While You Were Sleeping: Episodes 7-8
I like this relationship. It’s not passionate or dramatic, but they’re bright and warm and comforting together. I love their families too, and the more it starts to meld into one large neighborly unit, the happier I get. Maybe it can always be this way? Or maybe the show is just lulling me into a false sense of security to rip my heart out later, with more impact.
EPISODE 7: “A Few Good Men”
In a dream, pianist So-yoon and her mother are threatened to return home. Lawyer Yoo-bum delivers her father’s message that he’ll cut off all support for her to play the piano. So-yoon says she’ll quit, but Mom insists that she’ll beg.
So-yoon screams in protest and grabs a chopstick from the table, and slams it toward her own hand…
In that split second, Hong-joo sees what she’s about to do and lurches forward, protecting So-yoon’s hand with her own. The chopstick stabs Hong-joo’s hand right through, blood spilling as her mother cries out. In the background, officer Woo-tak and his partner gape in shock.
Officer Woo-tak wakes from the dream with a start, scaring his dog. Later that day he asks his partner what it means if he keeps dreaming about a person, and his partner says it’s obviously lovesickness and asks about the woman in his dreams.
Woo-tak thinks back to his dream about Jae-chan and replies, “It’s usually a man…” heh. Woo-tak says they aren’t those kind of dreams, but they’re the kind that feel like what he saw will happen in real life.
His partner thinks he’s spouting crazy nonsense and offers to buy him samgyupsal for dinner tonight, which is exactly what they did in Woo-tak’s dream. Woo-tak turns him down, saying that he thinks he’ll have other plans tonight.
Fast-forward to the middle of his dinner with Jae-chan, when lawyer Yoo-bum walks into Hong-joo’s restaurant right on cue. Little bro Seung-won slams a plate of fruit on the table (I just love this passive-aggressive waiter bit), and then Yoo-bum tells So-yoon and her mother that he’s here out of concern for them, because they’ll be cut off financially if her father’s case goes to trial, and her talent will go to waste. Scumbag.
Thankfully Hong-joo’s mother interjects and calls Yoo-bum out for his scare tactics, and reminds So-yoon’s mother that you don’t need a husband to survive in this world, and that she’ll get enough in the divorce settlement to support her daughter on her own. That’s what I’m sayin’.
So-yoon’s mom steels her nerves and says the divorce papers are ready, but she wavers when Yoo-bum points out that her husband has already made sure to separate his assets so that she can’t touch them. Mom says she already agreed not to press charges because of this, but Yoo-bum tells her that the prosecutor is pursuing the case anyway, and it’s up to her to beg for him to stop.
So-yoon’s eyes pool with tears and she gets this faraway look as she says that if the case is dropped, they’ll go back and hell will begin again. Yoo-bum shows them the apology that her father wrote, as if that proves he’s a changed man, but So-yoon just says she’ll quit piano so that she doesn’t need her father’s money.
Mom says she’ll go beg the prosecutor to drop the case, and So-yoon screams at her not to. She picks up the chopstick…
Hong-joo’s eyes dart over to her, and Woo-tak stands up. But it’s Jae-chan slamming his hands on his table that makes everyone freeze. He says loudly that there’s no need for that, and stalks over to their table, surprising Yoo-bum.
Jae-chan makes the legal distinction between violence that has or hasn’t caused injury to others, pointing out that it’s no use if Mom begs him to drop the case because he’s going to indict for the greater crime no matter what. He picks up the apology letter and wryly notes how similar it is to the last one, as if it’s been copied.
He especially likes the part in the letter about shedding his flaws and becoming a new person, and makes a clever pun [the words for “flaw” and “skin” are homophones]: “Isn’t shedding skin what a snake does, not a person? A snake that gets bigger and more grotesque each time it sheds its skin.” In the background, Woo-tak and Hong-joo both smile at him proudly.
Yoo-bum says he’s just here to offer advice, but Jae-chan says he’s here to threaten, and suggests that he advise his client to confess for a lighter sentence. Nicely done.
