Boys Before Flowers, episode 20


‘Nuff said.

Recap of episode 20

After a nice week of absence, we start anti-climatically with Yi Jung watching over Ga-eul as she works on her pottery technique. Before long, he spots something on the table, a puzzle piece. Yi Jung recognizes it instantly and demands to know from Ga-eul who gave it to her, and Ga-eul replies that it’s her teacher’s. Yi Jung rushes out.

After Yi Jung leaves, Ga-eul puts the pieces together (no pun intended). She remembers what her teacher said, and remembers what Yi Jung said about being scared of making the child cry. Ga-eul can’t believe her realization.

After dropping off her brother, Jandi wanders around the city with her luggage in hand and no destination in sight. She even goes into an underground walkway to try to find shelter for the night, but it’s not safe.

Ji Hoo stops by his grandfather’s clinic. As the lights turn out inside, he panics and leaves quickly so that his grandfather doesn’t spot him.

At home, Jun Hee has a moment to herself when she takes out an old photograph from a planner. She thinks back to the time when she stormed into her mother’s office, demanding to know what she did. She asks how her mother can humiliate him like that, “him” being the person she loved back then. Madam Kang sees no problem with what she did, and besides, he wasn’t right for her in marriage.

Jun Hee insists that he’s the person she loves and that he is the best choice for marriage. If it can’t be him, it can’t be anybody else. Madam Kang stands by her age-old line that as Shinhwa Corporation’s heiress-to-be, she doesn’t have a choice in the matter. As Jun Hee’s mother, she’s doing what she thinks is best. And her best, really BLOWS, might I add.

(I’ve never had a problem with how parenting is portrayed in Kdramas because it’s all something I can relate to, but M. Kang has seriously got to be one of the most hateful, cold, calculating mothers ever. I honestly believe that she’s a good example of how a mother isn’t loving towards her children, and there’s something severely wrong with that.)

Jun Hee feels sad just thinking of the memory, and picks up her phone to place a call.

In the meanwhile, Jandi heads towards the grandpa’s clinic but just a few steps away, she collapses from exhaustion (maybe hunger?). Thankfully, somebody is around to help her, and a stranger picks up her ringing cellphone just in time to tell the person on the other end that Jandi has fainted.

The next morning, Jandi wakes up to see Jun Hee’s face, but not knowing what happened. Jun Hee tells Jandi that it’s a good thing she called at that moment, or else who knows what could’ve happened. And, didn’t she say to tell her about any hardships she was experiencing? They were supposed to do that older sister-younger sister thing.

Jun Hee and Jandi have breakfast together, and Jun Hee insists that Jandi stay at their place for the time being. Gu Mama is away at the moment, so the coast is clear for now. Jandi quips up to say that she’ll stay, but on one condition – she wants to work for it.

When Jun Hee’s happily sewing away at an outfit, Jandi asks her a question. She asks Jun Hee why she still treats her so well, despite Jun Pyo, y’know, being engaged to some other lady. Jun Hee doesn’t directly answer her question, and just presents Jandi the dress she was sewing.

Turns out the dress was…a very ill-fitting maid’s dress. Jandi, in maid gear, is introduced to all the other maids at the Gu McMansion. (Seriously, I know this is a Cinderella-type story where nothing makes sense, but what maids still ACTUALLY dress like they belong in a Stepford Wives’ movie?)

Jun Hee doesn’t have all the say in Jandi’s employment, however. The grandmother maid of the house comes and gives Jandi the once-over and tells her dryly that it’s not enough to “work hard” in this house – you have to be perfect. Oh shit, game on.

First thing Jandi has to learn? How to clean stuff and how to name fancy food stuff. Chambeltin, shrimp carpaccio, white truffle aioli…y’know. That sort of stuff.

Test time. Jun Pyo comes home from school one day and the young master is hungry, so he best be fed. Jandi presents the food to him while he’s reading the newspaper, and mistake number one: plates clatter noisily when she sets them down in front of him. Mistake number two: she can’t remember the name of the food she gave him.

And then the funniest 10 seconds of the entire series so far: Jun Pyo lowers his newspaper to see the stern face of the grandmother maid looking at him and he gets quite a scare, asking, “Grandmother, you’re still alive?!”

L-O-friggin’-L.

Jun Pyo seems honestly taken aback with the grandmother and — dare I say it? – scared of the prospect of her return, because he thought she was off being the principal of butler school.

Jun Pyo takes note of the girl hiding behind the grandmother, asking her if she’s a new student or something and Jandi is forced to greet him. She zips in and out of a greeting before Jun Pyo can see her face, but the granny will have none of it. Jandi gives up and turns to fully face Jun Pyo before greeting him. Jun Pyo is speechless that it’s Geum Jandi and the granny announces that from now on, Jandi will be his personal maidservant. Fun times.

