Monday, September 24, 2012

To the Beautiful You: Episode 12 Recap

This episode was a return to all the things I wanted to see more of: cute, heartwarming, and Puppy! Now, with Han-na sufficiently placed on the back burner and all parties involved in a certain love triangle at or nearly at the point of acting on their feelings, we can get back to what's important! And by God if that isn't the best feeling ever.

Watch TTBY Episode 12 on DramaFever.

Episode 12 Recap
Eun-gyul admits his feelings to Jae-hee and time stops for a long second, before Jae-hee realizes what just happened, and quickly brushes it off as a joke. Eun-gyul protests that it's not a joke, but before they can get in another word edgewise, Jae-hee spots Tae-joon approaching down the hall.

He stops in front of their dorm room and looks between the pair, wondering out loud what they're doing together. By the look on his face, it's clear his Spidey Senses are tingling and that he knows something important just went down, but Eun-gyul doesn't back down from the bait at all: "We just got back from my house."

Publicly a free agent once more, Tae-joon takes the initiative once they're inside their dorm in trying sleuth out the answer to Jae-hee and Eun-gyul's strange meeting out in the hall. Still, the confrontation was uncomfortable enough for Jae-hee that she's unwilling to give him a straight answer when he asks what they'd been talking about. He calls her out when she starts to blush, but she refuses to answer.

After a moment, Tae-joon takes the opportunity to (finally!) explain the deal between him and Han-na. He assures Jae-hee that he won't be going to the hospital anymore, and that he and Han-na are not in any kind of "relationship" as she might think.

Hilariously, Eun-gyul heads back to his own room, assuring himself that he did the right thing by confessing. When Hyun-jae arrives after training and starts to change in the middle of the dorm room, Eun-gyul freaks out, telling him they shouldn't change in front of each other and should be more careful, apparently under the assumption that seeing nekkid boy parts will make him uncomfortable.

Hyun-jae doesn't know what he's going on about and starts to change anyway, Eun-gyul peeking at him from the corner of his eye. After a moment, with Hyun-jae down to his underwear, Puppy realizes--wait a second, I don't feel a thing looking at him. It's like looking at a rock. Haha.

That night, Jae-hee can't seem to fall asleep and does what any sane girl in her position would do--she calls her crush. Tae-joon answers the phone from the bunk below, wondering why she's phoning him up. They have a cute little exchange, with Jae-hee apologizing for being around so long and causing Tae-joon so much trouble--like taking over his room when he was supposed to use it alone, having him carry her around all the time, nagging him and bothering him, etc..

He replies that she was never a bother to him and then thanks her for getting him out into the world of high jumping again. Happy at the gesture, Jae-hee leans over the side of the bed, asking him to repeat what he just said.

Adorably, Tae-joon peers up at her and repeats his earlier question, wondering what she and Eun-gyul had been talking about in the hallway (first assuring her, of course, that it's not like he's curious or anything...). Embarrassed, Jae-hee falls back into bed, still unwilling to answer.

Being single can do wonders to a person, apparently, and Tae-joon finds himself revitalized the next morning. He happily heads out for a run around school, and then performs brilliantly at training with Coach Baek and Hyun-jae. Baek praises him for finally getting back into the swing of things, and then turns right around to berate Hyun-jae for choking at the most crucial moments.

Hyun-jae, as we know, has a jealousy issue anyway, and takes the barb to heart. He lashes out at Tae-joon in the locker room after practice when he asks him what happened and tries to give him some advice. After Tae-joon leaves, Hyun-jae thinks back to an earlier meeting with one of his new sponsors who'd told him that winning over Tae-joon was a requirement of their contract with him.

At school, Jae-hee spends the day avoiding Eun-gyul (which Tae-joon's quick to pick up on) and then heads over to hospital again to visit Han-na. Our resident brat, who doesn't feel like mincing words, gets right to the point when she arrives, asking Jae-hee if she'd really meant it when she'd said she didn't have feelings for Tae-joon.

Jae-hee replies in the affirmative, so Han-na agrees to keep her secret. But that's not why Jae-hee's here to visit. She takes Han-na's hand and, looking her in the eye, tells her not to give up gymnastics. She hands her a card, and then stands up to leave, promising to visit often, even if Han-na doesn't want her to.

Han-na doesn't open the card until Jae-hee's gone, and finds a note inside: "A miracle is just another name for hard work." She scoffs at the words, but can't help reading them over one more time.

Back at school, Jae-hee searches online for tickets to L.A. again. Tae-joon tries to sneak up behind her to see what she's doing, but she catches him and quickly shuts her laptop. He attempts to take a peek, teasing that she was probably watching something racy. She puts a stop to it quickly, telling him she's going to take a shower.

