Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Episode 9
Growing up is so painful, and it’s even harder for Bok-ju, whose dream of Olympic weightlifting gold and true love seem at such odds with each other. She believes that she can’t have both, which is the source of so much of her recent heartache, and nothing will make her believe that it’s not true. Luckily she has a good friend there to tell her that what makes her beautiful isn’t her physical appearance, but what’s inside — all she has to do is find someone who loves her for who she is.
EPISODE 9: “The merits of a one-sided love”
Unaware that Jae-yi is still on campus, Bok-ju walks right past his car. He gets out and calls her name, and she can only stand in shock, caught. Joon-hyung comes running up, moments too late to stop his cousin from seeing Bok-ju.
Jae-yi asks Bok-ju what she’s doing here, and Joon-hyung thinks fast and pretends she came to visit him. But Bok-ju is holding her weightlifting team jersey, giving lie to Joon-hyung’s story even as he tells it.
Bok-ju realizes that this has gone far enough, and she tells Jae-yi the truth — that she’s a student on the weightlifting team. She admits that she lied about playing cello and studying abroad, and excuses herself.
Jae-yi and Joon-hyung sit to talk, and Joon-hyung explains that Bok-ju asked him to keep her secret because she was desperate. Jae-yi asks why she lied to come to his clinic when she’s a weightlifter, and Joon-hyung scrambles to think of an excuse.
He says that she wanted to lose weight because she started to like someone, and thankfully, Jae-yi doesn’t pick up that he’s that guy. Joon-hyung tells him about Bok-ju getting in trouble with her coaches, and Jae-yi feels terrible about his part in it. He asks who Bok-ju likes, but Joon-hyung just says he’s hungry.
Bok-ju yells at herself all the way to the wishing fountain, and plops herself down for a good cry. She thinks about how lies produce more lies, “And I’m becoming a lying machine. I’m so ashamed of myself.”
Bok-ju spends the evening pulling a tire around the running track and screaming, while her friends Nan-hee and Seon-ok look on. They wonder what’s wrong with her, and Seon-ok gets close by wondering if she ran into the doctor today.
Shi-ho’s coach is back to her constant criticism, and she suggests Shi-ho back off on the difficulty of a skill she’s struggling with, but Shi-ho is determined to master it. Rival Soo-bin executes the same move perfectly, and she smirks in Shi-ho’s direction.
After practice, Shi-ho gets a call from her younger sister Shi-yeon, who wants to talk. Shi-yeon reports that their father got a job and moved out, and their mom has put the house on the market. Shi-yeon is resentful, asking what Shi-ho’s gymnastics have done for the family.
She wants to know why Shi-ho hasn’t done anything to stop their parents breakup. She yells that Shi-ho should have tried harder, talked to their mother more, blaming her gymnastics for their family’s destruction. She leaves, telling Shi-ho not to contact her.
Nan-hee and Seon-ok watch until Bok-ju wears herself out, curious to death to know what she’s so upset about. When Bok-ju finally collapses, they collect her from the pavement and carry her off the track.
In the morning, Tae-kwon excitedly tells Joon-hyung about a triple-date he’s set up with a trio of girls from another university. They run into Shi-ho leaving the dorm, but she walks right past Joon-hyung without even looking at him.
Bok-ju and her sunbae Woon-ki train long and hard for their upcoming competition in their new weight classes. Coach Yoon tells Coach Choi to send them home early to rest, but she argues that they still have a ways to go before they’re ready. She sends them home anyway, with instructions to eat well, because they still have to put on weight to qualify.
As Bok-ju and Woon-ki leave, they commiserate on how hard it is to put the weight on in time. Woon-ki sees his wife, holding their baby and being yelled at by a cab driver for spilling formula on the car seat, and he goes over to see what’s wrong.
Joon-hyung ends up going on the triple date with Tae-kwon and their swimming hoobae, but he’s profoundly uninterested in the three girls they’re meeting. Unfortunately all three ladies are fascinated with him, and he’s grateful when a call from Bok-ju gives him an excuse to get away.
She asks what Jae-yi said yesterday after she left, and Joon-hyung teases her on her ability to wait this long before asking. He ditches the date to meet with her, and finds her scratching on a poster at the bus stop.
