One of the tortures of being an adult is making mistakes and realizing you have to be accountable for them. Some things you just want to do because you can “I’m going to stay up until 2 am!” or “I’m going to eat ICE CREAM for breakfast!”. You get so wrapped up in your new found freedom, you forget that it’s hard to function on 3 hours of sleep or that you will crash from the sugar rush of breakfast by the time you clock in at work. As annoying as it was to have mom tell you to go to bed at 9, and as irritating as you found her the next morning flipping your light switch off and on while chirping “wake up, sleepy head!”, she was there looking out for you. Making sure you were well rested and that you got up and ready for school on time. Bed time and diet are just minor learning curves on the road to adulthood. The dangers of binge drinking and casual sex loom much larger, and you will need more than a row boat to navigate this ocean.
✿ ✺ ✿
Picking up where episode 2 left off, Byung Hee has just come to the realization that she is nude beneath the covers, and that she shared a motel room (and by the looks of it, a bed) with Chul Soo last night. She dives at him and falls off the bed. He leans over to help her up and gets a head butt in the process.
Back at home Seung-hye checks the basement, looking for Chul Soo. She tries calling but gets no response. Byung Hee is walking the coastline, carrying her model in a box. Chul Soo is behind her, with cotton up his nose.
Still a little sore from the head butt, Chul Soo tells her violence is not the answer, Byung Hee says “Let’s get our stories straight,” Chul Soo asks “You don’t remember?” Byung Hee says it was a terrible thing, something that cannot happen between them. Chul Soo gets defensive and says “It was terrible for me too!” Byung Hee looks simultaneously surprised and offended.
Chul Soo says “That is not the important thing” Byung Hee is stunned. “What could possibly be MORE important?” and Chul Soo replies “We have to deal with your cancer first.”
Then it is Byung Hee’s turn to feel bad. She explains it is not actually cancer, but a benign tumor. He gives her the death glare, and grabs the box from her hands and tosses it to the ground.
Byung Hee opens the box to inspect her model and Chul Soo grabs it and throws it into the sea. It bobs and drifts away, Chul Soo storms off in the opposite direction.
Bulldog jokes that he earned the title and he should be happy when people use it. Apparently Bulldog owns the building and Dr. Bae’s practice is one of his tenants. He brags about owning each business listed on the directory. He also makes an offhand remark about having a medical issue, and he would like Dr. Bae to put him on his schedule. Dr. Bae agrees and says Young-gil wants to get together for drinks (so they are all buddies?) Bulldog calls Young-gil a pornographer and low class, he would rather hang out with cool guys like Dr. Bae. Bulldog gets Joon-hee’s resume from his minion.
Byung Hee confronts Chul Soo as they wait for the tow truck. “I know I was drunk, but what is your excuse? You are a man, much stronger than me! Were you drunk?” He tries to avoid the question, talking to the tow truck driver about loading the car properly, but when she keeps pushing, he leans in and with a smirk says “Listen, Go Byung Hee ssi, I AM a man.”
Byung Hee calls in sick to work as they ride back in the tow truck. As soon as she hangs up Seung-hye calls and Byung Hee panics, tossing the phone into Chul Soo’s lap saying “Ack! It’s your sister!” He picks it up and barely gets out a “Hello?” before Byung-hee snatches it from him, asking if he has lost his mind. She asks the truck driver to pull over so they can talk about their alibi.
Byung Hee starts by saying how this whole thing is the worst thing ever, comparing it to World War III or a malaria outbreak (on behalf of Chul Soo here, OUCH). He gets understandably defensive. “Am I married? Or a minor? Or an animal? No. I am a person.” Byung Hee replies “Okay, okay it is not illegal. And I get it, you are a man. But for me . . . for me it . . .” she stumbles over the words.
“I didn’t know it was your first time” he interrupts. “Do you want me to take responsibility for you?”
“Responsibility for me?” she huffs. “I should be looking after you! Should I take responsibility for you?”
“No.” he snaps back.
