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43

My Strange Hero: Episodes 19-20

For the Wildflower Class, and for our hero in particular, every small victory is to be celebrated. But for the unhinged Oh Se-ho, every small victory is just that–small. In his eyes, he could win a dozen battles and it still wouldn’t be enough. The people he hurt keep getting up to fight back, and with more rallying against him, he’s starting to get desperate.

 
EPISODE 19 RECAP

Bok-soo and Soo-jung tear apart from their embrace when someone walks into the office. It’s Seung-woo, there in search of his phone. Seeing his teacher and classmate together, he makes a quick U-turn and heads out, muttering to himself that Bok-soo sure has guts.

Panicking that the romance he waited so long for is over, Bok-soo catches up to Seung-woo and asks if he’s a talker. Seung-woo smirks, saying that what he saw must be true then. He gives Bok-soo a pat on the shoulder and says that he’ll have to think about all this.

However, Bok-soo doesn’t give him much time to think. The next day, he bursts into class and makes a scene by calling Seung-woo out.

Watch the video

Why did you have to hug me so tenderly?!

 

The students are confused, but not as much as Seung-woo is when Bok-soo ends up leading him to the English-only snack bar. Bok-soo tries to spit out some English but gives up and tells Seung-woo to order whatever he wants. So Seung-ho orders a variety of food, surprising Bok-soo with his decent English skills.

The two sit outside with their purchases, and Bok-soo quietly admits that it’s true–he likes Sohn Soo-jung, and he has for nine years. He starts rambling that a twerp like Seung-woo oughta listen to his elders and keep their secret, making Seung-woo joke that his mouth suddenly feels like talking. Bok-soo sticks a snack in his mouth to keep it shut for now, haha.

Teacher Park starts his lecture for the Ivy Class, though he stops when he realizes the students aren’t opening their textbooks. Chae-min coldly states that Teacher Park should think long and hard about why they’re protesting.

Later, in the hall, Chae-min runs into Young-min and Seung-woo and asks if they bribed Teacher Park to be on their side. Young-min retorts that Chae-min is the one who does all the bribing. (Seung-woo had filled him in earlier.)

“There’s something else I’m curious about,” Young-min says. “Do you really raise your grades yourself? Or was that done with money–” Chae-min punches Young-min before he can finish the sentence.

Young-min slams Chae-min against the lockers, and the boys struggle until someone grabs Young-min’s arm. Bok-soo warns him that it won’t end well if he uses violence, and though it doesn’t calm him down, he does back off. The teachers come running over and, seeing Chae-min on the floor, all assume different things.

Se-ho makes his way through and asks if this was Bok-soo’s doing again. Young-min starts to deny this, but Se-ho interrupts and orders the witnesses to submit an accident report.

Chae-min gets sent to the hospital, while Young-min is simply sent to Nurse Park. As the nurse tends to Young-min’s wounds, his classmates joke that he’s stronger than he looks.

In the teachers’ office, Teacher Park stares at a blank apology letter, which he has to fill out to excuse his decision in the debate. Across the room, Vice Principal Song sighs to read the differing accident reports.

He calls Teacher Kim and Soo-jung over, saying the Ivy Class are blaming Young-min and the Wildflower Class are blaming Chae-min. Both teachers defend their own students, though, so Song decides to go with whatever.

The bell rings, and the teachers all disperse, leaving Min-ji alone to do her work. She passes Teacher Kim’s desk and notices something odd on his computer: award certificates made in advance. She saves it all on a USB.

An announcement is posted for the school violence committee, with Young-min listed as the perpetrator. The Wildflower Class think it’s ridiculous, and they wish they could do something. That’s when Bok-soo turns to Do-hyun, who’s carrying his phone and recording everything as he does every day. Ahaaa.

Soo-jung is also outraged that Young-min was accused, but Vice Principal Song believes that the Ivy Class’s word is more dependable than her class’s. She then gets a text from Bok-soo saying he already has a plan.

Outside, Bok-soo is meeting with old classmate Teacher Ma (who’s still quite fond of him) to get a key.

Bok-soo sneaks down the hall to the broadcasting room and unlocks the door so his buddies from the Wildflower Class can file in. As Bok-soo stays out to keep watch, the kids plug Do-hyun’s phone into the computer and broadcast the video of Young-min and Chae-min’s fight to the entire school.

