Squeeee to the max! Episode 3 of Big was good, great, and stupendous all wrapped into one. I love this drama so much its embarrassing to acknowledge. I’m on a business trip so this recap will be short on thoughts but its really hard for me to stop myself from writing about this drama. I love how Kyung Jae and Da Ran fight and make up, how they bicker and tease each other, and how they see each other’s weaknesses and limitations. Kyung Jae may be a kid in an adult’s body, but in many ways he’s more mature than Da Ran. She may be a school teacher with the emotional awareness of a baby squirrel, but her kindness and candor opens Kyung Jae up in ways he’s been bottling up inside. I finally realized that the too-cool Kyung Joon who first met Da Ran was a kid acting like he’s all grown up, but Kyung Jae is the real Kyung Joon. At times a kid, at times much too aware for his own good, he’s someone who appears to have found a friend in Da Ran right when he needed one the most. Will his mostly platonic interest in her go somewhere he can’t control? Oh you betcha!
Episode 3 Recap:
Kyung Jae pushes Se Young away, which is when Da Ran walks outside. She didn’t see the hug so she greets Se Young warmly as Yoon Jae’s friend, who came by to drop off Yoon Jae’s items he had on during the accident. Se Young tries to engage Kyung Jae and Da Ran for some tea as thanks for bringing over Yoon Jae’s belongings, which Da Ran is happy to oblige, but Kyung Jae is vehemently opposed to. He makes the excuse there is no tea in his apartment, and then when Se Young suggests to Yoon Jae that she wants to be alone with him and then tells Da Ran to go buy some cookies, Kyung Jae has to bring out the big bat and tells her to go buy her own cookies and drink her own tea by herself. He wants to be alone with Da Ran, so she needs to scram.
While Da Ran is trying to hint at Kyung Jae to be courteous to Yoon Jae’s work friend, Kyung Jae is totally squicked out by Se Young and can’t wait to get rid of her. Da Ran tries to go buy cookies and Kyung Jae keeps telling her not to go. He finally picks up Da Ran in a princess carry and informs Se Young and he is engaged and wants to spend time alone with his fiancee. Since Se Young is just a friend, she needs to leave now. Oh booyah! Da Ran is stunned while Kyung Jae just carries her into the apartment, leaving fish-faced Se Young with her mouth open in shock.
Kyung Jae deposits Da Ran on the sofa in the apartment, but Da Ran tries to run back downstairs to make sure Se Young wasn’t insulted. Kyung Jae restrains her by putting his arm around her neck, so Da Ran bites him on the arm to get him to let go. Kyung Jae asks of she’s a dog, why is she going around biting people? Kyung Jae comes right out and informs Da Ran that Se Young is not just a friend to Yoon Jae. They are lovers, and Yoon Jae is double-timing Da Ran with Se Young. Kyung Jae calls Yoon Jae and a bad guy, saying Da Ran is blind not to see it. He tells Da Ran that Se Young embraced him downstairs (but he immediately pushed her away), and then she said I love you to him.
Da Ran looks quite calm at hearing this news, which leaves Kyung Jae wondering why she’s so placid. Da Ran thinks Kyung Jae is worried about her relationship with Yoon Jae and wants to get rid of Se Young purely to protect Da Ran. She smiles and pinches his cheek, telling him not to be worried about his Gil Teacher. Da Ran confirms that Yoon Jae and Se Young dated before, this she already knew, but she tells Kyung Jae that nothing is going on anymore. Plus its normal for friends to hug. Oh Da Ran, you are such a clueless numbskull.
Kyung Jae calms himself down after realizing he’s not going to get through to Da Ran, telling Da Ran that she likes Yoon Jae so much she’s not thinking clearly. Da Ra says likes Yoon Jae so much because he’s such a good person. Da Ran checks out the bite mark she left on Kyung Jae’s arm and coos over it, leaving Kyung Jae even more annoyed, reminding her that the bite hurt him despite it leaving a mark on Yoon Jae’s body. He asks if she really loves Yoon Jae that much? Da Ran asks Kyung Jae to say again what he said earlier to her.
