Thumping Spike - Episode 19 (A Squeecap)

Trotwood: Special thanks to my visiting daughter who heard my complaint about being exhausted and behind on recapping and how I was afraid to go on twitter since I felt guilty for not even drafting a recap last week. She just said, “Tell me what happened.” While I tried to stay awake on Friday night, she actually listened to me explain to her my malaise about this episode and typed it up for me like a scribe while I was barely keeping my eyes open. Voila! I woke up to a written draft in my email the following morning.
kakashi: That is lovely of her. Mother-daughter bonding over bad KDrama! I like that. But hey, don't ever feel guilty again. That's an order.
JoAnne: Wow - I'm impressed both by her kindness and your ability to recall an episode in enough detail that it could be recapped without having been watched.
Oh, I had rewatched it... Last weekend when I should have recapped it.
So folks, here we are at the penultimate episode. While the episode 18 was full of swoon and bonding, this episode felt like a final exam review session that you feel might be a waste of time because you already know the material, but you need to attend just in case. The plot doesn’t move forward really. Well maybe for anyone who has never watched a sports movie ever. Sigh.
Short episodes, and yet ... they ran out of story. They should come and have a look at Ice Fantasy. They move so fast I don't know what hit me each episode. Anyway, that said, I didn't mind this episode at all. It's a filler, yes ... but cute.
I was tempted to just recap the episode like this:  “They won the championship. The end.”
. . . ok. fine. Here's the real recap
They won? See, I don't even remember that much.

Episode #19 - The Finals

We open with the sports commentators talking about how Jae Woong has been the hero of this team pulling them together and bringing them up from last place. They are wondering though why they seem to be surrendering to Hyunchang High School because we can see that they are playing badly. There’s Jin Woo’s dad and the high school principal moaning and groaning in the stands even.
Do they have professional sports commentators at High School volley ball games?! I really don't know anything about high school sports of this magnitude. We don't have it here.
I don't know about Korea, but in the US you can see local media doing commentary for at least football games and I think probably basketball, too - around here they stream from the local newspaper's website. The annual Thanksgiving Day game between our school and the next town over is one of the oldest rivalries in the country and made it on to the Today Show, one year.
Coach calls a time out (finally), and everyone gathers in. Se Ra tells them that the first time they played Hyungchang, they played like a last place team and that they are doing the same thing! BUT (because she knows how to turn a frown upside down), she says that remember this same team gave them their first win. They can do it again. (I want to remind her that the first time Hyunchang had sent their subs, but I don’t want to ruin the mood).
And yet, we know they'll win anyway.
No one ever does a show about the team that loses. If they lose, the show goes to the next year to show that they eventually win. Just let people lose sometimes, drama!
Now it’s time for typical sport movie scenario #4. This is where we get a main player sick, and the sub has to come in to help team through the finals!

