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Run On: Episode 9

Our protagonists make some progress with their reconciliation, and work hard to get on the same page with each other. But wires are getting crossed all over the place this episode, between all sorts of people. We’re treated to a lesson on the power of a single word, and how difficult communication can be, especially when emotions are raw.

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

The morning after that swoonworthy sickbed scene (better than an Episode 8 kiss!), Mi-joo wakes alone, but Sun-kyum has left medicine and water for her. She glimpses her bedraggled appearance in the mirror, and pouts at him having seen her this way.

Sun-kyum is already in the hotel dining room when Mi-joo goes down, and she joins him for breakfast. He asks worriedly how she is, saying she looks better, and she says bluntly that she’s prettier this morning because of her makeup. “You were beautiful yesterday too,” he says, silencing her on the subject.

She apologizes for calling him here so abruptly, and wonders why he came so easily when they could have put him to work doing something terrible. He says plainly that he came because Mi-joo is here. Wow, just slay me continuously, why don’t you.

She asks if he was angry when she called, but he says he was happy because it feels like this time, he didn’t miss his chance to treat her well.

Mi-joo introduces Sun-kyum to James, the lead actor; Sun-kyum will be James’ boyfriend’s driver. Sun-kyum drives the two men to the set, and Mi-joo tells him his main job will be waiting. He settles in with an empty journal. Mi-joo brings him coffee, and he tells her he doesn’t know what to write.

She tells him to write in his journal later, and shares her login info so he can stream a movie on his phone. Once she’s gone, he puts the phone away and writes short factual statements in his diary. Heh.

Young-hwa tutors his friend Ye-joon’s little sister, Ye-chan. As eager to distract him from math as always, she offers to help with the synopsis he has to write for his hated film class. It’s a romance—as he describes the scene, he and Dan-ah act it out in his imagination.

Ye-chan points out that he’s just copied the famous umbrella scene from Temptation of Wolves.

At nightfall, Sun-kyum is still struggling with his diary, and complains to Mi-joo that writing is hard. (I feel you, bro.) She tells him to write whatever he feels—it’s not as though anyone but him will see it. He absorbs this epiphany.

She leaves him to it again and he goes back to writing short, robotic sentences, smiling this time. Sun-kyum considers his entry for yesterday, where he has written, I came to an unfamiliar place. Mi-joo was sick. He adds, I was scared.

Young-hwa wonders aloud to Ye-joon, who’s watching him paint, if he’s bitten off more than he can chew with this commission. Ye-joon asks how he knows when a painting’s complete, and Young-hwa says sometimes that moment comes the same day he starts—and sometimes never.

Ye-joon asks why Young-hwa met with Dan-ah. The business students all recognized her immediately—she’s an executive director at one of the biggest conglomerates in Korea. He asks if Dan-ah is Young-hwa’s “Rapunzel,” and his friend laughs it off with a joke. But Young-hwa’s smile fades as he wonders what Dan-ah meant by his art being “dark and unsettling.”

Eun-bi reluctantly joins her father for golf with his friends. He asks eagerly how it’s going with Ryan, and she warns Assemblyman Ki away from him. Despite signing with Dan-ah, she’s agreed to these golf outings—so he’d better keep his promise too.

Young-il calls Sun-kyum for his regular grumpy check-in…and shows up at the set while Sun-kyum is writing in his diary about how he doesn’t know why Young-il is coming to see him. OMG, this deadpan bromance kills me.

Young-il complains that Sun-kyum didn’t come to see him even when he’s so close to the training center. Sun-kyum seems unaffected by Young-il’s presence, but he tells him to be careful on his motorcycle, and introduces him to Mi-joo as his friend. (Mi-joo: “You have friends?”)

Sun-kyum gets called away, and Young-il asks Mi-joo awkwardly what she and Sun-kyum are to each other. Mi-joo says she’s not quite sure yet. Young-il’s surprised to see her around, since it’s been over a month since the Jeju trip, and usually girls who chase Sun-kyum give up after a month because he’s so boring. Mi-joo remarks that Sun-kyum doesn’t bore her at all.

Later, Young-il asks Sun-kyum why he doesn’t come back to running—what’s Young-il supposed to do without him? Sun-kyum tells him to keep coming first like always, but Young-il says that before he had Sun-kyum to motivate him. Sun-kyum admits that he was able to consistently get second for the same reason. Young-il wonders if track would’ve been more popular if Sun-kyum were the top athlete instead.

We flash back to a memory of Woo-shik taking a picture of the three of them, and Young-il sighs that he didn’t even know what was going on—Woo-shik smiled all the time, so Young-il thought he was happy.

Sun-kyum says he hopes Woo-shik comes back and runs so well he shows them all. Young-il’s surprised at this sentiment from Sun-kyum, who says he wishes he could promise that he’d remove every obstacle from Woo-shik’s path. Young-il assures Sun-kyum that Woo-shik still has a chance.

