Cheese in the Trap: Episode 9 Recap


AHHHHH! This was the episode where all the suffocation I felt for Seol was finally released, like I had just surfaced from a deep ocean and had my first breath of sweet sweet oxygen. That’s not to say her troubles are over – in fact, it’s far from it. But it’s finally getting to the point where things just might be really fun for everyone.

During her very long commutes, Seol dreams that Min Soo has taken her place. She’s treated like Seol by all her friends, greeted by In Ho as “Dog Fur” and is even dating Jung instead! Seol has no control in her dream to convince them that she’s the real Seol, and she wakes up in a bitter mood. It doesn’t help that Young Gon is constantly trying to reach her.

Seol lives out her days in constant frustration – seeing Min Soo looking very much like her while she works in the library, running away from Young Gon, and trying to get Sang Chul to do his part in the project. It gets to the point where Sang Chul promises to send in his report by 11pm that evening – but doesn’t. Is anyone surprised? So with that, Seol takes him out of the presentation.

Of course the next morning Sang Chul is pissed to find out he’s not included at all. Kyung Hwan and Bora tell him to shut it, as they agreed to take him off the report, and Seol tells him that she gave him many chances. He starts yelling that he’s the eldest son and his father is retired, so he has a lot of things he needs to do. But frankly, Seol doesn’t care. It sounds terrible but that’s his personal life. Also, he should have sent his part three days ago. When Jung comes in to the classroom he tries to calm Sang Chul down without explicitly taking sides. When he goes to his group though, he notices a familiar face on Min Soo’s phone. He slyly asks her for the time again and gets another glimpse on her phone’s background: it’s Hong Joon. Mental note for the future.

When Seol’s group gets up to present, Professor Kang can only tsk-tsk towards Sang Chul; honestly she’s not surprised. The presentation goes off without a hitch. Eventually Jung’s group goes and he eventually hands over the microphone to Min Soo to present the case study. Kang jokes: “I hope you’ve memorized your part this time Min Soo.” The slides change and Seol and Bora notice how the case study resembles their project from last semester. At first Seol gives her the benefit of the doubt, but then she spots the same typo that she made on her presentation. It’s the exact same thing!

Seol debates on whether or not to keep it in, but finally she can’t hold it in any longer. She’s been a pushover long enough. She raises her hand during Q&A and asks point blank if that presentation is really Min Soo’s work. Min Soo denies it at first, but Seol points out the typo, saying that she sold her project online without realizing the mistake. Bora also comes to Seol’s defense, prompting Min Soo to deny it more shrilly until Kang eventually tells all of them to stop. She bids the three girls to her office after class and then leaves.

Of course Da Young and Jae Woo rail against Min Soo for stealing others’ work, and Da Young even says that others are calling her “fake Seol” behind her back! To think that Da Young was on her side just an episode ago… Min Soo is so hurt that she runs out of the classroom, so Da Young accuses Seol of being so mean: why couldn’t she just confront Min Soo afterwards? (Because Da Young would stupidly come to her defense and cause a scene anyways. And no one would believe Seol then.) Why couldn’t she just let Sang Chul be part of the presentation? (Bora points out that Da Young could do that instead in their next group project; besides, didn’t Da Young suffer from Sang Chul’s similar mistake last semester?)

Anyways, class is dismissed and Jae Woo heads to the convenience store. He ends up behind In Ha on line, who is arguing with the cashier over 500 won. Jae Woo has no time for this so he just pays for In Ha’s ice cream, and she quickly grabs him for a chat. Her once-over on him determines that he might be a rich son who loves American brands and then asks for his number (perhaps to see if he could be her new sugar daddy of sorts?). In Ha discovers that he’s a business management major and asks if he knows Jung while saving his cellphone number.

Jae Woo senses a formidable force in In Ha and denies knowing Jung very well. He sees a curly red-haired girl in the distance and points her out as Jung’s girlfriend. In Ha is incensed, and she immediately goes stomping over to trip the girl. It’s Min Soo. HAH! THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR LOOKING LIKE SEOL!

In Ha tosses her ice cream to the side and then grabs Min Soo’s hair, and then pushes her down. She can’t believe such a homely girl like her is Jung’s girlfriend! Min Soo insists that she’s not Hong Seol, but In Ha isn’t going to believe her. Thank God In Ho is nearby to see this and he carries In Ha away over his shoulder, sparing Min Soo from further harm.

In Ho questions his sister and she says that she’s been having a hard time since Jung kicked her out of her apartment. All Mr. Yoo gave her was 10 million won! In Ho nearly chokes on the amount – does she think that’s a measly amount?! Of course money management has never been her strong suit so she’s already spent most of it. But her current problem is Jung’s girlfriend; she has been cast aside for another girl! The horror!

