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Cheese in the Trap: Episode 5

Yay, now I can join the Cheese party! This show is a nice gust of fresh air, and I’ve really been enjoying its contemplative, slice-of-life feel, especially the way it handles heavy themes and light romance with equal skill, without ever having to veer into melodramatic territory or stray from its thoughtful, slightly off-kilter tone. It’s also nice to come across a set of characters who don’t always do the thing you expect them to do, and in the case of this drama hero, it’s thrilling and maddening all at once.

 
SONG OF THE DAY

Bily Acoustie – “그대도 나와 같다면” (If You’re Like Me Too) [ Download ]

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EPISODE 5 RECAP

In-ho walks Seol home, and they’re both taken aback to see Jung standing in front of her door. Jung tells her that he came to check on her doors and windows because of the recent burglar scare in her neighborhood, and In-ho scoffs to see Jung show concern for another human being.

Jung simply turns to him and says, “Because she’s my girlfriend,” and In-ho gets riled up, thinking that there must be a connection between Seol being his girlfriend and Jung cutting off his sister. Before Seol can figure out what that even means, Jung tells her to go inside.

Once they’re alone, In-ho asks if it’s because he approached Jung’s girlfriend that he’s acting like this toward his sister In-ha. Jung doesn’t confirm or deny; but he says that In-ha will have to find someplace else to live next month… or In-ho could quit the tutoring academy job, his call. Yeesh.

In-ho says he has no intention of disappearing like Jung wants him to, and challenges, “What, are you going to destroy my right hand this time?” Jung doesn’t flinch and asks if that’s what he really wants. In-ho laughs bitterly and says, “That’s right, this is the moment I like best—when your mask comes off.” Though Jung had remained impassive in front of In-ho, the minute he walks away, there’s a momentary flicker that crosses his face. Annoyance? Anger? Something else?

Seol runs back out and chases after Jung, who’s mad at her for ignoring his warning to stay away from In-ho. She explains running into In-ho by coincidence and not telling him because she didn’t want him to worry, but all Jung does is instruct her to stay away from In-ho no matter what.

As the rain starts coming down, Seol thinks to herself that Jung only ever says what he wants and that’s the end of it. She’s always been patient, she thinks, but today the dam finally bursts: “Why? Why do I have to avoid Baek In-ho? Why do I have to listen to you no matter what?”

She asks to be given a reason she can understand, but Jung just gets angry that she’s not doing as he asked. He realizes they’re both soaked and opens up his umbrella overhead, and says he doesn’t want to fight anymore. He tries to tell her to go inside and they’ll talk tomorrow, but Seol challenges, “And tomorrow? What’ll change? Whether I apologize or ask questions, you don’t listen to me. You tell me to avoid or stop with no explanation. What am I supposed to do? What am I to you? Is this dating?”

Seol walks away and answers a call from Bora, who’s incomprehensible and crying. When Seol turns back around to go to Bora, Jung is standing in the same spot wanting to talk. But when he hears that Bora’s father has collapsed, he says they’ll take his car. Seol worries that Bora is all alone because her mother passed away and all she has is Dad, and Jung speeds so they’ll get to the hospital sooner.

Eun-taek arrives at the hospital first, and Bora wails as she asks why he’s only just arriving now and what he’ll do if something goes wrong with her father. He apologizes and hugs her, reassuring her that everything will be okay.

Seol arrives and holds Bora as she cries, and Jung asks the nurse for a spare room for Bora before she collapses too. Eun-taek carries her away while Seol and Jung wait outside the surgical ward.

Meanwhile, In-ho broods at home thinking about Jung’s “she’s my girlfriend” declaration, clearly upset by it. He convinces himself that it’ll be fun, though he doesn’t look like he’s having much fun.

As Seol and Jung wait, he notices her dozing off and tells her to take a nap, but she wants to wait up. He wonders why, when it will have no effect on the outcome of the surgery. Odd. And then when a patient is rolled past them and Seol gasps at the bloody hand, he shows no reaction and wonders why it would frighten her. Odd again.

The doctor comes out and tells them that Bora’s father had a brain hemorrhage, but they caught it early and the surgery should go well. Seol is relieved, and when Jung goes to get a blanket, she thinks to herself that it’s nice to be able to depend on him, but something’s been off between them since earlier that night.

Jung grabs a blanket from Bora’s room, where she and Eun-taek have fallen asleep side-by-side, holding hands between their beds. That’s so sweet.

Seol is already asleep when he comes back out, so he quietly covers her with the blanket and sits next to her, and spends a while staring at her hand. He inches his hand closer and closer until their fingers touch, and then gently takes her hand in his.

Seol wakes up to find that they both fell asleep that way, and she in turn covers Jung with the blanket and sits next to him. The surgeon finally comes out and tells them that the surgery went well, and they run to tell Bora the good news.

Bora checks on her father and thanks them all for staying so long. When she sends them all home, Eun-taek says he couldn’t possibly leave her here alone, and everyone smiles. It only lasts for a second and Bora is back to nagging him about not answering her calls right away, but Eun-taek just grabs her hand again and says he’d never ignore her calls.

As they walk out of the hospital, Seol apologizes to Jung for getting mad over something so little, and he admits to going overboard too. He sits her down and tells her that In-ho is the grandson of a professor that Jung’s father respected, and when the professor passed away, his dad became In-ho and In-ha’s benefactor.

Jung says that In-ho used to play piano really well, but in high school a fight broke out and he hurt his hand, and In-ho thinks it’s Jung’s fault. Jung insists that it’s a misunderstanding and that he’s tried to explain it several times to In-ho, but he won’t believe him. He says he wanted Seol to stay away from In-ho because he was worried that In-ho would somehow try to get back at him through her.

Seol thinks to herself that the feelings run a little too deep for it to be a simple misunderstanding, but decides to trust Jung for now. Jung asks if there’s something else that’s bothering her, because it seems like she’s been mad at him all day. She decides that clearing the air would be better than carrying more misunderstandings, and tells him about running into Joo-yeon yesterday, and what she heard about the night she had a run-in with the homeless man on campus.

She says that it confused her to hear that he’d walked away without caring, and wondered why he asked her to date. Jung finally tells her that he called the security guards and went to go check on her that night, and then the next day he checked on her again, and thought she lied about where she got the wound because she didn’t want any rumors floating around.

She’s relieved and a little mortified, especially when he asks in disbelief if she took Joo-yeon’s words at face value. She says she’s sorry and promises not to let any misunderstandings fester from now, and Jung promises not to do anything to make her mad from now on.

They smile at each other, but then a rumbling from Seol’s stomach breaks the mood. She says she hasn’t eaten all day, and he remembers that he bought food earlier and takes out triangle kimbap and offers to unwrap hers. He seems so proud, it’s adorable.

As they drive home, Seol thinks to herself that Jung doesn’t like a fuss, and doesn’t defend himself until he’s asked, even when it causes misunderstandings. That’s just his way, she thinks, and she tells herself to forget the past and start over because that’s the right thing to do.

The next day, Seol walks up to In-ho at the tutoring academy and asks hesitantly if he got home okay last night. But he’s suddenly very cold and huffy, calling her “Yoo Jung’s girlfriend” and acting like she’s being haughty, even though she’s hardly said two words.

When class is over that night, In-ho follows her out just to say that he’s not going to go home now if she’s going home, because her boyfriend might get mad. You’re hilarious. Are you going to pull her pigtails next?

Seol tells him to stop picking fights with her and just say what he wants to say, and that just flusters him even more. He says that they should act like strangers from now on, and is thrown when she blurts that she agrees and storms off.

She chats with Jung on the phone that night and tells him about her parents opening up a new noodle shop and says he should visit sometime. He jokes that it’s a little early to meet the parents (he uses a word that means a formal set-the-marriage-date meeting), and she’s so shocked that he has to explain he was kidding.

She offers to buy him dinner because she got paid today and says they can eat anything he wants, so he says he’s going to choose something really expensive. He’s joking again, but she can never tell, and he grins to himself cutely because he can practically hear her brain doing cartwheels over the phone.

Prickly sunbae Yoon-sub (Seol’s boss at her university admin job) spends the night curled up in the corner of someone else’s room. It’s not until morning that the person comes home, and it turns out to be Seol’s next-door neighbor Joo-yong.

Joo-yong greets Yoon-sub as “jagi-ya,” and though he seems to call a lot of people that, these two definitely seem like boyfriends. Yoon-sub gets mad about Joo-yong staying out all night and catches him in a lie, and when he hears that Joo-yong went home to see his mom because his father wasn’t around, Yoon-sub snaps at him to just go home to his mommy then.

Joo-yong tries to get him to stay, and while they’re arguing in the hallway, they run into the owner’s grandson, who looks super shifty about being seen. He says he came to check on some things that need fixing, and makes a comment about the two guys having spent the night together, and sneers about it when he’s alone.

Seol agonizes over the menu at a restaurant, and when Jung sees that she’s got a coupon for a specific dish, he readily suggests they order that. Seol tells him not to worry about In-ho because they’re distant now, and that seems to make him happy. He asks how she became friends with Eun-taek and Bora, and she says she met Eun-taek through Bora, and met Bora through tutoring when they were high school seniors.

Seol remembers Bora as being very aggressive at first and laughs about it now. She says that there are some people whose first impressions remain constant as you get to know them, and others who end up completely the opposite. Jung asks if he’s any different from her first impression of him, and she freezes, not knowing how to answer. He says that things are really different between them than a year ago, and says with a smile, “I like it.” She says she does too, but can’t even lift her head to meet his eyes.

As they walk down the street, a motorcycle zooms past and Jung grabs her out of the way, but instead of swooning like in any other drama, Seol flips out and pushes him away, like he just accosted her or something. That frightens him and then they’re both scared. She cracks me up with her flailing, though her reaction makes me curious.

They browse a store and Seol picks out a hairpin and sees Jung looking at watches, and he picks up a little redheaded lion cell phone charm and says it looks just like her. She doesn’t seem flattered and self-consciously touches her hair, but he buys one for each of them anyway.

At home, Seol looks at the lion and wonders if it really does look like her, and eventually breaks into a cute little smile, deciding that maybe it does. Jung waits up for her to text, and he looks so happy when she calls.

It doesn’t take long for In-ho to break his own rule and approach Seol at the tutoring academy, and he does it by picking another stupid fight, naturally. She reminds him that they’re supposed to be strangers, and he starts mopping at her feet like a little kid, making her drop her notebook right into the sopping puddle.

