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Sassy Go Go: Episode 8

This episode granted my wish for all the good things — especially the good thing called Seo Ha-joon, the loyalest, most puppy-hearted marshmallow ever. On the downside, Soo-ah’s close to breaking, her secret under threat. But when you get to spend some quality time with resident sunbeam Yeon-doo, as her friends do today, the downsides really don’t matter so much.

I’ve got to admit I’m not sure what Sassy’s endgame is right now — but that isn’t a bad thing at all, because I’m loving every minute of the journey. Whatever, destination! Let’s just keep going like this forever! For four more episodes. Sob.

EPISODE 8 RECAP

Soo-ah runs up to the third floor corridor. Looking up at the security camera, she’s haunted by the thought of Yeon-doo discovering she’s the culprit. Returning to the dorm, she stares at Yeon-doo a long moment, before retreating to her own corner.

Yeon-doo gets a message from Hyo-shik — it’s the video he took of her with Yeol. She snorts at the hilarious accompanying message (“For Kang Yeon-doo, drowning in loneliness since her mister left…”) and chuckles at the video. But she notices something else, and exclaims she’s found the evidence to clear Yeol. Soo-ah turns in anxiety.

Yeon-doo and Ha-joon run to meet each other in excitement. She shows him the video, and we clearly see Teacher Im in the background, bear-USB on the counter. Putting it away, he leaves first. But Yeol was seen in the staffroom at 12, and the video is timestamped 12.58. “Therefore, Kim Yeol did not steal the USB at 12 pm from the staffroom,” Yeon-doo concludes, snapping her fingers. She holds out her hand for a low five, and giggles when Ha-joon bashfully obliges.

She stops him from calling Yeol right away — good news is best delivered in person. They’ll do it tonight, she says.

She sneaks out after everyone’s asleep, but a teacher’s up working in the lounge. Ha-joon is about to walk into the situation unawares, so she makes a run for him. In their haste, he trips. The teacher finishes up, and the pair hide, waiting for him to leave. Yeon-doo quietly fusses over Ha-joon’s scrape, when the teacher looms over them. Haha, oops.

Yeol lies in bed at home, reading. He laughs quietly at the photo Yeon-doo sent of her and Ha-joon getting punished for their attempted jailbreak, and even feels a little jealous of their punishment.

The pair are forced to duck-walk under the teacher’s watchful eye. Clutching her earlobes, Yeon-doo apologizes to Ha-joon for getting him punished, but he just smiles quietly to himself, totally glad to be there. He steadies her the moment she whimpers in pain. So so cute.

Back in his dorm, he grins over their punishment photo. Noticing the scrape he got before, he applies the ointment Yeon-doo gave him last time. Just everything is making him smile right now, aw.

Yeon-doo hides out in the laundry room and chats with Yeol on the phone, both of them grinning like loons. Or best friends. Yeon-doo tells him how glad she is that they can exonerate him, but Yeol says they still have to prove he didn’t do it after 12.58. But he reassures her that Meitantei Yeol is on the case, and she ribs him about his big head.

“Thank you. For believing me,” he says. Not as first-place Kim Yeol, but as simply himself. It’s the hardest thing in the world to put your trust in someone wholly, he tells her, “So it was a little less hard for me, because I had someone who believed in me.”

He’s back at school the next day, and Yeon-doo and Ha-joon see him to the Principal’s office. Inside, Teachers Im and Yang are also present, along with Instructor Nam, as Principal Choi reviews the evidence.

Teacher Im churlishly asserts Yeol could have stolen the USB after the video. Unperturbed, Yeol asks when he first discovered it was missing. Around 1.55, Im replies. In proper Yeol-style, he systematically lays out the timeline, grilling Teacher Im on his movements.

Im had it at 12.58, and it took him two minutes to come to class, where his bag was in the teacher’s desk until 1.50, when class ended. Yeol points out that it’s not possible for him to have stolen it with the whole class looking on, but Im argues that he could have taken it after. Nope, says Yeol. Im left as soon as class was up, and Yeol went straight to the club room with the cheerleading kids. Instructor Nam confirms his alibi.

Choi wants to know how it came to be in his bag. Yeol leans over and slips his watch into Teacher Im’s pocket, and asks if that’s the same as him stealing it. Understanding fills Teacher Yang’s face. Yeol asks if he can now return to school.

Yeon-doo frets with Ha-joon about the meeting, and he finds it strange how she’s so worried about someone else’s problems. She scoffs that he always says the opposite of what he means — she knows he’s a marshmallow inside. He protests, and she says that right there is it — he gets angry because he doesn’t know his own heart. She tells him to get along with it better, tapping him lightly on the chest.

Students buzz as Yeol, vindicated, walks down the corridors. In the classroom, the kids fawn over him, professing worry. Worry about what, Yeol asks innocently — their rank dropping? Yeol’s tone is light but his words are damning. They whine that he won’t be lending out his notes anymore, and grinning, Yeol tells them his grudges are no joke.

Principal Choi worries about the same thing to Teacher Im — she’s sure Yeol is going to hit back at them. If they don’t keep him in his place, he’ll hold it over them until he graduates.

Teacher Yang addresses the class. He confirms Yeol’s innocence, and the school’s resolve to now find the true culprit. But, he tells them, when they go down the wrong path, all they have to do is come back. His words make Soo-ah look up, caught between hope and fear. For whoever holds out their hand, Yang promises to take it and bring them back, “So I hope you gather the courage, no matter what.”

On the rooftop, Yeol, Ha-joon and Yeon-doo celebrate with coke toasts. About to pop his open, he takes a sly look at Yeon-doo and starts vigorously shaking his can. Seeing that makes her remember her trick way back (that ended with their not-kiss in episode 1), and she runs away, hiding behind Ha-joon. Yeol demands his revenge, calling Ha-joon a traitor. He tells him to choose — him or Yeon-doo? Him, of course, says Ha-joon…but Yeon-doo is crazy strong, he laughs, still shielding her.

Soo-ah listens in consternation as the team asks Yeol about taking a makeup test for the missed midterm. She calls Director Lee, who meets her mom. Mom is dismayed that Soo-ah’s new rank could be threatened, but Lee says a makeup test is unlikely since the results are already out and other parents wouldn’t stand for it.

Principal Choi tells Yeol that he won’t get a resit, but the midterm marks will be omitted from his final grade. Yeol rejects this as unfair — the fact that he didn’t take the midterm was the school’s fault. The only answer is a resit, he says. No resit, no matter what, Choi returns.

Yeol’s dad marches into the school, flanked on each side by lawyers. Choi is stumped by the threat of legal action and stammers excuses, which Dad agrees with easily. Heartened, Choi says that Yeol is sure to earn his rank back even without midterms.

Dad says the grades are not the issue now; he wants the school to rectify the wrong against his son — with a makeup test. She still demurs. His counsel take over, and explain that they will do two things: seek compensation for his unfair suspension, and sue for defamation. She listens, dumbstruck.

Dad faces Yeol, and tells him that he’ll pursue the case to the end, if Yeol wants it. Laconic, Yeol notes that he’s singing a different tune now, and turns on his heel. But he pauses when Dad calls out an apology. “I should have said this first: ‘I believe you.'”

Yeol almost looks back, but then swallows and goes on his way.

Dad meets Yeon-doo’s mom, and says that saying sorry to Yeol was scarier than meeting the president. She pats him reassuringly, and says that just three things — I’m sorry, thank you, I love you — are enough for a kid to grow on. But she agrees that raising a kid is tough. He nudges her about his proposal, and vows to be a good dad to her daughter. She promises to give more thought to it.

Hyo-shik carries the news of the lawyers’ visit to the clubroom, where Soo-ah hears of it. Phones are ringing off the hook in the staffroom as angry parents call up, and in her office, Choi has a meltdown. She yells at Teacher Im to take responsibility and stop Yeol.

Soo-ah studies alone in the clubroom when Yeol joins her. Offhand, he asks her how she’s finding being number one. Just as offhand, she replies that it’s been noisy lately, with all the fuss over his resit or whatever. With a shrewd smile, he asks if the prospect worries her.

Yeon-doo comes to collect him, and Soo-ah is reminded of her combing the CCTV footage. She goes to the security office and finds out that the hall cameras are managed by an external company. A little later, Director Lee hurries in and tells Soo-ah that the video’s been deleted. However, another student, who can’t be revealed, already took a copy. The suggestion of involving her mom panics Soo-ah and she begs Lee to keep it secret.