Due to a disagreement between the movie star, James, and the film’s production team, James goes MIA, and the staff are in a panic. Thankfully, Sun-kyum brings James back to the set against his wishes.

Not only does Julie, the Korean producer, blame the staff when she’s the one at fault, the American cinematographer who caused the whole problem yells racist insults at Mi-joo and the other staff.

When she stands up to him, he starts swearing at her, so she gives as good as she gets. Sun-kyum silently gives Mi-joo thumbs ups from the car as she drops F-bombs. HA.

Into this lovely scene strides the city mayor, accompanied by Assemblyman Ki. Ki asks Mi-joo to translate for him, and as they walk he assures her he’ll push for the city to approve the funding the film still needs. Mi-joo might be a “passing acquaintance” in his son’s life, but he wants to treat her with value. He apologizes for what happened at the theater.

He picks at Sun-kyum for being a lowly driver, but Sun-kyum tells him to just leave. Once he’s gone, Mi-joo grimaces that she’s become indebted to Assemblyman Ki. Sun-kyum says he can’t figure out what the man is up to.

Julie tells Mi-joo to get lost—the cinematographer doesn’t want to see her on set anymore. She takes great pleasure in passing on the message. Mae-yi is going home today, but Mi-joo doesn’t let on that she’s been fired a day before the end of the project as she says goodbye.

Sun-kyum finds Mi-joo morosely drinking alone that evening. He’s brought her a glass for her soju, and food to eat. Moved, she thanks him for his hard work since he came. She tells him his name will even be in the credits as a driver. He says he’s happy that both their names will be there, together.

Mi-joo says that when they see the credits roll it’ll feel worth it to put up with so much, seeing the names of others who worked so hard alongside them. Sun-kyum acknowledges how exhausting it must have been for Mi-joo the past few days.

She replies that she’s careful of every message she relays, but others can so easily throw around words that secure funding, discriminate against or fire someone. “Should I just get lost? Go back to Seoul?”

“Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. I thought I’d be the one to say it for once,” he says with an adorable smile, referencing Young-il’s earlier advice to him. Mi-joo smiles back at him and says she suddenly, for once, feels like she could do anything. He’s a good influence on her. Sun-kyum feeds her a seaweed wrap.

Young-hwa’s feeling the pressure of final assignments and Dan-ah’s commission, and like many a student at semester’s end, having an existential crisis. He asks a friend if he’s ever had someone notice something he hid in a painting—for Young-hwa, it was the first time.

Mi-joo finishes her work the next day, appeasing the cinematographer with a perfunctory apology. She gives her friend a warm goodbye and goes to find Sun-kyum. She teases him about his popularity; the female staff let her know where he was, and Young-il came to see him.

Sun-kyum says he’s the one who’s always liked Young-il. He used to follow him around, amazed by how Young-il always drew the same lane and got first place. “I’m more amazed at this moment,” says Mi-joo. “I’m glad I waited for you.” They lapse into a bashful silence and watch the water.

At the hotel, Sun-kyum gives Mi-joo a pair of sneakers as a thank-you gift for letting him stay with her, and informs her he’s already moved his things out of her apartment. Hurt, she asks why he’s only telling her now, and says that whenever she thinks they’ve gotten closer, it feels as though he’s pushing her away. She’s not angry, she explains, but this is what she meant by him putting those walls between them.

He reiterates that there are no walls, and he wouldn’t want her to be outside them. She says she doesn’t either. “If I’ve become boring, just say that,” says Sun-kyum, looking braced for rejection. Mi-joo says that when she’s with him, she feels left out at the most important moments. “I hate this,” she mutters, and goes into her room.

And returns immediately, to assure Sun-kyum she didn’t mean him, but her own pathetic state. She asks him not to hate her. He tells her he doesn’t—he’s been doing what she asked him to all along: liking her. But Mi-joo says that was her being brave, not asking for a favor. She tells him they shouldn’t go back together, or she’ll say something she regrets. Ahhhh someone help these two dense idiots out!

Woo-shik calls Sun-kyum on the drive home, and they make a date to meet the next day. Sun-kyum apologizes to Woo-shik for making him call first.

Dan-ah and Young-hwa run into each other. Young-hwa says happily that he’s missed her, and she says she’s been waiting for updates. He tells her he’s exhausted with schoolwork, but she doesn’t see why that should matter. He tells her she has garbage empathy skills. She asks if she’s recyclable at least, and he calls her cute and walks off, leaving her sputtering.

Dan-ah keeps thinking of him later that night. “Am I cute?” she asks Mr. Jung, batting her eyes. He laughs awkwardly.

