Episode #8: “It’s not romance, it’s war”
Episode 8 resumes at the stand-off between a suspicious Han Yeo Reum (Jung Yu Mi) who has found her boyfriend Nam Ha Jin (Sung Joon) hiding from her with An A Rim (Yoon Jin Yi). Ex-boyfriend Kang Tae Ha (Eric) is watching the interchange unfold in front of him.
A Rim tells Yeo Reum that she will not take being bullied, “I will not back down a third time.” Ha Jin flashes back to the orphanage where he taught her how to punch someone in the nose. A little blood will stop the bully was the mindset. Present day, A Rim reveals how Yeo Reum came to where she worked to check her out. She asks Yeo Reum if she is a stalker. Now the tables are turned, Ha Jin asks why Yeo Reum does not trust him. He starts to leave with A Rim. Yeo Reum is stunned that Ha Jin is choosing to protect A Rim. Tae Ha is stunned as well and asks Ha Jin “Don’t you know who is more important here?” Ha Jin walks away with A Rim even after Ta Hae offers to take A Rim home. Wow! I was surprised Ha Jin’s sided with A Rim and loved the Tae Ha spoke in Yeo Reum’s defense.
Ha Jin carries A Rim’s bike to the bike shop after it breaks down. Tae Ha and Yeo Reum drive by them walking to the bike shop.
Do Joon Ho (Yoon Hyun Min) watches the exchange from the office windows and declares It’s not romance, it’s war!” 8 minutes in and the title has been spoken!
Yeo Reum tells Tae Ha to reflect on what he did wrong during their relationship. Gosh that would bug me, give the man a hint! Tae Ha complains that Yeo Reum is only using him. When he drives her home, Ha Jin is waiting for her. She directs Tae Ha to drive away which he does with a grin. Ha Jin follows and Yeo Reum refuses to exit the car as he asks. She tells Tae Ha to take her to a movie. They go to the movies and Tae Ha imagines himself in the film telling him that he is being a wimp.
After the movie Tae Ha drops Yeo Reum off and tells her she can use him. She notes the one good thing about Tae Ha when they were together was that he treated her better than he treated other people (in contrast to Ha Jin who treated A Rim better than Yeo Reum). Tae Ha tells her that kind of praise unleashes a tsunami of feelings in him (ha!).
In the adult story line, Min Soo asks Ha Jin’s mother if the gift of side dishes means that she likes him. She astutely asks if the friend that prompted this question is a woman, She tells him the woman friend must be jealous and likes him herself. She compliments him and tells him “his brain is sexy”. (Interesting compliment) At Yeo Reum’s apartment Min Soo asks what “your brain is sexy” means. She says she hates the phrase. She then compliments Min Soo and says he is in good shape with a dandy style. He notes all her drama leading man characters have a dandy style. She agrees that is the style she likes. He preens at that.
Flip to interview mode:
Yoon Sol: She will NOT call him. She sides with Yeo Reum.
Joon Ho: He will NOT call her. He sides with Ha Jin.
Yoon Sol exits her interview location and goes to his location and berates him for not supporting Yeo Reum. Clever production in that scene just like they did in episode 1.
Time for the rival men to drink together. Ha Jin tells Tae Ha that Yeo Reum is everything to her and he cannot live without her. Tae Ha counters then HER feelings should be important to him. Ha Jin asks if Tae Hae is “close enough to share naked feelings” with Yeo Reum. He tells him that if Tae Ha gets in the middle of them again, he will kill him.
Ha Jin goes to Yeo Reum’s studio, but does NOT enter. Ha Jin drafts a text to send to Yeo Reum, but does NOT send it.
Joon Ho texts Yeo Reum that Ha Jin and Tae Ha went out drinking. That gets her interest.
Yeo Reum calls Tae Ha to stop by the studio. In an amusing battle of will, Tae He directs the driver home then to Yeo Reum’s studio, then home, then back to her studio. The driver is thrilled with the amount of money he garners!
Ha Jin stops by the clothing store A Rim works at. She is surprised to see him. They make a date to go the orphanage the next day to see her friends he will do surgery for. Ha Jin admits that he is pleased to see her using the bike. They smile.
Flip to interview mode. A Rim admits she likes Ha Jin but she cannot reveal her feelings because he has a girlfriend. She cries and stops the interview.
