Love is in the air, though I doubt either of our young lovers knows it yet, and perhaps not in the configurations we were expecting. Old entanglements return while new infatuations blossom, and everyone is looking in a different direction. It’s no wonder these kids are confused, with all the pressure they have to face — it’s hard enough being an elite athlete without adding unexpected romantic feelings into the mix!
EPISODE 2: “If you come into my heart”
It’s 2005, and it’s Field Day at Bok-ju’s elementary school. Joon-hyung attends the same school, and his relay team warns him that he’d better run fast so they don’t lose. But when it’s his turn, not only does Joon-hyung drop the baton, but he proceeds to run in the wrong direction. Whoops.
The boys gripe at him as he cleans the classroom windows later, while down below, little Bok-ju bets her friend that she can eat a whole piece of bread in one bite. She shoves the entire thing in her mouth, just as Joon-hyung’s classmate startles him and he tumbles out the window.
He falls right on top of Bok-ju, who catches him, and the two tumble to the ground in a heap. They sit up and Bok-ju spits the entire piece of bread at Joon-hyung’s face, then they both laugh.
In the present, it’s Joon-hyung’s turn to save Bok-ju from drowning in the college pool. They stare at each other for a long moment before he dryly asks if she’s going to let go, and when she does and starts to sink again, he tells her to stop flailing and stand up. PFFT.
Joon-hyung hops out, but the sodden Bok-ju flings herself at the edge of the pool several times with no luck. Joon-hyung jumps back in to give her a shove, then tosses her a towel to dry off.
He smirks while Bok-ju apologizes again for accusing him of being the pervert and washing his handkerchief. He startles her by calling her by name, having figured out where he knows her from, then calls her by her old nickname, “Chubs.”
She remembers him, though she’s decidedly less excited about it, and calls him that skinny kid who ran in the wrong direction. She nervously thumps him on the arm, and he thumps her right back, and she makes her escape. He accepts her apology, and gets in one last dig: “See you again, Chubs!”
Bok-ju’s friends are way more excited that she went to elementary school with the handsome swimmer than she is, and she whines that he’s much too tall and cool now. Nan-hee angles for an introduction and Seon-ok tells her to give it up, but Bok-ju shushes them both and says she’s got a bad feeling about this.
She’s got excellent instinct, because soon “Hey Chubs!” rings out across the quad. She puts her head down and tries to scoot away, but he stands in front of her so that she head-butts his chest. He compliments her wide shoulders before moving off with a cheerful grin.
The girls tuck into lunch in the cafeteria with gusto, while the rhythmic gymnasts look on in horror. Bok-ju hears, “Hey Chubs!” again, and there’s Joon-hyung, who teases her for eating so much then gives her his yogurt drink and his roommate’s.
He continues to needle her on the track while their teams jog, running backwards and refusing to leave until she gives him a high-five. Good grief, he’s like a big bouncy annoying bunny.
Later, Bok-ju makes a wish at the fountain, and of course Joon-hyung wanders past and hollers, “Oi, Chubs!” And then he actually pants like an excited puppy, anticipating her reaction. Bok-ju tells him to stop calling her that, and he nods agreeably, “Sorry Chubs.”
Bok-ju motions Joon-hyung to come over, and he cheerily refuses several times before finally moving towards her curiously. She beckons him close, closer, and he leans down… and she headbutts him hard. Buddy, you’re the cutest, but you deserved that.
Apparently he doesn’t learn his lesson, because he calls her Chubs again as she’s leaving. His roommate bows to Bok-ju respectfully, and reminds Joon-hyung that she’s a weightlifter. Joon-hyung just grins, crowing that teasing her is fun.
Nan-hee tells Bok-ju that he’s only teasing her to get a rise out of her, and Seon-ok reminds her that she started it by accusing him of being a pervert. Nan-hee is jealous that such a good-looking guy hangs around Bok-ju, but Bok-ju says he’s too infuriating to even be eye candy. Beg to differ?
The chicken restaurant is bustling so Bok-ju arrives to help out, but Dad tells her to go back to school. Bok-ju demands to be paid for working, but Dad snaps that he pays her in chicken.
A voice calls out for more popcorn, and Bok-ju runs to the window to see a handsome customer smiling at her (cameo by Lee Jong-seok). Uncle Dae-ho grumbles that that cheap guy doesn’t even buy any chicken, but Bok-ju tells him to hush, because that guy is Jong-seok, pride of Haneul Sport University and member of the national shooting team. HAHA.
Joon-hyung’s hoobaes bring his laundry to him, and his roommate suggests they all go out to eat. He objects until he sees their poor starving faces, so they all head out together.
