Because This Life Is Our First: Episode 7
The effects of the previous episode begin to set in as Se-hee and Ji-ho try to establish a new rhythm, and renegotiate the boundary between them. However, today Se-hee begins to learn that the line between them isn’t as clearly drawn as he had once believed, especially when someone new begins hanging around with Ji-ho.
Episode 7: “Because this is my first YOLO”
Over the phone, Ji-ho tells Bok-nam while staring dead into Se-hee’s eyes that she doesn’t have a boyfriend. Se-hee looks away, then politely announces that he’s heading out to work.
Once he’s gone, Bok-nam tells her that he saw Dog Bok-nam running around in the alleyways again, therefore, she needs to come meet him there. She tries to decline, since she wasn’t selected for the cafe job, but Bok-nam doesn’t take no for an answer.
At work, all of Se-hee’s colleagues crowd around Bo-mi’s computer, looking at a male user whose profile received the highest rating in the male category. Oh, it’s Bok-nam. Huh.
Meanwhile (after one-sidedly arguing with Cat), Ji-ho arrives at the alleyway and begins looking around for the imaginary dog. Bok-nam scares the life out of her when he walks up, then leads her right back to the cafe without explanation.
She’s bewildered and refuses to go inside, and confesses that she wasn’t selected for the part-time job, since she never got a callback. Bok-nam is equally shocked and asks how she could’ve failed since she went to college.
Ji-ho cites her age or lack of relevant experiences as possible reasons why she wouldn’t be a good fit. Besides, she adds, the owner might find her uncomfortable.
Bok-nam finds that sentiment the most ridiculous of all, and says she looks like a total pushover. She isn’t sure if she should take his description as a compliment, but he insists that she should. He then decides to take action on the nebulous status of her employment and drags her into the cafe by the wrist to confront the owner.
As soon as the owner sees Bok-nam, he begins scolding him for coming in late (calling him by name a couple of time, and confusing Ji-ho, who is still looking for a dog). She catches sight of his name stitched onto his apron, and finally realizes her mistake. Bok-nam then threatens the quit if Ji-ho isn’t hired, to the owner’s exasperation.
A little later, the owner swears that he meant to call her (but his nervous eyes say otherwise). Ji-ho gives the owner the opportunity to rescind the offer since he was blackmailed into it, but the owner insists that it’s fine as long as Bok-nam gets along with her.
Seeing Bok-nam outside on his break, she approaches. He’s happy that she got hired, but when she asks about his unusual interest in her, they’re interrupted by an urgent food delivery.
Bok-nam hops onto his motorcycle and calls Ji-ho over. She’s alarmed when Bok-nam puts a helmet on her head, promising to answer her question after they make the delivery.
Turns out, the location of the delivery is right by Se-hee’s company, and they arrive just as Se-hee and all his colleagues return from a coffee break. Bo-mi recognizes Ji-ho from afar, but everyone becomes awkward when Bok-nam suddenly begins fixing Ji-ho’s helmet hair.
Ji-ho backs away when he gets too handsy, and asks for an explanation for his behavior. So he finally answers, “Why do you think? It’s because I like you.”
Her eyes widen in shock, so she rushes to clarify that while she doesn’t have a boyfriend, she does have a husband. Nice going, Ji-ho. But then Bok-nam replies that he doesn’t care if she has a husband, and asks if that means she can’t have a boyfriend. Huh?
Later, Ji-ho reports Bok-nam’s words to Su-ji, who takes a keen interest in the potentially salacious topic. Ji-ho is hung up on Bok-nam’s young age and her uncertain financial future. She’s also depressed that someone as young as him is now her co-worker, and teasing her.
She advises Su-ji not to quit her job no matter what, and Su-ji reminds Ji-ho that she spends her days being teased by old men, so Ji-ho shouldn’t be complaining to her.
They switch topics to discuss Ho-rang, who is still reeling from Won-seok saying that love and marriage are separate things. Ho-rang suddenly gets a determined look in her eyes, then arrives at Su-ji’s for their girl’s night.
