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Jealousy Incarnate: Episode 14

There’s a sweet, lingering wistfulness about this episode, as Hwa-shin plunges deeper into his feelings. It’s a lovely examination of one-sided love, where we explore the happiness of just being able to be near someone, even when they don’t return your feelings. But the real happiness, I think, is making peace with your own heart, as our friends struggle to do this hour.

 
EPISODE 14 RECAP

Hwa-shin grips Na-ri’s hand and rushes her to the helicopter. We flash back to the conversation they had in the elevator earlier, where Na-ri told him not to like her. Silently, he replied, “I love you.” Out loud, he asked what would have happened if he’d said those words three years ago, adding, “I’m sorry, for realizing too late.”

In the present, Na-ri tells him he’s lost his mind. Over the helicopter’s beating, he yells that it’ll take just three minutes like this. She tells him not to do anything else for her: These three minutes will make up for the last three years.

They reach the station fast. Before she hops out, she gives Hwa-shin a subdued thanks and he shouts after her to do well. Eyes now alight, he tells the pilot to head for Busan.

With no time to waste, Na-ri flies down the stairs. The time is 7:52 a.m. and in the waiting room, Dong-gi hands out the audition scripts to the candidates. Na-ri is meant to be up first, and Joo-hee looks smugly over at her still-empty seat.

Just as Na-ri finally reaches her floor, we see Hwa-shin following right behind. Catching her arm, he sits her down and tells her to listen carefully. He says that the audition will most likely be conducted as it would happen on a real news-day, and warns her that the script can change in a moment due to the large amount of breaking news coming in. She may also have to improvise to fill time.

He drops down and, holding her face between his hands, instructs her that she must look into the camera for her first and last lines. He tests her pronunciation, and coaches her on the correct tone to use, impressed by how quickly she masters it. Lee Hwa-shin, you have never been so attractive as at this moment.

Finally, he warns her never to reveal that she came by ‘copter, and leans down to cup her face again. To confirm her breathing is even. Suuure. Taking her hand, he sees her through the door.

Two minutes before eight, and Madam Kim has yet to show up at the judges’ panel, where everyone’s waiting for her. In an empty corridor, Na-ri clutches her chest. “Why am I trembling?” she asks herself.

Madam Kim finally reaches the station, as does Jung-won, who follows her inside. Furious, she rages at him for undermining her suitability as a judge by making her late. When she curses him out for picking a girl over his own mother, he only replies, “Please don’t be any more disappointing, Mom.” Lip curling, she tells him to just watch what she does now, and storms away.

Joo-hee wonders why they still haven’t started, and glares at Na-ri. Getting in some last-second practice, Na-ri tells herself that her trembling is from nerves. Ohh, her scarf has little rainclouds on it!

She gets a phonecall from Jung-won. Quietly, she tells him she’s arrived, but hangs up before he can wish her good luck. Jung-won blinks for a second, but then smiles, and Secretary Cha sags in relief. Cha suggests they find a screen to watch her on the live in-house broadcast. “Watch?” asks Jung-won. “Cheer on?” Cha corrects, and both men grin. Aww, you’re bros now.

Back in the helicopter, Hwa-shin checks with the pilot that he reported the detour as instructed, namely, that Na-ri was never there. He asks it as a favor, and explaining that Na-ri would be penalized if found out.

Dong-gi announces the test process over the intercom, telling the candidates to proceed to the test studio with their scripts, and starts by calling in first candidate, Na-ri. As Na-ri gets wired up, Dong-gi chuckles to himself that she got lucky with a judge being late.

Throughout the station, people tune in. In the weathercasters’ lounge, the girls gather around the screen and Mi-young gives a fierce cheer when Na-ri appears. Aww. You’re a good egg.

Almost immediately, Na-ri’s script is swapped out for a new one, just as Hwa-shin predicted. We’re treated to a flash-forward montage of how the other candidates fare: Most of them fight viciously to keep hold of the original script, and all of them panic.

When Na-ri looks up for the camera, Hwa-shin is right beside it. He tells her to think like she owns the newsroom, and advises her to keep things natural. He’s got to be a figment of her imagination.

Flashforward again, and Joo-hee makes a mess of her pronunciation and delivery, and trips up on the numbers. In the judges’ room, Madam Kim tears her apart, and it looks like she’s already been written off.

Imaginary Hwa-shin repeats Real Hwa-shin’s earlier instructions to Na-ri, and she scans the script for numbers as per his warning. She begins a smooth reading, to everyone’s surprise. Ja-young observes that Na-ri must have taken in the beginning and ending lines, since she delivered them looking at the camera.

Next is a crisis management test. Candidates report a foiled snake-smuggling where one snake remains missing, when suddenly, a snake drops right in front of them…! What! Ha! Oh, it’s fake! Pretty much everyone fails that; they scream, fall off their chairs, and Joo-hee curses on camera.

But Na-ri picks it up with a smile, saying she’s found the last one. The judges quietly approve, and even Madam Kim is grudgingly admiring. Grinning at her sheer nerve, Imaginary Hwa-shin sends her a thumbs-up. She recalls the last thing he said to her before he left—that if she did well, he’d be an anchor beside her one day. “You should feel honored, you know” he had smiled. Ever himself, eh?

It’s pronunciation next, and the candidates are given a script full of tongue-twisters and difficult names. Needless to say, they all suck and even Na-ri has a few stumbles, which Madam Kim is smug about. But Ja-young really seems to be rooting for Na-ri, bless her.

For the closing test, Na-ri reads a report on a scam on the elderly. But juuuust as she’s about to deliver the closing line, Dong-gi pipes into her ear to keep things rolling for another forty seconds, exactly as Hwa-shin warned. She continues seamlessly, augmenting the report by adding on-the-fly commentary, all while looking straight at the camera and keeping time. Dong-gi gives her a whoop as she wraps up.

Finished, Na-ri looks around for Imaginary Hwa-shin, who is now Tinkerbell-sized as he waves from his perch on a camera. He winks, and she winks back, smiling.

The judges unanimously agree that Na-ri nailed it—apart from Madam Kim, who proposes that Na-ri is too pretty for news. I swear those judges are embarrassed by drivel she spouts about how it’s not skill that counts, but how you look on camera, and goes on to pick out mistakes Na-ri didn’t actually make.

Na-ri heads out to the stairwell and starts to cry, thanking the absent Hwa-shin.

Real Hwa-shin hurries back to the station, and tries to phone Na-ri. She answers…Jung-won, who’s been waiting for her, and they exchange warm smiles. Across the foyer, Hwa-shin sees them, and puts his phone away.

Na-ri tells Jung-won that she flew there, which he takes metaphorically. She adds that one of the judges was late, and Jung-won grins. They head out hand in hand, and Hwa-shin turns back before they can spot him.

Jung-won hands Na-ri into the backseat of his car, where Beom’s lone surviving drawing still lies. Her eyes widen, and she quickly secretes it in her bag while Jung-won sends Secretary Cha off to appease his mother. He gets into the driver’s seat and calls a distracted Na-ri up front.

He tells her they can go anywhere and eat anything, as long as it doesn’t involve her being alone. She confesses that her mind’s been blank since the test finished. “Just stay with me,” she says to him.

Hwa-shin replays Na-ri’s cozy departure with Jung-won and grumbles that she should have told him if she was finished. Poor Hwa-shin, not even letting himself be sad.

Catching Hye-won, Hwa-shin asks her how Na-ri’s audition went. She swears at him, and then relents and tells him that Na-ri nailed it—her only mistakes were the same as everyone else’s. That’s enough for Hwa-shin, who strides off.

“Damn, he’s hot,” Hye-won says to herself, although not quite in those words, lol.

At Jung-won’s office, Na-ri tries to get him to eat with her, but his work has piled up and he can’t join her. She takes their sandwiches to his desk, and is full of questions when she sees him working on Chinese documents. He’s pleased that she’s finally curious about him, and she says she always was, but didn’t ask.

Smiling, he sits her down on the desk beside him. Sharing the sandwich, she tells Jung-won that she always wanted to split a sub with her boyfriend. Jung-won realizes, now he thinks about it, that he’s always the one initiating things with her, and wonders if that means he likes her more than she likes him. She pointedly doesn’t answer and he laugh-sighs that girls usually like him more.

Na-ri believes that, and confides that she fell for him at first sight, too. He marvels at her fearlessness, and recalls the snake. She reveals that she had a friend in props who told her that Dong-gi had asked for it, so she somewhat expected it. Real snakes are scary, she laughs. Taking her hand, Jung-won says she worked hard today.

Chef Rak comes hunting for his ladies at the SBC building. He finds Ja-young immediately, since she’s about to head out, and she tells him she has definitely already eaten, but why doesn’t he eat with Sung-sook, who definitely hasn’t? Sung-sook spots him just in time, too, and hides behind some other guy.

