Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 5
Both of Eul’s erstwhile suitors step up their game, though not exactly in expected ways. With one stepping forward and one stepping back, Eul is so confused she doesn’t know where to turn. In fact everyone is pretty confused now that feelings are being admitted and intentions declared, and it’s going to take some serious explaining to straighten things out again.
I’m just stopping by to weigh in on Uncontrollably Fond this week while our intrepid leader is busy with some Very Important Stuff. She’ll be back soon!
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Eul asks Joon-young on camera what he would do if he only had one year to live, but he says morosely that that’s too much time. “Let’s say I have three months.” When Eul agrees, he states that he’s going to do whatever he wants — sue the people who slander him, and kill everyone he hates.
Everyone in the room grows uncomfortable, but Joon-young says to keep the cameras rolling. He smiles gently at Eul, says that he’s not joking — he’s dying, so what is there that he can’t do?
He changes the subject, and asks Eul to date him: “ Will you date me, Noh Eul PD-nim? Let’s say I’m going to die in three months, so just for three months — really passionately. Just for three months, let’s date like there’s no tomorrow.”
Joon-young never breaks eye contact with Eul, even when the crew laughs like it’s the biggest joke ever. He says again that it’s not a joke, and gives Eul his most winning smile. There’s a long silent moment, and then Eul simpers that she can’t possibly say no to such an offer.
She chirpily asks if they should start today and make it public, making fun at Joon-young’s expense. He knows exactly what she’s doing, and just snorts a laugh.
A while later, Eul is face-down in a bowl at her favorite restaurant, trying to drown herself in an inch of water. Ji-tae finds her and asks if she did something wrong, and she burbles that she thinks she’ll get fired from Joon-young’s documentary.
She still thinks his offer was a joke, and that she reacted wrongly. Or wait — he was serious and she treated it like it was a joke. No no no, he was serious and she took it seriously. One of those things.
Ji-tae sweetly dries her face and says it’s probably a good thing for her to stop working with Joon-young. He even offers to help her find a job, but she sneers, thinking that he’s unemployed himself. Belatedly remembering the character he plays with her, he insists he’ll find a job soon, and Eul muses that she’ll marry him once he does. That startles Ji-tae, but he doesn’t answer.
Joon-young isn’t happy when he gets the news that someone other than Eul will be coming to work on his documentary. Everyone assumed he asked her to date him to get rid of her, and the company president made it happen.
Gook-young is beside himself, upset that Eul was fired when in his mind, she reacted the only way she could. Joon-young lets him talk himself out, then says calmly that without Eul, he won’t film one more second of the documentary. If the company president wants him to do it, he’d better get Eul back.
Eul’s proposal visibly shakes Ji-tae so badly that she takes it back, assuming that he objects to the idea. Then she teases him to tell her that he likes the idea, but his continued silence sobers her up and she takes it for a real rejection. She storms out, barking that she doesn’t like him all that much anyway, and Ji-tae just continues drinking.
The restaurant ajumma wonders how Eul thinks she could get a great guy like Ji-tae even if he is unemployed. She tries to set him up with “a friend” who sounds suspiciously like herself, but Ji-tae just smiles sadly and says it’s him who’s not good enough for Eul. “How could I dare to have her? What’s why I didn’t say yes.”
Eul’s phone rings where she left it behind on the table, and Ji-tae sees that whoever is calling is saved in her phone as just a picture of a cartoon dog and bird (sort of a PG way to say son-of-a-bitch, ha). He answers the call, and on the other end of the line, Joon-young asks why he’s answering Eul’s phone.
Both guys’ hackles go up and neither concedes to give their name first. Joon-young says that his name should have come up on the caller ID, but Ji-tae says it was just the pictures of the dog and bird, making Joon-young yelp.
Ji-tae guesses this is Joon-young calling, and tells him not to call Eul again. Joon-young also correctly guesses that this is “Husband,” which surprises Ji-tae in turn. But Eul shows up and snatches back her phone, and it’s kind of adorable how Joon-young freezes and hangs up when he hears her voice, even though he called her.
