18 May 2014

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Witch's Romance - Episode 8 (A SqueeCap, Now Fortified with Rage)

Posted by JoAnne on May 18, 2014
Listen, the sooner we go through this part, the sooner it's over, right? Me waiting doesn't change any of it.
kakashi: Be strong, unni (I still refuse to watch this stuff subbed. Bleh)
Episode 8

We go back in time to the gallery being set up for the opening. The evil assistant doesn't know what this last, large installation is. That's because Polar Bear arranged it himself, and he didn't tell her because he didn't make up his mind until the last minute. So he has a habit of springing plan changes on women at the last minute, I see (IdontcareIHateThemsoMuch!!!!). She is NOT pleased to see Ji Yeon's face on the wall. Polar Bear seems oblivious to the undercurrent of emotion as he tells her that he figured this was his last chance to confess to his love, and that once the show is over he expects to leave Korea. Last chance? Please tell me, you ridiculously stupid man: when was the first chance that you missed? or the second? or the third?
kakashi: Stoooooooooooooooooooooopid! 
Wow, that really WAS last minute, happening inside as the reporters were arriving for the press conference outside - which means Ji Yeon is outside the gate having a little melt down and Dong Ha the Best Boy Ever is arriving to be her pillar of strength even if it claws out his heart. Bitchface Assistant notices them at the back of the crowd right away and makes a quick escape after whispering to a minion. Inside the gallery, she's insisting frantically that the collage of Ji Yeon's face be removed, and the gallery attendant is refusing. She ends up screaming at the poor woman, so all the reporters entering the room are primed for drama - and then in walks Ji Yeon. Bitchface looks like she smells something foul. I hope she chokes on it.
kakashi: I think I'm thankful to this drama that I hate this Woman much more than I hate Jerkface. I feel sorry for him because something went badly wrong with his Plastic Surgery. That must be hard to bear.