Bok-ju brings the cute Jong-seok a bag of popcorn as big as he is, and a strange look comes over Jong-seok’s face. He grabs Uncle Dae-ho’s wrist and asks if they’ve met before, but he just recognizes him from one of the weekend dramas he’s been on.
Dae-ho is excited to be recognized, and Jong-seok sighs that he’s never met a real live celebrity before. Dae-ho tells him that celebrities are people too, and that Jong-seok even looks like he could be a manhwa character. OMG this is so great.
Bok-ju finds a vanity table in the house, and she asks Dad if he got it off the street. He stammers that he didn’t, swearing that he bought it off the internet. He claims that he got it because she’s been wanting a big mirror, and Bok-ju teases him for pretending not to be thoughtful.
Joon-hyung and his friends wait for their delivery food, whining that it’s been too long since they ordered. It finally arrives, delivered by Bok-ju, and Joon-hyung looks shocked to see her working. He looks closely and notices that she seems tired, and decides not to taunt her this time.
He tells her to sit and he’ll taste the chicken before deciding whether to pay. He’s trying to be nice and give her a rest, but he comes across sounding like a jerk. Bok-ju says that it’s her treat since she owes him a favor anyway, just so she can leave.
Joon-hyung rightly feels like an ass and runs after her, but he’s too late. So he walks all the way to her chicken place, complaining that he should have just paid her. He finally finds it, and he stops when he sees her outside talking to her dad.
Dad tells Bok-ju to go on back to school, and she gives Dad some money, lying that the students paid with cash. Now Joon-hyung feels even more like a heel, but he smiles after her, thinking that she’s a good daughter.
The weightlifters sigh at the tiny bus they’ve been given to ride to the training center. They pile onto the bus, whining loudly, but Coach Yoon decides that this won’t do. He gets off and secures them a larger, more comfortable bus from the school, but he has to agree to reduce the team’s operating cost by thirty percent to get it.
Coach Choi is upset by the deal, and Coach Yoon tells her that they’re to cut back on their food expenses. The kids need to eat well to build muscle, but Coach Yoon tries to stay positive and says that eating less will motivate them.
Joon-hyung leads another group of friends to Bok-ju’s dad’s chicken place, and he spots the wall of pictures and trophies of Bok-ju’s many wins. He smiles at them, and you can practically see the hearts in his eyes. He pays afterward, and gives Dad extra money, vaguely mumbling that he owes him from before. Okay, I forgive you, you sweet thing.
After training, the weightlifters remind the coaches that they promised to feed them dinner after practice. They’re disappointed when they get one measly hamburger each, having been promised barbecue.
Coach Choi feels bad when she sees big boy Hyung-chul eat his burger in one bite. She gives him hers, claiming to be full from lunch. Coach Yoon loses his temper again, and says they’re going to eat barbecue.
Joon-hyung sees ex-girlfriend Shi-ho as he’s walking across campus, and his face goes still when she approaches him. He manages a smile and says she looks well. She says she came back because she missed him, and that makes him tense and tell her not to feel him out.
Shi-ho backs off and says she was kidding, but admits that she’s glad to see him. They agree that they won’t ignore each other when they meet on campus, and Joon-hyung leaves.
Shi-ho practices alone, repeating her moves over and over and flubbing them every time. Finally she loses her temper and shoves an entire chocopie in her mouth, fuming.
Over dinner, Bok-ju explains to the hoobaes that there’s a proper way to eat barbecue. They have the proper order down to a science, so they don’t get too full and lose out on any part of the meal. It’s pretty impressive how much food these girls can pack away.
Joon-hyung goes to his parents’ pharmacy and begs for food, then at home he opens his top dresser drawer and takes out the lace handkerchief. He replaces it carefully and takes out a stack of postcards, all signed, “From Mom.”
He goes swimming with his cousin Jae-yi, and complains when Jae-yi almost beats him. Jae-yi splashes him and says that he knows Joon-hyung went easy on him, though Joon-hyung gives him credit for being in great shape.
Joon-hyung gets touchy when Jae-yi compliments him on being a great swimmer, so after their workout, he brings Joon-hyung a drink and sits to talk. Joon-hyung admits that race starts make him nervous, and asks if he would just be an average college student if he weren’t a swimmer.
He says that he’s feeling restless since swimming isn’t going well lately, and Jae-yi asks if he misses his mother. Joon-hyung’s eyes grow sad, and she says that of course he does, but that he loves “our mom.” Ah, so the people he calls Mom and Dad must be Jae-yi’s parents, and are actually Joon-hyung’s aunt and uncle.