He sneaks behind the poster and jumps up to scare her to pieces, and after he sits with her, she asks again what Jae-yi said. She moans that Jae-yi must think her crazy and stupid, but Joon-hyung says he was mostly confused. He tells Bok-ju that he fibbed about her reason for lying, and told Jae-yi she has a crush on someone.
Bok-ju berates herself for lying about being a cellist in the first place. She’s embarrassed that she even went to a concert with him, but Joon-hyung reminds her that she was excited to be on a date with Jae-yi.
Bok-ju lets out a sudden frustrated scream, ending on a whimper, and wonders why she’s so unlucky. She says she’d love to turn into smoke and disappear, and Joon-hyung quips that she weighs too much for that. PFFT.
He takes Bok-ju to an arcade to blow off steam, and she throws herself at the games aggressively. She handily beats him at the punching bag game, and even breaks one of the games, scaring Joon-hyung a little. He yanks her outside before the arcade owner catches them, and tells her to control her emotions.
Bok-ju complains that she’s still stressed, and asks if there’s a boxing gym nearby. Joon-hyung looks nervous at the idea of sparring with Bok-ju (smart boy, she’d kill him) and suggests they go for a drink instead.
Shi-ho has been struggling with a sore ankle, and she turns it again at practice. She takes a call from her mother, who says that little sister Shi-yeon didn’t come home last night. Shi-ho finds her at a friend’s place, and drags her out of there.
Shi-yeon doesn’t want to go home, and snaps that Shi-ho has never been interested in her before now. Shi-ho shoves her into a taxi, but Shi-yeon closes the door and takes off alone.
Joon-hyung jokes that Bok-ju drinks like an ajusshi, as she throws back shot after shot of soju. He tries slowing her down by pouring a tiny half-shot, but Bok-ju just chugs down the rest of the bottle and calls for more. Yikes.
Three bottles of soju later, Bok-ju is loudly hollering that she’s still way too sober. She complains that she can’t even focus on training because of some guy who doesn’t like her back, and she asks Joon-hyung if he knows when things went so wrong. She says it was the dressing table, and groans that if her father hadn’t taken the table, she wouldn’t have been at that intersection, and she’d never have met Jae-yi.
She blames Joon-hyung for everything, since he’s Jae-yi’s brother, and orders him to “take responsibility” for the mess and fix it. He defends himself, saying that he didn’t tell Bok-ju to like Jae-yi, and she asks if he knows what really started it all. He asks what, and she says, “The dressing table.” LOL. She tells Poor Joon-hyung the whole story over again.
She asks a third time if Joon-hyung knows what started this, and he says, “Yes. Everything was caused by either the dressing table or me.” Bok-ju is super impressed that he figured it out all on his own, and then she topples sideways out of her chair.
She’s too tall to piggyback, so Joon-hyung ends up just dragging Bok-ju down the street. PWAHAHA. He bitches loudly the entire way, while Bok-ju whines at him to take responsibility. Joon-hyung stops at a park bench for a breather, and Bok-ju complains of being cold. He finds a newspaper and tucks it around her sweetly, but when he sits back down, she slumps over to land with her head in his lap. He lets her stay there, smiling down at her sleeping face.
A little while later, Joon-hyung leans forward, his face getting closer and closer to Bok-ju’s. Just before their lips touch, he jerks awake with a horrified scream — HA, he wasn’t about to kiss her, he was falling asleep.
He gets a brilliant idea, and swipes a grocery cart to wheel the still-too-drunk-to-walk Bok-ju home. OMG this is just gets funnier and funnier. She bellows drunken fried chicken orders at him while he begs her to wake up.
He makes it to her place, and hands her off to her furious father. Uncle Dae-ho dumps Bok-ju in her bed and Dad tucks her in, and they suddenly realize that she must have gotten this drunk with Joon-hyung. Bok-ju yells, “Take responsibility, Joon-hyung!” and both uncle and father head out to kill that boy (to them it sounds like Joon-hyung took advantage of her).
