Jung-hoo's countless list of feels: Episode 8


 Jung-hoo's countless list of feels: Episode 8

It’s not hard to see why Jung-hoo had come to distrust the world that he lives in, because in his eyes, people are not what they seem. A loving mother who felt compelled to abandon him, a father who gave up on life, sabu, who up and left after having nurtured him for years, classmates who “went easy on him” out of derision and pity, and teachers who tried to understand him with very little tact and professionalism – people who typically make up the foundations of a functioning society, are the very people who stripped Jung-hoo of a life of normalcy, forcing him to lead somewhat of a dysfunctional existence, whereby living life itself became somewhat cumbersome. Putting it bluntly, his faith in people had shattered a long time ago…that is until Yong-shin came along, and showered him with concern. From that moment, any resentment he had towards feelings of understanding and interest became the past tense.

The moment when Yong-shin shoots him with a dozen questions regarding whether or not he’s okay, having figured out he sounded a little blue; I love that he doesn’t respond straightaway, but is visibly consoled by her voice. She called at a time when he was feeling lonely and isolated, chaining himself to the pains of his childhood during which he’d learnt not to expect anything from people. The sadness and despair he felt in that moment was only heightened by the return of his sabu who, instead of understanding his pain, made fun of his wanting to cry. But it is Yong-shin who picked up on his downtrodden mood, providing him with that much needed solace. I like how she picked up on his formal address as being a sign of his despair; it certainly brought a comforting smile to his face.

If looks could speak a thousand words, then this would be the moment. When Moon-ho lies to Yong-shin about his dealings with Healer, Jung-hoo’s expression mirrors the heartbreak and pain felt by Yong-shin (two-fold). In some other drama perhaps, the same look would portray sympathy, maybe a little guilt, leaving audiences to murmur, “awww”. But here, we’re made to connect to the heartbreak on both sides; Jung-hoo’s heart doesn’t just break, it shatters. Like all the other times he stares at her intensely, he doesn’t just feel her pain; he takes them on as his own, and puts himself in her position. 

In a moment of empathy, Jung-hoo’s tortured gaze has him take back his words. He doesn't wish to be misunderstood, not by Yong-shin, nor does he wish for her to leave him alone. It hurts him more than anything to think that he is the cause of her pain, and to have crushed her faith in both Healer, and Moon-ho. His eyes convey the truth he wants to relay to her in that very moment if he could, and to save her from her self proclaimed humiliation. Jung-hoo as Healer has never had to answer to anybody, as he’s never made it his concern, but here, it affects him deeply. For him it’s clear, what she thinks, matters. And the fact that he can’t come out and say it, visibly kills him inside.

It’s a small moment, but an extremely affectionate one. I love how he supports her head in the car when she falls asleep. He doesn't even hesitate any more and naturally reaches out his hand whenever she needs it. I also like how he doesn't feign ignorance, but keeps his mood sombre to match hers, knowing how tiring it must have been for her to hear all that from Moon-ho. Her usual bubbly spirit would have her singing her pain away, but here, he lets her sleep it off, supporting her firmly without disrupting her.

Ah, the smile he sends her way whenever her actions prove unexpected. His initial reaction upon seeing all the gangster ajhussis was to drive her away from the scene, literally. But when he sees her dancing away with them in good spirits, showing their close bond, his mood instantly perks up seeing her smile so happily.

When he’s fixing the camera, I love that he keeps his eyes on Yong-shin from time to time, always aware of her surroundings. It’s a small but nice moment, during which Ahjumma kindly relates a tidbit about his own father, and his ability to fix anything - any relation to his father’s memory makes Jung-hoo break out into a smile, showing how important family is to him, despite his wanting to be alone in the world.

In that same moment, Ahjumma relays his next assignment (read: warning) by Moon-ho: “avoid any personal contact with Yong-shin”.  Any other client, he’d happily oblige, but with Yong-shin, he’d long stopped treating her as a mere assignment, relegating Moon-ho to the position of a third-wheel. The moment he, with childish vigour, makes “personal contact” with Yong-shin (in a classic ET style motion);though a moment of comedy, it also displays how lightly he takes to Moon-ho’s orders. For some time now, his reasons for remaining next to Yong-shin has more to do with his own personal feelings, than to serve Moon-ho’s own agenda.  And I love how he thinks to challenge it with pettiness – the type of battle which makes one sigh in exasperation, “boys!”

In the next moment, he captures Yong-shin’s sadness through the lens of a camera; after a bout of WTF expressions whilst looking at her array of camera test poses, the mood suddenly becomes tense when she mentions how she’d been rejected by two of her crushes. I love that behind the camera lens is the one place he can confront her directly and reveal himself as Jung-hoo. It’s a nice way of intertwining the narrative about truth and media, whereby Yong-shin uses it as a tool to relay her version of the truth, and Jung-hoo captures it for her. And you can see the guilt building up inside of him for not being able to reciprocate her feelings by clearing away the misunderstandings. His heart breaks and he lifts his head to look at her directly when he hears her declaration of wanting to forget him (Healer) like it was some kind of sad dream. He’s clearly not happy with the outcome of her wanting to forget their last encounter, as it pains him to see her come to that decision.

