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Run On: Episode 7

Cuteness still abounds, but the hijinks take a slightly less feel-good turn. Our protagonists get their wires crossed, hitting an unexpected snag in their developing relationship. Although it’s clear to anyone who knows them how much they care about each other, they’ll need to figure out how to communicate effectively if there’s hope for them to have the kind of rapport they (and we) deserve.

 
EPISODE 7 RECAP

Mi-joo and Sun-kyum sleep in the car, and have breakfast with Coach Bang. Sun-kyum asks if the rumors are true: did she really retire after beating up another coach for making unwelcome advances on her? She doesn’t deny it, but says she didn’t retire—she was kicked out, and the man who harassed her is now head coach. Ugh.

Mi-joo suggests that Coach Bang go with her to watch Sun-kyum the next time he mentors the school team, so she can judge properly how he’s doing. “Think of it as a picnic,” says Mi-joo. Coach Bang gruffly says she’ll consider it.

On the drive home, Mi-joo suddenly recalls asking Sun-kyum to like her, although to him she maintains her pretense that she doesn’t remember. Sun-kyum is disappointed, but tells her to rest and thanks her for her help.

On his way to Dan-ah’s agency, Sun-kyum runs into Young-hwa, who invites himself along. Young-hwa admits that it’s an excuse to see Dan-ah. Sun-kyum says that he’ll provide Young-hwa the excuse whenever he needs, within reason.

Assemblyman Ki invites Dan-ah along to his wife’s upcoming movie premiere as a way to encourage a match between Dan-ah and Sun-kyum. Meanwhile, Young-hwa keeps sending cryptic messages through Mr. Jung in the hopes that Dan-ah will grow frustrated and text him directly.

Mi-joo’s PD friend asks if Mi-joo and Mae-yi can fill in on an emergency job on the set of her current film. She gives Mi-joo two tickets to the Korean premiere of the film Mi-joo translated at the film festival.

Mi-joo meets Woo-shik, who’s preparing for the civil service exam. He’s figured out that Mi-joo is the “Furry Kim” who posted all the translations of his article online. Woo-shik thanks her for translating his words twice. She says it would have gone viral anyway, but she knew she’d do it best. And it was for Sun-kyum’s sake too, she admits.

Mi-joo says that often she finds Sun-kyum’s words more difficult to interpret than the foreign films she translates. He’s hard to figure out, and that makes her want to know him better.

Sun-kyum stops at his parents’ house and finds Assemblyman Ki waiting to confront him. He tells Sun-kyum to either return to running after his six-month suspension, or marry Dan-ah—just for two years. Sun-kyum flatly refuses, saying, “It’s my life.”

Assemblyman Ki says his life belongs to his parents who gave it to him. Sun-kyum replies that he can’t bear his father using the family as a tool for his own advantage anymore.

Ki claims he supported Sun-kyum’s dream, but Sun-kyum responds that he doesn’t even know what his dream is. He pleads for them to at least maintain their father-son relationship.

After Sun-kyum leaves, Assemblyman Ki wonders what the problem is. “I haven’t changed.” His chief of staff replies that perhaps Sun-kyum has.

Sun-kyum runs into Eun-bi outside, who has been summoned for signing with Dan-ah’s agency against their father’s wishes. Sun-kyum asks if she did it for him, and she admits that she knew it would distract the press from his issue.

He asks why she’d be his human shield, and she says, “Because you’re my little brother.” Looks like matter-of-fact sacrifice for the ones they love is another thing these siblings have in common.

Sun-kyum catches up to Mi-joo as they’re both heading home, and she asks him about his visit home as they walk. He tells her his dad scolded him for retiring, and she says it’s understandable given how hard Sun-kyum has worked all these years. Doesn’t he regret it? He confesses that he isn’t fully over it.

Mi-joo asks what track and field athletes usually do when they retire. Sun-kyum says that they often become trainers or coaches, open athletic academies, start totally different careers or just disappear. But he’s unsure yet what he’ll end up doing.

Mi-joo asks what he wants to do—unlike her, she’s sure he can use his regrets to motivate himself. He asks what motivated her. “Fear and obsession?” she responds.

Idol Tae-woong’s group member asks why Young-hwa is the one person he follows on Instagram. Tae-woong realizes with embarrassment that he accidentally did it while stalking him.

Tae-woong’s fans press Young-hwa for the dirt on how the two men know each other. Young-hwa has the extremely delayed realization that Tae-woong and Dan-ah have the same last name, and hopes they’re related so that he doesn’t have to compete for Dan-ah’s affections.

Dan-ah endures her own interrogation from Tae-woong, and tells him Young-hwa is a painter she commissioned. Tae-woong asks if she still wants the art gallery. Dan-ah tells him that she did, but she doesn’t dislike Tae-woong because he ended up with it.

