Cheese in the Trap: Episode 7 Recap

CheeseInTheTrap_07_21

An exciting episode, although I find myself torn (yet again!) over Jung’s intentions. For the first time he really scared me, and at the same time I had this foolish hope that maybe Jung is a victim here. That maybe he’s someone that needs some healing. But that would be giving too much credit to the first male lead, as if I really don’t want to find fault in him when there is.

It’s moving day. Seol is finally leaving her apartment and moving back home with her parents, which means it’s a four-hour commute to and from school every day. At least she has her friends helping her; Bora, Eun Taek, and Jung come by to help her pack up the last of her belongings. But since they are now together, they suggest grabbing a bite first before packing.

On the way to the bar they bump into In Ho and Joon together, as they had gone day drinking. It’s pretty obvious Joon is a useless younger brother, and his sister yells at him for not helping her pack at all all morning. Bora and Eun Taek have never met In Ho though, and he introduces himself as a teacher at Seol’s English academy – a safe description that won’t rile up Jung either. Since her friends don’t know anything, Jung suggests they all go out to eat together. It’s the most magnanimous thing he could do in that situation, since only Seol and In Ho know how uncomfortable he must be at the moment.

At the bar, Eun Taek makes a comment on how far Seol’s home is. He had been there once before when he escorted Seol home because Young Gon had been stalking her. Even In Ho has some nasty comments to say about Young Gon, but Jung is left in the dark. Seol had never told him about her stalker, and In Ho only realizes this when he makes the offhand comment about why Jung must always have other men guard his girlfriend. Jung asserts himself in front of everyone, asking her to come to him for anything if Young Gon bothers her again.

Conversation moves on to finding a job after graduation, and In Ho bemoans that he can’t find a part-time job as a junior high school graduate. Suddenly Joon announces that they need help at their parents’ restaurant, and In Ho quickly volunteers! While Seol protests, Jung holds her hand under the table; it’ll all be fine.

It quickly grows dark, and Bora and Eun Taek volunteer to buy some snacks so they can stay up all night during Seol’s last night in her apartment. That leaves her with In Ho, Joon, and Jung – all of whom are of course going to follow her back to the apartment. Seol tells them to walk slowly so that she can go on ahead and clean her place up a bit. Of course, Jung wants In Ho out of the way, but if In Ho won’t leave then he’s going to go on ahead with Seol.

Thing is, when Seol reaches her apartment she finds herself face to face with the landlady’s grandson – who has now bleached his hair blond to change his appearance.

The grandson is caught leaving her apartment with her laptop, and he immediately pushes her back against the wall and chokes her. In his mind, she is the root of all things dirty, as she is neighbors with a gay man and has so many men walking in and out of her apartment. Thankfully Jung reaches the foot of the stairs just in time, and he threateningly warns the grandson to let go of her. He’s eerily calm, as one would expect him to run up the stairs and fight the guy. Instead he watches the grandson carefully, which gives him time to kick Seol down the stairs.

Jung catches Seol as best he can and the grandson hops on away. Unable to leave an injured Seol behind, Jung yells out to In Ho and Joon to catch the man. The grandson manages to run off before In Ho and Joon can get him, leading the two boys down a wild goose chase.

Jung carries Seol into her apartment, where she’s injured her knees and torso, and waits for Bora and Eun Taek to arrive. Joon calls up Seol’s cellphone and informs Jung that they’ve lost the perpetrator. Well that’s unacceptable! Jung goes out to find the guy himself, asking Bora and Eun Taek to call the police and take Seol to the hospital.

In Ho wildly runs up and down the alleyways, blindly looking for the grandson who’s hiding behind some garbage bags in a dark corner. Thinking that he’s finally scot free, the grandson emerges from his spot and runs into none other than Jung. Of course Jung finds him in the most calm and scary way possible.

What’s scarier is the exacting, effortless, and menacing way that Jung throws the grandson against the walls and kicks him in the face and legs. Don’t mess with Jung, or with his girlfriend.

The grandson, all bloodied up, wonders if Seol knows how Jung really is. Because if she knew how cruel he was there’s no way they’d stay together. “She knows,” Jung says evenly. “Because she and I are alike.” Yikes! Jung continues to beat the kid and then steps on his hand: “It’s just a hand that steals underwear. Should I break it?”

Hm. Is that similar to what Jung said to In Ho back in the day?

That’s the thought running through Seol’s head, as she is actually crouched around the corner waiting for her friends. Bora, Eun Taek, and a police officer were led off in an opposite direction because the officer thought In Ho was the perpetrator, leaving Seol behind to wait outside another apartment’s gate. When Jung leaves the grandson in that alleyway and sees Seol, she shrugs away from his touch. She fears him now.