Kyung Jae puts his hands on Da Ran’s cheeks and looks her in the eye, before saying the opposite of what he said earlier. He says “Gil Da Ran-shhi, I don’t love you.” This ruins the mood and the two of them look annoyed at each other. Kyung Jae reminds Da Ran that Yoon Jae could have been coming to see her to tell her that. Kyung Jae grabs his bag full of Yoon Jae’s clothes and leaves the apartment, muttering that he shouldn’t get involved in adult issues since it just ends up with him bitten and it hurts and he hates being hurt. As Kyung Jae walks away, he bites on his own arm where Da Ran bit him earlier.
When Kyung Jae walks out, Se Young is outside waiting for him. Se Young asks if he’s angry with what she said, she didn’t know Da Ran was there. Se Young asks if he was shocked when she said I love you. Se Young felt compelled to tell him after she heard he hadn’t handed out wedding invitations yet, plus he still has the “thing” she gave him. She asks to talk. Se Young takes him to a bar and Kyung Jae has no choice but to do shots of whiskey with her. Poor Kyung Jae looks like his throat was burned when he drinks it.
Da Ran goes home and sees her family gathered in the living room working on her wedding invitations. Da Ran’s parents ask if Yoon Jae needs more but Da Ran says he doesn’t. Everyone looks stunned so she quickly makes an excuse.
Da Ran’s mom comes and chats with Da Ran in her room, asking about how the purchase of the newlywed home is coming along. Mom asks if Yoon Jae calls Da Ran “Gil Teacher” as a nickname, perhaps because she is his love teacher. Mom says that she was worried for awhile since Yoon Jae and Da Ran didn’t look like they were in love. They were very distant and boring together before, awkward with each other. They didn’t have the feeling of a couple passionately in love. But tonight it was the first time Mom thinks Da Ran and Yoon Jae look like a couple in love. Mom offers to go buy lingerie with Da Ran for the wedding night.
Poor Kyung Jae has gotten drunk with Se Young, but he leaves her with one final proclamation that Seo Yoon Jae and Gil Da Ran are getting married, so Se Young better not forget that. As Kyung Jae stands up to leave, the room starts spinning and he topples over towards Se Young. Kyung Jae wakes up top less in Se Young’s bed, where she left a note saying she went to work already. He freaks out and grabs his clothes before booking it, clearly worried something might have happened last night.
When Kyung Jae returns to Kyung Joon’s house, he sees Da Ran outside so he quickly hides his bag of clothes and pretends he was just taking the garbage out and then went for an exercise run. She chides him for wearing the same clothes, people might think he was out all night. She smells the alcohol which Kyung Jae attributes to the beer Da Ran’s dad poured him last night. Da Ran warns him again not to drink or mess up Yoon Jae’s body, but then she stops herself and says that she trusts Kyung Joon to do the right thing.
Poor Kyung Jae feels guilty now and asks what Da Ran would do if Yoon Jae’s body were “dirtied” (referring to having sex to Se Young), but then he quickly covers it up by explaining that he was referring to exercising. He wonders how much exercise he needs, while Da Ran tells him to just maintain Yoon Jae’s current shape. He quickly ushers Da Ran off to school. When Da Ran arrives at school, she sees Kyung Joon’s uncle and aunt talking to the principal about Kyung Joon being in a coma at the hospital. They are more concerned about themselves taking a break, which leaves Da Ran sad that Kyung Joon doesn’t have family that cares about him.
Kyung Jae takes a shower of maybe-shame, scrubbing himself raw from possibly having done something with Se Young. Afterwards, Kyung Jae decides to go private eye on Yoon Jae and returns to his apartment to find evidence that Yoon Jae was cheating on Da Ran with Se Young. He doesn’t find anything incriminating, but he does find Yoon Jae’s packed suitcase. Kyung Jae decides to just travel abroad and escape the situation in Korea. He goes to the airport and buys a ticket for the first flight overseas. He gets his cellphone fixed which is when a ton of text messages are downloaded.
All of the messages are from Jang Mari, who is calling and texting, demanding to know why Kyung Joon isn’t answering her calls or returning her texts. As Kyung Joon gets to the end of the texts, he finds out that Mari is leaving LA and coming to Korea to find him. He is relieved that she doesn’t know how to track him down, but turns out Mari has a picture of Gil Da Ran holding a school text book with the school’s name on it. Apparently Kyung Joon communicated with his kindergarten friends and sent a picture of Gil Teacher, and Mari managed to find it. Oooohhh, he’s so into her. Kyung Jae freaks out and cancels his trip plans and hurries back to the high school. Mari arrives in Seoul set to the Terminator music.
