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Answer Me 1988: Episode 14

Jung-hwan-ah, stop making that face, will ya? I can’t be mad at you when you pout. School is back in session and the kids kick off their senior year of high school with Jung-hwan’s birthday, an occasion that stirs up a lot of unspoken feelings. Not… that there are many other kinds of feelings in this group. Unspoken is kind of the specialty around here, though I think that’s about to change. Sun-woo also faces a major shift in his life and struggles with what’s best for his family versus what his heart is telling him.

 
SONG OF THE DAY

Wable – “보라빛향기” (Scent of Purple Light) for the Answer Me 1988 OST [ Download ]

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EPISODE 14: “Don’t you worry”

March 1989. Jung-hwan’s mom gets out all the clothes to iron, and then remembers that her husband “fixed” the iron and made the cord about a foot long. She gives up trying to make any use of it and goes to throw it out, and Dad tries to stop her because he thinks they could use it for ten more years.

Jung-hwan happens to come out of his room at the worst time, and Mom greets him with: “Is it Mom or Dad? We’re getting a divorce because of an iron. Who do you want to follow?” Jung-hwan stupidly answers, “Dad,” and gets whacked in the head. Jung-bong hyung sees this and says without being asked, “I will follow Mother.” Mom tosses him her wallet for giving the correct answer. Pfft.

Taek’s dad is busy dividing up a massive fruit basket that Taek brought home, and Taek volunteers to go make the deliveries. Dad says he’ll go to Sun-woo’s, and Dong-ryong comes by to pick up his own portion because he saw the basket arrive and knew to expect it. Taek sees that Dad is saving the precious bananas (which he says are for Jin-ju), and he asks for just one. Dad points out with a chuckle that they were his to begin with.

Taek drops by Jung-hwan’s house first, where Dad tries to teach him his gag greeting and Mom invites him to dinner. He’s on his way to see Deok-sun though, which Jung-hwan clearly takes note of. They make plans to get together for Jung-hwan’s birthday, which is coming up this weekend.

Taek goes to Deok-sun’s next, and she wonders why he stood outside knocking when he could’ve just come in. She gasps at his bare feet and covers them with a blanket, and happily peels the banana and offers him half. He tells her to eat it all, though she saves the rest. She can tell he hasn’t slept much, and asks if he took sleeping pills. He says no, not since she told him not to (awww). She asks about the painkillers too, presumably for his headaches, and he reports that he only took one pill, earning him heaps of praise.

No-eul comes home and greets Taek respectfully, and asks if he’ll give him ten autographs for his teacher. Taek agrees, and smiles as he watches Deok-sun wipe No-eul’s face as he eats the other half of her banana. She sighs that he’s aging faster than Dad, and No-eul assures her that he’ll look young when he’s older.

Sun-woo waits for Bora outside in the cold, and he sneaks a hot-pack to warm his hand before she arrives. He sighs at all the studying she’s doing lately, but she says that she starts work next week and can’t stand to be hapless at her new job. He takes off one of her mittens so that they can hold hands, and she wonders how his hands are that warm. He keeps his little trade secret to himself.

Jin-ju eats two bananas at a time, and Mom asks Taek’s dad to watch her again when school starts for Sun-woo, because she plans to go back to work. Dad gingerly mentions that Sun-woo knows about her job, and she’s shocked that he found out. But he assures her that Sun-woo is thoughtful and understanding. Sun-woo comes home and tries not to let it bother him that Taek’s dad is always there. But he notices the way that ajusshi has peeled tangerines for his mom, and that seems to unsettle him.

Sun-woo works on a model airplane in his room, and suddenly an ajusshi we haven’t seen before is sitting there instructing him to use glue for the wings instead of rice. Sun-woo follows his instructions with a smile, until Mom calls him to dinner. I have a feeling this is Dad, and I’m going to be crying before this episode is over.

Deok-sun’s family wonders where Dad is and why he’s not home for dinner, and Mom says he’s meeting a friend today. No-eul wonders if Dad’s out lending another friend money, and Bora reminds him that they have no money to lend. Dad is drinking alone at a pojangmacha though, long after his friend has gone.

Deok-sun lights up when Mom gives her a new pair of shoes and says she can throw her old ratty pair away. Mom regrets that they’re not fancy designer shoes, but Deok-sun is over the moon about them anyway, making Mom grateful. No-eul whines for a new pair too, and Mom hates having to tell him that she’ll buy him a new pair next year when he becomes a senior.

Mom starts to worry that Dad is really late and she ends up waiting outside in the street. He finally comes home carrying a package of meat, and Mom is upset about him spending that kind of money when they can’t spare it. Dad says that his friend gave it to him, and Mom’s anger flares up at the friend’s name because he’s the one who put their family in all this debt in the first place.

She can’t believe he dared to show his face after all this time, and demands to see him in person so she can drag him to the police station. But Dad says quietly, “It’s all over.” He says that the debt has been repaid to the bank in full, and they’re free and clear. Oh wow, I was totally holding my breath for the worst of the worst.

Mom starts crying instantly, and Dad says that his friend felt so terrible that he couldn’t bear to see Mom’s face, and that he would spend the rest of his life, and the afterlife too, repaying them for the wrong he’s done to their family.

Dad tells Mom that she’s suffered for a long time, and from now on he’ll be bringing home full paychecks, and she might not be rich, but he’ll make sure that she never has to go around borrowing money to make ends meet again. He tells her that he’s sorry, and Mom says that she wasn’t the one who suffered—their kids were.

Sun-woo’s mom nervously sits down with Sun-woo and brings up her job, swearing that she was planning to quit. But he surprises her by saying that he’s okay with it, just as long as she promises to stop if it ever gets too difficult or if her wrist is hurting. She quickly agrees before he changes his mind.

Deok-sun’s family sits down to breakfast the next morning, and everyone’s jaws drop at the mountains and mountains of food on the table. The kids panic and No-eul asks if their family is ruined and this is their last meal before going on the run, but Mom giddily tells them that they’re now debt-free.

Everyone whoops and cheers, and No-eul asks for a new pair of shoes, and Deok-sun asks for allowance money so she can buy Jung-hwan a birthday present. Dad happily opens his wallet and gives them each allowance money, and Bora says she’s okay without. Dad says he has something else in mind for her, and Mom and Dad sit Bora down for a conversation. Deok-sun and No-eul try to eavesdrop, but they can’t hear what’s going, and neither can we.

It’s the first day of school, and Deok-sun greets her new senior class boisterously, only to be met with dead silence. Ja-hyun whispers that everyone’s all serious about studying now, and they lament not being deskmates anymore, and the fact that Mi-ok is in a different class. Their one saving grace is that they have the same homeroom teacher, and everyone cheers when she enters the class.

At the boys’ school, the guys are all in the same class and sitting in the same seats, but their big worry is that they’ll be assigned a bad homeroom teacher. Dong-ryong prays silently, and Sun-woo scoffs that they couldn’t possibly be assigned that teacher…

And of course, Dong-ryong’s dad saunters into their class. Oh noes! Teacher Dad: “You guys are all dead.” Dong-ryong faux-faints right into the aisle, and Teacher Dad just tells them to ignore him. Once Teach is gone, Dong-ryong cries at his desk and his friends crack up.

Deok-sun’s new deskmate is their class president, and she invites class prez to eat lunch with her friends, and gets her to tutor her in math later. Mi-ok turns down snacks after lunch because she’s on a diet, and the other girls wonder why on earth she’d want to do that. Mi-ok announces that she’s got a date this weekend, and the other girls squeal in delight.

Mi-ok asks Deok-sun to act like she doesn’t know, just in case things go awry with Jung-bong. Deok-sun doesn’t really see how she’d keep her mouth shut when they live in the same house, but says she’ll try.

Jung-bong tries on outfit after outfit for his big date, everything from jeans and T-shirts to a full-on zoot suit, and I really really hope that Jung-hwan comes in and helps him out.

Deok-sun comes by later that day to see Jung-hwan, and he chuckles when she greets his dad exuberantly, as usual. She’s here to see Jung-bong, who’s already left for his date, and spills the news to Jung-hwan about him going out with her friend Mi-ok.

