Welcome: Episodes 11-12
When the truth is outrageous, it can help act as a shield if you’re a feline who’s got secrets to keep. For now, he’s safe, allowing his bond with our heroine to deepen. What he doesn’t know is that someone else knows the truth, someone with secrets of his own.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
The confrontation between Jae-seon and Hong Jo is interrupted when Sol-ah moans that she’s about to throw up. After running her to the bathroom, Jae-seon guides Sol-ah to her bed.
When Hong Jo brings some water, Jae-seon won’t allow him inside the bedroom. Explaining that he met a man named Bang Guk-bong, Jae-seon asks for Hong Jo’s ID. Of course Hong Jo can’t produce it so Jae-seon asks for his real name. Getting no answer, Ja-seon pulls out his phone to call the police, stopping when ‘Guk-bong’ answers, “Hong Jo.”
Sol-ah croaks that she wants water and while Jae-seon tends to her, Hong Jo goes upstairs to his room and shuts the door. Having followed him, Jae-seon throws open the bedroom door but the room’s only occupant is the cat. We’re then given a quote by Hazel Nicholson, “A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution.”
Sometime later, Hong Jo is back in human form and watching a confused Jae-seon from the staircase. Jae-seon reasons, “He must’ve left through the window,” but the memory of all those sneezes around the human Hong Jo leaves him unsure.
In the morning Sol-ah stumbles out of her bedroom and is surprised to find Jae-seon drinking coffee in her living room. After Jae-seon confirms that he was there all night, Sol-ah asks about Guk-bong just as the cat joins them.
Jae-seon has breakfast ready for Sol-ah and while she eats, he asks if she’s noticed anything strange about Guk-bong. Sol-ah readily admits, “He’s really weird. But that’s why he’s so fun to be with.”
Jae-seon warns her to keep her bedroom door locked at night but Sol-ah isn’t worried. Hoping to ease Jae-seon’s concerns, Sol-ah mentions that Guk-bong will soon leave on another trip, but when she adds that she’s going to miss him, Jae-seon warns, “He might not be the guy you think he is.”
When Sol-ah asks for an explanation, Jae-seon invites her to visit him after work, promising, “I…have something important to tell you.” Jae-seon confuses Sol-ah even more when he offers to look after the cat while she’s at work.
On the way to work, Sol-ah runs into Ji-eun, who can’t apologize enough for her drunken behavior the night before. When Sol-ah asks for Ji-eun’s opinion on Jae-seon’s “weird” behavior that morning, she guesses that he’s ready for the relationship to advance now that their misunderstanding has been cleared up.
Sol-ah decides that it’s best for her and Jae-seon to just be friends but Ji-eun can’t imagine how that’s possible. Sol-ah hopes that time will help but Ji-eun isn’t convinced, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do that no matter how much time passes by.”
The girls are suddenly tight-lipped when Doo-shik joins them. After Ji-eun makes her exit, he asks Sol-ah, “I heard you guys drank without me. What did you guys talk about?” Remembering her promise to keep Ji-eun’s confidence, Sol-ah ignores Doo-shik’s questions but it only makes him more curious.
At Nalsaem Design, Doo-shik catches Ji-eun whispering to Sol-ah, “Do you think he knows what’s going on?” Sol-ah pretends the exchange was project-related which only makes Doo-shik feel left out. When Doo-shik asks Ji-eun if she wants him out of the group, she motions towards a sticky note in the middle of his screen with the latest project instructions.
As soon as Ji-eun walks away, Hye-yeon asks if the girls are friends while Sang-kwon reminds her that Ji-eun used connections to get her job. When Sol-ah asks where he heard that, Sang-kwon points to Hye-yeon — who points to Da-som. When Da-som points to Sang-kwon, the trio of gossips is caught.
At his café, Jae-seon is alone with the cat when he notices a strange man in front of Sol-ah’s house. When Jae-seon goes to investigate, the man explains that he wants to meet the person who lives there.
