My Strange Hero: Episodes 17-18
Sneaking around is proving to be a lot more difficult than our lovebirds originally thought. But with tensions running high at the school, it looks like they’ll need each other more than ever. They’ll need all the support they can get, which will be plenty easy to find considering the various friendships that have been forming.
EPISODE 17 RECAP
With a maniacal grin, Se-ho warns Bok-soo that he and Soo-jung will never be happy together. Bok-soo glares at him and takes two confident steps forward. He says that whatever he did to Se-ho, his expulsion was punishment enough. He’s not going to let Se-ho come between him and Soo-jung again. “It’s your turn to get hurt,” he says before walking out. Se-ho just stands there, his smile gone.
At the Your Favors office, Bok-soo lets out his frustrations. He tells his friends that he has to get his revenge on Se-ho and that he needs their help. Gyung-hyun and Min-ji point out that revenge is typically self-service (lol), so Bok-soo hands them a healthy amount of money. And just like that, his friends have joined Mission: Destroy Se-ho.
Se-ho meets with Kim Myung-ho and orders him to compile a list of all the teachers who went with his scams. Se-ho then meets with the principal and vice principal to have them prepare the forced transfer of the Wildflower Class. They’re confused since he’s the one who created the class, and he explains that the whole point of creating it was to get rid of the lowest performing students.
While Soo-jung is giving herself a much needed pep talk, she gets a message from Bok-soo telling her to come out. We then cut to Bok-soo and Soo-jung sitting across from Gyung-hyun and Min-ji, the air awkward. Bok-soo brought them all together so he could officially introduce Soo-jung as his girlfriend.
Min-ji starts to cry as Bok-soo thanks her for being by his side all this time; because of her, he was able to endure all his hardship. Min-ji nods, saying he doesn’t have to feel sorry as long as he’s happy.
Gyung-hyun and Min-ji get up to give the couple some alone time, but Soo-jung stands and grabs Min-ji’s arm. She sincerely thanks her for taking care of Bok-soo and apologizes for hurting her feelings.
The two friends head out, though Gyung-hyun stops to wipe the tears from Min-ji’s face. She smiles, looking at him with new eyes as he takes her hand and guides her down the street.
Back inside, Soo-jung and Bok-soo drink and catch each other up with what’s going on. He reveals what Se-ho said about him being a danger to her in school–if that ever happens, he’ll make sure to drop out.
Soo-jung chides him for even thinking that. Taking his hand, she rests her head on his shoulder and suggests they focus on the present instead of the future. He agrees with a smile and adds that they’ll overcome this together.
As the night goes on, the couple get silly drunk, with Bok-soo acting all lovey-dovey and saying they have to go on a lot of dates to make up for lost time. Soo-jung promises to make it up to him, as well as to protect him.
She helps him get home, but he falls to the ground and drifts off to sleep. She looks at him lovingly and kisses him on the forehead, wondering whose son he is to be so handsome.
“He’s my son,” a voice near them says, and Soo-jung jumps to see that it’s Bok-soo’s mom. The two get Bok-soo inside the house and sit down to chat, along with So-jung and In-ho.
So-jung and In-ho argue about Bok-soo dating a teacher, with So-jung against it and In-ho totally for it (even wanting to take a selfie with his new “auntie,” ha). Tired of their yapping, Mom sends them off to bed so she can talk to Soo-jung alone.
Soo-jung hesitantly asks if Mom hates her, and Mom answers that of course she doesn’t. She knows that Soo-jung suffered as much as her son did. And besides, she thinks the adults are more to blame for not taking care of them properly.
Mom suggests she stay the night since the buses aren’t running anymore. She stays in So-jung’s room, where she’s up late with Mom’s words in her head. “I won’t be that kind of adult,” she tells herself, tears in her eyes. “I won’t be that kind of teacher.”
The next morning, a disheveled Bok-soo walks out to the breakfast table and gasps to find Soo-jung eating with his family. She just smiles and waves him over as he quickly fixes his hair.
Soo-jung enjoys the light atmosphere, with Bok-soo and his sister fighting over the plate of meat and Mom telling them to cut it out. Aw, she’d fit perfectly with this little family.
At school, Vice Principal Song tells the teachers to gather three students from their class for the upcoming debate contest. The teachers sigh, knowing the whole thing is just more opportunity for the honors class to get awards.
Still, Soo-jung walks into her class excited to choose her team. Young-min is more than eager to join, and Seung-won joins by default for being tardy. They need one more person, though, so Young-min recommends a reluctant Bok-soo.