Coach Choi finds Coach Yoon sleeping in their office in the morning, and fusses at him to go home. He’s divorcing his wife for signing as a guarantor for a friend without talking to him, but Coach Choi thinks he should reconcile with her. But she’s really upset about him spending his own money to buy the team barbecue, and says she’ll figure out how to make their new budget work.
Bok-ju stops at the fountain to make another wish, and Joon-hyung shows up again. He asks what she’s wishing for, and when she refuses to tell him, he backs off this time. Instead of teasing her, he just wishes her good luck with training, leaving her confused by the change in his behavior.
Coach Choi brings snacks to practice, and passes out kimbap to the entire team. Coach Yoon declines one, and the kids complain that the kimbap tastes funny. Coach Choi tells them that she just bought it from a different shop, and barks at them to eat.
After practice, contentious sunbae Ki-seok confronts Joon-hyung about his turning down the offer to become Tae-hoon’s private training partner (I got his name wrong before, whoops!). He tells Joon-hyung that he should have taken the offer because it would have brought him money and the opportunity to travel, but figures Joon-hyung is too arrogant to know better.
Joon-hyung doesn’t respond, but he quivers with emotion at Ki-seok’s words. After Ki-seok leaves, Joon-hyung’s ears ring like when he’s having an attack on the starting block, and he just barely manages to tamp it down.
Jae-yi talks to Joon-hyung’s physical therapist Dr. Go, who says that she thinks Joon-hyung could benefit from psychotherapy. But athletes tend to resist that idea, so she suggests that Jae-yi talk to him about it, since he has a way of getting people to take his advice.
She puts a medicated patch on her foot and wrinkles it badly, so Jae-yi removes it and puts a fresh one on. Dr. Go seems a bit flustered by his attention, understandably.
Joon-hyung is surprised to see his cousin here, and they go out to talk. Jae-yi brings up Doctor Go’s idea of therapy, and though Joon-hyung doesn’t seem keen on the idea, he eventually agrees. It’s raining when they leave the building, and Joon-hyung gives Jae-yi his umbrella.
Walking down the street, Bok-ju passes by a handwritten sign, asking for the return of their missing vanity table. HAHA, Dad did take it! He pouts that he really thought it was abandoned, and Bok-ju grouchily heads back out in the rain to return the heavy desk.
As she waits at a crosswalk, a hand reaches out to shelter her under an umbrella, and she turns to see Jae-yi offering to help. She declines, but he carefully keeps the umbrella over her head all the way across the street. Bok-ju shoots him nervous glances, which he seems not to notice.
He insists on escorting her wherever she’s going, saying that otherwise he’ll look bad for letting a woman carry heavy furniture alone. From Bok-ju’s nervous reaction, it’s the first time anyone has ever called her a woman that way, and she suddenly notices his handsome face and nice voice.
Just as Bok-ju lifts the dresser again, a car comes by and splashes a wave of water at them. Jae-yi quickly moves to get between Bok-ju and the water, and Bok-ju’s heart starts pounding so hard she worries that Jae-yi will hear it.
He carries the dresser the rest of the way, and leaves it near the sign. It’s cute how he hands Bok-ju the umbrella, and she carefully follows his tiniest move with it to keep him covered. He finishes and tells her to keep the umbrella, and she’s so flustered that she goes the wrong way, hee.
Bok-ju’s happy bubble bursts when Seon-ok calls to tell her that the entire weightlifting team is in the hospital. She rushes over to find them all moaning and green, sick from food poisoning from the kimbap they ate. Luckily it’s mild, but Coach Choi is wracked with guilt — she bought the ingredients on clearance and made the kimbap herself, and everyone got sick.
Later Bok-ju helps her friends back to their dorm, and they wonder why Coach Choi would make food for them rather than buying as usual. Bok-ju is curious too, and makes a call to their team sunbae, Woon-ki.
Back at the gym, Coach Choi admits to Coach Yoon that she bought the expired ingredients trying to save money. But Coach Yoon blames himself for not fighting harder for their budget. Suddenly the entire team enters, and they line up to talk to the coaches.
Woon-ki says that Bok-ju told them about the budget cut, and Seon-ok steps forward to the team’s new plan. They’ve decided to only have a snack every three days, and to keep it simple and cheap, and otherwise to provide their own food. They’ll also use things like toilet paper at their dorms, and eat at Bok-ju’s restaurant at a discount. Aww, they’re so sweet.
Coach Yoon nearly cries, but Coach Choi snaps that they had no right to have a secret meeting. She’s more embarrassed than angry, and when the kids all say they’ll be more thoughtful, Coach Yoon tells them to use this as motivation to work even harder.