Deok-sun makes sure that they’re doing Jung-hwan’s birthday party over at Taek’s house like always, and he’s surprised to realize that his birthday is tomorrow. He says that they should just skip it, but Deok-sun is adamant that they can’t, and then quickly adds the excuse that his mom said she’d order food for them.

Jung-hwan asks where Hyung’s date is, and when Deok-sun tells him, he asks if it’s at the coffee shop. She says there’s a restaurant upstairs, and they both realize at the same time what that could mean.

Just as they feared, Jung-bong is waiting (all spiffed up and with a bouquet of roses!) on one floor, while Mi-ok is waiting one floor up. Ack.

Deok-sun’s mom is like a kid at Christmas when Jung-hwan’s parents deliver her brand new gas stove that Dad ordered for her. She just keeps turning it on and off excitedly like she can’t believe it.

Both Deok-sun and Jung-hwan are nervous about Jung-bong’s date, and we see that hours later, they’re still waiting separately on different floors. Jung-bong finally gets up to search the other floors, but so does Mi-ok, and they somehow manage to miss each other wherever they go. I love that their music switches from hopeful to a breakup ballad, all in the span of one evening.

Sun-woo calls Bora and asks her to come meet him later tonight because he has something important to give her. They marvel at the convenience of calling each other and wonder how people used to date before they had phones. And here I was wondering how on earth people dated before cell phones. Sun-woo looks up at the ajusshi and asks if it’s really okay to give Bora this thing, whatever it is, and the ajusshi says it’s been long enough. He asks if Sun-woo really likes Bora, and Sun-woo smiles and nods shyly.

Jung-hwan waits outside, still worried about Hyung, and Deok-sun comes out too to see if he came home. Jung-hwan tells her to wait inside and that he’ll call when Hyung is home. Deok-sun’s phone rings and she expects that it’ll be Mi-ok, only it’s Jung-bong and he’s still at the café waiting.

Poor Mi-ok comes home crying, and Deok-sun decides to brave talking to Mi-ok’s scary dad and calls her house. Mi-ok wails that she was stood up, and Deok-sun tells her about how Jung-bong was there all night, all dressed up in a coat and holding roses. She doesn’t understand how they kept missing each other, but she tells Mi-ok to hurry up and get back there, because Jung-bong is still waiting and can’t be standing out in the cold in his health.

Mi-ok runs back out of the house sobbing, and the music switches back to “Right Here Waiting.” Lol, it’s actually playing on the radio in her taxi, and the taxi driver sees her crying and cranks up the radio to make her feel better.

Jung-bong is standing outside long after the café has closed, shaking like a leaf but still holding his roses in anticipation. Mi-ok finally arrives and asks how long he’s been here, and Jung-bong says through chattering teeth that it hasn’t been that long at all, and he just got here too. Aw, could you possibly be any sweeter?

She can obviously tell from his red face and hands that he’s been standing here for hours, and when he gives her the roses, she takes his hand to warm it in hers. Jung-bong’s heart starts to race, and he narrates that he wanted to confirm whether his racing heart was due to his condition, or this girl.

And then he parodies the Answer Me 1997 “confirmation” and leans in to kiss her. Keh.

Sun-woo admits to Bora that he’s feeling a little left out of Mom’s life lately, because things that she used to discuss with him, she’s now telling Taek’s dad instead. Bora asks why he doesn’t like Taek’s dad, and he swears that he likes ajusshi, but he also just doesn’t feel good about how close he is to Mom.

Sun-woo waits till they’re on their way home before giving her his present. It’s the necklace that his dad gave him, and she recognizes it right away. He’s had it engraved: “SW ♥ Purple” [bora = purple]. She’s a little taken aback and doesn’t think she can accept it, but he says it’s just a necklace and he wanted her to have it.

Deok-sun gets all dolled up for Jung-hwan’s birthday party, and No-eul says the hyungs are complaining that she’s taking too long. Meanwhile Jung-hwan contemplates a birthday gift sitting on his nightstand—a pink dress shirt. He doesn’t seem the type to wear pink, but I have a feeling it’s meant to match the pink gloves he gave to Deok-sun?

Jung-bong comes by and gives him a poster of The Blue Lagoon for his birthday, and he peers enviously at Jung-hwan’s new pink shirt, which happens to be his favorite color.

They sing happy birthday to Jung-hwan and give him a soccer ball that they bought together, mostly with Taek’s money. Taek struggles with chopsticks, as usual, and Deok-sun tries to help him and ends up shoving a fork in his hand. They want to watch Top Gun even though Dong-ryong and Jung-hwan have already seen it twice, and Deok-sun uses her best aegyo to ask Jung-hwan if they can watch it. As if he’d say no to you.

Dong-ryong sighs that they’d never watch something so wholesome if Deok-sun weren’t here, and she says they can watch racy movies—she’s fine with that. Taek laughs and says they’re not okay watching that stuff with her.

She’s shocked to find out that Taek watches them too, and he quickly backtracks to say that he doesn’t like them. Deok-sun turns all her fury on Dong-ryong, blaming him for teaching Taek bad things. Dong-ryong argues that she doesn’t know everything about Taek, while Deok-sun scoffs that there’s nothing she doesn’t know about Taek.

Dad interrupts the violence to ask Taek for the number to his hotel, and tells him that he has to leave for his next match in Busan soon. Jung-hwan asks why he didn’t just leave earlier today, but Taek says he’ll sleep on the way.

Jung-hwan sees that Taek left his padlocked drawer open and goes to close it, when he notices the little notebook with a picture sticking out of it. It’s the picture of Taek and Deok-sun together in China, and Jung-hwan quietly puts it back where he found it.

Bora sits at her desk contemplating her big conversation with Mom and Dad, which we now see in flashback. Dad had told her how sorry he was for not being able to support her dreams properly, but now that they’re debt-free, he can support her for as long as it takes to study for the bar exam. Mom and Dad knew it was always her original dream and that she’d shelved it for practical concerns, and they were ashamed to not be able to do this until now.

Bora was touched and asked for some time to think about it, and Mom told her to take all the time she needs. In the present, Dad wonders if Bora has made her decision, and Mom says she hasn’t canceled her part-time accounting job yet, but she trusts Bora to choose whatever is right for her life.

Deok-sun and Ja-hyun get the full report on Mi-ok’s star-crossed date, and they assume it’d be a miracle if Jung-bong so much as held her hand. Mi-ok doesn’t tell them about the kiss, preferring to keep that her little secret.

The girls ask Deok-sun about her birthday present to Jung-hwan, but she sighs that he hasn’t worn his pink shirt. She wonders if maybe she was wrong about Jung-hwan liking her at all. Deok-sun is called over to speak with her new deskmate’s mother, and though we don’t hear the conversation, later that night she and Class Prez bicker over the noise level in the classroom.

Sun-woo says hello to Taek’s dad on his way home that night, and thanks him for looking after Jin-ju. At home, he takes out an old baseball and mitt, and asks the ajusshi who’s always in his room lately if he remembers this signed ball. He says that his friends all prefer soccer but he likes baseball, and the ajusshi asks if Jung-hwan is still prickly. Sun-woo says he is, as ever.

Jung-hwan takes out his pink shirt and stares at it for a while, and quickly puts it away when Jung-bong comes in. Jung-bong points out that Jung-hwan doesn’t even like pink and asks if he can have the shirt because it’s his favorite color. Oh no, Jung-hwan, I know you’d give Hyung anything, but don’t do it! Don’t do eeeeet!

Deok-sun complains about Class Prez to her friends, but when they get to their classroom, they find everyone in a circle and panicking. Deok-sun breaks through the crowd and sees Class Prez lying on the floor having what looks like a seizure, and she quickly takes charge and yells at everyone to back away and close the doors.

When Class Prez wakes up in the nurse’s office later, she cries when she realizes that she collapsed in class in front of everyone. She braces herself before returning to class, expecting to be singled out or ridiculed.

But when she returns, no one acts out of the ordinary or gives her a second glance, and Deok-sun complains for her to hurry up and open her lunchbox so they can have some sausages. The girl smiles gratefully and joins her new group of friends. I know I say this a lot in this show, but: awwww.

Sun-woo and Mom cross paths on their way in and out, and again Sun-woo tamps down his reaction when Taek’s dad arrives with Jin-ju asleep in his arms and carries her into Mom’s room. Sun-woo goes to meet Bora and asks if she’ll let him have a drink, and she gives him a stern look but pours him half a shot of soju.

