Boys Before Flowers, episode 12
See, there IS a reason why Kdramas make you twist and squirm with the angst overload. It’s build-up, build-up, tears, screaming, tears, more screaming, false alarms EVERY WHICH WAY — but then you hit the climax and it’s almost a moment of catharsis. (Okay, I’m making this episode sound like it’s the second coming of [insert your preferred deity here] or something. It’s not, but as someone who’s been rooting for something, it’s finally nice to see the fruits of my, er, labor.)
Recap of episode 12
Continuing from our kidnap scene. Jae Ha reveals to Jandi that yeah, this is his doing, and he’s also in on it with Jun Pyo’s mother. If Jandi will just stay by his side, he was going to consider giving her half the money he’s receiving from Madam Kang. Jandi’s in disbelief. Jae Ha’s out for revenge and he means business.
Then Jandi hears noises from outside — noises that tell her Jun Pyo is here and that he’s getting quite a beating. Once he gets dragged into the warehouse, the first thing he says is, “Geum Jandi! Are you okay?” Jandi asks why the hell he came. Jae Ha offers Jun Pyo an ultimatum — give up Jandi, or die. Jun Pyo refuses, and reallllly starts getting a beating. He can’t do anything to fight back.
This was scene was quite difficult to watch, because well, it’s weird watching Jun Pyo powerless, which I guess is the point. Jandi is really upset, she’s crying, and she can’t do anything. (WHICH DOESN’T MAKE SENSE, because she already had her hands untied and those ropes around her middle are so shoddily thrown around that I wouldn’t be surprised if a dog could untie ‘em.)
When Jae Ha gets really angry that Jun Pyo won’t say what he wants him to say, he grabs a chair and gets ready to do something deadly with it. It’s at this moment that Jandi throws herself over Jun Pyo and the chair is slammed down onto her. (Okay, I know it’s a camera-trick-of-the-eye thing and that chair is probably constructed out of hollow paper or something, but that would do some SERIOUS internal damage to the body. Thank god it’s a drama!)
Right at this time, F3 come. This scene had me in hysterics because it was so badly done. Starting off with bronze medalist Song Woobin, he drop kicks some whoopass on our bad guys. Then with silver medalist So Yi Jung, he does some fancy legwork and knocks out some other guys. Finally, our gold medalist Yoon Ji Hoo dodges punch after punch from Jae Ha, and then manages to twist Jae Ha’s arm, effectively locking him in place. I mean, WHAT THE HELL, Jae Ha is an evil genius and he gets stunned into place because Ji Hoo has his arm in a twist? Okay, okay, I’ll relax at the absurdity.
Yi Jung and Woobin rush over to a badly beaten Jun Pyo who’s holding onto an unconscious Jandi and eventually, Jun Pyo loses consciousness himself.
Jandi wakes up to find herself in a hospital bed, with Jun Pyo sitting in a wheelchair looking over her. It’s kind of adorable both are badly hurt and STILL bicker about the other being an idiot. Jun Pyo asks Jandi if she knows how much of a scare he got. And who told her to throw herself in front of an attack when he was already half-beaten to death? They both call each other a host of nice names, but we know by now that it’s all out of affection. Ji Hoo, on the other hand, is outside the hospital room getting ready to deliver Jandi some flowers, but upon hearing the couple arguing, sets them outside.
Afterward, Jandi goes home to find it in a state of disarray. The furniture is all over the room, odds-and-ends have been thrown onto the floor, and Jandi’s mom and Kang San are crying in the living room. Turns out that Jandi’s dad has been kidnapped and if they don’t pay the requested ransom, who knows what will happen to her dad.
Out of desperation, Jandi’s mom goes to the Gu McMansion to ask for help. She tells Madam Kang that she’s really, really sorry and asks for her forgiveness. Jun Pyo’s mom smirks, but doesn’t answer. When Jandi’s mom gets no response, she gets desperate and takes out the bowl of salt she brought with her. She dowses herself with the entire bowl, just like she did with Jun Pyo’s mom in an earlier episode. At this, Jun Pyo’s mom is really amused. She gets up, walks over to Jandi’s mom and offers her a hand.
(This scene was so fucking depressing to watch and it is a good example of the harsh realities of classicism. Within our group of protagonist teenagers, we can maybe make excuses for them for not being aware of the implications of class difference. But in a situation where there are two adults who know exactly the situation they’re in and the situation the other person is in, it’s really hard to swallow a scene like this.