Ji Yeon stands there stunned, looking at herself. The King of Really Terrible Ways to Confess After Having Broken a Heart stops behind her and calls her name quietly. Dong Ha runs in and then stops dead in surprise. The wrong man utters these words: Ji Yeon-ah, let's start again. Thousands of viewers throw things at the television while the key players on screen stare at each other meaningfully and the reporters start taking photos.
kakashi: It's good that I had that idea to ... "change" all the images he is in. It makes watching this easier. I see him and I think: "what could I draw in his face in this frame? And in this?"
Dong Ha thinks fast like always and he moves in to take Ji Yeon out of the room but StupidFace grabs her first and takes off running like the thief that he is. The reporters chase after like lemmings and my heart cracks, watching Dong Ha stand there alone. Bitchface Assistant grabs him before he can leave, and then tries to blame this mess on HIM. What the everloving fuck. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this because it makes me angry. Bitchface Assistant kept them apart six years ago. Shi Hoo had no idea. She expects Dong Ha to help her continue to keep them apart, but Dong Ha is an actual human being, so that's not going to happen.
kakashi: It's just stupid. I'm sad. I really liked this drama in the beginning. 
Polar Bear continues to be a communications nightmare and tells Ji Yeon nothing concrete, just that he always loved her and he wants to start again. She says no fucking way, and then Dong Ha shows up to explain what happened since apparently SOME people are mentally incapable of putting actual detail into a sentence. Shi Hoo couldn't go to the wedding because he'd been shot and was in the hospital. There. That wasn't hard to say. The assistant was the one who came up with that message for Ji Yeon, and Shi Hoo had no part in it. Also surprisingly easy to say. He just got the rings back with the message that she was over, and he never knew why. Wow, look at that. Three sentences that sum up an entire six years of pain very clearly for everyone concerned. Who even knew it was possible?
kakashi: Is that all???! Seriously??! I was expecting something grand! Like: he was eaten by a lion, was able to climb out of his belly even though he lost a leg, then fell into a river and chewed up by some alligators, then had amnesia, and some brain matter came out through his ears, too.
So Shi Hoo ISN'T the world's worst boyfriend. He is still an asswipe who DOES.NOT.GET.THINGS. though. Example: His immediate reaction? Blame Ji Yeon for believing the words of the assistant. Fuck you, you stupid jerk. Just because you got hurt doesn't mean I'm going to let this whole thing go.
kakashi: I do this with a lot of pleasure:
Dong Ha threw the wedding rings into the pool when he heard Ji Yeon say there's no way she'd get back with Shi Hoo, but that was before she learned what happened. (And she still doesn't know the full extent of it.) Polar Bear goes into the water to get the rings back, and Dong Ha tries to stop him because for some reason it could make his leg not work ever again. If you say so. What do you know, big mouth puppy? You didn't even finish medical school. *sulking*
kakashi: hahahahaha, his leg??! That's .... hahahahaaaa, see? The leg scenario would have been awesome. The lions ate it! And it tasted like chicken! 
Son of a bitch. Hours later (why????? What have they been doing? Swimming?), Ji Yeon is helping a limping Polar Bear to the couch in his apartment. The doctor at the hospital told him he'd be fine if he took his medicine and rested, so she shouldn't worry. Good news, Jerkface, thanks for sharing. So now Ji Yeon can go to the home she shares with Puppy, right? Nope, she spends the night there fussing over the wrong man, while Puppy waits anxiously for her to return. Over breakfast the next morning, he FINALLY says something fact-based. He was in Somalia, at the end of his trip, and everything was fine - peaceful even, when suddenly the embassy is warning everyone to stay in their rooms. It was the day he had to leave to return for the wedding, though, so how could he do that? He doesn't say what happened, just that he briefly regained consciousness after his surgery on March 15th - which I think was their wedding day - and then not again for a long time: his wound got infected and he spent two months in a coma. When he woke up, the wedding rings were there. That's all he knew. Ji Yeon is clearly affected. Fine, it's an affecting story. It is. I still don't want you to get the girl. It sucks for you, but I just don't. Life isn't fair.
kakashi: I try, JoAnne. I try. But I'm not at all affected. Maybe because I don't have subs. Maybe because I HATE THIS STORY.
We switch to Cutie Soo, half awake (complete with bedhead) and doing weird stuff. Thank God, because I feared for my blood pressure. Eyes closed, he flops down on the couch and startles awake the sleeping Dong Ha. Also adorably bedheaded. When Cutie mentions that Ji Yeon didn't come home all night, Dong Ha rushes next door to see if she went there, instead.
kakashi: A thought crosses my mind, and I would like to share: Have we ever seen Yoon Hyun-min's abs? I can't remember!! 
Yes. There's a scene in Heartless City in a parking garage - he's been injured and he has a bandage around his upper ribs but he doesn't have on a shirt, just a long coat. Plus, maybe, possibly, in the very beginning when we meet him in that awesome building and he's on the bed with his girl that gets killed something like two scenes later?
She's down in the courtyard on that bench, lost in thought. When she finally heads up to the house, Dong Ha is pacing and greets her with worried complaints. She explains where she was and why, and hurries to assure Dong Ha it's not his fault (for throwing the rings in the water.) She won't even look at him. The baby's face is all crumply with pain and worry, Ji Yeon. Look at him!
kakashi: Just get this done and over with, seriously. 