After the encounter, Jandi begs and begs the granny not to make her be Gu Jun Pyo’s personal maidservant. Granny won’t yield and tells her again that in this house, one can’t do whatever they want to do (well, unless you’re of the name Gu).

Back in her room, Jandi laments and says that maybe she shouldn’t be here and that she’s only here because of Jun Hee anyway. Just then, her train of thought is interrupted by a voice coming through a walkie-talkie, “Ah, Geum Jandi. Gu Jun Pyo’s personal Geum Jandi. Answer please.” Jandi’s confused, but she answers and Jun Pyo goes on to request, “Geum Jandi. Come to my room immediately. Copy. Over.” Someone’s having too much fun with a handset, methinks.

And then we see Jun Pyo genuinely smile for the first time since, oh, I don’t know, the hay-days of pre-episode 13. He silently counts to himself as Jandi stomps into his room. He tells her that it took her three minutes to get there, but it better be reduced to one minute next time. He also tells her that he wants tasty ramen within the next 10 minutes, to which Jandi refuses vehemently, but when the granny steps out and gives her the look, Jandi can do nothing but comply. Jun Pyo is filled with absolute glee and gives granny the thumbs up of approval. Aw.

So Jandi goes and fulfills the ramen request. When she brings the finished product to Jun Pyo, he demands to know where the pot the ramen usually comes in is. Jandi fixes the meal and brings it to him one more time, this time the ramen in a pot. Jun Pyo is pleased, and as Jandi gets ready to go, he asks her where she’s going, because he wants her to sit right there until he’s done.

By the time he is done, Jandi has fallen asleep in his chair. Jun Pyo takes a blanket and places it over her, and then sits down and watches Jandi’s sleeping figure. The maids outside are having a peeping party looking at the two, and before long, the granny maid shoos them all away and watches with a smile as Jun Pyo continues to look at Jandi while she sleeps.

The next morning, granny wakes Jandi up bright and early to tend to the young master. Jand is aghast that she has to be up this early to tend to the bugger. As she nears Jun Pyo’s room, Jandi sees the other maids all grouped outside, panicking to each other about possibly being fired. (When are they going to learn that Jun Pyo doesn’t remember half the things he says?)

Time to show Jun Pyo who’s boss. Jandi goes into Jun Pyo’s room and tries to get him out of bed. When Jun Pyo mistakes her for another one of the maids and threatens to fire her if she tries to wake him up one more time, he gets jabbed wildly at with Jandi’s duster. He has no choice to wake up, only to realize it’s Jandi. And so not only does he have to get his butt out of bed, he has to take back his firing threats in front of the maids. Score one for downsizing Jun Pyo’s enormous young master temper. After Jun Pyo irritatedly stalks back into his room, Jandi’s left as hero of the maidservants, hurrah!

Meanwhile, Yi Jung has found his way to where Eun Jae works (yes, I’m sure that was velly hard). Eun Jae is surprised to see him, and Yi Jung remarks how hard it’s been to locate her. Meanwhile, Ga-eul witnesses the exchange and is heartbroken.

At the porridge shop, Jandi and Ga-eul bond over their miserable love lives. Jandi’s the maidservant for someone she doesn’t want to work for, and Ga-eul’s love is in love with someone else. Halfway into their lament, Jae Kyung comes in and asks where Jandi’s moved to because she couldn’t find her at her old place. Always a quick one on her feet, Ga-eul tells Jae Kyung that Jandi’s moved into her house and they now currently share a room. Not one to question what friends present as the truth, Jae Kyung asks the two to pack her a portion of porridge. It’s for Jun Pyo because he’s apparently sick. Jandi, our everlong idiot starts to say that Jun Pyo can’t be sick, she just saw him this morning before Ga-eul shuts her up, lest Jae Kyung find out about her current living arrangements.

At the clinic, Jandi helps out with the patients. After the clinic closes for the day, she goes into the grandpa’s room, only to come across him clutching his chest in pain. Jandi admonishes him for living by himself without help, but there’s nothing he can do about that anyway. Yet.

Jandi shows up at Ji Hoo’s place and asks him if he has any rooms to spare, which he does. What he doesn’t know is that Jandi brought his grandfather over. Awwwkward.

At dinner, Jun Pyo demands to know where his personal maidservant is. He’s just about to reiterate using Jandi’s name, but Woobin’s present, and he doesn’t want him to know, so he cuts himself off. “The new girl. The master has to take his meal and she’s not even around!” Woobin’s curiosity piques, but not before granny maid steps in to tell Jun Pyo that today is Saturday. And that means that she is under no obligation to work, because she works five days a week.

