THE SHORT VERDICT:
Show is, in my opinion, a solid and worthy follow-up to Season 1, which I had found fresh and wonderful in all the right ways.
This second season, the animation and live-action mash-up still works really well, and our actors do a great job of mirroring what’s going on in their respective cell towns, with their micro-expressions.
The thing that strikes me the most, is that Show really is quite remarkable, in how relatable it is, and at the same time, how fresh it feels, too.
Through my entire watch, I felt like I could relate to so much of what Show was serving up, AND YET, at the same time, I felt like I still couldn’t quite predict where Show was going to go.
That’s the coolest thing, honestly. 🤩
THE LONG VERDICT:
So, full disclosure; I do think that with this show, it’s a case of Your Mileage May Vary.
Because Show hits so close to so many of our real-life experiences, I do think that our individual life filters come into play in a big way, in determining how we take to certain plot and character developments.
I feel that this is the reason that some folks love this season, while others find it either just ok, or meh.
I also think that this is the reason some folks are completely on the Babi train this season, while other folks find him just ok, or meh, as well.
I just wanted to put it out there, that it’s all good; we can only understand the world through the filters of our personal experience, after all.
For the record, I very much enjoyed this season, and I was very much on the Babi train, during my watch.
OST ALBUM: FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE
Here’s the OST album, in case you’d like to listen to it while you read the review.
I thought the OST was very good. Everything felt very well selected and well-applied, and I did feel like the music helped to make this drama world pop.
In terms of a favorite, I think I’ll have to go with Track 4, My Day. I love how laidback-breezy it is. It’s got a great unhurried groove that I really dig, and this season, this is the song that brought on the most feels, for me.
Here’s just My Day as well, in case you’d like to listen to it on repeat instead. Just right-click on the video and select “Loop.”
MANAGING EXPECTATIONS / THE VIEWING LENS
Here are a couple of things that I think would be helpful to keep in mind, to maximize your enjoyment of your watch:
1. Over and above everything else, this is Yumi’s story.
I think that keeping this in mind, helps to make the bumps in the road easier to accept.
At the end of it all, this story is about Yumi’s journey and how she grows through it, rather than about the milestones themselves.
2. Time passes fast in our drama world
This means that sometimes certain portions might land a little like highlight reels, because Show is moving things along so quickly.
On the upside, this means that, 1, we cover a lot of ground in a short period of time, and 2, this gives Show the freedom to do a lot more stuff with its story – which keeps it feeling fresh and full of possibilities.
STUFF I LIKED
I’ll be doing a quickish macro look at the various things I liked and liked less in this show, before doing a selective spotlight on characters and relationships.
Show is still so on-point in the way it unpacks human emotions and experiences
This is truly my favorite thing about both seasons so far; Show really does a fantastic job of unpacking human emotions and experiences in a way that feels completely on-point and true to life.
So often, while watching, I felt like I could see myself reflected in the various characters and their experiences, on my screen. And when I couldn’t see myself, I could often see other people reflected there, which was just as cool.
Altogether, this made me feel like I was taking a step back, to observe and understand better, why we do the things we do, as humans, and why we feel the things we feel. I liked that a lot.
I think this is one of the things that elevates this show above its peers, in my mind.
Here’s just one example of what I mean, with the rest embedded in my spotlights on various characters and relationships.
E1. What Show does brilliantly, this episode, is explore all the nuances of Yumi’s (Kim Go Eun) response to the breakup.
The initial denial, to the warring emotions, of wanting to hold onto her pride, but also wanting to call Woong and pretend the breakup had never happened, to the varied attempts to make herself feel better, from eating sugary pastries, to shopping, to drinking beer – which then brings out her True Intentions cell – is all perfectly spot on.
The way Yumi jumps through multiple hoops, just so that she can see Woong’s (Ahn Bo Hyun) latest SNS updates on his friend’s profile, also feels so true to life.
That’s exactly what lots of people do, after a breakup. We look for ways to see how the other person is doing, just so that we feel a little less disconnected from them.
And then the way Yumi goes through the thought process, of wanting to throw away everything she has that is related to Woong, and the related thought process, of how it would be wasteful or irresponsible, to throw away each specific item.
It’s all so true to life, that I feel vindicated all over again, in have felt similar feelings, and done similar things, myself.
And the way Show interprets all of that in terms of cell activity, is so perfect as well.
Like how every other cell refuses to acknowledge the official breakup notice, and so in the end, it’s Reason who has to accept the notice, because at least he sees that it’s important.
Or like Pride getting into a fight with Pathetic and Emotion, over Yumi wanting to call Woong, to pretend that their breakup never happened.
Or like all the cells hanging on for dear life on that ship in the midst of the storm, determined to all survive well, so that Yumi can show herself to be a strong, independent woman, in the wake of her breakup.
All so, so brilliantly done.
Our characters are basically good people
Another thing that I like about this show, is that our characters are essentially good people. Specifically, I like that both love interests – Woong and Babi (Jinyoung) – are characters whom I genuinely like.
Show does a great job of endearing them both to me, such that I don’t have ill feelings towards either of them, even though, along the way, they both hurt Yumi in one way or another.
I like how Show makes the effort to demonstrate to us that neither Woong nor Babi is perfect; our story’s really about Yumi, and what Yumi wants for herself.
Of course, we all have our personal opinions about which guy is a better match for Yumi, but ultimately, it’s Yumi’s choice to make, and while watching, I was genuinely curious to see where this went.
Because, with this show, you really never can tell where we’ll end up – which is another thing that I really like about it. 😉
Cell town activity is still really cute and funny
One of my favorite things about Season 1, is seeing how human reaction and emotion is played out as cell town activity, and Season 2 does a solid job of it too.
I notice that Show works to break new ground, ie, it tries to introduce fresh concepts, even within cell town itself, and I really like that because it keeps the watch experience fresh.
I will cover more of these in my spotlights on characters and relationships, but for now, here are two examples, to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.
E1. Ruby (Lee Yoo Bi) suddenly having an interest in Babi is a perfect segue into the whole concept of Yumi’s interest groups, and I freaking love how Show handles all this like it’s some kind of kpop fandom, hee!
I love how the Babi interest group goes underground as a private group, because Yumi’s convinced that Babi likes Ruby, and it therefore wouldn’t be appropriate for her to have an interest in him.
And then, it’s just so perfect, when various little happenings cause different cells to show up at the group’s door, demanding to be fans too. It’s hilariously perfect, and I couldn’t help giggling each time Babi’s fan cells grew in number.
It’s so funny, in such a meta way, when Reason yells at the other cells that Babi isn’t an idol or anything, so why should they be fans?!?
Tee hee hee! Such a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that Jinyoung is, in fact, an idol, heh.
And, how could Babi not have fans among the cells?
He’s so caring and gentle and encouraging, and thoughtful and considerate, all at the same time! It’s just bonus that he happens to be clean-cut and handsome, too.
It’s so cute that when Yumi decides to accept Babi’s invitation to the live performance at the park, is when the Babi fan club decides to go public instead of staying private.
That’s exactly in line with Yumi’s decision, isn’t it, because she’s decided to go out in public with Babi, to that performance.
GUH. I LOVE how thoughtfully conceptualized this entire show is! 🤩
E4. I have to tell ya, I was in literal stitches, watching Yumi’s Tongue cell get acquainted with Babi’s Tongue cell.
Tee hee hee! What a great way to break down the entire act of French kissing. 🤣
All of the nuances of the scene are spot-on, and crack me up.
Because, of course it’s Babi’s Tongue cell that comes visiting first, knocking on the door of Yumi’s Tongue cell first. And of course, she’s the one who’s much more forward and sassy, while he’s the one who comes across as a little startled and flustered.
It’s so cute how she’s so, so, sooo happy to meet him (ha, Babi’s been longing to kiss Yumi!), and it’s so pitch perfect, that he’d show her around his house, so that we have the visual of Babi’s tongue exploring Yumi’s mouth. 😁
And how sweet-cute-funny, is the way the two tongue cells listen to music, and dance together, before she invites him over to her house, ie, Babi’s mouth.
What is most hilarious to me, though, is how she turns to look at him at the door, and teases, with a raised eyebrow, “You seemed so awkward before, but you’re actually pretty good at this.”
Ahahaha! That is so awkwardly on-point, because I can totally imagine Yumi being hesitant to show that she’s actually perfectly experienced, at the French kissing. 😁
Gosh, I just LOVE how well conceptualized this show is, down to the little details! 🤩
Callbacks to Season 1
Although Season 2 does feel like its own beast, I appreciated the various callbacks to Season 1 that we get.
It makes the two seasons feel like two parts of a whole, and it also feels like nod-wink-nudge from Show to us, which is always fun.
Here are two callbacks that I especially enjoyed.
E3. That whole sequence, of Yumi running through the park again, is such a great callback to Season 1, when she’d run through the park to get to Wugi.
That flashforward to a possible future is also so reminiscent of Season 1, when Show had pulled a similar thing, before pulling us back to the present, where Yumi’s galvanized into a different course of action, based on the possible future that she’s imagined.
In this case, she’s so triggered by the idea of receiving a wedding invitation from Babi at some point in the future, that Emotion manages to squeeze out another burst of heart fever. I love it, it feels so true to human behavior, truly.
E4. I do have to give props to Show for consistency. In Season 1, Show demonstrated that it’s, 1, very much for the shirtless male lead shower scene, and 2, unabashed in using the idol body, when it’s available.
I mean, even Minho, who’d appeared as special character Wugi in Season 1, had not just one, but two shirtless scenes.
So I’m not at all surprised that Babi gets a shower scene, since he’s our male lead, AND he’s played by legit idol Jinyoung, who is, indeed, in possession of an idol bod.
My eyes, they did not complain. 😁
STUFF I LIKED LESS
Certain plot points don’t land so well for me
Because Show’s so good at reflecting real life, when it chooses to lean more cartoony, those plot points sometimes don’t work for me, like this one from episode 7.
E7. While it was rather nice in theory, to have Yi Da (Mi Ram) and Ruby get so excited for Yumi that they fly to Jeju immediately, to celebrate with her, when she receives news of her book deal, it also feels very manhwa-esque and not true-to-life.
What I mean is, most people would celebrate with their significant others first, and most people would also wait until things are more firmed up.
But here, not only does Yumi appear to jump on the celebration bandwagon way too early, it also feels a bit weird that she’d get Yi Da and Ruby to join her on her trip to Jeju, when she’s made this trip specifically to spend quality time with Babi.
I didn’t hate this plot point, but I have to admit that I don’t think of this as one of Show’s finer narrative decisions.
Some of Show’s intended humor didn’t work for me
Most of the time, I find myself rolling with Show’s sense of humor just fine, so this is far from being a deal-breaker for me.
However, I must admit that Show’s Intended Funny at the episode 8 point, around Jun Suk Ho’s character Ahn Dae Young, didn’t work for me the way it worked for other viewers.
From what I can tell, a good number of folks found this arc hilarious, so I’m likely the odd duck in the corner who just doesn’t geddit. 🤷🏻♀️
E8. Mainly, I was really thrown by just how.. weird, Ahn Dae Young’s cell town is.
It’s really strange to me, that his cells all look like variations of some kind of Ken doll, where every single one looks tall, streamlined and muscular.
That’s probably an indication that that’s how Ahn Dae Young sees himself on the inside – because that’s totally not what he looks like on the outside.
And I do understand that there are real people like Ahn Dae Young, who are socially awkward, and say and do things that other people would consider strange.
