Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 10
Relationships are so tricky — sometimes the thing you feel the most is the hardest thing to show to the one you care about. Being kind can be a cruelty, and love can be a source of pain, if you don’t listen to what the other person truly needs. Growing up is painful, as Bok-ju is learning, but hopefully she’ll come out the other side even stronger.
EPISODE 10: “A comma or a period”
Joon-hyung bursts into the auditorium just as Bok-ju finishes her lift. He notices that she looks deeply unhappy, sees that Jae-yi is here in the audience, and immediately knows that Bok-ju is ashamed that her crush saw her at what she considers her ugliest moment.
He follows Bok-ju to the training room, and though he doesn’t immediately see her, her sniffling gives her away. Joon-hyung looks like he could cry himself, just hearing Bok-ju’s sobs, but he decides not to approach her just now.
He sees Jae-yi approaching the doors, and grabs him before he can come inside. He leads Jae-yi out to the parking lot and turns on him angrily, asking how he knew to come here. Jae-yi says that he heard about it from Dr. Go, and thought he’d come cheer for Bok-ju.
He obviously thinks it’s no big deal, but Joon-hyung knows how much it hurt Bok-ju for Jae-yi to see her that way, red-faced and straining to lift a heavy barbell. He blows up, and blurts out that Jae-yi himself is the guy that Bok-ju likes.
Joon-hyung says that Bok-ju lied to him because of her crush, and that now that lie is torturing her. He adds that Bok-ju is just a girl, who didn’t want to show her ugliest side to the guy she likes. He tells Jae-yi to leave before he hurts Bok-ju even further.
The mood on the bus back to school is celebratory, and even Coach Yoon can’t help but smile at his team’s success. He gets a call from Bok-ju’s dad, who invites the whole team back to the chicken restaurant for dinner. Only Bok-ju remains quiet, staring out the window and not joining in the festivities.
As Coach Yoon and Bok-ju’s dad trade compliments on raising such a successful weightlifter, Uncle Dae-ho nervously brings Coach Choi a bowl of her favorite stew. He mentions her coming here before, and Coach Yoon wonders when she was here without him. She just starts chanting the team chant, ha.
Bok-ju avoids the party, and she sits in her room dejectedly. She can’t stop thinking of how Jae-yi saw her lifting weights, and how embarrassed she was, and starts crying all over again.
Joon-hyung stops by the restaurant and peeks in the window, noticing that Bok-ju isn’t with the rest of her team. He leaves, deciding to leave her alone tonight. Jae-yi is also thinking of Bok-ju, and how they first met when he lent her his umbrella. It only now occurs to him that the birthday plant on his desk must have been from her.
The next day, the coaches announce to the team that a sponsor called N.S. Ning, who supports a few of the school teams, saw their performance at the tournament and now wants to sponsor their team. The team is thrilled — at the very least, it means they can eat well again.
Coach Choi tells Bok-ju individually that N.S. Ning wants to recruit her to their official team. It’s an amazing opportunity, but Bok-ju can’t quite muster up any enthusiasm.
At lunch, Bok-ju’s friends ask why she’s not eating, and she listlessly says that she’s fine. Joon-hyung comes by and can tell immediately that Bok-ju is still upset, and he follows her out when she excuses herself. He just barely stops her from walking in front of a moving car, and yells at her to pay attention.
Bok-ju seems dazed and distant, and gives him a half-hearted apology before wandering off again. But Joon-hyung stops her, worried that she didn’t eat, and buys her a whole bag of convenience store snacks.
He tries to cheer Bok-ju up by gushing over her performance yesterday, but it doesn’t work. She does agree to eat a little something, and you can see the gears turning in Joon-hyung’s head as he tries to think of something, anything, to make her feel better.
He ends up doing dumb impressions of Bok-ju herself, which are pretty hilarious, but she still barely cracks a smile. He tries imitating her odd running style, but Bok-ju just asks if he doesn’t have anything else to do today. Ha.
Poor Joon-hyung, he’s just beside himself with the need to help Bok-ju, and everything he tries falls flat. His jokes flop, his teasing is ignored, and eventually Bok-ju says she’s going to go take a nap and heads back to her dorm.
As soon as Bok-ju lies down her phone rings, and she pops back up when she sees it’s Jae-yi calling. He asks her to meet him to talk, and she heads to a small cafe where he buys her coffee. Argh, the coffees have little hearts drawn in the cream — this is why Bok-ju is so confused!
Jae-yi starts by congratulating Bok-ju on her win, and tells her that Joon-hyung read him the riot act for showing up unannounced. He apologizes, and says he hopes he didn’t hurt her feelings or mislead her unintentionally. Bok-ju drops her spoon in her coffee, destroying the cream heart in her mug, as her own heart breaks.
