The Time We Were Not In Love Episode 9 Recap

Ha Na makes her choice between the two men that want her in their life romantically – Won and Seo Hoo. Who does she choose?

Summary Episode 9:

Our leading lady, Oh Ha Na (Ha Ji Won) looks at the music ex-boyfriend Cha Seo Hoo (Yoon Gyun Sang) gave her, tears fill her eyes. Our leading man, Choi Won (Lee Jin Wook) waits (in the rain poor guy) for Ha Na to show. He’s going to give the necklace and take their relationship to the next level. Ha Na runs to one of the men in her life that wants a romantic relationship.

Ha Na goes to Seo Hoo’s place and throws the music at him. They stare at each other.

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Won gets a text from Ha Na that she will be late and they need to reschedule. Won is literally left out in the rain. Ha Na has made a choice to engage Seo Hoo.

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Ha Na is angry that Seo Hoo is yanking her emotional chain. He claims he wanted her to know he remembers their happy moments too. Ha Na rejects that there are any happy memories. She only has wounds from their relationship. She starts to leave. He grabs her wrist. He begs her for the chance to start over. No bad memories, only positive ones going forward. She leaves.  I’m actually surprised she left.

At work, Ha Na pledges to lead and take responsibility for the Seo Hoo project. Catty coworkers wishes her luck. Seo Hoo is getting hammered by his agency but he presses on. At Ha Na’s agency, she is all business in their meeting.

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Ha Na finds Won sick in bed. Looks like waiting in the rain did him no favors. She gets medicine into him. She tries to make porridge. It isn’t that good. She takes tender care of him. When he wakes in the morning, Ha Na is sleeping on the floor by his bed. Now he tenderly puts the blanket over her. He has to clean up the mess in the kitchen but he does so happily.

Ha Na’s boss tells her that her project is being looked at. Perhaps she cannot manage it solo. I feel for her, she’s getting the shaft on this.

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At the charity event, Seo Hoo gives a charming interview how a past person told him shoes were important in his career. Seo Hoo isn’t a bad soccer play and mixes with the children. He teases Ha Na on break, it looks flirty. After the game, they eat together on the steps. He invites her to a recital. He notes that the music he recorded when they were dating was his best. He tells her she always brings out the best in him. He tells her this is genuine, not a line. Does she believe him?

Ha Na’s parents are back from their Jeju island trip. Dad’s in the dog house for fishing too much during the trip.  Won and his sister hear all about the fishing during dinner.

Seo Hoo tells his assistant the President will be coming to town soon.

After Won admits he didn’t give Ha Na the necklace, Won’s sister tells him it is obvious he is thinking about Ha Na as more than a friend. Only Ha Na is unaware of this feelings.

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The next morning while Ha Na tries to jog with Won, Seo Hoo shows up. He confirms he is there to see Ha Na. When Won and Seo Hoo jog together, Won says that Seo Hoo’s strategy seems to be to stick to Ha Na like glue to win her heart. Seo Hoo states he must see Ha Na everyday to live. He tells Won that he doesn’t want to be enemies. Won counters the only way to protect Ha Na is for them to be enemies. Seo Hoo wants to know Won’s intentions. Won doesn’t answer. Seo Hoo states that he is going to start over with Ha Na and Won better not interfere. Seo Hoo says that 3 years ago, Won remembers Seo Hoo not showing to the engagement party, while Seo Hoo remembers Ha Na crying in Won’s arms. Seo Hoo asks who should be more upset? Won scoffs at Seo Hoo. He tells him Ha Na doesn’t trust him because  of multiple moments, not just getting jilted at the engagement party. Seo Hoo tells Won, stay Ha Na’s friend, I’ll be her boyfriend. That was a good conversation between our dueling men. I really can’t wrap my head around Seo Hoo’s logic that watching Won console a jilted Ha Na was worse than doing the jilting.

Lee So Eun (Choo Soo Hyun) asks Won to a performance. He declines. She says maybe next time. He declines next time too. Nope, I don’t feel sorry for her.

Won’s sister asks Ha Na why Won is not taking the overseas training. Ha Na is surprised. She tells Ha Na that she should know the reason why Won turned down the training. Won stares at the necklace. Should he tell Ha Na how he feels?

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When Ha Na invites him outside to talk she asks if he’s not taking the overseas training. Won confirms this. He hesitates then tells her “they cannot be friends forever.” That gets her attention. He dangles the necklace from his hand. “my opportunity seems to be here.” He holds out the necklace to her. “Sorry I can’t be by your side forever.” In her room, Ha Na stares at the necklace.

So Eun and Won’s sister attend the performance. Gosh, I almost don’t recognize them with their hair down I’m so used to seeing them in the flight steward up dos. So Eun is surprised to spot Ha Na and Seo Hoo there too.

