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Because This Life Is Our First: Episode 6

Our main couple quickly realizes that marriage isn’t as easy as they first thought, and though they might have agreed to this matrimony for financial reasons, emotions are unpredictable and messy, which throws a wrench into their perfectly laid plans. Growing up in a time of prosperity only to be met with unanswered dreams and closed opportunities, our heroine and her friends continue to struggle with the seemingly mundane, and once again, the show continues to depict life in a way that captures both its joy and pain.

 
Episode 6: “Because ‘us’ is our first time”

Ji-ho cries in her wedding gown, unable to stop her tears, and Se-hee kneels beside her. He asks her if it’s hard to stop crying, and offers to walk down the aisle with her. He gently tells Ji-ho, “Let’s go together. I’ll be right next to you.”

Going back in time to 1988, it’s the year of the Seoul Olympics as well as Ji-ho’s birth. Born during Korea’s golden age, Ji-ho explains that her childhood was a time of rapid growth and abundance, where having a house and car was only natural. As things changed, crises naturally came, but hope always persisted. However, that trust didn’t last long. Ji-ho narrates:

“Even dreams started to have class. We weren’t 1988 babies anymore. We became the 880,000 won generation. The vote of a 20-year-old did not have any power. The world no longer looked at Korea. In a world of competition, my friends threw themselves for a line on their resume. In between them, I was a snail chasing after dreams.”

In the present, Ji-ho wonders how her 20-year-old self would react to her current self as she walks down the aisle alongside Se-hee. As people clap for them, Ji-ho says, “The 30-year-old Yoon Ji-ho who was born in 1988, instead of becoming a writer, took the hand of man who gave a discounted rent. I really got married because of housing.”

After the family pictures, the bride and groom’s friends are called next, and as Su-ji and Ho-rang get up, they both freeze after seeing who’s standing next to Se-hee: Sang-gu and Won-seok.

Once Su-ji and Ho-rang take their place next to Ji-ho, Bo-mi tells Sang-gu and Won-seok to move over to the bride’s side to balance out the photo. Despite Su-ji and Won-seok’s protests, Sang-gu eagerly ushers Won-seok to the other side, and because of Su-ji’s height, Bo-mi directs her to the back, next to Sang-gu. Thus, the three potential pairings end up standing beside each other in the final picture.

During the reception, Won-seok begs Sang-gu to ignore Ho-rang, but of course, Sang-gu does the exact opposite, making a beeline straight towards her table since Su-ji is there. However, before he can sit next to her, Won-seok pushes him away, and Ho-rang shoots daggers at her boyfriend.

Sang-gu introduces himself to Ho-rang, and she introduces herself and Su-ji, though he correctly “guesses” Su-ji’s name. He passive-aggressively says that Su-ji looks like someone who blocks people on chats, and Su-ji explains to the utterly confused Ho-rang and Won-seok that she met Sang-gu before, through work.

As their table falls into an awkward silence, Ji-ho and Se-hee enter the hall, and everyone happily claps for the newlyweds. Ho-rang can’t believe that Ji-ho is married, recounting the time she got drunk and threw up at their place, and Won-seok chimes in, recalling their shared memory. They banter easily with one another until they quickly realize that they’re still fighting.

Sang-gu notices something on Se-hee’s face, thinking that it’s hot sauce, but in fact, it’s a double nosebleed.

Relocating to a private area, Ji-ho helps Se-hee clean up the blood, and he notes how draining weddings are. He says that he wants to go back to their home and rest, but Ji-ho stares at him in shock, surprised by his use of the first-person plural.

Sensing her surprise, he asks if he said something offensive, and flustered, Ji-ho excuses herself. Escaping to the bathroom, Ji-ho remembers Se-hee’s comment about “our home,” and a smile slowly spreads across her face.

Ji-ho returns, but stops outside the room when she spots her mom sitting next to Se-hee. Mom hands him an energy drink, and wonders about what to feed her skinny son-in-law since he probably won’t eat snake soup. Se-hee interrupts her, and suddenly says that Ji-ho is a determined woman.

He tells Mom that Ji-ho made all her choices up to this point, including her decisions to quit writing and get married. Though he doesn’t know Ji-ho that well yet, he does know that she’s strong and won’t do anything that makes her unhappy. Therefore, while he’s married to her, he promises Mom that he won’t block her path to happiness.

He apologizes for not being able to promise something grander, but Mom thinks his honest words are much better than empty phrases. She offers to make him snake soup next time, and on the other side of the curtain, Ji-ho stifles her laughter.

The two families exchange farewells after the wedding, and before she leaves, Ji-ho’s sister-in-law tells Ji-ho that Se-hee is handsome. At the bus stop, Ji-ho stares at Se-hee, earnestly considering her sister-in-law’s comment, but Se-hee suddenly turns away to check his nose, assuming that he had another nosebleed because she kept staring at him. Heh.

Changing the subject, Ji-ho thanks him for his comments earlier to Mom, and apologizes for making him deal with something that doesn’t concern him. Se-hee disagrees, saying that it was his duty to relieve her mom of her worries, and tells her that it’s now both their concerns. His use of “our” catches Ji-ho off-guard again, and she hides her smile from him.

Ho-rang takes Su-ji to a crowded restaurant, where Sang-gu and Won-seok already have a table. Su-ji sees right through Ho-rang’s ploy, but before she can escape, Sang-gu intercepts them and leads them to his table.

After drinking a whole glass of beer in one go, Ho-rang explains to Sang-gu that she’s recently single and thinking of joining his dating app. He asks what kind of man she likes, and she says that she doesn’t care about anything as long as they didn’t study engineering.

Sang-gu shoots furtive glances at Won-seok, who asks what an engineering student did that was so wrong, but Ho-rang doesn’t want to talk about it since they’ve already separated. They continue to trade barbs until Won-seok finally declares that he does understand why she’s upset.

Ho-rang turns quiet, and Sang-gu uses this moment to explain how much Won-seok regretted his actions… of getting the display sofa. Su-ji audibly sighs, and though she warns Sang-gu to stop, he continues to talk about the sofa, which only makes Ho-rang more miserable. Realizing that this is how Won-seok thought of her, Ho-rang leaves the restaurant upset, and he dashes after her.

Won-seok grabs Ho-rang, demanding that she tell him why she’s angry, and she points out the bouquet she caught today. He doesn’t understand why she keeps beating around the bush, so Ho-rang decides to beat him with her bouquet. Bursting into tears, she blurts out that she wants to get married, and in response, Won-seok hugs her.

Sang-gu can’t believe the sudden plot twist he just witnessed, and Su-ji asks if he’s ever been in a real relationship like Ho-rang and Won-seok, where the line between “you” and “I” begins to blur. He turns the question back on her, and Su-ji replies, “I don’t date guys. I just make memories.”

Sang-gu turns away from Su-ji without a word to play on a claw machine, so she leaves him behind to get in a taxi. As she shuts the door, Sang-gu stops her and hands her the doll he just won, calling it her “daughter.” He tells her that this can be a memory, and sincerely asks to be unblocked as he promises to stop sending stupid messages. Heh.

Meanwhile, Won-seok brings Ho-rang home, and after tucking her in, he goes outside to sit alone and think.

The next day, Ji-ho makes breakfast for two, but Se-hee politely declines. Seeing Ji-ho’s dejected face, he changes his mind, and Ji-ho positively lights up, grabbing another bowl for Se-hee. After eating the food she made, he compliments her cooking, and she mentions how this is the first time they ate a proper meal together.

At lunch, Su-ji asks Ji-ho what she did yesterday, and she nonchalantly describes how they watched soccer separately. Su-ji probes her friend for more details about her relationship since she shared everything about her past dates, so Ji-ho admits that she likes it when he mentions things using “us.”

Su-ji interprets this as her fetish, and Ho-rang joins her in teasing Ji-ho. Jokes aside, Ho-rang asks why Ji-ho is out the day after her wedding, so Ji-ho explains that she’s looking for a part-time job to help pay their living expenses.

Ho-rang shares her disbelief with Su-ji over Ji-ho getting a part-time job, since she personally plans to be a homemaker once she’s married. Su-ji asks if she seriously discussed with Won-seok about getting married, but Ho-rang brushes off her friend’s concerns, since she thinks he would be a scumbag if he dated her for seven years without considering it.

Meanwhile, Won-seok seeks advice from Sang-gu, who tells him to just marry Ho-rang (since someone like Se-hee even got married). Sang-gu also offers Won-seok a position in his company, but he declines, since he invested a lot of time into his own app and doesn’t want to give up now.

The bigger problem for Won-seok is that he still doesn’t understand what marriage is, and he asks Sang-gu for his definition. Uncharacteristically thoughtful, Sang-gu says that it might be having someone by his side who understands him unconditionally, but then he plays it off with a joke when Won-seok asks if he’s thinking of someone in particular.

