My Love Eun Dong - Episode 3 (A SqueeCap)

Cute and smiling Joo Jin Mo is a treat.  Since we still have no idea where the story will take us, shall we pretend for now that we've never seen a K-Drama and that this will end with unicorns and rainbows?
Oh yes! Let's! Smiley Joo Jin Mo is maybe my newest favourite thing. Pleeeeeaaaaase drama make sure he smiles lots more before the inevitable sad-face-crying Joo Jin Mo. 

Episode 3

Ji Eun Ho is charmingly self-deprecating as he allows himself to be questioned at the start of his press conference, and he is very forthcoming about his purpose. He confirms that he is writing his autobiography as a means to find someone, and he offers her name slowly, so that they can be sure to mention it correctly. She is Ji Eun Dong, and she is not just his first love, but his fiancée.
I think those reporters are definitely fan girls. I mean, who asks about abs at a news conference?!?! Actually, Eun Ho, please show us those abs. I don't believe you that you haven't been working out. 
Elsewhere in the building a lovely business woman (Kim Yoo Ri) casually asks her assistant if Eun Ho's press conference has begun. This is Jo Seo Ryeong, wealthy head of the hotel. She makes it downstairs just in time to hear Eun Ho describe Eun Dong as his fiancée, and the announcement does not make her happy. What's not clear yet is whether it was news to her or an unwelcome fact she already possessed.
Poor Kim Yoo Ri. Always destined to play the second lead. She's adorable, pretty, and can do comedy well (thank you Master's Sun), so why isn't she playing the lead? I digress. 
Fortunately for us, she immediately goes for an expositionary lunch with Lee Hyun Bal (played by Kim Yong Hee), part of Eun Ho's management agency. We quickly learn that the book was news to both of them, although Eun Dong is only news to Seo Ryeong. Hyun Bal tries to play it off as Eun Ho searching for a girl who was like a younger sister to him, and mentions their names as proof of that near-sibling relationship: Ji Eun Ho, Ji Eun Dong. Except for the part where Eun Ho clearly said that she was his fiancée, it all makes perfect sense the way Hyun-Bal tells it.
Maybe Hyun Bal was watching too much sageuk and forgot it's not okay to marry one's sibling in today's modern age.  

Jo Seo Ryeong is not a fool. She knows Eun Dong is no cute little sister fondly remembered, and she is not at all pleased by this turn of events. She orders Hyun Bal to find Eun Dong, so she can 'see what kind of woman she is.' Left unsaid: '...and then make her disappear forever.' But we know, don't we.
Seo Ryung's thinking: Perhaps I should serve this Eun Dong woman some poisoned tea. That seemed to work for Honey Lee. Tea, tea would be good. 
Eun Ho spends his evenings soaking dramatically and watching a continuous loop of a few minutes of Eun Dong on film. It's totally not weird or obsessive or anything.  Nope., I was staring at that gif of Eun Ho in the bathtub. What was that about obsessive? 
The next day, Ko Dong Kyu (Eun Ho's manager, adorably played by Kim Min Ho) meets with Seo Jung Eun, who's been hired to ghost-write the autobiography. Seo Jung Eun is played by the absolutely radiantly lovely Kim Sa Rang, and it's no surprised to any of you that she's going to turn out to be Eun Dong, of course. Jung Eun is a friend of Dong Kyu's eonnie Mi Soon, and she's both disappointed and relieved that Eun Ho hasn't come along for the meeting. 
Considering how everyone is Korean dramas knows each other, why is it that I have still to run into all these stars?! I should have met at least one by now! 

Dong Kyu explains that Eun Ho is leaving for the states the next day to film a movie, and that his intention is to record his thoughts and she can write the story from the recordings.  She's thrilled at the bits of the story he shares with her in advance.  Man, is she in for a surprise!
She is so cute! I just love her already! 
 Even though we learned earlier that Eun Ho totally doesn't sleep around (from Dong Kyu, via Mi Soon, in a conversation with Jung Eun), it appears it's not for lack of opportunity.  Seo Ryeong shows up at his place in a skirt that displays her (much too) skinny thighs to poor advantage, and she proceeds to be uncomfortably cute and sexually forward in about the worst possible way you can imagine. Honestly, it's embarrassing.
What's up with the taekwondo inspired fashion here? Comfortably sexy? Oppa shall we have a bout of wrestling? 
See that look on his face?   He couldn't shut her down any harder if he said he liked men. I somehow think that while she might have been carrying a torch for a long time, it's only now that she's really being aggressive about it. Pushed to desperation by the threat of mysterious Eun Dong, I suppose.
Oppa, you're so warm! I know she totally gets shut down, but boy, I don't blame her for wanting to hug Joo Jin Mo. He looks so comfortable and lovely to hug. Can you imagine what it would be like to be hugged by him. Oh dear, I really shouldn't try and imagine that, should I?
He is kind but very clear: he is not going to sleep with her and he's not going to allow himself to get closer to her. She wants to know if it's because of 'that woman' Eun Dong. When he can't do anything but look at his feet bashfully, she announces that this is no fun and she's leaving. It's all fairly light-hearted, but as she leaves she predicts that eventually, he'll want her.

