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I’ll Find You on a Beautiful Day: Episode 8

Today we delve a bit more into our lead’s background and how his past may play into the present. This isn’t the first time he’s pulled this disappearing act, and it takes a toll on his relationships. When those around him are hurt by his actions, he has to decide what’s important to him and how honest he’s willing to be.

 
EPISODE 8: “The Place Where Suspicions Become Reality”

We rewind to before Eun-seob disappears. He chases the vision of the woman into the woods, pleading “Mom, don’t go.” The woman smiles and beckons him, so he staggers after her and begs her not to leave. He trips and takes a nasty tumble down a hill.

That night, Hae-won searches through the woods, calling out for Eun-seob who is still lying unconscious nearby. We flash back to when Eun-seob was little. In school, his teacher had commented that it looked like he had a happy family judging from his drawing. Little Eun-seob got upset and immediately drew over his picture.

In the present, he stirs awake after hearing Hae-won call his name. He struggles to raise himself up to a sitting position and has to rest. Eun-seob manages to stand and slowly walk back up to the trail.

He makes his way to the cabin, looking worse for wear. After taking a breather, he gets up and is startled to see Hae-won come around the corner. She runs over and starts asking where he was and if he’s okay. Eun-seob stops her when she goes to take off her coat to give to him. “I’m not cold.”

Hae-won looks carefully at his face and realizes something is wrong. She rests her hand on the side of his face and wonders if something happened. He stares at her for a moment before gently taking her hand away. They stare silently at each other as snow begins to fall.

Inside the cabin, Hae-won says she thought he was there earlier because the lights were on. Eun-seob explains he always leaves them on so people who get lost have somewhere to stay. Hae-won asks if he’s hurt and is surprised to hear he fell.

Instead of answering her when she asks if he’s okay, he asks why she came. She tells him everyone’s worried since he’s been gone so long. He notes that it’s late, but she reassures him she brought a flashlight this time. And it took 30 minutes to get to the cabin, just like she was told it would. Hae-won proudly states she didn’t fall once.

Eun-seob reminds her, somewhat harshly, that he told her not to come. She says it wasn’t so bad, especially with the shoes he bought her. He cuts her off, claiming he didn’t buy them so she could come here. Someone is not in a good mood.

He reiterates that she should never come here, even if he’s sick or leaves and doesn’t come back. Hae-won sits silently, her eyes brimming with tears. He brings her a cup of hot water and goes back outside while Hae-won fights her tears.

As Eun-seob leads the way back, Hwi narrates a story about a brother and sister who journeyed to find a bluebird that was said to grant happiness. Hae-won slips and almost falls, but Eun-seob makes no move to help her. Hwi continues that the siblings finally made it to the village where the bluebird supposedly lived, but the bird wasn’t there.

For the first time, Eun-seob doesn’t walk Hae-won to her house once they reach the street. He enters the bookshop as Hwi finishes that the siblings had to go home without finding the happiness-granting bluebird. Eun-seob looks miserable as he sits alone in the dark.

Myung-yeo is surprised when Hae-won comes in so late, but Hae-won forestalls any conversation. Myung-yeo looks after her concernedly as Hae-won heads to her room.

The following morning, Hae-won doesn’t look so great herself but goes to the bookshop anyway. She pauses in front of the door, remembering Eun-seob’s curt attitude the previous night. Eun-seob comes out before she can go in. They stand there awkwardly.

Eun-seob, in a seemingly less hostile mood, starts to give her instructions for the delivery person. She cuts him short with an “I know,” and goes inside. He stands outside the door looking chastened.

Hae-won isn’t the only one Eun-seob upset. His mom gives him the silent treatment when he drives her to the market. He follows behind her as she gets a tonic for Hwi to the shopkeeper’s surprise. Yeo-jung loses her temper at the woman when she wonders why Yeo-jung is suddenly interested in buying something for Hwi and not just Eun-seob.

Eun-seob stops Yeo-jung outside and asks if she’s really angry. His mom turns around and berates him for going “there” when she told him not to, especially when he’s sick. Why does he keep going there? He says that mountain isn’t anything special which makes her angrier. Eun-seob apologizes when she turns away to hide her tears.

Yeo-jung stops in her tracks when Eun-seob reveals, “I saw that woman.” He explains that he hallucinated her and followed her into the mountains. Devastated, his mom cries as she says again how dangerous it is. Eun-seob promises not to go there again without her permission.

Over at the bookshop, Hae-won has definitely caught Eun-seob’s cold. She coughs and warps herself in a blanket while she reads “Bluebird” (which, I believe, is an adaption of the play “The Blue Bird” by Maurice Maeterlink). But she can’t get Eun-seob’s words at the cabin out of her head.

Seung-ho comes in for some porridge, and Myung-yeo pops by shortly after. She’s headed to Seoul and won’t be back until the next day. She leaves after a bit of nagging and heads to Soo-jung’s to drop off Gunbam. Yeah, I don’t think I’d leave him with Hae-won either after her tirade, ha.

Myung-yeo tells Soo-jung it looks like she might be writing another novel soon since she spent all that money on repairs and doesn’t get much from royalties anymore. Soo-jung gets excited, but Myung-yeo warns her not to get her hopes up yet.

Hae-won is still coughing and sneezing her way around the bookshop when Jang-woo stops by. He drops off some stuff Eun-seob asked for and gives her Yeong-woo’s business card. Yeong-woo asked him to give it to her and tell her to stop by his café when she’s next in Seoul.

Jang-woo notices Hae-won isn’t well. “Catching a cold lately is no joke. You should go to the hospital.” (Pandemic PSA?) Someone calls him out, so Jang-woo leaves with more insisting that she should go to the doctor and take some medicine.

While Myung-yeo reads “The Wind Blows, I Like You: A Travel Essay” by Lee Byung-ryul on the train, we flash back to her younger years when she and Eun-taek had broken up. He’d followed her on the train she was taking and sat there crying as she told him to get lost. His sobs that he loved her and couldn’t live without her fell on unsympathetic ears.

