You know, I could really get used to this. Spending ten minutes a day with Seung Jo and Ha Ni, amusing myself with their life, wishing somehow this could go on forever. Episode 2 of the Playful Kiss Youtube edition reminded me so much of the interlude from the drama where Ha Ni tries to become a better tennis player and Seung Jo ends up having to coach her.
Somewhere along the way, their relationship naturally settled into its natural dynamic. Ha Ni sucks at something new, she struggles to learn, and Seung Jo finally steps in to help give her that final little push. Conversely, she makes him laugh, love, and enjoy a life that comes so easily to him he might forget that challenges are what makes life more interesting.
Youtube Episode 2 Recap:
Somewhere in the universe, a poor bear is crying from getting poked by nurse-in-training Oh Ha Ni. A shaky hand holding a needle tentatively approaches an exposed arm. The increasingly shaky hand belongs to Ha Ni, who is surrounded by her nursing classmates as they watch her practice her shot injection technique. Ha Ni is so nervous sweat drips down her brow, but in the end she sets aside the needle. She cannot do it, her fear of sticking the needle into the skin is too great.
Ha Ni lays slumped over the table, and her hubby comes up bearing some iced coffee. She confesses that she’s terrified of inserting a needle. Seung Jo tells her that she shouldn’t be the person who is afraid, what about the patient getting the needle in the arm?
Ha Ni worries that the needle might snap while in the blood vessel. Seung Jo tells her that she should just give up then. If she won’t conquer her fear, then she can’t be a nurse since giving shots is one of the basic tasks of every nurse. His words leave Ha Ni annoyed at his cavalier attitude. Seung Jo responds that Ha Ni is the person who kept saying that she can’t do it. To Ha Ni, Seung Jo should have wanted to help her. Future doctor hubby says that he can’t work with a nurse who is incapable of giving shots to patients.
Ha Ni does some googling, and comes upon a brilliant idea. She lures Joo Ri out to the school steps bearing gifts of cookies and treats. Joo Ri the potential guinea pig happily scarfs down some cookies while Ha Ni butters her up. Ha Ni tells Joo Ri that she’s been so busy studying she hasn’t had time for her best friends.
Joo Ri is touched, and tells Ha Ni that, together with Min Ah, they are three ladies whose hearts beat as one. Ha Ni uses this chance to offer to inject Joo Ri with some vitamins. Once Ha Ni whips out the instruments of torture, her needle, Joo Ri wisely makes a run for the border and hightails it out of there.
The next guinea pig candidate is less gullible. Actually, Min Ah got the lowdown from Joo Ri and has come prepared. Min Ah simply gives Ha Ni a gift of a giant teddy bear as her inanimate victim. Min Ah says her arms are too bony and not much room to practice. Ha Ni walks home carrying her teddy victim on her back.
Ha Ni tries out the teddy bear patient at home, and is all sorts of adorable as she talks to it and practices her technique. She asks teddy which arm he prefers. She switches from the right to the left, saying that the right arm is needed to do everything. She knows that it must be scary for him, and she tells teddy to just endure it for a little bit.
After she practices on him, she tells teddy that she injected some vitamins and asks him to rest well now. Seung Jo peeks through the door and is pleased to see his darling wifey make progress.
However, a teddy bear is still just a teddy bear. Back at nursing school, all the students have paired up to practice, and Ha Ni’s partner is literally green with fear. Ha Ni reassures her that she can do it now! No worries. But once Ha Ni is faced with another real person, she falters again.
That night, Ha Ni sits in bed dejected. Poor teddy with a tourniquet on his arm sits across from her, watching dolefully. Seung Jo comes into the room, and rolls up his sleeve, offering up himself as her practice victim. Ha Ni is moved by such a selfless and loving gesture, as am I.
Seung Jo isn’t just a passive testing dummy for Ha Ni. He uses this opportunity to help her hone her technique and remind her of the proper steps she needs to take (tourniquet, disinfect, find blood vessel, insert needle). Ha Ni is clumsy and unsure each step of the way, but Seung Jo remains seated even as he corrects her mistakes. She keeps tying the tourniquet too tightly and Seung Jo reminds her of the correct method.
Ha Ni wonders where the blood vessels are, and Seung Jo has to point them out to her, all THREE of them. Oh lord, the girl must be blind. He tells her to always select the largest vessel because it’s the most convenient. Ha Ni finally inserts the needle, and she is ecstatic. Except she missed the blood vessel. Oops, but so typical Oh Ha Ni technique.
After a while, we see that Seung Jo’s arm is bruised as Ha Ni has gone to town on his poor appendage. Instead of running away, Seung Jo brandishes his other arm, the still whole one, and allows Ha Ni to continue practicing on that arm. He tells her to mimic the landing of an airplane when descending with the needle to the arm.
Ha Ni finally succeeds in inserting the needle and hitting a blood vessel. Seung Jo yelps in pain, and then runs away. He heads downstairs and examines his poor arm. Ha Ni comes running downstairs asking to practice just one more time, to make sure she’s got it. She’s not nervous anymore, she’ll do it right.
Seung Jo continues running away from the crazed lady holding a needle when Eun Jo comes home.
Both pause to look at him, and we can see a light bulb go off in Ha Ni’s head. She turns to her little brother-in-law and welcomes him home with a sly grin. Seung Jo sees what she’s thinking, and turns to give his poor brother a warning glance.
We close with a shot of Ha Ni holding her needle behind her back, the tip glinting a nefarious intent directed at Eun Jo.
Thoughts of Mine:
This was a cute episode, albeit nothing we haven’t already seen incarnations of before. I mentioned the tennis lessons, but really it goes further back to when Ha Ni and Seung Jo were in high school and she made him tutor her. He’s always the one providing the substantive input, but she ends up succeeding because of her determination and perseverance.
What marks this interlude as meaningful is how far Seung Jo will go to help Ha Ni. It’s not just giving her time and knowledge, he actually offers up a priceless part of himself. In the world of grand romantic K-drama gestures, this ranks very low on the swelling-music-twirling-camera-slow-mo scale, but ranks high on the significance scale.
Putting aside Seung Jo and his poor arm(s), its lovely to once again be reminded of Ha Ni’s progress in life. So she did get into nursing school, like anyone of us doubted that. As a nursing student, she still faces every obstacle and challenge the same way – try, fail, mope, try again, fail again, mope again, rinse, repeat umpteenth times, and finally success. Ha Ni is the living embodiment of the turtle in the race with the hare, and I never tire of watching her can-do spirit succeed at the end of the day.
[Credit: all screencaps from Baidu Playful Kiss bar and hyunniespexers.wordpress.com]