One More Happy Ending: Episode 8
Things aren’t so perfect in Mi-mo’s love life anymore, making her think more carefully about what she wants than she has in the past. But it’s memories of the past that have everyone all twisted up and confused, and those memories will need to be untangled soon before all sides of this love triangle are damaged beyond hope of repair.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Mi-mo sees Yeon-soo telling Hae-joon that she wants him back, and they also see her standing there. Mi-mo complains about how close Hae-joon is with his ex-wife, but he tells her that Yeon-soo is no threat. But no matter what he says, Mi-mo wonders why he hesitated when Yeon-soo said that.
Mi-mo thinks there’s something still between them, and Hae-joon yells that of course there is — how could there not be? He turns the question around and asks if she thinks they have a strong relationship, because he doesn’t think they do.
Dong-mi is surprised by a bucket of water over her head, delivered by none other than Wook’s wife. We see Wook (in the past) waiting for a woman to sell an appliance to, and he perks up when she turns out to be beautiful. Mi-mo narrates that selling his second-hand things turned out to be lucrative for him on more ways than one, so he made a habit of seducing the women he sold to and taking money from them.
He’d decided to stop when his wife started getting suspicious, but then he sold that oven to Dong-mi. Now Dong-mi knows the truth, and she hides in the bathroom, crying and ignoring Ae-ran calling to her through the door.
She’d been cheated on before, with the jerk they ran into the previous night. She’d been bringing him a surprise gift when she’d overheard him telling another girl that he only dated her because she’d been an idol, but that she wasn’t his type. They’d laughed about how dumb Dong-mi was not to notice, which had broken her heart.
Ae-ran listens to Dong-mi cry, and rants to herself that men are all scum who enjoy hurting women. She starts to cry, too.
Hyun-gi picks up Ah-ni after her work trip, and she asks about Soo-hyuk — is he still angry? Hyun-gi tells her Soo-hyuk signed up with a matchmaking company, and has his first date today. She demands to know where the date is, and Hyun-gi crumbles.
They sit at the next table during the date, Ah-ni making snarky comments every time Soo-hyuk speaks. Soo-hyuk texts Hyun-gi to get her out of here, but Hyun-gi is too scared of her. OMG, their text conversation is hilarious.
In fact, Soo-hyuk is so absorbed in his texting that his date gets annoyed, and demands to know who he’s texting. He says it’s nobody, but she turns to Hyun-gi and asks if he’s there to help Soo-hyuk get rid of her. Oh crap.
But she accidentally lets slip that she’s been married twice, and she says that she won’t tell the agency about his rude behavior if he won’t tell them about her lie. They agree to end the date here.
Ah-ni plunks herself down and asks if Soo-hyuk rejected her because she’s flawless, having overheard him telling his date that he likes women with flaws. Soo-hyuk says it’s true, and she calls him a liar. Tired and defeated, Soo-hyuk says that regardless of whether she has flaws, he still doesn’t like her.
She keeps arguing until Soo-hyuk says, “I’m not curious about you. I’ve known you for over ten years, but I was never curious about you.” Damn, that’s painful to hear, and it doesn’t look easy for him to say, but it’s honest.
Hae-joon runs into Yeon-soo on his way into the hospital, and he snaps at her when she asks if he’s okay. She thinks about when they were married, and he wouldn’t even get upset when she stayed out all night with a male friend. He’d said he trusted her, but she insisted that wasn’t the point.
Mi-mo meets with a client, who explains why she’s against dating men with children. She once dated a man with kids, and the constant contact with his ex-wife caused them to get back together. Mi-mo thinks that even without a child, Hae-joon and Yeon-soo see each other every day.
She drinks alone at a pojangmacha that night, remembering how her ex-husband wasn’t interested in being friends after their divorce. He’d said he wasn’t confident that he wouldn’t fall in love with her again, and they’d just repeat the whole cycle.
Ah-ni cries all over Soo-hyuk, and he sweetly hugs her and tells her to meet a man who deserves her. He gets home to find Mi-mo drunk in the hallway between their apartments, and she grins and calls him Romeo. She squeals at how cute he is, and keeps telling him the wrong password for her place until he gets frustrated.
