Welcome: Episodes 3-4
Taking care of a cat isn’t the only challenge that our heroine finds herself navigating. Her new home places her unexpectedly close to an old friend, who she secretly wishes was something more, but a past misunderstanding stands in the way. Just as they begin to warm up to one another, a certain feline with a mysterious ability makes his presence impossible to ignore.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
After a moving truck pulls away, Bang Shil presses a key into Sol-ah’s hand and thanks her for moving into her house. Bang Shil explains that she can’t rent out her house because her travel-writer son stays there whenever he visits. When Sol-ah balks at the thought of sharing the house with a strange man, Bang Shil assures her that they won’t cross paths because her son lives on the second floor.
Left alone with her dad while Bang Shil fetches her car, Sol-ah awkwardly asks if he has anything to say before he leaves. After she turns away in disappointment at his silence, Dad blurts out that he wants Sol-ah to draw again, whatever she wants. She reminds Dad that he’s a poet who never writes poems and a quote by Nan Porter tells us, “If cats could talk, they wouldn’t.”
Catching a ride on the moving truck to her new address, Sol-ah is shocked to find that Bang Shil’s house is across the street from Jae-seon’s cafe. When Jae-seon walks outside, Sol-ah ducks out of sight, worried that he’ll get the wrong idea.
Once she’s safely behind the gate of her new place, Sol-ah watches as Jae-seon make a phone call. Her phone rings and Jae-seon asks for Sol-ah’s address so that he can deliver some supplies for the cat. Sol-ah insists on picking up the supplies herself, but when she’s sees the large box filled with cat food, treats, etc., she complains about Jae-seon’s dedication to the cat.
When reminded that they’ve been forced to interact because she took in the cat, Sol-ah explains that she did it because they’re old friends. The reminder prompts Jae-seon to apologize for his behavior the day that her father collapsed, leaving Sol-ah uncharacteristically speechless.
Sol-ah manages to talk Jae-seon out of carrying the heavy box to her new place when she accuses him of being clingy. While a human Hong Jo watches from the second floor window, Sol-ah staggers down the street with the heavy box to wait for Jae-seon to go back inside.
When she finally returns home, Sol-ah fills Hong Jo’s dish and then unpacks. Upon finding her art supplies, Sol-ah remembers her father’s suggestion and sits down in front of a drawing pad but she can’t seem to put her pencil to paper.
In the morning, Sol-ah tells “Sergei” that she’s leaving for work. When the cat runs away without a glance, an irritated Sol-ah has to remind herself not to get attached.
Inside, a human Hong Jo sees that Sol-ah forgot her phone. He hides when she comes back, several times — to fill his water dish, to leave some lights on and to set up her laptop to play videos — but she never remembers her phone.
Hong Jo grabs the phone and runs after Sol-ah, slipping it into her bag just as she’s about to board her bus. Without the phone, he’s a cat again but once he’s back at the house, Hong Jo returns to human form.
At work, Vice President Park assumes that Sol-ah spent her day off doing something fun and she doesn’t hear her explain that she spent the day moving. Sol-ah is surprised when Vice President Park insists that Ji-eun should leave early because of her move. When Ji-eun protests that she has work to finish, Vice President Park hands it all to Sol-ah.
The rest of the staff goes home while Sol-ah stays behind to finish Ji-eun’s work, even though the next day is a holiday. As night falls, Hong Jo waits for Sol-ah’s return but it’s morning when she finally announces, “I’m done.” After seeing that it’s raining heavily, she sneezes.
At home, Hong Jo stares at the rain while a weather report on the computer warns against being caught without an umbrella. Seeing Sol-ah’s umbrella in a corner, Hong Jo is soon outside under its bright yellow canopy.
Curious when he’s still in human form after leaving the house, Hong Jo makes it to the street unchanged. A gust of wind blows the umbrella from his hand, causing Hong Jo to turn back into a cat.
Hong Jo slinks back to the umbrella and returns to human form but when he backs away he’s a cat again. Picking up the umbrella, Hong Jo reasons that any belongings with Sol-ah’s scent maintain his human form.
Getting off of her bus, Sol-ah runs through the rain until she’s stopped by someone carrying a yellow umbrella. Hong Jo looks out from under his umbrella with a smile while Sol-ah gazes up at…Jae-seon.
Hong Jo stands still as Sol-ah walks past him, protected by Jae-seon’s yellow umbrella. In an attempt to prevent Jae-seon from walking her home, Sol-ah makes up a story about living some distance away, on a steep and crooked street. When Jae-seon calls her behavior weird, Sol-ah finally admits that she lives across the street from the cafe.