Elsewhere, Min-ji dresses up to impress Gyung-hyun, but he just assumes that she’s going on a blind date. She pouts and leaves the room, wondering why she even likes him. She then heads over to the school, initiating the group’s mission by getting an office job there.
Soo-jung gives today’s lecture, sighing to see that most students are sleeping as usual. She looks over to Bok-soo, who blows her a small kiss, and she whirls around to hide her smile.
Afterwards, she meets him outside and says that they’re being too obvious. So until he graduates, they’re going to have a platonic relationship. She reminds him that she has to protect him, when Vice Principal Song appears out of nowhere. Bok-soo ducks behind the corner while Soo-jung drives the vice principal away.
Bok-soo then sits by the steps and searches the meaning of “platonic” on his phone. He’s completely outraged to see that it’s a friendly relationship with little to no physical touch.
A janitor shuffles by and reveals himself to be Gyung-hyun. He suggests Bok-soo stop fooling around and at least study while in school. Teacher Park sees the two together and wonders what mischief they’re up to, but they won’t talk.
Later, Young-min tries to get his debate team members pumped and ready for the contest. But seeing that Bok-soo and Seung-won have zero interest, he quickly realizes that this may be a lost cause.
EPISODE 18 RECAP
Since Gyung-hyun has access to the trash, he gathers some shredded paper and finds a list of consulting institutes for college entrance. After showing Bok-soo, the two visit one of these institutes in disguise and confirm that they’re affiliated with Seolsong. On their way out, they catch honors student Chae-min going inside.
So back at school, Bok-soo searches Chae-min’s glass booth and successfully finds his evidence: a professionally-made debate plan. He nearly has a heart attack when Seung-won knocks on the door and asks what he’s doing.
Before he can explain, he hears someone coming and drags Seung-won into the next glass booth. The boys listen as Chae-min and a fellow honors student gather their notes, laughing over the fact that they’re competing against the Wildflower Class. They guess that their notes were a waste of money.
It’s almost time for the big debate between the Wildflower Class and the honors Ivy Class. Soo-jung is excited for her students, but the other faculty practically laugh in her face and state that her kids don’t stand a chance. Young-min is excited as well, giving Bok-soo and Seung-won a sweet “Fighting!” But Bok-soo and Seung-won just exchange knowing glances.
The debate commences, and as the discussion leader, Soo-jung announces the topic: “A person’s job selection is based on money.” Young-min stands to say that his team agree with the claim. However, his confidence diminishes as Chae-min and his teammates make snarky remarks all the while. Teacher Park sits among the table of judges, looking about as frustrated as the Wildflower team.
The Ivy team then argue against the claim, reading the research off their notes word for word without giving their own opinions. After Chae-min reads his closing statement with an arrogant smile, Young-min moves to make his. But Bok-soo holds him down and stands instead.
Bok-soo thinks that while money can make people desperate and petty, sometimes they have to protect their job with money. “And it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed about,” he says, looking right at Soo-jung. She smiles, remembering the night she’d admitted she was scared of losing her job.
Chae-min smirks and asks why Bok-soo crawled back to school when he’s so obsessed with money–it’s not like the school paid him to return. Bok-soo starts to retaliate, but Seung-won stops him and signals that he’ll take it from here.
Seung-won argues that Chae-min isn’t one to talk about money when he’s the one who uses the most money for studying. Seung-won points out that their textbook-like notes could’ve come from money as well. (Ooh! Shots fired!) Either way, he asks if the Ivy team would really choose an underpaid job over a well-paid one. And satisfied with their silence, he ends the debate right there.
The judges leave the room to give their scores, and Vice Principal Song is shocked to see that Teacher Park gave the Wildflower team the better grade. The Ivy team is equally confused when they learn that they’ve lost, so Teacher Park gives them a little lesson. He tells them that mocking others, acting superior, and reading straight from their sources aren’t the right ways to win a debate.
The Ivy team won’t stand for this, of course, and they later confront Seung-won and Young-min in the hall. Seung-won guesses they’re upset for losing to “trash” students, and Chae-min says that an idiot like him should know his place.
“Are you that proud of studying well?” Seung-won asks. “You think you’re some amazing person?” Chae-min’s face falls. And with that, Seung-won and Young-min push past to get to their class.
The Wildflower Class welcomes them with applause, and Soo-jung is delighted to see everyone so happy. She and Bok-soo have their own celebration with yogurt drinks in her office.
They agree that they love making the students smile and that they love being in school in general. “I like school because you’re here,” Soo-jung adds. Bok-soo starts to lean in eeever so slowly, and she jumps up, saying they can’t do this here.
She then remembers seeing Min-ji in the hall and asks Bok-soo what he and his friends are planning. He takes her back to the Your Favors office and reveals their findings, including the fact that institutes pay the school to get answers in advance.
