[2012] Miss you drama recap by dramabeans

128 November 7, 2012January 24, 2016

I Miss You: Episode 1

by javabeans

I Miss You premiered today, and I was eager to check it out for a few reasons. First off, the childhood leads are amazing. I like the adult leads as well, Yoochun and Yoon Eun-hye, and think they’d rock the melodrama genre, in addition to basically loving Yoo Seung-ho in anything he does. Plus, the writer and PDs’ resumés (Smile You, Can You Hear My Heart, Can’t Lose, Thank You) had me hopeful for a heartfelt, warm type of melo, rather than the overly theatrical kind.

Except… this is not a heartwarming melo. It’s a hardcore tearjerker with tragedy up the wazoo. I am decidedly nonplussed about this. I was all set to embrace this show and dive into the emotional whirlpool, only now, I find myself hesitant. I Miss You is definitely beautiful to look at, well-shot and strongly acted with characters whose predicaments you can really sympathize with. It’s the overload of misery that gives me pause.

I’ll hold out hope that things take an upturn, because there’s something here that’s quite compelling. As with so many things, it’s a matter of balance, and if I Miss You can deliver enough emotional substance to counter the heavy dramatics, I’m much more optimistic about its future.

SONG OF THE DAY

I Miss You OST – “떨어진다 눈물” (Falling Tears) by Wax. [ Download ]

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EPISODE 1 RECAP

A girl walks down a residential alleyway, her head hung low, her eyes darting around nervously. I don’t think it’s jumping the gun too much to identify her as our heroine, LEE SOO-YEON (Kim So-hyun, played in adulthood by Yoon Eun-hye).

Soo-yeon enters the gate and hears a loud thunk! from inside the house. It pulls her short, all nerves. Oh dear, she lives a pretty grim life, from what we see of her shabby neighborhood and her fearful posture.

Cautiously, Soo-yeon makes her way inside and asks, “Mom?” A man roughly grabs her from behind and muffles her mouth. “Be quiet!” he hisses, “Somebody’s outside.”

He grabs her threateningly, asking where her mother is. Soo-yeon sobs that she doesn’t know, and he throws her to the ground, covering her in a blanket. Yikes.

We cut to outside, where a woman shakes as she listens below the window. Are you Mom? Are you really going to just hide there while your daughter screams, “It hurts”? I guess you are.

The man stomps on Soo-yeon brutally, over and over. He smirks, “It hurts? You were happy I was gone, weren’t you?” Please tell me this isn’t Dad. I don’t blame Mom too much for hiding, given that this is what would be happening to her too… okay, I do blame Mom. Lord, woman.

Some time later, Dad sits nursing a soju bottle. Another man enters and addresses him warningly as Lee Tae-soo. Dad flings the bottle at his head and swings with a wrench, but this man is expecting the fight and efficiently restrains him. Ah, he’s a cop — he cuffs Dad and rattles off his list of crimes.

More cops drag him off, and Dad yells, “I didn’t kill him!”

It’s only now that the cop, Detective Kim (Jeon Gwang-ryul), notices the huddle under the blanket. He finds Soo-yeon trembling, saying, “I… was wrong…” It’s her constant refrain, the thing she must always say in hopes of calming Dad’s rage.

Turns out Mom called the cops on her husband, and she arrives as Detective Kim emerges with Soo-yeon on his back. He says she’s hurt, but Mom mutters, “It won’t kill her,” and hurries inside the house. Wow. The astonished look on his face mirrors mine, and he calls to Mom. She snaps, “If you’re so worried, then you raise her!” Is it too much to hope that he will?

The chyron identifies that we’re in the summer of 1997. Then, a quick montage of scenes from the future:

We see a loft with a (woman’s?) dead body lying on the ground, a man crying by her side. Our hero runs madly to the distraught heroine, whom he embraces. Police cars screech to the scene.

The hero holds up a gun, grabs her bloodstained hand, and leads her away. We see the face of the sobbing man in the loft (Yoo Seung-ho).

A gunshot. Our hero falls with a bloody bullet wound in his temple. Ack! Is this going to be that kind of drama? Eeeeeek.

The hero lies on the ground in an empty shed, tears falling from his eyes.

We reopen in the fall of 1998 at an American junior high school. HAN JUNG-WOO (Yeo Jin-gu, later played by Park Yoochun) is called away from his football game with news that brightens his whole being: his father’s here.

Jung-woo runs through school with a huge grin that immediately disappears once he sees that it’s not Dad here to see him, but his assistant. Dad’s too busy with the company, as always. Jung-woo’s family lives in Korea, and his stepmother has sent him instructions on touring Ivy League schools, even though he’s only 15.

Yet it’s Seoul’s Gimpo Airport he ends up at, surprising not only his stepmother Hwang Mi-ran (Do Ji-won) but also the assistant he followed, ha. Jung-woo doesn’t seem to like her much, keeping his words polite but showing little care for her. They’re all heading to see Dad for the first time in six months, and he’s determined to be part of the reunion.

As their chauffeured car drives by a prison, he catches a glimpse of Soo-yeon on the street, hair hanging in her face, head bowed as always. Something about her strikes him.

They arrive to pick up Dad, who has served time for some kind of white-collar business-related crime, and Stepmom Mi-ran wades through a crowd of reporters hounding her with questions. Jung-woo has been ordered to stay in the car as Dad emerges in a wheelchair. Jung-woo darts through the crowd to join his family as they’re loaded onto a waiting ambulance.

Meanwhile Soo-yeon’s mother joins her outside, saying wearily, “It’s over. Let’s go.” Soo-yeon looks over to see a dead body being loaded into another ambulance. (We’ll find out later, but that’s her dad who’s just been executed.)

Jung-woo’s father, Han Tae-joon, is a cold, gruff sort who finds Jung-woo’s presence here unnecessary and unwelcome. Apparently they’d kept the prison stay a secret from Jung-woo, who says he came because it’s been so long that he’s heard from his father. Stepmom takes on a suddenly doting attitude and defends him, saying he’s old enough to know what goes on in the family now.

Han Tae-joon orders his family to go home, then takes a detour. We come to a large mansion, where another body is loaded onto a stretcher while a woman wails in distress. Lordy, drama, how about a little anchoring here? If I weren’t flipping over to the character chart every other minute, I’d be totally lost; I’m having enough trouble keeping all these bodies straight as it is.

This sickly man is a chairman, and the woman is his new wife, Kang Hyun-joo. She growls at Han Tae-joon that she’ll call the cops on him, because if something happens to the chairman, he’s a murderer.

There’s no love lost between Hyun-joo and Han Tae-joon. He snipes, “What, so you’ll put me away for murder this time?” He tells her he feels like he just got bit by his supposedly tame dog, accusing her of stealing money from him during his absence.

Hyun-joo bites out that he’d better stop treating her like a dog: “I gave birth to your father’s son!” Ah, I see. He thinks of her as a gold-digger who seduced his father, and she blames him for her husband’s collapse. This makes her… Jung-woo’s step-grandmother? Okay, got it. This is getting convoluted, and fast.

Han Tae-joon warns, “For your child’s sake, you’d better not make me angry.” She freezes at the threat. He smirks that the boy “won’t be dead yet.”

Seized with fear, she runs for her son’s room—in a separate cottage—screaming, “Joon-ah!” But the only thing inside are two dogs that leap at her. BANG! One dog falls to the ground, shot by Han Tae-joon, who asks menacingly, “Who do you think is next? Where is my money?!

Hyun-joo is dragged away screaming for her son. But then the men see that a window is broken and stained with blood—the boy escaped. Han Tae-joon orders him found immediately.

That boy is Kang Hyung-joon (future Yoo Seung-ho), who limps away whimpering for his mother. (Ha, so Yoo Seung-ho is technically Yoochun’s uncle?)

The sound of barking dogs keeps Hyung-joon on the move… but then, someone grabs him.

By the waterside, Soo-yeon recites listlessly, “He’ll come… he won’t…” Her mother dumps her husband’s ashes into the lake and urges her to say some last words. Soo-yeon confirms, “Dad’s not coming back anymore, is he? It’s really over, right?”

Mom screams out the lake, cursing her hateful husband and bursting into sobs. A third visitor, Detective Kim, hangs back at a distance.

Mom gets drunk over dinner and toasts to their new life, while the other diners gossip about how Dad was executed for the murder of a child. Her loud behavior attracts stares, but Mom tells Soo-yeon not to mind them.

Jung-woo can’t sleep, and he wanders out in the middle of the night, bored. A creaking noise makes him lose some of his nerve, but upon coming to a playground he finds Soo-yeon mindlessly rocking back and forth on a swing. He recognizes her and joins her on the swings, noting, “Ah, so this is what you look like.”

She eyes him warily, but he just smiles at her and introduces himself. She expects that he knows who she is since everybody’s gossiping about her family. Blankly he asks if she’s famous—a celebrity? What?

In his momentary distraction Soo-yeon hurries away, but he calls after her, “Red uniform! Famous girl!” And then, “Lee Soo-yeon!” (It’s on her school nametag.) That stops her, and she returns to the playground. He keeps prodding her to answer—who is she then?

When it starts to rain, Jung-woo ducks under the slide and gestures for her to join him. Instead, she tells him to wait and darts back home to look for an umbrella. She excitedly tells Mom about the weird kid who keeps talking to her and calling her name, already smiling as she describes Jung-woo.

Soo-yeon finds the umbrella and runs back in the rain, offering it to Jung-woo. He thanks her and tells her he’ll return it tomorrow. She asks, “You’ll be back tomorrow?” He replies, “I have to return your umbrella.” Cute.

Jung-woo fights with the floppy, broken umbrella all the way home, getting soaked anyway. Ha. But he’s got a big grin on his face and embraces the wet.

The next morning Soo-yeon hurries out, eager to meet Jung-woo again. As she passes a house, a bowl smashes through a window and she sees a little kid inside who seems to by trying to break out of the barred window. The boy hides under her covers and doesn’t answer Soo-yeon’s questions, and she notices the padlocked gate.

Han Tae-joon is informed that there’s been no sign of the runaway boy. Hyun-joo keeps asking after him, but he’s willing to make a deal only under one condition: the boy gets returned in exchange for the stolen money. He orders his assistant, “So bring him back, even if it’s a dead body.” Yeesh. So Jung-woo’s dad is a bullying asshole; amazing that Jung-woo’s sunny nature escaped that, though maybe he has his overseas education to thank for it.

Jung-woo starts to head out to meet Soo-yeon, while his little sister Ah-reum whines that she wants to go with him. Stepmom Mi-ran stops him, though, informing him that Grandpa’s dead. It’s not emotional news since he’s never met the man, but it is surprising. (For clarity’s sake I’ll call Dad Chairman Han now, since he will be soon enough.)

Soo-yeon arrives at the playground and waits around, resuming her recitation of “He’ll come… he won’t…”

Unfortunately Jung-woo’s stuck at his grandfather’s funeral while his dad is off being villain-in-chief. Stepmom talks to Chairman Han on the phone, belatedly realizing that Jung-woo has overheard the conversation and is suspicious—they told him Dad collapsed, but he isn’t in the hospital. Why?

Jung-woo asks what Dad’s doing. Stepmom retorts that Dad went to prison to protect his money: “That’s the only thing your father knows.” Meaning, he only cares about his money, not bonding with his curious son. Jung-woo gets angry and tells her not to call herself his mother, and she replies that he should return to the States since she doesn’t enjoy having him around either.

Chairman Han is currently looming over the hospital bed of Hyun-joo. But she has deduced that he doesn’t actually know where her son Hyung-joon is, and calls him on the bluff.

He growls that if he can’t have that money, then nobody will. At that, she bursts out that the chairman gave her that money. She didn’t steal it—it was to protect Joonie from him. “If anything happens to our Joonie, you won’t receive one penny of that money!”

That tips him off that the boy must have the money, and he orders his man to find him asap. As he leaves, a nurse rolls a cart into the room—it’s the dead chairman’s nurse, who happens to be Hyun-joo’s confidante. She deliberately soils the bed to give them an excuse to shoo out the bodyguards while they clean up.

The nurse, Hye-mi, whispers to Hyun-joo that she has Joonie. She’s fearful and wonders if they should just return the money, but Hyun-joo tells her fiercely, “The chairman is dead. Now the only thing we can trust is that money.” Without that money, she warns, they’re all dead.

Hyun-joo gives her an order: “Take Han Tae-joon’s son.” Yikes. An eye for an eye, izzat it?

Chairman Han finds his son nodding off at the funeral hall, and takes him aside for a scolding. Don’t act of his own accord again, such as skipping out on school and flying here on his own. “I forgive just once. Keep that in mind.”

Jung-woo agrees, and asks if he can still come back for vacation. His father relents, and tells him he doesn’t have to go abroad if he doesn’t want to: “I’m different from my father. I don’t trust other people—I only trust my son, Han Jung-woo.”

Overhearing this is Stepmom, who understandably looks upset since she’s excluded from his trust.

Jung-woo returns to his room, seeing the umbrella and realizing he forgot to meet Soo-yeon. It’s past ten o’clock, and she’s only now walking back home after waiting all day.

Soo-yeon passes by the same house with the scared boy inside, and peers inside. Hyung-joon’s huddled in bed, whimpering in pain, and she asks if he’s sick. Nurse Hye-mi grabs her meanly and warns her to mind her own business.

At the police station, Detective Kim hounds his superior to reopen a case, and comes up against a brick wall. His boss says the case is closed, but Detective Kim says the real criminal confessed: “I can’t just bury this! From here on out, I will take responsibility for my mistake.” Hm, does he mean Soo-yeon’s dad was executed for a crime he didn’t commit?

The boss points out that this isn’t a matter so easily set to rights—he’s risking his own job. Lee Tae-soo (yup, Dad) had a long history of prior convictions, so they needn’t feel too guilty for letting him take this fall.

Still, Detective Kim’s guilt eats at him and he seeks out Soo-yeon’s school, again keeping his distance.

Soo-yeon is pushed around and mocked by the other students. On the other hand, the girls are quick to preen at the sight of a new student, Jung-woo, carrying a familiar yellow umbrella. When he asks after Soo-yeon, her name barely rings a bell until one girl recalls, “Oh, Number 27.” Then she shuts up, realizing this is awkward.

Jung-woo comes upon a crowd in the hallway, where someone wonders, “Why doesn’t Number 27 transfer out?” Inside the home ec classroom, Soo-yeon stands alone—everyone else refuses to go near her. They tell the teacher that they can’t share space with that shameful Number 27, the daughter of a murderer. What if she stabs them with the kitchen knife?

Jung-woo’s eyes widen. Soo-yeon has heard it all, and with head hanging she walks out of the class. She tells the teacher she’s sick and gets dismissed to see the nurse.

As the class files into the room, Soo-yeon meets Jung-woo’s shocked eyes. She calls his name and steps toward him—and he steps back in fear. Oof. That’s terrible. You can’t blame him for his reaction, but man does that hurt. He even hides the umbrella behind his back, like he wants to eliminate his excuse to talk to her.

None of this is lost on Soo-yeon, of course. She gets it. Without another word, she walks away.

Jung-woo is quickly recognized as popular kid material and bombarded with attention. The kids busily fill him in on Soo-yeon’s history and how her father killed two people, warning him to be careful around her.

Jung-woo attracts more adoration in gym class, while Soo-yeon sits off on the side, a thorough outcast. He takes out his personal frustrations in the basketball game, and his aggressive body-checking pisses off the other team.

Three boys corner him after the game, and the ringleader throws a punch. Jung-woo’s temper flares and he returns the punch, but he’s outnumbered and soon getting thoroughly kicked.

After a few moments, the boys are stopped by a barrage of basketballs rolling by them. It’s Soo-yeon, dragging along the ball cart and looking like the freaky Ring girl. She starts picking up the balls and whispers to Jung-woo to stay still—if he doesn’t fight back, they’ll lose interest.

I love that Soo-yeon uses her fearful reputation to spook the bullies, who quickly leave. But Jung-woo’s still shaking in rage and he hurls a ball at the leader’s head, ordering him to keep fighting.

He gets a few good blows in, but once again he ends up on the ground, getting stomped on. It’s an experience Soo-yeon can relate to, and the flashback to her abusive father has her huddling in fear, trying to block out the memory.

At her locker, she finds the yellow umbrella. As she leaves school, she finds Jung-woo standing at the entrance, keeping out of the pouring rain. She offers him the umbrella and again he flinches, like he thought she was trying to stab him. Tears fill her eyes.

“It’s not me,” she starts to cry. “I won’t kill anybody.”

But he backs away slowly, shaking his head no. When she calls his name, he bursts out, “Why are you doing this to me? If I pretended not to know you, you should’ve caught on—just go!”

Rather than getting angry, Soo-yeon says ruefully, “You got all wet because of me. I’m sorry. It’s okay, I’m not crying because I’m sad. It’s because of the wind, getting in my eyes.”

Soo-yeon walks away, leaving Jung-woo uncomfortably facing his conscience. He stands there in the rain, thinking of her words.

On her walk home, she recalls their first meeting, reinforced by the sight of the playground swings. It’s where he sits a short while later, getting drenched as he broods.

Soo-yeon walks by Hyung-joon’s window, and this time she hears Hye-mi pleading, “If you go outside and get caught, you’re finished! Don’t you want to see your mother?”

She peeks inside, and Hye-mi barks at her to get lost.

Mom comes up to her in the street and grabs at the umbrella. Opening it, they see a little note attached on a string, which reads: “Property of the most famous kid in the neighborhood, Lee Soo-yeon.” It brings a little smile to her face.

Meanwhile, Jung-woo stays out in the rain, swinging higher and higher, thinking of Soo-yeon. Finally he leaps off and goes running through the neighborhood, asking the neighbors for Soo-yeon’s house, passing Detective Kim on the way.

At home, Soo-yeon writes a letter to Jung-woo she doesn’t intend to send, which thanks him and wonders whether they could have been friends if not for her father.

Someone pounds on their door. But it’s not Jung-woo, who arrives at the house to see a commotion already in full swing. Soo-yeon’s mother rages wildly at a crowd of ajummas, screaming, “How much longer will you do this? Did I kill your husband? Did I kill your child? What do you want me to do?!”

The lead ajumma is the mother of the victim, and she cries, “Give me back my son!”

To which Mom grabs Seo-yeon—who is pleading with her to stop—and shoves her at the ajumma. “Then you take her! Kill her or let her live, do whatever you want!”

Seo-yeon grabs her mother’s leg, sobbing, and Mom just shoves her away, yelling, “Kill her! Die! She says you have to die for this to end!”

Jung-woo watches in horror, and then Detective Kim arrives as well. Seo-yeon begs for mercy, resorting to her go-to plea, “I was wrong, I’m sorry.”

To be fair, Mom’s not literally offering up her daughter for murder; it’s her fury at the ajummas and the injustice that drives her. Still, it’s cold comfort when Mom goes on to scream that they’re better off dead than living this way.

Seo-yeon crawls away on her hands and knees, and only then does she meet eyes with Jung-woo. Ouch. That’s another blow on top of everything else, and she runs in the opposite direction, away from him.

Jung-woo follows, calling her name. He loses track of her but doggedly keeps searching—until he hears that telltale creaking sound. He runs to the playground, and deflates to see the swings empty.

But he turns and smiles to see a foot peeking out from under the slide. She’s crouched there crying, and he tosses her the shoe she lost: “Found you!”

He addresses her, “Flower print dress. Famous girl. Lee Soo-yeon.” She looks up at him finally, and he adds, “Murderer’s daughter Lee Soo-yeon. Let’s be friends.”

 
COMMENTS

Oy. Now that was a lot of tragedy, told in an uber-dramatic, tear-inducing way. I know the drama’s promos should have tipped me off for the crying ahead, but I really did think we’d get many light-hearted moments as well, scenes of bonding and sweetness to lighten the drear. And I’m not giving up hope that we can get that, because now that we’ve established the misery of Soo-yeon’s life, we can explore how Jung-woo brings light into it.

That’s why I’m not too surprised at the premiere ratings, with I Miss You opening in third place with a 7.7%. That’s lower than Arang and the Magistrate, but higher than the filler specials that occupied the gap, and I suspect there will be time for this one to build. It did take a bite out of the leader, Nice Guy, which came down a few percentage points to 16.2%, while The Great Seer drew an 8.5% rating.

The drama doesn’t actually feel very makjang, despite the fact that the story bears all the classic trademarks: the chaebol power struggle, the stepmom(s) jockeying for position, the intergenerational strife, the obsession with money and business and bloodline. It’s amazing what a director and cinematographer can do to tweak the ambiance, because it doesn’t feel at all like Baker King Kim Tak-gu or Bachelor’s Vegetable Store, although there are a lot of elements in common. I think this tonal quality is to its advantage, because the show feels emotive and moody in a compelling way. I just hope the Han and Kang family warfare doesn’t get too absurd.

I joked in an earlier post that this drama was like a Hate Rain, but funny enough that’s rather apt a description. You’ve got three generations of conflict brewing here, with stepmoms clashing with their bitter stepsons and ordering the capture of the other sons. Eek. It’s a merry-go-round of stealing and hating and scheming. Plus, this episode was pretty bad about explaining things clearly, in that it didn’t. Many of the plot elements were referred to only obliquely, in a way that only made sense after you’d seen the whole thing and read the character descriptions and maybe rewound a dozen times.

The gist of the story is simple, but all the machinations tend to get pretty convoluted. Essentially you have the Han family asserting dominance (they run the Geumyung corporation), with the Kang line (Hyun-joo and hidden son Hyung-joon) set up to challenge. In our generation, that gives us the Yoochun-versus-Yoo Seung-ho rivalry, with Yoon Eun-hye caught in the middle. I’m looking forward to that lineup, definitely.

A few things have me concerned, and one big hitch is that opening flash-forward sequence. WTF? Do they all die? That had better be a huge honkin’ fantasy or a metaphor, because if this drama ends with Yoochun shooting himself in the head to protect the girl, I’m going to be pretty upset. Then again, I suppose you could say I was warned.

I’ll keep watching and despite my reservations about the story, I find the drama quite watchable and sometimes even gripping. When I’m not furrowing my brow trying to unravel the tangled relationship threads, that is. Let’s cross our fingers that things improve on this first episode, and that we get a little more happiness up in this hizzy. ‘Cause I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to stick around if tears and rain are all we get. Even if sometimes it’s happy rain.

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100 November 8, 2012January 24, 2016

I Miss You: Episode 2

by girlfriday

Oh whew, it’s much better today. Yay for some cuteness. I was scared off a little (okay, a lot) by the downer of a first episode, but thankfully we get some much-needed levity up in here, as young romance starts to bloom. Why the show didn’t choose to start here is beyond me.

 
EPISODE 2 RECAP

Jung-woo finds Soo-yeon hiding under the slide and asks her to be friends. The first thing out of her mouth is, “Why?” He says he can take it back, and then suddenly dashes away.

Panicked that he’s really rescinding the offer, she chases him, and finds him leaning over a neighbor’s wall to steal a clothespin. He sticks it in her hair to sweep it out of her face and smiles, “Ah, so that’s what you look like.”

He tells her to wear it like that from now on. “I won’t ever pretend I don’t know you again. I’m sorry.” Aw.

She starts to tear up again, just as the wind kicks up, so he adorably sticks his arms out to be a shield from the wind and tells her not to cry. Can I keep him?

She finally smiles back. As they walk, she sort of trails behind him shyly like a puppy, so he runs at full speed just to get her to chase him.

Soo-yeon’s mom cries in the aftermath of the neighborhood ajumma attack, as Detective Kim stands in her doorway. She cries that they can’t blame her—she’s the one who turned that monster in.

Detective Kim hangs his head, “I’m sorry… the real killer… was caught.” Mom’s jaw drops in disbelief, and Detective Kim gets on his knees to tell her that he’s sorry.

Little Joonie (Hyung-joon) stares out his barred window, bowl at the ready. Poor kid is just trapped in there. He shrinks back when he sees Soo-yeon pass by, and notes Jung-woo with her. I wonder if they’ve ever met. They’re family, but this isn’t exactly a gather-for-holidays sort of bunch.

Her house is just a few doors down, and she shows it to Jung-woo who agrees that it’s really small. He brags that his house is really big in a jokey tone, but then adds somberly, “It’s so big that the wind blows through it, making me cry. Not because I’m sad, but because the wind gets in my eyes.” He uses her line, but you can tell it’s sincere.

Nurse Hye-mi sneaks back into Joonie’s room at the chairman’s compound, and takes out a duffle bag full of cash from the piano. She shudders as she thinks of Mom’s orders for her to take Jung-woo, as leverage to get the rest of the chairman’s money.

But she doesn’t get very far, because as soon as she returns home with said bag o’ money, Chairman Han is sitting in her living room waiting for her. He threatens her, expecting that she’ll lead them to Joonie if she’s got him stashed somewhere… but leaves without questioning the giant suspicious bag at her feet. Ha.

Soo-yeon finds Mom being thrown out of a restaurant, drunk and screaming as usual. She crumples in the middle of the street, crying and wailing in the aftermath of finding out that her husband never killed anyone, but died a killer anyway.

Soo-yeon doesn’t know this, and just pleads with Mom that she’ll be good, as if to make up for all of the bad in their lives. She breaks my heart.

Jung-woo runs to school the next morning, armed with a new hairpin for Soo-yeon, and walks into class to find the bullies painting her desk red and covering her chair in glue.

She walks in just in time to see Jung-woo shove the boys and the desk, ready to start another fight. The other kids warn that the teacher is coming, and Soo-yeon uses that chance to swoop in between the boys… and hug the bully. Ha.

Now the teacher is scolding the bully and Soo-yeon for dating, while the class oooohs and Jung-woo gapes. Are you jealous?

They spend the rest of class sneaking peeks at each other, but Jung-woo can’t get her make eye contact. He grabs her after class and asks what’s going on—didn’t they decide to be friends?

She says that everyone hates her here and knows whose daughter she is, so they can be friends outside of school but not here. “Secret friends.” He calls bullshit (thank you) but she won’t budge.

During lunch, the mean kids decide to pelt her with their milk cartons, calling it “throwing trash in the trashcan” and the winner gets cash. Jung-woo seethes in his seat and then makes a move to get up anyway against her wishes, but Soo-yeon beats him to it.

He watches as she picks up a trashcan, throws the cartons in, and then goes to each student and redelivers their milk. I love that she can defend herself. Jung-woo watches starstruck, totally impressed.

She sticks the trashcan up on the teacher’s desk with her scariest Ring-girl look, and Jung-woo pitches his carton in and takes the cash prize. He stops in the doorway, “Hey Lee Soo-yeon, aren’t you coming?”

She looks at him in alarm but he just beams and waves the bill wildly, “Snack shop!” So cute. They sit outside as the entire class watches from the windows, and she argues that she wanted to be secret friends.

Jung-woo: “And I said I didn’t.” He pulls her over to sit down next to him, and then comes the rain of trash over their heads. Soo-yeon gets to say I told you so: “Now you’re an outcast too.”

He scoffs that he’s never heard of an outcast with a friend, reminding her that she’s the one who said all she needed was one friend. He says this is nothing and promises to ignore her if things ever get too hard to handle, and that seems to ease her worry enough to relent.