Chef asks Ja-young directly why she’s avoiding him, and she looks caught—made worse when Hye-won comes by, wondering why she hasn’t gone to eat yet. Meanwhile, the guy Sung-sook’s hiding behind whirls her around into his trench coat, but Chef calls out that he can see her. Ha.

Hwa-shin is working late when PD Oh tracks him down. He rages at Hwa-shin for changing the helicopter’s course and says he’ll have to face disciplinary action for it. As if he didn’t hear him, Hwa-shin happily shows him the dolphin footage he got from Busan instead.

Na-ri arrives home that night and finds Hwa-shin’s windows dark. She returns to the station and overhears PD Oh telling Hwa-shin that he could lose the chance to even audition for the 9 o’clock anchor. Smiling like a dopey, Hwa-shin insists that the reason they turned back was because he had to pee. Oh doesn’t believe it, and smacks him in frustration.

Na-ri jumps when Sung-sook catches her eavesdropping. She checks that Na-ri’s still doing the weather tomorrow, and making a backhanded compliment of it, regrets that she wants to leave.

Home again, Na-ri lies on her roof a while. She unfolds the drawing from Jung-won’s car, and remembering Hwa-shin telling her to be honored, she smiles a little.

“Who are you thinking of that you’re grinning like that?” Hwa-shin calls out, just returned himself. He asks if she did well today, and she nods. He looks like he wants to say more, but instead, just wishes her a good night. But then he turns back to her and says, “Hey, buy me an ice cream.”

They sit at separate tables outside Stepmom’s store (which is confusingly called “Grandma’s”), and Na-ri is surprised to discover Hwa-shin is attending his treatment properly. She thanks him for his help, and wonders if the day will really come when they’ll be anchors together.

While she looks up at the stars, Hwa-shin asks, “Is it okay if I like you?” Just a one-sided love, like hers had been, he says. He tells her to treat him as he used to treat her, and do well with Jung-won. “Don’t ever waver because of me,” he warns her, and walks off into the night.

The next morning, the whole family is gathered around Pal-gang’s table—her two moms, Grandma, Hwa-shin. Everyone is shocked by Grandma coddling Hwa-shin and calling him her baby. Pal-gang can’t stand it and goes back to her room, and Grandma follows.

Hwa-shin positively beams even as Sung-sook and Ja-young make fun of him by calling him “baby.” Now there’s a love-starved kid.

Meanwhile, Grandma asks Pal-gang to be kinder to her uncle, and reveals that he has breast cancer. She says she can’t bear to lose another son, and says they should forgive him now, after everything he’s put himself through. Pal-gang is stricken.

At work, Na-ri spends all day hiding from Hwa-shin. He notices her avoidance with some satisfaction. At lunch, he sits opposite her and she immediately moves tables.

Elsewhere, Jung-won searches for the drawing that was in his car, and Secretary Cha tells him he saw Na-ri with it.

That night, Na-ri passes Stepmom’s store where Hwa-shin’s chilling with Beom. He badmouths Na-ri to her baby bro, and Na-ri marches back to them in a temper. She rants at Beom to stop with those drawings, and yells, “Don’t love me, okay? Don’t love Pyo Na-ri!”

Smiling slightly, Hwa-shin wonders how he can miss her when she’s right there. “You understand, huh?” Na-ri snaps, stepping up to him with a glare, before sweeping away.

Hwa-shin is called into PD Oh’s office where Sung-sook breaks it to him that been he’s suspended for a month. The PD says he should be glad he didn’t get fired outright. Thrown, Hwa-shin asks if that means he can’t audition, and PD Oh yells that of course he can’t, he’s disqualified.

After a long breath, Hwa-shin accepts it quietly and leaves the room. Sung-sook speculates to the PD that the shock silenced him. “He’ll come back,” she predicts.

Hwa-shin gets stopped by Dong-gi, who heard about the suspension. But Hwa-shin notices Na-ri listening, and denies it. If he’s suspended, he won’t be able to audition, Dong-gi flails. Hwa-shin just walks away, and Na-ri looks after him in shock.

In an elevator with Ja-young, the older woman tells her with a smile to expect a call from Human Resources tomorrow. Na-ri asks if she’s failed. Amused, Ja-young replies that she’d hardly tell her bad news in advance. Once alone, Na-ri starts sniffling again.

Madam Kim complains to Jung-won that his little girlfriend is going to be an announcer, and he tells her that Na-ri made it because she was qualified. Putting his arms around his mom, he tells her that he feels alive these days because of Na-ri. He cajoles her to let him date, and she sighs in resignation.

Na-ri hunts through the station for Hwa-shin. Looking at the time, she realizes that it’s nearly 5, when his hospital appointments are. She runs outside into the pouring rain, to the corner she used to meet him.

She tries calling Hwa-shin, but he purposely doesn’t answer. But then he sees her on the corner, getting drenched. Just as it looks like he’s about to drive past, he U-turns back for her. She gets in, intent on going with him to the hospital. He doesn’t object, only remarking on the irony of a weathercaster getting rained on.

While Na-ri waits for Hwa-shin at the hospital, Jung-won texts her to say that whether she gets good news or bad, he wants to be the first to hear it. Hwa-shin’s warning not to waver plays in her mind, and coming to some kind of decision, she stands up.

Hwa-shin’s changing into his hospital pyjamas when Na-ri’s voice rolls in. Standing outside the door, she tells him she absolutely won’t waver for him, “I will never like you again.” He takes it, but when she finally asks if she’s crazy, he tells her that’s enough.

But the curtain sweeps open and Na-ri comes inside. She unfolds Beom’s drawing and says she wouldn’t come back if he drew her a thousand of these. She tears the drawing into shreds (that’s his heart you’re tearing up!) and Hwa-shin moves to pick them up, but stops himself. “I understand, so go,” he tells her, and draws the curtain against her.

But she comes back in, this time telling him how much better his friend is than him, in every possible way: He’s warm and gentle, manly, handsome, rich, and she even throws in that he has a nice, even chest. She says she likes Jung-won more than he likes her (liar), and tells Hwa-shin that he’s the exact opposite of his friend.

Increasingly agitated, Hwa-shin finally smacks his head against the locker. Yes, everything she said is true, he agrees, is that what she came here to say? Close to tears, she says he can’t audition because of her, but he doesn’t want to hear it and pushes her out.

She comes back in again. “I’m really a terrible woman,” she says. Eyes darkening with emotion, he warns her that it will be dangerous if she doesn’t go now. “I passed,” she tells him, “I wanted to tell you first.”

He warns her again, but Na-ri carries on. Jung-won is a good person, she says, Hwa-shin is a bad one. “Acknowledged,” he says, now coming closer. “You’re a bad friend,” she says, their faces inches apart. After a tense pause, he says, “Also acknowledged,” and…kisses her. Nooo! She kisses right back.

They finally come apart. “Are you crazy?” Hwa-shin breathes. She nods and says, “For now at least,” and they kiss again, longer, while the sky cries outside.

COMMENTS

I’ve been so furipus, YES FURIPUS, for the last two days, but I figure that I need to break down coolly exactly why this ending made me so angry. Firstly, I can appreciate the intellectual validity of the argument that every story should be told, but I disagree that this served that. It’s a climax that’s inconsistent with who these characters have been all this time, the choices they’ve made and the way they’ve developed. I also think it’s important not to conflate telling the story with selling it as a good thing. And that is what this ending does, and I hate it all the more because everything preceding it was so very nearly perfect. Everything about the longing, the conflict, the tension, it was so well done, but the actual kissing crossed a line that the show itself drew.

The more I think about it, the more random the kissing seems—practically shoehorned in. It’s as if the showrunners realized that they’d reached episode 14 and panicked that the endgame couple wasn’t together yet. But hey, did you forget this is (unnecessarily) a 24-episode show? Yes, of course the tension is building, that’s the name of the damn game. It’s not called Affairs Incarnate, you know. How much more could you have played with that tension or drawn it out or just done it some other way that didn’t break the story? The chemistry was insane, of course it was, but kissing was not the answer. And even if it were, don’t sell this to me as romantic, Show. It’s not. I don’t care how cute or right for each other they are, whichever way you cut it, it’s cheating, and infidelity is something I’m incapable of finding romantic value in. And they didn’t kiss once, but twice. With the first, you could say it was a mistake. But the second time, they made an actual, active decision.

At the most basic level, I feel betrayed by the show—the same way I felt betrayed by Who Are You—School 2015 or God’s Gift—14 Days. The show went back on its premise, and its implicit promise to see Na-ri’s relationship with Jung-won through. It’s true the shine’s come off Jung-won in the last couple of weeks, but how much better would it have been to see that relationship reach the end of its natural life? I was so stoked to see a show that was finally going to let the heroine be with someone else properly, but now I think about it, they’ve treated the Jung-won/Na-ri relationship in a half-assed way for a while.