Se-ho isn’t happy when he hears about the results of the debate competition, so he orders the principal and vice principal to correct this immediately. And the very next day, Bok-soo fumes before an announcement stating that the Ivy team are the rightful winners.
Gyung-hyun blocks Bok-soo’s path, knowing he’ll want to jump into action, and reminds him that revenge must be done with rationality. Besides, this announcement is major evidence, so they should just stick to the plan.
Teacher Park is angry as well, but Soo-jung stops him from entering Se-ho’s office–she’s the Wildflower Class’s teacher, so she’ll handle this. She tries to calm herself, only to end up cursing the second she walks through the door, heh.
She asks Se-ho if teaching this kind of unfairness is his educational philosophy–what happened to the man who said he’d make Seolsong better? She knows that she’s done wrong, but she’ll be damned if he messes with innocent children.
His expression cold, Se-ho says that all she ever talks about is not messing with her kids or not messing with Bok-soo. And, frankly, the more she says these things, the more he wants Bok-soo to disappear.
Soo-jung gets right in his face and answers through clenched teeth, “Just try it, you psycho. Because I’ll show you who’s crazier.” She leaves with the slam of the door, and Se-ho looks on with amused yet shocked eyes.
Once school is over, Bok-soo seeks Soo-jung in her office, having heard everything from Teacher Park. He gently asks if she’s okay, and she just straightens his tie and notes how much the uniform suits him.
She tells him that she really wants to help him graduate, making him smile. He takes her hands in his and promises that he can graduate on his own–all she has to do is hand him the diploma.
Still, Soo-jung had planned on going up against Se-ho with confidence. She shakily admits that she can’t do that considering her wrongdoings. Bok-soo stands and lets her lean against him as he caresses her hair.
They stay like that for a long time, not realizing that someone else is still in the school. And that someone gets closer and closer until they open her office door and catch them in the act. The couple split apart, their eyes widening to see whoever stands before them.
Well, I can’t exactly blame Bok-soo and Soo-jung there. They should’ve been more careful, but they really needed that tender moment after such a long day (or long couple of weeks, more like it). And I have a feeling that the person who walked in won’t be a problem. They’ve made plenty of friends and allies at the school, so I’m hoping that it’s merely one of those students or teachers. Someone who would agree to keep their secret. But even that would be a problem because that would mean that more and more people are in on it. It’s great that Bok-soo’s friends and family know, but the secret will inevitably reach other people–the wrong people.
I’m pretty much like Soo-jung in this case in that I’m annoyed that Bok-soo is blowing kisses and throwing glances without thought… but I just adore him so much. He may be obvious with certain things, but he wouldn’t really do anything to jeopardize her career. I loved that he defended her fears during that debate because it was meaningful to her, as well as to his Wildflower classmates. They’ve really grown attached to the students, to the school, and it’s great to see them fight for them. But more importantly, they’re getting the students to fight for themselves. It’s about time, too, because I think everyone, myself included, is tired of watching the Ivy Class and their accomplices get away with all their lies and cheating.
The real MVP this episode was Soo-jung, though–that one scene with Se-ho increased my respect for her by a thousand percent. She’s had the most character development thus far, having grown out of her fears and selfishness to help the people she cares about. She still carries some fears and selfish thoughts now (because, hey, she’s human), but she doesn’t let them control her anymore. Instead, she lets them drive her to be stronger. She promised herself that she wouldn’t end up like the adults that failed her and Bok-soo, and I believe her. She’s already doing a far better job than those teachers ever could. And speaking of which, how are these people in administration? I honestly can’t believe that Vice Principal Song, for example, is actually in charge of students’ wellbeing.
Don’t get me started on you, Oh Se-ho. You easily win the Worst School Director award. You can add that to your shelf of other “Worst” awards, including Worst Friend and Worst Flirt. A few episodes ago, Bok-soo commented that Se-ho was exactly like his mother, and I wanted to deny it as much as Se-ho did. He was a horrible person, but at his core, he was still a good kid. A good kid that was in danger of getting lost in his mother’s ugly world. But today, I would say that he’s officially lost himself. For god’s sake, he’s willing to get rid of an entire class for his own convenience.
But you know what? Fine. If Se-ho is going to mess with the Wildflower Class, then they’ll just have to mess with him back. If anything, the debate proved that these kids do have a voice and that they aren’t going to let people like the honors students talk over them. A flame has been lit in them and it’s sure to spread like wildfire. They’re pretty lucky to have a badass homeroom teacher and determined hyung. Even if that hyung can be a doofus sometimes.