On their way home, he teases that she’s just mad because he’s more famous than her now, and then asks her to take the post-its off his back. They tell Number 27 and 41 to hold hands and get lost, and call him a murderer’s daughter’s boyfriend.

She sighs, wondering what she’s going to do with him, when they’re suddenly interrupted by a loud popping sound. They run towards it…

It’s a fire, in the house where Joonie is trapped. The door is still locked from the outside, and Jung-woo grabs a nearby brick to smash the lock open. Joonie comes tumbling out on top of him, and immediately runs away in fear.

Jung-woo tries to stop him to help, and sees his leg covered in blood. He reaches out and accidentally yanks the necklace off his neck, and it breaks in two. He tells Soo-yeon that the kid is hurt, and she catches up to him, but he struggles to get away.

Finally Jung-woo comes up and just picks him up, kicking and screaming. They rush him to the nearest doctor, who can’t believe the condition his leg has been left in. Yeah, you and me both, doc.

Jung-woo calls his stepmother and pleads with her to come help him just this once, but she coldly tells him to get out of there before he has to take responsibility for anything. Dad takes the phone and says he’ll send someone over. Eep!

At the same time, Nurse Hye-mi gets the call about the fire and sneaks out, taking care not to be caught by Chairman Han’s men. But when she gets to the doctor’s office to find Joonie, it’s Jung-woo she sees standing outside.

She recognizes him from the picture of Chairman Han’s family and hides. She watches as he gives Soo-yeon the broken necklace, with a portrait of Mom and the inscription: “To Joonie, the one I love most in this whole world –Mom.”

And dangling from the other end of the string is a key. Cha-ching!

Joonie stirs awake, crying out for Mom. But when he opens his eyes, it’s Soo-yeon who’s sitting at his bedside. He panics, grasping for the necklace, and she gives him the broken pieces.

She introduces herself as “unni,” thinking him a girl, ha. He mutters under his breath, “Stupid. I’m not a girl.” She asks what he said until he finally repeats the “Stupid” part. She tells him her name, but that’s as far as they get before Hye-mi runs in, pushes her aside, and rushes Joonie away.

Soo-yeon and Jung-woo chase after the cab, and Joonie cries to be taken to Mom. Hye-mi snaps at him that he risked everything: “Do you know who you were with? That’s Han Tae-joon’s son!” He looks back at them.

Chairman Han fumes that they lost Hye-mi’s trail, and Jung-woo comes home to hear him kick his minions out in a rage. Stepmom tells him not to interrupt and sighs when she sees his bloody hand.

She snaps at him that she’s the one who gets blamed for his missteps, and he asks if they can’t try to make an effort to get along. How can they live like this every day?

She calls him greedy for having everything from his father and wanting her too, and tells him not to blame her—Dad made it this way. I don’t like her, but she’s not wrong.

Soo-yeon comes home and Mom bolts up, deciding that they can’t live this way anymore. She starts to pack a bag, and declares that they’re going to move into Detective Kim’s house. Er, just like that? Does he know you’re coming?

Soo-yeon puts up a fight, but Mom says she can’t feed them—what else are they going to do? So the only thing you could think of was to use Detective Kim’s guilt to your advantage? I mean, I’m happy for Soo-yeon because it’ll at least mean she has a slight chance at normalcy, but still.

By morning they’re standing in Detective Kim’s yard, while his daughter Eun-joo pitches a fit that Dad’s sullying Mom’s memory, thinking that he’s brought a girlfriend and her daughter here to live with them.

I love his confusion. He swears it’s not what it looks like, but Eun-joo’s like, yeah right. Mom tells him that it’s just until Soo-yeon grows up—they’ll stay here and she’ll cook for both daughters.

He just sits there flabbergasted, and suggests that if she gives him time he might be able to find her an apartment or something, but Mom doesn’t even give him a chance to refuse.

She adds that they’ll have to keep the whole Dad-wasn’t-really-a-murderer thing a secret between them. Did she just move into his house and not let him argue? Whaaa?

Meanwhile, Jung-woo panics when he goes to Soo-yeon’s house and finds it empty. The landlady tells him they moved in the middle of the night. He heads to the playground dejectedly.

But Soo-yeon is there on the swings, kicking a little bucket of water to play her he’ll-come-he-won’t-come game with ripples in the water. She hums a song and he lights up at the sight of her.

He asks if she’s going to move schools too, and she wonders if she should, not giving away how much she pleaded with Mom to let her stay at her school. She tells him that the clothespin was the first present anyone’s ever given her (So. Sad.) and that she has a present for him too, but will only give it to him on a rainy day.

He walks her to her new house and asks about her new family. She says there’s another girl there the same age as them, and Jung-woo pouts that she can’t ignore him just because she makes a new friend.

They sit on her front stoop and he touches her foot asking if she isn’t cold, making her shrink back in embarrassment. He puts her at ease by showing her all the scars he’s accumulated over the years, on his back, his leg, and teasingly starts to unbuckle his belt, making her turn away wide-eyed. You cheeky.

She shows him the scar on her foot and says she got it while running away from Dad. She stepped on a piece of glass in the snow, and didn’t even feel the pain because it was so cold.

“But strangely, every time I see it, it hurts. Even though it’s healed.”

He listens to her story and then puts his hand on her foot to cover the scar, “It doesn’t hurt now, because you can’t see it, right?”

With his other hand he waves it in front of her face like he’s casting a spell, “All bad memories erased! Now you can make new ones—good memories.”

They’re interrupted when Eun-joo comes home. I love that the cop’s daughter talks like a gangster; she’s hilarious. She’s mean to Soo-yeon, until Jung-woo pops up behind her, slaying her with The Pretty.

Eun-joo gapes and her inner voice marvels that a boy so cute could have a voice like that. As he approaches, she thinks, “Don’t smile, don’t smile, don’t smile…” He smiles, and she practically faints. Hahahaha.

Chairman Han checks out the room where Joonie was hiding out, and his minion reports that Jung-woo was the one who rescued him and took him to the hospital that day.

Dad reels at the missed opportunity, and the minion confirms that Jung-woo didn’t seem to know the family connection and just happened to be nearby.

His right-hand minion is actually a double agent, and reports to Joonie’s mom (or he’s working both sides—it’s unclear at the moment). He promises to take her and Joonie to safety, but she doesn’t trust him.

He warns that Joonie’s leg won’t make it much longer if they keep hiding, and Mom thinks it’s just a ploy. He tells her to give it up before she loses Joonie, but she refuses to budge.

Meanwhile Nurse Hye-mi hides a briefcase in a train station locker and forces Joonie to take his meds. He wants to be taken to Mom, and she warns him menacingly that his life and his mother’s are no longer in Chairman Han’s hands—they’re in hers.

Damn, I knew you’d turn on them. And then someone else (her partner in crime?) takes that briefcase out of the locker. The next day that same person is parked outside, stalking Jung-woo with his family photo in hand.

Jung-woo accompanies Soo-yeon home by bus, and he prods her for his present while she nods off to sleep. He gets in her face to nag her about it, just as the bus lurches forward…

…landing them in a kiss. It stuns Jung-woo, and Soo-yeon doesn’t even know it’s happened. He blinks without moving, and then scrambles back to where he was as she opens her eyes.

She turns to him wide-eyed and he starts to protest, “It wasn’t me!” but she tells him to hurry—this is their stop. Heh.

They walk up through her neighborhood and he keeps avoiding her, and she asks if he’s mad or something. Finally she stands in his path, and he goes googly-eyed, suddenly seeing her differently and feeling short of breath. It’s so adorable.

He whirls her around so he doesn’t have to look at her (Ha—if only it worked that way, kid) and marches her ahead of him. She keeps turning back around, and he just keeps spinning her forward each time with a gulp.

Soon they’re running, and he stops at a curious lamppost that blinks on as they pass by. Soo-yeon counts, and on cue it goes back out. She thinks it’s creepy, but it’s been that way since she moved here and no one will change it, and she can’t reach.

Jung-woo thinks he can, so he reaches up, using her shoulder to get a little more leverage. It’s then that Soo-yeon starts to feel something too, as she looks up at him.

He twists the bulb into place and beams, and then looks down. Their eyes lock in the charged moment and they stand there, frozen.

And then we see that someone is watching them… oh it’s Detective Kim. He peers at them from around the corner, and from his perspective, it totally looks like they’re making out, and that Jung-woo is reaching up to turn off the light.

He goes running up like he caught them red-handed and grabs Jung-woo away by the ear. LOL. I love cop ajusshi.

But as they run off, we see that the creepy stalker is there after all, watching from his car.

Jung-woo sits at the dinner table nervously, as Mom peers up at him, amused. Then Detective Kim brings out both girls wearing matching sweaters. Omg that’s so cute. He’s adorable. Eun-joo naturally balks, but Dad insists on it and they all sit down to dinner.

Eun-joo claims the seat next to Jung-woo and fawns over him, and Dad actually tells her to have some pride. Heh. And then he proceeds to awkwardly lecture Jung-woo about hormones and how he never even looked at a girl until he was twenty.

Eun-joo quickly corrects him that he met Mom in junior high and even kissed her. The trigger word sends Jung-woo into a coughing fit, and when Detective Kim catches him making googly eyes at Soo-yeon again, he drags him out by the ear in the middle of dinner. Hee.

Outside, Detective Kim gets thrown against a wall… only he’s acting, and trying to teach Jung-woo how to fight like a man. This ajusshi is making my day. He teaches him everything down to the attitude and the lines, and Jung-woo eagerly learns.

Soo-yeon sits on the stoop watching them, and Eun-joo joins her, wondering if the umbrella she found is THE umbrella that Mom mentioned at dinner. Soo-yeon grabs it and Eun-joo asks if she can’t have that, can she have Jung-woo?

Eun-joo wonders what she did to make him like someone like her, and Soo-yeon hangs her head, saying that she’s right—she likes Jung-woo on her own and he just probably felt sorry for her.

But Eun-joo isn’t actually a mean girl, and when she sees Soo-yeon react that way, she puts her arm around her and tells her to buck up—they’re detective’s daughters, after all. Awwwww.

Mom witnesses the moment with a bittersweet smile, and sits down next to Soo-yeon. She leans in and says the sweater looks better on her. It’s probably the first nice thing her mother’s ever said to her, and Soo-yeon lights up. Mom prods her to go join the others.

Detective Kim tells them all to attack, and sticks Soo-yeon’s clothespin in his own hair. Ha. The four of them run around and play keep-away in the street, like a happy little family.

We fade into Soo-yeon sitting alone, and carving a message into a wall: “I miss you.” And then she turns around at the sound of a voice calling her name. It’s Jung-woo, but the grown-up version.

Jung-woo: “Are you smiling? I’m so angry it kills me. So angry I’m going crazy. I’m just going to wait today. Just today.”

And then we see that he’s all alone, and Soo-yeon was the vision, now gone. A tear falls, “I really might go crazy this way.”

 
COMMENTS

I like that transition into the future, though I think it’s just a glimpse since we’ve got a lot more story left to get through in the early years. At least this time it was a rather pleasant look forward, because yesterday’s bullet-in-brainpan montage left me wary. Fortunately today’s episode was a marked improvement on the first. It’s not nearly as convoluted, and focuses much more on building relationships and making us care.

It’s really to the show’s own detriment that they premiered with such heavy angst right off the bat. The ratings for this episode dropped to 6.2%, and it’s not hard to see why, given the doom and gloom of the first episode. I don’t know why you wouldn’t lead with the cuteness first—make us fall in love with them, and THEN bring the pain. Because by then we already care and it’s too late to back out.

I came into the series bracing myself for some heavy angst for sure, since it is a melodrama after all. But it’s the parental corporate machinations that turn me off rather than the tears or the sadness, because the emotion (when coming from Soo-yeon or Jung-woo) is done really well. I particularly liked their scar-sharing; it’s not the subtlest metaphor, but it’s a nice moment between them.

I can’t say I’m not going to roll my eyes at the plot, but I do care about the characters and today’s episode made great strides in developing their fantastic chemistry. Now they’re connected by something other than sadness and pain, and Soo-yeon has a real chance to grow up in a warm, positive environment. All good signs, pointing to the possibility that we’ll meet her in the future as a confident young woman who doesn’t hide behind her hair. Here’s hoping.

 
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184 November 14, 2012January 24, 2016

I Miss You: Episode 3

by javabeans

Wow. Um, you might want to steel yourselves before venturing into today’s episode, which takes the tremendous cuteness of the previous episode, gives it the big ol’ backhand, and locks it away. In a box of nails. With torture. The general plotline isn’t anything we weren’t expecting, since the whole premise is built on this huge trauma that rips apart the couple in their youths, but the dramatization of said trauma is a little, well, traumatic.

But if you’ve already gone and seen the episode, maybe what you really need is a big cathartic cry-vent-release session. That’s what comments are for? Have at it.

SONG OF THE DAY

Urban Zakapa – “River” [ Download ]

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EPISODE 3 RECAP

Detective Kim gives Jung-woo a ride home and is surprised to realize how rich he is. They have a heartwarming rapport already, which relieves my mind since it’s so clear Jung-woo wants a close relationship with his father—at least he can find that kind of connection with ajusshi.

Detective Kim gives him a bit of advice, saying that he thinks Jung-woo will be able to fulfill his own life’s unfinished dream: “Grow into a proper adult. That’s the hardest thing.” He leaves him with a salute and the request to look after Soo-yeon.

Dad (Chairman Han) arrives just then, and casts a suspicious look at the police siren in Detective Kim’s car. Jung-woo introduces them, but Dad ignores the handshake and heads inside.

Detective Kim notices a strange van parked across the street, and his officer instincts kick in. He approaches—we see shadowy figures sitting inside it—and the van immediately peels away. Yeah, that’s not suspicious. Detective Kim makes a note of the license plate.

Since having a cop around tends to put a damper on being able to continue with one’s lifestyle of crime and skullduggery, Chairman Han tells Jung-woo not to associate with the detective anymore. Jung-woo says he wants to keep seeing him, only to get threatened with being shipped off to the States. Aw, this just makes me love him more for growing up into a cop.

In front of her house, Soo-yeon answers Jung-woo’s call (she’s carrying around the huge cordless phone). He says teasingly that he’s about to cry since the wind is getting in his eyes again (in his big empty house) and tells her he had fun today, asking if he can come over again. Soo-yeon says yes and tells him Eun-joo likes him too. He sighs about how it’s annoying that all Eun-joo talked about was kissing, and then cuts himself off, remembering the kiss she totally slept through.

Jung-woo tells her to be ready to give that promised present tomorrow: it’s supposed to rain. She says no, it’s snow on the forecast. He bursts out, “No, it can’t! Before the first snow falls, it has to rain.” Adorable! Since rain equals Soo-yeon’s present and first snow equals kiss, he basically wants something from her before he kisses her.

Soo-yeon asks what he’s going to do on the day of first snow. He answers that he’ll have to meet her. They are so cute.

Soo-yeon has been drawing on the wall as she talks, and now we see the chalk letters spelling our drama’s title: “I miss you.”

The days pass. Soo-yeon makes a little flip-book with her school notes, showing a boy and a girl meeting under an umbrella and kissing. Is your present a kiss? That’s awesome. Basically there are gonna be smooches all around.

As Jung-woo looks up at the sky and holds his hand out wishing for raindrops, Soo-yeon writes in her diary of their respective waits. She’s never waited for anything before in her life, but decides, “I like waiting. And I like Jung-woo.”

Then, it starts to rain. Jung-woo goes tearing out of his house, HAHA.

Soo-yeon has to wait for Mom, who’s taken the umbrella, and impatiently tries to usher her home so she can run back out. Mom’s gabby today, though, so finally Soo-yeon just says, “Mom, I’m sorry.” And runs off, leaving Mom stuck in the rain.

Just as Jung-woo races past that broken light, it sparks dangerously. He stops to take a closer look, which makes me a little nervous… and then he’s grabbed from behind. A man drags him backward while clamping a drugged cloth over his mouth, and Soo-yeon gets there just in time to recognize Jung-woo.

She screams his name and runs after the car, and although the kidnapper is safely on the move, he growls that the girl saw his face. Stop the car.

Soo-yeon peers inside to see Jung-woo slumped over, unconscious. She pounds on the window begging the ajusshi to let her friend go, and finally the frustrated kidnapper opens the van door…

As expected, it’s nurse Hye-mi behind this plot, acting on the instructions of Kang Hyun-joo. Hye-mi has relocated her hideaway and Hyung-joon looks better now, though his leg is still injured from that dog bite. She tells the boy that he’ll get his wish and see his mom now.

Mom is still being held essentially prisoner by the chairman, and she sobs to see Hyung-joon arriving and hobbling toward the building. But rather than allowing him inside to her monitored hospital room, Mom and Hye-mi exchange a look, and the boy is dragged back to the car. I guess she just wanted to see the boy, if not up close.

She makes her decision and agrees to meet Chairman Han. He gets the call and smiles devilishly. (It just occurred to me that these two played out a bumbling romance in the MBN sitcom You’re Here, You’re Here, You’re Really Here. What a change.)

That night, Eun-joo alerts her Dad to the umbrella she found in the street. It tugs my heart a little that she’s been standing guard over it to make sure it stayed exactly like this until Dad could see, and she fears that this is bad news. Soo-yeon went to see Jung-woo, who isn’t answering his phone, and she’d never throw away that treasured umbrella.

When Jung-woo comes to, he’s lying with his hands tied behind his back in a grimy warehouse. He works the cell phone out of his back pocket, but the call doesn’t go through.

He becomes aware of Soo-yeon lying nearby, painfully stirring awake. He scoots toward her on his back and asks tearfully why she’s here. Her answer just makes it worse: “To save you.”

Hearing the kidnappers moving, they shoot each other panicked looks and huddle closer together. Looks like the guy’s doing some drugs, and he pays the kids little heed.

Jung-woo says, “Let’s go home.” He looks around and spots broken glass nearby, which he can cut his ropes with.

Chairman Han arrives to see Hyun-joo. Ah, he had her locked up in an asylum, which explains her virtual prisoner status. Hyun-joo repeats the chairman’s own words at him to make her threat known: Go get your son, he won’t be dead yet.

Chairman Han calls his wife immediately, who isn’t even aware that Jung-woo’s out of the house. But he puts on his stone face when confronting Hyun-joo, who thought she could barter the son’s life for her freedom. She threatens that Jung-woo will be killed if she doesn’t leave this building, but he calls her (possible) bluff.

Instead, the chairman orders her dragged off, never to see the light of day again. She’s carted off screaming that he’ll never see his boy or his money.

Hye-mi calls her kidnapper thugs to ask if the job’s been done. The kidnapper tells him to come and get both kids, wanting to be rid of the unexpected tagalong. Hye-mi doesn’t care about the girl, but she’s intent on getting Jung-woo.

Hye-mi has been watching the hospital window from her car, and both she and Hyung-joon see the lights go out in the room and realize that the plan failed. The boy screams for his mother, but Hye-mi tells him to forget her now because she’s dead. There’s no way Chairman Han would let her live—he killed his father (who is, crazy enough, also little Hyung-joon’s father) and maimed Hyung-joon’s leg. Her plan now is to get Jung-woo, then somehow flee with Hyung-joon.

Jung-woo stoically works on his ropes, even though this cuts up his hand on the broken glass. Then the kidnapper approaches the kids in his drug-fueled stupor, and the scared kids clasp hands. Jung-woo pleads with the man to get his ransom from his father, but the man just grabs Soo-yeon by the feet and drags her off.

Jung-woo shouts, which gets his mouth slapped with tape and a few hard kicks to the gut. The kidnapper turns, and gets whacked in the head with a stick. Soo-yeon wields a wooden beam and warns him to stay away, while yelling at Jung-woo to go. He works harder on cutting his ropes, and Soo-yeon holds the man at bay, warning, “Do you know who I am? My father’s a killer!”

She screams that she can kill too, while Jung-woo cries. The man knocks her to the ground and crawls over her body. Ugh.

Jung-woo gets more frantic, and she gets dragged away again. We don’t see what happens to her, but it’s perhaps all the more horrifying because of that—the sounds, the slaps, the screams. The camera fixes on Jung-woo’s reactions as she’s assaulted. Gack. It’s wrenching.

Finally Jung-woo’s ropes give way, though it’s a bit late because it’s over by now. The door opens, and the other kidnapper sees the scene and realizes his partner is doped-up again. He growls, “You oughtta die!” and starts punching him.

Jung-woo staggers over to see Soo-yeon on the ground, beaten and traumatized. She just lies there with her eyes open. He takes in the terrible sight, but registers that the door has been left open… and makes a break for it. Leaving her there? Ack!

I totally get why—he needs to run for help—but the way she just lies there whispering his name is pretty awful.

Then to make the worst day ever even just a little bit more hellish, it starts to snow, making a mockery of their innocent romantic hopes. Lordy. We get it. Why don’t you add in a Truck of Doom while we’re at it?

The kidnappers realize Jung-woo’s flight and give chase, the sober kidnapper pursuing Jung-woo into the woods and the druggie driving the van. Uh, did you think this through? Didn’t think you might want to trade roles here?

The chase takes them to a railroad station, where he ducks for cover underneath a train car. He manages to leave unseen and arrives in a sad-looking town. He runs from closed shop to closed shop asking for help, and spies a pay phone.

Chairman Han doesn’t seem very worried about the kidnapping, and would rather not kick up a fuss by reporting it—not when the nurse is bound to contact them. But then Jung-woo calls him and gives him his location, begging him to save Soo-yeon.

Chairman Han orders his men mobilized. Then, Jung-woo calls the police line and begs for help. He’s asked to provide his location… and drops the phone. He runs to hide himself, but the kidnappers find him anyway.

Detective Kim arrives at Jung-woo’s house to ask after him, but Stepmom turns him away with a lie that Jung-woo’s in bed. Thankfully this is not a man easily deterred, plus he gets the call that Jung-woo called the police.

Jung-woo gets a beating by the two kidnappers, but they’re not out to kill him and call it a day, saying they have to get back to “take care of the girl” anyway. Jung-woo begs for mercy, not for himself but hers.

An then, a whole fleet of black cars arrives: Chairman Han and his private thug army. Druggie makes a break for it, while Jung-woo begs his father to save Soo-yeon. Dad sends his right-hand man but refuses to let Jung-woo go too, even though Jung-woo begs, saying that Soo-yeon’s in danger from the second man. He can’t even bring himself to say why, because it has him breaking down again.

Dad slaps him and orders him taken home.

The kidnapper’s cell phone rings. It’s Hye-mi, calling to check up on the hostage situation, and the kidnapper is forced to answer as though nothing is wrong, telling her she’ll find the boy at the warehouse.

A figure darts in front of her car, and Hye-mi slams to a stop. I don’t even know whether to be glad Soo-yeon has found them, or worried.

Hyung-joon recognizes noona, and Hye-mi realizes that this must be the extra kidnappee. This means something went wrong… so she drives backwards, leaving Soo-yeon collapsed in the middle of the snowy road. She gets ready to run her over. Goddamn it, drama, you’re really starting to piss me off with all your heaps of terrible terribleness. Whatever happened to a little subtlety?

Hye-mi says that the girl knows the kidnappers’ faces, so she can’t be left as a loose end. Vrooooom. Hyung-joon screams, “NO!” but the car hurtles for Soo-yeon, who can only stand there frozen in fear.

Chairman Han’s men take care of the warehouse crime scene by setting it ablaze.

Detective Kim arrives in the vicinity to see the fire from a distance. A parade of black cars passes him on their way down from the mountain, and the chairman seems to recognize the cop. So does Jung-woo, though Detective Kim is preoccupied with the fire.

At home, Mom and Eun-joo worriedly await news. Eun-joo is keeping the details from Mom at her father’s request, though she confirms that there are no hospital admittances. Mom grumbles that she’s off with that boy again.

By the time the police arrive at the scene, everything is charred black. Detective Kim hunts for clues in the rubble, and finds… one charred clothespin. He knows it’s Soo-yeon’s, even though his teammates scoff that it’s an ordinary pin and not a clue.

Detective Kim keeps looking, though, and follows prints in the snow, tracking Jung-woo’s escape route.

At home, Jung-woo gets scolded by his parents, just in case you weren’t clear on how awful they are as people. Dad growls at him for being a 15-year-old who had the audacity to get kidnapped, like that makes him weak and unmanly. Though really, the whole point is that he’s not a man yet.

Worst of all, he called the police—Stepmom chides him for making that mistake, since drawing attention to ex-con Dad will hinder his business recovery prospects. Excuse me while I say: Boo fuckin’ hoo, lady. Guh, I hate these people.

Jung-woo kneels before his father and begs him to help Soo-yeon, saying she was trying to save him. Dad says derisively, “Save you? And you left her behind?! If something happens to her, you killed her.”

Fear-stricken Jung-woo even appeals to his stepmother, asking her to stay with him, but she snaps her hand back and tells him none of this would have happened if he went back to America: “Don’t act so high and mighty with me. This is all you amount to.” LORDY.

Finally, Detective Kim finds a clue in the snow: blood spatters here and there, and a shoe. Soo-yeon’s. He imagines the scene in his mind’s eye, seeing her staggering along this way, and follows that vision to the road. More blood spatters here, and then a large stain. Eek.

With renewed vigor, he returns to the Han mansion and demands to see Jung-woo. Dad’s assistant tells him to get a warrant.

Detective Kim continues the investigation and makes the connection to the strange van he saw the other night. His boss gets wind of his investigation and tears him a new one, because if Soo-yeon’s name gets involved, that draws interest in her father’s name, and that puts them all back in the hot seat for that criminal execution. He seizes his badge and orders him not to go around doing any illegal investigations.

Eun-joo calls with news. By the time he gets back home, Mom is convinced that Soo-yeon’s been taken or attacked by the victims of her husband, and begs Detective Kim to make it known that her husband was wrongly accused. Detective Kim lies to her to calm her down, saying nothing’s happened and he’ll bring her back.

On the other hand, news about the false accusation has Eun-joo looking disillusioned with her father. She rebuffs his attempt to explain and can’t believe he’d lie, either, reminding him that he’d once said that as a cop, he hated lying more than dying. And does Soo-yeon know her father wasn’t a killer?

She starts to cry, her whole world crashing down around her: “You catch bad guys, you aren’t a bad guy yourself! You tell me not to lie, but why do you lie? Who am I supposed to trust now?” I really like this girl.

Jung-woo lies in bed, mumbling Soo-yeon’s name in his sleep, reliving her assault. He rips off his IV and runs downstairs yelling her name, interrupting his father’s meeting to ask where she is. He’s practically hysterical as he screams that Dad said he’d find her. He falls to the ground, sobbing.

 
COMMENTS

Wow, um, wow. That was a little grimmer than I was prepared for—and I was plenty prepared for Soo-yeon to go through the wringer, since the Big Childhood Event must’ve been sufficiently monumental for Jung-woo to fail to protect her from it, as the show’s promos constantly reminded us. It was a lot to watch. I almost resented how beautifully lit and shot the scenes were, because the content was so repellant.

While we’ve seen her go through a lot already, there’s just that added layer of wretchedness in adding a sexual violation to all the other stuff, not just because rape is despicable but also because there’s an inherent gender divide in the transgression. And I don’t mean that Jung-woo becomes complicit in the crimes of his gender—not at all, not in the least. But it’s as though their shared trauma diverges there, from the moment their blood-stained hands were wrenched apart.