Sun-kyum helps Woo-shik with his grandma’s cleaning work. Woo-shik thanks Sun-kyum for the hotel room, and asks where he’s been staying. Sun-kyum says he lived with Mi-joo, and Woo-shik asks in shock if they’re cohabiting before marriage. Did Sun-kyum propose already? Pfft.

When Sun-kyum asks about his future plans, Woo-shik says that in sports, he’ll always be seen as a whistleblower, and his grandma would love for him to be a civil servant. Sun-kyum tells him to care less about what others will think and figure himself out. Woo-shik admits that he does still want to be an athlete, but he feels like he shouldn’t. He promises to think more about what he wants. Sun-kyum offers to be a sounding board.

After another unpleasant encounter with Fake Oppa Myung-min, who goads her for not having a painting to put in the gallery yet, Dan-ah barges into Young-hwa’s studio. She demands he hand over her painting—she’s been insulted enough by “the bastard I was going to humiliate with your painting.”

Young-hwa’s disappointed to learn his art was only a means to prop up her reputation, but she doesn’t care about the person behind the painting. If he’s going to keep wasting her time, she snaps, he can give up—there are other vending machines she can get art from. Ouch.

He picks up a palette and smears it all over the painting he was working on—which she belatedly realizes was for her. “You ruined it,” he says. She protests that it’s her painting, but he responds, “It’s mine. Until I hand the painting over to you, it’s mine.”

 
COMMENTS

Oof, both our couples are at cross purposes now. Communication continues to be a major theme in this drama, and this hour we saw how hard it can be to communicate effectively even when everyone involved has sincere intentions. I’ve talked before about how refreshingly honest all four leads are, but now that they’re getting closer, it’s clear honesty isn’t always enough, and can sometimes even be detrimental. The same bluntness and lack of filter that Mi-joo initially found charming is now hurting her, because it feels to her as though Sun-kyum isn’t considering her feelings before he speaks—or, at the very least, that he doesn’t understand what she wants from him. She’s trying her best to explain, but it’s hard when he doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know. And Mi-joo’s tendency to put her own walls up instinctually whenever she feels threatened doesn’t help.

There’s also the fact they are different in almost every way—his favorite food is a traumatic memory for her; he’s an adult with a career behind him, but in many practical matters, as Mi-joo observes, he’s a babe in the woods. Mi-joo shares her movie streaming account with him, but he’d rather write in his journal. (To anyone else, sharing that password is basically a confession of love! But Sun-kyum doesn’t even blink.) And then there’s the wording, from both Young-il and Assemblyman Ki, about women being fleeting acquaintances to Sun-kyum, which he indirectly brings up when he asks if Mi-joo has become bored of him during their confrontation. No wonder she’s insecure.

They fundamentally don’t communicate, think, or form human bonds the same way, and that’s on top of their huge class difference. But what I appreciate so much about this drama is that it shows us Mi-joo and Sun-kyum putting in the work, even if it’s painful and hard, to get through to each other. Even now, I don’t get the sense that either of them has given up. Mi-joo needs a bit of space, but they’ve admitted to each other that they want closeness even if their wires ultimately crossed. And any observer can see how obviously goofy they are for each other—it’s just a matter of them explaining it to each other in a language they both understand. Mi-joo is the translator, but Sun-kyum is trying hard to meet her halfway. He’s learning to express his feelings bit by bit, as we saw with the journal and his various weird expressions of comfort and support. Even the announcement that he’s moved out came with a thoughtful gift. If Mi-joo sharing her movie app with him was a type of intimacy, what about him bringing her cups and food; unwrapping and breaking apart Mi-joo’s chopsticks for her; being pleased that their names will be in the credits together?

Because we saw how hard Sun-kyum was trying, at first I felt like Mi-joo overreacted. But I understood better when I recalled Mi-joo’s frustration with the difference between how carefully she chooses every word, and how those with power over her speak so easily, careless of the destructive consequences. She’s felt all along that she was the more invested and vulnerable one, so I hope she recognizes soon that Sun-kyum was not, in fact, “doing her a favor” at all. I’m also really glad Sun-kyum is making an effort to hold on to his friendships with Young-il and Woo-shik—especially awkward marshmallow Young-il, who’s become one of my favorite characters. It’s good to see Sun-kyum’s social circle slowly expand.

Another of my favorite things about Run On is how it depicts work, possibly the best portrayal I’ve ever seen in K-drama. This episode was so much about the artistic struggle that I felt a little called out. We got an up-close look at more of the hardships of filmmaking, Sun-kyum sweated over writing a simple account of his day, and poor Young-hwa had the unenviable task of finding artistic inspiration while in the middle of finals. I know from experience that the more pressure you feel to come up with a brilliant piece of art, the blanker and more numb your mind begins to feel. On top of that, Young-hwa discovered that the painting he was putting his heart and soul into, trying his best to make it worthy of hanging in a gallery, was simply a tool in Dan-ah’s power struggle with someone else. Not only has he been totally crushing on her since they first met, he implied that Dan-ah noticed something only he knows about his art. Her comments about his paintings having a dark uneasiness to them must have made him feel seen in a way that only inflated his infatuation for her—so the revelation that she has no respect for his artistic process, or him as a person, was probably devastating.

