This episode delivers a lot of forward motion for everyone, as characters begin to decide what kind of people they’re willing to be. It’s not always the young who have growing up to do… sometimes even adults need to mature and learn to accept, speak up, and go for what they want.
EPISODE 14: “This woman is my woman”
Bok-ju’s dad stops his scooter near where Bok-ju and Joon-hyung are engaging in some public snuggling, but lucky for them, he doesn’t see their faces. He just grumbles about kids dating instead of training, and moves on.
A little ways down the road, Bok-ju and Joon-hyung are still being all grabby with each other, and they pull up their hoods and kiss with their faces hidden. Nan-hee and Seon-ok witness the silly spectacle, but again, with their faces covered Bok-ju and Joon-hyung’s secret is safe.
Joon-hyung visits his therapist, who asks what’s been keeping Joon-hyung so busy. He notices that Joon-hyung looks great these days, and Joon-hyung says he’s not hearing the ringing in his ears anymore. The therapist guesses that he’s dating, and Joon-hyung’s shocked face gives him away.
The therapist asks if Joon-hyung’s girlfriend is pretty, and he diplomatically says he’s a little prettier than her, hee. Cut to: Bok-ju screaming bloody murder at weightlifting training, looking decidedly not pretty.
One of her sunbaes announces that someone in the department is dating, and Bok-ju looks guilty as sin. But it’s not Bok-ju she’s talking about — it’s big-boy Young-chul and another girl, Yae-min, and the rest of the team mercilessly tease them about it.
After practice, Bok-ju’s friends still aren’t over the weirdness of it, especially since Young-chul said that beautiful actress Han Ye-seul is his type. Bok-ju muses that people often end up dating outside their type. Nan-hee mentions the crazy kissing couple she and Seon-ok saw, and makes the others promise not to betray each other by dating.
Joon-hyung and Tae-kwon decide to join the girls for lunch, and Joon-hyung elbows Tae-kwon hard when he almost sits next to Bok-ju, ha. They’re not going to keep their secret long if he doesn’t stop looking at Bok-ju with those hearts in his eyes, and he even grabs her hand under the table.
Nan-hee drops her utensil and leans down to get it, and almost sees their entwined hands. Bok-ju jerks away so hard it sends Joon-hyung to the floor, and he’s still whining when they meet up at the wishing fountain later.
He doesn’t understand why Bok-ju wants to hide their relationship, but she assures him that she’s not ashamed of him. She explains that she promised her friends she wouldn’t even look at men after the disaster with Jae-yi, and aegyos at him to convince him to let her pick the right time to tell them.
It totally works, and Joon-hyung likes it so much he begs Bok-ju to do it again. But Bok-ju is cranky about it and refuses, leading to Joon-hyung doing all the aegyo while she pouts.
Jae-yi visits Dr. Go in her office, to invite her to the concert of a violinist they’ve seen before. She confesses that she’s only been pretending to like classical music because he does, so he changes tactics and asks her to dinner.
He’s relieved when Dr. Go says that she does actually like steak, and he nervously asks if he can take her to do something she likes to do this weekend. She tells him to stop trying so hard, and he asks if trying hard can be a new start for them. She says it can’t, because he can’t try himself into having feelings for her after ten years.
Bok-ju is fascinated by the homemade face pack Nan-hee is using, and submits to letting them do one on her. Shi-ho comes in and sees the three friends having fun, and smiles at their happy chattering.
The face pack doesn’t agree with Bok-ju, as evidenced by the giant zit right on the tip of her nose the next morning. Seon-ok thinks it’s not so bad, since it’s not like Bok-ju has a guy to impress or anything.
Bok-ju wears a face mask to practice the next morning to cover the zit, and when she runs into Joon-hyung on the jogging track, she pretends to have a bad cough. He’s all concerned but she waves him away, desperate for him not to see her embarrassing blemish. She lays it on thick on the phone later, coughing for his benefit, which makes him even more worried.
He has his aunt put together some medicine for Bok-ju, which she makes him pay for with a kiss. So cute. He goes back to the dorm and calls Bok-ju to come get the medicine, but she pretends to be worried that she’ll make him sick.
Joon-hyung, being the extreme mother hen that he is, decides to sneak into Bok-ju’s room to give her the medicine. He climbs over her railing right as she’s biting into a bun, and nearly falls at the sight of her massive zit. Giggling, he lets himself in, and leans in to get a good look.
He fusses at her for making him so worried over a little thing like a pimple, and she ekes out an embarrassed apology. Lucky for her, Joon-hyung thinks she’s cute when she’s being insecure, and decides that he’s glad she got a pimple because it got him into her room.