They back Joon-hyung into a corner, but he vehemently swears he and Bok-ju are just friends and he hasn’t done anything to take responsibility for. Dad asks if he’s absolutely sure… then blows up at him for not seeing his precious daughter as a beautiful woman. HA, Joon-hyung actually starts to cry out of abject fear.
Dae-ho talks Dad down, and Dad tells Joon-hyung to respect his and Bok-ju’s bodies as athletic instruments, and not to stay out late drinking. Joon-hyung agrees, and meekly asks if he may please go home now.
Dae-ho walks him out, and apologizes for Dad’s excessive protectiveness. He insists on giving Joon-hyung cab fare, and tells Joon-hyung that personally, he’s in favor of their dating.
Joon-hyung tries to sneak into his house at dawn, and runs into Jae-yi instead. He asks if Mom knows he’s just now coming home late after drinking, but luckily Jae-yi lied for him. Joon-hyung explains that he was taking care of Bok-ju, which actually seems to bug Jae-yi a little.
Dad serves Bok-ju hangover soup for breakfast, grumbling that she has no reason to go out drinking when they have plenty of soju right here. Dae-ho tells Bok-ju that he likes Joon-hyung as a future husband for her, but Bok-ju says it’s not like that between them. She says he’s already seen things he shouldn’t have, and Dae-ho gives her an “Oh really?” face.
Bok-ju denies anything happened, but Dae-ho says it’s natural between two healthy young people. He takes her insistence as shyness, and tries to earn her trust by telling her when he lost his virginity. Oh geez, stop talking!
Joon-hyung’s aunt doesn’t buy his story for one second — she knows he was out drinking all night, and he cutely begs forgiveness as Jae-yi snickers. She gives Joon-hyung a guilt trip about not being able to run an errand for her, then lets Jae-yi off the hook when he says he’s going to help Dr. Go buy a stereo.
Coach Choi is called to the police station, where she discovers that Woon-ki punched the taxi driver who was harassing his wife. She only now discovers that he’s married with a baby, and he apologizes for not telling her sooner.
He says that he couldn’t help himself from punching the taxi driver when he cursed at his wife, and now the taxi driver is angling for a large settlement. Coach Choi offers to pay it for him, and he promises to pay her back. She doesn’t tell him that she doesn’t have the money for it, and starts making calls to scrounge it up.
Jae-yi helps Dr. Go pick out a stereo, and she talks him into installing it in exchange for lunch. He asks if she knows Bok-ju, and says that she’s the patient he’s told her about before. Dr. Go wonders why she’d go to a weight loss clinic, and Jae-yi says that according to Joon-hyung, Bok-ju has a crush on someone. Dr. Go decides that Bok-ju must like Joon-hyung — he’s handsome and popular, and Jae-yi agrees that they seem close.
They just happen to run into Bok-ju on their way to lunch, and invite her along. Bok-ju tries to decline but gets roped into it, though she’s obviously uncomfortable around Jae-yi.
Bok-ju is forced to watch as Jae-yi and Dr. Go share a menu like an old married couple, and it only gets weirder when Joon-hyung arrives, having also been invited. Dr. Go is obviously trying to play matchmaker, but Bok-ju looks like she wants to sink into the floor, and Joon-hyung can’t help but notice her discomfort.
Dr. Go asks Bok-ju if she has a crush on someone at school, but Jae-yi chides her for being nosy. Then she asks how long Bok-ju and Joon-hyung has been close, since she’s never noticed them together at school. Joon-hyung says they just now reconnected, and Dr. Go chirps that he’s changed so much, her heart would have fluttered when she saw him again if she were Bok-ju.
Jae-yi finally succeeds in getting Dr. Go to stop pushing, but Bok-ju grows uncomfortable again when he starts loading Dr. Go’s plate with food. Again Joon-hyung notices, and puts food on Bok-ju’s plate in an effort to make her feel better. He’s being so quietly sweet, it’s making my heart squeeze.
Dr. Go offers them a ride back to school, but Joon-hyung anticipates Bok-ju’s answer and declines for them both. Bok-ju tells him on the walk home that it’s good they had lunch, because she felt bad about the way things were left before. Now she feels closure, and can concentrate on her competition.
She says that Jae-yi and Dr. Go looked good together, and that Dr. Go is pretty and has a good personality. Joon-hyung is quick to say that Bok-ju is, um… healthy, and she’s all, Is that supposed to make me feel better?