I just.. never imagined what their cell towns might look like, and Ahn Dae Young’s weird cell town did make me uncomfortable, not gonna lie.
I think one of the things that bemuses me the most, is that Ahn Dae Young’s Love cell is so robotic. On top of that, he’s got very strange ideas about when to be warm to others, and it was just really, really strange.
I mean, Ahn Dae Young thinks that he’s courting Yumi, but in reality, Yumi feels legitimately tortured by him, with the way he keeps piling on the work, so that he’ll have the chance to see Yumi sooner rather than later.
And so, it was really uncomfortable to watch Ahn Dae Young try to make the moves on Yumi, while Yumi feels unable to say no to his requests, because he’s the one person who’s shown interest in publishing her work.
The scenes of Ahn Dae Young Love cell launching an attack on Yumi’s Gate of Heart were also uncomfortable to watch. I mean, I’m sure a Love cell has no business looking so.. fierce? 😝
Therefore, when Ahn Dae Young realizes sees from Yumi’s SNS that she has a boyfriend, and decides to back off, I was hugely – massively! – relieved. 😅
SPOTLIGHT ON CHARACTERS AND RELATIONSHIPS
Kim Go Eun as Yumi
As with Season 1, I found Yumi relatable as our protagonist, and I am fully on board this journey with her.
Everyone in our cast is great, but can’t lie; it’s Kim Go Eun who grounds this whole thing, with her portrayal of Yumi.
As with Season 1, in Kim Go Eun’s hands, Yumi feels like such a fully fleshed out character.
She gives us insight into Yumi’s thoughts and feelings, often just using her micro-expressions, which are so nuanced that they line up perfectly with any and all cell town activity that’s being showcased.
Shout-out too, to the editing, because the editing is also what makes it work as well as it does.
My point is, though, that if Kim Go Eun hadn’t given such a nuanced performance, even the best editor would’ve struggled to make something out of it.
To my eyes, Kim Go Eun’s interpretation of Yumi’s range of emotion and expression, and her every internal tick and foible, is flawless. Really, really well done. 🤩
E3. I’d been wondering what Yumi would do, to stop that blind date from happening – but more true to real life, Yumi doesn’t actually attempt to stop the blind date from happening.
Instead, she pretends not to care, while being hyperaware of every. little. thing. related to Babi and his blind date – and his ex-girlfriend (Kim Mi Soo).
That is so very relatable! I can totally see myself doing something like that, if I were in Yumi’s shoes, coz I’m likely not brave enough to actually blurt out, as they do in so many kdramas, “Don’t go on that blind date.” 😁
The way Yumi rants inwardly about Ruby being completely useless, is hilarious to me, but also, very understandable, since all of this blind date nonsense wouldn’t even be a thing, if Ruby would just leave Babi alone.
The argument between Emotion and Reason also makes perfect sense, where Emotion gets all upset at Love cell for telling Babi that they should be friends, and Reason argues that if they’re not going to date, then this was the proper thing to do.
I can totally imagine this warring of logic and emotion going on in Yumi, and I love how Show conceptualizes that so well, by making it an argument between Reason and Emotion.
Emotion admitting that it’s true she’d had the hardest time when Yumi and Woong had broken up, but that it’s Babi who’s the one who makes it possible for her to forget, is so relatable.
Of course Babi would be the one soothing Yumi’s emotions, with his sweet, thoughtful vibe and general caring attitude towards her.
And of course all of these internal arguments would put Yumi in an annoyed funk, ha.
E6. This episode, the concept of stars representing our satisfaction levels with life, feels very relatable; I feel like many of us rate our days like this, whether consciously or not.
It’s actually quite nice, to see the new routine that Yumi’s gotten into, after quitting her job, starting the day with toast and coffee, then working on her study novel, before taking the bus to meet Babi for lunch.
I would absolutely believe that her lunch hour with Babi is where her stars get recharged the most; if I were Yumi, lunch with Babi would be the highlight of my day too. 😁🥰
It’s also rather nice, that Yumi keeps in touch with Yi Da and Ruby, and has coffee with them, even though she’s left the company.
It does seem like keeping her relationship with Babi a secret is wearing on Yumi a little bit, judging from how she reacts when Ruby shares the juicy news that Babi must be dating someone.
On that note, I don’t actually understand why their relationship needs to be kept secret, since she’s already left the company, so it’s not like Babi’s still dating a colleague..?
In this case, why not go public with their relationship? I wonder if this is something that she and Babi have talked about, or if this is just them on autopilot, and continuing to keep things under wraps, because that’s how they’d started?
The idea that Yumi gets anxious when her stars are fully charged also makes sense, particularly since she’s unemployed and not earning a salary, in favor of chasing her dream. It’s perfectly normal that Yumi would have at least some level of anxiety around that.
That dinner date that she has with her old friend (cameo by Park Jin Joo! 🤩) sums up that anxiety perfectly.
While the rest of the world is continuing to move up the advancement ladder, Yumi isn’t, and that’s only fine and good, while she’s in her own little bubble of happiness.
When her friend Eun Hee starts talking about her promotion and how everyone else is getting promoted, Yumi can’t help but feel left behind.
And when Eun Hee expresses shock at Yumi’s decision to leave her job in order to pursue her dream, it really is hard to remain unmoved, when Eun Hee keeps bringing up examples of people she’s known, who’ve done similar things, only to end up losing everything in the end.
This is real talk, when it comes to going against the grain and leaving the path of success that everyone else is on, and I’m glad that Show shines the spotlight on this.
Yumi getting a bit of her star energy back, when she reminds Eun Hee that she doesn’t need to go in to the office tomorrow, unlike everyone else, is a pretty nice little save. Yes, it’s little things like that, that help to sweeten the sting.
E7. I feel bad for Yumi, that she’s not making any noticeable headway in her writing dreams, and that her finances are tight enough, that she needs to take on a part time job at the bookstore, in order to make ends meet.
And, it’s also not great, that Babi’s been promoted, and transferred to the Jeju branch, as a result.
I can imagine it’s tough on Yumi, to deal with all of that, at the same time.
Either of those things are hard on their own, but to combine them like this, and have her be far away from Babi, and dealing with the challenges of a long-distance relationship, while dealing with the bumps in the road of her writing dreams, just feels like it’s kind of too much.
When Yumi doesn’t place in the eleventh contest, which she’d actually secretly had high hopes for, it feels like she’s so isolated, as she deals with all of the emotions that come with that. Her parents are not in Seoul, and neither is Babi.
She literally doesn’t have anyone in whom she can confide, and with whom she can talk things over.
I actually felt really sorry for Yumi, as she grapples with the reality of her circumstances, and acknowledges to herself, that she has no talent. Oof. That’s gotta hurt.
What a rollercoaster of emotions Yumi ends up going through, when Section Chief Nam (Jung Soon Won) calls, and asks her to work part-time, and then offers her a full-time position – which Yumi actually decides to take – before withdrawing the offer, all within such a short span of time.
This, when she’s now spent money that she can’t afford to spend, on new work clothes, and even told her mom (Yoon Yoo Sun), that she’s very likely going back to work.
Poor Yumi. It must feel like her entire world is falling apart on her; her writing isn’t going well, and now, even her chance at going back to her old job, is gone too, just like that.
E9. I can understand how, in the wake of the breakup, Yumi would choose to center her life around writing instead of love; after all, she needs time to find herself too, after all this, right?
The way Love cell explodes in rage and refuses to cede her position as prime cell to Writer cell makes sense, because Love had been Yumi’s prime cell for a long time.
I do love the way Yumi comes to Cell Town and has that one-on-one time with Love cell, telling her that she’s worked hard, and that it’s ok to let Writer cell be the prime cell.
I love that it’s Yumi’s gentleness and acceptance, that causes the horns of fury to melt away from Love cell.
That’s such a lovely illustration of self love, as Yumi allows herself to switch her priorities, while remaining in pursuit of the same goal as ever: happiness.
E10. This episode, we explore what life is like for Yumi, after her break-up with Babi, and I gotta say, even though I wish they didn’t break up, I do find a lot of the cell behavior on-point.
For example, the way various cells take on new roles, after the break-up, feels true to life, particularly in the way Fashion cell becomes Fashion Terrorist cell, ha.
Yes, isn’t it true that people’s approach to style can change drastically after a break-up?
And the way Stingy cell suddenly becomes an overly generous tree feels believable as well, because, if Yumi’s now not looking to get married and settle down, or spending money on clothes and makeup, she suddenly would be freed from the pressure of saving money, right?
I can believe that she would get a little reckless with the generosity and spending, even though she’s not yet earning a lot, as a writer.
It also makes sense that as Yumi pours herself into writing more than ever before, that her stories would actually improve – not only because of the additional time and effort she’s putting in, but likely also because of the additional life experience and personal insight she’s gained, from the break-up.
Jinyoung as Babi
For the record, I think that Jinyoung gives an excellently nuanced performance, as Babi.
When we are allowed insight into Babi’s cell town, like Kim Go Eun does with Yumi, Jinyoung’s delivery of Babi’s micro-expressions are so well done, that they match perfectly with whatever cell town activity we’re being shown.
I thought that was pretty fabulous. 🤩
While I have to admit that I was very much on the Babi train this season, I concede that Show doesn’t spend as much time fleshing him out as a character, as it had done with Woong in Season 1.
That definitely makes it harder for viewers to understand Babi properly, or empathize fully with his thoughts, feelings and decisions.
I have a lot more to say about Babi in other sections in this review (coming up soon!), for now, here’s one of my key early impressions of Babi this season.
E4. I am quite thrilled with the idea that Babi’s cell town isn’t run by algorithms at all.
Woong’s algorithms had felt very illuminating, in that, it had helped me see how the male psyche works, but Babi’s cell town reminds me that not all men are built like Woong. I like that.
Plus, now that I think about it, Love cell’s visit to Woong’s cell town had been so furtive, and that’s when she’d discovered his buried secret, that he didn’t want to get married.
In comparison, Babi’s cell town welcoming Love cell with open arms and a big ol’ party, seems so refreshing and different.
Babi’s heart is very much open, where Woong’s heart had had parts closed off. I think this is one of the reasons I find myself rooting for Babi so hard. 🤩
Ahn Bo Hyun as Woong
Season 1 did a really, really good job of endearing Woong to me, so I do still have a lot of residual fondness for him, this season.
I’m glad that Show brings him back this season, rather than let him drop out of our story where Season 1 had left off.
This allows us to learn more about what’s really been going on with Woong, from the time of the break-up, to the present, and because Show’s gotten me to genuinely care about Woong, I appreciated getting to know more of his story.
I talk more about Woong in a later section, specifically in relation to his connection with Yumi, but for now, here are some Woong-centered thoughts and observations.
E4. With Yumi starting to date Babi so soon after breaking up with Woong, it makes sense that Woong still does show up in this season.
And who should he show up as, but the random person on the internet, who wants to buy that rice cooker off Yumi.
I honestly don’t think that Woong knew that the person he was trying to buy that rice cooker off of, was Yumi, because he looks genuinely surprised to see her.
So, it looks like it’s more of it being a legit coincidence, that they run into each other like this, at Christmas.
I’m really curious to see how Yumi reacts to this, because it honestly hasn’t been that long since she and Woong broke up, and her relationship with Babi, while super cute, is still very young and new.
I’m kinda shocked to say this, because I’d been so very fond of Woong in Season 1, but now I find myself rooting for Yumi to stick with Babi, even though Woong seems to be back in the picture. 😅
E5. This episode, I find it refreshing to start the episode from Woong’s point of view.
