This is just a quick recap because today’s episode was just SO awesome, I had to write something down.
To me, episode 10 was satisfying with a capital S. Everything I’d hoped for and feared wouldn’t happen, has happened. My own soundtrack for the episode was an uninterrupted giggle with the occasional squeal. I have officially deserted team Suk Hyun (well, at least where his pairing with Kyu Won is concerned, I still hold hopes for he and I, you see) and I have officially jumped aboard the Lee Shin express. Shin was dashing, Kyu Won was charming, Hee Joo actually made me feel something warm towards her and Ki Young interacted with Kyu Won/performed with her on stage. Happy camper, I am.
The episode opens where it left off, with Shin’s wish and moves swiftly away. I actually thought the show would stay there and reveal what else happened that night (I mean, was that not a perfect set-up for kissage to occur?) but instead we move swiftly away and back into the city. Never mind the heartbreak because we get to see Kyu Won and Shin’s first morning walk to school as a couple. Oh, these two are SO adorable together. They hold hands, get ice cream, get spied on by the Scene Stealers and have a misunderstanding that causes them not to talk for most of the day.
If I thought the biggest obstacle in Shin and Kyu Won’s way would be grandpa, his mom, her dad, Hee Joo or the director, I was wrong. At least for the first part of the episode, an unknowing and well-intentioned Bo Oon manages to interrupt the two new lovebirds on every occasion. Shin thinks to bypass this new obstacle by using grandpa, and throws himself into the fire hopeful that the restful arms of his beloved will be awaiting on the other side. In other words, he goes to Kyu Won’s house and volunteers to hear grandpa’s tales just so that he could be there when Kyu Won arrives. Surprise, surprise though, despite employing considerable patience and enduring leg numbness, Kyu Won shows up with Bo Oon, causing Shin’s efforts to crumble like a sand castle hit by a vigorous wave. Not being one to give up so easily (and without taking some revenge on the way), Shin sets Bo Oon up to listen to grandpa, to which she happily and naively agrees. Don’t worry Bo Oon, your sacrifice will not be in vain!
While grandpa tortures Bo Oon, Shin and Kyu Won get a chance to go on an actual date in the park. *squeal* They look so cute together! They play some music (and endorse a tab and smart phone in the process), then listen to music sharing one set of headphones and generally have fun, relax and act cute. Aw shucks. I melt. Melt, I say!
The next day, Shin waits for Kyu Won in front of her house with his bike ready for girlfriend use. He has added a little frog-shaped cushion on the “back seat” to make her rides more comfortable. And all the me that hadn’t melted before can now be considered slush. They ride to school together and as they walk in, Shin grabs her hand. *swoon* Shin is confident and Kyu Won is embarrassed as the crowds on the corridors part like the red sea to let the couple pass.
Their pairing does not go unnoticed and pretty soon the whole school is buzzing with the news. Kyu Won’s friends find out and congratulate her, while the director finds out from (a pleased) Yoon Soo and is far less pleased than his girlfriend. In fact, he cites organizational issues as reasons for the two not to have gotten together at this juncture. I think, director-nim, it’s fair to say, you snooze, you lose.
All this time, Hee Joo’s mother, whom I shall deem Villainous Ahjumma, is gathering what I suspect ( I watched it raw and my Korean is way limited) to be the board of administration, either way, some dudes with a word to say, in an attempt to gain support for Hee Joo. The plan backfires majestically, because at that very moment, Joon Hee had decided it was time for Hee Joo to sit back and relax. They share some wonderful, sweet moments together up on the roof, away from a world that is fidgeting to… um… let’s just leave it at fidgeting. But as the female star of the show is nowhere to be found and since Villainous Ahjumma has arranged for a preview of the show, the understudy has to replace her. Bo Oon comes to the studio where Shin is teaching Kyu Won guitar/working on gathering the nerve for their first kiss and interrupts them just as they are about to… Cha Bo Oon! You’ve done it again! Ack!
Kyu Won gets ready to take the stage, comforts Ki Young who was dealing with some pretty heavy pre-stage fright in their dressing room and is in turn comforted by a loving and day-saving Shin. Everyone rocks the performance and the panel of administration dudes who were supposed to be impressed by Hee Joo give Kyu Won a standing ovation. Oh, life.