He tries to look in her closet but Bok-ju blocks him, and he goose-steps her sideways until they trip and fall on the bed. They freeze when Joon-hyung falls right on top of Bok-ju, but he doesn’t move, and leans in for a kiss. It’s adorable how Bok-ju puckers up, and Joon-hyung grins at her before swooping in.
Suddenly, Nan-hee’s voice calls out, and Bok-ju flings Joon-hyung off her and onto the floor. He tries to crawl under the bed but he doesn’t fit, and he just cringes under the edge of the comforter (with his feet hanging out into the middle of the room, ha).
Bok-ju somehow manages to get her friends to sit on the bed facing away from Joon-hyung. He gives up on trying to squeeze under the bed and motions to Bok-ju that he’s headed for the closet. She distracts Nan-hee and Seon-ok while he scoots to the closet and closes himself inside.
Just as it looks like Bok-ju and Joon-hyung are safe, Shi-ho comes home and goes right to the closet. She sees Joon-hyung crouched there, begging her with his eyes not to say anything, and she laughs at him. She even asks Nan-hee and Seon-ok to leave, claiming to be too tired for company.
Once they’re alone Joon-hyung comes out, and the three of them head to the roof for a beer. Joon-hyung looks like he wants to sink into the floor as he sits between his ex-girlfriend and his current girlfriend, but the ladies are fine with it. They talk about how they have to watch their weight in different ways, and Bok-ju offers herself and Joon-hyung to come to Shi-ho’s competition this coming weekend.
Shi-ho leaves, guessing that Bok-ju and Joon-hyung would like to be alone. Joon-hyung sighs that it was a crazy day, and asks how long they have to pretend they’re not dating. Bok-ju thinks they should wait until the new semester, and when Joon-hyung calls her lovable, she squeals and smacks him, and he boops her nose.
After training, Joon-hyung texts Bok-ju that he’ll call her soon, but he’s waylaid by Tae-kwon, who says there’s an emergency and drags him out. The “emergency” turns out to be a surprise double date with two of the girls from their last group date, but the girls refused to meet unless Joon-hyung came as well.
Joon-hyung fights it, knowing that if Bok-ju finds out, he’s a dead man. But since he can’t tell Tae-kwon why he doesn’t want to do this, he’s forced to submit, and sits down with the girls looking like his puppy just died.
Bok-ju is getting annoyed that Joon-hyung hasn’t called like he promised, and Yae-min, the girl who was outed for dating, sits down next to her. She mentions that she just saw “that swimmer that wrapped his scarf around you and gave you his coat” in a coffee shop on a blind date, and Bok-ju’s face goes dark. Uh-oh. He’s a dead man.
She drags Nan-hee and Seon-ok to the coffee shop, and sees Joon-hyung inside, sitting with the girls. She goes in and sits at a table near the blind-date-in-progress, glaring eye daggers at Joon-hyung the entire time, though he doesn’t spot her yet because he’s too busy moping at his shoes.
She sends Joon-hyung a text, “You die. I’ll kill you! Finish in five minutes,” and Joon-hyung gapes in horror as he realizes that she’s here. He looks up to see Bok-ju dragging a finger across her throat, and nervously tells Tae-kwon that they have to go now.
Somehow unaware of his distress, one of the girls reaches out to feel Joon-hyung’s muscular shoulders, and he jumps about ten feet. She reaches out to touch him again, which is when Bok-ju steps up to the table and orders her to remove her filthy hand.
The girl asks who she is, and Bok-ju screams at the top of her lungs, “I’m the girlfriend of the guy you were just pawing!!” All over the restaurant, jaws drop. A few minutes later, Joon-hyung and Bok-ju are sitting guiltily across from Tae-kwon, Nan-hee, and Seon-ok, who are glaring at them accusingly (and hee, Joon-hyung’s body language is hilarious, like he’s protecting his internal organs in case Bok-ju still wants to disembowel him).
They want to know when this started, and if they were dating when they went to the amusement park together. Joon-hyung admits that he liked Bok-ju on his own then, but they weren’t dating, which wins over Nan-hee a little. Bok-ju confesses that they started dating the day she came back to school, and the friends ask why they haven’t told them.
Bok-ju says that she didn’t want them thinking she was nuts for liking someone so soon after her crush on Jae-yi. Nan-hee fusses that Bok-ju is a habitual liar, and Joon-hyung jumps to her defense, saying they they’re always pressuring her.
Seon-ok stops him by pointing out that he’s not exactly impartial, and Bok-ju sincerely apologizes. The friends demand reparations in the form of meat, and Joon-hyung jumps at the seemingly easy out.