The way he dreams about Yumi, where he says all the things that he’d meant, but hadn’t said, and then wakes up to the sad reality that these happy scenes are just all in his dreams, and he’d never said the things that he’d really meant, is so full of pathos.
Woong’s pain at how he could have, but didn’t, and had therefore ended up losing Yumi, is so relatable.
I’m sure we all have those times in our lives where we wish we’d said something different, or done things differently, but unfortunately we didn’t, and now we have to live with the ghosts of the should’ves and could’ves.
I think the thing that makes it most painful, is how simple it looks, in Woong’s dream, to have said or done things differently, and how those simple tweaks could have made things turn out differently.
That feels truly tragic.
The whole backstory to why Woong becomes fixated with the idea of buying a rice cooker, is also pretty sad. It’s really only because he’s financially so tight, that he thinks of buying those buns in bulk, after all.
E10. What I do find surprising, is how we spend so much of the episode with Woong, and seeing things from his point of view.
For a start, I’m happy for Woong, that he’s become successful and has finally made something of the Bow Wow Time game that had been so close to his heart when he’d been dating Yumi.
(On a side note, Ahn Bo Hyun really does clean up nice, doesn’t he? His shoulders look so broad in those suits and coats! 🤩)
And, it is poignant to learn that the reason he’d pushed himself so hard to succeed, was because he’d wanted to show Yumi that he could.
Aw, poor Woong. He’s really been through a lot to get here, hasn’t he?
That flashback to the day when he’d sat alone in his room and eaten those steamed buns, while finding out that Babi is Yumi’s new boyfriend, was really poignant, I must say. Poor Woong.
And, his feelings for Yumi haven’t faded, even though he tells himself – and Louis (Joo Jong Hyuk) – that he won’t ever have a reason to contact Yumi again.
That’s actually really sweet, that his feelings for Yumi are so enduring.
Yumi and Babi
Honestly, when had announced that Babi would be this season’s male lead, I’d immediately felt a little concerned, because I’d spent all of Season 1 growing fond of Woong as our male lead.
I wasn’t sure that I would be fully on board with a loveline between Yumi and Babi, because of this.
Well, whaddya know.
Show does such a good job of presenting Babi as a worthy boyfriend candidate, that I found myself on #TeamBabi very quickly, in spite of my initial reservations.
Sure, it’s not all smooth sailing, but overall, this was a loveline that still got under my skin.
Here’s a sprawling breakdown of my thoughts and feelings around this loveline, in case you’d like to relive the feels with me. 🥰
E1. In the midst of Yumi dealing with the post-breakup blues, Babi really comes across as the perfect soothing balm to Yumi’s emotional wounds.
The thing that strikes me the most about Babi, is that he clearly respects Yumi’s boundaries, but manages to show care and concern, in just the right, smallish amounts, so that Yumi doesn’t find him burdensome.
At this point in our story, Yumi’s colleagues know that she’s gone through a breakup, but he doesn’t actively talk with her about it, and remains as cordial as ever.
And the first chance he gets to talk with her alone, which is when he drops off that document to her, he simply asks if she’s ok, and then says simply, “힘내요,” which is like a casual variation of “fighting” or “cheer up,” but translates literally as, “be strong.”
I like that literal translation a lot, and it feels perfectly encouraging without him overstepping any boundaries – which is exactly the general vibe I get from Babi, through Yumi’s post-breakup phase, and which is exactly what (I think) she needs.
I do think that Babi’s confession at the end of the episode is a little early in the game, but I can imagine that he’d take a chance and go for it, given that the conversation kinda naturally opens up the opportunity.
It’s quite perfect, really, the way he talks about how Yumi’s feelings are often reflected in her expression, and then how he says that he doesn’t know what she’s feeling right then, but would like to know – because she’s someone whom he’s always interested to know more about.
This comes across as so down-to-earth and so sincere, all at the same time.
And then, his expression looks so open and sincere, as he says, “Let’s date.”
I know Yumi’s in shock right now, so I’ll squee on her behalf: Eeee!!! 😍😍😍
E2. The fangirl in me is slightly deflated that Yumi turns down Babi’s confession, because that confession had been legit as earthy as it is swoony, BUT, it really is the smarter, more rational decision, that Yumi not jump into dating someone, right after her breakup with Woong.
And, I do appreciate that Yumi’s got enough sense about her, to realize this, even though she’s still reeling from the breakup, and therefore her emotions are more vulnerable than average.
That whole moment of confusion and discombobulation at what Babi’s confession really means (the phrase he uses for “date” is “만나” (“manna”) which can be used interchangeably to mean either “date” or “meet”), where the various cells assert what they think it means, leading to Detective cell to declare that clarification is needed, is so perfectly on point.
And how funny-perfect is it, that the cells at Yumi’s health center, observe her self-esteem skyrocketing, which is pronounced to be a good thing – until it crosses over into dangerous territory.
Hahaha. That’s so on-point; I love it.
Of COURSE receiving a love confession while she’s in the wake of a breakup, would cause Yumi’s self-esteem to rise. But how believable too, that it would go over the top, and turn into Princess syndrome, heh. 😁
It’s really kinda secondhand embarrassing to see Yumi revel in her bloated sense of self-esteem in Babi’s eyes, only to get all jealous when he doesn’t pay her the kind of attention that she expects.
Like how she rationalizes, when his morning greeting to her is short, that he never gives long greetings – only to be thrown off, when she witnesses him having a longer exchange with Ruby.
And how she concludes that he’s been hurt because of her rejection, heh.
It’s pitch perfect and feels true to human behavior, and right now, I would so love to see what some of Babi’s cells have to say about all this.
Like, is he really hurt by Yumi’s rejection? Is his cheerful demeanor just a cover-up for a broken heart? I would love to know!
Of course, Yumi may have rejected Babi, but she’s still extremely hyperaware of him, and then, when she spots him with his ex-girlfriend while on the way to work, the way she gets peeved and offended, like she’s jealous, is such a relatably territorial thing to do.
Logically, it should be none of her concern, since she’s rejected Babi, but she still expects Babi’s affection and attention to be on her, right, so she can’t help feeling cheated, when she sees him with his ex-girlfriend, whom she assumes he’s dating again.
Reason cell trying to rationalize the whole thing into a mic, while all the other cells bawl in misery, is so rueful-funny.
But, y’know, there’s a kind of sense about this, in that, if Babi’s feelings for Yumi were true and strong, then he wouldn’t be dating anyone else so soon.
So, Yumi feeling cheated, is about the fact that Babi’s feelings appear to have been nothing much at all, after all – at least, from her point of view.
It’s not surprising that so many of the Babi fan cells now turn into anti-fans, out of anger and disappointment. (Again, such a pointed bit of meta, in terms of how the kpop fandom works!)
Babi really wins brownie points with me, though, with the way he picks up on the fact that Yumi feels uncomfortable around him, and gets off the bus, so that she’ll be more comfortable.
That’s sensitive and proactive, and is way better than powering through the bus ride, unsure of whether it’s making Yumi dislike him, for making her feel uncomfortable.
Ahaha, how cute, that the cells are angry with Babi for being the one to make Yumi uncomfortable in the first place, but that they can’t help squeeing over how polite and cool he is, for getting off the bus like that.
What a great reflection of how Yumi feels, as she watches Babi at the bus stop, while her bus pulls away. She must be all peeved too – but flustered at the same time, that he’s being so cool.
No wonder she caves and texts him, almost like daring him to deny that he’s the one who feels uncomfortable, instead of her. After all, this enables her to maintain her stance of being peeved at him, but allows her to contact him, and enable some sort of connection, heh.
I’m so glad for the spot of honesty that occurs during their texts, because that allows the misunderstanding to come to light – and gives Babi a chance to fix things.
Heh. Sometimes blurting out the truth can have its positive effects after all, eh, even if it’s embarrassing?
I’m glad that Babi asks Yumi to wait for him, and that she does wait for him, even though she’s uncertain of where this is going.
And way to turn things around, Babi, coz when Yumi sees him and starts blurting out that she has no reason to wait for him, it looks like things are about to go downhill.
But he just looks at her in amazement, and breathes, “It’s so nice, that you waited for me.”
Just like that, Babi stops Yumi in her ranting tracks, and instead, they end up having a nice conversation at the bus stop, which feels like a breath of fresh air. Aw. I really like that.
And, I really like that Yumi becomes cognizant that Babi’s an extraordinary person, for being able to express his heart, even when he’s rejected. And it feels meaningful too, that this realization is articulated by Love cell, who’s finally awake, but needs more time to recovery fully.
That’s exactly it. Babi’s so lovely, that Yumi’s Love cell has woken up out of her coma, and now Yumi’s cognizant and appreciative of Babi’s awesomeness, even though she doesn’t feel ready to love again.
And then, all the involuntary heart balloons rising up all over Cell Town, as Yumi becomes more hyperaware of Babi, is so perfect. Yes, I can see how involuntary positive feelings might arise, now that Yumi’s decided that Babi’s great.
How cute, that Reason does his best to get rid of those balloon hearts, but fails, because there’re just too many of them. At least we know that Yumi’s rational side is trying..? 😁
But yes, it is unfortunate timing, because now that Yumi’s more open to interacting with Babi, he seems to be keeping that cautious line between them.
The way Yumi goes to the park, all dressed in an effortlessly casual look, hoping to run into Babi, is so relatable. As is the way she ends up disappointed, when she doesn’t actually run into him like she’d hoped. 😝😅
The fact that the supposed chance to “break the hearts” shows up in Babi’s aversion to bugs, doesn’t even faze Yumi one bit, in her positive feelings towards Babi, says everything, in my opinion.
If there were even a small chance of her snapping out of her Babi heart-eyes, this would’ve been it.
The fact that she finds his aversion to bugs cute instead of off-putting, means that there’s literally nothing much in the world right now, that would turn Yumi off Babi. Unless he turned out to be a serial murderer or something – but this isn’t that kind of show. 😁
How troublesome, though, that Babi now actually agrees to go on that blind date that Ruby keeps bugging him about.
That’s surely going to galvanize Yumi into action of some sort.. I mean, now that she’s discovering that she likes him, surely she wouldn’t easily allow this blind date to happen?
E3. It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, when Yumi gets all excited about the text coming in from Babi about meeting her to return her umbrella – only to realize that he’d texted while she’d been asleep, and it’s now 2:20am.
BUT THENNN. Babi’s still awake, and responds to her text. Ahhh! How exciting!
I can see why Yumi would decide that this is the opportunity that she needs to grab, and that she should go all out and dress up for the occasion, never mind about doing an effortless look.
How awkward, though, when it backfires, with Babi not only dressed in sweats, but assuming that she’s got somewhere to be.
Egad. The secondhand embarrassing is real, as Yumi grasps at straws, and offers to buy Babi a cup of coffee, to take on his morning run.
The rollercoaster feels even more precarious, as we see that in Cell Town, Emotion’s basically running rampage with crazy eyes, making decisions, while flagrantly overriding any and all of Reason’s arguments.
Gah. I watched this wondering just how much trouble Emotion would get Yumi into, eep.
Thank goodness for Decorum cell, who puts her foot down and insists that Yumi needs to find out what happened on the blind date first, before anything can possibly happen.
But how very interesting, that Babi tells Yumi that he went for the blind date (to Yumi’s great disappointment), only for Yumi to find out later from Ruby, that Babi had canceled the blind date, in the end. Ooh.
