Thursday, October 4, 2012

To the Beautiful You: Episode 15 Recap

Last week, last week, last week!! We madeeeeee it. Today was a good episode (as it should be, since we're so close to the end), and it tugged my heartstrings in just the right way. People have thrown down their gauntlets and stepped up to face the challenges ahead of them (kind of...), so let's get on with it! Plus, there were TWO dates! Two. For a cardboard cutout of a character, this Jae-hee chick sure is lucky.

Watch TTBY Episode 15 on DramaFever!

Episode 15 Recap
Eun-gyul finds Jae-hee undressing in the bathroom and, forgetting his own bodily functions, doubles back out into the dorm room, understandably pissed off.

Jae-hee follows him out, trying to stop him leaving by apologizing and admitting that she should have told him much earlier, but he stands his ground, telling her: "What are you sorry for? Are you sorry for screwing with me like that? ...If you had felt even a little bad for me, if you had really taken me into consideration--if you had taken my confession even the slightest bit seriously... you wouldn't have done this."

Jae-hee can't do much but apologize continuously, which is something Eun-gyul isn't ready to hear just yet, and he shakes her off angrily. He leaves, telling her sadly, "I'm the one who misunderstood, yet here I am, yelling at you."

He storms back to his own dorm, where Hyun-jae is in the bathroom giving himself a pep talk. This self-psyching session is probably the reason he always takes so long--it's a list of 100 things that he goes through to prepare for practice. He walks out to find Eun-gyul and apologizes for taking so long in the bathroom. Eun-gyul blows up at him and then flops down on his bed to sulk.

Hyun-jae doesn't understand what's going on, so he apologizes again, and then awkwardly excuses himself to go to practice. Once he's gone, Puppy thinks back to all his times with Jae-hee, trying to figure out where he went wrong.

Tae-joon receives a text from Dad on his way to practice, talking about a plant in his office, and telling him to dress warmly because it'll be cold at night. After this, practice goes well, and he congratulates himself for making a jump.

Hyun-jae calls him out on his good mood, wondering whether something good happened to make him so happy, since his form and condition are on point. Tae-joon whacks him on the shoulder and teases, "Didn't you know? I always do well." Hyun-jae pats him back: "You did well." Tae-joon: "Of course I did well. Even I think I did well."

The celebrations are cut short when Coach Baek comes over to show them a video of a new jumper on the high jump scene--a guy whose record surpasses Tae-joon's.

Jae-hee tries to get a hold of Eun-gyul for the rest of the day, but he continues to screen her calls. By that night, she's outside at Sang-chu's house crying to him that she wants to remain by Tae-joon's side. This is how Tae-joon finds her a little while later.

He takes a seat beside her when it's clear she doesn't want to go back inside, and she quickly brushes away her tears. She asks him whether he remembers their first meeting there, when she'd crawled out of Sang-chu's house to give him a pep talk about not quitting high jumping. She admits she'd been pretty starstruck by him, unable to fathom that she was actually meeting the Kang Tae-joon.

Trailing off, Jae-hee looks up at him after a moment and finally drops the bomb we've been waiting episodes for her to drop: "To be honest... I'm a girl." She doesn't get the reaction she was expecting when he pulls her into a hug: "Thank you for coming into my life. I already knew about you being a girl."

He pulls back after a moment, tears shining on his own cheeks, as he confesses that he's known for a while but had been holding onto the knowledge for a long time, trying to be patient. Looking Jae-hee straight in the eye, Tae-joon admits again, "I'm sorry. Thank you. And also... Goo Jae-hee, I like you." He pulls her into another hug and they cry together.

Back in Eun-gyul's dorm, Hyun-jae gives Puppy a bottle of juice, apologizing again about the bathroom. Eun-gyul tells him it's fine, and that he's sorry for taking his anger out on the wrong person. Hyun-jae probably has an idea of what's ailing him, and asks again about Eun-gyul's love life.