She smacks at him weakly, telling him not to yell at her when he’s the one who did “all those bad things.” She lurches towards him and barfs down his back, ewwww. A prissy neighbor shrieks at him to clean it up, which he does once he gets Mi-mo safely his bed. Ha, he tells the still-cringing neighbor that she may be the woman of his dreams, but he still doesn’t want to clean up her yak.
Feeling bad for Dong-mi, Ae-ran climbs in bed to snuggle her sad friend. Dong-mi dreams that Cupid visits her, and he tells her to choose one of his arrows, each of which represents a man. But every time she picks one, he says she’s not in his league, ha.
Dong-mi finally blows up and throws the arrows, and she intimidates Cupid into admitting that he’s new at this, and not very good at his job. PFFT. He promises to train hard and come back for her in a few months, but Dong-mi says she can’t wait that long. She gives him one week. He leaves behind an arrow, and Dong-mi clutches it happily.
Still in Soo-hyuk’s bed, Mi-mo tosses and turns in her sleep, and strips off her clothes down to her lacy slip. Soo-hyuk comes into his room after his shower and gapes to see her like that, and he gingerly leans over her to cover her with the blanket. She complains that it’s hot and tosses off the blanket, and Soo-hyuk covers her again.
Struck by how pretty she looks, he reaches out to just barely touch her hair, and goes to the couch. He can’t sleep, and gets back up again to sleep in Min-woo’s room.
Mi-mo is woken by her phone the next morning — it’s Hae-joon, who’s waiting at her front door. Mi-mo says drawls sleepily that she didn’t even hear the doorbell, and only now realizes that she’s not even in her own bedroom. Oh, this is gonna be so awkward, I love it.
She runs to look out through the peephole, and allows herself to wig out for just a minute before she decides to go on the offensive. She accusingly asks why he’s here, when they just had a huge fight. Hae-joon says he’s here because of that, but she says she’s not ready to forgive him and tells him to go away and come back later.
After he goes, she lets out a shriek, which wakes Soo-hyuk and Min-woo, who are both in Min-woo’s bed. She demands to know why she was asleep in Soo-hyuk’s bed in her unmentionables, and Soo-hyuk assures her that nothing happened.
He explains why she’s here and that she took her own clothes off, and prissily reminds her that an underage boy lives here. But he obviously thinks she’s adorable, and offers to make her hangover soup before she goes.
The four friends have lunch later, but they’re all too preoccupied to talk much. Ae-ran, Dong-mi, and Mi-mo all complain about the men in their lives, and then Da-jung drops a bomb — she has breast cancer. She warns them not to cry, as she’s already cried enough for all of them.
Soo-hyuk calls Mi-mo just as she gets the reminder about their time capsule ceremony, and she has to bolster herself before answering. They agree to ride together, and Mi-mo starts to call Hae-joon next, but calls Da-jung instead.
The friends have a little impromptu party at Da-jung’s the night before her surgery, watching old Angels videos and just enjoying each other’s company.
Mi-mo picks up Da-jung’s son Tae-yong at school the next day, and she tells him that his mom is traveling. He says that his parents are divorcing, and Mi-mo tells him it’s not true. He just cries that it’s all his fault — he overheard his father say they’ve been estranged since he was born. Poor little peanut.
Da-jung is shown to her hospital room and meets her roommate, another cancer patient named Hye-sun. She’s obviously been through this before, and reassures Da-jung that her fear and loss of appetite are normal. In fact, she thinks that Da-jung is lucky that she can have surgery, and winks that she can always get breast reconstruction later.
Mi-mo decides that the truth is better than Tae-yong feeling so much guilt, and takes him to see his mom in the hospital. He clings to her and cries that he didn’t know she was sick.
After Yeon-soo checks in Da-jung, she and Mi-mo go for coffee to talk. Mi-mo says that Yeon-soo crossed a line with Hae-joon, but Yeon-soo fires back that Mi-mo came to her as a patient with ulterior motives. Touche. They shoot barbs at each other regarding who has more right to be with Hae-joon — wouldn’t that be his decision?
The rest of the ladies are in Da-jung’s room, worried about whether they’ll have to break up a catfight, ha. Ae-ran asks Dong-mi what she plans to do about Wook, and Dong-mi says she’s hatched a revenge plan.