Sol-ah tries to explain away how she ended up living so close to Jae-seon but she’s quieted when he touches her cheek and announces that she’s burning with fever. The gesture reminds Sol-ah of the day that she blushed hotly just before Jae-seon kissed her. Close by, Hong Jo watches the couple from under Sol-ah’s umbrella.
When she gets home, Sol-ah is greeted by a wet cat and sees that a window is open. As she dries Hong Jo’s fur, Sol-ah notices that he hasn’t touched his food so she fills a dish with milk. As he laps it up, Sol-ah decides to name the cat “Hong Jo” (a reference to her blushing cheeks).
Sol-ah tries out the name several times but the cat runs off. When she hears a crash, Sol-ah finds one of her art boxes knocked over and picks up a tube that contains a sweet painting of a boy and girl in traditional clothing.
In a flashback, we see the rough sketch in the high school art class that Sol-ah shared with Doo-shik and Jae-seon. Seeing the sketch, Doo-shik asked, “You’re drawing Beodeul Love again?”
Sol-ah described Beodeul Love as her ideal just at Jae-seon answered a phone call from his dad. Sol-ah teased Jae-seon for sounding awkward with his parents, as if he just met them. She immediately regretted her comment when Jae-seon confessed that he’d only been adopted for three years.
Later, Sol-ah sought out Jae-seon to apologize and found him sitting alone on a bench. When she sat next to him, Jae-seon scooted away but that didn’t stop Sol-ah from sharing that her mother had recently passed away and that her father was depressed.
Jae-seon asked for quiet but Sol-ah suggested that sharing secrets would make them friends. When Jae-seon complained, “You’re so loud,” Sol-ah laughed and confessed that her father would agree.
Jae-seon stood up and then sat down again facing away from Sol-ah. When Sol-ah continued to talk, he pulled her red scarf up, covering her face. After she pulled it down, Jae-seon gave her a small smile and Sol-ah thought to herself, “I found him. My Beodeul Love.”
Inspired by the memory and her high school painting, Sol-ah creates a cartoon titled My Helpless Beodeul Love. The cat listens as Sol-ah narrates, “They’re not facing each other, so they don’t need to force themselves to talk. He just stayed by her side.”
Undeniably sick, Sol-ah goes to bed early but soon gets up to search for some medicine. She finds small puddles of milk on the floor leading to very sick Hong Jo.
In spite of her own illness, Sol-ah runs through the rain in her sandals to the nearest veterinary clinic. While Hong Jo gets an IV treatment, the vet explains that the milk made him sick. A worried Sol-ah stares at the sick cat and murmurs, “I’m sorry. It’s all my fault.”
When Sol-ah returns home with Hong Jo, she sets him on her bed and begs, “Please don’t be sick.” After she falls asleep, the now human Hong Jo gazes down at her and wonders, “I thought she didn’t like cats. Why is she doing this?” After getting Sol-ah under the covers, Hong Jo wets his arm in the rain to cool her fevered brow, asking himself, “And why do I become human only around her?”
EPISODE 4 RECAP
In the morning, both Sol-ah and Hong Jo are feeling better. Jae-seon texts Sol-ah to look outside her door where she finds a bag of medicine hanging on the doorknob. She looks over at Sonamu but Jae-seon isn’t around.
Sol-ah runs inside to take her medicine while enjoying her view of the cafe from the upstairs window. When Jae-seon walks outside with a broom, Sol-ah shouts that her fever is gone, unaware that Hong Jo is back in human form and watching her closely.
At work, Doo-shik notices Sol-ah’s good mood and she confesses that she’s drawing online cartoons again but keeps the details a secret. Ji-eun approaches with a message for Doo-shik but this time, she doesn’t have a note, explaining, “You asked me to talk to you. So this time I’ll say it.”
Doo-shik takes Ji-eun’s request to change a word on an online banner from “executives” to “staff” way too literally. When his correction reads, “From executives to staff,” Sol-ah guffaws over his misinterpretation.
As everyone teases him, Vice President Park reminds Sol-ah that she’s to forget that Doo-shik is her best friend whenever they’re at work. Once everyone returns to their desks, Doo-shik pesters Sol-ah with questions about what’s behind her great mood.
Even though it’s no longer raining, Hong Jo holds the yellow umbrella over his head while he stares over the fence at Sonamu. Recalling that his previous owner also laughed and cried because of Jae-seon, Hong Jo wonders what he’s like.
