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The Third Charm: Episode 2

In the beginning, dating your total opposite can be an exciting adventure. Joon-young and Young-jae discover this as they experience many firsts together, opening themselves up to new interests, new perspectives and, of course, new feelings. But at such a young age, all these new things can be tough to juggle. And in some cases, they can be too scary to face.

 
EPISODE 2 RECAP

Thinking it’s the right moment, Young-jae leans in and kisses Joon-young. But the soft music on the radio changes to something upbeat, snapping them out of it. The moment now gone, she continues undoing his curls.

A fully permed Joon-young stumbles out of the hair salon, though Young-jae stops him to give more haircare instructions. He looks like he wants to walk her home, but she has to close up the shop. So he bids an awkward farewell and literally runs out of there.

Young-jae is giddy as she heads home, where big bro Soo-jae waits with a knowing smirk. She tries to sneak past him, but he messes with her and asks all about the boy he caught her with. “If he trusted you with his hair, it’s not just any relationship,” he teases.

Young-jae lies that Joon-young was just a customer, and she escapes to her room. She stares at herself in the mirror, touching her lips and remembering that kiss. Over at Joon-young’s, he’s doing the same thing.

He’s walks down the dark hallway, passing his mom and nearly giving her a heart attack. “Mom?” she says drowsily, taking in the curls. (LOL.) He’s too lovesick to take any offense, though.

In fact, all throughout the night and into the next morning, he’s swaying and grinning like a fool, oblivious to anything else. Then, on campus, he’s attracted to a poster for his department’s special couples’ bar night; in his mind, it has Young-jae’s face written all over it.

At home, Joon-young locks his door and musters up the confidence to call Young-jae. Little sis Ri-won barges in with a key, suspicious that he’s watching gay porn. He immediately hangs up to kick her out again.

His phone then rings with Young-jae’s name, and he coolly answers what’s up, to which she responds that he’s the one who called her. His nerves growing, he rambles about his new hair until he blurts out, “Do you have time tomorrow?”

Meanwhile, Soo-jae is hard at work in a construction site. He takes a break to call girlfriend Jung-eun and gush about his sister being smitten with a boy. He asks Jung-eun to take good care of her when they go shopping together.

Jung-eun meets Young-jae and encourages her to buy a cute dress to impress her new boyfriend. Young-jae repeatedly denies Joon-young being her boyfriend, but she does end up trying on the dress. And, despite how awkward she feels in it, she can’t help but smile.

Joon-young is busy ironing and blow drying his new shirt since he couldn’t possibly wear the same clothes Young-jae saw him in. As he does so, he plans their entire day, from eating lunch to visiting a bookstore to seeing Pride and Prejudice in theaters. Assuming the movie will be sad, he places a handkerchief next to the gift he’s prepared. Once he presents the gift, he plans on asking her to the couples’ bar night. “Perfect,” he says, giving himself a thumbs-up in the mirror.

Young-jae shows up to their outing in her sweatshirt (Aw, she didn’t buy the dress?), and she’s surprised to see that Joon-young is early. She also giggles at his ajumma perm, saying it actually suits him.

Flattered, Joon-young explains that he wanted to tell her something. She says he should’ve just told her over the phone, making him deflate a bit. Either way, she’s down with hanging out.

He breaks down his plans for the day, and she shuts down every one—she’s not hungry, she doesn’t care about bookstores, and she is so not sitting through a sappy movie. She has a better movie in mind.

Cut to: Squeamish Joon-young having to sit through self-mutilation in horror film Saw, heh.

Afterwards, Young-jae jokes that there’s no way a scaredy-cat like him could become a police officer. He insists that he could, but he doesn’t want to. She laughs it aside and asks what he wanted to tell her.

He asks if she’ll go as his partner to the couples’ bar night and to his surprise, she flatly declines. He’s confused; if they kissed, doesn’t that mean they’re dating? According to her, no. Ack, the way his face falls.

Joon-young thinks she should still take his gift, a Sung Shi-kyung CD. She says that she doesn’t like Sung Shi-kyung but she’ll accept it. She takes the CD and leaves a dejected Joon-young to catch her bus. Before boarding, she turns back and says, “Ohn Joon-young! If I show up, then we’re dating. If I don’t go, then we’re not dating.” And just like that, Joon-young is beaming with hope again.

