Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 8
Honesty is the name of the game, though unfortunately Bok-ju doesn’t seem to have fully absorbed the lesson quite yet. First love is difficult enough to navigate without all the added pressure from friends and colleagues, so it’s lucky for Bok-ju that she knows at least one person she can always trust with her secrets.
EPISODE 8: “The wind is blowing”
Bok-ju calls Joon-hyung to ask his advice on what to tell Jae-yi about leaving his clinic, but Shi-ho overhears and grabs her phone away. She accuses Bok-ju of throwing herself at Joon-hyung and angrily confesses to leaving her weight loss journal at the gym for the coaches to find.
Bok-ju is horrified, and Shi-ho adds that ever since she told Bok-ju that she wants to get Joon-hyung back, every time she wants to see him, Bok-ju is there. She says that she heard Bok-ju likes someone else, and accuses her of dating around.
Bok-ju yells that she has no plans whatsoever of dating Joon-hyung. She tells Shi-ho that she misunderstood the situation, and demands an apology. But Shi-ho refuses to give one, saying that Joon-hyung hurt her feelings because of Bok-ju. Bok-ju counters that that was Shi-ho’s doing, not hers, and says that now she knows why Joon-hyung doesn’t want Shi-ho back.
Bok-ju stands to leave, calling Shi-ho two-faced, but Shi-ho grabs her back and yells that Bok-ju knows nothing about their relationship. Bok-ju agrees, adding that she’s not interested, either, and tries to leave again. Shi-ho won’t let go, so Bok-ju throws an elbow that knocks her down.
Shi-ho jumps up and grabs Bok-ju again, furious that Bok-ju is trivializing her relationship with Joon-hyung. Bok-ju elbows her again and this time Shi-ho stays down, and Bok-ju heads off to her friends’ room.
Seon-ok still isn’t speaking to Nan-hee, for keeping Bok-ju’s secret about liking Jae-yi from her. Bok-ju bursts in, livid, and she soon notices Seon-ok’s silence as well. She tells Seon-ok to blame everything on her, and Seon-ok just throws her head down on her bed. Bok-ju tells Nan-hee about her fight with Shi-ho, and Nan-hee loyally offers to go kick her butt. Bok-ju is annoyed with Joon-hyung when he finally gets up the nerve to call her, but she agrees to meet him on the roof.
He waits for her on the top bunk, rehearsing his apology in rapid-fire words that betray his nerves. He tries it again, cooler this time, then jumps like a big dork when she shows up, hee. He hangs his head when Bok-ju asks him to just leave her alone so they can stop causing misunderstandings.
He can tell by Bok-ju’s heavy sigh that Shi-ho told her everything, and apologizes. Bok-ju, still hot, starts to bark that he should be sorry — until she sees his face, and realizes how awful he feels. She backs down, and just grumbles that she doesn’t know what Shi-ho sees in him.
The house mother comes to check the roof, and Joon-hyung grabs Bok-ju and throws them both down on the mattress to hide. Bok-ju complains that people might see them and misunderstand, but Joon-hyung doesn’t look like he would mind one tiny bit.
He pulls Bok-ju closer when she starts to get up, pointing out the pretty stars, and claiming to be cold as an excuse to squeeze her even closer. She allows it, and comments on his high nose-bridge, and he admits that from this angle she’s kinda pretty.
Coach Choi gets drunk in the weightlifting gym all alone, still thinking about her talk with Bok-ju about breakups. Coach Yoon finds her and she scrambles to collect her wits, refuses his offer of a ride, then falls on her face as she makes her retreat. Oh, that’s embarrassing.
The next morning, Coach Yoon announces that the team’s training will increase, to prepare them for an upcoming competition. After sending them inside, he tells Coach Choi not to drink alone anymore, and offers to go for a drink with her tonight. She accepts, going a little fluttery over the idea of a sorta-date.
After her great performance at the recent competition, Shi-ho is back in her coach’s good graces, and her coach brings her a bottled water and gives her some friendly training advice. The other gymnasts notice how different she’s acting towards Shi-ho, though Soo-bin thinks it won’t last. Shi-ho tosses the bottle in the trash, annoyed.
Shi-ho finds her younger sister waiting for her outside the training room, in tears over their parents’ recent fighting. She tells Shi-ho that they’re getting a divorce, and dissolves into sobs.
Shi-ho goes to see her mother, who confirms the bad news. It seems her mother is trying to shield her from more stress while she’s training, but Shi-ho is furious that nobody saw fit to tell her about the divorce. She decides to quit gymnastics and get a job, but her mother refuses to allow it, saying that Shi-ho’s life isn’t just hers.
