The Time I’ve Loved You: Episode 4
It just takes one conversation about Won and Hana’s true feelings to throw everything into flux, making us wonder whether our two besties remain so because they’re both equally afraid of what lies beyond. Life around them may change and so may the people they’re with, but all those things can be made bearable when you’ve got that one dependable constant on your side, always waiting with fresh alcohol in one hand to drown your sorrows and a tissue in the other to wipe away your drool and/or jjajangmyeon sauce. You’d have to be crazy to give that sort of relationship up… right?
SONG OF THE DAY
Take – “주르르 (Rainy Day)” [ Download ]
EPISODE 4 RECAP
As Hana looks up at Won, she thinks, “That’s right, it’s okay. Whenever I face suffering in life, I have a precious friend who is always there for me.”
That precious friend buys her favorite snacks and beer before joining her in her room, after Hana’s washed away her streaked makeup and dried off. “When I was twenty-four years old,” she muses, “I thought a thirty-four-year-old woman was not a woman.”
Now that she’s that woman, she wonders why she once thought that she’d experience emotions like happiness and sadness differently, only to find out that it’s the same no matter the age.
Won just shakes his head. Sung-jae could’ve hit the jackpot with Hana, but he messed it all up. When Hana doesn’t believe him, Won defends what he said: “You’re capable, pretty, kind, smart, and cute. He’ll never meet someone like you again.”
She’s too keen on celebrating her pity party to take his compliments seriously, and just sniffs like a lost puppy when Won sits next to her and puts his hand to her forehead. If she gets sick from being caught out in the rain, he warns, then she’ll really be a hopeless ajumma.
Hana just sighs that she already got dumped by a kid she fell for, so she really would be overreacting if she were to get sick on top of all that. She can’t tell if she’s more frustrated with Sung-jae or herself, but it’s just too sad for her to bear.
A tear rolls down her cheek, and Won tsks at her as he wipes it away with his thumb. He’s let her wallow in self-pity long enough, now it’s time for a bit of friendly tough love, and high time for her to act her age and stop cosplaying as a tragic heroine.
Taking a dig at her age works at getting Hana up and going, if only so that she can get in some quips about his advanced years too. The two decide to stay up all night drinking, and the ensuing quick cuts run the gamut from being emotionally stirring to downright hilarious.
It’s a night of drinking everyone will have sometime in their life, when you go from laughing one minute to crying the next. At one point in the night Hana starts sobbing and walking toward the window, crying that she has to go to the beach. Won stops her, but can’t keep from laughing. I love them. Love, love, love.
They find themselves in bed the next morning, with Hana sleeping on Won’s arm. Won wakes up first and stares at Hana’s sleeping face before he traces the line of her brow with a smile.
But when she stirs, he immediately pretends to be asleep. He acts like he’s juuust waking up when Hana does, and tells her to get off his arm. Hah.
Hana’s sort of out of it the whole ride home, acting awkward with Won ever since she woke up next to him. Won has to practically remind her how to walk lest she just forget and fall flat on her face. Her change in demeanor doesn’t go unnoticed by little bro Dae-bok when she returns home.
Her paranoia is only further compounded when she remembers a conversation she had with Won the night before while they lied on the bed. They’d discussed what they thought about love with her head resting on his stomach, only to find out that their opinions differed: Hana believes love is about compromise and sacrifice, but Won believes it’s about loving the other person just the way they are.
“The only person who likes me for who I am is you, but you don’t see me as a woman,” Hana confessed. “You’re the one who doesn’t see me as a man,” Won had countered.
Curious then, Hana had peered up at him and asked, “Have you ever thought of me as a woman?” Won looked down at her then, his expression almost pained, but either she doesn’t remember what he said or we don’t get to hear it. She’s mortified that the conversation ever took place.
Mi-hyang has an inexplicable dream about a pig, and wonders if it’s a sign that money could be headed her way. But she ends up resuscitating an old woman who passes out in the bathroom instead. I’m sure they’re trying to sell me something here, I just don’t know what it is.