The entire high school is at a school assembly when a taxi pulls up (just like last time). Everyone wonders if it’s Yoon Jae looking for Da Ran, but Da Ran is relieved with a girl gets out. Choong Shik and his friends exclaim over how pretty Mari is, but Mari looks around like a robot until she hones into Da Ran. She runs over to Da Ran and asks for taxi money. Mari grabs the wallet out of Da Ran’s hands while the Vice Principal is already seething at yet another Da Ran-related interruption to the school assembly.
When Da Ran asks Mari who she is, Mari says she’s here to see Kyung Joon. Da Ran has no choice but to drag Mari aside to try and resolve the situation. Moments later, another taxi pulls up and this time Kyung Jae gets out. He looks around so all the students point to where Da Ran and Mari went. So funny!
Da Ran is trying to explain Kyung Joon’s situation to Mari when Kyung Jae arrives and tells Da Ran to scamper. It’s a situation between two kids and he’ll handle it. Da Ran wonders of this girl is Kyung Joon’s girlfriend, and then she sees Yoon Jae’s suitcase. Kyung Jae tells Mari that he knows Kyung Joon and notes that she managed to come to Korea. Mari doesn’t think Yoon Jae is the type of ahjusshi friend Kyung Joon would hang out with. Kyung Jae agrees, this face is someone who seems nice and friendly, so is the type Kyung Joon detests. He tells Mari that Kyung Joon will NEVER see her.
Kyung Jae reminds Mari that Kyung Joon told her he didn’t want to see her or her dad again. Mari says they would have been family had their parents gotten married, but Kyung Jae says that never happened since Kyung Joon’s mom died. Mari asks if Kyung Joon still blames her for his mother’s death? Both of them flash back to Kyung Joon’s mom’s funeral, where Mari tries to put a reassuring hand on Kyung Joon’s shoulder but he brushed her hand off. Mari says she misses Kyung Joon and worries about him. Kyung Jae says he’ll tell Kyung Joon, who won’t see or talk to her, but he’ll likely send her a text acknowledging her coming all this way to see him.
Mari demands to know what Kyung Jae’s relationship is to Kyung Joon. When Kyung Jae says it’s a secret and something about souls connected, Mari is freaked out and asks if they are in a gay relationship? Kyung Jae says no way, and reminds Mari that this guy (hitting Yoon Jae’s body) is not Kyung Joon’s type. Mari notices that Kyung Jae talks a lot like Kyung Joon, using the same English catchphrases (Uh oh, Jesus). She tells Kyung Jae not to speak like Kyung Joon, it annoys her. She then demands Kyung Jae pass word to Kyung Joon that she intends to marry Kyung Joon.
Da Ran is getting lectured again by the Vice Principal and she bows to all the teachers apologizing for causing a disturbance again. Kyung Jae arrives and sees this.
Choong Shik and his friends see Mari sitting on a bench and marvel at how pretty she is. When Mari walks out of the school, Choong Shik adorably races to talk with her. He manages to position himself at the outer gate right before she walks out so he looks all cool. He writes his number on her handbag and tells her to call him. He’ll buy her a meal for dirtying her handbag.
Da Ran asks if the friend has been placated and Kyung Jae assures her Mari has been taken care of. Kyung Jae sits with Da Ran and asks why she’s alway being forced to apologize. She instead asks why he has Yoon Jae’s suitcase, so Kyung Jae explains that he wanted to go abroad for the time being otherwise he might cause more trouble for Yoon Jae. He tells her that last night Se Young got him drunk and he ended up sleeping over at her place. He doesn’t know how he got there but he doesn’t think anything happened.
Da Ran is furious with him for doing something like that and starts to hit him, but Kyung Jae explains that he went with Se Young to get more information because he was worried about Da Ran. She isn’t happy he interfered, calling him a kid. Kyung Jae gets upset, pointing out that Da Ran seems intent on forgiving anything Yoon Jae does. Is it because all she cares about is becoming a doctor’s wife? So she doesn’t care whether Yoon Jae really loves her or not?
