The Secret Garden, the 9th & 10th episodes

As we near the halfway mark in this drama, I’m beginning to realize more and more just how similar our two lovebirds really are. Bite my tongue, you say? How dare I compare the os to our damsel-in-combat? Well, let me count the ways.

First, they both have temper. So what, who doesn’t, you say? Okay. Second, they are both very strong-willed. Yawn, do you? Tough crowd. Okay, how about this? Third, they both love each other “with all their hearts,” but they are too proud, thick-headed, and misguided to admit it. Their hearts know it, but their brains don’t. That’s evident when JW chases after RI through flights and flights of stairs, and when RI makes an effort to read all that he reads to find out what he’s really thinking. What they say to each other and what their hearts are saying are two entirely different things. Let me show you what I mean.

In episode 9, 11:21, while drying the infamous tracksuit, RI is thinking about JW’s accusation that she hasn’t changed one iota and that just like when she used to wear the worse-than-plastic handbag, she doesn’t think about him even for five minutes. I guess she feels guilty for leaving him in the police station to fend for himself for what she has done while in his body. And that’s when the devil himself rings her bell.

JW comes inside her house, and they are face to face. RI speaks first, “You came out earlier than expected. Is it… because you’re rich, perhaps?”

JW does not look amused, “I can’t be in a place with inferior interior too long, you know.” Gritting his teeth, “Of course, thanks to you, I had to open a new chapter in cultural exchange with an alienated class. As if my paying for your crime wasn’t enough, as soon as our bodies change, you take off in a flash? Huh (What is that)?”

RI squirms in embarrassment and Ah-young saves her. Ah-young (AY) comes into the house and is shocked to see JW, “Ah! You scared me.” Then she recognizes him. JW casually greets her in the lower form of Korean language, “Oh, hi.” RI looks somewhat taken back by his choice of words. He asks AY in a big-brother tone while looking at what she is holding, “You’re going to eat something at night again, aren’t you?”

“What?” Then AY looks down at the plastic bag she’s holding and tries to hide it behind her back.

JW tells her in an easy manner, “Go ahead and go in.” To RI, “You, come outside with me.”

After JW goes outside, AY asks RI why JW came, “Was he, by any chance, looking for… me?” AY is under the wrong impression, based on how RI* acted toward AY, that JW is secretly infatuated with her.

RI only says as she follows JW outside, “I’ll be right back.”

AY muses on JW’s speech selection, “Aren’t they 반말 (Ban-mal)? Spoken very familiarly no less?” 반말 is the low form of speech used to address someone younger or inferior, but in this case, JW uses it with a touch of familiarity or intimacy, which is not surprising because JW* and AY lived together for some time.

Under an overhead ledge, JW stands waiting for her, and RI walks out next to him but stands looking 90 degrees away from him. In a self-assured manner, JW asks her, “So tell me. How does it feel to flee so ignominiously?”

Feeling abashed, RI can look into his face only for a split second, “I’m… sorry about that. I fled because while I was very happy about being normal, I was also afraid that being close to you might switch us back again. I’m sorry.”

“We’re to switch back if we’re in close proximity to each other? Who says?”

“It’s just… my thinking.”

“Then I guess we can’t see each other again?”

At this, RI turns to face him and in a soft tone, “Wouldn’t it be best for both of us that way?”

JW just looks at her with a surprisingly gentle expression.

RI continues, “And I’m also sorry for being physical in your body. But if I were to be in that position again, I will do the same. Because the law doesn’t punish the rich.” By physical, she means her punching the rich creepy guy.

JW continues to look at her softly, and she continues, “It’ll take some time, but I’ll pay the settlement fee.” The fee that JW had to pay the rich jerk whom RI* punched. “Because it is something I instigated.”

JW now looks at her with part admiration and part affection. She is not done, “And those extravagant things in my house, I want you to take them all back.”

“How are those extravagant? They are life’s essential things. You have a bad habit of saying thank you in a very weird way, you know.”

In no-nonsense tone, “If you’re done arguing, you can go now.”

Calmly, he tells her, “I didn’t come here to argue.”

Slightly annoyed, “Then, why did you come here?”

He looks at her and she stares at him for a while, when he suddenly grabs her and hugs her. She is completely taken back by his action, but she does not resist. While hugging her, he attempts to hug her even deeper into his embrace as if he wants to bury her in his chest. While still hugging her, he tells her softly, “I came to do this.”

