Drinking Solo: Episode 13
There is a definite sense of satisfaction in watching the change in attitudes and reversal in dynamics that we’ve been building up to all along. They have been a long time coming, and watching them unfold is every bit as gratifying as I hoped it would be. It’s wonderful to see a needed change come not as something to be struggled against, but embraced with open arms.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Jung-seok savors his solo meal and drinks, once again able to enjoy his “healing time.” Hana buys her breakfast at a convenience store, and on her way out she gets a call from Jung-seok.
He formally asks her to be his girlfriend, making today their first day, and when Hana hesitates in surprise he adorably loses his confidence. But she happily accepts, and they both hang up with gigantic smiles on their faces.
Hana’s phone rings again, and this time it’s Gong-myung, letting her know he still has her watch. Jung-seok sees his brother’s end of the conversation and says that he recognizes Hana’s watch, and asks if the person he’s talking to is the same person he said will be his girlfriend.
Gong-myung confirms that he likes Hana, though it’s a one-sided love for now. Jung-seok tells Gong-myung to focus on his studies, but Gong-myung says he’ll worry about his own personal life, thank you very much.
Jung-seok figures that Gong-myung will lose interest before long, since he’s not exactly known for his stability. He does wonder though, what Hana was doing with Gong-myung at the hospital.
When he picks Hana up for work, Jung-seok asks about the watch, and Hana explains that she witnessed a student get into an accident so she took him to the hospital. He’s satisfied when she doesn’t seem to feel anything for Gong-myung, and he smiles so wide that Hana asks why. He says it’s just because she’s so pretty, hee.
A student walks in front of their car at a stoplight, and Jung-seok has a bit of a freakout, throwing his sunglasses on and telling Hana to duck. He asks Hana to keep their relationship a secret, claiming that he’s just worried about his female students hating or even attacking her, since he’s a Noryangjin celebrity. Dude, you’re not an idol, sheesh.
At the gosiwon, Chae-yeon makes a lunchbox for Gong-myung, and she dithers over whether or not to add a heart-shaped carrot (then throws it in her mouth when Dong-young enters the kitchen, hee). She tells Dong-young that the lunchbox is to thank Gong-myung for carrying her home last night, but he reveals that it was actually Ki-bum who carried her.
Chae-yeon is sure it was Gong-myung, and she even said something to him as he was carrying her. But Dong-young assures her it was Ki-bum, so when Ki-bum comes in, she gives him the lunchbox dejectedly. He doesn’t catch her mood, though, and happily stuffs his face.
Ki-bum is still excited at the thought that Chae-yeon cooked for him as the boys walk to school, and he openly admits to liking her now that he thinks his feelings are reciprocated. He decides to confess properly this time, but Dong-young tells Ki-bum not to do it. He says he’ll only be brutally rejected again, though he doesn’t say how he knows.
Jin-woong is back to work, and back to his old tricks — today he’s role-playing No-Face from W-Two Worlds (with pantyhose over his face, and we even get the chyron effect when he talks, lol). It’s so good to see him back to his old self.
The same can’t be said for Jin-yi, who comes to work in old jeans and a sweatshirt, with a clean face and simple ponytail. She tells her coworkers about her breakup, and Hana follows her to the restroom to check on her.
Jin-yi tells her how he ignored her texts then agreed when she threatened to break up, and she starts to cry as she wonders why she was trying to hard to marry such a jerk. She wails over the heartbreak her ex and (she thinks) Jung-seok are putting the two of them through, and Hana tries not to look guilty.
Ki-bum is angry at Dong-young for telling him not to confess, and he spends study time glaring daggers at Dong-young. He decides that Dong-young just wants him to be miserable too, since he’s unhappy after Joo-yeon broke up with him, so he looks up Joo-yeon on social media and finds something shocking.
He pulls Dong-young into the hallway to ask if Dong-young really thinks he and Joo-yeon will get back together. Dong-young insists they’re only on a break, and Ki-bum takes great pleasure in dropping a bomb on him — Joo-yeon has a new boyfriend.