Sang-gu yells at Se-hee, who’s working nearby, to ask him what marriage is. But to his surprise, Se-hee actually approaches him. He yells at Sang-gu for disturbing him while working, and barks at him to keep personal issues out of work.

Ji-ho interviews for a position at a coffeeshop, but the manager rejects her since she’s too old. She heads to another shop looking for part-timers, but before she can get through the door, the owner comes out shouting for a “Bok-nam.”

Unable to leave the shop, he asks her to look for Bok-nam in his stead, and describes Bok-nam as having brown, curly hair, wearing pink, and being pretty-looking. He also tells her that Bok-nam likes corners, so off Ji-ho goes to look for Bok-nam, the runaway dog.

Ji-ho calls for Bok-nam while roaming the nearby alleys and runs into a young man with brown, curly hair, a pink sweater, and a pretty face. Definitely not a dog.

The young man looks up when she calls for Bok-nam, and asks her who she’s looking for. Ji-ho explains that she’s looking for a café owner’s dog, and begins to describe Bok-nam—her description also matching the man standing in front of her.

Ji-ho doesn’t make the connection, and tries to excuse herself when the young man says that he didn’t see the dog. He suddenly asks for her number since he needs to contact her if he finds the dog, and Ji-ho agrees with his logic, though she scratches her head afterward, since it’s not her dog.

Ji-ho returns to the café empty-handed, but the owner tells her that Bok-nam returned and thanks her for her help. As they sit down to talk about the part-time position, she tells him that she loves the name Bok-nam, and in the back, the young man from the alley (the real Bok-nam) smiles at her.

Coming back from their snack errand, Bo-mi tells Sang-gu that Park from HK (Ho-rang’s despicable coworker) called her about a company dinner today. Though he knows that they’re only calling him to have him pay, he perks up since it’s Su-ji’s company, and asks for more details.

Staring at Bo-mi’s relatively empty hands, Sang-gu belatedly realizes that he’s carrying all the stuff, but before he can accost her, she points toward Ji-ho, who’s walking toward them. Sang-gu invites her inside for snacks, and though she refuses at first, Ji-ho accepts their offer in the end.

Since this is her first time inside the office, Ji-ho looks around and notices an employee introduction board that also has Se-hee’s information (likes cats, hates things like this). Meanwhile, Se-hee finishes up his meeting, and is stunned to find Ji-ho standing in the office.

During snack time, Se-hee’s coworkers fawn over Ji-ho, still in disbelief that she’s real, and Bo-mi even asks for a photo to put in their database, since she’s Se-hee’s ideal type. They tease Se-hee for describing Ji-ho as very pretty, and while Ji-ho looks like she’s enjoying herself, Se-hee looks gloomier than usual.

At Su-ji’s company dinner, Sang-gu arrives just as they finish, and as soon as he sits, Park announces a second round of drinks elsewhere. They all march out of the restaurant, leaving Sang-gu to foot the bill, but Su-ji meets him at the counter to pay for the meal. She tells him to spend his money on claw machines rather than on people who take advantage of him, and watching her receding back, he says aloud that she makes his heart flutter.

During the second round, Park asks why Su-ji hasn’t accepted his friend request, and as he keeps pressing her to answer, Sang-gu intervenes, saying that office culture has changed, since he was also rejected by an employee recently.

This doesn’t stop Park, who then blames women for the “problem,” but before things escalate, Su-ji says that she’ll accept his friend request. He calls her a cool person and creepily tells her not to erase her bikini photos. The inappropriateness of his behavior isn’t lost on anyone at the table, but Su-ji dissipates the tense atmosphere with a joke, letting Park’s comment slide.

Sang-gu finds her outside putting out a cigarette, and confronts her about not getting mad after hearing such appalling things. She lays out the facts for him, explaining that company dinners are part of work for people like her, and as a female employee in a big company, it’ll be her on the chopping block if things get noisy.

Walking home together, Ji-ho happily chatters about Se-hee’s coworkers, but Se-hee seems to barely register her words as he responds to her in a tired tone. Shyly, Ji-ho notes how this is the first time they’re going home together, and she mentions how she imagined walking home with the person she married.

Once they arrive, Se-hee bends down to greet Cat, but Ji-ho cuddles with Cat first. She tells Se-hee that she gave Cat a new name, “Woori” (which means “us” in Korean), but he walks past her in silence to fill up Cat’s bowl.

She tentatively asks if he doesn’t like the name, but he says that it’s not about liking the name or not, he just feels uncomfortable. Ji-ho doesn’t understand, so Se-hee tells her in his blunt manner, “[She’s] my cat, so someone else calling [her] by a different name is uncomfortable.”

Ji-ho realizes that this must also mean that he felt uncomfortable when she visited him at work, and Se-hee admits that it did. He reminds her that they’re only in a landlord-tenant relationship, and thus, he would like to avoid situations where they have to pretend to be a couple. Though clearly hurt and shaken by his words, Ji-ho agrees with him, and returns Cat to Se-hee.

Ho-rang waits for Won-seok to return from his meeting, and once he’s home, he complains about the haughty investors he met today. Being direct, Ho-rang brings up the topic of marriage, wanting to have a serious discussion about it with him, and Won-seok honestly tells her that he isn’t sure about marriage.

Though he loves her and wants to live with her, he sees marriage as having kids and being responsible instead of love. In this moment, he isn’t confident he can do that, and thinks love and marriage are two separate things. Unable to disagree, Ho-rang simply listens with a downcast expression.

Each of the three friends sits alone — Ji-ho in her apartment looking over an old album, Ho-rang in her place staring at a board with pictures of her and Won-seok, and Su-ji in a taxi reading Sang-gu’s apology message but unable to respond back.

Ji-ho: “We are the unlucky ones born in 1988. Born during the golden age of our country, we are now going through the worst recession. We experienced both prosperity and poverty. That’s why we are called the unlucky ones born in 1988. For us, getting married, dating, and even ‘us’ are not natural givens. The simple idea of bonds and romance have become expenses and energy.”

Ji-ho remembers all the little moments with Se-hee that made her overthink their relationship, and how his words made her believe that maybe there was an “us” now. Looking at the nametag she made for Cat (*sniff*), she throws it away in the trash, and admits that for a little while, she was happy thinking that there was an “us.”

The next morning, Se-hee gets up to see Ji-ho making breakfast again, and naturally takes a seat at the table. He notices her glum expression, but ignores it as he grabs the nearby utensils.

Ji-ho apologizes for overacting yesterday, and says that it’s been a while since she heard words like “we” and “us.” It made her feel like she belonged, so to make sure it doesn’t happen again, she asks Se-hee to refrain from using those words.

Though taken aback, he agrees, and then Ji-ho asks him to return her utensils. Realizing his mistake, Se-hee hands them over and goes back to his original spot on the couch next to Cat. As Ji-ho eats alone, she thinks to herself that she knows why she’s angry right now: She got the wrong idea, hurt her pride, and embarrassed herself.

Ji-ho answers a call from an unknown number, and it’s Bok-nam, who she only knows as the alley guy. After asking if she has a pen and paper, he asks if she has a boyfriend, and Se-hee looks up at her. Meeting his gaze, Ji-ho tells Bok-nam that she doesn’t have one, and narrates, “Though there may be many reasons, I’m sure of one thing… I want to hurt you.”

 
COMMENTS

SO. MANY. FEELINGS.

If the last five minutes of Episode 5 made me go on an emotional rollercoaster from crying to swooning, then the last five minutes of Episode 6 put me through an emotional wringer. Despite experiencing such a wide range of emotions that feel almost contradictory, I’m loving it because everything feels so real and rich. With a potentially wacky premise of contract marriage and cohabitation, the show could have gone down the fluffy route and have our main couple experience butterflies and try to deny their budding attraction without ever exploring problems people face in actual relationships by giving them the stamp of “happily ever after” at the end. However, this show turns that upside down and gives a completely brutal reversal with the two breakfast scenes. It’s a decidedly unromantic moment between the two leads with a lot of raw emotions being thrown around at the end. The show doesn’t shy away from making the characters prickly, not because that’s their archetype, but simply because relationships are complicated, and human emotions are messy.

Thinking through the confrontation between the leads, I understand Se-hee’s response, and think that his request was completely in character for him. Se-hee is being his blunt self, and as usual, he fails to see what’s wrong with his straightforward tactic that disregards the feelings of others. The show even highlighted it during his office meeting, so the eventual “blowout” between him and Ji-ho wasn’t abrupt. However, even though I understand his point and saw it coming, the pain his words brought Ji-ho (and consequently, me as the viewer) wasn’t lessened by it. The way Cat’s new collar acted as a metaphor for Ji-ho throwing out the “us” she constructed between her and Se-hee was devastating to watch because we saw how she opened up and made herself vulnerable, only to be shut out by Se-hee in the end. The way she lit up when he joined her for breakfast the first time was absolutely precious, and in contrast, the second breakfast where she told him to give “her” utensils back with an icy stare made my heart drop because of the wall she was building around herself. Ji-ho displays her emotions plainly on her face, making it easier to read her mind.

