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Because This Life Is Our First: Episode 9

This episode made me deliriously happy. Just when I think the show has evened out in terms of writing quality, character depth, and richness of world, it continues to surprise me and give me so much more than I even knew I wanted. It sounds so clichéd, and painfully undescriptive, because this show is anything but clichéd or undescriptive of human emotions and human relationships, but watching this show is really its own experience. It draws on these deeply personal life experiences that feel almost too intimate at times, and yet so universal and true that it’s hard not to occasionally reexamine your life through the lens of this show. I feel like I can really put all my trust into this production team, because they tell this story so assuredly, with this delicate and heart-warming touch that fills these little aching pockets in my heart that I didn’t even know were there before.

 
Episode 9: “Because this is my first time belonging somewhere”

Se-hee takes Ji-ho firmly by the hand and together they make their way home, as Bok-nam seems to vanish into thin air. On the bus, Se-hee returns Ji-ho’s phone that he found lying on the ground at the bus stop.

She’s surprised to see so many missed calls from him, and he confirms it matter-of-factly, and somewhat tiredly. Ji-ho looks down at their still intertwined hands and sees his hand tightly gripping hers as if he’s afraid to let go.

They continue this way even as they enter their house. Se-hee asks Ji-ho politely if he can shower first since he’s sweaty after running for so long, then heads toward his door, but is genuinely taken aback when Ji-ho follows, not realizing that he is still holding her hand. You precious little potato! GAH, I love this so much!

He lets go, and Ji-ho understandingly goes to her room without making a big deal out of it. Se-hee lingers for a moment in front of his door as if he wants to tell her something, but heads inside instead.

After they wash up, Se-hee finds Ji-ho in the living room looking at the complaint against Bok-nam for stalking. Se-hee explains that Bok-nam is also a likely suspect in that horrifying kidnapping incident.

Alarmed, Ji-ho asks why Se-hee hadn’t notified her of this information earlier. He cites her concerns about finding it difficult to obtain a part-time job, and so Ji-ho replies that she would have appreciated some kind of warning, and could have acted like she didn’t know anything around Bok-nam.

He doubts her claim, and she’s about to argue until she remembers those times she got upset with him and her emotions were written all over her face. She looks away contrite and embarrassed.

They wonder how Bok-nam learned about their contractual marriage, and Ji-ho suggests it might be because she saved Se-hee’s number as “Landlord,” which could have put Bok-nam on their trail.

Se-hee asks why she would save his number that way, since it’s an unusual title between spouses; she could have used his name. But when she asks what he saved her as, he realizes that it’s “Tenant.” Ha!

Se-hee informs Ji-ho that Bo-mi’s uncle (a police officer) has been notified so Bok-nam will be dealt with soon, and likely detained. They become distracted by the soccer game on TV, but after the excitement settles Ji-ho quietly thanks Se-hee for coming to get her. She also thanks him for referring to their home as “our home.”

Se-hee looks thoughtful then asks if Ji-ho was very hurt when he drew a line between them and asked to avoid situations where they’d need to act like a couple. Ji-ho admits that she was, and so Se-hee explains that he merely did not want to be a burden on Ji-ho’s life.

He adds that although their terms were mutually agreed upon, he worried that after their arrangement comes to an end, she might endure some negative repercussions from society since she is a woman, and younger than him.

Therefore, he thought it best to minimize the effects of their relationship as much as he could. He’d made a promise to her mother at the wedding that he wouldn’t stand in her way—a promise he wanted to continue keeping in the future. Man, I can’t believe I ever doubted you, Se-hee. Best fake husband ever.

After they each retire to their rooms for the night, Ji-ho calls Se-hee, to his bewilderment. Without explanation, she tells Se-hee that after she graduated college and began working as an assistant writer, her monthly pay was so paltry (roughly 800 dollars) that her father demanded she come home to work on the farm, where she’d earn more.

Despite that, she embarked on her career anyway. She never thought she would become a famous writer or anything; rather, she fell in love with a script she found and had fun writing each day.

She didn’t have a grand plan for her life, nor does she mean to plan what happens in two years when their contract is over. If she’d thought too hard about it, she probably wouldn’t have gone through with the marriage. But she needed a room, and liked how safe she felt in the house, and how trustworthy the landlord was. And she likes being a part of the household.

Since it isn’t important what happens in two years, she asks him not to draw a line between them anymore. He agrees, then has a request of his own: that she call him “Husband” in front of others, because he’s worried that something dangerous might happen again and doesn’t want anyone thinking she lives alone. He adds sweetly that for the next two years she belongs to this household with him.

She smiles, then it occurs to her to ask how he was able to find her tonight. We flashback to Se-hee finding Ji-ho’s phone at the bus stop. He checked Ji-ho’s photos and found similar cityscape photos on Bok-nam’s Instagram.

He hurried to the location, but since the road was blocked to cars, he ran up the hill on foot, a half-hour’s trip (discarding his bag and coat along the way), until he found her. Guys, my heart. I’m not sure I can take anymore of this awesomeness.

After they hang up, Ji-ho smiles to herself as she changes Se-hee’s ID to “Husband,” and thinks back to him telling her to come home with him.

The next morning, Ji-ho and Se-hee stare at renamed contact IDs, which now read “Husband” and “Wife.” Ji-ho touches the phone affectionately, but doesn’t realize she’s accidentally called Se-hee until he answers the phone. She runs out of bed and into the hall, where Se-hee comes out, both with their phones against her ears.

She stammers to explain that she called by accident. He accepts her explanation, then they ask how the other slept. Cat meows—surprising Ji-ho—and Se-hee remarks, without missing a beat, that Cat came home by cab yesterday alone, and he let her in.

Ji-ho asks in surprise if Cat can do that, so Se-hee explains that it was a joke. She studies his face with wide-eyed amazement, and so he sheepishly looks down, then they share a quiet laugh.

They receive simultaneous calls about the kidnapping culprit’s arrest, and watch the news report on their bus ride to work. Ji-ho can hardly believe Bok-nam is a criminal, so Se-hee wisely remarks that a person doesn’t even know themselves fully, so it’s even harder to know others. Se-hee worries about Ji-ho going to work given the current situation, but Ji-ho assures him that she’ll be fine since Bok-nam has already been arrested.

At work, Sang-gu and Bo-mi privately ask Se-hee about what happened with Bok-nam. They’re worried that he physically assaulted Bok-nam, but Se-hee is insulted that they would assume that and explains (rather proudly) that he only kicked the motorcycle.

Sang-gu and Bo-mi are horrified to hear it, and Bo-mi says that the culprit has been arrested and shows Se-hee a close-up photo of the culprit… which is definitely not Bok-nam. Crap.

Sang-gu and Bo-mi explain that the real culprit used Bok-nam’s photos to create fake accounts and approached multiple women on dating apps. Se-hee panics and swallows hard as reality (and the hefty repair bill) sets in.

Ji-ho strolls into her job completely unaware of their huge mistake, and freaks out at the sight of Bok-nam casually eating breakfast with the cafe owner.

The cafe owner already knows about the motorcycle incident with Se-hee, but doesn’t know about Bok-nam’s alleged stalking, so Ji-ho whispers it to him. She thinks he’s broken out of police custody somehow and begins calling the police, so the cafe owner starts shouting at Ji-ho for being out of line.

Bok-nam suddenly says it’s fine, and calls the cafe owner “Dad,” which gets Ji-ho’s attention. The cafe owner then hollers at Ji-ho to call her husband over immediately.

Next thing we know, the couple sits respectfully before the irate cafe owner, and Se-hee apologizes for jumping to the wrong conclusions. The owner rebukes Se-hee for breaking Bok-nam’s treasured motorcycle instead of talking out their misunderstanding.

The owner walks away to take a call, so Bok-nam takes his seat and tells the couple that he wasn’t going to make it a big deal out of it, but now that his dad is involved, there is no helping it. He mentions that he hasn’t told his father about one thing though: their fake marriage.

They don’t even bother denying it, but are surprised as to how he figured it out. He explains that he was on the bus with them the day of their wedding. He had overheard their conversation about splitting wedding expenses, which it struck him as very odd.

Coincidentally, Bok-nam worked as a server at their wedding, which is where he saw Ji-ho with her hair up. He watched Se-hee and Ji-ho interact with interest and concluded that they weren’t in a normal relationship.

After taking wedding photos with their friends, Bok-nam suggested that they take couple shots, which they’d both refused. Eventually, they stood for another photo, and Bok-nam commented on how distant their body language was and suggested a kiss (which freaked them out), or an arm around the waist. He whispered to Bo-mi that the couple would blame her forever if their wedding photos didn’t come out well, so she’d joined him in pressing for skinship poses.

