Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Thanks for joining us for this fated commemorative group watch of Winter Sonata! I hope you’re enjoying Trent’s notes; I know I am! 🤩
All of the birth secrets are threatening to come spilling out soon, and it really feels like Show’s messin’ with us. Thankfully we have one another..? 😅
SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:
ZERO SPOILER POLICY
1. We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.
The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD.
ANY AND ALL SPOILERS WILL BE REDACTED to protect first-time viewers in our midst (although, I’d appreciate it if you would save me the trouble of having to redact spoilers, heh 😅).
This includes, but is not limited to, how characters &/or relationships develop, later in the show.
We need to protect the innocent! 😉
2. HOWEVER!! If you’d like to discuss spoilers from a rewatcher’s point of view, I’ve created a SPOILER ZONE for you, where you can discuss all the spoilers you’d like, without the need for spoiler warnings. You can find it here!
Without further ado, here are Trent’s reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
Wooow. So, I have complicated feelings about this episode, y’all. Let’s get into it.
We open back at Jun-sang’s bedside, Yu-jin holding his hand while he relates how he remembers meeting her on the bus back in Chuncheon and she fell asleep on his shoulder.
Yu-jin is all, yay! you get a gold star! ⭐ …and what else do you remember? He’s like, I remember a bit about Sang-hyuk, but not really anyone else.
Yu-jin is all, it’s okay, that’s enough for now. Jun-sang is like, am I really Jun-sang? Are those memories correct? She’s like, yes, they are! They embrace.
Back at her apartment, Yu-jin is shoving stuff in her bag when Jin-sook sails in and is all, whassup girlfriend?
Yu-jin (whose facial expression is super-emotional) is like, Jun-sang…his memories have returned! Jin-sook is all, that’s SO COOL. They embrace.
Cut to Yong-gook at the vet’s clinic where he works, exclaiming into the phone “what?! Jun-sang’s memories are back?”. And of course, Sang-hyuk just happens to be there to hear this weighty tidbit of info; he immediately rushes out.
Then we get Chae-rin on the phone; she is also obviously gobsmacked by the news.
We get Sang-hyuk running down the hallway of the hospital, then bursting into Jun-sang’s room, which is empty, bed made up and all. He confirms that “Lee Min-hyung” is probably in the exam room, and that he “got his memories back.”
Jun-sang is standing looking out the hospital window, as a fuzzy parade of memory fragments—including of THE PICTURE, uh-oh 😲— passes across his mind.
Yu-jin finds him and asks him what he was thinking about—wait, wait! He was thinking about the past, right? Jun-sang is all, there are things that are very vivid, but a whole lotta stuff I just don’t remember, and stuff that’s blurry so I’m not sure if it was a dream or it really happened.
Yu-jin is like, you’ll get better! And then they hug, and of course that’s right when Sang-hyuk sees them from down the hall. He turns to leave without approaching them. (Whoa! Different reaction from earlier-days Sang-hyuk, to say the least…🤔).
Cut to Chae-rin, back at the PBA (Piano Bar of Angst), once again self-medicating by pounding down the good stuff. Jin-sook and Yong-gook rush in and want to know what she’s doing there all by her lonesome; she’s just going to make it harder on herself.
Chae-rin is all, have you been to the hospital? And they’re like, not yet…and don’t be mad at Yu-jin, she couldn’t say anything to you because she didn’t want you to feel bad. Chae-rin is all, yeah, that’s our lil’ angel Jung Yu-jin, always so perfect.
Yong-gook is all, we’re here for you, Chae-rin! And Chae-rin is like, yeah right, what b*llsh*t…I’ll be fine (as tears leak down her face and she pounds another glass of the good stuff). Why does everyone call him Jun-sang now? Why does no one remember Min-hyung? Bring back Min-hyung to me!! 😭
Yu-jin is walking out of her apartment building, talking happily to Jun-sang on the phone. Just as she hangs up, Sang-hyuk gets out of his car.
They stare intensely at each other, before shifting to a restaurant. …and 🎶 *John Denver alert* 🎶 (“Perhaps Love” – the solo version, rather than the Placido Domingo duet –- is playing in the background here. I, uh, I was a big John Denver fan back in my youth…).
Sang-hyuk heaves a big sigh and is all, I heard Jun-sang is back in action? Yu-jin is like, yeah, he doesn’t remember everything, but he does remember you. Sang-hyuk is all, yeah, I bet he does.