That night, Young-jae and Soo-jae have a ceremony for the anniversary of their mother’s death. Soo-jae asks if she misses their parents, and she replies that she doesn’t remember them enough to miss them. Still, Soo-jae reminds her, thanks to their parents, they grew up strong and healthy. He then brings up Joon-young, wondering when he gets to meet the lucky guy. Again, Young-jae insists that Joon-young isn’t her boyfriend. At least, not yet.

Out on the roof, Young-jae decides to give Joon-young’s gift a try. She pops the disc into her CD-player and listens to the ballads as she lies under the stars, her expression thoughtful.

It’s time for the big couples’ bar night. The whole bar is bustling with Joon-young’s classmates and their partners, while he’s on the edge of his seat waiting for Young-jae to arrive. His friends make fun of the fact that he got all dressed up for nothing.

It looks like Joon-young is starting to believe it when So-hee and Mi-young arrive to meet his friends. And since he’s a single attendee, a classmate asks him to guard the entry and hand out roses.

Finally, there’s the familiar sound of “Ohn Joon-young!” Young-jae appears at the doorway, wearing the dress from earlier. They smile at each other as Joon-young excitedly presents her with a rose.

They join the others at their table, where Young-jae greets Mi-young and So-hee silently fumes. Young-jae then turns to Joon-young and says something, but he doesn’t hear. So she cups her hands around his ear and repeats, “Today is our first day of dating!”

Joon-young’s world stops. Young-jae’s words send him into utter bliss and she has to snap him out of it to continue. There’s something else she wants to tell him, but seeing the eager look on his face, she chickens out and suggests they talk later.

The girls run off to the bathroom, where Mi-young happily states that Young-jae looks great tonight. So-hee being So-hee, she grimaces and says that Young-jae looks tacky; she doesn’t understand why Young-jae bothered showing up.

Young-jae comes out of the stall behind them, suggesting So-hee skip the trash-talk and say it to her face. So-hee tries to one-up her, saying it’s funny that she’s still seeing Joon-young, but Young-jae thinks So-hee’s hair is funnier. She says that So-hee’s hair salon made her look tacky, and she stalks right out. Ha, Young-jae, one. So-hee, zero.

Back inside, the MC of the event commences a special couples’ dance competition, with the prize being couple rings. Joon-young’s buddies take the opportunity to goof off on stage, earning boo’s from the crowd.

So-hee, however, means serious business. She drags a reluctant Sang-hyun over and they get into a pretty smooth routine. And for someone who’s so reluctant, Sang-hyun looks really into it. They’re rewarded with a big applause.

There’s enough time for one more contestant, so Young-jae asks Joon-young if he wants to go up. He sputters out that he doesn’t dance, but she’s not taking no for an answer. She raises her hand and heads on up by herself.

The music starts and Young-jae struts across the stage like a pro, making Joon-young and the rest of the crowd clap and cheer. She dances down and, despite his refusals, drags Joon-young up on stage to join her.

Feeling Young-jae’s positive energy, Joon-young gets into the song and follows her dance moves. They’re absolutely killing it, and the crowd goes wild the whole time, save for a grouchy So-hee.

Once it’s time to announce the winners, So-hee smiles expectantly, only to frown when it’s revealed to be Young-jae and Joon-young. They return to the stage to accept their prize and do an interview with the MC.

Young-jae is asked to introduce herself, and she hesitates before saying she doesn’t go to Joon-young’s school. The MC follows that up by asking where she does go to school, but she can’t bring herself to answer.

So-hee speaks up for her, coldly stating that Young-jae isn’t a college student. She guesses it must be hard for Young-jae to admit she only attended to get herself a boyfriend. And with that, she grabs Young-jae’s backpack and dumps all of its contents out, revealing hair products instead of textbooks.

Thoroughly humiliated, Young-jae silently makes her way down and starts shoving her belongings back in her backpack. All the while, So-hee continues ridiculing her for being poor and working in a measly hair salon. Having had enough, Young-jae gets up and slaps So-hee, initiating a cat fight.

The two pull at each other’s hair while everyone else is too stunned to do anything. Joon-young helplessly tells them to stop until he finally gets between them and pries them off one another. Young-jae stumbles back to see Joon-young helping So-hee steady herself, and betrayal settles into her eyes.

