Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 12
Even the promise of romance can sometimes feel awkward, especially when it’s not clear whether you’re friends, or dating, or something else entirely. Joon-hyung is desperate to prove himself to Bok-ju, but he’s got to be careful if he doesn’t want to scare her off. And when push comes to shove, caring for someone isn’t about things like flowers and fireworks — it’s about being the support that person needs in the most difficult times.
EPISODE 12: “Her bucket list”
Bok-ju follows the strange noise to the dorm kitchen, where she sees a girl in a nightgown, mindlessly eating everything in the fridge. The girl turns and Bok-ju sees that it’s Shi-ho, looking dazed and very ill.
Startled, Bok-ju asks what she’s doing, and Shi-ho seems to come back to herself. She looks at the pile of half-eaten food in her lap as if seeing it for the first time, and nervously heads back to their dorm room. She jumps in bed and hides under the covers, ignoring Bok-ju when she asks if she’s okay.
Bok-ju goes back to their room in the morning, and Shi-ho acts as if nothing happened. Bok-ju asks if she remembers last night, and Shi-ho says breezily that she’s been sleepwalking lately. But when she turns away her face drops, as if she’s not exactly telling the truth.
When Bok-ju asks if she’s okay and mentions the ghost rumors, Shi-ho’s voice goes hard. She tells Bok-ju to worry about herself, then leaves. She goes to the bathroom and thinks about the times she’s sleepwalked, and looks up the side effects of sleeping pills. Oh no, that’s not good.
Bok-ju runs into Joon-hyung and Tae-kwon on her way out of the dorm, and Tae-kwon gets all excited to see her, grabbing her hand tightly. Joon-hyung is adorably focused on the fact that Tae-kwon is touching Bok-ju, and he smacks Tae-kwon’s hand. Bok-ju starts to say something to Joon-hyung, and he has to shoo the oblivious Tae-kwon away.
Once alone, Bok-ju asks if Joon-hyung has seen Shi-ho lately. She starts to tell him what happened last night, but remembers Shi-ho telling her not to be so nosy, and changes her mind.
Joon-hyung suddenly starts hollering, and distracts Bok-ju long enough to slip her wallet back into her bag. Then he just acts like nothing happened, hee. He reminds Bok-ju that she agreed to try dating him for a month before she decides whether or not to return him, and asks if she wants to hang out later. He grabs her face, making her worry that he’s going to kiss her again, but he’s just teasing her and he says he’ll call her later.
The college gets a three-day break, and Coach Yoon tells his team to spend the break stuffing their faces and eating whatever they want. The gymnasts’ coach informs the girls that they’re all on a diet. The swim team is instructed to rest, and Joon-hyung has to leave his shorts behind to escape Tae-kwon’s clutches.
Bok-ju acts annoyed when Joon-hyung texts that he’s coming to pick her up, but she spends a long time primping at the mirror. Her dad comes in looking for Uncle Dae-ho, who’s been gone a lot lately, and Dad seems as if he’s not feeling well. Bok-ju is worried his dialysis isn’t working as well as it used to, but Dad says he’s fine.
Bok-ju finds Joon-hyung outside and complains, and he flusters her by saying that there’s nothing strange about meeting his girlfriend in front of her house. She counters that they’re just friends, though when Dad steps outside she grabs Joon-hyung in a headlock and drags him off. LOL.
Joon-hyung says he’s free all day, and asks what Bok-ju wants to do. He remembers her wish to go to an amusement park on a weekday, but she’s feeling cranky and grouches that it’s a childish idea. He pesters Bok-ju until she agrees, but then she remembers that she’s supposed to hang out with Seon-ok and Nan-hee later.
In order to get Bok-ju to the amusement park, Joon-hyung has to allow her to invite her friends, and the poor guy looks like he wants to cry at losing his chance to be alone with her. It gets even worse when he finds out that Nan-hee invited Tae-kwon, and aww, Tae-kwon looks happy to see Seon-ok.
The group crowds into a store selling cute headbands, and Joon-hyung swats off the one with devil horns that Tae-kwon puts on him. Then Bok-ju finds one with a fluffy white halo, and Tae-kwon puts on the devil horns and says they look like a couple. Joon-hyung nearly snatches his head off grabbing the devil horns back, desperately insisting that they belong to him and him only.
The viking ship ride makes Joon-hyung turn more than a little green, though the rest of the group have a great time. The next ride Bok-ju chooses goes upside down and spins (urk), but nobody else wants to ride it, so Joon-hyung valiantly agrees to go just to be alone with her.
Tae-kwon points out that Joon-hyung is afraid of heights, but Joon-hyung claims that he came to ride that ride, and must go on it immediately. They split up, and Joon-hyung is excited to have Bok-ju to himself, but he looks scared again when the ride starts. He screams like a giant baby through the whole thing, but he makes it out alive.