Mi-joo lets Sun-kyum know that she and Mae-yi will be gone for ten days starting next week, and to make himself at home. He immediately deflates, and poutingly says that he won’t be able to, with the owners gone. Mi-joo feels the sting in those words, and asks if she hurt his feelings, but he leaves to “get some air.”

Young-hwa finds Sun-kyum sitting alone on the side of the street. “E.T.’s Friend,” Sun-kyum greets him. Young-hwa asks what he’s doing, and Sun-kyum says he’s got nowhere to go. He thinks it’s time for him to leave, so he’s practicing. Ahhh, why are you breaking my heart, you sad little puppy?

Young-hwa asks Sun-kyum how he knows Dan-ah, and Sun-kyum responds that their families are acquainted with each other. Young-hwa comments that it seems like they live in a world far away from him. “She chose me and wanted me, so I guess I thought we were on the same level,” he says.

“I get anxious when people get close to me,” responds Sun-kyum. Young-hwa takes him back to his place for more drinks.

Sun-kyum tells Young-hwa he won’t be seeing him around after next week, because he doesn’t want to be alone. Young-hwa deduces that he’s been spending time with someone, and remarks that Sun-kyum must have been very lonely. Sun-kyum nods and says how much he liked the homey smell, and hearing other people in the house.

Sun-kyum goes back to Mi-joo’s the next morning to find her waiting up for him. She comments sarcastically, “I see your fingers aren’t broken.” She’s unimpressed with his explanation that he fell asleep after drinking with someone she wouldn’t know.

Mi-joo ignores him all day. In the evening, he knocks on her closed door until she opens it, and asks when they should leave to meet Coach Bang the next day. She tells him through gritted teeth to text her the time, and shuts the door in his face.

She’s still mad the next day, and mocks Sun-kyum’s earnest (and rather adorable) coaching of his students. Coach Bang asks if they fought, and Mi-joo says that Sun-kyum probably doesn’t even know why she’s angry. Bang observes that he must have ticked her off with that innocent expression, and they amicably badmouth him together.

Coach Bang asks Mi-joo to be her drinking buddy—it’ll give her an excuse to come to Seoul more often. With that, she jumps into coaching the kids. Aw. Here’s another lonely person Mi-joo has brought into her circle.

Afterwards, Sun-kyum asks a resistant Mi-joo to talk to him. Sun-kyum explains that he didn’t know she would wait all night for him. He read her messages in the morning, but by then, replying wouldn’t have changed anything. Mi-joo is understandably flabbergasted.

Sun-kyum says he wasn’t trying to provoke her, but she asks how else she’s supposed to respond—was it that hard to text her back? He asks why she didn’t just call, and she points out that she doesn’t have the right to ask him personal questions about what he’s doing and when he’s coming back.

“Why do you need the right to ask things like that?” he asks. She responds that some people feel more comfortable when they’re given that right. He begins to nitpick about her choice of the word. Dude.

Sun-kyum tells her that he didn’t think about contacting her because he’s never lived with someone before. She wonders if he just didn’t bother because he was only staying with them temporarily, but he assures her that’s not it.

Mi-joo tells him she invited him to stay because she was worried and wanted to keep him company, but he keeps drawing lines between them. “If you were going to do that, then you shouldn’t crossed my lines. You act like you don’t have walls, while you climb over mine so easily.” She leaves and tells Sun-kyum not to follow.

Dan-ah tracks down Young-hwa at school, and tells him to stop harassing Mr. Jung and text her so she can ignore him personally. She tells him not to cross the line, but he refuses. That’s why she came to see him, after all.

He follows her as she walks over to watch a soccer game, and she tells him to thank his parents for the honey. A stray ball rolls toward them, and she kicks it back with the widest and most genuine smile we’ve seen from her so far.

Dan-ah tells Young-hwa that she used to play for a soccer club, until her brother ruined it. Her dream was to be a soccer player, but now she realizes dreams aren’t meant to come true. She’s just glad to be able to kick a ball now and then. “Is that why you always wear sneakers?” he asks her. “You never know when and where the chance will come,” she responds.

Young-hwa says he doesn’t have time for dreams, although he’s discovered a goal recently: to be able to talk to Dan-ah directly about his painting.

Mae-yi gives her movie ticket to Sun-kyum, who shows up to meet Mi-joo in her place. She says she’ll watch the premiere with him, but only out of politeness to the person who invited her. “As for us, we can solve our problem once we know what it is.” Even if Mi-joo figures out the problem, she won’t be the one to say it. He agrees penitently.

Sun-kyum’s parents are at the same theater, for Ji-woo’s premiere. Assemblyman Ki tells Ji-woo that Sun-kyum is retiring; she wonders what he plans to do, since he’s refused to inherit her father’s hotel, too. Ki reveals his plans for Sun-kyum and Dan-ah.

