Ji Tae is a coward. I am SO FRUSTRATED. But at the same time we are reaching the point where No Eul is starting to become cognizant of her feelings for one of the guys, and allowing it to wash over her. I guess it’s about time since we’re nearly halfway through the show. Somehow the documentary has been left forgotten though.
Despite Joon Young asking her to only trust him and his words, to believe him when he says he never toyed with her, to believe in his kiss, No Eul takes her leave. Ji Tae follows her outside on the street, ten steps behind, without her knowledge. Always late to the game.
The following morning, Kim Yoo Na is giving interviews about her relationship with Joon Young. She is a very good actress, not overplaying their relationship and staying vague enough as she was thrust into the spotlight because of CEO Namgoong without much warning. Nari demands to know if No Eul knew about all this, angry that all of her and No Jik’s worries might have been for nothing. No Eul puts on a brave face and says that yes, she knew about this deception all along. But she also doesn’t want to deal with Nari’s complaints about not knowing ahead of time either.
CEO Namgoong is very happy with how this lie is turning out, while Gook Young is uncomfortable with this deception. Nevertheless, the positive comments online are flowing in and so CEO Namgoong feels like his move is validated. On top of that, Kim Yoo Na’s reputation is getting better since her movie tanked, and the public is taking a more sympathetic view towards No Eul because she was just a “shield” rather than a “gold digger.” Everything’s working out well… except that Joon Young hasn’t come storming into the agency to yell at the CEO. That is disconcerting and so unlike Joon Young.
No Jik walks through the school halls picking up trash as he goes; it’s no wonder his nickname is ‘Gramps’ because of his elderly-like tendencies and slow movement. A bunch of classmates start thanking him for the burgers, and some of his friends tell him they never knew he had such a rich older brother. A rich older brother?! No Jik is called to the teachers’ lounge, where all the teachers were also given food, and finds none other than Joon Young signing autographs and taking pictures with the teachers.
On the roof, No Jik insists on paying Joon Young back the price of the lunch, which is over 5 million won. Joon Young just smiles at how big and smart No Jik has gotten; the quiet and brilliant boy is really planning to go to Seoul University for medical school! He really doesn’t want No Jik’s money. Instead, he sincerely professes his feelings for No Eul once again and asks No Jik to help him win over No Eul. “I hear that you’re the only one she listens to,” he adds, hearkening back to No Eul’s constant refrain, “I should have listened to Jik!”
But No Jik isn’t having it. Though a little taken aback by Joon Young’s heartfelt confession, he stands his ground and promises to pay back the cost of the lunch.
At work, Secretary Kang asks for a minute with Ji Tae to talk as friends, and not boss and employee. He wants Ji Tae to stop what he’s doing now – to apologize to Jung Eun and to stop pursuing No Eul. If everyone finds out who each other is, and No Eul discovers Ji Tae’s true identity, things could turn out very badly. It’s exactly what Ji Tae doesn’t want to hear right now, even if it is the right path, and he cuts off Secretary Kang mid-sentence. Kang exclaims, “Ji Tae-ah!” And I’m startled by how frank and close Secretary Kang just addressed his boss. But Ji Tae won’t have it and resumes their professional relationship.
Instead, Ji Tae chooses to go over to Nari’s place with some congee, as he heard from Nari that No Eul hadn’t eaten anything lately. When he gets there, he spots Joon Young’s car already parked in front of it. Instead of letting Joon Young get out of the car first, Ji Tae goes right up to the front door. He is about to ring the doorbell when Joon Young runs up and presses the button first. And then Joon Young situates himself right in front of the door so that No Eul sees him first when she opens the door. Because everything is a competition and who gets there first, right?
Though reluctant, No Eul lets Joon Young in because Ji Tae is there. Ji Tae tries to get her to eat some abalone congee, even spoon feeding her. Cue Joon Young’s snarky comments about how No Eul can feed herself, thank you very much. No Eul leans in to take Ji Tae’s offer, knowing that it’ll make Joon Young jealous, but it only makes Joon Young quickly take the spoonful for himself. “Oooh, it tastes horrible. Good thing you didn’t eat it,” and Joon Young squeezes himself between No Eul and Ji Tae. So immature! I love it!
