Episode 83 Link: http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/a7nBKTOffSw
Pre-Recap Thoughts: Can I say that I just ADORED this episode?! It had me inwardly jumping up and down for Jin Hee for most of the episode and then soberly subdued on her behalf by the end. The longer I watch this series, the more impressed I am by the writers’ ability to infuse comedy with drama. I know I’ve said that before, but they seriously know how to mix those two genres well. And when I finish watching each episode, I am able to walk away with one more epiphany about life and the human condition. Not many twenty-two minute dramas can do that. Yes, I was extremely satisfied with Episode 83. And the writers are clearly showing me that they are masters at this notion of delayed gratification…Superbly done! You’ll see what I mean in just a minute…and my apologies for not recapping High Kick recently. I shall try to remedy that next week. 🙂
OK, now that I’ve totally built up today’s episode (LOL), I hope you find the story equally compelling as I did. 😉
The episode starts with Jin Hee peering at the little sprout, Jin Sang (cute that she named it after her and Kye Sang = Jin + Sang) and wondering what kind of plant it might be. Kye Sang suggests that she post the question to the Korean netizens.
At the Ahn household, Soo Jung whines about wanting to return to L.A. and asks Seung Yoon to send her there since he’s rich. (OMG) Seung Yoon clarifies that he is neither rich nor able to send her to L.A. Jong Seok chimes in that as much as he hates to use her phrase, in this case, he must because it fits the situation perfectly: Stupid. (LOL. I love their brother-sister relationship!) Soo Jung threatens her brother for mocking her.
Jin Hee receives an answer to her online question: Jin Sang is a cherry tomato plant. She asks Jin Sang to make sure to produce two cherry tomatoes so that she and Kye Sang can both have one.
She then goes into her Jinnie world and fantasizes about Kye Sang feeding her a cherry tomato while she does the same. (OMG! LOL. I love her fantasies!)
Later that day, Kye Sang comments on how Jin Hee has been working late hours because of him and cutely asks if she can stay out late again tomorrow night. Jin Hee thinks that he is joking but is pleasantly surprised when he asks her to a musical. He has received two complimentary tickets to a musical and wants to take her as a way to thank her for all her hard work.
Jin Hee is thrilled and goes home to plan what to wear for the big night. As she rummages through her small selection of clothes, Ha Sun comes in and tells Jin Hee that she can wear something from Ha Sun’s closet, an invitation that thrills Jin Hee, who quickly asks to borrow Ha Sun’s stylish gray coat. Ha Sun then asks if Jin Hee has gotten a boyfriend since going to a musical is one of the typical dates in Korea. Jin Hee denies the notion, although she is secretly pleased by the possibility that this might be a date. Ha Sun then asks Jin Hee about the red mittens in the drawer. Taking them from her, Jin Hee explains that she had knitted them a while ago but had decided not to give them as a gift because she thought they were too shabby. Ha Sun tells her she should present it since it’s a pretty gift.
Ha Sun then receives a phone call from Ji Seok, who has bought her a goldfish cookie/pie and a cup of coffee on his way home from work. He then proceeds to feed her the food as she hangs upside through the underground hole. Subsequently, she ends up choking on the coffee, finding it difficult to drink while she’s upside down. (LOL cute moment)
The next day, Jin Hee talks to Jin Sang and asks the little sprout if going to the musical and dinner with Kye Sang is considered a date as Ha Sun claims it is.
Meanwhile, Soo Jung has discovered a possible way to get back to Los Angeles. Her father’s old school buddy, a younger classmate, Suh Won is immigrating to the United States and is looking for a Korean female student to help his wife take care of their young child. Soo Jung completely changes her appearance to fit what she thinks is the image of a respectable, charming girl. When Suh Won comes for dinner, she politely offers to do errands that she has never in her life done voluntarily. This abrupt change in behavior has her entire family looking at her in disbelief and amusement.
Noticing their looks of disbelief, Soo Jung sends each one a warning look. In the picture above, she mouths, “Don’t, Dad!”
Arriving at the musical, Jin Hee confesses that she has never attended a musical before. Kye Sang tells her that she is in for a treat then since the first experience is the most important as it establishes her perspective on things, and this musical that they are going to watch is a good one. When Jin Hee self-consciously pulls at her skirt’s rising hemline, Kye Sang thoughtfully takes off his jacket and places it on her lap so that she can watch without any concern for her short shirt. (Wow~Seriously, this man is getting better and better with each episode. *sigh* So sad that he’s so oblivious to her, although a part of me wonders if he actually is when he’s so considerate to Jin Hee.)
Back at the Ahn household, Soo Jung continues her campaign to impress her father’s friend so that he will want to hire her as his child’s nanny and take her back to L.A. Her strategy? Impress him with what she views as the qualities of the quintessential woman in all her feminine glory. What does this include? Bringing out the coffee, painting, and we mustn’t forget the knitting, which she fakes as she sits far away from the adults.
Unfortunately for her, Jong Seok comes downstairs at that moment and tells their guest that Soo Jung is really good at knitting; she even knitted the sweater that he is wearing. (OMG! What a teasing big brother! I love it! LOL) He then suggests that Suh Won take a good look at Soo Jung as she knits since she’s so incredibly good at it. So of course, with an invitation like that, the guest stands next to Soo Jung to observe her masterful knitting, causing her to panic and quickly make an excuse to get Jong Seok a cup of tea.