Hee Joo gets to the preview venue too late to perform but not too late to have some “sense” slapped into her by her mother. This is the first time I actually felt bad for Hee Joo, but not the last this episode. This scene was really heartbreaking especially in view of the progress she had made to open up as a person.
After the show, the director and Ki Young congratulate Kyu Won on the performance and Ki Young thanks her, saying she was the one who helped him get on stage. The director goes for his trademark Kyu Won hair-mussing, but is stopped short by a jealous and possessive Shin who grabs his hand and mutters something that sounds like “Keep your greedy paws off my woman!” How very macho of him. The director, he likes it naught. Shin takes an apologetic yet happy Kyu Won away, as the director looks at them with the dissatisfaction of having his favorite toy yanked away and as Ki Young looks at the director with amusement at his reaction.
Shin and Kyu Won find out that the Scene Stealers had set up a campaign where people got to vote what they liked best, Shin/Kyu Won together or separate. The votes are overwhelmingly in favor of the separation (no duh!) and Kyu Won takes it to heart. A new misunderstanding ensues and Kyu Won walks away, leaving Shin in a cloud of confusion. Or something like that, I’m sure her reaction was more justified than what it just sounded like. Shin mans up after being advised to do so by the girls and goes to put a stop to the Scene Stealers’ shenanigans. Elsewhere, Kyu Won runs into the director and he in turn tells her to (wo)man up and deal with the situation.
Shin and Kyu Won keep missing each other, with Kyu Won at practice and Shin risking an encounter with gramps and going by her house. Gramps asks if he’s come back for more stories, but Shin manages to somehow dodge storypalooza, if only for the day.
The evening sets in and the two still haven’t found a way to see each other and sort out their difficulties. Eventually, a text comes from Shin summoning Kyu Won to Catharsis. She’s reluctant to go but an additional text seals the deal and she is trying out different outfits within seconds. She shows up at Catharsis just as the guys were finishing up a song, giving Shin a chance to sing his “Because I Miss You” to Kyu Won. I appreciate that it is a nice song and all, but I somehow wish he’d chosen something else. I mean this is the “I love the dance teacher and she doesn’t love me” song and the “My daddy was an alcoholic and he died” song, so singing something new would have worked better for me here. But I don’t have time to think about this because Shin finishes the song and motions Kyu Won to get closer to the stage. As she does, he kneels down and KISSES HER!! IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY! *SQUEEEAAAAAALLL*
It wasn’t a perfect kiss as far as kisses go, but as far as what it meant, context, implications, save-the-day-ness? Perfect. Love. Sigh.
I loved this episode because it totally delivered on our expectations about the OTP and the rest of the characters. Grandpa stayed hilarious, Bo Oon was featured more prominently (which I had wanted since forever because I love that girl, I think she just lights up the screen every time she’s in a scene), Ki Young and Kyu Won established a relationship, sang and kicked ass together, Hee Joo gained some humanity, and Shin and Kyu Won… well, Shin and Kyu Won did what I hope they will be doing for all episodes to come, i.e show genuine affection for one another. I LOVED the fact that it was all so natural, the sweet awkwardness of the first hand holding/public appearance, the small misunderstandings that crush you and then build you back up when they get resolved, the sneaking around behind friends’ back, the friends’ reactions when they find out about the new relationship, all these elements were so beautifully and tenderly portrayed that it just made my heart feel full both because of what I was watching and because of the memories they triggered. The first love, this really is what it feels like. And capturing such a feeling so well and so completely is NOT easy.
I fear tomorrow’s episode because of what the preview teased. I don’t want Shin to think Kyu Won lied to him. Scratch that, I don’t want Kyu Won to lie to Shin. And because of the director, no less, because I don’t want to dislike the director but I can’t say my love for him won’t waver if he gets between Kyu Won and Shin in that way. I don’t want the angst to kick in just yet, even though I know every high is followed by a low and even though this episode was a pretty damn big high. But I want more of the honeymoon, at least one or two more episodes, let’s enjoy the butterflies in the stomach and the pretty and the misunderstandings that don’t last, eh? Whaddya say?