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Love All Play: Episodes 9-10

The return of a prodigal athlete shakes up our heroine, who was just finding the confidence to get back on her feet. And although she has the unwavering support of a smiley and wonderful boyfriend at her side, things are getting rocky.

 
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP

A question popped into my head as soon as I hit play on Episode 9, and it’s still plaguing me. The question is this: what in the world does/did Jung-hwan see in Joon-young!? She makes her return to the plot (and the country) this week, and she’s absolutely, positively unlikable. Like, in every way.

She’s a total brat to the parents that adore her, she snaps orders at her little brother long living in her shadow, and as we’ll see later on, she’s equally awful to Jung-hwan. And of course to Tae-yang — that goes without saying. Basically, there’s no one she’s nice to. And I’m supposed to feel sorry that her drunken snowboarding injury wrecked her career as an athlete? Sorry, but I’m straight outta sympathy right now.

It all gets off to the uncomfortable start we all expected when Joon-young and Tae-yang accidentally run into each other at the tournament. Tae-yang immediately starts to cry, but this exchange ends with Joon-young storming off and saying, “Let’s not exchange pleasantries” and that she doesn’t want to see her again. Good, I don’t want to see her either.

Unfortunately, we see a lot of her, first making her return to her parents’ home and sniping at everyone and everything. She’s particularly annoying towards Tae-joon — as if she doesn’t care about their parents’ overt favoritism of her — and she tells him if he’s sorry for her, to pay for her grad school, to let her live in his Seoul apartment, and, finally and crucially, don’t get close to Park Tae-yang and don’t ask why.

Poor Tae-joon is keeping his cards suuuper close to his chest — and has been for about three straight episodes now — but man, it’s got to be getting to him.

Joon-young is soon talking to the press (well, kinda) and aims to get a job coaching the national team. Most of her fellow athletes are psyched to see their famous “noona” back, but her return has a bunch of ripple effects through the tight-knit badminton world.

One of those is that a new antagonist emerges — he’s JUNG YI-DEUN (Lee Min-jae), a player on the national team who has an ego the size of New Jersey and seems to live to cut Jung-hwan down to size.

Now, I’m not saying Jung-hwan doesn’t need some sense knocked into him, but Yi-deun drops the knowledge that Joon-young has returned right during their match — meanwhile, the Yunis players had been trying with all their might to prevent him from finding out until after the game.

Jung-hwan, of course, doesn’t have much mastery over his emotions, but where he annoyed me in previous weeks, I’m really starting to feel for him. For starters, he’s just started to open up to Yoo-min and they’re so cute together! Well, that gets put on hold when Joon-young comes back. He seeks Joon-young out in her neighborhood only to uncover the secret that Tae-joon is her little brother. Wow, so few people know this, it still baffles me.

It comes as no surprise that Joon-young will barely talk to him, and shrugs him off. So the boys wind up drinking together and we’re treated to some pink cheeks and hilarious whiney exchanges like this:

Jung-hwan: “Why is Joon-young your sister?”
Tae-joon: “Exactly.”

And then the more sobering truth:

Jung-hwan: “Does Tae-yang know?”
Tae-joon: “If she did, do you think she’d date me?”

When Jung-hwan finally gets to talk to Joon-young one-on-one, she’s particularly hateful. When he asks why she never answered his endless emails over the last three years, she basically says that she hates him, because he knows the truth of what happened, and she wants to forget it. Jung-hwan cries, and Joon-young looks as b!tchy as ever. The exchange ends with Jung-hwan wondering why he’s even broken-hearted by her, and I can’t agree more.

Important to note, though, some unidentified individual is filming this exchange — at the end of the episode we see the video being uploaded, and the netizen comments start flooding in. So, the well-kept secret known only by four people is a secret no more.

I’ve been putting off the roughest part of Joon-young’s return, and that of course is how it affects our heroine. After all, Jung-hwan isn’t the only one having awful encounters with Joon-young. She basically torments and humiliates Tae-yang at every chance she gets, and as the episodes progress, we witness Tae-yang slowly breaking down. It’s not that much fun to watch.