She storms off angrily, and In-ho chases after her. His sister In-ha happens to walk in and see this, because she’s here to demand more money from him in person after he ignored her calls. She follows Seol to the convenience store and makes her pay for her snacks without the slightest introduction or explanation.

In-ho convinces one of the instructors at the academy to let him make a copy of the book he ruined for Seol, by promising to get the teacher’s shoes shined. He starts to make a copy when In-ha calls from Seol’s phone and warns him to show up with money before something happens to his girlfriend.

In-ha asks Seol about her relationship with her brother, and Seol says they hardly know each other, and it’s not what In-ha is assuming. In-ha watches her brother run towards them like his feet are on fire and says he showed up way too fast for them to be nothing.

In-ho gives Seol the book and drags In-ha away kicking and screaming, and she demands more money because she’s all out. He’s so infuriated that he lifts a hand like he’s about to strike her, and though he stops and doesn’t actually do anything, she challenges him to go ahead and hit her then: “You’re just like our aunt. Go ahead, hit me. Hit me!”

He pales as she screams in his face, and we fade into a flashback of In-ha as a child, screaming at their aunt who hit her repeatedly. Little In-ho had dragged her away and asked why she always provoked her, and In-ha said that woman wasn’t their aunt, and they should run away.

He argued that their parents and grandfather had passed away and they had nowhere else to go, but In-ha was determined to get away. So In-ho jumped out the window and In-ha was right behind him, but their aunt caught her before she could jump… and he kept running.

He didn’t get far, since Jung’s dad was on his way to see them, and In-ha eventually ran out the door and caught up to them. She showed Chairman Yoo all the bruises on her body and screamed that they’d been abused, begging and pleading for him to take them away.

We fade back to the present, and In-ha counts her money with a smirk on her face, thinking it pitiful that In-ho is still so guilt-ridden about that. Damn, she’s cold. Seol brings In-ho a coffee and thanks him for the book, and leaves him alone to brood some more.

After helping out at her parents’ new restaurant all weekend, Seol is exhausted when Jung calls about their date. He suggests doing something near her house instead, and she tells him to meet her at a bar in her neighborhood.

Jung arrives first and runs into Joo-yong, who’s shocked to see him here. Jung calls him “hyung” and it sounds like they’ve known each other for a long time, though Jung doesn’t look especially happy to see him. He’s surprised to hear that Joo-yong left home because his parents disapproved of his relationship, and wonders why that’d be something to leave home over.

Joo-yong says this person is the only one who loves him for him, and guesses that Jung wouldn’t know anything about love, adding offhandedly that no one in her right mind would be with him. He catches himself before he can even finish that sentence and tries to take it back, and stammers, “I’m not saying you were in the wrong!” Hm, innnteresting.

Jung says he’s been drinking too much and tries to get him to go home, and that’s when Seol arrives and wonders how Jung knows her next-door neighbor. Joo-yong in turn is shocked to find out that they’re dating.

In-ho sees a suspicious man pick up a brick and turn down Seol’s street, and it niggles at him enough that he turns around and follows the guy. Yoon-sub steps out and calls Joo-yong for the millionth time, when Brick Man creeps down the dark street and SLAMS the brick down on top of Yoon-sub’s head. It’s the landlord’s grandson, and it seems that he’s been waiting for Yoon-sub to come outside.

In-ho runs over just in time to see the guy run away, and screams for a lady to call emergency while he presses his shirt against Yoon-sub’s gaping head wound.

Meanwhile, Joo-yong gets so drunk that Jung has to piggyback him home, and Seol helps him get Joo-yong tucked into bed. She wonders why his door was unlocked, but doesn’t have a chance to dwell on it. Jung tells her to lock up and give Joo-yong his keys tomorrow.

She trips over the doorway on the way out and Jung catches her by the waist, and she’s so awkward that she just stands frozen like that in his arms, wondering to herself what a normal person does in this situation—invite him over for coffee? Ramyun? You are so spazzy, and I love it.

He smiles and answers as if he just heard her thoughts: “I want to, but next time.” He pets her on the head sweetly and tells her to lock up before saying goodnight, and she winces in mortification once he’s gone.

The next day, Seol comes home to a big ruckus in her neighborhood. A lady is accusing Joo-yong of being the underwear thief, and a cop questions him about where he was last night. He says he was drinking with Seol, who backs him up on this, and she goes with him when the cop asks to search his room.

There’s no reason he’d even be interested in women’s underwear, not that they know this, but Seol defends him to the cop and says he wouldn’t do something like that. But then a pile of women’s lingerie is discovered in his room, and Seol’s eyes widen to see something of hers in the stash.

When Jung calls, Seol explains what’s happened and says she’s at the police station with Joo-yong, and Jung just says very dispassionately that it’ll get cleared up if he’s not guilty. Seol wonders to herself, “Didn’t they say they were close?”

And then while Joo-yong is being questioned, he finds out that Yoon-sub is the victim from last night, and he runs out of there in a panic. Jung just hangs up and continues his workout, not caring in the least.

Seol steps out of the police station to find In-ho there, and as they walk home, she tells him that he did a good thing and that he saved a sunbae of hers. She doesn’t know why Yoon-sub was here, and asks In-ho what HE was doing in front of her house last night.

In-ho gets all flustered and says he wasn’t there for her or anything, and she points out that she never insinuated that, finding it amusing. She thanks him for what he did, and he apologizes for his noona the other day. He tells her that if In-ha ever comes by again, she should just run away.

Seol overhears an argument next door at Joo-yong’s house, and is standing out in the hallway when Yoon-sub comes storming out mid-fight. Awkward. Yoon-sub asks what she’s doing here, and accuses her and Jung of having a great time messing with him because they know his weaknesses, and asks bitterly if she enjoys going to school for free. Oh. What.

Seol doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and he can’t believe that she has no idea that Jung threatened him to act like he lost Jung’s report last year to make sure that Seol got the scholarship in his place. Behind him, Joo-yong gasps to learn that the person who’s been threatening him all this time was Jung.

Seol is stunned, but this time she asks Jung directly instead of holding it in. She asks if it’s true that he threatened Yoon-sub and made him misplace his report, making Jung’s scholarship go to Seol and tarnishing Yoon-sub’s reputation as an irresponsible admin. Jung admits to all of it, and says that he didn’t want her to take a semester off.

She points out that they didn’t speak back then, but he says that’s why—they weren’t friendly but he wanted to get to know her, and he had no other way of helping her out. He argues that he never would’ve done it if it had caused Yoon-sub harm, but Yoon-sub wronged him in the past and he asked for the favor, and it’s all in the past.

Seol argues, “How can everything always be so clear-cut and simple for you?” She says that Yoon-sub is being talked about at school and hates her, and she asks if Jung has ever once thought about it from Yoon-sub’s point of view. He says he’s sorry if he didn’t think it through enough, but says in his defense that it was all for her.

He tries to stop her when she gets up, and she thinks to herself that this is such a blow to her pride and she can’t breathe when she thinks that someone else has already been hurt because of her. Out loud, she says, “I can’t say thank you.”

She walks away and thinks, “I didn’t want to get used to receiving things from others. I didn’t know that I had already been receiving many things from Sunbae, but what angers me more is that I was shaken by his words that it was all for me.”

Jung stands there wondering why things still turned out this way when he told the truth, and calls Yoon-sub. Uh-oh. In flashback we see that Jung caught Yoon-sub stealing money out of someone else’s wallet at that department party at the start of the semester, and he’d then asked Yoon-sub to lose his report and they’d call it even.

Back in the present, Joo-yong worries that Yoon-sub pissed off the wrong person because he knows that Jung is someone who repays every wrong done to him. And when Jung shows up, the pleasant, polite veneer is completely gone. He’s cold and vicious as he sneers at Yoon-sub for mouthing off, and when Joo-yong jumps to his defense and pleads for Jung to let him off the hook, Jung asks what their relationship is and says condescendingly, “Well isn’t that a sight.”

Jung accuses Yoon-sub of being a credit card thief and Joo-yong of being an underwear thief, and asks if Joo-yong’s parents know he’s living like this. Joo-yong says that everything Yoon-sub has done was for him, and swears that the underwear thing wasn’t him. Jung wonders who’s to say until he’s cleared of suspicion, and Joo-yong notes that this is the real Yoo Jung—incapable of understanding anyone else’s emotions and ignoring them completely.

Joo-yong says he’s even worse than before, and Jung erupts in anger at that: “Are you saying this is my fault?! He messed everything up!” He includes Joo-yong among the things that Yoon-sub messed up, and charges at him when he thinks of Seol. Joo-yong begs him to let it go and gets down on his knees, pleading for him to let it go just this once because Yoon-sub sacrificed so much for him.

Jung agrees to let it go under one condition, and tells Joo-yong to go back home. He doesn’t want them together in front of Seol and asks if Joo-yong doesn’t know what state his family is in, and tells him to get it together before walking away. Yoon-sub is beside himself at the idea that Joo-yong will go back home (they never say it outright, but the implication is that his parents would never accept him being gay), and Yoon-sub cries over and over, “Are you going home?!” Joo-yong just hugs him and asks not to fight today.

At home, Jung plays video games and thinks over what Joo-yong and Seol said about him today. He wonders, “Are they strange? My ways, my thoughts? Why? The truly strange thing is you people.” He thinks of everyone he caught doing something wrong and the way they’d all pleaded with him to let it go, and what In-ho said about him acting like a god who looked at people.

Jung thinks about Seol and how they first crossed paths, and thinks, “You did it too. You saw me and sneered and judged me however you wanted. And you turned your back on me. Seol-ah, I’m not strange.”

 
COMMENTS

Oh you’re definitely strange; it’s just the quality of what kind of strange that’s in question. I swear, after every episode I feel so completely turned around on my Yoo Jung stance. First he’s weird, then he’s sweet, then he’s cold, then he’s warm; he’s vicious, then kind, scary, then sympathetic. I don’t know which way is up and I wonder if I’ll ever know. It’s maddening in a good way, as far as the story goes—I just want to figure him out so badly that I keep wanting Seol to give him the benefit of the doubt just to see where this goes, even though I honestly would have run away if I were in her shoes. We’ve already seen signs today that she doesn’t inherently trust him, and has to tell herself to trust what he says or accept his explanations for now, and even though I’m pretty sure he genuinely likes her (whatever that means, in his head), he keeps doing things that make me think her gut is right and he can never be fully trusted.