She guesses that Taek’s dad came over again, and asks if he’s figured it out yet, the reason he doesn’t like Taek’s dad. Sun-woo insists that he doesn’t not like him, and Bora let him leave it at that. He wonders what she’s so lost in thought about, and she says she was thinking about him.

When they near their street, Sun-woo asks if there’s really something going on with her lately, but Bora says it’s nothing. He admits to feeling uneasy, though he can’t pinpoint why. He reaches out to touch her face, when Taek’s dry voice interrupts: “What if someone else sees?”

Bora grouses that Taek never makes any noise when he’s walking and warns him that she’s going to trust him (to keep their secret). Sun-woo calls Mom to say that he’s sleeping over at Taek’s, and Mom asks how many painkillers Taek took today. Taek holds up one finger, then slowly raises a second, and Sun-woo assures Mom that he didn’t take that many.

They go to bed, and Sun-woo curls up into Taek’s side for warmth and cuddles. I love these two. Taek asks if things are going well with Bora, and Sun-woo says they’re good. He asks Taek why he likes Deok-sun, when lots of other girls like him.

A slow smile spreads across Taek’s face as he answers, “I just like her. I like being with her.” And then he gets all serious as he adds, “I think I might die without her.” Sun-woo bursts out laughing and says he’s gone insane, and Taek laughs.

As Deok-sun and her friends leave school that night, Class Prez’s mom is waiting by the gate to speak to Deok-sun. Mom asks with tears in her eyes if she can give Deok-sun a hug, and she thanks her for taking such good care of her daughter. Deok-sun worries that she forgot a few things, but Mom says she did wonderfully, and marvels at what a lovely person she is.

We flash back to their earlier conversation, where Mom had explained that her daughter had epileptic seizures. She apologized for the burden, and asked Deok-sun to just take some precautions and take her to the nurse’s office if she ever collapsed at school.

In the present, Deok-sun’s mom gets a call from Teacher, asking her parents to praise Deok-sun for the things she did in class today. And in a flashback, we find out that Teacher was the one who recommended Deok-sun to Class Prez’s mom in the first place. Teacher said she’d be the one to take good care of her daughter, because she’s smart and kind. She added honestly that Deok-sun isn’t very good at her schoolwork, but she assured Mom that Deok-sun was still very smart.

Dad smiles proudly when Mom tells him all about it later that night, and he’s even prouder when Mom says that Deok-sun is still up late studying because she’s a senior now. Dad gets up to go praise her, and then laughs to find her asleep at her desk: “That’s our Deok-sun.”

Mom, Dad, and No-eul watch Yoo Jae-suk on TV (when he was 17!) and Mom and No-eul decide that he’ll definitely be a funny comedian someday. Dad scoffs that he looks like a grasshopper and takes bets that Deok-sun has a better shot getting into Seoul U.

Bora asks No-eul to step out because she has something to tell Mom and Dad. We don’t find out her decision yet, but she calls Sun-woo to meet up with him afterwards. After Sun-woo steps out to see Bora, Jin-ju trips and falls in the yard and hits the back of her head, and Taek’s dad goes running toward the house and tells Sun-woo as he passes by that Jin-ju needs to go to the hospital.

Deok-sun primps before knocking on Jung-hwan’s door so they can go over to Taek’s, but Jung-bong comes out first, wearing the pink birthday shirt. Oh noooo, Jung-hwan, you moron.

Her face falls and Jung-hwan comes out, and it’s only when he sees her expression that he realizes what a colossal mistake he made. Ohmygah, do you not know girls AT ALL? LIKE, AT ALL? Deok-sun stomps off alone, and Jung-hwan kicks some junk on the patio in frustration.

Sun-woo and Mom watch over Jin-ju in the hospital and ask each other if they’re okay, and Mom says it’s nothing to worry about. Jin-ju wakes up after Mom steps outside, and the first thing she does is ask for ajusshi. Sun-woo is disappointed, but he says he’ll go get him.

When he goes looking for Taek’s dad, he overhears Mom breaking down in tears. It’s only now that she shows her true fears, and she berates herself for not keeping an eye on Jin-ju the whole time, and worries that she let something terrible happen. Taek’s dad reassures her that it’ll all be fine, and that she did nothing wrong. And from down the hall, Sun-woo watches them with conflicted emotions.

He comes out to meet Bora and says that Jin-ju will be okay, and after a while he finally admits that he’s figured out the reason he doesn’t like Taek’s dad: “Because I’m sorry to my dad. I’m so sorry to my dad.” He bursts into sobs and Bora holds him as he cries.

Later that night, Sun-woo eats alone in his room and says that Mom makes the best dumpling soup. The ajusshi who’s been in his room all week says he likes all of Mom’s cooking, and this time Sun-woo answers back and calls him Dad. Great, I’m already crying.

Sun-woo says that Jin-ju got hurt today, and Mom told him that she was fine, but in front of Taek’s dad she cried and said she was scared. Dad says it’s because she didn’t want Sun-woo to worry, and Sun-woo asks if Dad isn’t upset by it. Dad says that there’s nothing he can do for Mom anymore—all he needed to do was stay by her side, but he can’t even do that now, and he understands her. Dad: “All I want is for your mother to be happy. That’s enough.”

Sun-woo cries, “Dad, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” We pull back to show that Sun-woo is sitting alone in his room, talking to the pictures of Dad on his shelf. And the man we’d seen in his room was exactly the way Dad looked in those pictures, when Sun-woo was a little boy.

Deok-sun sits alone on the stairs on their street, and Dong-ryong wonders what’s got her so down. She asks for his advice and asks why nobody likes her, to which Dong-ryong snorts. She sighs that she must not have the right to be loved, and Dong-ryong asks how she likes her sweet potatoes, and if she prefers singers Lee Moon-se or Park Nam-jung. She answers each right away with her preferences.

He asks if she likes him better or Taek, and she says without hesitating, “Taekie.” He then asks if she likes Jung-hwan or Sun-woo better, and she gives a non-answer, asking why he’s asking.

Dong-ryong smiles knowingly and says, “I’m asking what you like. Not what other people like, but you. YOU. Who do you like?” He says she has preferences for everything else, so doesn’t she know what kind of guy she likes? Dong-ryong: “Without someone else liking you, you could like someone, right?” He really is a wise old soul.

He gets up when he sees Taek down the street holding a stack of pizzas, and when Taek says he bought five pies so that they could each take one home, Dong-ryong says lovingly, “Let’s get married.” Taek turns him down, poor thing, but he holds Deok-sun back and asks her to come over for a little while.

While he’s in the bathroom, Deok-sun finds a stack of fan letters with hearts all over them and asks if he replies. He shakes his head. Deok-sun sighs that it must be nice not to care about anything else other than baduk, and says he’s never even liked anyone before.

Taek says she’s wrong, and she scoffs that there’s nothing about him that she doesn’t know. After a moment, Taek says, “You don’t know anything about me. I like someone. And I’m going to confess… soon.” Soon, when?

Jung-hwan can’t concentrate on his books and lies down in bed, and he sighs at the pink shirt that’s hanging up in his room. Wait, The Pink Shirt? Did you get it back?

We flash back to Jung-bong asking him for the shirt (and buttering him up with a wink, heh). Jung-hwan looked up at him and shook his head: “No. Not this shirt.” He put it back in his drawer and closed it, and that was the end of that. Squee. Why am I squeeing so much right now.

And in the present, Jung-bong walks Mi-ok to her gate and thanks her for the new pink shirt, which fits him just right. He said it arrived this morning and it’s exactly what he wanted, and she asks him to keep it a secret from Deok-sun, who’d get mad that she copied her gift. No, you pink-shirt-gift-ruiners! Tell her! Agh. Jung-bong bids her goodnight and then turns back to give her a hug, only from the waist up.

