28 April 2013

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When A Man Loves - Episode 8 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by CM Shukmeister on April 28, 2013
Shuk: We begin with Jae-hee brooding in a darkened office, while our couple choses wine. She ignores his phone call, and he texts her to call him immediately. When she doesn’t, he walks to her house, and sees the skinship going in the bookstore.
JoAnne: This whole scene was very sweet. Come read to meeeeeeeeeeee, Oppa!
Shuk: Let’s all rewatch the kiss, again!
JoAnne: Like I had to wait for you to suggest it.
kakashi: kissu! kissu! kiiiiissuuuu! #WhenAManFinallyScores
Shuk: Jae-hee is in shock as he flashes back to all the subtle and not-so-subtle clues that she was never going to leave Oppa for him. At least he doesn't fall to the ground, but he does stumble away and walk a lonely path in the middle of a bridge, pausing to look out over the Han River.
JoAnne: So I have this to say about that: Remember when I said Oppa listens to Pissy, and then does what she asks him to do? Chubs did not do that. Pissy makes the age-old mistake of wanting to be friends with everybody, and in the end it’s just confusing to a boy like Chubs. In his defense, he has liked her for just about as long as Oppa has. And he must have thought it was fate when he ran into her again in Guam, of all places. But she clearly made a decision there, and because of her overtures of FRIENDLINESS, he didn't take her at her word. Yeah, I think she had a spark of feeling for him, but for whatever reason, she’s sticking wit the guy what brung her, and I respect that. As my mother always said: It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich guy as it is with a poor guy. I should have listened better, Mom.
kakashi: #WhenItIsNotLighteningOnTheFaceOfAManButTheRiver (don't ask me why the river so bright)
Shuk: Back at his apartment, he asks his hyung why he is friends with President Han, and Chang-hee called it destiny. He explains how Tae-sang and bonded in the gang, and that he trusts him as family. Not really what Jae-hee wanted to hear.
JoAnne: Um, and then Chubs basically says Tae Sang is a bad person. Ooooooh, did a wittle boy get his panties in a twist? Losing respect for you, Chubsie.
kakashi: Here, cutie, have some strawberries! 
Shuk: Jae-hee is already at the office when Mi-do arrives, and the temperature drops a few degrees as Jae-hee, mentions an incident from seven years previously. She belatedly remembers, but he’s still upset over the night before.
JoAnne: Is this where he talks about the coffee coupon? I actually felt a bit sad for him then, as it wasn't until that point that I realized he HAD actually been interested in her for a long time. However, this opens up an interesting dilemma for me. I've been coasting on his charm and thinking that he’s a good guy, but then this episode kind of put it in my face that he ignores what she says and pushes his own agenda, which is not good guy behavior. Now he’s being all butt-hurt about SEEING what she’s been saying right along is the case, which I consider extremely childish. And then the thing with his brother, which strikes me as having potential for vindictiveness. We may not be all that surprised to discover that the nice kid is actually a worse person than the former gangster, someone who has more in common with Grandpa Leeteuk than with his mentor, or even his feisty hyung.
kakashi: Woah, JoAnne, well said. You're one smart cookie! 
Shuk: Seo Mi-do is explaining the resort presentation, and Jae-hee is watching the interaction with bruised eyes and a stormy expression. President Han mentioned going to an amusement park recently, and the employees rib him good-naturedly before he concludes the meeting.
JoAnne: Chubs is suffering from jealousy and that age old condition known as ‘what is seen cannot be unseen.’ Now, of course, it’s very obvious to him that the two are a couple, and he’s just seeeeeeething with rage over that fact. And, um, why, exactly? Brat kid.
kakashi: Opppaaa! You are so cute. But please ... why don't you take your shirt off? 
Shuk: Tae-sang uses the exit of the employee to plant a hit and run kiss on Mi-do [SQUEEEE! SO CUTE!], but Jae-hee sees it. Much like Tae-sang when Jae-hee kissed Mi-do, Manager Lee pretends he was engrossed in his phone and didn’t see anything, but he makes a beeline for the roof.
JoAnne: Oppa you are adorable, yes indeed you are. Chubs, not so much anymore. Why pretend like you don't see it? Perfect opportunity to let Pissy know you know, and get your hurt feelings acknowledged, and move on to friendship or at least a decent working relationship. But nooooooooooo, you’re going to sulk, aren't you? Of course you are. Because that makes everything better, always. By the way, I already don’t remember Oppa seeing Chubs kiss Pissy. When did that happen?
Shuk: Episode 5, when he overheard Carrotbrain ask his sister about the cheek kiss he witnessed in front of the bookstore.
JoAnne: Ahhhhhh.
kakashi: kissu! kissu! kisssuuuu!!! 
Shuk: Mi-do receives an amazingly realistic USPS package containing prospectuses for American Universities on the east coast and artbooks.
kakashi: amazingly realistic propsectuses, too...

