One Spring Night: Episodes 21-22
It’s nice when families come together, except when it’s your dad and your ex-boyfriend plotting your life without your input. While the full truth of our lead couple’s relationship isn’t out yet, the dad-ex-boyfriend duo’s unwillingness to accept reality keeps pushing everyone to the edge of that truth, a truth they’re not quite ready to share with everyone. But never fear, our sweet pharmacist gets time with his fiery librarian to grow their relationship in between all the moments of playing phone tag and trying to keep ahead of the opposition. Because while everyone else might have their doubts, these two are growing confident that they’ll be able to weather whatever comes at them.
Heading up to her apartment with Ji-ho, Jung-in slows when she spots her father standing in front of her door. Jung-in attempts to introduce Ji-ho, but Dad just gruffly barks for her to open the door and let him in. Ji-ho tries next, gently suggesting that he can introduce himself officially another time. Dad continues to ignore him and demand to be let inside, so eventually Ji-ho backs up to leave the two of them.
Dad sits down on the couch and beckons for his daughter to join him, but Jung-in tells him to give her a moment and darts back out to the hall to catch Ji-ho before he leaves. But she just misses the elevator as it closes, and by the time she reaches the street, Ji-ho is gone.
Back upstairs, Dad half-heartedly asks what Ji-ho does for a living, and Jung-in asks when they can have a formal introduction so that Ji-ho can say for himself. “Just end it,” is Dad’s response. When Jung-in says they’ve barely just started, Dad asks if that’s why everyone else already knows all about the two of them.
Jung-in is angry now, and shoots back that just because her dad is older doesn’t mean that he should ignore and dismiss young people. She asks Dad how he would feel if someone treated her that way, and then confirms that Chairman Kwon ignored her just this way for four years.
Speaking of Chairman Kwon, he’s busy looking through the spy photos he’s got an investigator taking of his son. The chairman seems concerned that Ki-seok doesn’t seem to be meeting anyone, not even Jung-in. The chairman orders the investigator to focus on Jung-in now.
And Ki-seok is indeed alone at home with a beer, talking with his older brother who lives in America. His brother mentions that he heard that Ki-seok is getting married finally, and Ki-seok doesn’t quite confirm or deny, but instead asks how his brother managed to get married when their father was against it. His brother says that he was able to do it when their mother was still alive, and apologizes for not being there to help Ki-seok out. Ki-seok’s brother advises that he marry Jung-in quickly, even if he’s tired of her, because other men will find her attractive. Indeed they will.
After fleeing Jung-in’s, Ji-ho heads to his parents’ home. His mother tries to speak with him, but Ji-ho just heads directly to his son’s room to cuddle the sleeping boy.
Back to Jung-in’s apartment, Dad manages to coax Jung-in to the coach and apologizes. But then he asks her what she plans to do with Ki-seok now, and Dad doesn’t accept her answer when she says that she broke up with him already. He tells Jung-in that she can’t decide that alone, not while Ki-seok still loves her. Sigh.
Dad continues on, begging his daughter to stay with Ki-seok so that she doesn’t let her family down. He says that Chairman Kwon may have acted coldly before, but he made a mistake and has changed his mind. And then the real truth comes out, as Dad sinks to his knees: Dad begs Jung-in to stay with Ki-seok, to make sure he still gets that job Chairman Kwon offered to him after retirement. Jung-in pulls away from her father, just as the door opens and Jae-in arrives home.
Jae-in darts behind the foyer wall and whispers at her sister, just to make sure that Dad hasn’t heard the big single-parent news yet. Jung-in reassures her that she still hasn’t told him, and Jae-in turns to greet her dad with a sweet smile. But Dad just ignores his youngest daughter and leaves. Jung-in starts to tell her father the big Ji-ho news, but Jae-in hushes her sister and follows her dad out the door.
Ji-ho’s dad returns home and finds his son curled up in bed next to Eun-woo. Ji-ho’s phone is buzzing on the table, and Dad wakes Ji-ho up to take the call. It’s Jung-in of course, who has been calling repeatedly, worried that Ji-ho was angry.
Ji-ho asks why she’s speaking so quietly when her father has left already, and it turns out it’s because Jung-in has hurried out to Ji-ho’s apartment, and is now trying to creep away quietly since he’s at his parent’s house. Ji-ho smiles, and hands over his door code so that Jung-in can wait for him inside. Ah, I’m swooning for both of them.
