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Fight My Way: Episode 10

One step forward, two steps back… Just when it was looking like everyone was making some fantastic strides towards maturity and honesty, events conspire to put them back in their places. It’s frustrating to watch two couples who can’t just say what they’re feeling, bad or good, because by trying to avoid the risk of being hurt themselves, they only end up hurting each other. But some people manage to push forward despite that, and there’s plenty of cuteness to go around too, making the frustrating moments completely worth the pain.

 
Round 10: “Some or whatever”

The ringing phone wakes Ae-ra in her motel room, and she looks over to see Dong-man sleeping next to her. She checks under the covers and gasps, then pops Dong-man in the forehead, jarring him awake painfully.

Ae-ra also sits up, revealing that she’s still in her bathrobe. She barks at Dong-man for sleeping shirtless in her room, and he covers himself primly, saying that she was in the mood to drink. She snaps back that he said he’d leave when Coach Hwang returned to the motel. He keeps asking her over and over, “Do you really not remember?”

Ae-ra does remember something… She watched Dong-man sleeping late into the night, and reached out to softly touch his face. She whispered out loud, “Why do you have to be so handsome? You make me so tense.”

She grazed his face, and then when she reached his lips, Ae-ra leaned in close as if to kiss him. But she backed off at the last moment and turned her back. Behind her, Dong-man opened his eyes, having been awake the whole time.

Then later into the night, Dong-man watched Ae-ra sleep, incredulous that she could sleep at a time like this. In her sleepy haze, she slid an arm over him and snuggled close, making Dong-man forget to breathe. He looked down at her face and reached out to push her hair off her forehead, and she sighed and cuddled even closer.

Once he recovered for the second time, Dong-man leaned over to place the tiniest of kisses on Ae-ra’s forehead. He closed his eyes and drifted off, and a while later he grew hot and pulled his shirt off in his sleep.

In the morning, he complains about Ae-ra blowing her hot breath on his face, revealing that he felt her touching his face, but Ae-ra tells him to forget it. Dong-man refuses, so Ae-ra goes on the offensive and asks why he’s bare-chested. He doesn’t know, and he gives Ae-ra a cheeky look and asks if she took his shirt off.

There’s a sudden knock at the door, and Dong-man assumes it’s Coach Hwang and goes to answer. But whoever it is has Dong-man rearing back in terror as Ae-ra shakes her head in horrified denial. She narrates that in life, timing is always terrible.

One hour prior to the motel door opening, we see four people descending upon Daecheon at the same time. Dong-man’s acquaintance Kyung-ku travels on a work-related excuse, and Hye-ran grows angrier as her calls to Dong-man go unanswered. Ae-ra’s father has decided to surprise her by coming to see her emcee today, but all we see of the fourth person is a pair of gold high heels.

Thirty minutes before the door opens, Ae-ra’s dad arrives at the event stage, worried that Ae-ra isn’t picking up her phone. He finds the director talking to Coach Hwang and says he’s the MC’s father, so Coach introduces himself.

Coach Hwang walks Ae-ra’s dad to the motel, complimenting him on his strong daughter. He says that he’s more scared of Ae-ra than any other woman in the world, then he slips and calls her “Microphone Wacko” (his nickname for her), making Dad bristle at him.

As they enter the motel lobby, a woman in gold heels quickly slips into the office. She frog-hops across the room, trying to avoid being seen, and HAHA, it’s Landlady Hwang. She shows photos of Dong-man and Ae-ra to the clerk ajumma, who confirms that they stayed here last night.

Ten minutes before the motel door opens, Kyung-ku has found the event stage and is schmoozing the director to let him take pictures. He seems annoyed when the director gushes about Dong-man’s talent.

One minute before Ae-ra’s motel door opens, Coach Hwang and Ae-ra’s dad knock on her door, but nobody answers. The other fighter, Doo-ho, comes out of his room and tells them that Dong-man didn’t sleep in his room. Coach mutters that he didn’t sleep in his room, either.

It dawns on all of them simultaneously where Dong-man must have slept. Ae-ra’s dad pounds on her door furiously, and when it opens, they’re as shocked to see Dong-man as he is to see them. Ae-ra’s dad takes in the scene—shirtless Dong-man, Ae-ra in bed—and assumes the worst.

Dong-man tries to escape, begging Coach Hwang with his eyes to help him, but Ae-ra’s dad tells him in a too-calm voice to close the door. Dad starts taking off his watch and shirt, revealing a scary-looking tattoo on his shoulder… of Ae-ra’s name and birthdate (heh). Coach reaches out to dramatically caress Dong-man’s face one last time, then Dong-man resolutely turns to accept his fate.

Unable to find Dong-man’s motel, Hye-ran instead takes a seat at the show venue. She eavesdrops on the director talking about how great Ae-ra was yesterday, and how she’ll be a star.

Landlady Hwang makes her way upstairs, and she presses her ear to Ae-ra’s motel door alongside Coach Hwang. Coach seems to recognize her, and he starts to ask, “How are you… “ but a loud THWAP from inside the room makes them both cringe.

Ae-ra’s dad delivers a solid beating to Dong-man with a coat hanger as Dong-man whines that Ae-ra already hits him all the time. Dad asks what he’s after by sleeping here, and Dong-man promises that even if the two of them were stranded on a desert island, he’d only consider her like a native or a monkey. Dad snarls, asking what’s wrong with Ae-ra, and Dong-man resigns himself to another beating.

Coach Hwang asks Landlady Hwang why she came all this way, and she barks that sleeping in the same room before marriage is forbidden. LOL. Coach notes that she’s speaking to him in banmal, and she says it’s because she’s older. He tries to ask if they’ve met before, but she cuts him off with a sharp denial.

At dinner with Seol-hee’s parents, Joo-man starts to suggest that their families get together to discuss the wedding, but Seol-hee’s mom says there’s no reason to rush, bringing up a wealthy suitor who’s just waiting in the wings to marry Seol-hee. Joo-man gets a text from Ye-jin in the middle of the meal, but he ignores it.

In private, Mom gives Seol-hee a gold paperweight that represents the last of the family’s money, telling her to spend it on her wedding. Mom says she saved it specifically for Seol-hee and tells her to stop being so timid and insecure, and that if Joo-man upsets her, she should dump him.

Joo-man and Seol-hee’s father have a chat, and her dad says that unlike families who have daughters while trying for sons, they had three sons trying for a daughter. Awwww. He makes it crystal-clear that he thinks Seol-hee is too good for Joo-man. He warns Joo-man not to look down on her, or keep getting phone calls that he shouldn’t answer, or he’ll kill him.

Ae-ra’s dad beams as he watches his daughter prepare to emcee today, and Dong-man begs her dad not to tell his dad about what he’s doing today or he’ll tattle about the coat hanger beating. They’re all surprised to see Kyung-ku there, and not in a good way. Kyung-ku pretends that he’s just recognizing Ae-ra, when it’s obvious that she’s the real reason he’s here.

Tak-soo’s manager, Tae-hee, pops by to talk to Doo-ho. He tells Doo-ho that Byung-joo, the rude fighter whom Dong-man just beat in his last match, has switched to Tak-soo’s team. He offers Doo-ho a spot on their team too, and when Doo-ho tries to decline, he’s told to think a while before answering.

Knowing that his defection would mean leaving Dong-man alone, Doo-ho asks what Tae-hee is after. Tae-hee just says that Doo-ho should think about his baby son, who has bad skin allergies.

Kyung-ku brags to Ae-ra that he’s a PD at KBC now, but she just gives him serious side-eye as he brags. He says that he could have made some calls if he’d known she wanted to be an announcer, but she sternly forbids him to mention her to anyone.

A bit later, Ae-ra is still frowning at Kyung-ku. She asks angrily why Dong-man told Kyung-ku she was here, but he says that he didn’t. Curious, Ae-ra asks how he and Kyung-ku reconnected, and Dong-man admits that Kyung-ku called him and promised him a blind date. Aaawkward. Ae-ra asks if he went on the date, and Dong-man just goes, “Huh?” Ae-ra says accusingly that he did go (Dong-man: “Huh?”), and that he met someone (another “Huh?” LOL).