Shuk: She goes to see Jae-hee (SHUKNOTE: I don’t like the plaid suit. At.All.), to thank him for the package. He wonders out loud if her boyfriend would be willing to let her pursue her dreams, before he walks away from her.
JoAnne: Shows what you know, Missy. He is ALL UP on the latest fashion, obviously cribbing from Shinee’s Dream Girl, just suitably toned down for work. Plus, awww, that was a nice gesture. I can say that because he did it before he became a jerk. And I bet he’s wrong about Oppa, anyway. All good Korean men encourage their Korean girlfriends to go away to American schools, and Oppa won’t even have to prostitute himself to do it. Oppa, +1. HaRyu, -1.
kakashi: That rooftop is such a nice location! (Uhm ... in case you are wondering, no, I am not paying attention to the plot. I only look at the pictures)
Shuk: Domestic God Chang-hee is ironing, making kimchi, and cleaning the apartment. He sees the shoes under the desk, and calls Tae-sang to stop by.
JoAnne: I fully expected to see him finish the house work in those nicely fitted chinos and tee shirt, wearing the pink heels, and humming ‘I Feel Pretty’ from West Side Story. I’d probably still think he was fine, too.
kakashi: For whatever reason, Amber Eyes makes for the best gifs ever. It might be all the housekeeping he does. I mean: housekeeping makes good gifs. Not sure what that tells us about life and such...
Shuk: Oh boy. No evil music, but it appears our Violet Villain is planning on buying the bookstore building.
JoAnne: We’re supposed to believe that’s a coincidence, right? Just one of those serendipitous events that occur in the life of every Korean villain that allows him to torment the hero, or the family of the girl the hero adores? Thus actually tormenting the hero, plus bonus! Lots of random other people the villain gives no shits about.
kakashi: Is he somebody's father maybe? Have we had birth secrets yet? Or fauxcest? 