Jung-in pauses in front of Ji-ho’s door for a moment to breathe in the moment, and then enters the apartment. She peeks into Ji-ho’s bedroom, where she finds a family portrait of him and Eun-woo on the nightstand.
Ji-ho grins broadly in the taxi when Jung-in texts to ask if she can make herself a bowl of ramyun (is that innuendo?). By the time the taxi finally arrives, Ji-ho bounds to the stairwell and charges up. But instead of entering his own passcode, he rings the intercom instead.
Jung-in, mid-bite of ramen, has a sly smile on her face as she answers back through the intercom speaker, “Who is it?”
“Jung-in’s boyfriend,” Ji-ho grins, and Jung-in retorts, “I have a lover, but not a boyfriend.” When Ji-ho’s smile drops, she muses about how easy he is to tease. Ji-ho enters and moves in for a kiss.
Jung-in returns to her ramyun while Ji-ho tries to hide his laundy, though Jung-in says she’s seen everything already, ha. Jung-in spots a book on Ji-ho’s table that she also owns, and asks Ji-ho to read a passage she likes aloud, in his “lovely voice.” Ji-ho smiles at the compliment and begins to read:
When we fall in love, must we get into it knowing whether it will be fruitful or not? Can we approach love in that manner? We mustn’t. We cannot be calculating in any aspect, because, after all, we love who we love. When one falls in love, it just happens. That’s all there is to it. So let’s not wallow in despair, restrain our feelings, or smother the light…”
He continues on, until Jung-in cuts him off at the end, filling it in herself: “And simply say, ‘Thank you God, I’m in love.'”
The two walk outside together now, and Jung-in admits that her earlier confidence in her ability to protect Ji-ho completely is already wavering. She warns that she might be the person who ends up hurting Ji-ho the most, and Ji-ho makes her promise that she won’t use that worry as an excuse to break up with him (yes! Call out that noble idiocy before it ever gets started!).
They smile as they walk, and Jung-in says that she thinks the two of them are very compatible. Ji-ho asks if it’s because they’re so different, and Jung-in pretends to pout as she asks if he’s insinuating that she’s ill-tempered. She asks him, “Don’t you think we’ll be able to get through everything together?” Ji-ho doesn’t answer with anything other than a smile, and she pokes at him to try to get an answer as they laugh.
The next morning, Ki-seok has nothing interesting to report from his weekend. When he hears that Hyun-soo played basketball, he immediately asks why he wasn’t invited, and Hyun-soo soothes that he was just playing by himself, not with the team. As everyone crowds into the elevator, Hyun-soo chooses to wait for the next one, Ki-seok’s steady gaze on him.
As soon as the doors close, Hyun-soo’s phone buzzes with a text from Ki-seok asking to meet upstairs. In the meeting room, Ki-seok tells Hyun-soo not to act so distantly towards him. Hyun-soo protests that he’s trying to be considerate, and Ki-seok responds that his efforts are just offending him instead.
At the school, the Dads meet together again. Jung-in’s Dad reassures the chairman that Jung-in is definitely not seeing anyone else, and tries to suggest that the rumors sprang up around guys at her college reunion meetups. Chairman Kwon seems doubtful but says that he’s sure they’ll figure things out then, but Dad has another proposal: why not arrange the wedding for them?
At lunchtime, Ji-ho runs to meet Jung-in at a Quiznos on her day off. But instead of subjecting us to the ambiance-deficient store, Ji-ho asks Jung-in to join him outside for lunch in a park. It’s a beautiful day, and Ji-ho confesses that he’d always wanted to have lunch with the person he loves in a park. Jung-in’s missed romantic opportunity is a walk in an alley after a rain, and Ji-ho says that they can probably make that happen someday.
Jung-in leans back, eyes closed, to enjoy the spring breeze, and Ji-ho snaps a photo of her. He sends it to her, and then teases her when she admires herself. “I guess you think you’re very pretty.”
Jung-in turns to him and asks him to agree to whatever she’s going to ask next. Eventually Ji-ho agrees, and Jung-in requests to go somewhere fun with Eun-woo soon. Of course, Ji-ho seems taken down by emotions, and Jung-in remarks with a smile that he’s so easy to upset. Ji-ho smiles, and from across the park, a camera shutter snaps, as the chairman’s detective captures the two sitting together.