After she's gone, Jae-hee's phone starts ringing on the desk. It's a call from Eun-gyul, which Tae-joon totally peeps at, haha. Jae-hee rushes back out to get her phone and takes it into the bathroom with her but can't bring herself to pick it up.

Hormones are a'ragin, it seems, because once she's in the shower, Tae-joon finds his blood starting to boil. He sets about doing various exercises in the room to work off his nerves, which is how Jae-hee finds him after her shower. She comments on his vigorous training, and he gripes that he's not doing it for her viewing pleasure (oh, sure). Then, he looks up at her and can't help but stare as she laughs, mesmerized by her. Hah.

Jae-hee grins and tells him to keep at it. On her desk, she finds a new box of moisture cream like the one Tae-joon had bought her for her birthday. She thanks him for it, but he brushes it off as just something he got as a gift for his previous purchase (oh, sure).

A few minutes later, when Jae-hee tells him she's going out for a bit, he digs a beanie out of his dresser and fits it over her head, telling her to be warm since it's cold out and she just washed her hair. She finds her way over to the infirmary, catching Dr. Jang on his way out.

He unwillingly takes a seat to listen to her, and she explains about Eun-gyul's confession, asking him his opinion on the whole deal. He gripes about having to give her relationship advice now, but Jae-hee mumbles that it's because she feels bad lying to Eun-gyul, who still thinks she's a boy. She knows he's having a hard time because of her.

Doc calls her out on running away from the situation, and then asks her whether she really doesn't have those feelings. She more or less evades the question by answering that she knows she's not supposed to have feelings like that while she's at Genie.

Doc warns her that as more time goes on, more people will find out about her real identity. She'll have to start thinking about when she's going to leave before things get out of hand.

Outside, Eun-gyul runs into Tae-joon fixing, of all things, a streetlamp. Curious as ever, Tae-joon prods him about what he and Jae-hee were discussing the day before. Initially Eun-gyul brushes it off as nothing, but then when Tae-joon muses that he figured it wasn't anything much, he looks at Tae-joon with resolve and tells him straight that he confessed his feelings to Jae-hee.

Tae-joon protests, "But he's a guy." Eun-gyul nods, and explains that he doesn't care anymore, he'll try to win her heart until the end. Omo.

Jae-hee walks back to the dorms thinking about Han-na making sure she doesn't have feelings for Tae-joon at the hospital, and Doc telling her to start getting ready to leave. She tells herself to get it together and find her resolve. As she's walking, she gets a text from Doc, who tells her that if she's feeling awkward around Eun-gyul right now, he has the perfect solution. Cue him asking Teacher Lee to come out on a trip with him over the weekend, lol.

The next morning, Tae-joon catches Eun-gyul outside his and Jae-hee's dorm room, fretting over whether to go in or not. Tae-joon forces him to make a decision, and in they both go. When Tae-joon notices packed bags, he asks Jae-hee whether she's going on a trip.

She explains that Dr. Jang asked her to come out to the countryside with him and Teacher Lee to do some volunteering. Both of the boys perk up and invite themselves to come along. Jae-hee's face falls into an uncomfortable expression when Eun-gyul runs out to go pack his bags.

Tae-joon wonders whether she doesn't want them to go with her (which is precisely the problem--she wants a weekend away to sort out her feelings for Tae-joon, and to figure out how to break the news to Eun-gyul), but she half-heartedly denies it and walks off. Tae-joon receives a text from Director Jang to check his email, and when he sits down to use Jae-hee's laptop, he finds her search history and her ticket booking for L.A..

At the hospital, Han-na finally tells Director Jang that her relationship with Tae-joon is over. She starts to cry, lying that she got sick of Tae-joon and dumped him. Listening in from a few feet away is Seung-ri, who's ecstatic, lol.

Yay! Road trip to the countryside. When they arrive, Eun-gyul takes a chance to talk to Jae-hee, expressing his hopes that their relationship can go back to the way it was before. He knows it's absurd and that he shouldn't have said it to her, but he asks that if she isn't completely appalled by him expressing his feelings for her, whether she'll go back to treating him like she did before. Aw, Puppy. Jae-hee hesitates, not really knowing if that's possible, all while Tae-joon watches on from up front, frowning.

They're staying at some old lady's house, and the kids take to fields to help with farming and fixing the house while Dr. Jang offers medical assistance to some of the people in the neighborhood. Eun-gyul and Tae-joon work to out do one another (with Tae-joon winning in most cases). After their work is done, Tae-joon asks Jae-hee to help him wash off. And so, we get this...

