Thirty But Seventeen Episodes 7-8 Recap

Just when it seemed like nothing could upset our plucky heroine, a setback in the search for her uncle turns her against Woo-jin. Surprisingly, it’s not Woo-jin’s cold exterior that brings this on, but rather a crack in the ice that shows that he is a caring person after all. When Woo-jin doubles down on his aloofness, it’s those memories, both good and painful, that they’ll need to lure him back.

EPISODE 7: “Is that the truth?”

 

Seo-ri darts into a busy crosswalk when she spots her uncle, and a panicked Woo-jin catches up and stops her in the middle of the intersection. Seo-ri is determined to keep going and breaks free of his hold as soon as the crosswalk light turns green again. The delay is long enough to lose sight of her uncle though, and Seo-ri turns on Woo-jin to blame.

She yells at him for interfering in her affairs, a person who doesn’t even care about her, and laments the loss of her uncle, her house, and her violin. The blame just recalls for Woo-jin the guilt he feels for the accident thirteen years ago, so he asks her, “What if you died because of me?”

 

In the end, Seo-ri remains to look for her uncle and Woo-jin heads in to work after dropping off Deok-gu. His thoughts remain on Seo-ri’s words though and they keep him distracted enough to completely zone out during his work meeting.

He even attempts to put on Hee-soo’s pink blazer at the end because he’s so distracted, earning him some teasing from her. Hee-soo can’t help but wonder if something is going on, since Woo-jin is acting stranger than usual.

On his way home, Woo-jin drives by the intersection and finds that Seo-ri is still holding vigil there in the dark, hoping to catch her uncle again. As he watches, Seo-ri finally stands to leave. Woo-jin pauses, but doesn’t call out to her and instead just drives on.

Chan waits at the entrance to their house when Woo-jin arrives. He’s worried about Seo-ri who hasn’t returned home after the vet visit. Woo-jin tries to stay aloof, but Chan presses him until Woo-jin says he wishes he could take back the offer to let Seo-ri stay with them for a month.

As soon as the outburst is over, Woo-jin reassembles his mask of indifference and tells Chan to stop worrying over adults and come inside.

Inside, Deok-gu greets Woo-jin and Woo-jin in turn apologizes for scaring the dog in the car earlier. Woo-jin receives a call from a rep on the musical festival jazz team. She’s been trying to send an email to him, but he hasn’t received it yet. He suggests that she verify his email address is correct and try again.

Chan finally spots Seo-ri as she trudges back home in the dark. He’s eager to comfort her with food, and she asks for water before she tells him what happened.

She tells him that she spotted her uncle, leaving out the part where Woo-jin delayed her. Chan is optimistic that he must be nearby, and Seo-ri asks for some paper and tape. Chan proffers the water she requested, but Woo-jin’s entrance into the kitchen shuts her down and she heads off to bed without it.

Chan’s now suspicious that something happened between Woo-jin and Seo-ri during the vet visit. He’s not sure of his uncle’s lack of response, and so he tries to reassure him that Seo-ri will likely move out soon since she spotted her uncle and asks him to be nice to her until then.

Chan tries to cheer his uncle up, even forcing his lips up into what might be a smile, but Woo-jin’s face drops back into its typical passive form as soon as he releases.

In his room, Woo-jin searches online for “Dr. Yoo Joong-sun,” and the photo reveals him to be the man who recognized Woo-jin on the street a few days earlier. Woo-jin recalls the man’s words about not seeing each other again and then a sharp ringing, like the noise from Seo-ri’s backpack charm, floods his mind.

In her own room, Seo-ri kneads her dough ball in her hand, and then charges out of the secret door.

By morning, Woo-jin has packed his bags to stay at his office for a month. It takes a moment for Chan to realize what’s going on, but as soon as he does he rushes downstairs to ask his uncle to stay. Chan doesn’t buy Woo-jin’s excuse that it’s for a work project and he asks if it’s about Seo-ri. Woo-jin dances around the subject.

Even Deok-gu protests Woo-jin’s plan with some barks, but Woo-jin just ruffles his nephew’s hair and tries to walk out the door. As he does, he’s blocked by Seo-ri, and it’s clear that she’s heard their conversation. Chan tries to convince her otherwise, but she doesn’t respond to it at all, and instead just heads off in a haze.

Seo-ri fills her days by making signs to post around town asking her uncle to come find her at the old house. Woo-jin huddles in his office and sketches designs.

Chan makes sure to bug his uncle frequently with phone calls. He gives his best aegyo, and when that doesn’t work, he tries to convince Woo-jin that Deok-gu has run away. Deok-gu tattles on him though with some barks in the background.

Chan hears a door slam in the morning and rushes down to greet his returned uncle, but it’s just his buddies letting themselves in. When Seo-ri walks past them, Chan very deliberately explains that his uncle left for a work project, and definitely didn’t run away.

 

Seo-ri exits quickly, declining even Jennifer’s breakfast offering. The boys ask Chan if Woo-jin left because of Seo-ri, because that’s what it sounded like Chan was saying to them, ha.

Back at the crosswalk, Seo-ri’s tired eyes light up when she sees her uncle again across the street. Given her second chance, she darts across the street and grabs hold of him—only to discover that the man isn’t her uncle.

 

Seo-ri realizes how unfair it was to blame Woo-jin for letting the man escape. She agonizes on the way home over how she will find a way to apologize to him.

She spots Chan out front on the phone with Woo-jin, and Seo-ri rushes up to get a chance tp speak with him. But Chan misunderstands her when she asks for a moment and hangs up on his uncle. Seo-ri pouts at him and walks inside.

Woo-jin is working hard as the set he designed is built, while Hee-soo confronts him about the phone call she had with Chan about Woo-jin’s month-long office sleepover. Woo-jin avoids answering when he gets another call from the musical’s jazz team, and he still hasn’t received the email from her.

Once he hangs up the phone, Hee-soo tries to demand that Woo-jin return home, but he just dodges her questions again by heading to the stage to make some adjustments to the set.

At the house, Jennifer’s plan to make a packed lunch for Woo-jin gives Seo-ri another opportunity to reach out to him. Seo-ri volunteers to help Jennifer while she shops for groceries.

As Seo-ri babbles at Jennifer, a pair of yellow high heels comes into sight. A mysterious figure lingers near the gates of their house and watches as the person walks away. Hmmmm…

Groceries in hand, Jennifer demonstrates her epic cooking skills while Seo-ri helps with ingredient prep and cleaning.

Seo-ri starts to ask if she can come with Jennifer to deliver the food, but Jennifer knows what’s up and asks her to deliver it for her. She sends Seo-ri on, with payment for her labor even, which Seo-ri attempts to reject but Jennifer stands firm with an Abraham Lincoln quote to back her up.

No one is in the office when Seo-ri arrives. She’s startled by their ringing phone, and decides to answer it.

Tae-rin is calling to follow up with Hee-soo about an idea she has for the classical part of the concert. She wants to make classical more relatable to the crowd, and sent links to European concerts she wants to use as a model.

Seo-ri is familiar with the style and gets super excited about the concept. Tae-rin smiles and agrees with each idea Seo-ri throws out. Once they hang up, Tae-rin tells her assistant that she felt like she met a kindred soul.

Seo-ri writes a note for Hee-soo, but drops the pen and scoots under the table to pick it up. Woo-jin, of course, returns just at that moment, and gets a surprise as Seo-ri emerges from under his desk.

He falls to the floor, and then she smashes her head into his as she tries to crawl out. Once he realizes she’s here to deliver food, Woo-jin wants to dismiss her quickly, but Seo-ri is here to apologize sincerely and does so.

At first he assumes it’s still about surprising him and smashing heads, but Seo-ri apologizes for yelling at him and blaming him. She tells him that she thought she spotted her uncle again, but it turned out that it wasn’t him.

Meanwhile, Chan leaves a store with his buddies and thinks he spots Seo-ri on the street. He calls out, but it’s not her. His friends are surprised, since Chan usually has good eyesight.

Chan wonders about it, and the scene transitions back to Seo-ri, as she tells Woo-jin that her desire to see her uncle has her seeing him everywhere on the street. Hmmm, sounds like Chan is starting to realize that he also wants to see someone…

 

Seo-ri asks Woo-jin to return home, but he dodges answering with his usual distraction, a phone call. Seo-ri leaves him to his work, but not without one last request for him to come home.

EPISODE 8: “Apology”

Hyun rushes into the office to ask about the “pink lady” who just left. He’s immediately distracted by the fancy lunchboxes left behind and eagerly opens them when Woo-jin offers them to him.

Hyun wants to know if the pink lady was Woo-jin’s girlfriend, and Woo-jin says she’s his mother. Hyun scowls at Woo-jin’s deadpan joke.

 

At the house, a photograph falls out of a book while Jennifer is cleaning and Chan smoothly catches it in mid-air. The photograph makes him smile, one of Woo-jin and him as kids at an amusement park. Both of them are broadly smiling, and Woo-jin looks so happy in the photo Jennifer doesn’t even recognize him.

Night falls and Seo-ri stays up, hoping that Woo-jin will return after her apology. She can’t hold out though, and by morning she finds herself waking up half in and half out of her secret room.

She rushes upstairs and is excited to see someone sleeping in Woo-jin’s bed… But it’s just Chan, who has fallen asleep there for some reason.

As Seo-ri heads out the door, Chan sleepily answers a phone call from his mother, which startles him awake. Mom mistakes Seo-ri for the maid, and Chan is quick to go with that lie and hang up on his mom who has questions about Woo-jin’s whereabouts.

Seo-ri is plagued with guilt still for driving Woo-jin from his home, and on the street she spots ads for rooms for rent. Seo-ri doesn’t have any money though, right?

Seo-ri recalls her recent visit to the violin repair shop. She intended to stop its repair, but the repairman discovered 200 Euros inside, which he estimates is worth 200,000-300,000 won. Seo-ri recalls the plane ride when her aunt and uncle gave her the money for a taxi home, and now she has the funds to get her violin.

Now faced with the choice of her violin or getting out of the house, she takes the number for the room ad (someone needs to remind her that rent is a recurring expense).

Seo-ri announces her intentions to move out to Woo-jin’s empty design studio. He’s not there, but Hee-soo comes out of another room and lets Seo-ri know that Woo-jin just left. Hee-soo is intrigued by a woman actually looking for Woo-jin.

Seo-ri spots Woo-jin on the street and follows him to a cafe, but it turns out it’s a working lunch and he’s joined by a colleague. Seo-ri tries to spy from a nearby table, but the barista wants her to order something if she’s going to sit.

Seo-ri looks at the unfamiliar coffee menu and tries to order an extra shot by itself. She fumbles with the money in her pocket and asks for the cheapest thing on the menu.

Holding her tiny espresso cup, Seo-ri resumes spying. She’s headed to the water jug shortly, however, when she discovers that coffee is not yet to her taste.

Woo-jin is on the move again, and Seo-ri follows behind. She catches up as Woo-jin stops to measure things. When he ignores a man trying to defend his girlfriend’s honor from what appears to be Woo-jin’s creepiness, that man chases him down the street to resolve things.

Seo-ri dives between them just as the man swings to hit Woo-jin. She explains that Woo-jin isn’t a pervert, just a man whose job is to make miniatures. The man and his girlfriend leave, and Woo-jin turns away as well.

Seo-ri isn’t done though and grabs at his earbuds, only to discover that they aren’t attached to anything. Seo-ri can’t understand how Woo-jin can just stand by and let others think what they will about him. He shoots back that he’s fine just standing by and pretending as though he saw nothing. He tells her that he knows very well that good intentions don’t always yield good results.

 

Seo-ri isn’t satisfied with his answer and continues to let him know what she thinks of him. She calls him out for closing his eyes and heart to those who care about him and tells him a simple “thank you” would have been enough. “I thought you just shrank furniture, but it looks like you shrank your own heart as well!” she yells at him. Woo-jin’s eyes just sink to the ground.

When Woo-jin returns to his office, Chan is waiting for him with pork belly. Woo-jin takes him up to the rooftop to grill with the view of the city.

 

Chan feeds his uncle tiny bites and himself long strips of pork, drinks hot chocolate, and then takes a moment to earnestly ask that Woo-jin return home. Chan says that he understands that Woo-jin needs space, but asks him to live differently this once for him.

Chan saunters away then with a final nod back to his uncle, and tells Woo-jin he’ll be waiting for him at home. Woo-jin offers to drive him, but Chan smiles and says that he’s got fast legs.

