Bubblegum episode 7 recap

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Episode Recap

It is a kimchi-making party at Uncle Gangster and Aung Gong Joo’s restaurant. As Haeng Ah (Jung Ryeo Won) and Ri Hwan (Lee Dong Wook) are making preparations, his attractiveness suddenly becomes noticeable to her. He teases her about how it proves that she is in love, too. As they needle each other, Uncle Gangster overhears everything and expresses approval of the relationship to Aunt Gong Joo, but the aunt worries about how Ri Hwan’s mother, Sun Young will react. The uncle angrily defends the right of Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan to make choices for themselves, regardless of what his mother wants.

Bubblegum 7.1

Despite expressing strong support for Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah’s relationship, Uncle Gangster feels the need to trip and then interrogate Ri Hwan in order to confirm that he will care for Haeng Ah. The uncle gives his blessing, but brings up his concerns regarding Sun Young. Ri Hwan reassures him that he will speak with his mother.

Tae Hee (Kim Ri Na)barrives at the party to find that her ex-boyfriend, Ji Hoon (Lee Seung Joon) was invited, too. Faced with her hostility, he insists that she still cares about him, because she bailed him out of jail. Tae Hee maintains that she has moved on, and is now interested in poor and divorced radio station manager, Dong Il (Park Won Sang). Though her attraction towards Dong Il only makes her feel pathetic, she does not want to give false hope to Ji Hoon.

Bubblegum 7.2

Ji Hoon is in the process of arguing in favour of faint hope when his noisy row with Tae Hee is interrupted by the obnoxious cousin, Dong Hwa (Ko Bo Gyeol). However, it is Dong Hwa’s turn to suffer heartache after she witnesses Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah rough housing, and is devastated to realize that the two are dating.

Meanwhile, Sun Young (Bae Jong Ok) is taking a tour of a long term care facility for patients suffering from dementia. Sun Young confirms with the facility representative that the patients do not need to rely on family, but are under the exclusive care of the nursing staff instead. The rep insists that their patients are quite happy; it is harder on the family members than the patients once the patients’ memories have disappeared.

Bubblegum 7.3

Radio DJ Se Young (Kim Jung Nan) is struggling to regain her dignity after falling over in a movie theatre. She had put on sunglasses in the dark to avoid being recognized with her much younger colleague, Joon Soo (An Woo Yeon). He reassures her that she was very pretty while rolling on the ground, and Se Young is pleased. As they enter a restaurant, they nearly run into Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan, and Se Young drags Joon Soo into hiding. Joon Soo points out that they have done nothing wrong, and Se Young is surprised to come to the same conclusion.

Walking away from the restaurant, Ri Hwan brings up his conversation with Uncle Gangster to Haeng Ah, and they decide to speak with Sun Young together. They have a cute moment when Ri Hwan takes offence at Haeng Ah’s ignorance regarding what he does for a living, then forces her to change his name on her phone to something more flattering than “Little Brother Park”.

Bubblegum 7.4

Ji Hoon runs into Dong Hwa at a restaurant. The teenager repeatedly makes things awkward by loudly asking if he watches pay-per-view porn, and if she can sleep over at his place. She admits that she likes Ri Hwan, and thinks he is wasted on Haeng Ah. Ji Hoon mines his own sorrows as he talks bitterly about how opposites repeatedly attract then fall apart.

Ri Hwan returns to the office to do Ji Hoon the favour of emailing his medical paper for him. After he is done, Haeng Ah suggests that they have tea on his patio. As they are about to leave the office, Ri Hwan turns off the lights and attempts to kiss Haeng Ah. A panicked Haeng Ah slaps Ri Hwan.

Bubblegum 7.5

At a lounge bar, Se Young and Joon Soo slur passionately about cinematic chemistry and kiss scenes. Joon Soo is quite the film buff, because his family owned a video store, which explains why he is one of the few people who can recall Se Young’s role in a blue movie. An embarrassed Se Young attempts to muffle Joon Soo when he changes topic by quoting from When Harry met Sally, and she is completely taken aback by his bedroom eyes.