Everyone rejoins Seol and Jung, and Eun Taek points out the perp struggling to get up in the alleyway. Joon and Jung try to help Seol to her feet, but she only accepts Joon’s help. In Ho notices this, as well as the surprise and hurt on Jung’s face, and no doubt wonders what it is Jung did.

Eventually Seol is treated at the hospital, and Jung is released from the police station without further issue. The grandson turns out to be a pervert and petty criminal who pretended to own a travel agency and sent the landlady on a fake tour. He then pretended to be the grandson and terrorized the apartment building for a bit. Though he did admit that Joo Yong is innocent, the perpetrator also seems mentally unstable and might get off with a lighter sentence because of it.

T.A. Heo comes by to give Seol some energy drinks and thank her and the police for their work. He also tells her to not come in for the last two days of her job so that she can recuperate. Joon then wonders if Seol wants to see Jung, as he’s been waiting for her all night.

Seol goes out to the hallway and sits next to Jung. He’s relieved to hear that she’ll be okay, and she finds it in her heart to forgive him. Seeing the raw knuckles on his hands, she understands that he really went too far in beating up the perpetrator for her sake. She makes him promise never to go that far again, as he’s also regretting his actions. And the thing is, Jung does look like he’s sorry. It’s just that, should Seol even be giving him a chance at this point and sticking by him? Because I would be scared shitless of him. And yet at the same time Jung looks like a wounded puppy who was just lashing out because he was over protective.

ARGH! I don’t know what to think about Jung!

Anyways – moving on.

The four-hour commute to and from school begins, and Seol suffers on the subway as she battles the crowds to get to class on time. She joins Bora and Eun Taek in class, and they loudly wonder where Jung is. Seol shushes them, as her other goal is to keep her relationship a secret from the other classmates.

But then she’s greeted by Min Soo – who now looks exactly like her. It’s actually kind of creepy, and all the other classmates can see that Min Soo is copying Seol from the clothes to the hair. It’s really awkward, and Seol tries to be nice about it as much as possible. What is it about Seol that just makes her attractive to all the weird and awkward types?!

Just then Jung comes in (and thankfully does not confuse Min Soo for Seol) and Bora and Eun Taek quickly move out of the way to another table. Seol desperately tries to make them stay, but fails, so she refuses to budge for Jung. He has to practically push her down a few chairs to sit down next to her. Another classmate notes their sudden closeness and wonders if they’re dating. “We are dating,” Jung replies confidently. Cue dropped jaws from everyone, and Seol writhes in embarrassment in her seat. He even looks down at her notebook to see what she’s writing, and she just buries her head further in her arms. Hahaha – it’s kinda cute.

After class, Seol can’t believe he’d blurt something like that aloud, but Jung doesn’t care. He openly holds her hand – he wants to show off that he’s dating her! One person isn’t too keen on their new relationship though: Young Gon. He watches them walk down the school path like a freaky stalker, but when they catch sight of him he starts running. Jung wants her to alert him as soon as Young Gon does anything towards her. He is starting his internship at Taerang Group (which is quite prestigious) so he won’t be around often. Seol is quite happy for him, but then realizes that she herself doesn’t quite know what she wants to do with her life. And would her future even include being by Jung’s side?

Meanwhile Joon introduces In Ho to his parents, and the mom is quite satisfied with how strong In Ho looks. She likes it even more that In Ho can force Joon to help out in the restaurant, thus keeping her son in line. When Seol comes home that night, she teases In Ho for wearing an apron. But he thinks he looks quite dashing – and with his pretty boy looks he’ll raise the sales in the restaurant! Hah! If only Seol could speak to Jung as easily as she does with In Ho…

That evening, Young Gon prepares to write up a damning post about Seol and Jung on the school forum. But he pauses, as he needs to think of a better revenge. He’s not going to let the two of them off so easily.

So what really happened back then that made things so bad between Seol and Young Gon? Well, it was back in the year when Jung still didn’t care for Seol very much. The boys were all playing a friendly departmental basketball game against each other, and Seol, Bora, and other girls were watching on the sidelines cheering the business management majors on. Seol and Bora were there for Eun Taek, but suddenly Young Gon comes up and pretends he’s going to be the savior for all the business majors, and that he’ll make Bora fall in love with him.

Except… Sang Cheol sidelines him. They’ve got Jung playing on their team and there’s money involved. They can’t risk having Young Gon on the court when Jung is just so much better at basketball. Ouch.

As the game goes on, Young Gon becomes more and more sulky, when he eventually stands up and grabs Bora’s wrist to talk to her. Bora and Seol tell him to let go, but he won’t, insisting that he and Bora need to talk. Eun Taek sees this and throws the basketball at Young Gon’s face to get him to stop. He is ready to start a fight with Young Gon, and the rest of the guys have to start pulling them apart. Young Gon goes crazy and his flailing arms accidentally smack Jung in the face. Sang Cheol is all, “How could you hit Jung in the face?!” It’s a bit excessive of a reaction in my opinion, and Young Gon points out that his nose is bleeding while Jung’s isn’t, but at the same time Young Gon did hit a senior and one is not supposed to do that.