Hae-won is asleep with her head on the table when Eun-seob gets back that evening. When he realizes she’s sick, he calls home and tells Hwi to bring over cold medicine. Hwi reminds him the book club is in an hour, so she’ll bring it then. He tells her not to forget to bring it and hangs up on her.

Hwi is still holding the phone to her ear when her dad walks in. She rants that Eun-seob just told her to run an errand for him in a very rude tone. Ha. Her dad couldn’t be less concerned, but Hwi is shook.

Hae-won wakes right before everyone arrives for the book club. Jang-woo asks if she went to the doctor, while Hwi hands over the meds to Eun-seob who she threatens better never make her run errands again. It’s giving me anxiety that Hae-won is coughing like that and not self-isolating.

Soo-jung starts the meeting off with an interesting article she read about an 80-year-old man who decided to travel. He followed an old travel guide to get to a city in Bavaria but ended up lost in a forest. It took him two days to find his way out, after which he flew back home. Wondering what was wrong with his travel guide, a friend pointed out that it was written right before WWI, and the city no longer existed.

Everyone but Soo-jung thinks it’s a sad story. She finds it impressive and beautiful that he made a difficult journey for the sake of his happiness. Soo-jung also dreams of traveling to far-off places.

Hwi notes that the man’s story sounds like “Bluebird.” Both stories feature people traveling to find something but returning without having found it. Seung-ho pities the siblings in “Bluebird,” but Hwi assures him they find happiness when they return home, so it’s a happy ending.

Hyun-ji doesn’t think it makes sense to not know happiness was always there with you. Hwi thinks it makes perfect sense; it’s just like how Yeong-soo doesn’t realize what a gem she is. Pfft. Either way, Hyun-ji doesn’t like the story.

Hae-won chimes in that she agrees with Hyun-ji. She thinks it’s just a comforting excuse since happiness is difficult to attain and, in her opinion, out of reach. Eun-seob looks affected by her words. Hwi gets upset since it seems like Hae-won is contradicting her argument that she’s a gem. Hae-won can’t respond due to a little coughing fit.

In Seoul, Myung-yeo stands outside a massive house and sees a man and woman leaving. She hides around the corner as they laugh and flirt before going out for drinks. Based on how they address each other, she’s a writer, and he’s her editor.

After the book club members leave, Eun-seob tries to give Hae-won the medicine, but she refuses it. He catches up to her after she walks out and makes another attempt. She’s adamant she won’t take it and gets annoyed when he pushes.

She notes that he’s doing just fine after not taking anything. Touché. She’ll get better after a good night’s rest. He pleads with her to just take the medicine.

“Then what will you do in return?” He asks what she wants him to do. “For example, you could respond to my confession.” He goes quiet at that. She wants to hear it, so could he do that for her? At home, she cries as we hear his response: “I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.”

The following morning, Eun-seob thinks of Hae-won’s confession and all the times he’s watched her without approaching. He also recalls the previous night. After he gave his response, Hae-won had silently taken the medicine out of his hand and walked away while Eun-seob stood with his head bowed.

Hwi runs through the house, panicking because she can’t find the novel she’s supposed to bring to school. Her dad reminds her she gave it to Eun-seob so he could read it and give her a synopsis. Jong-pil calls Eun-seob who apparently left it in the mountains. Yeo-jung overhears them considering asking Eun-seob to go get it and forbids it.

Yeo-jung even goes to the bookshop to make sure Eun-seob doesn’t go. She reminds him of his promise and won’t let him go alone. Hae-won walks in while they’re arguing, and Yeo-jung rushes over to ask if she’s free. Alarmed, Eun-seob pulls his mom aside and tells her to keep this between them.

Later, Eun-seob tells Hae-won not to worry about it. He’ll go alone and tell his mom they went together. Guess she involved Hae-won after all. Hae-won isn’t comfortable outright lying like that, so she says she’ll go with him. It’s not a big deal. Eun-seob’s face suggests otherwise, but he doesn’t stop her.

It’s a tense trip and mostly silent until Hae-won spots something that looks like a grave. Eun-seob says it’s “where suspicions become reality.” If you suspect something will happen while standing there, it will likely come true.

He recalls in high school being worried his dad would get hurt using his cultivator, and he did. But good things can also happen. We see Eun-seob smile in flashback as Hae-won is assigned the seat next to him in class.

In the present, Hae-won comments she’s never seen a wooden headstone like that. She notes the birth and death dates are listed as unknown. Eun-seob watches her as she gingerly picks dead leaves off the top.

He warns her not to suspect anything since it might come true. She follows after him, and they make it to the cabin. Hae-won waits outside while Eun-seob retrieves the backpack with Hwi’s book. She tells him to go back first—she wants to go to the summit. Eun-seob watches her leave in her non-hiking sneakers.

Hae-won makes it to a stream and carefully steps on rocks to cross. Eun-seob shows up and warns her it’s slippery. He walks ahead of her and offers his hand. After deliberating, she takes it, and he helps her across.

Eun-seob leads her the rest of the way to the summit. Hae-won takes in the gorgeous view from the peak and wonders at it only being an hour-long hike away. (Side note: The lighting in this scene is lovely.) She confesses she has a hard time meeting Eun-seob’s eyes now. It’s hard for her to accept he doesn’t like her.

He looks tormented as she bares her soul and even apologizes to him. Hae-won remembers all the kindness he’s shown her. His warmth toward her made her suspect he had feelings for her, she admits with tears in her eyes.

She turns to face him with a forced smile and vows not to suspect anymore—he told her not to. Hae-won starts to say something else but changes her mind. She says they should go and starts back toward the trail, but Eun-seob grabs her sleeve and pulls her back. Without a word, he leans in and kisses her.

We flash back to Myung-yeo — so that’s what she looks like without sunglasses — telling a little Hae-won, “The bluebird exists.” Hae-won had accused her aunt of lying, but Myung-yeo insisted the bird is real if rare. It appears “like a miracle.”