Meanwhile, Se-ho tells the principal and vice principal to finalize the Wildflower students’ transfers; he says that the average is sure to rise once they’re gone. The principal wonders why he’s like this when he originally wanted to give the Wildflower students special treatment with guest speakers and everything.

“I was rejected,” Se-ho blurts out, only to clarify that he was rejected by the guest speakers. Teacher Kim then barges in, in a panic, and turns on the broadcast, which shows Chae-min throwing the first punch in the fight. Vice Principal Song bolts up to take care of this.

Song finds the broadcasting room, but Bok-soo tackles him with a hug to keep him out. Teacher Kim comes running with a spare key, throwing it their way, and it goes straight into Gyung-hyun’s dustpan. He nonchalantly walks off with it, saying he’s just doing his job.

Song later reprimands Soo-jung for letting her kids create such a fuss when she should’ve handed the evidence straight to him. Soo-jung feigns ignorance, saying she had no idea the evidence even existed. But when Song isn’t looking, Soo-jung smiles as she remembers Bok-soo and Do-hyun coming to her with the video.

She assures Song that she’ll punish her kids, so long as Chae-min gets punished as well. At that, Song shrinks in his chair and stutters that they should just forget the whole thing. Back in the Ivy Class, Chae-min’s classmates are shocked over the video. Chae-min doesn’t know what to say, especially when Young-min walks in.

Young-min cuts to the chase, saying he and his friends could easily discount Chae-min’s grades with their evidence. But he’s willing to make a deal. “From now on, don’t mess with my classmates,” he says. “And return the awards you bought with your dirty money.” Seeing Chae-min’s defeated expression, Young-min assumes they have deal.

Song reluctantly gives Soo-jung her students’ debate awards, and she beams with pride to see Bok-soo’s name on the top certificate. She returns to class and has Bok-soo, Young-min and Seung-woo come up front to receive their awards. The boys glance at each other with triumphant smiles as their classmates cheer and clap.

Soo-jung stops by the office to give Teacher Park a drink. Park smiles at the sticky note attached that expresses Soo-jung’s thanks and her wishes to be a teacher like him. He puts the note in an old journal, where there are pages and pages of students’ notes.

There are also pages of his own notes on Se-ho–things he jotted down whenever Se-ho’s behavior concerned him. He picks up an old photo of him with Se-ho and Bok-soo, and he remembers the night he visited Se-ho in the hospital, right after the rooftop incident.

He’d talked with Se-ho’s mom in the corridor, insisting that Bok-soo couldn’t have pushed him. Se-ho’s mom had asked if he was accusing her son of lying, and he wasn’t sure how to answer. In the present, Park sticks the photo back on its page and locks his journal away.

EPISODE 20 RECAP

Seung-woo has cleanup duty that afternoon but since Bok-soo is still sucking up to him, he offers to clean instead. Before he leaves, Seung-woo teasingly asks if Bok-soo just wants to be alone with Soo-jung–after all, he doesn’t want to see their precious teacher get hurt.

Soo-jung stops by to see how the cleaning is going, and she’s surprised to see Bok-soo by himself. Bok-soo smiles mischievously and says that of course he’s doing a good job. He inches closer to her, making her back up, and continues that he’s sooo diligent and smart that he even won an award. Shouldn’t he get another reward from her?

He keeps moving closer, but she bumps into the lockers, with nowhere else to go. She snaps herself out of it and warns him that they could get caught again–they’re in school and he’s wearing his uniform.

“The uniform is the problem?” he asks. He takes her by the waist and throws her behind the door, before slowly leaning in and giving her a soft kiss. When they pull apart, he grins as she just stares at him.

She then grabs him by his uniform and gives him a much longer kiss. Omg, I’m melting… But omg, stop before someone sees you!

We transition into a kiss scene from rom-com 500 Days of Summer. As Bok-soo and Soo-jung watch the movie, Bok-soo leans over and whispers that they’re much hotter. Okay, seriously, STAHP.

Watch the video

Pfft! Our kiss was hotter!

 

After their movie date, Soo-jung has one more place she wants to go: the hospital. She introduces Bok-soo to her grandma as the boy who painted their gate, and Grandma curses at him, saying the color always gave her a headache. Well, now Bok-soo knows where Soo-jung’s swearing came from.

Grandma starts hammering him with questions on how to take care of Soo-jung, and he happily answers each one. Finally, Grandma needs to know that he won’t disappear and hurt Soo-jung like her father did. At that, Bok-soo promises that he’ll never leave Soo-jung alone.