Compounding that is the fact that Jung-woo left her behind, which was such an awful moment for both of them (and us too, I think, watching him have to make that choice). I don’t blame him for his action, but I have to admit my heart sank when he did it. I expect that Soo-yeon wouldn’t begrudge him his choice either, but you have to think she had that same moment of feeling abandoned and left to her misery alone. One shudders to think how that can/must/will grow and twist and develop in the years of their separation. Will she harbor resentment under the surface, denying its existence while it informs everything she does? Or will she be so full of love that she would hold him entirely blameless? I don’t know.

What I AM pretty sure of, however, is that he isn’t going to let himself off the hook for it. That makes his adult trajectory really intriguing, and this episode certainly explains why the adult Jung-woo is described as a dogged cop who throws himself into catching criminals with a fiendish devotion. He’s out to punish everyone ever, and maybe even himself most of all for failing her. I’m not just speculating that part, since we already see signs of that mentality—when his father tells him he’s responsible for Soo-yeon’s possible death, he looks broken and admits that he ran out of fear. He doesn’t hide behind the noble excuse I was all ready to give him, that he was only leaving so he could save her; he all but concedes that he fled for himself. It’s a moment of weakness that will inform the rest of his life.

What does this bode for our future? Well, it pretty much means I’m rooting for Jung-woo and Soo-yeon to be happy forever and ever no matter what that entails. They could probably go on robbery sprees a la Bonnie & Clyde and I’d cut ’em slack. At this point I’m just relieved to know that there IS an actress playing older Soo-yeon, who presumably must still be sane and functional and communicative in her adulthood, inasmuch as I haven’t heard of Yoon Eun-hye being described as playing a catatonic deaf mute suffering from PTSD.

So the extreme content of this episode (and episodes prior) doesn’t, in and of itself, turn me away from the show or where it’s headed. I think it establishes the characters and paints the three leads in sympathetic lights, while showing us just exactly why Jung-woo and Hyung-joon aren’t going to be able to simply reconcile and bury the hatchet, unless that’s in each other’s backs, maybe.

What this does, do, however, is make me incredibly wary of the drama to come, because I have just about HAD IT with this show’s tragic tragedy and the tragification of all things ever. It’s one thing to show us the grimness of Soo-yeon’s youth and the extreme events that led to the separation. I get that. That works.

Where it gets iffy for me is when you surpass that level of narrative necessity and then just add on the pain and trauma, just because you can, and because a thousand tears are better than two. You’ve shown us this couple being precious and sweet, and you’ve basically already won us over. I’m not averse to dramas going dark—when it’s dark with purpose, I love it—but everything on top of the base level of horror just starts to feel like gratuitous pain. It’s not even angsty pain, which I can sort of understand because separation angst at least is rooted in longing and love. Pain for pain’s sake gets to a point where you’re on sensory overload.

Worse than the tragedy, however, is that I hate every single adult except the detective, and find them ridiculously over-the-top. Sad events may end, but terrible characters continue being terrible. It’s the makjang stable of baddies here, where people act for evil reasons more because that helps our plot, rather than starting with developed and interesting characters and building the conflict from that. I keep trying to tell myself that the levels of cute are sure to balance out the awful, that the sweetness will calm the boiling blood, and that the tragedy is now established so surely the ratio will favor the fun stuff now, right? But I fear that that kind of clinging-to-blind-hope will lead me down a path of misery and—what else?—paiiiin, so I find myself seriously contemplating the merits of calling it a day now, of getting out while I can and not forcing myself to sit through aggravation because I’m hoping it will improve. I am not convinced it will.

So… that’s fair warning that continued recaps may not happen. I’ll be giving it a pretty thorough mulling over.

Granted, all is not doom and gloom in the show. We have adorable leads, and I can see Yoochun and Yoon Eun-hye carrying over that charm. And here, I’ll leave you with an upbeat image. It does rather dull the impact, however, to know that this happy version of Jung-woo is only so happy because he hasn’t been hit with the ton of bricks that is his very soon-to-be future.

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283 November 15, 2012January 24, 2016

I Miss You: Episode 4

by girlfriday

The search begins, as we face the fallout from yesterday’s tragedy, and it’s actually Detective Kim who takes center stage in this episode, as a much-needed (and let’s face it, only) father figure in these kids’ lives. Jung-woo grows up as well, and man, I know that growing up is hard to do, but today that just feels like the understatement of the century.

 
EPISODE 4 RECAP

Jung-woo lies in his bed practically catatonic, while his little sister Ah-reum cries because he cries, and tries fruitlessly to cheer him up with a song.

The doctor tells Dad that Jung-woo needs to go to a hospital, and might even need to spend some time in the psych ward. That doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, but Dad’s response is to leave Jung-woo in his stepmother’s hands and ignore the whole problem.

Soo-yeon’s mom calls out Jung-woo’s name from the front gate, and he panics at the sound. He pulls the covers over his head and shudders in fear, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”

Eun-joo is there with her, and suggests that she should go inside and find Jung-woo. So Mom creates the perfect diversion, flailing around for the bodyguards, while Eun-joo sneaks in behind them. Nice.

She goes tearing through the house screaming his name, and it’d be funny if the circumstances weren’t so dire. I love her pluck. She finally finds him in his room, huddled under a desk, shell-shocked.

She asks why he’s hiding—does he feel guilty about something? Where is Soo-yeon?? How can he be sitting here when their family is upside-down? All good questions.

He just rocks back and forth, trembling like a leaf, not saying a word. Eun-joo pleads with him that they have to find Soo-yeon, and shows him her journal.

“You said you’d never pretend not to know her again! You said all you needed was her! See, it’s all written here! Look! Don’t you know how much that dummy liked you?!” Oof.

Stepmom and the maid drag her away before she can say anything else, but she leaves the journal behind.

Detective Kim finds the kidnappers’ van abandoned in the woods near the crime scene, and gets to work searching for any evidence left behind.

Meanwhile, Dad’s torturing one of the kidnappers, demanding to know where “that bitch” is. (He means Hye-mi. I don’t think he gives a rat’s patootie where Soo-yeon is.) He spares the man his life in exchange for finding her and bringing her back.

After a while, Jung-woo reaches for the journal and starts to read all the little details Soo-yeon noted about him—how he always turns to the left when she calls his name, how he memorizes the multiplication tables backwards.

We see some of their sweet, mundane moments doing homework or hanging out at their playground, as she narrates in her journal that it’s weird how she thinks about him even when he’s right next to her.

Her gift for him was a little good luck mantra of hers—that thing she always does with the ripples in the water as she chants, “He’ll come, he won’t come.”

She writes that if there are five ripples, it means your wish will come true, and she wanted to share that with him on a rainy day.

He cries as he reads: “The wind blows / I think of you / The wind blows in my eyes / I think of you / I run till I’m out of breath / I think of you / The street lamp flickers / I think of you / From the street lamp to home is 280 steps / I think of you.”

He weeps as he thinks of how he left her lying there, clutches the book to his heart.

Detective Kim stops by the house to pick up some of Soo-yeon’s things, in hopes of finding a link to Jung-woo that can connect any of the forensic evidence that comes up to the two kids.

But then he gets a call from the lab—the blood they found matches Soo-yeon, but there’s evidence that it wasn’t just a kidnapping. His face twists as he hears the words, “There was evidence of rape.”

He falls to the ground. Eun-joo asks him what’s wrong, but all he can do is cry. He holds Eun-joo’s little hand in his.

His tears soon turn to anger and he darts up, “That son of a bitch. That son of a bitch! Eun-joo, look at me. From this moment on, I’m not looking for Soo-yeon, but for you. I’m not going as a detective, but as a father. So I’m going to do anything. I’m going to do anything to catch him, and I won’t leave him be. Can I do that? Can I just go crazy?”

What a good papa. Eun-joo, ever the awesome the little girl, shouts right back, “Of course you should! Of course you should go crazy—you’re my dad! If you don’t, I’ll be really mad! Find her. Bring Soo-yeon back.”

And thus begins his quest. (And honestly, this is the drama I’d rather be watching—Surrogate Dad, Action Hero.)

The higher-ups threaten him with his job, but Detective Kim says he stopped being a true cop the day he agreed to cover up the fact that Soo-yeon’s father wasn’t a murderer. He says he chose to be pathetic, but now he’ll stop at nothing: “What would you do if YOUR daughter were missing?!”

He storms into Jung-woo’s house armed with a warrant (and a sneer for Chairman Han), and Jung-woo surprises them all by coming downstairs and asking what took Ajusshi so long. He silently sticks his hands out, to be cuffed.

Detective Kim says he’s sorry, but he’s gone a little insane right now, and cuffs him. Once they’re alone in the car, he says this is the only way he could reach Jung-woo, and that he fully intends to set him free.

Meanwhile, Chairman Han sends his minions to track down the second kidnapper before the cops do. After letting him go? Urg, I’d be madder if I cared about you, but I don’t.

Detective Kim takes Jung-woo to the river, and Jung-woo confesses that he ran away. “Soo-yeon came to save me, but I ran away.” It’s in no way a thing you could blame a fifteen-year old for, and yet it’s the last thing a father would want to hear.

Detective Kim just asks if Jung-woo has things he needs to say to Soo-yeon, because he does too. He tells Jung-woo the truth about her father: “I made her… a murderer’s daughter.”

Their mutual guilt is actually the thing to make them get their act together, and thankfully, Ajusshi is able to get Jung-woo back to the land of the living. He says, eyes full of purpose, that he’ll say everything that he can remember from that night.

The important clues: one of them was missing a finger, cracked out on something he called “ice,” and the van they found in the woods is the same one they were kidnapped in.

Detective Kim suggests that one of the men grabbed Soo-yeon while the other lit the warehouse on fire (to destroy evidence), but Jung-woo says that’s not right: Dad came before the police, and he had the bad guys.

He darts up, ready to go question his father, but Detective Kim urges him to wait, and that he shouldn’t suspect his father. Yes he should! Yes he should! Not everyone is like you, Ajusshi.

At home, Eun-joo stops short at the sight of Soo-yeon’s dress hanging from the clothesline, and pins it up with a clothespin. Inside, Mom lays out Soo-yeon’s uniform and caresses it like she’s there, lying next to her.

Detective Kim finally catches a break when a witness comes forth to say that he saw a young girl get hauled over a man’s shoulder. They search on the riverbank where the girl was spotted, and start to dig where the police dog indicates. Uh oh.

He starts to dig, and uncovers Soo-yeon’s sweater—the matching one to Eun-joo’s that he bought for the girls.

Jung-woo waits by the river, throwing stones and playing Soo-yeon’s game: “She’ll come, she won’t come…”

The fingerless druggie angle makes it relatively easy to find their target, and Detective Kim starts trailing one of the baddies.

Chairman Han continues his quest for The Money, and acts annoyed when Jung-woo comes to ask him about the baddies that they caught that night. Head Minion jumps in to say it was his fault, and that when he went back, the warehouse was already on fire and they got away in the chaos.

Chairman Han walks out, telling the secretary to either send Jung-woo back to the States or lock him up in his room. Gee, why aren’t we suspicious of Dad again?

Detective Kim follows Baddie No. 1 to Baddie No. 2, and beats them both up without breaking a sweat. He demands to know where Soo-yeon is. He’s got the first guy cuffed to the wall while he beats the second guy, and that’s when he sees it: the missing finger.

He lights up in a furious rage, and STOMPS the bloody hell out of the rapist’s groin. “Does this hurt? Does this hurt, you son of a bitch?!” Well, at least karma’s on our side today. I hope the damage is permanent.

He calms down enough to ask again where Soo-yeon is, and the sick bastard laughs as he says he threw her in the river, “kerplunk,” and killed her. Oof, poor Ajusshi.

The media covers the reenactment (which I always find so gruesome, even if it’s just with a mannequin), and Jung-woo watches on the television. Mom shows up in person, and stumbles up to the killer. It’s of course snowing that day.

She begs to be allowed to ask him one thing, and so they bring the man over to her. She searches his eyes, “W-why?” She asks so innocently why, like there should be a logical reason.

He turns to go without answering her, and she grabs his jacket, pleading with him to say that Soo-yeon isn’t really dead. She wails that she’ll forgive everything if he’ll just tell her that she’s still alive. Augh, even though we know she couldn’t have died the way he’s telling it, her pain is still gut-wrenching.

Jung-woo goes running out of the hospital into the snow, all the way to their playground. He checks under the slide, just to be sure. She isn’t there. Gah, that kills me.

Imaginary Soo-yeon comes and asks him the same thing she asked on that first day they met: “Will you be here tomorrow?”

Jung-woo: “No. Tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that… I’ll be here every day.” The vision disappears, but then he hears a familiar squeaking of the swings. He looks up with such hopeful eyes, but it’s just the wind, pushing along an empty swing.

He thinks through the order of events one more time, and something about Dad and his secretary’s stories don’t add up. He runs back home and tears apart Dad’s office to look for clues.

Inside a locked drawer, he finds surveillance photos of Detective Kim, a police profile, and a cell phone. He turns it on as a last-ditch effort, thinking it a lifeline to Soo-yeon. Suddenly, it rings. Someone’s calling him? As soon as he turns the thing on? Buh.

He answers it, trembling, and it’s Soo-yeon on the other end, “Jung-woo-ya…” But he barely has time to say her name before Nurse Hye-mi pushes her away and snatches the phone out of her hand.

She screams that they shouldn’t have kept her alive, and Hyung-joon (clearly the one who saved her) helps her up and demands that her life be spared. Soo-yeon’s face is covered in bandages, though we don’t know why.

Chairman Han grabs the phone out of Jung-woo’s hands as well, and argues that Soo-yeon is dead and he’s being crazy. He swears he’s not imagining it, but the more he insists, the colder Dad gets.

He slaps Jung-woo across the face and throws the phone to the ground. Jung-woo goes to pick up the pieces, only now realizing the truth: “You were never going to look for Soo-yeon, were you? You lied.”

Dad doesn’t even care to continue the lie, “Of course I did.” He calls her trash and a murderer’s daughter—someone he shouldn’t be connected to in the first place.

Jung-woo gets up to face him and asks if Dad really only trusts his son. Dad: “I trust no one else, only my son.”

Jung-woo: “Don’t. Don’t trust me. I don’t trust you anymore.” Nice. He goes up to his room to pick up Soo-yeon’s journal.

Dad orders him to stop, warning that if he walks out of this house now, it’s the end. Jung-woo doesn’t even give a glance back as he marches right past him and out the door without missing a beat.

Detective Kim is concurrently having his own rebellion, as he smashes up his precinct over how little anyone around here cares for procedure and fact. He asks if they’re just supposed to take everybody at their word—if the bastard said he killed Soo-yeon, he just killed her? Without proof?

He simultaneously gets fired and quits, which is right when Jung-woo comes running through the door, “Ajusshi, Soo-yeon is alive!” The exchange is actually really sweet. Ajusshi: “I know.” Jung-woo: “No, she’s really alive!” Ajusshi: “I really know!”

He gets down on his knees and begs Ajusshi to find her. “I trust you.” It means so much, in light of the crushing blow that he can’t trust his own father. He turns to the other cops too, “I trust all of you.” He cries, “I have something to say to her. I…miss her.”

Hye-mi decides she’s had enough of babysitting, and threatens to leave Hyung-joon behind if he insists on staying with the girl. She snaps the necklace from his neck.

He warns that it’s useless until he turns eighteen anyway, and that she can’t get to the money without him. He counters that he won’t go anywhere without Soo-yeon.

She sits numbly, even as Hyung-joon shows her the newspaper with her own murder in the headlines. He says that Jung-woo left her and isn’t looking for her, and she finally screams, “That’s not true!”

It’s as if him voicing her fear makes her face the trauma all over again, and she breaks down in a fit of terrifying screams as she relives the horror.

And then it fades into the same future sequence we saw at the beginning: Adult Jung-woo running to Soo-yeon, Crying Hyung-joon, and Bullet-in-the-brainpan Jung-woo.

As he lies there bleeding to death, he says in voiceover: “I’m not crying because I’m sad. I’m crying because the wind is blowing.”

 
COMMENTS

Oof. This show. It’s beautiful, but it’s a painfest, and I’m pretty sure it relishes doling out the pain. I don’t think there was one tearless scene in the entire episode, and Yeo Jin-gu—I didn’t know he could cry that many different ways, but I’m not sure I wanted to know either. He’s doing a fantastic job as a performer, but when I get scene after scene with tears upon tears folded into flashbacks with tears, I start to get desensitized, and I’m not sure that’s the effect we’re going for. Well, it’s either that or Total Emotional Destruction. Either way I’m ducking for cover.

There were solid, uplifting moments, of course—Ajusshi stepping up to become a dad to Soo-yeon even if it’s too late, and Jung-woo’s disillusionment with his own father. It was a nice parallel between the two men, both lost and losing faith in their figures of authority, and questioning themselves for the selfish choices they made, both feeling guilty for failing to protect Soo-yeon. I do really like both these characters and their struggles to grow up and become men in different phases in their lives.

In fact a good number of the themes in the drama are really very sweet and uplifting, like outsiders banding together, and found families being tighter than blood. But it’s the heavy melodramatic hammering and re-hammering of the pain that takes away from the could-be warm-hearted, uplifting kind of execution. Instead we live through the trauma the first time, we cry as we suffer the fallout, again as we get flashbacks to the original trauma in case we forgot, and then we’re to cry as the snow falls to remind us of how Fate is a total bitch. IT’S TOO MUCH.

We really wanted to give the show a good lengthy trial period because we’re fans of the cast. But it probably won’t come as a surprise that we won’t be continuing with recaps. It’s a well-made show, so the choice has nothing to do with the quality of the show itself in this case, but rather the feeling (and okay, fear) that the pain has only just begun. It’s just not how I want to spend the next ten Thursdays of my life, yunno?

I do hope for good things for Soo-yeon and Jung-woo, and will even exit with a rain dance to make that flash-forward a dream sequence, a drama-within-a-drama, a loop in a time slip—or whatever else that makes it not true. And I’ll choose to remember the few sweet droplets of happiness that we did get, mixed in among the tears.

 
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Missing You Episode 5 Recap

Posted on November 21, 2012 by ockoala

I was all set to recap only my beloved Hyung Joon-Soo Yeon scenes from Missing You and then habit kicked in and before I realized it I recapped all of episode 5. Oopsie. I wish I only watched the scenes I wanted because watching everything else continues to highlight for me how utterly hackneyed the writing is. The moment the adults show up the gratuitous pain level is pulled back significantly, but in the first half of the episode the only sane adult character literally drives off a cliff and dies. I’m shaking my head and going “what the fuck?”, but then Yoo Seung Ho and Yoon Eun Hye showed up and their collective pretty and insane fursploding chemistry made me not care anymore about the insipid script. Watching MY is a exercise in my patience because the presentation is lovely to behold but the director just marinates his shots in symbolism and bathes it in repetitive compulsion.

The adult portions has turned the corner a little bit but not enough to revive this soggy story into something more than “boy let girl down, boy wallows in guilt, money does bad things, everyone lives in painful memories.” Seeing the stills earlier this week of adult Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon did revive my interest in this drama and I am genuinely enjoying all their scenes. I like the fiercely protective side of Hyung Joon I glimpse beneath his exterior though I know the drama will inevitably turn him all evil just to make it easier to validate why Soo Yeon should be with Jung Woo. But if Warrior Baek Dong Soo has proved, it’s that my baby boy doesn’t shy away from taking complicated characters who are different shades of grey rather than black and white. With Nice Guy done, the ratings for today’s episode continues its slight upward trend which makes me happy. I want desperately for this drama to do well in ratings solely because I’m tired of Eun Hye getting any flack for picking drama turkeys.

Episode 5 recap:

Soo Yeon is further emotionally destroyed to learn that the world thinks she’s dead and even Jung Woo has abandoned her. Hyung Joon is also crying for his mom. These two totally abandoned and broken kids at least have each other. Watching Soo Yeon wrapped like a mummy and Hyung Joon with his gimpy leg and forcibly separated from his mom, this drama reminds me of how torture horror was a spin-off of traditional horror in the early 2000s, taking what is already scary and heaping on the pain and demented torture until the point we become desensitized as viewers. The good kids in this drama already have a shitty life, but the writer just wants to pile on and on and on, because she can.

Detective Kim keeps searching for Soo Yeon. Jung Woo keeps feeling guilty and sad. Jung Woo tags along with Detective Kim to find Soo Yeon, refusing to give up. Jung Woo is so gorgeous we all need to take a moment here and appreciate his fine cheekbones and manly pout.

He goes to her neighborhood and sees that she’s scribbled “Missing You” on the wall. He touches her scribble and cries. Yeo Jin Gu, this boy’s future acting career is limitless. Just don’t pick crap like this anymore, m’kay? Soo Yeon’s mom screams at him to leave since she holds him responsible for Soo Yeon’s death by him running away.

Nurse Hye Mi illicitly buys passports for her group and Detective Kim follows her after getting a tip from the passport maker. Evil greedbag Han Tae Joon and his lackeys get close to tracking down Nurse Hye Mi and Hyung Joon. He sees chalk drawing on the wall and remembers that Hyung Joon drew something similar before. Or else he is just a super smart sleuth. Nevertheless, by the time he goes to that hiding place, it’s empty.

Because only Hyung Joon can get the money on his 18th birthday, he convinces Nurse Hye Mi to take the two kids with her as she makes her escape. Tae Joon calls Nurse Hye Mi and says he’s thisclose to finding her. Hyung Joon grabs the phone and knows his older cacklingly evil half-brother is almost on them. He tells the group they need to leave NOW.

Detective Kim also makes his way to where Nurse Hye Mi is hiding out with Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon. Hyung Joon sees Detective Kim’s shadow outside the window, but since he doesn’t know who he is, he thinks he’s Tae Joon’s lackey. Detective Kim calls Jung Woo and says he might’ve found Soo Yeon. Hyung Joon uses a distraction and shoves his coke can under Detective Kim’s brake pedal to keep him from pursuing them.

Jung Woo goes to the broken street and repairs it happily as he waits for news of finding Soo Yeon.

Detective Kim drives off in pursuit of Nurse Hye Mi’s car and during the car chase he can’t stop his car and his car drives off a cliff. Seriously. I did not make this shit up. Hyung Joon makes his getaway with Soo Yeon still wrapped up like a mummy. Soo Yeon turns around while Hyung Joon rests his head on her shoulder, relieved that they’ve gotten away.

Young Jung Woo stands in front of the cliff and mourns decent upstanding Detective Kim. Soo Yeon’s mom and Detective Kim’s now-orphaned daughter is also there crying. So I am, but only because the sole normal human adult in this entire drama has been killed off.

Time jump of 14 years coming up! Here’s where the story is in a nutshell. Jung Woo is now a detective and has a reputation for being a crazy motherfucker who will wipe a criminal’s ass all over the floor if he catches one. He’s left his dysfunctional family and now lives with Soo Yeon’s mom and Detective Kim’s orphaned daughter Eun Joo. They are one happy and sad family – happy together with their little semblance of a family, sad because of the loved ones they lost.

Jung Woo goes to prison and sees the scumbag who raped Soo Yeon and warns the man that when he’s released shortly, Jung Woo will make find any reason to kill him. He also covers the CCTV and beats the man up.

Jung Woo goes to the wall and cries about how much he misses Soo Yeon.

A woman dives into a huge indoor swimming pool and then for NO DISCERNABLE REASON WHATSOEVER starts to flail around and then drown. In what is clearly just 5 foot deep water. Seriously. Not making this shit up either. Everyone also seems to be dropping like flies in this drama. Jung Woo is called to the scene to deal with the death. Accidental drowning or nefarious muuuuuurrrrder?

Ah Reum tries to call her brother Jung Woo and her mom grabs the phone and tells her not to since her dad will be pissed. They are in Jeju at a fancy hotel.

Adult Soo Yeon, now a fashion designer named Zoe, runs through the backstage of her upcoming fashion show being held at that hotel. A model is throwing a hissy fit and Soo Yeon walks right up and slaps her once, and then again for good measure. Soo Yeon tells her this show is important.

Soo Yeon hears the sound of a cane striking the floor, over and over, and she immediately perks up like a dog sniffing a bacon bone. She looks around and then gets on the floor to crawl around. She spies a pair of male legs with a cane next to it and she scurries over and grabs the leg saying “I found you!”

Turns out its some White dude and not her man. She asks where the owner of that cane is? Adult Hyung Joon, now known as Harry, walks over from the other side and greets her. He reaches out his hand and Soo Yeon plays coy. He asks if she wants him to walk over (without his cane)? He beckons again in the meltiest voice in the world and of course Soo Yeon is putty in his hands and she runs into his arms.

They hug and then it’s off!

Soo Yeon and Hyung Joon walk through the lobby of the hotel. Soo Yeon walks backwards while Hyung Joon faces her. He says he just came from Las Vegas and it was really for work, which causes Soo Yeon to shake her head at him with a smile indicating she doesn’t believe him. They banter and flirt with each other, as he ribs her about slapping that chick due to her fiery temper, which Soo Yeon blames on lack on sleep since she can’t sleep on the plane. Hyung Joon says that makes sense, since the woman he loves deeply isn’t one to slap another willy nilly.

Hyung Joon points out that the slapped chick looked scary, what if she calls the cops? Soo Yeon isn’t scared, because the man she loves will just hire her a very expensive lawyer. Suddenly Soo Yeon stops walking because Hyung Joon gets really close to her and she grows flustered. He leans in and then bumps his head on hers adorably.

They smile and walk away, with Soo Yeon grabbing Hyung Joon’s arm. I know this happiness won’t last so imma savoring every second of it while I can. Stepmother and Ah Reum watch them and Stepmother recognizes Soo Yeon as the up-and-coming fashion designer. She heard Zoe has a sponsor but doesn’t think Hyung Joon looks like the guy. She thinks Zoe is cheating on her sponser with a boy like Hyung Joon and wants to use that to scout Zoe.

The dead woman is Nurse Hye Mi and Jung Woo goes through the house looking for clues. He sees a locked door and tries to break it down but is stopped by his partner.

They go into the study where there is a huge gorgeous framed picture of Hyung Joon hugging Soo Yeon hanging on the wall. Jung Woo stares at Soo Yeon and reaches out to touch her face, clearly sensing something familiar.

Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon drive through the Jeju countryside. He asks about her unwillingness to come back to Korea but she says she was chosen so she has to come. He worries about her but she assures him that she’s fine being back in Korea and she’s thrown away all those bad memories. Soo Yeon says all her good memories were made with Hyung Joon.

Hyung Joon gets a call from Jung Woo informing him of the passing of Nurse Hye Mi and introducing himself as Detective Han Jung Woo. It appears Hyung Joon remembers the name and makes the connection on who Jung Woo is. He pulls over to talk and Soo Yeon asks what is going on. Jung Woo hears her voice through the telephone and he finds it familiar.

Soo Yeon is prepping for the fashion show and she sees Hyung Joon standing there smiling at her which visibly relaxes her. But later when she turns around and he’s gone, she becomes agitated and runs around looking for him. Stepmother accosts Soo Yeon and shoves her business card to her but Soo Yeon brushes her off.