Puppy answers as he did the last time, admitting that he doesn't really know, except now, it seems he's become angry at the person he likes. When asked why, he replies that the person lied to him. As tears start falling, he says,
"The more I think about how that person could have done something like that... the angrier I get. All this time, it must have been hard on [her], since [she] didn't have anyone to talk to. But, like an idiot, I stood by [her] side, clueless. The fact that I couldn't help [her]... That's what makes me angry. But all of that wasn't because of me... It was because of another person. That's what makes me really angry. But what I'm most angry about... is myself--that I might not be able to forgive [her]. I'm angry because of me. I'm so angry it's driving me crazy." 

Aw, Puppy...

By the next morning, word starts to spread around the girls' school that a girl has infiltrated Genie as a student. Young-man happens to overhear a gaggle of Serin girls talking about it, and he mulls over the rumor with his posse.

Jae-hee makes an attempt to talk to Eun-gyul in class that morning, but he continues to ignore her and storms out of the room, unable to be around her. Tae-joon sees the exchange and follows Puppy into the hall, telling him they need to have a talk.

The two boys head outside, where Tae-joon asks whether Eun-gyul and Jae-hee got into a fight. Eun-gyul tiredly tells him it's none of his business, wondering when Tae-joon started caring about him so much, but Tae-joon argues that it's Jae-hee he's worried about, because Jae-hee has enough on her plate already without having to worry about Eun-gyul too.

He wonders how Eun-gyul could cause her trouble like this, when in the past, it was Eun-gyul who'd warned Tae-joon not make things hard on her. Without wasting time, Eun-gyul stares him in the eye and asks, "Do you already know everything? You were the first to find out, weren't you? ...That Goo Jae-hee is a girl."

Tae-joon doesn't have a quick answer, and he hesitates before confirming Puppy's suspicions. Eun-gyul asks him angrily how he could keep that from him--especially when Tae-joon knew Eun-gyul had feelings for Jae-hee: "If you'd given me a hint... if you'd just whispered it in my ear... then it wouldn't be as hard as it is for me now." 

Tae-joon argues that he had no other choice but to act like he didn't know, but this doesn't seem to be a good enough answer, and Eun-gyul storms off, telling him, "I thought you were at least my friend. I'm sorry for assuming that on my own."

Jae-hee finds him moping in their usual spot (the laundry room), and she uses his own sock puppet trick to try and cheer him up, apologizing once again: 
"Cha Eun-gyul... I'm sorry. I definitely wanted you to be the first to know. Really! Please believe me. If it wasn't for you... I doubt I would have lasted even a day. You were a big help to me.Whenever things got hard, I just wanted to give up. It was because of you that I was able to put up with it. So, Eun-gyul, can't you forgive me?" 
It doesn't work, and Eun-gyul walks off without a word.

In a cute little side sub-plot for the episode, Teacher Lee gets into a little tiff with Coach Baek when she sees him talking to Reporter Yang. The normally nice Coach Baek turns into a jerk to Reporter Yang when he sees Teacher Lee watching them, but it's too late and the damage is done. 

So, when he approaches Teacher Lee in the teacher's lounge to ask her out for a meal, she purposely calls Dr. Jang right in front of him to ask him out, telling Coach Baek to have lunch with Reporter Yang instead. Haha. These two are adorable.

Tae-joon comes home to find Jae-hee lost in thought as she folds his laundry. He sits down in front of her, telling her not to keep doing his laundry like this. She brushes it off as nothing, replying that she likes helping him out.

Cautiously, Tae-joon breaches the subject of Eun-gyul and whether she's been sad lately because of him. Jae-hee doesn't deny it, but explains that Eun-gyul found out she's a girl and that he seems pretty angry and must feel betrayed. Tae-joon assures her that Eun-gyul's a nice enough guy that he'll forgive her soon enough. She nods, but tells him all the same that she doesn't know what to do.

