Bubblegum 풍선껌 Episode 5
[Those Are Your True Feelings]
Haeng Ah’s post-kiss reaction is to get away from Ri Hwan and the confusing situation. If it was meant to dissuade Suk Joon, it didn’t work. He walks up, returns her phone, and promises to call her tomorrow, completely ignoring Ri Hwan. Unbeknownst to all, Yi Seul also witnessed the scene, having made a u-turn after dropping Ri Hwan off at the police station and seeing Haeng Ah walk by. Haeng Ah is flustered. When Ri Hwan calls her name and moves towards her, she tells him not to come closer, not to grab her, and hails a taxi. It’s a four-way collision at the corner of Kiss and Break Up.
Ri Hwan calls Tae Hee and makes a big deal that Haeng Ah hasn’t arrived at her place, yet. While they’re talking, she walks in with spicy rice cakes – the very same thing Tae Hee is cooking – jinx! Tae Hee can read the relationship mail pretty well and in no time gets Haeng Ah to admit she and Ri Hwan kissed. Tae Hee doesn’t believe her when she says it was just a show for Suk Joon. Oh really? How were his lips? Where were his hands? Was it dirty? Did it seem like incest? Haeng Ah is shocked at the incest remark and reminds her that they’re not really siblings; they kissed like other people kiss. Tae Hee says isn’t that the truth of how she really feels, then? Haeng Ah can’t deny it. Tae Hee, the realist, warns Haeng Ah that someone is bound to be shredded in all this and she hopes it’s Ri Hwan. (She is protecting Haeng Ah.)
Ri Hwan’s morning drive is halted by an orange avalanche from the back of a truck he’s following. He stops to help and is rewarded with bags of oranges. Haeng Ah has called him out this early to meet her on the playground swings. She wants to head off any misunderstanding about the kiss, but he’s already teasing her about it just like she knew he would. She wants them to pretend it never happened. He can’t do that, since it did happen. She doesn’t want the neighbors to know they did “that.” He tells her to call it a kiss; “that” sounds like they did more. She is flustered. He teases even more, “Is it awkward because we kissed?” So funny-the more she wants to avoid it, the more he mentions the kiss. The truth is, Ri Hwan is sure how he feels and doesn’t want to pretend the kiss was to ward off Suk Joon in that situation. He asks her to figure out how she feels. Haeng Ah plays it down. As she leaves, he calls to her, “Think about it.”
Haeng Ah crawls back into bed at Tae Hee’s. She asks what they talked about and Haeng Ah replies that it was weird. Haeng Ah wonders why Tae Hee isn’t on Ri Hwan’s side. Tae Hee, whose middle name is Reality, tells her that she sees it the way it is: either Haeng Ah or Ri Hwan will get hurt. There is no good outcome.
Ri Hwan stops in at Mom’s to say hi and drop off some oranges. She is rearranging her closet. Ri Hwan casually asks if anyone is moving in on the third floor. Mother says that his grandfather doesn’t want strangers in the house. Wonder why he’s asking? He spots some sexy leopard lingerie, holds it up, and in mock horror asks if she really wears it. Mom plays along, asking if he can imagine how may men would be googly-eyed over her in that. That is too much for Ri Hwan (although he asked for it); he squirms and can’t get the picture out of his mind. So cute!
Ji Hoon shows up and on the way to work they stop for a bagel – a departure from the customary hangover soup. It is Ji Hoon’s attempt to kick the habit to win back Tae Hee (not sure that’s possible). He’s logged in 10 hours of sobriety so far. Ri Hwan is not shy about discussing the kiss. He tells Ji Hoon that it wasn’t as strange as he thought and admits he liked it.
Haeng Ah waits for Yi Seul at the dentist office to deliver a partial apology gift for ruining her purse since she can’t afford to replace it just yet. Haeng Ah has no idea that Yi Seul witnessed the entire kiss scene the night before. Yi Seul makes her wait. There is no way this meeting can be anything but awkward which is exactly what it is. Haeng Ah has brought her a box of macaroons. I am having a hard time with Yi Seul; it’s not that I don’t get why she acts the way she does, but I still find her hard to read. Sure, she’s jealous, and yes, I can imagine how difficult it is to live up to an impossible mother, but the way she approaches things – like buying the exclusive, non-refundable watches that bombed and the way she talks to people – I’m not sure what makes her tick. When Haeng Ah leaves, the macaroons get tossed in the trash.
