Crash Landing on You: Episode 3
As cute as it is to watch our misplaced heroine interact with her savior and his ducklings, it’s soon time for her to go home. They have a plan, and they say their goodbyes, sure that they’ll never see each other again. But nothing ever goes like it’s supposed to, and fate tries to intervene and keep them all together a bit longer.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Se-ri is found hiding in Jung-hyuk’s kimchi cellar by Chul-kang, who parades her out to the street at gunpoint. Luckily, Jung-hyuk was warned that Jung-hyuk was in danger and borrowed Colonel Go’s car, and he arrives home just in time. He tells Chul-kang that Se-ri is his fiancee and to put the gun away.
Chul-kang lowers his weapon and Jung-hyuk pulls Se-ri to his side. Chul-kang asks to see Se-ri’s ID and frontline entry pass, so Jung-hyuk thinks fast. He claims that Se-ri is a member of Division 11, a classification of spies stationed in South Korea whose identities and missions are strictly confidential.
He says that Se-ri is tired and needs to rest, and Se-ri conveniently slumps against him. Chul-kang glares at them, highly skeptical, but he’s forced to let Se-ri go with Jung-hyuk. When they’re alone, Jung-hyuk apologizes to Se-ri, but she praises him for showing up right on time and coming up with a plausible story under pressure.
Ina gentle voice, Jung-hyuk asks if Se-ri is hurt, and the way he’s looking at her rattles Se-ri a little. He explains about Division 11, which manages special agents who live in South Korea as spies, along with their entire families. Se-ri is alarmed that Jung-hyuk basically told the entire village she’s a spy, but he says it was the only way to explain how she looks and talks, and that she’s leaving tomorrow night anyway.
They hear voices, and find the village wives at the gate. They’ve brought food, ostensibly for Jung-hyuk’s return, but obviously they’re there to learn more about Se-ri. They try to get in the house by offering to carry the food inside, but Se-ri pops up and takes it from them.
The women haughtily pepper Se-ri with questions about Division 11, but she seems to enjoy saying mysteriously that she’s not allowed to tell them anything. After they close the gate, Se-ri and Jung-hyuk hear the women say that they don’t look affectionate and must be an arranged marriage.
Inside again, Se-ri asks Jung-hyuk what he’ll do when she’s gone and people ask about her. Jung-hyuk doesn’t believe people will ask him about personal matters, but Se-ri points out that the wives’ behavior just now proves they will. She tells him to say he got dumped because their personalities were too different, and not to date anyone for six months to keep it plausible.
At bedtime, Se-ri asks Jung-hyuk through the wall if he’s ever been to Switzerland. She says she saw his books on music and the concert brochure, reminding Jung-hyuk of the time when he played piano in Switzerland. She brags that she plays piano well, because can play Fur Elise without sheet music (ha, Jung-hyuk rolls his eyes). Jung-hyuk looks down at his hands, but he doesn’t answer Se-ri’s questions.
An elegant woman named SEO DAN (Seo Ji-hye) disembarks from the same plane as Seung-joon at the Pyongyang airport, and when their luggage collides, Seung-joon is impressed by her beauty. Dan is greeted by her uncle (and Jung-hyuk’s family friend), Colonel Go, and in the parking lot, she asks where his special access car is.
He tells her he lent it to Jung-hyuk, and Dan gets a cagey look in her eyes. She says she’ll go to his village to pick it up herself after her recital tomorrow. Colonel Go is surprised that she would go out of her way (she comes off as pretty spoiled), but Dan says that she should visit Jung-hyuk, her fiance. Interesting.
Meanwhile, thieves steal the windshield wipers off the car that CEO Jeon brought to pick up Seung-joon, so of course it begins to rain. Seung-joon throws a full-on temper tantrum, upset that he has to travel in such dangerous conditions after paying them so much money.
Chul-kang enters a secret government bunker disguised as a coal mine, and heads to the wiretap room. He leads wiretapper MAN-BOK (Kim Young-min) to an unobserved area and tells him that Ri Moo-hyuk’s brother, Jung-hyuk, works at the outpost. Man-bok’s horrified reaction is interesting.