Woo-jin receives another call from the musical’s jazz team, and he still hasn’t received their messages. The woman suggests he check his spam folder for them. And what do you know, there are the messages in spam. The woman wonders what it was about her messages that his email marked them as spam, and Woo-jin says he’ll look into it.

As Woo-jin sits, he can’t help but recall Seo-ri’s words about his closed eyes and heart. A text from Chan pops in then, telling Woo-jin that Chan left a photo behind for him, “in case you forgot how to smile.” It’s the childhood photo of them both smiling.

Seo-ri assembles her rental ads and then writes a letter apologizing to Woo-jin and gifting him a wooden stick with a bow tied around it on his desk.

In the morning, Seo-ri feeds Deok-gu one last time. But before she can head out, Woo-jin returns to the house without further prompting.

Chan is delighted to see his uncle again, and as Seo-ri realizes what’s going on too, she’s relieved… and then recalls the note she left on Woo-jin’s desk.

Woo-jin discovers the gift on his desk and pulls the stick out of the bag, revealing a plunger. Seo-ri rushes in and promptly eats the note she left alongside the gift.

Woo-jin assumes her gift is a weird reference to his Mr. Poop status, but Seo-ri clarifies that he can use it to open the skylight in his room. Woo-jin doesn’t believe that the window opens, so Seo-ri demonstrates.

A memory flashes of young Seo-ri trying to open the window and breaking off the handle. Her father came to help, and showed her how they could use a plunger in place of the handle to slide it open.

 

Present Seo-ri stands on the desk just as she did as a kid, and pulls the window open. She asks Woo-jin to join her, but he declines. She closes the window for him and leaves the room. She turns back to relay a message from Jennifer, and finds that Woo-jin has already climbed up on the desk to try to open the window.

Seo-ri shows him the right way to hold the plunger, and the window swings open for the two of them. And with a twist of the wrist, Woo-jin gives us his first big, genuine smile since he was a kid.

The two look out on the amazing view, and Woo-jin smiles at Seo-ri’s childlike wonder.

Seo-ri struggles to yank the plunger off the window as they come down, and we’re gifted with our first skinship of the show as she slips and falls into Woo-jin’s arms. The two gaze intensely at one another… until the plunger falls from above and lands on top of Seo-ri’s head. Seo-ri awkwardly relays Jennifer’s message to come down and eat breakfast, and exits.

Before she gets away, Woo-jin remembers to say “thank you.” She recalls her own words, asking for a simple thanks, and then she walks away fanning herself, wondering why things are so hot.

Woo-jin receives a call from his dad, checking in on things. Woo-jin asks when they bought the house, and Dad answers that it was eleven years ago. That leaves two years between the last time Seo-ri lived in the house and when it was sold.

Woo-jin comes down to breakfast and joins the whole gang. But the conversation with his dad is still on his mind. He wonders what happened in that two-year gap between Seo-ri living here and the sudden sale of the house.

Deok-gu goes to the door and starts barking in the direction of the gate. Woo-jin picks him up and takes him back to the dining room, not noticing anything from the windows.

At the gate, she-of-the-yellow-heels lingers at the gate before turning away and walking down the street.

COMMENTS

Alright Miss Yellow Shoes, reveal yourself already! Conflicts so far have been mostly contained to the house and individuals. Woo-jin and Seo-ri had their first interpersonal conflict, but the show has been holding back throwing others into the mix until things settled in the house. Now that Woo-jin is coming around to Seo-ri’s presence, it’s time to set up some shake-up with ghosts from the past. So the real question is, whose past does Miss Yellow Shoes haunt, Woo-jin’s or Seo-ri’s?

These episodes primed us for not one, not two, but three upcoming mysteries. Miss Yellow Shoes is the most obvious, but they’ve given way too much time to the missed email exchanges from the musical’s jazz team for that to not be somehow significant. And the final shadow waiting in the wings is Dr. Yoo. I suspect he was a psychologist that Woo-jin worked with after the accident, and I’m wondering if he’s going to have some pieces of the past that help Woo-jin realize who Seo-ri really is.

Chan just wants his uncle to find himself again, the version before the accident. And what he remembers is his uncle’s warm smile, the smile he sees in the photo of the two of them when they’re young. He tries to force one out of Woo-jin in the kitchen, but it’s Seo-ri who earns the first genuine big smile out of him in the end. Woo-jin may not yet know that she’s the girl he admired from afar, but her energy still reaches out to him and manages to cut through all the ice he’s built up around his heart these last thirteen years.

For Woo-jin, getting involved means letting others down. Seo-ri’s misplaced blame reinforced that barrier for him, when he finally let some of those emotions slip. But with Seo-ri’s desire to do right by people and Chan’s efforts to get his uncle to smile again, there was no way that Woo-jin was going to be able to hold out against them for long. Now that he’s finally interested in figuring out what happened to Seo-ri and her relatives, I’m super excited for all the tension that can be built until he finally figures it out.

I really like Seo-ri so far. I could see criticism that she’s too good and pure, but I like that it feels right with the idea that she is still a young person in an adult body. That energy will be a beacon for Woo-jin after all this time apart.

Is anyone else surprised that Seo-ri hasn’t been taken for a makeover yet? She’s been wearing the same clothes for two weeks now. I bet it makes it easy for Shin Hye-sun, and everything looks super comfy. I guess there really isn’t anyone with the ability or desire yet to take her out for that new wardrobe montage. Her childhood friend has been very absent lately, but I’m hoping we’ll see him again soon.

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Thirty But Seventeen Episodes 5-6 Recap

Thirty But Seventeen has delivered the laughs but this hour it’s all about heart, thanks to a certain rower. Chan blends his experience as team captain with mother-hen tendencies to hold his makeshift family together. It’s a tall order since that family includes a woman who is thirteen years behind the times and an uncle who experienced severe emotional trauma, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Chan. Fighting!

EPISODE 5: “The Lands of the Unknown”

Chan answers the doorbell for Deok-soo and Hae-bum but before they can enter, Hyung-tae asks if they’ve seen a woman in her thirties near the house. The boys share that a woman did show up, convinced that she lived there, but she left and they don’t know where she went.

Hyung-tae hands his card to Deok-soo and asks him to call should the woman reappear.
The boys check the card once he’s gone and wonder what a neurosurgeon wants with Seo-ri. Deok-soo shoves the card into his pocket just as a food cart approaches.

 

The boys greet Chan but when they see Seo-ri, Deok-soo blurts out that a man just asked about her. Chan wonders if it was her uncle so Deok-soo reaches for the man’s card but it’s gone. He realizes that he lost it at the food cart so the boys try to remember what was on it. Deok-soo asks if Seo-ri’s uncle is a doctor while Hae-bum adds that card was from a hospital.

The boys are about to run after the doctor but they stop when Seo-ri admits that she knows why the hospital is searching for her, confused when she vows that she’ll never go back there. Seo-ri then asks Chan to use the internet but she’s utterly confused when he puts his cell phone in her hands.

 

Seo-ri uses a laptop to search for her uncle’s company and discovers that it’s long gone. She remembers that she saw him drive by on the day of the accident when he was supposed to be in Japan on a business trip. A call to her aunt confirmed that he was still away and Seo-ri realizes that if she really saw her uncle that day, it means that he lied to them.

At work, Woo-jin ends a phone call with his father and assures him that the buyers agreed to wait a month. Hee-soo overhears him and asks if something happened only to be told, “I’m not sure. I hope it’s nothing but I think it might be something.” A confused HYUN asks Hee-soo if she understands Woo-jin but she confesses that even though they’ve known each other since Germany, he remains a mystery.

Woo-jin can’t seem to concentrate and sighs, “One month…” An alarm on his phone signals that it’s time to feed Deok-gu and he runs home just as Hee-soo announces a meeting. Incensed, Hee-soo admits that if Woo-jin wasn’t so talented, she’d fire him.

Woo-jin is surprised to find Deok-gu playing with Seo-ri but carefully measures out his lunch. He coaxes Deok-gu to eat but when the dog belches, Seo-ri rattles off everything that he’s already eaten.

 

Woo-jin puts Deok-gu down and walks towards the stairs, straight into a potted plant. Seo-ri tells him it’s the perfect spot for the wilted plant but Woo-jin tells her it has to go back. He won’t relent even when Seo-ri promises that it will have new leaves in a few days, so back it goes.

Before he returns to work, Woo-jin looks jealous as he watches Seo-ri and Deuk-gu play together. When he leaves, Seo-ri moves the plant back to the special spot but she’s caught when Woo-jin returns for his car key. Back it goes to its original spot until Woo-jin leaves for good, then she moves it into the special place in front of the stairs.

 

Outside, Woo-jin frets, “Why did Deok-gu burp in my face like that,” and then reminds himself, “One month.” A few steps later he stops, “Why did she have to move that potted plant,” and then recites what has become his new mantra, “One month, just one month.”

After rowing practice, Hae-bum wonders what Seo-ri meant about not returning to the hospital. Deok-soo thinks that she escaped from a mental hospital but Chan silences them with orders to focus on their boat.

Troubled, Chan thinks back to Seo-ri’s explanation that she’d never used a phone to access the internet. Seo-ri confessed that she was a long-time patient at a hospital and Chan guessed that’s how she lost contact with her uncle. Seo-ri begged him not to tell the hospital her whereabouts but he wonders, “But what was she there for?”

While Chan and his friends wipe down their boat, he’s asked about LEE RI-AN, who hasn’t been seen since she announced her plan to meet her future in-law. Ri-an runs to a friend in class to ask if a shorter hairstyle makes her unrecognizable, only to be told that she looks the same, only with a wig.

Seo-ri waits while a violin technician studies her mother’s violin, shocked when he estimates that it will cost $2,000 to restore. She takes back the violin with a promise to come back but as she leaves, he tells her, “Even the best things become junk if you neglect them, whether it’s an instrument or a person.”

Seo-ri is outside when Chan comes home but she collapses when she stands up to greet him. Chan is ready to run her to the hospital on his back but she assures him that it’s only a leg cramp. Once she’s fine, Seo-ri asks to use his laptop.

 

Seo-ri types up her resume, which begins and ends with her acceptance to the music school in Germany. Chan has a stack of violinist job postings but realizes that Seo-ri needs a phone number. His number is unavailable when he’s at practice so Jennifer appears out of nowhere and recites hers.

Chan helpfully suggests that Seo-ri could list any competitions that she won but there’s nothing because competitions are about precision and she always improvised. Chan sees Germany listed on her resume and shares that not only was he born there, Woo-jin attended high school and college there. Seo-ri excitedly shares that she was supposed to attend college in Berlin.

 

When Woo-jin comes home, Seo-ri greets him excitedly with news that she was supposed to study music at a school in Berlin. She bombards him with questions all the way to his room but when he reaches his door, Woo-jin confronts Seo-ri, “Are you a child?” Her smile diasppears as Woo-jin continues, “If you’re not hearing a response, that means someone doesn’t want to talk. Shouldn’t you be able to catch on to that at your age?”

Laden with a platter of corn dogs, Chan overhears Woo-jin tell Seo-ri, “I’m really grateful that you saved Deok-gu’s life but please keep your promise of living quietly in your room.” Chan tries to smooth things over and tells Seo-ri that Woo-jin doesn’t like to talk to people but then sadly remembers that his uncle wasn’t always that way.

Woo-jin lies in bed and remembers how his worried parents knocked on his door after the accident and begged him to talk to them. Crouched on the floor of his room, he wept, with the charm from Seo-ri’s backpack nearby. In the present, all Woo-jin can do is sigh heavily.

When Seo-ri informs Jennifer that she’s on her way to look for a job, she’s told, “Stop.” The two women stand in front of Jennifer’s closet as the maid recites, “Time. Place. Occasion.”

Jennifer explains the importance of dressing appropriately for an interview and opens her closet to reveal nothing but white shirts and black skirts. Jennifer invites Seo-ri, “Take your pick,” and soon Seo-ri walks up the street, smartly dressed in a white shirt and black skirt.

At her first interview, Seo-ri is told that she’s just a middle school graduate since she never graduated from high school. Seo-ri’s next application is turned down because she didn’t know enough to bring her own instrument.

Hee-soo holds a meeting to discuss an upcoming three-day music festival. Hyun thinks it sounds like fun while Woo-jin complains about the stress it will cause. Hee-soo warns Woo-jin that he’s to attend the meeting with the festival staff or she’ll throw him out. Woo-jin doesn’t mind as long as she sends him to Croatia.

While Seo-ri waits for another interview, she suggests to a class of pre-schoolers that they should hold their bows like a rabbit, with their outside fingers pointed up like ears. In her interview, Seo-ri is dismissed as unqualified but she convinces the interviewer to evaluate her skills.

