The Time We Were Not In Love Episode 2 Recap

Our best friends, Ha Na and Choi Won, are drawn to others.

The Setup: Oh Ha Na (Ha Ji Won), is a 34 year old shoes sales manager and Choi Won (Lee Jin Wook), is a 34 year old flight steward. They’ve been neighbors and best friends forever. They’ve never dipped their toes in the romantic waters.

Summary Episode 2:

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Our leading lady, Oh Ha Na, is still smarting that her former boyfriend, Joo Ho Joon two timed her, got the girl pregnant, and married her. To add insult to injury, our leading man, Choi Won made a scene at the wedding to defend her honor (though she does not know that). Inside a coffe shop, she calls Choi Won to complain that Ho Joon and his new bride are returning from their honeymoon soon and there is an office pool if she will resign. There is L, such a cutie, who overheard her conversation with Choi Won. He returns an item she left behind in the coffee shop and asks if she remembers him. She doesn’t, but is flattered to have a young handsome man paying attention. She gives him a saucy walk as she leaves. Of course, he turns out to be the new intern, Gi Seong Jae. All the girls in the office are checking him out!

Junior steward Lee So Eun (Choo Soo Hyun) arrives at work matching drinks to her co workers personalities. They joke that Choi Won should date her. She is sunny and his is prickly.

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Seong Jae flatters Ha Na that he thought they were the same age and wanted to hit on her. In a store, Ha Na expertly deals with a fussy customer impressing Seong Jae. There is something between them. Later he brings her supper as she works late and promises to wait for her until she is done.  As she walks home, she calls Choi Won about the young intern. Choi Won admits the kid has social skills. He warns her the intern does not see her as a woman. That riles Ha Na, who counters that Choi Won is so stiff, no one would like him. He claims he is popular at work. So Eun has perfect timing as she approaches him. She thanks him for helping with the difficult customer on the last flight. She suggests they have a meal together. Choi Won remembers Ha Na’s taunt and he agrees.

The dinner with So Eun goes well. She boldly asks if she can call him oppa. His stunned silence allows her to assume he’s agreed and proceeds to call him oppa. He smiles and she smiles.  Ha Na calls during the meal. She hears So Eum call him oppa. After the call he explains the call was from a friend NOT a girlfriend. So Eun asks the classic question “can men and women be only friends?” FYI…the answer is yes. Choi Won is drawn to her positivity. I’d say her flirting is good for his ego!

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Flash to the past, a dating meeting has Choi Won mistakenly choosing Ha Na’s personal item. To be fair, the two hair bands are similar. In spite of their initial grousing that they got paired, they have fun playing games and biking. Choi Won is drawn to Ha Na.

Ha Na wants to date someone. She considers various popular men but rejects them for one reason or another. She rejects Seong Jae, he’s 8 years her junior and she’s not comfortable with that. She rejects Choi Won, that would be impossible. When she heads to the kitchen she finds Won there (recall her parents think she and Won should date). They watch TV companionably. She asks about the girl from the other evening. Won explains she’s a 25 year old steward. Robbing the cradle is Ha Na’s reaction. Won asks about her young intern. Ha Na says she keeps clear boundaries between work and personal life. Ha!

So Eun helps an elderly lady with her luggage. Won intervenes and takes over. He notices her.

Seong Jae helps Ha Na at work. The proximity is tight. She notices him. After work, he brings her comfy slippers because he noticed her feet hurt. He is thoughtful.

Won spots them walking home together. Ha Na introduces the men. It is a bit awkward.

Cute when Won and Ha Na agree to chat on the roof. He asks if Seong Jae is getting to her. She denies it…at first. LOL when Won tells her to pursue Seong Jae, marry him within a year, have triplets, etc. Their banter scenes on the roof have a nice vibe.

We end the episode with the umbrella moments…
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It’s raining and Ha Na is outside the office. She watches her newly married ex-boyfriend solicitously shepard his new wife into the waiting car by sheltering her with an umbrella. Ha Na decides to dash out for a cab. To her surprise, she finds an umbrella sheltering her. Who is holding the umbrella? It is Seong Jae.

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Won has texted Ha Na he’ll pick her up outside the office (she was too busy and has not read the text). He finds himself sharing an umbrella with So Eun as she tries to avoid the rain.

1. What worked for me this episode:
* The tension between Seong Jae and Ha Na feels real. I am a fan of L, loved him in Shut Up Flower Boy Band. His stares have an intensity. I feel the pull between them. Frankly, how could Ha Na not be tempted by his attention, his awareness of her needs, his smoldering eyes?
* The growing attraction between Won and So Eun feels real. When So Eun helped the elderly passenger and then Won helped her, he saw her value as a person in that moment. She is blatant about what she wants. But he seems to be considering her more as a woman.
* Moments that Ha Na and Won hang out together feels real. Watching TV and sharing a bowl of food while discussing the new folks in their lives, it felt like best friends enjoying each other and confiding the daily details. On the rooftop, when Won realized that Ha Na was attracted to Seong Jae, his reaction was surprise and then playful. Her reaction was surprise then playful too. I guess what I am saying, is that I buy their friendship and believe they are indeed well suited for each other.
2. What did not work for me this episode:
* Ha Na is supposed to be a strong career woman. There are only brief moments where she seems strong and in charge. There is too much simpering, little girl ways, hair flipping, for my taste. Actor’s interpretation, so be it, but I think it lessens the impact of Ha Na.
3. What I felt neutral about this episode:
* So Eun does not evoke much of a reaction from me. Is she nice? Is she desperate? I don’t know, nor care much at this point. As she entwines herself with Won, I bet I’ll care then.
* I am neutral on the family members. I did like the positive vibe between Won’s mother and Ha Na. But as individual characters, not much to say yet. As we see them more, opinions will form.


Asian drama fan

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Posted in Recaps, Time We Were Not in Love
3 comments on “The Time We Were Not In Love Episode 2 Recap
  1. […] Episode 02   Episode 01 […]

  2. tieuyeunu says:

    I agree with your points entirely. Especially on Hana being a supposedly being a STRONG career woman. She seems petty at some points and so quick to doubt herself. One of the things I liked about the original that although she may come of as a B sometimes she is still at the route of it, a professional and strong woman. I would have liked it if Hana has more conviction in her work.

    I also enjoy the family dynamics of the original more, but this is more to do with the romantic comedy style of narrative. They tend to focus all on the couple and don’t bother about colouring the world they live in.

    Ha Ji Won is way less cringe worthy then I was expecting. I love her to bits but I’ve found romantic comedies to be one of her weakness. For someone who is so effortlessly ‘cutesy’ in the real world she finds it hard to do the same thing in the ‘reel world’.

    • kjtamuser says:

      I’m with you, the original female lead had more power than the remake. I keep telling myself to not expect the same interpretation on the female lead. Easier said than done!

      I concur that Ji Won is better than expected. I was worried when she was cast. I don’t consider her the strongest actor. Her chemistry with Jin Wook and L is solid.

      Looking forward to the next episode. Thank you for commenting!

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