EPISODE 15- THAT’S HOW YOU BECOME AN ADULT
Joon-hung is finally reunited with his mum, his eyes swells up with tears and so does hers. She is glad he grew up better than she had expected, she rubs his face gently to erase his tears. A very heart-warming meeting between a mother and son.
However at the couple pharmacy, the adoptive parents of Joon-hung is feeling the opposite. They are slightly distressed at the appearance of the birth mum because she is scared that the secret of the postcards will be exposed.
Joon-hung goes to a nearby café with his birth mother. However Joon-hung is very withdrawn from his mum; he gives one-word answer and is reluctant to initiate any conversation that will make cause more interactions. Although he seems to be silent, Joon-hung is holding back his tears.
The birth mum gives him trainers and is worried whether it will fit. She apologises again, she says that she should have came here earlier to see him but claims she was too busy. Joon-hung can only whisper an “okay” while fighting back his tears.
Joon-hung gets a call from his adoptive mum and answers with a “yes, mum”, which made his adoptive mother upset, she glances up with a pained expression.
They have a family reunion dinner which is less awkward than the one-on-one meeting between Joon-hung and his birth mum. Joon-hung accidentally chokes on his food and asks his mum for water. They both get up to get him water, however the adoptive mum says the birth mum should give it to Joon-hung since she is here now. Although she says that, she looks sadly and worried about Joon-hung.
Joon-hung walks his mum to catch a taxi and while they are walking, she holds his hand. Although he is surprised, he does not pull his hand away. Before she gets on the taxi, she suggests meeting up tomorrow so she can cook him a meal before she leaves. He hesitates but says he will meet her after his training. The birth mum is overjoyed and they exchanges numbers.
After the mum leaves on the taxi, he stares at his hand and smiles with tears in his eyes. He goes to meet Bok-joo afterwards and happily hugs her. Bok-joo notices his happiness and asks whether he did anything interesting with his birth mum.
Joon-hung updates Bok-joo- he had dinner with his mum and took her to the taxi. He hesitates but tells her that his mum also held his hand. Bok-joo states that his mum must be very happy to see him. Joon-hung jokes it off by claiming who wouldn’t be happy to see a handsome son like him. Although he jokes, he fights back his tears again. Even the slightest mention of his mum is able to throw Joon-hung into an emotional loop. He hugs Bok-joo and tries to take in everything that happened today.
Joon-hung confirms the location of her hotel with his birth mum, before he hangs up, she requests him to bring a photo album so she can see photos of him growing up. Before he leaves, he picks up the shoes that his mum got him and tries to fit it in. Although it is too small, he still squeeze his feet in it.
He goes back home to collect a photo album but overhears his adoptive family discussing about his mum. He hears that his birth mum came back to borrow money because her other child needs money for surgery. His adoptive family does not have enough and is discussing about selling some lands, but will be an issue because it requires time.
Joon-hung steps out and is very emotional, he demands to know the truth; did the mum came back to see Joon-hung or did she came back to borrow money. His adoptive family is too shocked to say anything and Joon-hung is unable to stay calm and continues to rage on. Joon-hung feels guilty and ashamed of his adoptive mother.
“She should be grateful that you’ve fed me and raised me so far. How could she ask you two for such a favour?”
His adoptive mum tries to calm him down and explain the situation, but ngered Joon-hung more. Joon-hung is guilt-ridden about his birth mother and confesses he knows about the postcard and the presents too. His adoptive family is shocked and Joon-hung continues to belittle himself, asking whether they felt like doing charity by being nice to him.
His birth mum cannot bear to hear his painful words anymore and slaps him, she agrees with him that she wanted to go to heaven that is why she raised him. She hysterically asks whether he is happy after hearing those words. What makes it worst is that both of them knows that she does not mean her words, and have always treated him like her son. They both cries their eyes out and Joon-hung runs out the house.
On the other hand, there is good news for Bok-joo. She is chosen for Taereung national training centre. Professor Yoon informs her that she will join them this weekend and she will receive an interview tomorrow. Bok-joo is overwhelmed as she never have thought about going to such a prestigious training centre. Her dream of becoming a national athlete is closer.
A delivery girl comes in and is proper flirting with Bok-joo’s uncle, she asks if she can have a drink and knocks the bottle’s cap off the same way as Coach Choi. He is completely smitten by her and stares at her in awe. She thanks him for the drinks and leaves. He warns himself to be careful because women are evil.
Joon-hung’s adoptive mum is guilty she never told Joon-hung the truth, especially he had to act like he never knew. She starts crying again after thinking how he must have felt. She is even more worried because Joon-hung is missing and they cannot reach him on his phone.
She gets a call from the real mum asking whether she knows where Joon-hung is. She has already finished cooking the meal but he is nowhere to be found.
