The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 14
Feelings get sorted out on all sides this hour, giving previously irrational characters a sudden sense of—well, sense—in an hour that feels way more like a finale than it probably ought to. Still, for anyone who’s been waiting patiently for more Hana and Won action, then this is the episode for you. Who next week’s episodes will be for is literally anyone’s guess.
Ratings-wise, The Time I’ve Loved You saw a small but meaningful uptick to 6.1% after weeks of declining numbers. To its credit, it’s not easy competing as a miniseries against long-running and highly rated weekend family dramas.
SONG OF THE DAY
ZIA – “울어본 적 있나요 (Have You Ever Cried)” [ Download ]
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Seo-hoo looks up from his impromptu concert to find Hana gone. He runs after her, but she’s gone to meet Won, who waits patiently for her with a huge grin on his face.
While Seo-hoo’s held back by a traffic light, Hana finds Won at the park playground, proving that they don’t even need to tell each other where they are—they just know it intrinsically.
Likewise, Won is able to pick up on the fact that something’s up with Hana without her needing to say anything. Since she can’t hide anything from him, she just decides to come clean: “I… broke up with Cha Seo-hoo. So I need some time.”
Seo-hoo laments to his manager that he shouldn’t have given Hana time to think, even though he never had to worry about coming or going in the past since he knew Hana would always take him back.
But now things are different, and he’s the one constantly worried about whether or not she’ll answer his calls or avoid him. His manager sighs that if he’s feeling that distressed, he should take President Min up on her mysterious offer.
Hana breaks the news to her family about her breakup, claiming that she only thought it was important that she like Seo-hoo before, but now understands that it’s equally important that he be able to get along with her family and friends. “Someone who can not only make me happy, but also everyone around me.”
Her family notes that she’s matured as she’s aged, which kind of doesn’t make sense when she’s just one month older than she was when she made the decision to date him despite the resounding disapproval from her family and friends.
But we’ll just have to take it from them that she’s somehow grown up at warp speed in that one-month span, since her dad tells her not to feel sorry that she’s disappointed them—she was in love, she made a decision, and he’s sure that it was enough for her to make such a difficult choice in the first place.
The Three Stooges try to get Won to go on a blind group date with them, only for him to decline on the basis that he likes someone. It drives them batty that he won’t tell them, though they speculate it could be So-eun when Won invites her out for a meal in front of them (as a thank you for his birthday gift).
Manager Yoon gives President Min a call when he finds that Seo-hoo’s fallen asleep waiting to hear from Hana, while Hana
sells cleaning products cleans her room. Her parents are just glad she’s relieving stress productively instead of lying in bed all day.
Hana also jogs her stress out, and muses that only after becoming single does she get to really feel what love is, especially when faced with all the couples roving the park.
She’s envious, but knows that she won’t be one of these lovey-dovey people for a while yet. “Right now, it’s time for me to empty the space within my heart.” This sounds an awful lot like that time she swore off dating for five whole minutes.
Hana takes sponsored gifts to Na-young and buddy Jung-mi in the hospital. They talk about how Hana’s doing much better after her second time breaking up with Seo-hoo as opposed to the first time, which prompts Jung-mi to complain about her marriage.
Because she’s known Chang-soo for seventeen years, she sighs that there’s just no anticipation or tension between them anymore. This resonates with Hana for obvious reasons, as she notes that a long-term relationship certainly has its difficulties, but love at first sight is no picnic either.
Dae-bok thinks he’s sharing a big scoop with Won when he tells him that his noona broke up with Seo-hoo, citing the reason that she gained a new perspective on love. Dae-bok wonders if that means she had a change of heart, which Won says is quite possible.
More importantly though, he thinks Dae-bok should stop poking around his noona’s love life. Dae-bok is still surprised that she broke up with Seo-hoo, musing philosophically that love must be an ever-changing thing. He’s having such Deep Thoughts now because of his relationship with Assistant Hong, which Won instantly picks up on.
Dae-bok was fine with taking over his father’s store before meeting Assistant Hong, but now he knows it won’t make him enough money to marry and take care of the woman he loves. Won remembers that he had a great passion for drawing, and encourages him to follow that dream.
Won visits Hana bearing gifts of fried meat and beckons her over with a leg, but any attempts to feed her fail when she insists on doing things herself. He pouts that he’s trying his best and shoves chicken in his face. This is some PPL I can get behind.
