A frustrating but necessary episode. Not enough OTP time, but the plot progression made sense for once. Ironically, being sick the last couple of days hasn't slowed my schedule any and my drama watching is still on the back burner for now. It's lucky I got this recap out as quickly as I did--especially when I had it sitting, completed and ready to be screencapped for the last day and a half.
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Episode 11 Recap
Tae-joon rushes out of the lounge to go talk to Han-na and figure out what's going on, and Jae-hee follows him out. She tells him to wait because she needs to talk to him about something important. He pauses, waiting for her to speak, but when she can't manage to spit it out, he tells her they'll just have to talk later. Right now, he's got to clear things up with Han-na.
Meanwhile, Han-na's getting slammed by phone calls from Director Jang, so she takes the battery out of her phone, refusing to answer. Her manager oppa drops her off at home, where she's immediately preempted by Tae-joon, who's been waiting for her.
He drags her out to a coffee shop to talk to her, and asks her just what the hell she thought she was doing. Was this supposed to be a joke? Han-na explains that she wasn't joking, but what's really a joke is a girl like Goo Jae-hee taking her oppa away from her--didn't he know that Han-na liked him?
She blames Jae-hee, saying he wasn't like this before she came along, and asks whether it makes any sense that Jae-hee's pretending to be a guy just so she can share a room with Tae-joon. He assures her that Jae-hee is his problem to worry about, and she needn't concern herself with it.
Han-na stops for a second and, looking up at him with tears on her face, she asks, "Do you like Goo Jae-hee?" For which Tae-joon has no answer. She steels herself and asks him to choose: date her or drive Jae-hee out of Genie.
Jae-hee's back at Sang-chu's house, and she muses to the dog that she's frightened Tae-joon may hate her or be angry with her if he knew the truth. (Which... okay? How is that always the go-to "fear" in dramas? It doesn't make any sense!)
On the soccer field, Eun-gyul works out some of his stress by kicking around some balls. He thinks back to when Jae-hee had told him she'd come to Korea for Tae-joon, and then his thoughts turn to his promise that he'd confess to her after he made the national team. As he walks back to the dorms, he runs into Jae-hee, who almost doesn't see him.
He turns around to walk the other way before she spots him, which is when she realizes he's there. He stops in his tracks and lies that the match went fine when she asks him about it. Taking a closer look at her face, he realizes there are the remnants of tears on her cheeks, and questions her about them with a concerned expression on his face.
Jae-hee assures him that it's nothing, and heads into the dorms. She wanders around the room, thinking about various things, and then it starts storming outside. She heads out with an umbrella to wait for Tae-joon. He comes back eventually, and they head in, but it seems no one can sleep that night, including Eun-gyul, and they all lay in bed with their thoughts.
By the next morning, Han-na and Tae-joon have become the top-searched item on the web, and both of their respective fandoms take to the streets to protest their relationship, lol. Adding to the stress that Director Jang is already dealing with, Reporter Yang shows up at the management company first thing in the morning to try to get an interview.
Is it just me, or do Tae-joon's sasaeng fans in the screencap below remind anyone else of the three idol-boy Tae-joon sasaeng fans from Ma Boy? It might have been because I was watching both dramas at the same time, but the thought kept crossing my mind near the beginning of this series.
And to make matters worse, all the guys start to give Tae-joon a hard time back at school when he and Jae-hee arrive for class in the morning. That afternoon, Jae-hee heads to her go-to sulking place--the laundry room. She thinks back to the previous day when she'd gone over to John's studio to talk to him.
She'd made her feelings clear to him, explaining that she doesn't call him "oppa" just because he's older than her, but because she considers him a real brother. John had acted cool about it, brushing it off as if it were nothing, but had told her to remember that he's always on her side.
As she mulls over that with a sad expression on her face, Eun-gyul spots her from outside and tries to cheer her up with sock puppets. She gestures him into the laundry room, and they sit together as usual. She calls him out on not being in any of his classes today, and he lies that he slept in and missed them all.
Eun-gyul tries to help her take her laundry out of the dryer (which, omg!) (and asks her the question that's been on my mind for episodes now: "Why do you do your laundry every day?"), but ends up finding a few of Tae-joon's high jump uniforms mixed in with her clothes.
This is odd to him (I'm sure he can't ever imagine doing Hyun-jae's laundry for him, lol) and asks her about it. She tells him, embarrassed, that she just throws Tae-joon's stuff in with hers when she does her laundry. Even so, Eun-gyul's thoughts turn back to when she'd told him about being in Korea for Tae-joon.
Everything seems to click into place, so he turns to Jae-hee and asks: "This is something that doesn't make sense... but I have to ask anyway... Do you like Tae-joon?" She brushes it off as something that doesn't make sense, but even after she leaves, Eun-gyul doesn't seem the least bit convinced. Aw.