The character derailment was strong this hour, especially in Na-ri’s face-heel turn, as she goes back on the promises she’s made to herself all this time. They erode a little more each time she goes back into Hwa-shin’s dressing room, each time pushing him a little further past his limit. But at the same time, looking back on the last few weeks, I think I have to acknowledge, as many of you have noted over the weeks, the way Na-ri really has often flagrantly disregarded boundaries. There were always other ways to explain it then, and I liked her so much, but this changes it all, because it crosses a line—one that Hwa-shin never crossed.

I’d like to blame Hwa-shin more, but it really is all Na-ri. She knew what she was doing, and she pushed him on purpose and took advantage of him. She went there knowing—I’m sure she knew—that she had only to crook her finger and she had him. It wasn’t even Hwa-shin, in the end, who broke faith. She’s playing mindgames with herself, and therefore with both men, too, and that’s pretty close to unforgivable for me. There’s a difference between genuinely not knowing your own mind (Hwa-shin), and knowing your mind but lying to yourself.

I think she wants to prove to herself that she’s not a flake, but maybe it’s a sign of her emotional immaturity that she thinks she can force her feelings to do what she wants. Where Hwa-shin has been painfully earning his self-awareness, it seems now like Na-ri completely lacks insight into her own character. In this last quarter-hour, she’s been like an earlier version of him, saying one thing while meaning the opposite, but crucially, she lets that opposite hang unspoken in the air.

On the other hand, there’s a kind of raw sincerity in Hwa-shin that was always there even when he was a jerk, like how he’d be mean as sin to her and hate himself afterwards. I think it’s telling that he’s had the chance, over and over, to try to take her away from Jung-won (especially after she finds out his real feelings) but he resists acting on it, one-sided love notwithstanding. Hwa-shin was manipulated into kissing her—he begged her to leave because he knew he’d be helpless. As much as we can argue that he wanted to do it, it would also be true that he really didn’t.

But let me end by going back over the best scene this episode, which made me jump ship to Hwa-shin. Although both men adorably do their part to help Na-ri, how lovely is the way Hwa-shin instructs her in the stairwell? With the exception of the last few minutes, Hwa-shin’s interactions with her all episode have been just…everything. That’s the Hwa-shin I want to see more, bravado stripped away and heart is in his eyes every time he looks at her. There’s something about his steady presence that makes you forgive every time he was ever a jerk. So show, if you want me to swoon, give me that. And also undo the last five minutes.

 
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I loooove imaginary Hwa-shin and all his no nonsense but adorably helpful pointer♥♥♥ And I just fall for Hye-won more and more with each episode. I wish we got more interesting second lead like her in the future.

Out of topic, but I really enjoyed cameo appearance from Jun Hyun-moo and Kim Kyung-ran. ;-)

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+ 1 about the cameo. He's hillarious.

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Hye Won deserves her own show where everything is gonna be about her.

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Agree, i wish to see her as lead in the near future. Beauty and talent she has all, what else do they need?

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Totally agree! I want her more in this drama too! Like now I like her even more than Nari tbh. (And GHJ is my ultimate fave actress)

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100% agreeing on hye won... she's one cool character whom i love to watch for 16 hrs as female lead

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Hwa-shin-ahh endless charm killed me in this episode ♥♥ !! JJS better get an award for his fantastic acting !!

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I was screaming NO at the last kiss scene! Not romantic at all!!

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I suspect, from the previews, there'll be plenty moments of reckoning for Na Ri in the upcoming episode. I think the writer is too talented to just let that kiss slide by as "the heart wants what it wants" without delving into the resultant complications.

Having said that, I think the outcry of "adulterers! cheaters! for shame, wear a scarlet A!" is a little too austere. Don't get me wrong-- I don't condone cheating, and I certainly don't buy into the whole "you can't control who you love" argument as a justification for cheating (lol if people adopted such a principle, society/families would be defunct, and we'd all be free-lovin' in a nudist commune ... *shudder*)

Let me offer an alternative perspective: the Jungwon-Nari relationship is so new and so nascent that it isn't even yet a form of solid commitment. In Na-Ri's own words, they were getting a taste for each other, and only recently has she decided that she likes him back. They've gone on a couple of dates, but both haven't formally introduced the other to family/the world as "my girlfriend/boyfriend". As far as "the world" was concerned, Jung Won is on schedule to marry Soo Jung (!). Na Ri is attracted to Jung Won, and finds him a nice guy, but at the same time she'd have to be deluded if she thought she's going to be Jung Won's partner for the long haul, knowing what she knows about his family situation and the mother-wants-another-bride thing. So basically it hasn't crossed Na Ri's mind that she'd be committing to Jung Won for the long term, and Jung Won hasn't exactly announced to the world that he's not going to marry Soo Jung nor made it clear that Na Ri is his true girlfriend.

So ladies -- if you've been going on dates with this guy, but haven't formally defined your relationship, nor met each other's family ... are you cheating on him if you kiss another man? Sort of... but see, the cards are not engraved in stone, and everything is new enough that Na Ri should have enough agency / free will to undergo a change of heart without being labeled as a cheater. Though obviously this is contingent on her telling Jung Won in the next episode that they can't date anymore.

I personally thought the kiss was a great development. Narrative betrayal? nah. More like a talented writer doing her job all too well. How tidy and staid it'd be if Na Ri & Hwa Shin were perfectly *noble*, pining after each other like a monk and a nun. But a fiction writer does not need to be a moral crusader; stories are allowed to include flawed people doing morally ambiguous acts with emotionally ambivalent motivations. From a writerly lens, the kiss is a daring choice precisely because it's so problematic-- face it, fiction thrives on conflict. And the kiss is conflict aplenty. It rocks the boat, knocks our protagonists into uncertain waters, and forces them to swim and struggle and barter within an inch of their lives.

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So agree 1000+ Thanks you for putting it so well.

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I agree with every word you said. The kiss wasn't a narrative betrayal. It was a mark of tonal consistency.

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You just took my words out of my mouth and probably in a much better way. I 100% completely agree with you.

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upvoted 10000000000+

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Couldn't agree more! Thx.

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Agree completely.

Loved every minute of episode 14.

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+1 Excellent way to put it!

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Spot on. ? Love the development oftbe show! ?

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Exactly... nari and Jung-won are still on dating stage and haven't talked about "exclusivity" about it. The KISS between Nari and Hwa-shin, I expected it because Nari feels she is genuinely cared by a person who she really loves. Haha! So looking forward what conflict it would bring to the three of them.

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100% agree. well put!

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agree ! this is not a show for kids, teenagers or a lecture on moral..

love how the actors playing the emotions...

one of the best drama 2016 !

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Brilliantly conveyed!! ^^ Definitely agree with this more than the article thank you so much for putting our thoughts into words :')

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Hear hear! Great read of the show and its characters! I have my full trust in the writer that she will convey a great and compelling story populated with sensible and completely human characters. The show also has an impressive, insightful, and cheeky director, plus a solid cast line-up headed by the great GHJ and JJS, and the show pretty much hit that trifecta of brilliant writing-directing-acting! This is a generally good season of currently airing dramas, but Jealousy Incarnate is by far my favourite.

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+add me in..I don't think it as narrative betrayal too....

It's not na-ri's trust in jung woo that started their relationship... it was her trust in hwa shin , who in turn made her trust jung woo... she herself never knew him like she knows hwa shin... & jung woo/ na ri's are in still tasting stage..

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Agree with your take on the kiss, excellent analysis. Never felt Na-ri and Jung-won were heading to marriage or had made a serious commitment to each other at this point in time. That's not to say she should go around kissing men other than her boyfriend behind his back, but it's not to the point where people need to stone her and Hwa-shin.

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+100 at first I was like nooooo because it is cheating at the most or disloyal on both part on the least. But now I am like yesss because it was beautiful and narratively.

it raise a conflict that gets us out of the statu quo that was starting to set : NR and JW gets their relationship and HS pins from afar. It would actually be a little disturbing if nothing happened while both NR and JW know that HS loves Nari lol

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totally agree with you.

and i love the kiss scene too, it is just like that song "but we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy!"

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Wow! Excellent description, sylvia!

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I agree 1000% with what you just posted! The show is called jealousy incarnate not prudence incarnate lol The truth is they have had feelings for each other 3 years ago and he never admitted it to himself until now. They are so cute together! And let's face it there is a reason YOU SHOULD NEVER DATE SOMEONE WHO HAD FEELINGS/RELATIONSHIP WITH A FRIEND! Of course they are going to still have lingering feelings for each other.

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+1000

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I love what you said here. That's exactly how I see it.

