Speechless. Episode 8 left me completely speechless with what happened, how it all unfolded, and the big kapow possibility at the end. I can’t believe the Hong Sisters actually went there. But the intense, mature, and honest emotional revelations and discussions in episode 8 left me quivering from absorbing so much. Da Ran finally broke through her self-doubt and figured out what she wanted, Kyung Jae puts into action his decision to put Da Ran first and be there for her, and the big mystery in the background finally rises to the forefront (and looks like I was right all along). This episode marks the halfway point of Big, and I can safely say the second half is up in the air as far as anyone is concerned. I’m tossing shipping preferences out the window and just staring slack jawed at where this is all headed.
Episode 8 recap:
Kyung Jae slips the ring on Da Ran’s finger and tells her that this ring was purchased for her by Yoon Jae. Da Ran stares at the ring and asks if it was really bought by Yoon Jae? Kyung Jae tells her that she can waver towards this body now. It’s clear now that Kyung Jae really didn’t want her to like Yoon Jae when he thought Yoon Jae was a cheating bastard, worried that she would be hurt. But with evidence to the contrary, Kyung Jae is mature and selfless enough to encourage Da Ran to have the confidence to like Yoon Jae again. Kyung Jae vows that while she wears the ring, Kang Kyung Joon will never like Gil Da Ran. My heart, is breaking.
Mari finds out from Choong Shik that the Gil parents are pushing the formerly estranged exes to get married ASAP. She charges out to find Kyung Jae and put a stop to it. Da Ran asks Kyung Jae again if this was bought by Yoon Jae and Kyung Jae is tired of explaining so he tells her to chuck the ring if she doesn’t believe him. He tells Da Ran to marry this body and wait for Yoon Jae to wake up and confirm he still wanted to marry her. She asks if he (Kyung Joon) is okay marrying her, and he says it’s a good way to get adults off his back, plus he’s not really marrying her. This time the bait is Seo Yoon Jae, and if she doesn’t want to lose him, she better bite now.
Kyung Jae walks into the living room and Mari comes barreling in. She demands to know if he’s planning to marry Gil Teacher? Kyung Jae tells her its none of her business. Mari doesn’t think so and she runs off to tell the Gil parents the truth about the body swap business. Kyung Jae runs after her, with Da Ran running after both of them, and all three of them push Choong Shik aside in their rush to get to the Gil house.
Da Ran’s mom thinks Da Ran must really like Yoon Jae to see him behind their backs. Dad wants them to get married and be open about it, none of this sneaking around. Mari comes storming in and is about to blurt out the truth when Kyung Jae arrives and stops her just in time. Da Ran is three steps behind and the three of them stand face to face with the parents.
The parents notice that Da Ran is wearing an engagement ring and think that she’s decided to get married. Da Ran hems and haws, so Kyung Jae speaks up and explains that Da Ran is still considering his proposal of marriage. That placates the parents for now, and Kyung Jae drags Mari away. Choong Shik arrives too late for the party, and finds out that Da Ran is close to getting married to Yoon Jae.
Mari tells Kyung Jae again that he can’t marry Da Ran even in this body. Their (Kyung Joon and Mari) parents didn’t end up getting married, so she won’t let this marriage happen either. Kyung Jae warns her that if she dares to reveal the body switch to the Gil parents, he will never ever speak to her again. The Gil parents start to plan the wedding.
Da Ran sits in the kitchen later than night and looks at her ring. She takes it off and then has fantasies about what Yoon Jae will think once he wakes up and finds himself married. A happy fantasy involves Yoon Jae being happily surprised with the house being so clean and increased in property value, complete with confetti and a bouquet of roses delivered on bended knee. An unhappy fantasy involves Yoon Jae telling Da Ran that he wants to be with Se Young and then handing her divorce papers to sign.
Da Ran’s mom comes out and sees her daughter troubled. Da Ran explains that she’s confused, she isn’t sure what Yoon Jae wants. Mom asks if SHE loves Yoon Jae, and then tells her to follow her own heart this time. Da Ran stars at the ring some more and asks herself what she feels for Yoon Jae. But instead what pops into her mind is Kyung Jae saying that he won’t love her if she wears the ring.