Adorably trying to lift her spirits, Tae-joon pouts: "So... you're saying you spent the whole day thinking about Eun-gyul?" He admits that he might be getting jealous. Jae-hee laughs it off, and then the conversation turns to how his practice went. He assures her that it shouldn't be a problem, but that there's a new guy on the scene with a record better than his own.

When she falters at this news, he teasingly accuses her of having no faith in him. She assures him that's not the case, even claiming she'd bet her inheritance on him clinching the win. He gets ready to go work out again, and when she asks him why, he laughs, telling her he's got her inheritance to protect. 

On his way out, he tells her that the best way for her to help him is to stay by his side because he won't be able to jump without her. She smiles, promising to do just that.

The rumor about a girl at Genie continues to spread through the ranks like wildfire, eventually getting around to Seung-ri. Young-man bets that the traitor is probably staying in Dorm 2 (considering the other two dorms have all seen each other sans clothes before), but Seung-ri brushes it off, calling it impossible. 

Young-man tells him that's why they should check--just to make sure. Taking him by the shoulder, Seung-ri warns him that if he even tries, he'll be dead. Young-man takes this as a declaration of war. Oye vey.

Meanwhile, Tae-joon asks Jae-hee to go out with him and they have a date at the aquarium. Adorably, Jae-hee fixes her hair as she waits for him to get tickets (all the while assuring herself just to be comfortable), and he stops to stare for a moment when he sees her. 

He walks up and she links her arm through his, taking him by surprise. Sensing his awkwardness, Jae-hee starts to slip her arm back out, but Tae-joon grabs her hand and places it back on his arm.

They walk around, looking at the various animals, getting awkward when they see a couple hugging in front of them. When they arrive at the penguin exhibit, there's a big crowd blocking their view, so Tae-joon takes Jae-hee's hand and pulls up to the front. He takes his place behind her, his hands on her shoulders. 

As they walk back to the bus stop that night, Tae-joon prevents Jae-hee from being bumped by passersby and she makes the observation that it's weird for him to be so nice. He blows it off, telling her he's always this nice, and self-assured that there's nothing he can do wrong, but Jae-hee scoffs, mumbling that there were plenty of times he made her feel crappy.

He stops, asking her how many times, and she laughs it off as a joke, but it gets him thinking and he asks her if there was a time he'd made her the most upset. The requisite Kdrama, "Omg, I was a jerk? No way. God, I feel horrible. How have I wronged you, my love?" conversation. I love these.

Jae-hee admits it was the night he'd bailed early from the camping trip and come back into the city with Han-na. She'd waited for him a long time, but promises that she understood why he'd had to leave after she heard what happened. Tae-joon gets a completely scandalized expression on his face, but after a moment, he grabs her hand, dragging her to an outdoor equipment store.

They walk around for a bit, before finally stopping in front of a camp site set-up. Tae-joon buys it and they set up camp at school. Jae-hee makes him s'mores (which he finds delicious, naturally), and he wonders out loud what they would have talked about if they'd been together at the campsite that night.

 Jae-hee figures they probably would have talked about the oppa who taught her how to make s'mores, and Tae-joon frowns at that: "You don't mean that John Kim or whatever person, do you?" Jae-hee laughs as he grumbles that the s'mores don't taste so good anymore. Lol.

Changing the subject, Tae-joon tells Jae-hee that he used to go camping a lot when he was younger, and about how much fun it is to camp in the winter. She admits she's never been camping in the winter, and he suggests they go together the next time. She wishes wistfully to be able to do that with him, but doesn't know if she'll still be around then.

Tae-joon explains that there's still a lot he wants to show her and do with her, but that if they want to get through the list, she'll have to stick by him for a long time yet. She smiles enthusiastically, grabbing his hand as she tells him she wants to do all that with him. They get awkward again for a moment, but he clutches her hand in his, promising to do everything with her. She nods happily.

Reporter Yang spends the next day's high jump practice snapping pictures of Tae-joon and Hyun-jae, and then conveniently hears some boys talking about the girl-at-Genie rumor when she's in the bathroom. This gets her thinking, and she begins to notice Jae-hee and Tae-joon's chumminess on the field during athletic team practice that afternoon.