Over a beer, Hana admits that she had to resist the urge to go straight to him the day he sent her the script he was working on again. “You should have come right away then,” Won says simply.
But now that Hana’s recently started to think before she acts at the ripe age of thirty-four, she admits that she spent the whole walk asking herself what feelings were driving her to go to him. “Why do I feel this way?” she’d asked herself. Won asks in return if she found the answer.
Hana says that there have been times where her heart has fluttered because of him, and she’s happy when she’s with him. She knows he feels the same way, but also knows that because they’re friends, they have to tread carefully.
At the same time, she says her feelings for him aren’t the kind that makes her heart beat wildly in her chest enough to make her feel like she’s losing her mind, nor is it the kind just reserved for close friends. That’s when Won intercedes to tell her that they can work on finding the answer together, by asking their hearts instead of their heads.
He leaves just like that, and only when he’s outside does he give himself his own rallying cry: “Work harder, Choi Won!”
Hana is given an unexpected opportunity to work at one of her company’s branches in Paris for a year, and doesn’t quite know how to respond to it yet. Even though her dream has always been to become a global marketer and this would give her a better shot at it, she needs time to think first.
Meanwhile, Seo-hoo has a very short conversation with Teacher Park to discuss the possibility of them performing together for the benefit concert as well as the complicated status of his relationship with Hana. That sentence probably ran longer than that scene.
Hana flashes back to a time when she and Won were watching television on her couch, and things had gotten a little awkward when the two on-screen characters shared a kiss.
Well, not so much for Hana—she seemed totally unaware that Won’s inability to focus was because he couldn’t stop looking at her lips. She’d asked him if he’d given up on his dream to become a movie director, because if he didn’t, she promised to use her marketing skills to make him super famous.
She only made things worse for Won when she asked him to look at her closely while asking him to trust her with his dream, which she’d make into a reality. Even then, she wanted to be in global marketing, which is probably why she’s remembering this moment in the first place.
Won surprises Hana on her way home in the present, and just nods dutifully when she admits she was lost in thought about her future. But then he switches topics to tell her that if she makes a decision to keep him as a friend or lover, he can change his reactions accordingly.
For instance, he says, he can act as her lover by walking next to her and interlacing their fingers together, which he tries out. Or, he can act as her friend, and just walk next to her without contact.
But if it was up to him, he’d go for the third option, and demonstrates by slipping Hana’s hand through his arm and holding it there. His grin stretches from ear to ear before Hana pulls away, weirded out by the change in his behavior.
Won’s already figured out that she’s worried about something without her needing to say anything, so Hana just fesses up that she was offered a position as a marketing director in Paris. It’d put her closer to her dream of becoming a global marketer, which Won is all for, until she says she’ll be gone a year.
Even then, Won swallows the news and still puts on a happy face. He wants her to take the job. This conversation seems intended to mirror the one they had when Won had his opportunity to go overseas, with Hana even saying that she doesn’t know why she’s hesitating and dragging her feet when faced with such a great opportunity.
She’s looking at Won for answers, but he just says it like she once did to him—the separation will be sad for him, but it’ll be good for her. She should take the job.
Mi-hyang goes on a date with Teacher Park, and gets annoyed when he mentions going to Seo-hoo’s concert as well as the fact that he doesn’t drink soju.
In response to her downing a whole glass, however, Teacher Park does the same before asking Mi-hyang to stay the night with him. She’s elated that he finally asked instead of just sending her home… but then he passes out from the soju.
Hana discusses her work opportunity with her parents, who are supportive but cautious at the same time. She’s worried that she could be missing something (Won) even though it’s such a great opportunity, and at least Dad backs her up by noting wisely that just because the opportunity is overseas doesn’t necessarily make it good.
After hearing Chang-soo talk about his marriage, Won makes a mental note of the importance of independence when it comes to both parties in a relationship.
So-eun invites him to lunch the next day, where she tells him about sending her grandmother on an overseas flight (while sneaking in the safety features of their airline) without worrying. It’s that attitude that allowed her to give up on him without causing a fuss, she claims. Uh huh.
“I don’t want to live being weighed down by things I know and worrying about things I don’t. I think life is too short to even just enjoy my own life,” she adds magnanimously. Won just nods.
Like she did for his birthday, Won makes Hana a banner that reads “Good luck” and gives her a cake as a sort of going away party. He’s all for her taking the opportunity, and promises to schedule his flights so he can visit her every two weeks.