Jae-chan turns to So-yoon and sweetly tells her that the lawyer ajusshi is just scared he’ll lose in court and came here to bluff, making an adorable growling gesture. He retracts the claws and meows to illustrate how scary Yoo-bum actually is, and assures her that all they have to do is abide by the law.
She drops the chopstick and Woo-tak relaxes, and Jae-chan puts his hand over hers as he promises to protect her mother. So-yoon’s sass returns and she calls Jae-chan childish for making animal noises at her like she’s a little kid. Everyone is able to smile again, and my favorite reaction is Seung-won’s quiet smile as he looks over at his brother.
Woo-tak watches the scene in wonder, and as the camera pans from his left side to his right, his dream morphs into reality. He thinks, “The one trivial thing I changed stopped something horrible from happening.” But his expression goes from happy to pensive.
So-yoon washes dishes out back, and Hong-joo tells her to stop before she injures her hand. So-yoon doesn’t think that sounds so bad, since then she could quit piano and her mom would be free from her dad, and Hong-joo asks if that’s why she was planning to stab her own hand earlier.
So-yoon admits it and explains that she can live without the stupid piano, but she can’t live without her mom. Hong-joo says she feels the same way, and the girls bicker childishly again. From around the corner, So-yoon’s mom watches them with tears in her eyes.
Jae-chan watches his brother bus a table with a scowl on his face, and Seung-won stammers that he’s just helping out a neighbor in need. Jae-chan says sarcastically that he’s just overflowing with neighborly love and justice, and Seung-won mutters under his breath, “I must take after you.” D’awwwwwww.
Seung-won reminds him to keep his promise to So-yoon because he’s trusting him, but Jae-chan just tells him to take the apron off.
As Woo-tak pays their bill, Jae-chan picks up his previous line of questioning about this not being a coincidence. Woo-tak agrees to answer if Jae-chan treats him to round two.
When they end up at a convenience store, Woo-tak cries foul at the difference between samgyupsal and a bag of chips, and insists that this doesn’t officially count. He hesitates and says he’s going to sound like a crazy person, and finally tells Jae-chan that he saw tonight’s events in a dream.
Jae-chan: “You have dreams too?” Woo-tak: “Too?! What do you mean ‘too’?” Jae-chan says he dreams of future events too, citing the Valentine’s Day accident, and Woo-tak’s mind is blown.
He asks if this is common, and Jae-chan says he doesn’t know, “But this person is like us too.” He points out the window, and Woo-tak jumps to see Hong-joo standing there smiling at them innocently.
Cut to: the three of them sitting in a row, staring off into space as they process this. They search for possible similarities among them, ruling out their birth year (too many other dragons in the world), blood type, or birth month (they’re all different). They all mindlessly reach for their yogurts and lick the lids, and Hong-joo says that must be it, which gets shot down immediately.
Woo-tak is excited by all of this, saying that they stopped huge things from happening, but Hong-joo and Jae-chan are more subdued, knowing that they may have blocked certain events, but nothing is finished. Woo-tak argues that So-yoon’s father’s case will end well because they can trust Jae-chan, and Jae-chan just smiles weakly.
As Hong-joo and Jae-chan walk home, he asks why she followed him to the convenience store, and she says she wanted to tell him something. He protests if she’s about to say that she trusts him or wants him to keep his promise, because he’s heard that a lot today and especially doesn’t want to hear it from her.
But she came for her restaurant’s apron, which he’s still wearing, and he cringes in embarrassment. She asks why he hates hearing that other people have expectations for him, and he says he hears it as a threat—do well or I’ll be disappointed in you.
She perks up at the corollary—that he especially doesn’t want to disappoint her—and starts crowding his personal space to ask why. He scowls and insists that he doesn’t want to disappoint anyone, man or woman, young or old, or even a passing dog. She knowingly says she understands, and he’s annoyed that she sees through him.
As Jae-chan walks away, Seung-won and So-yoon come out from their hiding place behind a car. She asks why they were hiding, and Seung-won says he didn’t want his brother to get the wrong idea.
They wonder why he’s heading back out instead of going home, and Seung-won guesses that he’s going to work because he doesn’t want to disappoint any passing dogs.