More insight on her past makes me want to hug her even more — we see how she’s dealt with an almost total lack of love and affection in her life, how that’s made her into the adult that she is, how she’s so used to shouldering things alone, and now, of course, the weight of the guilt she’s been under.

If the burden of guilt was starting to become bearable — with her return to badminton and the support of the squishy Tae-joon — it all comes crashing down with the return of Joon-young, and it’s positively palpable how all the progress she’s made has been lost.

The team hosts a welcome back party for Joon-young, and despite Tae-yang’s assurances to Tae-joon that she wouldn’t go, go she does. Joon-young is as icy to her as expected, and the team picks up on it in two seconds even though no one really knows what happened between them.

But it’s when Tae-yang gets up and kneels in front of Joon-young that things get particularly heartbreaking. We see how tormented Tae-yang is, asking for forgiveness, to which Joon-young counters, “Who said you can be sorry?”

And later on, in a future exchange, the same sentiment continues, with Tae-yang crying, “Can’t you forgive me, so I can forgive myself?” and Joon-young, instead, telling her that she’s selfish and only thinks about herself. The scene ends with both girls crying, but there’s only one I feel sorry for.

In the middle of all these painful exchanges, we also learn about the moment where it all went wrong. In previous flashbacks, Joon-young was kind towards Tae-yang and covered up the truth purposefully. But that all went to hell when, in a quiet moment in her hospital room, Tae-yang thanked Joon-young for keeping the truth covered up. We see Joon-young shrink back, and that was the moment their friendship died.

It’s awful, because from here, it looks like a lonely orphan who was grateful to the friend she admired for protecting her. But to Joon-young, it was something else entirely. Once Tae-yang finds out about how her “thanks” were received, it sinks into her heart and starts to poison her even more.

Her game starts to suffer, and rather than support her, Coach Joo is just another antagonist punishing her and tearing her down. If he had any insight at all he’d be able to tell that she punishes herself plenty and doesn’t need any help.

Luckily, the Yunis team rallies around Tae-yang in a way that might have seemed impossible a few weeks ago — the team captain stands up for her, Young-shim and Sung-shil massage her leg muscles — it’s all very sweet.

But, of course, the greatest source of support for Tae-yang is the ever-wonderful and long-suffering Tae-joon. Although Tae-yang expends a lot of energy keeping him away, our episodes this week are not without some cuteness and a deepening of their bond.

Tae-joon is always there for Tae-yang in spirit, and tries to be there for her emotionally, but it’s hard for her to accept his support. In a particularly sad exchange, she explains how she has to pretend to be okay, and how she’s only used to dealing with hardship alone.

Despite her ghosting him, or putting on a happy face, he’s still around watching out for her (or trying to) and there are some wonderful hug scenes this week — one where they both “recharge” each other, and another where Tae-yang finally lets her emotions out, and goes to him for comfort.

More than that hug, delicious though it was, Tae-yang asks if he wants to sleep with her… and so they do. It’s bittersweet, though, because even though we know it’s a gesture of love and commitment between them, Tae-yang is still so wounded at this point. And she doesn’t even know who his sister is yet.

Despite feeling like I have a bunch of bricks on my chest from the sadness of this week’s episodes, I’m still enjoying the show a lot. I actually like that it’s willing to look at Tae-yang’s inner struggles so much, and dig into the weight of guilt, which we don’t see a lot of dramas do in this way.

It was also interesting that the male lead camera seemed to shift — or is shifting — towards Jung-hwan. He seemed like a support character early on, but now he’s actually got more plot going on than Tae-joon has. (I’m dying for him to put Joon-young in her place and grab Yoo-min instead, in front of everyone.)