Choong Shik sits with Mari at school and she is wondering how much Da Ran likes the doctor ahjusshi. Choong Shik says a lot since his sister was always waiting for Yoon Jae, even to the point of being rather spineless and pathetic. That pleases Mari. When Choong Shik asks how much Mari likes him, knowing that she likes Kyung Joon a lot but she must have some feelings for him, Mari says zero as she points a finger gun at his heart and pulls the trigger. This breaks Choong Shik’s heart. Later that day, when his mom asks him for his latest test score, Choong Shik just barks out zero.
Kyung Jae is at the hospital eating with Yoon Jae’s colleagues. Everyone busily heads off to work, and Kyung Jae watches as some high school kids come to visit their friend. He’s too young to hang out with Yoon Jae’s friends, and in his current body too old to hang out with the high school boys. Kyung Jae heads to the pediatrics ward and sits in the play room with some kids. He takes a bit of a kid’s cookie and is admonished for stealing food from a baby. Kyung Jae says he’s not an adult so he can do this.
Da Ran meets with Se Young and asks directly what the nature of Se Young’s relationship was with Yoon Jae. Se Young says they slept together at each others house, that is how far it progressed. Da Ran doesn’t believe her. Se Young asks if Da Ran has confidence this time around now that Yoon Jae is back and wants her again? Da Ran says she does. Se Young calmly says that she’s not going to help Da Ran get back together with Yoon Jae by revealing more of her own past with Yoon Jae. Da Ran is emotional whereas Se Young is composed, candidly saying that she isn’t going to pretend she wants to see Da Ran happily together with Yoon Jae.
Da Ran goes to Kyung Jae’s house and sees him water the plants in the yard. He’s happily playing with water from the hose and Da Ran sits down and stares at him. She touches her heart and blushes.
Kyung Jae wonders if she’s feeling flush from the heat. He waters the area above where she is sitting and the water rains down over the patio umbrella. Da Ran smiles and says it’s just like raining.
Kyung Jae comes running over and sits down, telling Da Ran that its her turn to make it rain while he enjoys the cool. Da Ran sends the water raining down, and then she directs the hose at Kyung Jae. He’s soaked, but then he points out that she’s made her purse all wet as well. When she runs over to check on her purse, he grabs the hose and sprays her. They happily water fight in the yard. I think I can die happy now.
Afterwards Kyung Jae and Da Ran sit in the living room and dry off her purse and the contents therein. Suddenly Da Ran realizes that the engagement ring is missing. Both of them look all around the yard for it but can’t find it. Da Ran appears okay with it going missing, saying that she’s not made up her mind, so if it’s gone then that’s fine.
Kyung Jae calls her a quitter. She asks if he is serious about her marrying him? Kyung Jae says she’s giving up because she lacks confidence to make a decision. It’s his turn to call her immature, saying that an adult would make these hard decisions. Even a kid like him knows that an adult would confirm what Yoon Jae wanted before giving up. They fight and Da Ran tells Kyung Jae not to wait around for her. Kyung Jae says he’ll stop rejecting Yoon Jae’s mom’s meddling with meet with those women so he won’t be around when she makes up her mind. Da Ran storms off while Kyung Jae looks contrite.
Choong Shik and Mari are at his house discussing whether Da Ran has decided to get married or not. When Mari hears Da Ran hasn’t decided, she says she will go reconcile with Kyung Joon. Mom enters the room and shows Choong Shik some racy magazines she found under his bed and tells him to get rid of it. He’s embarrassed and furious this is being witnessed by Mari and yells that the magazines are not his. He yells at his mom, saying he hates her. Later that night, Choong Shik runs away from home.
Kyung Jae is studying home but can’t concentrate after his fight with Da Ran. He notices that she left without taking some documents which was set out to dry. He decides to bring it over to her. Kyung Jae arrives at the Gil house to find everyone outside and frantic. He sees Teacher Na running into the house.
