Episode #14: “Did You Just Call Me a Bitch?” …
Episode 14 begins with Nam Ha Jin (Sung Joon) finally discovering that fiancee Han Yeo Reum (Jung Yu Mi) had a past romantic relationship with Kang Tae Ha (Eric). Stunned is the word to describe Ha Jin’s reaction. Ha Jin and Do Joon Ho (Yoon Hyun Min) go outside to talk. Ha Jin directly states that Yeo Reum used to date Tae Ha. With no where to hide, Joon Ho admits it telling Ha Jin that he told Yeo Reum not to tell Ha Jin. That is sweet of Joon Ho to take the blame. Ha Jin gets to the heart of his anger, the three of them (Yeo Reum, Joon Ho and Yoon Sol) purposefully lied to him. Joon Ho neatly side steps this by stating the relationship was in the past and they did not want to hurt him. Ha Jin believes that Yeo Reum loves him. BUT the box of memories…he cannot understand why she has that. The irony that she gets the blame for Tae Ha’s box of memories. Of course Yeo Reum could not bring herself to destroy the contents when he gave her the box as she was falling for him again. Ha Jin has to think about what to do next. Interesting that what upsets him more is the box of memories NOT the lying.
Yoon Sol (Kim Seul Gi) asks Yeo Reum if anything happened last night. Yeo Reum chastises Yoon Sol for not believing she loves Ha Jin. Yeo Reum says she may be falling for Tae Ha but she loves Ha Jin and will stay with Ha Jin. Joon Ho and Ha Jin return from their talk. Ha Jin stares daggers at Yeo Reum but she does not see.
Tae Ha has Jung Mok research the Milan international furniture design contest that has been a dream of Yeo Reum for years. He reviews the furniture concepts Yeo Reum sent him.
Breakfast is quiet. Ha Jin is cold to Yeo Reum. She gets a call from Tae Ha telling her the furniture concepts she sent were old and she needs new ideas. He tells her they will work a marathon Monday to finalize the furniture concepts. Ha Jin cuts breakfast short and tells Yeo Reum they should go out.
Going out consists of Ha Jin not speaking to Yeo Reum and dragging her around the city while his mind is flooded with the memories her comments that must have been about Tae Ha. Yeo Reum forces him to stop the dragging and death grip on her hand by heading to the bathroom for a break. Her feet are bleeding and she thinks that Ha Jin is acting strange. Amazing that “strange” is the only thought she has about his stoic crazy eyed behavior.
At Ha Jin’s apartment he takes some headache pills before he tends her wounded feet. Yeo Reum tells him she knew he was punishing her so she took it. She asks why he was punishing her. He tells her he saw the memory box under her bed. He opened it and went through some of the contents. He does not understand why she did not throw is away or burn it. Yeo Reum says she is sorry. Ha Jin comments that she has said sorry many times since she met Tae Ha. Yeo Reum says she does not know what is in the box. She again says she is sorry. Ha Jin says not to say sorry about the past. He asks that she not do things in the future to be sorry about. Yeo Reum offers that if he wants to avoid her for a while, she is ok with that. Yeo Reum offers to stop working with Tae Ha after the project. He agrees. Wow, what a passionless discussion they had. They are boring, a fate no kdrama couple should have. Last episode the reveal that Ha Jin and A Rim knew each other in the orphanage had no impact. Is this big secret going to be played out as a blip in their relationship the entire episode? How can they fool themselves into thinking that cold passionless time together indicates they should be a couple? I am not asking for screaming or yelling but they got really riled up about A Rim a few episodes ago but now…nothing but coldness. Yuck, they are flat and I do not want to watch them interact. Writer, do something!