Another small moment that I really enjoyed was the moment Jung-hoo realised it was his birthday. The fact that Sabu remembered it for him clearly warms his heart, despite being abandoned by him. Jung-hoo’s ecstatic response indicates that what he really wants is to be accepted by the world, and to receive the love and attention of people who matter most, showing that it’s the small things that count.

The moment he hears the possibility of Yong-shin being caught in a trap, his moment of joy lays forgotten and he gets overcome with panic, causing him to break harshly and pause for deep breaths. For Healer, any other job of this nature would have him calm and collected, taking calculated steps, but with Yong-shin, he can’t afford to make any mistakes, making his panicked state all the more palpable. Even his tone of voice is visibly shaken, emphasising just how much Yong-shin means to him.

The moment he rescues her from the broken elevator is probably one of the most intense and thrilling moments of the drama, in that its plummet and their upward escape from it, seemingly reflects the emotional tide this episode (and indeed all the other episodes) take us on with regards to character emotions. As soon as they reach to safety, Yong-shin’s rejection of Jung-hoo when she knocks away his supporting hand, not only takes him aback, but also leaves him at a loss. The weight of her misunderstandings only increase when she angrily chides him for coming to her rescue at the expense of his own life, just for the sake of doing a job which pays money. Even in her heart broken state, the person she cares most about is Healer. Though they both could have died, her admonishment of him shows her to value his life more than her own; making her show of gratitude (both with money, and a thank you) too heavy a burden for him to bear. It leaves him feeling conflicted, but also has him retreating his steps.

However, the moment he sees the first sign of snowflakes, he halts his footsteps. Just like how at the start of the episode, he connects his past to his present state, he again narrates how he’d never ‘expected anything from anyone before, nor did he care as to whether people understood or misunderstood him…he WAS like that’. But it’s his present state which he can no longer ignore, and which keeps him rooted to the spot. Throughout this moment of reflection, his expressions take us through a process of emotions, which clearly shows him to reach a decision that he can follow through decisively, and with open integrity. 

In an effort to re-connect to his present state of feelings, he boldly walks up to her and uncovers the bottom half of her face, keeping her eyes covered. As he moves in to kiss her, he pauses, not out of undue hesitation, but as an affirmation of his intentions.

When it comes to proving himself, and his sincerity, words alone are not sufficient. And the kiss did just that, and more. The tumult of emotions which led to this very decisive moment wasn’t just about his own feelings regarding her, but also, her feelings regarding him. It wasn't enough to just clear away her misunderstandings, but he also needed to make sure that she continues to remember him in the form of a pleasant dream. And the falling of snowflakes allowed him to do just that, creating a fantasy like image, in which both their dreams could become a reality; thus falling in line with the old age Korean belief of witnessing the first snow with a loved one in order for dreams to come true. At this point, Jung-hoo had made his birthday wish, and is in the process of getting it fulfilled. 

That one kiss proved what he wouldn’t have been able to do with mere words – the fact that he’s of no (blood) relation to her, his coming to her rescue despite being Healer, and his growing affections for her. 

With regards to his own feelings, finding Yong-shin there when he turned around, presented itself as the perfect gift he could have ever asked for; the sole reason for his existence.

By namedx


  1. Awww very touching!

  2. Awww thank you for writing this. Thank you for capturing Jung Hoo's dilemma in this episode. I loved how we lived every second of his inner debate - tell, don't tell, reasons to hold back, reasons to advance.
    I also love that you pointed out each moment that he broke a lifetime of habitual 'I don't care' thinking. The magic of this episode, for me, is that it was a reasonable, understandable development, but the snow was like the magical fairy touch. Koreans and their first snow beliefs, hehe. It's cheesy, but well utilized here.

  3. Namedx, don't ever stop writing these up until we reach Ep20! I love the FEELS! My sister and I have been puzzling out the intentions behind that kiss, and I had initially thought it could have been more of primal instinct. You know, life affirmation after a threatening event. This would have been more in line with JH's animal analogies, but a little bit clinical for our tastes. However, you've interpreted it beautifully in a way that flows more naturally with JH's place in the story. Well done!

  4. Haaaaaa... (slowly exhales to release heartfelt tension)
    I've read this three times and still haven't caught my breath enough to think clearly.
    So good. So good.
    Thx, Anaht

  5. With this episode, I was literally swallowed by this beautiful drama, and there was no coming back.

  6. Enjoying the Feels again. I didn't think about the kiss telling her that he wasn't her father nor brother. Yep, game on!
    looking forward to the rest of these articles, hope you haven't moved on to another drama. (Please)

    1. I most certainly haven't, at least not in terms of the feels!! Thank you very much for enjoying the list of feels, guys! x