My Strange Hero: Episodes 13-14

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My Strange Hero: Episodes 13-14

Knock, knock–the cuteness is back, and not a moment too soon. With one misunderstanding cleared, our couple can breathe a sigh of relief and start moving forward. However, with these characters being student and teacher, what exactly does “moving forward” mean? They start to wonder if it’s even possible, especially considering all that they’ve gone through.

 
EPISODE 13 RECAP

Soo-jung tearfully asks Bok-soo if he was only nice to her when they were young because he pitied her. She admits to hearing what he yelled on the roof, and it dawns on him that she misunderstood the situation.

Afraid his silence means confirmation, she stands to leave. But he calls her back and explains that he acted the way he did because he liked her. As she lets that sink in, she slowly turns to face him with a sad smile.

She tells him that she liked school because with her uniform on, no one knew that she didn’t have parents or that she and her grandma were poor. “And because you were there,” she adds.

She cries that school was like hell after he left. She’d trusted him, and that trust felt betrayed after she overheard him on the roof–she’d been living in pain ever since. But now that she knows the truth, she sincerely apologizes for asking so late.

The night air grows cold with the falling snow, so the couple relocate to a quiet cafe. Soo-jung wishes she’d had the courage to ask him about all of this earlier, and Bok-soo wonders why she needed courage in the first place.

She says that she feared he actually pitied her. Several students were nice after discovering her secret, but she could tell that it was just to be nice. She couldn’t bear it if that was the case with him, especially since she liked him.

Bok-soo sighs, wishing she’d just yelled at him rather than leave the misunderstanding hanging for all these years. Still, he wants to apologize too for unknowingly hurting her. He suggests that they let go of the past and pretend that right now, as teacher and student, is their beginning.

That morning, Bok-soo wakes and tumbles out of bed with the biggest smile. He giggles his way through breakfast, his family looking at him like he’s crazy, and sighs his way through his morning volunteer work at school.

Teacher Park interrupts to welcome him back, when Vice Principal Song passes by and also sees that the troublemaker has returned. Appalled, Song asks why Bok-soo is here; if he was gone from school, he should stay gone. But Bok-soo firmly states that he’ll be coming to school until he graduates.

As Soo-jung is taking attendance, Bok-soo bursts into class and announces his arrival with gusto. He takes his seat and makes googly eyes at Soo-jung until she can’t take it anymore and has to leave. Too. Cute.

Once she’s gone, the students express how glad they are that Bok-soo is back for good. Seung-won even tosses his favorite snack Bok-soo’s way, saying he doesn’t want it, and walks out. Bok-soo smiles at the gesture.

Soo-jung reports to Se-ho about her counseling sessions, and Se-ho notes that the only way he can make her smile is by taking care of her students. Her smile fades as she remembers the young Se-ho accusing Bok-soo of blabbing.

She then remembers Bok-soo’s confession last night. But when Se-ho asks if she has anything else to say, she just excuses herself.

Meanwhile, the vice principal tells Teacher Park to keep tabs on Bok-soo since he already hangs around him so much. Park asks Teacher Ma to help him out, but when the flirty Teacher Jang volunteers as well, Ma feigns a stomachache.

Bok-soo finds Soo-jung happily munching on her lunch and beams. He later follows her in the hall, jumping inside the classroom to gaze at her through the windows. She catches his eye but quickly turns away, shy.

And then Bok-soo bumps his head against the door, HAHA. But he easily laughs it off and goes after her.

They sit down in Soo-jung’s counseling office, where Bok-soo presents her with her favorite yogurt drink. He smiles widely at her, making her heart pound. “What are you doing, Kang Bok-soo?” she thinks. “Don’t smile like that. You’re making my heart flutter!”

Then she remembers that she’s Bok-soo’s teacher, and she bolts up. She tells him to treat her like a teacher, and that they can’t act like the friends that they were nine years ago. She tries to walk out, but he grabs her arm (not helping her heart, dude) and urges her to take the yogurt before leaving.

Soo-jung returns to the main office and stares at the yogurt drinks. She thinks back to nine years ago, when she’d been grading Bok-soo’s homework and he brought her the same drinks. He’d leaned in, saying he was offering his pretty face as well, making her laugh. Soo-jung smiles at the memory, touched that he remembered it too. But she gasps when another teacher grabs the yogurt and drinks it herself.

At the Your Favors office, Min-ji excitedly tells Gyung-hyun that to celebrate Bok-soo dropping out, she paraded around school with advertisements. Bok-soo then walks in, and his friends are shocked to see him in his uniform again. As Min-ji runs out to get rid of the ads, Bok-soo sinks into a chair and catches Gyung-hyun up on what happened with Soo-jung.

