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Come Here and Hug Me: Episodes 19-20

It’s a good hour for romance as Jae-yi and Do-jin take a break from all the suffering to go on a date that’s been twelve years in the making. But don’t let the cuteness fool you. Blood is still spilled this week. Some of it is even kinda satisfying; it makes you wonder if there isn’t a tiny bit of Yoon Hee-jae hidden in your heart…

 
EPISODES 19-20 WEECAP

We open in the aftermath of Park Hee-young’s report. Moo-won reads the headlines linking Do-jin to his sister and tries but fails to contact Do-jin. He looks at Hyun-moo’s defaced Jae-yi posters again and chucks them across the room in frustration.

Do-jin can’t come to the phone because he’s busy listening to Jae-yi’s proposal. The one where she wants them to stop being sorry for the past and try chasing their own happiness for once. Thinking of how Dad and Hyun-moo almost killed her the two times they’ve been together, he turns down her offer, scared that being with her will hurt her even more.

Meanwhile, Lee Seung-woo (previously called Fanboy) introduces himself to Hyun-moo by attacking a drunk guy for him. Seung-woo giggles when Hyun-moo recognizes him as one of the staff members working around Jae-yi. He happily shares how he took over killing people when it was obvious Hyun-moo couldn’t, bragging that Dad trusted him with the task instead of Hyun-moo.

In a flashback, we see Seung-woo meeting Dad in prison during Bible study. (I really need to have words with that nun one of these days, if she’s still alive.) Dad took a liking to the eager apprentice who reminded him of Na-moo. He taught him how to “use” a hammer and presumably told him stories about the family. In return, Seung-woo promised to do some things for Dad when he’s released from prison.

Storytime is interrupted when the drunk ajusshi struggles to get up. Seung-woo laughs to find him alive and hits him once more, shocking Hyun-moo with the casualness of the murder. Seung-woo sounds like a delusional fanboy as he inserts himself in the family tree, calling Yoon Hee-jae Father and telling his big brother that he already met Mom and his cute little sister So-jin. Hyun-moo starts toward him at the mention of So-jin’s name but Seung-woo swings the hammer, spraying Hyun-moo with the now-dead ajusshi’s blood before saying goodbye. Hyun-moo shakes at the sight of the stranger’s blood and stumbles out of there.

Do-jin doesn’t last one night before he’s ripping out his IV and escaping to Jae-yi’s hotel. He takes back his answer and offers to spend one day just with her, something they couldn’t do for the past twelve years. Jae-yi agrees and they hug on it, probably the first hug that isn’t prompted by murderers or the nosy media.

Watch the video

Let’s have one day

 
Speaking of nosy media, Park Hee-young sets her team to digging dirt on Do-jin, teaching her evil minions how news of the good-looking son dating one of his family’s victims can generate two weeks’ worth of content. When she reads news of Yoon Hee-jae getting 30 days of solitary confinement for attacking a guard, she easily figures out that the outburst was triggered by her documentary, making me wonder if she’d make a good prosecutor too, having a criminal’s mind and all.

Jae-yi’s manager is busy minimizing the damage the rumors are doing to her image but she’s floating on cloud nine with Do-jin’s promised date and calmly accepts the penalties. The source of her happiness is patiently recovering in the hospital, being pampered by his cop buddy Jong-hyun. In between cutting apples into hearts, Jong-hyun informs Do-jin that he’s been taken off both Jae-yi’s and the Hammer Attack cases since there’s now concrete evidence of both being linked to Hyun-moo. Jong-hyun saves him from a guilt trip by saying that he might not have known Yoon Na-moo, but he would’ve befriended and stayed friends with him back then. Which we all know is a death sentence. But it’s a sweet thought.

In an annoying segue, the cop sunbae that Do-jin saved is revealed to be one of Park Hee-young’s sources. He complains that Park hasn’t revealed Do-jin’s face to the public yet and even Park has to wonder why he’s being too mean to the nice Do-jin. The sunbae just shrugs that Do-jin’s the son of a murderer, as if he doesn’t count as a person anymore. I’m now retroactively glad this guy was stabbed.

Moo-won gets a call from a “Yoo Family Representative.” He addresses the other person as Father and assures him that the articles on Jae-yi are fake and he’ll sue everyone into silence.

After the call, he’s assaulted by more memories from his parents’ murder: a young Moo-won was left for dead on the floor as the killer dropped the weapon and poured gasoline on the bodies. The killer jerked in surprise and turned around at a stabbing sound, which is where the memory ends.

In the present, Moo-won shakes the recollection away to visit Jae-yi. He warns her to avoid their family for a while as they’re eager to scold her for what’s happening. She wonders why he won’t pressure her to talk like everybody else, and he smiles sadly as he promises to protect her and wait for her to be ready, just like how their Mom and Dad waited for him.