The show goes off without a hitch but Soo Yeon is nowhere to be found for the designer stage bow. Soo Yeon runs back to their hotel room and finds Hyung Joon sleeping on the chair with his head phones on. She tells the sleeping Hyung Joon that she was planning to get mad about his no-show but now she can’t. She stares at him and then takes the head phones off and covers him with a blanket.

Soo Yeon stares at Hyung Joon as he sleeps, and then when she falls asleep, he wakes up and stares at her. OMO, my heart, be still.

Soo Yeon is awakened by a call from Hyung Joon who is on his way back to Seoul because of Nurse Hye Mi’s death. Soo Yeon is shaken to hear that Nurse Hye Mi died in what appears to be a drunk swimming incident. Oookay. She asks if she should go with him but he tells her to go back to France and he’ll meet her there as soon as he’s done here.

Hyung Joon arrives at the house and shakes hands with Jung Woo, introducing himself as Harry.

He’s taken to the morgue and when he sees Nurse Hye Mi’s dead body, Hyung Joon is visibly shaken and Jung Woo needs to steady him.

Soo Yeon ends up going to Seoul as well but she walks through the airport scared and wanting to be inconspicuous, putting her hoodie over her head and avoiding eye contact. She’s still so scared it’s sad to see. She tries calling Hyung Joon, who appears to be her only contact in her phone, but his is turned off.

Soo Yeon gets into a cab and its raining outside she opens the window a sliver to let the drops fall on her face. Jung Woo drives Hyung Joon back and he also opens the window and puts his hand out.

After Jung Woo drops Hyung Joon off, as he’s driving out of the compound he stops to open the gate. He sees Soo Yeon standing outside and she’s mumbling the rain chant and shuffling her feet the same way. Jung Woo freaks out and tells her to stop but she doesn’t see or hear him so she runs off to get out of the rain. Though why she was standing in the pouring rain in the first place eludes me. He tries to climb over the gate tor reach her but fails hilariously. The episode ends awkwardly here with Jung Woo hopping around the gate.

Thoughts of Mine:

I think all the adults are doing great but so far Yoochun really captured his childhood counterpart’s overall vibe the best. But then again, Yoon Eun Hye is playing a Soo Yeon that is radically transformed from her teenage self, while Yoo Seung Ho’s Hyung Joon really wasn’t terribly developed to begin with as the childhood portions were devoted to Jung Woo and Soo Yeon. I do think Hyung Joon is a fascinating character because, unlike Jung Woo’s flight-or-flee instinct during the rape aftermath when he ran away, everything Hyung Joon does is calculated because he’s forced to. From the moment his half-brother Jung Woo’s dad released the hounds to attack him in the house and he managed to escape, he’s been fleeing with his life and future on the line. He’s now taken Soo Yeon’s life and future under his arms, but he’s not without his own ulterior motives. To Hyung Joon, Soo Yeon represents the one good thing in his life when it all went to hell. When he saw her life also destroyed, he made a decision to save both of them.

Yoo Seung Ho has said in interviews that he wants to play a bad guy, which prompted him to turn down the lead in Warrior Baek Dong Soo and take on the antagonist role in that sageuk. It’s also one reason he wanted to do MY, because his character is willing to do anything to protect himself and the woman he loves and isn’t above doing something dangerous or wrong. I wouldn’t be surprised that the writer turns him evil per Yoo Seung Ho’s desire, though the fan love for his character could also turn the tide and have him pull a Park Shi Hoo. I’m so bummed Detective Kim died because Hyung Joon thought he was one of Han Tae Joon’s lackey’s and tried and stall him with the coke can and ended up sending the man tumbling down a cliff. That is such crappy writing, to kill off Detective Kim to add more angst to all the characters and strengthen Jung Woo’s resolve to be a detective and fight crime as his life’s calling. Oh well, it is what it is. Have some puuurfect Hyung Joon-Soo Yeon gifs to savor.

 

Missing You Episode 6 Recap

Posted on November 22, 2012 by ockoala

Now that the adult actors have arrived, the ratings for Missing You keep rocketing upward likely due to the combination of super weak competition (The Great Seer is a complete failure and Jeon Woo Chi has started off awkward and not very coherent) and a solid one-two-three acting punch in popular young actors Yoochun, Yoon Eun Hye, and Yoo Seung Ho (heh, I’m so tempted to start referring to them as the 3Ys). I’ve expressed reservations with Seung Ho being paired with his much older noona in Eun Hye, plus he was coming off a truly mindnumbingly dull performance in Arang and the Magistrate, so I dialed my expectations way low for this role. Happy for me, he’s exceeded all my expectations and now I only wish the writer would spend a bit more time developing both Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon’s characters. The writer is really doing an outstanding job of writing Jung Woo, which helps smooth over her lazy writing when it comes to plot contrivances. But unless the writer delves deeper into Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon as well, it’ll end up relying on even more silly plot twists to generate conflict.

Hyung Joon has the potential to be such a great conflicted character that can do bad things because of good reasons and make it hard to either love or hate him. Soo Yeon, I want her to reunite with and get over her pain that is tied to Jung Woo, and then decide which guy she wants to be with, the one who has been her other half for the last 14 years, or the one she has never been able to forget or let go of. I really didn’t care much for young Jung Woo, but I’m loving adult Jung Woo with his goodness mixed with ferocity that just works because we know how he got to be the person he is today. Missing You is still stupider than a school of jellyfish but the little bits that work for me keeps me interested and appears to be hooking new viewers in Korea. My recaps, for as long as I am interested enough to write them, will be much more screencap heavy for this particular drama than usual. The visuals are so pretty in its palates of ochre and blue but the narrative isn’t nearly as interesting.

Episode 6 recap:

Jung Woo manages to scale that gate after all (go Jung Woo!) and catches up to Soo Yeon. He yanks her around and stares at her, trying to confirm whether or not she’s Soo Yeon. Not sure if Soo Yeon recognizes him on sight but she’s affected and stares back. When Jung Woo’s partner arrives, Jung Woo releases Soo Yeon and walks off, mumbling that she can’t be her. Soo Yeon stands in the rain and stares after him.

Hyung Joon stands before the portrait of him and Soo Yeon and stares at it. I know you’re handsome, baby boy, but that’s taking narcissism to a whole new level. But chances are you are staring at Soo Yeon, which I don’t blame you for doing.

When Soo Yeon gets out of the shower, Hyung Joon turns to leave and she can tell he’s not terribly pleased she came to Seoul without letting him know where she was headed. Hyung Joon asks that she never make him that worried again (not knowing where she was). She promises, but then blames him for turning off his cellphone first. They both realize the other isn’t really all that angry or contrite because they know each other so well.

Hyung Joon fixes Soo Yeon a meal and she brings up running into a cop outside. She says the guy tried to talk to her, but laughs it off that she’s too pretty. Hyung Joon hears she ran into a cop and looks pensive.

Hyung Joon puts his hand on Soo Yeon’s shoulder and her hand reaches over to touch his as well. They have such a natural and almost seamless interaction with each other, albeit not quite healthy since their world consists of only each other.

Jung Woo goes to take a brooding shower while fully dressed.

Soo Yeon’s mom buys “her son” a new coat and brings it to Jung Woo at the police station. I love their relationship. If for no other reason, Soo Yeon should end up with Jung Woo because he’s taken care of her mom for the last 14 years and they have a chance to be a functional happy family after all is said and done.

Jung Woo calls Hyung Joon to brief him on updates with the investigation into Nurse Hye Mi’s death. Hyung Joon asks Jung Woo to call him first before showing up at the house and Jung Woo agrees.

Soo Yeon can’t sleep at 4 in the morning and Hyung Joon knocks before entering her room to keep her company.

She tells him to sit next to her and he teases back that it should be more than just sitting. He asks if he can lay down. I love how respectful yet flirty he is.

Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon lie in bed together staring at each other. She touches his cheek where he has a scar from the childhood injury and says its visible now that he got short hair. She use to think that if Hyung Joon ever left her, she would use his scar to find him. Hyung Joon points out that he’s got a crippled leg, how could be possibly leave her? He asks that she not run away because he can’t possibly chase after her.

Soo Yeon asks if she can stay here until he finishes his work. Hyung Joon sighs that he doesn’t want to work when she’s around. She raises her hand to promise him she won’t distract him. Hyung Joon smiles and tells her to do whatever she wants. Hyung Joon wonders why she hasn’t asked about Nurse Hye Mi’s passing? Soo Yeon assures him that she’s really discarded all those bad memories. Soo Yeon and Hyung Joon cover each other up to sleep.

Hyung Joon reaches out his hand and clasp Soo Yeon’s, and she grasps his back. After Hyung Joon falls asleep, Soo Yeon waves her magic memory forgetting fingers over his face as if to wipe away his bad memories.

Jung Woo looks at the CCTV footage and tracks down Han Tae Joon’s secretary, who claims to not know Nurse Hye Mi. Riiiight. Jung Woo doesn’t buy his story so continues investigating. Secretary hears that Nurse Hye Mi has a nephew and asks to get in touch with him. When Secretary sees the dossier on the nephew, he realizes that its the now-adult Kang Hyung Joon.

Jung Woo goes to his stepmother’s store and asks if she knows the deceased Michelle Kim (Nurse Hye Mi). Stepmother says she’s never met Michelle Kim, and someone suggested that woman as a potential investor in Stepmother’s clothing boutique.

Ah Reum arrives and walks out with Jung Woo, grumbling about going to a matseon today. She wonders if her oppa has a girl he likes and Jung Woo says there is always a woman in his mind and his heart. Ah Reum teases that even if he found Soo Yeon unni, she won’t like him because he’s changed so much. Jung Woo says he’s not changed at all.

Jung Woo’s partner goes to Hyung Joon’s house to wait for him. Soo Yeon calls Hyung Joon and he says he will be right back. Soo Yeon is cooking when Jung Woo arrives.

When Jung Woo’s partner calls his name, Soo Yeon freezes and she repeats it, now aware of who he is.

Jung Woo hears her say his name and he grabs her, demanding to know who she is. Jung Woo screams at Soo Yeon to says his name again. Soo Yeon doesn’t answer and Hyung Joon returns home.

Jung Woo’s partner briefs Hyung Joon, who stares at Jung Woo, who stares past Hyung Joon’s head at Soo Yeon who is in the kitchen. Apparently before the accident, the lights in Harry’s locked room was turned on for 30 minutes and then turned off. Hyung Joon says his aunt has the keys to his room. Hyung Joon cut to the chase and asks Jung Woo if his fiancee did anything wrong?

Jung Woo asks to speak with Hyung Joon’s fiancee. Hyung Joon smiles and asks if Jung Woo is interested in his fiancee and using this case as an excuse. Hyung Joon sighs and says what to do about that? Soo Yeon walks over and puts her hand on Hyung Joon’s shoulder and says there is nothing that needs to be done, since she only loves Hyung Joon.

Hyung Joon teases that he ought to be nervous since his fiancee is so popular. When Soo Yeon turns to leave, Jung Woo stands up and asks her to stop. Soo Yeon walks over and touches Hyung Joon’s shoulder while looking Jung Woo in the eye and asking what he wants. Jung Woo apologizes for his untoward behavior earlier.

Then Jung Woo asks who taught Soo Yeon the “will the rain stop” chant. Soo Yeon freezes, and Hyung Joon turns around and asks Soo Yeon to share where she learned it. Soo Yeon steels herself and turns around, saying that she doesn’t remember anymore.

When Jung Woo moves towards Soo Yeon, Hyung Joon stands up and tells Jung Woo to contact him when the autopsy results are out.

Jung Woo goes drinking with his cop buddies and gets adorably drunk. He’s such a decent guy, I wish he could move on even without getting Soo Yeon back, that he could work through his issues first. Afterwards he goes to the warehouse where Soo Yeon was raped and sits there in the dark.

The next morning, Jung Woo’s partner grabs him and slaps handcuffs on him because today is the day the rapist will be released.

Soo Yeon and Hyung Joon are driving home when their car hits the just-released-from-jail rapist as he crosses an intersection. SERIOUSLY?!?! *headdesking forever here*

Hyung Joon gets out to check on the man, and Soo Yeon recognizes him when he makes the same mouth swipe gestures. She starts to freak out inside the car and the rapist notices her and walks over. He reaches into the car and grabs Soo Yeon’s phone.

Hyung Joon manages to get rid of him, promising to pay for his medical costs and compensation. After the rapist leaves, Hyung Joon reaches into Soo Yeon’s window and finds her trembling in fear.

Soo Yeon locks herself up in the bathroom under the running shower. Hyung Joon tries to get her to open up but she doesn’t respond. He finally gets inside and pulls her into his embrace as she screams in pain.

Jung Woo finds the rapist but this guy is no joke and proceeds to beat Jung Woo up. He tells Jung Woo that he knows where Lee Soo Yeon is. Eun Joo arrives and stops Jung Woo from being beaten further. The rapist leaves.

Hyung Joon sits beside a sleeping Soo Yeon and stares at her. He gets a call from Secretary asking to meet. Secretary says he hasn’t told Han Tae Joon (Hyung Joon’s half-brother who is also Jung Woo’s dad) that Harry’s real identity is Kang Hyung Joon. First this drama makes it so hard for the evil side to track down Hyung Joon, and then makes it super duper easy when it feels like it.

Soo Yeon wakes up and its nighttime. She gets a call at home and its from her own cell phone and its the rapist calling. He claims he’s injured and needs help, otherwise he’ll report the driver to the police and her boyfriend will go to jail. Soo Yeon stammers out a “wait”.

Hyung Joon meets up with Secretary at the banks of the Han river. Secretary blackmails Hyung Joon for money to keep quiet about his return to Korea. He knows Hyung Joon is also with Soo Yeon now and they disappeared together. He reminds Hyung Joon that the police have an open file still looking for Soo Yeon. He asks how much Soo Yeon is worth to him? What a scumbag. Hyung Joon asks how much Secretary was paid to get rid of his mother?

The rapist is at home and gets a delivery box. The top layer inside the box is the front page news from Lee Soo Yeon’s rape and murder 14 years ago. Before he can open the inside box (if there is a severed head inside imma calling super foul with the writing), the door bell rings again.

He peeks through the eye hole and sees the silhouette of a girl (which clearly means its not a girl and is some guy dressed like a girl, if my suspicious mind is correct). He thinks its Soo Yeon and stars to act like his neck hurts. He opens the door and is promptly tasered.

Jung Woo sits in the old park on a swing and thinks of Soo Yeon as he twists the swing around like Soo Yeon used to do.

Jung Woo’s partner goes to the rapists apartment and knocks on the door. But the rapist has been bound and gagged in the bathtub so cannot answer. A towel is placed on top of the rapist’s face and we see him slowly suffocating.

Soo Yeon drives home and sees Jung Woo waiting for her outside the gates. She gets out to talk with him. Hyung Joon sits in his car and checks his tablet which is wired to surveillance his entire residence. He sees on the gate camera feed that Soo Yeon is talking with Jung Woo outside the house.

Jung Woo asks Soo Yeon to call his name. He knows she’s not the girl he’s looking for so he needs some closure before he goes crazy. Soo Yeon calls “Han Jung Woo” and Jung Woo cries. He turns around and stares at her.


Missing You Episode 7 Recap

Posted on November 28, 2012 by ockoala

It’s funny how the ratings for Missing You continue to increase inversely proportional to how the excessive dramatics are being toned down. Though I really do believe the ratings are buoyed by a combination of three popular young actors in the lead along with a story that can be quite addicting even if sense took a long walk and still hasn’t returned to the set yet. I like how the mood is toned down significantly now so one can enjoy the visual prettiness without being startled out of the atmospheric melancholy. While I may wish Soo Yeon and Hyung Joon can find their happily ever after away from any unresolved revenge plots, its predicated on my feeling that they have just built up this love for each other that makes so much more sense than being fixated on a short first love that was cruelly cut short. However, this episode makes it clear that Soo Yeon isn’t just scarred by the rape, she is really really angry with Jung Woo for abandoning her at that warehouse.

We kept seeing Jung Woo’s point of view, his fear and his wavering leading him to run away, not to mention the mountains of guilt he’s been living under. This was the first episode that I really understood from Soo Yeon’s perspective – the last image she had of Jung Woo was her calling his name and him running away without once looking back. That giant painful decision haunts her as much as it haunts him. Yes, once she finds out he has been atoning for that for the past 14 years she might be less pissed, but I don’t know how their relationship could or should ever be rekindled. I know the writer wants to sell it, I just don’t connect with it. Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon might be unhealthy in their own world to the exclusion of others, but they have truth and love built up on 14 years of sincerity towards each other.

Episode 7 recap:

Jung Woo asks Soo Yeon to call his name and she obliges. Because, yunno, we girls don’t think it’s weird at all some guy we just met asks us to repeatedly call his name while his back is facing us.

While Jung Woo cries, Soo Yeon remembers calling his name as he ran away from her as she laid on the ground after being raped. Yeah, these two could not be farther apart on the memory scale.

Soo Yeon tearfully stares at Jung Woo’s back and calls his name, but when he turns around she’s smiling and got her game face on. She asks if that’s good and he tries to tell himself that she can’t be Soo Yeon. She asks him out to drink since the mood feels rather that he’s ending things with the Soo Yeon in his memory.

They sit in a pojangmacha and Soo Yeon drinks a shot of soju and remarks that alcohol tastes just like memories, all one flavor. Jung Woo doesn’t drink and confesses that he’s the one shot and drunk singing in the noraebang type. He asks if she sings and what songs she sings? She doesn’t answer and asks if he’s going to arrest her for not answering. She asks if he still thinks she is Lee Soo Yeon? She asks him ti keep pouring her more, perhaps if she gets drunk maybe she’ll admit she is Lee Soo Yeon.

Soo Yeon wonders why he thinks she is like Soo Yeon? Jung Woo says her voice sounds exactly the same when she calls his name, like she’s on the verge of tears. Soo Yeon says he appeared to like Soo Yeon a lot, so why did they break up then? She stares at him.

A man runs out of the rapist’s home screaming and the police are alerted to the scumbag’s murder. The police arrive and the man tells the police chief that the murderer had to be Han Jung Woo. Jung Woo’s partner calls him but he doesn’t pick up. He calls Soo Yeon’s mom who says Jung Woo isn’t home yet. Eun Joo says he’s not at the usual noraebang either.

Soo Yeon notices Jung Woo’s phone ringing continuously and asks why he’s not answering? Jung Woo turns around and asks about her and Harry. She says they have been together since she was young, they were adopted and reborn the day they were adopted. She asks again how Jung Woo split up with Soo Yeon? Jung Woo says it was because he ran too fast. He is very good at running, now and back then. He is number one at running or chasing after criminals. He asks if she’s confused by his answer? Dude, I applaud you for owning up to it in whatever capacity.

Soo Yeon asks if he’s good at fighting? She thinks whomever becomes his girlfriend is very lucky because he would protect her no matter what. Soo Yeon softly calls him Officer Han Jung Woo and then smiles and confesses to being drunk.

Jung Woo drives Soo Yeon home and she apologizes for making Jung Woo more tired. She asks if he’s angry at her and he tells her to stop distracting him. She opens the window to feel the breeze and sticks out her right hand. Jung Woo looks at her and thinks about little Soo Yeon again. Soo Yeon sees a pretty building ahead and says she wants to go there some time.

When Hyung Joon gets home, he sees the shattered glass in the kitchen and goes to clean it up. He sees via the CCTV feed that a car is pulling up outside and knows Soo Yeon is home.

Outside the house, Soo Yeon asks Jung Woo to write his phone number on her palm since she lost her cellphone. Harry is very busy and she needs a friend in Seoul, plus she’s going back to France soon and who knows when she will be back. Since he broke up with his girlfriend, can they meet up sometime at that restaurant she saw. Jung Woo says no and Soo Yeon says they can be secret friends if he feels bad towards Harry. You naughty minx, Soo Yeon.

Jung Woo doesn’t like secrets but Soo Yeon wheedles him to just be her friend. All she needs is one friend and she promises not to tell anyone about tonight since they are now secret friends. Jung Woo remembers Soo Yeon asking them to be secret friends when they were kids. As Jung Woo walks away he gets angry and appears to want to turn back but then he answers a call and finds out about the rapist being offed.

Soo Yeon goes home and finds Hyung Joon riding a bike in the living room. She frets over him because its too dangerous with his leg. He asks where she went. He was worried about her since she wasn’t well earlier when he left the house. Soo Yeon doesn’t answer him and he smiles and says that he’s happy she seems recovered. He wonders why she didn’t answer her phone and Soo Yeon reveals its missing. Hyung Joon tells her to buy a new one tomorrow. Hyung Joon says he can’t use the pool now after what happened to Nurse Hye Mi so he’s decided to ride a bike so he can stay healthy to take care of her.

Soo Yeon suddenly blurts out that she just saw Han Jung Woo, which causes Hyung Joon to pause and he falls off the bike. Soo Yeon quickly runs over to help him. Hyung Joon asks Soo Yeon to get married. She looks stunned and he asks if there is another man she would even consider marrying other than him. She says later and h suggests an engagement first then. This isn’t a spur of the moment thing for him, it’s something he’s wanted since he was 18. No matter when or how, he looks forward to it. He says they can get married after they turn 40 or even 50, he will wait for her.

Soo Yeon says she didn’t meet with Jung Woo because she still likes him. All those people back then, all those memories, she wishes they would all die. Hyung Joon calls her silly, telling her that she’s not Lee Soo Yeon anymore, she’s Zoe now. He tells her to forget again. Soo Yeon apologizes to him, she was just too angry. Hyung Joon softly calls her Korean name “Soo Yeon-ah” and lays his head on her shoulder.

Soo Yeon embraces his shoulder and says sorry again. Hyung Joon reaches out and grabs her hand. Hyung Joon cries and thinks to himself “Han Jung Woo, keep hating him, then it will be fine. It will be fine, right?”

Jung Woo arrives at the crime scene and screams at the dead rapist to tell him where Soo Yeon is. Afterwards he learns the suffocated rapist has injury consistent with a car accident and they are running blood tests.

The captain wants him off this case and Jung Woo promises to stick with the team so he can stay on it. Despite knowing how much he’s been looking for Soo Yeon, he knows its best if Jung Woo isn’t involved. He promises to catch the killer and also seek justice for the drove-off-a-cliff Detective Kim.

Jung Woo broods in the police station and runs into the cleaning lady ahjumma (who is forever and always Beo Jin’s awesome mom from Tamra in my mind). The cleaning lady says she heard about the rapist being killed and offers to gather police files for him when she cleans.

Han Tae Joon gets an update from the police chief about Jung Woo’s current affairs and he asks for the file on the rapist’s death. Ugh, he looks so much like a gopher rat with his new facial hair. So he’s keeping a tab on his son after all. As he arrives at his office, he’s almost mowed down by a guy riding a bike whizzing past him. It’s Hyung Joon and dressed like a teenage bike messenger. Hyung Joon acts all contrite and apologizes to Han Tae Joon. After Han Tae Joon walks away, Hyung Joon’s smile drops and he stares at his half-brother’s departing back intently.

Soo Yeon is at home and finds out about the death of the rapist. She then reads on the internet a post by Jung Woo’s stepmom about wanting to make friends with Zoe the fashion designer. Attached to the post are pictures taken of Soo Yeon and Hyung Joon. Stepmother suggests hanging these pictures in her store and then invites Soo Yeon to come in for a visit. Soo Yeon is pissed to see this.

Jung Woo is going through the evidence when the cleaning ahjumma comes by offering to help. She suggests the rapist was killed by someone he crossed. Jung Woo walks outside and see Soo Yeon outside the police station.

Jung Woo brings her coffee and she sees his toes tapping the ground the same way Soo Yeon used to. She tells him to sit closer to her. He asks why she came and she uses the excuse that someone took secret pictures of her and that is clearly against the law to blackmail her. She shows him pictures of her and Hyung Joon and smirks a little to see Jung Woo affected by seeing it. Jung Woo tells her to find the local police to help her, he’s busy with other things.

Soo Yeon shows her the email letter and he realizes it was written by his stepmother. Jung Woo stares at her and she asks if he knows who that woman is. He agrees to investigate and call her. Soo Yeon grabs his hand to write her new number down on it to contact her after he’s taken care of things for her. Jung Woo’s partner is hiding in the bushes watching and Eun Joo arrives. She’s not happy to see Jung Woo talking with Soo Yeon.

Eun Joo interrupts and hands Jung Woo a bag of food, saying their mom made it for him from the restaurant. Soo Yeon sees the name of the restaurant on the outside of the bag. Eun Joo shoots Soo Yeon derisive looks and Soo Yeon looks uncomfortable and leaves (though she recognizes Eun Joo’s name). Jung Woo chases after Soo Yeon but doesn’t find her. He gets a text from her asking if Eun Joo is his girlfriend, and inviting to meet her outside that restaurant tonight.

Hyung Joon goes to the bank to withdraw a shit load of money. Han Tae Joon hears about this massive withdrawal at his bank and orders Secretary Nam to go down and greet the customer and ask him to withdraw in chunks. Ah Reum is there to wheedle money out of her dad to pay for her study abroad trip and Dad tells her to work at the bank in spare time.

Secretary Nam goes down and sees the customer is Hyung Joon and is uncomfortable with him being here. Secretary Nam asks why he is here and deposited money and now is trying to withdraw it. Secretary Nam says he’s not on anyone’s side, he just needs money. Ah Reum goes down to the bank and sees Hyung Joon there as the rich customer. Hyung Joon spots her as well. Hyung Joon warns Secretary Nam to be careful, he might be the first person Han Tae Joon will get rid of when things start to fall apart.

Soo Yeon tracks her mom down to the restaurant where she works. She sits inside and watches her mom greet the customers. Mom notices Soo Yeon and asks why she hasn’t ordered? The TV turns on and it’s the news about the rapist’s murder. Soo Yeon wonders why Mom watches such depressing news. Mom changes the channel with tears in her eyes.

Soo Yeon wipes her tears and leaves, calling Hyung Joon from outside the restaurant, saying she misses him and asking when they can meet.

Jung Woo goes to find Soo Yeon’s mom and sees her in a daze. He takes her away knowing that she’s in a very sad mood. He buys her ice-cream and puts new shoes on her feet that he got for her. Soo Yeon’s mom tells him that with the death of the rapist, everything is over. She tells Jung Woo to go back to his own family. Jung Woo and Soo Yeon’s mom happily play in the playground.

Jung Woo receives a text on where to meet Soo Yeon. He runs there and stands out in the street. Behind him in the restaurant above is Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon drinking wine. They watch Jung Woo waiting in the cold, shuffling to keep himself warm.

Soo Yeon says she was right, he did come. Hyung Joon asks if she’ll feel better after this. Soo Yeon says this isn’t bad. They toast each other and look out the window. Hyung Joon asks to bet how long Jung Woo will wait. He says 30 minutes while Soo Yeon says 1 hour. The winner has to agree to the winner’s wish. Soo Yeon agrees and her wish is that they return to France.