 
COMMENTS

Okay, the pink shirt got me. I was so convinced that Jung-hwan was a dolt and got mad at him for being so insensitive, even though I only assumed he’d said yes because he can’t say no to Hyung for anything. Granted, he’s STILL the slowest turtle ever when it comes to making a move, but it’s not like Taek is any faster at this point. Now his frustration makes more sense, because he’s got the shirt hanging up in his room all ready to wear no matter how embarrassing the color might be for him, but then Hyung had to muck it all up with that misunderstanding. It’s still stupid on Jung-hwan’s part not to then explain himself, but I thought the plot point was great for what it revealed about Deok-sun. I just have this memory of being in that exact frame of mind, where you give a boy a gift and are just dying in anticipation to see him wear it or use it, as if that means everything. And the look of disappointment on her face when she thought that he gave it away like it was nothing? That just shot straight to my teenage girl heart, buried somewhere in there.

I really love where that took us with Deok-sun’s character, and the way that wise old soul Dong-ryong turned her own questions back on her. She’s so focused on the idea of romance—the stuff she’s read in books and seen in movies—that so far a lot of her feelings have been about being in love, not a person that she’s in love with. I’d argue that she likes Jung-hwan more than she knows, based on her reactions to him, but the point is that all of it hasn’t really solidified into feelings for one person and one person alone, for her. Not in the same way that Jung-hwan and Taek are laser-focused on her. So it does bring up some questions, about what she really feels and for whom. The funny part is, I think it’s only a mystery to her.

I know Deok-sun gets some flak because she’s a little more in love with the idea of a boyfriend than in love with a boy, but I don’t blame her for that because I don’t think the show is trying to paint her as anything else—she’s eighteen and hardly knows anything of life, and I like that she’s learning love right now, and figuring those things out by trial and error. That’s what you’re supposed to do, and teenage years are full of embarrassing crushes on people that you like for reasons you’ll never, ever remember in ten or fifteen years. Lifelong relationships have started on less, and I’ve never been hung up on the idea that Deok-sun or Jung-hwan or Taek have shallow feelings because they came about suddenly one day. The boys just have the advantage of liking her for longer and knowing their feelings, and I think she’s getting there. I like that her love story is full of mishaps and very small moments, and that it doesn’t have to be some grand romance for all time. I just want her to figure out her heart and go after what she wants.

Sun-woo’s storyline really moved me in this episode, even though we knew at the start exactly where it would go, and that he’s too good a kid to stand in the way of his mother’s happiness. But it was heartbreaking all the same because he seemed alone in missing Dad as much as he did, and it occurred to me that he’d spent all this time talking to his Dad alone in his room; we just hadn’t seen it. It’s clearly been hard on him to see Mom rely on Taek’s dad so much and Jin-ju ask for him all the time, but I expected him to resent the idea of someone else trying to be a father to him. When he finally pinpointed that what he felt was guilt for liking Taek’s dad and accepting him, it really just made me cry. He was already the best kid ever in the entire world, but I didn’t expect him to be that understanding and mature about it right away. I’m scared for what’s around the bend for him with Bora (I think that part of her decision about the future includes whether she has time to date), so I’m glad that he’s at least found some peace about the possibility of Mom moving on. Maybe he can even be the one to nudge Mom and Taek’s dad in the right direction, or at least get Taekie onboard with sleepovers foreva.

 
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this drama and it's banana "product placement." I actually went to the store to buy banana after watching jinju eat her bananas

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LOL.
And there's also soju product placement.
But then that's in Every KD.

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I forgot Pizza Hut has been around for that long. Even a period drama can sneak in a PPL. lol

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hah, from the other episode, I was remembering how it was exciting to go to McDonalds back then, as they were fairly newly opened too.

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IKR?

I live in Indonesia and we have a bunch of different type of bananas year long here. I even have two banana trees at my backyard and everytime it drops fruit, we make sweet banana soup, banana cakes, brownies and everything banana available. I marvel that in this corner of the world bananas are actually a rarity.

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My dad LOVES bananas. Okay how does one make sweet banana soup? That sounds interesting.

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@Quinze, Julia's banana soup probably such as referred to this link dailycookingquest.com/by-cuisine/indonesian/setup-nenas-dan-jambu-poached-pineapple-and-water-apple. (replace the fruit to banana) or you can google " setup pisang " that's how we call it in bahasa indonesia.
We, Indonesians, make it into chips, fritters, and many delicacies - including the traditional ones- that I dont know how to name them in English.

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Thanks Trisha! That sounds so good! I had a desi friend make something similar adding condensed milk to fruits soaked in syrup-super sweet but so good lol.

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I think sweet banana soup is kolak pisang, banana and goguma in coconut milk. It can be served warm or cold. Yum...

http://www.indochinekitchen.com/recipes/banana-compote-with-coconut-milk-kolak-pisang/

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why hello fellow Indonesian *waves*
yes, we can literally see bananas everywhere we look, but still...the way bananas are being treasured so much in this show made me run to the market and buy a bunch lol and then I cut a banana to three pieces, one for each of my kids and one for me! Ah, look at what we do all because of a drama....

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My mum keeps telling me how at that time oranges (and I guess bananas too) were such a rarity here as well (Estonia). there was just no way you could get them from an ordinary shop. So I totally get that feeling of treasuring bananas :D

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I barely eat bananas (Cavendish) most of the time because they are bland and boring in the US. When I visit family in India, I turn into a banana fanatic and eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because they are so yummy. The bananas we get in most western countries is a pale imitation of the types you get in tropical countries.

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OMG, hello neighbour! Fellow Malaysian here. I think my friend who's studying in Japan has always mentioned Bananas are expensive there. I'm so used to bananas it hardly makes them a rarity here.. what's rare for me would be avocados, blueberry, raspberry.. I love avocados but man, they're expensive.

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Same here! I grew up in India with banana trees growing themselves on backyard waste. My dad makes awesome savoury patties out of banana flowers, mom makes a killer salad out of the stem; raw banana gets cooked like a vegetable and ripe banana fruit never lasted long at our house.

It took a Korean friend to explain to me how rare and expensive bananas were.

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Ahhh junghwan-ah

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I haven't said a thing about JH ever. Now I wish he could just pipe up and say: My bro likes my shirt so much that he got one for himself.
That shouldn't be too hard, right?

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exactly what I thought...

but then again, we won't see him show off his pot kicking, which, excuse me, was kinda hot lol

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Finally, someone said it!

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I was waitng for this recap! Just finished watching and can i just say.... can we PUH-LEASE GET DS/TAEK/JH love story moving along? I love all the family stuff and everyone else is getting their nice fluffy moments.. I just need some progress here.

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I completely agree....I was so excited a few episodes ago like "hope we'll see JH do something now, the dummy"....but then....the episodes focused on the others (which is fine and good)...and I was totally waiting more on the trio's relationship status to move forward...

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Jin joo! Jin joo!

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Yes, yes. I love her! Pretty much the way I love the Song triplets! They are so adorable at that age.

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I loooove Jin Joo too. She is too adorable for words. I love her scenes with Sun Woo and Taek's Dad. The scene where she stood on the tops of Taek's Dad's feet was so "awww". I need them to be Daddy/Daughter by the end of the show.

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Omg, this drama is driving me so crazy. My heart breaks knowing that one of the boys must end up broken hearted... Let's turn this into a sci-fi drama, toss in a cloning device and clone Deok Sun, pretty please producer-nim!

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OMG!!!! plot twisted, DS has a long-lost Twin sister (School 2015's ripped off plot), then my Taekkie won't be broken hearted later.

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I appreciate the family focused majority of the episodes, especially after the exuberant amount of romance laser focus of '94, but I am just about to pull my hair out in frustration at how the romance lines is dragging. Somebody just say something productive for once. It is no longer push and pull between the romance teases but just plain pulling, pullin' on my patience.

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I was pulling my hair out waiting for Mi Ok and Jung Bong to Meet in the resto! Ugh. Crazy making.

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I feel the same way...Bora and SW are getting a lot of screen time and they are not even the lead actors...and that frustrates me...I want the love story of DS to flourish too.

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Their romance is draggy too. No real growth. I've come to dread seeing them on my screen. From comments I've read, I'm not the only one who wants them to go away for awhile lol

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um.. but SW is the lead.

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He's a lead, he's not THE lead.

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okay .... this is frustating ...... love turtle, move on faster will yaaahh ... you only has 6 eps left.

Or can we just take Dong Ryong as the husband instead, he seem wiser than other "related" guy in the neighborhood .... LOL

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exactly my thought! we only have 6 episodes left and Im seriously concerned about the pacing of the romance. i really do appreciate the family and friendship, and i was actually glad that the writers had decided to spend more time with their story unlike in the previous installments which was all about "whos the husband??", but now its just too slow.
arghh frustrating.

but dong ryong though, he keeps surprising me when he gives wise mature advices to his friends.

