I think my fears were for naught, Flower Boy Next Door does appear to have its head on tight even as it veers a bit off its beaten path and introduces more dramatic storylines. What I dislike is when dramatic plot devices are used to create even more dramatic reactions and then the story goes to crap in a overly dramatic basket. Last week’s Enrique near-death experience was resolved swiftly and with low key consideration, and this week the panda hat fangirl stalker might actually be addressed without everyone flipping out. That pleases me to no end. As I look towards the upcoming K-drama horizon, I don’t see any drama remotely resembling FBND in the mix. This drama is young, spirited by being subdued, and gives off the vibe of watching old souls trade wisdoms that would benefit everyone. The story still has its eye on the prize and that is about Go Dok Mi’s journey from a closed off young woman to a reborn adult. There is nothing wrong with her old lifestyle since she was content and she hurt no one. But it was prompted by a traumatic experience and she was giving up positive interactions that she clearly longed off.
One part of growing up is taking responsibility for actions and I hope Do Hwi’s redemption comes only in the form of truly apologizing to Dok Mi and then Dok Mi can finally put that behind her. But another part of growing up is having the courage to overcome our fears and continue to rise up to new challenges. It’s not easy, and of course hiding away is the preferable option. But I love how Enrique shared his world view with Dok Mi, that when he experiences pain inflicted by others, he believes it is because they are hurting inside and he wants to help them because that helps everyone around them. I cannot stress enough how perfect Enrique and Dok Mi are for each other, in that they add to each other’s lives in only positive ways. FBND is more than just a cute rom-com with pretty guys and one utterly radiant girl hidden in layers, it’s also cementing itself as a drama that tells a story with nuggets of thought that hopefully will leave a tiny little mark on each viewer to reach out and hug someone, whether physically or emotionally. It’s sad being lonely in this wide world, and sometimes we all just want to connect somehow.
Episode 13 recap:
Rewind a bit – Enrique is at the window, this time dressed in a full panda suit, and doing a funny butt dance for Dok Mi to see. He then turns around and does his angry I-see-you gesture as a joke, but her curtains are pulled and she’s not peeking. He is annoyed that she missed his great show for her and then he gets a call from Spain to discuss a project that is waiting for him there.
Dong Hoon texts Do Hwi to get paid his modeling fee and she agrees plus invites him over to eat.
Dong Hoon confesses to Jin Rok that he put a note on Dok Mi’s milk asking her to read the webtoon. Jin Rok is upset he did it, but Dong Hoon thinks Enrique won’t stay in Korea so Jin Rok shouldn’t give up now.
Enrique heads to Dok Mi’s apartment and then freaks out when he sees “Go Die!” written in red paint on her door. Dong Hoon walks out and sees Enrique pounding on Dok Mi’s door then the note. He calls Jin Rok to hurry up and come out. Enrique is worried where Dok Mi is and tries calling her but she doesn’t pick up.
The security guard brings the prospective tenant over who flees upon seeing the scrawled threat on the door. The security guard asks Jin Rok if he did it to keep Dok Mi from moving? Jin Rok wonders where Dok Mi could be and Enrique says she might have gone to her grandma’s.
Enrique asks about CCTV footage but is told the cameras in the building don’t work. He gets the guard to open Dok Mi’s door and goes in to see if she left any clues about where she might have gone. She left her cell phone behind and on her desk is the note asking her to read the webtoon. He reads the webtoon online and worries about Dok Mi.
Jin Rok is immobilized in the hallway and Dong Hoon tries to push him to get involved in the search for Dok Mi. Jin Rok says her disappearance so disrupt his expectations he doesn’t know what to do. Do Hwi arrives since Dong Hoon never showed – paying him and handing him food. As she leaves, Jin Rok calls her back to show her the door and asks if she know what that is? Do Hwi is affronted that he would even think she did it, saying that her heart hurt when she heard how much pain Dok Mi was in. Even she wouldn’t stoop that low.
