Yoo Na's Street - Episode 15 (A CatchUpCap)

Almost nothing happens this episode, and yet a LOT happens. The plot takes a back seat for a while as we slow down to take a closer look at our characters, particularly Chang-man and his relationships with the people around him. Turns out, he's just as flawed and imperfect as everyone else.
Mary: O___O
kakashi: He can be a real dick if he wants to, yes. A righteous bastard. 

Episode 15

Yoo-na and Chang-man find Nam-su waiting outside the house. The boys act friendly, but the air is thick with animosity. While Yoo-na looks at them like they're aliens, they decide to go for drinks.
kakashi: Chang-man .... *shakes head*. What's he up to? His "I really wanted to see you" does indeed sound like a provocation or a joke, I'm not surprised Nam-su is highly weary. 

Axe Grandpa and Curly are already ahead of them. Curly consoles Grandpa about being rejected by that grandmother at the colatec. Curly even compares him to Jang Dong-gun (pfft - ahahahaha), and Grandpa admits that when he was young, he heard that he looked like Namkoong Won (a popular actor in the 1960s). Curly: "To be honest... you're not at Namkoong Won's level." HAHAHA.
kakashi ... implying he is Jang Dong-gun level? Ahahahaa. 
Chang-man and Nam-su decide to drink at the convenience store, and Chang-man, acting pretty cocky, tells Yoo-na that he's paying, so she'd better not stop him. Which, naturally, get's a "Whut? Why would I?" reaction out of her. They arrive just as Grandpa and Curly are leaving. Yoo-na introduces Nam-su, but he hesitates when Grandpa asks about his work. Chang-man jumps in to say he works in distribution logistics. Grandpa and Curly are impressed, and they head back home.
Mary: There's a sarcastic tone when Chang-man says "distribution logistics" though. I'm watching you, Chang-man. Don't step on my Nam-su!
kakashi: Seriously, what a pompous dick he is right now! 

The remaining three sit down, and Chang-man hands Yoo-na some money and tells her to get some beer and whatever snacks she wants. To which I say, WHAT? She goes - reluctantly - and Chang-man remarks that she's follows orders well - if he says go, she goes. She may look cold, but she's quite submissive to men. BLECH. Stop trying to stake your claim, Chang-man - it is very UN-attractive! I will not hug you, I will poke your eyes out!! Bad Ajusshi! *parks self next to Nam-su and glares at Chang-man*
Mary: Ehem. *squeezes in between becca and Nam-su* yeah, stop being such an ass, Chang-man! It's annoying how he talks about Yoo-na like some pet just to show off in front of Nam-su.
kakashi: It's gorilla behavior. Tsts. 
Back at the house, Grandpa and Curly pause to look at the moon, and Grandpa says that perhaps Mrs. Curly is looking at it, too, from the detention center. Curly asks if she can really see it from her room there, and Grandpa says of course - but whether she looks or not is up to her. He heads inside, saying that he drowned all his bad thoughts about the colatec incident when he drank. Curly looks at the moon again and sighs that they only parted this morning, but he already misses her. Aww.
Mary: I wonder if this will be important later. Since this is just a remake of Moon of Seoul drama. :/ Am I the only one weirded out by how aegyo-ey Curly and Wife are? It's cute, but also weird.
kakashi: I love that line: that the moon is there to see for anyone, but it's up to you to look or not. Beautiful. 