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He's so wise when it comes to people and feelings heh. I love it. Especially because he's not just the comedic sidekick. He's all the group's go-to person when people don't make sense.

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He is both the counsellor and the porn supplier. What does that say?! :O

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Hahaha true that...is he canceling himself out? Trying to keep his balance? Can't be too wise must be a perv too to keep things right.

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He's just catering to ALL their needs....

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Okay! I've decided the best way to handle this husband mystery. I've found reasons to love both guys so whichever one she chooses is it. I shall not spend days with a headache like I did because of Chilbongie. No. I love Taek. I love Jung-Hwan. So, to give myself some much needed peace, I'm on team Deok-sun. Whatever makes our girl happy. *goingofftoacornertoconvicemyselfofthat*

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ugh. i feel the same way but then i am like, damn, i really am on team taek.

while junghwan been annoying me w/ his, i cant date my friend chick over here taek been getting character development.

i guess what really annoys me about him is the need to put her down, it doesn't happened now, but in the beginning it was all that was said, heck it happened just last ep now that i think about it. As if deoksun could not be like by taek because he has so many other fans. i am glad taek refuted that quickly. at that point he should have said he liked her too. and be done w/ it

sigh idk why they added a date to the picture nor taek being unable to talk to noeul.

I AM SO CONFUSED LMAO

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The put downs do bug me. Like why do girls who watch this show find it cute he calls her ugly or the prettiest of the uglies as he said. And future hubby still does it too. Tsundere my ass, that shit is not cute.

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its the one thing i like about current taek and sunwoo is that they always say the girls are pretty, and no they are pretty.
its those compliments girls should want from guys.

i forgot future hubby says that too but that look that duk seon gives him, means she aint taking his shit.

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You said:
"...they are pretty.
its those compliments girls should want from guys."
Yes, or "kind, smart, attentive, funny". Under all circumstances never all that backhandedness.

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I love you. Mary me.

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The put-downs are the equivalent of Gilbert Blyth pulling Anne 's red haired pigtails and calling her "Carrots."*

Anne was a bit sensitive about her red hair. Gilbert was the smart, cocky boy at school who fancied her but couldn't get her attention nor bring himself to admit he liked her. Basically, it's the 12 year old's way of showing interest.

Anne promptly broke her slate over his head.

Be warned, all boys who take the Gilbert Blyth route.

*From the children's book, Anne of Green Gables.

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@reply friday/saturday

Yeah, one reason why I know TK is not the husband. He'd never trash DS' looks in the past or future. SW and TK are very honest, which is nice to see.

And I hate the ugly thing because as a a previous teenage girl I know being called ugly by anyone, even someone I hated (let alone someone I was crushing on) would have seriously hurt my feelings. You can also tell that DS has a real lack of self esteem and gets so happy when called pretty too.... So yeah, I have major issues with his behavior even if I'm more of a JH/DS shipper. He needs to repent.

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Team Taek here: I hope, like he was taking lessons in saying "stupid bastard" and stuff like that, that Taek has learned to play tough, too. To me, he is so much more interesting than JH, and also, he actually needs DS. They'd be so great together.

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I think that's cause JH's the type to say smth he doesn't mean when he's embarrassed. At least his actions speak louder than his words. Tho I do wish he'd start to speak what's in his heart cause he can't expect people to get him all the time if he doesn't say it.

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Jung Hwan is by far the most frustration character in this drama. He's a walking/talking (or more like not talking) noble idiot. My patience is wearing thin on him. Dude, shit or get off the pot already.

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LOL

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You mean the pot he kicked?

Ahahaha, I haven't heard this phrase in ages...

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Yeep team Deok-sun. Both guys might get nothing so I don't know why they are so slow. As if she has to like either one of them. Hubby could random guy she meets later. Or DR for all they know.

I want her to be happy and JH isn't doing it now.

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I have to ask, I loved both leads in the R94 series but like I get being frustrated with how Chilbongie was handled. Still I'm just curious if everyone just plain hated Trash Oppa by the end of the series?? I mean the man wasn't a turtle, he was a sloth, but I loved the guy regardless, but I'm assuming I may be the minority? Curious.

Heh that's how I see this drama...Team Deok-Sun!

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I loved Trash Oppa. From the very get go it was clear he'd be the husband. Heck, they even gave them couple clothes on the poster! Chilbongie was cute but boooooring. He had nothing to offer. Only puppy eyes. No character, no individuality, nothing special. I was always puzzled, why so many liked him so much and fan wars broke out. I thought, that his fans were younger and still dreaming about first love for life unaware of what one needs to keep a relationship going for decades. (That is coming from someone being with her husband for 25 yrs btw)

About this show's husband: I wouldn't be surprised if we saw her dating both guys in the end. Because life happens and time passes. Didn't they say they dated around a lot? And there ist still the wild card....

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Honestly, I can see a scenario where DS marries Taek, he dies in the early 2000s, and now she's married to JH.

1988 to 2015 is a lot of time.

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Exactly what I thought it would be! Like because Take smoke too much that he died before the drama ends T_T

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@Newie, yeah R94 suffered for me because Chilbongie never got much of a story outside of the main romance and the one line with his mother. He was already successful, endearing, nice, etc but there wasn't much growth to him. He always remained a spectator to the lives of his friends popping in and out so I didn't get the craze. Granted I don't believe there's only one way to build a relationship (I'm in my late 20s and unattached...) but seeing as how our lead female never strayed emotionally from Trash oppa it really made me wonder how the heck people expected her to click with him. Like she never seemed to be aware of him as a man even after he kissed her- she was one track minded.

@hannasj, I mean he did everything he should have as someone in her life knowing her well enough to handle things like her emotional pain, taking care of her when needed, etc. All of that was so effortless and natural to him that I get the feeling people just forgot he did them. He was the slowest man alive when it came to romance, but it didn't take away from him being there for her in every other way.

Anywho, bottom line, I don't think anyone is getting "Chilbongie'd" here unless that just means "getting the girl" because both characters here have dimensions and growth to them.

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well, I hated that Trash to death by the end of the series(he got the girl pretty easily without doing anytin' must I say). And nope, I ain't young teenage fans who still dreams of first love. It's just that Chilbongie as a character was just THAT more endearing than the other one...as simple as that.

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I just could not warm up to Trash at all, I remember watching the last episodes and thinking 'how does this make any sense'..but yeah.. I will probably never watch Reply '94 ever again because of the trauma it gave me :D.
I can mostly relate to the male leads and have no trouble seeing the main couple work. But imo the last season was such a mess when it came to handling the love triangle and the characters.

With this one I see potential in both of the guys so I am happy watching how this will go.. as long as they make the love turtles move a bit faster in the upcoming episodes..

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Count me in as another older female who did not care for Trash... such an ego. I've met doctors like him, so I just felt sorry for her.

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why would we have to be on any team?

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I dunno, but I'm on team SW's mom and Taek's dad. I'm winning it turns out, since there's no competition :P

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+10

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brilliant answer

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Thank you for the recaps !!!

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Junghwan is still the husband anyway...

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Junghwan better step it up before I jump to Taek's ship! Haha

But seriously... I loved the convo on the stairs with Deoksun and Dongryul. She really does need to figure out who SHE likes, and not just crush on whoever likes her.

The "confirmation" part I knew I saw somewhere but couldn't figure it out. 1997... Thanks for pointing that out, girlfriday!

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I think that "Confirmed" part refers to the scene in Reply 1994 where Baro kissed his wife the first time outside of her house.

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Actually, I also thought it was on R94 but there was also a confirmation kiss on Reply 1997 where Yoon Jae kissed Shi Won so yeah..

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lol it's a 1997 homage, from the dialogue down to the way they're positioned.