While I’m dreading the reveal that is still yet to come, and all our main couple has yet to shoulder, I’m hopeful that it won’t be too long-lasting. Both Tae-yang and Tae-joon have battle scars that make them uniquely suited for each other, and there’s no resolution I’ll accept besides one where they sail off into the OTP sunset together. Just a few more waves first!

 
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Great recap, missvictrix!

I had a LOT of thoughts about these two episodes while watching. And that's because I thought the writer did an excellent job of making every character--yes, even Joon-young--at least a little sympathetic. They're all simultaneously making good and bad choices, for a range of understandable (if not always laudable) reasons. So even though these were probably the most painful episodes so far, they were also still fun to watch.

Tae-joon: He's such an amazing boyfriend--loving, devoted, supportive, non-judgmental, affectionate, emotionally intuitive--and I completely understand why he's not telling Tae-yang the truth about his sister. The poor boy has spent his whole life being defined in terms of his sister and now here she is, once again, playing a pivotal role in what was supposed to be the one thing he could have all to himself: his relationship with Tae-yang. And he's right that Tae-yang probably would immediately break up with him if she knew the truth. But still, he shouldn't be keeping this from her. He means well, but it is still controlling behavior and shows that he's letting his own insecurities take over what is otherwise a very healthy relationship.

Tae-yang: Girl, please see a therapist. I, too, appreciate the way the show doesn't back away from showing what is probably best defined as PTSD; her depression and anxiety over what happened in the past is too big for her to handle on her own, or with the help of her boyfriend. But I didn't like that she went to Joon-young's welcome home party at the restaurant. As much as Tae-yang feels genuine remorse and wants to make things right, Joon-young made it very clear she wasn't willing or able to be forgiving. Tae-yang does need to accept that and find a way to forgive herself even if Joon-young won't. Her continued suffering isn't going to erase the past and it's also not going to help anyone in the present.

Joon-young: Right up until the point that she snapped at her parents and brother for rearranging her room I was feeling a smidgeon of sympathy. But that was so nasty and entitled--as was her brush-off and then "I hate you" b*tchiness with Jung-hwan--I can only now marvel at her self-centered hatefulness. It absolutely sucks that she had an accident and can't play a sport at which she excelled. And she's free to hold a grudge and avoid contact with people who remind her of that time. That's her right, I guess. But there's no rationale that excuses her being so overtly cruel to people whose only crime is staying devoted to her for years despite the fact that she ghosted them. She can get off my screen now, thanks.

Yoo-min: I love that she is always herself and makes her feelings known to everyone in a five mile radius but I wish she would play it a little cooler. That social media post about being rivals with Joon-young was super cringey. That said, I know Jung-hwan shouldn't force anything with Yoo-min, but I hope the low...

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You have perfectly echoed my thoughts on these 2 episodes 😃.

I really hope Tae-yang respects Jun-young decision and stops offering an apology she's obviously not ready to hear at the moment. It's sad but she has the right to

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I agree with you. Part of me thinks all these people turned out the way they did because of their parents. Every single parent in the show is awful except Yoo min's dad (Coach Tae Sung). I don't know what is the writer's deal with parents, but I was rolling my eyes when the show introduced Tae Young's birth mom to get more sympathy for Tae Young.

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I wish the sister would get lost. I know and understand she's frustrated, but it really wasn't like she was kidnapped and forced onto the slope. Besides, the accident was not intentional.

I find her so exhausting that I felt sorry for Jung-hwan for the first time. He's starting to grow on me.

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Park Tae-jun! What an almost perfect boyfriend 🥺❤️ because perfection does not exist 😆.

My annoyance at Tae-jun for hiding the truth was short-lived! I really really really like this character and Chae Jong-Hyeop is just perfect in the role. Thank you Writer nim.

I love how vulnerable and open Tae-yang is when she's with Tae-jun but it just makes me all the more sad that he hasn't been able to be completely honest with her and tell her about his relationship with Junyoung. I understand that he's scared she will leave him but ugh... She'll be hurt when she finds out.