Instead of clarifying that she wasn’t hurting Hong Seol, In Ho just walks away and tells her to never come back. He’s too fed up with his sister to care.

Seol and Bora leave Professor Kang’s office, happy that Min Soo will suffer in her grades for plagiarism but feeling bad that it will affect Jung too. Min Soo also never showed up at the office, which seems like an admission of guilt. Seol then meets up with Jung by the lake and they embrace as if long lost lovers. Jung doesn’t mind that Seol got his whole group a failing grade; he guided Min Soo on her work but he shouldn’t have to tell her not to plagiarize. Unfortunately they have to part ways because he has to go to work but he promises to pick her up to go home together later.

Seol heads back to the school buildings and bumps into Young Gon, who’s been waiting for her. He wants to show her the text messages that Jung sent him a year before to prove his point about Jung’s personality. Seol eventually reads them, and she’s shocked to see that they include tips on where to find her and stupid advice like, “When a girl says no, she means yes.” She grabs Young Gon’s phone and runs into the building, then blocks him from getting through the doors. Seol needs to confirm if the text messages really are from Jung.

When she calls, she gets In Ha, except In Ha doesn’t admit who she is. Seol introduces herself to see if she’s really reached Jung’s phone, and when In Ha hears her name she lights up. So this is Jung’s supposed girlfriend! To spite her further she introduces herself as Jung’s real girlfriend and that Seol is just being delusional. Seol doesn’t know what to make of this and her grip on the door loosens, letting Young Gon to enter the building and take the phone back. Even Young Gon says that the girl on the other line is Jung’s other woman.

That evening Seol walks home in a daze. What to believe? She spots Jung waiting for her in the distance; he had called her while he was at work but she had been avoiding his calls. Seol continues her day of truth-seeking: did Jung really send those texts to Young Gon a year ago? And did he know what she went through because of Young Gon before? Jung realizes he can’t lie his way out of it with the evidence so plainly against him, so he admits that he did. Seol then asks why In Ha picked up the phone; she has now come to the conclusion that she heard In Ha’s voice on the other end. Jung simply says that she stole the phone from him, and that she only said that she was the girlfriend because she holds a grudge against him.

Seol doesn’t understand why he would let her keep the phone and then she would hold a grudge against him, and thinks that he sent those texts to Young Gon and then let In Ha take the phone. She wonders if he really knew what Young Gon was capable of, how his obsessive mind would work if he thought Seol liked him, and Jung insists he didn’t know. He really didn’t, but he’s sorry to have misled Young Gon that way.

Seol is ready to cry, and so is Jung. He knows that she’s really angry with him, and his father’s advice is quite fitting for this time: ‘Once in the working world, Jung will have to realize that he’s not the smartest and that there are things he cannot control because he’s not the center of the universe.’ He wants Seol to forget the past, but she can’t. She thinks he hasn’t changed one bit, not since the incident where he confronted T.A. Heo. She feels that he has not told her the whole truth ever, and because of that she thinks they need to take a break. They just can’t truly get close with one another.

They’re really breaking up… And In Ho from a distance can see that they’re fighting. (At least he walks in the opposite direction and doesn’t get involved, but he does feel awful for Seol.)

Jung goes home in quite a depressed mood so the last person he needs to see is In Ha with her luggage, waiting for him so she can stay in his apartment. In Ha doesn’t want to stay with Mr. Yoo or else he’d know that she spent all of his money already, but Jung doesn’t care. This is exactly what he thought would happen and even told his father to give In Ha the money.

Realizing that she’s not winning this argument, In Ha reveals that Seol called her today. “Isn’t that the girl that I hooked up with that loser (Young Gon)? Let me know if you want me to get rid of her again like a piece of gum.” Jung’s eyes grow cold and he snatches the phone away: “Don’t you know who the piece of gum is!?” When Jung said a long time ago that there were two people who were bothering him, he didn’t mean Seol and Young Gon. He meant In Ha and Young Gon. Only now does In Ha realize this, but she is quite resilient. She won’t let Jung throw her away so easily.

Thing is, Jung has seriously had enough of her. And he is really. really. REALLY. angry with her. He pushes his way into his building, making sure that she can’t even enter through the front doors, and then tosses her phone into the sink. The messages to Young Gon are still there in her phone, and it sickens him enough to want to get rid of it.

The following morning, the break-up is still fresh on both their minds, but they have a midterm to get through. Jung waffles on what he should text Seol, not wanting to keep it silent between them. At first he tells her he misses her, but then he settles on just a simple good luck for the exam. Seol exits the house all bundled up and with a cap, and bumps into In Ho, who’s heading to school for piano lessons too.