“Fine, then we should pretend this never happened.”
Byung Hee seems shocked and offended. “Is it that easy for you?”
Chul Soo is getting fed up. “It was your idea! Girls are so complicated. Yes should mean yes, and no should mean no. Instead it is all no, no, no okay, yes!”
Byung Hee smirks “That was YOU last night. ‘No, no, no YES!’” Chul Soo growls in irritation. Byung Hee continues, “We need to get the stories straight, down to the last detail.”
Chul Soo walks in to his sister’s store, and she immediately asks where he has been and why he didn’t answer his phone. He explains that he spent the night at the jjimjilbang (sauna) and that his cell phone battery ran out. Before heading to his basement apartment, he stops and asks Seung-hye if it is true that she was a gangster (Byung Hee said she was scared of Seung-hye finding out because she used to hang with a tough crowd). Seung-hye just sputters a little, shocked at the question and Chul Soo smiles. “It suits you,” he says.
Byung Hee gets home and flops down on her bed and begins a fantasy sequence on what she thought her first time would be. It starts with rose petals, and a bath surrounded by candles and drinking wine. She imagines a candlelit bedroom, where Sunbae is waiting.
She approaches the bed and jumps, flinging open her robe. It’s about the unsexiest thing ever but it is hilarious. She comes back from her reverie thinking she knew it would never really be like that but it seems wrong that she doesn’t even remember any of it, and that the memory was stolen from her. She grabs a stuffed animal from her bed to play the role of Chul Soo and begins hitting it, telling it to die.
Wallowing under the stairway, Chul Soo sputters out some of the beer he is drinking. Perhaps Byung Hee’s stuffed animal had a voodoo doll effect, he can sense the virtual beating? He begins thinking of a bath himself, only this is more of a flashback than a fantasy. He is young, maybe 11 or 12? He runs into his house, sweaty from playing in the sun. He goes into Seung-hye’s room only to find Byung Hee there, napping. He doesn’t pass the opportunity to watch as the fan blows up her skirt, and manages to escape before he is seen. A little while later, he is bathing (rinsing off and fully exposed) when Byung-hee pops into the bathroom. He manages to cover himself with the rinse bucket and she grins with a little “sorry”. Then it is the middle of the night and young Chul Su wakes up to find himself . . . errmmm . . . in a sticky situation. The kind of incident that involves a humiliating scrub of his pajamas and underwear in the middle of the night. Back in the present, he shudders as he thinks about it.
We get a montage of Chul Soo scavenging in junk yards and doing something with a blow torch in his basement (wooo handyman, is it hot in here or is that his blow torch?) Cinderblocks and plywood becomes a shelf, old tires become his bed frame.
Byung Hee meets with her gynecologist, who tells her it is not cancerous but she should have it removed. Byung Hee is nervous about the surgery, and decides to put it off and agrees to go forward if the tumor gets bigger. The doctor tells her it is silly for her to wait 33 years to lose her virginity; she should start dating and fall in love. As she leaves the office, Byung Hee thinks about how she DID sleep with someone but could not bring herself to tell the doctor because she wasn’t in love. Byung Hee also can’t believe that a stranger had to give her permission to do something so simple.
Byung Hee gets back to work, this time with a story about a couple rockin’ inside an SVU by the river. When the police come over to investigate, the lovers have two cups of ramyun ready (as the plausible cause for steamy windows). Her boss Yong-gil reads over her shoulder and comments on how wise her writing is, and that she must have a lot of experience. He also calls her “Miss Go” and asks if she has gone to talk to Dr. Bae yet. She hops off her chair and goes straight to Yong-gil’s desk.
She reminds him she is Reporter Go and he starts to brush her off when she slaps both hands on his desk and gets right in his face. The moment she does it, we hear her interior monolog wonder if she has gone too far. Yong-gil is not familiar with her confrontational side, and backs away a bit. She reminds him that she has been promised a chief editor position. He says there are only three people in the office, including him. They can talk about the editor thing once they have a real staff. She says he has been telling her that for years and she wants a decision now (while simultaneously thinking she is too old and unskilled to find other work if she is fired). He concedes. “Fine, you are the chief editor, we will order you gold foil business cards with the new title.” He mutters something about needing to leave and ducks out.
