It’s Okay, It’s Love: Episode 3
As it turns out, living under the same roof with three roommates is a hotbed of inspiration for our author, who learns that the best way to get to know these strangers is not only by spending time with them, but by asking the right questions rather than writing about them. It’s amazing what a small gesture can do to break the ice or how a few words can make amends, and even more remarkable that an unlikely group of personalities can bond over a few drinks and start to become more than a housemate to one another.
SONG OF THE DAY
Davichi – “괜찮아 사랑이야 (It’s Okay, It’s Love)” from the OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Despite Jae-yeol being the one teasing Hae-soo about another drink, he’s the one to decline this round, leaving a wine-soaked Hae-soo fuming in her room. Next thing we know, she’s ringing a bell, which sets off an alarm throughout the entire building and Soo-kwang’s tics. (Do they live above the cafe?)
Interestingly, the corner of Jae-yeol’s mouth twitches at the irritable noise, and Hae-soo barges into his room moments later asking what the hell his deal is. She isn’t at all interested in getting to know him, and by the time their other housemates file in, she declares that Jae-yeol move out.
It’s now that Sunbae Jo notices Hae-soo’s inside-out shorts and Jae-yeol’s wine-stained shirt, which has him barking at them both to put up with it since the living arrangements aren’t even permanent anyway. When Soo-kwang agrees with the idea of kicking out their newest roomie, Hae-soo declares the motion passed—the only rule in this house is that majority rules.
Jae-yeol won’t let this go without an explanation; he orders Sunbae Jo and Soo-kwang out of the room, only for them to hilariously plop onto Jae-yeol’s bed instead, much to his annoyance.
Still, it looks like they’re stuck with an audience for this argument, and they both agree that she doesn’t particularly care for him. He notes that she neither thanked him or apologized after the Rage Issues incident, and sent him a measly text about compensation instead. She says that people normally take that as a sign of never seeing each other again, but he’s not normal, is he?
“You’re like a hunter hunting down his prey. Once you’ve fixated on a woman in that head of yours, you have to lie her down on that bed of yours somehow to see the end of it, don’t you?” Hae-soo counters, “A self-absorbed narcissist like yourself…”
Jae-yeol cuts her off, “So you’re saying… that you’re fixated in my head? You think you’re that attractive?” Snerk. I love that Sunbae Jo bears the same expression as I do right now. *grabs popcorn*
Hae-soo laughs and says that a hunter’s only interested in eating its prey, not figuring out whether it’s attractive or not. Jae-yeol says he’s not that hungry. Haha. When Hae-soo asks their audience if this qualifies as sexual harassment, Sunbae Jo chimes in, “You started it.” Soo-kwang: “Sounds about right.”
Hae-soo declares firmly that she won’t end up in his bed, so he can get out of this house. “Don’t lie in it,” Jae-suk retorts. “Even if I try to, just don’t get in.” Then he looks her up and down and asks, “What? Afraid that you might crawl in there of your own volition?”
Jae-yeol sincerely apologizes for being the instigator of her recent breakup, but it was a genuine mistake and he didn’t know. She scoffs at that, wondering how he could have been such a know-it-all in their debate then—is he THAT dense?
She may not believe it since he doesn’t look like the type, he replies, but he really is that slow on the uptake. That’s why his girlfriend plagiarized his book and was betrayed by his best friend, Jae-yeol finishes.
Noting his idea board, Hae-soo changes the topic, asking if he enjoys using other people’s pain to quote them like that for his book. “I sell off my pain for profit, so what does it matter if it’s someone else’s?” he fires back, then writes down the words she spoke moments ago, arguing that he likes that line.
Jae-yeol agrees to move out as per her wishes, but that means everyone else is evicted, too… because he bought the entire building and now owns everything in it, including the cafe downstairs.
Naturally, the news bums all the housemates except Jae-yeol out, and there’s a hilarious beat when Jae-yeol accurately predicts an oncoming thunderstorm, leaving Sunbae Jo to muse that he’s a shaman.
Sunbae Jo wastes no time to blame the situation on Hae-soo’s temper, defending their new building owner. To make matters worse, they’ve got less than a week on their current lease, so what’s Hae-soo going to do about it?