No Eul is sick of this and excuses herself out. So Joon Young eats the entire abalone congee by himself, all the while complaining about how bad it is. Ooook. Joon Young refuses to leave No Eul’s side, even with the whole Kim Yoo Na-hullabaloo, because people have free will to love whomever they want. That actually makes Ji Tae smile. He was worried that he’d have to battle Joon Young the entire time for No Eul’s attention. But now, he has Joon Young’s reasoning to back him up: he has the free will to love No Eul and will continue to do so no matter what.
Joon Young grabs Ji Tae’s wrist: “What’s with this fancy watch you’re wearing with your shabby clothes?” He’s onto him! He knows Ji Tae is a liar, but Ji Tae manages to not have to answer because he gets an urgent phone call from Haru: Mom’s collapsed.
Ji Tae hurries to the hospital to find Jung Eun there at his mother’s bedside. Immediately he accuses her of doing something that caused his mother’s collapse, but Haru comes in just in time to defend Jung Eun. Had Jung Eun not been there to pick up Eun Soo to go to the sauna, and had she not been available, Haru would not have known what to do by herself. Hyun Joon is out of town on a business trip, and Ji Tae missed ten of Haru’s calls before finally picking up. We’re not sure how dastardly Jung Eun is, but Ji Tae does feel guilty he wasn’t around to help his mom.
Joon Young wanders around the neighborhood looking for No Eul, finally tracking her down at a restaurant. He gets her attention and signs to her that he’ll wait outside until she’s done. That makes No Eul eat even slower, and take in three bowls of rice even though her stew is done. Even though she develops indigestion, she refuses to go out until Joon Young disappears. And finally he does – because he went inside to grab her. He saw her having trouble swallowing, so he pays for the bill and hurries to take her to a hospital.
No Eul doesn’t want any help from him, but their fighting is only drawing attention and Joon Young’s scarf isn’t going to hide his identity forever. So she acquiesces and follows him to his car. She does add that she plans to stick around Ji Tae, that she’s choosing Ji Tae, but Joon Young doesn’t care. He just wants to date for three months, maybe four. He doesn’t have enough time to be petty or jealous.
And then he swings right by to his mother’s restaurant. This is the “hospital” where she can get her indigestion treated by his mother! At Joon Young’s arrival, the restaurant closes down and ushers all the existing customers out. Joon Young presents No Eul as the girl he likes by holding her hand in front of Jung Sik and Young Ok. No Eul is not okay with this and introduces herself as merely the “shield” to Joon Young’s affair with Kim Yoo Na. She has no intention of being with Joon Young nor does she like him. It’s purely one-sided on his part. Young Ok is annoyed by this whole situation and tries to kick them out. But then No Eul says, “If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s knowing my place. I’ll try my best to avoid him and run away. Nothing will happen between us.” She even offers to sign a contract, but it’s clear she’s also having a hard time because she can’t burp from the indigestion.
So Young Ok takes pity on her and takes her aside to prick her thumb. No Eul freaks out and begs the mom not to stab her too hard because she hates her. Hee. Young Ok assures her that she doesn’t hate No Eul, because the girl knows her place, and then pricks her thumb. “AHHHHHH!” No Eul screams. Hehe.
Jung Sik brings out a Sprite from the kitchen and notices No Eul’s dirty sneakers all lopsided on the floor. He fixes it (much to Joon Young’s happiness) and then has a man-to-man talk with his nephew. He finds Joon Young so similar to his father, Hyun Joon, who claimed that he didn’t like fancy girls in high heels. Both father and son fell in love with a girl with cheap shoes, but Jung Sik believes that one day Joon Young will go for the rich girl and forget about No Eul.
Speaking of Hyun Joon, he arrives at the hospital straight from the airport to check on the mother. Eun Soo is actually alright and the doctor informs her privately that she isn’t rejecting the kidney transplant. However Eun Soo, who is probably the president of the hospital, orders him to inform her husband that her condition is quite serious and that he should not do anything that will cause worry for his wife. UGH. Using her illness as an excuse! The doctor is taken aback but he does exactly as Eun Soo wishes when Hyun Joon arrives.
Meanwhile Jung Eun encourages Ji Tae to change his clothes, otherwise he’ll get caught for masquerading around as a poor boy in his free time. She’s still annoyed that Ji Tae likes No Eul that much to pretend to be poor for her, and reminds him that they’ll be getting married in a month. She already spoke to Eun Soo about it, and she’s looking forward to becoming a real daughter of the Choi family.
