Wednesday, September 12, 2012
To the Beautiful You: Episode 8 Recap
This episode was not as much fun as the last, with Han-na finally losing it and Tae-joon trying to play diplomatic. It was an episode in which people can randomly wander into a remote training camp in high heels and no provisions, where one guy can take down an entire team of high school athletes in paintball, and during which we find out... really not too much, other than the fact that sustained pressure on one's breasts can have adverse effects (no pun intended!) on one's health. On with the recap!
Watch TTBY Episode 8 on DramaFever.
Episode 8 Recap
Eun-gyul charges into the laundry room and grabs Jae-hee in a sudden hug. She's startled at first, but then pulls him off, asking him what he's doing. He stutters out that it's her present, isn't it? And that he has a birthday... He shakes his head and correct himself: It's her birthday, isn't it? He has a present for her. Haha. Aw.
He hands her a Tiffany blue box and then hilariously runs out before she can say anything. Jae-hee opens the gift and finds Tae-joon's necklace inside. She's touched by the gift.
Eun-gyul runs out to the staircase and stops, wondering at what he's doing and realizing (finally!) who it is that he really has feelings for. He walks out to the lobby and sits there, fretting over his realization and imagining all the people in the room with Jae-hee's face. Haha, poor Puppy.
Back at the dorm, Tae-joon sits at his desk waiting for Jae-hee to get home so that he can give her his own gift. When she finally walks in, they both awkwardly present each other with their respective presents at the same time.
Tae-joon opens his first and is touched to find the necklace inside. He thanks Jae-hee for finding it for him, but she brushes it off, telling him to thank Eun-gyul instead, since he was the one who recovered it from the pool.
Later, she opens her own gift and finds moisture cream inside. She happily tries it out, letting her girly side take over for a moment. Then, it's on to oppa's present (the box Tae-joon had received from the security guard earlier). Daniel has (appropriately) sent her a taser, along with a warning note. Haha, big brothers. Jae-hee accidentally tases herself with it, lol.
Her birthday continues in good form, with Eun-gyul sweetly presenting her with a tray of yummy food and seaweed birthday soup (which he'd gone to great lengths to have the kitchen staff of ahjummas to make for him--he'd put on a cute little aegyo act and conned them into doing it, haha) at dinner that evening.
He tells her that he has one motto in life (Jae-hee guesses wrong that it's to date pretty girls, lol): If you can't avoid it, enjoy it. (Essentially, "If you can't beat em, join em.") But, Eun-gyul says, he's run into something that he can neither avoid nor enjoy. Even so, he's decided that if he can't avoid it, he'll try to at least enjoy it. Three guesses as to what he's talking about.
At training, Coach Baek sits and videotapes Hyun-jae and Tae-joon's jumps on his tablet (this entire drama seems to be a running commercial for Samsung Galaxy tablets and cell phones, with the way they show off a different feature every episode...). Hyun-jae proves to be the more competent jumper for now, and Baek tells Tae-joon to study the tapes to see what he's doing wrong.
In the locker room after practice, Coach Baek praises Hyun-jae, telling him that his form is better than Tae-joon's. However, it seems that Hyun-jae is suffering from a bit of performance anxiety himself. His competition record (2m 10cm) is far below his personal best (2m 30cm, which matches Tae-joon's).
Hyun-jae protests and tells Baek that it's because his physical condition wasn't at peak before each of the competitions. Even so, the disparity in the numbers isn't something to be ignored, which is something that Baek is quick to point out. He advises that if Hyun-jae wants to start winning at comps, he'll have to throw away his greed to win first.
Tae-joon heads back to his dorm after training and gets a call from Han-na, asking him to come out with her and celebrate her own birthday a little early. She eventually twists his arm into agreeing and he explain the sitch to Jae-hee before bailing. Jae-hee, who'd bought herself a cake to share with him, tries not to show her disappointment as he leaves.
Han-na drags him out to go buy a birthday present for her, and takes Tae-joon back to the same cosmetics boutique he'd gone to to buy Jae-hee's gift. Unfortunately for him, the lady in the store recognizes him and calls him out on coming in for the second time.
Perceptive Han-na is surprised at this and asks Tae-joon whether he's been to the place before. He hedges a little, but then admits that he'd come in earlier to buy a birthday gift for a friend. Han-na wonders which friend he could be buying cosmetics for, but Tae-joon is saved from answering when a girl comes up to ask for his autograph.