Yu-jin is like, do you want to see him? And Sang-hyuk is all, maybe never? Is never good? (Okay, he just says “maybe next time,” but same diff, right?).
Sang-hyuk is like, Yu-jin, look, I don’t regret not telling you about him, I’d do the same thing again. I wanted you to go on without that psychic burden, because…you’re my first love, you know? I’ll leave you…I don’t want to lose you to Jun-sang twice.
And of course at this, Yu-jin gets all teary-face again and is like, I’ll be punished for hurting you like this (😳).
Sang-hyuk is all, don’t say that, I’m not hurt, I’m actually fine, it just hurts to see you crying, so don’t do that. You know, it’s funny, Jun-sang is trying to remember you, and now I have to try to forget you 🤔😭, and I don’t know if I can. So if I call you, or ask to see you, or hold your hand, don’t do it, don’t agree…can you do that for me? Let this be the last time I make you cry..
(And I’d been wondering if Sang-hyuk would ever get to join the Party of the Lachrymose—I can’t recall him ever crying before this—but at this, he finally gets his big shot to try on teary face, and…not bad, my man!
Even though, of course, Yu-jin has already put out approximately four times as much volume on the tear front in just this scene alone. But she’s an old pro, can’t judge the rookies by her standard).
So, yeah, I’m just a wee bit be-boggled here, because 1) Sang-hyuk seems to be not only actually acknowledging reality, and accepting reality, he’s even acting both sanely and admirably, which 2) what did you do with my OBSESSIVE, EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE Sang-hyuk, show? I don’t think I was quite prepared for this level of personality transplant! (I’m also not convinced it’s entirely organic or believable, but okay, I can work with it…).
Now we’re treated to a morose Sang-hyuk walking aimlessly through the streets, and he gets his own mini-montage of “Sang-hyuk ‘n Yu-jin Happy Together Greatest Hits,” which is usually the exclusive province of Mr. Lee Min-hyung/Kang Jun-sang, so.
From there, we move to a stone-faced Sang-hyuk informing his parents that he and Yu-jin will not be getting married after all, and he will not be taking any further questions at this time, thankyewverymuch.
Continuing on with the “Sang-hyuk as sudden oracle of wisdom” theme, he says that he thought he loved her, but he was maybe just obsessed with her, and forced her to stay with him to prevent her from being with someone else, and thereby hurt her, and it’s just not good for either of them.
MY DUDE! You’ve been reading these recaps and comment threads, haven’t you?!! SANG-HYUK IS A TIME TRAVELER, Y’ALL! 😉😁
Back at the hospital, Jun-sang and Yu-jin are enjoying a moment, when piano mom finally shows up (I guess she got back from her Japan trip?). She’s all, Jun-sang? And he’s like, yo! ‘s me, mom…
Jump down to Chuncheon, Yu-jin’s mom is talking to a framed picture of her dearly departed husband about how Sang-hyuk has told her he is leaving Yu-jin, and sending her to be with the man she loves.
Mom says this may be best for Yu-jin (oh, now you admit it!), but she still feels bad for Sang-hyuk. And we get a lingering shot of Yu-jin dad’s photo…
…right before we jump back to the hospital room, where Jun-sang is asking piano mom who his father is. And OH, HELLO! Like that’s not a symbolically disturbing juxtaposition, YIKES 😱
Jun-sang is like, did I know who my father was when I was Jun-sang? And Mi-hee is all, no, I never told you.
Jun-sang is like, if it’s hurtful, you don’t have to answer, and she’s all, when I was young, I loved someone…and I’ve never forgotten him once. Even though he left me, forgot about me…and died. I was angry, that he could forget me and be happy, and it’s been decades and it still hurts, but I could endure it because I had you. So it doesn’t matter to me who your father is. (Not the point! It may just matter to certain others in our story!!).
And well, friends, I think we need to pause here and take stock, because I feel deep misgivings stirring at the way things seem to be setting up.
I did mention at the end of last episode how I thought that birth secrets might be coming to the fore…and remember all the way back in episode 2 where I made reference to “the whole ‘are they half-siblings’ bombshell that’s sitting unexploded on the carpet,” and it is with fear and trembling that I speculate that the odds of that very same bombshell blowing up at some point soon seem to be rising rather sharply 💣💥💀.