Before they can continue with the logistics of working five days a week, Jae Kyung’s arrival is announced. She feels him up because she’s under the impression that he’s not well. Woobin asks where he’s not feeling well but Jun Pyo quickly shakes his head to indicate that he’s..not really sick. Jae Kyung babies Jun Pyo with food and Woobin makes fun of him. All’s well in a boy’s world.

At Ji Hoo’s place, Jandi helps the grandpa set up his room. Grandpa scolds at her for meddling, but Jandi tells him that it’s about time they reconciled. How much longer do they have to be “mentally ready” for the reconciliation — isn’t 15 years enough preparing? Jandi lightly threatens (ha) the grandpa that if he doesn’t cooperate, she’s going to spill all his health secrets. Before she goes, the grandpa asks if she thinks he’ll forgive him. She smiles and reassures him that he’s still his grandfather, and if he doesn’t listen…well, just give him a few slaps. That ought to do it.

When Jandi goes up to Ji Hoo, who’s indulging in his favorite pastime of looking forlornly at inanimate objects, he asks her what was going on. Jandi tells him, “Both you and grandpa need family, I just helped you look for it.” Ji Hoo says, “Geum Jandi, I –” before Jandi cuts him off, guessing that the wants to say that he’s not mentally ready yet, because grandpa said the same thing.

So how long exactly will it take you to be prepared? Don’t you feel that it’s not necessary? I told you before, didn’t I? Nobody can understand all of one person, but I can understand the kind of person he is. The Ji Hoo sunbae I know really loves his father and misses him. So he should be able to forgive him.

When Jandi gets back to her room, she sits down in exhaustion. Then, she jolts when a voice comes through the walkie talkie: Jun Pyo wants to know if she’s back yet, and then demands that she go to his room. She tells him to call again on Monday after 5. Silence, and then Jun Pyo replies, “What if I want to raise your pay?” To this, Jandi’s interest is piqued.

Jandi gets to Jun Pyo’s room and he drags her over to the seating area, and then dims the lights and starts to play a movie. The movie is a scary one (looks like it’s “Gosa,” which starred Kim Bum) and because we know Jun Pyo’s a huge wussy, he jumps at every little thing and then finally, they both jump into each others embrace. (Contrivances? NAHHHH.) After Jandi disentangles herself from Jun Pyo, she leaves the room.

But before long, Jandi rushes back in because Jae Kyung’s coming up. With the both of them in panic, Jandi does the only thing that seems plausible for her: hide in Jun Pyo’s closet. When Jae Kyung comes into the room, she tells Jun Pyo that she wants to watch a movie with him. She’s always wanted to watch it, but didn’t want to watch it alone because it was scary.

Semi-coerced into doing so, Jun Pyo watches the movie with Jae Kyung, leaving Jandi in the closet. He falls asleep while watching it, and after the movie is over, Jae Kyung notices his sleeping figure and covers him up with a blanket, kissing him softly before leaving.

After Jae Kyung leaves, Jun Pyo wakes up and lingers a look in Jae Kyung’s direction before he realizes that Jandi’s still in his closet. He rushes over to open up the closet, only to find that Jandi has fallen asleep amongst his shirts. He crouches down and looks longingly at Jandi for a few moments before picking her up and taking her to her room. Granny maid comes from her room and watches the two of them.

In the morning, Ji Hoo wakes to the sound of utensils clankering outside. He goes to see what the source of noise is and finds that his grandfather made breakfast. When his grandfather notices him, he tells him to eat the food he’s made — they were some of his favorite dishes as a kid. Ji Hoo doesn’t relent, he says he’s not hungry and heads back in. Just as he does, his grandfather stops him and hands him a cookie, but Ji Hoo doesn’t take it.

After grandpa has gone, Ji Hoo comes back out to take a drink of water. He notices the food and sits down to eat. As he finishes, he gets up and notices across the table that his grandfather pushed his peas off to the side and didn’t eat them — just like Ji Hoo himself. Welll, whaddya know.

Jae Kyung storms into Jandi’s room and asks Jandi why she treated her like that, why she betrayed their friendship. Jandi tries to explain, but Jae Kyung doesn’t want to hear it and slaps her across the face.

SIKE! That was a dream! Gotcha fooled, eh? Sure fooled me.