Back at school, Jae-hee lies dejectedly in bed, flipping through magazines and trying to distract herself from thinking about Tae-joon. Suddenly, all the lights in the dorm room go out one by one and she peers over the side of the bed to see what's going on.
Eun-gyul walks in, holding a cake with lit candles and begins to sing "happy birthday" to her. They feed each other cake and goof around, and then Eun-gyul gets a call from Da-hae. He almost doesn't answer it, but when Jae-hee tells him to pick up, he excuses himself to talk to her.
They meet up the next day and Eun-gyul seems ready to break things off once and for all. He starts to do so, but Da-hae interrupts him, telling him to hold onto whatever he's going to say until after they take a little trip.
She drags him out to one of her violin auditions, explaining that his presence makes her nervousness ebb away. Since he can't actually walk into the room with her, she asks him to switch shoes, and Da-hae performs her song wearing his soccer cleats, as he waits nervously in the lobby in her Mary Janes. Aw.
Her audition goes off without a hitch, but by the time they get out to the bus stop, the air is tense between them. Da-hae brings up the topic herself, and Eun-gyul tells her to hit him once. She does just that, socking him on the cheek.
But Da-hae's no oblivious Jae-hee and has figured out what's going on: "You like someone else, don't you?" Eun-gyul doesn't argue the fact, and Da-hae's face falls. She tells him that the person who holds his heart must be very lucky.
They shake congenially, and then she bids him farewell and gets on the bus. When he tries to peer in at her through the window, she moves her violin case in the way so that he can't see her cry. Aw.
At Athletic Club training later that day, Jae-hee and Tae-joon do some sit-ups with the rest of the guys (is this supposed to be an allusion to Secret Garden?). Seung-ri announces that all the boys will be attending a training camp out in the woods.
It'll be more of a camping trip than an overseas getaway (Hilariously, Jong-min gripes that he wishes they could go overseas somewhere, so Seung-ri tells him his wish is fulfilled, but then when Jong-min asks if he's for real, he deadpans and says, "Nope, that was a lie." Haha.), which zaps everyone's enthusiasm for the outing.
Meanwhile, it seems Han-na's finally reached the end of her rope, because she comes barging into Jae-hee and Tae-joon's dorm and lashes out at the oblivious Jae-hee. She confronts her about whether it was recently her birthday, and searches the room looking for a product from the cosmetics boutique. Confused, Jae-hee wonders why she's doing this.
Han-na yells at her to stop bothering Tae-joon because she's just getting in the way. She rattles off a list of Tae-joon's traits and habits, and then quips that Jae-hee knows nothing about him at all and should just leave him alone. She asks Jae-hee whether she's really a boy. Jae-hee answers in the affirmative and Han-na tells her to get her head on straight, then.
At last, she finds the bottle of moisture cream in Jae-hee's desk drawer. The two of them argue over it for a moment, until it slips out of their hands and breaks all over the floor. Han-na tells Jae-hee that she shouldn't have been such a brat, and then rushes out of the room.
In the car, her manager oppa asks her whether she's not being overly concerned about Jae-hee. Han-na explains that almost everything about Jae-hee bothers her. She just get can't get past the fact that even as a boy, Jae-hee is so delicate-looking, and that Tae-joon pays so much attention to her. She figures that there's definitely something between Tae-joon and Jae-hee that she doesn't know about.
Jae-hee sets about cleaning up the moisture cream mess, thoroughly shaken by the whole situation. This is how Tae-joon finds her when he gets back to the dorm a while later. She's upfront about the moisture cream and apologizes for being so careless. He tells her not to worry about it.
As they stand there, he gets a text from Han-na. Jae-hee perks up and asks him how long he's known Han-na for. Tae-joon explains that they've been around each other since they were babies, and that he even used to think she was his real sister when they were little. He asks Jae-hee why she's asking, so Jae-hee admits that she doesn't think Han-na likes her very much.
Tae-joon defends Han-na, telling Jae-hee that even though she's a little rough around the edges, she's still just a kid. She has a tendency to speak her mind without remembering to censor herself, but that she's not one to hold grudges, and she's not really a bad person. OH. OKAY. Pfft.
Jae-hee tentatively asks him about egg yolks, and whether he really can't eat them if they're not properly cooked (something Han-na had spouted off during her tirade). Tae-joon replies in the affirmative, wondering how Jae-hee came about that knowledge. Still, it's enough to set Jae-hee off, and she yells at him that as a man, that's something he should be able to do (eat raw egg yolks, lol). She storms off and Tae-joon stares after her, wondering what her deal is.