I hate the very idea of cheating under any justification and can never condone it. However, I don't think this show is out to be a cookie-cutter romance of cliché proportions. I feel like it will handle the betrayal-ish in a way that narratively flows.

I don't think the kiss came out of left field at all. Yes, it sucks because Jung Won is such a nice guy that you feel terrible to see him rooting for Na Ri only for her to go to Hwa Shin. But we all knew Na Ri was never going to react to Hwa Shin's sincere feelings like he'd once done. Not when he genuinely shows them vs. if he'd pushed her away like before. The whole sequence of her avoiding him at work shows how affected she is by his heart eyes.

And as you said, she's casually dating him still/having fun not in a committed we're-in-love type relationship so it's not as dire as people are reacting to it.

Anywho, really well said comment!

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I could be wrong but, in earlier episodes, I think one or both of them has said boyfriend and/or girlfriend. Once you make that declaration then certain rules apply, no matter how early it is in the relationship. Yes yes everyone is dying to get Nari and Hwashin together but they could have done it a million other ways.

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I like what u said about fiction writer doesnt have to be a morale crusader
Life's messy, people dont always make a 'right' decision. So i dont mind when characters in fiction make 'wrong' actions.

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Amen to that!

"morale crusader" AHAHAHAHAHA

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i agreee with this comment! i really liked the ending very much... let's look at the bigger picture.. it's about na ri realizing her feelings for hwa shin aat the end. <3 <3

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Thank you for this! @Sylvia
For the first time since I am a beanie, I completely disagree with @Saya point of view.
I thought the kiss was a natural build-up of the story and the scene. Right before the kiss, we see Na Ri trying to convince herself that JW is way better than HS. She fails! She (we) thought she was over SW, but in fact she never ended her feelings for him. It was just bottled up until she realized it herself. I congratulate the writers for this. That makes for a much more interesting plot line as we are all curious to see which direction she is now going to take. I think that makes the whole plot super interesting and completely different from what we are used to see in K-drama. Cheating? Adultery? Where? How? I don't see any of this! Even though we want a perfect world, we are all flawed human beings. Go writers! {that kiss tho: deabak!!!}

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Another Agreed!!!! Love the writing and exactly what I would expect from Gong Hyo Jin"s character.

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Yassss! My thoughts exactly.

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Exactly. I loved the kiss and feel it didn't betray any kind of narrative or the characters. There has been a lead up to this kiss since Na Ri found out Hwa Shin's feelings. Hiding in cars, the closeness and silent read minds communication, the hand grab, joint "already?" in the helicopter, the stairwell looking in each other's eyes...I knew that kiss was coming and I'm glad it did because now a story gets to begin where most dramas would end (or rush to neatly tie everything up in last two remaining episodes) now what!?!?!! Both characters and we the audience know this kiss is wrong and problematic so hos will it change break and mend things. I for one I'm looking forward to what this does to Hwa Shin and Jung Won's friendship, the judgement Na Ri and Hwa Shin will face from everyone for various reasons, the guilt, the hate, the heart break....this writer ever since Miss Korea I trust them to tackle the core of that kiss and it's fall out. From a story stand point I think it's brilliant and can't wait to see how it shakes things up.

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+100 here! I agree. The writer has done a great job in building up conflicts in NaRi that she is questioning with her brain, and makes denial of her heart. The expresion of HwaShin is also priceless. JJS nails it!! His eyes speak louder of HS feeling.

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TOTALLY!!!

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I totally agree! This is my favorite episode so far. :)

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I couldn't agree more! I felt everything described in this comment.

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I love this comment. Perfectly displays what I thought but couldn't form into words.

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Serious? By the time the kiss actually happened, the very air around me was stifling. SO. HOT.

As much as I like Jung Won, the build up to that kiss was everything. Her denials. His warning. The close quarters. RAWR. Yes they're gonna have a lot to deal with later - and so they should - but they were finally honest about their feelings in that moment. I fully acknowledge that that doesn't excuse cheating, but she's not MARRIED to other guy is she, and neither are they even fully seriously committed to each other. They're still dancing around how they fit together.

I hate to disagree with Saya, but I didn't think this was character derailment at all. If anything, the opposite. They're being raw with all those emotions they've been suppressing and personally I'm all for it.

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Kiss was hot but tainted by circumstances. I wish it was saved for later.

I would like to note that I haven't seen female character that is good at her job in a while. Can somebody remind me of a competent female character in a drama? The last one I remember is Kim So Yeon in I Need Romance 3 so I'm glad we have Pyo Na Ri

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Cha Ji An in I Remember You! :)

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Hmm...let's see, I'll list the actresses' names as I forgot some of their characters' names already
- Choi Ji-woo in Woman with a Suitcase
- Jeon Do-yeon in The Good Wife
- Kang So-ra in Misaeng
- Kim Hee-ae in Secret Love Affair
- Kim Hye-soo in Signal
- actually iirc GHJ last roles in Producers and IOIL where also good at their jobs

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Add to that... just in 2016 alone and recently:
Kim Hee-ae as Kang Min-joo in Second to Last Love
Lee Yo-won as Ok Da-jung in Miss Temper and Nam Jung Gi
All females in Descdendants of the Sun
Park Shin Hye as Yoo Hye Jung in Doctors
Kim Hye Soo as Cha Soo Hyun in Signal
Kim Hyun Joo as Lee So Hye in Fantastic

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The villain female (I'm horrible with names), the wife of the politician in K2. Yes, she's a villain. But damn what an awesome villain!

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Also pretty much all females in Six Flying Dragons.

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It's song yoon ah as madm choi yoo jin.
I love her character more than 100 ji chang wook and yoo na combibed together in K2

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Miss Temper and Nam Jung Gi was like the most empowering female character of the year!!!

She rocked that show, everything was about her!

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Chae Rim as Oh Dal-ja in 'Dal'ja's Spring', as well as all of the female supporting characters in that show.

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Other than Na-ri, Sung-sook, Ja-young and Hye-won are also solid at work.

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Don't forget Seo Hyun Jin in Another Oh Hae Young

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Yeah, I haven't watched many of these dramas so I don't know them . I'd have to nitpick on few. I don't remember Jang Nara being that good in I Remember You , but perhaps I was too focused on SIG. GHJ in Producers, I agree, but in IOIL, I remember her being unprofessional in many situations. I agree about K2, signal. I dropped Doctors fairly early so idk. DOTS, ok, agreed. Seo Hyun Jin in AOHY, was she really good at her job? I haven't watched the rest. Ok, I guess I have terrible memory. I guess GHJ in this drama and KSY in IN3 just impressed me more as being not just competent but also really talented.

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The lead girl in Lucky Romance was a good programmer, right?

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Witch's Romance

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Boem is cute and all but best pouty face award goes to JJS!

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YESSSSSS.

It's like…I know we’re all gonna talk about the kiss and all it’s horrible/wonderful implications, but can we take a moment to appreciate the preciousness that is that scene with Beom. I LOVE THAT SCENE. It’s the scene that makes me completely understand why we ended up where we did because, really, who can resist JJS with that damn twinkle in his eye, saying he misses you even when you’re right in front of him. Him and Beom pouting together was the most precious thing.

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Same here, while everyone's hung up on the kiss (which don't get me wrong is totally justified and I understand the big discussion) I'm still cracking up over JJS's pouty face and his dolphin jokes. In the previous episode that one dolphin didn't die because of the oil spill but due to old age and in this one he told PD Oh excitedly "look how cute the dolphins look, too bad they're dead now". Pffft.

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Chandler - That was the next best thing in that epiosde! The pout by JJS when 'noona' walks away after telling them off.... I had to pause the video and sit up to laugh for a whole minute before I could move on.

"damn twinkle in his eye saying he misses you even when you’re right in front of him"
- Just. can't. breathe.

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I think my ovaries exploded.

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Heh, I was seriously swooning at JJS this whole episode. He was charming, adorable, hot, and all around amazing this episode.
I watched the pouty scene more than once because wth the man does not get to bring out the pouty face after charming us all in the stairway scene. It's just supremely unfair!

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Although I don't condone cheating in any way, I absolutely loved this episode. Hwashin and Nari's connection has always been there, so the last five minutes didn't seem like it was out of no where for me. Of course, my continued enjoyment all depends on how the two react to this situation from here on. But both have tried to be as honest to themselves and Jungwon, and I expect them to handle it well.

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I agree, she'd already kissed Hwashin once already so there was build-up to a mutual attraction before JonWon came along (whom I love).

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The same thought here. Initially, I was shocked with the last ending but it was alright. Its happenned. Like you said, finally she ended her long denials in the ep with an honesty both to herself and him.

Too, I am excited to see the trio's reaction after this. It should be more interesting, given what we have examined so far. Pstt.. I trust the writernim wholeheartedly, lol.