I really really don't care for Jun-young and I wish she could could just disappear but I felt bad for her for a split second when we were shown how she interpreted Tae-yang's "Thank you".
Did we really need this Yi-deun as another assh*le badminton player 🙄? He's obviously the one who uploaded the video.

I wanted to hug Yumin when she was looking down on herself! Jun-young has got nothing on you girl! and I hope she realises that soon!

All the parents in this show are awful except the coach! I couldn't believe my eyes/ears when Tae-yang's dad brushed of genuine concerns and said she's strong! YHOO!

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A guy like Taejoon doesn't exist IRL LOL Love his sense of humor.
That's why I'm not into rom com, while I can still enjoy it, but it makes me coveting thing I can't have. Ha ha ha
"I'll open my wallet. You'll open your heart. A man puts his hand in his pocket only to pull out a credit card"
🤣

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😂😂I like that we know that they don't exist in real life

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Taejun is giving me agonisingly unrealistic expectations at this point 😭 Also yes about the parents - everyone's parents are something else, and now TY's real mum joins the ranks.
I won't even start on Junyoung 😪

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😂 When I watch Tae-jun I have to remind myself that this is fiction. I definitely want a version of him IRL but alas one can only dream

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Hey, I am on the same page as you about all the parents in this drama.

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I wouldn't want such parents

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If things are already this bad without TY knowing about the siblings, I'm not sure I want to see the inevitable fallout unfold. Maybe it was naiive of me but I'd hoped they would go in the direction of JY just accepting TY's apology? That's probably too easy of a resolution but I think the alternative of TY wallowing in guilt (yet again) was not a good move and almost feels self-indulgent. The writing for this show has always been a bit sketchy but I'm not a fan of this descent into full-on melo (did we really need an abandonment backstory on top of everything else?) The scene where she runs across the road a moment before a car appears doesn't bode well...she needs to get help and take a break from everyone, including our squishie (who also needs a break).

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I really liked this show when it was about two lonely young people supporting each other as athletes and falling in love. I liked Jung-hwan and Yoo-min, too. A rough patch was inevitable for all of them, but I think the writer is taking it a little too far. How could Joon-young have been so important to all of them, and yet be such a terrible human being? How does anyone tell the guy who's been waiting faithfully and patiently for three years that she hates him? Joon-young as written is a character no one could like, let alone love. And I'm not interested to hang around for her redemption. I really just want her to find a career in some distant foreign country, and let our two couples go back to having fun together....

I also don't think it was a good choice for Tae-yang or Tae-joon to spend their first night together as a consolation for Tae-yang. Was the writer just getting them as close as she could, so when Tae-yang finds out that Tae-joon is Joon-young's brother, the damage will be as devastating as possible? Not looking forward to that, writer.

I'm willing to hang in there for another week, but if we don't get some light at the end of the tunnel, I may have to go back and rewatch the first six episodes instead of finishing this drama.

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I love the exploration of relationship nuances. I feel like we’re rarely treated to this bc most dreamland leads end up bailing when things start crashing down on them (or like amnesia/ noble idiocy/“insert typical episode 12 conflict trope here” kicks in). AND we rarely see established romances in shows - they only really, actually get together right at the end. On top of that, when the leads do start going out or exploring their feelings, it mostly seems to be portrayed as bouncing between the extremes of 100% pure fluff only or immediate break up/angst/zero communication at the first sign of trouble. So given that, I really like that this drama seems to be taking a slightly different direction. Despite what I thought would happen once things started unravelling (read: immediate break up and/or someone running away), the Parks are still together and trying their goddamn best to tackle what life keeps throwing at them, and realistically so (even if it’s not the most ideal decisions, both of their thought processes are equally understandable). I also really like that we’re shown a relationship with flaws that aren’t dramatised, instead portrayed with a welcome earnestness - making it clear that both have things they need to work on and through but without unnecessarily escalating the angst factor to an unrealistic degree. The highlights for me this week was the conversation in the hotel room and the end of episode 10. The hotel room conversation, in my eyes, was a pretty honest portrayal of what tension /points of conflict can look like in a relationship, especially since there was no ultimatum or dramatic conclusion attached to the conversation (which is the opposite of how I initially thought that talk would end). And with the ending of ep 10, I really like the fact that TY brought up the prospect of sleeping together (I’m especially glad she was the one to bring it up) with such frankness and TJ to his credit didn’t make a massive deal out of it and responded in the best way possible. The way that whole scene was played out, again without the unnecessary bells and whistles, just was refreshingly realistic. And the ending just broke me on so many levels, I’m so glad they’ve got each other and I really hope that they get their chance to heal properly eventually.

