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Chul-su grabs and hugs Byung-hee to her very great dismay. Seung-hye bursting in at the worst possible time proves Byung-hee’s point that they cannot be.
Byung-hee throws off the siblings and escapes out the green door and down the street attempting to get herself to work on time, or rather, less late.
Now Seung-hye’s radar has been pinging mightily that something is up between them, asking if he was seduced, but somehow, again, Chul-su unruffles her feathers with a hug, claiming he was just thanking Byung-hee for breakfast.
Byung-hee is arriving at work; Chul-su gives her the all-clear text. He covered for them this time, but he won’t again. She repeats what has been said before about “giving the disease, then sell the medication.” (Anti- virus software, anyone?)
The boss lets her off since Bae is there, and he offers to take her to lunch.
The magazine’s 10th anniversary party is coming up and Bae gets an invitation before leaving.
Boss and Sung-ran kid about lunch and brains.
Seung-hye drums her fingers, angry that the pair is treating her like a fool.
The conversation between Bae and Byung-hee at the restaurant is awkward.
Byung-hee admits it by asking. “How long have you known?” He wins the Understatement of the Year award with his reply “Well, there were some clues.” LOL!
Poor Bae too honestly admits he had feelings for his friend’s noonah, too, back in his high-school days, thus he understands Chul-su. All Byung-hee sees are the notches on his bedpost, and asks, “Is she counted in the 14, or do we have to have to have to begin again?”
(Must make a soundtrack comment. The song “Claire” is playing. The link takes you to the back-story. It is used a LOT in K-dramas. It actually very sweet tune that the composer wrote for the child’s parents, but folks have attributed less innocent thoughts to the lyrics. In the song, the little girl says, “Marry me, Uncle Ray.” While he laments, “Oh, for our age difference do I cry.” It makes perfect sense here, but they use it a lot when it doesn’t.)
Boss and Sung-ran are eating lunch when Seung-hye arrives ready to kill talk to Byung-hee. Fortunately, outside Byung-hee spots her friend’s car, calls in and gets the heck out of there.
Seung-hye politely and delicately says good-bye inside the office, but lets out a steady stream of threats going out to her car. Byung-hee spies the departure, fretting.
Chul-su, cute in his jumpsuit, closes a hood, and finds Byung-hee there, asking how things are with him.
He’s fine, you know, with this and that. She invites him out to eat.
They sit and sip wine, but Chul-su wants her to get to what she wants to say.
“Surely, you aren’t going to tell me you suddenly see me as a man, are you?” The way he looks at her, no doubt in his mind.
Byung-hee acts like she has spent time preparing for this conversation. She is calm, assured, and tells him she understands how he could feel the way he does, after all his first time was with her. But the age difference of nine years is too much. At 33, is she supposed to send off her boyfriend to the army? They.can’t.date.ever.
She may not have accomplished much in her life, but she was able to do what is right and proper in other peoples’ eyes (Which totally explains why she hasn’t done much in her life, doesn’t it?) She meets expectations.
He argues that she should set her own expectations, not let other people do that for her.
She tells him doing that is following your own selfish desires.
He asks, “They are my desires. What is wrong with that?”
She has no response.
“You should observe people carefully. Do they behave like they’re living normally? Aren’t they living freely according to their own standards?”
“My standard is, I can’t accept you. Ok?”
“Where did that standard come from? Your mind? Noona, have you heard what your heart has to say? You haven’t heard, yet say you don’t like me. You’re trying to keep with other people’s standards.” I don’t know where he gets the confidence. He certainly convinced me.
He leans forward, and offers this advice:
“Think from a different perspective. Just move a millimeter and you’ll see differently. Blurry things present themselves clearly. Important things become unimportant. And you won’t mind what others think.”
Byung-hee is obviously swayed by his words – mesmerized.
Sure, she doesn’t have to care about everyone, but what about his sister? Seung-hye will kill someone before this romance happens.