Young-jae leaves her backpack on the floor and walks out without another word. Joon-young hurries out to follow her, checking up and down the street, but it’s too late. Young-jae is long gone, and he has no choice but to return to the bar. We then cut to Young-jae already sitting by the bus stop, looking completely drained.

Joon-young picks up the rest of Young-jae’s belongings, while Sang-hyun receives an angry call from So-hee. She tells him they’re over if he doesn’t show up to comfort her, which he says is just fine with him. He hangs up and joins Joon-young to comfort him instead. Aww, there you go.

Joon-young sits outside the hair salon, the only place he knows where Young-jae might be. He even organizes all of her styling tools as he waits. But she doesn’t show; she’s already at home, lying under the covers and pretending to be asleep when Soo-jae and his girlfriend walk in.

The next day, while Young-jae is busy at the salon, Joon-young shows up again to return her backpack. She accepts it, but insists she has to get back to work. He calls out that he’ll wait until she finishes and watches her escape back inside.

Joon-young waits it out at the café where they met for their blind date. He’s there all day and all night, until he gives up and heads back to the salon. But he sees the darkened building and realizes that he’s missed her again.

For the next few days, Joon-young is weighed down with sadness, making him wander about like a zombie. It gets to the point where Joon-young is losing focus and even skipping out on class. All he can do is wait by the salon and try Young-jae’s phone.

One day, when he comes home, he finds numerous cases of beer waiting for him, his reward for being crowned Beer King. He also finds the Polaroid taken of him and Young-jae, reminding him of their amazing first date.

During dinner, Joon-young’s parents ask Ri-won how her boy drama is going. Dad doesn’t get why she does everything by phone; back in his day, he’d just wait at the person’s house until they came out. Ri-won thinks that sounds pretty stalkerish, but Dad argues, “That’s the only way to meet them and grow affection with each other.”

Dad’s words hit a nerve with Joon-young, and he jumps up to excuse himself. He stops by the salon again, this time going inside and asking the owner’s friends where Young-jae might be. They haven’t seen her working for a few days, but they do tell him that her rooftop apartment is right down the street.

Young-jae climbs the steps to her apartment to find Joon-young waiting for her. She looks as exhausted as ever, and she definitely doesn’t want to deal with him now. Desperate, Joon-young says that if all of this is because of the night at the bar, then he’s sorry. “Who do you think you are?” Young-jae says. “You saw how I live, right? Right, I’m different from kids like you.”

She continues that she doesn’t have time to party and date like the rest of them. And her humiliation at the couples’ event reminded her of that, so she thanks him for the reality check. Joon-young is practically crumbling from hurt, but she’s not finished. She drives the final nail by telling him that he’s slow and frustrating and that she wants him to get lost. Speechless, Joon-young complies and walks past her.

Joon-young hides out in a pojangmacha to drink soju, eventually being joined by a worried Sang-hyun. Sang-hyun apologizes for not arriving sooner, but Joon-young can barely speak. He just leans on his friend’s shoulder and cries his heart out.

Outside, there are TV screens showing breaking news. Joon-young narrates, “While the world was noisy because of a serial killer case, my one day of dating ended quietly, without anyone knowing.” At home, he officially ends it by cutting the Polaroid of him and Young-jae.

Left with nothing but heartbreak, Joon-young decides to join the military. He comes back on leave sometime later, making sure to stop by Young-jae’s hair salon. But she’s nowhere in sight. Sang-hyun takes him out for some fun, and Joon-young gets drunk, clearly still broken up.

However, a poster on campus encourages him to rethink things. He heads to the library and finds all the research he can on the police force. He puts the rest of his time into studying until he’s able to take the written exam. And with his master study skills, he passes it no problem.

The next time we see him, he’s in his snazzy police uniform, getting ready for his picture. The photographer gets his shot, but of course, Joon-young ends up blinking. I think it’s safe to say that he hasn’t changed, lol.

We then flash forward to New Year’s in 2013, when Joon-young and Young-jae saw each other from across the room. They stare at each other for the longest time as Joon-young narrates about the two types of women in the world.

“Today, I saw the third type,” he concludes. “The woman I should’ve never seen again. That horrible wench.”

