Side dish: Hong Do made too many delicious side dishes to identify, but what caught my eye was the rolled omelette with dried seaweed. You will find the recipe for Gyeran Mari with Gim at Korean Bapsang.
The episode begins with the story of Rapunzel, as played by anthrophobe, Cha Hong Do (Choi Gang Hee). Rapunzel is stuck in a closet, when Prince Charming, Jang Doo Soo (Lee Jae Yoon) knocks on the closet door. However, Rapunzel is distracted by the obnoxious commentary of psychiatrist, Ko Yi Seok (Chun Jung Myun). She falls out of the closet, past Prince Charming, with her attention fixed on Yi Seok.
Back to reality, Hong Do is angrily wringing Yi Seok’s neck after he tricked her into rushing to his rescue. Yi Seok is simply thrilled that she thinks he is important.
Hong Do realizes that Yi Seok tricked her into standing Doo Soo up. Fortunately, when she rushes to their meeting place, Doo Soo is still waiting for her. Hong Do is suddenly shy again, and hiding under her helmet.
Doo Soo arranges with a friend to have his sushi restaurant closed to the public for an hour, in order to make Hong Do feel comfortable while they dine. Doo Soo is in a confessional mood; he reveals that he is not getting married, that his grandfather recently died, and that he ran to her place after the funeral, and immediately felt better just being outside her house. Hong Do loses her courage, and runs out of the restaurant.
Meanwhile, Yi Seok makes a fruitless search of his mother’s room for sleeping pills. What is clear is that his mother is not taking her bi-polar disorder medication, and that she has become unstable after sleeping with her husband, Yi Seok’s careless father. A troubled Yi Seok realizes that he has no one to share his problems with. He ends up calling the only person in his call history, Hong Do.
Hong Do is at home, wondering if Doo Soo cancelled his wedding for her, and debating whether to call and ask. Instead, she immediately answers Yi Seok’s phone call. She happily announces that Doo Soo is now single, then relays the details of their date. She is in such a good mood that she brushes aside Yi Seok’s question of whether Doo Soo will want to date her knowing she slept with Yi Seok. Hong Do assumes that Yi Seok is calling to apologize for the false alarm stunt. Yi Seok heatedly denies this before hanging up, annoyed that Hong Do slept with him, but is focused on Doo Soo.
Doo Soo returns to the police station and sees trouble in the form of Yi Seok’s sister, Ko Se Ro (Ahn So Hee). She defies expectations by offering up an apology for her drunk episode, and money to pay for the gas Doo Soo used to drive her home. Doo Soo refuses the money, and snubs the apology, so Se Ro uses her lost earring as an excuse to stick around.
While searching through Doo Soo’s car for the lost earring, Se Ro thinks back to the night Doo Soo drove her home. She was upset about being incapable of crying at the audition, because the scenario hit too close to home. She insists that she remembers Doo Soo singing upon request (it was actually a nearby drunk). Doo Soo becomes uncomfortable under Se Ro’s infatuated gaze.
In his office, Yi Seok convinces Hong Do to engage in a staring exercise under the pretext of enabling her to make prolonged eye contact with Doo Soo. It is a mere 10 seconds, but Yi Seok becomes as flushed as Hong Do. Yi Seok then tries to convince Hong Do to come over to his place to sleep (for real), or just practice staring into each other’s eyes. Hong Do refuses, and storms out.
Hong Do is screaming in frustration outside Yi Seok’s office when Doo Soo sneaks up behind her. Doo Soo is pleasantly surprised at her angry tirade, while Hong Do quickly recedes into her helmet. He gifts her with a large, red scarf to keep her warm on her scooter. Yi Seok comes upon this happy scene, and attempts to piss on it. After Hong Do leaves, the men bicker over her.
Doo Soo calls Hong Do as he arrives at his apartment building, to confirm that she got home safely. He addresses her unvoiced question by stating that his feeling for her are not the result of pity. They carry on like teenagers who don’t want to get off the phone.
At home, Doo Soo digs out everything that Hong Do gave him, including the notes that accompanied the side dishes. He appears to have a newfound appreciation for them. When his aunt calls, he refuses any more blind dates.
