After watching this first episode, part of me was kicking myself for not watching the Japanese version to prepare. If quirky campy humor is your taste, this is right up your alley. As for me, it’s no secret why I am recapping – there is only one reason why I tuned in and you are looking at him.
There is a mental checklist I go through when I decide to pick up a drama and recap it live. When this first aired – truth be told a lot of those boxes were checked with question marks. To this day, I am grateful I didn’t have to translate their appearance on that talk show cuz that scene just went right over my head. I thought the language was too fast paced for me to recap live at first so I questioned my ability to do it justice. I remained pretty ambivalent and on the fence about this drama until the scene in the rain when HS had to endure what Choi had to say to her. That was the game changer moment when I realized I was no longer just a casual viewer and I actually cared about what happened to these characters. By then I was starting to become invested, but then in that last scene on E4 when we learned KW was a figment of JY’s imagination, I was hooked. It’s not often when a show comes around and questions what you thought about love, relationships, and illnesses and make you reevaluate some of your opinions. Love is the most trite and basic concept for all kdrama plots, but this one was different. Just like the writer did in her own real life, she mirrored some of the anguish she went through and projected those experiences onto these fictional individuals. Each character’s evolution stemmed from pain and suffering, but they eventually found the courage to face and admit their fallacies. Having so many characters be so raw and vulnerable gave us more to digest each episode. I have followed two of this writer’s dramas so far and each time she has proven that her contribution to kdrama is something that should be valued and appreciated long after the last scene unfolds. This show might have taken its time to capture my full interest and heart, but its effects will be lasting.
At this final lap of the drama, I expected to cry, but I never imagined it would be over a character that didn’t exist in the reality of this show. KW was always in the background – someone JY could use to redeem himself for his past inaction of not being strong enough to save himself and his mom from all the beatings, but also his wrong action of sacrificing his brother for the sake of his mom. KW’s existence might have stemmed from a manifestation of JY’s guilt, but KW also came from a place of love. JY sincerely cared for him and in return so did KW. Despite what their friendship cost JY and his sanity, letting go of the part of yourself that you care about more than life itself has to be the toughest thing for JY to do. That’s why I’m so glad the bravery to let KW go came from not just HS, but also KW and JB. I don’t know what the final episode has in store for us tm, but I feel like this drama already gave me a satisfying resolution.
I don’t like how real this writer is making this by being so convincing with her writing. All the sharp dialogue makes you feel like none of this is fabricated. As if it wasn’t enough just with their anguished expressions alone, their words are like nails to your heart – it pierces right through you. I’ve cried through a lot of dramas in the past, but someone always died or was about to die. There was no death in this episode, but I cried through almost every scene. I never knew one episode could be this enervating -it drains every emotion out of you. I keep wondering if anyone else feels like a masochist subjecting themselves to so much heartache watching a drama like this, but then I realized something vital. Despite all the sadness, I’m learning a lot more about human behavior. It teaches you to see beyond what’s visible and read into their actions. Like what’s happening with JB. All he wanted was to get out and get revenge on his younger brother, but watching how much of a hard time JY has been having all these years, JB is forgetting why he hated JY so much to begin with. Clearly JY is suffering way more than any physical pain JB could have inflicted on him by punishing himself all these years in a prison of his own making. No amount of reasoning could have made JB back down on his quest for vengeance, but seeing his brother locked up in a hospital was quite the eye opener for JB. I know this won’t happen cuz it’s asking too much, but I sort of hope JB plays a role in bringing JY back to reality. Fourteen years ago JY played a detrimental role in getting JB locked up so fourteen years later, I want JB to release JY of his guilt. Love for a parent made JY put his brother behind bars so how great would it be if love for a brother could set JY free.
I knew the second I saw this scene that this would be my main pic tonight. JY might not realize it yet, but he didn’t mean to lose his grip on sanity – he was actually trying to cling to his better half. The side of him that he has nurtured, encouraged, and cheered on these past three years. KW has become more than just a mere extension of him – he is JY’s chance for absolution. It’s no wonder he could never let KW go. Even after JY realizes KW was a hallucination, I bet a part of him knows letting go of KW would mean having to let go of himself. If only JY could see that once he lets go of KW, JY will have someone else to hold onto – someone real and willing to stay by his side this time. I really hope for his sake he realizes how heroic HS is being for him. She really came through for him tonight. I seriously don’t know what’s worse -trying to put aside your feelings long enough to objectively diagnose the one you love or the way JY will feel once he has been blindsided by the ones he loves. Granted it was all for his sake, but I don’t know if he will be able to distinguish that from betrayal initially. Trying to remain objective like a doctor when you are so in love must be the kind of struggle no doctor wants to face, but HS is better at her job than the others give her credit for. It’s not just a matter of curing him – helping him to recover will heal her heart as well cuz it’s been torn to shreds upon learning about JY’s condition. I swear this episode makes you feel like you have been punched in the gut then left alone to try to catch your breath only to be punched again. It’s brutal, but it looks like tm will be even worse.
Contrary to what we were led to believe at the start, I don’t think these two achieved true intimacy so quickly due to the physical aspect alone. I believe it had more to do with the merging of their cumulative feelings for each other. More specifically they didn’t judge each other’s peculiarities or idiosyncrasies from the start and just accepted them as natural fallacies – all part of being human. They had an easy air about them that enabled them to speak freely and comfortably – something they had never been able to do with others they dated. Their guards were down at the right moment for them to really see each other for who they really were and surprisingly – they didn’t see anything overly negative and only saw a lot of potential in being their perfect partner in life. Instead of rushing their emotions and feelings, they kept up an easy pace that allowed them to progress at exactly the right rate for them to reach this level of intimacy at a time when they will need it the most. It will require all of their patience and understanding to get them through these difficult times ahead so let’s hope they stored up enough to last till the end.
I think this is what I am dreading the most about the big revelation coming up when HS learns about JY’s real condition: will all this happiness and laughter be enough to sustain them when that moment comes? As a doctor, I am wondering if she is going to blame herself for being blind to so many warning signs that JY is more troubled than he lets on. Will she focus her full attention on getting him help before she even stops to consider what this will do to her heart? I’m just hoping and praying their love is strong enough to endure anything that happens cuz there is a big heap of trouble coming their way in the form of a vengeful brother and there is no telling how much damage he will inflict in his wake.