I thought my heart had gone into its Winter dormant phase with no dramas to pine over, but Me Too, Flower! proved that it was awake and kicking. While M2F objectively has quite a lot of kinks in its narrative flow, the flaws are smoothed over by having two amazingly written lead characters who are being acted to perfection with chemistry to spare that it can lend to other drama OTPs. I do worry that story-wise it’s becoming a misunderstanding an episode, but it can’t be helped since Jae Hee has so many skeletons in his closet and possessive thwarted Hwa Young is running the show in trying to torpedo a healthy relationship between two broken people. I appreciate how the writer is allowing the OTP to communicate (not just talk but actually listen and absorb what each other is saying). Hopefully working through even more barriers will only deepen their appreciation of each other and bring them closer together.
Episode 11 recap:
Hwa Young smirks at the stunned Bong Sun, explaining in her usual smug way that this is “our home”, implying that she lives with Ah In and Jae Hee. Bong Sun steels her heart once again and turns to leave, giving the just arrived Jae Hee a pointed glare before brushing past him. Jae Hee tosses a worried look at Hwa Young before running after Bong Sun. At least he’s got his priorities straight.
Bong Sun starts to drive out of the parking garage when Jae Hee opens the passenger door and gets into her police vehicle. Bong Sun and Jae Hee individually and collectively have broken so many South Korean laws since they crossed paths it might drive me insane if I think too hard about it, but it doesn’t bother me much so I’ll let this blatant infraction pass. Bong Sun is furious and drives like a mad woman, all the while she can’t stop her tears from falling.
Jae Hee starts crying as well but manages to cut to the chase and tell Bong Sun the truth – he was responsible for the death of Hwa Young’s husband, and Ah In being born without a father. This makes it clear that he has a lifetime debt towards Hwa Young and Ah In that he can never repay. Bong Sun pulls over to listen to Jae Hee’s lament, both of them crying in earnest now.
He pulls her into his embrace, and despite her initial struggles, she allows him to hold her. Jae Hee can only repeatedly apologize.
Bong Sun and Jae Hee calm down enough to move their discussion to a coffee shop. Jae Hee reveals how he met Hwa Young when was 17 years old and selling bags outside a university. Hwa Young was attending school there and noticed Jae Hee’s talent since she was running a small clothing store for her dad. She later married her husband, who Jae Hee describes as a genuinely great man that he wishes were his real brother.
Bong Sun confirms that Hwa Young and Ah In are the people Jae Hee mentioned to her before that he needed to protect. She tries to reason that the death was purely an accident, so why does Jae Hee need to continue to atone for a mistake. Jae Hee just gives her a stare that shows this is not something he can be talked out of. Bong Sun ends the conversation and leaves. She meets up with Maru, who has been waiting for her, but she’s in no mood to talk. She goes back to the precinct and thinks back to what she learned today and how Jae Hee explained that he had people he needed to protect.
Dal meets up with Hwa Young by the banks of the Han River (what, are they assassins now meeting covertly?) and gets into her car. Hwa Young disses Jae Hee’s girlfriend as someone unsuited for lofty society. A frog at the bottom of a well who looks up and thinks the sky she sees is all there is. Dal suggests that it’s a woman who doesn’t have the ability to understand Jae Hee, perhaps trying to justify her breaking them up. Ugh, grow up, kid.
Dal is curious who this woman is, and Hwa Young tentatively confirms Dal hasn’t met her yet. Hwa Young suddenly asks for Dal’s cellphone, pulling the car over and forcibly taking it out of the bag. She takes out the phone and sees that Dal has been recording the conversation. She warns Dal not to try and one up her since Hwa Young has done much more than Dal can ever imagine. She rudely orders Dal get out of the car and then tosses her bag and phone out the window. Well, if Dal has any pride, she’ll turn on Hwa Young soon enough.
Jae Hee goes to work the next morning and meets with Hwa Young to discuss company matters. He’s interested in bringing Dr. Park into the company for employee counseling, since there are customers who can affect their employees emotional health. Hwa Young tries to dissuade him but he’s got plans for the company now that she’s outed him. Jae Hee informs Hwa Young that he still trusts her, because otherwise he can’t work together anymore.
Afterwards, Jae Hee drops the bombshell on Hwa Young, letting her know that he’s wants to move. Not anywhere far because of Ah In, maybe upstairs or in the building next door. Hwa Young asks if it’s at Bong Sun’s request, but Jae Hee says it’s a decision he made for himself. But he confirms it’s because of Bong Sun he is doing this. Hwa Young offers to talk with Bong Sun to clear up any misunderstanding but Jae Hee doesn’t think it’s necessary.