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Ignoring context, that was an AMAZING kiss. Don't ask me how many times I watched it.
Now, here's the thing. I feed completely bad for Jung Won, but Na Ri is human. She's feeling beyond conflicted. On one hand is JW who is a complete gentleman, but then you have HS, who she liked for 3 years. And those feelings never really went away! She tried to convince herself before the kiss that JW was better, but it was pretty obvious that she wasn't really listening to her own words.
This is why I can't get mad at Na Ri and Hwa Shin. They both are human with complicated feelings in a complicated situation.

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I completely agree with you, cocolychee! Sorry, Saya, but when I read the comments section, I was internally disagreeing and surprised why would you react with anger to that... We people are not perfect, and I know that dramas tend to show love and relationships as perfectly pure and always right - but that's not how life is... I think this episode is so true to human feelings and actions! We do not always act right just because we know what is right thing to do - like in this kiss scene, I can completely feel the tension, the heartbeat and passion which both Na Ri and Hwa Shin felt, and I understand why Na Ri was not able to leave the dressing room! (Actually, if she did leave after she said what she wanted - I would've rolled my eyes at the show) It is totally human feeling, and I think the show is very brave to go over the line with this kiss! I can even imagine how torn both Na Ri and Hwa Shin will be after the kiss, but if I had choice I wouldn't change anything in this scene. Respect to the show!

By the way, I've been Dramabeans fan for over 10 years, but this is the first comment I've written :)

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Agree with what you said. This show likes to go Into uncharted territories not explored by other dramas.

Ooh.. that's a feat, how did you manage it? I recently only discovered dramabeans and started commenting a month back and now I am addicted. Welcome to active commenting! :)

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I agree with your comment. I mean, if there would have been no kiss it would have been sort of propaganda, telling the audience that this is the PROPER way to date. Of course, in a relationship you can't just go and kiss others but that's life, man. That's what happens all the time. In the books it's said: don't cheat but books and life are two different things. People don't always do that because they want to cheat, Na Ri and Hwa Shin didn't do it because they found thrill in it, but because they were so caught up in the moment and their own feelings, that indeed is very human. Anything else would have been unrealistic and fake.

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I'm with you on this! It's not as if they kissed with malicious intent to hurt JW. I felt their pain leading to the KISS, knowing she is an "evil witch" and he a "bad friend". I don't condone cheating but I felt that that scene need to happen so both NR and HS can confront whatever feelings they have. I remember what HS said not to sit in the middle of the seesaw but choose either left or right. So I think HS deciding to kiss NR is in keeping with his character. I'm so looking forward to how HS&NR will react if,and when, sh%&t hits the fan next episode.

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Agree! The kiss was amazing, this guy really knows how to do it convincingly.

I respect and appreciate Saya's pov about the kiss, it gives insight of what others might feel/think. Imho, for Na Ri what she's doing with Jung Won now is "dating", being on the receiving end of affection, learning to love and be loved. Both her and Jung Won are not sure where does it head/end to but they want to enjoy it for the time being. For me and the society here, "dating" and "in a relationship" is not exactly the same. But personally I would make sure to have a clean sheet before starting anything because it's too much headache and drama. THIS is drama and boy I'm glad they didn't fall on noble idiocy of protecting others feelings' like what I often find in Japanese dorama. That would be frustrating!!!

And the background song of Na Ri's kiss with Jung Wong versus Na Ri's kiss with Hwa Sin is different. I got different feel, different impression, different memories related to different song.

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Sad, sad, sad, sad. I can't believe this show made me feel sad for both Jung Won and The Cheaters. How did it do that?

But Jung Won gets most of my sympathy. He deserves so much better from both of them. He has worn his heart on his sleeve and these two, even while speaking his name, still treated him with total disregard and trampled his trust underfoot. I really want to go back to admiring the lead characters and using their actual names but that can only happen if there's a substantive redemption in their futures.

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Oh, I disagree about the ending. I've been waiting for it, and I loved it!

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You and me, sister, you and me.. ;)

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I wasn't expecting the kiss but love it so much when it happened. I think it's actually good timing too, that it happened halfway through the show with heaps of context behind it, and leaving heaps of room, 10 episodes, to deal with the consequences and other issues.

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I've been waiting for this recap so I can post my thoughts about it.

I know lots of people were upset about the ending scene, I’m actually glad that kiss happened. There was so much tension building up in that scene alone, feelings needed to be put on the table, so Na Ri can decide what she really wants. I personally never thought Na Ri was completely over Hwa Shin anyway. That ramen scene (she thinks she has no more feelings/ramen but she does, they’re/it’s just hidden), Na Ri’s clingyness to Hwa Shin (even though he was still being an ass to her), my disinterest in all second leads ever (#teamHwaShin), and my general knowledge of how kdramas work told me that. They bonded over the breast cancer thing and Na Ri felt bad for Hwa Shin. Pity + old/possibly residual feelings can easily lead to more. I actually feel like if Hwa Shin hadn’t initiated the kiss Na Ri would’ve. How many times did she go into that dressing room to tell Hwa Shin what a great guy Jung Won was and how much she loved him? Like who are you trying to convince?

I have no problem with Na Ri being swayed by Hwa Shin. The person she liked for 3 years suddenly likes her back. It would be so hard not to be confused by that. I like that the show is taking this direction and not keeping Na Ri and Hwa Shin as completely likable characters. In most shows, writers take the easy way out and the main leads cheat when their partners are terrible people so it's easier to not see the leads as terrible people, but that's not the case here. I think it touches on the question of whether or not Na Ri and Hwa Shin can still be good people even though they've done a terrible thing to someone they're both supposed to care about. I like where they might take this.

Was it fucked up that Hwa Shin kissed Na Ri behind his best friend’s back? Yes. And was it fucked up that Na Ri kissed Hwa Shin back behind her boyfriend’s back? Yes. It was totally wrong on both their part’s, but not everyone does what’s morally right all the time. Sometimes people are selfish and don’t think about other people and how they’re hurting them. It happens. I live for flawed characters. Even more so when they make mistakes cause I wanna see how they fix them. Na ri and Hwa Shin will regret what they’ve done to Jung Won and I’m curious to see how they’ll reconcile the situation.

And on a side note: Loved the way Jo Jung Suk looked at Gong Hyo Jin before going in for a second kiss.

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☝☝ THIS. Emotions, especially long term, familiar ones, are messy.

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+1

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allllll of this!

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+1
"but not everyone does what’s morally right all the time" From what I've learned throughout my short adult life, nobody does what's morally right all of the time. :) We are all human after all. :)). We do things things on impulse that we wish we could take back. All we can do is try and learn and grow. That is all. hehe.

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You know that Glenn Frey song that goes: "Are you gonna stay with the one who loves you? Or are you going back to the you love? Someone's gonna cry when they know they've lost you, someone's gonna thank, the stars above." (Here's the mv: https://youtu.be/F7-gsxH-M9g) Yes, it's that song!

Speaking of which, this episode resonates that very thought. While I agree that the strongest relationships are built on trust and commitment, there also lies an understanding that certain things need to be reevaluated and recalculated. Regardless if those things happen to be decisions, circumstances or choices, when people reach a point that options need to be weighed, certain lines might be crossed; We all make mistakes and that includes making a bad judgement call over something or even someone. We're all flawed in different aspects and the lessons we learn based on life experiences, end up being the very morals we live and breathe by. What I find disconcertingly odd is that people feel the need to be righteous especially when it comes to defining the integrity of a relationship. I'm just as guilty because here I am responding to different points of view trying to get my side heard and understood.

Honestly, its difficult to remain objective when you're outside looking in. Perspectives differ as with moral principles and obligations. When and if we try to debunk that very moral core in us, it does come off like a hard pill to swallow, and that's okay because as people, we constantly try to make the best version of ourselves. It's what's called being human is.

So while mistakes are abundant and efforts a miss, Jealousy Incarnate continues to (maybe unintentionally) rattle our moral cores. It's a show that questions ones moral aptitude and tolerance while trying to convey that loving someone is not an obligation but rather a choice to be made. So if lines be crossed, hearts be broken, morals be questioned, by the end of the day, can that all be justified and held accountable for? Or are we chalking it up to experience? That is a question I hope this show will answer.

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Here's the lyrics to the song I mentioned just in case any of you are curious to know why its so apt for this episode:

I know you need a friend, someone you can talk to
Who will understand what you're going through
When it comes to love, there's no easy answer
Only you can say what you're gonna do

I heard you on the phone, you took his number
Said you weren't alone, but you'd call him soon
Isn't he the guy, the guy who left you cryin'?
Isn't he the one who made you blue?

When you remember those nights in his arms
You know you gotta make up your mind

Are you gonna stay with the one who loves you
Or are you goin' back to the one you love?
Someone's gonna cry when they know they've lost you
Someone's gonna thank the stars above

What you gonna say when he comes over?
There's no easy way to see this through
All the broken dreams, all the disappointment
Oh girl, what you gonna do?