After promising to come back another time, the man leaves just as Jae-seon sneezes. When he returns to the café, the cat is gone even though Jae-seon knows that he closed the door.
Jae-seon walks outside just as the now human Hong Jo slinks by. When he runs, Jae-seon chases after him, shouting that he just wants to talk. Hong Jo runs into a dead end and when Jae-seon catches up, he doesn’t notice the cat hiding in a cardboard box.
It’s dark when someone picks up the box and carries it home. After turning on a light, a delighted Ji-eun exclaims, “I was chosen by a cat to be its carer.”
After work, Sol-ah pounds on the café’s locked door just as Jae-seon returns and confesses that the cat disappeared.
Back at her apartment, Ji-eun’s stray cat hides while she stares at Doo-shik’s old eraser and confides, “Can you believe I kept his eraser because I couldn’t even return it.” Ji-eun has no idea that sitting behind her is the man that she met outside of Nalseam Design.
Ji-eun turns when she hears a meow and seeing that the cat moved closer, she exclaims, “You want to be my friend already…I didn’t know it could be this simple.” Inspired by the cat’s courage, Ji-eun grabs a lunch bag and announces, “I’ll start with eating with him. How’s that?” Ji-eun gasps when she sees the collar around Hong Jo’s neck and realizes that he’s not a stray.
Back at the café, Sol-ah is about to go home to see if the cat returned but Jae-seon stops her, “Hear me out first.” A call from Ji-eun alerts Sol-ah to the cat’s whereabouts, giving the human Hong Jo the chance to drop Doo-shik’s high school eraser into her lunch bag.
Ji-eun meets Sol-ah at the café to return the cat and when Sol-ah invites her to stay for coffee, she plays matchmaker, “That’s okay. I’ll leave you two together.” Surprised that Ji-eun left so soon, Jae-seon hands Sol-ah some coffee and they sit in awkward silence while he stares at the cat.
Sol-ah asks about some boards leaning against the wall and learns that Jae-seon’s next project is a cat tower. When Sol-ah asks what he wanted to say, Jae-seon remembers her explanation that her scarf went to a young boy.
Jae-seon starts to explain, “The reason why things never worked out between the two of us…,” but Sol-ah stops him, “Isn’t that already in the past?” A cough forces Jae-seon to get up for some water and his chair disturbs the boards.
His back towards Sol-ah, Jae-seon mentions the young boy who ended up with her scarf, unaware that the boards are wobbling. The cat does his best to alert Sol-ah and just as Jae-seon turns around and sees the boards falling, a human Hong Jo appears out of nowhere to shield her.
While Sol-ah checks to see if Hong Jo is hurt, Jae-seon catches sight of the braided leather necklace around his neck. Hong Jo runs out and when Sol-ah promises to return for the cat, Jae-seon murmurs, “I don’t think that’s necessary.”
At home, Sol-ah ices Hong Jo’s hurt shoulder while noting that this is the second time he suddenly showed up to protect her, just like the first time they met. Sol-ah worries that someday Hong Jo will leave just as suddenly but he promises not to do that without telling her first.
Later, Hong Jo sits on the roof of Sol-ah’s house until Jae-seon sees him and motions for him to come down. Inside the café, Jae-seon confirms that the necklace around Hong Jo’s neck is his handiwork.
After another allergic sneeze, Jae-seon realizes that Hong Jo is a human cat and wonders, “…did you escape from a secret research institute or something?” All Hong Jo can say with certainty is that he becomes human around Sol-ah or her belongings.
Hong Jo asks Jae-seon to keep his true identity a secret so that he can stay with Sol-ah. When Jae-seon asks, “Why Sol-ah,” Hong Jo guesses that she needed him, “She was alone because of you.”
Hong Jo promises to do whatever Jae-seon wants, even offering to remain in cat form if he has to, “Just let me be with Sol-ah.” They’re interrupted when Sol-ah comes in looking for the cat, happy when he runs up to her.