Choong Shik’s running away has been discovered and even Teacher Na is there to help look. They discuss where to start looking, like his friends houses. Kyung Jae turns to leave, thinking Teacher Na is here and is plenty of help. He’s seen and roped into looking for Choon Shik. Da Ran’s parents start calling him Seo son-in-law again.
The two men have a little stare down, and Teacher Na says he can go find Choong Shik. Kyung Jae says one more person is better. Kyung Jae calls Mari and asks her to help. The crew breaks into groups to look. Mari directs Choong Shik’s friends on where to look. Teacher Na thinks he’s found Choong Shik’s trail and wants to use this to get closer to Da Ran. Mari finds out that Choong Shik ran away once and went to a jjimjalbang to sleep the night.
Da Ran finds Kyung Jae leisurely drinking a beverage outside a convenience store. She wonders why he’s not frantic and Kyung Jae reveals that rebelling is normal for teenagers. He ran away once. Mari calls and tells Kyung Jae to head to a jjimjalbang while sending Da Ran to check in the subway tunnels.
Kyung Jae finds Choong Shik eating a hard boiled egg at the jjimjalbang. Kyung Jae sits down and tells Choong Shik to rebel but not drag it out, it’ll make it harder to go back. Choong Shik doesn’t think Seo Yoon Jae understands what he’s going through. Kyung Jae brings up Kang Kyung Joon and shares with Choong Shik that Kyung Joon rebelled once too. Kyung Joon believed he didn’t want to see his mom again, but when his mom died, he realized that wasn’t true.
Choong Shik worriedly asks if anything happened to his mom, and is told to go home and check for himself. Don’t drag out this rebelling to the point that he’ll come to regret it. He counsels Choong Shik to go home and talk to his mom calmly about what he wants. Choong Shik wants to go study in the US, and Kyung Jae says he’ll support sending Choong Shik there to study during a break.
Mari arrives and almost calls Kyung Jae his real name before calling him Dr. Seo. She’s playful and wants to spend the night at the jjimjalbang. They guys ask about Da Ran and Mari says she sent Da Ran to search the subway tunnels. This freaks out the two guys.
Da Ran is running around the dark and dirty subway tunnels calling for Choong Shik. A few homeless men approach her to ask for some money and she starts to realize she might be in trouble. Suddenly a hand grabs her from behind and thank god it’s Kyung Jae. He yells at her for placing herself in danger. But he’s even more angry at Mari for sending Da Ran here and he stalks off. Da Ran sees Choong Shik and starts to wallop him for causing everyone so much grief.
Choong Shik goes home and apologizes profusely to everyone. The parents learn that Seo son-in-law found Choong Shik and convince him to go home. They ask Da Ran to call Yoon Jae over for breakfast tomorrow.
Da Ran finds Mari sitting in the restaurant crying. She comforts Mari, saying Choong Shik has been found. Mari is crying because Kyung Jae is furious with her. She reveals that he’s mad because she lied again. Mari says that when her dad and his mom were planning to get married, she told a lie. Then Kyung Joon’s mom died. Mari places all the blame on herself for what happened.
Turns out that Mari’s dad was planning to propose to Kyung Joon’s mom and the two kids found out. Mari says that since neither of them want their parents to get married (Mari because she likes Kyung Joon and doesn’t want to be his step-sister, Kyung Joon because he doesn’t want to lose his mom to Mari’s dad), then she will lie that she is sick keep her dad from meeting up with his mom that night. Kyung Joon needs to keep his mom away from the meeting as well.
Da Ran goes to Kyung Jae’s house and finds him sitting in the yard. Kyung Jae reveals the rest of what happened to Da Ran. Turns out he also prevented his mom from meeting with Mari’s dad that night. He told his mom that he didn’t want her to go and wanted her to stay with him. She agreed and they left the restaurant together that night.
Outside the restaurant, two thugs approached from behind, and appear to randomly call out “hey you!” before shooting Kyung Joon’s mom. This was weird and felt more like a targeted kill than a robbery gone awry, but I’m not sure if the execution of the scene was off or there really is more than meets the eye with the death.