Joo-man and Seol-hee meet up with friends for lunch, where one of the couples talks about their wedding plans and the groom’s recent promotion. Seol-hee reveals that she and Joo-man will be planning their own wedding soon, but Joo-man seems uneasy and quickly changes the subject.

After lunch, Seol-hee says she thinks it strange that their friend is marrying someone he’s only known a few months, rather than the girlfriend he dated for years. Joo-man doesn’t seem to find that weird at all. Seol-hee notes that Joo-man is cranky, and asks if it’s because his friend got a promotion and he hasn’t yet.

She complains that she doesn’t want Ye-jin’s aunt to be the reason he’s promoted, and Joo-man takes exception to her insinuation that he would only be promoted because Ye-jin likes him. Seol-hee says that she’s okay if he stays an assistant manager forever, but Joo-man gets frustrated and says he isn’t okay with that.

Seol-hee tells Joo-man that she just wants to enjoy the small things in life with him, but Joo-man asks why their happiness has to be so small. Joo-man sighs that if nothing changes, then they’ll never be able to buy an apartment or a car, get married, or have babies. He says that he wants to be able to brag about himself to his friends, to have something to be proud of.

Seol-hee hugs him and says worriedly that she feels like he’s changing. Joo-man steps out of her arms and says that people can’t stay the same forever, and you can’t live life like you’re playing house.

Just before the show starts, Ae-ra asks Dong-man how she looks, and he manages to say that she’s pretty. She asks if he meant what he said about how he’d feel if they were on a deserted island, and when he doesn’t answer, she whines, “Why would you respect me so much?” Hee.

Suddenly serious, Dong-man tells Ae-ra that alcohol saved her yesterday. She splutters at him, and he steps closer to rest his hands on her neck and asks if she wants to go to a deserted island with him. Is it suddenly hot in here?

Looking up at him, Ae-ra asks nervously, “Right now, we’re really, really, really not just friends, right?” She asks if they’re in a “some” kind of relationship and Dong-man laughs. He tells her to stop talking nonsense and pinches her cheeks, and sends her to the stage.

When she begins rehearsing, the director freaks out about Ae-ra not being told something, and suddenly Hye-ran steps onstage with a mic. She admits that she must be evil because she doesn’t like seeing Ae-ra excited, but she doesn’t look one bit sorry about the fact that she’s just deliberately taken Ae-ra’s MC job. Heartbroken, Ae-ra pushes her confused father away from the stage area as Dong-man arrives and takes in the situation.

Ae-ra’s dad insists that he didn’t come just to see her on stage, but to bring her food from his restaurant. Ae-ra barely holds back her tears as she tells him to go, and he tucks some money into her pocket. She snaps that she’s not a child to need money from her father, yelling that he’s making her feel ashamed.

Through gasping sobs, she asks why he came now, just to see her like this, but her dad says that there’s nothing in the world she needs to hide from him. He says that in life, everyone has their own level to play in, and Ae-ra asks incredulously if he’s telling her not to dream. But he explains that a tiny country stage like this isn’t big enough for her. Awww, Dad…

Dad gets in his truck with one last parting curse for Dong-man, and Ae-ra tells him to come the next time she calls him, because next time she’ll be on a grand stage. Dad says that even if she’s in North Korea, he’ll cross the 38th parallel to be there.

After he leaves, Ae-ra sniffles and wipes her nose on Dong-man’s sleeve. She tells him to go because she doesn’t want him to see her crying anymore, and that she’s going back to Seoul. He tells her to wait until tonight and they’ll go together, but she insists on going alone.

That night, Joo-man gets a text from Ye-jin threatening to sleep in the street if he doesn’t come out. He fibs to Seol-hee that he’s going to see his guy friends, and she seems to sense that something is up.

After the show, Doo-ho flips through pictures of his son, then he tells Dong-man that he wants to fight him some time, and that he thinks Dong-man is very strong. Dong-man’s in a bad mood, and when Hye-ran leaves the stage, he shoots her a dirty look.

Ye-jin has been drinking again, and Joo-man repairs her ripped skirt with safety pins. He asks why she hasn’t been coming to work, and she whines that she still likes him. He asks why and she screeches that she wants him to pay attention to her. Her outburst reminds Joo-man of when he and Seol-hee were first acquainted—she’d said much the same to him, complaining that she liked him and wanted him to pay attention to her.

Wailing in earnest, Ye-jin sobs that she feels like she’s dying. Joo-man reaches out to dry her tears with his sleeve, and it’s this cozy scene that Seol-hee witnesses when she steps around the corner.

Hye-ran nastily berates the event director for being unprofessional and disorganized, sneering that nobody can do this job without a script. He mutters that one person can, then asks his assistant if Ae-ra is gone already.

As Ae-ra waits for her bus back to Seoul, Kyung-ku pulls up to offer her a ride. She’s reluctant, but she gets in his car just as a text from Dong-man arrives asking her again to wait for him. Kyung-ku joins her in the car and locks the door, which sets off my creep-o-meter big time. He asks how her friend Chan-sook’s wedding went since he wasn’t invited, and Ae-ra asks why Chan-sook would have invited him.

But something suddenly occurs to her, and she asks suspiciously, “How did you know I went to Chan-sook’s wedding?” Further, she wants to know how he knew about this festival. Kyung-ku says that Dong-man told him about it, but Ae-ra knows that’s a lie because Dong-man already told her that he didn’t mention it.

She asks point-blank if Kyung-ku is stalking her on social media, and he stammers that he’s not. But his car has a navigation computer, and all it takes is one push of a button to prove that he’s got her address programmed into it. Ae-ra tells Kyung-ku that it’s his fault she gets chills whenever she hears percussion bands. Oooh, Kyung-ku is the guy in the band that she and Chan-sook fought about!

She tells him to delete his social media account and to never show his face to her or Dong-man again. Kyung-ku puts on his most pitiful face and says that he’s not the same person he used to be, but Ae-ra doesn’t care. She orders him to unlock the door, and after she gets out of the car, he says under his breath that he’s changed—that he’s not the same pushover anymore. Uh-oh.

Joo-man puts Ye-jin in a taxi, but it only gets as far as the curb before Seol-hee yanks open the door. She asks if Ye-jin thinks she’s a joke, but Ye-jin says that she feels like the joke, as if Seol-hee has been laughing at her. Seol-hee counters that this isn’t one bit funny, and begs Ye-jin to stop and to unfriend Joo-man on social media.

Seol-hee is shocked when Ye-jin refuses. She says that she has no intention of stopping, vowing to take advantage of the weakness in their relationship to sway Joo-man towards her. Seol-hee goes home distraught, too upset to go inside, so she just sits outside the door sobbing about the safety pins Joo-man used to fix Ye-jin’s skirt, saying that that’s her thing.

It’s 2011, and Seol-hee worked at a movie theater with Joo-man as her boss. He came to her rescue when she struggled with the register, and she was smitten by his efficient capability. Later he chastised her for repeatedly causing trouble, but he had difficulty looking directly at her.

He handed Seol-hee a safety pin and pointed out a missing button on her shirt. He fussed at her for being careless and called her distracting, but when she offered to quit, he told her to stay where he can keep an eye on her.

Later they went out drinking with their coworkers, and Joo-man seemed bothered by the attention one guy paid to Seol-hee. Seol-hee excused herself and the guy followed her out to plant a surprise kiss on her, but he was hit upside the head with a flying soda bottle. He turned to see Joo-man running at him, fists and feet flying.

Joo-man lost the fight and Seol-hee hung back to doctor his wounds. He angrily accused Seol-hee of being entirely too cute, what with her adorable little dress and her big eyes and her smile, and he pounded his chest as he said she was making him crazy.

Seol-hee yelled, “It’s because I like you! It’s because I wanted you to look at me that I wore this dress and smiled so much!” Joo-man muttered that she was too darn pretty, then swooped in for their first kiss.