I know that Seol is a little more paranoid than the average bear (or just more observant?), but her worries about Jung are obviously not ALL in her head if he has a history of this kind of behavior that others from his past know. He clearly has trouble with empathy, but what worries me more is this eye-for-an-eye business, where he always repays every wrong done to him in kind. Of course, that’s just Joo-yong’s interpretation and it could be wrong; up until now I had thought of Jung as being more opportunistic about calling in favors owed when it suits him, but Joo-yong made it seem like he carried grudges and never let things go if the score weren’t even.

That worries me in a new way, especially after his confrontation with Joo-yong and Yoon-sub at the end of the episode. He was more vicious and condescending than we’ve seen up until now, and I flinched when he was so intolerant of discovering that Joo-yong was gay. I had gotten the sense that he was quick to judge before this, but that was a new low. It’s not like I don’t see his argument that other people judge him just as harshly, but there’s a power imbalance with Jung that makes his actions seem crueler, like he’s always bestowing forgiveness on people when he’s no god.

And yet, even after all that, I can’t shake the feeling that he’s learning how to love and think of others because of Seol, and I really felt something when he so hesitantly reached out and touched her fingers and held her hand as she slept. He scares me, but I want to see more of that genuine warmth and curiosity from him. The scholarship thing is a huge setback though, and I was fuming when he didn’t understand why she’d find it patronizing and not something to be grateful for. It’s just all wrong for him to get mad at Yoon-sub for spilling the beans when he never should’ve manipulated his grades for Seol in the first place, and I hope she doesn’t let him off the hook too easily just because his heart was in the right place. With a guy like Jung, I think that excuse could lead to some very dark places all too readily.

Structurally, I like that there’s such a push and pull in the relationship without the usual romantic ambiguity. They’re already dating and we know they like each other, but I find that their dynamic and my impression of the relationship changes every time, because there’s so much character ambiguity clouding the way you might read an otherwise very average interaction between a couple. Like when Jung pulled Seol out of the way of the motorcycle, was she just a flailing nervous wreck, or was she actually frightened? Is their lack of skinship because he’s being respectful, or because he’s never let himself get that physically close to anyone before? Is he doing what she wants in order to sincerely gain her trust and be close to her, or does he just want to do whatever it takes to keep the peace and not fight? And then of course when you add in a second lead like In-ho who seems to fit with Seol so easily and naturally, it’s hard not to wonder if she’d be happier without Jung. Basically, this show fills my head with crazy questions, but it’s one case where I’m happy to be left guessing.

 
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Ah!! I'm really enjoying this gem of a drama. In the previous episodes I wasn't sure as to YooJungs motivations, but this episode really helped me understand his character a lot more. I actually don't find him THAT creepy anymore. He sees his world in black and white. I don't think he's purposely malicious, but sees it as justice/retribution. He doesn't realize his methods may be wrong or weird.... His intention in blackmailing the TA was to help out HS and that's all he saw. He didn't think beyond what the ramifications may be but helping HS out. He wanted to keep HS in school, so he used his leverage against the TA to help HS get the scholarship. I also love the fact that this couple is talking things out and the drama is showing us the progression of the couple. HS is really starting to fall for him as well! You can see the way she smiles and gets giddy when talking with YJ. But this episode def helped me understand YJ a lot more and def cements #teamjung!!!

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Yeah definitely... Yoojung doesn't treat these "threats" or situations personally but all the people who are affected by him do, which causes the disparity in his relationships with people. He's got a very... machiavellian kind of mindset, which I guess does protect him from people who try to take advantage of/hurt him, but it also seriously stilts his abilities to interact with people without seeing them as either a gain or a liability... He doesn't try to put himself into other people's shoes and he doesn't need to, for him to get the results he wants, and that's why people are scared of him once they see this side of him... they don't understand how someone could say the things he does and not harbor utterly malicious intent/have a personal vendetta against them

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Jung def lacks empathy for others...I actually know a guy like him, which is why I'm probably more inclined to like Jung. The guy I know can be quite blunt and doesn't have the "regular" social empathy that others have. He sees things simply as it is and emotions don't really come into play. He told me he took those personality tests as a college student and his scoring is similar to a psychopath. There's been times where something he says is curt/hurtful, but he doesn't mean it to be that way. He just simply sees things as it is. But he leads a normal life, and when you get to know him that initial brash personality doesn't bother you as much. He has the ability to love and is married with children. Maybe this is why I am more readily open to Jungs personality and accepting of him.

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I've read the discussion below, and find that @michelle's 1.1 is the comment that comes closest to describing the enigma that is Yoojung. "Machiavellian" is the perfect word for him. Applause. ?
I haven't thought of him as being psychopathic as some viewers see him. He's just somewhat ruthless, and quite a bit scary, so far.

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i came back to this recap out of sheer curiosity and aww why thank you haha! there's always so much discourse wrt yoojung and i'm glad my description was agreeable to you!

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BTW, Yoojung is somebody I'd stay far away from. But then Seol tried that last year and it didn't do her any do. Once he locks his sight on you, you are the hunted.

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Didn't know what machiavellian was, but found out that a close friend fits the bill completely. I'm with you KD, personally I'd run away from YooJung. However, as a drama, this stuff is really interesting to be weaved into a romcom. Totally not the usual stuff.

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And since it is kdrama I can't help but fall in LOVE with this Yoojung :)

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I find that she is overeacting, dude just did something to help her, and its not as if he is preventing others from getting the scholarship, he would he the only one this will prejudice. TA deserved totally to get told off. Ok maybe he can be a bit of a psycho in the way of viewing life as black and white but the others are not saint either, even less Seoul, she didnt trust him yet still went out with him? Yeah, I dont think anyone can judge, they are all human and all got their faults.thats why i love this show, it shows nuances and how different people see same thing differently

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I'm coming round to the idea that Jung's a psychopath, but a very high-functioning one, the type who would be an excellent CEO.

And maybe I am one too, because I really don't see a ton of problems with the idea that Seol got the scholarship because he intentionally dropped his grade. Where I DO see a problem is that he made a very specific request of the TA that then landed responsibility directly on the TA. The way it was phrased kind of sounded like the papers had already been accounted for so Jung couldn't just claim to not have handed it in, which is why the TA had to "lose" it. But it's clear that Jung wouldn't really have cared either way - he just needed his grade gone, he saw a way to do it that canceled a debt, done. He flat-out didn't care about the fallout for the TA, though I'd guess that he would've intervened if he realized the TA would take it out on Seol.

Within his own value system, Jung's not a bad guy. And universally, he's not a bad guy. He's unsettling, definitely, but he doesn't seem to initiate, he just tallies debts and accounts for their payment. For Seol, he's great!... until he does something that alienates her friends, since he's likely not going to think about their emotions when acting. Even Seol he can't totally track her emotions.

But the upside is he looks like he can learn, and better yet may actually WANT to learn.

Meanwhile In Ho continues to be Jung's flip - an open nerve who can't help himself when it comes to emotions, who also seems to be unable to link actions, consequences and longterm planning. No wonder the two of them have a rift.

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hmmm...I'm really curious and I don't get it that most people described Jung's personality as a psychopath. I see him as maybe lacking empathy but I kinda understand why he's acting that way. I do agree with what other people said that, he sees thing as black and white-- if someone made a mistake then he/she should fix it themselves. But when he shows lack of compassion or doesn't want to go along with them, then they see him as a cold person, or "different" than what they thought he would be.

It seems like he's a type of person who doesn't care about BS stuff. For example, the TA guy stole some money but Jung saw it and didn't say anything. He just asked him to lose his report and it's up to the TA guy if he'll do what Jung asks or not. Or the crazy jealous girl who thinks that she owns Jung but when she found out that she doesn't mean anything to him, she sees him negatively. In everything we do, there's always consequences, and for the negative results...it's just up to us if we want to face it or put the blame to others...what ever we feel like. We only see what the show wants us to see, so we jumped to conclusions like Seol... since, there's always 2-3 maybe 4 sides of the story. Or maybe I'm wrong about Jung LOL

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agreed I also can understand Jung, since mostly I see the world similar to Jung perspective. I don't sympathized with people that dig their own hole, if you made problem then fixed it! don't blame others for your inability.
What I hate the most is people like In Ho, that blame others for their own tragedy but they didn't do something to fixed themselves. Their drown in their own miserable wail.

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I'm not certain who the TA stole money from in the show - it's unclear. In the webtoon he stole Jung's credit card and made purchases with it, so I read it as Jung seeing the TA empty Jung's wallet and not saying anything at the time. Really the TA got off lightly - I'd rather be known as the guy that lost a test than the guy that stole money from a student and got arrested. I mean, that's gonna do WAY more damage to your life than a lost test.

And if I were Seol, even if I didn't love the method of his tit-for-tat with the TA, I wouldn't be too upset with a rich guy giving up an un-needed free ride scholarship at school to me so I could keep going to school. I'd be totally cool with the sentiment if not the method. Although, knowing more details about this than she does, I'm actually pretty cool down with his method too. Call me a bad person.

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Lack of empathy is one of the hallmarks of psychopathic behavior. Being able to rationalize your own actions with no regards to other people is what generally makes one a psychopath.

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I do get it that lack of empathy is one of the hallmarks of psychopathic behavior, however, with Jung's case I don't see why people thinks he's psychopath.

For example, that male sunbae who stole money from their funds and got outed by someone else assumed and blamed that Seol did it, so he tried to get even and messed up Seol's classes, and then didn't do his part in their class assignment, which ended up Seol's getting a "D" grade. Never once he apologized or felt bad to Seol, is he considered as a psychopath then?

Or that jealous girl who thinks so highly of herself, who half-apologize to Seol and didn't even tell the whole story, just because she was hurt on how Jung acted on her?

And others like that TA guy. I mean, was Jung supposed to feel bad for them knowing that they're not really sorry for what they did? If he's truly a psychopath, then how was he able to form an attachment to Seol? I think, it's more on he's having a hard time opening or trusting to people. I wonder if he's been emotionally hurt or traumatize in the past? aaaahhhh this show is driving me nuts! LOL

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You can definitely check a few boxes in the psychopath column for Jung (for me, if all the boxes, aren't checked then he's not a psychopath), but it's more complex than that since some of Jung's actions contradicts those characterizations.

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I think you are wrong cooler.. a psychopath definitely has lack of empathy.. but the lack of it doesn't make one a psychopath... and all people here have to look up the definition of a psychopath.. Everyone has got it wrong. JUNG IS NOT A PSYCHOPATH... He has done certain manipulative acts... and all those who he acted against were certainly in the wrong... and BIG wrongs at that too...