At this, even though she doesn’t hug him back, her eyes soften as she buries her head into his shoulder. Still hugging, he tells her, “Congratulations. On returning to Gil Ra-im.”

Moved, “You, too.”

“Your desire to pay the settlement, that’s a good idea. I really like your attitude about taking responsibility for your actions.”

He abruptly lets her off his chest, “Come to the office tomorrow. Think about whether you want to pay in installment or in lump sum. Bye.”

He takes off in the rain. But then he had to ruin the perfect moment. In I-just-remembered-tone, he says to himself, “Ah!” Then he runs back to where she is standing, “Just in front of your entrance foyer, I left a very expensive umbrella.” The very one he coerced his secretary to get earlier because he didn’t want to get wet.

And he just stares at her, expecting her to get it for him.

RI stares at him incredulously and can’t help exhaling a grunt, “Hah.”

Seeing RI not moving, JW motions with his head in the direction of her house… twice, not so subtly implying that she should get it for him, while RI looks at him as if thinking, and I actually let this bozo hug me.

But in episode 9, 23:00, when she finds out that he keeps her pictures in his cell phone, she can’t help but smile while remembering the hug and what he said, “I came to do this.” She also finds out from AY that JW* made AY sleep separately on the floor. He may be a jerk, but at least he’s not a two-timing one.

The Mermaid comes back to bite him

Hee-won, JW’s sister, warns RI that her mother is investigating her, and in the process, RI finds out that JW* had received money from his mother and spent it all in one day. And RI is pretty sure how he spent it. When JW calls RI in episode 9, 51:30, irritated that RI hasn’t yet shown up in his office with his cell phone, she chomps at the bits to confront him.

It’s interesting to note that according to Hee-won, she (HW) is closest to “normal” in her family because she was told that she takes after her father, while her brother takes after their mother. That’s not a reassuring thought, but it does explain a lot.

In episode 9, 51:50, they are in JW’s office, and RI glowers at him the whole time. He is curious, “Are you glaring at me right now? Why?”

She continues to glower at him.

He is not fazed, “The one who should be angry is not you. Do you have any idea what kind of trouble I had to go through to figure out the passcode? And what? Kim Ddol Chu (김똘추)? What does that mean? It doesn’t, by any chance, mean an imbecile in tracksuit, is it?”

(In episode 9, 18:45, JW finds out that in RI’s cell phone his name is listed as Kim Ddol-choo (김똘추), not Kim Joo-won (김주원). 똘 is short for 또라이 (Ddo-ra-i), 추 is short for 추리닝(Chu-ri-ning). 또라이 means imbecile, and 추리닝 means a training suit. Thus, an imbecile in tracksuit.)

(The 추리닝 information was brought to you by a team of experts consisted of shyangz, dramaok, and blue. According to the spn.edaily.co.kr link provided by dramaok in the response section, they call JW, a tracksuit maniac with very peculiar taste in tracksuits. A special personal thanks to shyangz, dramaok, and blue.)

When RI continues to stare angrily at him, he gets angry, “Issh. Will you not tone down your eyes? Don’t look at me with those evil (가자미) eyes.” (가자미 is a flatfish. Fishy eyes meaning angry, evil look)

She continues to look at him exactly the same way.

He goes on, “You went through my cell phone, didn’t you? Who told you to go through someone else’s cell phone? You want to meet my lawyer?”

She finally speaks, “Yes. I want to meet him. I think it’s high time we finally met. I should meet your mother in front of your lawyer and tell them that it wasn’t me who took the money from your mother. What do you think about that?”

“Did you see my mother?”

“Whether I saw your mother is not as important as the fact that I know you spent the money she gave you that was meant for me to disappear from your life.”

Calmly, “It was something you were going to find out sooner or later anyway.”

She cannot believe his attitude.

He acknowledges, “Yes. I’ve received the money (from her). So?”

“What?” Fuming, she kicks his shin.

Grimacing, he holds his leg, “Ah! This woman… Use words! Words! Why do you think God gave us speech? So that we can communicate through words, not with our body.”

Boring into his eyes, “What were you thinking? How can you accept that money? Do you think that just because I’m poor, I also have no pride? What does that make me look like? How can you accept that money? You must really think I’m trash for you to accept that money!”

He calmly tells her, “Of course you have to accept it.” She is shocked.

He goes on, “Rather than ‘I can’t accept this,’ ‘This is too little, I want more’ is much more effective.” Against his mother. It’s much more effective to throw his mother off-balance (Dang-whang 당황) this way.