The two couples run into each other, and Assemblyman Ki instantly accuses Mi-joo of following his son around. Does she even know what this occasion is for? Sun-kyum replies that it’s his father’s attempt at arranging a “natural” date night with Dan-ah. Assemblyman Ki tells Mi-joo to know her place. Mi-joo says she’ll do that.

She asks Sun-kyum if he’s coming to watch the movie with her. “I’m great at finding my spot. I’ve been to this theater countless times,” she says pleasantly. She takes his arm and leads him away, and he smiles as he follows her.

 
COMMENTS

Woo, is that the first wrist grab ever that made me want to stand up and cheer?!

This family really has no idea about each other’s lives, do they? We’ve seen it since the beginning, but the sad lack of communication between Sun-kyum, Eun-bi and their parents was really evident in this episode. Neither Assemblyman Ki nor Yook Ji-woo truly understands their children; Ki has no interest in anyone outside what they can do for him, and Ji-woo doesn’t know how to cross the distance her neglect created between her and her kids. Even Sun-kyum and Eun-bi, who clearly love and do their best to protect each other, are awkward about it. That scene where Eun-bi admitted to diverting media attention from Sun-kyum with her own news was sweet, but it broke my heart a little too. Both are so accustomed to keeping their emotions hidden for fear they might be used against them—even with the person they trust most, they never drop their guard.

That’s something that shows in Sun-kyum’s relationships with everyone else, too. He’s very honest, but as Mi-joo points out, he never reveals more of himself than he has to. Before this, Mi-joo assumed that he doesn’t understand the ritual of self-confession that’s such a basic building block for friendship, so she’s been gently teaching him to do it—modeling how people behave with those they’re close to. But she’s growing frustrated, because his distance is beginning to seem deliberate, rather than naive. And that’s especially hard given how unusually vulnerable she’s made herself to him.

I think Sun-kyum’s behaviour is both deliberate and naive. Like he said, he’s never had the kind of warm home life he’s experiencing with Mi-joo and Mae-yi, so he doesn’t know all its norms. But he also is 100% drawing that line between them that Mi-joo accused him of, whether consciously or not. He admitted as much to Young-hwa—getting close to people makes him anxious. Understandably so, given his history of abuse. As much as it hurts to watch, I’m so glad the show is exploring the effects of the trauma Sun-kyum’s upbringing caused, on not just his emotional state but his behavior and communication style.

Mi-joo doesn’t magically heal his psychological issues with the power of her love. Even better: she calls him out on his avoidance so he can see it clearly and work through it. I appreciated so much that she told him he’d have to be the one to recognize their problem and verbalize it. She can only do so much—and she often does, like the way she gave him courage in that confrontation with his father—but if they have any chance for a healthy relationship, he needs to meet her halfway.

I love Sun-kyum’s developing relationship with Young-hwa for the same reason. Young-hwa is the literal embodiment of sweetness, and thus a perfect friend for Sun-kyum. There’s none of the tension or expectations between them that hangs in the air whenever Mi-joo and Sun-kyum are in the same space. (Or Young-hwa and Dan-ah, for that matter.) They just like each other, and Young-hwa is so open-hearted that it’s easy for him to say things to Sun-kyum that most people wouldn’t have the courage to. He’s as blunt as Sun-kyum, Mi-joo, and Dan-ah, but there’s a clear affection in that honesty, because he’s not afraid of making himself vulnerable the way they all are. He asks Sun-kyum at one point why he’s so nice, “making me want to use you.” Sun-kyum replies that he’s used to it, but the nuance flies over Young-hwa’s head, whose viewpoint is so deeply colored by optimism.

Young-hwa seems to have a loving, stable family, if the endless jars of honey are anything to go by. He uses his bluntness to let people in, whereas the other three use it as a shield to avoid being hurt. So I’m enjoying his amiable invasion into Dan-ah’s and Sun-kyum’s lives immensely, and I can’t wait for Mi-joo to meet the man Sun-kyum spent the night with. I just hope Young-hwa’s sunny view of the world doesn’t get crushed too badly in the process, although arguably that’s a necessary part of growing up. There was a lot of talk this episode about drawing lines vs. crossing them, as these four navigated the growing intimacy (or lack thereof) between them while still trying to protect their hearts. Perhaps Young-hwa’s purpose in this story is to bring down those walls, with his ready smile and freely given interest. Dan-ah certainly isn’t indifferent to his honey, literal or metaphorical. And he’s admitted he wants to protect Sun-kyum, so he’s totally in my good books.

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i did not expect that ending with the reverse wrist grab hoo hoo so cute!

i finally caught up to this drama this week and even though it's a slow watch at times i genuinely enjoy the interactions between the characters. The dialogue is so witty and fun to watch.