Da Ran walks up to Kyung Jae and wraps her arms around his neck, leaning in to comfort him. He says that if it wasn’t for his immaturity that night, his mom would have gone to meet Mari’s dad and not have gotten shot. Because of him, he lost his mom. Da Ran keeps telling Kyung Jae that what happened to his mom wasn’t his fault.
Da Ran’s parents are treating Teacher Na to thank him for helping to look for Choong Shik. Ae Kyung and the Vice Principal are also there. Turns out Da Ran’s dad was teacher colleagues with the VP, and Da Ran’s mom was a student of theirs. It’s clear the VP liked Da Ran’s dad, and she makes a snerky remark that Da Ran’s mom appears to have aged quite a bit.
Kyung Joon’s uncle arrives and Da Ran’s mom goes to greet and seat him. He wonders why she doesn’t recognize him, is it because of his mustache? Both Kyung Joon’s uncle and the VP stare at Da Ran’s parents being affectionate with each other off to the side, and their eyes meet and flash back to high school. Back then, Da Ran’s mom was a student and she went to have lunch with her teacher Da Ran’s dad. The VP and Kyung Joon’s uncle were hiding and staring jealously at the scene. They saw each other then, and they recognize each other now.
Choong Shik friends counsel him to give up on Mari, but he refuses. If she’s determined to return to the US with Kyung Joon, then he’s going there as well.
Kyung Jae walks out of his house and finds Mari crouched outside. She apologizes and came with an ice cream for him, but sadly it’s melted. He smiles and tells her that he’s doesn’t blame her, not for placing Da Ran in danger or for what happened to his mom. He pats Mari on the bed and comforts her. Mari promises to behave from now on and stop doing whatever she wants.
Da Ran’s goes to visit Kyung Joon’s body in the hospital. She wonders what to do. She remembers Kyung Jae saying that he’s going to return things to the pre-switch state, i.e. Da Ran and Yoon Jae as a couple.
Da Ran meets with Se Young and says she’s getting back together with Yoon Jae. Se Young says she’ll watch and see how far Da Ran goes this time. Da Ran is confident and won’t waver again. Se Young says that since Da Ran has such conviction, then she’ll test it and see if it holds. Da Ran tells Se Young to bring it, Da Ran won’t budge under any pressure.
Kyung Jae comes home and finds Da Ran rooting around the yard for the missing ring. She tells him to go inside since it’s so hot out. He comes out with fan Da Ran and then hands her the ring. He tells her to take it. Da Ran confesses that her heart still flutters for Yoon Jae, and she thinks she still likes him. So she won’t waver anymore.
She takes the ring and tells Kyung Jae that she will marry him. She will take care of him and raise him well. He announces that he won’t be an immature child anymore and keep her from liking the person she wants to like.
They go inside to the living room and Kyung Jae wonders what will happen if they get married and years later he still doesn’t switch back. When Da Ran is about the put the ring on herself, he stops her and does it for her. Since Yoon Jae isn’t around to do it and it’s pathetic for her to do it herself, he can do it for her. Kyung Jae vows again that he won’t be good to Da Ran. He doesn’t want her to see him as Yoon Jae and want him. They agree that when he becomes a legal adult and the souls haven’t switched back, they’ll go their separate ways.
Mari goes back to see the shaman and this time wants another talisman. She wants a charm that will prevent two people who are together from falling in love with each other. The shaman asks if Mari is looking for a charm to break up two people who are in love? Mari says the charm has to keep two people about to get married from loving each other.
Se Young goes to meet Yoon Jae’s mom and wants to continue seeing the Seo family even after Yoon Jae is married. She wants to meet Yoon Jae’s dad when he returns to Korea, especially since he’s a famed doctor she admires. Se Young spots the Miracle book and asks about it. Yoon Jae’s mom explains that the book picture was drawn by Yoon Jae’s dad when Yoon Jae was just a kid, and then bound into this private book. She explains the story being the two angels reaching for each other. If one angel saves the other, then the other angel can save yet another.