After freaking out her mom by uncharacteristically cleaning her room, Hana goes out for a sponsored bike ride and ends up crashing when her thoughts drift to waking up in bed next to Won. She goes home with a cast over her wrist.
Won can’t stop thinking about that morning either, and is so distracted that he fails to notice he’s smeared cappuccino foam all over his mouth. It gives his coworkers a chance to mention the infamous cappuccino kiss from Secret Garden, which Ha Ji-won was on the receiving end of.
So-eun calls him out on leaving suddenly the night before, and Won explains that he had to go because Hana needed him. Naturally, she asks if he’d drop everything and go to her if she were to call him in the middle of the night like that.
Won takes a moment before he explains that Hana is like family to him. “So you’re saying that Hana Unni is a friend who’s like family, and I’m your girlfriend, right?” When Won doesn’t respond, she adds onto the manipulation by saying she’ll think positively, since that’s a trait he likes about her. Grah, she’s annoying.
Hana’s parents wonder about their daughter’s odd behavior until Dae-bok sits them down for some earth-shattering news: Won and Hana spent the night together. He claims the business trip was a lie, and that he saw the two this morning looking like newlyweds after their first night together.
Mom and Dad’s reactions are subdued and a little disbelieving, but since they’re for their daughter dating Won, Mom suggests that the three of them go on a vacation to leave Hana and Won all alone together.
Hana gets called out by one of her old high school buddies to celebrate her engagement. Na-young’s also in attendance, and when relationships come up, she asks Hana whether she and Won ever had any skinship moments—they’ve been together for seventeen years, after all.
But Hana adamantly claims they never did any such thing, and that she’s even seen Won naked from the waist up (multiple times!) without feeling a thing. Na-young says maybe she felt nothing, but would Won feel differently if the tables were turned?
Flash back to their high school days, when Won had pointed out the fact that Hana was drooling all over her desk. She’d wiped her mouth and gone back to sleep, and in the present, Hana smiles that they’ve always been like that.
But her friend cautions her that the same actions she thought nothing of before could take on a different meaning in the future, causing Hana to fret about last night’s pillow talk with Won.
Won thinks Hana’s ignoring his messages when in reality she’s just dropped her phone in the toilet, making him worry that she’s gotten so uncomfortable about the night before that she’s purposefully avoiding him.
Hana returns to work the next day and imagines that she sees an encouraging note from Sung-jae, when he hasn’t even shown up for work yet. She has to sit through a meeting where Director Byun takes all the credit for Actress Gu showing up to the red carpet in their shoes, rocketing them to the top of the search engines.
But Hana doesn’t let him get away with it totally unscathed, and uses the opportunity to back him into a corner so he’ll support an initiative of her team’s to break into the Chinese market. At least her team members appreciate and support her.
And when called upon to be the bigger person, Hana proves her worth by giving Sung-jae’s resume to Director Byun and vouching for him. Because of her talking him up, he’ll get a full-time position in one of their branch offices in China.
It’s raining outside again, and once more Hana finds a strange umbrella over her head. A remorseful Sung-jae holds it as he thanks her for the recommendation.
She remains professional and cites that she based her decision on his merits alone, though she cautions him to use his abilities to read women’s hearts in a more constructive way for the future. Then, proving she’s learned, she pulls out her own damn umbrella.
“Because you fell for me, I really thought of being your protector,” Sung-jae calls after her. She keeps walking, and he follows her a ways before he just watches her go. “You’re a much better person than I thought you were,” he adds quietly.
As she leaves, Hana thinks to herself that the truth can be a comforting salve as much as it can be the knife that opens up old wounds. In her case, she’ll use Sung-jae’s sincerity to patch her wounds while she waits for new skin to grow. Time heals all wounds, they say.
Won worries when he still can’t get ahold of Hana, and shoots her a text asking if she broke her arm or something. (Hana: “Funny story…”)
Except at that exact moment, she’s at the repair shop for her phone—but when she finds out that it’ll be a few days, she’s surprisingly unconcerned. She asked for some vacation days anyway, so being off the grid will be a good thing.
