Open Thread: My Girlfriend is a Gumiho Episodes 7 & 8

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Isn’t it rather surreal, that we are halfway through our watch of this show already? Our cute not-a-couple is starting to get closer, this pair of episodes, and it’s not a moment too soon, I say!

Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:

1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. If you really need to talk about a spoiler, it is possible to use the new spoiler tags, but please know that spoilers are still visible (ie, not hidden) in the email notification that you receive, of the comment in question. We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 7

Huzzah! Dae Woong’s heart is definitely swaying in Mi Ho’s direction this episode, and for the first time, I feel like he’s not being a lunkhead after all! Progress!

Like I mentioned last episode, I am very gratified by Dae Woong’s instinctive decision to essentially ignore Noona, and focus only on finding Mi Ho, to make sure she’s ok after jumping off the building.

I’m also very pleased that Dae Woong tells Mi Ho not to hide, and even tells Noona that he’s the one who brought Mi Ho back, and that he plans to stay with Mi Ho, because he’s promised that he would. That’s the most upstanding thing I’ve seen Dae Woong do, and the fact that he is turning Noona away – the very person that he’s been trying to impress all this time – is A Big Deal for him, I’m sure. And, the fact that he’s doing this because of a promise to Mi Ho, is A Big Deal, to me.

Granted, Dae Woong tells Mi Ho that he didn’t do it for her, and just doesn’t want to lie to Noona, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction towards not being a jerk, so that’s not bad?

Mi Ho is as sweet and understanding as ever; she obviously feels bad about Dae Woong sending Noona off like that, and seems determined to be as nice and helpful to Dae Woong as possible, starting with holding the fallen action school sign over his head, to protect him from the rain.

Significantly, Mi Ho muses that the sign’s rather heavy, which is something that she would’ve never said, if her gumiho powers weren’t getting slowly diminished by Gumiho Hunter’s blood doing its work to kill her. Because of this, I’m starting to worry for Mi Ho when she does gumiho things like jump off buildings. What if she’s lost more powers than she knows, and ends up hurting herself, right? 😬

Unfortunately, Dae Woong’s gotten used enough to the idea that Mi Ho’s a powerful gumiho that doesn’t get tired, that he tells her to hold the sign up some more, so that he can think some more. Poor Mi Ho. Although, I can’t blame Dae Woong too much, since Mi Ho had, in the past, established her gumiho vitality very well. Also, Dae Woong gets a brownie point, for taking the sign from Mi Ho afterwards, and telling her to come under the sign with him, while he carries it. That is cute, I have to admit.

I also like that Dae Woong seems more caring in general, when it comes to Mi Ho. Like, when he notices the cut on her arm, he tells her that now that they’ve fixed the action school sign with instant glue, they can fix her too.

Somehow, that little beat, where he tells her not to eat the ointment that he’s applied to her arm, is endearing to me. To my eyes, it reinforces the idea that Dae Woong’s come to understand Mi Ho quite well, and so, he knows her tendency to taste everything that she comes across. I like that the way he says it to her, is so matter-of-fact, rather than annoyed. That also shows that he’s accepted her for who she is, and I like that.

I also find it really cute, that when Mi Ho protests Dae Woong comparing her to his dog Ddoong Ja, and Dae Woong defends Ddoong Ja, saying that aside from humans, she’s his best friend, Mi Ho asks to be Dae Woong’s best friend too. Aw. It’s nice that Dae Woong agrees, saying that they’ll just keep it a secret from Ddoong Ja. It’s a pretty affectionate beat, when Dae Woong pats Mi Ho on the head and holds her hand, just like he would, with Ddoong Ja. Cute!

In the meantime, poor Aunt brings a drunk Director Ban back to the action school, and takes him to the rooftop apartment, because she doesn’t know where else to put him. How mortifying for her, to realize, upon sitting on the rug to remove Director Ban’s coat, that her pants are now firmly attached to the rug, because of the instant glue that Dae Woong had been using earlier. Pfft. And, oops.

Props to Show, though, for managing to make that instant glue detail a piece of important setup for our secondary couple’s arc. I think this is one of Show’s strengths; little bits of information from our main arc tend to become important to our secondary arc, and that just makes everything feel more organic.

I can only imagine Aunt’s sense of embarrassment and humiliation, as she got out of those pants while still stuck to the rug, and then got that trench coat off Director Ban, so that she’d have something to use as a coverup, as she made her getaway. Egad. It’s amusing, but it’s also so secondhand embarrassing to think about; I can understand Aunt’s later reluctance to have anything to do with Director Ban, from the awkwardness of it all. 😝

Meanwhile, Mi Ho develops an interest in stories featuring non-humans, after realizing that Dae Woong’s movie includes non-human characters. When she asks Gumiho Hunter about stories about non-humans, he gives her a copy of children’s book The Little Mermaid as a gift. Mi Ho’s thrilled that it’s the story of a non-human trying to become human, and begins to read it in earnest.