Gyung-hyun still thinks that Soo-jung overreacted, but Bok-soo reminds him, “We were young back then.” Now that he knows what Soo-jung has gone through, he thinks she must’ve been really lonely. Gyung-hyun asks if she’s aware that Se-ho was the one who spread the rumors, and Bok-soo shakes his head. He thinks it’ll just make her feel worse, so he wants to protect her for a while longer.

That night, Soo-jung is confused to have a delivery come to her house–even more so when she goes out and sees that it’s Bok-soo with several dishes from his family restaurant. She tells him that he shouldn’t do this, but he just tells her to enjoy, calling her “Teacher,” and scurries off. She mutters that this is a bad idea, but she grabs the food anyway, unable to resist. From behind a corner, Bok-soo watches with a smile.

EPISODE 14 RECAP

On the way to school, Bok-soo watches Soo-jung head inside. Teacher Park approaches him and catches him in the act, suddenly suspicious. And later, when Park catches Soo-jung staring at Bok-soo, his suspicions are confirmed. He smiles mischievously and asks if she has any plans this weekend. God, I love this man.

During homeroom, Soo-jung announces to the class that a special visitor will come and discuss career choices (which they’re not too hyped about). Se-ho then waltzes in, to Soo-jung’s surprise and Bok-soo’s annoyance, and says who better to discuss careers than the school’s own director.

He lays out all of his achievements to the class, only to conclude that they shouldn’t live as he did. The students are confused, so he explains that those without a clear career path in mind shouldn’t have to force themselves into studying. He ends his speech there, but Bok-soo stands to voice his own opinion.

“So, basically,” Bok-soo says, “you’re saying those who are bad at studying have no reason to come to school?” Se-ho argues that he’s merely suggesting they focus more on finding their dreams, and Bok-soo points out that there are many students who don’t necessarily have certain skills, hobbies or dreams.

Se-ho firmly states that they better hurry and find their dreams before reality hits, and again, Bok-soo disagrees–he thinks that high school is like a protective barrier to these students and that it’s a bit much for Se-ho to be pushing these thoughts on them. Before the argument gets too heated, Soo-jung thanks Se-ho for coming and sends him on his way. She then gives Bok-soo a small smile, which he returns.

After school, Soo-jung tells Se-ho that his ideas on counseling may discourage her students. He agrees to put his plans on hold, but he’d like to continue their talk over a samgyupsal dinner.

With it being his first time ever grilling meat, Se-ho has to let Soo-jung take over. He comments that he always seems incompetent around her when he’s actually skilled in many things. At that, Soo-jung sighs.

She changes the subject, saying she knows that Bok-soo didn’t spread the rumors or push him off the roof. Flustered, Se-ho stands by his lie that Bok-soo did push him. He asks that she trust him and not Bok-soo.

Soo-jung searches his eyes but gets nothing. “You and Bok-soo were friends,” she reminds him. She brings up what he said before, about wanting to forget the past, and says that she can’t do that–not until she knows the whole truth. She then gets up and leaves, with Se-ho looking genuinely hurt.

Bok-soo’s sister So-jung makes a delivery to Chae-min’s house, and overhears all the honors class moms discussing their kids. She happily introduces herself as a fellow honors class mom, but later, when Chae-min’s mom asks her son about In-ho, she learns that In-ho is actually in the Wildflower Class.

The next day, Teacher Park stops by the Your Favors office and tells Gyung-hyun that he has a job for Bok-soo. We then cut to Bok-soo at the Chungju station, there to do some field work in Park’s place (while Park is actually playing hooky at the Kang restaurant).

And it turns out that the teacher joining Bok-soo is, of course, Soo-jung. They’re surprised to see each other, but Bok-soo smirks, realizing Park’s intentions. He suggests that he and Soo-jung go ahead and tour the area for their report.

Soo-jung asks how Bok-soo started his business, quietly wondering if it was because of his “girlfriend.” He scoffs and reassures her that he isn’t dating Min-ji. He also explains that he started Your Favors after he’d helped someone on a whim and they were grateful enough to pay him. She smiles that the job suits him.

At the office, Gyung-hyun and Min-ji video call Bok-soo and freak out to see Soo-jung in the background. Min-ji immediately heads for the car, and Gyung-hyun warns her not to let personal feelings interfere with business. But when Min-ji reminds him that Bok-soo’s being back in school has already messed with their sales, he caves.

