Welcome: Episodes 7-8
Sometimes it takes losing something to realize just how precious it’s become. That’s what happens to our heroine, who searches high and low for the missing cat who’s managed to steal her heart. Realizing how she feels gives her the strength to stand up to a certain cafe owner who doesn’t know her as well as he thinks he does.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Sol-ah teasingly bites at the cat Hong Jo, her hands in the shape of a dog, until she remembers that she promised to stop acting like one. Sol-ah sets her art club ring next to her laptop where she just posted an announcement that her webtoon has been discontinued. Disheartened, Sol-ah longs for tteokbokki as the cat runs upstairs.
When Hong Jo returns in human form, he surprises Sol-ah with an invitation to grab some tteokbokki. Sol-ah points to the clock and reminds Hong Jo that it’s time for work and on her way out, she pauses to thank him for last night. Outside, Sol-ah sees Jae-seon and waves stiffly before making her escape.
A quote by Paul Leyhausen observes, “We’re not the ones who decide to raise cats. Cats are the ones who decide to live with us.” Jae-seon catches Hong Jo staring at a job posting outside Sonamu and when he asks if he’s interested, he’s told, “I don’t want your money.”
At work, Doo-shik confronts Sol-ah about her decision to end Beodeul Love and is surprised to hear that she’s done with Jae-seon too. Determined to move on, Sol-ah asks Doo-shik to set her up on a blind date with someone who’s loyal and devoted, like a dog.
Hong Jo follows his nose to Doo-shik’s parents’ restaurant, where he’s welcomed back as Dae-sung’s friend. After eating several plates of food that he can’t pay for, Hong Jo is intrigued when Hyeon-ja vows to turn him into a decent human being.
That evening, Doo-shik arrives at the restaurant as two girls exit, gushing, “My gosh, he’s so handsome.” Doo-shik recognizes the man clearing tables but can’t remember how they met. When he sees his mother, Doo-shik points to the dining room filled with admiring women and calls her part-timer a handsome lucky charm.
Dropping into a chair in exhaustion, Hyeon-ja longs for a massage and is surprised when Hong Jo obliges. Min-joong drops a fish as he’s serving it and before he can throw it away, Hong Jo takes a huge bite out of it. Hong Jo’s antics make an impression on Doo-shik, who thinks, “He’s definitely a dog.”
In the morning, Doo-shik confronts Jae-seon at Sonamu, “Do you like Sol-ah or not…Are you going to date her or not?” When Jae-seon give him a straight answer, Doo-shik announces his intent to set Sol-ah up on a blind date.
Later, as Sol-ah waits for her blind date, she’s surprised when a well dressed Hong Jo/Guk Bong arrives and admits that he has a blind date too. After more waiting, Sol-ah asks Hong Jo, “Did Go Doo-shik send you here?” When she realizes that she’s been waiting for Hong Jo all along, Sol-ah suggests abandoning the blind date and just getting something to eat.
As they walk along a busy street, Sol-ah finds herself laughing and talking easily with Hong Jo, while he notices how close their hands are. A table for a grand opening event invites passersby, “Play a game with the swindler, and win a free gift.”
Tasked with guessing which cup hides a die, Sol-ah is wrong every time. When Hong Jo chooses the correct cup after her last try, the swindler invites him to play. In spite of his best efforts, the swindler can’t fool Hong Jo who wins enough stuffed toys to fill a large bag.
Hong Jo suggests getting tteokbokki but a restaurant that features sushi on a conveyor belt catches his eye. Soon, Hong Jo and Sol-ah are seated in front of a parade of dishes and when she invites, “Eat up,” he reaches up and stuffs a shrimp into his mouth.
After showing Hong Jo how to properly move the dishes down to their spots, Sol-ah thanks him for a fun day. While asking if she can think of him as an older brother, Hong Jo chokes on a spicy dish and Sol-ah mutters, “You’re so not my older brother.”
Hong Jo asks about Beodeul Love and Sol-ah confesses she has no idea what to draw next. After expressing confidence that Sol-ah will find her inspiration as long as she doesn’t give up, Hong Jo is surprised when she asks, “…when are you leaving?” Denying that it’s his dream to become a travel writer, Hong Jo thinks hard about what it is he does want while Sol-ah ignores a call from Jae-seon.
