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.”
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.