“What?”

“I wanted you to beat my mother. So that my mother will not think of you as someone she can walk all over.” RI’s not totally convinced.

He continues, “I thought it was fortunate that I, instead of you, went to see her. If you had gone, I’m sure you would’ve told her that pathetic ‘I’m sorry’ about hundred times and then walked out. Then do you really think my mother would have applauded you for walking out with your pride instead of money? Absolutely not. Whether I had accepted the money or not, the end result would be the same. We would still be seeing each other.”

Still glaring at him, “On what ground (can you be so certain)?” About seeing each other.

“Because I just said so.” So sure of himself, that one.

They stare at each other for a long time, and finally RI speaks, “I think you’re mistaken, because I don’t want to see your face ever again.”

He looks at her evenly. She goes on, “I don’t know exactly how much it was, but whatever the amount, I want you to return it to your mother with an apology.” She then picks up her cell phone from the ottoman, and throws his onto the sofa. His eyebrows go up at that.

She then turns to him, still simmering, “And make sure you tell her that there is nothing going on between us. That there is nothing for her to worry about.”

“How is that there is nothing between us? (It’s a bit premature) for you to come to that conclusion, because there is something between us.”

She becomes sarcastic. “Aah. (You’re right,) there is. The one that you adore… the Little Mermaid.” He can sense he’s not going to like what will come next.

“You told me to think about it, so I have been thinking about it. But, I’ve realized that I don’t have the right. Do you know why? Because the mermaid loved the man.”

Of course, she‘s implying that she doesn’t love him. He looks hurt, although it’s not obvious. The fact that he goes after her to the elevator, the fact that he walks down many flights of stairs to chase after her says volumes about how he really feels about her. Only if his mouth didn’t have a brain of its own. And of course, RI doesn’t mean what she said, either. In fact, alone in the elevator, she looks downright melancholic and almost teary-eyed.

Gil Tang-ja is born

In the end of episode 9, 1:05:20, RI tells Oska when they picked up Seul after he “abandoned” her on the highway, she cried in the car the whole way. She tells him that she knows it’s not her business, but a man who makes a woman cry is not very attractive. Oska tells her that he doesn’t know why he acts like such a kid, and RI tells him that he’s not, because a true kid would insist that he’s older. Oska, moved, tells her that RI is much more attractive than he initially thought. She reacts shyly and self-consciously looks down while striking the pavement lightly behind her with her boot. Then they both look at each other laughing sheepishly. It is at this point that we hear JW, “What a beautiful picture (you guys make).”

It’s the beginning of episode 10. JW is leaning against the railing. He helps himself up and stares at RI, “It’s (you guys make) a very beautiful picture.”

RI looks back at him, not sure what to make of his words and his presence, but Oska is not unsure, “Did you just find that out?” Turning to RI, “Ms. Ra-im, were you supposed to meet him here?”

Looking at Oska, “No.” Then looking at JW but talking to Oska, “I thought I made myself very clear, so either he is a blockhead…” At this JW’s eyes bulge in indignation. “Or he is crazy about me. It has to be one or the other.”

JW doesn’t deny being crazy about RI, but he does have objection about her other assessment, “Block, what?” She actually says “Stonehead.” In English, there are many similar words such as bonehead, hardhead, knucklehead, and even Archie Bunker’s meathead, but no stonehead.

Oska loves it and gives a nice fist pump, “A nice shot!” And he wiggles his tongue and peace sign at JW to taunt him some more.

JW glares at Oska, and RI pours gas into the fire, “And what exactly is that ajumma pajama?” Ajumma (아줌마) is a word used to address a woman who’s middle aged and usually married. It has a certain connotation because Korean women, once married, due to their endless obligations toward husband, kids, and in-laws, typically tend to let their appearances go.

Indignant, “What? A pajama?” More to himself, “I just can’t seem to make you understand.” Offended, “This garment does not deserve that kind of treatment from you.” JW goes on ad nauseam about how the French tailor put his heart and soul into every stitch, etc, and in the middle of it, RI ignores him and turns to Oska, “I’m going to go in now. Oppa, drive carefully.”

Oska smiles, “Okay, our Ra-im. Let us meet shortly in your dream, okay?”

RI flashes him a shy smile and walks away.

Oska tells her to watch the steps, and she shyly acknowledges him.