Yeon-doo commends Yeol on his revenge, and laughs when he extols his own flawless amazing head-to-toe perfection. It’s washed out her crappy feelings about the school, too, she says. He practically purrs when she pats him on the head, ha, but tells her it’s not over until it’s over.

Teacher Im patrols the corridors and thrusts his chin out fiercely at the sight of Yeol. Yeol tells him that he’ll be submitting a formal complaint about him, and turns away with a Cheshire-cat smile. Im clutches at him and cajoles him not to misunderstand.

Yeol treats the club to fried chicken, although the boys wonder if it’s okay. Teacher Im bursts in, and Yeol casually leans back to show himself, causing the teacher’s immediate retreat. A quick flashback shows Yeol saying that their misunderstanding could be resolved if Im refrained from giving his friends unfair penalty points.

Yeol asks Principal Choi for a favor, to renew Teacher Yang’s contract. If she grants it, he’ll stop demanding a resit exam, and drop the lawsuit. She’s surprised he’s taking an interest in anyone other than Ha-joon, but Yeol counters that Yang is not just anyone — he’s their homeroom teacher, and a good person. She agrees to think about it.

Soo-ah opens her locker in the clubroom, and is met by a flash drive and note, labelling it the thing she’s looking for. I can’t get enough of how perfect their clothes-slogans are: “UGH AS IF,” reads Soo-ah’s jumper.

It’s the incriminating video. She snaps her laptop shut as Jae-young and Na-yeon enter. Losing it, she screams at them, demanding to know who was just in here.

In her hideout area, she tries to destroy it. Dong-jae appears and she screams at him, too, for always seeing her at her worst. Ever unflappable, he advises her to just tell everything, if it’s so bad. She stares at him. A moment later, she asks if he’s been in the clubroom today. In fact, he was, he tells her.

Meanwhile, Director Lee tells Soo-ah’s mom that they successfully blocked Yeol’s resit. Now they brainstorm on how to appease the kids about Soo-ah, after all the sexual harassment fiasco. They still need to compete together at the cheerleading competition, after all.

Instructor Nam and Teacher Yang both shake their heads at the kids’ performance in practice, particularly Dong-jae’s solo. Since midterms are over, Nam suggests to Teacher Yang that they all go camping and get in lots of practice.

To their shock, Principal Choi agrees right away, and Teacher Yang even questions whether she has some ulterior motive. They’re further shocked when they hear Soo-ah’s mom will cover all the expenses. Teacher Im is pretty proud of himself when he figures it out — this must be how Soo-ah’s mom wants to absolve herself of their part in Yang’s false accusation. Choi glares.

As team captain, Yeon-doo prepares to leave early on the morning of the trip. Dong-jae surprises her by showing up, and she realizes she hasn’t been spending much time with him lately. She pouts in apology, and he pouts back. Laughing now, he hands over a strawberry milk. She sighs happily that the strawberry milk he gives her is the best. They set off with Teacher Yang.

The rest of the kids hop about in excitement, which is dampened when Teacher Im joins their party. He immediately starts picking on them for makeup and dyed hair, until Yeol intervenes. He heels and everyone’s moods perk up again. Yeol is adorably put out to find that Yeon-doo’s gone ahead — with Strawberry Milk, at that. It’s even funnier that Ha-joon isn’t bothered at all.

Finally, everyone collects at the campsite. Their trip’s concept is to go analogue and enjoy nature, Teacher Yang announces, and he takes away their phones to a chorus of whines. He sends them off to find refreshing activities.

The majority of the group gather together for snacks. They speculate on who might have framed Yeol, although Jae-young points out that everybody‘s standing improves with Yeol gone. Soo-ah sits apart, watching. Remembering Hyo-shik sent the video to Yeon-doo, she begins to suspect him. Her attention then shifts to Dong-jae, and then to Yeol. Wow, she’s driving herself crazy with suspicion. Returning to her tent, she brushes past Yeon-doo on her way out.

Soo-ah opens her bag to another pink note: “Deadline!!” it reads. She has until tonight’s campfire to confess. Now she suspects Yeon-doo, too, and goes out to look for her.

Since she’s been abandoned by the mischievous young ‘uns, Yeol helps Yeon-doo organize. He grins that she’s a pro at this captain thing, and she agrees — she’s like her dad that way. He notes it’s the first time she’s mentioned him, and she says she doesn’t do it too often, but it’s nice to sometimes. She says his dad was cool, though.

Yeol admits he hardly ever sees him — neither parent was really ever around. Yeon-doo smiles warmly, and praises him for growing up so well nevertheless. He ducks her head-pat, all laughs again.

Hyo-shik is back to catch them at dallying, and Yeol gives him a friendly telling-off. Teacher Yang finds the three of them slacking and sends the boys off to fetch firewood.

He sends Yeon-doo to get more drinks, but she’ll have to hurry since the local shop closes early. Soo-ah rounds a corner in time to hear him advise her to take someone to help with the lifting. Just as she’s about to leave with the groundskeeper, who’s giving her a lift, Soo-ah invites herself along, saying she needs something. Yeon-doo scowls to herself.

She finishes her shop while Soo-ah watches, arms crossed. She brings up Yeon-doo’s CCTV trawl, but she’s shocked by the sight of a pad of pink sticky notes in Yeon-doo’s bag — the same paper as the notes she’s been getting. Soo-ah fixes her with a hard look.

The girls head back to the car, but Yeon-doo needs to make a trip to the bathroom. She asks Soo-ah to carry the stuff to the car, but takes it back when she remembers who she’s asking. But Soo-ah surprises her by complying, and even offers to take her bag. This can’t end well.

Soo-ah hurries into the car and tells the ajusshi that Yeon-doo’s waiting for another teacher, so they should go on ahead. By the time Yeon-doo comes back, there’s no sign of them. By now, the shop’s closed, too, and she remembers her phone is with Teacher Yang.

Yeol searches the campsite for Yeon-doo and hears from Da-mi that she went on an errand. The girls clock Soo-ah’s arrival, and she tells them she was taking a walk alone. She steals a glance at Yeol and escapes.

Ha-joon roams the camp looking for Yeon-doo, too. Dong-jae is able to tell him that she went with the groundskeeper on an errand.

Back in her tent, Soo-ah opens her bag to find a new note. This one says that running away doesn’t solve anything, and she has half an hour left. She realizes with alarm that the note-leaver can’t have been Yeon-doo.

The party enjoy the barbecue, but Yeol and Ha-joon jog up to tell Teacher Yang that Yeon-doo is still missing (but why weren’t you worried before, Saem?!). Yang leaves Teacher Im in charge, and dashes off with the boys.

Yeon-doo walks alone down an empty road in the dark, looking scared. She trips, grazing her knee, and slumps on the ground, close to tears.

Teacher Yang and the boys find the groundskeeper’s office locked. Ha-joon rides off on a bike he finds, to scour the area for her.

Since there’s no cell signal, Yeol and Teacher Yang break into the office to use the phone. Yeal reaches the groundskeeper and whatever he hears sends him charging back while Yang follows.

Yeol catches sight of Soo-ah, who seems to be stumbling around in shock. In quiet rage, he asks her where Yeon-doo is. Her ignorant act raises his ire and shaking her, he roars at her to tell him.

Ha-joon pedals furiously along the empty road. Suddenly, he leaps off and hits the ground running — he’s found her.

Tearstained and bleeding, she breaks down at the sight of him. She hobbles into his arms, crying, and he wraps her up in a hug.

COMMENTS

How many times is Soo-ah going to betray Yeon-doo, really? Still, I have to credit the show, and especially Chae Soo-bin, for keeping us hopeful about her character. While crossing every line, she still exhibits an agony of spirit that makes you stay with her. But her denial runs deep — eaten alive by guilt and suspicion, could this be the crisis to break her of it? It was strange to finally see her first moment of genuine — and properly expressed — gratitude, when she thanks Director Lee for taking care of the video (although ultimately it didn’t help). Not only that, but she even requests, not demands, Lee’s help. So I haven’t given up on her yet, even if Yeon-doo’s breakdown at the end nearly had me in tears, too.

The mystery of the notes is surprisingly impenetrable (…or is it?). It can’t be Teacher Yang, he would never manipulate a student that way — I assumed it must be Yeol. He’d definitely have the resources to acquire that video, plus he’s tenacious with his revenge. He’s also been watching Soo-ah from the background, and forcing her hand is his style. But he seems strangely oblivious to her growing distress, and I’m entertaining the possibility that it could be someone unexpected. Dong-jae or Ha-joon? But both of them are far too straitlaced. What do you guys think?