That realization, that Babi had done that, so that Yumi wouldn’t feel burdened, even though he still has feelings for her, is the thing that sets Emotion on fire, so to speak, and I can totally see why.
I mean, that’s really selfless and considerate of Babi, to put Yumi’s comfort first, even though he would rather not move on.
The whole concept of heart fever is so cool, so amusing and so spot-on, all at the same time.
It makes sense that now that something has gripped Yumi’s emotions so much, that Emotion would take over, and cause Yumi to act in ways that she wouldn’t ordinarily.
That’s so perfect, as is the fact that heart fever is intense, but temporary; that given some time, it wears off, and Reason takes over again.
And, I do kinda love that Emotion is so persistent, that she just keeps squeezing out heart fever energy, until Yumi finally tells Babi that she likes him too. Eee!
Show really had me going there for a bit, with the flash-forward to the next day, where Yumi and Babi are behaving in such a distant, formal manner with each other. That made me think that perhaps Yumi’s confession hadn’t gone well, and that Babi had ended up rejecting her.
BUTTT. Instead, Show makes it out to be simply Babi and Yumi’s strategy for keeping their new dating status a secret at work. Ahhh.
I gotta say, I’m giving Show a mild side-eye for this, but only a mild one, because Show doesn’t actually drag out the ruse for very long at all.
How cute, that all of Babi’s advances, are portrayed as giant curve balls (of giant rocks!) that basically end up destroying the Gate of Heart, and causing Yumi’s Cell Town to collapse.
Yes, I can see how all of Babi’s moves have basically broken down all of Yumi’s defenses. 😁
I am admittedly a little wary about the way Love cell is portrayed as accepting Babi so reluctantly.. Does this mean that Yumi’s positive feelings for Babi are doomed to stay shallow..? Because Love isn’t fully supportive..?
So far, though, I have to say that I very much enjoy the scenes of Babi and Yumi dating, and getting used to being a new couple.
There’s just something so warm and safe about the vibe that Babi gives off, that I feel like Yumi’s heart is in safe hands.
That scene where Yumi hesitates to let Babi know that she likes eating the organs, when they’re at the sundae stall, works out so nicely.
I like that Yumi fights the urge to pretend that she doesn’t eat them, and instead, chooses to be honest that she likes them – but is fine not to eat them, if Babi doesn’t prefer them.
Aw. That’s a nice compromise, and it works out super well, since, as it turns out, Babi really likes the organs too.
Ahh. I like how this relationship is going the honest route, from the beginning.
The way Show builds up the physical hyperawareness between Babi and Yumi is pitch perfect.
That tropey fall down the stairs, where Babi catches Yumi in a dip, is so tongue-in-cheek amusing, and yet, the message is starkly clear: both Babi and Yumi are suddenly very, very discombobulated by the sudden hyperproximity. Hee.
Also, can I just say how tickled I am, by Tongue cell?
Ahaha, the way Tongue cell rubs that mint all over himself, like he’s taking a shower with a bar of soap, is so funny, and it really is reminiscent of how one would roll a mint around one’s mouth, with one’s tongue.
How is this show so well thought-out and conceptualized?? 🤩
Naughty cell taking that mint thing, and convincing everyone in Cell Town, that Babi’s going to kiss Yumi, leading Yumi to become even more hyperaware of Babi, is such delicious, tingly stuff.
I have to admit to feeling a little surprised at the fact that Babi does, in fact, move in to kiss Yumi – mostly because this is a kdrama, and this mostly doesn’t happen so early in a relationship, in kdramas.
But the way Babi plays it, it feels like the perfect balance between sweet and considerate, and intent and hungry.
The way he leans in to kiss Yumi is so gentle, and there’s confidence, but there’s also a tentativeness in there, which makes me feel that he’s being very alert to Yumi’s reactions.
And then the way he reaches over to pull her nearer to him, by the wrist, feels gentle too, like Yumi would be able to easily pull herself away, if she wanted to.
But she doesn’t, and the following kisses are tender, and exploratory, while tinged with wonder and hunger, at the same time. Mmm. This feels incredibly romantic and my inner fangirl is fainting a little bit, not gonna lie. 😍
The best surprise of all, however, is when Love cell goes through the wormhole, to find out about Babi’s Cell Town, only to be met with a full-on party in her honor.
It’s adorable that it’s all so lively, and everyone tells Love cell so earnestly, that they’ve been wanting to meet her, for a long time. Awww. Isn’t that the most adorable thing?? 😍
Guh. As Babi and Yumi drown in kisses (flail), I can’t wait to see more of Babi’s Cell Town, and meet the cells that make him tick.
E4. I love the hesitant awkwardness and the shy smiles between Babi and Yumi, in the wake of their first kiss.
It feels so pitch perfect, down to the way Babi’s voice wavers slightly, and even breaks a little bit, as he asks Yumi if they should get out of the car. Really nice work there by Jinyoung, I say.
It’s a relatively small beat, but I love how true-to-life it is, that just one earnest remark from Babi, that Yumi looks pretty with long hair, is enough to give Yumi the motivation to grow out her hair, and as quickly as possible.
I can very much relate, heh. 😁
I’d originally thought that Naughty cell’s theory, that Hair cell would grow hair faster, if she reads some naughty literature, was quite a nonsensical thing, but then I turned to Google, and it turns out that it’s not complete nonsense after all.
According to this article, there is a link between sex hormones and hair growth after all. Huh. I didn’t know that. The things you learn from this show! 😅
And, this does work to plant the idea in our minds, that Yumi’s mind is being led down some naughty-sexy places, which is useful for the following arc, with the power going out in her apartment, leading to Babi insisting that she sleep over at his place. Ooh.
That went from zero to heart-thumping really really fast! 😁
All the little comic beats around Yumi feeling and acting awkward in Babi’s apartment, is quite funny and entertaining, with one of my favorite cringey-funny bits bring Yumi thinking that Babi gave her only his pajama top to wear, and comes out of the bathroom pants-less. Whoops.
Babi’s nervous-awkward-I-don’t-know-where-to-look reaction is pitch perfect, and I can’t help groaning and giggling, at the same time. 😅
I’m glad though, that the evening doesn’t go the way Naughty cell would’ve preferred, and instead, works out to be something a lot more sweet and cozy, with Yumi falling asleep on the couch while Babi’s in the shower, and Babi coming out to tuck Yumi in for the night.
What makes it even better, is Yumi’s contented voiceover, that this was the most romantic night, because she felt like she was receiving love.
Aww. That’s so lovely, isn’t it? This totally makes me root for this loveline even more, because if Yumi feels loved, that’s the most important thing.
I am soo tickled by the activities in both cell towns the next morning, as Yumi wakes up and the cells decide that it’s time for her to launch an attack on Babi, with a sweet good morning greeting.
How fun, to see the pink smoke explosions going off in Babi’s cell town, with his love cell announcing to the rest of the cells, that they need to wake up, because Babi’s heart has been stolen, and they need to show something in return. Tee hee! Cute!
And how perfect, that Babi’s offer to set up breakfast, sets off a similar pink explosion in Yumi’s cell town, with Hunger cell being the one to be blown away. Ahaha. I LOVE THIS.
AND THEN. Babi apologizes that he’d taken too long to shower, and that he’ll shower faster, next time. AHEM. That sends Naughty cell over the moon, in another pink explosion, and I’m cackling like a loon. 🤣
These two are so adorable, as they keep on setting off these pink explosions of love in each other’s cell towns. I could watch them do this all day. 😍
And, I gotta say, Babi’s keeping so many of Yumi’s cells happy – Hunger cell, Naughty cell, and even Love cell – that I totally understand why Yumi says that she feels like she’s receiving love. 🥰
Given that Babi had been the one to encourage Yumi to write, in Season 1, it’s not surprising that he’d also be the one to point her back towards her writing dreams, this season.
His personal stories, and his general encouraging response to her stories, all lead Yumi to seriously revisit her writing dreams, and the way she goes back home to look over her old stories for inspiration, feels so relatable.
The way she cringes affectionately at her early writing efforts is so universal, I feel like anyone would be able to relate. Don’t we all have stuff like that? Early efforts at things that we’d thought were amazing, but which look clumsy, on hindsight?
I have to admit, I’m really surprised that Yumi ends up quitting her job in order to pursue her writing dreams before it’s too late.
This seems very impetuous, for someone who’s usually much more measured and who tends to plan ahead. She doesn’t even have enough money saved up, to do this comfortably. And, it is a huge, life-changing sort of step.
I do appreciate how Babi is just as surprised as I am, but doesn’t overstep any boundaries, in reacting to her decision.
Some (many?) boyfriends would be upset to find out about Yumi’s resignation, along with everyone else.
Like, “Why did you tell me about it first? Did I have to hear about it along with everyone else? Am I not your boyfriend?” These are all things that real and reel boyfriends might have said, but Babi says none of these things.
Instead, even though he’s surprised, he remains steady and supportive, and I really appreciate that about him.
And even though I’m still not sure that this was the best way to go about chasing her dream, I appreciate that scene of Yumi touching base with her younger self, and seeing that her younger self would have approved of this bold move.
Time moves fast in this drama world, and before we know it, Yumi’s hair is longer, and it’s almost Christmas. No time to get bored around these parts, eh?
The hoops Yumi jumps through, to redirect the Christmas plans back to Babi’s suggestion, that they have dinner at his place, is quite amusing.
I’m glad that in the end, she does just come out and admit that it would be nice to have their Christmas dinner at his place, because that feels more honest.
Babi’s quiet little squee to himself, as he can’t stop himself from smiling, as Yumi steps away to the washroom, also quietly squeeing to herself, is the cutest thing.
Augh. These two. 😍 Watching them like this also makes me squee to myself, heh.
Things are going so swimmingly for them, and the fact that Yumi’s tight on budget seems to cast only a small shadow, on things.
E5. Y’know, I have to admit, I was rather shocked and horrified when Yumi runs out of Babi’s apartment, to meet Woong like Woong requests, because like I’ve said, I’m on the Babi train, and Babi’s been nothing but sweet, understanding and supportive in all of this.
I just couldn’t fathom why Yumi would run out there to meet Woong on such short notice, and leave Babi in the lurch.
In fact, Babi knows in his gut, that Yumi’s going out to meet Woong, and isn’t actually that happy about it. Even his Reason cell is upset, along with his Emotion cell.
But his Love cell is the one who leads him to demonstrating his trust in Yumi, by letting her go, without letting on that he knows.
To Yumi’s credit, she does try to tell Babi that she’s going to meet Woong, and to Babi’s credit, he’s so warm and supportive, in the way that he tells her that it doesn’t matter who she’s going to meet, and that she should be careful of the snowy streets.
Augh. Babi’s accepting, unconditionally supportive vibe is so, so lovely; I’m in a puddle over here, on Yumi’s behalf.
I’m so glad for Babi, that his gut instinct, to trust Yumi, pays off so well.
The way he rushes to open the door, when Yumi rings that doorbell, tells us that underneath that calm exterior, he must have been a bundle of nerves, waiting for Yumi to come back. Aw. Poor sweet Babi.
I love the way he smiles at her so happily, as he pulls her into the apartment. I feel like I can feel his joy, in that moment.
AND!!! I love that Babi gives Yumi the passcode to his apartment.
It’s been a positive cycle of trust this evening, with Babi exercising trust in Yumi in letting her go to Woong, and then Yumi living up to that trust, when she comes back.
And now, I feel like Babi’s going one step further, to show his trust in Yumi one step deeper, by giving her the passcode to his apartment.
