Saturday, September 8, 2012

To the Beautiful You: Episode 7 Recap

So, this week, our love square gets going in earnest, leaving some out to dry and others as clear leaders at this point in the game. Our OTP gets cuter and cuter and our second leads get more and more tragic, but episode 7 was a clear upswing in both tone and pace, which was a welcome relief from the sluggish forward movement we've had so far.

Watch TTBY Episode 7 on DramaFever!

Episode 7 Recap
Tae-joon and Jae-hee fall on the high jump mat; they freeze for a brief second until they realize what's going on, and then Jae-hee pushes herself off him. They make the walk back to the dorms with Han-na and Eun-gyul and run into Seung-ri sunbae and the rest of the guys from Dorm 2. Han-na charms Seung-ri into letting her stay on campus at Genie for a little while more despite the festival having ended hours ago. Jae-hee's none too pleased at her showing off her feminine wiles.

She's not the only one frustrated by Han-na's antics, and Eun-gyul begins complaining about her as they trail along behind the group. He harps that if the world ended tomorrow, only Seol Han-na and the cockroaches would be left as survivors. Jae-hee writes it off as Han-na being overly optimistic, and Eun-gyul bites back that she's so optimistic that he wouldn't surprised if she snuck into the boys' school dressed as a man. Jae-hee stutters out that that's no reason to call her a cockroach.

As they walk, Eun-gyul admits that he's started to date Da-hae. Jae-hee congratulates him for it, and then splits off to go change out of her girl clothes. Eun-gyul tries to snap a photo of her as she walks away, lol, and then assures himself that the photo is only for future blackmail purposes. UH HUH, Puppy, you go right ahead telling yourself that.

The Dorm 2 boys have a pseudo after-party in the lounge, karaoke and all, and Han-na stands up to sing a song just as Jae-hee walks back in wearing her boy clothes again. Han-na tries to hand a second mic to Tae-joon so they can sing a duet, but he won't have it. Finally unable to stand the spectacle anymore, Jae-hee gets up and walks out. Tae-joon's well aware of this, and ends up following her to Sang-chu's house.

He sits down with her and wonders aloud when she went and changed out of her girl clothes. Jae-hee looks down at herself and mumbles that she just felt uncomfortable. Tae-joon asks her whether she's not uncomfortable like that, and when she looks down at her clothes again nervously, he amends himself by adding that he means the girl clothes. Jae-hee shrugs and answers that even if she was uncomfortable, it was just something that had to be done.

Tae-joon nods, and then thanks her for having talked Seung-ri into helping him get back into the Athletic Club. Han-na, who'd apparently walked out to see where Tae-joon had gone, sees them together with Sang-chu and gets a dark look on her face. Uh oh.

The next day, the news drops that there's going to be more work done on the school, so some of the boys are going to have to relocate again for a few days. Cut to Jong-min popping up at Eun-gyul's door. Only... Eun-gyul's already at Jae-hee and Tae-joon's dorm. Lol. This should be fun.

He explains to Jae-hee and Tae-joon that he's elected to stay here with them until the work on the school is done. Mr. Crankypants doesn't like the idea of it at all, so he tells Eun-gyul to get lost. Of course, poor Puppy has "no other choice," as he puts it, and we flash back to how he'd begged one of his hyungs (who'd originally been assigned to stay with our OTP) to let him bunk with Jae-hee and Tae-joon instead. LOL.

When he suggests he and Jae-hee share her bed together so that Tae-joon can keep his bed to himself, Tae-joon stops him cold with a firm hand on his arm. Jae-hee smiles a bit at being saved (again). Cut to Tae-joon tying up a hammock. HAHA. Eun-gyul refuses to use it, and it's only when Jae-hee says she'll sleep in the hammock that he's guilted into agreeing.

The following morning, Jae-hee heads back out to the pool to look for Tae-joon's necklace again. Eun-gyul spots her floating in the middle of the water and asks her what she's doing. He joins her in her little boat and she explains about the ring and that it's very important she find it. He figures it's probably better to get in the water to look and offers to let her borrow his swimsuit, but she declines, referencing her "chlorine allergy," and then pushes him into the water.

Meanwhile, Han-na, still upset by the night before, starts wondering at Jae-hee's real identity. She asks her manager oppa to do everything he can to find out who Jae-hee really is.

