I’ll Find You on a Beautiful Day: Episode 12
We fill in more pieces of our heroine’s family’s story and catch up with some of our side characters this hour. While I’m all for rounding out characters and backstory, this episode feels a bit disjointed. Maybe it’s the shifting away from our central couple which serves as the grounding force of the drama. Hopefully, we’ll get more cohesion again as we move into the penultimate week.
EPISODE 12: “A Confession”
We open on sweet flashbacks of little Hae-won with her dad MOK JOO-HONG (Seo Tae-Hwa) as they sit on the swing and play soccer in the yard. In a good mood, Joo-hong rushes to help Myung-joo carry in groceries. Myung-yeo comes in later and sees a bruise on Myung-joo’s leg. We revisit the scene from last episode with Myung-yeo and Myung-joo watching Hae-won and her dad walking hand-in-hand.
Now we’re back to the fateful day Myung-yeo witnesses Joo-hong’s brutality. As they flee, Myung-yeo picks up the keys Myung-joo dropped and hops in the driver’s side. Joo-hong uses a golf club to strike the car again and again, screaming for Myung-joo to get out.
When he goes to smash in the windshield, Myung-yeo seems to accidentally step on the accelerator. He’s knocked to the ground uninjured but more enraged. Joo-hong goes to attack with more vigor, and Myung-yeo speeds forward. This time, he doesn’t get up.
The sisters are terrified. Myung-joo gets out of the car and calls for an ambulance while Myung-yeo sits unmoving in a state of shock. Myung-joo pulls her out of the car, telling her Joo-hong is dead. Myung-yeo mutters she did it, but Myung-joo holds her firm. “No! I killed him.” She instructs Myung-yeo to take a bus back and avoid any security cameras walking home.
Myung-yeo can barely process anything, so Myung-joo shouts at her to pull it together. She puts her own shoes on Myung-yeo’s feet as they both sob. Myung-joo strokes her sister’s hair and tells her to take a shower once she’s home. “Nothing happened. It’s okay,” Myung-joo repeats again and again as she pulls Myung-yeo into a hug. She forces Myung-yeo to leave.
At home, Myung-yeo weeps as she sits fully clothed in the shower. We hear Myung-joo telling her to get a shower and take a nap, after which she’ll receive a phone call. When the cops call as expected, Myung-yeo stifles her sobs as the officer relays the incident.
We skip to court where Myung-yeo stands in the back of the room and watches Myung-joo get sentenced to seven years. We flash back to Myung-joo wiping Myung-yeo prints and intentionally placing her own on the driver’s side of the car. Myung-joo had told her sister she’d get less time since she’d been abused whereas Myung-yeo could get life. She’d asked Myung-yeo to take care of Hae-won.
At the bookshop, Eun-seob stares at Hae-won as he lies beside her and claims he won’t ever forget this moment. He doesn’t even want to fall asleep, although he’s tired. Hae-won starts to say something but decides to tell him later. They snuggle together and go to sleep.
At Soon-yeong’s funeral, Myung-yeo and Soo-jung watch heavy-hearted as Soon-yeong’s teenage daughter arrives, sobbing. Myung-yeo thinks back to Hae-won at the police station after her dad’s death. Afterward, Myung-yeo had told her mom she’d stop being a writer and move in to help take care of Hae-won. She’s not as talented as she thought, anyway. Her mom’s reply was to smash an iron pot with an axe.
During visitation in prison, Myung-joo had blamed herself and told Myung-yeo she wasn’t responsible. She’d ordered her to stop crying and go live her life. “Spend lots of time with Hae-won. Hae-won will be lonely.” She’d later sent Myung-yeo a letter that said simply, “I’m okay.”
We cut back to Soon-yeong’s funeral where Myung-yeo is now wailing. Everyone stares in shock as her cries carry through the parlor. Meanwhile, Eun-seob wakes in the night and begins writing a post titled “This is my first love letter to you.”
Hae-won tries to sneak back home in the early hours of the morning but is caught outside by Myung-yeo. She asks her niece what she’s doing coming from Eun-seob’s place, but then sighs it’s none of her business now that Hae-won’s grown. Myung-yeo is drained from the funeral and asks if she can skip making breakfast. Hae-won offers to make her something instead, but Myung-yeo tells her not to bother.
