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Jealousy Incarnate: Episode 20

Feelings are discovered and clean breaks are made, but a lull never lasts long in dramaland, and it’s time to bring skeletons out of closets, have long-overdue fights, and then maybe fight about not fighting. And I don’t know about anyone else, but this hour really leaves me craving—crazy craving!—ramyun.

 
EPISODE 20 RECAP

Hwa-shin leans over Na-ri and they kiss. In voiceover, he asks her to date him now, please. When they take a breath, she laugh-cries about how wronged she feels and hugs him tight. He declares they’ll date starting today.

Hwa-shin sneaks Na-ri into the kitchen of the empty staff canteen. He starts to make ramyun for her and, but his technique and frequent questions make her guess that he doesn’t actually know what he’s doing, although he insists he does. She remembers his ex saying how he never used to lift a finger, and he replies indignantly that she and Na-ri aren’t even comparable—he never made her ramyun.

She peeks over his shoulder to see if it’s done, and his eyes crinkle with a smile as she squees that it’s exactly her style. They sit down to eat, Na-ri still trying to get him to admit it’s his first time making it. In his mumbly way, he says they’ll have ramyun together a thousand more times, but in the face of her smirk, he finishes with a huffy, “Can you just believe me?”

Falling into giggles, Na-ri asks, “When you say, ‘Let’s eat ramyun a thousand times,’ is that a proposal?” She says that if they have it every three days, it would take three thousand days and that’s nearly ten years. “It’s not a proposal,” Hwa-shin laughs in reply.

Na-ri decides to sleep at the station and they part in front of her room. But before Hwa-shin turns the corner, he turns back to her. “I’m sorry. For making you lonely for so long,” he says, with a heavy sigh, “I regret wasting that time, too.”

He’s heartened by her reply that she hasn’t been so good lately either, and asks her to hang out with him instead of sleeping, plucking at her sleeve like a 6-year-old. Finding it endearing, she laughs and sends him on his way. Back in his dorm, he growls to himself that she’s so cute. Hahaha.

In the morning, Na-ri practices her steps for the election broadcast, thinking to herself that it’s possible she can do better than Hye-won. Ja-young watches her from the mezzanine above, pleased by her diligence.

Madam Kim drops in on Jung-won. She remarks on not seeing Na-ri around lately, but he just says she’s been busy. Madam Kim’s also heard that Na-ri is doing election coverage, and tells Jung-won to prepare outfits for her to wear for it.

Meanwhile, the news comes though of Hye-won’s father’s resignation from his government post. Announcer Uhm and PD Oh sigh that it’s a shame, but from behind his newspaper, Hwa-shin pipes up that they needn’t worry, “Our Pyo Na-ri can do well, too.” The other two turn to him in surprise. “Our Pyo Na-ri?” repeats PD Oh. Out of view, Hwa-shin smiles giddily to himself.

Hye-won finishes a call with her father. Looking bitterly at Na-ri, she says to herself that if he were going to resign, he should’ve done it just a bit sooner.

Hwa-shin shares an elevator with Sung-sook. Still bursting with little smiles, he tells her she’s pretty today, and says he understands now why his brother married her. Sourly, she points out that they also divorced, then his brother died, and now she’s about to lose her daughter. If he understands why his brother married her now, when will he understand all the things that happened after that, she asks. Lols. A good question. She guesses he must be dating, but smiles to herself all the same.

In the studio, they run through a full-team rehearsal for the election coverage, and Hwa-shin coaches Na-ri on diction, presenting in time with the graphics, and placing her steps correctly. Hye-won comes to watch, just as they switch off the autocue to simulate a broadcasting accident.

Hwa-shin improvises smartly by discussing the two opposing candidates’ election promises. He hands over to Na-ri, who talks about past turnouts, and then looks at him for approval. “Is that it?” Hwa-shin asks, and tells her it was dull. Hye-won steps onto the stage and makes a lively case about key historical figures who had all once been mayors of Seoul.

That was interesting, Hwa-shin says proudly, and Hye-won hands each of them a coffee. Having made her point, she tells them to do well and sees herself off.

Jung-won comes to Na-ri’s building and drops off the outfits—one for each part. She tries to turn him down, but he says that he’s also dressing Hwa-shin. “You really are stubborn,” she says, giving him a hard look. She asks him to stop coming, and he reproaches her for being so cold towards him. “I’ll do well,” she tells him. “Of course,” he replies.

Election day is here, and Na-ri prepares herself. Looking in the mirror, she tells herself that she can do it. Ja-young comes in with coffee and advice, and says that the most important thing is not to be nervous. Since it’s live and unscripted, she says Na-ri also has to pay close attention to reading numbers.

Ready to go at the newsdesk, Hwa-shin notes Na-ri’s nerves and snaps his fingers for her attention. He proceeds to make faces at her and makes her do mouth-stretches to loosen up. He slides a note over to her: “Don’t be nervous.” And another: “You’re not alone.” “You have me.” He hesitates a moment before sliding over one more: “I love you ♥” They look at each other, smiling, and Na-ri slips the notes into her pocket.

The live broadcast begins. But disaster strikes when one of the graphics shows the bar graph for the percentage of votes to each candidate the wrong way around (which Na-ri reads first), while the number of votes remains correct. Not noticing the problem, she thus reports the wrong candidate in the lead, while panic builds behind the cameras.

Amid the confusion, they confirm the numbers are correct, so Hwa-shin cuts in to take over from Na-ri. She at last realizes the mistake, and Dong-gi finally gets rid of the offending graphic. Hwa-shin hands over to a field report, and as soon as the on-air light is off, he goes to a wide-eyed Na-ri and tells her it’s okay. Smiling, he encourages her to forget this. But on his way back to the desk, he growls at Dong-gi to do his work properly.

Hwa-shin’s mom and Madam Kim are watching at Rak Pasta. Hwa-shin’s mom remarks that Jung-won’s girlfriend is making mistakes, and figures Jung-won must like her a whole lot, to choose her over Soo-jung. Madam Kim fierily rejoins that it’s Na-ri who likes Jung-won more.

Back in the studio, they begin to report regional results across a map of Seoul’s districts, but the CGI team mess up with another wrong graphic, and Na-ri finds herself pointing at a blank space, even though she’s on her mark. As she tries to adjust to it, the team change it, and she’s in the wrong place again. This is terrible!

Dong-gi has a meltdown up in the control room, and they find out that they’re tanking in the ratings. Na-ri’s uncertainty shows, and once again, Hwa-shin strides in and smoothes it over, to the seniors’ collective relief.

In the interval, Na-ri clips out of the studio. PD Oh tells Hwa-shin that the SBC president just said that Na-ri will be fired from the morning news if she makes another mistake. Hwa-shin goes in search of her, but pauses uncertainly outside the bathrooms. Inside, Na-ri tries practising a few lines. “I can do it,” she repeats to herself, reminding herself that she does live broadcasts every day.

Finally, Hwa-shin goes in, and takes Na-ri’s hands in his. She churns in agitation and he tells her again not to dwell on her first half mistakes—she can do this…can’t she? She calms, but a tiny flicker of uncertainty crosses his face.

Bursting into an empty stairwell, Hwa-shin locks a cigarette between his teeth as he thinks. He seems to come to a decision, and stops Na-ri on her way out of the loos. He warns her that making one more mistake would have big consequences for her, and says, “You decide. Can you do part two?” There’s a long pause, and he asks if he should swap her out.

She still hasn’t said a word, when he nods and says, “Let’s take it up to here.” She’s still wordless, when he tells her she could lose her morning slot. At long last, she nods, and with a loving caress, he sends her home. On his way back to the studio, he makes a call.

PD Oh breaks off arguing with the president when Hwa-shin returns alone. Hwa-shin merely takes his seat. A moment later, Hye-won comes in and takes the seat beside him, and PD Oh immediately calms. Ja-young watches this unfold. “Broadcast sure is cold-blooded,” she says in distaste, before turning heel and leaving. Hwa-shin’s head remains lowered, as he struggles with his feelings.