Grandma notes that he’s great husband material, making the couple smile at each other. But then she asks Soo-jung to let her marry him, and the couple’s smiles drop.

At school the next day, Teacher Park congratulates the Wildflower Class on a job well done. He says that adults are those that understand what’s right and fix what’s wrong, which means that they’re way ahead of the Ivy Class. He suggests they at least study more, which is when everyone takes their napping positions.

That night, at their office, the Your Favors crew look over Min-ji’s findings. They can’t believe that the school would make awards for Ivy students for competitions that weren’t even held yet. “What are you talking about?” someone asks by the door. They look up to find a shocked Teacher Park.

Since he’s already heard what they said, they show him all of their evidence proving Seolsong’s corruption. Bok-soo assures him that they’ll get their revenge, but Park is so ashamed that he merely says they shouldn’t have to deal with this. So he leaves for the school, where he fills out an indictment form.

The next day, the school gets a visit from the education office. When Vice Principal Song furiously asks who submitted a complaint, Teacher Park doesn’t hesitate to admit it was him. Song slams a different list of complaints on Park’s desk, saying he should worry about his poor teacher reviews.

And it looks like Park’s efforts were for naught; the second Chairwoman Im comes in and speaks to the investigators, they bow their heads and apologize for the “mistake.” Im then turns to her son, appalled that he ever allowed a whistleblower in her school. She throws a plane ticket his way and yells for him to get out.

Se-ho stands and corrects her, saying Seolsong is his school now. She asks if he’s gone crazy, and he spits out, “Yes, I’ve been crazy for a long time. How could anyone stay sane under you?”

His mom smiles and notes that he’s finally acting like her child. He says she has no right to call him that, and she just leans in and reminds him that he’s never accomplished anything on his own. With one swift movement, she knocks over his nameplate, breaking it, and stalks off.

Se-ho lets out a shaky sigh and falls into a memory. Nine years ago, he’d asked Soo-jung if she wanted to run for student body VP while he ran for president. Overhearing this, Bok-soo wanted to run as well. And to Se-ho’s surprise, the students actually loved Bok-soo’s philosophy.

Bok-soo had admitted that he wasn’t smart, but he was caring and loyal, and he would do whatever he could to help a student in need. Though his classmates were totally all for him, it was Se-ho that ended up winning. Se-ho could tell that Soo-jung was disappointed in the results, but he was more confused to see that Bok-soo wasn’t being a sore loser.

Still, he’d come home to announce to his mom that he’d won. Mom had just thrown a glass at the wall, a shard scratching his face. She seethed that he lost to Bok-soo and that she couldn’t let a guy like him beat her son–so she manipulated the results. Crying, Se-ho had stated that she should’ve loved him no matter how lacking he was. Because she made him this way, no one liked him; even he hated himself.

That night, he’d gone to the Kang restaurant to watch Bok-soo and his family. Seeing how happy they were, he’d thought that something was wrong with him. “I hate you,” he said, his eyes on Bok-soo. “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be feeling this way.”

We then cut to after the rooftop incident, with Se-ho waking up in the hospital. He’d looked at his mom and started to ask about Bok-soo, but Mom cut him off and asked if Bok-soo pushed him.

He hesitated, but seeing Mom’s cold expression, he eventually said yes. And later, he overheard Teacher Park defending Bok-soo to Mom. In the present, Se-ho orders the principal to inform the Wildflower Class of their transfer. Right now.

The principal enters the class and tries to explain the best he can that the director wants them to transfer schools–with their low grades, they’d be better off in low-level schools.

“What if we don’t want to leave?” Seung-woo asks. Young-min and Bok-soo voice the same thing, but the principal states that their transfer has already been decided and that it’s for their own good.

Now that that’s done, Se-ho heads to the teachers’ office to confront Teacher Park. He tells Park that if he doesn’t like Seolsong, he can leave; he’s already filled out Park’s resignation letter. Nooo!

Park starts to argue that the system here isn’t right, but Se-ho snaps that Park’s own philosophy is an empty promise to the kids. “You might’ve been a good teacher to Kang Bok-soo,” he says, his voice faltering. “But not to me.”

He continues that he’s living proof that Park’s philosophy doesn’t work, because back then, he pretty much died.