Seon Gyum is honestly the biggest marshmallow and it helps that Siwan has such a cute face to go along with it. Sure the things he says can come across as tactless to others but he says it with such purity and innocence that you can't help but pity him. I think that's where Mi Joo comes in and not only calls him out on his issues but gives him advice on his shortcomings. I didn't even realise his constant selfless behaviour until the more i watched, and she provides a nice balance to his awkwardness by leading him. I really can't wait for their feelings to come out in the open and for them to have that conversation before becoming a couple. It's going to be full of sweetness i can feel it.

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The OST is a delight!

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I don't want it to end either. It's quickly become my comfort watch, even though I know it won't be smooth sailing.

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Hi Laica, just wanted to say a very big thank you for your recaps. I am able to appreciate this series at a much more deeper level thanks to your insightful recaps. You do not just write what you see but you write what some of us are not able to see as well and for that, I want you to know it is deeply appreciated:) I knew I felt so many emotions through the episode but only after reading your recap are those emotions articulated. Looking forward to read your future recaps. Have a blessed week ahead!

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I second this. The recaps really help me pull out an extra serving of goodness from each episode and help me appreciate this drama all the more. Thanks, @laica!

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Aww, thank you so much, @dramamama1997 and @carlybisek! I'm sorry for seeing this late (busy weekend), but I appreciate it. I definitely have been spending an unusually long time thinking about these characters. Run On has completely stolen my heart!

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I found MJ's anger towards SK a bit excessive. I think he explained himself quite well and the poor guy is trying. They are 2 people who have showed in past episodes that they can work things out and talk about their feelings openly so MJ shutting down SK again and again in sometimes a childish way, hurt. Of course it helped that SK is played by Siwan who looks and talks so adorable. There is something about him that makes us viewers want to protect him.

I am incredibly concerned for DA's younger brother. He is the reason I can't warm up to her. The way she keeps hurting that poor boy makes me emotional.

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I think MJ realized how much SK means to her as he did not come home that night as she was so worried for him. So she got scared after that over how much she find herself attached to SK. So she it not just angry at him, but trying too but up her walls again. She got scared she is falling for him and those confused feelings. I got the feeling she is trying to figure out what is it she really is feeling for SK.

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MJ always knew she likes SK very much. I don't know, to me MJ never came off as someone who would be scared of her own feelings. Remember the hotel room scene when she goes to SK for her gun, she was waiting for SK to ask her out. It seemed more like she got angry at SK because he is not as open or thoughtful when it comes to feelings and that is what ticked MJ off but then again back to my original comment, that was not a MJ-like move.

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I actually think it is very Mijoo. She doesn't always get so vulnerable in her life, and she is strong and have always demanded equal efforts and two way communication. She gives a lot but she also expected to be loved back throughout ep 1 to now. She isn't the type to just keep on giving without the other side showing progress.

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I agree that the anger seems a bit excessive. I do think that she's just embarrassed that she's giving in to liking a guy who doesn't seem to like her back. He doesn't think of her enough to let her know he'll be out for the night and he doesn't think she'll care about it. She might as well be Dan-ah or one of his running teammates to him. I can understand how it can be frustrating and even more frustrating because Seon-kyum just doesn't get it. I think part of that anger is her anger at herself. I also think it is the excessive anger that would grab his attention or else it could fly right over his head.

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Yes I think her anger is more towards herself I think she knows that she is being petty and embarrased over how angry she was. It became more clear in the next episode. Initially I also thought that mijoo's anger was bit excessive but after thinking it over some time and reading recaps and all I think it must have been very hard to deal with a guy like that. He looks so clueless and innocent. And we know that SK likes her but she does'nt.

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On the other hand i kinda feel a bit for Dan Ah as well,not to take her side but one can't force love and even more when the other side doesn't understand it in some ways like mentioned in previous episodes(forced love is violance) her brother is also using emotional violance on her and needs to stop and grow up and deal with it...

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Your recaps are so insightful amd makes me appreciate the drama and make me love it even more @laica. God I love the drama and the 4 leads. Dan ah's reason for wearing sneakers with every outfit is cool which I thought was just a fashion statement. I'm so so happy that young hwa found sun kyum. Though SK is the hyung I feel that YH is the one guiding him and he does it so open heartedly. And the way he draws out Dan ah slowly from her shell. My EQ is a bit low than others so sometimes I have trouble why some characters are upset like mijoo in this episode but the recap explained it very nicely and now I can get behind mijoo. And how cool and understanding is she that she is making SK realize what he did wrong and making him understand on his own. I think this episode is my favourite so far.

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Also thought Dan-ah wearing sneakers is a fashion statement because after all, the company represents athletes. But turns out the real reason is so heartbreaking T_T
She keeps saying she stopped playing because his brother told on her, but with her heart condition seems being an athlete is never going to be for her....