Enrique comes out and confirms Dok Mi isn’t home. He tells Do Hwi to remember how much Dok Mi was hurt by what she did before. Do Hwi leaves and Dong Hoon chases after her, not before telling Jin Rok that his love matters (for Dok Mi) but so does another person’s love (Do Hwi for Jin Rok).
Dong Hoon chances upon the panda hat fangirl and sees her holding the red paint. How convenient. He asks if she scrawled on 402’s door? He then calls Jin Rok and tells him to apologize to Do Hwi, he found the real culprit, Enrique’s fangirl. Enrique arrives and asks why she did it? The fangirl wants Enrique to go back to Spain and finish his project, to follow his dream. Enrique says he’s not giving up his dream by staying here. The fangirl asks whether Dok Mi is that important to him? She doesn’t like that girl for Enrique and then storms off. Ugh, no one like you so please go stalk someone else.
Dok Mi is walking home and sees the girl storm off and looks at her curiously. Enrique looks shaken to find her, pulling her in for a relieved hug. She reveals this graffiti happened to her a lot in high school and she’s used to taking care of it, showing him the supplies she bought to remove it. Enrique asks if she can remove the experience, and whether she can remove having read the webtoon? He tells her to wait at Tae Joon’s and he’ll go remove it. He doesn’t want her to see it again.
When Enrique goes to Dok Mi’s apartment, Jin Rok is already there painting over the graffiti. Enrique sighs that hyung also doesn’t want those words there. Jin Rok turns and pushes Enrique against the wall, yelling at him because he knows who did it and why it happened. Enrique asks if Jin Rok really isn’t giving up?
Dok Mi runs up and asks Enrique if he’s alright and pulls Jin Rok off him. Enrique looks slightly guilty because he knows Jin Rok is right, this happened to Dok Mi because of him.
Do Hwi is crying in her office with her minions. Dong Hoon arrives and explains they found the real culprit and apologizes for Jin Rok, excusing his behavior because he was so upset. Do Hwi’s minions reveal that Do Hwi has liked Jin Rok from long ago, when he was Oh Jae Won. Do Hwi tries to shush them but its too late.
Enrique is finishing the painting while Dok Mi waits in Jin Rok’s apartment. The security guard comes by and leaves a bouquet of flowers for the landlord lady outside her door. He wonders what Jin Rok and Dok Mi are talking about inside and puts his ear on the door, then pulls back because its tiring being jealous.
JIn Rok gives Dok Mi a drink and asks her not to let the webtoon weigh too heavily on her. She’s not the heroine of the story. Dok Mi says she is not a heroine because she’s not good and kind and nice and innocent. She is prickly and full of edges. She doesn’t like herself and she doesn’t like others.
Jin Rok shares that he used to think that he could never make another person happy, and that made him sad. He is trying to hard to change himself. He wonders if Enrique is curious about what they are discussing inside.
Dok Mi goes out and finds that Enrique has finished the painting. He carefully opens the now painted bright yellow still wet door to let her inside.
Dok Mi sits at her desk and reads an old interview Enrique gave about his passion for gaming and a new project he was working on. She actually overheard part of the panda hat fangirl’s desire for Enrique to go back to Spain. She shakes her head and tells herself not to pay any heed to that. To concentrate on just her feelings.
Enrique invites her out tomorrow to the zoo, asking when was the last time she went to a zoo?
Jin Rok finds Dong Hoon packing – he found out from Do Hwi that Jin Rok really is a runaway chaebol son. Dong Hoon feels lied to, especially since he used to think that he and Jin Rok were the same, poor guys trying to make their dreams come true. Jin Rok asks Dong Hoon to hear him out.
On the bus to the zoo, Dok Mi sees Enrique filming her and asks what he is doing. He explains that he wants to record memories and suggests that she do it as well. Dok Mi agrees and takes out her cell phone to start snapping pictures.