After No Eul is relieved of her indigestion, Joon Young goes to the kitchen to help his mother prepare radish kimchi. Except he completely ruins the recipe – HA! No Eul learns from Jung Sik that Joon Young and his mother have a very difficult relationship ever since he dropped out of law school and became a celebrity. Perhaps that makes Joon Young a bit more human in her eyes? The fact that Joon Young is this superstar and can’t even get his mom to cook him food.
As Joon Young drives No Eul home, he even reveals to her that his mother suffered a lot raising him, resorting to stealing so that he could eat sweet and sour pork once. His mother sacrificed a lot for him, and now she won’t have anything to do with him. No Eul doesn’t have anything to say, but only thanks him for helping her with the indigestion and goes back to Nari’s house.
No Eul chooses to text Ji Tae instead and ask if he wants to have dinner together. At first Ji Tae is heartened and decides to go see her. But then he gets a call from his father, who’s still in the hospital, where Hyun Joon apologizes for “everything” and promises to be “really good” from now on. It implies that Hyun Joon feels guilty for seeing Madam Song. Ji Tae feels awful, because he can see how his father is trying to own up to his mistakes now and trying to do his duty. And that’s what Ji Tae should do as well. So instead of going to his and No Eul’s favorite restaurant, he just stands on the street, thinking.
After an hour with no Ji Tae, No Eul realizes that she’s been jilted. What’s worse is she wanted Ji Tae to be there with her to convince her to stop her. I assume “stop her” from going to Joon Young.
Speaking of, Joon Young arrives home to see CEO Namgoong and Gook Young waiting in the dark in his home. They’re both afraid that Joon Young is going to rip their heads out for the Kim Yoo Na scandal, but he surprisingly just says, “Good job CEO.” It’s more eerie for them to hear a compliment from Joon Young than an insult!
And then Joon Young gets more good news – No Eul calls him! She has something to say but Joon Young can’t contain his excitement. He wants to hear it from her face to face and quickly drives to where she is.
Except when he arrives at Han River, his vision starts to blur. He sees No Eul, but she’s doubling. Slowly, trying not to stumble, Joon Young gathers the strength to keep going forward. In his mind, he dares God to keep going at him with all He’s got, because Joon Young is not going to give up now. He’s going to keep fighting.
And when No Eul stands up from her seat, Joon Young embraces her, clinging on to her with his dear life.
Okay really now – what happened to the documentary?
If no one noticed the parallels before between No Eul and Joon Young, and Young Ok and Hyun Joon, well, this episode just beats it over your head even more. It’s nice to take comfort in knowing that Joon Young will try to do right where Hyun Joon went wrong, because I don’t think Hyun Joon can do it to Young Ok anymore. Even if he did go and find Young Ok, I don’t think the both of them can ever be together or try to become friends. They’ve diverged too far in their paths.
I was really frustrated with how cowardly Ji Tae has been in this episode. He’s always been late to the game, ever since five years ago. He always ends up seeing the aftermath of a Joon Young-No Eul interaction because Joon Young gets to her first – whether it’s by confessing, by reaching out to her, or even hurting her. He has the opportunity to interrupt Joon Young’s deep, desperate kiss with No Eul, but he doesn’t. Instead, he backs away. It’s a frustratingly cowardly move, but one that is in line with Ji Tae’s character – to be self-sacrificing and back away. Ji Tae has never made himself known and continues to hide behind the disguise of “Hyun Woo.” I wish he listened to his secretary, but at the same time I acknowledge that if he weren’t cowardly, we wouldn’t have this angsty love triangle.
Meanwhile, Eun Soo as a villain in this show is becoming cartoonish. She decides to use her illness and kidney cancer against her husband to keep him by her side. For one thing, that never works in a K-drama because the spouse will eventually find out. For another, it’s frustrating to see a woman pretend to be weak so that her husband can stay by her side. And lastly, it just makes me hate Eun Soo more as a character because she too is weak-willed. She can’t hold onto her man and resorts to an illness to hold on to him. She hides behind this lie – much like her son – just to get Hyun Joon to baby her. She’s awful, and it’s no wonder she has Haru as a daughter who is a big baby herself.
I’ve said that I want to see Jung Eun a little more like the typical villain, which is a little cartoonish in and of itself. However, she would be going (hopefully) a stronger route, where she is more vengeful, more spiteful, more active in trying to get her man to stay with her. Because let’s give them a bit more agency than just an illness to hide behind, okay?
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 7 Recap
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- 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