Shuk: JYP Productions presents Mi-joon and Ramyun Boy in a Full House Take 2 moment! They end up dancing in front of the mirrors to Jay Sean’s “Maybe”. Later, at the ramyun shop, we finally get the backstory for Ramyun Boy. His name is Ddol, and he is an orphan living with his aunt.
JoAnne: The backstory of the backstory is that we just watched JJ Project dance. They’re not bad, but really, what’s the purpose here? Will we get to see JYP in a minor role, too? Oooooh, he would have been EXCELLENT cast as the Green Dude.
kakashi: Dance gifs are so much fun ... 
Shuk: His story is cut off when Mi-joon shows up with the entire Idol Band to have ramyun. The ensuing chaos by fangirls causes Han Eomma to plead for them to lead, and Seon-joo (oops didn’t notice Little Miss Devious) jumps into action, pushing everyone out and restoring peace to the shop.
JoAnne: My Google Fu is taking the day off, apparently. I couldn’t find out who they were. We know they must be someone, though, because 1) random appearance 2) idol hair.
kakashi: Cue "random". I have a very nice picture here of oppa on the phone. Oppa on the phone, with white shirt = 1a. 
Shuk: Tae-sang is savoring Chang-hee’s kimchi with rice as they share some bro-time. Chang-hee correctly guesses the object of Tae-sang’s affection, and promises to be good to his “sister-in-law”. He also mentions the shoes to Tae-sang.
JoAnne: If he DID wear them, he’s not mentioning it to Oppa. Yet.
kakashi: Another sort of gif I love are food-input-gifs. #WhenAManEatsForeverAndEver
Shuk: Team Golden Tree heads out to a company dinner, and Mi-do has to duck to avoid the Chaebol Princess who just “happens” to stop by. Jae-hee blows her off, but the team talks about it over beers. The party degenerates from darts (thoughts of Guam) and Jenga to Truth or Dare. Jae-hee fails the “do you like Mi-do” question, and the team starts shipping the two of them. The punishment? Driving her home.
JoAnne: I want one of those lie detectors. Also, was that the restaurant for the class reunion that everyone gathers at in Answer Me 1997?
kakashi: JoAnne, they don't have many restaurants in Seoul. Have you watched IRIS2? No? Good for you. Anyways, you learn from that drama that there only is a few Paris Baguette restaurants that everybody goes to. 
Shuk: There’s a poignant moment when Jae-hee mentions his forehead still hurts and she hands him a heat patch as a little joke. He actually puts it on his head, though, and her smile just makes his heart break more heartbreaking. He walks away before she can see his tears.
JoAnne: Do I find Korean men intriguing BECAUSE they are psychologically unstable lovers, or DESPITE it?
kakashi: #WhenAnActorNeedsACheerfulRoleAgainSoon (I still feel sorry for him for what happened in Arang)
Shuk: We hear the sounds of a full piano, but it’s only Tae-sang playing “The Cuckoo” on his piano. With a smile, he circles the name – another completed!  [SHUKNOTE: The first song you hear is Debussy's "Estampes-3. Jardins Sous La Pluie" - Thanks to Raine for finding that for me!]
JoAnne: I will swear on Oppa’s abs that that piano was white when he brought it home to MouseTrap Castle. 
kakashi: I checked the gif-evidence. It never was.But I get why you would think it was. Angelic man and such... Of course such a man has a white piano.
Shuk: Seo Appa has completed a part of a manuscript (laboriously typed out on an old manual), and gives it to Mi-do to read. She also receives a phone call from a gorgeous man lounging on a bed and thinking of her. He invites himself over, and paces outside the bookstore for her. They share beverages and conversation on the rooftop, and handholding and finger-entwining, and a beautiful moment under the moon. Things appear to be going well for our couple!
JoAnne: I love him, and I am moving to Korea.
kakashi: prettyprettypretty ... Especially in the bottom gif, where he is lazily draped on his bed.
Shuk: Things, however, are not so good the next morning when the investors refused to invest in the resort. One of them says that Gu Yong-gap has also spooked the banks from investing in The Golden Tree business. There is silence in the car, and the three stop for coffee and fresh air.
kakashi: #WhenAManIsSoBeautiful (here, have another gif!)
Shuk: Dong-goo proves he’s a bit of a poser, but he’s still adorable. President Han asks about Jae-hee’s love life, and admits to his young rival that he lacks the confidence to propose to his girlfriend. With that, he crushes his paper cup (I’m glad it’s not glass this time), and tells them to head to Yong-gap’s office.
JoAnne: Wow, I had almost forgotten the laughable acting from the beginning, since I’ve become so accustomed to the decent acting now.
kakashi: I didn't even see that (the cup). But this looks kinda cool: 
Shuk: In his pitiful office, Yong-gap is polishing a golf trophy when the boys walk in. President Han negligently chooses the head chair and throws his feet on the coffee table while the little gangster and Jae-hee gingerly sit down.
After a few minutes with his eyes closed, President Ha begins speaking in an eerie singsong voice:
TSH (or Big Boss??): “Tae Sang, Yong-gap may not be bright, but he works hard. He’s petty and holds grudges. Be careful how you handle him. You have to watch out for those who are all brawn and no brain. He writes his bribes down in a ledger, so I stole one of them. He doesn't know.”
JoAnne: Oh, there it is. So close, Oppa, SO CLOSE. You nailed the delivery but you let the build up…uh….build up too long. Still, by the end I was a bit nervous about you. Bitsy Gangster was obviously nervous as a Chihuahua, and freaking Chubs was freaking out. But quietly, as befits a Stanford Man.
Shuk: Yong-gap curls his lip, but then his face clears. He admits to bribing people, but the statute of limitations is passed. However, the statute is extended if the bribes total a high monetary amount. Then President Han pulls out the trump card: a copy of the $ 3 million promissory note. If he took the note from his dead friend, he’s an accessory. If he didn't, he never paid taxes and can be brought up on federal charges. Plus, the bribes would become public knowledge. Our Apoplectic Purple Asshat wonders how Tae-sang found the information back then with a gaping wound in his back.
Shuk: Best line yet - “Gaping wound or not, it didn't affect my smarts.” YESSS! And his eyes pierce right through Yong-gap.
JoAnne: I liked how Chubs could recite the prison terms like it was some commonly known thing. And I LOVED watching Grandpa Leeteuk squirm, that weasel. Plus it was really nice to see Oppa getting’ his gangster on. Really nice. Really, really, REALLY nice. Fear heightens your senses, you know. Just sayin’.