On Ri Hwan’s cold patio, he and Haeng Ah sit in silence, as he sulks over being slapped. Haeng Ah tries to convince him that remaining chaste is normal for a dating couple, before admitting that she likes him, but is still worried that a physical relationship between them will be awkward. They recall when they first met, and she saw him naked in a bathtub. She refers to Ri Hwan as “little”, and he is once again, outraged.

Bubblegum 7.7

Suk Joon (Lee Jong Hyuk) is drinking with Dong Il, and as Dong Il notes, the news anchor is more talkative than usual. Suk Joon wonders whether to let Haeng Ah go, but the divorced Dong Il does not recommend holding on to someone who doesn’t have her heart in the relationship. A remorseful Suk Joon cannot disagree as he thinks back to Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan’s words about how lonely and pitiful she felt when she was dating Suk Joon.

Meanwhile, youthful Dong Hwa strongly endorses the idea of holding on to the one you love no matter what. Ji Hoon is inspired and emboldened by her pigheaded approach to love.

Speaking of youthful exuberance, Se Young and Joon Soo are making out in the back seat of her car like a pair of teenagers. When she attempts to answer her phone, he throws it aside to resume their kiss. Oh my.

Bubblegum 7.8

Tae Hee shows up unannounced at Dong Il’s door bearing the kimchi she helped make. She asks desperately if he likes her. However, Dong Il is creeped out by Tae Hee’s intensity, and closes the door in her face. After speaking at length from behind the safety of the door, he finally comes out, only to find that she has disappeared, but left the homemade kimchi behind.

Ri Hwan drops Haeng Ah off and gives her a shopping bag, claiming that it’s hers. He refuses to say what it is or what the occasion is. It turns out to be a handbag filled with fitness equipment and a pocket book on travel conversation. It would appear that Ri Hwan wishes to travel the world with Haeng Ah.

Bubblegum 7.9

The next morning, Ri Hwan’s attempt to get Ji Hoon to run with him fails within the first five minutes when Ji Hoon feels like throwing up from the exertion. Ji Hoon wonders if he needs to move out now that Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah are dating, but Ri Hwan reveals that he is trying to get Haeng Ah to move into the third floor of the house he shares with his mother.

Yi Seul (Park Hee Von) meets a new marriage candidate who is late and fails to apologize for it. The reason for his tardiness was an uproar at the courts over Suk Joon. Yi Seul instantly recognizes Suk Joon as the other witness to the kiss between Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah. It turns out that Suk Joon has decided to testify in court in an unfair dismissal case against his network, and has been fired as a result. As Yi Seul’s blind date mocks the working poor and makes sexist remarks, Yi Seul remembers Ri Hwan’s kindness and his rejection. She stands up abruptly, shocking her date.

Bubblegum 7.10

Shortly after Ri Hwan and Ji Hoon witness Suk Joon’s court appearance on the news, Yi Seul arrives at the clinic. She acknowledges that she is being burdensome, but Ri Hwan claims to understand how she feels since he was the same way with Haeng Ah. Ri Hwan reassures Yi Seul that she will find someone else, but when Yi Seul desperately asks what she should do with her feelings in the meantime, Ri Hwan has no answer. While he is fetching facial tissues for her, Yi Seul runs out.

Sun Young has cleared out her office, because her dementia has progressed too far for her to continue working. She meets with Aunt Gong Joo to ask her to keep Ri Hwan away from her rich family, and to thank her in advance. Aunt Gong Joo comes to the dreadful realization about what is happening as Sun Young expresses her desire to see her son married by next year.

Se Young leaves the studio in a huff after defending Joon Soo and his work to Tae Hee. When the DJ is followed soon after by Joon Soo, Tae Hee expresses her suspicion to Haeng Ah that the two are dating.

Bubblegum 7.12

At the elevators, Joon Soo brings up the night before. Se Young starts giggling uncontrollably, pretends to have alcohol-induced amnesia, then defensively admits that she remembers everything. He simply states that he will come to her place later on, and a shocked Se Young agrees before disappearing into the elevator with a look of trepidation.