But what a big change for Yeol, to use his revenge as a means to help his friends. Moreover, that “friends” now means all of the club kids, Baek Ho and Real King alike, and even includes Teacher Yang. It’s an indication of the kind of adult Yeol is on the road to becoming; incisive and astute, he’s skilled at political skulduggery, but he remains rooted to his values. It makes him a better foil to Principal Choi than even Teacher Yang, because power is everything and Yang doesn’t have it, adult or no. Although Yeon-doo finds the loneliness in his core, as she points out to him, everyone has it. The conversation about their parents was light, but deep, which is very characteristic of Yeon-doo. It meets the particular wavelength of her new friends in a way that moves them and makes them feel understood, but also makes them confide in ways they don’t with anyone else. She inspires the trust not only of the boys (including Dong-jae), but Jae-young and Na-yeon are also “hers” now.

The group integration continues, and it’s warming to see things like Da-mi lovingly sandwiched between Jae-young and Na-yeon, old walls forgotten. The show made it clear at the outset that Yeol and Ha-joon were outsiders, despite their elite status. In a quiet callback to the old status quo, the boys remain subtly apart from the group gathered for the trip where Yeon-doo’s already gone ahead — because she’s still sometimes their bridge to the others. But they and Soo-ah are special cases.

I’m trying to figure out what it means, what the writers want to tell us, that Ha-joon gets to her first. They could easily have made that Yeol, but it’s an outcome that further cements my hope that this show won’t ultimately disappoint. In giving it to Ha-joon, I feel like it’s a retroactive mission statement about the entire show: “In this world, friendship comes first.”. It made me think about how it’s different to You’re Beautiful, where prickly hero Tae-kyung always beat out sweet second-lead Shin-woo to get the girl, even though Shin-woo always moved first. In our story, everyone gets to be a hero. Leaving out genre-typical rivalries and ego battles, it keeps character choices in the spirit of the show. Things are messier, but truer, in a really good way.

I also like how it illustrates the way inseparable friends, Yeol and Ha-joon, are different. It’s Ha-joon’s instinct-driven nature that throws him headlong and feelings-first into tracking down Yeon-doo in person, while Yeol uses his head. We’ve seen Yeol’s systematic problem-solving in action a lot. He has a way of instantly analyzing a situation and then shooting to fix it at the highest level he can reach — he doesn’t go for the infantry if he can take out the commander. Generally speaking, he’s willing to bide his time if it’s most effective, whereas Ha-joon tends to be the emergency ground response. Neither is inherently better or worse, but with its unexpected results, it’s a difference I enjoy, and it makes cerebral Yeol falling for Yeon-doo even cuter (if that’s even possible!).

My favorite, favorite thing, though: Seo! Ha! Joon! Friendtimes with Yeon-doo! Seriously guys, I don’t know why this one friendship makes me live, but it does. Having another friend just makes Ha-joon so happy that I’m mad at the universe for withholding from him all this time. Gruffness notwithstanding, it’s obvious how much he cherishes every moment of friendship and connection with Yeon-doo, to the point of joyfully taking punishment (“I am Spartacus”!). But there are moments when I feel a twinge of sadness because it seems like he’s stockpiling good memories — against the bad that is sure to come? How lonely has he been all this time?

Not that Yeol hasn’t been a good friend, but Yeon-doo’s different. She exudes an optimism and spirit that grows Ha-joon in a completely different way — to go from merely surviving to ardently living, and determined to go down fighting. Or, not go down at all. When she tells him, so lightly, to get along with his heart better, with just a few words, she cuts right to the heart of him. I love it. I’m almost willing to forgo Yeon-doo—Yeol moments for more of this. Almost! But this show is so generous, it’s already given me so much more than I hoped for. Sassy Go Go, fighting!

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Yeon-doo + Ha-joon = so much cuteness!!!!!

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So apparently, Jisoo starred in his own short 3 episode web drama a few weeks ago called LunchBox....here it is english translated

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WBl5cMerIE

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Thanks - that was sweet :)

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Thank you for sharing

It was adorable, as a person who eats halal food, i found that incredibly touching :)

Ji Soo can cook for me anytime. :)

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That was super sweet! I am Muslim too and the fact he went out of his way to make her halal food was touched my heart.

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Thanks for the recap! First things first. Ep 9 Preview for those who haven't seen it yet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ-9hkhszyk

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omg

the feels, the squee, the dying

a thousand likes on you and your children, and your children's children

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Aaaaaaaah. HAHA, is it that good?? I need a moment.

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so good I can't even

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You don't even know how many times I've rewatched it. Monday cannot get here fast enough! lol.

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+1 million!

Looks like they're upping the ante! I. CAN'T. WAIT!!!

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Yeol! Is that a confession? Eeeeeeeee! I'm still constantly amazed at how brazen Soo Ah is in her misplaced anger at Yeon Doo.

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Aaaaaah he's totally gonna do it! ♥

...unless someone interrupts them again. Or Yeon Doo wouldn't be able to get it (again).

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Hah someone needs to tie Hyo-shik to a tree far away whenever Yeol and Yeon Doo are flirting. Then again, he did prove to be very helpful with his video.

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You get the rope, I'll find the tree. Haha!

Someone also needs to lift that screen that's shielding Yeon Doo's eyes from Yeol's advances, and quick! :D

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Eeeeeeeeeeeeee! Great, now I can't wait for Monday which is so weird.

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OMG, THE PREVIEW. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. Thank you so much for sharing.

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EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But if KBS deprives us of episode 10 after this.... :(

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Good news! According to KBS, we'll be getting ep. 10 on Tuesday as scheduled (but as a heads up, we may still be notified of a cancellation on the day itself).

Source: https://twitter.com/eunzit/status/660314501636472832

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I always look forward to Monday preview links from the comment section! The previews satiate some of my Sassy cravings but by the end of it, I'm left craving it all the more!! It's just like watching the end of every episode. T_T

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Is it silly of me to be sad that the first picture in the post is no longer Yeol and Yeon Doo?

LOL. I know I am being petty. Ha Joon completely earned his picture this episode. But still, can't help but have a little *sad face*

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lol. I know what you mean. I wanted it to be a special SGG "thing" that all the SGG posts would start with an OTP picture. It was nice while it lasted. :D

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The two of you seem to be KY x YD OTP hardcore fans. Count me as 3!!

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I really love Ji Soo. He's the breakout star of 2015 for me. But in this case, I'm also on the Yeol and Yeon Doo ship. Count me 4 as uri OTP fan!

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5th member here! As much as Ji Soo made me melt both with AM and in here, the OTP has never failed me so I'm sticking with it! :)

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Me 6th!!!! I'm completely into this OTP. Yeol x Yeon Doo are what I want my love life to be.

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Me 7th! Grumptopus is cute, but I would choose these two eye-smilling chipmunks over him any day.

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Me 8th!

I want Ji-soo and Eunji together, but in some other project - for this one, Yeon-doo and Yeol are meant for each other and not just because the script designated them as the OTP!

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PWUAHAHA. I have to say I'm not shocked, given the huge posts you made about HJ x YD friendship vs. romance. With all your tables, and numbers, and calculations, it seems to me like you're a KY yourself so it makes sense you like him. I applaud you for your dedication to your ship. ;)

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Actually, I'm a mixture of a bit of all the characters, even Soo Ah, which might explain why I relate to all of them so much. But you're right, I'm probably more of a Baek Ho in action, but Real King at heart.

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awwwwwww ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

If it's any consolation, this is not the first time the leading screencap isn't of Yeol and Yeon-doo - the featured cap for episode 5 was of Yang-saem and Yeon-doo.

But I really have enjoyed the fact that Yeol/Yeon-doo caps are the majority of top-of-the-recap pics.

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Hahaha. I know. It's just that this OTP is fast climbing up my list of All-Time epicness, so I'm a bit crazy about them. ^^ Cheers.

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lol it's totally understandable, they're fast becoming one of my favourites too!

If we must keep the Yeol theme running, it might be some consolation to know that the leading cap is one of Yeon-doo and Ha-joon both looking right at Yeol :)

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Thank heavens I decided to go back and check this thread again. I could kiss you!!! You just made me feel soooo much better with your observation. Now, I can't stop smiling like Yeol!! XDDD This drama has turned me silly.

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as I keep saying, I'm totally team Yeol/Yeon-doo (eye-smiling chipmunks ♥♥♥) but also firmly rooting for Ji-soo and Eunji to do another drama together as OTP so we get to see their chemistry play out fully.