Back in the present, Dong-man sits Hye-ran down for a serious talk, asking why she’s acting like this. She asks coyly if she’s not acting like herself, but he says she’s acting exactly like herself. She smiles, but he tells her to scream and cry if she’s upset, because it’s less pathetic.

Hye-ran asks if he means the way Ae-ra does, and he says that Hye-ran is much more pathetic than Ae-ra. Her eyes going hard, Hye-ran asks why he never dated Ae-ra if she’s so great, adding that she always knew he was unsure. Dong-man says that he and Ae-ra have spent twenty years together, and Hye-ran tells Dong-man not to confuse long-term comfort with liking Ae-ra. She says that if it hasn’t been Ae-ra for the last twenty years, then it will never be her.

She says that she’s acting crazy because Dong-man is the only man for her, pouting that he said she was his first love. Dong-man concedes that she was his first love, but he was young and foolish and let himself get hurt. He says that his first love has ended, and now, “I only see Ae-ra.” Swoon.

He stands to leave, but she stops him and says that he was just as cruel to her as she was to him. She glances over to see Ae-ra outside watching them, so she tries to kiss Dong-man.

Ae-ra turns away so that she doesn’t have to see the kiss, which means that she misses Dong-man shoving Hye-ran away. She’s familiar with this scene, and a flashback shows her turning away to avoid seeing them kiss at a party. Another flashback of the friends at a romantic movie has Ae-ra snarling from one row back as Hye-ran puckered up for a kiss, but Dong-man refused it with a glance back towards Ae-ra.

Yet another flashback shows Ae-ra buying Dong-man some Valentine’s chocolates since he got dumped. But she saw them talking in the street, and when Hye-ran tilted her head up for a kiss, Ae-ra whirled around. She didn’t see Dong-man walking away from Hye-ran, and just threw the chocolate away.

Back in the present, Ae-ra narrates that in life, timing was always terrible, and she always ran away. She runs away again now, not wanting to see Dong-man and Hye-ran together yet again. But Dong-man pushes Hye-ran off, then he spots Ae-ra walking away. He forgets everything and chases after her, turns her to him, and kisses her soundly. WOW.

Ae-ra looks up at him in confusion when he ends the kiss. He says that he won’t lose her again, and that he doesn’t want to go around the long way again. He steadies her as her knees buckle, and he tells her to stand strong. So that she doesn’t misunderstand, he says, “We’ve already kissed, and I don’t know how to do ‘some’ or whatever it’s called. If we’ve kissed, it’s our first day. Let’s date.”

This time it looks like Ae-ra’s brain has shorted out, so he asks her again to date, then a third time in a pleading voice. She unfreezes enough to give him a tiny nod, and Dong-man says that now that they’re dating, he wants to do it again. Ae-ra asks what he means, so he repeats, “I want to do it again,” and he leans in for another kiss. This time, she kisses him back.

Epilogue.

Coach Hwang lights firecrackers on the beach to entertain Landlady Hwang, but when they fail to fire, she tells him to just sit and relax. He asks her excitedly, “But… it is you, right?” He starts to say a name, Hwang Bok-… but she puts a finger over his lips and says that she goes by Kanako Hwang now.

Coach Hwang asks how long she plans to live in the villa, and Landlady Hwang says dramatically, “I’ll live there forever.” Coach Hwang grins like a little boy.

COMMENTS

I’m done. I’m a puddle. That kiss was so worth the wait! I love that we got to see that Ae-ra and Dong-man have been through this before, multiple times, but their timing was always off. And it makes me feel better knowing that Dong-man has low-grade rejected Hye-ran because of his feelings for Ae-ra before, he just didn’t know that Ae-ra felt the same as he felt. Love really is all about timing, and thank goodness they’re finally in the same place at the same time.

I’m realizing that something I really love about our lovable moose is how he says exactly what he’s thinking, exactly when he’s thinking it. In most dramas, the hero would never tell the heroine that he was awake when she touched his face, but Dong-man just talks about it like it’s no big deal. And it’s just so adorably endearing how he says without any artifice that he wants to kiss Ae-ra again. If it were any other character, this constant telegraphing of his feelings would take the tension out of the moment, but somehow when Dong-man does it, it just makes the moment even more tingly and special.

But on the flip side—Joo-man has done so well up until now, but he’s about to screw it all up. In his defense, weak though it is, one of the problems between him and Seol-hee is that she’s genuinely happy with a mediocre life. There’s nothing wrong with that, but Joo-man wants more. By trying to be supportive and saying that she doesn’t care if he’s ever promoted, Seol-hee is unintentionally emasculating Joo-man by implying that she doesn’t think he’s capable of better. It’s not true, of course, and Joo-man probably knows that, but I can see why a young, beautiful woman who triggers his weakness for damsels in distress looks appealing.

Ye-jin makes Joo-man feel needed and capable, but it’s still wrong for Joo-man to be spending time with Ye-jin alone outside of work. I’m just saying that I can see why, in his current emotional state of feeling inadequate, he’s drawn to a girl who makes him feel important. I’m still going to be very very disappointed if he starts to encourage her, because so far he’s done a great job of drawing that boundary, but I’m afraid that by meeting her at night and lying to Seol-hee about it, that ship has already sailed. As for Ye-jin, I don’t think much of her now that she’s admitted to pursuing Joo-man deliberately. With all the whining and pouting, she comes across like a child who refuses to accept that she can’t have a certain toy because it already belongs to someone else.

But it’s Hye-ran who really crossed a line in this episode by stealing Ae-ra’s MC job for no other reason than because she could. That’s three times now that she’s sabotaged Ae-ra’s career, but this time was arguably the worst because Ae-ra actually had the job, and Hye-ran took it out of sheer spite. I wanted to cheer when the director asked in front of Hye-ran if Ae-ra was still available. I do appreciate that we learned that Hye-ran is human and always felt unsettled because of Ae-ra, which explains her competitiveness, but Dong-man is right—that’s all in the past, and it’s time for them to move forward.

But despite all the bad things that happened in this episode (is anyone else terrified of Kyung-ku now?), the most important thing is that Dong-man and Ae-ra are now officially a couple! I’m so ridiculously happy. Watching them figure out how to transition from friends to lovers is going to be hilarious and swoony and wonderful, particularly when they’re so open and honest about what they’re feeling at any given moment. They’ve been so great about checking in with each other once they’d established that they were both having confusing feelings. With that kind of connection, not to mention their stratospheric physical attraction, their romance is going to be one of the greats.

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FINALLY!!!!!! The feeeeeeeeeeels!
I love Dong Man and the fact that when he decides on one thing he does not step back but go all the way.
That forehead kiss and the last kiss (kisses rather) were just so sincere! Off to watch my favorite scenes again while waiting impatiently for Monday ?❤️?

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EXACTLY! WHY IS DONGMAN SO SWEET AND WHY ARE THEY SO CUTE TOGETHER I CAN'T asgdhfj

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IT WAS SO WORTH THE WAIT I LITERALLY SQUEALED LIKE A LITTLE GIRL!!!

My dog had a bit of a fright though XD

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WAHHHH OMG I watched a lot of dramas in my life and this is my first time to squeal because of a kiss!!!! I hurt my two front teeth when I did!!! WHY ARE THEY SO CUTE

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I agree! Dong Man is everything any girl could have! OMO! I can't contain my emotions with those kisses!!!!

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Dong-man to Ae-ra: "I won't lose you again. Let's stop taking detours."

FINALLY!!!

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YES LIKE GO DM -- STOP FALLING FOR HR's EVIL MANIPULATIVE WAYS AND FOLLOW YOUR HEART !!

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Why do we not have more drama characters who are straight to the point? So refreshing

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Confessions in dramaland these days make me so happy! I love how straightforward he was about it, like @mahoilam said. Direct, and so simple, yet it spoke so much. And thank goodness for AR, who could have brushed him off in anger... but she didn't. YAY!