Though she knew they were only a landlord and tenant, the comments from friends and family about Se-hee as well as the words he used himself made Ji-ho hope that their fake relationship could actually become real. These new feelings she experienced blurred the line between them, and unconsciously, she approached Se-hee much more quickly and openly than she would ever had with anyone else. As a result, her reaction was one of bitterness when she realized how wrong she was about their relationship. Though it’s a bit petty, who hasn’t wanted to hurt someone who hurt them first? Even if Se-hee’s intentions weren’t such, he still inflicted pain, and in a way, I also think Ji-ho’s harsh actions at the end weren’t just out of spite, but an act of self-preservation. Ji-ho is redrawing the line between them, moving them back to the when they first met (her at the table and him on the couch). This way, she’s removing everything that once caused her confusion, and is overcompensating for her previous mistake. I am once again amazed by Jung So-min’s tremendous performance — she’s doing a splendid job expressing the different facets of her character, and in making Ji-ho such a real character with her own charms and faults.

Compared to Ji-ho, Se-hee is still more of an enigma, but that’s not a bad thing. It seemed like he was genuinely surprised by her sudden cold behavior at the end, but it’s hard to tell if he’s feeling anything beyond that, like what we saw with Ji-ho. I think at this point, like our heroine, it might be fair to say that Se-hee doesn’t understand all of his feelings either, because from time to time, we see little smiles sneak up on his face because of her that weren’t there before. However, what exactly these little moments mean is up in the air at the moment, especially when taking into account his confrontation with Ji-ho about “his” cat. That’s not to say that I don’t think Se-hee hasn’t changed, because I do think Ji-ho’s presence in his life has made him shift in subtle ways. The natural way he sat at the table without a second thought (even though it was only their second meal together) makes me think that Ji-ho is influencing Se-hee’s normal patterns, but it’s just that she’s moving at a much faster rate than he is. However, now that Ji-ho has forced her feelings to come to a screeching halt, perhaps it’s now Se-hee’s turn to catch up and realize that life isn’t always as rational as he claims.

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My cat. My spoon. So sad.

I think Se Hee does OK when he has to go beyond his usual boundaries to be kind, but he just can't handle someone else crossing those boundaries yet. Is making him jealous really going to get him to change?

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I want to see jealous Se hee but I do think that this possible love rival/triangle plot is to soon. Ji ho really needs to feel included and belonged that she misunderstood his intention so to me she seemed a little petty to be treating him like that in the next morning. But she said she was embarrassed and so I understand why she did that. It's just that Se hee's algorithm needs more time to adjust

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Agree totally. I felt it was too soon for both, treating him cold and starting a love triangle. (But it is also needed for the pacing of our story). Whenever something like this happen, I imagine: "ok, this happen a few days after. It is just that the drama didn't say it to me". Because, of course, overnight feels for me not so realistic that someone would act this or that way. Anyway... even if it is soo sooooooon, that doesn't minimize the pain. on the contrary😢

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Oh I always did that too! Creating my own timeline that is. Oblivious Se hee is fun to watch and I can't wait to see him struggle with his newfound feelings too. If a love rival's gonna make that happen then so be it.

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Maybe not. But perhaps he might learn what jealousy feels like. Has he ever been jealous - he who cares not about others and what they have or have not?

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I would pose a different reading.

Se-Hee’s words/actions actually acknowledged their shared (and agreed) role of mutual need—where they made decisions together. She on the other hand now interpreted this to be a shared relationship where she could make decisions unilaterally (the relationship Ho-Rang wants).

Se-Hee may appear awkward, but he seems to have an underlying desire to be free of the Korean fiefdoms (owing and being owed: be that work, his time, his parent paying for him…). When he said he wanted to marry Ji-Ho because it was her; he was comfortable opening up his quest for independence and letting someone else on the island he is making for himself as they appear to be going the same way.

And yes, once they agreed to marry, there was a shared role to agree. Hence his use of the term “us”. Ji-Ho is ridiculously bad at context of situations. Is this why her drama writing (refer those Ep01 scenes) demonstrate such a romantic naivety.

She has rights to be miffed with her hurt pride. However, the desire for revenge (and that’s what it is) is different to her responses to the other story events that have so hurt her:
- Kicked out of her house for her brother,
- Just come out of a 3-year pseudo-relationship ending with the subject of her unreturned or misguided affections sexually assaulting her. Yet she walked away from both him and her career even though both her pride being hurt and physically attacked.

I would just ask why is her desire to hurt him is so disproportionate to his “crimes” vs her other wounds? Particularly, when Se-Hee has not changed in his behaviour to her. The answer may start with Transf….

Saying all that, it will be interesting to see how our “cat man” deals with the new “dog boy”. I don’t mind if they end up together or apart as long as they find room to breathe and take some comfort from the world around them before they find new strength. However, I would love the story to be a Ji-ho & Se-Hee find each other one.

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"I would just ask why is her desire to hurt him is so disproportionate to his 'crimes' vs her other wounds?"

That is an excellent point.

And, good catch on the unilateral decisions. I hadn't even seen that.

I certainly don't want this to be yet another drama where guy gets jealous, guy goes after girl, girl makes him sweat. I just can't enjoy that kind of game-playing at my age. What's to enjoy about another person's suffering, even if "he started it" (which I don't think he did).

I've said this elsewhere – Ji-ho is seeing everything through the lens of what she needs. And yes, she's certainly been through a lot. But it doesn't entitle her to anything, certainly not to an intimate relationship that the other person didn't agree to.

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Sort of off the topic, but it's because of comments like these that I like coming to read reviews at dramabeans even after I have already watched the episode. It's because this is a point of view that did not come naturally to me, and because of the discussions in this forum, broadens my views on different topics.

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Thank you for bringing up the other two situations. It is interesting to compare her response to Se-hee's rejection to the other situations you mentioned. I think the key difference is that the first two situations (being kicked out and sexually assaulted) did not hurt her pride. She knew clearly that neither of those situations were her fault and acted accordingly. In the situation with Se-hee, she sees too clearly how she misread the situation and by it being so bluntly pointed out to her, her pride got bruised. That's when she became irrational and spiteful. Should she have been? Well, no, of course not. And as others have said, Se-hee was being nicer about it than he normally would be. But, no matter that tends to be the natural response, and I think it's been shown to be Ji-ho's response. Her interactions with her mother before the wedding could be seen just as spiteful in refusing to give her fiance's number to her mother just because her mother doesn't agree with their arrangement.

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My take is that love / romance is involved. Correct me if I am wrong (I've finally found my drama doppelgänger in Sehee-shi) but as rational and strong a person Jiho-shi may possess,
when someone steps on your feelings like that, you tend to bite back.

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The question was not is it realistic for Ji-Ho to "bite back". It was that to understand their relationship, potentially we need to reference why/if her reaction is disproportional (particularly to the other events that hurt her).

She was apparently infatuated (love?) for 3 years with the man who jilted then assaulted her-- yet her "bite back" there was to quit her career. If this is the case, then here love is not the only factor.

Our understanding of and potential for any future relationship depends on if:
- This desire to hurt him is because this is the first time she is in the position to inflict revenge. This is a poor fit for Se-Hee.
- Is it rebound behavior?
- Is it because this is her first meaningful relationship?
- Is she lashing out for her own self inflicted wound on someone because she can.
Any of these are potentially huge issues for them - even remaining roommates, particularly given Se-Hee's character.

This is not a comment on if Se-Hee is deserving of her attacks on this issue. From my perspective, her hurt on this point is self-inflicted here. She is the one who interpreted his "us" - of a shared cause in living together - to be an "us" relationship where she can make unilateral decisions for him.

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I loved the ending of this episode so so much! It really resonated with me. When she asked him for her chopsticks and spoon I shouted in delight at the TV "You can't have it both ways, buddy! Ha!" What's really amazing about this show is how completely I can sympathize with her point of view and desire to hurt his feelings because of her wounded pride, while still completely understanding where he is coming from. What a great show, what great characters (as always from this writer!)

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I re-watched this scene a number of times. On reading the recap, my heart broke all over again - for both of them.

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the ending scene wrecked my heart :(

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I almost give a fistpump when Ji Ho took back the chopstick. “You dont want to share your cat, I ‘m not sharing my food”. I know I’m petty, but you are right, I can’t help feeling hurt for Ji Ho and I would build that wall too if I were in her place, but at the same time I want to give both of them a hug for stepping backwards into their comfort zone.