Geun-hak comes home from his business trip to find the house empty, and Tae-yong comes home alone. He’s still crying, and asks his dad if he can’t love Mommy just a little bit, because she’s very sick. He can tell from Tae-yong’s simplified explanation what’s wrong with Da-jung, and now he regrets rejecting her request for a hug.
It turns out that Tae-yong is one of Dong-mi’s students, and Dong-mi smiles to see a picture of his mom from her Angels days on his desk the next day. She helps him make a little clay angel during crafts class, which, aww.
Dong-mi and Ae-ran put their revenge plot into motion, and crash a ballroom dancing class that Wook is taking. He’s busy putting the moves on his married dance partner, and they throw a bucket of water in his face, then a bucket of flour. Wook makes a move as if you threaten Dong-mi, but four burly men line up behind her and Wook falls to his knees instead.
Dong-mi (who looks like a million bucks, by the way) isn’t finished, and she warns him that if she ever hears of him cheating again, she’ll really kill him. She demands her money back, giving him twenty-four hours or she calls the police. Wook just nods meek agreement.
As she’s wheeled into surgery, little Tae-yong gives Da-jung the angel he made for her, saying that it will protect her. It works, and she’s taken in to surgery with a smile on her face. Her surgery goes well, and later Geun-hak goes to see Yeon-soo about her.
She tells him that the surgery was a success, but it’s afterward that’s hardest on women. She’s going to be grieving the loss of her breasts, and his reaction could affect her recovery in a big way. Unaware of their divorce, Yeon-soo tells him that Da-jung needs his love and support now.
He hides when he nearly runs into Dong-mi and Mi-mo, discussing Da-jung’s recovery. Her family will be taking care of her, since she’s asked Geun-hak to move out. He starts to go into her hospital room, but instead he just sadly looks at her through the door, then leaves.
Mi-mo decides to take her own car to the time capsule ceremony, but Soo-hyuk insists on driving. On the way it begins to snow, and Mi-mo looks at pictures of Hae-joon on her phone to distract herself from the awkward silence.
They stop to eat, and Mi-mo asks what Soo-hyuk put in the time capsule. He’s vague about it, but she tells him that she put in her lucky Tinkerbell. They’ll be giving their items to the kids who attend the school now, and she jokes that whoever gets her Tinkerbell will be a star like she was once.
She asks again what Soo-hyuk put in, and he remembers their school days and ha, he was already calling her a goldfish way back then. They pass a little game that gives out cheap prizes, and Mi-mo complains that she never wins the jeweled box she wants. Soo-hyuk says that it should at least have a ring in it, but Mi-mo is confident that she’ll get a ring from her first love. She wants the jeweled box to put it in.
Later little Soo-hyuk asks the shopkeeper to buy the box, but she says that he has to win a hundred coins to win it. In the present, Soo-hyuk smiles, and just tells Mi-mo that his contribution to the time capsule was “something expensive.” Awww, that’s so sweet.
Mi-mo misunderstands, remembering that his family was rich, and that they moved to the US after third grade. Soo-hyuk turns serious and says that he didn’t want to go, staring at her intently.
The beautiful snow continues throughout the time capsule ceremony, and everything goes well until Soo-hyuk finds his own box in the capsule. He pretends it’s something naughty and not suitable to give to a kid (so that he can keep it himself), and the little boy is all I watch the internet, you know. ~snort~
Soo-hyuk and Mi-mo stay until nightfall, and she calls Hae-joon who grows instantly suspicious. He knows she and Soo-hyuk went to the same school and guesses that he’s there, and to Mi-mo’s credit, she’s honest with Hae-joon about it.
The snow has the roads back to the city closed, and they’re forced to stay in a room at the school. Soo-hyuk promises not to do anything inappropriate, but Mi-mo snaps that it’s hard to believe, coming from the guy who got his girlfriend pregnant at such a young age. He insists he’s got self-control, and Mi-mo actually looks a bit disappointed.
Soo-hyuk opens his time capsule when she leaves the room, and of course, it’s the little jeweled box he won for her way back in elementary school. Mi-mo wanders the school and finds herself in the science room, and the lights cut off while she’s in there. She thinks it’s Soo-hyuk messing with her, but when he doesn’t answer her yells and she realizes the door locked behind her, she gets scared.