At the same time, Dae Woong appoints Mi Ho as custodian of the action school, so that she’ll help with the chores that he’d promised Director Ban he would do, which contribute to the upkeep of the school. Pfft. I’m not too hot on the idea of Dae Woong palming off his duties to Mi Ho, but I can’t help but share in Mi Ho’s delight, that she’s being given a job that only humans do.

To add a bit of context, the phrase for custodian in Korean is 관리인 (“gwanliin”), where 인 (“in”) is the word for person. It’s because of the “인” in the phrase, that Mi Ho is as thrilled as she is, since she really wants to become human.

Grandpa runs into Mi Ho at the action school, and is so enamored of her, that he then gives back Dae Woong the use of the car, and even unlocks Dae Woong’s credit card. Ha, if only Dae Woong knew, that his newfound life luxuries, are all thanks to Mi Ho.

It’s rather nice of Dae Woong to think of Mi Ho at least a little, during his shopping spree to celebrate the resurrection of his credit card. Not only does he ask for the freebie of a crystal bead, so that he can give it to Mi Ho, he buys her a mobile phone as well, to go with it. Dae Woong’s definitely softening, in the way that he thinks of Mi Ho, and that’s good to see.

He’s reluctant to give the phone to Mi Ho at first, because of his petty jealousy around Mi Ho associating with Gumiho Hunter, but he softens when Mi Ho tells him that if Gumiho Hunter is ordinary meat, then Dae Woong is prime Korean beef. Hahaha. That’s truly a high compliment, coming from our Mi Ho. 😆

It’s heartwarming to see how thrilled Mi Ho is with her new mobile phone, and the way she runs farther away so that Dae Woong can call her on the phone, is so cute. I’m even more amused, though, at Dae Woong’s conversation with himself, “If my heart’s beating faster because a gumiho said I’m prime beef then I must be going crazy.” Muahaha.

While this is going on, Director Ban and Aunt meet up at a cafe to return their respective items of clothing, and Aunt is so flustered in her effort to make a quick getaway, that she bumps into a waitress and gets juice spilled all over her clothes. Aw, poor Aunt. She aggravatedly blurts out how upset she is, at always causing accidents when she meets “that person,” and this is the moment Director Ban gallantly steps in to throw his trench coat over her shoulders.

..Which is when we see that Director Ban’s got pain patches stuck all over his arms. And when Aunt asks him if it’s because he’s hurt, he admits that he put on all the pain patches he could find, because she’d said that she likes the smell of them. Pwahahaha! That is so hilarious! I love how weirdly romantic Director Ban is. 😆

Director Ban’s awkward apology, that he’s bad at talking in front of women leads to a great little reverse wrist-grab, with Aunt inviting Director Ban to talk it all out with her, because she’s willing to listen to everything. We then see Director Ban and Aunt having a nice chat on a walk together, looking relaxed and happy. Aw. I’m glad for them, but I really hope this won’t be the end of their ridiculous scenes together. Those have been such a highlight for me. 🤩

I appreciate that when Dae Woong realizes that Mi Ho doesn’t know that The Little Mermaid has a sad ending, and actually wants to believe in the little mermaid’s success in her quest to become human, he becomes protective of her, and tries to shield her from the truth. I’m not hot on the fact that he tore out the pages in her book, but I do get that he’s trying to prevent her happy bubble from being burst.

It’s also nice that he offers to take her to the movies because she’s never been. (Also, HAHA, at the arc where Mi Ho saves the chicken shop ahjumma from bullies, and chicken shop ahjumma treats Mi Ho to a perm for her movie date. Random, but cute.)

Because it’s a movie premiere, Dae Woong and Mi Ho run into Byeong Soo and Sun Nyeo, and it’s Sun Nyeo who unwittingly tells Mi Ho that The Little Mermaid is a story with a sad ending. Augh. What a blow for Mi Ho. Even more so, when she then sees Dae Woong standing in the same space as Noona, because Noona’s there for the movie premiere too.

It feels like Mi Ho’s putting herself in an exile of sorts, when she goes to the roof by herself, leaving Dae Woong with Noona. Her words, that she needs to stay there, because she’d decided to give Dae Woong what he really likes, are so poignant.

I’m glad that Dae Woong tracks down Mi Ho on the roof, and assures her that “she” doesn’t disappear, but lives happily ever after. This totally feels like code for talking about Mi Ho’s future, and therefore it’s rather thrilling to hear Dae Woong say, “Don’t listen to anything else. What I’m saying is true, so… You just have to believe what I say.”