Talk me down from the ledge, here, y’all…😬
ANYWAY. Having primed that particular pump, show moves on to show us Jun-sang checking out of the hospital, and then moving into a new house he’s just bought (rented?), having apparently decided that if he’s going to have a relationship with Yu-jin, just chillin’ in a hotel suite semi-permanently is not a good look.
So Yu-jin comes by to help him get moved in and decorate the place to look homey, and it’s all very cute and domestic.
Then they sit down for an impromptu quiz, where Yu-jin asks Jun-sang various details about their past life, none of which he can answer, alas, so clearly his memory is still really spotty.
She asks about what item of hers he had with him before their last meeting, and he correctly says the mittens–but only because she’d told him that before, not because he actually remembered. So Yu-jin is all, don’t worry about it, you’ll eventually remember everything.
Well, now we move to a scene in which the old homeroom teacher is in town to (rather improbably) receive some sort of teaching award, so he calls the old gang to come meet him at a restaurant to say hi and get caught up.
(Which, c’mon, is super-implausible on its face. I mean, I know some students are more special and memorable than others, but this exact group from out of a whole class that itself graduated ten years ago?).
Unfortunately, no one has thought to clue in teacher to the interpersonal dynamics at play, with the result that he’s invited the whole group (Chae-rin, Sang-hyuk, Jin-sook, Yong-gook, Yu-jin).
The first four are sitting with him chatting when he looks at his watch and wonders aloud why Jung Yu-jin is late, at which everyone gets that sort of “there’s a turd in the punchbowl” look on their faces, and teacher is all, Sang-hyuk! I already heard from Yong-gook that you aren’t getting married to Yu-jin, but I called her anyway, because you have to talk it out like adults! (🙄).
And just then, Yu-jin and Jun-sang walk in…also unaware that the others were going to be there. So things are super-awkward for a couple of minutes, until Chae-rin is like, I’m outta here, followed shortly afterwards by Sang-hyuk, who’s all, later dudes.
Sang-hyuk tracks down Chae-rin and is all, are you alright? And she’s like, WTF? Of course I’m not alright. Am I the only one feeling messed up about this whole situation, huh?
Back in the restaurant, teacher realizes he’s killed the buzz, so he slouches off into the night.
Then Yu-jin and Jun-sang both apologize to Jin-sook and Yong-gook. Yong-gook, who’s been pounding some brewskis 🍻🍺, says, yeah, you only remember Yu-jin and being Jun-sang, and it’s fine if you don’t remember me and Jin-sook but what about not remember Sang-hyuk and how much you hurt him, EVEN AFTER YOU DIED, HUH? Drunk logic, man, it’s great.
So eventually he stomps out, pursued by Jin-sook, and our couple is left sitting there feeling all bad and out of sorts, with Jun-sang asking, so what kind of person was Kang Jun-sang? It sounds like he was kind of an asshole?
So next day, bright and sunny, Jun-sang meets Yu-jin out on the street, and he’s all, let’s go! Let me borrow your memories! And she’s like, huh? And he’s all, let’s take a field trip to Chuncheon, and you can show me around all the stuff we used to do.
So they ride the bus down, and she falls asleep on his shoulder again. They climb over the school fence again, and then take the ferry out to Namiseom, where they ride the tandem bike, and play phantom volleyball together.
They sit at the picnic table, and she tells him how they made little snow people, and he made them kiss. Then he’s all, did we kiss too? And Yu-jin is all kind of embarrassed, and so he leans in close and is all, was it like this?
And they stare intently at each other, and then he backs off and is like…but I don’t really remember it.
They go out to the dock, and Jun-sang skips some rocks, and Yu-jin tells him about how this was where they all came and held their own memorial service for him after they learned of his death.
Then Yu-jin asks him if he wanted to recover all his memories because of her, if that’s why he wanted to come here. And Jun-sang is like, I also wanted to get them back for me, to be the Jun-sang that you remember.
Yu-jin is all, do remember what you said to me as Min-hyung? You asked why do I only have sad thoughts in this beautiful place? And I think you were right. Why do we only remember and think about the past, when we have so many memories to make together?
Let’s just stop trying to recover more past memories, it doesn’t matter to me if you don’t remember anything more. The one I love isn’t the Jun-sang in my memories, it’s you, who are standing right here with me.