Back in the present, as she and Eun-seob stare at each other, Hae-won thinks, “What now? My suspicion became reality.” Myung-yeo tells Little Hae-won a miracle is when something you thought could never happen becomes reality. Little Hae-won asks who makes it happen to which Myung-yeo replies the bluebird. As Eun-seob and Hae-won kiss again, we see two birds fly over the water.

Eun-seob’s Blog Post

There are things you can see more clearly when you’re alone. And it’s not so bad to learn from loneliness. The less you expect, the calmer your days are. It’s painful to genuinely want something. But I’m not without desires. I kissed Irene in the mountains. I almost fainted. I can’t joke about it anymore, which means it’s serious. She now lives behind my eyes.

 
COMMENTS

We finally get an honest reaction from Eun-seob! But talk about your mixed signals. Everything he does betrays his feelings for her, but he outright rejected her. I love how Hae-won demanded some response, though. She would accept whatever he said, but he had to say something. It’s nice to have a female lead who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she feels is owed her. She respects herself and requires others to do the same. Unlike Eun-seob who usually has his head bowed and eyes downcast, Hae-won holds her head high and looks people in the eye.

Hae-won is interesting in that she’s closed off until she isn’t. She often buries things inside, but she’s unflinchingly honest when she decides to reveal her thoughts and feelings. We saw that with her mom and now with Eun-seob. Hae-won may not always share what’s going on internally, but she is willing to be vulnerable when she feels ready to share. Eun-seob, on the other hand, has trouble being vulnerable under any circumstance. For instance, when Hae-won found him at the cabin, I think his anger was not only based on her putting herself at risk but her catching him in such a vulnerable state.

Although I’m glad he isn’t hiding his feelings now, I do very much worry that Eun-seob is not in the right emotional space for a relationship. He needs to work out some of his own issues before he can handle having a partner. In particular, his tendency for skipping out and hiding—both emotionally and physically—when he gets overwhelmed is concerning. Hae-won has already been traumatized by familial instability and abandonment, so the last thing she needs is for Eun-seob to wall himself off or leave when things get tough. He’d better be ready to be truly present in the relationship if he decides to be with her. So far, she’s done all the work which doesn’t bode well for the balance of the relationship. They have the potential to be a strong couple, but they have a lot of work to do first. The emotional baggage they each bring to the relationship is bound to rear its head, and they’ll need to be equally willing to deal with their respective issues as they come. We’re only at the halfway point, so I hope we continue taking our time to build their relationship piece by piece. This isn’t a relationship that should be rushed.

Thankfully, we got more information on Eun-seob’s past this episode. As we all suspected, he did have another family in his early years. It’s interesting that when he was talking to Yeo-jung (who he usually calls the more formal “mother”), he called his other mom “that woman,” but he called her “mom” when he was following her through the woods. I’m not sure if that’s because he doesn’t want to hurt Yeo-jung’s feelings or if he has bad associations with his other mom. We still know nothing about the circumstances surrounding losing his former family, so I guess we’ll have to wait on that.

While I’m on the topic of his family, I did want to mention that Yeo-jung’s blatant favoritism has left a bad taste in my mouth. I understand why she’s that way seeing as Eun-seob has experienced trauma and is so withdrawn. I’m sure she wants him to feel loved and to ease his suffering, but it’s very unfair to Hwi. Just because she’s strong and well-adjusted doesn’t mean it’s okay to put her on the backburner. She deserves the same amount of attention from her mom. I do wonder if Hwi is aware of her brother’s situation. I imagine she wouldn’t have any memories from before he was with them. Was she even born yet? They don’t seem to directly talk about his past—even his conversation with Yeo-jung about “that woman” was veiled, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t told Hwi anything.

I missed the book club last episode, so I’m glad it was back in session. That remains one of my favorite things in this show, especially with how they use it to explore the primary theme of the episode like this hour’s topic of attaining happiness. I love that the group provides a space for everyone to share their thoughts without judgment. They listen and support each other whether they agree or not. Warmth is a recurrent theme in this drama, and it’s certainly exemplified through this lovely little book club.

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Ugh at Eun-seob noble idioting and pushing Hae-won away because he didn't want to burden her with his issues. The kiss doesn't make up for it to me when Eun-seob was so mean and cold to Hae-won making her cry. Why did he tell Hae-won to go home if the book club was about to start? When Eun-seob followed after her to the summit, all I could think was "But Hwi's book!" Hae-won was giving me anxiety by coughing and sneezing all over the bookshop, even coughing on Seung-ho's oatmeal. Thanks lots for the recap, @quirkycase!

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I agree with the noble idiot-ing part! I hope, given how she is someone who demands to know things, Hae-won confronts him about his earlier stance on her confession. That kiss doesn't really address the situation.

I will also be annoyed if the show expects her to come around and help him in some way. I hope both of them, individually, learn to be comfortable around themselves and their situation, and then move on.

In this context, one thing that comes across to me in the characterization is how both the leads are shown as fiercely independent individuals, but in a subtle way. Neither one is aggressive, but each knows what they want. They may not have the equivalent ability to articulate things aloud, but they certainly have a great deal of clarity of what's going on in their own heads. Which is why I think the two should really sort out their own messes themselves and come together after making peace with themselves.

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I wouldn't call it noble idiocy as I didn't see any noble idiocy in Just Between Lovers. Some people need more time and space but as well someone to push them. Otherwise I do noble idiocy on regular basis 😉

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I don’t think he’s being a noble idiot - quite the opposite. Everything about him indicates that he will help others who ask, and go out of his way to proactively help/support those he feels most strongly about... but he does not want to depend on them in return. He doesn’t want to have expectations of people, and to be in a relationship with someone, you make yourself vulnerable.

I see noble idiocy as someone sacrificing their feelings to protect someone else, usually stupidly. But here - it looks like Eun Seob would be perfectly happy to love his Irene from afar, doing what he can for her and expecting nothing. That’s his setting, and his comfort zone. Here he is actively allowing risk and going out of his comfort zone, and signaling that she can expect things from him. Remains to be seen if he allows himself to be accessible to her outside of his own terms.