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I agree with you about Deok Sun and Dong Ryong's convo, that's the only thing that calms my frustration over JH, she needs to figure out who SHE likes, and not just bc that person likes her. And I feel like we'll see that in the next ep. I'm excited to see her like Jung Hwan just bc she likes him and not bc she thinks he likes her

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I cried a whole time scene Sunwoo with his dad. Gah. this drama stirred all my emotions. The reason this drama is so slow on love line between 3 main characters perharps to keep it sweet and low so when in the end Deok Soon with one of the boys, it is not too painful for the left one. so we do not repeat the Chhilbongie tragedy.
I kinda feel annoyed a bit with the gift copy scene. I feel the anger and sadness when Deok Sun glares at Jung Hwan because the pink shirt.
The pic Jung Bong wear vedora and brown suit "i don't know how and why", it makes him a bit look like member of 5SOS. hehehe peace! ^^

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The turtle speed love was quite good but it's now time to jump on fast track mode. The hurt expression on deok sun's face when she saw jung bong wearing the pink shirt was so good.

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agreed. Deok Sun's expression broke my heart! My heart completely sank xD I was genuinely so mad at Jung Hwan lmfao

Hyeri man, every ep i'm so impressed with her, every ep i love her more

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I can understand that taek has trouble doing simple things and deok sun is always there to help him, but she should probably teach him how to do it instead of always helping and doing it for him. Ex: chopsticks scene. He needs to learn how to use it.

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Seeing them behave like this makes me always think he needs a mother not a girl-friend. Going for the motherly type in your twens is just wrong, therefore I'm not team Taek.

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+1

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I agree! I love Taek, but Deok Sun's relationship with him is more motherly than girlfriendy. And Taek likes that, but I'm pretty sure Deok Sun doesn't see him as a man, only sees him like her brother bc of this. Deok Sun would go crazy if she were his gf lmfao

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All the relationships in that street is based on making up for the other one's flaws. And usually, the man is like a baby. With Taek at least there would be two sides to that coin.

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i was sooooooo happy when dong ryong said those wise words to deok sun. well done Dong ryong!
Hopefully we'll see more development with the romance in the next episode.

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I'm at the point in this drama where I really want to get to the finale so I know what happens. I adore this show. Heck, I adore the Answer Me series. But now I'm ready for Jung-Hwan to hurry up and admit his feelings. I just wish he would stop being stupid about things and say what he means and feels. But this is Junghwan we're talking about. So I can't expect more. That being said, I still love this show and all the characters and wish it would go on forever.

Oh! And I'd really like to see more of the 2015 versions of out kids. I miss the little moments with them.

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My reaction was exactly like the collective WHY?.. stupid JH, how could you give away the pink shirt!?!?

I absolutely adore DR.. this episode he asked the question we've all been asking. It was weird how she didn't answer the SW or JH question though because I thought she would pick JH (since she has been mad for forever at SW) and the final one will be JH or Taek... oh well, at least she's thinking...

I've a feeling that we might go 1997 route with DS dating TK or thinking that she might like him... JH the turtle will have to wait some more lol Taek has always been the steadfast one.

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If you read the recap carefully and attentively, you'll know that he didn't give it away.
Even you only watched the raw, he didn't give it away to Hyung.

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Carefully and attentively?... I watched it raw, so I know what happened. I was talking about my initial reaction like Girlfriday's outburst of "Ohmygah, do you not know girls AT ALL? LIKE, AT ALL?"

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Another lovely episode. Thanks so much for the recap.

The standout story in this episode for me, was Sun Woo coming to terms with his mother moving on, and facing his own guilt that his dad is no longer around. I liked how the narratives shows us, even when the new man is great, and you like him, and he makes your little sister happy - it's still hard when you miss your dad. And it's not even just about missing the role your father played, but feeling sorry for your father - as a human to another, for no longer being alive and able to be part of the family or do the things your father wanted to do.

Really nice touch to have Dong Ryong reprise his role as "counsellor" with spot-on advice and insight. Bless him.

I also liked how the show reminded us why Doek Sun is loved by so many. She might not be particularly bright, but she is caring, responsible and warm. It is in her nature to engage naturally with the people around her, and look after those in need. I think someone had commented on how it was very un-feminist to suggest that's her purpose in life, and yes, I wouldn't quite phrase it that way. But it is true that whether male or female, some people are naturally caretakers. In this respect, perhaps, it makes sense why she and Taek have found a kind of dynamic that works for them, whether it turns out to be romantic or not.

It's interesting for quite a few episodes now, we haven't had any of the "interview" or present segments with the future husband. I wonder if they started the series playing with the expected convention but pulled back on it as it's really not the point at all. Maybe it is really about Doek Sun, after all the ribbing and points that have been made about not being able to get into a university, finding something she really cares about doing and going for it.

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I alway love your insight :)

Yes to everything especially your DS comment. I found myself thinking she'd actually making a great nurse. She naturally caters to helping people around her. She doesn't even think about it or look for recognition. It's just her nature- whether it's Taek or No eul or just a classmate. And she's so adorably excited about her sneakers-it reminds us that she's a really good kid that's never asked for much from her parents. But like you said it's especially nice to see that recognition from people around her like her teacher. Most kdramas depict teachers-especially female ones as indifferent so it's especially touching that it comes from her.

That's a good point about the interview bit too. I prefer it in smaller bits but I'm glad they haven't made it such a big deal like it was in the earlier series.

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It's true. I especially like that this episode shows how warm the classmates can be and how well a teacher can understand the potential of each of her students. It's too often when I watch the rampant bullying in Korean school and ineffective teachers or worse still, corrupt ones. This episode gives me glowing like hope :)

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I was very happy to see this dependable side of DS.. Although we get to see it between friends and family but it is nice to see it with outsiders. Everyone in the drama keeps lamenting that she'll never get to university but she is so much more that book smart.

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yeah, Sun-woo really cut me up this episode - he's such a good kid, but he still has so many conflicted feelings to deal with. And Bora is the only person he can unburden himself to. His head knows why it's a good idea, but his heart still had a little way to catch up.

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And just like the future husband tell us there is date on the right bottom corner of the picture rite. Oh i still hope JH is the husband...

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On top of that photo, it also seems like the director deliberately told PBG to act "awkward" around No Eul just to give Taek a bit of an edge. However, after being betrayed by AM1994, I learn not to take any sort of hints seriously, or over-analyse details. These are some examples of their attempt to see if anyone will take their baits and fuel a fan war. Not falling for it.

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Why are Bananas so precious in this story? Previously one of the moms wanted to buy a banana but had to settle on banana milk. Is it a timer period thing? We're fruits/Bananas super expensive in Korea then or something?

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Yup, super expensive. We used to bring bananas to Korea as gifts from the US back then when we'd visit.

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I was wondering about this too, as A friend of mine who grew up in the 80s under the FDR in Germany, said bananas were really precious.

A quick search brought up a few factoids:
-Most bananas were either farmed in Southeast Asia or Africa, so were imports. I think Korea got most of its bananas from Philippines.
- Korea undertook more market opening measures from 1984-1988, allowing more agricultural imports, but the amount was then much smaller due to the market opening still being smaller.
-Also the world production and hence, export of sweet bananas (as opposed to plantain) was also much smaller then. (There was an increase of almost 50% bananas produced in the world between 1985-2000.) Hence it was a rarer fruit, hence expensive!

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Bananas and other tropic fruit were precious in East Germany back then. We always sent packages full with coffee, chocolate and canned fruit like pineapples to our relatives. But you could buy them in special shops, if you had Deutsche Mark currency and not West Mark. So my dad always smuggled Deutsche Mark in his shoes when visiting his parents.

Glad, these times are over.

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#teamdarkhorse

Dongryong is a good chap! Maybe he's the husband muhehe

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How come I can't remember what I did 2 hours ago but I can remember every word to a cheesy 80s Bryan Adams song? I'm convinced a large part of the success of the Reply series is because of the music invoking feelings of nostalgia.

Thanks as always for the recap, gf, and hope you have a good Christmas with no recapping involved. ☺

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One of the scenes in this episode had Rick Astley singing on the tv/radio. I think I just got Rick Rolled by Reply 1988. lol

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Haha, I thought the same exact thing!

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What?! I missed that. I guess I'll have to watch it again, I love Rick Astley. I actually bought his album in 1988 in Korea. :-)

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Such a good episode! I cried along with SW and I want DR as my bff. He`s the best. DS really needs that conversation so she can start making her own choices. I also love that Taek is growing every day,revealing a little more about himself. Who knew he has such a dry sense of humour? He even starts teasing DS now. And credit to PBG for delivering that line ”you know nothing about me“ so well that my heart skipped a bit. He actually seems so different and mature now.