Tae Ha looks through Yeo Reum’s designs and declares them awful. He challenges her to design without thought to material, production or cost. She works and works and falls asleep on the couch. Tae Ha comes in and looks at the designs. He puts her hand with the engagement ring under the covers and watches her sleep. Sorry, but I am crabby that Tae Ha is in the position of second lead just waiting for the leading lady to choose him. I am not happy with this. A complete waste of Eric’s talents. Ha Jin calls her waking her from sleep. Groggy she has Tae Ha what he wants. Ha Jin is taken aback. They both wonder where they are in their relationship. Is this something they will get past? They finally say I love you and the painful phone call blessedly ends. Ha Jin takes some headache pills. I am so irked by this couple. I do not like either one of these characters right now. Ha Jin realizes that he did not mean I love you, but it was expected so he said it. Again he wonders if all couples have bad days like this. The answer is yes, but it is boring to watch in a drama.
Ha Jin does surgery on A Rim’s scar. Her positive energy seems drained after the surgery. He tells her to rest. Good grief they are duller than dirt too!
Product placement time…Yeo Reum and Tae Ha eat at Subway. She realizes that today is his birthday. At the office she joins in the birthday celebration but it is not for Tae Ha.
Ha Jin gives A Rim money for expenses while she is abroad studying. She asks if she can email him while she is abroad. He hesitates but agrees to emailing each other. Ha Jin takes some headache pills. A Rim is concerned and offers to send him a soothing insect sound recording she has. What’s with the pills? Is the show going melodramatic and going to have Ha Jin get sick with a brain tumor or something? When Ha Jin receives the soothing insect sound file from A Rim, he listens and is able to sleep.
Tae Ha is happy with Yeo Reum’s revised designs. He offers her information on the international design contests. He challenges her to expand herself in terms of design. He notes that every since her father died, she stopped growing. She looks at her watch and sees there are only a few minutes left of his birthday. She goes to the office kitchen. Tae Ha scans the pictures on her camera and is surprised to find pictures of himself that she took when they toured the demo house. Yeo Reum flips the lights off in the conference room and enters with a birthday treat complete with candle.
Yeo Reum asks what Tae Ha’s birthday wish is. He wishes that he could be her so he could know what was going on in her heart. Why does she cry around him? Why does she have pictures of him on her camera? Yeo Reum asks what he would do if he found out what was in her heart.
Tae Ha: If my guess is correct, (he takes a step towards her), I have to hold your hand and go as far as I can go, as far as we can go. I like you. I want you. I do not want to send you to any one else. Stay with me tonight. Just take one step towards me.
Yeo Reum: I can not come to you. Even for the reason of my father, I can not come to you. I can not do that to you. Do not ever shake me up like this again. (she leaves).
Ok, starved for any kind of passion in this episode, that tiny scene fired on all cylinders. I swooned listening to Tae Ha’s heartfelt declaration. Eric knocked those few sentences out of the park and re-energized a lackluster episode. Wow!
As Yeo Reum walks away, tears fall, and she tells herself that she cannot follow Tae Ha no matter how much she wants to. She crouches onto her knees and sobs. Ha Jin waiting outside in his car for her sees her distress and is dismayed. He enters the office and yells what is going on? Tae Ha enters the room. Ha Jin presses his car keys into Yeo Reum’s hand and tells her to go home. Ha Jin tells Tae Ha they need to talk.
Over soju Ha Jin tells Tae Ha that Yeo Reum will quit this project. Tae Ha protests. Ha Jin tells him she WILL quit. He starts to leave. Tae Ha asks Ha Jin if he is sure of Yeo Reum. Ha Jin grabs his shirt and hauls him up. Tae Ha tells Ha Jin “You love Yeo Reum. But the only person Yeo Reum loves is herself. You are happy being with her, but she is not satisfied just being with you. She does not become happy just because she is with someone. What she wants, what she dreams of, what she is giving up for you…proves you know nothing.” Ha Jin hits Tae Ha and a brief fight ensues.
At the police station the bar owner gives them an earful. Tae Ha and Jung Mok exit first passing Yeo Reum. They stare at each other. When Ha Jin and Joon Ho come up Yeo Reum tears her gaze away from Tae Ha.