As proof, Ki-bum shows Dong-young a picture that Joo-yeon posted on her page, of a hand holding up a finger-heart in front of a vase of flowers. There’s a card that’s partially hidden by the hand, and the blanks could be filled in to spell “I love you.” Dong-young argues that the card could say any number of things, but Ki-bum refuses to back down.
There’s a teachers’ meeting to discuss student evaluations, and as expected, Jung-seok’s students love him. Jin-woong hilariously reveals one negative comment and Jung-seok glares at him, hee. Jin-yi’s evaluations are also good, though one student says that her English pronunciation is bad. That sends her out of the room weeping that that’s probably why her boyfriend dumped her, awww.
Jin-woong’s students only talk about his impersonations, which annoys Director Kim. He starts to do No-Face again, which kind of alarms Jung-seok (who I’m sure has no idea what he’s doing since watching dramas is low-class), until Director Kim blows up and yanks the pantyhose off his head.
Last up is Hana, whose teaching scores are pretty good, though one student complains about her tacky appearance. Director Kim tells her to go shopping, agreeing that she dresses boring, and Jung-seok leaps to her defense, ordering Director Kim to apologize.
Hana shakes her head at him, and he says it’s just about teachers’ integrity. But she gets her apology, and shoots him a grateful smile which tickles him pink. He leaves the meeting beaming, and Director Kim and Jin-woong wonder if he’s Hana’s boyfriend or something.
Gong-myung finally finds Hana to return her Mickey Mouse watch, and in return she gives him a gift certificate for books.
Chae-yeon has a new suitor, and when she turns him down as usual. She gives him her standard, “If you came to Noryangjin to study, then study” line, sending him slinking away, and making Gong-myung (who saw the whole thing) sigh that she hasn’t changed.
Chae-yeon calls the guy pathetic, but Gong-myung asks if there’s a law saying you can’t study and like someone at the same time. If anything, he thinks that it can help you study even better, and make you feel less lonely. He’s talking about his own desire to impress Hana, but Chae-yeon thinks he’s talking about studying with her.
Jung-seok lights up when he sees Hana and decides to invite her to lunch, but he’s beaten to the punch by Director Kim and Jin-woong. He shocks all three of them by tagging along, lamely saying that he just wanted company today, though Hana knows what he’s doing and grins to herself.
When they arrive at the restaurant, a comment about Jin-yi buying new shoes sends her wailing out, crying that her boyfriend probably broke up with her because she spends too much money.
Hana prepares the shabu-shabu, and Jung-seok surprises everyone by offering to take over when she burns her hand. He prepares everyone’s bowls, hilariously giving Hana all the meat, making the other guys complain.
Jin-woong asks if Jung-seok likes Hana, pointing out how solicitous he’s being with her today, throwing him off and making him bluster. Jin-woong even remembers how Jung-seok turned down his blind date because he likes someone else.
But just as Jung-seok and Hana start to think they’re caught, Director Kim reminds them of how Jung-seok called Hana low-quality. Poor Jung-seok doesn’t know whether to be relieved, or embarrassed to be reminded of his awful words.
After lunch when they’re alone, Jung-seok asks Hana if he was too obvious. She teases that he was, and he asks her to a movie after work. Obviously it’s an art film, because he only likes highbrow movies and music. He tells Hana loftily that she should adjust her own tastes to meet his, and keep their relationship high-quality.
He also tells her that he hates when people get obsessed when they’re dating, so he wants them to respect each other’s personal lives. Ha, that’s going to come back and bite him in the ass, isn’t it?
Ki-bum sees a new picture on Joo-yeon’s webpage, and triumphantly shows Dong-young his newest proof that she’s dating a new guy. It’s a picture of a meal she’s having, and you can see the reflection of a man’s watch in the water glass, and a man’s face in the spoon. Dong-young says the guy could be a relative or just a friend, though he’s secretly starting to get worried.
Chae-yeon runs into an old college friend while shopping for school supplies with Gong-myung. The “friend” looks disappointed to see Chae-yeon studying for the civil service exam, and humble-brags to Chae-yeon about her shiny new job, making even Gong-myung roll his eyes.