Bok-ju takes all the responsibility for her feelings, saying that it had nothing to do with Jae-yi’s actions towards her. Jae-yi says that he does feel happy and energized around her, which probably made her think he felt something more, and Bok-ju falls all over herself telling him that there’s nothing wrong with kindness.
She assures him that she falls in and out of love easily, and that she’ll soon forget all about him, calling it a distraction from training. Jae-yi doesn’t look like he really believes her, but he’s obviously relieved that she’s not taking his letdown badly. They part ways, and Bok-ju goes straight to Joon-hyung’s training gym.
Bok-ju calls Joon-hyung outside in front of the entire swim team. Uh-oh. She demands to know why he told Jae-yi that she likes him, and tells him about the horrible conversation they just had. She says that she felt like Jae-yi was put in an uncomfortable position because he can’t return her feelings.
She blames Joon-hyung for the entire situation, and Joon-hyung tries to explain that he was only trying to help, but even he can hear how lame that sounds. He admits that he felt bad when he saw her crying after the tournament, and that he lost his temper.
Bok-ju still thinks he had no right to tell her secret to Jae-yi. She yells that Joon-hyung always does whatever he wants, and accuses him of having fun at her expense. Joon-hyung gets angry at that, and asks if she thinks it’s a joke that he kept her secret, covered up her lies, and tried to make her feel better when she was down.
She says she’s not sure, and Joon-hyung gets offended and tells her to think whatever she wants about him. But he wants to know what her problem is, moping around after winning first place, letting a guy make her feel terrible when she worked so hard for that medal.
He yells that she’s ashamed, and that as a fellow athlete, he’s disappointed in her. He asks who will love her if she’s ashamed of herself, and walks away angry.
He goes to Jae-yi’s clinic and tells his cousin to come outside. Jae-yi explains that he felt like he may have been too nice to Bok-ju and wanted to explain, and Joon-hyung accuses him of unburdening himself at Bok-ju’s expense. Jae-yi says he really just wanted to apologize, but Joon-hyung tells him he made another huge mistake.
He tells Jae-yi that Bok-ju feels even worse now, after seeing Jae-yi apologize to her. He says that Jae-yi can go too far trying to be considerate, and ends up hurting others. Joon-hyung says that Jae-yi has been doing it to him for years — that being too nice only makes Joon-hyung feel worse, because it highlights that he’s not Jae-yi’s real brother.
Jae-yi clearly feels terrible, and Joon-hyung says that he knows that’s not his intent to make him feel that way. But he wishes that Jae-yi would get angry with him, fight with him, even beat him up like regular brothers. He leaves without giving Jae-yi a chance to say anything.
The rhythmic gymnasts are weighed again, and most of the girls come in too heavy for their coach’s liking. Shi-ho is praised for losing weight, and told to lose a bit more before the next competition.
She goes to dinner later with Joon-hyung’s swimming sunbae Ki-seok. She feels ill halfway through the meal and goes to the restroom to throw up, and when she comes out she finds Ki-seok worried about her. She asks if he’s not annoyed that she ordered all that food to go to waste, but he just says he’s not, because he’s liked her for years.
That night Jae-yi goes into Joon-hyung’s room, and looks at all the photos of Joon-hyung with his family. Joon-hyung floats in the university pool, buoyed by the water even as his thoughts weigh him down.
Nan-hee and Seon-ok burst into Bok-ju’s room late the next morning, but she refuses to open her eyes, much less get up. They finally leave her to sleep, wondering what’s happened to their friend since winning the weightlifting competition.
Tae-kwon happens by, and Nan-hee says to Seon-ok that she’s decided he’s her backup plan in case she doesn’t have a boyfriend by the end of the year. Tae-kwon joins them and tells them about Bok-ju yanking Joon-hyung out of practice, and that Joon-hyung has been in a bad mood ever since.
Tae-kwon says that Joon-hyung must have crossed a line, making Seon-ok and Nan-hee gasp and think he means romantically. But he just means he thinks Joon-hyung teased Bok-ju too much and they had a fight. Tae-kwon assures them that Bok-ju isn’t Joon-hyung’s type, because he likes pretty girls (grrr…).
Coach Yoon rushes to the administration office, to look into reports that Coach Choi has been asking for the team’s operating costs in advance. Coach Choi arrives, and she confirms that she used the money for a personal matter, but she refuses to say what for. She paid Woon-ki’s settlement (for punching the taxi driver) with the team’s money, didn’t she?
Coach Yoon goes back to the gym alone, and tells the team to begin practice. He looks pale and worried, and Nan-hee tells everyone that she saw him heading to the office earlier. Woon-ki goes to Coach’s office to talk to him, and overhears him on the phone mentioning the amount that Coach Choi used for something “personal.” Sure enough, it’s the same amount as his settlement.