She and her brother end up running into So-eun while buying him a pair of shoes, and Dae-bok seems awful quick to declare that he has no allegiance to his sister when faced with So-eun’s long legs.
So-eun invites Hana out for some juice, and ne’er has there been a meeting between first and second leads o’er two cups that’s ended well. Unsurprisingly, So-eun says she’d wanted to speak to Hana anyway, since her relationship with “Oppa” has been concerning her.
But now she claims she isn’t, since Won said Hana was like family and that’s why he always wants to take care of her. Why is it that So-eun sounds patronizing when she says that she’ll take care of Hana too? She didn’t mention the family thing because it actually made her feel better, that’s for sure.
Hana pretends not to be bothered by what So-eun said and replies instead that Won is like family to her too. “If he were to call me, I would have gone too. Don’t worry about what happened that night.”
Her family wasn’t counting on Hana to return home before they’d booked it for a one-night stay at the nearby hot springs, and aw darn, it’s the one trip Hana can’t go on with her arm in a cast. Well, guess that means she’ll be left all alone with Won next door.
So-eun greets Won on his way out, and uses that act as leverage to ask him to buy her a meal. He declines since he’s just heard from her family that Hana hurt her arm, and So-eun chimes in that she saw the cast when she spotted Hana at the mall earlier. She pointedly leaves out the talk she had with Hana by acting all cute and concerned about her.
Hana’s perfectly content to spend her vacation days locked inside her house being her usual clumsy self, but her parents aren’t—they call Won to give him permission to fix a broken lightbulb in their house.
It’s his and Hana’s first meeting since that night, and while he’s totally fine, she’s the one who ends up acting awkward around him. Well, he’s not that fine, because she’s being so weird, but it seems like he’s deliberately testing the boundaries of her uncomfortableness by getting closer than he needs to be.
She jumps and screams to herself once she’s alone, only to later find Won still standing outside her gate. He looks antsy and says nothing before he grabs her for a quick kiss. Hana pulls away and screams, “Are you crazy?!” before punching him with her cast arm. Owwww.
Luckily, that part was only a dream. Won wakes up as though he actually felt the hit, remembering when his “friends” had cornered him in high school, presumably over his relationship with Hana. He’d fought back, but they’d fought harder.
Still, Won didn’t give up, and chased after the leader of the boys. Once he had him on the ground, he yelled, “Why can’t I like Oh Hana?! Why can’t I?!”
After the fight, Hana found him in the library to offer him her class notes. When she started to notice the blood and bruises on his face, Won roughly pushed her away. Hana left, unable to understand the change in his demeanor, and Won just looked after where she’d gone like a kicked puppy. Aww.
Mi-hyang’s pig dream comes full circle when the grandmother she saved in the bathroom turns out to be the CEO of a giant food corporation specializing in pig feet. Mi-hyang gets a pass to eat free pig feet for life, so it’s too bad she doesn’t like them. At least we know what they were trying to sell us.
Hana’s parents return home disappointed to find out that nothing happened between Won and Hana. She finally gets her phone back and reads all the backlogged messages Won sent her, but before she allows herself to feel warm and fuzzy, she remembers So-eun saying that Won thought of her like family.
Neither Hana or Won are aware that they’ve picked the same art museum to visit that day, only Won’s brought So-eun there on a date. So-eun takes issue with the fact that he only takes her to places Hana likes to go, which Won hadn’t even realized he was doing.
But then So-eun lays on the sugar and slips her arm through his, which is how Hana spots the two of them. She makes herself feel better by throwing a little shade in their general direction, to which I say: good for her.
Remember Hana’s friend that just got engaged? Well, the wedding’s been called off, and the would-be bride sobs that she’s more upset over losing her friend of seventeen years than she is over losing a fiancé. This resonates with Hana for obvious reasons.