Alarmed by the thought of their new foster-brother hanging around, Hyun-moo watches So-jin leave work, following her until she safely gets on the bus home. He also checks on Mom’s shop where Mom alternates between sitting dejectedly and running out to chase anyone dressed up like Hyun-moo. I don’t know how he stops himself from running over and hugging them when he looks that lonesome.

Just like that, we jump to a month later, at the end of Dad’s solitary confinement. His first visitor is Park Hee-young. She’s a bit miffed that she can’t find any dirt on Na-moo. Dad is still mad at her for telling the public that the police exaggerated his crimes to make his arrest look like a huge achievement. Park isn’t the least bit sorry for the lie since she’s the one who made Dad into this celebrity criminal when he’d otherwise be treated as common trash. Dad thinks it’s the other way around: his story is what shot her into fame when otherwise she’d be writing trashy gossip.

Park gets bored with the chicken-or-the-killer-egg debate. She’s just here to pick his brain about Na-moo and what happened that night. Dad is unwilling to talk, furious that she’s not the least bit scared of him. Park shelves the interview for another time and stands up to leave. But not before leaning in (yikes!) and whispering that he should accept that his era is over, his only role now is to rot in jail.

Watch the video

Your era is over

 
Dad takes that as an invitation to strangle her. It takes three guards to finally pull him off. Not for nothing is Park the craziest lady in the business when she amusedly tells him that she’ll sue him for this attack so they can make headlines again, guessing that that’s what Dad really wanted anyway. But is it? Because Dad sounds just as amused when he tells her “Goodbye, Reporter Park,” and it doesn’t sound like the see-you-later kind.

On the sweeter end of the one-month time jump is Do-jin’s and Jae-yi’s date. Today they’re both just Nak-won and Na-moo: all the childhood sweetness minus the childhood tragedy. Nak-won shamelessly stares at Na-moo’s handsomeness as he self-consciously drives and chugs down a bottle of water in his nervousness. He spits it right back out when Nak-won guesses that he’s never dated anyone in the twelve years they’ve been apart. Just like in the past, she finds his shyness cute and stares at him some more. Heh. And just like in the past, the confident Nak-won is reduced to maidenly shyness when Na-moo beams a smile directly at her.

Their first stop is in a park with lots of trees. Nak-won tells him that it’s where she hung out when she missed him, because she’s surrounded by lots of trees (namoo). Na-moo thinks that she’s also his paradise (nakwon), but he doesn’t say it out loud. He just catches up to her and holds her hand.

Mom is still dodging reporters after the time jump. One of them is Han Ji-ho, the same reporter who tracked down Mom and So-jin in the island three years ago. She tells Mom she’ll write their side of the story and negate Park Hee-young’s work. I almost want to believe her, but then she needles Mom about the possibility of having Jae-yi as her daughter-in-law. So-jin rightfully dumps a basket of veggies on her head for an answer.

Moo-won arrives to question the family and shoos Han Ji-ho away, but not before she points him out as Jae-yi’s brother, startling Mom and So-jin. Moo-won asks them for Hyun-moo’s whereabouts or friends, showing the grainy CCTV shot of Seung-woo. They assure him that they have no idea where Hyun-moo is and they’ve been waiting for him to show up so they can make him surrender. Moo-won ignores their sincerity, unnecessarily reminding them that they’ll be charged as accomplices if they don’t report Hyun-moo right away.

Working separately, Do-jin’s team has also pegged Seung-woo as the only suspicious member of Jae-yi’s crew. They don’t know where he is yet. Maybe because he changed his costume and is currently outside Mom’s shop in a bright yellow shirt. No longer dressed like Hyun-moo, Mom doesn’t notice him lurking around and being creepy, but Reporter Han does–which means she’ll either die soon or she’ll end up exonerating Hyun-moo.

In any case, Seung-woo being noticed is good news for our lovers who are currently walking in an almost deserted beach. It’s one of the few places where they can have peace. But it’s hard to get that peace when they’re so jumpy, they mistake an innocent couple taking pictures of the shore for taking secret pictures of Jae-yi. Na-moo jumps in front of her to shield her from the camera, which is also an excellent excuse for them to get close. He looks like he wants to stay for more hugs but Nak-won awkwardly breaks away. Which, why?

That night, Park Hee-young airs evidence of Dad’s covered up injuries from the night he was caught. She also points out the lack of any other weapon on the crime scene, surmising that what Dad wrote in his autobiography–stopping the killings and surrendering for his son’s sake–is a lie. Park shares her theory that Dad tried to kill his son to save himself, and Na-moo in turn tried to kill his Dad to save himself. Poor Hyun-moo listens to all of this, remembering the times when Dad shut him up for calling Na-moo a traitor.