Bok-ju arrives back at her room to find roommate Shi-ho already asleep, and she quietly lies on her bed to swoon over her encounter with Jae-yi. She gets up and opens the umbrella, trying not to make noise and failing when it opens with a loud snap, ha. She adorably (and silently) re-enacts their conversation, then makes even more noise closing the umbrella again.
Joon-hyung meets with his new counselor (cameo by Park Won-sang) and fills out a long form before they get started. The therapist teases that he feels burdened by counseling such a promising swimmer, then tells him he has to finish the forms in an hour. Yeep!
At a call from Uncle Dae-ho, Bok-ju runs home in a blind panic, worried about her father. But it was just a ploy to get her there to see the brand-new vanity that they bought, fair and square. She only angry for a second, then admires her new vanity.
On her way back to school, Bok-ju sees Jae-yi jog through the same crosswalk where they met. On impulse she follows him all the way to his office, and learns that he’s a doctor. She shuffles back to school, dejected, thinking that Jae-yi is too far above her.
Her friends greet her, ready to go have lunch. Bok-ju tells herself that Jae-yi is in a different class, and chides herself for even hoping for anything. But something comes over her and she turns around, and she marches all the way back to his office with a new fire in her eyes.
She makes an appointment, and as soon as she walks into his office, Jae-yi recognizes her. He seems genuinely glad to see her, and invites her to sit.
Bok-ju takes the bull by the horns, and tests out Nan-hee’s tip about piquing a guy’s interest, asking, “Do you like [soccer star] Messi?”
Oh, she’s just so terribly young and awkward, I want to cringe and look away, and hug her at the same time! This crush will go nowhere good, even if it didn’t involve the cousin of the guy who’s already crushing on Bok-ju. Still, I can’t help but want to see more hapless-in-love Bok-ju, because she’s just the cutest thing ever.
Speaking of Joon-hyung, I just love it when the guy falls in love first, and Joon-hyung is sooo falling for Bok-ju. He was having way too much fun pulling Bok-ju’s pigtails for it to be anything but infatuation, and that’s before he went all mooshy looking at her shelf of trophies at the restaurant, or started following her all over town. But he seems like the sort of guy who doesn’t have much trouble with the ladies, so I’m actually glad that Bok-ju didn’t just fall into his arms and is developing a crush on someone else. Things come way too easily to Joon-hyung, and he could stand to be forced to work for something he wants, for once. And I have to admire him for being mature enough to stop teasing Bok-ju once he saw how hard she works, and treating her better after that.
I’m very interested to find out more about Joon-hyung’s backstory, and what his convoluted home life is all about. We don’t have many clues about his mother other than the lace handkerchief, the postcards, and his periodic dizzy spells. Which, by the way, seem to be getting worse — at first we were told that they only happen occasionally during competitions, but now he’s had one after being confronted by Ki-seok. What caused it, and why does it only happen at certain times and not others? And I wonder if his nervous reaction to the idea of traveling has something to do with the postcards his mother sends him.
I’m really curious about Shi-ho, too — she’s still very much a mystery at this point. What we know is that she left school to train for the national rhythmic gymnast team, but failed to make the cut, and that’s why she’s now sharing a room with Bok-ju. Based on their few interactions, Shi-ho and Bok-ju look like an awkward match, with Bok-ju being boisterous and open and Shi-ho so closed-off and delicate. We know that she and Joon-hyung used to date, and that their breakup left behind some pretty hurt feelings, at least on his part. But it also seems that she still has feelings for him, so I’m interested to see if she’ll decide to pursue him just as he’s developing an interest in Bok-ju, or if he’ll get confused between the two girls all on his own.
But Bok-ju continues to be my favorite part of this show — she’s just so awkwardly relatable as she starts to learn about life beyond weightlifting. Her instant crush on Jae-yi was just so charmingly awkward, and who can blame her? He came out of nowhere like a hero, flashing that dimpled smile, and she didn’t have a chance. I thought her reaction to her feelings was perfectly on point, so much so that it reminded me of my own youthful infatuations, and even her little re-enactment of their walk through the rain made me cringe in empathy. I hope that, however Bok-ju’s love life turns out, that she never loses that girlish wonder at her own feelings.
This episode wasn’t quite as cute and fluffy as the first, but we got a lot more meaty information, and I found it didn’t interest me any less to begin delving into the more serious aspects of the story. As I said before, Episode 1 got me pretty invested in these characters and their struggles, so I still enjoyed this follow-up and learning more about all of our players. I find Joon-hyung’s schoolboy crush on Bok-ju adorable, his lingering attachment to Shi-ho interesting, and Bok-ju’s explosive reaction to Jae-yi painfully delicious. I can’t wait to see how these kids start to untangle all of their already complicated romantic knots.