Haha, he spends most of the scene awkwardly trying to cover himself up with that towel afterward. Don't hide the pretty! Minho's not the most buff guy, but you can't tell me he doesn't look good in a pair of jeans, right? RIGHT? I'm not that much of a noona, so I can drool. It's okay.

She notices a rip in his jeans when he stands up, so she tells him to take them off (to which he's like HUH?!) so she can stitch them back up for him. Tae-joon ends up borrowing a pair of Grandma's pants while Jae-hee fixes his jeans, and she teases him by taking a picture, explaining that she wants it as keepsake.

He can't bring himself to ask her about her plans to leave, so he skirts the issue by asking her why she's talking like a person who might be going away. Jae-hee changes the subject to avoid answering and starts to sew up his pants.

Hilariously, back at the hospital, Han-na stands by the railing on the roof, staring down at a picture of Tae-joon. The picture slips out of her hands, and she dives forward trying to catch it before it falls. Seung-ri sees her from afar and, thinking she means to jump, he lunges at her, grabbing her around the waist and yelling at her not to jump.

She's so startled by his actions, that she elbows him in the abdomen, right where his stitches are, and the crumples over, clutching at his stomach. He gets wheeled away to get re-stitched as Han-na apologizes again and again. He reaches for her just before they take him in to the operating ward to say, "Han-na ssi, in this world... there are are a lot of men out there who are better than Tae-joon. For example... someone like me."

More jealous antics ensue that night as Grandma cooks chicken for the kids for dinner. Eun-gyul and Jae-hee dig in, but Tae-joon doesn't eat chicken because of his fear of birds, and watches on unhappily. Afterward, the boys are giving bed-making duty, but end up ripping the sheets in their effort to one-up one another.

At last, Eun-gyul can't stand it anymore and looks up at Tae-joon, asking, "What's really between you and Jae-hee? Because to me, it doesn't look like you guys are just friends." Tae-joon doesn't feel the need to explain himself, and simply walks out of the room.

Jae-hee finds him outside a little while later and asks him to walk her to the outhouse because she's scared. He accompanies her there, and on the way back, Tae-joon finally musters up the courage to ask about her going back to America. They take a seat on a bench next to the house, and Jae-hee muses that she doesn't know what she should do.

On the one hand, she came to Korea to watch him jump, but figures there's nothing she can really do to help him anymore since he's started training again. Tae-joon muses that it's probably uncomfortable for her, so she should think about what's best for her.

Hilariously, as they're talking, a creepy grandpa comes upon them. Jae-hee and Tae-joon stand up, freaking out (the old lady who owns the house had mentioned that her husband had "left for a better place"), thinking it's a ghost. Haha, I love how Tae-joon is always the more freaked out one in situations like this, even though he tries to act manly.

They try to shoo the old man off, but end up getting scolded by Grandma for thinking that her husband was a ghost. She clarifies that she never told them he was "dead," just that he was "away." In fact, he'd been on vacation. Pfft.

Elsewhere, Teacher Lee is afflicted with indigestion, and Dr. Jang tries to treat her. Coach Baek gets the brilliant idea of finding her some plum extract, which is supposed to help. Outside, he tries all the various pots looking for the right stuff. All he manages to do is find the wrong concoctions.

He heads back in, having failed, and scours the fridge for some water to clear his mouth of the bad taste... which is when he finds a jar of the very extract he was looking for. Lol, poor guy. He ladles some out for Teacher Lee in a mug, and then checks her for a fever. Only... she tells him his hand smells like poo. Haha. Coach Baek protests at that, trying to explain his situation to no avail.

Later that night, Eun-gyul wanders outside and finds Jae-hee sitting in the courtyard. He takes a seat beside her, offering to listen to her problems. She brushes it off, and they start joking around, as Tae-joon watches on (yet again) from behind. If you've ever seen My Girl, Eun-gyul uses the same Korean metaphor about the king having donkey ears.

The next day, Eun-gyul gets a call from his soccer coach who tells him that one of the guys picked for the national team had to drop out, which means... he's in. Yay, Puppy! Eun-gyul, Jae-hee, and Coach Baek jump around all excited, while Mr. Crabbypants watches on.

That night, Tae-joon sits outside with Sang-chu, thinking back to all the times Eun-gyul had expressed his feelings about Jae-hee. I sense a bit of urgency seeping into Tae-joon (finally!). Inside, Puppy packs his bags to leave, because he's got to meet up with his coach.

He tells her it's all because of her and thanks her for being there for him. Eun-gyul heads out, grabbing Jae-hee's phone by mistake.