Jin Rok reveals that his family was dysfunctional and always fighting. His older brother made him sign away his inheritance before allowing Jin Rok to study abroad. Since he got back, he’s had no ties with them. Dong Hoon says he can go back anytime and Jin Rok says he can’t and won’t. It’s actually Jin Rok envious of Dong Hoon’s family, always calling to check on him. Jin Rok lost his older brother so he doesn’t want to lose his younger brother now.
It’s actually Jin Rok who is envious of Dong Hoon – of his illustration talent, of how he doesn’t carry an unrequited torch for a girl. Dong Hoon finally turns around and tells Jin Rok to give up Dok Mi. If Enrique’s fangirl is tormenting her, that means she’s Enrique’s girlfriend. Dong Hoon sits back down and they discuss how even family members
Dok MI and Enrique are at the zoo. He is annoyed there are no elephants around and then takes her to the polar bear exhibit to show her an animal that hides in the water when there is danger. He makes loud noises to attract the bear’s attention.
They move on to the seals exhibit and Enrique then shares with Dok Mi that his first game made at the age of 10 had animals in it. When he was a kid he went to the zoo with his mom and a Spanish grandma told him that monkeys need to go back to whether they belong. He didn’t know why his mother didn’t speak up against such hurtful words. She told him that the grandma’s heart must be hurting inside to cause her to hurt others. Since then Enrique wanted to find out why people felt hurt and discriminated against others? He thought that if he spent time with people he would find out why.
Dok Mi and Enrique sit down and she asks if he brought her here to share this story, not because he wanted to see the animals? He admits that was the reason. Dok Mi says she never thought people liked her, and she didn’t like herself as well. Enrique says he liked her since they went to the beach together so why doesn’t she like herself? Dok Mi says she never gave love or received love because she doesn’t know how. Enrique tells her to start receiving the love he gives now.
A little girls start crying and Enrique goes over to cheer her hope. Dok Mi smiles to see this, taking a picture of him, knowing that Enrique is capable of giving love because he doesn’t let the pain he experienced sink him. He is like the waves of the ocean.
Dok Mi tells Enrique that she went to meet with the publishing house and has decided to start writing. Enrique is very happy for her, though he wonders if the impetus was reading Jin Rok’s webtoon.
Enrique and Dok MI go shopping and he models crazy looking outfits. He makes her try on pretty dresses and is totaled bowled over with how pretty she looks.
They try on couple sweaters and t-shirts, which is endearing in its dorkiness every time I see it happening in K-dramas. When Enrique is getting another outfit, he gets a text that Dok Mi reads and it makes her look saddened.
Dong Hoon is at work at the night club. The editor is at her desk patting her dark circles. She starts talking to her cellphone summoning Dong Hoon, and then he calls to reassure her that he’s earning the money and repaying the debt.
Enrique and Dok Mi are walking and the panda hat fangirl is stalking them and filming on her phone. She does not look happy to see them together still.
Enrique and Dok Mi walk past a poster for a new animated movie and he smiles happily and tells her about how games and animation are similar. She tells him to go back to Spain and pursue his dreams but he wants to stay here with her. She tells him not to lie, he does want to go back and work on that project.
Enrique asks her to tell him the truth in her heart, what does she want regardless of what others think. He tells her to say that she doesn’t want him to leave, it’ll hurt her too much if he’s gone and she can’t endure it. He then pulls her in for a hug and asks Dok Mi to go to Spain with him.
I’m not even worried about Enrique going back to Spain, Dok Mi moving out, or anything that could possibly keep these two apart for the time being. I am so utterly sure these two will make it work regardless of distance or work. They are just that emotionally meshed that the trust was there long before there was even love, and that is the strongest possibly relationship they could each hope to have. What’s a little time apart when it’s a lifetime they are working towards? With that said, can we keep having them go on dates and share life experiences with each other? I could watch that all day long.