Jae-chan works all night, scaring his staff when they find him at his desk in the morning. He heads out with Chief Choi to do some field investigating, saying that he’ll do all the work. But Chief Choi watches him painstakingly draw a sketch of blueprint and schools him by taking a picture of the original on his phone, ha.
In the background, the TV displays this week’s winning lottery numbers, and Chief Choi crumples up his losing ticket. Jae-chan doesn’t pay attention at all, which is probably a good thing because they’re Hong-joo’s numbers—the ones he ripped up the ticket for.
Jae-chan is so exhausted that he falls asleep the instant his head hits the pillow, and he wakes up feeling like barely a minute passed. He rushes back out to work without breakfast.
Woo-tak makes a dissatisfied face at his own breakfast, and decides that his dog’s food is better than his. Omg, he’s wearing a Batman sweatshirt and his dog’s name is Robin. Could he be any cuter?
Breakfast is a feast over at Hong-joo’s house, and they celebrate So-yoon getting a scholarship to study abroad. Her mother says they can go home soon because Jae-chan assured her that her husband won’t go free this time.
Hong-joo looks concerned, perhaps worried for Jae-chan, while her mom cheerily takes out a pocket notebook and marks one point for “prosecutor.” Heh, I wonder if the other pages say “cop” and “lawyer.”
Jae-chan can barely stay awake as he waits for the bus, and starts nodding off the instant he sits down. His head wobbles in all directions until Hong-joo suddenly slides into the seat next to his and leans him against her shoulder. He snuggles closer and she covers his eyes from the sun to let him rest, and he spends the ride to work sleeping comfortably.
When they get to their stop, Hong-joo gently wakes him, and Jae-chan murmurs sleepily, “Thank you.” But then when he wakes up and opens his eyes, he seems startled by her presence, and she wonders if he was having a dream. She asks if he dreamt of something that will happen in the future, but he stammers a “no” and seems very flustered.
She walks him to work and he asks if she doesn’t have a job because she’s always following him around, but she just takes that as another sign of interest in her and says she approves. She avoids the question about her job though.
Hong-joo says she dreamt of him falling asleep on the bus and riding it all the way to the end of the line, and getting yelled at by his boss for being tardy. She straightens his tie as she says she wanted to take away one bit of stress from the tiring day he’s about to have. He’s confident that he’ll be able to put So-yoon’s father away, but Hong-joo doesn’t look so sure.
We see a flash of her dream, in which Yoo-bum and his client walk away from the interrogation smiling, while Jae-chan slams his case file down in frustration. She doesn’t say any of this to Jae-chan, and just gives him a cheerful “Fighting!” as he heads off.
So-yoon’s father gripes about being called into the prosecutor’s office for questioning, but Yoo-bum assures him that he’s got all their bases covered.
Woo-tak makes notes about the three dream-seers’ commonalities, to which he adds that they’re all good-looking, pfft. He shoots down a coworker’s offer to eat lunch and heads to Hong-joo’s restaurant by himself, where Mom remembers him as the young man from the other night and also the time he returned her cell phone. He insists that he’s just here because he loves the food, though he obviously lights up the second Hong-joo arrives. Mom knowingly tells Hong-joo to take over the table, and then jots down in her notepad one point for the cop. Hee.
Woo-tak suggests dinner later for the Three Flying Dragons, but Hong-joo says Jae-chan won’t be in the mood. She tells him about her dream, but Woo-tak looks confused and says he dreamt the opposite—that Jae-chan secures a satisfying indictment and So-yoon’s father begs. Whaaa? Your dreams are opposite now?
In the interrogation room, things seem to be going the way Woo-tak predicted, as Jae-chan argues that if by the husband’s logic, it’s his wife’s fault that he hit her because she deserved it, then it’s the husband’s fault if Jae-chan hits him now.
He loosens his tie and dramatically slams his hands down for impact… and then we see that the room is empty. Wah-waaah.
Jae-chan wonders if that was a bit harsh, and then starts practicing other ways to make an impact, not realizing that the entire time, his fellow prosecutors have been sitting on the other side of the two-way mirror and enjoying the show. I’m so embarrassed for you.