She gives Chae-yeon her business card, and tells her to buck up, that she won’t be “stuck” forever. Seeing her depresses Chae-yeon, so Gong-myung takes her to a street game where she can break tiles and relieve her stress.
When Chae-yeon hesitates, Gong-myung says that he could tell she really wanted to smack that girl earlier. He tells Chae-yeon to pretend the stack of tiles is the girl’s face, and she shocks him by smashing every tile in one blow. Wow.
Cut to: Gong-myung carrying a teddy bear as big as he is, hee. Chae-yeon tells him to keep it, admitting that she did relieve some stress, and Gong-myung reassures her that someday she’ll be even more successful than her old classmate.
Chae-yeon suggests that they study separately from now on, since she feels she should focus more in the future. She thinks he’s ready to study on his own, but Gong-myung isn’t to confident, so he thinks of a way for her to keep an eye on him.
At the end of the work day Director Kim invites everyone out for drinks to cheer up Jin-yi, but she’s afraid she’ll get drunk and do something stupid. Director Kim calls her rational, which makes her cry again, wondering if that’s why she got dumped. Oh, sweetie. Jung-seok leaves with a pointed look at Hana, and she rushes out right after him. Jin-woong also heads straight home, making Director Kim wonder what’s gotten into everyone.
At the movie theater, Jung-seok forbids Hana to have popcorn because he finds the chewing sound distracting. He also nixes her idea of getting a couple seat, because this is a classy film and he doesn’t want a single distraction. He wants them to maintain a top-quality dating culture.
He then proceeds to spend the entire movie watching Hana with a goofy grin on his face — so much for avoiding distraction, hee. When his hand accidentally brushes hers, he has a little mini-freakout, until she moves her hand away. She doesn’t put her hand back within reach, which makes Jung-seok stretch his pinky finger over to her side of the armrest, trying to gain even the tiniest bit of skinship. So cute.
Ki-bum gleefully shows Dong-young the newest picture that Joo-yeon posted, which was taken in a car. They can see the GPS leading the driver to a hotel, and a man’s face clearly reflected in the rear-view mirror.
Though Dong-young hates to admit it, the evidence does seem to point to Joo-yeon dating a new man. He angrily tells Ki-bum to leave him alone, but Ki-bum is all too happy to remind him that he’s the one who will be heartbroken, not Ki-bum for confessing to Chae-yeon as Dong-young said.
Dong-young goes to the roof to call Joo-yeon, and he gets emotional and accuses her of getting flowers, and eating, and going to a hotel with a new guy. He calls her an ugly name and hangs up, so she sends him a series of angry text messages.
She sends more pictures, proving that the flowers were from her boss, the lunch included all her colleagues, and that her entire work department was in the car on the way to a birthday party. Oh Dong-young, you done stepped in it now.
Joo-yeon texts that she’s upset that he’s snooping around on her social media site instead of studying. She says that she’s been conflicted since they broke up, but now she can let him go, knowing that he’s that kind of guy. It’s over.
Hana obviously paid more attention to the movie than Jung-seok, who doesn’t even know what she’s talking about when she mentions the dog dying, ha. He admits that he was more interested in watching Hana, which is adorable.
She gets a call from Jin-yi, who’s crying again and wants to go out clubbing. Hana asks if Jung-seok minds, and he reminds her that they agreed not to interfere in each other’s personal lives. He doesn’t seem too thrilled to hear about the clubbing, though.
Gong-myung’s idea is for he and Chae-yeon to study separately, but with their laptops open so they can watch each other on video. He nods off at one point, though he’s thought ahead and put a note on top of his head for her to wake him up if he falls asleep, ha.
The note makes Chae-yeon smile, and she quietly thanks Gong-myung for that before calling him to wake him up. He sets his giant teddy bear in his chair while he goes to wash his face, making her smile more, and she recalls his words that it’s okay to like someone while you’re studying.
While Hana goes out with Jin-yi, Jung-seok takes himself out to enjoy some solo healing time. But he can’t concentrate today, preoccupied with thoughts of his girl out at a club, surrounded by men. He reminds himself that they agreed not to interfere in each other’s lives.