Myung-yeo heard from Soo-jung that Hae-won gave an amazing cello performance. Hae-won lights up at the compliment but modestly claims she wasn’t that good. She’s confused when Myung-yeo muses, “I wonder who plucked out all of our family’s hedgehog spines.” Myung-yeo snaps she’s being poetic and sends Hae-won inside with a sigh.
Elsewhere, Bo-yeong – who’s been absent so long I almost forgot she existed – glumly stares at “Traveling After a Breakup.” She thinks back to high school days and her crush on Eun-seob.
Jang-woo, meanwhile, sits outside the convenience store sipping on a yogurt. A teenage boy sits down nearby, and they both smile and chuckle to themselves. Feeling self-conscious, Jang-woo asks what the kid’s so happy about. The kid, a self-proclaimed astronomy nerd, is looking at a depiction of a constellation.
Jang-woo matters that the kid’s crazy, so the boy asks what Jang-woo’s so happy about then. Jang-woo shows him a picture taken at the reunion event. “She’s pretty,” the boy notes as he points to Hae-won. Jang-woo makes him take a closer look and points out Eun-shil. He goes on about how pretty she is and asks the kid about his stars. Cute.
After reading Myung-yeo’s opening line, Yoon-taek anxiously calls Myung-yeo over and over, but she’s busy sleeping.
Hwi grins smugly when she sees Yeong-soo waiting for her. She controls her expression and walks over. Apropos of nothing, she informs him he looks good out of his school uniform. It could be his broad shoulders, she ventures. Pfft.
He gets awkward and reminds her she said her crush was over. Hwi confirms it is. When he’s skeptical, she sighs like he’s dense. “If I say I don’t like roses, are they no longer beautiful?” Ha! She said he looks good because he does, she matter-of-factly explains.
Uncharacteristically, they’re having the book club meeting in the afternoon. Hwi waltzes in with Yeong-soo in tow. Hyun-ji is amazed at Hwi’s audacity and thinks she kidnapped him or something. Heh. Hwi vaguely introduces him to the group as a new member. Eun-seob is scowling non-stop, making Jang-woo ask, “Eun-seob, why do you look mad?”
While Jang-woo reads the poem “When We Sit Face to Face,” we see Hae-won and Eun-seob blissfully playing in the snow and enjoying each other’s company. They discuss the beauty of the poem, and they all find it adorable when little Seung-ho claims he can relate.
Jang-woo asks what brought Yeong-soo to the club. Hyun-ji cuts in that he loves books and is their school’s top student who even has a girlfriend. “Hwi has a big crush on him, but he’s not interested at all.” Ha! Way to out your friend. Yeong-soo rolls his eyes as Hwi chides Hyun-ji for not putting that in the past tense. Eun-seob does the concerned big brother scan.
Jang-woo introduces himself as a fellow unicorn and thinks Yeong-soo looks smart like him. Is that why Hwi likes him? That sets Hwi off again. Oh, this kid didn’t know what he was getting himself into. Soo-jung and Geun-sang join in, wondering if it’s his good looks that Hwi likes. Only Hae-won steps in to take Hwi side.
Eun-seob’s continued glaring gets Hae-won’s attention and even makes Hwi stop arguing to ask what’s up. Hae-won notes he’s sweating and seems to have a fever.
Walking back from the bookshop, Jang-woo gets a call from Eun-shil. He’s so surprised he goes into a coughing fit. Eun-shil is doing a coffee event and figures Jang-woo can find her a good barista with all his connections. He’s disappointed that’s the only reason she called, but he still jumps to do it. Flustered as always, he wishes her a good lunch only for her to point out it’s 4:00 P.M. Ha.
Jang-woo can’t stop grinning as he saves Eun-shil’s number and relishes their first phone conversation. Over at the bus stop, Geun-sang marvels over Yeong-soo being the top student. Geun-sang notices Hwi speaking casually to Yeong-soo although he’s her senior and wonders why she uses polite language with him, then. Hwi starts talking nonsense about whether or not it’s all in his imagination, making Yeong-soo laugh.