Despite Hong Do turning down his offer to drive her to work, Doo Soo shows up at her place the next morning. He arrives just as Hong Do’s landlady is announcing Hong Do’s impending eviction.
Hong Do comes out of the house in her old woman persona of Oh Young Rae, but she is wearing Doo Soo’s scarf. Doo Soo intercepts her and plays along with her disguise by offering to escort her to the bus stop. His obvious delight in everything she does discomforts Hong Do, and she abruptly takes off. Undeterred, Doo Soo follows at a distance, while Hong Do wonders why she is avoiding him.
Hong Do arrives at the Chairman’s home just in time to see Yi Seok rushing his mother to the hospital. Hong Do wanders into the mother’s bedroom, and finds her suicide note in which she says that she misses her dead son. After pocketing the letter, Hong Do comes across the Chairman looking at photos of Yi Seok and his twin brother. He admits that everyone always favoured Yi Seok’s brother over the small and timid Yi Seok.
Hong Do is unable to reach Yi Seok by phone, because he is too busy dealing with the aftermath of his mother’s suicide attempt. After admitting his mother into a hospital, he tracks down his father at a driving range to reprimand him for coming back into their lives so carelessly.
Doo Soo is obviously in the throes of love, and is already fantasizing about a future with Hong Do and their child. So, when Hong Do runs out of her house worrying about Yi Seok, he does not question where she was headed. Doo Soo is simply happy for the opportunity to face her without her helmet between them.
Doo Soo brings up Hong Do’s money problems over dinner, and offers to cover her rent deposit as payment for the side dishes that she has provided over the last seven years. They are interrupted by Yi Seok drunk calling Hong Do, but Doo Soo intercepts the call, then directs her to turn her phone off.
Hong Do decides that a relationship with Doo Soo is worth avoiding Yi Seok. She spends all night feverishly cooking side dishes for Doo Soo, while talking herself out of caring about Yi Seok, and attempting to ignore her phone.
After dropping off side dishes at Doo Soo’s doorstep, a sweaty Hong Do resorts to furiously cleaning, then reasons that Doo Soo would be okay with her turning on her phone during the day. Doo Soo calls shortly thereafter, and thanks her for the bags of side dishes. He generously changes his tune, and encourages Hong Do to continue treatment with Yi Seok, despite his reservations. Hong Do appears relieved by Doo Soo’s consent to her contacting Yi Seok.
Yi Seok wakes up in rough shape in his car, but, at least, he avoided drinking and driving. His first thought is of Doo Soo answering Hong Do’s phone, and he is instantly annoyed.
Meanwhile, Hong Do is looking clammy and sick. She is adamant about not seeing Yi Seok until she remembers that the suicide note written by Yi Seok’s mother is still in her possession.
When Yi Seok calls, Hong Do answers, and insists on coming into work. Yi Seok objects, noticing that she sounds unwell. Hong Do rushes out anyway, notably not wearing Doo Soo’s scarf.
Hong Do arrives just in time to intercept Yi Seok. In spite of Doo Soo’s attentions and the resolution of her financial problem, Hong Do has made herself sick trying to block Yi Seok out of her mind. When Hong Do admits that she wants to hold him, Yi Seok glibly suggests that she hug him. He holds out his arms expectantly while staring at her with sad eyes.
Hong Do takes off helmet and does as directed. Yi Seok comforts her then, after confirming that she is contagious, he kisses her without hesitation.
I do not think I can be objective about this show right now. The three leads are so compelling that I do not even question how everyone’s feelings could have gone from zero to 100 in the span of a couple of episodes.
Doo Soo’s undisguised delight with everything Hong Do does is so cute, as is his patient persistence in coaxing Hong Do out of her helmet. Yet, Hong Do fails to connect with him, and as adorable as Doo Soo is, viewers can understand. Thanks to Choi Gang Hee and Chun Jung Myung, the chemistry between the leads is near insurmountable by any third wheel.
Kudos especially to Chun Jung Myung for transforming his character from jackass to entertainingly insane, to lovable while staying consistent enough as to make the character recognizable throughout. Words cannot express that final scene. Oh, the feels.