Ho-rang asks her friends for a book recommendation on “the reproduction of mankind and the necessity of marriage.” Her friends grow worried for her sanity, but Ho-rang assures them that she has a plan. She explains that she spent the last seven years making Won-seok into the perfect boyfriend, but now it’s time to make him into a good husband.
She gets up to leave, on a mission, until Su-ji reveals Ji-ho’s younger man problem. She sits right back down and calls for soju.
Ji-ho arrives home late that night, and sees Se-hee cleaning up Cat’s vomit. Ji-ho worries that Cat might be sick, and when Se-hee mentions taking Cat to the vet, she begins to offer to take Cat, but stops herself short as she recalls Se-hee’s words during the “Woori” debacle about being uncomfortable.
Instead, she tells Se-hee that she’ll be out at work tomorrow, and surprisingly Se-hee already knows where she’s working: “YOLO Cafe.” He explains that he saw her earlier today on the motorcycle.
She starts to describe how the situation transpired and how Bok-nam likes to joke around, but Se-hee remarks that Ji-ho seems to have gotten quite close with Bok-nam, and notably doesn’t look at her as he speaks.
He abruptly bids her good night, but Ji-ho picks up on his strange behavior and asks if he’s mad at her. He denies it, somewhat confusedly, then goes inside. She chalks up his different vibe to being worried about Cat’s health (reminding herself that there is no reason for him to be upset about her matters).
However, in his room, Se-hee is not unaffected by Mr. Motorcycle, especially because we see in a flashback that Se-hee learned that Ji-ho’s new co-worker is also the highest scorer on their app. Bo-mi and the other employees had noted Bok-nam expensive motorcycle and speculated on how a part-time employee could afford it.
In the present, Se-hee seems troubled by Bok-nam, and he studies Bok-nam’s app profile before going to bed.
In their rooftop apartment, Ho-rang blatantly watches a video of muscly guys weightlifting at the gym. She tells Won-seok to understand her needs since she is ovulating. Hahaha!
Won-seok is confused by the correlation, and so Ho-rang proceeds to explain to him in scientific terms that during ovulation women experience a strong desire for breeding and instinctively search out muscular mates.
Won-seok gets a naughty glint in his eyes, and starts undressing. He literally jumps her, but she’s ready for it and athletically pushes him to the side. She informs him that unfortunately she won’t be able to do it with him tonight.
He’s perplexed, since everything she’s said indicates that she wants to get busy, but alas, she informs him that hormones cause women to instinctively search for stable men who can protect them. However, since their relationship has no chance of resulting in marriage, she supposes that her body is now interpreting him as a threat to her stability.
He becomes impatient and asks if she loves him, and she confirms it, using his own words about how she can’t live without him. In a matter-of-fact tone, she presents a logical explanation of how it’s too risky to sleep with someone who is so ambivalent about their future together since it may result in pregnancy.
She adds that she won’t sleep with him just because she loves him, then delivers the final blow: “Are love and sexual desire the same thing?” Thereby mirroring his speech about love and marriage not necessarily correlating.
The next morning, Se-hee and Ji-ho coincidentally head to work at the same time. They ride the bus wordlessly together until Ji-ho kindly offers Se-hee one of her breakfast bars. He accepts, then they chat about the close proximity of their working places. Ji-ho excitedly begins encouraging him to come visit, but again stops herself and remembers him asking that they avoid situations where they need to act like a couple.
She says never mind, then gets off the bus, and Se-hee’s expression remains unreadable. He hears Bok-nam call out to Ji-ho as “Noona” and sees her smiling in return before the bus pulls away.
Her smile is actually one of incredulity due to Bok-nam’s familiarity. He decides to call her noona going forward, but warns her not to use banmal since he doesn’t want a girl he’s interested in to use it (i.e., talking down to him based on their age gap).