Then he embraces her, on the dock with the lake and the beautiful hills forming the backdrop. 💞💗
We jump to Jun-sang striding into his old office at Marcian, and a perked-up minion asking if he should call him “Director Lee” or “Director Kang”?
Minion is all, should you be back already? I’m sure you’re physically fine, but doesn’t the ol’ bean need some more time to sort it all out and get everything right and proper in the headspace? Don’t you need some treatment to get all the memories back?
Jun-sang is all, no, I’m just going to leave it as is. I believe they were good memories, so it will be nice to recover little by little.
So Jun-sang is driving, and he glances over to the sidewalk to see a mother putting her little girl’s mittens on, and that triggers a flashback to a memory of Jun-sang with Yu-jin’s pink mittens.
So then he calls up piano mom, and asks her if she kept all his stuff at the place in Chuncheon. And she’s like yes? And he’s all, including what I was wearing when I had the accident?
And she’s like…I think so? (Uh, unlikely? Major trauma injury, aren’t they likely to just cut the clothes off in the ER?).
Jun-sang goes busting into Yu-jin’s work (one happy consequence of ditching the whole Sang-hyuk marriage scenario appears to be Yu-jin going back to her old job, yay!) and tells Jeong-ah that he’s kidnapping Yu-jin for the afternoon, please and thank you.
Then they jet down to Jun-sang’s house in Chuncheon, where Jun-sang bustles around looking in various closets and bureaus. During which time, Yu-jin finds his box of mementos, including the old note she wrote to Jun-sang.
Meanwhile, Jun-sang has found the coat, with the pink mittens in the pocket.
Jun-sang comes in and solemnly presents Yu-jin with her pink mittens. Then they go to the market where she was originally waiting for him when his accident occurs.
That part he still can’t remember, so she goes off to get them coffee, and it starts to gently snow, and then he has another memory flashback.
Yu-jin comes back and calls his name, and he turns and is like, we were supposed to meet here, weren’t we? I remember…what it was I wanted to tell you on that day. Yu-jin. I love you. 💖
So. Overall, this was one of those rare happy episodes.
The looming disaster of relationship and marriage to Sang-hyuk is suddenly off the table, and the Min-hyung/Jun-sang identity conundrum has seemingly been resolved, and the road is seemingly open for Yu-jin and Jun-sang to be together, and everyone at least accepts that, even if some of them aren’t particularly happy about it.
And there are a number of cute and even a couple approaching-kinda-sorta-swoony moments to serve as balm to wounded, angst-ridden hearts.
But then! Ah, a serpent coils in paradise, my friends 🐍.
We’ve got five episodes left, and it is 100% certain for sure that our couple will not be riding unbothered and untouched into the sunset.
And there has been ample foreshadowing that past generation shenanigans are lurking, and are about to rise up and swamp us all. Steel your hearts, beloveds. FORTIFY THEM!
Following on last episode’s episode-ending love confession from Jun-sang, we have moved to a bench, where Yu-jin is expressing that she also really wanted to tell Jun-sang back then that she loved him.
Then she’s right back on the ol’ “did you remember anything else?” train, which, I thought we weren’t going to do that anymore?
Regardless, Jun-sang is all, yeah, I remember lots of stuff from school, and he proceeds to list a few, including that he “was mean to you, and gave you a hard time.” He’s like, I remember Polaris, and how that must be why you named your company that, right?
We jump to Sang-hyuk at the radio station, staring off into the distance. Yoo Yeol is musing about their interview with Kang Mi-hee, which is coming up shortly.
Just then he gets called out for a visitor, who turns out to be Yu-jin’s mom, who is there to return his parents’ wedding gifts and the money that he gave to Yu-jin’s mom.
Mom is super-apologetic, while Sang-hyuk is all gracious and like, I just wanted to make her happy and have kids that looked like her, etc. etc.
Back to the bench with our couple, and Yu-jin is all, let’s go back to the hospital tomorrow. The doctor said once you start to remember more stuff, it should all come back soon. Let’s go to the hospital and get those memories! (and…is it like the memory supermarket here, or what?).
Jun-sang is a little more cautious, he’s all, what if I remember something really terrible? (FORESHADOWING, yes, thank you show!) Yu-jin is like, silly, you don’t have terrible memories anymore (oh, sweet summer child Yu-jin, naive to the last…).
Cut to Kang Mi-hee showing up at the radio station for her interview. Sang-hyuk is just walking Yu-jin’s mom out when they run into Mi-hee in the hallway.