He goes to get some snacks, and remembers Bok-ju’s wish to share a drink with two straws with a boyfriend. He brings one back to the table, and the moment Bok-ju leans down to take a drink he ducks down too, and they come face to face.
Bok-ju’s heart thumps to see Joon-hyung so close, and he smiles at her and asks if her heart is fluttering. She mutters that he’s crazy, saying she was just startled, but the look on her face proves her lie.
Back at the dorm, Shi-ho is unable to fall asleep, and she reaches for her bottle of sleeping pills. She remembers a call she made to a doctor, who recommended she stop taking the pills and come in for a checkup, and she tosses the pills in the garbage.
Nan-hee calls Bok-ju to meet up with the group for the fireworks show. It starts before they find their friends, and Joon-hyung take advantage of the moment to fulfill another of Bok-ju’s wishes. He takes her hand in his, and tucks it into his jacket.
Bok-ju stares at him, stunned, and he asks if her heart is fluttering again. His teasing is a little too overwhelming and she snaps at him, and yanks her hand back. She calls him annoying, and goes off to look for their friends. Joon-hyung berates himself for pushing too hard when Bok-ju was already feeling uncomfortable.
They rejoin the group, and everyone takes out their phones to take pictures of the fireworks. Joon-hyung snaps a picture of Bok-ju’s face when she’s not paying attention. So cute. He decides to take a chance, and slips his hand into Bok-ju’s coat pocket with her hand.
Bok-ju’s heart thumps again, and this time she doesn’t pull her hand away. She looks up to see Joon-hyung staring at her in that utterly smitten way of his, and she can’t tear her eyes away.
Bok-ju goes to her piano lessons the next day, and her instructor says she’s too aggressive with the instrument. Bok-ju gets frustrated, wondering why she can’t manage to play correctly. She grumbles that Joon-hyung hasn’t called her all day.
Nan-hee calls Bok-ju, and says that Seon-ok hasn’t come back from their short vacation. She thinks Seon-ok isn’t able to leave home for some reason, so Bok-ju decides to go see her. Dad mentions that he’s going to dialysis later, but that Dae-ho is out again.
Bok-ju finds Seon-ok’s parents’ motel, and goes inside to find Seon-ok practicing her weightlifting lifts. Seon-ok goes to help some customers, and tells Bok-ju to wait for her in the office.
When she returns, Seon-ok tells Bok-ju that her parents want her to drop out of school, since there’s not much money in weightlifting as a profession. She says she doesn’t know what to do, but that she thinks she doesn’t have any real weightlifting talent.
She tells Bok-ju that her nickname in high school was Weightlifting Ghost, because she never left the gym. But she admits that it wasn’t that she loved weightlifting so much; she just didn’t want to go home, but ended up falling in love with the sport. Seon-ok adds that she envies Bok-ju, who has talent and a father who supports her.
Bok-ju’s father doesn’t look well during his dialysis, and afterward, he’s sweating and his nose begins to bleed. He staggers out to the hallway, where he sinks to the floor, unconscious.
Joon-hyung is busy working on another of Bok-ju’s wishes — to receive a bouquet of one hundred roses from a boyfriend. He buys a massive bouquet of red roses and calls Bok-ju, who says she’s about to take the bus home. He finds out which bus she’s on, and goes to the station to surprise her.
Uncle Dae-ho has made himself comfortable at the salon where Coach Choi is working, and by the look on her face, he’s driving her bonkers. After work he takes her by the arm and starts planning their evening, but Coach Choi pries her arm away. She starts to say she can’t date him, but Coach Yoon calls her to meet with him and she doesn’t finish her thought.
Coach Yoon says that he’s still talking to the school about getting Coach Choi’s job back, and she asks about Bok-ju’s break. Ha, Dae-ho’s tagged along, and Coach Yoon asks when they got so close. Dae-ho starts to say they’re dating, but Coach Choi interrupts and says they’re drinking buddies. Whoa, ouch. Dae-ho notices how attentive Coach Choi is to Coach Yoon, and that’s a second blow.
On the bus ride home, Bok-ju thinks about how Seon-ok said that she came to love weightlifting, and how much she envies Bok-ju. Bok-ju thinks back to a year ago, when she’d first mastered the clean-and-jerk, and how good she’d felt.
She takes a call from the hospital, and when she finally arrives at the station where Joon-hyung is waiting with his ridiculously huge bouquet, she’s frantic to get to the hospital to see her father. Joon-hyung tries to keep her calm and says that the doctors are probably helping him, and takes her to see him.
Bok-ju is frantic, running from room to room checking the names on the doors, and it’s Joon-hyung who calmly asks a nurse where to find Dad. He leads Bok-ju to the right room, and she runs inside without giving Joon-hyung another thought. He opens the door for the equally panicked Dae-ho, and stands in the hall, looking sadly at the roses.