She approaches Jae-hee after practice to ask her whether she's heard that there's a girl hiding in the school, and Jae-hee stutters out that she has no idea what Reporter Yang is talking about. The annoying journalist continues to pester her until Tae-joon walks up, saving Jae-hee from more prodding.

Eun-gyul overhears Young-man and Chul-soo also talking about the rumor (and planning on investing it), after which Hyun-jae spots them carrying a big cardboard box into the gym locker room. He relates this news to Eun-gyul, who senses the danger immediately. He takes off for the locker room, running across campus.

Meanwhile, Jae-hee also heads over to change out of her gym clothes, making sure to lock the door on her way in. In the corner, Young-man and Chul-soo sit watching her from inside the box. Eun-gyul arrives at the locker room and fumbles with the key for a minute, before finally managing to get the door open.

He dives in and grabs Jae-hee just as Young-man and Chul-soo are distracted for a second and pulls her out of sight. Realizing she's gone, the sunbaes come out of their hiding spot and leave, frustrated. Hiding around the corner, Eun-gyul and Jae-hee wait in silence until they're gone.

Once they're alone, Puppy pulls back and quietly tells Jae-hee about the rumor. He turns to leave, but Jae-hee grabs his wrist to stop him. He turns back and she apologizes again, telling him she really is sorry and never meant to hurt him.

It seems he finally cracks, because they head outside and end up on the soccer field. He asks her whether she remembers the place, and she nods--it was one of the first places she went after she got to Genie. Eun-gyul admits that that night was the first time he'd realized he had feelings for her.

He kicks the ball into the goal, and then remembers--"Back then, you said you'd grant me a wish. I haven't told you my wish yet. Can I tell you now? Or is it too late?" Jae-hee hesitantly asks him what his wish is.

Eun-gyul tells her: "Can't you give me a chance too? I know how you feel about Tae-joon, and I know that you're here because of Tae-joon... For you, he's probably the main lead, and I'm probably just an extra... But what I'm saying is, give me a fair chance."

Jae-hee starts to protest, but he cuts her off: "No, not right now... I was just dumped by the male Goo Jae-hee. But... just think about it again. If it's not me, then I'll really let it go."

Reporter Yang tails Tae-joon out of the gym that night, and explains that she has an interest in Jae-hee. This makes him stop, and she explains slyly that all of this can go away if he just does a private interview with her... without Director Jang. Hands tied, Tae-joon has no other choice and agrees.

Emotionally drained, Jae-hee arrives back at the dorm, and goes straight to bed, citing exhaustion as her excuse to Tae-joon and explaining that she's pretty much made up with Puppy. In bed, she thinks back to how Eun-gyul had asked her to spend the next day with him.

In the morning, the pair of them get ready for their respective "D-Days," with Tae-joon heading out for his interview, and Jae-hee on her way to hang out with Eun-gyul. She explains as much to him when he asks, and he warns her to be careful, knowing how Eun-gyul feels about her.

Jae-hee assures him she'll take care of things--she means to end things once and for all today. Tae-joon teases her to have fun on her date, ruffling her hair, and she brushes it off, telling him instead to do well at his interview.

Adorably, in a twist of fate, this morning it's Hyun-jae banging on the bathroom door instead of Eun-gyul, who's inside primping. Haha. He meets Jae-hee outside (teasing her that it's okay she's late since she's a girl) and they head out on their not-a-date, as Tae-joon sits down at a cafe for his interview with Reporter Yang.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, Seung-ri arrives to visit Han-na. She tries to blow him off, citing a bad mood, but he's not willing to budge. He tells her he knows that she hasn't been going to rehab, and tells her she shouldn't stop. She asks him to move out of the way, which he refuses, vowing that he'll stay by her side no matter what.