Both faces freeze; Yu-jin’s mom slowly walks up, bows…Mi-hee nods (interesting demonstration of social hierarchy gradations?).
Yu-jin’s mom says, it’s been a very long time. Mi-hee is all, yes…I heard about Hyun-soo (Yu-jin’s dad). Yu-jin’s mom is like, I read about you often in the papers.
Then they mutually take their leave; Mi-hee asks Sang-hyuk how he knows her, and he responds that she’s the mother of a friend of his. (Oh boy, is that the whistle of the train coming down the tracks that I hear? 🚆)…
Sang-hyuk goes on, do you remember a Ms. Jung Yu-jin? A range of expressions parades across Mi-hee’s face in quick succession, and then she’s all, that lady is Jung Yu-jin’s mother? Yes, he says.
Back on the bus, Yu-jin has once again dozed off on Jun-sang’s shoulder. Then standing outside the front of her house, he says this is where she put her mittens on him. Yu-jin is all, and then you came in, and Jun-sang is like, I came in your house? She’s all, yeah, you came in for dinner.
And he’s like, oh, right, right…so why did I leave so suddenly? Did something happen? Yu-jin is all, no, dinner was ready, but you weren’t there…and that’s the last time I saw you. So, why did you do that?
(Oh sure, now she asks…I thought it was weird at the time that she did make more of a fuss about being suddenly blown off after she’d made him dinner).
Jun-sang gets a puzzled look, and Yu-jin is like, you don’t remember, do you?
Just then, someone calls her name, and it’s her mom, walking back home after her expedition to Seoul to see Sang-hyuk. Jun-sang greets Yu-jin’s mother, and then sends them on to home while he heads back up to Seoul.
Back home, Yu-jin and her mom are folding laundry, and mom asks if Jun-sang has remembered any more. Yu-jin is all, I think he’s remembered almost everything, and mom is like, that’s nice.
Back in her room, Mi-hee is contemplating all the little bits of information she’s heard from and about Yu-jin.
She picks up the phone and calls Jun-sang, who tells her he’s down in Chuncheon. She asks if he’ll be up in the morning to see her before she leaves for Japan; she has something to tell him. Jun-sang says he will.
The next morning Jun-sang is out waiting at the bus terminal when the (perpetually late) Yu-jin comes charging up.
Cut to them running into the hotel lobby just as Mi-hee is getting ready to leave. Mi-hee’s face falls a bit to see that Yu-jin is with Jun-sang.
Jun-sang goes off to gather her luggage, leaving Yu-jin and Mi-hee face to face. They greet each other, and then Mi-hee is all, you look like your father.
Yu-jin is like, say what? And Mi-hee is all, oh, nothing, I just asked if you look like your father? Yu-jin is like, yes, I’ve often heard that I look like my father.
Just then, Jun-sang strolls up with the luggage, and as they’re getting Mi-hee loaded up, he’s all, oh, what was it you wanted to tell me? Mi-hee glances over at Yu-jin and then is all, I’ll tell you when I get back.
And C’MON, Mi-hee. If we have a major birth secrets sitch on our hands, with the possibility of a little INCEST implicated—since your son and his nice lady, not to mention possible half-sister, are clearly thick as thieves—are you gonna just trust that things haven’t progressed to a dangerous degree (if you know what I mean, and I think you do, even if you are stuck in an early 2000s retro melo) and it will all just wait until you get back from Japan?
Help me understand here, because I’m not seeing a whole lotta responsible behavior here (honestly, Mi-hee has never struck me as a paragon of responsibility, so, par for the course I guess. Still. 🤬😤).
Back in the office, Jun-sang is hanging out with minion, and he invites him to come over to his new place tomorrow night for dinner.
Minion is all, cool…new house, isn’t it time for maybe a wedding, eh? OR, maybe you could just…live with her? (so, minion is clearly the free thinker in this crew).
Jun-sang has taken apart his jigsaw puzzle (that we saw him finishing off, with Yu-jin’s final-piece assistance, in the early episodes) so that he can work it again.
As he’s working on it, he is having fuzzy memory recalls of his previous time as Jun-sang, interacting with Sang-hyuk and Sang-hyuk’s father.
Then off to the grocery store, where Jun-sang and Yu-jin are shopping. They head back to Jun-sang’s place and are unloading groceries, when Jun-sang says, feels like we’re a married couple…it feels like we got married. I feel like I need to invite some friends over for a housewarming and celebration.
