Thumping Spike - Episode 18 (A Squeecap)

Trotwood: Once again, I am changing the title and calling this episode “Confirmation.” In it, we get a confirmation not only of the feelings that Se Ra has for Jae Woong, but also the feeling that he has for her and the real friendship (and maturity) between Jae Woong and Woo Jin. We get a confirmation that our Climbing Tree Puppy would make such a deliciously good and faithful and wonderful boyfriend lead (can you imagine him in the role of the Master for a Korean version of Love 020? I SURE CAN) (JoAnne: You are a DEVIL. A DEVIL, I tell you. I am ruined.) And a confirmation that the team is going all the way to the finals (like that wasn’t a given).
kakashi: Hey, I totally liked this episode! No buts! Some butts. It was cute, romantic, and heartwarming. If only Se Ra would stop annoying me. ((and why do this pictures look cropped? Weird. Well, the boys' heads are a bit elongated, I hope y'all don't mind)) (((and then, it wouldn't let me do gifs! Sorry)))
Sorry, still composing myself. Trot is evil.
(Innocently looking around) Me? Evil?

Episode 18: A Promise

We open with Jae Woong calling Woo Jin out into the hallway. He asks him why he apologized to him earlier. Woo Jin is silently guilty, so Jae Woong presses on. He asks him if he is the reason Se Ra rejected him because Woo Jin confessed as well. Why does she have to reject everyone? Woo Jin finally speaks up, and with a slight defensive tone tells Jae Woong that he liked Se Ra long before Jae Woong did, and that Jae Woong knows nothing about her. Woo Jin starts in about her stats and how good a player she is and that he has the same number on his jersey that she used to have.
I nodded when he said he was there first, but that doesn't count, of course. And as we soon realize (and our Climbing Tree does as well), idolizing a person does not equal love.
That's okay, Puppy. You can idolize me. I'll settle for it. I'm generous that way.
However, Jae Woong is having none of this. He admits that he doesn’t know Se Ra the volleyball star, but he knows Se Ra the regular person. Here we get flashbacks to all the times he has spent with her. He goes over the things he does know about her: how she uses the same password number for everything, how she makes him confused and frustrated and his heart pound, but he loves her anyway. Awwww. Woo Jin is speechless at this. It’s an interesting confrontation between friends and a moment of recognition of the difference in their feelings. You can see Woo Jin growing up before our very eyes in this show (come to me, my Climbing Puppy. I will feed you and pet you and make it all better. Don’t worry. Jo is busy in moon saeguk land with side trips to China.)
This is one of the best scenes in the whole drama. Yes, Climbing Tree realizes that he is not as worthy of her as he is. It's the loving for loving's sake versus loving someone's position in life. This makes Woo Jin such a great and likeable character. He is 2nd lead, but he has none of the character traits we usually get with them.
Yes, MY puppy is great. I recognized it long ago. Warning, Trot: I'm an excellent multi-tasker.
Yes, but I'm very nimble.
The next scene is of Se Ra in hospital, in bed reading a magazine. Her phone rings, and it’s Jae Woong. He asks her about the operation, and she wonders how he knows. (Who doesn’t at this point?) Anyway, he tells her that Secretary Kim told him. She apologizes for leaving at this important time. He tells her not to worry because they will be okay. He then tells her he misses her. She (surprisingly, because when has she decided to be honest about her feelings?) says she misses him, too. He says well if that is the case they should meet. The hospital room door slides open to reveal that he is actually in the hospital right outside her door talking to her on the phone. She is pleasantly surprised even though she is worried about him being there. He tells her that he needed to help her get her strength up for the operation in person.