Her coworker Sung-ran comes over and congratulates her, and asks if the position comes with a raise. Now Byung-hee realizes why Yong-gil left in a rush, and mutters a little “stupid, stupid, stupid” to herself. Sung-ran offers a consolation in the form of condoms. Byung Hee notices the time, and runs off to another appointment.
She meets Sunbae at the bus stop, she offered to ride with him and see him off at the airport. He seems surprised to see her. As they ride, he asks her to stay on the bus once they get to the airport; he would like to do that alone. She offers him a hug instead and thinks to herself how easy this is . . . she can’t look him in the eye but she can casually suggest skinship. For ten years this man made her heart flutter and now she can give him up. And she realizes he wasn’t the one who changed, it was her. In the background as they say their goodbyes you can hear Jason Mraz’ “Life is Wonderful”, here are some of the lyrics:
It takes a night to make it dawn
And it takes a day to make you yawn brother
And it takes some old to make you young
It takes some cold to know the sun
It takes the one to have the other
And it takes no time to fall in love
But it takes you years to know what love is . . .
Rarely do English lyrics fit a scene so perfectly.
Byung Hee thinks back to what Seung-hye said, that she was just in love with the IDEA of love. And maybe it was true that she never truly loved her Sunbae. She wipes away tears as the bus pulls away, thinking “Goodbye, goodbye to my love”.
Chul Soo goes to the shop where he left his bracelets to be sold and collects his earnings. As he pulls away, a girl on the street does a double take (to be fair, I would do a long gawking look at Chun Jung Myung on a motorbike too). He turns the money over to the man at the bike shop, payment for his ride. The man chases him down, saying he is $30 short. Chul Soo reminds him of all the times he ripped Chul Soo off as a student, and says they are even.
Byung Hee goes to visit Dr. Bae about the articles they will be doing together (kind of a Loveline style advice column, where the doctor offers a medical perspective like Dr. Drew). There is some flirty sparring between the two, like jokes about working on top of each other. Byung Hee doesn’t seem to pick up on the comments Dr. Bae is making and asks if he is insulting her line of work. He asks “What exactly is your job?” and she falters. She asks him to call her once he is done answering the questions in the file she gave him and goes to leave, but catches her bag on the edge of his desk and its contents spill onto the floor. Amongst the stuff that is actually hers, there are also about two dozen condoms tossed in by Sung-ran back at the C’est Si Bon office. It’s like when Carrie first bumped into Mr. Big in Sex and the City . . . only Byung Hee is not a polished, flashy, city gal confident in her sexuality. She is mortified. Dr. Bae is amused and maybe even a little impressed. He notices she has all the colors of the rainbow, she plays it cool and says her men appreciate a variety of colors. She heads for the door and he asks for her name, he only knows her family name of Go. She promises him a gold foil business card and scurries out.
Byung Hee is standing at the elevator, regretting that she will be spending the next year working with Dr. Bae after that condom debacle. She goes to bang her head against the doors, just as they open with Bulldog inside. She falls on top of him and he says “Ajumma! What are you doing?” Ajumma means middle aged woman, on par with being called “Ma’am” instead of “Miss”. Actually, it is probably worse.
Joon-hee has booked a modeling gig at a car show. Shrug, step above a boat show I guess. She is being watched by Bulldog in the crowd (creeper). She manages to sneak away with her male counterpart for a little makeout session in a closet. She asks if they can continue someplace else and they are making a run for it when Bulldog stops them. As a man with some clout, he encourages the male model to leave (or risk his future bookings with Bulldog’s company).
He gets Joon-hee in his car where he asks her if she has ever been told she looks like someone. She says she has been told she resembles Kang Eun-mi, who used to be a model, but she died in a car accident. Park has his driver pull over and lets Joon-hee out in the middle of nowhere. In her ball gown and heels she starts to make her way back home.