He offers an energy drink to her, saying it’s best to have it after a fight with the boyfriend. Seol stops cold – did he see them last night? In Ho is all, “Wow I should be a fortune teller!” and “I told you so.” Seol doesn’t want to hear it from him, as she knows that he’ll only have negative things to say about Jung anyways.

When she gets to the classroom, Young Gon cheerily says hi and texts her to see if she broke up with Jung. Instead of replying, she just pointedly ignores him – which is almost like an admittance that she did. Quite happy, Young Gon then suggests to Min Soo that she ought to apologize to Seol for the plagiarism incident because Seol hates nothing more than to be put on the spot publicly. So once the test is over, Min Soo goes over to sincerely apologize.

However Seol can’t quite accept it yet, not when her lion charm is so obviously hanging on Min Soo’s bag. Min Soo cries foul – what has she done so wrong besides the plagiarism incident? She causes a ruckus (much to Young Gon’s delight) and Da Young fights on Min Soo’s side while Bora spits back angry words on Seol’s behalf. Man, this Da Young is seriously annoying. Young Gon quickly excuses himself from having lunch with his girlfriend and her friends, and then Da Young makes Min Soo feel better by asking about her boyfriend. What boyfriend?

Oh – that guy on Min Soo’s phone screen.

And freaking Min Soo lies that Hong Joon is her boyfriend, even though she knows nothing about him. How does she rationalize this? “It’s not a complete lie. He’s just not my boyfriend yet.” EW.

Thankfully she doesn’t see Hong Joon on campus that day, as he’s hanging around Ah Young while she studies. Turns out he’s been hanging around the school because of her because they were friends back in high school, and he’s always had a crush on her. In fact, he missed her, his “little tangerine” the most while studying abroad. Ah Young is a bit flustered but she tells him to stop bugging her while she studies. It’s kind of cute to see Ah Young and Hong Joon together. Now Min Soo just needs to go away…

Backtrack a little bit and we see that In Ho is still going through Hanon exercises. At one point he gives up and starts playing a complicated piece, but that’s when Professor Shim catches him. In Ho begs for forgiveness and promises to keep playing Hanon, but Professor Shim has a surprise for him: a new music book! In Ho is excited – until he sees that it’s just Für Elise. A really simple song for a guy like him. In Ho is at first sulky, but he’ll play it – anything but Hanon!

Seol heads to the library to study, not realizing that Young Gon is using his lunch break to stalk her and take pictures of her from behind the shelves. She steps away from her desk for a moment and he quickly goes over to take pictures of her daily schedule. Creeper! Thankfully Seol catches him in the act and quickly sweeps up all of her things. He chases her out of the building and they stop in front of some bushes.

Bushes where Eun Taek and Bora are hiding with their camera!

Young Gon tries to sell himself as a great catch, and that he was only using Da Young to gain acceptance from others. But if Seol would have him, he would dump her in a heartbeat. Ew. Seol calls him out on his pitifulness as Bora films the entire thing. This whole thing was planned! Seol was trying to catch Young Gon in the act of harassing her for evidence!

Unfortunately In Ho comes upon them at this moment and wonders what the heck they’re doing. He can’t keep still seeing Young Gon harass Seol, and when Young Gon forcibly grabs Seol into a hug, In Ho leaps into action. He starts chasing Young Gon away, but everything has been ruined! Bora was unable to film the whole thing properly because of In Ho! Now they don’t have solid evidence of what happened!

In Ho is kind of annoyed with Seol for putting herself in a potentially dangerous situation. He refuses to leave her alone now and insists on escorting her to and from school every day. One never knows when Young Gon will show up, and really Seol has no choice in this matter. As they head home that night, Seol suggests that In Ho study for his GED. He refuses to, as he has no mind for studying.

She then asks about In Ha and In Ho insists that there is nothing going on between In Ha and Jung. I guess the thought of his sister with Jung mortifies him too. He maintains that she is just someone who continually keeps in touch with Jung, and that In Ha is very dangerous. If Seol were to ever encounter her she should run. And if she can’t run, then she should grab In Ha’s hair and attack first.

Speak of the devil – In Ha calls In Ho. She’s outside of his home waiting to be let in.

In Ho grudgingly lets her in the house but doesn’t offer to help carry her luggages. She immediately wrinkles her nose in disgust at the small one-room apartment. He makes her instant ramen, and when she sees his piano books on the table, she “spills” the ramen on his books. It enrages him, but you have to realize that he also put down her dreams of being an artist. To her, this is fair game. In Ho wonders aloud what made her this way in particular, and we get a flashback…

Back in high school In Ho was the cool one who wouldn’t stand for injustice. Imagine him as “Bora” to Jung’s “Seol.” When a bully “loses” Jung’s treasured pen that he got as a gift, Jung chooses not to react and says it’s fine. In Ho gets mad on his friend’s behalf but Jung tells him it’s okay. It’s easier to just let things go and not fight over a pen than it is to get mad over every little thing. In Ho wishes that Jung would fight back more and hit first, talk later. So Jung jokingly slaps In Ho; they actually have a really good friendship.