Jandi wakes up in horror, clutching her face. Those with guilty consciences have guilty dreams and Jandi’s uncomfortable with the prospect of Jae Kyung discovering her here. Before long, she gets a phone call and speak of the devil, it’s Jae Kyung. She asks Jandi what she has planned for today, but Jandi, with the dream still fresh in her mind, tells Jae Kyung that she’s very, very busy.

Jandi’s plan for the day is to go to Ji Hoo’s house, pick the both of them up and go to the clinic together. While the grandpa tends to his patients, Jandi hands out tea to the waiting visitors and before long, a mother is called in so she hands Jandi her baby to take care of. Jandi delegates the giving-out-tea job to Ji Hoo and Ji Hoo reluctantly does his job. Before long, Ji Hoo starts playing the harmonica (oh jebus, when are they going to stop the fake instrument playing?) to entertain the visitors. Jandi claps him on and his grandfather listens with sadness in his office.

Back to emo Yi Jung. He’s looking at the puzzle pieces that he and Eun Jae own. In a conversation he had with Eun Jae when he brought her over to the gallery, Yi Jung recounts their childhood memories together at the gallery. Eun Jae asks how Yi Jung’s mother is, and he replies that she’s the same ol’ same ol’. She goes on to ask how he was doing, and Yi Jung says, “Curious? Are you curious? Then why did you do that?” He wants to know why she just got up and left like that.

Yi Jung: You’re like the air by my side, leaving as you wish. If you understood the feeling of fear that took over me when you disappeared, you wouldn’t have done that.
Eun Jae: I’m not like the air. I’m more like the wind you mistook for air; the wind by your side has made up an illusion — thinking that as long as it was willing to, it’ll be able to stay where it wanted.
Yi Jung: I…don’t understand what you’re saying.
Eun Jae: Once the wind leaves, it doesn’t come back.

Yi Jung is lying on his bench, clutching to his puzzle piece. Ga-eul drops by and Yi Jung hides his puzzle piece before telling her that he wants to sleep for a bit, so he wants to talk another time. Ga-eul calls him out on trying to play cool with his aloofness in front of her, and at this, Yi Jung doesn’t react so kindly, telling her to be quiet and to leave immediately.

Ga-eul refuses, and tells Yi Jung that she won’t be quiet. “It’s because you’re wandering through your life listlessly that I’m speaking up. Sunbae, you’re a liar. You’re spoiled. You’re a vulgar coward.” Now Yi Jung is really annoyed, but she continues anyway,

You said you were afraid of hurting that person…you pretended to not know, didn’t you? No, that’s not it. You were afraid of getting hurt yourself, that’s why you were scared. You’re scared that the person will find out you fled without making promises. The brutally cool So Yi Jung is only a facade. But, the So Yi Jung that I like is afraid of love and is afraid of separation. He’s like a child.

At this, she hands him back the puzzle piece that belongs to Eun Jae and takes her leave. Before she goes, she says one last thing, “In front of the thing they like, children are never indecisive. Because even they know that if they lost their chance to get it, they would cry.”

Yi Jung looks at the two puzzle pieces before getting up to go.

(Not sure at this point if it’s to follow Ga-eul or to go look for Eun Jae, but I presume it’s the latter because Yi Jung doesn’t know a good thing even if it danced in front of him in a tea cozy. Also, that line from Ga-eul about children and how they cry, nicely done. Props to the writer.)

The clinic closes for the day and Jandi thanks Ji Hoo. She tells him that it’s because of her that he’s done another thing for the first time (so why is she thanking him…?). Ji Hoo offers to give her a ride, but Jandi declines and grandpa comes out just in time. It’s awkward, but Jandi make sure the two get on the car together.

Back to work it is. Jandi goes into Jun Pyo’s room to try and wake him up and as usual, it proves to be a difficult job. Just as she tries to yank him out of bed, Jun Pyo pulls her down on top of him and says,

Just stay like this for five minutes. Then I’ll get up. Even if I hold you like this, it doesn’t feel like you’re by my side.

The two share a look but then Jae Kyung enters the room and scramble as Jandi may try, Jae Kyung sees the two of together.

Annnnnd scene.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Regarding Yi Jung/Ga-eul — I’ve long since abandoned the notion of shipping the two because Yi Jung is incredibly sexist and Ga-eul is incredibly naive. They’re just hard to like as individual characters, let alone be put together. But, at this point, I would like to see Yi Jung and Ga-eul get together because while I primarily do not give a rat’s ass who Yi Jung ends up with, Ga-eul deserves to be with the person she likes. She’s a little childish and Yi Jung takes advantage of that, but let’s face it, nobody knows Yi Jung’s shames and fears in the way that Ga-eul does. And for the sake of having a nice Kdrama wrap-up, I hope they don’t go the J-version route with this one.