RI passes by JW without saying anything, and JW takes offense, “What about me? How come you don’t say anything to me? I didn’t exactly walk here, you know.”

RI stops on her way down the steps and glares at him, “You, be careful of the dark roads.” I think she’s implying that something untoward might happen to him in the dark alley somewhere if he keeps motoring his mouth.

Unfazed and following her, “Do I look like a kind of guy who would be scared of dark roads? The dark roads should be afraid of me. Hey! Gil Ra-im!”

Oska is worried for his cousin, “That guy, what does he think he’s doing.”

Chasing RI down the steps to her house, “Whom are you calling oppa? You never even once called me oppa. You and I are exactly four years apart, the very four years where even goong-hap (궁합) is not deemed necessary.”

Goong-hap (궁합) is what a lot of prospective brides and grooms do before tying the knot. They go to a fortune teller and based on their respective birthdays they are told if they are compatible with each other and whether they’ll have a happy marriage. But it is widely thought that four years apart is such a good age difference that even horoscope like Goong-hap (궁합) is not deemed necessary. It’s funny that JW is touting this point to RI to augment his case. I think he’s getting desperate.

RI slams the steel door almost on JW’s face. JW is not amused, “Hey! Slamming a door in front of someone’s face is whose country’s manner? Has it ever occurred to you that because of my unusually tall nose, I could get hurt? Huh?” Tall nose (tall nasal bridge) is considered a very positive facial attribute in Korea.

When he doesn’t hear any reply from RI, he calls out, “Hey! Gil Tang-ja!” Tang-ja (탱자) is a trifoliate orange that is very bitter and thus inedible if eaten fresh. It’s a pun on her name, Ra-im (Lime), but also calling her that is a fitting description of RI from his perspective right now.

Ra-im’s Poem

In the episode 10, 03:10, RI sits next to Ah-young (AY) as AY asks her, “Is someone outside?”

“A neighborhood dog was barking, so I cursed him out a little.”

“Ha. What kind of a dog barks, ‘Hey! Gil Tang-ja!’?”

Sheepishly, “You heard?”

“Is it the president (CEO)? Why… did he come?”

Looking annoyed, “I don’t know.”

AY looks wistful, “If he came all the way over here, he should come in.”

AY’s mood bounces right back, and she cheerfully gives RI a package full of books.

When AY asks RI, RI explains to her why she got the books, “When I went to someone’s house, there was a huge library full of all kinds of books. When I saw all those books, I wondered if he read them all, and whether among them he had any favorites. What was he thinking as he was reading them and what was he feeling… I became curious.”

“That’s why you bought the books he was reading?”

She comes out of her reveries to answer her, “Yes, because I was curious as to what he was thinking. You know, maybe I’ll find his truth (his true intentions) that has eluded me thus far.”

“Yeah. There comes a moment when one is curious about his truth.”

RI is clueless, but she finds her philosophical friend adorable.

In episode 10, 08:00, we see RI reading in her bed Alice in Wonderland while the collections of book titles in her bookshelf form another poem, this one portraying her sentiments about him.

Just as in the children’s book, Alice in Wonderland [이상한 나라의 앨리스 동화처럼]

On a night when Milky Way penetrates within itself [은하가 은하를 관통하는 밤]

(She sees) a bad boy standing [나쁜 소년이 서 있다]

Such a petty melancholy [이토록 사소한 멜랑꼴리]

He was walking within the speed of nostalgia [그는 추억의 속도로 걸어갔다]

To JW, even though he doesn’t fully realize this yet, RI is his world, his galaxy, his Milky Way. So Milky Way here refers to RI.

When Alice in the book experiences all that she does, she does so by going within herself or by “dreaming.”

So in the poem, when Milky Way penetrates within itself, that means RI is dreaming or goes within herself to experience the bad boy, JW.

And she sees him as being full of petty melancholy, as he is living his life shackled in his self-made and his mommy-made rules and haughty ideology.

The Cowardly Jerk

In episode 10, 04:57, when JW asks Oska about his true intentions regarding RI, Oska tells JW that at least women he meets are not so naïve as to be clueless about their shabby handbag (meaning JW should leave the innocent RI alone). JW then yells at him, “Why are you bringing that up?”