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I can't understand her point of view. Maybe because I hate pettiness in general, but if you want to resolve conflict, petty isn't the way to do that. It just makes people involved more and more miserable. I'm dissapointed in Jiho's action and if this conflict isn't resolved in more than one episode I think I'm going to give up on this show.
Jiho (and Horang) are enforcing the negative stereotype of women that we are unreasonable and can't communicate properly. I hate that. She imagined those interaction and she's delusional by herself but when that delusion didn't come true she blamed other people. Jiho-ya, I thought you're a reasonable person. I mean Sehee asked her point blank did she like him or not and she answered no! If you misunderstand something, it's not fair that your first action is to blame other people.
Compare this with the heroine in the japanese drama Nigeru wa haji (the storyline is so similar. I think it's fair to compare them). When she overstepped her boundaries, the first thing she did was apologize. That's what the male lead did too. And that's what adult should do. So their relationship grew, not in a hateful petty misunderstanding way (like most kdrama do) but in nice and respectful way. Also Nigeru can discuss sensitive social problems better than the korean counterpart where all they did was beating around the bush and not make a real statement.
Btw, I didn't even know Nigeru exist untill beanies pointed out the similiarities. Now after I watched it, I can't look at BTLIOF the same way anymore.

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Also, she should be thankful that she got a cheap place to live and a good roommate. But instead she wanted to hurt him? What an ungrateful woman.

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The way that Ji-ho reacted may not have been fair, but it was realistic. I can think of several times when I was hurt or embarrassed and wanted to do the same to others. I usually didn't, but the fact remains that the thought was there. I think that's true for many people. I think you're expecting too much of Ji-ho as a character. Perhaps we simply appreciate different things when it comes to character writing, but I appreciate a well-written, flawed character. I don't expect the protagonists to do everything perfectly and I expect them to make mistakes, especially towards the beginning, and for them to eventually learn from that mistake. And that's the thing: I expect Ji-ho will really grow as a character. That might be different for you, though, which is fine. People like different traits in characters. I just thought I'd give my two cents.

Also, I think this show has been very clear with its talks about sexual harassment, gender norms and expectations, etc. The characters have even outright said things about these issues (especially Su-ji and Ji-ho), but even when they don't I almost find it more effective. It keeps the story from being preachy and it makes the viewer think about these issues instead of beating them over the head with a message. I've watched and loved NigeHaji as well, but while the shows do exhibit similarities, I find that at their core they are quite different shows that are exploring different (if related) themes.

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I also appreciate the show's underline gender equality theme such as in the last episode Ho-rang was wearing a sweatshirt that said "raise girls and boys the same".

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You see, that's why I love Suji the most. Because she's reasonable. Yeah, you're right. Maybe I'm expecting too much from Jiho after watching Nigeru. I have to remind myself that this isn't a korean adaptation of that drama. Also, I'm reflecting my real life problem with this, where I can't stand that kind of action because that's what I'm experiencing right now so... I guess from now on I'll just follow through recap. That's also the reason I drop Temperature of Love btw (unreasonable second leads).

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I can understand Ji Ho's outburst of emotion and I like that Ji Ho isn't this person who can communicate perfectly all the time. We've already seen in previous scenes that while Ji Ho appears to be the perfect roommate, as a person, she has her flaws. She jumps to conclusions and is easily defensive. Her pride is also easily hurt. She is also a little bit of a "leap before you think" sort of person.

However, I also felt it was very unfair of Ji Ho. Yes, Se Hee had shattered her assumptions but his words were unintentional, while Ji Ho was being retaliatory. It would have been better for Ji Ho to let Se Hee eat this one last breakfast and be like "tomorrow and forever, you get your own breakfast."

I also think the Nigeru is more reflective of Japanese manners and societal values (at least, as presented through drama). People always note how polite the Japanese are. This drama is more reflective of manners and societal values in korean culture - which is just a tad bit louder and rowdier.

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Ooh.. I like your explanation that this and Nigeru reflect each countries manners and societal values. I can't begin to imagine what this would've been like if it set in my country. The again I don't think people in my country are stranger to this concept because there's a lot of arranged marriage already.

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Though looking petty, JiHo's reaction is natural reaction. I can totally imagine myself in her shoes and i may have a gone a step ahead and done something even worse to show my angst, like even avoiding eating infront of Seehee...

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I like your description of Ji Ho. And your cultural comparisons with Nigeru. I think Se Hee neglects to compute his housemate's feelings and emotional reactions to many other things in his ratings of potential housemates. I would like to see how they solve this matter.

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See, I don't think it was unfair of her to do what she did. He called her out on her stepping out of bounds, on her false assumptions, and she mirrored it perfectly. His manner is very cold and direct and she was the same. He doesn't get a pass because that's just the way he is and he can't help it. And he likes her because she can be as direct as him. The first time she cooked she said it was just for that day. He certainly jumped to conclusions as quickly as she did. And is he really hurt by what she does? He shows so little emotion, it's really anybody's guess what he feels. Ji Ho is probably only hurting herself by feeling such strong emotions, and is alone in feeling like she is getting revenge. I don't know, I guess the food thing really hits home for me since I do the cooking for my family and it is how I demonstrate my love for them. I would be totally pissed off too if Se Hee thought he deserved that love without giving even a speck of himself in return. I think it really plays into the conversation on gender the show is having - he assumes she's cooking for him because that's what women do.

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I feel the same way. I understand Jiho but don't agree with her actions. It's odd that commenters are pretending as if both sides are at fault here. This isn't a case of wanting to hurt someone who hurt you; she basically just hurt herself. Sehee honestly didn't do or say anything to make Jiho misunderstand his intentions or view of their relationship. This is like accidentally hugging the wrong person in public because you thought he was someone you knew then wanting to beat the poor guy up for something he didn't do. I wonder if there is a bit of a double standard going on here. If the positions were reversed, commenters would be calling for the male lead's head.

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If a male lead kissed the woman first time they met, some commenters here would curse him and call him a pervert. But because Ji-ho is a woman they give her more benefit of doubt and try to give a lot of reason behind her wrong action.
I agree that Ji-ho basically just hurt herself. This was not a problem untill she made it out to be a problem. How difficult is it to say that you misuderstand and you're hurt? She showed her feeling in the most passive aggresive way that I can't help but feel annoyed.

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"How difficult is it to say that you misunderstand and you're hurt?"
In real life, for some people, this is totally difficult. Not trying to make a generalization, but based on my experience it's caused by many things; personality (introvert? overthinking, self pride, etc), habit, culture (young ones should just follow the elderly), or the situations.

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How difficult is it to say that you misunderstand and you're hurt?

as an outsider, it is very easy to say 'just be honest to your feeling'. but mostly it's not what happen in real life. human has their own ego that makes us feel embarrassed just to say 'i am hurt' or 'i was wrong'. the last 5 minute is the most raw feeling i have ever seen in the drama. and it struck a lot of people here because how realistic the feeling is and how easily people relate to it. human naturally are selfish, so does Jiho whom admitted herself being embarrassed and her decided to turn it to anger. of course in other k drama, the heroine would have pulled herself from male lead in the most empathetic way, and we just cheer for her because we don't like heroine that needy to love...but of course, that's drama. and as we all agreed for in previous recap, BTIOFL is not a drama, it's a life.

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She did say she misunderstood and was hurt; the breakfast pettiness was additional. Though, if he's so uncomfortable with her going beyond the landlord-tenant relationship, why is he so okay with being served breakfast? That's an imbalance of relationship too, so she's right to call it out. The phone call situation, though, not cool, and I don't like the writer playing with that.

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Maybe she did hurt herself. I think that is how complicated people's feelings can be. If I am not mistaken, she wasn't clear why, but all she knew was that she wanted to hurt him. Her pride, a huge one maybe, is huge. Her problems are building up, and finally she snaps towards the polite roommate. It hurts, that scene. But I really want to see how they clear up that misunderstanding. I'm not even sure that she has realised that she has romantic feelings about him yet.

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But, he did hurt her. Intention doesn't really mean anything when you're the one who feels "attacked." We know Se-hee didn't mean to hurt her pride, but he did. She's not going to recognize how nicer he was about it in comparison to others or that he was just speaking his mind like he always does and it wasn't something personal. Her emotions are going to override any immediate, rational thought because his words hurt her. You are right that she is going to end up just hurting herself, but that is a lesson we all usually have to learn at some point.