Curious, Ji-tae calls Eul and grabs her phone when it rings, and sure enough, he’s saved as “Husband” in her contacts. Eul claims it’s because he always takes everyone’s side against her. Note from javabeans: He’s saved in her phone as Husband (nampyun) and to save face she says it’s because he never takes her side (nae pyun) only others’ sides (nam pyun).
That makes him smile, but he tells her seriously that she’ll find someone worthy of her, who truly cares about her and loves her, who’ll make her happy. Eul tells him to just say no if he doesn’t want to marry her, and orders him not to call her anymore.
As she walks home she wonders why Joon-young was calling her anyway, snarling angrily at her phone and refusing to ever speak to him again, while at the same time composing a contrite apology for not answering her phone. She begs for another chance, then deletes the whole thing and declares that she can get by all on her own.
She sees a car idling in the road and curiously peers through the heavily tinted window, when suddenly it rolls down and she finds herself nose-to-nose with Joon-young. He peevishly asks why she lives with Na-ri when she already has a “husband,” but Eul counters that nobody would be crazy enough to marry her.
She rants that she has no husband or kids, no job, no money and no prospects, and has to live with a friend because she has nowhere else to go. Strangely, hearing this just makes Joon-young grin, and Eul walks away calling herself crazy.
She gets a call from the documentary producer, offering her the job back and saying that it’s all due to Joon-young. She turns back to thank him, but he just rolls up his window and drives away, still smiling to himself.
Joon-young wakes up on the floor again in the morning, and spends the day playing video games and romping with Pororo. Meanwhile Eul feeds her little brother and tells him she’ll be working a lot for a while, fawning over him a little too much and making him complain.
Jik warns Eul that Joon-young’s fans are scary, and are doing a background check on her as we speak. Just then he gets a text from Haru asking why he never contacted her with information on Eul, and he shows the message to his noona. Eul responds asking what she plans to do with info on Eul, pretending to be Jik.
When Haru calls Jik quickly hangs up before Eul can answer it, and ignores his sister’s request for the girl’s number. He warns Eul not to fall for Joon-young, worried since she’ll be around him a lot, reminding her that Joon-young lives in a different world now.
Eul bristles at him, and he says that he wishes she’d date Ji-tae (who they know as Hyun-woo). He ruffles her hair and throws her some aegyo before running off to school, and she grumbles that Ji-tae already dumped her.
Ji-tae can’t get Eul’s casual proposal out of his mind, and it makes him all squishy and smiley. He tells himself to get it together, which he barely manages before he’s called to play a game with his father. Ji-tae wins and demands his bet payment, threatening to tattle to Mom when Dad tries to renege.
Haru comes home and invites her dad to Joon-young’s concert tonight, trying to convince him that pictures of him and his daughter at a concert would be good for his image. Uncomfortable, Ji-tae takes Dad’s side and tells Haru to go study, and when she waves him off and keeps whining, he takes on a stern tone and orders her to stop.
He angrily tells her to listen to him, to go study and quit the Joon-young fan club. Haru claims that her life is nothing without Joon-young (ugh, really? Even if he weren’t her half-brother…) but Dad tells her not to talk back to her oppa.
Ji-tae apologizes to Dad once Haru is gone, but Dad says that suddenly he likes this Joon-young guy. He’s always wondered why Ji-tae never gets angry, even when he has reason to, and even thought about taking him to a doctor. He’s happy that Ji-tae knows how to lose his temper after all.
Joon-young waits outside his mother’s house for her again, curious why she didn’t call him back like she promised. Standing on her front porch, she says that her meeting isn’t over yet, and ha, I see where he gets his smart mouth.
Joon-young gives her tickets to his concert and tells her to invite Ajusshi, saying that “It’s your last chance to see your sexy son.” Mom rips up the tickets and drops them at his feet, so he jumps in front of her and says that he’s serious, it really is her last chance to see him like this. Mom thanks him for the good news, and ooooh, she’s going to regret saying that later.
Joon-young grabs her arm, but she yanks it away and spits that he never treated her like his mother. He quit school and became a celebrity without even consulting her, but Joon-young pouts that being a celebrity is better than being a prosecutor. But Mom is hurt because he used to want to help poor people like they were.