TroubleMaker's entire staff is agog over the news, but Director Shekshi is thrilled. This can only mean good things for his bottom line, and of course he wants to do an article. Ji Yeon resists, and eventually she leaves the office and goes to Na Rae. We learn that she's not magically all thrilled to pieces to discover that she hadn't been betrayed by her fiance, which is AWESOME because it means there's something making her want to hold back (Dong Ha!) and then Na Rae proves she's a good friend to someone other than Ji Yeon (Dong Ha!) when she wonders aloud why Dong Ha brought the truth out since it was better for him to keep it a secret. That's right, Na Rae. Keep pointing out his good qualities.
kakashi: Na-rae: I love you a little bit. 
While Ji Yeon is out, Dong Ha fields a call for her. Ji Yeon Eomma is still dieting and working out strenously and when she goes to the plastic surgeon for a consult she actually has a dizzy spell and ends up in the hospital. All the ahjummas are very impressed with Dong Ha and his prior history as a med student is inadvertently exposed. He leaves pretty much the minute she gets there, sigh. They're so awkward around each other now. It hurts. Eomma is thinking seobang thoughts again, though, and encourages Ji Yeon to catch him in the hall and walk him out.
kakashi: Well. This mother doesn't know what she wants though. Because didn't she say just very recently that he WASN'T Seobang material?! 
It doesn't take long for them to tear down at least part of the wall, because they are perfect for each other. When Ji Yeon stops next to him silently in the hall, Dong Ha gives her a long look. She says she's there because her mother sent her, but he gives the faintest of sweet smiles and comments that she's not ignoring him anymore. She protests: When did she ignore him? Dong Ha is ready with his response: She didn't speak to him since the morning, and she wouldn't meet his eyes. She says it's not like that, she's just going through a hard time. Dong Ha snorts in disgust. Does it seem to her like he's especially lighthearted at the moment? 'Someone' was in the paper with Polar Bear, and 'Someone' stayed out all night without a word. He drops the joking tone and admits to her that he's having a hard time, too.
kakashi: Is he still hoping to get this woman? That's brave and foolish, really. She hasn't given him any hope. She has only pushed him away, again and again. I believe she is not worthy of him. And she even cut his plant! 
Next thing you know, Our Boy is at Polar Bear's place (into the elevator and out at the Bear's!). There's your standard male posturing. Even Polar Bear wants to know why on earth Dong Ha revealed the truth, and he says it's so that Ji Yeon could then come to him with a clear heart. Because after all, clearing up the misunderstanding doesn't erase the six years of pain. Nope, agrees Stupid Face. But those six hard years don't erase the ten good ones that came before THAT. Those won't go away, he assures Dong Ha, who smiles and says well then, I guess we'll just have to wait and see who she's with in ten years, won't we? Hmmm. Yes. My money is on the young blood, of course.
kakashi: I'm with you, unni. I know you've seen the original. You know such things. 
More flirting from Cutie to Intern but not back the other way, and loads more flirting from Ji Yeon Eomma and Director Shekshi. Listen, Show. Right now if you are not Dong Ha and Ji Yeon getting back together, I don't care about you. Possibly a small exception for Cutie Soo.
kakashi: I am ready to fastforward to only Cutie Soo scenes to be honest. That could be a problem for episodes 9 and 10, which I am in charge of recapping.
Ji Yeon has been seeing all the press on Polar Bear's big confession and she realizes that it is overshadowing something more worthwhile - the work he does. Not to mention it is personally uncomfortable to her to be the center of speculation and judgement, of course. She tells Director Shekshi she will finish her article on Noh, because there should be at least one real article amidst all the gossip. In return, she asks that her photo not be part of the issue. Director agrees. I like him. He's always supported her, and he's good to her mom.
kakashi: Agreed. He is a good man. But he would be even better if he went and scratched Noh's eyes out! 
Polar Bear shows up at Ji Yeon Eomma's house. She responds appropriately. It's clear that she loved him dearly, back then, and that she suffered both for herself and for Ji Yeon. Again, DickHead does not get it. You can (sort of) see the hurt on his face (oh wait! there's ... something moving! Ah no. I was mistaken) - and after all, he had no idea what they thought, and what he thought was that his fiancee dumped him in the wake of his terrible accident - but he STILL doesn't explain anything and just keeps repeating that he never stopped loving Ji Yeon, like that's the only thing that even matters. He's on his knees to the woman, so he's asking for forgiveness... except he never says anything to her to acknowledge her pain, he only talks about his own. Mom sends him packing and then collapses inside the house. Almost immediately she's consumed with worry for Ji Yeon, and rushes off to the Fish Place to check on her. Where, of course, she is not. I keep forgetting Mom thinks Ji Yeon lives there. Na Rae and Min Goo don't have their excuses straight, and Mom ends up racing over to Dong Ha's place. How does she know where it is?
kakashi: It's the mom-compass. Mother have it. They always know things like that.
Ji Yeon is home, reading quietly in pajamas while Cutie Soo gets ready to go out. (Yay! She's not with Polar Bear!) He answers the door to Ji Yeon Eomma and then makes a quick escape - but not before he praises Mom for her beauty, the incorrigible flirt (I heart him). Outside, he runs into Dong Ha. Cutie tries to warn Dong Ha away, but when he learns that Mom is upstairs, Dong Ha races to join Ji Yeon.