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I am gonna prepare for a broken heart when this drama ends. :( But im starting to get frustrated with taekkie and junghwan. Speak up already! Anyway, I love how Deukson and Junghwan had that silent conversation over the pink shirt, with all the disappointment and frustration. Good job to the actors!

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Yeah, lovely episode all around. The triangle IS slow, but it's understandable why it is. It's moving and things are happening for sure though.

Deok-Sun was great this episode and I agree with what you wrote. It's her journey into adulthood and falling in love, and that's what I'm interested in seeing. All the actions of the kids are really easy to relate to. People who give any of them flak clearly do not remember their teenage years.

I'm also okay with how the love triangle is going. I don't think DS is really ready for romance right now either. I would be happy just to see her find herself and find out what she wants in life. The boys and her can meet again in the future to figure it all out. This episode really made me root for Deok-Sun's happiness above all else.

I think JH also needs to hear some words of wisdom from Dong Ryong. It's really all about who Deok-Sun likes, not who Taek likes or who JH likes. She could reject both of them for all JH knows so really he should just go for it and try.

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damn all the speculators last recap, now the "I might die without her" sounds like a bad premonition.

Writer, seriously, if you do something to Taek, I will put a curse on all your future dramas. There will be fire bursting out of my mouth. I don´t see it serving any purpose, it would just be bullying towards the viewers. and towards Sun-Woo and his Mom. it would be nothing short of sadistic psycho´s mentality

I like Jung-Bong 15 + alpha times better than Jung-Hwan. JH should move to Finland, it is his own fault he is so slow. The life tempo would be just right for him...

drat, there goes the theory about Dong-Ryong.

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I think Sun Woo and Taek are my second favorite "bros" this year.

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"“I might die without her” sounds like a bad premonition." its interesting to me how alike taek and his father are. for example, taek dad literally was a mess after his wife died. idk. the men in that family love deep.

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Wow. Chill. Nothing happens to Taek yet. I mean no offense but this was one lovely episode but all you got from it is that? Why are you so sure that something bad would happen to him?

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Producer-nim said there would be no "getting cancer and dying" in this series. They did not care for the shock value family drama.

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and before anyone whines, I did not originally worry that much, but redfox is the protector of the helpless. even if I am not on "ships" I always choose the side that has a disadvantage, win or lose.

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*Prescribes redfox one of Taek's pills...

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:-D

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Deok sun ah..how can you think Jung Bong and Jung Hwan have the same shirt size lol..
Thank you for the recaps dramabeans

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IKR? Not even remotely possible.

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Lol. Exactly what I was thinking.. Deoksun-aah!! But she always seems to jump to conclusions with everything - might be just her character trait.

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Don't you remember the 80? All my clothing was a hit oversized. My clothes fit my heavier friends perfectly and hung fashionably loose on me. =p

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Yes, true, and collared dress shirts were not slim fit at all, but loose.

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and don't forget the shoulder pads! :-D

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True, but I think it was the guilty look that JH gave though. Like he knew it was wrong, but couldn't say so. But in reality the look was more "no, I didn't give my shirt away. I cherish it, but I totally can't say so."

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argggg, I did feel the length today. Why too draggy? I was pulling my hair in frustration when our love line didn't progress much. Please JH, step it up! But well, at least he didn't give that shirt to JB

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omg we have the same name! and I guess we're both #TeamJunghwan lol hi

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i'm really getting sick of this; the story is not progressing,jung hwan has no screen time At the pace things are going now, they're going to have to extend the drama by four more plzzzzz move on

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I love SW-Taekie sleepovers. So cute. That's my otp y'all- forget the triangle and just ship these two and sleepovers forever!

Heh, in all seriousness I'm dying to know Bora's decision about her future. I know people have questioned Bora's personality in the past, but it just reminds me of how mature this girl has been as the eldest. What she must have held back for her family.

Agh, the misunderstanding makes me frustrated but good frustrated. Because you know it has to happen. I found it interesting that DS has no hesitation in naming her preference for Taek but hesitates over JH. On the one hand, we all know everyone loves Taek, but it makes you wonder how she'll react to knowing Taek's feelings. Because while her awareness switch turned on for JH. it hasn't for Taek. So I'm curious to see how she handles it.

Tbh, to me, the Reply series follows a certain formula for their romance that I feel as if they're still more or less following. I mean I enjoy it, but it's still pretty consistent. One can always change it up but why ruin what works for this series?

So I totally didn't realize that DS's family was poor because of a loan debt they owed. Was this mentioned before and I just didn't catch it? I just thought a banker's salary just wasn't all that great especially when Dad keeps spending it all as-seen-on-street shopping.

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Oh yes, I totally agree with the point about the sleepovers, and forgot to mention it in my comment. I was like - guys, you'd be so happy being brothers for real.

It must have been hard for Bora. If you're really smart and also fired up about politics and democracy, it must have been a real sacrifice of her potential and idealistic goals to take on a more pragmatic vocational route.

Do you think DS hesitated saying Jung Hwan's name because she's shy to admit it aloud? I'm curious too, how she's react to Taek, especially since she recognises he has lots of female interest. We've also not been given much in terms of her reaction the time Taek looked like he was going to kiss her but put his head on her shoulder.

I think the debt thing was mentioned in one of the earlier episodes. I can't remember exactly which, but it rings a bell.

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I agree with much of what you said.

The debt was mentioned a few weeks ago, when Mom at the dinner table, was blaming husband for cosigning on a loan for a friend, who then went bankrupt, leaving them with the burden.

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Yup, Bora has so much energy and talent that if she channeled it into something she wants to do she'd be unstoppable (i.e. the protests).

I think so. Even when she confirmed JH likes her, she didn't want to tell her friends outright, choosing to enjoy it by herself a little. It's mirrored by her friend Mi Ok not sharing with the girls about her kiss, choosing to enjoy it privately instead.
I did wonder about that because you do see some unconsious awareness from her when Taek leans in but she never lingers on the thought likely because it hasn't crossed her mind that Taek actually thinks about things outside of baduk.

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I wonder if this slow build and reveal of information from Taek - her seeing him in his element in China, him watching over her at the restaurant, discovering he watches the racy stuff with the boys, that he has tons of female fans etc, and him turning around and saying, "You don't know everything about me." - is about shaking her from her established lens of seeing him as the innocent baby that needs to be protected?

After all, nothing suddenly adds a bit of frisson to a platonic friendship than suddenly seeing the other person as a sexual, attractive being?

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Good point. Like maybe this is just a way for DS to gather all the info and then when he confesses, it "clicks". Or it's like the biggest tease ever.

Interestingly, JH has gotten all the swoony classic scenes because he's an established person complete with noble idiocy in his belt whereas Taek has been growing WITH DS. He gets to slowly become bolder and transform himself hence the stronger development for him. JH was already a person, he has growth as well, but it's subtle and not as bold...outside of waiting for his slow as a turtle confession hang up.

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Exactly!

It does feel like JH had some of the classic, suddenly aware scenes with DS, like in the alleyway, on the bus etc. But it never feels like there's a real connection or growth in their relationship, not even after she asked him whether she should go on the blind date.

On the other hand, it feels like DS and Taek's friendship has been growing slowly over the series, so much so they're just very comfortable together without the other guys, and there's little things that show them finding a sweet dynamic that balances out in a special way. Like Taek doing the Rubik's cube repeatedly for a delighted DS, DS helping Taek with his food or covering him up, almost absent-mindedly, and Taek brings her gifts. They can have silly fun together too, like on the beach. Or Taek can come to her for comfort and support, and DS guards over her. I know these scenes are depicted very sweetly and almost innocently, without all that heart-thumping teenage angst, but they feel more real to me.

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Yes to this! I'm not particular about shipping DS with anyone. Whether JH or Taek ends up being the husband, I don't mind either way. They're both lovely. However, I do notice that the growth on Taek's character has been slow but steady, to the point that I almost forgot what he is like in the early episodes. It's like with every snippet of conversation, every little quirks here and there, we're peeling another layer to get to his core. DS saw this as well, so she has made adjustments on the way she treats him as well. From a neighbourhood idiot and baby brother, to a highly respected Baduk genius, to a potential love interest. In the end, even if Taek is not the husband, I think I'm still satisfied with how their story develops.

