Friday, September 14, 2012

To the Beautiful You: Episode 9 Recap

Finally, finally we get the kind of episode that I was waiting for from this drama for five weeks. The stakes are raised and our protagonists finally have a conflict that I can get behind, as a viewer. And, as an added bonus, cuteness abound!

Watch TTBY Episode 9 on DramaFever.

Episode 9 Recap
We open with a video recap of the last eight episodes, catching anyone who hasn't been watching until now up to speed. Then, we meet back up with Jae-hee and Eun-gyul at the campsite as Jae-hee finishes up talking to Tae-joon.

They eat their s'mores and Eun-gyul turns to Jae-hee, serious, and says, "I have something to say to you." But... before he can utter another word, ADD Jae-hee gets distracted by the meteor shower, which starts up  in full force. She makes a wish on a shooting star as Eun-gyul watches her curiously.

On the road, Han-na also looks out at the night sky, mentioning the shower to Tae-joon, who peers out through the window wistfully. Back at the campsite, Eun-gyul asks Jae-hee what she wished for and she replies that it was for Tae-joon to get his wings back.

Eun-gyul scoffs and mumbles that her roommate love for Tae-joon is a little much. Jae-hee admits to him that Tae-joon was actually the whole reason why she came to Korea in the first place. When his eyes widen disbelievingly, she tells him that she knows it's absurd. She doesn't even know where she gathered up all that courage from back then.

She tells him, "Even so, back then, if I didn't do this... I'd felt like I wouldn't be able to stand it anymore. Tae-joon probably doesn't know it, but he's given me a lot. When things were hard, he gave me strength."

Eun-gyul's face falls as she talks, and when Jae-hee asks him what it was that he wanted to say, he replies that it was nothing important. Even so, he manages to eke out a question: "If it was me, would you have done the same?"

Jae-hee looks up at him, confused, and he clarifies: "If I was the one who gave you strength when  you were having a hard time... I was just wondering if you still would have come here." Aw. Thankfully, Jae-hee replies that she probably would have. Eun-gyul smiles, telling her that that's good enough for now, then.

Han-na and Tae-joon arrive in Seoul and we catch up with them after they've already talked to Dad. Tae-joon has agreed to go to Canada, so Han-na goes off on him for deciding so quickly. Tae-joon calmly explains that Holton was the reason for why he started jumping again in the first place, but he assures her that nothing's been decided yet.

He pauses, and then staring down at Han-na, he asks her, "Why do you like me?" She replies that it's because he's been by her side since she was born, and he was the only guy around her as she grew up. Tae-joon scoffs at her reasoning, but Han-na goes on to tell him, "But don't you know? I was so happy it was you by my side and not anyone else."

He doesn't seem to buy into her reasoning too much, but Tae-joon thanks her anyway. Han-na perks up: "Why? For liking you?" He smiles down at her and answers, "For warning me about Canada." He walks away, Han-na staring after him.

It's back to classes the next morning, and Eun-gyul shows up at school sporting a new 'do (thank goodness!). Jae-hee compliments him on it, and Eun-gyul asks her if she remembers the style from anywhere. She replies that she doesn't, and Eun-gyul deflates. (We get a flashback of Jae-hee looking at a magazine and commenting on a model with the same hairstyle.)

They file into class, and Tae-joon watches the others as he thinks back to the conversation he'd had with his father the night before. Dad had told him that Coach Holton's team had received some kind of an email about him and everything was already prepared in Canada, not really leaving him another option.

Back in class, Jong-min and the others talk about some kind of pervert that's been seen around campus lately.

The boys go out to the basketball courts during the break for a game, and Jae-hee joins in on the fun. Adorably, Tae-joon swings by to watch and pulls out his phone to snap some pictures of her while she plays.  When she catches him doing it, he swings the camera away and holds it up in front of himself, almost as if taking selcas. Pfft.

After the game, the boys all walk back to class. Jae-hee doubles back to the courts when she realizes she forgot something, but doesn't make it all the way back, as someone with a snazzy car kidnaps her and drives away. The guys see this from the top of the hill and, assuming he's the rumored pervert ("What the hell? Is Squishy getting kidnapped right now?"), give chase, but the car is too fast and leaves them in the dust.

Meanwhile, Jae-hee turns to her kidnapper, asking him who he is and why he's doing this. The guy retorts with: "Do you still not know who I am?" He slips off his (very girly) sunglasses and turns to her. It's definitely someone Jae-hee recognizes, as she calls him by name (John/Johnny). She wonders what he's doing in Korea, and they talk as they reach the school's gates.

Apparently, Tae-joon never stopped running after the car and catches up with them here. He drags John out of the car and gives him a solid punch to the jaw, asking Jae-hee if she's okay all before she can even react and explain the situation.