Oska replies sadly that if he can’t handle something that small, how is he going to handle his mother’s sure-to-come objections? Oska reminds JW that one trait distinguishing their mothers from other chaebul mothers is that even if it means paying inheritance tax, their mothers will never give their sons any money while they are alive, because that’s their way of making sure the sons will obey them. Oska tells JW that marriage to him is like a business and asks JW if he can give up all he has for a woman. JW replies, “Do I have to?” Oska, “You don’t have to, but then you’ll have to give up the woman.” Oska tells him to marry someone more appropriate for him and to stop torturing RI, because JW has no right to pursue RI.

JW becomes very pensive about what his cousin said, and this is why JW writes on the RI’s drawing of his compound next to his name, cowardly in episode 10, 07:45, so that it reads, cowardly jerk Kim Joo-won’s house.

The doctor makes a house call

In episode 10, 24:09, JW comes in his house to see that the good doctor is waiting for him, “Drink the tea and wait for me. After a walk, I’m hot. I’m going to wash up…”

“I can’t. Let me go first. It’ll only take five minutes.”

Disappointed, “What is this? Stay for dinner.”

“I have a previous engagement. I came because I haven’t heard from you in a while. You haven’t run out of the medication?”

“Medication?” Then it dawns on him, “Ah. You know, I haven’t been taking the medication.”

Surprised, “You haven’t taken it?”

JW is more amazed, “How did that happen? How could I have slept in that matchbox-sized room without any medication?”

“You went somewhere?”

“It’s not that…” He comes out of his reverie, “Never mind. I don’t want you to commit me as a truly insane person.” Smiling, “In any case, it doesn’t look like I’m going to need medications anymore.”

She doesn’t understand.

JW suddenly remembers, “Ah, I’m curious about something. Do people usually give up something in order to obtain something they really want?”

“Yes, because what they usually desire is something above and beyond their level.”

“That’s ridiculous. What you’re saying is then that woman is above my level?”

“That woman?”

At that point his bell rings, and they see that RI sent back boxes of what he bought while living in her house.

He is speechless for a minute and then gets angry, “Ah. This woman is really… Does she have to be this combative, obvious, and backwards?”

Smiling almost sympathetically, the doctor explains, “This may be hard for you to understand, but do you know how hard it is for someone who doesn’t have a lot to be combative, obvious, and backwards? If it was any other woman, she would’ve taken all these and left. See? What did I tell you? She is above your level.”

JW doesn’t appear to be happy but is, nevertheless, very quiet.

Joo-won’s plan

In episode 10, 31:43, Oska tells JW that he was able to come out unscathed in the plagiarism scandal because truth will always win out, “…so, you better be careful.”

JW doesn’t know what he’s talking about, “Me, what?”

“Don’t play dumb. The person you can’t get out of your head, Gil Ra-im! If your intention toward her is even slightly honorable, stop playing Lovers in Paris cosplay and come back to your normal self. That’s the right thing to do. Who do you think you’re? A Department Store Lover?”

“I’ve already come to that conclusion. I’m going to part with that woman.”

That took Oska by surprise, “Are you serious?”

Smiling somewhat eerily, “But later. I’ll part with her later. I can’t do it now.”

Suspiciously, “Why can’t you do it now?”

“Over the last few days, I’ve thought about this long and hard. I like her. So I’m planning to go see her in spite of my pride.”

“What?”

“Right now, I may be intrigued and fascinated by her, but the more I see her, I’m sure she will become less and less so. She will become one of those 9 out of 10 common women. A woman who’s neither cold nor hot. That kind of woman.” Oska looks at his cousin with a lot of pity in his eyes.

JW contemplates briefly, “Aah, probably no more than three months. Just because I see her for three more months, it’s not like something is going to happen to my wealth, right?”

“Ah, you’re such a jerk. I’m going to tell Ms. Ra-im everything.”

“Gil Ra-im already knows. That she can only be the Little Mermaid. Judging by her personality, I don’t think she’s going to be clingy.”

Oska looks at him evenly. “The way I see it, you are the one who’s clingy right now.”

JW did not expect that. “I am?”

JW doesn’t realize what is obvious to others, which is that he is head over heels in love with RI, perhaps a tidbit more so than she with him.

Joo-won has a new name – a Pest

JW is true to his words that he will see her in spite of his pride, but he ends up making a zany pest of himself.

Pest – Part 1

JW makes rounds on RI, first at the Action School in the episode 10, 33:05. They walk up to each other on the second floor, and as they approach, RI asks JW, “What is it?”

“I want compensation.”

“For what?”

“I became fat.”

“What?”

“Before I went to you, my abdominal musculature was in top shape. But where did my muscles disappear to? Since I have no abs, my clothes don’t fit me anymore.”