Also, he did do and say things that would make Ji-ho misunderstand him. I mean half the commentators in previous recaps have basically said that his straight-forward sincerity is romantic although he doesn't mean them to be. I mean if I had a guy say that he needed me, that he only wanted marriage because it was her, that she can hold his hand and crying is okay, etc. then I would think something more is going on. Now he's not intentionally making her misunderstand like the writer who assaulted her did, but it's easy to see how she could draw that wrong conclusion from his actions especially since she doesn't know him all that well and doesn't really know that he's like that with everyone. (She's only really ever seen him interact with his parents).

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Let me address your points in reverse order.

Point 1: "I mean if I had a guy say that he needed me, that he only wanted marriage because it was her, that she can hold his hand and crying is okay, etc. then I would think something more is going on...it's easy to see how she could draw that wrong conclusion from his actions especially since she doesn't know him all that well and doesn't really know that he's like that with everyone."

From the very second Jiho moved in, Sehee has stated on multiple occasions, in about as clear and straightforward a manner as is humanly possible, that he is not interested in her and that their relationship is purely one of expedience. Everything else he's said and done has been what is expected of any good person. Jiho hasn't really run into any other decent men so I can see why that might confuse her but that's her baggage not his.

Point 2: "But, he did hurt her. Intention doesn't really mean anything when you're the one who feels "attacked."...Her emotions are going to override any immediate, rational thought because his words hurt her."

If I kick a telephone pole out of anger, is it really the telephone pole's fault that my foot is now hurting? On a literal level, the pole hurt my foot but it would be ridiculous to assign it any culpability in the situation; it wasn't hiding the fact that it was a telephone pole and it's pretty clear to any sane person that it will hurt your foot if you kick it. When we are embarrassed it is natural to lash out as Jiho did. Her actions are understandable in that everyone can relate; they are not, however, justifiable.

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@booitsjwu not everything he's done has been what any nice person would do. He could have left her crying by herself and he wouldn't have been mean in doing so, but it was something special that he came back and offered to go with her.

You kicked the lamppost in response of something. The thing that you responded to does have some responsibility in your reaction. If someone punches you and you punch them back, it's technically not the person's fault that you punched them. You could have walked away; you could have just taken the hit; you could have screamed; etc. Yet, we understand that the natural response is to punch the person back and we often approve of such action because it was the other person's fault for throwing the first punch. All you are doing is reacting to the situation as you see it. We can't discredit her feelings just because we think she shouldn't have had them in the first place. The fact is is that she did have those feelings based on the evidence she had gathered from their interactions. We have more knowledge of the situation than she does by being observers of everything, so we know he wasn't leading her on, but she wouldn't have known that. Yes, he was clear that the marriage was out of convenience, but there were so many little moments for her that made it easy for her to read more into it. So, Se-hee redrawing the lines felt like a punch to her, so she punched back. Yes, she might have unnecessarily kicked the lamppost by eating by herself and saying she didn't have a boyfriend, but she also confronted what it was that made her read more into the situation by telling him why "our" and "us" meant so much to her and that she understands now that it wasn't used in the context she was creating.

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@jig: I think a key, perhaps irreconcilable, difference in our stances is whether or not his actions are within the bounds of normal, "good person" behavior. Considering there's no single objective measure we can refer to, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree.

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@booitsjwu we can, but one last point I swear lol

Even if he was just being nice like anyone else that would still be enough for her to assume given her history. She never has had a boyfriend, her first kiss was the one she forced on Se-hee, she misread her last crush for three years, and that guy ended up being a complete jerk. So, for a guy to come who is nicer than anyone else she's met at the lowest point of her life, it would be easy to interpret the ordinary nice actions as something more.

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Guys do the same thing though allllll the time in k-dramas. The most famous example I can think of is The King 2 Hearts. So many of the words that came out of Jae-ha's mouth because Hang-ah hurt his pride are astoundingly harsh. Ji-hoon would lash out at Hye-soo in Marriage Contract. Joo-won to Ra-im in Secret Garden, etc etc.

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I think the writer did a good job in writing Jiho and Ho rang's characters. If Jiho was reasonable all the time, I think I would be frustrated with her. Just my opinion. They both have flaws and in a way I appreciate that as it depicts real life well. A lot of women wants to be get married and be a stay at home mum like what Ho rang wants and in jiho's situation, it isn't delusional for her to think that there is a possibility of 'us' given how he was there for her when she cried and offered to be by her side whenever she cries. Of course, her wanting to hurt him was petty. But this is how real people are. Sometimes petty, sometimes unreasonable, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Feels like I'm writing a lyric of a song. Loll.

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I think the writer brought up this conflict too soon. They know each other for what? 2 months? 3 months? They're practically strangers or maybe acquintance. So for Ji-ho to feel that way when she don't even know Se-hee that well makes her unreasonable and petty. Now if this contract marriage have gone on longer and they've face problems together that makes them closer and suddenly Se-hee said that she overstepped her boundaries, I can understand why she's hurting.

I honestly imagine another scenario where Ji-ho talk with Se-hee honestly. She apologize for overstepping her boundaries and imagining things yesterday and she think that they should go back to how things were (where they did their own things) so Se-hee don't have to eat breakfast with her and she won't come to his workplace anymore. With Jung Somin exceptionaI acting ability, I'm sure she can convey the feeling of hurt that Ji-ho experience. I think this scenario achieve the same goal that the writer intended without making Ji-ho seem like a petty woman.

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I actually thought we'll getting something like this tbh. JH gets hurt from SH's words and she gives him a piece of her mind the next day but admit her mistake. Or something. Since they seems to be mature adults but then show pull a classic kdrama I'll make you jealous/angry move instead.

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It's weird but I actually think we got the first thing...

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I really have no problem with this conflict, but I usually do the exact same thing that you do in rewriting how a scene should have gone to avoid conflict. All the movies I've ever seen probably would have ended in like 10 minutes though. lol

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I agree with you on this. The reason why I like Nigehaji and this drama at first because it's realistic and showed me about realistic relationship between two people without the dramatic element like birth secret or angry parents. And characters in Nigehaji also more relatable. Sehee is good and amazing, but I love Hiramasa more

I also agree with you about the female lead. Mikuri always respects the boundaries between her and Hiramasa. She always asked Hiramasa first if she could do something and whether he agreed to it, rather than just assuming everything. I couldn't forgive Jiho this time for intentionally hurting Sehee. I know you would want to hurt someone back as much as you've received, but if she could forgive the bastard who's going to rape her, why not try understanding Sehee more? She knew it very well that he felt uncomfortable when his boundaries are crossed. She should have progressed slower but she charged in without asking, getting hurt by herself, and wanted to claim the revenge she shouldn't do. It was... too childish for me. I disappointed with her in this episode and if next episode she did it again by trying to get close to the new male Bok Nam, my love for this show might disappear a little

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i enjoy watching nigehaji. all characters in nigehaji served what i want to see in the drama. but First Life is like "okay, so this is how most people interact in real life. an anti social and the social person does not click in one go. like any relationship, it takes time and take a lot effort to really know someone, especially when your personality doesn't even near that normal line." Mikuri maybe fit my expectation of a heroine in drama, but i could not relate to her more than i could relate my own life to Jiho. like, there's no way i could just easily accept getting fired over someone who doesn't even competent enough, like Mikuri did. on the other hand, i could easily relate to jihoo getting sulk to her coworker when her work is 'sabotage'.
and se hee supposed to be a weirdo here. of course he will be misunderstood. of course people will get hurt by his 'honesty'. if See hee is easy to understand including his logic, he would not have been See hee at all. so, i see flaw in Jihoo as a character, but i am not considered it as a flaw in writing or if the show have let me down by making her not being understanding enough. jiho monologue says it all, "our gravity is gone". because they are so connected to each other in the first 5 episodes, we worshipped and support them as a couple. and we would think they will always 'connected'. but then the reality hit, to both of them and us as a viewer who have been indulged over they "gravity". but the fact is, they're still two different people with different personality. it will be unrealistic if they're just get along without internal conflict arise.

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The reason why I don't like Jihoo in this episode, because she's trying to change a contract marriage to be a real one without trying to get closer to Sehee first. They're actually just strangers who live in the same house and share the same space, but they didn't share the same life outside of their pretend marriage. Why I mention Nigehaji, because Mikuri never step over that boundaries before asking first. She even confirmed with Hiramasa first before asking for a hug or trying to hold his hand. Jihoo is charging head first without asking or confirming with Sehee even though she should have known how much Sehee cherish his current lifestyle that he wanted to marry a stranger. She should have asked, whether she could do this or do that, and if Sehee answer is no, then she should have taken it without any hurt feelings. After all, they're not actually married

And Sehee's words not even that harsh. He only stated the fact. The cat was his. That's why I couldn't forgive Jihoo in this episode for seeking revenge and that's why I respect Mikuri more

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<because she's trying to change a contract marriage to be a real one without trying to get closer to Sehee first

Yes, because actually her pettiness could easily result in an unsustainable living situation. It almost feels out of character for her – particular when she replies to Bok Nam's phone call with "I don't have a boyfriend". What's with this? It's a triangle that's not needed, but also, if Jiho wants to have another guy chase her, it just seems like an insanely stupid idea – she's married in the eyes of everyone around her! This sort of thing just risks their whole fake marriage, which she supposedly went into because she "needed" it. I just don't see why she would play around like this, too much is at stake and it's just much too early in Jiho's/Sehee's relationship for her to be *that* invested in Sehee already. It makes sense for her to feel hurt/disappointed, but she's has known Sehee for too little time and it's too risky to get herself into petty games of this sort.