And so, Se-hee put out a very stiff arm, which Ji-ho awkwardly shook. (OMG, how did they not get caught before with their unbelievable acting?)

Bok-nam’s explanation now makes perfect sense, except for why he’d taken out a wrench the night before. Bok-nam rolls his eyes and demonstrates popping the cap off a beer bottle using the wrench. Mortified, Ji-ho takes a swig of the beer to calm herself, and Bok-nam announces that he’s going to file an insurance claim for his bike tomorrow, which gets Se-hee to his feet to speak with Bok-nam privately (addressing him progressively more politely).

Ji-ho meets up with her girls later to go to a meet-up with their old high school friends, and fills them in on the Bok-nam incident. Luckily, the main repair cost is the side mirror, which they’ll pay back in installments.

Su-ji offers as a consolation that they’ve come to see Se-hee in a new light through this experience. I’ll say. Worth every penny.

Su-ji calls Se-hee a devoted person, and Ho-rang attributes it to the power of love. Ho-rang makes a jab about Su-ji not understanding love’s mysterious ways, and Su-ji barks at her to back off since she’s in a bad mood, dreading the meet-up they’re going to. Ho-rang and Ji-ho aren’t sure what she means, but she just replies cryptically that they’ll see soon.

At the gathering, the conversation is dominated by questions about Ji-ho’s newlywed life. This time she’s able to answer some questions truthfully (given their recent interactions), but still needs to be a little creative with her other answers to sound believable.

She describes Se-hee’s affectionate routine with Cat when he comes home, slotting herself in Cat’s place, and uses vague terms so it sounds like they are living a passionate newlywed life. Hahaha, oh dear.

It’s enough to convince the friends, but soon it becomes evident why Su-ji was dreading the meet-up after one friend thoughtlessly dismisses Ho-rang’s opinions on pregnancy, and another condescendingly suggesting Su-ji quit smoking in case she might want to get married one day.

Afterwards, our girls debrief on the gathering and Su-ji wonders why people become so nosy after they get married, and like telling people what to do.

They notice Ho-rang snacking after their meal and Ho-rang explains that she had an upset stomach during the dinner because of her great envy of her friend’s married lives. And Ji-ho and Su-ji just watch her eat quietly, unable to think of anything to say.

Afterward as Ji-ho and Ho-rang walk back together, Ho-rang says that Ji-ho has something in common now with their married friends. Ji-ho asks why Ho-rang wants to get married, just as they come to a shop window featuring two mannequins—one wearing a red coat, another wearing black.

Ho-rang recalls how she always loved brightly colored clothing when she was younger, and never wore a boring color like black, but now that she’s older she gravitates toward clothes that don’t stand out.

She describes one of her mother’s friends: healthy, young-looking, successful at her high-powered job. All her mother’s friends envy this woman, yet they always leave her out of group outings. Ho-rang calls the lady “a red coat”—she never married due to her busy career, and now she sticks out in the crowd.

Ho-rang wants to live an ordinary family life like everyone else, wearing a black coat and fitting in. She describes marriage as her validation as a decent person who has value as a woman.

In voiceover, Ji-ho narrates: “Ho-rang was a girl who looked good in red. She was always confident even when she wore a coat that stood out—that’s how Ho-rang used to be. When did we begin to feel shame for wearing a different color? What’s even more bitter is that I also felt happy for wearing a black coat that resembles marriage. No, to be honest, it felt really good. It felt good… belonging somewhere.”

Ji-ho rides the bus home and receives a group text from the married high school friends encouraging her to meet up with them more often. From the window, she’s pleasantly surprised to see Se-hee waiting at the bus stop for her. He explains that he was worried given the incident with Bok-nam yesterday and the late hour of her return.

They walk back home and discuss Ji-ho’s meeting with her old friends. She describes feeling closer to the married women than she did before, as if she is now part of group she never was before, which she calls a good feeling.

Se-hee tells Ji-ho that she’s entering into a new level in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, since she has satisfied her more urgent, basic needs (food, shelter, safety). Now, she’s seeking to satisfy the third level, which is her psychological need to belong.

As he describes those feelings as animal-like in terms of behavior, and his scientific lecture stretches on, Ji-ho thinks to herself, “Occasionally… I think he’s really annoying.”

The next morning, Won-seok loudly cleans their room and repeatedly nags Ho-rang to wake up. She tries to get him off her back, but he doesn’t relent, and even proceeds to criticize her slovenly appearance, which gets her angry. He chides her for having dirty nails, and when she holds her fingers up to prove they’re clean, she sees a ring there.

Won-seok tells her about his favorite mathematician, Kurt Godel, and his theorem of incompleteness, which serves as the basis of modern computer systems. The theorem states that not all mathematical proofs can be proven even if they are mathematical truths.

He likens the theorem to his desire to prove himself to her, but realizes now that their love could never be completely proven, because their love is a perfect truth. She orders him to stop talking and get to the point, and so he finally asks the question: “Will you marry me?”

Ho-rang immediately bursts into tears, asking him if they are really getting married. Awww.

The next day at their company meeting, Sang-gu announces the hiring of Won-seok as their new developer. The team is not happy by the news, and so Se-hee pulls Sang-gu aside to explain that Won-seok’s app was a total failure, and suggests he not make staffing decisions based on sympathy.

Sang-gu, however, explains Won-seok’s genius as a developer, though he lacks (apparently basic) business acumen. It isn’t a pity hire, he declares.

Se-hee studies Sang-gu’s face, and when Sang-gu notices, he asks if Sang-gu has been crying. Sang-gu is alarmed by the question, so Se-hee explains that Sang-gu’s eyes always turn red after crying.

Sang-gu emphatically denies it, so Se-hee lets it go, figuring that he can’t understand someone fully even if he’s known him for eighteen years. Sang-gu seems satisfied with Se-hee’s rational thinking, until Se-hee asks why he was crying. LOL.

The entire company heads over to Ji-ho’s cafe that afternoon, where Su-ji chats with Bok-nam about his motorcycle and slings her arm around his shoulder like a kid brother. But seeing that, a tear falls down Sang-gu’s face, his mind flooding with his memories of Su-ji. When she turns around and sees him, he runs off.

She happens upon him around the corner as he’s crying and immediately frets over him, worrying that he’s ill. Hearing his employees nearby calling for him, she hurries him to her car before he’s seen.

In her car, Su-ji tries to comfort him, not knowing she’s the cause. Sang-gu says that he can’t give up his company, but knows if he doesn’t then he can’t see her anymore. It dawns on her that he had taken her ultimatum literally, which she finds completely adorable.

She peeks at his tear-streaked face and asks if she can kiss him. He’s bewildered by the question, but when she backs off, he quietly adds that that isn’t what he meant, and then they kiss.

Ji-ho narrates:

“Most of us misunderstand others. We shouldn’t say, ‘I know how you feel.’ The reason I’m hopeful is because I know people have their limits, and unless we try hard, we can’t understand each other. Love exists in this kind of world, and as long as you love someone, we need to try hard, because trying hard for the other person makes life something worth trying.”

During the voiceover, we see Won-seok’s former co-workers of his alarm app send him angry text messages for abandoning them. Meanwhile, Se-hee diverts his co-workers from seeing Sang-gu and Su-ji kissing in the car, then enters the cafe where he’s greeted by Ji-ho. They share a warm smile, and when Bok-nam sees it, he smiles too.

Later, Bok-nam sees Ji-ho looking at the book he gave her, and supposes it must be a good book. Apologetically, she asks if he is still upset with her, and he’s a bit indignant, but admits that he’s forgiven her because Se-hee is a cool guy.

He says that she met a good landlord, but when Ji-ho asks what Se-hee had told Bok-nam during their private conversation about the mirror earlier, we don’t hear his response. But Ji-ho’s in a great mood later that night as she waits at the bus stop for Se-hee’s bus, then boards it to join him.

As they walk home together, Ji-ho says there are so many stars in the sky, but Se-hee looks up to see it completely overcast. She happily trots along, and he looks after her not quite sure what she’s talking about.

At home, they look over their wedding album, and Ji-ho says a bit regretfully that their group seems small. Se-hee replies that she should have called more of her friends, but Ji-ho replies that she’s only really close with Ho-rang and Su-ji.

Se-hee calls two friends a lot, and believes that having more than one friend is more than enough. Ji-ho asks meaningfully if that applies to love too, saying that she thinks one love in a lifetime would be enough. He agrees with that sentiment.