After some time, Hyung Joon calls Jung Woo and says he is dining with his fiancée and invites Jung Woo to dinner as well. Hyung Joon thanks Jung Woo for taking Zoe to the pojangmacha last night. Soo Yeon tries to grab the phone away but is too late. Jung Woo doesn’t answer and Hyung Joon says next time. Soo Yeon tells Hyung Joon he cheated on their bet. He asks quizzically “wasn’t it your wish to torment Han Jung Woo?” Hyung Joon says his wish for winning this bet she already knows, it’s to get engaged.

Hyung Joon checks his watch and says Jung Woo is waiting for quite a long time. After Jung Woo waits and waits, he suddenly wonders what the heck he’s doing and leaves before 30 minutes as passed.

As Jung Woo runs off, Soo Yeon coldly looks at his departing form and says he hasn’t changed. This is exactly what she saw when he was 15 (always running away so fast). Ouch. Jung Woo, how are you ever going to live this down?

Jung Woo goes to the rapist’s home to search for clues. Seriously? This place is not a taped up crime scene? He looks everywhere and finds a restaurant tag in the washing machine. He goes to the restaurant and interviews the owner who said the rapist ate here and then handed over Hyung Joon’s card saying this guy will pay for his meal. She also heard the rapist use Soo Yeon’s cell phone to call a “Chairman”.

Ah Reum offers to give her mom information in exchange for money for her trip. She reveals she saw Hyung Joon, Zoe’s boyfriend, at the bank depositing a huge sum of money. She tells her mom that Zoe’s sponsor was the guy they saw with her in Jeju. Stepmother is thrilled because now she was just looking for an investor. If she gets Zoe, then her sponsor will come as well. Ugh, these people.

Soo Yeon and Hyung Joon are at home sitting on the sofa. She has her legs resting on his comfortably. Soo Yeon asks who he invited for the upcoming party? Hyung Joon says his usual clients and a new investor. Soo Yeon says wine is perfect for the party, but then suggests soju as well. She smacks her lips adorably and says it taste good, sweet and clean. She asks Hyung Joon to go with her to the pojangmacha tonight. Hyung Joon sighs and says he is never ever going to a pojangmacha in this lifetime. Soo Yeon laughs and says he sure is good at pretending since he acted all fine that day but he is clearly angry. Soo Yeon aegyos him and puts her head on his shoulder.

Hyung Joon shows her an email he received with an outfit from her fashion show hanging in the store window mannequin of Jung Woo’s stepmother’s boutique. Soo Yeon is furious.

Jung Woo tracks down the street camera footage from the accident where Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon’s car ran into the rapist. He freeze frames on Soo Yeon’s face and he can see her abject fear and realizes that she is in fact Soo Yeon and must’ve recognized the rapist. Jung Woo sits in his car and looks at the picture of young Soo Yeon and asks if Zoe really is her?

Soo Yeon is on the street staring at the store window with her design in it (she’s also wearing the same pale grey coat Moon Chae Won sported a few weeks ago in the final episode of Nice Guy). Suddenly Jung Woo appears before her with her old yellow umbrella. He asks if he’s late for their date? He tells her that it’s not raining today.

Soo Yeon tries to excuse herself saying she’s busy today. Jung Woo chases after her and offers to go with her. Soo Yeon asks what he’s doing, telling him that she’s about to get engaged. Jung Woo asks her where she is going and if she really dislikes him that much?

Hyung Joon drives up and from his driver’s seat he can see Jung Woo talking with Soo Yeon under the yellow umbrella. Soo Yeon tells Jung Woo to scram but he suggests that being secret friends isn’t exciting enough, how about they be secret lovers? Soo Yeon stares at him as the yellow umbrella descends and blocks them from Hyung Joon’s view.

Thoughts of Mine:

I have to say that adult Jung Woo is really much much more interesting than his childhood counterpart. I’d say all the guilt and self-flagellation did him some good in giving him more depth. He’s a good guy who made one super bad choice in life at a young age and has been doing everything right since them to atone for it. How can I not root for him to get absolution. I do, however, think that his absolution needn’t come in the form of getting all romantic with Soo Yeon again. His absolution needs to come in the form of punishing the people who committed a series of crimes that set up the tragedy in question. The person most responsible would be his own father. If Han Tae Joon hadn’t tried to kill Hyung Joon, then Hyung Joon’s mom wouldn’t have ordered Jung Woo’s kidnapping to do a son-for-son trade. If Han Tae Joon hadn’t tried to track down Hyung Joon and called Nurse Hye Mi, Hyung Joon wouldn’t have tried to stall Detective Kim so they could get away, thinking he was one of Han Tae Joon’s goons. Everything starts and ends with Han Tae Joon, and I want to see Jung Woo be the person in the capacity of a police officer to put that bastard away.

I’m surprised at how Soo Yeon could toy with Jung Woo, until I realized the full extent of her concealed bitterness towards him. Her one snipe that he should not have abandoned his girlfriend shows us that young Soo Yeon truly felt like Jung Woo let her down completely back in that warehouse. While its understand we as viewers could understand how a 15 year old boy in a life-and-death situation could run away, imagine being Soo Yeon and laying there and being left behind. Yeah, not so easy for her to be all objective and step into Jung Woo’s shoes, no? I appreciate that she and Hyung Joon have such an open line of communication that she tells him immediately about seeing Jung Woo and apologizing for being so angry and not being able to truly let go. Hyung Joon both lets her do what she wants (make Jung Woo wait out in the cold for her), while subtly encouraging her to let go for both her sake and his sake. If she lets go, then she can start moving on from the lingering pain. Then his relationship with her would be able to take the next step forward. I really loved the juxtaposition of Soo Yeon’s tense toying interactions with Jung Woo and her relaxed and tender moments with Hyung Joon. I totally feel for Hyung Joon’s fear that Jung Woo will return and take Soo Yeon away, because dude which boyfriend wouldn’t have issues with that. But hopefully he’ll continue to let Soo Yeon make her own choices in life while he does his best to show that he’s the one for her.

I was really stupefied by all the non OT3 stupid scenes in this episode. The rapist investigation was beyond silly, what with Jung Woo doing a search of the scene himself and the cleaning lady ahjumma giving him pointers. I don’t get Hyung Joon’s revenge on Han Tae Joon either, and why that needed him to dress like a hipster and accidentally brush past him on a bike. Poor Eun Joo is like the drama world’s most invisible second female lead, and honestly she’s totally uninteresting so I could care less. I like Jung Woo’s police colleagues and I love his interactions with Soo Yeon’s mom. At this point, I not only ship Soo Yeon-Hyung Joon, I also ship Soo Yeon’s mom with Jung Woo. Not in a romantic sense (ewwww), but more like she needs to adopt him for realz and they can be the world’s most functional and supportive mother-son duo. It’s sad Soo Yeon never experience that kind of affection from her mom but I’m sure she would want her mom to find peace in her own life. I still think Soo Yeon needs to hie herself back to France where she can anonymously send money to her mom every week. Hyung Joon will also do better spending the boatloads of money his mother gave her life to give him rather than risking his wellbeing for revenge on Han Tae Joon. And finally – raise your hand if you are absolutely fascinated by the lipstick colors used in this drama? Yoon Eun Hye‘s cherry and magenta tinted lips are gorgeous. But I wish the makeup artist would lay off on using the exact same color on both Yoochun and Yoo Seung Ho, with the former really caking it on in some scenes that it totally distracts me.

Click here to watch Missing You.


Missing You Episode 8 Recap

Posted on November 29, 2012 by ockoala

Much as I’m finding enjoyment in Missing You for reasons unrelated to its quality writing or lack thereof, it’s truly frustrating to have the really obvious ham-handed narrative shoved in my face all the time. This drama feels like the writer is writing around her conclusion or tailoring things to fit her script. As opposed to an organic fluid approach where what happens flows with a sense of purpose. Initially that manufactured narrative manifested itself in the buckets of sad things heaped one on top of the other to the main characters. Now that the sadness and woe has been toned down, what’s happening is a terribly dumb rapist murder plot (let’s not forget ridiculous Nurse Hye Mi drowning plot) that is forcing the characters to have reasons to keep interacting. What’s keeping this thing grounded is in the conversation and interactions between the three leads. Jung Woo annoyed me immensely with his forcefulness in interacting with Soo Yeon, but redeemed himself with his conversation with Ah Reum and Eun Joo about Soo Yeon likely hating him and wanting nothing to do with him.

If he knows that, then he needs to back off and let HER decide what she wants to do. Soo Yeon was believably torn with all sorts of emotions coming whooshing back towards her, but I loved how she really expressed what Harry means to her. Forget the romantic love, he was the person who did not abandon her in her time of need. What hurts Soo Yeon is the moment Jung Woo left the warehouse, and it doesn’t matter that he later tried to help her or kept looking for her. What mattered is that in the split second he made a choice, it would forever stand between the both of them. Whereas Hyung Joon told Nurse Hye Mi that he wasn’t leaving without Soo Yeon and he used his smarts to get her to take care of them. That is what Soo Yeon remembers and what’s important to her now. Yes, she has lingering feelings and unresolved issues with Jung Woo, but at the end of the day, one guy left her at her moment of need while the other didn’t. Girl’s got every reason to stick with one over the other at this point.

Episode 8 recap:

Jung Woo suggests that he and Soo Yeon be secret lovers and pulls her closer to him. Dur, do not get handsy with her, not cool dude! She pushes him off and says to let go, this joke is too much. He tells her not to talk and then he forcibly takes her away by putting his arms around her shoulders. He tells her that he’s going crazy right now. Yes, imma go crazy on your ass if you don’t stop physically moving this girl around.

Hyung Joon stares at them leaving and finally gets anxious and gets out of the car to chase them but his leg hurts and he can’t move. He watches as Jung Woo drives Soo Yeon away. Hello? You have a car, Hyung Joon, use it.

Jung Woo drives while Soo Yeon asks where they are going? Hung Woo says to go to that restaurant needs to wait until nighttime when they can enjoy the view. He wonders what to do now during the day. She tells him to stop the car and he reminds her that she asked to be friends when she was in Seoul. Jung Woo says she picked a good friend, he’s been thinking of what to do with Soo Yeon for the last 14 years. Dinner, movie, amusement park. Soo Yeon looks out the window as he talks. He asks if it’s enough for her to turn her head, for her to get angry? He starts saying the same “let’s be friends” line and ends with Zoe.

Hyung Joon looks at his phone and then sees Secretary Nam and Jung Woo’s stepmother. Stepmother tells Secretary Nam about Harry and Zoe being a couple (and Harry is Zoe’s sponsor) and Secretary Nam makes the connection with Zoe is Lee Soo Yeon. If they can land either one, the other will come alone. She tells Secretary Nam to make it happen.

Jung Woo takes Soo Yeon to a restaurant he frequents and asks if he’s got the chops to be a secret lover. Soo Yeon orders very expensive wine that she claims suits him well. Soo Yeon asks if he is free tomorow, she needs to go to Hong Kong to buy a few things. Jung Woo says she’s exactly the type he likes.

Jung Woo grabs her hand and says that no matter if she goes to Hong Kong or anywhere else, he won’t let her go again. She tries to pull it back and tells him to let go repeatedly. Jung Woo says today they can eat, tomorrow they can shop, they can do anything they want together. He says they should go to the neighborhood playground to ride the swings.

Soo Yeon snatches her hand out of his and Jung Woo remembers how their bloody hands were joined before the rapist dragged Soo Yeon away. Soo Yeon slaps him for being impertinent and says she shouldn’t have come on to him in the first place. He laughs and says the slap felt good and this is enough for today. Jung Woo walks away to get the car and we see her hand shaking.

Soo Yeon gets in her car and speeds off. Stepmother arrives and warns Jung Woo not to show up near her store. Jung Woo shows her the pictures she sent to Soo Yeon and warns her to stay away from her. Stepmother thought Zoe would bring a lawyer and instead she went to a cop. Stepmother wonders what Jung Woo’s connection with Soo Yeon is.

Soo Yeon drives and thinks back to her meeting earlier with Jung Woo, as well as how young Jung Woo asked to be friends with the murderer’s daughter Lee Soo Yeon. Soo Yeon calls Hyung Joon and finds out he’s resting in bed because he was injured. She rushes home.

Jung Woo calls Soo Yeon and she doesn’t pick up. He gets a call from Hyung Joon, who is returning his call. Hyung Joon asks for an update on the autopsy of Nurse Hye Mi, which isn’t ready. Jung Woo asks for some time to meet but Hyung Joon says another time since he’s getting medical treatment due to his injured leg. Jung Woo asks to meet earlier otherwise he will feel even more apologetic towards Hyung Joon. You think? Coveting someone else’s fiancée is clearly not decent upstanding behavior.

Eun Joo is home and sees Ah Reum bringing over clothes for her oppa Jung Woo. Jung Woo comes home and Ah Reum teases that she’s here to check to see if the unni and the ahjumma are mistreating him.

Soo Yeon’s mom comes home and asks why he wanted to eat chicken soup, wondering if he’s not feeling well. He says his heart feels empty and wants to be nourished. The four of them sing and dance in the house.

Soo Yeon goes home and rushes to Hyung Joon’s room and finds him resting in bed. The doctor leaves and tells Soo Yeon that Hyung Joon’s leg is very weak right now and he’s not allowed to bike anymore.

Hyung Joon asks how the battle with Jung Woo’s stepmother went? She admits that she saw Jung Woo and that interrupted her. She was surprised that after so much time, he appears to still have lots of memories of Soo Yeon, which she chalks up to guilt. She asks if he wants to hear the truth and Hyung Joon of course, like that is how they always communicate. Sigh, so wonderful.

Soo Yeon says that initially she wanted to punish him but its causing her unhappiness because she hates remembering that she was the daughter of a murderer and hates remembering…… It took her so much to forget Lee Soo Yeon. If it wasn’t for Hyung Joon 14 years ago, she would have died after being abandoned. She wanted to tell Jung Woo that it’s too late now, but she thought about it and realized it’s not necessary. Now everyone has their own lives. She has confirmed once again that Lee Soo Yeon’s death is best for everyone.

She ask Hyung Joon “tell me I did well.” Hyung Joon reaches out his hand to give her emotional support and she puts her hand in his. Soo Yeon asks if the party can still go on with his injured foot. Hyung Joon says its for his clients so it needs to go on. Soo Yeon says that she’ll leave Seoul after the party and go wait for Hyung Joon. FINALLY! Someone in the drama acting in a productive way rather than moping and psychological self-flagellation.

Jung Woo, with clothes pins in his hair, is washing clothes at home. Ah Reum is spending the night and she tells Jung Woo to go home. Jung Woo asks Ah Reum as a woman to tell him how much Soo Yeon likely must hate him. Ah Reum says she doesn’t know but if it was were, she would want revenge. Because meeting Jung Woo changed her life and brought her such scars.

Jung Woo agrees and says he would do the same. But Ah Reum quickly says Jung Woo hasn’t been living well either all these years and if Soo Yeon knew she wouldn’t do it. Jung Woo says Soo Yeon should hate him and want to hit him and glare at him and refuse to acknowledge him. He mimics all the things Soo Yeon did to him and Ah Reum asks if her oppa has gone crazy. Eun Joo comes out and tells Ah Reum to go home since she’s so noisy.

Jung Woo and Eun Joo make plans to visit Detective Kim at the cemetery this weekend. Eun Joo tells Jung Woo that the woman isn’t Soo Yeon and he needs to stop seeing her. That is the best course for him.

Jung Woo is at the police station and asking about the investigation. His partner interrupts Jung Woo’s information gathering and Jung Woo uses his cajoling on him. He tells Jung Woo about the phone and Zoe. Jung Woo remembers now that Zoe said her phone was stolen. He runs into the cleaning ahjumma who pulls him aside to chat.

The rapist’s brother arrives at the police station and causes a ruckus when he sees Jung Woo. The police assure him that the murderer will be caught. The brother accuses Jung Woo but the police says Jung Woo has an alibi.

The brother suddenly suggests that it could be Lee Soo Yeon. Jung Woo is furious and says he is not allowed to say her name. If he says it one more time Jung Woo will arrest him. He vows that the pain inflicted on Soo Yeon, he will get it back a thousand fold.

Stepmother is home with evil Dad who ignores her during dinner. Why is Evil Dad wearing a hot pink track suit? WHY? And his pornstache? Yikes. The younger Secretary reports that the money withdrawal is still in progress. Dad asks for the whereabouts of Secretary Nam.

Secretary Nam is meeting with Hyung Joon, remarking that its hard to get into his vast mansion. Hyung Joon says the house that his mother used his life to exchange for him, of course he won’t let anyone in easily. Secretary Nam reveals he knows about Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon and wants a bribe to keep quiet. Hyung Joon says greed is always the motivation and tells Secretary Nam to bring him evil Dad’s secret account books first as a gesture of good faith.

Evil Dad calls Secretary Nam asking to arrange a meeting with Hyung Joon, for himself and his wife is also interested in meeting him. Hyung Joon says thing are getting more interesting and agrees.

Soo Yeon is shopping for Hyung Joon for the party when Jung Woo shows up and offers to try it on. Soo Yeon ignores him and continues shopping. Jung Woo wants to ask about her missing cellphone when she takes her new one out to snap pictures of the clothes and calls Harry to send him the pictures. Jung Woo can see how happy she is talking to him and looks down.

Soo Yeon picks out an outfit for Hyung Joon down to even the scarf, worried that he might catch a cold. Jung Woo leaves and Soo Yeon zones out a bit and when she turns around Jung Woo has left.

Soo Yeon angrily leaves the store and Jung Woo is outside asking to talk. She ignores him and then gets a text asking for 5 minutes. She sees Jung Woo following her in the car. Soo Yeon finally pulls over and Jung Woo teases her that even if they are secret lovers they shouldn’t meet in such secluded places. He asks where she lost her cellphone because he’s investigating.

Soo Yeon drives off and Jung Woo gets a text from Hyung Joon asking to meet. He follows Soo Yeon back home and they walk into the house together. Hyung Joon is on the second floor and notes that they walked in together. He asks Jung Woo to come up to talk.

Jung Woo asks Hyung Joon about the car accident and Hyung Joon confirms it happened. Jung Woo points out Soo Yeon’s excessive fear which Hyung Joon brushes off as her being scared of such things since childhood. He explains that they were in an accident before which is why his leg is inured. She was traumatized by it and shortly thereafter they were adopted.

Hyung Joon says it happened when they were 3 or 4 years old so he doesn’t remember. Jung Woo switches to personal matters and says Soo Yeon is very similar to a girl he knew. If she refuses to admit it there is a reason as well, because she’s still very angry at him. He knows she must hate him. Everything about Zoe is just like Soo Yeon.

Hyung Joon tells Jung Woo to get a DNA test then. He doesn’t mind. Soo Yeon walks up and says she’ll do it if Harry wants her to. She’ll do even more outrageous things for him, because he saved her. When she was small and in that car accident, it was Hyung Joon who saved her. She was catatonic and couldn’t feel anything. It was Hyung Joon who held her hand and made her wake up. He said “I am not leaving without her.”

Soo Yeon tells Jung Woo he might remember Soo Yeon’s voice but for her, she will never ever forget Hyung Joon’s voice from back then. Until the day she dies she won’t forget it. She asks if he’s waiting for Lee Soo Yeon still? If he’s still waiting and she doesn’t come, that means she’s discarded him. She offers to go right now for the DNA test.

Jung Woo stands up and says it’s not necessary. He’s waited 14 years and he can wait longer. He remembers everything about Soo Yeon, that it was 108 steps from her house to the street lamp. Even if she doesn’t come he will not give up. She’s wrong – waiting and she’s still not there isn’t because she doesn’t want to come, it means she’s still on her way. He ends the conversation and leaves with tears in his eyes.

Soo Yeon can’t believe he still remembers everything, while Hyung Joon looks concerned.

Jung Woo goes to the parking garage and keeps thinking whether Zoe is Soo Yeon. He hears the police officers discuss who has reason to hate the rapist and his partner suggests Lee Soo Yeon, who might still be alive.

They investigate further and find out the rapist used a cellphone from France.

Han Tae Joon and his secretary are waiting for Hyung Joon at a restaurant and he calls from home, where he is playing pool, and lies that he can’t make it due to a car accident. Evil Dad is annoyed and Hyung Joon just casually apologizes. Soo Yeon brings him a glass of juice and he shushes her.

Turns out the dry ice used to hurt the rapist was mailed to his house and addressed to him. But the sale record shows that it was purchased by Soo Yeon’s mom, which Jung Woo says must be a mistake.

When approached, Mom cries and tells the cops to arrest her. She’s wanted that guy dead many times. She’s worried about Jung Woo and says he’s like her son and if anything happened to him she won’t be able to live.

Jung Woo looks at the CCTV footage and sees a woman driving a car wearing a baseball cap, and it’s Soo Yeon. He starts to cry.

Hyung Joon is in his secret room, which had a framed picture of his mother and lots of files and the CCTV feed of the entire house. He takes off the necklace his mom gave him and he cries when thinking of how he escaped the dogs and seeing his mom locked up. He puts on the cross necklace and goes outside when he hears Soo Yeon calling him.

Hyung Joon walks out and Soo Yeon comes in with two pairs of shoes asking for Hyung Joon’s opinion. Hyung Joon wants to give her a present since today is her last day in Seoul.

He takes off his necklace and places it around her neck.

Hyung Joon then leans in to kiss her and Soo Yeon tenses a bit and allows it only to turn her head at the last moment.

Hyung Joon smiles and says its alright, he will wait for her any time.

The party begins and Han Tae Joon arrives and sees Hyung Joon’s back and the cane. Secretary says the man is younger than he expected. When Hyung Joon turns around, Evil Dad is shocked to see it was the kid on the bike who almost ran him over.

He notices that Hyung Joon’s leg is injured and walks over to greet him. The two men shake hands and Hyung Joon gives his name as Harry. This scene is so hilarious because this look on Hyung Joon makes him look like he’s 12 years old and playing pretend with his dad.

Hyung Joon sits down and Soo Yeon frets over his injured leg. He smirks and she asks why? Hyung Joon tells her to look to her left and she sees Han Tae Joon staring at them. She asks him who that man is, he makes her spine shiver? Hyung Joon asks if she wants him to go teach Evil Dad a lesson. This doesn’t bother her and when something does scare her she’ll tell him.

Jung Woo’s partner checks the phone records and says the last number dialed was to Hyung Joon’s house and learns that Hyung Joon took away the CCTV box. At the party, Evil Dad keeps staring at Hyung Joon and Zoe, and the camera keeps focusing on the key necklace she is wearing. Hyung Joon moves to take Zoe away when Jung Woo shows up.

Thoughts of Mine:

When I watch MY I find myself really noticing a lot of visual details at the expense of a story progression that tries my patience. I notice Yoon Eun Hye clothes and her every lipstick change. I notice Yoo Seung Ho’s watches and his shoes. I notice Yoochun’s make up bruises on his face. While the drama is admittedly still pretty to look at, having that be the first thing to engage my viewing interest is never a good thing. The rapist investigation is bordering on a farce, and the fact that a bajillion coincidences are about to tie it to Soo Yeon leaves me clucking already over why this drama can’t just be about her coming back to Korea and facing her demons once and for all. Not that she needs to, because I don’t believe getting over a shared trauma necessitates the participants to go through therapy together. It’s like saying the survivors of a plane crash need to get together and work through their issues. I would prefer the writer take out all the murders, deaths, revenge plots, and focus on healing the characters not through outlandish plot contrivances but through sincere interactions.

Once again the scenes in the hybrid Lee home really stole the episode. Jung Woo, Ah Reum, Eun Joo, and Soo Yeon’s mom together act like people and communicate like normal human beings. Once outside of that cocoon they are start acting wonky again, especially Jung Woo. I really disliked how forceful he was with Soo Yeon, and don’t get me started with the grabbing her shoulders to steer her off or grabbing her hand in the restaurant. What happened to no means no. I don’t care if he thinks she secretly wants it or even likes it, but he has no right to get all up in her personal space. Especially since she repeatedly voices her displeasure at it. I feel like Jung Woo has been living for 14 years over HIS guilt, and meeting Soo Yeon his first act is to do what HE wants, namely to see her and talk to her and push himself back into her life. Can’t he see that she appears just fine, with a rich fiancée and a fashion designer career. Yes, he can atone, but can’t he let her decide what she wants from him before pressing forward with what he wants to do?

I guess what really makes Hyung Joon-Soo Yeon work for me is their level of candid communication and trust with each other on their feelings (though he’s keeping the whole “imma avenging my mother” bit secret from her). It’s clear she’s not ready to get all intimate with him and that averted kiss is likely not the first time. But I don’t have a problem with that, because she is a rape victim and if she needs more time before getting romantical with Hyung Joon, then I appreciate that he gives it to her. What’s more telling is how comfortable she is with real intimate skinskip, the kind where she puts her legs on his and the full bodied hugs. Clearly she’s still scared of sexual intimacy, but she’s already got the emotional intimacy with Hyung Joon to ground her. I think this story really has potential on addressing issues of anger and resentment, but the execution is so far just weighing it all down while the actors try to raise it back up.

Click here to watch Missing You.


Missing You Episode 9 Recap

Posted on December 5, 2012 by ockoala

At this point, Lee Soo Yeon is the only main character I like wholeheartedly in Missing You. I love her ability to survive, even if she has chosen not to confront her past but to etch out a new future and she’ll eventually have to revisit her untreated scars. I applaud her desire to take out her anger at Jung Woo in the petty little ways she had available, toying with this guilt-ridden former beau of hers who left her in her most dire time of need. I hurt for all the pain she’s suffered, I’m proud of what successes and vestige of normalcy she created in the past 14 years, even if one day she’ll have to reconcile the first 15 years in order to create a whole Lee Soo Yeon/Zoe hybrid that is the complete version of her. After spending four episodes with adult Hyung Joon and Jung Woo, I’ve decided each is one-half awesome/one-half fucktard that I want to bitch slap. I continue to love Jung Woo when he’s being a funny cop, a dogged detective, a loving faux-son to Soo Yeon’s mother, everything EXCEPT for when he’s being unrequited loverboy Jung Woo with Soo Yeon, which is when I want to knee him in the groin and tell him to MOVE ON.

He continues with the wrist and shoulder grabbing and the whole “I’ll keep waiting for you to return to me” mindboggling self-motivation (he should be happy she’s alive, period – with no insistence on her “returning” to him because she’s not a dog who can return to her rightful owner!). Hyung Joon is only awesome as loverboy Hyung Joon to Soo Yeon, because his love for her is all real, built on 14 years of relationship, and completely allows her to dictate the terms. But vengeful surveillance camera Hyung Joon with his secret lair is so stupid and shifty that I just want to slap him upside the head and tell him to MOVE ON. If Jung Woo can continue to be a great detective and good son and marry a nice girl, he’d be golden in my book. If Hyung Joon can give up his revenge plan and return to France with Soo Yeon, then he’s also golden in my book. Alas, the drama insists on foisting stalkerish loverboy Jung Woo and revenge plotting Hyung Joon on us. What a waste.

Episode 9 recap:

Jung Woo watches the CCTV footage from the parking garage and sees Soo Yeon’s face in the driver’s seat. He processes this new information and then drives his car to some remote area to dust it for prints. I like that he doesn’t want to go through proper police channels, but dude, that is some police 101 do-not-dos you are doing and about to do.