Never missing an opportunity to make people uncomfortable, Hyun-ji asks why he smiles whenever Hwi talks. Does he like her? That wipes the smile off Yeong-soo’s face, and he insists it’s because he’s dumbfounded by her. Hyun-ji finds that reasonable since Hwi talks a lot of nonsense.
That night, Yoon-taek is still trying to reach Myung-yeo. He finally gets ahold of her and demands an explanation for the fax. She calmly states she sent him the opening sentence like he wanted. Myung-yeo reminds him he promised never to ask which parts of her story are fact and which fiction. Yoon-taek hangs up on her in frustration.
As Eun-seob walks Hae-won home, she stops underneath the streetlight he fixed. Whoever could’ve fixed it? Hae-won playfully bumps his arm, and they laugh. Hae-won promises to sneak out to the bookshop once her aunt falls asleep.
Eun-seob heads back to the bookshop in good spirits. That is, until he sees Bo-yeong waiting for him. Yeah, that’d mess with my mood too. Inside, Eun-seob comments she could’ve called rather than coming all the way there to return the book.
“It’s an excuse,” Bo-yeong admits. “Is everything going well with Hae-won?” she asks. Eun-seob says it is. Bo-yeong finally reveals she had a crush on him for a very long time. Eun-seob claims he didn’t know, prompting her to ask what if he had known? “Nothing would have changed,” he plainly states.
Bo-yeong says that’s okay (her face says otherwise) – she expected it. Outside, she cries as she thinks she liked him first. But that doesn’t matter since Hae-won was always the star. Even Eun-seob, who stood on the fringes, looked at her. We see Eun-seob staring at Hae-won in the school halls and passing Bo-yeong by without a glance. “I’m here too,” Bo-yeong narrates.
That night, Jang-woo has a beer and reminisces about his brief phone call with Eun-shil. He stares at pictures of her and thinks back to high school where, in the middle of declaring his non-interest in dating, Eun-shil accidentally bumped into him. She smiled, and he was a goner.
At Hodu House, Hae-won sneaks to the door and almost makes it out, but Myung-yeo pops around the corner. Hae-won pretends she just got in and asks why her aunt’s still up. She tells her aunt to get some sleep and heads right back upstairs.
Eun-seob continues writing his love letter post to Hae-won. He writes about seeing Hae-won looking hurt, like he was, at the station that day. Taking a break from his problems, he’d followed her all the way to the river. Ah, so it was him who alerted Myung-yeo.
After calling Myung-yeo, he sat nearby reading and kept an eye on Hae-won as she ate and napped. Later, when he’d looked up from his book, she was gone. Eun-seob ran around searching for her and narrates that he was scared she’d die. He heard Myung-yeo scream Hae-won’s name and rushed over to see her pulling Hae-won back from the water.
As he’s writing, Hae-won pops her head in and moans about how hard she worked to sneak out. She notices him guarding his computer and tries to sneak a peek. Hae-won whines she’s hurt he won’t show her and walks away. Eun-seob trails after her trying to assure her it’s nothing bad.
Outside, Eun-seob “teaches” Hae-won how to chop wood, but he fails on the first swing. He just wanted to show her how not to do it, he bluffs. Pfft. When he fails a second time, he blames the axe for being dull. Hae-won wants to give it a go, so he gives her some pointers. She swings and neatly chops the wood in half.
“How’d you do that?” Eun-seob self-consciously asks. Hae-won claims she just did as he taught her. Ha, right. He catches on that this isn’t her first time. She pretends her shoulder hurts and encourages him to do the rest. When he fails for a third time, Hae-won can’t hide her amusement. Embarrassed, Eun-seob ducks back inside.
Meanwhile, Bo-yeong is wandering alone through the dark forest. We flash back to when Min-jung went missing, and Bo-yeong had overheard her mom and a neighborhood ajumma discussing how Eun-seob went in to save her. Oh, hell no. This girl better not be playing the damsel in distress so her crush will save her. She needs some lessons from Hwi.