Your heart keeps sayin' it's just not fair
But still you gotta make up your mind

Are you gonna stay with the one who loves you
Or are you goin' back to the one you love?
Someone's gonna cry when they know they've lost you
Someone's gonna thank the stars above

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Yeah, it's interesting seeing all the perspectives and the debates going around. It's such a grey area that you can't really can't sidle with one side, our morals pretty much shape-shift with our experiences. I think this show is doing a great job in dealing with grey areas and shaking us up. Can't wait to see how they deal with this issue in later episodes.

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You explained everything quite well! Sooooo on the same boat.

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I'm with you, jaded14yaoi.

I was surprised that the show went this route, but not in a bad way. After episode 12, I thought we'd have a good 4 episodes before we got Hwa-shin and Nari anywhere near facing their feelings. So I actually ended up loving this episode for taking our characters to places I never expected. A development like this one really changes what we can expect to happen in the upcoming episodes & I look forward to seeing how they handle the fallout.

I've noticed people calling out the kiss for not being romantic & criticizing the drama for trying to sell it that way, but it's not as simple as that. There's obviously a strong chemistry/connection between the leads, which means that some satisfaction is felt at them giving in to their emotions. But it definitely isn't a scene intended to make us swoon (well, wholeheartedly, at least) at our leads getting together. I guess, I just don't think the drama intends to let the characters off-the-hook for betraying Jung-won. In fact, it will probably be much, much harder for them to actually get together now. I definitely don't expect either of them to take their mistake lightly.

...And yes. Jo Jung Suk's eyes were just so full of vulnerability, longing, uncertainty, fear. Just wonderful.

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15+alpha!!!!!!

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Amen. I don't think we can say that the show has violated the characters to create the kiss or that it's glorifying their cheater-y until we see how it handles the aftermath.

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Yes, to everything you've said. As humans, we often commit mistakes knowing what we're doing, only thinking later on about the implications. At the ending scene I saw two people realizing that their feelings were too strong to take reason into consideration. Of course, guilty and regret will soon catch them both, but as a neighbor drama would say: love is the moment (often, the wrong one).

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oops, *guilt

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THIS. i cannot believe people are upset by the ending!!! the kiss was waiting to happen - from the way i see things, it was about time Na-ri would break and finally realize that the chemistry between her and Hwa-Shin is too strong to ignore.

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Me too!!!
The lead characters are very well written and I totally buy whatever emotions they are selling - I too don't understand the hate the ending gets.

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THIS. Couldn't agree more with your opinion!

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I personally never thought Na Ri was completely over Hwa Shin anyway.

Yes, totally with you on that one. The show has made that clear, I reckon.

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TBH, I always saw Nari dating JW just for the sake of dating... Just for the sake of being loved by someone. I think she needed this reality to hit her in the face and it did at the end of this episode. From my perspective, she realized her true feelings, laid them out in front of Hwashin to the point that they both defined their feelings for each other. The kiss made sense for me, narratively. It's that pivotal point in the narrative where the shit hits the fan. Now, it's time to clean it up and have Nari and Hwashin repent what they did as well as be honest with JW. But I have my trust in the writer to carry that out nicely in the next 10 episodes.

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I agree. She did say in an earlier episode that she was "getting a taste". If her relationship with Jung-won could have had the benefit of more time, I doubt she'd be swayed so easily. It'd definitely have been more of the wistful "oh well, we missed our chance, but I've already built a life with someone else, so too bad" kind of situation. Love is timing, and no matter how you see it, her timing with both men are slightly off. Hence, repercussions coming up!

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@jaded14yaoi
+10000
If I could write as eloquently as you I'd have written something along the same lines.
Personally, I didn't have a problem with the kiss at the end because I never felt that NR was as invested in the relationship with JW as he was. In fact he keeps telling her to speak informally with him. And she never seemed to be as honest with him about her feelings.
But with HS as much as she loves/hates him she is always honest - and to me honesty usually means you trust the other person. Yes this kiss will have pretty major ramifications for all three of them and the relationships they have. So I'm interested in how they work it all out.
I must say the acting has been superb - but Na Ri was amazing in the stairway and elevator as her face registered what happened after the audition, and then when she found out that she passed. I could feel the conflicting emotions as it registered that she succeeded - but at the cost of HS's career. Incredible scenes.
JJS never fails with those eyes of his. But he really got me with how he sighed "I love you" in his mind.
Relationships are messy and complicated and fulfilling at best. This is a great show about just how messy they can get.

No matter what we do or want, our heart seems to be drawn to and love who we love.
I just love everything about this show!!!

And I love the comments are reading everyone's' ideas and opinions. I learn so much reading them.

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Perfectly said.

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+1000
I love flawed characters especially in K-drama where it's so rare! Interested to see how the dynamics between the 3 will change.

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I have to disagree with the commentary on the kiss. Narratively, it does work. Not only have Na Ri learned of Hwa Shin's feelings, but she knows that they're so intense that he'd willing risk his career to give her future a chance. Unlike Jung Won, he made an actual sacrifice. Between that and their already off the charts chemistry, things were bound to blow up. The moment may be messy, but it's a lot more realistic than her completely forgetting 3 years of emotions tied into one person.

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Not only have Na Ri learned of Hwa Shin’s feelings, but she knows that they’re so intense that he’d willing risk his career to give her future a chance.

Yessss!!

Between that and their already off the charts chemistry, things were bound to blow up.

Yessssssssss!!!!

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Your comment is on pint mygirl ! I agree.

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@Yani
Hoshisma’s points, I was just agreeing with her. But SO GLAD that you are a HwaNari shipper. Fighting! ❤❤❤

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I expect total fidelity in marriage, but think that during dating, there's far more leeway. Now if they continued to sneak kisses behind Jungwon's back and carried on a romantic relationship, that's terrible. But they all are their own people and are still testing the waters. None of them have committed to marriage yet. I guess a lot of the read on this situation depends on how they deal with the fallout.

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+1

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??

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For me this episode felt like the one I needed. On the whole hwa shin has been acting like a man head over heels in love for Nari and IMO this episode conveys those feelings not only to the spectators, but also nari. The kiss, although immoral, shows so much feelings that needed to go out.

I can understand why some people is mad. Still, I think this is how real life works... Nari is not the first girl that is kissing a guy while in a relationship and hwa shin is not the first guy who betrays a friend. Damn, I've even heard the show was glorifying affair, which is not. Let's face it, people is flawed and our main characters have made a mistake, actually this looks even worse because I think they don't know what to do...but I have faith that the scriptwriter will do a good job.

Aside from that the kiss scene was beautifully shot. I felt like blushing as watching such intimate moment.

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This was Hwa-shin's episode. I love how he coached Na-ri for the audition and how she imagined him in the studio to calm her nerves and basically got through it with his tips. That entire segment was so awesome and he was just so cool and professional (okay, mostly) about it. Nothing's sexier than a man who knows he's good at his job without flaunting it (that inner confidence!), and Hwa-shin was all that during the whole coaching+audition thing.

I have no issues with the kiss (it was hot!). It's the result of all their unresolved feelings and the history they share, sparked by the fact that he put his job on the line to help her. It's been a roller-coaster few days for both Na-ri and Hwa-shin, and it's hard to think logically in the light of that weighty revelation (his suspension). That doesn't excuse her kissing another man behind her boyfriend's back, but it does now force her to examine her feelings for both men and also her professional aspirations. Till now, she hasn't really been put in a position to choose unless push comes to shove, so they're now all in a pickle and the ball is in Na-ri's court.

I do wonder if Hwa-shin will come clean with Jung-won about the kiss and whether he'll take the blame saying he initiated it and she was forced to respond...

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Based on my understanding of HwaShin as a character so far, I reckon he will take the blame.
Unless, the writer's waiting for us next episode with different layers to his character/ a different way of dealing with this.. I trust you writer-nim. You have been awesome so far, keep up the good work.

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Now that you've raised the issue, I too am curious to know whether Jung Won will find out about the kişs. It's quite possible that Hwa Shin would confess and take the blame. But I'd think it's also a possibility that he'd want to protect Na Ri at this stage and keep quiet until they get caught red handed. I'd prefer him confessing to Jung Won and stake his claim tbh.

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I'd prefer he confess to Jung-won too, but not so much as to stake his claim. It might be he'd feel guilty for doing something that hurt their friendship (although not sorry that he kissed Na-ri). I would really like Na-ri to step up and take steps to redefine her relationship with both men. She's been waffling long enough that it got a bit annoying to watch (that overdoing the love demonstrations bit at Jung-won's birthday party was a bit facepalm-y).