 
COMMENTS

Going back to that New Year’s scene felt much heavier knowing all the hurt in Joon-young’s heart. Our permed Prince Charming got his first girlfriend and lost her just like that. Admittedly, I thought this episode was moving too fast, breaking them up and having them mope about it after one day as an official couple. But, in retrospect, that makes it all the more heartbreaking. Yes, they were only a couple for maybe an hour, but that hour and the other times they’d spent together meant the world to them. So as dramatic as it is onscreen, I get how overwhelming it must’ve been for these two. First love can sting. Joon-young, in particular, looked utterly lost wondering how something so great spiraled down so fast.

I appreciate the episode showing a cute side and a serious side to the characters’ conflicting personalities. It can be fresh and fun, like the movie theater scene, but when those conflicting personalities bring on actual conflicts, there is no laughing it off. Seeing Joon-young try his hardest to work through the problem, and Young-jae simply wanting to forget about it, there’s a lot of tension there that could only get worse. Because they’re so different, they don’t know how the other truly feels, and unfortunately, on Young-jae’s part, it can make her quite insensitive.

Young-jae’s drive for independence and individuality is admirable, but that could potentially close her off to any kind of acceptance. When she saw Joon-young helping So-hee, I think she subconsciously labeled him as one of them—those college people, those popular people. People she can never fully understand. Due to that, it’s almost like she developed the rich guy/poor girl mentality; so if they live in separate worlds, it’s better that they stay in separate worlds. That said, it’s interesting to see how deep this couples’ differences run. Joon-young may be shy and awkward, but I get the feeling that he’s confident in who he is. Whereas with Young-jae, who initially exuded pluckiness, I don’t get that feeling. Her confidence is more of mask, which we saw crumble after So-hee’s outburst.

Essentially, Young-jae liked Joon-young so much that her embarrassment was tripled, causing her to be emotional and rash when dealing with the aftermath. And it’s understandable. She allowed herself to open up to Joon-young and his world and it ended with her getting hurt. How else was she supposed to react, right? And, who knows, there could be more to the story. That serial killer news had to have been placed at the end for a reason. Still, no matter what’s going on, I wish she hadn’t said those cruel things to Joon-young.

From the glimpses we got of 2013 Joon-young, he’s not as soft as he once was; if anything, he’s hardened. In the first episode, he and Young-jae were talking about each other as if they’d been in a long relationship, when in reality they hadn’t. It doesn’t seem like they’ve dated anyone else, and even if they had, I doubt anything came close to the spring of their youth. So, despite my concerns, I look forward to them reconnecting. The initial romance was short-lived and the breakup was brutal, but I think their separation says something important: it’s not their differences, it’s the fact that they don’t understand those differences. And though they’re still different, they’re not who they were when they were twenty-years-old. Perhaps there’s been enough change in both of them to give this relationship another shot and make it work.

Finally, I have to address Mr. Ladies’ Man and Miss Queen Bee. I don’t know what So-hee’s deal is, but it’s only the second episode and I want her gone. Since I’m sure she’s sticking around, I hope her hostility has some logical explanation; it can’t just be pettiness. In fact, it makes me wonder if something more happened between her and Young-jae in high school. Sang-hyun, at least, earned my respect, standing by Joon-young the whole time. I thought he would end up being the male version of So-hee, so this was a pleasant surprise. If the bromance can prevail, anything is possible.

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Thanks for the recap, so far I'm loving the show. Can't wait for the next episodes

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I'll be honest the backstory of these first two episodes bored me to tears. I like the characters, but I just really wanted to get back to the first episode's opening. I was bummed when we didn't get back there until the end. I'm sticking with this for now, though.

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I thought the college dating would last longer. I kind if thought the "seasons" of their relationship would be more evenly distributed.
I like that even she laughed at his perm.....you gave it to him.

Their giddy smiles when they realized that they might be getting together were so sweet.

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Even with a ridiculous perm, braces and glasses, it for naught because he still looks like Seo Kang-Joon.

You can't look at him and say, yeah, he can't get a date.

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I was thinking the same! Even while trying everything in the book to make him look like a dork he's still so pretty 😂😂

That "omma?" Scene killed me!

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@goldenaddiction
Yup, I just loved it when it didn't even bother him that his mum was calling mum!!! 😂

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The "omma" scene is definitely hilarious...

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I agree, I wondered too if they went through the plot a little fast and slightly worried about how they are going to stretch it for 16 episodes.