Back at the gym, Coach Choi waits for Coach Yoon, and asks him to have a drink with her. He tries to beg off that he’s too tired, but she insists. They run into Dae-ho in the lobby, and he offers to walk Coach Choi home, and when she says they’re going for a drink he attempts to invite himself along.
Coach Yoon feels the awkward atmosphere and quickly excuses himself, despite Coach Choi’s protests. But he falls and hurts his back, forcing both Coach Choi and Dae-ho to take him home. His bachelor pad is a wreck, but Coach Choi doesn’t seem to notice.
She offers to stay to take care of him, but Dae-ho snaps that she can’t do that. He fibs that he’s worried about what the neighbors will say, and offers to stay and look after Coach Yoon himself.
Joon-hyung and Tae-kwon are a little disgusted at how much meat Nan-hee and Seon-ok put away, and even Bok-ju tells them to take it slow, knowing Joon-hyung has to pay for everything. They get huffy when they realize Joon-hyung is upset, but Bok-ju and Joon-hyung quickly urge them to eat, needing their goodwill.
Joon-hyung looks like he could cry as he pays the exorbitant bill, but he tells Bok-ju in a pained voice that he has to do this. The friends decide they want to go to a noraebang, of course on Joon-hyung’s dime, but he can’t get into the singing no matter how much they pester him.
Late that night, Jae-yi gets a series of texts from Dr. Go explaining that she’s decided to go home to work in her father’s clinic. He rushes to her apartment but she’s already gone, and she doesn’t answer her phone when he calls.
Joon-hyung and Bok-ju are staring at each other all googly-eyed by the time the group gets back to the dorms. They clearly want some time alone, but it’s nearly curfew, and their friends literally drag them apart (it’s really hilariously pitiful).
The girls plunk Bok-ju down in their room and demand answers, mostly regarding whether she and Joon-hyung have kissed. She tries to play it coy, but her little grins give her away, and when they ask for the when and where, she cheekily asks, “The first or the second (kiss)?” Cue high-pitched squealing sounds only dogs can hear.
In Joon-hyung’s room, Tae-kwon is trying to talk his friend out of dating Bok-ju, but Joon-hyung just grins dreamily at everything Tae-kwon tries to call a negative, like her eating habits. He even admits that he thinks her strength is sexy, hee.
The next morning, Shi-ho prepares for her competition, and admits to Bok-ju that despite the many times she’s competed, she’s most nervous about this one. Bok-ju takes her to the wishing fountain and tosses a coin in, and tells Shi-ho to make a wish. She wishes, not to win, but to perform without regrets.
Dae-ho brings breakfast to Coach Yoon, who whines for ketchup. Dae-ho brings the bottle but it’s empty, so he heads out to buy more. A minute later Coach Choi comes by, and she’s still there when Dae-ho comes back with the ketchup.
He stops in the foyer and listens in, as Coach Yoon tries to convince Coach Choi to leave. She snaps that she doesn’t care what people think, and tells Coach Yoon that she’s liked him for a long time now. Coach Yoon blusters and stammers, asking what’s wrong with her that she likes an old divorced man.
She says she just does, and asks how he feels. He just stares blankly when she asks if he likes her at all, giving her the answer she dreads. Embarrassed, Coach Choi apologizes and promises never to mention this again. She’s about to pick up her bag to go, when Coach Yoon suddenly grabs her hand. She looks up at him hopefully, but then he doubles over in pain.
Dae-ho has heard the whole conversation, and he turns to leave without telling them he’s there. He leaves the bag of ketchup on the door and walks away, only looking back for one small moment.
Joon-hyung is excited that he and Bok-ju don’t have to hide their dating status anymore, and he freely takes her hand as they head to Shi-ho’s competition. Bok-ju sighs, dreading the rumors that will start when word gets out that the popular Joon-hyung is dating a weightlifter.
He tells her that he’ll make it really obvious how much more he likes her, and quell any rumors. Then he cutely starts telling everyone in the vicinity how pretty his girlfriend is, and hollers, “This woman is my woman!” OMG, I just can’t with him anymore.
Shi-ho’s coach checks on her before her performance, and tells her that it’s the last competition for Shi-ho, but just the start for the coach. While Bok-ju and Joon-hyung watch from the stands, Shi-ho performs well in her ball routine, but she steps out of bounds once.
But as she waits for her scores afterwards, her coach tells her that they’ll be good, seeming oddly confident. Sure enough, her scores are rather high, leading the announcers to wonder if her misstep was even deducted.
Shi-ho senses that something is off, as she overhears the other athletes grumbling that the athletes with their coaches’ “support” always get better scores. She steps out for her ribbon routine, and on the sidelines, her coach gives a knowing nod to one of the judges.