Indeed, urgency has become the name of the game, because when Tae-joon finds Jae-hee in the kitchen reaching for a bowl on the top shelf, he comes up behind her to help, getting all up in her bubble. Outside, Eun-gyul realizes he's grabbed the wrong phone, and heads back in. He doesn't find Jae-hee in the bedroom, so he wanders out into the courtyard, calling her name.

Back in the kitchen, Tae-joon tells Jae-hee he has something he wants to say, just as Eun-gyul's voice carries in. Jae-hee mumbles that Eun-gyul's calling her and tries to walk out, but Tae-joon blocks her way out, a serious look coming across his face.

He stares down at her as Eun-gyul continues calling out for Jae-hee, and says, "Don't go. When you're with me, don't think about Eun-gyul. I'm not letting you go back to America. Stay by my side." OMO!

This girl gets a lot of love confessions for someone who doesn't have much of a personality... I wish I was that lucky in love. -____-

This was quite a progressive week, wasn't it? Hearts were broken, confessions were made, and poor Seung-ri, haha. Narratively, I think Episode 11 was probably stronger because we made substantial headway toward our end goals, but there were a lot of things in this episode as well that moved the story forward.


As we make our way into the final weeks, the stakes are starting to be raised higher and higher. The Hyun-jae mystery is slowly being unraveled, and our leads are finally starting to see their own feelings for what they really are, though I'll bet anything Jae-hee will hide behind all the promises she made to everyone that she doesn't have feelings for Tae-joon, like Han-na and Doc Jang.

That's often the problem with teenage dramas--that extensive skirting around each other and denial of feelings. It starts to get old very quickly, especially when I'm more used to watching adult-centric dramas that face feelings head-on (although, as I'm sure we all know, even those sometimes devolve into episodes and episodes of beating around the bush).

There are a few relationships that I really think are the bread and butter of where this show succeeds: Eun-gyul and Jae-hee (as friends), Jae-hee and Dr. Jang, Tae-joon and Director Jang, and Eun-gyul and Hyun-jae (purely for comedic purposes). The first three are done incredibly well, in my opinion, and with this show's writer having the High Kick series to his name, it's no surprise he does heartwarming character interactions well.

Jae-hee and Eun-gyul work as friends (and subsequently would never work as a couple) because they're there for each other when things get rough--as in the last episode when she visits him at home. I can liken them to Da-yang and Won-il in Panda and Hedgehog, or Hye-mi and Jin-gook in Dream High both pairs who are brilliant friends but likely wouldn't mesh as lovers.

On the other hand, I love Dr. Jang's relationship with Jae-hee. He's the only one she can be open with about everything, and (while he may seem prickly and unwilling to listen) he's been there to help her out of numerous scrapes. Tae-joon and Director Jang were good to watch in the beginning, though their relationship's been placed on the back burner lately. She seems to be the only one who actually cares for Tae-joon's well-being. His father only sees him as a potential Olympic athlete, while Director Jang provides him with that mother figure he doesn't have anymore.


Honestly though, I thought I was going to explode if one more person said, "I have something to say to you," and then didn't end up actually saying anything. BY excels in that respect--at false starts and cliffhangers that end up fizzling out when the scene picks up in the next episode. I hope that's not the case here, with an actual confession (or even, semi-confession) coming out and Jae-hee for once not just standing there, wide-eyed. I'm sure I'm hoping for too much, but we're round the last corner, Show! You gotta gimme something.

This episode was, of course, adorable because we got back all the things we were missing in the last few episodes--Jealous!Tae-joon, our cute love triangle, more screen-time for happy!Puppy, and plot movement on (almost) all fronts! I'd consider that a successful effort.



  1. Ahh, Puppy was so cute this week! This is a strange drama for me. Usually when I have second lead syndrome, it's because I don't like the male lead at all (or I don't think he's hot). This is one of the first shows where I would be happy for her to end up with either guy! (if viewers ever had a say on these types of things, or if Kdramas ever didn't subscribe to the perfect law of the main cast OTP). Oh well...

    1. I loved Puppy this week! He's a mini Choi Han-gyul for sure. I was so proud of him for bucking up and admitting his feelings. I'd love for him to get his happy ending. It's too bad it won't happen :/

    2. Do you think the world will explode if ever... the second lead gets the girl?

    3. I've heard of it happening before, but it's almost a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence. Off the top of my head, the only one I can think of is Kim Nam-gil in The Great Queen Seon-deok... he did so well the writers re-wrote the script and had the queen fall in love with him instead of Uhm Tae-woong's character.

      In general though, I feel like Korean audiences would get super pissed off if ever they were jipped of an OTP pairing. Japanese dramas are less predictable, which I find makes it hard to root for any one pair, so I prefer knowing from the beginning who's going to end up with whom.