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I'm still not sure I understand what the title means. I heard someone say it would be better as 'Third Time's the Charm', which makes so much more sense.

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@frabbycrabsis
Yes, I thought of it as meaning: 3rd time's the charm. Not sure if that's right either. I was wondering if we were going to see 3 or 4 seasons of break-up and getting back together before they stayed together (or broke up forever). Since the coupling is the entire premise and likely the plot, it will need to be an interesting 3 or 4 seasons to hold the audience!

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I think it's a play on the what Joon young said about the two types you meet and he added a third.

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I saw this episode and the meltdown from them and thought, 'Yeah I was dramatic and a douche in my teens as well. Every breakup felt like the world ended'.

That said, I just don't see them as a couple. I really don't think the seven years is going to bring any growth from neither of them and you know, I am okay with that. I would love to see a kdrama where there is no OTP. This show would be the perfect case for it. They both seem like good people, just not good together.

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Thanks @sailorjumun. That was a nice analysis of what might have been going through Young Jae's mind at the end, and about her actual feelings. She states her opinions, refuses to just be looked down on, takes the initiative in the kiss, won't take 'No' for an answer, etc so much so that she looks supremely confident. But she could have been adding more bluster to hide her inmost insecurities, about not belonging to the co-ed group.

I've never been a fan of people who won't give the other party a chance to explain or who won't try to find out what the other person's point of view is (a common trope in drama fights), however in Young Jae's case, I feel she's still young (callous youth), and her hurt was too raw. It was probably a sticking point for her (I'm guessing) that she could have gone into college but didn't. She might have opted for vocational training, to start earning money faster, to contribute to the family.

I think I heard in the convo between Mi Young and So Hee, that Young Jae had been considered the prettier and more (most?) popular girl in school. This had fueled So Hee's jealousy. So for the most popular girl to have to play second fiddle to a resentful So Hee, might have been something that affected Young Jae more than she let on.

What I do want to see in the present is a Young Jae who's more patient and sensitive and not still given over to rash words that could hurt Joon Young.

I find that the portrayal of Joon Young as a simple straight arrow when it comes to pursuing the girl, so true-to-life and right. He was such an uncomplicated guy in the dating arena. I like that he tried every way he could to see Young Jae again, and that he did tell her that her not being a co-ed didn't matter. I like that he accepted her 'No' without anger and blame, and that he walked away although it wounded him deeply.

Both of them were very true to themselves, to being young and afraid of being hurt again. Let's see how they've grown (or not!).

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Just like everyone has stated here, I too wish they had stuck around for more of the college years. I sort of understand her perspective. She took it as us vs them but it still is annoying that she didn’t give him a chance to explain. I would have loved to see more of Joon Young coming out of his nerdy shell and becoming the tough police officer that he is today. It would have been fun to see him coming out of his shell and standing up for himself.

I watched the first episode and immediately didn’t see the next, which is not a good sign. But I love both the leads and both are doing a sup fb job! Let’s see!

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Superb* ugh...

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My favorite parts are Young Jae and Joon Young's interaction with their families. I also like that rich, popular Sang Hyun is a true friend to Joon Young.

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This was sad. I'm glad his friend was there for him. Bros before Girls, which is nice. I enjoyed your analysis @sailorjumun, and honestly I have nothing else to add.

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I feel like I would have loved that date he set up. Which brings me to the point that opposites may attract but may not be the best thing for each other. So the last line is dripping with some type of experience that I think we haven’t seen yet. (Also, I haven’t seen this episode, but will be following the recap! Thanks again, @sailorjumun!)

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I felt somewhat nervous when Young Jae turned down all his plans (and his reaction to it). As if it's a foreshadow to future conflicts in their relationship.

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... the date he set up is my ideal date...

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I was happily surprised by Sang-hyun too. He may be a player, but he is a great friend first.

I find the characters interesting. As you said, Young-jae is bright and independent but she is also a bit insensitive. Like when she shot down all of Joon-young's date suggestions. Or maybe check with him if he likes horror movies. In a way, she brings him out of his rut which is a good thing, but she is not very delicate or gentle about it. :D It might be why it affected Joon-young so much. She is this tornado that uprooted his normal life and then dropped him to deal with the consequences.

That preview scared me a bit though. I got the feeling something happened to her brother.