John takes the whole misunderstanding in stride, and wonders, surprised, whether Tae-joon really chased the car all that way. Finally, Jae-hee gets a chance to explain, and tells Tae-joon that John is her "hyungnim" from the States, and certainly a person whom she knows.

The three of them go out for coffee, and Tae-joon heads into the bathroom to clean up a bit. He explains things to Eun-gyul and Seung-ri when they call (Eun-gyul: "You shoulda beat the crap outta him." Tae-joon: "I kind of already did..." Lol). Back at their table, Jae-hee and John spend some time catching up, and John thinks back to the day Jae-hee had asked for his help in entering Genie.

He tells her he regrets giving her that information now. Tae-joon walks out of the bathroom just in time to see John pinching Jae-hee's cheeks, and he beelines for the table to take a seat and break the moment. Jae-hee asks John again what he's doing in Korea, and John replies that he missed her.

She does a spit take with her drink at this (Tae-joon reaches for a napkin, but John gets to her first and wipes the juice off her chin; Tae-joon angrily crumples the napkin in his hands, lol.), and John goes on to explain that he fancies himself her first love and her first kiss. Flustered, Jae-hee waves him off, trying to stop him from divulging any more incriminating information. Meanwhile, Tae-joon sends lethal glares in John's direction as he watches the pair's flirting. Haha.

Back at Genie, Eun-gyul sits in his dorm room, thinking about the best way to confess his feelings to Jae-hee. Plan A has him confessing in the present day by bursting into her dorm room, pushing her against the bed post (rawr), and spilling his heart out to her in front of Tae-joon. This vision ends with Jae-hee calling the cops on him for harassment. Lol.

Eun-gyul decides that won't work, and moves on to Plan B. This time, he's become the country's national soccer representative and has come home from training to ask her out. Jae-hee's so impressed by his new national athlete status that she agrees to go out with him right away. He decides that this is his best chance and sets out to implement the plan.

Done with their awkward coffee date, John offers to drop Jae-hee and Tae-joon back at school. However, Director Jang texts Tae-joon to come down to the company, so he bails and tells Jae-hee he'll just see her back at the dorms later on.

As they drive off, John asks Jae-hee whether Tae-joon knows she's a girl since, after all, they share a room. Jae-hee shakes her head, assuring him that it's definitely not possible. She feels bad, but that's how it's got to be if she wants to stay by his side.

John argues, "How are you so sure he doesn't already know? He'd be stupid not to have realized it. Plus, guys are really sharp about stuff like that." Jae-hee laughs it off, telling him that he and Tae-joon are complete opposites. Tae-joon isn't like John at all--he doesn't spend every day of the year just thinking about girls. John doesn't deny it, but clarifies: "Not girls, just one girl." Jae-hee looks at him curiously.

Tae-joon heads over to the management company to speak with Director Jang. She tells him straight that he should seriously consider going to Canada to further his athletic career; it's better than wasting time in Korea being Hyun-jae's training partner. Tae-joon's not so sure yet, but tells her honestly that he'll think about it.

And indeed, he takes her words to heart and begins to do some research on Canadian athletics when he gets back to school. He goes upstairs to check on a sleeping Jae-hee, and then pauses as he hears her mumbling his name in her sleep.

He tucks her in properly, and then takes a seat beside her on the bed. Looking down at her sleeping form, he tells her: "Although it was a bit exaggerated, I guess your email to Coach Holton really worked. Going to Canada is the right thing... right?"

The next day, John shows up at Genie in the middle of the day and gets Jae-hee into trouble with Teacher Lee. Tae-joon sees his antics and grumbles about what kind of a person that guy is. Jae-hee catches up with John in the cafeteria after class and asks him what he's doing here.

John tells her again that it's because he missed her. He ruffles her hair and pinches her cheeks as Eun-gyul and Tae-joon watch on angrily from across the room. The public shows of affection eventually get to be too much for Tae-joon, who crushes a soda can in his hand and stomps off. In reality, John is at Genie on official business, and asks Jae-hee where the administration office is.

He gets permission from the bumbling principle to take some pictures of the athletes, and heads out with his camera. Tae-joon tells him that he doesn't want to be photographed, and they nearly get into an argument before Jae-hee drags John off to talk to him. She asks him not to take pictures of Tae-joon if that's what he wants.

Tae-joon heads back to the dorms after training that night, and spends some time exercising in their room as he waits for Jae-hee to come back. It's getting late and she hasn't returned yet, so he imagines her and John kissing in the parking lot. The thought irks him enough that he quickly pulls on a sweater to head out... and then runs into Jae-hee at the door.

She explains that John wanted to eat dinner together, which is why she's late. He manages to sneak in a question to make sure nothing unwarranted happened on their little date, haha. He heads into the bathroom to clear his head, wondering what's up with him lately.