As much as I love Sun-kyum and Mi-joo, I’m becoming more and more invested in Dan-ah and Young-hwa too. More so even than our protagonists, they’re having a fascinating clash of worlds and values. Dan-ah is constantly confrontational, because her fiercely competitive upbringing has made that the only way she knows to deal with others—she wields words like weapons. Young-hwa is a natural peacemaker, but she’s finally pushed him too far, and the puppy has bitten back for once. I can’t wait to see where their dynamic goes, because Dan-ah might act as though Young-hwa is just a commission to her, but as we saw in this episode, he absolutely gets to her. Maybe it’s his turn to freeze her out now, and hers to pursue him—not just professionally, but personally.

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Thanks for the recap @laica.

Loved this episode, just like I do the next one, and did the previous ones. It wasn't till this episode before I understood why Dan-ah likes Young-hwa's art: because there is a darkness to them. Finding out about this aspect of YH serves to make him more interesting. I don't mind if we never find out the reason for the darkness, because not everyone's reasons for doing things have to be explained. But I can't deny that I'm curious. He's such an upbeat person that it didn't occur to me that he could have any negativity.

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Maybe he is upbeat BECAUSE of his art? Some people direct their negativity in the art/work and seem upbeat in every other aspect of their life.

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I hadn't actually thought about it this way, but it certainly makes for an excellent theory. By channeling his negativity into his art, YH is able to maintain his cheery exterior. If this is the case, I hope painting is therapeutic for him, and provides him with the expulsion of negative energy that he needs.

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It is easy to see why you are son vested in Dan-ah and Young-wha: The confrontation between them at the end of episode 9 was simply epic. It showed us so much about their differences, including their class difference and their age difference. Dan-ah is more mature in her attitude- and given that she is six years older she should be. Yet that very maturity limits her vision and blinds her to possibilities- she is too set in her ways. Young-hwa is - or maybe now was- an infatuated young man who had a serious crush on her. He wanted to be seen as a person, not a tool. Of course he got crushed by her words- and reacted in a very destructive way (because after all, he is still young). Welcome to adulthood Young-wha.

Before we get too mad at Dan-ah could I point something out? Dan-ah, but set in her aristocratic ways is doing what she was taught to do. Yes she should see Young-wha as the person that he is- and subconsciously she wants to which is why she is so fascinated by him. But what about Young-wha? Isn't it possible that he is not seeing Dan-ah as the person that she is? Isn't he enamored of a vision of the beautiful sophisticated woman rather than Dan-ah the real human being.

In a sense even though they are coming from different directions and perspectives they are making the same mistake. Which is why this blow-up was so important. Even as the scales fall from Young-wha's eyes the result is that he is seeing the real Dan-ah for the first time. And perhaps Dan-ah has experienced that as well- but in any case she now knows that she actually matters to Young-wha and not because he wants to advance his career as an artist. We have seen her younger half-sibling tell her that her hatred is better than his family's indifference because it least it means that he matters to her. Now she knows that there is someone else in the would to whom she matters.

It will be interesting to watch this story unfold.

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I totally agree with you about DanAh. She just reacts to the world as she's been told. She's a successful businesswoman who measures life as her success in business and she needs to beat his brother, because that's what she's been doing all her life: fighting to get back what she considers it's her by right.
She's nice and good hearted, I'm sure of that, but she's learned she has to run her life as a business, and that's why she puts aside people and things that will not help her in her success: like SeonGyeom, TaeWoong or the painting.
And she's beginning to crack a little because of how Young Hwa behaves around her and because, as you pointed out, she sees something else in his paintings. She even wonders if she's cute. He's getting personal and she doesn't seem to know how to deal with it, because it's not just business and, imo, that's why her reaction with him was so visceral, not only because of her confrontation with her brother.

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I'm glad for this confrontation too. I agree that Young-hwa had been holding her up on a pedestal, picturing her as this Rapunzel while he gets to be Lee Young-hwa. He knew nothing of her except that she's beautiful, successful, snarky, and likes soccer. It was about time for him to really see her.

And while Dan-ah is usually really smooth in dealing with conflict and even in doling out demands, this was the first time she sounded sharp and agitated. The conflict with her family is starting to take a toll on her.

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The confrontation needed to happen in order for them to expel their assumptions about one another, so I was happy when it did. Also, as usual, the back and forth between them during that scene was super entertaining.