In fact, Nigehaji had a sort of triangle like this, but it was Ryota who showed interest in Mikuri, while she never showed any interest in him, because she naturally gravitated towards Hiramasa, always. And it was also Hiramasa who kind of pushed her towards Ryota (being clueless as he is), so there was never really any pettiness to make someone jealous, more a gentle pulling on his heartstrings where he realised he felt jealous/had feelings. Which, ultimately, just made a whole lot more sense for every single one of the characters.

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I guess the follow-up question would be whether the boys' portrayal also re-inforces negative stereotypes about men...Sang Gu's stupid msgs to Soo Ji (and yet he clearly doesn't abuse his privilege as an employer, unlike Soo Ji's horrid one), Won Seok's man-child-ness...

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THANK YOU.

I also felt (and mentioned it in my comment on yesterday's recap) that the magic was gone after this episode.

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For me, my main problem with Jiho is that she wants to be understood by Sehee but she doesn't want to understand him. When she asked him to lower the price of rent and when she asked him to eat breakfast together the other day, Sehee did it because he understood her and consider how she felt. But now when Sehee asked her to understand him and keep their boundaries she's angry and lashed out in a childish way. When she said that she didn't have a boyfriend to Boknam, what did she think would happen? That Sehee apologize and ask her to be a married couple for real? Why didn't she think of the consequences? What if their parents know about the contract marriage because they see her go on a date with other men? What's the point of contract marriage then?

I know others have said this means that she's a flawed character and she'll grow, but for me this is the writer's fault for writing an inconsistent character and inventing a conflict out of nowhere without a realistic reason.

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+1

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As someone mentioned it in first recaps the back music is quite important in this series. In this episode, when they are in the kitchen after the marriage, they play short part of Falling slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. It's from an irish movie Once. It looks to me like the writer is inspired by this movie and japanese drama Nigeru wa haji as others mentioned. Korean culture is way different from japanese culture and more to my taste. I need touching and emotions, maybe because I don't like to express myself to public. I think See-he is confused by himself right now, because there is something which is alternating his algorithm. One man's life can't be an algorithm and he's slowly learning that although he wanted to preserve his with this contract marriage.

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Falling Slowly (lyrics)

I don't know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can't react
And games that never amount
To more than they're meant
Will play themselves out
Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You'll make it now
Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I'm painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It's time that you won
Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You'll make it now
Falling slowly sing your melody
I'll sing along

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Sehee is very considerate of her, unusually so. We joke about him being robotic but i think between them he actually cares more about her feelings than she cares about his. Even when he said he was uncomfortable, he didn't say it unkindly like how he lit up on his officemates.

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different personality between See Hee and Jihoo. that's the conflict here, it's realistic enough for me. just because this drama takes different trajectory developing OTP relationship (normally OTP have conflict first, then fall in love), doesn't mean the conflict are being pushed here out of nowhere. i strongly believe the writer deliberately present this conflict just right after they marriage, because that's what most married people experience in real life. and nothing considered as inconsistent with the characters. see hee's still being see he when he said he's uncomfortable with the sudden closeness, and jihoo's still the same person who easily swayed by kindness (remember why she liked that jerk for 3 years?) and get misunderstood by it.

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My personal take on this is that Jiho-shi handles things differently depending on which category the person falls into:

Family (Her mother) - Harsh words because of her possibly unrealistic expectations, despite knowing how much her mother loves her.

Colleagues (especially that jerk director who forced himself on her) - Straight to the point, wanted to throw him in jail.

Friends - Total empathy and undying love.

My guess is that Sehee-shi has already entered Jiho's comfort zone and that as unreasonable as it may seem, Jiho-shi wants her feelings to be reciprocated.

And anyway, as the contract goes, it's only for 2 years.

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I suppose, the hurting part was a thing of a moment because she felt hurt as well, she even said it. It shows she is also human, but very human. I didn't feel ok seeing her acting petty as well, but I am afraid she will let it be now because it is hard, it can become really hard to explain that she felt she liked him for a moment, and yet she said it!!!! That she misunderstood and had a sense of belonging and overstepped boundaries....
I hope she will also come back to be reasonable and kind because that is her character, but because of his character and her easy way to feel things by herself I am afraid something like this will happen again 😑.

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Mind-blowing fact:
Just 'cuz somebody gets hurt doesn't mean anybody hurt them. It's entirely possible that one hurt ones' self, or even that nobody is at fault whatsoever. Accidents in life aren't limited to undesired physics like car crashes and falling downstairs. Dealing with broken expectations responsibly is the difference between being a kid and a grown-up.
Clairvoyance is unrequired to deduce that Jiho hurt HERSELF through a process of making assumptions about the relationship that backfired. She may feel that Sehee has hurt her simply because she is quite obviously hurt inside; however, she is the one who set herself up to get hurt. At that point, it's relatable. This happens to everyone. One needs not find fault, even with one's self, for mistakes. It's how one deals with these obstacles, however, that differentiates the adults from the kids. Watching adults playing the blame game is pathetic.

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The moment was clearly written to show us how Ji-ho can be petty. She explained her reasons for overacting and yet she is still reacting quite harshly. Just as she can be judgmental and harsh with her mother, she can also be assuming and harsh with others.

It is also unfair to judge the show by the ending of the episode, well in this drama's case. Just like what happened before when Ji-ho said yes to Se-hee's proposal in episode 2. We were greeted with her being surprised and taking her response back in episode 3.

Because This Is My First Life (apologies since I'm used to call this drama with that) has always ended with amazing/stressing cliffhangers that I think we can expect more from that ending. In addition, I do think the show is quick to resolve conflict. Just like how in a week, we got a fighting Ho-rang and Wonseok to them discussing about marriage. A love-triangle is not the only conflict I foresee in this drama.

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Actually, I didn't mind the way Ji-ho spoke to her mother. I didn't see her behavior as judgmental or harsh. She was giving as good as she got, which I could get behind, because her mother was out of line. And at that point, it didn't matter that her mother was coming from a good place, because she hadn't explained herself to Ji-ho, and people aren't mind-readers. People can (and should) only react to what you give them.

Between Ji-ho and Se-hee, though, Ji-ho was out of line. And when Se-hee reminded her where the boundaries were – and only because she asked – she got angry. I can't get behind that.

That said, you make a good point, that the show is quick to resolve conflict. Let's see what they do with this.

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Good point.I've also watched Nigeru and liked it,a lot in fact. However in the Korean version,everything went smoothly until the 6th ep then a sharp turn or change in the 'tone'...I didn't like that because the sharp humor became something we see in almost all K-Dramas,so ordinary.

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Clearly you don't know that part of Korean culture where we say "if you want to befriend/ get close to someone eat together." Even the Korean word for family literally means eating/feeding mouth(s). People who eat out of the same rice pot are called family. Jiho was clearly saying okay we are not a real family, we don't share meals.

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Ooh this is such an interesting insight into Korean culture and expectations.. explains all the food obsession in kdrama which we don't see as much in other cultures entrainment.

It was also referred to in avenger club where the kid says that family basically means eating together.. it's so sweet :)

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Ah that makes so much more sense now! Somethings do get lost in translation without the culture connotations, now I get it.

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In my eyes, Ji Ho actually did and communicated well how embarrassed she felt when Se Hee corrected her after her visit to his office. An immature person would actually (and this is me speaking from experience) just choose to clam up, give the silent treatment, and be petty by herself. But no, she made herself tell him no matter how embarrassing it was that her self-esteem was low and that was what made her misunderstand his actions. It's not that she was blaming him (oh well maybe a little) but as the previous posters had said, she was simply making it clear with Se Hee that she had understood what he said the night before and was thus stepping back from the line she crossed.

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Same I totally felt her broken pride and embarrassment now I can't wait for the jealousy to begin next week hee hee

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My favourite episode among the sea of episodes that I am currently drowning in! This truly is a beautifully written and sensitive drama.