He stops on the way back because he sees a mini fridge.
Byung Hee crouches down while passing Seung-hye’s shop to avoid being seen. The plan fails as Seung-hye sees her passing the door. She comes up behind Byung Hee and says “Is the guilt weighing you down?” Byung Hee tries to play innocent for a second and just says “hello!” with a smile.
Seung-hye continues “You have been avoiding me because you know you owe me an apology, right?” Byung Hee goes straight to panic mode. “You know what kind of sister I am to Chul Soo,” Seung-hye continues. Byung Hee interrupts, apologizing profusely. “It was a mistake! You know I wouldn’t on PURPOSE, We’re best friends!”
“Best friends?” Seung-hye says. “Some best friend! A friend would have downplayed the whole gangster past thing. Or said I pretended to be a gangster wanna-be. How is Chul Soo supposed to respect me?” She tells Byung Hee her friendship is cut off for a week and goes back inside. After a moment she comes back out and gives Byung Hee a few Audrey Hepburn dvds for her mother (mom’s an avid Hepburn fan). Byung Hee thinks about how she could use a friend to help her with all the mess of the last few days.
The Go ladies catch up over dinner, Mom tells the girls she hired Oh Pil-kyo to work part time at her office. She also tells Byung Hee to get the surgery and not put it off. Mom also wants to have Seung-hye and Chul Soo over for dinner next week. Each day she suggests, Byung-hee comes up with an excuse. They call her out for making up stories; she says she doesn’t want to do ALL the work. After dinner, Byung Hee does the dishes and starts loading the laundry.
As she is checking the pockets she finds a condom in Joon-hee’s jeans. Joon-hee comes around the corner just after the discovery and grabs it, saying “What? I am 25! Don’t lecture me; I can take care of my body.” She walks out, leaving Byung Hee thinking about how her sister “grew up” before she did. Then another thought occurs that sends her running into the street late at night . . .
He looks at her, confused.
“Birth control, did you . . . “
He just stares. Her tone goes from gentle questions to lecture status.
“I was out of my mind! It should be your responsibility!”
And Chul Soo just looks ashamed. And we have to wait another day to find out what happens next.
One of my kdrama pet peeves is the OTP meeting each other as children. Why must this ALWAYS happen? Is the peninsula REALLY that small? In What’s Up Fox, however, this is organic to the story. It is kinda sweet that Byung Hee is the first girl Chul Soo ever noticed in that way. And poor Byung Hee has this crisis of having *finally* lost her virginity, having a one night stand, and hooking up with someone she doesn’t feel sexually attracted to (allegedly). These types of issues are why we have best friends, but Byung Hee can’t go to Seung-hye with any of it. She’s not able to express to someone else how she feels (conflicted or otherwise), so I don’t think she has sorted out her thoughts for herself.
And Chul Soo . . . poor sweet Chul Soo. He starts off by trying to do I good deed (I mean bringing her home from Oido. Yeah, that’s it) and ends up taking head butts, and handbags to the back and just the general wrath of Byung Hee. There is more I want to say, but it is vaguely spoilery so we will come back to Chul Soo’s suffering in future episodes.
So they did it, and nobody’s very happy about it. Chul-su looks so guilty and Byung-hee is angry and a little wistful. Her vision of the perfect first night is a little unrealistic, even naive, but then kinda funny since she throws in her own little bit of fiction a la C’est Si Bon.
Why didn’t he stop her? What a great question…that he ducks. I think it would have been funny if she had attributed it to the pull of her irresistible sexual attraction. I think the peek into his younger self peeking into her clothing lets us guess just enough why he let it happen. That scene of him washing his underclothes would never pass today’s censors. Glad the show was produced in a less strict time.
Who else is scared to death of Seung-hye? Holy sh^t, I don’t want to piss her off. She is worse than any mother-in-law in any show I’ve seen!
Amen to Chul-su’s mechanical abilities. He can clean my basement anytime.