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It is date night for several of our players this episode. I’m just going to come out with my own confession and say that I have been on one date in my life and it was bad. Like he said “hubba hubba” in response to my attire in front of my parental units, and he fell asleep at dinner and again during the movie. And four years later I married him anyway. I did have other boyfriends but we never formally “dated”, we would hang out with a group of people and then people just paired off at some point. So dating as a concept is pretty foreign to me. I would ten THOUSAND times prefer just getting to know someone as a person rather than some awkward job interview like screening process but I guess there is something to be said for someone who is willing to do all that awkward small talk just to spend time with you.
Dr. Bae is surveying the repairs on his hood at the shop. Chul Soo and Kang Tae tell him it can be knocks out and repaired easily, but he insists on a new hood because Chul Soo is paying. Kang Tae is confused, and asks Chul Soo why once Dr. Bae leaves. Chul Soo just gets worked up at how he flushed half his pay check down the drain and starts kicking at the car all over again.
Byung Hee is meeting with a professor specializing in sexuality. The professor doesn’t recognize the name of her publication, but begins to provide answers about society’s pressures on young males when her assistant interrupts. The professor then tells Byung Hee that her area of study is not within the theme of C’est Si Bon. She offers to introduce Byung Hee to another specialist. From outside the office door Byung Hee overhears the professor tell her assistant to screen the interviews better. Byung Hee leaves a post it note on the door “If you don’t approve, why would you introduce me to someone else? Don’t be like that. Reporter Go Byung Hee, from a dirty magazine.”
Byung Hee is drowning her sorrows in ramyun at a convenience store and notices a “normal” looking man picking up a copy of C’est Si Bon. She stops him to ask him a few questions, he thinks she is flirting. She then asks why he chose the magazine and he is instantly embarrassed. He drops the magazine and runs off.
Byung Hee stops by Dr. Bae’s office, asking him for an interview on men’s virginity for the magazine. This segues into her asking why men are so embarrassed to read her magazine. He says she is not acting like herself today, and asks what happened. His question confuses her, she barely knows him (and in my opinion has not really been acting like herself around him either). She asks what he means and he tells her she is usually sexy and brave. Personally, I hate it when people fish for compliments (not that I think that is what Byung Hee is doing here) but maybe we should all ask people around us more often to describe our characteristics. If asked for one thousand words to use about her, Byung Hee would never choose sexy and at this particular moment she probably isn’t feeling very brave either. What a flattering confidence boost to hear that Dr. Bae does see those things! Byung Hee tells him about her interview with the professor, and how embarrassed it made her feel. Dr. Bae tells her he would have been embarrassed too, but that he also thought she was very bold when she was telling the woman off who came by C’est Si Bon offices.
Byung Hee goes to pick up Mom’s car. Chul Soo suggests it is time to get a new one. Byung Hee offers to buy him dinner and the two race along, him on the bike and her in the car. He cuts in and out of the lane to smile and wave, and then he ducks around a corner ahead of her.
She turns, just in time to see the bike skid across the pavement. She pulls over and runs to the injured biker shouting “Chul Soo! Somebody help!” She turns him over, only to see it isn’t Chul Soo. He comes up behind her already calling the paramedics.
She is still in shock after help has arrived; she is just sitting on the curb. Chul Soo suggests ramyun. As they walk to the restaurant, she lectures him about safety and offers to buy him the best helmet available. Chul Soo is touched at her concern, even mimicking her in a sing-songy manner and saying he should get into accidents more often. Over dinner, she asks him about his plans . . . is he really never going into school? And what about the service? He shrugs it all off, saying he is not all that ambitious.
The restaurant ajumma says they are so cute, and that Byung Hee looks so much like her “nephew”. Chul Soo erupts in laughter, and in between his rolling giggles he says “Don’t be upset . . . it’s not that you look OLD . . . I just look SO YOUNG!”
Byung Hee glares and says “Oh? So is THAT why it took you so long to lose your virginity?” The laughs stop instantly. She tells him she wants to interview him on virginity for the magazine; he says she should talk to Dr. Bae. She replies that she already has, Chul Soo says “maybe you will get married.” Byung Hee agrees it is possible, Chul Soo just grumbles. He mutters that she shouldn’t be a slut; she responds by sticking a piece of kimbap on his forehead and suggests he pay the bill.
She is grouchy as she takes off, but it is just typical bickering for these two.
Mom is out on another “date” with Oh Pil Kyo, apparently he had a pair of movie tickets but his wife was unable to go. Mom is acutely aware of people around her, she becomes convinced that they are looking at her and judging her relationship with this younger man. She blurts some story about how he is her son in law, not that anyone asked. On her way home she thinks about all of his little personality quirks that drive her nuts, like a speech he gave her about fair trade coffee instead of just ordering juice.
