Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 8
It’s Eul’s turn to run scared from her feelings — but as much as she wants to hide from what’s happening, Eul can’t hide from her own emotions. Luckily Joon-young is even more stubborn than she is, and it will take more strength than Eul’s got to keep denying that there’s something between them.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Joon-young finally tells Eul that he loves her, but she doesn’t believe him. Her brother warned her not to be drawn in by him again, and Eul cries, knowing she’s already falling. She screams that she’s crazy, and Joon-young kisses her.
Listening from the other side of the wall, Ji-tae nearly bangs on it to let Eul know he’s there. But he stops himself, and instead he just leans his head on the wall, defeated.
Joon-young pulls back and, looking Eul right in the eyes, says, “Never once did I use you or toy with you. Focus on me. Listen to my heart. I love you, Eul-ah.” Eul doesn’t say a word, but turns away, and Joon-young calls after her not to go. His voice chokes up with tears, and he begs her again, “Don’t go, Eul-ah.” She stops for a moment, then walks away.
She only manages to get past his outer door before she starts to cry, and Joon-young is left alone, fighting back his own tears. Ji-tae follows Eul home from a distance, unseen, and he witnesses how shaken she is by Joon-young’s confession.
Yuna, the actress that Joon-young’s agent Namgoong told the reporters he’s dating, does a television interview in which she confirms the rumor. Eul hides in bed while her friend Na-ri glares at the TV when the actress claims that she knew all about the supposed “distraction” ploy using Eul.
She asks Eul if she was in on this plan, and Eul brightly says that she played along on Joon-young’s request. Eul gets a good scolding for not telling anyone it was all an act, and scaring her brother and friends by disappearing.
Agent Namgoong also watches Yuna’s interview and jokes that she’s a better actress than she gets credit for. Gook-young is uncomfortable with lying to the entire nation, but the fans are turning back around to support Joon-young, calling his behavior chivalrous and thoughtful.
Gook-young asks what Yuna is getting out of lying like this, and apparently she’s getting a lot of offers now. Her career had been tanking, but now she’s gaining prestige just from “dating” Joon-young. Even Eul’s reputation has improved — when it was thought she was dating Joon-young, as a commoner, she was being criticized as a gold-digger. But now she’s being praised for sacrificing herself to help a friend.
The really strange thing is Joon-young’s silence on the matter. They expected him to be furious, but he hasn’t said a word to anyone about it. It makes his team nervous that they haven’t heard from him.
Jik’s entire class at school is treated to burgers, apparently by Jik’s hyung, but Jik is mystified and can’t think who would have done this. He’s called to the principal’s office to find Joon-young there signing autographs for the teachers, but he doesn’t look pleased to see Joon-young.
They go to the roof to talk, and Jik refuses to shake Joon-young’s hand. He mentally adds up how much it cost to feed the entire school and promises to pay the huge sum back when he can, but Joon-young refuses to give his account number.
Looking much less guarded than usual, Joon-young simply says that he likes Eul, so much that he’s going crazy. He can’t eat, he can’t sleep, he can’t even breathe. He asks for Jik’s help, wanting him to tell his sister not to run away from him, and to trust him. Oof, he’s being so nakedly sincere, it’s almost hard to watch — but Jik just says again that he’ll repay Joon-young’s money as soon as he can.
Despite her claims to Na-ri, Eul can’t stop thinking about Joon-young’s confession and the kiss from last night. Ji-tae is also distracted at work, recalling the previous evening’s events, and his assistant notices and asks if he can speak as a friend for a minute.
He tells Ji-tae to stop — he’s already gone too far with this, and it’s time to apologize to Jung-eun and give up on Eul. If Eul finds out who Ji-tae really is, or if his parents or Jung-eun find out who Eul is… but Ji-tae interrupts, saying that his minute is up.
Joon-young is sitting in his car outside Eul’s apartment when Ji-tae arrives, dressed as Hyun-woo. Ji-tae goes up to Eul’s door and reaches for the bell, but Joon-young runs up and rings it first. Heh.
Eul opens the door and immediately tries to close it again, but Joon-young’s foot wedges it open. He gives her a cute little Yeah, not gonna work squint when she keeps trying to slam the door, and she has to let him and Ji-tae in.