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I think it also meant that what even when she might have known she wouldn't realistically become an athlete because of her heart problems the selfish act of her brother took her dream away from her,maybe among the very few things she treasured and enjoyed that her father didn't deprive her off...I bet it hurts way more when she was robbed of her dream rather than her coming in terms and accepting on her own accord she can't play anymore even if it was hard.I actually pity her as her father is the main source of her heartache and resentments that piled up over the years...

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I agree with you. I think this is a particularly more vicious sting than what Chae Song-ah in Do You Like Brahms? would have experienced. It's one thing to come to terms with you loving your dream and it not loving you back. It's particularly cruel to have a dream snatched from you without having had a real chance to try. Props to Dan-ah for channeling that pain into her business - and for keeping those sneakers on and her eyes open for any chance to kick a ball that rolls her way.

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Thanks, @orientedstar125! I'm really enjoying writing about this one.

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That wrist grab by Mi-joo was epic. But did anyone else notice the smile on his mother's face as Mi-joo led Sun-kyum away? There was a smile on my face too.

We need more Eun-bi, please.

Young-wha does not come from a rich family but emotionally is the wealthiest person in the show- so much so that he can be generous in giving warmth to others. Sun-kyum is fortunate to have found such a friend. If Dan-ah can see it before it is too late she will be one very lucky girl. Unfortunately Youg-wha will no doubt experience heartache first. He will come through it just fine- because he has been raised with enough love to have all the emotional reserves needed. He will change but really in a good way- his naivete will give way to judgement as the boy becomes the man. But his good nature will remain intact even as he becomes wiser in his dealings with others.

This is such a fine show. I am really enjoying it.

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We definitely need more Eun-bi - she is fantastic.

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Seconding (thirding?) the call for more Eun-bi. She's awesome, and I'd really like to see more of her.

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YESSSSS more Eun-bi!!

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Seriously standing ovation for the writers so far. I love everything about this drama even the supporting characters, even assembly man KI had some funny character moment. This drama recycle some drama cliche roles and moment into an amazig one.
Hopefully stays amazing till the end. Can't wait for YeongHwa and Dan Ah development.

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I second that, kudos to the writing staff! I love the unexpected turns, both big, like the reverse wrist-grab, and the small, as when Mi-joo is asked what her motivation is and instead of the expected Candy-ish feel-good answer it's "fear and obsession" which YES - that's so perfect, considering her history.
I also enjoy the subtle inversion of the usual gender roles: the men are younger, more naive, less settled and successful in a career, and usually not setting the relationship pace. The reverse wrist-grab works because it follows naturally from the relationship dynamics set up to this point.

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Laica, your comments are so on point!

That wrist grab, SK's and mom's smile?? GO MIJOO!

I love the budding bromance between YH & SK. YH brings so much energy into SK's life, which brings out a different side of him. He's also slowly opening up to YH. SK waking up with the honey jar was hilarious.

A friend asked why Dan-ah was always wearing rubber shoes... we finally know why. She literally lit up during that soccer scene. To be rich but not being able to achieve your dreams.. sigh.

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I think that's the first genuinely happy smile we've seen off Dan-ah. Without cynicism or cool humor - just pure happy. I'm really liking her character more and more, so I hope they keep fleshing her out. Happy looks good on her.

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Yes about the smile! It was really nice to see her happy. And Sooyoung did a good job with making the smile out to be real - it was so different from her otherwise snarky standard look.

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Him waking up with the honey jar is even funnier if you think how he must've cuddled it while sleeping, LOL, gotta love how ubiquitous and awkward those jars are!

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I love Mi-joo's snark - "what's up with the honey. He thinks he's winnie the pooh" It's funny since he was wearing that orange-red cardigan, which reminds me of Winnie the Pooh's golden yellow/orange fur AND winnie the pooh also shares Seon-gyum's naive but friendly personality.

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The Gomdori Pooh comment got me cackling! The BTS for that scene showed just how awkward the jar was, he tried several ways to carry it while having the conversation with her, so funny.

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The Pooh comment/dialogue was very clever indeed! I had to pause and laugh a bit there.

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Thanks so much, Laica, for the detailed recap and the comments. Loved them as much as I love the show.

I love so much how the drama is dealing with the different ways loneliness can show up in life. All characters lead with their own form of loneliness and some have worked out a way out of it while the others are still figuring out how to deal with it. All that loneliness have brought walls around them, as you have so well expressed.

I was surprised about Assemblyman Ki and Yook JiWoo in this episode. I thought from the beginning that they were still together because of his political career, but their dynamics at the theatre brought me other feeling. Like they have this chemistry only couples that have been together for a long time have, and that they do care and love each other, even if they both have prioritized their careers. There was something sweet about them together I wasn't expecting to see and seeing it hurt quite a bit considering that they deliberately chose to neglect their children. Assemblyman is the typical father we've seen so many times that wants his will to be done just because he's the father and his offspring is there just to serve him. From his point of view, he's not being abusive or doing anything wrong. He's just doing what society has been allowing him to do. In this sense, he's exactly like Chairman Seo and his son, who only value DanAh as a woman that must marry well to fulfill her duties as a daughter.