The fact that it’s 1224 – Christmas Eve – makes me think that Babi changed the passcode that evening, to commemorate this step of faith that they’ve taken together, and had planned to seal it by giving Yumi the passcode, when she returned.
Because he had believed that she would return.
Ahhh. It’s so lovely, truly. 🥰🥰
E6. It’s a bummer that Yumi isn’t gaining much traction with her writing dreams, but it is comforting to see Babi being so sweet and supportive, through it all.
He keeps a close eye on her competition results, but doesn’t add pressure to her by asking her what those results are, and instead, lets her tell him, in her own time.
But, he also makes sure to be there for her, like how he offers to buy dinner over to her place, because he knows that she’s probably feeling down about not placing in the most recent competition. Aw. He’s so very thoughtful and sweet. 😍
This episode, I’m hugely tickled by what goes on in Yumi’s cell town, when kissy times with Babi go in a hot ‘n heavy direction.
Naughty cell needing it to be dark in order to be naughtier, and making that emergency call to the hand center, and the hand center being completely confident of locating the light switch even with Yumi’s eyes closed, is very amusing to me.
Hahaha. I can totally see such a scenario happening, where all these little contextual surrounding tweaks are made as furtively as possible, so as not to interrupt the kiss that’s going on. 😁
Too bad that their little rendezvous is interrupted by the arrival of Yumi’s parents, oops.
The way Mom puts it, that Babi’s dripping with elegance, and therefore it’s unlikely that his family’s “small business” is actually that small, is quite persuasive, honestly.
I could believe that if Babi were some kind of chaebol prince, that he would be pretty low-key and modest about it, ie, I could believe that he would refer to the family business as a small business.
Babi’s phone conversation with his sister also makes that theory very plausible, so I’m not surprised that Yumi’s imagination goes into overdrive, as she remembers Babi talking about not liking his father all that much.
Hunger cell’s yogurt test is quite amusing, and I feel like I’ve seen that in a drama somewhere (I think it might have been Dali and the Cocky Prince?), so perhaps this really is A Thing? That, or a parody, ha. 😁
I couldn’t help but notice Babi’s cheeky grin, as he tells a very distracted Yumi that he’s going out to be buy more snacks for them, coz he’s hungry.
This is the thing that clued me in to the fact that Babi’s actually teasing Yumi, knowing that she’s trying to process the idea that he might be some kind of rich young master, and the heir to his family business.
Writer cell coming up with the dramatic scenarios, while Emotion and Stingy act out said scenarios, is very cute. And what a fun touch, that Detective cell surmises that Writer cell is more cut out to be a drama writer than a novelist. Heh. This could be very true!
Ahaha, as it turns out, Babi’s the son of a tteokbokki business, which is completely the opposite of Yumi’s chaebol fears. It’s really endearing, actually, the way Yumi hugs Babi and is so happy that he’s not some kind of chaebol.
Our Yumi’s not a gold-digger, that’s for sure!
I am suitably extremely tickled at how the hand center successfully switches off the light again, when kissy times get hot ‘n heavy.
How cute, that Right Hand completes the mission, and then goes off on his own, to touch Babi’s spinal canyon. Which is when we get the visual, of Yumi’s fingers running down Babi’s spine.
And then, the way Right Hand gets trapped and is unable to move, because Babi’s got Yumi in an octopus hug, and so decides to land on the nearest planet, H2 – Babi’s left butt cheek – instead, is as thrilling as it is hilariously entertaining.
I just love the way all the cells in the command center cheer at the successful landing of Right Hand, on planet H2. Tee hee hee! This is so cute! 😂😂
And what a great way to tie it all back, when we see Yumi contentedly cuddling with a very sleepy-sexy Babi the next morning, her stars already fully charged.
Love, love, LUFF. 😍😍
E7. Because Yumi’s the type to internalize her feelings first, and then share them later, she’s not letting on how she truly feels, during her calls with Babi.
I do wish that she would just come out and tell him what’s going on, and how she feels, but I think that’s just the way Yumi is. She’ll tell him when she’s ready, but she’s just not ready, right now.
I’m glad that Yumi’s on a trip to Jeju to see Babi, and I’m glad that Babi’s intuitive enough to pick up on the fact that Yumi’s not as ok as she insists, and I’m so glad that he responds to her accordingly, telling her gently that it’s ok.
I can see why Yumi would cry in Babi’s embrace.
She’s been trying to hard to keep up a strong front, and here he is, all gentle and sweet, seeing through that front, and holding her, and telling her that it’s all ok. Melt.
Which is when Yumi gets the biggest surprise news ever, that even though her submission for the contest didn’t win, the Editor-in-Chief is impressed enough with it, that he’d like to publish her work. Ahhh! What happy news!
I’m glad that Yumi is so cognizant of how grateful she is to Babi, for all the support that he’s shown her, during her entire writing journey.
That beat, where she chooses to simply tell him that she’s grateful for “everything,” instead of the itemized list that Love comes up with, is very true to life as well.
That’s what a lot of people do, I think, although I personally do wish that Yumi had given Babi the long, detailed version; I do think he would have appreciated it.
I love the scene where Babi picks a tipsy Yumi up for a walk by the beach, so that they can look at the stars together.
It’s so endearing, that Babi is enamored with a tipsy Yumi, even when she says cuss words, or giggles like a loon. Augh. That’s so loving. 🥰
It’s no wonder Yumi feels so loved, and it’s no wonder Naughty cell gets all puffed up and eager to kiss Babi, hee.
Also! Couple rings!! Eee!! The fact that Babi actually remembers their anniversary, while Yumi doesn’t appear to, is somehow extra sweet.
This entire moment is utterly romantic, with the two of them smiling and drowning in kisses on the beach, under the stars, with fireworks going off behind them. Soo~ lovely. 🥰
..Which is when we get a rather subtle but still effective record scratching moment, with that flash of Hunch cell receiving some rather perplexing intel, during the aurora.
I don’t know what this means yet, and I hate to think it, but.. this does make my mind go to the fact that Babi isn’t endgame for Yumi, in the webtoon. 😭
AND THEN. Da Eun (Shin Ye Eun), the intern who works in Babi’s office, enters the picture. Dun DUN DUN..?
I can see why Babi might have chosen to omit to mention that the intern who lives in his neighborhood, and whom he gives rides to sometimes, is a pretty young girl.
The way Yumi’s cells go into overdrive, feeling insecure and anxious, and rationalizing that there’s nothing to be anxious about, because Babi’s just given her a ring, is so relatable. That’s exactly how I think my insides would react, if I were in Yumi’s situation.
Yumi eventually lands on the secure answer, but not before Anxiety cell’s been beaten up and threatened thoroughly, by Love cell, oops.
And, OMGGG, the whole Popping cell thing is something I’ve never consciously thought of before, but it makes So! Much! Sense!
It’s SO TRUE, that younger girls laugh and giggle a lot more easily, and that men tend to find this attractive.
I love how Show fleshes out this concept, by telling us that Popping cells have short lifespans, but are highly infectious. That feels so spot on!
Even though Babi doesn’t appear to be amused by Da Eun’s giggly response to the soot on his face, I can see why Yumi would feel insecure at the sight of Da Eun laughing so brightly while talking to Babi over the BBQ pit.
Yumi does the sensible Unni thing and is pleasant to Da Eun and very hospitable too, but then, with Da Eun’s statement that Babi’s sooo funny, I can’t blame Yumi for feeling out of sorts and insecure, all over again.
After all, Babi isn’t funny with her. And since Da Eun says that Babi’s sooo funny, Yumi probably can’t help but wonder if Babi’s very different with Da Eun, than with her, right?
The way Yumi tests the waters with Babi, by remarking, “Da Eun’s very cute, isn’t she?” is just the sort of thing I would expect a girlfriend to say.
Babi’s Reason cell’s got it all covered, though.
The way he filters out the inappropriate answers, because he (correctly!) predicts the kind of wrong impression and response each answer would reap, reminds me again, that Babi is a very intuitive person, and just seems to know exactly how to navigate emotionally tricky situations.
“Da Eun is cute. And Yumi is adorable.”
Ahhh! Babi sidesteps the potential disaster very neatly, while being truthful, and I’m pretty darn impressed.
As is Yumi, who remarks that he’s a player.
Hm. Babi doesn’t strike me as a player, though. Everything he’s said and done so far, has felt genuinely sincere. But.. isn’t that how the best players roll, though..? 🙈 Ok, we shall not think about that right now.
With Jeju being such a small town, it’s not really that shocking that Babi would run into Da Eun outside the supermarket.
And, given that Da Eun’s not wearing a jacket even though it’s cold, and given that Babi’s got a spare jacket that he keeps in the car, it does make sense that he would loan it to her, just to be kind and helpful.
But Yumi’s girlfriend instincts perk right up, when she sees Da Eun wearing Babi’s jacket; it makes her think of how he’d once given her his jacket off his own back, so that she wouldn’t be cold without one.
To which I say, at least Babi doesn’t give Da Eun the jacket off his own back, this time..? It’s infinitely better that he gives her the jacket in his car, than the one on his back, right?
At the same time, I understand Yumi’s question to Babi, which ends off this episode.
In asking Babi when he’d started liking her, she’s trying to figure out whether his gesture back then, of lending her his jacket, had meant anything – and by extension, she can figure out whether his gesture now, of lending Da Eun his jacket, means anything.
Will Babi’s answer satisfy Yumi, and will that put an end to this.. distraction?
E8. When we go back to the scene where we left off last episode, there’s that whole sequence, where Babi’s Reason and Emotion cells knock out Love cell, and take the memory scroll to that deserted corner of cell town (labeled with “Danger” signs and all!), to burn it.
And then, they give Love cell a faked memory scroll, with the cleaned-up memory, which Babi eventually tells Yumi; that he’d first fallen for her, when he’d seen her bopping to music in the office pantry.
As much as I love Babi, this whole thing gives me pause. Because, what about the answer needed to be cleaned up, before he could give Yumi an answer, right?
E9. I feel like very often, the thing that wears down long distance relationships, is the way the couple isn’t able to share in the nitty-gritty troubles of daily life, and therefore start to feel distant from each other, because they feel that the other person just doesn’t understand.
I think that there’s a bit of that going on, with Yumi and Babi.
I mean, on the upside, it’s sweet that they do what they can, to share each other’s days via their calls, and that beat, where Babi sends Yumi a box of pretty cakes to cheer her up after her run-in with Control-Z and the whole castella cake and ginger pie thing.
On the downside, this still isn’t quite enough to fill in all the wistful gaps of them being apart for such an extended period of time.
I was glad for the idea of Yumi going to Jeju Island to spend time with Babi over the Christmas holidays, because they’ve been apart for such a long time, and this time together promises to be a good way of recharging them and their relationship.
But thenn.. that’s when all the doubts start creeping in.
First, with Yumi running into the real estate agent showing the house to potential new tenants, because, what a shock it must be for Yumi, to only hear of this big decision, not from Babi himself, but from the real estate agent whom she just happens to run into.
Of course this would sow seeds of doubt in Yumi, that Babi hasn’t mentioned anything about moving, even though they’ve been in contact fairly regularly.
Isn’t that a sign of distance in the relationship, after all?
And then, there’s the thing where Yumi runs into Da Eun, and Da Eun more or less admits that she’d had feelings for Babi.
The poignant thing about all this, is that we see how Yumi’s doing all she can, to rationalize everything, so that she can continue to stay committed to the relationship.