She calls him a stalker, and he replies: "It doesn't matter what you call it. Han-na-ssi, please accept my feelings. ...If only you'd let me, I'd like to get to know you better. I'd probably get to know you very well. Without skipping over a single fact, I want to know everything about you. However, if you won't allow it, I'll clearly move aside. But, I won't move for this. Please keep up your rehabilitation."

That's pretty solid as far as love confessions go, and Han-na asks him why he's being like this with her. Seung-ri unabashedly admits that it's because he likes her.

This makes her pause--long enough for Seung-ri to start acting out a gag (which involves him dropping his hat and ripping his pants to reveal smiley-face boxers). Eventually, Han-na cracks the tiniest of grins and he calls her out on it.

She denies ever smiling, but hands over her sweater for him to cover up the rip in his pants before wheeling herself away. This is enough encouragement for Seung-ri and he grins, thanking her loudly, over and over again, as she rolls away.

Out in the city, Eun-gyul and Jae-hee spend time wandering around through arcades and department stores. At one in particular, they look through some girls' accessories and Jae-hee picks up a hairpin that she likes. Eun-gyul buys it for her secretly. (What is this, You're Beautiful?)

They go to a restaurant to eat, and when Eun-gyul gets up for some water, Jae-hee pulls out her phone to text Tae-joon to ask whether his interview's going well. He doesn't text back, but that's because Reporter Yang is ripping into him at the cafe, trying to get every ounce of dirt she can. Tae-joon answers all her questions with gritted teeth.

After dinner, Puppy and Jae-hee stop to sit outside by the river, and Eun-gyul admits, "Actually, when I found out that you're a girl, I was happy. Because it meant I could like you. You don't know how happy I was, right? Now I could like you just like any other guy does. It was very hard to like you when I thought you were a boy. At first, I knew it wouldn't work out... but it did. When I found out you're a girl, I thought I could never forgive you... but I did. I like it when you smile. I really like it when you smile."

He wraps his jacket around her shoulders and adds, smiling, "I think there's something wrong with me. This isn't the kind of person I am." He tells her to wait while he goes to get them something warm to drink.

Tae-joon's Interview from Hell finally ends and he stands up to leave. Reporter Yang asks him a parting question: "Why are you doing all this for Jae-hee?" Tae-joon replies that it's because he doesn't want Jae-hee to be bothered because of him--it's better for him to be bothered instead.

He leaves, and it's not until he gets outside that he receives the slew of text messages that Jae-hee sent him throughout the day. He heads back to school, exhausted, and texts Jae-hee.

Eun-gyul and Jae-hee are still at the river, sipping on their warm drinks, when Jae-hee finally receives a reply text from Tae-joon: "Goo Jae-hee, where are you? You're not back at school yet? Can't you come back soon? I miss you." Jae-hee literally starts at the last bit, and sits up suddenly.

Puppy's probably figured out what's going, but she says it out loud for him to hear: "Hey, Eun-gyul-ah, I have to go back to school now." He replies with the obvious: "Tae-joon's looking for you, huh?"

Jae-hee doesn't deny it, so Eun-gyul makes her a deal: "I have to go to the bathroom. If you're still here by the time I get back, I'll take that as a sign that you've accepted my feelings." He takes her hand for a moment before dropping it and walking away.

And indeed, by the time he gets back from the bathroom, Jae-hee's nowhere to be found. Puppy sits down on the bench forlornly, and then hears his name from behind. Jae-hee didn't leave.

We cut to her running into the schoolyard to find Tae-joon, as, back at the river, Eun-gyul thinks about what she'd said before she left. She hadn't meant to wait for Eun-gyul to tell him she accepted his feelings--rather, she'd waited to turn him down in person.

He'd accepted it cavalierly, and patting her on the head, had sent her off. He smiles sadly to himself as he thinks about it, but soon the his expression falls, and he stares out at the river alone. Aw, Puppy... Why does my heart hurt so much for this kid?!

Back at school, Jae-hee spots Tae-joon sitting on a bench outside. He looks up at the sound of her footsteps and stands. She stops a few few away: "You said you missed me, so I came running."