The wedding preparations are underway, and Choong Shik finds out Mari plans to attend the wedding dressed in a short white dress that makes her look like the bride. He chides her for stealing the bride’s thunder, but Mari is undeterred and says she plans to wear it and stand right next to the groom. Choong Shik says that will make the groom be confused as to who is his bride, which is exactly what Mari intends.
Da Ran and Kyung Jae sit at their dining table and discuss how tomorrow is their wedding. He’s drinking a Vitamin water while she has a beer. She tells him that she’ll open a can of beer for him when he’s 21, but until then they have to stick with the boundaries. Kyung Jae agrees. If the day comes that he’s fully matured but hasn’t switched back, then they ought to drink beer to each other and then go their separate ways. They drink to that.
The camera pans down the line of the Gil rock family, and at the very end, someone places a wedding picture of Da Ran and Kyung Jae. Okay, I think it’s a hugely symbolic that the wedding wasn’t shown in the drama and totally glossed over.
Kyung Jae is driving Da Ran to the airport. Turns out the world thinks they are on their honeymoon, but Da Ran is going to China alone while Kyung Jae stays behind. She encourages him to find Mari and head to the place where the school took a trip last year since he missed it, but reminds him not to get spotted. He reminds her to lay low in China as well.
Kyung Jae drops her off and she promises to take pictures of the Great Wall for him. After she walks in, he mutters that she didn’t ask him to join her even until the last minute. He then realizes she left her passport and boarding pass in the car and he stops himself from calling for her. He chuckles that she can’t leave now or get to use the Chinese she was practicing.
Da Ran finally notices her missing travel documents and calls Kyung Jae, who is waiting for her call outside in the car. He lies that he’s driving and far away so she tells him to hurry back and drop it off for her at the airport. After he hangs up, he continues chilling in the car. Da Ran sits in the terminal and watches her plane take off.
Kyung Jae arrives and asks innocently if she missed her flight. They grab a bite at the airport, eating Chinese food, in consolation of her not being able to use the Chinese phrases she learned. When he asks if she’s that disappointed to miss this trip, he suggests they go on their honeymoon trip.
Yoon Jae’s mom is on the phone with her ex-husband Yoon Jae’s dad. She’s upset he missed Yoon Jae’s wedding. She asks what could be more important than his own son? Dad says something important and urgent arose, and “that child’s” mom died. Yoon Jae’s mom gasps. Yoon Jae’s dad says “Choong Gi” had an accident.
Yoon Jae’s mom asks about “that child” and Yoon Jae’s dad says he’s looking for him, and Yoon Jae will understand why he missed this wedding for this situation if its because of “that child”. The camera shows us a picture on Yoon Jae’s dad’s desk showing Yoon Jae’s dad, Yoon Jae’s mom, and a young boy I’m assuming is Yoon Jae.
Kyung Jae and Da Ran stand in the airport terminal and confer as to where to go for 5 days. Da Ran still wants to go to China and see the Great Wall so Kyung Jae agrees. She wonders how he happened to have a packed suitcase and travel documents with him, and he teases that he’s a seasoned traveler and is always prepared. Da Ran confesses that she felt bad leaving him behind and all alone, but she worried how it would seem if she asked him to go with her to China.
Kyung Jae says that she should have asked him earlier, he would have gone with her. She thinks its awkward to ask him on a honeymoon, so he teases that he won’t ask her to do what other couples on their honeymoon would do. She gets flustered and runs off to grab money from the ATM machine. She acknowledges that her heart was beating fast when Kyung Jae wanted them to travel together.
Kyung Jae looks at the departure board and then takes out his wallet to check his cash. We see the Miracle picture clearly inside. Suddenly he appears to wobble and his world starts tilting. At the same time, Kyung Joon’s body in the hospital room suddenly jerks upward and then falls back down on the bed.
Da Ran finds Kyung Jae standing dazed and shaken. She asks him if he’s alright. He looks shocked and tells her that he thinks his soul returned to his own body momentarily, i.e. he just had an out-of-body experience. He congratulates Da Ran, as it appears Seo Yoon Jae may be returning soon.