She can’t help but sigh at his ludicrous complaint.

He gets worse, “Take all these fat off me.”

She spits out the words, “You psycho.”

Pest – Part 2

In 33:25, JW tries a different tactic. He shows her a box full of his underwear. She cannot believe he’s doing this.

Not one bit embarrassed to flaunt his undergarments, “These are the ones you washed and hung to dry. You go ahead and wear them.”

“Why should I wear these?”

Glancing at her bottom, “It looks like it would be a perfect fit. What’s the problem?”

Making a menacing face, she yells at him, “Will you not get these out of my sight?” She then picks out one particular item out of the box that appears to be an elastic abdominal binder, “And this… is not something I wore.”

Embarrassed, he quickly takes the binder away from her, “Ah, sorry. It got mixed up. Mixed up.”

The binder secure in his back pocket, he resumes the insanity, “Anyway, these are yours. Compared to the ones you usually wear, these look much more decent and respectable (anyway).”

Looking like she’s going to explode, she again spits the words out, “You psycho.”

Pest – Part 3

In 33:58, JW corners RI again, “Take responsibility.”

RI yells at him, “What (is it) this time?”

Slowly, “I’m… constipated.”

She’s speechless at his endless colorful complaints.

He’s not. “What exactly have you been feeding my body?”

He yells at her, “What kind of food causes it not to come out?”

As she looks at him like he belongs in an asylum, he doesn’t disappoint her. He yells even louder, while this time accentuating by squeezing his fist to demonstrate the problem, “It is… COMPLETELY blocked! How are you going to handle this situation?”

Feeling desperate and cornered, “Do you have a proof that I did it?”

Yelling at her again, “How can I provide you with a proof? You want me to bring it to you?”

She shakes in anger, “You Pervert.”

My Third Most Favorite Scene thus far

Usually my favorite scenes are fraught with multiple reasons, but there is only one reason why this is one of my favorite scenes – the kiss.

In episode 10, 34:20, after having endured many of JW’s insane moments, RI is taking a well-deserved peace practicing her sword scenes in the calm of sun-drenched quiet café drinking hot latte. Her moment of peace doesn’t last long, however, because JW sits in front of her.

Exasperated, she doesn’t even wait for him to speak, “What (is it) this time?” When he doesn’t say anything, she repeats, “What is it?”

Quietly, he speaks, “Our department store stock dropped.”

Trying to contain the rising sarcasm, “The news that the CEO is an imbecile must have leaked.” Suddenly it occurs to her, “Wait a minute. Are you saying that’s also my doing?”

Calmly, “You didn’t think it was? Didn’t I specifically instruct you not to approve anything? By what stubborn resolve did you sign those papers? It never occurred to you that one signature could affect the stocks, did you? That is my position and the merit of your childish heart-shaped signature. Do you now have some inkling of what you have done?”

Subdued, “Then what can we do? I did it because Secretary Kim told me it was absolutely necessary.”

“That’s why I’m going to fire Secretary Kim.”

Surprised, “What? What kind of logic is that?’

With a faint smile, “You don’t want me to do it? Okay. But in return, from now on I’m going to come here whenever I want. And every time I come, I expect you to greet me with love and gratitude as well as happiness and exuberance. Okay?”

With a sneer, “You must be out of your mind. (She actually says he makes a dog-eating-weed sound, but that’s neither here nor there) I could greet you with good thrashing and profanity. I could give you a sample of it today.”

He counterattacks with an arrogant smile, “Are you saying you’re okay if secretary Kim gets fired?”

Gritting her teeth and reaching for her latte, “You jerk.” She suddenly thrusts the mug in his face as she warns him, “You just try it, (buster, and I’ll break every bone in your skinny body).” He involuntarily jumps back while trying to protect his precious pajama. “Take it out on me. On me. What crimes did these clothes commit?”

She scoffs at him, and she seems reluctant even to waste her breath on him now, “Psychotic…” as she drinks the latte giving her a milk foam mustache.

He can’t resist, “Look at that, look at that. Why are women like this? When you’re among women you don’t do it, but when you’re with men, you always put cream on your lips and pretend not to notice it.”

Getting fiery-eyed, “Issh.” She is about to wipe her lips with her sleeve, when JW catches her, “That is so lady-like.”

She looks at him somewhat bewildered, and while holding her right wrist firmly with his left hand, he tells her to, “Come here,” as he steadies her chin with his right hand. He then zooms in masterfully as if he was born to do this.