That scene, where Love cell shreds the list of dislikes that Yumi had once made with Yi Da, and explains that there’ve been times when she’s looked at other handsome men and thought they were cool, illustrates this so perfectly.
Haven’t we all done similar things before, like rationalizing things in a way that makes the situation before us more acceptable in our hearts and minds?
Not that it’s wrong to do so; certainly not.
I do think that it’s important to compromise sometimes, for the sake of preserving a relationship, because people are imperfect, and if you hold onto a perfect set of standards, no one would ever be able to live up to them.
In that respect, I can empathize with Yumi and why she rationalizes things, in order to preserve her relationship with Babi.
The entire break-up scene is such a heartbreaking one, honestly, and so fantastically portrayed by both Kim Go Eun and Jinyoung. The redness in their eyes, and they fight back tears, as Yumi and Babi realize in turn, what’s happening. Augh. Really, really well done.
On Yumi’s side of things, I can understand that this is her #1, non-negotiable rule, that her partner must never be swayed by another woman, even a little bit, and she realizes that this is the one thing that she cannot bring herself to compromise on.
Like she says in voiceover, sometimes, dating leads you to learn more about yourself than your partner, and this is the moment that she realizes that she just can’t accept the idea that Babi was swayed by someone else, even for a moment.
On Babi’s side of things, I have to say that as a neutral bystander, I don’t find myself judging his actions very harshly, actually.
Mainly, the human heart can be a fickle, easily distracted thing, and so I feel like I can’t fault him too much, for having felt something, when Da Eun made that indirect confession to him.
After all, even the Bible says, in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
Sometimes – oftentimes, more likely – we can’t control the feelings that our hearts entertain.
What we can control, is what we do in response.
And Babi doesn’t do anything that would give Da Eun the wrong idea. He conducts himself in the same casual, offhanded, amiable-but-distant manner that he’s always had with her, even before he’d felt swayed by her.
And, when he starts to feel burdened by the mandarin oranges that her family continues to send him after she’s left for Busan, he does what I consider to be a sensible thing: he takes steps to remove himself from the situation, while affirming to himself, that he loves Yumi and doesn’t want to break up with her.
Originally, I’d thought that Babi could and should have been upfront with Yumi about this, but on further thought, spurred by Trent’s comments on the subject, I realize that that wouldn’t have been helpful to the relationship after all.
The key thing is, wise and experienced people who’ve had lifelong relationships have said that love is a decision, not a feeling.
While Babi couldn’t control where his feelings leaned for a while, he did control his decisions, and his decisions were consistently prioritizing his relationship with Yumi. For that reason, I do find my sympathies with Babi, on this one.
I appreciate that with Babi’s heartfelt apology, and his earnest plea that Yumi reconsider her decision, Yumi does waver.
In fact, we see Love cell destroy that plaque with Yumi’s #1 dating rule on it, and even interrupt the hearing, where Judge cell is about to pronounce Babi guilty of hurting Yumi.
But.. as I’ve just mentioned, we can’t control the feelings that our hearts entertain, and Yumi’s feelings turn from hurt to rage.
I honestly feel that that rage comes from an amalgamation of emotional wounds that Yumi has sustained over her various relationships, and doesn’t just come from this single incident with Babi.
But the point is, Yumi’s not in a state where she can find it in her heart to continue in this relationship, whether Babi’s sincerely sorry or not, and that’s why she goes through with the break-up.
She chooses the thing that is right for her, in that moment, even though Babi’s trespass isn’t the worst thing ever, and we have to respect that.
I’m rather stunned at the finality of the close of the episode, because I’d expected Babi to do more to run after Yumi, but perhaps he knows Yumi well enough to know that she really means it when she says she can’t see them going back to the way things used to be, even if they were to continue their relationship.
E11. The way Yumi mentally designates various stores in the neighborhood as Babi zones and actively avoids them, feels very true to life.
At least, I feel like that’s something I would do, if I were in Yumi’s shoes, and faced with the possibility of running into my ex, now that I know that he’s moved back into the neighborhood.
The way Yumi gets bolder as her successful streak of avoiding Babi gets longer, also feels true to life. Don’t we all tend to get a little reckless after a stretch of success?
But gosh, the way Yumi runs into Babi at the coffeeshop, and detects his presence first by his scent, and then his voice, feels so on-point.
Of course she would know him by his scent; it’s a scent that she’s known and loved up close, for over a year.
And of course she would then immediately know him by his voice; she doesn’t need to see his face, to know that he’s there.
At this moment, I just want to pause to say that Babi’s visuals are very spot-on this episode, in the sense that, without him needing to say anything at all, I can see that he’s out of sorts, and has been out of sorts for some time.
He looks a little puffy and wan, like he hasn’t been eating or sleeping well, and his hair always looks just a little less than perfectly tidy, like he hasn’t quite gotten himself together.
I love this attention to detail, and I thought this was very well done indeed.
Back on topic, how very awkward yet realistic, that Yumi and Babi would be mistaken for still being together, since they’ve been regulars at this particular coffeeshop, while dating.
Yumi’s Emotion cell having a meltdown that Yumi’s dressed so carelessly, and Reason cell stepping in to say that a confident attitude is more important, feels exactly like how I’d imagine Yumi’s thoughts to be racing, while faced with her ex, unexpectedly right in front of her.
Even though Babi looks out of sorts, he manages to praise Yumi on her writing and her novel, which I thought was sweet. He’s always been interested in her writing, after all, and it’s nice that even though they’ve broken up, he’s still reading her novel.
Guh. I have to admit, my heart leaped when Babi runs after Yumi, and tells her that he misses her terribly. My goodness, my heart wavered on Yumi’s behalf; he looks so sincere and earnest.
Before we see what happens in this scene, though, I’m glad that we back up a bit, and that we get to see things from Babi’s perspective, after the break-up.
The moment, when he wonders to himself, what would have happened if Yumi had trusted him the way he’d trusted her, is so plaintive.
It’s true that he’d felt insecure that time at Christmas Eve too, but had chosen to trust her, and that had reaped a lovely milestone of trust and love in their relationship.
While the circumstances this time are different, there’s enough similarity between the two, that I can see why Babi would ask himself this question.
Yumi’s also feeling insecure at this time, not too unlike how Babi had felt insecure that time too.
The difference, of course, is that Yumi had not actually wavered in her feelings for Babi, while Babi’s feelings had wavered. But the core issue of insecurity vs. commitment is there.
I do feel that objectively speaking, Yumi could have given the relationship more of a chance, instead of breaking up then and there. However, I rationalize that Yumi’s experiences form the lens through which she feels all of this.
If she hadn’t been as emotionally wounded from previous relationships, I do think that she’d have had more emotional buffer with which to weather this storm with Babi.
It’s a little unsettling to see Babi so torn up and so bitter, when all we’ve seen of him to date, has been sweetness and steadfastness, but it’s good; it’s actually important, that we get to know Babi better.
Importantly, now that he’s lost Yumi, he doesn’t suddenly gravitate to Da Eun like some other men in his shoes might; after all, it’s human nature to crave acceptance, after having been rejected.
Instead, he is resolute – almost bitter – in the way he is tightlipped around Da Eun, when she stops by the front of his house.
I think that reveals his heart as well; that even when the door’s been closed on his relationship with Yumi, and even when Da Eun is standing right there in front of him, he’s not biting.
I also appreciate how pure his Love cell is, as Love cell tries to tell the other cells, that they should tell Yumi how her writing has improved, the next time Babi sees her. That’s sweet, honestly.
I think that many other men in Babi’s shoes would feel bitter towards Yumi instead, and not even think to read her web novel, let alone compliment her on her writing progress.
How poignant, to see how Babi’s been working hard to avoid the “Yumi zones” in the neighborhood, for the same reasons that Yumi had been avoiding the “Babi zones.”
And even more poignant, is when we see Babi come to the realization, two months later, that he misses her and wants to tell her so, if he were to run into her.
Back in the present, I love how we get to see the conflicting thoughts and feelings running rampant in Yumi, as her various cells shout out what they’d like to say.
Reason wants her to be cold; Emotion wants to tell him that she’s missed him too; the way her feet refuse to move, even though Reason thinks that it’s time to leave. It all feels so relatable.
Again, the way Kim Go Eun and Jinyoung play this scene is so, so good.
The way Babi’s and Yumi’s eyes turn red, as they both struggle to hold back tears; the way the emotions rise in both their voices, as they attempt to articulate what they want to say. It all feels so real, and so raw.
It feels so relatable, that Yumi’s Emotion cell would take over, by kicking Reason cell out of orbit, and then reminding all the other cells that their motto is, “Once an Oppa, always an Oppa!”
Tee hee hee. I gotta say, these kpop references tickle me greatly. 😁
I love the way Show balances the amusing cell town antics, with the burgeoning emotion of the scene; this is the kind of thing that could crash and burn, but Show makes it work, and very well.
Both the way Kim Go Eun and Jinyoung deliver their lines, and the lines themselves, are so perfect.
I love that Babi, being as instinctive as always, reads Yumi’s emotions on her face, instead of just listening to her words, and calls her out on lying, that she hasn’t missed him at all.
But when she challenges him on this, he doesn’t push his way through, even though Yumi’s feelings are so clear to read, and instead tells her that it’s his wish, that it were a lie that she didn’t miss him.
And then the way he looks at her and asks again, so plaintively – that it really was a lie, right? – gives her the opportunity to choke out, “Me too.”
Aww. I love it. I love that while she struggles to say the words, Babi just waits, instead of trying to put words in her mouth.
And I love that the moment those words leave her lips, he’s pulling her into a hug, and rubbing her back, and telling her that he’s sorry, and he’s missed her.
Augh. The feels! I was completely and utterly caught up in the feels of this moment, I tell ya.
The reality setting in afterwards, that things really aren’t the same as before, probably weighed on me as much as it weighed on Yumi; it was hard to watch Babi and Yumi walk on eggshells around each other.
I can understand why things end up feeling like a shadow of the past relationship, though.
After all that they’ve been through to get back together, of course both Babi and Yumi want things to return to the way they’d been; that’s the goal, in both of their minds.
But things can’t return so easily to the way they’d been, because of all the hurts, wounds and distance they’ve gone through, and so they act like everything’s fine, in service of attaining the goal, given some time, but end up feeling more distant from each other than before.
Gah. That’s sad. 😭
E12. Their relationship is now all polite and careful, where before, things had been much more natural and spontaneous.
The so-called sexy signal which turned out to be nothing after all, and the missed timing of them taking turns to wear their couple rings all add to the awkwardness that’s been coming to a slow boil between them.
The feeling of emotional distance between them just keeps getting amplified, particularly when Babi leaves for his business trip – and it all comes to a screeching head, when Yumi discovers that Babi never left Seoul.
That was a completely earth-tilting moment for me, not gonna lie.
I couldn’t think of a reason that could explain why Babi would be lying about a business trip.
But then, when Yumi confronts him and the truth comes spilling out, I feel like I can understand.
With the emotional distance that’s been growing between them, they haven’t been communicating in deep or meaningful ways, and everything’s been confined to surface niceties, most likely because both of them had been afraid to rock the boat.
This second chance must have felt so fragile, after all.
With that emotional distance, I can imagine that they would find it harder and harder to talk to each other about difficult things.
And so, even though I think it’s a rather bizarre situation, I can accept that Babi couldn’t bring himself to tell Yumi about the accident, and I can accept that he himself couldn’t quite understand why either.