I thought the medicine scene was huge. He cannot stop himself from trying to intervene, but he also can’t step over that boundary and explain WHY it’s so vital to him that he be allowed to care for her. But all that’s happening is he’s getting a taste of his own medicine (figuratively) - it HURTS when you want to care for someone and they won’t let you. It’s not fair that he can content himself by caring for her, but she’s supposed to only accept and not reciprocate. And they’re going to have to continue negotiating on this, because there is no way Eun Seob has fully considered how much access a romantic partner gets to your internal workings. He’s going to act out, probably repeatedly.

This is an excellent show.

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Noble idiocy is deliberately hurting Hae-won's feelings to make her stop liking him for her own good. Eun-seob went from hot to cold (or as Hae-won says, from warm to cold) after his Mom hallucination. His medicine was blowing hot. So he suddenly cares about her again after not caring about her slipping in the mountains? I would have refused it too if I were Hae-won. It took Hae-won crying in front of him and apologizing for misunderstanding his feelings for Eun-seob to make a move. But she's supposed to forgive him because he accepted her confession and kissed her? It would have been better if Eun-seob had pretended nothing happened and went back to treating Hae-won as a friend than acting uncharacteristically mean to her.

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I don't think ES was particularly mean in the cabin scene; HW had deliberately done something that ES had warned her not to do - go up the mountain alone, especially at night. He was angry that she was so dismissive about his warnings, and reasoning it away with "worry" is just a recipe for guilt and other burdensome feelings which ES has been trying his whole life to avoid. Plus he's sick, tired, dirty, recently unconscious - sorry but no one is at their best in those circumstances. I don't think he was even uncharacteristic: he is a kind person but he has always had his boundaries and strongly protected privacy.

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He didn't deliberately hurt Hae Won's feelings; he wasn't being particularly mean, either. He was being short, yes - but we saw he was also doing that to his sister, this was a whole attitude change. He was outside of his "observer" comfort zone and uncomfortable and prickly, to EVERYONE.

Noble idiots are so fixated on someone else they sabotage their own happiness; Eun Seob is so focused on his own equilibrium that when it's disrupted, he has a hard time getting out of his own head. Think of it like a computer that suddenly has a program draining most of its energy; all the other functions falter. Eun Seob's internal program went haywire, and all of his outward-facing interfaces powered down.

What he CAN'T do, apparently, is actually abandon Hae Won. If she's sick he's compelled to give her medicine (and note that he just keeps repeating "take it" - he's barely processing her half of the conversation, he's so laser-focused on getting her the medicine). If she's going up the mountain, he has to follow her. When she slid coming down from the cabin, he didn't actively intervene, but then again she was also doing okay on her own - and he was watching. We've repeatedly seen him WANT to intervene and not quite be able to do it.

He's making a move because he's finally realized that he's hurting Hae Won in an ongoing way by walling her off. He ALWAYS cared about her, he just wanted to care for her without her caring back, because that's dangerous for him. And now he increasingly understands that's not an option and that it hurts her - and he's not willing to hurt her.

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...I should add that I don't think Eun Seob was trying to make Hae Won stop liking him. I don't think he really has that sort of calculation/planning ability. Again, the fact that he's also having communication issues with his own family makes it seem like his behavior change is a lot more about HIM than about HER.

Her confession shook him, combined with getting sick, hallucinating his Mom and then getting knocked out for what seems to be a few hours. That is a lot to weather. Then he arrives at his retreat and what does he find? The same person who started off the whole chain. We know he likes going there for isolation and he didn't get it, so he's still a raw nerve. He's clearly an introvert, and introverts need time alone to recalibrate (as extroverts need social interaction to recharge). Instead he had to walk Hae Won back down the mountain and return to his family.

This entire episode felt like Eun Seob retreating, trying to reestablish boundaries, and then gradually realizing that if Hae Won ALSO drew boundaries, they would both be miserable. This will not be smooth sailing and he will definitely backslide, but it's a completely new behavior pattern for him as well. He does not know how to do this, but is reluctantly risking it.

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I honestly didn't expect the early confession (ep 6) and the kiss (ep 8). Given the pace of the drama, I would really appreciate it if Eun-seob will take his time to recover from his pain before fully committing into a relationship, but it would be better if he and Hae-won take teir time together to be mature dramaland people and heal beside each other (without noble idiocies). I know I am expecting a lot of things that the show should do, but my request on top priority is to please keep the Book Club meetings every episode.

And please shower us with more Jang-woo.

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I was not surprised; HW is a fairly forthright person with very strong feelings, and we have guessed all along that ES is one of those 'still waters run deep' types of people - calm on the surface but very passionate underneath. That kiss was just what I would expected of both of them - passionate and in the moment and way too soon. Sure if we look at these people calmly and reasonably this is a risky leap into the unknown, but that's what people do when they are in love. The interesting thing now will be how they negotiate a path from being in love to being a couple.

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I don't think there's favouritism at work as between Eun-seob and Hwi. I think she loves each equally but differently, which is appropriate because each child needs different things from their parents. Hwi rules over that household - she makes Eun-seob do all kinds of ridiculous things (give her money on demand, read her books for her, etc,) and her dad is very doting. Mom is a bit more hands-off with Hwi and lets her do her own thing, but I don't think that amounts to putting her "on the backburner"; and I do think it's fair and equitable to take into account the fact that Hwi is strong and independent when figuring out how to parent her. Again, you recognize each child as an individual, which means acknowledging their characteristics, and treating them as an individual. I'm also somehow doubtful she would treat Hwi much differently if Eun-seob weren't her son.

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Agree with everything about Eunseob's family dynamics. Mom dots on ES because she feels he needs it, but no doubt Hwi is the queen of that house

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I concur with you. Mum treats them in different ways because they are different and it doesn't mean she's just ignoring Hwi.

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Poor Mum, from one side she has a very talkative daughter who doesn't hesitate to complain about everything and the other she has a son who doesn't talk and keeps everything to himself.