Still, when Won catches her outside her house and finds out she hasn’t eaten, he buys them jjajangmyeon to eat in front of the TV. He gives her a fork when she can’t open her chopsticks single-handedly, and wipes her mouth when it’s dripping black bean sauce. Adorable.
A moment passes before Hana asks Won if he’ll visit her often when she inevitably ends up in a nursing home after a life spent alone. She knows that’s how it’s going to be when she works all the time and still doesn’t have a boyfriend.
Won can’t help but agree that Hana doesn’t have an eye for good men, but he also agrees to be there for her until he dies—even if it means hanging out with her in a nursing home one day. But when he asks if she’d do the same for him should he end up alone, Hana teases him by saying she’ll have to think about it.
Not long after, Hana calls Won to celebrate her getting her cast removed. They agree to meet for their favorite treat that night while Won thinks to himself, “Hana, I wish that you’ll always be okay.” Meanwhile, Hana thinks that Won is the only person who knows her e-mail and phone passwords.
Then the two of them think at the same time: “Let’s be together until we die.”
At the airport, Won seems to recognize star pianist CHA SEO-HOO (Yoon Kyun-sang) while he’s on his way to a sound check.
Once there, Seo-hoo switches from playing rapid and complicated notes to playing the scales. But the sequence is incomplete because he can’t help but think of a voice from his past—Hana’s voice—confessing giddily that she liked to play her scales that way.
Won sees Seo-hoo again outside Hana’s house, looking mournfully up at her window. Immediately Won looks guilty and tries to hide the things he’s brought for her, but Seo-hoo doesn’t pay him any mind.
Instead he watches and smiles just a little when Hana appears like a ray of extra-cheerful sunshine. She doesn’t see Seo-hoo, but Won never takes his eyes off him.
Flash back to high school, when Won had put books under Hana’s head as pillows when she’d fall asleep in the library. He’d affectionately touch her hair and smile only when she was asleep, and act as though he’d just woken her up to point out her drooling problem if she caught him.
As always, Hana would buy his excuses. But only when Won was out of sight would he let out the breath he’d been holding and smile to himself.
Now we’re getting hints that things may not have been so one-sided for Won, which sure does complicate things, doesn’t it? What is clear is that there have been a lot of mixed messages, misunderstandings, and things left unsaid—though some of that seems to have been purposeful on Won’s part, which gives events in their past another dimension entirely.
It’s interesting to see how the pieces are beginning to fit together, even if the finished picture is the furthest thing from complete. I’d been curious to know if there were external forces keeping Won from pursuing a romantic relationship with Hana, but I never would have guessed that there was some nefarious plot against him dating her going all the way back to high school. We literally saw him get beaten up because he liked her, and because he never wanted Hana to worry, he’d sooner push her away than let her know what was really going on.
That tendency of his to keep Hana out of the loop for her own protection is its own double-edged sword, and it’s frustrating to see him hide his feelings behind longing looks and stolen touches. I want him to just be open and frank with her, though that should also go both ways. At the same time, this episode showed quite clearly why he might be inclined to keep to the status quo of their friendship, especially if he doesn’t want to risk losing Hana should things not work out between them romantically.
Based on how Hana retreated into herself after their drunken conversation, it’s not hard to see why Won wouldn’t have been the most forthcoming up until now. I wonder if something’s being kept from us regarding that conversation, or if Hana was just so wound up because she’d asked the question and received no answer. And Won’s answer in that moment, or lack of it, would go a long way toward telling us whether he’s purposefully keeping Hana in the dark out of a lack of trust, or whether she’s not recognizing the clues he’s leaving for what they are.
And then there’s So-eun, who brings a different set of complications with her. Setting aside the fact that she’s all but engineered to be unlikable as the interfering second lead, we can’t really say she’s doing that much interfering. (Yet.) Sure, she’s been pushy and emotionally manipulative, but she hasn’t put Won in a situation that he couldn’t get himself out of. Which is to say, he’s a grown man making a conscious decision to be with her, even though he also maybe-sorta-kinda likes Hana and has for seventeen years. Y’know, just the usual baggage.
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