Just as Park picks up the resignation letter, Bok-soo bursts in and grabs the letter from his hand. He tears it up and drops the pieces to the ground, saying, “Director Oh Se-ho… The owner of this school isn’t you.”

  
COMMENTS

There’s a lot to unpack here. First, I let out the biggest sigh of relief when I found out that it was Seung-woo who walked in on our couple. I consider him one of Bok-soo’s best allies (even if Bok-soo doesn’t necessarily think so), as well as one of the smartest. He impressed me with his speech in the debate, and he only gets better as the show goes on. It’s like he’s finally starting to wake up and put an effort into school, whether that be with his teachers or his classmates. The same goes for Young-min, who woke up in a different way. For him, he was putting in a little too much effort when he should’ve let himself relax a bit. Now look at these boys–they’re hanging around people that they never in a million years would’ve considered as friends. And they look happier than they did only a few weeks ago.

It was so brave of the kids to stand up against the school in order to get their rights back. After all, they’re only one class against the rest of Seolsong. The honors students only care about themselves, the teachers only care about the honors students, and the director only cares about… well, I don’t really know. There are plenty of good teachers in that office, but they’re too scared to talk back to The Man. It seems like only Soo-jung and Teacher Park have the guts to talk back, to actually fight back. And while these teachers are awesome in all that they do, they’re just two people. Like Park mentioned, the Wildflower Class need to help out a bit. It may not seem like much, but studying could really make a difference. They need to show the school that they’re just as worthy as anybody else. And that doesn’t mean that they have to be as freakishly smart as the top students–all the teachers ask for is that they do their best. That they try. I mean, remember how much Bok-soo improved when Soo-jung challenged him?

I love seeing the parallels with Soo-jung and Teacher Park. They have such a fun and loving relationship with their students, and they’re willing to take certain measures to guarantee their safety. I kind of wish Teacher Park hadn’t jumped right into that indictment, but it must’ve been quite a shock to have learned about years and years of corruption within his own workplace. Corruption invades the supposed safety of hospitals and courtrooms, but when they invade the safety of schools–where there are freaking children–it’s downright terrifying. However, there is no place quite as terrifying than Se-ho’s own home. I have to praise actress Kim Yeo-jin because she portrays one of the most vile mothers in dramaland that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve only ever seen this actress in warm and kind roles. And, of course, the same goes for Kwak Dong-yeon. What ever happened to the bumbling idiot from Modern Farmer? It just amazes me the level of talent in this show.

Anyway, I always appreciate whenever we’re given the chance to step into Se-ho’s shoes. Because as crazy as Se-ho can be, his feelings in high school are surprisingly relatable. I can definitely think of more than one occasion when I was so jealous of someone that I wanted to hate them. Even if I knew that that someone was a good person. Now, for me, I could just get over it and move on, but because of his mother, Se-ho can’t. He can’t get over the fact that everyone likes Bok-soo. He can’t get over the fact that Bok-soo is still happy even after a loss. He’s lived in a household where loss wasn’t accepted. A loss would simply get replaced with a manipulated win.

Come to think of it, Se-ho has never been able to appreciate his own hard work, his own successes and most importantly, his own failures. It’s twisted his way of thinking, of viewing life, so Bok-soo’s carefree attitude only seems pathetic to him. But what’s sad is that deep down, Se-ho wishes he was given the luxury of being carefree. Of being free, period. I liked seeing his flashback this episode because it revealed that even back then, he was capable of standing up to his mom. But the fight against his mom has always been futile, so he’s convinced himself that he has to to fight against his friends instead. If there is a redemption in store for Se-ho, and I’d like to believe there still is, it’s for him to realize that an impossible fight may not be so impossible. He can fight his mom for the right reasons–for the reasons a school director and a friend should.

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Your analysis of why Se-ho is the way he is reminds me of a certain orange narcissist. Except that guy doesn't seem to be at all conflicted and I don't expect any redemption arc.

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Well, I'm hoping/praying for an indictment instead of a redemption arc.

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I think people end up like this because they're never forced to take responsibility for their own actions so, yeah. Add a vote for indictment here too.

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I think he needs indictment. I think he needs to face the consequences and make things right if only to truly be able to not hate himself so much.

In a twisted way, I understand him wanting to destroy everything and everyone on his path including himself because he never really owned/deserved anything he has anyway. Its a cry for atttention. Its trying to push the limits of reality (what is reality even?). But also if he can't have it, clearly nobody else should either.

