Love All Play: Episodes 13-14
Hold onto your hats, the cuteness is back! After about three weeks of torturing us, the tide is turning. Characters suddenly learn how to be kind and forgiving, and there’s a rose-colored light at the end of the tunnel.
EPISODES 13-14 WEECAP
Healing is the name of the game this week, and while half of it isn’t really fleshed out enough to my liking, I’m not going to complain, because I prefer characters that aren’t one-dimensionally hateful and instead can learn to move on from their self-centered emotions.
The first bit of healing we get is with Tae-yang and her father. He’s finally acknowledging the poor father he’s been towards her, and while the two of them clean out the bedroom he shared with his deceased wife, they both agree to move on. It seems to work, too, because later on Tae-yang’s father even has a daughter brag-a-thon with Coach Lee. (Their daughters are great, but it’s not hard to see who’s the better father. Anyway.)
The next bit of relationship healing is between Tae-yang and Jung-hwan, and this was probably the most satisfying, fun, and believable, for me. Now that Jung-hwan’s been able to move on from Joon-young and all the anger he held against Tae-yang, it’s understandable that he seeks his old friendship with her. She’s always been good to him, and despite him acting like a tool, we have seen him advocate for her a lot too — so, yay!
The two shake hands and then go back to how they were three years ago — what we’re told was a cute bickery friendship, and then we see it in action, and it’s just as satisfying as we want. Now that Jung-hwan has found some peace, he’s also giving the plot a little bit of comedy — and cuteness — whether he’s teasing Tae-joon about “our Tae-yang,” secretly gunning for the Park twin coupling, or finally working up the courage to make it official with Yoo-min. Woot, a new couple!
Speaking of couples, we focus a lot on our secondary and supporting characters this week, which I wish the drama had done more of earlier on. The Yunis team members are each colorful and interesting; I would have liked to get more of their stories and a little less of the angst-fest we’ve just been through, but I’ll take what the drama gives us.
And so we get a lot of cute team scenes – and a lot of couples exposed. Sung-shil and Ji-ho’s two-year relationship is revealed (I just love them, ack!), and we even spend some time with the team captain Seung-woo and his 15-year crush on Young-shim.
Their story is quite bittersweet, since they have such a strong bond, but were never able to become the great pair they could have. The two share a sweet embrace after Seung-woo’s retirement, and it’s like their story picked up all the bittersweetness of the drama, so that in turn, we could get back to the cuteness of the main couple.
Tae-yang and Tae-joon spend some time apart and pining for each other. After Tae-yang’s two-week “punishment” for the brouhaha of the past, she returns to the team, and the dorm, and the drama basically pulls all the stops, giving us just want we want: Tae-yang and Tae-joon trying to resist each other, but pushed (and drawn) together at every given moment.
The team finds out they’re dating (but not that they’re broken up), while Joon-young finds out that they’ve broken up — all thanks to Jung-hwan, who’s now fully on Team Tae-yang. Here’s where things get a little iffy.
Tae-joon spends time with Joon-young for basically the first time ever, and after a good chat and some long-standing emotions aired out, the two seem to be on the best terms they’ve ever been. It’s weird and semi-infuriating, though, that Joon-young acts surprised that the Tae-joon and Tae-yang broke up, asking her brother, “You broke up because I gave you crap about it?” Uh, girl, you were basically evil incarnate for the last few weeks. Why are you acting so nice now?
Joon-young is acting nice, and she immediately notices that something is up with Tae-joon’s knee and whisks him to the hospital. It’s not a bad injury but a big flare-up, and he needs bed rest for a few days. It’s the perfect “alarm,” though, to reveal to Joon-young (and whoever else is paying attention) how much Tae-yang cares about Tae-joon. At this point, it doesn’t even seem to bother Joon-young anymore, and she makes it easy for Tae-yang to visit him undisturbed.
I am not really sure what caused such a change of heart for Joon-young, but I’m not complaining, because the hospital scene we get as a result of this is basically the magic that K-dramas are made of.
Tae-joon, whose injury is supposedly excruciating, tells Tae-yang he didn’t even know it hurt, since the hurt of not having her was all he could feel. *Swoon* They stare at each other in longing, and I’m drinking up every moment. Finally, Tae-joon does the thing, and jumps up from the hospital bed and grabs Tae-yang for an embrace. Yessssss.
The two have been dancing around each other since the breakup, first trying to avoid the other, then realizing they can’t, then just admitting that it’s hard for them to suddenly stop caring for the other. Tae-joon says that that’s what a breakup is… but of course, neither of them truly want the breakup that seemed so imperative not too long ago, and the hospital hug makes that more than apparent.
Back to our theme of healed relationships, our other crucial one (are we on healed relationship #4 now?) is between Joon-young and Tae-yang. They share a heartfelt and teary scene where they come to understand each other. I love it, and I want them to be friends again, so I’ll put aside the feeling that’s still lingering: what caused Joon-young to change her heart? Three years of anger and hurt have disappeared in three weeks, and one conversation with Tae-yang’s father doesn’t seem like enough. But it’s okay, because the result is what we’re after, right? (Also, the wonderfulness of having Tae-joon and Jung-hwan spying on this meetup haha!)
Tae-joon returns to the dorm after jumping up and down like a crazy person in the hospital to prove to his doctor that his knee is now fine. With permission to play in the upcoming tournament, he has a one-track mind: to play mixed doubles with Tae-yang.
She doesn’t know this yet, and had begged the other Yunis players not to pair with Tae-joon so he could rest his knee instead. But when the two have an evening tryst and Tae-joon says he’s been cleared to play, his confession that he’s dying to play with her is basically the same thing as a confession of love.
And just like that, the Park twins are back in business as doubles partners. I cannot wait to have them play together in the upcoming tourney… and the inevitable result, which is sudden ecstatic kisses on the court. Come on, Show, we’re suffered enough, and we deserve it. And so do the Park twins. On towards happiness!