Bubblegum episode 10 recap

Side dish: If this episode inspires you to make something you’ve never tried before, how about making your own butter? Here’s a recipe from Rose Water and Orange Blossoms.


Episode Recap

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On his way out of his clinic, traditional doctor, Ri Hwan (Lee Dong Wook) tells his co-worker and flatmate, Ji Hoon (Seung Joon) that he’s going home because his mother, Sun Young (Bae Jong Ok), an Alzheimer’s patient, has woken up and regained her memory of him. Ji Hoon jokes with him until Ri Hwan cracks a smile, then sends him on his way.

At home, Ri Hwan runs into Aunt Gong Joo (Seo Jung Yeon), who is grabbing a bite while Sun Young sleeps. Ri Hwan has removed all evidence of himself from Sun Young’s room so as not to trouble her, but the two of them are more concerned about radio producer, Haeng Ah (Jung Ryeo Won).

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Sad chaebol dentist, Yi Seul (Park Hee Von) gets a call from her flamboyant mother, Seul Mo (Park Joon Geum), informing her that she’s at Ri Hwan’s clinic to confront him. Yi Seul takes off running after Seul Mo hangs up, but not fast enough to save Ji Hoon, who is rooting around Ri Hwan’s desk. Looking at the nameplate on the desk, Seul Mo assumes that Ji Hoon is Ri Hwan, and the two of them end up talking at cross-purposes until Seul Mo belatedly notices the name tag on his lab coat, and flounces out of the room.

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In her hurry to escape her embarrassment, Seul Mo misses the return of Ri Hwan, followed shortly by a frantic Yi Seul. Instead of the expected scene, Yi Seul is embarrassed to find herself having tea with Ri Hwan. Unable to stand it anymore, she confesses to him about telling Haeng Ah to stay away from him. When Ri Hwan tries to leave, she grabs on to his coat, and begs him to stay with her, since she can help his mother more than Haeng Ah can.

We don’t hear Ri Hwan’s response, because the next thing we see is Yi Seul returning to her own office, where Seul Mo has made herself comfortable. Yi Seul makes the mistake of revealing the extent of her feelings for Ri Hwan, emphasizing what a good person he is. Seul Mo is unable to leave the situation alone, even going so far as to ignore Yi Seul’s request to not let her hit rock bottom. Seul Mo points out that rock bottom is very far down, then makes her exit.

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At the hospital, Ri Hwan consults with Sun Young’s doctor and colleague, Sang Gyoo. After Ri Hwan catches Sang Gyoo up on Sun Young’s symptoms, Sang Gyoo asks about Ri Hwan, himself. Ri Hwan insists that he’s fine, even though the trauma of having his mother forget him is obviously fresh, and refuses Sang Gyoo’s suggestion of counselling. When Sang Gyoo asks Ri Hwan what he would recommend if he was his own patient, Ri Hwan robotically answers that he’d tell himself to open up about his hurt, and to lean on someone. When Sang Gyoo asks if Ri Hwan has someone to lean on, Ri Hwan doesn’t answer.

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Instead, Ri Hwan goes to visit Haeng Ah at work. At first she’s worried that something has happened to Sun Young to prompt his visit, but he reassures her that he just wants a hug. Haeng Ah reluctantly gives him one, but when she tries to pull away, he won’t let go and she hugs him again.

The next day, Ri Hwan is backed up with patients at work, and can’t help out at home. Sun Young refuses to let Haeng Ah leaves, and berates her for leaving her alone even to go to the bathroom. When Aunt Gong Joo brings Sun Young her pills, Sun Young believes that they’re Haeng Ah’s and berates her again for not listening. When Haeng Ah points out that they’re her pills, Sun Young insists that she’s tired and goes to the bedroom.

Back at the radio station, station manager, Dong Il (Park Won Sang) is filling in for Haeng Ah during the show of diva DJ, Se Young (Kim Jung Nan). Se Young isn’t impressed with Dong Il’s work, but Dong Il is too busy avoiding the gaze of producer Tae Hee (Kim Ri Na) from outside the DJ booth. Dong Il flashes back to bumping into Ji Hoon, who is Tae Hee’s ex-boyfriend, at a chicken restaurant. The two men spent the evening consoling each other over their women problems, only to realize that they’re talking about the same woman; Tae Hee.

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Back in the present, Dong Il snaps out of his reverie at the arrival of Haeng Ah, who takes over the broadcast. After it’s over, he takes Haeng Ah aside to tell her that he will continue to fill in for her as required, but that she needs to eat something in the meantime.