Ji-tae has brought food, and Joon-young objects to his trying to feed Eul. Eul sighs that she’s fine, but Ji-tae is in full-on papa mode and tells her that she looks like she’s about to expire from hunger. He holds out the spoonful of porridge again, but just as Eul is about to eat, Joon-young swoops down and snaps up the bite like a hungry raptor. HA.
Eul gets annoyed and tells them both to leave. She grabs her coat and exits the apartment herself, while Joon-young hollers petulantly that “Koreans should eat rice!!”
Still inside, Joon-young eats the porridge and says that Ji-tae is weird, rejecting Eul but still hanging around her. He wants to say something about Ji-tae claiming he has no right to love Eul, and argues that he can love whoever he wants. Ji-tae smiles and says that he’s correct — there no such thing as “having the right” to love someone.
He actually thanks Joon-young for clearing that up for him, and Joon-young asks, “Who are you?” He points out Ji-tae’s luxury watch, which would belie his claim that he’s poor and unemployed. He asks if Ji-tae is a scammer, but Ji-tae says that it doesn’t matter who they are beyond two men who happen to love the same woman.
Ji-tae checks his phone to find a message from Haru, who’s frantic because their mother just collapsed. He rushes to the hospital to find Jung-eun already there, and she explains that she and his mom were at the sauna when Mom collapsed with chest pains.
Ji-tae accuses her of doing something to his mother, but Haru says that Mom is alive because Jung-eun got her to the hospital so quickly. Jung-eun apologizes for not taking better care of his mother, and Haru bursts into tears because she was so scared when she couldn’t reach Ji-tae.
Jung-eun tells Ji-tae that his mother should be fine, her collapse was just a side effect of her recent kidney transplant. Ji-tae doesn’t acknowledge her and Haru threatens to tell their father when he gets home from his business trip, but Jung-eun calms her.
Joon-young goes looking for Eul and finds her in a restaurant stuffing her face, and HA, she looks so guilty when she spots him. He waves at her to finish and come outside, so she eats slowly and even orders seconds, to put off a conversation. She’s sick by the time she finishes, and Joon-young drags her off to see a doctor.
Eul snaps at him that she’s not easy or a pushover, and poor Joon-young just looks confused at her anger. He says that he just saw that she looked sick and felt responsible, so he wanted to help her feel better, that’s all. He covers his face again and warns her not to make a scene when they just got the press off their backs, and Eul tells him to stop worrying about how she feels.
But Joon-young has no intention of doing that, or of letting her go. He gets her to his car and asks if she wants to avoid him so badly that she’d make herself sick, and Eul says that she does. She tells him to drop her off at the hospital and get lost, and she’s surprised when he quickly agrees.
He says cryptically that he’ll disappear from her sight and she’ll never see him again… but not quite yet. He’ll do it in about three or four months. Eul just says that she plans to cling to Ji-tae again, to harass him until he accepts her, but she doesn’t get the rise out of Joon-young that she’s trying for.
They arrive at their destination, but it’s not a hospital — it’s Joon-young’s mother’s restaurant. He tells Eul to just say she hates him if his mom tries to run her off, but swears that mom is great at folk remedies.
Awww, Mom is definitely not happy to see Joon-young enter her restaurant, though she immediately clocks that Joon-young is holding Eul’s hand. All of the customers are ushered out of the place, and the restaurant is closed so they can talk.
Joon-young refuses to let go of Eul’s hand until she promises not to run off, and when he does, she formally introduces herself. Ajusshi recognizes her as the “gold-digger,” so Eul launches into the cover story cooked up by Agent Namgoong. Joon-young asks his mother to prick Eul’s thumb (a folk remedy believed to settle upset stomachs), and Eul tries to beg off while Mom just looks at her searchingly.
Eul promises that she’s really not a gold-digger, and that she and Joon-young aren’t dating. Ajusshi says that’s obviously not true — she’s the first girl Joon-young has ever brought to meet his mother, so there must be something between them. Joon-young just nods and says that this is the girl he likes. Hee, he looks so proud to show her off to his mom.