Later in his room, as Se-hee opens a box in his closet in search of a spare mouse, he sees a book of poetry and a folded paper tucked inside.

He opens the paper and we see that it is a completed marriage application, dated December 24th, 2005. Se-hee is listed as the husband, and the wife is a woman named “Jung Min.”

Ji-ho texts to her friends that she’s started to like someone: her husband. Her friends think she’s bragging about her marital bliss and reply in mock-annoyance.

She smiles, her thoughts aflutter as she thinks, “The one and only love in my life… has begun.”

COMMENTS

I’m relieved that the misunderstanding with Bok-nam was resolved sensibly. Truthfully, while watching the last episode I did feel like Bok-nam was acting a little too sinister, when other aspects of his character have suggested more ambiguity. It did seem as if the writing left an opening for Bok-nam to explain himself as he did in this episode, but I still would like to know why Bok-nam acted so territorial about Ji-ho to Se-hee. A possible explanation is that he was trying to provoke some kind of response from Se-hee in order to force him to confirm that their relationship wasn’t real. Either way, I’m happy to move on from the weird, creepy tone of last week’s episodes since it seemed a bit out of step with the rest of the show.

I find it kind of hard to believe that Se-hee, Ji-ho, and Bo-mi wouldn’t recognize Bok-nam from the wedding since he interacted with them. Additionally, if Bok-nam is as handsome and visually popular he has been previously established to be, then I’m somewhat surprised that no one remembered him at all after a solid interaction. But I think the situation was mostly written well, and I’m happy to just accept things as they are because Bok-nam was the impetus for bringing the leads closer together and clearing up any misunderstandings, and any more time spent on his mystery would have been wasted time.

Speaking of, that honest and wonderful conversation between Se-hee and Ji-ho was more than I ever thought to ask for. We got some much-needed insight into Se-hee’s thought process, and I find it amazing that everything we needed to know—about how he feels, and why he’s acting the way that he was toward Ji-ho—was already told to us, and so consistent with his character. That moment Ji-ho overheard with Mom and Se-hee had as much impact on him as it did on her, but the interpretation was different. I’m not super excited about exploring Se-hee’s first and supposedly only love to come, but I know the writer is going handle it in an interesting and moving way, which will ultimately help build Se-hee and Ji-ho’s relationship, so I’m happy to go wherever the show wants to take me.

The writing, acting, and production of this drama has such amazing synergy that keeps me constantly in awe of how thoughtful and thought-provoking the show often is. Every character is complex, full-formed and brimming with this earnest desire to be understood. I really love the way this theme of trying to understand one another is woven into the DNA of this story. It’s just so satisfying on so many levels.

At every turn, the three couples show that they are willing to put in the work and be vulnerable enough to express themselves and their feelings honestly, and in this episode we see how those efforts paid off. Ho-rang went on a limb and let herself be in the position of being painted as the clingy or desperate one in the relationship by bringing up marriage first, but then clearly articulated to us and Ji-ho how much getting married meant to her. Won-seok, who clearly knows and loves Ho-rang more than we do, put her feelings above his own. I know they still have things to work through, but narratively I enjoyed how their relationship progressed in this episode, and how the proposal was paired with Ho-rang’s desire to belong to the group of married people.

These characters really do have so many layers and I love being surprised and moved along with the characters when their partner or friends reveal new sides of themselves, or powerful reasons for their deeply held beliefs. I don’t have to agree with Ho-rang’s interpretation of the red coat woman to understand her, and feel the strength and fear in her belief. There is always this temptation as a viewer to jump ahead and analyze character growth trajectories and relationship progression rates, but being in the moment with the characters as they learn more about themselves and other people is really the best feeling in the world.
 

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Thanks for the recap! Can I just say, holy crap at that plot twist! I would never have guessed that Se-hee had been married - and presumably in love - before. That makes me nervous for Ji-ho because she’s already falling hard, but Se-hee is definitely going to be more cautious if this isn’t his first time around. But then stuff happens like that hand hold, or their phone conversation resolving their boundary issues and I can’t help but think that they’re perfect for each other.

I know this has been said before, but I really love the way they address such realistic issues in this show. Even if I can’t relate to the specific situation, I can relate to the general sentiment. For example, Ho-rang talking about wanting to stand out vs. wanting to belong really got to me, even though I can’t relate to the marriage side of things. I love how this show hits the perfect balance between contemplation and hilarity. Because on the side of hilarity, that handshake wedding photo and the fact that Se-hee was doing it unironically killed me.

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The marriage thing came as a surprise to me too! But I do wonder, was he always this emotionless (and the other girl liked him for who he is), or was he once different? I say this because I expected for someone who's pretending to be in a contract marriage to be... a little better at pretending. Skinship = a handshake? Hah!

I really related to Ho-rang in this episode. I never did before, but in this episode Ji-ho's description of HR moved me. I can't even explain exactly why I relate to it, but it just speaks to me on a deeper level.

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I have two scenarios in my mind, 1) It was a blind date because his father still demanded him to marry, the woman thought she could "fix him" and left when that didn't work and he is cautious about being loved FOR his traits, not DESPITE it, or something. 2) He loved and married her but she was a scam artist and left him in huge debt which is why he is so cold and calculating and appreciates money. 3) They were in love and married but something involving his father made them divorce. Perhaps it was a secret wedding that only the three of them know about since none of his relatives mentions her so far.

I can't relate to Ho-rang's desire to marry, and I definetely don't like how the married women were acting, but I think I know why I relate to her otherwise; she used to love standing out and be more of an individual, but now she has lost that and changed it to a desire of fitting in. And they are not sure whether that is a change that happened naturally when she grew up, or if society shamed her so much she lost confidence and self-worth. Because it is completely fine to change by yourself, and I do feel many teenagers that like rebelling and standing out eventually calm down when they turn older. But it is a shame if she was forced to think so because of society.

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I think Se Hee's father was involved with whatever happened with his first marriage attempt.

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I'm tempted to think that his first love ended tragically, like they loved each other but she died or something happened that they had to separate. I think his dad had a hand in the separation, or else blocked/opposed the wedding. Maybe that's why he keeps talking of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, because he's convinced himself that his love was only that.

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i would agree with this, a tragic ending -- which explains why he got so angry for the injured cat he now keeps, and why he didn't realize he was still clutching her hand when they got home. he's been traumatized by something from that previous relationship...

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So far, the writer has subverted a lot of drama tropes, so I would like to propose a crazy theory: that Se-hee simply let go of Jung-min 12 years ago, without much drama (externally) on his part, given how good he has always been at masking his emotions. (***A bit of spoiler for the next ep***) Se-hee mentioned of a heated confrontation with his father 12 years ago. If Se-hee was 20ish then, that means he has not yet established himself financially and professionally. But perhaps he was so smitten with this Jung-min to the point that he really wanted to marry her. Perhaps Jung-min was in the same university as he was, or perhaps a student of his dad?

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When the recapper called it a “completed marriage application form” i wondered it it ever reached the submission stage. If See Hee wanted to marry young and his father disapproved and interferred? I also wonder that the degree of See Hee’s concern for the safety of Ji ho coming home at night lies in a previous traumatic experience with this first love. This might tie into his intense reaction to finding Cat abandoned and injured.
I just hope first love doesn’t show up after living out of the country for 10 plus years and expect to take up where they left off like so many other dramas.
As for Ho-rang, I think she is right that there is a social division between married and unmarried and between having children and being childless. Part of it is a status conferred by society’s values and part of it is “birds of a feather flock together.” We seek out others who share our interests as it genders a sense of community and reinforces our present priorities.

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The whole married and non married notion also strongly applies in the workforce. I've heard stories of women who did get married later are applauded by their co-workers for finally settling down etc. When really it's not for others to judge on someones personal lifestyle.

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I watched a drama before.and heard from somewhere that some couple actually fill up the form even when they are not yet want to get married...like, for fun.. I mean that could happened if u were really in love, and it's like some sort of promise too. Maybe thay could have happened with sehee and that jungmin? Kekekeke i seriously don't know

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I dont think I can place Se-hee with a TRAGIC love experience. I mean a true love once experienced is bound to leave behind much fuller insight no matter how tragically it ended(say his first love died or had to be separated). On the contrary Se-hee has a much cynical view of love, we know that he thinks a roof above your head and money are much more needed than love and such sentiments. In this episode itself he treated belonging & such emotions as mere animal traits. Such opinion is bound to come from a BITTER love experience, not a tragic one.
And also remember how Se-hee reacted in episode 5 after Ji-ho had said she loves him in front of his parents. He had commented how easy it is to say you love somebody... So I think Se-hee once loved but was cruelly shown reality and my guess is it was for reasons like monetary requirements only, which made him cynical and calculative as we see him now.
So I agree with your option 1 & 2 more.
BTW sorry for this long reply 😯

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That's my guess as well. Twelve years ago, he was still in his 20s, that means post-army duty, and unemployed.