Calling Sunbae Jo’s wealthy brother only ends up in him getting screamed at and hung up on, and Sunbae Jo explains that he lost his share of his family’s inheritance when he chose to pursue psychiatry over surgery.
Both Hae-soo and Sunbae Jo’s eyes light up when Soo-kwang says he has some money saved up, but it isn’t much. So Hae-soo suggests they put their heads (joongji) together, which Soo-kwang interprets literally and flips them the bird. Ha.
After helping out some pretty high-schoolers by buying them milk (instead of the cigarettes they wanted), Jae-yeol arrives home to see Hae-soo debating whether to open the gate for her ex-boyfriend PD Choi standing in the pouring rain.
She ultimately tells Sunbae Jo not to let him in, but the constant banging annoys Jae-yeol (who’s writing up his newest manuscript aptly entitled “Psychiatrists,” or in his words, “Head Doctors”), enough to contemplate whether to knock on Hae-soo’s door, only to decide against it.
Hae-soo exits seconds later, though, and his curiosity leads him to eavesdrop on the former couple’s conversation outside. Jae-yeol raises his eyebrows at PD Choi’s claims that there was a one-time drunken mistake, and it was Mi-young who occasionally put the moves on him even though he said he only loved Hae-soo.
He isn’t willing to end things here, but Hae-soo is, and when PD Choi forcibly kisses her, he gets slapped across the face. She loses her umbrella in the ensuing scuffle, and her ex-boyfriend asks if any other guy would put up with not having sex with his girlfriend for as long as he did. But he did because he loved her.
“Ask any man out there whether who’s the normal one: me or you?” Hae-soo throws down her umbrella at that, yelling that they both know that she’s the abnormal one here. He knows how much her mother’s decades-long affair with another man affected her, and how it led her to think that sex was a weird and horrible thing.
Whereas other people love the stimulating rush, she can find nothing more sickening. She had to convince herself dozens of times that kissing him would be okay before she did it, but the mere thought of sex still terrifies her.
“So I asked you to accept me, to help me even though it’d be hard; that I wanted to get rid of this awful illness myself!” Doesn’t he remember how she asked him that in tears? PD Choi gets on his knees in apology, and Jae-yeol closes his curtains.
It turns out Sunbae Jo and Soo-kwang are listening in, too (the latter is in Sunbae Jo’s room ’cause thunderstorms scare him, aw), and in a breaking voice, Hae-soo says that she wanted to be with PD Choi in hopes to understand what it felt like when she saw her patients’ faces light up once they overcame the years of hardship in their lives.
Cheating on her may have been a one-time deal for him, but she’ll be forever reminded of it whenever she kisses him, just like how she thinks of her mother kissing that ajusshi whenever she sees Mom. Her tears mixed in with the rain now, Hae-soo finishes, “You feel like you wasted 300 days? I’ve been waiting for that day my entire life. It’s over.”
Hae-soo returns to her room, sopping wet, and watches her ex leaving. The door knocks just then, and she opens it to find a pile of (very particular) colored towels. Aw, they’re Jae-yeol’s.
She’s caught off-guard and trips when she unexpectedly crosses paths with Jae-yeol on her morning jog. Ha, that’s the second Jae-yeol-related trip and fall in this hour (the first when she was wine-soaked in her room).
Hae-soo starts Soo-bin on electroconvulsive therapy to help treat her severe depression, though she informs Soo-bin’s mother that moral support is still necessary. Soo-bin’s volition is also a key factor in this process, but the guilt towards her mother is still present, so the docs will have to wait and see.
While Jae-yeol receives a manuscript and some encouraging words from Kang-woo, Hae-soo doesn’t make much headway with that erotic artist patient.
At some undetermined time in the night, Jae-yeol peeks outside thanks to a beeping sound to see Hae-soo light a candle and lift a prayer. He makes breakfast for everyone that morning, even handing Hae-soo some water, to her surprise.