Then he’s like, tomorrow is my birthday. Yu-jin is all, what the heck? And he’s like, yeah! So let’s make all this food, and have a celebration! I invited my minion, so…can you help me with the cooking? 😒 And I mean, I gotta say…this seems like a pretty typical guy thing to do, unfortunately…
Cut to a random street somewhere, Sang-hyuk is walking down it. He catches sight of a woman from behind, he starts running toward her; he must think it looks like Yu-jin, but then she turns around and it’s not Yu-jin.
Just then, Yong-gook strolls up and is all, Sang-hyuk, what are you doing here? They retire to a restaurant where Sang-hyuk drinks and puffs away on a cigarette.
Yong-gook asks if he’s okay, and Sang-hyuk is all, yeah, sure, why not. Actually, I feel like I’m a bit too alright, you know? It’s like, it doesn’t feel like it really happened. It’s like, am I still with her? Even when I haven’t seen her for a few weeks, it feels like I’m still with her. But I do miss her a lot…I had so many things I wanted to do with Yu-jin, that I haven’t had a chance to do.
So then Yong-gook is all, well, you know, time heals all wounds, and Sang-hyuk is like, how much time? If we’re apart longer than we were together, is that long enough?
We move to the breakfast table in Yu-jin’s apartment, where she and Jin-sook are eating.
Jin-sook is all, I’m so tired…Chae-rin is a workaholic these days, always rearranging stuff at the boutique. I get she’s having a hard time because of Jun-sa….oops.
And Yu-jin is all, so Chae-rin is having a hard time? Jin-sook is like, hey, just between us, how long do we have to be like this? I know Yong-gook was kinda mean last time, but I can’t go on like this…and I don’t like to see you guys feeling all guilty either, like you did something terribly wrong (which is, magnanimous of Jin-sook, I hafta say, after how she was being all Ms. Moral Highground earlier).
So then Yu-jin is all, you know, he remembers you guys now. And Jin-sook is all, let’s all hang out together, you know, face it as a team! Yong-gook and I will set a date and place!
Yu-jin is like, you don’t have to try that hard…I think it’s still hard for Sang-hyuk and Chae-rin, you know? Let’s do it later…like, a long time later? BUT! Would you like to come to Jun-sang’s place today? It’s his birthday.
We shift to the boutique, where Jin-sook is on the phone with Yong-gook and is all, it’s Jun-sang’s birthday today, are you going to come? I promised Yu-jin I’d get everyone to come. (Aaaand of course Chae-rin overhears this convo, because of course she does).
Then Jin-sook asks Yong-gook if he told Sang-hyuk, and he’s all, are you crazy? And Jin-sook is all, we can’t continue like this…I’ll tell Sang-hyuk and Chae-rin, you just show up, right? So, yeah, this has social disaster written all over it, right?
Jin-sook hangs up, and turns around to see Chae-rin listening to everything (although naturally Jin-sook was broadcasting at pretty good volume anyway). Chae-rin is all, just go. Go!
Shift to Sang-hyuk sitting alone in the dark at the station, when his phone rings. It’s Yong-gook, telling him about Jun-sang’s birthday. Sang-hyuk is all, I have to record this evening, I’ll have to think about it.
(Pause to note how amazing it is that so far as I can tell, Jun-sang didn’t even ask for Jin-sook and Yong-gook to be invited, and now they’re extending invites to others on their own initiative. Whew!).
Cut to Jun-sang’s, and he’s like, did we make too much stuff? So Yu-jin is all, well, Jin-sook might come by, and Jun-sang is like, really? And Yu-jin is all, but everyone else seemed too busy! 😲 (Oy, this is gonna be bad, isn’t it?)
Yu-jin wishes him Happy Birthday, and just then the doorbell rings. And…it’s Sang-hyuk, with a vase of flowers. Yu-jin (who answers the door alone) is all…fa…ncy meeting you here!
(I swear, only my solemn duty as your recapper is going to get me through this stretch of intense social embarrassment. Pray for me, y’all 🙏).
Jun-sang appears, and Sang-hyuk is all Happy Birthday! Flowers!💐 Jun-sang is all, thanks! Come in! Sang-hyuk and Yu-jin sit down while Jun-sang goes to the kitchen for coffee.