Tae-joon and Han-na arrive at their management company to speak with Director Jang. Tae-joon warns her to tell the director the truth, and this is when Han-na makes her (predictable) Big Play: "Sure. Let's tell her the truth. About everything. About me lying about our relationship, about Goo Jae-hee being a girl, the whole truth." This leaves Tae-joon with his hands tied, and he's forced to go along with the act as he and Han-na sit before an irate Director Jang.
At school, Eun-gyul finally hears about the newly-publicized relationship of the Golden Couple from Young-man sunbae and puts the pieces together about Jae-hee crying the night before and her stuttered denial in the laundry room earlier. He intercepts Tae-joon when he arrives, telling him they need to have a talk.
Eun-gyul doesn't find it necessary to mince words, and directly asks Tae-joon what/how he thinks of Jae-hee. Does he like Jae-hee? Tae-joon wonders why Eun-gyul is asking him this, so Eun-gyul brings up the news about him dating Han-na. Isn't it true?
Tae-joon turns to go, brushing the matter of him and Han-na off as something the Eun-gyul need not get involved in, but Eun-gyul grabs his arm: "From now on, no matter the reason, don't make Goo Jae-hee cry anymore... I don't want to see the person I like crying because of you. I like Goo Jae-hee. So act accordingly from now on... instead of shaking up his heart." OMO. I can't believe he just did that! Tae-joon looks at him a little stunned.
Meanwhile, Jae-hee asks Han-na out for a talk and they meet a coffee shop. She wants to know why Han-na didn't spill the beans to Tae-joon about Jae-hee being a girl. Han-na turns the question around on her, wondering why Jae-hee bothered to do all this. She asks Jae-hee to back off since she's Tae-joon's girlfriend now.
Jae-hee doesn't argue the fact and instead asks Han-na to keep her identity as a girl a secret. She wants to be the one to tell Tae-joon on her own time. But Han-na, who's working her big ploy, tells Jae-hee not to say a word until she tells her to. This entire scene takes place with too-loud, misappropriated background cafe music playing, yick.
By the time Jae-hee arrives back at the dorm, Tae-joon's gotten all antsy. He wonders who she was out with. Perhaps... Eun-gyul? Jae-hee tells him no. He discreetly sticks in an order not to stay out so late because the world is a scary place and it bothers him when she doesn't come back early. Lol.
She assumes he means that she went over her allotted forty decibels again, and walks over to her desk, apologizing. He comes up behind her and reaches out to put his hand on her shoulder, but she suddenly turns around and his hand lands against her chest instead. HAHA.
They both awkwardly back off, but then Jae-hee gets a sudden pang in her stomach. Tae-joon asks her if she's alright, and then rushes out into the hallway to calm his nerves as soon as she says she's fine, breathing hard all the while. In their dorm room, Jae-hee wonders whether it's her time of the month.
She pays a visit to Dr. Jang, who sighs at being relegated to nanny duty lately, having to clean up after all her messes. Jae-hee looks up at him coyly, and he asks what the deal is this time, likening her to a dog that has to go potty, haha.
She leans forward and asks him whether he has any pads lying around. She's used up all of hers, and Doc sighs at her audacity. Jae-hee grins at him helplessly. Later, Tae-joon presents her with some medicine for her stomach (they're digestive aids). Aw, such a guy, but so cute. After he gives it to her, they sit on their respective beds, Jae-hee staring off into space with the meds in hand, and Tae-joon, self-satisfied, peeks up at her bunk adorably. Gah, why are you guys so cute?!
Strangely enough, by this time, Eun-gyul has gone conspicuously missing, and Jong-min and Seung-ri stake out his dorm room (much to the chagrin of Hyun-jae) to wait for him. As they wait, Seung-ri reads through a comic book and then is suddenly overcome by stomach pains.
The next day, Tae-joon texts Han-na asking her to meet with him, deciding (with Sang-chu, adorably enough) not to let her drag him around anymore. Han-na receives the text, knowing full well why Tae-joon wants to talk to her.
As she practices for her upcoming competition, she thinks back to her discovery of Jae-hee's true identity and Tae-joon's subsequent plea for Han-na to keep it a secret. She's so distracted that she takes a misstep in one of her landings, and hurts her foot. Badly.
Tae-joon can't get a hold of her as he leaves for their meeting, so he decides to head back to school. He asks Jae-hee to eat with him, mentioning that he has something to tell her, but suddenly receives a call from the hospital and rushes over, bailing on Jae-hee again.
