We’ve one episode to go with Flower Boy Next Door and this drama hasn’t let me down yet. Even the angsty previews for episode 15 turned out to be issues that could be worked through and our OTP continues to work through them. I’m traveling for work this week and the most I can muster up are baby recaps in between my meetings and toddling from city to city. Sleep went somewhere out the window but being jet lagged has some side benefits. The friendship, emotional maturity, and sweet romance of FBND continues to set the bar high for 2013 rom-coms. Even when Dok Mi is playing the noble idiot, Enrique actually knowing her better than she knows herself puts a kibosh on any misunderstandings before it arises. What’s left is for the two of them to maturely work through their impasse. Enrique wants to stay and he wants Dok Mi to ask him to stay because he does have a desire to go back to Spain to work on the animation. Dok Mi wants Enrique to stay but her insecurity and worry that he’s giving up a dream for her makes her push him away. But they both know this is how the other feels, and the drama lets them try to learn more about each other to work through this conflict. Dok Mi’s jealousy, insecurity, and worry is all valid, and Enrique staying isn’t as easy a choice as he makes it out.
Life is often full of difficult choices and I love how the drama allows these two lovely people to acknowledge the difficulties in choosing each other but express that they have made this choice after careful consideration, I’m pretty relieved the drama isn’t trying to lump Do Hwi and Jin Rok together, but I’m also fine if Do Hwi gets redeemed by helping out Dok Mi in this current predicament. I think Dok Mi has finally worked through all her pain and emerged as a person not afraid of the future and accepts that her past led her to this point. It’s not the ideal experience to go through, but it has also brought her the joy that is Enrique into her life. I see Jin Rok also finding a reassuring epiphany that his mark on the world isn’t just through looking out for Dok Mi, but also through learning to express his feelings with people. This drama is really so satisfying in every way, with conversations that are quirky but intelligent, moving the story forward in a dramatic low key way. I think all my predictions have pretty much come true so here’s one final one – tomorrow we get a genuinely happy ending that isn’t just the OTP reuniting in the final 2 minutes of the drama, but a progression of pay offs for everyone in this story that rewards us for the faith and love we’ve put into watching it.
Episode 15 baby recap:
Dok Mi announces to Do Hwi that she likes Jin Rok because he’s a good guy and this is heard by the arriving flower boys. Jin Rok remembers Dok Mi’s entreaty for him to help her convince Enrique to go back to Spain and he takes her hand and drags her out of the room. Outside the building, Dok Mi pulls her hand out of his and Jin Rok realizes that she can’t even pretend to like him even to push Enrique away. Jin Rok accepts that he was too late with her and asks that she either leave with Enrique or ask him to stay, that way Jin Rok can finally give up.
Enrique walks up to them and takes Dok Mi back to her building, asking her to go inside because he needs to talk with Jin Rok first. Dok Mi doesn’t think they need to discuss anything since its all her doing. Turns out he was awake and heard Jin Rok and Dok Mi’s conversation last night, how she doesn’t want him to give up the animation dream for her. She can’t be happy next to him knowing he’s giving up his dream for her. Enrique opens his eyes and notes that they are so alike, those two. Enrique tells Jin Rok that he knows Jin Rok’s feelings for Dok Mi but right now all he can see if her and he can’t worry about anyone else. Jin Rok yells back that Enrique doesn’t know his feelings.
Dok Mi accidentally reads a text from Seo Young to Enrique asking him to come back to Spain to work on the animation project and not to stay because he pities Dok Mi. When Enrique comes back, Dok Mi tells him she can’t go with him to Spain and he needs to stop this with her because it might be a passing fancy. Dok Mi doesn’t need him around, he’s helped her back into the world and she’ll be fine. Enrique tells her not to push him away with lies but Dok Mi says she doesn’t want him around because feelings might end one day. Since he tried to leave once, she doesn’t trust him anymore and wants to be self-sufficient on her own.
After Dok Mi leaves, Enrique reads the text from Seo Young. Dong Hoon tells Do Hwi to stop now with how she feels about Jin Rok and using people. Enrique and Dok Mi stand at their windows and close the curtains to stop from peeking at each other. Enrique looks at the USB Jin Rak gave him and the next day goes to see him and Dong Hoon. The three go to see the webtoon editor and Enrique wants to prove his existence and dispel the rumor that Jin Rok stole Zombie Soccer the webtoon from his game. They pictures with the editor to post online and the editor gushes and fawns over Enrique which makes Dong Hoon jealous.
Later Jin Rok confronts Enrique as doing this because he is getting ready to leave. Enrique says that is what Dok Mi wants, but Jin Rok says she wants him to stay. Enrique wonders why Jin Rok and Dok Mi can’t just say what they feel? Jin Rok reveals that people like them who have never been loved before don’t know how to express it. That is why he silently watched Dok Mi for 3 years. Jin Rok punches Enrique and says it takes courage for people to say what they really feel. Afterwards Dong Woon asks Jin Rok what happened and Jin Rok reveals that he didn’t know it back then but really he was meant to show Enrique the way.
