On the Way to the Airport: Episode 8
It’s been one heck of an emotional rollercoaster ride with our protagonists, and it only goes higher from here. No matter how much Do-woo and Su-ah wish to cling to what they have with each other, the relationship they’ve tried so hard to build may already be slipping through their fingers. And after this episode, they’ll learn that there may be greater things at work.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Su-ah stops at Do-woo’s door, torn between knocking and turning back. She ultimately decides to knock, waiting for a long heartbeat before Do-woo answers.
The second he does and their eyes meet, Do-woo wastes no time in pulling her into a tight embrace.
With a definite shut of the door, the two melt into each other’s arms, giving them the relief they needed.
Mi-jin checks in on a sleeping Hyo-eun before giving herself the opportunity to explore her friend’s home. She finds a storage room strewn with old junk and recognizes a stuffed animal she’d given Jin-suk years ago. She tosses it in a trash bin, positive the guy doesn’t even remember it was a gift from her.
At the sound of the front door, Mi-jin calls out Su-ah’s name, only to stop at the sight of little bro Je-ah instead.
At the bar, Jin-suk picks up the tab since Mi-jin obviously isn’t coming back. He nonchalantly asks Hyun-woo about Do-woo but doesn’t get a real answer, so he just laughs it off and heads out.
Jin-suk checks to see if there really is anyone upstairs, but the windows are dark. He assumes it’s empty and moves along.
And just inside, Do-woo and Su-ah are in the middle of an intense, passionate kiss. They kiss and kiss and kiss, finally releasing all the pent-up emotion from the past few weeks.
When they come up for air, they briefly look into each other’s eyes before going in for another kiss, this time with more urgency. They bring each other closer as if trying to get as much out of this moment as they can.
Jin-suk stops by the hospital to check on his mother, Young-sook. Once he confirms the surgery went well, he repeatedly tells the nurse he doesn’t need to go in – he just wants his mom to know he stopped by. Inside her room, Young-sook rolls her eyes, having heard the whole exchange.
Mi-jin treats Je-ah to her special ramyun as they both wonder where Su-ah could be. Mi-jin can’t shake Su-ah’s frantic expression before leaving, but she assures Je-ah that Su-ah must’ve had a legitimate reason. They both start at the sound of the door, but still no Su-ah. This time, it’s Jin-suk, actually home for once.
Jin-suk’s here since it’s closer to the hospital than the old apartment (figures). He eyes Mi-jin and Je-ah suspiciously, but they quickly deny anything going on, while also explaining Su-ah’s whereabouts. The two hurry out the door, urging Jin-suk to be the one who stays with Hyo-eun.
Jin-suk calls Mi-jin as soon as she leaves, adamant about knowing if there’s anything between her and Je-ah. Annoyed, she tells him to worry about his own household, and hangs up.
As he tries to reach Su-ah, Jin-suk hears Hyo-eun calling out for water. He tries to give her the drink, but she’s too deep in sleep. Instead, she murmurs for her mom, along with her grandma, Uncle Je-ah, and Annie. Jin-suk pouts that his name is left out.
At dawn, Hyun-woo locks up the bar, glancing back with a knowing look.
And upstairs, Do-woo prepares some coffee for him and Su-ah. As they rest on the couch and gaze out the window, Do-woo asks Su-ah if she has a wish.
“I hope that nothing changes,” she responds. She hopes that everything will remain the same tomorrow and the day after that, just like yesterday. She averts her eyes as she says this, as if she’s afraid of his answer.
Do-woo smiles reassuringly and tells her that everything will be the same, and that he believes someone who receives a lot of love will stay strong despite hardship.
“Do not forget this moment,” Do-woo says, “It’ll give you strength over and over.” He puts his arm around Su-ah, and she gladly accepts, resting her head on his shoulder. She lets her eyes close as she thinks back to some of her treasured memories:
“The night sky view from the cockpit, a cruise ship in Alaska, a glass of beer in Sydney, the sunset in the Dubai desert… And now. Here. The sunrise from the second floor.”
Back in her apartment, Mi-jin wakes up to a text from Su-ah saying she’s on her way. Mi-jin immediately calls her to ask where she is.
Do-woo drives Su-ah to Mi-jin’s apartment complex, and they’re silent the whole ride there. Once they arrive, Su-ah finally breaks the silence by asking what will happen now. Do-woo simply says that they have a “Two No’s” relationship now, getting a small smile out of Su-ah.