With new energy, Dong-gi kicks off again, but everyone is taken aback when Hwa-shin roars at him to get his act together—the previous mistakes were because they messed up the graphics, so they’d better take responsibility. Hye-won coolly takes in the impassioned outburst.

Ja-young searches for Na-ri, but she’s not in the building. At Rak Pasta, Chef Rak and the moms notice Na-ri’s been swapped out. Jung-won, watching with Secretary Cha, leaps to his feet. “That cold-blooded bastard,” he whispers. Heading for his car, he growls that he won’t stand for it if Hwa-shin is the one who swapped her out.

Looking up at Hye-won and Hwa-shin on the big screen outside the SBC building, Na-ri can’t stop a few tears escaping. Jung-won nearly passes by, but stops the car as he catches sight of her. Wiping her eyes, she leaves without noticing Jung-won, who gets out of his car and follows at a distance (while Cha follows behind him, lol).

The broadcast wraps up and PD Oh tells them they finished top. Sung-sook catches Hwa-shin at the desk and asks, “Wasn’t that your girlfriend?” She remarks that he hasn’t changed at all—still willing to hurt his lover or his family if for the sake of his job.

“Are my words wrong?” she asks with a cutting smile. Announcer Uhm breaks in and tells Hwa-shin he did a good job, but Hwa-shin can’t stay there a moment longer. He heads straight to Na-ri’s place, but she isn’t home.

Still on her sad way home, Na-ri pauses at the sight of Hwa-shin’s car, and turns around only to be faced with Jung-won. He asks if she’s okay, and she says she is, but he steps in front of her as Hwa-shin approaches. Na-ri looks back at Hwa-shin over Jung-won’s shoulder, and then walks past him without a word.

Jung-won confronts him about swapping Na-ri out. Hwa-shin replies that it would have been worse if she panicked and made more mistakes. He says Na-ri can handle herself, and must go through this pain now in order to overcome her fears.

But Jung-won really becomes incensed when Hwa-shin says there are things he doesn’t know. He says he watched over Na-ri crying, while her pride prevented her from crying in front of Hwa-shin. And while Hwa-shin ran away to Thailand, Jung-won watched his family suffer. Voice hard, he says that Hwa-shin would do the same again, all for the sake of his beloved job.

“That’s my way of loving my brother, and loving Pyo Na-ri,” Hwa-shin says passionately, “Even if it looks like injury and hurt in the eyes of the world, that’s just what other people think. I did that to my brother because I loved him. I made Pyo Na-ri step down because I love her. I don’t need other people’s understanding, and I don’t want it.” But he says he thought Jung-won, at least, understood him.

“You might say you loved them,” Jung-won replies savagely, “But a wound is a wound all the same to the person receiving it.” He adds that if Hwa-shin took Na-ri’s heart from him only to hurt her like this, he won’t forgive him. But Hwa-shin says that, hurt or heal, Jung-won doesn’t get to judge.

“This is why I can’t send Pyo Na-ri to you,” Jung-won answers, as the men remain nose to nose, and the silence stretches between them.

Na-ri lies on her bed, arm over her eyes, replaying Hwa-shin’s words. Chi-yeol checks in, asking what happened. More to herself than to him, she says she’d be even more pitiful if she were mad, and wonders if she should’ve asked to be let off since she’s his girlfriend. It takes Chi-yeol a minute to clock the word “girlfriend”, but Na-ri sends him off before he can ask.

The next day, Sung-sook marches into PD Oh’s office where he’s having a meeting with Ja-young, and asks her if she plans to marry Chef. Ja-young admits she wants to make a family for Pal-gang, but Sung-sook tells her to stick with just dating him. Ja-young realizes Sung-sook is afraid of being kicked out of the house.

Tone flippant, Sung-sook says she’ll do all the housework from now on, and Ja-young scoffs. Unfazed, Sung-sook shares that Chef can hug, so she’s sure Ja-young can awaken his desire (“since you’re sexier than me”). I’m not sure it works like that, but Ja-young perks up. Trapped between the two women, PD Oh gives up.

Na-ri arrives chipper and cheerful for the morning news, although her partner Announcer Park is an ass to her about last night. Hwa-shin comes to watch her, too, and she smiles brightly at him. After she finishes, she finds Hwa-shin waiting outside the studio. He can barely speak, but translating his awkward twitching, she easily agrees to coffee.

She remains cheerful with Hwa-shin, although her face falls when she meets Hye-won’s eyes across the floor. He brings up yesterday, and she apologizes. Lightly, she says that she wanted to do well in front of him, although she doesn’t know if she’ll get another chance now to stand next to him. He just looks at her with tormented eyes.

Na-ri finds Hye-won is waiting for her at her desk. “[Hwa-shin] might be dating you, but at work, I’mhis partner,” Hye-won says, “He also matches well with me. I’m his workplace girlfriend. You acknowledge that, right?”

Na-ri quirks into a smile and agrees that she’s lacking at the job, but asks Hye-won if she’s ever had ramyun at work, cooked by Hwa-shin himself. “It’s to die for,” she tells a confused Hye-won.

Hwa-shin finds Na-ri leaning tiredly in the elevator, but she perks up when she notices him. Frustrated, he pulls her into a stairwell. He sits her down and says she must hate him to death after he—her boyfriend!—changed her out like that. He gets more and more worked up, angry that she’s not angry with him, that she’s smiling.

He demands she fight with him, and doesn’t understand why she won’t—if they won’t fight about this, then what? She says there’ll be lots to fight about later, “Let’s not fight. I’ll do better.” Still smiling, she tells him to get to his broadcast, which is about to start any minute.

Back in the office, Na-ri makes Ja-young an offering of vitamin drinks. In sympathy, Ja-young tells Na-ri that Hwa-shin was really reprehensible and she should ditch him. Aw. But Na-ri asks Ja-young to teach her everything about her job from the beginning: “I want to become a capable person.”

That night, Hwa-shin joins Na-ri and Beom outside Stepmom’s store. After a moment, he plants a kiss on Beom’s cheek and asks Na-ri if he should give her one, too. She shakes her head, and Hwa-shin kisses Beom’s other cheek, but Na-ri doesn’t want one there either. Pacing, he finally asks Stepmom for ramyun.

Back at Na-ri’s place, Hwa-shin brings her a pot of freshly-cooked ramyun, and says it’s the second time. Once she’s eating, Hwa-shin goes into teach-mode, telling her how anchors who were field reporters respond better in real-time broadcast emergencies than studio announcers. She offers to get him kimchi, but he sits her back down.

He tells her that she needs to practise more, read the newspapers every day for a variety of perspectives (instead of watching him read them, ha), and put more thought into writing her openers to keep viewers interested in what’s to come. He doesn’t notice Na-ri’s darkening expression, until she throws down her chopsticks.

“You didn’t believe in me one bit, that I could do the second half well without mistakes, did you?” she accuses—that’s why he changed her out. Na-ri sighs that she’d held it in, not wanting to look petty, but now she can see that he thought she was lacking from the start.

She crosses her arms, ready to be frank at last, and says that tried to understand him, knowing he must feel awful after doing that to his girlfriend, “Still, I’m your girlfriend! You could have believed in me a bit, but you kicked me out.”

She’s embarrassed that she’s ended up saying it to him after all. Taking a moment to collect herself, she says she still doesn’t quite believe that he really likes her: “If I get angry, we’ll fight, and if we fight, you’ll say ‘let’s break up.'” She tells him she was so afraid of that that she couldn’t even get angry. “Do you feel good now?” she yells. His head is bowed, and she turns her back on him.

“Marry me,” Hwa-shin says, raising his head (and he says he’ll have that kimchi, too), “When you’re fierce and furious like this, you’re so beautiful, so lovable to me.” She looks back at him in disbelief.

Eyes alight, he says that he’ll make her ramyun a thousand times: “I’m proposing. Let’s get married.”

COMMENTS

(And as the credits roll, there’s a ridiculously cute little alien Love, Actually re-enactment with the notes! Hee!)

