This was the episode where I thought I was going to drop this series. And then this was the episode where the last two minutes changed my mind about that.
Joon Young just drives. He doesn’t drop No Eul off anywhere, nor answers her questions on where they’re going. He just drives all the way to the shore, until he can’t anymore because they’ve reached the water. Unless of course they want to just drown and die. No Eul, disaffected, is fine with drowning and dying. She doesn’t care anymore, as she’s been majorly hurt by Ji Tae’s actions. Joon Young starts the car, and then that’s when she wakes up and realizes that he’s serious. She jumps out, saying he can go die himself, and heads to a convenience store nearby.
If anything, Ji Tae is somewhat affected by what happened. But his way of letting it out is going to the gym, where he finds his father working out late at night as well. He tells his father a story about a “friend” who likes a girl, but his friend’s father wronged the girl’s family years ago. And yet the “friend’s” younger brother had no qualms about snatching her away for himself. It’s veiled enough that Hyun Joon doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Ji Tae then suggests they go drink somewhere instead of working out – which leads to Hyun Joon getting very drunk because he’s a lightweight.
No Eul purchases five bottles of soju for herself and plants herself in the sand and starts drinking. Joon Young just watches her, ignoring all the calls coming his way. No Eul’s phone was left in his car, so she doesn’t realize her brother and Nari are frantically trying to track her down. They’re worried she might have been attacked by the fan clubs already, and No Jik calls up Haru angrily to warn her to not touch a single hair on No Eul’s head.
You know, for someone who kinda tried to hide his identity from Haru, he’s acting pretty blatant about his relationship with No Eul. While it’s not obvious he’s the brother, it’s clear that he’s very close to No Eul and Haru could use it to her advantage. However, Haru is a bit feisty and all she hears is a guy threatening her. She counters that she’ll call up her dad and the cops (because her daddy solves everything) and No Jik willingly gives his address. It means he really has nothing to lose.
Haru calls up her dad, whining that someone is threatening her. (Um, let’s rethink about your actions as a fan who promotes slander and hurtful comments online, yeah?) But Ji Tae picks up, as he’s with the dad. Haru’s about to complain to him about the Joon Young-No Eul scandal, but then realizes her brother might just yell at her to go study. So she hangs up instead. Ugh – this girl might be more annoying than even Baek In Ha from Cheese in the Trap. At least that sister was very open and blatant about her flaws. This one doesn’t even realize how annoying she is and thinks she’s a little angel.
Eventually No Eul demands to have her phone. Of course, Joon Young doesn’t have it, but he gives her his instead. She tries dialing her number, but then ends up calling Ji Tae instead. When he picks up, he’s already home, having brought his drunk father home. (Mom’s not happy with that since she’s very overprotective of her husband and the fact that he gave her one of his kidneys.) No Eul starts crying – why did he reject her by letting go of her hand? She wishes he weren’t so much of a coward, and that he stood up for her, because she really likes him. Does he really not like her that much to care what happens to her?
Ji Tae is stunned into silence, especially as he can’t really respond to her when he’s in the same room as his (drunk) dad. Joon Young on the other hand is completely disgusted with how No Eul is acting and rips it from her hands. He hangs up for her and then throws the phone into the sea so she can’t get it anymore. What frustrates Joon Young the most is that he made a really public grand gesture and has been trying to show her how much he likes her, and she still won’t acknowledge him.
As for Ji Tae, he holds back his tears from hearing No Eul’s confession. He looks at his father’s sleeping body and blames his father for everything under his breath. Because of what Hyun Joon did to her family, he can never be with her.
No Eul passes out, and when she comes to she’s in an old lady’s home wearing ahjumma clothing. Her clothes have been hung out to dry, and no one is in the room with her. The old lady brings out some hangover soup for her, and scolds her for drinking so much soju on an empty stomach. No Eul asks what happened last night, and the lady tells her that her husband went through so much changing her out of her clothes because she puked all over herself. No Eul freaks out. Husband?! Joon Young saw her naked!?
She goes back to his car by the shore but no one’s in there. Her phone is there though and she retrieves it. While getting her phone charged at a nearby cellphone service center, she sees herself in the headlines of newspapers with pictures of Joon Young leading her away. One of the guys at the center recognizes her, but at least he doesn’t call too much attention to her presence. Regardless, No Eul is recognized everywhere she goes – even on the bus back to Seoul.