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Yes to all of this! Let's just take a moment to acknowledge that Jo Jung Suk is absolutely killing it. Like Saya, I completely fell in love with Hwa-shin during the coaching scene. The way he looks at her with pride, quietly helps her navigate through the audition purpose and tempered her nerves with gentle words of encouragement, I DIED.

In regard to the kiss, I have to respectfully disagree with Saya that it was out character. It was the culmination of a 3 year unreciprocated crush, shared vulnerability in a cancer scare, being sympathetic co-workers and now reluctant friends. It was a narrative that had always being looming but ignored because obviously Na-ri was dating Jung-won. Hwa-shin's confession his subsequent sacrifice and support for Na-ri out of affection brought everything to the surface and the narrative could no longer be ignored. Of course cheating is wrong, Jung-won is going to be incredibly hurt and both Na-ri and Hwa-shin will have to face up to the consequences of that.

On a more shallow note, that kiss scene is the hottest kiss scene that I can remember watching from a kdrama. It wasn't even the kiss in itself, it was the build up of tension and Hwa-shin desperately trying to read Na-ri. Too hot, smouldering, watched it more times than I'll care to admit.

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Hwa-shin desperately trying to read Na-ri
I dunno why, I just love that line! It was exactly that, in those few seconds leading up to the kiss.

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Omg, Jo Jung-seok's eyes during that reading bit near killed me. He totally captured that moment of raw vulnerability.

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thanks, you made it clear to me.

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I completely agree, I was angry, disappointed at Na-Ri. I had always thought she didn't care about the boundaries, forcing herself to hug him in the hospital (octopus), forcing him to talk to her even after he actively and rudely pushes her away, she didn't give him any personal space. But, this time she is just forcing herself to him in the men's locker. That is not romantic at all. She completely ignored her bf multiple times,,, we know that she isn't into him very much,,, he knows that too. Why not just tell him that first. Truth that she liked HS for 3 years, and that feelings hasn't disappeared and grew into more.
I just feel so bad for JW, I closed my eyes during the kiss. It's a big No No. I hope they show the consequences of their behavior.
I am sure JW would have understood and given them their blessings. Well, they need to fill 10 more eps.

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I beg to differ on the boundaries part. Her lack of boundaries pertained to his petulance at seeking treatment properly. (I'm of the opinion that the Quiznos and cafe 'stalking' were accidental. Staying on to spy on the date, well, wouldn't you have been curious and done that too?) When she found out that he DID like her, she actively avoided him.

But yes, in an ideal case, she should have broken up with Jung-won properly first. Unfortunately, breakups are hard too... =(

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I have to agree with the people who loved the kiss. Perhaps its from this fascination I have of people fulfilling the intense chemistry they feel..even if it is wrong/socially wrong. I don't know what this says of my morals really, but I'd say they are pretty loose compared to the norm I guess. Not everyone has the same morals tho so I thought I might just try to add my bit. Honestly this show could go so many ways and I could still enjoy the ride. I just like seeing smoking chemistry. I suppose it may go along with a view that ppl should be able to love who they want. I know that means that some ppl get hurt if there isn't communication. But if you are trying to find ppl you have chemistry with that you want to invest time with..then wouldn't you want to explore a bit? Lol I don't even know how much of this I would ascribe to my life..but it is something I do think about..

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Loved ur comment and thanks for laugh..."loose morals" I can relate. My Grammy says I'm just more compassionate/sympathetic to the human condition than others...I suspect you are too. :)

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haha I love that you own your so called loose morals. Not going to lie, kissing someone else when you've been dating a guy for just a few weeks (hell, most relationships are still non-exclusive at that point) wouldn't be a massive deal in my social circle either.

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I don't think anyone can be manipulated into a kiss, honestly, or at least not in the way described. Just because he's deeply into her, and can't control himself around her, doesn't mean that Hwa Shin was manipulated, or that he bears no responsibility for his actions. That's kind of a slippery slope because a lot of people use that as excuse for non-consensual actions. In the same way, I could potentially argue that Na Ri was also manipulated into a kiss by her emotions. Because, Hwa Shin is the man she's loved for over three years, and hearing that he's now maybe into her, not only into her, but actively confessing, multiple times, doing crazy things for her at the expense of his own career, and even as she tries to avoid him, it could have easily broken her resolve. And, from what it seemed, she was resolved. The kiss at the end was a mixture of a lot of things; it wasn't only drawn by emotions, but also by that feeling of helplessness and guilt that Hwa Shin was about to lose something that he's wanted for so long because of her (even though it wasn't because of her, he actively made that decision to help her), and she, out of all people, understands what it means to want something that badly. So it was lust, love, guilt, regret, all built into the moment- no wonder it was messy. It wasn't romanticized per se as much as that the actors just have really intense chemistry, and it came across as hot anyway. But if it were to be truly romanticized, the show wouldn't have focused on Jung Won and how much he'd helped Nari without demanding anything in return just before that; instead, it could have easily made him seem less of a good choice.

But otherwise, how ridiculously good is Jo Jung Seok? I am blown away every week. Even disregarding the kiss- what on earth does this man have that makes him seem so impossibly attractive in-character? The glances, the smiles, the gazes, the talking, he's so adept at them, that the narrative doesn't even have to work hard to sell him as endgame, despite how amazing Jung Won is.

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IKR? JJS is not classically good looking but his acting skills make him so darn attractive in character. I'm mentally going through all the characters he has played before and the conclusion is he's so versatile, but still uniquely him, and always wonderful to watch. All hail JJS!!!!

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Yup you said it well.
Here, our casts describe JW as a man is who is better than HD. But the show keeps telling me that HS is a better man. Haha..
To me, we just see more flawed sides of HS which I believe that JW has them too though in different forms. These duo appeared in opposite shells but inside they must share many commonalities than we would ever know. Thats why, I regard, they are very much connected as friends. Even, I imagine HS loves JW more considering how much he has done to bring him happiness. Secretly, I expect JW would work on HS's happiness too in near eps. Oh, the kissing happened because of multiple reasons, like you said :).

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Great way of looking at it Zoe! *mind blown*

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Just dropping a note to say I've left a comment at 67.3 to address my poor writing of that point - I should have left it here, sorry!

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The kiss was narratively consistent and logical. Just the way they portrayed it was simply a no go. I hate it when television is sugarcoating things into some romantic angle when in truth it's a shitty thing. Glorifying cheating is the same as the forced kiss turned willing full at the end. They trying to add a romantic spin to it that is not supposed to be there.

It's clear that the show wants people to view it as a romantic OTP moment. Despite it being a cheating scene the dreamy background music, shot of Na Ri touching Hwa Shin's chest/heart after the first kiss and zoom ins on their longing eyes persuades the viewer into believing this as a romantic breakthrough moment in the main pairings journey to each other.

But it's not. They haven't overcome obstacles to reach this point but are the obstacles themselves. Hwa Shin not only betrayed his best friend but also screwed Hye Won over who relied on him as a co-worker and now faces uncertainty in her audition. Na Ri did both Hwa Shin and Jung Won really dirty by betraying her boyfriend and driving his best friend into a corner until he's becoming a cheater because of her.

As the reviewer said you could get out of this situation with only one kiss but the moment they added the second one and zoomed out on them hugging/kissing each other passionately that's the point of no return. But seeing all the fangirling and squealing reactions so far looks like most have decided to ignore it for the pretty.

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I really don't think the show is romanticizing this kiss at all. She tells him he's a bad person and she calls herself evil. Then he asks if she's crazy and she says yes, none of that is romantic, but it is real - humans who feel guilt and the wrongness of the moment but are still pulled toward each other in a messy, complicated kiss.

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The dialogue is actually written that way to even emphasize the 'finally the OTP is giving in to their feelings' moment by 'removing' and 'overcoming' all the obstacles like their denying and unwillingness to embrace it. But yet their passion is so great that they can't help it. That was 'The Big Damn Kiss' trope in all its glory.

Add to the fact that they choose to end this episode with that scene instead of showing their reactions and maybe shock afterwards tells me as a viewer that when I end the episode my feelings are supposed to be dazed by the 'sexy' kiss' and not think about its implications and consequences.

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@Jenn
+10000000000

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I seriously wonder if people are fangirling & squeeling to JJS and not HS...
If your BF/GF is kissing his/her ex-crush, would you be okay?? Would you still squeeling with the so hot and steamy kiss?? I doubt it!!

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+1

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+1

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I agree, my poor Jung Woon.

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They did show it as romantic but there is a romance. The fact that what they are doing is, or could be said to be, morally wrong, doesn't make the romance less real. People talk about cheating like it is bank robbing, yes, it is wrong but that doesn't mean there isn't any emotion involved. Should they have filmed that as a sad scene? Suspenseful? They had to go with the feelings of the actors which are messy but also passionate.

