Bubblegum episode 12 recap

Side dish: Haeng Ah must really have wanted to keep Suk Joon at a distance by ordering jjampong. After all, the spicy seafood dish will stain your clothes, and give you seafood breath. Not to say that it’s not delicious, because it is. Here is a recipe from Cherry on my Sundae.

Episode Recap

After advising a patient’s daughter on how to help her father deal with phantom limb pain, Ri Hwan (Lee Dong Wook) becomes lost in thought about the pain of not having Haeng Ah (Jung Ryeo Won) in his life. Ri Hwan’s fellow doctor, Ji Hoon (Lee Seung Joon) quietly takes over his patients. When Ri Hwan finally looks up at the clock, the work day is over.

DJ Se Young (Kim Jung Nan) is on the radio reading aloud Haeng Ah’s memories of a late night visit to the convenience store with Ri Hwan. They fought over a 200 won drink, because they both forgot their wallets. When they started yearning for red bean taiyaki, Ri Hwan revealed that he actually did have his wallet. He forced Se Young to use aegyo in exchange for buying her three taiyaki, which they roughhoused over.

Bubblegum 12.2

Off the air, radio producer, Tae Hee (Kim Ri Na) notes that the online forums have been particularly abusive towards Se Young. Se Young is nonplussed, because she believes that the vitriol is directed at the drama character she is playing. Instead, Se Young focuses on giveaways to attract more listeners, disadvantaged students, then happily announces that she is shooting a commercial.

Ji Hoon and Ri Hwan talk about perceived loneliness over food and drink. Their night out is possible now that RI Hwan’s mother, Sun Young (Bae Jong Ok) has a good nurse looking after her, found on the recommendation of dentist, Yi Seul (Park Hee Von).

Station manager, Dong Il (Park Won Sang) runs into Ji Hoon and Ri Hwan, but refuses their offer to join them. He immediately calls the person he is meeting to arrange a new meeting place, but it is too late; Suk Joon (Lee Jong Hyuk) enters at that moment. (And, here I thought Dong Il might have been meeting up with Tae Hee, which would have been just as juicy.)

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The four men, two pairs of rivals in love, sit awkwardly at a table together until Dong Il and Ji Hoon escape under the pretense of using the washroom. When they escape outside, Dong Il suggests to Ji Hoon that they go somewhere else to have their own discussion. However, Ji Hoon cannot leave, because he is worried about Ri Hwan. The men end up discussing Tae Hee’s attraction towards Dong Il while sitting outside the restaurant. Dong Il claims that Tae Hee is mistaking pity for love, and reassures Ji Hoon that he has no interest in Tae Hee. Ji Hoon morosely states that he has not given up on Tae Hee.

Suk Joon accuses Ri Hwan of purposely trying to run into Haeng Ah. Ri Hwan claims that it does not matter, since they have broken up, but Suk Joon wonders if Haeng Ah has accepted the break up. After Ri Hwan is incapable of even speaking her name, Suk Joon warns him to stay away from Haeng Ah since he is clearly not over her. Suk Joon reports that Haeng Ah is doing well, but later, when he is alone with Dong Il, he admits that he lied.

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Suk Joon and Haeng Ah run into each other at the real estate office where both of them are looking into new rental apartments. Suk Joon proposes that they dine together, and though Haeng Ah tries to put him off, he is persistent. At the restaurant, Haeng Ah laughs at how intense Suk Joon is while looking at the menu. Sadly, they rarely ate together as a couple.

Haeng Ah congratulates Suk Joon on his debut as a TV news anchor. There has been restructuring at the radio station, but Haeng Ah’s team survived the cuts.

After their meal, Suk Joon asks to meet up again. His phone starts to ring, but he ignores it, bolstering his claim that things will be different if they try again. He will be more proactive, and they can go out and do whatever she wants, because he will not care if they are seen together. Haeng Ah looks troubled and stays silent.

While drinking with Dong Il the night before, Suk Joon had expressed fear that Haeng Ah might be his last shot at passionate love. Dong Il confessed to feeling the same way with Tae Hee. However, they know that they may have lost their chance with the women.