No Eul calls up her brother to check in on him, and No Jik likes that he’s been so busy studying he doesn’t know what happened in the news. It’s a relief to No Eul and she pretends she went to the countryside for work. But No Jik actually has skipped school because he was so worried about what happened to his sister. Aw. He’s such a cute bro. Only then do her memories start coming back and she remembers that she was carried on Joon Young’s back, and then threw up all over him and herself.
Then there’s the sad news: Ji Tae is no longer picking up No Eul’s calls. He’s too busy being a section chief and calling out his employees for shoddy work, taking his frustrations out at the company instead. And then there’s more bad news. Joon Young has gone missing and hasn’t answered his phone. (It is in the sea after all.) Gook Young calls No Eul to see if she knows where he is, but she doesn’t. The CEO is heard in the background accusing her of seducing his star while also fielding calls from reporters, but No Eul insists she did none of the seducing. Thankfully she lowers her voice when she realizes people are looking at her. I can just only shake my head…
So Gook Young and CEO Namgoong pay a visit to Young Ok to see if she knows where her son is. She doesn’t, of course, but also because she doesn’t feel like helping the man who put her son on the career path to hell. (A wealthy hell, I might add.) Jung Shik comes to Young Ok’s defense at one point, telling CEO Namgoong to back off and stop telling Young Ok off. I mean, she is worried, but she also thinks everything is CEO Namgoong’s fault. She goes outside and sees a message from Jung Ja; it’s a picture of Hyun Joon, Haru, and Jung Ja at the concert, where he got to see his son perform for the first time.
Young Ok doesn’t realize there’s another person watching her: Eun Soo, from her car. So Eun Soo totally knows about Young Ok! And she asks her assistant if she’s looked into why Joon Young is in the hospital. For someone who looks so docile, she sure can be quite calculating.
Hyun Joon is oblivious to all this because he’s an important politician, and he concludes a successful meeting with a Chinese representative that day. He then sees a woman who looks startlingly like Young Ok and excuses himself to catch up to her at the elevators. He keeps calling her “Young Ok,” and when she turns to look at him, she really does look like Young Ok. But it’s Madame Song. (And who the heck is the actress? Because I really don’t think it’s Jin Kyung, but it would be such an amazing twist if the drama made her play both characters. Because she REALLY looks like Jin Kyung.) Now it all makes sense! He frequented Madame Song’s bar so much in the past because she looked so much like Young Ok, which means he’s still in love with Young Ok!
Madame Song is amused that he’s still calling her by the wrong name and gives him her card. She’s opened a new bar in Cheongdam-dong and hopes he can visit soon. I bet he will!
No Eul contacts Nari as soon as she reaches Seoul. Nari’s gig at an eyeglass store really helps out here because she gives No Eul some shades to disguise herself with. No Eul’s face is all over the internet with really bad rumors of her blackmailing Joon Young, so she needs to be careful while going around. Again, Gook Young calls No Eul for updates on Joon Young, and No Eul yells back that she has no idea where he is and to call the cops if he has to. It’s not like she kidnapped him; if anything he kidnapped her! Nari has to clamp her hand over No Eul’s mouth because she’s yelling so loudly that everyone at the store is watching.
You’d think that for a girl who works in the industry and stalks people to catch them doing wrong would be far more discreet in her conversations. Even if she isn’t trying to catch celebrities, you’d think she would know to tone down her voice in public when everyone knows who she is.
Haru surprises No Jik in the alley behind the bakery where he works that evening. He jumps, and she scoffs at him: “You kept inviting me to your place. But you’re wussing out, now that I’m here?”
No Jik: “Not exactly. It’s because someone so ugly is standing so close to me.”
HA! HAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHA! Ok I thought No Jik was a bit lame at first, but now he’s actually pretty cool.
Haru wants to know why No Jik is so protective of No Eul and what is his relationship with her exactly, but he refuses to explain. She grabs his arm before he can leave: it’s really important for her to know where No Eul is because Joon Young is now missing. She’s been stalking his social media feeds but everything’s gone dark. No Eul was last seen with Joon Young, and Haru’s afraid that “Gold Digger” No Eul has sold him off somewhere.