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Being a psychopath isn't necessarily bad, it's just the way your brain is built. Just like people with fully-functioning empathy can ignore it and go on a killing spree, a psychopath can focus on building a logical structure that mimics empathy and use it to integrate into society.

Jung may not be a psychopath, but man, he's ticking a lot of the boxes. What's most interesting is that he doesn't seem to want to be with Seol for logical reasons (fitting expectations, presenting an image, etc), he seems to be attracted to her for some other reason. It's telling that one of the first things that makes her notable to him is that she observed and correctly interpreted his drink-spill; he may be attracted to her because she's got a baseline similarity to him and then also a better social integration.

And it also seems that he just flat-out likes her. She makes him smile, and even when she's focusing on things he thinks are silly, he makes some effort to understand, which he wouldn't do with other people. So that's interesting too.

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How exactly was the drink-spill suppose to be interpreted? I'm confused as to what happened in that incident.

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@Jeanie, the girl and Jung were holding the drink. The girl was trying to seduce Jung and he was trying to reject her politely, she insisted and Jung let the bottle go on purpose so it spilled on her. I didn't think it's a psychopath behaviour. The problem is that he usually look like Mr. perfect and it wasn't a nice thing to do.

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@ Susi

Actually, I thought it was a nicer thing to do than to just tell her bluntly, you are being a pest and cheap to throw yourself at me this way. This way, she has to leave but is not shamed. What is the alternative? For him to accept her advances and play along? To have to say, let's step outside and talk about this seriously, when in a way, that'd be overdoing it since she was just being really brash?

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He has alexithymia. There are no established causes of this problem. It's not even classified as a personality disorder but rather a trait.

Among the identified causes, a genetic predisposition, repeated head trauma or environmental (which can be anything really.)

I don't think he's a psychopath yet. But he has developed coping skills over time, a lot of them bad as we can see. It is only with Seol that he is discovering better ways to cope.

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He is a psychopath. There is this skewed perception of psychopaths because of the way the media portrays them as serial killers. But if you look up the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, Jung definitely fits the bill.

His lack of empathy, manipulative personality, how he exploits others' weaknesses are obvious traits. But there's also his superficial charm-how he's buying dinner for his classmates, being really "nice" to everyone. He also has a
grandoise sense of self. Like the way he expects everyone to follow his will, how its his way or no way. He fails to accept responsibility for his own actions. When he does something wrong, he always turns it back on someone else. That his actions were "justified" and not his fault. Which is kind of related to his lack of empathy.

There are people commenting that although Jung is manipulative, it was to people who did bad things. Yes, the bad guys need to be punished. But when Jung "punishes" them, his motives are definitely not pure. When normal people do bad things, you report them to the authority and be done with it. Jung doesn't do that. No he keeps quiet about their crime until he needs a "favor" or if it's beneficial to him. In most scenes, these offenders are not even in a conflict with Jung (ie. Jung is a bystander). Which begs the question, who is he to decide their punishment?

Aside from that, I love how Seol makes Jung a better person because she challenges him. His whole life, everything has been going his way except when it comes to her. On the other hand, I love how In Ho brings out the fighter side of Seol and how she can laugh with him. Seol is good for Jung, but In Ho is good for Seol.....hmm who to ship?

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Yes like a toned down version of Min from I Remember You since he actually doesn't kill people. It seems like Jung justifies the horrible stuff he does because they "deserve" it but it's creepy because he seems so emotionless about it.

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I think he sees it as... You do something wrong and you've accrued a debt that WILL be paid later, though the payment may have no connection to the wrong.

If you claimed you couldn't work on a project, and then Jung saw you at a movie theatre, I can see him in some way viewing that as a day you "owed". So three months later, he might suddenly volunteer you to do something that you had no intention of doing, but the way he's looking at you makes it clear that he's going to make you do it. In his view, you are repaying that day you "stole".

For the individual on the wrong side of that exchange, they probably feel angry that someone else is controlling their actions that way and that they have little recourse, because Jung can always tell the truth about that movie day. Jung just doesn't see it as something to be emotional over because it fits in his worldview of doing the crime and doing the time.

I like that he seems to have no concept of complete forgiveness. He won't tell, but he's also not letting you off the hook. You will pay.

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This is a good way to describe it :) and while I know what he's doing is not quite right, I'm rooting for people to get their comeupance.

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On point right there, sistah. I mean Jung could easily brush those things off, as he had previously displayed such blatant disregard of other people's reactions (or eventual fallouts, if u may).. but because those so called "debts" are convenient for him to have a hold of, he does what he wants with it in a pursuit that's of his own liking. Unsettling but fascinating at the same time. I love that he seems like a paragon at first but has now exhibited a cluelessness that's adorable. Idk, but I find him endearing, it's nuts.

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I guess I'm struggling to see exactly what Jung does that is so horrible.

So he sees that someone is embezzling student funds, which to me, is criminal - and so he gives a receipt as evidence to another student who already is angry with the embezzler, allowing him to out him. How is that horrible?

Then he sees a girl causing a situation that created a risky situation for Seul, which led to actual harm - and he didn't report her but told her he didn't want to associate with her again.

Then someone steals his money and credit card - he lets them off, but asks them to lose his paper. I think he recognises that with his wealth, he didn't need the scholarship but Seul did - and wanted to help in a a way that didn't shove charity in her face. He asked the TA to admit to being careless, instead of being a thief - seems like the lesser evil to me.

How is Jung horrible?

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@Miranda

But why should he forgive those people entirely? I don't think any one of them showed sincere repentance in the last.

And weren't they trying to take control themselves in ways that were underhanded and mean in the first place? It was just they got beaten at their own game and I think whatever deal Jung gave them - they got off pretty lightly.

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@Dramapanda, I agree with you! And I'll add in your list the guy that wanted to get Seol drunk and rape her.
It's weird how people can empathize with that kind of people and not with Jung.
Yes, he is cold and he looks creepy sometimes but he didn't hurt, steal or tried to rape someone.

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@Dramapanda, I actually don't think Jung is horrible. I think he has a justice and value system that is unlike that of those around him. The only thing that makes him "wrong" is that he acts in a way that's different from the way others act, which makes his actions "strange", mostly because they're unpredictable.

For most people, there are a couple of options when you're caught doing something wrong: the other person forgives you, the other person turns you in, or the other person agrees to brush it under the rug but then kind of despises you. Jung is acting outside of that pattern: he sees a wrong, doesn't necessarily right it, but does use that knowledge to extract a favor later. That unsettles people.

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@miranda

I really like the way you put it. Yes, Jung is definitely unsettling because his actions are not like the way most people would do. He's not terrible by any standard, he's just different.

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@Nomad

I'd add that he is not just different, but efficient. And that's what scares people.

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He's pleasant to people on a cursory level. He shuts down and cuts people off if he's hurt or finds out he doesn't like them. He doesn't concern himself with people's business that aren't of interest to him. It all seems normal, and yet I'm inclined to agree that he does seem to be a psychopath. And, while I wouldn't want to date him, I still don't find his behavior totally unreasonable. Potentially exhausting, but not unreasonable.

No sympathy for the TA. He was stealing to support his man. I'd argue that he's better off being thought of as an irresponsible employee--a reputation he could probably repair--than an unemployed thief. Also, Jung kept his end of the deal, it's Jooyung that reneged.

[Sidebar: Taking care of an able-bodied, grown-ass man is always a fail. His parents refusal to accept him would explain not having access to their money. It doesn't explain him not being able to go out and get his own.]

One of the things I find most interesting is the people that have said that Jung isn't what he appears to be don't seem to be innocent. Thus far it appears they've offered to sale their souls because they were caught doing something wrong, but want to act like the victims when the transaction is complete.

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"One of the things I find most interesting is the people that have said that Jung isn’t what he appears to be don’t seem to be innocent."

^^^ True, that. I think that could be a factor on why he's drawn to Seol. She doesn't owe him any "debts" but "saw right through him" instead. I don't doubt that he likes her, not at all, but I have this thinking (influence of makjangs, I tell ya) he might use those "gifts"/favors to get back at her some day, which arghhh. I can't even.. I hope not. Geez all those soap operas in my head.. Tskkkkk..

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yup their victims mentality that makes them always feel wronged, while in fact they just pay for what they did before.

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We don't know yet if Jung's apparent lack of empathy has always been a part of his personalty or it was born out of a defense mechanism early in life. He does not seem to have any emotionally close personal relationships, though he is conventionally social.
He seems to have closed himself off to positive emotions and many negative emotions except for cold anger until the stimulus of Seol. Now he has felt attraction, jealousy, concern,inklings of affection and been unbalanced by her rejections. Jung controls himself and his interactions with others very tightly. He hasn't allowed himself to feel deeply let alone acknowledge what others may be feeling.
I don't think he could really explain why he became interested in Seol or what his pursuit of her will lead to. She doesn't always respond to his push and pull as he expects and that must be unsettling. It is going to be messy.
I don't think he knows how to express affection to someone you care about. What I took from that scene at the hospital is that if he had not seen her friends holding hands to comfort each other, he would not have thought to hold Seol's hand. Even that was more of a cradling of her hand.

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Instead of 'psychopath' wouldn't 'sociopath' be more suiting in Jung's case?

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I was initially going to go with sociopath yesterday, but I kept getting the red squiggly lines when I used the socio prefix, so I just went with psychopath since I seemed to be able to spell variations of that word correctly?

Since I'd had the same thought, I did a little research. Very little. Psychopath actually seems to fit better, based on US mental health guides (DSM-V) than sociopath. Psychopaths tend to be more functioning as they are often very charismatic and controlled. One of their primary skills is manipulation. Relationships tend to be shallow or artificial as people are primarily just things to be used in ways that best benefit the psycho. Sociopaths, on the other hand, tend to be erratic, irrational, and impulsive--non-functioning, fringe members of society.

Interestingly, apparently psychopaths are thought to be born (nature), whereas sociopaths are created (nurture.)

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I don't think Jung is a psychopath... He is a sociopath definitely... but not a psychopath...Its true he lacks empathy...but that doesn't make anyone a psychopath.
And all those people who were directly hurt by Jung.. they were definitely in the wrong... We have not seen him harming anybody innocent for no reason. I don't know how to put it... but once we have seen the full situation Jung can't be blamed completely...And I agree with you. I also don't see any wrong in helping Seol with the scholarship. What bothers me is that Seol didn't ask Jung what was the wrong committed by the TA for Jung to be making a deal. She had some first impressions over Jung and she is still prejudiced over him. She totally does not put an effort to understand him. She is more inclined to believe others over Jung. I just wish that Seol will be able to understand Jung's thought process.