Perhaps originally, he really thought he could just get married and that he and his wife could stay in his parents' home. Maybe that's the time the father asserted that THAT was his house.

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Ho Rang’s obsession with marriage and the mind games she plays with Won Seok are starting to annoy me. I just feel like they don’t have a strong relationship. She hasn’t even considered things from his side and keeps throwing tantrums instead of rationally and calmly discussing marriage.

I’m loving Soo Ji and Sang Goo though. They’re absolutely adorable!

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handshake wedding photo! oh my god, i just laugh out loud watching those two. can our OTP be more adorable ? their awkwardness did not feel like act at all, instead it created real humour situation.

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I know right!! the greatest ROFL moment. The fact that she obliged with that was so charming. Its amazing how in sync they are for most parts.

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I wonder if they didn't kiss in the wedding.. Wasn't there a ceremony held?

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Maybe there was a kiss, and that it will be used later as a flashback for another Bok-nam moment? lol

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That twist indeed!! It makes his statement about loving once in a lifetime kinda sad and heartbreaking. Ji-ho is referring to him, but Se-hee is probably thinking of his previous wife. Did she die? Are they divorced? So many questions!!!

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I'm guessing, like someone else did, that Sehee's previous wife or fiancee (I don't know if they actually got married) was derailed somehow by Sehee's father, and he continues to resent that. I also think that somehow Kitty is somehow part of it -- like the cat was hers and she left her behind when she left Sehee's life.

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Kitty couldn't possibly be owned by the ex, since Kitty was found abandoned on the streets when Se Hee found her, and SH presumably was kicked out of their house 12 years ago. Kitty can't be 12 years old. She still looks like a kitten.

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wow 12 years ago = 2005 = the year the marriage registration form with jung min was filled....!!!

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And he was probably less cynical and more naive to the cruel ways of the world.

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I don't think it go to the marriage state? BecAuse had he submitted his marriage registration, he wouldn't have it now? So I don't think he was married? Just almost married?

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Ahh...he was planning on it but it somehow got derailed. Makes sense

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I love this show. The writing and the directing are great. The characters are flawed in a relatable way and it really makes us, the viewers think.
Also the pacing of the show is great, the conflicts are not dragged out and there is always an explanation as to how and why something happened.
Another thing, I do not think that See Hee is married, he might have thought of getting married already but, unless you don’t register the wedding, then it would be as if the marriage didn’t happen.
Possible reason that he and his dad are not in good terms is because of an old conflict between them about See Hee marrying.

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Lol at the handshake 😂

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Except Jiho, i can't be the only one who believed the joke about the cat taking a cab and finding it's way home ?!? LOL

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All I know is... Find someone who treats you the way Se Hee treats his cat. I literally LOL'd when Ji Ho described her newlywed life as if she was Cat.

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That was so funny!! I love this show...

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yeah it was a very funny scene. Kitty is so cute and lucky. I envy her and Ji-ho even more lol

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I LOLed so hard at that 'when hubby comes home' scene. The real love triangle is with Cat. Which is hilarious because Cat probably wants Ji Ho and Se Hee together. 😂

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Kitty is the Second Lead of the show, and let me just say, I have SLS hard core. Kitty needs more scenes, she fits with Se Hee far better than anyone else!! And if Se Hee ignores her for Ji Ho, I'll take her. ;)

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God, I wanted to be Kitty, LOL!!!! I thought they were going to show JiHo's imagination when he threw his bag to the couch.... but then he picked up Kitty and left, XD!

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Lol. I'm still curious about how kitty got home

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Same. After laughing at the totally unfunny joke (the most deadpan sarcasm I've ever encountered) I was like... wait! Se-hee! You didn't answer the question!

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Plotwist: maybe Se-hee wasn't joking after all!

With his über-intelligence, I wouldn't be surprised if he taught Kitty how to ride a cab. Lmao

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Nah, he just called an Uber ride for Kitty! Hahaha.

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For a moment, I actually believed what he said cos he said it in a very serious face LOL. I have always wondered why someone who don't like to be too involved in relationships own a pet cat which requires attention. I think it says a lot about his character. How important cat is in his life. I also like how he does not label cat with a name - he just accept cat as it is. No need for names. Also portray how genuine he is with regards to relationships.

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Sehee's joke killed me. I'm dead.

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I love to see Se Hee smiling often in this episode.. he even cracked a joke although the delivery was so deadpan.. haha!! And I also love that scene when he solved the Rubik's cube in front of his otficemates in less than a minute and felt so proud relaxing his fingers.. hahahaha! We're seeing the comical Se Hee!

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THE HANDS. THE HAND HOLDING. THE HAAAAAAANDS!

I just adore this drama so much. It’s as if someone reached into my brain and created my very own personal perfect TV show. If I commented on every part of this episode that I loved then I would literally be writing out this entire recap so I’m not going to do that. I’m going to focus my comments on the relationships.

Every episode, I’m amazed at our couple’s ability to communicate. It can get so frustrating watching dramas and seeing the main couple act dumb. It’s a lazy way to create conflict and often results in characters acting out-of-character. That never happens here, though. We learn more and more about both of them in every episode, but this reveals are still consistent with their characters. They’re just so tightly written and I love it.

I couldn’t handle it when Ji-ho thanked Se-hee and told him how that house is a safe place for her and how she trusted Se-hee. And then he told her that she belongs in that house? I died. I died right then and there. Then I came back to life and they continued to talk on their phones when they were in their bedrooms and I died again. Some shows introduce interesting themes and don’t end up actually going anywhere with them, but BTLIOF is not one of those. It has weaved its themes through all of the episodes and actually develops them and it is SO satisfying.

Ji-ho has felt lost since episode 1 of this drama, feeling like she doesn’t have anywhere to go (and for a while she really didn’t--she was basically homeless). Him telling her that she belonged there almost made me cry. I also like how the theme of belonging was weaved into Ho-rang’s storyline, too. I hope she decides to wear a red coat again.

And do I even have to mention when Se-hee told her to put him in her phone as her husband instead of “Landlord”, and to not call him her landlord anymore? As usual he had logical reasoning for it, but you could totally tell that he just wanted it. He wanted to be acknowledged as her husband (and to acknowledge her as his wife). That whole scene was just a fantastic performance from both of our leads. I was mesmerized.

The part that really got me, though, is when he asked her if he hurt her when he drew a line, and that his reasoning for drawing it was basically exactly the same thing that Su-ji told Sang-gu in the previous episode. Their marriage contract has an expiration date, and when relationships break off it’s usually the woman who gets the brunt of the criticism. I loved that he had the foresight to realize that. He did it to protect her--not in a noble idiot kind of way, but for rational yet heartfelt reasons. He did it to avoid being a burden to her. One of my favorite things about this drama is how every scene and every line is important. They connect our main couple’s relationship with Su-ji/Sang-gu and Ho-rang/Won-seok. It is such a powerful narrative tool and once again I’m blown away by this writer.

One other thing I want to...

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...highlight is Se-hee’s friendship with Sang-gu. So far we’ve seen plenty of Ji-ho, Su-ji, and Ho-rang’s friendship and how strong it is despite how different they are, and how good they are for each other (Ji-ho’s conversation with Ho-rang nearly brought me to tears). This episode we finally got a closer look at Se-hee and Sang-gu’s relationship, and I loved it. The fact that Se-hee knows exactly what Sang-gu’s eyes look like after he cries? Oh, that got me right in the heart. And how he asked him what was wrong without being pushy about it. When they cut to the team walking to the cafe, Se-hee was still watching Sang-gu, making sure he was okay. And then he bought cake (!) for everyone just to give him and Su-ji their privacy.

This drama has so many well-developed relationships, both romantic and platonic. Bravo, show. I can’t help but fall in love with you even more every day.

I don’t even know what to say about that ending. I feel like it’s pointless to try and decipher it. I don’t fully trust this writer’s cliffhangers anymore haha, she always subverts my expectations. I’ll just let her take me wherever she wants with this story.

Ending this post once again by talking about LMK’s eyes--specifically, when he was looking at Sang-gu. That gaze! It doesn’t matter whether it’s for Ji-ho or Sang-gu, it’s always so good. Lee Min-ki, you’re killing me.