I think subconsciously he may want someone to stop him. And if nobody does, well time to go bigger and badder and more broken.

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hah for a minute there I thought you were talking about the "orange narcissist" and then realized you are talking about our poor Se-Ho, who is on a path of self-destruction.
Still, it's hard to not feel a little sorry for him learning about how horrible his mother is.

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@stpauligurl

I just realized i potatoed and misunderstood.

My opinions of the orange narcissist are DEFINITELY less understanding.

Im sorry for the confusion!

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@saturtledaisy- actually most of what you wrote could apply to the orange narcissist - except I don't feel sorry for him (ON) at all.

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Meanwhile, the school corruption may seem a bit too much to believe, but after the circus recently with the former president and her fortuneteller friend and the friend's daughter, pretty much anything you can imagine regarding Korea's education system is fair game.

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They also stripped about 5 or 6 idols of their degrees recently. Seems they were allowed to skip too many actual classes.

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How are people still writing cohesive thoughts about this drama?? I'm just sitting here drooling over how beautiful and meaningful everything is. 😍

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I KNOW. I want to gush but my brain just doesnt want to do more than scream BOKSOOO. Because that will convince everyone this show is great.

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I'm sure I have a million things to say but each week i'm mostly like "Death by marshmallow, the end".

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Each week, I look forward to the craziness of Wildflower Class and how our main heroes solve the passing issues within them. Cuz let's face it, they're easier to understand, contains most of the humor and I just love seeing the students grow stronger and triumph another day while building a stronger connection with Bok Su.
Man, Se Ho's confrontation scenes sends chills down my spine. KDY is just EXCELLENT with these charismatic roles (Kim Byeong Yeon in Love in the Moonlight, haven't seen him in other works, too). He's only 22, for goodness sake! I have a difficult time hating his mom cuz I've seen her in Terrius Behind Me and she was WICKED COOL.

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*Haven't seen him in other dramas, just Love in the Moonlight

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I really liked the speech of Professor Park about what is to be an adult :)

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This drama is my Crack right now. It's so adorable and funny and heartfelt <3

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KYJ and KDY are KILLING IT. Seriously, they are just so freaking good that in any other drama, every other character would pale in comparison. But they don't, because every single performance in this drama is stellar. I mean, we've barely seen Kim Mi-kyung, and she's one of the best actresses in dramaland, IMHO. I normally get mad that she is sidelined so much, but it's okay that her screen time is so limited in this drama because the others are so good.

Here's the thing...I don't think the story here is great, but the writing and the acting...ESPECIALLY the acting, really is. It makes up for a somewhat weak plot, when you really think about it. There is another drama going on right now (which shall not be named) where it's completely the opposite, and despite high production values and all kinds of slick marketing decisions, I find myself residing outside of the story. I bring it up only to say that you don't need a ton of gloss to make something great. I'm a musician, and I always say that you don't need the best instrument in the world to give the best performance of a concerto, and the audience will get FAR more meaning out of a heartfelt and gutsy performance on a crappy instrument than they would out of a perfectly polished but safe performance on the best instrument.

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love everything you just wrote and agree on every point. I had just been contemplating my reaction to the other highly pronoted, high production value drama I’m following (which I suspect is the same one you reference), and how different my reaction to - and interest in - the two were, and you articulated my thoughts perfectly. Yes, the actual storyline in My Strange Hero is thin, but I look forward to and enjoy it every week. The dialogue is natural and flowing, and the actors are totally selling their characters, which makes me care about them and feel invested in their story. Even though it’s mostly comedy, I’ve shed a tear or two while watching. OTOH, the “other” drama has the most stilted, pretentious, and unnatural sounding dialogue I have ever seen in a Kdrama, in the 6 months I’ve been binging on them non-stop. (It was instant and total love!). I am so distracted by how stiff and scripted the conversations between the lead couple are that I have never been able to see anything but the two actors delivering their lines. That keeps me from being emotionally invested in both the characters and their romance, despite all the gorgeousness of the cinematography, scenery, and lead actors.

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I love Bok-Su, I do, but I'm really disappointed he decided to run for president against Se-Ho, that was just mean. I understand he didn't do it in a meanspirited way, but the president is essentially a popularity contest even in Korea, where usually the top student becomes president.