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Ow Yeon-do, you don't deserve this scare! ~HUGS~

I like how you analysed what makes Yeol and Joon-ha different, but equally heroic. Therein lies the outcome of who got to Yeon first. The dynamic is explosive, this is by far the most compelling "triangle" I've ever encountered in a drama.

Thanks for the recap Saya!

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OMG! I know right! In my mind, I tried many different ways to describe HJ and Yeol but none ever comes to this level. I just had to copy and repost this part of Saya's analysis. It's the most profound thing I've read to date! Thank you so much Saya for the recap and for this:

"I also like how it illustrates the way inseparable friends, Yeol and Ha-joon, are different. It’s Ha-joon’s instinct-driven nature that throws him headlong and feelings-first into tracking down Yeon-doo in person, while Yeol uses his head. We’ve seen Yeol’s systematic problem-solving in action a lot. He has a way of instantly analyzing a situation and then shooting to fix it at the highest level he can reach — he doesn’t go for the infantry if he can take out the commander. Generally speaking, he’s willing to bide his time if it’s most effective, whereas Ha-joon tends to be the emergency ground response."

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yeah, Saya really nailed it - the boys' different approaches to solving the problem of Yeon-doo's disappearance really do speak to their personalities, and also complement each other perfectly.

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yeah same! i loved how Saya summed up the different aspects of the two boys. both boys reacted to fear in different ways, but in ways that were so true to their characters; cerebral kim yeol and hot-headed ha-joon. i love how consistent the show's been about that.

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I love this show so much! Thanks for the recap!

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"In our story, everyone gets to be a hero. Leaving out genre-typical rivalries and ego battles, it keeps character choices in the spirit of the show. Things are messier, but truer, in a really good way."

Yes yes yes.

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Too much cuteness going on!

I definitely agree with how different Ha joon and Yeol handle the situation. It was brain vs emotion and I hope the writers wouldn't disappoint us by having Ha joon as part of the love triangle. I just love the Ha joon&Yeon doo friendship.

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Im pretty sure YD and Ky are endgame they wouldn't change the pairing 2 weeks before the show ends..

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Yeol or whoever has that tape, I wonder if they'll come forward with it now. This is the final straw; Yeon was in serious danger, maybe teacher Yang can be forgiving, but someone like Yeol can not let this pass.

Speaking of Yeol, how noble of him to forgo the chance of resitting the exam just so his teacher can stay in the school. Though I think he is the one who's doing the principle a favour by dropping the lawsuit; teacher Yang is an excellent educator.

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I think he really doesn't need the exam - it was a matter of principle in the end. And I found it so adorable (and so like him) that he lent out his notes to everyone! That's so *different*. He definitely doesn't need to cheat, and he doesn't play mean or dirty until provoked. No more notes for turncoats.

After seeing the episode 9 preview, I think the notes could be Dami and Hyo-shik!

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Can I ask, why do you think it might be Da Mi or Hyo Shik? I was entertaining the possibility of Hyo Shik but I'm curious to see what others think and why.

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judging by that teeny snippet in the preview of the two of them finding the exam paper on a laptop - it's possible it could be a flashback rather than what happens next! Also, maybe most importantly, it's definitely IN character if it's Hyo-shik (and maybe Dami)

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Flashback! I didn't even think of that! I kind of ruled Hyo Shik out because we know for a fact that he's last place in the school but that's still possible, especially if Da Mi's bespectacled friend helped them a little bit...

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Yeah, the thing is, you don't need to be clever to do this kind of blackmail, it's actually the LEAST subtle, most underhanded way. Yeol is above it, Teacher Yang is not that type, and it's not HJ's style either, he's way too direct (more likely to go and throw chairs at her or something). I think DJ is too direct for this as well.

These notes are sneaky, unsubtle and devious. But not clever.

but all these theories have me jumping ship second to second, lol

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This is silly but I'm just waiting for Miranda and pogo to post comments...

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Yeah, me too. The thing with the timing of the notes still rules him out imo but I won't be upset if I turn out to be wrong. It's so like the Real King kids to want to protect Yeon Doo if they find out she's been wronged. Hyo Shik has been shown to be on her side from day one too so I wouldn't doubt that if he has the opportunity to do this, he will.

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PWUAHAHAHA. I'm like you, waiting for pogo and Miranda's comments.

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Who knows? But yeah, Hyo Sik can be the possibility, or maybe Da Mi. But seriously, it can be anyone with the sticky note lol As we can see and know how loyal and protective they are to Yeon Doo, and now we see she has all 5 Baek Ho members on her side, especially we see how protective and loyal Yeol and Ha Joon are to her. If anything goes wrong with her, they, especially Yeol, would not let Soo Ah go. BUT it can either be Hyo Sik or Da Mi, or both since in episode 9 preview shows both of them found the evidence. It is a possibility of Hyo Sik, because as we can see he's mainly the one who sticks up by Yeon Doo's side first, when she was holding the sign by herself at the cafeteria. But altogether, we know how loyal the Real King kids are to Yeon Doo, including Dong Jae, they always sticks by her side when things goes wrong. Now we have Yeol and Ha Joon, then Jae Young and Na Yeon are on her side now.

I don't think it's Yeol, although he may be very tenacious with his revenge, but he might not be the one who wrote it. Dong Jae and Ha Joon may be direct, but at the same time, it still can be possible, especially the way Dong Jae urged her to tell everything, his motive can be in disguise and mischievous, you know. But I also think, it might not be Ha Joon because he really is a direct person, he would just do it straightforward. Although Teacher Yang is not that kind of person, he can be the possibility as well, because he's the one who knows about the campfire, and he was the one who informed Yeol, Hyo Sik, and Yeon Doo about that, and on the sticky note, it said to say everything at the campfire. Teacher Yang can be a possibility too. It can be anyone that is trying to protect Yeon Doo, you know..

But talking about sneaky... I'm thinking about Hyo Sik... or Da Mi, since they were the ones who found the evidence in episode 9 preview.

Anyways, talking about episode 9 preview, at the end, we see Soo Ah was going off her limit and directly pushed Yeon Doo down the stairs. If something happens to Yeon Doo, her friends will definitely not going to let her go easily, especially Yeol, like what you guys said, he is very tenacious with his revenge, so if something goes down with Yeon Doo, he will seriously get her down so hard on the floor to repay, but as we know Yeon Doo has all the teams on her side, including Dong Jae, they will also revenge on her as well. Even Teacher Yang, plus coach Nam, are all on her side. Soo Ah better get ready for what's coming for her this time, if Yeon Doo hurts so bad.

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@fishfingers_fb @I will miss Siwon

I know, I wait for Miranda and pogo's comments too! And so many others as well, Sassy Go Go has cool commenters :D I think there's one comment from @pogo on page 2? But they said they're coming back later to post more.....they are probably sleeping lol.

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Exactly. Like I noted below, Yeol would certainly make a likely blackmailer because he likes to hold things over his enemies' heads, but if he actually knew what Soo-ah had done, he'd have dropped her a verbal threat/hint like he did to the Principal and Teacher Im instead of sneaking around with sticky notes.

Ha-joon is absolutely out of the question - if he'd found any evidence that Soo-ah incriminated Yeol, there would be blood. Or maybe not, considering that he seems happier and more controlled these days, but there would certainly be flung chairs and raging. Never blackmail notes, because he just wouldn't play that game.

Yang-Saem is totally out of the equation since it's a student who took the CCTV. And even if he's out to expose dirty tricks, he goes after the administration, not the students. Especially after episode 6. I don't see him purposely distressing any student, even Soo-ah, this way.

Which leaves us with.....Dong-jae? He certainly had the opportunity, and he knows very well that Soo-ah's cracking, even if it doesn't seem to be important information to him. But I wonder where that ties in with her framing Yeol, because it wasn't up to now that Yeon-doo was in danger because of that.

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I kind of think it's Yeol. His achilles heel is that his revenge plans, while good, don't necessarily get thought ALL the way through. Plus it would be an interesting shock to the system for him to realize that his plotting had a very unintentional victim in Yeon Doo.

It could also be Dong Jae or Ha Joon, but I don't think so. Ha Joon isn't that subtle, and Dong Jae.... Well, I think he might do it out of a blend of defending Yeon Doo and a genuine thought that Soo Ah needs to unburden herself, but again it seems like an odd thing for such a quiet kid to push.

Could be one of the other kids too, I guess, but I still lean towards Yeol.