But that makes Shi-ho feel even worse, because she knows that many of her parents’ fights have been about supporting her athletic goals. She tells her mother that her life is not her mom’s life, and yells that she should have lived her own life better. Her mother reaches out and slaps her, and though she immediately regrets it, Shi-ho walks away crying.
Joon-hyung goes home for a home-cooked meal, and watches his aunt and uncle as they lovingly bicker. Aww, no wonder he’s so comfortable bickering with Bok-ju.
He goes to his therapy appointment and tells the counselor that he thinks it was a mistake to try to control his mind through breathing, and jokingly asks for a refund. The counselor says they’ll keep trying until they figure this problem out, and asks if Joon-hyung ever thinks about looking for his mother.
Joon-hyung says he doesn’t, because he figures she must have a reason for severing contact with him, and he would feel disloyal to his aunt and uncle. His counselor understands his reasoning, but adds that he hopes Joon-hyung eventually confronts the situation. He thinks Joon-hyung is exhausted from holding everything in, and thinks it needs to be addressed.
Bok-ju approaches Seon-ok about her continued upset over being left out of the loop, saying that she and Nan-hee didn’t leave her out on purpose. Seon-ok sarcastically apologizes for being such a bad friend that they couldn’t tell her, and Bok-ju blows up at her for making her feel worse when she already feels bad enough.
They relocate to the roof so they can scream at each other freely, and Seon-ok says that she always considered Bok-ju and Nan-hee her sisters. Bok-ju says they feel the same way, and Nan-hee explains that Bok-ju only told her about her crush because she saw Bok-ju’s text message.
But Seon-ok is upset about what happened after that, when Coach Choi found out and Nan-hee pretended not to know anything. Well, that’s fair. She complains about Bok-ju keeping a secret in the first place, and Bok-ju replies that it wasn’t easy for her, either. She admits that she knew what she was doing was stupid, and was too embarrassed to tell them.
Seon-ok yells back that they would have understood – that’s what friends are for. Bok-ju knows she’s right, and apologizes, crying that she thought they would be disappointed in her. Seon-ok sees her tears and apologizes back, and they all go in for a loud, sobbing hug.
Then it’s confession time – Seon-ok tells them that her parents don’t really run a store, they run a motel. Nan-hee confesses that she’s never been kissed, and Bok-ju and Seon-ok look at her for a moment like Yeah, we know, but they just say it doesn’t matter. And then it’s hugs time again.
The three buddies have dinner, and since Bok-ju can’t drink because she’s in training, they decide to go to a noraebang to sing out Bok-ju’s stress.
Coach Choi actually puts on lipstick to go drinking with Coach Yoon, which is just so adorable. But Coach Yoon gets a call from his maybe-soon-to-be-ex-wife, and has to cancel their plans to go pick her up after a car accident. Coach Choi tries her best not to show her disappointment, and as he leaves, she wonders if she really has feelings for him.
The girls throw themselves heart and soul into their songs at the noraebang, dancing and singing their troubles away. At once point Bok-ju sticks her head out to ask the attendant to give them more time, and a well-placed compliment gives her what she wants. The lady knows her dad, and asks Bok-ju to have him bring her some leftover chicken sometime.
As they’re having the time of their lives, Shi-ho sits in the room across the hall, listening to sad songs and crying. Her mother’s words that she’s given her whole life for Shi-ho’s gymnastics dream echo in her mind.
Coach Choi goes to Bok-ju’s family chicken place after having a couple of drinks, and finds Uncle Dae-ho sitting there alone. He brings her a soju and notices that she looks different, leaning in very close to peer at her makeup. He guesses that she got stood up, and sits down with her like it’s no big deal.
She objects, and Dae-ho says he was just trying to keep her company. She takes a drink defiantly, and Dae-ho challenges her, scoffing that she probably can’t drink much anyway. Oh, now it’s on. Four sojus later, they’re still angry-drinking, though Dae-ho is starting to look a little sick.
Coach Choi falls out of bed the next morning, and belatedly realizes that she spent the night in Bok-ju’s room. She goes out to apologize to Bok-ju’s dad, who thinks it’s no big deal that she stayed over, and even made her hangover soup.
Dae-ho nearly jumps out of his skin when he sees Coach Choi in the kitchen, and fails miserably to act casual about it. They both sit to eat, and Coach Choi nervously asks if she made any mistakes last night. Dae-ho acts like he can’t remember, but he clearly does remember a violent game of rock-paper-scissors that led to some pretty interesting physical closeness.
The gymnastics coach finds something strange about the fact that the entire team passes weight requirements, and finds a wad of paper shoved inside the scale to alter the results. She gets an electronic scale, which Soo-bin and her crony attempt to break that night by jumping on it.
Bok-ju’s intense training begins, and her father delivers chicken to the gym for her and the coaches. He brings Uncle Dae-ho with him, which makes Coach Choi uncomfortable, especially when Dad gives her a knowing little wink.