Sunbae Jo tries to make nice at the table, referring to “our Jae-yeol” as such a generous person and wondering if this gesture negates the whole moving out idea a few days ago. He snaps at both Hae-soo and Soo-kwang when they protest, and Jae-yeol shocks everyone by saying that this breakfast is his farewell breakfast, so eat up.
Hae-soo takes all of Sunbae Jo’s screams about how they’ll never find a place big enough for them and his private practice with their current funds, and her idea to get a loan literally gets laughed at—with her father’s hospital bills and her school loans, that’s impossible.
So she suggests they play rock-paper-scissors as to who’ll beg the chaebol into letting them stay. She loses.
Standing outside Jae-yeol’s door, Hae-soo asks if Sunbae Jo can’t do it instead. She gets laughed at when she claims that she’s quite the flirt (Sunbae Jo: “What can you say as someone who didn’t even sleep with the man she dated for 300 days?”), and Sunbae Jo hilariously skedaddles when Jae-yeol suddenly opens the door.
Although distracted, Jae-yeol invites her inside while he picks up a call. It’s Kang-woo, who asks if Jae-yeol read his manuscript yet. “What’s your intention when you wrote this novel?” Jae-yeol asks, annoyed.
“Was this the reason why you’ve been chasing me around all this time? To reveal that I was the culprit? That it was me, not Hyung? Is this all you could come up with after six months?” It’s uncreative, based on previous articles about him, and the only difference is that the culprit is written as Jang Jae-yeol, he barks.
(I’ve seen the theories about Kang-woo in the comment threads, which makes Jae-yeol’s use of “Hyung” that much more interesting; it makes me wonder just who Jae-yeol’s speaking with: if it’s Jae-bum, then the words could translate as “…not you, hyung?” or actually Kang-woo or someone else entirely. I’m sure we’ll learn the answer in due course, though.)
Hae-soo asks what that was about, to which Jae-yeol replies that it’s about some novel of a main character that shares his name. When he asks why she’s here, Hae-soo comes up with the excuse that she has a question about his novel.
She tries a different approach when that falls flat, and depicts a hypothetical woman about her age to describe her patient who loves to draw genitalia. She asks if that’s weird, but Jae-yeol doesn’t think so—they’re just drawings, after all.
His answer has Hae-soo come to a realization that those drawings can’t be bad since they don’t harm anyone anyway. She’s impressed, but then follows up with another question: What about a young girl whose mother wouldn’t hurt a fly? “You think a kind and sincere person isn’t capable of hurting their own child?” he replies dryly. “My mom’s an angel and even she hurts me sometimes.”
Hae-soo goes ahead to schedule the erotic drawings patient (Hwan-hee) before heading out to work, while Jae-yeol ignores a call from Kang-woo and tucks the manuscript away. Kang-woo looks crushed when Jae-yeol doesn’t pick up.
While picking up some PPL java, Jae-yeol learns that Hae-soo is a former fan of his work back when he was writing about love, not gore. He tells Hae-soo’s unni to fire Soo-kwang.
Jae-yeol answers Tae-yong’s attempts to chat with his right hook, then tells his ex-friend that Pul-ip was just using him. As he drives off, Tae-yong calls out that he’ll visit Mama Ok-ja often since Jae-yeol’s too busy writing.
In the car, Sunbae Jo admits that Jae-bum’s a tough case, but Tae-yong quickly denies the inkling that Jae-bum and Jae-yeol are related. He’s disheartened to hear that Jae-yeol’s the type who always follows through on his word, which means he’ll have to think of some other way to deal with the housing situation.
Hae-soo seems to finally get through to Hwan-hee when she compliments his artistic skills in their session together. She apologizes for not empathizing with him earlier, and asks why he was sniffing glue with the kids who weren’t even his friends.
He starts to say that was so he wouldn’t draw genitalia, and at Hae-soo’s sympathetic response, he elaborates, “Because… it makes my mom cry.” She uses Jae-yeol’s words that even nice people can hurt others, and Hwan-hee tearfully confesses that he walked in on his mother and her boyfriend having sex. That’s an experience Hae-soo can relate to, but she listens to how scared he was that his mother might abandon him for her lover.