Regarding the leads, I do love them four, and all possible combinations among them. Their interactions are just a delight, and SeonGyeom and MiJoo are probably the cutest couple since SeRa and Gong in ITR. It took a while to see more of YoungHwa but I'm loving him. He's probably the less lonely of our quartet, and I love how observant and empathic he is: he is able to see more than the others (is it because of all the honey and love he received as a child?), he gets the doubts, the silences, and understands. You can see it in the way he looks at SG and DA. That smile is genuine and I hope is the key that will help open up the doors they have been keeping locked for so long.

On a lighter note: can we all fire ISW stylist, please? What has he done wrong to appear onscreen with all those terribly terrible outfits?

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The outfits! I thought I was the only one who thought they suck. They don't fit him right. The pants look weird, and the jackets have all this extra padding in addition to being baggy, when ISW already has such broad shoulders. Who put my guy in clothes like that? I second the motion to dismiss the stylist 😒🤦🏾‍♀️

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I was wondering if it was because now he's dressing himself, vs being dressed by Dan-ah's agency? And also because he's now wearing casual clothes more often? If it were because they were trying to show the awkwardness of his shift into non-athlete life, it would make more sense to me, but it's still awful either way tbh.

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LOL! hed his clothes are now that he's unemployed. And I love it when they coordinate the colors to go with Mi-joo's outfit.

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YES. When he showed up wearing that little scarf knotted at the neck with the blue sweater/sweatshirt, I just groaned; they keep dressing him like a woman twice his age.

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The neck scarf...I had to avert my eyes (*cringe*). I read on a MyDramaList thread that some people are really digging his look and giving his stylist massive props, and I'm just completely unable to connect the dots as to how they can have this opinion. I guess variety of opinion truly is the spice of life.

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I.... what. I prefer the theory that it's a character detail that he doesn't know how to dress himself.

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The stylist. Uff. Definitely needs to be replaced. Or ISW needs to take things into his own hands.

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Thank you, @eazal! And I agree, the loneliness of the characters and how it's portrayed is definitely one my favorite things about this show. (But I have so many favorite things... I'm a little scared of how much I love this one)

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Today's biggest plot twist was Young-hwa is younger than Tae-woong. We knew Young-hwa is a 24-year-old college student when Dan-ah asked Director Dong her son Ye-joon's age, who is 23 but started school early. How old is Dan-ah, who is even older than Myung-min?

Cute how in Sun-kyum's mind, a movie and drinks is a date. I hope she finds out he already saw this movie, even though he found it boring then too. I wished Sun-kyum had led Mi-joo away from his father berating her.

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I believe DanAh is at least 30, just as SeonGyeom.

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Thank you, @laica, your excellent recaps deepened my understanding of this episode, and I am grateful.
I am also appreciating the meta-view the drama offers into the the role and purpose of translation and the arts, especially as a non-korean. Just like Oh Hae Young Again opened my ears to the world of sound, Run On lays visible the process of trying to understand each other.

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I really love this drama, but does anyone else internally and externally scream when they see Sun Kyung dressed like a bad 1980s reject. Every single outfit my friend and I were like , Why, why why whey whyyyyyy? Otherwise spot on analysis, lol.

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His outfits are terrible. This drama is so spot on with the details, which makes his wardrobe even more inconceivable to me. I just don't see Sun Kyung wearing those clothes. He seems like a button down and slacks kind of guy. Maybe we are to assume his mom had her stylist pick out those clothes for him because the only people I've seen wear such atrocious outfits are celebrities.

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I totally agree, it doesn't fit his personality at all. There is one outfit, I think in the next episode that is a sweater collared shirt combo with a tail that was just wrong. I cried a little at the travesty of it all.

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I feel like he's the type of guy to go to a store to buy a simple shirt and then get convinced by a salesperson to buy an armload of ugly sweaters instead.

I actually think his terrible fashion is the reason why his mom sends him clothes for any event.

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I agree. It doesn't fit his personality. I don't think it's his mum, I mean why he would wear a handkerchief around his neck without his mum forcing him...

I wonder if it's ISW's choices because he really loves fashion in the real life.