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Thanks for recaps, I agree with everything and tho I know Se-Hee unintentionally hurt Ji Ho I still felt so bad for how she treated him at breakfast, but I agree Ji Ho's reaction was so true to life, tho also kinda childish cuz she herself let herself fall for him. On the other hand how can we blame her when he was so robotically charming saying all those things that were rational but also thoughtful and nice. I can't wait to when he starts getting more humane but I also want him to stay his cold rational self longer. I honestly knew love triangles always happen in contract marriage drama but I did not expect that guy to appear so quickly tbh and I really do not like him ( actor is not pretty enough to compete with Lee Min Ki imo) and I already ship the leads so much I am sure I will not have any SLS.

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Yea I had that feeling the 2nd lead came in a bit early, but at the same time if Ji-Ho is feeling rejected. I feel she might think it's nice to communicate with a guy who is the opposite of SH. Someone who's more humane and funny totally opposite of the robot she lives with at home.

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Can I get that robot if she does not need him? lol Yes, plotwise he is needed, it is not a drama if we have nobody competing for her heart , but also can we have Se-Hee bonding with Bomi? I think he and Bomi had some moments and he treats her better than other colleagues, are we into a love square? I just do not want only Se Hee be jealous, i want Ji Ho suffer too cuz she is hurting him at the moment, sorry, I am biased af,lol.

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As someone who is rejoicing because I've finally found my drama doppelgänger in Sehee-shi (minus the cat, because I spend too much in office),
I resent your comment.

We are not unfeeling creatures. If anything, we just find it hard to communicate our feelings, find relationships perplexing and finally, we prefer order, peace and uncomplicated things.

PS: I am also someone who finds Seohyun who was previously in SNSD as someone very endearing.
(Google Seobot SNSD if you need context).
I think Seohyun and Sehee-shi would totally fit each other \o/

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I felt really bad for him. Especially as his reaction to her was much kinder than the way he behaved towards Sang-Gu for even bringing up personal stuff during work (but of course she doesn't know that). Plus the whole looking-for-the-dog thing didn't work for me. As I think this show is all kinds of awesome, I'm just going to assume it got lost in translation.

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The translation I saw started with him being described with "fluffy brown hair," so I think once she heard fluffy she assumed a dog. Also, the owner ended his description that he likes to hide in corners, which would be odd for a human (though a bit of stretch that anyone would really describe a person like that).

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She also said fur rather than hair in korean... hence referencing an animal. but i cannot remember if the owner said hair or also referred to boknam's hair as fur lol.

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I definitely have no second lead syndrome in this one it's Sehee that i am interested in but i think Boknam presence will bring the otp closer which i'm really looking forward to!

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I was one of those that felt horrible for him because he took it for granted they'd share breakfast without thinking about any bigger meaning, or even realizing the small steps he was taking in her direction until she brutally pointed out it out, not that I don't understand how she feels~ sigh~ I guess enjoying it's realism ( So, So much ) means I have to take the bitter with the sweet, and comfort myself that when it comes it will be all the better for it

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I'm starting to understand what self-preservation means on Ji-Ho's part. She is not preparing another plate for him as she is shutting down her feelings and building herself that wall. 'uri' made her soft and loving, she was vulnerable, probably tired from all that wedding drama - sharing food with a faux caring husband was a relief and comfort. Self-awareness can be such a bitch to learn. One thing I know is that they are both linguists, so words will be exchanged soon. I hope soon. Don't drag it too long. Couples fight. Even the best ones. Crazy not to. With only two of them in that apartment. Supportive friends probably will help them out.

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<what self-preservation means on Ji-Ho's part

I get her self-preservation and shutting down her feelings, but playing games with another guy is the opposite of that.

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I was so heart broken for JH. Knowing from her friends that he takes her a long time to open up and be comfortable with people, it was nice to see her be open and try to get close to SH. And although I too understand where he is coming from, I was glad that JH was honest about him sending her mixed signals. I'm looking forward to seeing SH become less robotic and finding out why he doesn't believe in love. Was he rejected by someone or does it stem from his family background and his relationship with his father?.

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I would also like to know more about his back story.

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I would to. I don't like calling him a robot probably because he gets so exasperated when people bring up being "Not normal"
I really enjoyed that Ji-hos mom never implied she the thought him lacking and told him she appreciated sincere words over empty promises.

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I highly doubt he was ever rejected cuz I do not see any bitterness or anger in him towards women? I feel more like it is somewhat about his family, probably seeing the relations between his parents and the fact that he only looses temper when talking to his father shows it is something coming from his childhood.

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If I was watching a UK or European drama, I would assume that they were depicting him as someone who was 'somewhere on the spectrum', rather than having a traumatic backstory.

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Agree

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@cloggie and @mindy I do not think that he has to have a traumatic backstory. Nor do I see any problem with his choosing to forgo a romantic relationship. But I would like to know why he is so "robotic" with pretty much everyone in his life. The only time he shows some spirit, for lack of a better word, is around his father. As for being on the spectrum--that's one of the things I dislike about certain U.S. shows. They play with the idea just because, without actually giving viewers a committed portrayal or a definite answer. As for this drama, I do not know what the intention is.

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I know people who are like this. Not this charming, but this logical and uncaring about world. They are neither traumatized nor on spectrum. (A close friend is same way, actually.)

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Maybe this is how some people try to deal with some issues. Maybe Se hee has some self-preservation skills up his sleeves as well.

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Good point! He is just as he is.

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Except he's not on the spectrum. He's perfectly capable of behaving appropriately in social situations, he just chooses not to do certain things (flatter, participate in workplace shenanigans, etc.). He reads Ji Ho quite well when he pays attention. He is choosing to be this way because it suits him.
As for traumatic backstory, I'd think there isn't one. Maybe some hurts in the past, but he isn't showing any major signs of true trauma, just irritation about not being allowed to do what he wants to do in his time.

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Yes i think sehee got hurt by someone in the past that made him the way he is today!

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I don't really think there is a "reason" for Se-hee being the way he is. I definitely don't think it's because he was rejected in the past. As Nutini said, he doesn't show any sign of bitterness. He just is the way he is. If anything, it may have been due to seeing his parents' relationship, but it's also entirely possible that up until now he just hasn't had any desire to be in a relationship and he's been happy with how his life is. Just him and his cat. But I don't think it's that he doesn't believe in love... he just realizes that marriage is a social construct and =/= love.

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I would really like it if Se Hee is just a way he is. The way he is isn't preventing him from enjoying life or making a friend. He has his own preferences. I don't like the idea of him being the way he is because of some woman and how another woman - Ji Ho- is going to fix him. I agree with your comment about how he just see marriage as a social construct andn that it doesn't mean love. That is pretty much one of the themes of this drama and it was also covered in conversation Won-seok and Ho-rang had about marriage. Ji Ho and Se Hee are proof that you don't need love to get married. And Won-seok and Ho-rang are proof that you can have loads of love, but still not be married. And the way people tie love and marriage together is a lot of pressure.

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Yes yes! Definitions of marriage and love are being explored here. Because it is their first life (first long term relationship, first marriage), mistakes are bound to happen. They can't expect or predict everything. But Horang and Wonseok need an intervention stat. 7 years.

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His own mother said Se-hee resembled his father, and I read the enmity between them as personalities that are just too similar to get along. So his 'shyness' (his mother's word) is a hereditary trait.

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I watched up to the bus stop and then had to sleep early for work. But I couldn't help myself and first thing I did in the office was read the recap for this episode. I knew it wouldn't all just be happy stuff from the beginning!

Did anyone notice when See Hee had the nosebleed, he was letting Ji-Ho semi-pamper him and help wipe the blood away etc. Then he said "our home" and I just squealed so much on the inside. He's subconsciously letting her get close to him, which also shows he's so much more comfortable around her now as well. If this was in the past he'd be all polite and refuse her help and do it himself. Gah I love love these small subtle changes.

I wonder if See Hee is so blunt and logical that he's less sensitive than normal, which is why he doesn't notice all those small changes he's doing to Ji-ho. Like using her spoon and saying "ours", he's happy to include her when he feels like it, but also wants to reject her whenever his personal space is invaded. Boy you can't have everything your way, she's also a living human being with feelings! So excited to see how everything develops, there's so much more I wanna squeal about to everyone.

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Tbh, I am not an emotionless person but I will be pissed if even my boyfriend would name my cat without asking me first and it is my cat, so I would love to cuddle it first, thank you very much, I think Ji Ho overstepped boundaries when she named the cat and behaved like it was her cat when they entered, she is not stupid and sees what kind of person he is, she should have known better.

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THIS.

I am a cat owner and hoo-boy when she 'named' the cat...NO. Just no. Thought Se Hee handled it was well as could be expected - especially in the current state of this contract relationship.