TL;DR - Idk what’s in store for the future but break up or no, I’m glad the show so far is touching on the point that relationships don’t make or break overnight. Also, highkey this is one of the first times I’m glad I’m watching a show as it’s airing bc the gap between episodes just gives me more time to bask in my love and appreciation for & of it!!

With each passing week, the greater my urge becomes to write incoherent essays about episodes (honestly could write two at least on how I feel about Junyoung) but I’ll stop here with one final point - Park Taejun, I’m so in love with you. RIP me once the inevitable end leaves me facing a void.

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This is so well said. I wish there was a clap emoji, lol.

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🥰

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I like your essays 😃

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💕 & I love reading your commentary, not just for this show but the others you're watching too. It's become a fixture for me on those weecaps/recaps hahahhaha :D

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Awww, thanks 🥰

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Really, really loving how well established the relationship is and how realistically they are showing them traversing different stages in their relationship throughout all these revelations. They pretty well integrate their struggles with badminton into this narrative, as well.

I also like that, even though these weeks’ eps were heavy, they’ve positioned the angst fairly early on, with enough time to deal with the fallout and end on a higher note.

I’ve just had the time to catch up on all the recaps and comments for this show, though I’ve been watching/loving this for weeks now, and it’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who finds a surprisingly a lot to unpack from it. I also have a lot to “say” on Jun-young…just need to work up the mental energy to do so, haha.

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Likewise! They're dipping more heavily into the angst but still complimenting it nicely with the comedy and fluff from time to time - and it gives me hope for a happy ending too. I didn't initially expect this drama to send me on an emotional deep dive either every week either, but kudos to the writers & actors for giving us a performance and a story that does contain so many layers for discussion.

Also mood about the energy thing hahahaha right now all that comes to mind when I think of JY is some choice emojis and colourful language 😂

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Yeah, loved some little things like the return of him deciphering her when she’s pouting. It was a given that this would be TY’s low-point and I expected plenty of tears so it was good to see them undercut some of that with some much-needed levity.

Hahaha, I feel like I’m going through that same process with JY. I have so much to say and yet when I try that’s about all I can muster 😅

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Joon Young is THE WORST. She is very spoiled. My goodness, she showed a smidgen of self-awareness when she pointed out she got injured after getting drunk and skiing, but that was it. She just seemed so ungrateful, while everyone around her is on eggshells because of her.

Tae Joon is the BEST boyfriend in dramaland, my God, he is so good to Tae Yang. He is just the absolute sweetest to her. I love that for him.

Tae Yang really likes filleting herself. My goodness girl it isn't fully your fault, talk about removing agency from Joon Young.

I actually felt bad for Jung Hwan. He likes Yoo Min, but needs to get over Joon Young, but she isn't letting the man get any closure.

What angsty episodes and looks like more to come, SIGH.

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Yeah, if Joon-young thought she had to treat Jung-hwan horrendously to help him move forward, she was wrong. This is only prolonging their pain. It all felt like an exercise in noble idiocy. Like, instead of actually healing some of the wounds of the past by talking over what happened, sure, let’s ignore them and let them fester for longer, great idea. Hasn’t there been enough of that over the last 3 years?

I feel like maybe Joon-young thought tough love was the answer, but I’m not sure how punishing all the people in the relationships she’s discarded is remotely helping anyone, herself included.