Meanwhile, Sunbae Jo has another therapy session with Jae-bum in the prison courtyard. Jae-bum keeps tossing out questions about the Earth’s orbit and seasons: “Why is it always summer in Bali and the Maldives? And always winter in Greenland?”
Jae-bum asks if the extent of his general knowledge surprises him. Sunbae Jo nods. He read about all this while behind bars, and insists that he’s genuinely curious about these topics.
When Sunbae Jo remains silent, Jae-bum puts an end to this session and calls him out for it, arguing that he as the shrink said they should speak plainly like friends. “So why aren’t you answering me?” Sunbae Jo tries to make amends, but gets dismissed.
Hae-soo listens to Jae-yeol’s evening radio broadcast on the bus ride home—the song his listeners have just heard is from the “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” soundtrack. Jae-yeol elaborates on the main character “Mac” McMurphy’s experience in a mental institution, where he strongly believed that he was different from the psychiatric patients.
“We as viewers, are not exempt from those thoughts,” Jae-yeol says. “We always think, ‘We’re different from those people,’ ‘They’re the crazy ones, and I’m normal.'” But those same patients whom viewers thought were strange were later perceived as sweet, helpless, and adorable in the movie, words that leave Hae-soo impressed.
Like mental health professionals say, everyone is a patient, and so, “We all must recognize that and understand each other’s pain. Then this world will become a bit more beautiful than it already is.”
Thanks to another reminder, Hae-soo texts Jae-yeol to meet up for drinks. He wraps up his radio broadcast and sends a teasing response back that she should be busy house-hunting, but whatever, sure. Heh.
Ha, Jae-yeol seems disappointed when he sees that Sunbae Jo will be joining them (and the doc points out as much). But when Jae-yeol calls his attorney, dangling a lawsuit carrot in front of them, Sunbae Jo excuses himself.
Jae-yeol can hardly believe it when he gets a short “Sorry” from Hae-soo, but she uses the words from his radio broadcast back at him—he said no one should think that someone else is different, but they’re two different people and her apology is the best she can do.
Hae-soo sends him a wink and slings her arm through his for good measure, and that actually gets Jae-yeol to smile. I love how Sunbae Jo is silently pumping his arms in victory behind them.
The foursome sit down for drinks anyway, where they all agree that Soo-kwang isn’t a pervert for wanting to have sex with his ex-girlfriend in a car when they were together. Speaking of perversion, Hae-soo says she watched “this movie” today about a man who likes using bondage play in the bedroom, whereas the woman is unvarying about their sex life. This is about another patient, isn’t it?
While the psychiatrists consider S&M as another form of sexual expression if it doesn’t hurt anyone, and Hae-soo thinks there’s something wrong with the woman, Jae-yeol disagrees. The point is whether the man received consent from the woman, and if he still used those items without her consent, that’s what makes him a pervert.
Sure enough, Hae-soo excuses herself to check in on that patient, and learns that no—the husband doesn’t ask for consent before engaging in bondage play. She asks that they come in together next time.
While Soo-kwang tries to score a girl’s number outside, the conversation turns to Hae-soo’s recent breakup and how she didn’t sleep with the guy. Sunbae Jo pokes fun at her for playing hard-to-get by teasing her with a cracker. Jae-yeol chokes on his drink.
It turns out that girl Soo-kwang flirted with has got an angry oppa. He’s none too pleased that someone hit on his sister, and another slap to the head sends Soo-kwang into another episode.
He has to be led away, but the two guys guffaw when Sunbae Jo gets rarin’ to fight. Before the situation escalates any further, however, Jae-yeol kicks the muscular dude’s arm away. “My leg’s longer than my arm.”
Jae-yeol sets the girl and her oppa straight on their ignorance—his friend’s got Tourette’s. And when the muscular dude raises to strike with a bottle, Jae-yeol steps in and so does that charming song that kicks in whenever there’s a fight in this show.
It’s kinda funny how everyone except Soo-kwang gets involved in the ensuing brawl, which breaks up when they hear the cops coming. Thinking fast, Jae-yeol drops a few bank notes, grabs Hae-soo’s hand, and runs.