All that being said 😍😍😍😍 for Bok-Soo and Soo-jung. They are adorbs. They make me happy to watch them. Cheers to a healthy working relationship.

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Boksoo's decision to run for President, reminded me of Se-ho's biggest implied accusation against him - obliviousness.

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Agree that is Boksoo`s flaws. He clearly did not know what that meant to se-ho. It was a spur at the moment decision that had no ill intension. It is now 9 years after that Boksoo got to know what se-ho feelt. in some way Boksoo is better at reading people now than when he was a kid.

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Boksoo had every right to run for president, Seho's hardships shouldnt undermine Boksoo's ambition for what he wants to do himself.

However, I believe if Seho had said anything about how much it meant to him and how hard his life was, Boksoo wouldnt have run. He would have tried to help Seho more.

Is it Boksoo's fault for not noticing just how scarred Seho was? I'm not sure. I am not sure if Boksoo was even able to comprehend or guess how bad someones life at home could be, considering his own family. Especially if that person is rich.

Can you really blame someone for not noticing subtle cries for help?

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I agree he had a right to run. However, I wouldn't have said it was mean if he were running for any meaningful reason, he ran because he didn't want Soo Jung to be Se-Ho's VP. It was friendly jealousy( those are the best words that describe it, if it had been mmalicious, I would say petty, but Bok Soo isn't like that). He didn't actually care if he ran or even won. However, he knew that Se-Ho as a top student would want it as part of his specs. That is why I said it was mean, as mentioned above it was obliviousness and not malicious. That is also why I said disappointment and not anger. 😊

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As any naughty child will confirm, disappointment is scarier than anger.

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Lol, true, but it's only because I love Bok-Soo so much.

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Also, I would totally say petty. It was petty and childish and induced by a crush bigger than the sun. It was also kindof cute.

Too bad Boksoo never understood the value of specs. Poor Seho.

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I think Se-hi was very skilled at masking his emotional trauma from his vicious, demanding mother. Even Teacher Park has no idea what Se-ho was experiencing, and he was a trained professional. Why would a teenage Bok-soo, whose only life experience was a loving family, with such unconventional maternal love, even be able to imagine the horror of what Se-ho was experiencing?

Even now, 9 years later, Se-ho is uncommunicative about the cause of his emotional pain. Bok-soo openly wonders what he did that so offended Se-ho, and Teacher Park still doesn’t know what he missed that caused him to fail his prior student.

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The school portion of this drama just reminds me of school 13 if Kang Daniel was a student instead of a teacher lmao.

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You mean Choi Daniel, right? 😅

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ADGJJHFS YES

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Chae-min as a brewing Se-ho reminds us this show does characterisation so well. An overbearing, corrupt mother - check. A secret insecurity that causes him to lash out against others - check. An outside bravado over his "achievements" warring with a deep inner self-loathing - check.

If we can look past the usual Behind Blue Eyes nonsense of male characters in dramaland, the show is actually making some interesting points about why entitlement and privilege lead to abuse and bullying. Everytime Chae-min goes after Young-min, he's not just Se-ho going after Boksoo. He's the entire system desperately trying to perpetuate itself by excluding those it's secretly scared might be more deserving of the things it has.

Why would Cha-min bother kicking Young-min when he's down? Why would Se-ho care about Boksoo? Because they secretly feel they haven't earned anything they have and get threatened by people who do. And if that isn't a metaphor for privilege I don't know what is.

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In one of the earlier episodes, there were hints about Seungwoo not being the image he projects (tough, bully, last place). One of the other teachers were grading papers and said something to teacher Soo-Jung about how she has the last place in whole school in her class. Then later Soo-Jung was looking over the paper and mused how he managed to get every question wrong like it was on purpose. And when he didn't show up for several days, it showed Seungwoo living by himself in a one-room.

THEORY: Maybe Seungwoo was a genius and a first place person in another school but couldn't stand the pressure from his parents and enrolled by himself to this school where he's pretending to be dumb and get last place. and somehow it will come back to help BokSoo in the end.

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Hmm this does make sense & would explain Seung Woo's behavior. You can tell he's smart & would do well if he applied himself, but if your theory is correct then he's doing so on purpose. The fact that they allowed us to know he lives separately from his parents (at least his mother for sure) & seems to be estranged then he could have been a top student in another school & transferred to start over. I do think this would make for an interesting twist to show that getting top marks in school doesn't equal happiness.

