Bubblegum episode 14 recap

Side dish: How ambitious are you? Ambitious enough to make bubble tea at home? If you are, here’s a recipe from The Kitchn to get you started. Me, I’m going to the bubble tea place down the street.

Episode Recap


Ri Hwan (Lee Dong Wook) chases after the bus carrying Haeng Ah (Jung Ryeo Won) away, and finally gets on. Once Haeng Ah gets over her initial surprise, she’s overjoyed to see him. Ri Hwan sits with Haeng Ah and kisses her on the forehead. Once they arrive at her apartment building, both of them agree that Ri Hwan should go home, but neither one of them makes a move to let him go. Finally, they end up in her apartment, and he asks if she’s been well. Haeng Ah shakes her head no, and Ri Hwan hugs her. The hug turns into a kiss, and the kiss turns into Ri Hwan carrying Haeng Ah into the bedroom, still kissing. My head explodes into hearts and flowers as they end up laughing in their struggle to get their clothes off.


The next morning, Ri Hwan’s flatmate/co-worker, Ji Hoon (Lee Seung Joon) comes downstairs to find Ri Hwan just coming in the door. Ji Hoon doesn’t have to probe very far before Ri Hwan admits that he’s coming from Haeng Ah’s place, and agrees to buy Ji Hoon breakfast. First, Ri Hwan takes off the watch that he put on to count the time away from Haeng Ah. Later, at the traditional medicine clinic, Ji Hoon is happy for Ri Hwan, but still unhappy over Tae Hee. He tells Ri Hwan to keep him in the loop about his test results and his mother, but the mood is pretty cheerful.


Back at the radio station, Tae Hee’s (Kim Ri Na) crankiness makes no headway against Haeng Ah’s resolution to date Ri Hwan. Tae Hee instead insists that she be kept in the loop about what’s going on, so that she can help. Having caught up on Haeng Ah’s troubles, Tae Hee mentions being rejected by station manager, Dong Il (Park Won Sang), but before she can give any details to an avid Haeng Ah, diva DJ Se Young (Kim Jung Nan) sails into the room. Haeng Ah and Tae Hee continue their conversation using the ruse of song titles for the final song on the show, until a confused Se Young cuts them off, stating that there’s no room for another song.

Se Young is followed shortly by her younger boyfriend, Joon Soo (Ahn Woo Yeon), and when Haeng Ah comments that they arrived separately, Se Young explains that her mother has been visiting. Se Young complains about her mother’s nagging, then thoughtlessly asks Haeng Ah if her mother is the same. She’s apologetic when she remembers that Haeng Ah is an orphan, but Haeng Ah laughs and points out that she has several “mothers” who nag her. She flashes back to that morning with Ri Hwan, where he couldn’t leave, because he couldn’t stop nagging her to take care of herself.

Back in the present, Se Young is telling a story where a boy loves a girl for who she is, because he used to have her face in a past life and she had his. The show ends and everyone packs up to go home, while Haeng Ah looks at pictures of Ri Hwan on her phone. On her way out, Tae Hee, runs into Dong Il in the hallway. Having just cut his hair, Dong Il fishes for compliments, but Tae Hee refuses to play along or even look at him. When he gets on the elevator, Tae Hee doesn’t get on with him.

Back in the lobby, Ri Hwan surprises Haeng Ah and Tae Hee, but is refused when he invites Tae Hee to come along for a coffee. As Tae Hee walks away, Haeng Ah tells him about the story from the broadcast, and wonders why she only has funny pictures of him. The two of them take pictures and flirt as they go to the car.


Tae Hee, meanwhile, has made it to the parking lot, all unawares that Ji Hoon is waiting there in his car for Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan. He’s excited to see her, but she’s only going to her car. She tells him to stop liking her, that he’s mistaking his own obsession with her for love. Ji Hoon doesn’t know what he feels, but he likes her a lot, and is unhappy when she cries, and figures that’s probably love. Unnoticed by the two arguing exes, Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan walk in to this argument, then walk back out again.


Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah end up eating in a convenience store, while being outrageously cute. He mentions that he’d like to go visit her father’s grave with Haeng Ah and his mother, Sun Young (Bae Jong Ok). Haeng Ah agrees to go on the weekend, and the two of them part, Ri Hwan to see how Ji Hoon is doing, and Haeng Ah to look after Tae Hee.


Dong Il visits former superstar radio news anchor, Suk Joon (Lee Jong Hyuk). Over dinner, Suk Joon offers Dong Il a job working with him, and also the use of his apartment. Suk Joon needs new scenery, so he’s decided to move in to the company residence.


Se Young drops off Joon Soo, and cautions him not to get caught by her mother. Joon Soo wants to introduce himself to her mother as her boyfriend, but his face falls at Se Young’s appalled reaction. Realizing her mistake, Se Young backs up, explaining that her mom is really scary. When Joon Soo points out that she gets upset reading listener letters about marriage, Se Young explains that she really doesn’t want to get married. Joon Soo wonders what the two of them are even doing together, and gets out of the car. Se Young follows him, but Joon Soo is not mad; he just walks away sadly.


Ri Hwan visits sad dentist, Yi Seul (Park Hee Von), to return the bribe that her brother gave to him, and something she left at his house. The conversation is formal and awkward as he tells her that he’s come to say goodbye for the last time. Yi Seul watches him leave, regretfully. Downstairs, Ri Hwan meets up with Haeng Ah, and nags her to stay out of the cold. Yi Seul comes running down to the street, just in time to watch the two of them walk away, hand in hand.