That was a lovely proposal in itself, but I’m pretty sure marriage won’t solve your problems, Hwa-shin! Although it might solve some of them? This relationship is wonderfully tangled in a way that makes it exciting to watch but torturous to write about, because there’s so much to unsnarl.

I was glad that the broadcast let Na-ri’s inexperience at her new job show, and at first, it seemed to me like the question was whether it was wrong of Hwa-shin to switch Na-ri out. I didn’t think so, as their romantic relationship has no place in their working relationship. I also didn’t think this situation was comparable or similar to what happened with his brother. No, Hwa-shin was maligned by the world because without the worse outcome playing out, people can’t properly comprehend that this is the best of a bad situation. And like he told Jung-won, he’s entitled not to explain himself. So with Na-ri’s job at risk, he did exactly what he should have done and made a good call.

And until Na-ri confronted him with her side, I didn’t see it. But after seeing it, I can’t unsee it, and it changed the entire second half of the episode to me. Because her complaint isn’t that she doesn’t get preferential girlfriend treatment, it’s that he decides things relevant to her by himself. He had already made up his mind when he told Na-ri that it was up to her if she wanted to carry on in the second half or not. He didn’t actually wait for her to answer—all her silences have been so telling, and in that moment, the betrayal is actually written clearly on her face.

It’s the same thing that Jung-won accuses him of, and that’s what’s exactly the same between what happened with Na-ri now and what happened with his brother. While what he did might have been kindest—changing out Na-ri quietly, or exposing the corruption in his brother’s company himself before someone else did it in an overblown way—in both instances, Hwa-shin acts on his own for someone else’s good, and makes decisions about them as if they don’t have the right or ability to decide for themselves. And it’s an insidious thing, this undermining and overbearing. And accompanied by a caress or an “I love you,” it becomes a total mindscrew. I wouldn’t say in this instance that it’s abusive, but it’s an abusive pattern, this iteration of “daddy knows best,” which makes it a dangerous trait to go unchecked.

So when you rewatch these scenes, suddenly her silences stand out; that’s not gratitude on her face, it’s something much more complicated. And that placid front masks how much Na-ri struggles to reconcile herself to something that seems on the surface like it was right but feels subtly wrong, and even I never guessed it until she said it. And that is what marriage or popping the question doesn’t solve.

However, the other thing I realized from Na-ri’s confession, that I’d almost forgotten from last week, is that her relationship with Hwa-shin, though now official and mutual, is still something she doesn’t have any security in, and maybe marrying her really is the only way that he can prove to her (or she can prove to herself?) that he won’t change his mind, that he wants to be with her for keeps. After all, it was the sense of constancy and reliability with Jung-won that kept her at his side so long, so in that respect, a serious proposal from Hwa-shin might be as important to her as the fight was to him.

I feel like that stairwell fight, and the blowout they have at the end and Hwa-shin’s reaction to it, reveals his relationship priorities in a really interesting way. Where hers right now are trust and security, his are closeness and communication. I think to him, a frank and open fight is the indicator that they’re alright, or at least they will be. Actually, looking back on his character, with the exception of his cancer, this frankness tends to play out for better or for worse in the way he interacts with everyone around him. He’s blunt and precise and doesn’t mince his words. I think he suffers from not receiving the same candor in return, and maybe he knows it, since he craves it from Na-ri.

This is why the other highlight of this episode is his fight with Jung-won. The boys’ friendship isn’t perfect and probably never was, despite early appearances, but it never needed to come to a head before. It adds an interesting depth to Jung-won to know that he reserved judgement on his friend in the past, and I wonder whether his criticism now is a response to the moment, or if it’s been latent in his mind for years. Even if Hwa-shin believed in his own reasons, Jung-won’s accusations of causing pain and suffering hold as much truth, and that truth clings to him. Like Jung-won said, pain is still pain, however good your intentions.

But the first half really did a great job of showing us how natural our couple can be when they work. They have an easy camaraderie that is as warm as it is prickly, in the way of best friends, and that’s always been their best dynamic. But maybe sometimes, everything has to be broken, before it can be remade again.

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Two things:

1) I loved Hwa-shin fighting about why they weren't fighting -- fighting over important things (and this was super important) is really necessary and HEALTHY in a relationship of any kind because they have to talk about these things, and I LOVED that he said that them not fighting (not talking about it) made him feel distant from her. What I like about HS/NR is that they are honest with each other and talk about things with each other, so I was really glad to see that. And on a related note, that they actually had the fight/NR told him why what he did wasn't cool with her and what she felt. I hope they continue having fights about significant things, although I guess I should hope that they don't have MORE problems to keep overcoming. But I GUESS LONG STORY SHORT is that I like that they are a work in progress, that they still have things to work through, but they want to work through it together.

2) Will I eeeeverrrr get over JJS' SMILE?

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WAIT, THIRD THING.

3) Bum is the CUTEST kid ever.

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I feel the same Mady. Since I join Db, discussions on relationship sound more meaningful to me. :-)

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I agree! beom is adorable! <3

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and beom is like... why are you kissing me ahjusshi?
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again? sigh keep me out of your lover's tiff.

that aside i dunno if messy is correct to describe my feelings towards the show, which i caught on late... like... omg... it seems to demand that we feel the jealousy through our screens!

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Haha, too bad he only has himself to blame for matchmaking them! :P

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Ha ha Chandler.
It certainly was all Boem’s fault!

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"2) Will I eeeeverrrr get over JJS’ SMILE?"

!!!! Never. :'(

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Never, indeed...
Especially his unrestrained one.

And now I'm searching for every crumb, that is all his past and upcoming movies and dramas, and become unbelievably excited for his every appearance. Sigh... What do I do when this drama ended?

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RIGHT?!?! I even ended up re-watching King 2 Hearts because of him. I don't even love that drama, but I fast-forwarded every scene that didn't have him and only stopped at his scenes just to see his face for a few more seconds. It's ridiculous, but I'm in too deep. :(

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+1
Me too, I even search for his past interviews..

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Have u watched Oh My Ghostess? :)

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I love the lovey dovey scene in the beginning. The chemistry is really great between JJS and GHJ. And JJS, can't help falling in love over and over again with you.

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I agree with what you said, Saya, but I'm still annoyed at Nari for not answering when Hwashin asked her if she could do the second part. He asked her more than once. If she had said "yes, let me try, I can do it," then she could be mad if he still wanted to pull her, but if she's not going to say anything and then be mad about him not believing in her... that just feels passive-aggressive to me.

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Yes. Na Ri was like the deer in the headlight. She was paralyzed by fear, even shaking in the restroom. She was clearly unable to make any decision. Hwa Shin had the cool head to decide what to do. He's got tons of experience, he knew her job was at stake and maybe even more. What about Assistant Director and even Mr. Oh? This was a major crisis to be decided within seconds and not about Na Ri's pride. He saved her professional life and quite likely some more jobs.

Afterwards during every meeting with Na Ri his eyes were only fixed on her, he desperately tried to read her and connect with her, because he felt distant. I loved it! To me there is nothing to misunderstand, he didn't misbehave, he did all the right stuff for his inexperienced love.
(And both moms should really know the business. Their harsh critisicm of HS was uncalled for. As professionals they should be able to judge the situation correctly. Their bad mouthing of Hwa Shin was only needed to still nurture the fairy tale of HS being the bad guy and nothing more. A big minus in my book.)

The whole situation made me think of ep 14, when they shared the ice cream and he confessed his one-sided crush asking her not to be swayed. He said, that she should never make decisions using a question mark, but always use an exclamation mark. She was a walking question mark here and he was forced to make the exclamation mark.

This ep confirmed to me that Hwa Shin is as upright, honest and straight forward, as I always thought he would be. I loved every second of it and I am very much looking forward to see Na Ri's reaction to this wonderful proposal coming from deep down inside him, because he loves her and wants her for good just like she is.

JJS you're going to be the death of me. You are amazing!

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PD Oh is useless. Remember the double weathercaster incident? Dude just let the two girls fight it out on their own instead of doing his job properly. It's no wonder nobody respects him and just walk in and out of his office or talk over him. ?