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It's sad that it took alcohol for Sun-kyum to say out loud what he feels, that he feels the house won't be a home if there aren't Mi-joo nor May in it. I think Mi-joo was mad because he didn't say anything when she asked whether he was upset or not, but instead spent the night out. Since she didn't take his being a lightweight into account, she must have felt he deliberately "built wall". Their fight feels very much like a couple fight already, tho? ^^

So happy that our second couple is warming up. Dan-ah was piqued enough to personally go to Yong-hwa, his trick of bugging Secretary Jung finally comes to fruition, LOL. Absolutely dig that scene where he saw her waiting for him! They have a short but deep moment, so lovely to see Dan-ah comfortable enough to share her private grief with him.
Cheering for the wrist grab too, yayyy! And am still another puddle because of his smile...

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Am also wondering whether there's another loveline with Yeon-hwa's best friend, Director Dong's son. (Love the actor, btw, he played a bumbling Noryangjin student in Drinking Solo and a scary serial murderer in Children of A Lesser God, and he was so good those extremely opposite characters!). He's been giving these looks to Yeong-hwa, wonder where show is going to take this...

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I noticed it too, the looks he's been giving Young-hwa. These almost sad, slightly longing gazes. There has to be something behind it, right? I'm pretty sure there is, but you never know 🤷🏾‍♀️

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The relationship chart says he is secretly in love with YW so that explain his behavior. Poor guy have no change with his buddy.

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Aw, man. He does not stand a chance. YW is so clearly halfway in love with Dan Ah. Sigh.

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Noo, he'll have to face heartbreak T_T

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Oh thanks for this explanation. I kept wondering what his role in this show was, and why they showed him with that forlorn face in that scene. It's all cleared up now. Poor guy, though. No chance, looks like.

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Seon-gyum not expressing any curiosity about Mi-joo or not even sharing something as minor as who he was out all night with pretty much screams "Not interested in you, even as a friend." Earlier when she asked him if he's heading out, he was just like "yeah" and then she had to follow up with "where?". Then asked if she was heading out and didn't express any curiosity about where she's going. Then after the night out, when she asked who he was with, he was like "No one you know". I cringed so hard because it comes off really condescending and rude. In real life, you would normally go "oh, it's my new friend, Lee Young-hwa." And if you do want to share any part of your life with someone, you would also add how you know the guy. It frustrates Mi-joo because she's doing all the reaching out and is invested in their friendship. She feels like she's questioning him like a jealous gf when to him, she might as well be one of the many people who drift in and out of our lives.

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Yes! All of this!

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It is not so much as being "not interested", but inability to communicate or low eq. He could not explain with whom he was with as he probably did not catch YH name. He's quite guileless and cannot understand those signals and expectations from MJ. Thank you @laica for your astute observations and analysis.

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I'm curious - what do those orange paper bags that SK brought to DA's agency contain?

I'm ok but SK's baggy clothes, but that scarf round his neck is just awful to me.

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They need to fire his stylist.

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My guess was ginseng

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I was about to say PPL. But yeah, ginseng!

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@beantown @ar

Ahh, so it's ginseng! Thank you!

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Thanks for the recap @laica

Some of the many, many things I liked about this episode:

• Anytime Young hwa showed up
• When MJ was packing to leave and SK looked so sad when she said she'd be away for ten days
• The whole part with his parents at the movie theater
• When MJ took SK's hand at the end of the episode after telling his sad that she would 'find her place'

We stan an assertive female lead.

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Is it just me or can anyone else see that Assemblyman Ki actually loves his son? I certainly don't approve of how he shows it, and think that he is a terrible father. And yet, I can see that he genuinely does love the kid.

Also, Young-hwaaaaa!

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Yea, those scenes on his father make me wonder whether show is setting up a redemption arc. He still needs to eat a lot of crows for that to happen though, and definitely stop being a hypocrite about his so-called love.

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Well said

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People are complex and not all loves are pure. Assemblyman Ki no doubt loves his son- and wanting to marry him off to Dan-ah is no doubt good for his career but also a way of looking after his welfare (and don not buy the "just for two years" thing either- he is betting on his son and Dan-ah being in love with each other before the two years are up). Of course he would have a different opinion if he knew about Dan-ah's heart condition (sorry, no grandkids) because Assemblyman Ki's love for his son is the quintessence of a selfish love, even if it is real.

One of the themes of this show seems to be the impact of parental love or its lack. Dan-ah is not loved by her father (and her mother's love was obviously twisted by resentment of her father), and this is why she is unable to be a real sister to her younger half-brother. Sunk-kyum and his sister are loved, if badly by their father and distantly by their mother, and as a result have a loving relationship with each other as brother and sister. Mi-joo, as an orphan, feels the lack of parental love.

And then there is Young-hwa, the fourth member of our quartet, whose parents have obviously loved him and continue to love him with all their hearts. Those jars of honey say it all- and that he can give them away is wonderfully symbolic. He has no money but is the richest of the four members of our quartet.

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I loved reading your recap Laica. I was a bit confused and at times annoyed with MI-joo's behavior, but your explanation makes a lot of sense.

goodness! This is what happens when CEO Dan refuses to lend/sponsor clothes to SK? Please, give him back his clothes!