Jae-in stops by Young-jae’s apartment building to pick him up. While there, she asks how much the rent is, since she assumes she and Jung-in will be kicked out of their place soon by her dad. Jae-in asks what Ji-ho’s parents are like, and Young-jae nods that they’re both very nice.
Ki-seok stops by for a meal with his dad and to apologize for his drunken phone call from a few nights ago. The chairman wants to know if she’s seeing someone else, and then continues that if it’s nothing serious, Ki-seok shouldn’t nag her about it and instead focus on a wedding date, especially since Jung-in’s dad has brought it up.
Chairman Kwon is surprised when his son is still there waiting for him after he emerges from cleaning up, and Ki-seok reassures his dad that Jung-in isn’t seeing anyone else. His dad nods and tells him to not give up until he can walk away without regrets.
Meanwhile, Ji-ho is also visiting his dad, though he spends his visit helping set up online banking for his father. Dad finally sees the money Ji-ho transferred for the stolen alcohol, and Dad giggles that with advance warning he’ll pick up some snacks for the next time.
Ji-ho’s mom comes in then with the laundry, but Ji-ho is pulled away by Eun-woo, who says that Jung-in is calling. Mom notes the name of the library on one of Eun-woo’s books and watches her son solemnly.
Ji-ho sits with Eun-woo on his bed while they video chat with Jung-in. Eun-woo shares that he made a pinwheel for Jung-in at kindergarten and Jung-in asks him to bring it to her the next time they see one another. Jung-in even calls Jae-in over to say hello to Eun-woo, who gasps at how “large” she is when she gets a little too close to the camera. Haha. Jung-in collapses into giggles.
At Seo-in’s, she sits with her mother, books about becoming a mother on the counter. Now that Mom knows about Seo-in’s pregnancy, she begs her daughter to stay with Shi-hoon. Seo-in tells her mother that she fears for her life if she stays with Shi-hoon, and that she needs to stay alive for the child. Mom doesn’t get how literal Seo-in means this, so Seo-in retrieves her binder of bruises and shows her mother all the harm Shi-hoon has inflicted.
Mom flips through only a few pages, and that’s enough for her. Mom stands, determined to find Shi-hoon, while Seo-in begs her mother to let her handle it. She clutches at her mother, and the two of them curl up into sobs.
Jung-in meets with Young-joo for a coffee, and to tell her friend that she’s planning on telling her father about Eun-woo. Young-joo is conflicted. Not only does she believe that Jung-in’s father will be angry, but she worries about her friend instantly becoming a mom if she were to consider marrying Ji-ho. But Jung-in doesn’t waver at that thought.
At the office, Ki-seok gets a call, and it seems that Jung-in’s father is reaching out to meet. It’s confirmed when Ji-ho calls Jung-in and reports that Hyun-soo overheard the conversation. Ji-ho is worried that Ki-seok will tell Jung-in’s dad about Eun-woo before he himself gets a chance to do it.
Young-joo watches her friend pace, and approaches to see what’s going on. Once she hears about Ki-seok, she agrees that it’s the right move to tell Jung-in’s dad before anyone else gets the chance.
Ji-ho’s back on the phone, and apologizes for disagreeing. Still, he says that he’d prefer to tell Jung-in about everything himself, since he’s not ashamed of who he is. Jung-in compliments his confidence, and he smiles. But Ji-ho is also growing impatient with Ki-seok, since he understands that Ki-seok’s issue is with him and not really with Jung-in.
While those two do their best to manage this situation, Jung-in’s mom has made her way to Shi-hoon’s clinic. She doesn’t allow the receptionists to give him any warning and instead heads back to his office. Shi-hoon is surprised to see his mother-in-law, and maybe even moreso when she greets him with a slap across the face. She delivers a second slap, and let’s Shi-hoon know that she’ll kill him if he ever lays a hand on her daughter again. A smirk crosses Shi-hoon’s face, and Mom goes ballistic, striking him over and over again until she’s exhausted.
Mom retreats to Seo-in’s apartment, where she tries to distract herself with food prep. But as she stirs the rice and closes the containers, the tears start to fall, and she’s overcome with sobs.
When Seo-in returns home, the apartment is empty, but there are flowers in vase. On her bed, Seo-in finds a bouquet and a box with a pair of baby shoes inside. A note from Mom reads, “You’re already a tremendous mother.”