Chul-kang orders Man-bok to listen in on Jung-hyuk but to be careful as he’s smart, and Man-bok tells Chul-kang about a new directional microphone that can hear whatever happens outside Jung-hyuk’s house. Chul-kang orders Man-bok to find out what he can about the woman who claims to be from Division 11, sure that the right bit of information can bring down Jung-hyuk’s whole family.
Man-bok looks unsettled about this, but Chul-kang dangles promises of a promotion and his son getting into a good college in front of him. Man-bok remembers back seven years, to a night when he’d listened in on a conversation between Jung-hyuk’s brother Moo-hyuk and another soldier as they drove home. Moo-hyuk had spoken of his younger brother, who was a piano prodigy.
He had said that his brother always apologized that Moo-hyuk had to give up piano and follow in their father’s military footsteps, but Moo-hyuk had been okay with it since Jung-hyuk was a much better player. He’d been looking forward to hearing a song that Jung-hyuk wrote for him, but their vehicle had been slammed by a Russian Kamaz truck, killing Moo-hyuk. Man-bok had heard everything, and had been left shaking and sobbing.
In the morning, curious villagers mill around Jung-hyuk’s front gate, hoping to get a glimpse of the mysterious fiancee when Jung-hyuk leaves for work. Jung-hyuk wants Se-ri to stay inside, but she argues that it’s better to let the villagers see her. Jung-hyuk capitulates, but first he uses a handkerchief to tie up Se-ri’s hair, saying that here, only crazy women walk around with their hair down.
They step out to the street and Se-ri fusses over Jung-hyuk, putting on a show for their onlookers. She makes him touch her hair to prove they’re in love, threatening to stay and marry him for real when he tries to weasel out of it, hee. He complies, cringing along with the villagers at her terrible aegyo, and finally makes his escape.
The village wives get together to make kimchi and complain about Se-ri. Myung-sook, Man-bok’s wife, doesn’t get why they dislike her, and they all just glare at her, their jealousy evident. A couple of them go to invite Se-ri to make kimchi with them, but she turns them down, saying that she doesn’t like kimchi. HA, their faces.
During morning training, Jung-hyuk calls his ducklings to his office to discuss the plans regarding Se-ri. He sheepishly tells them that he had to claim Se-ri as his fiancee, and Joo-mok says that he’s seen this in South Korean dramas. He says the main couple always end up kissing to avert a crisis, and then they spend the night together.
The ducklings stare at Jung-hyuk, and Kwang-bum asks if that’s why Jung-hyuk didn’t come back to the barracks to sleep last night. Jung-hyuk assures them that they slept in separate rooms, but Joo-mok states confidently that in the dramas, the fake couple always fall in love. LOL, Jung-hyuk squeezes his leg as punishment for watching too many dramas.
Jung-hyuk gets down to business, making sure that there’s a boat to carry Se-ri to international waters, which Chi-soo says will cost a twenty-thousand-won phone card. The meeting place and time are set, then Jung-hyuk sends the ducklings to his place to do more repair work and keep the villagers away from Se-ri.
One of Man-bok’s employees (who’s posing as a telephone repairman) reports their arrival at Jung-hyuk’s house. Man-bok listens in as Se-ri welcomes the guys, then instructs his man to set up the microphone where it is. He hears Joo-mok arguing with Se-ri about drama characters, but without context, it sounds to him like they’re discussing spies they both know, HAHA.
Meanwhile, Jung-hyuk goes alone to the site of the accident that killed the grave robbers. The soldier posted there tells him that it was strange to see three empty Kamaz trucks pass by several times that night, with strange, heavy armor on their front bumpers. He also says that the woman who was killed was identified as a trader hitchhiking to Kaesong, so Jung-hyuk correctly guesses that she witnessed the accident.
Chul-kang visits Seung-joon at his new mansion, and Seung-joon refuses to shake hands as he launches into his whiny complaint about the missing windshield wipers. Chul-kang informs Seung-joon that he can always sell Seung-joon’s location to one of his South Korean enemies who want him dead. Seung-joon perks right up and offers his hand to shake.
Speaking of enemies… back in Seoul, Se-ri’s brother Se-hyung still has people looking for Seung-joon, but they’re always one step behind him. His wife Sang-ah tells Se-hyung to look in the one place that Seung-joon would never go, so Se-hyung orders his man to search for signs of Seung-joon in Shenyang, where Seung-joon does a lot of business.
