Side dish: I don’t care what anyone says; rolling cookies into a log and slicing them is way better than rolling them out. Here’s a recipe for Chocolate-Pistachio Sablés from Bon Appetit that uses this genius technique.
Former superstar radio news anchor, Suk Joon (Lee Jong Hyuk) wakes up station manager, Dong Il (Park Won Sang), who has fallen asleep on his couch. Suk Joon is already packing up to move out of his apartment, but before he can finish up, Dong Il’s eagle eye spots a hairband fallen behind the bed. Suk Joon flashes back to Haeng Ah losing it and pretending not to care.
Haeng Ah (Jung Ryeo Won) enthusiastically plans a party with Ri Hwan (Lee Dong Wook), who points out that their star guest, his mother, Sun Young (Bae Jong Ok) may not remember it anyway, thanks to her Alzheimer’s. Haeng Ah has already made her peace with this, after Sun Young forgot their trip (from episode 14). Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah have since resolved to make all of Sun Young’s days happy, even though she’ll have no memory of them.
The topic shifts to Haeng Ah dragging a horrified Ri Hwan shoe shopping, and she asks if he will use up the wish she granted him for singing to her to get out of it. Ri Hwan is not ready to waste his wish, however, but refuses to tell Haeng Ah what he’s going to ask for. When he finally tells her to kiss him in public, she only agrees if he keeps his hands off of her. Ri Hwan asks if he can touch her with things other than his hands, and Haeng Ah flounces away.
Back at the radio station, diva DJ Se Young (Kim Jung Nan) gives some long-winded advice, while Haeng Ah tries to hurry her along. Once they’re off the air, Se Young picks up an invite meant for producer, Tae Hee (Kim Ri Na) and assumes that it’s for herself. Later, outside Ri Hwan’s house, Haeng Ah explains to Ri Hwan that their party has now grown by two, since she was obliged to invite Se Young and her boyfriend, Joon Soo (Ahn Woo Yeon).
Frustrated at being unable to touch her outside, Ri Hwan tricks Haeng Ah into coming inside by pretending his flatmate/co-worker Ji Hoon (Lee Seung Joon) is home. Once he gets Haeng Ah inside and it becomes obvious that Ji Hoon isn’t home, Ri Hwan can’t stop flirting with her. With perfect timing, Ji Hoon arrives home, though, after telling them that he’ll be attending the party, he leaves them alone.
The next day, Haeng Ah is at a dress shop when Sun Young is revealed in a pretty white dress. Sun Young can’t remember trying on any other dresses or even that it’s for her birthday party, but she likes the dress and they take it. As Sun Young goes to change out of the dress, both Haeng Ah and Aunt Gong Joo (Seo Jung Yeon), who has arrived in the meantime, end up wiping their tears.
And, it’s time for the party! Each of the guests arrive at the restaurant, to be greeted by bratty teenager, Dong Hwa (Ko Bo Gyeol), until it’s finally time for Sun Young’s big entrance. Everyone gives her their presents until they get to the last, a pair of shoes from Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah. Everyone at the party has tears in their eyes, as Sun Young admires her shoes.
As the cake gets passed out, Joon Soo asks Se Young if her mother is still in town. Se Young admits that she is, but points out that it doesn’t change their situation, that she’s old and he’s young. Joon Soo points out that they should look for a solution together.
Meanwhile, Haeng Ah shows Sun Young the photo of their trip, and patiently explains to Sun Young who Dong Hwa is, since she’s in the photo. As she does, Tae Hee sneaks out of the restaurant behind her, only to find Ji Hoon standing outside. She tells Ji Hoon that Ri Hwan is alone upstairs, and doesn’t look good, but Ji Hoon points out that Ri Hwan likely wants to be alone. With that said, Ji Hoon just leaves, and Tae Hee flashes back to their last conversation as he walks away. Before she can ponder this, Ji Hoon returns with two hot mugs. She apologizes to him for her harsh words of earlier, but he just hands her the mug and tells her to drink something warm.
Meanwhile, Haeng Ah goes upstairs to find Ri Hwan (and I realize for the first time that she’s wearing the same dress as Yoo In Young in “Oh My Venus”). When she asks him what’s wrong, he explains that they were late to the party, because Sun Young locked herself into the bathroom and had fallen into a panic when she couldn’t get out. Ri Hwan had been looking around the restaurant where Sun Young spent her days, wondering if she was really okay there. Haeng Ah comforts Ri Hwan, but their moment is interrupted by the arrival of Dong Hwa, who calls them down to take pictures with Sun Young.
After take a couple of group selfies, Ri Hwan walks Haeng Ah to the bus stop, where the two of them flirt until the last bus comes.