Jung insists he’s fine, which actually angers Young Gon even more. He calls Jung a fake and starts making things awkward between everyone. Eventually he listens to Sang Cheol and apologizes to Jung, but Jung just brushes him away.

Later on, Seol sees Young Gon looking pathetic on a school bench. She actually feels pity for him, and asks if he’s okay. She adds that he should apologize to Bora and perhaps be more sincere towards girls, because right now no one takes him seriously. However, that concern she showed Young Gon ended up being her downfall as he started stalking her and becoming obsessed with her. He would buy her gifts and say that Jung told him that she liked him, which emboldened him even more. Young Gon is one of those guys who thinks “no means yes.”

Well, Seol can’t handle his attentions anymore and confronts Sang Cheol and Jung outside school one day. She asks if they really made Young Gon think she liked him, and Sang Cheol explains that they were just being nice. When Young Gon kept harassing Jung and apologizing, he had also said that Seol is the only one in their class who cares about him. Jung and Sang Cheol just agreed with that statement to be polite, not because they really felt that way. Jung does sincerely apologize to Seol though, and she stomps off.

But after that day, Young Gon never bothered her again. How much you want to bet that Jung had something to do with that?

Seol is so out of it, thinking about what Young Gon has done to make her life a living hell, that she doesn’t realize she has rice stuck on her cheek during lunch. Jung ends up picking it off her face, and she freaks out that he’s acting too much like a boyfriend at school. So many people are already coming up to her asking if their relationship is for real that she feels the need to walk around with huge sunglasses. She doesn’t like the fame or the judgmental stares, as if she can’t possibly get a guy like Jung! But Jung can only laugh, because of course he thinks it’s funny.

Back at Seol’s family restaurant, Seol’s mother is talking to her brother-in-law to see if he can convince her husband to stop wandering around looking to start another business. They need this restaurant to succeed. The brother-in-law reassures her, and then notices how hard-working In Ho is. He asks to borrow In Ho to clean up his cafe as it goes through renovations for extra pay. Of course In Ho is happy to oblige.

Eventually the brother-in-law asks In Ho to clean up his storage area as well, since In Ho is just so efficient. Amidst all the junk, In Ho discovers an electric piano. He gazes longingly at the ivory keys and then remembers back to a time when he used to be a virtuoso on the piano. Jung and In Ha would watch him at his recital during school, and they would proudly clap for his performance. They were all still friends then, even if Jung wasn’t interested in In Ha, and In Ha and In Ho still fought like cats and dogs.

During school, In Ho and Jung passed by In Ha’s art classroom and caught her painting a portrait of Jung. In Ho teased that she was a terrible artist and she ends up beating her brother and threatening to step on his hand. Jung can barely step in between the siblings because they’re that dangerous. Eventually In Ha gives up her art classes because she’s had enough of being teased by In Ho. Jung suggests that In Ho be a little more sympathetic to In Ha, but he thinks his sister is talentless anyways.

Back in the present though, In Ho now understands the pain In Ha must have felt when she felt forced to give up her dream. And to be confronted by a remnant of that dream makes it all the more painful. In Ho presses down on a key but it doesn’t make a sound – the piano is not plugged in.

Jung drives Seol home, much to her relief, and she asks about his future plans. He admits that he thought of grad school abroad, but wants to just focus on his internship for now. She’s still impressed that he got into such a prestigious company, but he confesses that he just got a job at his father’s company. But he does hope to work from the ground up! Seol suddenly feels very small next to him, as she can barely think of her own future when her family is having difficulty making ends meet. She even wonders if she’ll be by Jung’s side in five years’ time.

They arrive at Seol’s street, and Jung pulls her into a comforting hug. And then, he leans in for a kiss. Seol shrinks away, and a hurt look passes over Jung’s face. But Seol was just nervous, as she’s never been kissed before. Jung pulls away, and Seol knows that if she lets this chance go she might lose him forever! So she grabs his face, squishes it up, and then puckers up!

Aaaaaand it’s an agonizingly long wait until she finally… kisses him on the cheek. And then she runs out of the car. HAHAHAHA! She is so cute.

It starts pouring outside though, and Seol runs off as Jung gets out to catch her with an umbrella. Seol ducks under the eaves of a store alongside her brother – who is not at the restaurant helping out – and they see In Ho with an umbrella looking at some power cords. He is seriously considering trying out that old piano again. Joon calls In Ho over to save them, and he agrees to escort them home in exchange for a meal. He puts his arms around Joon and Seol and they walk off, not seeing Jung behind them with an umbrella, just a bit too late to save Seol himself.