Tae-kwon runs up to Bok-joo to ask whether she was with Joon-hung last night because he didn’t come back to his room. Bok-joo is confused because he also didn’t answer her calls and has not spoken to her since yesterday’s afternoon.
Bok-joo has no choice but meet Jae-yi to discuss whether he knows where Joon-hung is. Jae-yi tells Bok-joo that he must have been shocked from the truth- his mother came back to Korea after 10 years but not for Joon-hung, but for money. Jae-yi is also upset and reassures Bok-joo that he will try and find him, he also says that the family is upset too, his mum couldn’t sleep last night.
Joon-hung is laying on the sand with his eyes closed and thinking back to the first time he went swimming, the day his mum left him and how he was reunited with her yesteday. He takes off his shoes that his birth mum gave him and notices his bleeding heels. Joon-hung angrily throws the shoes away.
Professor Yoon and the weightlifting team are going OTT because they have an interview. However the main focus is Bok-joo, she has an individual interview. The interviewers asks Bok-joo about her slump after winning the match. They asks her the reason she recovered from her slump. Bok-joo gives the typical answer- her family, friends, professor and coach gave her support. She hesitates and thinks about all the things that Joon-hung has done for her. She abruptly gets up and requests to end the interview because she has somewhere to be at.
Bok-joo goes looking for Joon-hung she heads to the river and searches for him. She angrily leaves him a voice message and continues to search for him. Bok-joo heads to the beach and dials Joon-hung again. She starts to panic and leaves him a teary voice message:
“Hey, where are you? Why aren’t you picking up? I has no idea that you were this self-centred. Let’s just break up if this is how you’re going to be. You’re a jerk”
Bok-joo’s uncle is at the convenience store and realises that he might not have enough for some items, the delivery girl from before, pops out from nowhere and offers to pay the items he can’t afford. She says they are even now and walks out. They go outside to drink together and she claims that he is her type. She asks if Bok chicken belongs to him but the uncle corrects her by saying he is an actor, the restaurant belongs to his brother. They get along really well and ends up going for a drink at her place too.
It is nighttime and Bok-joo is still searching for Joon-hung, she has no clue where he is and sees the entrance to the swimming department. She goes inside and tries her luck, she sees Joon-hung lifelessly floating on top of the pool. She shouts for him but he does not reply, she takes off her jacket and gathers her courage to enter the water (Bok-joo can’t swim). She slowly walks to him and shouts at him for going missing, she finally reaches him.
Joon-hung is conscious but his mental state seems to be in a million pieces. He tells her that his mum came back to borrow money and it wasn’t to see him. He tells her that he preserved through all these years because he was hopeful that his mum had a proper reason for not seeing him, and wholeheartedly believed she also wants to see him too. Joon-hung says he feels worst than the day his mum abandoned him. Right now, he knows the truth and embarrassed himself in front of his adoptive parents. He embraces Bok-joo and sobs.
Joon-hung returns after hearing Bok-joo’s advice. She puts pressure onto Joon-hung and says he must apologise to his mum and give her a tight hug too. Before he leaves he thanks Bok-joo for making him feel better.
He slowly walks towards the pharmacy and watches his adoptive mum sitting down and looking sadly at a family photo. He enters the pharmacy and tries to act cool like nothing had happened, he even buys her roasted chestnut. He offers to peel her the chestnut but his mum holds his hand and realises that it’s cold. She goes to make him some tea and Joon-hung hugs her from behind. He apologises and asks her for forgiveness and says that he loves them so much, and is grateful for everything they have done for him. Everything is great again.
Joon-hung goes to see his birth mum before she leaves, she is ecstatic to see him and thanks him for coming. He thanks her for giving birth to him and he gives her back the handkerchief that she gave him years ago; he no longer needs the handkerchief as a mental support. He asks whether she has a photo of his sister because he wants to see her. His sister is called Emily, and Joon-hung wishes her a full recovery because he will go and visit her. Joon-hung shows something in return, it is a picture of Bok-joo, he tells his mum that Bok-joo is his girlfriend.
Bok-joo is also at the airport and is waiting for Joon-hung to finish talking to his mum, she thanks him for listening to her. They hold hands and leaves the airport.
Jae-yi gives a surprise visit at Ah-young’s new workplace, she is surprised to see him here. He tells her that he came all the way to see her. He suggests they get something to eat together because he has no friends to eat with.
Joon-hung gets fangirls wherever he goes, 2 schoolgirls are admiring his looks and compliments him for being good-looking. Bok-joo overhears their conversation and covers his face using his jumper, she requests him to cover his face from now on. However Joon-hung claims that nothing can mask his good looks. Bok-joo tries to mess up his hair to make him uglier and mutters that she can’t go away if she has to worry about other girls snatching him away.