Back to the pretentious party, with poor Hyung Joon rocking a greasy ahjusshi frou and dressed like he’s attending a wine auction, Jung Woo arrives and sees Soo Yeon sitting down and spots his estranged dad staring at her.

Hyung Joon walks in front of Soo Yeon to block her from Han Tae Joon’s line of sight as she fingers the key necklace. They walk away only to stop when Soo Yeon notices Jung Woo. She stares at him rather belligerently, while he looks calmly back at her.

Jung Woo deliberately walks towards them only to keep moving to greet his father first. Daddy is not pleased to see his rebel son. Jung Woo wants to talk with Hyung Joon but his dad pipes up and says he’s not feeling well in such a fancy setting as a hint he wants to talk with Hyung Joon now. Hyung Joon offers to meet with Han Tae Joon now to talk business. They walk away and Jung Woo asks not to be kept waiting for too long.

Hyung Joon is distracted and keeps looking towards the main party room. He tells Han Tae Joon that he can’t stay long so to cut to the case. Hyung Joon agrees to consider withdrawing the money slowly from the bank account and says he’ll talk with his boss first.

Soo Yeon is aware Jung Woo is staring at her as she walks around the room greeting guests. He mentally calls her Lee Soo Yeon. Suddenly she looks up and he’s not there anymore. She then turns around and he’s standing right there with his arms outstretched like he did when they were kids and he blocked the wind for her and told her not to cry. He asks cheekily if he looks good? I say it’s all good except for the turtleneck.

She tries to move past him but he shifts his body to block her. Soo Yeon thinks back to their happier times as kids and starts getting a little teary. Jung Woo gets a text from his colleagues at the police station saying they are coming.

Soo Yeon walks away and calls Hyung Joon, but Jung Woo grabs her phone out of her hand and tells Hyung Joon that he needs to take Soo Yeon away now and can’t wait for him any longer.

Soo Yeon tries to grab her phone back but Jung Woo grabs her by the shoulders and tells her that she is now a suspect in the murder of the rapist. Her face was captured on CCTV in the parking lot of the guy’s building. Soo Yeon almost loses her bearing and Jung Woo keeps her from falling down. She tells him that she didn’t do it and he knows. Soo Yeon immediately calls for Hyung Joon but Jung Woo tells her that she needs to buck up now. He doesn’t want to see handcuffs on her wrist or see her hurt. He begs her to believe him. Soo Yeon stares at him and then starts screaming for Hyung Joon over and over again as she breaks free of his hold on her shoulders.

Hyung Joon arrives and hurries over and pulls Soo Yeon into his embrace and tells her that everything will be fine. Soo Yeon keeps says “it’s not me, it’s not me.” Hyung Joon glares at Jung Woo, demanding to know that the hell he is doing? The rest of the police arrive and Jung Woo grabs Soo Yeon’s other hand and informs them that he has to take Soo Yeon in for questioning in the death of the rapist.

Jung Woo doesn’t allow Soo Yeon to be cuffed or taken with the rest of the police, dragging her off and promising to bring her into the station. Soo Yeon cries for Hyung Joon, who promises that he’ll go get her out. Soo Yeon stares at Hyung Joon only and nods, like he’s her only lifeline here. Jung Woo pulls Soo Yeon away and Hyung Joon looks down on his empty hands.

Han Tae Joon asks Secretary Nam to investigate who Zoe is. He saw her get arrested at the party as a suspect in the rapist’s murder. Secretary Nam promises to keep an eye on things and Han Tae Joon warns him not to fuck up again or else the consequences will be dire. Stepmother still dreams of getting the sponsor money from Harry and winning Zoe as a designer all at once. She continues to tell Secretary Nam to make it happen. Ah Reum overhears this conversation and asks if her mother is stupid or calculating. Why would she trust a snake like Secretary Nam to do anything?

Soo Yeon’s mom is cleaning and worried about Jung Woo. She asks if Eun Joo knows where he is. All calls to his cell aren’t being answered. When they call the station, Jung Woo’s partner says he is too busy to talk. Can someone tell me what purpose Eun Joo serves in this drama?

Jung Woo drives Soo Yeon to the police station. At the police station, he gets out of the car and can see her wiping away tears inside. He tells her that he placed a magic spell on the coat and it’ll makle her invisible. She gets out and he puts a giant coat on her to keep her warm because she leaves it behind and initially refuses to wear it. She only consents when he reminds her that this will keep her hidden and not be seen.

The cleaning ahjumma has just finished her shift and sees Jung Woo with Soo Yeon. She agrees to help Jung Woo bring Soo Yeon into the police station without being spotted by the media. He thinks back to how he promised to keep him safe and always be by her side.

As Soo Yeon walks in with the cleaning ahjumma, they sneak past reporters waiting in the lobby. The cleaning ahjumma talks about how that rapist deserved to die and says she’s always happy to help her future son-in-law Jung Woo, and warns her that Jung Woo is reserved for her daughter. She asks Soo Yeon “you didn’t kill him, right?” The ahjumma says that if Jung Woo says she didn’t do it, then she believes him. She tells Soo Yeon to not be so nervous, otherwise even if she’s not guilty she’ll look guilty. She compliments Soo Yeon on being so pretty, the first time she’s seen a girl prettier than her daughter.

Soo Yeon sits before Jung Woo’s partner and the captain as they ask her questions. She’s frightened and her hands as shaking. Jung Woo’s partner tries to lessen the intensity of the questioning. She’s told that she showed up on the CCTV and they know she was in the car that hit the rapist the day he was released from prison. The captain asks if that wasn’t the first time she’s met the rapist dude before?

Jung Woo rushes into the police station and Hyung Joon is waiting there already. He asks what the evidence is and is told about Soo Yeon in the surveillance camera and her cellphone. Hyung Joon tries to explain again that Soo Yeon’s cellphone was stolen. Jung Woo reveals that Soo Yeon’s stolen cellphone disappeared from the rapist death crime scene after he died.

Jung Woo tells Hyung Joon to find a way to clear Soo Yeon. Hyung Joon says Soo Yeon has no reason to kill that man since she doesn’t even know who he is. Jung Woo looks conflicted when he hears this and says yes, that is why he needs to take her home and he needs to catch the real rapist. After Jung Woo leaves, Hyung Joon looks really worried.

The police questioning is turning more directed and Soo Yeon remains silent, unable or unwilling to answer any questions. Soo Yeon to the call with the rapist before he died. Jung Woo walks in and declares that he will find the real killer.  Soo Yeon flashes back to the rapist coming towards her and her crying and holding a stick to protect herself, before being conked over the head and then dragged away. Soo Yeon finally talks – she asks why the police are investigating the rapist’s death, didn’t he deserve to die since she read in the papers that he raped and murdered a girl. Jung Woo reminds her that everything she said today is recorded.

The captain is told that the fingerprints of Zoe don’t match Lee Soo Yeon’s from 14 years ago. Hyung Joon sits in the police station with his head down and resting on his cane, waiting for Soo Yeon. Jung Woo sits across from Soo Yeon to finish the interrogation and have her sign some papers before releasing her. He asks if she’s okay?

Soo Yeon says that if she were Lee Soo Yeon, then he doesn’t need to investigate further. He only came to see her after the rapist died and asked if she was Lee Soo yeon. Was he testing her and therefore looking for the murderer? Because if she was a murder’s daughter and a rape victim, so she killed him. Jung Woo asks how her thinking got so extreme? He says just because Lee Soo Yeon was a murderer’s daughter and a rape victim doesn’t mean she killed the rapist. Soo Yeon would never kill anyone. Soo Yeon says that if she were Lee Soo Yeon, the first person she would kill is Jung Woo. Jung Woo is willing to be killed by her, if only she really were Lee Soo Yeon.

Soo Yeon is released after Hyung Joon got assistance from the French embassy to assure the police that she won’t flee the country. Soo Yeon walks out to find Hyung Joon sitting there with his head down, waiting for her. She walks up to him and he raises his head to her, showing his fatigue and concern.

He smiles and offers his hand to her as he says “let’s go home.” She smiles and reaches out to clasp his hand and repeats “yes, let’s go home.”

Jung Woo walks up behind them and sees this moment and he looks really crushed as he sees Soo Yeon with eyes only for Hyung Joon and relying on him. Hyung Joon sees Jung Woo turn away and stop looking at them.

As Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon leave, they run into Soo Yeon’s mom arriving with food for Jung Woo. Soo Yeon recognizes her and immediately averts her head, just like her tendency when she was a child. Hyung Joon notices Soo Yeon trying to hide her face.

As they walk past Soo Yeon’s mom, Soo Yeon sneaks a peak while Soo Yeon’s mom keeps staring at her and flashes back to teenage Soo Yeon’s similar behavior quirks. A French lawyer arrives and asks if Zoe is alright. He assures them that he will handle things from now on.

Jung Woo follows Soo Yeon and Hyung Joon as they get into their car. He hides behind a beam and smiles. He says to himself that it must be painful for her to see him (no shit, Sherlock), but he will wait for her. He does his memory-erasing move from where he is standing.

Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon return home and see that its already been searched by the police for her cellphone. Hyung Joon says it was all his fault, from the car accident to her coming to Seoul. If he put her on a plane back to France, this wouldn’t have happened. Soo Yeon looks exhausted and Hyung Joon calls her by her Korean name Soo Yeon-ah and she stops and looks at him. Hyung Joon tells her to go get some rest and she tells him the same.

Soo Yeon enters her room and thinks back to what she said to Jung Woo at the police station and his response that he won’t mind if she kills him as long as she’s Lee Soo Yeon. She breaks down and starts sobbing into her bed. Hyung Joon stands outside her door listening to her cry, looking very sad and concerned. She covers head with the comforter to muffle her sobs.

Jung Woo sits in the police interrogation room with the fingerprint of Zoe he lifted from his car and Soo Yeon’s diary. He is about to match the fingerprints when Soo Yeon’s mom enters with food so he puts it away. He gets up and hugs her tightly.

Soo Yeon’s mom encourages him to eat and he happily eats. He tells her through food and tears that he really misses Soo Yeon and she’ll come back because he will keep waiting for her. He remembers Soo Yeon used to walk backwards so she could keep looking at his handsome face. He tells her not to worry, she’ll be back because of him. Jung Woo cries and says the food is delicious. Soo Yeon’s mom cries and watches him eat. Okay, this scene totally made me cry. And long for my mommy’s food.

Hyung Joon is in his secret lair and IMing someone on his computer. The unknown other person is clearly a friend and asks how Soo Yeon is doing? Hyung Joon says Soo Yeon is a lot stronger than anyone thinks. She cried and is now resting. Friend says it was a good idea to switch the fingerprints in advance. Hyung Joon admits that he’s close to getting pissed. The friend tells him not to get pissed, Hyung Joon is very scary when he’s pissed.

Hyung Joon tells the friend to hurry up the process. Initially he wanted to starve (bankrupt) Han Tae Joon but now he’s changed his mind, he wants to destroy him like a pig who gorged himself to death. He will give Han Tae Joon lots of money until he destroys himself. Friend asks if he should start giving money and Hyung Joon says yes. Hyung Joon deletes the IM conversation and then switches to watch the police officers searching his house via his hidden cameras.

Jung Woo’s partner goes to Soo Yeon’s mom’s house to make kimchee with her. He says he wants to learn so he can be an attractive marriage prospect. Soo Yeon’s mom probes about who that girl at the police station was and finds out that she’s a very wealthy fashion designer.

The police continue the murder investigation and are frustrated that the killer was not captured on any surveillance or roadside cameras.

Hyung Joon and Jung Woo chat in an interrogation room, with Hyung Joon asking if Soo Yeon was here being questioned yesterday. Jung Woo asks how she is doing and is told she cried last night and didn’t sleep well.

Hyung Joon asks to get along with Jung Woo, the three of them, asking if they can be friends. Jung Woo says no, what will Hyung Joon do if Jung Woo has a crush on Soo Yeon? Hyung Joon smiles and warns him that he’s known to be quite frightening if he gets pissed. Does Jung Woo still think Zoe is Soo Yeon? Jung Woo says, other than her different looks, there is nothing else that is different between Zoe and Soo Yeon. If Hyung Joon finds some, let him know.

Jung Woo says that even if it’s hard for Soo Yeon to come back, he knows she misses him and so he’ll keep waiting for her to come back. The two men stare at each other.

Soo Yeon’s mom gets the address where Soo Yeon lives from Jung Woo’s partner. Soo Yeon decides to buck up and makes plans to eat out. As she drives the car out of the house, she runs into her mom outside.

Soo Yeon tries to avert her face but her mom gets right up to the car and stares at her with tears in her eyes. Soo Yeon finally raises her head and stares back looking equally distraught. Mom cries and  reaches for Soo Yeon through the window, asking if its her?

Thoughts of Mine:

Finally! Something other than the leobu-loebu staring that has ended each episode recently. I really want Soo Yeon to meet her mom. Forget Jung Woo’s comparatively puny issues (which I’ll discuss shortly), Soo Yeon’s mom ought to be feeling a freighter’s worth of guilt and pain with the loss of her only daughter. If she was a better mom, if she took better care of Soo Yeon, if only, if only. Jung Woo lost a girl he had a teenage crush on, Soo Yeon’s mom lost her ONLY DAUGHTER. This should have been the focus of Soo Yeon confronting her past and taking steps to reconcile who she is now with the people she’s left behind, starting first with her mother. Her mother failed at being a mother overall, but wasn’t a reason for the horrific rape she endured. But Soo Yeon’s desire to leave her past behind was motivated in one part because she never felt like her mother loved her or wanted her around. If Soo Yeon had a loving and supportive mother, she would have been able to return to a place of security and support to heal.

I’m not condemning Soo Yeon’s mom for failures in parenting, because goodness sakes there is plenty to go around with the parents in this drama. I merely want the drama to have focused on this aspect of Soo Yeon’s healing rather than all the Jung Woo antics. I can’t believe how once again physically in-your-face Jung Woo was with Soo Yeon at the beginning of this episode. At this point, if the writer wants to write Jung Woo like a borderline grabby ass, who am I to ask that he be written with less distasteful tendencies to express himself with physical and unwanted gestures of “caring”. I finally pinpointed what bothers me so much on the narrative structure with MY – this drama has chosen to make Han Jung Woo the POV character when really it needed to be Lee Soo Yeon. From the beginning, this drama started with Jung Woo in America, his return to Korea, his moving into the neighborhood, and so forth. Even after the rape, the drama spent one episode dealing with Jung Woo’s pain at leaving Soo Yeon behind, as opposed to showing us what happened to Soo Yeon after she suffered being raped and run over with a car.

It’s like a drama with two individuals injured in the same accident, and choosing to show the story from the POV of the one who broke an arm as opposed to the one who is a quadriplegic. And from that POV, we hear about the poor broken armed person talking about how hard it is to write and eat, when the giant pink elephant in the room is that there is another person who can’t move a single appendage below the neck. It’s called context, and it’s not that I don’t understand Jung Woo’s pain, but there is just no comparison to Soo Yeon’s pain and suffering from the very same traumatic incident. He witnessed a rape, she fucking got raped (and run over by a car). I don’t want to hear Jung Woo whining about how sorry he is, how bad he feels, how he’s waiting for her to come back to him. I want to hear her story – why she’s so angry, how she managed the pain in the last 14 years.

That’s why Hyung Joon annoys me less than Jung Woo, because we’re not subjected to teeming heaps of his so-called man pain, though compared to Jung Woo he suffered way more tangible trauma as well. He got bitten by evil hounds and was locked up in a room with an untreated infected leg injury to the point that he’s a cripple now and needs to use a cane. His mother got killed by his older evil half-brother. I’m just happy the drama doesn’t waste time with Hyung Joon sitting in a car or a room just moping, though showing us his secret lair and revenge plot does freak me out mostly because I know he’ll lose Soo Yeon that much faster if he goes through with it. Though Jung Woo also was totally inappropriate when he declared that he liked Soo Yeon to Hyung Joon’s face. Hello? Just because she was your former teenage girlfriend doesn’t mean you can toss decency out the window and just announce you want to steal someone’s girlfriend to them. If I were Hyung Joon I would have punched Jung Woo out already. The three leads here are so screwed up no amount of therapy can fully heal them, so the most I can hope for is that they create a semblance of a happy and normal life. I am so supportive of Soo Yeon and Hyung Joon because, for all intents and purposes, they did so that for the last 14 years in France. But too many people are still hurting because of their disappearance, so now they have no choice but to confront this past head on.

Watch here to watch Missing You.


Missing You Episode 10 Recap

Posted on December 6, 2012 by ockoala

Episode 10 of Missing You finally pushed the characters forward in tangible ways other than Jung Woo wallows in guilt and Soo Yeon quivers with unresolved fright. Since the characters transitioned to their adult selves, this was the first episode I loved everything about Jung Woo. If I want to keep watching MY (which I do), then there is no need to belabor the points I’ve made already about the shoddy characterization of making Jung Woo filled with a shiny heroic streak and Hyung Joon all shifty and evil. The drama would benefit more from painting both men into less polar opposites and showing their strengths and weaknesses so Soo Yeon can have two viable choices, as opposed to picking which guy sucks less (that would be Jung Woo). But since the writer wants to go there, I’ll have to roll with the punches. This episode finally shows us the side of Jung Woo that I can root for when it comes to a future with Soo Yeon – he respects her choice to not reveal herself to him at the playground and he follows her to the pojanmacha and watches from afar and is just happy that she’s alive and moving forward with her life.

He has always been a class act surrogate son with Soo Yeon’s mom and continues to tug at my heartstrings with he’s with her in any scene. But now he’s finally stopped self-flagellating over his “guilt” about running away when Soo Yeon needed him and started doing something in the present to help her life. Conversely, Hyung Joon’s insecurity and fears, coupled with his revenge plot, is starting to create chasms in his relationship with Soo Yeon, and that is all his doing. I’m sure she loves him as he loves her, but that 14 years of love and shared experiences is about to be flushed down the drain soon if she discovers he’s keeping so much from her, and ultimately ensnaring her in his dubious attempts to understandably get some payback from Han Tae Joon. Revenge is a double-edged sword, and in the end I’ll be happy rooting for Soo Yeon to be a successful fashion designer and reuniting with her mom and working through their shared mistakes in the past. Love lines aside, that’s the ending that will mean the most to me.

Episode 10 recap:

Soo Yeon’s mother tearfully asks if she’s Soo Yeon? Soo Yeon gets out of the car and tells her mother to get in. Poor Mom nods and stumbles her way to the passenger seat without ever moving her eyes from Soo Yeon, as if afraid she’ll vanish.

At the police station, Jung Woo and Hyung Joon have a conversation about not able to be friends because Jung Woo has a one-sided crush on Hyung Joon’s girl Soo Yeon. They are too civilized, a drag out fight would settle this quickly.

Jung Woo finds out from the captain that Soo Yeon is prohibited from leaving Korea for the time being, namely the next 10 days. Hyung Joon is upset to learn that Zoe is stuck here. He informs them that he will confer with his lawyer about this Jung Woo also learns that the first phone call made by the rapist when he stole the phone was to Han Tae Joon’s personal number. He leaves to talk with his dad. Jung Woo’s partner is shocked to learn Jung Woo is Chairman Han’s son.

Hyung Joon sits in the car and calls his lawyer, upset that Soo Yeon can’t return to France. The lawyer asks if Zoe is fine since she was supposed to meet him but never showed. Hyung Joon quickly flips on the CCTV feed from the house and sees Soo Yeon walking into the living room with her mom.

Mom follows Soo Yeon in and nervously takes off her shoes, putting it near the front door. Gah, this is so sad to watch.

Mom and Soo Yeon sit on the sofa and Mom breaks the ice first by remarking on how beautiful Soo Yeon has become, with soft skin and wearing beautiful clothes and living in a luxurious mansion. Soo Yeon reverts to her teenage tendency and blurts out “I was wrong.”

She keeps repeating “I was wrong” and Mom flashes back to how teenage Soo Yeon kneeled before the angry neighbors and kept saying “I was wrong” while Mom hit her and said that both of them ought to die for being related to a murderer.

Mom gets overwhelmed and quickly tells Soo Yeon that she didn’t do anything wrong! She is just happy that Soo Yeon is alive. Soo Yeon calls her omma and says she doesn’t want to go back to that, she doesn’t want to go back to being Lee Soo Yeon. Mom cries that she misses her so much, and then asks if no one now knows who her dad was and what happened to her? Soo Yeon shakes her head. Mom understands and says she never saw Soo Yeon and Lee Soo Yeon is dead. She begs Soo Yeon not to cry anymore.

Mom gets up to leave and Soo Yeon calls her mom but Mom tells her not to follow. Mom runs out of the house without her shoes on.

Once she’s running down the driveway, she suddenly remembers Jung Woo. She falls to ground, hurting about Jung Woo waiting for Soo Yeon to return but knowing Soo Yeon will hurt too much to return.

Soo Yeon sees her mom’s shoes on the ground and she runs out to give them to her. Her mom is gone by the time she gets to the street. Hyung Joon’s car drives up then and he sees Soo Yeon looking around holding shoes in her hand. He’s about to get out of the car when he sees Soo Yeon hailing a taxi and getting in.

Han Tae Joon is being driven to work and he reads the police file on the rapist’s murder, which includes all the private notes from the detectives. He asks his driver secretary to investigate Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon, he wants to know their background before doing business further with Hyung Joon. When he gets to work, Jung Woo is there and wants to talk with him. He claims not to have a son.

Jung Woo cuts to the chase and asks him what he talked about with the rapist for 5 minutes that night. His dad says Jung Woo never tried looking for Lee Soo Yeon anyway. Jung Woo knows what his dad did back then in breaking his phone and lying that Soo Yeon was dead – it wasn’t just because of Jung Woo, right? Jung Woo says he will send cops tomorrow to talk with him. Han Tae Joon storms away.

Jung Woo gets a call from Eun Joo that Soo Yeon’s mom is dead drunk and also has frost bite on her feet. He rushes home to take care of her. She’s tossing Jung Woo’s clothes while Eun Joo insists that Zoe is not Soo Yeon. Jung Woo asks Eun Joo to step aside.

Jung Woo tells Soo Yeon’s mom that it’s all his fault for not finding Soo Yeon. She needs to hit him like she did when he was a kid. Soo Yeon’s mom weakly hits Jung Woo and he tells her to use force like she used to.

Soo Yeon’s mom falls asleep and Jung Woo curls up with her. He tells her that he’ll be right here and all those years filled with pain isn’t going to be resolved so quickly. He wants them both to be patient and wait. He is happy that she’s finally crying and releasing her pain, but wants her to promise him that the next time she wants to cry, she’ll have to do it with him.

Jung Woo leaves the house and walks past the wall with Soo Yeon’s “I Miss You” scribble. He tells the wall that he likes Lee Soo Yeon the most. Soo Yeon walks through the old neighborhood to return her mom’s shoes.

She sees Jung Woo under their street lamp cheekily talking to it. Jung Woo tells the street lamp to behave and not flicker out. He says the lamp doesn’t listen to him just like Soo Yeon doesn’t listen to him. Soo Yeon watches him and smiles.

Jung Woo goes to their old playground and plays on the see-saw. He gets up and then walks across the board balancing himself. Soo Yeon follows and watches him. When he almost falls, she looks like she wants to go help but stops herself.

Soo Yeon hears Jung Woo get on top of the jungle gym and start singing for Soo Yeon. He doesn’t care if she hates him, can’t she just think about him for at least a minute a day. She turns around and swallows her tears. Jung Woo spots her and follows her from a distance as she walks away.

Soo Yeon sits at a pojanmacha drinking. Hyung Joon calls her and offers to pick her up but she declines, saying she’s somewhere he doesn’t like. She’ll be home soon. He tells her to be careful and hangs up, and we see that he’s actually in a car watching her. Soo Yeon is trying to repair her mom’s scuffed up shoe.

He smiles knowing that she didn’t tell him the truth, content to just keep watch over her. Soo Yeons’s chases after a plastic bag that she used to carry her mom’s shoes and Jung Woo walks up to her empty table to pick up a fallen shoe and put it back. Hyung Joon realizes Jung Woo is also watching Soo Yeon from a distance.

When Soo Yeon returns, she resumes drinking. Jung Woo watches her with a smile, knowing she must be happy to have reunited with her mom. He tells her to throw away the bad memories and make new happy memories. Jung Woo is like the worst detective ever, if he can’t see Hyung Joon sitting in a car 5 feet away from Soo Yeon.

Hyung Joon watches where Jung Woo is standing and sees him make the memory erasing hand gesture. He is shocked to realize it’s the same one Soo Yeon has been using with him. This is almost too much for Hyung Joon to bear and he has to work at controlling his unhappiness at learning this fact.

Soo Yeon comes home and finds Hyung Joon sleeping on the sofa with his headphones on. She goes over to cover him with a blanket. She makes the memory erasing gesture over his face and wishes him a good night sleep but he grabs her hand and she realizes he’s not asleep anymore.

Hyung Joon kcan smell that she’s been drinking and offers to accompany her to the pojanmacha next time. Soo Yeon thought he didn’t like those places and Hyung Joon says he’ll go because she likes it. After all, he’s all she has in this world now. Hyung Joon asks where she went and Soo Yeon says she went to walk around since she’s leaving tomorrow for France.

Hyung Joon back hugs Soon Yeon informs her that she’s been put on the no-fly list for 10 days. Soo Yeon doesn’t seem upset and Hyung Joon thought she would be upset since she wanted to go back to France. Hyung Joon asks if she’ll go with him tomorrow to meet someone. He wants her opinion on whether the person is a good or bad guy. Soo Yeon agrees.

Soo Yeon goes back to her room and silently apologizes to Hyung Joon. She puts her mom’s shoes deep inside her closet. She feels relieved and happy (about seeing her mom). She also looks at Jung Woo’s coat in her closet and how Jung Woo said he doesn’t lend out his clothes easily. Hyung Joon is inside his secret lair and staring at a picture of his mom. He reaches for her and calls out “Mom.”

Jung Woo continues his investigation and wonders where his partner went. His partner is at Soo Yeon’s house and showing her some pictures from CCTV footage that show the murder but not the face. Jung Woo calls his partner and Soo Yeon takes the phone. She tells him to find the real murderer and he promises so she needs to wait (inside hoping she won’t return to France).

After he hangs up, he smiles that Soo Yeon sounds just the same on the phone. Jung Woo chats with the cleaning ahjumma about the latest findings. She already knows that the police have discovered that the murderer was likely the first person who delivered the package to the rapist, claiming the cops talk too loudly. He asks her to keep it confidential.

Jung Woo’s partner says Soo Yeon can’t be the killer because she’s too voluptuous and the killer is slender. Jung Woo’s partner continues talking Soo Yeon, who uses her eye as a designer for looking at body types and surmises that the killer in the pictures is not a young woman, but an older woman. He’s about to leave when Soo Yeon asks him to wait.

The partner returns to the police station and hands Jung Woo back his coat. He asks if Jung Woo is disappointed but Jung Woo says no. He puts on the coat and finds his button from earlier in the coat pocket. His partner can’t stand this anymore and tells Jung Woo again that Zoe is not Soo Yeon. The get news that the IP address the murdered used Jung Woo’s computer at the police station to order the package. They don’t have footage from the time of the use (strangely it was shut off) so Jung Woo asks that footage from that morning be pulled.

Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon arrive to Han Tae Joon’s house and Soo Yeon is surprised to be greeted by Stepmom. She reminds Hyung Joon that this woman copied her design. Hyung Joon asks if she’s uncomfortable and wants to leave? He claims not to know she was Chairman Han’s wife. He asks her to quickly decide and Soo Yeon decides to stay and thanks them for the invitation. Han Tae Joon welcomes them to sit down, especially with Hyung Joon’s bum leg.

At the dinner table, Stepmom praises Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon as looking like a couple stepped out of a painting, they are so beautiful together. She specifically prepared Korean food since they live abroad in France. Hyung Joon thanks her for the thoughtful gesture, inviting them next time to his place since he can cook as well. It’s macabre to think that either way, whether Soo Yeon chooses Jung Woo or Hyung Joon, these horrible people are by family ties going to be her in-laws no matter what. Ugh.

Hyung Joon sees Chairman Han ignoring his wife and tells him straight up to treat her better. Han Tae Joon is affronted by his gall asks Hyung Joon how old he is? Hyung Joon claims he wants to show his real self since he wants to be friends with Chairman Han. He doesn’t know how to treat people but he knows how to make money, otherwise how did he achieve success so young? Han Tae Joon smirks and says Hyung Joon would be an interesting friend to have.

Hyung Joon goes to speak privately with Han Tae Joon, and offers them an investment opportunity. His fiancee wants to go back to France and the only thing more important than money is that woman. So he wants to quickly wrap up things here in Korea. Han Tae Joon announces that he’s decided to trust Hyung Joon this once. Hyung Joon asks if he’s not curious about his leg injury, and reveals that Soo Yeon designed the cane he uses. The inscription reads “Please save us, God, my Lord.”

Soo Yeon sits in the living room with Ah Reum and Stepmom. She’s not happy and makes Stepmom apologize for stealing her design and agree to take it down. Stepmom asks that her husband not be told about her blackmail and design stealing ways. Ah Reum scoffs at her mom’s lack of integrity. She is happy to have met Soo Yeon and turns to leave.

Ah Reum walks into the kitchen and asks the ahjumma to pack up leftovers for her Jung Woo oppa. Soo Yeon hears it and the flicker of recognition is seen by Stepmom. She asks if Soo Yeon knows Detective Han Jung Woo? Before Soo Yeon can answer, Hyung Joon walks out and says he’s done with business. Soo Yeon gets up and they leave.

In the police station, Jung Woo sees the cleaning ahjumma looking at print outs from the copy machine, which includes a picture of her from outside the police station captured on the CCTV there. Jung Woo tells she can’t leave now – anyone caught on the CCTV needs to stay for questioning. Ahjumma says she has to go home, her daughter is waiting for her. If her daughter gets angry she’s scarier then even the police captain. Jung Woo asked what she did that day, she explains that she cleaned left early because the thugs came by, then she returned around dawn to finish her cleaning.

Afterwards Jung Woo looks at the picture and things don’t add up. He questions everyone on the CCTV and gets their alibi. He remembers from his partner that Soo Yeon suggested by looking at the body type that its not a young woman but an older woman. He rushes out and we see the cleaning ahjumma keeping an eye on Jung Woo from a distance.

Ah Reum catches a ride with Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon. In the car, Hyung Joon reaches out his hand and Soo Yeon puts her hand in his. Ah Reum asks if she’s interrupting them. She asks if they are getting married? She announces that Hyung Joon is just her type. Ewwww, he’s your uncle, sweetie, so please destroy that thought immediately. Hyung Joon laughs and tells Soo Yeon that here is proof that he’s quite popular with the ladies. Ah Reum wonders why neither is all that nervous about the other? Hyung Joon reveals they live together already.

Back inside the car, Soo Yeon’s phone rings from Jung Woo and Ah Reum hears it and says it’s the same song her oppa loves and uses as his ring tone. Hyung Joon remarks on Soo Yeon changing her ringtone. They arrive the police station and before Ah Reum gets out, she tells them both that her brother is Detective Han Jung Woo and to call him if they ever need anything from the police.

After Ah Reum leaves, Hyung Joon asks Soo Yeon if they should grab a drink at a pojanmacha? Soo Yeon is upset and asks if Hyung Joon knew already? If he did, why did he take her to Han Jung Woo’s house to eat with his family. Hyung Joon asks her why it matters, since she’s not Lee Soo Yeon, she’s Zoe, right? Since she likes him and wants to be with him, he asks her to stay by his side until he takes care of what he needs to do. You are starting to show your crazy face and that’s not good..

Jung Woo calls his partner and asks that a background check be run on the cleaning lady immediately and to let him know ASAP. What? The police hire people to work around confidential materials without running background checks? Major fail. Ah Reum calls Jung Woo who is about to answer but sees the cleaning ahjumma ducking away. She discovers him and invites him inside. Nooooo, don’t go with her, Jung Woo! Call for back up, dude.

When they get home, Soo Yeon goes to her room and locks the door on Hyung Joon. He knocks and apologizes, promising to be more considerate in the future. Hyung Joon is so frantic he keeps banging on the door.

Jung Woo goes inside with the cleaning ahjumma. He notices that her place is pretty run down, with wallpaper ripped and rather bare. She asks him to get tape from the drawer to fix the wallpaper rip. He pulls out a basket from below and it’s a teenage girl’s school uniform with a name tag Choi Bora on it. The ahjumma says that her daughter wore that when she went to school.

Jung Woo gets nervous and secretly pulls out his handcuffs. He opens another drawer and sees the same rope and tape used to tie up the rapist before he was murdered. He turns around and the cleaning ahjumma calmly and coldly tasers him. Jung Woo collapses on the ground.

Thoughts of Mine:

I have to first get this off my chest – whatever the production is doing to Jang Mi In Ae, who signed on to play the second female lead Kim Eun Joo in this drama but has been relegated to one scene an episode, sometimes mere seconds of screen time even in her one scene, that is just plain wrong. I can name tons of side characters with more screen time each than her (Jung Woo’s partner, the captain, Secretary Nam, Stepmom, Ah Reum, even Han Tae Joon flower boy other secretary/driver). What gives, MBC? Did you guys really cave to the unprofessional demands by Yoochun’s fans in Korea who objected to her acting opposite their star, hence instead of switching her out you keep her in but relegate to such minimal screentime it’s a blink-or-you-miss it cameo role? I’m really angry on her behalf, because that is just a shit thing to do, especially because they are acceding to the demands of immature fangirls (even Yoochun stepped in and told his own fans to cut it out, he did not agree with their demand). I’m also angry as a viewer because now there isn’t a solid Eun Joo-Jung Woo relationship built on 14 years of friendship and the shared loss of Detective Kim. They were supposed to be the flip side of Soo Yeon and Hyung Joon, but now it just doesn’t exist and the narrative feels like its missing a crucial element of a character that had so much potential (young Eun Joo was awesome) and ought to fit into the greater adult narrative. So unless Eun Joo turns out to be the ultimate mastermind behind everything, hence she’s purposely getting no screentime to set the stage for her grand ascendance to main antagonist in the second half, this douchebaggy behavior by MBC makes me want to puke. Either switch the actress or write the role like it was intended.

Back to the story up to episode 10 – am I a sleuth or what since I totally called the murderer right as the cleaning ahumma! Actually, the clues were laid so heavyhanded it was only missing a neon arrow pointing at the cleaning ahjumma’s head when she was randomly introduced in episode 6 with the wrist injury. Yes, Kim Mi Kyung could be making a cameo appearance in MY much like Cha Hwa Yun’s role as Hyung Joon’s mom in the childhood portions, but all signs pointed to her playing a key role rather than as Jung Woo’s fangirl who just so happens to clean the police station. Seeing the folded school girl’s uniform, looks like my first theory is correct and the daughter she keeps talking about is likely dead and probably at the hands of the rapist as well. Cleaning ahjumma probably made it look like all clues pointed to Soo Yeon’s mom to divert suspicion from herself and pin it on someone she knew had an equally strong motive. That is probably why she loves Jung Woo so much, because they share the same hatred of the rapist. I do wonder why her identity is being revealed so quickly, unless its to wrap up the rapist death mystery and move on to Hyung Joon’s revenge and Soo Yeon working through her issues with Mom and Jung Woo. Which is fine by me. The whole detective mystery portion of this drama has always been clunkily written and elementary to the point of being laughable. Let’s get Jung Woo out of this crazy ahjumma’s clutches and put her in jail and move on to more character development on the people we care about.

It’s clear now that the writer is starting Hyung Joon’s full descent into evilness so I’m hoping he at least gets a flaming death scene at the end to go out with a burst of glory. I actually feel so terrible for him and understand his misguided revenge plot and his unhealthy attachment to Soo Yeon, so if he loses her to Jung Woo then I’d rather he go to Heaven with his poor omma and not stick around to be all gimpy and mopey alone. This kid’s ultimate fear since childhood was abandonment, and its going to break my heart to see how his actions, and Soo Yeon’s unresolved feelings with Jung Woo, are going to split them apart. Give this poor woobie his release, will ya? I do love seeing Soo Yeon lock the door on him, because why should she accept that he’s playing games around her by bringing her to Jung Woo’s parents house without letting her know in advance. Badly done, Harry, badly done. Go grovel now for her understanding. Start by showing her your mommy secret lair and tell her your tale of woe. Btw, simmering with anger Hyung Joon is pretty scary, except when Yoo Seung Ho plays it, I just want to LOL because it’s like a kid trying to be an angry adult. He’s adorable, but about as scary as a baby porcupine trying to get its spikes up. As much as he’s trying his best, there are still moments he comes off like the 19 year old he is in real life.

My favorite scenes in this episode was Soo Yeon’s reunion with her mom and her walk down memory lane watching Jung Woo playfully reliving his memories of her. What heartbreaking moments that were so meaningful in showing us that Soo Yeon does miss the people who used to be in her life, but at the same time its clear it hurts too much for her to go back to them. It’ll take time, but she isn’t rejecting it ought right, only needing time to take baby steps back. I love how her mom immediately told Soo Yeon to not come back, to step back and put Soo Yeon’s feelings first. It took Jung Woo 3 episodes but he’s also come to that realization and acceptance and now I can finally not want to shake some sense into him. I am looking forward to this process of healing between Soo Yeon towards her mom (the pain caused by her poor parenting) and Jung Woo (the pain caused by his desertion). Just because Jung Woo and Mom have been living in guilt doesn’t mean that is reason enough for Soo Yeon to let her feelings of betrayal and loss and anger go. But it does mean Soo Yeon needs to give them a chance when she’s ready, and together they can work through the issues and take baby steps towards a future where they can be in each other’s lives in whatever capacity.

Watch here to watch Missing You.


Missing You Episode 11 Recap

Posted on December 12, 2012 by ockoala

Okay, that’s just a really gorgeous shot of Hyung Joon so I had to lead with it, especially since I couldn’t find much in this episode to keep my interest. I’m finding myself emotionally and mentally checking out of Missing You. Nothing really happens in this drama. It’s just a series of extremely improbable bad things continuously happening to good people, and then the good people are all hurting and suffering while warily circling each other. Then the writer tosses in the kitchen sink of crimes – kidnapping, rape, murder, death by drowning – to add a dash of mystery and create some narrative momentum, but that doesn’t work either because it’s done so haphazardly and slipshod. This was the first episode where I thought the PD was terrible at the helm, his directing discordant and flat. Did MBC switch PDs because I want the old one back. Visually the drama is also losing its melancholy dreaminess, devolving into a sullen moroseness, much like the mood of most of the characters in this drama.

What couldn’t be solved if everyone was shoved into one room with a crack therapist and forced to talk about their feelings and issues, and then return to the real world to do something with their issues rather than playing dodge and feint. I have patience for Soo Yeon’s pain and understand her desire to forget her past, I have empathy for Jung Woo’s youthful cowardice and understanding of his clinging to guilt, and I have compassion for Hyung Joon’s woefully childhood woes and his need for vengeance. But these three are testing my limits by mostly being so damn static in the face of all this rushing convergence of past and present. A tiny bit of good did trickle out of this episode – Hyung Joon candidly told Soo Yeon he was jealous of her feelings with respect to Jung Woo, and Jung Woo finally put himself in Soo Yeon’s shoes and realized why she would want to avoid him and her past. Now will this story get a move on soon?

Episode 11 recap:

Jung Woo is tasered by cleaning ahjumma, who checks his cell phone and sees frantic texts from Jung Woo’s partner about the cleaning ahjumma’s background (something happened to her daughter Bora 5 years ago) and warning him to be careful around her. Oops, too late buddy. Ahjumma looks down at the unconscious Jung Woo and says that she warned him to be careful.

Back at the police station, everyone is frantic when they can’t reach Jung Woo. They head to Soo Yeon’s mom’s place to see if he went home. They set up a wire tap at the house where Eun Joo makes her obligatory 3 second appearance to comfort the worried Mom.

The cops track down Jung Woo’s cell signal to a landfill but can’t find him. They hear his phone ringing and find it in the trash pile. On the phone is the hand scribbled note “My daughter is dead.” Jung Woo’s partner starts freaking out but the captain says they need to keep looking for clues. I was really amused in this scene when the taillights of the cars are the same bright hot pink color as Soo Yeon (and sometimes the male leads) lipstick has been in this drama. Maybe it’s the camera colors amplifying that particular bright shade?

Jung Woo wakes up bound and gagged by the ahjumma, who walks into the room wearing the baseball cap and puffer jacket we saw the killer of the rapist wearing from the peephole.

Ahjumma grabs a bottle of pills and goes over to Jung Woo, saying that he could have lived if he just stayed quiet and not investigate. She reveals that her daughter is dead and she can’t see her anymore. She asks if Jung Woo’s investigation is all for that woman’s sake? She reminds him that he claimed to be content if he could just see Lee Soo Yeon again.

Ahjumma takes off Jung Woo’s tape on his mouth and he begs her to let him hear Soo Yeon’s voice just one more time. He apologizes for not being able to be her son-in-law and begs for her help. Ahjumma gives him the sleeping pills and says she needs to go kill “that person” now, her Bora told her that person was dirty and scary.

Hyung Joon is still waiting outside Soo Yeon’s door for her to open it. Soo Yeon answers her phone and hears Jung Woo’s weak voice on the other line asking if she knows how many steps it is from Soo Yeon’s front door to the street lamp. He tells her that he misses her. Jung Woo faints during the call and when Soo Yeon tries to call back there is no answer. She calls Jung Woo’s partner.

Soo Yeon reveals that Jung Woo called her and his partner says Jung Woo has been kidnapped. Hyung Joon walks into the room and asks Soo Yeon what is happening. Soo Yeon mutters to herself that it’s 280 steps from her house to the street lamp and Jung Woo seems to have forgotten.

Hyung Joon can see Soo Yeon is really affected because of Jung Woo. He offers to take her to look for Jung Woo, asking if she’s that worried about his situation. Soo Yeon remembers her own kidnapping and asks how Hyung Joon can tell. He grabs her hand and says he will help her this one last time. He says she’s not 15 anymore and she needs to let it go. He goes to get the car and tells her to put on a coat and meet him outside.

Han Tae Joon is meeting with Secretary Nam and the other secretary is handed an USB drive. Ah Reum barges into the study begging her dad for help because Jung Woo oppa has been kidnapped by the person who killed the rapist. Han Tae Joon says the moment Jung Woo became a cop, he’s been dead to him. After everyone leaves, he sits in the study looking at files but appears worried about Jung Woo. Btw, Han Jin Hee’s performance here is just dreadful, absolutely a caricature. But he’s killing it over in Cheongdamdong Alice right now as the pompous and petty dad of male lead Cha Seung Jo. I luff him!

The cops find out where Jung Woo is being stashed and they find him passed out in the room, under a blanket and the cleaning ahjumma left food for him along with a letter. You know, Jung Woo is damn lucky the cleaning ahjumma didn’t intend to kill him because his detective skills are so poor in this instance he pretty much served himself up to her on a platter for her to nab him.

Hyung Joon drives Soo Yeon to the scene and they arrive just as Jung Woo is carried out in a stretcher to the ambulance. He knows Soo Yeon is scared and tells her to endure it, because he’s also enduring it. Huyng Joon gets out of the car and asks her to wait inside.

Soo Yeon remembers Jung Woo promising to catch the real killer. Hyung Joon walks up to the police and asks if they can be of any help. Jung Woo’s partner is so worried about him.

Hyung Joon turns around and sees Soo Yeon’s worried look in the car and he grips his cane tightly. Dude, stop being so passive-aggressively jealous, which you have a right to be since Soo Yeon is currently your girlfriend. But she has a right to go back to Jung Woo if she wants to, only it’s just bad for her to be waffling between you two. So ask her straight up “Do you want to go back to Han Jung Woo? If you do, then you can go. Otherwise stop it with all these looks of longing and worry and anxiety because of him and around him. Doing that is not right and not fair to me, your current boyfriend. And the person who has been with you for the last 14 years. Either end it with me and move to Jung Woo, or cut it out. Because it’s killing me inside to watch you like this.” I don’t know why people don’t talk more in this drama, other than to prolong the angst.

Soo Yeon and Hyung Joon follow the cops to the hospital. Soo Yeon waits outside Jung Woo’s hospital room and finally walks inside. Jung Woo walks out of the bathroom while he’s putting on a shirt and Soo Yeon and his partner both quickly avert their eyes and it makes everyone laugh. Hyung Joon walks in and tells Jung Woo that he needs to rest for a few days. Jung Woo thanks them for their assistance.

Jung Woo and Hyung Joon are alone in the room and have a man-to-man chat. Hyung Joon says again that Zoe is not Soo Yeon, and then asks what Jung Woo will do if he finds Soo Yeon and she hates him? Jung Woo still intends to look for her, and wonders if hating him is what Soo Yeon really feels, or Hyung Joon hopes she feels?

Hyung Joon says that he would never do what Jung Woo did. No matter what happened, he would never leave his woman behind. He lost his most beloved mother when he was young so he knows what it’s like to lose someone important. He tells Jung Woo to ask Lee Soo Yeon when he sees her if she is willing to forgive him. Jung Woo knows forgiveness will be hard so he intends to stay by her side waiting for her to forgive him. Jung Woo remembers that last time he missed a drinking invite from Hyung Joon and promises to go drinking with him once the killer of the rapist is captured.

Out in the corridor, Soo Yeon is chatting with Jung Woo’s partner when Eun Joo arrives with food for Jung Woo (and to make her second obligatory 3 second appearance). She sees him dressed and leaving the hospital and yells after him that he still hasn’t eaten the food Mom made for him. He says he’s going home to see Mom. Soo Yeon looks confused to hear that.

She thinks back to Jung Woo at the street lamp that day and realizes that he lives in the neighborhood with her Mom. Hyung Joon walks out of the hospital room and sees Soo Yeon staring at the departing Jung Woo. Stop it with the looks of constipated jealousy, dude. I don’t like it when Jung Woo does it, and I don’t like it when you do it.

When they get home, Soo Yeon wants to talk in the elevator but Hyung Joon cuts her off. He asks for some time to clear his mind. He doesn’t want their first real argument in 14 years to be about Han Jung Woo. He doesn’t like this feeling and goes to rest.

When Hyung Joon goes to his secret lair, he is flustered and calls Secretary Nam about getting the secret account ledger. He then IMs his “friend” and asks where he/she is? Friend knows Hyung Joon is very angry right now and asks for more time when Hyung Joon wants things sped up so he can leave for Paris as soon as possible with Soo Yeon.

Jung Woo and his partner arrive at work the next day and discuss finding the person who killed Bora. They get a tip and are off.

A man walks out of the airport and gets into a taxi. He’s on the phone and calls the driver, who is the cleaning ahjumma, to take him to Cheongdamdong. We learn he’s the person responsible for Bora’s death.

As he’s being driven, he realizes something is off when the car doesn’t head towards Cheongdamdong. The ahjumma locks the door and the man starts freaking out. Suddenly cop cars surround the taxi and the ahjumma is forced to pull over when she’s driven off the road.

The man is passed out after hitting his head and Jung Woo rushes to the taxi. The door is locked and he screams at the ahjumma not to do it, but she grabs a gun and turns toward the guy and we see Jung Woo freaking out.

The ahjumma has been arrested and she’s driven to the police station with the media waiting there. Ahjumma says her daughter Bora was raped and murdered. She thinks about Bora and we see Jung Woo reading a letter written by Bora. The voiceover for Bora is done by Kim Sae Ron in a voice cameo.

Bora apologizes to her mother for leaving her behind. She is sorry that she didn’t listen to her mom, for dirtying her uniform and for not coming straight home from school. They say its like a traffic accident and a person can get over it, but that’s not true. After she’s gone, the people will stop asking all the time if she’s alright. Because of her screaming nightmares, her mother can’t even sleep well. She is so very sorry, and she says goodbye to her mom. When Jung Woo reads the letter, we see Soo Yeon laying in bed watching the news about the ahjumma’s capture. The ahjumma says her daughter is dead – it wasn’t just a rape, they caused her death so it was murder.

Soo Yeon gets up to read a text from Jung Woo telling her that the killer has been captured. But his heart hurts, though he is thankful she is alive and thankful he can still wait for her. Soo Yeon cries to read this. We see Soo Yeon’s mom at home packing up Jung Woo’s things into a box.

Hyung Joon knocks and walks in, noticing that Soo Yeon is still wearing the same clothes as before and looks unkempt. She lies about having taken a short nap and Hyung Joon pats her on the head. Hyung Joon says he needs to go to work but seeing Soo Yeon like this, he’s doesn’t know what to do for her.

Hyung Joon sits down next to Soo Yeon and she asks if he wants to say something to her? Hyung Joon admits that he was angry at her but that was because he was clouded by jealousy. He feels embarrassed by his outburst. He knows that she does the memory erasing gesture because she learned it from Jung Woo. He asks her to forget any memories she has of his bad attitude, even if its just a little. Every day Hyung Joon realizes that he cannot be without her.

Soo Yeon gets a call from Jung Woo’s stepmother who arrives bearing homemade kimchee and other food for them. Soo Yeon tries to get rid of her but she barges right in. Hyung Joon is leaving and asks if Soo Yeon is fine being home alone? She tells him to go do what he needs to do.

Soo Yeon talks with Stepmother who talks about how much she loves money that that reminds Soo Yeon of her own mom and she smiles. Stepmother suddenly brings up Jung Woo and asks if she knows he’s the son of their family? She reveals he left home 14 years ago because he went crazy for a girl. She tells Soo Yeon to keep this a secret from Hyung Joon. Soo Yeon dismisses her quickly saying she has something to do.

Hyung Joon goes to meet with his French lawyer who helped bail Soo Yeon out. The guy hands Hyung Joon an envelope of money. Ah Reum is home and spots Secretary Nam leaving her dad’s study looking all shady. She calls her dad and he orders Secretary Nam to be captured. When he gets home, he discovers the secret accounting ledger missing. He now knows Secretary Nam was just a chess piece.

Secretary Nam meets with Hyung Joon at the Han River and hands over the secret account ledger. I have no idea why gimpy Hyung Joon feels the need to ride his bike in the Winter snow for his secret meeting. Hyung Joon hands him the cash and warns him to be careful not to be caught by Han Tae Joon. Secretary Nam smirks and asks if Soo Yeon knows the reason she and Jung Woo were kidnapped was on Hyung Joon’s mother’s orders to keep Han Tae Joon away from Hyung Joon and the inheritance? Hyung Joon warns him never to reveal that to Soo Yeon. After Hyung Joon bikes away, Secretary Nam texts a file to Jung Woo and says that by the time he receives this, Secretary Nam will be out of the country already.

The captain interrogates the cleaning ahjumma about why she killed Soo Yeon’s rapist. She asks to speak with her son-in-law (i.e. Jung Woo).

Jung Woo waits outside the police station for Soo Yeon’s mom who brings over a meal and he helps her carry in a box. She’s in a bad mood and Jung Woo chases after her, trying to placate her under the assumption that she’s mad about him being in danger yesterday. We see Soo Yeon in a car outside and confirms that Jung Woo and her Mom are indeed very close. Soo Yeon’s mom tells Jung Woo to go home now, he’s done enough to atone for leaving Soo Yeon in that warehouse.

Jung Woo refuses, saying he can’t live without her. He promises not to do anything to worry her in the future. Soo Yeon’s mom asks that he let her breath at ease for once and leave. If she sees him, she will always remember what happened. She wants to forget about her daughter. Jung Woo refuses, he will keep waiting for Soo Yeon to come back.

Jung Woo says he’s a crazy person, he’s a crazy man. A man needs to wait. He tells Soo Yeon’s mom to forget Soo Yeon if she wants, to hate him if she wants, to remember the past if she wants. But all those bad memories were made by him and he will shoulder that burden. He asks that she not make him leave. Soo Yeon’s mom screams that Soo Yeon doesn’t want to be Soo Yeon. Mom is just happy Soo Yeon is alive and living well, so Jung Woo needs to let go and send her away. Soo Yeon is hiding behind a wall and cries as she sees and hears this entire exchange.

When Hyung Joon comes home, he doesn’t see Soo Yeon anyone. He sighs thinking she went to the pojanmacha and says they agreed to go together.

The captain allows Soo Yeon’s mom to meet with the cleaning ahumma and she brings her food. Soo Yeon’s mom grabs the ahjumma’s hand and thanks her through tears (for killing the rapist). She is grateful even though she feels like she is very sorry to her. The cleaning ahjumma says she feels oddly at peace.

The two mothers bend over holding hands and crying over being unable to protect their own daughters.

Jung Woo sits out in the hallway looking through his box of items Soo Yeon’s mother brought. He sees pictures, the yellow umbrella, and his and Soo Yeon’s high school name tags. Soo Yeon hides in the corner and watches them. They both think about their childhood selves.

Soo Yeon’s phone alarm goes off since its 7 pm and the song is the one she and Jung Woo listened to. He hears it and sees her shoes peeking out from the corner. She runs off and he chases her outside.

Jung Woo stops Soo Yeon and asks if she really hates him that much? She doesn’t answer and is just teary. Jung Woo pulls Soo Yeon into his arms and asks if she really hates herself that much? He asks if he really doesn’t need to wait for her anymore? He tells her not to cry because it hurts his heart. He calls her Soo Yeon-ah.

Thoughts of Mine:

Watching MY is such an odd experience for me. I feel like a detached outsider peering in – kinda like that Twilight Zone episode where a man lives his entire life until the final minute when the camera pulls back and we see that he’s living inside a constructed world by a greater being viewing him as an object of entertainment. I feel like that otherworldly being, when really drama watching works best if I feel like I’m part of the world as constructed by the drama. I don’t mean feeling like I’m a character in the drama, but only that I am in the world observing in close proximity hence I care about the characters and their lives, rather than as a far removed outsider. I watch each episode feeling like the characters are tiny toy pieces and the writer moves them as she sees fit hence it doesn’t feel organic. There are moments of real gut sincerity but its so few and far between the bits of manufactured plot I’m left flailing for an anchor to keep me rooted in what is otherwise just a conflict that can be resolved with lots of communication and therapy.