Joon-young says that people like him shouldn’t be prosecutors — if he did, poor people wouldn’t even be able to live in this country. His tone lightens and he tells her he’ll hold her concert seats, but she yells at his back that she won’t come: “You’ll die before I go there.”
Eul shows up at the concert with camera in hand, and films the impressive crowd that’s already arriving. She doesn’t see Ji-tae watching her from a distance, worry on his face.
Haru is there too with the maid, still upset over how her brother yelled at her earlier in the day. She cheers up when her father shows up after all, saying that her oppa just worries about her, and he tells her to stop talking about Ji-tae behind his back. But there’s no heat in his words, and he even wore the shirt with Joon-young’s face emblazoned on it to please his little girl.
The concert begins, and Joon-young sings and plays guitar while his fans scream, but the VIP seats he saved for his mother and Ajusshi remain empty. Eul videos him onstage, and she lowers her guard and lets herself be swept away by his romantic song. Jik’s words not to fall for Joon-young echo in her head, but it looks like his warning comes too late.
She puts the camera down to collect her composure, which Joon-young notices from on the stage. When she gathers herself and stands back up, he smiles this huge happy grin, and from the back of the audience Ji-tae sees the whole exchange.
Ji-tae’s dad excuses himself and goes outside for some fresh air, remembering the time that Joon-young offered to share his umbrella in a storm. Ah, so he does remember him. Joon-young had never come back for that book, and Dad guesses that he never will and walks away.
Ji-tae’s mother worries when she hears that her husband can’t be found, and her voice falters a little when she learns that he was at Joon-young’s concert. Does she know? She shakes like a leaf and sweeps a vase off the table in anger – oh, I bet she knows.
Joon-young’s mom catches her employee watching the video of the concert and smacks him, even though he claims he was looking for reasons to bash Joon-young online. She turns her anger on Ajusshi when he shows up, but he gives her an envelope of money — it’s the amount Gook-young owes Joon-young, which he’s had for three years.
Ajusshi decided to just pay the money back himself, and he declares himself finally on equal footing with Mom. He also informs Mom that Joon-young didn’t quit law school because of Gook-young, in fact he quit before Gook-young even needed the financial help.
Eul films Joon-young in his dressing room during a break, and it’s cute how she’s the only person he pays any attention to. But he ignores her scripted documentary questions, and instead asks who the guy was who answered her phone yesterday.
Eul ignores the question, but Joon-young keeps asking about the guy, repeating the word “boyfriend” until it finally gets a rise out of Eul. She snaps that he’s NOT her boyfriend, and Joon-young smirks and says “good job” as he heads back to the stage.
During Joon-young’s finale song his spotlight goes out, and words appear on the silkscreen behind him: “There’s someone I love in this place.” Eul starts to look nervous when she realizes that he’s holding an identical teddy bear to the one he gave her back in high school. On the screen, the sentence “I want to confess my love to you today” appears, and suddenly the silkscreen drops to reveal an entire orchestra.
Joon-young drops his microphone and walks into the audience, and pulls Eul onto the stage with him. The section they’re standing on rises, and the audience goes silent, but Joon-young and Eul only have eyes for each other.
He gives her the bear, which triggers a memory of him shoving another teddy bear at her and jokingly saying, “I love you, Eul-ah.” But this time, he’s dead serious.
Ji-tae walks away, unwilling to stay for Eul’s response, and in the audience Haru’s friend find a photo online of Joon-young and Eul with the teddy bear back in school.
Awww, we cut to Joon-young stretched out in his dressing room, while Gook-young complains that he got publicly rejected. The internet is exploding with stories about their past and what happened today, especially about how Eul supposedly stole her friend’s boyfriend and caused her friend to attempt suicide.
Joon-young tells his team to sue the people making slanderous comments, prepared to kill them with his bare hands. His stylist says that Eul is probably having a worse time than he is.
Eul is currently in the restroom, unaware that Haru is next to her, glaring at her. Haru throws water in Eul’s face and calls her a gold digger, and stomps out leaving Eul facing a mob of angry girls. Eul quickly fibs that the proposal was just a part of the show, but she finds a camera in her face the moment she leaves the restroom.