That night, back in their dorm, Eun-gyul suggests cooking up some ramyun because he's hungry. When Jae-hee objects, saying they have no kitchen in which to cook it, he pulls out a camping stove and a pot from his backpack, haha. I don't know if I find it more funny that he keeps this stuff in his bag or that he actually brought it with him for this sleepover.

Mr. Crankypants, whose name I'm now going to change to "Mr. Jealouspants," comes home to find them cooking up a storm and laughing over bowls of ramyun. So irritated is he that he shuns them to the bathroom because the smell bothers him.

So, exiled in the bathroom with their ramyun, Jae-hee and Eun-gyul continue their two-man (er... one man, one woman?) party, and they're so loud that their laughter can be heard from the outside. Mr. Jealouspants is curious to find out what they're talking about and presses his ear against the bathroom door to listen in.... right as Jae-hee opens the door to come outside.

Tae-joon falls in and gruffly tries to cover up that he was listening in by making up some excuse about having to use the bathroom. Eun-gyul doesn't want to give it up since, after all, he was the one who banished them there in the first place. Jae-hee is more magnanimous than Eun-gyul and tells him they were done anyway. Left to his own devices in the bathroom, Tae-joon looks at himself in the mirror, simply shaking his head at his actions.

Da-hae texts Eun-gyul late that night, after Tae-joon and Jae-hee have fallen asleep. To her, "I miss you," he replies, "I do too," but soon after finds himself climbing the stairs up to Jae-hee's bed. Staring at her sleeping form for a moment, he wonders out loud, "Goo Jae-hee, what are you, really? What have you done to me?"

The next morning marks Tae-joon and Hyun-jae's first training session together. They go through all the drills with glares on their faces, Tae-joon mostly playing gofer for Hyun-jae as he practices jumps and does curl-ups.

They argue in the locker room after training, with Hyun-jae asking Tae-joon whether the rumor about him having Yips was true. Tae-joon figures Hyun-jae would probably be glad if it were. He explains, "You're not the reason why I'm jumping. But that doesn't seem to be the case with you." The crappy practice session leads to Tae-joon coming home cranky that night.

He walks into the dorm with a sour expression on his face, which is further soured when he spots Jae-hee holding an old DVD of his. He snatches it out of her hands angrily. She tells him it's a movie she loves and  asks whether he enjoyed the ending, but he explains that he doesn't know because he's never seen the end.

Manager oppa tells Han-na that a schoolmate of hers used to attend Jae-hee's high school in California and probably knows a little something about the real Jae-hee. (How utterly convenient, Drama.)

Meanwhile, more shenanigans ensue back at the trio's dorm, this time with Tae-joon getting irritated at Jae-hee and Eun-gyul laughing too much. He tells them to shut up (which they don't), and ends up even more frustrated.

He resorts to doing bed pull-ups again (probably in the hopes of getting Jae-hee's attention), and Jae-hee tells him she's sorry being so loud. He grumbles that they're still doing it even if they already know they're annoying. This is a problem that's quickly remedied when Jae-hee pulls her curtains closed so that he can't see them anymore, lol. She promises not to bother him from now on. Tae-joon stands there, flabbergasted at being rejected thusly.

Hilariously, the camera pans out and we see that he wasn't actually doing pull-ups after all, but that he'd moved one of their decorative shelving units over to the bed and was standing on it, only pretending to be exercising. Having been thoroughly dissed, he quietly moves the furniture back to its place, checking often to make sure Jae-hee and Eun-gyul don't see him doing it. HAHA. Jealous Tae-joon is the best thing ever. Seriously.

Later that night, Jae-hee and Eun-gyul convince him to come out bowling with them, so the trio heads out for a game. They run into Seung-ri and Co. (which includes Jong-min and Hyun-jae), who are already there, and Seung-ri suggests they join them in a friendly competition.

More hilarity ensues as Tae-joon gets up for his turn (this is after Jae-hee and Eun-gyul have gotten a strike each). He readies himself to chuck the bowling ball and goes through a simulation in his head, imagining himself getting a strike as well. Only, the reality doesn't quite match up to the vision, because as he swings his arm back to throw the ball, it goes sailing off his fingers and straight into Jae-hee's lap.

She stands up to give it back to him, assuring him that his form was really great. He wonders whether the ball is defective and argues that it's probably because he hasn't loosened up enough yet. Pfft. This time when he throws it, it goes forward, but also sends him sprawling onto his ass and the ball rolling into the gutter. Lol. Guess Golden Boy isn't good at everything, after all.