Picking up the cat, Sol-ah asks Jae-seon what he wanted to tell her but he’s changed his mind and answers, “Just forget it. Don’t let it bother you.” Sol-ah agrees, as long as they stop talking about the past because she realized that things were never going to work out for them.
Jae-seon apologizes again for not giving Sol-ah a chance to explain how she lost her scarf, “I just left you alone so I could be alone.” When Sol-ah assures Jae-seon that they’re friends, he denies that he was ever a friend to her. Jae-seon promises that once Sol-ah falls in love with someone else, “I’ll be a real friend to you then.” Without a word, Sol-ah walks away with the cat in her arms.
The next morning, Hong Jo accuses Jae-seon of animal abuse when he ties an apron around his waist. Jae-seon reminds Hong Jo that he promised to do whatever he says.
Hong Jo announces that he can’t work full-time because there’s a limit to his stamina, explaining, “I fall asleep as a cat.” When asked about any other weaknesses, Hong Jo steps closer, making Jae-seon sneeze. Hong Jo can’t hide his annoyance when Jae-seon warns him not to stray from his sight.
Arriving at work with her lunch bag, Ji-eun pauses at Doo-shik’s desk, jumping when he taps her on the shoulder. Curious about her lunch bag, Doo-shik grabs it until Ji-eun warns, “Give it back.”
As Ji-eun sits at her desk, Doo-shik complains to Sol-ah that it was better when she hated them both. Doo-shik polls everyone in the office and when they all agree that they like him, he tells Ji-eun, “…you’re the first person to not like me.” When Ji-eun avoids looking at him, Doo-shik vows, “I’ll make you like me.”
Doo-shik mounts an aggressive campaign to win Ji-eun’s favor but he can’t get her to admit that she likes him. He’s utterly discouraged until Ji-eun invites Doo-shik and Sol-ah to join her for lunch.
In the break room, Ji-eun explains why she was uncomfortable when they went out to eat, “I’m a slow eater…If I try to eat faster, I get sick.” After Sol-ah leaves to use the restroom, Doo-shik helps set out the utensils, “You’re a slow mover as well.” If only he knew.
Doo-shik shakes out the lunch bag and when something falls out, Ji-eun pounces on it first.When she hides it behind her back, Doo-shik’s curiosity mounts but Ji-eun resists, “You can’t see it.” Gazing into Ji-eun’s eyes, Doo-shik tries again, “Will you just like me too?”
Ji-eun begs Doo-shik to forget about it and he agrees, if she’ll say she likes him. Throwing the eraser at Doo-shik, Ji-eun blurts out, “I like you,” and runs out of the room. Recognizing his eraser from high school, Doo-shik can’t understand why Ji-eun has it.
At the café, Hong Jo complains about his menial chores until Jae-seon reminds him that he had to lie to keep his secret. Asked why he used a kitten to run away from Sol-ah, Jae-seon admits, “I felt ashamed.” Before he can explain why, Sol-ah walks in to ask if Jae-seon has seen her cat.
Forgetting himself, Jae-seon nods to Hong Jo, forcing both men to cover the mistake by insisting that the cat went home. When Sol-ah asks Hong Jo if he’s now working at the café, he takes off his apron and announces that he just finished his shift. As Hong Jo heads home with Sol-ah, Jae-seon glances out the window and sees that the stranger has returned.
Jae-seon reaches the stranger first and threatens to call the police. Insisting that he means no harm, the stranger explains why he’s there, “I just missed her a bit. You know, the one who lives here with nice legs and a pretty face.”
Even though Hong Jo recognizes the stranger as the man who helps cats, he’s not at all happy that he’s interested in Sol-ah. When the stranger explains that the one he’s looking for is lonely and in need of someone to care for them, Jae-seon makes it clear that he cares for Sol-ah. Not to be outdone, Hong Jo informs the stranger that she’s not alone because he lives with her.
Hong Jo takes Sol-ah’s hand while the stranger clarifies that he was talking about the cat who lives there. After he describes the cat as neglected because it roams the streets alone, Sol-ah confesses that the cat is hers and Jae-seon has another allergic sneeze.