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Haha! This though. He's lucky I love him so much despite all that. Whenever it's a critical moment for decisions to be made, he just decides to go with the flow. Like, what??? How did you get this job again, lol?

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lol this is why HS orders him out of his own office and SS and JY basically pay him no mind when they're in there. He's hilarious but yeah he has no authority over people at all.
How is he a PD??

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Do you know of the Peter Principle? Someone gets promoted till he reaches the point of utter uselessness, his level of personal incompetance. Don't we all know bosses like him? ;)

That said, I love Oh and his actor Kwon Hae Hyo. He might be one of the possibly two real 'oppas' for me in this business. I always like him in his roles and he got a certain sexiness most Beanies will still be too young to see, but this ahjumma feels it.

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@Newbie I did not that but that's a hilarious term.

Haha yeah he's got that certain charm in him that makes him attractive. He always says 'family' but I don't think he's married in this drama right? Because I lowkey ship him with Sun Sook only because they're so snarky together it'd be a joy to watch!

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@Quinze

Haha, so I'm not the only one who thinks they'd make quite a pair. I like her co-anchor from England, but I really hope they don't go there with them. PD Oh and Sun-sook would be fabulous together.

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@Quinze - I think they established, that his family lives abroad like so many Korean families do for the education of the children. His cake wish was also for them living together again. He is unfortunately taken.

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@Newbie

Ahhh, you're totally right. I remember now. Aw, so the poor guy really just wanted some company when he asked people to that movie. Hopefully, he'll get his wish and get to live with his family again by the end.

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Thanks Newbie!

@Chandler, yeah now I'm just sad that no one hung out with him that day. He just wanted a movie buddy!

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I feel like PD Oh gets so little credit for being such a hilarious, well-acted side character though - he gets trampled over by literally EVERYONE and it's so ironic that he's the director and is still such a pushover, but his long-suffering sighs and resigned grimaces are always so on-point. I love it. :') It's definitely to the actor's credit that I look forward to all the office scenes with the side characters, instead of fast-forwarding them.

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Hah yeah I absolutely love this actor. His eye rolls and huff of exasperation are the best.

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I know. I really really adore it, tbh. That's why I don't even care that he isn't the most effective boss. I live for this poor guy's reaction to the crazy.

The actor is so perfect for this role. It's getting to the point where I'm not sure I even separate role and actor anymore. He'll always be PD Oh to me, lol.

Random, but I felt kinda sad when no one ended up going to that movie with him a few episodes ago. He seemed like he really wanted some companionship.

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‘Poor guys reaction to the crazy’ @Chandler
‘Long suffering sighs’ @es.. ??
Oh, PD Oh. You bring so much joy into our lives!

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Newbie, I got almost similar impressions with yours. Regarding the moms' reaction, to me, they were feeling NR's pain. As if they were in her shoes. My impression, oh they loved her and wanted to speak for her.

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Girlfriend shoes.

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They felt her pain, that's true. Maybe they connected on a different level I overlooked? They are both successful women in a tough business field, they are smart and they of all people know how they had to fight to get where they are (esp. in Korea's patriarchal society). Also mom #2 saw how Na Ri practiced all through the night. They are rooting for her.

Still, this show should really stop making Hwa Shin the evil guy by influencing the audience with platitudes like this.

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That's it, Newbie..
That the moms are part of his family who once got hurt by his doing.

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‘He desperately tried to read her and connect with her because he felt distant’ ❤❤ Poor Hwashin thought for a minute that she was going to leave him and run away again.(Similar to ep 15)

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+1!

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At first, I also was annoyed at Na-ri for not answering him because it forced Hwa-shin to make the decision himself and bear the brunt of others' criticism. But then I realized that Hwa-shin isn't only her boyfriend, but also her senior at work, and she always felt pressured (from her own self) to show her best at him.

Nari's expression in the bathroom showed that she maybe wanted to say "No, I'm not ready, please give me a way out," but I guess she didn't want to show her inexperienced side to Hwa-shin. It's almost like she always felt she fall short of his expectation even though Hwa-shin wouldn't judge her for those few broadcasting mistakes. And I think Hwa-shin could see that and made that decision for her because he knew she couldn't said it out loud.

And when she got angry at him for not believing her, well, rather than passive-aggressive, it feels more like she knew Hwa-shin did what best for that situation, but her heart still wanted the ideal resolution from world full of rainbow and puppies, which is for him to believe in her fully. She knew it didn't work that way in the real world, and that's why initially she didn't want to argue with him because to her, that sounds petty.

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"... it feels more like she knew Hwa-shin did what best for that situation, but her heart still wanted the ideal resolution from world full of rainbow and puppies, ...
...that’s why initially she didn’t want to argue with him because to her, that sounds petty."

+1 What I get, too..

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+1

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I agree with you. In work, the most difficult part is to make decisions. Nari is facing two different position of HwaShin at the moment in front of bathroom. One is her sunbae at work, one is her boyfriend. She wants to look good for both. That's why she is hesitant to answer. I think what HS did was a good decision given he did not receive a confirm answer from Nari. You need to make a decision in your work, even though it breaks your heart. But I just see one thing from Saya recap, that HS tends to make decision by himself and not discussing beforehand. I think this is a flaw in every relationship either work or romance. But for me, he already tried to discuss or basically ask Nari about her confidence. No answer was given. Well, I like it that the show is really consistent in showing HwaShin character, HS is best for his job, very professional. Being blunt is very important for reporter I guess, so not sugar coating events. This show is really made for JJS I think. He nails everytime and really wondering now, how can I move on to other other drama after watching this such very meaty drama!! So much energy inside and in every scenes. No wonder Saya said that it is torturous to write!!

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Agree... and the time was ticking, decision has to be made...fast. Na Ri's countenance didn't show a shred of confidence on her own ability to pull it off for the second part of the broadcast, and the way she didn't answer HS didn't help her case, either. Plus the risk factor for her losing her job is quite high, were I put in HS's shoes, I would probably have taken the exact same decision.

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Agreed. I watched this episode twice and I am even more convinced in the second viewing that Hawshin made absolutely the right call. It is not only NR's job at stake here but that of Director Oh who already got the sacking call from the network boss if one more mistake were made.

I would make the same decision too because this is the kind of situations happened in REAL life based on my own experiene. No romanticism but true.

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Nari was wrong. They were on a tight schedule and Hwa-shin needed immediate decisions if they were gonna save the broadcast and her job. Why did she just stare at him? I understand she was feeling overwhelmed and maybe sad and needed comfort or maybe it's all happening too fast for her, but that's precisely why she isn't ready for this job yet.

Hwa-shin was wrong. Why did he have to ask her to make a decision in the first place instead of just trusting her and using the break to encourage her so they can go to the 2nd part of the broadcast?

Nari was wrong. Hwa-shin just comes from years of experience and being really good at his job to objectively make quick observations regarding her readiness. Is a person wrong for mistrusting you if you're obviously not competent enough in the first place?

Hwa-shin was wrong. Maybe he should've trusted Nari to the end and took that small chance that he was wrong in his assessment of her current state and that she can pull through. Besides, if she tried to the end and failed, she would've learned a lesson and he will still be there to cheer and coach her.

Basically, this show turns me nuts and has me arguing with myself with no clear winner.

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"Basically, this show turns me nuts and has me arguing with myself with no clear winner."

urggghhh this. (also @blnmom above!). For every point I manage to make, there are twelve more I can't. I agree with everyone, about everything, in opposites! Sob.

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Recapping is so difficult. *hugs* We're all thankful for you ladies!

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+1

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urrrrgghhh THIS AND A HALF, thank you saya.

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It's okay Saya, such is life. There's no real right or wrong in a situation where feelings are involved. This is why absolute logic or absolute feeling are not practical ways of living. You have to have the ability to bend to your situation.

It's got to be so difficult to recap a drama where you literally could spend a week breaking down the nuances of every scene. Thanks for your hard work!