She tries to fend off the pushy reporter but stops when they show her the articles already being posted about her and Joon-young. They eagerly watch her reaction, but Ji-tae shows up and covers the camera lens, and tells them they’re violating Eul’s rights.
He pulls Eul outside to safety, but they immediately see Joon-young there, waiting with his face covered. Joon-young and Ji-tae lock eyes, each knowing who the other is, and Joon-young pulls down the scarf covering his face.
He takes in the fact that Ji-tae is holding Eul’s wrist, and asks quietly if he’s “Husband.” Ji-tae doesn’t answer so Joon-young reaches for Eul’s hand, but Ji-tae steps between them. He tells Joon-young that the reporters are filming them right now, but Joon-young doesn’t care.
He’s a celebrity so everyone already knows who he is, but is it okay with Ji-tae for his face to be out there? “Everyone will find out about you in no time.” Someone recognizes Joon-young and the trio are swarmed with reporters and screaming fans, and they all stand still for a long moment.
Ji-tae breaks first, pulling his hat down to cover his face and releasing Eul’s arm. For a moment Joon-young actually looks a bit sorry at Ji-tae’s discomfort, but he takes Eul’s hand and leads her away.
Well, that escalated quickly. I know Joon-young is feeling desperate to make the most of what little time he has left, but I wasn’t expecting him to jump straight from being turned down for dating, to a full-on public love confession. On the other hand, I sort of adore that about him, that he’s just decided that screw it, he’s going to do whatever he wants while he still can.
When I first started watching this drama, I nearly dropped it the moment we found out that Joon-young is dying and that this wasn’t going to be a cute little rom-com as I expected.. but I love the casting so much that I stuck around to see where this might take us. I’m so happy that I did, because I’m finding the tone very interesting, with it’s cute bickering between Joon-young and Eul, laced with Joon-young’s fear and quiet desperation to live life how he wants while he can. The problem is, even Joon-young doesn’t know what he wants other than Eul, and she’s not proving to be an easy conquest at all.
My favorite part about Eul is her constant contradictions, how she’s always doing and saying two different things at the same time. She just blurts out whatever she’s thinking and she totally, completely means it at the time, even when she does a 180 flip two seconds later. It’s sort of awesome how she has no filter, and no fear of people knowing what she’s thinking and feeling at any given time, even when it gets her into trouble. She would rather be her own self and damn whoever doesn’t like it, than hold in her feelings.
Then there’s Joon-young, who holds everything so close to the vest that it’s hard to know what he’s thinking, ever. It’s completely understandable, as hard a life as he’s had and now being in the public eye so intensely, that he would want to keep himself protected from hurt. Even when he was just a student, people only wanted to be around him for the way he looks, not because of who he was as a person. The only person he lays himself open to is his mother, and even then he’s repeatedly rejected, so it’s no wonder that he’s created this mask of arrogance and disdain of the world.
But it’s also clear that underneath all that, he’s a deeply caring and emotional person. He gave up his dream and went into show business because it was the only other option he had that offered success, but he doesn’t really do it because he loves it. He seems to live a very lonely existence other than his friendship with Gook-young and his dog, tamping down that part of himself that longs to reach out to other people, because every time he has he’s gotten his hand slapped. So for him to be willing to reach out for Eul now, as best he knows how, has got to be a frightening risk. It’s no wonder he seems to sometimes push her away with his attitude, wanting to be near her but scared of actually getting what he wants. You know he’s got to be screaming in terror on the inside, knowing that his time is short and the one person he wants to spent it with isn’t even aware of it, but it’s also obvious that he doesn’t want her to be with him out of pity.
For that reason I’m glad Joon-young is keeping his illness to himself, but it’s also hard to watch him struggling with his mortality all alone. I do hope that Eul comes around and give s him some true affection before she finds out that he’s dying, so that at least for a short time in Joon-young’s life, someone will love him simply for who he is.
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 4
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 3
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 2
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 1
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- Confessions on camera in Uncontrollably Fond’s new teaser
- First peek at Kim Woo-bin and Suzy in Lightly, Ardently