Bubblegum episode 8 recap

Side dish: How do you have your birthday cake and numb the pain at the same time? Try Chocolate Rum Pudding Cake. This way, you have a cake to stick candles in, a taste of rum, and you can set the whole thing on fire if the mood strikes you.

Episode Recap

Despite Ri Hwan’s (Lee Dong Wook) impassioned speech about only needing his mother in his life, Sun Young (Bae Jong Ok) declines to respond and simply tells him to go. He warns her not to oppose his relationship with Haeng Ah (Jung Ryeo Won). Still, Sun Young refuses to give her approval.

Bubblegum 8.2

After Ri Hwan has left, Haeng Ah comes out of hiding, and Sun Young wastes no time explaining that she has Early Onset Familial Alzheimer’s, and that it can be hereditary. Fearing that her son will need a family to care for him, she does not want Ri Hwan to marry an orphan like Haeng Ah. Haeng Ah attempts to stay in order to care for Sun Young, but Sun Young coldly pushes her away.

While Haeng Ah is walking home in the pouring rain, her ex-boyfriend, Suk Joon (Lee Jong Hyuk) happens to drive by. He stops the car in her path, but she falls to the ground before she reaches him. Suk Joon gets out of the car to pick her up, and Haeng Ah is barely responsive before collapsing against him.

Bubblegum 8.3

Suk Joon manages to return Haeng Ah to her bed, and watches over her as she sleeps. Her phone rings and it is Ri Hwan. Suk Joon decides to call back, and his call is enough to send Ri Hwan running, though he pauses with uncertainty in the car.

Ri Hwan is angry at Suk Joon’s presence in Haeng Ah’s apartment, and they take turns accusing each other of being responsible for Haeng Ah’s collapse. Suk Joon only called Ri Hwan for his skills as a doctor knowing that Haeng Ah fears hospitals. However, should Haeng Ah wish to get back together with Suk Joon, he will not turn her away.

Bubblegum 8.4

Ri Hwan calls Tae Hee (Kim Ri Na) to find out what could have caused Haeng Ah’s break down. Tae Hee remembers that Haeng Ah had run out to see Sun Young, and blames Ri Hwan for failing to protect Haeng Ah from his mother. Ri Hwan suddenly recalls the extra pair of shoes outside his mother’s apartment, and realizes that Haeng Ah was present when his mother made it clear that she would never approve of their relationship.

Haeng Ah finally wakes up to find Ri Hwan by her bedside. Haeng Ah claims to feel better, and lies about the cause of her illness. Ri Hwan knows that, as usual, Haeng Ah cannot admit that she is in pain. They focus on the fact that it is Haeng Ah’s birthday, and she announces that she has decided to move into the third floor of Ri Hwan and Sun Young’s house.

Bubblegum 8.5

Shortly thereafter, Haeng Ah arrives with her suit case at Ri Hwan’s home, and enters the third floor loft to finds it dusty from disuse. Downstairs, Haeng Ah runs into Aunt Gong Joo, and reveals her plans to move in so that she can take care of Sun Young. However, Aunt Gong Joo insists that what Sun Young needs is peace of mind, and sends Haeng Ah away before she is spotted by Sun Young.

Haeng Ah leaves just before Sun Young comes out of the house in her slippers. After Aunt Gong Joo fetches her shoes, Sun Young insists that she must remember three things: that her father is sick, that Ri Hwan should not be with someone he must protect, but rather with someone who can protect him, and that for one special day, she was happy.

Bubblegum 8.6

Sun Young meets with Yi Seul’s glamourous mother (Park Joon Geum) who is still smarting from being stood up. Sun Young consults notes on her phone to remember the reason for the meeting, to apologize, and to lie. Yi Seul’s mom can tell by Sun Young’s purse that she is not her family’s equal in wealth, and emphasizes that Yi Seul is a no frills type of woman, and not one to be preyed upon by gold diggers. However, Sun Young reveals that Ji Hwan does not depend on money that is not his own, not even his grandfather’s, and she will not force Ri Hwan upon a family that does not want him.

Next, Sun Young goes to meet with Yi Seul (Park Hee Von) in order to confirm her feelings for Ri Hwan. Yi Seul knows about Haeng Ah, and refuses to do anything to undermine the relationship. However, Sun Young is adamant that her son cannot be with Haeng Ah. When Sun Young acknowledges how monstrous she must appear, Yi Seul is understanding since she has learned to be exactly that with her own mother. Sun Young reveals that she has Alzheimer’s, and Yi Seul is eager to help knowing that she is Ri Hwan’s only family.

Bubblegum 8.7

Yi Seul’s brother, Jung Woo (Kim Sa Kwon) calls up their mother to stop her from continuing to shop around for a more advantageous match for Yi Seul than Ri Hwan. Jung Woo remembers how hopeless Yi Seul was about having Ri Hwan, and he is determined to get her what she wants.

Haeng Ah receives a call from Suk Joon asking to meet up and talk. At a coffee restaurant, Suk Joon is getting recognized by members of the public, and his career prospects are looking bright. Haeng Ah attempts to thank him with a cake then take her leave. Suk Joon stops her to ask if she was as sick when she was with him as she was yesterday. Then, he probes the possibility of giving their relationship another try, but Haeng Ah turns him down with gratitude.