Well, now we know what kind of second lead she'll be: the especially hateful kind. One of those who figure that if they just hang in there long enough (and do enough mean, underhanded shit to their rival), they're bound to win the guy in the end because they've somehow 'earned' it.
I really don't understand the whole: "If I am pushy enough, one day he will fall in love with me" logic of second female leads written like this. I mean, does this actually work for people? But ooh look! He's smiling. *melts into a puddle* #cantthinkclearly
At home, Jung Eun is busily cleaning the floor while her husband (Kim Tae Hoon!) lounges around on the bed like a slug, reading. She doesn't seem to mind though, so I guess it's none of our business, right? The phone rings and she learns that the job as ghost writer is definite and she'll receive her first payment tomorrow. Husband and wife both grin with happiness and plan to have ribs to celebrate. Okay, they're cute and they seem happy. I finally get Kim Tae Hoon as a good guy, and I'm going to have to dislike him for getting in the way of True Love? This doesn't seem fair.
Right?! He has such a lovely smile! They are so cute and happy! It seems almost unfair to turn their life together upside down. 
The next day Dong Kyu fills Eun Ho in on Writer Seo. She used to edit a Korean-language paper in the US and has only been back in Korea for a few months. He swears that she's a good person, because she has really nice eyes that crinkle when she smiles. Eun Ho laughs and wonders aloud if she's single, but no, Dong Kyu says, she's married. He's just a good judge of character, it's not because she was pretty. It's clear that the men have a close, affectionate relationship. This is good news, because Dong Kyu can help counteract that skinny witch.
Wait, what was that? Joo Jin Mo smiling is about going to undo me here. I heart managernim. He is adorable! Also, how is it that Joo Jin Mo manages to make everywhere he sits look like a fashion shoot. He knows just how to sit to show off that lovely physique. 
Hyun Bal is worried about the autobiography and wants Dong Kyu to stop it somehow. When Dong Kyu says he doesn't see the harm, we learn that 'Director Jo' has her fingers in the business.  How isn't clear yet, but what she wants stopped must be stopped.  Hyun  Bal supports her because if she and Eun Ho get married, it will benefit everyone.  Does everyone just assume that the way to a man's heart is by wearing him down like water on a rock?
Hyun Bal, perplexed by life and love since 2005. Or perhaps he's just the Korean Harry Potter all grown up? I also love that Dong Kyu is all like: uh-hmmm, yes, yes, but all the while he's totally only going to follow Eun Ho's orders. Yay for managernim! Team Eun Ho all the way!

Seo Jung Eun spends part of her days working in a busy children's clothing store. She's cheerful and bright, and as it often works out in KDramaLand, one of her customers is someone we recognize - Eun Ho's mother.  She's shopping for clothing for a 7-year-old granddaughter, but they aren't close and Grandma doesn't know much about her. 
Yay! Everyone is getting acquainted! That will help so much later on when everything's falling to pieces and they'll want someone to blame. It will certainly make introductions a tad easier. 

In the evening, Jung Eun begins transcribing the first file and is immediately drawn into the story.  Since we can hear Eun Ho's voice, too, it's easy to hear why.
Didn't you or someone else on Twitter mention that he needs to patent his voice ASAP? Can I also please ghost write a book for Eun Ho?! I wouldn't know how to spell most of what he's saying, but at least I'd get to listen. 
He starts with the motorcycle story, and reminisces that after their accident and her generous help during his court hearing, he was curious to know how Eun Dong was doing and whether she was alright.  He began to feel that it was his fate to take care of her.  On the tape, Eun Ho acknowledges that while they were both very young, his heart still moved every time he thought of her, and we can see that Eun Dong was equally caught up by Eun Ho. 
The good times didn't last long, though, and it's painful for Jung Eun to imagine a young Eun Ho crying out for his lost love. Adult Eun Ho wonders in her ear why he didn't realize before then that Eun Dong could disappear suddenly.  He admits that he didn't even know her last name, and then goes on to say that they reconnected anyhow, like something out of a dream or a movie.
The young Eun Ho/Hyun Soo and Eun Dong were so unbelievably sweet. I know a lot of people have been commenting on how squicky they thought it was, but somehow I never found it so. She's the Beatrice to his Dante, literally becoming the catalyst for him changing his life. I know the drama didn't spend that much time on it, but he was going down and the bad guy path, and then Eun Dong intervened. His admiration and decades long devotion seems to me more him being in love with the idea of Eun Dong than even the person, though they also had a great connection. You know, being in love with the idea of someone being their good luck charm and reason for being a better person, and then later, when they meet in 2005, that's when the sexual chemistry hots up.
What follows is an odd sort of foreshadowing flashback. I'll let the explanations come in order, but for now just enjoy the pretty shots, those of you reading but not watching.  
'Is it you?  Have you been well?'