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i thought it was yeol at first too, but there's a small detail where the notes mentioned the campfire as the deadline. and if i'm not mistaken, a few scenes afterwards, teacher yang mentions firewood to yeol who asks what it's for, implying that he didn't know that a campfire was going to happen. that might also end up as just a small plothole if yeol does happen to be the culprit, but it does make me a little suspicious.

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Hmmm. I also realized that Soo Ah has pointed out that Dong Jae is always around to silently observe her worst moments, and stealing the USB certainly fits that pattern.

Though I still find it hard to believe he'd blackmail Soo Ah?

I did laugh for a while watching Soo Ah try to stomp on that USB with her bird legs and giant padded sneakers. Glad it didn't work and she resorted to using a brick, because it was kind of comical to watch - it's going to take you hours to even pop the plastic cover that way, Soo Ah.

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I don't think it's Yeol, for the main reason that while it's certainly his style to blackmail (he does it in a lowkey way to Principal Choi and Teacher Im this very ep), Soo-ah found the last sticky note after Yeol and Ha-joon had begun searching for Yeon-doo. I doubt Yeol would have taken a break from the searching to go stick a note in Soo-ah's bag just then.

And even if he did form revenge plans, it would be more his style to drop Soo-ah a veiled verbal threat than blackmail her anonymously.

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But who do we know who uses sticky notes as a mode of communication? "If it's so unjust, make a poster", "Let's go to a movie after the test". Do we know anyone else who uses notes for communication rather than note-taking?

And I'm not sure about that verbal threat thing - he set her up with the cigarettes and then sprung a very passive trap. It's the end result he's focused on, and that means her confession. The notes give him a lot of flexibility, since he's marking a time limit that he could overrun, if he wanted to.

And I'm not sure the finding timeline fits with it not being Yeol - he didn't have to leave the note immediately before she found it.

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The handwriting on the blackmail notes didn't look like the same handwriting as the note asking Yeon-doo for a movie date, but I don't know how conclusive that is.

Though with the amount of detail in this drama, I wouldn't be surprised if the director made sure to show us a sample of Yeol's writing just an episode before Soo-ah starts getting her own Post-its, to establish that those aren't from him.

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The possibility of it being Yeol didn't quite stand out to me until I read some of your replies below, but now I see logical reasonings as he does tend to favor communication through post-its, it's kind of his trademark now isn't it?
As for Dong Jae, I don't think his quiet nature completely rules out the possibility of him being the note poster. As seen with the incident with the strawberry milk, he's not completely innocent. He's rather unsubtle and is extremely protective of Yeon Doo. His character is still a mystery to me, he's constantly watching over Soo Ah and is portrayed as a bit of an airhead when that might not be the case at all.
Due to his whole physical complex, I feel as if he might be helpless towards Yeon Doo, further prompting him to take action against Soo Ah.

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My prediction is that Dong Jae has the tape. His sly "Did I?" when Soo Ah interrogated him on whether or not he went to the practice room that day makes me suspect it's him.

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I'm with you. He also seems to want her to become a better person, so I feel like it might be a 'push' for her to do so.

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It's even more amazing because just a matter of weeks ago, Yeol would have used that leverage to get himself and Ha-joon out of the cheerleading club (by threatening dire consequences if Principal Choi ever dared to tell Ha-joon's dad about the ep 2 cutting incident).

We've seen that his #1 status was a big part of his 'defend Ha-joon' ammo pre-cheerleading. But now that Real King and Baek-ho have truly bonded, he's using it to protect ALL of them, which is so heartwarming I just can't.

(and that shit-eating grin as he watched Teacher Im huff indignantly at the chicken-eating scene....lmao)

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i had to stop and replay that scene multiple times lmao. yeol's face was the best.

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Indeed! The changes in the group's dynamic is phenomenon. In just 8 episodes these kids grew so much as individuals and as one group, something a lot of dramas don't even accomplish in 16 episodes.

I stop and swoon at his face expressions every time, that I often lose the focus on the story. Thank god for dramabeans and you guys!

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Thanks for the recap. I jus love HaJoon and YeonDo together. And their dynamic is so cute. I'm glad that HaJoon found YeonDo. Yeol is the one who takes care of HaJoon so I think HaJoon needed a friend to both protect and respect and YeonDo is just that person.

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I also love Ha Joon and Yeon Doo's dynamic too. However, the last scene of this episode really captures the most significant bond between them, because this IS the first time Ha Joon has seen Yeon Doo's most vulnerable and weakness side, it was true that this is his second time seeing her cried because the first time he saw her cried was on episode 6, when he told Yeol that he saw her cried, but this is the first time he saw this most vulnerable and weakness sides of her. Also, he as well, never expected to see this side of her because what he really expect was her as a strong, bright, and strong-willed girl, so from that sight of him seeing her so weak and vulnerable really made his heart sank, you can also see it when he hesitate whether to hug her or not. But from that hug, you can tell that it started to leave a big impact and significant moment between them two, at that moment, Ha Joon begin to feel that THIS person (besides Yeol) will be the person he will always want to protect and will always stay by her side, from that, it also made him gain personal strength that he finally has someone he can help and protect.

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I'm hoping the person with the video is Dong Jae, like he's somehow a stealth genius, but other than 'secon place Soo Ah, I'll remember you now' Dong Jae doesn't really seem savvy enough to manage this kind of psychological torture (not really but you know what I'm saying, too subtle).

Yeon Doo what a great character and so beautifully played by EunJi, makes me want to watch all her dramas.

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Her giddy little "yeah!" when she met Ha Joon in the hall to confirm Yeol's innocence was pitch-perfect. She's really nailing her side of the Ha Joon/Yeon Doo dynamic - with a different actress, I think it would be all too easy for the writers to install a conventional love triangle or for the actors to overplay the tone of the emotions. Eunji's pitching it just right.

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Absolutely! I love her so much. To me it's obvious that Yeon Doo's feelings towards Ha Joon are platonic and Yeol makes her giddy (her face just lit up in their the phone call in the Laundry).

This whole show just makes me so happy!

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Eunji's just awesome in every way. And even if the character was rewritten to suit her, she's playing Yeon-doo so effortlessly that I can't imagine anyone else in the role.

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I know right - can't see Kim Yoo-jung as Yeon-doo at all!

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Her character is the type to usually annoy me. The too trusting and forgiving type just drive me crazy because they seem so unrealistic. But she pulls it off where I don't question her intelligence, and in her own way she makes the quality enduring. Eunji does yeon doo perfectly

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Please don't let Ha Joon have his heart broken! Please let him be happy with two friends! Please, please, please! I am really enjoying all of the characters, but I have such a soft spot for Ha Joon. It could be because it's Ji Soo who is playing the part (I absolutely loved him in Angry Mom) but I just want him to be happy.

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Soo Ah's pink sticky note blackmailer is Ha Dong Jae! At least, I hope it is. (spoiler alert: i would love it. what an excellent way to spiral the last four episodes of this show into sheer madness.)

Let's get the nuts and bolts out of the way. Dong Jae WAS in the practice room. He said so himself. He could easily have placed the first note, but then again, so could anyone, really. Later, during the camping trip conversation where the kids are speculating who framed Yeol, Dong Jae is the only suspect that arrives late to the conversation. Immediately afterward, Soo Ah leaves the conversation, goes to her bag, and finds the note. At this point, we still could accuse almost anyone of leaving the second note, but DJ knew perfectly well that SA and YD were rooming together. He (and Teacher Yang if you want to get picky) could have found and gotten into SA's bags without mixing them up with YD's bags because he arrived with YD and knew exactly what she brought with her. That fact, plus his late arrival to the conversation, immediately makes him suspicious to me.

The third note is the most telling note. DJ is alone again when HJ asks him where YD's gone. He confirms that he knows where YD's gone, but we don't see him joining the search party at all. This means he was free to wander the campgrounds while HJ and Y start their search for YD. This means that HJ and Y simply could not have placed the third note. Normally I wouldn't say this with such conviction, because obviously they could have planted it while SA was gone, but the note has something very special on it: a time stamp of 30 minutes. The timing of the note had to be almost exactly perfect for the message to carry weight, meaning it was placed almost immediately before SA returned to her tent. It couldn't have been HJ or Y, who were still looking for YD before SA returned to her tent, or even the teachers, who were (I'm pretty sure, I may be wrong) busy looking after the kids. It was either DJ or Hyo Sik... and it wasn't poor Hyo Sik, omg, he doesn't have the brains.

(Don't get me started on where DJ got the sticky notes) (or actually, do. please.)

