Love All Play: Episodes 7-8
Our lovebirds do their best and train their hardest, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges around every corner. When one person learns about the past accident and the connection they share, the other is blissfully ignorant — until it all threatens to start crashing down.
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP
Thankfully, we open with cuteness, and we’ll need it to sustain us as we hit (or start to hit) the rocky parts of our story. But first, Tae-yang makes Tae-joon some porridge, and he gobbles it up as the rest of the team arrives and spoils their private moment. And by that I mean he scarfs it down like a wildebeest, and then literally dives out of her window to escape the team’s notice. Ah, I love these two.
Now that everyone is recovered from their food poisoning, the coach has no mercy as they do endless rounds against the national team, and everyone is desperate to be selected to start in the next tournament. Both our Park twins play like beasts, but Coach Lee has Tae-yang sit it out for the tournament, while Tae-joon is selected.
Tae-yang takes it like a champ, but she’s feeling down, and takes Tae-joon to the little seaside sashimi joint where she worked while flying under the radar for the last three years. Her old boss is a delight (cameo by Jin Sun-kyu) and it’s some nice bonding time for our couple.
Tae-yang reminisces on her self-exile and all the pain involved with it, and tells Tae-joon the whole story. She doesn’t have to name names for him to be able to piece together not only that she’s talking about his older sister Joon-young, but for him to get the true story that he’d never heard before. Here he proves his worth, and comforts Tae-yang without any blame or accusation. But it does change things for Tae-joon in a way, and we see the fruit of that in the following episode.
It’s not as if the truth of Tae-yang and Joon-young’s involvement directly changed his feelings, but there’s something that shifts in his demeanor. We see fewer melty smiles (cruel drama gods!), and see an angrier more standoffish Tae-joon, and I don’t really love it.
Most of his ire is towards Jung-hwan, and they butt heads at every turn, now even more loaded because Tae-joon realizes the source of Jung-hwan’s anger and hatred towards Tae-yang. He even purposefully provokes Jung-hwan, chewing him out that what happened was between the two girls and is none of his business.
Their anger comes out, additionally, on the court, when the two are paired in the next tournament. To Tae-joon’s absolute disgust, Coach Lee tells him that he’s only there to support Jung-hwan and to let him lead. Obviously, he’s got too much skin in the game at this point to let that happen, and the two are at each other’s throats. (Sigh, I miss the sportsmanship and teamwork of the Park twins playing doubles.)
We don’t exactly see inside Tae-joon’s heart, but we can feel his frustration and upsetness clear as day. He tells Tae-yang how much he doesn’t want to see her struggle and punish herself over the past, and yet no matter what they do, it keeps circling back. If it’s not via Jung-hwan, it’s when Tae-joon realizes that Tae-yang has been delivering food baskets to his parents dutifully every month. And if it’s not that, then it’s the moment we’ve all been anticipating: the (dreaded) return of Joon-young.
Sure enough, her return acts as our cliffhanger, and the drama knows just how to cut through a light and happy moment and leave it lifeless on the floor. Tae-joon has just worked through his emotions, on and off the court, and won a big game with Jung-hwan as an actual teammate. He seems his light-hearted self again, and sets up a tryst with Tae-yang. They’re both bounding through the event hall to meet each other and celebrate the win when a third party appears between them – literally and figuratively: Park Joon-young, with tears in her eyes and a long stare for Tae-yang, also tearing up.
I fully except all the angst to hit next week, and for two reasons. We’ve seen that Tae-joon isn’t shaken by the connection and at the end of the episode he says that he’s not giving up on his dreams or Tae-yang – so it’s not him I’m worried about. It’s Tae-yang. She’s already proven her tendency towards martyrdom, and I can just see her flying towards round two when she feels like she’s wronged that family in even more ways.
The second reason I’m nervous is the fact that Park Ji-hyun has not yet played an actually nice character. At all. So while her filmography shouldn’t be making me expect the worst, it kind of is. I’m dreading the pain while simultaneously hoping that the drama keeps sprinkling its cute fairy dust around instead.
Because the Park twins aren’t the only couple that’s about to get shaken up — Yoo-min has just barely managed to secure Jung-hwan’s attention. Her squees — and his changing heart — are also in for rude awakening when Joon-young makes a wider entrance back in the story. And that’s one too many broken hearts for the likes of me.