Jae-seon walks up to ask, “What do you want,” but a sneeze forces him to turn around. When he turns back, Hong Jo is gone and Jae-seon picks up the abandoned umbrella just as Doo-shik arrives.
Doo-shik asks Jae-seon if he and Sol-ah are okay again but he doesn’t get an answer. Back in cat form, Hong Jo listens from the rooftop of Sonamu as Doo-shik demands, “What happened between you two? What…is Sol-ah to you?”
When Jae-seon matter-of-factly answers, “Sol-ah is Kim Sol-ah,” Doo-shik wonders what will happen now that she’s living across the street. Carrying the umbrella into the cafe, Jae-seon figures, “Things will get noisy.”
Just as the men step inside, Sol-ah stops in front of the cafe in alarm when she sees Hong Jo on the roof. She’s touched when Hong Jo responds to his new name and shouts that she’ll save him.
Sol-ah notices a ladder leaning on the side of the cafe and hauls it over to Hong Jo just as Doo-shik describes their old friend as delicate and feminine. After Sol-ah climbs up the ladder, Jae-seon notices it in front of the window and wonders how it got there.
On the roof, Sol-ah is surprised to see Hong Jo down on the patio. On her way down the ladder, Sol-ah misses a rung and closes her eyes tightly as she falls. When she opens them, Sol-ah finds herself in the arms of the human version of Hong Jo.
Their eyes lock until Sol-ah jumps to the ground with a quick thank you. Sol-ah calls out for Hong Jo and turns to ask the stranger if he’s seen a cat but he’s gone. Relieved when she sees Hong Jo back in her garden, Sol-ah tells herself that there’s something familiar about the stranger’s eyes. Back home, Sol-ah stares into the cat’s eyes until she realizes, “Hong Jo, he had your eyes.”
Doo-shik’s parents are outside of their restaurant when Ji-eun returns to her new place, the flat upstairs. As she walks by, head down, Doo-shik’s mom comments, “She’s always like that…Shoulders hunched like some shriveled up bracken.”
Inside her apartment, Ji-eun takes out a well used eraser from a box. She reads the words on it, written in pen, “High School Genius artist, Go Doo-shik” and asks herself, “Why can’t you talk to him?”
Back in human form, a sleeping Hong Jo has as a leg and an arm draped across Sol-ah. She wakes from a nightmare and tells the sleeping cat, “Some male ghost was pressing down on me.”
In the bathroom, the human Hong Jo grabs Sol-ah’s toothbrush as she leaves for work. When Sol-ah stops to buy some fish-shaped buns, she’s startled to find Hong Jo standing behind her.
Hong Jo announces, “I saved you,” and Sol-ah takes the opportunity to thank him properly. As she bows, one of the buns falls to the ground and she protests when Hong Jo is about to eat it. After giving Hong Jo the rest of the fish buns, Sol-ah continues on her way to work.
Hong Jo boards the bus behind Sol-ah and repeats, “I saved you,” when the bus driver demands payment. After Sol-ah pays for him, Hong Jo sits behind her and bats playfully at the small toy clipped to her bag. By the time they get off of the bus, Sol-ah has given the toy to Hong Jo.
Hong Jo slams into the automatic glass door when Sol-ah enters the building where she works. Sol-ah explains that only people who work there can enter and as she walks away, she shakes her head and mutters, “He looks just fine, but he’s the village idiot.”
Unable to get on a bus without Sol-ah, it takes Hong Jo all day to walk home. The sun is setting when an exhausted Hong Jo returns and knocks over a potted plant. As his eyes close, Hong Jo realizes, “Being a human has a time limit. When I get tired and fall asleep, I become a cat.”
It’s nighttime when Sol-ah gets home and seeing the mess on the floor, she goes to clean it up and realizes that the window is open again. A human sized shadow makes her jump but Sol-ah breathes a sigh of relief when she sees that it was just the cat.
In the bathroom, Sol-ah notices that her toothbrush is missing. Later, while working on her cartoon, another human-sized shadow convinces Sol-ah that she’s nervous about living alone, so she decides to go to bed early.
As she walks to the bedroom, Sol-ah steps on the stuffed toy that she gave to Hong Jo on the bus, sending her running across the street to Sonamu in terror. Sol-ah pounds on Jae-seon’s door just as he finishes a leather piece.
After Sol-ah explains that there’s someone in her house, Jae-seon leads the way to investigate. Sol-ah clings to him as she explains that she keeps finding a window open and that her toothbrush is missing. When Jae-seon looks under the bed, he finds the cat with Sol-ah’s missing toothbrush.