Byung-hee turns Chul-su’s argument back on him. He just needs to change a millimeter to see his perfect partner. With those words, she calls Busty over. The dinner was a set-up!
Byung-hee gets up to leave the, cooing about them as a pair, ignoring Chul-su’s discomfort. As she departs, Chul-su grabs her forearm,
He takes her on his bike to the Han River.
(Everyone sigh. This cannot be good.)
When did this start? Oido? He puts his sweater on her lovingly. Is that why he offered to take responsibility?
When Chul-su started to feel this way doesn’t matter. All of the problems between them, he has considered, and he tried to change his feelings, but couldn’t. The vulnerability on his face slays me. And, he thinks he is not the only one who feels like this.
She tells him to stop making wild guesses. She cannot be the one whether he accepts it or not.
When he calls her out on not being able to maintain eye contact, she says it’s not because she feels anything for him, but she isn’t used to having him look at her like that. All she can see is the boy she saw grow up so it embarrasses her.
Chul-su agrees. He also has the same memories of Noona, but it doesn’t embarrass him.
She brings up Bae. “I want to get along well with Hye-myung. You being like this just gets in the way.”
He asks tentatively, “Doctor Bae – do you like him?” She says “Yes” right away. When he asks if she loves him, she hesitates. She non replies – it’s comfortable with him and he makes her feel secure.
More comfortable than being with him? Chul-su asks. “Would you let him see you first thing after waking up?” They hold each other’s gaze. She seems to be listening. “In your sweat shorts? When you throw a tantrum, when you argue?”
Can she treat Bae as familiarly as him?
Byung-hee takes this and uses it as a block. Has Chul-su confused the fact that they are comfortable with the fact that they have feelings for each other? Eventually, she would share this ease of being with anyone she spends time with. But Bae makes her heart flutter. Of course she wouldn’t want Bae seeing at her worst, and even if she feels anxious, but she wouldn’t trade comfort for the butterflies he gives her. He is the man she wants to like.
Chul-su gives her the saddest face ever. Silent.
Suddenly she realizes that she has been defending herself to him, for no reason. She removes the sweater hands it back, walking away.
He stops her and back-hugs her.
She really doesn’t have any feelings for him – not even once?
He holds her tighter. “But my heart feels so much for you. What am I supposed to do?”
Byung-hee gives him the answer that ALL victims in other dramas should give to the unrequited lovers. “Although I’m sorry to say this, but that is your business. Maybe this is how you’ll grow up. At some point in time, you’ll meet a woman who feels for you. Then you’ll just forget me completely.” It is simple, it makes sense. She is NOT taking any blame for how he feels. It’s perfect.
(But NOT for uri Chul-su!!!!!!!!!!!! He loves her soooooooo much. Can’t she just accept him?)
She waits a moment longer and he loosens his hold, seeming like she stuck a knife into his heart. Well, she did stick a knife in his heart.
She walks away, he watches.
Bulldog calls Jun-hee to his perfect library of perfection, ordering her to read and make herself better. As he leaves, she brings up the rumor that, um, he killed his ex-wife, right?
Oh, and she better not say he is her boyfriend again.
He leaves opening the door with his voice command, and a cane flourish. Jun-hee waits for the door to close and tries to reproduce it, but fails again. Reading the books bores her, putting on music, gets a beer and goes to talk to the image of the dead wife.
Mom arrives at the real estate office. Her heart flutters when she see Worker there.
His phone is off, Mom reports.
When Byung-hee tries his phone, it is off. Back at the video store, Seung-hye is desperately trying to get Chul-su to answer her.
Night falls, and when Seung-hye offers really good food at his window, he remains silent. Byung-hee also tries to get him to answer at the door, then the window. He still won’t open the door. With a heavy heart, she walks away.
Chul-su is on his bed, body pulled up into a ball, head down. Motionless.
Time passes. One day. Byung-hee regards his bike guiltily. Two days. He still hasn’t emerged.