At a flower shop, Ri Hwan warns Haeng Ah that Sun Young has changed a lot since Haeng Ah last saw her. Haeng Ah is ready for anything, but hopes that Sun Young can finally greet her happily.


At the restaurant, Aunt Gong Joo (Seo Jung Yeon) gets ready to go out for a walk with Sun Young. On their way, a girl in a school uniform is almost hit by a car when she crosses the street, and Sun Young mentally bounces back to the time when she saw the same thing happen to Haeng Ah. Sun Young runs across the street to berate the driver. Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah are close by, so they chase after her, and everyone gets to the other side of the street. Sun Young watches the youthful Haeng Ah walk away, and then asks the real Haeng Ah if she’s okay. Haeng Ah reassures her that she is and gives her a hug.

Back at the restaurant, Uncle Gangster tells Ri Hwan not to break up with Haeng Ah again, and to ask for help if he needs it. Ri Hwan agrees to both. Upstairs, Sun Young and Haeng Ah are sitting together. Haeng Ah tells Sun Young that she knows that Sun Young was always worried about her, but that she’s fine. Sun Young is confused, but happy as Aunt Gong Joo and her teenager daughter, Dong Hwa (Ko Bo Gyeol) come to join them.


Yi Seul is on a blind date with a guy who turns out to be in a similar situation as her (and who also happens to be Alex from Clazziquai, for you music lovers). The two of them commiserate over being dumped, and their pushy mothers.

Ri Hwan, Haeng Ah, Dong Hwa, and Sun Young set off on a road trip. When they stop for food, Dong Hwa is appalled to learn that neither Haeng Ah nor Ri Hwan has ever been on a road trip before, meaning that no one knows what to do. Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan try to reassure her that they’ve planned everything, but Dong Hwa is still skeptical.


At the beach, Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah flirt by the water, trading cheesy lines, and Dong Hwa takes selfies while Sun Young watches. Sun Young is having a conversation with her former self. Her former self is full of regrets and wonders if she couldn’t have done better. She counsels the current Sun Young to be good to Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan, but her current self isn’t sure what to do. Former Sun Young tells Current Sun Young to just be happy and to tell the kids to be happy, too. Current Sun Young agrees, then tells Former Sun Young that she did a good job all those years.

Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah horse around while grilling meat and making dinner. In the meantime, Sun Young tells Dong Hwa the story of Aunt Gong Joo (formerly named Chung Hee), who was forced to work in Sun Young’s father’s house by her own father, who beat her and refused to send her to school. Dong Hwa is so horrified by this that she bursts into tears. When Sun Young wonders where Chung Hee is, Dong Hwa tells her that she’s back in Seoul.


After dinner, they roast marshmallows over a bonfire, but since they have no idea what to do, Ri Hwan sets his on fire. Sun Young bursts out laughing at Ri Hwan’s marshmallow failure, and everything’s okay again. After Sun Young and Dong Hwa go to bed, Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah sit by the fire, and Ri Hwan asks Haeng Ah to put on a song, but Haeng Ah refuses and asks him to sing instead. After some convincing, Ri Hwan finally starts singing a song (Alex [Clazziquai] – 널 향한 나의 시간), and we’re treated to a montage of the two of them on the beach as the episode ends.


You’ll have to pardon the lateness of this recap; real life intruded, though I should be back on track for the next two.

Onward! I’m not going to lie, I really enjoyed this mellow episode. Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan are so cute together that my only quibble is the amount of misery and tears that it took to get here. Seriously, K-drama writers, can we have a drama where two people can have problems that don’t involve them turning into sad robots for several episodes? I’m just saying.

But, let’s dwell some more on our lead couple, who, now that they’ve let go of their angst, have suddenly become fantastically cute. I think my head exploded into hearts and flowers a couple of times, but especially when Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah went home together. It wasn’t so much the kissing (which was pretty hot), but just how much fun they seemed to be having together in the bedroom.

Since our main couple seem to be doing well, let’s spend some time on some characters who aren’t. You probably think I’m worried about Sun Young or Ji Hoon or Yi Seul or Tae Hee, but I’m more concerned about Joon Soo and Se Young. When Joon Soo figured out that Se Young might not be serious about him, it actually made me a little sad. Come on, show! Give these guys a chance!

That said, given how we’ve seemingly wrapped everything up, I don’t know that there’s two hours’ worth of more story to go. I’m hoping that we’re going to spend some time on our other characters or on the inherent problems of caring for Sun Young or Ri Hwan’s possible test result, rather than something random, like Sun Young dying. Fingers crossed!

Bubblegum (풍선껌)


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

1 Comment

  1. HA: “I was scared when I was alone because I didn’t know where I was headed, Now I know where I’m heading, and Now I know where I’m headed and who to go with.. So I’m not scared.”
    it’s all boiled down to who we are with facing that unknown. The future is always scary. The danger, the insecurities, the impending head on crash, the might be poverty, …. Anything can happen.
    but the difference is, when we are with someone we loved, even if that direction we are heading spelled uncertainties, we have peace to head on.
    Ri Hwan’s possible test result is just like whatever buried in that sand, the process of digging, the attitute facing the dig, as long as RH is beside, and allowing her to show love and tender cares while facing the process of “forgetting”, HA will not fear the end result of what is finally deep down below the sand.


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