Jung-hoo's countless list of feel - Episode 9


Jung-hoo's countless list of feels: Episode 9

The first sign of snow sure is magical. It creates an ambience of dream like fantasy which plays right before your very eyes. However, in Yong-shin’s case, Jung-hoo shields her from this dream by keeping her eyes covered, lest it becomes too real for him to handle.  He’s not yet prepared to make this dream a full blown reality, and therefore settles to keep it within reach.

But the moment she reaches out for him, Jung-hoo retreats; it’s a clear sign that the warmth of the kiss proved a little too overwhelming for him, whose life so far had been devoid of such feelings.

At this moment, Jung-hoo’s eyes reveal a child-like fear, as he becomes wary of her close proximity. He’s allowed to get himself too close. And whilst this may arouse feelings of giddiness in the viewer, there’s also an element of sadness attached to it, as we realise that Jung-hoo is not used to having anyone reach out for him this way.

I love how even whilst retreating, Jung-hoo keeps himself faced towards her. It’s a poignant way of showcasing that whilst loved ones may have turned their backs on him, he’s never one to turn his back on them, showing his love to be faithful.

What’s equally nice about this moment is the way in which Yong-shin chose to keep her eyes covered. She respected Jung-hoo’s decision in wanting to keep his identity hidden, displaying her faith in the people that she cares about; for Yong-shin, seeing isn’t important, it’s what she felt during their encounter which became real for her (like the touching of the snowflakes) – hence why she was able to say (to Moon-ho) with such conviction that she saw him, even without having done so.

It’s one of the reasons I love how she caught hold of the snowflakes in her already outstretched hands, mirroring Jung-hoo at the beginning of the scene; it’s an action which turns their dreams into a shared reality.

Ahh, the moment he realises just how deeply he’s fallen for her, literally. His little stumble leaves both him and ahjumma gaping in shock. I love how his feelings become magnified in this moment, whereby his cool, calm and collected self becomes visibly shaken by the after effects of the kiss. You can just see him trying to process his growing affections for Yong-shin as his heart starts palpitating.

I also love how Ahjumma turns this into such a momentous occasion for him, emphasising how he, who never falls even when someone pushes him, has fallen down all by himself. It’s such an overt metaphor for his growing affections, and how they’re beginning to dictate his actions, yet when we see Jung-hoo’s reaction to it all – the deep breaths, the wide-eyed shock, the continuous blinking of the eyes, and the placing of hand over heart – the metaphor seemingly springs to life, having us believe that Jung-hoo’s heart truly is bursting at the seams. As a result, the heart monitor no longer serves the purpose of forcing these feelings upon us (as per your usual drama trope) rather, it’s cleverly used to convince Jung-hoo of his own state of feelings, as well as alerting ahjumma to the uncontrollable nature of it.

For a person who’s always been in control, and whose job requires complete and utter focus, not mentioning emotional detachment, Jung-hoo’s moment of unsteadiness is what keeps him clutching at the heart; it’s almost as if he’s unable to believe in the feelings that stem from an organ which has been dormant for so long. After all, it’s after a long period of isolation and loneliness that he finds his heart pumping again – a sure sign of life, proving just how raw these feelings are.

It’s a small moment, but I have to comment on it because it’s just too adorable not to, lol! The scene where he follows her down the stairs and bobs his head up and down in time to her singing – I love that he’s no longer freaked out by it, but has come to enjoy it instead, enthusiastically might I add!

The moment that he continues to walk her home keeping a watch from a distance, her safety being his first priority – I loved this entire sequence; because we see it primarily from Yong-shin’s perspective, whose sixth sense alerts her to someone’s presence, her hope of catching a glimpse of Healer aligns itself to viewers’ expectations, so much so, that the moment we see Jung-hoo appear on the opposite side, mirroring her walk home, one can’t help but smile.

I love that he’s always attuned to Yong-shin’s thought processes and her false acts of bravery at times when she’s clearly dispirited. He sees right through it, not only because she’s always within his line of sight, but because he listens to her, attentively. He recognises when she’s feeling insecure or is in need of a friend, and therefore, humours her by going along with it.

The moment she phones Bong-soo, using the excuse of trying to memorise phone numbers – I seriously love all their encounters over the phone. It shows communication to be key as part of any budding relationship, which is why (for me at least) Bong-soo’s identity became so real in the fight for Yong-shin’s love – a testament to Song Ji-na’s writing, and indeed Chang-wook’s acting, that brought to life two very distinct personalities, even though they were essentially the same person.

What I most like about their phone conversations though, is how refreshingly honest and open they are, even when nothing’s being said at all; conversations which are always loaded with meaning –the pauses, the silence, what’s said and what’s left unsaid, they communicate it all, without any reservations. And that is essentially why it becomes so satisfying for us viewers to watch because it allows us to fill in the blanks, knowing that the feelings are real.   

I also love how Jung-hoo always appears to be at conflict with himself during these phone conversations; for it’s in these moments that he forgets to keep up the ruse of Park-Bong Soo, opting to be himself instead. As Jung-hoo, his concern lies with Yong-shin being out so late, but by reverting back to Bong-soo, he gets to play ignorant, and keep her on the phone for longer - not wanting to end their conversation. I do love how panicky he gets when trying to look for an excuse to continue with their conversation; it displays much of his social awkwardness.