One by one the witnesses and defendant arrive for questioning, and Woo-tak’s partner is the cop called in to testify about the case. He says nervously that his partner is asking to speak to Jae-chan and hands over his phone, and on the other end, Woo-tak and Hong-joo hurriedly tell him that they both had dreams about his interrogation today.
Hers ends badly while his ends well, and after comparing their dreams, the only difference they found was that in Hong-joo’s dream Jae-chan does the questioning, and in Woo-tak’s dream Chief Choi takes the lead.
They urge him to have Chief Choi take over the interrogation, but Jae-chan is unsure, especially as he watches how friendly Chief Choi is with Yoo-bum. He hesitates, not knowing if he can be trusted… but in the end he tells Chief Choi to do the questioning, and Yoo-bum looks surprised.
Hong-joo wonders why the two dreams were different, and Woo-tak asks if her dreams have ever been wrong. She says they weren’t until she met Jae-chan, which is when they began changing. She hopes that Woo-tak’s dream is the right one. Eek, you guys are making me nervous.
Chief Choi begins the questioning, and Jae-chan is shocked that Hong-joo’s prediction was right about So-yoon’s father pleading not guilty to all charges. Yoo-bum shows them a contract signed by husband and wife stating that he’d give her a huge sum if he ever hit her again, and plays a recording he secretly made of Hong-joo’s mom at the restaurant, telling So-yoon’s mom that she can just collect her settlement.
Yoo-bum also objects to the charge against kicking the wife the night of the piano concert, pointing out that the footprints on her blouse were a different size. He whips out a ruler and measures his client’s foot in front of everyone for show.
Throughout all of this, Chief Choi seems to be entirely on Yoo-bum’s side. He asks Yoo-bum to elaborate on his theory, in which So-yoon’s mom hatches a plan to use her skiing injuries to collect a sum of money from her husband. Chief Choi reacts like this is entirely plausible, even offering So-yoon’s father a tissue for his crocodile tears.
Yoo-bum smirks and Jae-chan’s face falls, and Chief Choi says he must’ve felt terrible when his wife collapsed, he swore he didn’t hit her, and then they arrested him anyway. But then he stops there and asks Jae-chan if he’s the only one who finds this odd. Yay, he’s not on Yoo-bum’s team after all!
Chief Choi points out how strange it is that the husband said that, and Jae-chan jumps on it, wondering why the first words out of his mouth weren’t worry or a cry for help. They play back the footage from the reporter who was doing So-yoon’s interview when her mother collapsed, and it clearly shows that her father’s first reaction was to cover up the footprints on her blouse and blurt that he didn’t do it, when no one asked him.
So-yoon’s father starts blabbering nervously that his feet are a different size, and Jae-chan demands to measure his shoes, not his feet, and the cop and the reporter get all handsy like they’re going to lift him onto the desk. Jae-chan asks if that’s all the evidence the defense has prepared, and then asks Hyang-mi to bring over the prosecution’s evidence, and it’s a giant cart full of stuff.
The defendant starts to cave, and Yoo-bum yells at him to stop talking. Jae-chan turns on the pressure and says that he already has enough to indict, but how the defendant chooses to cooperate with the investigation will determine the outcome. So-yoon’s father blurts that he was going to plead guilty but his lawyer talked him out of it and manufactured all the false evidence. Excellent.
Chief Choi gives Jae-chan his seat so that he can take over. Hong-joo and the moms jump for joy at the news, and Woo-tak fist-pumps at the station.
At school, So-yoon leaps at Seung-won to tell him the good news, grinning from ear to ear, and he picks her up and spins her around in front of everyone. Squeee! Can you please date now?
Afterwards, Chief Choi offers Yoo-bum a coffee, and Yoo-bum says he was a little disappointed today to see that Chief Choi had changed, having thought that he’d always be on his side. Chief Choi says he’s never been on anyone’s side, and that if he perceives him differently, it’s Yoo-bum who’s changed, not him. Yoo-bum tosses the coffee in the trash on his way out, scoffing bitterly.