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I LOVE your comments!! I will hug them and hold onto them even if this ship goes down....

Thank you for the great recap as usual! =D

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I guess it's not totally fair to say JH hasn't shown steady growth, but I think it's more along the vein of how DS described he was not quite human, but the show has slowly allowed him to mature as a human being. But the moments that stand out, for me, are not so much his interactions with DS, but those with his family and even with Taek. JS's growing up in his own way, like his sensitivity towards his mum's embarrassment at not being able to read English letters, and his support of his brother. Perhaps it'd be easier to track his growth with DS, if it weren't for the disruption of him realising Taek likes her too.

But I doubt we'll see anything in the last 6 episodes to really take the story forward in terms of the romance - there's a huge jump to the present that'd be coloured by a lot of action off-screen during their college years. I just hope we're given enough foot holds so that when it lands, it'll feel satisfying, and that somehow the writer will take care of ALL the characters in the present too.

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I think the issue is that JH has always had this bickering relationship with DS so for him to pullback and be nice is difficult. In contrast,Taek has always had a sweet gentle one with DS.
I think that's what they might be going for but if they want that, they're going to need to speed things up because we need to see it click for DS.

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@M3Lon4 Yeah, I have noticed he's leaps and bounds away from who he was at the start. He talks more, expresses more, gives his opinions- it's endearing.
I'm a little partial to JH but I wouldn't be upset if it's Taek who ends up the husband. JH just because he won me over with his inability to be open to DS because of Taek just makes me sympathize with him. I find his moments with his family really adorable because that's one place he has no trouble admitting he loves. He's a good kid. You do see his growth outside of his interaction with DS more because of his hang up on Taek's confession. We all know if Taek knew he'd want JH not to hold back for his sake, but the whole gang is programmed to take care to Taek so it's easier said than done.

@Dramapanda, yeah I said earlier that I do feel that R88 follows the same formula with tweaks that they've been following. I don't think they'd pander to a fan base or change things up because what they've done before has still worked for them. I would love to see us transition smoothly to the future and see where it took the rest of our characters, but we do stand to perhaps lose out on our parent staff which is why I'm not too upset with the lingering.

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The writers are definitely ahead on us. It does boil down to Doek Sun - Doek Sun-ah, who do you like?

Despite all the analysing of her interactions with each boy, or our interpretation of which boy fits her better - it does come down to who she actually likes. The annoying thing about that (haha, oh the autonomy of a person, even a fictitious one) is that why she likes whomever, could be entirely irrational and instinctive. (How many times have we had friends in real life who like strange people and one is like, wt richard simmons...)

So far, by her actions, it's not clear who she really likes, and it's not clear, how aware she is of what it means to really care for someone either. Yes, she has woken up early to catch the bus with JH and put her head on his shoulder, but is that because she truly likes him, or because she's trying to create a situation that looks romantic because she thinks he likes her? She did buy JH a special birthday present (as opposed to the combination present they all got for Taek) but she got him a pink shirt, arguably, not something he'd wear.

With Taek, she's very caring towards him, but arguably she's always been protective of him since they were children. But do recent actions like, blocking her friends and even DR from disturbing Taek, suggest she likes having special access to him? And despite the indignation at Taek asking her to bring him things, and the role imposed on her to look after him, does she actually like being needed in that way?

Still, it'd be fun to watch her become aware of Taek, to shift from having that blithe confidence of patting him on the bum and telling him to hurry up and grow up so he can marry her - to actually realising he might just want to do that, and now she's got to take some responsibility for planting the seed.

It's hard to tell then till she becomes self-aware. She primps and preens as much to be expected of a teenage girl, whenever she's told she's pretty by any guy, so it's another step of growing up to think about who you care about, in the way you'd be willing to give yourself over without vanity or self-interest.

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Lol pretty much as DR pointed out, who does DS love? She's not emotionally there yet with anyone. Like you said, she's not even self-aware of her own feelings. I mean to take it a step further she isn't even aware of how amazing she herself is so right now that's all this boils down to - seeing how she matures into her own person and how she translates her experiences with the boys into feelings. You're right though, so far her actions have been, little girl does things to be around little boy she likes. It's a very elementary concept still.
Lol @ planting the seed and taking responsibility. It's such a cute idea though- going from joking about marrying him to being faced with the truth that he really does want to marry you.

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About Doksun saying mulla to "Do you like Donghwan or Sunwoo".
I love Jonghwan and ship him with Doksun. Loved the earlier episodes where they were starting to be aware of each other, first him, and then her noticing the change in him. But then nothing... At this point, I don't feel they will end up together (unless they start dating other people, then years later find each other again, she discovers that he kept the pink shirt all those years, and then because they are both single, they start dating and marry, or sth like that) at this point. My reasons:

Doksun was told Sunwoo liked her, so she started liking him back and doing things for him. Then she discovered he liked Bora and became disappointed and maybe a litter bit bitter.

Then she felt Jonghwa liked her, so she starting pursuing him, but in recent episodes she started feeling insecure and thinking maybe he is not into her after all. I think in this episode she, to some degree, gave up on the idea of him liking her, because she started calling him again Jongpal, he only called him Jonghwa when she was interested in him.

So when Dongryong asked her, I think her replied was more like: "I don't know, I don't know any more, you think they like you, then they don't...". I think she was starting to put Jonghwa in the same category of Sunwoo, and it makes sense because she was wondering why nobody liked her.

I think Taek could be the husband. Actually it would make sense, but for some reason I don't really like the idea. If it cannot be Jonghwa I prefer Dongryong. For Jonghwa to be the husband there have to be some MAJOR development, because the drama is making me warm up to the idea of Taek and DS as a couple. I repeat, I don't like it, but at this point he would be the only reasonable and satisfactory husband.

Sigh, I wrote a lot!

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*A little bit bitter.

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"On the one hand, we all know everyone loves Taek, but it makes you wonder how she’ll react to knowing Taek’s feelings. Because while her awareness switch turned on for JH. it hasn’t for Taek. So I’m curious to see how she handles it.."

I'm curious about this too. She doesn't have the slightest idea that Taek likes her as a girl. I don't think she ever thought of that possibility even once in her whole life, which was proved in this ep by her saying that (she thought) Taek never liked anyone before. What will her reaction be after she knows about it? I'm more curious to know about this than to know who the husband really is.

You know what could be interesting? I think I'd want Deok sun to suddenly (or slowly, depends on how people see it) falls for Taek first, BEFORE he confesses. I saw from her dumbfounded reaction to Taek's "You don’t know anything about me. I like someone. And I’m going to confess… soon" that THAT is big news for her. There even could be a tinge of jealousy that HER Taekie likes a girl, some other girl.

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Yes!!! It would be sooo great if this happens, that when the 'Taek awareness switch' is turned on, the process of honest to goodness, authentic, falling in love with a person will finally happen for DS, just all her with no outside intervention/suggestion.

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That would definitely be an interesting route to go tbh. Reply series tend to stay pretty passive about showing the female's feelings so to see her fall first would be interesting. Granted in 6 episodes with their pace even with almost two hours per episode they'd have to compromise a lot of stories to make it work. But you're right about exploring how she'd react to knowing Taek likes someone without knowing it's her. If she's indifferent, you know it's not going to work. But if her follow up reaction is to fixate on that point, there's a good chance she likes him more than she knows herself. Or she's a territorial mother hen haha.

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A territorial mother hen! LOL! You described DS's possessive-protective, mother-like nature perfectly :-)
Well I guess we'll find out sooner or later...if this gets explored that is. There's still a big possibility that Taek will confess soon, and if this happens we won't ever know how DS really feels about those boys before -let me borrow your words- the awareness switch gets turned on.

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However, if her friends were around her while Taek was with her, they would have pointed her that Taek loves her,,,, then she would have been far more aware of Taek's feeling for Ds.
But again she eagerly shields him from others, even including her best friends,,, is it just on her side unconsciously blocking her friends from falling for him? Does she enjoy having all exclusive access to Taek? Her feeling for boys is quite unware and she is unsure of herself so she has no idea on where her deep level of protection for him comes from, ,though many believe that she feels the need because he is a little bro to her,,, I am not so sure about this conviction.

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