He takes a bunch of photos of her to tide him over though, and smears icing on her nose for an impromptu selfie. While foiling her attempts to do the same to him, Won says in all seriousness, “Just know this before you leave. I’ll always be in favor of something that’s necessary for you.”
The supportiveness of that statement and the moment they share after still doesn’t stop her from eventually smearing icing on his face, which they both share a good laugh over.
Hana officially takes the position, giving her a chance to smile victoriously at Team Leader Hwang and her group of sour-faced minions (Min-ji, bless her small part, is the only one out of them who cheers for her). Assistant Hong will get a promotion and take over her job while she’s gone, so it’s good news for everyone.
And that even includes Seo-hoo and President Min, since it was Seo-hoo’s request and Min’s muscle that got Hana the opportunity in the first place. Ah, so he gets Hana away from Won and President Min gets Hana away from him. It’s a win-lose.
She’s happy because it means Seo-hoo is indebted to her now, and when he says he only asked this of her because he needed it, she makes sure to ask if she’s included in his needs as well. Seo-hoo just says what she wants to hear.
President Min meets with Hana next to discuss putting her on future projects with their company as well as any Seo-hoo related concerts while she’s doing her Paris appointment. The reason she likes Hana now is because she broke up with Seo-hoo: “Let’s be professionals who put work before love.”
Hana gets the feeling that something’s not right, and asks President Min whether Seo-hoo had a hand in her overseas opportunity. After some hesitation, Min reveals that Hana’s appointment was the condition Seo-hoo set for renewing his contract with her.
Hana confronts Seo-hoo about his hand in all this and asks why. Seo-hoo: “Because if we work together in Paris, where we first met, then I’ll be able to make you take back what you said about ending our relationship.” That’s… almost sad if he actually thinks that way.
He tries to convince her that it’ll just be like an extension of the work she’s already doing with him, even though her whole point is that she doesn’t want a position that’s been given to her. Seo-hoo’s adamant that it was her talent that got her in while he just made the recommendation, but Hana knows as well as anyone that no one will see it that way.
Even though she’s managing all the marketing for his concert, he tells her that he’ll be performing with Teacher Park like it’s just an afterthought. Hana just nods and says that this concert will be the last time they work together. She’ll also give up the overseas opportunity.
After fretting over how he’ll provide for Assistant Hong despite how supportive she is of whatever he does, Dae-bok frets to his parents about not knowing what he wants to do in the future. That’s when he finds Won’s Confession Script in his sister’s room.
Won sets up a projector in his window and bids Hana to open hers, so that the slideshow he made out of images from their past can play on her ceiling. This is his way of seeing her off, since he won’t be able to do it the day she’s set to leave.
Then, staring at her from his window to hers, Won tells her: “Remember. Don’t forget even a single moment.” She sniffles her gratitude, and Won jokingly threatens to jump from his window if she’s crying, which she insists she’s definitely not doing. (She is.)
In voiceover, Hana says that the way to get over the regret of a missed opportunity is through the comfort of those closest to her, and through realizing that the little things she may have once overlooked are indeed very precious. And, of course, through waiting for the next opportunity to arise.
President Min catches Seo-hoo smiling at Hana on concert day, and reminds him that this’ll be his last day of freedom before he starts his next slave contract with her.
She stops Hana next to tell her that she’ll be handling much bigger projects than this in the future, only for Hana to say that she’s not taking the job. President Min takes it as Hana not wanting to be associated with Seo-hoo, but doesn’t try to change her mind.
Won puts in a request with Mi-hyang to be put in charge of training new recruits in Paris, which is all because Hana’s being transferred there. He knows he’ll miss her too much, so he wants to shorten the time they’re away from each other. Oh noooo. He doesn’t know she’s rejected the offer, does he?
For all the hubbub that surrounded the benefit concert, we don’t even get to see it, and just skip to the afterparty instead. Teacher Park notices that Hana’s absent, but Seo-hoo quickly changes the subject to his relationship.
Teacher Park smiles over at Mi-hyang nearby and tells his pupil that things are going well. (She’s not going home tonight, either.) Seo-hoo can’t escape being reminded that he’s to leave the country soon, and calls Hana up for a meeting.