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What's crazy is for a second, it seemed like she did understand how he thought. In her musings, she seemed to come to the realization that he only defends himself when asked.

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Ok, I can't understand why and how people think that Jung's behavior is acceptable and that he's "learning" and HS and Jung can just learn the differences between each other and all's great. WHAT??? Is this just "dramaland" logic?

First, blackmailing someone is NOT ok in any situation. It's not, "oh, he'll grow out of it" behavior people. And Jung is not a child, he's a grown adult. Set behavior like this needs a trained professional and he needs regular therapy or it doesn't change. Yes, his self-absorbed, victimization complex is not normal and it is this kind of behavior that leads to obsession and later to serial killer-dom!

Second, telling someone they did something bad, i.e., blackmailing someone, because he loved her and it was all for her benefit is ALSO wrong. There's a word for that, it's called emotional abuse/emotional blackmail. What?

In every episode, Jung thinks he is always the victim. It's always someone else's fault. HE'S never the problem, someone else messed it up, someone else did wrong to him first, someone else made a mistake first, it was always someone else's fault. This is NOT healthy or normal behavior. Yes, I think he is a psychopath or well on his way to becoming a psychopath. He needs some serious help.

If people didn't think that last scene with him sitting alone in the dark and thinking, I'm not strange, everyone else is (of course, again, it's everyone else who is at fault, not you), wasn't creepy as all shit then I don't know what. That last scene was weird and creepy all at the same time.

HS's spidey sense is ALWAYS kicking in when she is with him. She is always feeling uneasy, awkward and on guard when she is with him. I do not think it's paranoia, I think she is exhibiting all proper signs of someone whose instincts are picking something up and screaming at her to run away, far away. And I'd like to do the same whenever she is with Jung, "GIRL, RUN THE OTHER WAY FAST!" Preferably, to In-Ho.

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I think the reason is that a lot do not see it as blackmail.

Yes, the last scene was very chilling as it was meant to be. It had me worried that he's going to his dark side.

However, YJ does apologize at times and I don't think he necessarily sees himself as a victim. Personally, I think part of why he likes Seol now is because he was wrong about her. He does a complete 180 from when he just thought she was this person who laughed at him and judged him harshly.
This show does remind me a lot of Pride and Prejudice.

That 180 is also part of the reason why Seol acts the way she does around him. If someone has disliked you for a year and you don't know why he likes you now, it's logical to be on guard. Especially when you know he is/can be cold and has a dark side. It's true she is nervous around him but some of that is also because she likes him. She really cares about his opinion of her.

Also, even if he is a psychopath, which I'm not sold on, it doesn't mean he is the serial killer type at all.

Psychopaths comprise anywhere from .2 to 3% of our population and most are law abiding citizens.

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actually if you follow the webtoon, you'd know that it is the opposite. jung hates people who see themselves as victims and act as such. to him it's simple. you did wrong, you get punishment. he also tends to let you decide what punishment you get. the punishment for the crime you did or something else in exchange for buying his silence. A goody-goody person would right away turn the person in for his crimes but jung lets you buy his silence, and usually the payment is less than the original punishment... but the people who did wrong never thing of it that way, they think they're victims. for example, inho. he blames jung for his hand probably even more than the person who beat him up because he thought they were friends and yet jung let it happen. and then he fueled his hatred with the fact that he lost his piano career because of that... when in fact he refused to get PT. not saying jung is doing good things, just that everyone is in the wrong for something too.

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@Grnapple31 I agree with you completely! It's really weird to me that so many people view Jung as "interesting" and attractive instead of scary as all heck.

The man lacks empathy. That's one of the most frightening personality traits you can have. Humans are social animals, and our ability to empathize with others is a crucial part of our humanity. Is there literally no personality trait that is horrible enough that k-drama fans won't overlook it in service of the OTP?

I would be HORRIFIED if someone who lacked empathy fixated on me. Every time Seol and Jung get together, I'm brain-screaming for her to RUN. I don't want these two together, and the fact that they are OTP and will end up together in the end makes me want to stop watching the show. I love all the other characters though, so I'm going to keep watching for the sweet moments between her and In-ho that the drama will give us before tossing him aside and forcing Jung and Soel together.

The drama shows Soel questioning Jung, herself, and everything about their interactions when they are together. It's so uncomfortable, especially since we viewers know that she is RIGHT to get a creepy vibe from him. The show also makes a point of showing how comfortable she is with In-ho. She has never had a problem telling him her true feelings, she has casual skinship with him without flinching, and she just has so much **fun** when they're together. He gets her out of her head, and she laughs and squabbles and interacts naturally and happily with him. Their chemistry is off the chain, and it's so fun to watch. I hate that she is going to end up with Jung. [NOTE: I have not read the webtoon, so I am not speaking with prior knowledge of the story. I'm just a grizzled veteran of Dramaland, and I know that she's going to end up with Jung exactly BECAUSE she and In-ho are obviously better suited. If I were proved wrong, I would SING FROM THE ROOFTOPS.]

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AMEN

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I find Jung one of the most interesting characters around!

Jung is very rational, he sees what it really is. I find nothing wrong in that. His lack of empathy is because of his social status, how can he trust people so easily when he is rich and a future CEO? He can't be naive and trust everyone. I'm sure there were people who took advantage of his situation and he knew that.
If I were in his shoes I'll probably be similar, be caustions and alert.

For me what makes Jung very interesting is his view of justice, behavior and responsability. But his view isn't perfect, it has flaws, and he starts to be aware of this as it showed in the last part of ep5.

I don't see him as a bad person, but a person who created his own view of the world and how he should deal with it.

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Interesting point, @Kathia

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Doesnt his character feel like Izaya ? Its different but i really like his character . People are so disgusting and never learn he is the only person(smart) and let them repay back so they wont do it again. And again maybe he have hidden trauma. Well it kinda feel like how he was in bad guys where he came out as a psycho who wants to learn emotion.

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My correct crack drama and I love it :)

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!! welcome to the cheese party gf!!!

oh man this episode!! i'm quite... interested by how fast the plot is moving-- wondering how much of the webtoon they're going to cover in a 16 episode drama format?? my feelings rage uncontrollably with regards to yoojung.... one second i hate him for being a manipulative controlling dick and the next i'll totally throw that out the window in favor of watching him attempt to woo seol with his guarded but chivalrous actions... pretty excited about oh younggon next episode!! i wonder if they made him as annoying as the webtoon one hahah

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also it's episode 5 and i still can't stand lee sungkyung's acting ;_______;

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If her acting was more nuanced, I'd feel more sympathetic about her painful childhood.

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oh my god i know.... inha in the webtoon is so much more chilling... perhaps the only time i felt that lee sungkyung did okay was after she got the money out of her brother and showed contempt for his guilt... other than that, she honestly over does the role

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Whew! The Baek’s childhood was painful to see. Part of me wants to excuse Inha for her present behaviour given what she went through but Inho went through the same thing and has turned out so much better so I wonder if I'm placing too much blame on nurture. There are two possibilities for Inho having run away like that: he suffered a similar level of abuse or he was running above from both the aunt and Inha. Given what little Inha said about trying to incite the mentally-ill aunt to kill them horrifying thoughts for a child), I wonder if it could have been the latter, hence why he still feels guilty, because she did suffer a great deal too. But twisting the knife in that past wound makes Inha look like an even worse psychopath than Yoo Jung was played out to be. Because to her, all's fair as long as she gets her money, while Inho's left with a reopened wound.
Yoo Jung on the other hand, is emotionally stunted but a sweetie. He knows what makes everyone tick. He manipulates the hell out of them but doesn't know how to interact with them without pulling strings. He doesn't see this as an issue that needs fixing because, to him, they're the strange ones. That last scene simultaneously made me shiver and want to hug Yoo Jung. Because there is something slightly psychologically off with someone who thinks that everyone's strange but him. And he does deserve a wake-up call, even if he isn't in the wrong with TA Heo's case, because he does treat good people like Inho as inferior. But the vulnerability with which Yoo Jung said “Seol, I’m not strange” was heartbreaking. Because among all those inconsequential others, Seol’s the only one whose opinion matters. The false bravado and loneliness here put me in mind of Inho. I don’t think that Yoo Jung is judging Seol for judging him (if anything he works to ensure that her impression turns favourable) because he judges people too, as seen in his guilty-until-proved-innocent treatment of Jooyong. He’s just a rigidly-controlled sweetheart who starts to emit hearts from his eyes during dates with Seol. SO CUTE!
On any perceived homophobia in the show. SK is conservative so seeing a gay people on tv doesn't come easy. Yoo Jung, however, does not judge TA Heo and Jooyong for being gay, but rather for the other choices they've made: stealing money, blaming him for revenge, treating Seol like crap and telling her everything. Yoo Jung isn't homophobic. However, that one of the only two gay characters is written as an asshole remains. Yet this writer is also showing that the stigmatization of gay relationships in Korea has led to fear of coming out, and in this case, has resulted in the real underwear thief finding a convenient target to blame because he knows that TA Heo and Jooyong won't be able to risk coming out. So is there homophobia in this show? I'm saying no.
More on: http://unstoppablesun.com/2016/01/18/cheese-in-the-trap-ep-5-review-and-falling-for-yoo-jung/

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Addendum: Upon realizing that they're gay, Yoo Jung does say "What a sight" but his next line is "a card thief and a underwear thief" referring to what they've done (or what he assumes they've done in Jooyoung's case) so I honestly can't seen him as being homophobic

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Yeah, I don't think he's homophobic, because he knew that Joo Yung was gay when they were drinking. He didn't seem to have a problem with that, though he did tell him to go back home. I guess he really doesn't understand love. So he wouldn't understand why Joo Yung would want to leave his parents just to live with someone he loves.

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Did he? I didn't pick that up. I'm glad though, because I don't think I could hand wave homophobia as a 'cultural thing' if he was indeed homophobic. I do enjoy the idea that he was simply disgusted by how low his hyung had been brought by his lover (whom Jung already dislikes). I thought TA Heo picked up Jung's dropped wallet and that's how Jung was wronged. I kind of like that all these people who do the wrong thing are forced to even the scales instead of getting away scott free with their behaviour (even if it's only Jung mentally tormenting them). I get a petty kind of pleasure out of it.

I do think Seol's point that he goes too far is very true and hyung's point that he doesn't understand human emotion very well. People are saying Psychopath/Sociopath but is that not a sympton of Autism? Or is he too manipulative to be autistic. Either way something is definitely off with him but I love it so hard.