Hwa Young needs Jae Hee to attend a party but he’s not interested. As he gets up to leave, Hwa Young finally loses her cool and screams at him, asking how he dares to do so. Who said he can do that! Before he moves, he needs to return a father to Ah In and a husband to her. He needs to return her youth to her and give her heart back to her. But of course this turns out to be just her imagination, and the real Hwa Young remains as cool and composed as ever in front of Jae Hee. She says Jae Hee needs to attend the party because the other company did much for them, so he reluctantly agrees.
Bong Sun goes to see Dr. Park to ask if he knows Hwa Young, and is surprised to find out they are cousins. As Bong Sun asks about her co-dependent relationship with Jae Hee, Hwa Young arrives and offers to answer Bong Sun’s questions directly. Dr. Park leaves and lets the two ladies hash it out. I vote for down and dirty bitch fight, and I’d put my money on scrappy Bong Sun.
Neither woman will back down with respect to Jae Hee. Bong Sun correctly identifies all of Hwa Young’s animosity towards her as female jealousy. Hwa Young warns Bong Sun to stay away from Jae Hee. Bong Sun asks if Hwa Young wants to give her money, or maybe pull out her hair. Hwa Young scoffs that Bong Sun knows anything about the real Jae Hee. Bong Sun concedes she doesn’t know Jae Hee as well as Hwa Young does. Hwa Young describes Jae Hee as bright and talented, but also has a dark side and she’s had to extricate him from violent situations before.
Hwa Young derides Bong Sun as being clouded by love, but Bong Sun shoots back that it’s time for Hwa Young’s mistaken reliance on Jae Hee to end. Instead of wanting what’s best for Jae Hee, Hwa Young uses guilt to chain him to her side. Bong Sun will continue to love Jae Hee, and she doesn’t need Hwa Young’s permission. Hwa Young doesn’t have the right to hand Jae Hee to anyone because he doesn’t belong to her. Bong Sun is here now and she won’t let Hwa Young continue to do this to Jae Hee. Hwa Young doesn’t care who is with Jae Hee as long as it’s not Bong Sun. When Bong Sun demands to know why not her, Hwa Young thinks to herself that she loves Jae Hee but Bong Sun is the woman Jae Hee loves. When Hwa Young walks out, Dr. Park tries to discourage her from doing what she’s intending, telling her that she’s becoming a monster. She shakes him off and leaves.
Jae Hee is painting his office at work a bright canary yellow. Bong Sun arrives and knocks on the door to get his attention. She’s very tender and opens her arms, telling him to come over so she can hug him. Jae Hee is understandably a little weirded out by this untypical Bong Sun behavior, so she counts down and demands he come over. He confirms she doesn’t have a gun on her and isn’t intending to beat him before walking over.
He’s about to hug her when he notices that he’s got paint splatter all over him, so he switches to resting his head on her shoulder. Bong Sun hugs his head and assures him that he can rely on her from now on. She knows how difficult it has been for him in the past. It’s not his fault, he’s just had bad luck in life, so he shouldn’t cry now. Jae Hee instead laughs at her.
Bong Sun and Jae Hee sit on the table and chat comfortably with each other. Jae Hee asks why Bong Sun isn’t demanding more explanations from him. She doesn’t need any, because there is nothing else to discuss. She doesn’t understanding everything but she’s slowly going to. Jae Hee informs her that he’s planning to move, but must stay close because of Ah In. Bong Sun asks if he has to keep working with Hwa Young. Jae Hee says Hwa Young ins’t a bad person and they merely disagree because of work. Bong Sun scoffs at that. Bong Sun says Ah In is cute and that makes Jae Hee happy because Ah In is like him.
When Bong Sun gives him a pointed look, he hurriedly explains it’s not a DNA similarity between them. She tells him to stop making such jokes, and while she has accepted him now, she hasn’t yet accepted his other baggage. After learning about Jae Hee’s past, she’s reconciling what it’ll be like to shed her poor life and live a luxurious existence. But life has it’s trade offs, and with wealth comes the lack of privacy and heighten concerns about other people’s perceptions. While eating the best cuisine of the world, she might forget how nutritious her own food is. She wants a peaceful and warm life, with some arguments here and there, but that person will always be by her side until they grow old and die. She’s afraid to give all that up. Jae Hee tells her to stop over thinking things as usual.
