Destined With You: Episodes 9-10
The second half of our show kicks off with some much needed progress on the romance front. *Throws confetti* An unexpected sinister alliance is revealed, we get an insight into our OTP’s past lives, and a familiar character returns.
We resume the week with Hong-jo creeping away from the shadowy figure at the festival location. Thankfully, the lights come back on and she bumps into Jae-kyung. What is he doing here? He came to check on the location as well. Hong-jo and I are suspicious of his sudden appearance, but okay, I’ll buy his excuse. What I don’t buy is Shin-yu suddenly collapsing in his parking lot and Na-yeon being the one to find him. I mean, last we knew, Shin-yu went to confront Garden Man. What happened at the greenhouse? And why has Shin-yu been unconscious for two whole days?
Naturally, Hong-jo is worried about not being able to reach Shin-yu. She waits on pins and needles for him to text back — and her disappointment is palpable when Jae-kyung’s text comes in instead. Lol.
The first thing Shin-yu does when he wakes up is to look for his phone, and he’s pleased to see Hong-jo’s worried messages. Dude doesn’t even want to get discharged so that she can keep worrying about him. Pfft. I guess he’s all better now — aside from the generational illness and the threat of the curse doll hanging on his head.
Worried about the curse doll, Hong-jo goes through the black magic spell book and stumbles on a Love Destruction spell. Its ingredients and recipe catch her eye: a straw doll dressed with the clothes of a beloved person, a black cloth covering the head of the doll, and the pierced name tag of the person to be cursed. It’s clear that whoever placed the curse doll in the mountains is familiar with this particular spell. But how?
After learning of Na-yeon’s affair last week, I didn’t think any other alliance of hers could surprise me. But surprise, surprise, she is in cahoots with Garden Man! How did they even link up? Was it before or after Hong-jo told her about the love spell thingy? Or has she always been in the know that Garden Man was the anonymous sender of the pictures?
Despite Na-yeon’s superiority complex, Garden Man reiterates that he is not her lackey. So, do you want an award for Mastermind Creep of the Year? Na-yeon hands over Shin-yu’s clothes to Garden Man to proceed with the next stage of their evil plans, and he promises to bring it on. “Compared to romance or drama, a thriller’s more exciting,” he says. And is that the writer borrowing his voice to tell us about the genre of the second half of the show?
The fireworks festival is finally declared open, but in the crowd of people, our OTP can only see each other. (That height difference though!) Shin-yu was supposed to go on a post-recovery trip, but Hong-jo called to stop him — she’s the one reaching out first this time. The truth is, you can only stop a person who is willing to be stopped. And since Hong-jo has made the first move, it’s Shin-yu’s turn to make a move. “It doesn’t matter whether the spells work or not. I love you,” he says, after pulling her into a hug, and I couldn’t help but smile because Shin-yu has finally escaped from the Dungeon of Denial.
Turns out that escape is not a new concept when it comes to Shin-yu, because we get transported from the festival to our OTP’s previous life in Joseon, where Joseon Shin-yu tells Joseon Hong-jo to run away with him. It’s giving off star-crossed lovers vibes.
We back up further to see a younger Shin-yu, the young master of an aristocratic family, collapsed in the Field of Despair after his mother’s death. Hong-jo, a commoner — who seems to have shamanic powers — comforted him with the knowledge of his mother’s last letter to him. And afterwards, they became friends despite their status difference.
Our Joseon OTP parted ways when Shin-yu left to write the state exam — and Hong-jo had an unsettling vision of him holding someone, and the person’s bloody hand reaching out to his face, but she kept mum about it. They met again after his coming-of-age ceremony, and with adult Shin-yu looking so gat-damn handsome, we soon see that Joseon Hong-jo and modern-day Hong-jo both suffer from the uncontrollable blushing syndrome. Then again, I dare any lady to not blush after receiving a forehead kiss and some chaste lip action from Shin-yu. (By the way, his neck really went through a lot for the duration of that kiss). Lol.