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When Seung-Woo is absent from school for several days without explanation, and Soo-jung is unsuccessfully trying to contact his parents, she talks to Teacher Park about her concern. She mentions that Seung-woo had a record of perfect attendance, even if he doesn’t pay attention and is in last place. Teacher Park tells her that Seung-woo was ranked first place in his entire middle school. So it was established that he was a super smart student in his recent past. Soo-Jung then notices that it appears that he intentionally chooses incorrect answers on his tests. He also makes several statements in which he expresses a complex and/or philosophical concept, using a polysyllabic vocabulary with ease. (Exampkes: describing the symbolism of Bok-soo breaking the glass of the study booth, or his closing statement at the debate competition).

So it was completely believable that he went from last to first place when he decided to stop intentionally sabotaging his grades (most likely a form of rebellion against, and/or anger at, his parents).

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Or maybe he is talented student from unprivileged background, who is overlooked because of that, and doesn't care about school because he know that he can't fight the system.

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I still really like Se-Ho as the antagonist. I sympathise with him so much and love all the backstory bits. You just see him struggle and strain through his teen years, and he just seems to keep slamming into a brick wall. He studies hard to be the best student, but he’s unable to do so. Though he doesn’t curse Soo-Jeong because he recognizes how hard she works and sees her effort.

He wants to have a normal family and friends, and be well liked, then he sees Bok-Su achieve these things with seemingly little effort and grows resentful. Even though Bok-Su is probably his closest friend.

Then Se-Ho sees a space for him, one that, by way of his hard work and general studious demeanor, he’d be a good fit for. Only to have Bok-Su sort of half-heartedly enter the race. I don’t doubt Bok-Su would have followed through with his promises he made on the podium, but you could tell it was something that he just naturally came up with, rather than what he had in mind when he first joined the race. The hammer blow was Se-Ho finally feeling like he’d gotten a bit of a self esteem boost only to have that feeling completely crushed when his crazy mother informed him she’d had to rig it for him to win.

And KDY just kills every scene he’s in when you’re just peeking at the pain through his eyes and artificial smile.

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I keep hoping his character will have a redeeming story. Every time I think the writer is going to go Traditional Evil Villain, there’s a current scene or flashback of Se-ho’s past that just makes me want to cry with him. KDY is an amazingly good actor, and is doing a splendid job with his character.

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I'm loving this drama. This is one of the few dramas that will surely make you feel everything while watching.

First of all, that Kiss was soooooo hot!!! I loved how SJ grabbed BS's collar to get another kiss. Damn girl, you are something! hahah! Also, BS really looks hot with that white inner shirt. hahahah

At this point, I'm really worried about Teacher Park. He's one of the characters on the story that I really really love. And I really hate SH. He's really a psycho that needs to be slapped, blaming every thing to BS! His present self is sooo bad that tehre was a point where I want to skip his scenes but I can't 'coz KDY is soo damn good on portraying him. When we get snippets of his old self I really want to hug and comfort him. Where did that innocent boy go?

Well, to be honest, as much as i loved seeing Cute YSH, smiling YSH, goofy YSH; I just felt that there is something missing. When you watch a YSH drama, you're expected to cry with him. At this point, yes there were scenes where you feel the pain from his eyes but the YSH moment where he COMMAND you to cry is not yet there.

It may sound weird but when i watch him, I long for his crying scenes because he's just a wonderful crier. I even found him more attractive when he cries. IDK maybe I'm weird.

With two consecutive Rom Coms on his record, I really wanna see him do another Villain role on the future. Maybe Yeo Woon-ish or Harry Borrison-ish. Damn his performances on those "Villains" are soo good that every time I think about Yeo Woon i still get affected.

Anyways, enough of these rants. We still have 12 episodes left. Way to go!!!

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I want to say "be careful what you wish for" because I bet there's gonna be more tears than usual in the coming episodes (not counting the one after this), but honestly I feel you so much! I want to see him do what he does best and go all out with his emotions. Fingers crossed he gets an antihero/villainous role next, preferably with more action scenes 🙏🙏

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If that's the case, I'm preparing several boxes of tissues with me. "That" is what I signed for. IDK but when YSH cries, crying with him feels so good.
Anyways, antihero/villainous YSH We'll be waiting for that. Just imagining him giving burning gazes with a dash of smirks and mild guy-liner. hahah I'll be praying for that to happen soon.

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