Remember how in the last episode, Hyung Sung was in pain?
Yes, is he dying? 
No memory of this whatsoever.
Here he nearly doubles over on the way back onto the court. Han Sol asks if they should call an ambulance which just pisses Hyung Sung off. He grabs Han Sol by the shirt to ask if he’s really worried or if he just wants to see an ambulance again. Ambulance, ambulance! Hyung Sung barely finishes saying this before he passes out. Oh I do remember that, now that you mention it. They take him off the court. Coach, proving once again that he is the worst coach ever, starts to console them, saying they should be proud they’ve come this far as if their losing now is inevitable. Really coach? You’ve got all those other players standing right in front of you with uniforms on, and you’re ready to throw in the towel during the finals?? Pfft.
Seriously, I hope you didn't pay him too much, he is so redundant.
Why is this character in the show? No, really, why?
Yes, why?
Proving that she has a cool head in this situation, Se Ra calls upon stalker dude (aka—Eul Young aka Tapir). She asks him if he is ready. They are all surprised, but why would they be? He’s been practicing with them, and Hyung Sung replaced him, so he knows the position. And really, this is what subs do. They substitute. Anyway, Se Ra believes in him, and she’s giving him a chance, so of course he says yes.
Oh well.
He comes in and we get the sports sequence. There is a moment when they’ve come from behind to win first game that we get everyone in slow motion so we can see hear Se Ra’s thoughts. She is so thankful to this team for making her heart pound off the court the way it used to only pound when she was on the court. Awww. Seriously, she will make an excellent coach some day because she’s good now. I guess this is the character progression for this episode.
Yes, yes.
Of course, they win. We get lots of block shots and even a slow motion follow of Jae Woong jumping to spike the ball and get the winning point. Then we get the obligatory running onto the court, jumping up and down frenzy.
The volleyball sequences are actually nice to watch. Either our actors really played that well or they did a great job at making it seem like they do.
My Giant Puppy is an athlete, naturally.
Cut to press conference where Coach is blubbering so much that he can’t speak, which doesn’t matter because the reporter (one of our Exposition Fairies from an earlier episode) really only wants to talk to Se Ra. He starts in on the whole she was a volleyball goddess who took this team from last place business, but she stops him. She asks isn’t he here to report on the President’s Cup? Shouldn’t he be asking about that? She wants to say the reason they won, and she calls out to the team to come in front of the cameras, too. And guess who shows up? Hung Sung! I was disappointed. I was hoping it was something cool like appendicitis, but it turns out that it was only . . .nerves. Nerves?!?! Are you kidding me? Dude, the only reason they still love you, Hyung Sung, is because they won. Pfft.
Oh well.
Whatever. (But seriously, this writer: Hmmm, we need a reason to make a player substitution in the final game. Go with Hung Sung, then we can use Tapir again. I never did quite know what to do after I made him hang around all the time, so this is good. But what to make wrong with Hung Sung? Hmmm. Oh, whatever, just make him nervous. That way I don't have to look up any medical stuff.')
Anyway, they couldn’t give him an interesting illness because he had to come back. Why, you ask? Because the writer has decided that what Se Ra will do now in introduce each team member, his position, and his gift to the team. She even calls over Eul Young to join in. We spend time doing a walk down memory lane with each member. Why? Come on. If you don’t know them by now, you aren’t going to know them in the second to last episode. Admit it commentators, does anyone but me remember anyone’s name besides Jae Woong and Woo Jin. Anybody? No? (sound of crickets).
Well, I don't remember ANY of the names, but I actually felt almost teary during this. It was cute. It was a nice "thank you" from her. It felt genuine.
Writer: Shit, I have a whole episode still to fill. What can I do, what can I do? Gotta fill up some time...oh, hey! Let's list all the characters. I never got them all straight in my head so this is perfect, really.
The next scene is of Se Ra and Jae Woong going out of the gym to her car. How does she get to park her car right in front? Why doesn’t she have a ticket? Why is she letting him drive her car? (Why do I still ask these questions?) Anyway, he tells her he’ll drive, and right after they get in, Secretary Kim scurries around and jumps in the back. Hahahaaaaa. When Jae Woong asks her what she’s doing, she pretends to sleep. Before they can ask again though, both Soo Bin and Woo Jin show up making her scoot over. I immediately thought, how is Woo Jin fitting those long legs in the back seat of that Fiat?
You know, it's kinda cute and kinda sad at the same time that he has completely given up on Sera.
Don't be. One of the scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor is him fooling around with Secretary Kim.
The Coach comes out yelling at Soo Bin for abandoning him. Se Ra says she forgot about his injury and offers her seat, but Woo Jin says she can’t because she owns the car. Coach thinks he’s a traitor, too. But really. How would he fit that cast in a Fiat? She’s not driving the SUV version.
Come on, I want to torture this coach by kicking his crutches away under him every time he tries to walk. I really dislike him.
You do that and then I'll crush his testicles. Too much?