Hyang-mi tells Jae-chan that he was a little bit awesome today, and Jae-chan in turn admits that he misunderstood Chief Choi. Jae-chan starts listing all of the things he’d assumed were suspicious about Chief Choi, like leaving work early or sending texts from work, which he thought were signs that he’d taken bribes and was leaking evidence. Jae-chan bows in sincere apology and leaves, not realizing that the boss was standing behind him the whole time, to poor Chief Choi’s dismay.
Hoobae-sunbae Hee-min gives Jae-chan a card for an ace divorce lawyer she knows, saying that So-yoon’s mother will need someone of his caliber to get anything out of her husband, and he thanks her for thinking of that. She puffs up when he finally refers to her as a sunbae, and quotes his embarrassing line about making an impact. When she reveals that they were all watching him rehearse his interrogation skills, he shrivels up in mortification.
The moms close the restaurant that night to celebrate with the kids and Woo-tak, and Hong-joo’s mom gives “our Prosecutor Jung” another point for doing a good job on the case. Jae-chan lurks awkwardly outside the restaurant, and Woo-tak runs out to force him inside. So-yoon notes that both guys are here too often, grinning that she thinks she knows the reason.
Said reason is busy making a fool of herself at the bus stop, practicing her reaction to Jae-chan’s success, from thumbs-up to chic indifference to aegyo. She throws her arms out and offers a hug… to the mirror in the street, making the people around her snigger.
She waits and waits and then gets on the bus just as he gets off, and he tellingly breaks into a smile when he sees another woman from behind who looks like Hong-joo. They search for each other along the usual route home, and he sighs to realize that he still doesn’t have her phone number.
He spots Hong-joo up ahead though, stopping to peer into every shop window on her way, obviously looking for him. He sneaks up to ask what she’s looking for, and she beams.
Cherry blossoms start to fall as they walk, which looks exactly like one of Hong-joo’s dreams. She hands him her business card so that he has her number, and it turns out that she does have a job—as a broadcast reporter, though she says she’s on break right now.
She says she heard about So-yoon’s father and how he charged him for all of the past cases too, and sighs in relief about her dream not coming true. He asks why she didn’t mention it this morning, and she says she just wanted to cheer him on.
She asks why he was looking for her, which he denies. But she points out that he’s wearing her restaurant’s apron again, and he cringes again. He affirms that he doesn’t want her to cheer him on because he hears it as a threat, and futzes with the apron because he can’t get it off.
She reaches around his neck to untie it, and says that no matter the outcome, she’ll be thankful either way because he worked hard. She tells him she won’t be disappointed in him, so he shouldn’t dislike her cheering him on, and gives him another “Fighting!”
He smiles and answers, “Thank you,” which is exactly what he murmured on the bus ride this morning in his sleep.
Time slows and she closes her eyes and stands on her tiptoes waiting for a kiss. She goes higher and higher and higher… And then HE gets on his tiptoes too, so that she can’t reach him. LOL, I’m dying.
He asks what she’s doing, and she opens her eyes and runs off with the apron to cover up her embarrassment as he laughs. I wonder why her dream changed though.
Seung-won’s mouth hangs open when So-yoon invites him over to Hong-joo’s for breakfast one morning, amazed that they feast like this every day.
He gets glum when So-yoon says that her study abroad program has been confirmed, but she tells him not to worry because the dorms have great wifi and she can chat with him every day. He brightens instantly at that.
Hong-joo chooses that moment to tease So-yoon about needing good plumbing at her dorm bathrooms, which So-yoon obviously does not want to discuss in front of Seung-won. Hong-joo is relentless, until finally So-yoon’s mom cops to it being her poop, and So-yoon gets angry for being framed.
They wonder why Jae-chan didn’t come over, and Seung-won says he had somewhere to go. Jae-chan is visiting his father’s ashes, and he adds a group photo of everyone at Hong-joo’s restaurant.
He thinks back to the way his father encouraged him to become a prosecutor with a cute little “Fighting!” and says that he was afraid of disappointing Dad so much that he worked really hard, to the point that he was so weary sometimes he wanted to run away. “I must have loved you that much,” he says.
“I have someone now who cheers me on the way you did,” Jae-chan thinks as he saves Hong-joo’s number into this phone. He remembers sleeping on her shoulder on the bus, and this time we see the dream he was having.