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Haeng Ah is now able to enter a hospital with minimal trouble, thanks to counselling she is receiving from Sun Young’s colleague. At the end of a session, Haeng Ah optimistically asks whether the phenomenon of Sun Young regaining her memory of Ri Hwan is a sign of recovery. The doctor says that forgetting someone so close to her was probably the result of shock rather than Alzheimer’s. Haeng Ah wonders if the revelation that her and Ri Hwan were dating caused the shock. The doctor states emphatically that Haeng Ah did nothing wrong. He also believes that Sun Young has passed the most difficult stage of her illness, and now, she will more readily accept the loss of her memories.

Ri Hwan brings Sun Young to the restaurant of Aunt Gong Joo and Uncle Gangster, but stops short of entering. Ji Hoon takes over escorting Sun Young, and Aunt Gong Joo is disappointed at not seeing Ri Hwan. Ji Hoon notices teenager, Dong Hwa (Ko Bo Gyeol), and demands to know why she is not at school. Dong Hwa is in awe at how authoritative Ji Hoon is.

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Dong Hwa cares for Sun Young much like one would care for a child. When Sun Young asks for her own pencil, Dong Hwa convinces her to use another. Dong Hwa laments about suddenly finding Ji Hoon attractive. Sun Young seems more like her old self as she explains how the heart can influence the mind. Dong Hwa is amazed, though Sun Young still doesn’t remember her name.

While eating, Ji Hoon reveals to Ri Hwan that Haeng Ah is also avoiding the restaurant. He wonders if it is really necessary for Ri Hwan to stop seeing Haeng Ah. However, Ri Hwan implies that he did not break up with Haeng Ah just for his mother, but also to spare Haeng Ah the burden of taking care of him, should he also suffer early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Ji Hoon pushes Ri Hwan to get DNA testing so that he will know once and for all if he will develop the disease.

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Ri Hwan finds his mother’s missing pencil, and feels obliged to drop it off outside the restaurant. Meanwhile, Haeng Ah has been loitering outside the restaurant to see how Sun Young is doing. It would appear that Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan just miss running into each other. Then, Ri Hwan spots Haeng Ah just as she is about to board a public bus. And, when the bus pulls away, Haeng Ah remains at the bus stop.

Ri Hwan begins to walk away when Haeng Ah, unable to cross over the busy roadway, calls at him to stop and promises to keep her distance. She announces that she is getting her driver’s licence, she is now able to enter a hospital, she is taking the supplements he gave her, and she is planning to start exercising. In short, Haeng Ah is aiming to return to Ri Hwan as someone capable of caring for Sun Young and for him. Haeng Ah states that she misses Ri Hwan, but she will not burden him.

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Yi Seul walks in on a lover’s quarrel between her patient, Se Young, and Se Young’s younger boyfriend, Joon Soo (An Woo Yeon). Se Young is suffering a fit of jealousy over Joon Soo being friendly with the nurse. Yi Seul ignores the spat and tells Se Young that she must continue treatment until she is completely healed. Yi Seul’s mind wanders as she remembers Ri Hwan saying the same thing to her when he was treating her ankle.

Yi Seul attempts to drop off a package with Aunt Gong Joo and leave, but Sun Young spots her. Yi Seul must introduce herself as a friend of Ri Hwan. Sun Young gravitates towards the smell of a hospital that emanates from Yi Seul, then listens with rapt attention as Yi Seul recounts her daily professional routine. Yi Seul is only interrupted by the arrival of Ri Hwan.

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Yi Seul apologizes to Ri Hwan, insisting that she did not have any ulterior motive in visiting his mother; she feels a kinship with Sun Young, and likes her. Ri Hwan does not appear to think ill of her actions, and thanks her. Yi Seul expresses concern over how thin Ri Hwan looks. She remarks on his new watch, and Ri Hwan explains that he uses it to count down the day, and tries not to think about tomorrow. Yi Seul wishes that Ri Hwan reciprocated her feelings, but says that she will try living one day at a time, too.

Back home, Ri Hwan finds Sun Young sitting still on her bed, clutching a bobby pin with a ribbon on it. She suddenly remembers her father and asks if he is dead. Then, Sun Young hands him a brochure for a long term care facility, which she found in her room, and guesses that she was supposed to go there. While she is in her current lucid state of mind, Sun Young apologizes to Ri Hwan for keeping him separated from her family out of pride, forcing him to grow up alone. She begs him to tell her what other difficulties her selfishness has wrought, then directs him to simply do what makes him happy regardless of what she has said in the past.