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I really liked these episodes. They had so much heart and these actors are killing it. Their portrayal of young, ambitious, competitive athletes who are still maturing, have tempers, and stuff to deal with is just spot on.

I agree with LaurenSophie that the writer managed to make all the characters sympathetic in some ways. I am curious where they will take Joon-young. Whether she will stay the evil foil or whether she will be developed more. The ending of the last episode seems to hint that there is more there than meets the eye. And I assume there was some reason everyone was so in love with her, other than her badminton wins.

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OMG Tae-joon. When he said to Tae-yang, "I'm here if you ever need to talk," I screamed, "You talk first!" He keeps telling her to open up to him yet keeps lying to her. He can't just expect her to lean on him when she's going to feel so betrayed that he knew and didn't tell her. This truth is not hidable. Tae-joon knows she’d break up with him like he told Jung-hwan, but I wish he had said, "Just like you were there for my sister three years ago, I have to be here for Tae-yang now." My heart breaks over the possibility of Tae-yang losing the one person who supports her since we've learned that her dad is horrible. She wanted to sleep with Tae-joon because she wanted to feel loved.

We're just going to hate Joon-young, aren't we? Instead of snowboarding, I wish Sung-sil's storyline had been given to Tae-yang, so she would have injured Joon-young because she had played while sick. Then Tae-yang's guilt would be due to negligence and not which even Tae-joon understands was an accident. When Tae-yang kneeled in front of Joon-young, I had expected for Tae-joon to help her up and confront his sister leading everyone to find out about their sibling relationship. Or at least for Jung-hwan to intervene, who wasn't even at the welcome back party despite planning it.

Wow, Tae-joon's parents know nothing about him. He was partners with Tae-yang, and there was even a news article about them. Did his mom not notice her Yunis padded jacket? Do his parents even know which team he plays for? When Mom told Tae-yang that she was pretty, I was like, "That's your son's girlfriend."

Many thanks for the weecap, @missvictrix!

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I feel, I am always the odd one out here because I do not despise Joon Young even though she is rude. She lost her whole future, one that she was very passionate and talented at because of an accident, but she covered it up for Tae Young, so that the later could continue with her dream. Maybe, I am reading too much into it, but unless JY cares for and loved TY, I do not see why she would hide the truth. If the national team or the federation found out about it, TY could have been severely penalized
for violating the protocols and organizing a drunk-snowboarding which in turn injured the top-most and favourite national athlete. The least TY could have done is continue to play the sport, but she too ran away out of guilt and now wants to be forgiven. TY needs to respect JY's boundaries and heed to Young Shim's advice of apologizing only when the other party is ready to listen. The writer better have a good explanation for TY and JY not disclosing the truth over the years because the consequences of revealing the truth would have caused less damage and the worse case could have been JY being labelled reckless and irresponsible for not taking better care of herself and TY being critisized for ruining the nation's chance of winning games on an international field.

Tae Jun is sweet, supportive and all, but I still do not like that he hides the truth from TY. It should be TY's choice to stay in the relationship or not and this exactly why I loved their conversation in the hotel room where she said she doesn't want him to pamper her and lessen her hardships, but to stay by her side so she could make her way through the difficult times.

Sigh! I thought this would be the first disney show that I would be enjoying till the finale, but I am so not looking forward to the future episodes because of all the angst. Give us the cute we all deserve!

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I agree the whole secret and both girls disappearing meant the team suffered, rumours spread and hearts got broken. I also agree JY is not shown as difficult in the clips where the girls are enjoying their time together.

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Yeah i kept wondering about that,,if JY was so horrible why did TY adore her so much before the accident?
Anyway on one hand i get her hostility towards TY, but the way she treated her parents and JUng Hwan is so mean. But the parents also acted so meekly like they’ve been spoiling her forever.
So in short, i’m not sure how i feel about Jun Young

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I would have prefered that the writer chose one trauma for Taeyang and not two. The guilt of being a part in the accident of Joon-Young was enough, but the orphelin's trauma made it too much. Honestly, she tired me in these episodes. She always changes her mind. I didn't like how she tried to force the reconciliation.