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ooo your argument is compelling and the evidence lines up (and do tell where DJ gets the notes from!)! EXCEPT for one thing: it's so out of character! DJ seems like...like Luna Lovegood. He's in some ethereal plane where terrestrial stuff like that doesn't matter.

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It doesn't matter until it concerns Yeon Doo and since YD is now concerned with what happens to Yeol, that means Dong Jae is too by default. Plus we haven't actually been shown too much about DJ except his contact phobia and that he's best friends with YD. We know nothing about his grades or his actual intellect.

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But we do know that nearly everything of him that we do see is in some way to help or protect YD, and he easily admits it again and again. That's why I find it badly against his character to help YD *at* YD's expense. It doesn't make sense.

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Perhaps he thought this was the best way to protect YD? By putting a deadline on when Soo Ah needs to confess, he's essentially saying that he won't allow Soo Ah to hurt Yeon Doo anymore. He probably didn't expect SA to abandon YD at the store like that, especially since the Maintenance ahjussi was there with them.

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Don't forget he did purposely pour strawberry milk on SA after she was revealed to be a fake friend to YD. So I'd agree that he does have that "avenging my friends" instinct.

Also didn't it feel like he was purposely excluded from most of episode 7 while the whole stealing tests drama was going on? It's as if something was happening offscreen with him that we weren't shown.

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Ah! You guys have convinced me! lol

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I totally forgot about the strawberry!!!! It seems like forever ago. You've got a point. Dongjae might be our blackmailer after all.

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aah yes the strawberry milk!! i thought the post-it notes were too subtle a tactic for dong-jae, but this does make dong-jae look a lot more suspicious now.

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sometimes he's acting out of his character. spilling the milk over soo ah and saying I'll remember you now, the second place soo ah.

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Ha! Luna Lovegood is a VERY good parallel to how I see Dong Jae - not a total airhead, but spacey enough that you don't really think of pinning anything like a grudge on him.

Besides, I don't know that Dong Jae would particularly care about Soo Ah's machinations. He really only cares about Yeon Doo, and he's not part of the Yeon Doo/Yeol/Ha Joon dynamic, so he wouldn't necessarily care that Yeol had been unfairly accused. It's not like Yeon Doo is sobbing her heart out - THAT he'd note and avenge, but she seems to be dealing with everything in her own proactive way, so he's probably not too concerned.

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LOL true. mostly I just want that little plot thread that they set up with him in the first episode to actually... go somewhere? Why say something that weird and vaguely threatening if the plot wasn't setting him up for something else? That'd disappoint me... mostly as a fan of N, and somewhat for plot consistency. I don't appreciate loose ends in an otherwise solid plot. :/

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oooo! I didn't think of the search party when the 3rd note was planted. Definitely thinking it's Dong Jae now too!

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Except YD's missing. It all makes sense really, there was something to his earliest statement to SA about remembering her.
Very good arguments....except YD's missing. I think he'd go as crazy as everyone else about that fact.

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But... he's not going crazy? She's already missing and possibly in danger. Wouldn't he have joined the search party once Ha Joon told him what was going on? Either he's completely oblivious to the world to an extent that makes him a cartoon character (and... seeing as how no one else in the show is like that that would be REALLY disappointing) or he understands what's going on and he doesn't care (which, as you pointed out, doesn't make sense). Or... he knows what's going on and has a particular reason why he hasn't started looking for Yeon Doo himself.

Am I missing something? He ISN'T freaking out. This is weird. The last time he didn't know where she was and she had been in danger, he was frantically dialing her number and having a meltdown in the middle of his room. Why doesn't he even look concerned? This is out of character. This is either inconsistent writing or there's a good possibility he's up to something.

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If I wasn't already convinced it's DJ you and @goo would have convinced me. Love it!

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Here's the REALLY interesting part: one detail DJ possesses that the girls failed to mention is that he knows YD went with the maintenance man. However, the conversation that YD had was with Teacher Yang alone, and SA only happened to catch wind of it because she was walking by. It looks like YD mentioned that she was going to the store to the rest of the girls, but HJ seems to be unaware that she caught a ride with the maintenance man until DJ mentions it. This seems like a very important detail for the girls to leave out... maybe they forgot? But if they genuinely didn't know, either DJ caught wind of the conversation when SA did, and/or he saw YD leaving with the maintenance man, meaning that he would have also seen SA leave with her.

If the latter is true, the reason why he didn't join HJ and Y's search becomes clear: he already knows where YD is and, more importantly, why she hasn't come back (and MOST importantly, this gives him better timing for placing the third note - if he's really paying close attention to SA's movements, he'd know exactly where and when to expect her to come back, and nip off to place the note before she could get back to her tent). If the latter is true, it wasn't an accident that he hasn't mentioned that SA went with YD to the store. And, surprisingly, he's the only one out of the three culprits with a reason not to: he's been giving SA a chance to redeem herself for ages now. Ages. He's been giving her room to apologize, he's been nudging her to take responsibility for her actions, he's been extending sympathy towards her, he's been treating her with human decency and offered his ear. He has, in essence, been trying to make sure that it wouldn't have to come to this while simultaneously preparing for the situation to come to this. Even now, he's trying to give her room to apologize, watching her dig her own grave before letting himself put the gravestone on top. This is your last chance, Kwon Soo Ah. 30 minutes before the bonfire.

The only proof against this theory is his admission that he was in the room earlier (which I think would just have been hard for him to deny if SA had the presence of mind to ask anyone who might have been around), the fact that only Teacher Yang, Y, and Hyo Sik knew about the bonfire (which could be explained if DJ had caught the first conversation too), and the fact that I don't know if he has access to the CCTV footage (this is a little more difficult to explain), but otherwise it's holding pretty well.

I could go on about more proof I have (i have SO MUCH PROOF), how well this ties in with what he's been doing offscreen and why I now LOVE that he's been offscreen this entire time, and what this means for his character and his friendship with YD, but like. I have so much to say that I can only respond to people or else I will actually flood this comment section. (Plus, you know, I might still be wrong and then I'd be sticking my foot in my mouth...

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I love your whole theory, even if it might be wrong - it's like everything totally fits! But the other thing I think works against it being DJ is that I don't think he'd put YD through that. His number 1 priority this whole time has been her, so he wouldn't *use* her to punish or threaten SA - that's like winning the battle to lose the war, in the DJ book of ethics.

Instructor Nam, though. HMMM. Still, I don't think it's a teacher, it's too unethical. My vote's going to one of the other Real King kids!

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If my theory about where he got the CCTV footage is correct though [he shares a suite with Yeol, Ha Joon and Hyo Shik. We know Ha Joon has the footage for sure], he wouldn't be using Yeon Doo. He may not even realize that Soo Ah suspects Yeon Doo. I mean, SA and YD were friends for a while and did schoolwork together, you would think that SA would know YD's writing.

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(apologies, i'm at a wifi limited place right now and I probably won't be able to give extensive replies until tonight. HERE'S WHAT I GOT THO)

It is a little out of character for him, isn't it? He seems to always have YD's wellbeing in mind and it's clear that they dote on each other. I did mention that they have sort of a strange relationship where they love each other but DJ doesn't tell YD when he's suffering, so there's that little bit of dissonance. I don't think that's a factor here, though... I think we might be looking at something different. Remember in either the second or third episode when YD comes back from the hospital at the same time Y and HJ do? She's limping and clearly has been through a wringer, and holds out her hands for a hug... but DJ brushes past her to make sure HJ is okay. I think DJ loves YD very much, and puts much thought into protecting her, but I would argue that he doesn't have much of a handle on reality when he's planning or thinking ahead about something, so much so that he might actually forget to take care of what's immediately in front of him. He gets caught up in what he needs to do next very easily. I think that the idea that YD might get abandoned at the store occurred to him, but the idea that she might suffer to get back didn't occur to him, or at least didn't figure into his value judgments at the time. It might also be him letting SA get away with more because he's trying to give her the benefit of the doubt... or leading her to dig her grave even more deeply. If this is the case, the slightly scary, vindictive DJ we saw at the beginning of the show is not only consistent, but also indicative of his motivations up until this moment. I LOVE it.

(also: don't you split supplies with a study buddy? Maybe even split a pack of sticky notes if you both need them? :) )

Another point I'd like to make about his airheadedness: If we assume that the characterization he gets in the first episode still holds, he isn't as airheaded as he seems. Remember? He doesn't seem to be interested in his team complaining at the loss, but once they get on the topic of his performance, he lucidly explains that he scored half the points for their team and criticizes their guard performance. He does and has been paying attention, he doesn't just forget things. This is something SA doesn't realize because she doesn't care about knowing anyone besides who she needs to beat to get to the top... and he also straight up told her that he *forgets* things. Which is. Sort of the truth. *As long as the topic isn't important to him.* This IMPLIES (we don't know for certain but I'm HOPING SO HARD) that he realizes that she thinks he's a non-entity and he's using that to his advantage.