Inside, Mom fusses at Ji Yeon for a minute but soon gets down to business: Polar Bear came to see her. Dong Ha is at the door, bracing himself to face Mom because he's thinking her visit is about discovering that he'd been living with her daughter. Unfortunately, he comes in just in time to hear the two women discussing Shi Hoo. When Ji Yeon hears that idiot knelt before her mother but STILL didn't explain anything, she brings Mom up to speed. Mom wonders angrily why he didn't contact her at any point and Ji Yeon agrees: If he couldn't six years ago, then why not five? Or three? Or even one? The two women heap insults on Polar Bear and then Mom looks at her girl and realizes that she's crying. Mom wants to know why she's like this and insists that life will continue on just as it has, but Ji Yeon says her heart aches; how can she ignore it when that person was injured so badly on his way to her? when he even still has their wedding rings? Dong Ha is listening from the entry way and his face is...we watch his heart breaking. (Meanwhile I'm throwing things at the tv and saying why is your heart aching? That man wants you back, so if you wanted to go back, you would be HAPPY, not hurting. You're hurting because of DONG HA. SAY IT.)
kakashi: Reflecting a little bit on this shit, I'm thinking ... how would I feel? Here it is: WHY did he never try to contact her if he loved her that much???! Yeah, sure she "sent back the rings", but FUCK YOU, do you just sit still and do nothing if you love someone??!?! Nope. Not a man you would ever want back. And he did not get injured because of HER. He got injured because he choose to go there. End of story.
It's the next day and Ji Yeon is off to finish her 'interview' with Polar Bear. Main Stooge blackmails Young Shik into coming with so they can spy on the two (plus get some photos, which he thinks will please Director Shekshi.) Ji Yeon catches them pretty much immediately, of course. The only thing that we learn during any of this is that the only reason Ji Yeon even became a reporter was to support his desire to travel the world together - him taking photos, her writing articles.
kakashi: That's just sad. 
That night Cutie, Dong Ha, and Intern Girl gather for drinks at Fish Place. Cutie is all eyes on Intern, Intern is all eyes on Dong Ha, Dong Ha is all eyes on the alcohol. Na Rae notices Intern Girl's interest and the newlyweds discuss Dong Ha's mood in the wake of Polar Bear's return. Na Rae doesn't know what to do about it, and Min Goo speaks for us all when he says 'No matter what, I am on Dong Ha's side.'
kakashi: Truer words have never been spoken! 
Dong Ha eventually calls it a night and staggers off. In response to Intern Girl's obvious concern, Cutie takes on the role of advisor: She can never be with that man. In My Queen, that character told the intern that it could never be her because of the dead sister. Here, we're left to wonder why. Is it because Dong Ha loves Ji Yeon? because Cutie loves Intern? because of the sister? No clue.
kakashi: I vote for all of the above. 
Mysteriously sobered up, a straight-walking Dong Ha arrives at the courtyard below the apartments. He heads for the benches and lies down to stare up at the sky and think about stuff and look really, really cute, eventually laughing in defeat that Polar Bear is just too strong. Noooooooooooo. You're wrong, Dong Ha! You're wrong! She's inside RIGHT now waiting for you to get there so she can pretend to be just starting to pack. She's waiting for YOU. She doesn't want to leave YOU. Don't give up! The dumbass takes so long she eventually gives up and packs and is preparing to leave when he walks in.
kakashi: It's unmyeong again, fucking with people. Also, it's the writers of this drama, fucking with us. How many episodes does it have? Couldn't they just have skipped this shit? 
They plaster on smiles. She scolds him for almost missing her, but he points out that they'll be living next door, and he'll see her at the office. A little of the truth comes out, though. He asks playfully if she's planning to ignore him from now on, but his eyes are anxious. She asks him if he drank, and her eyes betray that she's worried that he is in pain. He lies and says he had just one, so that she won't feel bad. I throw things at the tv, because I am dying.
kakashi: Sometimes, KDrama sucks big time. 
Dong Ha offers to help take her (one) bag over to the apartment. Ji Yeon doesn't even try to say it's not necessary. Next door, they make awkward small talk about settling in, and he offers to help her unpack. She offers to make him something to drink and he accepts. As she busies herself in the kitchen she takes a call from Polar Bear and Dong Ha listens sadly and we see that he's been hiding a book behind him. 'The Moment of Magic'. As he writes on the flyleaf, Dong Ha in voiceover quotes from the book the very things that we love about him: True love means wanting the other person to be happy. Life is short. If you've been holding words in your heart that you want to share, consider today your last chance and share them. Without a doubt, the 'moment of magic' you've been waiting for is today. We see what he has written in the book - 'Would you stay with me?'
kakashi: Oh no. This is really heart breaking... 
He places the book on a shelf by itself. I wonder if he'd intended to hand it to her, and then changed his mind when she took the call from Shi Hoo. We already know that he wasn't planning to put up a big fight from the night before, when he acknowledged the depth of Ji Yeon's feelings for the older man.
kakashi: He might not be planning it, but he is young! And young people sometimes do spontaneous things.
Ji Yeon hands him a drink and says 'thank you for everything.' She steps away, and Dong Ha repeats to himself that line from the book: today is the moment of magic you've been waiting for. He rushes across the room and wraps his arms around Ji Yeon from behind. Can't you not go to him? he pleads. Ji Yeon stands silent in his arms. She does not struggle to get away, and notably, her initially tense posture relaxes a bit. The moment stretches out....
kakashi: Yay?
... and the episode ends. Fuckers.
kakashi: Just you wait, drama. It's my turn next. And I am in need for blood. 