At the bookshop, Hae-won and Eun-seob sit outside, enjoying the night. Hae-won comments she likes Eun-seob so much she doesn’t know what to do. Eun-seob smiles at her, and she lays her head on his shoulder. “You?” she asks. “Me too,” he replies.
Bo-yeong stares down a tree-covered slope and narrates that everyone, no matter how seemingly insignificant, has feelings. We see the times she tried to get Eun-seob’s attention or engage him in conversation and failed. “I just want you to know,” she thinks desperately as she calls Eun-seob. But Eun-seob is busy playing around with Hae-won, and the call goes unnoticed.
Eun-seob’s Blog Post
This is my first love letter to you. That day, through the window, I saw you looking as hurt as I was. I want to leave. But no, I shouldn’t. I’d feel too sorry. Forgetting all of that, I ended up following you. Cheongdo is famous for its persimmon trees. The Nakdong River that runs across the city looked clear. I was scared you’d jump into the river. Even after calling your aunt, I was still scared that you’d die. And that was probably our very first autumn trip together.
I swear, this girl is going to raise my blood pressure. Bo-yeong is insufferable. She’s the only character I outright dislike and find unnecessary. I think I’m supposed to feel sorry for her, but I don’t. Her problems are all brought on by herself. She’s so fixated on others, particularly Hae-won, and what she thinks she deserves. Everything is a competition for who gets the most attention or love, but she’s the only one competing. And this latest stunt is the last straw. It’s been 10 years, so she knows that Eun-seob isn’t into her. But all of a sudden, when Hae-won “wins,” Bo-yeong endangers herself so the boy she likes will have to pay attention to her? That’s frighteningly extreme and concerning in terms of her mental health. Really, it seems like everybody in that town needs some therapy.
Also, does everyone in that town fall in love in high school and never get over it? So far, we have Eun-seob, Bo-yeong, Jang-woo, Myung-yeo and Yoon-taek who all pine(d) for their first love or crush. I get that it’s a small town and all, but there are other people around. You’d think you’d become interested in someone else after, I don’t know, a decade or so. I know dramas are pretty obsessed with first loves, but this seems over the top.
Our resident piner Eun-seob and Hae-won were in the background again this hour, and nothing particularly significant happened with them. Besides some cute moments, the only thing we got was the revelation that Eun-seob was the one to call Myung-yeo the day Hae-won went to the river, which I’d suspected. I do have to say that sequence in all its autumn glory was gorgeous.
Delving into our weekly dose of tragedy, Myung-joo went to some extreme lengths to protect her little sister. As I thought, she took the fall since her sentence would be mitigated by the abuse, and it would leave Myung-yeo available to care for Hae-won. That’s a heavy burden to carry all these years for the both of them. Myung-yeo must’ve been tormented having to look Hae-won in the face everyday and watch her suffer like that. Being unable to acknowledge what she’d done, she couldn’t even properly grieve the cost of her actions and atone. It’s amazing she’s held it together as much as she has for so long. But if we know anything about their family, it’s that all the women are fierce, withholding types that push through their pain alone to their own detriment.
Now we know that Hae-won and her dad were close, at least when she was little. From what we’ve seen, he was affectionate and adored her. It doesn’t seem like his abuse extended to Hae-won at all, and she appeared unaware of his treatment of her mother at that time. Of course, we still don’t know if that holds true into her teen years. We’ve never gotten any indication that Hae-won has ever been close to her mom, so maybe that distance kept her from asking too many questions. Although, I’d still find it somewhat unrealistic if she had no idea whatsoever.
Onto lighter fare, I had a feeling our persistent Hwi would get her guy in the end, and it looks promising for her at the moment. And Yeong-soo thought he was going to a normal book club meeting. He should’ve known anything involving Hwi was likely to be out of his depth. That meeting was hilarious. They’re the embarrassing family who outs all your secrets and makes everyone awkward for funsies. Yeong-soo is a brave soul if he chances going back after all that. And Jang-woo made a teensy bit of progress with Eun-shil! Well, more the other way around, I guess. Her smiles suggest she’s not disinterested, so the boy just needs some confidence. Maybe Hwi can give him pointers. For a fee, of course.
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