Yumi’s Cells: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread
As our heroine deals with her disastrous blind date, she finds herself in unexpected territory. Could this unassuming guy actually be… awesome? Our heroine goes through ups and downs trying to figure out how she feels, but when she finally finds solid ground, there’s romance all around.
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
Just when the blind date coffee stop couldn’t get worse, Yumi’s stomach decides to growl. Her cells are dreading it, seeing the Hunger Cell comes roaring into the village, and then when he pulls out the “belly pipe” they know all is lost. Woong both pretends not to hear and insists they go get some food at the same time. And this signals the first of many mini turning points for Yumi and her awful first impression of Woong.
The restaurant he picks is a little hidden gem, not only right up her alley, but right to her taste. With one bite, Yumi is sold, her cells are dancing, and Yumi wonders if there is more to Woong than meets the eye. They order some (splashable) jiggae, and while Yumi’s cells worry about dirtying her white-on-white ensemble, Woong (as if he heard) has already popped up and gotten her an apron to put on. Score #2!
Yumi wants to head home, but Woong blathers a fake excuse and the two wind up at a local frog festival. It’s cutesy and ridiculous, but somehow they have fun together. The mood is light, Woong is adorably complimentary, and they seem to be hitting it off. It’s not until Woong steps away that a dark feeling comes over Yumi.
Kim Go-eun nails it here — you can literally watch her hopeful face darken into one of utter panic and confusion. This is the
arrival takeover of the Hysterious Cell who basically leaves Cell Village in a toxic wasteland of stress. All the other cells run and hide, and there’s nothing operating inside of Yumi except this panic-fear.
Of the many wonderful bits of Cell Village commentary in this week’s episodes, this was one of my favorites for being so completely relatable (in fact, I wish it wasn’t quite so relatable). The temperature has totally changed, and Woong picks up on it right away, but can’t stop Yumi from taking off. She even ignores his text messages later that night.
While Yumi is in chaos, Woong is trying to figure out what the heck he did wrong. His “friend” SEO SAE-YI (Park Ji-hyun) can’t really be trusted with her advice; everything she says feels like a dig or a red herring to make his new relationship a failure. Park Ji-hyun, bless her heart, is so good at these sour roles (a la Do You Like Brahms?) — she’s so good at it, in fact, that I almost can’t feel bad she’s already getting typecast.
Either way, poor Woong winds up shaving off his “beard” — the pride of his last three years. In Cell Village, this translates as the Hair Cell getting burnt at the stake like Joan of Arc lol.
There’s nothing but hysteria in Yumi the next day, and the annoying presence of Ruby (pedastaling Woong for the sole purpose of claiming Woo-ki) sets Yumi off big time. She is coming down with a drama fever, she’s miserable, and she winds up having it out with Ruby. Yumi is standing there in misery, getting soaked by the rain, when Woong shows up out of the blue with a giant umbrella. They have a moment. And even more satisfying than this moment is the way Woong can’t be bothered to even glance in Ruby’s direction.
Woong has followed his heart there (and certainly not his friends, who think he’s crazy), and it winds up serving him (and Yumi) well. First, he’s able to rescue her when she faints from her fever. His cells run the Woong Algorithm so he can navigate the crisis with aplomb. Not long after, Yumi is waking up in the hospital feeling better, and Woong has bought her a cute little hoodie dress to put on since her clothes are still soaked.
Something about this experience — and remembering how Woong had cared for and protected her — gets her Hysterious Cell to calm down, and this is the moment where it gets real. Yumi asks him out on a second date, much to his shock, and even recycles his terrible jokes from their first meeting. They’ve only met twice, but they already have this little story going on between them.
Meanwhile, in Cell Village, the little green frog from the front of Yumi’s hoodie dress (a nod to the frog festival) winds up at the door of her Cell Village. Hilariously, her cells are very cautious of letting anyone in, especially from Woong’s village, and we learn that while Woong’s gate has a 4-digit code, Yumi’s has a 28-digit one (LOL, I’m dead!). However, her cells let in the harmless frog. He befriends the cells, cleans up the toxic cell sludge from Hysterious’ invasion, and all things are set to rights. Then he unzips his costume… and reveals he’s actually Woong’s Love Cell.
With their next date on the horizon, Woong and Yumi are both in the cutest stage of infatuation… and sexual tension. Yumi’s Lust Cell comes banging into the village and makes the most of every circumstance.
The result of this is coffee spilled all over Yumi’s new white dress, and her being “forced” to go to Woong’s apartment while he washes it for her. Cue all sorts of hot moments, whether it’s Woong seeing Yumi in his clothes and losing his cool, Yumi in his bathroom imagining him in the shower (LOL), or even the electric chemistry that’s between them in the living room.
It’s fun to see how immediate their connection was, once they got over that rocky start, and the cells of both Yumi and Woong are particularly hilarious here. Yumi’s Lust Cell is red-cheeked and thirsty, but when we see Woong’s, it’s even worse: it’s a giant seething T-Rex, that when released, can barely be controlled by the other cells.
Woong and Yumi escape the situation without anything more than charged moments, but later that night when Woong goes to return her dress, they have their first kiss. Woong smiles all the way through Yumi’s excuses about the dress and why she needed to go to his place — and then grabs her hand and pulls her in close. I love Woong, but I particularly love him in this scene. Ahn Bo-hyun is adding surprising nuance to this adorable, unassuming character, and I love it.
There are so many more details and moments in this week’s episodes that were just hilarious, relatable, or even poignant. I laughed out loud over Woong’s “bear mode” when he has to act dense to put off Sae-yi’s advances (I also love how he’s much more aware than he seems to be).
Another detail I really loved was the concept of the bulletin board in each person’s Cell Village, where their strongest and deepest thoughts are kept and held onto. There’s a cell in charge of keeping the important thoughts up there, putting up new ones, and taking down old ones.
We see the thoughts that are dominating both Yumi and Woong’s minds, and it sheds light on their characters. But even beyond the window to their souls, it’s also just a great bit of metaphor about the power of our thought lives, and how the thoughts we think actually come to define us. Awesome writing. Is it next week yet?