Jae-seon is waiting when Sol-ah walks up the street with Hong Jo. When he asks, “Where were you,” it’s Hong Jo who answers, “On a blind date.” Mentioning that he’s been trying to reach her, Sol-ah explains that she was having too much fun to check her phone. She shows off all the toys that “Bang Guk-bong” won and Jae-seon realizes that Sol-ah’s blind date was with Hong Jo. As Sol-ah and Hong Jo walk away, Jae-seon announces that the cat’s new owner is picking it up the following evening.
As soon as they walk through the front door, Hong Jo asks a subdued Sol-ah, “Will you really send him away…I thought you two got close.” Realizing that Hong Jo is part of her complicated history with Jae-seon, Sol-ah convinces herself that it’s for the best.
When Sol-ah leaves to get some snacks for the cat, Hong Jo gazes out of the upstairs window. As he recalls being abandoned by Rubi and Jae-seon, Hong Jo sees his human reflection in the window and sighs, “I’m not a person. I’m a cat.”
Hong Jo visits Dae-sung, who calls the long-haired cat sitting between them “beautiful”. He wonders if she lost her owner but Hong Jo explains that while dogs have owners, cats choose who they live with. Hong Jo adds that because this cat chose Dae-sung, he can count on her to visit him.
After Dae-sung runs to get the cat a treat, Hong Jo admits, “What a lie. Humans make the choice. Not the cat.” Looking down at the cat by his side, Hong Jo reminds her, “Grandma, you were abandoned too. Like me.” Facing abandonment again, Hong Jo decides that the only way to change his fate is to become a real human.
When Dae-sung returns, Hong Jo asks him how to become human. The boy remembers a fairy tale and soon Hong Jo is eating a large bowl of garlic. When Sol-ah comes home, she finds a very sick cat and a floor strewn with garlic. At the clinic, the vet suggests that Hong Jo is eating weird things to get Sol-ah’s attention and prescribes more playtime.
Doo-shik and Ji-eun find themselves in the same neighborhood market reaching for the same vitamin drink. Ji-eun insists that Doo-shik should go first and he takes the last two bottles because of a “Buy 1 get 1 free” offer. Ji-eun leaves the store empty-handed and walks into Doo-shik, who’s waiting outside with the extra bottle.
On the walk home, Ji-eun gets the wrong idea when Doo-shik trails behind her. She lets him know that he doesn’t need to see her home and is unnerved when he doesn’t leave. Doo-shik is puzzled when Ji-eun confronts him, “Just because you realized we went to the same high school, doesn’t mean you have to suddenly act so nice.” As she turns away, Ji-eun can’t keep from smiling.
Tired of the misunderstanding, Doo-shik speeds up to overtake Ji-eun but she runs to stay ahead of him. When Doo-shik arrives at the restaurant looking downcast, he tells his dad that someone at work hates him. What he can’t know is that Ji-eun is upstairs squealing with happiness.
Sol-ah spends her last evening with Hong Jo brushing the cat’s coat. When Hong Jo wriggles, she complains that she can’t even brush him properly which is why she doesn’t deserve him. Hong Jo gets away to runs upstairs where he returns to human form and reminds himself to stay awake.
Downstairs, Sol-ah searches for the cat and asks Hong Jo if he’s seen him. He blurts out, “I won’t leave…I’m going to stay. Here,” and shares that his dream is to become a real human. Sol-ah decides that Hong Jo is talking gibberish because he has insomnia, so she gets him some milk.
When Hong Jo tries to duplicate the shadow dog that Sol-ah once made, she grabs his hands to arrange his fingers properly. Disappointed when Sol-ah doesn’t know how to form a cat, Hong Jo stomps away angrily when she wonders, “Should I adopt a dog after I send away the cat?” Upstairs, Hong Jo tells himself, “I’m not going to fall asleep.”
In the morning, Hong Jo is asleep and back in cat form when Sol-ah knocks on his bedroom door. He wakes up and becomes human just as Sol-ah pushes his door open.
Downstairs, special treats are waiting for the cat but he’s not around. Hong Jo starts to pack the cat’s belongings while telling Sol-ah, “I need something of yours. To come back.”
Sol-ah is confused when Hong Jo tosses her laptop and phone into the box and hits him in anger when he packs her polka dotted bra. Seeing the time, Sol-ah heads to work after asking Hong Jo to lock up when the cat returns, “Roads are dangerous, and lots of people don’t like cats.”
At work, Sol-ah sketches a cat during a meeting about a major pet food account. When Vice President Park selects Ji-eun to for the project, Sang-kwon points out that she’s too inexperienced to tackle the challenge alone. Vice President Park calls on Doo-shik and Sol-ah to assist her and sees that Sol-ah isn’t paying attention.