I HAVE MORE TO TALK ABOUT but off i go for a few hours I'M EXCITED THOUGH

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I agree with this, DJ MIGHT even be more conniving and clever than what we see and what other people thinks, or even more clever than Yeol, himself lol

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either that or i'm shooting off my mouth for literally nothing LOL I am having a hell of a good time pretending that DJ is important to the plot though >) What if it IS team Real King and I get my wish of having more Real King being relevant? I have literally no clue but I'd get a kick out of it in spite of my disappointment. Mostly, I just hope the five lead characters get... full plotlines? That's what I want. I feel like participation on this level is something DJ needs - we have pretty much full disclosure on everyone else already.

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foot in my mouth spectacularly lmao. I do think it's him though.)

seriously guys ask me for proof and also argue with me if you think it's someone else... i need to TALK ABOUT THIS

(for the record, if i'm wrong, the pink sticky note blackmailer is instructor nam, because who the hell else could it be.)

(also if this posts strangely I apologize I'm on mobile :( )

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one thing I will throw into the pool (and it's really subjective evidence I apologize in advance here) is DJ's little "did I?" moment with SA. Someone else pointed out that he seemed a little too sly at the time. Here's the full disclosure: That's the exact shitty expression Hakyeon makes when he's being a super fake plastic teenage queen bee. (This happens a lot more than one would expect out of a full grown man and I REALLY should not know this.) Either he knows something or he's been directed to act like he knows something to throw us off. Call this one a gut instinct but it's definitely there.

I have a bit more evidence but I actually think everyone has done a good job of covering the points I would have covered. Now I'm just waiting to see how the plot concludes to freak out over character implications. (Watch as it ends up being Hyo Sik and I end up eating crow lol)

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Yep, that whole exchange at Soo Ah's secret smoking spot just screamed 'gotcha' to me. I gave me hope that they are going to do something exciting with Dong Jae finally. I really hope we're not reading to much into this though! I think I'll be pretty disappointed if he doesn't have some master plan at this point. Hee.

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I'm absolutely loving the direction the writers are taking with the show right now. I was a bit upset when I first watched episode 8 because I love me some YD + KY but after watching a few [dozen] more times, I've pretty much decided that I think the hug was borne out of feelings of protectiveness on the part of Ha Joon and relief to see a friendly face for Yeon Doo. The way their friendship is blossoming just gets me in the feels. I came into this show not knowing any of the actors except for Eun Ji and am now starting to understand just why everyone was upset about Ji Soo not being the main lead. So while I'm firmly on the OTP boat, and have been since day one, I can see where others like Ha Joon better.

Soo Ah: Man, just when I thought she couldn't get any worse. Someone in an earlier recap mentioned that she's getting increasingly worse. First with putting people's careers or future in danger and now, putting Yeon Doo in what could be a literal life or death situation. I know that Korea is supposed to be one of the safest countries but that doesn't mean that something couldn't have happened to Yeon Doo out in the middle of nowhere like that. I'm really hoping that she realizes in the next episode that doing that to YD was a HUGE mistake on her part. Judging by the preview though, that's not going to happen yet. I get that she's struggling but people are reaching out to her and it's up to her to reach back and get help. I'm having a really hard time feeling sorry for her at this point.

YD + KY: LOVE LOVE LOVE! The callback scene with the coke fight was absolutely adorable. I'm pretty sure I hit rewind a million times to watch it over and over, I was grinning so much.

YD + HJ: Their budding friendship gets me in the feels. It gives me so many warm fuzzies to see how Ha Joon is opening up and letting Yeon Doo in. It's such a change from how he was at the beginning of the show. Before, Yeol was the only one that he would EVER think about going after the way he did Yeon Doo in this episode but in this episode he doesn't even hesitate. It really shows just how much YD has broken through the barriers he's put around his heart. As I said earlier, I still think HJ has brotherly feelings for YD rather than romantic ones. It may be just wishful thinking on my part but during the coke fight, when Yeol asks him if he's on Yeol's side or Yeon Doo's, he doesn't even hesitate before answering. This makes me think that he's firmly crossed YD off his "potential romance" list but she's still worming her way into "female best friend" territory.

That being said, I'm kind of leaning towards either Dong Jae or Ha Joon being responsible for the sticky notes. We know that Ha Joon has access to the CCTV footage because he went in to get it and Dong Jae shares the same suite, so he could have gotten the footage that way. The writing on the sticky note looks more masculine imo too. Plus, Ha Joon always seems to...

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Hyo-shik also shares their dorm...

Agreed about the YD-HJ friendship, I don't see a triangle either, never did except for maybe half a second the very first time he really looked at her. Maybe we're just conditioned by kdramas to expect them? But SGG is so much more *lateral* than your average drama!

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Yeah, definitely conditioned to look for them. Plus after School 2015, I've been super wary about dramas portraying someone as being a romantic lead by giving them a ton of screentime. I've decided to trust the writers on this show though. They're doing an absolutely fantastic job so far!

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Ha Joon always seems to be on the sidelines somewhere when Soo Ah finds the notes.

Whew! Been waiting since Tuesday to get all of that out. Absolutely cannot wait until the next episode. I don't remember having been this excited to watch a show, ever!

***oops, got cut off and didn't realize it!

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I was pretty convinced it's Yeol, but now I'm remembering that Soo Ah very specifically mentions that Dong Jae is always around to witness her worst moments... So maybe he was silently around to witness her USB theft as well?

Though I still think it would be out of character, really. For a kid whose weird no-contact quirk is universally observed, it feels odd that he'd force a public confession on anyone else, even Soo Ah.

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You bring up a good point but I'm still convinced it's Dong Jae. There have been a few other "out of character" scenes from him, such as the milk incident on the stairs. Plus, as someone else pointed out, the last time he couldn't get a hold of Yeon Doo when something happened he freaked out. So why is he not freaking out right now? Whoever wrote the last sticky note knew two things: 1. that Soo Ah left with Yeon Doo [the note tells her that she can't run away from this] and 2. that there is 30 minutes until the bonfire. So while any of the kids might have known about the bonfire at that point, how many knew that Soo Ah had gone with Yeon Doo? As far as we know, only Dong Jae does because he's the one who mentions to Ha Joon that the maintenance ahjussi took Yeon Doo to the store. In order for him to know that, he must have seen them leave and would know that Soo Ah also went. If there's anything this show has taught me, it's that nothing that happens in the background is irrelevant [i.e. The scene where teacher Im notices that the usb is missing, the clock in the background says 1:55 which exactly matches up with the story Yeol tells about what happened with the usb]

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Yeol may be possible, but his mindset is more on the high level, while the person who did that blackmail thing on her is not a high level thing to do. You don't need to use your head to do that, that was more sneaky and creeping, but it's not a smart thing to do. Sticky notes posting may be Yeol's trademark, but if you look at the handwriting of the person who blackmail her and Yeol's handwriting are not the same. Plus, his sneaky and creep ways would be more smart than that and rather being on the high level mindset. As for Ha Joon, he may be the first person to find that CCTV, but knowing his personality, sneaking is not his style, he would throw chairs and just pop at her directly. So I highly don't think it's these two. It's not the teachers either, since the drama pointed out that it's a "Student".

But while watching episode 9 preview, we see that Hyo Sik and Da Mi were the ones who found the exam inside the laptop, so it's possible that it could be either one of these two. And knowing Hyo Sik, he can be sneaky, but he doesn't have the brains. Or it could be Da Mi.

But the main one in my guts and mind is Dong Jae. First, we know how protective he is, of Yeon Doo. The only thing he struggles with is not being able to protect her physically, so he may use his other system to protect her in his own way. Also, we don't know his academic grade level. Moreover, in this episode, we hardly see him being around the group or on scene, but he seems to acknowledge what's going on around him, although the problem about Yeon Doo struggling back might not occur to him because he's too focus on what's ahead of him, but not on what's directly in front of him.

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from the written preview for episode 9, they said the vid of Soo Ah's taking the USB has been upload on SNS.. so maybe Hyo-Shik and Da-Mi are watching that vid online..

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Just want to add that the CCTV footage that HJ has doesn't have the clip of SA stealing the USB.