We return to the current timeline, where our OTP suffers from post-confession awkwardness. Shin-yu tells Hong-jo to wait for him to come to her pure and wholly — that is, without the girlfriend/fiancée baggage — and Hong-jo agrees to wait. Then they go all mushy with the “Go home,” and “You, go first,” nonsense. *Rolls eyes* Are you two in a competition to see who catches a cold first?
Shin-yu tells shaman Eun-wol about his recovery of the past life’s memory, and how he thinks he loved Hong-jo back then, too. But what is past is past, and Eun-wol advises him to focus on this life and make sure he has no regrets.
Having no regrets starts from Shin-yu making a clean break with Na-yeon — who would rather “turn a blind eye to his affairs” than accept that it’s over between them. Pfft. Sis is obsessed with the idea of Shin-yu as a trophy husband, but it no longer matters. Shin-yu is done, done, and this time, it’s final.
Now that he’s free of Na-yeon, Shin-yu shows up at Hong-jo’s house with flowers, and I’m 100% onboard their ship now. But before I could begin to cast an anti-iceberg spell for the ship, Jae-kyung barges out of the gate to snatch the flowers and demand that Hong-jo come to him. That disrespectful punk! Honestly, the audacity of K-drama second leads needs to be studied. But joke’s on me because the flowers, and the battle to split Hong-jo into two was all in her head. LMAO! I can’t believe I got so worked up for nothing. The imagination of K-drama female leads… you know what, just forget it.
But despite breaking up with Na-yeon, Shin-yu doesn’t make things official with Hong-jo. In fact, he gives her so much of a painfully professional distance, that she gets confused and upset. In the end, Hong-jo consults Jae-kyung for dating advice, and Jae-kyung uses the opportunity to confess his feelings to her. “Don’t get shaken up by Shin-yu. Come to me.” Lol. Can’t blame him, though. The man saw his chance and took it, albeit late.
Na-yeon, on the other hand, can’t take chances with just Garden Man’s shamanistic ritual. For two-factor authentication, she asks daddy dearest to transfer Hong-jo out of City Hall, and the responsibility falls on Jae-kyung’s lap. “Because you didn’t behave properly, [Hong-jo] is the one being accused,” Jae-kyung roars at Shin-yu, and Shin-yu says he’ll deal with the situation. How? By wrist-grabbing Hong-jo and dragging her out under the watchful eyes of all of City Hall.
Our OTP’s destination is the beach, and there, Shin-yu tells Hong-jo that Na-yeon made him promise to keep their breakup a secret until her project at City Hall is over. He accepted to do so because it was only recently that people at work found out about him and Na-yeon, and he didn’t want them to judge Hong-jo for dating him almost immediately. “I wanted a peaceful start even if it meant we had to start late,” he says. But it doesn’t matter anymore because he’s going to side with Hong-jo openly now.
To do that, Shin-yu needs to know how Hong-jo feels, and she replies that she feels strange. “Somehow, it feels like I’ve been caring about you for a very long time,” she says, and he tells her that she’s right. They cared for each other though she probably doesn’t remember. Awwwwn. Look at them hugging and kissing at the same beach where they once pledged to go against their destinies. Cute. (But how is it that the hottest kiss they’ve had so far is the one from his hungover imagination two weeks ago?)
Everything is all sweet and romantic until Hong-jo lovingly reaches for Shin-yu’s cheeks. And like a phoenix from the ashes, Red Hand makes her long-awaited reappearance, and this is where we wrap up for the week!
Ms. Red is back, people! She really said ain’t no other woman coming for my precious cheeks. Territorial much? LMAO! I suppose it’s time for her to return since we have begun to delve into the story of Shin-yu and Hong-jo’s past life. But everything about that life screams tragedy and horror — from our OTP’s plans to run away, to Hong-jo’s vision, and the suspicious dumping of a body at the shaman’s shrine. *Shudders*
Whether in the past or present, our OTP’s love story is fraught with challenges of all sorts. But that’s why side couples exist — to ease the anxiety and frustration we get from watching the OTP surmount their obstacles. And for Destined With You, Mr. Gong and Eun-young have become our official side couple, and there goes my hope for a platonic friendship between them. Welp!
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