, has woken up. In fact, he’d stirred that first night, only to keep up the coma ruse.

So when Min-joon had materialized out of thin air in his room, Hwi-kyung was awake to see it. Hwi-kyung had clearly not wanted anyone to realize he was awake, so Min-joon had kept that knowledge to himself. And when Min-joon had confronted Jae-kyung about all the people he’d killed, Hwi-kyung had been listening.

Without an entourage, Song-yi waits to film her scene for hours, only to find out that it’ll take several more. She bites back a snippy retort and pretends this is fine with her, heading inside to wait out the rest of the night.

By the time Se-mi is done with her scene, it’s too late to shoot Song-yi’s. The maknae crew member gets distracted and forgets to convey the message, leaving a napping Song-yi behind in the prop room.

Thus she wakes in the middle of the night with nobody around for miles. She heads outside alone, incredulous to find that everyone packed up and left without her. But as she stumbles on a stair, a hand is right there to steady her—Min-joon.

She shakes off his arm and asks why he waited when she told him to leave. Min-joon answers, “I think I’ll have to protect you.”

She scoffs, “What does that mean? I’m not that smart so you’ll have to lay it out concretely, so I can understand why.”

Min-joon searches for a response, and she asks accusingly if he’s a player, or if he enjoys toying with a person’s feelings. She stalks off, then whirls back around to demand, “You said you never once liked me! That you never felt butterflies for me, or worried about me, or pictured a future together! You said I was a stand-in for that girl!”

Still he remains silent, so she adds, “Now I dislike you too. With you acting like this, I dislike you even more. So disappear from my sight—no, from my life. And I hope you can understand how selfish you’re being.”

She turns to leave for good this time. Suddenly, a light flickers on, and another and another, until all the houses in the set village are lit brightly and looking like something out of a fairy tale.

Then Song-yi flies into the air, soaring toward Min-joon and landing just close enough for him to hold her. “What are you doing?” she asks.

“The most selfish thing I can,” he says, and kisses her.

 
EPILOGUE

It’s the scene after Song-yi’s surgery, and her father leaves her room before she wakes. He takes the elevator down alongside Min-joon when the car suddenly comes to a halt. Min-joon explains to Dad that Song-yi has longed to see her father and would love to see him when she wakes.

Dad asks if he’s very close to Song-yi, and Min-joon answers, “I like her very much.” Aw, so Dad did know what he was talking about when he assured Song-yi that her love wasn’t one-sided.

 
COMMENTS

Aw, yeah, I love when the noble idiot comes to the breaking point of his nobility and just acts selfish, because that’s what we want them to be anyway. Where’s the gratification in withholding and restraint and reasonable logic when you’re just dying to be together? Even if we (or he) have to suffer through a bout of pneumonia in penance, I think that’s a consequence we’re all willing to live with, no? Although if he were to suddenly discover a building up of immunity, I wouldn’t mind that so much, either. Maybe that could be a new research project he could work on. Kisses in the name of science!

Min-joon is such an even-keeled personality that I love it when he breaks character and acts out—I’m pretty sure that any look of glee on Lawyer Jang’s face is mirrored on my own. And seeing how Song-yi stuck to her resolutions highlighted just how much he enjoyed the effect whenever she broke past his outer shell; he got to huff that he didn’t like her being around all the time while totally loving it deep down. It was hilarious at the time, but now he’s at the point where if he wants that back, he’s got to make some admissions of his own, and it’s so satisfying to see him just admit it. Even though he literally froze time and space to take it back the first time with that errant text message. (Would it have killed ya to let her read the simple “I miss you”?)

I have to admit that this drama has played the Jae-kyung Is Uber-villain card for much longer than I’d anticipated, because I didn’t think that would be our big source of conflict in this final stretch. There exist so many sources of conflict and complication aside from the Dr. Evil angle that I just figured we would have explored other story threads. As much as he IS an entertaining evil (at least he’s fun to watch, carrying out his dastardly deeds in an amusingly over-the-top way), I want to know more about Min-joon’s alien life and the comet that’s coming to fetch him and the mysteries of his place in the cosmos.

The investigators fall into the same category of funny sidekick characters who I don’t mind watching but who are obviously there as plot devices, so I find myself hoping that the Yura investigation wraps with a few episodes left in the series. Because if ever there were a series where I could enjoy a whole episode of dreamy, flirty, hilariously fish-out-of-water-y epilogue, this is the one. No need to play out the obvious murderer angle till the bitter end, is there? Not when there are adorable bickering matches to be had and smooches to be doled out.

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