Tae Hee overhears talk that Suk Joon has been fired for taking the union’s side. As Suk Joon exits the building for the last time, his colleagues glumly see him off. Tae Hee rushes Haeng Ah out to see Suk Joon off. The former couple make eye contact before Haeng Ah breaks away first, while Suk Joon smiles and walks on. He does not look back even once.

Bubblegum 7.13

Yi Seul sits at a bench, and recalls Ri Hwan looking over her ankle after she twisted it while wearing her high heels. She receives a call from her mother (Park Joon Geum) asking about how her blind date went. Yi Seul must remove the phone from her ear as her mother assumes the worst and goes into a tirade. After hanging up, the mother angrily defends her daughter’s worth and accomplishments to the matchmaker, furious at being stood up by Sun Young.

Unbeknownst to Yi Seul’s mother, Sun Young is wandering confused in the middle of a parking lot, and almost gets hit by a car. She receives a call from Ri Hwan that she refuses to answer. Instead, with the help of a concerned stranger, Sun Young calls Haeng Ah and asks for her to come get her. When Haeng Ah arrives running, Sun Young stares at her without a response.

Bubblegum 7.14

After Haeng Ah returns Sun Young home, the older woman coldly directs her to leave, and not to tell Ri Hwan about today. Ri Hwan returns home unexpectedly, and Haeng Ah jumps into hiding. When Ri Hwan attempts to find out why Sun Young did not pick up her phone and failed to meet up with Yi Seul’s mother, Sun Young refuses to answer and tries to dismiss him. Emboldened by his anger, Ri Hwan reveals that he has been dating Haeng Ah, and states that he will not let his mother hold him back any longer. As Haeng Ah listens on, Ri Hwan reveals that she overheard Sun Young say that she would readily kick her out of the home. Knowing that Haeng Ah is listening, Sun Young bluntly reiterates her disapproval of the relationship. Ri Hwan tearfully apologizes for disappointing her in career and marriage prospects, but he insists that he is happy with his life and his mother. He asks her to stop trying to return him to the world of privilege that she came from.

Comments

What is with the repeat failure of Kdrama female leads to understand that dating usually involves physical intimacy? Thank goodness Ri Hwan voiced exactly what I’ve been thinking every time a female lead calls her boyfriend a pervert for wanting to kiss or touch: if things remain platonic, then you’re essentially friends, and not dating. Imposed chastity aside, I am enjoying the interactions between the lead couple. Lee Dong Wook and Jung Ryeo Won have genuine chemistry, and thankfully, Lee Dong Wook is giving sexual intensity every time he looks at Haeng Ah. To her credit, Haeng Ah is meeting his gaze instead of being intimidated by it.

Then, there is Se Young and Joon Soo who are providing whatever sexual tension is lacking from the lead pairing. For characters that I assumed were meant for comedic relief, I am surprised at how passionate and sincere the writers are making their relationship. It is a pleasant surprise.

Too bad the mothers in this drama are not destined for any fun romance. Sun Young’s disease is progressing much faster than I find believable. One moment, she’s forgetting files, the next moment, she is wandering in a parking lot. It feels like they are rushing the dementia along so that it arrives just in time to provide a hindrance to Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah’s burgeoning romance. I pray that this does not mean an extended period of noble idiocy as the couple put aside their relationship to care for Sun Young and to cater to her desire to keep them apart. It will be painful, because Sun Young’s objections just come across as selfish at this point, without any explanation.

Yi Seul’s mother, who has been an entertaining one dimensional terror, made me a little sad this episode when she finally acknowledged Yi Seul’s accomplishments. Too bad she is only willing to sing her daughter’s praises when Yi Seul is not around. It would be great if what the show is aiming for is to show that romantic love is not what ultimately resolves Yi Seul’s issues, but the realization that her mother does love her, and learning to love herself.


Bubblegum (풍선껌)

Bubblegum

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1 Comment

  • Thank you once again for the speedy recaps. The show is charming but I can’t find the time to watch it so it’s wonderful to be able to keep up with its development through your lovely recaps. Much appreciated!

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