She’s sort of impressed with his dauntlessness, but doesn’t seem all that moved. Later he boldly swoops in and ties up her hair while her hands are occupied, taking her aback. He makes a comment about her looking prettier with her hair tied up, and she points out that he’s never seen her that way, so he amends his tense, then compliments her neckline. Uh, is this a red flag?
Ji-ho reports to her friends about working with Bok-nam, and they call his behavior sexual harassment, vowing to come over immediately to teach him a lesson.
However, when they arrive at the cafe they’re totally useless, since all they do is stare dreamily (ogle) Bok-nam, and encourage Ji-ho to go for it.
Nearby, Se-hee is forced into buying dessert for all his colleagues after a company meal. Bo-mi suggests they go to the cafe Ji-ho works at. They energetically greet Ji-ho as they enter and begin picking out their desserts, but then Se-hee orders seven Americanos sans cakes.
Sang-gu berates Se-hee for his stinginess through gritted teeth, so Se-hee promises to treat everyone to dinner after his finishes paying back his loan… in 2048. Everyone looks like their blood pressure is rising, before Bok-nam enters with cakes for the team, on the house.
Sang-gu asks if Bok-nam is from money since he can afford his expensive motorcycle, but Bok-nam clarifies that he pays low rent for a small room in order to get the motorcycle: “You only live once.” He prefers not to live his life paying back loans, and thinks people who are “house-poor” (i.e., own a house, but can’t afford much else) are pathetic.
He looks at Se-hee pointedly, who keeps his eyes on his phone. Se-hee shoots back that “Everyone has a different goal,” and Bok-nam needn’t be so critical of others. They have a charged back and forth and take jabs at the other person’s extreme lifestyles, before Bok-nam concedes the point and excuses himself.
After they finish their cakes, Ji-ho walks Se-hee out of the cafe. She asks if Se-hee will be working late, and he replies that he will if nothing happens. He begins toward the door, but then turns back around to ask Ji-ho the same question. She echoes his statement, then asks why he wants to know. He says never mind, then leaves.
He and Bo-mi trail behind the rest of the group as they walk back, and Bo-mi asks Se-hee what he is going to do about Bok-nam. Se-hee is confused, and explains that even though he is Ji-ho’s husband that doesn’t mean he has a right to tell Ji-ho what to do with her social or workplace life.
Bo-mi sighs and replies that Se-hee’s married life is very much like Se-hee’s personality, and explains that girls like when men display their jealousy more openly.
Se-hee finds this statement particularly befuddling and asks if perchance she thinks that he was exhibiting signs of jealousy. He smirks at the notion, and denies it, so she points out that he was looking at the same weather report for an hour straight at the cafe. HAHAHA! (He just sputters that there’s a lot to read in a weather report.)
In the car, Ho-rang and Su-ji discuss Ji-ho and her cute co-worker. They comment on how Bok-nam is diametrically opposed to Se-hee in every way, so Ho-rang asks which man Su-ji would choose. Su-ji smiles mischievously asks why she can only have one if there are two?
Ho-rang calls her a pervert, then asks for an update on her relationship with Sang-gu. Su-ji plays it cool and acts as if nothing happened, and the doll he gave her definitely means nothing. In fact, its fate as garbage is imminent.
Ho-rang casts her a knowing side-eye and asks Su-ji why the doll is wearing a seat belt if it’s going to be thrown away. (AWW, so darn cute!!) Su-ji peeks at her doll sitting in the backseat and smiles girlishly to herself. Su-ji asks about Won-seok, and Ho-rang replies cryptically that she’s paying him everything back slowly, but painfully.
Ho-rang gasps while reading an article about a man who stalked a woman after meeting her through a dating app. She assures Su-ji that it isn’t Sang-gu’s app, but meanwhile Bo-mi discusses the same incident with her colleagues, and worry that crimes like this give dating apps a bad name.