She finally tells him the big secret- she has been selected to be part of a national team, but never told Joon-hung until now ’cause of the whole situation regarding his family. Unlike Bok-joo, Joon-hung is overjoyed for her. Bok-joo asks why he is not upset and Joon-hung says that he has a chance to get into a national team too. He will be able to get into Taereung if he does well in his competition, which is next week. Bok-joo is ecstatic at the suggestions and urges him to train immediately.
Bok-joo tries her best to be a supportive girlfriend; she makes him lunch and push him to train. They go to the wishing well together and makes identical wish- for Joon-hung to do well in his match and goes to Taereung.
The competition approaches quickly and today is the day of the competition. Joon-hung is very confident and glances at Bok-joo who is sitting at the audience. He grips onto the board and wasn’t very accurate with the signal, he makes a slightly late start but picks up his speed. The result is tight, Joon-hung gets second place and seems slightly discouraged, he looks at Bok-joo, however Bok-joo encourages him and gestures a thumb up.
Bok-joo’s dad is on the waiting list for a donor, they requests him to come in to do some tests, however he insists on going tomorrow because Bok-joo goes to Taereung tomorrow, and he will head to the hospital after she is gone.
Bok-joo comforts Joon-hung and compliments him for doing a good job, Bok-joo says that he has done enough this time, he overcame his start trauma and that is enough. They walk back together and both can’t stop thinking about the idea of her leaving tomorrow. Joon-hung offers to send her off tomorrow but Bok-joo insists it’s okay because he will joining her at Taereung soon.
Bok-joo gets a call from Nan-hee asking whether she can bring her uniform to the weightlifting training room. They surprises Bok-joo with a leaving party, they give her a celebratory message and a good-bye too.
Bok-joo only has her family to say bye to now, her dad packs her some food and tells her to take care of herself. Bok-joo asks her uncle to take care of her dad when she is gone and the uncle tells her to not worry. After Bok-joo leaves, the uncle urges his brother to go to the hospital now.
Bok-joo sits on the bus and thinks to herself:
“Joon-hung, Im going now. I didn’t tell you but I’m so scared and nervous right now. Will I be able to do a good job? If I open the stage door and walk through it, what kind of world will be waiting for me?”
Although Joon-hung didn’t send Bok-joo off, he does not stop thinking about Bok-joo. He opens his locker and there are many photos of Bok-joo stuck inside the locker’s door.
Joon-hung voices over:
“Don’t worry Bok-joo. You’ll be great. You’re much stronger and prettier than you think you are. Wherever you go, you’ll shine brightly. Bok-joo, you’re awesome”
Bok-joo arrives at Taereung training centre and voices over:
“I’m waiting for you Joon-hung. Don’t take too long though. I’m a short-tempered girl”
Joon-hung is continuing his training and voices over:
“Wait for me. I will be there soon. You know I never turn back, right?”
The episode ends with Bok-joo voicing over “I miss you, Joon-hung” and Joon-hung voicing over “I miss you, Bok-joo”.
Honestly I think the drama could have ended with this episode, like there are few ties unloose but it will not be a bad ending overall. I like the open-ending of this episode, because we don’t know whether Joon-hung will qualify for Taereung (which he probably does in the end), but we do know that their relationship is very strong.
I am enjoying the Ah-youngxJae-yi pairing, I am finding them more cute and less awkward. At the start I found the pairing strange and slightly off-putting, like how she had a crush on him for 10 years which was slightly too long, to the point it seemed stalkerish and kind of obsessive? But I guess she did have her own reasons ’cause she constantly sees him and never has the chance to get him off his mind. Out of sight, out of mind.
The whole uncle and this random girl is unnecessary, I know that it’s for the comedy side and they want to portray that the uncle has moved on, but it really is unnecessary? I don’t get it. The girl is so easy too, she might as well propose to him or something.
Another unnecessary character is Joon-hung’s birth mum. Her appearance is not necessary, and she gave the most pathetic reason to not see Joon-hung. She claims she is busy but what drug is she taking. I am sure she is not busy enough to the point she can’t take few days break and visit her son or write him a letter or whatever. What a pathetic excuse. Yes he did forgive her in the end, and gives her handkerchief back too, which symbolises his attachment towards her is over. But, I really don’t think her character is needed, they could have made the cause for his false starts to be something different, but they chose his birth mum and did not execute the cause well. They go on and on about his false start for 14 episodes, from the start till now, and then makes his mum appear for half an episode and then kicks her away. After Bok-joo comforts him for few second and he is fine?!, how does that work. Yes, he is no longer alone, he has Bok-joo and his adoptive family for him but seriously, I don’t think that is a good enough reason for him to not fixate on his birth mother anymore, especially they made the birth mum 0h-so-important.
But whatever, I guess time does heal everything. He couldn’t cope when he was young but now he is older he can have a different perspective. One thing I do enjoy about the whole family drama is the emphasis on the bond between Joon-hung and his adoptive mother. It was very sweet indeed and did made the family drama more bearable.