Woon-ki intercepts Coach Choi on her way back to the gym, and asks her about it. She refuses to say anything, but he already knows, and says that if he had known he wouldn’t have accepted the money. He starts to go to the office to clear this up, but she stops him, and says that nothing he does now will change the fact that she wrongly used the school’s money.
Joon-hyung’s aunt calls him to the pharmacy to help rearrange and clean up, and things get awkward when he sees that Jae-yi is there. Jae-yi makes the first move and invites Joon-hyung to play catch, so they go to the park to toss a ball.
At one point Joon-hyung throws a little too hard, and hits Jae-yi in the shoulder. He runs over to see if Jae-yi is okay, and Jae-yi blows up at him. He yells at Joon-hyung for having terrible aim and nearly hurting him, and accuses Joon-hyung of doing it on purpose because he’s angry.
Joon-hyung looks upset, but he’s just about to apologize when Jae-yi turns to him with a big grin, and asks if he did a good job being a big brother. Awww, he was giving Joo-hyung what he wanted, to get yelled at like a real brother.
Later they sit to talk, and Jae-yi says that he never considered that being nice could create distance between them. Joon-hyung admits that he was being too sensitive, and they both apologize.
Jae-yi says that Joon-hyung was quite scary when he got upset, and wonders if Bok-ju is that special to him, to make him feel that strongly. Joon-hyung stammers that it’s not like that, but Jae-yi just gives him a knowing look.
As he bikes home, Joon-hyung gives himself a pep talk. He decides that he won’t care about Bok-ju anymore, which is a vow I’m guessing won’t last the day.
Shi-ho goes to see Dr. Go about her injured ankle, and Dr. Go notices that she seems more relaxed today. She guesses there must be a positive change in Shi-ho’s love life, and Shi-ho actually giggles that she must be transparent. She sighs that she wants to be with someone who likes her, and stop being obsessive.
She and Ki-seok go ice skating later, and they’re both terrible at it. Later he helps Shi-ho unclip her boots, and he leans in to kiss her. Shi-ho seems like she’s going to allow it, but she turns her head at the last moment, and apologizes.
Ki-seok says that he already knows he’s not the one she wants, and tells her that it’s okay to use him. But he says that she should stop torturing herself.
Jae-yi takes Dr. Go for a drink, and tells her that someone said his consideration for others can sometimes hurt their feelings and create distance. Dr. Go honestly agrees, saying that despite being warm and caring, he can often feel distant as well. She says it makes her wonder if they’re really as close as she thinks.
Jae-yi asks when she was disappointed like that, but Dr. Go refuses to tell him. She takes a call from an old schoolmate of theirs, and the news that someone named Hwan-hee may be back seems to affect Jae-yi. Interesting… an old love?
Bok-ju and her friends go running to the weightlifting gym to learn that Coach Choi has been fired for using school money for personal reasons. The entire team are gobsmacked, and Woon-ki looks wracked with guilt over the news. Coach Choi comes to clean out her desk, and she only apologizes when Bok-ju begs her to say it’s not true.
In the office, Coach Yoon says that he tried to stop her being fired, and asks one last time where she spent the money. She declines to say, but Woon-ki bursts in and says that Coach Choi spent the money on his settlement.
Coach Yoon goes to talk with Bok-ju’s dad, and tells him about Coach Choi’s firing. Uncle Dae-ho listens from the kitchen as Coach Yoon explains that she intended to recoup the money with other money she’s expecting, but she was found out before that happened. He’s torn, because helping Coach Choi by telling the truth could result in Woon-ki being subjected to disciplinary action.
Coach Choi cleans out her desk, and says goodbye to the weightlifting team. She leaves them with a few words of encouragement, and Woon-ki turns his back in shame over his part in what’s happening.
Bok-ju follows Coach Choi out, and says that she knows she would never steal the team’s money. She begs Coach Choi to tell her it’s not true, asking who will train her now, who she’s supposed to lean on now, if Coach Choi leaves. Coach Choi only says she’s sorry, and leaves Bok-ju wailing.
She doesn’t get far before Uncle Dae-ho rides up on the restaurant’s scooter and offers her a ride. She refuses, but he turns on the charm, and soon they’re speeding down the street. HAHA, Coach Choi is driving, and Dae-ho is hanging on for dear life, looking scared to death.
Bok-ju goes back into the gym to find the entire team sitting wordlessly. Suddenly Woon-ki kicks over a chalk stand and storms out, and Bok-ju finds Coach Choi’s old water bottle and hugs it close, crying again.
Coach Yoon reminds Bok-ju that she has a meeting with her new sponsor later today, and says he’ll take her. She looks around at the weightlifting apparatus, then kicks a barbell angrily, and leaves.