He continues, once again telling her that nothing will change. And if she feels at all uncomfortable, she should lie that it’s nothing. To herself and to others. Um… I don’t know how to feel about that.
She gets out of the car just in time for Mi-jin to come out and see her. Mi-jin goes running after Do-woo’s retreating car, stopping to ask Su-ah who it is.
Mi-jin brings Su-ah inside to interrogate her further. Su-ah lies that Mi-jin doesn’t know this man, which Mi-jin finds hard to believe. When asked about their relationship, Su-ah’s mind goes straight to that kiss, though she again lies that it’s nothing and that the man has no interest in her, anyway.
“I just… I just… I like him so much,” Su-ah blurts out, bursting into tears. Mi-jin is shocked to hear this come out of her friend, but calmly asks who it is. Immediately regretting her slip, Su-ah wipes her tears away and repeats that it’s nothing. She insists that her confession was a mistake.
Still desperate for more information, Mi-jin asks if Su-ah knew this man before she was married. Su-ah replies that if she had, she wouldn’t be sitting here like this now.
Su-ah wants to stop the discussion here, but Mi-jin insists she has something important to say: There’s a man who’s been coming on to her lately. And a married man at that. Su-ah tells her she should stop the man then, to which Mi-jin agrees.
For Mi-jin, there’s no reason to involve herself with a married man since they’re the most untrustworthy. She believes they only need more women in order to gain confidence that they’re still useful. And eventually, they just get scared and run off.
Su-ah cuts in that not all of them are like that. Mi-jin’s eyes grow wide as she realizes Su-ah’s man is married as well. But Su-ah is done with this conversation. She says over and over that’s nothing, more for her sake than for Mi-jin’s.
As Mi-jin walks Su-ah out, we see that Jin-suk is right outside hiding in his car. (Wait, then who’s looking after Hyo-eun?!) He watches Su-ah leave and then calls Mi-jin, demanding to know what they were talking about.
At first, Mi-jin freaks that Jin-suk is spying, but then she spits out that she told Su-ah all about the married man that was bothering her. She hangs up and goes right back into her apartment. Jin-suk chuckles to himself, knowing very well that friendship is much too important to Mi-jin, so she would never tell Su-ah about them.
Do-woo returns to the bar, surprised to see Hyun-woo back with groceries. He’s even more surprised to hear that Hyun-woo had the intention of making them breakfast. Hyun-woo explains that after witnessing the kind of fate Do-woo and Su-ah have had – both with Annie and with Grandma – he realized nothing could stop them.
Sure, he was the one who got hurt when both his parents had affairs, but Hyun-woo believes his parents must’ve been in a position where they had no other option. He’s able to forgive them now, putting his heart at ease. Do-woo smiles at his friend’s understanding.
The moment is ruined when a panicked Ji-eun bursts in. She claims that her curator just quit on her and she needs Do-woo to fill in for her. Do-woo doesn’t think he’d be much help, but he knows someone who’d be perfect for the job.
Cut to: Do-woo leaving all the materials with Hye-won. Hye-won is grateful Do-woo recommended her, but she feels as if Do-woo is trying to send her far away. Do-woo coolly replies that he only recommended her because she was needed. So Hye-won agrees to do it, since she feels the most comfortable working. Hye-won: “Work doesn’t betray me.” Ooh, the shade of it all. Even so, she sincerely thanks him for the opportunity.
Do-woo and Uncle Suk decide to start finding the people holding Grandma’s works. They inspect Grandma’s letter to try to figure out where she wanted her works displayed, but they’re not sure with the description alone. Do-woo’s eyes wander to the window, and he notes how nice the weather is.
Meanwhile, Hyo-eun is reluctant to go to school today, and it takes some convincing before she finally trudges out of the house. Su-ah then gets a call from Mi-jin, but she’s not in the mood for questions right now. She wishes Mi-jin safe travels, and asks her to look after Jin-suk before hanging up.
As she cleans Hyo-eun’s room, Su-ah receives a text from Do-woo: The weather’s really nice. Would you like to go for a drive?
Su-ah immediately hops on a bus straight to Do-woo’s location. When she arrives, she spots him across the street and waves a hand, revealing the green bracelet Grandma had given her. He stares at the bracelet, making her drop her arm, but they both end up smiling at each other.