Bubblegum 8.8

Radio station manager, Dong Il (Park Won Sang) runs into Tae Hee and she attempts to get him to answer her question about whether he likes her. They are interrupted by screams that send them running towards the source. It turns out that DJ, Se Young (Kim Jung Nan) is going over her lines in her new drama with her younger colleague, Joon Soo (An Woo Yeon). She now has a more positive attitude towards her role, and aims to become Kdrama’s biggest bitch. Once Tae Hee and Dong Il are alone again, Tae Hee persists in asking him if he likes her. Dong Il is about to answer when the scene cuts away.

Upon arrival at his mother’s hospital, Ri Hwan is surprised to discover that his mother has vacated her office. His mother’s colleague comes across Ri Hwan, and reveals his mother’s illness to him. Ri Hwan is also shocked to learn that his mother has attempted suicide once more than he knew. When Ri Hwan asks if it was when she got pregnant with him, the doctor’s silence would seem to confirm this.

Bubblegum 8.9

At Ri Hwan’s clinic, his patients are piling up, forcing Ji Hoon (Lee Seung Joon) to call Tae Hee in order to ask if Haeng Ah knows where Ri Hwan is. Tae Hee chooses not to reveal to Haeng Ah that Ri Hwan is missing, but rather, admit that she told Ri Hwan about her meeting with Sun Young. Tae Hee advises Haeng Ah to get out of the relationship, regardless of how sick Sun Young is. Not even Haeng Ah can smile through this predicament.

Sitting alone outside the hospital, Ri Hwan recalls all the clues that pointed to his mother’s mental decline. Ri Hwan then recalls the time he spent on his patio with Haeng Ah before recent unhappy events. He proposed going on vacation, and Haeng Ah wanted to invite his mother, because she has never seen Sun Young happy. When Ri Hwan asked Haeng Ah what her happiest moment was, she refused to divulge. For him, it was that very moment. Haeng Ah happily agreed then blew her gum into a bubble. Unable to resist, Ri Hwan swooped in for a kiss. After they separated, she initiated another kiss. By the time they finished, Ri Hwan was chewing Haeng Ah’s bubblegum.

Bubblegum 8.10

Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah text each other, acting like everything is normal. In reality, Ri Hwan has resorted to a childhood strategy of repeatedly counting to 10 to combat his fears. Meanwhile, Haeng Ah returns to the studio to find that her co-workers have thrown her a surprise birthday party. She breaks down crying, but claims to be deliriously happy.

At a bar, Ri Hwan downs soju while Ji Hoon watches on in concern. Then, Ji Hoon follows Ri Hwan as he stumbles down the street. Ri Hwan comes face-to-face with Haeng Ah on an overpass, and they both look miserable. Ri Hwan runs to Haeng Ah to envelop her in his arms.

Bubblegum 8.11

Sun Young thinks back to the day she visited Haeng Ah’s father at his restaurant. She clearly would love to become part of his household, but Sun Young is ready to remain patient, because she assumes that they have all the time in the world. Before Haeng Ah’s father can confirm whether he and Sun Young has a chance, Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah come running in arguing. At the hospital, Sun Young receives a message from Haeng Ah’s father on her pager, and runs out to the front of the hospital to meet him. She beams as she spots him.


Aunt Gong Joo has stated how hard Sun Young’s life has been and how she has lived for her son, while Haeng Ah notes that she has never seen Sun Young happy. Yet, none of this makes Sun Young a sympathetic character, because of her relentlessly cold and ruthless treatment of Haeng Ah. Worst of all, Sun Young’s actions are based on flawed logic. She assumes that quantity is superior to quality when it comes to people who will care for Ri Hwan should he succumb to early onset Alzheimer’s, too. I don’t know why she thinks a chaebol family who accept Ri Hwan based on his good specs will stick by him if he turns out to be spoiled goods.

So, cold bitch, Sun Young sets off a series of incidences of noble idiocy with Haeng Ah deciding not to reveal her knowledge of Sun Young’s rejection or her disease, Ri Hwan hiding his knowledge of the real reason for Haeng Ah’s pain, and Tae Hee hiding Ri Hwan going MIA from Haeng Ah. In fact, it would appear that serendipity is the only saving grace for these characters with Suk Joon just happening upon Haeng Ah right before her collapse, and Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah becoming aware of how miserable they both are when they run into each other.

Topping off my frustration with this episode were the out of control flashbacks. Do we really need flashbacks to moments that occurred just before the current scene?!

Thankfully, Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah had one really good kiss scene, and the end gives me hope that they will finally start sharing their worries and working together through their sorrows like a loving couple should.

Bubblegum 8.12 Bubblegum 8.13

Bubblegum (풍선껌)


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


  1. HA: “… Just the three of us, we should do absolutely nothing. Just sleep in, eat, and talk all day… something like that…. That kind of vacation is more memorable than the kind spent walking everywhere.”
    this is the girl that chose to go for a trip together with mom, not possessive at all, that whatever she wanted was as simple as a day to day thing. What she wanted is not things, or places, just to be with him. Even to sleep, eat and talk, is a vacation, is relaxing, is resting of her mind.
    and she wanted to add Mom in, the other woman in his life, that meant so much to him. Where to find such a girl?
    when someone really loved you, even if going thru normal day to day life events will be beautiful, as long as you are with her, by her side. This is how HA felt.
    Loved RH for seeing the priceless virtues of HA even thru this simple conversation, and rewarding her in a gratitude compassionate kiss.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s