Upstairs Curly knocks on Chang-man's door, looking for Gye-pal. There's no answer, so he calls his cell. Gye-pal picks up and says he's at the hospital. Curly plans to write to his wife and wants to know if there's anything that needs improvement at the detention center. Gye-pal says to tell her not to play basketball because the balls are bad there - he injured his back because it didn't bounce well. Pfft. Curly finds that as ridiculous as I do and calls him Hong Buddha for not suing.
Mary: Pffft. Gye-pal blames everything on the universe! Wait... I do that too! Does that make me a Gye-pal??? I wanted to be a Yoo-na or Yang-sun or Madame! T_______T
kakashi: I'm the exact opposite, always giving the universe a free pass. 
Curly composes an e-mail to Booking Ajumma, telling her that a person's life depends on their mindset. If you look at the stars with a beautiful mindset, they are beautiful. If you look at them with a dirty mindset, they are dirty. The beautiful moon that's above them tonight probably looks like a deflated basketball in the eyes of Gye-pal. *dying* He ends saying that they shouldn't live blaming others but accepting everything that comes their way with a good mindset. They should live well. He signs it as "the man who will love you forever." My heart melts a bit.
Mary: He's no Song Jae-rim, but it was sweet and though I find it weird, it's also nice to see an old couple still having "that loving feeling".
kakashi: Haha, they're not that old!!! And isn't it normal to deeply care for your spouse?! Maybe it's because they don't have kids, too: it helps with the staying focused on each other.
Nam-su asks about what happened to Yoo-na today, and Chang-man inserts himself into the conversation, answering all his questions and making a show of how he takes care of Yoo-na. It's annoying. Nam-su says as much, and Chang-man notes that he's using banmal. It's fast turning into a fight, and Yoo-na, who's been watching them like aliens this whole time, tells them both to shut up and drink their beer.
Mary: HAHAHA. If this were a variety show, they'd insert that sound clip of a puppy whining. But seriously, points to Nam-su for not taking shit from Chang-man and pointing out how rude he's acting.
kakashi: Extremely annoying, but also funny. A bit. Is he drunk or is he just acting drunk? 

When they get back to the house, Nam-su tells Yoo-na to go ahead. He wants to talk to Chang-man, who is a little drunk. She goes reluctantly, but not before turning back to double check that they won't fight. Nam-su wants to just put it all out there: Chang-man knows what he and Yoo-na do right? (This suddenly sounds dirty to me, and since I'm mad at Chang-man right now, I'm a little sad that it isn't.) Chang-man admits that he knows the gist of it. Nam-su says that he's held it in, but he can't let it go any further: getting close to Yoo-na is the same as getting close to their ring. If that happens, Chang-man will get hurt.
Mary: Nam-su forgot to clarify, "will get hurt by me". LOL
kakashi: Sorry, mary, your Nam-su doesn't stand a chance against this black-belt (or whatever color he's got).
Chang-man calls that an excuse. He says he might let go if someone tells him to, but if someone threatens him weakly like this, he absolutely won't let go. Then he gets up real close and tells him to listen closely: if his fate is to see the woman he loves snatched away by a pickpocket, he'd rather he hadn't been born at all. *recoils* Daaaaamn, Chang-man. That was low.
Mary: I took extreme pleasure in laughing at how Chang-man's height changes during close-ups. He must have to stand in those mini-platform thingies for this pissing contest with Nam-su.
kakashi: Camera angles? And wow, that was a mean thing to say. 

Nam-su throws a punch, but Chang-man easily catches his wrist and reminds him that Yoo-na told them not to fight.
Mary: HMPH. Nam-su would've hit Chang-man if his right hand wasn't injured. T____T
kakashi: ... and Chang-man got even meaner by saying: and your hand doesn't even work properly. It's like saying ... you're the lowest for being a pickpocket, but you're ten times lower cause you can't even do that anymore. 
The next morning, Manbo starts making plans to tear down Gye-pal's room and set up a rooftop garden, where they can grow their own food. Chang-man feels bad that Gye-pal won't have anywhere to go, but Curly says that's just what he needs to come to his senses and tells Chang-man to stop taking Gye-pal's side. Back in the old days, if a man committed treason, his house would be torn down and they'd put a pond in its place. Chang-man takes issue with the treason comparison, but Curly figures Gye-pal is still a bad egg. He says Gye-pal messed up his own life and looks forward to drinking soju and eating samgyupsal with fresh lettuce up on the roof, but Chang-man still pities Gye-pal and can't rejoice at his misfortunes.
Mary: LOL at how detailed Curly's fantasies are about how great life would be without Gye-pal. (And Manbo jumping to peek at the roof. I bet that's an adlib. Lee Moon Shik is too cute. Heehee)
kakashi: *Heartbeams*. But I'm not sure how I feel about this destruction eagerness. I don't like Gye-pal, but this seems mean. 