Jun-hee takes part in a solo photo shoot, while Bulldog observes proudly.
His secretary lets him know her popularity is actually dropping. The photographer criticizes her as well. Bulldog seems to be blind to her flaws. In the car after, even Jun-hee admits she doesn’t seem to have IT. He won’t say she does, and she lays her head on his shoulder. He squirms a little, but allows it, not being able to relax. He throws her off once, but not a second time, then snuggles.
Day turns to night and Chul-su hasn’t shown his face. Seung-hye calls Byung-hee on her cell and they talk in the video store.
Seung-hye knows something is up, she wants Byung-hee to confess. Byung-hee hesitates in saying anything specific, but allows that something did happen, that will NEVER happen again, but won’t say what. (What else could it be really?) Byung-hee wants to stay friends, so she just wants Seung-hye to trust her.
Byung-hee shows up at the window with a bag.
She talks while Chul-su sits in the dark.
Maybe she was too harsh with him by the Han River. He really is a great guy. Charming. Handsome. She admires his trip around the world, and his conviction. If she were ten years younger he would totally captivate her.
This makes him smile.
But, that’s not the case, so she has to accept it. Now that she has thought about it, it is kinda cool that he loves her so much. But she has a man, and he has a girl, right?
She drops the bag of kimbap into the basement on a rope, begging him to get the food.
She tears up, and her voice wavers a little. He has to eat something. Why is he worrying her? What else can she do, feeling so guilty? She cries that she is “Sorry, Chul-su-ah” and this breaks my heart. Every.Single.Time.
A person appears. Chul-su’s unwavering gaze watches Byung-hee wipe her tears.
Byung-hee seems very relieved to see him and offers him a lifetime supply of kimbap. He keys on that “Lifetime supply?” She readily agrees. “Lifetime.” She has taken responsibility to the end now. He will never be out of her life.
He thanks her and before she can get away, he stops her. “Noonah,” he says, “You’re an OK lady, too.”
She wisecrack faces, “I know.”
But he replies, “I thought you didn’t know.”
She walks away so we don’t see her face after, leaving a smiling then pensive Chul-su.
Chul-su drowns his sorrows with Kang-tae at the pojangmacha, who tells him not to give up.
When Kang-tae discovers who Miss Go actually is in Chul-su’s phone contacts, he is a little surprised. They read her magazine back in high school. (How could Chul-su not have had THOSE feelings for her? Her words formed his idea of sex!) Chul-su’s resolve has not changed towards Byung-hee. He wants to see her. Kang-tae sits by him while Chul-su pukes. It hurts that Byung-hee doesn’t see Chul-su as a man, which Kang-tae understands considering the age difference.
Wait, Kang-tae says “She doesn’t see you as a man? YOU?” Kang-tae boosts him by saying, he’s “A man amongst men, right?” and should surge forward even more courageously. He can’t stop now or he is done for. Chul-su brightens considerably, hugs his friend, he will not fail.
I decide Kang-tae is Chul-su’s fairy godfather and best advice giver ever.
We watch the printing and distribution of the latest C’est Si Bon. The celebration is underway for the 10th anniversary.
Byung-hee flirts with Bae during the speech. Bulldog cuts Boss off saying nobody wants to hear it. They argue, putting Bae in the middle – the usual routine. Byung-hee arrives to pour wine. Bulldog acts submissive to her. It comes out that Bulldog and Jun-hee have a thing, and Bae warns him again to stop. The resemblance to his dead ex-wife still bothers him.
As the guests leave, Byung-hee and Sung-man hand out C’est Sit Bon! umbrellas.
(I want a charmed C’est Sit Bon! umbrella that makes PIE appear out of thin air, too!!)
He smiles confidently and hands over a gorgeous bouquet of roses to Byung-hee, then invites himself in. Sung-ran follows him in impressed.
Chul-su makes Boss happy by saying he is a lifetime fan of the magazine.