Evidently in this case, the man had locked up the woman for thirteen hours in a studio apartment. In light of this, Se-hee recommends Bo-mi actively monitor all the complaints sent to them, and share any that require follow-up, so that they can be ahead of these kinds of crimes in the future. But when Bo-mi confirms that she will be sending them all to Se-hee, he replies that he isn’t responsible for customer satisfaction—those complaints should be sent to Sang-gu instead.
Speaking of, Sang-gu joins them and enthusiastically tells his team that Manager Park secured a meeting with a well-known investor for their company. He sends everyone home for the day and heads out to the meeting, where he’s happy to see that Su-ji has arrived first.
She congratulates him on the guaranteed investment, and they chit-chit for a bit before Sang-gu apologizes for crossing the line the last time they spoke, where he had tried to educate her on standing up for herself against sexual harassment. She accepts his apology, then warns him not to take anything unprofessional that’s about to happen in this meeting personally.
He jokingly asks if she is referring to the fact that he likes her, then reassures her that he has his eye on the investment prize.
Won-seok gets an alert on his phone informing him of the end of Ho-rang’s ovulation, then hums merrily to himself in anticipation. He tells Ho-rang about Sang-gu getting his investment, and she comments on how Ji-ho will be the wife of an executive before she is. Won-seok assures her that he’ll take care of her after he succeeds, then proceeds to attack her with kisses. He mentions the end of her ovulation and they both spring up, lose their pants, and jump into bed.
She tells him to get two condoms today, and Won-seok becomes excited at the idea of a double round. She clarifies that they’ll use two condoms at once for double protection. Putting on her glasses, she calculates the risk of pregnancy with condoms, and figures the likelihood of pregnancy should decrease if they use two (it doesn’t! Never do this!).
At the investment dinner, the investor compliments Sang-gu’s rapidly growing business and he seems to be favorably leaning toward investing. The investor makes sure to mention how hard Park worked to broker the meeting and recommend Sang-gu’s company.
Some time later, after more drinks have been consumed, the investor begins inching closer and closer to Su-ji, to her visible discomfort. Park badgers Su-ji to fess up on spending the holiday with a boyfriend, but she insists that she was alone. What a bunch of creeps.
The investor moves to put his hand around Su-ji, but suddenly Sang-gu begins shouting expletives to his phone, calling someone crazy, and asking if they want to get beaten up.
His belligerent statements are clearly directed at the lecherous investor, but Sang-gu plays it off as if he’s cursing out a hoobae, who is being unruly in a chatroom. He does it a second time—his statements becoming more violent—but then apologizes profusely (though insincerely). His tactic works to ward off the investor’s unwanted advances, and the meal comes to an end.
Elsewhere, Se-hee refuses a ride from his colleague and insists on taking the bus home. Meanwhile, Ji-ho arrives at the bus stop, and lets a bus pass after seeing that Se-hee wasn’t on it (aww).
Bok-nam finds her there, and offers to take her home. She declines, so he asks if her husband is coming to get her. When she says no, he tells her that he’s faster than a bus. My stranger danger radar is beeping like crazy.
After the investor leaves, Park lashes out at Sang-gu for ruining the dinner. Su-ji gives Sang-gu a ride in her car, with a designated driver behind the wheel.
She reminds Sang-gu of her warning before the meeting to not take things personally, but he says that he did act professionally because he cares about her, and wonders about her, and misses her—always.
He suddenly gets worked up and says how much he hates the way her colleagues treat her, then asks if she could not scold him today since he barely stopped himself from going berserk. She smiles to herself, then says, “You’re being cute.”
They drive by the hotel where they had their rendezvous long ago, and Su-ji asks the driver to let Sang-gu off. She tells Sang-gu to find the rest of his way home because she’s afraid she’ll act on her urge to sleep with him if they stay together any longer.
He’s totally astonished by her actions, and then she tells him that their room that night was 304, not 303 as he keeps stating. He smiles, realizing that she does remember their encounter. Cute.