The next morning, all the boys in the Athletic Club get ready to head out for their training camp. Eun-gyul finds out from Hyun-jae that Jae-hee will be attending as well, which sets him into a flurry of ponderings. This is only added to further when he catches Jae-hee in the hallway, rushing out for the trip. Lol.
The boys all arrive at the camping site and begin to set up tents and things. Tae-joon watches on as Jae-hee has a hard time blowing up their tent (which is apparently inflatable?), and then gets a dark look on his face as Seung-ri comes up behind her to help.
Later that afternoon, Tae-joon runs into Hyun-jae, who's on the phone with someone from back home (maybe a girlfriend or a sister?). Hyun-jae hangs up quickly when he sees Tae-joon, and Tae-joon asks him why he hates him so much. Hyun-jae replies that it's because Tae-joon's never been thankful for anything he has. All those things that other people find important, Tae-joon thinks are useless.
Back at Genie, Eun-gyul spends some time trying to distract himself from thinking about Jae-hee, but finds the word "malang" (His nickname, "Squishy" or "Softy" for Jae-hee) in every magazine or book he opens. Finally unable to stand it anymore, he makes the decision to go out to the training camp himself: "If you're there, I'll be there too!"
That evening, Jae-hee gets assigned kitchen/cooking duty by Coach Baek, who loves giving people a hard time. Tae-joon offers to help, and when Jae-hee asks him whether he knows how to cook, he assures her that he's at least better than she is.
They goof around for a while as they cook, cutting each other's likenesses into various pieces of vegetables, and when everyone sits down to eat, Tae-joon stops Jae-hee from telling them that he helped her (kind of like Seung-jo in Playful Kiss).
After eating, the boys all head out to run and train, and then Seung-ri announces that they'll be playing a survival game. Anyone who "dies" will have to run 10 laps in their underwear. Jae-hee understandably freaks at this, and Seung-ri tells her that if she's so against the idea to make sure she doesn't die.
Jong-min gripes that it's a shame that Eun-gyul's not here. Irritated, Seung-ri berates him for being so obsessed with Eun-gyul and asks whether he really likes him that much. Jong-min answers in the affirmative, saying, that it's because Eun-gyul is so cute and nice.
Hyun-jae pipes up that it's for the best he isn't here since he has such a tendency to make a ruckus when he's around... which is when Eun-gyul walks up: "How does Eun-gyul make a ruckus? Eun-gyul's voice is sexy and high-pitched." He manages to convince Coach Baek to let him stay by assuring him that he'll help him get with Teacher Lee, lol.
Later, Tae-joon watches Jae-hee and Eun-gyul catch up as Jae-hee welcomes him to the training camp, and sighs at their friendliness. He walks off, shaking his head. Haha.
Let the games begin! The boys split up into teams for a game of Capture the Flag, paintball style. Tae-joon is relegated to flag-watching duty, while Jae-hee and Eun-gyul head off to take down some of the opposing team. He peers over at them walking around on the far end of the course.
After a moment, they're hit by enemy fire, and Jae-hee slips off the stairs. (Aigoo, again?) Tae-joon and Eun-gyul rush over to see if she's okay, but it seems her wrist is out of commission. Eun-gyul muses that Jae-hee must have really hated the idea of running in her underwear.
Tae-joon perks up at this, not having been around when Seung-ri had made the announcement. Realizing the predicament, he gets an uber serious expression on his face and declares that it's time for him to end this little game.
Cue epic music as Tae-joon single-handedly takes out the entire opposing team and captures their flag. Before the whistle is blown for the end of the game, Hyun-jae finds Jae-hee and Eun-gyul and gears up to shoot. Eun-gyul rushes in front of Jae-hee to take the shot himself and they land on the ground, him lying on top of her.
Hyun-jae takes off his mask, laughing, but then his smile drops as Jae-hee lifts up her gun and shoots at him a couple of times. Meanwhile, Eun-gyul ekes out that at least he managed to "die" for his friend, and then finds his heart thump thumping at the proximity between him and Jae-hee. She looks up at him and manages, "You're heavy..." Lol.
After the game ends, the boys of the losing team head out for their run as Tae-joon and Jae-hee walk back to camp. Jae-hee doesn't look so good--kind of pale in the face and a little ashy, so Tae-joon grabs her arm and rushes her to Doctor Jang.
One look at her and Doc tells the other teachers to step outside. He gives a nod of reassurance to Tae-joon, who also walks out, and then bends down next to Jae-hee. Apparently, the bindings around her torso are putting some strain on her chest and making her feel woozy.