I wonder if Tae-Joon will be able to carry so much for a long time. Between Tae-Yang's issues, his sister's bitterness, his parent's indifference toward him... The fact he hide he was Joong-Young's brother. He doesn't talk and becomes angry alone. I was happy he could talk to Jung-Hwan even if they don't like each other.

I found the choice of music kinda weird for their first night.
I can understand why people loved Joon-Young when she was a star. She had confidence, aura of winner, but still accessible for someone like Tae-Yang. I didn't like how she came back and bossed everyone around her. I really don't like Park's parents, with their attitude they failed both children.

I didn't like how Yoo-Min was so insistent with Jung-Hwan. I don't think he was asking too much to have a little bit of time to think. I understand her feelings but she should try to put herself in his shoes a little bit.

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Great recap. I have been desperately waiting for it’s release!

This week’s episodes were so sad I really wished I was watching the series after it aired so I could quickly move on to the next two episodes as I am hoping there will be a turn around soon. I watch K dramas as part of my self care routine as it releases happy hormones so I purposefully choose the dramas according to genres which are most likely to provide this much needed distraction from real life. I am invested in these characters and really feel for the Park twins as they have both been through a lot in their early years so they deserve the opportunity to enjoy their relationship and fine tune their skills in their sport.

Joon young’s negative character trait reminds me of the eldest daughter in Reply 1988. It comes across as a sense of entitlement just because she is a high achiever in one area. Yes she had a knock back after all her hard work and maybe dealing with the disappointment is overwhelming but there is absolutely no reason that should lead to a lack of kindness and positive regard for others especially those who care about her. Joon young seemed to be in a positive relationship with Tae yang when we see the flashback scenes so it seems that her natural tendency is to be like her brother and parents who all seem to be caring people.

Was it just me who wondered why Joon young and Jung hwan would continue to talk in front of a reporter about meeting up to talk one on one? That made no sense at all so when there were secretly filmed shots of them talking it was no surprise to me.

I also wondered why Yi deun is good enough to get on the National team but is so lacking in his abilities that he feels the need to rely on mind games in order to try to win against Jung hwan.

Coach Joo behaved in an awful way towards Tae yang considering what he went through as a player and therefore he should know the tough love approach doesn’t work for everyone especially those who need love. I think the other coaches allowing him to save face by reprimanding him behind closed doors just made them all look bad. It was so good to see the team step up and be supportive to their team mate in distress.

The sleeping together for the wrong reasons was a red flag for me and I really worry now about the effects on both of them when Tae joon’s connection to Joon young is revealed. I have a bad feeling that the way it will be revealed will mean there is plenty of opportunity for betrayal, hurt and isolation to kick in before Tae joon has a chance to explain that he has always been in his sister’s shadow so doesn’t tell anyone about their connection. More importantly, he needs Tae yang to see that once they were in love his fear of losing her meant he could never willing take advantage of the timing to disclose when it presented itself. I knew things would be bad but I had not understood the level of trauma Tae yang has experienced from a young age so this is the lens she sees the...

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I didn't realize that make out scene was supposed to connote sex, lol, I guess I am used to it being more obvious. I didn't know if the translation meant sleep together literally or figuratively, so thanks for clearing that up. I agree it is a red flag, yikes.

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Yes it would have been so much better if they had a cuddle and then slept so she had comfort in a safe way while she is emotionally all over the place.

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I really thought the coach had an inspiring/motivational end-game with his hardcore training but apparently not..

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Thanks for covering this little gem of a show @missvictrix!