Do-woo takes them to one of the people keeping Grandma’s ornaments. They happily put themselves to use at the old man’s home, helping him out with some outdoor work. Do-woo apologizes to the man for having to take back something that was given to him, but the man doesn’t see it that way.
He shares that Grandma was always good to people in hopes that everything would work out for Do-woo. He’s sure that Grandma’s real wish was to have Do-woo visit different people and different places – to just live differently.
The man leaves to search for the ornament, leaving Do-woo and Su-ah alone. Do-woo comments on their beautiful surroundings, making Su-ah remember the times she’d lived on Jeju Island with her parents. They left after little Je-ah was born and Su-ah hasn’t been back since.
Though she doesn’t know Jeju Island well, she remembers waiting for her parents to come home from work and seeing a wide, empty field. She also remembers looking up and seeing many power lines. She smiles brightly as she pictures those images in her head.
Do-woo watches her speak with a thoughtful expression and then suddenly asks, “Do you want to live in a place like that?” Omg. I’m pretty sure I look about as dumbfounded as Su-ah right now.
Our couple collects the ornament and moves on to the next location. After picking up another item, Do-woo finds Su-ah strolling down the walkway, raising her arms and patting the air. He asks her what she’s doing, and she smiles, saying she’s doing her last in-flight check. She pats the air again, pretending they’re the overhead bins. Do-woo pats the “bins” as well, suggesting they now take off.
The drive back is another silent one, though there’s an extra tinge of sadness in the air. Do-woo thanks Su-ah for her help today, holding out his hand. When Su-ah takes it, he places his other hand on top of hers. Su-ah reveals that she’s going to Oakland for real tomorrow, so they say their goodbyes, both reluctant to let go.
Su-ah rushes into the hospital to see Young-sook, who’s refusing to perform her physical therapy. Su-ah exchanges looks with the nurse and they nod in silent agreement. When Young-sook’s not paying attention, the two bend her leg, forcing her to do the exercise. LOL.
Su-ah tells Young-sook that Hyun-joo unni will watch Hyo-eun tomorrow, and then Je-ah will watch her the day after. Young-sook suggests Hyo-eun come by the hospital if she wants, and even suggests Su-ah cut her pay a little, considering the situation. Su-ah smiles and calls her mother-in-law cute, hee.
Hyo-eun’s teacher calls to report that Hyo-eun didn’t show up to class. Su-ah gets a hold of her and finds her by the school’s playground. Hyo-eun found school bearable with soccer, but now that she can’t play, the bullying has gotten worse. For now, Su-ah has Hyo-eun go to class so they can figure things out later.
As soon as Hyo-eun walks into the school, she’s targeted by three young boys who shove her around. Thankfully, Su-ah sees this, but the boys just go laughing off. And when Su-ah tries to tell Hyo-eun’s teacher, the teacher merely smiles nervously, saying the boys must’ve been joking around.
Su-ah takes Hyo-eun home for the day and as they walk hand in hand, Su-ah reassures Hyo-eun that it’ll all pass, and she’ll be an adult soon.
After letting Mary visit Annie, Do-woo drives her to the airport. The conversation is kept casual until Su-ah’s name is brought up. Do-woo senses Mary’s discomfort and says, “Hyo-eun’s mom helped me a lot after what happened.” He also reveals that Su-ah was the last person his mother saw before she passed. He thinks of Mary as a special person, so he’s saying this to make her feel more at ease.
However, this only makes Mary feel more conflicted. When they arrive at the airport, she watches him from the mirror as he handles her luggage. In her thoughts, she tells Annie she doesn’t know what the right path is as she grips the box full of evidence from her accident. In the end, she decides to leave the box in Do-woo’s backseat. Yes! I knew I could believe in you, Mary!
Jin-suk’s about to take off to Sydney once again, with both Mi-jin and Joo-hyun on board. And as the flight attendants greet the passengers inside, we see that Hye-won and Ji-eun are on this flight as well.
Do-woo’s next stop is with Ji-eun’s mom, and he relays Grandma’s letter over to her. Now positive about Grandma’s wishes, Ji-eun’s mom agrees to remove both Grandma and Do-woo from the business. As for Hye-won…
Ji-eun’s mom brings up the fact that Hye-won gave her an unfinished piece of Grandma’s to go forward with the collaboration. Ji-eun’s mom knew the piece was old and now she’s questioning Hye-won’s credibility. She thinks they should pull Hye-won from this project with Ji-eun.