Na-moo and Nak-won are oblivious to this recent update as they enter an amusement park. It’s their last stop for the day. Nak-won’s smile shrinks as Na-moo shakes his head at ride after scary ride until he finally nods at the boring carousel. Aww… but Nak-won can’t stay mad for long when Na-moo looks so happy just to be there with her.

He steps aside to answer Jong-hyun’s call just as a few girls recognize Jae-yi the celebrity and take pictures. She scuttles off to hide in a corner, seeing and unseen by Na-moo who runs around in a panic after returning to find her gone. When Nak-won finally steps out in the open, Na-moo hugs her tight, looking so shaken at the few seconds she went missing.

Park Hee-young comes home, satisfied after a day of the Devil’s work. Hyun-moo greets her in the parking lot, asking if she’s Reporter Park. The next thing we know, she’s lying on the floor of her scheming room. The wall is splattered with blood. Someone who looks veeery much like Hyun-moo is standing over her and hitting Na-moo’s pictures with a bloody hammer.

The mood is more subdued during Na-moo’s and Nak-won’s drive home. Nak-won kills the mood further by calling him Do-jin again. She puts on a brave face as she tells him that Do-jin is a good name too. Na-moo can’t take it. He pulls over so they can sit inside the car and watch the dashboard’s clock count down to midnight. Na-moo starts to say something when the clock beeps twelve o’clock, ending their date. But–omo! Na-moo leans in for a kiss anyway.

 
COMMENTS

So is it a goodbye kiss or a screw-the-world, let’s-be-together kiss?

I want to hope it’s the latter because we’ve already gotten a year’s supply of soulful staring from this show. Just like how a glimpse of friendship pushed Na-moo into defying Dad, maybe this date with Jae-yi will push Do-jin into the offensive when it comes to their relationship.

Besides, I’m not even sure why they should bother caring what people think. Maybe it’s just the sight of Park Hee-young’s possibly dead body, but suddenly, I don’t feel the importance of hiding how much our leads like each other anymore. Jae-yi’s career is already on the rocks after Park’s rumor. As for the people whose opinions actually matter–like Mom, So-jin, and Moo-won–I’m confident it will range from silent support to grumpy acquiescence to whatever makes Do-jin and Jae-yi happy. Park can have her two weeks of fame and deal with Dad’s wrath if she wants to.

Speaking of, this is probably the Mom in me speaking but I refuse to believe Hyun-moo attacked Reporter Park. He’s always used a claw hammer in the past (another clue that he’s not part of Dad’s inner circle) while Dad and Seung-woo use a club hammer. The same one used by Park’s attacker. For all his posturing and threats that he’ll kill every other person he meets, Hyun-moo is too traumatized after seeing someone actually die in front of him. I find it hard to believe that watching an episode of Park’s rumor mill drove him to murder.

Or, hey, maybe Park isn’t dead. Hyun-moo has a track record of not killing people. And story-wise, I don’t want her to die yet. Not when she’s the only one who can poke at Dad’s insecurities like that. Besides, death is too easy an end for her. She’ll die a respected journalist. I want her to “die” the same death as her victims: by living in a world that keeps judging you, unable to defend yourself from the lies and forever hoping that people forget you so you can pick up what’s left of your broken life and move on. Then when you’re starting to feel better, someone thrusts you in the spotlight again. For funsies. What can I say? She makes me want to go on a Bible study with Yoon Hee-jae.

 
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Same, I hope that that was a screw-the-world almost kiss. Why end the episode just when they’re about to kiss though???
Seeing Reporter Park covered in her own blood was so satisfying and I hoped she’s already dead. (And I’m sure it’s not Hyun-woo who attacked her.) But yes, I want her to survive the attack and let not death be her punishment. She needs to suffer more.
Thank you for the recap, Mary!

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I don’t want her to die but I want her to chase another story. Or maybe have a showdown with that other reporter?

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I think the other reporter reappeared to become the less pycho version of reporter Park. I don’t trust her and she is no match to reporter Park. I’d love to see them have a showdown still.

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She's so obsessed with taking Park down, maybe there's a juicy backstory there.

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I doubt Reporter Park is dead; I agree death is too easy of an end for her.

I'm pretty sure the person standing over Reporter Park and hitting Na Moo's picture had on a different jacket than Hyun Moo.

I fear Hyun Moo will die protecting Mom or So Jin.

Kiss her, Na Moo. Next episode can be Come Here and Kiss Me.

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Nooooo. No dying for Hyun-moo 😭

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Come Here And Lip Hug Me.. (Courtesy of @kimbapnoona, I believe.)

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😉 Although since this is MBC, we might not get an open arm embrace even after so many intense eyeball hugging.