In this case, I totally understand why you would think that he'd made a decision already but I also think and agree with the others that had NR answered resolutely that she can handle it, he would have let her. His worry was over this broadcast costing her the morning news. But NR wasn't aware of that and being put on the spot when she was already on shaky ground meant she froze especially in front of the one person whose opinion matters to her most. I think in this case it was two people in two different mindsets.

lol @mary yeah we're all weirdos right there with you arguing with ourselves about who's right/wrong.

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Although I didn't agree with certain parts of your recap I still love it, because we got tons of great and thoughtful comments out of it. I posted my first respond before I went to sleep and over night all those wonderful analyses popped up which are a delight to read. Thank you for laying the ground.

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But I also think there's that added wrinkle of Nari's job being on the line. Had she made another mistake, which was probable given the prior events and her general inexperience, it wouldn't just have been a learning opportunity and then all is well - she'd have lost her dream job entirely. I feel like the lack of a confident yes at that moment was telling enough - if she didn't have the confidence at that crucial moment, she wouldn't have been able to overcome her mistakes in the first half.

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I agree about Nari herself being undecided! And I'm gonna add a non-point here (LOL as if we needed to be more confused!)

It's not exactly because Nari's job is on the line, but because it's Nari whose job is on the line that Hwa-shin acted.

If Hye-won was the one making mistakes and was at risk of being fired, I don't think Hwa-shin would pull her aside and give her a choice to give up for now rather than risk losing the job she dreamed of. It's because Hwa-shin cared enough about Nari and her dreams that he's evaluating her abilities (harshly, to some people's eyes) and risking hurting her himself than letting her fail spectacularly.

We can argue that there was a 1% chance that Nari would succeed, and in a rainbows-and-puppies kind of world, Hwa-shin would cheer her up and encourage her to try for that 1%. But Hwa-shin chose to go the other way of showing his love, which is to pragmatically fixate on the 99% chance that Nari would fail and have her whole work/career so far be reset. Does it make him right or wrong? I don't know.

*brain short-circuits trying to decide*

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Excellent point, mary!

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And at the same time, you are like, but is this even Hwa-shin's call to make? I mean, he's not her boss.

And then you are like, of course he can make that call - he's a super-experienced sunbae with her best interests closer to heart than anyone else!

...and you never get off this merry-go-round of argument and counter-argument. SOB.

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Hahahaha. Don't cry, poor Saya. I'm wondering now if the writer has these arguments with herself, or if she just puts this stuff out there and has an evil smile while stroking her cat as she imagines us suffering out here.

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Don't cry, Saya, you did a good job. I can practically hear me arguing with myself for almost every scene in this episode. I can't imagined how it felt when you have to recapped this. Kudos to the team behind this drama, really.

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Saya, thank you for recapping and putting your thoughts out there! Even though I disagree with some of your points but you are insightful and I always check this site to see your opinion since this drama is interestingly layered and intriguing. I particularly like the comparison that you did between what's important for NR vs what's important for HS. Spot on.

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Okay but NR and HS need to become drift compatible, yes?

Lol in one sense they're partners for the coverage so in addition to being her senior, I think that is cause for his decision. He wouldn't make that call for her morning news because he's not her co-anchor.

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I too, have been talking myself around circles.

Was this the right call to make?
Probably, Na-ri wasn't adjusting well to the electoral broadcast environment which required her to go off script and adapt. Plus the political parties and the station president had already complained and her job and PD Oh's job were on the line.

Was Hwa-shin making the call as her boyfriend or sunbae?
If Hwa-shin was asking if she wanted to be switched out on a professional capacity then he's muddling the lines by holding her face etc How can Na-ri respond in an objective manner when it's someone who has an emotional pull over her who's asking, not to mention she already has trust issues with Hwa-shin.

Can Hwa-shin make a call as her boyfriend?
Shouldn't it be Na-ri's decision whether she wants to continue or not and risk her career? What right does he have to interfere and judge that this would be best for Na-ri long term because she'll learn to overcome her fears? But lots of relationships work with one party leading and making decisions on what will be best for their partners, thing don't have to be 50-50. Is this what Na-ri wants though?

And on and on we go. I don't think I have the emotional intelligence to assess what's going on in this show. *brain short-circuits too*

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Pretty much. The part where the President himself was threatening her job security vs any there superior in that station bears importance because NR doesn't have a foothold on this job yet nor is she anything but a nameless face. A screw up here could have ended her movement in the field.

HS cares about her dream to be an anchor. He wants to see her succeed. He wouldn't have risked his own job for her if he didn't. But to be a mentor to your GF means picking that hard choice for her and risking her anger if it means saving her job for another day. It's not that he doesn't trust her inability but that he knows well her enough to see that she wasn't over her mistakes and could potentially mess up again.

Had NR herself recovered from her mistakes and come out of that bathroom resolute, she might have able to finish part two without a problem. But HS was right, taking her out meant she'll look back at her mistakes and learn from them but having that part 1 experience means she knows what it's like and can see better what she needs to do.

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+15 ^^ ;-)

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LOVE..

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So, so true!

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I just love the whole discussion here LOL...

Lots of ♥♥♥ for you Saya, thanks for recapping this show for us.

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Thank you. Your last sentence sums up my whole JI experience. Am I laughing, or am I crying? Am I annoyed or amused? Swooning or repulsed? 80% of the time I can't even tell what I'm feeling, or supposed to be feeling. Very odd, but intriguing. The other 20% of the time, I'm just enjoying the music. :-)

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*And on that cue..*

No No.. No No!!!

(music plays in the background)

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I am happy when they are happy, panic when they are panic, sad when they are sad, etc.. Lol.
:-) :-)

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Exactly! That's what makes this show so special imo. Much like in real life you cannot unravel relationships to the bone or deconstruct fights or mistakes to the last variable. This show follows no formula and I love it so much :D

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This is why it's so damn hard to reconcile our opinions about it! Everyone is going to find different things to place more importance on than others in their attempts to break-down the impossible: human relationships and all the messiness that comes with it. But it just can't be done. Not in this drama and certainly not in real life.

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‘Attempts to break down the impossible’.. Ha ha

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"Much like in real life you cannot unravel relationships to the bone or deconstruct fights or mistakes to the last variable. "

My case..

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Omg you put my incoherent thoughts into meaningful sentences Mary thank you thank you thank you! This is why I'm so in love with this show!

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When it comes to make a reconciliation, people firstly point that everyone has contributed his/her own faults before making peace.
Lol, it suits me, Mary..

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which is very often how a lot of decisions are like in real life, which is WHY i loved this episode in particular so much. i still can't take a side LOL, because both characters were entitled to their actions. :'(

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I agree with you, mary. You cannot rule out anybody's actions as singularly right or wrong in this show. If we really think about it, we can always find a reason for everybody doing what they did and feel justified in their actions. That is why I believe this show has more realistic writing than dramas that employs tropes.

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+1

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This episode let me feel exactly how NaRi must have been feeling for the last 20: Love, hate, love, hate, love, hate HwaShin!

I was so ticked at HwaShin when he pulled NaRi from the 2nd half, I was kicking at the screen yelling, "Just trust her, you a__hole!"
Then to watch his tormented face during the next day made me love him all over again. Sigh. I feel you, NaRi.

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Bravo Mary!

What a wonderful drama with so many nuances to drive us nuts. Here's another case of pride vs honesty - and no one is winner.

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well, I think I must be an alien or someone really bad because I think hwashin didn't make a decision for na-ri about the broadcast. even if he already had an opinion in mind, if she had said "no, I can do it and I want to be in the second part", I don't think he would oppose to it. he did what their director didn't have the guts to do. and man how did it hurt me when everyone was using this against him.

to be really honest, how the drama tries to use hwashin's work ethics (?) as his flaw (with his brother's case for example), considering the other character lines, always bothers me. for me, the fact that he puts his work before his personal live only works for him and not against. you can say that you wouldn't act the same way, but he is not wrong. his brother did something wrong, na-ri did screw up. it was a bit annoying to see our mother duo talking about him while they're the ones fighting during a live broadcast.

sorry, but I slow-clapped when hwashin said "whether this will hurt her or end up helping her.. you're not the judge of that". JW keeps following her and meddling her relationship when she already broke up with him. that whole sequence of him following her... and this "I won't send her to you". man, I've some news for you....

