Pre-Recap Thoughts: The 100th episode was a bit of a let down for me. I guess I was expecting something spectacular as we hit the milestone 100th episode. Aside from my perhaps “unreasonable” expectation, I found the episode quite serious in both storylines…despite all the comedic moments.
The episode centers around two women–Ha Sun and Yoo Sun–who each undergo an identity crisis of sorts. Ha Sun wants to revamp her image so that the students and colleagues won’t take advantage of her sweet nature while Yoo Sun struggles to answer the age-old philosophical question of “Who am I?”
Ha Sun’s situation is an interesting look at an otherwise hackneyed issue, but I don’t know…Yoo Sun’s storyline made me feel as though the mid-life crisis has been done before and wasn’t offering anything new. Don’t get me wrong, the episode was entertaining but felt a bit flat as it traversed all-too familiar terrain in storytelling. But seriously, who am I kidding? High Kick 3 isn’t really in the market for innovative and profound, right? LOL
Despite my lukewarm pre-recap thoughts, I did enjoy the episode…as usual. 😉
The episode opens with Yoo Sun talking with a friend while she folds laundry. As they talk, Yoo Sun discovers that a very good friend of hers has unexpectedly entered a buddhist monastery to become a buddhist priest…without a single word to her.
Meanwhile, Ji Seok sneaks up behind Ha Sun and “woofs” at her; she returns with a soft “meow.” So adorable…
…but this lovey-dovey exchange is seen by her next class–Ji Seok’s homeroom class–and they proceed to tease her a bit, asking how far she and Teacher Yoon have gone. Peck on the cheek? French kiss? They then start to chant “Kiss. Kiss. Kiss”
Flustered, Ha Sun finishes the lesson. At the end of the session, Jong Seok tersely warns the hecklers to cool it, and Ji Won calms Jong Seok down before he actually follows his warning with action. Aw…he’s already protecting his aunt-to-be. 🙂
As Ha Sun retreats to the safety of the teachers’ office, she is “attacked” by Park Ji Sun, who railroads Ha Sun into preparing a supplementary teaching report for this month. Although Ha Sun protests, explaining that she prepared the report last month, Ji Sun ignores her and goes to talk with another teacher.
Shocked by her friend’s unexpected entry into the buddhist priesthood, Yoo Sun tells Nae Sang that she’s going to visit a temple and leaves to see her friend. There, she asks a monk where she can find her friend. As the young buddhist answers, her cell phone rings with the ringtone of the Wonder Girls’ “Nobody.” Heh…what an ironic choice of ringtone. LOL She’s supposed to have given up a life of the world yet clearly remained connected to it…interesting commentary.
Yoo Sun finds her friend, Jung Mi, completely immersed in the new life of a solitary and buddhist life. As they talk, Jung Mi confesses to Yoo Sun that although she thought about telling Yoo Sun about her decision, Jung Mi decided against it, fearing that talking with Yoo Sun might cause her to not go through with her plans to enter the buddhist priesthood.
She then asks Yoo Sun if Yoo Sun knows who she is.
Confused, Yoo Sun at first doesn’t realize what Jung Mi is asking. However, Jung Mi persists in asking the same question, causing Yoo Sun to finally understand the greater meaning behind that simple question: “Who are you?”
Back at home, Ji Seok shares a quiet cup of coffee with Ha Sun and asks her what is bothering her. At first, Ha Sun tells him nothing, but when he persists, Ha Sun admits that she’s bothered by the fact that people take advantage of her and think of her as a pushover.
Ji Seok demands to know who does this as though he would fight the offenders for her, and Ha Sun pitifully (yet so cutely LOL) confesses that everyone thinks this. Aw….
Unable to sleep after her conversation with Jung Mi, Yoo Sun composes a letter to her friend. She writes that she had a great time with her friend, but that on the way back home and even now, she’s been wrestling with the question her friend posed. She wonders to her friend, “Who am I really?” She wonders why she’s never once thought about who she is in her 45 years of life.
Of course, as she contemplates the weighty, philosophical question, Nae Sang shifts in his sleep and farts. LOL…the writers do that so well…juxtapose the philosophical with the mundane.
As Yoo Sun goes about her work the next day, her voice over/letter to her friend continues as she grapples with who Yoon Yoo Sun actually is. Gotta love the classical violin music during her monologue.
Meanwhile, Ha Sun conducts an online search on how to intimidate her intimidators. She tries a few glares and points, borrowing from some well-known Korean pop culture gestures, especially Park Myung Soo’s “Hey! Hey! Hey!”
She even tries to furrow her eyebrows into a unibrow. LOL
As she slips into a world of her own, Soo Jung drops by to give Jin Hee some books and inadvertently sees Ha Sun’s online search. Soo Jung, ever so practical, gives Ha Sun the advice to radically change her attire and entire concept to smoky eyes, black clothes, etc. No matter what Ha Sun does, as long as her physical appearance is that of a sweet woman, no one will be intimidated by her.
