High Points: Popcorn (ok, her name is Soo-young) leaves without a word and Min-suk follows, eventually getting her to stop and talk. She uses banmal and asks if he is really 18. Then she walks off in a daze and into the street, where Elf-boy grabs her out of the path of an oncoming car. She has a great pillow-fight with her sister and escapes to her hometown to mope. Min-suk is pretty much numb inside and not much good at school or work. Elf-boy's mother attempts suicide and he visits her at the hospital. He is learning to stand up to his father and threatens to reveal their relationship. Stalker (Yoo-ah) befriends Elf-boy and gets him to go to the hometown, where Min-suk walks in on him hugging Soo-young.
What were they thinking? When Soo-young asks Min-suk if he is 18, he says yes, which means he is really 17 because of the Korean custom of counting babies one year old when they are born. Kdramas are fond of noona romances, perhaps because they turn the hierarchical social system on its head. The squicky part is that he is still a minor. He sincerely loves her, though, and she fell in love with him not knowing he was young enough to be off limits. It is proper for her to avoid him and to break up because of the age thing, and also because her sister likes the same guy.
High Points: Soo-young tells the guys not to make a scene because this is a small town and if she is in a scandal she won't be able to get married. Haha! Min-suk entreats her not to quit her job and she makes a big point of getting him to call her “noona.” Elfie tells his dad that his mom is in the hospital and takes Soo-young to visit her. Min-suk is badly injured in a hockey game and told he can't play sports anymore. He reacts by pushing himself to exhaustion and crying in the rain, watched over by his two friends and Yoo-ah. Only then does she tell her sister about the accident. Soo-young meets Min-suk as he is leaving school to go to work. He can hardly believe she is there, as he walks slowly closer and she throws her arms around him.
What were they thinking? Soo-young wants Min-suk to call her noona because it creates distance and makes her an authority figure over him as a younger person. He resists because he wants her to see him as a man on the same level as she is. Everyone is maturing. Elfie is dealing better with his dad, telling him about the hospital but not begging for a visit. Yoo-ah realizes that it doesn't help to push herself on a boy who doesn't care about her and that the only way she can help him is to let him have the person he really wants. It's interesting that she doesn't argue with unni about moving. It's the hierarchy thing again, with unni having the right to make decisions. Soo-young is dithery when not sure of herself but firm when she is. She is kind to Elfie but takes no guff, runs the household but does everything she can to keep her mom and sister happy, and endures heartbreak in setting Min-suk free until she finds out that he really needs her. When she hugs him he puts his arms around her hesitantly, not sure what she intends. Then she lets go and explains and it is so fulfilling the way he hugs her again so tightly as though he will never let her go.