No Jik stops her right there. He picks her up, princess style, and then dumps her in the garbage dump! OMG this is too great! He holds her head down and tells her to stay with the trash because she keeps spouting garbage from her mouth. HA! Haru threatens to sue with her daddy’s help, and No Jik innocently replies: “Why should I be punished for throwing trash in the correct receptacle? I should be praised!”
No Eul walks home with huge shades, some makeup, and a beach hat, courtesy of Nari. Seriously. Nari is awful at disguises. The best way to tell the world that you are not No Eul is to wear a beach hat in the middle of winter. UGHHHH. At this point I’m starting to head-desk for how dumb No Eul can be. But she’s also head-desking (metaphorically) when she gets another call from Gook Young. She still doesn’t know where Joon Young is, even though another fragment of a memory returns from that night. She remembers running out of the room to throw up and seeing Joon Young wash her clothes. No Eul gives Gook Young the address of where Joon Young left his car, but reckons that Joon Young’s already taken it and gone back to Seoul.
Right outside her house are a bunch of reporters though, and No Eul quickly hides behind a huge van, not sure what to do. Good thing Ji Tae arrives (in his poor man’s disguise) and quietly guides her away from her home. They head to their favorite restaurant, and the manager Bong Sook teases No Eul for being so famous now. Ji Tae gives No Eul his black cap and takes off her shades, which is way better and less conspicuous than that colorful beach hat.
No Eul makes Ji Tae feel guilty and cowardly for letting go of her hand. If anything, he should never have appeared before her again out of embarrassment. Somehow though she doesn’t remember her drunken phone conversation with him, and so Ji Tae pretends he forgot what she said too.
Just then, Jung Eun calls and Ji Tae excuses himself to take it outside. He pretends he’s in a work meeting, and Jung Eun apologizes for bothering him in an insincere way. She just wanted to ask if he went to Joon Young’s concert the other day, as someone told her that they saw him. Ji Tae stiffly replies that he has no time for such things like celeb concerts, and Jung Eun accepts that. The camera pans down to her hands and we see that she has photos (from a reporter presumably) of Ji Tae standing outside the concert hall, facing off with Joon Young while holding No Eul’s hand. Dun dun dun! She knows all! She could be like the next Eun Soo!
While Ji Tae is out asking Jung Eun to dinner (possibly to humor her), the memories come flooding back for No Eul. She remembers confessing to Ji Tae using Joon Young’s phone. She remembers waking up and seeing Joon Young lying down beside her. She remembers turning her back on him to sleep, and then him quietly asking what she sees in the poor boy Ji Tae when he has everything he could provide for her. Should he get her head checked out? Or maybe, is he just too late in confessing that he likes her? If he’s too late, then maybe it’s best if he just leaves her be.
Inspired to look for Joon Young once again (and possibly worried about what he might have done when he had such dark and depressive thoughts), she runs out of the restaurant and takes a cab all the way back to the countryside. It’s a really expensive cab ride. She reaches Joon Young’s car and finds Gook Young there; he’s already asked a bunch of people to help him look for Joon Young but hasn’t reported it to the police yet. Gook Young is really worried that something happened to Joon Young now, and fears that he might have jumped into the sea. “Joon Young, where are you?” Gook Young calls out to the sea. “Tell me if you’ve fallen into the ocean and died!” PFF. Um, if he’s dead he wouldn’t answer! But I’m getting to the point where I’m worried Joon Young could be seriously hurt. After all, his pain attacks come and go without much warning, so something could have happened to him.
It’s also a bit sweet how Gook Young is so protective of Joon Young, even though we must recognize that Gook Young can’t lose his bread and butter. He irrationally accuses No Eul of murdering Joon Young to steal his money, which is so ridiculous that No Eul says she did. And she’ll kill Gook Young too! But Gook Young feels that her rejection of him onstage was as bad as killing him. Joon Young has a huge ego, and she really embarrassed him.
Feeling chagrined, No Eul returns to the old lady’s house where she stayed at. The old lady’s surprised that No Eul hasn’t found her “husband” yet. She’s been grilled by so many people as to where Joon Young could have gone, but all she knows is that Joon Young paid her to take care of No Eul in the morning and left. She sits in the room she slept in, trying to rack her brain for more memories. Slowly, one more returns: she remembers opening her eyes very early in the morning and seeing Joon Young sitting up, staring at the wall. Except he wasn’t really staring at the wall – he was staring at a picture of an island hidden behind the window curtains.