I wonder if DM finally sees now how much being with HR (and her evil manipulative ways) had hurt AR over the years, and how much he hated seeing AR hurt, and maybe that was part of the reason why he suddenly realized he had to try to make a relationship with AR work.

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I'm hoping straightforward confessions will become a trend! Both in K-drama and in reality, heh. I love romance and I also love it when people have a way with words, but there's definitely something about Dong-man's refreshing, no-holds barred honesty.

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Yes! I'm loving Dong-man so much right now!

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I loved that line! It's so perfect because it shows that Dong Man knows that they, as a couple, are the end game and all the other people they've dated are just delaying the inevitable.

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YES, THE SHIP HAS OFFICIALLY SAILED!! ^^ This kiss was perfect and the OST OML, it was perfect. <3 Now we can anticipate even more skinship between Dong-man and Ae-ra, hehe. Also so stoked for Joo-man and Seol-hee because it took them ten freaking episodes to admit it. ASJKL, this show is just getting better and better :D Just wondering who this "Kanako/Hwang-bok" lady is, hmmm...

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One thing I really appreciate about this show is how long its taking for Aera, Dongman, Jooman, and Seolhee to catch their big breaks. Aera in particular has gone through so many of the all-too-familiar scenes of being told she should just step down, left to feel humiliated, letting her tears betray her cool "I'm okay, I can still do this" facade. In real life it is HARD, so painstakingly hard to achieve your greatest dreams. You will fall, hard. I love that this show lets us see that with all four of our characters, because life is all about the struggle of finding yourself in the midst of many failed attempts. Seeing Aera or Seolhee cry, or watching Jooman and Dongman clench their fists in frustration makes me want to root for them even more!!

ALSO Dongman's way of asking Aera out was SO satisfying to watch, and hit me with all of the feels. He told her honestly: he can't play games, he doesn't want to beat around the bush. He told her to stand firm, confidently because there's no going back to whatever gray area they were in. And in typical Korean drama fashion, Aera could have shoved him away, still blinded by jealousy and stormed off. She could have at the very least, be too stunned to give him a response. But! SHE NODDED! It was what they both wanted all along, and its finally addressed (as if they weren't already making small confessions here and there) in a way that's official. Please stay this way...don't break up for the sake of dramatic irony and then get back together, be happy and giddy that the relationship you wanted is now the relationship you have!

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100% agree. That's what I love about this show: it's realistic (to an extent because lord knows guys like Dong-man/PSJ are hard to come by, LOL). And that ending, *SWOON*. Also love how Ae-ra stumbled a bit to show her shock/pleasure. But for reals, if I were Ae-ra, I would've fainted, hahaha :P

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YES!!! omg when her knees buckled I literally did a fist pump because that's exactly what I would have done, and then swooned when he caught her and said stand firm. Not referring to her stumbling, but their relationship in general. It's about to be a crazy ride, but we're buckled up already!

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Her knees buckling mirrored DM's when they had the braless hug outside the convenience store. :) I love how detailed this show is!

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it is not all very realistic... Hye ran still feels like a cartoonish silly second lead, and some characters until now have been also very absurd to the point it is upsetting... But again, I have to say it again: Ae ra and Dong man are saving the show!! LOL

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Hye-ran does feel somewhat silly, but people like her and Ye-jin do exist. The expressions of entitlement and justification for their actions with characters like these in K-dramas really does bug me though.

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I still wish they would add some more "rounder" elements to her character instead of making her so flat. She's just a bad person and I wish the show would give some background to her badness...make her more human. Not that I don't mind just hating a character because they are evil, but I feel this show has always tried to be better than just the normal tropes.

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I don't think her crazy is over yet, so maybe we will get some more glimpses of her background.

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I am sure there's a background story on why HR is such a spoiled B, I am guessing sth along the line of family that doesn't care about her (unlike AR's dad), but to be honest, I don't really want to waste the screen time watching her, I'd rather watch uninterrupted hours and hours of DM - AR with a side of SH standing up for herself. Maybe Kwak Si Yang would be her potential suitor next week? It'll bring me so much satisfaction watching JM squirm.

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"I don't think her crazy is over yet"
Oh, I think we've just reached base camp of this crazy mountain.

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I just hope that DM and AR are able to effectively deflect her crazy.

BTW: love your username :)

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True but this episode made me feel a tad-bit sorry for Hye-Ran and see where her bitchiness comes from. It's obvious from the many flashbacks that even while dating HR, Dong-man always seemed more concerned about AR... that's bound to rub the wrong way for any girlfriend... But HR does take it too far. she should just accept it & move on

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She acted in a really petty manner! What's the point of stealing Ae Ra's job? When I saw that I silently cursed at her

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I think I feel that HR's actions go beyond that of a hurt woman whose ex had feelings for another woman; Right before she tried to kiss DM she muttered "I won't lose you to [Ae-Ra)", so I think this is ultimately more about her just not wanting to lose something she feels is "rightfully" hers, especially someone she feels is inferior. HR is a dangerous combo of entitled and insecure, so when something she wants, be it a man or a job, is gained by someone like AR - someone whom HR sees as lacking, especially compared to herself - she just can't handle it. That's why, I think, she's always trying to keep AR "in her place", be it professionally or personally. It's like the Joseon class system is very much alive and well in HR's universe, and she will do what she can to keep it that way.

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Haha, I agree that the show has been realistic except for the reality of a guy like Dong Man. Everything he did this episode just made me melt. I would have dropped too and stopped breathing if I was Ae Ra, hahaha

Where are you hiding, Dong Mans of the world?? Hahaha

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really though....I want a Dong Man of my own. Unicorns, friendly dragons, and Dong Man all exist in my perfect world

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DAEBAAAAAK!!!

That kiss was everything that I wanted it to be and more, sooo much more! I was literally screaming and laughing and smiling all the same time! So perfectly paced!

I loved AR's dad....he is like the everyday dad, his girl is always his little girl and he gets excited for every little thing his princess does...how cute and endearing was the scene when dad went around trying to film AR?! I could so identify with this scene...my dad's the exact same thing!

About JM and SH, they need a break. There, I've said it. They do need it very badly.

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Oh forgot to say, HR you little evil snitch! That was pure evil what she did. Such a spiteful girl! Then again, there are actually people like that too in this world.

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The show has great parents (Ae-ra's dad, Seol-hee's parents, Dong-man's more ambivalent relationship with his father and adoring mother), and also fantastic parental figures (Landlady Hwang and Coach Hwang.)

The scene of Seol-hee's abuji giving Joo-man a tongue lashing kicks butt!

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<3 I love how caring the parents and parental figures are. This show gives a good balance they aren't overwhelming in their children's lives but they get calls or get visits for the important moments. They're all so proud. It's too cute.

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Aera's dad looks an older Dongman. It was quite noticeable when they stood next to one another.

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Didn't notice till you pointed it out. Whewww!

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I noticed too! He was so adorable in this episode. I loved his tattoo. His daughter is the apple of his eye, you could totally feel that. I just wanted to laugh during most of his screentime

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I loved how Ae Ra's dad was mimicking the PD while filming Ae Ra, aww my dad would do the same too. And that conversation with Ae Ra by the truck, that really got to me too.

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JM and SH, definitely need a break. They clearly are not working well..and I just really dislike seeing them so unhappy. Just because they have been together for a long time doesn't mean they should stay together. I don't even think I would enjoy them staying together..they want different things. Those things may not be so different if they would just communicate..but I am at the point where I want them to break up, to see what they do/how they pursue life after.

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It reminds me of how couples who feel too comfortable in their relationship that they may eventually fall out of love. But they're too scared to take that next step because of everything they currently have...A break would definitely do them more good than harm.

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This couple tires me to no end. I thought everything would be better with Joo Man admitting to dating Seol Hee but nothing has changed and the situation just worsen episode by episode. I also think they should break up or at least take a break because this couple is not working. And OMG I hated Ye Jin!!! I mean the girl got cheated on, how could she try to date someone who already has a girlfriend? She knows the feeling so I don't get how she could give that pain to anybody. For this situation obviously Joo Man is to blame because he's the one who encourages her.