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"eyeball hugging" LOL

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Honestly, the love story starts to make me bored. It's so slooooow. The cute part was fun only at the beginning.

I really hope that Hyun Moo didn't kill/hurt the reporter. I wish him to see how his father truly is and that he doesn't need him in his life.

I have to be honest even if it's awful what happened to the reporter and how she seemed to be dragged in front of her investigation wall, I was relieved/happy that someone silenced her.

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Mary, this episode I find myself loving your recap more than the show itself. Thank you for every line that is cracked with wit. You are a recap treasure.

As a Tree Hugger, I was first appalled that it took me this long to recognize the Park Hee-Young in me for celebrating her (apparent) murder. I want to be a better person, but I also want to be that "someone" that will torture an thrust her into the spotlight for "funsies." So yeah, I guess I'm totally behind the message that karma is a b%$#h.

I was so happy that Na-moo decided to move in for the kill kiss past midnight because that "let us be happy just for one day" idea feels totally stupid for me. Couldn't Jae-yi's publicist just frame their love as what a big forgiving heart she has, i.e. love triumphs over hate?

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Yeah, Manager Pyo is adorable, but he's kinda ineffective so far. I'm still waiting what's the deal with his character.

(I just realized that I always assess character reveals by how effective they'd be in fighting Dad or Park Hee-young haha)

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I love your assessment system: "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"

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I've gotten the impression that Manager Pyo worked with Nak-won's parents, since he seems to be well-versed in contracts, but also knows the drill re: cultivating contacts with directors, putting out publicity fires, etc. In a business in which back-biting and inflated egos are all too common, he's down to earth and civil to everyone, like Nak-won's folks were.

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In Psycho Dad's warped campaign to remove Na-moo's "weaknesses ," I'm concerned that everyone around Nak-won could have a bull's eye painted on them, too. Who could pass up all that bloody collateral damage? Yikes. I'm getting to be quite paranoid on behalf of Na-moo and Nak-won's tiny circle of loyal friends and associates.

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+1 on Mary's recaps being "da bomb" as the kids used to call it.

Also wondering why they aren't going to be together now. Perhaps Jae-Yi feels that she brings up too many bad memories, and Na Moo just can't get past the guilt...? (I mean, that is, other than that it provides all the LONGING the writer seems to want us to bathe in.) I need one of them to be a little more selfish, please.

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Exactly! They seem to suffer plenty by themselves, why not just suffer together with some stolen moments of bliss?

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Was I the only one not able to appreciate the couple’s date? I couldn’t help but think one of the Devil Reporter’s minion reporters were following them. Even now I feel like a picture of them on the date is going to pop up! This drama... as slow and sweet as it is makes me so anxious 😭

I also don’t think HyunMoo killed or attempted to kill the Devil Reporter (please please please) but we shall soon see!! 😔

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My favorite part of the date was in the car, when Nak-won was just ogling him and then he smiled back at her and she started fanning herself hahaha

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Me too! They both had the same expression as their younger counterparts too!! So precious 😍

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@mary I loved your recap, two episodes a week is not helping the show much, it feels a bit more slow than it actually is.
I had to watch the first one on 1.25x speed as i found it really slow. I hope this week is better.
The date was super cute!!
I also hope that the reporter gets to see the other side by being a victim herself but do people change or learn or will they just put their blame somewhere?
So, our serial killer father did the same to his kids as he had seen childhood, he did not learn. So will our reporter learn?

I am actually a lot intrigued by the story of the brother moo won. Who was the killer? Is that the +1 count?

Let it be i am too cool to give a **** kiss!!!

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The betrayal by the older cop is so odd and unnecessary. The reporter's mole at the station could have been anybody. Namoo has such a small circle of good people around him, it just seems like gratuitous piling on to take one of those people away. Loyal adoring Jonghyun almost makes up for it. Almost.

Whether the reporter is dead or just injured, she'll get less screen time, and that makes me very glad. The character was so one-note and with no nuance, she was just unpleasant in a completely uninteresting way. Which is so surprising because she was so spectacular in Empress Ki. The other reporter I'm looking forward to seeing more. In the few scenes she's had, I saw tiny moments of inner doubt and complexity that made me want to see her more. Both are great actresses, so it must be about how their characters are written, not their abilities.

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@ysbee ys,

I'm with you re: Officer Kang's duplicity -- and sneaky persecution of Officer Chae for being a relative of a murderer. Sheesh. Maybe it's to show that even "good" people can be twisted and do bad things. Some of them are not unlike Psycho Killer Dad. It's just a matter of degree.

Thank goodness Do-jin has police academy classmates Kim Jong-hyun and Lee Yeon-ji in his corner. Jong-hyun's cutting the apples into hearts was so doggone cute.