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This episode gives me insight why YeongHwa likes DanAh very much, yes he likes him because she's pretty. But more than that, Yeonghwa triggered that DanAh is able to see what he hides in his paintings. Finally their coupling make sense!!! I love Mijoo and SeonGyeom relationship. But in ep 9 and 10, DanAh and YeongHwa grab my full attention XD.
Thank you for the recap!!!

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I'm sounding like a broken record now but damn, I LOVE this drama!

The way it tackles communication is something I haven't seen or not as detailed as this. Because usually it's about how different a couple is in terms of class and not them as a person. It's refreshing and can't get enough of it.

The changes in SK's expressions makes me melt. That smile in the hotel dining area? Ranting about writing his journal? Bringing snacks to MJ? Sharing excitedly about Young-il in that anchor thing by the sea? Basically, every time SK is on the screen xD Also, give me more scenes with SK and YI!

While YA's change in expression in the last scene was chilling. That sudden change will keep DA up at night. That moment also made me a Kang Tae-oh fan, I might go back to Tale of Nokdu.

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Kang Tae Oh taught us an acting lesson in that scene.

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He did. Made me want to see more of him.

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That was classic KTO, and yes!, it reminded me of Tale of Nokdu too! This seems to be becoming a signature style of his, to switch between happy and angry in an instant. I loved it!!

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He's amazing at it! Here's to hoping he'll get more and more roles after this.

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i really love Seonkyeom and Mijoo conversation. some people might think she is overacting but i do understand where is she come from. he was planning to move out and moving out by himself not talking to her, he even gives her a "thankyou" gift. it does feel like he putting up a wall between them. but i understand Seonkyeom too, he never live with actual people or family around him so this is the usual way he treat others. its actually kinda sad watching him trying so hard to understand Mijoo's language and feelings. there is miscommunication but not in a frustrating way so and we believe our leads gonna fix it later so its so refreshing to watch.

im actually shook watching Younghwa angry at Danah. its scary when a puppy-type of person is really angry. Danah deserves it tho.

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Thanks so, so much for the recap and wonderful comments, Laica. As always, I love them as much as the episode!

There's very little I can add about the main subject of this drama (communication and translating) that you haven't said. As someone who's not a native English speaker, I felt so close to MiJoo and her "choosing the right word", because as much as sometimes I want to say something I know so many things get lost in my translation, those little nuances and subtle differences, when my own languages have 10 words to call something that can be named only one in English...

I loved MiJoo and SeonGyeom together and their struggles to not put up their walls; MiJoo shouting the F word to some very rude people; SeonGyeom expanding his affection circle and them both taking care for each other. But the thing I liked the most was DanAh and YoungHwa. I love they are not just a secondary couple who's there just to fill in the empty spaces (are there really any empty spaces in this drama?). Their conflict is real and I feel YH can the be one who makes DA realize that life can be also a soccer game she can enjoy and not only a competition, that people that surround her are not there only to serve her and be used by her, but her soccer team mates and that she needs them to be happy, not just to be a successful businesswoman. I know that being a successful businesswoman is important for her and I totally support her, but that cannot be her only goal in life, but being happy.

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I call Dad scenes as empty xD I still watch it but skips it on my 2nd watch.

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Oh snap! Such a brilliant connection to DA's history as a footie player. It's not a sport that can be played solo (like golf or running) so it is a perfect path for her to remember how it felt to channel her intense competitive nature. If DA can re-connect with the memories of teamwork and shared victories/defeats, she's on the way to regaining a little of her humanity. Maybe her agency should sponsor a women's club!

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This drama makes me feel all fluffy throughout the episode! And somehow I end up rooting for all the character regardless (well, except the coach and SG's dad once in a while, but I have to say, some scene do soften me even for him)... I love this show and all the 4 leads seem to have this explosive chemistry between them regardless of which combination of the 4 is on screen.

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Thanks for the recap, @laica. Your analysis of Dan-ah's style of communicating reminded me that's she's the prince charming to Young-hwa's Cinderella. And I think it's about time that
DA learn from the putdown that YW told her. Maybe she can threaten him with all her connections but then she will be losing one of the best artists that she want to show to the world. Go Young-hwa!

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The bullying continues. Julie, the Korean producer, the American cinematographer, and Dan-ah. It was so good to see Mi-joo come right back at the cinematographer, but disappointing to see her have to apologise again. The fireworks between Dan-ah and Young-hwa were epic. I loved that he confronted her over her attitude towards his work and her values. The reference to peasants was unsettling. It's so good that she was unsettled by the confrontation. She is an interesting character - a business woman born into a horrible family who have little regard for each other, and who can even hurt each other routinely. I'm looking forward to the development in her relationship with Young-hwa. Im Shi-wan continues to be a treasure.