Vice President Park assumes that Sol-ah is working on Beodeul Love but she quickly explains that she gave up on the webtoon. Vice President Park calls the project the perfect opportunity for Sol-ah to learn how to work in a supportive position behind the scenes.
When the new team goes out to lunch, Sol-ah notices that Ji-eun isn’t eating. Her apology for not recognizing Ji-eun sooner earns a scolding from Doo-shik for making her more uncomfortable. Doo-shik’s attempt to lighten the mood by suggesting that they speak comfortably backfires when he calls Ji-eun “Eun-ji”, confused because her full name is, Eun Ji-eun.
Doo-shik offers to help Ji-eun eat her lunch and a cute cartoon pops up illustrating that sharing food is like an indirect kiss. Sol-ah prevents Doo-shik from putting his used spoon into Ji-eun’s bowl while the cartoon girl protests, “You don’t have to stop him.”
While Ji-eun visits the bathroom, Doo-shik asks Sol-ah if she’s looking haggard because of Jae-seon. Sol-ah explains that the cat is leaving and when Doo-shik suggests that it’s time to get a dog, he remembers to ask about the blind date.
At the restaurant, Hong Jo sighs and Min-joong offers to listen to his problems. When Hong Jo asks how to become a real person, Min-joong quips that he’s not a proper person himself.
Hong Jo is surprised when Hyeon-ja walks out and hits him for not mentioning that he’s Sol-ah’s stepbrother. That makes Hong Jo family, meaning that Hyeon-ja can’t order him around anymore. Later, Min-joong slips some money into Hong Jo’s apron with a wink and Hong Jo uses it to buy tteokbokki on his way home.
As soon as Sol-ah gets home, she sees the untouched treats and looks for the missing cat everywhere. Resisting the urge to ask Jae-seon for help, Sol-ah searches the neighborhood by herself.
A sleepy Hong Jo yawns and rubs his eyes as he makes his way home and he doesn’t hear Sol-ah calling out his name across the street. When a car honks and hits its brakes to keep from hitting the half asleep Hong Jo, the sound adds to Sol-ah’s fear. Hong Jo stops in an alley when he sees a milk box marked “Cat Shelter” and a man watches from the shadows as the sleepy Hong Jo considers resting inside.
Sol-ah overhears two girls talking about a dead cat and explains that she lost her cat. When they point to the spot where a security guard buried it, Sol-ah searches until she finds the tiny mound. Kneeling down, Sol-ah uses her bare hands to move aside the dirt until she uncovers a cardboard box.
As she’s flooded with happy memories of her time with the feline Hong Jo, Sol-ah pulls back a towel with a shaking hand and sighs in relief at the sight of orange stripes. When the security guard finds her, Sol-ah explains that she lost a cat and cries with relief because the dead cat isn’t Hong Jo.
In the alley, the stranger from the shadows shares some coffee with Hong Jo and explains that he had to be sure that he wasn’t going to harm a cat. When asked why someone would do that, he guesses, “Because they’re noisy, dirty, or…bring bad luck.” The stranger shares that he’s been trying to catch an expensive cat with a hurt leg because, “An abandoned pet cat is as good as dead.”
As soon as Hong Jo gets home, the doorbell rings. It’s Jae-seon, who’s there to pick up the cat but Hong Jo won’t let him inside. Hong Jo informs him, “The cat’s not here anymore…Cats are like that. When it’s time to leave, they leave on their own.” Once he’s back inside, Hong Jo worries that if he falls asleep, he’ll be abandoned.
Jae-seon is waiting outside when a worn out Sol-ah returns. She apologizes when Jae-seon reports that the new owner waited for a long time and confesses that she lost Hong Jo.
Jae-seon has lots of questions for Sol-ah and when she can’t pinpoint when the cat went missing, he accuses her of abandoning him again. Sol-ah doesn’t know what he means by “again” but she makes it clear that she’d never abandon Hong Jo.
Sol-ah brushes away at tear when she walks into the empty house. While hanging up her coat, she finds the missing cat asleep in a box. Picking him up and holding him close, Sol-ah sobs with relief and explains in voiceover, “I can’t help it. I am a dog. A dog that fell for a cat.”
It’s a much calmer Sol-ah who sits down with Hong Jo to eat the tteokbokki and fish buns that he brought home. She comments that the tteokbokki got soggy while she was out searching for the cat and Hong Jo asks why she did that when he’s not her cat.