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Wow, good catch about Sang-gu and Se-hee's friendship. I've been thinking that they're too "familiar" (if you can use such a word with Se-hee) to have been just employer and employee, so this episode's mention of their 18-year friendship was a nice way to show-not-tell.

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I'm glad they showed us a little insight into Se Hee and Sang Gu's friendship. And we got to see again that when it really matters Se Hee is willing to spend money (treating coworkers to cake to cover for Sang Gu).

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Haha, even I was so surprised that he actually bought cake to create a distraction! If his brain space is divided between Kitty and his loan, we can see how they're slowly ceasing to matter, in front of his feelings for Ji Ho and his other relationships. 😊

I’ll just let her take me wherever she wants with this story.

I feel the same! When Ji Ho was telling Se Hee that 'I feel safe in this house' - I was thinking, I feel safe in this dramaland, and I could watch these two forever!

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I need to look up the PD and writernim for this show ~ they have made me their fan as much as Lee Min Ki has during this show!

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Me too!! What are the other dramas he/she penned? Are they as good as BTLIOf??

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"I don’t fully trust this writer’s cliffhangers anymore haha, she always subverts my expectations. I’ll just let her take me wherever she wants with this story."

Yes, I'm with you on that. I don't trust the previews. That kiss scene could be in episode 12 or 13 for all we know. Fooled me already with Bok nam - all the way down to the sinister music.
I'll just go with the flow

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Right? SH always have that kind of care and attention for someone close to him. Just like what he did to Sang gu :D

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yes, this. this is what i adore so much from this drama. the way OTP communicate their mind, their feeling to each other. i don't care if the scene only showing they are sitting and talk, i will still be amazed with this show.

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it's those honest sweet relaxing conversations they share in the house or in the bus (lately on the phone) that makes this otp so special ♥

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I not only love what they communicate to each other, but also how they communicate. I love their calm and slow way of speaking. At the end of a really long hard day watching this episode, their conversations (especially the one in the beginning of the episode to clear up the misunderstanding) really soothed my soul and chased away some of the exhaustion I felt.

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That's because the agreement between them is clear unlike 'marriage' and so are their expectations of each other. Thus no games & no dramas ...Cool...

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communication,
GOOD communication
good TWO-WAY communication
is basically the lesson of this brilliantly written & acted kdrama romcom.

May it serve as an example for the many more to come.

as you so wisely pointed out @mindy, there is NOTHING more satisfying than watching Se-Hee/Ji-Ho or Sang-Gu/Soo-Ji actually talk things through with full clear sentences !

I mean, woooow!! No foolish 3-ep-long misunderstandings?!??!

This show gives me LIFE!

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I love Ji ho's character. She's just as different as Se hee. I love how she thinks. The perfect match for Se hee.

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"It can get so frustrating watching dramas and seeing the main couple act dumb. It’s a lazy way to create conflict and often results in characters acting out-of-character."

This.. that's why I stayed away from rom coms these past months.. Because This Life is our First is indeed a breath of fresh air.. 😍

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I always thought Se Hee was just like that since forever . It will be amusing to see how he was before in a relationship. I mean I can't imagine this guy who tells joke with a straight face in a relationship. I love this show. Went in without any expectation and yet it capture my pains of being an adult and all those woes that society expects you to be.

PS. Mr. Ma is such a gem. How can someone be this pure hearted?

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"I always thought Se Hee was just like that since forever"

Him being like "that" is so intense and complete that I doubt he was very different before. I do think that whatever happened with his marriage probably caused him to be more emotionally closed-off, but overall I just think it's his personality. I feel like he was always a weird cookie.

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I agree, I do think he's always been a weird cookie (what a cute way to describe it!), but perhaps the incident in the past made it a little worse.

It's a good thing Ji-ho has a thing for this weird cookie. :B

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Totally agree. See him with the Rubik's cube. See him talking about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Heartbreak might have made him more emotionally closed-off like you said, but I would bet SH's personality is basically the same.

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I'm with you on the always-a-weird-cookie too. I'd be disappointed if heartbreak overturned Se-hee's personality into a robot, but this episode taught me to trust the writer!

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I think we're safe. There have been a lot of offhand remarks about engineers and their personality types, and Won Seok and Bomi both share traits with Se Hee... which the writer has portrayed as a perfectly normal personality type.

Maybe being closed off and financially focused has a lot to do with the twelve year old mystery and marriage certificate, but I don't think the uber-logical character is a result of that.
Ma Sanggu and Se Hee (and maybe Bomi?) are the co-founding partners ; CEO Ma is the CEO because he's the businessman. Seeing him network at the wedding in an early episode, he knows how to hustle and sell ideas. Se Hee probably agreed to work for him and be the designer/ tech guy if CEO Ma met his conditions (as outlined at the beginning episodes when he ditches work to feed Cat). Ho Rang mentioned they were both co-founders when she talked about Ji Ho becoming an exec's wife before her.

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No real proof about Bomi's part, just that she seems to be treated more like an equal/confidant to the founding two rather than an employee.

(Also in Episode 8, so don't read on if you haven't watched it yet, ............................... ....................................................................... she's Won Seok's immediate superior.)

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I think he was always a weird cookie too - but not as much as was implied when he was first introduced. It's like each episode is revealing hidden layers to his personality - his thoughtfulness in thinking of Ji-Ho's situation after their separation, his understanding with Sang Goo(and to think that I never thought of them as more than acquaintances! I was so touched when Se Hee says 'even though we've been friends for 18 years', and realized that Sang Goo's his best friend) It goes to show that a constant deadpan expression doesn't mean that a person is unfeeling, he's just not given to emoting facially. 😅

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I think sangoo even called him his "julchin" meaning best friends. I'm pretty sure he did. I'd have to go back to hear it again, but I'm happy to hear they've been friends for 18 years. SH obviously likes and cares for SG considering how he noticed him crying and wanting to know why. More and more drama is showing us that SH has a lot more depth and emotion to him than we first initially saw.

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Oh, I didn't know that - that's the problem with subtitles, so many finer details lost in translation!

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I totally agree about Mr. Ma/San-gu being a gem. When he was crying, I couldn't help but wish someone would just give the poor guy a hug.

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"Went in without any expectation and yet it capture my pains of being an adult and all those woes that society expects you to be."

Me too! I just checked out this drama to see Lee Min Ki because he was one of my 1st Korean crush way back from his drama with Eugene.. didn't expect I will be hooked this much.. and make me reflect with my life

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Those were the best first 20 min of any show I've ever seen, it was so cathartic.
He was HOLDING HER HAND ALL THE TIME! Without even realizing it! You guys, I swooned so hard, I almost got out of breath. (His hands are so sexy, BTW)

His subconscious is way ahead of him, and he needs to catch-up quickly.
Case in point: when he gave JH her phone back and said, "Yes, I called you a lot."
His voice was so soft, his face so open and filled with relief. After frantically running to her, he couldn't help but give a small sigh with his response. For a moment there, he completely let his guard down. It's a vulnerable Se-hee we haven't seen before. Wasn't that love written all over his face?

One thing I love about our OTP is how well they communicate with each other. They're frank and direct, and while that can cause some misunderstandings, it also means that they never go on for too long, before one of them voices their thoughts.
The things they said in this episode had my heart doing summersaults: "Don't draw a line between us on purpose", "Don't lock your door."(ooh la la.......), "Call me your husband."
But what particularly wrecked me was what Se-hee said, "Don't let others think you're alone, for the next two years, you belong in this house along with me." OH. MY. GOD. This was like a balm to my soul. Se-hee is actually such a sweetheart and loyal, he just needs people's genuineness as an incentive to bring that out in him.
Although I do agree with JH when she said he can sometimes be obnoxious. When he said, "They're all vain needs of humans," I get the feeling he thinks humans are beneath him, as if he isn't one himself. HA!
But I believe he's a very caring person at heart, like when he was worried for Sang-gu (awww), or how he internalized those moments when JH was particularly harsh with him and was worried that he upset her (SWOON), and wanting to keep the promise he made to her mom.

Other non-main-OTP related things I liked in this episode: (a) Crying Sang-gu, what a sensitive dork! I cry-laughed when he shed a tear in the bus. I'm rooting for him and Su-ji. (b) Won-seok's proposal, which was cute and nothing grand like we usually see in rom-coms. Although I'm worried he's sacrificing a bit of himself to make Ho-rang happy.