Seo-ri plays the violin surprisingly well until the bow falls from her stiff fingers. It’s obvious that Seo-ri hasn’t played in some time even though she feels as if it was just yesterday.

Outside, Seo-ri drops onto a bench and remembers the warning of the violin repairman — something great can become worthless if neglected. Seo-ri reassures herself that all she needs is practice.

At the hospital, Hyung-tae’s friend is surprised to learn that he’s no longer interested in the long-term hospitalization. When an unconscious female in her twenties is brought in, Hyun-tae pushes his way to her side and drops to the floor in relief when he sees that it’s not Seo-ri.

Woo-jin busies himself with a sketch of Deok-gu as the meeting with the festival staff gets underway. Tae-rin runs in with an apology for her tardiness and introduces herself as Rin Kim (her stage name?).

Seo-ri thinks about the $2,000 needed for her violin and perks up when she walks by a help-wanted notice. A restaurant hostess reviews the job’s benefits but Seo-ri thinks that she meant gas money, not days off. Woo-jin steps away from his meeting and sees Seo-ri just as the hostess asks about her age and this time she remembers to answer that she’s thirty.

Out on the street, Seo-ri recalls the hostess’ rejection, “We’re only hiring people in their twenties. Our boss is twenty-nine, so we can’t hire anyone older.” She thinks of everything that people expect her to know by the age of thirty but then her attention falls on two high school girls. Suddenly, she imagines herself laughing with Su-mi.

Seo-ri asks herself, “What about the eighteen-year-old me? What about the twenty-year-old me?” Seo-ri imagines her arrival at the college in Germany as planned and playing for her teacher. Years later, all grown up, she introduces herself in German as the second violin.

Seo-ri’s imagined future includes a concert hall with a banner that announces her solo performance and onstage, she sparkles in an elegant gown, her aunt and uncle in the audience, a standing ovation her reward. Suddenly, the scene blows away like dust and Seo-ri sits alone on a bench with tears in her eyes.

EPISODE 6: “Replacement”

Chan waves to Seo-ri happily until he sees her face. He joins her on the bench, indignant that her admission to the German music school doesn’t help her job search but Seo-ri admits that she isn’t good enough.

Seo-ri sees Chan’s calloused hands and he explains that all rowers’ hands look that bad. Seo-ri shares that violinists get blisters and callouses on their fingertips but then she sees that hers are perfectly smooth.

Chan wonders, “Were you so sick that you couldn’t play the violin?” Seo-ri confesses that she was unconscious for thirteen years because of an accident, which is why she still feels like she’s seventeen. Seo-ri’s disappointing day served to remind her that she’s really thirty and she observes, “I’m a strange thirty-year-old who doesn’t know anything.”

Chan takes a deep breath before he speaks. Haltingly, he tells her, “Thirty is not that old anymore…Don’t get discouraged yet. Good days will come as you live on.” Chan apologizes for his weak vocabulary but Seo-ri knows that he wants to tell her to cheer up.

Chan proposes that spicy food will improve their mood and Seo-ri proves that they’re on the same wavelength when she excitedly suggests spicy rice cakes. When Chan mentions seaweed rolls as well, Seo-ri practically skips in delight by his side.

Woo-jin gets home just as Jennifer goes shopping and a deliveryman arrives with a stack of packages. Woo-jin has to carry everything inside by himself and when he sees boxes for Hae-bum, Deok-soo and Chan, he can’t imagine why the friends’ packages were delivered to his address.

Woo-jin slams into the potted plant and then the doorbell rings just a he has a clean shirt over his head. He bumps into a bookcase on the way to answer it and is confused by a food delivery. Before Woo-jin can send the deliveryman away, Deok-soo and Hae-bum appear and claim the food.

The boys dance in as they chant, “Pigs’ feet! Pigs’ feet,” and tell Woo-jin that they’re expecting Chan. Distracted when the boys call to him, Woo-jin walks into the potted plant again, not at all thankful with the hearts and the wink that the boys send him as thanks for bringing in their packages.

Woo-jin retreats to his room to work but the doorbell rings and then Hae-bum barges in to announce that there’s more food. Hae-bum is disappointed that Woo-jin won’t join them and returns when he remembers to mention another dish.

Hae-bum looks dejected when he finally leaves but Woo-jin doesn’t care and locks his bedroom door. Seconds later, Deok-soo walks in to ask why Chan isn’t home and an exasperated Woo-jin suggests that he call him.

 

Woo-jin can’t get back to work so he goes to the bathroom to throw some water on his face. There’s an urgent knock on the door before Deok-soo barges in. He wriggles as he explains that the downstairs bathroom isn’t available because Hae-bum decided to take a bubble bath.

Deok-soo can’t wait and pulls down his pants which forces Woo-jin into the hallway. He announces that all he wants is peace and quiet and is rewarded with chirps from Chan’s escaped chick.

The next day, Woo-jin and Chan are startled by a scream. They run downstairs, weaponized with the umbrella and bamboo stick and find Seo-ri jumping for joy. She got a call to fill in for the teacher of the toddler class who’s out due to an appendectomy. It seems that all of the kids asked for the rabbit teacher.

Chan and Seo-ri jump in celebration as Woo-jin watches her with curiosity. Deok-soo and Hae-bum show up and decide that something good happened and join in. Jennifer finds herself smiling at the kids and then composes herself just as Woo-jin returns upstairs.

Jennifer expertly prepares fresh noodles as Seo-ri asks for flour to prepare some dough. Jennifer offers her some of the noodle dough and Seo-ri takes a handful.

Woo-jin walks downstairs in the middle of the night and overhears Seo-ri in her room. Deok-gu serves as her audience while Seo-ri practices what to say to her class. Woo-jin manages to avoid the potted plant, unaware that it’s much greener.

In the morning, Chan wishes Seo-ri luck on her first day at work and shares his words of inspiration, “Don’t think! Feel!” He sees the dough and Seo-ri explains that it’s for an exercise to loosen her fingers. Chan tells her, “Fighting,” just as Deok-soo and Hae-bum show up and wish her luck.

Chan stares after Seo-ri and when he remembers how she jumped for joy, he tells himself, “She really must be seventeen-years-old.” Woo-jin walks in just as the boys leave for school, horrified when they all promise to see him later.

 

Seo-ri drops off her violin with the repairman and announces that she’ll never allow herself, or her violin, to become junk.

Woo-jin walks downstairs and manages to avoid the plant on his way to the kitchen. While he grinds some coffee, Jennifer’s phone rings but Woo-jin doesn’t hear it and sits on it when he hops on the counter.

When the grinder stops, Woo-jin is spooked when he hears, “Hello?” The caller is from the violin school and she tells Woo-jin that the parents don’t want Seo-ri as a teacher so she doesn’t need to report to work. The caller hangs up before he can ask her to call Seo-ri later.

Woo-jin has finally learned to avoid the potted plant as he leaves for work. He comes right back to leave a note for Seo-ri about the job but a call from Hee-soo causes him to race out for a meeting before he’s finished.

Seo-ri returns and sees the note on the bookcase to her room. All it says is,”The violin academy…,” so Seo-ri adds something to it and goes into her room.

At work, Hyun answers a phone call and it reminds Woo-jin about the half-written note. He tells himself that Seo-ri will hear the news from the school and then remembers how giddy she was when she was asked to teach.

Woo-jin looks guilty when he remembers that Seo-ri stayed up late to prepare and then we see that he overheard the restaurant hostess tell Seo-ri that she was too old for the job. He notices that it’s 3:15 and remembers that Seo-ri told Chan that she had to report to the school at 4:00 p.m.

Woo-jin happens to drive by while Seo-ri walks to the violin school. He stops but a car behind him honks so he asks Seo-ri to get into his car. Seo-ri points out that she only has a ten minute walk but Woo-jin tries to explains that’s not his reason for the ride. She shows him the note, certain that it’s from Chan, and explains that she finished it for him by adding, “Good luck.”

Woo-jin tries to explain that the note isn’t from Chan but Seo-ri interrupts with directions. Seo-ri excitedly shares that she’s so happy because now she can afford to repair her mother’s violin and then she adds that she doesn’t feel useless anymore.

Seo-ri apologizes for talking so much before she happily hops out of the car. As Seo-ri walks away, Woo-jin moans, “Why did I pick up that call?”

There’s a promotion for a new store on the sidewalk where Seo-ri literally runs into Woo-jin. Woo-jin tries to explain that he has something to tell her but he’s interrupted when he’s given a promotional tissue pack. Unfortunately, he’s drowned out by large speakers when he finally manages to tell Seo-ri, “The music school told you not to come in.”

Woo-jin tries again and this time he yells so that Seo-ri can hear him just when someone trips on the cords. When everything loses power, Woo-jin’s words, “They fired you,” echo around them.

Woo-jin looks miserable while Seo-ri holds his note and realizes that she was fired before her first day at work and he nervously pulls out the end of a tape measure.

When Seo-ri realizes that she won’t be able to fix her mother’s violin, huge sobs escape her body. Woo-jin looks around uncomfortably while Seo-ri reaches for a tissue and then blows her nose loudly. Seo-ri pulls herself together and exclaims, “I feel so much better after crying.”

Seo-ri thanks Woo-jin for worrying that she’d be hurt by the news and acknowledges that he’s a good person, in his own way. Woo-jin insists that he just happened to answer the phone and doesn’t plan to get mixed up in her business anymore, so she shouldn’t make any assumptions about him.

Chan has just started on a huge bag of popcorn when Seo-ri and Woo-jin get home at the same time. He asks how everything went, surprised when Seo-ri announces that she was fired before she started.

Seo-ri runs off to use the computer to figure out how to earn $2,000 and Chan chases after her. Woo-jin walks by the potted plant but stops when he sees that it’s green and has new leaves. He admits to himself with a smile, “She was right. It came back to life.”

Woo-jin can’t get Deok-gu away from Seo-ri for his checkup because he won’t leave her side. Chan announces that Woo-jin’s been dumped and then points out the obvious, “Deok-gu doesn’t want to be separated from her again. It looks like she’ll have to go with you.”

On the way back from the vet, Seo-ri is relieved that the doctor proclaimed Deok-giu much improved. Woo-jin’s phone rings with a spam call and when Seo-ri returns it to his bag, she sees the ChocoPie.

Woo-jin recalls how he waited for Seo-ri to return after he bought her the treat, but when she asks him about that day, he insists that he bought it for himself. Stopped at a light, Woo-jin tears open the ChocoPie and takes a bite but he can barely get it down.

Seo-ri laughs while Woo-jin forces himself to eat the treat but stops when she sees her uncle walking on the other side of the street. She jumps out of the car and runs into traffic calling out, “Uncle,” as cars honk and screech to a halt. Woo-jin cowers in the car and envisions the bus accident as Deuk-go begins to bark.

Seo-ri is in the middle of the street when Woo-jin grabs her arm. She starts to explain that she saw her uncle but Woo-jin can only say, “Don’t move.” Seo-ri tries to jerk herself away but Woo-jin begs, “Don’t go,” and she freezes when she sees tears begin to form in his eyes.

 

COMMENTS

That sickly plant that Woo-jin constantly runs into reminds us that Thirty But Seventeen deals with rejuvenation. The right circumstances not only heal but unlock unrealized potential and that’s what Seo-ri, Woo-jin, and now, Hyung-tae are poised for. All three were horribly damaged by that bus accident and though they survived, they certainly haven’t thrived. The perfect place for that plant turns out to be in the middle of everything and everyone and that seems to be the same situation that Woo-jin finds himself in.

The running gag about the ridiculous amounts of food that Chan and his friends’ blow through on any given day is amazingly accurate. Teenaged athletes are always in “eat” mode and Thirty But Seventeen has lots of fun with that fact. It’s work to track all of the different ways that the boys find to consume enough calories and their search for food even impacts the story, such as when Deok-gu lost Hyung-tae’s business card to buy those yogurt drinks. It gives Chan and his friends so much personality plus it wreaks havoc in Woo-jin’s once peaceful life.

Woo-jin has gone from the remoteness of the Alps to having his doorbell ring constantly with deliveries. I think it’s amusing that everyone in the house has adapted to the pandemonium and are able to coexist while Woo-jin stumbles and bumbles his way around, constantly out of sorts. Woo-jin is meant to be restored in the same way as that plant, in a busy and bustling household, I’m just not sure that one month will be enough time for his transformation. This hour demonstrated just how much that bus accident scarred Woo-jin when he suffered from post-traumatic stress when Seo-ri ran into the street. No wonder he craves serenity and quiet and wants to avoid stress. He’s not just grumpy and uncooperative, he’s traumatized.

