I’ll Find You on a Beautiful Day: Episode 2
Things start to come together this hour as we’re given more insight into our heroine as she begins to reintegrate herself into the town she left long ago. While our lead still struggles to express himself around his long-time crush, circumstances bring them a bit closer and give them a chance to get to know each other better. Additionally, our heroine meets a welcoming group of potential friends which may be just what she needs right now.
EPISODE 2: Is It Past Perfect?
Hae-won draws a tattoo on the back of her hand but stops to glance out the window towards the bookshop where Eun-seob is currently wallowing in his embarrassment. Hae-won goes over to ask him a question, resulting in the awkward conversation and door slamming incident we ended on last episode.
In a flashback, we see a teenage Hae-won standing at Hyecheon Station with a suitcase. She makes her way to Hyecheon High School with her aunt. Hae-won doesn’t look thrilled to be there, but her classmates are excited to have a new transfer from Seoul.
Back in the present, Eun-seob opens the door to ask what she’d wanted to say. She’d been hoping to borrow “The Wind in the Willows,” the book they’d discussed earlier. He tells her to take it and busies himself.
She asks which copy of the book is his favorite, but he responds he likes them all. Way to kill the conversation, dude. Hae-won sees he’s not in a talking mood and leaves. As she walks up the street, a light shines from behind her. She turns back to see Eun-seob lighting her way with a flashlight. “It’s dark,” he explains.
She feels bad he’s walking her back when it’s just up the street, but he doesn’t want her to walk alone in the dark this late. He brings up his confession and hopes it doesn’t bother her. She assures him she’s fine. Eun-seob wishes he’d have thought to make someone up instead, but she responds it’s all in the past anyway, right? He doesn’t say anything.
Eun-seob notices she changed the henna tattoo on her hand—it’s willow leaves now. Hae-won drew it since she couldn’t fall asleep. He takes a closer look and asks how long it’ll last. He smiles that it’s pretty. They lock eyes and get awkward.
As they continue walking, he asks if it hurts to do. Wait, does he think she’s up in her room tattooing herself with a needle? Heh, she messes with him and says of course it hurts; it’s branded on the skin with a hot iron. He realizes she’s teasing him, and she laughs.
The following day, Hae-won visits her grandmother’s grave with Myung-yeo who complains to her mom that Hae-won quit her job. Hae-won fires back that Myung-yeo smokes, leaves the house a mess, and closed the guesthouse. And she weirdly wears sunglasses all the time (Myung-yeo: “It’s called fashion.”). Hae-won starts to say something else and pauses.
She gets emotional and thinks back to when she was little and curled up on her grandmother’s lap. Hae-won had mischievously tickled her nose, making her grandmother accidentally hit her on the forehead. Hae-won had started crying while her grandmother laughed and comforted her. Hae-won tears up as she says, “Grandma, I really miss you.” She abruptly walks off, leaving Myung-yeo to sigh alone by the grave.
Hae-won stops by a pharmacy and is surprised when the pharmacist recognizes her. It seems everyone knows her grandmother and the guesthouse. Hae-won spots a rocking horse and comments that a kid must hang out there. The woman sighs that the kid is no longer with them. Hae-won looks upset until the woman clarifies that the kid is long gone and left a surly teenager in her wake. Ha!
The pharmacist asks concernedly if her aunt has seen a doctor for her headaches yet. Hae-won is thrown as the woman continues that with headaches that severe, it’s critical her aunt get it checked out. Hae-won goes out and calls home from a payphone. Why the heck she’s using a payphone rather than her cell is beyond me.
Jang-woo happens to be passing by and treats her to vending machine coffee at his workplace, Hyecheon City Hall. When he brings up an old classmate Kim Bo-yeong, Hae-won has an odd reaction. Although she affirms they were close, there’s a hesitancy there.