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I think SH needs to find another job. They spend all their time together between work and home. If she had another priority in her life and wasn't always available for JM, I think he might grow to appreciate her more. Plus she needs time away from JM to find out who she really is and/or wants to be.

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The most important is to SH straighten up and find her own strength. She was raised with 3 older brothers and was like left out - remembered when her mother gave her gold and said that they spent all their money for her brothers so she took the jewel for SH's wedding. On her first job, she got help and support from JM - the scene with the customer and the guy that forced to kiss her after gathering. She always lives like that, the one that gives and quiet, behind JM's shadow and she fells secure there. No wonder she chooses to confront Ye-Jin first, she just couldn't bear the thought of losing JM. How many girls are lost and unsure like her in the real world? Too many, and it breaks my heart.

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Out of the four friends, SH's character was written with zero or minimal growth in the last 10 episodes. I hope the writer has something life changing coming to her. You cant help but feel sorry and upset for her at the same time.

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At last they "SAILED IT BY KISSED" GET LOST HYE-RAN, STOP FORCING YOURSELF TO DONG-MAN, I THINK YOU ALREADY MARRIED...

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Hahah she's divorced now but it does feel so good to see Dong Man pushing her away.

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He's been pushing her away for years, she just refused to accept it. I'm sure she hasn't accepted it now, either.

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Actually, until now for me it seemed she had been toying him for years, being his girlfriend but going out with others, then coming back to him, etc... she even got married and divorced, and now wants to come back to him again, but now he is interested in Ae ra. I believe him when he said she was his first love. But now finally he has fallen for the best friend. It is good! ?.... That is a realistic story. I only hope now he will avoid contact with hye-ran, because an ex girl always brings out the jealousy...

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park hye ran you are the worst person, ever.

"alcohol saved you" how could i become a puddle of goo, over that!!??
i felt bad for the way dong man was beaten but him being a blackmailer was much funnier.

Kyung ko maybe hates dong man secretly. he seemed different when dm was praised for his looks.

but really dingman aera and jooman sulhee are soo different despite being friends. sulhee needs to get her life straight and be stronger, am younger than her but she makes me a reluctant mama??

that kiss was AHiricbdoegcvjfkdopskegjdirphb?????????

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It seems like DM beat him up in the past. I think he is just using him to get to AR. I definitely think his comment about not being a pushover anymore was a sign that his stalking will become more aggressive............

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I suspect that both AR and DM's past relationships have been failures largely due to their insanely close friendship (unrealized love for each other?).. We got major hints of that with AR's bf who cheated on her.. seems like it from Kyung Ko's dislike of DM

Hye-Ran seems to be very aware of DM's concern for AR from flashbacks.. even the 1st high school almost gf Bo-ra was dissed off by DM 5mins after he asked her out cuz he was concerned that AR got a scratch...

I sorta feel a littel bad for all the ex's now.. although they are all equally psychotic on their own.

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Ae-ra's dad is the best dad ever. His unquestionable belief in his daughter, never ending support, and vast love bring tears to my eyes. Of course, Dad, Ae-ra deserves a grand stage to command with her great talent. Speaking of, I'm glad the staff organising the festival regretted their decision to choose Hye-ran over our amazing girl.

I also love the adorable, unique dynamics between Dong-man and Ae-ra's Dad. They've knows each other for so long, those two families definitely are close, and it brings the kind of refreshing banter and conversations (and some whining) that we wouldn't get from the usual couple's families. He treats her dad like he is his own dad, and I love it (gotta say that petty dad trope will never get old, haha..). It was a great contrast to Joo-man and Seol-hee's family's painful dynamics this hour. Which makes me think that those two needs to break up and reevaluate their 6 years relationship with cool head.

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I really like AeRa's dad. Its just like DongMan to say the wrong thing. ?

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wtf? Aera´s father ? what is lovely in this horrendows character that beat with a hanger Dong Man intruding without care in the intimacy of his daughter. ?

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The "Mommie Dearest" scene was totally played up for comedic and dramatic effect. The whole take off the watch then the shirt to reveal what could be confused for a prison tattoo but not and Dong-man's dread but comedic timing after. You also have the this guy could be my dad as well kinda thing tossed in there. I disagree with the use of the beating, but in context, I understand why it was used. It does take away from him being best dad ever, I agree, but in this show, nobody's perfect.

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That scene was ok, and very funny...until he beat him for real! :/
..for doing nothing, even!!
But I guess that's just me

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That was really out of place for me in a show where DM is so forthright in using his words to explain things. Why did neither he nor Ae Ra try to stop Dad? It was jarring, although I get the humor effect.

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I was surprised that AR didn't try to stop her dad, but maybe she knew it would be of no use. DM's the man for taking his "punishment" and not running away.

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It's very standard & acceptable for parents to beat their child for disciplining in most Asian cultures - it's not such a big deal as it is in the west. I'm talking about mild punishment not like seriously beat up the child to injury.

Using the coat hangers though was taking it a bit far I agree... I suppose it's supposed to add a bit to the comedy of intimidating dad.

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I love this episode. Timing is indeed everything. So glad its lining up for DongMan and AeRa! ?

As for JooMan and SeolHee, seems its better for them to be apart for the meantime. So they can figure things out between them.

Now for Fairy Landlady and Coach.. waiting what is next for them. Seems like something is up with them. ?

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I am rooting for SH and JM but they seriously need to talk things over because they can't carry on like they are. I agree, sometimes having that distance apart will make it apparent how much they actually need each other

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Coach seems to know who she really is and is impressed. With Kwak Si Yang making a cameo as Nam II (as in Namil Village) maybe all will be revealed then........

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JooMan and SeolHee....I don't think SeolHee wants to live a "mediocre" life at all. I believe she wants to live a happy and family-oriented life. There's nothing mediocre about that. She strikes me as a person who understands the true value of the simple things in life.

JooMan may be ambitious, but I fear for the wrong things. He wants all the extrinsic rewards of title, money, and prestige. They are indeed going down different paths and their values aren't lining up any more. JooMan is getting sidetracked.

At this point, I wouldn't mind if they broke up and SeolHee found someone else who suited her better and who appreciates her more (while also learning how to be a kind person who learns the value of saying no and standing up for herself).

And I wouldn't mind if JooMan went his own way and then realized that all the things he wanted to chase...were actually meaningless at the end of the day. But that it'd be too late because Seol Hee didn't want him back. Because that's life.

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Yes agree~! I have a feeling like you say JooMan may get what he's always wanted later on but when he realises SeolHee isn't by his side, he'll realise what he really lost.

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I think the same as you! I think if they break up he will at some point realise that what he chased after wasn't worth losing Seol Hee

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SQUEEE!!!! Who else short circuits every time there's a shirtless PSJ on screen??? And I am so glad that the morning after sexy times was a cop out but was disturbed by the hint of domestic violence that happened there with the wire hanger

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I was disturbed too...I didn't find it funny at all ?

The rest of the episode made up for it though!! ??
But without that scene it would have been perfect...

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It would have been even more perfect without our frustrating second lead couple :P

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I personally don't mind them XD
But I can see your point ;)

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Yeah me too. You do not beat up someone to the point where there is very visible marks on their back. But I guess the Asian way of disciplining someone is a lot harsher to other methods.

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"Asian ways" shouldn't excuse abuse, though...
(I'm probably overreacting, but I can't help it)

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I keep forgetting to check out my Western sensibilities when watching Kdramas because corporal punishment is alive and well in other parts of the world BUT DongMan was not his child to be laying a hand on and even if it was Aera... it still wouldn't be okay.

Wish they could have handled that scene better. Instead of the wire hanger, they could have used a game of Go stop and had Dong Man receiving a few flicks on the forehead instead. It was meant to be funny but the scene preluding to that with Aeras dad taking off his watch and shirt to reveal a wifebeater top was just too disturbing.