Anxious to cheer her up, Joon-hyung cycles through all of his fun ideas, like a puppy going through its tricks to please its master. Bok-ju perks up when he suggests a drive to the ocean. So he borrows Jae-yi’s car, swearing he’s a great driver, then takes off — in reverse.
The drive relaxes them both, and Bok-ju teases Joon-hyung that his driving makes her carsick, and he counters that it’s not easy pretending to be a bad driver. He asks if she regrets lying to Jae-yi, and Bok-ju says she doesn’t, and that she would do it again.
Joon-hyung wonders why she’s not proud of being a female weightlifter, thinking there’s nothing wrong with it. Bok-ju says of course she’s proud, but that while women weightlifters may be impressive, they aren’t beautiful.
I love Joon-hyung for his genuine confusion when he asks what the difference is. Bok-ju explains that weightlifters with boyfriends don’t invite them to competitions, because when they’re lifting heavy weights, their veins pop out and their faces grow red, they get double or triple chins, and their bellies stick out.
She says that although the women weightlifters say that their dream is more important than looks, it’s not something they want the guy they like to see. Joon-hyung nods, and Bok-ju adds that choosing to be a weightlifter means that in some ways, she has to give up living as a woman.
Joon-hyung calls that nonsense, and says that she just needs to find a man who loves even that about her. Bok-ju says it’s hard to find a guy like that, but Joon-hyung swears they exist. He starts to put himself forward as one of those guys, but Bok-ju gets distracted by seagulls, and Joon-hyung pouts for her to choose between him or the seagulls.
They stop to play on the beach, and Bok-ju finally starts to cheer up. She says that she wishes she were here with a boyfriend so they could play silly romantic games, and Joon-hyung tells her to grow up before initiating those exact silly games. The romp in the sand, tossing each other into the ocean and eventually collapsing on the beach.
Bok-ju cuddles close to Joon-hyung, and he moves even closer while teasing her about getting too competitive while chasing him. Bok-ju complains that she’s told him everything about herself, but all she knows about him is his trauma. He agrees to tell her something else, and confesses that back in elementary school, he once left chocolate on her desk.
Little Bok-ju had been thrilled at the surprise chocolate, and had eaten it enthusiastically while Little Joon-hyung beamed at her. Now Bok-ju asks if Joon-hyung had a crush on her, and he says she’s overreacting, that he was just thanking her for saving his life and thought she was cool. Bok-ju pouts that that’s not a very big secret, so Joon-hyung decides to tell her a huge one.
He confesses that Jae-yi isn’t really his brother, and that makes Bok-ju sit up. Joon-hyung says he’s really his cousin, and that his “parents” are really his aunt and uncle. He says that his mom remarried and moved to Canada, leaving him with them.
Bok-ju guesses that this was when Joon-hyung suddenly transferred schools, and he says that he didn’t even get a change to say goodbye. Joon-hyung notices her pitying look and says that his aunt and uncle have been wonderful to him, pointing out how much he’s changed for the better because of them.
He grows serious, and says that everyone has painful wounds in their heart. It’s good if they can move on, but they can still live even if they can’t. He tells Bok-ju that she’ll be fine soon, and she agrees that she already feels better.
She thinks to herself that the good thing about harboring a one-sided love is that you can decide when to end it. She decides that today is the day, and thanks her heart for being passionate.
Bok-ju throws herself into training for her competition, spending every waking moment exercising or eating. She finally makes the weight requirement the day before the tournament, and her coaches celebrate.
On the morning of the competition, Bok-ju gets a bad feeling when she spills a drink on her lucky T-shirt. She stops to toss a coin in the wishing fountain, where Joon-hyung finds her and asks if she’s ready. She says she feels nervous and awful, and Joon-hyung takes her face in his hands. He tells her that she’s her team’s ace, and that she won’t make any mistakes. He sends her off to her bus, promising to be there to cheer her on later.
Jae-yi stops by Dr. Go’s office to look at her new stereo, which she says suddenly broke. He finds the power strip and turns it on, giving her a cheeky look and making her blush. She mentions the weightlifting match today, and that Bok-ju will be competing.