The friendship between Seo-ri and Chan continues to grow and I appreciate that there’s been no hint of romance because I love these two in a brother/sister type of relationship. In fact, I’m actually not in a hurry for any romantic developments because everyone has a lot of growing to do before any romance would feel appropriate. As the second lead, Ahn Hyo-seop has been onscreen as much, if not more, than Yang Se-jong. Maybe it just feels that way because he plays such an energetic character. He’s really killing it as Chan and displays not only the character’s emotional maturity, but his youthful exuberance as well.

I wasn’t expecting Ahn Hyo-seop’s character to be so pivotal to the drama, but at this point, he’s the glue that holds everyone together. Chan is a rock of support and as the questions and mysteries pile up, that support will be in high demand. What is the truth about Seo-ri’s uncle and what on earth happened to her aunt? Were they both involved in something or did the uncle betray his wife? Whatever we learn, it’s sure to be devastating for Seo-ri and the support of a true friend will help her to keep moving forward. Because that’s what Chan is best at, instilling hope and a stick-with-it attitude. As an athlete, he knows about teamwork and pushing yourself beyond your boundaries but he’s always ready with a smile or a shoulder to cry on, even though he’s only seventeen. It’s the older adults who will learn a thing or two from Chan as they deal with their wounds.

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Time 2018 Episode 5+6 Recap

Soo Ho and Ji Hyun have a walk together. Ji Hyun wonders why he keeps following her. She thinks that he follows because he wants to make a deal about the issue in the mall or 10 millions won that she owed him. But with him, that amount of money is not big deal. However this is a reasonable reason for him to stay and protech her. He has a hypothesis that she can’t pay him money and try to run away, or up to something stupid. So he decides to follow her as well as sign a note to guarantee that she will pay the money.

Chun Soo Cheon meets the press on the behaft of Soo Ho. Taking the advantage of Ji Eun which relating to Soo Ho, Soo Cheon hold the meeting just to take the benefit for himseft. To prevent this purpose, Chae Ah gives some evidence that Soo Chae has a black fund of the company such as buying the company’s equity by the name of another one. Soo Chaeon doesn’t know why Chae Ah does that. She only wants the marriage with Soo Ho continues as planned. Before the meeting with the press, Soo Chaeon strongly talks to Chae Ah “If die, we will die together.”

When Soo Ho comes, Soo Cheon immediately gives the deal. He agrees to give him haft of the equity that Soo Ho has, if not the secret will be revealed.

Soo Ho accepts the deal. Not stopping there, Soo Chaeon is very to make Soo Ho to kneel down on his feet to tie up his shoes in front of the press, the action is unacceptable. Soo Chaein continues defamatoring him. He lives his life just to be a burden for his mother and fiancee. Can’t put up with this anymore,he decides to tell everything in front of the press.

 

At that time, Ji Hyun comes in, the appearance ò Ji Hyun makes him speechless. The chaos starts, Soo Cheon hit him on the face.

Soo Cheon has an anouncement to meet his father immediately. After hearing every word of Soo Cheon, he angrily throws the glass of wine to Soo Cheon. But Min Seok is the one who hurts. He angrily states that he will take all the equity of Soo Cheon if he dares to reveal the truth.

Soo Ho helps Ji Jyun wound his hand after being hit by a crowd of journalists. He also took her to her restaurant to have a dinner. When seeing Ji Jyun eating unnaturally, Soo Ho calls the chief to blame for the quality of the food. Do not want to embarass to chief, Ji Hyun eat a lot and  has a compliment that the plate is delicious.

If Ji Hyun knows the truth that Soo Ho was indirectly related to Ji Eun’s death, will she thank for what he does? Hearing the “thank you” word from Ji Hyun Soo Ho is really hurt inside.

On another scene, Chae Ah seems to have feelings for Min Seok. She cares for Soo Ho but he does not know that. Chea Ah does not have the right to dispose his heart. During drunkenness, she wishes that Min Seok could be the one to steals her heart. As a kind refusal, Min Seok says she deserves another person who cares for her better.

Soo Ho goes to Ji Hyun’s house to pay the mortgage. The man also wants to add more money for the psychological traumas he suffered that her mother and her might escape. What Soo Ho needs to know now is where is Ji Hyun’s mother?

Chae Ah meeta Soo Ho, incidentally Min Seok is also there. Chae Ah calls Min Seok his friend. Soo Ho is

surprised that the two of them have a close relationship so Chae Ah can call Min Seok a friend. He thought that Min Seok was only Chae Ah’s servant.

Talking about getting married, Soo Ho admitted that he is related to Ji Eun’s death. He is determined to tell the truth so that Chae Ah can understand. If two of them marry someday, he has no secret to hide her. Chae Ah admitted that she already known the truth. Because of that, she stopped him at the press conference. When Soo Ho asks her why she agrees to marry him, it was because of her feelings or what he has?. Chae Ah says that Soo Ho is the one who needs to know his place instead of Min Seok. He agreed to marry with a condition: Give him one year. After that time, if every thing is fine, he will give her a beautiful wedding.

Min Seok took Ji Hyun to her mother’s place. Her mother is currently being detained for frauding. The creditor threatened the landlord by getting Ji Hyun’s mortgage. Min Soek has regained her house and now she can reunite with her mother. That is all he could do for her. Ji Hyun wonderes how he can have such a large money to do so, he does not want to talk about it. One thing Ji Hyun wants to ask is what is the real the reason for the break up between them? He also remains quiet and leaves.

 

Soo Ho said that because of the money that Min Seok ignores Ji Hyun after Ji Eun’s death. Money is nothing but Min Seok accepts to be a liar in exchange for Ji Hyun’s serenity. If he doesn’t tell the truth, she will spend the rest of her life to find the truth. Powerful liars such as Soo Ho are always taking things. Soo Ho is trying to help Ji Hyun because he is justifying his mistakes. He is trying to redeem his mistake.

Ji Hyun cooks and tastes. If she does not feel good then she throws it away. She does it so many times. Recalling when Ji Eun was still alive, her sister was always expecting her to cook spaghetti ice cream. Ji Eun showed her interest in food when combined with wine which would be perfect.

In the middle of the night, Ji Hyun comes to find Soo Ho. She takes the noodles she has made for him. She expresses her wish. This is the noodles that Ji Eun loves to eat but unfortunately Ji Hyun has no chance to make for her. Ji Hyun comes to Soo Ho hoping that he can help her. When everyone is against her, he is the only one who helps her

 

Risky Roman Episode 7+8 Recap

It is unbelievable that the surgery was fail. Seung Joo is so confused when coming out of the surgery room. Seung Joo believes that if he could stop the patient’s bleedind, it would be a success. When hearing the news from Jae Hwan that the patient was taking Aspirin, a medicine prevents the blood from clotting properly, he is so out of control.

At that time, The head of Department Ji Yeon has just arrived. She slaps him in the face to make him awake. The most important thing that Seung Joo has to do right now is to announce to the patient’s family instead of finding a reasons to make up for his failure. She thinks that it is because he is afraid of his reward do Seung Joo blame the mistake for someone else.

Seung Joo goes to the surgery room alone. He is imagining as if he was going to perform a surgery. All the mistakes and words of the head Department Jàn Ji Yeon and In-Ah continues obsessing him. Seung Joo once again looses his temper, he kneels down on the floor, his heart starts to feel the pain.

In-Ah after leaving the hospital, she stays at home and reads comics to relax. She ignores all the message of her colleagues.  Se Ra and In-Ah are not sisters, that is also that reason that Se Ra hates In- Ah. Se Ra says that In-Ah is a burdern of her. Between them there is always a fight about selling the house.

Mi-Un comes to In-Ah’s house. After her surgery, the relationship between them is much better and they still keep in touch with each other. By accident, she finds out that Se Ra is in debt on the street, Mi-Un comes to help her but she ignores her.

The press write about the death of the actress Oh Sung Joon as well as the hospital Da Rin. Seung Joo had a meeting with the Head of hospital. His assumes that his fault is not able to predict the risk that happned in the surgery. But he strongly states that there was no problem during the operation. Leaving with a statement that he will take all the responsibility with everything he did.

Jae Hwan stays as the requirement of his father. He and his father are discussing about the position Head of the Center. He states that his father fails to give Seung Joo as an example to discourage him. There is no denying that Jae Hwan is wrong, the director thinks that Jae Hwan fears of failure, not confident enough that he can win Seung Joo, these word defiant Jae Hwan.

Seung Joo met Choi Jung Ja who was picking up the bottle, who discharged from the hospital not long time ago is wandering on the streets. She did not recognize him, she said he was her son-in-law. Being with the old lady, Seung Joo spoke out all his mind. He said that everyone says he has changed. No one understands him. That he did not know when he would die or live such a life. The conversation between them was really close. Feeling like this is really Seung Joo when he talk to a new grandmother – the patient is losing her memory.

In-Ah received the news to pick her up. This is a reunion between In-Ah and Seung Joo. It was so funny when the old lady said that husband and wife should not talk like that.

Journalist comes to the hospital to get news about Seung Joo, he thought that the rumors about Seung Joo is realted to the death of Oh Sung Joon. The words of the journalist is provoking Seung Joo. He blames the consequce after brain surgery that make the death of the famous actor. Unable to tolerate the insulting words of the journalist, Seung Joo approached to grab his neck, “I want to clean up the trash like you.” Seung Joo’s words and actions caused the journalist changes his attitude. change attitude. After witnessing him loosing temper, the journalist became frightened.

In-Ah decides to fulfill the wishes of his parents. Before, In-Ah’s parents even though they were not biological parents, had a small hospital. Leaving a job at Da Rin Hospital does not mean passion, love for her medical profession extinguished. It arose when she returned to the old hospital she had left, where her parents had worked there, as well as read the gratitude letters the patients had sent to her.

Faced with the opposite view of many people, In-Ah’s passion increasingly urges her. After hearing what In-Ah shared, Jae Hwan initially protested, but then decides to help her. Turning her private house into a hospital, he understood that life is really beautiful if he does what he really likes. A life he hopes for but could not have it

The incident between Seung Joo and the journalist was posted online. After the fight with everyone, Seung Joo immediately decided to resign. The consequences of his scandal also affected the psychology of the patients. They do not want him to have surgery for them and want to move to another hospital. This made Seung Joo quickly prepare to leave the hospital despite Jae Hwan’s objection.

The chief of the department has been drinking too much. She admits that she is also planning to let Seung Joo leave the hospital before it goes too far. She does not deliberately do so. The drunk words are also the most sincere words of Jang Ji Yeon, she is determined to bring Seung Joo back.

Seung Joo seeks opportunities at other hospitals. The refusal continued to come to him. They recognize the accomplishments that he has achieved. But the news on the internet have so much influences and they can not accept him.

He searches for the source that has reported him. The page is very familiar which is Mi-Un ,In-Ah was present at that moment. Unable to bear it, he immediately drove to the car to In Ah’s house, find hers to solve everything

 

Mi-Un admitted that she uploaded the video but she blurted out the image and did not mention the hospital. But the video on the press was cut with completely different inference. Mi-Un stated that he did not mean it, and that someone has the intention of harming Seung Joo. He could not believe Mi-Un’s words. Seung Joo stated that In-Ah and Mi-Un have a revenge on him. The reason for In-Ah’s hatred was that he made her to leave the hospital.

 

Mr. Sunshine Episode 8 Recap

With a big mission upon them, the Righteous Army is moving as many pieces as possible, hoping to secure the safety of their fellow comrade. Ae-shin’s secret is on the brink of discovery, but that doesn’t deter her from this mission. She continues to fight for what she believes in, forcing those around her to choose if they’ll fight with her or against her. It’s not a simple decision, choosing which side you’d risk your life for, but that’s the deal when you admire someone so earnest in her beliefs.

EPISODE 8 RECAP

We return to the triangle of jealousy, where Hee-sung tells the two men that he doesn’t want to develop bad intentions yet. Eugene labels this newly revealed side of Hee-sung “the nobleman’s son,” and Hee-sung asks if that bothers him. Eugene responds that he hopes that Hee-sung remains as his neighbor, Room 303. He warns Hee-sung not to put Ae-shin between them or speak of patience again because he may not end with just a warning next time.

Dong-mae observes the tension between these two and comments that this is exciting to watch. Now, he’s not sure who to hate more, and he hopes that they can make his life easier by getting into a fight and eliminating one of the two. Dong-mae walks into the hotel, leaving the two men to finish their business.