We see in a flashback that the stranger was already aware that the cat belonged to Sol-ah. He was at the clinic when Sol-ah brought Hong Jo in after his disastrous garlic-eating episode.
While Sol-ah apologizes for her shortcomings, Jae-seon notices that Hong Jo is holding her hand. Hong Jo insists that the cat is happy but the stranger warns, “People believe what they want to believe,” and then walks away.
Later, Sol-ah lies in bed trying to make sense of her conflicted feelings after hearing both Jae-seon and Hong Jo announce that they care for her. When she sees the cat staring at her, Sol-ah gets him a treat and has him guess which hand it’s in.
Sol-ah’s dad calls with a reminder that her mother’s death anniversary is the following day. When he explains that Bang Shil wants to prepare the memorial table, Sol-ah tells him that she’s grateful.
After she hangs up, Sol-ah finds Hong Jo waiting outside her bedroom door with a glass of milk. Finding old lipstick on the cup, Sol-ah decides to wash everything in her kitchen. Hong Jo pitches in to help and once they’re done in the kitchen, Sol-ah heads to his bedroom.
The room is so clean that Sol-ah can’t believe anyone lives there but she manages to find some dust on the windowsill. Once the window is clean, Sol-ah won’t stop wiping it and Hong Jo realizes that something is bothering her.
When Sol-ah won’t talk, Hong Jo touches her nose just like she did when he was a kitten, “Will you say something if I press a button?” Sol-ah is shocked because that was a secret between her and her mother. She assumes Hong Jo is talking about his own mom when he confesses that it’s his earliest memory.
Sol-ah finally tells Hong Jo that her mother’s death anniversary is the next day and that his ‘mom’, Bang Shil, is helping her dad with the memorial. Hong Jo can’t understand why that triggered a cleaning spree so Sol-ah explains that she was so busy caring for her father, she never had time to dwell on her mother’s death. Now that she’s free of those responsibilities, Sol-ah needed something to do.
Hong Jo suggests that Sol-ah should go somewhere that was special to her and her mom and she thinks of the riverside. Sol-ah looks out the window, sad that because of the cold weather she can’t get the peaches that her mother loved. As Sol-ah returns downstairs, Hong Jo suggests, “Let’s go together tomorrow.”
The next day, a hardworking Hong Jo impresses Jae-seon at the café until he announces that he has to leave early because of important plans. Jae-seon can’t understand why he’s not important to Hong Jo since he’s the one who rescued him. When Hong Jo insists that he has no memory of Jae-seon, he pulls up his sleeve to show the scars left by Hong Jo’s scratches.
Hong Jo snaps that he shouldn’t have taken him in but Jae-seon couldn’t ignore him because he knows what it’s like to be abandoned — first by his birth parents and then by three sets of adoptive parents. Hong Jo realizes that Jae-seon’s fear of abandonment is what came between him and Sol-ah and he pats Jae-seon consolingly, triggering another sneeze.
At Nalseam Design, Vice President Park informs the team that Ji-eun is taking a sick day. Everyone urges Sol-ah to check on Ji-eun until she mentions that it’s her mother’s death anniversary.
After work, Sol-ah waits for Hong Jo but he’s been delayed by a large group that came into the café. By the time Hong Jo leaves, Jae-seon is worried that he’s so tired that he’ll fall asleep and turn into a cat.
Sol-ah eventually calls Jae-seon to ask about Hong Jo and learns that he left the café long ago. Realizing that Hong Jo’s important plans where with Sol-ah, Jae-seon asks where they arranged to meet. Hong Jo is late because he stopped at multiple markets looking for fresh peaches. It’s dark by the time a very sleepy Hong Jo exits a store with a bag.
Sol-ah is disappointed when Jae-seon is the one who joins her, even though he brought a white flower to honor her mother. Still hoping that Hong Jo will come, Sol-ah realizes she’s no longer excited to have Jae-seon by her side.