What these two have needed, for all the time that they’ve had together in this second go-around, is a shot of pure, unfiltered honesty in talking about how they feel about each other, and this moment is it.
The way Yumi asks if it’s because he regrets getting back together with her, and because he doesn’t feel the way he used to, is exactly the primer that Babi needs, to be able to articulate that it’s exactly the opposite; that he’d felt afraid that Yumi regretted it, and that it had looked that way to him.
The tears rising to the surface; the way Babi moves in to hold her, and kiss her, with the floodgates of emotion, hunger and tenderness wide open; it’s all such viscerally knee-wobbling stuff.
In this moment, there is no doubt; only a confirmation of their enduring love for each other.
When Babi then tearfully broaches the subject of marriage, it feels like he’s skipped a few steps in articulating what he means to say, but I like what I think he’s trying to say: I don’t regret it at all, and I would choose you a million times over – let’s get married, because I choose you, all over again.
Swoon. Faint. I can’t help it.
Babi and Da Eun
I’ve already pretty much explained how I feel about the whole Babi-Da Eun thing in the previous section, but I thought that it might still be worth sharing some of my other thoughts about the Babi-Da Eun thing, in a standalone section.
Mainly, these are my immediate reactions to the backstory that Show gives us, in episode 8, as well as to the whole earthquake thing, which occurs in the same episode.
E8. I do like that we get some context and backstory, around Da Eun and her crush on Babi.
It’s true that Babi’s quite the catch, and I totally get why Da Eun would develop a crush on him.
Importantly, we see that Babi doesn’t actually encourage this crush, and doesn’t hide the fact that he has a girlfriend.
In fact, according to Da Eun, Babi’s bragged about Yumi to his colleagues, so that’s good, because it means that he’s being completely open about the fact that he is very much taken.
AND THEN. We see that Babi’s cell town experiences the tremors of an earthquake, when Da Eun makes that indirect confession to Babi, at the bus stop.
Which means that even though Babi handles it with an appropriate sense of distance, his heart is wavering in response.
AND THENNNN. When Babi spots Da Eun leaving on the bus for Busan, Babi’s cell town experiences a full-on earthquake.
ACK. This means that even though Babi isn’t doing anything inappropriate – for example, he doesn’t go after Da Eun to the airport, thank goodness – he IS feeling something on the inside, in response to Da Eun.
No. Noooo. NOOoOo~ *wails*
I hadn’t expected this from Babi, at all! 😭😭😭
This does tie up very neatly with that earlier arc, where Babi had cleaned up his memory of when he’d first liked Yumi, though.
I mean, on hindsight, the only inappropriate answer would have been that Babi had liked Yumi, when he’d still been dating his ex-girlfriend. To my mind, that would be the only reason that memory needed to be cleaned up, and an alternative, acceptable memory served up in its place.
Also, all this time, I’ve been thinking that Babi really is the perfect boyfriend, I’ve actually also been wondering what flaw Show would introduce, for Babi, because with this drama world being as realistic as it is, there’s no way that Babi would actually be perfect.
I just.. hadn’t anticipated that this would be Babi’s flaw; that he tends to start having feelings for other women, while still in a committed relationship.
*BAWLS* This is NOT okay, Show. I am not okay. 😫😫😫
Yumi and Woong [SPOILERS]
Although I was fully on the Babi train this season, I was sincerely glad that Show brought Woong back, and continued to deal with the residual emotions related to Woong’s relationship with Yumi.
After all, they’d broken up pretty abruptly, and neither of them had actually wanted to end the relationship.
It feels fitting that Show bring Woong back, to explore the truth behind the break-up, and give him a chance to try to win Yumi back – which, in turn, gives Yumi a chance to figure out her true feelings.
Although I found that some of the narrative beats made Woong look a little too hapless and silly, overall, I was satisfied with how Show resolved this arc.
I’m glad that in the end, this relationship is treated with sensitivity and respect, even though Yumi doesn’t end up reuniting with Woong.
I’m also glad that ultimately, both Yumi and Woong come out of this knowing that they sincerely still care for each other. This feels healthy and mature, and it’s completely in line with Yumi’s growth journey.
E1. It is definitely sad and poignant, to revisit the breakup between Woong and Yumi.
After all, Woong is a genuinely nice guy, who sincerely cares about Yumi. And, the breakup has nothing to do with fading feelings on either side.
So, it feels like such a wasted opportunity, to allow this love relationship to be put to an end, like this.
But, as Show tends towards, this is such a great depiction of what happens in real life too, isn’t it?
A lot of relationships don’t work out, and it often has nothing to do with either party being a bad person, or either party not caring about the other person anymore. So often, it has to do more with things like timing, and circumstances, and that does seem to be the case here too.
This episode, it becomes clear that beyond the happy face that Woong shows on SNS, he still misses Yumi.
That shot of him sitting on the basketball court, staring at Yumi’s profile (where he still has the heart next to her name!), with a mournful expression on his face, and tears in his eyes, tells me that he really does miss her.
At the same time, it feels like his Reason cell’s taken over, and decided that this just isn’t a relationship that could work right now, given his circumstances.
As we’d seen at the end of Season 1, he and Yumi had been spending less and less time together, and had been growing distant, and a lot of that had to do with his company, and how business was going.
That last bit of bad news, must have been the nail in the coffin, for Woong, that had made him decide that it was best for both him and Yumi, that they stop trying to make something work, that ultimately wasn’t working.
E5. Show really had me going for a while there, with Woong’s imagined outcome of his accidental meeting with Yumi, where she expresses concern for him, and sits down with him over coffee, to talk.
What a rude shock it must have been for Woong, to have Yumi handle their meeting as a pure transaction, when he’s been longing for a chance to reconnect with her.
On this point, though, I actually think this worked out pretty close to real life.
As in, so often, we might imagine what it’s like to run into an ex, and all the potential ways we might reconnect as a result, but if we ever do actually run in that ex, it’s very likely as awkward and stilted as Woong’s meeting with Yumi, over that rice cooker.
I also really appreciate that Show also goes back, and shows us how all of Yumi’s various cells are collectively trying to come up with an appropriate manner in which Yumi should respond to the situation.
The fact that Yumi needs to make a snap decision on how to react to Woong; Stingy cell bringing up stuff about the actual transaction, and how they should prevent Woong from negotiating; Emotion getting all choked up; Pride getting upset; Decorum speaking up about manners; everyone leaving it to Reason cell, who decides that it’s best to keep it short.
All of those varying thoughts and feelings, at war within Yumi for a single long second, feels so true to life. Of course her thoughts and feelings would be all over the place, when she’s suddenly faced with the sight of Woong in front of her like that.
It also feels very true to life, that even after their short interaction, Detective cell would continue to ask all sorts of questions, which continue to pique Yumi’s curiosity about Woong and why he’d be interested in buying a rice cooker, when he doesn’t cook.
The way Yumi manages to figure out that Woong’s company had gone out of business, at around the time they’d broken up, also feels like something that could happen in real life. You really can find out so much through the internet and social media, if you put your mind to it, yes?
Yumi’s thoughts going wild, as Writer cell comes up with a scenario of how Woong hadn’t been able to say anything, when she’d brought up the idea of marriage, is so relatable as well.
Of course Yumi’s imagination would go into overdrive, now that she’s belatedly discovered this key piece of information about Woong.
With all this going on, I can see why Yumi’s heart is no longer in the Christmas celebration with Babi, and it’s so on-point, that the few cells who can bring themselves to, would gather to try to pull off a happy celebration with Babi anyway.
It’s such a great visual, though, that as the few cells try to make merry, it’s actually raining in cell town. Aw. Yumi’s crying on the inside, but trying to smile on the outside. Again, something to which we should all be able to relate.
I can see why Yumi would send Woong that text to wish him merry christmas, because Yumi’s a warm person, and I would believe that she genuinely feels sorry for being that cold and transactional with Woong in person.
So, I can accept that this text is her effort to smooth things over – from a distance. So, she gets to feel like a better person, without having to interact with Woong in person.
The way Woong’s Love cell tricks Pride, Woong’s prime cell, over that bridge, and then explodes the whole bridge (talk about burning down bridges! 😅), is such a great way of showing us how Woong’s finally making the decision to put his pride aside, for the sake of one last chance with Yumi.
E5. When Show reveals why Yumi goes out there to meet Woong – to return his poster, which she believes is precious to him, and to tell him that she’s seeing someone – it all makes sense to me again.
I can very much accept that Yumi feels that this is the right thing to do; to return Woong’s treasured item, and to apologize for not having been there for him, when he’d needed her, to wish him well for the future, and also, to accord him with the respect of telling him in person, that she’s now seeing someone else.
I really like that in all of her reflections over her discovery of Woong’s real situation, Yumi’s been sympathetic and compassionate, and also, quick to turn the lens on herself, to examine how she could have done things better, and differently.
When Woong points out that he’s the one who hadn’t told her the truth, the way Yumi responds, saying that it would have been nice if he’d told her, is the perfect mix of gentle wistfulness at what could have been, and contented acceptance, that this is their reality.
I feel sad for Woong, because I do have a soft spot for him, but this is life, y’know? Sometimes you make mistakes that you can’t undo, and sometimes you lose someone precious because of it.
It’s something that Woong will need to come to terms with on his own, without Yumi, and I hope that he’ll see better, happier days ahead of him, given some time.
E10. Although Show positions Woong’s purchase of all of Yumi’s book at the bookstore as a sweet gesture, I kind of wish he didn’t? I dunno; I just don’t want Yumi to have a false sense of success.
I want her to experience what it’s truly like, to have her book really sell out, not because an ex-boyfriend with money to spare decided that he would buy them all, but because everyone thinks her book is amazing.
I’m amused that Control-Z (P.O) turns out to be the one who connects Woong and Yumi, even though neither of them is actively seeking the other out. Heh. I knew that Control-Z would help to drive our story forward!
It’s so ridiculous (yet totally in character), the way Control-Z stops Woong’s car, and hitches a ride – and then engineers it to become an “accidental” meeting between Woong and Yumi, ha.
The way he talks so much about fate and destiny to Woong is quite amusing as well, because Woong really isn’t the type to believe in fate, but now can’t quite not believe in it a little bit, since Yumi’s suddenly standing in front of his car.
The whole bragging combo thing is on-point and hilarious, because I can absolutely believe that one of the things that someone in Woong’s position would want to do when running into an ex-girlfriend, is show just how successful he is now, compared to before.
How sweet of Yumi though, to congratulate Woong so sincerely, saying that she’d always known that he would succeed.
That’s so uncalculated and pure; I can see why Woong would totally waver in the face of that.
I love the visual in Woong’s cell town, where Reason tries to stop the heart from thumping in response to Yumi, and is told that the heart is not within his jurisdiction.
And then, the 40 kilograms of lingering feelings in the trunk of the car, which Conscience was trying to smuggle over to Love cell, is so spot-on and hilarious. 😂
That makes so much sense though, that it’s Conscience who’s in possession of these lingering feelings. After all, Woong had been the one to break up with Yumi, while keeping the truth of his situation from her.
Also, I love that detail, that when Woong hears from Control-Z that Yumi’s single and not dating anyone, the bruises and scars on Love cell fade right away.
Aww. I don’t know if I’m actually rooting for Woong and Yumi to get back together, but I just like the idea that Woong’s Love cell is healed up, and feeling so much better.
E11. At the top of episode, we see that Woong’s the one leaving glowing comments on the new chapters of Yumi’s web novel, and feeling all fuzzy and happy about it.