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Soo-young's acting in that scene was AMAZING. You can see it in her eyes that YA's outburst was affecting her.

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She is naturally drawn to people who speak their mind and are not afraid of her or her position.
Same reason she warmed up to MIJoo.

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Yes. That's why she's also drawn to YA or seems interested. She also seems hurt on an emotional level on YA's sudden anger.

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That’s always been the case isn’t it. MJ steps up when she is wronged but eventually has to buckle to set things straight because she is at the bottom of the food chain. (First was the professor and now this guy).
While SK can afford to fight for what’s wrong and choose to hold his stance till the end. It does affect him, but he is not fighting for his day to day survival.
I think she made this distinction very clear early on. About how she has to keep facing such incidents in her life. (One of the reason she never told him she returned the money because it doesn’t change the fact she will be in a position to be offered money again by the rich and powerful).

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As upseting as it might be for some it's quite real,like u mentioned,it was great seeing Mi Joo stand for herself but at the end of the day her reality is that she is at the bottom of the food chain and isin't in the position to do what she wants and say and just walk away without any care even more in her line of work as crossing the wrong person can very well make all major gigs banning her and we know some are quite petty and helg long time grudges...Like we saw,she worked so much for them and just that outburst made her go home.

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So true. It's easy to forget how precarious her work is and how easily she can be passed over for new work. With that in mind, her ability to speak up is impressive. She is definitely impulsive and that's part of the reason why she speaks first and regrets later, but she's good for Seon-gyeom because she has made him think about taking more care of himself, as well as he does for others. They are good for each other, as I think Young-hwa and Dan-ah are going to be too. It's nice mirroring with people from different socio-economic backgrounds.

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Mi-joo is so professional it hurts, how many times has she swallowed her pride for the sake of finishing the job? All because she wants to finish the job in her high standard. On the other hand, love how matter-of-fact show is about the working world; sh*t happens, but if at the end of the day, you have somebody feeding you anju while you're drinking your trouble away, you'll be able to face the next day...

Am kinda disappointed with the cinematographer, he seems quite reasonable on the previous episode but become a standard small-minded racist on the next. That bouncing f words are so deserved! Surely this is the most numbers of it being said in a drama, cracked me up so bad!

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Finally I came across an Asian supermarket in Brest and I bought one bottle of soju 😁 and of course other things. I was soo curious and I can describe it exactly like what it taste like - very light version of young malt whisky. Whisky is around 40% of alcohol, soju 21%. I love whisky but can't finish that soju bottle. People in Korea are drinking on daily basis? With their high protein diet it must be a killer for their liver and stomachs. Anyway I made myself vegan japchae yesterday and it was beautifully delicious.

I love that Mi Joo told to that freaking director those words. I've met lot of ignorant people because I've lived like a foreigner almost half of my life and that kind of people can suck energy and life from anybody. Go girl!

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Soju is too sweet for me. I didn’t particularly enjoy it. But I think it goes down easily and hence people seem to be able to drink it like shots.
Now I want to try making japchae!!

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Try somaek (Soju +beer) with the beer it taste a little less sweet and more refreshing.
Aha same i didn't cook but order japche (the perks to live in Lyon) watching the épisode it makes me feel a little in Korea ^^.

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On the subject of soju/alcohol from what I observe Mi-joo is a moderately heavy drinker and Seon-gyeom is almost a teetotaler. That could become an issue in their relationship.

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Heavy drinker - I've worked once with an Irish fellow who drank 16 pints of Guinness during the evening and at 5 am he was working with us. You couldn't tell... ( His wife was very charming and caring and an abstinent so that kind of relationship could work without problems.)

I used to be a heavy drinker myself but it changed and now I don't enjoy alcohol at all and don't support it well. My classmate from highschool drank 1 glass of wine and she became totally wasted so I was joking at that time that it was brilliant because she didn't need to spend too much money "to have fun" and she was very amusing. Now I can't allow myself to get drunk - that's the responsibility of being a mom and I don't like that wasted day after with headaches anymore because the body has a sugar levels shock, the day after seems exceptionally long and I don't like to behave like an grumpy old dog . Drinking alcohol is such a cultural bond in our societies that now it makes me feel left out but I don't care anymore It's for the better 😉

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The difference in the languages is what the leads are struggling now. I read somewhere that since sun kyum is an athelete he does things for people to show his love and mijoo a person working with words need words for expression. Its the same as having different languages of love. I really liked the confrontation between the both pair of leads. This drama gives every character their own space and does not rush the character. Even the minor ones are given time to feel authentic without dragging it down. And each of the 4 leads have their own worlds own friendships and does'nt neglect the people around them just to make time for the main leads interactions. Like mijoo saying a warm goodbye to the PD and how close they have become by sharing and working a difficult experience together. I really liked that scene. And followed by the beautiful anchor scene. I was just as amazed by mijoo when sun kyum was talking very animatedly. So cute!!! And imagine her and my suprise when he said that he has moved out. I felt as bewildered as mijoo. But I understood him and even mijoo came around and apologized and asked for more time which was very sensible of her. Poor sunkyum he looked so lost. I didnt expect this side from young hwa. I really liked how he smeared the painting in his frustation. Sometimes you just get angry and do things without thinking about the consequences. Soo young is killing in this role. Her caring about the environment made me love her even more.