I'm not holding out much hope for Reporter Park surviving the attentions of her attacker. If it's Fanboy, we know he's already killed two other random victims on the street. How much more reason (Psycho Dad's approval) could he have to bag a trophy?

Will we later see the coroner at the scene, or EMTs? An ambulance speeding to an emergency room? Those are the clues that would signal a victim's possible survival.

Would the police attempt to cover up Reporter Park's survival to protect her as a witness? I'm not betting the ranch on it.

Reporter Park was characterized as such a one-trick pony that she's not very interesting. Assuming that she lives/lived for ratings seems to cover the bases.

Reporter Park-Lite may have a smidge of humanity in her, but I haven't forgiven her for revealing Na-moo's Step-mom's identity on the island where she was attempting to pick up the pieces and live in anonymity with So-jin.

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"Park Hee-young comes home, satisfied after a day of the Devil’s work."
Omg this cracks me up AHAHAHA

I was busy squealing last week with every frame of their date that I have no energy left today for another squeal.
But honestly though, what's with these two men and their needs to be recognized by a psycho killer? I mean in Hyunmoo's case, he's his dad (or maybe just because he's so angsty and needed hug so much) so i'll give him a pass. But fanboy dude??? You are disgusting and I seriously can't wait for that moment Namoo and Hyunmoo worked together to spit in his face like "ppffft dude try to be one of us but you could never"

Anyway, seeing how Hyunmoo and fanboy is, it made me appreciate Namoo so so so much on how he stayed out of the hammer-line. The show kinda gave hint on how Namoo might've smashed Dad's head with a hammer that night, but look at him staying in the good side all those years, I think I'll forgive him for that out-of-the-sudden-teenage-psychoness

Anw thank you @mary!!!!

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@immawish,

If Na-moo did indeed fight back against his father and strike him, it would have initially been in defense of Nak-won. He could have tried to deflect Dad's focus on her by saying something along the line of "Over my dead body." Anything after that would have been Na-moo acting in self-defense. We still have yet to see the entire scene, IIRC.

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Yes, tbh. And that's why I'd be fine with it. But Dad had this entire narrative that Namoo hitting him on the head proved that he got the psychoness inside him. Probably why he felt so proud

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@immawish,

Agreed. Psycho Dad has an unearthly talent for twisting everything thing into a pretzel. If I hear much more, I may go berserk and end up on the Dark Side myself.

* shudders *

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Is no one going to mention that the clock went to 12:00PM? Do we all love this show so much that we're going to let this slide? I give a pass to inconsistent water glass levels, legs crossed and uncrossed, hair parted differently, etc because they're the products of multiple takes and there's just so much they can keep straight. But a tight shot of a clock? Come on now.

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OMG this is a time-travel drama! It all makes sense now!

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I was cracking up with @jenmole when this happened. No shame.

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I was furious with the 12:00PM! Even after watching the episode twice. But now, it's just funny.

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Now, now, as someone who is never really diligent about setting the clock in the car, I will give Na-moo a pass on this one. I mean, the guy barely got out the hospital and had to fret about his first date ever! So the clock is off by 12 hours, or one letter....

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My car clock is only ever accurate by coincidence.

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haha, my car clock is almost always wrong

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I regularly would adjust for Daylight Saving Time in my mind when I couldn't find the manual to change the doggone time on my replacement car stereo. LOL.

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Thanks as always for the recap, @mary!

All I want : More hugs. Peace. Hyun-Moo finding himself. Psycho dad and Reporter can just... shoo.

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I love our main couple, but I am becoming way more invested in the Hyun Moo storyline. Our leads are both so good, and I admire them a lot, but the internal conflict of Hyun Moo is more compelling. I think I could handle if Nak Won and Na Moo don't end up together in the end. I don't think I could handle if Hyun Moo turns out to be a killer.

I thought I would like the date, but at some point instead of finding it cute I started to find it terribly sad. The more they smiled the worse it got. It's how they should have been for these 12 years.

I actually like that she told him that Do Jin is a nice name, too. They are so stuck in the past--especially Na Moo, who kept imagining their childhood memories over and over again. They can live in the moment, now, as Do Jin and Jae Yi.

I've never thought this show was slow, but it's definitely time for a paradigm shift. I don't want to watch another half of a drama where they silently take whatever heartache the world deals them. I hope that the reporter dying (if she really is dead) is a sign that we're done raking through what could have happened, and they move on to facing what needs to be done to create a better today and tomorrow for them.

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I'm trying hard not to write essays about Hyun-moo and his struggle to be both a murderer Dad can be proud of and the marshmallow that Mom and So-jin want.

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Could you please write those essays? *big Nak Won smile*

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They'll just be strings of "Hyun-moo, my tragic son" "Please don't do it" "Okay, but only for Reporter Park" "Hyun-moo NO"

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Gimme, please.