At the club, Jin-yi tells Hana that she went to her boyfriend’s workplace, but he refused to see her. Hana agrees that he’s a Jerky McJerkface, while Jin-yi cries that he probably met someone younger and prettier.
Jin-yi heads to the dance floor, where she makes a bit of a scene with her sexy dance moves. She grinds up against one man, then she’s horrified when he turns around and she realizes he’s an ex-student. Whoops. Jin-yi extracts herself from the situation as quickly as she can, and slinks back to their table.
She notices a familiar face a few tables away… OMG it’s Jung-seok, utterly failing to pretend he’s not here to check up on Hana. Of course Jin-yi doesn’t know that, and she heads over to ask why he’s here. Jung-seok plays it cool, as if he goes to clubs alone aallll the time, and the ladies go back to their table, confused.
A pair of guys decide that Hana is cute, and one of them (cameo by Kim Ji-suk) heads over to make a move. As he walks by Jung-seok’s table, Jung-seok sticks a foot out to trip him, then gives him a hand up and pulls him in close.
Jung-seok growls in the guy’s ear that that’s his girlfriend, but the guy doesn’t believe him since they’re sitting apart. His friend calls out, “Hey, Jin-sang!” and both he and Jung-seok turn, then look at each other in confusion. HA, they’re both named Jin-sang, but Jung-seok’s threat works and the two guys retreat to the dance floor.
Ki-bum finds Dong-young drinking his sorrows, and stops to rub it in even further, that Joo-yeon hasn’t updated her page since the last hotel picture. Dong-young head-butts him, then informs Ki-bum that Joo-yeon didn’t have a new guy, but because of his interference, he and Joo-yeon are now officially done.
Ki-bum backs down, and asks why Dong-young said that he’d be humiliated if he confesses to Chae-yeon. Tired of Ki-bum’s behavior, Dong-young says that it’s because Chae-yeon likes Gong-myung, not him. He tells him that Chae-yeon thought it was Gong-myung who carried her home, and Ki-bum looks devastated.
Hana can’t relax, knowing that Jung-seok is two tables away, but Jin-yi thinks it’s a sign that she should proposition him. She plans to make her ex jealous, so she saunters over to make her move (after verifying that Hana no longer has feelings for him, which she’s forced to confirm).
Hana watches helplessly as Jin-yi sits and gives Jung-seok her sexiest smile, and whispers something in his ear. He leans close and whispers something back, and Jin-yi comes back to their table. She cringes, humiliated, saying that she just got soundly rejected.
We see that she’d asked Jung-seok if he wanted to go somewhere private with her, and he’d whispered back for her never to act like she knows him outside of work. PWAHAHA. Jin-yi literally runs out to grab a taxi, and Hana follows her outside. Jung-seok joins Hana after Jin-yi is gone, and gives her the sweetest, most sheepish smile ever.
Gong-myung texts Chae-yeon when she disappears from the computer screen, and she responds that she went out for food. She stands for a moment, looking at his picture, which is when Ki-bum walks up behind her and asks if she likes Gong-myung. At first she denies it, but Ki-bum pushes until she admits that she does like his friend.
As they walk, Hana asks Jung-seok if he really likes to dance alone, and he confesses that he only went to the club to see her. He admits that even though he was the one who wanted to keep their dating a secret, he’s the one accidentally letting the world know.
He thinks it’s funny that he wanted to watch the movie but spent the whole time watching Hana, and that he said they should respect each other’s private lives then followed her to the club. He asks if Hana is disappointed in him, but she says that she likes him even more now. She wasn’t sure she’d be okay with keeping things so “high-quality,” but now she knows he feels the same way she does.
That makes Jung-seok break out in the biggest smile, and he asks Hana if there’s anything she wants him to do. She just asks him not to have a change of heart, because she doesn’t want to lose the happiness she’s feeling. Awww.
On his way home, Gong-myung’s bus pauses at a stop, and he glances up from his studying to see Jung-seok standing at the corner. He wonders why he’s there, until another bus pulls away, revealing that Jung-seok is talking to Hana.
Before Gong-myung even has time to process what’s happening, Jung-seok steps close to Hana and hugs her. Gong-myung can only stare in shock as his brother embraces the woman he likes.