Jang-woo says Bo-yeong was sad she couldn’t make the reunion and wants to see Hae-won. He suggests another get-together since everyone’s still in Hyecheon—very few went to Seoul like her. She counters that he went to Seoul National University, but he replies he was proud to return and work for Hyecheon. He asks what’s she’s doing that evening. When she says she doesn’t have plans, he invites her to go “somewhere fun” with him.
We cut to a teenager whining to her mother CHOI SOO-JUNG (Lee Seon-hee) about her missing socks as Soo-jung rushes out the door. At the pharmacy, surly teenager KWON HYUN-JI (Chu Ye-jin) swipes some hot packs and runs out before her mom can catch her. At a nearby LED store, BAE GEUN-SANG (Lee Tae-hyung) gives a passionate sales pitch but ushers his customers out when he notices the time.
JUNG SEUNG-HO (Han Chang-min) excitedly hurries his grandfather JUNG GIL-BOK (Lee Young-seok), saying they’ll be talking about winter tonight, so he read “Winter Sun.” Oh, are they all headed to a book club? Hwi barrels down the street on her bike, rushing into Goodnight Bookshop as Jang-woo introduces Hae-won as a new member.
Those who don’t know her yet introduce themselves to Hae-won. It seems like a close, comfortable group with all types of people of all ages. Jang-woo didn’t tell Hae-won what the group is ahead of time, so she’s only now finding out it’s a book club. The fact that his fun surprise is a book club makes him ten times more endearing to me.
Soo-jung starts off by reading a poem titled “A Drink” by Jung Ho-seung from the collection “The Person I Love.”
Life has never bought me a drink.
On many winter nights,
At a snack stall in a dead-end alley,
I emptied out my pockets to buy life a drink.
But life has never bought me a single drink.
Whether it was a snowy day,
Or a day when a stone lotus flower silently bloomed and fell.
As she reads, Hae-won recalls being alone in Seoul, feeling pressured to work harder and make her classes more “fun” per her boss. Hwi wants to go next, but Jang-woo wants to hear from Hae-won. The theme is winter, so anything that comes to mind on the topic is fine.
Eun-seob jumps in to say she hasn’t had time to prepare, but before he can finish, she begins to recite a passage about painful memories of a lost love. It’s from “An Empty Field of Grass,” a novel written by her aunt who is revealed to have been a best-selling author. Everyone loves it and is amazed Hae-won committed it to memory.
They munch on some roasted tangerines (You can roast tangerines?!) as they chat and laugh together. Messing with Jang-woo, in particular, seems to be everyone’s favorite pastime. And aw, Hyun-ji stole the hot packs for Gil-bok. Hae-won watches everyone goofing around and looks genuinely happy and relaxed.
Geun-sang walks Hwi and Hyun-ji home and asks what Hyun-ji’s dream is. She wants to be a rapper who’s famous but not a celebrity and writes lyrics everyone can relate to but aren’t common. Pfft. Hwi calls it nonsense, and she and Hyun-ji bicker the rest of the way.
Hae-won stays behind at Goodnight Bookshop. She tells Eun-seob she hasn’t read in a while. Her life was hard enough without worrying about the problems of characters in stories. But today made her curious, especially the poem collection “The Person I Love.” Eun-seob smiles.
Hae-won’s friend Ji-yeon (mother of the disappearing baby) finds it odd that, despite living next door, Hae-won and Eun-seob weren’t close. But Hae-won does have memories of him from high school, even if they’re vague. What about him?
That night, Eun-seob recalls Hae-won saying she has memories of him and opens his journal he’s had since high school. He thinks back to his fleeting encounters with her back then and one memorable day in music class. The teacher had wanted her to play cello for them, but since she didn’t have her cello with her, she played piano instead. Eun-seob was mesmerized. In the present, Eun-seob falls asleep to that same piano piece.
Over breakfast, Hae-won checks with Myung-yeo about the headaches the pharmacist mentioned. Myung-yeo downplays it and claims the hospital told her nothing is wrong. She changes the subject to Hae-won’s unemployment and is displeased with Hae-won’s plan to give music lessons part-time in town rather than going back to Seoul.