Sol-ah repeats what Hong Jo told Dae-sung, “Cats don’t have owners. It’s the cat that chooses which human it wants to be with.” Hong Jo argues that humans came up with that saying to avoid responsibility. When he asks how she would choose, Hong Jo is disappointed when Sol-ah admits, “I don’t know.”
Jae-seon sits at his computer and sees Sol-ah’s online post about the missing cat, complete with cute photos. He’s interrupted by a phone call from the new owner, who informs Jae-seon that she can’t take the cat after all because she just found out that she’s pregnant.
The call triggers a memory of little Jae-seon being returned to the orphanage by a couple who had just learned they were expecting a child of their own. A few years later, it happened again, and a few years after that, a third time. By then, Jae-seon was older and no longer cried when he was abandoned. The kind nun sat down beside him but Jae-seon turned to face the other way and refused to talk. In the present, Jae-seon pulls a yellowed note from his wallet to read its message, “I’m sorry.”
In the morning, Sol-ah visits Sonamu with the cat in her arms to let Jae-seon know that she found it asleep in her closet. When she tells him, “I’m sorry,” Jae-seon thinks of the note in his wallet. Jae-seon reaches out to take the cat but Sol-ah steps back and says, “…you can’t have him. I won’t let you.” Jae-seon reminds Sol-ah that she doesn’t like cats but she surprises him when she confesses, “I like Hong Jo.”
As Sol-ah smiles down at the cat in her arms, a new drawing appears for Beodeul Love. While drawing a sketch of a cat on her computer, Sol-ah glances at Hong Jo asleep on her bed and shares, “I think I found something I want to draw.”
A man wearing a backpack makes his way through the airport. When an official picks up his dropped passport, he turns around when she calls out, “Are you Mr. Bang Guk-bong?”
The mixup with Hong Jo’s identity has made his presence in Sol-ah’s new digs less creepy, but with the real Bang Guk-bong in town, will the growing bond between a girl and her cat be threatened? Hong Jo has been spending almost all of his waking hours as a human but that can’t continue once Sol-ah realizes that she’s been living under the same roof with a complete stranger.
Not only has Bang Guk-bong come back, Hong Jo met that stranger responsible for the cat shelter. The minute I saw him I wondered if there are any other cats with the same mysterious ability to become human like Hong Jo. The stranger would be the most likely candidate, but he could also have a more sinister purpose. I never trust anyone who’s lurking in the shadows.
With another man in Sol-ah’s life in the form of Bang Guk-bong, Jae-seon and Hong Jo just may warm up to one another. And perhaps then they’ll realize that they have lots more in common than Sol-ah. They’ve both been scarred by multiple experiences with abandonment, I mean how sad were the heart wrenching sobs of the very young Jae-seon? While Hong Jo’s response is a desire to become human so that he can have more control over his fate, Jae-seon does his best to avoid his feelings altogether. That note he carries around serves as a constant reminder that his life has been steadily marked by abandonment.
Convinced that Sol-ah hates cats, Jae-seon hasn’t noticed that her bond with Hong Jo has been deepening day by day. It takes Sol-ah’s desperate search, punctuated by fear that Hong Jo is the dead cat that was buried, for Sol-ah to finally realize how important Hong Jo is to her. Suddenly, Jae-seon isn’t as vital to Sol-ah’s life, not as long as Hong Jo is safe by her side, in his cat form of course.
Tired of being more than a friend but not quite a girlfriend, Sol-ah has been aiming her frustrations at Jae-seon. Her outbursts are the exact opposite of Ji-eun’s practically imperceptible vibes, which are confusing the clueless Doo-shik more and more (He’s so much like his father). The poor guy is convinced that Ji-eun hates him when she couldn’t be more smitten. It’s going to take an earthquake to get these two together and I’m curious to know from what direction that push is coming from.
What’s surprised me the most about Ji-eun is that for someone who’s nursed a years long crush on Doo-shik, she has no idea that she’s living above his parents’ restaurant. How is that possible? As a high school girl, how did she not know every detail about the object of her affection? Now that Doo-shik is expected to work with Ji-eun on her project, she’s bound to learn more about the nice guy in her office. However, I agree completely with @selena, Doo-shik and Sol-ah seem better suited for one another.
I expect that with Sol-ah and the cat Hong Jo together, Jae-seon is suddenly going to feel like the odd man out. It’s time for Jae-seon to miss Sol-ah’s attention so that he realizes what she means to him, just the way that Sol-ah learned how much Hong Jo means to her.
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