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To be more specific, she's caring for the environment because it's where she lives in so she needs to take care of it. I think it was pretty funny and true to her character. I think I actually laughed out loud when she said she supported polar bears and dolphins as well.

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These two! As frustrating as it was watching these two take two steps forward and then take few steps backwards, I sorta understand. It’s not easy to form a deep understanding without effort. Especially with these two being so diametrically opposite in many ways. I love how they both care for each other. Whether it’s SK opening chopsticks for her or MJ bringing coffee between her shoot breaks. It’s these little things. I don’t care for grand gestures, and these daily thoughtful things are what matters to me. So I am confident these two will cross this bump and get together soon :)

It was hard watching YH lash out. He was so hurt that his whole obsession over her and the connection he saw was all in his head. His frustration felt real. I am curious how their relationship will unfold too. Even though I see YH crush as a Noona crush and not fully invested in it, I am curious how the show will take this forward.

And what is the point of the idol younger brother!?

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It feels like OMJ and KSK are dancing on tiptoes around each other!

Yes on the idol younger brother - unless later on in the show there's some grand emotional outburst and reconciliation involving him, DanAh and YongHwa. (I kinda see that coming, especially given how curious bro is about YH).

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Am really anticipating Tae-woong meeting Young-hwa! Besides thinking it's going to be fun, Tae-woong can sure use some of Young-ha inner sunshine.

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Mi-joo was worrying about Seon-gyeom, and he kept reminding her that he's a grown-up, and he is, but he’s also so innocent about some things. Like the journal. He was so adorable trying to figure out what to write. I’m gong to need to see more entries.

Seon-gyeom was looking at Mi-joo with hearts in his eyes. I understood why she was confused about his feelings and needed space though. Getting close only to be told that he moved out and then the “You asked me to like you …” was a lot to take in.

Young-hwa and Dan-ah’s confrontation at the end was intense but also contained one of my favorite lines of the series:

Dan-ah: Garbage? Am I at least recyclable? That matters.

I almost want someone to call me garbage so I can steal this response.

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I remember in another kdrama, there was an insult about someone being so terrible they are a type of garbage that can't even be recycled. I was like ouch!

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i've been rewatching healer, so i can say for certain that chae young-shin uses it on the evil agency owner guy!

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“ Dan-ah: Garbage? Am I at least recyclable? That matters.”

It will be interesting to see if 2021 produces a better line!

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Thanks, Laica, for the recap and for covering the theme of communication and how the drama portrays work. The work scenes have surprisingly been a pleasure to watch too. Other dramas have depicted the mechanics of the work, but don't delve much deeper than that.

I LOLed when Young-il asked Mi-joo to help find the person in the picture on his phone. It was a pic of Young-il with Seon-kyum in the background. Seon-kyum being in the background of a pic just seems so Seon-kyum-ish. Seon-kyum does seem to have this ability to draw people in. Even Young-il can't help but visit him.

It was pretty upsetting how everyone just assumes Mi-joo is just a passerby in Seon-kyum life - even Seon-kyum. It was so cringe when Seon-kyum introduced Mi-joo to Young-il as his former translater. And it's also sad that Seon-kyum expects Mi-joo to get tired of him.
He's got a lot of people who just gave up on him because his communication style can be too frustrating for the long-term. Anyone who wants to keep up the relationship will have to make adjustments and go to him and put in a lot of investment.

I think it works out perfectly that Seon-kyum's met Mi-joo who is better equipped than most to translate and is understanding of the nuances of language. Even so, it can still be tiring and unfair for Mi-joo to have to invest a lot more into the relationship than Seon-kyum. I love seeing the two try to bridge that gap. I'm glad when she came out of the hotel room to quickly clarify that she doesn't hate him and that it was her own frustration with herself.

That ending scene with Young-hwa and Dan-ah was sort of hot. I'm like just stop arguing and just make out. Jump into that romantic/sexy scene in an art studio cliche! But this is not that sort of drama.

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Totally agree about the hotness of the fight at the end! Kinda feels like we have two interesting OTPs and loving both of them; Mi-joo + Sun-kyum feels like refreshing pastel colours while Dan-ah + Young-hwa feels like expressive oil painting ><

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Thank you for explaining that hotel scene, @laica. Like everyone else in this show, I can’t understand half of what I’m hearing—actually more like 90%—but I think the detached way everyone is speaking, like not really listening to the other person, is making this harder fir me to follow than usual. I still like it, a lot, but I’m left every week wondering what I missed!