They arrive at Chairman Yoon’s home, along with Se-joon and Hye-ji, to discuss Se-ri’s disappearance. Every time Se-hyung tries to make a point, Se-joon finishes his sentence to make himself look smarter, ha. They recommend that their father not announce that he plans to pass the company to Se-ri, since the news would cause their stocks to drop, and to name one of them instead.
Of course, they bicker over which of them should be chosen, egged on by their wives. Se-joon mentions the hundred billion won that Se-hyung lost to Seung-joon, so Sang-ah suggests they liquidate Se-ri’s company, Se-ri’s Choice, to make up the funds. (First, can they even do that if the company belongs to Se-ri? And second, she’s only been gone a few days!)
Se-ri’s assistant, Secretary Hong, is confronted by Soo-chan, who sold Se-ri the life insurance plan shortly before her disappearance. Soo-chan looks haggard at the thought of having to pay out such an astronomical amount, and he’s determined to find Se-ri alive, but Secretary Hong is losing hope and doesn’t want to discuss the difficult subject.
While the ducklings work on Jung-hyuk’s water system, a little boy steals one of their jackets. They catch him, and Se-ri finds a bag of dirty discarded food that the boy dropped and asks him about it. He says he found it and is taking it to his sister, who hasn’t eaten in three days.
Against the guys’ protests, Se-ri goes back to Jung-hyuk’s house and packs up food and other items for the boy. Jung-hyuk comes home and Chi-soo tattles that Se-ri is giving his food to a lying thief, but Jung-hyuk just tells the boy to wash his face and hands before eating so he won’t get sick.
Man-bok, still listening to their conversation over his wiretapping equipment, smiles the sweetest smile at Jung-hyuk and Se-ri’s kind actions. And the boy joins his little sister in the abandoned box they live in, and feeds her the food from Se-ri.
Since she’s leaving tonight, Se-ri holds a little award ceremony for the ducklings. She gives Eun-dong the Kindness Award and offers him a choice of prizes — a hundred million won to be delivered after reunification (lol), or some corn now. Eun-dong wisely chooses the corn, and HAHA, Jung-hyuk’s face when he realizes she’s giving away his corn.
Next Se-ri gives Joo-mok a certificate of merit for his love of Korean dramas. His prize is lunch with Choi Ji-woo after reunification, or Jung-hyuk’s TV now. Jung-hyuk objects, but Se-ri tells him to trust her, and Joo-mok predictably chooses post-reunification lunch with Choi Ji-woo.
At this point, Jung-hyuk is starting to look put out that he hasn’t gotten an award. When Se-ri awards Kwang-bum the award for being the most handsome person in the room, Jung-hyuk openly sulks, hee. Chi-soo is upset at not getting an award, so Se-ri gives him the cosmetic products Jung-hyuk bought that she didn’t finish using.
Se-ri ends the “ceremony” and Jung-hyuk storms out, so Se-ri follows him to show him that she did get him a gift. It’s a tomato plant she traded for from a door-to-door peddler, and Jung-hyuk is incredulous that she got him a plant with a bag of his own potatoes. He says he doesn’t even like tomatoes, nor is he interested in caring for a plant, but Se-ri tells him to treat it like a pet and raise it with love by saying nice things to it.
Man-bok gets a call from Chul-kang and reports that Jung-hyuk’s fiancee seems a bit loopy (talking to plants, ha), but that she hasn’t said or done anything suspicious.
The ducklings sit outside after dark, eating Eun-dong’s prize corn and looking at the stars. Each in their own way, they admit that they’re going to miss Se-ri when she’s gone.
Jung-hyuk drives Se-ri to the dock to board her boat. On the way, Se-ri takes the handkerchief out of her hair and returns it to Jung-hyuk, and she says it’s strange that she can go anywhere in the world, but she can never again come here to see him. She says, “It’s a shame that you live here,” and Jung-hyuk replies, “It’s a shame that you live there.” Awww.