Gye-pal calls Chang-man to tell him he's getting discharged, but he has nowhere to go. Chang-man suggests his hoobae's dog farm, which doesn't really please Gye-pal. I'm just glad he won't be coming back to Chang-man's room. He won't, right?
Mary: *sits in corner and duct tapes her own mouth*
kakashi: Oh fuck.
Next, Mi-sun knocks at Chang-man's door: they're out of toilet paper, and Yoo-na is stuck in the bathroom. When she brings it back to Yoo-na and says where she got it, Yoo-na fusses at her for telling Chang-man she was stuck without toilet paper. Mi-sun perks up and teases that Yoo-na only wants Chang-man to see her pretty side, which is denied of course. But we and Mi-sun know that she likes him, and we're a little smug about it.
Mary: HAHAHAHAHA. Poor Yoo-na. Big sisters are like that, they think your crush is just cute but not very important. So they end up making you "embarrassed" in front of the person you like.
kakashi: it's a little mean, but we also see that Mi-sun likes Yoo-na. No grudge there. 
Gye-pal gets discharged, and Chang-man escorts him out to meet his hoobae, reminding him to take his medicine and come back for follow-ups with his doctor. He even promises to keep an eye out for a job for Gye-pal. *sigh*
kakashi: ... and Gye-pal says "you absolutely MUST find me a job". Ack! 

Wow, everyone wants Chang-man, don't they? Now it's Madame's turn to call: she wants him to meet her at the market and help her select the food for the colatec. He impresses the vendor and Madame by recognizing the quality of the frozen pollack by the clearness of its eyes (he says it's the same as with people), then they take a break to eat.
Mary: DON'T LISTEN TO THAT FISH AJUMMA. She was the one who fought with Hani in Surplus Princess ep4!!!
kakashi: Is there only one fish ahjumma in Seoul who can act? 
Chang-man asks about Da-yeong and hears that she still isn't coming home, even after Manbo tried talking to her, and he says Manbo isn't really a sweet-talker, and he has a stubborn streak, too. Madame agrees that it's a problem, and Dong-min says that he scares him (awww). Chang-man says it's bad to let things continue like this, especially between children and parents - they should resolve it and put it behind them before things get worse. Madame told him as much, but Manbo still won't give in, even though he can't sleep at night and is constantly missing and worrying about Da-yeong. He sighs that it must be hard for her, and she says there's someone even more loathsome.
kakashi: Da-yeong is just like her father, seriously. Damn stubborn but far less cute. 

On the way home, Madame admits that it's Curly: he's so happy about the rooftop room being torn down. Chang-man admits that he hates seeing him act that way, too. She knows Gye-pal isn't great by any stretch of the imagination, but she can't help thinking of how pitiful he'll be when he comes back.
kakashi: I hate it when people come to me to vent about other people. Especially if I'm friends with all of them. I don't envy Chang-man.
She obviously needs to talk to someone, though. Does she have no other friends that she can tell these things to?
She plans to visit him at the detention center and asks if he wants to come along. Chang-man makes up with excuses about having to work and swears it's not that he doesn't want to vist Gye-pal. (Seriously, just TELL HER.)
Mary: I'm just cackling at Chang-man's "Oh shit" face when Madame wants to visit Gye-pal and he has to make excuses.
kakashi: Yeah, why doesn't he tell her? I think he promised Gye-pal not to, especially his sister.