Hong-joo unties his apron under the cherry blossoms and promises not to be disappointed in him. He continues in voiceover, “She’s someone who says it’s okay whether I do well or not. But… I keep wanting to do well.”
The “thank you” that he said on the bus was the same one he said in the dream, and as she closes her eyes for the kiss, he says in voiceover, “That feeling scares me.”
In his dream, when she gets up on her tiptoes, he smiles sweetly and then takes a step closer, and leans in to kiss her.
…Which is the very moment that Hong-joo had woken him up on the bus, explaining his flustered reaction.
Jae-chan’s voiceover ends with: “Before I grow weary because of those feelings, before those feelings grow bigger, I want to run away.”
We catch a glimpse of Seung-won’s photo board in his room, with pictures of his family, and him with So-yoon. A shot of the two brothers at a school function morphs into the scene, where Seung-won was busy noticing So-yoon just across the way.
I just related so much to Jae-chan’s problem in this episode, of disliking expectations and choosing distance over possibly becoming a disappointment to someone down the line. It’s cowardly of him, but all relationships involve a struggle with maintaining expectations of a sort, whether it’s parent to child, friends, or lovers, and I totally get his constant effort to lower everyone’s expectations—he does this at work, with his brother, and now with Hong-joo.
He clearly prefers to be underrated, and I could feel the burden building when Seung-won and So-yoon and Woo-tak started looking at him with hero worship in their eyes, like he was going to save the day and make it all better, which is a lot to take on when he’s still a rookie at his job and not exactly very good at it (yet). He’s also a parent to his brother, which means he has to be someone he can look up to but still put food on the table, which turns out to often be at odds in his profession. It just felt very relatable and normal, which is the kind of thing this writer does so well within her fantasy dramas—the characters feel like regular people despite the strange powers they have, and it’s often their small, everyday problems that touch us the most.
On that front, I’m glad to know that Hong-joo has a job, because I was starting to feel like she really might not have a life outside of Jae-chan, so it’s nice to know she has a career of her own. I like the combination of prosecutor-reporter-cop in the Three Flying Dragons, since they could get a lot done as a trio even without their dream premonitions. It does feel familiar—it’s Pinocchio crossed with I Hear Your Voice—but I liked those dramas, and it’s an upgrade to add a competent cop.
I’m so happy that Little Bro got his loveline (So. Cute.) that I’m not really all that mad about Jae-chan backing out of that kiss. I had a feeling he’d chosen to change the future when the moment didn’t match up to Hong-joo’s dream, and it’s another indicator that Jae-chan is the trigger when it comes to actually changing the course of events. It’s extra confusing when Woo-tak’s dreams are different though, because Hong-joo’s dreams line up with Jae-chan’s for the most part, and I’m wondering if that means that Woo-tak is dreaming in a different timeline (which hurts my head a little), or if their fates are at odds (which worries me).
I think it’s safe to say at this point that Woo-tak is a good person, or maybe I just got hoodwinked by the whole Batman-Robin dog thing? He seemed genuinely happy about Jae-chan doing the right thing and did everything he could to help, so I feel okay to trust his motivations. He’s maybe a little naïve when it comes to using their dreams to change the future, thinking of it only as heroic without the possible consequences attached, but I like what he adds to the group, as a friend and a romantic rival. Jealousy is always welcome in my book, so I’m all for Batman getting the edge until Jae-chan regrets not going in for the kiss. Although I’m also okay with him taking his sweet time as long as we’re still privy to the previews of their romance in their dreams.
- Premiere Watch: While You Were Sleeping
- Brotherly love changes a hero’s fate in SBS’s While You Were Sleeping
- Lee Jong-seok’s awkward social skills in While You Were Sleeping
- Lee Jong-seok moves in next door in While You Were Sleeping
- A kiss in the flower-filled night for While You Were Sleeping
- Dreamy first teaser for SBS’s While You Were Sleeping
- First sleepy couple stills for SBS’s While You Were Sleeping
- Star cameos continue for While You Were Sleeping with Yoon Kyun-sang and Lee Sung-kyung
- While You Were Sleeping gets a September premiere date on SBS