Bong Sun asks Jae Hee to look her in the eye, and warns him that if he has to give up those things she holds dear to maintain his wealth, then it’ll really be over between then at such time. Jae Hee vows to do his best and gives her his pinky swear. Bong Sun goes into his arms for a hug and they nestle into each other.
Dal arrives to see Jae Hee later in the evening. Dal confirms Jae Hee’s girlfriend was just by. When asked if the girlfriend is pretty, Jae Hee says she’s pretty on the outside, and even her heart is pretty. Awwwww. Dal gives the excuse that she came by to pick up her cellphone, but Jae Hee left it at home. She offers to help him paint but she’s terrible at it. When Jae Hee shoos her aside, she purposely spills a can of paint over herself and asks to go back to Jae Hee’s place to clean up.
Back in Jae Hee’s apartment, Dal looks around and spots Hwa Young looking at her through the atrium windows from her own apartment. Dal realizes that Hwa Young lives here as well, filing more information away. Hwa Young prevents Ah In from going over to Jae Hee’s place. Seriously? She’ll even make her son suffer from not seeing Jae Hee so she can get her way? She’s a piece of work indeed. Dal takes a shower and then puts on Jae Hee’s shirt, looking at herself in the mirror with a goal to seduce Jae Hee.
Dal turns off the lights and slinks over to Jae Hee, who is sitting at his table starting his packing. She unleashes her kitty cat seductress routine and leans in to kiss him. But Jae Hee uses one finger to forcibly push her away from her. He asks if she’s going to get off or make him remove her? She gets off him and he offers to give her some pants since she must be cold being bare-legged. Jae Hee points out that he used to find her refreshing because of her honesty, but lately she’s behaving oddly and he finds it disgusting. He informs Dal that he has a woman and she needs to go find another man. Jae Hee leaves and tells Dal to stay as long as she likes.
Later Dal goes to Hwa Young’s side of the apartment where Hwa Young is pacing back and forth wondering what is happening over there. Dal comments on the odd living arrangements. Dal thinks Hwa Young is scary, even allowing Dal to spend the night so she can get rid of the girlfriend. Dal wonders if Hwa Young really wants her to succeed in seducing Jae Hee? Hwa Young loses her cool and warns Dal that they had an agreement and Dal is not allowed to ask questions. Dal confirms that she intends to keep going and succeed at her task.
Jae Hee, carrying a stack of pizzas, arrives at the precinct bearing a gift for the officers. Everyone is thrilled and even Bong Sun doesn’t look unhappy to see him kissing up to her colleagues. Everyone wishes the happy couple well. The talk turns to the officers teasing that their grouchy Officer Cha can never do an aegyo OPW because of a guy. Jae Hee refutes that assertion and confirms she can. He mimics her reluctance to get off the motorcycle and go home, which riles up his Bong Sun because everyone laughs at discovering this side of her.
The officers pretend to offer Bong Sun a gun but she stomps inside. When asked if she was being embarrassed or doing the aegyo right there, Jae Hee says it’s both. Maru sits there and pouts, declining the pizza, which leaves Jae Hee wondering who could possibly dislike pizza. Maru pouts that they should be lovey dovey outside. Jae Hee sits with Bong Sun in the lunchroom while she munches on the pizza. He confirms she likes what he’s doing, but he won’t do it again since coming by all the time will make it harder for her. He produces one hot pack after another, reminding Bong Sun that it’s cold out and she needs to put it on. Suddenly Jae Hee is called back to the office by Hwa Young over an emergency.
Jae Hee discovers there is an article online about how the company pretended to lose the diamond encrusted handbag to drum up publicity for its launch. Hwa Young tries to blame Bong Sun as the only outside person who knew about it, but Jae Hee gets pissed and defends Bong Sun as not the kind of person who would do this. Jae Hee goes down to meet with the reporter and discovers it’s the same woman who cornered him earlier asking for an interview. She asks for an exclusive interview with him in exchange for not running the article. During the interview, Hwa Young purposely calls the reporter to ask where she got her source and the reporter plays along and says she heard it from a female officer at the precinct.
Jae Hee finds Bong Sun but doesn’t mention what he learned and makes no accusations or questions towards her. He just asks her to be more aware that he’s the head of the company now. He tells her to go on his company’s homepage at 2 pm today.