As Eugene turns away, Hee-sung says that Eugene revealed his response only after putting Ae-shin between them. Eugene demands to know what he revealed, and Hee-sung clarifies that Eugene’s claim about patience implied that he’s tolerating something.

 

Hee-sung asks why Eugene is tracking down slaves who served his family thirty years ago, and Eugene admits that he’s not eager about this search, as it’s tied to his painful past. Eugene says that Hee-sung was there that day too, in his mother’s womb, when Hee-sung’s grandfather declared to nine-year-old Yoo-jin that a parents’ sins are also the child’s sins. Eugene quotes Hee-sung’s grandfather and associates Hee-sung with his family’s sins, and he warns Hee-sung not to get in the way between him and his parents, lest he be tempted to find sins against Hee-sung.

Before Eugene leaves, he turns back around to tell Hee-sung that he can complain about a painful splinter under his fingernail, but he can’t talk about pain in front of someone whose heart has been ripped out — that’s a matter of shame. Eugene walks into the hotel, and Hee-sung’s face crumbles.

That night, Eugene tends to his wound, and Hee-sung stands in the same spot outside as the hotel’s evening lights turn on. The blowing laundry in the yard reminds him of when he first met Ae-shin, and he wonders if he’s meant to be the heartbroken one.

Dong-mae walks aimlessly through the village and thinks about Ae-shin’s skirt brushing his fingers. He stops in front of the bakery, and the owner offers him hard candies, which he’d bought previously because they reminded him of Ae-shin. Dong-mae says that he wouldn’t buy such useless things and says that the candies were so sweet that they were bitter.

The owner of Hwawollu, the prominent Japanese restaurant, urgently meets with Dong-mae regarding his grim fate. He had no idea that the Japanese-disguised server was a part of the Righteous Army, but Hayashi, the Japanese ambassador, will likely not accept this excuse. He’s trying to escape with his life, and he thought that the only person who would buy the devalued Hwawollu would be Dong-mae.

The Musin Society takes over Hwawollu, and Dong-mae walks through the corridors as the new owner. He sits in the room where the American, Logan Taylor, was shot dead, and he wonders who will be next to die.

 

Ae-shin practices her shooting and thinks about Eugene — him shooting himself with the gun and passing by her carriage slowly after being released from jail. She returns to the hideout, where her teacher Seung-gu comments that the sporadic sounds of her shooting indicated that she may be distracted by her thoughts. Ae-shin admits that she couldn’t focus and asks about the woman she saved.

Seung-gu gently scolds Ae-shin for her audacity to face their enemy head-on. Both her and Eugene risked revealing her identity, but Ae-shin says that there was no other way. To her relief, Seung-gu reports that the woman, So-ah, is alive and that she thanks Ae-shin for saving her life. Seung-gu tells her to forget this woman and her name, as all members of the Righteous Army are nameless, faceless, and just live as soldiers. If Joseon survives, being remembered as “soldiers” is enough, he says.

 

King Gojong looks out at the peaceful night sky and comments on how it contrasts the precarious state of the nation. His trusted minister advises him to summon the American soldier who was involved with the punished Japanese soldier. The minister explains that this American solider seems to have returned to Joseon as a homecoming, and the king welcomes this news that the American solider is a Joseon person.

The minister suggests that they invite the Joseon-American soldier to the court while the American ambassador is on leave, since they may be able to obtain more information. As a part of their strategy, the minister advises the king to invite the other country ambassadors as well, but they will place Eugene at the forefront.

Hina receives an unaddressed envelope under her door. As soon as she reads the message, she burns the letter, and we see that it’s been stamped by one of the king’s advisors.

 

The next day, Hina visits Eugene at the U.S. embassy and relays the unofficial invite to the palace by the king. He must show up in his Western dress without his arms. As the messenger, she doesn’t know the context of this invite, but she offers some words of advice to make up for her switched key blunder. She advises Eugene to only speak in English and use the translator to communicate with the king. Eugene infers that she must have switched the keys on purpose but offers to turn a blind eye.

Eugene looks at the sky outside, and little Domi asks what he’s looking at. He responds that he’s wondering if he’s the blue sky or the black bird.

A servant finds Ae-shin’s grandfather to announce Seung-gu’s arrival, but Grandfather is also looking at the sky. He remembers the prominent words of young precocious Eugene, who commented on how one black bird could ruin the blue sky. Grandfather wonders how this child grew up.

 

Grandfather meets with Seung-gu, who reluctantly asks for money to buy a secret ticket for So-ah to escape to Shanghai. Grandfather asks Seung-gu how long he’s been teaching Ae-shin, and Seung-gu responds that it’s been about ten years now. Worried about Ae-shin’s safety, Grandfather asks if she’s equipped to protect herself, and Seung-gu assures him that Ae-shin can protect herself better than most men.

Grandfather knows that Ae-shin’s shooting skills aren’t just being used to protect herself and wonders how else she’s being utilized. He recalls that he funded the Righteous Army when Sang-hwa (his son and Ae-shin’s father) went to Japan, but that money ultimately contributed to his son’s death. He knows that he can’t prevent everything, but he requests that even if Ae-shin is utilized, to utilize her less often and in secret. With that, Grandfather offers Seung-gu the money to save lives that need saving.

Before Seung-gu leaves, Ae-shin offers to pack him some food, or in other words, she asks to talk. She says that she heard his conversation with Grandfather and requests that she help So-ah get to safety. She saved So-ah and wants to see this through. Seung-gu honors Ae-shin’s wishes and wonders where she gets her audacity and willingness to risk her life.

The king meets with Eugene, and as Hina recommended, they converse via the translator. King Gojong expresses his delight and appreciation for Eugene returning to the motherland and saving the Joseon woman. He asks Eugene for any advice regarding Joseon-America relations, but Eugene doesn’t offer any. Eugene clarifies that he’s a solider — not a politician — and that his loyalties lie with the U.S. He further claims that he simply saved the woman’s life, not because she was a Joseon woman. He says that he can’t offer any advice that would benefit Joseon.

The translator mistranslates Eugene’s message by saying that Joseon should accept help from powerful countries, including Japan, but Eugene doesn’t correct the translator. At the translator’s words, the king’s face falls with disappointment. The minister excuses the translator, for he knows that Eugene can speak Korean. The translator’s eyes widen in shock, and he runs off, implying that the translator intentionally mistranslated the message.

 

The king asks Eugene where he’s from, and Eugene says that he doesn’t know. Assuming that Eugene is being disrespectful, the minister scolds him and urges him to tell the truth. Eugene clarifies that his parents were slaves, so they adopted the surname of his father’s first owner, as is custom.

Realizing his mistake, the minister mentions the upcoming event for the elderly ministers and ushers Eugene out. Once he leaves, the minister apologizes to the king for not thoroughly checking Eugene’s background. The king says that Eugene’s cold demeanor indicated that he wouldn’t have shared anything beneficial regardless, and he looks thoroughly disappointed. As Eugene leaves, he takes a look at his pawnshop receipt for the king’s banknote.

 

Hee-sung’s mother searches through her house for Eugene’s ornament, and her husband proudly says that he sold it at the pawnshop because she was so repelled by the item. She chastises her husband for selling an item full of grudge and fears their fate if Eugene were to return demanding this item. She imitates his gun-threatening move to remind her husband of that traumatizing experience.

To retrieve the ornament, Hee-sung’s mother visits the pawnshop and notices a familiar pocket watch. Choon-shik reveals that it belonged to her son, and she gets livid. As she leaves the pawnshop, she runs into Hee-sung, who tries to wiggle himself out of the situation, to no avail. His mother shows him the pocket watch and scolds him for pawning an item that his grandfather gifted him.

 

Hee-sung asks his mother if anything happened during the year of his birth and maybe on the day of his birth. He asks specifically about a nine-year-old slave boy, and his mother gets uncomfortable, noticeably reaching for her neck. She pretends to be clueless and hurries off to make lunch. She warns Hee-sung to stay hidden at the hotel, and Hee-sung gives her a sorrowful smile.

As Hee-sung walks away with the pocket watch in his hand, he remembers the day that his grandfather gave him the gift. He was facing the other way, but he can hear the pleas of the servant who begged for his farmland back — the same farmland that Hee-sung’s grandfather sold to buy that pocket watch.

 

The tailor’s assistant recognizes Hee-sung on the road, but Hee-sung doesn’t recognize him, cheekily claiming that he can’t remember men’s faces very well. The tailor stirs his memories by reminding him when he was first measured for a suit, and Hee-sung then gladly greets the man. Noticing Hee-sung’s size, he comments that the suits that Ae-shin bought and sent to him every year must have been small on him. Hee-sung pretends to know what he’s talking about, and once the tailor leaves, he seems to find a glimmer of hope in the engagement, knowing that Ae-shin still thought of him year after year.

At the medicine shop, Ae-shin opens the secret drawer where she keeps her shooter disguise. It’s the suit that the tailor mentioned, and that’s why it was probably a small fit — because it was for Ae-shin, not Hee-sung. Ae-shin notices that she’s missing her mask, and she realizes that Eugene took it from her.

When Eugene returns to the embassy, he finds Kyle typing away on his typewriter. Eugene jokes that he’s finally writing that poem, and Kyle says that it’s actually an essay suggesting that the two of them go on an adventure before the ambassador returns. Eugene offers the next line in that essay: “No.” Ha, these two are great.

Kyle mentions that he found a black mask in Eugene’s office, and Eugene says that it belongs to a woman. Kyle teases Eugene that he must have let a woman into his room, but Eugene responds in Korean that he let someone into his heart. Unfortunately for Eugene, Kyle understands the word maeum or “heart” in Korean, and he teases Eugene that he knows about that this is about the noblewoman. Eugene grumbles at everyone around him being such a quick study at languages.

Eugene invites Kyle for tea and shows him the pawnshop receipt for the banknote. At this point, everyone is looking for this banknote to take control of Joseon, even the U.S. ambassador. Kyle says that this banknote holds Joseon’s money rights, ginseng distribution rights, and the railroad concessions, so the U.S. ambassador can take control of one of these things if the banknote is relayed to him.

 

Eugene isn’t sure what to do and says that there are two options: leading Joseon to its demise or delaying this. Kyle disagrees and says that the U.S. needs to stop meddling in Joseon. Besides, the U.S. will take control of the Philippines and not have a stake in who takes control of Joseon, he says. Kyle says that the banknote should be returned to Joseon, since it belongs to them.

This comes as a surprise to Eugene, and he says that this is an odd thing for an American to say. Kyle says that these words come from a poet (not an American) and explicitly repeats what he implied, saying, “Eugene, don’t become a dangerous man, Yank.” Kyle says that he hopes that the last line of his poem reads that being deployed overseas was like a picnic.

He leaves Eugene with those words, and Eugene thinks about the royal translator’s mistranslation and the minister’s flustered reaction to Eugene being of a son of slaves.

Eugene finds the minister at his home and seems a bit surprised to see him in humble clothing chopping wood. Eugene tells the minister that the translator lied and manipulated the translation to favor Japan. The minister asks why Eugene is disclosing this now, and Eugene admits that he had a change of heart.

The minister expresses doubt about Eugene’s confession, saying that he doesn’t quite trust the former slave who fled to the U.S. in his youth. Eugene says that it’s up to the minister, but his reason for meeting the minister came from a place that was more difficult, more dangerous, and burned hotter than shooting a gun. Though now, Eugene realizes this may have been a misstep.

Gwan-soo finds Eugene and explains that Japanese-siding Minister Lee has ordered all the streets of Hanseong to be searched to find the missing geisha from Hwawollu, or as we know, the Joseon woman in the Righteous army. Eugene watches from afar as Ae-shin’s carriage arrives at a search stop, and Ae-shin readily exits her carriage to comply with the search.

The soldiers show Ae-shin the sketch of the woman they’re looking for, and Ae-shin pauses in a moment of recognition. The soldiers accuse this Joseon woman of disguising as a geisha to earn money and condemn her for abandoning her nation. But Ae-shin expresses sympathy for this geisha. Eugene watches the carriage pass by and thinks about Hee-sung’s mention of his fiancée.

Alone in the medicine store, Ae-shin looks out the window and remembers the night that So-ah was dragged out by the Japanese soldier. She thinks about Eugene intervening to confront her enemy. Her thoughts are interrupted by her maid, who suggests that they leave before drawing attention. Ae-shin agrees and says that she needs to prepare to leave for Jemulpo, the meeting spot where they would smuggle So-ah out of Joseon.