When Hae-won sees a flyer announcing Goodnight Bookshop is hiring, she marches right over to Eun-seob’s. She holds up the flyer and points at herself, smiling. But she’s dismayed to realize he was looking for someone who could ice skate, which she can’t do. Uh, what does an ice rink have to do with the bookshop?
As she leaves, he calls after her that she can work in the bookshop, then. He’ll work at the rink since he knows how to skate. Pfft. Did he just give her his job ’cause he likes her?
In the bookshop, he tells her there’s not much to do since they rarely get customers. Most of the shop’s money comes from online sales. All she has to do is look after the shop while he’s gone. And with that, he heads to the rink. That’s the extent of her training?
Hae-won lazes in the shop, listening to the sounds of the kids having fun at the rink. Looking out the window, she sees Eun-seob’s mom YOON YEO-JUNG (Nam Ki-ae) doting on him. Soon after, Hwi and their dad IM JONG-PIL (Kang Shin-il) join them. Hae-won’s smile as she watches the happy family is tinged with sadness.
Hae-won is reading when Eun-seob gets back that evening. There weren’t any customers that day, which Eun-seob says is the case most days. Jang-woo comes in with a case of beer as she’s leaving. They end up chasing the beer cans around the floor as the case inexplicably bursts. Jang-woo comments these things always happen to him. Ha, I feel you on that one.
Over drinks, Jang-woo rants about his mom trying to marry him off when he’s not even 30 yet. Hae-won heard that people here tend to marry young, which Jang-woo thinks is exactly the problem. Eun-seob’s mom, on the other hand, adores him and wants him to stay unmarried for a while yet.
Jang-woo brings the conversation around to high school and wonders who Hae-won found most annoying. For him, it was Eun-seob with his aloofness. Eun-seob scoffs when Jang-woo complains about the amount of effort he put into his achievements and pleasing people. Jang-woo puts him in a headlock.
Jang-woo brings up Bo-yeong again, saying she wants to clear up some “misunderstanding” between her and Hae-won. Hae-won goes cold and says she hates that term. Just admit if you did something wrong—don’t pass it off as a “misunderstanding.” It puts the responsibility on the wronged party by implying it was their mistake.
Jang-woo awkwardly agrees and whispers to Eun-seob that she’s really blunt. Hae-won continues that Bo-yeong was in the wrong and never apologized. They go silent and jump when a horn honks outside. Jang-woo springs up and announces his taxi is here to get him out of this awkward situation, for which he is deeply grateful. HA!
On his way out, Jang-woo says in a rush that he kind of gave Bo-yeong the phone number for Hodu House. She might call Hae-won. He leaves with a big smile and wave as Hae-won yells after him.
Eun-seob asks if she has anything else she’d like to say. We flash back to when Hae-won met Bo-yeong for the first time. She was excited to learn Hae-won lived at the popular guesthouse with her aunt Myung-yeo, the famous novelist. Bo-yeong noted that they were very different, seeing as her family ran a mill. Hae-won didn’t see why that should make a difference, making Bo-yeong smile.
From then on, Bo-yeong made an effort to befriend her. They hung out frequently and became seemingly close. One day, Hae-won overheard three girls gossiping about her. One of the girls dramatically announced that Hae-won came to live with her aunt because her mom killed her dad. Whoa. That’s … a lot to unpack.
The girl swore it was true because she had heard it from Hae-won’s close friend Bo-yeong. Hae-won got up shakily and accidently knocked over a glass container, causing the girls to scream and run out. Hae-won found a spot to hide alone and cry.
Hae-won tells Eun-seob that’s why she can’t accept it as a “misunderstanding.” She looks over to see Eun-seob nodding off. Ha. He’s only had two beers, but he’s clearly drunk, despite insisting he’s not when she goes to leave. She observes that he’s even worse than her when it comes to holding his alcohol.