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Same! I keep thinking of what the alternate meaning of every line could be. I'm sure this show is a much more interesting watch for a native Korean speaker, than for us foreign-language speakers :/

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Sun-kyum on the set is a delight, he might look as innocent as a babe, but he's definitely using that brain of his, all for Mi-joo's sake. His appearing and disappearing knowledge of English sure works like a charm!

Can't help notice that what he wrote in the diary rhymed ><
His "I was scared" just wrenched my heart. Was he scared of losing Mi-joo, or scared realizing how deep his feeling is for her? Whatever it is, he only wrote that when she told him the diary is only for him to see. So sad that he feels it's not something he wants to share...

Was confused when he wanted to move out while he was quite aware that he likes her. But remembering how he "brought himself up", guess for him love doesn't really equate with closeness; he is clearly unused in sharing the same space (or anything, really) for a long time, even with those he feels affectionate with.

There's so much of what she feels as "putting up walls" is his norm, it's frustrating yet also gratifying to see both are trying hard because they felt deeply for each other.

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The English comment made me wonder how much of what had been said so far he had actually understood. (And why did he need a translator. And why did his sister ask him - in an earlier eipsode - if he understood what OMJ was doing, when she was targetting the reporter for ignoring him.).

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Young-il was kyopta in this episode! If I had to pick a side character I'd like to see more of, it would be him rather than Dan-ah's little bro, tbh.

The show has already tweaked the drama formula considerably, by not adhering to the halfway-point confession trope. In similar vein, it feels as though the drama is trying to topload the show with noble idiocy (esp on the part of the ML - 'building up walls', etc), instead of keeping it for the latter part. This reconfiguration changes how you receive the narrative and respond to the story (and - presumably - the eventual getting together of the leads).

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Cutie Young-il! Wish they''d give us the backstory of the photo in his phone, was Sun-kyum photobombing his selfie? ><

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I think we could do without the little brother altogether but I think there's a tragedy on the horizon for these two. Hopefully, I'm wrong.

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2 thoughts:
*Run-on is proof you don't need a love triangle to be intriguing. Here, each character and relationship is fully realized and not forced together by some random interloper. It's like a BOGO drama, two great relationships wrapped in one phenomenal drama.

*The casts has done an amazing job blending together. There's no grandstanding or anyone trying to upstage someone else. I'm looking forward to a scene where all 4 leads are together.

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I wish I understood what goes through Mi-joo’s mind... I guess I feel the way she feels: I think everything’s going well and then she gets pissed off over something and I’m like... wth just happened?? Maybe it’s lost in translation but I don’t always get the reason she has for feeling angry, left out, etc. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Honestly, I’m just gonna stick around for Young-hwa and Dan-ah

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A good example of what I think you are saying was the big dust up over the running shoes. MJ worked herself up into a tizzy and instead of having a nice ride back to Seoul with her beloved she takes the bus. Dumb! I griped in another comment about that scene. Sometimes a sense of humor is the best way. MJ could have said to SG with a smile something like, “hey don’t you know it is bad luck to give a friend shoes, especially running shoes”? It probably would have gone right over his head. (Lol he would probably google it later to find out what it meant.) Then she could have asked, “when are we leaving for home?”.

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Everyone should also follow @earthna to get more clarity of the translations! She’s great! https://youtube.com/channel/UC6nNWcvHR36tRz8TN5APZBA

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Well, I didn't understand much about what was going on most of the time, but I guess the story should be interesting as everyone seems to like it.

*I particularly didn't understand what was going on in the last scene. I just couldn't comprehend why both of them seemed to be so angry with one another, so thanks a lot Laica! for expelling the last scene in details. I think I've been lost in translation or the characters here are too complex for my little brain to process. 😅

I like the way both leads tried to communicate with one another. I agree that all of the leads are honest people, which I like, but seeing how extreme they are makes me feel a bit uneasy at times.

Still, this show is pretty weird in my opinion. It's more like watching a documentary of how people speak different languages and have different ways of communicating. Unlike other shows, I don't have any character I particularly like; I just watch them all like watching other people's lives. It's a slice-of-life drama in a sense.

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Ah.. I kinda like the character Tae-woong! I think he got me when he tried so hard to make Noona notice him. It hit me hard when he said to Dan-ah that at least she hated him; and hating someone needs efforts too.

When people liked him in his SNSs, it wasn't the real him that they liked. He was a different person from the 'he' other people especially his fans saw. The way he switched from being irritated to smilingly greeting his fans when the camera was switched on really got me laughing. I think that was the first time I laughed watching this drama up until this episode.

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