The reveal of the cleaning ahjumma’s involvement in the rapist’s death and her own sad dead daughter back story wasn’t a shock since I was guessing it for a few episodes now. Forget about it being even remote plausible, the only part that worked was Soo Yeon’s mom’s conversation with her in the interrogation room. Watching the two mom’s bond over having daughters that were similar crime victims was really sad. It’s funny how Soo Yeon’s mom started off in the drama as an easy person to hate, the way she let her daughter get beaten up so she didn’t have to, and the way she just emotionally and physically battered Soo Yeon as an outlet for her own pain. Who knew 11 episodes later she would be my favorite character in this drama, a woman who sincerely and thoughfully deals with her own pain and tragedy while having empathy for others. She is weak, she was a bad mother, but she owns up to her own failings and when faced with the unexpected return of her daughter she goes through the gamut of honest feelings all leading to doing what is best for Soo Yeon. She’s not perfect, but she tries so hard to make amends the right way. Song Ok Seok is also delivering an exceptional acting performance that just makes me feel for her sadness and guilt.

Acting wise everyone is still doing just fine, though nothing to write home about. I’m a little spoiled since I just finished watching Nice Guy where the three leads in that drama went turbo on their acting performances. I can see Yoochun, Yoon Eun Hye, and Yoo Seung Ho putting in their all, and maybe their all is merely this level. So it’s no diss on them because as a race car they are going as fast as they can and are in control of their character, but I am just wanting to pull more out of them because it is an incredible visual experience when the actors just kick it up a notch. There are moments Yoochun and Yoon Eun Hye do show a glimmer of more depth and sheer emotional honesty, but sadly it’s never with each other. Yoochun continues to impress me when he’s doing scenes with the elders, like Song Ok Song or Kim Mi Kyung, he’s so much more relaxed and less thinking-as-he-acts. I’ve noticed this about him in his previous dramas, but I chalked it up in Sungkyungkwan Scandal as him being a newbie. Now I wonder if he’s the type of actor that rises to the occasion when he’s facing a sunbae that just radiates intensity? Now I’m curious if the screen will explode if Yoochun was cast as Kim Gab Soo’s son in some thriller? That needs to happen just to whet my appetite and prove my theory.

I’m not even holding out hope the drama will handle the Soo Yeon-Hyung Joon 14 year relationship with anything resembling a proper and satisfying resolution before she goes back to Jung Woo. I really wish the drama would let them hash it out the way they appeared to have been communicating the last 14 years and then work through their current predicament. Soo Yeon’s character has been so reactive and passive for too many episodes now. I liked her fire when she tried to torment Jung Woo but all she does now is cry and cry and mope and cry. That’s in line with old Soo Yeon’s personality, which makes me sad because its coming back more and more and she’s losing the fire that was Zoe, the girl who slapped the other designer in Jeju and gave Jung Woo a piece of her mind. I want Soo Yeon to acknowledge her past, though I’ve always wanted her to do it on her own terms and at her own pace. But now it appears like she keeps doing things because she learns more about how Jung Woo and her Mom lived without her. Is that a good enough reason for her to forgive Jung Woo and also return to being Soo Yeon? I don’t know, that’s for her to decide. But the drama is putting everyone else in the driver’s seat with respect to Soo Yeon, including Hyung Joon’s need for her and constant emotional reminders that he’s all she has, so I feel sorry for her but can’t really root for her until she steps up and starts making decisions on her own. I hope that happens soon.

Click here to watch Missing You.


Missing You Episode 12 Recap

Posted on December 13, 2012 by ockoala

I’m saddened there are those who believe differences in opinion is best left unexpressed at all. With that said, it gratifies me to hear confirmation that there are plenty of folks who enjoy the exercise in constructive debate within an atmosphere spanning the gamut of differing perceptions. Up until now I’ve enjoyed parts of Missing You enough to warrant the continuing recapping, especially since I actually have quite a lot to say about why certain parts work while others are just inconsistent or falling flat. I usually drop dramas when it bores me, and up until now MY hasn’t bored me. The last episode was the first one where I felt like the drama didn’t make much headway and was just treading water, but this episode was a read dud through and through. Unless something drastic happens to the narrative (and the writer’s ability to write a cohesive tightly wound story) this drama is sinking fast in all facets of its main plot lines.

Yes, the ending to episode 12 dropped a not insignificant reveal, but once again it feels so forced and laughably absurd I wanted to laugh instead of gasping in shock. If anyone wants a clue, MY just went Old Boy on us. Not all of Old Boy, because jesus that would give the viewers a collective stroke and Korea would run out of smelling salts for the ahjummas. It just went the way of the first section of Old Boy, which in the construct of this drama seems both wholly implausible as well as totally in line with the degree of implausibility the writer has been producing one after another. Surprised the cleaning ahjumma had a raped and dead daughter and she’s now gone vigilante, well don’t be surprised with more mommy-related surprises forthcoming. This episode focused a lot on Hyung Joon, which made me happy even as I cringed at his posturing when he’s in his mastermind lair. With this drama almost 2/3rd of the way done, all the heaped on emotional woe has gone the way of soggy toast.

Episode 12 recap:

Jung Woo hugs Soo Yeon and then releases her when he remembers Mom saying she hates being Soo Yeon. He tells her to turn and leave.

Soo Yeon turns back and does the memory erasing gesture behind his back, knowing he’s been living in pain and wanting to take away his bad memories. He turns around and is crying, telling himself that these are not tears, he just has wind in his eyes.

Soo Yeon cries as she drives home. Jung Woo stands there for a good long while before walking into the police station and asking to take over the interrogation. He walks into the room and the cleaning ahjumma calls him son-in-law. He’s all business and asks her why she killed the rapist.

Soo Yeon wipes away her residual tears in the elevator and composes herself. When she walks into the house it’s all oddly silent. She walks into Hyung Joon’s room and finds him curled under the blanket seemingly asleep.

Soo Yeon walks over and sits down, hearing that he’s not feeling well. She touches his forehead and is alarmed that he’s feverish. She grabs the thermometer and sees that his temperature is at 40 degrees C and wants to take him to the doctor. Hyung Joon mutters that he’s been to the doctor and taken medicine already.

Hyung Joon says he went to the pojanmacha and drank by himself. His heart hurts and he wants to just sleep it all away. He asks her to do the memory erasing gesture for him and she hesitates before admitting it’s not her gesture, she learned it from someone else.

Hyung Joon starts to cry and Soo Yeon apologizes. Hyung Joon grabs Soo Yeon’s hand and says he’s also scared to pieces that she wasn’t coming back. Soo Yeon calls him silly, where could she possibly go. He gets up and grabs her waist and starts to sob. Soo Yeon tells him not to cry in his condition. He holds her tightly and asks her not to go anywhere. Soo Yeon doesn’t answer directly but holds him.

Jung Woo asks if the cleaning ahjumma killed three men. She says its not cleaning, she’s clearing away the filth in society. Those people should not have been let out. Jung Woo remembers Soo Yeon saying the rapist deserves to die for what he did. She says they killed her Bora, why should they get to live? She asks him to continue her job, to kill other rapists who will be let out in the future.

Jung Woo doesn’t believe in an eye for an eye and Bora wouldn’t want it either. Because she killed the rapist, he will never accept his transgressions. He wanted the rapist to beg forgiveness from Soo Yeon’s mom. Plus he knew the people who kidnapped Jung Woo and why they falsely lied about Soo Yeon being dead. Now it’s all over and she ruined his plan to keep investigating. Right now ahjumma is just a criminal to him and he wants her to tell him every detail of how she committed the murder.

Flashback to the night of the rapist’s death. He opens the door and is tasered by the ahjumma wearing a long hair wig. She read Lee Soo Yeon’s case file and knows he likes young girls. She drags him into the bathroom and ties in up in the bathroom. Jung Woo asks how she has the strength? Ahjumma has the strength because she thinks about her Bora.

She prepares the dry ice to burn off his lower region. She cooks rice for him to eat since a person who is about to die ought to have one final meal. We see ahjumma tell the rapist that there is no reason for him to live. She reveals her daughter is called Choi Bora and she is her mother. She is sending him hell and she’ll follow soon. Once she gets there, she will kill him again.

Jung Woo shows her crime scene photos and asks why she suffocated him since using dry ice was enough to kill him. The ahjumma recalls someone arrived during the commission of the crime and she hid in the closet. The person turned on the lights and she hears her footsteps. The ahjumma flashes back to taking Soo Yeon into the police station and turning to stare at her shoes as she listened to her footsteps. She doesn’t answer Jung Woo’s question.

Instead she asks Jung Woo if he likes Lee Soo Yeon? Jung Woo tells her to stay on topic. She ends the conversation then and says she wanted to kill the rapist faster. Okay, my gut tells me she tortured the rapist but didn’t kill him. That was probably the other person who arrived. Jung Woo asks why she took Soo Yeon’s cell phone from the scene, which ahjumma says it’s because she was cleaning up. He asks where she tossed it? Ahjumma doesn’t remember and asks if he wants her to say that she regrets killing him and wouldn’t do it if she could turn back time? She ends the interview and asks for something to eat.

Soo Yeon has tended to sick Hyung Joon all night and he wakes up to find her sleeping on the edge of the bed. He strokes her sleeping head and tells her that even if she’s right next to him he’s still scared. He asks Soo Yeon to not waver again. Next time, please don’t waver again.

Hyung Joon and his IM friend chat about the secret account ledger. It’s been leaked and the media is in a frenzy wanting to talk to Han Tae Joon. Stepmom is home watching people coming in and out. They hear that Secretary Nam has gone missing. Ah Reum doesn’t have any sympathy for her dad, a man willing to hang up on his own kidnapped son.

Han Tae Joon looks through prosecutor’s investigation request in his study and hears that Secretary Nam and his family have run off to New Zealand and he took the money the bank was scheduled to pay out to Hyung Joon. Han Tae Joon orders him tracked down in New Zealand.

Jung Woo’s partner skips into work all happy since his parents aw him on TV yesterday. The captain tells him not to be so happy since the cleaning ahjumma is the one in trouble. He sees a box of Jung Woo’s belongings on his table and wonders what happened.

Soo Yeon’s mom is packing up more Jung Woo items at home and Eun Joo finds out he’s been kicked out. She wonders where he can go and Mom says he has a home to go back to and parents who miss him. Eun Joo says he can’t leave because he still needs to help her find the person responsible for her dad’s death. Mom says to let Jung Woo go, she will be Eun Joo’s mom and dad from now on.

Inside the police station, Jung Woo is still questioning the ahjumma. She says that she’s admitted everything and even seen Soo Yeon’s mom. She tells Jung Woo to believe in what she says and not trust anything he might find in the computer or what others tell him.

Jung Woo says that if Bora was stronger and was alive today, he might really be her son-in-law. Ahjumma asks what about Lee Soo Yeon? Jung Woo says he can let her go, he asks that they do it together now. She forgets Bora and he forgets Lee Soo Yeon, and this will be their secret. Jung Woo apologizes to her for the police failure in getting justice for Bora. Ahjumma says that if only she had a police officer like Jung Woo then, she wouldn’t have become like this.

Jung Woo asks ahjumma to let everything go now because of Bora. Jung Woo grabs her hand and cries and ahjumma asks him not to cry for her. Jung Woo asks her to forget all the painful memories for Bora’s sake. Ahjumma grabs Jung Woo’s hand and says that he waited so long for Lee Soo Yeon and she’s alive and now he has hope to keep waiting. He cannot end up like Bora writing a final letter.

Jung Woo and his partner drink and he’s such a lightweight so his partner tries to stop him. Jung Woo wonders if he drinks everyday he can make the time pass like that and everything will be fine. Jung Woo asks why he never once thought about forgetting? He confesses that he told Soo Yeon to leave. He likes her so much but she hates him, she hates the past that he’s a part of. He asks his hyung what he can do?

Jung Woo talks to his glass of soju and calls it a bad person. He threatens to drink it and starts asking the soju if she’ll come or not come. Suddenly the phone rings and its Hyung Joon, asking to meet to discuss some concerns with Nurse Hye Mi’s autopsy report. Jung Woo says he’s been out drinking and asks for another day to meet. Hyung Joon asks if he can come over since it’s important.

Jung Woo arrives at Hyung Joon’s house and sees Soo Yeon, who directs him to Hyung Joon’s room. She notices that he’s been drinking and is worried. He says there isn’t anything that can’t be done if he gets used to it. He suggests they can drink soju in the future together.

Inside Hyung Joon’s bedroom, Hyung Joon starts off by saying that he also has the same memory, that it’s 280 steps from the Soo Yeon’s house to the street lamp. Jung Woo is surprised they have the same memory.

Hyung Joon reaches out his hand and Jung Woo gives him his arm as support so Hyung Joon can get off the bed and stand up. Hyung Joon suggests they drink today since Jung Woo has already started drinking. Jung Woo declines since he’s been drinking already but then agrees when Harry presses him. Hyung Joon asks for his computer and Jung Woo grabs it for him. He turns on the computer and smiles, which leads Jung Woo to surmise that something good happened today for Hyung Joon. Han Tae Joon is in his car heading somewhere and he asks where Hyung Joon lives.

Jung Woo is in the kitchen grabbing ice for the drinks and Soo Yeon offers to help and Jung Woo says it’s not necessary. She grabs him some napkins and he sees her Mom’s shoes in a bag. He knows she’s headed to see her Mom and tells her to have a good meeting. Soo Yeon is taken aback by Jung Woo’s newfounded calmness. After Soo Yeon leaves, Jung Woo murmurs that Mom will be happy.

Jung Woo walks over to Hyung Joon, who is staring at him. Hyung Joon asks to find out more about Han Tae Joon since Jung Woo is his son. Jung Woo says he has no ties with Han Tae Joon anymore and wonders why Hyung Joon is asking. Hyung Joon says he thinks Nurse Hye Mi’s death may be tied to Han Tae Joon’s bank. He says this is a suspicion of his lawyer.

Hyung Joon hands Jung Woo a paper which show an account that was used to invest with Stepmom, with Hyung Joon as a guarantor. Jung Woo tells Hyung Joon to be careful, if anything happened to him, it will be very hard on Soo Yeon.

Soo Yeon arrives at her Mom’s restaurant with the shoes. She finds her Mom rather out of it but they sit down to talk. Soo Yeon suggests they drink some soju when her Mom asks why she’s here. She asks if Mom likes her pretty nails? Does Mom not want to see her? But she wants to see Mom. She wants Mom to see her successful. She tells Mom that she’s now a fashion designer.

Mom asks if Soo Yeon wants Mom to apologize for the past? Mom says she is bow her head and admit all her past transgressions. Soo Yeon says her heart hurts. Mom asks if she’ll ever be back and Soo Yeon replies that she will go back to France but will sneak back from time to time to meet secretly with Mom. Her Mom doesn’t want that and tells her not to appear before her and Jung Woo even if she comes back. It’s easier to move on if they don’t meet again.

Mom says she has to go back to work and tells Soo Yeon to leave. Mom says she likes Jung Woo now and doesn’t want Soo Yeon around anymore. Soo Yeon sits there and cries. After Soo Yeon goes back to her car, she realizes she didn’t return the shoes to her mom. She had wanted to buy pretty new shoes for her mom.

Soo Yeon gets a call from Hyung Joon asking when she’ll be back. She says she’s not done with what she needs to do yet. Hyung Joon can tell from her voice that she’s been crying. He asks her to come home soon, he has something to say to her. Soo Yeon promises to be back quickly after she’s done.

Jung Woo is leaving the house and gets the text from Secretary Nam. Secretary Nam wanted to leave but couldn’t bear to leave Jung Woo as is. He wants to apologize because he was acting on orders of Han Tae Joon as his lapdog. He tells Jung Woo not to look for Lee Soo Yeon anymore, the person who will be hurt is himself. Hyung Joon looks at him and asks him to keep investigating Nurse Hye Mi’s death. Jung Woo calls his partner.

As Jung Woo walks down the driveway, he passes by Han Tae Joon driving into the house. Hyung Joon watches this from the CCTV cameras. He smiles and welcomes Han Tae Joon to Heaven as the gate opens for him.

In the living room, Hyung Joon has an ice pack on his leg. Hyung Joon asks if Han Tae Joon needs help to cover that missing money and offers to help him within the week. He asks Han Tae Joon to hand him his cane. Hyung Joon stands up and Han Tae Joon thanks him for the help. Hyung Joon asks in the future if he has any need, Han Tae Joon will help him, right? Han Tae Joon says he’ll remember this.

Jung Woo’s partner goes back to the police station and tells everyone to never mention Lee Soo Yeon’s name anymore so Jung Woo can start anew. Jung Woo calls his stepmom and doesn’t get an answer. He goes to the store and is told she’s meeting with a customer, who turns out to be Soo Yeon. He goes to the storeroom to wait for her. He sees a white one-sleeve dress and pays special attention to it. Stepmom begs Soo Yeon to get Hyung Joon to help her husband with his current monetary needs.

Han Tae Joon receives a package that appears to be mailed by a Kang Sang Chul and he opens it to find a plastic tie craft shaped like a bike. Inside is a card that reads “Even God cannot save you now, just wait”. He opens his desk and takes out an identical one, which he got from Hyung Joon’s mom. He laughs, knowing that Kang Hyung Joon is back.

Hyung Joon is in his lair and we see a display case filled with such plastic tie crafts. He arranges them and smiles.

Stepmom takes Soo Yeon to her storeroom and leaves. Soo Yeon looks around and sees the same white dress. She wonders who designed it? She sees feet behind a white curtain and opens it to see a sleeping Jung Woo.

She walks over and peers at him silently. She notices that he still has the button from before. She wonders why her heart hurts every time she sees him. It’s so odd.

Jung Woo suddenly awakens and says Soo Yeon-ah and asks why she’s here. Soo Yeon thinks to him asking her when they were kids and her response in her mind was that she missed him.

Stepmom comes in and Soo Yeon rushes out and pulls the white cloth closed to keep Jung Woo on the other side.

Han Tae Joon drives somewhere and enters a room that’s been padlocked. A women is making a plastic tie craft and she turns around and lo and behold its Hyung Joon’s not-dead mom. She smiles at him.

In his lair, Hyung Joon looks at the necklace rubber pendant his mother gave him and he smiles. I wished he cackled a few times, you know, just for kicks.

Thoughts of Mine:

Okay, at this point Hyung Joon can slice and dice Han Tae Joon into mincemeat and I wouldn’t even blink an eye or think he’s evil. Who the fuck locks up a woman for 14!!! years simply because of money? That doesn’t even compute on the evil scale because the intent would require such startling degrees of lack of empathy and rage but the motive being money could not possibly correlate the trigger with the underlying action. It’s like the cleaning ahjumma could not have snapped if her Bora was simply pelted with a rock. The cause and effect in this drama really baffles me time and again. I had a hard time understanding why an admittedly traumatic instance of cowardice could lead Jung Woo to wallow in guilt for 14 years rather than living with the residual regret but moving on with his life until a chance reunion with Soo Yeon allowed him to work through the guilt and perhaps start over with her after they had a chance to resolve the hurt and regretful feelings. Anyways, back to the locked up mom situation – I wasn’t surprised Hyung Joon’s mom wasn’t dead since the drama never showed her death so obviously that was a giant red herring, but it comes off as just one more clunky makjang mystery.

This was the first episode where adult Jung Woo completely won me over in liking him as a human being. So he is capable of restraint, of thoughtful communication, of perceptive empathy, of not sucking as a police detective. If Jung Woo continues to let Soo Yeon dictate the terms of their interaction as he’s doing now, then I wouldn’t have a problem narratively for the two of them to get back together somewhere down the road. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the writer is throwing Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon’s 14 years with him under the bus to get there, but the flip side is that at least I will not be upset at Jung Woo anymore should Soo Yeon pick him. And let’s not fool ourselves, she’s gonna pick him and she might as well do it now. Dragging on the inevitable will just amplify Hyung Joon’s pain and hurt, and that’s a shitty thing for her to do to him. There was one scene that was filmed really beautifully in this episode for the love triangle – where Soo Yeon walks out the door, Jung Woo walks towards the balcony, and Hyung Joon sits outside looking in through the window. A lovely visual presentation of what we know is the reality of these dysfunctional connections.

I never understood why some people think Hyung Joon has ever wronged Soo Yeon – he told her the truth as he knew it saying everyone believed she was dead and no one was looking for her. He didn’t lie at all. He’s not keeping surveillance on her either – he CCTV’d a house that she never lived in until she suddenly showed up in Seoul, which he didn’t want her to do. He CCTV’d the house, not Soo Yeon. And poor Detective Kim’s death was a tragic accident with zero intent. Tell me a 12 year old who knows the difference between a brake or accelerator pedal. He placed a can under one to keep the person he believed was pursuing him on Han Tae Joon’s orders from chasing them. When Detective Kim died Hyung Joon didn’t look sad in the least, because who the heck would feel bad if an evil minion chasing you to bring you back to certain death fell off a cliff. We’re sad because it’s Detective Kim, otherwise if it was in fact one of Han Tae Joon’s goons, we’d all be saying good riddance. Hyung Joon never knew who it was, he ought to look relieved and happy if anything.

I find the writer is all over the place with her characters, unable to get a good grip on their personalities and how to develop them. Jung Woo has veered from obsessed freakout to calm detective again, while Hyung Joon turns on a dime from clingy weepy boy to brilliant puppeteer depending on the time of day. Soo Yeon has been shoved on the back burner more and more as she barely gets any substantive screen time of her own. Aside from her meeting with Mom, which was lovely and sad, she just sits around reacting to either Hyung Joon or Jung Woo. Enough with that! Get the lady back to being a designer and figuring out which guy she wants and which life she wants to lead. Be Zoe-Yeon for all I care, just not a wallflower sticking by guy 2 out of guilt while secretly pining for guy 1. She’s more than that, she started off being a feisty playful girl with lingering separation anxiety to a girl who cries all the time and sort of mopes through every scene onscreen. I want my darling Yoon Eun Hye’s character to be more than the drama is showing of her. Such a waste of her presence here. At this point I’ve given up on the writer spending more time on her POV, but putting her in the corner is going to really pissed me off. I hope this is temporary and she starts to get more integrated into the action soon.

Click here to watch Missing You.

The Happy Leads Share Thoughts About Missing You at Media Day

Posted on December 17, 2012 by ockoala

The three leads of Missing You attending a media day event on Monday to drum up more interest in their drama, which has a slight lead over its competition in The Great Seer and Jeon Woo Chi. There is no reason why MY shouldn’t be in double digits when going up against the sheer incompetence and terribleness of the two sageuks. During the interview each lead dropped a few highlights – Yoochun doesn’t think this drama could possibly have a happy ending and despite not knowing how it will end thinks it’ll be sad, Yoo Seung Ho said he is having a hard time playing his character because he doesn’t quite grasp the dichotomy of cold to everyone but warm to Soo Yeon and vengeful in his lair (don’t we all, baby boy, we feel your pain), and Yoon Eun Hye said that after seeing pictures from 6 years ago when she and Yoo Seung Ho showed up at the same awards show and he was still a baby she’s been having a hard time doing the romantic scenes with him (don’t worry Eun Hye, he’s all grown up now).

Yoo Seung Ho said that he hopes the writer will turn Hyung Joon psycho after Soo Yeon leaves him to return to Jung Woo, he’d love to play it like that. Shit, stop it with this nonsense, cutie pie. I still am praying for an attempt to develop Hyung Joon and Soo Yeon with just an ounce of depth so I don’t feel like the drama has turn into the Jung Woo-one-man show. I love that Yoochun is giving it his 120% since Jung Woo is the only character being developed and if he wasn’t acting his tight pants off then there would be no show to speak of. And finally I’ll end with a public announcement – looks like Wednesday’s episode of MY will be preempted due to the presidential debate so look to catch both episodes on Thursday. Oh boy, double dose of….whatever it is the writer has in store going forward.

Not a fan of Yoochun’s new hairstyle but love his new outfits. Very masculine and simple, like a chic cop.

Love love love Yoo Seung Ho and Yoon Eun Hye’s outfits at the media day. He looks droolworthy in that suit, and I love her fun yet high fashion puff-sleeved flower print blouse paired with a bright pink tiered skirt. Very pretty and different, as befits a fashion designer she’s supposed to play. Yoo Seung Ho did also reveal that Eun Hye noona is his favorite female co-star he’s ever worked with. Tee hee, why am I not surprised. They are adorable together in BTS videos and its clear their good onscreen chemistry was because of getting along in RL, because otherwise the huge age gap is hard to bridge.

These three look gorgeous together! But poor Jang Mi In Ae, not even invited to media day. It’s seriously like SHE DOES NOT EXIST in this drama, despite being in the poster and getting shiny mopey character stills like the other three leads. I’m glad I’m not her fan and am not vested in her getting supremely shafted. Reminds me of Eun Hye’s last drama Lie to Me, where Sung Joon was rather interesting in the beginning and then totally and completely disappeared in the second half of the drama.

Why does everyone look so bipolar below – laughing one moment and bored the next? Please don’t extend this drama, MBC. Let it end the way the writer intended and then everyone can get kudos for all the crying they did and move on. I don’t even advocate flaming death anymore, just let the OTP make their magical healing unicorns and rainbows simply by being together and everyone can call it a day.


Video Preview for Episode 13 of Missing You

Posted on December 18, 2012 by ockoala

I’m stuttering here I can’t even get the words out without wanting to HulkSmash my keyboard. The writer for Missing You needs to take her meds again and maybe go to Jeju for a looooong sabbatical and stay away from drama writing. With her drama alternating between interesting conflicts that she can’t seem to develop with any competence, sheer whatthefuckery when it comes to having her characters act like schizos, not to mention the most laughable murder plots and investigations that even the Scooby Gang can solve with one Scooby snack, I think I’ve hit my tipping point when it comes to this drama. After finally finishing Rooftop Prince recently, all my affection for Yoochun’s hilarious yet tender performance as Lee Gak (Jeon Ha! I wub you!) came rushing back and I was all prepared for the drama to slowly resolve Soo Yeon and Jung Woo’s emotional pain so they could slowly get to know their adult selves before finally ending up together after Hyung Joon goes insane from his revenge plot and being all jealous control freak.

I knew what the writer wanted to do and was all set to run with it. Until I saw the preview for episode 13. WHAT THA?!?! Seriously? Writer-nim, does what you posit happening even feel logical within the narrative of episode 12, because it sure as hell feels like you just threw that in for fanservice. I am not amused. Not to mention I’m totally offended by it on multiple levels. This drama was never just about two people in love the moment the writer threw in a real life frequent trauma that happens to too many women around the world – rape. The writer chose to use that crime, but then she refused to write the aftermath with any shred of consideration and thought, only choosing to highlight the pain, oh the pain, without understanding why the victim and the families ought to be doing to heal from it. Many folks have called the writing exploitative, and I hesitated to make that call, but now I’ve gotta call a spade a spade. This is all sorts of messed up writing. No wonder Yoo Seung Ho admitted he was confused about his character, everything about this drama is like picking raffle tickets as plot devices.

So yeah, after Jung Woo spends ALL of episode 12 saying he’s letting Lee Soo Yeon go, understanding why she doesn’t want to be Soo Yeon anymore, in the beginning of episode 13 he sees her in the little supply room and drags her behind the curtain and then kisses her. I’m no