Ha Jin drives Yeo Reum home. He demands to know why she was crying. He notes he overlooked her tears on the island but he will not this time. He must understand her. She wonders if two people can become so distant with each other that that is how it ends. She takes off her engagement ring and put it on the dashboard. Ha Jin is stunned. I am stunned too. She gets out of the car. He follows.
Ha Jin: Do not do this (he presses the ring into her hand).
Yeo Reum: Let’s stop this.
Ha Jin: Stop what?
Yeo Reum: Let’s stop fighting like this. It is obvious. We will break up in the end anyhow.
Ha Jin: How do you know if we will break up or bond closer together?
Yeo Reum: I know. We have hit rock bottom. Can’t you see that?
Ha Jin: This is not rock bottom. I can go deeper!
Yeo Reum: How much lower do you want to go? How much more pain will you take from me?
Ha Jin: How much do you know about relationship? Who did you learn from?
Yeo Reum: I learned from Tae Ha. We are at rock bottom. We can not go any further. (she presses the ring into his hand and walks away. The rings slides from his hand onto the ground.)
Ha Jin looks like he will melt down into the ground with pain.
As Yeo Reum passes Joon Ho going into the house…
Joon Ho: Yeo Reum, you are a bitch (close to the title of the show).
Flip to interview mode:
Yeo Reum: Joon Ho is right. I am a bitch. Can anyone else besides Tae Ha and Ha Jin call me a bitch?
* Least favorite episode of the series. All misery, all the time. The only happiness was in flashbacks. The writer, Jung Hyun Jung, wrote that Yeo Reum and Ha Jin had reached rock bottom. As a viewer, I feel the writer dragged me to the bottom of this series. The good news, there are only 2 more episodes, we can only go up from here.
* I have a big issue with the writer’s decision to focus on Ha Jin and Yeo Reum’s ill fated relationship shoving Tae Ha to the side. The writer turned the leading man into a secondary character and nullified the Tae Ha’s importance and impact for too many episodes. This is not where I wanted this series to go.
* Eric is simply stunning and impactful considering the scraps of dialog his character Tae Ha is granted as leading man. Eric has been forced to produce emotion non verbally for multiple episodes. Yes, he is riveting in the screen time he is given. I feel the show has been given a gold mine in Eric but they have ignored it focusing on a relationship no one wants to see.
* Jung Yu Mi’s character Yeo Reum is not the most likable character, in fact sometimes she is downright unlikable. Tae Ha nailed it when he told Ha Jin that Yeo Reum loves herself more than she could ever love another. Bingo! I will give Yeo Reum credit for recognizing her truth but she sees herself with a slanted view. She perceives that she must act a certain way denying what she really wants and drags two guys and her two friends into the abyss with her. Let me be clear, I do not hate Yeo Reum. But don’t you wonder if the best thing for her would be NOT to get Tae Ha in the end? Tae Ha sees her so clearly and still desperately wants her. That is the definition of love is blind.
* Sung Joon portrayed Ha Jin’s pain well but I am so over this character. His stilted ways, the desperation for a woman that does not love him equally, the realization that he does not love her in a fulfilling way anymore, the way he pushes A Rim out of the country so HE will be more comfortable, etc.
* Yoon Sol was a supportive friend this episode not a character with her own story line. I missed her. She could have provided a bright spot in this dreary episode. I could have used a change of pace switch to Yoon Sol’s love life to get away from the depression triplet.
* Joon Ho was a supportive friend this episode not a character with his own story line. I missed his fun energy and his pursuit of Yoon Sol. The most interesting thing he did was call Yeo Reum a bitch. That is no prize for achievement in an episode.
* A Rim was lifeless with Ha Jin. The scar that she had hoped would be a beacon for her orphanage brother is gone now. It was sweet for her to send the soothing sound file to Ha Jin. She is planning to study abroad to make Ha Jin happy. That makes me unhappy.
* Final thoughts, this was a depressing episode. The blame falls squarely on the writer. 2 episodes to go. Do not make me suffer like this again. Please, please, please utilize Eric! The man is gold!