Jung-hyuk tells the boat captain that he’s going along on the boat until they transfer Se-ri, and he even brought an extra phone card to pay for himself. When they’re out on the water, Se-ri says it feels like she’s been gone forever. Jung-hyuk says it’s probably the same for those who are waiting for her: “A second feels like an eternity when you don’t know if your family member is alive.”
Sadly, Se-ri tells Jung-hyuk that she’s not so sure about that. To lighten the mood, Jung-hyuk gives Se-ri a piece of advice — never to say she plays the piano well because she can play Fur Elise, LOL. Se-ri thanks Jung-hyuk by telling him her name, and he tells her his in return. They laugh when they realize that Se-ri’s clan originates in North Korea, while Jung-hyuk’s originates in South Korea, ha.
The calm night is shattered by the sound of a siren, and Jung-hyuk and Se-ri jump down into the boat’s hold to hide from the coast guard. Unfortunately, the chief is new, and when the captain tries to give him the phone cards to pay for Jung-hyuk and Se-ri’s passage, he informs the captain that the last coast guard chief was fired for taking bribes. Uh-oh.
He orders the hold checked, and Se-ri starts to panic. Jung-hyuk mentions that he heard about something that works in South Korean dramas, but Se-ri has no idea what he’s talking about. She tells him to shut up and just do it, so he tells her to look at him and nothing else. When the hold door opens, Jung-hyuk kisses Se-ri.
After telling Chul-kang that Se-ri hasn’t done anything suspicious, Man-bok goes back to listening to Jung-hyuk’s house. He hears Jung-hyuk saying a bunch of random, unrelated words like ocean, sunlight, cloud, calico cat, etc.
We see Jung-hyuk crouched next to his tomato plant, saying nice words to it like Se-ri suggested. Okay, my heart just melted into a puddle. He continues saying nice words — rose, breeze, snow — but he struggles a little with the last word, as if it’s difficult to say: “Pi… piano.”
Intellectually, I know that kiss is just to save their skins, but given the obvious attraction between Se-ri and Jung-hyuk, I don’t think either of them will be mad at the necessity of it. They’ve developed a real fondness for each other in a short amount of time, and I love it. I’m not sure how kissing is going to get them out of trying to smuggle Se-ri out of the country, but it’s certainly going to affect their relationship, and I can’t wait to see how.
Is it weird that I already adore Man-bok the wiretapper? He’s really in the wrong profession, with his tender heart and sweet nature, and he’s even married to the one woman in town who doesn’t hate Se-ri on general principle. He seems to genuinely regret being involved in Moo-hyuk’s death, and he doesn’t seem enthusiastic about helping Chul-kang destroy Jung-hyuk, either. I predict that Man-bok will hear something proving that Se-ri isn’t who she claims to be, and that he flips sides and helps them. It would be so fun if he ended up assisting Jung-hyuk and Se-ri without their knowledge, feeding Chul-kang incorrect information while fanboying over their growing relationship like Joo-mok with his South Korean dramas.
However, he’s working for Chul-kang at the moment, who frankly scares the ~bleep~ outta me. I like how the show is depicting the North Koreans as very normal people who live normal lives (unlike some of the propaganda would have outsiders believe), including the soldiers, but that just makes the corrupt ones that much more frightening. Chul-kang has some sort of bone to pick with Jung-hyuk’s family — he’s after Jung-hyuk with the intent of taking his powerful father down as well, and I have a feeling he had something to do with Moo-hyuk’s death years ago. My guess is that Jung-hyuk’s father is the one who taught his sons to be upright, honorable men, and as the leader of the entire North Korean military, he probably makes it difficult for people like Chul-kang to make their dirty little deals. If Director Ri were gone and replaced with someone whose moral were a bit more flexible, Chul-kang would have an easier time.
But on a happier note, the more we learn about Jung-hyuk, the more I like him. He’s grumpy, but he’s also kind and generous and fair, and not in the way that tsundere drama leads usually are, but right out in the open. He’s not shy about showing his nicer side, it’s just that he doesn’t make a big deal out of it or expect thanks (except when there’s an awards ceremony, hee). It makes me look forward to when he and Se-ri start to develop real feelings for each other, because I think Jung-hyuk will be the first to admit it, like it’s no big deal. They’re already feeling some attraction and friendship towards each other, and their chemistry is so good already that I’m excited for the time when the real romance begins.
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