Yumi’s Cells: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread
Our heroine and her new boyfriend made it through their first hurdle and shared their first kiss, but what lies in store for them this week is total mayhem — well, inner mayhem. On the outside, it’s only the ordinary circumstances that a new couple has to deal with, but in the world of their cells it is an epic adventure wrought with high drama.
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
We open with the cutest montage of Yumi and Woong dating. They are compatible, cute, and getting to know each other… but of course there are hurdles for them to pass. As Woong’s cells remind us: there is no happiness without hardship.
The first hurdle is the problem of Sae-yi. Yumi’s Intuition Cell comes plowing into town (literally) to share his latest hunch with the rest of the cells: Sae-yi might like Woong. With this little seed of thought in Yumi’s head, and without her addressing it with Woong directly, the seed germinates and grows into a full-fledged worry.
The jealousy and caution Yumi feels around even the mention of Sae-yi comes to its peak on Yumi’s birthday. Yumi and Woong are having a lovely birthday dinner out, and he’s doing everything right. Even his almost-a-fail present (the battery charger) turns out to be a gag: Yumi is enchanted by the little pearl necklace he’s given her. They even share a little inside joke when Yumi has to go to his apartment to use his computer (Woong hilariously references her last excuse to go into his apartment).
Woong makes Yumi some yuzu tea, and this simple drink soon turns into a major problem. Yumi susses out (first with her Intuition Cell, and then with the help of SNS) that Sae-yi was the one that made it the preserves and gave it to him.
When Yumi and Woong wind up at his office later that night, the women meet for the first time, and it’s an absolutely hilarious (and petty) battle for control — control really meaning closeness to Woong.
Yumi does pretty well for herself (that bathroom dryer haha!), but in the end, the night ends in a disaster. Yumi leaves the office without Woong even noticing, and on her way home she snaps at him on the phone.
Snapping is good sometimes. It put all her worry right out there in the open, so Woong was able to understand the issue. The night drags out and it looks like they won’t make up, but then Woong turns up in front of Yumi’s apartment building with her favorite cake, still wanting to celebrate her birthday.
We see all the logical explanations in his head — about Sae-yi, about the yuzu tea, about why he sought Sae-yi’s help to pick the birthday present — but what comes out of his mouth (after heavy editing from his cells) is the barely-there version of these explanations. To Yumi’s credit, she sees his sincerity, and they move on. And for the audience, we get a great and creative portrayal of how differently men and women think and communicate. Spot on.
Now it’s Woong’s turn to be nervous seeing Yumi’s place, but boy does his Intestine Cell have other plans. The Intestine Cell sends a red alert PSA to the entire village: they must get rid of what is in Woong’s large intestine, and then have to do it now.
Man, this episode was brutal for those that suffer second-hand embarrassment… Woong has no choice but to take a dump in her bathroom, which mortifies him to no end. Then, to make matters worse, the toilet gets clogged. It’s a hilarious and horrible sequence of Woong losing his mind with embarrassment, and trying to save face.
When he finally emerges (sweaty! lol), Yumi forces him to stay and sets him up in her bed with a heating pad and some soothing tea. The disaster is thus transmogrified into a sweet bonding moment, where Yumi rubs his stomach, shares a story from her past, and the two wind up falling asleep on her bed.
As it goes with shared experiences, and especially embarrassing ones, this event actually turns into an unforgettable memory. The two are closer than ever — so close that Woong suggests they go on a trip, and Yumi jumps at the suggestion (her dead Travel Cell is glad to be needed again).
The two go about planning their long weekend to Sokcho, but actually it’s now Yumi’s turn for a flood of humiliation. In her desperation to book the romantic double room with one bed and an ocean view, Yumi is stuck with the one room left in the hotel: the one with the dreaded glass-walled bathroom. LOL!
She plays dumb as long as she can, not wanting Woong to think she’s a pervert who requested the room… but then that’s exactly what happens. He goes to hotel management to complain about not being informed about the bathroom during booking. There, he hears the phone conversation Yumi had with the rep where she not only accepted the room, but shouted, “I love glass bathrooms!”
This situation hit home for me — and I don’t mean the bathroom (though I also got hit with one of those once). The drama portrayed so well how an experience that’s primed for fun can turn sour in a second. And then, even when you want to save it, like both Woong and Yumi obviously do, their moods and words and eyes seem to make matters worse when they really want the opposite.
Woong tries to make Yumi feel better, but when she snaps at him (saying how dare he laugh; she didn’t laugh at him when he had diarrhea all night long), King Sullen rides into his cell village. Woong gets silent and ornery. Likewise, Yumi has this internal war going on between her romantic dreams for the weekend, and the Lust and Etiquette cell warring in her consciousness.
Once again, Woong saves the day by his actions, and by being just a little bit more willing than Yumi to go out on a limb (God bless him). His hesitation to cancel their room booking is purposeful, and he’s hoping to make peace with Yumi, despite King Sullen being around (his cells know it’s just because Yumi’s embarrassed).
His hesitation pays off, as does giving her the room for them to regain what they wanted the trip to be. And so, our couple makes it through their first real fight, and the episode ends with them making out in their beautiful hotel room with the glass bathroom lurking in the background.
It struck me this week that this slice-of-life drama really is slice-of-life. There are so few K-dramas that feature a couple getting together from the start, and then have us go on their journey with them. It’s a refreshing change, and the bustling activity from both cell villages elevates these everyday moments into something that’s equal parts creative and relatable.