Eun-seob is completely out by this point. Hae-won bends down to stare intently at his sleeping face and smiles before catching herself. Looks like someone’s developing a crush. She announces she’s leaving and he mutters, “Irene.” She turns as he slurs, “I’m really happy you came, Irene.” Meanwhile, the phone rings at Myung-yeo’s but goes unanswered.
The next morning, Hae-won wakes to the sound of rain and smiles before energetically preparing for the day. She catches sight of herself in the mirror as she heads out the door and runs back upstairs to put on some makeup. When Myung-yeo wonders where she’s going so early, Hae-won happily replies she’s headed to work.
At Goodnight Bookshop, Eun-seob brews coffee and heads outside (while it’s pouring rain) to sit under the awning and read. When Hae-won gets there, he gives her his coffee. She teases him for falling asleep after a couple sips of beer, and he comments that he can’t remember what happened after that. Eun-seob jokes that maybe he should keep drinking to help his insomnia.
Hae-won is extra smiley and mentions that he said something the previous night. She quotes what he said to “Irene.” He slams his book closed at that. Clearly enjoying this, she repeats it for him and comments on how affectionate his tone was, adding to his embarrassment. Her laugh is cut short when a voice interrupts, “How have you been, Hae-won?” And, of course, it’s KIM BO-YEONG (Im Se-mi) ruining the moment.
We got more movement today, thankfully, and I have better idea of where we’re headed now. There were tons of introductions this episode, most of whom were in the book club. It looks like the book club is going to feature prominently, which makes me happy. It has such a warm, inviting atmosphere. They accepted Hae-won without question when Jang-woo brought her along, and it was the first time Hae-won looked so content. I think it could be instrumental towards her opening up and feeling accepted maybe for the first time. Also, I liked how they incorporated what people were reading. I hope they continue to work in poems or novels à la A Poem a Day.
I think Jang-woo is my favorite character at this point. He’s almost childlike with his transparency, like when he outright addressed the awkwardness after Hae-won’s anger. I love that he just says what he thinks and feels. In that way, he and Eun-seob are such opposites. Eun-seob is so guarded and quiet, which is quite a contrast to the rest of his family. He has gotten a little better around Hae-won, as in he can now string sentences together around her. Hopefully, her working at the bookshop will help him become more comfortable with her. I was surprised Hae-won is already showing signs of interest since I thought it’d take longer for her to notice him. She seems to find his awkwardness cute, though. If it were left up to him, there’d probably never be any progress, so it’s a good thing he gave himself away with the “Irene” thing. I don’t have strong feelings about the romance yet, but I’m hoping they don’t rush things and take their time developing it.
That’s an intense backstory for Hae-won. I expected something about her parents, but it definitely wasn’t that. It helps explain her melancholy demeanor and why she tends to stay in the background. I imagine she doesn’t want to draw attention to herself and have people point fingers at her as the daughter of a murderer. Her not defending herself at her job seemed strange considering she has a pretty direct personality, as Jang-woo noted, but it makes a little more sense now. She probably doesn’t want to appear aggressive or cause problems since people could accuse her of being like her mom or some such nonsense.
It’s interesting that even after all these years, Hae-won still has such a strong reaction to Bo-yeong. From the looks of it, she was Hae-won’s first friend there, and it doesn’t seem like Hae-won opens up to people that easily. But something seems off with the situation which makes me think Hae-won doesn’t have the full story regarding Bo-yeong’s “betrayal.” Did Hae-won even confirm that Bo-yeong was the one who told? I’m sure we’ll find out more soon since Bo-yeong is eager to clear things up.
I knew something was up with Myung-yeo’s health. Now we know about the headaches, and I don’t believe her statement that the doctor said there’s nothing wrong. I kind of doubt she even went to the doctor. Either way, she’s so stubborn I doubt she’ll tell Hae-won the truth about whatever’s going on. But then again, Hae-won is stubborn too, so maybe she’ll force it out of her. Why is it drama families can never just be honest about their health?
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