Back at home, Ri Hwan waits for Haeng Ah, but instead of going inside when she gets home, they sit outside the house and talk. Haeng Ah tells Ri Hwan the story of a man with memory loss, who only remembers up to the point of dating his wife, and every day he asks him to marry her. In the guise of imitating the man in the story, Ri Hwan asks Haeng Ah to marry him, and tells her that he loves her.

Back in their separate rooms, Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah text each other about a trip they’ll take by throwing a dart at the map. Their conversation via text is cheerful, but in reality neither one is smiling.

The next morning, Sun Young throws a temper tantrum when she can’t see Haeng Ah. Over the phone, Sun Young demands that Haeng Ah look into finding a doctor from her hospital, a woman who works in respiratory internal medicine and wears a polka dot pattern dress. Haeng Ah is forced to ditch work again, but her colleagues are all supportive as she leaves.

Haeng Ah goes to the hospital where Sun Young used to work to find this mysterious doctor, but can’t overcome her fear of hospitals and ends up lurking outside, trying and failing to call Ri Hwan.

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Dong Il, meanwhile, calls up former DJ and Haeng Ah’s ex-boyfriend, Suk Joon (Lee Jong Hyuk) to cancel on meeting up, since he has to take over for Haeng Ah. Suk Joon is worried to hear of Haeng Ah’s situation, and calls her, but she misses the call as she stumbles around the hospital. Haeng Ah makes it to a nurses’ station to ask about a woman in respiratory internal medicine in a polka dot dress, but the nurses are confused and dismissive. Confronted by the sights and sounds of a hospital, it’s not long before Haeng Ah passes out. The nurse answers Haeng Ah’s ringing phone, alerting Suk Joon to Haeng Ah’s unconscious state.

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Ri Hwan comes running to the hospital and finds an unconscious Haeng Ah, with Suk Joon at his bedside. Suk Joon doesn’t say much, but wonders if this will be the last time this happens, then leaves. As Ri Hwan sits with the unconscious Haeng Ah, her phone rings with a call from Sun Young. Ri Hwan picks up and silently listens to a panicky Sun Young berating Haeng Ah. When Haeng Ah finally wakes up, Ri Hwan covers her eyes, since she’s in an ER, but Haeng Ah sits up and asks for his help to leave. Ri Hwan carries her through the ER and out of the hospital.

Back at home, Ri Hwan sits at Sun Young’s bedside while Sun Young sleeps. He gets a text from Haeng Ah, asking him to find the woman in the polka dot dress, since she can’t return to the hospital. Ri Hwan goes through his mother’s photo album, only to discover a picture of Sun Young with Haeng Ah’s father in a polka dot dress. Ri Hwan realizes that the person Sun Young was looking for was herself, and starts crying.

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That night, he goes to visit Sang Gyoo, and lays out the situation for him. Sang Gyoo is concerned about Haeng Ah, but Ri Hwan promises to take care of it. Instead, he goes to the park with his remote control car and spins it around in circles as he thinks back to all the people telling him to let Haeng Ah go. The next day, when Sun Young remembers Ri Hwan, he tells her that Haeng Ah is going to go away. Sun Young has no idea why Ri Hwan is so upset, but tries to comfort him anyway.

The next stop on Ri Hwan’s tour of goodbyes is Uncle Gangster and Aunt Gong Joo’s restaurant. After telling Uncle Gangster that he won’t be returning, he’s chased down by Dong Hwa (Ko Bo Gyeol), who begs him to come back. Instead, Ri Hwan tells her to be good and walks away. Back at the house, Ri Hwan packs up Haeng Ah’s stuff as Ji Hoon looks on. Afterwards, he goes to meet with Suk Joon and gives him Haeng Ah’s bracelet, telling Suk Joon that he’s taking himself out of the picture.

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Finally, Ri Hwan meets up with Haeng Ah at the playground near her house. He makes her promise that she’ll get treatment for her phobia, then resolutely breaks up with her. He tells her that he won’t see her anymore at all, then tries to leave as she cries. When Haeng Ah grabs on to his hand, Ri Hwan makes her let go and walks away. She follows him, but when he finally bursts into tears himself, she stops short. The two of them cry their hearts out as he finally walks away, straight into the arms of Haeng Ah’s father, who tells him that it’s okay.

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Comments

I can’t keep complaining that this show isn’t what it billed itself as, so I’m going to let that go and talk about the show I have, instead of the show I expected.