Do-woo is obviously torn about this, but he insists Hye-won is the only one suitable for the job. It was Hye-won’s passion for work that made her come to this, which Do-woo apologizes for. Though Ji-eun’s mom is hesitant, she agrees to reconsider.
She gives Do-woo some files concerning his house, urging him to build up the strength to protect it, as well as Grandma’s last wish. “If you can’t protect it,” she warns, “I will take it.”
Meanwhile, Su-ah visits Hyun-joo unni to gain some courage before visiting Hyo-eun’s teacher. They both find school scary these days, but Hyun-joo urges Su-ah to go in strong for Hyo-eun’s sake.
Mi-jin helps Ji-eun get comfortable in her seat, switching to banmal as they joke around. Of course, Hye-won doesn’t know they’re friends and wonders why their flight attendant is speaking that way. Ji-eun says it’s okay since Mi-jin knows her, and that Mi-jin even knows Do-woo. Hye-won looks up at that. Gah, take it back, take it back!
Mi-jin is surprised too, and assumes that Hye-won must be Annie’s mother then. At Annie’s name, Ji-eun jumps up from her seat and feigns airsickness, urging Mi-jin to follow her. She tells Mi-jin not to mention setting up Annie with Hyo-eun as roommates. Mi-jin doesn’t see why not, especially since Hyo-eun’s dad is the pilot. Ji-eun freaks out even more and says not to mention any of this to Hye-won.
Oh no. Hye-won has been standing outside the curtain this whole time, and Mi-jin and Ji-eun definitely weren’t talking very quietly. Joo-hyun catches Hye-won eavesdropping and has her seated before Ji-eun comes out.
Joo-hyun joins Mi-jin in the back and confirms that the Do-woo they were talking about was that Do-woo. Joo-hyun recalls the time Do-woo and Su-ah seemed to be in a serious conversation in the back, figuring her suspicions must’ve been true. Though this seemed impossible to Mi-jin before, it all starts to make sense as she remembers Su-ah’s mystery man was married.
That night, Hyo-eun locks herself in her room, refusing to go to school tomorrow. Su-ah gives up trying to get inside and says from the door that things may be tough now, but they’ll get better. She begins to say that the boys who hit her are just kids when Hyo-eun suddenly swings the door open.
“‘Just?’” Hyo-eun repeats, “Then what about your work? Would you like it if I said it was ‘just’ work?” She wonders why she’s the one who always has to make sacrifices and why everything has to revolve around Su-ah and Jin-suk’s work schedule.
So, Hyo-eun says, she wants to stay home quietly so as not to mess with their precious schedules. She delivers the final blow by saying Su-ah has never given up something that’s hers. Instead, Su-ah always goes out, leaving other people to take care of Hyo-eun. And with that, Hyo-eun locks herself in her room again.
Later, Su-ah lets Jin-suk know by text that Hyo-eun’s been having issues at school and that she may need to stay at home. Frustrated with it all, she pounds her chest and lets out a deep breath.
Su-ah visits the teacher the next day to deliver the same message, but the teacher insists Hyo-eun would need a treatment letter in order for it not to be an unexcused absence. Su-ah brings up the kids who’d hit Hyo-eun as a good enough excuse. Though the teacher understands, she thinks that rather than scolding the kids, Su-ah needs evidence. She urges Su-ah to check with the CCTV footage from the hallway.
When Su-ah comes home and yells out reminders to Hyo-eun, she momentarily panics when she doesn’t get a response. She quickly unlocks Hyo-eun’s door with a spare key, relieved to find her daughter still asleep and perfectly fine.
Back in uniform, Su-ah is ready to leave for her next flight. She turns back to the house, remembering Hyo-eun’s angry words the night before. They’re still in her head as she makes her way to work.
Do-woo decides to visit a name on Grandma’s list he doesn’t recognize, and along the way, he stops when he sees an airplane flying just above. He sends Su-ah one last farewell message.
On a shuttle bus, Su-ah writes out a reply saying that she’s on her way to the airport, and while this is the way she always goes, she’s scared today. She’s scared something might happen.
She then erases the entire text and replies with a simple: I’m on the way to the airport. I’ll return safely.
Back at Do-woo’s place, Suk meets with the woman who’d worked for them prior to Hye-won. The woman reveals that Hye-won hadn’t been married, but she’d lived with her partner. She’d left him early on, which is why they never registered their marriage. When Suk asks about Annie, the woman continues, “She was raised by her dad.” To Suk’s surprise, as soon as Hye-won had given birth, she’d left the child with the father.