Joon-hee and her friend are working another fashion show, the boss tells her she got hired because of Bulldog.
Joon-hee is pulled from the show moments before she is supposed to go on stage, at Bulldog’s request. After the show ends, Joon-hee stands on the empty stage.
Then she stomps over to Bulldog and agrees to play his reindeer games. She insists on being his girlfriend, rather than his “sponsored” girl. His reaction is to pass gas, he is a classy fellow.
Byung Hee is writing at C’est Si Bon when the power goes out, and she has lost her work. Once the lights come back on she is furiously trying to remember what she had already written (so much sympathy for this, I lost a paper I was writing in the computer lab my freshman year when some fool ran into a power line.) Right on cue, there is Dr. Bae with liquor!
The two drink and talk about Byung Hee’s frustrations of being labeled “dirty” by the kind of work she does. Dr. Bae drops his speech to banmal (informal) and tells Byung Hee she is a pretty drunk. She says it is because she is naturally shy, but alcohol drops enough of her inhibitions to be friendly. Dr. Bae asks her if she knows what is dirty about her work, and he tells her that hiding and being ashamed MAKES it dirty. With this revelation, Byung Hee runs out of the office and onto the bridge over the Han River.
She shouts to the world that she is Reporter Go Byung Hee and she writes for a dirty magazine. Byung Hee feels relieved and strides along the path with Dr. Bae who clasps her hand.
She thinks about the idea that your heart doesn’t beat faster because you like someone but instead you start to like them because your heart beats faster. It’s kind of a chicken or the egg argument, and she is trying to decide which happened first. Dr. Bae asks her about her shampoo (she doesn’t use one, as a low maintenance gal she simply rinses her hair with water), in return Byung Hee asks about his brand of tooth paste. They are each making a concerted effort to “know” the other.
Busty and Chul Soo are out on a date. They see her ex-boyfriend at the same bar, with the same girl he cheated on her with. Chul Soo calls him foolish for giving up a kind and pretty girl. Busty thinks he is cute, especially with his “rebel looking” band aid.
Chul Soo gets back to his place just in time to see Byung Hee and Dr. Bae walking back and saying their goodbyes, giggling at each other. They are suddenly doused with water, and we see Chul Soo returning to his apartment with a bucket marveling at the weird VERY localized sudden downpour.
Byung Hee is back at work the next day, writing about how women don’t understand men’s sexuality. She thinks back to a conversation with Dr. Bae the night before. Dr. Bae is telling her men don’t know what they want; they are confused by all kinds of information and whether they feel superior by knowing a lot or inferior by not knowing enough. There is no firm concept around virginity, so they are really just lost. He turns the question on her: What do women want from sex? Byung Hee replies that they want the physical feeling of intimacy, the warm buzz you get from contact with another person. To have that person acknowledge you, and share that feeling. It’s an incredibly naked statement, and sure it comes under the guise of her work, but it is a strikingly honest thing to say to someone you haven’t even kissed. She asks what men want, and he replies that men want the same thing but they just don’t understand it. She then asks if that is what he wants from sex, he says she will find out eventually.
Back in her office, coming out of the memory she giggles to herself.
Thinking again of the night before, Byung Hee asks how many women he has been with and he counts off 14 on his fingers. It’s clearly a number she is not excited about.
Byung Hee goes shopping for a helmet for Chul Soo and picks a nice white one. She stops by his apartment and rings the bell, but there is no answer. She tries the door and it is open, she keeps talking as she hears the shower running. She asks how long until he is done and Busty answers “just a moment” before stepping out of the shower. Byung Hee finds this all too awkward and makes a run for it, nearly plowing over Chul Soo who was just coming back from the market. She tells him he seems to be moving fast as well and leaves in a huff (without handing over the helmet.)
She also makes sure to tell Seung-hye she saw a girl in Chul Soo’s shower. Seung-hye goes running downstairs to confront her brother, but the couple has just ducked out to the dance club.
Later that evening Chul Soo decides to give Byung Hee a call. He invites her out to the pongmacha for a drink, saying he heard she has a helmet for him.
She shows up reluctantly, saying it is late and she is going to go. He talks her into one drink and she tells him to try the helmet on. He asks her to buckle it for him, pouting. As she snaps the strap in place, he says “All she did was take a shower.” She scowls, ignoring his comment and asks him if the helmet fits. He goes on to say he noticed Byung Hee seemed mad, Byung Hee says she wasn’t mad but just looking out for her dongsaeng. Chul Soo reminds her he is no longer a baby. She says he will always be younger and just a “baby” (she uses the word in English.)