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There's a hint of desperation with which his mother seems to dote on him. It's as if she's always grasping onto him lest he slips away. It has been apparent from EP 1 that if she isn't as insistent with her mothering ES would gladly live out his life within his head. His Dad and Hwi are way too laid back to constantly try and engage with him. Even when he's with his family,he's really not present. Wonder if there s also an element of guilt associated with her love for him. The way she chokingly reacted to ES calling her 'oma' in th market was telling.In previous ep,when her husband warned her to not expect to hear 'those words' from him,I suspected if it was the familiar acceptance of 'oma' that she was longing for. @quirkycase brings up an interesting angle about the easy way in which he called out to the woman in the woods as 'omma' and possible associations he may have with the word.
Weighed against the snow mountain that ES is Hwi is a tornado who'll always make her presence known. she has no trouble calling out her parent for their perceived favouritism and is on balance much better suited to face the world as she is. Yes it's unfair on the more 'easier' child but the instinct to nurture the weak is pretty common. I too do worry sometimes as Hwi's quirky personality and overall open-ness leaves most adults around her to self parent. They often seem to treat her as a precocious child and a weird adult at the same time. In fact the show's treatment of the 3 main non adults in the book club have been interesting from the start..they are all weirdly accepted into the adult realm and no one seems to talk down to them or call out their youngish years when they speak their minds.

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Is it possible that ES was taken from his family by the woman he called mom? And only recovered by them much later, after some damaging experiences? That he's wounded about love because he loved his false parents but they hurt him? To me, that would explain everything about his relationship with his mother. I think she's his true mom but has never been able to reach him.

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Mum told ES that he only calls her "omma" when he wants something, so I don't think "those words" are it. I think they refer probably to the time when he went missing, and knowing him, I'm pretty sure he didn't give much information.

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Oh yes..I was thinking of the 'omma' word being the one she was after back in ep7 given that until then he had always addressed her as 'ommoni'. But in ep8, as you mentioned, it's clear that he does call her that in rare moments. Still wondering what the words are that mom is keen to hear..the way it's going, it might not be specific words - but his open hearted loved,affection and acceptance that she is desperate to have .
It could very well be that sensing their mother's fervent obsession over her oppa, Hwi had subconsciously developed traits that would make her be less emotionally dependent on her parents. It's amazing how much subtext children can unknowingly pick up and adapt to. Not saying that Hwi's personality is completely informed by her brother's taciturnity. But it could be one of the factors that shaped her. It'd be interesting if the show also explored how his trauma has shaped the family while ES is on his healing journey.

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I think she's looking for "I love you" or similar. Or possibly "thank you". It looks like his original mother died of cancer (based on the occasional hat), and I'm wondering if that cabin is where he lived originally with his mom. If she either died up there with him or left him there and died while he was away... Or worse, vanished one day and left him there. All of that could be part of the cabin's draw, and his new mom's panic when he gravitates there.

I am very curious about the name change, though. Your name doesn't change because your mom died, so there must be something else there.

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I think she favors him in the way you do when something is more vulnerable. It is completely understandable, but to me it was still hard to watch. This could also cause resentment between siblings. I also wonder if the dad overcompensates for it.

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It could cause resentment, but I think (a) resentment over this sort of stuff is normal between siblings (when I was younger, I used to always complain about how my mom favoured my brother; unsurprisingly, he did the same about me) and (b) I think it would be small-minded of Hwi to dwell on it in the long-term. And, well, I guess I don't think it's favouring in any case. I think it's just treating children differently because the children are different.

Dad might be overcompensating. But for some reason I think that's unlikely. I think mom would treat Hwi the same way if Hwi was her only child.

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"It’s nice to have a female lead who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she feels is owed her."
My thoughts exactly. I think this will become important later on. This budding romance will be tested by time, trust issues, and thirds parties--like that one unapologetic past bff. Eunsob needs to learn to open up and trust Haewon, and she needs to trust Eunsob that he won't leave or suddenly disappear like her mother did. It will be a painful process for both of them. I'm sure. And btw, that kiss... omg. Eunsob is really frustrating when it comes to words. But all of his actions speak louder than his loudest denial of feelings. Can't wait for the next ep!

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Yes, I really like Haewon's steeliness: she seems vulnerable, but she sets boundaries, and she speaks and asks for the truth without fear.

The other day I was thinking about Park Minyoung, how she really nails this type of character, and how she manages to get so much chemistry with her ML. Honest to god, with this she's been on 3 of my favourite OTPs, and I'm always convinced the guy is the swooniest thing on earth... Starting to think it's all on her!

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Oh absolutely - I am a PMY fan! In fact, she was the reason I picked this drama. She makes her co-stars shine like no-one else. For example, IMHO, no one has made Ji Chang Wook look better than she has. I've seen some folks point out that she only does these rom-com/melo-rom type shows, but if she does them well, it works for me! :D

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Healer was the first ji chang wook drama I saw. I have never like him as much in anything since. Ore healer I never saw anything park min young either but she just shines brighter in every drama since

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*pre healer

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Nam Ji Hyun did well with Ji Chang Wook too - it’s a different sort of chemistry than PMY but it worked. She had the same vibe in Shopping King Louis with Seo In Guk, who is himself extremely good at smoldery stuff.

Still, PMY hasn’t failed in a romcom or melo pairing that I know of. That’s quite a skill.

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You are so right about PMY.
When the OTP was on the top of the hill, just before the kiss, I couldn't stop thinking what a great couple they made, and it was all because of her.

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I think that after much mainly silent staring, all of us like that ES is a man of the right action. I don't think he'll be able to explain away those kinds of kisses as 'mistakes' because he really wasn't interested!

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I replayed that kiss. One of the better ones this year.