The ending tho. Aera, my knees wouldn't have just buckled. Dong Man would have had to piggyback me hihihi

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The common occurrence of domestic violence in various settings has been one of the most difficult things to adjust to when watching Kdramas as a Western-culture viewer. I still can't adjust to it, even though I have many personal friends from Korea who accept getting hit/beaten by authority figures absolutely as a matter of course and as if it's completely normal and acceptable. There are just some cultural differences it's very, very hard to accept, and in this case, if I'm honest, I don't even want to accept it.

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It's quite shocking indeed. What troubles me the most is when the boss hit their employee because it occurs so often

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it was horrifying for me to see that. Just the visual of DMs red back and the metal coat hanger! Ugh!

It was played for laughs and the show doesn't seem to see any problem with that, so for me to be able to enjoy the show going forward I have decided I need to ignore it and categorize it as "cultural differences" (even though, in real life, abuse is just never ok, regardless of culture. that's my stance on it)

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I didnt like it either, but somehow if it would has been just a threat, i would have felt dissappointed with the scene, because of the way they "announce" it. Dont get me wrong, i dont think beating anybody is right, but by doing it when he was decided to (the father), makes me take him seriously.
I was shocked but actually not that much, because i thought it would be with something even worse, like a big wood stick or a chair! LOL.
Anyway... also in my case, i had to pretend i didnt watch any corporal punishment, so that i could enjoy the rest of the chapter.

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It's kinda sad that from a 20/episodes series they converted it to 16 from the latest updates because every minute in this drama is worth it. It's so real sometimes you think you are part of the background. With lady Kanako's secret, KDM's sister and creep friend we will be having some angst. The transition between friends to lovers was awesomely done. And I love it how strong and smart Ae Ra is. She swallows all the obstacles, never complains and moves forward. Dong Man is absolutely gorgeous and kind. Give some awards to the parents in this drama for the way they love their children. And to the children for the way they want help their parents. Their success majorly depends in making their families proud. SH should literally start growing some balls. There is nothing wrong enjoy the small things in life if there all it is life will kick you down. I'm with JM in this. You cant play houses forever.
Can we a get a closer shot of that kiss director? I need visual stimulation for my hormonal eyes
Monday seems so far away now.

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I also need to know how that visual stimulation will affect my week positively... FOR SCIENCE!

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I demand more research on FMW-induced #hormonaleyes!

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I too may have these hormonal eyes hahaha that kiss was really something

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Was it supposed to be a 20 ep. show? Really?...
Hum... i find it interesting, but have to disagree with you.
I feel half of this show, the jm & sh storyline, characters like hr and mb, the stupid intern and silly long conversations about some private live's matters in the work place, all of that are fillers for me.... LOL. ?

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Didn't know this was supposed to br a 20-episode show, is there enough story to sustain it? I honestly wouldn't mind just seeing the fantastic four bumbling in life but I'd rather see the show ends in high note, ratings seem good enough for now.

And I agree, PD team better save more of those kiss scenes for next week! And can we get additional BTS scenes like Suspicious Partner does? All for science of course!

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I love the truthfulness between AeRa and DongMan. GAH why can't all drama couples be like them??? (looking at you too JooMan and SeolHee) Every moment between them is so precious I love it!!!

Now for Hwang Landlady and and Coach Hwang! The HwangHwang godmother/father couple! I SHIP!

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Coach is such a cute ball of fluff with the ladies isn't he? Please don't ever change Coach-nim!

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Coach-nim's aeygo rivals Ae-Ra's :)

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Haha, now I am firmly on that ship so we can all keep addressing them as the "HwangHwang."

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Honestly, I want them to become the second couple we focus on. SH and JM are just so frustrating in their endlessly slow relationship problems... they should just break up and get awesome individually, while I watch Coach aegoying the Landlady!

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I second that! I would love to watch a secondary couple to be as delightful (and even possibly emotionally-layered) as the one with Kim Ji-won in Descendants of the Sun. The "HwangHwang" couple chemistry would at least be hilarious!

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Woo hoo, this thread has kimkim and mushmush commenting HwangHwang

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Omg there needs to be a list of these thinggsssss

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Yah!!!!! Finally a kiss
Finally a kiss and not a bad cliffhanger for next week.
Thanks for the recap. I really hope new stalker boy will disappear by next episode. Sweet episode ?

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Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. That kiss was worth every moment of waiting and more.

And how adorable and refreshing is it to have a character like Dong Man blurting out his feelings exactly the way he is thinking without a filter. No faking, no lying... just straight from the heart. I swoon every single time his eyes searches for Ae Ra and settles on her in that loving way. Love is about timing and am so glad that finally their time has come and both are in the same page. I can't wait for next week to see how these two are going to be in an official relationship! *so excited*. As for the second lead couple, I am frustrated about how every single time these two have a relationship breakout and wise up and move forward one of them messes it up and end up in square one. Part of me want Seol Hee to dump Joo Man's sorry back and never look back. At this point I feel like they are both wrong for each other. Let's wait and see and I am losing interest in their storyline when our main couple is just stealing my heart.

Is it Monday yet? Come soon please.

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I am in minority here but kimjiwon overtop acting is off putting to me. It's pity because I loved her in dots. But I have no doubt on their chemistry she and seojun share crackling chemistry together.

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I'm not the biggest fan of her's tbh, but I don't think she is that bad here. The one thing her character does that really annoys me is the crying. That can be seriously off-putting.

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Why i have a feeling that landlady hwang is Ae-ra mother?

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Ohhh Wow!!! I never thought of that!!

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I suspect this may be the case too!

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I also have this feeling. I think she's too involved in Aera's life. When Moobin asked Aera about her mother, it was so random so maybe it was a plot device to tell us something about her mother.

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Same! I also wonder where Coach Hwang saw her before and how/why he recognized her! :o

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I'm not sure that Coach-nim knew them in their hometown. In the first episode, Ae-Ra says that they sent Dong-man to Seoul to train, I think he met them there. I could be wrong...............

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I wonder if the coach vague recognized her as Ae-ra's mother, why didn't he recognize her father when they met?

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I think so, too, but idk something about it makes it too convenient? Maybe she's Ae Ra's dad's older sister or something? That Ae Ra doesn't know about. Maybe she's the one giving him money that's why he has allowance for Ae Ra even if his shop's not doing well? I dunnoooo

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I have the exact same feeling.

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So... JM and SH, I mean... she is sweet and everything, but again, I still don´t care about them.
Hye-ran... stupid, oh my God..
The landlady, is it realistic to believe she went there just in order to avoid "cohabitation"?? It is also soooooo absurd, oh my God... I cannot believe it!
But DM and Ae ra... they keep on being my favorite characters in this drama... only because of them I am watching it every week...

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I definitely think she has a much deeper connection to one or all of the Fantastic Four and that is why she went there. I don't think she went just as a "landlady".

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In this episode, we saw how Hyeran's relationship with Dongman really was. All those years, she knew Dongman had feelings for Aera. She loved Dongman but she knew Aera had a special place in Dongman's life. I guess her jealousy and hatred for Aera overpowers her love for Dongman. She doesn't really care about how Dongman feels. She is manipulative and selfish. She knew she couldn't beat Aera when it comes to Dongman so she tries to compete with her in other ways. This could explain why she used other people to climb her way up as an announcer. But even in her career, she knows Aera is a big threat. This drama is really about fighting for ourselves...knowing when to fight harder and knowing when to stop...

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Everybody's hurting in this episode. If you think about it, every character, including Hyeran and Yejin, is really just fighting for what they really want in life.. These girls are both fighting for the men they like. This is why I think people like Hyeran and Yejin are admirable even if they're pathetic and low. But the thing about these girls is that they don't know their boundaries.

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I understand what you are saying about HyeRan and YeJin, but there's nothing 'admirable' about them. They are selfish brats (particularly HyeRan), actively harming other people and relationships for their own gains - that's just unethical.

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I agree with you. I don't "admire" they're selfishness. I was talking about the kind of fighting spirit they have to get what they want. She has no shame and she doesn't know when to stop. You're right, this episode showed just how low and pathetic Hyeran's character is.