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People on the autism spectrum can be manipulative too. They are mostly blunt, straightforward and factual to the point where ppl think they lack empathy but I wouldn't rule out autism just because he is manipulative and uses leverage.

A lot of my extended family is on the spectrum and one in particular is quite manipulative.

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I'm not sure about the comment of whether he understand love, but i think he does understand responsibility. As someone who has had to bear the responsibility put upon him by his father - to be good, to do well, AND to take care of the Baeks - he probably cannot agree with the choices made by Joo Yung to leave home, upsetting his parents and live impoverished and struggling.

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+1 on sunbae comment about yoojong & TA heo
Flashback on jooyong & sunbae relationship when they were young would makes it clearer imo. If they include that, I think it will makes it clearer on what sunbae is referring to. And it also shows how much impact young jooyong said to young sunbae, on smiling.

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oh yes @hanie. I thought of that too.
Sometimes I think the ones who read the webtoon are privy to some information and are able to understand some layers of the conversations a bit better than by just watching the drama.. because they don't have all the information.. you know. but that's how it is.
The show is doing great and I'm having a blast reading about eveybody's opinions about Yoo Jung. So fascinating!

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For non readers the rewatch will be extra rewarding though.

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It's definitely true that those of us who haven't read the webtoon are scratching our heads more. ?

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I think we'd all like to think positively about Yoo Jung because he's the lead, he has "oh so man flaws, the poor baby needs to be loved" syndrome going for many folks but I totally read it as Yoo Jung being closer to homophobic/intolerant than not.

I don't know the intensity of his intolerance but it was NOT clear that Yoo Jung knew Joo Young was gay at the bar, nor that Yoo Jung was fine with him being gay. In fact, I'm pretty sure he didn't know because he said he didn't understand how Joo Young would leave his family for love (meaning, how could it have been a problem for his family for Yoo Jung to have been dating someone, i.e., assuming that was a "she" and not a "he"). That's why when he saw Joo Young and the TA together, he sneered and said, "what a spectacle" (the exact korean phrase he used translates to "what a pathetic spectacle").

The case isn't so strong to label him as homophobic but there was definitely enough to label him intolerant. That's another check mark against Yoo Jung in my book.

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i don't think people are being lenient because he's the lead. I have read the webtoon and so maybe I'm aware of other things that have not been shown in the drama yet, and that is influencing my views. At the same time, the scriptwriter and director have also read the webtoon so that also influences their directing. They want the audience to understand yoo jung just like how the readers understood him from the webtoon. His comment about leaving family for love is about responsibility, doesn't matter if he knew the lover was a man or a woman. If you think he thought it was a woman, then it makes it even clearer that he was talking about jooyong's filial obligations. Jung doesn't get placing love above it. And the poster before you just said that his next line was about how two thieves are in a relationship, not just because of gender. TBH, in the webtoon I even felt like Jung actually did not dislike jooyong that much, and jooyong is scared of him but doesn't dislike him that much either.

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I thought it was most remarkable that In Ha is a little firebrand at age 7, and when you see what she's become as an adult...

Look: child abuse is never okay. In Ha was definitely bruised and had been beaten. But given her personality and In Ho pleading with her not to instigate, and then she immediately goes to steal jewelry and money? It really did make me wonder if In Ha has always been the type who flies into rages when she doesn't get what she wants.

Basically, I can imagine a little In Ha being outraged that she went from a moneyed lifestyle with her grandfather to a more impoverished one with her aunt, and In Ha just refusing to accept the change. Kicking, biting, screaming - the whole thing. And since she clearly knows that there is an escape maneuver, she may have been going at her aunt with the express idea that she can get away from her. In Ho would bend to a new situation, but In Ha seems to have an underlying nuttiness that demands the world bend to her whims.

There are some nightmare kids out there, nightmare manipulative shockingly savvy children, and In Ha may have been one of them.

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I'm purposefully being vague because I don't know if the drama changed this from the source or will show this later (so feel free to skip this next part and/or delete this if it's considered too spoilerish) but:

it's not really like that with In-ha? I've always rather pitied her because you could see how her abuse twisted her and explains why she is the way she is today. And it wasn't the same for her and In-ho -- In-ha had it much, much worse from their aunt than her brother did, which is part of the reason why In-ho still feels so much guilt.

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Might be spoiler:
Their aunt prefer In Ho and always prays In Ho for his talent in piano, while In Ha who loves to draw but without talent is told to stop wasting money for he hobby. Their aunt think that In Ho talent can bring more money for her. And this is the roots of In Ho guilt towards In Ha

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*praise

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I agree, I think In Ha would have thrown tantrum and rage even if the aunt had been nice to her. I mean look t her behaviour. No one is abusing her now and yet she keeps treating other people poorly. She used guys for money. She used Yoo Jung's family for money.
Really there's a lot of talk about Yoo Jung being sociopath/psychopath, I think In Ha is psycho.

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I'm not sure In Ha is subtle enough to be a psychopath. Narcissist maybe?

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definitely not a psychopath in this drama, but in the webtoons it's hard to tell. inha's more of a calculating stone cold bitch who gets whiny when yoojung arrives but not much outside of that... lee sungkyung really doesn't do her justice but yeah i suppose in the drama and webtoons her narcissism shows the most

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In Ha definitely lacks the subtlety of a psychopath :D

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IMO what InHa could be described as could more of a sociopath, using other people for personal gain, manipulating them etc.
Like how she acted in front of YooJung and his dad all sweet and nice, because she could get money and care from them.
She seems to also not have any friends or any attachments to anyone, which is also a clear sign of a sociopath.

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I have very very very little knowledge about psychology...but whatever In Ha is, I think she needs help and fast. That woman is really sick in the head and heart! She really grates on my nerves, so I might have to start fast forwarding her scenes. On that note, I find Bo Ra also annoying. What the heck is that reaction towards their guy friend (who obviously falls head over heels for her)? I find her as incredibly immature and needy!

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Well said. I have to agree.

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I agree. When I first saw that scene when Inho raises his hand and Inha's entire demeanor changed for that brief moment, I was really shocked. Inho looked shocked as well and that flash black was pretty intense. Then Inha makes it that much more cold by completely disregarding her past all so she can get her money. I'm honestly so curious about what that childhood trauma and abuse did to her to make her like that

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Her initial reaction was the first subtle thing I've seen about her. Which makes her angry mask very sad. But still no less annoying. That flashback gave me enough sympathy to not outright despise her. But I do wish she can change her ways a bit. But why the hell did Seol buy her that food/drink.

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Oooh, I saw that totally differently - it looked to me like In Ha very deliberately pulled that expression to make In Ho feel guilty.

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I felt the first expression, when he first raised his hand as genuine and the rest played on his guilt.

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The question isn't why In Ha asked Seol to buy her the food/drink. It's why the hell did Seol pay for the food/drink of a stranger she does not know. If a stranger walked up to me and hostilely asked me to pay for their groceries, I sure as hell wouldn't do it?

It be different if they asked for a favor. I hope Seol takes In Ho's advice when she sees In Ha again, she should RUN.

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Ha! Yes she should. I must have expressed myself poorly I also meant why the hell did Seol go along with it? But I thought about and it fits with Seol's character, she assesses the situation and can take some time to decide to take action. She just reaches the point where she has to stand up for herself.

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Yes, that baffles me too. Why would she do that? And why did she succumb to In Ho's walking away and leaving her with a massive bill on their first meeting? I don't get it.

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I actually love how the drama moves so much quicker than the webtoon! The panty thief arc in the webtoon was actually a bit long for my taste but I love how quick the drama is zooming past well not forgetting the main points of the plot! At this rate my initial worries about CIIT only covering the first season in 16 episodes are completely gone. Looking forward to how the drama will portray some of the conflicts in the webtoon

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How far have they reached in comparison to the webtoon ? ... I heard the webtoon was 4 seasons so I am scared they will leave it open ended ... I hate ambiguous endings .. And kdramas don't do seasons like american tv

On a separate note, as much as i find In-ho completely adorable, Jung is the one driving the show ... I came into the show completely blind expecting a usual rom-com but damn! this show is fantastic ... I just want to get inside Jung's head

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they already reached season 2... after ep55 like that. i could be wrong though (the ep number). but the panty thief arc is nearing end of season 2 :)

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I actually haven't read all the webtoons (I only opened up some episodes/parts). From what I see, the timeline between the webtoon and the drama is kinda different. And if I'm not wrong (sorry if I am), the drama which only has 5 episodes til now has reached the webtoon's 2nd seasond.

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^^^ Thank You for the info

So I can now breathe easy that we are not going to be left hanging wondering what happens next ....

The urge to cheat and read the webtoon is overwhelming ... but i am holding back lest it spoils the fun of watching

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Park hye jin is an awesome actor so cute in first half of episode and scary in next... that end park scene I got goosebumps. ..

Soel is not a typical k female lead can stand up to things when she knows somethings wrong which best and I love it.. she is what that self centred adorable psycho needs... hope he doesn't hurt her too much because I ship them...

Inho will surely give me second lead syndrome. ..

I hate inha...

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Park Hae Jin. I think Park Hye Jin is a girl, no?

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Finally drama crack ...

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Whoever is in charge of music for this show is a genius.

The soundtrack they're assembling is unusual, a little bohemian, a little dreamy, but bright and clean at the same time. Seol could be a cipher in this show, given she is so internal and can be very passive, but between the acting, directing and music, I feel like we're getting a much more layered idea of her inner life.

I beyond loved the bubbly electronic track underneath Seol and In Ho running in the rain, and Seol walking through the neighborhood after her presentation. I'm still undecided about the chilling noise that they're using to telegraph Jung being psycho, but... They're going so well across the board we'll see.

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totally agree. the osts are really good.

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The music, OMG. I like that not every emotion is shown through dialogue, also through other means, music, etc.

I love that music when Jung drags Seol, one when sunbae follows her, Baek In Ho and Seol raced to store, soaked.

And also, that 'confrontation' music, especially played every time Baek In Ho confronted sunbae.

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Yes, I love the music. Currently, the show has those indie elements that I really liked in Bubblegum too - the muted, filter cinematography, the use of "magical" lighting, the sound track...

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+1 AGREE
finally a drama that got me hooked

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YES. ^^

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Yoo Jung is really complex. he's self centered and manipulative thinking that what he did is just a repayment/retribution to what done to him
that made him scary to others
but behind that i see a sweet, misunderstood and lonely soul that thinks the world is against him and tried to do things his way in order to protect himself
seol is there to melt the ice cold wall of Yoo Jung and to teach him lessons of empathy and how to care about others

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i think i'm getting more confused with yoo jung

and

i'm not sure do i love or do i hate this drama :(

i just want seol and yoo jung to get along ...