And before I finish this, I have to briefly talk about that red herring about Bok-nam being a stalker. First, it is so like this show to make it into a situation that leaves me in fits of giggles. So in that sense, it's being consistent. BUT, I just don't like how it was executed. I'm actually kind of really annoyed. Yes, BN is "innocent" of stalking, but that still doesn't justify his previous behaviour. I'm not gonna forget how he was all up in JH's personal space, just because he's cute. He's really not that innocent to me. Maybe it was the super shady musical cues and whatnot; but I feel like they really overdid it with him being a stalker, only to backtrack...

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(Continued)
....Maybe it was the super shady musical cues and whatnot; but I feel like they really overdid it with him being a stalker, only to backtrack and be like: nope he's actually just the adorable puppy you thought he was.

Lastly, I want to end by thanking this show for continuously being funny. Here are just some of my favorite laugh-out loud moments in this episode. (a) SH's "joke" delivered with his trademark deadpan face mind you! This had me in stitches, and it's still funny every time I replay it. (b) SH's sense of "skinship" had me cackling, because I thought he would at least put his arm around her waist, but.... a handshake? hahaha. (c) SH being so smug about "catching" BN only to later find out it was a misunderstanding was fucking hilarious.
I just loved all his expressive faces in this episode.

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SH being so smug about "catching" BN only to later find out it was a misunderstanding was fucking hilarious.

SH is just...i can't even. i mean, he is probably the least charismatic man in the kdrama ever, yet i fall for his character hard.

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It proves that genuine kindness and understanding and communication trumps charisma.

Also, I mean, it IS Lee Min-ki...

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Yea coupled with Lee Min-Ki's looks, it's enough to make most girls swoon.

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With all the comments last episode re him being a stalker, I took the "backtrack" to be a lesson for us viewers. Don't jump to conclusions til you know all the facts. Lesson well learned, and one reason I hated jury duty. We should all bow to Pakalanapikake for guessing everything, including the wrench used to open the beer bottle.

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We should give a medal to @pakalanapikake and the happy few who guessed right. Lol, I was as embarrassed as Se Hee because I trusted my logic and was fooled right along with him. BUT I still think it was badass of Se Hee to break that mirror and put an end to the clingy puppy flirting. Totally worth it.

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Great comment - as embarrassed as Se Hee! Ha, ha, you're so right.

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Bn still acted way too pushy for my liking. Specially the thing of the hair and pointing out what color bra looks good on JH. Gross.

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I really didn't know whether to laugh or cry when Bok Nam revealed he was going to open the beer. Like part of me was relieved my guess was right, but then part of me also laughed too much because it reminds me at the end of the day this is still a Kdrama.

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I was one of the people that "kind of" liked him being a stalker, but I also agreed that it was borderline too out there for this drama (not too dark, mind you; JH already had to fend of a rapist the first week). Thus, this reveal was both a hilarious moment where I realized of course it was too unrealistic to be the case, and also disappointed because I imagined how the show would go from there. Maybe the reason I was disappointed is, as you said, they played up him being a stalker a little TOO much, so it felt weird to change back to him being innocent and cute. At least I would have liked him achknowledging more that his behavior could come off as creepy.

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I mean... Bok Nam wasn't perfectly cute and innocent. Had he backed off any of the three times Ji Ho gave him the Flattered But Married, No Thanks speech, or been more forthright about how he knew weird things about them, Se Hee might have talked first before kicking, and Ji Ho probably wouldn't have immediately believed that he could have been a serial stalker. Heck, if he'd backed off, they never would have been out drinking beer on a mountaintop because he never would have goaded her into it by saying Se Hee cared for the cat more than her.

Is it bad that he got accused of being a stalker and rapist because his pictures were stolen? Yeah. Se Hee should be a bit embarrassed. But the dude hit on a woman who he literally saw getting married, and although their relationship seemed weird, he had no confirmation it was contractual until the day of the incident. Bok Nam was accused of the wrong thing, but definitely acted like a bit of a creep 'hitting on' Ji Ho.

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Yeah, I was going to say... he might not be a stalker, but if some dude I barely know starts tying up my hair while complimenting me on my neckline, I'm outta there.

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Oh, yeah, that is also why I think they overdid the stalking wibes; he gave off creepiness too much for me to see him as just innocent, but it feels like he is forgiven for it in the end. I wish he achknowledged that he was in the wrong too and that he understands how the misunderstanding happened, even if he still is angry about it.

At least I hope he has completely given up on flirting with her, because even if he still has a crush, he knows there is not a chance.

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Totally agree, he may not be the criminal but he was over stepping boundaries and acting like he was entilted to her. She didn't feel safe and he wasn't showing respect to her either. That behavior is not okay, it's a complete contrast to the respect Se Hee shows to her.

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Guess who's break dancing!
☝️🕴🏼🕺🏻.........🚶🏼

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lmao so funny

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I died when he said "Yes, I called you a lot". That delivery.

The man's in love and he just hasn't seen it yet.

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<I'm not gonna forget how he was all up in JH's personal space, just because he's cute. He's really not that innocent to me.

Yup, not to me either. He was manipulative towards her from the start and is still a jerk with his "Why would I care that you're married" attitude. And I don't buy that just because Se hee looks cool to him, he now isn't interested in Ji hoo anymore.

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I definitely hit the pause button to enjoy the view of Se-hee's hand turning blue for holding onto her so tight for so long......yes, swoon indeed!

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"His subconscious is way ahead of him, and he needs to catch-up quickly"
YES! YES it does!
And as far as their communication, I LOVE it that they are BOTH so frank and direct. And I LOVE ji ho! I love that she isn't afraid to ask directly for answers or anything that she isn't sure of.

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I appreciate that Se-hee asked Ji-ho to make it clear to others that she lives with him. And I agree that the way that he said it was kinda swoon-worthy. But I am on the fence if it is good or not that he has a sense of protectiveness for her. People tend to protect those they care about, so it could be a sign of feelings developing. But people also protect those that they think need it, and Se-hee has shown this behavior in the past, Kitty is a good example. Since Se-hee is a little bit of a closed book, we don't know for certain which way he leans yet. They are our lead couple, so things are likely to work out, but they may not be as close yet as I want them to be.

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Ok i have waited for this recap the whole day. Can I tell first I am glad BN is not a stalker! Man, I was gladly surprised! 😂

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I've learnt that if Go Back Spouses recaps both come out then it's time for the new BTOFL to posted soon haha

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Watching this show feels just like...MAGIC!

How can fictional characters and fictional lives stir our hearts so deeply??!!

How is it that it makes us feel the joy and pain with the characters, always triggering the empathy in us even when we don't agree with what they do and why they do?

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First thing first. I told you so!

I've said it from the beginning, all the stalkerish thingy was just a big misunderstanding, a cop out. As i observed from the 1st ep, how this writer told their story, something so in-your-face obvious never turns out to be what it actually is. Abnormal is the new normal. We should know better by now not to jump to any conclusion based on what was presented in front of us. With the explanations, it was a bit understandable why he was being creepy/flirty. He knew from the start it was a sham marriage. But I kinda hate the ending of it because at least he should have apologized for playing Ji Ho, and acknowledged that what Se Hee did was only a reaction to his own action. Ah, at least his smile at the end of the ep while looking at our couple smiling at each other kinda pays off. And we didn't get to know yet what Se Hee told him privately at the cafe.

Now on to See Hee... what I frickin' love was on the way back down, he picked out his coat on the street, and then on the flashback, we saw the reason why. Not just the coat, but also the bag, and then all the running. Then, to top it off, he didn't let Ji Ho's hand go, not even once, up to the point he didn't even realized he's still holding on tight. GAH, If that's not love, i don't know what is anymore!!

Now, what I hate. The possibility of an ex, and not just an ex, but they almost (already?) got married, after that declaration that he only need one love in his life = that woman = he's not looking for a new one. While Ji Ho read it completely different, that it was the beginning of her one love. I don't know if I'm up to the angst, because what I need is for them to be lovey dovey as soon as possible!! At least don't make that ex makes an appearance, please show! Let her be just a memory and how he will finally let go.

CEO Ma!! Oh God, he's adorable!! Last ep with the (500) days of summer dance, and then on this ep with his singing of City of Stars. And all the crying over choosing his career and the woman he loves, he's like living & breathing his own musical! No wonder Si Ji finally caved, who wouldn't?

On Horang, I find her story line so pitiful. She's living by the standard of society that a woman needs to be married and have children to be considered a perfect woman. What makes it more sad, is that she believes that it's the right thing to do. That face Won Seok made after reading his coworkers messages, he's throwing out his dream to put Horang's first!