Do-woo arrives at his destination: the pottery house Annie always used to visit. And there, he’s greeted by the owner he’d talked to before.
In Sydney, Mi-jin panics to see Hye-won and Ji-eun in the same hotel, with Jin-suk sitting only a few feet away. Mi-jin lets Hye-won and Ji-eun take the first elevator, but Hye-won is too fixated on Jin-suk. She finally gets on the elevator, but not without giving Mi-jin a chilling look. When the doors shut, Mi-jin finally takes a breath, thinking that everyone’s in the know but Su-ah.
Su-ah sighs at a text from Jin-suk telling her to send Hyo-eun to school no matter what. She then gets a call from Hyo-eun, scared to see that she’s home alone. Feeling scatterbrained, Su-ah first tells Hyo-eun to go to the hospital to see Young-sook, and then remembers to tell her that Hyun-joo will be coming to babysit soon. Hyo-eun doesn’t look too reassured as she hangs up, though.
Su-ah doesn’t feel reassured by her own words either – she gets the bus driver to let her off. As she rushes in the opposite direction of the airport, she’s bombarded with worry after worry: She forgot to tell Hyun-joo to take Hyo-eun to the doctor’s for a note, she forgot to tell Hyo-eun about the kimbap, she—…
She looks up and something makes her feet come to an abrupt stop. She sees a woman on a balcony, hanging out her laundry to dry. Just as Hyun-joo did in the story she’d told, Su-ah notices how peaceful the woman looks. And it makes her wonder why she’s crazily running around like this.
Breaking her gaze from the woman, Su-ah picks up her phone and calls her superior: “I won’t be able to make today’s flight. I’m sorry.” She promises to submit an official resignation letter and hangs up, the phone dropping to her side. With tears in her eyes, Su-ah takes one last look at the woman above.
Such a simple scene, and yet such a monumental moment for Su-ah. I was sure the show was planning on heading in this direction for a while now, especially when Su-ah first heard the story of the woman on the balcony from Hyun-joo. However, I didn’t think we’d get there this early on. Though it may be fast for us as viewers, I think it’s safe to say it was the right time for our heroine. Everyone, from her mother-in-law to her superiors, has been telling her she wouldn’t be able to juggle both her career and her child, and I honestly wanted her to prove them wrong. I wanted her to prove that she was totally capable of being a working mom.
But Hyo-eun’s outburst opened my eyes just as it opened Su-ah’s. Su-ah very well could be a great working mom, but with both her and Jin-suk away most of the time, what Hyo-eun might need is a good ol’ regular mom. We’ve seen how their schedules have affected Hyo-eun, and at first, it seemed like she was adjusting pretty well after moving in with Young-sook, but even so, we never realized just how much she’s been suffering until now.
On top of that, Su-ah has been suffering along with her – the stress of her work life and home life combined have been hitting her hard, and though she’s pretty damn good at fighting back, I think deep down she’s been wanting to become that woman on the balcony. And I’m so proud of her for making such a hard decision like that. At the same time, I feel like I should’ve known this was meant to be. After all, Su-ah was always the one with Hyo-eun as her number one priority. So it makes sense for her to be the first one to drop her career for Hyo-eun’s sake. We sure as hell knew that Jin-suk wasn’t going to step up and do it.
In the end, I’m happy that at least Su-ah and Hyo-eun can end some of their suffering together. It gives me some peace of mind, and God knows I need some peace of mind after this tension-filled episode. We did get to release some tension with that amazing kiss – the relief that poured out of those two was palpable – but then that relief tightened into sheer anxiety again. They sealed the deal with that kiss, and no matter how much they want to call it “nothing,” there’s no way it can be nothing now. Not when practically everyone is finding out about them. The amount of people making the discovery is actually quite terrifying, and I’m worried all this tension is going to blow up in our faces at any moment. I almost wish it would just happen so we can get it over with and I can let out this breath I’ve been holding since Episode 1.
Our couple has been enjoying the small doses of bliss they secretly share every now and then, but it’s about time they realize their small moments might have to come to an end until they figure out what they really want their relationship to become. For now, it looks like Su-ah will have to face the consequences of quitting her job while Do-woo will have to face Hye-won, the lying liar. And if Su-ah and Do-woo somehow find each other again somewhere in-between, I’m sure it’ll be beautiful.