On the one hand, if Jun Pyo’s mom is similar to Jun Pyo and was just smirking out of pleasure because the other party has to humble themselves and apologize, that doesn’t bother me too much. On the other hand, if she was smirking out of condescension and is pleased with just how low Jandi’s mom has to go in order to get some help, that’s the kind of thing that really stabs you in the gut. The severity of this kind of prejudice is really unjustifiable and maybe one of the harshest realities that this drama has shown.
And it’s like, WHAT gives one group of people the power to have to force another in a less fortunate circumstance to have to go through this sort of humiliation? How should this be reconciled? I know this is too much to ask, but hopefully the drama writers will do a good job with this theme.)
Back at home, Jandi’s dad is back. Jandi notices that they’re not exactly joyous that dad’s back and asks what’s up. Jandi’s mom takes out two briefcases, filled with money. Her dad is extremely upset at the fact that his wife had to essentially go beg for money. His pride tells the rest of them that there had to have been another way to solve this, and that he’ll take all the responsibility of returning the money. Jandi’s mom insists that there could’ve been no other way, and Jandi’s dad gets up and leaves in anger.
Jandi finds her dad out by the playground, sitting in a swing. Jandi’s dad asks his daughter sadly if she really does like Jun Pyo. Jandi doesn’t answer but her dad makes a guess about it anyway. He laments, “Ah, I’ve given our beautiful daughter’s romance such a heavy burden.” Jandi insists that it’s not lurve, but Jandi’s dad, again, knows better. He tells her, no, it really is love.
Time for Jandi to pay Gu mom a visit. She brings back the suitcases of money and thanks Jun Pyo’s mom for the help, but no thanks. Madam Kang tells her that if she were smart, she should reconsider what she’s about to do. Jandi tells her plainly that they’ve made a decision as a family and that they won’t use her money for help. Madam Kang snidely makes a remark about Jandi’s family and their lack of pride. Jandi smiles bravely and retorts back that you can’t buy pride, and you can’t put a price on pride. She made a promise to Jun Pyo saying that she won’t ever leave him because of reasons having to do with his mom, and a promise is a promise.
Jandi’s in a bad mood when she leaves the Shinhwa building, so much so that she doesn’t see Ji Hoo’s wave when she exits the elevator. She sits down on the stairs to wallow when Ji Hoo tells her that help has arrived. Her firefighter is here.
What better way to cheer her up than to feed her? Ji Hoo makes pancakes for her to eat. Then, he asks if she’s ready to go. Go where?
Skiing! As we must whenever we introduce a new sport into the story, we get F4 expertly showing off their skills. Well, Woobin, Yi Jung and Jun Pyo do anyway. Ji Hoo is back in the lodge reading books and sipping tea. COME ON, MAN.
F4 are lounging around and Jun Pyo plays around with a necklace. Yi Jung makes fun of him for it and says that it has a “proposal” feeling to it. Jun Pyo is embarrassed, but I don’t feel too bad for him because if you’re gonna be embarrassed about being made fun of, don’t swing the necklace around in front of your buds. F3 ganders that knowing Jun Pyo, the necklace will never make it into the hands of Jandi. And knowing Jandi? She’ll never wear it.
Meanwhile, Ji Hoo is hanging out with Jandi (again). He’s strumming on his guitar and Jandi is listening appreciatively. After he’s done, he makes a request of her.
Jun Pyo is contemplating on the balcony of the lodge when Jandi bumps into him. Turns out that Ji Hoo set the both of them up and gave Jun Pyo his much needed nudge. The two sip their coffees and share a minute before Jun Pyo gives Jandi his coat. It’s cold, annnnnd she should feel something in the pocket. Yep, yep, it’s the necklace.
Jandi laughs at it at first, but Jun Pyo explains to her that it’s one of a kind, he got it made especially for her. It’s a necklace with a star encasing a moon. Jun Pyo explains that it’s a moon that can never escape its orbit around the planet.
(Face, meet palm. Head, meet desk.)
Jandi and Ga-eul emerge from the bathroom the next day and they’re both chatting about the necklace. Jandi reveals to Ga-eul that she feels burdened by it, despite Ga-eul’s belief that this is the most romantic thing EVAR. After the conversation is over, Ga-eul spots Woobin and Yi Jung going out to ski and she determinedly grabs Jandi to go with her. Where? To ski, of course!
Back in the bathroom, The Tarty Three have overheard that the necklace Jun Pyo gave Jandi is one of a kind, and they fume over it. Naturally, they come up with a plan.