Jung-in ducks out of work with somewhere to go. Is it to meet Ji-ho? It seems the answer is no, since Ji-ho calls her to see where she is. He asks if she’s planning to intervene in Ki-seok’s meeting with her father, and Jung-in refuses to answer one way or another, and Ji-ho heads out for dinner with Hyun-soo, Young-jae, and Jae-in.
Ki-seok and Dad sit down for their meal. There’s brief small talk, but then Dad goes forth and says, “I hear Jung-in is cheating on you.”
Meanwhile, Hyun-soo can’t help but note that Ji-ho is drinking soda instead of beer with his chicken, and doesn’t believe Ji-ho when he says nothing is wrong. Through their banter, Ji-ho asks Jae-in if she has any tips for being good to Jung-in. Jae-in turns the topic to her father, and laments that he won’t even acknowledge her right now since she messed up at school.
Back to Ki-seok, and he leans forward to ask Dad if Jung-in has told him the entire story. But when Dad seems confused, instead of tattling on Ji-ho and his son, Ki-seok denies that Jung-in is seeing anyone else at all. Both of them know that this isn’t true, but they both smile and nod and call it all nonsense.
With that settled, Dad brings up wedding planning, and Ki-seok asks Dad if he would be willing to set the date on their behalf. Dad chuckles and tells Ki-seok that he’s very much like the chairman.
Where is Jung-in if not here disrupting this nefarious plotting? She’s standing outside the gates of a stately home, one that I can only assume belongs to Chairman Kwon.
And indeed, the chairman sits inside, reviewing the photos of Jung-in and Ji-ho together that his detective has delivered. A maid arrives to announce Jung-in’s arrival, and Jung-in passes through the gates, looking up to the entrance.
I really have no clue what Jung-in’s plan is here. Is she forming her own alliances within the Kwon family to stand against Ki-seok and her father? If so, I kind of love the idea that she can use the chairman’s admiration to sabotage this undesirable union. If he’ll go along with it. It’s a great moment to leave us on, because I cannot even begin to guess how this will go down.
And as for that other alliance, man. The moment that Ki-seok and Jung-in’s dad smiled at one another at the lie they were telling themselves, ugh. It hurts the most because they both know they’re lying. They aren’t in denial or confused; they both are willing themselves to completely remove Ji-ho’s existence from their consciousnesses, and they only grow more confident when they see someone else is willing to play along.
Even if Jung-in doesn’t manage to win Chairman Kwon over, she and Ji-ho have a network of allies to help them out, and I loved that they now feel comfortable warning one another about Ki-seok’s machinations. In any other show, Jung-in would have found out about Ki-seok’s meeting with her dad through some high drama way. Maybe Ki-seok would call and taunt her about it, or she’d see them on the street and confront them in a rage. But instead, Ji-ho looks out for Jung-in. He’s got intel from his friends, and he passes it along. He also trusts her to take care of things when she says she will. It doesn’t mean he isn’t uneasy about it. The guy is drinking PPL soda instead of beer with his chicken–he’s prepared to dash off in a moment’s notice if things go south.
We get plenty of time amidst all this mess to enjoy this relationship as it grows. One thing I love about so many scenes are the full building shots we get to see and how that communicates the emotions of the scene. We are well acquainted with Ji-ho’s building, but I loved the shot of the elevators in Jung-in’s building this time around as well when Jung-in chased after Ji-ho after her dad showed up. The building was a little maze meant to keep distance between the two, and I love how the camera pulls way back to let us see it all.
And in contrast we see their reunion in Ji-ho’s building, where we travel a familiar ascent to his floor. All the lights turn on and light his way, guiding his path back to Jung-in, who is even closer, having crossed his doorway and into his private life.
The scene that stole the entire episode though has got to be Jung-in’s mom crying as she makes food for her oldest daughter Seo-in. It was so simple but the emotions were there in every small movement. The urge to take care of her oldest daughter in a way that she hasn’t done in a while, the one thing that she might feel in control of in the situation. I totally teared up.
It feels like we’re going to see Ji-ho meet the family soon to reveal his supposedly terrible past. It’s hard to imagine anything actually coming between Ji-ho and Jung-in though as we watch them build their foundation. They both don’t care what anyone else thinks about their lives and their relationship together. They want their families to accept things, but I feel like even if Jung-in’s dad never accepts Ji-ho, he would be okay with that, as long as he knew that Jung-in was okay with that risk too. Then again, Ji-ho’s face was not a determined one as Jae-in discussed her own tenuous terms she’s on with her father.
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