Lol, the moment she gives him permission to lower his speech - his face just lights up in this knowing, but cheeky grin. I seriously love all the references to honorifics throughout this drama. It confuses the heck out of Yong-shin, but for Jung-hoo, it gives him the green light to be himself as much as possible, whilst still remaining hidden from view. It also speaks volumes about their ability to express themselves comfortably, allowing the other to relay their feelings as they are. I love that he uses this opportunity to be there for her, knowing she’s had a rough day. Though he knows how she must be feeling, he wants to hear it from her, knowing that that’s exactly what she needs – someone to talk to.

Just like all their previous encounters, Jung-hoo never fails to catch a beat, and is sure to enquire about it all. Her health, her well being, and of course, her feelings – rather than coming up with his own assumptions, he likes to hear it first hand, and with it, quenches his own curiosity regarding her.

The moment she mentions that she’s waiting for “that person”, Jung-hoo is visibly taken aback. For him, the word “waiting” must hold a lot of significance, for it’s all he’s ever done, “wait” (for his loved ones). And for someone who knows what that feels like, it’s clearly making his heart ache to put Yong-shin through that very same pain. And just like that, the silence which ensues, Yong-shin reads it perfectly, voicing his insecurities, as though he were an open book. Just like how he’s able to hear Yong-shin’s voice, and wants to be there for her, Yong-shin too wants to reciprocate those very same feelings; she too needs to hear his (Healer's) voice and wants to be there for him. But in order for her to do that, he needs to break the silence, and with it, regain faith in himself and those around him so that his heart can love again without the fear of abandonment. And though he’s unable to shed tears himself, it is Jung-hoo’s silence which has him share Yong-shin’s pain, as he sits there listening to her crying on the other end of the phone.

The star which she leaves behind is perhaps a symbol of the fate which he now needs to take into his own hands in order for his dreams to turn into a reality. And yet, for him to do that, Jung-hoo needs to know how to move on; as between not knowing how to run away, and how to move on, he’s ultimately stuck in limbo, thereby increasing his inner turmoil. It’s a point in the drama where I find myself having to sit back and weigh in all of his frustrations which prevent him from disclosing his true identity to Yong Shin.

Jung-hoo’s distressed calls to his Sabu when he returns home to the dark abandoned building serves as a sharp contrast to the warmth of the conversation he had with Yong-shin earlier. The moment he shouts out to his Sabu, only to be received by the hollow echoes of his own voice, his fear becomes palpable.

The fact that being Healer was a result of his circumstances and not wholly his choice, him having to prove who the real murderer is, how the past is seemingly intertwined with his present, not knowing the truth behind his father, living in isolation, his continuous fear of abandonment, and not knowing how to live life – they’re questions which he’d never thought to answer, if only due to the painful reality it evokes. For Jung-hoo, not living was the easier option; that is until Yong-shin entered his life. 

It is at this point that his desire to live becomes apparent, for it is no longer enough to look at Yong-shin from afar, but to have her walking beside him every step of the way. And that realisation only hits harder when he sees her walking towards him looking beautiful in red; her arms linked with his - walking in unison. It’s the perfect dream like reality.    

By namedx


  1. "For him, the word “waiting” must hold a lot of significance, for it’s all he’s ever done, “wait” (for his loved ones). And for someone who knows what that feels like, it’s clearly making his heart ache to put Yong-shin through that very same pain."
    you said it so well.
    exactly, "waiting" is a virtue. and our Jung Shin (Jung Hoo and Young Shin) truly perfected the art of waiting. all than any other kdrama characters i have watched about 20 years (since early teens).
    the beauty of it all is, Jung Hoo has been waiting like ages for his mum, sabo, been betrayed not once but twice,.. yet he waits again, forgive again.... he waits even for Youngshin in the shadow, in silent, in patient, in unbearable pain of being mistaken, and continue to wait still even until the last ep., when he bear solitude at some internet cafe watching her Someday clips.... controlling himself, waiting for the right time, when he will not cause her danger from Elder or harassment from the police (for harboring "criminal").. waiting seems to be the only thing he can do for his loved one, constraining when you are even ready to sacrifice. his "waiting" is the way he loves. " it’s clearly making his heart ache to put Yong-shin through that very same pain"you said. Beautiful.
    indeed, to know that you are the very source that caused her pain, you who experience the pain in waiting, yet you are the very one that caused her to wait, first she waits in doubts after hearing what Moon-ho claimed, later she waited in pain of not able to comfort you, sensing your loneliness, then she waited in sense of betrayal that you are still not revealing yourself, .. waited for 6 days of anguish as you go missing... and she continued to wait for evidence to pop up so that she will not need to love you in guilt... yet she still tell you, she will wait for you to come back without evidence.... to someone for suffered as she waits for you, you cannot do anything else always, but to let her waits... poor poor poor OTP.
    i loved that few sentences you wrote. it brought out the beauty of this unique couple, they loved each other thru waiting.