I am loving every character and I am happy to get to know them a little more each episode!

ISW is perfect. And so is the OST!

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》》 goodness! This is what happens when CEO Dan refuses to lend/sponsor clothes to SK? Please, give him back his clothes!《《

Lol! I like your comment! Yes, you could be right!

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I just loved this episode so much! That scene at the end, where Mi-joo grabs Sun-Kyum's wrist? Epic. The fierce determination on her face and the tiny smile on his made my heart flutter a bit.

I also loved the other side of Dan-ah we got a small glimpse of in this episode. I think I finally get why she's drawn to Young-Hwa and his art. At bottom, she's basically a dreamer, and she's had to suppress all those dreams to chase a much more pragmatic form of success. But the art appeals to the feelings she's keeping all locked up under the cool veneer of the hard professional. It will be interesting to see if Young-Hwa can break through to her (as he obviously wants to!) the way he has to an extent with Sun-Kyum.

The Ki family dynamic is really interesting. The parents obviously love their children and want the best for them. But Assemblyman Ki is too busy fashioning them into what he thinks success is (and maybe living vicariously through them) and their mother is a remote and detached object of affection. All Sun-Kyum and Eun-bi really have is each other (and piles of money that neither seems to be that fussed about).

One thing this episode made clear is that Sun-Kyum can afford to be all noble and self-sacrificing because his sister often shields him from the worst consequences. It was nice to see that they're both aware of that aspect of their relationship, but also that they both wear that knowledge pretty lightly.

(Aside: Eun-bi is terrific and needs to be in more scenes. Also, as often as he's mentioned, I hope we get to meet the (in)famous Ryan some day, if only to see if Eun-bi wants to hug him or punch him in the face, lol).

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Is Ryan a thing when it comes to names in k-dramas? Because every time he comes up in convo, "Ryan Gold!" just screams through my brain. And as someone in the 0.00001% of people who did not take whatsoever to Ryan Gold in Her Private Life, I cringe and hope she gets him out of her system stat.

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Ha! I didn't even think of that, but if this Ryan is anything like that Ryan, Eun-bi should just run far far away.

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I am so relieved to know that I am not the only one who feels this way. 😆

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Ok this is super late, haha, but I’m intrigued by that statement! How come you weren’t a fan of Ryan Gold? On another forum I saw he was number 1 on the list for best K-drama boyfriends, so I’m curious to hear your perspective >_<

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I see that a lot, too, and I'm always puzzled by that. 😉 I think it's partly personal taste and partly the way the show was written. I really didn't like him in the beginning (crabby, arrogant, firing Deok-mi on a power trip), but that's not surprising at first. Then he seemed generally okay (he was worried about discrimination and later was cool with her hard-core fangirling). But the second half of the drama basically became The Ryan Gold show, all about his various traumas and Deok-me the ever-steadfast girlfriend helping him overcome it all. I mean, the drama is called Her Private Life. It makes sense to share sides of both the OTP, I felt like Deok-mi's story was completely subsumed by his suffering artist thing. It's fickle and subjective, but I never managed to move past it, and I didn't drop it because of Park Min-young.

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We got to know how lonely Sun-Kyun was his entire life. He has gotten used to it so much that he does not know how to behave when someone tries to be part of his life.

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I know ISW is the star attraction for most, but I just wanted to shower some love also upon SSK, who's really shining here, and improving on her sassy FL type in Rookie Historian! I am so happy she's doing two straight roles where the FL is smart and capable and holds her own in the world (except when she puts on her candy coat - occasionally in this drama too). I hope FLs like this become the norm.

And while I'm yet to warm up to the second leads, Sooyoung's got the alpha female down pat, which is a much-needed foil to the three betas (ML and 2ML and FL) that we have otherwise. Soccer shoes to work should become the norm, I say. Who doesn't want to go out and play a game during and after work?!

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I've always been very fond of SSK, but I think she has particularly hit her stride with Rookie Historian and Run On. I see her development as an actress with each role she's in, and I long may the trend continue. I also agree the Mi-joo seems to be part of a new generation of FLs we've seen in the last year or so - women with both heart and grit who are both strong and vulnerable, dynamic and flawed. I'm totally in for this!

Dan-ah is growing on me with each episode, and I really love in general how this drama gives us all four of our leads in various combos and makes each mix interesting.

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I didn’t really notice her before, until Rookie historian happened. And I am so glad her next project is Run on!!

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I really like the way this series has managed to show the growing attraction/regard between the two leads. It is very natural and uncontrived unlike most other kdramas, in the sense that there are no dramatic catching-in-the-arm sequences or unrealistic gestures of love. It shows how regular people end up falling for each other and even how them trying to gauge the other person awkwardly in those initial days can be very heart fluttering for the audience.

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