Chul Soo pets her cheek, commenting that she looks nervous. It must be that she thinks of him as a man. She says that is crazy talk. She gets home and touches her cheek, thinking about what he said. Chul Soo also lies in bed with his helmet on.
The following day Chul Soo delivers Dr. Bae’s repaired vehicle. Dr. Bae offers to pay him for the cost of repairs but Chul Soo refuses.
Chul Soo continues his macho bravado all the way to a nice bar where they fight over who is paying for drinks. Chul Soo asks the doctor how long it has been since he first got his hands bloody. The doctor thinks, and says including med school it has been 8 years. Chul Soo says he has been working around cars with oil on his hands for over 10 years, so he should be the senior here. A few rounds later, Chul Soo is talking about how he loves working around cars and Dr. Bae seems to respect his skills. Chul Soo tells the doctor nobody will ever know Byung Hee as well as he does. Dr. Bae does not seem put off by this. “Of course,” he agrees. “You grew up together.”
Chul Soo removes his bandage and asks the doctor if he knows the story, waving for him to lean in closer. “Nobody can deliver a head butt like Byung Hee”. Oh Chul Soo, only you would see a goose egg coming out of your head as a sign of affection. Chul Soo insists on paying but balks when the bill comes to almost $150.
He doesn’t have enough cash, nor does he have any plastic. Dr. Bae swoops in with a gold card. On their way out, the doctor also offers to get a driver to take them both back. Chul Soo says he has the best driver: the free kind! And he gestures to his legs. (yup, those legs have been DRIVING me crazy for a while now haha). He’s only a few steps away when the doctor takes a call from Byung Hee so OF COURSE he has to linger to hear what is being said.
Chul Soo manages to catch the words “virginity” and “24”, he doesn’t need to be a math major to add it up. On his end, Dr. Bae tells Byung Hee that 24 isn’t abnormal or normal and it varies by the individual. Obsessing about the age can be abnormal though. He comes around the corner to see Chul Soo taking out his frustration on a column in the mall; Chul Soo makes an excuse and all but runs away.
Byung Hee gets off the bus from work and Chul Soo is waiting for her. He confronts her on telling Dr. Bae his business and she defends herself saying it was for the article and anonymous anyway. Chul Soo asks if she WANTS him to tell the doctor about Oido, since she is running her mouth about everything. Byung Hee says the doctor has no reason to think it was about Chul Soo . . . cut to the doctor at home, having a little water and chuckling to himself “First time at 24? That kid really IS cute!” hahahaha.
Their bickering is interrupted by Seung-hye knocking on the door from her shop asking if he is home. Byung Hee goes for the door to the street in order to escape unscathed but then Joon-hee rings the bell calling out for Chul Soo as well. Uh ohs . . .
Byung Hee starts freaking out and Chul Soo is like “What’s the big deal? Just ‘pretend’ like you were visiting here.” Then the knocking from both sides stops. They pause, wondering if their respective sisters are actually gone . . . only to have them both try and peep through the window, wondering why all the lights are on if nobody is home.
Chul Soo tugs Byung Hee underneath the stairwell (hooray for close quarters!) and his eyes just lock in on her.
After everything goes silent again, Byung Hee says “I think you can move away now”. “How does it feel in my arms? Is it calm like the sea?” he replies. “Stop messing around,” Byung Hee says, wiggling away. She goes out to the street entry and each of them stops for a moment, thinking about the other.
And we have come to the end of episode 7.
At one point Byung Hee tells Dr. Bae she is shy. In reality, I think she just feels awkward about who she is and is therefore uncomfortable “sharing” herself with others. She doesn’t seem to have any other friends aside from Seung-hye and doesn’t socialize with anyone from C’est Si Bon. When she met Busty, she was deliberately vague about her job, she probably does that any time she meets someone new. Learning to assert herself and “embrace” her persona . . . to not let others shame her . . . is not overcoming being shy. It is building an identity, becoming the bold and sexy person that Dr. Bae sees and maybe becoming something more than her current circumstances.
This episode has some of my favorite, and realistic, moments with a couple starting to become a couple – even if it is against their better judgement. When they meet just to clarify – to explain why that girl was there, or to give you this helmet that means NOTHING – it’s just I’m worried – like a sister would worry…Well, actually, he HAS a sister, and SHE didn’t buy him a helmet, did she?
They meet just to fight. Byung-hee hasn’t even tried being indifferent to him. He gets gets under her skin like nobody else, partly because he knows what buttons to push, and partly because she is completely open to him. Nothing is hidden. Could they be more intimate?
That being said, I also like the pace of Byung-hee and Bae’s courtship. So far so good. He really could be the one for her. He’s so understanding and sweet and gentlemanly and cute and has a good job. She would be crazy not to try to make it work with him. I am firmly… in the middle right now with these two. We will see if I am swayed anytime soon.