I don’t know if I’m supposed to find this endearing, but while I appreciate his good intentions, my thoughts around this are similar to what I said about him buying up her books at the bookstore; I kinda wish he wouldn’t.
Because, even though this does make Yumi happy, it’s making her happy in a lie. What I want for Yumi, is to taste that happiness, when the success and the good comments are all real.
In a weird sort of way, I feel like Woong is diluting Yumi’s journey by doing things like this, which is why I wish he wouldn’t, even though I understand that he means well.
I’m glad that Yumi chooses to tell Woong that she’s dating Babi again, even though she’s not obligated to.
Also, what a Catch 22 situation Woong finds himself in; he can’t diss a second-chance relationship because he wants to have a second chance with Yumi too. Poor guy.
Woong vs. Babi [SPOILERS]
It’s almost inevitable that we as viewers compare Woong and Babi, since Show sets up our story with Yumi basically being pursued by both of them, at different points of this season.
Like I mentioned earlier in this review, I have genuine affection for both characters, so my remarks on this aren’t meant in a malicious or antagonistic manner.
It’s just that, looking at the situation, I found myself on #TeamBabi, when it came to the love triangle, and I talk a bit more about that, in this next spoiler section.
E11. With so much emotional stuff on all sides, it’s little wonder that we end up with such an awkward situation, at the end of the episode.
Woong’s got all this pent-up frustration, along with his sense of rejection and dejection, and Babi’s got a sense of insecurity, I think, that comes from the awkward eggshell-walking situation with Yumi.
And of course, as they come face to face with each other, it’s going to get awkward.
I think it’s rather petty of Woong to call out Babi on the whole wavering thing, using knowledge that he didn’t learn directly from Yumi, but from Control-Z, so I can understand that Babi would feel attacked, and look ready to fight back just as aggressively.
E12. At this moment, though, I have to confess to being on #TeamBabi, because he’s officially Yumi’s boyfriend now, and therefore Woong shouldn’t be trying to mess things up.
Plus, even though I have a great deal of affection for Woong, I can’t easily forget that when push had come to shove, he’d made the conscious choice to give up on his relationship with Yumi, for the sake of his pride.
That choice to give up is a pretty weighted one, in my book. Meaning, that docks more points in my book, than Babi’s momentary wavering, because at least in Babi’s case, he continued to choose Yumi.
I typically tend to roll my eyes when dramas pit male leads against each other in petty ways, but I must say that I was quite amused by the way both Woong’s and Babi’s cells declare war, and start charging at the other party, with war cries and everything.
I’m really quite amused that when Woong makes all these barbed statements about Babi, it triggers Babi into making a counter-attack, with his trademark eloquence coming into play in a way that I haven’t yet seen – with barbed wire attached.
“Are you telling me what kind of woman Yumi is right now? I would know more about Yumi than you. I’ve probably dated Yumi longer than you. And I’m currently Yumi’s boyfriend, too.
What you just said sounds like advice that someone who was at least Yumi’s boyfriend, family, or best friend would have the right to give. But what are you to Yumi right now, Mr. Goo Woong? Aren’t you just nothing to her?
If you’re saying this because you have some sort of relationship with Yumi, then you’re disproving what you just said yourself. That Yumi isn’t that kind of person.
So when you say there’s no way Yumi would do that because she’s not that kind of person, in the end, you’re saying that you don’t have any relationship with Yumi.
So if a man who has no relation to Yumi is trying to show that he knows about her in front of her boyfriend, then what’s the conclusion? It means that you’re sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong, Mr. Goo Woong.”
And then Babi closes it all by backing off slightly, with a smile.
“Are you offended by what I said? Then I’ll apologize. I was just confirming your relationship with her. I didn’t mean it in a bad way.”
I feel like this is another glimpse into Babi’s other facets, that we haven’t yet seen, because he’s generally so sweet and easygoing. Like I said before, I do think that this is important; I like feeling like we’re getting to know Babi better, even though it’s a bit on the slower side of things.
As fond as I am of Woong as a character, I do think that he deserves the burn, this round, for trying to meddle in Yumi’s relationship, albeit indirectly.
Also, Woong’s attempt at trying to make Babi look bad, by waving his CEO name card around, was also in poor taste, I feel.
I’m glad that Yumi shows up when she does, because she’s the one to settle all of this. All that matters in this situation, is Yumi’s opinion after all, right?
And, in this case, Yumi’s got her priorities clear. Even though she does care somewhat for Woong, Babi’s much higher on the priority list.
I would say that it’s wise of Yumi to separate the two guys, at the first opportunity.
P.O as Control Z
I just wanted to give P.O a quick shout-out, because although the arc for his character Control Z did feel rather random at times, he managed to still make Control Z endearing, in the end.
Plus, the whole dating situation between Control-Z and Ruby in episode 12 feels quite random and bizarre, but it still works out to be fairly entertaining to see how they go from wanting to reject each other, to wanting to date each other.
Also, not forgetting that this arc, together with Control Z’s other arcs, generally works pretty effectively as a plot catalyst for our central story.
SPOTLIGHT ON THE PENULTIMATE EPISODE [SPOILERS]
What. A. Rollercoaster. this episode turned out to be.
That’s the thing with this show. It could literally go in any direction, and it would still make narrative sense; it dances to its own rhythm and doesn’t care about kdrama tradition. I’m a helpless passenger on this ride, my heart holding on for dear life.
For a start, I was thrilled to start the episode with Yumi and Babi getting engaged. Like I said before, I am very much on board with this as an expression of commitment between them, because it says “I choose you” in such a definite way.
And so, it made me really happy to see both Yumi and Babi look happy about it, and be loving and content in their conversations with each other, with a positive hope for their future together.
The way Yumi won over Babi’s reticent dad with her love for tteokbokki is very endearing as well, because the moment Dad softened towards her, was when she was just being herself, eating his tteokbokki deliciously and delightedly.
The fact that Babi’s dad, who’s generally so reserved, not only with his words, but with his gestures of affection, proactively goes after Yumi to give her spending money, is a huge deal, because this is such a hallmark Korean way of elders demonstrating approval and affection for a younger person.
It feels really significant, that Dad would give Yumi spending money, when he’s never done that even for his own son. (For the record, I’m sure Babi received an allowance as a kid; this spending money is a gesture of approval and affection, like I said.)
I’m glad that Yumi and Woong have that conversation over coffee, where Woong congratulates Yumi on her upcoming marriage, even though it really is the last thing he wants to do, as we see from his aggrieved Love cell’s tearful rantings.
It feels healthy, and when Woong asks to be invited to the wedding, Yumi’s answer, that she’d have to discuss it with Babi, feels healthy too. She’s not presuming that Babi would be comfortable with it, and I like that she’s so upfront about it with Woong.
When Woong tells Yumi that his biggest regret in life, is not being able to answer her when she’d suggested they get married, it feels really poignant, because of the could’ve beens..
But, it still feels healthy because I do think it’s good that Woong’s able to articulate it and tell Yumi about it, and release it from his heart, so to speak.
It’s when Woong asks Yumi if she loves Babi, that I start to sniff the first signs of trouble – because Yumi’s not able to answer definitively – because Love cell’s still in exile. Aw mann.. 🥺
I love – like, really really love – all the scenes of Babi coming over to take care of Yumi while she’s sick with a cold.
That really is so sweet, and I love how tender and gentle he is towards her, even climbing into bed to keep her company, not caring whether he might catch the bug from her.
Which is why my heart sank so hard, when Yumi sees the incoming call from Da Eun while Babi’s out buying beer at the convenience store.
I’d actually thought that this would stir up all the hurt feelings that Yumi had felt, back when everything had first happened, and that that would be the undoing of all the progress that Yumi and Babi have made, in their relationship.
Instead, we fast forward to 8 months later, and find out, along with Woong, that Yumi and Babi have broken up.
NoOo~ 😩 Say it ain’t so~!
I have to admit, I’m rather devastated to learn that the reason for their breakup, is not because Da Eun had called Babi, or that Babi still had Da Eun saved in his contact list, but because Yumi had felt nothing, even in the face of Da Eun calling.
Oof. That hurt.
Excuse me while I pick up the pieces of my Babi fangirl heart off the floor. 😭
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
Even though I’d been kinda-sorta prepared for this finale, because I’d heard that Babi isn’t romantic endgame for Yumi in the webtoon, I still took the breakup pretty hard.
I can’t help feeling wistful about Yumi’s relationship with Babi, because I honestly feel like there was nothing terribly wrong with their relationship.
Babi had been a committed, supportive, sweet boyfriend, and yes, his heart had wavered once, but in the grand scheme of things, like I’ve explained earlier, I don’t see it as such a terrible transgression.
It matters more to me, that he chose Yumi again and again, and it makes me so sad, that Yumi just doesn’t feel able to continue this relationship, at this point in her life.
Everyone is different, and has different priorities and bottom lines when it comes to life and relationships, so while someone else in Yumi’s shoes might have been happy to continue with the relationship, and just wait and hope for Love to come back, that’s not ok for Yumi.
And, I have to respect that, even though I feel deeply wistful for the could’ve beens, with Babi.
Some viewers feel that because we didn’t learn much about Babi’s cell town, it shows that Babi’s a person who withholds parts of himself from the relationship, and y’know, I personally don’t agree with that.
I feel that it was more of a narrative decision, to make the earthquake more shocking to us as viewers.
When it comes to withholding the truth, I would argue that Woong withheld the truth too, from Yumi, and on pretty important things too.
The difference between them is, Woong chose to break up with Yumi, while Babi chose to commit himself to Yumi, and I.. feel quite bereft, that that isn’t working out.
It hurts even more, when we see that wistful expression on Babi’s face as he flies out of Korea, as we learn that he really isn’t seeing anyone, even though he’d told Yumi that he was.
That reminds me again, of how he’d told Yumi that he’d gone on that blind date before, when he hadn’t.
I wish he wouldn’t do that, because I want Yumi to know that he’s still in love with her, but I understand his heart behind the lie. It’s his way to letting Yumi know that he’s ok, and she doesn’t have to worry about him.
Which, ack. I just want her to know that he’s not over her, and that he would likely jump at the chance to give their love another chance.
ALL THAT SAID.
I have to concede all over again, that this story is and always has been Yumi’s story and Yumi’s journey.
Love is about decisions, yes, but love is also about readiness and timing, and at that point when Babi and Yumi decided to date again, Yumi just hadn’t been ready to love again.
Even when they were both teary-eyed and choosing each other all over again, when Babi had asked Yumi to marry him, Yumi hadn’t actually been ready to love again.
And y’know, I just can’t argue with that.
As it is in real life as well, this is why some great pairings just don’t work out, because one or both parties just aren’t ready, when the opportunity presents itself.
It is what it is, and we just have to carry on with life, because it’s what we do.
What’s most important, is that by the time we reach the ending credits, we see that Yumi’s grown, and healed, and is ready to embrace whatever life brings her next. And, Love cell is back, and therefore, Yumi’s ready to love as well, if and when the opportunity next presents itself.
I don’t know if Show is coming back for a Season 3 (nothing’s been announced yet, at this point), but I sure hope it does, because I am all ready to root for Yumi’s next season in life, as she continues in her journey to grow, to be true to herself, and to love herself.
And, even if Season 3 doesn’t happen, Show’s done a solid job of demonstrating that Yumi’s in a good place, and will continue to do well, just as she has been, with us watching over her.
Fighting~, Yumi-ah. I’m rooting for you. ❤️
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Relatable, poignant and very worthwhile.