Director Jang asks to speak to Tae-joon before he sees Han-na. She explains to him that with this accident, Han-na's gymnastics career is as good as over. She wonders what Han-na could have possibly been thinking about that she would make such a mistake, which leaves Tae-joon feeling guilty. Director Jang tells Tae-joon to keep this a secret from Han-na for now.
And so, when he walks into Han-na's room and she asks him what it was that he needed to talk to her about, he decides not to make things worse and doesn't mention it--out of pity for her. Which... No. Just--that doesn't even make any sense. You're just perpetuating the farce! I get that he doesn't want to make things worse (that whole "kicking a puppy when it's down" idea) but really... Ugh.
Han-na tries to test her luck, asking him to buy her food and to sleep at the hospital with her tonight, both of which he readily agrees to. When he asks her what she wants to eat, she shakes her head, explaining that she'd rather just spend time with him like this instead.
Tae-joon has more sense than a lot of K-drama guys, and texts Jae-hee first when he walks out into the hall, letting her know he won't be coming back to school that night. She texts him back, wishing Han-na a speedy recovery, but he doesn't actually receive the message, because Han-na finds it first and deletes it from his phone. Sigh--you and your pettiness are really wearing thin!
Out in the hall, Tae-joon runs into, of all people, Seung-ri, who's been admitted to the hospital himself on account of the stomach pains he had earlier (which turned out to be appendicitis). His father is apparently a doctor at the same hospital, and drags Seung-ri back to his room before he can ask Tae-joon for Han-na's room number.
The following morning, Jae-hee gets woken up by the sound of Tae-joon's shuffling as he packs a bag to go back to the hospital. She wanders downstairs and he explains Han-na's condition to her. Jae-hee worries over Han-na and tells Tae-joon to take care. Tae-joon opens his mouth, as if ready to say something, but then thinks better of it and walks out.
In class, both Eun-gyul and Tae-joon are missing, and Jae-hee and Jong-min worry over them. Jae-hee looks at Eun-gyul's desk as if noticing his absence for the first time.
Director Jang decides that it's about time to break the news to Han-na, but frets over it with Tae-joon. He asks her to let him be the one to tell Han-na the truth.
As he walks into Han-na's room and sits down to talk to her, Jae-hee arrives at the hospital bearing flowers for her. Tae-joon takes Han-na's hand in both of his as she asks him what's going on. Jae-hee makes it up to the room just after Tae-joon has broken the news, and finds Han-na crying in his arms.
She leaves without making her presence known, visibly shaken by the sight as she walks away. We get a flashback of Tae-joon hugging Han-na, as if we didn't just see the same thing ten seconds ago.
Gah, this doesn't make any sense either. Jae-hee knows the apparent severity of Han-na's injury, so why this has such an effect on her is beyond me. And why did she feel the need to go to the hospital in the first place? Whatever. It's not like her character ever makes that much sense, if we're being honest.
Jae-hee heads dejectedly back to school, which is where Hyun-jae finds her (while she's looking up flights to L.A.). He asks her whether she's heard from Eun-gyul lately. She tells him she hasn't, and he explains that Eun-gyul'd left school a couple of days ago, saying he was going home, but that he hasn't been answering his phone since then. He adds that Eun-gyul had been bummed ever since he'd found out he didn't make the national team.
This is news to Jae-hee, to whom Eun-gyul had lied and claimed the match went well. She'd had no idea the national team roster had already been announced. Hyun-jae berates her for claiming to be so close to him and yet not keeping enough tabs on Eun-gyul. Jae-hee asks him where Eun-gyul lives and heads over to try and coax him back to school.
Indeed, he's there (His house is so awesome!), and answers the door when she comes knocking, surprised to see her on his doorstep. He invites her in, and she asks him why he didn't tell her the truth about him failing to get on the national team.
Eun-gyul admits he was embarrassed about it, and Jae-hee asks, "If you don't tell me things like that, who else would you tell?" He apologizes, but she sighs and says sorry right back, for being so absentminded lately that she hadn't noticed his plight. He brushes it off, but Jae-hee poses another question, wondering whether this was the reason he's been missing from school.
Eun-gyul fibs that he's been taking some time off because of his sick mother, but that's only an excuse, and he admits there was something he was afraid of which made him want to run away. It was something he'd needed time away from school to think about, but he'd realized that even being at home, he couldn't get that certain something off his mind.
Changing the subject, he asks after Tae-joon and Han-na, and Jae-hee explains about Han-na's injury, and that Tae-joon's been at the hospital all the time. She slowly admits that maybe she shouldn't have come to Genie, after all. Eun-gyul doesn't say anything, but discreetly scoots a little closer and reaches out to wrap an arm around her shoulders. He stops himself just in time, leaving his hand hovering over her shoulder. *crack* That's the sound of my heart breaking for Puppy, if you were wondering.