I really feel like an alien commenting about this drama here because I usually have a different view and feeling than the majority here. it has been an interesting thing to see and I'm sad that it's coming to an end to be honest.

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just wanted to add... I completely get her struggle between saying or not her complaints to hwashin in the first place. I think it's the first time she's facing this situation (being in a relationship and afraid of how the other person would receive her complaints - breaking up with her) and I'm positive that she won't hold back anymore. I think both of them has every chance of growing up together, being better people for themselves and for each other. because, at the end of the day, they're best when they're being honest.

I think we all saw that proposal coming up. I was expecting him to drop this in the heat of the moment any time during the whole episode. I don't exactly like how the show keeps putting marriage as if it's na-ri goal or something (it is always brought up with her), so I prefer to think it's more of a symbolic thing for hwashin and her, as a sign that both of them are on the same page, trying to have a serious relationship while navigating through the things they need to get better at, balancing their professional lives and all.

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I find my self nodding with most of what you re saying.

" .....(being in a relationship and afraid of how the other person would receive her complaints – breaking up with her)"

To me, NR really understood HS's temper and she didn't like it if a breakup came. She should have treasure him very much. I catched that she determined to be a lot more professional competent match for him, as well as she was in pain looking at HS pairing with HW.

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I am with you, Hawshin have taking his work too seriously but it is not a bad thing, and with have been watching going through hell and never once made excuses for himself. He never once took the easy way and admits his mistakes. When JW found out about his crush, HS stood there and accepted all the insults. Same case with Nari. After all the conflicts and the love triangle not once he said one bad word about JW where that can't be said about JW. We watched HS behave badly countless of times but never once he was bad.

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yeah... HS has flaws as all the other characters. I would say that he's more noisy and impulsive so his actions are more in your face just like his mistakes. but I feel that sometimes other characters receive the "but you need to understand what he/she went through and where he/she is coming from" treatment while this never applies to him?

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+1
If the complex should be made into the simpler ( I am with you Rui).

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We're on that spaceship together. HW understands that to NR, being an announcer is not just some trivial pursuit, but her career and her sincerest desire. It was gratifying to see a male lead like HW advocate for his lady's agency to his former love rival.

And I agree, it feels as though HW's work ethic and competence is seen as a tragic flaw. To NR, HW's competence is one of his biggest draws. I'll take the man who knows what he's doing and is confident in that knowledge, every time.

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"I’ll take the man who knows what he’s doing and is confident in that knowledge, every time"

oh yes! and being a journalist myself, I must admit that hwashin does things to me when he's working lol

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Lol, a journalist is here. :-)

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+1

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I strongly believe that HS did the right thing. She couldn't affirmatively tell him that she could do the broadcast. He asked her several times. I'm a musician and I wouldn't let anyone back onstage if they couldn't affirmatively say that they could do it -- no matter what the situation. No matter if they were my SO or not. Remember, he asked her several times. I disagree she didn't have time to respond. If she was caught up in feeling betrayed by that, then that is another reason she should not go on air. She has to be able to speak up and do well under pressure. My God, that's the very thing she was having problems with in the 1st half.

He would not be doing her any favors by letting her on air when he didn't feel she was ready. Competition in this kind of industry can be unimaginable. I don't know how many times I've had to explain this -- very painfully -- to my family/friends about my own work. Maybe its unfair that he was worried he couldn't do it -- but she proved him right by not being able to stand up for herself and reply. He DID show his love by making that decision. She lives to fight another day. The broadcast went very well after.

If he had held her back after she had argued that she could -- well THEN he's an asshole. But that didn't happen.

It makes complete sense to me that she was still angry after. I mean, she's a human she's not a robot. I'd be angry and upset, even though I agree with the decision. I think I would eventually understand, or I would understand AND still be angry, but things are messy like that when you work together... But to me, it was very very clear he did the right thing.

I think with his brother it was a different situation. I still feel like we aren't given a lot of details about how it really went down... I'm more on the brother's side with what we know and think HS was pretty much a jerk... But who knows.

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I 100% understand na-ri being angry at him because we're all humans. but I get annoyed when we're talking about our moms because 1. they don't know what really happened 2. they're also professionals in the same field. they know how these things work, they know that their heads were on the line if the broadcast was a fail and they also know that she screwed up. it seems like they were just waiting for a moment to drag him when he did nothing wrong. and the fact that both of these ladies are the ones that keep bringing personal affairs to the work place.... ugh. lol

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Ya, I agree... I found it genuinely surprising that the moms united against him.

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Exactly this. If the argument is that him even merely suggesting the switch-out caused her to feel betrayed enough by HIS perception of her abilities to let it affect her own trust in herself and freeze up, than that just means she already wasn't in the mind-set she needed to be in to get back out there.

He did put the ball in her court. Even if he made it clear that swapping her was the safest choice, if she had confidently stood her ground, then he would have definitely conceded and supported her. But, because she couldn't do that, he made a judgement call that I honestly don't think she would have allowed herself to make. It is so hard to give up on yourself, no matter what the circumstances, and sometimes you need someone to tell you it's okay to do so.

Still, I love that the characters are addressing the undercurrent of hurt that the decision caused because these are issues they are going to have to learn to face as they work together.

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+1

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+1

You are not alone, my fellow alien. I was practically whooping at HS's response to JW too, especially how he clarified that being fair WAS his way of showing his love, and he'd thought that his friend at least had understood him. It reminded me of that episode where Na Ri had exasperatedly asked JW how HS knows so much about him, whereas JW knows so little about HS. Love triangle aside, I've always felt these instances where it felt like their friendship was a little unbalanced, HS putting in just that smidge more understanding, and this episode all but cemented that feeling.

Getting back to understanding where HS's coming from though, I feel like this may be because my mum's side of the family has a mentality that's very much like Hwa Shin's brutal honesty. Don't volunteer someone if you think they're not actually up to doing it. Be honest if someone's done a bad job, even if they're a loved one. Never compromise your morals or judgement just because you care about someone.

For example, ever since I was a kid, I loved to write. I wrote and wrote and wrote. And I was good at poems, but stories? Not so much. From ages 10-12, my mum would tell me, every single time, without holding back, without softening the blow: "This is bad. This part is confusing. This doesn't make sense. This dialogue is immature. You're not very good at this."

Never once did that make me get mad at her for "not believing in me". My writing was sucky. My mum did love me, but she was still going to be honest about my abilities. I never once resented her or begrudged her for it- rather the opposite, I valued her honest feedback more than anything because it helped me know how good I was doing, and aim for improvement (compared to my dad, who proclaimed that anything I wrote was better than Shakespeare, nonstop, ages 10-now).

And now, my writing is good. My mum recognises it, and praises me for it, clapping her hands in delight: "This was funny! This was well worded. The flow was good here. That made me tear up!" And her praise feels 1000x better than my dad's, because I know she is telling me all of that genuinely, without the slightest bit of exaggeration to make me feel good since I'm her loved one and she "believes" in me.

Maybe it would've been 'nicer' for HS to just believe in NR and send her out anyway, or get someone else to do his brother's report. But good isn't always nice.

And lying or faking confidence or turning a blind eye so that you don't hurt someone's feelings may seem like the 'kinder' thing to do on the surface, but deep down, I believe it's demeaning and patronising to everyone involved.

A lie is still a lie at the end of the day, and while HS has many faults, dishonesty has never been one of them. Nor, frankly, do I think it's something he has to apologise for.

But hey, that's just how we aliens roll. XD

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Perfect analysis! I also feel that she'd much rather be criticized by hwashin than somebody else. (Just like you'd prefer your mom pointing out your mistakes instead of the public or someone you don't know well enough because that would be embarrassing)

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Agreed. I think it felt safer for her if Hwa-shin is the one that criticize her, because he wouldn't belittle her for it and even mentor her for her mistakes so that she wouldn't make the same one.