Comments

I hate myself for saying this, but I don't really fault Shi Hoo for not contacting her all these years. If I am reasonable and fair, I could only fault him if I also faulted her. Neither of them pursued it after learning out of the blue that the other no longer wanted to be in a relationship. That's the crux of it; the details don't matter. If you hate one for it, you must hate the other.
kakashi: I do fault him for it. Because it's immensely stupid. If you love someone like he claims he loves her, he would not have sat still and let her walk away without any explanation. You just don't do that. You call the other person, you beg, you cry, you do not stop until you really, really understand why they have dumped you. 

FORTUNATELY I have plenty of other reasons to believe that Polar Bear is not the man for Ji Yeon, and that Dong Ha IS. Polar Bear considers himself first; Dong Ha considers others. Polar Bear cannot communicate his way out of a paperbag; Dong Ha is able to express himself directly and does not wait for unreasonably long periods to do so. Polar Bear lies and makes unilateral decisions; Dong Ha is truthful and tries to work with people. Polar Bear will always have painful associations for Ji Yeon; Dong Ha does not have any such. Although I have no reason to think that Polar Bear would not do this, I know for a fact that being with Dong Ha helps soften Ji Yeon and bring out her kindness. We have no evidence that Polar Bear did the same, although she was known to be a prickly person even in youth. Ji Yeon framed her life within the context of Polar Bear, even choosing her career based on HIS dream; Dong Ha is always interested in what other people actually think/feel/want.
kakashi: Polar Bear, your time is up. Go away. 

I am still mightily pleased with the story-telling here, far more than with My Queen (even though it was good, it dragged through the upcoming parts.) The pace is decent and we are given good insight into people's feelings. The small changes in plot details actually work better, for the most part. I do think they should have included a confrontation with the evil bitchface assistant in this episode, but perhaps it was too difficult to fit everything in. Perhaps it comes in Episode 9. The confrontation existed, and since I wasn't really pleased with the outcome there, I really want to see how they handle it here.
kakashi: Burn at the stakes with Veggie Ahjumma, BaDIL and Min-jung from Jangbori! 

Despite enjoying the story, I also think - in case anyone is wondering - that the entire set up is ridiculous. I mean, come on: They dated for 10 years and were getting married in a month; you don't think his mentor the professor knew Ji Yeon exists? His parents were mentioned to have emigrated; you don't think that they were in Korea for at least a couple days before the event? They didn't get a phone call from Somalia, either? Or they got it, but decided not to ever tell Ji Yeon? Be serious. I have way more problems with those plot holes than I do over Ji Yeon accepting the word of an assistant and not double-checking. Let's face it: evil bitchface assistants only think up lies and then act on them like that in KDramas. You wouldn't ever suspect it in real life. And you don't think a boyfriend of ten years would suddenly change their mind without warning? Talk to the woman who's floored by the departure of her husband of twenty years, or thirty. It happens.
kakashi: Thank you. Absolutely ridiculous. Which makes me a bit sad. Because it does lessen my pleasure that this drama promised and delivered in the beginning. 

Whatever, ridiculous set up or not, those are the rules for this story. She believed what she was told, and her heart was broken. He believed what he saw, and his heart was broken. Neither pursued it with the other. 'You're supposed to fight for your love!' Give me a break. People misinterpret that constantly and it pisses me off. Fight for your love does not mean chase a person until they break down and give in to you. Fight for your love means love is HARD and when two people have it they should pay attention to it and make an effort to keep it strong. One person will lag and the other will pick up the slack, and then maybe the situation reverses. But they're both committed to the relationship and THAT'S what the fight is; to stay that way. Because life and familiarity can wear you down. But when a person decides that they're done and tells you they're out? There is no fight for that. That person is gone.
kakashi: Be gone, polar bear, be gone! 

None of which should be interpreted to mean that I want Ji Yeon with Shi Hoo. I do not. What happened to them was tragic, but that love is in the past. Time to move on. Until next week: Puppy forever! Ji Yeon-ah, be strong!

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