Meanwhile at the hospital, Han-na goes through Tae-joon's phone (again) and finds a picture of Jae-hee in it. When he comes into the room, she asks him whether Jae-hee was the reason he started high jumping again.
His answer is one she doesn't want to hear, and even more so when she asks whether he really has feelings for Jae-hee, so she starts crying again and ekes out, "What are you going to do if I don't let you go? Why are you doing this to me, too? There's nothing left for me anymore. If you leave me too... I really don't know how I'm going to go on. So, you can't go. I can't let you go. I won't let you go."
At Eun-gyul's house, he watches from the second floor as Jae-hee checks her phone, first to call Tae-joon (which she doesn't do) and then to check for text messages. Making a decision, Eun-gyul resolves, "Gu Jae-hee, I don't think I can watch you being in pain any longer."
Han-na asks Tae-joon to take her to the gym where her competition was supposed to be held that day. Tae-joon tries to cheer her up, telling her she'll be able to perform again if she works hard.
She mentions that today's program was one she really liked, and wants to show him some of it if she can. She manages to get out of her wheelchair and starts to go through the motions slowly with her ribbon while Tae-joon watches on uneasily.
As she performs, she thinks back to the day she'd decided to do gymnastics--she'd run out to Tae-joon's house and had told him the news, explaining that she'd picked the sport because of him--because he'd found the gymnast on television so beautiful. She'd promised to do her best in gymnastics because he was working so hard at high jumping.
In the present day, Han-na stumbles during one of her turns and collapses to the gym floor. Tae-joon takes a step forward to help her, but then stops when he sees her crying. She's hit rock bottom at this point and bends to the floor to kiss the gym mat, quietly thanking it for all the good times, and then says goodbye.
When they return to the hospital, Han-na notices Tae-joon checking his phone. He looks up at her after a moment, and tells her he wants to be honest with her. She cuts him off before he can say anything else, shooing him out and telling him she wants to be alone.
She adds that she's sick of liking someone who doesn't like her back--he's not good at high jumping anymore, which was the only reason she'd like him in the first place, so she wants to get over him and find someone better. Tae-joon realizes what she's doing but she continues to shoo him away. So, he takes the out and leaves to head back to school.
By this time, Jae-hee and Eun-gyul have also arrived back at Genie. Eun-gyul follows her to her dorm and stops her from going in. Looking at her seriously, he admits, "I know you're a guy... But I like you." Down the hall, Tae-joon walks up and sees them talking with each other.
Okay, I won't say this episode sucked--because narratively, it took a couple steps forward. It just was so draggy and had so much shtick in it that I just couldn't bring myself to care two licks about, that when I watched it raw the first time around, I kept zoning out through parts of it. Even so, I have to say, it didn't piss me off as much as last week's episode 10, so that's always a good sign.
Anyway, let's get to the nitty gritty. First, today's spotlight character: Han-na. I felt bad for her on a superficial level--because I knew I should and because Show wanted me to. But other than that, the writer didn't build enough of a background for Han-na and her gymnastics for me to truly empathize with her. I understand why it was included as a plot point--to humanize Han-na and to get her to the point where she would give in to the relationship between Jae-hee and Tae-joon, but there wasn't any build-up, so I wasn't invested.
If we'd been shown her devotion to the sport from episode 1, instead of showing us a bit in episode 1 and then have her complaining about it for the next nine episodes, it might have had more of an impact. Eun-gyul was done the right way. From day one, we saw him on the soccer field, so we knew how much time he devoted to it. For that reason, when he was told he hadn't made the national team, I legitimately empathized with him. It was important partly because of Jae-hee, but also because he cares just that much about soccer--getting Jae-hee was an added bonus. The only thing this episode served to do was make Han-na mature a bit, but other than that, I feel like it was a wasted hour.
Also, I don't know why, but I found Tae-joon's discomfort around Han-na kind of funny, as proven by the conversation they have the first night at the hospital:
Han-na: I wish I could sneak out of here. Since we're publicly a couple, we can even go see a movie, right? I've always really wanted to do things like that with you with a lot of people around.
Tae-joon: I need to go the bathroom real quick.LOL.
On another note... Omg, PUPPY! I'm so proud of him. It might have taken him a few episodes, and some time away from school, but he did it! This finally makes Eun-gyul a legitimate threat to Tae-joon now, which ensures that the cute is going to come back in two-fold. Yay, I'm so excited! I'm fairly certain it's no spoiler to anyone what I'm about to say next, but even so, you've been warned... I'm kind of upset that we're already getting into the demise of Puppy, but I suppose it had to come at some point. Oh, well. Here's to hoping it won't be too painful.