Boss makes his cold noodle joke about Byung-hee and Bae asking everyone “Aren’t they a good couple?” The group’s consensus bugs Chul-su and he can only say quiet listening for a moment. He demands more wine and their attention.
Byung-hee shoots him a death glare.
They all leave, Bae opens his car door, while simultaneously, and Chul-su offers her a helmet and says, “Ta!”
Showdown. Advantage Bae. Byung-hee gets into Bae’s car. The two men make a date for drinks, since Chul-su still owes him. He looks intently at her through the windshield. He has come a long way from the impulsive kid who jumped on the hood.
Byung-hee tries not to feel guilty as the car pulls out and he glumly holds his helmet.
In the car, Byung-hee can’t help but bring up Chul-su, and Bae counters by talking marriage. This startles and pleases Byung-hee. She makes another 14 joke, calling it retribution. Chul-su pulls up along side the car, staring her down.
A call from Mom changes this situation. They need him to go fix the broken down car. A huge grin on his face, Chul-su rides off on his white motorcycle with Byung-hee. Advantage Chul-su.
The car situation has gone beyond dangerous.
Once there, she gets into the car, asking for a moment. She likens the car to an old friend. For ten years they were together and went through a lot. It isn’t easy to say good-bye. Various old bits get found, including a photo of a younger Chul-su and Byung-hee. It was a day that just the two of them spent together (then who took the picture?)
Chul-su asks if she still has the stuffed fox in the photo. It is in Jun-hee’s room, why does he ask? They pull back from the car and watch it being raised into the air. Chul-su glances at the photo and admits he didn’t win the fox, he bought it for her. They establish the photo was taken before he left for his trip.
Byung-hee wonders why it was just the two of them that day.
A chain reaction, suddenly, of tumbling cars happens.
This is my favorite episode. The conversation at the restaurant, the river and the window are a trifecta of perfect love-love dialog. The entire conflict as well as everyone’s true feelings are laid out before us and before them. Byung-hee surprised herself with the outpouring of goodness towards Chul-su at the basement window. The situation forced her to evaluate him, for once, with an honesty she was afraid to before. Even though she hedges with the “If only I were ten years younger,” she said the words with her mouth and they went into her brain. The relationship between Chul-su and Byung-hee is complicated. She worries about him, admires him, wants the best for him, and loves him, yes, and but not like that. Or so she says.
The drawn-out process that Byung-hee took saying good-bye to the 10 year old car says a lot about her. It was the same with the crush on Sunbae. It struck me that Byung-hee needs to do the same thing with the idea of Chul-su in her head. That mental picture is old and broken down. It cannot carry her though into the future, and she needs to change it. Sure it was comfortable and familiar for a while, but not any more. Letting go of the past will bring positive changes into her life, if she agrees to take the necessary steps. Chul-su, luckily is there to help her in all his pretty. * Sigh *
I think all human relationships are complicated. They have to be tended, like a garden. Some are easy like a cactus that only needs water once a week. Others require intensive labor and maybe even professional help. As we grow older, our interests and needs change. As a consequence, so do our relationships. From Chul Soo’s point of view, he has grown up and is ready to be seen as a romantic interest to Byung Hee (and the “age difference” amongst adults is not nearly as significant as it is for children). Byung Hee is not done tending their relationship either. She could have chosen to not deal with Chul Soo anymore, but she cares how he feels. Even if she isn’t attracted to him “in that way”, she doesn’t want him to be hurt. People can grow apart and it doesn’t mean some tragic even occurred. Sometimes it is just geography, like when my best friend from elementary school moved away at the beginning of junior high. It wasn’t far (maybe 20 miles?) but I didn’t see her often because I couldn’t drive yet and wasn’t allowed to ride the city bus. She got interested in other things and by the time I started high school we just didn’t have much in common anymore. Byung Hee offering to keep Chul Soo in kimbap for life means that she doesn’t want to drift apart. She seems firm in her convictions of no romantic interest, but she must want to keep him around for some reason right?