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Thanks for the recap, @quirkycase!
First of all, squeeeeeee! That was really nice kissing on a beautiful spot. Hate fishe-eyed kissing, the first kiss seemed to go in that direction, but then they made it right. Nice!
Secondly, I'm fearing that this drama will become an angst ride because, as Quirkycase beautifully sums up:

" Hae-won has already been traumatized by familial instability and abandonment, so the last thing she needs is for Eun-seob to wall himself off or leave when things get tough. He’d better be ready to be truly present in the relationship if he decides to be with her. So far, she’s done all the work which doesn’t bode well for the balance of the relationship."

Fears aside, am really excited to see how they become an item and people's reactions to them. Hope this drama shows them handling their issues and becoming stronger together, but ES's reactions are triggering my anxiety.

Dramalords, please more Bookclub! Also, since asking is free, more Jangwoo and Hwi. They bring joy to that town!

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Hear hear to more Jang-woo and Hwi, especially the latter. She's such a quirkily written character, and the actress is really bringing her to life!

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I loved the episode so much, and not only because of that final kiss (which was so beautifully shot, the light, the atmosphere, Hae Won tears in her cheeks...).

I also agree that this couple needs time and talking (yes, so much talking) to heal their wounds and begin to build a life together. Loving each other (as I believe they do) is not enough to be in a relationship. They both share the same fear: that the other may go away for some reason, and also, they may fear that it can be one of them the one to run away. A lot to work on and 8 episodes to find out how they will do it.

And as almost everyone here, I want more Bookclub, Hwi and JangWoo please, please, please.

And one thing about ES's family. In last episode when ES was making the drawing of his family we could see ES, mum and dad holding a babyborn in his arms which obviously was Hwi, so ES was adopted before she was born. I have the feeling she knows ES is not her blood brother but she really doesn't care.

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ES, poor thing! In the drawing he didn't draw a face on himself 😢

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Yes, that lack of a face can have psychological connotations ... usually negative. A lack of identity maybe? And that angry drawing over the picture with black, because it was interpreted as a happy picture, speaks volumes of his hurt and how he is not understood.

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Was thinking the absent face was more in the line of repressed feelings: maybe he's simply not in touch with his emotions because he wants to avoid his unprocessed pain... And somehow he reached adulthood without figuring out how to own his emotions safely. More generally speaking, avoiding or sabotaging relationships are common ways for people to prevent an overpowering fear of loss when they have had experienced major losses previously in their lives... Unfortunately, yearning for connection and fearing it at the same time is quite common! @growingbeautifully, well observed that he was angry at being misunderstood! I work with kids, and sometimes we, adults get kids totally wrong... just found this little scene totally heartbreaking

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I think it can be his identity issue. His real name is Ji-ho and he is called Eun Seob in his new life so he still didn't identify himself with the person called Eun Seob. As ES he had mom, dad and newborn little sister, they were all very happy together like when we saw them before next to their ice-skating ring. But when the teacher pointed out that it looks like he is from very happy family he took the back crayon to deny it.

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Right, didn't think about it... Changing a kid's name feels like an horrible idea

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I had interpreted that scene as li'l ES rejecting the label of happiness but these comments provide a lot more possible insights into the situation. Had almost forgotten how his hallucination had called him by another name.
Also from the child actor's looks, it seems to be around the same time that ES had his interaction with MW's mom? Wondering what made a quiet kid like ES want to speak to a virtual stranger and if it has more significance than typical kdrama trope of ML & FL having to have a childhood connection. The show has so far refrained from imposing those cliches, so I'm hoping their meeting might be addressed in the context of young ES's past at some point

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Also, my favorite moment may have been HaeWon's smiling while staring at the street lamp light EunSeob had changed. She's showing how warm her heart is by that simple gesture, that says more than "I love you".

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Yes! I think she didn't give up and kept on coming to him because of all those tiny gestures... she just knew it in her gut that he liked her

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Yes that was a beautiful shot! Her smile was something else altogether!

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I want to know the answers to his secrets.
Is Mother his step mother? In the drawing Dad is holding his hand and the baby with mom on the other side of dad.

Was he kidnapped by that other woman as a baby and then brought back to his family?

Is his Mother his aunt (or some variation of that) and had him on his own and then something happened to her and they adopted him?

Too many questions.

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I think those next 8 episodes are going to do that.

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Ahh the last scene was shot so beautifully, I could feel the kiss coming but I was still screaming internally!! This is one of the few rare dramas where I'm excited to see what happens next after the main couple has got together because they still have a lot of individual issues to work through. Their relationship is going to be bumpy but it'll be nice to see how they work through it. I agree that Eun-seob doesn't seem ready to be in a relationship yet so I'm interested to see how the next few episodes will pan out.

I have so much praise for Park Min-young, I have watched so many of her dramas and she really puts so much into each character, I remember thinking while watching the teasers for this drama that she's almost unrecognisable from her previous characters. She plays Hae-won with equal amount of grit and vulnerability.

I haven't seen Seo Kang-joon since Cheese in the Trap (but I started Watcher to fill in the time) so I felt a bit unfamiliar with him when I started the first episode but I'm loving his performance in this as well. All the actors in this drama are so good, speaking of which I need more Jang-woo and Hwi.

Also has Eun-seob's Blog Post's always been a thing at the end of each episode? I marathoned episode 1-8 so every time an episode ended I clicked on the next without waiting till the preview.. I should probably go and check the previous episodes. What he wrote: "I kissed Irene in the mountains. I almost fainted" is so cute 💜

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Every episode ends with his blog, so go and check the previous ones, they give you a little light into EunSeob's world.

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About the question "Is it too soon for ES to be in love relationship with all his issues?", I think HW and ES are healing each other. They both have their issues but just the fact they have each other help them. ES never talked about HW's problems with her or gave advices about her Aunt and Mum, he was just there.

I love Hwi and her quirkness but she's not very fair about her brother and her mum. She took money from his brother without asking, she gave him her school books so that he reads them for her, even when HW confessed Hwi was like "WHY ES?!?". It doesn't look that her parents ask her to do a lot of tasks at home, when ES helps them in their work.

The kiss scene was really beautiful, they chose a good place to do it.

