Sun Woo may have come back from the dead, but he seems to be making an effort to cut ties with the living: brawling with Hyung, pushing away Min Young, even being cool and standoffish with his coworkers. We are lucky the bromance with Young Hoon is strong, otherwise our hero might have already thrown in the towel and become the loneliest man in the world.
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“Previously on Nine” Young Sun Woo in 1993 learned he was going to die and changed his fate. Three months after “surviving” (never dying? Not becoming the unliving? Resurrecting? Zombifying?) Sun Woo has become co-anchor for the news. Min Young remembered the previous timeline by realizing she made the inscription on the album sleeve.
We pick up where we left off at episode 10: Min Young has confronted Sun Woo and in her certainty of the past events, she grabs him and kisses him intensely (woo hoo for girls calling the shots!), and she (and he?) are both flooded with the memories of all the passionate kisses in their original timeline.
Sun Woo asks if she has lost her mind, and tells her to leave. Immediately. Wrist grab (ugh!) and a drag towards the main gate . . . when somebody rings the bell.
It’s Seo-joon and he is looking for Min Young. Sun Woo asks Min Young why Seo-joon is looking for her. She explains that they fought over the inscription on the album sleeve. Yet ANOTHER wrist grab as Sun Woo drags her inside the house. Through the video-com, he talks to Seo-joon and says he will be right out. He turns to Min Young and bitterly tells her to pull herself together; she is on the verge of ruining her life.
Sun Woo tells Seo-joon that Min Young *was* over but she had already left. He also says she told him that they fought over the album. Seo-joon backpedals, saying it was a simple disagreement. Sun Woo says the album is, in fact, his and the inscription was made by a former girlfriend who was also in Pukhara last December. Because they have broken up, he is not going to tell Seo-joon her name. He reiterates that her family name was a “J” name, and obviously not Park.
Sun Woo comes back inside, finding Min Young in the crash position with her head between her legs in his living room. Clearly, the girl is falling apart. He tells her he called a cab. He also tells her the album was a gift from a girl with a similar name, Joo Min Young, and that is why he was confused a couple of times. He doesn’t believe her recovered memories, and he plans on erasing the memory of what she did on his front stoop (the kiss, although he avoids using the word). He says he thinks it was a result of a fight with her fiancé and will let it go this once. If she insists on pursuing this fantasy, he will stop seeing her altogether.
She asks if she is dreaming now, because it all seems clear to her. He says he cannot explain her own mind to her, he just knows he does not have those memories or thoughts. She pushes for information on this other Min Young: Where does she work? How does he know her? Where is she now? Since he obviously can’t answer any of those questions he resorts to more wrist grabbing and yelling, saying it is none of her business and it is time for her to leave.
It’s a pretty awkward taxi ride with her whimpering in the back seat. They pull over a few blocks from her house, as they need to keep up the pretense that they were not together. Sun Woo apologizes for yelling at her, and suggests she forget that as well. Min Young only responds with stuttering sobs. It’s almost worse when someone breaks your heart but is still outwardly nice. He gets some tissues from the taxi driver and dabs her face (HELLO MIXED MESSAGES.) He goes on to tell her that cold feet before a wedding is pretty typical, he just never assumed she was a typical girl. He jokes that he must be pretty handsome to sway her, but that she should put a smile on her face and go home. As he rides off in the taxi, he can see her in the side view, head down and sniffling. He is not as happy as the face he put on for her benefit.
Seo-joon is waiting out front when Min Young walks up, she is clearly not able to look at him, keeping her head down. She silently goes back inside and he awkwardly says “Haha big misunderstanding, good night?”
Min Young thinks about kissing Sun Woo, her fingers tracing her lips. Back at the Park Compound, he looks at the album sleeve.
The next day Young Hoon takes a call from Seo-joon, under the ruse of some minor patient question but what Seo-joon really wanted to was to pass on an apology to Sun Woo for dragging him into the argument with Min Young.
Young Hoon calls Sun Woo, saying Seo-joon said something about a note and a record and JMY. Sun Woo tells Young Hoon that Min Young remembered, just things from their time in Nepal. Young Hoon asks if he explained the incense and the time travel, he has not. Sun Woo refuses to drag Min Young into this awkward parallel lives scenario (as if fate hasn’t done that already). He says the incense sticks made his life 50 times harder and he cannot do that to Min Young. He is just going to insist that her memories are false until she gets over it and forgets them.
MY is still moping in her house. She is packing (unpacking? I want to say she is moving in because Seo-joon set up the stereo there but it kind of looks like she is moving out) boxes and remembers the conversation she had with Sun Woo about his relationship that went sour because his girlfriend has amnesia, and that they could not be together due to “birth secrets.”
Min Young phones Sun Woo, who ignores the call. Not easily deterred, she calls one of their coworkers who hands his phone to Sun Woo.