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+1

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I think this is true to an extent, especially because of how gentle and passionate he's being in his guidance. That said, I do think their new relationship status makes it a bit harder sometimes. It's just not as easy to hear criticisms from the guy you like (his "that's boring" this ep). Luckily, she has so much respect for his anchoring abilities that, more often than not, it's fairly easy for her to take whatever criticism comes her way. Still, I think it's good she's finding a mentor in Bang Ja-young, who can help her a lot in a professional capacity without making her feel vulnerable.

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Thank you! And also, that's a very good point about embarrassment. To be honest, I think it might actually be tougher for NR to hear HS's criticism right now, since they're in the very early stages of their relationship (+ all her baggage from previous misadventures), so she's going to want him to see only her very best qualities. At this moment in time, every criticism from him, no matter how kindly put, is going to sting all the more.

But that brings me to something I actually wanted to bring up earlier, which fits into what you said about criticism being best when coming from HS: Hwa Shin is actually a very kind critic towards Na Ri.

I mean, while I am all for blunt honesty and harsh opinions from my loved ones, I get very sensitive if I feel like we've taken a turn from constructive criticism to mocking insults. It's one thing to say what you think- it's another thing to do it while humiliating someone.

And see, that's what I felt was the most swoony thing about Hwa Shin this whole episode. He tells Na Ri where she's lacking. He tells her how to improve. He is frank and honest and direct. But he isn't mean spirited in the slightest.

He doesn't go 'I've heard obituaries that sounded funner than this' or 'We would have better luck sending an illiterate 4 year old up there' or 'And you've been practicing for how long now?'

(And I must note that even lines similar to the above can be acceptable depending on the tone the person is using when they say it, i.e laughing with someone versus laughing at them.)

But my point is, that while Hwa Shin says what he has to say this episode, he does it with surgical speed and precision. He says just enough to get his important points across, and nothing more than that. He doesn't draw it out, he doesn't revel in her failings, he doesn't make a mockery out of it. He's quick and clean and fair, and it is so painfully obvious that he's doing his best to leave as much of NR's pride intact as possible.

Which is why I feel cannot help but feel all the more strongly that Na Ri's point of view is in the wrong here.

I get that she's hurt and sensitive, especially considering all the baggage between them, but if she would only take one step away from her insecurity and hurt feelings, then she could see that HS is doing his utmost to build her up, not tear her down. She could see his way of loving her for what it really is, rather than through these cracked, tinted glasses of defensiveness she's got jammed on.

And sure, some may argue she's right to be upset that he doesn't totally "believe" in her. But going back to that scene where HS kept pressing for an answer that wouldn't come, I have to ask:

How is Hwa Shin expected to believe in Na Ri when she can't even say that she believes in herself?

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Love love love... :-) :-) :-)
Thank you Fresh. You said it very clearly the healthiest way to take critiques and to be critics.
It helps me taking critiques for sure.
:-) :-) :-)

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Your justification of Hwa-shin's perspective is valid, and I definitely agree with it, but I would also argue that that doesn't take away Na-ri's right to be angry and hurt. Knowing acutely that you weren't good enough in the workplace for something you desperately want to do well in, beside the person you desperately want to impress, is a bitter pill to swallow. She's only human, and it's natural to want your loved ones to take your side, no matter how irrational it may be. Giving into that irrationality is another story, but we saw in this episode that Na-ri DID try to rise above it: she admitted that being angry would be petty, she constantly put up a happy front for Hwa-shin and refused to fight with him, AND she actively sought out a solution in Ja-young to improving herself as an announcer, which goes to show that she DOES know that she's lacking. It was only until Hwa-shin deliberately pushed her buttons at the end of the episode that she exploded. Which is definitely healthier than letting the bitterness and disappointment fester inside herself.

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Actually, my favorite characteristic about HS is how he teaches. Not just Na Ri but also Hye Won. He coaches in this way that's neither condescending nor overbearingly coddling. Your analysis is so spot on!

Had this been with her anchoring with anyone else, she might have seen exactly what you're saying but her dream is to co-anchor with Hwa Shin. I think she pressured herself with wanting to show him she can be up to his standard to the point where she lost herself in her mistakes.

Hah I swoon too whenever HS looks straight into her eyes and levels with her. I think that might be my kink lol, capable men being good at what they do without getting a big head about it.

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‘I’ve heard obituaries that sounded funnier than this’ ha ha.. Hearing that line for the first time. :D

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You made great points. Thank you!

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+1000

"And lying or faking confidence or turning a blind eye so that you don’t hurt someone’s feelings may seem like the ‘kinder’ thing to do on the surface, but deep down, I believe it’s demeaning and patronising to everyone involved." YEEEEEES! <3

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Haha, thank you! On an unrelated note though, WE'VE GOT SO MANY FELLOW ALIENS. I'm super grateful you wrote that first comment, because tbh I wouldn't have mentioned my opinion either if you hadn't and wouldn't have seen so many people chiming in to agree with you! It's awesome to find other people who feel the same way on certain subjects <3

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and it was amazing to see that I'm not alone lol

I didn't comment as much as I wanted before because I honestly felt that the comment section was a bit tense with the HS X JW battle. mainly after that locker room kiss. while the drama goes a bit over the top to give a more dramatic flavor, I always saw all the characters as human beings with good and bad traits. nobody was THE jerk or THE gentleman.

and to be really honest here... the drama never gave JW a chance imo. even after NR supposedly got over her crush (I don't think she ever did), the show always pointed how comfortable she was around HS, even with their past. at the same time, I always felt that she couldn't totally let go when she was with JW. at first, I thought it was the casting: gong hyojin and jo jung seok have a bizarre chemistry and, even if the drama wanted to put both men in the same level, I would always tend to HS because of them. but then I started to think about the scenes/writing and now I would say that NR/HS were always end game. lol

I think the biggest difference in my understanding of this drama from most of the comments I read around here is about JW. I just don't think he's that nice and gentleman at all. I don't think he's bad or evil, but he has just as many flaws as HS. and it's not a couple of cheesy lines and a dress that will cover that.

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Haha, I really do think 'aliens' is the perfect way to describe die-hard JI fans like us!

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It is very beautiful, Fish n' Chips.
:-)
Your mum reminds me of my Prof from writing class. She is exactly like that. Too, being hated and loved for her constructive feedback.

"It reminded me of that episode where Na Ri had exasperatedly asked JW how HS knows so much about him, whereas JW knows so little about HS. Love triangle aside, I’ve always felt these instances where it felt like their friendship was a little unbalanced, HS putting in just that smidge more understanding, and this episode all but cemented that feeling."

I perceive that JW is overconfident in judging. We saw that his judgments were not accurate at many times. I even think that it contributed to his unwillingness to let go after break up.

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Haha, I feel like my mum would love to meet your professor X'D they would get along swimingly.

About JW, you know, I think you're onto something! He's definitely been in deep denial on how NR feels about him ever since the break up, and while at first I thought it was just desperation --there were times before where I'd truly believed he totally knew NR's heart but refused to admit it-- what you said about him holding onto his previous judgements and preconceptions makes a lot more sense.

Which also kinda makes me feel a little sad for JW, because he's holding onto these preconceptions of HW and NR so hard ("He only likes you because I did!" "You really need me!" "You'd do it all over again for your precious job!") that he's going to end up missing out on the true feelings and personalities of the people he claims are so very important to his life, and who, despite hurting him with this whole triangle mess, do truly care about him.

Ngl tho, I'm still kind of miffed at JW both because of his behaviour in the last few eps and because I just still feel like there is a huge power imbalance in his friendship with HS.

I mean, if NR had chosen JW over HS, you just know that HS wouldn't pull this "it won't last" or "I'm not sending her to you" BS. (Especially when you consider how much and how long HS had suffered trying NOT to act on his feelings because of his friendship with JW!)

Like, is it so much to ask that JW at least try to preserve his friendship with HS too, instead of turning into Salty McSaltypants and dropping bitter comments left and right over HS "stealing" NR?? Come on dude.