She finally breaks the kiss and looks at him in a bewildered state.

He gives her a simple explanation, “What? There was no tissue. You rather I wipe with my clothes? Even though this was hand-made, stitch by stitch?”

She seems to regain her senses, and she struggles against him trying to get free from his grips.

He is firm with her, “I’m warning you. From now on, don’t be physical with me. If you do, I’m going to pay you back exactly like this.”

Okay, I fibbed. I have more than one reason for liking this scene.

First, you have to love his efforts. I mean, just on creativity alone, I have to give him high marks. Second, RI looks so cute in her yellow sweatshirt and that gray knitted cap. Third, of course, I love the kiss. It was spontaneous, original, and thoroughly satisfying because he accomplished all he set out to do in one swoop, which was to clean the foam, surprise the heck out of her, and kiss the girl. I think he did a good job on all accounts.

My Fourth Most Favorite Scene thus far

I think it’s a sign that this drama is definitely going in the right direction when I get two favorite scenes from one episode. In the episode 10, 46:58, the whole Action School students and staff are celebrating post-shooting in a Korean restaurant, and RI is busy putting sliced pieces of pig skin on every body’s plate except JW’s. JW takes his empty plate and lifts it up, but RI totally ignores him. “How come I’m the only one you don’t serve?”

She looks at him as if surprised he asked, “(I thought) you can’t eat something like this. You said before only weird people eat this.”

“Whether I eat or not is my privilege. If you’re going to distribute, you have a responsibility not to discriminate.”

“Didn’t you say you want to be discriminated? Didn’t you say that for people like you, inequality and discrimination are the principle and wisdom to live by?”

JW is speechless, and the other guy wonders, “You can’t eat the skin (of a pig)? What kind of a man can’t eat something like this?”

JW raises his voice, “Who says I can’t eat this? Who? And to determine the manhood through this kind of…”

RI interrupts JW by stuffing a piece of pig skin in his mouth with her chopsticks.

JW turns to look at her with mixture of surprise and bewilderment, but he doesn’t spit it out.

RI tells him matter-of-factly, “You told me to give it to you.” Then she orders him, “Eat it.”

Sort of meekly, sounding muffled somewhat, “I am eating.”

With a fleeting smile, she intently watches his mouth, while her director eyes both her and JW.

Appearing to be in pain but forcing a smile, JW manages to say, “Uum, this taste is so…”

RI doesn’t let him off the hook so easily. She barks, “Chew it.”

That catches him completely off-guard. JW turns to her, saucer-eyed, and anger showing in his face.

RI gives him a more specific order, “Chew and swallow it.”

He throws a temper tantrum, “(I) don’t want to! I’m going to let it melt in my mouth!”

RI looks at him with supremely embarrassed look while the whole restaurant becomes totally hushed.

Totally unfazed, JW raises his hands as if orchestrating, motioning the crowd to resume their previous activities.

After two of such orchestrating, the crowd goes back to what they were doing before, and JW goes back to melting the pig skin in his mouth while eyeing RI.

RI looks at him unable to suppress a growing smile.

Johnny Carson was the master of comebacks, the cleanups. Johnny’s jokes were not always the funniest, but even when they were not so funny, the way he handled himself afterward, I thought, was what set him apart from the rest of the comedians. I think there was a little bit of Johnny Carson in JW here. The way he handled himself after what could have been a humiliating experience for both, I think she found that trait endearing.

Why did I like this scene so much? First, he was gallant enough to attempt to eat something that repulses him, thanks to the way he was brought up. Second, he was funny when he yelled, and yet he was still being himself. And after yelling when the whole place did the E. F. Hutton thing, he kept his composure and did what he does best, tame the beast. All without his most prized asset – his motor mouth. But most of all, RI smiled at him. Not in his imagination and not because he asked her to, but purely out of her own volition. And she smiled at him… fondly. It even made her director jealous, even though he hid it well.

Our two lovebirds are inching closer and closer to each other, but don’t expect smooth sailing from here on out, because I see many more storms as well as more sweet moments on the horizon.

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36 thoughts on “The Secret Garden, the 9th & 10th episodes

  1. Happy Holidays to you, too, lilone. And thanks for your sweet and kind words and also for your multiple hugs. :) Yes, I’m having a blast with my family, thank you. It only occurs every few years, so I’m grateful even though it wears on me a little. It’s great that you’re learning Korean and that I can be of some help in your endeavor.