For his next turn, Jae-hee gives him some pointers on his stance and how to throw the ball. He brushes off her tips and readies himself to bowl. This time, his throw is pitch perfect and knocks over all the pins, giving him a strike of his very own, and happy high fives from Jae-hee, which Eun-gyul watches uncomfortably.

The next day, Eun-gyul decides to use his break between classes to go swimming at the pool. He heads to Jae-hee and Tae-joon's dorm to pick up his swimsuit and hears the shower running. Using this as the perfect opportunity to put his doubts to rest, he reaches out to open the door... which is when Tae-joon walks in, just in time to stop him.

Eun-gyul heads to the pool after this and swims around, apparently looking for the necklace that Jae-hee had been searching for earlier. I think it's hilarious that he even takes his phone into the pool with him. He takes a break and snaps a selca to post on the school's social networking site, like the social media whore that he is, and happens to drop his phone into the water (No worries! It's wearing a water-proof case.). He dives down to get it, and happens to find Jae-hee's necklace along with it.

He rushes out of the pool to find Jae-hee and runs into her in the lounge. He reaches into his pocket for the ring, asking, "You were looking for a necklace the other day, right?" Jae-hee nods in the affirmative and explains that it's very important that she find it because the necklace is Tae-joon's. This stops Eun-gyul in his tracks and he discreetly stuffs the necklace back into his pocket, opting not to give it to her just yet.

After this, he goes out shopping with Da-hae to buy couple outfits. He's distracted by the thought of the necklace, and Da-hae plainly calls him out on it, saying he spends too much of his time thinking about Jae-hee. Eun-gyul brushes off her concerns, telling her she shouldn't be jealous of a guy. She decides that "Jae-hee" will be a prohibited topic of conversation for the rest of their date that day.

Meanwhile, Jong-min, who has been getting progressively more and more jealous of Jae-hee's relationship with Eun-gyul devises another prank. He tells Jae-hee he's found her necklace, but unfortunately left it in the building that's under construction. This sends her off to the creepy structure alone to look for it. Jong-min and Co. dress up like ghosts and get their art friends to do up their makeup. They head out to the abandoned building to give Jae-hee a fright.

Unfortunately for them, Jae-hee's not the only one in the building that night. Young-man (the leader of Dorm 1) is there with a couple of his dorm-mates, going through a secret stash of porn. Haha. Jong-min and Co. come across the guys, and both groups scare each other off.

This leaves Jae-hee on her own in the abandoned building. When a security guard comes by to check on things, she hides behind some crates to prevent being caught. Unfortunately, this means the guard thinks there's no one in the building, and he locks up the rooms on his way out.

Back at their dorm, Tae-joon starts to worry as the clock ticks away the time and Jae-hee still hasn't shown up. When Eun-gyul comes home alone, Tae-joon wonders where Jae-hee could have gone and rushes out to find her. Smarty pants that she is, Jae-hee uses her flashlight to signal to someone outside, and Tae-joon happens to see it. He breaks into the locked building and busts open the lock to get her out.

She's thoroughly freaked out by now, and rushes into his arms once he gets the door open. He tentatively hugs her back, stroking her hair comfortingly.

Actually, Jae-hee's so creeped out that she can't handle going back downstairs in the dark. Tae-joon grabs her hand and when she asks whether he's not afraid, he replies that he's a man--of course he's not afraid. Cue stray kitty and Tae-joon shrieking away like a little girl. Lol.

They make it out of the building in one piece after this, no more demon cats getting in their way, and take a seat on a bench outside when Jae-hee mentions that she's tired. Adorably, Tae-joon bends down in front of her to massage her ankle. She thanks him and mumbles that it would have been good if she'd been able to find the necklace. Tae-joon tells her just to forget about it--even if he gets the necklace back, it's not like his mom is going to come back with it.

As they sit there, he recounts the story of his mother's last days to her, explaining that they'd been watching that movie (the one from earlier that Jae-hee had said she'd loved) the last time he'd seen her. Mom had pretended she was tired just so he'd leave to go home and get some rest before flying out for the World Junior Championships. He'd made her promise they'd finish it together the next time he saw her. He'd gotten up to leave and she'd grabbed his hand, telling him she loved him and that she was glad that he was her son.

He'd brushed her off, taking their last moments together for granted, and had walked out. Mom had started to cry after he left, and Tae-joon had stopped in the hallway, nearly turning around and going back into her hospital room. He'd thought better of it at the last moment and walked away.