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I respectfully disagree.
Unless by "admirable" you mean Machiavellian.
These girls have no concern for other people's feelings whatsoever. For them, the end justifies the means...and I'm so not on board with that.

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Hye Ran has finally been humanized in my eyes. How sad is it for her that Dong Man, her BOYFRIEND, refused to kiss her, and instead sent a hesitant, worried look Ae Ra's way? Who wouldn't feel insecure about that?

This doesn't erase all her misdeeds or the fact that she's a major bitch, but at least we see that there's a heart beating underneath all that, regardless of how small that heart may be. Good job, Show. Now if we could get that creepy stalker out of the picture...

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::loud clapping::
And if the person inviting them in doesn't want to stop then you leave. No regrets. You addressed it, got the information you need and you make a choice about your life not anyone else's.

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"she need to talk to the one that makes her feel that insecure not the interloper" ???

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And to top it off! Can we please remember that she was always breaking up with DongMan and then coming back to him as if he was some top. ???

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Everything you just said was exactly what the person you responded to said honestly. You hate her because she's doing nasty things that a human being would do and you understand exactly why she's doing it and it makes you upset. It's because she's insecure and angry and she's choosing to try and resolve it by directing that anger and spite at Ae Ra (instead of Dong Man or yknow going to a therapist and finding healthy ways to move on). I think that's something that lost on a lot of people that talk about characters sometimes.

I hate Hye Ran now, I was annoyed with her before because she was just some mean thing that brought the mood down every time she appeared for really no reason but now I straight up hate her and I find her pathetic. As do a lot of other people. But it's coming from a place of finally understanding why she's doing what she's doing. She's not just the evil ex who exists to do just do evil things for absolutely no reason anymore.

Liking a character and seeing them as a human being, humanizing them, aren't mutually exclusive things. We wouldn't have been able to have a conversation about her character as if she was being written as an actual person in any of the episodes before this. I want her to get help and move on, mostly so she'll go away and let Ae Ra achieve or not achieve things on her own. But also because it's just so pathetic and sad and thinking of someone living like that is as depressing as it is infuriating.

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As the OP, I would just like to add: the person you responded to nailed it -

Before this episode, Hye Ran was just a plot device meant to wreak havoc and bring Ae Ra down. We have absolutely NO idea why she's doing what she's doing. We just know she wants Dong Man back, and will do anything, including being a pathetic B, just to get what she wants. She's also particularly hateful of Ae Ra and, like you said, does nasty, divisive, and completely ruin-your-life/career things to her.

But now, after the episode, we see WHY. She's not just a plot device anymore - she's been humanized, because her actions finally have an internal force behind them: her insecurities. They feel real, and they feel very human. This does NOT, however, justify her actions, and I think that's what you were saying in your response. "...that does not humanize you being nasty, divisive, nor going out of your way to completely ruin a persons life..." In my opinion, humans can do nasty things, be divisive, and go out of their way to completely ruin a person's life; we see that all the time in other shows (e.g. a corrupt politician protecting his assets from a prosecutor). What that doesn't do is JUSTIFY their actions. (This is the reason why I think you may have mistaken humanize as justify.)

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Nailed it.

And this isn't the first time, either - remember Dong-man wiping tears out of Ae-ra's eyes the day before he was due to go for military service, right in front of Hye-ran after yet another messy breakup and reunion? She's still maddening and a major B, but like you said, she's been humanised and isn't just hateful for the sake of being hateful any more - we get to see her reasons, however twisted and wrong they are.

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Dear beanie @Myka,
Let me tell you something. DM is not Hye ran's BOYFRIEND, not even boyfriend (low caps), LOL! ?
He is one of her ex boyfriends, for she had many... and she even had a husband. So... no, not even pity for her. She wants to go back to himand kiss him as if... hello! Good for him, he rejected her as he should have, for she had no right to even touch him. Period.

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No, I was referring to the flashback scene where Hye Ran and Dong Man were still dating. When they were in the cinema, watching a movie, Hye Ran angled for a kiss, aiming to copy the scene in the movie they were watching, but Dong Man gave her popcorn instead and sent a look Ae Ra's way. Back then, they were a couple. Is it clear to you now?

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ahhhh.... I see. Yes, I thought that was kind of... yeah... But koreans are shy in public. I interpreted it as natural that he would avoid displaying too much skinship in front of others, doesn´t matter who. But the scene also gives us the feeling, he was also liking Ae ra back then, even when dating Hye-ran... You were right, if I were her at the time, i would also have felt bad.

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Ugh, I'm so happy. I thought the cliffhanger in the last episode would send us off course, but we're right where I wanted to be. This is a good day. Excuse me while I watch that last scene for the thousandth time.

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Oh my gosh @lollypip. "One step forward, two steps back" was the EXACT a thing I thought of when I was watching this episode (that is, before THAT KISS made me forget everything else)!!!
But here are some other thoughts I had once I gathered myself: what helps make this drama so infuriating yet relatable is that it's full of people with inferiority complexes. Tak Soo and Hye Ran are actually deathly afraid that our OTP will succeed, and Sul Hee is unfortunately afraid of everyone. That's why I love that beyond their group of friends, Ae Ra and Dong Man have Ae Ra's dad and Coach-nim there to remind them of just how awesome they are. Ae Ra's dad's words of encouragement before he left were my absolute (second) favorite part of this episode! Now our main leads are realizing just how special they really are and breaking free of their previously conceived notions of their limits and rocking it - look out world!
Unfortunately Sul Hee might need to stop letting her relationship define who she is, since now Dong Man is definitely being swayed by the intern's similarity to the young her. Aughhh I don't know what I want for them... I'd hate to see them break up because of what that'd do to the foursome's friendship, but something drastic has to change for them to stay together.

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Okay I have been scrolling down for someone who has actually talked about Sul Hee and Joo Man and gosh you are the first ^^:;

To be honest I find their scenes now repetitive and kinda boring if I am to be honest. I just want something to really come in and knock them over. I want Sul Hee to stand on her own two feet and like you say "stop letting her relationship define her" and also I really just want them to truly sit down and actually have a talk about what they want. Like REALLY talk. Not just a quick cup of coffee but something like a long night talk. I don't even care if it is while they are skunk drunk now to be honest.

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Its interesting that you find their scenes repetitive and boring - I am guessing that's what their life is also like! And, while Sul Hee is still 'playing house', Joo Man wants to amp up his life. They do seem to be quiet different. I appreciate that Sul Hee is very caring, but Joo Man is taking that for granted. Maybe, when/if he starts going out with Ye Jin, he will realise that his current and ex are different after all.

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Every time I see Seol Hee, I get a "Bless her heart" type feeling about her and not in a good way. I just feel that she is sweet but quite simple. I hate to say that about her, but she is quite simple-minded to the point that she doesn't even know that she deserves better and can dream bigger. She deserves to be treated with respect by her "in-laws", she is capable of having a better career instead of multiple jobs that she keeps quitting whenever things get tough or she screws up. She deserves to have pretty dresses in all the pink and frills that she wants. Even her parents treat her as their one precious child (compared to her 3 other brothers), but she doesn't see the value in herself. So she resorts to these very passive-aggressive ways of dealing with Joo-Man, bc she doesn't dare demand that he straighten up and do right by her. It's frustrating to watch someone with so much unrealized potential.

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I will have to admit that I'm at a loss to see passive-aggressive tendencies in SH. I think she has lost herself in JM, thinking their future would go differently than it has, but she just is a giver. If anything I see her as the martyr type, always getting satisfaction based on giving to someone else and their appreciation of this. I can see this as being stifling to JM, completely understand. I see JM as the passive-aggressive type in the relationship, his whatever with the intern is a perfect example. He wants things to change somehow, but instead of being straight-forward with SH, he does things like sneak out to see the intern which he knows she'll figure out. Why else would he have left his cellphone in the apt. for her to see?

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Considering Seol Hee's desire to be a power blogger and Ae Ra's failure at being an anchor but love of being in front of a microphone I don't know why they didn't start their own youtube channel with a side blog.