Oof, so many broken puppy hearts! First of all, as much as I love Ki-bum, his mean streak is a mile wide, and what he did to Dong-young was beyond cruel. To go after him so hard, deliberately trying to hurt his friend, was much worse than Dong-young advising him not to confess to Chae-yeon (and trying to keep him from being hurt!). I’m not a fan of telling others’ secrets, but I don’t blame Dong-young for telling Ki-bum that Chae-yeon likes Gong-myung, because what Ki-bum did to him was really horrible. Ki-bum needs to focus on studying, and being a better person before Chae-yeon or any girl will be willing to date him. At this point I’m rooting for Chae-yeon and Gong-myung to get together, and for Ki-bum to find his purpose in improving himself rather than getting a girlfriend.
If Jin-woong squeezed my heart last week, this episode was all about Jin-yi’s broken heart, and I really felt for her. I think she had every reason to expect a proposal from a guy she’s been dating for five years, because by that time if the man isn’t thinking along those lines, he should be honest about it. It was hard to watch Jin-yi looking for a reason for the breakup so desperately, when in reality, he’s probably just a douchebag who doesn’t appreciate how sweet and loyal and wonderful she is. He didn’t deserve her.
I do wonder though, how much of Jin-yi’s sadness is because this guy didn’t pan out, and how much is really from losing her dream of having a husband and family — she really has never talked about loving him, just that she’s ready to get married at her age. If she’s really just upset because she’s seeing her wedding bells fading away, and not devastated because the man she loved turned out to be such a jerk (seriously, who just ghosts on the woman you’ve been dating for five years??), then she’ll be able to bounce back from it and move on much faster.
And let’s not forget Gong-myung, who is going to be absolutely devastated that his brother is dating the woman he likes. He may be immature, but I believe that his feelings for Hana are genuine, and I’ve always appreciated that he likes her for the right reasons — her intelligence and maturity. I have to say though, I wouldn’t mind if his crush was more hero-worship than true feelings of love, just so that he’s not completely destroyed by her feelings for Jung-seok. To be honest, I do think that he’s better suited for Chae-yeon. He’s really his best self around her, supportive and respectful and a very good friend, and she in turn could do with a little drawing out of her shell.
I thought it was the best karma ever for Jung-seok to listen to his own words about Hana being low-quality coming from the mouths of his coworkers, and right in front of her at that. Not only was he obviously super uncomfortable to be reminded of his horrid statements, but now that he and Hana are together, he had to see her wilt all over again and not even be able to defend her honor. Now that he admits that she’s not low-quality, he was probably dying to correct Jin-woong and Director Kim, but his own leftover remnants of ego wouldn’t let him. He’s a better man than that, we know that about him now, and I’m guessing this whole secret dating thing won’t last long now that Jung-seok really cares about Hana. Even he admits that he’s the one spilling the beans! He’ll want to tell everyone how awesome she is, so he’s going to be forced to eat a lot of crow.
I loved seeing how giddy Hana makes Jung-seok, no matter how hard he tries to hide it. If anyone blows their secret dating cover, it will be him, with his heart-filled eyes and goofy smiles every time she does something cute. It’s fun seeing him get dragged into socializing, both at work and in his private time, just because he wants to spend time with her. The shy little smiles he gives Hana when he admits that he was watching her instead of the movie, or when he confesses that he doesn’t really dance and just followed her to the club, are just so adorable. And I love that Hana doesn’t need to do anything to make him admit how he feels — he’s more than willing to accept that he’s changing, and admit it out loud, all on his own. I like that Jung-seok is showing Hana his soft underbelly, and happy to do so, and I hope for his sake that he’s able to relax around others soon, as well.
- Drinking Solo: Episode 12
- Drinking Solo: Episode 11
- Drinking Solo: Episode 10
- Drinking Solo: Episode 9
- Drinking Solo: Episode 8
- Drinking Solo: Episode 7
- Drinking Solo: Episode 6
- Drinking Solo: Episode 5
- Drinking Solo: Episode 4
- Drinking Solo: Episode 3
- Drinking Solo: Episode 2
- Drinking Solo: Episode 1