Sol-ah finally understands why it bothered her when Jae-seon told the stranger that he cared for her. When Jae-seon urges Sol-ah, “Let’s get going,” she tells him, “I think I can manage…to be friends with you.” Turning away from Jae-seon, Sol-ah looks for Hong Jo.
Unfortunately, Hong Jo is too sleepy to continue and he drops onto a bench. Cans of peaches roll to the ground while cat Hong Jo sleeps, nestled in his coat, until someone carries him away.
Earlier that day, Jae-seon sneezed when the stranger came to the café for a cup of coffee. As he left, Jae-seon asked Hong Jo, “Is that guy a cat too? He keeps making me sneeze.” Looking at the stranger, Hong Jo admitted, “He smells like a cat.” That night, the stranger passes under a street light with cat Hong Jo in his arms.
I’m loving the dynamics between Jae-seon and the human Hong Jo, now that Jae-seon knows Hong Jo’s secret. I’ll admit that I was surprised that Hong Jo’s dual nature was discovered so soon, especially after he managed to keep his ruse alive after the real Bang Guk-bang made his appearance. However, when it comes to Sol-ah, Jae-seon is quick to uncover anything that could pose a threat, particularly from someone living under the same roof.
No matter how much Jae-seon insists that there can be nothing between him and Sol-ah, his actions say something very different. No wonder Sol-ah has been so confused for so lomg. Now that there’s someone else in Sol-ah’s life who cares about her, and isn’t afraid to admit it, Jae-seon’s importance has diminished. His situation got even more complicated the minute he realized that Sol-ah is interested in a cat who can turn into a man. She wouldn’t believe Jae-seon if he told her the truth, he can hardly believe it himself, so for now, he really has no choice but to stay quiet while keeping a close watch on Hong Jo.
I’m also a huge fan of the pairing between Doo-shik and Ji-eun, even though their relationship can’t seem to get to the starting gate. Doo-shik bounces in like a huge, clumsy dog, wanting everyone to instantly love him. He doesn’t seem to know what a boundary is and poor Ji-eun shrinks away whenever he gets too close even though she longs to be closer to him. And Doo-shik is shockingly clueless. I mean, he just learned that Ji-eun has kept his eraser since high school and he can’t figure out what it means. I have no idea how these two are ever going to end up together but I do know that I’m going to have fun watching them get there.
Just as I suspected, there is indeed another cat with the same capability to become human, like Hong Jo. It’s the increasingly creepy stranger that Hong Jo first met in the alleyway where he found the cat shelter. The stranger keeps appearing at Sol-ah’s house and thanks to that flashback to the vet clinic, we know that he’s been watching Hong Jo for awhile. The stranger makes his move at the very end of the episode when poor Hong Jo falls asleep and returns to cat form. Utterly vulnerable as a cat, Hong Jo ends up kidnapped.
While Jae-seon’s importance to Sol-ah has been steadily waning, he’s become more important to Hong Jo, even though Hong Jo hilariously has no memory of how much Jae-seon helped him as a kitten. Not only has Jae-seon given Hong Jo a job, he’s alerted him to the stalker stranger. Thanks to Jae-seon’s cat allergy and Hong Jo’s ability to detect his feline scent, they already suspect that the stranger is actually a cat. It’s obvious that Jae-seon and Hong Jo are going to have to overcome their differences to work together because they are proving to be an important pair in their own right. Thanks to their growing bond and a sinister stranger, things just got more interesting and a whole lot scarier.
- Premiere Watch: 365: Repeat the Year, A Piece of Your Mind, Welcome, A Couple’s World, Unique Chef Moon, Rugal
- Cat-human L falls in love with puppy-eyed Shin Ye-eun in KBS’s Welcome
- First script read for fantasy rom-com drama Welcome
- Seo Ji-hoon to join L, Shin Ye-eun in KBS fantasy rom-com Welcome
- L confirms role in upcoming KBS fantasy rom-com