Boys Before Flowers, episode 5

Gu Hye Sun is friggin’ adorable, aside from the fact that we’re bouncing back to the over-exaggerated acting.

I don’t like the way the Oh Min Ji story has been handled in this version, so I’m glad to be moving on from that.

Recap of episode 5

We start the episode off with even more of Jandi getting a beating from her peers. Jandi’s voiceover tells us that she really can’t take this anymore and wished it would stop, and we get flashbacks of her thinking about all the times that Ji Hoo would come and rescue her, so we know she wishes he’d come in once more and help. But then, she hears Jun Pyo’s voice over the dim of the students’ malicious laughter. And yes, finally, Jun Pyo is the one to come in and save the day.

I’ve never had a problem with any of Lee Minho’s scenes until this one. It felt really awkward somehow. Maybe it’s the terrible dialogue. Maybe it just doesn’t sit well with me the notion that everything is forgiven just because Jun Pyo says two words of sorry and carries Jandi away in an annoying white knight fashion.

So we’re back at Jun Pyo’s house and after he helps Jandi clean up, Woobin and Yi Jung bring Oh Min Ji to Jun Pyo. At first, Jun Pyo says that even though he can’t remember how (badly) he treated her when he was a little kid, he is sorry. But Min Ji expresses right away that his apology is not what she wants to hear from him. She wants to hear him say that he likes her. Isn’t she beautiful? Hasn’t she become beautiful because of him? The clingier Min Ji got, the more condescending Jun Pyo’s reaction. At the end of it all, he says that she is still the monster he claimed her to be back in kindergarten — except, now her personality is ugly.

This scene just makes me very, very sad because while what Min Ji did was inexcusable, Woobin and Yi Jung bring her back to Jun Pyo like she has no free will of her own and has to fess up to the great F4 leader. Jun Pyo talks to her like she’s a diseased low-life and I think the Korean version doesn’t execute this plot point well at all. To change Min Ji’s character into one that was actually in LOVE with Jun Pyo and means that she did all this out of jealousy; that kind of makes her seem pathetic in an un-sympathizable (it’s a word if I say it’s a word!) way. Revenge is one thing, but being desperate and grovelling is another.

In the mean time, the story writers want to show us how awesome and caring Jun Pyo is with Jandi. But the whole let-me-take-care-of-you scene strikes me as very silly because Jun Pyo uses his bare fingers to put cream on an open cut (!!!), Gu Hye Sun reacts awkwardly, and Lee Minho applies a bandaid like he’s never done so in his life. To top that off, shippers rejoice with a peck-on-head-while-she’s-asleep dealio from Jun Pyo.

The next day, Jandi wakes up and is greeted by a full staff, new clothes, and an outrageously expensive new bike. But where the heck is Jun Pyo? Off being classist at the Geums, why of course! Jandi’s family is completely rendered speechless by the presence of the young master. (I think it’s amazing how condescending Lee Minho comes out in this scene. He does so much with so little words!)

At school, news of Oh Min Ji having taken the plastic surgery route is widely broadcasted and now everybody is once more sucking up to Jandi like they were her ally all this time. They criticize Min Ji’s use of plastic surgery to beautify herself, but Jandi comes to her defense. Jandi accuse Jin, Sun, Mi and asks haven’t they all had plastic surgery themselves? If they could, why couldn’t Min Ji? Who are they to talk?

After Jandi tells off the crowd, Oh Min Ji comes up to her. She says that she won’t ask for Jandi’s forgiveness, and neither will she say she’s sorry. Jandi slaps her one time for each thing Min Ji says she won’t do.

This exchange between Jandi and Min Ji really bothers me because one of the reasons why the Makino character is supposed to be awesome is that she’s the bigger person in spite of having suffered at the hands of Sakuraku’s character. And so here, when Jandi slaps Min Ji, not once, but twice, it takes away from the reason why Makino is admirable. It’s understandable that Jandi is angry with Min Ji and won’t accept her forgiveness even if she was given it, but I don’t think the slaps were very dignified.

(Also, sucks for the girl who had to play the younger version of Min Ji! The drama people are basically saying that the little girl looked like this in the before shot and that’s why the Min Ji character had to get plastic surgery to look more beautiful. Omg, this is even worse than the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony lipsynching incident.)