Se Young digs her cougar claws further into Joon Soo and uses him whenever she can to prop her image (and to get his attention). She’s got an appointment with Yi Seul who is rather dangerous with a syringe and drill in her hands with talk of Ri Hwan, a kdrama story of siblings dating, and the wrath of a heart-broken woman. Se Young is clueless when it comes to the Haeng Ah/Ri Hwan/Yi Seul triangle and doesn’t realize her conversation topics are sore points.
Dong Il and Tae Hee, these two, sheesh! She’s got him wrapped around her little finger. He follows her like a mutt, wanting to know how she knows Haeng Ah. She’s got him stapling papers while she answers his question. They were roommates, though not close at first. Once Haeng Ah’s foot was run over by a car and she acted like it was no biggie. Tae Hee finally got her to go to the hospital, but she fainted there. When she came to and Tae Hee asked for a family contact, Haeng Ah said there wasn’t anyone. How could she not befriend her in such a situation? When Dong Il gets scolded for his poor stapling skills, he pulls the “I’m a ninja” card. Yeah, right, he only calls himself that, she snaps. Way to knock a ninja down a few pegs.
The chief doctor asks to meet with Dr. Sun Young Park (Ri Hwan’s mother). It’s about her symptoms of forgetfulness that he can’t let go any longer. He tells her he’s concerned. Although she can’t deny it, she isn’t willing to discuss it yet, and walks away. In her office there are more unmistakable symptoms: pain, a forgotten call, blurry vision, and when she opens her drawer she finds a melted ice cream cone. She doesn’t remember any of this. Scared, she tells the Chief that she’ll do the tests tomorrow when everyone has gone.
Ji Hoon croons away into his trowel as he putters around the yard of the medical facility. Ri Hwan is headed to Secret Garden for lunch and hopes to see Haeng Ah. He tells Ji Hoon he’ll put in a good word if he sees Tae Hee – that he’s sobering up – which seems to be the point of Ji Hoon’s recent behavior.
Haeng Ah, who has dropped by Secret Garden, is too obvious trying to brush off any references that Cousin makes about Ri Hwan’s delectable lips. The random conversation is an offshoot of the lipstick Haeng Ah brought Cousin as a gift. Uncle brings her lunch. While she is eating, Ri Hwan calls. She ignores it. Uncle wants to know if they fought. No? Then is Ri Hwan intrusive? Bothersome? What’s up between them? Haeng Ah says it’s nothing and shoos Uncle back to the kitchen. Ri Hwan will not be put off and has tricks up his sleeve. He uses Uncle’s phone to get Haeng Ah to answer it thinking it is Aunt Princess on the other end. “Don’t hang up or I’ll barge in,” he tells her when she see’s him outside the window. He asks her to listen. He knows he can’t force his feelings on her, but for him it’s been a while. He acknowledges that she is still in the breaking up process. Come to him slowly, he asks of her. He admits that he hates where she still is with Suk Joon. Haeng Ah tells him to forget it, that it’s all just a dream, like the dream she had in her youth where she kissed Woo Bin. He refuses to let her go there: it’s not dream. He can touch her from where he stands, he tells her. It’s real. Maybe his feelings were a dream up to the kiss, but now he woke up. He wants her to wake up, too.
She crawls out along the floor to escape, but there he is, waiting at the front door. “So think about it.” But for Dong Wook, it could feel a bit overdone in a bad way. It’s what he does best – that boyish grin, that sincerity,that tall, dark, and handsomeness.
Black Radio staff prepares for the upcoming show. They are short listener write-ins, and have to come up with a few scenarios of their own to read on the air for the advice segment. As Se Young reads the love issue letters, Mr. Advice gives one-sentence answers that aren’t bad, but it’s cutting the show short. It’s obvious when they get to the staff-produced letters: there’s one about a drunk lover who will never change, another about a partner who won’t say the words, “I love you.” The advice guru cuts to the quick and simply says these people aren’t meant for relationships. Oh. Finally a letter from (ahem) “I am your older sister” who asks, “Is it possible for me to have feelings for a lifelong friend over one kiss?” Without missing a beat, Mr. Advice comments that having feelings over one kiss means the relationship wasn’t 100% friendship in the first place. Or, if they were just friends, why did they kiss? Haeng Ah flinches; the love guru’s comments all sound right. He makes it seem so easy. He tells Se Young she shouldn’t have chosen this letter to read on the air because they’re probably already dating. Tae Hee’s un-blinking eyes stare straight at Haeng Ah….