Let’s start with the positive: First, I enjoyed the exchange between Seul Mo and Ji Hoon when she mistook him for Ri Hwan. Second, I laughed when Dong Il pointed out that he didn’t mind subbing in for Haeng Ah since he enjoyed hanging out with the weirdos that made up her crew (me too, Dong Il. Me too). Third, I loved how supportive Haeng Ah’s friends were in the face of Sun Young’s illness and Haeng Ah’s determination to help Sun Young. And lastly, I really hope Dong Il and Tae Hee can get together, because his fear of her is pretty hilarious.

There was a lot to like in this episode, but when it came to Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah, it seemed as if the show unwittingly descended into farce. The constant tragic looks, their sad moments together, Ri Hwan’s doom-like pronouncements all culminated in the final scene, which played like a parody. The only thing that saved it from reaching the level of madTV’s Korean drama was the surprise inclusion of Haeng Ah’s dad at the end. Though, I have no idea what that was about either; maybe the writers will let us know with yet another flashback.


Bubblegum (풍선껌)

Bubblegum

 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 || series review

8 Comments

  • I was confused by RH’s behaviour in this episode because it was the exact opposite of the previous ep but on the other hand im actually pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t haeng ah who asked for the breakup because her character had always seemed weaker to me. for her to be the one to hold on to the relationship, that was a nice reversal. i was pretty annoyed with their breakup scene and didn’t want to cry even though RH’s crying was breaking my heart but when HA’s dad appeared the tears were uncontrollable, literally. it was a genius inclusion in my opinion because of what HA’s dad meant to RH and it really drove in the fact that RH actually knew that he wasn’t able to protect HA through this move. hopefully we’ll see more smiles in ep11, i’m kinda tired of becoming a sobbing mess for 4 episodes straight haha

    • I guess it was supposed to signify that he’s hit his breaking point that he broke up with her over this. Honestly, I’m never impressed by noble idiocy, because it implies that the other person is too weak to make up their own mind. Instead of this big drama, I would have preferred it if the two of them could have had a serious conversation on the subject like adults. On the other hand, no one ever made a tv show about two mature, well-adjusted people getting together.

  • RH: “The whole world is telling us to break up. You were right that we shouldn’t do this because we like each other….”
    When Majority of people decide on something, doesn’t means when it’s a popular view, thus it should be the right view. Namely that HA and RH are bad for each other, and will torture each other endlessly BLAH BLAH BLAH? Forget what TaeHee, SY, Aunt Princess or Sukjoon said… , by the way, all these few people including Mom, doesn’t mounts to “the Whole world”. Are there not others (Dong IL, Ji Hoon, Secret Garden Uncle…) that will fully support and cheer them on? Even if there are none that cheer them on, Can’t they just hang on and let times itself prove, that they are really meant for each other. …. What’s about the confession on if they breakup, they will comes back together….. in the beginning and in the end was HA?
    This ep doesn’t make any sense, that it suddenly depart from it usual tones, and faded into greys.
    The swing where memories are sweet and pure and sincere, because a place where hearts died, people forsaken, times stop…. Did the Writer fallen ill and someone else took over to write the story. Or Who some virus creep into the writer’s mind and she/he started to change the main leads’ characters? Why in KD always should any OTP listen to the whole world? Are not KD suppose to make us believe, true love don’t need to listen to the whole world crap?

    • I don’t know… this show jumped off a cliff into my least favourite story trope of noble idiocy. Like you said, it misses the whole point of the show that Ri Hwan would break up with Haeng Ah over this. Hopefully they’ll bounce back in the next episode?

  • Yi Seul is not your usual 2nd lead but eventhough her character is kinda dour, in the traditional role of a 2nd lead, she is gonna try her very best to break them up anyway. O, whatever. Good luck to her, same goes to the equally dour 2nd male lead. These two should meet and just get married, they are perfect for each other. I can just imagine the sound of silence inside their expensive condo in the Seoul district.

    the only way for Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah to be together is when Mom goes to heaven but am sure before she does that, she will reunite the two lovers in the 15th or 16th episode.
    I don’t want Tae Hee to end up with that divorce ahjussi, why? Isn’t it just pity if it was just because of that phone call. Are you even really attracted to the guy? Does she really want to be the next Mrs.? I think she is only trying to forget whatever feelings she still has for Ji Hoon. and Ji Hoon better step up his game if he really wants the angry girl back and make me happy. Yea.

    If it goes the other way, I dare the writers to make Tae Hee kiss that divorce ahjussi just to prove that it is indeed love she feels for the guy.

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