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You don't seem to be able to grasp my point. I didn't deny the absence of a Na Ri/ Hwa Shin romance or lack of realness there of. A romance is a state of various feelings and it can range from funny to romantic to sad and would still be a romance. You're confusing the adjective with the noun.

What I criticized is that they choose a moment in that romance and portrayed it improperly as romantic. There was no trace of messiness and dubiousness depicted in that scene which is why I don't like it.

Yes the dialogue says one thing but the show wants to tell us something different by using background scores and subtle reminders (heart clutching, longing looks) to make this into a romantic sweet moment. Which worked since most talk about how hot and sexy that kiss was and filled with 'chemistry' and 'passion'.

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Not to beat a dead horse but I believe you can have passion and chemistry but lack a romantic vibe - that's generally how sweaty sex scenes in American dramas tend to go.

To me neither the location (a hospital men's locker room) or the dialogue are romantic but that's my perspective just like the perspective you have about the scene is very different.

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+1 Jenn and Lixie

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How should they have portrayed it? Maybe the lack of romantic background would have pleased some people more? I think they chose to portray it as a complex moment, the scene isn't saying they are right, just telling a story, choosing to show the kiss according to the feelings of the people on that scene and not the others.

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I agree. I guess the show could have portrayed the scene differently. But this way at least to me was quite effective at conveying the feelings and emotions of the characters at that specific moment in time.

In particular I noticed the absence of background music the moment of the first kiss. It was a raw, unfiltered moment, and then you can hear the sound of the rain outside. The moment felt so real and also had forbidden quality to it. It really brought home the fact that what they're doing IS cheating. The fact the characters know this and still went ahead for more is what made the scene so good to me.

I didn't feel the scene was glorifying cheating or even 'romantic', but I can understand why it would feel that way to some viewers. One factor already mentioned is the OST. The one preceding the kiss (Bye Autumn) is a little melancholic, but definitely hopeful. That and the dreamy instrumental in the later half of the kiss is probably too much 'positivity' for this scene. I can understand completely why the scene will rub some viewers the wrong way.

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I don't know if this scene was romantic so much as passionate and emotional. I saw it as two people who have been fighting hard against themselves and their feelings give in for just a minute. The shot of their eyes that you mentioned made me feel sad because of the look of longing and sadness - you could see that they wanted this moment but knew it was wrong and they would pay for it.

I suspect we will see fall out in the next episode, but for me, the impact would be lessened if the show didn't end the episode right here. We are given the chance to mull over what happened and really digest it - I actually appreciate the long break between the kiss and what happens next.

I do take exception to the idea that Na Ri DROVE Hwa Shin to be a cheater. Hwa Shin is a grown man responsible for his choices in all of this. Besides, he has been equally unfair to Na Ri in all of this by confessing his feelings for her, asking if he could like her, etc, etc. If he knew things were getting dangerous in that locker room, he totally could've walked out.

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I totally agree that it's not right to put the whole blame of the kiss on Na Ri. Even in the comments, I keep seeing things that let Hwa Sin off the hook for his actions (and come on, he's been bff with second guy for entire life--way more betrayal factor than girl who's been dating second guy a few weeks, I'm just sayn) while putting most of the responsibility on Na Ri. To be honest, this reaction feels a bit sexist. Like we have easier time excusing male sexual wandering than female sexual wandering.

Please know I'm not talking about the morality of the thing itself. Instead, I think it's interesting that when this cheating thing happened, we get up in arms against Na Ri (who honestly hasn't promised her bf one damn thing) while giving Hwa Sin way more leeway.

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+1.
I also think these are emotions people in real life feel and actions people in real life can take. Those who have never experienced them before will most certainly take the moral high ground because that is what we've been taught - the textbook answer. In reality it is really a grey area and it is easy to judge others who have been where we have yet to. I think what shld be more interesting is to see how hwa shin and nari react aftr their moment of impulsivity.

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I LOVED the kiss! If was right on time in my opinion! Wouldn't it be crazy if it was all in Na Ri's imagination! Hey it could be!
Jo Jung Suk is killing it! His face is so expressive!

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It better NOT be in PNR's imagination! Thatwould be a huge cop out by the writer and would absolutely kill a stellar show for me!

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Awww..i like jungwon. It seems his effort stalling his mom to the audition will not be realized by anyone. That's a shame, he tried his best to help nari. And the audition did not start because of that, a judge being late. If hwashin did not arrive by heli, nari would have taken a bike, she will most likely still reach the audition in time. Yes, maybe she exceled due to the pep talk with hwashin, but imo jungwon's effort needs some recognition.

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Agreed! I feel so bad for Jung Won who really does deserve to have someone love him fully.

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I'm with you guys on this. Poor Jungwon, I hope Nari will be honest to him about her feelings so they can break up soon.

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I have to say, Hwa Shin is definitely hotter than I have ever seen him in this episode. He was so swoonsome when he coached her (he's really an expert at work and a guy who's passionate and great at his work is really attractive), told her not to be swayed by him (as though it's taking all of him to say that and you know he's hoping she will reciprocate when he repeated it), and when he's carrying baby brother Beom and making faces at Nari. Practically melted my last shred of ? for Jung Won, even though he's so sweet.

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I have to add on about the kiss - initially, it felt wrong and I felt they could really hold on for these feelings to develop more. But with the impending suspension and Nari's promotion, I do wonder how's life going to be like and maybe the writers were trying to inject/heighten the feelings of discomfort to build the story for the next 10 episodes.

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No no NO, @Saya!!!!!! I completely disagree that the kiss was wrong!!!!!!!!! This is EXACTLY what happens when you're harboring a long-term crush that has REAL chemistry to it. Na-Ri's heart is opening to Hwa-Shin bit by bit - and her body is still ruled by the feeling of being in love with him from three years ago. When you experience being in love with someone the experience goes into you at a cellular level and can get re-ignited. I have the feeling that this has never happened to you and I feel sorry about that because your anger dismayed me when I read your recap. Before reading any other comments (now up to 18) I quickly screamed down the page to where I could leave this comment. The kiss was perfect. It spoke volumes - for both of them. It complicates the plot perfectly - and the character development and the TRUTH of what is going on for Pyo Na-Ri. In so many ways, her new attachment to JW is a defense mechanism and a rebound. It's a "hey, look at me - I'm so worthy of love from a great guy like this!" She has acknowledged what feels like Hwa-shin's ultimate rejection of her but she has quickly made it OK (for survival purposes) by accepting the love and attention of someone else. We already know that JW likes her more than she likes him - so surrendering to the kiss makes perfect sense and the scene is perfection itself. Oh my oh my - how perfect it is!

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+1 I was really taken aback by the reaction to this scene. You expressed my thoughts exactly.

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+11111

I agree! I was astonished by the anger at this scene. I thought it made perfect sense narratively.

In terms of morality, I'm not bothered. JW is being pushed into marriage and Na Ri knows it. They are just testing the waters. She can kiss whoever the hell she wants, as far as I'm concerned. Though of course, in real life, kissing your bfs bff is not cool.

But it makes sense. I can see it. I can feel it. I can imagine it happening to me with my own long-term crush. I loved it.

And I love that they will have to deal with the very real fall-out because of this moment.

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All I have to say in response after cooling off a couple of hours after my impassioned argument against Saya's recap is that I have lived this moment!!! It is real life. I started dating a wonderful guy who was sweet in every way and then after three weeks his best friend showed up on a plane from Maui and I hadn't seen this guy in ten years. I always thought he was hot and uber-intellectual but a bit of an asshole. Over the following two weeks he was around us both and he told me quietly that he had loved me from first sight ten years earlier but his BFF had asked him to leave me alone because he wanted to date me. Years passed by. I never got serious with with first guy (just like Na-ri and Jung WON have NOT slept together yet! She is using formal speech. He calls her "Secretary". JW has just found out about the three-year crush and Hwa-shin's new realization of love. All of this is brand new!) So my so-called boyfriend (hadn't slept with him yet) had a knock-down fight with his BFF after his BFF asked him if he could date me. I had no clue this was happening but three weeks later when the BFF was sending me love letters and the so-called boyfriend hadn't called me, I explored the relationship. The BFF and I were meant to be. After a whirlwind intense nine month courtship with MANY scenes just like the last scene in this episode, I married him. We have a beautiful daughter together and an amazing marriage. The heart wants what it wants. The physical passion wants what it wants. The truth of this cannot be denied. You deny i only up to the point that you experience it yourself. Jealousy Incarnate is true life, as is On the Way to the Airport. This is life. This is love. If you are meant to be you will be. And guess what?, those two guys are STILL best friends. Guys are just like that. We all laugh a lot and we all love each other to this day. IT. JUST. IS.

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I enjoyed reading your analysis and I love your real life story! :) @lunatic4kd