Having a eureka moment, No Eul asks the old lady how she could get there. The first boat out to the island doesn’t go out until 7:30 am, so No Eul still has two hours to kill outside of the ferry station. Unprotected by the winter chill, No Eul finds it hard to fall asleep and rest. Luckily another guy with a boat passes by and she asks for a free ride over to the island.
The island is beautiful. It’s like a carefully curated botanical garden with tree-lined paths, sculpture art, and gazebos all around. No Eul trudges through every path imaginable, calling for Joon Young. She’s tired, and cranky, and on the verge of giving up. But finally she spots him sitting on a bridge bench, overlooking the sea. He’s just chillin’.
No Eul angrily approaches him. How could he let so many people be worried about him when he’s just sitting on this deserted island, sleeping? She feels like she’s the one doing the crazy stuff now – taking an expensive cab ride, looking for him all night, asking a random boat captain for a ride to this place, and not sleeping properly for an entire 48 hours. All to look for him because she was worried.
Joon Young quietly gets up and starts to walk away, but No Eul won’t let him get away with this so easily. “This is not a dream,” she says, anticipating his reaction to her presence. “I’m really here. You’ll come to your senses if I pinch you.”
But Joon Young isn’t fooled. He knows she’s real. He knows he’s not imagining things. And he wants her to leave. Because you know what? He doesn’t care about her anymore.
First off, it’s so sad that No Eul actually cares a lot for Ji Tae, but he restrains himself because of his father. Her confession broke my heart as a viewer because I really wanted her to be with Ji Tae. I felt that he was someone who could really take care of her, who didn’t try to put on too many airs and give her the runaround with his feelings, and whom she appreciated very much. But the guilt that weighs so heavily on his mind prevents him from really breaking out of “second lead” position, and it’s a bit infuriating on my part as a viewer. It’s so nice seeing that this second male lead in the drama is actually the first male lead in No Eul’s life. But his decisions – or indecisions – are going to push him into being the second male lead in her life. And if handled correctly, I’d like to see that progression happen in this show.
Now on to the really frustrating parts that made me want to give up the show. No Eul was handled a bit badly in this episode in my opinion. For someone who works in the media industry, her lack of discretion was dumbfounding. I get that she’s angry and annoyed with Joon Young for what he did. At the same time I expected her to be a little smarter about where she had her conversations and be careful with what she said once she found out that the entire nation recognizes her. I mean really, why would you talk so loudly about Shin Joon Young, throwing his name around like it was nothing? And why would you trust your friend’s suggestion for a disguise when you know perfectly well how to hide yourself from your targets when you film them surreptitiously?
At a certain point, No Eul was falling into what I call “conventional traps” of a female lead. She was your typical hardworking girl who finds herself in an extraordinary situation and suddenly forgets all of her senses. All her quick-thinking failed her in this episode. She was pining for Ji Tae and getting really whiny about Joon Young. She wanted to be left alone but at the same time was never cognizant of her situation as the most recognized girl in Korea. It’s arguable that No Eul was hungover, but if that was the case it might have been beneficial for Suzy to act more hungover. Because honestly, she seemed fine and sober to me.
And then towards the end, I thought we were going to have a really predictable ending of her finding Joon Young sick and weakened, and then No Eul freaking out and calling the ambulance, and then finding herself slowly falling for him because she’s so worried about his condition. And thankfully, it was not that. Though No Eul said some things that made me think she was slowly falling for Joon Young, his complete dismissal of her was refreshing. Maybe it’s to be expected since we’re only six episodes in, and we need more back and forth of “will they or won’t they?” between the leads. But at the same time it’s really nice to see that neither of them reunited while one was in a weakened state. This is a melodrama. It’s almost to be expected that this kind of reunion will happen. The fact that the show did not take the opportunity to do it now is kind of nice.
And, I like it when Joon Young is more standoffish. Continue being mean to No Eul, good sir.
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 5 Recap
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 4 Recap
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 3 Recap
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 2 Recap
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 1 Recap