The pretty older tenant lady comes to bring food for the security guard which is when he’s taken away by investigators about problems with the building, revealing that he’s the owner of the building, Jin Rok remembers now signing his lease with a masked man who was actually the guard. Enrique thinks about what Jin Rok said, that Dok Mi doesn’t trust him because he tried to leave once. He realizes he still doesn’t know all about her.
The doorbell rings and Dok Mi opens it to find Sherlock Enrique there with a magnifying glass. He calls her teacher and asked to come in and observe her living habits. He wants to study her thoroughly and better understand her. He wants to start by learning how she lives alone and inside. Dok Mi tries to apologize for the harsh words she said that day but Enrique keeps wandering the house investigating.
Dok Mi finally loses her temper and apologizes loudly. Enrique sits her down and reveals he knows she read Seo Young’s text, and was likely jealous. He points out she probably still has the pictures of him and Seo Young on her cell. She admits to being jealous and having a temper, which is how she knew she liked him. He points out they are just like all couples, get jealous and fight and miss each other. He asks her again to just be honest and ask him to stay because she will miss him too much if he goes back to Spain.
Dok Mi types in her computer that she sees the world now through Enrique’s eyes and its opened her the capacity to love with 2 hearts. Enrique is puttering around in Tae Joon’s apartment trying to amuse himself when Dok Mi rings his doorbell with excuse after excuse like she’s sick or she has to return his panda hat or there is a problem with the manuscript she was editing for him. He tries to ignore her like she used to ignore him though inside he’s totally affected by her assertiveness and how cute she looks. Dok Mi smiles as she realizes this is how it feels to be facing a locked door that won’t open.
Enrique goes to work on the 4D theater project and as he’s leaving he sees Dok Mi outside. She can totally read his thoughts as he thinks about how she found him ad why she’s here. Dok Mi is here because she wants to talk to him and she puts her finger on his forehead and tells him to look at her when she talks. They go into the theater to watch a movie and initially are sitting far apart but eventually Enrique scoots over and snuggles next to Dok MI.
Afterwards Dok Mi and Enrique go to dinner and over drinks Dok Mi admits that she was jealous and that was the reason for her reaction to him. She was jealous because she liked him so much, and that made her insecure that his feelings for her were based on pity and he will one day not like her anymore. Enrique points out that Dok Mi getting angry and jealous is normal, and he was also angry and jealous at Jin Rok. He reveals Jin Rok punched him which likely means he’s finally let go of his crush on Dok Mi. She confesses that she’s not going to push him away anymore because looking at his closed door to her was the hardest thing ever.
Enrique accepts how far Dok Mi had to travel to confess this to him. He also apologizes for all the times he presumed to know what was best for her or how she should feel, such as trying to reconcile her and Do Hwi. Enrique makes games which have villains and heroes but real people are much more complicated than that. For their relationship, its okay they fight and get mad at each other, but they cannot avoid talking. Even if he’s not always thinking the same as her, he promises to listen to her and they can work through it. They toast and try to food. Enrique wonders why it doesn’t taste as good as the same dish they had by the ocean and both suggest taking a trip.
The editor takes Dong Hoon to the same store selling the bag Enrique uses. Dong Hoon is jealous until the editor reveals she’s buying it for him. She also reveals that the Flower Boy webtoon is taking off and asks about the love triangle developing in the story. Turns out crazy panda hat fangirl is now lying that Dok Mi broke up Enrique with his first love Seo Young, and now Dok Mi is two-timing Enrique with Jin Rok. She shows people all the stalker pictures she took and wants the fans to help convince Enrique to go back to Spain.
Dong Hoon reveals this online rumor to Jin Rok who suggests they stay out of it since its between Enrique and Dok Mi. Do Hwi finds out about this new slanderous rumor against Dok Mi and she asks her minions to help her write something. Dok Mi and Enrique are happily packing for a day trip. Enrique finds out about the new rumors and goes to talk with Jin Rok, who offers to end the webtoon. Enrique says no need, its all because of his fans and he’ll put a stop to it. He reveals the rumors to Dok Mi and apologizes for her having to go through a similar slanderous experience like high school. Enrique wants to just take the trip anyways but Dok Mi no longer wants to go knowing what will away her when they return is an escalating situation much like high school. Enrique promises to protect her.
Enrique takes Dok Mi to his fan cafe. A fan brusquely bumps Dok Mi which reminds her of high school, as does this interrogation of Enrique over why he won’t go back to Spain. Dok Mi wonders what her life would have been like had the teacher told the truth and Do Hwi stood up for her back then. She then understands that she would have never met Enrique because he would never have found her. Enrique tells the his fans that he is going back to Spain. Dok Mi looks stunned, as if this is a repeat of her teacher telling the class that he’s leaving.