John calls up Jae-hee the next day, asking her to show him around Seoul. She protests that she doesn't have much experience herself, but agrees to play tour guide anyway. Tae-joon listens in carefully as she talks to John on the phone.

When she gets done talking to him, Tae-joon invites himself along on the outing, citing that Jae-hee knows next to nothing about the city, so how was she planning on showing someone else around? He's not the only one who tags along for the ride, as Eun-gyul makes up an excuse to go with them as well.

The four of them spend the day roaming around Seoul doing various Seoul-type things. John takes pictures here and there, noting the way Tae-joon and Eun-gyul both attend to Jae-hee's every whim. In a hilarious show of bravado, the boys both order espressos when John does (not realizing how bitter it's going to be).

Eun-gyul takes one sip and nearly spits it out; Tae-joon fares better, downing the whole thing in one gulp. After a pause, Eun-gyul's the one to buckle, and dives for Jae-hee's orange juice to take away the bitter taste. She offers it to Tae-joon next, but he shakes his head, mouth clamped shut, not willing to give in, but his expression clearly says otherwise. Haha, boys.

After walking around for a while, John takes them back to his studio. While he finishes up some work, Tae-joon wanders upstairs to look around. The loft is full of framed photographs, but one in particular catches his attention. It's a large portrait with a black shroud over it. He pushes the covering back and finds a black and white print of Jae-hee. He reaches up to touch it, which is when John interrupts him: "Pretty, right?"

He faces Tae-joon straightforwardly and tells him that he knows Tae-joon has figured out that Jae-hee's a girl, and also knows that Tae-joon's keeping it a secret from Jae-hee that he knows. He adds that he'd helped Jae-hee come to Korea because she'd wanted it so badly, but now that Tae-joon knows the truth, the situation has changed.

Downstairs, John's assistant is freaking out because they're short a couple of models for their photo shoot. John eyes Tae-joon and Eun-gyul and decides they'll be the perfect replacements, so the boys get dolled up and fill in for the missing models.

As Tae-joon allows himself to be photographed, Eun-gyul and Jae-hee watch on, Eun-gyul wondering why Tae-joon even agreed to do this. In fact, he'd only agreed because Jae-hee had asked him to do it as a favor for her. During the shoot, when John asks Tae-joon to think about the woman he loves, his gaze turns straight to Jae-hee. Aw.

John drops all the kids back at school, and when Jae-hee starts coughing in the car, he gives her his jacket to wear before Tae-joon can offer up his own sweater. When they arrive back at Genie, Jae-hee thanks Tae-joon for being such a willing participant for the photo shoot.

She starts coughing again, so Tae-joon checks her forehead and tells her to wear something warm. He goes into the bathroom after this and looks down at the hand he'd checked her with, suddenly flustered at the close proximity between them.

He heads to the infirmary after this, and Doctor Jang helps him wrap his ankle. He admits to Doc that he's been considering Canada and knows it's the right thing to do, but... Doc tells him there's an easy method to figuring out what he wants--don't over-analyze it, but rather simplify the problem and a solution will sort itself out.

If Tae-joon doesn't want to go to Canada to train with Coach Holton, then the answer is simple. Doctor Jang tells him to consider carefully whether there's something here, in Korea, that's more important than training with Holton.

When Tae-joon returns to the dorm, Jae-hee sets about changing a light bulb that's gone out. He sits down on the bed, remembering both John and the Doc's words. Unconsciously, he stands up and walks up behind Jae-hee, wrapping his arms around her in a hug. She freezes in the middle of changing the bulb, and looks down at him, wondering what's going on.

Tae-joon snaps out of his daze and pulls away. Looking up at her, he explains that she was about to slip. He tells her that his thoughts are a little clearer now and that he's going out for a bit. After he leaves, Jae-hee wonders to herself whether he's figured out that she's a girl. But then she shakes her head, assuring herself that it's not possible. Pfft. Oh, you are so dense.

That evening, John spends some time going through the photos from the shoot. He pauses on one of Tae-joon looking away from the camera and wonders what it was that he was looking at. He zooms in on Tae-joon's eyes, and finds a reflection of Jae-hee in them.

As the realization of what this means sets in, Tae-joon himself walks into the studio. He admits to knowing about Jae-hee being a girl and tells John that he's pretended not to know the truth because wants her to stay beside him. Omo. John asks him to play him in a game of basketball.

The boys go at it, getting a little rougher as the game goes on and the tensions get higher. Tae-joon ends up winning by a hair, and John asks him what exactly he means by saying that he wants Jae-hee to stay beside him.