To illustrate her point, Soo Jung shows Ha Sun several different pictures of Korea’s Girl Generation group (SNSD) and how different they now appear–sultry and sexy–as compared to their debut–sweet and innocent.
Armed with this knowledge, Ha Sun gets to work on her “transformation.” As the hard rock music underscores the seriousness of her transformation, Jin Hee walks in and asks in a stunned voice if Ha Sun is really going to go to school dress like that?
And what exactly does her outfit look like? A cross between a biker chick and a dominatrix. LOL. As she enters the school, mouths are left gaping open. And once she starts class, her “charisma” fully manifests itself as she growls at students to be quiet.
When the heckling from the one boy in the back continues, Ha Sun halts her lessons and tells him that she will “show him all of Seoul” and then proceeds to lift him up by his ears. OMG!
The students are amazed at her transformation while Soo Jung flashes her a thumbs up of approval.
Collecting herself in the bathroom from the exertion of all that charisma once her class is over, Ha Sun smiles and then practices some vicious looks in the mirror. Heh heh….
As she continues to conduct her later classes in the same manner, Ji Seok takes a peek inside and is left amazed at his girlfriend’s “non-pushover” transformation.
Meanwhile, roaming the streets of Seoul, Yoo Sun continues to ask herself the question of who she is, wondering if she’s the wife of a councilman, a middle-aged woman, etc.
When Ha Sun returns to the teacher’s office, Ji Sun is amazed at her inappropriate work attire and makes a comment about that as well as remind Ha Sun to submit the monthly report. Ha Sun, in her full “charisma” glory, flashes Ji Sun a glare and bites out, “Since I submitted it last month, shouldn’t you write it up this month?” She then flexes and cracks her joints to complete the intimidation.
At Ji Seok’s gaze, Ha Sun swiftly switches back to sweet Ha Sun and flashes him a gentle smile…before reverting back to her “charisma” Ha Sun. LOL
Yoo Sun, in her search for her identity and to calm her spirit, enrolls in a calligraphy class and writes over and over and over again “Who am I?” Even when the teacher tells the class to only write the first two letters of the Korean alphabet. The teacher laments over how many pieces of paper Yoo Sun wasted. OMG! She wrote this question on multiple sheets of calligraphy paper?! heh…
Later that day at dinner, Ji Seok congratulates Ha Sun on her transformation, and she tells him to call her “Charisma Black Ha Sun” from now on. *chuckles* To prove her tough, charismatic persona, Ha Sun tries to pop open a bottle of beer with her spoon. The “charisma” music is hilarious!
Unfortunately, Ha Sun fails miserably, so she quickly changes tactics and growls at the waitress for a bottle opener…and Ji Seok tells her that her charisma is jjang! (the best!)
As they leave the restaurant, Ha Sun almost gets run over by a car and so she goes after the driver in her best “charisma” form. Good thing Ji Seok is there to restrain her.
As the man leaves unscathed, Ha Sun tells Ji Seok that she should have given the man her “cat cry” and demonstrates a vicious “MEOW!”
Ji Seok sticks out his thumb and tells her “Charisma jjang!“
The next morning, Ha Sun comes out for school in a similar Black Charisma Ha Sun outfit, ready to do battle again with her students. Unable to bear it any longer, Ji Seok gently whispers the truth into her ears–the students weren’t really scared by her act yesterday and actually plan on video taping her if she shows up again in that attire. He then gently prompts her to go back and change.
Crushed, Ha Sun returns in her usual sweet attire. Aw…poor little thing. She was so happy thinking that she was actually winning the battle of wills against the students.
The episode closes with Yoo Sun telling Jung Mi in a letter that after a long time of searching, she is finally starting to discover who she is…slowly but surely. As with everything in life, one’s identity shifts and changes. She is at one time someone’s wife, mother, a woman…and right now, she is a samba woman. Yoo Sun closes out the episode dancing the samba, her new perspective on life firmly on display in the vibrance of her moves and clothes.
Post-Recap Thoughts: Although I was hoping for something more for the 100th episode, I appreciated the exploration of one’s identity. Ha Sun discovers that she is best when she is Ha Sun while Yoo Sun examines the various facets that define her and venture out to find other aspects of herself.
Beyond the obvious philosophical points, what kept the episode enjoyable for me was the music. O-M-G! The music was hilarity in itself, punctuating the various stages of Ha Sun’s transformation and re-transformation as well as Yoo Sun’s self discoveries.
And what was sweet to see was how family and friends rallied behind Ha Sun in her quest to gain a backbone. Seriously, how sweet was Ji Seok’s continual praise of Ha Sun with his thumbs up sign and jjang (you’re the best!) comments?! I love how he understands instinctively that Ha Sun needs at least one day of uninterrupted dominance to get her insecurities and anguish of being perceived as a pushover out of her system. *Sniffles* I want a Ji Seok in my life, too! 😉