Oopsie daisies... I wrote a lot! That's a first LOL

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Omg I thought the tune sounded familiar, can't believe he was humming City of Stars! I need to rewatch, as the music in the film is amazing, plus it just adds so much more meaning to the scene. I feel like this writer has a really good knowledge of western films and such. They seem to incorporate aspects of it really nice into the drama.

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I was squealing hard when he hummed the tune, and really appreciated how the writer portrayed him, as this lovable dork with a flare of drama. Him crying is the saddest, yet the funniest thing also. Kudos to the writer for keeping in touch with the world's trend. This what makes the series super popular internationaly. Not just that, but also how the characters seems so adult and straight forward, so far no noble idiocy or beating around the bush. They all said what's in their head. So refreshing in the world of Kdrama!

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"Se-hee looks thoughtful then asks if Ji-ho was very hurt when he drew a line between them and asked to avoid situations where they’d need to act like a couple. Ji-ho admits that she was, and so Se-hee explains that he merely did not want to be a burden on Ji-ho’s life."

Moments like these are what I love most. These two are so open, honest, and vulnerable with each other.

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Moral of the episode: TRUST THE WRITER! They know exactly what they want to achieve with the characters and storylines. I'm so happy that Bok Nam is not a stalker bc it would have been unecessary and unrealistic. After all Ji Ho has been through, I'm glad the trope was subverted and he just turned out to be a simple guy with a noona crush.

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I need to add: Sanggu is the biggest crybaby ever and why is that so endearing? His character has really grown on me.

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I swear. Every time he crys I just want to hug him.

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Seriously - the way he held up both hands to cover his face when he was crying in the alley? It was so ridiculous and adorable. No wonder Su Ji caved!

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Your username shall get pucca dolls

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Haha.. I love your username. Ma Sang gu is so adorable! I never thought he was too naive..

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Boknam was a jerk, but I am glad that they pulled back from the storyline. If he had been a stalker, it would have been believable enough (within dramaworld rules), but I think this show is so much stronger when it deals with everyday challenges rather than more extreme situations.

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sanggu crying like a baby near yolo cafe was adorkable but his tear in the bus lol i felt bad for laughing because it was so damn funny.

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INDEED!
ep9 has confirmed that I can safely trust the writers to take me to places 90% of other kdrama romcoms WISH they could take me, but haven't been bold or creative enough.
Dear writer-nim: bless you!

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By the end of Episode 8, I suspected there was going to be a twist with BN. I thought SH and JH’s reactions were amusing, and I can kind of buy that they didn’t recognize BN from the wedding since both were stressed (BM is a different story), but I still don’t like BN. He may not be a stalker, but his behavior with JH was still problematic. I think he found JH cute, but mostly, I think he enjoyed playing with her and SH.

HR isn’t my favorite character, but I thought the red coat conversation was beautifully written.

I loved the conversations between JH and SH. I totally get why JH is falling for SH, but at the same time, I kind of want to shake her and say “Slow down, girl.” She’s leaping while SH is taking baby steps, but that’s realistic to both characters.

Oh CEO Ma. He presents himself as a player, but he’s so innocent, I kind of want a flashback to his ONS with SJ to see how the heck it even happened heh.

SH making a joke and JH putting herself in Cat's position to describe her married life were everything.

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Se hee's joke was lol. And Ji ho's reaction to se hee's joke was hilarious! "Cat could do that?!" :D I feel like I would have reacted the same way too!

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I actually reacted the same way :D

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I sort of envisioned a deal made with a taxi driver.

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I love them! Considering that there is still some awkwardness around them, they still seem to be comfortable with each other, well at least now that they have talked things through. I especially loved when Se-hee ran up the hill to try and find Ji-ho and just dropped all of his belongings, so cool. Plus handholding!

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Thanks for the recap Murasakimi!
This episode is my most favorite so far (although I can't wait for the next week's tho :p). I love all the funny moments; so on point! I also love the OTP's progress. Like I wrote last week, every little change matters~

(OMG, how did they not get caught before with their unbelievable acting?) I wonder the sameee thing. I thought it's impossible for Jiho's best friends to not catch anything suspicious with her sudden wedding (or the attitude between JH and SH). I always tell myself that maybe in SK newlyweds aren't doing PDA so their parents or close friends are believing them. I also wonder why SH or JH don't seem to remember seeing Bok Nam at the wedding. hmmm..

That aside, can I have a full collection of Ji-ho's winter(?)style? Starting from her coat to her shoes are gorgeous and so fitting to her. I want them lol

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I loved her long coats, too! They looked nice and warm.

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I love love love the styling for all the characters. Especially the three girls and their distinctive styles. Big kudos to the stylists on this drama.

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Yes, you're right. All 3 girls had very distinctive styles and it suits their characters really well.

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I have been wondering how come they make it as if she is poor and came to live with him with just a medium suitcase, and yet everyday she uses a new outfit??? Production! Pay attention to that. Make her use the same clothing once in a while.... it is more believable

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I actually noticed that she uses the same skirt when she's at home.

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I can't remember where I've heard this but I think PDA isn't common in SK other than hand-holding.

Why her friends believed her I think becomes more clear in the next episode, so I'll see you in that recap? Lol

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I am quite glad and relieved that boknam is not a stalker. Now I can fully appreciate his dimples each time he smiles!

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can i just give the writer a hug ? more than anything in this episode, i love when Boknam was not the stalker. not because i like him, cause i do hate him as character before, but more like bringing back my trust to the production team. when they made that epi 7 and 8, i can not lie that it is disappointed to see sudden change in writing, along with irritating character, and cheesy back sound. all was just to trick us, made us wonder if the writer has lost something, that the show finally has its flaws. we were so wrong. as like boknam had fun with "messing" around between see hee and jihoo relationship, the writer seemed to have fun messing with our head. i really want to hear @girlfriday comment on this episode. cause i remember she felt that boknam character is not necessary to this kind of show. oh, he is, he's definitely is.

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This may be giving too much credit, but I wonder if it's a meta-commentary on how easily it is for viewers to be fooled strictly because of editing. Bok-nam and his actions would have seemed fairly normal if it weren't for the quick cuts and underlying creepy music. The editing has always been so on point that for it to be "off" seems purposeful to me. It is as if to show how easily film/media can munipulate our perspectives about a person or an event just through editing.

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Yes, though the music was a little too creepy and over the top. We should have clued in!

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I really liked the scene where bomi and Mr ma told sehee that boknam wasn't actually a stalker. His reaction was priceless Lol

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Wow, I was NOT expecting the Bok-nam plot twist. (And secretly, I'm also kinda glad because Bok-nam's really pretty cute and I love his smile, so I'm glad to see that pop up around for a bit longer). Also, it's kind of strangely hot that Se-hee just threw his bag and coat on the road while running to Ji-ho. Imagine him doing that in the apartment instead... ahem.

On Ho-rang: Today was probably the first time in a long while that I felt like I really understood and empathized with Ho-rang. There was just something very relatable about the way Ji-ho described her. That HR was just a girl who wanted to fit in with the crowd and do the things that everyone did as well - to get married, have kids and have a happy family. That she had been a girl who had been vibrant and unashamed of being so, and that the years had slowly whittled that down to a woman who just wanted to be ordinary and dull. It struck a little close to home, because for once I really understood how HR felt, when previously I'd only thought she was whiny. In some ways, I feel like HR, and I'm glad that WS proposed to her, even if it meant him giving up on his dreams. He made a big choice, and I hope she's good to him.

On Sang-gu and Su-ji: Awwww you two!! I didn't realize he was crying on the bus, and had to rewatch the scene to figure out why there was a water droplet. It's so adorable how he's so serious about her, and I think she figured that out. He'd just happened to catch her at a bad time the previous episode, and I'm glad that Su-ji has someone who can help her to understand that having a corporate career and a healthy relationship are not mutually exclusive.

On Ji-ho and Se-hee: Hehehehe, so cute. So, so cute. He looked so shocked that she was following him into the shower. I like these new developments, when we see that Se-hee really does care a little bit.

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Sang gu and su ji are adorable! It was really touching how he had took her words to his heart and was in pain on choosing between su ji and his business. ♥️

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<I'm glad that WS proposed to her

I am not. They haven't actually resolved ANY of their problems, they haven't TALKED, just that HR now has a sparkling ring on her finger. In real life, this kind of couple just would not work out.

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You're right, but I also think many couples get to this point and further without realizing that. So I still find their story believable and enough threads have been put into place where they're all going to unravel at some point.

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I think they're doomed and will be broken up by the end of the show, anyway.