After the exchange, Min Ji leaves school. Whether or not she’ll come back is a mystery at the moment.

Now that the veil of evil has been lifted, Gu Jun Pyo announces to the Shinhwa students that from now on, Geum Jandi is his girlfriend. Jandi protests, but as we all know, resistance is futile. Jun Pyo also says that from now on, Jandi’s status is basically elevated to that of Jun Pyo’s — everything she says or does is at “his” level.


The next day, Jandi goes to the F4 lounge to ask why Jun Pyo gifted her family with a thousand new home appliances. Jandi reiterates an earlier point that one can’t buy friends with money and that she doesn’t know how Jun Pyo treated his past girlfriends, but this isn’t the right thing to do . . . to which Jun Pyo adorably replies that he’s never had one.

Jandi looks over and spots that Ji Hoo is chatty and flirty with a lot of women — something that doesn’t really fit his usual quiet demeanor.

Back at school, Jandi’s new status as Jun Pyo’s girlfriend gains her mass popularity and she runs away to her usual balcony spot, where lo and behold, Ji Hoo is also present at. The two have a conversation and Ji Hoo asks Jandi if the news of her dating Jun Pyo is the truth. She stutters, doesn’t say yes, but doesn’t really say no either. Then Ji Hoo catches Jandi off-guard by telling her that he was one step late in the game — that he should’ve asked her out earlier. Eh? Just joking. But maybe they should date behind Jun Pyo’s back? Eh?? JK!

On her way to work, Jandi comes across a somewhat stalkerish Jun Pyo who’s baiting her with a 500 won coin (less than 50 cents). The two are freakishly adorable in this scene. Jandi asks exasperatedly (“Exasperated Jandi” should be made into a catchphrase like “Debbie Downer”) what the hell he’s doing here and Jun Pyo kiddishly tells her that since she got so upset with him when he flowered her family with gifts, he’ll just give her something very, very small this time. And who would’ve thunk she’d be so happy?

Jun Pyo then drags Jandi away from work. The two proceed to shop, hee! Lee Minho’s so good as the spoiled little prince brat who will do annnnything if he doesn’t get something his way. And Jung Sung Rok is awesome as the chief assistant who is so tired of the prince’s crappy behavior but can’t say anything about it.

Nothing special about this scene, but I suppose the point of it is for shippers to squee happily at how cute Jun Pyo is because he’s using his rich boy skillz to buy her all the stuff from the store. Also, when promo pictures of the show were first released, I thought that outfit Jandi wears was something hideous and slightly resembling that a Flintstone would wear. I think the stylist(s) on this show is on crack, always.

All this shopping, it turns out, was in preparation for a trip that F4 was going to take with Jandi and Ga-eul. Jandi argues against going at first but eventually concedes. (Lady, thou doth protest too mucheth.) The crew arrive on New Caledonia and they tour the area since F4 has already been, but the girls haven’t.

Somewhere along the way, Jandi and Ga-eul ditch the boys and go see a fortune teller. The fortune teller mystically tells Jandi that she sees a man, who’s here with her, one of which is her future husband and the other her soulmate. The fortune teller also tells her that Jandi is going to lose something important, “as a woman.”

After the hocus pocus-y of the fortune teller, Jun Pyo grabs Jandi away for a sort of “date.” In turn, he asks Yi Jung to take care of Ga-eul. Yi Jung doesn’t seem as pleased and as smiley as he was the first two times he approached her. Ga-eul wants to take sel-ca pictures, Yi Jung scoffs. Ga-eul wants to explore, Yi Jung thinks the place is not worth exploring. Then Ga-eul plays Yi Jung when she makes him believe that she got hurt. That, she says, was revenge for him grabbing her away from work earlier because he made her believe Jandi as in trouble.

During the bicker couple’s date, Jun Pyo calls up Jandi’s family and they have a chat with Jandi. After the conversation, Jandi looks a bit sad, so Jun Pyo asks,

Jun Pyo: Did I do something wrong?
Jandi: No, Gu Jun Pyo. Thank you.
Jun Pyo: Then why do you look like you’re gonna cry?
Jandi: I really like this place. I just wonder when my parents could come here, because I know they’d be really happy at a place like this.
Jun Pyo: Then come here with them. Come here again with your family. Isn’t that okay?