Episode 8

To be honest, this episode felt like a chunk of empty calories, with just a few slightly more solid morsels of plot developments to nudge us along. Not that the fluff was objectionable, to be clear; it was cute to see Dae Woong and Mi Ho hanging out and having fun. It just.. didn’t feel like much more than some pleasant filler.

That said, I did appreciate the developments that we did get.

For a start, going back to where we left off last episode, we get confirmation that Dae Woong is absolutely talking about Mi Ho’s future, more than the little mermaid’s, and I’m glad that Mi Ho understands that, and is comforted by his words.

Also, it’s a great little beat, when Mi Ho repeats Dae Woong’s words, and declares that she’ll be happy and live well, that Dae Woong wipes away her tears and tells her not to cry, saying that it’ll rain if she does. Heh. Somehow it gives me a good deal of satisfaction to hear him comfort her, while matter-of-factly acknowledging her gumiho-ness, if you know what I mean.

Mi Ho cos-playing what it’s like to be on a date, and trying out various couple behaviors with Dae Woong, is pretty cute, though we spend more time on this than I thought was necessary. It is pretty funny, though, when Dae Woong keeps thinking that Mi Ho’s only after the meat snacks in his pockets, when she tries to snuggle up to him.

I thought the time spent in the electronics store was a little too extended as well, but it was rather nice to see that Dae Woong’s comfortable enough with Mi Ho to joke around with her, and tease her with completely inaccurate descriptions of the functions of various devices. Also, it’s endearing that Mi Ho sincerely wants to know what he likes, and decides that she will earn money in order to buy it for him, once she thinks she’s got it figured out.

We then spend a fair amount of time with Dae Woong trying to draw a clear line between Mi Ho and himself, because he can’t reconcile the idea of liking her romantically, with the fact that she’s a gumiho. He reminds her to be fierce towards him, and puts up a countdown board, where he can keep track of the number of days left, before his promise to Mi Ho expires. Huh. I know you’ll come to regret this, Dae Woong!

We get a little more information on Mi Ho’s doppelgänger Kil Dal, whom Gumiho Hunter had loved. It seems that she had loved a human too, and had asked Gumiho Hunter to kill her, because that would somehow save the human whom she loved. Hmm.. Is this some kind of foreshadowing, since Gumiho Hunter’s set up a situation where both Dae Woong and Mi Ho will need the bead to survive, but only one of them can have it..? 😬

As Mi Ho busies herself with earning money for her gift to Dae Woong, Dae Woong starts to feel lonely and neglected, and even gets rather wistful, as he crosses off days on his countdown board. Ha. I must say, it is rather satisfying to see him angst over why Mi Ho is staying out at night and not answering his calls. I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder, after all, heh. 😏

Mi Ho tagging along with chicken shop ahjumma, to be part of the eating crew on a home shopping TV show, is honestly the best thing to happen to her, job-wise. She loves meat, and she “eats deliciously,” as they say in Korean, and this job means she gets to eat all the beef ribs she wants, while earning money for Dae Woong’s present. What a deal! 😆

I love how happy Mi Ho is, to give Dae Woong the gift that she’s prepared. How cute, that she’d thought that he’d wanted the standee banner of the camera, rather than the camera itself. Ahaha. Our Mi Ho is so pure and innocent, isn’t she?

To Dae Woong’s credit, he reacts relatively quickly, and doesn’t waste too much time, in acting excited about Mi Ho’s big gift. And, Dae Woong gets another brownie point, for going to the barbecue restaurant to help Mi Ho claim fair wages for the work that she’s done. Ugh. I can’t believe that restaurant owner paid Mi Ho only 10,000 won a day, for scrubbing grill pans! Talk about exploitation!!

I’m rather disappointed that things between Director Ban and Aunt have settled sufficiently, that we don’t get that many ridiculous hijinks between them anymore. BUT, we do get that crazy moment when Director Ban literally shoves Aunt to the ground, in order to hide his relationship from his daughter. Ack. Poor Aunt! I’d tell her to dump any guy who would shove her to the ground, but honestly, Director Ban’s perfect for her, and I have a feeling they’ll be able to work things out, such that he won’t ever do that kind of thing to her again.

Cute cat sculpture thingy with the sunglasses tho!

Trust Sneaky Noona to come along and use the opportunity to poison Aunt’s mind against Mi Ho, in an effort to get Mi Ho away from Dae Woong. Plus, Sneaky Noona also gets her gift of the camcorder delivered to Dae Woong, so that Mi Ho will be sure to see who it’s from. Ugh. Sneaky Noona is so sneaky. 😠

Poor Mi Ho also gets a rude shock, when she realizes that the thing Dae Woong had really liked, wasn’t the standee of the camcorder, but the camcorder itself. Aw. Poor, disappointed Mi Ho.