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Dong Il meets up with Tae Hee at a coffee shop, and tries to let her down gently with various turns of phrase. Tae Hee repeatedly stops him before he has the chance to finish. She confesses her feelings as he protests, then asks him to reject her tomorrow. As she leaves to return to work, Dong Il states that he does not like her, then asks if that is good enough for her. Tae Hee turns to face Dong Il and challenges him to repeat what he said to her face.

Haeng Ah arrives at the studio in a good mood, because she heard about a patient suffering from the same Alzheimer’s as Sun Young who has been thriving for years. In comparison, Se Young feels ashamed about her petty fight with Joon Soo. Tae Hee arrives shortly thereafter, and it would appear that Dong Il managed to repeat his statement that he does not like her, to her face.

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The advice doctor is back on the radio show, and once again, Se Young and Haeng Ah manage to submit their own relationship problems. Se Young expresses concern that her friend’s younger boyfriend will want to date and hang out with people his age. Joon Soo can’t stop laughing until a look from Tae Hee stops him cold. The advice doctor reassures Se Young that her younger boyfriend will not necessarily cheat on her, while Se Young emphatically denies that the advice is for her. Then, the doctor indirectly tells Haeng Ah not to feel guilty about wanting to be with Ri Hwan.

Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah mirror each other in their daily routine to simply survive until the end of the day. They just miss running into each other at the hospital, then come face-to-face outside their doctor’s office. Haeng Ah’s face lights up with hope, while Ri Hwan gives a poker face as his head fights with his heart.

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In spite of Ri Hwan acting like the walking dead for most of this episode, episode 12 came as a sigh of relief. A lucid Sun Young acknowledges her selfishness and encourages Ri Hwan to do what makes him happy. Haeng Ah is determined to make herself an equal partner in Ri Hwan’s life. Tae Hee finally got the answer she has been begging for from Dong Il, and perhaps, can now get over her insane crush.

Haeng Ah was especially impressive. She is becoming a female lead that I can get behind; she is solving her own issues, she will not resort to undignified stalker behaviour, and she will not cry. If Ri Hwan does not jump at the chance to be with her now that his mother has given him the green light, he and his noble idiocy do not deserve Haeng Ah.

I do hope Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan get together soon, because when they are together, they are adorable. Jung Ryeo Won and Lee Dong Wook just have an easy going and believable chemistry that I enjoy a lot. How cute were they fighting over red bean taiyaki?

Two people who are overdue for some progress in their lives are Suk Joon and Yi Seul. They both need to get over Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan, respectively, and do something to make their characters more than sad corners of a love triangle.

By the way, I just realized that a lot of my screen shots feature people sitting across from each other at a table. Maybe my stomach is dictating the eye. Well, here’s one more, except the people at the table aren’t eating. They’re just being hilarious.

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Bubblegum (풍선껌)


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1 Comment

  1. you said, she will not resort to undignified stalker behaviour, and she will not cry.
    HA, isn’t the typical Belle in KDland. She is sensitive to even details, self-sacrificed. she hold herself in, even depraved herself the release of secretly stalking him, or even crying in the privacy of her own room. Knowing living well, genuinely, not outwardly, is the way to truly make RH not worry for her, and make herself worthy sincerely. Her confession, not even close to what YS did. While YS confessed to lessen her stress, YS pouring her thoughts was a “outlet” of her own inabilities of self-controls. YS will turned on her Dark-side, released all her woes and heart-burnt to RH. Then allowed her Good-Side returns, and repented and told RH, that her original self is “not like that… how she hated herself… forget what she just said… she is in tormented by tormenting them…”…then made RH pity her. Oosp… then YS goes repeating this ‘Dark-side / Good-side” saga again, again and again. But HA is diff, her confession was not meant to empty her woes to garner sympathy, but to make RH felt better, that she didn’t wallow in self-pity, but “live pretty sensibly, well, eat healthy, sleep well… in short, she is living for RH”. While YS will mourn that she can’t live without RH blah blah… but HA will comfort RH. that she will live on well without RH.


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