Gloomy dentist, Yi Seul (Park Hee Von) has lunch with her brother, Jung Woo (Kim Sa Kwon). When she asks him about him going to see Ri Hwan, Jung Woo tells her that he threatened him with the demise of his favourite baseball team. Yi Seul laughs, and when the topic turns to her latest blind date, she mentions that she’s decided to see him again, to spare the both of them from having to go on blind dates. As if on cue, their mother, Seul Mo (Park Joon Geum) makes a dramatic entrance with a mountain of shopping bags, and warns Yi Seul to keep her fashion on point if she wants to impress the mother of her blind date.
Back at the traditional medicine clinic, Ri Hwan finds Ji Hoon in the hammock, in the same position that Haeng Ah had been in earlier. Ri Hwan is disturbed to also find him chewing gum, and makes him spit it out. In the midst of their goofing around, Ri Hwan gets a text from the hospital informing him that his test results are ready. Ri Hwan still has to work for the rest of the day, but Ji Hoon asks him to let him know as soon as he finds out.
Back at the station, Dong Il clears out his meager belongings from the employee room and says goodbye to his job. In the DJ booth, an anonymous cake arrives for their team, which Se Young believes must be for her. Instead, it turns out that Suk Joon has sent it to Haeng Ah for her birthday. As she eats it, Haeng Ah flashes back to meeting with him to get her bracelet back. She had apologized to Suk Joon for lying that she was fine in their relationship, and for believing that their breakup didn’t affect him. When Suk Joon asked if she was happy, Haeng Ah told him that she was.
Ri Hwan looks at his test results outside the hospital. Back at the traditional medicine clinic, a jumpy Ji Hoon gets a call from him, but we don’t hear Ri Hwan’s side of the conversation.
Dong Il is about to leave the employee dorm when Haeng Ah comes in. He’s startled, but she’s only there to request that he take over her show the next day, so that she can listen to his radio show one last time. Dong Il agrees to do two segments, then thanks Haeng Ah after she leaves.
Tae Hee is working at home when she gets a text from Ji Hoon, asking her to come to the police station where she picked him up last time. Without hesitating, Tae Hee packs up and runs out the door, then drives past Ji Hoon, who was waiting outside the station. When she comes back out, he tries to explain himself, but instead of getting mad, Tae Hee asks Ji Hoon if he wants a drink.
Ri Hwan waits for Haeng Ah outside the radio station, and when she comes out, he tells her about his test result, which came out fine. She bursts into tears and they hold each other as the snow falls around them.
We flash back to the restaurant, where Haeng Ah is wearing the bracelet that Suk Joon had returned, that she believed had been her mother’s. Sun Young had recognized the bracelet as hers, and Haeng Ah gives it to her to wear. We’re treated to a montage of scenes about the bracelet, how it traveled from Sun Young to Ri Hwan to Haeng Ah’s dad to Haeng Ah to Suk Joon to Ri Hwan to Suk Joon to Haeng Ah, and then back to Sun Young. In the restaurant, Sun Young takes the bracelet off and gives it back to Haeng Ah, telling her to keep it safe.
Not done with flashbacks to the party in the restaurant, it’s time to hear everyone singing. In voiceover, Ri Hwan explains how they were all helping each other to live day by day.
I’m aware that we’re rapidly running out of story here, but the use of flashbacks was so rampant that I’m not holding out much hope for the final episode to contain anything new. Not that I mind. At this point, any random left turn into drama for the sake of filling an episode would be unwelcome, though I do wish that the plot had managed to extend itself to the last few episodes. There’s so little left to resolve here that I wonder if the last episode will be shortened.
On the other hand, it was nice to see our lead couple being happy, and it was nice to check in with our other characters. Tae Hee’s softening towards Ji Hoon was enjoyable, especially because I would appreciate seeing this character crack a smile in the last episode. Maybe that’s the surprise they’re holding out for us?
Anyway, I still want to know what’s going to happen to Dong Il, Yi Seul, and most importantly, Se Young and Joon Soo. Noonas need love, too!
But “I’m planning to be happiest in these few days… As long as you and I don’t get greedy is fine.”
Bubblegum’s theme is as simply as a bubblegum, it is just about “Happiness, contentment, family.” Three very simple things. Which you can immediately hold on today, but each element depend on the other. Happiness cannot be fulfilled without contentment in what you have, and contentment depend on support and strength from family loved ones.
To be contented is the key.
Haeng Ah shows Sun Young the photo of their trip, and patiently explains to Sun Young who Dong Hwa is, since she’s in the photo.
Sun Young: “what about Chung Hee?” “Chung Hee didn’t go?”
Haeng Ah: “No, Chung Hee didn’t go. Dong Wha went instead. Dong Wha is Chung Hee’s daughter.”
I don’t understand this… Am I missing a part of an episode because I don’t know who Chung Hee is and who Dong Wha exactly is.