When Dae Woong comes home with flowers for Mi Ho as a return gift (good on you, Byeong Soo, for suggesting flowers!), I’m so glad that he salvages the standee from the rubbish where Mi Ho’s thrown it, and puts it back up. I love that when Mi Ho remarks that this wasn’t the thing that he’d liked, his answer is, “Yes, I’ll admit that when I first saw this, it wasn’t the advertisement that I liked. But, since you gave this to me, starting from now, I’ll like it.”

Nice one, Dae Woong! ⭐️ Also, yay that Mi Ho is so enthralled by his gift of flowers. I really like that Dae Woong consoles Mi Ho, saying that they just happened to be wrong about what the other person liked, and that they should just make sure to ask each other, from now on. Aw. That’s nice.

How perfect, that Mi Ho, after confirming that Dae Woong’s no longer afraid of her, then tentatively asks Dae Woong, “Dae Woong-ah. Starting from now.. could you like me? Even though you and I are different.. couldn’t you still like me?”

..Too bad Grandpa comes storming in right at that moment, after listening to Aunt’s false reports, and declares that they cannot be together. Gah. We were so close (maybe)!!

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Kay
Kay
3 months ago

So much goodness in these episodes! Great developments between Dae Woong and Mi Ho in 7 as he really comes around to having feelings for her. Her excitement over The Little Mermaid while not knowing how it ends always gets me. But then her believing and trusting Dae Woong melts my heart. And 8 has tons of cute moments that deliver the laughs and smiles. Too cute! ❤

Bopeep
Bopeep
4 months ago

I love Mi ho, she is so bubbly and I like Dae Woong on how he is protective and care for her. Yasss!!! Great recap!I wouldn’t have watch this if not for your good review. It’s fun, light, romantic and touching.

BE
BE
4 months ago

PS K, thank you for all your hard work. We all cannot say it enough. I would not have watched this but for knowing you were taking it on this way, and I wish the so many enthusiasts expressing the desire for this show in the run up to our selection would chime in too. Great job, all your efforts of late on so many fronts. And as a complete aside, my sub title for Racquet Boys would be Beyond Innocence…yuk.

Last edited 4 months ago by BE
manukajoe
manukajoe
4 months ago

I think I only have time for one group watch, unfortunately, and it’s gonna be Nirvana in Fire. So I’ll have to watch Gumiho some other time. Have a great time everyone!

J3ffc
J3ffc
4 months ago

The scene where Mi Ho ascends the elevator while a troop of adorable children march by blowing bubbles, and while DF and S-Noona stand by and watch was a gorgeous and artistically filmed depiction of MH placing herself in the person of the disappearing Little Mermaid. One of the best scenes of the show so far.

And Director Ban and Auntie walking side by side in matching trenchcoats: comedy gold.

Leslie
4 months ago

Though episode 8 was indeed a bit frothy (or frothier?), there was something about the accumulation of sweet beats between Mi Ho and Dae Woong that gave more substance to their situation and individual development. It was really a delight to see them try to make each other happy, or at least save each other from undue pain. Now, the 100 day countdown is setting a pace for us. Tick tock.

I know my every comment ought not to restate how adorable Shin Min Ah-shi is, but basically I love watching her every gesture and facial expression. When Mi Ho proudly shows Gumiho Hunter her Caretaker Badge, the glee she expresses as she waves the badge in front of his face and the singsong in her voice made me feel so… delighted. I understood what it meant to her to be so human-like (even if she was totally Tom Sawyer’ed/Dae Woong’ed into cleaning! 😉) Thanks for the insight, KFG, on the phrase for “custodian” in Korean.

Leslie
4 months ago
Reply to  Leslie

P.S. I also laughed at Mi Ho minute-gluing pictures of meat to her bed and, later, almost eating a sausage from the sidewalk until she remembers “No, he said not to eat from the ground like this.” Sausage drop. 🤛🏼

Last edited 4 months ago by Leslie
Ele Nash
4 months ago

Aw, excellent recap (agree about the filler aspects) and how ace is that top screengrab?! And just how beautiful is our Mi-ho?! I loved how she got Dae Woong the sign 😅 and how kind he was about the Little Mermaid ending. Sad Aunt, and then Grandpa, fell for Noona’s poison, though…

Last edited 4 months ago by Ele Nash
BE
BE
4 months ago

Nah-nah nah-nah-noona nah-noona good bye! You go Gummy Bear! What great big curls in your hair. Winner-winner, chicken dinner.
Woongie, a numbah 1 entree platter of prime wangu, and the Ban Man (Himself), shades, matchstick, trenchcoat with the calomine lotion pheromones, so awkward talking with the women, THE WOMAN! Ms Screwball Auntie Skirt Sticker, be still Ban your beating heart, she wants to hear all about it–my goodness, don’t the two of them put the giddy up into lo-o-o-ve’s luscious giddy?

Show is so cute, one almost needs to eat a radish after.

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