As he wraps her wrist, he harps that she's still a growing adolescent and that this boy disguise is soon going to become ineffective. She won't be able to keep it up for much longer at this rate because it's starting to have detrimental effects on her health.
Looking her in the eye, he adds, "You've already seen Tae-joon jump... there's no reason for you to be here anymore." Jae-hee looks away, frowning.
Waiting outside, Eun-gyul and Tae-joon rush up to her when she walks out of the teachers' tent. Jae-hee attributes the issue to low blood sugar and assures them that she's just fine now. Eun-gyul clocks Tae-joon's concerned reaction uncomfortably.
Later, as the boys all get ready for bed, Tae-joon walks up to the washing area and notices that Jae-hee's having a hard time with the toothpaste. He helps her out and then offers to wash her face for her since she can't do it herself. When he puts soap on her face, she asks whether she looks funny, and Tae-joon replies that she looks cute. In the distance, Eun-gyul sees them in close proximity.
That night in the tent, Jae-hee and Tae-joon lie in their sleeping bags, unable to sleep. Jae-hee gets up to go out for some fresh air, but ends up falling on Tae-joon. He stares at her for a second, and then rolls them over until he's on top.
Looking down at her smolderingly, he says: "I like you. That's why I'm going to test out that theory. Since lips don't lie." He leans down and Jae-hee closes her eyes...
And then we cut away to Eun-gyul, who's dreamed it all up. HAHA. He shakes his head, assuring himself that not all boys fall in love with other boys and that Tae-joon isn't like that. Still, even as the thought goes through his head, Coach Baek (whose tent Eun-gyul is sharing) rolls over and hugs Eun-gyul's legs.
This is enough confirmation for Eun-gyul to make a decision: he'll just go check for himself whether Jae-hee is doing alright. Only... he can't manage to unzip his sleeping bag, and is forced to shuffle like a caterpillar to Jae-hee's tent.
Meanwhile, Jae-hee and Tae-joon really are having trouble sleeping. Jae-hee imagines all the times that day that Tae-joon had helped her out. She fidgets around and Tae-joon asks her whether she can't sleep. She replies in the affirmative and then offers up a story about a foreign camping tradition she'd learned about: s'mores.
She offers to make them for him the next day, but he refuses, teasing that she's a bad cook. He eventually gives in, and the pair of them turn away to go to sleep.
It's easier said than done, as they both take turns looking back at one another for a while, still unable to fall asleep. Tae-joon seems the more uncomfortable one of the two, letting out puffs of nervousness at the knowledge that he's sleeping next to a girl, haha.
Outside, Eun-gyul gets caught by Seung-ri for sneaking out after-hours. He tries to talk his way out of it, but no dice, and Seung-ri makes him shuffle back to his own tent. Haha, A for effort, Puppy.
The next day, back in Seoul, Tae-joon's father comes to Tae-joon's management agency to have a word with Director Jang. He explains that he has learned that Coach Holton (the guy who was supposed to coach Tae-joon for the next Olympics) is currently in Canada, and Dad plans on taking Tae-joon to Canada for training under him.
Director Jang is angered by the news and wonders whether Dad even bothered talking to Tae-joon before making this decision on his own. Unfortunately for everyone, Han-na happens to be outside the office and overhears everything.
Back at the training camp, it's breakfast time. Jae-hee has some trouble using her chopsticks with her left hand, and Tae-joon raises his hand to help her. Before he can, Eun-gyul swoops in and starts to feed her himself.
Seung-ri gripes at him, wondering if they're newlyweds or something, and Jong-min fakes a wrist injury of his own to get Eun-gyul to feed him too. Tae-joon watches on unhappily.
The boys gather around to relax after breakfast, and the topic of conversation turns to Seung-ri's single-ness when Eun-gyul tells them about a meteor shower that's supposed to occur that night. Seung-ri brushes it off as nothing important, and Jong-min puts in that it's this nonchalance which is the reason why Seung-ri is still single.
Seung-ri argues that it's not because he can't get a girlfriend; it's because he doesn't want one. Jae-hee asks him what kind of girls he likes, and Seung-ri explains that his ideal girl is one who is feminine with a calm personality, and whose tears can get him right in the heart.
Jong-min gripes that Seung-ri's being too old-fashioned, but Eun-gyul suggests that sunbae should wish for a girlfriend that night during the meteor shower anyhow, just in case.