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Yea. I completely agree. I think she completely overstepped her boundaries in renaming the cat. She didn't ask him for permission or even asked his opinion. To him the name "cat" is a name. I noticed too previously that SH will get kind of upset/offended when someone says hes not normal, and JH for the first time made him feel like he was not normal by saying Cat needed a name and her explanation of it. Although SH was blunt, I think he was rather considerate considering the circumstances. He didn't blow up at her and just calmly explained his position. I also understand why JH felt so hurt. She was beginning to feel like there was an "us" with SH....
I cant wait to see the next episode!

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Same. My requirement for partners is that they respect my cat, and I would be super torn up if my cat went to them first, or if they tried to change her name. :(

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True, especially as this cat is the only being Se Hee is emotionally attached to.

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Yeah, the cat has been a constant companion over any human, it's like if Se Hee had a best friend that Ji Ho suddenly was calling a nickname, etc.
Also, for me, my cat has been with me going on 8 years & any new partner would have to defer to her. She has been with me and there for me too long for any new love interest to have a say over her.

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Not only try to change her name, but then go on to explain to you why the name you've given to your cat is stupid.

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lol, I watched the ep twice, first raw and then with subs and that made me less attentive the second time, i missed her explanation.

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I think that was a turning point to because it was the first time Ji-ho had ever said anything he did was strange (to his face). That had to hit deep too.

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Yeah, I grew up with cats called Mama Cat and Baby Kitty, and when people would ask why we didn't name we would get exasperated. Those were there names! Kitty is a legitimate cat name, gosh Ji Ho.

I don't think she had pets growing up.

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Honestly, what's wrong with Cat or Kitty as a name? I'm with Sehee on this one. You just don't change someone's pet's name 'cause you don't like it. Point for Sehee!

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Ya. My cat name was Kitty. Nothing wrong. It's easy to call.
Another friend named her's Meow. Hahahaha.. you don't change someone's pet's name. Not even if you married him.

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Kitty is a good name for a cat. You could create a whole brand around that ;-)
My cat is called Puss-kin which is like Kitty in the form of a literary joke. Anybody telling me that this is stupid and wanted to call her 'Our' instead is obviously deluded.

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This makes me think Ji-Ho is slowly entering the honeymoon phase of their marriage contract, thinking too deep in all the signs he made without thinking. While he's still stuck in his own world, expecting everything will be back to normal. But I'm glad for the ending, as it shows they now have to confront this new relationship that they have, which seemed so simple to do in the beginning.

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I think Ji Ho from the beginning lied to herself that she is only marrying him cuz of housing, tbh I think she already was falling for him and when he turned up at the bus station bringing back her stuff it was not the house that made her stay. Like come on, if an ugly fat dude proposed her to marry would she have agreed?

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I don't think Ji Ho seemed to realise he was handsome until people pointed it out at the wedding. I think it was more of his gestures and kind words that made her warm up to him. I personally think she isnt aware she is falling or has fallen for him. Her voiceovers seem to me like a retelling. Probably writing her own drama script or even a book sometime in the future. But I do believe she likes him enough.

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Agree. I also have a cat and I would be scared if my roommate-fake spouse by agreement would change his name. I feel bad for Ji Ho and I understand why her feelings developed so quickly, but I have to side with Se Hee here. He only followed their agreement and she overstepped the boundaries.

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Which is why I appreciate Ji Ho being open with him the next morning and explaining, yes she overreacted, she wasn't used to having someone to share things with, etc. It was cold her taking the utensils, but needed for them both to set boundaries. I have had many roommates in the past (none contract marriage though hehe), and I felt that she said nothing wrong as a roommate, especially in the still new roommate stage where you don't know what you share and what you don't .

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This drama just turned from having realistic communication schemes into the typical K-drama 'chip-on-shoulder' 'you owe me' 'I have a right to not be hurt' junk.

Being open, my foot. If she didn't want him to eat together and take the utensils, she could have put them on her side. Instead, she obviously wanted to set up a scenario to 'get back at' him and make sure he would assume something so that she could momentarily feel good about making him feel bad. I really, really, really, really, really... forget it. You just can't talk with people like that.

In a way, I'm angry (at the writers) that JiHo didn't take her attempted assault case to court, because it seems like she's just taking out alot of her frustations on Saehee and demanding unrealistic expectations of him. I really don't get that either, but it's realistic. When emotional people get hurt, they try to find people within their capacity to hurt instead of confonting the source.

There's something missing in a lot of Kdrama characters: confidence with true humility. I truly thought Saehee and JiHo had a chance to develop towards that end. Now it's like they're both lost because Jiho's lost and they're a couple - they stand or fall together.

Lesson #2547 in life:
If you're going to ask another person whether they don't like something you're doing, then don't take offence when they give an answer that is honest but disappoints you.

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I agree. I don't have a cat, but am friends with many cat and dog owners. I am admittedly a little bit more on Se Hee side because of the renaming of the pet thing was off-putting.

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Boy really is like a cat

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I don't think Se-hee really changed at all. He seems to have become more comfortable with Ji-Ho, but this doesn't seem out of character. You can't say that Ji-Ho is changing his belief about marriage yet. Also, I don't think he ever tried to include her in anything. He didn't seem to imply anything when he said "our" and meant it very literally. They are housemates. So, the house is "ours." Ji-Ho just misinterpreted his actions and words.

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*can't say Se-hee is changing his belief

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I’m sure of one thing... ‘ I want to hurt you’
Raw and real, just how much better is this show going to get?
Wow

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another one that is so damn real " It's hard to be happy these days" I freaking love the dialogue in this drama ❤

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So true but sad. I need to constantly remind myself to be happy and celebrate the little joys and victories. Depression is a huge deal in Korea.

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In this episode, Su-Ji and Sang-Gu became my favourite 'couple'. First of all, I love her anyway because she always gives good advice! But the sequence where Sang-Gu was invited for the drinks was so well written. I loved when she called him out on giving her a hard time for not speaking up (dude, if you don't like what's being said, you've got a mouth too! we call this borderline victim shaming) She said that if she spoke up, she would be the one gossipped about, or ostracised.

In episode 3, one of Su-Ji's colleagues made an inappropriate comment and Sang-Gu diffused the situation by suggesting they'd go for a smoke, which led to all the men troddling off together, leaving Su-Ji standing by herself in the middle of the room (there might have been some insensed shouting at the screen at that point). This is where I think the writing of this drama is amazing because it had showed before, exactly the scenario that Su-Ji is describing.

And okay, maybe I'm reading too much in to it because I like these two so much, but was that something like understanding I saw dawn in his eyes? Plus he's very good with that toy crane! I've seen toy cranes in other shows, and it always looked really hard.

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I love Sang Gu and Su Ji too, Sang Gu is adorable, such a good friend to Se-Hee ( who else would hire such a weird person no matter how genius you are in our world you need social skills to survive ), also he has a soft side that he tries to hide under that macho facade, tho idk if anyone believes his macho side, I am actually wondering how he even managed to get ONS with Su Ji, probably was very drunk, cuz he looks like the one who would date a girl for a while before taking it to the next level plus also the preson who never dated cuz he is scared to approach a woman, idk, maybe I read his character wrong cuz he also seems like a very thoughtful person who cares about other people feelings but also can stand up for himself, cuz he is CEO. ( Plus that sofa convo between him and Min-Seok had me laughing).

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The ONS is a bit of a mystery to me too. Maybe he misremembered and it was another girl? I hope it wasn't that she was so drunk that she can't remember because that would be icky.

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Hm, that's actually very much possible now you mentioned it, maybe she does not remember him cuz it was not her? He only thought it was her cuz he saw a condom of the same brand in her bag, now it makes sense why she said she does not remember, it is cuz they never slept together, OMG, you are genious O.O

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My interpretation of that ONS scene was that she just didn't want to acknowledge it and admit that she does remember him not that she really forgot.

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Yes, that's the most logical explanation, I just wonder how they even ended up together

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I think it would be more likely if they did meet before but he is too drunk to remember that they didn't have sex. The way he is obsessed with her and that night to me says maybe he's even a virgin without realizing it (unlikely in real life I know, but this is a kdrama).

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CEO's character is pretty mysterious, I like him more the more I see him, like when he knew they called him just to foot the bill but still went cuz he knew Su Ji would be there, so cute.
I do not think he is a virgin, but definitely very little experience in relationships.

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That's my guess, too. Wouldn't that be too delicious? He's built up this wild, romantic night of passion in his head and the reality...not so much.

I'd say the virgin thing isn't possible, but then our heroine has never even been properly kissed? Seriously?

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He is insanely good with that toy crane. Most male leads in dramaland usually need 20 attempts and lots of coins.

More seriously, I also saw the Dawn of Understanding in his eyes... I didn't quite like him at first because he seemed like comedic fodder, but I'm liking him more and more now. Especially around Su Ji.

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Does anyone has any ideas why would he want to call that doll her 'daughter'?

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