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@kurama, I guess Hwi is a bit self-centred... But then, most teenagers are self-centred! It's funny how calmly her family takes her drama queen ways 😂.
But we get to see that she's got a good heart, like when she goes to HW to comfort her. I really like Hwi because she's got an hands-on approach to life, but she's not perfect, and it feels like she'll grow up to be a great adult

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Hwi is the star of her story and I just adore how she's self centered but non malicious and angst free. She's so consumed with her teenage dramas but is still kind in a vague way to people around her. The girl knows people think she's weird but is completely accepting of her self in a way that very few adults can be. As to her being oblivious of her older sibling's charms - that's is a very li'l bro/sis trait no matter what the age 😅

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Eun-seob and Hae-won are indeed healing each other but part of the way that will happen is that their need to build their relationship will be their motivation to finally deal with their emotional baggage. So inevitably a bumpy ride is built in to this situation.

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Ooooh, that was PROPER kiss, shoutout to PMY and SKJ for doing a good job. Now onto the episode, I lurve lurve Hae Won. I like that she wasn't a hypocrite about repeatedly telling someone she likes them. She told him she liked him, got her answer, was genuinely sad about it, but informed him that although she would be a little awkward she would push through it. Just so refreshing. Her character is like a glass of water on abhot day. As for Eun Seob, well he is still a mystery, so we shall see with him.

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Love the build up to the kiss and scenery. Give you butterfly. I really wanted to hug them both when he said sorry to her confession. So much pain convoyed in that scene.

Just as much I see why ES is not ready for a relationship and they both probably should work on themself first. I also think they can heal each other. Like when HW did go true her own pain about her family ES was just there for her, giving her silence support listening to her story. Like he says in his blog; "PS. Irene brought home camellia flowers. I asked why, and she said they were her late dad's favorite flowers. She tells me about her family from time to time, and it feels like I'm getting closer to her." I think this time it is ES time to open up and tell HW about his past and for her to listen to him. With 8 episode to go I guess we gonna see healing individually as much as them growing as a couple.

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Thanks @quirkycase.
After Episode 7 that was beginning to annoy me, this one has won me over once again, with more revelations and lots of hope.

I like the book-ending of little features at the beginning and end of this episode... like the 2 birds that flew around both at the start and the end, suggesting vaguely something to be anticipated, ... like how HW touched ES's face on the mountain the previous night, compared to how he held her when they kissed.

There was also the great book-ending contrasts of night with day, like the way he refused to hold her hand when she almost fell on the way down at night versus how he offered her a hand to cross the stream as they climbed up. And how they separated the previous night, at the base of the mountain, hardly able to look at each other, versus their being together at the summit with the view of the wide expanse all around them, which they no longer saw, because they had eyes only for each other.

This was a great leap forward for ES, who LOL, almost fainted, according to his blog entry. And it was thanks to the rather irritating, entitled, but good-hearted Hwi and another book (The Catcher in the Rye), which gave HW a chance to speak to ES.

I like the symbolism of the Bluebird story and the story of the 'failed' Bavarian trip. It's obviously the journey itself rather than the destination that is important, with the added point, that home already has within it, that which one is searching for. I envision that we'll see a lot of ES and HW on their journey towards each other,... and I wonder if we'll actually see their destination at the end, but I trust that they would have found that they contained in themselves that which makes them stronger. In the end, I hope they will have grown to realise that they do not actually need each other in the way that they think they do, and that they will be fine, even if they must separate.

So much growth and angst to look forward to! Not to mention some interesting saga with Aunt MY. :-D

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Ya, the aunt's story looks interesting. She is another character whose story I'd like to know more about.

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Th yearse search for happiness in life is a never-ending journey; the search for connection with another human being is also a never-ending journey. I've been married for 30 years, and there are still things we are learning about each other, mistakes that we make with one another, experiences that bring us closer. There is no destination.

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I couldn't find the previous comment, but someone already mentioned my fears exactly - that it could now become Hae Wons role to "heal" his issues (getting flashbacks to the latter half of "Her Private Life"). When he was in the woods he was clearly hallucinating and it seemed like a dissociative state to me, which should be treated with the help of professional mental health workers. Given his habit of not taking any medicine or seeing any doctors, this is really concerning. Please show, let him become more open to treating his mental health issues properly and let them be happy together in the future. Well, we have 8 more episodes to sort everything out.
... and in the meantime, I'll keep replaying the beautiful kiss at the end of the episode.

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This was a fantastic episode. I watched a few scenes over and over again because they were so pitch-perfect.
Eun-seob's internal struggle was really nicely done - I wasn't filled with that kind of impatience you get normally in a romance where you're desperate for them to just kiss already. For Eun-seob to push Hae-won away, but still want to keep her warm and give her medicine, is perfectly in character for him. He hates to see her inconvenienced, and devastated to see her sad, but he just can't get out of his head. I think it's wrong to call this Noble Idiocy, it's just a boy with bad mental health struggling to resolve a difficult situation.

There hasn't really been much of a chance to talk about Hae-won recently, but I just want to add that I adore her. She might be Heroine of the Year.

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We are at the halfway mark!! This comment section's full of so many insights and it's making me want to rewatch the episodes. Hope the show keeps all of our collective faith and continues to be beautifully shot,acted and well thought out.
I'll join the chorus and ask for more JW,Hwi and the rest of the book club.

Aunt MY's story's also taking an interesting turn. Her seemingly cold hearted break up with the boy friend was interesting. why do I get the feeling that the older generation of 'Mok' women did and said things they didn't mean. Thankfully our HW seems to have fallen very much off the family tree in that regard. Back to the aunt,isn't the boy she broke up with the man she's gone up to see..Looks like he's also her editor? That seems erm complicated. I'd also suffer from writer's block if my editor is also my ex who until recently was married. Funny how she's suddenly willing to hear the editor out once she learns of his divorce. The musings in the train over love lost were bittersweet and would have only come with age an perspective so we know there's a rich history there. Really hope we get to explore more of her story as we go forward coz I really enjoy the actress and the way she plays the distant yet caring aunt.