In one last-ditch effort, he tells her he has two plane tickets ready and waiting for them, but isn’t all that surprised when Hana tells him she’s not going. He wants to know if she would’ve taken the job had he not been involved, to which she honestly replies, “Probably.”
With tears in his eyes, Seo-hoo confesses that he saw always saw her smiling at other people, but she never directed her smiles at him. That’s what made him realize he shouldn’t make things difficult for her any longer.
“Do you know how much I loved you?” he asks shakily. Hana, her eyes glistening, replies: “I also loved you very much.” They share a silent moment before Seo-hoo takes his final leave.
One week later. Yes, you read that right.
Dae-bok hands Hana the sequel to Won’s Confession Script entitled Summer Days: And After That… She flips to the last page to find that he hasn’t continued the story, but instead left her an assignment to write her own scenario while he’s out of town.
Hana rushes over to Won’s house, only to hear from Mi-hyang that he’s already gone to the airport. Apparently, Hana had the whole week to tell him she wasn’t going to Paris but didn’t, so now she has to rush over to the airport to try and stop him before he leaves for Paris first. He’d planned it so he’d be in Paris before her, which, aww.
She can’t get ahold of him by phone, and gets flooded with memories of Won being supportive during her drive. Though Won and Seo-hoo spot each other at the airport, they don’t acknowledge each other.
But the second Won sees that he’s missed so many calls from Hana, he starts running for the entrance. She spots him across the throng of travelers and blows on the whistle he gave her so he can find her. “You’re not going to Paris?” he asks.
“I’m not, so don’t go either,” she says with a smile. Then she adds that she thought of the first scene for her scenario…
…And pecks him on the lips. While he’s still in shock, she says that the first line of dialogue is: “I like you.”
But she doesn’t get to tell him what the second line is, because Won swoops in for a real kiss. The fact that they’re in a busy airport doesn’t seem to matter one bit.
Interesting. This has never been the show to hinge on big questions or high stakes, but it seems like something of a bizarre move to answer the only question that probably still matters to anyone two episodes before the finale. What’s more is that the show could’ve just ended on this note without offending anyone—unless there’s a large constituency of viewers who’re watching just for the tiny side romances and need absolute and total closure, that is.
Honestly, the side plots would be better served ending on this note, where they’re already established couples with issues to face, but nothing so insurmountable that we actually need to see it play out. It’s enough sometimes to know that there’s a future ahead and to be able to guess at its contents, rather than the neatly packaged alternative that’s undoubtedly on the way with two(!) more(!) hours(!) of programming to fill.
I’m really just mystified as to why anyone would write themselves into a hole like this, because it pretty much guarantees that next week will be a frustrating mess of recycled conflicts. Alternatively, it could turn out to be an unnecessarily long epilogue, and I wouldn’t even know which option would be worse. Or maybe the whole point wasn’t the will-they-or-won’t-they, and instead is about the how-will-they-when-they. Who knows. No, seriously—who actually knows? I’m legitimately concerned.
It’s nice to see Won finally being forthcoming with his feelings after so many years of repression, though it’s probably because he spent so many years being repressed that this turnaround is still a bit hard to swallow. Still, he sells it, and I’ve always been able to buy the attraction coming from his side of the relationship. Hana, not so much. The problem is that even if she’d resigned herself to just being his friend after being told there’d never be anything more between them, it still doesn’t explain how she’s always depicted as being completely clueless when it comes to his feelings for her.
The flashback from this episode is a perfect example of that, since it showed Won becoming acutely aware of their proximity while Hana carried on without thinking anything of it, treating him like a genderless friendbot. Which is fine when they’ve been together for so long, but then you’re saddled with the monumental task of showing how that kind of perception could change to her actually seeing Won as a man, and skipping that resulted in a kiss from Hana that came off feeling forced.
So while Won has had episodes to agonize over his feelings for Hana even before he decided to act on them, we’ve had very little indication that Hana was ever that conflicted over how she felt for him. Her more immediate obstacle was Seo-hoo, but again, it wasn’t as if she broke up with him because she realized she loved Won instead. I really do wish I could feel more satisfied with this kiss and what it means, and the me who enjoyed the underlying romantic tension of the first four episodes might well have. But the me who’s sat through all the episodes of Hana being Hana since then needs more incentive and a lower bar.
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 13
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 12
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 11
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 10
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 9
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 8
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 7
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 6
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 5
- Time I’ve Loved You swaps writers (again)
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 4
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 3
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 2
- The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 1