Grandfather looks worried as he hears the sounds of preparation for Ae-shin’s trip to Jemulpo. Meanwhile, Hayashi explodes in anger about the geisha causing the death of his soldier. He can’t make any moves to capture the geisha because his actions could be associated with his foreign affairs work, so he orders Dong-mae to go to Jemulpo and cover the ports while the Joseon soldiers search the streets.

Dong-mae finds the ship ticket dealer and watches the poor man getting beat up by his men. He threatens to use his sword if the ticket dealer won’t reveal the information they need, so the ticket dealer leaks the exact time and arrangement to meet the woman in secret to board the ship to Shanghai. Dong-mae tests the ticket dealer by asking if he meant that he was meeting a man, not a woman. But the ticket dealer insists that it was a woman he was told to meet, and this confirms the validity of the information.

Seung-gu arrives at the U.S. embassy, and the American soldiers surround him, holding him at gunpoint. This parallels young Seung-gu being surrounded by the American soldiers after the deadly battle that killed his father.

When Seung-gu meets with Eugene, he claims that he’s here to get repaid for the alcohol Eugene used when they met previously at the graves. Eugene realizes that this is Gunner Jang, and he asks if the geisha is safe and if he’s the leader. Seung-gu plays dumb, and Eugene says that he just took a shot in the dark.

 

Seung-gu asks why Eugene is hanging around Ae-shin, and Eugene plays dumb by saying that the person he was with was a man, not Ae-shin. Seung-gu realizes that Eugene knows Ae-shin’s secret and quickly grabs the gun by Eugene’s desk. Aiming the gun at Eugene, Seung-gu asks why he saved the geisha. Eugene comments that Seung-gu’s student is just like her teacher.

Seung-gu cocks the gun, but Eugene informs him that it won’t work because the spring isn’t installed. Eugene shows him the missing piece, and Seung-gu realizes that this must be the gun that his mechanic friend disassembled. Seung-gu puts down the gun, and Eugene mentions how all the men around Ae-shin try to kill him despite the fact that he’s only done anything to help.

Still mistrustful of the Americans, Seung-gu suspects that Eugene has ulterior motives for helping them. He doesn’t trust Eugene, who may look like a Joseon person but is an American soldier nonetheless. Eugene tells him to just take his money and leave, and Seung-gu warns that he’s asking for quite a sum.

 

Dong-mae and his gang walk through the train cars on their way to Jemulpo, scanning the fearful passengers for anyone suspicious. Dong-mae and Yujo stand stationed at the ship’s entrance, and they check for anyone remotely suspicious. Dong-mae stops a familiar face, and he recognizes the man as one of Hayashi’s assistants. He realizes that Hayashi sent a man down there because he doesn’t trust Dong-mae.

It’s last call for boarding, but their target is nowhere in sight. Dong-mae looks to the ticket dealer, who looks just as confused not to find his customer. Dong-mae notices that the merchants they scanned on the train haven’t boarded the ship, and he quickly realizes that he’s been misled. He found it suspicious that the information provided was too accurate and too easy. Hayashi was misinformed about the geisha escaping on the boat — she’s taking the train.

As Dong-mae calls his gang to head towards the train, a gunshot from behind them distracts the gang from their mission. Yujo leads the gang towards the man who shot the gun, and more gunners shoot at them from all sides. Dong-mae yells that this is just a distraction to delay them from catching the train, and as he’s about to turn, a bullet nearly hits him from above. He turns to its source, and the gunner quickly hides on the rooftop. It’s Ae-shin.

 

Dong-mae yells at his gang in frustration and realizes that he needs to call Hanseong to inform them of this mistake. He runs toward the telephone building, and Ae-shin follows him from above. She aims her gun at the telephone and hits her target just as Dong-mae runs into the building. The phone is fried, and Dong-mae looks out the broken window to see a black-clothed figure running away on the rooftops.

Eugene currently looks at the donkeys carrying a fleet of luggage, and he thinks back to his agreement with Seung-gu. In a flashback to Eugene’s office, Seung-gu explains that the woman is not yet safe. They’ve spread the false information about the geisha fleeing Joseon via ship, and the Righteous Army plans to hold up the captors at the port so that she can escape via the 1:00 train. Fortunately, the train only runs twice a day, so the captors will lose her.

Eugene asked Seung-gu why he was divulging all of this information, and Seung-gu reasoned that Eugene shot his arm to save this woman, so he can finish his work. Seung-gu requested that Eugene help from the American side and let the woman pass the checkpoints smoothly without a search. Eugene corrects Seung-gu, claiming that the woman he saved was Ae-shin, not the geisha. Although Eugene complained about having to repay such a big debt for alcohol, he didn’t refuse the request.

 

To cover up this mission, Eugene recruited Kyle to go on their adventure. As they prepared for their personal trip, Gwan-soo told Eugene that he’d been doing some thinking. Eugene laughed worriedly because every time Gwan-soo did some thinking, it had always gone against Eugene’s initial plans. Gwan-soo connected the dots that Kyle’s random trip with a stranger was timed perfectly with when the streets are bustling with searches, so Kyle must be trying to help this stranger.

Eugene looked tentative in response to Gwan-soo’s perfect deduction, but this time, Gwan-soo made a supportive suggestion. He offered to accompany Kyle because this is his job as a Joseon person. He seemed to know the implications of their journey and was willing to support the Joseon cause.

 

Back to the fleet-carrying donkeys, the geisha So-ah, now disguised as a man, thanks Eugene for his help. She apologizes for searching his room, which happened because So-ah expressed doubts about him. She asks why he’s helping her now, and Eugene says that he’s decided to go with delaying the demise of Joseon. Kyle passes by on his horse and assures Eugene not to worry. He shares the next line of his poem: “Let’s go!”

In his hotel room, Hee-sung looks defeated that this pocket watch keeps coming back to haunt him. He wallows in his misery, lying on the bed and thinking about how his fiancée is using the suit she fitted with the tailor. As he broods in his room, we see the watch tick to 1:00.

Ae-shin runs along the rooftops and hears the train whistle as it departs. She barely takes a moment to find relief when a bullet shoots near her. She shoots back and hits her target, and she continues to flee. Right at her tail, Dong-mae collects the gun from the man she shot and chases after her. He climbs onto the rooftop and aims his gun at the cloaked figure. As he concentrates on his target, he slowly recognizes the eyes of this cloaked figure.

 

Suspecting that his target may be Ae-shin, Dong-mae struggles to pull the trigger of the gun. He’s got a clear shot, but he chooses to aim slightly off and hits her leg as she leaps between rooftops. Ae-shin crashes down to the ground mid-sprint, and she winces in pain from the impact of her injury and fall.

Dong-mae runs to the site of Ae-shin’s fall, but she’s escaped the scene, leaving only a small pool of blood. Yujo catches up to Dong-mae and reports that they’ve missed the train, so Dong-mae orders his gang to return to Hanseong and head north to Shanghai. He plans to stay behind to confirm a suspicion.

Kyle and his entourage near the Hanseong exit gate, where Joseon soldiers execute their searches. Gwan-soo announces Kyle’s title and explains that the servant in the back (So-ah in disguise) is also a part of Kyle’s party. The Joseon solider approaches So-ah suspiciously, but Kyle jumps off his horse to express frustration that an American solider is being held up for a search. The Joseon solider defers to Kyle’s authority and lets them pass through without a search.

Injured Ae-shin breathes heavily in pain as her maids tend to her wound. The bullet left a large enough wound that they need to stitch up her leg, and Ae-shin’s loyal maid volunteers to do it. Afterward, they burn the blood-covered clothes to cover up any traces of Ae-shin’s injury.

Kyle and Gwan-soo successfully escort So-ah to the docks and wish her luck in her journey, and Kyle gives her his hat. She rides away in a boat through the night, and both Kyle and Gwan-soo look relieved.

 

Dong-mae sits on the train tracks at the station and repeats the mantra: “Don’t come.” He desperately hopes for Ae-shin not to show up, but his wishes don’t come true. Ae-shin and her servants arrive at the train station, and Dong-mae says that it’s quite a coincidence that she’s here this morning.

Ae-shin explains that she’s coming back from the temple, hence the mourning garments. When she tries to pass by, Dong-mae stands in her way. She orders him to move out of her way before she kills him, and Dong-mae scoffs, saying that he would be faster at that. Ae-shin doubts him and asserts, “Is that so? Even though I could [kill you], I don’t think you could [kill me].”

Ae-shin looks at him with a fierce look, and Dong-mae remains silent, looking exposed by her words. She passes by him followed by her servants, and Dong-mae stands on the tracks, utterly crushed by Ae-shin’s words. He says, “I told you not to come, but you came anyway and even knew… that.”

In the train, Ae-shin hides in a carriage and winces as she ties a cloth around her bleeding leg. It took all her strength to walk normally in front of Dong-mae. Having escaped his gaze, she crumbles in pain, out of plain sight.

Hee-sung stands outside the tailor’s shop, pondering what Ae-shin’s suits were used for. Meanwhile, her other two admirers run into each other at the mechanic’s shop. Eugene waits to pick up his fixed music box, and Dong-mae stops by to fix his sword. He tells Eugene that it was his sword against guns, and since he can’t wield a gun as well, he only managed to hit his enemy in the leg. Eugene tenses up at this news, and Dong-mae requests that Eugene inform him if he notices anyone limping.

Later that night, Ae-shin visits the medicine shop. Once she’s fully inside, she allows herself to limp through the shop, and she stops when she notices another figure there. It’s Eugene, and her eyes light up at the sight of him. They’re both glad to see each other and ask the other about their injuries.

Eugene says that Dong-mae was looking for a man limping from a gunshot injury, and he asks if that person is Ae-shin. She jokes that she did get shot in the leg, though she’s not a man. Ae-shin asks that he keep this a secret, and Eugene says that she’s indebted to him once again. Ae-shin proposes that they call it even now, this secret in exchange for that time she let him onto the boat to see the ceramist.

 

He jokes that he regrets being indebted for the boat ride, since he rowed the boat himself. She says that it’s too late for regrets and admits that love is harder than she thought. She apologizes to Eugene, for everything he’s endured for her. Eugene says that they can give it up if it’s too difficult, but Ae-shin refuses. She says, “Since we can give it up anytime, let’s not today. Today, let’s continue walking this path.”

Ae-shin asks what the next step is after introductions and a handshake. Eugene says that they probably can’t do it because the next step is “hug.” Before he can continue, Ae-shin runs to hug him. She tells him that she already learned “H” in the alphabet, and they stand quietly in a gentle embrace.

COMMENTS

Okay, that was kinda cute. I’ll admit that I’m not a huge fan of this main couple, but I do find the whole alphabet romance kind of cute and rudimentary in a nice way. With all the action building up, it’s nice that these two still have a nice rapport and find some solace in each other. While their intentions don’t completely align just yet, Eugene is slowly but surely taking steps to side with saving Joseon, and we know that makes him the leader in this admirers’ competition. While I wasn’t very keen on the idea of three love interests for Ae-shin, I actually don’t mind it too much because I am all about the two angsty second leads. One is cursed with the sins of his forefathers and another is cursed with a forbidden love. It’s only a matter of time until Hee-sung puts together the pieces to figure out Ae-shin’s secret, and I can’t wait because so far, the reveal of Ae-shin’s secret has only brought out the best in these dudes.

I’m loving Ae-shin more and more as this show goes on — her forthright manner with the guys, her blind courage, her stubborn loyalty to her values. She manifests the heart of the resistance, and she’s such a force. I think Grandfather and Seung-gu are well aware of Ae-shin’s potential in the movement, and they might be the only ones keeping her back from going rogue. Not that she hasn’t gone rogue already — she was a complete savage in her confrontation with Dong-mae. How could you crush Dong-mae like that! He was completely defeated, and she totally knew what she was doing. He’s got the cruelest fate of them all, and those puppy eyes aren’t helping me hate you. Not that I wanted to hate you in the first place, Yoo Yeon-seok.

We’ve all come to admire the cinematography in this show like a broken record, but it truly does elevate everything, including the wonderful imagery. Though not subtle, the parallels of the present day with our characters’ pasts are timed and portrayed beautifully. The quick flashbacks remind us of our characters’ intentions, their motivations, and their demons. I do wish the show would be better at balancing their subtleties and their explicit messages. Sometimes, I need to think too hard about the vague references. Other times, I need them to stop with the slow motion and dramatic music because yes, I get that this is a super important and beautiful/tragic/cool moment.