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To be honest, I find the main male actor to be terribly irritating. Most of the time he has nothing to say and just stands there and smiles or stares blankly. Often he doesn't even bother to answer a question he's been asked. Is this all in my imagination? I've seen other actors be shamed for similar behavior (Nam Joo-hyuk) and labeled bad actors. I just want the guy to talk more.....or something.

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I see where your thought is coming from. At the same time it is in character for him since being child. He is the typical introvert person that is quite and is more of an observer then talkative. He those more nodding to show he is listening to what the other person is saying. I also think the way his father treated him did not help his personality because you can see how reserved he is when OTP first meet as child. NW is the typical extroverted personality that is more outgoing and make friends fast. Like how she is the one that first take step to become friends with NM. She did see something in him that she liked. I guess because I am an introvert myself I do see myself in him and have thought that is part of NM.

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I completely understand your point-- but i dont think its an acting issue. It's more related to the script (which, lets be honest, is full of flaws). The character is meant to be introverted and shy-ish as sal says. I think JKY is doing what he can with the content given to him.

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@zzthorn,

Introverted characters are difficult to portray because they do not express themselves openly the way more extroverted characters do. For me, one of the hallmarks of an accomplished actor is the ability to subtly but clearly convey an inexpressive character's inner states without relying on the usual vocalizations or gross facial expressions. Body language, posture, gait, and nuanced facial expressions -- in particular the look in the eyes -- are the avenues for expressing the character's feelings. Cha Seung-won, Jang Hyuk, Lee Joon-gi, and Ryu Deok-hwan are some of my favorite actors because they are so good at it.

Lee Min-ho was lambasted for his portrayal of Choi Young in FAITH. It looked like his acting was wooden. But that's the way the character was written. Choi Young was laconic and reserved to begin with. He'd lost his beloved scholar father and become a soldier at 16. The craven king killed his revered mentor. He lost his brothers-in-arms, and the love of his life committed suicide. He was so depressed he slept is life away when he wasn't working his butt off -- until he met Eun-soo.

Gradually, he started coming back to life. LMH's portrayal of Choi Young's incremental rebirth was nuanced and subtle. The general was not an exuberant personality. But he definitely had feelings, and LMH expressed them beautifully with his eyes.

Na-moo is cut from similar cloth. He was a brainy, studious kid. He graduated at the top of his class from the police academy. He was an introvert to start with, and turned inward even more. Who wouldn't, with a father like his?

Add a bottomless pit of remorse for his father's crimes to Na-moo's social isolation, and you have a guy who appears at first glance to be an inexpressive tsundere. Nothing could be further from the truth. His eyes speak volumes. But he feels so remorseful on behalf of his father that all he can say is "I'm sorry."

After crossing paths with Nak-won again, Na-moo begins to experience some of the quiet happiness that they shared before their lives were turned upside down. It's all very tentative. Jang Ki-yong has been doing a great job portraying Na-moo's shifts of mood and feelings. He's actually allowing little smiles to escape now.

Nak-won, on the other hand, is an extrovert. No wonder she went into acting. It's not just because her mother was an actress and she has been acquainted with the profession since she was a small child. Acting is a perfect fit with her personality.

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That's really beautifully written PakalanaPikake. Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts about my comment. I certainly agree with most of what you have said here. Still though, I find this actor playing Na-Moo to be irritating (though in the last episode or two, he is a bit more expressive). If you have ever watched "I Remember You" (or sometimes called Hello Monster) the way Seo In Guk plays the introverted genius professor is so much easier to watch. Even the child actor who played the same character at a young age and was even more introverted is much easier for me to watch than Na-moo and more believable. But I imagine it comes down to personal preference and maybe our own experiences in life. Maybe my impatience with Na-moo comes from knowing someone similar and being frustrated by them. Who knows? But thank you again for you expressive reply to my comment.

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You're most welcome, @zzthorn.

If you have ever watched "I Remember You" (or sometimes called Hello Monster) the way Seo In Guk plays the introverted genius professor is so much easier to watch. Even the child actor who played the same character at a young age and was even more introverted is much easier for me to watch than Na-moo and more believable.

I haven't seen that drama, so have no way to compare Seo In Guk's performance, or that of his younger self, to Jang Ki-yong's. Is there a particular episode / scene/ video clip or two that demonstrate(s) what you mean? I'm curious to see an example of another way of conveying inexpressiveness.

In ANOTHER OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN, Eric played an introverted, perfectionistic foley artist with a guilty conscience. Watching Park Do-kyung's guilt-ridden inner turmoil was difficult, and in some ways very similar to observing Na-moo. When he finally got over his guilt towards OHY, he was anything but tentative.