Later on, Tae-joon opens the tent and catches Jae-hee changing. He zips it back up quickly, and waits for her to come out. She apologizes, but he berates her for it, telling her to be more careful. "What if someone else had..." Jae-hee perks up at this, but Tae-joon goes on to explain, "There are tons of guys around. You'll just get made fun of."
Jae-hee nods, and then takes the opportunity to ask him whether he'll watch the meteor shower with her that night. She grins when he agrees to watch it with her.
That night, as Jae-hee prepares for their little camp out, Tae-joon comes into the tent to explain that he'll join her after helping Seung-ri for a bit. When he notices that she didn't pack a warmer jacket, he gives her the one off his back and wraps it around her shoulders.
Meanwhile, Seung-ri wanders around in the woods (nonchalantly wishing for a girlfriend as he looks up at the shooting stars) and runs into Han-na, who has managed to find her way out here. Lol, aw. Is this going to become a running gag? She looks a little worse for wear, on the verge of crying, and asks where she can find Tae-joon. Seung-ri tells her and then sighs as he watches her walk off.
In a funny little bit, Eun-gyul stands outside of Jae-hee and Tae-joon's tent, talking to the zipped up structure and casually asking whether Jae-hee's already gone to sleep. He musters up enough courage to ask her if she wants to watch the meteor shower with him, and then opens the tent up when there's no response to find... no one inside. Haha, aw.
Han-na's crying for real by the time she runs into Tae-joon. She explains about dad trying to send him off to Canada and vows that if Tae-joon has to go, she'll go with him. Tae-joon merely thanks her for being so worried about him, and then tries to send her packing, assuring her that he'll take care of the situation.
But Han-na is clearly freaked out and begs him to come back to Seoul with her rightthissecond. They can talk things out with Dad and settle the issue.
Out at camp, Jae-hee waits for Tae-joon with s'mores prepared and a lit fire. She tries not to show her disappoint when Eun-gyul walks up instead of Tae-joon. This disappointment is further increased when Tae-joon calls to tell her he's heading back to Seoul early; Han-na watches on, curious, as Tae-joon speaks to Jae-hee.
Jae-hee tries to be cheerful for Eun-gyul and offers him some s'mores, explaining that a person she really liked when she was younger had taught her how to make them. They dig in, and Eun-gyul wipes some crumbs off her lips.
After a moment, he pulls himself together and says, "Squishy, I have something to say to you."
This episode was another one of those which made me wonder why I'm watching this show. There were plenty of cute moments, but the weaknesses of the series also came back in two-fold, as with Daddy Kang deciding to uproot Tae-joon without consideration to Canada. The overseas studying/training trope is so terribly overdone that I found myself coming out of the drama, such was my irritation with it.
Another thing that irritated me was Han-na. Until now, she's been annoying in a kind of peripheral way--not really causing any harm, but also being around just enough to pester me. That was escalated in this episode until I was so annoyed that I had to stop watching for a minute when I went through the episode a second time.
I get her character, I do. She's been around Tae-joon since she was a baby and claims him as her boyfriend on these grounds. Problem is, she's the only one under that delusion. No one else believes it (including Tae-joon) which makes it hard to relate to her plight--especially when she's being screetchy and yelling at our protagonist.
There was also a problem with the follow-through after Han-na lashed out at Jae-hee. In most cases, we might see Jae-hee pull away from Tae-joon as a result of Han-na's verbal assault on her... but she didn't. It was kind of bizarre, in the same way in Episode 4 when she came away from her near-rape almost as happy as a peach.
Not that I want that for the characters--at this point, if Jae-hee started to pull back from Tae-joon because of what Han-na said, I'd probably be more irritated than I am right now. However, there was literally no repercussions at all, which makes me wonder what the point of putting in that scene was in the first place. Sure, it shows us that Han-na's started to lose her top over the whole situation, but we already knew that...
On a different front, Jae-hee continues to be one of the most underdeveloped characters thus far. BY as a whole, and Hana Kimi before it, seem to be skewed in favor of the Tae-joon/Sano character, leaving the female lead personality-less. I can't tell Jae-hee apart from every other female lead in every other K-drama ever, which is a serious problem.
And also... when I'm relieved to have characters like Da-hae, who is intelligent and perceptive and worldly, on the screen over our leading lady, you know there's something amiss. There's so much potential there to dive into Jae-hee's character, but it seems like the writer is just ignoring that in favor of focusing on Tae-joon and even Eun-gyul.
Here's to hoping things come together better in the second half... but I'm not holding my breath.