Cute. He is such a stunner when he smiles. As for her feelings... I think as time goes on, keeping away from him just gets harder and harder. And he is so honest about his, it's quite disarming.
It's odd, but in this show I don't feel nearly as swoony about Rim as I normally do. I like Jae Woong and I see his appeal, definitely, but I don't FEEL him the way I normally do with a Rim character.
You are too focused on puppies, master game players, and secretaries (and you don't share).
Later (?) she walks with him outside, telling him that she wants him to win but not to strain himself and tells him to travel back safely. He walks off after saying goodbye, and she turns to go back into the hospital starting to silently cry. Jae Woong shows up at her side. Telling her not to cry, teasing her saying that it’s not pretty. She gets fired up a bit reminding him that she rejected him (because of course that is what we would all say the night before a surgery that may drastically change our life’s dream instead of throwing ourselves in his arms for a good self-pity hug—which is really what she needs now).
Ah, I'm getting annoyed at her again. It's such a waste of time and energy to do this rejection game with him and then cry when she thinks he's not looking. Good thing he's not buying it.
He replies, of course how can he forget. He’ll never forget for the rest of his life, especially how she doesn’t listen to him but listens to Woo Jin instead. This makes her pause. He asks her if that is the reason she rejected them both, but he says this with little to no rancor. She wants to know how he knows all this and is surprised when he tells her that Woo Jin told him. He assures her that he won’t confess again. (She doesn’t look that happy about this. duh.) He does tell her not to cry anymore or only cry in front of him. He then heads off with a smile, leaving her teary.
You know, I really love that the two boys had a talk and now it's alright.
Best thing about the drama.  
Next morning has Secretary Kim barging into team room loaded with her vitamin bag and a “Ta Da!” (Talk about someone who has made a complete 180 turn. Love her). But the team doesn’t look so good. Jae Woong hasn’t shown up, and they aren’t that far from game time. She rushes out to call Se Ra, asking her if Jae Woong went to see her. Se Ra says yes, he did but he left in plenty of time to make the bus.  Of course at that exact moment—timing that only occurs in dramas—a news story comes on about a bus that has been rear ended leaving one of the passengers seriously hurt. Se Ra rushes out leaving her phone behind. The next thing we see, she is dressed and driving a car, rushing to do . . .? Of course, Gi-joon shows up with the doctors at this time to prep for surgery. She is gone. Again. I’m surprised he doesn’t have someone outside her room watching it!
Or tie her up! Next time?
With him? Never. With Puppy? Or Rim? Hmmm.
She races toward the tournament venue in a cute little Fiat. (When did she have a car? Before Gi-joon drove her? I had no idea she had a car. Why would she have one at the hospital? Would she even be able to drive after the operation? Sigh. I can hear both Kakashi and Jo telling me to shut up with my questions when I know this is a 15-minute episode drama). She rushes into venue nearly at last minute. The teams are huddled up about to start.
No, I was also puzzling over the car. Maybe she stole one? Also, I first thought she'd drive to that other hospital, which would have been much more sensible if she thought he was there!
Someone spiked this writer in the head with a volleyball. It's the only explanation I can offer.