At Yeo Reum’s studio, Tae Ha refuses to discuss what he and Ha Jin talked about. As he leaves he apologizes for not being there when her father passed away. Yeo Reum is touched by his obvious sincerity.
Flip to interview mode: Yeo Reum says she will never call first. She notes that their relationship has changed when Ha Jin choose A Rim. Joon Ho is also interviewed and tells the interviewer that Yeo Reum better make the move because men cannot love forever. Yeo Reum watches the interview and considers. (nice production point to have her listen to his interview).
The next morning over breakfast Ha Jin receives a text from A Rim about going to the orphanage. WITHOUT conferring with Yeo Reum, he texts that he will pick her up at noon. Yeo Reum receives a text from Tae Ha about visiting a wood factory. WITHOUT conferring with Ha Jin, she texts that he can pick her up at noon. They are NOT forthcoming with each other about what they are doing that day.
* Another good episode. This episode could have been named “battle of wills, staring at a cell phone”.
* I was surprised and impressed at the moxy A Rim showed to Yeo Reum. She was not mean but was forthright that Yeo Reum had stalked her. Nice flashback to the orphanage. I was totally surprised that Ha Jin sided with A Rim and took her home even after Tae Ha said he would do that. Yeo Reum noted later that their relationship changed at that moment. I have to agree.
* Interesting the title of the episode was worked into the at the 8 minute mark not the final scene as episodes 1-6 have done. It seemed like we hit a new high on the number of interviews during an episode. I like the production of these interviews. It allows us direct access to characters opinions.
* No updates on the mysteries. What is the deal with Yeo Reum’s father’s death? What is the deal with Ha Jin and A Rim’s past?
* Almost all the characters evolved this episode.
**Tae Ha showed compassion and sadness that he wasn’t there for Yeo Reum when her father died.
**Yeo Reum showed the willingness to bend. She gave up winning the battle of wills, to keep the relationship.
**Ha Jin showed backbone and refused be the first to bend in the battle of wills.
**A Rim showed spirit when she told Yeo Reum off and her heart when she admitted she liked Ha Jin.
**Joon Ho showed friendship to Yeo Reum, Ha Jin and Yoon Sol. He showed insight into the male psyche that prompted Yeo Reum to reverse her hard stance.
**I did not see any evolution for Yoon Sol but I love the character.
* Eric manages to play Tae Ha so he is likable even when Yeo Reum has the power. I absolutely loved that HE stood up for Yeo Reum when Ha Jin choose A Rim. He was stunned that Ha Jin made that choice (I was too). While Yeo Reum controls him he tries to battle against it but to no avail. When he apologized for not being their when her father died, it felt like a real connection was forged between them at that point.
* Jung Yu Mi’s character Yeo Reum had to abandon her “smart but mean” tactics in the end. Yu Mi did a terrific job of portraying her character’s shock and hurt when Ha Jin chose A Rim. I felt for Yeo Reum in that moment. Interesting that she was willing to keep that battle of will going but reconsidered once she heard Joon Ho state that men cannot love forever. That forced her to put aside her pride if she wanted the relationship.
* Sung Joon did a good job portraying a conflicted Ha Jin. His history with A Rim makes him want and need to protect her. His love for Yeo Reum makes him anguished not to have her. I did find it interesting that HE WOULD NOT BEND. Ha Jin has given in almost every time to Yeo Reum but the line was drawn this episode. The line was A Rim. I can see the possibility of their pairing even more. They do have their own gentle chemistry. Why is he hiding his identify from A Rim?
* Yoon Sol is one-half of the comic relief of the show. The actors that portray Yoon Sol and Joon Ho play off each other perfectly. If the characters just shifted slightly how they looked at each other, there could be a love match. LOVED it when Yoon Sol invaded Joon Ho’s interview space and threatened him.
* Do Joon Ho has great facial expresssions. I loved his lip curl / snarl at Yoon Sol after the movies. The first bump and finger wags after they successfully blocked Yeo Reum was nice. I really liked how this character is a friend BOTH Ha Jin and Yeo Reum AND Yoon Sol.
* An A Rim surprised me with her moxy! The actor, Yoon Jin Yi, managed to play fierce for a sweet character. I liked when the A Rim was interviewed and she admits she likes Ha Jin. This characters best episode.