I’m happy that our comic relief characters did something noble for a change, and it makes me extra proud because the bar was set so low for them. Kyle and Gwan-soo are great buffer characters in our group of angsty and volatile leads, and I like that they flew under the radar with the Joseon soldiers just like they fly under the radar with viewers. If anyone needs something to do while watching this show, please keep a record of Kyle’s poetry lines and draft a poem by the end of this show. I would love to see if it makes sense because that would be the ultimate gift and plot twist.

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Mr. Sunshine Episode 7 Recap

The rivalries are brewing, as Ae-shin’s courters are beginning to realize that they’ve got company. They’re all pretty bad at making their affection known, but Ae-shin isn’t waiting around for someone to make a move. She makes some big moves on her own in her new partnership and against her enemies, which is both dangerous and promising for her future involvement in saving her nation.

EPISODE 7 RECAP

Eugene approaches Ae-shin and asks if her offer still stands. He’s referring to her request for him to be her partner in “love,” the mysterious English word that Ae-shin vaguely understands as something more desirable than civil service. Eugene agrees to do “love” together with Ae-shin, and Ae-shin is satisfied with his response.

She asks what they do first, and Eugene instructs her to introduce herself. She follows his instructions and says that she’s already familiar with her partner, Eugene Choi. But Eugene corrects her and introduces himself as Choi Eugene, pronouncing his last name as the familiar Joseon surname. Ae-shin nods in understanding of this subtle difference and admits that she has plenty yet to learn.

Eugene reaches out his hand to offer a handshake and explains the gesture as one signifying that you have no weapons or intent to hurt the other person. Ae-shin gladly takes his hand and says that “love” is easier than she expected. She then asks when to let go of his hand, and Eugene responds that she can let go when she wishes to hold a weapon against him.

 

Ae-shin notices the ceramist’s apprentice approaching with her items, and she excuses herself first. She rides in the boat with the innkeeper and glances at her hand, thinking back to the handshake. The innkeeper returns to retrieve Eugene, and he also looks at his hand, reliving the moment.

When Eugene returns to the hotel, he passes by Hee-sung struggling to open his door. Eugene can’t open his door either, and he realizes that their keys have been switched. They exchange keys, and Hee-sung asks Eugene if it’s his father or grandfather that makes him the target of Eugene’s hatred. Eugene says that he didn’t like Hee-sung from the start, and that makes Hee-sung smile in relief.

 

Eugene seems curious about why Hee-sung is always jolly and positive, and Hee-sung admits that he’s not like this all the time. In a more serious tone, Hee-sung asks Eugene who his oppressor was — his father or his grandfather? Eugene finds offense to Hee-sung asking the oppressed who his oppressor was and tells him to ask his parents directly. Eugene shuts his door and leaves Hee-sung with his key on the ground.

Hotel owner Hina waits for Eugene at the reception desk after purposefully switching the keys and calls herself pathetic for this ploy. She stands up at the sound of a new guest, but her face freezes when she recognizes the man. It’s Wan-ik, and she doesn’t seem to welcome his presence.

 

Speaking in a familiar manner, Wan-ik comments on the grand scale of the hotel and asks Hina how she’s been doing. She describes the uncomfortable assumptions she faced after being widowed by her rich husband, and Wan-ik apologizes for not attending the funeral. He says that he noticed her mother’s face being posted on a bulletin, and Hina admits that she’s sent people to search for her every three months. Wan-ik derides her attempts to find her mother, doubting that she’s alive.

Wan-ik asks for a room at the hotel, but Hina refuses. She says that she’ll allow anyone but Wan-ik to use her hotel. She asserts that she has no obligation to listen to his demands because her surname makes her loyal to the Kudo family. Wan-ik claims credit for her surname, since he’s the one who sent her off to marry that old man, who bequeathed this hotel to her. Ah, Wan-ik is her father!

Wan-ik says that he’ll send correspondence soon and turns to make his exit. Before he leaves, Hina warns him that her husband was one wrapped in secrets. She tells him to beware of frequenting this hotel, since he’ll never know what he’ll eat there, implying that he could be poisoned.

Later in her room, Dong-mae responds with surprise at Hina’s disclosure of her husband’s cause of death, which we assume is poisoning. She asks if he’s scared, but he proves otherwise by saying that he accepts his fate if he must die in her hands and takes a sip of his coffee. Hina sighs and admits that she’s angered by both this impressive man and that disinterested man who only show interest in another woman. She says that if she bites Ae-shin, then Dong-mae will be partly to blame.

Dong-mae stops drinking his coffee, triggered by the mention of Ae-shin out of the blue. He tells Hina not to mention Ae-shin abruptly again and asks how she knows Wan-ik. Hina truthfully reveals that Wan-ik is her father and asks Dong-mae to affirm that she’s nothing like her father, which Dong-mae does. She says that he’s the reason why she needs a personal bodyguard — she won’t bear to be stolen from again. “He stole my mother, my youth… my name.”

 

Dong-mae asks what her stolen name was, and Hina discloses: Lee Yang-hwa. He says that it’s a beautiful name, but unfortunately, he can’t fulfill her request because he’s already being paid a massive amount by Japan to guard Wan-ik. Dong-mae gets up to meet Wan-ik, and Hina childishly wishes him all the worst, which amuses him.

Wan-ik asks about the location of the bank document, and Dong-mae assures him that it hasn’t been found yet, meaning that it’s really lost or someone who found it doesn’t know its value. But Wan-ik isn’t content with the bank document just rotting somewhere because it’s worth too much. If Japan gets its hands on the document, then more railroads will exploit and ruin Joseon. If the Righteous Army finds the document, then they will have the funds to buy dynamite to blow up these railroads.

 

Dong-mae asks what will happen if the document gets in Wan-ik’s hands, and Wan-ik smirks as he says that he can make sure the king can never sleep peacefully. Wan-ik claims direct influence on whether Japan rises or falls. Dong-mae laughs that he’s found the ultimate rebel, and Wan-ik belittles him by ordering the eternal butcher to just find the document.

That mention of his butcher roots provokes Dong-mae, and his eyes turn bloodthirsty as he warns Wan-ik not to target his inferiority complex. He threatens him with the hypothetical in which this eternal butcher finds the document and makes sure that Wan-ik never sleeps peacefully. Dong-mae threatens to invalidate their agreement and storms out, leaving Wan-ik shocked and furious.

The Japanese ambassador, Hayashi, scolds the two Japanese soldiers who stormed into the U.S. embassy without reporting to their superiors. Hayashi can’t stand being humiliated and being the target of the Joseon people’s gossip, and he demands to know who was behind this.

One soldier throws Baldy under the bus, and Baldy accepts his fate. As Hayashi approaches him with a sword, Baldy also takes out a knife to pierce himself. But the sword slices the tattletale soldier, and Hayashi says that a crazy is better than a tattletale.

Hayashi warns Baldy of his fate if he acts out of line again and orders him to clean up the mess, meaning his dead bloody comrade. Baldy isn’t fazed by the death of his comrade and digs into the fallen soldier’s clothing to find their salary payment from yesterday. Baldy sits on his dead comrade and counts the money, which the Joseon translator watches with horror.

 

Horrified by the sight he just witnessed, the translator finds Gwan-soo to share what he just experienced. But when he sees the man he’s talking to, he realizes that it’s not Gwan-soo but Il-shik, the look-alike pawnshop owner. Ha, it’s another poke at the visual similarities between the two actors.

Gwan-soo is sitting at the next table, and the translator runs over to him fretting about the crazy Japanese soldiers. He tells Gwan-soo to relay his warning to Eugene, who’s bound to be their next victim. But Gwan-soo isn’t worried because Eugene can clearly hold his own. He repeats Eugene’s solemn vow to get revenge, and the eavesdropping pawnshop duo at the next table realize that they’re doomed.

 

Il-shik and Choon-shik try to temporarily close their pawnshop out of fear that Eugene (who they’ve figured out to be the young slave they lost in their slave hunter days) will seek revenge on them. Cue: Eugene entering the pawnshop and telling the duo to lock the door behind them. Il-shik and Choon-shik look to the heavens, accepting their looming fate.

Late at night, Ae-shin practices her English and gets distracted with Eugene’s name, which she spells and repeats. The next day, her maid stops the carriage in front of the bakery and tells Ae-shin that her cousin once again opened a tab under Ae-shin’s name, this time for bingsoo (shaved ice). Ae-shin is curious about this popular dish and enters the bakery to try it with her maid. They both thoroughly enjoy the bingsoo, and Ae-shin expresses her enjoyment with English exclamations (“D is for Dance!”)

 

At the English school, Ae-shin and her classmates sing along to the alphabet song. Afterwards, her friend tests her on the letters she’s learned so far. Ae-shin proudly zips through the letter and word associations for letters ‘A’ through ‘F’ (A is for apple, B is for boy… ). But at ‘E,’ she says: “E is for Eugene.”

Her friend stops her to repeat the word association for the letter ‘E,’ and it takes Ae-shin a moment to correct herself: E is for English. Next, her friend teaches her the letter ‘L’ and says that everyone at the school likes this letter because it stands for “love.” Ae-shin looks eager to learn and confirms that this “love” is the thing that is more difficult, more dangerous, and burns hotter than shooting a gun.

Her friend seems jealous that Ae-shin can exchange love with her fiancé, but Ae-shin flatly denies this. She admits that she’s agreed to “love” with someone else and says that it’s easier than she thought. Her friend freaks out and says that’s not allowed. She finally explains what love means, and Ae-shin yells in shock. She grasps the letter card in her hand and screams once more.

Mortified by her misunderstanding, Ae-shin lies down in her room and thinks about her conversations with Eugene regarding “love.” She comes to the conclusion that Eugene was trying to ruin her, and she sends off her servant to surreptitiously deliver a letter to the U.S. embassy.

 

The servant tries his best, but he gets caught by American soldiers while clumsily trying to hop over the wall. He gets brought to Eugene, and he delivers the letter from Ae-shin. The servant then takes out this sickle and threatens Eugene to keep this a secret lest he feel the wrath of the sickle. Eugene doesn’t seem threatened at all but plays along.

Eugene opens the letter and stares at it intently, but little Domi points out that he’s holding the letter backwards. The cheeky boy says that they now share another secret, and embarrassed Eugene tries to cover up his illiteracy by clarifying the difference between choosing not to read versus not being able to read. Eugene realizes his futile explanation and Domi gratefully leaves before Eugene embarrasses himself even further.

Sitting outside with her working maids, Ae-shin stares blankly, deep in her thoughts. One of the servant girls finds her with a delivered letter, and Ae-shin assumes that it’s from the U.S. embassy and fakes her unwillingness to head over. But the girl clarifies that it’s from Hee-sung, who’s sent yet another love letter and carriage for Ae-shin to come to the hotel. Deflated, Ae-shin orders the girl to send the carriage and letter back.

Hee-sung sits in the hotel restaurant, brooding about why Ae-shin won’t accept his affection. Hina fills up his glass and advises him on the matter. She instructs that in order to pull on a woman’s heartstrings, he must express his sincere feelings to Ae-shin instead of sending her temporary seasonal flowers. Hee-sung admits that he doesn’t have much to offer since he’s just met Ae-shin, and he proposes the idea of lying that his admiration for Ae-shin started before he left Joseon. Hina opposes this idea, and he accepts her advice.

 

Hina suggests that he just send the letter confirming their engagement, which is an easier way to secure Ae-shin as his wife. Hee-sung knows that this option exists, but he admits that he’s scared that he’ll resort to this easy and bad method. Hmm, interesting.

The worker at Glory Hotel meets with Dong-mae, trying to take Hina’s advice to use her weapons instead of crying in the face of difficult situations. The worker needs to buy medicine for her ill mother, and she offers information about Eugene in exchange for Dong-mae’s sponsorship.

She reveals that she saw an envelope in Eugene’s room with English writing. She didn’t open the envelope to make sure it wasn’t moved from its original location, but that’s enough to plant suspicion in Dong-mae’s head. Dong-mae hopes that it’s the document he’s looking for because he doesn’t want to make a certain woman cry.

 

Dong-mae shows up at Eugene’s door and announces that today is the day of their search. The gang scours through Eugene’s room, and Eugene asks Dong-mae if he’s also searching Hee-sung’s room, trying to figure out if this is for work or due to a grudge. Dong-mae finds no difference, since both his work and his grudges involve a sword.

Yujo presents an envelope to Dong-mae with Eugene’s name on it. Eugene says that it’s a personal letter that he hasn’t (not can’t, he insists) read. So Dong-mae offers to read it to him, and his smile drops when he realizes that it’s written in Korean. He reads Ae-shin’s letter, which asks him to respond immediately upon reading the letter so that they can discuss a change in their arrangement.