Sol-ah shows Jae-seon the toy and claims that she gave it to the village idiot earlier in the day. After Jae-seon assures her that they’re the only ones in the house, an embarrassed Sol-ah begs, “You won’t go and get the wrong idea again, will you?”
As thanks for coming over, Sol-ah invites Jae-seon to stay for ramyun and then has to insist that she didn’t mean…that. As she prepares the ramyun, Jae-seon announces that he has something for Sol-ah as well.
Jae-seon sneezes just as he hands Sol-ah a small box. Seeing that the cat has joined them, Sol-ah remembers Jae-seon’s allergy and puts Hong Jo outside, begging, “Stay here for a while…This is an important event.”
Sol-ah gasps in delight when she sees the braided leather bracelet nestled inside of the box. Placing it around her wrist, Sol-ah declares it perfect until Jae-seon explains that it’s not for her wrist. Sol-ah excitedly tries it on her ankle until Jae-seon announces, “It’s a collar for the cat…It’s for Sergei.”
Doing her best to hide her disappointment, Sol-ah informs Jae-seon that the cat has a new name, but she refuses to tell him what it is. When Jae-seon insists that the cat won’t respond to it, Sol-ah sets out to prove him wrong and calls out, “Hong Jo,” and it becomes obvious why she wanted to keep it a secret. Hearing “Hong Jo” reminds Jae-seon of Sol-ah’s blushing cheeks followed by that kiss and he stares into her eyes.
A whistle from the stove interrupts the charged moment and a rattled Sol-ah ends up burning her fingers. Jae-seon runs to Sol-ah’s side to hold her fingers under some cold water and when he assures her, “Don’t worry. I won’t get the wrong idea,” she asks, “What if it’s the right idea?”
Jae-seon and Sol-ah stare at each other and lean closer but before their lips can meet, they realize that they’re not alone. Jae-seon shields Sol-ah as he confronts an intruder — Hong Jo in his human form.
I’m finding myself a bit distracted by Shin Ye-eun as Sol-ah, because she reminds me of Jeon Ji-hyun, down to the tiny mole on her nose. That’s not a bad thing by any means, especially when she’s managing quite well to balance the goofy side of Sol-ah (that enthusiasm for what she thought was a leather bracelet!) with a more vulnerable side, one of Jeon Ji-hyun’s strengths. What I can’t deny is that I’ve been taken in by Sol-ah’s openness and her chemistry with the very guarded Jae-seon, her declared Beodeul Love.
@selena was spot on when she noted how sweet Sol-ah really is. It explains why she’s so attentive toward Hong Jo, even though she supposedly hates cats. I’m guessing that the more that Sol-ah bonds with Hong Jo, the easier it is for him to remain in his human state. As we can see from the ending of the episode, Hong Jo’s mysterious ability is going to wreak havoc while Sol-ah and Jae-seon deal with their undeniable attraction. They still have whatever happened that came between them to deal with, and I’m guessing that Hong Jo will only complicate the matter further before they’re able to clear the air.
I’m undecided about how I feel about a man/cat lurking in the background while watching Sol-ah’s every move. It feels a bit stalkerish to me, making Hong Jo more creepy than cute at this point. What I did enjoy was Hong Jo’s inability to ignore his feline instincts, especially when he was batting that toy on Sol-ah’s bag while on the bus. What cat can resist a toy with a shiny bell on it?
Of the three characters making up our man/woman/feline triangle, I’m the most intrigued by Jae-seon. He’s obviously quite caring like Sol-ah, in his own way, so I can’t figure out why he pulled away from her after the kiss that they shared. Since we learned that he’s adopted, I’m thinking that he’s been wounded deeply in the past, which could partly explain why he’s so guarded. The fact that he’s so concerned about Hong Jo’s wellbeing suggests that this particular cat holds some special meaning for him, especially significant since Jae-seon is allergic to cats. Because Hong Jo remembers meeting Sol-ah as a kitten, it’s possible that Jae-seon was the catalyst. Was it Sol-ah’s declaration that she hates cats that cooled Jae-seon’s feelings?
I felt the high school connection between Doo-shik, Sol-ah and Jae-seon was a nice touch. I wasn’t expecting the Ji-eun connection as well since it looks as if Doo-shik and Sol-ah don’t recognize her. Poor girl, Ji-eun has been nursing that one-sided crush for Doo-shik for a long time as evidenced by his high school eraser. Ji-eun is so shy as an adult, I can only imagine that she made herself as invisible as possible as a teenager. I’m really looking forward to watching Ji-eun come out of her shell bit by bit and for the growth of all of our characters as they search for their own Beodeul Love.
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