After the performance, Jin Hee exclaims that she feels like this night is all a dream and then tries to give Kye Sang his jacket back, but he merely swings it around her shoulders and suggests that she continue to wear it since it is a cold night. (Aw…)
As he goes to get them a hot cup of coffee before heading out to dinner, Jin Hee talks to an absent Jin Sang and asks the sprout if it is all right that she is this happy. She is so warm that she feels as though she’s about to cry.
At that moment, Kye Sang bumps into a younger classmate (hoobae) from his medical school days, and they discuss Kye Sang’s plans to go to Rwanda in a few months. Overhearing this startling piece of news, Jin Hee’s bubble of happiness abruptly bursts, leaving her stunned and in panic.
Uncertain of what she has just heard and desperately hoping that she misheard the hoobae, Jin Hee asks Kye Sang as they drive towards their dinner reservation if what she heard is true. Kye Sang then realizes that Jin Hee must not have known and explains that he will be leaving for Rwanda sometime in March (Does this mean that the show will be ending around March, too?) As the reality of the situation finally clarifies for Jin Hee, she declines the dinner invitation with Kye Sang on the pretext that she has a lot of work that she forgot to do and asks to be dropped off on one of the streets.
Meanwhile, Nae Sang informs Soo Jung that his hoobae Suh Won has decided to hire his niece, a college student who is already heading to LA to study. Disgusted that all her hard work came to nothing and that Suh Won changed his mind after getting her hopes up like this, Soo Jung stomps upstairs and changes into her usual clothes that are a far cry from her demure outfit during the dinner. Jong Seok sees her coming down her ladder in her changed clothes and mentions that Suh Won is coming by to pick up his jacket that he left here and that it turns out he’s still looking for a nanny for his 3-year-old kid because the niece is headed for the East Coast and not to L.A. At this, Soo Jung races upstairs to change back into her demure clothes and hurries downstairs with her painting. However, when she learns from her father that none of what Jong Seok told her is true, she menacingly tells Jong Seok that he will die tonight by her hands and then proceeds to chase him around the house…with the painting as her weapon of choice.
Returning to an empty clinic, Jin Hee talks to Jin Sang and comments how it’s so odd that only a moment ago she thought that today was the happiest day of her life, and now she is so incredibly sad. A while back, she had wanted to cry from happiness, but now she only wants to cry because she’s so sad. She then wonders who will share the cherry tomato with her when it bears fruit since Kye Sang will be in Rwanda by then. She had searched the vegetation cycle when she arrived at the clinic and noted with dismay that it takes 3 months for the cherry tomatoes to bear fruit. As Jin Hee silently cries, Jin Sang’s baby voice is heard, comforting her and reminding her that things in life are never certain and that things may not be as they appear in much the same way that it is not a cherry tomato but instead a ginkgo plant.
As if hearing Jin Sang’s words, Jin Hee mutters to herself that everything will be all right, everything will be all right as she wipes away her tears.
The next morning, Jin Hee meets Kye Sang at the bus stop on their way to work. Without any hesitation, she takes out the red mittens and presents them to him, explaining that she had knitted these herself a while back but delayed giving them to him because they seemed so shabby. However, she realized that she should give them to him now. Kye Sang comments on how warm and pretty they are and thanks her. She then tells him that he can’t forget them. Kye Sang corrects her and tells her that she means that he shouldn’t lose them. (The Korean words are similar and often misused.)
She agrees that he shouldn’t lose them, but she reiterates that he should also not forget them because she knitted them. And then flashing Kye Sang a bright smile, Jin Hee boldly faces what the next few months may bring her way.
Post-Recap Thoughts: So why exactly did I love this episode so much other than for the simple fact that it centered around Kye Sang and Jin Hee? Two reasons:
1) After what felt like months of hesitating about her handmade gift, Jin Hee finally gave those fluffy red mittens to Kye Sang. But it wasn’t the act of giving that I loved; it was more the resolve behind her action. With his upcoming move to Rwanda, Jin Hee now knows that she has a deadline. If she wants something to happen, she needs to stop doddering around and actively DO things so that she will have no regrets. In much the same way that Jong Seok finally gathered up enough courage and resolve to face his feelings for Ha Sun and verbalize them, I suspect that Jin Hee has reached that threshold as well. My hope is that the next few episodes will explore her determination to make the remaining two months with Kye Sang count so that she will have no regrets, whatever the results may be. I definitely approve of this new Jin Hee.
2) The delayed gratification aspect of the writers’ plot structure…the writers took their time with Ha Sun’s realization that Ji Seok had replaced her cheap necklace with a real gold chain. It happened much later after Ji Seok’s confession to her so that the discovery Ha Sun made on her own by accident became one of the many ripples that smoothed away her resistance to Ji Seok. Likewise, the writers played with the red mittens from time to time but ultimately saved it for this episode to be used as a symbol of Jin Hee’s change. I appreciate that these little moments are coupled with significant plot developments, not rushed but allowed to lie in wait until the perfect time. With Jin Hee’s newfound epiphany about life and its choices–that life is ever-changing so choices should be made boldly and without regret–she presents Kye Sang with the red mittens AND tells him to never forget her. Now that’s what I call a dynamic character in the truest sense of the literary term. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see what the writers are planning for our little Jin Hee. She’s come a long way from that weak, insecure, unemployed young woman of episode 1. “I am Woman. Hear me roar!” should be Jin Hee’s new mantra. 🙂