I just want the girls to find their dream as the guys have and it just seems odd that for Ae Ra it's anchor or nothing.

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I realised in this episode how much I love Dong-man's personality. He may have been ridiculously slow with recognising his feelings but once he got there- he's been so refreshingly straightforward! So many swoon-worthy moments thanks to Dong-man's smooth, non-flowery way of speaking.

I'm also more curious about who exactly Landlady Hwang is. She watches over Ae-ra (and maybe Dong-man too) - to the extent that she follows them out of Seoul concerned about their engaging in pre-marital activities. Also, was she avoiding Ae-ra's father? She was dialling for the police when she got to the motel too (even asking for the area code hahaha). Also how does the coach know her? Landlady Hwang makes me so curious!

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Same! I am soooo curious about Landlady Hwang! I feel like she must be related to Ae Ra or possibly Dong Man as you said but omg I can't deal with the way she actually followed them.

"They can't sleep together!"

Bhahahahahah I legit laughed my head off! I am curious about what Coach knows as well about our mysterious landlady

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Haha I really like the landlady's character. She always has such good timing!

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I thought she was hiding from AR's dad too, because she interacts with Coach-nim throughout the rest of the episode.

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Oh yes, Dong-man, it is Day 1 and you can make Ae-ra Once, Twice, Three Times the Lady! This episode shows that real love is someone who you are not afraid to show your ugly forehead pimple and should be share someone who proudly wears your snot on his sleeve.

The morning after scene is pitch perfect with Abuji’s daughter DOB tattoo and the son-in-law-beater shirt, Dong-man’s hopeless expression and his caveman/monkey analogy, and the self-aware music. But is it the writer’s laziness that she can no longer provide a more imaginative source of adversity for Ae-ra than Hye-ran‘s tiresome RBF and her head-scratching motivation.

My frustration officially boiled over for Dong-man and Seol-hee. I hate when the girl confront the other girl instead of her man. The man is the one committed to be in the relationship with you and doing the cheating! Confront HIM first, let alone rewarding him with a back hug in bed no matter how sad you are.
Annyeong Fast-Forward Button!

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And Show, are we really now getting a stalkier Moo-bin but without the Choi Woo-sik-ness to balance the creepiness out?

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That was the downer for me this episode. I hope he serves a purpose beyond creepy stalker because we just got done with Moo-bin and there is plenty of story for both Dong Man and Ae Ra without adding another creeper.

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I agree, I'm waiting to see how his presence will add to the story.

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I would love that the story will provide us fresh conflicts other than terrible exes at this point.

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I wonder if his involvement will also shed light on the previous bad experiences Dong Man, Ae Ra shared with him too.

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I thought, oh no is this where FMW becomes like every other rom-com because it has to introduce some stupid and unnecessary external danger into the story? Gah, I hope not but I'm nervous over it ?. Let's just stay slice-of-lifey, if you please ?

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And furthermore, I'm worried about this new stalker bringing trouble for Dong Man. Wasn't there a mention between them of earlier punches, so perhaps DM beat him up when he bothered AR in college? DM can't go risking his new career for beating up this loser now.

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They have mentioned this character since the first episode and have referred to him to him more than once after that throughout the series. I have faith in this writer and I think somehow he will be a catalyst for something good happening, not just another stalker. Fingers crossed.

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The number of times I've refreshed waiting for the recap... Haha! I did find this episode a bit boring though, compared to episode 9, but the last part totally pulled it off. Kyaaahhh! So eggzoited for next week. ???

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GAAAH I thought Episode 8 was the best ep so far but this surpassed it, HANDS DOWN (so far hehehe). :((((

It's so great that this time, FINALLY, the timing was right for Ae Ra and Dong Man. Unlike before, when Ae Ra just walked away freely, Dong Man finally caught up and held on to her. :(((( The long wait was super worth it! After seeing DM and Hye Ran kiss in front of her, now it's AR and DM kissing! <3

Also, in the flashback scene, the movie they were watching was Architecture 101. (MAJOR SPOILER HERE HUHU DON'T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE YET) In it, the guy was kissing his First Love but they didn't end up together! I dunno if it's coincidental or not but major props to the prod team for using this to symbolize DM and HR's relationship: HR was DM's first love, yes, but we know they won't end up together. Also, this is in contrast to when Ae Ra and Moo Bin were watching "Love, Rosi"e in the drive through. Again, it's about childhood friends but unlike Architecture 101, they do end up together after countless times of not having the right timing, just like our main couple!!!

HUHUHU I love this episode so much. I can't wait to see how they transition into Lovers. (Also, I'm rooting for Seol Hee to eventually be the strong, independent woman that I know she is and for Joo Man to also find his own fulfillment.)

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Thanks for the info. Do u know what's the name of the song that was playing during that architecture movie? It sounds awfully familiar.

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It's "Etude of Memories" by Kim Dong Ryul (김동률 - 기억의 습작)
:)

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Wow thanks for ur reply!

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You're welcome!
I knew the song well through a cover, I recognized it right away! :)

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Wow! That was all very surprising. Nothing is as it seems in this drama. The writers were very sneaky with episode 9! I really thought they had slept together but surprise! It was really nice and cute how they showed us what went on last night.
I love how resolute DM is in his pursuit of AR! He is finally all in after 20 years of just looking at her and not acting on his feelings (same for AR).
On the flip side we see how the long term couple is possibly drifting apart/splitting up. It is very sad but also realistic, or more realistic than other dramaland storylines. JM does not seem to realise how similar this potential new relationship is to his current one. The intern girl is from a good family and I assume sooner or later she will meet his family and they will probably be ecstatic about her (since she is rich and well connected). Wonder what will happen then...
SH needs some more backbone as her mom said and I hope she will finally show it. But I also know that that would mean pushing her beloved relationship with JM into dangerous territory. I assume she is holding back for fear of loosing him.

Landlady is an interesting mystery. I do not think she is AR mom but maybe she just started to like the AR and DM and wants to be their secret daddy long legs? Could she be some famous anchor from the past? Weird how only Coach recognized her.

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Yes, interesting how Joo Man's family would probably find Ye Jin's family business just fine even though it's technically the same as Seol Hee's family's, pig trotter restaurants.

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Oh if she is a famous anchor in the past then that would be even better! Obviously she's pretty rich as seen in the past episode when she went into the department store which Ae-ra worked at.

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Doing the happy dance!!! Those kisses we're SO satisfying -- FINALLY! Actually ALL the moments between DM and AR were satisfying. I'm going to watch my favorite parts again today. That line DM gave AR - "Do you *want* to be alone on a desert island with me?" RAWR! (swoon is right!) This show is melting me into a puddle of goo!

I'm disappointed in JM, but I can also see why he is being tempted. I think it's time for he and SH to separate. Even if it's so they can both see her worth. She has stagnated in this relationship while she has supported him. I was also disappointed in her a bit for climbing back in bed with him that night after he had lied to her. She needs to stop being so timid and listen to her mom!

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Sorry, I feel like I'm asking a stupid question but what does "alcohol saved you" supposed to mean/imply when Dong Man said it? :o

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Not a stupid question!! "Alcohol saved you" implies that he totally WOULD have wanted to sleep with her/made a move had they not drunk alcohol. What makes it so swoony is that it's both respectful and he insinuated that he sees her as more than just a friend (and especially not as a monkey).

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I thought maybe it meant, I didn't want to sleep with you under to influence/pretext of alcohol. It would have been less special/questionable judgment?

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I'm guessing he didn't want to make a move on her while they were both drunk, because that would not be the best way for them to start haha. Or he would have tried something if they were sober. Either way, just Dong Man being a gentleman. Everything he did this episode was just gold.

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Okay. I kinda thought that way but I wasn't so sure of it. Now I get it. :)) Thank you! Gaaah I love how respectful and sweet he is.

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That to me was an actual swoon-worthy moment for me.....

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I actually took it as him saying that she being under the influence excused her for saying and doing what she did while she thought he was asleep. Alcohol saved her because it would have otherwise been awkward (since they both are awkward when they have skinship with each other)

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