Da Ran starts to tear up but Kyung Jae continues his attack, telling her that if she wants to marry Yoon Jae’s body, he can make it happen by just showing up and standing next to her at the ceremony. Kyung Jae may be younger, but he calls himself smarter than Da Ran when it comes to seeing Yoon Jae’s true colors. Da Ran cries, telling Kyung Jae that if he thinks he’s so smart, then she’ll wait how he turns out. Kyung Jae says he’ll grow up just fine, and won’t become someone like Da Ran. He storms off and Da Ran sits there crying.
Kyung Jae walks out and already he feels terrible, turning back to look towards where Da Ran is. He makes a move to go back but stops himself. He goes back to Kyung Joon’s house and opens the fridge to see the food Da Ran brought for him this morning. He takes it out to eat, but he shovels too much into his mouth and starts to choke. He sees a note on the container telling him to eat slowly or else he’s in trouble.
Da Ran is preparing to go to the hospital to request a vacation for Yoon Jae. Her friend suggests the male Teacher Na give her a ride since he’s headed there to visit Kyung Joon. Teacher Na washes his car and prepares it, which is when get gets a text from Da Ran that she doesn’t need a ride.
Turns out that when Da Ran was leaving, Kyung Jae was waiting for her. He was practicing his apology to her, which he kept flubbing, until he finally says “I’m sorry, I’m really sorry”, which Da Ran hears. She tells him to go to the hospital with him, though he worries that if she keeps leaving early, she might get fired. Da Ran snarks that since Kyung Jae thinks all she wants to be is a doctor’s wife, then it doesn’t matter if she gets fired or not.
Kyung Jae tells Da Ran not to use his words against him, which makes her act like a sulky kid like him. She wonders why he acts like a kid sometimes and then an adult who knows all the mature things to say. Kyung Joon points out that if he was consistent all the time, that would make him an adult, but since he’s still a kid, then its normal for him to be emotional and tempermental. But when Kyung Jae grows up, he wants to be a kind hearted person like Da Ran.
When she walks off, he follows her and proudly tells her that he ate all the food she packed. Even the spicy kimchee, he at it all. And it was delicious, as he adorably pulls up his shirt to show her his stomach all full of food. He teases that she can do everything, even cooking delicious food.
Kyung Jae and Da Ran request a vacation for Yoon Jae, but since Yoon Jae does volunteer work with sick kids, Kyung Jae agrees to continue the volunteer activity. When they are leaving, they run into Se Young and the other doctors. Da Ran suggests that Se Young should have called her last night when Yoon Jae got drunk. The other doctor says Yoon Jae promised to buy them all drinks before getting married, so Da Ran and Kyung Jae take them out drinking.
As the group is chatting, conversation turns to how Yoon Jae and Da Ran fell in love. Se Young suggests it wasn’t love at first sight, since Yoon Jae’s first impression of Da Ran was when she fell off the stairs and fainted. Kyung Jae speaks up, saying Yoon Jae fell in love with Da Ran when he saw her tumble down the stairs because she was so cute. Yoon Jae’s doctor friend counters that, saying it’s not true, Yoon Jae fell for Da Ran even before that.
He recounts the story – Yoon Jae saw Da Ran in the elevator and helped her hold the bouquet up. Then he saw her later when she was banging her head against the wall. Finally he sat at the same table as her when she was drinking the soup and muttering about getting to enjoy the wedding of the friend who didn’t invite her. Later Yoon Jae talked with his doctor friend who was the groom, asking to be introduced to the bride’s friend Gil Da Ran. He thinks she’s really pretty.
This pisses off Se Young, but Da Ran is oblivious and is just sooo happy to hear that Yoon Jae was totally into her before the accident. Kyung Jae turns and stares at Da Ran, who looks at Yoon Jae’s face with adoration.
Mari calls Choong Shik. He thinks she’s demanding a meal for writing on her bag, but she informs him that 100 meals won’t be enough to cover the cost of the bag. But she’ll deduct the amount based on what he can do for her. She asks if he knows Kyung Joon, and wants Choong Shik to find out how to meet him. Choong Shik tells Mari that no one can meet Kyung Joon these days since he’s laying in a hospital.