We were informed through her tutor that the floor where that camera was placed was in the charge of the building owners.

However she did find out through them that a highschooler asked for a copy of it but she couldn't find out who because they asked for anonymity.

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Hmm, you're right but Ha Joon does have the resources to get the CCTV footage if he needs to, and we already know he was trying to look through it all to clear Yeol's name. We weren't actually told who got the footage from the company, just that it was a student so it could really be anyone at this point.

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the thing i love about the hug is how ambiguous it is. it's left us all freaking out about what ha-joon's intentions might be and what the hug could symbolise and what could potentially happen in the next few episodes, even though ultimately, most people in ha-joon's position would've hugged her back LOL.

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Thinking that it's Dong Jae too, because I want him to be more involved with the story, in that way. The writers have really neglected him lately (which they even quasi-acknowledged with his scene with Yeon Doo lol).

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AHHHH I've been waiting for this review and it is my birthday today tooo heheh

I loved this episode but I'm terrified that Ha-Joon is actually going to fall for Yeon-Doo. Their friendship is so great though

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happy birthday! \o/

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Happy Birthday!! :-)

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I think he already falls for Yeon-doo kkk~
Btw happy birthday! ? And today is my Mom's birthday heheh..

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Thank youuu!! and happy belated birthday to your mum!

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Thanks!! :D

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Have a great one! :D

Nah, he already did. He's just not not that aware of it yet. And I think he's the kind of guy who won't pursue his feelings (once it finally dawns on him that he's fallen for her) because he knows what's good for his friendship with Yeol, and for his budding friendship with Yeon Doo as well. So I guess he is destined for a little heartbreak (and us too, I bet, sigh) but it WILL make him grow. :)

(Btw Ji Soo really needs too star in a drama where he'll surely get the girl! I want him to be all happy and in love pleaaaaaseeeee!)

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YES!! Because Jisoo never gets the girl I'm really sad :( and thank you!! :D

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Thanq for the recap Saya!

I really can't wait until the next ep. I hope there's a real confession. N we can find out who blackmaiiled SA. I say HDJ.

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OMG!!! Just major SQUEES for this episode!

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Not going to lie, but i wouldn't be sad if Hajoon ended up with Yeon-doo LOL. Jisoo.....my love haha. The hug at the end of the episode confused me...why was it not Yeol @[email protected]

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I dont think the hug at the end was a romantic one...
Ha-Joon's expression says it all. I've watched that scene over and Ha-Joon's expression just before he wraps his arms around Yeon Doo is more like "Dammit, she was right, I am a marshmallow"
So I think it was more a hug to give comfort, "like you were there for me when didn't even know i needed you, and i'll be here for you now"

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Yeah! Marshmallow hugs! Gimmee!

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i have a friend who gives hugs like that :)

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I hope so!! I haven't been really getting any romantic vibes between their interactions, but I read some english translated synopsis for the next episode and it started with the phrase: "as Hajoon's heart becomes deeper" or something along those lines. Let's just hope it's a misleading statement lol.

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I got the weirdest feeling that his heart just sank to see Yeon Doo crying. Like he was kind of hoping she was the one person who never had bad things affect her, and now he's seeing that she also has seriously terrible days when she ends up bleeding and alone, and that's something he very much understands. I mean, there's nothing he can fight or yell at, it's just that Yeon Doo's life sucks in that moment and all he can do it be there for her.

Some blend of resignation, regret and understanding in that hug, at least as far as I could see.

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/nodding as i read ur beautifully written comment

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Yup, agree.

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I think he's going to gain personal strength from that interaction, knowing that he can comfort a friend in need. Hopefully that strength will help him get through the next time his dad tries to hurt him!

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I may be wrong, but I saw it as romantic. I thought from the moment he started being all smiley around her that he had a little crush but didn't want to take it further because of Yeol. I can see that expression at the end as either conflicted because he likes her, or like you guys said, protective, so I don't know. But he was joining in with Yeol being jealous about the Strawberry milk. That could be romantic jealousy or just being jealous of their friendship. In conclusion, lol, I'm confused.

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I think Ha-joon has a crush on Yeon-doo, but hasn't realised that that's what it is - he feels drawn to her and happier when he thinks of them doing things together, but hasn't had the lightbulb moment of knowing that these feelings are part of being attracted to her.

The boys' jealousy over Dong-jae is just the cutest. Yeon-doo's become such a part of their little unit that they miss her when she's gone off with another friend and grump about it <333

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Interesting. I saw the hug as "let's gather our strength" and his look as resignation because he knows what he and Yeol do next will be BIG. Like, this was the very VERY last straw and now they have no choice but to blow the top off the school.

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I think Teacher Yang is leaving the sticky notes. One note told SooAh to confess before the bonfire. When the teacher told the guys to get the bonfire ready, they were surprised- they didn't know they were doing a bonfire.. Maybe only Teacher Yang knew about it.

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Teacher Yang knows that Soo Ah is pretty much at the end of her rope right now though. With the kind of teacher he is, I really don't think he'd pressure her like that. His style is more the "offer to help and wait for the offer to be taken" type. He genuinely cares about his students, even Soo Ah, so I don't think he would do what amounts to pushing one off the edge of a cliff.

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i really don't think it's teacher yang. it's definitely too underhanded for him, and the drama did mention that it was a highschooler who had the cctv footage.

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@JK It's a "STUDENT".

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I'm so done with Soo ah. There are only 12 episodes I don't see how they can redeem her at this point. I'm not going to believe a one episode turn around. Unless they leave her punished but not forgiven. That would be the only other solution I would be excepting of. Obviously Soo Ah can't get her way in the end so she will get some kind of justice for her crazy crimes but I don't want everyone to just suddenly forgive her simply because she says she was sorry. She is way beyond saying sorry, especially if the teaser is right and she harms Yeon Do in a serious way. Once you send someone to the hospital you're done. At this point I think I'll be upset over Soo Ah's ending no matter what unless she ends up in jail.

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The best ending I can see for her is a mental breakdown (hopefully before she hurts any more people). Just from the way she looked/walked after she realized Yeon-Do didn't leave the last note, she's already headed in that direction. Then she loses everything she's worked for, and MAYBE her mom realizes that it's her fault.

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Sooooo are we over the fear that Ha Joon will fall for Yeon Doo? Can we really do that now? Is the coast clear? *shifts eyes around for threats*

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"Not that Yeol hasn’t been a good friend, but Yeon-doo’s different. She exudes an optimism and spirit that grows Ha-joon in a completely different way — to go from merely surviving to ardently living"

It's like a one-two. Yeol kept him from killing himself - he nurtured in his friend a determination to survive. That's how he's irreplaceable and vital to HJ. YD is the second wave, doing what she can do and he can't, which is make him love to live. Yeol can make him choose to, but YD makes him WANT to. Both so essential to him.

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I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this comment. I absolutely agree with you: KY kept him from dying and YD helps him enjoy living. I couldn't have said it better myself! <3

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Beautifully put. Thank you.

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That's being said.

Yeol heals Ha Joon's wounds, while Yeon Doo heals his heart.

Yeon Doo is even the one to make Yeol WANT to trust someone again too, from all the devoid of the word, "Trust" that had been exists for Yeol. This time, Yeon Doo, with her blinding loyalties and innate goodness, makes Yeol want to trust someone again, just like how she makes Ha Joon WANTS to live again too.

She shows these two guys how to value their essence the way that they, themselves, doesn't know how to.

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Aww!!! Can I just say I love you and your comment above? ???

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i'm like, virtually clapping for you for writing this comment LOL. beautifully said. ^_^

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THANK YOU.

It's not fair to downplay the sheer magnitude of what Yeol has been as Ha-joon's friend. It's also not that one of them is more significant than the other when it comes to Ha-joon.

Yeol is the reason Ha-joon stuck it out for so long - and let's not forget that this cheerleading business got off the ground in the first place because Yeol was looking to shield Ha-joon and keep him in Sevit at all costs. But Yeon-doo opens Ha-joon's world up in a whole new way, by appealing to his act-first nature (previously expressed in destructive/self-destructive ways). And knowing that Ha-joon and Yeol were childhood friends too makes it even more significant - if it wasn't for Yeol, we wouldn't get to the point where Yeon-doo comes into his life in the first place.

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To be fair, I don't think the recap was downplaying! I just wanted to expand it a bit!

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I didn't mean the recap was downplaying, just that I don't want to lose sight of what Yeol was to Ha-joon and just what kind of role he's played in getting him to this point.

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