Chang-man proposes that he'll try and convince Da-yeong to come home, so she should try to stop the rooftop room being torn down. She's not confident, saying even if Da-yeong came home, she wouldn't side with them since she hates her uncle so much. So Chang-man says they should convince her first, then put up a united front against Manbo. She can't let him get his way forever, after all. Madame likes that idea and decides that if he can be a gangster, she can too. Chang-man reminds her not to tell Manbo he put her up to this, heh.
kakashi: I am looking forward to seeing her "go gangster". 
Yoo-na meets up with Hwa-sun, who tries to make up with her, but Yoo-na's having none of it. She asks about Dong-sik (Hwa-sun's gangster boyfriend) and hears that he's in prison. That's not why they're meeting, though: she tells Hwa-sun about the sauna theft and orders her to find the thieves and report back to her. Hwa-sun promises to do well and hopes that Yoo-na will be able to forgive her.
Mary: Hwa-sun keeps trying to suck up to Yoo-na. But Yoo-na wants none of that shit. LOL
kakashi: She's still creepy, this Hwa-sun, like a mouse or something. 
Curly visits his wife at the detention center. He tells her about Gye-pal and asks if she's okay. She says she's doing fine and has been put in the sewing division, making "worry dolls." Ever since she started making them, all her worries have disappeared. They're tiny dolls that you can put under your pillow as you sleep, and they'll take all your worries away. She tells him about the shop where they're sold and tells him to go buy some for everyone - Yoo-na, Mi-sun, and even Gye-pal. She tells him not to think so unkindly toward Gye-pal: it was her own greed that put her in here.
Mary: kakashi has worry dolls. She sticks pins into them. (Remember Alex in WTFParis? The one we kinda like now? Heheh.) I bet it helps a lot in relieving stress...
kakashi: Oh, it totally does. Curly's wife is a saint, right? 
Yoo-na tells Yang-sun unni about using Hwa-sun, and Yang-sun tells her to be careful - Hwa-sun has already betrayed her once. Yoo-na insists that she won't be fooled twice.
kakashi: Uh-oh. Why this interlude?! I'm watching you, show.

Mi-sun arrives at the noraebang with Min-kyu, and while Bong shows him to one of the rooms, Mi-sun hilariously chides Yoo-na for using banmal with Min-kyu. Pffft. Yoo-na asks if she should call him "brother-in-law." Mi-sun is upset, though, so Yoo-na promises to address him as "Min-kyu-sshi" - as an equal.
kakashi: ... or not. Ahahaha. She clearly doesn't like him and will never respect him.

With that settled, Mi-sun goes into the room, where Min-kyu sings a song to noona. She's touched, and I find it a little awkward (and flat). (and breathless. He can't sing)
Mary: It's so awkward. Like, how can you just stand there while someone sings a whole song to you??? I can't even sit still when they sing Happy Birthday before I blow my cake.
Yoo-na gets back home and finds Axe Grandpa practicing his dance steps with Dong-min. When Dong-min gets called inside by his mom, Grandpa reminds him not to tell his parents what they're up to: it's their secret. Ohhhkay, that doesn't sound weird weird. Grandpa shows Yoo-na the worry doll that Curly brought him and gives it to her. He doesn't believe in it's worry-reducing powers: for him, the place to lose his troubles is Cha Cha Cha Colatec. Then he asks if she can jitterbug and shows her some steps, which makes her smile.
kakashi: It made me smile too. So cute. And I think he's still hurt by the rejection.
Upstairs, Yoo-na finds a package of toilet paper outside her door (LOL) and knocks on Chang-man's door. He's drinking with Curly and invites her to join them. She asks about the toilet paper, and he is hilariously pleased with himself, acting like a hero and lecturing her that she should always have extra on hand. There's nothing more tragic than having to borrow from a neighbor! She's annoyed and snaps at him that if he did something nice, he shouldn't be such a braggart.
Mary: LOL
kakashi: It's his most annoying side, yes. 

Curly cuts in to give her the dolls for her and Mi-sun, and she promises to sleep with it under her pillow and leaves, though not without another reminder to Chang-man not to be so high and mighty. Back in the hallway, she kicks at the toilet paper like a sulking kid before dusting it off and carrying it inside. Haha!
Mary: Very practical, is our Yoo-na.
kakashi: I kick and curse objects too. It helps. 
Da-yeong is still ignoring Madame's calls, so she calls her friend instead, relaying Manbo's questions about how Da-yeong is doing. After she hangs up, Manbo fusses and worries about Da-yeong not eating right. Instead of worrying so much, Madame urges him to ask Chang-man to convince Da-yeong to come back home. She insists that Chang-man doesn't like Da-yeong - it's completely one-sided.
Mary: Look what a softy Manbo is. Is he drinking with worry over his precious daughter eating instant ramen? Haha!
kakashi: Fathers and daughters ... some things never change.
In the morning, a contractor arrives to make an estimate on tearing down Gye-pal's room, and Madame watches as Curly greets him happily and bargains with him over the price.