'You can let out your emotions, Oppa'
'Eun Dong told me to wait. But Eun Dong never came back.'
Eun Ho searches for her for weeks, but Eun Dong has disappeared.  She's not teaching the elder class, she's not answering her cell phone, there's no one named Ji Eun Dong even registered at the university, so he storms into class rooms and randomly shouts out similar names to see if he can find her.  Finally, on the day of his discharge from the military, Eun Ho meets with a grandmother from the Korean class. She's very supportive and agrees to keep a letter for Eun Dong just in case, but we learn later that she lost it. It won't matter though, because Eun Dong never appeared again.
K-drama solutions to amnesia: A hefty dose of listening to Joo Jin Mo's voice for hours will guarantee your memory starting to return. Caution: Listening to his voice for long periods of time is known to cause vision blurring, heart palpitations, and questioning why the heck you haven't fallen in love with him already. 

In the present, Writer Seo is completely engrossed in the story she's transcribing, and Joo Jin Moo walks down Memory Lane in the States.
I foresee some coffee CFs coming his way soon. Drinking coffee never looked this sexy.
This time, he revisits the fateful day that really started his acting career. His monologue is an open plea for Eun Dong to love him, and so he's quite convincing in his portrayal. The director asks him to read a scene from the script - the character is explaining to someone why he loves them. It's so close to what he's going through in his own life that he completely loses himself on stage and ends up stealing the part from another, better known actor. This is the role that made him famous, and Eun Ho acknowledges that somehow, Eun Dong has been present at every defining moment in his life.
Eun Ho quickly learns that the secret to acting is to use what you know. Let's hope all his other roles have to do with losing the love of his life or he might be out of a job. 

Jung Eun shares the ongoing story with her friend Mi Soon, who figures it can't possibly be real.  To meet twenty years ago, then again ten years ago?  Stuff like that doesn't happen!  And why would a young man be so interested in a little girl, anyway? Jung Eun says she totally gets that part - it was fated. Mi Soon allows that this could be true, and likens Eun Ho's story to a couple other famous love stories, like The Thorn Birds or Leon. Still, she assumes that if the story is true, then Eun Dong must be dead. Ji Eun Ho is famous! Everyone knows him! How could this girl not recognize him? Eun Dong, on the other hand, is already totally invested in helping the lovers reconnect and doesn't have any problem coming up with excuses for her absence. Both women are a bit swoony over Eun Ho, but Jung Eun admits that the stories are strangely familiar to her and that she even tears up a bit while listening. Of course you do, woman. That voice would do it to anyone.
Mi Soon, the somewhat rational voice of viewers wondering just what fate will deal the parted lovers next. 
Do you not live in Korea, Mi Soon?  Why do you not suspect amnesia as a given?
Eun Ho records that he still has the shoes that Eun Dong gave him. He remembers that she made him one promise, but he's not exactly sure what that promise was. In the flashback, they talk about the things that have made them happiest, but then each also says they now have 'something else' that they like even more. Eun Dong makes Eun Ho promise to be careful on his motorcycle, and in return she says she will make him a promise, too. He asks what it is, but she just smiles and darts away. 

In the present, Jung Eun smiles and calls him a fool, wondering how he didn't know, but Eun Ho's voice on the tape simply says he hopes that the promise was to see each other again.
Oh the cute little boy, he doesn't know that Eun Dong is totally crushing on him. 
He calls out Eun Dong's name, and Writer Seo freezes.  He acknowledges that they didn't have much time together, and that it was a long time ago.  But, he promises, they will be together again.  He will not stop looking for her until then.  Jung Eun is touched by his sincerity, and Eun Ho continues: 'Eun Dong said that the shiniest stars are the ones that take the longest to form.  If we can reunite after a long time and spend many years shining together, I will wait for her.'
Eun Ho. You beautiful man you. I really think that along with patenting Joo Jin Mo's voice, we should develop some sort of memory therapy using his voice as well. Perhaps we could develop a system of Joo Jin Mo speaking and Park Hyo Shin singing. Or would just cause us all to faint?
We learn why Jung Eun works so hard when her husband enters the room in a wheelchair. It looks like he has some use of his left hand but that's about it.  He good-naturedly ribs her about working too hard and she barely registers when he says he'll put their child to bed since she's so busy.  Okay I have a lot of questions now.
Crap! Now it's going to be harder to not like the hubby. I mean, it's not like we can advocate her leaving her wheelchair bound husband for Eun Ho. 