Tae-kwon complains to Joon-hyung about a surprise swim team meeting, and mentions that Ki-seok didn’t turn up at practice recently. Nan-hee and Seon-ok run to them to ask if they’ve seen Bok-ju, who’s disappeared and is about to miss her sponsor meeting.
Joon-hyung tries not to care, since Bok-ju told him not to worry about her anymore. But he can’t help himself, and runs off looking for her. He can’t find her anywhere, and he even checks Jae-yi’s office, but Jae-yi says she hasn’t been there, either.
A security guard finds her sleeping on a park bench, and wakes her and sends her away. Joon-hyung finally finds her on a bridge, and yells at her for turning her phone off and disappearing.
He asks if she’s doing this on purpose, and making him feel uneasy. He yells that she keeps making him worry even when she’s okay, and Bok-ju finally speaks in an oddly calm voice. She says she feels strange, and that she thinks she’s sick.
She says she doesn’t want to do anything — she doesn’t want to lift weights, and she feels sleepy all the time. She says she thinks she’s broken, like something is pressing on her heart. “It’s so frustrating, and it makes me sad. What do I do?”
She starts to cry, and Joon-hyung’s anger dissipates. He does the only thing he knows how to do, and holds Bok-ju as she sobs.
Poor Bok-ju, it’s like everything stable in her life is falling down around her ears. She’s losing her unconditional love for weightlifting because of a silly crush, that crush doesn’t return her feelings, she’s fighting with her best friend, and now she’s losing the only mother figure she’s ever had. None of these things are small issues by themselves, but they’re happening all at once, and Bok-ju must feel like her whole world is ending. It’s no wonder she’s almost certainly suffering from depression, because she probably feels like she’s losing everything that makes her happy and feel like herself.
I really have to stop and give Nam Joo-hyuk all the credit for the way he’s portraying Joon-hyung. I’ve been following his career since Surplus Princess and always thought he was okay but pretty green, but he’s suddenly grown in maturity by leaps and bounds. It would have been so easy to make Joon-hyung a simple, happy-go-lucky character, and we still would have loved him for the way he adores Bok-ju. But Nam Joo-hyuk is playing him with such subtle nuance, I’m frankly amazed at how he lets us in to even the tiniest of Joon-hyung’s thoughts. You can see it on his face the moment he regrets saying something thoughtless to Bok-ju, and how worried he gets when he thinks Bok-ju might be angry with him, and how much it hurt when she blew up at him about blabbing to his cousin about her crush. He doesn’t need to tell us how much he cares for Bok-ju, because we can watch every single moment that he falls for her, over and over again. There’s no moment that goes by that Joon-hyung’s thoughts aren’t written all over his face, and that requires a level of acting skill that I wouldn’t have said Nam Joo-hyuk possessed… until now.
And as a character and romantic interest, Joon-hyung is just knocking it out of the ballpark. He’s just so sweet and attentive, without being sappy at all — he just thinks Bok-ju is awesome, plain and simple. But I’ve been waiting for him to finally get mad at Bok-ju about something, because surely he can’t be so perfect that every little thing she does enchants him. I was so glad, and really, not at all surprised, when he finally blew up at Bok-ju. It’s interesting that the reason was because he was angry that she’s ashamed of herself and her weightlifting — it’s so in line with his character that when he finally got angry at Bok-ju, it was for the way she belittles herself. I love that what upsets him the most is that she diminishes herself and her accomplishments, that she lets a guy who doesn’t even like her back make her feel bad about herself. He’s so right, that it’s wrong for Bok-ju to allow anyone else to take away her pride in herself and her hard work.
I also liked what he said to Jae-yi, that too much consideration can be hurtful. It’s hard to describe, but I know exactly what he means. I was actually impressed with Jae-yi for immediately apologizing for making Bok-ju think he might have returned her feelings, until Joon-hyung pointed out that too much consideration can be hurtful, too. By going too far apologizing, being sorry, being so overly nice, Jae-yi’s actions only shine an even brighter light on the thing that makes the other person feel bad in the first place, like Bok-ju’s crush or Joon-hyung being abandoned by his mother. They just want to be treated normally, and not to have to be reminded of their pain every time Jae-yi goes overboard by being extra kind to them. But, although it’s painful for Bok-ju to hear that he doesn’t return her feelings, it could have been so much worse, and this way she can now sort out her feelings and move on.
And she’s actually a very lucky girl… she doesn’t even know that there’s already someone who knows everything about her, good and bad, and loves every single bit of it. Joon-hyung is just on the cusp of realizing how he feels about Bok-ju, and I only hope that when he does, Bok-ju is ready to hear it. Right now she’s got so many other things to worry about, romance is probably the last thing she wants to think about. So it’s good that Joon-hyung is just being a good friend to her, which Bok-ju needs even more than a love interest.
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 9
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 8
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 7
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 6
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 5
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 4
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 3
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 2
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 1