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LOL. You probably aren't the only one to feel that way.

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Yes! Park Hae Jin is so good with his acting, his looks of fear of being misunderstood by Seol when she pushed him away after he protected her from the incoming motorbike was on point and so genuine, and also so cute and sweet, and the way he stutter and gesture "autobike......autobike......" is so sweet. And the way he guessed what Seol was thinking at the door of the neighbour when Seol accidentally fell into his arms, his response was so "player" like, it is funny.

But his rage, his pain, his feeling of being wronged, of him telling the truth (which he promised Seol and did carry out), of him being the one TA Heo stole from and now being blamed for using that as a leverage to get Seol her scholarship and temp job, the way he recapped everything that had been said or done to him, trying to reevaluate is he really the weird one.....and the last moment of him coming to a conclusion that he is not the one who is strange......somehow almost made my heart break.

In a way, the way he deals with things is really too extreme, and can be self-righteous (and yes I saw the webtoon till the current episodes translated, I know his childhood deed which is quite shocking), but I think it is more because of him lacking genuine people in his life who sees and accepts him as he is that helped to make him the way he is now (and Seol's neighbour in a way helped to rouse the innner-monster in Jung too).

He has good looks, he is tall and rich, he is smart, he can be very charming......so easily people would want to get close to him for either the prestige of being in his clique, or get him to pay for things, or get him to be a trophy boyfriend and if possible, rich husband (long term ATM).

Which is TRUE for almost everyone around him. Except Inho. I think Inho and Jung must have been genuine friends, although now we don't know the whole story yet, but my guess is, Inha must have done something to wedge a big rift between Jung and Inho. I really cannot stand the way Inha thinks that everybody owes her a living, except her own precious self.

I believe Jung became attracted to Seol because firstly, she saw through him, secondly, if he can get Seol to like him, the affection must be real (because Seol knows he is not all sweet and tender, and because Seol took pains to avoid him when she didn't trust him instead of pretending).

I must say the Jung in the TV drama is more likable than the one in the webtoon. I care for Jung in the TV drama more, mostly I suspect because the writer and Park Hae Jin served to make Jung more vulnerable, emitting a sense of "I don't know what did I do wrong, I do want to figure things out, I really like this special girl, I don't want to lose her, but I don't know why what I did was wrong in her sight......" Jung to me, is a boy who has lost his way, and needs to find it. And Inho needs to find his maturity (which actually is already at a much higher level than Inha), and learns to stop holding on to the past...

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imo it's not payment for wrongs done specifically to him... to him most of it is impersonal. He saw a crime. A law-abiding citizen would turn the criminal in and let him get deserved punishment. Jung dislikes them but doesn't turn them in. Instead, he lets them buy his silence with payment in the form of a future favor. However, given that the favor should be a substitute for punishment, he asks for favors that are unpleasant, but usually less so than the actual punishment that they would get from the law. Because of its unpleasant nature though, the criminals see the favor as blackmail (I will reveal what you did if you do not do this for me). If the favors were things that they didn't find unpleasant, they would probably even thank jung for covering their crime lol. Jung is following his own laws.

Tbh, I do think jung was right about them being strange lol... they knowingly commit crimes but feel angry for being caught and punished by someone else

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This drama is so wonderful I want to cry. Each episode is better than the last and the adaptation is so on point! Like many others I am pleased the pace of the show and I need episode 6 right away!!

One of the nice thing about Cheese in the Trap is how it addresses a lot of issues that happen in everyday's life. Even better the author has been addressing issues that many refuse to even acknowledge the existence of (is that even english?). I am thinking of TA Heo and Joo Young mostly but not only.

It is really definitely a refreshing story and we certainly need more of these in the drama world lately.

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"I swear, after every episode I feel so completely turned around on my Yoo Jung stance. First he’s weird, then he’s sweet, then he’s cold, then he’s warm; he’s vicious, then kind, scary, then sympathetic. I don’t know which way is up and I wonder if I’ll ever know."

Yup, on behalf of the fans of the webtoon, I welcome you to our suffering of not knowing for the last three years...

On a completely unrelated note, recently I came across a kdrama called Flower of the Queen that stars Lee Sung Kyung, the actress that plays Baek In Ha. She was very sweet and innocent in that drama. It shocked me after seeing her all crazy in CITT. That shows what a versatile actress she is!

I'm such a hardcore In Ho/Seol shipper. Their scenes make me so happy. <3<3<3 But I wouldn't be too crushed if she did end up with Jung. He's definitely a fascinating character whether it's the webtoon or the drama.

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In this episode, the phone call/restaurant scene was the most telling combo for me regarding Jung. Him teasing her on the phone and smiling when no one else could see him, and then him not only sussing out that she had a coupon but encouraging her to use it...

He may rate very low for empathy, but he's been around Seol enough now that he's figuring out exactly what her boundaries are and how much he can play with them. And the coupon interaction made her really light up. So maybe he doesn't completely reason through "she doesn't have much money, but she feels like she should buy something expensive, she's embarrassed so she's trying to hide the coupon because she knows I have money, so I can relieve her by making it clear I'm okay with it", instead knowing "money is a sore spot with her, so I'll make sure to agree straight away and then she'll be happy".

Less good is his unrewarded honesty, because the same pattern applies: if telling the truth makes her angry, he just won't tell the truth.

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Indeed. Hopefully they can talk it out when Seol is less mad. He can't start lying to her. That'll be the end.

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agreeeeeeee
I really hope he doesn't turn to be such liar

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I can understand why you'd be a hardcore In Ho/Seol shipper. They just seem so comfortable and natural together. And their scenes are sweet even when he is trying to needle her. Whereas with Yoojung she is a bundle of nerves.

I find it unsettling how jittery she is when YJ whists her out of the scooter's way and when she falls into YJ as she misses a step in front of her room. Is she inherently neurotic or is he only that way with YJ???

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1. Baek In Ha is my spirit animal and the love of my life
2. How did they manage to make Baek In Ho SO MUCH MORE LIKABLE?? I hated him in the comics and I hardly ever change my mind. I'm pro-Jung but drama In Ho sometimes gives me doubts...
3. Props to the little girl playing In Ha--I was rooting for her

Tomorrow...get here soon

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Yeah.. that little girl can act!
But the old Baek in Ha.. hmm still no from me. Her act's quite exaggerating and.. irritating.

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That little girl is amazing. She completely stole the scene.

I felt all of her emotions jumping out at me.

The girl laying Baek Inha is a bad actress. She's so over-the-top. She needs to learn how to be crazy, but still realize that she is acting. She thinks she is an actual cartoon. She doesn't know how to bring the character to life without overdoing it.

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Damn that b*tch of a sister. I honestly feel more scared of her than Jung.

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My most favorite scene in this ep is In-Ha! I'm sure that Lee Sung Kyung made In-Ha real straight from the webtoon. Like how strong she is in every strong way possible. The way she said "What? Do you want to hit me? Hit me then!" her intonation showed you layers of anger, fear, disappointment, and tragic, covered in annoyance. She's just like Johanna in Hunger Games, I love it.

And, yes, every character in this drama is strange. They just depict the different charm of strangeness. And the problem is, no one wants to admit it.

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I'm with you that Inha is as expected from the webtoon!!!
(However, seems like others are criticizing Lee Sung Kyung is overacting.)
I personally think that Lee Sung Kyung is not ACTING like crazy. IT IS INHA who is crazy! Haha.
Oh I just realized even though they are like Light vs Dark, Water vs Fire, Jung and Inho have so many things in common:
- Their love-hate relationship with Inha =)))) (of course in different level where Jung clearly hates Inha much much much more than loves.
- Their irritation whenever Inha acting spoiled towards Jung's father.
- I bet they surely will cooperate to protect Seol out of Inha' sight. =))

I nearly LOL when Inho told Seol that she doest not even realize what he has done for her... And I read between the lines of "I just saved your life, you never know how crazy my sister can become in front of Jung's girlfriend".

Oh I wish someone can tame Inha for the boys' shakes!!!!

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To me In Ha and yung were the most controversial characters and I loved them to bits ...

The fact that she could always pick up on his bullshit was a plus... At least someone knew he was an asshole and how his mind works ... How she knew it was a trap. From the beginning when chairman started with the school thing ...

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I love Seol and Inho but mostly I love Jung. He makes this story for me because of how deliciously warped he is. I agree that his methods are cutthroat but I feel a lot of it is justified in that the people he's harsh to have all wronged him. I also don't think he's homophobic so much as he hates TA Heo and how he believes Heo ruined the lives of the people around him. The world for him really is Black and White. It's either or. I like that he's at least honest about it to Seol and I find them cute. When he struggled to hold her hand I squealed. Park Hae Jin has always been fab so I'm not surprised that he's nailing the role of Jung. Seo Kang Joon I've only seen in a web drama where he was an adorable and loyal high school student but he's been awesome as In Ho so far. Lee Go Eun is so relatable as Seol. My only problem is that Lee Sung Kyung is a bit over the top as In Ha and every episode I'd wish she'd tone it down.

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Gosh, this drama is way cooler than I thought. It's delightfully intriguing. The presentation and the views is so fresh. I dont even guess what its up to. Im just enjoying the moment and wanting for more.

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Goshh, YJ is such an asshole who seems to have a Messiah/God complex: sees all, judges all and acts without mercy thinking that what he does is right because he thinks so, and he couldn't care less about others feelings or life (and that 2 second of "reflection" are nothing compared to everything he did).

Every character has their own darkness, but YJ is just plain wicked, and if he has experienced --some kind-- of "guilt" is because he was discovered and that affected his relationship with Seol, not because he truly felt that way, if he hadn't been discovered, he was going to keep it up with lies as if nothing, liying to his girlfriend, friends (if he truly has one to call friend), etc. That is NOT someone you want to trust just because he's msiterious and you want to be like Belle and the Beast.

And how low is that he threatens acquaintances just for "making this bad between him and Seol" (I mean, sorry hun, that's all your "good deeds" biting you in the ass) and looks down on them for being gay and threatens Inho "asking" for him to quit his job... the guy (Inho) is trying to make a living and the JY does that??? What a scumbag.