Dong-mae seems disappointed by this personal letter, but Eugene looks relieved that someone read it to him. Referring to the letter’s contents, Dong-mae says that a change can lead to misfortune and avoidance can lead to bloodshed.

Dong-mae warns him to beware since he seems to be a wanted man and threatens to kill him if he has anything remotely close to a letter in his possession again. As Dong-mae and his gang retreat, Kyle arrives and asks if Eugene has been hurt. But Eugene just stands there, flabbergasted that Dong-mae can read Korean.

Hina hears of this nuisance and runs into Eugene as she heads up the stairs to his room. She says that it’s a relief if someone’s been injured, because usually someone dies. Eugene shows her the broken music box, a casualty of the search, and asks her if she knows anyone who can fix it. She refers him to the best mechanic she knows, who happens to be Seung-gu’s friend who disassembled the American gun.

Eugene seems suspicious of the mechanic, who says that it’s his first time seeing a music box. But he’s the best Eugene can find in Joseon, and just as he gets up to leave, he notices a familiar piece on the ground. He recognizes it as the missing piece on the stolen American gun.

He asks the mechanic if he really knows what he’s doing when he takes apart these items. The mechanic admits that he doesn’t fully reassemble items belonging to people he doesn’t like, but he reassures Eugene that he’ll fix the music box because he’s curious what song it’ll play.

That night, as Eugene tries to read Ae-shin’s letter, he’s attacked from behind by none other than Ae-shin. She’s dressed in her all-black shooter outfit, and she orders Eugene to meet her at the medicine shop near the area where they first met. She runs off over the embassy wall, and we see that Eugene dropped the letter and a basic Korean language book.

When they meet, Ae-shin demands to know why Eugene hasn’t responded, and he tries to explain that he has yet to read the letter. Ae-shin thinks this is all a cheap excuse, and Eugene infers that Ae-shin discovered the translation of “love.”

Proud Ae-shin claims that she knew the meaning of the word all along and that she’s just there to warn him that she may kill him. Eugene is amused by her reaction and says that she was the one who made the initial offer.

Ae-shin takes offense to Eugene’s light nature and grabs his gun. She points it at him and cocks it properly, despite not knowing how to use it. Eugene looks surprised and raises his hands in surrender, suggesting that they use words. Still pointing her gun, Ae-shin asks why he chose to “love” when he previously admitted that he wouldn’t do anything in Joseon, and if he did, it would be to ruin Joseon.

 

Eugene clarifies that his action wasn’t intended to ruin Joseon but a person. But he admits that he realizes now that this was path to ruin himself. She asks why he did this, and he says that he doesn’t know if it was revenge or jealousy.

She asks him to elaborate on this revenge, but Eugene wonders if she’s not curious about the jealousy. She says that she interpreted that as a confession, which he’s already done multiple times. She’s caught on to his admiration and admits that she’s also subtly confessed to him herself. Eugene seems betrayed that seemingly innocent Ae-shin detected his admiration all along and tries to leave to collect his thoughts, but he can’t budge under Ae-shin’s watch and under the point of the gun.

 

Meanwhile, Baldy eats at an expensive Japanese restaurant, where he spots a server in the next room to his liking. He barges into the room and points his gun at the two men, threatening them to leave. He sits next to the server and asks where she’s from. She says she doesn’t quite know where in Japan, but she came to Joseon to make money. Baldy says that he also came to Joseon to make money and plans to own a house when he returns to Tokyo.

They discuss that spring is upon them, and Baldy asks the server how many beans she plans to eat this season. She says that she likes beans, so she’ll probably eat around a hundred. Baldy laughs and then suddenly accuses the server of being a Joseon person. He angrily explains that there’s a Japanese tradition (mamemaki) in which people eat the amount of beans to match their age. He grabs her by the hair and drags her out.

Baldy drags the server into the streets and hits her brutally, punishing her for being privy to all the secrets of the high-ranking Japanese officials who frequent the house. She demands that he just kill her, and Baldy yells at her to speak in her mother tongue to prove his accusations. He starts dragging her by the hair down the street, and when a man tries to intervene, Baldy shoots him dead.

The sound of gunshots interrupts the argument between Ae-shin and Eugene. They peer out of the shop and notice the scene outside. Ae-shin recognizes the woman as the one who opened the window at the Japanese restaurant for a clear shot at Logan Taylor, and of course, she recognizes Baldy as the arrogant soldier who pointed his gun at her on the train.

Ae-shin tells Eugene that she’ll be borrowing his gun, and he tries to stop her from intervening, since she’ll be in danger. But she insists that she’s always been in danger, and she must go to save this woman because one day, that woman could be her. Eugene drops his case and informs her that the gun only has five bullets. Ae-shin confidently says that she only needs two.

Ae-shin heads outside and uses her first bullet to shoot the street lamp on her side. Once she’s hidden in the darkness, she aims at Baldy and shoots his hand. Baldy lets go of the Joseon woman and falls to the ground, screaming in pain.

The woman runs away, and enraged Baldy begins to shoot randomly into the void, cursing at the person who shot him. Ae-shin points the gun at Baldy once again, but Eugene takes the gun from behind and approaches the volatile soldier, who continues to shoot randomly everywhere.

 

In his last step in darkness, Eugene shoots his own hand with his gun and then steps into the light. Baldy points his gun at Eugene, but he’s out of bullets. He demands to know who shot him, and Eugene says that’s not important because Baldy just shot an American soldier. Ae-shin watches from the protection of darkness as the Joseon army gathers around the two rival soldiers.

Ae-shin sits in her room, engrossed in the thought of Eugene claiming that he ruined himself and shooting his own hand. Meanwhile, Eugene sits in a jail cell quietly in thought while Baldy screams wildly in the cell next to him.

 

The Japanese server and disguised Joseon woman reports to Seung-gu and Eun-san (the ceramist) about the incident, and about Ae-shin and Eugene saving her. Since she’s no longer safe working in Joseon, they plan on sending her to Shanghai, and the innkeeper provides her with money to settle there. In a flashback, we see that this Joseon woman was the young girl who mourned her father’s death right next to young Seung-gu at his father’s grave. Eun-san calls her by name, So-ah, and tells her that they will meet again, assuring her that they’re stronger than they think.

The next morning, Seung-gu and Eun-san discuss their wariness of Eugene. Knowing that Eugene is the young slave boy he saved decades ago, Eun-san infers that he must have some grudges that could taint his intentions for getting involved with Ae-shin. Seung-gu decides that he’ll need to pay him a visit.

They wonder how the king will determine Eugene’s fate, and Seung-gu comments that he still doesn’t trust the king. He remembers in his youth that Wan-ik had told the war survivors that the king had abandoned them. Eun-san scoffs and asks why Seung-gu is trying to save the nation if he doesn’t honor the king. Seung-gu answers that he must save the nation so that he can be a rebel, as he’d originally planned.

 

Kyle and Hayashi visit King Gojong to make their arguments for who deserves the blame for this. Hayashi claims that the American solider was also responsible, but Kyle blatantly argues that Baldy is the sole assailant in this situation. Hayashi continues to argue otherwise, and King Gojong takes offense to Hayashi’s lack of remorse and responsibility for the two innocent Joseon people that drunk Baldy killed. King Gojong declares that the Japanese soldier will be subject to Joseon laws and consequently be sentenced to death while the American soldier will be released.

Kyle is waiting for Eugene when he’s released, and they head back to the hotel on horseback. On the way, Kyle comments on the king’s royal garment and wonders where he can find one for himself. Eugene notices a familiar carriage on the side of the road and passes by slowly. In the carriage, Ae-shin hears the horse pass by and glances through the small opening in her window.

Dong-mae steams in anger at the dojo, and Yujo asks what’s going on. Dong-mae explains that he recognized the handwriting in Eugene’s letter. We see that Dong-mae had collected pieces of Ae-shin’s writing from her visits to the book shop by demanding her shopping lists from the owner once she was gone. As he looks through his collection of Ae-shin’s handwriting, he thinks back to the letter addressed to Eugene and repeats the contents to himself as he simmers with jealousy.

Hee-sung meets up with the servant in his home in his attempts to figure out what secret his parents were keeping from him. He noticed their weird behavior on the day he arrived, so he asks the servant what his parents were investigating. The servant explains that his parents sought out slaves in their household from thirty years ago after an American soldier barged into their home recently.

 

Hee-sung confirms with the servant that this American soldier looked like a Joseon person, and he wonders why Eugene would look for slaves and not nobles. Hee-sung seems to assume that Eugene comes from a noble family, considering his rank in the U.S. navy.

Eugene unfolds a piece of paper hidden in his bible and thinks back to his exchange with the pawnshop duo. He had asked them to hold the bank document, and he looks at the receipt of the exchange before slipping it back into hiding.

Ae-shin visits the medicine shop and makes eye contact with the owner, who shakes her head. She must be waiting for Eugene to make a visit, but he hasn’t shown up yet.

 

At the hotel, Hee-sung notices Eugene arriving and asks if he was the soldier involved in the Japanese soldier case. Eugene seems annoyed and tired, but he turns around at Hee-sung’s comment that Eugene seems to be busy making appearances everywhere. Eugene notes that he’s finally seeing Hee-sung’s unsmiling face, which makes him look like a nobleman’s son.

Dong-mae listens in on this tense conversation and joins the two. He wonders if his words became seeds for reality: change leads to misfortune and avoidance leads to bloodshed. Dong-mae wonders if next time, he should just tell Eugene to die instead of taking care, since it could once again become seeds for reality.

Eugene feels like he’s being ganged up on, and Dong-mae vaguely explains that he feels like he’s been cut in line, even though he’s never had anything to begin with. Hee-sung glances at him with a surprised look as Dong-mae continues with a warning to Eugene to just linger around as the American soldier and do no more. Dong-mae no longer cares about what document he holds because he already holds something too great.

Hee-sung intervenes and says that he’s grasped why they’re so angry. He asks if the person by their side is the same person by his side. This person isn’t here now, but she’s been with them from the beginning. That person is Ae-shin.

Ae-shin waits at the medicine shop and thinks back to Eugene’s intervention to face the Japanese soldier. She hears someone approaching and looks at the door expectantly.

Hee-sung tells the two men that this person had better not be his fiancée, because he doesn’t want to have to hold any bad intentions. At least not yet, he says.

COMMENTS

Hee-sung has my heart in this episode, with his clumsy yet sincere efforts to win Ae-shin’s affection. He’s not trying to be disrespectful, but he only knows how to court ladies with his playboy smile and gestures, and that is no way into Ae-shin’s heart. With Ae-shin and his attempts to absolve himself from his family’s sins, I can see how much he cares to make things right. Unlike his father and grandfather, he has a conscience that makes him so much more complex and desperate for resolution. And while he may not want to hold any bad intentions, I cannot wait for his patience to run out. Things are just waiting to get interesting when he goes rogue and spices things up.

But wait, Dong-mae also has my heart in this episode, because how frighteningly cute is it that he collected those papers with Ae-shin’s handwriting? I’m pretty sure that he had been collecting Ae-shin’s book request papers before he read her letter to Eugene, which explains his severe disappointment when he saw the letter’s handwriting. He’s even worse at expressing himself than Hee-sung is, and he really needs Hina’s coaching, if only she would offer it. Hina held herself with a tender confidence that was beautiful to watch as she confronted her father. Wan-ik as her father adds another layer of tragedy in her life, and it will surely make things interesting when she decides which side to take, which will never be her father’s side.

The “love” partnership felt a little contrived, so I enjoyed how quickly this mystery was dispelled for Ae-shin. I found the banter between Ae-shin and Eugene held at gunpoint more natural than their previous interactions. Their conversation was quite humorous and surprisingly candid, with each of them confirming their interest in each other while also feeling betrayed by the other person’s lies, which are a given when you need to keep up an act. I could watch more of this roundabout love lost in translation (literally) over the slow-motion glances with lens flare for extra drama.

While Ae-shin and the boys will surely be a fun source of drama and action, I’m more interested in Ae-shin’s arc as a resistance fighter. She’s a talented shooter with sharp instincts and almost too much courage, and I want to see how she grows out of her noblewoman disguise to fully embrace her true calling. You could just tell how much her heart was in the movement when she explained with conviction that one day, that woman being dragged by the enemy could be her. She’s able to be carefree and adorably naïve as a noblewoman, but I want more of that badass shooter on the screen. Raise the stakes, y’all. I’m ready!

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