And to all the beanies who tipped me off to this flirty, adorable pair, I owe you all for getting me out of my major drama slump. And also for all the pain I’m in now. Gotta love dramas seducing you with cute relationship hijinks, while making you care so much for the characters until all their pain inevitably becomes your own. It doesn’t help that many of these characters feel terribly real to me, even the side characters that could use more development. The leads definitely standout in this regard.

While I rather wish that not quite so much drama was derived from Junyoung’s injury, I do appreciate that this conflict is one of the character’s own personal responsibility, with an angst I can actually relate to. Unlike most dramas that throw in an eleventh hour breakup due to some sin of the parents, this drama has done so well to designate the fallout of this conflict as an impetus for growth for both our leads and their relationships. They’re just still having a hard time getting there.

Poor Tae-joon. After he finally committed last week to not giving up on his desires, Tae-yang included, I think he is having a hard time figuring out quite how to navigate what that means, especially with his sister returning so suddenly. Seems to me like he’s at a stasis in his development right now. He’s in such a difficult position, because no matter who he tells, he’s putting in a rough spot. He is so unused to burdening people or putting himself first so he’s found himself in limbo, not able to actualize it, while still holding on to want he wants in whatever way he can.

How conflicting it must be to be relieved/happy for your sister’s return, while also, on some level, dreading it, not just because of all this additional baggage to unpack, but also all his own grievances with his family’s negligent behavior towards him. I mean think about how his life has been: living in the shadow of his sister to getting even more neglected when she’s gone to likely even less and less focus now that she’s finally back and so concerned with her own issues that she can’t even begin to look outside herself to how she is affecting other people. While his sister was not at fault originally, his parent’s treatment has, at some point, impacted her in such a way that she can’t even see how much her own brother has suffered for her sake, which is ironic given how much she’s pressed over someone saying “thank you” the moment they relied on her too much.

Tae-yang has been and should have continued to be Tae-joon’s support in this, but he’s stuck feeling the moment he definitively reaches out and reveals everything, he won’t be allowed to ask his family and Tae-yang to put him first because he is so unused to being the one to ask for anything that comes at the expense of others.

They were each other’s solace, and while she still is that to him, there are times where an inbalance is going to occur and one...

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They were each other’s solace, and while she still is that to him, there are times where an inbalance is going to occur and one has to take more care of the other. I’m hoping the pendulum will swing soon. It can only happen when he’s brave enough to take that step.

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I - really dislike all the parents. It was actually surprising that Tae-joon/Joon-young's father said something to Joon-young about her being nice to her brother because it almost felt out of character with the constant fawning over Joon-young.

Speaking of Joon-young. I can understand her to a point. At the beginning I had wished she would care about Tae-yang as much as Tae-yang cared about her. (And would have instead flicked Tae-yang in the middle of the forehead telling her to stop feeling guilty.) Instead she reminds me of that other genius player who declared bad things (like food poisoning) shouldn't happen to her. She was important. In how she reacted to the idea of it being an accident, its like she can't believe she could have done something wrong. So as much as its understandable its really hard to sympathize. Not when, after three years, she's set out to hurt everyone around her because she still hurts and is lost.

Having a harder time with why Tae-yang showed up to the dinner and her response at the start of Ep9. As a lonely kid it can be hard to let go of your first big friend but the outcomes of accidents aren't nice. After watching other kdramas where the team's have a mental health consultant, that instead we get a coach who instead assumes something completely different than what is going on. Ugh, I wanted to take him into a headlock and more importantly away from her. Much like I wish I could steer Tae-yang away from potentially martyring herself in the coming episodes. Tae-yang deserves so much better than an adopted father that just says she's tough.

Tae-joon is such an amazing character that I feel so bad for the situation he's in. And I really hope Tae-yang manages to steer into a more positive space because he can't keep taking on everyone's pain and pretending he's also not having a hard time.
Though still a bit impressed with the communication between Tae-yang and Tae-joon. He didn't shy away from saying he is tired but still tried to stop her from isolating herself.

But want to shake my fist at this show. They gave me bulldozer X dumpster and then proceeded to do nothing more with it.

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