Just like the guy in bar said it "no one in her right mind would be with him (yj)" well he is/was kinda right, anyone here would be with a guy like YJ??? Lies, manipulates, is double faced, looks down on gay people/couples, threatens and play with people basic needs like a job, he's possessive, controlling and basically asphyxiating telling how, when and with who Seol shoul and shouldn't hang on or do (not even Seold believed that explanation of why she should not hang out woth Inho) and on top of that he think he's right?

Sorry, but "Oppa didn't mean it, and oppa doesn't know how to show love" are not excuses...

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I find this curious, because... what did Jung do wrong here? He took his paper out of consideration, knowing that Seol's would then make her first place. He didn't blackmail the TA into changing Seol's grade, he did nothing to undermine her efforts or rig the system, he simply took himself out of consideration. If Seol hadn't been #2, she wouldn't have gotten the scholarship.

I get Seol being angry because the fallout was that the TA hated her and she's now embarrassed, but Jung didn't actually do anything to tarnish her academic accomplishments.

I don't believe Jung is wicked, I believe he is extremely good at reading people and manipulating them for the most advantageous impact. His drawback is that he doesn't look for knock-on effects and he also doesn't realize/care that he leaves people in emotional turmoil.

It is possible to convince people like Jung to modify their own behavior, by the way. It's a little complex but they need to make up for their lack of empathy with an understanding that their actions have negative results that can impact them down the line, like Drunk Neighbor so clearly being terrified of him and now reinforcing that bad impression with TA. Seol looks like she could start Jung thinking about that sort of emotional knock-on effect - not necessarily understanding it, because I'm not sure he can, but at least recognizing it's happening and figuring out how to deal with it.

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I think most people find Jung's maneuvering (and using blackmail -- blackmailing someone to remove a report instead of changing a grade is still blackmail) relatively forgivable. What's more maddening is him dumping all of his anger onto Yoon-sub instead of trying to figure out why Seol is so mad at him. And him leveraging his power to break up Joo-yong and Yoon-sub's relationship is just kicking a dog while it's down.

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I think the reason why he got mad onto Yoon-sub was because there is no need for Seol to get involved in the matter. It was just between him and Yoon-sub but instead of realizing his mistakes, Yoon-sub had the nerve to make Seol's life difficult, just because his life was a mess in the first place so he looks for other weaker people. I found Yoon-Sub as the bully here. I didn't see it as Jung trying to break up Joo-yong's relationship, he just said for him to wake up and fix his life, per GF "asks if Joo-yong doesn’t know what state his family is in, and tells him to get it together before walking away"...sometimes we need those people to tell us straight up if we're messing up. But of course, unlike Jung, we can say that who we are to judge other people if we're not living in their shoes...but then we're also judging Jung don't we? ^_^

Gosh...I'm usually a silent reader but I just can't help..this show woke me up again LOL...thank you GF for great recap as always!

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Heo TA is upset with Seol because he assumes she was in on Jung's plan to get her the scholarship—in other words, that, like Jung, Seol feels contempt towards Heo TA, disregards his feelings, and has no problem using him to get ahead.

I'm kind of surprised by some of the responses to Jung's behavior here, honestly! The TA was absolutely in the wrong to steal. But I find it scarier that Jung squirrels away these bits of information that he can use, not just to get what he wants, but also to make people terrified of him. The flashbacks at the end of this episode really drove that home. He's not just a cold pragmatist; he seems to be amused by how desperate and afraid he is capable of making people feel. And on top of all that, he's now using the information/leverage he has on other people to try to control who is around Seol (Heo TA, Joo Yong, In Ho…) and that's a whole new level of creepy.

I think part of what attracts him to Seol, ironically, is that she doesn't respond the way so many others do to his status, or his veiled threats, or manipulative behavior. She neither has stars in her eyes because he's rich/handsome/brilliant/whatever, nor is she terrified of him, unlike other people who have seen beyond his polite façade.

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Woah. It was NOT just between Jung and Yoon Seob. It absolutely involved Seol. It had EVERYTHING to do with her. This is her reputation - if not in other's eyes, then in her's - her scholarship, her academic achievements, it ABSOLUTELY was about Seol. I'm sorry, but just because someone did something wrong that lead to a windfall for you doesn't mean that you are not involved. I would be incredibly upset if I were Seol too. I would feel lied to, manipulated, played with, and I would also feel like someone took away my responsibility and my opportunity to earn my scholarship and learn my way in life. Just because there's a financial benefit at the end does't make amoral decisions moral. I would feel my pride damaged and I would also feel incompetent. Especially for someone like Seol who worked hard all her life for everything she has. All for what? Because some guy wanted to get to know me better so he manipulated my entire semester at school? How is that right?? THAT is creepy!

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That entire dynamic is weird - from Jung's point of view, what on earth is going on there? One is a thief, one is a suspected peeping tom, his hyung is living in poverty and getting drunk and distanced from his family, the TA is telling Seol about things that trouble her needlessly (in Jung's estimation). If you don't add love into these calculations (and Jung clearly doesn't) then what exactly is there to hold onto in all of this?

I think Jung's reaction was part panic and part true anger. The longer he lives like this, the more people will come out of the woodwork with grudges, and that will infect his current life. And in Yoon Sub's case, it looks like that information was deliberately told to Seol with the goal of upsetting her and tarnishing Jung. So I can sort of get where he'd feel justified in being furious with Yoon Sub.

And since he thinks Yoon Sub taking the heat for the report is somewhat on level with the sort of social karma he should have gotten for stealing, I'm sure Jung is outraged that Yoon Sub now views that as unfair and is willing to badmouth Jung rather than just accepting it as a balancing of the scales.

The more I think about this stuff, the more I think Jung is absolutely right and that he's not weird, it's everyone else who's weird. Unfortunately there are more of them than him, which means they set societal rules.

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Misery loves company...since Yoon-sub is having a hard time or unhappy, so it seems like he doesn't like seeing Seol happy with Jung, which is why, probably subconsciously, he acted mean and said those hurtful words to Seol.

"But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them." Matthew 15:18 NIV

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That's kind of what makes Jung scary, right? Because his actions are kind of like 'natural justice'. To me the thing that actually gets the goat of people who consider themselves victims of Jung is that he witnessed their transgressions and then wouldn't 'forgive' them. They had to pay a price. But somehow these people are so shameless that they turn it back around and make it Jung's fault.

Bitchy Girl got Seol slashed but only got a 'disappear from my sight'. Sung Chul basically confessed to his crime and then was horrified that Jung told him off, but had not other consequences. Rapist guy didn't get to rape someone. In Ho is the only person that Jung messes with that we haven't seen reasonable motivation for and that seems to be about a history that I trust will show us why they both feel that way about each other. I've clearly become twisted by Jung's charm but I can totally understand why he does what he does. I can also understand why people are terrified of him. Heh.

If Jung had gone to the police, TA Heo would have been in much more trouble than simply thought of as a 'bad' TA. Pretty sure he would have lost his job and faced possible jail time. So how can he turn around and frankly take it out on Seol and then mess with Jung's relationship again? I totally get Jung and thinking like him I would even say that

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That does all make perfect sense from Jung's point of view...without taking into account love or forgiveness or pride, or the fact that almost all humans can be selfish and weak and irrational yet that doesn't mean they're automatically worthless or incapable of positively contributing to society.

From Yoon-sub's point of view (stealing in a moment of weakness to support his secret boyfriend, being blackmailed to help out Jung's girlfriend over a sum of money that's a drop in the bucket to Jung, recently attacked because of his sexuality), or Joo-yong's (left his family for love and not dealing too well with the consequences, framed to be a pervert, and now his dongsaeng is trying to break him and his lover up) or Seol's (Jung made my school life hell for a year, now he's suddenly nice, now he wants to date, now he wants to control who I meet and is manipulating others to give me help I never asked for)? He doesn't come off too well, to put it mildly.

I find Jung interesting in that he doesn't seem to understand other people's emotions, but he's intelligent and observant enough to have built a model of social behavior to follow, which coupled with his wealth and privilege have allowed him to coast through life relatively smoothly (little bumps like In-ho aside, which he sweeps under the metaphorical rug). Only now that he wants a genuine connection with Seol, that model isn't working so well anymore...

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essentially this: "Unfortunately there are more of them than him, which means they set societal rules."

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He's like a vigilante. And it seems like ppl's reactions to him may correspond to how they feel about vigilantes.

Ppl are saying "who is he to mete out justice as he sees fit" and others are saying "kudos to him for drawing the line on their (juyeon, sangchul, TA Heo) bs. They think they can get away with this stuff and he says 'no, you can't, pay the price'."

So I'm wondering how ppl feel about Batman or perhaps more appropriate for this audience, CityHunter.

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Yoon-sub is not without fault and he had no right to involve Seol in his fight against Jung

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Sorry, but it is absolutely about Seol and Seol should have been told. You don't make deals that involve someone else's life and think that it doesn't involve that person just because you didn't tell her about it.

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From Jung's perspective, it must seem that Yoon-sub violated their agreement: Jung wouldn't say anything about the credit-card thievery, Yoon-sub would "lose" Jung's report, these two things would both cancel each other out. Now all of sudden, here's Yoon-sub telling people about Jung bullying him all semester--which is true, but the kind of "truth" Nam Joo-Yeon had told, extremely onesided, extremely unflattering.

With Jung and Seol's argument, when she asks him how things could seem so clean and simple to him -- possibly she asked it half-rhetorically, but he does see it so cleanly and simply. Seol doesn't explain to him why she won't thank him for his actions, why things shouldn't be so clean and simple; of course, she doesn't think she needs to, and it's not her job to teach him empathy. But she thinks it in her head: her offended pride, her sympathy for the TA, etc etc -- if she had said all that, it might have, if not made him understand, at least provide some guidelines for acceptable behavior in the future.

It broke my heart, his sad little, "I was honest, like she told me to be -- so, why did it still turn out like this....?" And made me mourn a little, because what if he decides that Seol's method of honesty won't get him the results he wants, so why continue?

Oh, but that he was honest in that moment, that he didn't hesitate when she asked him about the blackmailing -- he does try, he does try for her.

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Absolutely love everything you've said. Also to me the TA obviously still thinks Jung is punishing him simply by his presence (eagerly asking if Jung was going to graduate early, upset he was coming by the office and dating Seol etc). But that's only TA Heo's guilty conscience, not any action of Jung's. I do wonder though how Jung believes he got Seol her job if they were even after the scholarship incident. Clearly TA Heo still thinks he's paying, and that's the only indication (the job) that Jung may be blackmailing him still (I actually don't think the original deal was blackmail but anything after that definitely is to my mind).