When Jandi and Ga-eul are skiing, the Trio “accidentally” knock into Jandi, causing her to fall. Under the guise of helping her back up, they make a snatch for her necklace. Ga-eul watches on from a distance, and before long, a more expert skier is gliding down the slopes, making his way down to Ga-eul. Jandi tells Ga-eul to watch out, annnnd of course Ga-eul is so shocked that she can’t even move away from the incoming collision. Luckily, she was standing right next to a chatty Yi Jung and Woobin. Yi Jung spots Ga-eul, rushes over and knocks her out of the skier’s way. He thinks that Ga-eul’s passed out and anxiously tries to get her to wake up, and once she does, asks if she’s okay. Ga-eul, realizing their proximity, satisfactorily smiles till rainbows burst in her vision. (And MY GOD, Kim Bum has a tiny, tiny face.)
Back in her office, Madam Kang is having a very agitated conversation with her husband. Things are not looking good with his health and there’s Shinhwa to consider. After he hangs up on her, Madam Kang calls Secretary Jung to find Jun Pyo; they have to make an overseas trip soon.
Jandi is having some food with Ga-eul when Ga-eul asks Jandi where her necklace is. Jandi realizes in alarm that her necklace is in fact not on her neck. Both of them share silent looks of panic.
Jun Pyo, on his way somewhere, comes across the Tarty Three. Ginger asks if Jun Pyo gave Jandi a necklace and Jun Pyo asks how she knows about it. Does he…think that maybe she hasn’t been wearing it? Alarm signs, alarm signs.
Meanwhile, Jandi is back in her room, searching in a frenzy. Her clothes are strewn everywhere and she gets onto all fours looking on the floor. It’s at this moment that Jun Pyo comes in. He asks her if she’s looking for something. Where’s the necklace? Jandi admits that she’s wrong, and that she didn’t mean it, but Jun Pyo won’t have it. He tells her that every time he shows his sincerity, she pushes it away. Girls like her tire him. He leaves.
Jandi thus then goes around asking people in the lodge if they’ve seen a necklace looking like hers. Nobody has anything for her when of course, her favorite three biatches in the world come up.
Jun Pyo is outside, pelting a snowman with snow (…would you also like to shoot water at a fish, Jun Pyo??) out of anger when he hears footsteps. We see for the millionth time that Jun Pyo has THE biggest soft spot for Jandi, because he’s so pleased with himself, thinking that the footsteps are Jandi’s, who’s come to reconcile with him. Turns out, they’re his bodyguards’, and they’ve been sent to bring him back home. He refuses, and gets into a fight with them, but eventually gets out-numbered.
Back in the lodge, F3 are lounging around and the news tells them that there’s a blizzard warning in effect. At this moment, Ga-eul rushes in and tells them that Jandi’s up in the mountains. She’s gone to look for her necklace. Ji Hoo asks, “Where is Jun Pyo right now?”
Jun Pyo, in the middle of his car ride, gets a phonecall, presumably from one of F3. He has a face of alarm when he hears the message, and then announces that he has to use the restroom.
Meanwhile, Jandi’s out in the snow, going up the ski slope looking for her necklace. She’s going up only under the heed of the Tarty Three and try as she might, she can’t spot the necklace.
Back at the lodge, two of the three mean girls wonder if maybe they’ve gone a little bit too far this time. It’s snowing harder now, something might happen to Jandi. Ginger insists that this is Jandi’s own doing and if she didn’t provoke them, they wouldn’t have to react. Ji Hoo overhears the conversation and asks in anger what they’ve done to Jandi.
Meanwhile, at the restroom stop, Jun Pyo pulls a bait-and-switch on his bodyguards and manages to get out of their careful watch. He tries to hitch a ride to get back to the ski lodge, and all the while we hear F3′s messages to him, “Jandi has gone up the mountain to look for her necklace,” and “Something might happen to Jandi.” Then he yells “STOP THE CAR” as he stands straight in front of a freight truck and I truly laugh my ass off at the intense echo-effect and the over-dramatic undertones.
Jandi continues to search and finally, her body gives in. She hears Jun Pyo’s warning about losing the necklace in her head as she slowly fades. Meanwhile, Jun Pyo drives a snow mobile up to find Jandi. The mobile gives in half way and he continues to look for her anyway. He spots her lying in the snow and when Jandi realizes he’s there, she insists that she was looking for your heart, and that she didn’t mean to lose it on purpose. (SO SAD.) Jun Pyo panics and asks her, “Who let you do that?!” He carries her to look for some shelter.