Secretary Kim runs up to her asking why she is here. She only wants to know about Jae Woong.  Secretary Kim tells her that he is here and that he was on a different bus. Se Ra is so relieved she almost falls over. Secretary Kim has been trying to call Se Ra because she knew that she’d worry, but Se Ra doesn’t have her phone. She tells Se Ra this is why she makes them crazy; she always forgets her phone when something happens. I can see why such a pattern of behavior would drive Secretary Kim nuts. These situations are exactly when a person should have his/her phone.
Yes, Se Ra is a ditz. I don't like ditzs. At least not if their ditziness has an impact on my life.
I like to pinch them and pretend I didn't.
She also asks if she skipped the surgery to come here out of worry. Se Ra clearly didn’t even think about that. At this moment the teams head out to court, but Yong Young sees her and calls out. Jae Woong of course stops and rushes over. He starts in on her too, wondering why she is even here. She says nothing-just stares at him in relief while Secretary Kim tells him that Se Ra thought he was in an accident and rushed over. His expression softens as understanding dawns on him. Se Ra says that it is a relief that he is okay. More importantly, the director shows us a shot of Woo Jin looking on this scene with such pride and happiness that I feel sad (Oh puppy, you are such a good boy and friend and teammate. Come let me hug you to congratulate you on being such a good person).
Iz cute.
Cannot stop seeing him as Xaio Nai. Damn you, Trot. DAMN YOU. (smiling in the corner like a James Bond villain)*gasps* Since Love O2O is so freaking popular, it pretty much guarantees a K-stab at a remake. Shall we form a lobby?
Yes. I've already drafted an opening statement.
Woo Jin comes over and says to Woo Jin, “Sunbae. We are about to start.” When Jae Woong, who seems a bit speechless, now waves him off, he bows (saeguk audition practice there) and goes back to court. Jae Woong turns to go back on court, but stops. He turns and tells her that they will play well, indicating that she should smile. Then he grins at her.
Gawd, how deliciously TALL Woo Jin is!
More deliciousness for us, yay.
Perfect for playing intramural basketball for his computer major team on the Korean version of Love O2O.
Cue typical sport movie scenario #3: Team/player stage a victory by playing like they are possessed because they have been inspired by death, injury, love or all of the above. Jae Woong goes out to do an outstanding block in slow motion. After this play, we have this weird telepathic conversation between Jae Woong and Se Ra (are supposed to believe that they actually had this conversation before?) He asks why she came even forgetting about surgery. She says (in her mind to him, remember) that all she could think about was that she hadn’t had a chance to tell him how she really felt about him. Of course, this is also exactly when Gi-joon calls Secretary Kim. He has Se Ra’s phone that she left behind in her hospital bed. He wants to speak to Se Ra.
No, this was a telepathic conversation, dear Trot, which just shows how deep their connection and affection for each other is.
A very unwelcome picture of Gi-Joon rolling around on her bed and sniffing her pillow came to me unbidden. I now wish to scrub my brain.
He is surprisingly resigned. She tries to apologize (as she should), but he just admits that he didn’t know her as well as he thought and that he’s already rescheduled the surgery. He tells her that she might give up but that he can’t and won’t give up on her. He also tells her, with a sigh, that since the team made it to the finals (what? When did the game end? When did they win? During the telepathy--which I spelled “telepathetic” the first time I wrote it), she should make sure they win the whole thing.
You know, why did Mouth-Nose-Jerk not schedule the surgery for after the tournament anyway if that was an option? Annoying.
Because the doctor said to do it as soon as possible.
Because for some reason they are going to Germany.
That night, Se Ra waits at the hotel for Jae Woong and Woo Jin after their workout. When they arrive, Woo Jin, who apparently has turned into wingman extraordinaire, heads immediately inside after greeting her. She asks him to stay, but Jae Woong pulls her back, telling her to talk to Woo Jin next time. Woo Jin just grins and give him a conspirator’s wink (which made me grab for my defibrillator) and heads inside. (screenshot of that grin and wink, please).
Iz soooooooo cuuuuuute.
Truly iz. He can sing, too. We forget that often. It will come in handy at some point, though. Not in this drama. In another drama. The one where he is the lead, a young, sweet singer so poor he only has one shirt, which he saves for special occasions by going shirtless the rest of the time.
He finally asks (not telepathically, thank goodness) about her surgery. She tells him that Gi-joon rescheduled it for after finals. He wants to know whether she will try to go pro then, but she is hesitant to say anything since she doesn’t know how the surgery is going to go or how long recovery will be. He tells her that he will cheer her on—even calling her Volleyball Goddess. She also wants to tell him that she wants to answer his confession one more time. He goes still. She tells him that she will wait for him, which of course makes him smile. A bit anticlimactic after all that, I have to say.
But that smile! That was worth it.
Rim smiles are precious.
The next scene is beginning of final. They are all stretching on court. Hyung Sung’s stomach starts making noises and he presses his side in pain. Jin Ah asks him is he okay, but he snaps at him to leave him alone. We all know this isn’t good, right? They huddle, do typical huddle talk, and head out to court. The game opens with an ace by Woo Jin and episode closes with him cheering because of it, but we all saw how Jin Ah had to help Hyung Sung up from stretching. Nope not good, but set up for dramatic final.
Oh yes, we need a bit of excitement for the last two episodes, right?
I was hoping for a different sort of excitement.


I think my OTP is this drama is really Jae Woong and Woo Jin. I want Woo Jin to decide to go to college after all and join Jae Woong there so they can be roommates. I want them to travel together to see Se Ra play in Europe. I want them to volunteer to coach at a middle school volleyball camp. There are so many possibilities.
I want them to take up beach volleyball, which is played in swim trunks, of course, and topless goes without saying.