The former couple starts into some awkward small talk. They make it through the social niceties, and then Jun-sang goes to walk Sang-hyuk out.
Sang-hyuk is all, I never saw her with that face when I was with her…I’m happy for her. Take good care of her, so she doesn’t cry or get hurt. Jun-sang is like, thank you.
Sang-hyuk is all, I should go…oh, I had an interview with your mother for our show. She seems like a nice person. She went to school with my dad. Interesting, isn’t it?
After Sang-hyuk has left, Yong-gook and Jin-sook show up, and then minion and Yu-jin’s colleagues arrive, and they look like they’re all having a nice birthday party, while meanwhile Chae-rin sits alone in the dark at her boutique, and Sang-hyuk sits in the dark at his studio.
After they leave, Jun-sang thanks Yu-jin for helping him find his friends, and she’s all, I didn’t do anything…but you still have one you haven’t found. You should go find Chae-rin, she’s probably worried about how you’re doing. So then Yu-jin says goodnight and heads off to go home. (And…an echo of Min-hyung sending Yu-jin into the hospital to meet with on-his-death-bed Sang-hyuk?).
(And I am inexpressibly glad that that wasn’t nearly as excruciating as I was anticipating! Yay!)
So after Yu-jin has gone, Jun-sang drives to Chae-rin’s boutique to see her. She’s like, you should be birthday partyin’ with Yu-jin, why are you here?
Jun-sang is all, I’ve really hurt you a lot. Chae-rin is all, so are you saying you’re sorry? And he’s like, yes, I’m sorry. She’s all, if you’re sorry, come back to me. (and say what you will about Chae-rin, girl knows what she wants, and isn’t shy about expressing it).
I’ve given up Jun-sang, but Min-hyung liked me, come back to me as Min-hyung! And then she hugs him. You liked me! That was real!
Jun-sang is like, you know we can’t do that. So Chae-rin is all, so then why did you come here? Huh? Did Yu-jin tell you to come comfort me because she felt bad for me?
Jun-sang is all, I came here to see my friend Oh Chae-rin. And she’s like, I don’t need Jun-sang as a friend. I need Min-hyung. Then he’s like, I think you need more time, I’m sorry. Chae-rin is all, I will make you come back to me. You just wait and see. (and, uh, YIKES!)
Next day, Yu-jin and Jun-sang are sitting at the table talking, and he’s like, you know, if I had never transferred to Chuncheon, we wouldn’t have all had a hard time like this…but then I wouldn’t have met you, either. I’m still not sure why I transferred to Chuncheon, though.
And then Yu-jin is all, I know why you transferred, you told me it was to find your father. Jun-sang is all, I really told you that? Yu-jin is like, yeah…has your mom ever told you what your father was like? Jun-sang is all, I think he passed away, so I didn’t want to press her anymore.
Then later, sitting alone, Jun-sang is remembering all the things that he’s heard or been told about who is father might be, with a very perplexed look on his face.
Jump to Sang-hyuk’s house, where his mom is showing him a picture of a prospective match, and telling him he should go out with her, and Sang-hyuk is all, I don’t think I want to meet any girls for awhile, you know?
Mom is all, screw that, I’m tired of you being drunk and depressed all the time because of Yu-jin. Meet and marry someone better! Sang-hyuk runs off to his room. Professor dad comes in and is like, that’s not the way to go about things, just leave him alone.
So then dad heads up to talk to Sang-hyuk, and he’s all, how you doing, son? Look, I know it hasn’t been an easy situation, and it wasn’t easy to give her up.
Then Sang-hyuk is all, you know, I never believed in fate, but I guess it exists. Do you remember Lee Min-hyung, who looked like Kang Jun-sang? Actually, they turned out to be the same person. We thought he died, but he just lost his memories.
Professor dad is all, so does that mean that Jun-sang was alive…the same person I saw at the ski resort? Sang-hyuk is all, the very one! Why, did you know that Kang Mi-hee is Jun-sang’s mother? (this is dad’s shocked face upon hearing this bit of news 😲).
Wheels are turning in professor dad’s head, and Sang-hyuk is like, are you alright? Dad is all, yeah, yeah, well, you should get to bed, you must be tired, hehe.
Professor dad goes looking for Mi-hee in person, and is told that she will be back from Japan in a couple days. So he’s all, this is urgent, is there any way to reach her now?