Bok-nam drives Ji-ho to a spot overlooking the cityscape, calling it a date, and she frowns. He comments about her husband not taking her out on dates, and how they probably stay in drinking beer and watching television.
His words prompt Ji-ho to says that at first she thought he was just messing with her, but now she realizes that she can’t take his behavior as jokes anymore. And although she wishes she could be in the moment and appreciate how beautiful the view and his intentions are, she is beginning to feel uncomfortable.
He asks if it is because of her husband, and she refutes it, citing her own feelings of discomfort. He asks if she would have been able to enjoy the moment had she not been married, and she agrees, adding that she would feel very happy that a young, good-looking man took her to such a beautiful view. He’s intrigued by the “young and good-looking” label, but she argues that he already knows that about himself—it’s written all over his face. He’s shocked that it’s that obvious and realizes that his innate confidence must’ve come off as dislikable at times.
He takes her back to her house, and Bok-nam hands Ji-ho a pink book as a gift, figuring that as a former writer, she must like to read, though he admits picking it based on the cover. And since he isn’t very scholarly, and is instead a simple person, Ji-ho shouldn’t feel uncomfortable with him.
He assures her, “I understood what you said today. I don’t have serious intentions, to be honest. I just thought you were cute and easy, so it’d be nice to look at the view and drink beer together after work, like friends.” She objects to being called easy (as in a pushover), but he teases, “You know that yourself, and that you’re cute because of that.”
Ji-ho gets that Bok-nam is getting his revenge for teasing him about knowing that he’s good-looking, and agrees to grab beer together after work. Ji-ho starts using banmal, acting like the noona with her kid brother, and sends him off with a thwack to the head.
Se-hee returns shortly after Ji-ho and finds her cleaning up Cat’s puke. Se-hee’s been too busy with work to take Cat to the vet yet, so this time, Ji-ho offers to take Cat, and starts to say she’ll talk to Bok-nam about changing her schedule.
It looks like the mention of Bok-nam may have annoyed Se-hee a tinge, because he assures her that vet trips aren’t in their contract. Ji-ho acquiesces, and then Se-hee asks if she took the bus home today, knowing fully that Bok-nam took her home after witnessing them ride in earlier.
She thinks about it for a second, then hardens and asks if she needs to answer his question, and he confirms that she doesn’t. Gahhh, I hate this, but I also love how human this is.
In a flashback, we see that Se-hee ran into Bok-nam outside after Ji-ho went inside. He tells Se-hee that he brought Ji-ho home since it is dangerous at night, and Se-hee replies vaguely that it’s more dangerous if Bok-nam takes Ji-ho, so he should stop doing that. Is this… is this shots fired? What is this?
Se-hee’s words rile Bok-nam up and he asks if he seems like a dangerous person because he is someone with nothing to lose who’s running from reality (using words from their tense conversation at the cafe). Se-hee points out that his words seem to bother Bok-nam greatly, but says that he didn’t mean them in the way Bok-nam interpreted them. He clarifies that he simply meant that riding on motorcycles are dangerous.
But Bok-nam shoots back that he will decide whether he takes Ji-ho home, not Se-hee. Se-hee points out that it’s actually up to Ji-ho, since they have no right to decide how she commutes. He states that he was only giving his opinion since he knows that Ji-ho is bad at refusing others, and prefers that Bok-nam instead refrain from offering rides.
Worryingly, Bok-nam suddenly asks if Se-hee is so rational because he went to college, whereas he is uneducated and irrational… and has to get what he wants no matter what. Errr, omg. This music is freaking me out!
That night in his room, Se-hee receives the list of user complaints from Bo-mi, since Sang-gu is unreachable. He scrolls through the list and finds Bok-nam’s profile there—and the reason listed is stalking. Ack!
In her room, Ji-ho reads Bok-nam’s book and narrates a passage from it:
“We generally misunderstand others. We can’t say, ‘I understand how you feel.’ Instead, we can only say, ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying.’ If we don’t put in an effort, we can’t understand each other.”