She tells Sun Woo she figured it out, SHE must be the girl with amnesia. SHE is family. Sun Woo says he will call her back, and hands the coworker back his phone. Sun Woo goes to the roof of the news studio and asks her if she has been imagining scenarios since the moment they were introduced, before her mother married his brother. He says she is imagining it all, every disgusting makjang detail. She asks if he thinks she is disgusting, and he barks yes. Everything she is saying is ruining the life he just got back (little did she know, he is being literal). Meekly, she apologizes and he starts to tell her to calm down and take some time off, only she has already hung up.
We flash back to Choi in the office in April 1993.
Jung Woo walks in. He squirms a little as he notices the Assistant Director name plate is on Choi’s desk, next to the new one that says Director. Choi asks Jung Woo if he has considered his offer to go to America (all expenses covered by Choi, of course.) Jung Woo seems uncertain. Choi asks if Jung Woo has heard from the man who chased him down the alley after his father died, Jung Woo twitches nervously and says he has not.
Choi reminds him that his mother is the only one who saw the face of the stranger, and reminds Jung Woo that he will take care of any issues if the stranger should resurface after he leaves the country. Jung Woo asks Choi if he liked Jung Woo’s mother when they were younger. Choi has no idea what he is getting at, and says that she was very pretty, very popular and a lot of their friends liked her. Ultimately, he laughs, Jung Woo’s father is the one who beat them all. Jung Woo is not laughing.
Hyung goes to visit future wife Yoo Jin at her record store, she asks if Choi offered to pay for his education in the States. Jung Woo simply says that he will not accept any money from Choi, and stomps off into the back room.
Back in 2013, Choi is on the news. The verdict is in, he will be serving 10 years. Jung Woo watches from the hospital. He seems bemused, but not quite happy about Choi answering for his crimes.
In the newsroom, Sun Woo is told he has a visitor in the lobby; it is his sister-in-law Yoo Jin. She says she deliberately came in because it was Min Young’s day off, she would prefer that her daughter did not know she spoke to Sun Woo. She is upset that he will not be at the wedding, and knows it is because of whatever is going on between him and Jung Woo. She tells him that Jung Woo isn’t sleeping and that he is back on depression medication. Sun Woo is unforgiving as he tells her Jung Woo SHOUDN’T be sleeping well. He does not give any clues as to why the brothers are at odds, but makes it clear that he will not forgive Jung Woo any time soon. Yoo Jin says Sun Woo should try to be happy to, to get married himself. He smiles weakly, only saying that he will try.
Choi’s minions are discussing his strategy with appeals and possibly leaking details about his failing health to the media. His team says they can probably defer sentencing for 2 or possibly 3 years, which is when he totally loses it and tosses everything from his desk. Stretching out the inevitable won’t change the fact that he will probably die in prison, and he blames their foolish tactics for getting him convicted (never taking the burden of actual responsibility, this guy). He sends all of his minions out.
Flashback to 1993. Choi is eyeballing an architectural model of his future hospital lustily. He gets a phone call and goes to a secluded area to meet someone.
The mystery man (who appears to be a police officer) gives Choi an envelope with a video tape. It is surveillance footage from the eyeglasses store that Mom went to on Christmas Eve 1992 with 38 year old time traveling Sun Woo.
Present day Choi flashes on who he saw . . . he is having the multiple time line memory now too! There is ominous thunder and lightning in the present day as Choi also remembers running into 38 year old Sun Woo outside the clinic back in 1992. Choi can’t quite seem to put the facts together, why someone who looks like modern day Sun Woo was skulking about the clinic or why he just remembers it now. (I suppose there are plenty of things that make more sense than your former partner’s son pulling a Quantum Leap and going back in time to put right what you once put wrong.)
Back at the studio, Sun Woo and The Hussy finish their newscast (damn, I thought this would be a Hussy free episode!) They are talking and Sun Woo takes of his mic and reaches over and removes hers. This brush into her business area does not go unnoticed by The Hussy. It also doesn’t go unnoticed by the newsroom. They ask Sun Woo via his earpiece if they are flirting and that is why they turned their mics off. Sun Woo offers to take The Hussy out for drinks, and asks her to meet him downstairs.
Sun Woo is out in the rain when she comes down, without an umbrella. She acts coy, and bites her finger. (Seriously? She’s a little old for the helpless girl routine. Gross.) She giggles and slyly gets under his umbrella (ella ella hey hey hey.)
They are headed for the car when Sun Woo gets a call from Seo-joon. He says Min Young is missing. They were supposed to visit his parents and she didn’t show. Sun Woo tries to call Min Young on her cell and at home, no answer. He thinks back to how distraught she was in the taxi. He hands his umbrella over to The Hussy and runs back inside the station. He speaks to one of the interns. The intern tries to call Min Young as well.
Sun Woo goes running around in the rain, looking for Min Young. I wonder if he goes to places he went with girlfriend Min Young or places he took NIECE Min Young, or if he can even distinguish between them in memory. He ends up back at the restaurant where he met up with her at the end of episode 4 before his time travel made the world all screwy. He sees that mushroom haircut inside and stops in his tracks.