So Mi-hee is in a meeting with people when she’s handed a phone for “call from Korea, urgent.” Professor dad is all, why didn’t you tell me your son was Jun-sang? Mi-hee is all, I didn’t have to tell you that!
Then he’s all, did you hide it because…he’s my son? And Mi-hee is like…what are you talking about?
(And dammit, I’m as confused as these goobers! Guys, don’t you at least know the potential range of possibilities for the parentage of the person in question, at least as and whether it involves you personally? I mean, presumably you were there (or not) and conscious, so…).
Anyway, professor dad is all, is he my son? Is he? And Mi-hee is all, no, he has nothing to do with you. So professor dad is like, then whose son is he? Mi-hee is all, I don’t have to answer that. Bye.
As professor dad is walking down the stairs (apparently this is piano mom’s building), he runs into Jun-sang, so they go to have coffee together.
Professor dad is all, are you really Kang Jun-sang, and Jun-sang is like, in the flesh, my man! I wanted to meet you to ask you something, actually. You told me at the ski resort that I had visited your office back in the day. Did I perchance ask you about my father? Do you know who my father is?
Professor dad (who honestly looks like he’s about to stroke out at this point) is like, it…could be someone I know. Do you want to know who it is? Jun-sang is like, I think I do, even though it’s been so long.
Then professor dad is all, well, has your mom told you anything? Jun-sang is like, not really, she didn’t want to talk about it, but I think he passed away.
So then professor dad really looks like he’s about to stroke out (plus, dramatic piano music, oh noes!), as he recalls Mi-hee’s reaction when he told her Hyun-soo had died.
Then Jun-sang asks him, can you think of a possible candidate? Professor dad is all, nope. Could be someone I know, but can’t think of who. 😒🤨🤔
So THEN professor dad is all, maybe I shouldn’t say this, but perhaps you shouldn’t try to find out, if you’re mom hasn’t told you. Maybe she’ll tell you when the time is right. (And now I’m the one about to stroke out, because seriously?! 🐮💩).
So back at the office, Jun-sang is super pensive, and minion is getting irritated, he’s all, you’ve got memories, you’ve got your main squeeze, what else do you want?
Jun-sang is like, muh daddy! It’s like a weight on my chest for some reason. Minion is all, lemme tell you how to solve that: become a daddy yourself!
Cut to professor dad in his dark office, looking at THE PICTURE with HEAVY THOUGHTS face. (And man, show is either completely telegraphing the IT’S HYUN-SOO message, or it is throwing the most aggravating red herring misdirection in the history of misdirections).
Mi-hee’s plane lands and she asks to be taken to Chuncheon. Jun-sang and Yu-jin meet up, and she smacks him because he’s been out of touch all day and she was worried.
So they go for a stroll, and Yu-jin is all, this is how my parents used to “date” when they didn’t have any money, just go walking around holding hands in the neighborhood.
Jun-sang asks what her father was like, and she’s all, he was sweet…like you. Then Yu-jin asks if he’s been having a hard time because of his father, and Jun-sang is no, it’s not that.
Then they hear organ music from a nearby church, and so they poke their heads in, and it’s a small wedding ceremony underway. So they sit down to observe (it’s actually a practice for the real ceremony tomorrow).
So then after it’s over, Jun-sang and Yu-jin go up and read over the vows.
And Yu-jin kneels to pray, and Jun-sang asks her what she’s praying for, and she says she’s expressing her gratitude for the day, as well as her gratitude to be with him. So then he also kneels, and she tells him to pray too.
Jun-sang prays…I’m with a woman I love, and who I want to be with until our hair turns white. I want to father children who have her eyes, and be the strong arms and legs for them and her…I love you.
We cut to Mi-hee, dropped off at Yu-jin’s mother’s house. She knocks, and she and Yu-jin’s mom sit down for tea. Mi-hee is all, do you know why I’m here, and mom is all, I’m not sure.
Mi-hee is all, your daughter’s name is Jung Yu-jin? I’m sure you’ve heard the name Kang Jun-sang…he’s my son.
Back to the church, Jun-sang and Yu-jin stand in front of the altar, and he puts the star pendant necklace back around her neck, then asks her if she’ll marry him. She nods yes. He leans in, she closes her eyes, he brushes her lips in a VERY chaste kiss.
And that’s it, folks. Sit with that for a week, huh? Whew.
This is messing with me, y’all, it surely is.