Meanwhile, at the ski lodge, Ji Hoo decides that he has to go look for Jandi. Yi Jung and Woobin stop him, saying that it’s pointless at the moment and it’s way too dangerous.
Jun Pyo brings Jandi to an abandoned wooden cabin. He scuttles around looking for a way to warm up the place. He tries to make sure she’s still awake, and decides to take out of her wet clothes because she’ll just end up freezing to death. He consoles her and says that everything will be okay, he’s here.
Turns out Jun Pyo’s taken off her clothes to replace them with his own. Ummmm, so now we have a half-naked Lee Minho cowering in the cold and Jandi in his clothes.
Perfect. (I mean, what?!) Jandi tells him to get under the coat, and he’s all shy at first, but upon her insistence, does so. Jandi tells him that she’s sorry, but Jun Pyo doesn’t think she should apologize. Besides, now she owes him — he saved her life and she better not forget.
As a form of repayment, he wants to eat bento food — the stuff that she ate the first time he ever met her (which was technically ice cream…). Jandi’s confused at first, but remembers that she was eating eggrolls. She’s surprised and even wonders in amazement if he really is the Gu Jun Pyo she knows. But, she’ll make it for him. And when she does, they should enjoy it, together. Jun Pyo leans in for a kiss, and OMG, *whips out Jun Pyo/Jandi flag*
The next morning, F3 and Ga-eul are waiting around anxiously for their return. When they see the two come back, they’re all relieved like whoa. Ji Hoo returns Jandi’s necklace to her.
Jandi is true to her word. She works hard on putting together the bento, and on the day of their meet-up, she waits a long, lonnnng time for Jun Pyo. Just when maybe she started to despair, she thought back about that time he waited four hours in the snow for her, and she felt better.
Breaking news — Shinhwa Group’s president, Jun Pyo’s father Gu Bon Hyung, is terminally ill. He fainted all of a sudden during a meeting and hasn’t gained consciousness yet. Ji Hoo watches this bit of news on TV when he gets a phone call.
Jandi’s still waiting at her spot for Jun Pyo when Ji Hoo comes rolling up in his motorbike. He tells her to hurry, there’s not much time left to catch Jun Pyo.
Jun Pyo paces around anxiously in a waiting room with his mom and Secretary Jung. A flight attendant, I presume, comes in to tell them everything’s ready.
Ji Hoo brings Jandi to the airport field. Jandi watches the plane take off and starts to cry,
I didn’t even get to say thanks. I didn’t even get to say I like him.
Meanwhile, on the plane, Jun Pyo looks uneased. Cut back to the scene with Ji Hoo and Jandi, Jandi gets a text from Jun Pyo,
I’m going to return quickly. Wait for me patiently.
I love you, Geum Jandi.
Jun Pyo looks sadly at a picture of Jandi on his phone.
Okay, so it took:
red card #1 getting drugged “immodest” pictures a destroyed bike some SERIOUSLY traumatic school hazing red card #2 getting gassed getting kidnapped losing consciousness in a blizzard
for a “Saranghanda.”
Um, can we get a freaking “WHOOPDEEDOO” here?
So we know that Jun Pyo really, really likes Jandi. But one of the problems is that Jun Pyo doesn’t know the weight of his words and the damage they’ll cause. In school, his status as leader of F4 is irrefutable and his actions undisputed. His direct orders are obeyed. But then we get into the tricky stuff. Once Jun Pyo so much as says one little, “From now on, I don’t know you anymore,” the results are ridiculously devastating and damaging.
And now, Jun Pyo just throws out a “Girls like you really tire me” and Jandi’s crawling in snow looking for a tiny necklace. Looking for a needle in a haystack, anyone? Of course, it’s meant to be a plot contrivance to get the two together and realize their mistakes and blah blah but Jun Pyo as a character could probably learn a thing or two about 1) not saying things without knowing what they mean, 2) not getting upset at every little thing that doesn’t go his way.
As for the scenes dealing with Jun Pyo’s mom and Jandi’s parents, I’ve already touched on the class issues, but let’s just say that this is a great emotional pitch present in the K-version that the J-version doesn’t even come CLOSE in imitating. And so yes, K-dramas can get laggy because of the huge amounts of emotional investment they sometimes force upon the viewers, but in a situation like this and with storylines like these, emotion makes them all the more human, and it’s easier to sympathize.