Won Seok took about five seconds to force out the word "marry". He's trying to save the relationship and make her happy, but none of this (other than still dating Ho Rang) is what he really wants. Ho Rang seems more preoccupied with fulfilling her fantasies/dreams than coming to a solution that works for them both. While it's not wrong for her to want to be married (even if her reasons are sad), she seems to be unwilling to do it in a way that compromises her terms (big wedding, stay-at home mom, etc.) when financial realities and Won Seok may both require something different than her expectations.

It's a direct contrast with Ji Ho and Se Hee, whose 'dating' relationship is fake, but who negotiated the terms of their marriage and wedding so carefully, compromising to best suit the needs of them both.
Expenses, personal sacrifices, etc. were all acknowledged by both.

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Ep. 9 and 10 did much to elevate my opinion of Ho-rang. Her loyalty and kindness have always been unquestionable but it took a while for me to understand her single-minded focus on marriage. I feel uneasy about HR and WS's immediate future but I'm hopeful they'll continue to communicate.

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"it's kind of strangely hot that Se-hee just threw his bag and coat on the road while running to Ji-ho. Imagine him doing that in the apartment instead... ahem."

Haha.. I want that to happen!!!

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OMG. This episode so many feels. Why is every one so sweet now?

When did Se Hee become introspective and emotionally thoughtful? How did it dawn on him that she was upset about the "our" and his request not to have to act like a married couple in front of others?

I feel this couple just keeps surprising me with their frank conversations. I'm so glad that Se-hee took the initiative to address the things that might have upset her, and that the writer didn't drag out Ji-ho's angst about their relationship. It would take a lot of courage from me to put my heart on the line the way Ji-ho did (especially since for a private guy like Se-hee, interest can be quite hard to read), and to phrase things in a way that doesn't make demands of the other person.

And his hand-holding is so squeeeeeeeee! Sub-conscious acts of love are the best. But guy needs to work on his jokes!

I love the little things about this show. Se-hee's micro-expressions of tenderness and concern. That now they sorta sit towards each other rather than looking straight ahead on the bus. That they're beginning to let each other get closer.

I feel quite relieved though, that Bok-nam didn't turn out to be the stalker. What a twist. (And poor Se-hee! He must feel kinda cheated, because I'm sure he was so proud of himself for valuing Ji-ho's safety over money.) I must say, the writer really kept us guessing. It sorta makes sense now, I guess. He had no qualms with trying to woo Ji-ho ─ because he was in on their secret (and finding it hilarious). That flashback to the couple taking a handshake photo is so ROFLMAO, I just can't; I'm surprised Bo-mi didn't realise herself that it was strange! I much prefer Bok-nam this way, as a caring dongsaeng whom Ji-ho can confide in (since he's the only one that knows the truth).

[But good catch, @murasakimi, on the inconsistency where no one remembered Bok Nam from the wedding, even though Rang and Soo-ji aren't the type to forget good-looking men!]

I've been worried about Rang and Won-seok but I think the last two episodes showed that they do care a lot about each other, even though they seem immature at times. I loved that his proposal was true to his character, and also that 1) he realised on his own (without the ridiculous drunken brainstorming with Sang-gu) that Rang has always wanted to get married and 2) he decided to make it happen by sacrificing his app. [Side note: I'd like to think it's because his conversation with everyone at the dating company made him realise that his app wasn't marketable, and therefore unrealistic, than a case of him giving up his dreams for her. After all, she's been supportive throughout.] As a friend and manager, Rang has been stellar, so it made me uncomfortable that she might be obsessed with marriage for the wrong reason. I'm so glad we got to understand what she was really thinking. I suppose the previous scenes was the writer setting us up to judge her, only to...

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But seriously how could they not remember seeing boknam at the wedding. They even talked. Bomi didn't remember either.

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Hear, hear! I would have let it go if they at least styled Bok-nam's hair differently but no lol, it's funny they didn't remember him.

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I mean who could forget that face ha

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Those dimples! I'd remember them anywhere!!!

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That part bothered me a bit. I didn't mind that they trolled us with Bok Nam because the fallout was hilarious but all 3 not remembering him was a little ridiculous. I'll just suspend disbelief and pretend they were too flustered to pay attention cause I love the rest of the episode.

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...Cause weddings and the attendant commotion are INSANE!! Especially when you are one of the wedding couple. Totally believable

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With a real couple I would buy that maybe.

But they were not a real wedding couple swept up in emotions and people fussing over them. And it's not just the couple, it's Bomi too. If BN had just been in the background or exchanged a single word, maybe then, but they were having conversations! Three different people!

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Its not the warm and fuzzy feelings that cause you to not remember...its the stress and family craziness! Totally believable, even in a fake wedding :)

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There's a wedding day memory loss. Many people don't remember their weddings.

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Yeah, he was so stressed he had a nose bleed. That's when I knew what type of person he was - extremely sensitive and has to block out stress for that reason. Brilliant writing.

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Exactly! Been thinking the same thing too. Okay, with the bus of course they wouldn't notice him, when he get something from the bride's waiting room and paying(signing) the venue's pay, okay okay but with the picture taking? Na-uh. Considering he's good looking and all, not gonna happen if it's me. LMAO

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Yeah, this bothered me too. I mean, maybe the main couple was too busy with wedding thoughts to remember him, but what about Bo-Mi as well? But it worked to set up the plot twist, so I'll let the writer have this.

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Bo Mi didn't really look at him and was concentrating on the photos that day. But yeah, that's a bit weak, especially since she immediately noticed Bok Nam at the cafe and thought he was cute.

But I'll take the writer have this too, because I was not expecting to see more wedding scenes, and they absolutely hilarious.

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Well... I do believe it. I always have to do with new people (mostly in parttime jobs, by the way)... unless the interaction is significant, I don't remember a face or even if I have talked to a person. Why? If it is not properly introduced to me, I don't remember... or if we didnt talk... so, for me it was believable that they didn't know

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I'm the same way with trouble remembering. BUT, some things DO stand out on people. With him its the Dimples. I give everyone a pass, on the wedding day because their minds were elsewhere..EXCEPT Bo mi. She did look at him while he was suggesting couple pictures. And she even recognized ji ho with a helmet on! When she first saw the picture of him on their app, that should have struck some degree of recollection - as in "I've seen him before".

But I have suspended disbelief in so many other dramas for more, so I can do it for this one too.

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would YOU remember the staff at an event on YOUR big day? even if it was a fake wedding, the couple had to pay attention to themselves, their friends and family.

Ain't nobody got time for the (albeit, handsome) waiter!

HA HA HA HA HA HA

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I probably wouldn't lol

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So, the other day I mentioned something to my cousin about her wedding, and she thought for a minute before responding that she actually has no memory of interacting with me on her wedding day (and we had had an actual full conversation and she had helped fix my hair). So I think it isn't that strange for them not to remember him, remember Se Hee was so stressed he got a nosebleed? Bo Mi might actually remember him, we haven't been told whether she does or not (and she never thought he was a stalker).

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I believe it's totally plausible. My wedding day was a complete blur. It sort of felt like An out of body experience and I was kind of hazily floating through the day. so I could believe it.

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There's a study I read in school about how people aren't cognitively aware of their surroundings if they're focused on something else. Eyes see, but brain does not compute.

In this, they told people they were going to go in a room and complete a survey. They gave a survey out from behind a registration desk up front and told them to walk back and take it. What the study actually was about was that when the person at the registration desk bent down to get the survey, they switched places with another person, who popped back up and gave the person the survey and instructions. They tried it first with similar looking people. 90% of people didn't notice. Eventually, they switched it up more (different genders, different heights, different races) and even then, 60% of people didn't catch on. One of the survey questions was, "Describe the person at the registration desk". Very few people could do it.

Point is: If you don't actively notice something about them or are focused on something else, it's really easy to completely miss people, no matter who they are.

Bok Nam in uniform might as well have been decorative. Even if he is really handsome, Bomi was taking pictures (and talks to him from profile) and Ji Ho and Se Hee had their friends and family and fake marriage con distracting them.

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Re: not recognizing Bok Nam

@sicarius and I had this discussion a couple nights ago which I’ll just post here:
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/sicarius/activity/297318/#acomment-297374

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I think it's very plausible. Especially since their wedding became so emotional (with Ji Ho's mom's letter and the conversation between mom and Se Hee). Also, sad as it may be, it's very realistic. People in the service industry are given strict instructions to blend in and never steal spotlight from their customers (e.g., the uniforms, prescribed hairstyles, prohibition on bright red nail polish, etc.). For instance, who here remembers a waiter who served them in a restaurant after the meal is over (unless you're a frequent patron, of course)?

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