She comes out of her room with her book in hand, and sees Se-hee sitting on the couch. She watches him for a long beat, as he notices a message written on the back of her book that says: “You only love one. ♥Bok-nam♥”
Frackkk, Bok-nam is a psycho. Why does Ji-ho keep meeting these losers? I honestly would like Ji-ho to have a solid second option since Se-hee isn’t emotionally available enough right now. The guy doesn’t have to be too good to be true, but it just seems a bit messed up that she’s constantly having to fend off stalkers and sexual assailants. Now I’m really worried about the cafe owner’s weird reaction to hiring Ji-ho, and I’m afraid that it might have to do with Bok-nam’s stalking. Ugh.
Based on Ji-ho’s strong narration at the end of the last episode, I thought Ji-ho was going to be petty and immature toward Se-hee, but she was perfectly mature about her misunderstanding and polite toward Se-hee in every way, which was a relief. Her strong word choice about wanting to hurt him seems to merely be a representation of the heat of a moment, and motivated by her short-term embarrassment. In actuality, in this episode she made every effort to honor his wishes and respect his boundaries.
I’m inclined to think that we’ll come back to her retaliatory reaction after those feelings culminate with something more weighted. Otherwise, it’ll be disappointing to think that the writer wrote such a dramatic cliffhanger just for the sake of it.
I do like the way Se-hee is becoming aware of Ji-ho, and slooowly becoming aware of the fact that he’s becoming aware of Ji-ho, because for him I think it’s a matter of bringing these feelings to his attention, rather than convincing him that they’re true. He doesn’t seem to be the type to entirely deny what he feels if it makes sense, but nor is he the type to come to any sort of romantic conclusion on his own. I think rather than denying that he felt jealous (or something; probably closer to protectiveness) to Bo-mi, his reaction was mostly embarrassment. It was heart-warming that Se-hee noticed that Ji-ho is the type of person that struggles to refuse others and worried about her safety when riding motorcycles. To him, that type of concern is familiar, as opposed to his concern about a romantic rival, so it makes sense that he would group them together. Se-hee and Ji-ho work best when they are looking out for each other, and being considerate of one another, so I like how that concept is being woven in as they become closer.
On another note, Sang-gu continues to delight both me and Su-ji with his sincerity and sweetness. There’s something so refreshing about a man that isn’t shy about expressing what he feels and be vulnerable, but also humble enough to quickly recognize when he’s out of line, and doesn’t have a right to tell someone how they should live their life. I really like how in sync Su-ji and Sang-gu are, and the honest way they resolved their argument. I was expecting there to be a kind of smolder between them, but instead there’s an abundance of warmth and genuine affection, which I couldn’t be happier about (and a little smolder).
Comparatively, Ho-rang and Won-seok can’t ever seem to get on the same wavelength. They are constantly asking more from their partner than they can give. Ho-rang wants a commitment that Won-seok is too immature to even entertain, meanwhile, Won-seok wants total understanding from Ho-rang as he continues to be a work in progress. I don’t agree with Ho-rang’s tactics and manipulations of Won-seok, since they are probably fundamentally incompatible as they are now, but mind games are often a staple of many relationships, so I think it’s realistic to see them go through it.
I did sort of miss that unexpected emotional punch I’ve grown accustomed to each week, but there’s still Episode 8!
- Premiere Watch: 20th Century, Witch’s Courtroom, This Life Is Our First, Mad Dog, Revenge Club, Go Back Spouses, Package, Black, Revolutionary Love
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- Poker-faced housing negotiations for Because This Life Is Our First
- Yoon Doo-joon to cameo in Because This Life Is Our First
- House-poor Lee Min-ki finds house-hunting Jung So-min in Because This Life Is Our First
- Supporting cast secured for tvN’s Because This Life Is Our First
- Jung So-min becomes Lee Min-ki’s housemate in Because This Life Is Our First
- Lee Min-ki offered new tvN drama Because This Life Is Our First