Only it is TOTALLY NOT HER (seriously, is ROK just filled with ladies spotting the ramen bowl haircut? I doubt there are a bunch of adult women running around with this unflattering little girl mushroom top.) Dejected, he walks back out into the downpour.
He finally goes home, and keeps calling her cell. Min Young finally returns his call. She is out in the rain, and probably has been for hours. She tells him her memory is very detailed, she even knew the name of the hotel they stayed at in Nepal. She called, but they had no record of a guest Park Sun Woo or Joo Min Young, those people don’t seem to exist in this world. She says she isn’t forgetting at all, that time is only making things more concrete. She remembered it was their honeymoon, and that she made the inscription: “I will always love you” on the album sleeve as her wedding vow. It’s a promise she made and it’s not fair that she is the only one who remembers it. (btw: this is the point where I totally lost it on this episode. It hit pretty close to home.) Sun Woo demands to know where she is, she only says she is where she had her first kiss with her first love.
Min Young has a flashback where she is drunk with the two interns from the newsroom at the park. Sun Woo shows up (probably at Min Young’s request) and admonishes each of them for calling him out so late and being drunk on a weeknight with work the following morning.
Min Young comes rolling off the slide, tumbling on top of Sun Woo, her cohorts laughing that she “tricked” him into a hug. And since she is 90% of the way there she goes for the kiss.
She brags to her stumbling coworkers about getting the kiss (perhaps someone had placed bets on this?). Sun Woo starts to stand up still looking bewildered, but not angry.
In the present day/present timeline, Sun Woo shows up at the park and finds Min Young on the swing. She is surprised to see him, and asks how he knew where to find her.
“You said you were where we had our first kiss,” he replies.
“Samchoon (uncle),” she says. “Does this mean you remember?”
Sun Woo looks at her for a moment.
“Do you know what word I hate most? Samchoon.” and pulls her in for an epic kiss.
Unff this couple. I don’t know if it was his back-from-the-dead zombified brain but Sun Woo is too smart to spend two episodes in Noble Idiot land. I am really not clear on how lying about their (alternate timeline) past does Min Young any good, although I certainly understand that given current circumstances they are not in a position to pursue such a relationship. Openly, anyway. This thinking that “maybe if I yell and scream and wrist grab her all up and down the peninsula she will run happily into the arms of Seo-joon” is a pretty odd approach at considering her feelings. I ended up watching the movie, Fearless (1993) yesterday. Maybe things from Nine were in my subconscious and made me choose it, maybe it is just coincidence, but some themes from the movie seemed to run parallel to this episode. In Fearless, Jeff Bridges is a man who survives a plane crash, and in the aftermath he starts to feel like maybe he is already dead (more spiritually than literally.) Part of that feeling also makes him think he is invincible: he has no problem taking another plane to get home (other passengers opted to take a train as they were too traumatized,) he walks into traffic, he eats strawberries that he was deathly allergic to as a child. And in this state he disconnects from his family, and exists in this haze. I think Sun Woo is like that. He has “survived” and only sees the pain of attachments and thus refuses to make them. Sun Woo less than halfheartedly makes an attempt to “be normal” by offering to take The Hussy out for drinks (and thank goodness Seo-joon has his phone number to put a stop to that) but Sun Woo calls The Hussy out on her little ploys so he doesn’t seem to have any actual interest in her. Obviously, Min Young is his OTP (One True Pair) but there must be females he actually enjoys spending time with, even without any romantic intentions. So our couple appears to be together, but there is still danger ahead with the effects of time travel entering Choi’s conscious thought and who knows what ripples from there.
I am unable to comment because right below me is LJW laying one on a lucky JYH. Sigh. Btw, it is awesome that we find out that the girl got the first kiss in in Nine just like in QIHM. Girl Lip Power!!!
This is the first episode where I actually felt sorry for Cute Hoobae, but as I said before, if he gets the pain out of the way now, he will heal and love again… Any nurses out there willing to help him mend?
My laugh out loud moment came from Adult Young-hoon, of course, who tells Seo-joon that he’s “jogging” when we see him walking out of a store with a bag of potato chips and a drink. Pretty sure when he’s done with that he’ll go for a smoke before returning home to Wifey…
Is Noble Idiot actually something I agree with here? Does SW have a point that only he should suffer the consequences of two timelines? The main reason I say, “No!” is that she has already chosen to stand by and support him during his last horrible months in the first timeline. I am also not sure that MY is better off with Seo-joon even if she didn’t love SW. Her brightness would have eventually dulled by accepting a new life she never really asked for. Yes, MY will face challenges when she cancels her wedding to a nice guy and announces she is in a relationship with her, gulp, don’tcallmeSamchoon, but, hey! when he kisses her like that? Who cares?!