Da Ran is staggering down the street all tipsy, still drunk on happiness learning that Yoon Jae thought she was pretty. Kyung Jae wonders if Teacher Gil shouldn’t be drunk in front of a student, but Da Ran says she’s not drunk, she only drank three glasses of wine. Kyung Jae mutters that Yoon Jae is totally shallow, falling for a pretty face. What’s going to last a life time is learning if someone is pretty on the inside.
Choong Shik takes Mari to Kyung Joon’s hospital room, where she leans down with tears in her eyes and calls his name. She slaps him on the cheek, demanding that he wake up. Se Young looks at a picture of Yoon Jae in the doctor’s bulletin board and wonders to the male doctor that Yoon Jae doesn’t seem to be himself. They consider that maybe the accident has some after effect.
Da Ran sits down on a bench and beckons Kyung Jae over. She asks Kyung Jae to be quiet and let her pretend it’s Yoon Jae. She holds Kyung Jae’s face and asks why Yoon Jae didn’t tell her earlier that he thought she was pretty. If she knew she would have been more affectionate with him, rather than reserved. Kyung Jae pulls away and reminds her that he’s not Yoon Jae, he’s Kyung Joon! Da Ran sighs, she knows he’s Kyung Joon.
Kyung Jae asks why Da Ran was holding back with Yoon Jae? Da Ran vows now to hold back when Yoon Jae returns. Kyung Jae thinks the doctor friend was spewing baloney just to get some free alcohol, because if Yoon Jae fell for Da Ran at first sight, why didn’t he show off his great body to her? Da Ran tells him they were just taking it slow, but Kyung Jae points out that they appeared to have stopped in the relationship progress. When she calls him a kid again, saying he knows nothing and the relationship is continuing, Kyung Jae makes a move.
He grabs Da Ran’s hand and asks if she progressed to this point with Yoon Jae. She says of course. He puts his arm around her shoulder and asks if they progressed to this point? Da Ran is calm with that as well, so Kyung Jae says they must have done this as well.
Then he leans in and point out that she seems quite nervous, so they must not have done more skinship than what teenagers would do in a relationship. Da Ran gulps and then says she did get here with Yoon Jae. Which is when Kyung Jae leans in to kiss her.
Thoughts of Mine:
I’m literally speechless with how much I’m loving Big. Episode 3 continues with the great plot development in all fronts – from Mari returning to Korea to find her beloved Kyung Joon in a coma to Kyung Jae trying to counsel Da Ran to see Yoon Jae not through rose-colored glasses all the way to Da Ran starting to get clued in that she doesn’t really know Yoon Jae all that well. I thought it was sweet Yoon Jae fell for Da Ran at the wedding banquet, but Kyung Joon is right when he says it’s not the outside pretty that matters but the inside. Which is what Big is all about in my mind, which is Kyung Joon and Da Ran falling for each other despite all the age differences and exterior shells. I love how Da Ran’s mom noticed that Yoon Jae and Da Ran never gave her the impression they were in love, whereas Kyung Jae and Da Ran finally did. I don’t think they are in love yet, but the fact that their comfort and candidness with each other leaves others seeing a real relationship speaks volumes to me.
This drama is really mirroring 49 Days in the body switch versus lead actors conundrum. In 49 Days, the story was about Ji Hyun’s character (played by Nam Gyu Ri), the one whose soul was moved. Similarly, Big is about Kyung Joon’s character (played by Shin Won Ho). But the lead actor in both dramas act as the vessels for the souls. In 49 Days it was Lee Yo Won’s Yi Kyung that got the majority screentime as she shared her body with Ji Hyun’s soul, and in Big, Gong Yoo’s body will be housing Kyung Joon for what looks like the foreseeable future. As such, it complicates how the viewers feel, because we can see the great chemistry, but the two characters sharing it might not be the end game. I’m already tossing out what is likely the end pairings – I think Mari will end up with Choong Shik, while Da Ran will realize she and Yoon Jae were never truly in love and start over. If Da Ran and Kyung Joon end up together, we’ll need a time leap to get there. Regardless, I’m completely onboard because I’m well and truly swept away into this fantasy premise that is just too cute.