The next day, he'd won the gold medal at the World Junior Championships. After the competition, he'd been so excited that he wanted to go straight to the hospital to show Mom his medal. It wasn't until then that he'd found out his mother had passed away that day--and that his father had kept the news from him because he didn't want it getting in the way of Tae-joon's competition.

In the present day, a few tears escape Tae-joon's eyes as he talks and Jae-hee wraps her arms around him in a hug, her own tears staining his shoulder. Back at their dorm, Tae-joon asks her to watch that same movie with him. She agrees immediately, and then spends most of the time while they're watching it watching him instead.

Meanwhile, Han-na meets up with her classmate who'd gone to school with Jae-hee. The girl, Michelle, hands over their yearbook and Han-na goes through it, looking for any traces of Jae-hee, but gets interrupted by a phone call before she can finish. Personally, I don't think she would have found her anyway, because in her picture, Jae-hee has long hair and is labeled "Jay Dawson," and Han-na was only searching the pictures of the boys.

A few days later, Tae-joon runs into the school's security guard in the dorm lobby. He's delivering more fan presents for him. At the top of the stack, Tae-joon sees a box for Jae-hee, marked, "Happy birthday, Jay!" cluing him in to the fact that it's Jae-hee's birthday. Eun-gyul comes by this same knowledge while he's helping Teacher Lee in the office later that day.

He attends one of Da-hae's violin concerts and realizes, while watching her play, that he might actually like her. He decides to give Jae-hee the necklace back and not to be confused anymore. Meanwhile, Tae-joon sneaks out to a cosmetics store to buy Jae-hee a present.

At school, Eun-gyul searches her out and finds her in the laundry room. He watches her from outside for a long moment, and realizes he's not going to be able to get over Jae-hee and might actually be in love with her instead. Man on a mission, he charges into the laundry room, and grabs Jae-hee from behind in a hug. GASP!

It irks me that Jae-hee was so freaked out about being locked in the abandoned building. She was more anxious about this than being nearly molested by Creepy McCreeperson back at the pension a few episodes ago. But that's BY logic for you. I'm just not sure how well the ethics work out.

Still, this was by far the best episode yet, if only for the abundance of hilariously epic Tae-joon fail moments. Golden Boy ain't so golden and it's nice (and SO FUNNY) to watch him stumble awkwardly sometimes (or shriek like a little girl at the sight of a stray kitten). It's so incongruous to see him so cold and suave during every situation, but then have his pathetic attempts at keeping tabs on Jae-hee fail so horribly and turn him into such a complete dork. This all makes him so much more relatable and endearing. There were so many cute moments in this episode that I didn't even care at the lack of plot movement.

I found myself laughing and feeling for the characters for the first time since this show started, and I find that this episode was the easiest of the bunch for me to get through. I wasn't watching the clock as much but rather found myself actively engaged, which is something that hasn't yet happened for me during BY.

Something that was briefly touched on that I'm really hoping they'll touch on again in the future was the parallel between Jae-hee and Han-na that we got a taste of in this episode. Jae-hee's a girl, and she knows she is, and Tae-joon knows she is, but because she doesn't know that he knows, her lack of confidence in herself starts to come out in full force when Han-na is around.

She can't be a girl to him the way Han-na can and I think that has started to bother her at least a little bit, which becomes apparent in the scene with Sang-chu when she tells Tae-joon that she's more comfortable in boy clothes now. She gets an expression of surprise on her face like that answer surprises even her. This identity crisis trope is always interesting in gender bender shows, and I think BY is one of the few (along with Coffee Prince) that has actually addressed it.

As far as Tae-joon's sordid history, I'd kind of called that the moment we were shown his mother's funeral and him crying over her ashes with his gold medal in hand. That doesn't detract from the sadness of the situation, but it does explain some of his reluctance to start jumping again. I only wish the writer had come up with something more creative, since this is a trope that's been done so many times before.

Even so, the parallels they're trying to make between Jae-hee and Tae-joon's mom aren't so uncomfortable for me as they seem to be for others who are watching the show. Jae-hee represents inspiration for Tae-joon in the same way that his mother used to, but she's a different type of inspiration. She's able to rekindle that fire within him to jump again in a way that no one else was able to do. And she's able to give him a kind of love that he hasn't had since his mother died. It's too early to claim that they have solid feelings for one another, but they've definitely built a strong friendship and for now, Jae-hee's there for him in that capacity.


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