Jae-yeol and Hae-soo break away from the pack, and she wonders why they’re running when the other party instigated the fight. He asks if she isn’t hurt, then explains that the other party is injured and he’s a celebrity—he’d make headlines.
When Hae-soo runs ahead of him, Jae-yeol catches up and grabs her hand again before they take off again. They lose their tail at an intersection but keep running with these wide smiles across their faces.
Elsewhere, someone else takes off running—it’s Kang-woo, who’s bleeding and barefoot.
In the elevator, Jae-yeol shrugs off the pain in his arm. She promises to have just two beers and leave. Before she steps inside, however, she figures that he’s probably not a weirdo ’cause he’s a celebrity, then notices that his old apartment looks almost exactly like his room in Hongdae.
Jae-yeol acknowledges as much, agreeing that he probably has OCD. He then asks about her aversion to sex, admitting that he overheard her conversation with her ex-boyfriend. “Do you find it difficult?” he asks, genuinely curious.
She says a playboy like him would never understand, but opens up to him about how it used to be so bad that her heart would start pounding and she’d be short of breath at the mere thought of physical intimacy. That was ten years ago, she says, and she took meds for it back then, but it’s much better now.
Years of self-regulation has helped too, she adds. She’d imagine a situation with a lover countless times over, telling herself that physical intimacy is a beautiful thing. “Who knows,” she muses. “Maybe if I really meet someone I love, I could experience an unbelieveable love like that.”
Jae-yeol asks what the point of jumping through all of those hoops if she can just go ahead and do it. Casually.
She asks how that’s possible for someone like her, and he tosses back, “Why can’t you?” And then he closes in on her and plants a kiss.
Well now. We’ll have to see how Hae-soo reacts to that, but if that’s the kind of therapy technique Jae-yeol has planned for her, then by all means; you won’t see me saying no to kisses.
It was pretty great watching Jae-yeol and Hae-soo’s relationship development in this episode, from their bickering at the outset that eventually led to an honest conversation by the hour’s end. Their frankness with each other is what made their arguments an enjoyable watch, even when their point and counterpoints were based off of initial impressions of one another. They don’t mince words with one another, and I liked that Hae-soo acknowledged how he insightful he was whenever they were talking about the movies, er, I mean the patients she’s seen. Or perhaps it’s that Jae-yeol calls it like he sees it.
In any case, I was impressed by how Hae-soo felt safe enough to disclose her personal history with Jae-yeol. Granted, Jae-yeol and all her housemates overheard her post-breakup convo with her ex-boyfriend, but it definitely says something about a person who can both acknowledge one’s vulnerability and take ownership of it by sharing it with select people. Even if Hae-soo hasn’t overcome her phobia for physical intimacy, she’s made some active steps to make it manageable in her life, and while she knows that it’s still very much a crippling fear, she has a desire to overcome it and experience a love worth having.
In that vein, I wonder if Hae-soo is aware that her aversion towards sex allows her to both better empathize with the patients who endure similar experiences and is also sometimes a blind spot in her psychological perspective. That isn’t to say Hae-soo isn’t knowledgeable in her field, but that like anyone, her insight is also limited. What I like about her approach is that she’s open to getting a new perspective and checking the validity of that insight, even if it’s from a supposed know-it-all author who can break down someone’s psyche in a few words. To an extent, I think it’s great that Hae-soo has adopted Jae-yeol’s words in her therapeutic process and received a positive response thus far—what I hope for is that she continues to adapt and builds upon her existing competency as we move forward.
Speaking of Jae-yeol, he continues to be an interesting enigma I keep wanting to know more about. He’s remarkably astute about his own shortcomings and how they’ve affected his own life, even if he realizes them two steps too late. I’m not sure whether he believes much of the words from his own radio broadcasts or not, but seeing him interact with our pseudo family makes me hopeful that he’s beginning to care about the people in that house. I enjoyed watching the small and simple gestures towards Hae-soo to let her know that he cared, and how he even referred to Soo-kwang as his friend. But what made me the happiest in this hour was seeing just how happy he was, running free hand-in-hand with the biggest smile on his face. Indeed, the world is a bit more beautiful now.
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