Pressure is building up for both Ae-ra (Kim Ji-won) and Dong-man (Park Seo-joon) after they revisited their ‘dreams.’ Ae-ra has tasted both the sweetness and bitterness of doing what she loves after she has successfully delivered her first mall announcement but then got booted out immediately when someone who had connections popped out of nowhere. For Dong-man, seeing an old foe being successful in the sports he loved was confronting and perhaps, eye-opening.

Now onto the episode’s highlights.

 

Scene: Dong-man is shocked to find out that the main match includes no other than his old ‘enemy’, Tak-soo. The sight triggers a flashback which brings us to a crucial point in Dong-man’s career – a taekwondo fight with Tak-soo that could bring him to the Beijing Olympics. In the audience is Dong-man’s mother and his sick little sister Dong-hee. Unquestionably, Dong-man has the upper hand with all his exceptional maneuvers and attacks but a cheer from Dong-hee causes him to pause and stares at his sister, looking conflicted. Tak-soo then attacks him and in no time, Dong-man is lying on the floor, defeated. A little more flashback explains to us that Dong-man is offered to intentionally lose the game in exchange for a sum of money to pay Dong-hee’s medical bills so she could walk again. The obvious loss was not able to escape the experts’ eyes resulting in a media ruckus about match fixing putting Dong-man in a much worse, worse light.

Finally an explanation as to why Dong-man is reluctant to do taekwondo again. I cannot blame him for making that decision because sometimes when you’re faced to choose between doing what you love and doing what is needed, you know you gotta choose the latter. Some may say that pursuing his passion may have landed him in a better stature where he can afford to pay for all Dong-hee’s medical needs but her situation, at that point, appeared to be a matter of now or never. 

I was not sure at first if Coach Hwang [Kim Sung-oh]’s means of motivating Dong-man was right but then it seems like it worked because Dong-man decided to do martial arts again. The feeling of injustice and the drive to beat Tak-soo are clear factors in his decision. 

 

Scene: Ae-ra watches as Dong-man and Moo-bin (Choi Woo-shik) bicker over her. Moo-bin tells Dong-man that he and Ae-ra are dating, ignoring her protests as he orders Dong-man not to hug her anymore while Dong-man tells Ae-ra that he doesn’t like the idea of her dating his former classmate Moo-bin.

This scene was hilarious. I enjoyed watching Dong-man as he refused to give up on letting the two be left on their own even though he himself was not sure why he’s in protest in the first place. There were a few times where he almost admitted to liking Ae-ra which were cut short by his impromptu alibis. The attraction between Dong-man and Ae-ra is clearer than the day, and though it’s taking a while for them to act on their true feelings, I’m not complaining because I am really enjoying their bickerings as they try to sweep under the rug their liking for one another. After all, we’re still in the early stages of the show.

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Scene: Joo-man (Ahn Jae-hong) finds Seol-hee (Song Ha-yoon) outside a clothing store admiring a pink lacy dress as she eats ice cream. He asks her why she keeps wearing her uniform at the office when it’s not mandatory. She says that it’s cheaper than buying clothes, so Joo-man offers to buy some pretty clothes for her. She refuses to spend his money, but he sees the lacy dress and drags her inside the store to try it on. She looks beautiful in it, but the high price tag has her making up excuses as to why she doesn’t like the dress. Joo-man insists on buying her the dress, but as they leave the store, Seol-hee objects that she has nowhere to wear it. Joo-man suddenly explodes, yelling at her to wear it to work. He keeps going, saying that she should wear her favorite color and to stop letting others walk all over her. Seol-hee yells back that the dress isn’t even her style, and Joo-man groans that her style is “cheap.” Joo-man tries to apologize for blurting out the word ‘cheap’ but Seol-hee throws the bag with the dress, hails a taxi and leaves.

I’m starting to worry that Joo-man and Seol-hee’s relationship is getting problematic.  I know that Seol-hee just sincerely didn’t want to spend his hard-earned money. but she should realize that a relationship is not a one-way street where one is in charge of giving while the other is always at the receiving end. Because as much as she feels happy to be supporting Joo-man with his needs, he would also feel the same being able to give her what she likes, or else it will be a relationship filled with guilt. Good thing that we saw the two patched things up right away the next day.

 

Scene: Ae-ra confronts Hye-ran (Lee Elijah) saying Dong-man is not at her beck and call. Hye-ran counters her saying she thinks he is and confidently claims that Ae-ra must be actually thinking the same way. Dong-man comes outside and finds himself face-to-face with Hye-ran, who immediately becomes sweet and cooes a soft ”Oppa” at him. The endearment makes Seol-hee cringe and prompts Ae-ra to call her out for using that nasal tone when she speaks. We then see a montage of Hye-ran appearing in front of Dong-man over and over again throughout the years. And it only takes a sound of that notorious cheesy ‘Oppa’ to get him wrapped around her finger.

Was Dong-man that lovesick with Hye-ran that he welcomed her back every time she returned even if she dumped him for another guy? Well, that makes him a real loser. However, now that they’re faced with the same scenario, the question is would he still be that same dummy who falls into her ploy every single time? I’m just hoping he has already learned. Meanwhile, I’m liking the fact that Ae-ra is not your damsel in distress kind of heroine and is ready ton bring her bitch mode on every time she’s pitted against Hye-ran. 

Image source: Dramabeans.com

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