Later that evening, he worries again that she's working too hard, and marvels to hear that Eun Ho considers Eun Dong his fate.  Jung Eun says that it's just like their own story - love at first sight.  Her husband says there's no way they could love each other as much, though, and Jung Eun laughs and says that Eun Ho and Eun Dong are probably right behind them in the ranking of great loves.
Oh noes! This really makes things tricksier. They really do seem totally in love.
Jung Eun happens to visit the management agency on the day Eun Ho returns from the US.  They almost meet - definitely catching sight of each other and registering something, but it's not a good enough look for either to recognize the other.
Elevator doors of fate. Perhaps we can have a Sliding Doors situation where we have two Eun Dong timelines. In one she gets her memory back and reunites with Eun Ho, and the other she can make hubby happy and not leave him. 

At the agency, Eun Ho and Hyun Bal discuss their trouble-making CEO and Eun Ho repeats that Hyun Bal should not be plotting anything with Jo Seo Ryeong.  Even though she's pretty, rich, and smart, he's not interested in her that way.  This frustrates Hyun Bal, of course.
Hyun Bal, as hard as he tries, he can't pose as sexily as Eun Ho can without even trying. That look his Eun Ho's Blue Steel.
Home and cranky, Eun Ho requests a clear schedule for three days so that he can rest.  Dong Kyu mentions that 'the ghost writer' came by and sighs that she's very pretty, prompting Eun Ho to accuse him of hiring her for looks, not skill.  He asks a couple questions about her and it seems casual, but he keeps going back to that brief glimpse of her in the hall.  In her own home, Jung Eun wishes she'd introduced herself when she had the chance.
Eun Ho. Please wear that leather jacket all the time. Well, whenever you're not giving us broody bathtub scenes that is. 
Eun Ho makes a visit to his sister's home where he is predictably adorable with his cute little niece.  Ah, this is who the clothes were for.  It turns out that Sis married the man with cancer, but had to split from her family to do it. She remained estranged from her parents after his death, although brother and sister maintain a close relationship.
That little girl, the envy of all the women watching the drama. Eun Ho manages to pose like it's a magazine shoot yet again. I feel really bad for the sister. It's got to be really hard to marry the man you love, have a child, and know he's going to die, and then on top of that all, to be estranged from her family all for doing so. 
During the day while Jung Eun works at the clothing store, her husband is attending physical therapy.  You know his doctor will turn out to be Eun Ho's sister, right?  Eun Ho is on set and during a break he calls Jung Eun to confirm that she found the grandmother from the District Office and to suggest dinner for the three of them. The sound of his voice triggers something in Jung Eun this time, and she has some disjointed flashes of images - but are they her own memories, or are they inspired by the story she's been told?
Of course she's going to be his doctor because there's only ever like one doctor or hospital in a drama. But can the sister and Eun Dong become BFFs? That would be awesome! 

Talking to the grandmother about that missing letter sparks something too, and by the time Eun Ho calls back to complete arrangements for dinner, Jung Eun is in a situation of confusing and emotional overload.  Why is this story so personal to her?
At this point, if I were Eun Dong, I would be running to the doctor to say something mega strange is up. Also, you would think she would have tried to regain her lost memories. Missing out on 20 plus years seems like kind of a big deal to me. 


I'm not sure how much more they can up the stakes of this story without giving Eun Ho or Eun Dong a deadly disease, and so I'm a bit worried.  It's only Episode 3!  Obviously he will recognize her immediately when they meet, but I think Hyun Bal must know her, too, right?  What happens when it's all out in the open?  Why doesn't she remember him?  IS she Eun Dong?  Where did the crippled husband and school-age child come from?  Was she already married back then?  ...would she really leave a crippled husband to go to a man she hasn't seen in ten years?  How do they make THAT look okay to us? 
For real. How can there already be so much story and it's only episode 3!? I do appreciate the story being more complicated in that she is married and has a child and Eun Ho has to confront the fact that he's loved a woman on a pedestal for 20 years (always a dangerous thing when people fall from pedestals). But I do love that the story seems to be throwing them together sooner rather than later. Let's hope that the next episodes at least start to answer all these questions. 

Here's what I don't want:  week after week of them ALMOST being in the same room together.  Either one of them to die just as they finally work it all out so that they CAN be together.  I might accept a decision for her to stay with her husband, depending on how they got together.  I love seeing Kim Tae Hoon as a nice guy...but he plays bad guys too often for me to trust this.
I wonder if Kim Tae Hoon even bothers to audition for anything other than bad guy roles considering his track record. It would be nice if he were the good guy-ish at least once. 
((ppst, this is Kakashi speaking: he [SPOILER] is a good guy, over in Hidden Identity!))