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I loved that HW noticed mom's slippers (one different to the other) which meant she was really worried about ES and that ES kept his words that he will ask his mom for permission at first to go the the mountain's cottage again.

We could touch his pain, it was a really powerful performance by SKJ and his limbs were frozen but he did move, fortunately HW went looking for him, otherwise he would freeze to death. He's still not quits with his past so he doesn't want anyone to touch it because they can't understand. He got touched by HW's words, I love how she addressed indirectly to ES that she also was looking for happiness somewhere else and when she'd realized it was all the time at home she can't reach it.

About mom, dad ES and Hwi. Mom's are naturally leaning towards boys and dad's love their daughters in real life. I wasn't myself very keen on my mom until I went through puberty, she was there but when dad had scolded us it was the end of the world. Now I miss them both so much and I tell my mom things like she's my bestie.

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*sighs* The kiss scene was perfect. Achingly beautiful. The wide shot of the gorgeous landscape capped off the scene so nicely.

Eun Seob was still Eun Seob all the way. He couldn't look her in the eye right before making his move. He couldn't say a word, but his action spoke volumes.

I was happy for them, but part of me wondered was this kiss too soon? Maybe not. We have reached the halfway point and while they took a first step in showing their honest feelings, they still have to open up more and work on their communication. Especially Eun Seob. It's his turn to confide in Hae Won.

The dramatic tension often falters after the main couple gets together. I'm hoping the show will be able to maintain it.

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You rejected her twice, you kissed her twice. What is the color of your problem??
8 episodes in and I still haven't decided if I like this drama or not. Its a healing drama ✔ its cinematography is beautiful ✔ I love park min young ✔ there's mystery ✔ but its draining all my energy😩😩

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Just as I previously stated.... ES was going to kiss our socks off. Woooow. Not a peck, but something that put everything that he felt in it. He does have a long way to go emotionally, but I do think he will arrive. His past trauma has not kept him from being a kind, thoughtful, warm person. He has some bruises, but I think for HW he is willing to go through anything.

Also, I think he's scared that he will take the plunge and lose her. As we all know from her own lips "I think I will stay until Spring" He could already be thinking of her departure. In the past that has been their only interaction. She comes in the winter for a few days. Then she leaves. His heart has taken hits. He is a normal human who has setup self-preservation mechanisms. I think ES and HW will lean on each other to get past the hurt they both have endured.
ES is about to break out of his shell. At least where showing physical love is concerned. In the previews, he is already going for another kiss. Also being openly intimate with her in public. I think this show will not let us down. They've done so well so far. I'm hooked.

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I have a feeling that this won't have a happy ending(hope i am wrong), or at one point they'll break up. I think we will see more obstacles getting on their way. Maybe we will now see more of bo young, who up to now i still don't like her character.

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I’m surprised they didn’t rewrite or edit the coughing scenes giving the current circumstances. I know in Asian culture it’s good to toughen it up and push through the pain even when you are sick. But right now ; when you are coughing and sneezing like this, the last thing she should do is being around people so closely. That being said, we are in a drama world so I can just overlook everything just be of that kisssssssss

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That's why they put the line in JW's mouth “Catching a cold lately is no joke. You should go to the hospital.” I was so surprised!

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The kiss at the end of episode 8 was perfect.

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why do you like Park Min Young? shes so plastic looking? she used to be beautiful. she should stop undergoing PS. i cannot watch her. Hef face distracts me. and you call her acting as acting? oh no.....

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What the?

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First off, AM IN LOVE WITH THIS DRAMA.

Now, this was again a very beautiful ep. I think this is one of those few rare dramas who's slow pace doesn't bother me at all. And even Eun seob's quite nature didn't bother me. But, well, if you could TALK it out first before kissing her...? I mean she's in love with him so probably happy that he's reciprocating.
We, the audience know a tad bit more about him thanks to the cute epilogue of his blogs at the end of each ep.
Now my sweet closed book, just talk with her a little bit won't you...

But it's such a beautiful show, sighhh....

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Lovely show!

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When Eun-seob lied to Hae-won about the key chain all I could think was, "Run girl, and don't look back." In real life someone who has as much trouble with honesty as he seems to have wouldn't be worth a second thought. It shows a lack of respect for the person he claims to love and it's a character trait that is always going to cause problems. When looking for a life partner, you have to start with the premise that people never change, not really. Miraculous character reformations and healing from trauma are a dramaland conceit.

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My wife reminded me of my own response when she first told me that she was pregnant. What did I say? I said "okay" It was not actually a negative response but rather one of confronting a totally life-changing reality. Mind you it only took me a few minutes to re-sort my reality and become much more appreciative and supportive husband, but then again I did not have as much baggage as Eun-seob does.

Maybe because of my own experience I have a little more empathy for Eun-seob here. It is important to understand and remember that he has just received his dearest wish- Hae-won's words were very welcome indeed. Quirkycase is right in saying that Eun-seob needs to deal with his baggage and learn how to be in a relationship for this to work - and most of this episode tells us that absolutely no one understands this more than Eun-seob- and that he was very unsure that he could do it. That is what made the kiss so beautiful- it is Eun-seob having the courage to start to do what it will take even if he is still not very sure that is. His blog post also tells us this- 'Irene now lives behind his eyes' means that Hae-won being a part of his life is now a fundamental reality of that life. It is something that goes far beyond words as shallow as "commitment". We now know that he will struggle in this, but we also know that he will not give up.

And so we can look forward to the rest of this story unfolding like a beautiful flower blooming very slowly. And this is a beautiful story.

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@oldawyer I'm not sure if age is the reason, but over the decades, one learns that first reactions can be misunderstood. The bigger the revelation, the more profuse a reaction is expected to be, but this may not be fair because a person can have a plethora of considerations and feelings rushing up at the same time.

I find that to prevent upset, I will at least plaster on something of the expected reaction, regardless of how 'little' I may be able to feel at the given moment.

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As you have just proved- with age comes wisdom.

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Thanks for the recap.

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