Manbo apologizes to Chang-man, telling him that he'll understand how a father feels when he has a daughter of his own. He's heard that Chang-man and Yoo-na are something of an item now and gives his approval. He can judge a person just by looking at their eyes, and he says Yoo-na is all right: she has eyes that don't lie, so Chang-man should date her.
kakashi: Hahaha, he is laying on thick because he wants to pimp away Chang-man! He doesn't trust him not to like his daughter, because how could anyone not like his daughter, right?
*takes out pen and paper* Shall I make a list?
As he drives, Chang-man thinks of Bong's words: that the eyes of thieves are different than others'. They don't dare look people in the eye. Chang-man asks if Yang-sun is still like that, and Bong tells him she's better. If a thief wants to reform, the main thing they need is focused attention. Yoo-na is different, though - she doesn't need that because she never avoids anyone's eyes. She has a look of conviction, and it's not that she's shameless - "there's a subtle truth."
kakashi: Everybody is shipping them together :)

Chang-man says he gets that sense, too, but all talk of truth and lies aside, he says, Yoo-na's eyes are the prettiest of all. Dang. I wanted to stay mad at you, Chang-man! But you said that so sweetly, I'm having a hard time!
Mary: Maybe Yoo-na isn't shy about what she does because of that Pride In Your Work thing she's been talking about in the past episodes?
kakashi: A new generation of pickpockets.

In the present, Chang-man parks and looks at pictures of Yoo-na on his phone, zooming in on her eyes. He even kisses the screen, then smiles goofily. Grrr, so adorable!
kakashi: D'awwwwz. 
Turns out, he's come to see Da-yeong, and she seems touched that he came all this way for her. She points the pretty scenery, but he admits that he can't really enjoy it in his current situation. He tells her about Manbo putting all the blame on him for her leaving home and how awkward it's become. He urges her to come home, and she's disappointed that that's why he's here. He doesn't coddle her, though, and tells her straight that if things continue like this, he'll have no choice but to leave the house and the colatec. That shouldn't affect her decision, however, he says. He turns to go, and she asks in disbelief if that's really all he came for. He says sorry, but he doesn't have anything else to say right now. He leaves her on the verge of tears.
Mary: Daaaaaamn, Chang-man. That was harsh. I approve.
kakashi: Extremely harsh. But it's what she needs to hear, the spoilt brat. 

Meanwhile, Madame goes to visit Gye-pal and finds out that he's already left. She calls Chang-man, who is already back at the colatec, and he softly admits to knowing everything. She insists that he explain himself for keeping it from her, but he says it's too complicated, so he'll tell her when they get home. He promises to find out how Gyepal's doing, and she hangs up on him, upset and disappointed.
kakashi:... I hope not for long.

So Chang-man goes to the dog farm (it exists! I was surprised too!) and asks about Gye-pal. He's told that he slept there one night, then left. But the woman he talks to has no idea where he went. So Chang-man asks about the owner of the farm, but he was taken away by the police that very morning. Eek!


Throughout this episode, I kept swinging back and forth between happiness and frustration because the thing is, these are very human characters. They mess up and do or say things that make me mad, and then they turn around and do something sweet or funny, and I just want to hug them. And that's how real people are: they disappoint you, make you laugh, then make you cry again, but somehow, you find a way to keep loving them.
kakashi: ... but some we just hate, like Gye-pal. *shudders* 

And so it was with Chang-man in this episode. He made me mad. He made me happy. He disappointed me, and he disappointed some of the people around him - like Madame, who trusted him, only to discover he was lying to her about her brother. He treated Nam-su badly, and Yoo-na, too, to a degree, and his self-righteous attitude was off-putting to say the least. But you know what? He has never been more human than in this episode. Early on, he was the perfect man - we were squinting to figure out just what was wrong with him - and now we see him clearly. He has faults, he gets tired, he has an ego, and he makes mistakes. He also shows compassion, though, and sometimes even wisdom. He wants to do the right thing, but it turns out, he can get just as confused about what the right thing is as the rest of us.
Mary: O___O
kakashi: Wonderfully said, becca. *thunderous applause*
I've been warned that we're heading into rough waters with Chang-man, and you all know how much I love him, so you know I'm worried. He's human - he's going to disappoint me more in the future, and I only hope that he'll come out on the other side stronger and better. I also hope that I can keep loving him, flaws and all.
Mary: *wraps another layer of duct tape on self*