Thank goodness that despite Bok-ju’s and Dae-ho’s hysterics, Dad looks weak and tired but he says he’s going to be fine. The doctor says he’s not critical, but that it’s time to start thinking about getting him a kidney transplant.
Jae-yi and Dr. Go have dinner with some old school friends, who tease that they should just get married already. Jae-yi says that friends don’t get married, and Dr. Go pouts that she got rejected.
Another pair of classmates joins them, and Jae-yi goes stiff when he sees the woman, Hwan-hee (cameo by Seohyun). When he goes to the restroom later, he comes out to find Hwan-hee waiting for him, and she says nervously that he looks exactly as she remembers.
Hwan-hee suddenly leaves when the man Hwan-hee came with, Sang-gu, joins them. Sang-gu doesn’t say a word to Jae-yi, but he glares at him and gives him a shoulder-check as he passes.
Sang-gu gets mouthy after a few drinks, and when Jae-yi refuses to have any more drinks himself, Sang-gu says he was always nice, and popular with women. He turns to Hwan-hee to ask if Jae-yi is still her type, which makes her look incredibly uncomfortable.
Sang-gu slings an arm around her shoulders and says that he never can tell if Hwan-hee hates him, or just can’t get over Jae-yi. Jae-yi tries to leave but Sang-gu grabs his wrist and says that Hwan-hee will be upset if he goes so soon.
Jae-yi pries Sang-gu’s hand off his arm, and says softly that he’ll regret doing this tomorrow. Sang-gu says he’s just being honest, and asks Hwan-hee if she didn’t come all the way to Seoul to see Jae-yi. She tries to get him to leave, but Sang-gu grabs her roughly. It pushes Jae-yi too far, and he punches Sang-gu’s lights out.
Dr. Go follows Jae-yi out of the restaurant and patches up his hand. She says Jae-yi should have avoided Sang-gu, and wonders what got him so upset that he lost his temper. She asks if Jae-yi still has feelings for Hwan-hee, and sees through his weak lie that he doesn’t.
Dr. Go says that she’s tired of seeing Jae-yi so hung up on his first love, that he still can’t date anyone else. Jae-yi doesn’t respond, and Dr. Go asks if he’ll ever consider her. Jae-yi looks surprised, and Dr. Go says that she hasn’t stayed so close to him for ten years just because of friendship.
Jae-yi is genuinely surprised to hear of Dr. Go’s interest, and she knows that means he’s never once thought about dating her. She says that she’s tired of liking him on her own, and decides it’s time to stop.
Dae-ho decides to stay the night with Dad, and they both urge Bok-ju to go home. She doesn’t want to leave, and decides to head downstairs to get Dad some things he’ll need, like tissues. She steps out of the room, and in the hallway she finds Joon-hyung gone, and a bag with the exact items she was planning on getting for her dad.
She goes home, and sees that Joon-hyung has been here too. He left a sign in front of the restaurant saying that they’re closed for the afternoon, and Bok-ju amends it to say that they’ll be closed for a few days.
She goes to Dad’s room to get him some clothes, and in his drawer she finds a bunch of insurance policies, with Bok-ju as the beneficiary of all of them. She starts to cry, especially when she sees the holes in his clothes, wondering why he spent all his money on the insurance policies instead of on himself.
Bok-ju calls Dad, who’s still awake despite the late hour. She says in a wobbly voice that she’s sorry for everything — for making him worry, and being rude to him. Dad says he’s more sorry, for making her do weightlifting, and for turning their home into a chicken restaurant.
But mostly, Dad says he’s sorry that she grew up without a mother. Bok-ju cries that that’s not his fault, but he apologizes anyway. He wishes Bok-ju goodnight, and hangs up. He and Bok-ju are sobbing, and even Uncle Dae-ho wipes away tears, having heard Dad’s side of the conversation.
A disheveled Coach Yoon arrives at the gym in the morning to find Bok-ju there, mopping the floor. She brightly tells him she’s back for winter training, and he looks thrilled to see her smiling again.
The rest of the team show up for practice, and they’re clearly just as happy to see Bok-ju. Nan-hee grabs onto Bok-ju and wails that she’s been lonely without Bok-ju and Seon-ok. Bok-ju says that Seon-ok probably won’t be back for a while, and they cry together.
Shi-ho isn’t performing well in practice, barely able to stay awake, and her coach warns her that if she doesn’t stop making rookie mistakes, she may not be sent to the next round of competition.
Jae-yi thinks about Dr. Go and how she asked if he’s ever thought of her romantically. Hwan-hee calls him to apologize for Sang-gu’s behavior and says that she’s never apologized to him properly for what happened between them. Jae-yi accepts her apologies, and wishes her well.