Eul pipes up that Gook-young says he’s not in his right mind lately, ha, but Joon-young just says that he can’t stop thinking about her — for the past nine years. He realized that he’s in love with her two weeks ago. Eul says his name in a warning tone, and he just smirks at her.
Eul speaks out that she knows where she stands, and promises Mom that she’ll avoid Joon-young no matter what he does. She even offers to put in in writing, which alarms Joon-young, but she keeps burping from her indigestion and Mom softens enough to come over and pat her back.
Mom relents to prick Eul’s finger to relieve her discomfort, and Eul begs her not to poke her hard just because she hates her. That makes Mom pause, and she says she doesn’t hate Eul. Then she sticks her, and Eul screams so loud that Joon-young flinches out in the dining room.
Ajusshi brings out a soju to share with Joon-young, and asks how he could fall in love with someone who wears such cheap sneakers. Joon-young wonders that himself, when he could have any woman he wanted, and Ajusshi says he’s just like his father.
He was also surrounded by pretty, rich women, but he fell for Joon-young’s mother. But Ajusshi grumbles that eventually you forget about the cheap sneakers, upset that with all his money and power, Assemblyman Choi has never tracked down Joon-young’s mom.
Speaking of Assemblyman Choi, he rushes home from his trip and goes to the hospital to see his wife, but Jung-eun stops Ji-tae from following him. She suggests he change clothes, since he’s still wearing his cheap Hyun-woo outfit and dad might figure out he’s fallen for a poor girl. Ji-tae just says he’ll have his assistant drive Jung-eun home so he can be with his family.
His mother’s doctor tells her that she’s fine, but she says that she’s worried about her health and her life. Her husband gave her a kidney, but that only extends the recipient’s life by ten to fifteen years, and it could fail at any time. She asks the doctor to tell her husband that she’s fragile, and that she should be showered with attention so she can rest.
Assemblyman Choi arrives, truly shaken at his wife’s collapse, and the doctor lies that he’s concerned. Choi asks what he should do to make sure she’s taken good care of.
Ji-tae gets suited up, and thinks about what Jung-eun just told him. She told his mother she wants to become part of the family soon, so they decided to move the wedding up to a month from now, on his parents’ anniversary. She’d said that his mother was thrilled, but the look on her face was practically predatory.
Joon-young joins his mother in the kitchen and asks her if Eul isn’t pretty, like she used to be. “But she won’t become like you.” He promises that he won’t let Eul suffer, or run off like Mom did, but Mom just pretends she’s not listening. Joon-young isn’t bothered, and continues that he won’t let Eul go… “I won’t give up on her even if I die.”
Out in the dining room, Ajusshi and Eul hear every word. Ajusshi tells Eul that even though he’s a top star, Joon-young’s mother never cooks him a warm meal when he comes, and Eul asks how they ended up like this. Ajusshi gives her the bare bones, but tells her that she’ll have to get the details from Joon-young.
When Joon-young drives Eul home, he tells her that his mother was a single mom, and was only twenty-two when she had him. When he was in high school she worked in a bar to pay for a tutor, and even got in trouble for trying to bribe his teacher. After that, he hated going to school.
He tells Eul a few more embarrassing stories about his mother, like how she stole something when he was in second grade, and asks if Eul still thinks he’s out of her league now that she knows where he comes from. Eul just softly thanks him for helping her upset stomach, and goes up to her apartment.
Ji-tae is worried that his father will collapse too if he doesn’t get some rest, but Dad is determined to stay by his wife’s side. So Ji-tae goes home, but he heads right back out when Eul texts him to meet for some food. Before he gets to her, his father calls him and apologizes “for everything,” promising to be a better father.
The restaurant unni serves Eul extra side dishes as a thank you for supposedly being a decoy for Joon-young and Yuna, figuring she probably did fall for Joon-young at some point. It’s easier to accept than deny it, so Eul eats, and Unni asks if she’s been dumped by anyone else besides Joon-young and Ji-tae. Then she packs up the food again when she hears Ji-tae is on his way, heh.
But Ji-tae is still standing by the road, shaken by his father’s promise and his conflicting loyalties. He ignores Eul’s calls, and his food goes cold.