Bok-ju slips out to answer a call from Jae-yi, who’s worried that she hasn’t made any more appointments. She tells him that she can’t come anymore because she’s leaving to study abroad in Germany, and Jae-yi says that he feels like he’s saying goodbye to a good friend.
Bok-ju hangs up and fights her tears, telling herself this is nothing to cry about. But she loses the battle, and sobs pitifully.
Later she calls Joon-hyung and tells him that she told his cousin she’s not coming to the clinic anymore. Joon-hyung asks if she’s been crying, but she changes the subject and asks where he is. Even though he was about to leave, he says he’s not doing anything, and meets her at the wishing fountain.
Joon-hyung hands Bok-ju quarters, and asks what her wish is today. She finally sinks one and wishes that the person she likes would like her back, which makes a wistful expression come over Joon-hyung’s face. But she admits that it’s hopeless and she’s just wishing out of habit.
Joon-hyung asks what Bok-ju told Jae-yi about why she can’t go back to the clinic, and she tells him she said she was studying abroad. He laughs, and she says it’s all his fault anyway, so he apologizes again.
Bok-ju says sadly that what bothers her the most is that she had to lie to Jae-yi, wishing she could have been honest with him just once. Argh, the way Joon-hyung looks at her while she’s not looking is killing me. He tells her to think of this as her first love and let it go, saying that last love is more important anyway.
Bok-ju sighs that she’ll never date again, and that look comes over Joon-hyung’s face again. He shakes it off and offers to take her clubbing again tonight after practice, and when she turns him down he suggests a movie instead. Bok-ju perks up at the idea, and they make plans to meet.
That afternoon Shi-ho isn’t feeling well and visits a pharmacy for medicine, but she barely make it out the door before her eyes roll back, and she collapses on the sidewalk.
Joon-hyung’s aunt brings him his yearly Christmas gift that’s supposedly from his mother, and he opens it to find a new pair of sneakers. But this year he knows the gift is really from his aunt and uncle.
The fact that the sneakers fit perfectly (because his aunt knows his shoe size) just drives home the reality that his mother has abandoned him. He goes to his room and thinks about the therapist’s suggestion that he look for his mother for real answers. He gets a call from Shi-ho, and answers even though he doesn’t look pleased about it.
Bok-ju waits for Joon-hyung at the movie theater, growing annoyed when he’s late and hasn’t called. He’s escorting Shi-ho home from the hospital in a taxi, and Shi-ho apologizes, saying he was the only person she could think to call. She tells him about her parents’ divorce, and that she feels burdened by her family’s sacrifices for her.
She says that if she’d known when she started that it would be like this, she never would have taken up competitive gymnastics. But now it’s too late, and Joon-hyung silently looks at her with new understanding.
Bok-ju falls asleep while waiting for Joon-hyung to call, and when she wakes she finally caves and calls him. He doesn’t answer but he looks horrified when he sees her call, and he sends Shi-ho the rest of the way home by herself. Shi-ho tries to hug him, but he pushes her off and runs to the theater to meet Bok-ju.
She’s busy playing a shooting game, screaming DIE DIE DIE as she yells at Joon-hyung for standing her up. Joon-hyung follows the sound of her cursing and takes his bullet like a man, and apologizes over and over while Bok-ju ignores him.
They’re halfway home before she deigns to talk to him, and asks why he won’t say why she stood him up if he’s so sorry. He takes her hand and punches himself with it, and Bok-ju angrily says that she’s never been stood up before. Joon-hyung stupidly says that it’s probably because she’s never been invited out by a guy before, and gets smacked.
Joon-hyung takes the punch as a good sign, and pesters Bok-ju to go for food. She says that of course he’ll take her to dinner, because he owes her big-time. She demands beef, but then a street cart catches her eye and they stop for skewers.
Bok-ju eats so many that Joon-hyung despairs of the cost, but he sweetly helps her not stab her mouth and wipes sauce from her chin. The cart ajumma even comments that Bok-ju’s boyfriend is sweet, and when they say he’s not a boyfriend, the ajumma guesses he’s her husband then. Bok-ju’s scandalized denial is hilarious.
Joon-hyung is still whining at how much Bok-ju ate when they make their way back to the dorm. She grabs him in a headlock and drags him around the room, and the noise gets Shi-ho’s attention from upstairs.
She sees them acting comfortable with each other and rushes to her room. She angrily deletes every picture of herself and Joon-hyung from her phone, then immediately regrets it and cries.
Joon-hyung’s aunt visits Jae-yi at work, bringing food for his employees. She brings another bag for Dr. Go, which makes her son uncomfortable, and he clarifies that he and Dr. Go are just friends.