That night, Shi-ho takes out her sleeping pills again, and starts to take one. She thinks about her coach’s warning, and takes another. Oh no, that seems like a very bad idea.
Bok-ju calls Dad to tell him that she’s going back to weightlifting. He hollers down the phone that she always does the opposite of what he says, but he can’t hide his big happy grin when he hangs up.
Bok-ju sits in the empty gym, looking around like she did when she decided to leave. But this time she’s reminded of everything she loves about weightlifting, and she’s happy and energized.
She calls Joon-hyung to ask him to meet with her to talk, and he runs to see her. Before she goes, she slips into her dorm room, and puts up her hair in her red bow clip. You go, girl! It’s snowing by the time Joon-hyung finds Bok-ju, and the first thing he asks about is her father. Bok-ju says he’s okay, and thanks Joon-hyung for helping her get to her father at the hospital.
Bok-ju excitedly tells Joon-hyung that she came back to school, and he’s thrilled. She says that when she got back to the school today, he was the first thing she thought of. With a big grin, she says, “Joon-hyung-ah. I’ve decided not to return you. I’ll keep you.” Eep!
Joon-hyung is struck uncharacteristically silent, and Bok-ju adds, “I think I like you, too. No. I like you.” She says that she’s still not sure exactly what her feelings mean, but decides, “Whether as a friend or as a man, I want you by my side.” She adds that she wants him to continue calling her name, and that he can call her Bok-ju or Chubs, and Joon-hyung stops her with a quick kiss.
Bok-ju smiles, then grabs Joon-hyung’s face. Oh, he’s in for it now. She plants a big ol’ kiss on him, then decides she likes it and does it again. She lets go, but Joon-hyung isn’t about to let her back away, and he wraps his arms around her tightly.
Joon-hyung leans down and gives Bok-ju a real kiss, full of promise. She melts into him and hugs him back, and they stand in the falling snow, smiling at each other.
Well that’s it, I’m toast. I’m actually crying with happiness right now. This show, and this couple, are now officially my favorites of the year, hands-down, maybe even my favorites of all time. They make me feel joy just watching them fall in love. I thought Joon-hyung’s confession was the sweetest thing ever, until Bok-ju confessed right back, and now I’m just a puddle of mush. And those kisses, I just have no words for how wonderful they were. I loved that Bok-ju and Joon-hyung were smiling through it all, just happy and enjoying their moment. I even loved that Bok-ju was wearing her red hairpin, signifying that her feelings for Jae-yi are finished and that now it’s Joon-hyung who makes her feel glad to be a woman.
But this show is about many kinds of love, and I also enjoyed the focus on the love between Bok-ju and her family, small and unusual though they may be. Bok-ju’s father is everything to her, since her mother has been gone a very long time, and we’ve seen over and over how much they love each other. Even when Dad gets angry with Bok-ju, he always has her best interests at heart, and when he makes mistakes he’s not afraid to admit them and apologize, and try to make it right. I loved how he supported Bok-ju’s need to take some time and discover what she really wanted, and this episode really highlighted how Dad sacrifices himself for his daughter’s sake. Those insurance policies really got me in the gut — Dad would rather wear clothes with holes in them, and make sure that his little girl is provided for in case his illness takes him from her.
I just can’t get over how much Joon-hyung is focused on Bok-ju, and how much he seems to revolve around her like her own personal moon whenever they’re together. The way he looks at her, takes care of her, thinks about her before himself is just wonderful. I feel like I’ve said this so many times, but he just keeps upping his game, and he really pulled out all the stops to show Bok-ju that he’s sincere about liking her. I may not love the way he obtained her bucket list, but it was so cute how determined he was to make all those things happen for her. And the way he looked at her during the fireworks, oh my goodness, I’m sure Bok-ju felt like the fireworks were going off in her own heart. How could she not like a boy who obviously adores her so much?
But the real turning point for Bok-ju was when Joon-hyung threw away the list and did exactly what she needed when her father became sick. Ticking down a list is sweet, but supporting her when her whole world feels like it’s crashing down is what real love is made of. It’s easy to be there for someone when things are going well, but how a person behaves during the bad times truly shows who they are. Joon-hyung was willing to step back and let Bok-ju have the space she needed in that time, so that she could focus on her father, and he didn’t get upset that she forgot about him for a little while. Instead, he went that one step further to bring her father some little necessities, even when he was the last thing on Bok-ju’s mind. I thought the moment when he was alone in the hospital hallway, looking at the giant bouquet of roses and realizing that those things don’t signify real commitment, was a huge moment for Joon-hyung. If there were any part of me that worried that Joon-hyung’s feelings for Bok-ju aren’t a true, mature love, they disappeared in that instant.
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 11
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 10
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 9
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 8
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 7
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 6
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 5
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 4
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 3
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 2
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 1