Tae-joon walks up and pulls her into a hug, getting the answer he needed.

As a penultimate episode, this was nothing special. I mean, there was tons of cute, sure, but the pace was as languid as it's always been and there was no sense of urgency (other than people starting to find out about Jae-hee being a girl). It was kind of almost too languid, considering that the next episode marks the finale and we still have so many things to resolve for it. Even so, the episode itself wasn't bad. I actually liked it very much.

Why did I like it? Well, a lot of things got resolved. We got some of the answers that we've been thwarted from getting for weeks, which was a relief, to be honest. It was like holding your breath for a minute under water and then finally coming up for air.

Jae-hee finally came out and told TJ she's a girl (which, I suspect, is how the rumor about there being a girl at the school started... I mean, they were sitting outside, for Pete's sake!), she finally gave Eun-gyul the honest answer he deserved, and someone in a position of power finally found out about Jae-hee.

Overall, this was a good character episode, which is something this show never capitalized on, and which I wish it had. Eun-gyul took the mature route of dealing with his anger--an anger which was completely founded and understandable--rather than being petty about it and turning on Jae-hee, which was kind of a given. We were never led to believe Eun-gyul was a bad guy, so it stands to reason he would react like this.

I know I'm not the only one who's made this parallel, but his character really reminds me of Choi Han-gyul from Coffee Prince. His character trajectory was very much the same, and Lee Hyun-woo consistently pulled off the way his character reasoned through the situation.

Any guy (or girl) dealing with a similar problem would react the way he did--would consider themselves insane, try to find a way out (in Eun-gyul's case by dating Da-hae), and then finally just give in. Then come to find out all that internal angst you dealt with for so long--all that torture you put yourself through--all of it was for naught... that's gotta smart, and it was believable for him to be angry at Jae-hee. However, it was also believable how they made up.

On a different note, this was also a good episode for Tae-joon. Not just because he seems to be an awesome boyfriend, but because he took the highroad in protecting Jae-hee from Reporter Yang. It's nothing earth-shattering, nor is it any "grand gesture," but it was a sweet notion nonetheless.

One thing that's been bothering me since last week, however, is the way the writer seems to undercut monumental moments in Jae-hee and Tae-joon's relationship. There was all this build-up and all this tension involved in Tae-joon admitting his feelings, and then again with Jae-hee admitting that she's a girl--and then we get two small scenes depicting those plot points finally being resolved.

We literally spent episodes going through this back and forth hedging with Tae-joon agonizing over his feelings and Jae-hee agonizing over the truth... It was almost disappointing when everything finally came out because the scenes were so... calm. In and of themselves, as isolated scenes, they were incredibly cute and appropriate. I just think they didn't mesh well with the build-up and the context.

On the upside, when he's not trying to be Mr. Serious Actor, Minho really does make the cutest facial expressions!

Either way, we've finally made it to the last week. Can't wait til the next episode! Happy Finale Day, everyone!



  1. I really am amazed at how bad at acting the two leads were.. but I guess we know that's a serious possibility whenever you take singers and put them in front a camera when they're not singing.. Still. It's almost like they didn't even try. I sort of blame the script too.. but apart from Minho's adorableness.. I think that's just about as deep as he gets.

    BTW. I just have to say, Puppy looks super hot in that first pic you posted.. Can we photoshop her head out, and replace it with our own?? Please??? XD

    1. I think that Minho and Sulli were better in the latter half than they were in the first. Once TJ stopped being such a crankybutt and they were free to be more comfortable around each other, it definitely showed on-screen. Still, like you said, the script kind of sucked, so there was really nothing to stop the whole ship from sinking. They had their cute moments though.

      LOL. Lee Hyun-woo is my new dongsaeng crush. He's adorable and hot at the same time, which is the perfffeeeccctttt combination. Can't wait to see him with my oppa crushes Park Ki-woong and Kim Soo-hyun in Covertness next year. So stoked.