Gook-young and Agent Namgoong show up at Joon-young’s home ready to beg for his forgiveness for lying about his relationship with Yuna. But Joon-young says they did well, confusing them both. He goes to his room and collapses on his bed, exhausted and frustrated.
Ji-tae never shows, and Eul mutters that she’d planned to ask him to hold her back. But now, “I don’t care. It’s all his fault.” She leaves the restaurant and starts to make a call.
But it’s not Ji-tae’s phone that chimes — it’s Joon-young’s. He jumps up and climbs in his car, smiling ear-to-ear, and peels out. Whatever she’d called to say, he wants her to say it to his face, and he finds her sitting by the Han River waiting for him.
He approaches her, still smiling happily, but when she turns to look at him Joon-young’s vision suddenly goes blurry. He becomes disoriented, but he keeps his gaze on her, and internally he thinks, “You were sorely mistaken if you thought I would fall or give up or step aside over something like this.”
His vision clears, and he walks the rest of the way to Eul. She stands, and Joon-young smiles again and pulls her into a big, warm hug. “Come at me with everything you have. I will never despair, be sad, or succumb.”
AUGH, every time I start to forget that this isn’t just a love story, the show yanks me back to “reality” by reminding me that Joon-young is dying. His time is short, and it’s heartbreaking how he keeps obliquely referring to it, like when he told Eul that he’d only bother her for a few months then he’d disappear forever. Speaking of which, now that we know what Joon-young is dying of, I understand why he’s choosing not to pursue treatment — I actually knew someone who had his same kind of brain cancer, and it’s a particularly vicious and aggressive form, with a very low survival rate even with treatment. And the treatment makes the patient very ill, so I can see why he would rather live what little time he has left without being so sick. It’s definitely more appealing to spend his remaining time loving Eul.
It’s interesting that first it was Joon-young trying to avoid Eul because of his feelings, and then it was Eul doing her best to avoid Joon-young. That tells me that she does have feelings for him, no matter how much she denies it, because why spend so much energy avoiding him if he poses no threat? I can definitely understand why she’s trying to keep some distance, because Joon-young has never been a “safe” bet emotionally, and a few easy words aren’t going to change that. He’s going to need to show her that he’s sincere and that he truly does love her, before she starts to trust him. But at least now she’s admitting that she does have feelings for him, even if she wishes she doesn’t, and I’m glad Joon-young will have a chance to prove she can let herself relax around him.
And luckily, he seems to already be doing just that. Joon-young has certainly changed his tactics in regards to Eul, and I really like this new, softer person he’s becoming. I mentioned before that he was coming on way too strong out of fear and desperation that he’s running out of time, and that understandably scared Eul off. She knows him, but she doesn’t know that he’s sick and only has a few months left. She only knows that he comes on all aggressive with a girl, then drops her just as quickly when he tires of her — in fact, he did it with Eul herself back in school. So from Eul’s perspective, he’s been doing that exact same thing with her again now, and it’s no wonder she doesn’t trust what he says.
I’m really impressed with how thoughtful Joon-young is becoming as well, now that he’s decided to pursue Eul more gently instead of just bulldozing her. The first thing he did after their confrontation was reach out to Jik, which proves that he was actually listening and absorbing what Eul was saying the night before. Joon-young still does things in a hilariously over-the-top way, but you gotta admit, buying lunch for Jik’s entire school certainly got the kid’s attention. But I like that Joon-young figured out that Jik is the one person whose opinion Eul truly cares about… so if he wants to win over Eul, first he has to win over her little brother.
And in addition to being impressed, I’m also pretty charmed by how freaking adorable Joon-young’s feelings for Eul are, now that he’s showing them openly. He was practically giddy when he took her to meet Mom, so proud to show her off and tell his mother how much he loves her. He was completely unconcerned that Eul isn’t on the same page as him, and it’s kind of cute that he’s happy to just be in love, even if she doesn’t feel the same way (yet?). Now that he’s not trying to push her into feeling something for him, he’s settled into a more adoring position, and he’s lost his intimidating aura. I like this softer, sweeter Joon-young — he’s gone from this scary unpredictable live wire to a big old squishy love bear, and it’s just the best thing.