Over at the stadium, Woon-ki is up first, and he does great. It’s Bok-ju’s turn soon, and though she seems nervous, she’s got her game face on. She walks to the stage, telling herself that she can do this, and to just focus on the barbell.
As she steps to the barbell, Jae-yi enters the audience carrying a huge bouquet of flowers, and finds a seat. Oh no — it’ s her worse fear, for the guy she likes to see her lifting! She sees him there just before grabbing the weight, and loses focus for a moment.
Bok-ju is suddenly self-conscious of her new, larger body, though Jae-yi looks nothing but encouraging. Bok-ju approaches the barbell and makes a clean lift, but her own words run through her mind as she’s painfully aware that Jae-yi can see her veins, her red face, and bulging belly.
Still, her lift is a success, and just as she drops the barbell Joon-hyung runs into the stadium. He takes in the cheering audience and Bok-ju standing on stage, looking humiliated, and notices his cousin sitting there watching.
Joon-hyung instantly knows why Bok-ju looks like she’s about to cry. She walks off stage as fast as she can, barely holding back her tears.
GAH, Bok-ju just tugs on every heartstring I have, and some I didn’t even know I had. Despite her impressive physical strength, she’s so vulnerable on an emotional level, and something about that just gets me right here. It hurt to see her humiliation at knowing that Jae-yi saw her in (what she feels is) her most unattractive moment, even while I know intellectually that her perception that strength isn’t beautiful is wrong. Her description of what it looks like when lifting weights also made me cry — not because I agree that it’s ugly, but because it makes me profoundly sad to know that to Bok-ju, the two are mutually exclusive. She truly believes that she can’t follow her dream of being a weightlifter and be a lovely, feminine woman at the same time. She doesn’t understand that her strength is what makes her beautiful.
So when Jae-yi comes to see her in competition, watching the conflict on Bok-ju’s face as she held that barbell in the air just made me cry all over again. Here she is, doing the very thing that makes her special and wonderful, and in that moment she was feeling the ugliest she’s ever felt in her life, in front of the man she likes. Her shame felt so real and raw, she just makes me ache for her, and I want to wrap her up in bubble wrap and fluffy blankies and baby bunnies and protect her from the world. It’s probably very similar to the way Joon-hyung feels about her, but without the added confusing romantic feelings. Either way, I know she needs to go through this in order to mature and grow up, but it’s so hard to watch her suffering.
So I fell even more in love with Joon-hyung when he called that complete bullshit, and said she can just find a guy who loves that about her. I know who I would like to nominate for the job! He’s just so freaking perfect, I love that he was being completely honest and not just saying what he thought she wanted to hear. I wonder if he knows yet that he’s that guy? I have a feeling that he does — I think he’s beginning to realize that he’d like to be that guy for her, but he knows that right now, she’s still too wrapped up in Jae-yi to even look at him that way. But I was glad to see Joon-hyung at least start to say that he’s a guy who sees her for the beautiful person she is, even if he got overshadowed by seagulls this time.
As much as I want Bok-ju to realize that Joon-hyung has feelings for her, right now I’m mostly just glad that he’s being such a great friend to her. One of the main things I love about this show is how it’s letting Bok-ju and Joon-hyung’s relationship develop slowly and naturally, so as much as I’m excited to see it happen, I’m in no real hurry for them to fall in love. Joon-hyung is really going out of his way to help Bok-ju through her emotional struggles regarding Jae-yi, and I think it’s amazingly mature of him to know not to inflict his own growing crush on her at a time when it would just cause her to push him away.
Joon-hyung is being incredibly insightful about it, maintaining a certain distance while being there for Bok-ju however she needs him to be, whether that be as a distraction, a sounding board, or just someone to talk to. He was so quietly attentive to Bok-ju during that excruciating lunch, I just wanted to hug him — he didn’t miss a single detail about how that whole situation was making Bok-ju feel. If Joon-hyung plays his cards carefully, he’s going to build a rock-solid foundation for the time when he can tell Bok-ju how he feels. And if he’s lucky, she’ll realize that what she had with Jae-yi wasn’t love — real love has been right beside her the entire time.
- 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