Bok-soo and Soo-jung take photos of the sights and seeing several couples ride by on bikes, they figure they might as well have some fun too. As they ride side by side, Soo-jung falls into a memory–Bok-soo had been shocked to learn that she never learned how to ride a bike, so he took her out on a tandem bicycle and showed her a great time.

While the two are taking a break, Bok-soo stares at Soo-jung’s smiling face, and it’s like he’s falling in love all over again. However, this moment is shattered when Bok-soo sees his friends coming towards them on a bike. Gyung-hyun and Min-ji insist on tagging along, completely ignoring Bok-soo’s irritated glances. The four then go into a museum, and Min-ji gets Soo-jung alone.

Min-ji asks Soo-jung if she still likes Bok-soo, catching her off guard. When Soo-jung doesn’t answer, Min-ji tells her that not saying anything is pretty much like lying. So Min-ji warns her to take responsibility for Bok-soo’s heart and to make her own feelings clear.

Night falls, and the four start making their way back. But at the last minute, Bok-soo gives Gyung-hyun a look, and his friend knowingly guides Min-ji away. Bok-soo grabs Soo-jung’s hand, and the two run off in the opposite direction, laughing.

Once they’re out of sight, Soo-jung points out that he can let go of her hand, and he reluctantly does. He then takes her to a part of the city with beautiful lights all around them, and he reminds her of the night he’d shown her his grades, when they saw an equally beautiful view.

She says that she never went back to that spot, and she’s surprised to learn that Bok-soo did. In fact, for the past nine years, he’d go there often whenever he felt frustrated or whenever he thought of her.

“You don’t hate me?” she asks, looking at him sadly. He’d helped her discover her dream, and in return, she’d only messed up his life. He turns to her and says that she can make his dream come true right here and now.

“Did you forget my dream?” he smiles shyly. “To become Sohn Soo-jung’s boyfriend.” Still, she rambles that she feels terrible, and that someone had told her that staying silent was the same as lying.

Bok-soo stops her by pulling her into a tight hug. Caressing her hair, he assures her that he’s really okay now–because she’s finally by his side. He’d tried so hard to forget her all these years, but he’s thankful that he never could.

Soo-jung laughs through her tears and calls him an idiot, making him laugh too. He then pulls away, looking in her eyes and smoothing her hair back. And then he slowly leans in to kiss her.

She wraps her arms around his neck and goes in for a much deeper kiss, the lights behind them shining brightly all the while.

  
COMMENTS

Oh. Wow. Words. Cannot. Make. *clears throat* Um, what happened in this episode again?

Let’s start at the beginning and work from there. I didn’t think anything could top the cuteness from Episode 1, but boy, did the show prove me wrong. It was like the opening conversation opened a window that had been stuck for nine years, allowing our characters to breathe. And it was great to see Bok-soo and Soo-jung just be happy–so much so that they could barely contain it for more than five seconds. But it was also great to see a little hesitation on Soo-jung’s part.

Yes, Bok-soo is an adult, and yes, he and Soo-jung have a long history, but they’re still student and teacher. Last week, I was excited for the restart of their relationship, but I have to agree with Soo-jung in that it’s sure to cause a whole lot of trouble. What if Bok-soo gets kicked out again? What if Soo-jung gets fired? Or God forbid, what if Se-ho overreacts? We already know that the guy is unstable, and that his life practically revolves around his two former friends. And though I’m glad that Soo-jung finally set him straight, his reaction has me worried that he’s going to do something stupid and dangerous. Again.

If Se-ho isn’t careful, he could end up making things a lot worse for himself. He told the Wildflower Class that too much focus on their studies could be a bad thing, yet he’s doing the same thing with his social life. He’s so focused on pursuing Soo-jung and outshining Bok-soo that he’s forgetting what’s really important: acting as the school’s director. Whenever we see him performing his duties, he’s either changing his plans to appease Soo-jung or changing them to provoke Bok-soo. Now, I don’t know much about the ethics of education, but I do know that that isn’t professional. Perhaps Se-ho should figure out his own dream before lecturing others about theirs.

This episode was filled with cuteness to the brim, and it was such a treat, but it was all the more satisfying because it served a purpose in Soo-jung’s story arc. The student/teacher dynamics were a big concern, but what really bothered her was the guilt. In her mind, she doesn’t deserve to be forgiven so quickly, or forgiven at all, so every smile that Bok-soo throws her way only makes it worse. I thought that she’d let the guilt overpower her feelings for him, so I was relieved that she accepted his kiss (which again, kyaaaa). It’s just the beginning for these two, and they’re already showing signs of reassurance and security. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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