Yi Seul tells her driver she’ll be at Ri Hwan’s office for a couple of hours and shows up unannounced. She’s brought a lovely tea set as a gift to thank Ri Hwan. He gives Yi Seul the doctor’s okay for her ankle and wraps up her treatments. She wants to buy him a meal for all he has done. He tells her it’s not necessary; after all she got hurt because of him. Then he should buy her a meal, she chimes in. He says he has a prior engagement; she asks at what time – it’s getting desperately awkward. Ri Hwan thinks it’s only fair the fill her in on his feelings for Haeng Ah, but she cuts him off. She doesn’t want to hear it.
He apologizes that she may have gotten the wrong idea which throws Yi Seul into a pathetic monologue about why couldn’t she be the one he likes? But then, she’s not pretty, or perky, or thin like Haeng Ah, she continues in a sad, self-degrading way. He tells her she should find someone better than him (ouch, the ultimate rejection). Thank goodness her phone rings. It’s an emergency call that her grandfather is not doing well. As she turns to leave, the teacup shatters – a foreboding sign in kdramaland? Ri Hwan drives her to the luxurious accommodations where her grandfather is receiving care; he’s hooked up to tubes and machines. Overbearing Mother shows up with her entourage and plenty of jabbing remarks about Yi Seul. When Overbearing Mother presses her too far, an upset Yi Seul tells her to bug off, at least for today.
Haeng Ah is conflicted; the more she tries not to think about relationship-y things, the more memories and present reminders of Ri Hwan pop into her head. She ignores his call to buy some thinking space. He texts her: a u-turn takes me home, a right turn takes me to your place, straight goes to the station. I’ll go straight.
Unfortunately, Ji Hoon isn’t able to stay sober even for a day. I’m actually scared for him as he wavers in a drunken stupor whether or not to ring Tae Hee’s doorbell.
For a brief moment, grandfather is lucid and greets Yi Seul, “Child, you’re here.” He asked her if there is anything she wants. After some rough moments with her mother, she returns to grandfather’s bedside – he is now sleeping – and, thinking about Ri Hwan, answers grandfather’s earlier question, “I want him.”
Suk Joon hasn’t given up, either. He calls Haeng Ah as he stands in front of her apartment. She has been on her balcony tossing and turning her feelings over and over for some time, now.
Ri Hwan arrives at the radio station. He calls Haeng Ah again, but she doesn’t pick up. She’s done one better – she is there at the station and walks toward him. Looks as if she’s done some sorting out and has made a decision. Knowing from his text that he would be at the station, she went there to meet him. Could there be a bigger ear-to-ear grin than the one on Ri Hwan’s face at this moment?
- I like that the oranges everywhere are a quiet sign that attests to Ri Hwan’s presence in everyone’s lives.
- After four fast-paced episodes, this one tried to connect some dots. It almost felt as if it should have come before episode 4, at least parts of it.
- When Ri Hwan drives Yi Seul to her grandfather’s bedside it just all seems so pitiful for her. She is acting like a sad sack, not that I blame her, but her worth is so locked up in her overbearing mother’s values. She seems to take solace in her grandfather’s and her brother’s attention, but it is not enough to make her feel valued. Sometimes Yi Seul takes advantage of her world where money is never an issue; but with Ri Hwan she expressed that it is all that she has going for her and it isn’t enough. This chicka is hard to read. I really liked her in the first two episodes, but her actions and approaches to things she doesn’t like makes me like her less as time goes by.
- Dong Wook’s smile is enough to melt the polar ice caps; it’s just so darn adorable.
- Suk Joon hasn’t given me one reason to even fathom that he could be good for Haeng Ah. His broody moodiness is getting old.
- Dong Il and Tae Hee, now there’s a couple I can really see together. Their sarcasm and sharp jabs are enough to cancel out the other, if they can ever get to that point. Too bad, so sad, Ji Hoon, you’re not a worthy opponent.
- Ri Hwan’s mother’s health issues are a concern; how will that play out with her being so anxious to get Ri Hwan hooked up with Yi Seul, not even knowing that it’s a moot point already? And, I’ve said this before, what is it that she is really trying to do? And why?