Jun Pyo proceeds to say that a change of topic is in order. And then he starts to take his shirt off.

Annnnnd scene.

(LOL at the production people for having the audacity to think that Lee Minho preparing to strip is a good cliffhanger. Jeez! We may love him, but we don’t want him that bad.)

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One thing I seriously can’t stand is the mindless romanticism of certain aspects of this story. It blows my mind completely when I read responses similar to, “You know, I wouldn’t mind getting violently attacked if Gu Jun Pyo were the person rescuing me!” Seriously now? The last scene of episode 4 and the first few minutes of episode 5 were really painful for me to watch. Not only was the tormenting unnecessarily harsh (I give Gu Hye Sun huge thumbs up for carrying this scene so nicely), but it’s as if the writers are saying that all Gu Jun Pyo has to do is come, beat up some guys, pet Jandi, say sorry, and everything will be okay. What the eff?

Also, I still don’t feel like Lee Minho and Gu Hye Sun have a really great chemistry on the romantic front, but I guess we have to see more episodes to decide. At the moment it feels very one-sided, and it doesn’t really help that Jandi is always screaming her head off. On the whole, I really do like Gu Hye Sun’s acting but I don’t know why they upped the scream factor so much this episode. Chill pill! Stat.

  • purpletoe

    hahaa.. i love ur recap.. and i totally agree with your theory of the mindless romanticism present in this episode.. lol

  • f

    “You know, I wouldn’t mind getting violently attacked if Gu Jun Pyo were the person rescuing me!”

    I hope you’re kidding.

    • f

      (ack, I actually meant to quote the whole sentence, haha!)

  • Emdash

    I stumbled across your blog while browsing Soompi. I’m enjoying BBF, even though its not a work or art.

    You wrote a good review. You make a lot of good points, but since I don’t tend to over-analyze these types of shows I’m going to have to disagree with you on some of the finer points.

    However, I will say that I do feel chemistry between LMH and GHS. Except I think the chemistry would be better if GHS was a bit more “natural” in her role. I think she excels in the serious scenes, and that’s where I really feel a “romantic chemistry”, but she really needs to cut out the over-exaggerated facial expressions and that thing she does where she curls her chin in. Ugh, it gets on my nerves. And also the screaming. To me it sometimes seems like she’s trying to compensate for the fact that she’s the oldest cast member. Anway, she’s better off bringing across more of her natural personality (the quiet, shy-ish one).

    Also, I agree the music sucks in this series. It’s becoming quite tedious to hear the same poppy songs over and over in each episode. I say fire the current music director and bring in a new one to compose a new OST. I only hope we don’t have to sit through the same OST for the whole of 24 episodes.

    • Amy

      Hi! :)

      I definitely do think that Lee Minho and Gu Hye Sun have chemistry, but at the moment, because of the way the story is set up, I’m not feeling any intense vibes from the two. I mean, compared to Kim Bum and Kim So Eun — who have GREAT chemistry — I don’t think Minho and Hye Sun are there yet. But this is not to say it’s as bad as, let’s say, Hye Sun and Hyunjoong though :P

      The chin curling kills me! I love her acting so much more in the scenes like the last in ep 5 where she’s sad that her parents aren’t at New Caledonia with them, or when she’s upset at the bullying, etc. Overall, I have really no complaints about Hye Sun’s acting, just maybe more at the PD for making her over-emphasize certain expressions.

      • Emdash

        I agree. It seems every single time Jun Pyo does something, it’s the wrong thing which leads to a heavy-handed reprimand from Jan Di haha. I’m looking forward to the change in the two’s relationship when she realises he’s the one she loves. And I pray to the K-drama gods that the eventual kiss between JD and JP will not be as lame as the one between JH and JD.

        Yes, anything is better than “x character” with Ji Hoo lol. I think I should probably cut the actor some slack but I wish the PD would just get this love triangle thing over and done with :( I think Ji Hoo will work better as a character once he fades into the background and becomes a “friend” character.