Shuk: President Han continues in his normal voice: Stop with the dirty tricks or he will bury you. Yong-gap tries to bluster, but it’s about as effective as a Chihuahua biting an elephant. A handsome, smooth-skinned, deadly-talking sexy elephant.
JoAnne: We both thought of Chihuahuas!
Shuk: And he is left alone, to destroy innocent plants with his rage.
kakashi: His hair is growing on me. I'm thinking about getting a similar hair color soon. 
Shuk: The drive back has Dong-goo grinning like a fool, Tae-sang staring out the window, and Jae-hee looking at him in a whole new, and not very approving, light.
JoAnne: You had BEST not say a word, young man. Not. One. Word. That man paid for your education and more importantly, HE WENT LEGIT. Grandpa Leeteuk forced this behavior.
kakashi: so ... is this like a big moment in the drama? Cause there ain't going to be a gif. Sorry. 

Shuk: At The Golden Tree office, Jae-hee warns President Han that ‘that man’ will probably retaliate. Jae-hee promises to find other investors, but their conversation is interrupted when they find Seon-joo hanging out in the office. She leaves a jar of honey and leaves. WTF?
JoAnne: She said she had noticed that his voice was hoarse.
kakashi: She is so redundant. She could die first, what do you think? (Isn't this supposed to be a melo?)
Shuk: Honey, the honey won't help.
Shuk: More characters interact when Mi-joo and Mama Seo have soup at the ramyun shop. Uncle Cabbage shows up, but ahjumma quickly throws him out after tossing some money.
JoAnne: All these meddlesome people!
kakashi: No gif. Goodbye. 
Uncle Cabbage's first movie role, until he discovered sageuks.

Shuk: The private investigator Seon-joo hired has bad news: it appears Tae-min (Tae-sang’s little brother) was adopted in the States and died several years ago. I really don’t care about her crocodile tears.
JoAnne: Besides, we all know Taemin is just busy with schedules for Dream Girl.
kakashi: Ah, family secret after all. But I must admit to not getting what you're talking about. Whatever. If there's a good gif-scene of Taemin, let me know. 

Shuk: Over a late night snack at the office, President Han teases Manager Lee about the pink shoes, and Mi-do squirms. Jae-hee asks if Seon-joo is his girlfriend; Tae-sang denies it, but Jae-hee counters that she is always doing things for the President. Mi-do and Tae-sang exchange looks over the table.
JoAnne: And Mi-Do defends Oppa by saying that Seon Joo is his partner, so of course they’d have to take care of each other, and then Chubs says ‘So if I get sick, are you going to bring me honey?’ And Mi Do says yes, and suddenly EVERY MAN AT THE TABLE starts to cough. That was cute. Plus I do love how Mi Do is starting to feel invested in Oppa, and protective of him. In a weird way, he does need it, and in some respects, she is tougher than he is. I actually really do like their dynamic, where she’s the tiny young feisty thing being so patient with the bigger, older, successful tough guy - he allows his vulnerability to show with her, and she treasures it for the gift that it is. It’s the only thing that made me like her with him, really.
kakashi: Do not use the word "love" in connection with Mi Do, please. 
Shuk: We get an endearing montage of Tae-sang dressing for a date with Mi-do.
kakashi: Cue kakashi! Gif-frenzy! Omo, cuteness overload! 
Shuk: His gift: shoes that are the wrong size. She tells him her size (which is the exact size of Jae-hee’s girlfriend, go figure), and they head out to Jinan County to see the cherry blossoms, and Oppa’s smile shines brightly as they play among the falling petals.
JoAnne: I am consumed with a desire to know if cherry blossoms have a scent. And if I crushed cherry blossoms against Oppa’s bare, silky torso…would he taste even better than he already must? What do you think he smells like, anyway? What kind of cologne would Oppa wear?
kakashi: Oppa scent, of course.  
Shuk: As they stroll through the trees, Tae-sang asks if they could walk hand in hand for two hundred years, and asks the question again: “Do you believe I would make a good husband?”
JoAnne: Good, bad, who cares. Marry me.
 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Shuk: We are at the half-way point, and the links created between our storylines are starting to pull everyone in for the Big Crash. There hasn’t been a lot of Oppa’s skin showing, but, you know, his body language and especially his facial expressions (and white shirts) make up for that, at least a little bit. There are still a few mysteries: who did Chang-hee bury on the mountain, what really happened to Tae-sang’s little brother, and what is Baddie’s next move. But I’m pretty content with the pacing of the show so far.
JoAnne: It’s been chugging right along for me, too. I’m pretty satisfied so far, but let’s face it: It would be really hard to take the show seriously if Oppa was always in a towel. We must suffer for his art, I suppose.
kakashi: As the one who has no idea what is actually going on in this drama, I can only say that SSH is quite amazing to watch. And I think I know why: He feels at ease. He may in fact be playing himself more than he is playing a role. Yes ... this is not President Han that we are seeing, but Song Seung-heon ... *gulp*

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