When Seol gets home she hears from her mom that In Ho’s been helping out at her uncle’s place. She remembers the electric piano, and brings over some of her old piano books and a power cord to her uncle’s storage basement. She catches In Ho there, and offers them to him. He teases her about her notes in the piano book, and she pretends to take them away. He fights to keep them though, because really he wants to play the piano again. And who can blame him?

Meanwhile Jung is having a restless night because he can’t stop thinking about how Seol turned to In Ho for shelter from the rain, and how easily she walked off with him. He ends up picking up In Ha’s call and tells her to move out of the apartment soon, as he’s planning to sell it. Well, no money and no home – In Ha is screwed, and all because she refused to take classes like Jung told her to.

The following day, Professor Kang discovers that some of her courses have been canceled for the new semester. The student evaluations came in, and they were mostly complaints over her group-based projects and scoring system. The school could not ignore them and cut down her courses to just two. This means Professor Kang is now forced to be nice, and when she goes back to her Organizational Behavior class she tells them that she’ll put a greater weight towards their individual scores. That also means people like Sang Cheol really can’t rely on other people to pick up the slack, and he’s going to get screwed over.

During class break, Seol gets a call from her brother: apparently he and In Ho are on campus and want her to buy them some food! But In Ho gets distracted seeing some music students and wanders off to the music department. Seol runs out of class, once again rejecting lunch with Min Soo and accidentally dropping her lion cellphone charm. (Of course Min Soo picks it up and you can guess she keeps it because it belongs to Seol.)

In Ho wanders through the music department hallways, seeing what could have been had he continued playing the piano. One of the professors recognizes him as he peeks through the rooms and introduces himself as Shim Myung Soo, a colleague of In Ho’s mentor, Professor Noh Eun Ho. In Ho runs off before Professor Shim can ask any more questions, rushing past Seol as she gets to the music building. Professor Shim asks Seol to help give his card to In Ho; apparently he has never been forgotten in the piano scene.

Seol then realizes that she lost her lion charm and spends time after class looking for it. Jung promises to buy her a new one, as it’s fruitless to keep looking, and she dumps out her purse one more time to look. That’s when Jung sees Professor Shim’s business card. He wants to give it to In Ho himself, but Seol doesn’t trust him. She’s afraid that he’ll end up fighting with In Ho, and I’m afraid that Jung will just never give it to In Ho. So thankfully she suggests that they both go together and give it to In Ho.

They find In Ho cleaning out her uncle’s storage that night, and Jung hands over the business card. He can tell that In Ho is regretting a lot about piano and promises to support In Ho if he goes abroad to study. In Ho thinks this is a joke, but Jung isn’t kidding around. Though his delivery is flat, it seems he’s sincere in telling In Ho to pursue his dreams again. He believes that In Ho shouldn’t stop himself because of pride, but he also shouldn’t let Seol get pulled into his indecisiveness. Jung then escorts Seol out, leaving In Ho with a lot to think about.

Comments

I really found myself fearing Jung in the beginning, only to warm up to him again. He has a very overprotective streak that goes way too far when it comes to Seol. Granted, it’s helping Seol a lot but at the same time it feels obsessive. He can’t completely remove himself from Seol’s problems, especially when the people around him keep meddling with Seol’s life. So it makes me wonder, just when exactly did he start falling in love with her? Because it feels like it was before that night she took care of him when he was sick. He seems to always have been interested in her even when he acted aloof towards her that previous year. Otherwise it wouldn’t explain why he stopped Young Gon from stalking Seol.

I felt very uncomfortable during that hospital scene when Jung told Seol he regretted beating up that perpetrator. I felt that he shouldn’t have been forgiven so easily, and that Seol should have berated him more or asked more questions. I felt that Seol was also crazy for being so understanding; though the perpetrator was dangerous, Jung also went really far in bashing the guy’s head against the stone walls. At the end of the day, I guess they’re both quite alike. I don’t know how I feel watching two very flawed characters, and not sure if I can completely trust Seol and her judgment now.

And yet – when I see Jung smile or be more easy going, it’s really hard not to be charmed by him. Again, serious kudos to Park Hae Jin, who can seamlessly transition between cold and ruthless, to a hurt puppy, to a charming sunbae.

I like that we get to see more of In Ho’s regret towards piano. It adds another layer to his pain that makes you really wonder what happened between him and Jung. It looked like they were good enough friends in high school, which means that whatever happened really destroyed everything. I hope that In Ho regains the strength and courage to play the piano again, but I can understand if he wants to prove that he is more than just a genius pianist – that he is more than what Jung and Mr. Yoo can pay for. I can understand if he doesn’t want to pursue piano studies if it means that he can be his own man without owing anything to anyone. If only In Ha can be like him. (And thank God we see her in small doses.)

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