Jang Hyuk was terrific in BEAUTIFUL MIND as the neurosurgeon who had suffered a frontal-lobe surgical injury as a child, and therefore was incapable of expressing emotion – or so he had been told for most of his life. He gradually realized that he does have feelings, but that expressing them is another matter. Interestingly, his neurosurgeon father is played by Heo Jun-ho – Na-moo's father.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film MY SON because it really made me aware of eye acting. Cha Seung-won plays an introverted murderer serving a life sentence who is granted a 24-hour pass to visit his elderly mother and teenaged son after 15 years of good behavior. Ryu Deok-hwan, currently in MISS HAMMURABI, had literally caught my eye as King Gongmin in FAITH. He plays the son last seen by his father at the age of 3, and does a dynamite job.

You raise a very good point about performances punching a viewer's buttons because they hit too close to home, or are reminiscent of one's own life experiences, etc. Sometimes it's just a matter of chemistry between viewer and actor. This just occurred to me: could it be the directing?

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I'm not watching this drama but your comments caught my eye on the beanie page.

"Sometimes it's just a matter of chemistry between viewer and actor"
This is so so true, for me at least. It has happened many times when I can obviously see that an actor, or their role, isn't a particularly good one, but they just click for me in a way that I can only put down to chemistry between viewer and actor.

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Except for Faith, I've not watched a single one of those you mention above! But I did try to find a clip to show you of either Seo In Guk or the little boy playing the young character in Hello Monster (I Remember You) and did come up with something. Not exactly perfect and the sound with this is horrid and not from the drama, so you can just mute that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t_m9vrnb1Q In this clip where the boy and the prisoner are talking, the boy is talking to a psychopathic serial killer in a holding cell. The boy knows it is a psychopathic serial killer. He went there to give his father something as his father is the criminal psychologist treating the killer. But no one was in the room except for the killer. So the boy and the killer talked, exchanging philosophical thoughts and secrets. Often when the boy talks with his father, his face is completely expressionless, but when he talks with his younger brother, he shows more emotion. His father believes he is a monster, and will one day be like the killer. As an adult, the character handles his introversion in different ways, such as telling people to leave him alone or building walls. He alienates people by letting them know he thinks they are stupid or incompetent. sometimes he gives people numbers to get in line to speak with him. That sort of thing. He is preoccupied with his own thoughts and feelings and priorities. His hobby is cleaning which he seems obsessed by. I like this sort of complicated introverted character much more than I do the ones who stare off into space with painful expressions and don't answer when someone speaks to them (though Seo In Guk did a bit of that too, in that drama). And I totally agree that what you have said about the character Na-Moo works for most people even though it doesn't for me.... which, like I mentioned, is likely due to some experience in my past and not with the character in the drama. :-)

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Oh, here is a better clip than the one I sent you a couple minutes ago.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDgv8BZFoBs

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Loved what you wrote about LMH in Faith. I'm not a LMH fan at all but he was fantastic in Faith. Just perfect.

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@midnight,

I found it so hard to follow the exposition in FAITH that I watched the show 4 times, and read the DB recaps and all the comments. Yeah, I was kind of nuts. The OST was cracktastic, so that kept me hooked. It was still relatively early in my Kdrama watching, so I wasn't hip to all the tropes, nuances, and sageuk conventions. And I knew squat about Korean history, folklore, or bits of vocabulary.

Eventually I caught on to the essence of Choi Young (sheesh, that sounds like aftershave) that LMH was portraying, and the scales fell from my eyes. ;-)

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Was anyone else annoyed with Nak-won in the amusement park when Na-moo thought she was missing and was frantically looking for her and she just sort of stood there and watched him for too many seconds?

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We watched this together on Rabb.it and @justme was like, "run to him!"

I was just enjoying watching him running around frantic. Why? I don't know. Maybe for the same reason Nak-won was.

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Hehe, @jenmole, would you say that you were enjoying watching Na-moo running around frantically the same way Park Hee-young was amused at seeing Dad going berserk trying to strangle her?

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I think @jenmole enjoys all of JKYs expressions regardless of the scenario (i mean, dont we all?)

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Okay, that date was so cute. Big, strong Na-moo is afraid of roller coasters? I love it! The frog eyes had me dying from the cuteness. For all the changes Jae-yi and Do-jin have experienced, on the inside they are still Nak-won and Na-moo.
But on the scary side, I'm surprised that they actually had someone attack the creepy reporter. But I don't think it's Hyun-moo for 2 reasons. 1.) The person with the hammer is a smaller build than Hyun-moo; he just looks too thin to be Hyun-moo. 2.) Hyun-moo was wearing all black but the person with the hammer had a dark brown jacket on. I think it's the creepy fanboy. And how much do I love cop buddy Jong-hyun with the heart shaped apples. And how much do I hate sunbae the snitch, ugh! And just when I think there is no hope for Hyun-moo, he does something as sweet as watching over his family out of concern for them. I know he will still have to go to jail because he DID stab his brother, but I still hope for a redemption arc for him, because underneath that gruff exterior is the heart of a little boy that just wants to be loved and be a part of a real family.