Jae Hee goes online, with Dr. Park by his side, and sends a public message to all the employees of Perche. He officially introduces himself to everyone. He’s funny and teasing, even telling the female employees they can call him oppa. He’s willing to shoulder the burden of running with company with Hwa Young now. He drags Dr. Park over and makes him say hi to everyone and informs the company that Dr. Park will be holding a session a week. Hwa Young is pissed Jae Hee launched this plan without her final consent.
He ends with a message directed at Bong Sun, asking if the bad-tempered girl from across the street is watching this. Bong Sun is watching, so Jae Hee points his finger into the camera and says he will never forget the meal she made for him that day. He further promises that he will never forget the things she holds dear. Bong Sun softly whispers that she hopes he will do so. Hwa Young predictably loses her shit to see this and smashes her computer screen shut.
Jae Hee arrives at the bakery opening party with Dr. Park in tow, while Hwa Young brings Dal along. Dal and Dr. Park finally meet officially. Hwa Young tries to introduce Jae Hee to the rich ladies but he is curt and rude with them, completely uninterested. He goes off to munch on bread. Dal goes up to talk with him but he brushes her aside again. When Dal’s attempts to seduce Jae Hee continue to meet with zero interest, she takes Hwa Young’s advice to heart and pretends to flirt with Dr. Park to arouse Jae Hee’s jealousy. Too bad Jae Hee just points out how odd the two of them look together with their age difference. Dr. Park states the obvious, that Jae Hee is ignoring Dal because he already has a girlfriend, but he won’t divulge her identity despite Dal’s prodding.
Guests at the party are discussing breaking news that the company orchestrated the theft for publicity. Jae Hee sits off to the side and ignores the party. Jae Hee calls Bong Sun and she sweetly explains that she’s washing clothes. He teases that he wants to be the dirty clothes. He tells her not to get too attached to her vacuum cleaner since she’s cleaning the house afterwards, otherwise he’ll get jealous. After hanging up, Bong Sun notices a man’s shirt in Dal’s clothing pile, one which has the same brand and style that she saw Jae Hee wear, but she just wonders if that brand is popular. Dal leaves her purse on the table and goes to the bathroom.
Bong Sun calls Dal’s cellphone intending to ask if she’s messing around with a guy. The phone is ringing too loudly with an aegyo ring tone so Jae Hee has no choice but to answer it. Bong Sun starts yelling at Dal asking where the clothes came from. Jae Hee quickly explains Dal is not available to answer the phone right now. Bong Sun apologizes and hangs up. After hanging up, both of them look confused at the voice heard on the other end of the line.
Thoughts of Mine:
I realized rather quickly after I started watching M2F that its hook lie in its rich characterizations which help patch over what is otherwise quite boring plot markers. The purse theft, Dal’s plot with Hwa Young, Bong Sun’s disgruntlement over her career advancement, Jae Hee going abroad to fix a problem, and the list of forgettable moments goes on and on. I catalogue this only because the writer is starting to use the misunderstanding of the week plot device to keep catapulting Bong Sun and Jae Hee from stable and in-a-relationship to potentially distrustful or angry at each other. I realize they still need to learn more about each other, I only wish Hwa Young wasn’t pulling the strings like a puppeteer determining each reveal.
I let out a sigh of relief that Bong Sun become emotionally stronger once she found out Jae Hee’s great big secret was that he accidentally killed Hwa Young’s husband and he’s been paying penance ever since. This even got her over her anger that he lied about his net worth and that he was rich and out of her league. The discovery that Jae Hee was perhaps even more emotionally fucked up than she was actually made her trust him more. I know, it seems so contrary to logic, but is actually believable knowing how wounded they both are. At this point neither would be a good match for healthy happy puppies like a Maru, but they are perfect for each other.
The calculating and emotionally demented witch Hwa Young, and her mini-me Dal, are as annoying as usual and continue to cook up new and improved ways to separate Jae Hee and Bong Sun. The only time I even relate to Hwa Young (who I do pity) is when she loses her marbles, because then she feels vulnerable and human. Like when Jae Hee told her he was planning to move out and she railed at him and pulled out every conceivable guilt trip in her arsenal. Except it turned out to be a figment of her imagination. I do appreciate how the writer uses the three leads as a reflection of how people cope with loss, disappointment, and guilt. But it’s difficult to connect with Hwa Young when she’s all about herself regardless of how it might affect others. I hope she gets her just desserts in the end.