The thing that hurts me the most is when they were having the stand off this ep, there was a moment when I genuinely felt like HS was more hurt by his friend not understanding his behaviour than he was defensive in front of "the other guy in the love triangle". It made me want to give the poor guy a hug, like 'there, there. I'm your friend.'

I mean, yeah, JW definitely got the short end of the stick in this love triangle, and I will attest that he was the biggest victim of NR's flippy floppy heart, but it doesn't change the fact that lately I feel like HS's got the short end of the stick in this friendship ://

Like show, who is this salty, mansplaining jackass? Where is the adorably concerned yet awkward JW after he found out his best-friend/love-rival had cancer?? Bring him back, please!!

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while I think JW always showed some signs of being a bit possessive over na-ri and with his friendship with HS not being that perfect even before her, I agree that how he's acting now is a bit weird... it could be the drama trying to show what jealousy can do to someone (considering the show's title), but I have the feeling that, now that we're fully focused on the main couple, they're dropping the ball with JW as a character.

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Everthing you said about JW!

Please show, let him get over his jealousy and bring back the bromance. Although I almost fear, that their friendship will not be able to completely recover.
Hwa Shin realized some things during their encounter and I doubt he will get over the hurt in the future. A nagging feeling could stay with him.
What JW said about him purposely wounding other people hit the bull's eye of HS conflicts with the people surrounding and not understanding him and he had thought, that JW is the one person who gets him.
So sad, that it had to come to this.

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JW's actions post-breakup have been a big fat NO. I'm sure we all agree that he needs to let go.

On the other hand, I don't think his maddening jealous behaviour is all that weird. In fact, I'd say it's been the intention of his character all along.

JW is HERA. The wife of Zeus, goddess of marriage, and pretty notorious for being jealous of all of her husband's affairs. Man, I love it when shows/films include these allusions!

Here we have JW who is all about marriage. He's portrayed as ideal marriage material and his main desire is to marry Na Ri (sometimes without taking her feelings into consideration, I might add). He's Na Ri's first boyfriend and then when HS throughs a spanner into the works, JW gets cheated on, JW gets crazy jealous. Plus, I remember we got a taste of JW's jealous nature earlier in the show when he first found out that HS liked NR. At that point, I thought he was really not acting like boyfriend material.

So yeah. I expect this of JW's character. Even though it's painful to watch. Not to mention unjustified. He is in no position to accuse HS of swapping out NR.

Sorry if this comment is better somewhere else. I got a little lost in the threads :P

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@Ty: wuuuuuuut you just blew my mind. I thought that Hera stuff was all nifty PPL but THIS...!!!

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@Ty - Wow. I love your idea about 'Hera' and all the implications. The creative team must have done a hell of a job to convince them investing.

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;) likely like you ve said.

Love love love this too..

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@Fresh N Chips
:-) likely the have a good chat, hehe..

Thank you for deconstructing.

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@Ty
Is Beom = cupid?
Thanks for sharing..

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@Amelyia: YES I second Beom as cupid! Not only instrumental in bringing HS and NR together with those arrows, I mean drawings, but a darn cutie!

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@Amelyia

Indeed.

Cupid = Any little boy living near a Gong Hyo-jin character that is bribed/befriended by the hero & helps assist their romance. (See: Greatest Love, Master's Sun, & now this)

She doesn't just get the best male leads, she always gets the most adorable boys imaginable to matchmake for her, lol.

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Yes to all of this.

The fundamental flaw in JW is that while he is a nice guy and all, he's also deeply naive. Part of it may have to do with his upbringing. JW grew up rich, so in a sense, it is a little bit of a rich boy mentality.
This probably has a little to do with why he knows less about HS than HS knows about him. He's been a friend in his own way but he's never paid close attention to his BFF's likes/dislikes. He likely hasn't had many people in his life that gave him the level truth about anything he might be doing wrong. He works in his own company as his own boss, whether he's good at it or not, he doesn't have many people telling him whether he's done something right or wrong.

When you've worked your ass off to get to the top, you hear a lot of criticism getting there. HS is one of those. He's more self-made and therefore he's paid his dues and heard his share of criticism. It's how you get to where he is now. Hearing it and learning from it. HS knows that and realizes that you can't succeed without hearing what you need to do right in order to get better. He doesn't sugarcoat it because it's not necessary. But he doesn't add any malice to his words because that's not necessary either.

JW knows support in the form of cheerleading. Tell your SO you did a good job even if she loses. Tell her it's okay, she'll do better next time. While that's important and really sweet, it's not really helpful. HS' way while harsher on the outside is far more useful in the long run because it protects his people from outward harm. It's a preemptive strike.

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+1

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This is awesome, Quinze..
:-)

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Thank you so much for mentioning the JW incident. Man, JW pissed me off in this episode. First of all, for him to say he gave NR to HS....wtf dude, she chose him. You didn't. Second of all, whether or not HS was right. Whether or not he made her cry, he doesn't get to interrupt a couple's fight with his unwanted opinion. Third, to liken this incident with his brother's? Are you his BFF at all? That was such a shitty low blow!

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This 'sending her to him' always irks me. It's the same when a guy saw a girl 'first', so she has to be his and not someone else's. Like she has no say in it.
Awful notion.

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@Newbie Yeah, he makes it about himself and HS leaving NR completely out of the equation. Which is such a turn-off. Even when you say it mistakenly in anger, it means at some point in your head you devalued her to the extent that you rationalize that it's okay that you've broken up because you gave her to your best friend.

@newgirl lol I did too. I was seriously like WTF JW? You've been canceled!

@Strawberry Heh yeah I feel like I live on this board making 20+ comments about how much I love people's analysis.

@Chandler do you know why they were taken out? I'd love to see a like/thumbs up button tbh.

I seriously enjoy reading the different interpretations on here. It's so much fun.

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I'd love to see the 'like buttons' come back, but I think the site just couldn't handle it eventually? I remember there being some announcement about it at the time, but I couldn't find it just now. I'm pretty sure they attempted to bring them back once, but they disappeared again not long after.

Lol, I used be so proud whenever I came back to a high number of likes. Oh, the things that make us happy...

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I know, right? I yelled, "She was never yours to send!"

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There are just so many great comments and insights this episode (not that the previous ones were lacking in any way), that I feel like nodding in agreement with each description. If only there's a 'Like' button, it will be easier, I feel like a broken record to keep repeating 'agree' at most comments LOL.

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Agree! ;)

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I feel so lucky finding the show and this forum with great beanies.
(May be it is already obvious, lol)

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Aw, I remember DB used to have like buttons on comments for a few months back in 2014. It was fun while it lasted. Haha, definitely made it a lot easier to spread the love.

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Yes, reading these comments really helps me understand what is going on (instead of having these confusing underlying feelings, but not being able to interpret them!)

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I can get behind Hwa-shin's reason for swapping Na-ri out at that election broadcasting. He knew she was in a panic state after that first mistake and bound to make another mistake that will cost her that morning news spot. In a way, he did take care of her in his own way. But I'm pretty sure it's not easy to be Na-ri, to receive that kind of tough love and acknowledge the fact that she didn't have enough experience as an anchor when her boyfriend is already too perfect. Not to mention that she already has a 3 years one-sided crush history that put her in a disadvantageous position in their relationship (from her POV). That's why I was so proud of Hwa-shin when he tried to get Na-ri be angry at him. He knew that Na-ri still felt overshadowed by him, both in professional and personal life, and he need to take down the wall Na-ri has erected so that they can stand on the same ground. It's so telling when he finally seriously proposed to her after she yelled her hearts out.

And lastly, let's appreciate Beom's cute expression after Hwa-shin kissed his cheeks. That kid is too adorable...

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On a side note, I guffawed at Hwa-shin's two or three notes higher broadcasting tone after that failed stairs fight. Hye-won's startled look is just too hilarious. Especially considering the fact that he always says how important it is for an anchor to use the right tone to come across as reliable.

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Haha. I enjoyed it how amazing JJS delivered HS's frustation.

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Oooh my god RIGHT, I couldn't stop laughing in that scene. He was almost yelling at the camera. Gotta love Jo Jung-seok.

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