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Part 1 of 2

Thank you for your wee-cap and comments, @mary!

My favorite line, re: Reporter Park: "She makes me want to go on a Bible study with Yoon Hee-jae." ROFLMAO.

Lee Seung-woo comes across as truly wacko. Frighteningly so. In comparison, Hyun-moo really is a wannabe who lacks the killer instinct -- and the stomach. I take it that, unlike Na-moo, he never saw Dad in action, judging by his freakout when Fanboy murdered the drunk in front of his eyes. While I'm glad that Hyun-moo is watching out for Mom and So-jin, I'm appalled at the thought that Seung-woo will probably be going after them soon. He didn't seem to be inclined to attack Hyun-moo, but who knows when that might change. Maybe he considers him beneath Dad's notice.

Regrettably, I have to admit that I practically cheered as Psycho Dad throttled Reporter Park. She goaded him mercilessly, and had it coming, unlike that poor prison guard a couple of episodes ago.

I was distressed to learn that Detective Kang Nam-gil has been ratting out Na-moo to Reporter Park. What the heck is his problem? Blaming Detective Chae for his father's murderous hobby sounds like something out of the Joseon era. Sheesh.

I did not recognize Han Ji-ho as the reporter who blew Mom's cover on the island years earlier. Thanks for pointing that out. As far as I'm concerned, she's Reporter Park-Lite, and I trust her as far as I can throw her. Is it a good thing that Mom and So-jin now know that Prosecutor Gil Moo-won is Jae-yi’s brother, thanks to her?

No longer dressed like Hyun-moo, Mom doesn’t notice him [Fanboy Lee Seung-woo] lurking around and being creepy, but Reporter Han does–which means she’ll either die soon or she’ll end up exonerating Hyun-moo.

ROFLMAO. Here's hoping that Reporter Han is less of a jerk than she appeared, and that she's useful as well as ornamental.

- Continued -

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Part 2 of 2

Speaking of Moo-won, every time I see him, I get the feeling that he may be headed for the deep end. It would not surprise me if he snaps and kills Psycho Dad or his acolyte to protect his sister.

It was lovely to see Na-moo and Nak-won on their date, walking among the trees, strolling along the beach, and hanging out at the amusement park, riding the boring carousel. [I do not blame Na-moo one bit for avoiding the scary rides. He gets far too much excitement in his work as a detective. Cut the man -- and his adrenals -- some slack, Nak-won!] Everything is peachy keen -- until she runs away from the girls taking her picture and sends poor Na-moo into a panic. What I couldn't figure out was why she just stood there watching him freak out over her disappearance. I felt like smacking some sense into her. After the most recent attempt on her life, how could she not realize that he would think the worst had happened? Get with the program, kiddo!

I like your reasoning as to the identity of Reporter Park's killer, namely the choice of murder weapon, and his revulsion at the drunk's murder. Knowing that Lee Seung-woo has been impersonating Hyun-moo, I couldn't help but wonder if both of them had been present at the scene of the murder.

-30-

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My guess is Hyun-moo talked to Park, and Seung-woo dropped by a little bit later because he likes to follow Hyun-moo around and "finish" things for him.

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That was my guess as well -- but I wasn't sure if it was okay to say so. ;-)

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Guesses don't count as spoilers unless we're basing them on something that happened after this episode heehee

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Not A Complaint! Sorry to add to your workload, @mary. :-(

Technical observation re: page layout. I've noticed that clips from Kocowa are too wide, which results in the thumbnails in the right column blocking the main article's text where they overlap. RECENT POSTS and CURRENTLY AIRING are illegible where the text overlaps, and also collide with the image. Is there a way to resize the video windows to be narrower? (For the record, I'm reading in Blog View on a 15-16" laptop with FireFox on Win7.) -- I've noticed this display issue since the first time I saw a Kocowa clip on DB.

Thanks for all you do here at DB! ;-)

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Thank you for describing it! I'm gonna take a look...

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You're welcome, @mary! Surely I can't be the only person to have noticed this. (Perhaps it displays correctly on smartphones and tablets?) But I might be the first geekette to have documented it. Old tech writers never die... ;-)

HOLY MOLY, you're fast! It's fixed!!! A CSS tweak did the trick?

Manseh, @mary! All hail the IT Goddess!!!

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Hahaha you code-stalker :P

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Jang Ki Young should consider join avenger..

He can make his enemy melt in split second with her intense gaze...

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