Before Tae-joon can give him a proper answer, however, he cuts him off by saying he knows how Tae-joon really feels about Goo Jae-hee, the girl, and he won't just hand her over like that. He vows to take Jae-hee away from Tae-joon.

Jae-hee wakes up in the middle of the night as a result of her fever and stumbles down the stairs to get a glass of water, waking up Tae-joon in the process. She apologizes for waking him up, but he waves it off, telling her it's fine. She stumbles as she moves forward for the water, and Tae-joon jumps up to help her.

He sits her down on the bed and gets the water for her. Asking if she took her medicine already, he tells her to lie down. Jae-hee assures him that she'll be fine once she gets some sleep, but this isn't very comforting, so Tae-joon gets up to go out and find her some medicine.

As he turns away, Jae-hee grabs his wrist: "Don't go." He looks down at her, his expression softening, and sits down next to her again. He tells her he won't go anywhere, and then readies a cold compress to bring down her fever. He pats her comfortingly until she passes out.

In a great reversal, to show us visually how far we've come since that first episode, Tae-joon ends up being the one to fall asleep next to Jae-hee that night as he takes care of her.

By the morning, Eun-gyul is once again dealing with Hyun-jae's diva tendency of hogging the bathroom. He runs over to Jae-hee's to use their bathroom since he can't hold it. He barges in, yelling at Jae-hee that he's...

He stops, looking over at the bed. Somehow, during the night, Tae-joon had climbed into bed with Jae-hee. They wake up at the sound of Eun-gyul's voice. When they realize who they're sleeping next to, their eyes widen and they shoot up, now wide awake.

Eun-gyul stares over at them with eyes big as saucers, and Jae-hee and Tae-joon stare at each other, surprised, as everyone tries to figure out just what the hell is going on.

This episode was on the shorter side, since so much of it was flashbacks. Plus, the montage at the beginning was four minutes or so by itself. Somehow, this recap ended up being much longer than I intended. Sorry about that! It's because this was the first episode that I felt was packed with lots of good stuff. BY has been consistent in giving us partially-outstanding episodes every now and again, but 9 was the only one that I thought was good from beginning to end.

As I said before, we finally have a conflict that I can get behind, as a viewer: the choice that Tae-joon has to make--will he abandon Jae-hee who revived his career in order to further that same career, or will he sacrifice a chance at training for the Olympics because of Jae-hee? It's a loaded decision and, as Doctor Jang said, he's got to decide what's most precious to him. I think I can see which direction he's leaning in...

As for John... He's alright as far as plot devices go. At this point, Eun-gyul isn't much of a threat to the relationship between Jae-hee and Tae-joon even though he's so in love with Jae-hee. As long as he keeps his feelings to himself, he's never going to get anywhere.

John, on the other hand, has a long history with Jae-hee and makes his feelings clear to her and everyone around her, including Tae-joon. Right now, he's the more substantial threat, but he'll also probably the catalyst for Tae-joon to make some kind of move (I hope).

Jae-hee continues to be the damsel-in-distress type that I hate so much, and has proven to me that she's completely oblivious to the entire world around her. With all the hints that Tae-joon has dropped, she should have figured out by now that he's realized the truth. If a guy treats you like a girl, he probably knows you're a girl. Gah.

The one thing (maybe one of the only things) that this show does well is develop the romance between our OTP. They're adorable in the way that adolescents are supposed to be, and they have the added factor of being roommates to make things even more uncomfortable. I like that Tae-joon has realized (and values) how much Jae-hee means to him, even if he hasn't said it out loud yet.

John realizes it, and I'm sure Eun-gyul isn't too far behind in figuring it out either. Now, if only our dense leading lady could put the pieces together... Pfft, who am I kidding? He could hit her over the head with a mallet that says "I love you" and she'd probably still be confused.



  1. Yay! I made it through this one too.. with almost minimal fast-forwarding. Also, I'm much happier with Eun Gyul's new haircut.

    And yes, the only thing this show is doing right for me right now is the OTP romance - even if it's not too amazingly done, with his wooden acting and her denseness. Still.. snuggling in bed with her overnight and then waking up to realize what he's done.. priceless.

    1. I give him a pass for his wooden acting because he's such a newbie. Plus, I think once Tae-joon stopped being such a crankybutt, Minho really fell into the part much better. The "morning after" scene was hilarious! And Eun-gyul's face... Aw, I just felt so bad!

      So glad you stuck through it! Hope you're not too intimidated by all the comments over at Outside Seoul to get through the next episode, lol.

    2. Oh, I'll persevere. If only to stay on the bandwagon with all of y'all. ;) and actually, I'm getting a little more invested as the time goes by.

    3. It's the same for me. Episode 10 was a blip on the radar, but certainly not enough to make me stop watching. So, it's into the home stretch we go! Just a few weeks left.