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After the performance, Seo Hoo introduces Ha Na as the girl he likes to his teacher. Though Ha Na would prefer to go home she agrees to look at publicity photos with Seo Hoo. Wouldn’t you know it, they get caught in the rain. At his place, Seo Hoo brings Ha Na a dry pair of clothes. Next he brings a hot drink. Next he dries her hair which has an intimate vibe. They stare at each other. Ha Na tells him she’ll choose the best photo and send it. At the door he spins her and holds her shoulders. He touches her face. She bolts. She drops his sweater from around her shoulders as she walks down the hall. I like the symbolism of her rejecting his sweater. I thought when he held her at the door, he’d pretend he was only taking his sweater back. It was obvious he’s trying to gauge her physical reaction to him. Ha Na is most definitely skittish around Seo Hoo.

Won’s sister enjoys the DVD of Seo Hoo’s teacher. She thought he looked familiar when she watched him play. Won’s sister tells him she usually only likes young artists but with this “old man I felt the idol scent.” LOL.  Won asks if she’s falling for the pianist. She says, you fall, then you act.

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Ha Na and Won talk at the playground. She explains that Seo Hoo was never a choice for her. He was a force that happened in her life. Now he is back. She thought she could choose to be with him or not. But it’s the same thing all over. She can’t push him away.  Won is straightforward. If she chooses to be in a relationship, their relationship will not stay the same as it has always been. He tells her he’ll always be there for her but she needs to be without him. He declares he’ll take a vacation. She cries. He hugs her. Stiff upper lip, Won tells her the necklace should be thought of as representing their 17 year friendship. He walks away and leaves her there crying. Finally we see Won’s tears as the schism in the friendship is made.

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One month time jump…While Ha Na waits for the bus, Seo Hoo appears with a cool drink. They ride the bus together. They walk hand in hand.

At the wedding of friends, Ha Na is obviously looking for Won. Her friends ask if Won is coming. She assures them Won will be there.  He does show, looking like he just got returned from vacation (complete with backpack). Won and Ha Na stare at each other and smile.

time_ep9_9Epilogue: Ha Na’ s voiceover as Won walks away at the playground. “He was by my side for such a long time, I couldn’t tell his expressions were changing. He was afraid to be found out, and he avoided looking me in the eye.”

Thoughts:

  1. Seo Hoo wasn’t brought on the show to be ignored by Ha Na, we all knew she would fall for him again. I found it interesting, the subtle way the writers went about getting them back together. Ha Na was nervous around Seo Hoo. He was forthright that he wanted another chance. He simply did not give up. When Ha Na explained it to Won, her explanation worked. Seo Hoo is a force that enters her life and she is practically powerless. I buy that explanation. We’ve all known compelling people. Now if that kind of person is a romantic interest…then swept off your feet is the result. But back to how the writers served round two of the relationship to us the audience. It was done carefully with sensitivity to the character of Won. He didn’t find them in a kiss or hug or other compromising position. Before anything happened, Ha Na told Won quietly and practically mournfully that she was going to let Seo Hoo into her life again. I think this is a smart choice by the writers. The relationship of Won and Ha Na is the entire basis of the show. It cannot be disrespected without loss of affection. The writers walked a fine line to maneuver Seo Hoo and Ha Na back together. They also used a 1 month time jump, so we never saw Seo Hoo and Ha Na get back together. It was presented as a fait accompli.
  2. Won’s choice to make his move with Ha Na didn’t work out. It wasn’t the boldest declaration of affection I’ve ever seen. It was subtle. I wondered if Ha Na understood what he meant, but she understood. By the time Won declared he wanted a chance, her heart was almost Seo Hoo’s again. Bad timing by Won? Not sure that it really was. One of the cornerstones of their relationship is how clueless Ha Na is about Won’s feelings. We seen in many flashbacks that Won has always liked Ha Na but hidden it well. To that end, Ha Na almost had Won’s blessing to remain blind to his feelings. I don’t feel that Ha Na is selfish but I question her ability to see the truth of the matter or if she wants to see the truth. Granted in the epilogue Ha Na states that Won’s feelings changed gradually and he did not look directly at her so she could not see the change. That may be a decent explanation from her point of view.
  3. No flashbacks this episode.In this episode, blast from the past moments didn’t fit. I wonder if we’ve seen the last of them.
  4. Going forward may be tough to watch. I’m on “team Won” not “team Seo Hoo”. We are at episode 9 of 16 total episodes. I’d imagine we’ve got 5 number of episodes with Ha Na dating Seo Hoo. You know that So Eun will swoop in and reinsert herself in Won’s life. Why does she bother me more than Seo Hoo? He seems more earnest while So Eun seems more calculating and uncaring about Won’s opinion. Won is something So Eun wants to acquire with or without his consent.
  5. This show has swapped writers three times. First, there was screenwriter Min Hyo Jung (Rooftop Room Cat, Full House) who was originally hired. Second, in May, Min had been replaced with screenwriters Jung Do Yoon (Grudge: The Revolt of Gumiho, Baby Faced Beauty) and Lee Ha Na (Cunning Single Lady). Third, per drama-wiki the network, SBS, was unhappy with the direction of the drama, and swapped out writers Jung Do Yoon and Lee Ha Na after Episode 4 and replaced them with three new writers, Ji Go, Ji Soon and In Hae, who took over the script from Episode 5.
  6. The 5th song of the OST has been released. Check out the pretty upbeat ballad “Why” by Suzy via the link or the embedded video below:
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Posted in Recaps, Time We Were Not in Love

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