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@luzitania
I felt the same about Young Jae even in Ep 1 when she forced Joon Yong to eat the ddeokbokki although he was reluctant. She needs to learn to be more considerate. To ask first and not to keep forcing others to do what she wants, just because she thinks it's good or fun.

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Yeah I to have the dreaded feeling sometime bad will happen to her brother :( *sniff*

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I think the serial killer bit has something to do with the brother. I also felt like by the time joon young met young jae, something had already happened to her brother. And she didn't go to work for a few days.

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Ohhhhhhh! You mean the serial killer that they keep in showing on the news??? I thought they put it there as a piece of history for the year 2000!!! Sheeettt....that will be horrible!!

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It could be just me being paranoid and hopefully nothing like that will happen!

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I hope so too :D Your paranoia is better than that bear of a brother meeting a ghastly end!

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Knowing characters like So Hee, she'll be around like gum stuck in hair; annoying and hard to get rid of. Why do we even need trashy girls like her? Unless they set her up for a great redemption arch or character depth.
This romance story felt WAYYYY too short. Like you said, they've only been an official couple for about an hour. And have only know each other for a few days. And even all those years later they still couldn't forget about each other. I find that hard to believe, but it's Kdrama land so I'm rolling with it.
And yeah, 2013 Joon Young seems rough around the edges and I sincerely hope I still get to see his dorkiness in future episodes. It's still early and there's a lot more to see.

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Thank you @sailorjumun for the recap and I think your comments are right on. Joon-young's perm and Mom's "Mom?" were great.
Joon-young and Young-jae were just starting to get to know each other when it all fell apart. I am sorry he cut up the Polaroid. I am glad Sang-hyun was there for him at least through their college days.
A couple of things though about SH. Didn't JY's sister refer to SH as a thug? Maybe only as a joke. At the New Year's Eve party I think it was SH who made the grand entrance and even nodded over to YJ. So did he stay on the straight and narrow?
Joon-young despite his early awkwardness is a confident young man. Look what he has accomplished in only 4 years on the police force. He has proven himself and is now some type of squad leader.
Maybe this is the time to remind Squad Leader On (because of some recent unfortunate kdrama police incidents), to cuff the suspect first, then talk to him/her. Yes he he has not lost some of his idiosyncrasies. (Think of his stake-out mate kidding him about changing his socks and underwear twice a day.) That whole serial killer case is going to find its way into the story at some time.
Young-jae despite her rough edges is sensitive. I am hoping both of these characters can let go of the bitterness. I am looking forward to the story.

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That serial killer news had to have been placed at the end for a reason

I don’t know what So-hee’s deal is, but it’s only the second episode and I want her gone.

Uh, can anyone else think of an easy way to fulfill your wish AND give the serial killer a reason to exist?

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LOL @lordcobol. You are tough. That is called a two-fer (2 for the price of one) where I come from. Two episodes in and beanies are already getting very protective of Young-jae and Joon-young. After episode one our pal @pakalanapikake has Soo-hee's family going bust in the 2008 financial crisis.
Don't mess around with beanies.

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First off, I really have to give a shout out to Sang-hyun, one of the best Bros I've seen in a Kdrama. I really thought they were building him up to be a full on dick because he's rich and popular. But he 100% threw So-hee under the bus without a second thought for what she did to he's friend.

Also I really wish they dated for a little bitonger before the break. I felt it would of gave it more impact. But I'm looking forward to seeing their 2nd meeting.

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Love it. The writers bring up their social Status and the conflict between someone one person as a college student and the other person as a person who isn't is an interesting topic. I hope it's just not merely as a background backstory and dig the conflict deeper. I found it refreshing too there is no one who bully our Joon Young just because his mannerism and him being nerdy. I have a friend in high school which mannerism look exactly like him. He is so different, which almost all my friend make fun of him and bully him.

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For a first love that had so much influence in their life, I wished it lasted longer...

I was happy with the reaction of Sang Hyun. He doesn't date a mean girl just because she's pretty.

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I quite like this show. The story seems so real and the characters too.

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this might be one i continue watching for a bit

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Thanks for recapping, SailorJumun. I'm enjoying the laughs. Like you, I was appalled by So-hee's cruelty. Sheesh. But I was nearly as upset by Young-jae's callousness. Talk about heartless. Joon-young deserved way better treatment than that. Thank goodness Sang-hyun stood by him when the chips were down.

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