They leave with Han Sol trying to comfort Coach about betrayal of players and daughters. Coach explains to him that he feels responsible to Jae Woong because Jae Woong came to Daesan (presumably instead of a better team) because of him. He felt at fault for ruining his chances. But when Han Sol tries to commiserate about daughters by suggesting that the Coach give Soo Bin to him, Coach tries to hit him with his crutch. Sorry Han Sol, none of us care that much because we all think you can do much better than Soo Bin.
True, and yet, I laughed a bit.
Me too.
In the car, Soo Bin is sitting in the middle of back seat looking sullenly at the back Se Ra’s head. She asks Se Ra when she first met Jae Woong. She says she doesn’t remember, but Jae Woong knows the exact date: August 21. This elicits a knowing “oooohhh” from Woo Jin (is that sweat on his face?) and Secretary Kim (who both seem to be routing for our OTP). He remembers because it was the day he quit his job at the amusement park. This only makes Soo Bin angrier because she went to the amusement park all the time, and this means that Se Ra has only know Jae Woong for a couple of months while she has known him for four years, so she was his girlfriend first.
Can she please move on already.
Maybe she'll fall out of the car when Woo Jin stretches his legs.
Clearly, she has not experienced enlightenment like Woo Jin. He sighs at her thinking that what he’s hearing is what he must have sounded like when talking to Jae Woong about Se Ra. He realizes how funny he must’ve sounded. Soo Bin is having none of this, offended that he thinks the situation is funny. He just tells her that if knowing Jae Woong longer makes her his girlfriend then he must be married to the lady at the supermarket.
I want to marry this dude. He is perfect.
My Giant Puppy :) Now everyone wants to climb him like a tree.
This makes Secretary Kim guffaw and Soo Bin threaten her into silence. I’m actually happy they are making her hateful until the end though. Soo Bin does not warrant any forgiveness efforts. I will just look up at the smiling tree puppy all scrunched up in the back seat. Soo Bin deserves no sympathy for not appreciating this moment having to be stuffed into the back seat of a car with Woo Jin. Idiot.
Is this the last we see of her, I want to know?
I'm the last person you should ask, clearly. I barely remember that this is about a volleyball team. Well, a volleyball team coach.
The next scene is of them all back at residence looking at news about the game on someone’s computer and talking about the game. There is a moment when Jae Woong taps Se Ra’s leg to get her to come head out. Soo Bin notices this and goes to follow them, but both Woo Jin and Secretary Kim pull her back down again without even looking or thinking about it. Please gif.
Han Sol cracks me up.
Sunbae! I can't believe I didn't remember. I want him in lots of stuff.
Outside, Se Ra heads toward the field, but Jae Woong doesn’t want to go in that direction. He wants to walk through town holding hands to practice being her boyfriend, but he genuinely can’t stand all the stares. He finally takes off his hat and puts it on her covering her face. But she just says like anything, they will have to practice. She turns the hat around, makes him take her hand and jauntily walks off. Go girl! You claim your man! I don’t understand him though. He’s the one that wanted to do this. Pfft.
I understand him. There are so many people, with so many stupid comments!
The unbearable fame of the - what is she? College? Semi-Pro? - volleyball player. How will they survive?
The next scene is at the hospital. Se Ra is on a gurney being wheeled presumably into surgery. On one side of the gurney is Jae Woong. On the other side, our favorite manager Gi Joon (and here I was thinking we’d get through an episode without having to see his face or one of his bad suits—what is with that beige tie and that checked shirt? Gangsters in 1930s movies dressed better than he does). Jae Woong takes her hand and tells her he’ll be waiting. Gi joon eyes him and tells her that everything will be fine.
This is the episode in which everyone learns their place, Jerk. What about you? (my daughter, who watched this with me as well, said: "they are both not beautiful at all". Haha). 
Both? Gi Joon and Jae Woong? I mean, Rimmie has looked better, but still.
Both. She likes Shi and Kasuo :)
We get the two men standing outside of the room like she’s going to die. We get her in a rather dark surgery room (they are never dark. Why do so many dramas show dark hospitals? they are never dark!) with liquid being squirted out of needles and her counting down as she goes under.


Now I know that this surgery can be life changing, but they are all acting as if she is about to have life threatening surgery, and she might not come out of it alive. It’s surgery. On her ankle, people. Only having toe surgery would be farther from an essential organ.
This being Kdrama, on the other hand.... hey, by the way. What happened to the storyline with his sick sister?!
She died. Off camera. He took an afternoon off. Volleyball is the most important thing!

Here is a comment from my daughter that I saw in the draft she compiled of my snarky sleep deprived verbal recap—a recap/rant that spent much time complaining about episode giving us what we already knew was going to come: “I dunno, sounds like some good drama moments towards the end. After many episodes of angst and dysfunction on both personal and team levels, one could argue that a nice victory episode was necessary to balance it out; it also serves to clear the air/as a breather before the definite suspense and possible angst surrounding her surgery.”
Yes, I didn't mind this episode at all. Convenience food, tastes okay, makes you happy, doesn't really fill you up, but you don't care because there's another meal waiting for you sometimes soon.
Yeah, it's not like they introduce new problems. Not that it hasn't been done in the past.