Bok-ju pulls a muscle in her back during training, and Joon-hyung runs into her on her way to the infirmary. He starts to say he’s going to see Jae-yi but stops himself, and sends her on her way.
He heads to Jae-yi’s office and looks for a place to display his birthday present (a funky speaker). He ends up moving Bok-ju’s “happy birthday” plant from its place of honor, and the receptionist mentions that Jae-yi went to the school to see Dr. Go. Uh-oh.
Sure enough, when Jae-yi calls Dr. Go to say he’s on his way, Bok-ju is still there getting her back treated. Joon-hyung won’t make it on time and Bok-ju isn’t answering her phone, so he calls Tae-kwon to send him to the infirmary and get Bok-ju out of there.
On the way, Tae-kwon runs into Seon-ok and Nan-hee, and enlists their help stopping Jae-yi in the parking lot. They rush out and Nan-hee throws herself in front of the car, only to find they stopped the wrong car, ha.
Tae-kwon makes it to the infirmary first, and sneaks in when Dr. Go steps out for a second. He tells Bok-ju the situation, but they hear Dr. Go and Jae-yi coming back, so Bok-ju drags Tae-kwon behind the curtain with her.
Joon-hyung finally arrives, out of breath, and sees Tae-kwon hiding with Bok-ju. He demands food and drags Jae-yi and Dr. Go out to eat, just barely stopping Jae-yi from seeing Bok-ju right there in the same room.
After eating, Joon-hyung texts Bok-ju that the coast is clear. But a call from Dr. Go alerts him that Jae-yi left his phone behind, and he runs back to the infirmary to get it.
He doesn’t think to warn Bok-ju that Jae-yi is still close by, so she doesn’t even notice when he drives right past her. Jae-yi stops and steps out of his car, and calls Bok-ju’s name. She stands there in shock, wearing her weightlifting team shirt and unable to say a word, as Joon-hyung arrives just a moment too late.
I really love that the trio of Bok-ju and her friends got to be front-and-center for a while in this episode, because I adore their friendship. And again, the things they were fighting about just feel so realistic and tug at my own memories of being young and learning what it means to be an adult. I remember that feeling of being left out, un-included in a secret, and when you’re young that hurts so much. I think Seon-ok had every right to be upset at Bok-ju for keeping such a big secret from her, and at Nan-hee for lying to her about it. But in the way of true friends, I also love that they got a chance to yell at each other, call each other names, then make up and cry over how much they love each other. Honesty is important in more than just romance, and it’s great to see the three friends being brutally honest and working out their issues. Loving someone doesn’t mean you never fight, but being able to talk openly and come through any problems even stronger is a real gift.
Poor Shi-ho, as if she needed any more pressure in her life. I can’t help but feel bad for her, though in no way do I condone her treatment of Joon-hyung or Bok-ju. I just also know that desperation can make people do crazy things, so I worry about Shi-ho’s mental well-being now that her whole world is falling down around her ears, and she’s feeling like it’s all her fault. Seeing your parents split is hard enough without the added guilt of thinking that if you had only made different choices, it wouldn’t be happening, even when those choices were made when she was very young. It’s so sad to watch her cling to the one thing she thinks she can control, her relationship with Joon-hyung, and be completely unable to accept that she will never get him back.
I do believe that Shi-ho has convinced herself that she can salvage things with Joon-hyung if she just keeps trying, because she broke up with him, and so she probably believes that he’s only refusing because he’s still hurt. But an emotionally healthy person would see his interactions with Bok-ju as proof that he’s moving on and let him go, even if it hurts. The fact that Shi-ho is only clinging to him harder after seeing how he feels about Bok-ju makes me really worry that she’s going to become dangerously unstable.
And oh Bok-ju, why? Why did you lie again?? I’m so frustrated with her right now, because it was bad enough that she lied to Jae-yi about wanting to lose weight and her coaches and friends about the whole thing, but she just finally got everything out in the open and promised not to lie anymore. Then she turns around and immediately lies to Jae-yi that she’s going to study abroad. This is just going to start another carousel of lies and secrets, and the fallout is going to be even worse the second time around. I know Bok-ju is young, but she’s not stupid, so I don’t understand why she doesn’t seem to have learned anything from being caught the first time. I just want to shake her and tell her to be honest.
That said, I do like that Bok-ju told Joon-hyung the truth right away, like honesty is just a natural non-issue between them now. I love that she trusts him with her biggest secret, both times in fact, because regardless of his teasing Joon-hyung has never, not once, betrayed Bok-ju’s trust. And it’s so cute that they’re kind of dating without even realizing it, going to clubs and planning movie nights and getting upset when the other doesn’t show up. It’s going to be hilarious when they realize they’re already a couple and didn’t even know.