Soo-hyuk finally hears Mi-mo scream and goes running, finding the science room door locked. Mi-mo doesn’t answer, so he busts the door down to find her passed out underneath the classroom skeleton. HAHA.
The town doctor declares her fine, if still unconscious, and leaves them in the school alone again. Soo-hyuk watches over her, and allows himself to gently stroke her hair while she sleeps.
Inspired by the romantic snow, he tells her that back in school, “Romeo was never able to tell Juliet how he felt about her.” Now he calls Romeo stupid, admitting that he ate that apple which made him sick and ruined the play. But he loved being in the play with her, even when they forgot their lines, because it extended the time that they could be together.
He says that Romeo never forgot those feelings, though he locked them away in a time capsule without ever sharing them. But now they’ve met again, and he finds his heart racing all over again. Only now, she belongs to his friend.
He says, almost to himself, that he’s feeling those feelings again, but that he’ll have to lock them away one more time. He looks at Mi-mo, admitting, “Because it’s you that I like.” He hopes that he’ll be forgiven for saying these things because of the magical snow, and tells the sleeping Mi-mo his true heart. He describes her the same way he described his perfect woman in her office: “The girl who’s 163cm in height, has double eyelids, hasn’t had plastic surgery, is petite, and has a lovable flaw… it’s you, Goldfish.”
Overcome with emotion, Soo-hyuk leaves the room. Mi-mo opens her eyes, having heard every word he said.
It feels as though the show has finally found its groove after a couple of weeks of awkwardness — better late than never! It’s hard to describe, but for a while there all the friends’ stories felt very disconnected and disjointed. In some episodes we were getting too much focus on one of them, to the exclusion of the others, but now it feels much more balanced and even. And I appreciated seeing the four ladies just being together and having fun, because I was having a bit of a hard time believing in their friendship when it seemed like they were always arguing. But they rallied together to support Da-jung, so now it feels like I finally understand why they’ve been friends for so long. I love that they all stayed for her surgery, and were there for her when she needed them most.
For once, I don’t even mind the cancer trope, because it’s being used in a way that creates a connection between characters, rather than a contrived distance. Many dramas use The Big C as a device meant to drive characters apart for a while, but in Da-jung and Geun-hak’s case, it’s the exact opposite. I’m so happy that Geun-hak finally knows about Da-jung’s illness, because it’s so obvious that they still love each other. They just don’t know how to cross the gap that’s come between them, and her illness could very well be the thing that allows them to build a bridge.
We guessed that Soo-hyuk had had a crush on Mi-mo back in school, but it was a bittersweet confirmation, seeing that he won that jeweled box for her, and that he used it as his time capsule item. I’m guessing that seeing her with the other boy back then broke his little heart, and burying the box was his way of putting his feelings away. It makes what Hae-joon said about standing aside and keeping his feelings for Mi-mo to himself that much more unfair, because Soo-hyuk has done that before, and even with the exact same woman.
The trope of childhood friends being fated to be together is another of my least-favorite storytelling devices, but again, this show uses the familiar scenario in such a way that it’s not a shortcut to the romance between the leads, as so often happens. Too many dramas use it to tell the audience why the couple should be together, without actually doing the work of making them compatible in the present. But in this case it enhances and informs how Soo-hyuk and Mi-mo relate to each other now as adults, and it’s part of why Soo-hyuk is how he is with relationships. He hasn’t exactly had good luck with love — the first girl he loved rejected him, and the second died in childbirth. It’s understandable that he would shy away from relationships, and for that reason I like the little snippets we get of their short friendship as children. So yet again, I appreciate the old trope being used in a new way — to support, rather than take the place of, the present romance.
And while I appreciate Soo-hyuk’s willingness to step aside, whether it’s out of fear or obligation or what, I’m glad that Mi-mo now knows how he feels. I’m pretty sure that Soo-hyuk won’t make a move towards Mi-mo now that he’s decided to put his love for her away for the final time, so it’s up to Mi-mo to do something about it. Not being someone who’s terribly aware of her own feelings, it could be argued that she’s more than half in love with him already and just doesn’t know it. So hopefully now that she knows how he feels about her, she’ll start to pay attention to her own heart.