Same goes for In Ha. They spend a memorable night on their first night of school break playing with firecrackers and fireworks. Jung initially tells them to go inside or they’ll get in trouble, but In Ho encourages his friend to live a little. Just live now because who knows what will happen tomorrow? Typical Jung worries about what they’ll be doing in ten years, but In Ho doesn’t care. He reckons that he’ll be a pianist, Jung will be in Taerang Group, and In Ha will be… hopeless. But either way they’ll still be friends forever, right?

Damn… I really wish In Ho and Jung can be friends again.

Back in the present, In Ho finds In Ha staking claim over his bed. She falls asleep with her glasses on, so In Ho takes it off for her. But then he throws the blanket on her, covering her face completely instead of neatly tucking it in. Hehehe.

As for Jung, he returns home still feeling dismal about his break-up. He doesn’t know what else to do to prove that he likes Seol, and he thought that they were similar. But he’s now understanding that they are very different people…

The following morning In Ha emerges from the room singing. In Ho is immediately suspicious: did Jung give her more money? In Ha denies such a thing happened and shoos him out of the house. But In Ho was right – Jung did give her money. In fact, he struck a deal with her! Now she’s going to implement her plan step by step – starting with Jae Woo.

In Ha first approaches Jae Woo at the convenience store, giving him 500 won for his milk box as payback for when he paid for her ice cream. What she really wants is information about Young Gon, and it makes Jae Woo feel awful. This really hot girl keeps approaching him with questions about other guys! Eventually she gets info on where Young Gon is and tracks him down to a lounge where he’s “studying” with Da Young.

In Ha texts him from her new number and introduces herself as Jung’s “real girlfriend.” It tickles Young Gon to the bone that Da Young becomes suspicious of who he’s texting and insists to look at his phone. In Ha watches from a nearby couch and smirks – her plan is going well! Step by step, she’s taking revenge on all the people who hurt Seol on Jung’s behalf. She’ll do anything for the money.

When Seol enters another classroom for an exam with Bora and Eun Taek, Kyung Hwan points her to a seat next to Jung. It also means sitting near Young Gon though, and Seol pushes her friends to a front row seat. Her clear avoidance of Jung makes everyone think that they’ve broken up though, and makes it really awkward for Seol. She goes out to the vending machine to get some coffee, trying to refocus her thoughts. As she heads back, she sees Jung walking towards her… and walk right past her to the machine.

A bit flustered, Seol goes to the bathroom to wash her hands and cool down. But right outside by the stairwell, Jung is waiting for her. I knew he would! He hands her a coffee can but she rejects it, saying she’s had too much already. She prepares to descend down the stairs, but he grabs her arm and sweeps his arm around into a back hug. A back hug! Kyaaahhhh!


Okay, I’m going to admit that that back hug made me swoon, even though technically it was forced upon her. But it was definitely not ill-intentioned like Young Gon’s was. In fact, it just made me feel happy that Jung’s feelings were true and that he cared about her so much that he initiated contact this time. He’s the one reaching out to her. And it’s something he really needs to work on. It’s so easy to misunderstand him and think the worst of his actions when his face is like stone and he’s so quiet. He never fights back like In Ho does, so you never know his true intentions.

Instead, he’s choosing to fight back with In Ha. It’s scary how he can use pawns to do his bidding, and In Ha is just too easy of a pawn. But at the same time, I think it’s kind of awesome to use In Ha. Not only does he not get his hands dirty, but he gets In Ha to undo the mess she made and we viewers get a second chance to like her. There is almost nothing redeemable about In Ha’s character because she’s whiny, vain, arrogant, and greedy. And yet here she is taking revenge on people we should hate more than her – people who are actually hurtful and dangerous – for Seol’s sake! How can you not root for her plan to succeed?

I wonder if Seol will accept this though. This episode has shown that she is more than willing to fight her own battles her way, and she’s finally standing up to her classmates that view her as a pushover. She’s even standing up to Jung and insisting on knowing what kind of person he is instead of just blindly accepting everything he says. In some ways I want Seol to beat Young Gon and Min Soo on her own, but at the same time I know that it’s a very difficult task to complete on her own. Maybe In Ha can just help strip Young Gon of his “allies” like Da Young, Sang Chul, and Min Soo and leave Seol to deal with the bastard herself. That’d be nice.

Just as a programming note, Cheese in the Trap will not air new episodes next week because of Lunar New Year!

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