The ribbon routine goes flawlessly, but as she performs, Shi-ho thinks of everything she’s been through in the past few months due to gymnastics. The eating, the physical and emotional pain, the rift in her family, all flit through her mind as she dances. She thinks about the years of hard work it’s taken to get to this point.
Shi-ho reaches the climax in her performance, and she throws the ribbon high into the air. She raises her hands… then lets the ribbon drop. She stands tall in the middle of the floor, finished.
As they walk home, Bok-ju tells Joon-hyung that she was impressed with Shi-ho today. Joon-hyung jokes that he almost regrets breaking up with her, and Bok-ju crushes his hand, hee.
Bok-ju wonders if someday, on her last stage, she’ll be able to put it all down as well as Shi-ho did. Joon-hyung says they won’t know until they get there, and tells her not to be afraid of it before it even happens.
Joon-hyung’s aunt and uncle prepare to close up the pharmacy for the night, and wonder if Jae-yi will ever get married. A woman walks in, and they both freeze to see Joon-hyung’s mother for the first time in years.
Joon-hyung’s aunt asks why she hasn’t contacted them in so long, and she apologizes, seeming genuinely remorseful. She tells them that she’s been in Canada until a few days ago, and says that she has something to ask them.
The next day, Bok-ju is stopped by Joon-hyung’s mother, who asks where the swimming building is located. Bok-ju takes her there, unaware of the woman’s identity, then turns to go.
Joon-hyung happens to be outside right then, and Bok-ju spots him and calls his name. He sees her, but he also sees his mother standing next to her, and his face freezes. His mother asks tearfully, “Joon-hyung-ah, do you recognize me? It’s me, Mom.”
Oh no, this is not going to be good, is it? As much as I know Joon-hyung needs to face his mother and get some answers, it’s going to be difficult for him to go through and for us to watch. But I’m glad that, after everything he’s done for Bok-ju and supporting her through so many things, she’ll have the chance to return the favor. It’s the one little complaint I’ve had, that Bok-ju always seems to be on the receiving end, and hasn’t had the chance to be there for Joon-hyung in the same way. So I’m happy for Joon-hyung that he’ll have someone to lean on, someone who loves him and wants to help him through what’s bound to be a rough time.
Joon-hyung and Bok-ju definitely continue to bring the cute, but I really enjoyed all the forward development with the side characters in this episode. I’m particularly proud of Shi-ho right now. I don’t know that, a few months ago, she would have made the decision she made today about refusing to compete dishonestly. I genuinely cried happy tears when she let that ribbon just fall, and let go of everything that’s been causing her so much pain. She’s been under so much pressure that it was making her ill, both physically and mentally. Though she’s been much better lately, I think this was the mental “snap” she needed to truly realize who she is. She’s not the weak, insecure girl that rhythmic gymnastics has made her into — she’s a strong young woman, unwilling to live others’ dreams or win unfairly. She got her wish, to perform without regrets.
On the other hand, Uncle Dae-ho really made me sad for him in this episode. I think his feelings for Coach Choi are genuine, and she wasn’t exactly kind to him when she told him she wasn’t interested. Normally, watching a guy pursuing a girl after she’s told him no is a big turnoff to me, but for some reason, I feel differently about Dae-ho in this situation. He’s not so much pushy about his pursuit as he is kind of pitiful, and it didn’t help things when he overheard Coach Choi’s confession to Coach Yoon. Part of me wants Dae-ho to move on and find another girl, one who likes him as much as he likes her. But another part of me wants him to get the girl he likes (even if I don’t care for Coach Choi all that much myself), just because I want to see him happy. I think Dae-ho just needs to back off for now, let Coach Choi work through her feelings for Coach Yoon, and she’ll be ready to look at him with new eyes. Exactly the same thing Joon-hyung did for Bok-ju and her crush on Jae-yi… patience will pay off in the end.
Speaking of Jae-yi, I’m glad that he’s lost Dr. Go, at least for now. The poor woman has been waiting for him for a decade, and that’s beyond long enough. An argument could be made that she should have confessed to him sooner, but I can see how, from her point of view, she wouldn’t want him to like her just because she brought the idea to his attention. That’s why she’s rejecting his advances now, because she figures that if it didn’t happen naturally in ten years, then she doesn’t want his love if it has to be forced. The thing is, I don’t think that he’s never had feelings for her, I think he’s just the kind of guy who’s happy however things are at the moment. They’ve been close, and that was good enough for him — nothing ever sparked his need to take things a step further. So from that perspective Dr. Go is wrong about him… he did need a kick in the pants to jump-start his latent feelings for her. I just hope he can find a way to not just react, but take actual forward action in convincing her that he’s sincere about her.
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