    Hi, starbreez. I used to put brackets around literal or alternate meanings in the past, but over time I have veered away from that because the brackets, I thought, were causing the diluting effect. Let me explain.

    Let’s say a guy is proposing to his beloved, and he’s baring his heart to express his feelings. He tells her, “When the hazy moonlight slips through the overgrown tree branches to shine on your fair countenance, it is as if your angelic true self is revealed only to me.”

    But if I take the same sentence and add the other meanings in brackets, I get a watered-down effect of the proposal: “When the hazy moonlight (howling moon spirit) slips through the overgrown tree branches to shine (blind) on your fair countenance (porcelain fountain of youth), it is as if your angelic (ethereal) true self is revealed only to me.”

    My intention is for the readers to get the same feeling (or as close to it as possible) from a particular scene as I get when I listen and watch it in Korean, so I try to distance myself from anything that interferes with that goal.

    Having said that, I do like your suggestion, so what I will do from now on is put the literal or alternate meanings on the side (where I put my comments) if I feel it’s essential to do so. Thanks for reading our recaps and for your excellent suggestion.

  2. Michael,

    So long overdue on my part but I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you have a wonderful new year!

    And by chance, for your day job are you an interpretor or translator? Seriously the way you translate is like how a professional would do it. You have the literal and then you have the colloquial way of translating to ensure that your audience understands it. It’s difficult because regardless of which words you use, there is always the possibility that you aren’t capturing the full impact of the word or sentence in another language. I would know, after taking several Spanish classes and spending way too many hours translating 16th century poetry *sob* – which is why I get so anal when it comes down to me translating from Korean to English (something always get lost in translation!)

    I look forward to your reviews of Secret Garden as well!

  3. That, bella012, is quite a compliment. Thank you so much. No, I’m not an interpreter or a translator. But I love to read and write, and that’s what attracted me to thundie’s prattle in the beginning, because I fell in love with thundie’s writing.

    You’re so right about something always getting lost in translation. Translation certainly is a difficult art that frequently makes me feel humble because it makes me realize just how much Korean and English I don’t really know.

    Here is a belated Christmas well-wish for you, and I hope you have a wonderful and healthy New Year as well.

  4. Dear Michael,

    I am of the infamous majority that makes excessive use of brackets and emoticons to convey what I want to say ,a case of verbal bells and whistles,wanting to communicate the rush of thoughts and accompanying emotions all at once without considering how diverting and /or annoying it may be to other readers.Internet has evolved a unique lingo that subverts and violates every known convention known to language and spelling ,that would have made us cringe in the past. Intentional mis-spellings and grammatical errors,arbitrary use of symbols are creative and fun, which may even contribute to organic evolvement of language in keeping with times and become a part of our repertoire ,but some, including yours truly, use it as a crutch to cover their inadequacies and that is unacceptable because it may even end up mis-guiding the uninitiated or half-skilled .It is not snobbery of a purist or privileged or a wannabe but a heartfelt lament of a language lover, who should ,by the way , walk the talk.Of course,one may not always know where one is wrong but the desire and willingness to learn and self-correct ,I think ,is not a shabby start.Your comment made me realise that there are people who still care and that gave me the much needed shake to jolt me out of the stupor that I had fallen into.So,thank you .

    Phew ,I was wondering whether I would be able to write a complete comment without smileys, brackets and exclamation marks outside of work and I have succeeded….till here :-) I may be particular but I am not anal :D

    As for my absence from SG recaps(not that anybody cares ^^) ,other than the verbal sparring and sizzling chemistry between 2 OTPs ,stunning visuals ,some nice poetic moments ,everything else bores me but not to death .It’s bearable but I really have no insights or irrelevant quips to add ,hence the silence.I surface when I am moved. :-)I will be completing the drama while enjoying your’s and DB’s SG recaps more than the show itself.That’s how good you guys are :-)

    Before I sign off, let me wish you and your family ,a very healthy and prosperous 2011:)

    With immense gratitude but always in search of an edit button ,Nimi .

  5. Damm, Nimi, I think you did more than succeed. I’m in awe of your eloquence, and thank you for your contribution, however relevant or irrelevant you may think they are, I appreciate all your thoughts and insights.

    Happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year to you and your loved ones!!!

  6. Wow I just found this blog today and I must say I am loving your indept recaps Michael!!!! Thanks you and keep up the great work

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