Thoughts of Mine:
OMG whut the whut just happened! Forget the millisecond soul return at the end, which I think is a sign but not necessarily indicative of an imminent soul switch in the next episode, I am seriously stunned that Da Ran and Kyung Jae got married. Who the heck did she marry? What kind of marriage is it legally? She’s married to the body of Yoon Jae but she said her vows with the soul of Kyung Joon. If there was ever a fantasy version of bigamy, this lady just committed it.
Don’t get me wrong, this is ridiculously awesome and warped from a narrative standpoint complete with boatloads of possibilities, I just didn’t think the Hong Sisters would go there. The only way this marriage will stand is if Kyung Jae remains Kyung Jae forever more. If Yoon Jae returns then it’ll be interesting explaining to him how he had an accident and then woke up married. Worse yet is if Da Ran chooses Kyung Joon in the end, imagine the divorce scandal (teacher leaves doctor husband for former student!). It’s not like they can explain to the world that Da Ran technically married Kyung Joon’s soul the first time around. I’m baffled but rolling with the punches.
So now the mystery of the Miracle book is slowly being peeled back. The book was privately created by Yoon Jae’s dad, from a picture he drew when Yoon Jae was a boy. And with the discussion about the accidental death and the missing boy, I think it’s safe to say that Yoon Jae’s dad was talking about Kyung Joon’s mom’s death and looking for Kyung Joon. I postulated that the two were brothers, but I’m still unclear if they are half or full siblings. I dunno, but this makes sense with the plane ticket to LA, as he’s off to look for his maybe little brother. Though why all the secrecy and evasiveness with Da Ran is still inexplicable to me.
I’m starting to get annoyed with Mari. A lot. At this point Kyung Joon has made it clear he doesn’t like her back romantically, nor does he hold her responsible for his mom’s death. If she likes him, then she needs to back off. If she’s hanging on out of guilt, then she needs to start letting it go. I was vastly annoyed with her dressing like a mini-bride to Kyung Jae and Da Ran’s wedding (WTF? Choong Shik ought to lock her up and not let her attend), and even worse was asking the shaman for a talisman to keep Da Ran and Kyung Jae from falling in love. Forget the talisman being hokey and useless quack item, her motivation is so wrong it infuriates me. Kyung Jae has told her that it’s none of her business, and it really isn’t. I understand she’s young and immature (and so is Choong Shik, hammered home by his running away interlude in this episode), but I draw the line at actively trying to sabotage someone else’s possible relationship. I hope she wises up. Fast.
This episode was really rather choppy again, but all the Da Ran-Kyung Jae moments more than made up for any and all lapses in execution and plot weaknesses. Kyung Jae really is my favorite character in this drama, he’s the “soul” of this story. His maturation serves to bring everyone together, helping discover truths and heal hurts. He carries the weight of so much on his shoulders, and finally Da Ran understands this fully and has chosen to carry it with him. She’s his emotional bedrock, and the catch here really is Yoon Jae’s body being the clear line they cannot cross.
It’s weird because the relationship between Da Ran and Kyung Jae transcends the couple-esque romanticism we see in dramas. It doesn’t focus on the carnal attraction, but instead really delves into the meaning of love and caring between two people. Marriages are built on two people falling in love, but marriages are sustained for a lifetime on two people loving each other. Falling in love is the butterflies and rainbows sensation Da Ran had with Yoon Jae. It’s pheromones and heart twinges. Loving one another is where Da Ran and Kyung Jae appears to have leaped frogged over the first part and is headed towards.
Probably because their relationship was always an impossibility – age gap, teacher/student, body of fiancée/soul of another guy – they never needed to worry about reading into gestures and wondering about possibilities. They simply spent time together dealing with the most impossible of situations and from then grew this undeniable connection that Kyung Jae acknowledged first and Da Ran is now aware of but unsure of how to proceed. While Da Ran was also confused with Yoon Jae, which made her hesitant and always tentative, now with her heart set on protecting Kyung Jae, she’s turned the corner and become a woman I can respect and a character I can root for.